Friday, September 6, 2013

Gog and Magog war

In the past few months, with the current situation in Israel, some have written, asking if we thought that this was the beginning of the Gog and Magog War. While anything is possible with YHVH, and He will ultimately fulfill His word in His way and in His time, we, who have the Holy Spirit and the scriptures, try as best we can to discern the time and season in which we are living. So with that in mind, let us take a stab at what is happening and attempt to come to some (subject to change) conclusion.

I personally do not believe that this is the time of the Gog and Magog ‘scenario’ for the following reasons: According to Ezekiel 38, which describes the times of YHVH's judgment upon Gog and Magog, that war takes place at a season in which Israel is "dwelling securely" (verses 8,10, 14).  The root for the word “securely” here is “ba’to’ach” (, meaning security, quietness, trusting, confidence, while in Aramaic it means to throw one down upon his face. Based on this definition, Israel of the pre-Gog and Magog days will have been humbled by YHVH and will come to trust Him fully. In verse 8 we read that the war takes place at the time during which the land is restored from the sword (war) and a remnant of Israelites, who have been gathered from the nations, are living on the mountains of Israel (Judea and Samaria) in a state of trust and confidence in YHVH. It seems that this condition can only come to pass after the prophetic fulfillment of Ezekiel 34-37. This is one of the main reasons for this sequel of chapters (that is, events), which climaxes in chapter 38.

Chapter 34 focuses on the condition of the lost sheep of the House of Israel.  The shepherds, or leaders, of the political and religious systems are seen as “feeding themselves” (v.2), and “eating the fat and clothing themselves with the wool” (v.3.). They dominate the flock with harshness, manipulating and controlling them for their own purposes.  They do not strengthen the sick, nor do they bind up the wounded. They do not protect those under their charge from the beasts of the field (which could mean demons), but leave them to run wild over the mountains fleeing to the high places, and do not even bother to look for them, and when they do happen to find any, they pen them up in their earthly institutions for the purpose of serving their own interests.  This seems to be the condition of the lost sheep of Israel today.  However, there is a remnant that the Shepherd of Israel, Yeshua, is calling out. This remnant He will bring back to the land and to the mountains of Israel to graze in good pastures (v.13-14).

Chapters 35 and 36 describe Israel as having some problems with Esau from Mount Seir (see Ez 35:2,12; 36:2).  The latter, together with some of his sons and cousins from the surrounding nations, are allying themselves (see Ps. 83), planning to stake a claim upon the mountains of Judea and Samaria and proclaim ownership over them (35:10). Thus, they are ridiculing Israel, saying: “Aha, the everlasting heights belong to us and have become our possession” (36:2).  But YHVH will speak in His jealousy and in His wrath against all the surrounding nations (36:5). He will gather them together, and will have them pound their agricultural equipment into military hardware. Then He will bring them down to the Valley of Jehosaphat (meaning, “His judgment”), and there He will judge them for dividing up His land and for the violence done to the sons of Judah (Jews; ref. Joel 3:2, 9-12,19).

At about this time period YHVH will lift up His standard, and recover a second time the banished ones of Ephraim and the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. Ephraim’s jealousy towards Judah will depart, and Judah’s enemies will be cut off, as together they will swoop down on the slopes of the ‘Philistines’ and plunder the sons of the east (Edom and Moab), and even the tongue of Egypt will be destroyed (Is.11:11-15). As mentioned above, the prophet Joel, who also foresaw this, concludes that the destruction resulting from this war of YHVH’s judgments will fall on the surrounding nations.

Because the Ephraimites help Judah during this war with the surrounding nations, they will possess and return to portions of Samaria, Lebanon and Gilead (Zech.10:7-10), and the nations all around will be subject to them. There will even be a highway from Assyria for the remnant of His flock (Isa. 11:16). YHVH will establish the throne of David over the united Israel, and Yeshua their Shepherd and Messiah will rule over them and prove Himself holy in them. He will make a covenant of peace with them and pour clean water upon them. YHVH will also give them His Spirit, so that they will walk in His ordinances and keep His statues and observe them (Ez. 37:21-28). They will live securely for a thousand years, as Yeshua will rule the nations with a rod of iron through this royal priesthood and holy nation. Thus, all the nations will know that YHVH is the one who sanctified Israel, when His dwelling place is in their midst, for they will be living securely and no one will make them afraid. (Ez. 34:28).

It is at the end of this period that YHVH causes Gog and Magog to take note of His people, who are living securely. Now let us pick up the narrative from Revelation 20:7-8: “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle.” What thousand years is John speaking about?  Is he not referring directly to the chapter that precedes Ezekiel 38, the chapter that deals with the two trees, Israel and Judah, who are living securely under one kingdom authority of YHVH their God, and Messiah Son of David, as one nation in a land that was given to their forefathers, and are now no longer at strife with the surrounding nations?

The big question that is usually asked at this time goes something like this: “Is the Messiah physically present during the thousand years, or is His presence the indwelling of the Spirit of Holiness, ruling in and through His redeemed people?”

 Because I see through a smoky class, my understanding of this could change in light of progressive revelation or reality.

Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity…


Tom and Annie said...

Thank you Ephraim, I always appreciate the gracious and humble way you share what the Father reveals to you. Annie

Shoshanna said...

Very interesting perspective, and convincing. Thank you both for your precious time to study and pray and share your understanding with us. I so miss meeting with you.
Blessings; Susan

Shoshanna said...

Very interesting perspective, and convincing. Thank you both for your precious time to study and pray and share your understanding with us. I so miss meeting with you.
Blessings; Susan