My first book had the title Storming Toward Armageddon. It was released during the assault termed “Desert Storm” by the George H. W. Bush administration. It seemed at the time—more than thirty years ago—that all attention was directed back to the Middle East and things regarding God’s warning about humankind’s most horrific war: Armageddon.
My attention, in thinking on that military operation, was drawn to the prophet Zechariah’s vision, given him by an angel:
“Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth. And I said, What is it? And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. He said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth. And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah. And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof.
Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven. Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base” (Zechariah 5:5-11).
My thinking was—and continues to be—that the Desert Storm action was the beginning of the wrap-up of the Armageddon scenario. In other words, that action was turning the attention of history to the arena where humankind’s final war this side of the Millennium will be fought.
God’s Word is quite specific about where and why it will be fought. It will be fought because that is where all the wickedness of anti-God forces will be gathered by God Himself. Here is the prophecy about that gathering:
“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land” (Joel 3:1-2).
The way God deals with wickedness will be ultimately based upon how the nations of the world deal with His chosen people and nation. There is one specific element of that wickedness among this prophecy that will serve as the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back:
God will bring all of the nations’ armies to Armageddon and to their complete devastation, as His Word says, because “they have scattered [His people and His heritage Israel] among the nations, and parted my land.”
The matter of parting God’s land is the constant effort by all involved to force Israel into accepting a “two-state solution” in order to have peace.
To get right to the heart of the matters involved, Satan’s purpose is to break God’s promise to the nation He has chosen as His heritage. Lucifer is thus doing all he can to stir the world against Israel to convince that tiny nation to fall for this devil-inspired plot. (That plot has especially ramped up after Israel’s coming into modernity as a nation in 1948, and even more specifically since Desert Storm.)
The Hamas attack of October 7 is but another part in the implementation of Satan’s plan to cause God’s promise to His chosen nation to be broken. Lucifer is totally reprobate in terms of Romans 1:28, but his insanity drives him to nonetheless carry out the plan that is infinitely greater than his own. That is, he is providentially forced to carry out the plan of the omniscient and omnipotent God of Heaven. Thus preparation is in process for the wrapping up of all of history before Christ’s Second Advent, in focusing back on the Middle East.
Wickedness has returned to that region, more violent and with greater viciousness than ever before. It is prophetically destined to become much more violent and vicious, thus convincing Israel’s leadership to accept some form of dividing God’s land for peace—the land He promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob forever.
We are witnessing the entire world system beginning to build pressure against Israel. The United States’ presidential administration, not just the hate-filled Islamic states, is implicit in helping build this pressure.
We see this in the fact that the resolute Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, vowed to not agree to any cease-fire until the hostages are released. Yet the negotiations, directed by the US and other powers that be, have forced this strong-willed champion of Israel to acquiesce to their demands. They are thereby allowing Hamas terrorists to regroup.
Satan, his evil, supernatural genius on display, presently puts Israel’s leadership in the position of looking like heartless villains themselves if they don’t agree to the cease-fire so that two hostages per day are released. Thus as long as the cease-fire holds.
Eventually, the Israeli government will be dealt with in a similar way by Antichrist himself, as he, through satanic inspiration, maliciously negotiates a division of Israel’s land in order to achieve peace (Daniel 9:26–27). Of course, it will be a false “peace that destroys many,” as Scripture puts it.
It will be an agreement made with death and hell, Isaiah foretells (28:16, 18).
The “covenant” (dividing of God’s land as part of that agreement) will be “disannulled,” as God has said. But the attempt to bring about the division of His land will be the trigger to Armageddon. God will deal with all nations that come against the returning King of all kings—the Lord Jesus Christ.
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:11-16).
With all raptured believers and the armies of Heaven following closely behind you on heavenly white Steeds, even so, come, Lord Jesus!
The Epic Battle Between God and Satan Is Heating Up
The Hamas massacre on October 7, 2023, resulted from Satan’s hatred of the Jewish people. The horrors of that day are a sign of what lies ahead as the battle between God and Satan intensifies.
Since then, Palestinians and their supporters have marched through many of the world’s large cities demanding the elimination of Israel as a nation and, in some cases, advocated death for all the Jewish people. I never imagined I would see such demonic hatred on full display and accepted by so many.
What’s becoming increasingly obvious to those of us who understand Scripture is that we are now witnessing the preliminary skirmishes that point to the epic confrontations between God and Satan during the seven-year Tribulation. During this time, the Lord will destroy the kingdom of the antichrist in preparation for His rule over the nations.
Satan Seeks to Kill the Jewish People
God’s strategy has always been to work through His chosen people, the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Through their prophets, He revealed His saving purpose for sending the Messiah, the One who would die for the sins of the world.
Satan, aware of God’s redeeming purposes, did all he could to stop the coming of the One who would one day defeat and destroy him (Genesis 3:15). His opposition culminated with putting Jesus on the cross (1 Corinthians 2:8). What the devil and his hosts failed to understand was that His death would become the means of salvation for us and that the Lord would rise victoriously from the dead.
At the present time, Satan mistakenly believes He can stop the fulfillment of Scripture that tells us Jesus will one day return to a repentant Israel and set up His worldwide kingdom. The devil operates under the mistaken illusion that he can thwart God’s promise to place His Son on the throne of David in Jerusalem (Isaiah 9:6-7; Luke 1:31-33) and stop Him from ruling over all the nations on the earth.
In order to stop Jesus’ thousand-year reign, the devil knows he must eliminate the Jewish people. Since the time of Christ, he has stirred up murderous hatred toward God’s chosen people. He tried to destroy them with Hitler but fell short. Now, radical Muslims factor into his ongoing deadly agenda.
As evidence that Hamas and Hezbollah will fail in their determination to wipe out Israel as a nation, the Bible tells us that the antichrist, empowered by Satan, will continue the deadly agenda. The coming “lawless one” will implement a covenant of peace with Israel with the intent of using the guise of peace to destroy them (Danial 9:27; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10). Israel’s leaders, exhausted with the many wars and ongoing threats of terrorism, will readily agree to his terms. I believe the antichrist will allow the building of the third temple to sweeten the deal for the nation.
God Will Prevail
Just as nothing prevented the Lord from fulfilling His saving purpose through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God will prevail over the devil’s deadly agenda.
One would think by now, Satan realizes he cannot thwart God’s redemptive plans for Israel and the world. Just as the Lord used Pharoah at the time of Israel’s exodus from Egypt, so now He is using a deluded devil to fulfill His promises to Israel.
The antichrist’s persecution of the Jews during the second half of the Tribulation, combined with the judgments that God pours out on the earth during this time, will cause the surviving one-third of the Jewish people to welcome Jesus as their true Messiah (see Zechariah 12:10-13:1).
Jesus, during the week leading up to His crucifixion, prophesied that He would return to a repentant Israel:
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord'” (Matthew 23:37-39).
According to our Savior, there’s coming a time when those living in Jerusalem will welcome Him as their Messiah, saying, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Although the Jewish people will suffer terribly in the years to come, a sizeable remnant will recognize Jesus as their Messiah and turn to Him in saving faith at the end of the Tribulation. This isn’t simply my opinion; it’s what the prophet Zechariah foresaw and Jesus said would happen. Case closed.
At the moment, Satan dominates the kingdoms of this world (Ephesians 2:1-3). However, there’s another agenda at work behind the scenes, even though most do not yet recognize it.
Once the Rapture happens, many will recognize God’s wrath and seek to hide from it (Revelation 6:15-17). Multitudes will turn to Jesus during the Tribulation, but most will perish holding on to their vain hope that the devil can stop the Lord’s purposes for His people.