““And I will set my glory among the nations, and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them. The house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God, from that day forward.”
In the first three installments of this profile, I have made the case that Gog of Magog is the Antichrist and great end-times enemy of God’s people, leading an alliance of Middle-Eastern armies to invade Israel. I also proposed that the land of Magog, Meshech, and Tubal correspond to modern-day Turkey and Syria, not Russia. Much like the profile of the Assyrian in Micah 5, these details lead me to believe that the Antichrist will emerge and establish his empire from somewhere in or around Turkey or Syria in the last days.
In conclusion, I will attempt to shed light on many other details that further substantiate this view.
Into Captivity You will Go
The Biblical testimony of the last days invasion of Israel is not a pretty picture. Although the LORD is coming to fight for His people and eventually will crush the head of the Antichrist, it will not be before this alliance of evil has some success. The time of Jacob’s trouble will be the culmination of all the antisemitic, antichristic, rage of Satan. There will be great loss, anguish and many casualties as a result.
One motif found in the Biblical prophets is that Israel will be dwelling in the land securely at the time Antichrist makes his move. Many have speculated why Israel would let down its guard at such a tumultuous time, but I won’t get into those possible reasons here.
If Israel is caught off guard by this military invasion, then it would explain how the Antichrist would deliver a crushing blow to Israel, taking plunder and many people captive along the way. Consider Ezekiel’s prophecy.
““Thus says the Lord GOD: On that day, thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil scheme 11and say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will fall upon the quiet people who dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having no bars or gates,’ 12to seize spoil and carry off plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places that are now inhabited, and the people who were gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell at the center of the earth.”
The Apostle Paul reinforces this idea in his first letter to the Thessalonians.
“For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”
[1 Thessalonians 5:2-3]
As the Antichrist and His armies invade the land of Israel, there will be mass casualties and many captives taken. The Apostle John also emphasizes this in Revelation 13:10, saying, “If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.”
Zechariah the prophet speaks of this as well saying, “For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile,” [Zech. 14:2]
Jesus also prophesies about the same event in Luke 21.
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. 21Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, 22for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. 23Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. 24They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”
The LORD will Fight for Israel
Ezekiel 38-39 describes a time of great trouble and tribulation but also of great deliverance! This is that final battle for Jerusalem that leads up to the Return of the King. As King Jesus returns to crush His enemies and avenge Israel, He will decimate Antichrist and his armies in the land. Many of the Biblical prophets emphasize the Day of the LORD, when Messiah will come in physical form to lead the armies of heaven against the forces of evil.
The LORD Himself says that on that DAY … “all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence … So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD” [Ezekiel 38:20, 23].
Now consider Zechariah’s account of the same future Day.
“Behold, a day is coming for the LORD, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. 2For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle.”
Consider all the Ways the LORD inflicts judgment on His enemies on that DAY.
- The LORD will turn the armies of Antichrist against each other. [Ezekiel 38:21, Zechariah 14:13]
- The LORD will strike the armies with plagues. [Ezekiel 38:22, Zechariah 14:12]
- The LORD will rain down massive hailstones onto the armies. [Ezekiel 38:22, Revelation 11:19, 16:21]
- The LORD will cause a great earthquake to shake the earth. [Ezekiel 38:18-20, Zechariah 14:4-5, Rev. 16:18-20]
The Great Supper of God
After the LORD is finished pouring out his wrath, Antichrist and his armies will be decimated, and God will call for His great supper, where the birds of the air and beasts of the field come to gorge themselves on the flesh and blood of the slain. Ezekiel 39 and Revelation 19 clearly describe the same supper of God after the return of Jesus and the DAY of the LORD.
“As for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD: Speak to the birds of every sort and to all beasts of the field: ‘Assemble and come, gather from all around to the sacrificial feast that I am preparing for you, a great sacrificial feast on the mountains of Israel, and you shall eat flesh and drink blood. 18You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth—of rams, of lambs, and of he-goats, of bulls, all of them fat beasts of Bashan. 19And you shall eat fat till you are filled, and drink blood till you are drunk, at the sacrificial feast that I am preparing for you. 20And you shall be filled at my table with horses and charioteers, with mighty men and all kinds of warriors,’ declares the Lord GOD.”
“Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, 18to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.”
The Remnant of Israel and Restoring Jacob’s Forturnes
The consistent theme of the Biblical prophets is that the LORD is coming to save the remnant of Israel and restore the fortunes of Jacob. Entire books could be written about Israel’s hope for this Messianic age of redemption and restoration because the expectation is central to all the Biblical prophets and the overall narrative of the Bible. In short, the LORD has promised to save Israel out of her worst hour, restore her fortunes, set her securely back in the land, where the King of Israel will establish his kingdom and rule from the throne of David forever. For the sake of time, I leave you with Ezekiel’s vision of this day.
““And I will set my glory among the nations, and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them. 22The house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God, from that day forward…Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for my holy name.26They shall forget their shame and all the treachery they have practiced against me, when they dwell securely in their land with none to make them afraid, 27when I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them from their enemies’ lands, and through them have vindicated my holiness in the sight of many nations. 28Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, because I sent them into exile among the nations and then assembled them into their own land. I will leave none of them remaining among the nations anymore. 29And I will not hide my face anymore from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the Lord GOD.”
[Ezekiel 39:21-22, 25-29]