Gog and Magog

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The Creation Concept


Contents

The heritage of the Church

The separation wall in Israel

A Preterist interpretation

The awful fate of Gog's army

Notes

Links

The heritage of the Church

Ezekiel says the armies of Gog and Magog come against a land of unwalled villages, and the mountains of Israel, and against "the prophets of Israel."

Ezekiel 38:17
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?

In Revelation 20:8-9, John refers to Gog and Magog, and identifies them with the nations who are deceived by Satan, from "the four corners of the earth," (an expression indicating the four cardinal directions, N,S,E, & W) who are gathered together to battle, and  they "compass the camp of the saints round about."

The saints are identified with Israel, and with the holy city, in the New Testament. When John refers to "the camp of the saints" he alludes to Israel in the wilderness. The invasion by Gog and Magog in Ezekiel's prophecy represents an invasion of false teachings, and flawed interpretations of scripture, and especially of prophecy. The theories of Preterism and Dispensationalism are examples. There are many other "isms."

Ezekiel was not describing a literal invasion of the land, but he was describing some kind of assault on the message of the prophets, which is really the message of the Gospel. The apostle Peter said the prophets ministered not to themselves, but "unto us," that is, the saints of the New Testament church. (1 Peter 1:12) Many prophecy interpreters and Bible scholars today deny this. They say the message of the prophets of the Old Testament applies to the Jews, (which Peter's comments show is not the case). Some say the prophecies apply to Jews in the first century AD (the Preterists); others claim the prophecies apply mainly to Jews in a future age (Dispensationalism). Dispensationalsists claim no Old Testament prophecy applies to the Church, especially Ezekiel's prophecy about Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38 & 39.

Peter wrote that the prophets wrote about the Gospel, they "prophesied of the grace that should come unto you." And he said they wrote "by the spirit of Christ that was in them." In Acts 10:43 he said, referring to Christ, "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." So, the message of Ezekiel about the armies of Gog and Magog is a prophecy that concerns the church, and the Gospel, and the present age, the age of the church. John seems to confirm this, since he says the deceived followers of Gog and Magog compass the "camp of the saints," which is the church.

Ezekiel's prophecy is directed against a "chief prince." (Ezekiel 38:2) This applies, not to a human individual, but a spiritual power, or an angel. The phrase parallels the reference in Daniel 10:3 to the "prince of the kingdom of Persia" and "Michael, one of the chief princes," which seem to refer to spiritual powers rather than human individuals. Daniel described a vision in which an angel was speaking to him. The "chief prince" of Ezekiel's prophecy is also likely an angel or spirit, who John identifies with Satan. (Revelation 20:8)

The weapons Ezekiel mentions in vs. 3-4 are not those of modern warfare. This prophecy was not fulfilled literally in the past, by any ancient invasion of Israel, and neither could it be applied literally in modern times. Ezekiel refers to horses, and people equipped with bucklers, and shields, and spears, and bows and arrows, which are normally made of wood. Modern armies are not likely to take up spears, or bows and arrows.

Ezekiel's prophecy has to be interpreted. Peter said the prophets ministered not to themselves, or the Jews according to the flesh, but "unto us," by which he means the Church. The prophecy about Gog and Magog has to do with a spiritual invasion. The doctrines and interpretations of men come against the prophets of Israel, whose words are contained in the scriptures.

It is not a military invasion, but a figurative one. The armies of Gog and Magog are spiritual, representing delusions, and flawed interpretations. Their weapons are their teachings, and doctrines.

Ephesians 6 lists the spiritual armour and weapons that Christians are encouraged to take up.

Ephesians 6:11-17
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

The army described in Ezekiel 38 is clothed "with all sorts of armour," and they all handle swords. The bows and arrows, swords and spears, shields and bucklers in Ezekiel's prophecy are symbolic, but they need to be identified from scripture, not from the imagination of dispensationalist authors. David wrote:

Psalm 64:3
Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:

Here, "arrows" are "bitter words." This is what the weapons of the armies of Gog and Magog consist of; they assault the church and the saints with their "bitter words." They argue and dispute with each other, and against the gospel, and the true message of the prophets!

The horses of prophecy are symbolic too; they represent people who lack understanding, and their riders are the beliefs "riding" and guiding them.

Psalm 32:9
Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.

There has been a great deal of speculation about the precise identity of the nations mentioned in Ezekiel 38:5-6, and about what significance it has. The nations include people of Europe, and Muslim countries such as Persia (modern Iran), and people of Africa, such as Lybia and Ethiopia. But in Revelation 20:8, John includes every nation on the earth among those who are deceived, and who "compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city."

The land "brought back from the sword" in Ezekiel 38:7-8 refers to the true gospel, which has been obscured by false teaching. The saints war against "the power of darkness."

Colossians 1:13
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

The "mountains of Israel" that have been always waste are symbolic of the promises of God, to his saints. The land that promised to Abraham and his seed, represents all the promises of God to his saints. [See The mountains of prophecy for details.]

Why are these mountains said to be "always waste"? Abraham died without receiving the land that he was promised. And when Israel entered the promised land, that was not the true "rest" that was promised God's people, as the writer of Hebrews points out. He says, referring to Joshua, "For if Jesus [or Joshua] had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day." (Hebrews 4:8)

The promises are yet to be fulfilled; Ezekiel said the mountains have been "always waste," because the promises have not been fully possessed by the church. Some of them are future! The promised "rest" is the inheritance of the saints, typified by the promised land, and by the sabbath, the day of rest.

Ezekiel 34 describes God's people as sheep, wandering on the mountains, scattered over the face of the earth, and a prey to every beast of the field. The shepherds feed themselves, rather than the flock. (Ezekiel 34:1-8)

In Ezekiel 38:9, the confused state of the church is compared to a "storm," and a "cloud that covers the land." When a cloud covers the land, the view is obscured, just as it is when one is in darkness.   

The prophet Joel uses similar language when describing the day of the Lord, he calls it "A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness." (Joel 2:2)

Zechariah said that the day would be such that "the light shall not be clear, nor dark ... not day, nor night." (Zechariah 14:6-7)

In the modern age, there is plenty of knowledge about certain things, (science, technology, medicine, history, and mathematics for example) but ignorance about spiritual things. And so we are in a time of "clouds" and "gloominess."

A "cloud" covering the land pictures our view of the promises of God to the church being obscured.

The promised land, its mountains, hills, and valleys, are symbolic of the promises of God that are contained in the prophecies of scripture, promises that Peter called "exceeding great and precious." (2 Peter 1:4)

Today there are thousands of cults, sects, and denominations. Dispensationalism and many other "isms" form a thick dark cloud, which obscures our view of the revelations that God provided for us in prophecy.

The "land of unwalled villages," and those who are at rest and dwell safely in Ezekiel 38:11 pictures God's people, as the phrase "towns without walls" is applied to Jerusalem by Zechariah, and Jerusalem is the name applied to the church in the New Testament.

Zechariah 2:1-5
I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand.
Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof.
And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him,
And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein:
For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.

Measuring Jerusalem is adapted by John in Revelation 11:1-2, as measuring the temple of God, which like Jerusalem, is a type of the church.

"Towns without walls" is a very similar idea to the "unwalled villages" of Ezekiel's prophecy. Equating Jerusalem to "towns without walls" or "the land of unwalled villages" links the invasion by the hordes of Gog and Magog to the invasion described in Zechariah 14, in the day of the Lord, where all nations come against Jerusalem to battle. These are different prophecies of the same assault on the church by "the powers of darkness."

The armies of Gog and Magog seek to "take a spoil;" they want to make a profit, and take the saints captive to their beliefs. They misinterpret the prophecies in the scriptures, and use them improperly, for their own profit, and to deceive people.

The mountains in Ezekiel 38:22 represent the promises of God, including the prophecies of the OT. The prophets identify the flawed interpretations that have been imposed on scripture.

I suggest the "overflowing rain" and hailstones, fire, and brimstone, of Ezekiel 38:22 pictures the spirit of God, and his judgment against his enemies, which are the false teachings and flawed interpretations prevalent in the church.

The separation wall in Israel

The construction of a prominent wall, that separates Israeli settlers from the Palestinians, discredits the interpretations that popular dispensationalist prophecy experts have forced upon Ezekiel's prophecy about the invasion of the armies Gog and Magog described in chapter 38-39. This wall ought to have suggested to them that their premises and fundamental approach to prophecy are flawed, and that Ezekiel's prophecy is not about the existing Zionist state. But that has not occurred to them.

Dispensationalist John Hagee wrote [1]:

In Ezekiel 38:11, Russia is addressing all its allies suggesting they go to Israel, which is called the "land of unwalled villages." Russia says, "I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely." Why is Israel at rest? It is at rest because its leaders are trusting in their peace accord with the European Union to guarantee their safety from Russia and the Arab coalition of nations.

The wording of this verse is more than ironic. At this moment, Israel is building a massive concrete wall to keep its enemies out. Ezekiel 38:11 suggets that a day is coming in the future when that wall might come down because Israel is so confident in the seven-year peace accord with the European Union. Watch for this wall to become a politically sensitive issue in the days to come.

Hagee obviously trusts in the accuracy of the speculations of other Zionists and dispensationalists. Zionists say that those who "bless" the State of Israel and its elected officials will be blessed by God, and some have become wealthy through fund raising campaigns, soliciting donations from Christians, to support the Zionist Israeli state. But those contributions are funding a nuclear power, with well equipped armed forces, controlled by people who deny Jesus Christ and the Gospel.

Dispensationalist writers like Hagee base their claims and predictions upon current conditions, and the policies of the Israeli government, rather than the scriptures. Their interpretations abuse and distort the words of Ezekiel's prophecy, to fit modern  political conditions. Who would believe that modern invaders from distant parts of the world will arrive in Israel, riding upon horses? They have to interpret "horses" as representing some form of mechanised transportation, for which there is no biblical precedent, or authority. They follow their delusions, rather than the word of God.

Bill Salhus became a Christian in 1992, and began studying prophecy. He wrote: "After the events of September 11, 2001, along with the encouragement of Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum the founder of Ariel Ministries, I embarked upon a tireless path of discerning prophecies that apply today." [2] He has published a book on his speculations, including an interpretation of Ezekiel 38 that follows the traditional dispensational line of Hal Lindsey, John Hagee, and others. In one of his articles, Salhus asks [3]

Is Israel:
1. A people dwelling securely? (Ezek. 38:8)
2. A people dwelling without walls? (Ezek. 38:11)
3. A nation at peace in the Middle East? (Ezek. 38:11)

And then, a little later in the article, he comments, writing on Jan 24th, 2008:

Israel is not dwelling securely; they presently have rockets being launched daily, almost hourly, into the town of Sderot, from the Hamas in the Gaza area. In the summer of 2006, they had over 4000 rockets fired upon Haifa and other northern locations out of Lebanon from the Hezbollah. Then of course there were the wars of 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973. Likewise Israel is not a people dwelling without walls; to the contrary, they have constructed a huge 25 foot high, soon to be 403 miles long, wall in the midst of their land, intended to partition Palestinian terrorists away from Israel proper.

No it does not appear as though Israel is presently a nation at peace in the Middle East, whose sovereignty is officially recognized by all their Arab neighbors. Neither has Israel become one of the wealthiest nations in the world, as a result of acquiring "great plunder", which Biblically alludes to the spoils obtained as the result of a war. In fact Israel continues to forfeit land, their most valuable asset, in an attempt to obtain peace with their Arab neighbors.

As noted by Mr. Salhus, the presence of the wall, which Palestinians call the Annexation wall, prevents any kind of literal fulfilment of the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 in the existing Zionist state of Israel. He concludes that the wall will need to be removed, before Ezekiel's prophecy can be fulfilled. He thinks that this means that Israel will have to conquer the Palestinians, along with other neighboring Arab states. Salhus sees in this idea an explanation for the omission of many of the close neighbors of Israel from the nations and peoples named as being included in the armies of Gog and Magog.
 
Salhus wrote:

Why are the Palestinians and their Arab cohorts not enjoined in the Ezekiel 38 and 39 prophecies? Today's most observable Arab opponents to the restoration of the nation Israel collectively abstain due to the fact, that they are soon to be decimated by the might of the Israeli Defense Force. How does Israel achieve peace in the Middle East and obtain international recognition as the sovereign Jewish State? It is through military means rather than politically brokered Real Estate deals, such as "The Roadmap Plan". When will the partition wall in Israel come down, and the Jews dwell securely in the Middle East? This will occur when the Jewish State expands territorially, acquires great plunder, and becomes regionally superior.

Digesting the above, Russia and Iran become threatened by what will then be, the new and improved, enlarged and in-charged future Israel. As a result of the Israeli Conquest over the inner circle of the core Arab nations that most closely border Israel today, the Russians and Iranians will promptly invite an outer circle of nations to enjoin their coalition in an attempt to destroy the Jewish State, and capture Israel's newfound fortunes. It is then, and not before, that the prophecy buffs can safely turn the next page of the prophetic calendar forward and warn the world, that the events of Ezekiel 38 and 39 are about to reveal themselves.

What a ghastly scenario! Arab nations decimated? Is this kind of thinking to be the future of the Zionist state? The people of those Arab nations are human beings, who belong God. "The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein." (Psalm 24:1)

Mr. Salhus seems to have ignored a number of things about Ezekiel's prophecy, such as their being accompanied by horses, and nature of their weapons: bows and arrows, swords, spears, shields etc. He also overlooked the fact that Ezekiel said that the invaders, Gog and Magog and their hordes, come against the prophets of Israel.

Ezekiel 38:17
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?

How do modern armies from Russia, Iran and other countries come against the prophets of Israel, who have been long dead? Salhus does not explain. And having nuclear arms, and a powerful defence force, why would the state of Israel need to bother with any seven-year alliance with the European Union? What benefit would that provide?

A Preterist interpretation

Here are some observations about Ezekiel's prophecy of the invasion of God and Magog, from another website, which offers a preterist interpretation of Ezekiel's prophecy. This website says [4]:   

The key is understanding the text from the ancient prophet Ezekiel's point of view, not from modern day would-be prophets. Is there any justification to apply Gog and Magog to Russia, Germany, the USA or even Iran today?

Here are the facts from the context of Ezekiel 38-39. The prophecy would find fulfillment when God poured out his Spirit. This places the prophecy under the purview of Joel 2:28-32, within the last days of the Biblical national Israel. This is not to be confused with the modern state of Israel today.

Peter affirmed Joel's prophecy of the Spirit was being fulfilled in the last days, (Acts 2:16-20). Further, Joel mentions that "in those days and at that time," God would bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, but also gather all nations in the valley of Jeshophat and enter into judgment on account of his people Israel, (Joel 3:1-2).

This battle is another description of the battle of Gog and Magog. It accords precisely with God's promise to gather Israel into their land, not in 1948, but in the time of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. (Ezekiel 36:24-26; 37:12-14; 39:29; 38:80)

Compare with God's promise of the Spirit in Ezekiel. He clearly says that when the prophecy of Gog and Magog is fulfilled, he shall have poured out "My Spirit" on the house of Israel. It would also be a time of judgment, (Ezk. 38:21-22)

How can this prophecy refer to the modern state of Israel who rejects Christ as the Messiah, thus cannot receive the gifts of the Spirit, even if they were poured out today!?! Yet those calling themselves Christians and maintaining Dispensationalism are supporting these atheists as people of God!

Acts 2:16-20, made it very clear that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the followers of Christ in the first century in fulfillment of Joel's prophecy. "This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel..."

As the author cited above observes, Ezekiel's prophecy about the invasion by Gog and Magog cannot literally apply to the modern Zionist state of Israel. He relates Ezekiel's prophecy to the words of Joel, as both prophets spoke of the spirit of God being poured out in the last days. Joel says the Spirit is to be poured out on "all flesh." 

The presence of a prominent wall in the territory of Israel in Palestine means that a literal interpretation of Ezekiel's prophecy is impossible! And as Bill Salus said, that nation is not "at rest." They have no peace; neither can they be "at rest," from a biblical point of view, until they are converted to Christianity! The article continues:

In Revelation 20, Satan (the enemy) goes out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, God and Magog to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.

They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them." (Rev. 20:9)

The object of attack for Gog and Magog is the "camp of the saints" and the beloved city." In Hebrews we are told that the "city of the living God" is the "heavenly Jerusalem," i.e. "the general assembly and church of the firstborn ones." (Heb. 12:22, 23).

This means that Gog and Magog, whose number was as the sand of the sea, attacked the church of Christ, the new camp of God's saints, those considered as the Jews in the Spirit, (Rom. 2:28, 29) as opposed to Jews in the flesh, (Rom. 8:9), hence the new Israel of God, (Gal. 6:16), and true sons of Abraham by faith, (Gal. 3:26-29).

Gog and Magog is then fleshly Israel who persecuted the saints of the first century. They are the enemies of Christ in Phil. 3, the objects of wrath in 1 Thess. 2:14-16, and the beast of Revelation who makes war with the saints.

While this writer incorrectly identifies the armies of Gog and Magog as "fleshly Israel," and claims Ezekiel's prophecy was fulfilled in the first century, John in Revelation 20:8-9 indicates that Ezekiel's prophecy of Gog and Magog depicts the assault of the nations against the camp of the saints, which is the church. It is the entire church that is assaulted. This has occurred throughout the church's history. Ezekiel's prophecy is about an invasion that occurs in many generations, and over a time span of many centuries, everywhere the Gospel has spread.

Thus, for example, numerous pagan rites from Celtic and Germanic tribes were adapted to Christianity, and elements of pagan worship in the Roman Empire influenced the early church; all the flawed interpretations, and dogmas, that have separated Christians, and scattered them in thousands of sects and denominations, would also be included. Thus the invasion by the armies of Gog and Magog extends to all nations where the Gospel has spread, and where there are believers. The prophecy describes the world invading the church's promised land!

Patrick Fairbairn offered a figurative interpretation of Ezekiel's prophecy, which says the armies of Gog and Magog are those who war against the Gospel, and the saints, or the church. Fairbairn wrote [5]:

A conflict, therefore, must ensue between the embattled forces of heathenism, gathered out of their far-distant territories, and the nation that holds the truth of God. But the issue is certain. For God's people being now holiness to him, he cannot but fight with them and give success to their endeavours. So that the arm of heathenism shall be completely broken. Its mightiest efforts only end in the more signal display of its own weakness, as compared with the truth and cause of God; and the name of God as the Holy One of Israel is magnified and feared to the utmost bounds of the earth.

The awful fate of Gog's army

The armies of Gog and Magog described in Ezekiel 38 seek to "take a spoil" of God's people. In chapter 39 their fate is described. They suffer a variety of judgments, such as rain and hail, fire, brimstone, and pestilence, they are put to the sword, they fall on mountains, and in the plain, their corpses cause a great stink, and they are buried over a period of 7 months, their weapons are burned as fuel for 7 years, and finally, they become a sacrifice, and their flesh and blood is eaten by birds and beasts!

How could all of that apply to a literal army made up of people from many nations, which invades the territory of Israel? The statements seem contradictory, because, for example, if their corpses are buried, how could their flesh be consumed by the birds and beasts?

Ezekiel said the armies of Gog and Magog will come up against the prophets of Israel. (Ezekiel 38:17) John said in Revelation 20:9 they "compass the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city." Obviously, this refers to the Church, not the nation Israel. Paul in Ephesians 2:20 says the Church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. The armies of Gog and Magog coming against prophets of Israel pictures a spiritual invasion. The promises of God to the Church, which is identified with the Israel of God in the New Testament, and with the temple, are denied.

Paul identified the Church with the circumcision when he wrote, "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." (Philippians 3:3) It follows that those who are not genuine Christians are spiritually Gentiles. They are said to "tread under foot" the holy city, which represents the believers. (Luke 21:24, Revelation 11:2)

The dominance of Gog and Magog over the Church's territory explains the Church's downtrodden condition over many centuries, and the judgments described in Ezekiel 38 and 39 depict the judgments of God upon the representatives of antichrist.

The apostle Peter said that prophets (which includes Ezekiel) ministered not to themselves, or to the Jews, but "unto us," meaning the Church. He said they wrote about the gospel, ("they prophesied of the grace that should come unto you") and they wrote "by the spirit of Christ that was in them." According to this profound principle stated by Peter, Ezekiel wrote for the benefit of believers in the Church, and for the present age, not for the Jews.

The fate of the armies of Gog and Magog shows these are not human armies. They suffer a series of judgments, that could hardly apply to any literal invasion; the variety of judgments suggests the invasion spans more than one generation.

There is a great shaking, Ezek 38:21. "All the men that are upon the face of the earth shall shake at my presence." "The mountains shall be thrown down." How could the mountains be thrown down? There is similar imagery in Isaiah's prophecy, "every mountain will be made low," which was also preached by John the Baptist. I suggest it refers to prophecies of the Bible being interpreted correctly, and understood, so their meaning becomes clear. Flawed interpretations are exposed.

"Every wall shall fall to the ground." A wall is a defense; all defenses will be thrown down. People will have no excuses!

God brings a sword against Gog and Magog, Ezek 38:21; "I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains." "Every man's sword shall be against his brother." The "sword" of the Reformers, and every Christian, is God's word.

Pestilence and blood, Ezek 38:22; "I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood." In past centuries, many saints of God became martyrs. They were brought before the Catholic Inquisition, and tortured, and many died for their faith.

Rain & hail, Ezek 38:22; an "overflowing rain" and "great hailstones." The rain can be compared to the rain in the days of Elijah, when the prophets of Baal were killed. Rain is symbolic of God's word:

Isaiah 55:10-11
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Fire & brimstone; Ezek 38:22; "I will send a fire on Magog" Ezek 39:6. The fire is also symbolic of God's word, "Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD" (Jeremiah 23:29).

They fall upon the mountains, Ezek 39:4. Mountains are symbolic of God's promises, covenants, and the prophecies of the Bible. This is where the false teachers stumble. The prophecies expose their errors!

They fall in the open field; Ezek 39:5.

Their stench is horrible; "it shall stop the noses of the passengers." (Ezek 39:11) The dogmas of the Catholic Church dominated Christians in many nations, leading to centuries of abuse. For example, during the Inquisition, the inquisitors frequently confiscated the property of their victims, who were convicted of heresy. As a result, the Catholic Church acquired much wealth. Who can deny that these evils produced a great "stench," that persists to the present day?

Their burial spans 7 months; Ezek 39:12. The 7 months is "seven times" and this corresponds to the symbolic "week" in which Chist confirms his covenant with believers. Anyone seeing a man's bone will set up a sign by it, Ezek 39:15. Many of the flawed doctrines introduced in the early Church still influence us today. These need to be identified and buried.

The place of their burial is called the valley of Hammon-gog, which in Hebrew, is "gey hammon gog" and is thought to be a pun on Gehenna, located in the south of Jerusalem, which in the New Testament, is symbolic of things cast out as unfit for the Kingdom of God. [6]

Their weapons are burned for 7 years, Ezek 39:9. The weapons consist of shields, bucklers, bows and arrows, handstaves, and spears, inferior weapons, when compared to modern weapons, that are all easily burned up. People won't need to gather any other wood for fuel. This shows the destruction of antichrist and his weapons takes a period of time. For centuries, Christian labels were put on the pagan practices and superstitious beliefs of Europeans. Exposing and resisting these errors has occupied Christians since the Reformation, and still goes on today.

Their flesh is devoured by birds and beasts; Ezek 39:18-20. They become a "sacrifice" together with rams, lambs, goats, bullocks, and even horses and chariots. "I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured," Ezek 39:4.

Their ultimate fate, and their flesh being devoured by birds is mentioned by John in Revelation: "And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh." (Revelation 19:21)

In the Old Testament, "to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth" was commonly used as a figure for victory over ones' enemy in a contest or war. [Deut. 28:25-26; 1 Sam. 17:44,46; Psa. 79:2; Jer. 7:33; 16:3-4; 19:6-7] To be left unburied, and to be devoured by animals, was a great indignity.

Ecclesiastes 6:3
If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he.

The sword that proceeds out of Christ's mouth is a metaphor for God's word. The men "slain" by Christ's sword are metaphors, that represent delusions. They are symbolic of the false doctrines of men, the spiritual armies. Christ is victorious over them, when the saints discover the truth.

Matthew 24:27-28
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Lightning implies clouds. The day of the Lord is a day of clouds. Perhaps the carcase to which eagles are attracted alludes to those "slain" by the sword of Christ. Where there are slain, the eagles gather. So they bring attention to the carcase. That is what makes the work of Christ known.

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 

Notes

1. Jerusalem Countdown by John Hagee, Frontline, 2006. p. 107-108.

2. See: http://isralestine.org/7643.html

3. Psalm 83 or Ezekiel 38, Which is the Next Middle East News Headline? by Bill Salhus

4. Gog and Magog, Russia, Germany, USA or Iran?

5. Patrick Fairbairn, Ezekiel, the book of his prophecy, 2nd Ed. (1855). p. 426.

6. Tuell, Steven S., 2009. Ezekiel. New International Biblical Commentary 15, Hendrickson Publ. Peabody Mass. p. 269.


Links

Christian Zionism: Roadmap to Armageddon? by Stephen Sizer

Evangelical theology drives American attitudes toward Israel & Middle East by Mark Wingfield

Jews against Zionism

Christian Zionists and False Prophets by Daoud Kuttab

Jerusalem Countdown: Christian Zionists and the New Israeli Government by Bill Berkowitz

His God Must Be Crazy by Gary Brecher

Prophecy Viewed in Respect to Its Distinctive Nature, Its Special Function, and Proper Interpretation by Patrick Fairbairn, 2nd ed. Published by T. and T. Clark, 1865 (The book contains an exposition of Ezekiel's prophecy about Gog and Magog, beginning about p. 484.)

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