We are going to attempt to demonstrate the 3 key stages of the 40 years War of Armageddon. In effect there are 3 separate conflicts centred in Israel / Jerusalem. The 3 conflicts or wars are separated by short periods of time. But they are 3 stages of the same war. The judgement of the world.
Stage 1 is a war with Israel’s nearby nations. The very people mentioned in Psalm 83. Following Israel’s victory there is a temporary time of peace.
Stage 2 is a war with Israel’s wider enemies eg Russia, Iran, Turkey see Ezekiel 38
Stages 1 and 2 must happen within a 10 year period
Stage 3 is a war is a religious war and is centred on Jerusalem – this war is with Rome and Europe 30 years
Zechariah 12 and Zechariah 14. In the past we may have seen these two chapters as simply the same war told twice.
But what if Zechariah 12 was stage 1 of the conflict and Zechariah 14 was stage 2?
What if Zechariah 12 involved Israel’s nearby nations and Zechariah 14 involved totally different nations – the outer ring of nations of Russia, Iran, and Turkey etc.
12v2 NLT says “I will make Jerusalem like an intoxicating drink that makes the NEARBY NATIONS stagger when THEY send THEIR armies to Jerusalem and Judah.
This description is surely talking about people living in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon etc. eg Israel’s nearby nations. The nearby nations send THEIR armies. We cannot call Russia, Iran, Turkey nearby nations!
But the destruction of Israel’s nearby nations is not the final victory. In fact Israel is greatly weakened at this point. Despite a peace deal and a sense of security an enormous void has opened up in the Middle East. Into this vacuum pours Russia and Iran etc.
This is the second stage. It is detailed in Zechariah 14.
12v3 Moreover, on that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy burden for all the nations, and all who try to carry it will be seriously injured; yet all the peoples of the earth will be assembled against it.
This verse sounds more encompassing but this is speaking of the broader second stage of the conflict – it is saying that Jerusalem WILL become a heavy burden for the world. And it does of course eventually become this.
Please note that there is NO specific mention at all of neighbouring nations or people in Zechariah 14. It begins with verse 2 which says ALL NATIONS are gathered against Jerusalem.
We also note that verse 1 gives the reason for the invasion… “Thy SPOIL shall be divided in the midst of thee” Why are we told the nations have come to take a spoil?
This is surely a reference to Ezekiel 38 v 11-12 “I will …take a spoil and take a prey” Whereas in Zechariah 12 Jerusalem survives the onslaught in Ch 14 it most certainly does not. We read in verse 2
The city will be taken, the houses looted, and the women raped. Half the population will be taken into captivity, and the rest will be left among the ruins of the city.”
Jerusalem is in ruins – the city has fallen to the invading Russian army. This is a totally different war to Ch 12 where Jerusalem does not fall.
Finally Zechariah 14 v 5 says there is the great earthquake we have a great earthquake in Zechariah 14. This surely also links to the great earthquake of Ezekiel 38 when Russia is destroyed.
And then when this second stage of the judgement is complete Christ is established as King in Jerusalem. Zechariah 14:9
There is of course one last conflict – Stage 1 was a war with Israel’s nearby nations. They have been dealt with in Zechariah 12. Their motive was revenge for Israel living in what they thought was their land.
Then Israel’s wider enemies have been dealt with in Zechariah 14. Their motive was riches / spoil. This is speaking of the nations in Ezekiel 38. Russia etc.
But there is a final war. A religious war. This war is led by the Papacy against Christ and the saints. We note there is NO MENTION of a religious aspect to the war of Zechariah 14. It is about spoil.
The final war is recorded in Revelation 17. Rome joins with Europe attack Christ and the saints when they are established in Jerusalem.
The false prophet and the beast are destroyed NEVER to appear again. The kingdom is now at peace.
The world is now subdued under the rulership of Christ the King of Kings and Lord of Lords – and his saints.