16 – The Gog Magog war – Part 2.
Ezekiel Chapter 39
We will continue to consider this war as it is remarkable in more ways than one. First, let us remember that it will be wholly unprovoked; it will be a war against a people many times smaller than the aggressors and it will be a war in which the LORD comes to the aid of His people divinely and miraculously so that the entire world may be able to see that God, He is the LORD, and that all other gods are nothing but a figment of man’s imagination, idols made by man’s hands at the instigation of Satan. ‘How can we describe God? With what can we compare Him? 19 With an idol? An idol made from a mould, overlaid with gold, and with silver chains around its neck? 20 The man too poor to buy expensive gods like that will find a tree free from rot and hire a man to carve a face on it, and that’s his god – a god that cannot even move!
21 Are you so ignorant? Are you so deaf to the words of God – the words He gave before the world began? Have you never heard nor understood? 22 It is God who sits above the circle of the earth. (The people below must seem to Him like grasshoppers!) He is the one who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and makes his tent from them. 23 He dooms the great men of the world and brings them all to naught. 24 They hardly get started, barely take root, when He blows on them and their work withers, and the wind carries them off like straw, Isaiah 40:18-24
At the very beginning of Ezekiel 39, it is as if God the Father is repeating to us for emphasis that it is He Who is in control of the entire universe and its affairs as He reminds us that He will drag the chief aggressor, Gog, along to the party! It is He Who will draw Gog from the far north and will send him against the mountains of Israel, against His own people, Ezekiel 38:14-16. God will strike His opponents before they have a chance to draw their weapons. He will disarm them in a pre-emptive attack. The bow that is in their left hand will be struck down and the ammunition – the arrows that are in their right hand will fall uselessly from their right hands. The power of God is all-mighty! As we have seen, the battle will be fought by God Himself, Ezekiel 38:17-18 (TNIV). Note that the LORD did speak in those former days. He spoke Truth and although people did not believe Him then, and they still don’t believe Him today, what He proclaimed was Truth. God spoke it through His servants the prophets of Israel who testified with boldness even though they did not see their words come to pass in their lifetime. They refused to be silent, in spite of being ridiculed and becoming the butt of jokes throughout the land. There are still men and women of God like that today.
Our challenge today, is to be as bold as the prophets of old and refuse to be silent! We know our God, so consequently we should not worry about how we are treated, because refusing to warn people of the future would not only be an insult to the LORD, but it would also be a betrayal of His calling on our lives. Knowing this, how could we not be obedient in declaring His Word?
We owe our lives and our very existence to Him for just such a time as this in which we are living. We are like those who are described in Hebrews 11 – the Hall of Faith:
32 Well, how much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah and David and Samuel and all the other prophets. 33 These people all trusted God and as a result won battles, overthrew kingdoms, ruled their people well, and received what God had promised them; they were kept from harm in a den of lions 34 and in a fiery furnace. Some, through their faith, escaped death by the sword. Some were made strong again after they had been weak or sick. Others were given great power in battle; they made whole armies turn and run away. 35 And some women, through faith, received their loved ones back again from death. But others trusted God and were beaten to death, preferring to die rather than turn from God and be free – trusting that they would rise to a better life afterwards. 36 Some were laughed at and their backs cut open with whips, and others were chained in dungeons. Some died by stoning and some by being sawed in two; others were promised freedom if they would renounce their faith, then were killed with the sword. Some went about in skins of sheep and goats, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in dens and caves. They were hungry and sick and ill-treated – too good for this world. 39 And these men of faith, though they trusted God and won his approval, none of them received all that God had promised them; 40 for God wanted them to wait and share the even better rewards that were prepared for us. Hebrews 11:32-40 TLB
There are wonderful books available which have testimonies of contemporary Christians who have victory in similar circumstances.
Next time someone stands up in Church and speaks a word telling you that it is God, instead of questioning it, simply turn to the last few verses of Hebrew 11, and quietly pray for them, thanking God for the courage He has given them to boldly go where you have never dared. Perhaps they will not be sawn in two, perhaps they will not be destitute and homeless in today’s Social Services-dependent society, but at least they have had the courage to stand up and declare their faith in their God! It wasn’t as if these prophets of old had spoken once and then been quiet for the rest of their lives. On the contrary, the Bible clearly states that they had prophesied for years that this Gog Magog war would occur. They might have been excused for giving up and saying that ‘perhaps they had been mistaken, perhaps they had got it all wrong,’ but they never did, instead they continued faithfully with the message until they died, when at that time another prophet would declare the same prophecy.
Habakkuk heard the Word of the Lord plainly and clearly. God instructed him to write down what he had heard so that a messenger may easily read it. For the revelation he had heard was for the future – it awaited an appointed time, because it spoke of the End Times, Habakkuk 2:2-3. Right at the end of his amazing book that is so full of power and insight for today’s events, he declares whatever the circumstances he knows what to do:
‘When the fig tree does not bud, and there are no grapes on the vines; when the olive trees do not produce, and the fields yield no crops; when the sheep disappear from the pen, and there are no cattle in the stalls, 18 I will rejoice because of the LORD, I will be happy because of the God who delivers me!’, Habakkuk 3:17-18.
Not one of God’s good promises that He has given will fail to come to fruition. Shortly before he died, Joshua spoke to his people, the Children of Israel and said to them:
‘You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed’. Joshua 23:14.
What has the Lord Jesus promised you? Has anyone spoken a word from the Lord over your life and you have given up on it ever bearing fruit? Now is the time to speak to the Lord and to repent of your unbelief, to repent of your sin of doubting Him and His Word to you.
The Angel Gabriel spoke many things over the baby in Mary’s womb. Mary never doubted them, perhaps she didn’t understand them, but the Bible states that she pondered them in her heart. God’s answer to Satan’s deception came after Mary’s nine months of faithful belief in the LORD’s promise to her, when her son was born – Jesus, the Saviour of the world! Mary had had plenty of opportunity to doubt God’s Word, just as we do.
One day, the time will come for the fulfilment of God’s Word to us, just as it will for Ezekiel and all those other prophets, not just those in the Old Testament, but all those who dared to believe in His Word at any time. One day, all the pain and doubt will dissipate like the morning mist and what God has promised us will come to pass. What an amazing day that will be! Then the people around us, the doubters and those full of unbelief will know for sure that there truly is a God in Heaven, and the Lord Jesus Christ is His Name, just as we told them all along.
One day, this war of Gog and Magog will come to pass. It will be at the appointed time, and just as it is described in Ezekiel’s prophecy, Ezekiel 39:4-6. The retribution on these people will be enormous, and not only on them, but on those who silently supported them by staying at home in the coast lands. It has been suggested that over 80% (5 in every 6) of the invading forces will die. There will be so many that it will take seven months for the Israelites to gather up and bury the dead. The stench in the land will be horrific, as if God is saying ‘they were a stench in My nostrils when they were alive, now that they are dead, people will be able to appreciate how they seemed to Me!’
God will do what He said He would, and one day, so the prophesied, appointed day will come; it will dawn! Ezekiel 39:7-8. In the aftermath of the war, all the now useless weapons, which are in the hands of the dead, will be gathered up. There will be so much fuel from all the armour of the destroyed and decimated armies which have fled and died that Israel will have enough fuel for seven years – the entire length of the Tribulation period! Now that is justice! Not only has the nation been supernaturally saved, but most of those who have come against the Israelites have been killed and the rest have fled. The weaponry that would otherwise clutter up the land has become God’s provision during the greatest oppression that Israel will ever and has ever suffered! A burial place will be found for the dead. It is essential that the land be cleansed, not only from the foul smell of the rotting carcasses, but also of the unrighteousness which these would-be invaders will have brought with them Ezekiel 39:11-16.
When sin invades our lives as Christians, it is as if a stench goes up to God Almighty God.
By taking refuge in what Jesus Christ has done for us by His Precious Blood at Calvary, we can confess our sin and turn away from it in true repentance, believing it has been cast out of our bodies and domains. It is only by Christ’s death and resurrection that we can be made holy, by being cleansed, forgiven and restored to fellowship with our Loving Heavenly Father, 1 John 1:8-10
God’s judgement on sin is and always will be entire and comprehensive. Jesus conquered Satan at the Cross. The Bible states that He stripped him of all his power even over death and hell. The keys to the kingdom of hell now belong to Jesus. At best, Satan is a defeated foe with a very certain end to His lies and deceit.
As a Believer, the next time Satan tries to accuse you of your sin, remind him of the Cross and of his own future! Then take the authority that Jesus has given you and command the devil to leave you in the Name of Jesus! He must obey because all authority belongs to Jesus and He has delegated it to us, not to Satan!
Jesus said …. All power is given unto Me in heaven and on earth. Therefore (you) go and make disciples of all nations … Matthew 28:18-19.
God is Holy, and as such can have nothing to do with sin. In this chapter, it is as if He Himself explains to us the extent of His anger and displeasure at any sin which is inflicted upon or inflicts itself on any of His people. Those unrighteous hordes who have the audacity to come against God’s people not only will die, but God will call for the animals and birds to come to pick clean the carcasses of all those who have died, Ezekiel 39:17-20.
Not only will Israel recognise the amazing and miraculous deliverance that God has provided for them, but every other nation on earth will see God’s punishment inflicted upon the armies. You would think that this lesson given to those who came against the nation of Israel and its people would be enough for them to recognise how wrong they had been and would bring them to repentance. Perhaps some of them would have the sense to see that they are dealing with a Power much greater than themselves? But the vast majority in the Gentile nations will continue to defy the Living God, preferring their previous deception to the Truth that is so patently and clearly revealed to them.
God does not have to justify His Justice. He IS Just. All justice comes from Him in the first place, but in Ezekiel 39:21-24, we can see just a glimpse of the thought processes behind the judgement that He has meted out on these nations. He explains this so that we can see why Israel had to suffer while God turned His back on them. It was for sin. However, we can (observe, discern) that in God’s mercy, He used this time of Israel’s sinfulness and disobedience to allow the Gentiles access to the Kingdom of God. This has been His plan all along and we can see that He has known what we would do, ahead of time.
This does not take into account the fact that in His love, He Himself (through Jesus) paid the price for our sin so that we are no longer under condemnation; provided we acknowledge His provision. No more are we enslaved to Satan through sin. On the contrary, we are not our own any more. Those of us who have willingly accepted His sacrifice have been bought with a Price – the ultimate Price, 1 Corinthians 6:20.
We now have a New Master Who is no Master at all but instead chooses to call us Friend and invites us to do the same, John 15:14. He is ‘the firstborn of many brethren’. He is the Head of the Body – His Church, and we are the Bride of Christ for whom He is returning in the ‘not-too-distant’ future to take us to the eternal home He has prepared for us in His Father’s house, so that we may be with Him forever, and He with us, John 14:1-2.
At the end of this war, the time will have come when the ‘Times of the Gentiles’ will be over, Romans 11:25-27. The Rapture will have taken place around this time, and with a few exceptions – those who have understood what the Rapture has meant and have, in abject repentance, given their lives to Jesus and will be saved; however they will go through the Tribulation Period. This now heralds the ‘Time of the Jews’. This time will be predominantly be about restoring the fortunes of Israel, Ezekiel 39:25-29. The time is all about the restoration of the Jews as God’s Chosen People, but now, instead of rejecting their Messiah as they did the first time He came as a baby and for 33 years lived and ministered amongst them showing His Power and His authority so that even the wind and the waves obeyed Him, they will recognise Him at last for Who He is – their Messiah. They will give their lives to Him in love and repentance, and they, like us will receive new life. They also will be born again. They are sons of Abraham by birth, but we are sons of Abraham by faith. We, the wild olives, have been grafted into the vine, and now the vine can grow intact and complete, Romans 11:28-32. When Paul wrote his letter to the Romans in about 57 AD the Jews were enemies of the Gospel. Many still are today, but equally some have been gloriously born again just as Nicodemus was following his encounter with Jesus one night, John 3. We know them as Messianic Jews. There are Messianic synagogues in Israel, and those who worship there have recognised that Jesus was the Messiah their forefathers and they had been looking for all the time. This small group of people Paul refers to as a remnant. God has always had a remnant on the Earth; even in the darkest days many, many people followed and were obedient to the Lord.
We can see this today in China, Burma, Iraq, Iran and many other countries where Christianity is oppressed In some cases being a Christian is punishable by imprisonment, torture, forced separation from families, renunciation by loved ones or even death. Yet, just as in the days of the Acts of the Apostles, the Church is growing by leaps and bounds. It is being added to daily; in many places, addition is not enough, multiplication is the way that the Church is growing. Just because we cannot see growth where we live does not mean that exciting and dramatic growth is not happening elsewhere in the Body of Christ. This should make us jealous for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and for an increase in the fervency of our prayers, 2 Chronicles 7:14.
Generally speaking, at the moment, the Jews hate the Gospel. Their eyes are blinded to it because of the way they rejected the call of God when they crucified Jesus. Of course it was not just they who crucified Him, He chose to die for the sin of the entire world, so we also crucified the Lord of Glory! Presently their eyes remain closed, Romans 11:7-10. This does not mean that their fall will be beyond recovery. Not at all, their fall is for this time in which we are now living. God’s plan is for the Gentiles to receive the glorious blessing of salvation during this time and for a little longer which otherwise would have been exclusively for the Jews, Romans 11:11-12.
His plan is so vast and comprehensive that it is difficult to take in. Suffice to say that when the Jews return to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour! This study of revelation is about that amazing time. Romans 11:17-18.
God has not forgotten His chosen people Israel. The world may be trying to destroy both the land and the inhabitants right now, but they reckon without One very important Person – God. He is the reason for this entire digression into the Book of Ezekiel – to demonstrate the LORD’s power and faithfulness.
We need to take note of what is happening in the world today, for the time of Jesus’ return is very close. We may not know the hour when He will return, but we most certainly can identify the season from all that is described in the Bible, and that season is coming to pass right before our very eyes. What an honour it is to be alive at this time! Why is it that we are witnessing these events? Amongst other things, it is because God wants us to be involved in the outpouring of His Holy Spirit on the earth and to be involved in His amazing end-time harvest of souls.
Are we ready for the Revival that is long overdue in this nation? Are we ready to be involved in taking the glorious good news of the Gospel into Europe and beyond? Are we aware that Europe is the only Continent that has not experienced a recent Christian explosion, or are we too much involved in focusing on the dark events as the politicians attempt to build a godless state around us? Do we think that will stop God from answering our prayers, and the prayers of countless others in this nation and in Europe? There is a pent up force – dammed up like trillions of gallons of water held back by a paltry little dam – and this force will cause the dam to explode under its pressure releasing the power of the Gospel into dark corners of the Continent of Europe. This will allow everyone who has been called to enter into the fullness of God.
Over 200 years ago, England was given the task of taking the Gospel to the four corners of the Earth. The people began well, spreading the fires of revival to the newly discovered Americas, but it did not take long for them to be diverted from their task. Instead of setting the world free with the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they enslaved it. We who are alive today will have the opportunity to take up where others were satanically diverted. We all have a vital part to play in prayer, support, encouragement and action, Joshua 23:15.
The Gog Magog war that we have studied marks the turning point – the point at which the ‘Times of the Gentiles’ is completed. It ushers in the truly spectacular worldwide evangelisation and revival amongst the Jews. It is amazing how specific God has been and how He has provided a trail for us to follow should we choose. All this will end in the demonstration of His love as a Father to the Children He has chosen just as He miraculously gave a baby (Isaac) to Abraham and Sarah. Abraham was the physical Father of the Israelites (the Jews) but He is the Father of all who dare to believe God by faith. He is the first man of whom it was said that: “…..he (Abraham) believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness,” Romans 4:16-25.
16 – The Gog Magog war – Part 2 – Challenge Questions
It is suggested that you answer all the questions in your homework but only do those marked with ‘*’ in your group to save time and give more time to prayer.
1. *Read the Notes and the Bible Verses referred to in them. Highlight the points that ‘speak’ to you and be prepared to share with your group.
2. Can you recommend any book you know about victory in trial like Hebrews 11.
3. The Bible is clear that Europe will not play an active part in this war. Why do you think that might be?
4. Will the nations only be fighting against Israel?
Read Revelation 7:1-8
5. Although judgements are taking place on the earth, God is not sitting back just watching, what is He doing?
6. *Is Satan in charge of the terrible catastrophes that are affecting the earth? What is their purpose?
7. Does God want us to know when Jesus will return? Will Jesus give us a few days warning of His return? Explain your answer.
8. *At the time of the events of Revelation 7 where will the Christians be?
9. *Who are the 144,000? What is on their foreheads?
10. The Jehovah’s Witnesses say that the 144,000 Jews are really Jehovah’s Witnesses who will reign with Jesus on earth after the Judgement. Explain why this cannot be true.
11. Who is at the root of their error? Should we listen to what this cult and others like them say?
Read Revelation 7:9-17
12. *Who will be evangelised at this time? Do you think anyone else listens to what these evangelists have to say?
13. Will those who respond come from one particular part of the world? Will they be identifiable in Heaven?
14. *Is it possible to become a Christian after the Rapture of the Church? Give a reason for your answer.
15. Is there any difference between you and the people who become Christians during the Tribulation period?
17. *Again John describes what he sees in Heaven; describe who makes up the great multitude.
18. Who else will be around the throne at this time
19. *As those who have become Christians in the Tribulation come before the throne of God, is it a happy or a sad time? What will they be receiving and doing? Who will they be focused on?
20. Sum up in one short sentence all there is in Revelation 7.