Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
There is a big difference when you study Bible prophecy through the filter of other people’s commentaries, and when you study it for yourself from the inerrant, preserved word of God. This is not to say that commentaires written by Godly bible believing teachers are not good, because many of them are. But they should only serve as a starting point for your scripture studies, they should not be a destination unto themselves.
“And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:” Ezekiel 39:2 (KJV)
The 38th and 39th chapters of the prophet Ezekiel is where many students of prophecy get hopelessly tangled up because they have a lot of commonalities, but they also differ in many key aspects which prove they cannot be talking about the same war. It’s two different wars, separated by a minimum of 1,000 years. Let’s take a look and see what we find.
Ezekiel 39: The Battle of Armageddon after the Time of Jacob’s Trouble
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
2 Timothy 2:15 commands us to study the Bible like a “workman”, rightly dividing like a blue collar laborer, and God sometimes will make us work a bit before He will reward us with further light on Scripture. He mentions the last battle first, chapter 38 is the Battle of Gog and Magog, and the first battle last as He unfolds for us the Battle of Armageddon that takes places after the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, otherwise called the Great Tribulation. Please allow me to show you what I mean with the clues that the Holy Spirit has left for us.
Armageddon Prophecy Clue #1: “Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.” Ezekiel 39:4,17 (KJV)
The sister verse to this one is found in Revelation 19: “And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.” Revelation 19:17,18 (KJV)
Revelation 19 is the chapter showing us the Lord’s Second Coming with us on white horses to fight the Battle of Armageddon. That is the context of Chapter 19. The Battle of Gog and Magog is not listed until Revelation 20, where it clearly tells us that battle is not fought until after the 1,000 Reign of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. See for yourself:
“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” Revelation 20:7,8 (KJV)
Do you clearly see that Revelation 19 show us the Second Coming of Christ with us at the Battle of Armageddon, followed by the binding of Satan, followed by the 1,000 Year Reign and then the Battle of Gog and Magog? Take a moment and read both chapters consecutively and really grab hold of the context and it will begin to become clear to you. When you read it in context you see the two wars are separated by at least 1,000 years. Back in Ezekiel 39, we find our second clue:
Armageddon Prophecy Clue#2: “And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.” Ezekiel 39:6 (KJV)
At the end of the Battle of Armageddon, Revelation 19 tells us that Satan is cast alive into the Lake of Fire. Ezekiel 39 shows you that it is here where Jesus kindles that fire that the Antichrist gets thrown into.
“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” Revelation 19:20 (KJV)
Armageddon Prophecy Clue#3: “And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years:…And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.” Ezekiel 39:9,12 (KJV)
Revelation 20 says that after the Battle of Gog and Magog, we have the Great White Throne Judgment and then eternity. But Revelation 19 says that after the Battle of Armageddon, Jesus prepares the world for a 1,000 reign of peace. The people in Ezekiel 39 do not appear to be preparing for eternity at all, they are doing cleanup to cleanse the earth for the Messiah. More than that, Ezekiel 39 ends with the full and final regathering of the Jewish people to Israel, and not the Great White Throne Judgment. This regathering of the Jews after Armageddon sets up the final battle of Gog and Magog 1,000 years later.
“Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.” Ezekiel 39:28 (KJV)
For these 3 main reasons, we declare Ezekiel 39, in total harmony with Revelation 19, to be the Battle of Armageddon that takes place at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Ezekiel 38: The Battle of Gog and Magog after the 1,000 Year Reign Of Jesus Christ
Ezekiel 38 is quite different from chapter 39, namely because it shows that Israelis dwelling in peace and safety.
Battle of Gog and Magog Main Prophecy Clues: “After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword,and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them…And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,” Ezekiel 38:8,11 (KJV)
This one, huge prophecy clue shows us that Israel, after having been regathered, is dwelling in peace and safety in their own land. This is exactly how what happens after the Battle of Armageddon, Israel is regathered and experience 1,000 years of peace under King Jesus. Israel has no peace right now in 2015, will experience a shaky false peace under Antichrist, and will finally have actual peace during the 1,000 reign of Christ in Jerusalem. So when Satan is released from the Lake of Fire he was placed in in Revelation 19, he comes out and makes war with God’s people in Israel which is what Revelation 20 declares.
“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” Revelation 20:7-9 (KJV)
When Ezekiel says “After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword” that is a direct reference to the “many days and years” of the 1,000 Reign of Christ. One way we know that for sure is he says that Israel is “brought back from the sword”, meaning that their endless wars and fighting have finally ceased. Israel has no peace at all during the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, it’s nothing but tribulation right up to the very moment Jesus returns. But this war in Ezekiel 38 shows the forces of Antichrist attacking a very peaceful and prosperous Israel with no walls and no fortifications. If Jesus is ruling from Jerusalem, there is zero need of defensive walls.
Also, the battle of Ezekiel 38, Gog and Magog, shows a completely regathered Israel, and Israel is not completely regathered until the 1,000 Year Reign of Christ. For these reasons we declare Ezekiel 38 to be the Battle of Gog and Magog shown in Revelation 20 that happens after Satan is loosed after the 1,000 Year Reign. Which is a completely and obviously separate battle from Revelation 19 that occurs before the 1,000 Year Reign.
This is by no means an exhaustive study of the two wars of Ezekiel, we have only skimmed the surface. We hope this study will be a blessing to you.