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July 23, 2014
GOG AND MAGOG - Part V
The People Gathered Out Of Many Nations Assaulted By Demonic Powers
The mysterious names Gog and Magog have allowed endless speculation as to the wicked power which is widely said to form a coalition of rogue states and military factions which will allegedly attack the modern political state of Israel in the latter days. However, in this series, and related broadcasts, books, and videos, we have shown the identity of Israel is the crucial factor – as opposed to the identity of “Gog.”
Indeed, the New Testament keys the issue of the identity of the redeemed to every individual’s perception of the true identity of Jesus of Nazareth. For instance, Christ cryptically identified the former fisherman, Simon Barjonah, as Peter, when the disciple of Christ completed His translation into the kingdom of God, via his verbal confession that he now understood that Jesus is the long promised redeemer of Israel:
“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church… ” (Matthew 16:16-18).
The idea the contemporary people-group known as Jews is to be identified with the “Israel” addressed in this prophecy, dovetails nicely with the doctrinal apostasy which has thoroughly immersed the world in the last century. However, as we showed in parts I-IV of the present work, the LORD’s promise to redeem Israel is on a Spiritual level, as the chapters preceding the Gog and Magog account are laced with prophetic metaphor, and Spiritual identities. For example, it’s self evident the redemption of Israel occurs within the hearts, minds, and spirit – and Ezekiel’s language is clearly anticipating the born again experience detailed in the New Covenant:
“I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh…then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you” (Ezekiel 11:19, 36:25).
At the heart of the perception problem in the Gog and Magog passages, is the widespread refusal on the part of the “believers” to recognize the identity of “Israel” as the Christians -- redeemed Israel – a Spiritual body consisting of former Jews and Gentiles, who are already united under Christ, and gathered out of many nations:
“Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 38:23).
Phrases such as the “mountains of Israel,” which occur throughout the book of Ezekiel, tend to draw our attention to the landscape of literal topography, but the prophet makes clear that God speaks to the identity of Israel in mystical, metaphoric terms. For instance, early in Ezekiel’s marvelous book, the prophet is told to prophecy against the “mountains of Israel” (as well as the hills, rivers, and valleys) for the great sin of his people:
“Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God; Thus saith the Lord God to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys; Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places” (Ezekiel 6:3).
Those “high places” that are destroyed are described in the New Testament as “every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God” (II Corinthians 10:5). Needless to say, a physical sword cannot do a great deal of damage to a literal “mountain,” so it’s obvious that God is speaking in a figurative sense. This is not an isolated statement in this particular prophet’s writings, for when the LORD says He will “feed [Israel] in a good pasture” (Ezekiel 34;14), virtually no-one thinks the Jews will be grazing on green grass at some point in the future. Thus, the pattern articulated in Ezekiel plainly predicts a metaphysical identity in the “mountains of Israel.”
In light of the fact the New Testament categorically tells us God has reconfigured the potter’s clay known as Israel into a “spiritual house” (Jeremiah 18:4, I Peter 2;5), we should not be surprised to find the various Gentile nations surrounding the LORD’s chosen also have spiritual identifications. Further, this recognition of the “principalities and powers” (Colossians 2:15) which exists behind the veil of ethnic identities is not unique to Ezekiel, as most of the major prophets similarly saw “through a glass darkly” (I Corinthians 13:12).
An excellent example of a parallel to “Gog” with his “bucklers and shields” (Ezekiel 38:4) is the “king of Tyre” with his “ships” and his “merchandise” (Isaiah 23:1, 18). In Isaiah’s description of this “king” known for his mercantile trade, the passage definitively morphs into a vivid characterization of an evil angelic entity, one who was present in Eden, and fell from his previous position of honour:
“Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus….Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God…Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou was upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee” (Ezekiel 28: 12-15).
It is self evident that not one of the kings of Tyre was ever “perfect” – to say nothing of the fact that these kings lived long after access to Eden was barred to humankind (Genesis 3:24). It is in the same sense that Ezekiel identifies Pharaoh as “the great dragon,“ thrashing about in his symbolic “rivers” (Ezekiel 29:3), who is also the object of the LORD’s indignation.
Since Tyre’s king is referenced as a fallen “cherub,” and Pharoah is seen as a “dragon,” one can only wonder just why it so difficult for us to see the account of Gog is also addressing an ancient evil personality:
“Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?” (Ezekiel 38:17).
It is certain that genuine discernment of the identities involved in the Gog saga is obscured by the fact the prophecy has crossed covenants. For example, we recognize Pharaoh as empowered by a “dragon,” but that evil was physically manifested in conflict with Egypt – a historic foe of Old Testament Israel. The same is true of Tyre, who is characterized as a “merchant,” an enticing power seen as seducing the LORD’s Old Covenant people with commercial greed and avarice.
However, in the case of Gog, the text plainly places him in “the latter days” (Ezekiel 38:16), which would indicate that a conflict with Christian “Israel” is in view. In this regard, since this Spiritually regenerated Israel is not a physical nation, it follows that neither is Gog, or any of his confederates – at least not the “Gog” making war with the saints. Since the “mountains of Israel” speak of the body of Christ around the world, the forces of Gog and Magog would also be asymmetrically distributed, as demonic entities deployed globally, and equipped with spiritual weapons for a lethal offensive battle against the people of the LORD.
Back on the physical side of this world, in describing the enemies of the Israel of God, the Spirit of the LORD chose to utilize place/names which lend themselves to geographic locales. As the true Spiritual identifications of the various players in the Gog and Magog panorama are only revealed to those with “ears to hear,” it is also to be expected the physical corollaries to these place/names would be widely misunderstood, in order to allow these perceptions to further the strong delusion – that ominous phenomena which speaks of how the LORD Himself has vowed to send a significant, deluding error, upon all those who have not received the love of the truth (II Thessalonians 2:11, 10).
Thus, the Gog and Magog cataclysm in the Spiritual realm, is actually ground zero in the heavenly battle between the chosen of God – born again Israel – and the assortment of wicked entities which wage war against us. Conversely, the physical locales pointed to in the text will invariably manifest the turmoil seen in the internal war and, although the identities are not at all as they are commonly perceived to be in a geographic sense, it is inevitable that such a devastating conflict in the heavenly realm will be externalized in physical destruction and cataclysmic events in this world.
-- James Lloyd
The LORD has chosen this ministry to declare things which are destined to be widely rejected by this evil generation – and the sad truth is, those who will not hear such things largely consists of the existing “Church” – a group which desperately needs to turn away from the false prophets who continue to deceive them. The fact that we already know vast numbers of believers will not hear this call does not change our mission. A lengthy look at the LORD’s redemption of Israel is found in the James Lloyd book THE REMNANT OF ISRAEL REVISITED.
God has revealed the New Testament Gospel has been steadily leavened, and true discernment in the realm of the Spirit, which is the place where our lives in Christ continue after our physical existence comes to an end, is regularly addressed on the James Lloyd radio broadcast The Apocalypse Chronicles. Timely installments of the program may be played on demand at CHRISTIANMEDIADAILY.COM.
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