Home > Theology and Eschatology, Wars and Rumors of War > Gog Of Magog And The Great Earthquake

Gog Of Magog And The Great Earthquake


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By Joel Richardson – “In several previous articles, I’ve set forth various reasons why we should recognize ‘Gog’ of Ezekiel 38,39 to be one and the same with the Antichrist/Beast of other antichristic prophecies. I have also addressed and dispelled some of the most common arguments against this view. In this article, I will detail yet another significant reason why Gog must be the Antichrist and why the Battle of Gog of Magog can only conclude at the return of Jesus.

Among the many events that conclude the Battle of Gog and Magog, one major event is ‘a great earthquake’ in the land of Israel. The earthquake will be so great that all creatures and mankind ‘who are on the face of the earth’ will tremble in fear:

It will come about on that day, when Gog comes against the land of Israel… there will surely be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things that creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My presence; the mountains also will be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse and every wall will fall to the ground. —Ezekiel 38:18-20

Many seem to miss the fact that this earthquake will result in the mountains of Israel being ‘thrown down’. Beyond this, ‘every wall will fall to the ground’. We’ll come back to this issue of the mountains and walls collapsing, but first, let’s briefly consider a few other significant Biblical passages that also speak of:

1.) A massive eschatological invasion of Israel
2.) A divine deliverance
3.) A massive earthquake that brings the invasion to an end

In Isaiah 29, the LORD warns Jerusalem, called here ‘Ariel’, that He will bring armies against her:

Yet I will besiege Ariel; she will mourn and lament, she will be to me like an altar hearth. I will encamp against you all around; I will encircle you with towers and set up my siege works against you. —Isaiah 29:2-3

But though it is the LORD Himself who brings these armies against Ariel, He also promises to destroy them with both a personal visit, as well as with a mighty earthquake:

But your many enemies will become like fine dust, the ruthless hordes like blown chaff. Suddenly, in an instant, the LORD Almighty will come with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with windstorm and tempest and flames of a devouring fire. Then the hordes of all the nations that fight against Ariel, that attack her and her fortress and besiege her, will be as it is with a dream, with a vision in the night…. So will it be with the hordes of all the nations that fight against Mount Zion. —Isaiah 29:5-8

In another famous end time passage, we see the same pattern again repeated. The LORD promises to gather the surrounding gentile nations against Jerusalem. And once again, he responds with a personal visit and a great earthquake.

I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it… Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. —Zechariah 14:2-5

So we see that the themes of invading hordes, a corresponding great earthquake and a divine deliverance of the people of Israel are commonly repeated themes among these passages that speak of the return of Jesus. It might be quite logical then, to assume that because Ezekiel’s oracle perfectly mirrors all of these elements, it is also speaking of the return of Jesus. Many argue however, that Ezekiel’s invasion, the mighty earthquake, and the accompanying deliverance, precede these other passages by several years.

But here is where the popular view runs into yet another insurmountable problem. For as we have already seen, the great earthquake of Ezekiel’s oracle results in all of the mountains in Israel being thrown down. But if this is the case, then how can it be that in the middle of the tribulation, Jesus warns the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judea to flee to the mountains:

“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. —Matthew 24:15-16

How can Jesus tell people to flee to mountains which, according to the popular view, no longer even exist? If Ezekiel’s prophecy is to have happened a few, or even several years prior, resulting in the mountains of Israel all falling down, how can Jesus still be speaking of near-by mountains, and telling his people to flee to them? For students of the Scriptures who take the words of the Bible literally, there are really only two options; either Ezekiel’s earthquake comes sometime after the middle of the tribulation, or Jesus didn’t know what He was talking about. I’m going with Ezekiel’s earthquake taking place at the conclusion of the tribulation.

But as much as this causes an insurmountable mountain of a problem for the popular view which tries to cast Gog and Antichrist as two different characters, there is yet another powerful passage in the Book of Revelation which speaks of the final conclusion of the Great Tribulation. Once again, there is the gathering of the gentiles, there is a great earthquake which results in the cities of the earth being destroyed, as well as the mountains being removed:

Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!” Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed… Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. —Revelation 16:16-20

In the following chart, consider the dramatic similarities between Ezekiel’s oracle and John’s description of the Battle of Armageddon:

Now, consider the following timelines, where the popular view is contrasted with what I refer to as ‘the consistent view’:

The Popular View

In the timeline above, the Battle of Gog of Magog concludes either just before or just after the beginning of the final seven years. The problem with this view should be clear. At the conclusion of the Battle of Gog of Magog, there is a massive earthquake whereby all of the mountains will be ‘thrown down’ or ‘fall down’. If this is the case, how then could Jesus warn the inhabitants of Jerusalem, several years later, to flee to the mountains? This would be impossible. And how could another earthquake level the mountains a second time during the ‘great earthquake’ that takes place at the return of Jesus? Obviously, the popular view has an insurmountable contradiction with Scripture on this point.

The Consistent View

Now consider the alternative consistent view. Here, we see that because Gog of Magog and the Battle of Armageddon are seen as concluding at the same time, at the return of Jesus, there is no contradiction concerning the mountains being leveled. Neither is there any contradiction with the commandment of Jesus to flee to the mountains at the mid-point of the tribulation.

The conclusion is simple. Ezekiel was simply speaking of the same invasion, great earthquake and divine intervention that all of the other prophets were speaking of. Divorcing Ezekiel’s prophesied invasion from Isaiah’s, Zechariah’s and John the Apostle’s prophesied invasion simply cannot be reconciled with Scripture.” Source – Joel’s Trumpet.

  1. 09/22/2012 at 1:11 AM

    Well, I definitely agree that everything mentioned at the end of the timeline occurs at the end, as shown in the 2nd timeline!! The rest, I think, is “escha-tainment”.

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  2. 09/22/2012 at 6:51 AM

    The question about the weapons that will be used as fire for seven years and the un-walled Israel should be discussed and that while Israel will not be in the land of Israel after the second half of the triblulation.

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  3. Mike
    09/22/2012 at 7:47 AM

    I think he makes a good case here, pertaining to the mountains. The only thing I have not heard (or read) a good defense against, is an apparent contradiction of Gog being the anti-Christ, dying and being buried in (Ezek 39:11) but in Revelation, he is thrown “alive” into the lake of fire (Rev 19:20). How can one die and be buried but also be alive?

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  4. 09/22/2012 at 11:34 AM

    Mike,

    Could the explanation for your question be as simple as that the lake of fire is a spiritual place where our bodies cannot go, so the body gets buried but the spirit of Gog goes to the LoF? That’s what I believe, anyway. Just because the body is dead does not say anything about a person’s spirit.

    Kurt

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  5. Mike
    09/22/2012 at 11:37 AM

    Kurt, yes, I think that is a good explanation. It follows what we already know, in that the body dies and is put in the ground but our spirit continues to live. So I can see that now how Gog could die in the physical sense, but in the spiritual realm be tossed “alive” in the lake of fire. Thanks bro!

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  6. ICA
    09/22/2012 at 1:53 PM

    Also, assuming that Revelation 19:20 is speaking about the Antichrist, what destroys the AC? Is it the brightness of Christ’s coming according to 2 Thess 2:8, or Christ having the Antichrist captured alive and cast into the lake of fire per Rev 19:20? I say assuming because it is also possible that John in Revelation 19:20 may not be referring to any Antichrist personage at all. The text only speaks about the beast and the false prophet, which could very easily be speaking about the kingdom/empire/system of Antichrist (see Revelation 13) and the false prophet, so in this light it’s possible that John is speaking about the revived head of the first Islamic Beast described in Revelation 13:3-10. Since the first Beast is Islamic, the second is inextricably linked to it in order to exercise “all the authority of the first beast” (Rev 13:12). Is it a man? Maybe. Could it be the Caliphate? Maybe. It is something else? Maybe. We must watch all developments unfolding right now in the Middle East.

    As Kurt points out, however, assuming that Rev 19:20 is referring to Antichrist the man, there is no denying the fact that his spirit would still be very much alive, and that it would be his spirit that is cast alive into the lake of fire. As we all know, Satan is a non-corporeal being. He is spiritual and does not have a physical body. Yet even Satan is described as being cast (obviously alive) into the lake of fire in Revelation 20:10.

    Gog sounds like a person, so by default I lean toward that position. Ezekiel calls him “the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal” in 38:1 (the region of modern day Turkey) who will be buried in Israel (39:11). Having said that, however, let us not ignore the possibility that Ezekiel could also be describing a spiritual entity who exercises authority over this region, similar to how Daniel describes the spiritual forces exercising authority over Iran and Greece as “the prince of Persia” and “the prince of Javan (Grecia)” in Daniel 10:20. Incidentally, in Revelation 2:13 Jesus says that the region of modern day Turkey (which is where Gog is “the chief prince” of) is “where Satan has his throne”. So it is conceivable that Gog being buried in the land of Israel could simply be referring to the physical destruction and burial of the armies he brings against Israel. Even the casting down of Satan is described using physical terms whereby he is “brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit” (Isa 14:15), even though Satan is non-corporeal. There is much more going on behind the curtain of this physical world than meets the eye.

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  7. Mike
    09/22/2012 at 6:43 PM

    Oh great! Just when I thought I had it figured out and resolved, ICA has to come along and throw in more details! *chuckles* Sirs, could it be that if Gog is the anti-christ, that he dies a physical death according to Ezek, due to the brightness of Jesus’ coming according to 2 Thess 2:8, his physical body is buried according to Ezek 39, and then is cast alive in the spiritual realm into the lake of fire according to Rev?

    In this scenario, Rev, Ezek and 2 Thess are just adding details to the same narrative. Thoughts?

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  8. Mike
    09/22/2012 at 7:04 PM

    Wow! Pretty cool! Then what we have is a narrative that is shared by multiple texts, multiple individuals, multiple prophecies in multiple time periods but just described from different perspectives. This is amazing! It really reinforces my appreciation for prophecy being evidence of the Divine authorship of the BIble. Wow. I have learned something new today, or at least somewhat resolved a question I have had with the whole Gog / Antichrist issue…and I thank you guys for your input.

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  9. 09/22/2012 at 10:26 PM

    What makes this discussion more difficult is the fact the dead (without Christ) will resurrect (receive a new body) after the Millennium, be judged at the Great White Throne and sentenced to the lake of fire. So, people go to the lake of fire with a resurrected body.

    Revelation 20:5 “But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished…”

    Revelation 20:11-15 “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it… And I saw the dead… and … were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

    Daniel 12:2 “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, s to shame and everlasting contempt”.

    John 5:28-29 “28 “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”

    The lake of fire is a eternal and everlasting condemnation and contempt, reserved for those who have done evil and found not there names in the Book of Life, in a resurrected body. Lake of fire is not a place to only hold spirits of human beings, but there body as well.

    I see no problem for the Antichrist (beast) and the False Prophet (another beast) be thrown in the lake of fire with bodies (maybe already resurrected bodies).

    Could it be that the Antichrist and the False Prophet die at Jesus coming, be buried as in Ezekiel 39, then be resurrected (2nd resurrection) and condemned and thrown alive to the lake of fire, before the millennium, not like all other evil human beings after the millennium?

    Blessings,

    Perry Brown

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  10. 09/23/2012 at 12:30 AM

    Perry,

    You’ve stumbled into an area of biblical debate that I don’t entirely have resolved in my mind; that is, what happens when we die? Is the next thing we know that we are resurrecting “first” at the coming of Christ, ahead of those who are alive? Or do we die and go to heaven and return with Christ to meet our resurrecting bodies?

    The verses you’ve quoted actually work better with the first scenario. Rev 20 talks about “the first resurrection”, but no second. If the first scenario I discussed above is true, then what we see in Rev 20 is:

    1. The dead in Christ rise, receive new bodies, and reign with him for “1000 years” during the Millennium (more and more I think this is symbolic for a long time, not a literal 1000 years). It’s like the Chinese talking about a dynasty lasting “yi wan sui”, 10,000 years.

    2. After the Millennium, the rebellion of Satan, his defeat, and his being cast into the lake of fire, the unrighteous dead “come to life” (20:5, no mention of a body or “2nd resurrection”). They are judged, given “the second death”, and thrown into the lake of fire.

    So you see, this actually leads toward the dreaded “soul sleep”… Which if we are talking about a God who is outside of time (which He is) is actually not a problem. But at this point, I have not made up my mind on this subject.

    Be that as it may, I like ICA’s discussion about the potential non-personhood of Gog – that is certainly a possibility is well. Gog could also be either a personification of the beast system (Islam) or a spiritual being, a prince.

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    • 09/23/2012 at 10:47 AM

      Kurt J.,

      I agree that the subject of post-life is very difficult and not that straight forward in Scripture. We are sure that those in Christ will live for ever and have a resurrected body. But for those who die without Christ, what happens to them in eternity? Will the lake of fire be in spirit or in body also? I agree Scripture is not that crystal clear on this subject.

      Here is what I believe. Daniel, fist mentioned that those who sleep in the dust (dead) will either awake (resurrect) to everlasting life or everlasting contempt. Jesus repeated Daniel in John 5, where He said that all those in the grave will here His voice and come forth (resurrect), those who have done good, to resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to resurrection of condemnation.

      Both Daniel and Jesus spoke of two kinds of resurrections, but both everlasting or eternal. One resurrection, of those who have done good (in Christ) will have a resurrection unto everlasting life, and the other resurrection, of those who have done evil (without Christ) will have a resurrection unto everlasting contempt or condemnation or damnation. But, both are resurrections.

      In was only with John, that we have knowledge of a time separating both resurrections, a period of 1,000 years. At Jesus second coming, those who are dead in Christ will resurrect and meet Him in the clouds (air) together with the others which have remained alive and been raptured at that moment (1 Ts 4:13-17). This is the first resurrection (Rev 20:4-6). After this, these will reign with Christ for a 1,000 years. After the 1,000 years, Satan will be loosed, deceive many nations and then be caught again and thrown in the lake of fire for eternity. After this, those who are dead (without Christ, or those who have done evil) will be resurrected, judged according to there deeds and found not their names in the book of life, and then, sentenced and cast into the lake of fire. The eternity for these people in the lake of fire is considered the second death.

      But, will the second death, eternity in the lake of fire, will be in spirit and soul only, or will it be together with a physical body? We do not know for sure. I guess it will be with a physical body (a resurrected one) together with soul and spirit.

      Perry

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  11. Anonymous
    09/23/2012 at 11:48 AM

    Luke 16:19 to 31 may shed some light on this

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  1. 09/23/2012 at 6:51 AM

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