Q. From my reading and watching current events unfold before our eyes I am a little confused as to what we are to be looking for next and the purpose of these events.
It seems like everyone is looking at the Middle East and wondering if it is the set up for the Gog-Magog battle in Ezekiel. What is the purpose of this battle? Is it for Israel to be left alone to fight the battle and the Lord wipes out their enemies? Is this a precursor for Armaggedon or is that something else? It is at the end of the Battle of Armaggedon that Jesus comes back (2nd coming)?
I am also wondering about the speculation about Isaiah 17 and the destruction of Damascus. How does this all fit into the end time scenario?
A. The purpose of the Ezekiel 38 battle is to re-awaken Israel to their covenant with God. (Ezek. 39:22) This re-awakening will kick-off Daniel’s 70th week, the last 7 years of the age. In the middle of that seven years the Great Tribulation begins and at the end we have Armageddon and then the 2nd Coming.
Isaiah 17 is a side bar to the End Times Scenario in that it isn’t directly connected to any other event.
As far as what we should be looking for next, it could be Isaiah 17 or the Rapture. Last summer’s war with Lebanon is expected to go hot again in 2007 and Syria is planning on being involved. If things escalate into a full scale confrontation with Israel, Syria will be defeated, and maybe destroyed completely. I think Ezekiel 38 is still a little ways off and the Rapture will likely precede it.