In the late 1970’s my wife and I were living in Singapore where we did some street witnessing, handing out tracts, mostly on salvation but one tract was a prophetic end-time message, titled “Israel Invaded”. That tract discussed the future invasion of Israel from the northern lands of Gog and Magog, and was based on chapters 38 and 39 of the book of Ezekiel.
As you may know, Singapore is a bit sensitive about anything political, so it was not totally surprising then that we were taken into custody by the police, along with our daughter, who was less than two years old. At the station, all the police were eager to read the different tracts we had and some of the female officers enjoyed playing with our daughter. Eventually they let us go saying that we should get the tracts registered with the Department of Religion, which I did except for the Ezekiel 38 and 39 tract. The reason for that was that a senior police officer visited me at home later and told me that Singapore has close relations with Israel and they would not want anything to upset that, even though I told him the message was not about Israel in our time, and that it was just Bible prophecy. But then I believed that Ezekiel 38,39 was a prophecy to be fulfilled in our future and it involved the invasion of Israel.
So that brings me to my point. Is the prophecy in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 really about some future end-time event, as I once believed? Well, I admit I have recently changed my mind. I also once believed as many evangelical Christians do today that there would be in the future the rise of a world dictator, the AntiChrist, who would establish a 7-year peace agreement and allow the re-construction of the Temple in Jerusalem, internationalising the city. He would somehow build a supercomputer to control all world commerce and trade and would break his peace agreement in the middle of the 7 years and subjugate all who oppose him in a great Tribulation period. I have since learned that that is not the case and, in fact, most of those ideas, though they form part of John Nelson Darby’s dispensational pre-Trib. secret Rapture doctrine, were developed long before Darby by Jesuit interlopers who wanted to destroy the effects of the Reformation and get the Protestants’ eyes off Rome as the reformers taught that Rome is the Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots (Revelation 17:5) and they recognised the papacy as the real AntiChrist, the ‘beast’ of Revelation 13, who sits in the temple of God proclaiming himself to be God.