“After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory.” Revelation 18:1.
As stated earlier in this study, the tribulation does not begin with the rapture of the church; it begins with the signing of a seven year treaty by Israel with the Antichrist (Daniel 9:27a).
“Then he [Antichrist] shall confirm a covenant with many [Israel] for one week [7 years]; but in the middle of the week [3 ½ years] he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering [see Revelation 13:11-18].” Daniel 9:27a.
The Antichrist/beast will break this treaty in the middle of the seven years and begin severe persecution of Israel, a 3 ½ year period known as the time of Jacob’s trouble.
As we consider the seven year treaty quoted above, it is worth noting that God elsewhere calls it a covenant with death.
“Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scornful men, who rule this people who are in Jerusalem, because you have said, ‘We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we are in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood we have hidden ourselves.’” Isaiah 28:14-15.
See all of Isaiah 28:14-22 for a greater view of this passage. These scornful men are unbelieving Jews, even those who scorn God, unfit rulers really, yet they have authority to sign the treaty.
The overflowing scourge is a reference to a military campaign, so the treaty is essentially a pact with the beast to protect them from another invasion from outside.
Looking at modern Israel it is not hard to see why they would seek such protection through a compact with a global power like the revived Roman Empire. But what it shows is a reliance on men and not God. This is their undoing.
Why the sudden fear of invasion? The answer may well be in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39.
“Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops – many people are with you. Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them. 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. You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all our troops and many peoples with you.’” Ezekiel 38:2-9.
The name Gog is a title rather than the name of the prince of Rosh (Russia); perhaps it is a descriptive code name for this prince.
Though the origin of the name Gog is uncertain, there is one possible meaning; it may have been adopted from Gugu, or Gyges a king of Lydia (680-648 B.C.).
This name portrays ruthless, godless power. Gyges was mythologized into a 100 handed giant who made war on the gods. How appropriate for the leader of an atheistic country like Russia.
Magog is the name given for the vast steppes in the north, settled by Magog, son of Japheth, who is one of the three sons of Noah. Meshech is Moscow and Tubal is Tobolsk, roughly 1200 miles east of Moscow.
The names given in verses 5-6 should be of much interest to you since some are in the news almost daily. Persia is modern day Iran. Ethiopia has also been identified as either Sudan or Somalia. Libya is called by the ancient name Put in some versions.
Gomer is Germany and the Slovak countries, Poland, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic and Slovakia). House of Togarmah, or Beth-togarmah, is either Armenia or the Cossacks and east Russia. This group is described as being from the far north, so Armenia, which is on the Northeastern border of Turkey, may not fit here.
Ezekiel 38:6 and 9 end with, “many people are with you” “and many peoples with you”; these either refer to the nations mentioned in the text or it may speak of other nations not mentioned.
It is my feeling that the many peoples with them are Muslim countries or peoples from those countries. Dr. Fruchtenbaum points out that none of the countries mentioned are Arabic (Arabs are a race not a religion) and that it is Russia leading this coalition not Muslims.
The narrative goes on to say that when this huge army reaches the mountains of Israel God will fight for the Israelites and destroy the Russian coalition by turning every man’s weapon on his fellow.
God will also cause a great earthquake; send down flooding rain, great hailstones, and fire and brimstone. So great will be the destruction that it will take seven months for the land of Israel to bury the dead.
They will also take the weapons of war to burn for seven years, eliminating the need to gather wood for fires.
The use of modern weapons of war for firewood seems absurd today until you realize that the Russians are using a material made out of compressed wood called Lignostone.
Lignostone is stronger than steel, lightweight and supposedly has a low radar profile, and it burns at a high temperature. Scripture is accurate even when it seems impossible.
You can do a computer search on this one for more information. Consider this carefully; it is likely that this battle will come just before the rapture or more likely just after it.
God says this of this coming Russian invasion.
“So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore. Then nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel.” Ezekiel 39:7.
Much of Israel is secular or atheistic today, but soon they will know better than to profane the Lord’s name, having seen His deliverance; even so there will be “scornful men” who will sign Israel’s “covenant with death”.
Let us examine a few more things concerning prophecy before closing this out. Do not let current events decide how you should interpret prophecy, watch the Middle East, follow the news carefully but do not try to make prophecy fit out of its context.
This has been the downfall of many who have taught the book of Revelation, thus discrediting legitimate Scripture passages before unbelievers, and discouraging many a Christian.
The return of Christ is imminent, that is to say that it could happen before I type the next word. This is not a new concept, the early church fathers believed it, and Peter spoke of it indirectly in a sermon.
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” Acts 3:19-21.
This bears repeating, it has been nearly two thousand years since the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The promise of His return has been in effect since then; do not be disappointed if He does not return in a year or ten.
As Jesus said to His disciples before He ascended into heaven.
“It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” Acts 1:7.
The time of His return is entirely up to the Father.
Yet the Lord chastised the Pharisees and the Sadducees for not recognizing the time of His visitation.
“When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.” Matthew 16:2-3.
God has put His word in our hands and has given us His Spirit to interpret it, He expects us to use the tools He has given us to the best of our abilities.
Another important thing to recognize is that God does not go against His word. That is, He does not say to us, “you shall not steal”, and then say, “well it is okay to steal in this case”. This is a rule that applies in all of His word as well as prophecy.
This will happen to you sooner or later; you will want something which may have to be gotten by overextending your credit card, or in some underhanded manner, or something will seem just not right, and a Bible verse will back this up. Yet you will say to yourself, “God wants me to be happy, besides everything is falling into place, surely He is honoring it”.
Be sure that if it is something that God has made plain or that it is not right through the Scriptures, He will not change His mind.
Another example of this is the Mayan calendar speculation that something earthshaking was going to happen on 12/21/12.
The basic belief was that some sort of a holocaust would occur on that date, followed by the earth being returned to a more gardenlike condition with the few survivors of the holocaust entering into a state of peacefulness. Sounds a bit like the prophecies of Revelation.
Many however, wanted the turbulence of this holocaust to cause the remainder of mankind to turn to the eastern religions and find that peace and harmony are within.
That mankind must not only see his potential, but see himself as part of all human consciousness. Though not an eastern religion some would call this Gaia, the idea that the world is a single organism with all, mankind, plant, and animal, having a symbiotic relationship within that single biosphere.
While Gaia can either be a religion or metaphysical it does have some similarities to the eastern religions which see man’s consciousness as being one of many drops that flow into the whole river of the godhead, thus losing their identity.
I prefer to look on this concept and agree with the Zen Buddhist’s quote that states, “Man enters the water and he leaves no ripple”. No thank you, God, not only lets us remain individuals; He also makes us His sons and daughters in Christ.
As for the Mayans, people look on them and all ancient civilizations and think that it is remarkable that they could do so much, not having become as highly evolved as this present culture.
The truth is that they were not evolved at all but were created with just as good a mental capacity as any one of us has today. The only difference was that they were not dealing with as great a body of knowledge as we have today.
Yet look what they have done, with only their eyes they were able to make observations that are as accurate as some of our own! On the date 12/21/12 the Mayans predicted that the earth and the sun will line up with a hole in the Milky Way, which happened.
Though all of this is about ten years in the past, you may want to research it on your computer; there were also a number of books and documentaries on the subject.
As titillating as all of this was at the time, it is probably safest to accept what Alonso Mendez of the Mayan Exploration Center said of it. To paraphrase his words, “It is more likely that the calendar concerns local events, rather than world events”.
The difficulties with 12/21/12 were that the Bible does not predict an abrupt end of the world, the destruction of the world by God cannot happen according to various Scriptures in anything less than 1007 years.
That is seven years prophesied for the tribulation and one thousand years for the reign of Christ (the millennium). What can happen at any moment is the rapture of the church and then the world, as we know it will cease to exist.
The Lord Jesus said this of the end.
“But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.” Mark 13:32-33.
If God the Father did not tell the Son when the day and hour is, why would He tell idolaters these things? Once again, most emphatically, God does not contradict Himself.
Do not be discouraged because the year 2012 came and went without a significant event it was not for the Mayans to know things that God would not even tell His own children.
Revelation 18:1, Part 2 taken from godisrevealed.com updated on 2-27-17, reposted on 10-22-22.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.