When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the ass, and the colt following, he fulfilled Zechariah 9:9-10, according to Matthew 21:4. He was called the king of Jerusalem; they crowned him with a crown of thorns, and put a label on his cross, "Jesus the King of the Jews."
Isaiah 2:1-3 says the mountain of the Lord's house will be "established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills." This is fulfilled in the New Testament; Jerusalem is "the Jerusalem which is above" [Gal. 4:26] and Heb. 12:22 says "ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem."
Jerusalem was raised up, higher than the hills, to heaven, when Jesus ascended to heaven, which fulfills Isaiah's prophecy. Those who believe in him have been "delivered from the power of darkness," and they have been "translated" into Christ's kingdom. [Colossians 1:13] His kingdom is invisible, not an earthly one.
To be "delivered from the power of darkness," corresponds to the binding of Satan in Revelation 20:1-3.
Paul said, in Ephesians 2:5-6, that the saints "sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." In the same epistle he spoke of "spiritual wickedness in high places," that the saints wrestle against.
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.
The armor of God includes a breastplate, shoes, a shield, a helmet, a sword, and Paul says "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth."
Compare this armor with the swords carried by the hordes of Gog and Magog, [Ezekiel 38:4] and their shields, bucklers, bows and arrows, handstaves, and spears. [Ezekiel 39:9]
Paul said the sword represents the Scriptures, and in Psalm 64:3, arrows are identified with "bitter words."
The armies of Gog and Magog all ride upon horses, [Ezekiel 38:15] and horses are involved in the invasion described in Zechariah's prophecy too. "I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness." [Zechariah 12:4]
The horses, asses, mules, and camels in the assault upon Jerusalem are smitten with an awful plague. [Zechariah 14:15] Horses and mules are symbolic of people with no understanding. "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." [Psalm 32:9] Note that plagues are often infectious; the flawed interpretations of prophecy are likewise very infectious, and affect many.
Those who have claimed that Ezekiel's prophecy is about a military attack on the Jews by a group of nations including Russia and Iran and various other nations are greatly embarrassed by the construction of the Israeli West Bank Separation Barrier in the last 10 years, which thwarts their interpretation of Ezekiel's prophecy, and exposes their interpretations as completely false.
John interprets Ezekiel's prophecy about Gog and Magog in Revelation 20:9 as an assault upon "the camp of the saints" and "the beloved city," which is the church, the bride of the Lamb in Revelation 21. The thousand years, then, must be something other than the millennium of dispensationalism.
In his prophecy about the "thousand years," John declared that during that period, Satan is bound, and no longer deceives the nations, and in the same period of time, those who have been "beheaded" reign with Christ, and they are priests of God and of Christ. The apostle Peter said that a thousand years with God is as a day, and a day as a thousand years. [2 Peter 3:8] Thus, when John mentioned a thousand years as the length of the saints' reign with Christ, this must be a figurative number, to be understood spiritually, rather than in terms of the letter, as earth days, earth months, and earth years, do not apply to things that are spiritual. The reign of the beheaded saints together with Christ, in Revelation 21, is clearly a spiritual concept. How could it be otherwise?
In Ecclesiastes 6:6, "a thousand years" is related to a portion of a human lifetime; "Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?"
The apostle Peter wrote, "the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries." [1 Peter 4:3] He encouraged the believer "to live the rest of his time in the flesh" according to the will of God.
Paul spoke of the old nature as dead, and the saints being made anew--a new creature. "But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter." [Romans 7:6]
This could be what is signified by beheading in Revelation 20. Paul said: "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind." [Ephesians 4:23] This leads naturally to the idea of "beheading" as a metaphor of the person who repents and lives the new way, subject to Christ.
Those who are beheaded reign with Christ, and beheading is personal and individual. The "thousand years" applies to individuals, not the whole church. The "time, times and a half" applies to the whole age of the church, but the "thousand years" is associated with the individual who has been figuratively "beheaded" reigning with Christ. Beheading is also associated with the idea of sacrifice, as some animals that were sacrificed were beheaded. Paul wrote:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Copyright © 2011 by Douglas E. Cox
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