In the last lesson I gave some background on the reason for the Tribulation Period and part of its sequence of events. As I stated, many Bible prophecy scholars think the Battle of Gog and Magog will occur before the Tribulation Period. I do not think it will occur then.
The only reason I can find for the idea that this battle will occur before the Tribulation period is that Israel will use the discarded weapons from the army of Gog as fuel for seven years. Therefore, many think this battle introduces the Tribulation, which is thought to be about seven years long. (The Revelation does not directly give a length of time.) I find no reason to think that the seven years mentioned in Ezekiel 39:9 are the assumed seven years of the Tribulation.
My first difficulty is the concept of announcement. Jesus said that His coming would be like a thief in the night. A great battle resolved by rain, hail and burning sulfur (Ezekiel 38:22) is a giant announcement and contradicts the “thief in the night” idea. Next, no army at war destroys weapons. They use them against the enemy. In addition, the purpose of this display of power and sovereignty is to show the nations “that I (God) am the Lord.” Such an event would have to be in the latter part of the Tribulation, otherwise the anti-Christ would not be able to declare himself god. The world, and the Jews, would know better.
Also, there are Torah patterns in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Chapters 36 through 40 of Ezekiel form a Torah design. (See http://www.luke810.com/tr1.htm, or contact me for an explanation of these designs.) Here is the pattern:
If my understanding of this design is correct, the defeat of Gog and Magog will be just before the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom as described in the Revelation 20:1-6, and may be part of the “Battle of Armageddon.” I believe the Torah pattern above shows that Ezekiel’s prophecy relates to the Tribulation period. It is possible that Gog and Magog will take part in the Battle of Armageddon, which is only named in the Revelation. The descriptions of both “battles” fit. The battles are ended supernaturally and the kings and armies will be food for carrion birds. (Revelation 19:17-18, Ezekiel 39:4)
To add to the mix, at the end of the Millennial Kingdom Satan will lead a final rebellion. The people led by Satan at this time are also called Gog and Magog. These nations march against the “camp of the saints and the beloved city” and are again defeated supernaturally. (Revelation 20:7-9) This causes me to think that Ezekiel 38-39 is a dual prophecy, having two objects, like many other prophecies, including Matthew 24 and 25.
This, of course, is my opinion. I have struggled with it for a long time and my opinion goes against many prophecy scholars. But, I am accustomed to being “out of step.” I pray that this study will encourage you to look at the prophecy and decide for yourselves. The study of the Bible results in blessings. May the Lord be praised forever.