The Palestinian bid for a U.N. resolution on a Palestinian state pits the Palestinians against Israel, as a "successful" vote for a Palestinian state will eliminate future talks between the Palestinians and Israel. A senior Israeli official is quoted in the Jerusalem Post as stating that "the Palestinians would never be willing to negotiate on the basis of anything less, and no Israeli leader would ever be able to agree to such terms."
Recently, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas announced the PA will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Clearly, we are seeing signals of the end of any possibility the Palestinians will be involved with a treaty with Israel. God will use this to eliminate the PA from a global and regional focus, fitting perfectly with the end-times prophetic picture. However, will this align the international community against Israel, as some are predicting? Will it prepare for the invasion of Israel, as described in Ezekiel 38?
The answer to both of the above questions is "no." This state of peace and security experienced by Israel at the time of her attack is emphasized in Ezekiel 38 by phrases such as, "a land of unwalled villages" (v 11); "a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates" (v 11); and "Israel dwell[ing] safely" (v 14). These descriptives indicate a state in which Israel has no fear of enemies. In fact, the invasion described in Ezekiel 38 will occur when Israel is at such a place of peace and security that it has no bars or gates. This means that it will have such confidence in its state of secure peace that it will have no defenses whatsoever. It will not only NOT have military defenses; it will not even have gates to keep out predators and thieves!
While some are portraying that the Jewish nation is somehow at that place, it seems inconceivable to think so, especially with missiles being launched at Israel on an almost daily basis, and terrorist attacks are continuing to occur against Jewish citizens. The only time in which Israel will experience such peace and security that it has no measures of defense or security in place at all is during the millennial kingdom—the future thousand-year reign of Christ upon the earth. That era is described as a time of peace and righteousness in which Israel will be at rest from her enemies.
Upon reading Ezekiel 38, the reader will immediately notice the strange names of "Gog and Magog". Interestingly, those names are used together in only three chapters of the Bible—Ezekiel 38, 39, and Revelation 20 (verses 7-10). While we are dealing here with the question of when Ezekiel 38 and 39 will occur, we do know the timing of the scene, starring Gog and Magog, in Revelation 20.
Specifically, Gog and Magog appear in verses 7-10 of Revelation chapter 20, a context which is set at the end of the millennial kingdom (the thousand-year rule of Christ following His return to the earth). This usage of Gog and Magog by the apostle John (the author of Revelation) mandates this critical question: Since, outside of Revelation 20:7-10, Gog and Magog are only used in Ezekiel 38 and 39, why would John choose to mention them by name where he does? After all, John could certainly have given a description of this scene without the use of Gog and Magog. In fact, Gog and Magog seem to stand out as if they almost do not fit in this description.
Since Gog and Magog do not seem to add to the understanding of Revelation 20:7-10 within its own context, there appears to be no other reason for their listing in the context of these verses except to alert the reader that what is described in this context is also described elsewhere. In addition, there is no explanation of Gog and Magog, which indicates both a prior understanding of these terms by the readers of Revelation and the intent of the apostle to take the readers back to another context where they have previously appeared. In other words, the listing of Gog and Magog in Revelation 20:7-10 points the reader to another passage for more detail on this rebellion.
This means that by the rare usage of Gog and Magog in tandem in Revelation 20:7-10, the apostle John is signaling that he is referring back to Ezekiel 38. Thus, Revelation 20:7-10 presents the same event as in Ezekiel 38, though the two passages are from different perspectives.
Thus, the Ezekiel 38 invasion will occur after Satan is released from his bondage at the end of the millennial kingdom, at which point, he will gather an innumerable number of unbelievers to revolt against Christ. When this revolt occurs, the deceived unbelievers will invade Israel and surround Jerusalem. But that is when God eliminates their threat by destroying them with fire from heaven (Ezekiel 38:19, 22; Revelation 20:9).
In addition to the passages being connected by "Gog and Magog," there are a couple of other similarities which indicate that Ezekiel 38 portrays the same event as that in Revelation 20:7-10. First, both picture a great multitude invading Israel. Second, the result in each passage is the same; God destroys them by fire.
According to verses 16 and 23 of Ezekiel 38, the result of God's judgment upon Gog in Ezekiel 38 is that God will be known and magnified and hallowed in the eyes of the nations. According to verse 16, the result of this "battle" is "that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog," and in verse 23, God announces this result: ' "Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD." ' Certainly, God is not "known in the eyes of many nations" today, and will not be known in that global sense prior to the millennial kingdom; this will only be true in the kingdom. This means that Ezekiel 38 will be fulfilled sometime in the coming kingdom; and, as the connection with Revelation 20:7-10 shows us, the scenario will occur at the very end of the millennial kingdom.
So, as we see, Ezekiel 38 does NOT show us that an invasion of Israel will occur in the near future. In fact, Bible prophecy does not make room for an invasion of Israel until much later. Then Jesus will return to rescue Israel.
But seven years before that, Jesus will come in the air for all believers in Christ. So keep looking up!
[John Claeys serves with John Claeys Ministries through writing, speaking, and radio ministries and is the author of Apocalypse 2012: The Ticking of the End Time Clock—What Does the Bible Say?, a riveting look of the events leading up to the return of Christ. See www.JohnClaeys.com for more information.]