by John and Ruth Greene
Ezekiel 36-37 sets the stage for a war, describing what many see as the rebirth of Israel. Many Jews were living in exile, scattered throughout the world because of their disobedience. (Ezekiel 36:16-21) Scripture has seen modern-day fulfillment in the eyes of many; through the return of Jews to Israel and in making the desert bloom again. Over time, certain people have deliberately attempted to fulfill these prophecies based on their understanding. Consider also the perverse men that have no desire to fulfill prophecy, but have nevertheless fulfilled it. This is part of what makes Bible prophecy a fascinating and important study. It is a study of human pride versus the authority of YHWH the Father, with certain key details foretold in advance. YHWH has promised that He will reward those disciples that seek His Will with the answers that are needed at the right time. (Matthew 6:33, 7:7-11; Luke 11:9-10; 1 John 1:7; Philippians 1:9; Proverbs 4:18, 8:17; Hosea 4:6-7; Deuteronomy 4:29; “Spiritual Disease That Eats at Your Salvation“; “Putting Down the Titanic Pride of Man“; “Humility: Do You Need It?“)
Ezekiel 38:8 informs us that the land of Israel is restored from the sword out of what had become a waste, once again bearing fruit. (Ezekiel 36:8, 10) While this prophecy seems to illustrate the physical land, the intent and context of the prophecy describes the governance of the nation as leaders gather Jews from out of many nations. The leaders of Israel boast that their land is spiritually higher than all others. In their pride, they have created the permanent pilgrimage of Aliyah, working through missions and donations to fund the effort. (Isaiah 43:5-6; Jeremiah 23:3-6; Ezekiel 36:12) Under this leadership, the residents of Israel would dwell securely for a time, as opposed to living in a state of peace. (Ezekiel 38:8, 11) Ultimately, in a heated rage and defiance, Muslim warriors grow to sarcastically demean Israel as a land of unwalled villages or open country subject to their disposal. (1) In a time of unprecedented tension when they lust for dominance, these warriors begin to see Israel as helpless despite the restoration of the land. In a spiritual sense and much less public, Jews are coming to Messiah, many as “Messianic Jews”. Spiritual Israel is regathering globally in these times, not simply in one location. Christians are most always seen as helpless, so unless YHWH intervenes, spiritual Israel is often subject to attack. (Ezekiel 38:11-12; “The Wheels of Ezekiel“; “YHWH’s Threshing Floor“)
What will bring on events of desolation involving Israel? A distinct likelihood is a renewed uprising between (or directly related to) Russia and the vicinity of Georgia into the Ukraine near mountainous territory between the Black and Caspian Seas that will further unsettle the power base for that region, likely seeding the beginnings of what will become an assault on modern national Israel. This crisis also contains the seeds of a spark for a new global war, or at least the fear of one. The motivating fear factor and current power grab is for the power of commerce through oil and gas pipelines, as well as oil and gas reserves. Syria’s proven oil reserves are more than any other national region besides Iraq, which makes the territory a prize plum for exploitation. A US strategy has been underway to control these resources, which is destabilizing the area. Tension is being felt as militant groups seek control and as strife between Sunnis and Shiites escalates. Some Muslims believe that capturing Jerusalem is essential so that their Mahdi can come. Religion is supporting further tensions between national groups, as Muslim interests claim to be under-supported. Tension may also be increased by other nations. For example, Egypt has a special alliance with Syria. Another prime reason that Syria ‘must fall’ is that international bankers do not control their currency, just as Iran must be put under the submission of the international banking cabal. The government of Syria has not involved itself in the International Monetary Fund, which creates a furor in the hearts of this international taxing authority that seeks complete control of the nations of the world. Muslims will continue to feel under-appreciated and volatile, indicated by the ongoing Syrian, Iranian and Afghan powder kegs. (“A New World of Religion?“; “Foundation of a Global System of Mammon“; “Do You Live a Lifestyle of Greed?“)
Through the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), US ships will be placed in the vicinity of Russian ports. As tensions escalate, Allied troops are likely to be placed in the area for the defense of ‘various interests’. President Obama will be on a tour of Asia next year to convince his ‘allies’ in Europe and Asia to re-arm and prepare for the possibility of war with China. By 2020, nearly two-thirds of all US naval forces will be in the Asian and Pacific zone, the greatest military concentration since World War II. This may done under the guise of “humanitarian assistance” as part of a global police policy. China is building a strategic naval base on the island of Jeju near Shanghai, as President Obama seeks to undermine China’s influence in Asia and the Pacific by any means necessarily. The US will threaten sanctions of isolation and war to anyone that does not bow down and obey. All of this will continue as the United States seeks to pursue an ambition to be the overseer of nations.
Ezekiel 38:16 says that events leading up to a large-scale war will take place in the end time, ultimately led by Gog. (Ezekiel 36-37) What is Gog? Gog is a mountain, an arrangement of man through governance or rule. (5; when you think of governance, think of a corporation or corporate structure) Gog is a person, a ‘prince’ that is charge of this governance. Ezekiel 38:10 reveals that Gog has an evil plan. When you consider the righteousness of YHWH, you come to realize that any plan apart from Him is evil. All self-serving governance bears the evil of idolatry, under the power of Satan in the sight of YHWH. Gog comes from the land of Magog. What is Magog other than the land or covering that Gog rules?
Much research has looked for a literal nation or place. As a place or people, Magog is the mountainous region between and immediately around Cappadocia and Media, near modern-day Turkey and the eastern provinces of Russia. Put another way, Magog (or the cause of war) springs from the peoples in the vicinity of the Black and Caspian Seas. Ezekiel 38:15 indicates that Gog will come out of the north or dark parts of this region against the mountain of Israel. This mountain is, once again, the arrangement of governance through man. Based on scripture, you can surmise that a military coalition will attack the nation of Israel in the end time. (This attack is physically against the nation of Israel and spiritually against disciples of Messiah as part of spiritual Israel.) Because of the intermingling of nations since Ezekiel’s day, this coalition is likely to include Muslims from Turkey, Syria, Iran, Iraq (Persians), as well as the rulers of the eastern elements of Russia (the Russ), and quite possibly Afghanistan, China and Africa. This is a lot of opposition toward a region that is comparable to the size of the US State of New Jersey. (“The Great Tribulation & End Times Rapture“)
Ezekiel 38:3 reveals that Gog is chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Meshech is the region north of Israel, the peoples of the mountainous region around modern-day Armenia and Georgia. Tubal is the region around modern-day Georgia and eastern Russia. (Ezekiel 27:13, 32:26, 39:1) A coming war is likely to result from an Islamic uprising that includes Persia (into Egypt and Saudi Arabia; the land of paras), Ethiopia, (southern Egypt and Sudan, Ethiopia; the land of kush) Libya (Libya, Somalia; the land of phut), Gomer, (eastern Russia, Ukraine, Romania into Turkey) and Togarmah (the coast of Turkey, Cyprus, Greece and Eastern Europe). However, any war is likely to be cloaked as far any strategy or reality is concerned. Nevertheless, this unhappy situation would put the would-be attackers of physical and spiritual Israel all about them, closing regional seaports to commerce (for spiritual Israel, access to commerce) and establishing what is fundamentally a religious war over Jerusalem (in the spiritual, an oppression against disciples of Messiah). This leg of the battle takes place because Israel stands in the way of a transnational alliance. Certainly, battles over Jerusalem are nothing new. Currently, Russia and China are allied in combination with many Muslim nations. Both nations contain large and increasing numbers of Muslims. Russia and China have bypassed the dollar and world markets to trade directly with their own currencies. Other allied nations could choose to join them. This says nothing about the potential of making a new global reserve currency and how this will impact politics, economics and religion. (“The Push Behind Interfaith & Salvation“; “Behind the Scenes in the Interfaith Movement“; “Interfaith: Image of the Beast & False Prophet“)
The temptation is to rely on marking the lines of national boundaries. However, Ezekiel’s battle prophecy goes beyond national boundaries into a bitter religious battle. Those that are still able to champion the cause of Israel are going to feel very alone, mostly because they don’t actually have YHWH as their stronghold. Like most nations, they have become very secular and nationalistic in their thinking. Like the rulers of old Israel, modern leaders don’t lean on YHWH but on their own knowledge. Ultimately, modern Israel won’t have the power and influence of the US-British alliance to lean on, as world events will change the global authority and strength of nations in the near future. (2) (“The Bible & Higher Authority“; “Authority: The Meaning of Romans 13“; “The Road to Enslavement“)
Ezekiel tells of a restoration and return to the land, followed by a spiritual restoration. (Ezekiel 37:4-8, 9-14) Jews see this spiritual restoration through the building of another temple and the re-institution of animal sacrifice.(3) Through this spiritual restoration they claim to be a spiritual Israel. This is hardly the case. As far as the physical nation of Israel is concerned, Christians must leave the idolatry of nation-building and the reinstatement of sacrifice to the arrangement of the world and its institutions. A disciple of Messiah does not desire to be involved with such things. As far as a physical and apostate Israel is concerned, the Temple and its animal sacrifices will fulfill them. As far as Ezekiel’s prophecy is concerned, once this happens, warriors will descend on Israel as punishment for their idolatry and their hard-heartedness. Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah fulfills His disciples, so there is no need to bring back animal sacrifice or a physical temple. However, the Jewish leadership of this day is determined to make the attempt to elevate itself spiritually through idolatry apart from Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah. Today, each genuine disciple of the Messiah is Elohim’s temple, dedicated to His service through Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah and the Holy Spirit. Jewish and Israeli leadership is distracted and deluded. Even now, Jewish leadership in the Holy Land is looking for their Messiah through Islam’s Mahdi, confirming the rejection of Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah. (“Christians & Leadership Crisis“; “Leaven of the Pharisees; Leaven of the World“; “The Role of Authority in Your Life“)
When Gog comes against Israel, a great earthquake will shake the earth and all men will shake in fear. (Ezekiel 38:19-20) This is quite a picture in the real world. Consider another more alarming prospect for leaders. Consider the figurative idea already present in scripture that mountains are governance, in this case, the governance of man. Governments will be thrown down into a panic, along with high places of religion. The institutions of man will turn against one another. They will be judged in pestilence and blood, as will be all that support them. (Ezekiel 38:21-22) YHWH will undo them by the power of His Word, (Hebrews 4:12) giving them to birds of prey on the open field that they declared to be open for their conquest. (Ezekiel 39:1-5) YHWH will send a cleansing fire from heaven. (Ezekiel 39:6) (4) Because of the stubbornness of their hearts, only in this way will many nations come to realize the truth of YHWH, as chaff to be burned up off Elohim’s threshing floor. The governance of man will be thoroughly defeated, totally consumed with fire and the land will be cleansed. The ruination will be so complete that it would take a nation 7 months to bury what remained of the bodies. (Ezekiel 39:12-20; Revelation 19:17-20; “Blind Leading the Blind“; “The Need to Keep Spiritually Clean“; “The Struggle for Purity of Heart“; “Religion, Politics, Power & Financial Corruption“; “The Supranational Babylon“)
Whether literal or figurative, the land of Israel will become a burial ground as YHWH elevates His New Jerusalem and brings His Kingdom. Those that survive can only be ‘Spiritual Israel,’ YHWH’s people in this day. YHWH’s Spiritual Israel does not need to defend itself for this ‘nation’ abides in Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah. YHWH will not fail to defend His people. He will be magnified. He will take this opportunity to glorify His Holy Name. All will be witnesses to His Judgment. (Ezekiel 38:21, 23) This is about Divine Judgment, the end of man’s governance and the unveiling of a new Kingdom. The secular and religious worlds of man will finally come to know YHWH for who He is through a war that they can’t win. (Ezekiel 38:21-23, 39:22; Zechariah 14:3, 12-13; Revelation 16:12-16, 17-20) The Beast and all its agents are doomed to destruction.
Some claim that YHWH’s Spirit will be poured out in some way on the Jews, through repentance and personal relationship – what Christians are supposed to have, but typically don’t. (Ezekiel 39:25-29; Joel 2:28-32) Remember that in this day, personal relationship and deliverance cannot happen without Yahshua [Jesus] Messiah. YHWH wants all people to come to a saving knowledge and to be filled with the Holy Spirit through the Messiah. Multitudes of Christians, along with all other ‘faiths,’ do not have a personal relationship or repentance that leads to salvation. (John 14:26) This is a concern of all genuine disciples of Messiah, for revealing YHWH’s Word through accurate knowledge in this age is our primary purpose. Gog, as an agent of Satan, will be ready. Already, Satan has cast his demonic spirit over the ‘kosmos,’ man’s arrangement of things. They are held fast by his embrace. Many antichrists have prevailed since Yahshua [Jesus] ascended, including His former people, who project themselves as enlightened reformers or agents of light. Instead, they are blind guides, following after the traditions and inventions of men, leading others into a spiritual trench of delusion and deception.(“Spiritual Growth or Spiritual Death“; “Gifts of the Spirit & Speaking in Tongues“; “Strongholds & the Armor of YHWH“; “Spiritual Fruit & Renewing Your Mind“; “Seeking a New Spirit“; “Understanding Real Prosperity“)
Finally, consider this:
“Now, brothers, as to the times and the seasons, you do not need to be written to. For you yourselves know very well that the Day of YHWH comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then suddenly destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they shall not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. For you are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. So, then, we should not sleep, as others do, but we should watch and be sober.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, ISR98
Are you making ready while fulfilling your purpose? Wars and rumors of wars will continue until the close of man’s order. (Matthew 24: Luke 21) Living in a time of unprecedented tribulation won’t be easy. Living into YHWH’s Kingdom without Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah will be impossible. (Revelation 20:2, 7) Whatever the case, you can be confident that YHWH will deliver His people.