The Psalms or Songs of Ascent were sung by the pilgrims going yearly to Jerusalem for three designated feasts, and as they made their way up the incline to Jerusalem, they sang. In the previous study, we looked at some of the persecution that has come Israel’s way because Satan hates Israel and always has many helpers to carry out his persecution. Last time, we closed with the start of Psalm 129, verse 2, and today, we will develop that more. Psalm 129:2 “MANY TIMES they have persecuted me from my youth up yet THEY HAVE NOT PREVAILED against me.”
[F]. SOME OF THE WORST PERSECUTION OF ISRAEL IS STILL FUTURE
I appeal to everyone not to write off the future scriptures concerning Israel as Luther did. One cannot take liberties with the scriptures as Covenant Theology does, and without any justification, take scriptures/Old Testament prophecies that clearly relate to Israel and distort them to make them be fulfilled in the Church. It is a disgraceful thing to do. Some people don’t like the term “Replacement Theology,” which takes prophetic scriptures for Israel and places them over to the church. It is dishonoring.
For a little while, we will look at a few future happenings that will impact Israel. In fact, some of this is in the embryonic stage now. A few years back, only 7 nations stood with Israel in a United Nations motion that condemned Israel. The USA was one in the Trump years. It would be the opposite today with the Biden administration.
[G]. THE SEVENTY WEEKS IN DANIEL
The prophecy in Daniel of the 70 weeks is a remarkable prophecy where he spells out just 490 years of history for the Jews. That is when they are under God’s direction because, for nearly most of the last 2,500 years, they were/are not. Currently, Israel is its own State but not under God’s control in the Exodus sense. 69 weeks (7 then 62) brings the time to the time of Calvary – Daniel 9:26 “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come, will destroy the city and the sanctuary, and its end will come with a flood – even to the end there will be war. Desolations are determined.” Messiah is cut off through crucifixion, but 7 years remain (one week of sevens – 7 years)
It is a biblical certainty that after the Rapture, the 7-year Tribulation happens. I have written and spoken on this, and you will find some material on SermonCentral in a series of my messages that is under “Eschatology” in the series. In the Tribulation, the first 3.5 years are fairly mild for the Jews because of an agreement Antichrist will make with the nation for 7 years, but he breaks that agreement exactly halfway through (1,260 days). Daniel continues in his prophecy of the 70 weeks, speaking of the Antichrist – Daniel 9:27 “and he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, BUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering, and ON THE WING OF ABOMINATIONS WILL COME ONE WHO MAKES DESOLATE, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”
The Jewish believers in the Tribulation will have a terrible time because the Antichrist turns on them. Israel suffers persecution of a severe nature. This is exactly what the Lord also spoke about, and His prophetic words are for the Jewish saints in the Tribulation, an urgency to flee for their lives, and God will miraculously protect them (Revelation 12). Here is how the Lord put it – Matthew 24:15-22 “Therefore when you see THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
Let him who is on the housetop not go down to get the things out that are in his house, and let him who is in the field not turn back to get his cloak, but woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in the winter or on a Sabbath, FOR THEN THERE WILL BE A GREAT TRIBULATION SUCH AS HAS NOT OCCURRED SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD UNTIL NOW, NOR EVER SHALL, and unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short.”
[H]. THE GOG MAGOG CONFLICT AND THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
I must leave that one for now and move to another immense persecution that will happen for Israel right at the very end of the 7-year Tribulation. The prophet Ezekiel speaks of a future confederacy the Bible knows as Gog and Magog. This great war will be happening at the same time as the great battle of Armageddon.
The battle of Armageddon occurs in conjunction with the Second Coming of Christ when He will come to rule on earth for 1,000 years. Here are some references to that coming great Armageddon – The first reference in Revelation is a vision of this great war to come, not the description. The description is later in chapter 19.
Revelation 14:17-20 “Another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. Then another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, ‘Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.’ So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God. And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.”
This next reference is THE PREPARATION FOR ARMAGEDDON. Every nation will send troops to Israel for the purpose of exterminating the Jews. There is such satanic delusion from Satan himself that will summon every nation. Har-Magedon is Armageddon. This is the vision John saw of that:
Revelation 16:12-16 “The sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the great river, the Euphrates, and its water was dried up, that the way might be prepared for the kings from the east. I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to THE KINGS OF THE WHOLE WORLD, TO GATHER THEM TOGETHER for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. (“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his garments, lest he walks about naked and men see his shame.”) They gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.”
Now we come to the great DESCRIPTION OF THE SECOND COMING, coinciding with the battle of Armageddon. This will be the Lord avenging His people Israel for the atrocities committed against them through the millennia AND the great persecution in the Tribulation time.
Revelation 19:11-20 “I saw heaven opened and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness HE JUDGES AND WAGES WAR. His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. The armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword so that with it He may smite the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. On His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’
“Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to ALL THE BIRDS WHICH FLY IN MID-HEAVEN, ‘Come, assemble for the great supper of God, in order that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.’ And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat upon the horse, and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.”
We will take a look at Zechariah, who is describing this SAME EVENT but fills in some more detail. This prophet speaks of “all nations,” which is the same as those who are called in Revelation 16, the kings of the whole world. You see here that Jerusalem is in trouble, but at the last moment, Messiah delivers Israel at the Second Coming:
Zechariah 12:2-4 “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. AND ALL THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH WILL BE GATHERED AGAINST IT. In that day,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will strike every horse with bewilderment and his rider with madness. But I will watch over the house of Judah, while I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness.” Zechariah 12:9 “And it will come about in that day that I WILL SET ABOUT TO DESTROY ALL THE NATIONS THAT COME AGAINST JERUSALEM.”
The prophecy of Zechariah continues again, with ALL nations coming against Israel and the awful suffering the nation will have, but right at the 11th hour, Christ comes at the Second Coming and wipes out all those armies, as Revelation confirms. Zechariah 14:2-4 “FOR I WILL GATHER ALL THE NATIONS AGAINST JERUSALEM TO BATTLE, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished, and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. THEN THE LORD WILL GO FORTH AND FIGHT AGAINST THOSE NATIONS, as when He fights on a day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.”
[I]. SPECIFICS ABOUT THE GOG MAGOG WAR
Ezekiel 38:2 “Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him.”
Ezekiel 38:5-6 “Persia, Ethiopia, and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer with all its troops; Beth-togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops – many peoples with you.”
This war against Israel is for the purpose of extermination. The setting is at the end of the Tribulation, and the Second Coming is close, when the Lord comes back to the Mount of Olives. Satan has one last final push to eliminate Israel and brings in all the armies of the world, but the separate confederacy of Gog is also being used to wipe out Israel.
We see here that this group is made up of those from the remote north, and that is Rosh/Russia and its territories. Then there is Iran (Persia), Ethiopia, Libya, and others. Right now, Russia is using Iranian drones against the Ukraine. Russia is already in the Middle East in Syria. Iran is supplying rockets to Hezbollah, who rain down 200 rockets a day on Israel. The forces and alliances are building.
Ezekiel 38:8-9 “After many days you will be summoned. IN THE LATTER YEARS you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them. You will go up, you will come like a storm. You will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you.”
Ezekiel 38:16 “and you will come up against MY PEOPLE, ISRAEL LIKE A CLOUD to cover the land. It will come about in the last days that I shall bring you AGAINST MY LAND, in order that the nations may know Me when I shall be sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog.”
The Gog forces move like a cloud over Israel and come, being drawn by Satan, but it is all in the permissive will of God. God will be glorified through it. Sometimes, we do not see the whole picture, only parts, but God holds the whole in His hands. Do not miss the importance of “MY” as in “My people Israel” and “My land.” Israel is God’s land, and His earthly people, Israel, is His heritage.
The term “in the last days” in prophetic scriptures always refers to the end of the age. The end of the age is when the Lord/Messiah comes at the Second Coming. Occasionally, in the New Testament, the term can mean the last days of the Church age as in 2 Timothy 3:1, but it is always easy to know that in context.
[J]. THE FATE OF THOSE WHO ARE ENEMIES OF ISRAEL, AND SEEK HER DESTRUCTION IN THE TRIBULATION
Ezekiel 39:1-5 “And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and I shall turn you around, drive you on, TAKE YOU UP FROM THE REMOTEST PARTS OF THE NORTH, AND BRING YOU AGAINST THE MOUNTAINS OF ISRAEL, and I shall strike your bow from your left hand, and dash down your arrows from your right hand. You shall fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops, and the peoples who are with you. I shall give you as food to EVERY KIND OF PREDATORY BIRD and beast of the field. You will fall on the open field for it is I who have spoken,’ declares the Lord GOD.”
Just in case any reader misses the point of the predatory birds, and now wild animals are also mentioned, then God states it again, so great will be this feast of devouring. Ezekiel 39:17-20 “As for you, son of man,’ thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Speak to every kind of BIRD and to every BEAST of the field. Assemble and come, gather from every side to My sacrifice which I am going to sacrifice for you, as a great sacrifice on THE MOUNTAINS OF ISRAEL, that you may eat flesh and drink blood. You shall eat the flesh of mighty men, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, as though they were rams, lambs, goats, and bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan. You will eat fat until you are glutted, and drink blood until you are drunk, from My sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you, and you will be glutted at My table with horses and charioteers, with mighty men and all the men of war,’ declares the Lord GOD.” That will be the fate of ALL the armies of the world gathered against Israel, especially the Gog armies.
This matches the prophecies in Zechariah chapters 12 and 14. God will destroy all the Gog armies on the mountains of Israel. He will do it. Read again the Zechariah description, and you see that Israel seems almost totally conquered, but then God miraculously delivers His own people.
The birds of prey will feast sumptuously on the fallen armies. The same thing happens to all the armies of the world when they are defeated in Israel at the same time as Gog – Revelation 19:17-18 “I saw an angel standing in the sun and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to ALL THE BIRDS WHICH FLY IN MID-HEAVEN, ‘Come, assemble for the great supper of God, in order that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.'”
I cannot confirm this, but I have read there has been an increase in birds of prey in the Middle East. In any case, I think they will multiply enormously in the Tribulation, and by the end, they are ready for the devouring with the defeat of all the armies of the world in Israel after the Second Coming.
Once the Gog Magog war ends (when the Lord comes at the Second Coming) and the armies of the world are defeated, then Israel will forever rest in peace. Let the word of God state it so clearly:
Ezekiel 39:25-29 “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Now I shall restore the fortunes of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I shall be jealous for My holy name. They shall forget their disgrace and all their treachery, which they perpetrated against Me when they live securely on their own land with no one to make them afraid. When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I shall be sanctified through them in the sight of the many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land; and I will leave none of them there any longer. I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,’ declares the Lord GOD.”
THIS IS THE END OF PART 2. Part 3 will end Psalm 129.