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Gog's Role in God's Story: Earthly Stooge or Supernatural Arch-enemy?



Hello everyone! It's been too long since I last posted on Unsealed, but time and energy are precious commodities these days. During this blog break, however, I've had some opportunity to do some further research on a topic that I have been meditating on ever since I encountered a compelling variant reading in the book of Numbers a few years back.

Based on the title of this post, I have already tipped my hand and given away the fact that we will be discussing the ever-mysterious Gog as depicted by the prophet Ezekiel (chapters 38-39). You can also thank me in advance for not going with the original title, which would have been "Of Gog and Eggnog"—you know, reason being that I was feeling a bit festive and it's the winter holiday season and all that (so it wasn't one of my best ideas...don't judge me too harshly, ok?).

Anyway, during this study, I've had to challenge some old assumptions and be open to the fact that I had been misapplying Ezekiel in order to shoe-horn the events of 38–39 into my own eschatological calendar. Don't get me wrong, I am still adamantly Pre-Trib, Pre-Millennial in my eschatology, but I think we (and by "we" I mean modern evangelical, dispensational believers) have tortured the text of Ezekiel to the point where it no longer coheres with its immediate context. And, as a result of trying to wedge the Gog/Magog war within our charts, graphs, and timelines, I believe we are further obscuring the overall intent of the author (and Author).

My first exposure to Ezekiel 38–39 came immediately after becoming a born-again believer by way of Joel Rosenberg's book Epicenter, a non-fiction best-seller that speculated at length about the Gog/Magog alliance being formed right before our eyes on the world stage. The ideas put forth in Joel's book held by many evangelical Christians are largely influenced by works such as the Scofield Reference Bible, Tim LaHaye's Left Behind series, and other 20th-century dispensational forerunners. While I agree with a lot of Joel's theology, I find it extremely difficult now to get the image of Vladimir Putin out of my head whenever I think of Gog, because this connection was etched into my brain very early on. I'm guessing the same goes for many reading this, too. 

That being said, I still wholeheartedly affirm that we are in the last minutes of the last days and that the stage is being set for the events of the Rapture of the Church and Israel's Tribulation. But when it comes to identifying Gog of Ezekiel 38-39, are we placing too much emphasis on the physical, geo-political realm while devaluing and under-appreciating the spiritual, unseen dimension of what is being revealed in these prophetic texts? If Russia attacks Israel tomorrow, then would that really fulfill everything shown to us in chapters 38-39? And here's an even thornier question to camp out on: Is Gog even a flesh-and-blood, human leader? Could he possibly be one of the current ruling class of fallen angels that hold sway over particular nations? (e.g., Dan. 10:13; 20–21; and Deut. 32:8–9—see ESV, NET, NLT, and the forthcoming LSV)!

Some will surely misunderstand my intentions or think that I am abandoning the literal approach to Scripture altogether in order to open wide the doors for full-blown allegory. Not so. 

I am only trying to take into account all of the data that we currently possess and interpret the data in its own context and cultural setting. Too much of the Gog speculation, in my opinion, has been fraught with hasty proof-texting and cherry-picking to suit the headlines. Plus, I get the impression from some teachers of Bible prophecy that the only purpose for Gog/Magog is to set the table for greater, even more climactic battles, when in reality, Ezekiel 38-39 could very well represent the climax in a long history of wars and rumors thereof.  

Think about it: In our eagerness and zeal to bring on the last days by voraciously following Russia and/or Turkey's latest move and power-play—however sincere or well-meaning—we might also be sincerely misinterpreting and misapplying Ezekiel 38–39 in the process. There is a legitimate reason for the content and arrangement of chapters 38–39, but I am having serious second thoughts about using these texts to uphold the proposition that Gog/Magog is on the cusp of fulfillment, especially before the Rapture of the Church and Israel's Tribulation.

The main interpretative issues in the Gog/Magog narrative are well-summarized by Ralph Alexander, professor of Hebrew Scripture at Western Conservative Baptist Seminary:

Students of biblical prophecy are familiar with the major two-fold problem within these chapters: the identity of Gog and the position of his invasion in the time continuum of biblical eschatology. (from "A Fresh Look at Ezekiel 38 and 39", Journal of the Evangelical Society, Summer 1974, pg. 157).

In short, the root issues are Gog's identity and the timing of his invasion against Israel. It is my intention in this study to get a handle on these two issues, because I get the sense that many faithful and well-meaning believers are simply parroting what they've heard from other teachers instead of examining the evidence and thinking for themselves. Also, the watching community could really benefit by putting some fresh eyes on an old, well-worn passage, and my hope is that some things presented here will get the wheels turning (Ezekiel pun intended; cf. Ezek. 1:19–21). First, in order to arrive at a more accurate interpretation and application of Ezekiel 38–39, we will start with an examination of Gog's identity. Then, in a separate post, I will tackle the issue of timing.

By God's will and design, we do not have many inspired books that mention Gog, and, as a result, his name/character isn't as developed compared to other major players in the Bible. Given the scarcity of personal details, we might be more successful in our search for a true identity if we ask ourselves questions that focus primarily on what his presence and activity represent within the entire narrative of Scripture. Therefore, this particular quest for an accurate character profile will be divided into two main tasks:

(1) Identify Gog's status/rank among other leaders, princes, and kings in the Bible (Is he a high-ranking stormtrooper or someone more like Darth Vader?)

(2) Identify Gog's nature and origin (Is he a man, devil, or something in between? Is he from the dust of the earth, the heights of heaven, or somewhere in between?)


Are You the One I Spoke About in Former Times?

The most obvious starting point for any study on Gog is Ezekiel 38–39. From these key passages we are able to learn a great deal about the LORD's purpose for Gog and the diverse armies that he leads against Israel in the end-times or "last days" (cf. Ezek. 38:8, 16).

Someone brand new to the Bible may find that key details are somewhat lacking and conclude that there isn't enough to justify further inquiry into a character as minor and insignificant as Gog. After all, it's just two chapters out of the entire Bible, right? And, to add insult to injury, Gog's all-out surprise attack on Israel seems like a real dud based on a cursory read-through. How important and powerful could he be to fall so fast and fail so miserably?

Points well-taken. However, if you keep reading you will discover that compared to other dreams, visions, and narrative sections of Scripture, Ezekiel 38–39 is a huge chunk of text and would appear to be major overkill were Gog some unsuspecting chump who becomes the set-up guy and stepping stone for the Antichrist and his future ten-king confederation (cf. Rev. 13:1–2; 17:12–13). Honestly, if he were simply an overambitious head-of-state, then perhaps he should only get two or three sentences—not two crucial chapters at the end of Ezekiel (one of the "major prophets").

And then there's Ezekiel 38:17:

This is what the Lord GOD says: Are you the one I spoke about in former times through My servants, the prophets of Israel, who for years prophesied in those times that I would bring you against them? (HCSB).

Whoa. Let that verse sink in for a minute. The God of all creation addresses Gog and asks him directly if he is the one referred to by prophets of Israel's past. Surely then, there has to be something about Gog that predates Ezekiel found in either the Law, the Prophets, or the Writings (TaNaKh). And based on the well-known "law of first mention" and the deliberate, chronological arrangement of the biblical books, shouldn't there be at least one place in Genesis through Deuteronomy where Gog is mentioned to make any sense of Ezekiel 38:17?

Well, for the English reader, it won't be too long before the search ends in disappointment, because there is only one other place in the Old Testament where the term "Gog" shows up (especially if you rely on the Strong's concordance; see H1463). And, alas, the context of 1 Chronicles 5:4 indicates that the other usage of the term is not even remotely close to the figure in Ezekiel. However, this doesn't mean we have to give up the search for the referent of Ezekiel 38:17 just yet! If we keep going, there is another place in the Old Testament that holds even more promise. But we'll have to do some more digging first and will need an able guide to get us there.

Enter: The late John Sailhamer, associate professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. I first heard of Mr. Sailhamer from various citations in Michael Rydelnik's book The Messianic Hope (which I have referenced many times in previous posts), and this scholarly saint, who is now with the Lord, has put forth tremendously helpful articles and books about interpreting the Hebrew Bible based on what he calls a "canonical approach".

Regarding the first five books of the Bible, he demonstrates that there are a total of three "macro-structural junctures" or "compositional seams" in the Pentateuch (Genesis 49; Numbers 24; and Deuteronomy 31). He writes:

A close look at the material lying between and connecting the narrative and poetic sections reveals the presence of a homogenous compositional stratum. It is most noticeably marked by the recurrence of the same terminology and narrative motifs. In each of the three segments, the central narrative figure (Jacob, Balaam, Moses) calls an audience together (imperative: Gen. 49:1; Num. 24:14; Deut. 31:28) and proclaims (cohortative: Gen. 49:1; Num. 24:14; Deut. 31:28) what will happen (Gen. 49:1; Num. 24:14; Deut. 31:29) in the 'end of days' (Gen. 49:1; Num. 24:14; Deut. 31:29). (from "The Canonical Approach to the OT: Its Effect on Understanding Prophecy" in Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Sept. 1987, pg. 310, emphasis mine).

These three compositional seams highlighted by Sailhamer are more than summary accounts of Israel's history; rather, they are primarily forward-looking (eschatological) and messianic in focus. In particular, Numbers 24 (as emphasized above) contains an overt messianic text with a view to Israel's ultimate future King. Let's first look at a representative sample of Numbers 24:7 as translated by an English version that strictly adheres to the primary Hebrew manuscript evidence called the Masoretic Text (MT):

Water shall flow from his [Jacob/Israel's] buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters; his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted. (ESV).

The references to Israel's ultimate King and Messiah are in bold (notice especially that the phrase "his seed" harkens back to the overcoming "seed of the woman" in Gen. 3:15 as well as the prophecy in Gen. 49:10 that speaks of the Messiah being a descendant of Judah, son of Jacob).

Now for most of us, there is nothing too earth-shattering about the typical English rendering of Numbers 24:7. Knowing that we are dealing with future prophecy, we should expect to find many verses in Numbers 24 that are about the Messiah. However, take a look at Numbers 24:7 again—this time from the main Greek version of the Old Testament (the Septuagint/LXX):

A man will come forth from his seed and prevail over many peoples, and he will be raised up higher than the kingdom of Gog, and his kingdom will increase. (Rick Brannan et al., The Lexham English Septuagint).

For a second witness, here is another English translation of the Greek text of Num. 24:7 from Peter Flint (New English Translation of the Septuagint, or NETS):

A person will come forth from his offspring, and he shall rule over many nations, and reign of him shall be exalted beyond Gog, and his reign shall be increased.

If you were in the middle of eating while reading that, you might have just "Agag"-ed! Things just got a little more interesting—or confusing depending on where you are in your spiritual journey. What exactly is going on between these two readings and how do we explain the discrepancy? Is Christ greater than Agag, or Gog?

Well, wouldn't you know—every other manuscript witness to Numbers 24:7 agrees with the Septuagint reading of "Gog", except for the Masoretic Text...it stands alone with "Agag." There's a lot that could be said for this, but there is one thing that every sober-minded student of the Word should know: The Masoretic Text is an excellent witness and arguably the most reliable manuscript evidence we have in regard to the Old Testament, but it is not the inspired text. That might sound harsh or heretical, but it's the truth.

Perhaps, after spending some time in 1 Samuel 15–16, one of the Masoretic scribes saw "Gog" (Hebrew consonants G-W-G, "gimel, vav, gimel") and thought: How odd? This should really be "Agag" (A-G-G, "aleph, gimel, gimel"). Moreover, there is a known tendency in the Masoretic Text noted by a few sharp scholars where the scribes provide a more historical, "anti-messianic" (i.e., anti-Jesus) translation (or, really an "interpretation"). In some places it's more of a sub-conscious, accidental type error; however, in other places the scribal mix-up reeks of a bias against anything that looks and sounds like Y-E-S-H-U-A.

Here's Michael Rydelnik to weigh in:

...the Masoretic Text is a post-Christian, Jewish version of the Old Testament. As such, it reflects the theological perspective of post-Christian, rabbinic Judaism. Thus, there are several significant examples of the Masoretic Text interpreting Old Testament messianic texts in a distinctly non-messianic (or historical) fashion, whereas other ancient versions interpret the same texts as referring to the Messiah. (from "The Messianic Hope: Is the Hebrew Bible Really Messianic?", 36).

He goes on to summarize the interpretative issue in Numbers 24:7:

The Masoretic Text of Num 24:7 presents a prophecy that would find its fulfillment in Israel's history. However, the alternate versions of this verse look forward to an eschatological messianic fulfillment. (Ibid., 38-39).

Sailhamer, in two of his scholarly works, also summarizes this significant issue between the Masoretic reading versus every other textual witness to Numbers 24:7:

The Masoretic Text, which developed over a period of nearly a millennium, shows many signs of post-biblical, that is, secondary interpretation...the identification of the prophetically announced future king in Numbers 24:7b as the victor of Agag (Masoretic text) rather than Gog (Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion) is clearly intended to link the fulfillment of the prophecy to David's day (e.g. 1 Sam. 15:8) rather than the Messiah's (Ezek. 38:3). (from "Introduction to Old Testament Theology: A Canonical Approach", 220-21).

Next, he concludes and drives the point home:

Ezekiel himself acknowledges he knows of Gog from earlier Scripture (Ezek. 38:17). According to Num 24:24, this king will come after the defeat of Assyria, Babylon, and the rise of the Kittim. This can hardly be David. There is, thus, in the textual history of the Pentateuch a running debate over the identity of this king. The Masoretic Text sees the historical David as the focus of these prophecies. The earlier and more widely represented texts (including Ezekiel's own copy of the Pentateuch) identify the king with an eschatological Redeemer who will defeat Gog (from "The Messiah and the Hebrew Bible" in Journal of the Evangelical Society, Mar. 2001, pg 21). 

Wow, I don't know about you, but if indeed the Masoretic Text is corrupted in Num. 24:7 and all the other versions are correct, this is a game-changer when it comes to interpreting the events of Ezekiel 38–39. Balaam's vision, as recorded by Israel's prophet, Moses, isn't about the historical David conquering the historical Agag at all—it's a last days prophecy about the greater David (cf. 2 Sam. 7:12–13; Ps. 110:1; Ezek. 37:24) defeating and overthrowing the rule of a fearsome enemy named "Gog" (notice also, inside the same oracle about Israel's Messiah-King, a direct allusion is made to Gen. 49:9 in Num. 24:9)!

So, is the Gog of Ezekiel 38–39 just the set-up guy for the Antichrist and his kingdom? It's kind of hard to justify that assumption if Numbers 24:7 speaks of Gog as a direct rival to the Messiah before the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom and beyond. In other words, it doesn't appear that Gog is a mere human puppet who gets dragged into a suicide mission in order to set the table for even greater and more fearsome kings in the Tribulation.

Stormtrooper, Darth Vader, or perhaps even a Palpatine? Decide for yourselves, but consider the internal and external evidence presented thus far:

Summary of Gog Identification Task #1 (His Status/Rank): According to Numbers 24:7, Gog is no third-string, minor league villain; the prophecy portrays this end-times player as a legit rival and threat to Israel's Messiah and His Kingdom


Flesh or Spirit? Prince of Rosh or Chief Prince?

Building on the paradigm-shifting discovery in Numbers 24:7, let's turn now to look more closely at other Gog descriptors that will help us form an educated interpretation about his true nature and place of origin.

Before we discuss any adjectives or place names associated with the eschatological tyrant, let's look at the noun "Gog" by itself. The Hebrew term "Gog" is shrouded in mystery, and many scholars aren't clear about the etymological root meaning. One dictionary entry concludes that the name Gog functions more as a "cipher" or code word rather than a proper name like "Bob" or "Joe":

Many [scholars] are convinced that the name Gog is not related to a historical personage...He is a cipher for the evil darkness of the north and personifies the powers hostile to the Lord. (Johan Lust, "Gog", in Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, 374).

Thus, the noun "Gog" would be functionally equivalent to a term such as "Satan" (which means
"adversary" in Hebrew), or "Babylon" (e.g. 1 Pet. 5:13; Rev. 16:19; and Rev. 17:5; the name "Babylon" is a cipher that transcends the historical kingdom of Babylon and serves to alert biblically-informed readers about the nature of a particular city/empire in the future).

Michael Heiser, scholar in the fields of biblical studies and the ancient Near East, suggests that "Gog" might derive from the Sumerian word gug, which means "darkness." If true, that would jive really well with Paul's spiritual "powers of darkness" in Ephesians 6. Additionally, on subject of Gog's supernatural identity, Heiser writes:

The failure to find any secure historical referent for Gog and the fact that the 'far north' from which Gog hailed was so clearly associated with dark supernatural powers have led many scholars to consider Gog as a supernatural terror. This trajectory is in fact more coherent. (from "Reversing Hermon: Enoch, the Watchers, & the Forgotten Mission of Jesus Christ", 174).

We've already seen from Numbers 24:7 that the name "Gog" is used in reference to an end-times enemy that rivals the Messiah; therefore, on the surface at least, he is depicted as one who is in the same league as the Antichrist, or even Satan himself.

Heiser also comments on the literary and theological backdrop of Ezekiel 38–39:

An ancient reader would have looked for an invasion from the north, but would have cast that invasion in a supernatural context. In other words, the language of Ezekiel is not simply about a human invader or human armies (from "The Unseen Realm", 364–65).

And, if you've never heard of the concept of a "supernatural north" existing alongside the geographical north, then consider this:

While Magog and 'the heights of the north' aren't precisely defined in the Gog prophecy, the point is not about literal geography per se. Rather, it is the supernatural backdrop to the whole 'northern foe' idea that makes any such geographical reference important...[a] supernatural enemy in the end times would be expected to come from the seat of Baal's authority—the supernatural underworld realm of the dead, located in the heights of the north. Gog is explicitly described in such terms(Ibid., 366, emphasis mine).

This supernatural side to Gog sort of adds a whole new dimension to Ezek. 38:17, doesn't it? Are you the one spoken of from long ago? Well, maybe Gog has existed from that long ago! From the viewpoint of an ancient Jewish believer there is definitely more going on than meets the eye, and it sure seems like the specter of Gog looms larger than, let's say, the memory of a historical tyrant such as Napoleon or Adolf Hitler. In short, the place where Gog comes from, "the heights of the north" (Ezek. 38:6, 15; 39:2), isn't limited exclusively to the literal, geographical plane, it can also refer to unseen geography—another dimension—such as the place where God and His angels dwell (see especially Isa. 14:13–14).

Furthermore, in addition to Numbers 24:7, there are other variant readings within the Greek translation of the Old Testament that, at the very least, demonstrate that early scribes and readers of the Bible understood the personage of "Gog" to be a supernatural being.

Here's Heiser again:

...the Septuagint text of Amos 7:1 mentions Gog as the king of the locust invasion described in that chapter. Locust imagery for invading armies is familiar in the Old Testament, but Revelation 9 connects that language with demonic entities from the abyss...[also] the Septuagint at times interchanges the names Gog and Og, the giant of Bashan. (see for example: LXX Deut. 3:1, 13; 4:47; plus one Greek manuscript curiously has "Og" in place of "Gog" in Ezek. 38:2; "The Unseen Realm", 365, footnote 12).

While the strength for these variant texts in Amos and Deuteronomy isn't as overwhelming as the weight of evidence for the Numbers 24:7 translation, the fact that scribes as early as 2nd/1st-century BC were associating "Gog" with descendants of the Nephilim/giants and a supernatural king of demonic locust armies is highly suggestive. Ancient readers and translators of the biblical text weren't thinking in terms of a flesh-and-blood earthly dictator—Gog was code for something supernatural and superhuman.

At this point, after examining key biblical evidence, I find it more and more challenging to justify prior assumptions about a Russian, Turkish, or European autocrat filling Gog's shoes. That being said, supernatural Gog aside, I do not deny a literal fulfillment of earthly armies invading Jerusalem in the last days—they'll be there too. However, there is still a need for the watching community to be exposed to the biblical evidence that supplies the supernatural and climactic backdrop to Ezekiel 38–39. The supernatural element within these monumental end-times passages has been lacking in our prophecy circles.

Finally, there is one other Gog descriptor that has been a source of stumbling. The controversy centers around the Hebrew term "Rosh" as seen in Ezek. 38:2; 39:1. In short, the English versions are divided on whether to translate the word as an adjective "chief, head" (see KJV, NIV, NET, ESV, et al) or as a proper noun (i.e., a place named "Rosh"; see NASB, NKJV, ASV, YLT, et al).

J. Paul Tanner, research professor and writer in the field of Old Testament studies, addresses the issue:

The NASB adds that Gog is the 'prince of Rosh, Meschech, and Tubal.' The NIV, on the other hand, translates the same phrase as the 'chief prince of Meschech and Tubal' (cf. also RSV). Hence the question arises as to whether 'Rosh' is a place name or a descriptive adjective modifying 'prince.' The question is quite relevant, because if 'Rosh' is eliminated...[t]he more plausible explanation is that the text should be translated 'the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal' (so NIV)...see also footnote 9: Aquila, the Targum, and Jerome (Latin Vulgate) viewed rosh adjectively 'chief prince' (from "Rethinking Ezekiel's Invasion by Gog" in Journal of the Evangelical Society, Mar. 1996, pg. 31).

As you can see, one misunderstanding of grammar and syntax can lead to a huge misconception that can later turn into a misapplication. In the case of Ezek. 38:2 and 39:1, many prophecy teachers of the past and present have leaned heavily on "Rosh" being a geographical location, which phonetically resembles modern-day Russia. Consequently, the mistranslation is then accepted and parroted by the Church-at-large as biblical proof that Russia is Rosh and possibly Magog, and by default, "Gog" must be the Russian "prince" leading the rest of the armies against Israel.

Generally speaking, the Hebrew word rosh in the majority of OT contexts means "chief, head" (as in Rosh Hashanah, "head of the year"). Therefore, the evidence to support "Rosh" as a proper name or geographical location is lacking, stemming from a mistranslation of Hebrew syntax, and likely used in order to prop-up a personal belief that Russia is Magog (note also the glaring absence of "Rosh" in the list of the sons of Japheth; see Gen. 10:2).

Whether or not the common Hebrew terms for "prince/ruler" such as sar (Ezek. 11:1; Dan. 10:13), nasi (Ezek. 38:2), or nagid (Dan. 9:26) refer to a human or divine leader is entirely dependent upon the context. Even a Hebrew word like malach ("angel/messenger"), which carries a connotation of clouds, harps, and a heavenly residence for many, has such flexibility that it can describe both a human or heavenly creature—all entirely dependent on context (compare Mal. 2:7 and Zech. 3:1).

The same principle applies to the "chief prince of Meschech and Tubal." Is he human or divine? Natural or supernatural? It all depends on the immediate context and other inner-biblical associations. Michael, for example, the supernatural ruler who has delegated rule and authority over Israel from the Most High, is also a "chief prince" (a.k.a. "archangel"; cf. Dan. 10:13; 12:1; 1 Thess. 4:16). Consequently, when we view Ezekiel 38–39 in isolation, we are more likely to see only a human leader. However, once we bring in other inner-biblical associations such as the material shown throughout this article, the "chief prince" of Ezek. 38:2 and 39:1 suddenly resembles one of the fallen angels who has dominion over certain nations/people groups, or at the very least, he could also be a powerful, hybrid creature from both heavenly and earthly realms (i.e., Nephilim/giant; cf. Gen. 6:4; Num. 13:32–33).

Summary of Gog Identification Task #2 (His Nature/Origin): According to inner-biblical links and associations which provide the theological background to Ezekiel 38–39, Gog is no mere mortal or run-of-the-mill communist dictator; rather, the biblical portrait reveals him as a powerful, supernatural entity who wields significant influence over both demonic and human armies. 


End of Part I (Gog's Identity)

This concludes Part I of the series. Hopefully I've given you enough to chew on for awhile (at least enough time for me to write up the next installment!). In the next post, we will take a look at the second major interpretative issue concerning the Gog/Magog invasion: The timing of the war in light of other more well-defined eschatological events inside a pre-millennial, dispensational framework.

Stay tuned, and stay armored up (Eph. 6:10–12)!

Post A Comment

66 comments :

  1. There's one word that should tell all Christians that the rapture is pre-Trib. It is "harpazo". It means to quickly or suddenly snatch out of harms way. This means the rapture will happen just before or right when the Tribulation starts. Harpazo does not mean after you have been slightly beaten up or just after you have beaten up. It means before the danger or harm that is coming. The one word for rapture says it all. GOD bless!

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    1. That's a good word, J. Baker!

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    2. Oops! I hit publish before I was done with my thought. Just wanted to say, I love getting the emails from here and see what unsealed.org is talking about next. Keep them coming. Praise the Lord and glory is the Father's!

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    3. The story surrounding the birth of Christ is actually a picture of the Rapture of the church. The whole story actually gives the timing of the rapture. It might not give the exact day and hour, but it gives a very clear time frame.

      Luke Chapter 2 gives the account of the birth of Christ and the story of the Shepherds. There is no account of the three Magi in Luke Chapter 2.

      Matthew Chapter 2 gives the account of the birth of Christ and the story of the Three Magi. There is no account of the Shepherds in Matthew chapter 2.

      Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the SIGN to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
      Luke 2:10‭-‬12 NKJV

      The sign that the Shepherd's received was that they would find a newborn baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a Manger.

      At the same time, the three Magi received the sign of the Star of Bethlehem that appeared in the east and in which they followed, first to Jerusalem, and then to Bethlehem. These two groups of people received their respective signs at the same time, at the very moment that Jesus was born. 

      Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared.
      Matthew 2:1‭, ‬7 NKJV

      In this account Herod was diligently inquiring of the Wiseman exactly when the star appeared because he was trying to determine when the child was born.

      And when they had come into the house, they saw the Young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
      Matthew 2:11 NKJV

      By the time the three Magi came to Bethlehem, Jesus was at least two years and 3 months old, if not a bit older than that.
      We note from this passage that they didn't come to the stable to see a newborn baby, they came into the house and found the young child with Mary his mother.

      Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.
      Matthew 2:16 NKJV

      Herod knew how old the child was because he had determined his age by talking to the Wisemen and diligently inquiring when the star had appeared which signified the moment of his birth.

      Now this is how all of this ties in with the Revelation 12 sign of September 23rd 2017 and the day in which we are living right now.

      Continued below

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    4. We know that the three major characters of the Revelation 12 sign have dual representation.

      The woman first represented Mary, giving birth to Jesus and in modern days represents the nation of Israel which gave birth to the body of Christ. The woman giving birth was portrayed by the constellation Virgo, the virgin. The Rapture of the church is literally portrayed by a woman giving birth in many places throughout the scriptures.


      For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, (Israel) as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

      1 Thessalonians 5:3 KJV


      The male child first represented Jesus and now represents the body of Christ. The male child of course was portrayed by the planet Jupiter.

      The Great Red Dragon represented Herod who tried to destroy the male child and now the great red dragon represents Satan along with the Antichrist and the Beast system who will try to destroy the body of Christ.

      Just like Jesus when he was 2 years old was forcefully and violently snatched out of Harm's Way (harpazo) by Joseph as he fled into Egypt with the child and his mother, so, in the same way, the male child represented by the body of Christ being birthed, portrayed by the Revelation 12 sign, will be forcefully and violently snatched out of Harm's Way (harpazo) and caught up to the throne of God. (raptured)

      At the time that I write this post it's Christmas. At Christmas 2019 it is 2 years and 3 months past the Revelation 12 sign which signified the birth of the male child.

      Just like Jesus was snatched out Of Harm's Way sometime between his second and third birthday when he was 2 years old, I believe that the church will be also be snatched out of Harm's Way sometime between it's second and third birthday signified by the Revelation 12 sign.

      If this type and Shadow holds true we must be raptured before September 23rd of 2020. 

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    5. The way that I envision the war of Gog and Magog happening is simple. I believe that the war of Gog and Magog will be part of a World War 3 scenario.

      If we look at the opening of the seals we know that the first seal is about the rise of the Antichrist to power and the second seal is about peace being taken from the earth through War. If that is the case, it stands to reason that the war of Gog and Magog will take place after the Rapture.

      So let's just say that the Rapture happens and half a billion children disappear along with millions and millions of adults. That is going to cause mass chaos and confusion.

      With the United States being one of the premiere Christian nations it's probably going to be quite crippled by the rapture. Especially if many of the top leaders of the country are taken in the rapture.

      Ezekiel 38 talks about how some of the nation's simply protest the attempted invasion into Israel. I Envision Russia Iran and turkey seeing an opportunity presented by The Rapture itself to strike against Israel to take the Golan Heights.

      Of course we know that God defends Israel regardless of whether anyone comes to Israel's Aid. That's why I call it an attempted invasion. I also envision Israel in retaliation for the attempted invasion destroying Damascus which seems to be the headquarters of the Gog and Magog Alliance.

      I don't like to overcomplicate things I know this is pretty simple but maybe it is a simple scenario.

      Happy New Year y'all

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    6. Isaiah,

      I agree and believe the escape to Egypt is very much a type and shadow of the RR. Rick Larson, producer of The Star of Bethlehem forwards the hypothesis that Jupiter is the star that rose and "came to rest over the place where the child was."

      The act of the star coming to stop is suggested as what we know as retrograde motion and the day that Jupiter came to a stop over Bethlehem was over Christmas Day by our calendar.

      I HIGHLY recommend watching and purchasing BOTH of Rick's videos, one on the star and his latest called, Christquake. See his findings concerning the arrival of the Magi here.

      If this timing is correct, then Christmas night to Boxing Day morning by our calendar, (12/25-12/26/2 BC), is when Joseph was warned in a dream to take flight and flee for Egypt. If this is the time when they fled to Egypt, then they were on the road over *our* New Year's, again, according to the Gregorian calendar.

      The child was snatched-up and taken away to safety in the face of death at the hand of the serpent (Herod).

      You may be closer to the mark than you realized!

      Happy New Year,


      PR

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    7. Everyone talks about the Revelation sign back in 2017. This may or may not be the sign. Here's my theory...

      1.) The pyramids and sphinx are definitely pre-flood. Not going into too much detail on that right now but you can look up evidence for this on the internet.
      2.) The pyramids are said to align with Orion's belt.
      3.) The sphinx possibly had a lions head at one time.
      4.) The Bible states who has the power to loosen Orion's belt.

      What if the pyramids and sphinx are a sign of what is to come mid-Tribulation? What if GOD loosens Orion's belt in moves it toward Leo and this makes the great sign in the sky? Just a theory but something to think about.

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    8. I was just reading a story the other day how one of the stars in Orion is expected to go super nova sometime 'soon' I think it was Betelgeuse?

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    9. @Kris Garrison
      I heard something similar.

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  2. Utterly fascinating, great food for thought--makes total sense to me. Thank you,Jeff, for this in-depth, time-consuming research!

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    1. Very appreciative that you took the time to read this. Thank you!

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  3. The question I was hoping you might answer would be how Gog is killed and buried. Ezekiel 39:11 Could it be explained by Psalm 82:6? Or is it just the physical part of this war that can be killed and buried?

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    1. That is Psalm 82:6-7.

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    2. Good catch, Natalie. I thought about that rebuttal last night after I had decided to go ahead and publish this without any more additions (it was getting pretty lengthy as is). However, I am so glad you posted Psalm 82:6-7. What a profound passage, right? This could definitely explain how angels "gods" (Heb. elohim) can be buried after dying like "men" (literally "Adam" in Hebrew) in battle.

      Something to ponder and flesh out. Thank you.

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  4. I did greatly enjoy this. Thank you. I have considered that there is more going on than just what we can see in the physical. There always is. :)

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  5. Thank you Jeff, this is also what I believe, with the spiritual world, which controls the terrestrial world, "according to the will of God, OF COURSE", while also fulfilling prophecies in the physical world. Everything is so complete with the Lord. Carole

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    1. "Everything is so complete with the Lord." Amen, Carole!

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  6. Interesting Jeff, thanks for sharing. I just heard a similar theory that the antichrist is both a person and a demon (possessing that person). I do t think we should expect our current world leaders to perform the supernatural as they have yet to be possessed for such signs and wonders. Looking forward to the next

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  7. Yeah, I think there's a good argument that Gog is a spiritual power "behind the throne" of a human. And I was following along with this whole article up until the idea of Rosh being linked to Russia being based solely on similar English sounds. That's not at all why people who believe Rosh refers to Russia think that. It involves the movements if ancient people groups and the natural fluidity of the names of those people groups. Anyway, I don't care if someone disagrees with Russia as being a part of the Ezekiel war, but I didn't care for the unscholarly dismissal if that view.

    Overall, interesting article! I look forward to reading part 2.

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    1. Thank you for reading and interacting! I could have spent more time on that section; however, as a consolation I did cite another source that has even more evidence against "Rosh" being a proper noun (J. Paul Tanner's "Rethinking Gog" here's a link). At any rate, It doesn't really come down to Rosh have a similar sound as "Russia", it's really about how to translate the Hebrew syntax (noun or adjective), and that's all about context and determining if there is any other biblical proof that there is a place named Rosh.

      After reflecting on your comment, I added a parenthetical note about Gen. 10:2. If there was a place named Rosh, we would most likely find it there along with other first mentions: Meschech, Tubal, Gomer, and Magog (but it's just not there).

      Plus, don't get me wrong, Russia could very well be thrown into the mix of human armies from the north (i.e. lands of Japheth) that come against Israel, but I seriously doubt that Gog is Vladimir Putin based on what I've shared above concerning his true nature and identity.

      I apologize if I sounded glib or dismissive in tone. I am still trying to keep an open mind about things, and I appreciate the critique. Thank you. I will get on Part 2 soon :)

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  8. Jeff!

    Great to see you back! Well done and Happy New Year!!

    A great introduction to a study worthy of personal exploration although the topic has not been a subject of study for me. At least not so far. : ) But given the narrative from (Job 1:6-7) of the activity of Satan in/on the earth to some of the hypotheses given by LA Marzulli it would not surprise me that "גוג" is of supernatural origin with a physical presence in temporal space.

    I find it interesting that all of the major (global) military powers in history come from the northern hemisphere. Mankind spread from Ararat soon condensing into Babylon by Nimrod. Satan's fingerprints are all over world conflict all of which has originated in the northern hemisphere.

    But I see your case for a spiritual basis for "גוג". Looking forward to Part II!

    PR

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    1. Program Note: This does have me looking again at the two witnesses and timing of the woes. (Revelation 9:11) is a stand out as well.

      Hmmm...

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    2. Thanks, PR. Happy Gentile Rosh HaShanah!

      :)

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    3. Even the animals are weird in the Southern Hemisphere. For example, the platypus, penguins, the Tasmanian devil, thylacine, kangaroo, etc. The most poisonous insects, sea life, and reptiles are south of the equator.

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  9. Great article Jeff, thank you brother for the deep dive, I can only imagine the amount of late night tired eyes, that were on-going for that study. Looking forward to part 2.

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  10. Thanks, brother. There was one night where I was overextended and bleary eyed. It was diminishing returns at that point, lol. You know it's bad when you are backspacing more than you are typing full, coherent sentences :)

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  11. Jeff,

    A lot of food for thought. Thanks again for your research work.

    Regarding your comment near the end: “or at the very least, he could also be a powerful, hybrid creature from both heavenly and earthly realms (i.e., Nephilim/giant ….”

    Is it also possible that the “mark” is something that alters human DNA so that individuals cannot be saved? Is it a reference to the contamination of “the seed” that happened before the flood in the days of Noah? What if the seed of the serpent has a biotechnology component?

    Three weeks ago, 60 Minutes interviewed George Church, geneticist at Harvard. This link has both the transcript and the 13 minute video:

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/harvard-geneticist-george-church-goal-to-protect-humans-from-viruses-genetic-diseases-and-aging-60-minutes-2019-12-08/

    We are much closer to your suggestion of a hybrid than I realized. His lab is reversing aging in mice and now dogs. They are adding multiple genes to improve heart and kidney function and blood sugar (immortality?).

    Church is involved in a project in which they are engineering organ tissues (mixing species). They have extracted DNA from woolly mammoths and are editing it into elephant DNA. Their goal is to bring the mammoth back from extinction.

    They have successfully unlocked the one-way path of stem cell differentiation. They can now reprogram skin cells back into stem cells and then turn those into other tissues such as brain cells, heart cells, etc. The next step is to grow full sized organs in a host from a person’s own DNA.

    In the last segment Church talks about their ability to change the cell DNA just enough to make the cells resistant to all viruses. The experiments in pigs would free up that tissue to grow human organ replicates for transplant back to the person.

    How many would willingly avail themselves of these options in the near future?

    What does that suggest for “personhood” if they are able to back up to embryonic stem cells?

    I look forward to part 2.

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    1. Very chilling. Thank you for posting.

      I am in agreement about the mark involving some form of advanced bio-tech that alters the DNA of a human being to the point where they can no longer be "made in the image of God." And, based on a Hebrews 2:16 principle, those who take the mark of the beast will no longer qualify for the redemption purchased by the blood of the Lamb.

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    2. I had a thought years ago that the mark of the beast was the belief that we are simply animals or beasts... In other words, Evolution (an idea which did exist since ancient times, but finally given a name thanks to Darwin...)

      The reasoning behind this being the mark was that it could exist in either the forehead or in the hand. (Thoughts or actions) but the seal of God was only in the head (Faith, not works, heh)

      Even if I wasn't a Christian though, the radio chips in the hand raise so many security questions that I can't believe they are even being considered. Who will regulate the chip readers? What will keep someone from ripping it out or breaking it while it's still in the hand? What if someone copies your 'code' and basically steals your identity. User names and passwords are already a weak method of protecting your identity, so imagine a world where you won't even be able to prove that you are you?

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    3. (Another thing I remember noticing is that this mark had to be taken willingly. Getting forced to because the law said you have to have one hardly counts as willingly... Or if it gets implanted while you are not concious as in the case of emergency medical visits. If just sticking a chip in people causes them to lose their salvation, you better believe the darker powers that be would find every way to do it. As Paul wrote, he didn't believe there was anything in creation that could separate us from the love of God.)

      This is clearly a spiritual issue... not just some chip or tattoo...

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    4. @Kris
      Here's a short video that may help you understand the "mark".
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOUBCmqnqPE

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    5. To me at least, the feet of iron and clay represent a time of kings/dictators/etc (iron) and places ruled through cooperation of the people (clay being representative of man... so rule by the people as in democracies, republics and democratic socialist states)

      In other words... the modern world...

      We see from this prophecy that while they will want to stick together, it will be impossible and it will all fall apart in the end when the rock comes to tear the whole system down.

      A day I look forward to...

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  12. Another well researched and thoughtful article. Thank you! I've been following this site for some time, but this is my first time posting a comment. I'm sure you will get to it in this series, but considering Rev. 20:8, as well as the Septuagint Amos 7 you already mentioned, it becomes hard to imagine Gog being a regular human. I foresee more than just one supernatural anti-Christ - but a whole host of lieutenants under him; wreaking havoc across the world. I think once the Body of Christ is removed, the earth returns to the mind-boggling supernatural state of the ante-diluvian world, and beyond that... What is revealed in Revelation, seems to me, to make the action that happens in Lord of the Rings & Star Wars pale in comparison. Without plugging in the Genesis 6 key to all of this, prophetic interpretation of Ezekiel 38 and other episodes usually resorts to political intrigue, helicopters and Chinese armies.

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    1. Thank you, John. Glad you commented.

      I totally get what you're saying, "Without plugging in the Genesis 6 key to all of this, prophetic interpretation of Ezekiel 38 and other episodes usually resorts to political intrigue, helicopters and Chinese armies."

      Not that we won't see political intrigue or helicopters or the Chinese military in the Tribulation...it's just that prophecy talk in the past about Ezekiel 38-39 has been strictly limited to the geo-political sphere without consideration of the supernatural elements in those chapters and the rest of the Bible—especially the book of Revelation with it's explicit mention of fallen angels crashing to earth, the beast from the abyss, and demonic locust armies.

      So true: J.R.R. Tolkien and George Lucas have given the masses a primer and preview for the real thing coming to the world theater real soon!

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    2. Jeff, Blessings. While I understand the salad served, surely, to toss J.R.R. Tolkien, Used Of Christ To Evangelize C.S Lewis, and George Lucas into the same sack? Oh my! Well, From the mouths of Babes and the mouths of donkeys (being nice), It Is Told, Maranatha!

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    3. No intention of applying "guilt-by-association" in putting Tolkien and Lucas together, dear brother! Just making a statement about the fantasy genre, in general. Peace to you in Christ. Maranatha!

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  13. I've been meditating on Ezekiel 39 lately. One thing that's stood out to me are verses 9 and 10. When this battle takes place Israel is using wood from the forests in their homes. After this battle they take the weapons and burn them and use that instead. God even tells us what these weapons are in verse 9: shields, bucklers, bows, arrows, handstaves, and spears.

    This presents a problem because right now Israel isn't doing that. If Israel was invaded today the people wouldn't go out to the field, take the weapons, and burn them instead of wood from the forest. If Israel was invaded today the enemy would use metal guns, not wooden bows and arrows.

    What if this is not symbolic of modern weapons, but are ancient weapons? Ezekiel 38:12 tells us that the invaders specifically want Israel's cattle. What if that is literally true?

    I am starting to suspect that there may be a gap of several generations between the rapture and the tribulation. In Genesis 5, Enoch was raptured 3 generations before the flood. We have assumed that the gap between the rapture and the tribulation is small, but what if it spans decades? That would provide the time needed for Babylon to rise again. That would allow time for civilization to collapse and use bows and arrows in the attack on Israel, then rebuild again so the whole world could watch the two witnesses die. That would provide time for Egypt to be abandoned for 40 years.

    I think the rapture might be very near, but the tribulation may be decades away.

    If you have some time, reread Daniel 11. We know verse 37 is speaking of the antichrist. The general interpretation is that most of the chapter is ancient times and then it jumps to him, but what if the entire chapter is speaking of things that happen after the rapture? What if verse 4 ties to the destruction of Elam? Maybe we have been trying to cram events into too small a timeframe.

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    1. Jon Cooper, I think that is absurd, no offense.

      It cannot last for several generations because the fig tree prophecy explains that the generation who sees the nation of Israel returning will see the 2nd Coming. The maximum
      generation from Psalms is about 80 years. But you say up to 2 or 3 more centuries of this back and forth of Iranian proxies and Israel! And I don't know what Enoch has to do with the 70th week of Daniel.

      As for Babylon, if you mean Iraq and Kuwait will need to become some sort of a theme park over the centuries so that it rises, we already have the daughter of Babylon, the United States. Iraq is not coming back. The false messiah pitches his headquarters in Jerusalem, what Satan wants.

      The burning of the weapons after the battle is obviously a reference to nuclear power being extracted from the arsenal and converted into electricity for the cities there. Clearly Russia and Iran aren't coming over with slingshots and crossbows. Do you think Christ is really arriving on a Clydesdale with wings? The Lord rides on a craft. Ezekiel Ch 1 is clear on this.

      "What if this is not symbolic of modern weapons, but are ancient weapons? Ezekiel 38:12 tells us that the invaders specifically want Israel's cattle. What if that is literally true?"

      Israel was never famous for cattle. But the USA is.
      As for the caveman weapon argument, why would they use such things if there is an advanced technology of ownership in the mark during this time? The coming 6th and 7th generation wireless tech will assure that it will happen.

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  14. There is a good video from 119 ministries called the Error of Dispensationalism. As far as a pretrib rapture, in Revelation, when the 7 churches are spoken about, it appears that only one of the 7 groups are actually ready, the church of Philledelphia. In the parable of the ten virgins, actually only 5 out of the 10 are ready.

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    1. Dispensationalism is simply taking Sola Scriptura to its natural end. The Reformers used Sola Scriptura to arrive as Sola Fide, erasing centuries of Medieval dogma, but they didn't, initially, abandon Augustinian eschatology. Later Reformers did that.

      Regarding the churches, I would encourage you to reread Revelation 2–3. Five of the seven churches appear to have some that believe and some that do not believe. They're a mixed bag. And then Philadelphia is all believers and Laodicea is fully apostate.

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  15. Agree! I first learned of the concept of Gog as non-human from Heather R on YouTube.
    https://youtu.be/7OLDcFBTBtg
    https://youtu.be/HFKMFVwJGzo

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  16. Thanks. Interesting article. Especially the possible ref to Gog in Num 24:7.

    I do have some issues with the Gog of Ezek 38-39 being 'no mere mortal... but... a powerful, supernatural entity' though.

    1. Addressing Gog, the Lord twice specifically tells us the reason why Gog comes down to attack Israel - it is for the spoils of war (Ezek 38:12-13). Even some other nations recognize this and say 'have you come to capture spoil... silver and gold, to take away...?' (vs 13). If Gog is a supernatural entity he wouldn't be coming for physical spoils of war. Human leaders do.

    2. As mentioned by another above, God specifically mentions that Gog, along with his army, will die and be buried (Ezek 39:11-12). It specifically mentions where he is buried (in the valley east of the dead sea vs 11) and how long it will take Israel to do so (7 months). You don't physically bury spiritual entities, it doesn't take 7 months and, in my opinion, there is far too much specific detail given in the chapter to spiritualize it.

    3. Can I ask who/what you consider 'Magog' to be? I wasn't completely sure from reading the article but you seemed to be saying we should take this not as a geographical location per se but as the spiritual forces of darkness??? If so what of all the other nations that are stated to come in this invasion such as Persia, Ethiopia, Put... Do you see them as literal geographical locations today (ie Iran, Sudan, Libya) that will join this invasion?

    4. There are solid historical reasons 'to prop up' why many Biblical scholars identify Magog with Russia. Chuck Missler goes into some of these here: https://www.khouse.org/articles/2002/427/

    There is no doubt that the spiritual forces of darkness are behind this attack. But personally I don't see the Gog of Ezek 38-39 as a non-mortal supernatural being. He comes for spoil, he dies, he is buried. The main reason for me that this whole passage is given such detail in Ezekiel 38-39 is because of what this overwhelming supernatural victory results in...

    'I will sanctify myself in the sight of the nations... then they will know that I am the LORD!'
    ie Ezekiel 38:16, Ezekiel 38:22-23, Ezekiel 39:6-7, Ezekiel 39:21-23, Ezekiel 39:27-29

    And won't that be wonderful!?! : )

    All the best.

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    1. Whereas the jury is out in my mind regarding Ezekiel 38's timing, my number one concern with a lot of the current prophecy focus on modern Russia/Turkey/Iran being the catalysts for the fulfillment of the prophecy, is that the proponents of this theory emphasize its literalness, yet can't sufficiently explain some of the most literal details in light of the current situation, namely:

      1. Israel, a land of unwalled villages. As I type this, Judea and Samaria are completely walled off, and most of the Israeli settlements are surrounded by walls. Jerusalem is still surrounded by the walls built by Suleiman the Magnificent.

      2. The armies are on horses and equipped with ancient weaponry (swords, shields, spears, etc).

      3. Despite oil being suggested as the "hook in the jaw" by some today, oil isn't mentioned at all in the prophecy. To the contrary, the things mentioned are relatively unimportant as modern geopolitical motivators (silver, gold, livestock, "goods"). In addition, today Israel only has very small gold and silver reserves (perhaps worth a few hundred million). Nothing that would motivate Russia and Iran to invade.

      4. A number of the judgments in the story line up with Armageddon, but, I agree that Gog's burial has to be dealt with as the AC and FP are thrown alive into Gehenna. Separately, Satan is imprisoned in "the abyss" (Tartarus?) at the close of the Trib.

      5. A turning point. Ez. 39:6–7 make it difficult to fit this prophecy in at the beginning of the Trib. God sends fire on the "coastlands", a Hebraism for the nations and Gentiles far off. This sounds like DoTL/final judgment stuff. Separately, God explicitly says His Name will no longer be profaned and Israel will know His Name. Hard to picture this happening right before Israel signs a covenant with the AC.

      I'm not sure how to piece these things together yet, but I think there's more going on here than meets the eye.

      It could be a dual prophecy highlighting two Gog and Magog wars, one at the beginning of the Trib as many suggest, and the other, as mentioned in Revelation, at the end of the 1,000 years. Perhaps some of the elements are more pertinent to one or the other.

      Or it could be that the name of the leader and his coalition is a dead give away that this none other than the post-1,000 year war mentioned in Revelation.

      Alternatively, given that 1/3rd of Heaven's angels will be cast to earth, it could be that Gog (per Ps. 82:7) was once an angel, but dies like a mere mortal (thus is buried). He may have been the spiritual prince over Magog, just as Michael is prince over Israel and there is a prince of Persia, etc.

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    2. I think there are 2 Gog/Magog Wars. One after the Psalm 83 war ( Moslem nations ), happening in the beginning of the Tribulation, and one happening 7 years later in the battle of Armageddon.

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    3. Thanks Gary. Certainly the passage raises many questions and we won't know it all till it plays out. Could be wrong but for what it is worth, I currently see it as follows:

      1. The unwalled villages doesn't mean that there are no walls at all in Israel but portray Israel living securely and safely. Arnold Fructenbaum also states that it is a good accurate description of the present-day kibbutzim. Personally I think this is a pointer to the very start of the tribulation when Israel is living in the apparent security of the Antichrist and peace treaty.
      2 & 3 I just see it that Ezekiel wrote using the general language of his day to describe these things. But for me, its not a coincidence that we now see an alliance of Russia, Turkey and Iran in the Middle East at the same time that Israel is becoming more and more prosperous and looking at delivering gas to Europe as others have mentioned. I expect this to increase in the years ahead.
      4. There are some similarities with Armageddon (nations coming against Israel, the birds feasting on their bodies etc) but too many differences. Armageddon is all nations against Israel unlike Ezek 38/39. Israel isn't dwelling safely then as it is in Ezek. The nations aren't coming for the spoils of war at Armageddon and they don't perish on the mountains of Israel like they do in Ezek.
      5. I agree that there are parts of Ezekiel 39 ('I will not let my name be profaned anymore') that look forward to the end of the Tribulation and the setting up of His Kingdom. Specifically I believe Ezek 39:21-29 await this time. But that's fine. The complete outworking of the God/Magog war, with God's glory amongst the nations and spiritual rebirth for Israel, doesn't have to occur instantly at the time of the war. It will work itself out but it seems that the Gog/Magog war is the catalyst for it.

      My 2c... hopefully we don't have to wait too long to find out :)
      God bless.

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    4. Unwalled villages and people of 'careless living' seems to be a possible reference to the United States. Are there enough of Israel's children living here that the Lord considers it an extension of Israel? Only He knows...

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    5. Absolutely, Kris Garrison. The Israelis have never been 'careless' or 'dwelling in security' in the precise translation of the Hebrew words, nor will they be until the return of the Messiah. It must be another land the prophet is speaking about.

      I think it's compelling.

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  17. Thank you so much for this article!! I had been looking again at Ezekiel which led me to looking into Gog and I feel like your article confirms I am on the right path. A lot of your points/ideas I have been kicking around and praying about for awhile, your series is possibly an answer to my prayer as this whole subject is one I have been studying and seeking God's guidance on and out of (to me) seemingly nowhere you begin a series on it. Thank you, God bless you, and I am so eager for your upcoming articles as you seem to be in line with what I have been studying and concluding and I can't wait to see what God has been showing you on this. I have lots of questions I am still working out so I'm excited to see where others in the family are on this. Happy New year all, and thank you again for this series on Gog!!!!

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    1. "..your series is possibly an answer to my prayer as this whole subject is one I have been studying and seeking God's guidance on and out of (to me) seemingly nowhere you begin a series on it."

      Wow, thank you, Loretta. Very encouraging and humbling to think that this could be an answer to prayer.

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  18. How does this fit in with Revelation 20:8, where Gog arises after the millennium? You'll have to forgive my ignorance on this topic, as it is not something I've spent a significant time studying.

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    1. Stay tuned. I'll discuss Revelation 20:8 in the next post. This passage in Revelation is a direct fulfillment of the variant reading of Numbers 24:7 and is truly, the war to end all wars---forever! Thus, Rev. 20:8 is further biblical evidence to suggest that the Gog-war of Ezek. 38-39 is a major climactic event rather than a single conflict/battle in a long series of battles.

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    2. Thank you! I greatly appreciate your work brother.

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  19. Interesting, interesting, interesting. This is a new take that I had not thought of before. I had always thought Rosh referred to head chief or Prince, but always thought Gog was a place. I think because it mentions Put, Cush, and Persia and those are places. Food for thought for sure!! Thanks!

    Aimee

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  20. I dont know if any of you watch J.D. Farags prophecy updates but he quoted Putin recently saying that if it were not for B. Netanyahu as P.M. of Israel that Russia and Israel would be at war.
    There are some good questions raised by this article but as far as I know Ezekiel 38/39 reveals who are involved in this war and only until recently Turkey was not allied with Russia and Iran (Persia) as they appear to be now.

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    1. Considering the idea that either (or both) Netenyahu and Putin are raptured (or overthrown in the aftermath...) then it wouldn't take long for that war to start afterwards...

      World political climate is definitely being restrained by something right now, but without it... I do not even wish to speculate...

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  21. I think its a safe bet that those two willnot be raptured.

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    1. Agreed. It's incredible that they even entertain this idea, even on YouTube channels.

      One is a brutal Mafioso and the other is working to hasten this Moschiach Chabad beast.

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    2. I am suggesting that they might turn before the end, if not already. Putin at least is Russian Orthodox... Netenyahu seems at least appreciative of Christians...

      Whoever ends up with the reigns of power will be the last people we would ever want to have it... That much I am sure of...

      Is it wrong to hope for people to be saved? For more like the repentant thief on the cross next to our Lord Jesus?

      Delete
  22. "We will grapple with the Lord of Israel in due time". This was quoted from a Russian military official some decades ago.

    This article from Ram's Head Press always convinces me that the Russian army will attack the Jews. Remember Doug Woodward's theory is that Russia will also come down from the north to neutralize America. Very reasonable. However, both countries will have 'fire' rained down on them, a possible nuke punch-up, and that takes two world powers out of the way for Europe and China to meet at Megiddo.

    http://ramsheadpress.com/messiah/PDF/CHAPTER19.pdf

    I too agree that 'Gog' is a rebel angel. Joel and Revelation predict unearthly forces will manifest in our realm in the last 3.5 years. It will probably look like the most hellish of our sci-fi movies, but in real life!

    Also, the patron saint of Moscow (like England), is St. George (Yuri, or Gyorgi). I wonder if the origin of Gyorg is related to 'Gog'. If so, then the Russians have a rebel angel principality as their protector!



    ReplyDelete
  23. Jeff, thanks for this interesting article.

    Regarding Rosh, have you read Dr. Tommy Ice's series of articles identifying it with Russia? He addresses many of the issues you identified but still concludes that it is most likely a reference to Russia. See the links below:

    https://pre-trib.org/ezekiel-38-39/message/ezekiel-38-39-part-3/read
    https://pre-trib.org/ezekiel-38-39/message/ezekiel-38-39-part-4/read
    https://pre-trib.org/ezekiel-38-39/message/ezekiel-38-39-part-5/read

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for those links Bruce. They were very useful. Interesting that the 70 Jewish scholars working on the Septuagint translated Rosh as the proper name Ros, referring to a specific geographical location...

      "the Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Old Testament, translates Rosh as the proper name Ros. This is especially significant since the Septuagint was translated only three centuries after Ezekiel was written (obviously much closer to the original than any modern translation)"

      And...

      "the eminent Hebrew scholars C. F. Keil and Wilhelm Gesenius both hold that the better translation of Rosh in Ezekiel 38:2-3 and 39:1 is as a proper noun referring to a specific geographical location. Gesenius, who died in 1842 and is considered by modern Hebrew scholars as one of the greatest scholars of the Hebrew language, unquestionably believed that Rosh in Ezekiel was a proper noun identifying Russia. He says that rosh in Ezekiel 38:2,3; 39:1 is a, "pr. n. of a northern nation, mentioned with Meshech and Tubal; undoubtedly the Russians, who are mentioned by the Byzantine writers of the tenth century, under the name the Ros, dwelling to the north of Taurus . . . as dwelling on the river Rha (Wolga)."

      Pastor and prophecy teacher Mark Hitchcock writes "linguistically and historically, there is substantial evidence that in Ezekiel's day there was a group of people known variously as Rash, Reshu or Ros who lived in what today is southern Russia."

      Thank you, interesting links, especially with Russia's significant role today in the Middle East.

      Delete
  24. Great thread, I might say. I have enjoyed reading the wonderful posts regarding the identity of Gog. I love the post form Isaiah and others regarding the "harparzo" connection with the Revelation 12 events along with posts about Christmas, Egypt and the Magi.

    I also want everyone to know that God corrects our mistakes to reveal his greatness.

    Numbers 24:7 He shall pour H5140 ➔ the water H4325 out H5140 of his buckets, H1805 and his seed H2233 shall be in many H7227 waters, H4325 and his king H4428 shall be higher H7311 than Agag, H90 and his kingdom H4438 shall be exalted. H5375.

    Agag was an Amalekite King. Agag name means "I will overtop"(What a proudful name.) Agag was spared by King Saul and slain by the prophet and priest Samuel. The Amalekites were descended from Amalek who was prophesied by the Lord in Exodus 17:14 ...for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.

    The Lord is going to take care of Amalek from under heaven. Moses could not do it, Saul could not do it nor could Samuel. However, the Lord will my friends.

    Amalek is part of the confederation of forces against Israel. Those ten name of Psalm 83 are against Abraham descendants. Just like the ten names of Abraham's enemies mentioned in Genesis 22. There are ten future "Princes" that worship the dragon. One of those Princes is mentioned in Daniel.

    Daniel 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

    That Prince had been causing Havoc from Eden to times of destruction of Solomon's Temple. Michael was called upon to resist this nameless principality. However, we know that Persia is confederate with Gog. Michael (Who is like the Most High)is the angel that can contend with the strongest.

    Revelation 20:1-3 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

    Ezekiel 38:3 And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince... The Chief Prince of Hell will be defeated by the Lord himself.

    Isn't it cool that Daniel told all his knowledge to those in Babylon and in particular the prophecy Balaam spoke regarding the Star of Jacob.

    Numbers 24:7 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.(The end and the bottom of sons of tumult of War)
    He is going to kick their royal behinds! Hallelujah and Happy New year!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Back when I was looking into the meanings of the ancient Hebrew letters (pictographs), I got a reference chart for quick and easy lookup. The mysterious Gog of Ezekiel 38 and 39 is spelled "gimal-vav-gimal" in Hebrew. The ancient symbol for gimal is a foot, and it symbolizes walking or gathering. On a whim, I looked up the meaning of the Russian surname Putin. Don't read into it. I'm just saying it's interesting: Putin means "of the path" derived from Russian "put" combined with "in", a possessive suffix.

    ReplyDelete


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