While there are some similarities between the battles described in Ezekiel 38-39, Armageddon, and the Last Battle, there are too many differences for these to be describing the same events.
Now let’s examine the differences between the wars of Gog/Magog, Armageddon, and the Final Battle in greater detail (summaries consolidated from The Silence is Broken! by Douglas Berner):
The Battle of Gog in Ezekiel 38-39:
- God Himself hooks the jaws of Gog and leads him into position
- Gog doesn’t operate by deception, but by military might.
- Gog is on the scene for a very short period of time – God intervenes immediately upon his invasion.
- There is no description of satan empowering Gog, or even influencing him.
- God destroys him on the mountains of Israel.
- Gog is buried in a mass unmarked grave with his armies in the valley of “Hamon-gog.” (Ezekiel 39:11)
- There is no mention at all of: satan, the antichrist, the false prophet, deceiving spirits, demons, the mark of the beast, a beast, 10 kings, a 7-year covenant, two witnesses, 144,000 sealed Jews, the Jewish Temple, a sacrificial system of worship, an abomination of desolation, drying up of Euphrates river, Megiddo, Armageddon, a Jewish remnant, war against saints, signs and wonders, the church, Jesus Christ appearing, a messiah, judgment, lake of fire.
- This battle involves a specific but limited alliance.
- Israel will be dwelling securely, or at least perceive to be so, at the time of the invasion.
- The direction of attack will be primarily from the north.
- There is mild protest from a few nations against this attack, either out of concern for Israel or out of their own fear of Gog’s intentions.
- Gog’s intent is to “take a spoil”.
- There is emphasis on the mountains of Israel, and Gog’s forces will fall on the mountains.
- Gog and his armies are slain through a combination of supernatural judgments (earthquake, fire, brimstone, hailstones, torrential rain, pestilence).
- This battle is followed by a very specific 7 month cleanup period.
- This battle is followed by a very specific 7 year time period for burning the weapons of Gog’s armies.
The Battle of Armageddon:
- The antichrist (“lawless one”) operates by deception. (2 Thessalonians 2)
- The antichrist will emerge on the scene as a leader following the rapture of the church. A covenant with Israel is also confirmed at or around this time. The covenant will last 7 years. 3.5 years into the covenant with Israel, the antichrist is granted authority by God over the nations (the whole world) for 3.5 years (Revelation 13:5). Thus he is on the world scene for 7+ years. (Revelation 13:7)
- The antichrist will be empowered by satan
- Jesus defeats the antichrist in the plains of Megiddo, or alternately, in and around Jerusalem
- Isaiah 14 and Daniel 7:11 state that the antichrist will be trampled by his troops and killed in the panic that ensues when Jesus appears.
- His body will be captured and resurrected from the dead into an immortal body (as we all will be), and cast alive into the lake of fire – to burn forever. The beast (antichrist) and false prophet are the only ones to receive their eternal judgment at this time.
- All the armies of the world are involved. There is no mention of Gog or his alliances.
- Israel will not be dwelling securely – this is the time of Jacob’s trouble – at this time Jerusalem will be taken, the houses plundered, and women raped.
- There is no focus on attack coming from the north. It describes the kings of the East coming across the dried up Euphrates river.
- There is no protest against this battle from any nation – they are all involved.
- The beast (antichrist)’s intention is to face Jesus. There is no goal of taking spoil – they have already plundered Jerusalem and collected from the nations of the world.
- There is emphasis on the plain of Megiddo and the armies will fall on the plain.
- The antichrist and his armies are slain directly by Christ at His Second Coming.
- There is no mention of a clean-up period or procedure following Armageddon.
- There is no mention of burning weapons following Armageddon.
- Armageddon is directly followed by a 75 day period before the Millennial Kingdom begins. (This likely allows for the Sheep & Goats judgment as to who will enter the Kingdom; as well as purification of the Temple.) Interestingly, there are 75 days between Yom Kippur (one of the 7 Feasts of God) and Hanukkah (feast of lights celebrating the re-dedication of the Second Temple after its desecration by Antiochus Epiphanes, a “type” or “prequel” to the antichrist).
The Last Battle
- Satan will come out to deceive the nations and direct the rebellion at the end of the Millennial Kingdom.
- All nations, from the “four corners of the earth” are involved; not just “from the north” or the specific coalition mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39.
- The nations march up over the broad plain of the earth to surround Jerusalem (the beloved city). This broad plain is created at the time of the Second Coming via the largest earthquake ever; Jerusalem will be rebuilt at that time during the Millennial Kingdom. Currently, Jerusalem is not on a broad plain.
- The battle of Gog/Magog is specifically said to be on the mountains of Israel, and the last battle is specifically said to be on the broad plain.
- No mention of a covenant.
- No mention of rulers or kings or generals, “Gog and Magog” refer to the “nations” (synonymous with gentiles).
- There is no mention of spoil as a goal.
- There is no clean up procedure or burning of weapons; fire simply comes down from heaven and consumes the armies.
- No mention is made of Gog’s death; satan is cast into the lake of fire and the great white throne judgement follows.
Although there are several small similarities, the differences between the three battles are too significant and glaringly obvious for them to be the same. These are 3 separate events.
Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt? Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape? If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.
The Bible is infallible. I am not. I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture. I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly. I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!