Gog and Magog Part 3By Pastor Boffey on Sunday, May 29, 2022.
VII. Disclaimer: The thoughts that follow only present possible historical satisfaction of the Gog and Magog prophecy of EZE 38-39, a reasonable alternative to the Futurist interpretation according to the light I have now.
VIII. Generally, the Futurist affirms that the Gog and Magog battle of EZE 38-39 is the same as the Gog and Magog battle of REV 20:8-9 which precipitates the swift, arresting judgment of God upon the enemy of the saints and the destruction of the devil who deceived the aggressors. A. Recall that the Scofield Reference Bible footnotes suppose that the battle of EZE 38-39 is what basically begins the “kingdom age” (messianic millennium) but the battle of REV 20 is “...when the thousand years are expired...” (REV 20:7). B. Recall that the allies of Gog and Magog in EZE 38-39 have been shown to be contemporary powers whose trade at Tyre was well known in those days. EZE 27. C. In EZE, Gog is a prince but in REV, Gog is a nation. D. In EZE, Gog’s band comes from various countries around Israel and come upon Israel from the north (EZE 38:15; 39:2) but in REV, Gog and Magog are nations from the four quarters of the earth and innumerable. E. In EZE, Gog’s host come against Israel who have returned from captivity and are dwelling without walls but in REV, Gog and Magog go up on the breadth of the earth and compass the camp of the saints and the beloved city. 1. camp: The temporary quarters, formed by tents, vehicles, or other portable or improvised means of shelter, occupied by a body of nomads or men on the march... 2. Mind how this accords more with the church of strangers, pilgrims and sojourners (HEB 11:8-9, 13) who here have no continuing city (HEB 13:14), than with a fixed city like earthly Jerusalem. 3. A church member is a citizen (inhabitant of a city with certain rights and privileges) and the church is God’s beloved. EPH 2:19; 5:25. 4. Earthly Jerusalem certainly has had God’s interest (PSA 132:13-14; 48:2 c/w MAT 5:35) but do not overlook the church’s relationship to the heavenly Jerusalem as being in God’s vision. GAL 4:25-26; HEB 12:22; REV 3:12. F. In EZE, the enemy is Gog of the land of Magog but in REV, Gog and Magog. G. In EZE, Gog is defeated and Israel burns the weapons of war for seven years (EZE 39:9), but in REV, fire of God from heaven destroys the enemy, which implies the consumption of wood (and more). c/w 1KI 18:38. 1. EZE 39:10 describes Israel also spoiling the vanquished enemy. 2. REV 20:8-9 does not exactly accord with this picture. 3. REV 20:10 connects the devil’s destruction with the fiery destruction of v. 9. 4. REV 20:8-10 leaves little room for spoiling the enemy and burning his wooden weapons for seven years, or for seven months of burying decomposing bodies, per EZE 39:11-16, or for the heathen to consider the mess and be instructed. EZE 39:21-23. 5. The battle of EZE 38-39 does speak of God pleading against Gog “...with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone” (EZE 38:22). a. Mind that no mention is made of rain or hail or pestilence in the climactic final destruction in REV 20:8-9. b. God had used such elements in history to help fight against the oppressors of His people, and it was not a complete destruction like REV 20:9. See EXO 9:15, 24 c/w PSA 105:32; JOS 10:11. c. The brimstone may be related to a geologic event (EZE 38:19) such as God has used in history to judge the wicked. ISA 29:6; DEU 29:22-23. d. Therefore it is quite possible that EZE 38:22 is connected to an upcoming battle in Israel’s (then) future which did take place long ago. H. There are substantial differences between the Gog and Magog battle of EZE 38-39 and the Gog and Magog battle of REV 20:8-9. These differences are such that one should be cautious of making EZE 38-39 be fulfilled in REV 20:8-9.
IX. EZE 39:23-29 sets forth a return from captivity attended by a pouring out of God’s spirit upon Israel (v. 29). A. The Futurist position tends to ascribe this pouring out of the spirit to the conversion of the Jews at the end of time, commonly associating it with JOEL 2:28-29 or ZEC 12:10. 1. Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled at Pentecost where the Spirit filled the N.T. church: “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel...” (ACT 2:16-21). a. Peter did not say, “This is some of that...” or “This is kind of like that...” but “THIS IS THAT...” b. Joel was prophesying of the endowment of the church with the Spirit of Christ to indwell and guide it by apostolic revelation. c. The same thing occurred at the house of Cornelius for the purpose of proving the acceptance by God of uncircumcised men of faith for fellowship and salvation through Christ. ACT 11:15-18. 2. ZEC 12:10 has fulfillment in the days of Christ’s appearance and crucifixion. c/w JOH 19:37. a. There were those in those days who were bitterly affected inwardly about the sufferings and death of Messiah, and the guilty brought to humbled repentance owing to the influence of the spirit of grace. ACT 2:36-41. b. ZEC 12:10 is in a context of times of great turmoil in Jerusalem (vs. 11-14) which could describe the rending of families by the gospel (MAT 10:34-37) or the political upheaval of the times (internally and by outward oppression). c. Note ZEC 13:1. “In that day...” This speaks of the continual and univeral access to God’s mercy sinners have through Christ. c/w HEB 4:15-16. 3. There may well be a great conversion of the Jews near the end of time (ROM 11:22-32) and we should rejoice if that happens. But this is the precipitation of the end of all things, not the beginning of a millennium on earth. Christ is coming not to set up the kingdom of God but to deliver up the kingdom of God to the Father. 1CO 15:23-24. B. Consider that EZE 39:29 may be referring to a near historical operation of the spirit of God for Israel’s benefit. 1. Ezekiel prophesied at the time of the Babylonian captivity, during which time God hid his face from them as He had promised He would do for their idolatries. EZE 39:23-24 c/w DEU 31:16-21. a. Their punishment by captivity was God hiding His face from them. b. The captivity being completed, that condition would end: “Neither will I hide my face any more from them...” (v. 29). 2. Their captivity in Babylon would end and they would regather into their own land because the spirit of prophecy stirred up the spirit of Cyrus. ISA 44:28; 45:1, 13 c/w EZR 1:1-4. 3. Isaiah elsewhere sowed hope by describing a pouring out of God’s spirit. ISA 32:13-15; 44:1-4. 4. The rebuilding program after the captivity was “...Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts...” (ZEC 4:6-9). The work was animated by spirit-led prophets. EZR 6:14. C. Thus, a near historical interest is a real possibility in Ezekiel’s prophecy. It does not have to refer to a distant future, as yet unfulfilled event.
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