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Section 9B .. The Future/The Millennium

 

003white  Index to Section 9B... The Future     >    The Millennium... Three Views     >     Part IV... Gog and Magog

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PART IV... Gog and Magog

Carol Brooks

Edited by Vicki Narlee

INTRODUCTION

PART I ... Why Post-millennialism Cannot Possibly Be True

PART II ...The Sabbath Millennium

PART III ... Pre-Millennialism... The Facts Vs. The Fairy Tales

YOU ARE HERE 001orange PART IV ... Summary and Conclusion. Gog and Magog

Also See The Change In Millennial Beliefs by David Haggith

 

Summary and Conclusion
There is no question that, minus all the bizarre added on complications, that originated in the man's very fertile, imaginative mind, pre-millennialism is the only doctrine taught in the Scriptures. In other words, Christ will return after the Great Tribulation and will physically rule the earth from Jerusalem, for a much anticipated thousand-year period of peace and security.

In summary the Bible teaches that in the lead-up to the end of days, Christians will undergo a terrible time of persecution (See the First Six Seals) under the antichrist. It is their shed blood which is sort of the 'last straw' for the Lord, who will then reign down a series of plagues on this earth which will be of unbelievably immense proportions. Each of these plagues will be heralded by an angel blowing a Trumpet which, in the Old Testament, often announced a coming disaster, and nothing has changed since. This coming period was called the Day of the Lord or The Day of the Lord's wrath by numerous prophets of old. However, since the whole point of salvation is escaping the wrath of God, Christians will somehow be protected during this terrible time. See The Day of The Lord

The seventh and final trumpet will be, in a sense, the most eventful of all them all, since it literally ushers the old age out, and the new one in. At the Seventh Trumpet, the atonement complete (See The Two Phase Atonement), Christ will "harvest" the earth. Believers will be physically lifted off the planet and caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (the Rapture). It is at this point that hey will be given their new imperishable bodies. The Rapture happens for a very specific reason. Believers will literally be taken out of harms way because the Seventh Trumpet also introduces the Seven Bowls, which will make a complete and  terrifying end, of all the inhabitants of the earth. (Zephaniah 1:17-18) 

See The End Of The Age Part IV... The Seventh Trumpet   and   The End Of The Age Part V... The Rapture

Once believers are taken out of the way, the battle of Armageddon takes place, the cities of the nations will fall, the islands and mountains 'disappear', and God will publicly reclaim His rightful rule over the earth. In short, the Seven Bowls annihilates all the inhabitants of the earth along with their political, commercial and religious systems. Satan will be bound and cast into the bottomless pit for a thousand years.

See Two Babylons: Revelation chapters 17 and 18 are a crucial warning, dealing, as they do, with specific targets of the wrath of God. Chapter 17 and deals with the spiritual side of Babylon.... a false religious system or "mystery Babylon", while chapter 18 deals with Babylon as a political and commercial system. They are two faces of the same coin... both of which operate independently of, and in opposition to, the true God.

After which, we will return to earth with Christ and will, for the thousand years Satan is incapacitated, live in peace with Christ very securely at the helm. This period is often called the "Sabbath Millennium" for very good reason. It was foreshadowed by the weekly Sabbath which was, in turn, based on the days of creation, i.e. God 'worked' for six days, then rested on the seventh. Additionally, a number of both biblical and non-biblical prophecies indicate that all things will be brought to an end six thousand years after creation, at which time Christ would return, abolish Satan's time, and set up his own kingdom. This world will rest on the "seventh day"

Unfortunately, there will be one last set back when, at the end of the millennium, Satan will be loosed for a short time. He will once again go out to deceive the nations and gather them together to war against Christ. As numerous as the sand on the seashore, this army will surround Jerusalem, but will be devoured by fire from heaven. Satan will then be thrown into the lake of fire to join the beast and the false prophet and, as chapter 21 goes on to tell us, God then establishes a "new heaven and a new earth" for all eternity. (See What and Where is Heaven)

All of which leaves us with one problem.... The identity of those that Satan manages to deceive one last time after the millennium. Revelation 20 says

    (7)  When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison,  (8) and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. (9)  And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them.  (10)  And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:7-10 NASB)


The Three Appearances of "Gog" and "Magog"

1) In Ezekiel's Day
In the first fourteen verses of chapter 37 Ezekiel is shown a vision of dead bones being brought back to life which, in the short term, signified the restoration of Israel. After many years in captivity, they returned to their land, and rebuilt the temple which had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.

The prophecies made by Ezekiel in the next chapter were concerned with the period after the Israelites returned from exile in Babylon under the leadership of Ezra, Nehemiah and Zerubbabel. After they had resettled in their land and inhabited the "waste places", a vast army of soldiers from several different nations comes up against a a people living at rest, without the protection of bas of gates. However, the Lord rises up in fury and rescues His people from the sword wielding army that covers the land like a cloud.

We know that Ezekiel's prophecy was contemporary to his day because he names specific nations... Persia, Ethiopia, Put, Gomer, and Beth-togarmah from the remote parts of the north. In the following portion of Ezekiel's prophecy "Gog" is obviously nobility, and since Ezekiel names "Magog" along with specific other nations, we can only surmise that it was a real nation. (Magog is first mentioned in Genesis 10:2 and 1 Chronicles 1:5 as being Noah's grandson through his son Japheth).

    (1)  And the word of the LORD came to me saying, (2)  "Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him  (3) and say, 'Thus says the Lord God, "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal.  (4) "I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords; (5)  Persia, Ethiopia and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet;  (6) Gomer with all its troops; Beth-togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops--many peoples with you. (Ezekiel 38:1-6 NASB)

However, any one who believes that this prophecy was ...

    a) only aimed at various countries of Ezekiel's day, OR

    b) that it only concerned the end of days when a vast army from modern nations would come against Israel OR

    c) the battles of Ezekiel 38-39 and Revelation 20 are the same battle

... has missed one of the most fascinating aspects of Hebrew prophecy.

In our minds, a prophecy is made and then fulfilled. However, Hebrew prophecy is often fulfilled more than once. It is, more often than not, a pattern that is repeated more than once... multiple fulfillments with one ultimate fulfillment. Each of the multiple fulfillments is both a type of, and a lesson on, the ultimate fulfillment. This study of prefigurative symbolism in Scripture is called "typology", or a representation by one thing of another.

To put it another way, a type, which always looks to the future, is an actual historical thing or event which, at the time it occurred, was a rough draft, or glimpse, of one or more actual events yet to come, although the significance may not have been apparent at the original occurrence. (See Typology)

Following the pattern of many of the ancient prophets, who often spoke of the present and future in one 'breath', Ezekiel made a seamless transition to the future when believers will no longer live under heathen domination, but will live in one kingdom under one Shepherd. In other words, although Ezekiel's prophecy was most definitely directed at certain warring nations of his day that would attempt to annihilate Israel, it also foretold of a time "in the latter years" when another army would attack a "land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste" (Ezekiel 38:8). Only modern Israel has been "gathered from many nations".

In fact, the situation Ezekiel described was a precedent for not one, but two similar situations described by John in the book of Revelation.


2) In The "Latter Years"
Whoever he might be, and whatever nation he might spring from, "Gog" will bring a mighty army (Magog) against Israel sometime in the last days.

    Therefore prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog, Thus says the Lord God, "On that day when My people Israel are living securely, will you not know it? You will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army; and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It shall come about in the last days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog." (Ezekiel 38:14-16 NASB)

Opinion is sharply divided on what nations may constitute modern day Magog. Many who have studied the matter believe that Russia and, possibly, some of the Arab nations, may be at least partially descended from the people of Magog. However, this is simply conjecture. Regardless of the sometimes very intricate and detailed attempts to trace the ancient nations, no one really knows for sure. Besides which, it nowhere says that the Gog and Magog of the last days have to necessarily be descendants of, or related to, the nations that attacked Israel in ancient times.

In any case, I find that endless speculation about the exact identity of these nations is of no value. We will know soon enough.

What matters, and what we can be certain of, is that it will not go well for these nations. God not only said He was against Gog (Ezekiel 39:1), but that he and his horde will be buried in a valley in Israel. Magog will be destroyed by fire.

    It will come about on that day, when Gog comes against the land of Israel," declares the Lord God, "that My fury will mount up in My anger. (Ezekiel 38:18 NASB)

    And I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands in safety; and they will know that I am the LORD. (Ezekiel 39:6 NASB)

    On that day I will give Gog a burial ground there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea, and it will block off those who would pass by. So they will bury Gog there with all his horde, and they will call it the valley of Hamon-gog.  (Ezekiel 39:11 NASB)


3) After the Millennium
Revelation 20 says

    (7)  When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison,  (8) and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. (9)  And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them.  (10)  And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:7-10 NASB)

However, since both the ancient and the modern Gog and his army are dead and buried, and both Magogs destroyed, John could not have been referring to the actual nation/s when he wrote that, led by Satan, they will, one last time, make war against Jerusalem and the saints.

    When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, (8)  and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.  (9) And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. (10) And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:7-10 NASB)

Obviously then, "Gog and Magog" were being used symbolically in the 20th chapter of the book of Revelation.

And the symbolism is not hard to see.

Just as two separate armies came against Israel... one in the distant past, and one during the events of the last days, an enormous army will once again attack Jerusalem, described as the "beloved city", after the millennium. This army from a consortium of nations will be destroyed just as surely as both the previous ones were. Of course, this will be the last battle ever to take place.

The million dollar question being who is represented by Gog and Magog in Revelation 20? What "nations" will be stupid enough to challenge the Lord?

There are only two possibilities, the first being demonic hordes. However, this is very unlikely since the word translated "nations" is the Greek ethnos, which is where we get the English "ethnic". Note: Ethnos was also been translated into "Gentiles" in the New Testament. In short, the word refers to human nations, which is supported by the fact that the account says they will be gathered from "the four corners of the earth".

However, there is no one left on earth except believers who were taken off the earth in the Rapture, and have lived in the millennium kingdom for a thousand years.

See The Prophets Foretold A Complete End Of All The Inhabitants Of The Earth

And The End Of The Age Part VI... The Seven Bowls

Apparently a huge number of "believers" will once again be deceived which will seal their fate. (Although many believe that, at the Rapture, death will be universally done away with, death is not finally abolished until the end of the millennium. See When is Death Finally Abolished?

While it is impossible to know exactly who will be deceived, it is certain that she people who live in Christ's kingdom during the millennium period will vary very considerably in the level of faith they displayed during their time on earth. For instance, there will be those who lived and breathed the Gospel, while others will have pretty much scraped  into heaven, by the 'skin of their teeth' as the expression goes. As an extreme example, there have always 'death-bed conversions' including repentance for sin, confessions of faith, and appeals to the Lord to 'save' them. And, since Christ does not refuse anyone... they are very likely to make it into the millennium kingdom.  Others have been knows to sail very close to the wind in their daily lives.

Again, this is just a possibility. We simply do not know.

What we do know is that it is only after the millennium, and after the White Throne Judgment takes place, Satan, death and Hades are done away for good and God brings His holy city, the new Jerusalem, down from the third heaven were it has been all this time (See The Word "Heaven" in The Bible. Scroll about halfway down THIS page) that John sees a 'new' earth and new heaven.

    (1) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. (2)  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.  (3) And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, (4)  and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." (5) And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He *said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." (Revelation 21:5 NASB)

Also See A New Heaven and A New Earth

While the millennium period is a time of peace and rest, it is by no means the coming everlasting kingdom that God promised us.

It is not "heaven".


ALSO SEE... How and why the change from pre-millennialism to a-millennialism came about...
For the first two-hundred years of Christian history, the utopian millennium described by the Apostle John in The Apocalypse was understood as a literal period of a thousand years that would follow Christ's physical return to earth. So what happened? HERE

Index To The Millennium

www.inplainsite.org

 "Artwork © by Duncan Long. Used with permission. All rights reserved"