Your Questions Answered
Q. Are the battles described in Ezekiel 38 and 39 and Revelation 16 one and the same?
The event that marks the end of the Tribulation and the beginning of hope for the future, is the terrible Battle of Armageddon. It will be in various stages as it moves up to Jerusalem. A 200-million-man army, led by the Kings of the East (Rev. 9:14-16; 16:12), will move into the Plains of Jezreel, where it will be virtually destroyed. Finally, the remaining armies will gather against Jerusalem, and it will look as if things are hopeless, that the Devil and the Antichrist will indeed win.
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 does 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 (Rev. 19:11-14).
Now theres a massive invasion of armies from heaven, led by a returning Christ. Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints (Jude 14). The army that comes with Christ, clothed in fine linen, is comprised of the saints of God: believing people of all ages, who have come to know Christ as Savior. You and I will be a part of that army that will produce the final conquest of the world in the Name of Jesus Christ. What a beautiful destiny is ours!
Q. Since there will be no lasting peace in Israel until the return of Jesus Christ, why are we to pray for the peace of Jerusalem?
God loves the people of Israel, Jerusalem is the apple of His eye, and it goes far better for those who support Israel than for those who, like her Arab neighbors, would like Israel pushed into the sea. Although it is true that there will be wars in that part of the world until Christ returns, we should pray that at least the periods of peace, which do occur might be extended and that warfare would be limited.
The current peace initiatives, however, are a bit frightening for those who are the friends of Israel. Israel is being urged by outside sources to trade land for peace, thus placing that tiny land in a more vulnerable position with regard to her neighbors. Such agreements may delay war for a time, but will make it more severe when it does come. And we are told in the Bible that Israel faces at least two more wars before the return of Christ: the invasion from the north, involving Russia and her allies (Ezekiel 38-39), and the Battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16 & 19).
Israel was warned in the Old Testament to make no treaties with her neighbors (Exodus 23:32-33); (Deuteronomy 7:2-3). These warnings have never been rescinded, but unfortunately they have been ignored. In the future, Israel will make a near-fatal mistake when she makes a seven-year treaty with the Antichrist, who breaks that treaty in the middle of the Tribulation period (Dan. 9:26-27).
Finally, a prayer for the continual peace of Jerusalem is in reality a prayer for the triumphant return of Christ, something that we should all look forward to. The raptured and resurrected saints of the Church Age will be part of His army as we help to bring that lasting peace to Jerusalem.
Destiny Newsletter continued