The next set of connections we’re going to examine are from the prophet Ezekiel, as recorded in chapters 38 and 39. As with the connections we’ve seen from 2 Thess. 4 & 5, Rev. 12, Zech. 14, and Daniel 7, these connections will probably disturb your end-time views. But that’s okay. We’ve seen how important it is to know what Scripture says through the Spirit-inspired connections rather than simply trying to reason with our limited human reasoning. We’ll see another example of this in this blog.
For a quick recap, we know the four features of His coming: (1) our resurrection (rapture); (2) which is a timely harpazo gathering; (3) as the Day of the Lord begins; but (4) after the initial invasion by the Antichrist (birth pains).
Why do we need to be reminded of this? Because what we’re going to see in Ezekiel 38 and 39 is how this initial invasion happens, how it unfolds, how it ends, and why it happens. For some of you, going through the details of a war may bring up not-so-pleasant memories of boring history classes. But bear with us, because we assure you—these are important details to see.
In fact, even as we write this, a misconception is being circulated based on our current events. More on that later. The majority of believers recognize that the time of Christ’s return is soon—very soon. So it’s time that we get a clear picture of what is in our near future, especially as it concerns our next assignment as the Church.
Chapter 38 begins with Ezekiel prophesying to Gog of the land of Magog. In short, Ezekiel declares on earth, as God’s representative, what God has spoken in Heaven. Ezekiel calls Gog the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Meshech and Tubal refer to tribal lands in Turkey named after the offspring of Japheth (table of nations in Gen. 10).
God—via Ezekiel—tells this chief prince that God will put thoughts in his mind for an evil plan. Namely, to attack Israel. We know this refers to modern Israel because it has unwalled cities and the people think they are safe because of their defense system. Ancient cities had walls for protection. Notice that this happens as “that Day” is about to dawn. From our connections, we now know that this wording doesn’t refer to any day, but to the Day—the Day of the Lord.
Also from our previous connections, we know that a war that comes at the Day of the Lord is the final end-time war against the Antichrist. Ezek. 38:17 confirms that he is the one prophesied by God’s servants. It is the war that brings down the oppressive empires that have come against Israel. It is the end of the times of the Gentiles. More on that later in another video in this series.
The chapter goes on to tell us that it is a sudden, destructive, and fast-moving invasion. Israel is experiencing agonizing birth pains, to say the least. But then God responds. First, we know from our previous connections, that He turns out the celestial lights and plunges the world into total darkness. That temporarily stops the invasion.
“And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord God, “that My fury will show in My face” (Ezek. 38:18). Also from our previous connections we know that this fury is the wrath of that Day. It’s how the 3½-year war unfolds (remember times, time, and half a time). More on this in the next video.
Ezekiel 38:23 tells what results from this war. “Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.” ’ Needless to say, that will can only happen at the final end-time war against the Antichrist. So we can conclude that Gog of Magog is the chief prince or leader of this war—namely, the Antichrist. We’ll see more proof of this in this series.
How did we miss this important detail? As we’ve said so many times before, we miss the specific details in God’s Word because we don’t make the necessary connections to determine the meaning of key phrases. Instead, we read a passage and make assumptions based on our own context.
In this case, the popular view thinks Gog of Magog is Russia simply because we see them as a superpower—both in the past and now—that has been allied with the Gentile oppressors seeking to destroy Israel. We read “Rosh” and think it sounds like Russia. We read “Meshech” and think it sounds like Moscow. We read the headlines today and can see Russia going to war. So we “interpret” Ezekiel’s prophecy to be another invasion before the end of this age and before Christ’s coming. But all that does is add more confusion—dare I say, the fog of war—because that interpretation doesn’t fit the rest of the details and connections in these two chapters. Stay tuned if you want to see the biblical sequence of events.
In the last blog we learned that God’s intentions rule the Day, much to the dismay of the Antichrist who seeks to change the times and the seasons. Mr. Big Mouth is not the one who removes kings and raises up kings—no matter how powerful he thinks he is. We already know his fate, and it’s not a pretty picture. First, a quick recap of what we’ve learned from Daniel 7.
Here we want to focus on how that happens and what results. It’s recorded in the last half of Revelation 19. In a nutshell: “Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (Rev. 19:15). In case you haven’t guessed, John is referring to the Faithful and True One, who judges and makes war.
Remember, only God has the authority to set the times and the seasons. The judgment has already been made—it’s time to bring down Mr. Big Mouth who dares to speak pompous words against the Most High. And all it takes is the Word spoken from Christ and His Bride as the seated court and it's a done deal.
“And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh” (Rev. 19:21). Verse 17 of the same chapter calls this the “supper of the great God.” Suddenly, the Antichrist’s prophetic career and his notorious armies are destroyed.
So what happens next? The Daniel 7 connection tells us. “I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom” (Daniel 7:21-22).
Remember the context; we have to be consistent. The saints here are the Jewish remnant still on the earth that has accepted Jesus as the Messiah, who are at war with the Antichrist. God has already determined when it is time for the counterfeit king to be removed. It can only happen when the heavenly court has been seated. It can only happen after the completed Church has been raptured and is in Heaven with Christ in God’s throne room.
We execute the 7 trumpet/bowl judgments. The Antichrist’s armies are cut down by the power of the two-edged sword of our declarations. The birds of prey have a field day at the supper of the great God. Then one more declaration goes forth concerning the Jewish saints because it’s finally time.
4. The kingdom under the whole heaven is given to the saints. That is, God’s earthly kingdom.
This is when the kingdom is finally restored to Israel. This is when the promise made to King David is fulfilled—his kingdom shall be an everlasting Kingdom through Jesus Christ. God alone has the authority over the times and the seasons, to dethrone and raise up the kings of the earth. As the heavenly court, we rule with Christ over the earth from above. Israel rules on the earth only by that authority. To God be the glory!
In the last blog, we saw how the saints, the called out ones of the Church, stand in Heaven as a result of the rapture. We saw them seated as the heavenly court and then executing the trumpet/bowl judgments recorded in the books (God’s written Word). The first six trumpet/bowls consumed the Antichrist and his armies gradually. The 7th destroyed them suddenly. [For extra credit, check out this same connection in 2 Thess. 2:8].
Now let’s look at this from earth’s perspective—from the view of the newly revived Jewish believers who have finally recognized Jesus as the Messiah. Our camera zooms in on Mr. Big Mouth mouthing off against God (Daniel 7:25). “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.”
Hopefully by now you recognize this as the 3½-year war against Jerusalem that happens at the start of the Day of the Lord, which is when God pours out His wrath against evil, and also coincides with the last half of Daniel’s 70th week. It’s a timely sequence of events—to say the least.
You may be surprised to learn that the disciples asked Jesus about this timely sequence just before He ascended. Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority (Acts 1:6-7).
Notice Jesus didn’t say that this time would never come. He simply said that it was not yet time for it to happen. God had other things in store for the disciples—namely, continuing to establish the Body of Christ on the earth. What we really need to notice, however, is the last part of Jesus’ answer--the times and the seasons are in God’s authority only.
Now let’s check out what “the books” have to say about that statement. Look again at what Daniel says the Antichrist intends to do. He shall intend to change the times and the law, and he intends to do so through that 3½-year war against Jerusalem (verse 25)!
By now you also know that when the Holy Spirit directed the biblical writers to record a specific phrase, He was very intentional and purposeful. We can’t just look at a phrase and decide what it means in our own mind. No, the Spirit always provides God’s definition. So what does this phrase mean? We have to make the biblical connections to find out.
Daniel 2:20-21 gives us our first insight. “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” In other words, God determines who is in charge anytime and anywhere. Not the ancient kings. Not Jesus’ disciples. Not the enlightened Church on the earth right now. And certainly not the Antichrist who we shall see rise up shortly.
This is why the Antichrist is allowed to stay on the earth after the rapture and make war for 3½-years. God uses Mr. Big Mouth as a weapon of His indignation. He does so partly as a judgment against Israel for missing their visitation at Christ’s first coming and then rebuilding the temple in our time despite Christ’s final sacrifice. God also uses the Antichrist to bring judgment against the Harlot.
So far, so good. What may throw you, though, is the use of the word saints in Daniel 7. The term literally refers to those set apart to God. Who those people are depends on the context of the passage. Remember, the context here is the 3½-year war against Israel. That is, the Jewish remnant on the earth after the rapture who have finally accepted Jesus as the Messiah. They are now the saints on the earth because we’re up in Heaven with Jesus as the seated court.
To confirm this, we can turn again to Rev. 12:17, which happens to describe this same time period after the Church is raptured and the Antichrist goes after the Woman’s offspring. Again we see the Jewish remnant who keep the commandments of God (the testimony of Moses) and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Remember this designation—it will come in handy in our next blog.
We’ve been looking at the connections in Daniel 7 with Revelation 7 and 13. We saw the rise and the demise of the Antichrist, with the pivotal in-between being a fiery stream of angels that are sent forth to gather those whose are Christ’s at His coming. We saw Christ ascend again, accompanied by an innumerable company that is His completed Bride—the 144 thousands. “A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.
The court was seated, and the books were opened” (Daniel 7:10).
If you’ve been following these blogs, there’s another word here that should stand out—pun intended. It has prophetic importance. It speaks to your near future. It’s the word stand. Here’s a few other connective clues for you.
This standing is recognition of our position in Christ—standing in all power and authority with Him. To visualize this, we need only look at Esther 5:1-3
Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, across from the king’s house, while the king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, facing the entrance of the house. So it was, when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, that she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter. And the king said to her, “What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you—up to half the kingdom!”
The rest of the book of Esther foreshadows what we will do next. We see it again in Daniel 7 as we stand before the throne of God in Daniel 7. And then we are seated as the heavenly court with Christ our Head. Part of our declarations are for our new brothers and sisters in the Lord in Israel. Our declarations answer their prayers as recorded in Psalm 94.
“O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongs—O God, to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth! Rise up, O Judge of the earth; render punishment to the proud” (vs. 1-2).
“Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?” (v. 16).
Did you catch it? Who will stand? We will! We will stand before the throne of the King of kings, touching the righteous scepter of our God, fully conformed to the image of Christ as His blood-washed joint-heirs. The kings of the earth have conspired to break their bonds from God and Christ. They think they have won. Like our Father, we laugh momentarily at their foolishness and then execute His righteous judgments against them by virtue of having been birthed from death.
Do you see yourself standing there? You need to. Because seeing what is in your future will embolden you now as you stand in the full armor of God against the lawlessness of this age. “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Eph. 6:13).
In Part One we connected the time stamp of time, times, and half a time from Revelation 13 with the vision in Daniel 7. We know this 3½-year period covers the prophetic career of the Antichrist, compliments of another connection. We get the same beastly description in both Revelation 13 and Daniel 7. The first eight verses in Daniel reveal the rise of the final beastly kingdom by showing us what has happened in history with four beastly empires: the lion representing Babylon, the bear representing Persia, the leopard representing Greece, and the fourth beast representing Rome.
So why is this beastly collection repeated in Revelation? The Spirit is confirming that the Antichrist and his coalition of armies will come from this same geographic region of the Middle East. Again, the Spirit leaves us with no doubt that this is the final invasion of Israel because He repeats another phrase to confirm the connection to Daniel 7. “And he [the Beast] was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months [3½ years]” (Rev. 13:5). Daniel’s overview tells us in verse 11 that “I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame.”
We know from Part One that what happens in between this rise and demise of the Antichrist is the placement of many, many thrones in Heaven’s throne room. The heavenly court is seated and the books are opened. The heavenly judgments bring his demise.
How are the thrones occupied? A fiery river goes forth from the Ancient of Days—a thousand thousands and ten thousand times ten thousands, an innumerable company of angels are sent forth. For God “makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire” (Psalm 104:4).
Our Lord described this scene in Matt. 24:30-31 (ESV). “Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
So how do the angels gather us? Do all the believers around the globe shoot up like bottle rockets and somehow come together in the sky above? No, Father has something much better in mind for us. As foreshadowed in Elijah, chariots of fire with horses of fire, manned by angels, will appear (2 Kings 2:11). The four winds will converge into a whirlwind, like whirling wheels, for “the Lord will come with fire and with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire” (Is. 66:15).
This divine limousine service takes us back to Heaven. The innumerable company of angels comes back with an innumerable company of the raptured Church! The completed Bride, the 144,000 thousands, stands before the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:10), singing the new song of the Lamb (Rev. 7 & 14).
Now joined together in Heaven, our Lord declares the decree over His Bride, empowering us to be fully conformed in mind and soul to Christ. The seated court can now declare the judgments over the earth—God’s fury over the godless, rebellious nations and people. It’s the wrath of that Day.
The sixth chapter of the Song of Solomon paints an interesting view of this awesome, whirling spectacle. The Shulamite woman—literally Solomon’s girl—strolls into the garden to check on the fig trees, to see if they’re blooming yet. The Berkley version of the passage says that before she was aware of it, her soul’s fancy or desire seated her in a princely chariot and she was whisked away!
In short, what we see here in Daniel 7 is what we saw in Rev. 12. It’s Christ’s second ascension, and this time around He’s got His Bride with Him, and we’re all standing before the Father’s throne. We’re raptured in order to execute justice against the Antichrist and to bring deliverance to the revived Jewish believers. This is what it means in Hebrews 3:1 when it says we are partakers of the heavenly calling. This is our hope of His calling (Eph. 1:18). It’s the general assembly and church of the firstborn (Heb. 12:23). Truly seeing this as our not-so-distant future is what enables us to stand in comfort, hope, and victory while we are yet on the earth.
In this Connections Series, we’re endeavoring to put the end-time prophetic puzzle together using the Spirit-inspired scriptural connections in God’s Word. Why? Because God is not the author of confusion. Resurrection and judgment are considered basic, foundational doctrines of our faith. So why on earth would God leave us floundering in the midst of uncertainty?
The early apostles eventually assembled the puzzle based on what Jesus taught them, particularly Paul. That’s why we’re following his lead from 1 and 2 Thessalonians concerning the four strategic elements: (1) resurrection; (2) the harpazo gathering (rapture); (3) the Day of the Lord; and (4) the end of the age invasion of the Antichrist that signals birth pains.
Some of the truths we have come to see may be new to many believers. Some believers may dismiss them immediately because they do not fit the end-time view they’ve come to support. Still others may not see why we’re bothering to bring clarity to what they see as a not-so-important element of our faith, despite what Hebrews 6:1-2 records.
We get it. But here’s our concern. In His letters to believers in Revelation, our Lord informed us that it is time to get out of the fog of confusion and get clarity of vision. He counseled the lukewarm Church in Laodicea to put salve on their eyes, to anoint their eyes so that they could see clearly.
So what’s the big deal about something being lukewarm? We’ve certainly seen the worst of two extremes politically and culturally. From what I can tell, the issue is not knowing one way or another for sure. We’re neither hot nor cold. Or to say it another way—we’re not clear on what we believe. Uncertainty leaves us hesitant to share our faith. It robs us of understanding our role now until that Day arrives. It leaves us treading in the tumultuous waters of insecurity.
So let’s pick up where we left off. We first see the initial end-time invasion of Israel by the Antichrist. Then God turns out the global lights, bringing everything to a screeching halt. Next, He pulls back the veil covering the unseen realm and all the earth sees Jesus coming to gather His Church at the rapture and take us to Heaven as promised. Having finally seen Jesus for who He really is, the Jews have accepted Him as the Messiah. They become our fellow saints, part of the family of God and the redeemed. Since Christ has taken us, His Bride, to Heaven, the Jews are forced to flee into the wilderness, to their prepared place, for a time, times, and half a time. The war for Jerusalem is back on.
By now you probably suspect that the words in bold type signal another crucial connection. It has to do with our Day-of-the-Lord calling as the heavenly Esther. This Spirit-inspired connection takes us to Daniel 7. The vision opens with the rise of the Antichrist and ends with his demise. In between is something astounding: ten thousand times ten thousand and a thousand thousands to be exact. Well, not exactly. The description informs us that this is an innumerable company that cannot be numbered!
Not only that, many, many thrones are being put in place in God’s throne room. So who are the thrones for? Why is this innumerable throng standing before God’s throne? It is the immortal government of Christ and His Bride—the two have become One New Man. We take our seats and the books are opened. Our heavenly intercession protects and empowers the Jews to take their triumphant earthly stand. Our heavenly declarations release the trumpet and bowl judgments that consume and destroy the Antichrist and his forces.
Like Esther, we’ve completed our two periods of preparation (two great Days of this age), and now we’re standing before the King for such a time as this. He has extended the ruling scepter to us as joint-heirs and fellow overcomers to rule with Him. Now it’s time to spoil the wicked plot of Haman (aka: the Antichrist). We rule from the place of all authority and power, both in heaven and on the earth.
And, in case you’re wondering, we continue to rule over the earth for the rest of the Day of the Lord. We rule over cities and regions as foretold in Jesus’ parables. Although we reside with Him in Heaven, we can appear on the earth when needed, just as angels do now. We don’t have to know exactly how that will look, but we can know that it is in our future.
This is why getting a clear view of the Lord’s coming is so important. None of our previous ideas fit. The timing of the Day of the Lord rules out a secret and signless coming. Thinking that Christ comes to immediately defeat the Antichrist also doesn’t fit, for we clearly tread first (the consuming part) and then destroy him. We do so from above, from God’s throne room. We don’t come back until we come as the City, to the new heavens and earth. May you have eyes to see!