Truth, Allegory Or Fiction

Re: Left Behind 1: (The Movie) Trailer

To have a good understanding of things that are Jewish, in nature, is an asset that will help anyone to be able to properly relate to such a group of people that is under constant scrutiny and attack by many groups of people. No one can have a full and proper relationship with a Jew, or Jewish business, without understanding key things of Judaism. People of news reporting agencies can not properly report on the people and nation of what many consider to be “God’s chosen people,” unless they have a good knowledge of their culture and religious beliefs. Jews are largely successful in matters of business and family. Jews own businesses that employ non-Jews, and help those people to be successful when they start their own businesses. From the beginning of time, there has been an attempt to remove from the face of Planet Earth, anything, and everything, that is said to be Jewish. Having grown up in a Jewish neighborhood, and having attended school with Jewish children, it makes no sense to me why so many people around the world hate Jews. The size of the nation of Israel is approximately the size of the state of New Jersey. The population of Israel is 8,585,000. Of the total population of Israel, there are about 6,419,000 Jews. Surrounding Israel are more than 350,000,000 non-Jews. However, even with such a disparity of size and population, Israel is all too often said to be the cause of all of the problems of the middle east. It is easy to see that Israel is constantly coming under more and more criticism of the United Nations, as well as by the governments of many UN member nations.

The opening scenes in the movie, “Left Behind 1,” show an attack on Israel that will take place in the future. The attack is mentioned in the prophecy of the thirty-eighth chapter of the book of Ezekiel. Jews believe that the prophecy was written by the Jewish prophet, Ezekiel, as it was received from God. The date of the prophecy is 587 B.C. The movie shows an attack on Israel ending in failure, without the Israeli forces having confronted the attackers. Jews believe that God is in control, that God will guide the attacking forces to Israel, that He will cause the attacking forces to attack Israel (Ezekiel 38:4), and that God will defeat the attacking forces. The events of Ezekiel 38 are not an allegory. Consider the words of Ezekiel 38:23: “I shall magnify Myself, sanctify myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the Lord.” Many Christians also believe the prophecies of Ezekiel. Consider the words of Ezekiel 1:3. “the word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and there the hand of the Lord came upon him.” (NASB). Ezekiel had been taken captive by the forces of King Nebuchadnezzar from Jerusalem to Babylon in 595 B.C. The prophecies of Ezekiel were meant to be words of encouragement for other captive Jews who had also been taken to Babylon in the deportations of 605, 597 or 586 B.C.

Following the attack on Israel, day quickly becomes night. Scenes of worldwide chaos develop. Millions of people are missing in all areas of the world. The masses are panic stricken. Lawlessness and an unstable world help to usher in a desire for someone who will be able to bring peace and safety to the world. A charismatic leader comes onto the scene, and is given the authority to stabilize the world under the authority of the United Nations. An enabling media gives credence to everything that comes from, and through, the new UN leader, whose goal is to bring under his control a worldwide government, which will oversee an international military, financial system and religion. In essence, everything in the world will come under the control of the United Nations leader.

The events that are described in Ezekiel’s writings are highly respected by Jews, as being the Word of God. Jews believe that God’s Word, which was given by God to the prophet Ezekiel, was to be told to Jews, who are also known as the children of Israel. Jews also respect the writings of Jewish prophets, other than Ezekiel, as do many Christians. The writings of all of the prophets of Israel will be discussed in future articles that relate to the subject of Israel in the end times.

As it relates to eschatology, many mainline denominations teach that Israel has been replaced by the church to receive the end times blessings that God has promised for the Jews. There are many churches, and church groups, that teach that scriptures that relate to the end times are an allegory. Many people believe that eschatology is a subject of fiction. All too often, churches put Jews in a category of “less than proper respect,” as opposed to respecting them as “God’s chosen people,” of whom will be protected by God.

As you consider the information in this article, it will be a time for you to determine in your mind if the future attack on Israel will be an event of truth, allegory or fiction. For those considerimg themselves to be conservative, evangelical or pentecostal, they may be more inclined to view end times teachings to be matters of truth. For those of the liberal mainline protestant denominational churches, which are reform in nature, they may be of the allegorical persuasion in their beliefs of the end times. For people who are agnostic, atheistic or of a unitarian belief, they may put a fiction tag on everything that relates to the end of times study. Maybe I’m wrong. Please let me know. We’ll still be friends. (no lol)

Those, of whom say that they are Christians, should seriously consider the following two verses.

Deuteronomy 7:6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

6 For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

Zechariah 2:8 New Living Translation (NLT)

8 After a period of glory, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies sent me against the nations who plundered you. For he said, “Anyone who harms you harms my most precious possession.

Consider the words of the first six verses of Chapter 38, of the book of Ezekiel.

Article Text

Ezekiel 38:1-6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Prophecy about Gog and Future Invasion of Israel

38 And the word of the Lord came to me saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him 3 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. 4 I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords; 5 Persia, Ethiopia and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6 Gomer with all its troops; Beth-togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops—many peoples with you.

Consider the Jews.

Abraham was called a Hebrew. The people of the descendants of Jacob, came to be known as Jews, based on the name of Jacob’s son, Judah.

In spite of the tumultuous history of the Jews, they consider themselves to be a specially blessed people of God. Many Christians also have that same belief that Jews hold dearly, that the Jews are “God’s chosen people,” and have a Divine protection and purpose. Jews believe that God led them out of the more than 400 year bondage to Egypt to their promised land, which will always be their land of Israel. Jews believe that while they were on their journey to what is now the land of Israel, that God gave them the Law, which included the ten commandments and the six hundred thirteen Torah laws. Jews believe that God gave the Sabbath to them, and that the Messiah will come from the bloodline of the Jews. Jews also hold to a belief that God has provided for them a very special place of prominence in the future Messianic Kingdom. Many Christians also hold to these Jewish beliefs.

So, how did we arrive at the thirty-eighth chapter of Ezekiel? Well, let’s take a look back. We could go back to the time of creation but, let’s not do that. I think that the year 1920 B.C. will be sufficient, so, here we go. We will continue with future posts that will tell more of the history and beliefs of the Jews, and how they fit into the study of the end times.

1920 B.C. A descendant of Noah was Abram, who became Abraham. God promised Abram that he would become a great nation through his descendants. This promise of God is known as the Abrahamic Covenant.

1918 B.C. God promised Abram’s covenant descendants a land that overlies the current land of Israel, and beyond. That gift was made to the covenant seed of Abram forever. The covenant seed of Abraham would be through his covenant son, Issac, and through Issac’s covenant son, Jacob.

1732 B.C. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel, and reconfirmed the Abrahamic seed covenant with Jacob. Jacob fathered twelve sons and one daughter.

1729-1702 B.C. All of the family of Jacob (Israel) made their way to Egypt. In total, seventy members of the house of Jacob/Israel made their new home in Egypt, with Jacob’s next to youngest son, Joseph, being the first one to arrive. Famine had gripped the land of Egypt and neighboring countries, including Canaan, which was where Jacob/Israel had made their home, and was in the present land area of Israel. Joseph was made the Prime Minister of Egypt by the Pharaoh. Through Joseph’s leadership, Egypt was saved from the famine. Neighboring countries, including Canaan, also received aid from Joseph. Jacob lived in Egypt for seventeen years. Soon, before Jacob died, he called all of his sons to him and blessed them. Jacob repeated the covenant to Joseph. After Jacob died, his sons took his body to Canaan for burial in a family plot.

1689-1635 B.C. Sometime later, Joseph died and was buried in Egypt. Before he died, he told his brothers that God would take them from Egypt to the covenant land that God had made known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. During the exodus of Israel from Egypt, the bones of Joseph were taken with them. As time passed on, the luster that Joseph and the children of Israel had had with the Pharaoh of their time began to tarnish. A new king of Egypt began to treat the Israelites with great afflictions. The king also directed the Hebrew midwives to kill the newborn male Israelite children. Things haven’t changed.

“15 Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other was named Puah; 16 and he said, “When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” (Exodus 1:15-16, NASB)

This is also a time period that Jews believe that Moses, who was born a Jew but was spared his own infant-birth murder, was taken into the house of the Pharaoh to be raised as a child of the daughter of the Pharaoh. Amazingly, the birth mother, through the slight of hand of the sister of Moses, became the nurse of Moses. Moses lived as an Egyptian for forty years, and was educated as an Egyptian. Jews and Christians believe that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, through the inspiration of God.

1531-1491 B.C. This is a time that Jews believe that God was preparing Moses to lead the Jews out of Egyptian bondage. The Pharaoh did not want the Jews to leave Egypt, but he gave in, “due to divine pressure.”

1491-1451 B.C. This is the time of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. Key events of this time are the giving of the law and the Sabbath to the Jews by God, and the building of the tabernacle in the desert. Moses died while enroute to the promised land, but saw it from atop Mount Pisgah, which overlooks the Jordan River. Jews believe that God allowed Moses to see the covenant land that had been promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jews also believe that God buried Moses on that mountain, as do Christians.

1451-1427 B.C. Joshua succeeded Moses as the theocratic leader of Israel, and led them as they crossed over the Jordan River and traveled throughout, and settled in, the covenant land of Canaan. The land was apportioned to the Israelites, as had been directed by God. Joshua died and was buried in Mount Ephraim. The bones of Joseph, which had been carried by the Israelites, were buried in Shechem, in a parcel of land that had been bought by Jacob, the father of Joseph.

1425-1050 B.C. Israel was ruled by a succession of judges, rather than kings. There were fifteen people who served as judges, beginning with Othniel, and ending with Samuel.

1050-931 B.C. Israel was ruled by three kings, Saul, David and Solomon; Solomon was the son of David. It was King Solomon that built the temple in Jerusalem in 959 B.C. Saul was king from 1050-1010 B.C. David was king from 1010-970 B.C. Solomon was king from 970-931 B.C. After the death of King Solomon, in 931 B.C., dysfunction took place; a divided kingdom of Israel was the result.

931-586 B.C. Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, became the king of the southern Kingdom of Israel, in Jerusalem, possessing two tribes of Israel (Judah and Benjamin), and was known as Judah. Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, became the King of the remaining tribes of Israel, moving them to the north; they became known as Israel. In 722 B.C., the northern tribes of Israel were attacked by the King of Assyria and were taken in exile to Assyria. Northern Israel had also become known as “Samaria,” hence, “the good Samaritan.” Once the people of Israel were deported, gentiles were moved into the land from where the Jews in northern Israel had been removed. The King of Babylon overran Jerusalem in 586 B.C., and destroyed the temple and the walls of the city. Then he deported the Jews to Babylon. There were actually three assaults on Jerusalem by the Babylonians (605, 597, and 586 B.C.). After each attack, Jews from Jerusalem were taken by the Babylonians captive to Babylon. Buddha lived from 563-483 B.C. Muhammed lived from 570-632 A.D.

586 B.C. to Current Day. The Jews who were taken captive by the Assyrians never returned to Israel, as a people group. The Jews who were taken captive to Babylon began returning to Israel, due to a decree of King Cyrus of Persia, who had overthrown Babylonian rule in 539 B.C. In 536 B.C., 49,997 Jews returned to Jerusalem from their Babylonian captivity. The Temple (515 B.C.) and city walls of Jerusalem (445 B.C.) were rebuilt. Some Jews, who were in Babylon, never returned to Jerusalem, per the Book of Esther. There was even an attempt to annihilate all Jews in Persia, which is present day Iran. Things haven’t changed.

13 Letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces to destroy, to kill and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to seize their possessions as plunder. (Esther 3:13, NASB)

In the year of A.D. 70, The Roman General, Titus, overran and destroyed the city of Jerusalem, and the temple. More than one million Jews were murdered by the Romans. The Jews would be scattered throughout the world. See the article, which follows.

When the Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70 the period of the second exile began. The Jewish people were soon to be scattered throughout the earth. For the next 1900 years the Jews would have no authority in the land God gave to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. However during most of the period of this Second Exile there have always been some Jews living in Jerusalem. Although most of the nation was in exile from their land, the Jews did not forget Jerusalem or the Temple Mount. Their daily prayer was for the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. The traditional Jewish prayer book contains the following passage:

Because of our sins we were exiled from our country and banished from our land. We cannot go up as pilgrims to worship Thee, to perform our duties in Thy chosen house, the great and Holy Temple which was called by Thy name, on account of the hand that was let loose on Thy sanctuary. May it be Thy will, Lord our God and God of our fathers, merciful King, in Thy abundant love again to have mercy on us and on Thy sanctuary; rebuild it speedily and magnify its glory.

For the next two thousand years, the Temple Mount would lack any Jewish presence. The destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70 caused the beginning of the scattering of the Jews throughout the world. During this period, the Temple Mount was for the most part neglected and profaned. Though this time constituted a period of neglect some significant events concerning Jerusalem and the Temple Mount did occur. More information on this time period of Temple Mount history is given in Tuvia Sagiv’s writings.

On May 14, 1948, Israel was granted statehood by the United Nations. Jews have been streaming back to “their covenant land” ever since. See the following article.

On May 14, 1948, in Tel Aviv, Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion proclaims the State of Israel, establishing the first Jewish state in 2,000 years. In an afternoon ceremony at the Tel Aviv Art Museum, Ben-Gurion pronounced the words “We hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine, to be called Israel,” prompting applause and tears from the crowd gathered at the museum. Ben-Gurion became Israel’s first premier.

In the distance, the rumble of guns could be heard from fighting that broke out between Jews and Arabs immediately following the British army withdrawal earlier that day. Egypt launched an air assault against Israel that evening. Despite a blackout in Tel Aviv–and the expected Arab invasion–Jews joyously celebrated the birth of their new nation, especially after word was received that the United States had recognized the Jewish state. At midnight, the State of Israel officially came into being upon termination of the British mandate in Palestine. (Continued in link)

The attack on Israel and the Jews never ends. Hitler tried to exterminate the Jews. German citizens at that time were aware of the torture and murder of Holocaust Jews, which took place outside nearby German cities. Mainline Christian churches of today have taken actions to divest themselves of anything that is of Israel. Traditional news media outlets have an anti-Israel bias in their reporting. Consider the following video report that is very telling of the current day hostility to Israel.

The following videos relate to the Ezekiel 38 prophecy.

Subject Videos

What nations will be involved in the Ezekiel 38 war?

When will the Ezekiel 38 war take place?

Blog Category: End Times

Video Speaker Information

John Ankerberg, founder and president of The John Ankerberg Show, the most-watched Christian worldview show in America


Ron Rhodes
Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary (1986). Major: Systematic Theology. Graduated with High Honors.
Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary (1983). Major: Systematic Theology. Graduated with Honors. Elected to Dean’s List.
B.A., Houston Baptist University (1979). Recipient of the Greek Excellence Award. Chief nominee for the Riverside Scholarship.


Mark Hitchcock
Mark Hitchcock is a leading Bible prophecy expert, prolific author who has penned over 20 books on the end times, senior pastor, and adjunct faculty member of the Dallas Theological Seminary.