Gog of Magog, Islam, and Christian Missions

Joel Richardson

One of the most common beliefs concerning the Battle of Gog of Magog as described in Ezekiel 38 and 39 is the notion that it is a completely unsuccessful, failed military invasion. If one were to survey 100 modern end time books and articles, one would find the same general theme repeated over and over. Virtually all would speak of a multi-national invasion of Israel wherein the armies will no sooner enter the land of Israel, than they will be utterly annihilated and destroyed through the agency of God’s judgments. This narrative has been repeated literally millions of times throughout modern Christendom. For example, consider the manner in which the run-away bestselling Left Behind series, describes the aftermath of the Gog Magog invasion:

Miraculously, not one casualty was reported in all of Israel. Otherwise Buck might have believed some mysterious malfunction had caused missile and plane to destroy each other. But witnesses reported what had been a firestorm, along with rain and hail and an earthquake, that consumed the entire offensive effort. . . . Editors and readers had their own explanations for the phenomenon, but Buck admitted, if only to himself, that he became a believer in God that day. Jewish scholars pointed out passages from the Bible that talked about God destroying Israel’s enemies with a firestorm, earthquake, hail, and rain. Buck was stunned when he read Ezekiel 38 and 39 about a great enemy from the north invading Israel with the help of Persia, Libya, and Ethiopia.

Pastor Mark Hitchcock, a author who has written extensively on subject of the end-times, even describes Ezekiel’s Battle of Gog of Magog as a war that concludes in a single day: “This will be the “One Day War” or even the “One Hour War” when God supernaturally destroys this Russian-Islamic horde.” (Mark Hitchcock, The Battle of Gog and Magog)

But is it really true that not a single casualty will be reported in Israel or that the war will only last a single day? I believe that a simple examination of the text itself will show that this is not the case whatsoever. I believe that after considering the evidence, you will also agree that this is an impossibility. While the armies of Gog and Magog will indeed be utterly destroyed, before their defeat, Israel itself will first suffer tremendous losses. This picture in fact is precisely what is described throughout many of the other biblical prophets. These claims are substantiated by simply considering how the prophet describes the people and the land of Israel prior to the invasion, and how they are described after the battle concludes. As we will see, prior to the invasion by Gog and his hordes, the Jewish people are portrayed as living in the land with a relative sense of ease and security, whereas, after the Gog and Magog invasion, they are described as being dispersed among the nations as captives returning to the land. Let us consider the prophecy.

Before the Invasion

As the prophet describes the conditions that Gog, the leader of the invasion, finds the State of Israel, it is described as a land filled with people who have returned to the land, having resettled the ancient ruins, and acquired much material blessings. They were formerly living among the nations, but have now returned to resettle the land that was formerly an ancient waste for many generations. How could one more perfectly describe the State of Israel as it exists today? The prophet goes on to describe these regathered Jews as living at rest and securely in the land:

“After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them. You will go up, you will come like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you.” Thus says the Lord GOD, “It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan, and you will say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates, to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods, who live at the center of the world.’” (Ezekiel 38:8-12)

A small number have argued that the State of Israel today cannot rightly be described as “living securely” as they are surrounded by hostile nations. However, for anyone who has been to Israel, it is clear that despite the fact that they are indeed surrounded by peoples who wish them harm, the nation as a whole, with such a well trained defense force, do in fact live securely, enjoying the sea-side paradise that they have restored over the past 70 years. While Israelis are aware of the dangers of this neighborhood, none are expecting another massive multi-national invasion.

Because Israel is described as a nation filled with people who are essentially resting securely, if the invasion of Gog of Magog is indeed a complete failure, if Israel is entirely protected and delivered, then after the war, their condition would no doubt be described as far more stable and secure. As we will see however, this is not at all what the prophet describes.

Gog’s Destruction

Before we consider Ezekiel’s prophetic description of Israel after the invasion however, let us first briefly consider the actual destruction of the invading armies. According to the prophet after the invasion, the Lord’s anger and His fury will be unleashed against the invaders. This is accomplished through an earthquake so severe that it will be felt globally as well as an outpouring of rain, hail, fire, and brimstone:

“It will come about on that day, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” declares the Lord GOD, “that My fury will mount up in My anger. In My zeal and in My blazing wrath I declare that on that day there will surely be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things that creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My presence; the mountains also will be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse and every wall will fall to the ground. I will call for a sword against him on all My mountains,” declares the Lord GOD. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. With pestilence and with blood I will enter into judgment with him; and I will rain on him and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire and brimstone. I will magnify Myself, sanctify Myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the LORD.”’ (Ezekiel 38:18-23)

The troops of Gog will be utterly destroyed. It will be through this great defeat of the invading troops that the Lord will glorify Himself before all men and nations. As the prophet continues, he reveals that the fire of God’s judgment is not limited to the invading armies, but also falls on the nations. All “those who inhabit the coastlands in safety” will experience the fire of God’s judgment in that day:

“You will fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you as food to every kind of predatory bird and beast of the field. You will fall on the open field; for it is I who have spoken,” declares the Lord GOD. And I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands in safety; and they will know that I am the LORD. (Ezekiel 39:4-6)

It is important to take note that the Lord here does not judge only a few nations, but “all nations” are described as seeing and experiencing the heavy judgments laid upon them by the Lord: “And I will set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them” (Ezekiel 39:21).

Having now considered the conditions of the land of Israel prior to the invasion, as well as the great judgments of God that occur at that time, let us turn to consider the condition of Israel after all of the dust has settled. As we said previously, because Israel is initially described as being inhabited by those who are essentially resting securely, if the Magog invasion is indeed an absolute failure, then after the war, Israel’s conditions should no doubt be described as far more stable and secure than previously. As we are about to see however, this is not at all what the prophet describes.

After the Invasion

Now we come to the final portion of the prophecy, where those who claim that the invasion is an utter failure run into an insurmountable difficulty. For instead of a more secure and stable nation, we find the people of Israel portrayed as being in exile among the nations:

“And the house of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God from that day onward. The nations will know that the house of Israel went into exile for their iniquity because they acted treacherously against Me, and I hid My face from them; so I gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and all of them fell by the sword. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I dealt with them, and I hid My face from them.” (Ezekiel 39:22-24)

Now, some may be tempted to argue that the references here to exile refer to Israel’s history, but the verses that follow make this an impossibility for several reasons. Let’s read the passage and then break down why this exile is yet future.

Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “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. They will forget their disgrace and all their treachery which they perpetrated against Me, when they live securely on their own land with no one to make them afraid. When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I shall be sanctified through them in the sight of the many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land; and I will leave none of them there any longer. I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I will have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,” declares the Lord GOD. (Ezekiel 39:25-29)

There are a few important points made in this passage that we must not overlook. First, the phrase, “Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob,” as it appears in the NASB is a phrase that translators have wrestled with. The KJV for instance translates this as, “Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob.” The meaning of the phrase in Hebrew seems to indicate a blessing of Israel, a restoration of her “fortunes” that is integrally connected to her people restored from “captivity” to the land. Second, in using the term, “Now,” the Lord made it clear that the restoration from captivity occurs after the judgment on Gog, his hordes, and the nations, and is not a historical exile. Third, it is not until after this time that Israel truly repents of their rebellion, which they engaged in when they previously lived, “securely on their own land.” The language here is clearly intended to mirror the conditions of Israel prior to the invasion. Thus the conditions of Israel living in genuine security is to be contrasted with the conditions of a false sense of security that are described at the onset of the passage. Fourth, it must be noted that the people of Israel are not merely portrayed as being in exile among the gentile nations, but specifically as, “captives” in “the land of their enemies.” No doubt, this would include any general dispersion or Jewish refugees among the nations, but the primary meaning here is pointing to the people of Israel, many of whom will actually be prisoners of war. Fifth, after this deliverance from captivity, there is a massive revival and turning to the Lord. This is precisely what so many other prophecies describe as occurring at the time when Jesus the Messiah returns (cf. Zech 12:10; Matt 24:30; Rom. 11:25-27; Rev. 1:7).

In summary then, we see that before the invasion, the Jewish people are repeatedly described as living with a sense of security, at rest in the land of Israel. After the Gog of Magog invasion however, at least a large percentage of the Jewish people are described as living as prisoners of war, in the land of their enemies. Therefore, the claim that the Gog of Magog invasion is a complete failure is seen to stand in direct conflict with the Scriptural testimony. How can it be said that Israel lives securely before, suffers no losses, but is then seen as being returned from prison camps throughout the surrounding nations? The logic of the popular position simply cannot be reconciled with the text.


There are a few clear and crucial implications of this that we must not ignore. First, if the invasion of Gog and Magog concludes with Israel captive among the surrounding nations, a global earthquake, a turning of the Jewish people and the nations to the Lord, the Lord pouring out His Spirit on His people, then there is only one time when this could be referring to. It clearly takes place at the return of Jesus. For this is when the Scriptures clearly state that all of these things take place. Second, if Gog is destroyed when Christ returns, then it also stands to reason that Gog is in fact, none other than the Antichrist himself. All of the prophets speak of the same general events. While they each use different pictures and approach the story from different angles, they all tell a very similar story. There is no need to complicate the Biblical narrative by creating multiple end time invaders, invasions, and overly-confusing and complicated timelines. Third, and most importantly, if this is true, then the popular idea that the entire Islamic world is about to be wiped out is seen to be little more than fantasy, which is only lulling the Church to sleep. Now is the time to rise to meet the challenge of Islam.

I encourage you to read the following article: Foreign fighters flocking to new ‘caliphate’

As I watch the numbers of young men from all over the world who are giving up everything to lay down their lives for the cause of jihad and the establishment of the Islamic State or the Caliphate, I am constantly asking myself why more young men are not signing up with an equal measure of zeal to lay down their lives for the sake of the Gospel of the Kingdom. Afterall, do we not have a superior message, a superior King, a superior kingdom, and a superior hope in every way? Isn’t Jesus far more worthy than Muhammad?! There is no comparison. Then why are we not living as if we have something far superior? Who within the Church today is preaching the need to raise up a generation of missionaries, church planters, and proclaimers of the Gospel, who will risk it all in order to rise to meet the great challenges of our day? There are some, but not enough! When I scan the writings of far too many prophecy teachers, those whose job it is to specifically prepare the Church for the great task at hand, I see many who are simply lulling the Church back to sleep. There’s nothing to worry about, they say, Islam is imminently about to disappear. And even if it doesn’t, we are outta’ here soon anyway. Are our brothers and sisters in Iraq today who are fleeing from the murderous hands of the Islamic State comforted by the idea that we will be outta’ here before any trouble? Regardless as to your position on the rapture, there is no promises that we will be removed prior to great testing and difficulties. The critics of the prophecy movement are absolutely correct when they refer to this mentality as, “abandonment eschatology.” Ours is never to look for an easy out, nor to be passive or complacent in light of such a truly monumental task. Not only do natural world circumstances show the soon “elimination” of Islam to be a fantasy, but much more importantly, the Scriptures reveal this to be a fantasy. The Islamic ummah, the body of Islam is wide awake and on the move all around us. And though many of us are aware of this, very few are truly awake. Let us rise to meet the challenge of Islam. One man with a heart on fire, and the Gospel on his lips, is far more powerful than any army. The hour is later than most think. Beloved, now is the time for action.

  • Greg Maxwell
    Posted at 13:35h, 17 August

    Reading Scripture with preconceived filters in place causes the errors of a few to be perpetuated by many. Thanks Joel for your thorough examination of these important chapters.

  • Doug
    Posted at 14:17h, 17 August

    Hi Joel,

    Saw this headline on badblue.com: Netanyahu: No Cairo deal unless Israel’s security guaranteed.

    It’s from an article on debka.com. Do you follow debka.com? debka.com gives you a different take (I would say more informative) on what’s happening in Israel, particularly when there’s fighting.

    Any way, the headline made me do a double take. I take it then there could be a deal if Israel’s security was guaranteed??!! Wow.


  • linda keyes
    Posted at 14:31h, 17 August

    Gosh Joel i just had to run all the way back to the internet cafe!

    I was so excited to just read that piece, absolutely brilliant! And im honestly not just saying that. Its the very subject that led me to your web site, after finding out about the rapture, i dared to read certain scriptures again, laying aside the things i had been told.

    After reading Luke 21:20-28, i told God that it looked like he was saying that Israel would in the future would again go into captivity(i had always been told this was 70ad, then i remembered the times of the gentiles spoken of in revelations and connected the two.

    I did a google search to see what i could find, and came across the Samuel Clough item on your site, “when do the times of the Gentiles end?” I was so blessed, together with all the other scriptures it all made sense. Happy days!

    I will print this along with the other notes and give it to all i can.
    thank you so much for your efforts, may God grant you and your family
    all your needs, and open doors for you that no man can close.

  • Vernon
    Posted at 15:18h, 17 August

    This is a very timely and encouraging message Joel! The last paragraph was exactly what I needed to read. I completed an article last night on the very points you addressed!


    I am still learning; but I also realize I cannot hold back any longer.

  • Joel
    Posted at 15:20h, 17 August

    Right on, all.

  • Bo
    Posted at 15:40h, 17 August

    Amen! Great article Joel! Thank you for hard work in exposing Islam in the last days. Looking forward to future DVD’s and books. When is your new DVD coming out? I hope it is soon! God bless you brother!!

  • Davy
    Posted at 15:58h, 17 August


  • Jeanne
    Posted at 16:41h, 17 August

    This article, and the one linked by Vernon (excellent piece, Vernon), should be forwarded to all our pre-trib view friends. There is indeed a lack of urgency of the days that our before us. I believe we are standing on the doorstep of Daniel’s 70th week.

    Joel, is Ezekiel 38:10-12, the passage you cited above, perhaps be a reference to that moment when Satan is cast out of heaven by Michael and then indwells the man known as Anti-Christ (Daniel 12 and Revelation 12), when he enters the temple (the abomination of desolation)?

    10 “Thus says the Lord God: On that day, jthoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil scheme 11 and say, ‘I will go up against kthe land of unwalled villages. I will fall upon lthe quiet people who dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having no bars or gates,’ 12 to seize spoil and carry off plunder, to turn your hand against mthe waste places that are now inhabited, and mthe people who were gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, nwho dwell at the center of the earth.”

  • Doug Hanley
    Posted at 18:48h, 17 August

    Wake up o sleeper.
    Keep your wickes trimmed.
    Watch, stand firm. Pray for your enemies to wake up to the reality of Christs love for them and for workers to go into the fields.

  • David W. Lincoln
    Posted at 20:32h, 17 August

    To mix scriptures, those who stick up for Christians oppressed in Muslim Majority countries, their actions would be akin to gold, silver & precious stones going through the fire.

    Those who don’t stick up for oppressed Christians, well, their actions will be akin to wood, hay & stubble going through fire.

    The exam is for all, and the oppressed are the first ones to be tested.

  • Clark Gear
    Posted at 00:28h, 18 August

    Joel, I agree but have a slightly different take that could explain the fortunes of Jacob being restored. Currently about half of Israel live in Israel and half in the diaspora. Couldn’t this return from exile be referring to the half that are still outside of the land. If you look at what is happening in Paris, London, Brussels and maybe soon to be NYC could not these large populations of Jews who are feeling more and more pressure from Anti Semitic treatment at the hands of these nations and its citizens and immigrants be those referenced by those exiles returning?
    I watched a Jewish man today at a coffee shop that seemed so uncomfortable with his environment. Though I smiled and hoped to engage him in someway he never looked up or made eye contact with anyone. He truly is in exile.

    I agree 100% with your solution and challenge for those who call themselves by the Name of The Lord to respond in an army of light and love to a lost and dying world.

  • Joel
    Posted at 01:05h, 18 August


    If the only language was concerning exile, this would be enough to explain, but the text says that they will be delivered from captivity in the lands of their enemies. When you combine this description with numerous other passages that speak of many from the nation being led into captivity as prisoners, such as Luke 21, then I have no question that it is far more then mere general exile.

    I hope this has helped. Blessings.

  • Peter Hartgerink
    Posted at 01:23h, 18 August

    Thanks Joel. Another good one.

  • David Baird
    Posted at 04:24h, 18 August

    Thanks for the encouraging article joel. Christians have to realize that God Almighty is on our side and we have nothing to fear, even death.

    Joel the article link you attached showed the number of jihadists from different countries. I noticed Australia has more then the usa and canada combined. Its is a huge thing over here ( being in Australia), Also the amount of “leftists” and arabs who are protesting against Israel and for Palestine ( AKA Hamas).

    Please bring your vital message over here ( Australia) because there is a huge battle happening here, especially in the church!

    God bless joel
    See you in the kingdom!

  • Paul
    Posted at 10:38h, 18 August


    How could one more perfectly describe the State of Israel as it exists today?

    I think a more perfect description would be that they are not living securely in the land. The passage describes a state quite different from that we find today.

    You are quite correct to say that we must not simply listen to the “prophecy buffs” (as Walid Shoebat calls them), but should study the text itself. Let’s look again at the passage you quoted. Here it is verbatim, this time with some key points highlighted:

    “After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them. You will go up, you will come like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you.” Thus says the Lord GOD, “It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan, and you will say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates, to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods, who live at the center of the world.’”

    I was in Israel last year, and this simply does not describe the land at all. The place is full of folks in fatigues with machine-guns. And are the shell-shocked inhabitants of Ashkelon and Sderot not included in this passage? Did God somehow overlook them?

    We err when we try to shoehorn our times into Bible prophecy. This passage does not describe modern Israel, but more likely refers to the Israel of the Millennium. That is, these verses describe events at least a thousand years hence.

    The argument that Israel goes into exile after the Gog invasion skips over key passages: for instance, how would Israel’s city-dwellers be gathering weapons for fuel if after the attack they were scattered again in exile? And in jumping from the end of Ezekiel 38 to the passage quoted in Ezekiel 39, really crucial verses which set context are excluded. For example:

    “Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and make fires of the weapons and burn them, shields and bucklers, bow and arrows, clubs and spears; and they will make fires of them for seven years, so that they will not need to take wood out of the field or cut down any out of the forests, for they will make their fires of the weapons.”
    Ezekiel 39:9-10a

    It is clear that Gog’s army is equipped with wooden weapons, and is so numerous that burning these weapons will keep Israel in fuel for the following seven years. Is modern Turkey going to attack modern nuclear-armed Israel with bows & arrows, clubs & spears? Or face Uzis with wooden bucklers?

    …Or is this referring to a time far in the future Millennium — the time during which Messiah has stamped out war and weapons-manufacture and has dashed to pieces those nations who resist Him?

    And looking at verse 20, will the Turks come mounted on horses? …Or is God calling the birds and beasts to feast upon tanks and armoured vehicles?

    Or maybe, just maybe, God says what He means and means what He says…

    You are right to point out that we have a strong tendency to interpret Scripture in light of what we see in the news or read in the Left Behind novels (or see in the movies), or to follow traditions rather than the Scripture. We should just stick to the text and endeavour simply to understand what the writer was saying.

    May God help us to do so.



  • Joel
    Posted at 11:45h, 18 August


    The fact that they have an active military in Israel does not mean that they do not live securely. One could say precisely the same thing about the United States. Are we expecting to be invaded? Of course not. Yet I can drive down the street and see our soldiers right now. Does this mean that we are all living insecurely? Of course not. Every nation has a military.

    If we try to push this passage into the millennium, then we end up with impossible problems to overcome. For it is not until AFTER the destruction of Gog and his hordes that God pours out His spirit on Israel and they come to know Him. Are we expected to believe that after a 1000 years with Jesus ruling over them, they do not even know who He is? Are we expected to believe that after 1000 years, Israel still doesn’t know God? The same is said of the nations. It is not until AFTER the destruction of Gog and his hordes that the nations come to know God. Are we really expected to believe that after 1000 years of Jesus ruling on the earth, during the time when the Scriptures say that, “the knowledge of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea” that the nations do not know God throughout this whole period? Impossible. This is to cast Jesus as an impotent, lousy leader. I cannot accept that.

    Are we to believe that with Jesus as their leader, the hordes invade Israel and take many of them captive? For it is not until AFTER the destruction of Gog and his hordes that the captives of Israel are brought back to the land. Are we to believe that Jews continue to live in exile throughout the millennium? Are we to believe that Jesus is such a weak leader that He cannot stop the invasion and many of the Jews are captured? I cannot accept that.

    God says to Gog that he is the one that the other prophets have spoken of. If this is a post-millennial invasion, then show me all of these prophecies. I know of none.

    To get caught up and say that because it speaks of the invaders coming on horses means that this can only happen during the millennium is also silly, in my opinion. First, for all we know, there could be any number of events that can happen between now and then that would mean that the invaders literally come on horseback. An EMP or some nuclear event. Who knows? Second, it could simply be an expression, which would not at all be uncharacteristic of the Scriptures. Time will tell. Likewise, the idea that their weapons will be burned. To say this is an impossibility is to misunderstand the nature of the Word of God. I could just as easily turn to Micah and Isaiah and show you that during the millennium they will beat their “swords into plowshares.” All agree that this speaks of the millennium. Will they only convert swords specifically into agricultural elements? Or will they also melt guns down into plowshares? Will tanks be converted into plowshares? Or only swords? Where are all of these swords? Will the armies of Antichrist only use swords? Will Israel only defend itself with swords? Where are the mention of guns? This is what happens when we try to force a hyper-literal reading of passages that do not demand such. The Scriptures are filled with expressions. One may read the word with a rational-literalism and not allegorize anything. This is how we live day to day. Life is filled with various expressions and so forth.

    In the end, the idea that Ezekiel 38-39 is speaking of a post-millennial invasion is, in my opinion, an impossibility. I apologize for such a hasty post. But I think I touched on a couple of the reasons why I see it as such. I simply do not have the time right now to debate this. I hope this has helped.


  • Nelson
    Posted at 12:36h, 18 August

    Brother Vernon,

    I was happy to read your excellent article. I am so glad your voice has joined those of the other watchmen. Well done. You have properly identified why Jesus tells us the church sleeps (Matt. 25:5-6). Both wise and unwise virgins are sleeping. Awakening the church is what we need to be about. Again, well done.

  • Casey
    Posted at 13:24h, 18 August

    Joel, sounds like a lot of what Dalton Thomas writes about. This also means that American forces will be no where around either. Been thinking in the last year that a miltary base or two in the US will get hit by something. The leaders of this country have wrong fears and thus this will result, possibly. The fear of The Lord brings peace, assurance, and wisdom.

  • Steve
    Posted at 14:07h, 18 August

    We would not be having this debate if we did not have Rev 20:7-9, but I am glad we do! 🙂 Oh boy! Hang in ther Joel, keep fighting the good fight and blowing the trumpet! :)P.S. Just saw Noah. Pretty intertaining if not very Biblical. But I do have a new respect for how tuff Noah probably was-like David I’d say. 🙂

  • linda keyes
    Posted at 14:51h, 18 August

    Hi Paul

    Just a quickie

    I really do think that Ezekiel 38:8 and Ezekiel 38:12 describe Israel today, the verses obviously describe Israel’s return after WW2, Perry Stone did a very good video about how the “desolate places” are now fruitful, and if you google info on the shefela basin, you will see that Israel will soon have as much oil (if not more) that Saudi Arabia,
    which ‘could’ describe the spoil mentioned in 38:13, Gods promise of
    wealth to Israel as yet to be fully realised. Gen49:1 says they will receive it in the last days, then verse 25 says it includes that which
    lies under the deep, oil and gas. plus other verses.

    About there dwelling in safety, ditto what Joel said, i also take into
    consideration, that when they enter into the false treaty, the wall being demolished, and total disarmament maybe part of that agreement,
    which wood indeed render them completely unwalled and totally vulnerable.

    Joel has some very good pieces in the articles section, top of the web page. blessings to you brother.

  • Gluedbarstool
    Posted at 16:29h, 18 August

    Way to go Joel! I can’t express how much it means that you are so down to earth in communicating with us, and as frequent as you do. You are obviously very busy, yet still take the time to help us understand prophecy through your God given talent. Thank you, Sean

  • Davy
    Posted at 16:35h, 18 August

    …EMP or perhaps Solar Flares?

    [1] http://youtu.be/FW8Rsil0lqk
    [2] http://youtu.be/crtWfbdGz-4
    [3] http://youtu.be/6ZuvzuIbfD4

    And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. (‭Revelation‬ ‭16‬:‭8-9‬ KJV)

  • Nick
    Posted at 16:38h, 18 August

    Hi everyone, not trying to interrupt the flow of the topic at hand. Wanted to make a special shout-out to a link that was on Joel’s website that is helping out Iraqi Christians: http://www.barnabasfund.org/

    Now is the time to provide resources and funds to help out these individuals. Just recently donated to the relief team in the Middle East via Samaritan’s Purse.

    Many blessings to you all.

  • Gluedbarstool
    Posted at 23:19h, 18 August

    What do you guys think about Walid Shoebat? I’ve not decided his legitimacy. He has posted a highly interesting article today titled “The Muslim Brotherhood Declares “Turkey Is The Capital Of The Islamic Caliphate” (Prophecy Is Being Fulfilled)”

    Walid explains in a comment below that he believes we are about 10 years away from the rapture. Does anybody have any comments on this?

    Here is the direct link


  • John
    Posted at 05:27h, 19 August

    ISAIAH 27:13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem. EZEKIEL 20:41 I will accept you with your sweet savor, when I bring you out from the people and gather you out from the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will sanctified in you before the heathen. HEBREWS 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. AMOS 9:15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.

  • Paul
    Posted at 10:10h, 19 August

    Joel, thank you for your reply, and I didn’t find it at all ‘hasty’ — it’s clear and well-argued and perhaps when you have more time available, we’ll chew over this again. (I understand that you have a lot on your plate right now, and appreciate your responding to my comment.)

    …And thanks also to you, Linda, for your reply.

    God bless you both.


  • Joel
    Posted at 11:36h, 19 August


    Thanks. I actually have to write a bit about this for a book I’m working on. Maybe I will put together an article and post it that will express my arguments in slightly better form.

    Bless you!

  • MaximusMinimus
    Posted at 13:15h, 19 August

    Hi Joel,

    I think, that Book of Ezekiel is describing two different Gog Magog wars. First one is the war from Ezekiel 39, that guarantee Israel a peace. Then Ezekiel 38 is about next war between Gog and Israel, but this time Israel doesn’t expect attack, because it feels safe after previous victory.
    What do You think?


  • Casey
    Posted at 15:00h, 19 August

    Something I read about Putin was that he is very respecting of the Orthodox Church of Russia. The atheistic Marxism of Russia is gone and the leadership is even are showing more concern for the Orthodox Churches in ME to where he was stating Assad was not the culprit last year at this time. I really think American leadership appears to be in disarray. We are in trouble and trying to bully the Northern Bear will only invoke something.

  • Rich
    Posted at 17:14h, 19 August

    Walid Shoebat is very legitimate. I think (from my observations) he shares many views with Joel and differs on some. I believe they are both named on the book, “God’s War on Terror”, and have appeared together at least once. His comments include politics and he loves to expose political things where mainstream media won’t go. He and Joel have highlighted Erdogan for some time now. He may have said ten years off the top of his head, but you must realize that many readers think or hope the end is in the next year or two. He feels there are yet things to take place and has acknowledged he is not omniscient.

  • Joel
    Posted at 19:20h, 19 August


    The book of Ezekiel is composed of cycles of oracles. Most scholars agree that Eze.38-39 is a singular cycle. I would agree.

  • Michael McCullough
    Posted at 19:37h, 19 August

    Very nice article and a great summary, Joel.

  • Joel
    Posted at 21:02h, 19 August


    In a nut-shell, yes, you are completely off-base. Your historicist, partial-preterist perspective simply throws things all out of whack. Rather than try to untangle everything you said, I will just say that if you shed your partial-preterist, historicist view, you will be on your way. For now, I will just touch on your initial error. Briefly, you said:

    One question that I think we should ask in this overall discussion is whether or not “Jacob’s Trouble” is confined to just Gog-Magog-Armageddon-Great Tribulation, as most believe today. As I see it, the time of “Jacob’s Trouble” has been going on for nearly 2000 years, and it is a time that will soon culminate with Gog-Magog. Nobody can deny that Jacob has been in a struggle for survival since the first century. This is historical fact.

    “Jacob’s Trouble” and “the Great Tribulation” are one and the same. They are all referring to a very specific time period and are all ultimately referring to the same verse. Jeremiah 30:7 is the passage where the term “Jacob’s Trouble” or “Jacob’s Distress” is first found.

    ‘Alas! for that day is great, there is none like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s distress, but he will be saved from it. It shall come about on that day,’ declares the LORD of hosts, ‘that I will break his yoke from off their neck and will tear off their bonds; and strangers will no longer make fnthem their slaves.

    Later, in Daniel 12:1, the angel Gabriel specifically paraphrases Jeremiah 30 (Jacob’s Trouble) and refers to it as “a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.” Needless to say, when it says, “at that time” it is referring to a specific time and not all of the past 2000 years.

    Jesus later also quotes/paraphrases Daniel 12:1 (still referring to Jacob’s Trouble) and calls it, “a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.” Its all the same reference, referring to a very specific time at the end of the age.

    Jeremiah 30:7, Daniel 12:1, and Matthew 24:21 all feature the same three components:

    1.) A time of (unrivaled, unparalleled, unequalled) (distress, trouble, tribulation).
    2.) Which is for (Jacob, Israel, Judah)
    3.) They will be saved out of it.

    Also, we should note that like Gabriel, Jesus also links this specific time to “birth pangs.” He is clearly referring to Isaiah 26, which speaks of the resurrection of the dead following the birth pains. Again, this happens at a very specific time at the end of the age. It is not speaking of the past 2000 years. (Jacob’s Trouble, distress, the great tribulation) is the birth pains.

    As for the fact that Ezekiel oracle begins with Israel in the land and ends with much of Israel out of the land is clear from the text. It also corresponds to the words of several of the prophets as well as Jesus in Luke 21:24

    and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

    For a good article on the times of the Gentiles, I would refer you to this article:


  • Casey
    Posted at 21:57h, 19 August

    My thoughts on all this falls in line with Mark Davidson’s thoughts. I think that the Russia will align with Iran protecting each other’s interest and thus Iran will devour the region a with their allies in Gaza. Mark states well why Iran will not put up with this current event in the ME.

  • Steve
    Posted at 02:02h, 20 August

    I believe the “final treachery”,Ezek 39, that will lead to at least 2/3 of the Jews in the land being cut off, will be the peace deal with the AC that divides the land for gain,carried out by the unsaved Jewish leadership. Dan 11, Isa 24:5 I believe people get confused when they don’t see aother captivity, but not a total one- because God will have a remnant. We read about thses Jews in Zech 12, 13:8-9, Rev 11:13-these are probably protected by the two witnesses in the city. We also know there will be a final ingathering after the Lord is done taking out the trash. Isa 66:24, Ezek 39:25-29. So I think if we understand the Jews will be scattered, and some or most taken into captivity, and we see a remnant that will still be in possession of the land through the working of God,(key thought) we have the correct picture. Just my 2 cents. 🙂

  • good4u
    Posted at 02:35h, 20 August

    Kurt J,

    Joel is absolutely correct regarding his exegesis. Please reconsider and do so with an open mind about Joel’s explanation. When Joel stated that, ““Jacob’s Trouble” and “the Great Tribulation” are one and the same.” He is referring to the unprecedented persecution of both Jews and Christians at the hands of the Antichrist. In addition to what Joel has referred you to regarding Samuel Clough’s article, I would like to also refer you to a most excellent and through analysis on this same subject of a book by Dalton Thomas, entitled ” “The Controversy of Zion and the Time of Jacob’s Trouble: The Final Suffering and Salvation of the Jewish People”
    you will gain much understanding and correction.


  • Joel
    Posted at 02:43h, 20 August


    Right, it is not a complete exile. There is a strong remnant not only that remain in the land, but in Jerusalem specifically:

    Now in that day the glory of Jacob will fade,
    And the fatness of his flesh will become lean.
    It will be even like the fnreaper gathering the standing grain,
    As his arm harvests the ears,
    Or it will be like one gleaning ears of grain
    In the valley of Rephaim.
    Yet gleanings will be left in it like the shaking of an olive tree,
    Two or three olives on the topmost bough,
    Four or five on the branches of a fruitful tree,
    Declares the LORD, the God of Israel. Isaiah 17:4-6

    For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Zech 14:2

  • Jonathan
    Posted at 03:18h, 20 August

    Hey Joel, great article!! Can you help me understand what you see the timeline looking like for Armageddon? Do you think that the Antichrist will control Jerusalem for the last 3.5 years and if so that would be another invasion that happens before Armageddon? Just trying to reconcile how the Jews all get dispersed again and then armies surround Jerusalem if they already control it. Blessings!

  • Joel
    Posted at 11:55h, 20 August

    The armies surrounding Jerusalem is at the middle of the 3.5 years just as the AC is about to enter and break the covenant and set himself up in the Temple.

  • Dave
    Posted at 16:51h, 20 August

    Is it possible that the war of Gog precedes the abomination of the Temple? How else would AC have the permission/authority to enter the Temple and exalt himself?

  • linda keyes
    Posted at 18:07h, 20 August

    This week another penny dropped,(i hope into the right box).

    I was trying to explain to some one how the Jews would be going into captivity again, while reading from Zech14 that Joel just quoted:

    2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

    3 THEN shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
    4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives….

    As i was reading out the verses, it dawned on me,(as was most likely mentioned in other previous posts, but lost on me). As the city had already been taken, and half of the city would be in captivity when Jesus returns, the battle of Armageddon is not a battle to fight the Jews, its the ac and his army gathered to fight Jesus and his heavenly host,only its not much of a battle:

    (speaking of the ten kings) “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings” Rev17:14

    ” And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
    For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Rev16:13-14

    “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains. And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb…”

    Like most i grew up on the Armageddon battle being about the destruction of Israel, i wondered if that is what Johnathon meant.Its a simple thing but makes all the difference.
    If i am off the way, maybe Steve or someone could put me right.
    We live and learn, and i am learning alot at the moment.

  • Joel
    Posted at 19:07h, 20 August


    Again, at the end of Gog Magog, all Israel gets saves, as do many from among the nations. This doesn’t happen until after Jesus returns. The AC will use a massive military force to enter Jerusalem.

  • WBPound
    Posted at 19:12h, 20 August

    There is a lot I disagree with about Joel’s article. I respectfully disagree with Joel’s eschatological position on just about everything, except for the rapture. But, the issues of whether Gog is the AC, and whether the Gog/Magog war is Armageddon have been debated time & time again. So I don’t feel the need to have any more discussion about that. There is one thing about the article (and people’s comments), however, that is frustrating me so much that I do feel the need to mention it. I often see prophecy commentators take Luke 21:20 out of its proper context, so I’m not surprised to see that happening here. But, I gotta say, I’ve never seen it being taken quite this far out of context.

    Let’s take a look at the Olivet Discourse for a moment. Remember how that conversation began? It began with the disciples bragging about the temple, and Jesus telling them, “I tell you, not one stone will be left upon another.” So the disciples immediately asked Jesus TWO questions. “When will these things happen, AND what will be the sign of Your coming & of the end of the age?” Did you guys catch that? The first question they asked Jesus was, “When will THESE THINGS happen?” As in, “Alright Jesus, when is the temple going to be destroyed as you are saying?” Then they asked a second question, “And what will be the sign of Your coming & of the end of the age?” These were two totally different questions, for which Jesus gave them two completely separate answers. Jesus gave them two separate signs for two separate events. A sign of when the temple’s destruction would be imminent, and a sign of when His future coming would be imminent. One sign meant for their generation, and one meant for ours. Luke records the first sign, and Matthew records the second.

    We can recognize all this when we carefully examine each synoptic account of this conversation. In Luke, for instance, we see the questions the disciples asked Jesus, recorded as, “Teacher, when therefore will THESE THINGS happen? (referring to the temple’s destruction), And what will be the sign when THESE THINGS are about to take place?” (again referring to the temple’s destruction). Luke doesn’t actually record the disciples asking Jesus about the end of the age, which is precisely why Luke speaks mostly about the sign for THEIR generation to watch for. Luke never mentions the A.O.D. The sign for the disciples generation to watch for was “Jerusalem being surrounded by armies.” More clues to the fact that “Jerusalem being surrounded by armies” was actually their sign, and not ours, lies in the rest of that passage. Jesus begins by telling them that “nation will rise against nation…and there will be earthquakes…and terrors and great signs from heaven.” Then in verse 12 He tells them, “But BEFORE all these things, they will lay hands on you and persecute you, delivering you to SYNAGOGUES and prisons…” Another key is found in verse 24. “…and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be LED CAPTIVE INTO ALL THE NATIONS.” Jesus is referring to the diaspora, when the Jews were scattered throughout the world after the temple was destroyed. Verse 22 says, “…these are the days of vengeance.” That is speaking of God’s judgment upon Israel at that time. But at the end of the age, although Israel is persecuted, it is not because of God’s judgment. Revelation 12:14-16 actually speaks of Israel being protected during the great tribulation. Which is why Satan goes after the Church instead, in Revelation 12:17. So in Luke 21:12-24, Jesus is speaking specifically to the disciples and their generation. Jesus answered their initial question about the temple and gave them a sign to watch for in regards to its destruction. From Luke 21:25 on, Jesus then began to speak about the end of the age, although Luke never mentions the abomination of desolation.

    Matthew records the Lord’s answer to the disciples’ second question, “And what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus’ answer: “The abomination of desolation which was spoken of by the prophet Daniel.” That is the sign for our generation to look for, because that sign begins the great tribulation. The sign Jesus gave in Luke 21:20 was most definitely not for our generation, and should not be used to defend arguments for another global diaspora.

  • good4u
    Posted at 19:27h, 20 August

    Yeah, Dave…remember, Antichrist is no respecter of persons, places or things…he falsely believes he is a “god” unto himself. Therefore, he has no need to ask permission from any authority and he has practically all of the Muslim world in near worship status already before he overshadows Jerusalem. He will be really quiet something in the eyes of the world. But perceptive Christians that watch the signs and pray, as Jesus commands, will know well before this time, I believe, who this man will be…the arch enemy of the Church and the covenantal people, the Jews.


  • Bob
    Posted at 20:33h, 20 August

    Can anyone explain as I am.not a student of endtime prophecies, how any army could invade a nuclear state like Israel?

    I’m sorry if this is a bit simple, but I just can’t see this. Would they have disabled their nuclear capacity first, or would they have some nuclear power themselves which they use as a counter threat, and a peace treaty?

    Also, if anyone looks to me likely to invade Israel and wreak chaos at the moment it would be the very sinister ISIL. This state with nuclear weapons would be truely terrifying.

    Do you think ISIL are the end time army to come in Jacob’s trouble?

    Btw, do you think that Jaxobs trouble is just for Israel or will it affect the UK as well?


  • Joel
    Posted at 20:49h, 20 August


    Your error is summarized fairly well in your statement below:

    2. What could a future “abomination of desolation” be? We know from Mt. 23:38 that Jesus was leaving the household of Israel desolate since they clung to the old covenant and refused to believe in Him. Shortly after Jesus the temple was destroyed, a million were killed and the Jews were exiled to the world—their system was desolated, the holy of holies was abominated. There will be no future revival of the old covenant, even if a temple is rebuilt before Jesus returns—sacrifices would be an empty gesture, the ending of which would not be a desolating abomination. The exiling of the Jews to the world (it has its own word, diaspora) sure sounds like what Ezek 39:28 is describing.

    You have very well articulated a couple of the most common errors of those who espouse Replacement Theology. First, you say that Israel clung to the “Old Covenant” Which covenant are you referring to? The Abrahamic, the Mosaic, the Davidic? Replacement Theologians consistently tend to conflate or combine the Abrahamic and the Mosaic into one vague “Old Covenant. In order to understand what was happening in Israel in Jesus’ day, throughout the past 200 years, in the return of Israel to their land, and what will happen in the last days, can only be understood through understanding the differences between the covenants. So for instance, the Abrahamic Covenant is everlasting, unconditional and unilateral. In other words, it is still in force, God will fulfill it, and it is not contingent on Israel’s works. The Mosaic covenant on the other hand details the necessary laws to remain in the land and lays out the curses that will take place if Israel does not keep the law. These punishments include exile from the land nd punishment among the nations. But Deuteronomy is also clear that even this is temporary. Which leads to your other major error (2) You have taken the temporary covenantal curses of the Mosaic covenant that were about to be executed against that specific generation of Jews, and have applied them to the entire race of Jews down through history including today.

    All of the arguments you are using, based on a wrong understanding of what was happening in Jesus day (a temporary exile and destruction) and applying to the Temple, is precisely the same argument that Replacement Theologians use to claim that Israel as a nation is no longer His people. For centuries, they claimed that they would never return to they land and reestablish a state. Yet they have. Why? Because the covenant punishments were not permanent. Even as Israel has shocked the Replacement Theologians by returning to the land, so also does Daniel make it clear that the Temple will also be rebuilt not only in the last days. Ezekiel 40-48 makes it clear that another Temple will be rebuilt after Jesus returns. But as to your claim that there cannot be a future abomination, Daniel is crystal clear that there will. And the bottom line is that one cannot abominate something that is not Holy. One cannot defile something already defiled. If you wish to claim that any future Temple could not be holy, your preterist perspective cannot fix this dilemma as 70 AD was still roughly 35-40 years after the cross. If the Temple was desolated and defiled in 70 AD, (which you seem to be claiming) then you have no basis to claim that it cannot be in the future.

    In summary, most of the answers to your confusion will be resolved if you understand the differences between the covenants, what they mean and how they are playing out not only in Jesus’ day, but in the last days. I hope my forthcoming book will help you sort this out. Your questions are actually very easy to understand if you throw preterism out the door.


  • Joel
    Posted at 21:07h, 20 August


    I posted an article on why I am rather confident in the notion that Luke 21, along with the other synoptic accounts of Jesus’ Olivet Discourse are yet to be fulfilled. I hope this helps.

  • Dave
    Posted at 00:23h, 21 August

    To good4u, I understand that the AC will act out of his own will. However, he somehow has to get past the nation of Israel and their army to enter the Temple. Even he can’t just walk in of his own accord unless the govt. and army (not to mention the Temple priests) of Israel are permitting it somehow.

    The assumption is that when the AC makes a covenant with the many, that this means Israel. The Bible doesn’t say this. Perhaps that assumption should be examined more closely and/or discarded. So could it be that the covenant is with the UN, or other Muslim nations, or whoever, and does not involve Israel at all. As a result of some military victory, he enters the Temple and begins to persecute the remaining Jews and Christians. This may also explain why he could not make war against the two witnesses for 1,260 days. He did not have access to them until he achieved a military success and could enter Jerusalem. If I’m speaking from ignorance, my apologies in advance. It’s just that there are so many gaps to fill still.

    As a side note, Ezekiel 38: 19-23 states that God will send against Gog a great earthquake, send rain, hailstones, and fire, make Himself known in the eyes of many nations, and they will know He is God.

    At the opening of the sixth seal, there is a great earthquake where everyone hide, “from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.” At the opening of the seventh seal, fire from the altar thrown on to the Earth, thunder, lightning, and an earthquake. This sounds very close to the elements God sends against Gog. The only thing missing is the hailstones. Is it possible that these are the same events?

    In contrast, when the seventh bowl is poured out, there is no mention of fire, but there are the huge hailstones. Also, at the seventh bowl, the people curse God. So both the combination of the sixth and seventh seals have most, but not all, of the elements listed against Gog. Similarly, the seventh bowl has most, but no all of the elements listed. It seems there is no perfect solution to line up all these events.

  • Joel
    Posted at 01:34h, 21 August



    And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, *came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague *was extremely severe. —Revelation 16:21

    But yes, same events. Not to mention the feast of the birds, beasts, etc. In Rev. 19 is nearly a paraphrase of Ezekiel 39.

  • good4u
    Posted at 03:58h, 21 August


    Why are you consumed with details about the “how” of this event of the AOD? God does not provide that information to us, and therefore, it is for God to know as His prerogative and us to take by faith that it is so. You make this so hard upon yourself with all this unnecessary speculating. Antichrist will overshadow Jerusalem, enter the Jewish temple (when built) and declare himself God. That is all we need to know according to God. What is so hard for you about what God has said? *shaking head sadly*

    The sixth and seventh seals reveal the rapture of the Church and then almost concurrently the Day of the LORD both Ezekiel and and Revelation speak of that event, just from a different perspective. Not every detail must be exactly the same, but the theme is consistent. Your missing the forest for the trees.


  • DL
    Posted at 18:07h, 21 August

    I do run into a stumbling block here. I think this is very logical and makes sense up to a point. However, when I look in Revelation at the battle of Armageddon, there is no peace in Israel at that point. In fact, many in Israel have fled into the wilderness. This is where identifying the battle of Gog of Magog with Armageddon breaks down for me. What am I missing?

  • Joel
    Posted at 19:00h, 21 August


    All of the prophets are ultimately pointing to the end of the age. They all emphasize different aspects of the story, or focus in on particular elements. Ezekiel 38-39 is an oracle that spans a broad range of time. It begins with the very thought being planted in Gog’s mind to invade, and ends with his destruction and the return of Jesus. Thus this prophecy covers a broad range of time, whereas the reference to the Battle of Armageddon is a very specific final battle.

  • Joel
    Posted at 20:09h, 21 August


    Before I answer your question, let me ask you a few more questions:

    In your previous comments, you made Jacob’s Trouble 2000 years long. Do you now see how the specific texts which reference this make this impossible?

    You stated that Jacob’s Trouble and the Great Tribulation were not the same. Do you now see that they are simply two different titles for the same event?

    Do you acknowledge that Daniel 12 places the Abomination that Causes Desolation in the context of the time of the resurrection of the dead? Ie., the end-times?

    You believe that Amos 9:14-15 is for today. Do you also believe that Amos 9:11-13 is for today?

    When your wife was pregnant, did you look forward to her due-date?

  • DL
    Posted at 21:46h, 21 August

    Thanks Joel, that makes sense. I appreciate the answer.

  • Michael
    Posted at 07:09h, 24 August

    It seems to me that Amos 9:14-15 would prove that the Jews will never again go into captivity — but only if those verses were for today that is. But that would require that Amos 9:11-13 be for today however, because if 9:11-13 were for today then 14-15 would be for today as well. Is that your view also Joel?

  • linda keyes
    Posted at 14:03h, 27 August

    Joel could i please ask for one clarification, im doing a little study with some ladies in a few weeks, i will try not to ask you anything else.

    I realise ac gathers an army twice with regards to Israel, 1st to take Jerusalem (a success) 2nd to fight Christ(a failure).

    Eze 38v8-13 clearly is talking of his taking of Jerusalem.

    Would it be right to say that the THEREFORE in v14 and 39v1 is like, “because you have taken my people captive, i will gather you on the mountains to destroy you.”?

    Making the gathering when God puts an hook in his jaws, the same as Armageddon and Joel 3. (and not the Jerusalem conquest)
    The turning of him back again, meaning bringing him back to war.

    If you cant answer at this time, i’ll realise you are extremely busy.
    Thank you for all your help thus far.

  • Sandra
    Posted at 23:22h, 29 August

    A small comment on the thesis ‘there is no pretrib’

    Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth —rev 3:10

  • Joel
    Posted at 00:56h, 30 August


    Pre-tribbers often look to this as a proof text for a pre-trib rapture. But a contextual and textual study leads most to believe it is simply saying that the Lord will keep the Philadelphian Church through (Greek: ek) the trial that was to come, or even through the great trial that is to come.

    IF we are to look to the Old Testament types of the coming tribulation, they show that God keeps His people through the trials and protects them in the hour of trial, but does not remove them per se:

    1. A plague of flies came on Egypt (Exodus 8:21-23) but it did not come on the land of Goshen where the Israelites were.
    2. God sent a pestilence to kill all the cattle in Egypt (Exodus 9:3-6) but none of Israel’s cattle were killed.
    3. Also a plague of hail fell on Egypt to strike trees, man and beast (Exodus 9:23-26) but there was no hail in Goshen where the Israelites were.
    4. Also Egypt was plagued with thick darkness for three days (Exodus 10:22-23) but the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.
    5. Finally, the angel of the LORD killed all the firstborn in Egypt (Exodus 12:12-13, 23, 27) but not the firstborn of the Israelites who were protected by the blood of the lamb on the doorposts.

    Source: http://www.logosapostolic.org/bible_study/RP355-9Keep_from_hour.htm

    Ultimately, as I always say, this is certainly not an issue to divide over, nor to berate others over. I think it is wisdom for all of life to be hopeful, but be prepared for the worst.

    Bless you

  • Isaac
    Posted at 19:32h, 30 August

    {Moderator Edit}

    Joel, I have followed your thread here for sometime. I want to pass on this post to help you defend Israeli actions against our enemier, racists and anti semitics.

    There are some good strategies to help counter the world’s media so that our side prevails.

    I hope you find it useful.


  • Joel
    Posted at 21:51h, 30 August


    Isn’t it so telling that you need to rely on deception to try to spread your racism. Typical of those of your ilk.

  • Sandra
    Posted at 20:56h, 31 August

    Hello Joël
    I agree that it is not an issue to divide over.

    And ‘ek’ would be good enough

    Don’t think we can understand everything right now: for example why these poor believers in the middle east are being slaughtered (and in the past) and don’t get this protection.


    I’ve red the remark of mr. W. Lincoln (above): ‘The exam is for all, and the oppressed are the first ones to be tested’

    But I can’t believe that. We have an excellent and loving Father.
    Would we act like that with our children

    And how does this ‘work’ with bringing the Message, because than one has to be honest and say: ‘if you become a believer, you’re head will be cut off one day, but don’t worry, than you’ve passed the test.’

    That is not logical for me.

    What you say Joël (‘IF we are to look to the Old Testament types of the coming tribulation, they show that God keeps His people through the trials and protects them in the hour of trial, but does not remove them per se’) that’s a fact however.

    (but again: what about these poor believers right now. And especially what those children have to go through)

    I hope I make a little bit sense, because my native language is not English.

  • Joel
    Posted at 21:12h, 31 August


    If I can be honest, the analogy of “how would you treat your child” is a fairly shallow emotional argument that I hear often. Because the truth is that he allowed His own son to be crucified. And then we are called to imitate him.

    “Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” (Luke 24:26)

    “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21)

    The reality is that yes, of course God loves us as His children, but His desire is for us to gain joy eternally and that doesn’t always mean that he are necessarily happy in this age. Of course, this is in conflict with the message that one will most often hear in too many pulpits these days, but I think the Scriptures are clear that in this age, we will have suffering.

    I hope

  • Sandra
    Posted at 16:17h, 01 September

    Hello Joel

    I really wonder if His wrath, is for His children.
    But I’m ready to let this subject go, it will go the way it will go.

    I understand you’re writing/vision too.

    These days it is like ‘two directions’ of everything, and it is hard to see which direction sometimes.
    False tongues vs tongues that edify an individual for both is much to say
    Cheap grace vs grace plus we have to exert like Paulus says (the last one)
    Superficial message (mostly in charismatical circels) or pure theology
    Etcetera etcetera

    Do you understand what I mean ?

    For me: I don’t know it anymore. The only remedie is living close to our Redeemer.

    I don’t know if the former believers had this balancing act in this way. But for me, it all seems like that these days it is very confusing
    So I decide to let it go, I don’t know anyway

    But there is just one thing I want to mention !!
    Yesterday night, I opened my Bible to go on with Jesaja, and what did I read ?? Jesaja 57: from 1. Very interesting !!

  • Joel
    Posted at 19:56h, 01 September


    Those such as myself who hold to the Pre-Wrath view understand that God’s wrath is not for His children.

  • Sandra
    Posted at 15:53h, 02 September

    Thanks Joel!

    I let this subject go now, I appreciate what you added.

    Now, this article is interesting again.

    I’m wondering, what role plays Ukraïne in this, does anybody know ?

    Previously almost nobody had ever heard of this country and suddenly…they are in the news and seem to play a very deceiving role. A dangerous one too as it seems (for Europe), evoked by US.

  • Gabe
    Posted at 18:57h, 03 September

    “Meanwhile, officials said Egyptian military forces appear to be preparing to intervene in Libya to prevent the country from becoming a failed state run by terrorists, many with ties to al Qaeda.”

    I have suspected for a while now that the Egyptian military will openly intervene in Libya to quell the Islamic revolution and install a more secular regime. It appears that might be close to happening. An intervention would fit within the emerging Daniel 11 axis, with al-Sisi taking a leading role as a king of the South over his neighboring satellite states (although it remains to be seen if he will be THE King of the South who opposes antichrist, or just a forerunner). Nonetheless, important developments!!



  • Alex Horowitz
    Posted at 07:13h, 22 December

    I read somewhere that either the Quran or the Hadith states that there will be a second return of Jews to Israel. According to Islam, all Jews will eventually return, because they are not all there now.Can you give me any thoughts on the matter. Thanks for all your insight.

  • Joel
    Posted at 10:26h, 22 December

    Doesn’t ring a bell. The Qur’an does say that Allah gave the land of Israel to the Jews, but nothing about a second return. If there were, I would assume it to be a copy form Isaiah 11.

  • Debra
    Posted at 21:25h, 24 January

    Joel, Your interpretation of Ezekiel reminded me of a few of Scriptures. (Please excuse the GNB version.)
    1Th 5:1-3 There is no need to write you, friends, about the times and occasions when these things will happen. For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come as a thief comes at night. When people say, “Everything is quiet and safe,” then suddenly destruction will hit them! It will come as suddenly as the pains that come upon a woman in labor, and people will not escape.
    Mic 4:9-12 Why do you cry out so loudly? Why are you suffering like a woman in labor? Is it because you have no king, and your counselors are dead? Twist and groan, people of Jerusalem, like a woman giving birth, for now you will have to leave the city and live in the open country. You will have to go to Babylon, but there the LORD will save you from your enemies. Many nations have gathered to attack you. They say, “Jerusalem must be destroyed! We will see this city in ruins!” But these nations do not know what is in the LORD’s mind. They do not realize that they have been gathered together to be punished in the same way that grain is brought in to be threshed.
    Zec 14:1-3 The day when the LORD will sit in judgment is near. Then Jerusalem will be looted, and the loot will be divided up before your eyes.
    The LORD will bring all the nations together to make war on Jerusalem. The city will be taken… Half of the people will go into exile, but the rest of them will not be taken away from the city. Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he has fought in times past.

    To me these all sound like the same events. What do you think?

  • Patience Prence
    Posted at 22:40h, 04 July

    Hi Joel, Wow! EXCELLENT POST! I’m so excited to find your teachings as they line up with Bible scriptures. I’m also a writer and taking information straight from the Bible and I’m finding many authors whose work doesn’t like up. So glad I found you and I’m excited to absorb all of your work for my third book!!!!

    Thank you and God Bless!

    Patience Prence, Author SCARS: An End-Times Prophecy Novel and TRIAL BY FIRE

  • John Roberts
    Posted at 23:59h, 29 December

    Joel Richardson is quite correct in his assessment of the Gog/Magog War. The war is described not only in Ezekiel 38-39, but in Zechariah 12 and 14.

    Nowhere does it say that the Jews will be spared. When one reads Revelation 11, it also becomes apparent that many Jews will not be spared at that day. We know this because the two witnesses will be killed where? In Jerusalem. Their dead bodies will lie in the streets for three and a half days while their enemies gloat and exchange gifts (what DO you buy for a maniacal tyrant who has everything? A toaster? No, I have a feeling he won’t need it.)

    If the prophets are dead in Jerusalem, and their bodies are there, doesn’t that indicate that the enemy is there as well? Who is it who will order the dead bodies to lie in the streets of the city? The order will come from either the Beast or the False Prophet. And if they could order that in Jerusalem, that means the enemy has breached part of the city. Three and a half days later, when the prophets resurrect, behold, the Jews will flee the city into a valley created by a great earthquake that will split the Mount of Olives in two. And they will flee there either because the enemy is on the move again or because they have read the prophet Zechariah and know this is where they meet their Messiah.

    Zechariah writes:

    3 Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

    4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

    5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. (Zechariah 14:3-5)

    Note he uses the word “flee.” Even though God had strengthened them, he now prepares to fight the enemy on his own terms.

    Ezekiel writes:

    2 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:

    3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.

    4 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. (Ezekiel 39:2-4)

    When the Lord enters the fray, he will destroy all but a “sixth part” of the enemy. Why did he spare them? We don’t know yet. But suddenly Gog’s ability to wage war will suddenly be taken from him. The fact that he falls upon the mountains of Israel means that he attacked it with his entire might. Yet his ability to wage war is suddenly stopped. Regardless of how mighty his power was, he finds that it’s suddenly gone.

    Also, don’t think that Gog will be familiar with Ezekiel’s passages. They were written to him as a warning, yet the Lord knows he will ignore it. Finally, I believe that when the Lord destroys Gog that Gog will be in the act of attacking the returning Messiah. Of course, the Jews could also be fleeing from the earthquake, which also will ravage the city:

    13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. (Revelation 11)

    John also was told to measure the temple that would be built there: “Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein,” he was told. “But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” (Revelation 11: 1-2) “Tread under foot” is a term that means that the enemy would prevail against them for three and a half years. And though they would fight like the ancient Israelites, they would be fighting an otherwise losing battle, and only the two prophets will have given them the edge. Again, Zechariah gives us the primary clue that all will not all go Israel’s way: “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” (Zechariah 14:2)

    The city will be taken, the houses rifled and the women ravished. This may take place after the two prophets are dead, but still, it shows us that Gog/the Beast will fall upon the mountains of Israel like a predator, yet he will be destroyed by God and the people of God. Then Zechariah writes: ‘and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.” (Zechariah 12:10-11)

    It’s difficult to understand how modern Jews, reading these passages, do not see the man Jesus of Nazarath as the one who was pierced, but the prophet is clear that they will not be converted until they see this for themselves. And the result will be heartrending despair. Suddenly it will dawn on them who their Messiah is. Then the entire Middle East will be in mourning. The Jews because they’ll realize that their fathers killed their Messiah and King; the Muslims because they’ll realize they were deceived by Muhammad.

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