“And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, AND PROPHESY (capitals mine) against him.”
Whether Turkey is the real threat to Israel is critical as we see events happening today!
Like most other students of Biblical prophecy, and as I described in a previous post (The War of Gog and Magog), the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 & 39 describes a yet FUTURE war that will see the nation of Israel viciously attacked by a VERY specific group of six named countries known today as Russia, Turkey, Iran, Ethiopia, Sudan and Libya. This obviously is a war that has not yet occurred but will be a precursor to many other yet-to-come events before Jesus returns at Armageddon. Where I differ from some others is in the belief that the War of Gog and Magog is NOT Armageddon! Why do I feel so strongly about this? For a number of reasons. I feel the Bible is clear as to the differences between a war where six very specific countries are named and the global war of Armageddon where:
“For they are the spirits of the devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and OF THE WHOLE WORLD (capitals mine), to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” “And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon”
Revelation 16: 14 & 16
Here we see the armies of the entire world gathered together at Armageddon, whereas in the war of Gog and Magog, God brings only six countries up from the northern parts upon the mountains of Israel:
“Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, This saith the Lord God; Behold I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:”
This to me is one example of many of the differences between the TWO wars that will besiege Israel in the End Times. What are the other differences?
War of Gog and Magog:
- They will be led by the leader named Gog – Ezekiel 39:1
- Gog will be killed and buried there – Ezekiel 39:11
- The armies from the north will attack Israel “…to take a spoil”. – Ezekiel 38:12
- During the battle they will then attack each other – Ezekiel 38:21
- 5 out of every 6 will die on the mountains of Israel – Ezekiel 39:2
- God will also send fire on Magog and those that “…dwell carelessly in the isles.” – Ezekiel 39:6
- Afterwards, the Israelis will spend 7 years burning the implements of war – Ezekiel 39:9
- It will also take 7 months to bury the dead – Ezekiel 39:12
War of Armageddon:
- They will be led by the anti-christ and his ten kingdoms – Revelation 17:13
- There will also be an army of 200 million that attacks from the EAST – Revelation 16:12
- Basically, these invaders are there to fight the anti-christ’s goal to be ruler of the world. – Revelation 16:14
- ALL of the armies will be destroyed by Jesus at His Second Coming, “And the remnant were slain with the sword of him (Jesus) that sat upon the horse.” – Revelation 19:21
- God will destroy Babylon in one hour – Revelation 18:8
- Jesus will throw the anti-Christ and the false prophet ALIVE into the lake of fire and brimstone – Revelation 19:20
- After the War of Armageddon Jesus will begin His 1,000 year Millennial rule of the earth – Revelation 20:4
In summary, the War of Gog and Magog will involve six named countries which will invade Israel and be defeated. It will then take the Israelis 7 months to bury the dead and 7 years to burn their implements of war. One sixth of the invaders will be spared. At Armageddon, Jesus Himself returns to the earth and defeats ALL the nations of the world that have aligned themselves with the anti-christ and ALL will be slain. Gog will be killed and buried after the war of Gog and Magog but the anti-christ will be thrown alive into the lake of fire after Armageddon. There is no mention of burying the dead or burning the implements of war, especially as the world enters His Millennial rule. To be fair to those holding different views, there are a series of some similar events that could make it look like the two wars are the same war but the reasons I give above I believe indicate why I don’t see one war but two.
With that said, what significance is there today in the rise of Turkey today as the probability that it will be Turkey, not Russia (as has been traditionally believed), who will lead the war of Gog and Magog against Israel? I recently read Mideast Beast, an excellent book by Joel Richardson who describes in a very articulate manner the reasons why Turkey, not Russia will lead a confederation of 6 Muslim countries invading Israel. If you want to learn more about this subject, I suggest you read it.
First, a brief history. As you can tell by the map below, those six nations listed in Ezekiel 38 are primarily in the area dominated by Iran, Turkey and North Africa. If you will note, NOT ONE borders Israel. Instead, those countries that do border/ or are nearby Israel (Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia) have actually reached out to Israel for peace. While I do not understand all of the nuances of Islam, it does appear that this will also boil down to a Sunni vs. Shiite battle with Iran, Iraq, Turkey, etc. predominately Shiite and Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia primarily Sunni.
Furthermore, those lands named in the original Bible (Magog, Meshech, Togarmah and Tubal) are ALL today located in the country of Turkey!! In looking at the map and reading in Ezekiel where the countries are named, there is no doubt Turkey is right in the middle! The predominance of Turkey’s involvement in the War of Gog and Magog is overwhelming and indisputable. So, how did we get to a place where a former ally of Israel; a pro-Western secular democracy; and, member of NATO becomes the one that will lead the invasion of Israel?
Basically, Turkey has been one of the few lands civilized throughout most of human history. In 1299 A.D. the Ottoman Turkish Empire began and through conquest helped spread Islam throughout Southern, Eastern and Central Europe; Western Asia; and, Northern Africa (interesting that many of these areas will rejoin them during the War of Gog and Magog). They were at one time the most powerful ruling Empire in the world. Due to their decline, however, they mistakenly aligned with Germany during World War I and after their defeat by the British saw their land holdings substantially reduced. Just a few years later Mustafa Kemal came to power and changed the country dramatically. He made it a pro-Western entity, secular in religion with a democratically elected government.
So, what has changed and why is Turkey now Israel’s greatest threat?
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the current President of Turkey, personally formed the ruling AKP party and espouses an Islamist background. He actually spent four months in jail early in his life for reciting a poem that promoted a religious Muslim form of government. Since being elected Prime Minister/President he has:
- ejected Israeli ambassadors from Turkey
- called Zionism a crime against humanity and accused the Jews of genocide against the Palestinians
- signed numerous military and economic treaties with one time enemy Russia
- formed closer bonds with Iran
- referred to himself as the “prophet” (Mohammed)
- substantially limited the rights of a free press and use of the internet, jailing more journalists than any other country in the world!
- eroded the democratic law of the country and established more power solely within the executive branch
- since the failed 2016 coup attempt by the Turkish people to overthrow Erdogan, relations with the U.S. and Europe have been severely strained
- has encouraged the country to return to the Ottoman Empire culture that once made it so powerful
If we note so many of these changes have occurred in just the past 5-10 years and keep our eye on future moves to radicalize their country, I firmly believe a move by Erdogan to help “free” the Palestinians from Jewish possession in a land viewed by them as belonging to the Muslims, not the Jews, will encourage him to invade Israel and elevate himself to his desired role to “prophet” in this new “caliphate”. Some believe this invasion will be a response to the 7 year peace treaty signed by the anti-christ which will begin the Tribulation period as “Sheba, Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish” (Ezekiel 38:13) will be against Gog’s invasion. These are thought to be European countries like Spain, England, France and others like Saudi Arabia. Fortunately, God Himself said:
“Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief price of Meshech and Tubal:”
Gog CANNOT beat the Almighty God! God will prevail exactly as described in the Bible. Once again, the prophecies of the Bible make clear God’s Plan and ultimate outcome. Imagine how frightening it would be to hear of this war if you DIDN’T know this was already prophesied, both the invasion AND the outcome! How comforting is it to know what so many others don’t know about these series of events and the fact that OUR God will always prevail. Comforted? Then please make sure you do what we are ALL instructed to do and that is to “…therefore comfort one another with these words.”
May God Bless You!!