September 2012

The Timing of the "Gog Invasion"

Pre-tribulation, pre-millennialism teaches that the rapture of the Church precedes Daniel’s 70th week, the seven years of tribulation which take place prior to the 2nd coming of Christ after the rapture of the Church.  While there is much agreement amongst those who hold to this view, there is considerable disagreement within this position as to the timing of the invasion of Gog and his allies.  These varying views pivot on the meaning of the term “dwells securely”, the phrase used repeatedly by Ezekiel in chapters 38 and 39 to describe Israel’s status when this invasion takes place. 

PRIOR TO THE TRIBULATION:  Israel is secure due to military enhancement and financial enrichment preceding the seven-year tribulation after bordering nations attack Israel and are defeated by her.  Some believe this military victory takes place after the rapture and at some point just prior to the start of the tribulation.  However, it is Dr. Ron Rhodes’ view which allows for sufficient time for Israel to burn weapons seven years [Ez 39:7-10] prior to the abomination of desolation at the middle of the tribulation after which time Israel will flee given the great persecution of the antichrist.  After this persecution begins, Israel will not be in a position to burn weapons for fuel for 7 years.  Dr. Rhodes teaches that the defeat of Gog takes place 3 ½ years prior to the tribulation and thus seven years before the anti-Christ begins his persecution against Israel. 

AT THE MIDDLE OF THE TRIBULATION:  Israel is secure due to the false peace treaty or covenant entered into between Israel and the anti-christ at the start of the seven-year tribulation.  Thus the invasion of Gog occurs when this peace treaty is breached by the anti-christ.  However, this view does not allow time for Israel to burn weapons and supplies for fuel for seven years.  She will be fleeing for her life.  She thus also will not be in any position to cleanse the land for seven  months of painstakingly careful burials following the defeat of Gog and his allies [Ez 39:11-16].

AT THE END OF THE TRIBULATION:  Israel is secure due to the false peace treaty or covenant enacted at the start of the seven-year tribulation.  This view is strong in that it accounts for a Gog invasion linked in time to the cataclysmic events Scripture associates with the 2nd coming.  It also accounts for the requisite time for Israel to burn weapons and for the land cleansing burials at the outset of the Millennial Kingdom.  The weakness of this view is an inexplicable 3 ½ year time gap between Israel’s security and the actual invasion.  Most importantly, Israel’s security is not the demonic deception of the false peace treaty, but the security of her New Covenant peace [see below]. 

AFTER THE TRIBULATION DURING THE 75 DAY INTERIM BETWEEN THE 2ND COMING AND THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM:  I embrace this view because it best accounts for the meaning of “dwell securely” as this phrase is used in Ezekiel 38-39, elsewhere in the book of Ezekiel, and in other end time passages.* 

Israel is at peace with God and thus secure in His immediate and protective presence.  The divine chastening purposes of Daniel’s 70th week have been accomplished vis-à-vis Israel.  The Lord has purged out the rebel Jews from within the Nation.  She has been re-gathered back into the land.  The promised land has been “restored from the sword”.    God’s people need no gates or walls for protection for the 1st time in their Nation’s existence because God is her refuge.  She has been saved at the 2nd coming of Christ, and has entered into the blessings of peace associated with the fulfillment of the covenants which the Lord made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David and their physical and spiritual descendants.  This view fits smoothly into the context of Ezekiel following chapters 36-37, Israel’s New Covenant Salvation, and immediately preceding chapters 40-49, a comprehensive description of restored Israel within the Millennial Kingdom.

 *Ez 38:8, 28:25-26, 34:25-31, 37:21-28, 39:25-29; Zech 14:11; Jer 23:5-6, 32:37; Rev 12:6, 12:13-14,  13:3-6;
Dan 12:11-12; Rev 20:7-10 [See Dan 9:24; 12:7]

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Community Church of the Santa Ynez Valley
240 E. Highway 246
Buellton, CA 93427