Q. I have long believed (because of my previous denominational upbringing and family influence) that the events of Ezekiel 38 would happen before the Rapture, which of course wouldn’t happen until the preaching of the Gospel to the world was complete. This site has effectively changed my mind on the stance of the preaching of the Gospel issue. I really would like to believe that the Rapture is going to take place before Ezekiel 38’s events take place, but I need more just Romans 11:25 to go on. Can you provide more basis for this claim (either in a direct response or point me to where it currently exists on the site?) I would like to know how you came to this conclusion.
A. Romans 11:25 says that Israel has been blinded in part until the full number of Gentiles has “come in”. In the Greek language that phrase means to arrive at one’s intended destination. John 14:3 says that our intended destination is our Father’s house. In Acts 15:13-18 James told early Church leaders that the Lord was first going to take a people for His name’s sake from among the Gentiles before rebuilding David’s fallen tabernacle, meaning the temple. Daniel 9:27 says that the anti-Christ will defile this temple in the middle of the missing 70th week. Matt. 24:15-21 and 2 Thes 2:4 confirm this as the beginning of the Great Tribulation.
Because of all the controversy surrounding it, I don’t believe Israel will build a temple until God clearly reveals Himself to them. Ezekiel 39:22 says that Ezekiel’s Battle serves this purpose. From that time on, Israel will know that the Lord is their God, and will reinstate their Old Covenant relationship with Him, starting the clock on the 70th Week of Daniel.
Put it all together and this chain of events emerges. Christ has been building His Church for nearly 2000 years. During this time the Jews have been sidelined, blinded in part. When the Church’s number is complete He’ll whisk us off to our mansion in the sky before revealing Himself to Israel by dramatically winning the Battle of Ezekiel 38. The blinders will come off and Jews from all over the world will flock to Israel demanding a Temple for worship. A covenant with the one we know as the anti-Christ will permit its construction.