The Imminent Invasion of Israel

Chapter 6: WHEN will this Invasion happen?


Let us consider the possibilities:

*POSSIBILITY (1): Historical - it has already happened!
Those who argue that this invasion was fulfilled in the past face the insurmountable obstacle of showing when anything even remotely similar to this even occurred in Israel's history. No event in Israel's past history since the time of Ezekiel's Prophecy even comes close to fitting the details of Ezekiel 38-39. Therefore, since the Prophecy must be literally fulfilled, it must still be future even in our day. 

God identifies the time for us in Ezekiel 38. Several times it is ascribed to “the latter years” (v8) and “the latter days”(v16). These are definite terms which denote the time just preceding and including the events which will be climaxed by the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ, as the “reigning Messiah” to set up God's promised Kingdom. They could refer to the last days of the Church Age, or to the Tribulation. Although the Church itself is a ‘Mystery’, events in the Church-Age can be the subject of Old-Testament Prophecy. These prophecies mostly pertain to the Judgement of Israel and her removal from the Land in the first century (Daniel 9:26), and her Restoration to the Land in the last Century of the Church-Age (Ezekiel 36-39). These timing phrases clearly eliminate any past fulfilment for this invasion, and reveal that it's still to come in the future. 


Moreover, this prediction is found in a context in Ezekiel with a definite chronological sequence of events. The previous Chapters (Ezekiel 36,37) speak of the final restoration of the Jews to the Land, a restoration from which they will never be scattered again (Ezekiel 36:8,24). This physical Return to the Land is from a long world-wide dispersion, unlike the Babylonian dispersion. It will be followed by a spiritual regeneration of Israel in the Land (Ezekiel 36:25-27). This 2-stage process is confirmed by the Parable of the Scattered Bones in Ezekiel 37 which applies to “the whole house of Israel” hopelessly scattered throughout the nations of the world (v11). This spiritual rebirth of the nation will be at the beginning of the Messianic Kingdom which Jesus will establish at His Coming (Ezekiel 37:26). 

The setting of Ezekiel 38,39 is clearly between these 2 Stages: The great northern enemy will invade Israel after the physical restoration of the nation, but before her spiritual rebirth (Ezekiel 38:8,16). God’s supernatural Judgement of the invaders is the very act which will propel Israel towards faith in their God and and in their true Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ (Ezekiel 39:6-8). Then Ezekiel 40-48 describes the Messianic Kingdom that will come afterwards. Since the restoration of Israel as a nation in 1948, we have lived in the most significant period of prophetic history. We are living in the times which Ezekiel predicted in chapters 38 and 39.

Thus Israel must already be regathered to her Land when this Invasion occurs: “whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel” (38:8). This can only be referring to the Regathering of Israel, resulting in her becoming a nation in 1948, with Jews returning to their homeland for the first time in 19 centuries. This is confirmed by the preceding Chapters (36-37), which set the scene for the Invasion in Chapters 38-39, by focusing on the Regathering of Israel to her Land in the last days. God is telling us clearly that sometime after this Regathering begins is when this Invasion will occur. Since it has begun and continues today, this part of the end-time stage furniture is already in place!

Thus the Invasion takes place when Israel is a State again; with the waste places of past centuries again inhabited; and dwelling in un-walled villages (a good description of kibbutzim). These ‘unwalled villages’ point to the times we live in, where all settlements are unwalled, whereas even 100 years ago most towns had walls. Also Israel is said to be dwelling securely (38:8, 11-12, 14). Nowhere does it say that Israel is living in peace. Rather, she is merely living in security, meaning ‘confidence’ regardless of whether it is during a state of war or peace.

*POSSIBILITY (2): POST-MILLENNIAL (after the Millennium) Some say it is the War of Revelation 20:7-9, which is after the 1000 years (Millennium), because ‘Gog and Magog’ are mentioned again. However this is impossible, for nothing else matches up. 

1. The Gog-Magog invasion in Revelation occurs after the 1000 years described in Revelation 20:1-6, whereas in Ezekiel, the Battle of Gog and Magog occurs before his description of the Millennium 
(Ezekiel 40-48). In other words, Ezekiel's Battle is Pre-millennial, while John's is Post-millennial. They are separated by over 1000 years. 

2. The Revelation invasion comes from all nations, whereas the Ezekiel invasion comes from the North. 

3. The 2 invading armies are destroyed by God in 2 different ways 

4. Immediately after the ‘Revelation 20’ Invasion, is the destruction of the earth and the ushering in of eternity, so there is no time left for the 7 months of burial and 7 years of burning. Ezekiel, however, saw the Jewish people burying the dead and living off the abandoned fuel supplies for 7 years. It would require the burying and burning to continue into the Eternal Order! The 7 months of burial seem pointless, for all the dead will be resurrected after the Invasion! Moreover, the 7 years would have to extend into the Eternal Order, an impossibility since there is a whole new earth created. 

So if they aren't talking about the same invasion, how do we explain John's use of “Gog and Magog” in Revelation 20:7-9? Why use of the ‘Gog and Magog’ language, which seems to connect it to the Ezekiel 38 invasion? 

This may be symbolic language taken from the previous famous War (of Ezekiel 38), to denote a strong leader (Gog, maybe satan himself) and all the people who follow him (‘Ma-Gog’ = ‘the people of Gog’). It describes a demonically inspired leader who gathers people from many nations to attack Israel. It is a kind of shorthand to communicate what this battle will be like, just as today we use the term Waterloo to describe a disastrous defeat. John is saying that at the end of the Millennium there will be another Battle of ‘Gog and Magog’ when a vast confederation of nations comes against Israel and is destroyed by a Judgement of God. Ezekiel even hinted that this Battle will be remembered in this way (38:23; 39:7).

Another possibility comes from the Greek Septuagint translation of Amos 7:1: “Thus the Lord showed me, and behold a swarm of locusts were coming, and, behold, one of the young devastating 
locusts was GOG, the King.” But compare this to Proverbs 30:27: “the locusts have no king.” This implies that in this case locusts are symbols of demons, as they are in Revelation 9:1-11, where satan is their king: “they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon”(v11). This implies the demonic nature of Gog is a reference to a demon leader, even to satan himself. This also explains how Gog can reappear in a repeat performance, for it is satan who is released and leads this rebellion at the end of the Millennium. It is possible that the leading nation of this final rebellion is again Magog.

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