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What advantage did Napoleon gain by attacking and antagonizing the Catholic Church?

What advantage did Napoleon gain by attacking and antagonizing the Catholic Church?

In 1796, Napoleon invaded Italy and defeated the papal army. The French troops took Pope VI prisoner and he died in captivity seven months later.

The risks to a politician in antagonizing such a powerful entity as the Vatican are enormous while the tangible benefits are little. Unlike other colonized countries, the Vatican does not have much natural resources or workers to exploit. However, being a major religion in Europe, the support it holds in the European population is mighty. Even today when the political power of Christian leaders has waned compared to hundreds of years ago, very few(or zero) Western leaders dare to offend the Church. It does not look like a smart move by Napoleon to antagonize the all-powerful Catholic Church unless there are huge advantages to be gained.

What advantages did Napoleon gain by attacking and antagonizing the Catholic Church?

This question assumes that Napoleon was a shrewd politician who made calculated moves and not a hot-tempered person who makes decisions on his whims (I don't like you, so I attack).

France was in 1792 attacked by a coalition of states, that included several Italian states. Although the Papal States and Republic of Venice was not amongst them, Naples and Sicily was.

This put the Papal States as well as Venice in the middle of the war between Austria and France, since Venice was located between France and Austria and the Papal States blocked the way to southern Italy, and they therefore got dragged into the conflict, a conflict they didn't have the armies and resources to handle (which is probably why they were neutral in the first place).

The peace with Austria resulted in the end of the Republic of Venice, and the Papal States had to concede a significant chunk of land, as Napoleon created a French client state called the Cisalpine Republic, to a large extent as a "buffer" against Austria.

I think your mistake is in believing this antagonized the Catholic Church and religious people. The Papal States are not the catholic church, they are rather the personal property of the Pope himself. I think it was generally recognized that an attack on the popes earthly holdings was not a religious issue.

Two years later the French army marched into Rome, declaring a Roman Republic and demanding that Pius VI renunciate his temporal powers. This he refused, so he was arrested, which reasonably can not have been popular. However, it was turned into a propaganda victory, as the pope died in France, and Bonaparte could throw a lavish burial party to show his religious credentials.

In 1801 Napoleon also signed the Concordat of 1801, which restored the Catholic Church as a state church of France.

So he didn't anger the Church, he in fact pampered to it.

He later came into conflict with Pius VII as well, but that's not what this question is about.

And note that the Vatican wasn't attacked at all, for the simple reason that Vatican City didn't exist then, as it was created in 1929.

BEHIND THE U.S. VICTORY of the Mexican–American War?

As had been the case a decade earlier in Texas, “Manifest Destiny” formed the leitmotif of the Mexican–American War. In his biography of Polk, Eugene McCormac observed:

Determined from the beginning to add California and New Mexico to our national domain, he pursued his object with a dogged persistence which neither opposition nor denunciation could weaken. Whatever may be thought of his motives or his methods, to him is due the credit (or censure, if you please) of extending to the Pacific the boundaries of the United States.

The Mexican press limited the possible actions of Mexico’s leaders by urging war on them and whipping up public sentiment to favor war. Mexicans’ failure to accurately assess the relative military strength of the United States and Mexico impaired their decision-making ability. Finally, many in Mexico felt that if Mexico did not take a strong stance against its northern neighbor, the United States would continue to press claims forever, nibbling away at Mexican territory until the nation ceased to exist.

Given that the United States had long supply lines, a pre-industrial economy, and a small standing army, and that it was forced to attack the strong defensive position offered by the Sierra Madre Oriental, it is worth considering why the United States triumphed over Mexico. The U.S. victory amazed European observers. A British journalist commented, “There must be some mystery—some leading cause, imperfectly understood on our side of the Atlantic.”

Factors contributing to the U.S. victory include:

■ The U.S. population at the time of the war consisted of 17 million whites and 3 million slaves, more than double the number of Mexicans. This enabled the United States to draw on a much larger population for soldiers and war production.

■ African Americans formed a significant element of the U.S. presence in Mexico, performing labor in camp and serving white soldiers. The Mexican–American War is the only U.S. war in which African Americans were not mobilized as combatants—an indicator of the racial sensitivities of the time. Far outweighing African Americans’ contribution in Mexico, black slaves in the United States produced food and cotton for military uniforms and for export.

■ The United States made extensive use of light “flying” artillery that could be moved rapidly, keeping up with the troops and advancing to fire on enemy positions. Artillery officers were permitted to move and fire without having to wait for orders from a central command. The U.S. artillery played a crucial role in several battles, such as those as Palo Alto, Monterrey, and Veracruz. At Buena Vista, General John Wool stated, “Without our artillery we would not have maintained our position a single hour.”

■ The smooth-bore muskets that were the standard U.S. infantry weapon were among the world’s most advanced shoulder weapons. The milling machines used in their manufacture produced interchangeable parts and uniform barrel diameter. U.S. muskets had a range of 220 yards, considerably greater than the hundred-yard range of the Mexicans’ muskets.

■ By the time of the Mexican–American War, the majority of the lieutenants and captains were West Point graduates. Years of campaigning against elusive Indian guerrillas on the western frontier accustomed these officers to rapid, decentralized decision-making. Such officers were especially valuable when U.S. forces were operating in small units, as at Resaca de la Palma. After the war, Scott commented:

I give it as my fixed opinion that but for our graduated cadets the war between the United States and Mexico might, and probably would, have lasted some four or five years, with, in its first half, more defeats than victories falling to our share, whereas in two campaigns we conquered a great country and a peace without the loss of a single battle or skirmish.

■ The élan of the all-volunteer U.S. force was crucial. Many existing militia units volunteered en masse, reinforcing camaraderie. Initial American victories lifted spirits and additional triumphs kept them high. This élan and patriotism was evident in one officer who saw the U.S. flag at Monterrey and commented, “A glow of honest pride lit up my face, and I thanked God I was an American, and that he had endowed my own country with so much to love and venerate.”

■ Even though some Americans opposed the war, the United States was much more united than Mexico. The desire to acquire California was a generally shared goal, just as expansion into the Mississippi Valley had been a generation earlier. Herman Melville described the pro-war feeling in a small New York town: “People here are all in a state of delirium about the Mexican War. A military ardor pervades all ranks … and ’prentice boys are running off to the wars by scores.—Nothing is talked of but the ‘Halls of the Montezumas.’”

■ The U.S. economy, unlike the Mexican economy, which had yet to recover ground lost during the struggle for independence, was beginning its industrialization. The United States could achieve what, for the times, were prodigious logistical feats. For example, within a four-month period, forty-nine ten-inch mortars and 50,000 shells were ordered, manufactured, and transported to Veracruz.

A number of factors contributed to the Mexican loss:

■ The Mexican population of seven million was substantially smaller than the U.S. population. Only a small proportion of Mexico’s population was mobilized, some 70,000 out of 7 million, or 1 percent. This contrasts with the U.S. Civil War in which roughly 3 million, or 10 percent of the population, were mobilized for the Union and Confederate armies.

■ Mexican statesmen failed to see in time that the United States constituted a threat to Mexico. As late as 1825, the Mexican government convened a special commission to advise on developing California. It warned not of danger from the United States but from Russia. Even the normally perceptive Humboldt wrote in the first decade of the nineteenth century that

the principles of wisdom and moderation by which the government of the United States is animated, lead us to hope that a friendly arrangement will soon fix the limits between the two nations, who both possess more ground than they can possibly cultivate.

■ Some Mexicans did see the danger posed by the United States before war broke out. For example, former President Valentín Gómez Farías wrote in 1843 that Texas was the key, which if it should fall into American hands, would unlock the last barrier to the rest of northern Mexico. By taking this “giant step” toward California, he wrote, the United States would be extended “from sea to sea” and Mexico’s hopes for a prosperous future would be gone. By then it was too late to save California.

■ The frequent changes in government in the mid-1840s undermined the government’s already weak financial structure. The U.S. occupation of the Veracruz, Tampico, and Matamoros customs houses further impoverished the government.

■ The ever present possibility of a coup made presidents keep one eye on the United States and the other on possible rivals. The most serious internal conflict, known as the Revolt of the Polkos, occurred just before the invasion of Veracruz when conservatives rebelled against liberals in the capital. Rather than rushing to defend the port, Mexicans engaged in an artillery duel in downtown Mexico City. The revolt was triggered by liberal Acting President Gómez Farías authorizing the government to confiscate Church property to finance the war.

■ The actions of individual Mexican states also weakened the war effort. Yucatán declared itself independent on January 1, 1846. This renegade state not only failed to contribute to the war effort but sold supplies to U.S. naval forces blockading Veracruz before the invasion. California, Tabasco, Sinaloa, and Chihuahua were unable to contribute to the national war effort because they were fighting what amounted to internal civil wars. By default, much of the defense burden fell on the individual state being invaded. Puebla failed to accept this defense burden, and the State of Mexico, which U.S. forces had to pass through to enter Mexico City, declared itself to be neutral. Many state governors were reluctant to raise militia units due to the long-standing perception that military commanders were abusive and authoritarian. Conservative governors were reluctant to see militia units recruit politically unreliable members of the lower classes. The Mexico City municipal government opposed attempts to fortify the city.

■ Political, class, and racial divisions hampered the war effort. In 1848, the newspaper El Siglo XIX commented:

The forces of disintegration—formerly civil strife and more recently foreign war—have been building up in our country. They have gathered so much force, are so numerous, and are so palpable that at first glance one can doubt if our republic is really a society rather than simply a gathering of men without bonds, rights, and duties.

■ Many wealthy Mexicans not only failed to contribute to the war effort but actually welcomed the invaders. Often merchants preferred Scott to Santa Anna and his forced loans. Santa Anna complained that the wealthy went into hiding as U.S. troops approached Mexico City, so they could avoid contributing to its defense. Certainly the sight of the rich attending the opera and bullfights did nothing to encourage the defenders of Mexico City, who ate poorly and were practically dressed in rags.

■ The wealthy and the Church wanted to maintain their properties and prerogatives. The United States made it clear that none of these interests would be jeopardized. After taking Veracruz, Scott published a manifesto declaring that Americans were friends of the Mexicans and that the Catholic Church and property rights would be respected. He and his staff attended Mass at the Cathedral in full dress uniform. He ordered his men to salute priests. President Polk requested that Catholic bishops in the United States inform their Mexican counterparts that the United States would respect the Church.

■ Unlike slaves in America, Mexican Indians, roughly half the population, produced little surplus that could support the war effort. They had little in common with the rest of Mexico and little sense of belonging to a “nation.” Taking advantage of the national crisis to advance their own causes, indigenous people staged widespread uprisings in the central and southern regions following the U.S. invasion. In northern Veracruz, Indians under pressure from encroaching cattlemen rose up, burning towns and haciendas. Hacendado Manuel Soto wrote, “Blood ran in torrents, and for ten months the Huasteca [region of Veracruz] was the stage for the most horrible scenes.” Suppressing such uprisings diverted men and arms away from fighting Americans.

■ Prolonged conflict with independent Indian groups such as the Apache had left large areas of northern Mexico unable and unwilling to resist the U.S. army. American troops frequently encountered abandoned homes, overgrown fields, and hastily finished graves—a result of Indian raids—in the parts of northern Mexico they occupied. Prior to the Battle of Buena Vista, the states of Chihuahua, Durango, and Zacatecas ordered soldiers to remain at home to protect against Indian raids.

■ The civilian population frequently reacted as if the war was being waged by two foreign powers. U.S. officers and Mexican landowners frequently fraternized. Other landowners, such as the Sánchez Navarro family in Coahuila, sold massive amounts of livestock, corn, and wheat to the U.S. army. To insure that the U.S. forces did not antagonize landowners, Generals Scott and Taylor insisted that all food and supplies needed by U.S. troops were paid for in voluntary, negotiated sales. Other Mexicans served U.S. troops as guides, teamsters, and spies and supplied them with mules, cattle, and corn.

■ The army reflected the chronic financial problems of early nineteenth-century Mexican governments. The lack of finances resulted in an army that was poorly equipped at the outbreak of hostilities and made it difficult to amass war matériel later on.

■ The professional army that defended Mexico reflected Mexican society as a whole. The army was poorly led, since individuals with little military training used bribes or political influence to obtain leadership positions. The officer corps was conservative and elitist. Of the 137 most senior officers, all but about twenty had fought on the Spanish side in the independence struggle. Changes in government generally resulted in changes in the army’s command structure. These repeated personnel shifts impaired fighting ability. Mexico’s bloated army had 24,000 officers commanding 20,000 enlisted men. The British ambassador wrote home in 1846 that the army was “the worst perhaps to be found in any part of the world.” Zeh, while marching on Mexico City, commented, “The enemy cavalry now had a marvelous opportunity to capture our generalissimo but to do this required courage and a spirit of daring-do which, fortunately, they lacked.”

■ Morale among Mexican troops was low, since they were often impressed or taken from prisons. They received little training and, as a result, could not perform tactical maneuvers in large groups. Historian Josefina Vázquez described the army defending Mexico as

a ghost comprised of untrained conscripts who deserted as soon as the opportunity presented itself, and led by officers who dedicated themselves to politics. The cavalry and artillery, which had acquired a certain fame, had declined due to the lack of funds and failure to maintain proper levels of enlistment.

■ Waddy Thompson, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico from 1842 to 1844, noted that Mexican recruitment consisted mainly of capturing Indians, of whom no more than one in ten had ever seen a gun and not one in a hundred had fired one.

■ The effectiveness of Mexican cannons was limited by their being of a variety of calibers and by poor logistics. The solid shot used by Mexicans was less effective than the grape and canister shot used by Americans. Mexican muskets had been purchased from British stocks after they had been declared obsolete and often unserviceable. Zeh commented that after Cerro Gordo, “The captured muskets usually were collected into huge piles and set afire, because they were of no value.”

■ Mexican officers tended to view battles like chess games. They expected events to unfold within a clearly defined area. The Americans would repeatedly extend the limits of the battlefield, and win. This occurred at Resaca de la Palma, Cerro Gordo, and Contreras.

■ Mexican forces repeatedly withdrew before they were attacked. The list of such abandoned positions includes Matamoros, Tampico, Jalapa, Mazatlán, Tucson, El Paso, Santa Fe, and Chihuahua City. No military force existed in other cities such as Puebla. Others, such as Veracruz, Monterrey, and Mexico City, were defended for a time, and then surrendered. The fortress at Perote was abandoned along with a sizable amount of war matériel. A more determined defense would have increased the number of U.S. casualties, thus possibly undermining American support for the war.

■ Guerrilla warfare might also have defeated the United States. However, Santa Anna opposed a guerrilla strategy, feeling he could win on the battlefield. The wealthy opposed guerrilla warfare since the resulting disruption and social mobilization would be prejudicial to their interests. This, and the lack of a credible leader, prevented the creation a strong guerrilla force comparable to the force opposing Maximilian in the 1860s. The most serious action by irregulars was an attack on a supply train between the Rio Grande and Monterrey. In that attack, forty to fifty teamsters were killed, and 110 wagons and 300 pack mules were captured. Taylor referred to that attack as “an atrocious barbarism unprecedented in the existing war.”

■ Scott did his best to stamp out any outbreak of guerrilla warfare. During his six-year struggle against the Seminole, he had learned how hard it was to suppress a full-scale guerrilla insurrection. He ordered the summary execution of partisans and the destruction of villages supporting them. In addition, he held local mayors responsible for capturing and turning over to Americans anyone killing or robbing U.S. soldiers. Mayors who failed to capture such attackers faced heavy fines. To avoid antagonizing Mexicans, Scott also took special care to see that his forces avoided the repeated atrocities committed by some of Taylor’s forces.

■ Scott commented on these atrocities:

Our militia & volunteers, if a tenth of what is said to be true, have committed atrocities—horrors—in Mexico, sufficient to make Heaven weep, & every American, of Christian morals blush for his country. Murder, robbery & rape on mothers and daughters, in the presence of the tied-up males of the families, have been common all along the Rio Grande.

■ Many of Mexico’s problems resulted from its failure to have formed a national consciousness in the quarter century after independence. In 1848, statesman Mariano Otero commented, “There has not been, nor could there have been a national spirit, for there is no nation.”

To this date, Mexicans resent the loss of roughly 40 percent of “their” territory. However, just as was the case with the Adams–Onís Treaty, those most affected by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo were not the roughly 85,000 Hispanics on land ceded to the United States but the 160,000 Indians whose ancestral lands passed to U.S. control without their having been consulted.

In Mexico, the war was a painful but perhaps necessary shock to the nation, provoking self-examination. The questions raised by the war shaped a new generation and led to a consolidated state and increased nationalism, evident in the 1860s during the struggle against Maximilian. In the aftermath of the war, the dominance of the army, the Church, and the hacendados began to be questioned more strongly than ever before.

For most of the twentieth century, the Mexican Revolution of 1910–1917 overshadowed the Mexican–American War. However, by the end of the century the effects of the Revolution had largely run their course. The results of the Mexican–American War, in contrast, remain glaringly apparent. The four states—California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas—that form the bulk of the territory lost to the United States had a GDP almost four times that of Mexico in 2000.

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A billion people will die, when Gog and Magog comes. Those who survive will suffer greatly. Those who prepare will have a greater chance of survival, and will survive with less suffering. I went into detail about that moment in time in a book that I called Ezekiel’s Fire. And, the title comes from this verse:

And I will send a fire on Magog, and on them that dwell securely in the isles and they shall know that I am Jehovah.

That’s not just a bad bit of lightning. That fire is a solar event so big that it will make the sun seven times brighter and make the moon as bright as the sun (Isaiah 30:26). That’s a micronova that will knock out power around the world. Cars and trucks will cease working (Zechariah 12:4), and there will be a global earthquake that will knock down every building of any size (Isaiah 30:25). And, every single bit of that is connected to:

The coming of Gog and Magog

The Return of Jacob to God

This salvation of the children of Jacob is tightly woven into the prophecies of the Last Days. Since very few dispute that fact, the only question in our mind should be about WHEN. This ‘when’ should consume our interest because When Gog Comes and when the children of Jacob Returns will also tell us when Ezekiel’s Fire will flatten our civilization.

Unfortunately, I have discovered that most Christians assume that Gog and Magog comes at some point after the Rapture and/or around the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Since the Millennium has a geographical focus on Jerusalem, it is easy to see why so many make this assumption. All of us tend to latch on to such similarities and move on to deal with the other challenges of life. But, such assumptions will be fatal, if Ezekiel’s Fire catches you unprepared.

If I’m right, at some point over the next decade or two, the lights will go out, our buildings will collapse and billions people will probably die. Some places will fare better than others. But, there’s no way that our current civilization can survive such a catastrophic event. It will be that bad.

Since the description in the Bible is pretty clear, we must accept the fact that it’s coming. There’s no other way to view the events of Isaiah 30, Zechariah 12 and Ezekiel 39. Those three chapters describe the same moment in time. Worse, there is evidence that an event like Ezekiel’s Fire has already happened at least once before.

The issue is timing.

Unfortunately, well meaning commentators in the 1800s muddied our understanding by inserting their own ideas. The idea of a return of the Jews to the Land of Israel seemed utterly impossible to them, let alone the idea of some guy named Gog gathering an army and attacking Israel. They could not even have envisioned the fall of the Ottoman empire, much less the idea of computers, electricity, telephones, the Internet and all the rest. And yes, it is common for people to interpret the Bible according to what they see around them.

The good thing is that we are better able to imagine what they could not. The bad thing is that many of us are still caught up in ideas that were introduced a long time ago. So, we need to look again at our assumptions and ask if they are as true as we thought they were.

Unfortunately, there’s another layer of error that sits underneath these badly formed theories – bad translations. I don’t understand why, but our Bibles are full of translation mistakes. Big ones. The majority of these errors must have been made in good faith. But, far too many appear to be deliberate distortions of what the Bible actually says.

Let me be clear that the Bible itself is without error. The errors only crop up in our translation and interpretation of the Bible. I will talk about some of that later, but you need to know that what you think of as The Bible, is only a translation. The true Bible was written in Hebrew, Greek and a smattering of Aramaic.

Since Greek is a lot easier for North Americans and Europeans to understand, New Testament translations have fewer accidental errors. English, French, Spanish, Italian, etc. all have foundations in Latin and Greek. Not so for the Old Testament. Old Testament translations are full of accidental errors, partly because Hebrew is so different from a European-centric language. Hebrew is a hard language to learn.

I know, because I had to.

After having lived and worked in a Hebrew-language environment in Israel, my ability to understand the Old Testament is much greater than if I had not. This is important, since most of the prophecies of the Last Days are in the Old Testament. However, learning Hebrew doesn’t solve all of our problems with understanding Old Testament prophecies. Fitting these prophetic puzzle pieces together requires permission from God and the active intervention of the Holy Spirit.

And yeah. Permission. We were never going to be allowed to understand what’s coming until the time is right (Daniel 12). But, I think this ‘permission’ has been given. Now is the time to get this right – especially since we seem to be really far into the Last Days.

Do you hear the hoof beats of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse?

I think that I do.

Unfortunately, even though I believe that the veil over End Times prophecies is being lifted, they will still be painfully difficult to figure out. The writings of each Old Testament prophet presents a somewhat different perspective on what happens. And, these views are sometimes hard to place in their proper order. God gave the prophets different symbols, wording and even borrowed words from a different language. One prophet focused on one aspect of the Last Days, while another would concentrate on a different one. And, since God is the Author of these prophecies, these differences were intentional.

Isaiah refers to this in chapter 28, where he talks about how the truth of the Bible is found. He says that it’s “here a little and there a little.” And, the purpose is so that the wicked won’t understand.

…That they might go and fall backward, and be broken And snared and caught.

God intentionally made the interpretation of the prophecies of the Last Days difficult. He did it on purpose, so that those who rebel against God would not be warned of what is coming. At the same time, those who submit to the words of God and love the truth, will be able to understand, if they search out the meaning that has been scattered about the Bible.

And, the rule of understanding these things was given to us by God through Isaiah:

For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.

This means that we can look at the decrees of God and match the events surrounding those decrees with each other. And one of those decrees by God is this one:

The Coming of Gog and Magog

The Return of Jacob.

They happen at the exact same time, so every time that we see either one of them, we know that we are looking at the same event. And that allows us to assemble and compile many passages that add a lot of detail to the picture that we are trying to see – and the timing of these events. If we are thorough enough, we should see the future of what will happen when Gog comes and the salvation of Israel occurs.

Unfortunately, this montage of imagery is horrifying. Our cities will die. The technology that we depend upon will become useless. Those who survive the earthquakes will often die of violence, thirst and starvation. And, I do not want you to be caught by this calamity.

Good things will come of this. God will be glorified. The words of the Bible will be validated. People will have a chance to see the power of God, and that heaven awaits all who believe and obey. It will also be a kind of final warning of the judgment that is coming – a sort of Last Chance to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. And, in this moment of truth, there will be a great need to share the gospel.

This will be the greatest moment for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in the history of the world. At no other time will there have been such visible evidence of the Truth, as this. And there will be a tremendous need for brothers and sisters to share the Light of Christ.

We will all be needed, wherever we are, to help the injured and to ease suffering. I have talked a lot about the need to prepare, but not just for yourselves – but for everyone around you. In this time that is coming, we will have opportunities to serve God in ways that few have seen in 2000 years.

But, you can’t serve God…

That’s why this book exists – to show you what is coming, so that you can truly serve God. Hopefully, this will be a starting point for your own search into these events. You could start anywhere, with almost any of the prophets. But, I think that the biggest, most comprehensive prophecy is the best place to begin, and you cannot get bigger and more comprehensive on this subject than Ezekiel. And Ezekiel presents these three facts, straight from God:

The children of Jacob must be in the Land of Israel BEFORE they are saved.

A gigantic military alliance formed by Gog and Magog will descend upon the Land of Israel.

Then a great fire from God descends upon the world.

Unfortunately, there’s a problem. The Old Testament describes at least two big armies that invade Israel in the Last Days. One of those armies is led by someone described as Gog, and the other is led by someone that the Bible describes as the Antichrist. And, most teachers of eschatology claim that these two men are the same. They say that Gog is the Antichrist. But, they usually don’t say it very loud, because they know that there isn’t any proof to back up their claims.

Are there enough differences in the description of the invasion of Israel by Gog and the invasions of Israel by the Antichrist – enough to help us determine which is which?

Absolutely yes, so keep reading.

I will be pointing these differences out as we work our way through the prophecies that describe the military campaigns of the Antichrist. And, when we compare that picture of the Antichrist with the prophecies that describe the coming of Gog and Magog and the catastrophes that occur at the time of Jacob’s Return, it will be absolutely clear that Gog is NOT the Antichrist and that the salvation of Israel happens long before the Antichrist rises. This effort has been as much for myself, as for you. I really want to make sure that I get this right, so that I do not pass on false teaching. God has said that there is a stricter judgment for those who teach error (Jude 3:1). So, getting this right, is vital.

Another Reason Why This Is So Important

Getting this right is also important, because none of us want to believe a lie. We love the truth, and will do everything that we can to make sure that we have it. It’s part of what it means to be a Christian. In fact, I want the truth far more than any fear that I might have about the difficult future that the Bible describes.

Our safety is far, far less important than the Truth.

Unfortunately, as I look around, most Christians don’t seem to share this belief. To many of our brothers and sisters, the truth is less important than being comfortable, secure and entertained. The Good News of Jesus Christ has been replaced with having Your Best Life Now. Meaningless platitudes have replaced the hard truth that we are despicable sinners, without hope – if it were not for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, in our place.

This lack of care for the truth is why sex outside of marriage is rampant among Christians. Abortion, pornography, dishonesty, adultery and abusive marriages are almost as common among Christians as among those who aren’t. We have become indistinguishable from the world, and it is only a matter of time before God is required to judge us for that.

We Christians have sinned so greatly, that I do not know why God has withheld His righteous judgment from us. I can only think that He is waiting for the right time to pour out His wrath upon our corrupt churches. God will judge the world, but first, He will judge us. And, I believe that Ezekiel’s Fire is a part of that that judgment upon our churches.

However, God always provides a way of escape for His people who have not rebelled against Him. He always provides a warning. He always provides a place of safety. And, if we should suffer for our faith, there is always a good reason. He promised us that we would experience persecution, so do not be surprised when it comes.

But, let’s get back to this effort to prove when Gog comes.

How This Book Is Organized

There are three main sections:

The Core Chapters are those that directly describe the events that we want to examine. They provide the most detail and give us the most context. They lay the foundation that other chapters will build upon.

The Supporting Passages give us additional detail that help us verify what we see in the Core Chapters. These passages show us different viewpoints and add detail that the Core Chapters do not include.

The Appendix provides supporting material that does not belong in the main discussion. If the premise of this book is proven to be true, then the Appendix will give you more tools to move forward.

We Start With The Antichrist

In our first ‘core chapter’, we start by talking about the Antichrist. And, we begin with the Man of Lawlessness because proving that Gog is not the Antichrist is the key to shooting down all the horrible theories that have distorted our view of the Last Days.

If Gog is not the Antichrist…

…then Gog must come years before the Antichrist.

That might not seem like an obvious truth to you now, but keep reading. By the time that we’re done, it will be so clear and undeniable that you will wonder why you didn’t see it before. But, don’t fret too much over this, there are certain elements to this discussion that took far too long to see, myself, and I have less excuse than almost anyone else.

I was in the perfect position to see all of what I am talking about, and it still took me decades to see it. But, God is gracious and will not leave His children in darkness, if they seek Him with a faithful heart.

Then We Look At Gog And Magog

Ezekiel 38 and 39 are the core of the description of the coming of Gog and Magog. So, after teasing apart all the details about the Antichrist and his multiple invasions of Israel, we’ll look at what Ezekiel shows us about Gog’s invasion of the Land of Israel. It will become extremely clear that it just isn’t possible for Gog to be the Antichrist.

However, Ezekiel also gives us our first hint of something terrible that happens around the world, When Gog Comes. But, the details are somewhat vague.

The Great Catastrophe In Zechariah And Isaiah

This is where Zechariah and Isaiah come in. Zechariah 12 and 13 and Isaiah 30, describe the same moment in time as Ezekiel, but they provide a vital perspective that give us specific details that tell us what is happening. Zechariah shows us that electricity, communications and modern transportation will cease to exist. Isaiah will show us that it will be our sun that causes it.

If you are already familiar with what I wrote about Ezekiel’s Fire, it will be extremely clear about the cause of all of this. Our sun has blown off its outer layer before, and we have discovered stars like our own that have done the same. So, this should not be difficult to see and understand.

The challenge will be to grasp the enormity of the damage our civilization will suffer. Major cities around the world will be destroyed by the earthquake that always comes during similar events. What cities that survive, will be without electricity, running water or transportation.

It will be the worst catastrophe since The Great Flood.

We Prove That Jacob Must Return Before The Antichrist

At the same time that this global cataclysm engulfs the world, we’ll see the Return of the Children of Jacob to God. Not only that, but we’ll see absolute proof that this moment of salvation must come long before the Antichrist rises.

After looking at just this evidence alone, there can be no way that anyone would believe that Gog is the Antichrist. Israel must be saved many years – even decades – before the Antichrist invades Israel. There cannot be any doubt of this, once you see the proof for yourself.

There is a mountain of evidence that this must happen exactly as I describe. And when you get to it, you will wonder why your pastor never talked about this.

The Supporting Passages

We could end at these main points and feel satisfied that we have completed our task of proving that Gog and Magog are coming before the Antichrist, and that we need to start working on preparing for this event. But, there is more to be said.

Isaiah 17 and Isaiah 19 will give us another snapshot of this moment in time. Chapter 17 will talk about why Damascus will no longer be a city. Chapter 19 will show us an Egypt turned upside down, but also becoming our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Jeremiah 30 and 31 emphasize the connection between the great catastrophe and the salvation of Israel. But, those two chapters will talk about a global earthquake of astonishing intensity. Again, we will be talking about the same moment in time, but every building of any size around the world will be knocked down.

Micah 5 will reinforce all that we’ve seen. In it’s own way, that chapter in Micah will put it all together. But, you might not have seen it all as clearly, if you hadn’t seen the other prophets first.

Then, we get a bit out into the weeds with the Seven Seals of Revelation 6 and 7. This was a late addition to this book, and I wasn’t sure if I should discuss these seals, but Seal Six is unmistakable proof of what we are talking about. If you were wondering where this discussion lies in the Book of Revelation, it’s the last part of Revelation 6 – the Sixth Seal.

Feel free to try and prove any and all of this wrong. In fact, I’m asking that you do so. Please prove me wrong, if you can. I did not enjoy writing any of this book, and I would love to find that I was wrong.

The Appendix

You can live without your appendix, but that doesn’t mean that you should take it out. Likewise, the three chapters there can be skipped, if you want. But, my advice is that you read them. A lot of foolish error is floating around, and it would be good for all of us if there was less foolishness.

The issue of Daniel’s 70th week, is one bit of foolishness that needs to be pounced on, flattened and then thrown onto the garbage heap of bad interpretation. Why people persist in claiming that the last week of this prophecy is unfulfilled is maddening. And, I show you the proof of why this is such a colossal error.

Another error floating around is about where the Land of Magog is. This calls for some Biblical and historical perspective. The military alliance formed by Gog, comes from a lot more areas of our globe than popular eschatologists would have you believe.

Then, there’s the Rapture. I really didn’t want to talk about that, and it shouldn’t even be a part of this discussion. But, all of the evidence that I’ve provided begs the question about when the Rapture happens. Some very foolish men created some very foolish ideas, and we believed them. And, not only did we believe them, but we created massive divisions in our churches because we refused to speak coherently about this.

That needs to stop.

The truth is important, and I will struggle to my last breath to understand it. And, I might even yell a bit about some parts of what the Bible says. But, to fight to the point of breaking fellowship, over the timing of the Rapture – is a sin, and a pretty deadly one, at that.

It’s almost as if we have forgotten to hold the truth in love.

Why I Say ‘The Children Of Jacob’

Now, why do I keep referring to Israel and the Jews as the Children of Jacob?

The simplest reason is that this is the correct response to those who teach Replacement Theology. Replacement theologians claim that every reference to Israel in the Bible is now pointed right at them – at Christians. That is a patently illogical position, but many Christians still hold this idea. So, it helps a bit in clarifying my point, when I refer to the physical descendants of Israel as the children of Jacob – just as the Bible also does, many times. However, there is a far deeper, more spiritual reason for referring to them as The Children of Jacob.

When Jacob left his father and mother and went into exile, he was not a follower of God. That might surprise you, so I hope that you were sitting down when I said that. But, it’s true. To put it in Christian terms…

…Jacob was an unsaved man, when he left his parents and the land of Canaan.

God still promised to bless him, and in the dream of ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ (Genesis 28), God promised to give Jacob the land upon which he slept and to make his descendants so numerous that they could not be counted. God went on to say that He would be with Jacob, everywhere that he went and would bring Jacob back to the land that he was leaving.

Unfortunately, Jacob wasn’t completely convinced:

20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, 21 so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God.

That IF-THEN statement is not something that any man with faith in God would say. Those who have faith in God would never say IF. Those who have their faith in God KNOW that God will be with them. To make this more clear, Abraham would never have said ‘IF’. Never.

So, even though Jacob called the place where he received that dream, Bethel, he still wasn’t sure that God would do everything that He said. But, Jacob was willing to ‘play along’. If God fulfilled His promise, then Jacob would accept Yehovah as lord. Unfortunately, even when Jacob was returning to the land that was promised to him, he still wasn’t convinced that Yehovah was the One True God. Even after Jacob wrestled with God, and was promised that his name would be changed, Jacob still didn’t submit with all of his heart.

It was only when God appeared to Jacob in Shechem, telling him to go back to Bethel and build an altar to God, that Jacob finally submitted. And, we know that because of what is said here:

Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:

There is no way that a man of faith in God would have allowed ‘strange gods’ among his people. Abraham didn’t. Isaac didn’t. So, Jacob should not have. But, like I said… Jacob was not a saved man until he finally submitted to God at Shechem.

Then, after this moment of spiritual conversion, God appears to Jacob again, and says that his name will be changed. From that point on, he was Israel, even though Genesis will still sometimes refers to him as Jacob.

I believe that there is an important symbol and metaphor in this name. The changing of Jacob’s name marked the point of spiritual transformation. While he was Jacob, his spiritual condition was rebellion. He allowed idolatry within his family. He was not truly yielding to God. But, after he got rid of the idols and put his faith and obedience towards God, he was given the name of Israel. And, this dichotomy is reflected in the many times that God refers to rebellious Israelis as the Children of Jacob.

In those passages where God calls them Jacob, He seems to be making the point that they are in rebellion against Him. The House of Jacob is the place of sin and rebellion. It’s also a demonstration of God’s sovereignty, in that God gave Jacob a promise, even though he was not in obedience.

We, ourselves, were Children of Adam when God chose us and sent His Son to die for us. But, when we accepted the truth of Christ and submitted to Him in obedience, we were transformed into the Children of God. Yes, we still have the physical remnants of our previous father, but our new life in Christ has given us a new name, a new identity and an eternal future. We are no longer slaves to sin, destined for Hell. We are now sons and daughters of the Most High. We are led by the Holy Spirit. And, one day soon, the sons and daughters of Jacob will also be released from their bondage and will also become the sons and daughters of God.

This story of Jacob’s salvation is woven throughout the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments. So, we accept this future transformation as fact, as preordained by God. But, some seem to be uncertain about how Israel will be saved.

How will this transformation take place?

How will the children of Jacob be saved?

Well, let me ask you an important question:

What was the final sacrifice?

If your answer was Jesus’ payment for our sins upon the Cross and our cleansing by His blood, you are entirely correct. Jesus was, is and always will be the last true sacrifice. And, there will never be any other way to obtain salvation. Only Jesus is The Way, The Truth and The Life.

So, what does this mean for Israel?

They will become followers of Christ, just like you and me. They will be Christians. They will accept the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. They will turn from their false faith and accept the precious gift of salvation. They will become our brothers and sisters. It’s that simple, but so very few actually talk about this. But, there’s one more thing that we will be talking about. Something important.

Translation Errors – The Intentional And Unintentional

I said that I was ‘outraged at the accidental and intentional errors in our translations of the Bible’. Actually, outrage barely describes how I feel about all of this. The precious words of God have either been corrupted deliberately by persons-of-uncertain-parentage or accidentally subverted by morons who couldn’t tell the difference between an aleph and a bet. I am trying hard to assume that these translators were men of good will and just didn’t understand Hebrew very well. But, the sheer number of errors leads me to believe that at least some of this was purposeful.

One of my ‘favorite’ examples of outrageous translation corruption comes from the New Testament, in Greek. It’s about the word ‘baptism’. The original Greek word is βαπτίζω or baptizo. It means immersion. It means to dip under the water. But, the translators of the King James Bible were Anglican. Anglicans sprinkled. So, instead of translating ‘baptizo’ into ‘immersion’, they just anglicized the Greek word by replacing the ‘zo’ at the end of the word with a ‘sm’ – attempting to hide its true interpretation.

That is horrifyingly corrupt.

How dare these translators deliberately obscure the meaning of the words of God!

That is an example of deliberate, intentional and foul corruption. Whoever did that – and there had to have been several – was not a Christian and will suffer for an eternity. They loved the praise of men, over God, and that is a horrifying thing.

Worse, many Christians have been tricked into believing that they were baptized, because evil men corrupted the Bible. I believe that God will forgive those who honestly misunderstood the meaning of baptism, but He will not forgive those men who deliberately defiled the Bible with their corruptions.

Here is another obvious corruption of the New Testament, by the King James Version translators:

Did you know that the name James was deliberately inserted into the KJV, in place of the name ‘Jacob’?

James, the brother of Jesus, and James, the brother of John, were not called ‘James’. They were called Jacob, or more accurately, Ya’acov. The original Greek of the New Testament reflects this by spelling their names like this:

When you look up the etymology of the name, you’ll find that many claim a tortuous series of linguistic steps from Jacob to James. And, there might be some truth to that. But, that’s not the reason why the translators of the KJV called Jacob, James.

Who was the one paying their salary?

Right, KING James.

But, you’ll notice that Jacob in the Old Testament wasn’t called ‘James’ by the guys translating the Bible from the Hebrew. They knew that they couldn’t get away with THAT much corruption, so they didn’t try. Only the Greek got the ‘kingly corruption’.

Unfortunately, most modern translations aren’t any better. I have found obscene errors in these translations, and one of the most insidious is the preference for the ‘Alexandrian Manuscripts’ when translating the New Testament. There’s a reason why these ‘manuscripts’ are in such pristine condition:

The early church shunned them.

Alexandrian scribes liked to do a bit of ‘editorializing’ when they copied their texts. And, it didn’t matter if they were copying the Bible or the tales of the Iliad. And, you can bet that members of the early church were less than happy with their efforts.

That’s why we have the Greek Majority Text. And, the reason why so few of them survived into antiquity is that they were used so much that they fell apart. But, modern theologians don’t think like that. They are intellectual christians, and therefore immune to the idea of the Holy Spirit.

Just look at what Crossway did to Genesis 3:16, in their corrupted English Standard Version. Every expert in Hebrew told them that they were morons to make this ‘mistake’, but they have refused to correct it. It makes me wonder if these people are even Christian.

The bottom line is that at least some of the translators of the Bible had to be either cretins, criminals or both. For anyone to claim to love God, and then do this to His precious words… I am left speechless. I just cannot believe that someone who is truly saved, could actually do something like this on purpose. And, if the translators were just ignorant of the true meaning of the Greek and Hebrew texts, then I have to wonder at those who hired them.

Why would you hire translators who didn’t understand the language that they were working with?

Either way, I’m shocked at what I have seen so far, which leads me to believe that there is a lot more to this than I have seen. That’s why, in the rest of this book, I will talk about translation errors in the Bible quotations that I use. I will do this in some depth, because you need to know the true meaning of the words that the translators have corrupted.

Thankfully, my Hebrew is a thousand times better than my Greek, having lived and worked in a Hebrew environment. And, that experience and education has given me the ability to see what many cannot. My Hebrew might be so-so by Israeli standards, but it’s good enough for the purposes of this book.

How dare these men translate the Bible in such an awful way!

Back To Our Topic

Now, let’s get on to proving whether Gog and Magog is either the army of the Antichrist, or one of the events that occur before the Antichrist. And we will start by looking at the evidence that we have of the army of the Antichrist. Then, we will look at the core chapters of the Bible that describe the coming of Gog and Magog itself – chapters that also talk about the salvation and spiritual transformation of the Children of Jacob. But, first, a note on how this book is organized.

And, we start with the Core Chapters.