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|Gog and Magog
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Gog and Magog - Multiple Fulfillment
It seems, therefore, that the safe way of interpreting the fulfillment of Gog’s prophecy is to stay within the parameters of explanation given by later biblical authors. Such an approach helps to avoid a speculative exposition of this prophecy and focuses on the canonical intertextual understanding of it. It's clear that his prophecy was not fulfilled in biblical times (from the Babylonian captivity exodus to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70), nor in a more recent time. The closest but partial historical fulfillment of this prophecy in Old Testament times and the intertestamental period occurred during the Maccabean wars (2nd century B.C.), when a few hundred Jews under the leadership of Judah Maccabee revolted against the Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175–164 B.C.) and unexpectedly defeated his enormous and well-trained Hellenistic army. The Maccabees waged war against this oppressive Hellenistic ruler, who not only wanted to subjugate them but also change their culture and even religion. The commemoration of their surprising victory gave birth to the Hanukkah festival. However, if it was a fulfillment of Ezekiel prophecies of Gog and Magog, it was certainly just a partial fulfillment – Antiochus IV Epiphanes did not die in Israel; his army was not defeated in the manner asserted in Ezekiel; Israel did not live at that time in security, etc.
If there is no clear-cut and full historical fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies, one must carefully study “if” and “how” the New Testament writers interpret them, whether explicitly or implicitly. Jesus
Christ’s teaching must be taken as the key interpretative factor and the New Testament inspired writers as the best expositors of these Old Testament predictions. Our basic hermeneutical principle in studying them is that the New Testament removes the geographical and ethnic restrictions of Old Testament prophecies while maintaining the Middle East imagery.
Thus, we'll be looking at the New Testament era, or dispensation, and here we see multiple pre-fulfillments of Ezek 38–39 in the history of the Church. When the situation is analogical in principle, one can discern preliminary fulfillment of the prophecy about Gog and Magog.
The prophecy of Ezek 38–39 has two eschatological-apocalyptic fulfillments — one connected with the second coming of Christ, and another associated with the end of the millennium. We need to ask how andwhere the prophecy of Ezekiel on Gog is interpreted in the apocalyptic book of Revelation.
The events described in Ezek 38:19–22a54 find their echo in Rev 16:18–21, where terms like “great
earthquake,” “hailstones,” “fiery wrath,” “plague,” “mountains,”are used. Significantly, the new symbolic term “Babylon” (Rev 16:19) is employed in this passage instead of “Gog and Magog.”The great hailstones mentioned in Ezek 38:22a are referred to in the seventh plague, when hail weighing about a talent will magnify the destruction already wrought (Rev 16:21). The fire may be the“lightning” of Rev 16:18.
There are differences, too. In Ezekiel God’s intervention swiftly and completely devastates Gog and his allies; however, in Rev 16 the seven plagues gradually strike the wicked. The horizon is broadened so that the final destruction of the wicked will be universal as the last plague takes place at the second coming of Jesus Christ, during which all the wicked will die (2 Thess 1:7–9; 2:8–10; 2 Pet 3:11–12; Rev 19:20). The eschatological universal battle is presented apocalyptically: a major earthquake takes place, the cities collapse, every island flees away, the mountains are thrown down, the hailstones fall (Rev 16:17–21). However, the people of God do not need to enter into the battle, Babylon in Rev 17, because panic breaks loose in“Babylon’s” army, and they strike each other down (17:16–18).
The relationship between Ezek 38–39 and Rev 16 is further strengthened by the battle description.58 Revelation 16:12 notes that the great river Euphrates will dry up to prepare the way for the kings from the East.59 The Euphrates was a river in Babylon that flowed from the north. According to Rev 17:15, water is a symbol for nations. In the book of Ezekiel, these nations from the north are Gog’s allies, paralleling the Euphrates river of Rev 16:12. The drying up of the river would be referring to Gog’s loss of support. In the same way as the army turned on one another in Ezek 38:21b, so will the followers of the beast have an internal fight, according to Rev 17:16. This is a picture of the division and a foreshadowing of Gog’s ultimate judgment of destruction and annihilation. The judgment is clearly described in the seventh plague, where Babylon is Gog, and ch. 17 depicts the punishment of this great Antichrist’s power.
The prophecy refers to the conflict between the followers of Jesus Christ and their enemies: “the beast,” “the false prophet,” and “the kings of the earth.” These are new names for Gog and Magog. In both passages the birds are invited to the great supper of God.62 In Ezek 39 birds eat the defeated forces of Gog and his allies, while in Rev 19 birds prey on the defeated army of the beast and the false prophet who are thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur (Rev 19:20). Imagery of the banquet interconnects this prophecy with other biblical authors (Isa 34:5–11; Jer 46:10; Lam 2:21–22; Zeph 1:7–9), but the parallel between Ezek 39 and Rev 19 is the most specific.63 Revelation 19:19 describes the conspiracy of the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, who together with the false prophet have gathered to make war against Christ and those who are with Him. Then Rev 19:20– 21 depicts God’s intervention and their total defeat.
By Oleg Part 3 Tomorrow.
Psalm 66…Thursday October 6th, 2011
God does answer prayer and both individually and as a body of believers, we should praise and worship God, an attitude which comes from our heart and the core of our being
How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power
Come and see what God has done how awesome his works in man’s behalf!
He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping
You, O God test us; and refine us like silver.
Come and listen all who fear God;
Let me tell you what he has done for me.
I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue.
If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;
But God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer.
Praise be to God who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me.
David recalls God’s rescue of the Israelites at the parting of the Red Sea during the exodus. He likewise continues to save people today
Just as fire refines silver in the smelting process; trials refine our character as well. They bring a new and deeper wisdom, helping us discern truth along with the discipline to do what we know is right. Trials help us to realize that life is a gift from God to be cherished.
David when he made a promise to God, He remembered the promise and was prepared to carry it out. God always keeps his promises and wants us to follow his example. Be careful to follow through on whatever you promise to do.
Likewise our confession of sin must be continual knowing He is faithful to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. True confession requires we listen to God and want to stop doing what is wrong. David confessed his sin and prayed “Forgive my hidden faults, Keep your servant also from willful sins”
When we refuse to repent or when we harbor or cherish certain sins, we place a wall between us and God
OUR ATTITUDE SHOULD BE ONE OF CONFESSION and OBEDIENCE
THE FULFILLMENT GOD HAS INTENDED REACHES FORTH TO DRAW US ALL INTO HIS KINGDOM but WE CHOOSE TO PUT THE PAST BEHIND US and SO LOOK TO THE LORD. THROUGH CHRIST WE ARE BROUGHT NIGH INTO THAT PLACE OF DIVINE ABUNDANCE THAT WE MIGHT ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF HIS KINGDOM FROM THIS DAY FORTH.
I CHOOSE NOT TO HINDER GOD’S BLESSING IN MY LIFE BY CHERISHING SIN IN MY HEART
CHOOSE WISELY IN LIGHT OF ETERNITY DEAR ONES FOR FAITHFUL IS HE WHO HAS PROMISED SO HE DESIRES TO REACH FORTH TO FULFILL ALL THAT IS HIS WILL AND PURPOSE
Study by Charlotte….October 2011
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