The following is an excerpt from Gary DeMar’s new book, The Gog and Magog End-Time Alliance: Israel, Russia, and Syria in Bible Prophecy, available now.
One of the problems encountered by those who interpret Ezekiel 38 and 39 as a battle yet to be fought is that the weapons described are no longer used by nations like Russia, the supposed leader of the invading force. All the soldiers are riding horses (38:4, 15; 39:20). These horse soldiers are “wielding swords” (38:4), carrying “bows and arrows, war clubs and spears” (39:3, 9). There are charioteers (39:20) which means there must be chariots. Many of these weapons are con-structed of wood (39:10), and it is these abandoned weapons that serve as fuel for “seven years” (39:9).
But most end-time writers describe a highly technological future when they say Ezekiel’s prophecy is to come to pass. In the book Future Wave, a prophetic future is outlined that includes computers, space travel, expanding global telecommunications, biotechnology, alter-native energy, microchips, and nanotechnology. Tim LaHaye writes that “a wave of technological innovation is sweeping the planet.… The future wave has already begun. We cannot stop it.… [T]he Antichrist will use some of this technology to control the world.”1 Ed Hindson and Lee Fredrickson consider the possibility “that the beast might be a computer” or “the Internet.”2
This presents a problem for those who futurize Ezekiel’s Gog and Magog prophecy. On the one hand, they claim that technology will be used by the antichrist to control billions of people. (How else will those marked with the dreaded number 666 be tracked?) On the other hand, Ezekiel describes a war with weapons that are decidedly low tech. One hundred and fifty years ago there were few interpretive problems since most weapons were of a low tech nature, although I doubt that even then battles were being fought using chariots.3
In the first volume of their Left Behind series, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins devote twelve pages to a discussion of the battle de-scribed in Ezekiel 38 and 39. In their non-fiction commentary on the Left Behind series, Are We Living in the End Times?,4 they never explain how they are able to turn horses, war clubs, swords, bows and arrows, and spears into “war planes,” “intercontinental ballistic missiles,” “nuclear-equipped MiG fighter-bombers,”5 and “chunks of burning, twisted, molten steel smashing to the ground”6 while main-taining a “literal interpretation” where “every word” is to be taken “at its primary, literal meaning.”
The preceding was an excerpt from Gary DeMar’s new book, The Gog and Magog End-Time Alliance: Israel, Russia, and Syria in Bible Prophecy, available now.
- Tim LaHaye, “The Coming Wave,” in Ed Hindson and Lee Fredrickson, Future Wave: End Times, Prophecy, and the Technological Explosion (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2001), 7–8 [↩]
- 2. Hindson and Lee Fredrickson, Future Wave, 214–215. [↩]
- Henry Adams, the great-grandson of John Adams, wrote the following about the United States as it was in 1800: “Even after two centuries of struggle the land was still untamed; forest covered every portion, except here and there a strip of cultivated soil; the minerals lay undisturbed in their rocky beds, and more than two-thirds of the people clung to the seaboard within fifty miles of tidewater, where alone the wants of civilized life could be supplied. The center of population rested within eighteen miles of Baltimore, north and east of Washington. Except in political arrangement, the interior was little more civilized than in 1750, and was not much easier to penetrate than when La Salle and Hennepin found their way to the Mississippi more than a century before.” (Henry Adams, History of the United States During the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson [New York: The Library of America, (1889–1891) 1986], 5). [↩]
- Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, Are We Living in the End Times?: Current Events Foretold in Scripture …And What They Mean (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1999). [↩]
- Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth’s Last Days (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1995), 10. [↩]
- LaHaye and Jenkins, Left Behind, 14. [↩]