This article is taken from the NEXT Prophecies book and DVD.
Many of today’s Bible prophecy teachers and students are devoting a lot of their attention to the prophecies written over 2500 years ago in Ezekiel 38 and 39. This increased interest is driven in large part by a general consensus among them that the details of the prophecy are drawing near to fulfillment. This article will take a look at the final fulfillment of Ezekiel 38 and 39. The following time periods will be examined to see which one best fits the descriptions provided by the Hebrew prophet.
1. Is it a NOW Prophecy? (Does it lack outstanding preconditions? Is it imminent?)
2. Is it a NEXT Prophecy? (Does it still have outstanding preconditions?)
3. Does it happen in the first half of the seven-year Tribulation Period?
4. Does it happen in the second half of the seven-year Tribulation Period, namely as part of Armageddon?
5. Does it happen at the end of the Millennium? (Revelation 20:7-10)
Is Ezekiel 38 a NOW Prophecy?
The NOW Prophecies are the unfulfilled ancient biblical predictions that appear to be imminent, which means they could find fulfillment NOW! These foretellings have either minor or no remaining preconditions inhibiting them from happening.
The NOW Prophecies include, but are not limited to, the following globally impacting events:
• Disaster in Iran – (Jeremiah 49:34-39)
• Destruction of Damascus – (Isaiah 17, Jer. 49:23-27)
• Toppling of Jordan – (Jer. 49:1-6, Zephaniah 2:8-10, Ezekiel 25:14)
• Terrorization of Egypt – (Isaiah 19:1-18)
• Final Arab-Israeli War- (Psalm 83)
• Decline of America (Ezekiel 38:13), (America could be identified as one of the young lions of Tarshish)
• Expansion of Israel – (Obadiah 1:19-20, Jer. 49:2, Zephaniah 2:9, Isaiah 19:18)
• Vanishing of the Christians – (1 Corinthians 15:51-52, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18)
It’s important to note that the prophecies of Ezekiel 38 and 39 are missing from this above list. This is because Ezekiel 38:8-13 describes future conditions in Israel that do not exist presently. These preconditions will be explained in the next section.
Is Ezekiel 38 a NEXT Prophecy?
The NEXT Prophecies are those that follow the fulfillment of the NOW Prophecies. In essence, the NOW’s provide the necessary nexus of events that pave the path for the execution of the NEXT Prophecies. Although the NEXT Prophecies are rapidly racing toward fulfillment, they mostly require the completion of the NOW’s in order for their stage to become appropriately set.
What distinguishes the NOW Prophecies from the NEXT Prophecies, is the NEXT Prophecies have at least one or more significant preconditions prohibiting their final fulfillment. Although these NEXT Prophecies appear to be presently stage setting, their completion is being prevented by some other epic prophetic event, or series of events.
Before taking a look at the preconditions provided in Ezekiel 38:8-13, it’s important to understand that the entirety of Ezekiel 38 and 39 must be interpreted literally. The Golden Rule of Interpretation applies, which says,
“When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise.”
(Quote taken from Dr. David L. Cooper (1886-1965), founder of The Biblical Research Society).
The Ezekiel 38:8-13 Preconditions
Ezekiel 38:8-13 provides a description of what Israel will look like at the time of the massive Gog of Magog invasion. In summary, these pertinent verses informs that at the time of the invasion Israel will be:
1. Regathered from the nations.
2. In the “Latter Years.”
3. Brought back from the “Sword” (of persecution).
4. Regathered back to “Israel,” which had “long been desolate.”
5. Dwell in the “midst,” or center, of the Promised Land.
These five conditions have either been met, or are currently being met depending on what exactly Ezekiel meant by the “midst” of the land. Biblically speaking, the midst of the Promised Land would include the West Bank, which is mostly under Palestinian control, and perhaps the country of Jordan. Israel is not yet in full control of these areas. However, the conditions #6 to #9 below have not yet been fulfilled.
6. Israel must be a “peaceful people” that are “dwelling securely.”
7. The Jewish state must exist without “walls, bars nor gates.”
8. The country must possess great wealth comprised of “gold and silver.” and have “acquired livestock and goods.”
9. Israel must be a very wealthy country possessing “great plunder and booty,” because that is what the Ezekiel invaders are coming after.
Presently, Israel IS NOT dwelling without “walls, bars nor gates.” Inside the country is a partition wall over 400 miles long, which at some points is 20 feet tall and filled with concrete. This wall serves to separate Palestinian terror out from Israel proper. There are also security checkpoints at various places inside of Israel.
This important detail given to us by Ezekiel is often overlooked and requires more emphasis. Israel is presently building and fortifying walls, rather than tearing them down. This is because Israel does not presently “dwell securely,” which is another pre-requisite of the prophecy. The headlines below point out that Israel has walls existing on all sides of its land bearing borders. These walls are causing the terrorist groups of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza to tunnel underground in an attempt to infiltrate Israel.
Israel completes Lebanon border wall around Metulla – 6/12/2012, Times of Israel.
Israel resumes construction of wall along Lebanon border – 4/10/2018, Middle East Monitor.
Israel starts massive fence on southern border with Jordan – 1/20/2016, Times of Israel.
Israel starts building sea barrier to defend against Gaza attacks – 5/27/2018, Times of Israel.
Israel unveils plans for 40-mile underground wall around Gaza – 1/18/2018, The Telegraph.
Palestinian protesters breach Israel-Gaza border fence; 3 killed, hundreds injured in clashes – 4/27/2018, Los Angeles Times.
One of the most recent headlines and its subtext is included below.
As 30-foot-tall border wall goes up, IDF says Hezbollah, Lebanese army colluding – 9/6/18, Times of Israel…
“The Israeli military this week publicly unveiled its 11-kilometer-long, nine-meter-tall concrete border wall along the Lebanese border —The concrete barrier is designed to serve two main functions: protect Israeli civilians and soldiers from sniper attacks, and prevent infiltration into Israel by Hezbollah operatives.”
The above article also states that the work on this approximately 7 miles long and 29 feet high wall actually began in early 2018. This current construction project further evidences that Israel is not wall free, rather the Jews are in the process of building more walls.
Moreover, the Jewish state IS NOT “dwelling securely” presently. They are surrounded by Arab countries and terrorist populations that don’t enable them to dwell safely. Ezekiel tells us ten chapters earlier in Ezekiel 28, what will have to happen for Israel to dwell securely.
“And there shall no longer be a pricking brier or a painful thorn for the house of Israel from among all who are around them, who despise them. Then they shall know that I am the Lord God.” ‘Thus says the Lord God: “When I have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and am hallowed in them in the sight of the Gentiles, then they will dwell in their own land which I gave to My servant Jacob. And they WILL DWELL SAFELY there, build houses, and plant vineyards; yes, they WILL DWELL SECURELY, WHEN I EXECUTE JUDGMENTS ON ALL THOSE AROUND THEM WHO DESPISE THEM. Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God.” ’ (Ezekiel 28:14-16; emphasis added)
These verses tell us that Israel will dwell securely when their surrounding Arab neighbors who despise the Jewish state have judgments from God executed upon them. Israel’s Arab neighbors that Ezekiel 28 alludes to are not part of the Ezekiel 38:1-6 coalition, rather they are part of the Psalm 83 confederacy that wants to wipe Israel off the map according to Psalm 83:1-8. Until Israel dwells securely, Ezekiel 38 will continue to be a NEXT Prophecy.
Does Ezekiel 38 and 39 happen in the first half of the seven-year Tribulation Period?
It is not likely that Ezekiel 38 finds fulfillment in the first half of the seven-year Tribulation Period for the following two reasons:
1. Israel is living in a condition of pseudo peace during that period.
2. Israel will be burning the enemy weapons for seven years.
The Pseudo Peace Period
The Seven-Year Tribulation Period is split in half in several different passages within the Bible. During the first three and one-half years the Jews are living in a condition of pseudo peace. This is the result of the covenant they become a signatory to in Daniel 9:27 and Isaiah 28:15-18. As such, it would not seem likely that the most massive Mideast invasion of all time, which will be the Ezekiel 38 Gog of Magog invasion, will occur during this period.
The Burning of the Weapons for Seven Years
In addition to the pseudo peace problem, Ezekiel 39:9-10 informs that the Israelis will be burning the enemy weapons for seven-years. This national endeavor could occur throughout the pseudo peace period, but will come to an abrupt halt at the midpoint of the seven-year period when the Antichrist enters into the coming third Jewish Temple and commits the “Abomination of Desolation,” which is described in Daniel 9:27 and Matthew 24:15.
Christ warns the Jews in Matthew 24:15 to flee when this abominable act occurs because the Antichrist will then begin a genocidal campaign against the Jewish people as per Zechariah 13:8. This implies that the Jews will be running for their lives, rather than burning the weapons of the Magog invaders. If anything, they might be using the weapons to defend themselves, rather than burn them.
The burning of the weapons period favors the timing of Ezekiel 38 to be a NEXT Prophecy. This is because the Israelis can burn weapons three and one-half years before the Tribulation and three and one-half years during the first half of the Tribulation Period.
Does Ezekiel 38 happen in the second half of the seven-year Tribulation Period, namely as part of Armageddon?
It is unlikely that Ezekiel 38 will happen in the second half of the Tribulation Period, also called the “Great Tribulation,” for the following reasons:
1. Israelis will be fleeing from the genocidal attempt of the Antichrist.
2. Israelis will not likely be burning the enemies’ weapons.
3. Israelis gain world renown after Ezekiel 38 and that will not be the case during this Great Tribulation period.
As the Tribulation timeline image above displays, the second half of the Tribulation period is a time when the Jewish people are fleeing from the genocidal exploits of the Antichrist. Zechariah 13:8 informs that two-thirds of the Jews living in the land of Israel will be killed. Thus, the Jewish population living in Israel will be reduced to a third of its size at that time. This implies several things.
First, they will not be in a position to capitalize on the weapons of the Magog invaders to convert them into energy. This requires a process and a facility, and any surviving Israelis Jews that attempt to undertake this activity will become sitting ducks for the Antichrist to find and kill.
Second, this one-third remnant of Israel will not be able to fulfill the aftermath activities of Ezekiel 39, which are to bury the dead invaders for seven months, burn the enemy weapons for seven years and gain world renown for these two aforementioned endeavors.
Ezekiel 39 clearly states that Israelis gain world renown for these activities, but that won’t be the case when the Antichrist, with the support of much of the world masses, attempts to eliminate the Jewish race. Rather than gaining world renown, they will be experiencing persecution and worldwide Antisemitism!
Lastly, many of this one-third remnant will be exiled in Petra. They are instructed to go there in Matthew 24. They will be essentially cave dwellers rather than weapons burners or grave diggers.
Does it happen at the end of the Millennium?
“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Revelation 20:7-10)
Some believe that these verses above evidence that the Ezekiel 38 and 39 prophecies occur at the end of the one-thousand-year Messianic Kingdom period. However, there are several problems with this view.
First, this would mean that the Jews would need to undergo another diasporic period followed by another global regathering into Israel during the Millennium. There is no scriptural support for another worldwide dispersion of the Jews occurring during the Messianic Kingdom period. Ezekiel 38:8 says,
“After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely.”
Second, the term “latter years” in Ezekiel 38:8 typically finds association with the final generation that exists prior to the coming millennial period.
Third, at the end of the Millennium we are told in Revelation 20:8, that Satan “will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle.” The problem with this is that the 9-member coalition of Ezekiel 38:1-6 are not geographically located at all the four corners of the earth. The map below illustrates that the Ezekiel invaders are primarily located in Russia, Turkey, Iran and some African countries. No nations from any of the Western Hemisphere is included in the Gog of Magog coalition.
Fourth, Revelation 20:9 says that the invaders, “They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city,” which is Jerusalem, “And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.” In contrast, Ezekiel 38:15 says the invaders come directionally only from the uttermost parts of the north and Ezekiel 38:19-22 predicts that the defeat will involve more than just fire.
These verses declare that there will be a “great earthquake” that will cause panic among the invaders. This results in them killing one another. Ezekiel says, “Every man’s sword will be against his brother… pestilence and bloodshed.” Then comes, “flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.”
Lastly, the Revelation 20 account is spearheaded by Satan personally, whereas the Ezekiel 38 event is led by a person with the title of Gog, whom many Bible experts believe will be a Russian leader. Additionally, Revelation 20:10 states that after Satan is defeated, “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire.” This geographic location differs from the bottomless pit where Satan is confined for one-thousand years according to Revelation 20:2-3. Satan gets confined to the bottomless pit sometime after the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38 and then at the end of the millennium he is loosed and fulfills the Revelation 20:7-10 predictions.
Conclusion: Ezekiel 38 is a NEXT Prophecy
In conclusion, the logical time placement for the fulfillment of the Ezekiel 38 and 39 predictions is as a NEXT PROPHECY that occurs at least three and one-half years prior to the commencement of the seven-year Tribulation Period. If the Ezekiel invaders are defeated in this timeframe then the Israelis can safely convert the enemies weapons into fuel for the span of seven-years.
Moreover, due to the significant preconditions that Israel is not presently dwelling securely without walls, bars or gates, the Ezekiel 38 and 39 events are not likely to be fulfilled as a NOW PROPHECY.
If Ezekiel 38 is a NEXT Prophecy, then what global events are happening simultaneously?
Since Ezekiel 38 and 39 are essentially epic Middle East events, it is important to understand that other powerful events are occurring globally at the same time. In my NEXT Prophecies book and DVD, I explore what’s taking place concurrently with the fulfillment of these Ezekiel 38 and 39 prophecies. Pick up your copies of these items and discover what’s taking place globally when Israel is gaining world renown as a result of God’s supernatural defeat of the Gog of Magog invasion.
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