What nations will be involved in Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ?
Folks have speculated about Biblical prophecy for millenia. Those in the first century expected Christ to return in their time. And we are still at it today. Even news headlines are filled with questions, trying to make sense of the series of disasters and revolutions that are occurring as we speak. God promises a special crown to the Christians who are longing for the appearing of the Lord. You may enjoy a link that appeared on a video leaked from Iran, saying that the Muslims believe the Twelfth Imam, the Messiah, is near and that current events prove this. Many Bible teachers and authors have cried "Wolf" and end up standing on the roof with no Return, but we should constantly pray and be prepared as Scriptures instruct us to do.
It goes without saying that Israel will be involved in end time events. At the turn of the 20th century, no one would have dreamed that Israel would be back in her land, let alone occupying Jerusalem. Jerusalem is definitely at the center of geopolitics and stands alone against many enemies; Zechariah 12:3 confirms this: “On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.”
Let me begin by saying that many scholars devote their entire lives to the study of eschatology. These are the prophetic events as I best understand them.
The prophetic “…words are sealed until the end of time.” according to Daniel 12:8-13.
The events of prophecy will become increasingly clear as we approach the end of the age. Certain historical events, such as the restoration of Israel as a nation in 1948, have indisputable endtimes significance.
We don’t want to be too hard and fast with conclusions. Prophecy is best understood after it happens: “Oh, that is what it meant.” Nevertheless, as God said to Daniel, those who are wise can see God’s hand at work in the world--and be greatly encouraged--and prepared.
If you read carefully Revelation 17:10-11, you will see a picture of a beast with seven heads and ten horns:
“They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while. The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.”
The “Beast with seven heads” are identified: one is Rome. Five are past: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece.
Now we come to the EIGHTH BEAST!
Robert Van Kempen, author of The Sign, has an intriguing perspective on the nations' involvement in the last days. He identifies those nations by people groups instead of changing political boundaries. I am summarizing his book along with my own commentary to assist us in understanding what happens in the last days.
The seven-headed beast has TEN HORNS. The Antichrist is the eighth beast who is joined in confederacy with the ten horns.
THE TEN HORNS HERE are the same as the ten horns in Daniel’s vision of the ten horns on the composite beast in Daniel chapter seven and is the same ten-nation Satanic empire seen in Nebuchadnezzar’s vision of the ten toes in chapter 2.
Remember THE IRON MIXED WITH CLAY of the multi-metallic man of Daniel 2? Let’s talk about the IRON. There will be three iron nations.
READ DANIEL 7:8, 24: As for the 10 horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise [representing the final beast empire] and another [Antichrist] will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings.
The “little horn” of verse 8 is the same as “another” kings of verse 24 and is a depiction of Antichrist, who will come up from “among them,” over-throwing the rulers of three nations.
These three power-base nations will drive the final beast empire. The three power-based nations are identified.
Ezekiel 38,39 reveal clues about those dominant three nations.
EZEKIEL 38:1-3: “Son of man, set thy face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the Chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.”
Gog (who, as we shall see, is Antichrist) is a Magogite and will rule over three nations, Magog, Meshech, and Tubal-in perfect consistency with Daniel 7 that pictures the little horn overthrowing the three larger horns. (v.8)
WHO IN THE WORLD ARE MAGOG, MESHECH, AND TUBAL?
Does the Bible give us any clues? Yes, we have seen those names before. They may be found in the TABLE OF NATIONS in Genesis 10.
The table of nations following the flood may be found in Genesis 10, as the races are traced from the three sons of Noah: Ham, Shem and Japheth.
READ GENESIS 10:1: “This is the account of Shem, Ham and Japheth, Noah’s sons, who themselves had sons after the flood..”
We know in general that SHEM fathered the Semitic peoples who are considered Jewish or Arabic who settled throughout the Mideast and southern Asia.
HAM fathered the Hamitic peoples and produced the black races who moved into Africa.
JAPHETH fathered the Japhethite peoples who are the fair-skinned Caucasian races who moved northward into Turkey and Russia and then migrated into Europe and across much of Asia. By the way, the Antichrist will descend from Japheth.
Let’s get a little more specific.
After the ark rested on Mt. Ararat, present day Turkey and God commanded them to, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” (Genesis 9:1).
For three hundred years they disobeyed God’s command and remained at Babylon (southern Iraq). In their arrogance they built the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-4).
Greatly angered by their rebelliousness, God dispersed them. (Genesis 11:8-9).
Well who are Magog, Meschech and Tubal? Genesis 10:2 “The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshek and Tiras.” There they are. They are sons of Japheth.
And we know where they settled! The Japhethite tribes of Magog, Meshech, and Tubal were among the first to push out the fringes of civiliation--especially to the north, where the weather and terrain were more difficult to overcome.
THE IDENTITY OF MAGOG
Josephus, the great Jewish historian of the first century A.D. identifies the Magogites as Scythians who branched eastward and westward from the region north of the Black Sea.
This is in agreement with the writings in the Jewish Talmud. This source also comments “considering that the Goths were a Germanic people, the identification of Magog’s descendants as the Goths is in accord with Targum Yonasan to Genesis 10:2.
The Encyclopedia Britanica notes that the Gothic language was the most certain base of the language spoken by the eastern Germanic tribes (Visigoths) in Europe. It seems beyond doubt, therefore, that the Germanic line as we know it today is descended from Magog.
Although the majority of Magogite ancestry ins concentrated in modern-day Germany, large numbers of Magogite ancestors are also concentrated in Austria, and in the Volga River region, south and a little east of Moscow. Thus it could be that the people representing the Magogite/Germanic ancestry could come entirely from within the borders of the former Soviet Union.
THE IDENTITY OF MESHACH AND TUBAL
The identity of the other two nations, Meshech and Tubal, is relatively simple. Certain Jewish writing indicate the by the eighth century A.D. the descendants of Meshech and Tubal located in what is the former U.S.S.R., with Meshech in the west near Moscow, and Tubal located 1,000 miles east of Moscow, near the Russian city of Tobolsk.
Meshech clearly is preserved in the name Muskovi (the former name of Russia) and in Moscow. Tubal is known in the Assyrian monuments as the Tibareni, and has been preserved in the modern Russian city of Tobolsk.
A QUESTION ARISES: I THOUGHT THE TEN TOES AND HORNS WOULD ARISE FROM THE OLD ROMAN EMPIRE?
The significance is that the strength of the final beast empire, the iron, will come from its ancestry in the “legs of iron,” in other words, from the ancestry of the Roman Empire.
Ancestral lineage is the way God reveals his plans throughout scripture. Matthew traces the line of Joseph, Luke the line of Mary. The key is ancestry, not geography.
It is necessary to have at least some understand of what the ancestry of Rome was.
But just where did the Roman people originate, those people who empowered the legs of iron that became the sixth beast empire?
Cyril Robinson, in his book A History of Rome, explains:
At a very early date the Kittim were either absorbed or evicted by invaders [the Roman ancestry] coming from beyonds the Alps-[who are the true Italian race]. The original home of this extremely virile people appears to have been in the Danube basin or even farther north. They were, in fact, a branch of that great Indo-European stock, tribes of which in the process of migration found their way into many lands. For from the language that they spoke was derived not merely the Italian tongue, but Greek, German, Anglo-Saxon.
It is clear that these peoples moved westward from the areas of the Black and Caspian Sea, to what later became the German speaking countries of Europe, and then down into the Italian peninsula.
It is more than coincidental that the German title Kaiser is derived from Caesar and that so much of today’s German culture can be traced directly back to the old Roman Empire.
Just as Kaiser is a derivative of Caesar, so also is the Russian title Czar.
It does seem certain, however, the Gog (AntiChrist) will come from the Germanic line of Magog, which seems most probably to be the iron ancestry of the Roman Empire.
The overthrow of the three nations by a man of Magogite lineage will doubtless be a well-known public event when it occurs.
THE CLAY MIXED WITH IRON (THE SEVEN SECONDARY NATIONS)
Remember THE CLAY MIXED WITH IRON of the multi-metallic man of Daniel 2? Let’s talk about the CLAY. There will be seven clay nations.
Iron represents the strength or leadership of the 10-nation coalition with its iron roots extending back to Rome. Clay, on the other hand, is a composite of various minerals, which perhaps may bond together, but nevertheless will not bond to the iron, “even as iron does not combine with pottery.
The origin and identity of the other seven nations can be clearly determined.
THREE SECONDARY BEAST NATIONS ARE IDENTIFIED BY REVELATION 13.
REVELATION 13:1-2: “The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.”
Revelation 13 refers to the final beast empire of Satan as having “10 horns and seven heads’ and “was like a leopard [Greece] and his feet were like those of a bear [Medeo-Persia] and his mouth like the mouth of a lion [Babylon].
Have we seen these before? You bet!
In Daniel the first three kingdoms of the statue were given an extension of life-they would continue to exist as a people. Daniel 7:11,12 reads:
“Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.)”
The temporary extension of life for an appointed period of time then refers to the fact that the dominion of these three kingdoms would be taken away (i.e., each of these three kingdoms came to an end before Christ). But, each of these kingdoms would have “an extension of life.”
Like their forefathers, the descendants of these three former beast empires will once again align themselves with Satan in attacking the Jews to form his final evil empire.
HERE ARE THE THREE CLAY NATIONS:
In summary, we see that the final beast empire of Satan will include the descendants of the Babylonian (the general vicinity of modern-day Iraq), the Medeo-Persian the general vicinity of modern-day Iran), and the Greek (the general vicinity of Greece to Syria.)
FOUR SECONDARY NATIONS ARE IDENTIFIED BY EZEKIEL.
After declaring God’s judgment against Magog (Rosh) Meshech, and Tubal, Ezekiel goes on to include four other nations.
READ EZEKIEL 38: 1-4, 5-6.
Four other nations are identified here. (Persia already having been included in the previous group of nations just discussed in the Beast image of Rev 13.)
The modern-day locations of these nations are as follows:
CUSH: Genesis 10: 6
Cush, a son of Ham, migrated into and corresponds to modern Ethiopia and probably eastern Sudan in East Africa.
PUT: Genesis 10: 6
Put corresponds to modern-day Libya.
GOMER: Genesis 10: 2
Gomer was a son of Japheth and corresponds to the Ukraine province in the western portion of the former U.S.S.R.
BETH TOGARMAH: Genesis 10: 3
Togarmah corresponds in general to the province of Armenia in the southwestern portion of the former U.S.S.R. and perhaps the far eastern portion of Turkey and northwestern part of Iran.
WHEN WILL THIS BE?
NOTE EZEKIEL 38: 7-11, 14-16.
V.8--”…people gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel.” This event happened in 1948 and continues to this day.
V.8—“..long been desolate” The Kibbutz restoration of Israel.
V.8-11”…living in safety. Why?
WHAT IS ONE OF THE CLEAREST SIGNS? A PEACE TREATY SIGNED WITH ISRAEL.
READ DANIEL 9: 24-27. This covenant will be made for the protection of Israel from a group of nations Israel would otherwise consider to be a threat. Since the power-base nations will be Germanic/Russian in their ancestry, one can quickly understand how Israel (not realizing that the “covenant maker” is the Antichrist incognito) would think that a covenant with the leader of these Aryan nations would be in her best interests.
Therefore, just before the seventieth week begins, we can expect to see the overthrow and consolidation of those three nations to form the three-nation power base that AntiChrist will use to build his empire.
Whether some of the other seven nations line up immediately with Antichrist, I am not sure. But the overthrow of the “power-base three” is a specific event that will be immediately recognizable to those looking for it, and it will occur before the covenant is signed initiating the seventieth week.
Ezekiel 38: 14-16 reads: “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it? You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army. You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I am proved holy through you before their eyes."
It is also important that the ancestral lines of the 3 power-base nations are all located in central or far eastern Europe though all are “north of Israel.”
Those “many peoples” represent the other seven nations that will come together to form the final beast empire of Satan, most of them coming from north of Israel as well.
Another striking fact comes to light when we consider Joel 3:11,12 and Zechariah 12:6, both of which indicate that the nations surrounding Israel will come up against her. When the geographic locations of the 7 secondary nations are noted, the phrase “surrounding nations” takes on remarkable significance.
Those seven nations will literally surround Israel, while the armies of the other three nations, which will be from the north, may already be in Jerusalem with their leader, Antichrist.
Here are my observations. I hope this helps. For more complete information on this topic, read The Sign by Robert Van Kempen and other great prophetic commentaries.