Now, we get to the exciting part.
Up to now, except of the Dry Bones thing, it’s all been peace and roses. Well, there’s a time of difficulty in all this. We had a hint of something difficult here:
Ezekiel 36:31 Then shall ye remember your evil ways, and your doings that were not good; and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.
And, for many of us who come to Christ, it can take some truly agonizing events to bring us to the point where we realize that there’s no way out except through Christ. This is what I believe chapters 38 and 39 are describing. God is taking Israel to that point where it is no longer possible to resist acknowledging Jesus as their Messiah, Lord and Savior.
1 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
3 and say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal:
4 and I will turn thee about, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them handling swords;
5 Persia, Cush, and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet;
6 Gomer, and all his hordes; the house of Togarmah in the uttermost parts of the north, and all his hordes; even many peoples with thee.
THAT is a long sentence. But, it does a thorough job of getting all the participants described at one time. The next question to answer is… Who are these people?
I’ve talked in various places about Gog and Magog, so regular readers will understand that Gog and Magog is something like Russia and her client states.
Could Gog be… Moscow? Vladimir Putin? Something larger than that?
Or… Could Gog and Magog be the CSTO, the Russian version of NATO? That’s right, these people:
The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is an intergovernmental military alliance which was signed on 15 May 1992. On 7 October 2002, the Presidents of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan signed a charter in Tashkent founding the CSTO.
Nikolai Bordyuzha was appointed secretary general of the new organization. On 23 June 2006, Uzbekistan became a full participant in the CSTO; and its membership was formally ratified by the Uzbek parliament on 28 March 2008. The CSTO is currently an observer organisation at the United Nations General Assembly.
The CSTO charter reaffirmed the desire of all participating states to abstain from the use or threat of force. Signatories would not be able to join other military alliances or other groups of states, while aggression against one signatory would be perceived as an aggression against all. To this end, the CSTO holds yearly military command exercises for the CSTO nations to have an opportunity to improve inter-organisation cooperation. The largest-scale CSTO military exercise held to date were the “Rubezh 2008” exercises hosted in Armenia where a combined total of 4,000 troops from all 7 constituent CSTO member countries conducted operative, strategic, and tactical training with an emphasis towards furthering efficiency of the collective security element of the CSTO partnership. A 2011 series of training exercises has recently been held in central Asia consisting of “more than 10,000 troops and 70 combat aircraft”.
Could Gog and Magog be the CSTO?
Notice that all the members of the CSTO are former Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs), but not all the SSRs are members of the CSTO. Here’s a list of the SSRs:
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan
Who has escaped the clutches of the CSTO?
Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Ukraine
Which of these are Meshech and Tubal?
Rosh, believe it or not, is the Ukraine – what was once known as “The Land of Rus” or Kievan Rus.
Georgia is busily rushing into the arms of NATO, while Vladimir Putin is attempt to pull all the SSRs back into something called the Eurasia Union (EuU).
By the way. In Israel, you tend to pronounce acronyms. EuU is not a pleasant sounding acronym.
So, if this prophecy delays long enough, maybe it’s the EWWW… er… EuU that is Gog and Magog.
All of the above basically means that elements of the USSR plus extras come down.
Who are these extras?
Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal – Rosh is the Ukraine. Meshech and Tubal sound like they could be other SSRs.
Persia, Cush, and Put – Cush is Africa, and Put looks like North Africa. Persia is Iran. Did you know that there are moves being made to bring Iran into the CSTO?
Gomer and Togarmah – Turkey and… someone else?
It’s getting pretty crowded in there, so I’m not sure that it quite matters who is who. There are a limited number of candidates for Gog and Magog. There are a limited number of candidates for the rest.
All that we REALLY need to know is that they make up a vast army and try to descend on Israel – and that we see evidence that this army is beginning to form (via the CSTO).
7 Be thou prepared, yea, prepare thyself, thou, and all thy companies that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
Hmmm… Gog is a ‘guard’.
Maybe they’re able to block the UN Security Council? Or, maybe they just wave their nuclear weapons at them.
Russia certainly can, which would certainly act in defense of the CSTO and/or the EuU.
8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, that is gathered out of many peoples, upon the mountains of Israel, which have been a continual waste; but it is brought forth out of the peoples, and they shall dwell securely, all of them.
Notice the language here. It connects with chapter 36:
gathered out of many peoples
Ezekiel 36:34 For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land.
upon the mountains of Israel, which have been a continual waste
Ezekiel 36:4 therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord Jehovah: Thus saith the Lord Jehovah to the mountains and to the hills, to the watercourses and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes and to the cities that are forsaken, which are become a prey and derision to the residue of the nations that are round about;
they shall dwell securely
Ezekiel 36:28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
I don’t want to be too dogmatic here. I think that it’s enough to see the pattern.
9 And thou shalt ascend, thou shalt come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy hordes, and many peoples with thee.
The description of Gog and Magog includes the description of what they will do. And, that description stops here. We go on to the Hows and Whys
10 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: It shall come to pass in that day, that things shall come into thy mind, and thou shalt devise an evil device:
11 and thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates;
12 to take the spoil and to take the prey; to turn thy hand against the waste places that are now inhabited, and against the people that are gathered out of the nations, that have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the middle of the earth.
What is the motivation for coming down?
Greed for plunder.
13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take the spoil? hast thou assembled thy company to take the prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take great spoil?
The other nations of the world hang back in shock and dismay, but do nothing – except a bit of whining.
14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy, and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: In that day when my people Israel dwelleth securely, shalt thou not know it?
Ah. Here’s a tricky bit.
How do we define securely here?
Seriously. How many threats do you need to lose that characteristic attributed here?
You can make an excellent case for the idea that Israel is secure right now. The only thing that really threatens Israel is Iran, and right now, they aren’t a threat. (They WILL be when they get nuclear weapons, but at this moment… I think that ‘securely’ is a good way of describing Israel right now.
15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the uttermost parts of the north, thou, and many peoples with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company and a mighty army;
16 and thou shalt come up against my people Israel, as a cloud to cover the land: it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring thee against my land, that the nations may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
God is going to bring this vast army down so that God can demonstrate who He is.
17 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Art thou he of whom I spake in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, that prophesied in those days for many years that I would bring thee against them?
Is this verse referring to itself?
18 And it shall come to pass in that day, when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovah, that my wrath shall come up into my nostrils.
Gog will come down, and then…
19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;
20 so that the fishes of the sea, and the birds of the heavens, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.
There will be a titanic earthquake and EVERYTHING will fall down. EVERYTHING.
When you see a huge army come down that looks sorta like what we’re talking about… when you see them start to get close…
GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!
STAY out of the house.
EVERYTHING standing is going to fall down. EVERYTHING.
(at least everything in the vicinity of this army)
21 And I will call for a sword against him unto all my mountains, saith the Lord Jehovah: every man’s sword shall be against his brother.
And, this army actually makes it to mountains that are a part of Israel. They get stuck and start killing each other.
22 And with pestilence and with blood will I enter into judgment with him; and I will rain upon him, and upon his hordes, and upon the many peoples that are with him, an overflowing shower, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.
Those last three words tell me that Gog doesn’t make it past the Golan Heights. In fact, I would venture to say that they are STUCK on the Golan Heights. (It’s certainly a great place for an army to regroup on. You’ll see why, tomorrow.)
The Golan is chock full of dormant volcanoes. Not so the Jerusalem mountain range. If you walk around the Golan and places nearby, you’ll see lots of dark, volcanic rock, and many of the older buildings would have been made with it.
The Golan is going to blow up, and take this massive army with it.
23 And I will magnify myself, and sanctify myself, and I will make myself known in the eyes of many nations; and they shall know that I am Jehovah.
In the process of all this… because it will happen in the exact way that the Lord describes here… God will be glorified.
And, I’ll win my bet with my Jewish friends over the identity of the Messiah.
Please remember that I want bacon on that cheeseburger, thankyouverymuch.