The final battle (part 3)

The final battle on earth is depicted in the book of Revelation as an all out attempt by Satan to overthrow God’s kingdom (Revelation 20:7-8). In his description of this battle, Ezekiel foretold that the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal would come out of the land of Magog and lead a multinational force against Israel in the latter years (Ezekiel 38:2-9). It seems that the final battle will start at the end of the great tribulation and conclude after the millennial reign of Christ. Similarities between Ezekiel’s account and that of John the apostle show that God orchestrated the initial attack against Israel, but at the end of the thousand year reign of Christ, Satan will deceive Gog and Magog into gathering their army and making a final attempt to regain control of earth.

Ezekiel was told, “Therefore thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus 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, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountain of Israel: and I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows too fall out of thy right hand” (Ezekiel 39:1-3). God’s reference to leaving a sixth part of the army probably meant that only some of the people that fought against Israel would be annihilated. The fact that Satan was able to deceive the nations and Gog and Magog are mentioned at the end of the millennial reign of Christ means that the some of God’s enemies were converted and submitted to the will of God (Revelation 20:20:7-8).

The final battle will not be an isolated conflict, but a war in which all of those on earth that are willing to challenge God’s authority are seduced by Satan into fighting against believers in Jesus Christ. Apparently, the rebellion takes place in Jerusalem and ends with Satan being defeated once and for all. It says in Revelation 20:7-10:

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

 

The final battle (part 1)

A common topic of Old Testament prophecy was the latter days or latter years which represented a period of time when God would bring judgment on all mankind. Jeremiah spoke of God’s wrath during this time period. He said, “Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly” (Jeremiah 23:19-20). Basically, what Jeremiah was saying was that things might not make sense right now, but there would come a time when God would settle accounts with his enemies and his people would then understand why he waited to bring judgment on the world.

In order to understand the latter days, you have to look at the beginning of history when God first judged the world. A flood covered the face of the earth and wiped out every sign of life, leaving only one family remaining; Noah and his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Genesis 7-8). At that time, God made a covenant with every living creature and promised never again to destroy all life on earth (Genesis 9:16-17). It was then that Noah’s sons went forth and began to repopulate the earth, each having a designated territory to develop. The descendants of Noah’s son Ham settled in northern Africa and the land known as Canaan. It is believed that 14 nations came from Noah’s oldest son, Japheth. The Japhethites lived generally north and west of Canaan in Eurasia. The people of Gomer (the later Cimmerians) and related nations lived near the Black Sea. Magog was possibly the father of a Scythian people who inhabited the Caucasus and adjacent regions southeast of the Black Sea.

Some Bible scholars believe the descendants of Japheth occupy the territory formerly known as the USSR or modern Russia. Russia has been associated with Bible prophecy and the latter days when a final battle will occur between God’s army and the kingdoms of this world. The LORD told Ezekiel, “Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophecy against him…And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords… Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee” (Ezekiel 38:2-6).