"Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."
Rev 22:7

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Putting the prophetic puzzle pieces together

Amy's Speculation Corner

The following is a comprehensive summary compiled from the three following studies:

The purpose of this summary is to show where we are at on the prophetic timeline and consider how certain prophecies might fit together. I have also included some speculation on my part of how these prophecies might be fulfilled in light of current events. This is a summary, so there are a lot of details left out. To better understand the prophecies discussed in this summary, I recommend further study in the links provided above.

The current atmosphere seems ripe for the soon fulfillment of end time Bible prophecy. That being said, even if a soon fulfillment seems inevitable, if it is not God's time for these things to occur, He will stop or slow down these events. As author Joel Rosenberg has said, "God can kick the prophetic can down the road." This is the waxing and waning of the birth pangs leading up to the Tribulation period.

I take the view that once the rapture of the Church occurs, the Day of the Lord will play out in rapid succession like falling dominoes. The Greek word for the rapture, "harpazo," has the meaning of snatching or forcefully taking one out of harm's way. In other words, I believe that the prophesied Tribulation period will follow the Church's evacuation in short order.

First a little history

Several prophets foretold that there would be two separate exiles of the two Israeli kingdoms, one to Assyria and the other to Babylon. Other prophets documented these exiles in the Old Testament. The prophets also spoke of a global exile of Israel, which started around 70AD. However, God promised that He would bring His people back to the land. Our generation has watched this prophecy unfold since 1948:

Ezekiel 34:13 - And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country.

The prophecy of the dry bones in the passage below shows that Israel will return to the land in unbelief, before they receive the Holy Spirit by the end of the Tribulation (Zechariah 12). Our generation has seen fulfillment of the prophecy of the Jews returning to the land in unbelief:

Ezekiel 37:1-6 - The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" So I answered, "O Lord GOD, You know." Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!' Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: "Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD."'
Ezekiel 37:7-10 - So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. Also He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live." So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Ezekiel 37:11-14 - Then He said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, 'Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!' Therefore prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it," says the LORD.'"

Today, the Jews are returning to the land. Also, Israel has notable military strength that has miraculously protected them from their surrounding enemies. Israel has physically come back as a nation, but they have no spiritual "breath" in them yet. Israel will have a spiritual revival that will lead to God putting His Spirit in them after they corporately accept Jesus as their Messiah at the end of the Tribulation (Zechariah 12).

Ezekiel prophesied of a global re-gathering of the Jews to the land as one nation instead of two kingdoms. While the complete fulfillment of Ezekiel 37 will come at the end of the Tribulation, we have already been witness to the people of Israel returning as one nation, under one government; not two nations, as was the case after the reign of Solomon:

Ezekiel 37:15-17 - Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, "As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: 'For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.' Then take another stick and write on it, 'For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.' Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand."
Ezekiel 37:18-19 - "And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, 'Will you not show us what you mean by these?'- say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand."'
Ezekiel 37:20-22 - And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes. "Then say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again."

The return of the Jews to the Holy Land largely began and continues due to persecution in the nations they have lived under exile:

Ezekiel 11:16-17 - Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone."' Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel."'
Ezekiel 34:27-30 - "...They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them. And they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid. I will raise up for them a garden of renown, and they shall no longer be consumed with hunger in the land, nor bear the shame of the Gentiles anymore. Thus they shall know that I, the LORD their God, am with them, and they, the house of Israel, are My people," says the Lord GOD.
Region called "Palestine
Israel and Transjordan

After Great Britain conquered Palestine during World War I, there were steps made towards pledging support for a Jewish State. However, it wasn't until after the Holocaust (a Jewish "calamity" that many Islamic/Arab groups supported and in some cases perpetuated) and World War II, that there was enough sympathetic support in the world to actually bring about an Israeli state. The British Mandate of Palestine was a proposal for two nations, side-by-side: an Arab nation - Trans-Jordan, and a Jewish nation - Israel.

UN Partition Plan
Picture source: Wikipedia

Due to conflict with the Arabs, Great Britain handed the issue over to the United Nations, who further partitioned the land, as shown on the map to the left. All of the Arab leaders voted against it.

After Israel declared their independence, the "ancient hatred" of the Arab nations turned into a war to try to prevent the Jewish nation from coming to fruition, so they could take both nations for themselves. Ironically, these same Arab groups are pushing for a similar partition plan to divide Israel today that they initially rejected.

Israel won their war of independence because God was there with them. However, the Bible is clear that future judgment is coming to these Arab nations because of their "ancient hatred" against Israel, their participation against them in the "calamity" (Babylonian conquest, Roman conquest and/or the Holocaust?), and they want the "two nations," Israel and Trans-Jordan for themselves:

Ezekiel 35:5 - "Because you have had an ancient hatred, and have shed the blood of the children of Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, when their iniquity came to an end."
Ezekiel 35:10-11 - "Because you have said, 'These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess them,' although the LORD was there, therefore, as I live," says the Lord GOD, "I will do according to your anger and according to the envy which you showed in your hatred against them; and I will make Myself known among them when I judge you."

God also said that He would bless the land that was desolate when His people return from exile. I have seen with my own eyes that the desert in Israel is blooming!

Ezekiel 36:8-11 - But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come. For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.
Ancient Land of Edom
Ancient Land of Edom

Ironically, it was the improvement in the land after the Jews began their return from exile in the 19th century that drew in the Arab people from the surrounding regions. There is evidence that many of these Arabs are descendants of the ancient Edomites, known later in history as the Idumaeans.

During Israel's War of Independence, over 700,000 Arabs that resided in Israel fled. After the war was over, the surrounding Arab countries refused to absorb these refugees into their countries. Instead, the countries of Jordan and Egypt annexed the Gaza Strip and West Bank through negotiations and forced the Palestinian refugees to live there.

Israel's War of Independence 1948
Israel's War of Independence 1948

These refugees in Israel are known as Palestinians. The passage below in Obadiah accurately describes how the surrounding countries have forced the Palestinian people to live as refugees. These countries have, in effect, been using the Palestinians as pawns to try to divide and destroy Israel, refusing to absorb them into their own countries after Israel won their war of Independence in 1948. The wording about deception and laying a trap supports the notion that the "tents of Edom" are pawns, or bait in a trap being set for Israel:

Obadiah 1:6-7 - Oh, how Esau shall be searched out! How his hidden treasures
shall be sought after! All the men in your confederacy shall force you to the border; the men at peace with you shall deceive you and prevail against you. Those who eat your bread shall lay a trap for you. No one is aware of it.

Most of the Arab people who live in and around Israel are Muslim. The Jewish state's existence is a direct threat to their religion and belief in the Koran, which is why they deny Israel's sovereignty. Muslims believe that the Jews lost their right to the land because of their disobedience. The Koran teaches that Muslims have to recover land that non-Muslims took from them (source). Therefore, they believe Israel has no right to the Holy Land anymore and that it is Allah's will to take it back.

Islam also teaches Muslims to kill Jews and Christians because they are infidels (source).Instead of disbelieving in Islam, they reject Israel being a nation and seek annihilation of the Jews. In doing so, they blaspheme the truth of God's Word:

Ezekiel 35:12-13 - "...I have heard all your blasphemies which you have spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, 'They are desolate; they are given to us to consume.' Thus with your mouth you have boasted against Me and multiplied your words against Me; I have heard them."

Ezekiel prophesied that God would take the "ancient heights" from Israel's enemies and give it back to them after their return from exile. These "ancient heights" are the Golan Heights and the mountains in the West Bank:

Ezekiel 36:1-5 - "And you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, 'O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD! Thus says the Lord GOD: "Because the enemy has said of you, 'Aha! The ancient heights have become our possession,'"' therefore prophesy, and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Because they made you desolate and swallowed you up on every side, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you are taken up by the lips of talkers and slandered by the people"- therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD! Thus says the Lord GOD to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, the valleys, the desolate wastes, and the cities that have been forsaken, which became plunder and mockery to the rest of the nations all around - therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "Surely I have spoken in My burning jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who gave My land to themselves as a possession, with wholehearted joy and spiteful minds, in order to plunder its open country."'
Ezekiel 36:6-7,12 - "Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, and the valleys, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy and My fury, because you have borne the shame of the nations." Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "I have raised My hand in an oath that surely the nations that are around you shall bear their own shame.... My people Israel; they shall take possession of you, and you shall be their inheritance; no more shall you bereave them of children."

Ezekiel's prophecy found fulfillment in the Six-Day-War in 1967, when Israel took back the Golan Heights and the West Bank:

Territory Won by Israel after
Six-Day War 1967
Territory Won by Israel after Six-Day War 1967

Where are we at today on the prophetic timeline?

Today, the battle is over the land, particularly over the "ancient heights" in the West Bank. It is interesting to note from the last section, Ezekiel prophesied that once Israel took possession of the "ancient heights" again, the mountains would belong to them permanently. Unlike the "Gaza give-away" in 2005, Israel will never give back the Golan Heights or the West Bank to the Palestinians.

***In other words, the current "partition plan" for peace will never come to fruition.***

The current peace plan will ultimately fail. However, the global push for peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians will likely continue until the rapture because God has made Jerusalem a heavy stone for all people until the end of the Tribulation:

Zechariah 12:2-3 - "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it."

Those who try to divide the land and Jerusalem appear as peacemakers. However, they are acting in opposition to God's will, so destruction will come on those who try:

1 Thessalonians 5:3 - For when they say, "Peace and safety!", then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.
Jeremiah 12:14-15 - Thus says the Lord: "Against all My evil neighbors who touch the inheritance which I have caused My people Israel to inherit - behold, I will pluck them out of their land and pluck out the house of Judah from among them. Then it shall be, after I have plucked them out, that I will return and have compassion on them and bring them back, everyone to his heritage and everyone to his land."

With the instant disappearance of millions of souls, the rapture will be a "sudden destruction" upon the inhabitants of the earth. Possible physical ramifications of that miraculous event could include such things as earthquakes or cosmic disturbances. The "sudden destruction" will come at a time when the world is saying "peace and safety." World leaders have been amazingly quoting this prophetic passage in their recent push for peace talks:

Today, we are witnessing a preview of the "sudden destruction" on a smaller scale, as countries continue to push Israel to divide their land. The current "peace plan" is against Israel's best interests, and contrary to God's will and His promise that Israel will keep the "ancient heights," now that the Jews have returned from exile. Bill Koenig and John McTernan have documented for decades the disasters, or curses that have come on nations within a day or two of an offence against Israel's best interests. In other words, the "curse for curse" clause against Abraham and his descendants never expired and continues to this day:

Genesis 12:3 - I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you....

In many cases these "curses" have slowed down the "peace process." The curses are not just punishment, but about God's will and plan. Don't mistake the "curse for curse" clause with judgment. When God judges a nation, they lose their sovereignty. This is not the case when God curses a nation as punishment for touching the "apple of His eye," and doing what is necessary to carry out His will and plan:

Zechariah 2:8-9 - For thus says the LORD of hosts: "He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye. For surely I will shake My hand against them, and they shall become spoil for their servants. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me."

It is possible that the "sudden destruction" of the rapture could come at a time when the current "peace plan" seems inevitable to come to pass. The United Nations had set a deadline for September 2011 to get Israel and the Palestinians back into negotiations. That date has passed, but in November 2012 the Palestinians went to the United Nations to be recognized as a state. By a vast majority, the world passed the bid and recognized Palestine as a "non-member observer state." In response, Israel gave the green-light to expand settlements beyond the 1967 borders. As a result, talks came to a stand-still for the "two-state" solution.

Until the rapture occurs, the push for peace talks will continue. While it is possible that the world will try to force the "two-state" solution, and perhaps even make a peace treaty, Ezekiel 36 tells us that Israel will never again lose the "ancient heights." Therefore God will intervene to prevent the Jews from losing the land, or be forced to move from all their settlements in the West Bank. The rapture of the Church would certainly fit the bill of "sudden destruction," when the world is saying "peace and safety," preventing the "two-state" solution from going forward.

After the "sudden destruction" and the lifting of the restraining work of the Holy Spirit via the rapture of the Church, evil will become unrestrained (2 Thessalonians 2:7). Israel's number one ally, the U.S., and any lesser allies will certainly be crippled in the aftermath of the "sudden destruction" of the rapture. Israel's Muslim neighbors could take this as being a sign from their god, Allah, and seize the opportunity to attack Israel.

What is yet to come?

Unfulfilled prophecies litter the Old Testament prophets that pronounce future judgment on Israel's immediate neighbors. Judgment is coming in the form of two wars against Israel's neighbors bent on their destruction, who occupy a large area of the land promised to Israel by God.

The "Great Middle East War"

Old Testament prophecies predict a war that will threaten Israel's existence to the point that they will have no choice but to unleash what they call the "Samson Option"; taking down their enemies with massive retaliation in the form of nuclear warfare. After the war, Israel's borders will expand to what God promised to Abraham.

The following scriptures describe this "Great Middle East War":

Psalm 83 · Isaiah 17 · Jeremiah 49 · Ezekiel 35-37 · Joel 1 · Amos 1-2 · Obadiah · Zephaniah 2 · Zechariah 9-11

Psalm 83 lists all the players in the "Great Middle East War":

Psalm 83:5-8 - For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You: The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them; they have helped the children of Lot. Selah
Ancient Political Map of Psalm 83

By comparing an ancient map to a current map, it is easy to find the political areas that come against Israel in the "Great Middle East War."

The Political Areas

    Moab = Central Jordan
    Gebal = City in Lebanon
    Ammon = Northern Jordan
    Amalek = The Negev into the Sinai
    Philistia = Gaza
    Assyria = Syria into western Iraq

The nations within the confederacy are Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Gaza is technically part of Israel, but today, Arab refugees occupy the land. These refugees are known today as the Palestinians, who are trying to form a nation apart from Israel, consisting of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Israel and contested territories

The People Groups

    Tents of Edom = Palestinians
    Ishmaelites = Arabs
    Hagrites = Clan of Ishmaelites
    Inhabitants of Tyre = Lebanese
    The Descendants of Lot
          = Moabites and Ammonites

The people groups are a little fuzzier to discern. I believe the people groups are listed separate from the nations because of the political situation that will be in place in the areas surrounding Israel at the time that this war takes place.

Israel is not only surrounded by hostile nations, but also hostile refugee and terrorist groups that live within Israel's borders and her neighbors' borders. As discussed in depth in the "Great Middle East War" study, the historical migration of these people groups help show who they are today. Although these people are a mix from several different ancient people groups, one group to note is the "tents of Edom." The evidence points to this people group representing the Palestinians of today.

Israel punished

Israel and her neighbors will both suffer in the "Great Middle East War." Isaiah 17 begins with the utter destruction of Damascus, but most of the rest of the chapter focuses on the huge loss of life on the Israeli side; only minimal structural damage on the side of Israel is found in the other parallel passages of the "Great Middle East War." This may suggest that Syria uses chemical weapons on Israel that would prompt them to unleash on Damascus with nuclear weapons. While this event appears to be part of the war itself, some believe this event will lead to the "crafty counsel" of Psalm 83 who come together against Israel in the "Great Middle East War," which God uses to judge Israel's neighbors:

Ezekiel 28:26 - And they will dwell safely there, build houses, and plant vineyards; yes, they will dwell securely, when I execute judgments on all those around them who despise them. Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God.

Amos 2, a parallel passage to the "Great Middle East War," shows that punishment is coming because Israel has despised the Law.

Amos 2:4-5 - Thus says the Lord: "For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, because they have despised the law of the Lord, and have not kept His commandments. Their lies lead them astray, lies which their fathers followed. But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem."

We find a parallel passage in Daniel:

Daniel 9:24-27 - "Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy." "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times." "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate."

God said He would punish Israel under the yoke of Gentile rule for 490 years because they transgressed the Law. At the time of Jesus' crucifixion, 483 of those years had passed. The time-clock on that punishment stopped when the Messiah was "cut off," as prophesied by Daniel. The last seven years left on the clock will start when a peace covenant between Israel and the antichrist is confirmed.

A spiritual revival and the covenant confirmed

As history has shown, war or significant conflict usually ends in peace covenants, or treaties. The scriptures are clear that God will mete out judgment on both Israel and their neighbors. It is possible the "Great Middle East War" is the event that leads to the ushering in of that last period of punishment for transgressing of the Law. In other words, the "Great Middle East War" may lead to the "confirming of the covenant" in Daniel 9:27, which restarts the 490-year time-clock.

Because the covenant in Daniel 9:27 is later broken by the defiling of a Jewish temple, it surely includes provisions for Israel to build the temple. Isaiah 17:7 says: "In that day a man will look to his Maker." Parallel passages show that Israel begins a spiritual revival in the aftermath of the "Great Middle East War," which will likely motivate the Jews to build a temple. This would support the war leading to the confirming of the covenant and beginning of the Tribulation.

One reason there hasn't been a push to build a temple since Israel took control of the Temple Mount, is because the Jewish people are largely secular and as a nation do not want to. That desire may change after the "Great Middle East War."

The rapture of the Church

There are parallels to the "Great Middle East War" in other scriptures that may suggest that the rapture of the Church occurs in close-proximity to the war:

Psalm 83:1-5 (King James Version) - Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee.

In Psalm 83, "thy people" is Israel. The following passages support the Church being the "hidden ones," as they describe God's people being "hidden" during the Tribulation:

Psalm 27:5 - For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.
Isaiah 26:19-21 - Your dead shall live; together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; for your dew is like the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past. For behold, the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain.
Zephaniah 2:3 - Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the LORD's anger.

Interestingly, Psalm 83:3 suggests that Israel's neighbors will come against God. That is, they will make a "crafty counsel" against His people and against His "hidden ones." It appears that the "Great Middle East War" starts because the opportunity to attack arises for Israel's enemies in the aftermath of the resurrection and rapture of the Church. Recall that the rapture is possibly the "sudden destruction" on the world when they are trying to force Israel to divide the land for "peace and safety":

1 Thessalonians 5:3 - For when they say, "Peace and safety!", then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.

The "tumult" of nations

Psalm 83:1-3 - Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, and do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people....

As described in Psalm 83, Israel's enemies will make a "tumult. A "tumult" describes a violent and noisy uprising. In this case, it is Israel's enemy neighbors making a "tumult." Imagine the "tumult" of not only Israel's neighbors, but also of the world after the rapture of the Church.

In the first months of the year 2011 most of the nations listed in Psalm 83, and several in the "Gog and Magog War," started uprisings against their political leaders, dubbed the "Arab Spring." Incidentally, the nations being in turmoil is a prophesied characteristic of the "end times":

Matthew 24:7 - For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom....
Luke 21:25-26 - "And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth...."

Regarding the following prophecy about Egypt in the end times, it is interesting that Egypt was the first of the nations in the Arab Spring "tumult" to oust their leader:

Isaiah 19:1-4 - The burden against Egypt. Behold, the LORD rides on a swift cloud, and will come into Egypt; the idols of Egypt will totter at His presence, and the heart of Egypt will melt in its midst. "I will set Egyptians against Egyptians; everyone will fight against his brother, and everyone against his neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom. The spirit of Egypt will fail in its midst; I will destroy their counsel, and they will consult the idols and the charmers, the mediums and the sorcerers. And the Egyptians I will give into the hand of a cruel master, and a fierce king will rule over them," Says the Lord, the LORD of hosts."

The coming "cruel master" might be the antichrist who eventually conquers the entire Middle East, or possibly the "king of the south" who rules over Egypt before the conquest of the antichrist (Daniel 11). Some believe the "Arab Spring" fulfilled the first few verses of Isaiah 19 and they thought President Morsi might become the "fierce king." The overthrow of Morsi in the summer of 2013 shows that Morsi was not that "fierce king." Egypt is still a much divided country and could still fall into a state of civil war, which I believe better describes the prophecy in Isaiah 19, than the Arab Spring "tumult." Such a war could give rise to the "fierce king," or give the leader in power dictatorial powers to end such a conflict. Later we will see that Isaiah 19 may explain Egypt's absence as an aggressor in the "Great Middle East War."

Eventually, many of the nations in "tumult" will come against Israel in the "Great Middle East War." I believe that the "Muslim Brotherhood" may have deliberately planned these uprisings to make it opportune for them to try to take over these countries. I am suspicious of this "Muslim Brotherhood" becoming a major participant in the "crafty counsel" of Psalm 83 along with other radical groups such as ISIS in Syria.

God to the rescue - Israel His weapon

When God rescues Israel in the "Great Middle East War," Isaiah tells us that the nations will "rush like the rushing of many waters" and "make a noise like the roar of the seas." In other words, Israel's neighbors will come "rushing" against her to annihilate her, but God will bring victory to Israel, which will result in an uproar from the nations. God is the one who judges these nations, but we see in the passages below, Israel is God's weapon:

Obadiah 1:18 - "The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame; but the house of Esau shall be stubble; they shall kindle them and devour them, and no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau," for the LORD has spoken.
Zechariah 9:11-13 - "As for you also, because of the blood of your covenant, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope. Even today I declare That I will restore double to you. For I have bent Judah, My bow, fitted the bow with Ephraim, and raised up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece, and made you like the sword of a mighty man."
Zechariah 10:3-5 - "My anger is kindled against the shepherds, and I will punish the goatherds. For the LORD of hosts will visit His flock, the house of Judah, and will make them as His royal horse in the battle. From him comes the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler together. They shall be like mighty men, who tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle. They shall fight because the LORD is with them, and the riders on horses shall be put to shame."
Zechariah 10:6-7 - "I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph. I will bring them back, because I have mercy on them. They shall be as though I had not cast them aside; for I am the LORD their God, and I will hear them. Those of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as if with wine. Yes, their children shall see it and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the LORD.
Ezekiel 37:9-10 - Also He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live."'" So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.

The theme of "fire" found in many of the parallel passages of the "Great Middle East War," and the destruction described, suggest that Israel will use nuclear weapons.

The land expansion and confirmation of the Abrahamic covenant

Ironically, every time Israel's enemies have attacked them on a large-scale, it has ended in victory for Israel and their borders have increased; the "Great Middle East War" is no different. The land that Israel gains in the war is the same area of land promised to Abraham. Though God promised Lebanon to Abraham, it was not taken by Israel in the Old Testament conquests. Lebanon is on the list of nations that God left to test Israel (Judges 3:1-4). Later Lebanon was an ally during the reigns of David and Solomon. Other than the area of Lebanon, the rest of the land Israel acquires in the "Great Middle East War" was part of Israel's kingdom, under the reign of David and Solomon:

Genesis Promise Land
Genesis 15:18-21 - On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: "To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates - the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."
Deuteronomy 11:24 - Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the River Euphrates, even to the Western Sea, shall be your territory.

Israel will take Lebanon (Zarephath) as spoil (Obadiah 1:19-21) in the "Great Middle East War"; although it is already rightfully theirs, as promised to Abraham and his descendants:

Millennium land divisions
Ezekiel 47:13-17 - Thus says the Lord GOD: "These are the borders by which you shall divide the land as an inheritance among the twelve tribes of Israel. Joseph shall have two portions. You shall inherit it equally with one another; for I raised My hand in an oath to give it to your fathers, and this land shall fall to you as your inheritance. "This shall be the border of the land on the north: from the Great Sea, by the road to Hethlon, as one goes to Zedad, Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim (which is between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath), to Hazar Hatticon (which is on the border of Hauran). Thus the boundary shall be from the Sea to Hazar Enan, the border of Damascus; and as for the north, northward, it is the border of Hamath. This is the north side."
Ezekiel 47:18-21 - "On the east side you shall mark out the border from between Hauran and Damascus, and between Gilead and the land of Israel, along the Jordan, and along the eastern side of the sea. This is the east side. "The south side, toward the South, shall be from Tamar to the waters of Meribah by Kadesh, along the brook to the Great Sea. This is the south side, toward the South. "The west side shall be the Great Sea, from the southern boundary until one comes to a point opposite Hamath. This is the west side. "Thus you shall divide this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel."

If you compare the map below on the left to the maps of the millennial land grant above, and the greatest extend of the kingdom under David and Solomon, as shown below on the map on the right, you will notice that it is slightly larger and includes Lebanon. While the eastern extent of the millennial land grant is not really known, the area of Jordan will become a "perpetual waste" (Ezekiel 35, Zephaniah 2:9) during the Millennium, and no one but demons will dwell there (Isaiah 34).

Israel future borders Kingdom under David and Solomon

The land expansion for Israel after the war suggests that the Abrahamic land covenant will most likely be the covenant confirmed in Daniel 9, after the "Great Middle East War." This supports the notion that this war is the event that will lead to the beginning of the Tribulation.

The person that brokers the covenant with Israel will become the antichrist. As shown in the "Nationality of the Antichrist" study, whomever becomes the antichrist will probably come out of the Middle East, from a neighboring country to Israel. I do not believe he will be the Muslim messiah ("Mahdi"), as Islam will be severely judged at the beginning of the Tribulation. The future antichrist could be someone who is prominent today, or someone behind the scenes. This rising leader will make peace with Israel in the aftermath of the "Great Middle East War."

I suspect that Iraq is going to become unstable, since the U.S. has pulled out and the different people groups there have a long history of strife with one another. It would not surprise me if the leadership collapses, especially if there is nuclear war in the Middle East. A strong leader will have to step in quick because we know that Iraq will become a great and prosperous nation during the Tribulation (Revelation 18). I believe that the antichrist could initially become the new leader of Iraq after the "Great Middle East War." Being Israel's primary neighbor, whose borders will likely also increase, it would make sense for the new Iraqi leader to broker and confirm a peace covenant with Israel.

The antichrist is called the "King of Assyria" (Isaiah 10, 14 & Micah 5) and the "King of the North" (Daniel 11:40-45). The antichrist's global capital will be Babylon (Revelation 18). I could see that for the interim period before the start of his global conquest (Daniel 11), the antichrist would rule over what could be called "New Assyria," with its capital being "New Babylon."

There is a notion based on John 5:43, that the Jews will initially accept the antichrist as Messiah, before accepting Jesus as the true Messiah. Because many Jews believe that the Messiah will build the temple in the Millennium based on Zechariah 6:13, it is quite possible the antichrist will help construct the temple in the first part of the Tribulation, if Israel is given permission in the covenant to build it. Perhaps, the covenant confirmed by the antichrist with Israel will include a disarmament agreement in exchange for permission to rebuild the Jewish temple. Incidentally, the United Nations continues to push for disarmament across the globe to establish "peace and security" in the world (source).

Egypt and Saudi Arabia are not part of the "Gog and Magog War," which I believe will follow on the heels of the "Great Middle East War." These countries may make peace with Israel and the rest of the world in the confirmed covenant with "many" in Daniel 9:27. In other words, the Middle East would consist of four kingdoms, three of which we find in Daniel 11: the kingdom of the north (aka Babylon), the kingdom of the south (aka Egypt), and the "glorious land" (aka Israel), with the fourth being Saudi Arabia, as they are still recognized as a nation in Ezekiel 38:13.

Here is a suggested map of what the Middle East might look like after the "Great Middle East War." In this scenario Iraq, aka New Assyria, would absorb the land from the former country of Syria that lies north of the Euphrates River:

New Assyria

Collateral damage

Collateral damage in the "Great Middle East War" will reach western Iraq, Ethiopia/Sudan, and Egypt. Egypt is not listed as an aggressor in Psalm 83. Recall from earlier, Egypt will be in a state of civil war before the "cruel master" takes over (Isaiah 19). Egypt embroiled in a civil war may explain their absence in the "crafty council" of Psalm 83.

Some believe that the Hagrites in Psalm 83 represent Egypt because Hagar was originally from Egypt, but history and the Bible show that the Hagrites migrated east of Israel:

1 Chronicles 5:10 - Now in the days of Saul they made war with the Hagrites, who fell by their hand; and they dwelt in their tents throughout the entire area east of Gilead.

The Hagrites were Ishmaelites who took the matron name:

    In Genesis 25:12-18 are recorded the descendants, "generations," of Ishmael, "whom Hagar the Egyptian Sarah's handmaid, bare unto Abraham." Two, and possibly three, of these tribes, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah (Genesis 25:15), appear to be identical with the 3 tribes whom the Reubenites and the other Israelite tribes East of the Jordan conquered and dispossessed (1 Chronicles 5). The correspondence of names in Genesis and 1 Chronicles leaves little doubt that "Hagrite" is a generic term roughly synonymous with "Ishmaelite," designating the irregular and shifting line of desert tribes stretching along the East and South of Israel. Those "East of Gilead," "Jetur, Naphish and Nodah," were overcome by Reuben: "The Hagrites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them.... And they took away their cattle... they dwelt in their stead until the captivity" (1 Chronicles 5:20-22).

I believe it is a stretch to say that the largely unknown Hagrites represent Egypt, as Egypt is otherwise a very prominent country throughout the Bible. Let me explain it in a different way:

    Hagar had Ishmael through Abraham, and Sarah had Isaac through Abraham. For argument's sake, let's call the people of the future country of Israel the "Sarites." Sarah was a Syrian. Using the same argument about the Hagrites representing the Egyptians, we could argue that the "Sarites" would represent Syria in the future. Obviously, that just isn't the case. We understand that a new nation formed through the line of Sarah and Isaac. After the captivity in Egypt, Sarah's kin settled in the land of Canaan and became Israel. All the future prophecies about Israel are about Israel ("Sarites"), not Syria.

The point here is that we need to look at where the Hagrites migrated and settled, not where they originated from. Both the Bible and history confirm that the Hagrites settled east of Israel, which means Egypt is not an aggressor in the "Great Middle East War."

While Egypt is not listed as an aggressor in Psalm 83, a parallel passage in Zechariah 10 shows that God will judge Egypt at the same time He judges Assyria. Apparently they will receive collateral damage and/or get drawn into the conflict:

Zechariah 10:11-12 - He shall pass through the sea with affliction, and strike the waves of the sea: All the depths of the River shall dry up. Then the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the scepter of Egypt shall depart. "So I will strengthen them in the LORD, and they shall walk up and down in His name," Says the LORD.

While this passage reaches out to the Millennium, Egypt is still a neighboring enemy of Israel that will receive judgment at some point after the global exile, as shown in the passage below:

Ezekiel 28:25-26 - 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "When I have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and am hallowed in them in the sight of the Gentiles, then they will dwell in their own land which I gave to My servant Jacob. And they will dwell safely there, build houses, and plant vineyards; yes, they will dwell securely, when I execute judgments on all those around them who despise them. Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God."'"

The judgment on Egypt seems to have something to do with the Nile River. Here is another unfulfilled prophecy about the Nile that appears to take place at the time of the "Great Middle East War":

Isaiah 11:11-12 - It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left, from Assyria and Egypt, from Pathros and Cush, from Elam and Shinar, from Hamath and the islands of the sea. He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
Isaiah 11:13-15 - Also the envy of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not harass Ephraim. But they shall fly down upon the shoulder of the Philistines toward the west; together they shall plunder the people of the East; they shall lay their hand on Edom and Moab; and the people of Ammon shall obey them. The LORD will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt; with His mighty wind He will shake His fist over the River, and strike it in the seven streams, and make men cross over dryshod.

Notice that this battle will come after the people of Israel return from global exile. This battle is against Israel's enemies to the south. Destruction of the tongue of the Nile Delta will occur when Israel comes against the people in the west (Palestinians in Gaza?). It says that God will destroy it with His mighty wind, or whirlwind. But God also said that He will use Israel to judge the nations around them. Perhaps the mighty wind will be a nuclear blast set off close to the Nile Delta.

Sudan and Iraq also receive collateral damage (Zephaniah 2). Sudan will be a part of the "Gog and Magog War," which I believe follows the "Great Middle East War." In revenge, Sudan may join the Gog and Magog coalition after they receive collateral damage in the previous war.

While it is true that the Assyrians ruled over Babylon before the Babylonian empire rose, the heart of the Assyrian empire covered northern Syria and western Iraq. This is important to note, because Assyria is in the Psalm 83 confederacy. I do not believe Iraq as a nation will be an aggressor in that conflict. Iraq is better represented by the heart of the ancient area of Babylon, which is not in view in the parallel passages to Psalm 83. However, the area of Mosul is in western Iraq and is the same area of ancient Nineveh which gets destroyed in the "Great Middle East War."

In recent history, the Kurds have occupied the ancient area of Nineveh. The Kurds have continuously struggled with both Turkey and the rest of Iraq. There have even been proposals made to allow the Kurds to break away and be their own country. If this occurs before the "Great Middle East War," I wouldn't rule out their direct involvement in the Psalm 83 coalition, as politically they could be considered the heart of ancient Assyria along with Syria.

Another possibility is that rebels aligned with the other Psalm 83 aggressors take over the western part of Iraq before the "Great Middle East War." Interestingly, the terrorist group ISIS has laid claim to most of the territory of ancient Assyria as a result of the civil war in Syria that started in 2011, and the insurgency of western Iraq in the summer of 2014. Note that Babylon is not mentioned in the Psalm 83 confederacy. So if the Iraq insurgency is prophetic, the rebels will not take eastern Iraq. In fact, the goal of ISIS is not to take southern Iraq, but extend their territory south through Lebanon and Israel to form the "Levant." Incidentally, this is roughly the same real estate Israel conquers in the "Great Middle East War." The apparent reshaping of the Middle East suggests that God might be using these conflicts to return the boundaries to their ancient lines before the next prophetic war. If this is the case, Nineveh's destruction is not collateral damage, but a target of war.

The Gog and Magog War

The last seven years before Jesus returns officially begins when the antichrist brokers a peace covenant with Israel (Daniel 9). The book of Revelation describes God's judgment on the earth during these seven years. I believe that the "Gog and Magog War" fulfills some of the Seal judgments, as discussed in Revelation 6. God will supernaturally defeat the remaining Islamic nations in this war, in addition to Russia, as they come against Israel. A Russian leader known as Gog, will lead this military alliance.

There are at least five prerequisites of the state of Israel before the "Gog and Magog War" can take place:

  1. The Jews will have returned from the sword/exile (Ezekiel 38:8)
  2. The Jews will return from exile to the mountains of Israel (Ezekiel 38:12)
  3. The Jews will be living securely in the land (Ezekiel 38:8 & 11)
  4. Israel will have great wealth (Ezekiel 38:8 & 12-13)
  5. The land east of the Dead Sea will be within in Israel's borders (Ezekiel 39:11-12)

The Jews have returned from exile and won the West Bank and the Golan Heights in the Six-Day War. Israel is doing rather well economically and they have recovered from several wars. However, Israel is not living securely with the threat looming by her immediate neighbors. The "Great Middle East War" will wipe out the threat from her neighbors. In addition, Israel's borders will expand east of the Dead Sea, and as a result, Israel's wealth will vastly increase.

Without a doubt, the increase in the size of Israel's real estate alone will dramatically increase their wealth. Joel Rosenberg predicts that the one thing that could really make Israel's wealth increase would be if they found oil. There have been rumors over the past few years that Israel had found a large amount of oil. But recent news reports have said that Israel has discovered enough oil that they could become an exporter of it (source).

Russia will hesitantly be drawn into leading the war, probably because of the alliances they've made with Iran, Sudan, and Libya over the last several years. However, if Israel has plenty of spoils for the taking (i.e. oil and land), it won't take too much coaxing for Russia to lead the way.

The devastation on Israel described in the "Great Middle East War" will be difficult to recover from, especially population-wise. However, the likely rise in anti-Semitism after the war will probably force much of the rest of the world's Jews to move to Israel for safety. God has allowed persecution of the Jews time and again over the past century, to re-gather them home:

Ezekiel 11:16-17 - Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone."' Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel."'
Ezekiel 28:25-26 - 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "When I have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and am hallowed in them in the sight of the Gentiles, then they will dwell in their own land which I gave to My servant Jacob. And they will dwell safely there, build houses, and plant vineyards; yes, they will dwell securely, when I execute judgments on all those around them who despise them. Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God."'"

Notice in the passage above, Israel will dwell securely only after God executes judgment on her neighbors who despise them. After the "Great Middle East War," when God judges Israel's neighbors, the Jewish people will feel secure for the first time since their return from exile, as shown in Ezekiel 28. Keep in mind that Israel "dwelling securely" is a prerequisite before the "Gog and Magog War."

The Hebrew word "betach," translated as "dwelling securely," is found in both passages of Ezekiel 28 and 38. "Betach" literally means to have confidence and trust. In other words, Israel may feel secure, but may not actually be secure after God judges their neighbors.

The passages below show that Gog and his defeated armies will have a burial-place in Israel, but east of the Dead Sea, which today is under Jordanian rule. Therefore, Israel will own this land before the "Gog and Magog War":

Ezekiel 39:11 - "It will come to pass in that day that I will give Gog a burial place there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea [Dead Sea]; and it will obstruct travelers, because there they will bury Gog and all his multitude. Therefore they will call it the Valley of Hamon Gog."

Israel's confidence and sense of security may stem from a confirmed peace covenant after the "Great Middle East War," that leaves most of Israel's enemies defeated with Israel's borders expanded east of the Jordan River. There is support for this notion in the following passages which describe the covenant brokered by the antichrist:

Isaiah 28:14-15 - ...hear the word of the LORD, you scornful men, who rule this people who are in Jerusalem, because you have said, "We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we are in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood we have hidden ourselves."
Isaiah 28:18,22 - Your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand; when the overflowing scourge passes through, then you will be trampled down by it... Now therefore, do not be mockers, lest your bonds be made strong; for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts, a destruction determined even upon the whole earth.

Isaiah chapters 26-29 are about God's judgment on Israel and the "whole earth," which places these prophecies in the Tribulation period. It appears that Israel makes the "covenant with death" because they mistakenly believe it will make them secure by becoming a refuge for them. The problem is that Israel will not seek security in God, even though God will come to their rescue when they cry out to Him during the "Great Middle East War." Therefore, the covenant Israel confirms with the antichrist will lead to death.

Also, consider the members listed in the Gog and Magog horde:

Gog and Magog War

Israel's immediate neighbors are conspicuously missing from the list, suggesting that the "Great Middle East War" occurs first, before the "Gog and Magog War." This outer-ring of Israel's neighbors have not been directly involved in war with Israel. However, they have supported the inner-ring of Israel's enemies, including the terrorist groups who have been, in effect, fighting a proxy war for this outer ring of nations, namely Iran.

I believe that the kingdoms of the north and the south described in Daniel 11 will form after the "Great Middle East War" as part of the covenant made with Israel. That could be a reason they are not mentioned in the "Gog and Magog War." Also, Saudi Arabia is only mentioned as protesting on the sidelines in this war, which may mean that they also agree to peace with Israel, along with the "king of the north" and the "king of the south."

Perhaps disarmament of Israel is in the peace covenant, if the United Nations has their say (source). If so, the antichrist and "the many" would pave the way for the next war. In other words, the antichrist might say to the Jews: "Take the land and build your temple," while thinking: "You will be unable to defend yourself against the rest of the Muslim nations that are chomping at the bit to wipe you off the map because you laid your weapons down." This is basically what happened when Israel became a nation. Most of the western world gave permission for Israel to become a nation, but stepped aside when the surrounding Muslim nations came together against the newly born nation.

God will judge Islam and atheism in the "Gog and Magog" and "Great Middle East" wars. All the nations in these two wars are Islamic, except Russia. However, while Russians largely profess Orthodox Christianity, the government is atheistic and the Islamic population is growing rapidly there. After God pours out His judgment in these two wars, both Islam and atheism will virtually cease-to-exist:

Zephaniah 2:10-11 - This they shall have for their pride, because they have reproached and made arrogant threats against the people of the LORD of hosts. The LORD will be awesome to them, for He will reduce to nothing all the gods of the earth; people shall worship Him, each one from his place, indeed all the shores of the nations.

The void in "religion" made by the rapture, the "Great Middle East War," and the "Gog and Magog War," will allow for the harlot religion "Babylon the Great" to rise during the first half of the Tribulation. Later, the antichrist will do away with this mystic religion and claim himself as God. The good news, is that many will come to know and worship the true God and not follow the harlot religion.

God will not only "reduce to nothing all the gods of the earth," He will also reveal Himself again to the Jewish people. A dispensation change will take place because God will call Israel His people again. This supports the "Gog and Magog War" occurring after the Tribulation starts:

Ezekiel 39:7 - So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore, then the nations shall know that I am the Lord.

God's purpose of the "Gog and Magog War" and the rest of the Tribulation is to bring the Jews to a saving knowledge of Jesus as Messiah before He establishes His earthly kingdom. As God turns back to Israel and pours out judgment and wrath on their enemies, these two wars will likely usher in the Tribulation, where God will test and refine Israel before they accept Jesus as Messiah (Zechariah 12-14). The events of "Daniel's 70th Week" will begin in Israel, expand out globally, and return back to Israel in Armageddon right before Jesus returns. Israel is clearly the "epicenter" of prophecy:

Expanding War from the Epicenter
Expanding War from the Epicenter

Summary of the order of events:

    1. Rapture of the Church
    2. The "Great Middle East War" - Israel turns back to God
    3. Confirmation of God's land covenant made with Abraham
    4. Tribulation begins
    5. "Gog and Magog War"/Seal judgments - God turns back to Israel
    6. The harlot religion "Babylon the Great" rises and is later destroyed by the antichrist
    7. The antichrist sets out to conquer the world in the middle of the Tribulation
    8. Jesus Returns at Armageddon

Prophecy summary
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