I've been working backwards prophetically starting at the end - the return of Jesus, then backwards gradually to our day, with last week focusing on WW 3 and the conditions outlined in Ezekiel 38. Have you seen the news in this past week? It is amazing how the Ezekiel 38 alliances are lining up very quickly.
I ended by saying that Israel does have allies that come alongside to help.
The situation is this: Ezekiel 38 describes an alliance between Russia and many nations surrounding Israel - Russia and Turkey in the north, Iran to the east, Libya and Sudan to the south. They gather an overwhelming force confident any ally of Israel would not have time to respond to put troops on the ground before their attack is complete. They come by air and ground into the mountains of northern Israel primarily.
Israel and Her Allies
Ezekiel 38:16 says the invading army will be like a cloud to cover the land - air and ground forces. But in v19 the Lord says there will be a great earthquake in Israel at that time, and in v22 He will cause an 'overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire and brimstone' to come against those invaders. He says in v21 that He is calling "for a sword against (the invaders) throughout all my mountains, and every man's sword will be against his brother."
Not only does the Lord use nature to stop the army - overflowing rain stops tanks and transports and ground troops in mud, but the great hail and storms would wreak havoc in an invading air force and disrupt communication, which leads to 'every man's sword will be against his brother' - showing the Lord uses these things to disrupt communication between this multi-national and therefore multi-language force, so confusion erupts and they kill each other.
BUT...He also calls for a sword against the invaders from 'My mountains'. In prophecy, mountains always stand for nations or kingdoms. As when Daniel saw a block cut out of a mountain and it grew to be a mountain ruling the whole earth, or the nations allied with anti-Christ symbolized as mountains. (Daniel 2:35; Rev 17:9-10)
Who are the Allies?
Ezekiel 38:13 says 'Sheba and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, will say, "Have you come to take a spoil? Have you gathered your army to take a prey? To take away silver and gold and livestock and goods to take a great spoil?"
In other words, those nations mentioned are going to respond to the invasion with at least a 'What do you think you are doing?'.
In Ezekiel's day, Sheba and Dedan are our modern day nations of the Saudi peninsula - what we would consider politically, 'moderate' Islamic nations. They will join with 'the merchants of Tarshish and the young lions thereof'.
In Ezekiel's day Tarshish was what we'd call Spain - southern Spain in particular, with trade ranging to Britain. Thus the 'young lions thereof' is often attributed to Britain, the lion being the symbol for Great Britain; the young lions being nations that came from Britain and the merchants of Spain.
What nations would be considered offspring of Spain's merchants and Britain? The Western hemisphere nations of course, with the US being the most significant for this discussion.
Fire and Brimstone
Many have thought this indicates the US, Britain, moderate Arab nations and maybe NATO or a European force, make up the 'mountains' the Lord calls for a sword against the invaders. We don't know. But we do know the way the battle plays out, based on Ezekiel 38:19-22 and 39: 1-6.
There are two fronts presented. The first is in Israel itself, 'the mountains of Israel' the text says. In that area will be the earthquake and all the disruption that will bring, and very heavy rains and hail - all of which leads to the army fighting against itself, stopped in its tracks.
There will also be fire and brimstone unleashed on the army to wipe them out. Ezekiel never knew gunpowder, let alone modern bombs or nuclear explosions. So modern explosives could easily be seen by him as 'fire and brimstone'. The fact that Israel gathers enough spoil from the defeated invaders for a 7 year supply and spends 7 months walking all over the battle field identifying remains, reveals to us no nuclear weapons are used (no radioactivity) - in Israel.
The other front is on the homeland of Russia itself and allies. Ezekiel 39:6 says "I will send fire on (Magog/Russia) and among those who live securely along the borders/coasts..." Magog refers to the capital, and then the coasts/borders/land is mentioned as targeted as well. We don't know if this 'fire' is conventional or nuclear, but we do know Russia's military might and political will as we know it is destroyed in this battle.
The End of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
Consider the consequences of this battle for a moment. Israel and allies have defeated Russia, Iran, Libya, Sudan and other nations. Israel is now the 600 pound gorilla on the block and THE force in the middle east.
China was not in this battle, but no longer has to be concerned about its big neighbor to the west - Russia. This is why at least 7 years later, China is one of the 5 kings of the east who have no hesitation marching across what used to be the southern belly of Russia, down into a crossing of the Tigris/Euphrates, to invade Israel at the battle of Armageddon. Russia is no longer a world player after this battle.
Israel can have her way in the middle east. No Iran, no Libya, no Sudan to deal with. Egypt is not mentioned as being a factor. There is a prophecy yet to be fulfilled in Isaiah 17:1 that says Damascus will no longer be a city, but only a ruinous heap. Perhaps it happens in this battle of Ezekiel 38, for Russia and Turkey will have marched through Syria on their way to invade Israel - that is my guess how Isaiah 17:1 will be fulfilled.
Enter the Guy We Know as Anti-Christ - Consider This
The victorious Israel will now dominate the entire region from Turkey to the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz to the border of Egypt - It would seem the EU will enter into a 7 year treaty with Israel.
Considering that the EU has been used to getting its fuel and heating oil and such from Russia through Turkish pipelines, the world has changed and they'll need to deal with the new superpower on the block, thus the treaty. Seven years gives everyone enough time to reconfigure their infrastructure, deal with a less powerful Russia and Turkey, etc.
It is at this point Israel will be free to build a temple on the temple mount. Israel's allies in the war would back her, the new treaty coming out of the EU would render any objections there mute, China wouldn't like it but at this time would not make a move. Russia, Turkey, Iran are too busy rebuilding their nations to matter.
As we know from the treaty spoken of in Daniel 9:27, and from Jesus echoing what Daniel said, at the 3 1/2 year mark of that treaty this leader comes into the temple - possibly at the dedication - and seeks to cause the sacrifices to cease. It is then Jesus said to those in Jerusalem who see it, get out of town quickly not even bothering to take supplies. Next week...