By Kathy Beardsley – (revised 3/30/2022)
We as imperfect human beings are vulnerable to being carried away with issues steeped in emotion. That, coupled with the mystery of something not fully understood is often sensationalized which in turn influences those who tend to gravitate toward such things. For many Christians however, these types of feelings applied to what they believe the book of Revelation to be (an unfulfilled prophecy) are drawn to a scenario that best fits their desire for the future. Whether by ignorance or faulty teaching, many are relying on compounded errors rooted in 19th-century prophecy teachings (Darby, Scofield, etc.). Many decisions based on feelings or emotions keep Christians from hearing or wanting to hear, the truth.
It can also result in being influenced to believe that the same prophecy can have a dual fulfillment—the first fulfillment is now history and the second has yet to be fulfilled. All through God’s word prophecies are fulfilled only once. Some may be revealed hundreds of years before their fulfillment; nevertheless, once fulfilled it is forever completed. Some verses that clearly speak of future prophecy (Matt. 24:30, 31; 1 Thess. 4:17; 1 Cor. 15:52) are erroneously connected to verses describing prophecy previously fulfilled (Dan. 9:24-27; Matt. 24:1-29, etc.) This begs the question, “Why are select verses and chapters containing a prophecy at one point and time—fulfilled in another, given a special status of a second fulfillment?”
The debate of which the title of this article was chosen arises from the well-known reference to the “battle of Armageddon.” Stated in this way, it gives one the impression Armageddon is the thing being fought for. But properly stated it should be the battle at Armageddon for Rev. 16:16 says, “a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” The former “of Armageddon” is most commonly known and accepted as it is improperly attributed to the Apocalypse. Apocalypse is Greek for “a revealing” a.k.a. Revelation. The latter “at Armageddon” does take place, though not at the time most believers have been taught.
As a matter of reference for those who do not know who C. I. Scofield is, he placed commentary notes within the pages of the King James Bible making him well-known for his Bible Scofield’s Reference Bible and also Scofield’s Study Bible. Others, such as Charles Ryrie, added his own commentary notes to several versions (KJV, NKJV, NIV, ESV, NASB) which happen to glean virtually identically in the theology of the rapture and tribulation as Mr. Scofield’s. Subsequently, Mr. Scofield also gleaned from others (textual critics) for his notes which he himself states in the introduction to his Bible—all but one of the twenty-five textual critics (listed in my book) were deceased before the conception of his Bible and the last one was deceased before his Bible was published.
According to those who believe in the future “battle of Armageddon,” some assert it will take place at the end of a seven-year tribulation just prior to the millennium (thousand years) during which believers in Jesus Christ co-reign with him, while others believe the battle takes place at the end of the millennium. My question is, do you know the source from which the future battle scenario comes?—because this source plays a tremendous role (unknowingly to many) in their belief. Hint: it is not God’s word. It is none other than C. I. Scofield’s commentary notes, not only at the bottom of the pages throughout his Bible but in the margins and subheadings as well.
At one time or another, we have all assumed that similarities in verses mean they are connected. It is necessary to read the whole context before determining whether that is the case. The following will be an example in favor of the similarities between the proclaimed New Testament alleged “prophetical war” in Revelation 16:16-21 and the Old Testament historically fulfilled war in Ezekiel chapters 38 & 39 for they are too close in contextual detail to be thought otherwise. Keep in mind the account in the book of Revelation is part of Jesus’s testimony (the reason I say most of the book is in the past, see Rev. 1:2 and 22:16) and is therefore briefly retelling the war in Ezekiel which is to be sent along with the rest of His testimony to the seven churches listed in Rev. 1:11; it is not only logical but true. On that note, let us start with the true definition of Armageddon. Properly, it is the mount of Megiddo—the valley of which the battle occurs, or should I say, occurred.
For the convenience of having scripture at your fingertips, it is printed right here for you. I want to encourage you to read the verses for their historical story-like content rather than as a cumbersome assignment. It only equates to about two-and-a-half chapters. Compare the verses in Revelation, particularly the words in bold, with the account in Ezekiel but please do not just read the words in bold and skim the rest for you will not only miss out on the depth of the whole story but also the fact that the teaching from which the common belief of the battle stems is in contradiction to God’s word.
16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. (Ezek. 39:8)
18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake [Ezek. 38:19], such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
19 And the great city was divided into three parts [Ezek. 5:2-5, 12], and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. (Jerusalem was divided and Babylon was destroyed)
20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. (Ezek. 38:20; Rev. 6:14)
21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, [Ezek. 38:22] every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
Ezekiel 5:2-5, 12
2 Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and thou shalt take a third part, and smite about it with a knife: and a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them.
3 Thou shalt also take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts.
4 Then take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel.
5 Thus saith the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her. (Rev. 17:15-18) Note: Rome cannot be the fourth kingdom/ beast spoken of in Dan. 7:19, 23 and also be the woman/great whore the beast carries (see also Jer. 13:27 and Ezek. 43:4-8 for confirmation of who the whore is.) Jerusalem is the woman—Rev. 17:5. Jerusalem, not Rome sits on seven mountains Rev. 17:9. Contrary to other teachings, there is no mention in scripture of “seven hills” upon which the great whore sits, nor at any time does it refer to Rome. That is a concept born in and taken from Scofield’s notes.
12 A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.
Ezekiel 38-39:23 (approx. 587 B.C.)
1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, (see verse 17)
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. (verses 4-6—as the sand of the sea Rev. 20:8)
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years [these chapters were written approx. 587 B.C.; counting down, 160’s B.C. is approximately when this war took place, therefore, would be considered in “the latter years/days” before A.D. began] thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. (figuratively; Like Titus in A.D. 70, “the end thereof shall be with a flood, [of his armies] and unto the end of the war desolations are determined” Dan. 9:26)
10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.
13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? (prophesied by Isaiah approx. 173 years earlier in 760 B.C. Is. 2:19-21)
14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?
15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:
16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, [same as v. 8] and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
17 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them? (Remember, God had Isaiah prophesy about Cyrus nearly 200 years prior Is. 44:28-46:1-5, so it wouldn’t be extraordinary for Ezekiel to prophesy about Gog’s war taking place a few hundred years later).
18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face.
19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; (Rev. 16:18)
20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.
21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother.
22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. (Rev. 16:21)
23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.
1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
2 And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. (Rev. 19:17-21. The surrounding verses describe a battle both physical and spiritual)
5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
6 And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
9 And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years:
10 So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD.
11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog. (#1196 the multitude of Gog; the fanciful name of an emblematic place)
12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.
13 Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD.
14 And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search.
15 And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man’s bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamongog.
16 And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah [#1197 multitude]. Thus shall they cleanse the land.
17 And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. (Rev. 19)
18 Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
19 And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
20 Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD.
21 And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.
22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.
23 And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword.
Standing on a Faulty Foundation
One of the main reasons why Rapturists believe Russia invading Israel is a future prophecy is because the teaching originates from Scofield’s notes, specifically, the notes in the book of Ezekiel chapter thirty-eight. Mr. Scofield creates a second prophecy and proclaims the timing of it to be many years in the modern-day future by referring to the massive armies coming from the north as Russia (in his note below) rather than leaving history where it belongs. By doing this he could create a completely different future eschatological scenario the ramifications of which have instilled a sense of false security and a practice of seeking signs. In Matt. 16:1-4 Jesus rebukes the Pharisees and Sadducees saying it is a wicked and adulterous generation that seeks after a sign. No sign shall be given but that of Jonas (Jonah). What is that sign? Matt. 12:40 gives the answer. “As Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Jesus is of course referring to his own death, burial, and resurrection. Yet we have been taught to watch the signs of what happens with Israel and Russia in particular because everything concerning the end times hinges on them. This is unscriptural! “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” Matt. 25:13. “Take heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.” Mark 13:33. Take heed, is a warning to be prepared. Watch, also means be ready; prepared, like the parable of the ten virgins. Five were ready with the oil in their lamps, five were not. The oil represents the Holy Spirit. Are you filled with the Holy Spirit? Jesus says to seek him; a man is telling you to seek signs.
Very few teachers and pastors might actually say they are referring to Scofield’s notes when a conclusion is being drawn, but most do not. A person does not have to own a Scofield Bible or even ever heard of it to be taught the “doctrine” interpreted in the commentary notes, in particular, his rapture teaching (not just the rapture itself, but the whole scenario that encompasses it).
Scofield Study Bible (pocket size) page 883: Ezekiel ch. 38
(1) 1Gog (38:2) That the primary references is to the northern (European) powers, headed up by Russia, all agree. (2) The whole passage should be read in connection with Zech. 12:1-4; 14:1-9; Mt. 24:14-30; Rev. 14:14-20; 19:17-21. (3) “Gog” is the prince, “Magog,” his land. The reference to Meshech and Tubal (Moscow and Tobolsk) is a clear mark of identification. (4) Russia and the northern powers have been the latest persecutors of dispersed Israel, (5) and it is congruous both with divine justice and with the covenants (e.g. Gen. 15:18, note; Deut. 30:3, note) that destruction should fall at the climax of the last mad attempt to exterminate the remnant of Israel in Jerusalem. (6) The whole prophecy belongs to the yet future “day of Jehovah” (Is. 2:10-22; Rev. 19:11-21), and to the battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16:14; 19:19, note), but includes also the final revolt of the nations at the close of the kingdom-age (Rev. 20:7-9). (bold numbers mine)
Let’s break it down point by point.
(1) Gog (38:2) That the primary references is to the northern (European) powers, headed up by Russia, all agree.
No, all do not agree. Occupation of a large area of land (in Asia) as modern-day Russia does, cannot be used as an assumption that it is prophetically destined to invade anyone. Current events also do not constitute a claim of prophecy unfolding before our eyes. To say that it does, one has to wonder, why now? Why not any one of the past wars? or other so-called “signs” such as the blood moons which occur in their natural cycle, as do floods, famines, and drought. There is only one timestamp in the Bible for which generation will see the controversial battle at Armageddon and it lies in the past. You will understand the reason I say this as you read on.
Scofield also claims in his Gen. 10:2; note 6:
6Meshech (10:2) Progenitor of a race mentioned in connection with Tubal, Magog, and other northern nations. Broadly speaking, Russia, excluding the conquests of Peter the Great and his successors, is the modern land of Magog, Tubal, and Meshech.
As you will see on the maps following, Gomer has the primary claim to the northern land. Scofield singles out Meshech for an unsupported claim that is easily proven false. Meshech and Tubal as well as Gomer and Togarmah of the north quarters (Ezek. 38:6) of Jewish territory have fulfilled their purpose and thereby have no connection to modern-day powers of the north. City names may change over time; their circumferences may grow and more land or other cities may be annexed, but their locations do not change regardless of whether their descendants settle in them or elsewhere.
Compare the ancient maps below to the modern-day map following. Moscow is well north of Meshech, and Tobolsk is even further from Tubal—in fact, Meshech and Tubal are not in Russia at all and never have been. If one wants to play a game of semantics and say that is not what Scofield meant—those cities are just “headed up by Russia,” it does not rectify the fact that Scofield says in point (3) “Meshech and Tubal (Moscow and Tobolsk) is a clear mark of identification.” By doing so, he changed the location along with the name while asserting they are one and the same. Anyone can point to a city in the past and construct a story to fit similar current events that likely will repeat themselves in the future.
In fact, that’s just what Hal Lindsey did. On page 63 of his book titled The Late Great Planet Earth under the subtitle What’s the Evidence? he says, “Ezekiel describes this northern commander as “Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince (or ruler) of Rosh, of Meshech and Tubal.” (Ezekiel 38:2 Amplified). Actually, the verse in the Amplified Bible says, “Son of man, set your face against Gog of the land of Magog, the chief ruler of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.” Mr. Lindsey kept the KJV translation of “prince” but added “(or ruler) of Rosh.” He continues to say, “Gog is the symbolic name of the nation’s leader and Magog is his land. He is also the prince of the ancient people who were called Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal.” Reference? The Bible doesn’t include Rosh with Meshech and Tubal, why is Mr. Lindsey?
In all my searching the only reference to Rosh that I found was the name of one of Benjamin’s sons Gen. 46:21. The territory allotted to Benjamin was small and just north of Jerusalem, very close to where you see the first “a” of the two that are together in “Canaan” but no land or city named after Rosh, anywhere. Benjamin’s territory is well south of the land Magog where Meshech and Tubal reside. One would think that if Rosh existed in the context alluded to that he and his land would be in the same area as Meshech and Tubal. Also, there is nothing to indicate that “Rosh” is an ancient form of the name Russia—except in the mind of those who need to create details to fit their narrative.
Ezek. 38:5, 6 list the territories from which the armies gather to come against Israel (15, 16). These are Persia, Ethiopia, Libya, Gomer, and Togarmah—the same areas known as the four quarters in Revelation 20:8. In Rev. 20:9 we are reading the fulfillment of Ezek. 38:14-22. Notice the pink portion of the map (Gomer’s territory) encompasses most of the northern territory but does not go further east to what we know today as Russia. All the other territories are south and southwest. Where is it prophesied in scripture that only the northern territories will attack Israel at any time let alone in an unknown future time frame?
Daniel chapter 7 speaks of four diverse beasts rising out of the sea. This is figurative of four monarchies rising out of a sea of people. Partly due to Hal Lindsey’s book referenced earlier, a false teaching of Russia being symbolically represented as a bear is pretty much taking up where Scofield left off in a dual prophecy/dual fulfillment scenario—the former prophecy is history fulfilled by the Medo-Persians correctly identified as the bear in Hal Lindsey’s book on pg. 91, but the latter, Russia, is incorrectly identified as the bear whose prophecy is yet to play out.
There also seems to be a somewhat popular notion that the reference to the “great eagle” that protects the woman/Israel in Revelation 12:14 is a reference to the United States and this will be its role in the end times. The problem is that the above interpretations require far too much speculation. Symbolic speech used in scripture for past reference has been brought forward to symbolize nations, wars, people, and so on in our present generation to support teaching that has been monumentally taken out of context. Remember, this is Jesus’ testimony. A person cannot give an account to record as a report or witness or letter, until after it has occurred.
Another point in need of recognition is the illogical sense of the insistence on the part of some for only a literal interpretation. If held to it, that would mean all the weapons (38:4, 5, 9) and sole means of movement—horses (38:15) have to be what is used in this future battle. But does that make sense in this day and age when modern technology is readily available and Israel has nuclear power to defend themselves with if necessary? If today’s warfare allows one country to take down another’s computers so that the first had the advantage, would they not hesitate to use it? So it makes no sense for modern-day and future armies to revert to means used in ancient times. But neither can these things be spiritualized as part of a dual fulfillment in an attempt to transform the ancient into the modern.
(2) The whole passage should be read in connection with Zech. 12:1-4; 14:1-9; Mt. 24:14-30; Rev. 14:14-20; 19:17-21.
There is some proof-texting and privately interpreted connections going on here. The Zech. references are part of King Josiah’s war against Pharaoh-necho II as I show you in the next couple of pages under the title King Josiah’s War. The Matthew reference concerns Titus in AD 70—prophesied to take place just as Jesus said it would. Why must there be a second fulfillment? The adage “history repeats itself” holds true only to the physical and sinful nature of mankind but it is not true of prophecy. To acknowledge a prophecy fulfilled as part of biblical history and then claim it must be fulfilled again for a future generation is unscriptural. Rev. 14:14-20 is a picture of the harvest of saints and punishment of the wicked at the Second Coming. Rev. 19:17-21 retells Ezekiel 39:17-20. As I just mentioned, some claim the whole Bible should be read literally—this is despite the fact so much of the language is figurative. How is it justified then, to apply an unfulfilled prophecy to a fulfilled prophesied historical event, i.e. Matt. 24? Prophecy always precedes the event! Once fulfilled, it is finished for all time. I know I’ve said the same thing in a few different ways, but it cannot be emphasized enough how important it is to keep your eyes from being shielded from the truth. Scofield has taken a prophecy fulfilled in its day and for modern times changed the rules to claim history came first and the prophecy is contained within it for a future time.
(3) “Gog” is the prince, “Magog,” his land. The reference to Meshech and Tubal (Moscow and Tobolsk) is a clear mark of identification.
As attested in the maps, and in the information below, it is clear neither the names nor the mark of identification is accurate. Furthermore, Meshech and Tubal were named after the people who claimed the land—Moscow, and Tobolsk are named after rivers centuries after Meshech and Tubal cease to exist. Regardless of whether some (or all) of the modern-day people are descended (even in the smallest degree) from Meshech and Tubal, it is Scofield’s blanket assertion that the cities of old are the same cities in today’s modern-day Russia that contributes to an erroneous sign-seeking prophecy for our future.
What does Moscow mean? This name is much older than the city itself. The actual name of the city in Russian is “Moskva“. When the city was founded [meaning non-existent before this] in 1147 it was called ‘Moskov” which sounded closer to the present-day English pronunciation. [it has never been Meshech] The city was named after the Moskva river, on which the city is situated. Finno-Ugric tribes used to live on the territory of the present-day Moscow. The name of the Moskva river most probably originates from an ancient Finnic language. According to different theories the name of the city might mean ‘marshy place’, ‘dark waters’, ´mossy plain´, ‘gnat’ but linguists cannot come to any agreement and those theories haven’t been proven yet. Moscow has never changed its name. Lots of cities in Russia had different names in different times (St Petersburg – Leningrad , Stalingrad – Volgograd etc). Moscow is a very unclear name but maybe it’s even better. No one ever wanted to call it in a different way. (http://bridgetomoscow.com/curious-fact-what-does-moscow-mean) (bold mine)
Tobolsk was founded in 1590 by a group of Yermak’s Cossacks under the command of Daniil Grigor’yevich Chulkov near the ruins of Qashliq. It had been almost totally destroyed by years of fighting. Tobolsk would become the center of the conquest. To the north Beryozovo (1593) and Mangazeya (1600-01) were built to bring the Nenets under tribute, while to the east Surgut (1594) and Tara (1594) were established to protect Tobolsk and subdue the ruler of the Narym Ostiaks. Of these settlements, Mangazeya was the most prominent, and it was used as a base for further exploration eastward.
The new city of Tobolsk was the second Russian town founded in Siberia after Tyumen, and was named after the Tobol River. It was situated at its confluence with the Irtysh River, where the Irtysh turns from flowing westward to flowing northward. Tobolsk quickly grew based on the importance of the Siberian river routes, and prospered on trade with China to the east and with Bukhara to the south. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobolsk) (bold mine)
(4) Russia and the northern powers have been the latest persecutors of dispersed Israel,
Joshua 21:43-45 puts to rest the debate on whether or not the children of Israel received and occupied the land promised them. In fact, chapter fourteen up to twenty-one goes into much detail on how the land was divided. After taking possession of the promised land and living many years on it, the people became so grievously disobedient and irreverent to God that part of His punishment was scattering them. Ezek. 6:8, 9. The promise was fulfilled! Everything taking place after that is a separate issue and has nothing whatsoever to do with an alleged future prophetical regathering of the nation of Israel.
(5) and it is congruous both with divine justice and with the covenants (e.g. Gen. 15:18, note; Deut. 30:3, note) that destruction should fall at the climax of the last mad attempt to exterminate the remnant of Israel in Jerusalem.
It is congruous with his interpretation of divine justice and the covenants. Genesis 15:18 is God’s covenant with Abraham concerning his seed receiving the land of Canaan (later named Israel). Scofield’s note in Deut. 30:3 claims a Palestinian covenant under an unconditional Abrahamic covenant. It does not exist! He dubbed it that to create a second scenario to support his dual prophecy theory. Notice he refers the reader to his note with each reference. This is to guide the reader to his explanation rather than to allow God’s words to speak for themselves in context with the rest of the chapter(s).
(6) The whole prophecy belongs to the yet future “day of Jehovah” (Is. 2:10-22; Rev. 19:11-21), and to the battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16:14; 19:19, note), but includes also the final revolt of the nations at the close of the kingdom-age (Rev. 20:7-9).
The whole prophecy is fulfilled! Scofield’s reference in Isaiah ignores verses one and two “…concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, etc.” The last days of B.C. as previously mentioned. It concerned only them not the whole world—at any time, therefore, the rest of the verses in which he tries to convince the reader that they are connected, are not. If you are not convinced yet that what I have shown you so far debunks the battle of Armageddon described as Scofield portrays please keep reading. According to Scofield (Rev. 19, pg. 1349, note 1) the kingdom-age is the thousand-year reign with Christ. He also considers this the seventh and last dispensational age (1 Cor. 15, pg. 1226 end of note 3). The thousand years is another topic but suffice it to say, the fact verse eight specifically mentions Gog and Magog gathering together the nations from the four quarters (addressed a little later) serves to strengthen the truth of God’s word as it is written rather than Scofield’s interpretation of it. Revelation 20:7-9 is an abbreviated retelling of the war in Ezekiel.
King Josiah’s War is not Gog’s War
There was more than one war in the valley of Megiddo, none of which are prophesied to happen in our future. In case you did not catch it earlier, Scofield uses Zech. 12:1-4 and 14:1-9 to allude the war in those verses is the final “battle of Armageddon.” He skips over the verses provided below which prove otherwise.
Pharaoh-necho II, on his march against the king of Assyria, passed through the plains of Philistia and Sharon; and King Josiah, attempting to bar his progress in the plain of Megiddo, was defeated by the Egyptians. He was wounded in battle, and died as they bore him away in his chariot towards Jerusalem 2 Kings 23:29; 2 Chron. 35:22-24 and all Israel mourned for him. So general and bitter was this mourning that it became a proverb, to which Zechariah Zech. 12:11, 12 alludes. (Easton) (underline mine)
Hadad-rimmon: (composed of the names of two Syrian idols), the name of a place in the valley of Megiddo. It is alluded to by the prophet Zechariah Zech. 12:11 in a proverbial expression derived from the lamentation for Josiah, who was mortally wounded near this place 2 Chron. 35:22-25. It has been identified with the modern Rummaneh, a village “at the foot of the Megiddo hills, in a notch or valley about an hour and a half south of Tell Metzellim.” (Easton)
So you are not confused by seeing what may seem to be a contradiction with different names for the same area, think of it this way: you live in a city within a county and that county is within the state. Hadad-rimmon is a place within the valley of Megiddo, and the valley is within the plain of Esdraelon at the foot of the mountain—the mount of Megiddo known in the Hebrew tongue as Armageddon (Rev. 16:16).
The name of the leader of the hostile party described in Ezek. 38:1-39:1ff. as coming from the “north country” and assailing the people of Israel to their own destruction.
It is in this time frame too, that the literal city of Babylon was laid desolate (completely destroyed) never to be rebuilt.
Region of Gog, the second of the “sons” of Japheth Gen. 10:2; 1 Chron. 1:5. In Ezekiel 38:2; 39:6 it is the name of a nation, probably some Scythian or Tartar tribe descended from Japheth. They are described as skilled horsemen, and expert in the use of the bow. The Latin father Jerome says that this word denotes “Scythian nations, fierce and innumerable, who live beyond the Caucasus and the Lake Maeotis, and near the Caspian Sea, and spread out even onward to India.” (Easton)
The bold portions are to draw attention to the connection between the passages in Ezekiel 38, 39, and Revelation 20:8. Innumerable is a figurative term as is sand of the sea. Both are too large to count. The enormity of the landmass and the fact these gathered armies cover a great portion of it should give a person an idea of how easily describing them “as the sand of the sea” is.
Have you ever conversed with someone who is telling you a story from their past but speaking as if they are in the moment? Consider this analogy. You are watching a war movie based on history that happened decades ago and there is a scene where a General is going over the plans for attacking the enemy and what to do with prisoners that are captured. He is describing each step that hasn’t yet happened, but will, and one of the steps includes announcing how long the prisoners will be incarcerated and what to expect when they are released. Though it is many years later for you, the movie you watched was about past history containing language in the future tense (theirs). That describes much of the language in the book of Revelation. You are reading a past account spoken then in a future tense. The only thing remaining is our Lord’s return and all that follows it.
Keeping that in mind, Rev. 20:7 says after the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed from his prison, to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth. This affirms the fact the thousand years (whether literally or figuratively) is in the past because Ezekiel 38:4-6 lists the nations of the four quarters as being (Persia (east), Ethiopia (south), Libya (southwest), Gomer and the house of Togarmah of the north quarters (north). The Great Sea a.k.a. The Mediterranean Sea lies to the west. Gog and the land of Magog (also in the north) are specifically mentioned in verse 8 for the role of gathering the nations together to battle.
A.D. 68, 69 A MORE LIKELY SCENARIO THAN A.D. 96
A.D. 96—the date assumed to be when the book of Revelation was written. It is assumed because that is the year when the Roman Emperor Domitian, who purportedly exiled John to the isle of Patmos died, and John was released. Domitian is the younger brother of Titus who destroyed the city and temple in A.D. 70. John’s exile to Patmos by Domitian is also supported by some because it is alleged according to the interpretation of one reading of Irenaeus, but that interpretation is disputed. It is also assumed that John is banished to Patmos because of what he says in Rev. 1:9 “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
Assumptions exclude plausible alternative possibilities, one of which may be that John could have willingly gone to the island to be that testimony for Jesus Christ for the purpose of teaching the word of God to those who likely would not be able to hear it otherwise—much like pastors and others go to prisons today. Many churches of today have prison ministries.
If John WAS banished it very easily could have been from an order given by Nero rather than Domitian. The last mention of John prior to the book of Revelation is in Galatians 2:9 when Paul (a.k.a. Saul Acts 13:9) referred to him as one of the pillars who gave to him and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship Acts 9:11-27. Nero became emperor of Rome in A.D. 54 and died in A.D. 68. This would line up perfectly with John being released from exile on the isle of Patmos after having the revelation given to him to record and give to the seven churches in Asia. I say this would line up perfectly because the very first verse of the first chapter of Revelation Jesus reveals the purpose: “to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass” and verse three “for the time is at hand” i.e. near. Time for what? What things have occurred since A.D. 70 that would fit “must shortly come to pass”…”for the time is near”? Could Jesus be referring to the prophecy he gave his disciples approximately thirty-seven years prior in Matthew 24—the coming destruction by Titus? If we look at the timeline according to A.D. 68 rather than 96 it makes perfect sense. In a matter of two years or less Titus would be coming to destroy their way of life and the churches needed to hear the exhortation of praise for encouragement and or, rebuke to get their act together and continue in their work according to God’s commandments. There are multiple occasions when it became necessary to remind the people of their own history; why should Jesus’ testimony be any different? Verse four begins the letters to the seven churches, chapter 22 and verse 16 is the affirmation that this book is to the seven churches and the whole book is recorded for the benefit of all who read it.
If I were to make an assumption it would be that John was not banished and that it is possible John arrived on the isle and left on supply ships. Much like the modern-day Alcatraz prison, it was on its own island but not self-sustaining thereby needing regular shipments of supplies.
John says he is a companion in tribulation meaning he could be suffering due to banishment, or as an apostle, he is well acquainted with the trials and troubles they suffer having gone through many things himself and witnessed his brethren go through much suffering as well. He continues with “and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ.” He is their brother, their companion in tribulation, their companion in the kingdom, and their companion in patience of Jesus Christ; He’s been there, done that as we say.
Another problem with the date of A.D. 96 is that John reportedly died in his old age in his hometown of Ephesus around A.D. 98. If that is correct he would not have been able to carry out his commission to prophesy again to many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings as he was told he must do in Rev. 10:11. There have been gatherings of great multitudes but none that included many kings. For John to prophesy to many kings he would have to do a lot of traveling. Already being in his old age would have made accomplishing this task within a two-year, or less, timeframe highly unlikely.
Yet, the preferred scenario remains—that John’s release from exile comes on the death of Domitian who reigned from A.D. 81-96 because of a disputed interpretation of one man, and because we have been taught the entire book of Revelation is still unfulfilled prophecy which also contains seven dispensational church ages that correspond to the seven churches of Asia (also unscriptural).
Overall, the correlation of context between the verses and descriptions in both books of Revelation and Ezekiel weighs in the favor of the battle at Armageddon being fulfilled in the latter years of the Old Testament. That being the case, it is more inside the realm of logic than out that this scenario is truer to God’s word than Scofield’s interpretation.