The Millennial War: Gog /Magog (Revelation 16-22)
The Book of Revelation describes two wars. In both wars God Himself defeats the armies of the world—and both wars mark the end of an age. The first war takes place at the END of THIS age and is often called “the Battle of Armageddon”. Revelation 16 describes how two great Empires (two Beasts) will gather the kings of the world to a place called Armageddon which is “Megiddo” in the northern part of Israel right below Syria. It is likely from here that the armies move to attack the Great City (Jerusalem), as directly following their gathering in Megiddo, the Great City is destroyed. Indeed, the destruction of the Great City (also called the Great Harlot) is detailed in the following chapters (Rev 17-18), which tell that the Beast will first brutalize the Harlot (burn her with fire and eat her flesh), but then she will be destroyed. After the destruction of the Great Harlot, the two great Empires will then try to battle against “God”; but God will throw them into the “Lake of Fire”. Finally, Satan who deceived the nations will be thrown into the Abyss (Angel prison).
The second war is described in Revelation 20. There we learn that after Armageddon, the people who were martyred by the great Empires will be bought back to life to reign with Christ, and the world will be at peace for One Thousand Years. But at the end of the Millennium, Satan will be released from the Abyss to deceive yet another world super power called Gog/Magog. This world power will set out to destroy God’s Holy City (the New Jerusalem). But unlike the Great Harlot, because God loves this City, He will rescue it and destroy Gog/Magog. Satan will then be thrown into the “Lake of Fire”, never to deceive again.
Revelation’s account of the post-Millennial War is very short and describes only the highlights. But it did not need to describe the details, as they had already been described in Ezekiel Chapters 38-39. Indeed, Revelation 20 and Ezekiel 38 describe the same war. Both specify Gog/Magog as the adversary. Both specify that this war will take place in the very distant future. Both record how the people of God will have been living in peace for a very long time (the Millennial Rest). Moreover, both describe Gog/Magog as being aroused to arms by an underlying (spiritual) force. And finally, in both accounts, Gog/Magog are destroyed when God sends fire down on them. Here is a comparison of Revelation 20 and Ezekiel 38-39.
Revelation 20: 7-9: “When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.”
Ezekiel 38:7-10: “After many days you (Gog/Magog) will be called to arms. In future years you will invade…the mountains of Israel”. ”On that day thoughts will come into your mind (Satan’s deception) and you will devise an evil scheme. You will say, “I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people…”(Millennial Rest) Ezekiel 39:4-6: “…On the mountains of Israel you (Gog/Magog) will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you…I will send fire on you Magog and on those who live in safety in the coastland..”
Again, Revelation 20 gives only a short version of this post-Millennial War, but Ezekiel Chapters 38 and 39 gives us the detailed version. There in Ezekiel we further learn that God’s people will have been living in peace for so long they are unsuspecting and no longer use protections like walls and gates; this denotes the one thousand year rest. Ezekiel further tells us that Gog/Magog will come from the land of the “far north” and attack the people of Israel. But God will become enraged by their attack and in His fiery wrath will cause a great earthquake which will shake the peoples of the whole earth. This will also cause the attackers to suddenly turn and attack each other instead. God will then cause hail and sulfur to fall down on them, and the fire from heaven will finally destroy them. Their bodies will lie in open fields where the birds and wild animals will eat their flesh. The later day Israelites will bury the dead in the land east of the Dead Sea; and they will gather the weapons and use them for fuel. Finally, because of this deliverance, the whole world will come to understand God’s ultimate plan for the salvation of Israel.
Besides Revelation 20 and Ezekiel 38-39, Zechariah 14 also gives an account of the post-millennial war; and adds even more details. There in Zechariah 14 we learn that when the Holy City is captured, half of the people will be taken into exile. Moreover, when God comes to fight the invading enemy, the City will split in-two and form a valley through which His people will flee from the battle. Like Ezekiel, Zechariah describes how God will strike the nations with a great panic which will cause them to suddenly turn and attack each other. But Zechariah adds that God will also send a plague which will cause their flesh to rot. Zechariah’s account also correspond with the post millennial time (Rev 20-22) as Zechariah tells that “on that day” of this deliverance it will be “a day like no other day. It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime, but when evening comes, there will be Light”. This of course corresponds with Revelation 21:23 and 22:5 which tells how in the very end there will be no day or night…but God will be our only Light. Moreover Zechariah describes the living water flowing from Jerusalem, which corresponds with the “river of life” flowing from the New Jerusalem of Revelation 22:1. Additionally, at this time Zechariah tells how “the Lord will come with His Holy Ones”, which corresponds to the Great White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20 and the sheep and goats (Matt 25). Lastly, Zechariah 14 describes Jerusalem as being “raised up and set into place” as the heavenly New Jerusalem is pictured in Revelation 21…never to be destroyed again. Finally, Zechariah adds that all will worship the Lord and keep the Feast of Tabernacle forever; which simply means they will remain in Jesus forever—because He is our Eternal Tabernacle! Rev 21:3
All three of these accounts (Revelation 20, Ezekiel 38 and Zechariah 14) give the same basic description of a post millennial and FINAL war and deliverance for the people of God; and each one gives us more detail. Indeed, these three are clearly describing the same war. However, there are those who try to claim that these are not describing the same war. They say that because some details are not mentioned in all of the accounts; they are not speaking of the same war. But that is like saying because the Gospel of Mark does not mention a detail which the Gospel of John does…that Mark must not be not talking about the same Gospel. Indeed several of the Gospels give varying details; but we all know they are speaking of the same Gospel. That is the case with these three accounts. Indeed, they all give the same basic account of the post-Millennial War and deliverance, but each just adds more detail.
Those who say these wars are not the same usually connect Ezekiel and Zechariah with the Pre-millennial war of Armageddon. But in doing this, they connect the glorious deliverance of the post millennial peaceful New Jerusalem, with the corrupted physical Jerusalem of today…which is actually the Great Harlot. Sadly, this error is causing many Christians to believe that God is going to deliver the physical Jerusalem from her coming enemies; when in reality, she is only being set to face her final destruction. Moreover, because of these false teachings, many “Christians” are supporting the Harlot’s efforts, thus partaking in her sins. Unfortunately, this means that they will also partake in her judgment:
“Come out of her, my people, so you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues…” Rev 18:4
“Come out of her”? It is important to understand that a Christian does not have to physically live in Jerusalem in order to “come out of her”. The Apostle Paul warned the gentile Galatian Christians that if they tried to keep the old Covenant Law, they would become children of the OLD City (the Jerusalem of the flesh). They would become children NOT by physical location, but through their hearts. Moreover, Paul warned that if they became children of the OLD Jerusalem, they would be cut off from Christ and loose their place in the NEW Jerusalem which is “above” (the Jerusalem of the Spirit). Thus if a Christian joins the OLD Jerusalem in their heart, they will loose their place in the NEW Jerusalem.(Gal 4-5).
For more on the Great Harlot and how we may be found in her see the page titled “The Great Harlot”.