Q. I find that I’m leaning toward a larger gap between the rapture and the beginning of the tribulation than is mentioned in most commentaries. I believe the Ezekiel war will occur post rapture when God has turned his attention back to Israel and begins again to show signs and wonders on their behalf. Since scripture is clear that Israel will burn the fuel from the remains of the Ezekiel war of 38-39, this requires a 7 year period of time. Scripture seems to indicate that they will be fleeing from the Anti-Christ at the mid-point of the tribulation, so the continuation of the burning would become impossible. This would seem to indicate that the Ezekiel conflict would need to happen 3.5 years prior to the beginning of the tribulation, at a minimum. What are your thoughts on this?
A. Keep in mind that only the Jews who believe in Jesus will heed His warning to flee from the Abomination of Desolation (Matt. 24:15-16). The vast majority of Jews in Israel do not accept Jesus as their Messiah, and even though they’ll officially be drawn back to God following the battle of Ezekiel 38 it will only be into an Old Covenant relationship. The conversion of Israel, prophesied in Zechariah 12:10, will take place near the end of the Great Tribulation when their eyes are opened and they finally recognize Jesus as their Messiah. Also there will still be people who follow the anti-Christ in Israel during Daniel’s 70th week. This means there will be lots of people around to burn the weapons from Ezekiel 38 even after the remnant flees.