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Growing up, no one ever told me that the Antichrist would have an army that invades Israel multiple times - that he would even need an army. I don't think that anyone ever really thought about it. Those theologians who tried to think this through either said that we'd never see it, or that it had already happened. Some even proclaimed that it was all symbolic, anyway. So, everyone ignored what the Bible said about the army created and led by the Antichrist.
I find that position to be very disturbing, since Jesus specifically commanded us to watch for the events that we are examining in this chapter. Jesus told us to 'stay alert' or 'be watching' for the time of the Antichrist. This was not a suggestion, yet far too many teachers have convinced their followers to disobey the command of our Lord.
Well, we will try and fix this mistake by looking at the army of the Antichrist, and we will focus on the words of Jesus, the Book of Revelation and Zechariah 14. In the next chapter, the Book of Daniel will give us even more detail, but we want to lay the foundation of our discussion first, before adding what Daniel offers.
Just remember that our goal is to compare Gog and Magog with the five invasions of Israel that are led by the Antichrist:
Two invasions before he proclaims himself to be god
A third invasion where where he takes over Jerusalem and proclaims himself to be god
A fourth invasion, when the King of the Negev (King of the South) attacks him
A fifth invasion, where he places his tents in the valley of Jezreel. (Although, tent construction might not be an invasion.)
Then, Armageddon - which includes the Kings of the East
The description of these invasions are found in both the Old and New Testaments, and their identity should be clear. We know the key players. We know the circumstances surrounding these events. So, it should not be hard to determine where they fit within the order of events of the Last Days.
The Coming Of Gog And Magog
Unfortunately, what should be easy becomes difficult when theologians attempt to force the Bible into saying something that it does not. Most 'scholars' claim that Gog is the Antichrist. They might not make such a claim very loudly, since their arguments are weak, but they still say it - or at least imply it.
Yes, Gog comes from the north of Israel, just like the Antichrist does. He also has a gigantic army that comes from quite a few countries. But, it's not the similarities that are important here. It's the differences. They really are two different armies, and we'll describe why they are different. And, when we are done looking at how different they are, one thing will be very, very clear:
Gog is NOT the Antichrist.
For those who are unsure, the two key questions are these:
Does the coming of Gog and Magog belong in one of those five invasions?
Or, does Gog and Magog come before them?
(And no, he can't come after)
So we need to look at each of the battles that are led by the Antichrist, and then - in later chapters - compare them with what we know about the Return of Jacob and the coming of Gog and Magog. Again, if the description of Gog and Magog does not fit with any of the battles led by the Antichrist, then the Return of Jacob must happen before the Antichrist arrives. There is no third alternative - assuming that we wish to submit ourselves to what the Bible actually says. And, you cannot call yourself a Christian, if you refuse to submit to the words of God.
So, let's look at what God has told us about these battles, and we start with a look at the first three invasions by the Antichrist, especially the one in which he stands up and proclaims himself to be god. And, we will start with the words of Jesus in the New Testament.
The Army Of The Antichrist In The New Testament
It's natural to think of the Man of Lawlessness as springing out of the ground with sufficient magical power to make everyone follow him. And, it's true that he - or, at least his 'prophet' - does have the ability to do 'signs and wonders' and persuade most of the world, but the fact that the Antichrist has an army, tells us that not everyone is completely impressed.
You don't create an army, if you already have everyone under your control. You might need a police force. Everyone needs one of those, but not an army. Armies are for defending your territory and conquering others. So, this is a sign that the Antichrist has opposition, and that's something important to consider as we move further into the dark days ahead. But, let's examine this army.
Our first hint about the third invasion of the Antichrist - for most of us - would have come from the words of Jesus:
15 Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.
- Matthew 24:15-18 (NKJV)
NOTE: Most 'scholars' will tell you that the abomination of desolation is talking about Daniel 9:27. This is emphatically not true, if you look at the original Hebrew. Daniel 9, is about the coming of Messiah. Not the Antichrist. Daniel 8:13 and Daniel 11:31 are a more accurate connection to Matthew 24:15.
I've spent many years contemplating Matthew 24:15-18, and the verses like it. There's an intensity about what Jesus says that should make all of us pay close attention. Jesus is telling us that even a few minutes of hesitation will cause us to be captured by the forces - the army - of the Antichrist. And, the Book of Revelation gives us another snapshot of this invasion of Israel:
13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast down to the earth, he persecuted the woman that brought forth the man child. 14 And there were given to the woman the two wings of the great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness unto her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
- Revelation 12:13-14 (ASV)
The woman who flees is clearly Israel. And just as clearly, this is a massive and speedy migration of God's people from the Jerusalem and Judea.
Why is there such an urgency for people to flee so quickly?
...cuz it's a coup.
Like you, I always thought that this would be like all the other invasions that Jerusalem has suffered throughout history. But, the Bible points to something that isn't quite normal. While we would still call it an 'invasion', it is far more similar to a military coup or an insurrection. And, this leads us to some interesting thoughts.
The Antichrist Coup
Throughout history, revolutions have almost never been successful unless the military and the police switch sides - or at least, stand down. The rare exceptions occur when there are a lot of foreign mercenaries among the rebels, and if there is a large foreign sponsor that is paying for the revolution or coup. For instance, the American Revolution could not have succeeded without the financial help of the French. But, the beginning of such things starts with a plot to overthrow the government - a plot that includes the help of an outsider. In this case, the Antichrist.
Here's the verse in Daniel that helps us think along these lines:
For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.
- Daniel 11:30 (KJV)
The words 'have intelligence with' is more accurately 'have understanding with' or even in this instance 'conspire with'. The Hebrew words are יבן על (yah-ven ahl).
So, this will actually be an internal coup supported by the Antichrist.
What God is telling us in Daniel 11, is that there will be apostates in Jerusalem who will bring in soldiers from the Antichrist to help them seize power. It sounds a lot like what happens when a larger power encourages a coup to take place in a neighboring country, and then rushes in to support it when the coup plotters 'ask' for help. Rome took over Israel by supporting a tiny minority group led by Herod. The Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown by America in a similar way, and the US gained access to Panama by supporting a revolution against Colombia.
The Romans had two sayings that were the hallmark of their governance:
Divide et Impera (pronounced: dee-vee-day ett Im-peh-rah) - divide and command
Divide ut Regnes (pronounced: dee-vee-day oot reg-ness) - divide and reign
They are both effective tools for the takeover and rule of areas where your power is not strong enough to impose your will directly. And, this appears to be how the Antichrist takes over Jerusalem. Unfortunately, it's also how most governments rule their countries - whether they are democratic, or not.
So, the Antichrist will conspire with a group of apostates who wish to overthrow the rulers of Jerusalem and impose their own control. When they succeed, they will set up something called the 'abomination of desolation'. This might be a signal for the forces of the Antichrist to come to the aid of these apostates. Or, it might just be the first outward sign of this coup.
The leaders of his coup will call for help, and the Antichrist will send in his soldiers to support the new regime. These soldiers will be foreign to Jerusalem, and will be the ones to do the killing, which has always been how successful coups work. You bring in foreigners when you want to kill your citizens.
If you are American, do you remember how the British tried to suppress the American Revolution?
They brought in Germans to shoot the colonists. One of my relatives was shot and killed by a German mercenary from Hesse, on January 2nd, 1777. His name was also John Little, which makes this topic kind of personal.
Other countries have done the same thing. Iran brought in Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon to shoot Iranian protesters in Tehran. China uses Han soldiers and Han officials to suppress the Uyghurs in Xinjiang. Cubans have been used to shoot Africans in Africa, and so on and so forth.
Also, notice that successful coups usually win within minutes of being launched. And, this one will be so quick that Jesus said that you wouldn't even have time to go inside to get your jacket. Once the abomination of desolation is set up, you'll need to immediately run for your life - and we'll see later that half of Jerusalem does so. There's more about this coup, in the next verse:
Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation.
- Daniel 11:31 (NASB)
So, foreign units from the Antichrist will infiltrate Jerusalem to support this faction of apostate Christians who will conspire with the Antichrist to betray their brothers and sisters. Then, as the coup develops, the Antichrist will send in a larger force that will have been positioned close by, to strengthen the apostates and destroy any opposition to him in Jerusalem.
Oh, and if you want to know the biggest reason why they will be Christians, jump ahead and read this chapter:
Why Israel Must Be Saved BEFORE The Great Tribulation
Where's The IDF?
One thing that bothers me is that Israel's military seems to no longer exist. Israeli soldiers would not hesitate to disobey orders and defend Jerusalem if there was a takeover that invited foreign soldiers to occupy the city. We'll get into more about this in the next chapter, but it indicates that something catastrophic has already happened to Israel. Even if the Antichrist had taken over the Israeli government and its intelligence services, it is difficult to understand how Israel could be this helpless.
Remember that the IDF is a citizen military made up of Israelis who have a history of 'creative rebellion' when it comes to orders that they don't like. They've done it in the past, and it makes no sense that they would not do so again, when this coup happens.
Like I said, we'll delve deeper into the details of this later. What you need to understand at this moment is that a gigantic and radical change will have taken place in the Middle East long before the Antichrist rises.
The Woman Of Revelation 12
Now, let's get back to what the New Testament says about the invasion of Jerusalem by the Antichrist. In this case, we want to look at some interesting limitations to this coup/overthrow:
And the serpent cast out of his mouth after the woman water as a river, that he might cause her to be carried away by the stream. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon waxed wroth with the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her seed, that keep the commandments of God, and hold the testimony of Jesus:
- Revelation 12:15-17 (ASV)
Because his soldiers could not catch those fleeing the Antichrist, he had to release a flood of water that is stopped by the earth cracking open and swallowing it. We could speculate on how that happens, but it's clear that the Antichrist is unable to catch those who are running away - even though he really, really wants to seize and kill them.
By the way, that flood is probably from a dam - either from one that exists now, or from one that will be built in the future. That dam might be blown up, or have big enough sluice gates to open and create a wave of water that would block the escape of 'the woman'.
The most likely targets for this flood would be the Allenby Bridge crossing, on the Jordan River, just north of the Dead Sea, and the Wadi Mujib, east of the Dead Sea. Both rivers are likely crossing points with dams that are upstream. However, this assumes that the hydrology of the Jordan River basin will remain the same. The massive earthquake described in Ezekiel 38 and Isaiah 30 will change many rivers in the Middle East, so what seems likely now, might not be in the future.
Another important point to gather from Revelation 12 is that the escape of 'the woman' shows the limitations of the Antichrist that we are not used to thinking about. And, for some reason, the man of lawlessness is unable to get to the place in the wilderness where the woman is nourished for three and a half years.
Why doesn't the Antichrist bomb that place flat?
Where is the air force of the Antichrist?
Why can't he send a detachment of soldiers to attack them?
In fact, now that I think of it, there doesn't seem to be any indication of an air force anywhere in the Bible, when referring to events of the Last Days. A 'lack of evidence' is not 'evidence of lack', but it is interesting that the Antichrist doesn't seem to have airplanes that can attack these fleeing Christians.
But, for whatever reason, this army is not large enough to capture Jerusalem with enough speed to grab all the Christians in Judea - if they run away fast enough. And, I find it interesting that one reason why this army must stop chasing the fleeing Christians is due to another group of people that is resisting the Antichrist.
But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many.
- Daniel 11:44 (NKJV)
How fascinating to think that there would be an organized and threatening resistance to what the Antichrist is trying to do. We could speculate on who that is, but it's a big enough threat that he can't capture or kill the Christians fleeing Jerusalem.
So, is this invasion of Jerusalem, the coming of Gog and Magog?
Sorry, no. This is NOT and CANNOT be the coming of Gog and Magog. We'll get into the details of the alliance formed by Gog, and what it will look like, later. But, for now, the answer is an emphatic no. Not Gog and Magog. But, let's not stop there.
Why is this not Gog and Magog?
Because the Antichrist successfully captures Jerusalem.
Gog does not.
To put this another way:
Israelis won't need to run away from Gog, but they will need to run away from the Antichrist.
But, we aren't done, so let's continue with our discussion about the army of the Antichrist in the New Testament.
Armageddon And The Kings of the East
After the takeover of Jerusalem, there are one or two more invasions of Israel by the Antichrist before the last big battle. The New Testament identifies this 'last battle' in a couple of ways:
The Kings of the East
We know what Armageddon is. We just aren't sure who these Kings of the East are. And, Revelation speaks of both:
12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
15 “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”
16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
- Revelation 16:12-16 (NKJV)
There's no 'h' in Greek, so Har Megiddo comes out as 'Ar', and 'Mageddon' - all fused together. And, Mount Megiddo is the main exit out of the Jezreel valley, into the coastal plain of Israel. And, for some reason, God allows the Kings of the East and the rest of the world's armies to assemble in the Jezreel valley.
Why did God choose Jezreel?
Why not the coastal plains?
Why not further north, in Syria or Lebanon?
Why would this army of the Antichrist assemble in Jezreel, anyway?
We'll find out later, that the Antichrist rules the world - at least, in terms of his military - from the Jezreel valley. He doesn't command his army from Jerusalem, Rome, New York or Damascus. And, choosing not to set up in Damascus is pretty important, all by itself.
For thousands of years, the capital of the Levant - the area encompassing Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and the Sinai - has been Damascus. It is the perfect place to rule the Middle East from. Except, there's a problem that keeps the Antichrist from doing that.
You'll find that problem explained here:
Isaiah 17 and 19
Damascus will have been knocked flat by the biggest earthquake in five thousand years, and all the water sources that fed Damascus with water, will have been diverted or destroyed by that earthquake. That's part of the explanation for why the Antichrist sets up in the Jezreel Valley. There's water there, but not in Damascus.
Jezreel is also an easy place to defend, since the choke points leading into the valley are easy to block. It's also a great assembly point for any army wishing to invade Jerusalem, attack Egypt and Africa, or invade the Arabian Peninsula. Lots of water. It's a large flat area. Perfect. At least in the summer. In the winter, it's a muddy mess.
The opposite is true about Jerusalem. There are no good assembly points for large military formations. It's difficult to get to, and is not on the path to anywhere you want to control. And, it's the number one reason why the Middle East was always administered from Damascus and not Jerusalem. Yes, Jerusalem is a 'holy city', but it's a bad place for a 'capital' if you aren't God.
If you've ever driven from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, you'll know what I'm talking about.
The Traditional Way To Invade Jerusalem
The one good thing about Jerusalem is that it is pretty easy to defend. That's undoubtedly why the Antichrist ignores Jerusalem in his first two invasions of Israel. So, let's take a brief moment to look at that.
In theory, it is possible to invade Jerusalem by going down through the Jordan Valley, but you would only do that if you were insane. The way is narrow and would cause any large army to be strung out in a rather long, thin line - making it extremely vulnerable to counterattack. And, when you reached the point where you need to turn up towards Jerusalem, you'd find yourself fighting the worst uphill battle ever. Invading from the west is so much easier.
This is why the most common path for an invasion of Jerusalem is to march past Megiddo and through the valley into Wadi Ara. Once you've done that, you now have access to assembly points in the coastal plain of Israel that would allow you to regroup and prepare for a final assault. From that point, you can attack Jerusalem from more than one direction. You can enter from the west, following the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway. Or, you could loop around the Jerusalem hills and attack from the south - if you go down to Hebron and then up through Bethlehem.
The Battle Of Armageddon Begins At Jerusalem
The interesting thing is that God doesn't use such logic when He Returns to rescue the world from the Antichrist. He starts at Jerusalem, conquers that first, before moving northwards. You can see that in Zechariah 14:4.
Jesus puts His feet upon the mount of Olives, and it splits right across the middle. This retaking of Jerusalem by Jesus causes the army of the Antichrist to gather in Jezreel - along with reinforcements from the rest of the world - to counterattack against... (I'm having trouble even saying it) ...God.
And, why would ANYONE think that they could fight against God?
(We humans are a special kind of stupid.)
The other place in Revelation that talks about Armageddon is chapter 19:
19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 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.
- Revelation 19:19-21 (NKJV)
I find it interesting that God gives the Antichrist enough time to gather everyone. The AC will make his 'last stand' in Jezreel, and God will give him all the time that he needs. As Napoleon once said:
"Never interrupt your enemy when he's making a mistake."
- Napoleon Bonaparte
So, God waits for Satan and his Antichrist to bring everyone to one place so that they can be completely destroyed.
Why Gog Is Not The Antichrist
I know that we haven't gotten to our discussion of Gog and Magog, in Ezekiel 38 and Ezekiel 39, but I feel the need to make this comparison:
The Antichrist will not be buried, and will be thrown alive into Hell.
Gog will be buried and will have a grave in a special place called Hamon Gog.
Notice another difference:
Gog assembles a specific set of nations to invade Israel.
The Antichrist has ALL OF THEM.
Then, there is a third difference:
There are merely hours or maybe days between the destruction of the Antichrist and the Millennium
After Gog is destroyed, there are a minimum of at least seven years.
Those are big differences, but there's more to talk about. However, we've run out of evidence for the army of the Antichrist in the New Testament. If we want more detail, we need to turn to the Old Testament.
The Army Of The Antichrist In Zechariah 14
We can be reasonably confident that these are the main passages in the Old Testament that talk about the invasions of Israel by the Antichrist, and of the final, premillennial battle that we call Armageddon:
There might be other chapters and verses that speak of Armageddon, but we cannot be quite as sure about those. In fact, a previous version of this chapter listed more passages than above. But, when I looked at them again, I realized that I had cast too wide of a net. When proving the truth about something difficult, start with the clearest evidence. And, that means we begin with Zechariah 14.
Zechariah 14 has always been deeply troubling because it talks of the conquest of Jerusalem and great suffering, and the thought of that happening to a city that I care so much about is hard. Of course, the end of that chapter speaks of the return of Jesus and His thousand year reign. That's a great victory, but the price will be terrible. The mere thought of it is difficult to contemplate. But, we must not shrink from looking at this chapter and embracing what we see.
So, let's start with the first two verses of chapter 14, which seems to include the first invasion of Jerusalem:
1 Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. 2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
- Zechariah 14:1-2 (ESV)
The plunder and rape of Jerusalem is NOT something that I want to see. But, since this is a part of God's plan to defeat Satan, it must be necessary. This is especially apparent, since God says that He will bring everyone against Jerusalem. God causes this to happen. And, that's a second thing that is hard to contemplate.
God uses Jerusalem as a lure, to draw the Antichrist and his army to Jerusalem. And, once this great army is sucked in, it gets hammered. It's a necessary strategy, but the wear and tear on Jerusalem is going to be hard. But, the second verse tells us something interesting, something that you will not see if you read the King James Version of that verse.
The Great Escape (And A Translation Error)
"Half of the city shall go out into exile"
The KJV says 'captivity', instead of 'exile'. And, that's incorrect. Yes, there have been times when 'exile' might have included captivity. But, the Hebrew word for captivity is entirely different than the word for exile. And, there's a reason for why the distinction is important.
Here is a snapshot of one part of the same event, from the Book of Revelation:
13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.
- Revelation 12:13-14 (ESV)
So, the 'half of Jerusalem' that goes into exile, looks like it is actually the great escape from the dragon, which makes the first two verses of Zecharia 14 about the third invasion/coup of Israel by the Antichrist - but more on that, when we get to Daniel.
Again, the words of Jesus confirm the suddenness of this military operation by the Antichrist:
15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, 18 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak.
- Matthew 24:15-18 (ESV)
So, upon closer inspection, it's actually a positive thing for 'half the city' to go into exile. It means that half the population of Jerusalem followed the commands of Jesus and got out before the Antichrist could catch them. So, part of Zechariah 14:2 is good, even though the rest is awful.
I find it deeply disturbing to discover that this KJV translation error had corrupted my view of what Zechariah 14:2 said. For decades, I had assumed that the Antichrist was the one forcefully depopulating Jerusalem, when the truth was that the people of Jerusalem were running away - just like Jesus told them to.
More importantly, if I had known that the word was EXILE, instead of CAPTIVITY, I would not have been as puzzled by Zechariah 14. This is yet another reason why the KJV cannot be trusted completely. You need to double-check what it says.
Unfortunately, you also need to double-check all the other translations, too. I am truly amazed at how awful the English translations of the Bible are. The publishing houses that commissioned these translations should be ashamed of themselves.
The Battle Of Armageddon Begins
Then in verse three, all the English translations of the Bible get the first word completely wrong - at least, for the translations that I've seen:
Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
- Zechariah 14:3 (KJV)
That word 'Then' is deeply incorrect. The original Hebrew says 'And' and NOT 'Then'. The word 'then' indicates a moment that is immediately after the events of verse two. But, since the word is 'and', the gap between verse two and three could be much, much longer than 'immediately after'. And yes, for years I was caught by the false usage of 'then' in that verse. To put it another way:
The first three verses of Zechariah 14 are three and a half years long.
Even though I knew that the KJV was imperfect, I still made the mistake of not double-checking the translation by looking at the original Hebrew. That's why I - and so many others - have assumed that the events of verse three MUST come immediately after the events of verse two.
So anyway, verse three begins the liberation of Jerusalem from the Antichrist, and is where the Battle of Armageddon really begins. And, the next verse describes HOW Jesus begins His war upon the Antichrist and the nations:
On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west forming a very large valley. Half of the mountain will move toward the north, and the other half toward the south.
- Zechariah 14:4 (NASB)
Jesus will descend upon the Mount of Olives, and they will split in two. This is the Second Coming, as promised in the first chapter of Acts:
11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
- Acts 1:11 (NKJV)
Jesus will return in the same way that He left, with one difference:
The Mount of Olives will split in two.
Oh, and this indicates a very, very important point:
Yehovah is Jesus
If you are surprised by that, you might need to spend more time reading the Old Testament - not just the new. If you aren't reading both, you are doomed to a stunted spiritual growth. Oh, and there are a lot more proofs that Yehovah is Yeshua (Jesus).
Zechariah 14 goes on to talk about the escape of those who are left in Jerusalem, followed by the plagues that God inflicts upon those nations that fight against Him. This description of Armageddon is followed by a discussion of what the Millennium will be like.
Confirmation From Joel 3
Oh, and we know that God rescues Jerusalem BEFORE the Battle of Armageddon, because of this verse in Joel 3
16 The Lord also will roar from Zion,
And utter His voice from Jerusalem;
The heavens and earth will shake;
But the Lord will be a shelter for His people,
And the strength of the children of Israel.
- Joel 3:16 (NKJV)
Jerusalem will be rescued first, THEN the Battle of Armageddon starts. Furthermore, the people of God who live during this time will be sheltered by God, from the wrath that He will pour out upon the nations.
Now, this gives us an opportunity to connect a passage from the Old Testament, with one from the New Testament. Since we know that Jesus splits the Mount of Olives in two, we have a clearer view of these two verses in Revelation 16:
18 And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.
19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
- Revelation 16:18-19 (KJV)
This will be an even BIGGER earthquake than the one that will happen during Ezekiel's Fire, and maybe even bigger than the one that happened during the Great Flood. I talk more in my other book, about the earthquake that happens during Ezekiel's Fire, but it is understandable if you think that the earthquake in Revelation 16 is the same one that occurs in Isaiah 30. But, as we go through the other evidence about Gog and Magog it will be clear that they are not the same.
The Great City
Now, it's obvious to me that 'the great city' refers to Jerusalem. If you believe that it is some other city, that's okay. But, we have some evidence in the form of Zechariah 14:4, when Jesus returns to the Mount of Olives and splits it in half.
Imagine what would happen to the rest of Jerusalem when that occurs. Where the Mount of Olives once stood, a newly created valley described as גדול מאד (very big) will be created. And, I know from personal experience that the Mount of Olives is right up against the Old City of Jerusalem. The fulfillment of Zechariah 14:4 by creating a very big valley at the Mount of Olives, would DEFINITELY split Jerusalem into three parts. And NOTHING in Jerusalem would be left standing.
Zechariah 14 Is Not About Gog And Magog
Since the rest of Zechariah 14 speaks about events that follow Armageddon, and then the Millennium, I will leave that for you to look at. But, before moving on to the Book of Daniel, let's ask ourselves if the description of the Antichrist is like the coming of Gog and Magog.
Zechariah 14 is definitely not about Gog and Magog. Here's why:
The context of spiritual salvation is absent in Zechariah 14.
With Gog and Magog, the children of Jacob accept Jesus as their Savior for the first time.
In Zechariah 14 ALL NATIONS are gathered
With Gog and Magog, a limited number of nations are gathered
Then, in Zechariah 12 we'll see that God saves Jerusalem LAST, while in chapter 14, God saves Jerusalem FIRST.
So, let's turn to the Book of Daniel to learn more about the Antichrist and his army.
© 2022 John Little. All rights reserved.
May God preserve the words that are true
and cast away those that are not.