This invasion by Gog and Magog of Israel will probably take place at the end of the tribulation as part of the Battle of Armageddon as there are some key similiarities to passages about the Battle of Armageddon in the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 and the account of Armageddon in Revelation 19 although there could be a concurrence of world events and alliances at the end of the present Church age before the rapture and tribulation that will look like the invasion of Gog and Magog will happen then. For instance the current close ties with Iran (Persia) and Russia (Gog and Magog). However it is likely that any events seeming to lead to the invasion of Gog and Magog will be thwarted or defused by the Antichrist or Beast out of the Sea which will further increase his popularity at the beginning of the tribulation or 70th week of Daniel with the world in general and with Israel or the Jews in particular. There could well be a trial run of the Battle of Gog and Magog before the tribulation which will be led by Russia and Iran (Persia) perhaps with Iran's fellow Shiite allies Hezbollah in Lebanon that will be defused by the Antichrist as part of his false Middle East Peace that will include permitting Israel to rebuild their temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This trial run would just be a foreshadowing but not the full fulfillment of this prophecy of the Battle of Gog and Magog that I think will occur in its fullness at the end of the tribulation as part of the Battle of Armageddon. Russia is now developing increasingly close ties economically, militarily, politically and religiously with Iran and other Muslim countries. Gog as a leader's name could be preserved in the former Soviet republic that is now the independent country of Georgia in the Caucasus region to the south of current Russia between Turkey and the Caspian Sea. Magog is the name of the territory of Gog. This will probably be a sizable part of Russia or the former Soviet Union. Gog is further identified as the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Meshech is an early name of Moscow and some hills around Moscow are still called the Meshechian Hills. Tubal is probably preserved in the name of the major Russian Siberian industrial city of Tobolsk. God says he will put hooks in the jaws of Gog and Magog meaning God will draw them to where he wants them to invade or attack in this case to the land of Israel. I don't know how literally to interpret the horses and horsemen in this passage. It could mean at least some use of horses in the invading armies but it could also refer to armies using tanks, jeeps, personnel carriers or other land vehicles that soldiers ride as well as horses. Some of the allies of Gog and Magog that includes Meshech and Tubal are Persia which is modern day Iran but could include the Shiite part of neighbouring Iraq especially led by the Shiite militia currently by Moqtada al-Sadr and Lebanon which has a significant Shiite population and is increasingly under control of the militant Shiite group Hezbollah which is currently led by Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and which already has a history of hostility with Israel, Ethiopia (in some versions called Cush) which could include Sudan and Somalia and Libya which could include other parts of North Africa such as current Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Gomer another ally is the Germanic people while Togarmah is current day Turkey and perhaps other Turkey people of central Asia such as Turkestan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. It is mentioned Togarmah is from the north quarters relative to Israel which would also fit this being the Turkic people of Turkey and central Asia. Finally it is also mentioned many other people or nations or ethnic groups will participate in this invasion. The scripture reference in Ezekiel 38 of the participants in the invasion of Israel by Gog and Magog and their allies is as follows:
And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 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 put hooks into thy jaws, and 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: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. Ezekiel 38:1-6
This deal with Iran and the P5+1 world powers, the 5 permanent members of the UN security council plus Germany, as agreed on in the second week of July 2015. According to the BBC this deal followed about 20 months of talks and bargaining. According to this article there are about 20,000 uranium or nuclear enrichment centrifuges at mostly two nuclear processing installations in Iran in Fordo and Natanz. Low enriched Uranium has a concentration of 3 to 4% Uranium 235 and can be used for peaceful purposes such as nuclear power plants for generating electricity for the civilian sector while uranium has to be enriched to at least 90% uranium 235 for nuclear weapons grade uranium. Iran still insists its nuclear program is just for peaceful purposes and not for military purposes such as to strike Israel or by barges off the American coast with missiles etc. to hit the US mainland even though its leader and others in Iran still publicly proclaim a goal of death to America and death to Israel. Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Iran will be resticted to establishing at most about 5000 of the oldest and less effective centrifuges at Natanz for 10 years. Iran is expected under this agreement to decrease its uranium reserves by 98% to 300kg for 15 years and must limit the level of uranium enrichment to 3.67%. Also under the agreement according to the BBC in its article Iran Nuclear Deal: Key details nuclear research and development would be only at Natanz for the next 8 years and no nuclear enrichment would be allowed at Fordo until after 15 years. The deal restricts Iran to only use the centrifuges at Fordo for peaceful uses such medicine, agriculture, industry and science for the next 15 years.
There have also been restrictions put on a nuclear reactor complex near the place called Arak where plutonium has been produced at this reactor based on heavy water technology. Under the nuclear deal Iran has agreed not to allow the reactor to produce plutonium at an enrichment that could be used for nuclear weapons and used fuel would be moved out of Iran while this reactor continues. The administration of US President Barack Obama is confident this deal will prevent Iran from developing nuclear grade fuel without international awareness. The Obama administration says there is vigourious monitoring and inspeaction etc. although I heard from other sources there might be up to about 3 weeks between initial inspection that finds something on Iran's part that violates the agreement such as Iran making more enriched Uranium 235 than it is allowed and the time when the world community would re-check or do something about it which would give Iran plenty of time to hide the nuclear weapons capability that is against that agreed with the world community. Most of the inspectors will be from the UN associated International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Although the UN and the IAEA in general would probably not want Iran or any other similiar strident nation to have nuclear weapons, the UN allowing or promoting many adversial measures or discussions against Israel in the General Assembly and Security Council or Human Rights Committees does not give confidence it will safeguard the security of either Israel or the US or the general Middle East region which could be put in a new arms race. This is due to Iranian meddling in supporting militant Shiite groups such as Hezbollah in Syria, Lebanon and other places and the Houthi in Yemen. One of hte first Sunni Islam nations that could seek nuclear weapons partly as a result of this deal could be Saudi Arabia that Iran is threatening from Yemen. Even the BBC article says that the requests by IAEA inspectors to visit Iranian nuclear installations could be delayed or even denied by Iranian authorities that have done similiar things before. This doesn't increase confidence this deal will be effective in preventing Iranian nuclear weapons capability. Disputes about contested Iranian nuclear facilities are supposed to be dealt at an arbitration panel according to the BBC.
The Obama administration says that Iran currently has a break out time to develop nuclear weapons of two to three months in which it could produce 8 to 10 nuclear bombs with its 20,000 centrifuges. The Obama administration has said that if this agreement its put in force the Iranian government's break out time for developing nuclear bombs would be more like 1 year. However this limiation would only for the terms of this agreement which is for about the next 10 to 15 years assuming everything holds in place and then Iran would not be bound by the agreement and it is not expected to reform its militant disposition towards Israel, the west or Sunni Muslim countries which is all part of the concern about Iran in the first place. According to the BBC sanctions against Iran have cost the Iranian economy about 120 billion US dollars just in lost oil exports since 2012 but if the deal is upheld by Iran it could have 100 billion in international assets unfrozen and available to it and could resume selling oil on world markets and resume using the world financial system for its economy. According to the deal these sanctions will not be removed unless Iran demonstrates it is keeping limits according to the deal of its ability to make nuclear weapons and if does get caught making nuclear weapons and doesn't back down from them the sanctions would be restored. Under the agreement a panel or Commission called the Joint Commission of P5 + 1 nations the EU and Iran will be set up to watch that Iran honours its part of the deal. If this panel can't get an agreed solution to disagreements they could be brought to the security council of the UN. Under the deal Iran would be subjected to an arms embargo for another 5 years or shorter if the international community thinks its nuclear program is not also for military purposes and Iran would be limited in it missile program for up to 8 years. However unfreezing sanctions on Iran would give more money for Iran that could be used to fund terrorism as many of the top people or businesses in the international community don't seem to have much concern that nations like Iran could threaten Israel or the West if they can get more business from Iran through its oil etc.
I heard as well that sanctions against North Korea and its nuclear weapons capability by the internationsl community hasn't been that effective up to this point and could an indication there could also be problems with this deal between the international community and Iran over its nuclear weapons capability or possible future use. From a biblical viewpoint I still believe the Gog and Magog invasison will be at the end of the tribulation or 70th week of Daniel led by Russia and involving Iran (Persia) and other nations although I do acknowledge there are reputable Bible teachers that the Gog and Magog invasion of Isarel could be at the beginning of the tribulation or even just before it. I do think there could also possibly be an international crisis with Iran and Russia etc. around the beginning of the tribulation that would be defused by the Antichrist at the beginning of the tribulation or 70th week of Daniel as part of his false peace agreement but that this would be in addition to the actual invasion of Israel by Russia, Iran and others at the end of the tribulation. Anyway I do believe these actions regarding Iran and the continued militant and threatening nature of its leadership and military capability and adventures in the Middle East indicate we are in the last days of the Church Age and very near the revelation of the Antichrist and his 7 years of power and God's judgment of the world such as the plagues mentioned in REvelation. I would therefore encouragement the reader to as soon as possible trust in the Lord Jesus Christ that he died for our sins on the cross and rose again to give us new life as soon as possible if you haven't already done so so you can be taken to heaven before the rapture of the Church and the events or the tribulation including the Gog and Magog war and other wars that could be more widespread on Earth happen in the tribulation.
It is no secret that Iran and its military power are continuing to grow stronger and more threatening. The new president Hassan Rouhani hasn't proved to be the moderate some had hoped for or led to believe as Iran got what it wanted from the Geneva talks with the continuing ability to enrich uranium as well as some reduction in western sanctions. Although I don't believe any Christians of this present Church Age will go through the tribulation and that the rapture of the church will happen before the beginning of the tribulation or time of God's wrath which will be started by the revelation of the Antichrist to agree with Israel to build their third temple in Jerusalem, I think the beginning of these events are very near. That is why I think Iran is continuing to gain power with help from Russia which is Magog and Tubal and Meschech. Turkey or Togarmah has also become more Islamic and anti-Israel as has Libya recently and this also prepares for the realization of this prophecy in Ezekiel. What could precede this attack on Israel at the end of the tribulation either before or after the rapture and beginning of the tribulation is an attack by Iran of America. I don't believe America is mentioned in Bible prophecy for things like this but that it is an indication of the growth of power of Iran and its alliance with Russia. Iran has now started to position some of its ships off the coast of America. Iran now has or could soon have Russian compact missile batteries that are stored in containers that could be mounted on the deck of most freighters including Iranian ones. This could make it more difficult for United States to monitor possible hostile Iranian ships off its coasts. The real danger of any hostile Iranian ships off America's coasts is that if Iran gets nuclear bombs soon it could detonate nuclear bombs in the air above United States mainland and that could cause an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) that could overload the electric grid possibly including surges coming into Canada and this could bring down the electrical grid for months or years if a recovery is made at all. This would of course cause a severe disruption to North American defence, economy and society and probably much loss of life as especially cities could not support dense populations without much farmland without electricity. The American and Canadian governments are aware of this potential problem but are so far unwilling to do anything serious about it as especially the electricity utilities don't want to do the extra work and put out the expense or hardening their grids with surge suppressors or similiar precautions. The organization NERC seems to also be dragging its feet. The entrepeneur Mr. Henry Schwartz from New York has founded the organization EMPact to attempt to rally American governments to take precautions and although he is not having much success nationally he has persuaded some US state governments to take precautionary action against a possible Iranian EMP attack. I have personally have written to the governments in Ontario and Canada where I live and so far I haven't received much assurance that the necessary precautions are being taken here. Although I don't think an Iranian attack would be directed at Canada our electricity grids and heavily interconnected and we could be seriously affected by an Iranian nuclear EMP attack on United States if precautions aren't taken here in Canada soon. Although I believe these threatening actions of Iran aren't an indication that we are in the tribulation yet but I do believe that this indicates it is soon including the Iranian participation with Russia to invade Israel or to try to at the end of the tribulation as part of the Battle of Armageddon. I would therefore urge the reader to as soon as possible trust in the Lord Jesus Christ that he died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead so you can be taken to heaven at the rapture of the church and not have to go through the tribulation and so that you will have a relationship with God and Jesus and enjoy heaven and the millennial and new earth with Him forever and not have to worry about going to hell which we all deserve for our sins against the true God that is righteous and holy as well as loving gracious and merciful also in the New TEstament.
In early April 2015 according to BBC and other sources world powers and Iran came to a tentative agreement on Iran's nuclear program. Iran under this agreement will reduce its number of centrifuges to one third of its current level to 5060 centrifuges. The Fordo nuclear centre will stay open but not for nuclear enrichment. Iran will also be required to reduce its reserves of low level enriched uranium for 10 tonnes to about 300 Kg for 15 years. Also the unfinished nuclear reactor at Arak will be changed so it doesn't produce plutonium suitable for nuclear weapons. To Iran's benefit UN sanctions and those from the EU and US will be slowly reduced as the UN nuclear monitoring agency the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) while the IAEA checks Iran's keeping to agreed terms. The Ayatollah and other hardline sources in Iran said that the Iran negotiator Zarif gave up to much to world powers but many people in Iran were quite overjoyed. However some of the Iran negotiators gave the impression that all sanctions will be removed if an agreement is reached at the end of June this year (2015) while world powers say that all sanctions might not come off for 10 or 15 years. Israel and the Republican led US Congress or Arab Sunni nations are not supportive of this deal thinking that this Iran nuclear deal is a good deal that Iran might try to hide some enriched nuclear fuel or might try to prepare more enriched uranium or plutonium for 10 or 15 years for now when some of the terms of the agreement are scheduled to expire. This could lead, from a biblical perspective, to the arming of Iran or Persia for its participation in the Battle of Gog and Magog (Russia) and its allies including Iran at the end of the tribulation to attempt to invade Israel around the time of the Battle of Armageddon when God will protect Israel and defeat these anti-semitic and anti-Israel armies. These things taking place now also indicate that the whole 7 year tribulation when the antichrist will rule the earth and God will bring His judgments on this world and people who neglect or reject Him and His Son Jesus Christ and the preceding rapture of the Church are very near. I would therefore encourage you to, if you haven't already, to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ that He died on the cross and rose from the dead to enable you to have a relationship with God and a home in heaven and be spared being on earth during the tribulation or spending eternity in hell and then the lake of fire.
It is mentioned in Esther that the Jews living in unwalled towns (or villages) celebrated their successful defence from their enemies in the time of King Ahaseurus (Xerxes) of Persia. The Persian king was not sympathetic with Haman's efforts to get the Jews killed in the Persian empire but had been duped by Haman who was the enemy of the Jewish people and who was a high court official in the king's court. Many of the Jews in the unwalled towns or villages were probably attacked on the day chosen by Haman but most were able to defend themselves by God's grace. This is a foreshadowing of when God will allow the forces of Gog and Magog led by Russia to invade Israel probably at the end of the tribulation although the reference about unwalled villages is used by some to say it could be closer to the beginning. However there are other points mentioned in Ezekiel 39 about the aftermath of the Battle of Gog and Magog such as the birds feeding on the flesh of the armies that are similiar to accounts in Matthew 24 and Revelation 19 that support a view at the end of the tribulation. In the Battle of Gog and Magog God will supernaturally defend Israel including the Jews or others living in unwalled villages. The scripture reference in Esther 9 and Ezekiel 38 about the Jews living in unwalled towns that were able to mostly sucessfully defend themselves in the time of Esther similiar to the Jews living in the time of the Battle of Gog and Magog yet to come are as follows:
Therefore the Jews of the villages, that dwelt in the unwalled towns, made the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting, and a good day, and of sending portions one to another. Esther 9:19
Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go up to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabiten, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land. Ezekiel 38:10-12
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