Tribulation Events Timeline
I was asked if I had some outline of events in the Tribulation and their timing. My response was to produce the following two tables giving the Tribulation timeline.
In response to these timelines, sent via email to the questioner, this response was received, asking questions:
Setterfield: Basically you are wondering if Isaiah 17, and Ezekiel 38 all fit in with the return of the Lord at the Battle of Armageddon. I agree that Zechariah 12-14 and Ezekiel 39 both refer to this event. Psalm 83 is a different battle altogether. As you look at the nations involved in Psalm 83 you find that the line-up is exactly what we had in the 6-Day war of June 1967 and the predicted results followed. This is explained in more detail on our website.
There is also a more detailed examination of other verses in the Old Testament which speak of the Isaiah 17 battle.
From the analysis given there, it is not possible for the Isaiah 17 battle to mark the coming of the Lord at Armageddon, even though there is a miraculous intervention of God. This intervention is picked up in the other references in our website link mentioned above and it appears that it could be associated with the Rapture.
There is another reason why Isaiah 17 cannot be Armageddon. We are given a complete exposition of the events leading up to the Battle of Armageddon in Daniel 11:40-45. This scenario is entirely different from the events portrayed in Isaiah 17, as well as Psalm 83. The line-up of nations is different and the events for Israel are different.
By the way, your Biblical comment that He would bring 1/3rd of the Israelis through the fire is a persecution thing like the holocaust rather than a battle-induced casualty list. It is for that reason that the judgment of the living nations at the end of Armageddon in Matthew 25 majors on how an individual sheltered and nurtured the Jewish people during that time of intense persecution. For that reason, the comment in Isaiah 17 that only groups of two or three Israelis would come back from the Damascus battle indicates that it is a separate event.
Finally, as to the suggestion that Ezekiel 38 as well as 39 refer to the Battle of Armageddon, there are a few problems. First, there is no doubt that Ezekiel 39 refers to Armageddon and the Return of the Lord to rule, because in 39:21-29 it says "I will set my glory among the nations ... and the house of Israel will know that I am the Lord from that day forward ... and I will not hide my face from them anymore, for I shall have poured out my Spirit on the house of Israel."
Earlier, in Ezekiel 39:7 it says "Then the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in [the midst of] Israel." Furthermore, in Ezekiel 39:4 the birds of prey and the beasts of the field devour remains of the armies. This is also referred to in the Armageddon context in Revelation 19:17-18. In addition, the idea of the burning of the weapons of the armies in Ezekiel 39:9-10 is picked up in Isaiah 9:5-7 when the Son is given back to us (after having been born, crucified and ascended) to rule upon the Throne of David. So there is no doubt that Ezekiel 39 is referring to Armageddon.
As for Ezekiel 38, the situation is different. For a start, Ezekiel 39 does not run straight on from Ezekiel 38. There is definitely a division between the two prophecies in the most ancient manuscripts; one prophecy does not run on into the other, even though they are related by the involvement of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal (from which we get the modern names of Russia, Moscow and Tobolsk). So obviously Russia is involved on both occasions.
However, there is a key which allows us to discern two different events here. Daniel 8 and 11 both indicate that Antichrist comes from Turkey. In the battle of Armageddon, Antichrist and hence Turkish troops will be heavily involved according to Daniel 11:40-45. But the key commercial center of Turkey is Istanbul, which was ancient Chalcedon. In the original Alexandrian Greek translation of Ezekiel 38, it states that the merchants of Chalcedon enquire of Russia why she is coming and what she hopes to accomplish. Turkey apparently does not get involved in the battle in Ezekiel 38. But Antichrist and all his forces are involved in Armageddon, which is Ezekiel 39.
So the two prophecies are related, but represent two distinct occasions whereby Russia comes down into the Mid-east. Because Ezekiel 38:20 says that the Lord's presence is involved, coupled with the miracle of the battle in Isaiah 17:14 and the Lord appearing over them in Zechariah 9:14, and the Lord blowing the trumpet over the battle at the wipe-out of Damascus in Zephaniah 2:9 (LXX), all point to this event occurring around the time of the Rapture and just before the Tribulation. The only other time we are told that the Lord blows the trumpet (the Trumpet of God, 1 Thessalonians 4:16) is for the Rapture. So it is reasonable to conclude that this event will occur near the time of that battle, at least if the Lord leaves it to the last minute.
As mentioned above, more detail than I can give here is on our website links. These should be examined in conjunction with this answer.