Tonight’s facet of study regarding the subject of prophecy and the destruction of the nations takes us to the alignment and war of the nations. And that perhaps would be a title that we might choose if we were going to entitle the message “The Alignment and War of the Nations.
You know, it’s amazing, in the last few days the whole attention of the world is focused upon the Mideast. Some exciting things have begun to happen with some very direct relationship to God’s plan for the world. Israel is at war with the Arabs. Egypt and Syria are battling on two fronts, and I understand Jordan is now in the battle. Russia, which for a little while seemed to be rather passive, has become active and in just the last couple of days has really unleashed a certain form of involvement by sending materiel to supply the forces of the Arabs and ships and airplanes as well carrying tremendous amount of arms to arm the Arabs.
Brezhnev, quoted in the L.A. Times about three or four days ago, said this: “All our sympathies are on the side of the victims of aggression, the Arabs.” Now, it’s an interesting thing that the Arabs are fighting Israel, but that’s nothing new. But what makes it prophetically exciting is the involvement of other major powers in what’s going on, particularly the involvement of the nation Russia.
To see a battle going on the Middle East isn’t anything new, but to see all of the formations that have been so familiar to us over the last, say, 15 to 20 years, has exciting prophetic significance.
What we’re really seeing today is a preview of Armageddon, at least in its initial phases. Now, let me hasten to say this: All of the wars that make up all of the battles that make up the great battle of Armageddon complex will take place during the tribulation. The tribulation is a time after the church is removed the world. So what we are seeing now is not part of that final battle, but it certainly shows that the nations are lining up in the right configuration for that final battle.
Now, just to remind you of God’s plan a little bit, give you a little insight into what we’ve been talking about, we’re living in a period known as the church age. The church age ends with the rapture. New Testament saints, as the arrow indicates, are taken out of the world. Immediately, a period begins on the earth known as the period of the tribulation; the last three and a half years are called the great tribulation.
That period closes with a final conflagration known as Armageddon. At the end of Armageddon, Christ Himself returns with those of us who went up there in the rapture. We come back with Him and He sets up His kingdom. Now, we have been studying the various facets of this period known as the tribulation. We found, first of all, that the church age is going to end with the rapture, and we studied carefully about the catching away of the church.
Then we found out that after the raptured church leaves, then God begins to deal in judgment with those left on earth, and that really involves two groups: Jews and gentiles. And for the Jews, the time of tribulation involves two things, punishment and salvation. God chastises them for sin and God redeems them as a nation.
Then it involves also the gentile peoples who are left here who did not go with the church for they were not believing in Christ. During this period of time, there is going to be a tremendous God-appointed destruction that’s going to come upon the nations of the world. Now, it is true that there will be a believing remnant from the nations, right? Revelation 7, so many they can’t be counted. But the residue of all men will fall under terrible destruction. And that seven-year period will end with a horrible worldwide battle call the battle of Armageddon, because that’s one of the areas where it will be fought, and that battle is ended in the coming of Jesus Christ.
We, then, have discussed all of these various features. In fact, we discussed at least for three weeks in a row why believe the church does not go through the tribulation, why we believe we’re going to leave. And the question is this: We know when man’s day is going to end, as we know it. It’s going to end at the end of the tribulation. We know that. The question we want to answer tonight is how it’s going to end. How it’s going to end. We know it will end. We know it will end at the end of the tribulation, but how and what is the actual sequence of events that takes place.
Now, let me hasten to add to that that there is much theory and speculation in regard to all of the features of Armageddon. And I’m not going to stand here as any expert. And while I’m saying that to say this, there are some things upon which we cannot be dogmatic. And I am not saying tonight that I have found the answer to all of the sequence of events of the tribulation in terms of the final alignment and the final war that really focuses on the end of the times of the gentiles.
I do not propose to have the answers as opposed to everybody else’s supplied answers. But let me say this: I have come to some conclusions in my own mind. To one degree or another, they satisfy me. Some satisfy me more than others. I’ll just present them to you and if you want to pursue the study further, the Lord bless you, have a great time. You’ll run into the same difficulties that I ran into.
There are many people who are offering speculation today about how the world’s going to end, right? We hear all the time - I told you three weeks ago about the guy who said that it’s going to end in five billion years because the sun’s going to all of a sudden run out. Another guys said the moon’s on a rubber band kind of thing, and eventually it’s going to snap back and destroy the earth, and this is going to take X number of millions of years.
And there are all kinds of seers and visionaries and prophets and even the philosophers are into the thing now, and they have decided that man is going to destroy himself with certain particulars. And the scientists are involved as well and man is going to pollute himself out of existence by the year 2000 and so forth. So there are many people that are giving us doomsday reports. But let me add in the words of Peter, we have a more sure word of prophecy than human speculation, and that is the testimony of the Word of God, the Scripture.
And so what we will endeavor to do tonight is to give you a picture of the ending of man’s day as it finally comes to an end in the tribulation as it is revealed in the Word of God, the Bible.
Now, we find ourselves in our study in the tribulation and discussing the nations in the tribulation. Now, we’ve given several points, let me mention them in retrospect. One, we studied the times of the nations. And in that study, we found that God has set a time in which gentiles will rule over the land of Israel. It’s called the times of the gentiles by Christ Himself.
It began around the year 600 B.C. and it extends until the second coming of Christ. This entire period of time in which there is gentile rule in the promised land to Israel – to one degree or another, this gentile rule extends itself, but during this time, gentiles will rule and it’s called the times of the gentiles or the times of the nations.
It’s been going on for 26 hundred years. But there are boundaries on it. It will end at the coming of Christ. Now, just prior to the coming of Christ, this whole gentile kind of rule in the world is going to begin to fall apart, and that’s what we’re going to look at tonight.
Now, secondly, not only do we look at the times of the nations but we look at the ruler of the nations. And we saw that during this seven-year period, there’s going to be one man who is going to rise to the fore to rule the world. He is going to kind of bring together all the gentile nations in one great world government. He’s called the little horn. He’s called the king of fierce countenance. He’s called the willful king. He’s call the lawless one, son of perdition, the beast, et cetera – we know him as antichrist.
He will be a final world leader, an intellectual military, economic and religious genius. He’s going to pull off a real - well, unheard-of, non-historic kind of thing that has never been done before, and that is he’s going to unify the world under one banner.
Thirdly, we saw not only the times of the nations and the ruler of the nations, but last time we saw the religion of the nations. And we saw that during the tribulation, since religion is the opiate of the people and people always have religion – they invent it because the need it – there will be religion in the tribulation, even though the true church is gone and we’ve been taken up to heaven and we’re having the marriage supper of the Lamb and the Bema Seat, which is the reward judgment, even though we’re out of here, religion will exist.
False religion will take off and we talked about the false church, the great ecumenical church. We talked about Babylon, remember, how “Mystery, Babylon” – all of the false systems are going to come together again. I was so interested to get an article in the paper that recently said that the Dalai Lama - you say who’s that? The Dalai Lama is the leader of 1.3 million Tibetan Buddhists, and he just had a historic meeting with the Pope.
I picked up the L.A. Times today and read a big spread on one of the inside sections of the Times that informed us that in North Hollywood at the Congregational Church, they are now sharing their church with the Taoists, which is a false religion from the Orient. They have a Taoist priest and a Protestant pastor. And when the Protestant pastor needs to be on vacation, he lets the Taoist preach in his place.
What we’re seeing is all of this system moving together for a final consummation in one world system of false religion. And we saw last week that the beast uses it as long as he needs it, then he gobbles it up and sets himself up as the only one to be worshiped and makes the world worship him.
Now tonight, we’re going to look at the fourth point in our little outline regarding the gentiles. We’ve seen the times of the nations, we’ve seen the ruler of the nations, and the religion of the nations. Tonight we’re going to see the alignment and war of the nations. The alignment and war of the nations.
During the tribulation, the world is going to divide itself into great powers and these are in reference to the land of Israel. And in that time, there’s going to be a great war. There are four major powers that are going to exist during the tribulation – four of them – and all of them are designated in geographical relationship to Israel. One is west, one is north, one is south, and one is east. They are all designated, as I said, in geographical reference to the land of Israel.
And little by little, we’ll try to unfold them to you by using the overhead. Now, all of these great powers ultimately are going to converge on Israel. They’re ultimately going to just kind of converge on Israel in a final great holocaust, a war like no other war in history, and this is called in the Bible, Armageddon.
Now, let me give you a little idea, just a reminder of what Satan’s attempt is going to be. Satan has always desired to hinder the purpose of God, and so throughout history, he has had two particular things that he attacked. One is the seed. Remember how in the Old Testament he always tried to destroy the messianic seed, the messianic line, and tried to destroy the Messiah? He always wanted to destroy the king.
Secondly, he always wanted to destroy His kingdom. Throughout all of history, not only did Satan attempt to destroy the seed, but he always attempted to destroy the people of God, didn’t he? Now, in the tribulation, Satan again is going to attempt to wipe out all the Jews and to slaughter everybody who names the name of Christ. We know that in that time there’s going to be tremendous slaughter of all those who name the name of Christ, right? If they don’t take the mark of the beast, what happens to them? They get killed.
Satan’s plot is to destroy the kingdom by destroying all the subjects so there can no earthly millennium because nobody’s alive. So he attempts to destroy all the Jews. In order to get all of this destruction done, he winds up with all the major powers in the world landing in Israel – and Israel is in a bloodbath.
Now, in the midst of this bloodbath, Jesus Christ arrives. And believe me, there are some subjects left for His kingdom. And He arrives in glory and power. And Satan finds that all of his effort has gone to naught. Now, let me begin by just giving you a simple start. The center of history in the Bible is Jerusalem. The red represents – or pink, whatever it happens to be up there – represents the great power of the Revived Roman Empire.
Now, we’ve talked about this in reference to Daniel and again, I’m backing up and if you’d like to get the tapes, you can so you can pick up where you miss. But we know that in the last phase of gentile world government, there is going to be a revival of the Roman Empire, right? Remember that Daniel’s image, the final phase of the great image, was the legs and the feet of iron and clay mixed, and they were symbolic of Rome? There would be a final phase of the Roman government, and the ten toes and the ten kings and the ten horns all signify a ten-nation confederacy, and we know that the Common Market in Europe now is flirting with a ten-nation confederacy. I don’t know if there’s exactly ten, but they’re flirting with that. And it’s a revival of the old Roman Empire. They even make statements like that.
So we’ve seen this western European confederacy growing up. They tell us there’s going to be common currency very soon, and there may be a common government, one government governing all of Europe, except the Communist bloc. Now, this great power, then, during the tribulation, is going to sweep over and encompass the Holy Land. In fact, this great world leader who runs that Revived Roman Empire, you know the little horn that rises out of the ten-nation confederacy, he’s going to make a covenant with Israel, isn’t he?
Daniel 9. He makes a covenant with Israel. He says, “I’ll protect you and I’ll take care of you” and so forth and so on, and I know what - you can imagine what he gets in return for protection. He probably gets oil or chemicals from the Dead Sea or some of the tremendous wealth of the land. So under his leadership, he brings a false world peace. However, it only lasts for three and a half years, for half of the tribulation.
Now watch. At the midpoint, I believe his power is challenged. He’s managed to establish himself, he’s made a covenant with Israel from the very beginning because it says it’s a covenant for one week, which is seven, and it’s a period of seven years, not seven days, but the covenant is already established. He’s already swept into Jerusalem. He’s in control, but at the middle of the three and a half years, his power is going to be challenged.
And I’m telling you, from that time on, the first – at that midpoint when his power is challenged, from then on all hell breaks loose. That literally blows the lid off the tribulation period. And it stays that way until Jesus returns. From that moment on, the big war machines begin to roll, and the next thing you know the north comes down, then the south comes up, then the east invades, and you’ve got world war landing on the land of Israel.
Now, I want to show you three things tonight. Just to give you a simple outline, the war, the victory, and the aftermath. The war, the victory, and the aftermath. First of all, the war. In order to understand the war, we have to understand who’s fighting, we’ve got to understand the power. Now, to begin with, the first power is this power represented by Revived Roman Empire. They begin to dominate that part of the world. They are in control, and they rule in Jerusalem. And the beast is riding high. This is the empire that Daniel predicted was going to come to pass. You can read it in Daniel in several different passages. It’s all framed there, we’ve been through that detail by detail.
Now, I told you somebody’s going to challenge the power of this Revived Roman Empire. I believe it is going to be the army from the north. And I believe from the north is going to come a great army to challenge the power of this great Revived Roman Empire that has managed to recapture the world for Rome.
Now let me add this. One of the most - and I’m not very much of a student of political science, but I’m enough of a student of it to know this and so are you. One of the most amazing political features that has happened in modern history or any history is the rapid rise of the nation Russia in the last 25 years.
You know that after World War II, Russia was totally crushed. It’s army was beaten. It’s cities were in absolute ruin, and if it hadn’t been for the United States, Russia would have been totally destroyed. And in 25 years, Russia became a prominent nation with worldwide influence, which few nations in history ever achieved outside of those four that ruled the whole world. In just 25 years from being smashed, Russia became a great world power. Now such - such a fantastic rise of so godless and blasphemous a nation is significant.
It’s also significant that Russia is where it is. Russia is not on the lower tip of South America, and Russia is not in the eastern part of Africa. Russia is to the north, and this is significant. It fits the biblical picture. You say, “Does the Bible talk about Russia?” It doesn’t mention the word “Russia,” but turn to Ezekiel 38, and I want to show you where I believe Russia fits in to the picture. Ezekiel 38.
Now, remember the scene. The church is gone, the tribulation period starts out with peace, remember? This guy sets a world peace kind of in motion. He conquers without arrows, Revelation 6. Everything’s going kind of hunky-dory. He promises a utopia and it looks pretty good. Everything’s going great. He made a pact with Israel. He’s protecting Israel in exchange for something that Israel may give him. I don’t know what – doesn’t say what it will be.
Now, in the midst of this, there’s a power to the north that gets jealous of the land of Israel. I don’t know one power in the world that wouldn’t like to have that land. And the great power in the north begins to get jealous of this western control over Israel. Now, I want you to notice verse 14 of Ezekiel 38, and I want to show you first of all why we believe this to be Russia.
Verse 14. “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog,” and we’ll talk about that in a minute, “Thus saith the Lord God; In that day when my people of Israel dwell safely....” Now, what period of time is going to be a time when Israel dwells safely? There’s only one period in their future history, and that’s the three and a half years at the beginning of the tribulation, right?
For the 26 hundred years in between, have they been dwelling in peace? Are they dwelling in peace now? No. For the last three and a half years have they dwelled in peace? No. There’s only one period of time in all their history when they dwell in peace, that’s the three and a half years at the beginning of the tribulation. All their history since the times of the gentiles.
So Ezekiel says when they are dwelling safely don’t - “shall you not know it?” And he’s talking to this prince. Gog is the name of a prince from the north. “And thou shalt come forth from thy place out of the north parts.” The literal Hebrew is “out of the uttermost part of the north.” Some of you say, “Oh, that’s Turkey.” No, no, no. Turkey is not out of the uttermost part of the north. The Lord put “uttermost” in there for a reason, so you wouldn’t think it was Turkey.
God has a way of saying what He means and meaning what He says. So “thou and many peoples with thee, all of them riding upon horses, and a great company and a mighty army.” Interesting that the Russians still have many of their troops on horseback. But they’re coming out of the uttermost part of the north, the extreme north.
Interesting thought over there in verse 6. It says, “Gomer and all his hoards, the house of Togarmah of the north quarters.” And again, this force is coming from the north. Chapter 39, verse 2, “I’ll turn thee back and leave but a sixth part of thee and will cause ye to come up from the north parts” – again, it’s the uttermost part of the north – “and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel.”
Now, there you have three times Ezekiel is speaking of future times. During a time of Israel’s safety, verse 11 of 38 says, “they’re living in unwalled villages.” It’s a time of peace, it’s a time of safety, and it has to be modern times because only in modern times – watch – has Israel built cities without walls, right? Some of you will say, “Oh, that’s been fulfilled centuries ago. They never lived in unwalled cities until modern days.” It’s a modern prophecy.
Now, three times it says an army’s coming from the far north. Now, you go far north and you’re going to stretch 6,000 miles across and you’re going to cover Russia. You can go this way, this way, or this way, north, and it’s all Russia. It has to be because Russia’s 6,000 miles wide. Now, the amazing thing, beloved, is this. Twenty-five years ago, Russia hardly had an army. In 25 years, they’ve become a world power – at the same time that every other feature of prophecy seems to becoming to its fulfillment.
Now I want you to go with me not only to the evidence of geography that this is Russia but the evidence of language, linguistics. Verse 1 of 38, let’s go. “The Word of the Lord came unto me saying son of man” – two people are called son of man in the Bible, Ezekiel and Christ – “son of man set thy face against Gog of the land of Magog,” Gog having to do with the prince or the ruler of that land. Now, you’ll notice the term “Magog.” Magog is mentioned in Genesis 10:2. Magog is the second son of Japheth, who was a son of Noah.
Now, from the loins of Magog, as best historians can trace it, came a people known as the Scythians. S-C-Y-T-H-I-A-N-S, the Scythians. And Josephus says that the Scythians lived directly north of Israel’s land, and some of them immigrated as far as the edge of the Arctic Circle. So Magog people then, descendants of Magog, were people who migrated to the north of Israel and occupied all of that area, precisely the territory today known as Russia.
Now, notice that it also says the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, which is interesting. Because some say Meshech could be an old reference to Moscow, and Tubal is interesting because of Tobolsk. Now, as the prophecy reads on, it’s interesting, too, because you find some allies that gives us interest. Verse 5, Persia which is Iran, Cush, and Cush is the ancient name of Ethiopia, the African states, Put, haven’t got any idea what that is, and all of them with shield and armor and helmet.
Then Gomer, Gomer we do know is an ancient name of Germany. Now, we know that Russia has allies in the Mideast, we know that Russia has allies in Africa, and we know that Russia has allies in east Germany. And then the house Togarmah. Togarmah is simply an old name for southern Russia. In fact, it was a territory of the Armenians who lived north of Israel. Interesting also, this man who is Gog, this particular prince, is also called the prince of Rosh, and Rosh may be an ancient equivalent to Russia.
So from linguistics and from geography, it appears that this great power in the north is Russia. Now you say, “Well, what’s going to happen?” Well, let’s look at verse 8 and find out. “After many days thou shalt be visited.” Israel’s going to get visited. They’re not going to like this visit, but it’s coming.
“In the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword and gathered out of many peoples against the mountains of Israel, which have been waste, but it is brought forth out of the nations and the nation will dwell safely all of them. Now thou shalt ascend and come like a storm and shall be like a cloud to cover the land, thou and all thy hordes and many peoples with thee. Thus saith the Lord God, it shall come to pass that at the same time shall things come into thy mind and thou shalt think an evil thought and thought shalt say I will go up to the land of unwalled villages. I will go to those who are at rest, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls and having neither bars nor gates.”
Now, he’s talking to Russia. “Now, I’m going to bring you down in a time when Israel’s dwelling safely, and you’ll say,” verse 11, “‘I will go to the land of unwalled villages.’” In other words, “It’s going to be no big deal to knock off Israel, we’ll go down there and take care of them.” “We’ll go to those at rest, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls and having neither bars nor gates to take a spoil,” and they want what Israel has.
“And take a prey, to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited upon the people that are gathered out of the nations who have gotten cattle and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land.” So there’s – the regathering is going to take place, and this north power is going to come down.
Now, it’s again repeated in verse 14, “In the day when the people of Israel dwell safely shalt thou not know it.” In other words, “What a fool. When they’re dwelling in safety, don’t you know that’s of God?” “You’re going to come out of the north parts,” verse 15, “a great army,” verse 16, “you’ll come against my people like a cloud to cover the land and it shall be in the” – what? - “in the latter days, and I’ll bring ye against my land that the nations may know me when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.”
Now, the point is, God’s going to bring them down. You say, “You mean it’s God that’s behind this invasion from the north?” Absolutely. Why? God wants to display His glory and, boy, does He ever do it. I want you to notice several things here. First of all, in order for this happen, Israel has to be in the land, right? They can’t be invaded unless they’re in the land. Are they in the land? Then they can be invaded. Secondly, they must be dwelling in safety. A place where there are no walls. That’s true of modern times. Jerusalem is being rebuilt, no walls are being built around Jerusalem. It’s becoming an area of unwalled villages.
Verses 12 and 13 indicate there’s going to be a time of tremendous prosperity. They’re going to come to take a spoil, verse 13 says, “to carry away silver, gold, cattle, goods, and so forth.” And that is true. You know that up until 1948 and a few years after, Israel was desolate, absolutely desolate, and now it’s just priceless? And so it has to be a time when Israel’s in the land, when they’re dwelling safely in unwalled villages, and when there’s prosperous times.
Two of those things have already been fulfilled. The only one is that they’re not really dwelling in safety, but that will be true in the first three and a half years. But you can see the things beginning to formulate right now.
Now look what happens in verse 19. “In my jealousy,” here comes the big army. When they get down there, it’s going to be too bad. Verse 18 is very vivid. It says at the end of verse 18, “My fury will come up in my face.” God’s face is going to get red. God doesn’t have a face, but you get the message. He’s going to get so angry it’s as if His face turned red.
“In my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken surely and that day is going to be a great shaking in the land of Israel so that the fish of the sea and the fowls of the heavens and the beasts of the field and the creeping things that creep on the earth and all the men that are on the face of the earth shall shake at my presence. The mountains shall be thrown down and steep places shall fall and every wall shall fall to the ground and I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord God. Every man’s sword shall be against his brother.” The whole Russian army is going to go into confusion and chaos and start killing each other.
“And I will enter into judgment against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his hordes, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.” God’s going to destroy that whole bunch right there on the mountains of Israel.
“Thus will I magnify myself and sanctify myself and be known in the eyes of many nations and they shall know that I am the Lord.” Now, God says, “I am going to come down in judgment.” Notice chapter 39 verse 4, “Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy hordes, and the peoples that are with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. Thou shalt fall upon the open field; for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God. I will send a fire on Magog, and among those who dwell securely in the coastlands, and they shall know that I am the Lord. So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel. I’ll not let them pollute my holy name anymore, and the nation shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One, in Israel.”
Now, God says, “I am going to destroy this army.” And so you see the little broken arrow symbolizes the fact that this great army is smashed – and supernaturally. There’s not even a battle, as far as we can read here. God just wipes them out with earthquake, hail, fire, and brimstone. The results of this thing are fantastic. Chapter 39 gives us some of the results. Verse 9, “And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth and set on fire and burn the weapons, the shields, the bucklers, the bows, the arrows, the hand spikes, the spears, they shall burn them with fire seven years.” You know that they’re going to be burning their weapons actually on into the kingdom?
Verse 10, “So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forest, for they shall burn the weapons with fire and they shall spoil those that spoil them and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord God.” All of those weapons that were brought down are going to be used for fuel somehow and some way.
To add to that, they’ve got a problem burying all their dead. Can you imagine having a whole army wiped out on your mountains and getting rid of the bodies? Verse 11, “It shall come to pass in that day I’ll give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the travelers on the east of the sea. It shall stop the noses of the travelers.” The place is going to stink to high heaven. “And there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude and they shall call it the valley of Hamongog.” They’re going to be buried there. “Hamon” has to do with a large group.
“And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying them.” Seven months just to get rid of the bodies. “That they may cleanse the land. Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them, and it shall be to their renown on the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord God.”
And so God protects His people. And God destroys this great army. When God goes about to do something, He does it totally. And indeed, in that case, He did. And so Russia, instead of being a nation that’s going to dominate the world, is a nation that’s going to be destroyed by God himself. You say, “Well, now, what happened?” Now watch what happens. This guy is in control. This Revived Roman Empire with the beast at the head, he’s already in control of Jerusalem.
When this army comes down and gets smashed into absolute oblivion, and only one-sixth of them are even alive to crawl back to Russia – that’s in chapter 39, the first two verses – the world is going to look at that beast and say, “Wow, don’t mess with him.” And there will be some who will give glory to God, but the world is going to say – in Revelation 13:4 “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”
In other words, if you think he had a grip on the world to begin with, imagine what kind of grip he’s going to have there. This is when he really feels his oats. And he says, “I’m going to take advantage of that,” and at that point he gobbles up the church, the false church, he destroys all of the false religion, and he sets himself up as the one to be worshiped, right?
And the false prophet sticks up a big image of him in the city of Jerusalem, and he demands that the whole world worship him. He goes in and desecrates the Jewish temple and he says, “I’m taking over.” His power, then, is secured by the tremendous victory over this Russian army. He really takes over.
Verse 5 of Revelation 13, now he opens his big mouth and starts speaking great things and blasphemies. “And power was given to him to continue forty and two months.” How long is that? Three and a half years. This happens in the middle, and for three and a half years, boy, he really exercises power. And he blasphemes God and he begins to persecute Israel and he overcomes them, and verse 7 says “power was given him over all kindreds, tongues, and nations.” And everybody’s got to worship him and his image. Boy, he really takes over when the Russian army is smashed. He thinks there’s nobody that can touch him. He’s invincible.
You know what happens? At the same time – fantastic. At the same time, this guy gets to feeling like hot stuff. God begins to open the seals recorded in the book of Revelation chapter 6. And you know what happens when God opens those seals? All of the terrible plagues begin to hit the world, the same plagues that are specifically stated – and I’m not going to - I don’t want you to turn to it, let me just tell you.
First, peace is taken from the earth, right? Immediately following that there is - there is slaughter, people kill each other. Then there is terrible famine. Then there is death and one-fourth of the people in the world die. And then the whole heavens begin to creak and an earthquake and the sun becomes black as sackcloth and the moon like blood and the stars fall. And heaven departs and is rolled up like a scroll. And everything begins to go crazy. And the people start screaming for the rocks and the mountains to fall on them.
Now, all of that comes crashing down at the same point that this guy exercises his power. Well, you know what this does? Sure they’re all saying, “Oh, who can make war with him?” But you know his big power and his big utopia is pretty short-lived. Because when people start seeing this happen, they get a little bit disgruntled. And they don’t like what’s happening and they will, evidently, blame him for it some way or another.
And though Russia has been crushed and he has established his power, it’s not very long until the other powers of the world get pretty sick of this guy and what he’s doing and the terrible things that are going on, and then we have the movement of the third great army that appears in Armageddon and that’s the army of the south.
The great army of the south then begins to move and this is the final – at the end of the three and a half years, it takes them a little while to get mobilized and then they move. You say, “What’s the army of the south?” Well, apparently it’s Egypt and the Arab states. Beloved, I just can’t believe – I keep reading in the paper about Russia’s attitude toward Israel and Egypt’s attitude toward Israel connected with the Arab states and it just - it’s unbelievable. It’s just biblical all the way down the line. I mean, you know, I’d be scratching my head if this was all going on in South America. But it isn’t.
For more than 3,000 years before the birth of Christ, Egypt was one of the greatest civilizations in the world. But Egypt sank into relative obscurity in more modern times. But there was one man who made Egypt into a power and his name was Nasser. Up until Nasser, Egypt was nothing to reckon with. You thought of Egypt and all you thought of was those pyramids and the Sphinx and people go there and look at that strange stuff and there’s a lot of desert and there’s a river called the Nile and that’s about all you thought. But Nasser began to build Egypt into a power.
And the building is still going on. You say, “Does this fit into the picture?” Turn in your Bible to Daniel chapter 11. Daniel chapter 11. Now remember, I’m doing the best I can to put these things into an understanding, knowing that there is much that is speculative about details. And so we endeavor just to do what we can and not to try to imply all kinds of truth that isn’t in the text. So if it seems a little scarce, that’s because the Bible doesn’t say any more about it than we will communicate.
Now in Daniel 11, verse 40, we need to make a little note here. We want to know if we read a passage of Scripture whether it’s prophetic or not, don’t we? Because we don’t want to misapply it. So we go to verse 40 and we read a simple phrase. “And at the time of the end,” now that helps, doesn’t it? That helps. So now we know when we’re talking about. The time of the end. “At the time of the end” – what’s going to happen to Israel? – “the king of the south will push at him.”
There are ten references to the king of the south in this chapter. The first seven of them have to refer to Egypt, it seems. Then we would conclude that the last three do, too. So the king of the south is going to be Egypt. At the time of the end, Egypt is going to fight against Israel. Oh, my. That is so current.
Now I want you to notice something else very interesting. Very interesting. “The king of the south shall push at him,” but look at this, “and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, chariots and horsemen and many ships.” Guess what? Guess who regroups? Russia, a Russian/Egyptian alliance. Right now who is supplying Egyptians materiel? Russia – Russia.
Now notice the time of the end. This indicates the end of the age. It’s also mentioned in verse 35. “Even at the time of the end,” it says there. So we know what we’re talking about. General warfare is then described. Look at verse 36. “And the king,” this is the antichrist, “shall do according to his will.” That’s why he’s called the willful king. “And he shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every God and speak marvelous things against the God of gods and prosper until the indignation be accomplished. For that which is determined shall be done.”
He’ll get along just until God says that’s all. “Neither does he regard the gods of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god for he shall magnify himself above all. His only god,” verse 38, “is the god of fortresses, the god of might, the god of power, the god of war.” So he’s really going to rule. He’s going to knock off Russia, but he’s only going to have a little time and all of a sudden the south’s going to get uptight.
And the king of the south is going to go and the plan is this: When he turns to fight Egypt on the south, he’s going to get hit from the north by this preplanned alliance. And this begins the final phase of Armageddon. The first great movement of the final battle known as Armageddon is the movement of the south. We can certainly see that already is such a possibility. The hatred of the Egyptians towards Israel is clearly indicated and their potential alliance with Russia, very, very obvious.
Well, the king of the north’s going to come down like a whirlwind with chariots and horsemen and many ships and, of course, you have to understand that biblical terms, speaking of warfare, were used because this is the only concept of warfare that they had. And so we would translate those into modern terms in terms of the actual warfare.
And they will march down with all of this on land and they will come with ships. So there’s going to be an attack from the north on the land and there’s going to be an attack from the Mediterranean Sea. Now, I want you to see what happens. In verse 40 we read this statement at the very end: “And he shall enter into the countries and shall overflow and pass through.” Beloved, I wouldn’t even begin to try to tell you how many different options there are on who that “he” is.
Some say the “he” refers to the king of the south. Some say the “he” refers to the king of north. Some say they don’t know who the “he” is and others say the “he” is the willful king. Now, there is no way to be dogmatic. We just have to kind of say who “he” – and leave it at that. But I am not - I am not at all hesitant to give you what I think. This is just a speculation, really it is. No more than that. But I think the “he” refers to the willful king, the antichrist. The reason I think that is because it seems to fit the context best and I’m not going to go into all the details. There are all kinds of ways that you defend which “he” you believe it is.
But I think to introduce the willful king in 36 to 39 and just drop him there doesn’t make sense. I think to insert him here at the end of verse 40 makes the rest of the context meaningful and explains what goes on in the rest of the battle, and I hope you’ll understand what I mean.
Verse 41. “When the king of the south comes up and the king of the north comes down, then he,” that is antichrist, “begins to fight back and he enters into the countries,” the allied countries around which Russia will have Arab allies and so will Egypt, “and he overflows and passes through.” He wins.
Now watch. “He shall enter into the glorious land and many countries shall be overthrown.” He occupies all of Israel. He conquers the territory God promised to them, at least in great measure. “And many countries are overthrown, but these shall escape even Edom and Moab and the chief of the children of Ammon.” And I don’t know why the Holy Spirit allows them to escape, but they do. “And he shall stretch forth his hand upon the countries and the land of Egypt shall not escape.”
Now, that eliminates the possibility of “he” being the king of the south. The reason I don’t believe “he” can be the king of the north is because if Russia was wiped out like the Bible says it was a few years earlier, I don’t think they could have the force to dominate on a return basis. So I feel it must be the willful king. And so “he” goes down and conquers Egypt as well as these other allies. “He has power over the treasures of gold and silver and all the precious things of Egypt. The Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.”
So what happened? Now watch the little diagram. This guy who has been here all the time then sweeps and begins to conquer more territory, and he really lays heavy his power in the world. You see, he’s got to be in power when Jesus comes because that’s Satan’s plan, to have this guy get so much power that Christ can’t take the earth. And so I can’t see the willful king getting defeated here.
He takes all of this under his power. And he’s down there in Egypt and he’s conquering away, having a great old time. And then comes a most significant thing. Verse 44. He gets some really scary news. “Tidings out of the east and out of the north.” Now, you say, “What is that?” Well, whatever it is, it troubles him. And not only that, he goes forth with great fury to destroy and utterly sweep away many. Whatever this tiding is out of the east and the north, it involves a whole lot of people coming with a big army.
I believe that that’s the fourth great army at Armageddon, the great army of the east. Now, the reason I split the arrow is the idea of coming from the east and the north may mean that they split into two forces, one coming straight at Jerusalem, the other coming down so that they can have a kind of a collapsing two-front attack.
It may mean when he hears tidings out of the east and the north that being there what he hears is northeast, so it accompanies both the north and the east, either way. I believe what he hears is this great power coming from the east, and this introduces us to the fourth – the fourth great participant in the final great war.
Now, notice how he sets his defense, verse 45. “He plants the tabernacle of his palace between the seas and in the glorious mountain.” In other words, he gets between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. Between the seas, between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. “And he plants himself in the glorious holy mountain.” That’s Mount Zion, right in Jerusalem. “Yet, he shall come” – what? - “to his end and none shall help him.”
I believe this has to be the willful king because he is the theme of Daniel’s prophecy. He is the theme of the chapter from verse 36 on. Here comes this tremendous army from the east. He hears them coming. Now you say, “Well, how do you know about this army from east?” Turn in your Bible to Revelation 9, and I want you to meet the army from the east.
I think if you don’t learn anything else from all of this prophecy series, you’re going to learn which two books it’s all in. Daniel and Revelation, you need to do them together, they just really fit. Now, in Revelation 9, verse 13, we’re in the middle of the terrible conflagration of the trumpets. Trumpets signified final judgment coming at the last part of those three and a half years.
“The sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, ‘Loose the four angels who are bound in the great River Euphrates.’ The four angels were loosed who were prepared for an hour, a day, and a month, and a year” – which just means that God pinpointed the time, a certain hour, a certain day, a certain month of a certain year, God said that’s my time – “to slay the third part of men.” Some great army is coming to slaughter a third of men.
“And the number of the army of the horsemen” – verse 16 – “was two hundred thousand thousand.” That’s 200 million. And where did they come from? The angels loosed the four angels who are bound in the great River – what? – Euphrates. You know where the Euphrates River is? Which direction from Israel? East – east.
And whatever this devastating army is. it’s got 200 million people. Time magazine, May 21, 1965, said the Red Chinese militia now numbers 200 million. They already have 200 million. Do you realize that at no time in the history of the world has anyone ever marshaled an army of 200 million? A great Oriental confederacy – and believe me, Red China would like to get her hands on the Mideast.
A deadly army and millions will die. Verse 18. “By these three things was the third of men killed, by fire, by smoke and brimstone,” which could really speak for warfare, couldn’t it? Bombs and guns and even nuclear things. A third of the people are going to die. A tremendous slaughter as this massive army of the east just moves across, just slaughtering in its way.
Now I want to show you another thing about this army. Verse 12 of Revelation 16. Now here, we come back to the Euphrates River again. Revelation 16:12. “And the sixth angel poured out his bowl.” Now, we have three sets of judgments in Revelation. The seals are broken and that brings judgment, the trumpets are blown and they bring judgment, and the bowls are poured out and they bring judgment. The bowls are the most rapid-fire judgment at the very end.
So we know that the kings of the east are coming at the end of the tribulation. They have to be after the other three armies have already met. They have to be the last one because they’re already at the sixth bowl, which is right next to the end. “The sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the great River Euphrates and its water was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.” This whole army comes across and they don’t even have to hassle with the Euphrates.
It’s an interesting thing, friends. I don’t know if you ever take note of this, but on December 9th, 1971, the L.A. Times did about a four-page feature in the second section on the new Russian project to dam up the Euphrates. They’re already into it for several years now. They’re rerouting it. You can find out all about it. It’s being done right now.
God says the Euphrates will be dried up. Now, whether it’s going to be dammed up by human hands or supernaturally dried up, I don’t know. But it’s interesting that they’re fooling around with it.
And then there’s going to be an army coming. This tremendous eastern army moves to Armageddon. Now notice verse 13, this is fascinating. And John and his vision. Boy, after all the visions he had in this book, he couldn’t have been the same guy. He says, “I saw three unclean spirits like frogs.” You know why they were like frogs? Because they came out of the mire and the slime of the pit of hell. “They came out of the mouth of the dragon, the mouth of the beast, and the mouth of the false prophet.” There’s the false Trinity.
Satan’s the dragon, the beast is antichrist, the false prophet. And out of their mouths come three spirits, evil spirits like frogs because of their slime. “And they are the spirits of demons working miracles, and they go forth unto the kings of the earth and the whole world to gather them to the battle of the great day of God Almighty.”
Now watch. The king of the east is moving in all this power and then these demons start bringing everybody to Armageddon. The whole world begins to converge on that place. And you know what they’re coming for? They think they’re coming to destroy Israel. You know what they’re coming to fight against? They’re coming to fight the battle of the great day of God El Shaddai. God the warrior. Listen, friends, there’s one person you do not want to fight, and that’s the one.
“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches and keeps his garments.” He’s warning the saints don’t get spiritually undressed and miss out what’s going on. “Lest you walked naked and they see your shame.” Don’t get caught without your clothes. Be ready for this, it’s coming.
“And He gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon.” We’ve tried to just place Armageddon – the Valley of Megiddo, right there where that little pink area is, the Valley of Megiddo. God’s going to converge the world and they’re coming together. And they’re going to try to destroy Israel. Satan is bringing them all to this place. His last final shot. “If I can wipe out all these people and hold the land, maybe I can hang on.” But it all begins to fall apart. They begin to fight each other and a terrible war breaks out. You say, “Why is it called Armageddon?” Because that’s the Valley of Megiddo. Har Megiddo means Mount Megiddo. It’s also called the Plain of Esdraelon. Napoleon said that all the armies of the world could gather there. It’s a fantastic thing. You stand on Solomon’s stable. There’s a place there where Solomon used to have his stables, and you can stand on the edge of that and you can see that valley as far as your eye can run. It’s a mammoth thing.
And that’s the battlefield. That’s the north part. The Bible says in the prophet Joel that the battle is also going to be fought clear down in the south in the farthest part of the south in Edom. It’s going to cover the city of Jerusalem and the valley of Jehoshaphat. It’s going to run for a length of the Megiddo to Edom. You know how long that is? It’s exactly 200 miles, the length of the land. A tremendous war, the length of that land.
Let me show you something interesting. Revelation 14:20. This is something. And you know they’re going to fall right into the winepress of the wrath of God to be stamped out. And verse 20, “The winepress was trodden outside the city and blood came out of the winepress even unto the horses’ bridles.” Can you imagine five-feet-deep blood? “By the space of a thousand six hundred furlongs.” You know how long that is? Two hundred miles exactly, exactly the length of Armageddon. There’s going to be terrible war and terrible carnage and fighting among the nations.
Well, there you have on that simple little picture the final war of the gentiles and the whole world converges there and they fight and they’re going to destroy God and they find out they’re fighting each other. It’s a horrible thing.
We don’t know any more detail than that, but let me go to step two, the war, then the victory. And this is simple, do I love to see who wins this war. Verse 11 of Revelation 19. You know you can’t bring together that many terribly godless people – even if Satan had a plan, it wouldn’t work. You can’t bring them together without having them fight each other. And they all fight, and all of a sudden, verse 11 of Revelation 19, John says, “I saw heaven open.”
And look at this: “Behold, a white a horse and He that sat upon him was called faithful and true and in righteousness in doth judge” – and what? – “make war. And His eyes were like a flame of fire.” That’s righteous judgment. “And on His head were many crowns, the symbol of sovereignty. And He had a name written that no man knew, but He Himself.” You say, “What was that name?” It says right there it’s a name no man knew. Don’t ask that question.
Verse 13. “And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God.” And we know who that is, Jesus Christ. And you’re going to say, “Well, boy, would I like to be there.” You are, verse 14. “And the armies that were in heaven followed Him with white horses clothed in fine linen, white and clean.”
I’ll never forget at camp one time a girl said, “Do you think there’ll be horses in heaven?” Listen, I know there’ll be horses in heaven, but not like any horse you ever saw. Verse 15: “Out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword that with it, He shall” – what? – “smite the nations.” You see, out of all of this, Christ comes down to make war on all these nations. “And he shall rule them with a rod of iron and treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of wrath of” – there’s El Shaddai God, warrior God.
“And He has a name on His vesture and His thigh, King of kings and Lord of lords.” Do you think Satan in all of his efforts could ever hold this world so that Christ couldn’t take it? No way, not a chance. Not a chance. “And I saw an angel standing in the sun.” What a vision that would be. “And he cried with a loud voice saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, come and gather yourselves together under the supper of the great God.”
He calls all the birds. “You’re going to eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of captains and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of them that sit on them and the flesh of all men free and enslaved, small and great, and I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse and His army.”
Do you know what happens? They’re fighting each other, they see Christ and they turn to fight Him. And an angel stands in the sun and calls all the birds to the dinner that they’re going to have on the flesh of those that are destroyed. “And the beast was taken,” verse 20, “within the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, and they were cast alive into a lake of fire, burning with brimstone. And the remnant was slain with the sword of Him that sat on the horse which sword proceeds out of His mouth.”
Do you know what that is? That’s His Word, and by His Word they all die on the hills of Israel. The world of gentile power is wiped out. “And the fowls were filled with their flesh.” That’s how it ends. They are destroyed by one blow, the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ, and all of Satan’s effort throughout all of the centuries have come to absolute zero.
You know, this is not new. Zechariah prophesied the same thing. Oh, do I love this. Listen to this. 14th chapter, verse 1, “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. I’ll gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle” – and they all come – “and the city shall be taken and the houses rifled and the women ravished” or raped. “Half the city shall go forth to captivity, the residue of the people shall be cut off.” All this terrible thing.
But look at this – oh, do I like this. “Then shall the Lord go forth and fight against those nations as when He fought in the day of battle.” And man, when God comes, His feet are going to stand in that day on the Mount of Olives before Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives is going to cleave in the midst towards the east and the west and there’s going to be a very great valley, half of the mountain removes to the north, half to the south. He stands there and creates a valley.
You know what that valley’s called? The Valley of Decision. And he gathers all the godless nations into that valley and they’re judged according to their sin, and that’s the final phase of gentiles in the tribulation, the final judgment of the gentiles.
It’s a fearful thing to see the victory that’s coming, and there is no way that any power of Satan could ever stop that victory. You say, “How is this judgment going to take place? What’s going to happen to these people to make them die?” Listen to Zechariah 14:12, “This shall be the plague which the Lord will smite all the people that’s fought against Jerusalem. Their flesh shall consume away while they stand on their feet and their eyes shall consume away in their holes” or sockets “and their tongues shall consume away in their mouth.” They will stand there and begin to disintegrate.
You say, “That’s a fearful thing.” That’s right, and I wouldn’t tell you except God said it in the Bible, and I want to tell you because He said it. And He said it because He wanted you to know it. That’s the end of man’s day. You say, “What’s the aftermath? We’ve seen the war and the victor, what’s the aftermath?”
Revelation 20, verse 1, Satan is bound. “I saw an angel come down from heaven having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He took that old dragon, that old serpent, the Devil and Satan, bound him a thousand years, cast him into the bottomless pit and shut him up and set a seal on him, that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years shall be fulfilled and after that he must be loosed a little season.”
So for one thousand years, he’s bound. Satan’s taken care of. You know what follows that? Verse 4. “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them, and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the Word of God and who had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark in their foreheads or in their hands, and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
That’s the kingdom, beloved. Do you see that all of the features of the end time are all predicted? We know exactly where history’s going. You say, “Well, John, what are you trying to tell me?” Well, one, I’m just trying to give you the information. I think the information itself ought to motivate you. But in case it didn’t, let me motivate you a little bit with the words of beloved Peter. Words that I’ve shared with you many times, and I don’t hesitate to do it again. Listen to them.
Peter says this: “The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. The heavens shall pass away with a great noise. The elements shall melt with fervent heat. The earth also in the works that are in shall be burned up.” Listen to this. “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be?”
That’s the message isn’t it? If you know this is coming, what kind of person should you be? I’ll tell you what kind of person I want to be, I want to be on God’s side. I want to be in the army with Him. There’s only one way, and that’s through faith in Jesus Christ.
And, beloved, if this doesn’t motivate us not only to come to Jesus Christ but if we already know Him to get out there and find those people who don’t know Him and bring them to Jesus Christ, I don’t know what will. Let’s pray.
Father, we thank you tonight that we’ve again been able to focus upon such tremendous and powerful truth. And, Father, we, like John, feel not only joy because Jesus deserves to reign and at last He’s going to reign, and He’s going to take what is rightfully His and it’s sweet to our mouths to hear it. But we, like John, feel sick in our stomachs. There’s a bitterness because even though Jesus shall reign and He deserves to reign, and even though we shall be glorified to reign with Him, and Israel shall be restored to the place of blessing, yet there will be multitudes – multitudes – of nations of people who will die, who will perish in a horrible Armageddon of judgment.
God, may there be no one leave this place who, were Jesus to come tonight, would be left to be a part of the system of antichrist and to be in the judgment that shall follow. And, Lord God, for those of us who love Jesus, give us the desire above all things to share the blessed saving gospel with those who do not know Him. That they might not suffer the terror of the Lord.
While your heads are bowed as we just spend a moment in silent prayer, perhaps the Lord has spoken in your heart tonight about a specific thing. Maybe you do not know Jesus Christ. And perhaps you’re thinking to yourself, boy, I may be in on that judgment. If that’s the case, you don’t have to be. I like what it says in Romans 8. It says this: “There is therefore now no judgment to them who are in Christ Jesus.” And tonight you can put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. You say, “How do I do it, John?” Just down in your heart say, “Lord, I want salvation, I believe in Jesus Christ, and I want Him to take over my life,” and that settles it. Just an act of faith.
Others of you who are Christians may be saying down in your heart, “Boy, I really haven’t been using my moments and my days and my hours to warn people.” Maybe you need to talk to the Lord about more zeal and faithfulness and the commission that is yours. Some of you Christians ought to spend some time on your knees about how to use the last days that God has given us. Oh, as we see what’s happening in the world, I don’t see how we can put it off.
Father, as we close, we pray that you’ll bring those to the prayer room that need to come. That the counselors there might be prepared in their hearts to meet the needs. That no one would leave not knowing Jesus Christ. We pray in His blessed name. Amen.
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