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Gog of Magog
Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal.”
Ezekiel 38: 1-3
For years I have struggled with the placement of Ezekiel 37-38 in the end time picture. For many expositors these chapters are seen as imminent in fulfillment. That is, just around the corner at anytime and definitely before the manifestation of a global anti-Christ system. My problem with this thesis is that the chapters in question describe the people of Israel as a people at rest, freed from security threats and dwelling in “unwalled villages’ having “neither bars nor gates.” This most certainly does not describe Israel today and the passage in question repeats this peaceful state of affairs a few times. So, it is not just an isolated thought. This fact discredits completely the “imminent theory”, referred to above and thus forces us to find another explanation in order to do proper justice to the context.
Most certainly Ezekiel 36 speaks of the modern day return of the Jewish people to their god-given and ancient homeland after enduring a dispersion of global proportions. This return has two phases: First a physical phase to the land and then second, a spiritual return to the Lord. (Ezekiel 36:24-28) The latter will secure their domicile on the land and issue in the coming of Messiah, in these passages referred to as “David their Prince.” David’s arrival will guarantee true peace for the people of Israel. (Ezekiel37:24-28)
Ezekiel 37 essential affirms the miraculous survival of Israel in spite of being subjected to genocidal campaigns through the centuries, the most vicious of which being the Nazi Holocaust. The “Dry Bones” analogy is thus appropriate and remarkable. We have all preached from it. However, chapter 38 introduces us to a huge conflict aimed at removing Israel’s existence once and for all from the earth. The conflict erupts when Israel is at total peace and unsuspecting and is driven by an entity called Gog of Magog. (Ezekiel 38:10-17) Suddenly, like a whirlwind from nowhere, an international conglomeration of nations called Gog of Magog attacks Israel.
This huge assault against Israel is actually birthed in the sovereignty of God as He brings these nations against Israel in battle and this contrary to their desire! The God of Israel turns them around and puts hooks in their jaws so as to drive them towards the peaceful hills and plains of Israel. (Ezeliel38: 4-8) The clear purpose of this campaign is to remove unbelief from Zion (Ezekiel 39:7) and bring about the full restoration of all things promised to them. (Acts3:19-21) This attack against Israel is furthermore said to be the great “Day” that God in His word has always spoken about. That is, the Day of the Lord! (Ezekiel 39:8, 22; Acts 2:16-21) Another strategic accomplishment of this campaign will be to humble the nations and all their false gods. (Ezekiel 39:23) Moreover, through these catastrophic events the nations will recognize the peculiar role that Israel has played out through the centuries in terms of mediating God’s plan of redemption to the world. (Ezekiel39:21-24)
Given that all this is clear from the passages in question it is my view that, in the near future, Israel will face a short but bruising conflict in the Middle East region. This conflict is building with every passing day and one would be blind not to see it. An Islamic awakening throughout the Middle East is driving a renewed hope of being able to destroy Israel. It will not happen and Islam will be humbled but Israel and the world will pay a great cost. Consequently, there will be urgent and desperate calls for effective global government and an end to the Arab/Israeli conflict. This will be achieved and peace will be ushered in with great fanfare and optimism. Finally, Israel will be at peace and at rest and she will no longer be threatened internally or externally by anyone but she will still be in a state of unbelief. It will be a false peace but it will prevail long enough to induce a lack of watchfulness and maybe even disarmament. (1Thessalonians5:1-5)
In short Israel will be unprepared and totally caught off guard. This rapid and unsuspecting attack by Gog of Magog will be like another Yom Kippur War but only far more dangerous. Israel will have no possibility of survival; she will be facing certain annihilation. (Ezekiel 38:9; Ezekiel 38:14-17) It is precisely here that the God of the Bible will step in and, by miraculous intervention, will deliver Israel physically and spiritually. (Ezekiel 38:18-39:1-8) David, Israel’s great King, will arrive, wash away her sins and reign from Jerusalem. (Zechariah 12-14)
It is therefore my contention that the battle with Gog of Magog is the final battle that will take place on the Day of the Lord just after the great tribulation. It is on this “Day of Affliction” that Israel will cry out to Messiah Jesus for salvation and deliverance. (Hosea 5:14-6:1-3) The miraculous and decisive nature of God’s intervention will not only wipe away unbelief in Zion but it will finally demonstrate to the nations the reality, nature and absolute sovereignty of the God of Israel. The nations and their gods will be humbled and shamed.
In the immediate future then, I believe that the Holy Spirit is warning His people about an imminent war in Israel. We must have no doubt that the issues facing Israel today are very critical, dangerous and urgent. She is facing yet another attempt to destroy her. On September 26th all nations, through the United Nations, will attempt to disinvest Israel of her heartland and of Jerusalem. Israel’s non-compliance is going to inevitably provoke conflict. She is not at rest or at peace and is fully armed! We must pray and learn to pray as never before. Our prayers must give God no rest as this looming battle is upon us.
The conflict will see Israel emerge victorious, though battered. A, so called, lasting peace will be forged heralding a “new age” of regional development and global understanding. Christians will be “out of step” with this era and will have to pay a price for their rejection of the “New World Order.” (Revelation 13:7-10)
When the Davidic Prince arrives after the great conflict of Gog and Magog a “Golden or Messianic Age” will be ushered in bringing true peace to a broken world. (Isaiah2:1-4) At the conclusion of this “Age” the nations will again seek to destroy Israel and thus Gog of Magog will again ascend to the Holy City of Jerusalem in one last attempt to destroy Israel and their Messiah Prince. (Revelation20:7-10)
The Book of Revelation takes “seed concepts” like Babylon and the coming “Beast” and expands them into global concepts. That is, it includes the original nature of the concept but makes it bigger and thus global. So, Babylon the city, situated in modern day Iraq, grows to become Babylon the global system (Revelation17-18) and Antiochus Epiphanes, the evil Seleucid King of the Grecian Empire and original Beast, becomes the final Beast King of all history; the Antichrist. (Daniel8; 2Thessalonians 2 and Revelation 13) In the same way Gog of Magog mutates into a symbol of international rebellion against God, His people and His Messiah. Thus the Book of Revelation describes the final assault against the Holy City of Jerusalem as yet another attempt by the evil demonic spirit of Gog of Magog to extinguish the existence of God. It is all driven by a satanic unseen conspiracy. It too will fail and Gog of Magog will finally be buried in hell!