Revelation 2020 - Lesson 20E

Chapter 20:7-10, Ez. 38,39

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  • Tonight we finish our study of the Kingdom period by examining the events that will end that 1,000-year period of history

    • In all, we’ve studied four broad areas of life in the Kingdom

      • We studied the order of Creation, nature, geography, borders and government 

      • Daily life and death

      • The Temple, worship and Kingdom Law

      • And this week we end with the Final War of history, the war of Gog and Magog, which takes us back into Revelation 20

    • First, let’s remember where we are in the timeline of events in the book of Revelation

      • Revelation 20:6 tells us that the time of Jesus ruling with the saints will be a thousand years

      • That’s the period we have been studying over the past three weeks

      • But before we studied a brief period of time that bridged the seven-year Tribulation with the 1,000-year kingdom

      • That period lasted only 75 days, according to Daniel 12, so we called it the 75-day interval

    • I remind you of this detail because it sets an important precedent that will come into play in our study today

      • And that precedent is that not all the events of Chapter 20 take place within the 1,000 years of the Kingdom

      • Revelation 20 doesn’t start counting the 1,000 years until after the 75 days is over

      • So in a sense, the Kingdom period is 1,000 years plus 75 days

    • But it doesn’t stop there…Chapter 20 also tells us that there will be events that happen after the 1,000 years is complete 

      • And yet these events are still part of the Kingdom period because they take place prior to the next age starting

      • For example, look at the next verses we cover in Revelation 20 

Rev. 20:7 When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison,
Rev. 20:8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.
Rev. 20:9 And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them.
  • Notice how v.7 begins with ”when the thousand years are completed…”

    • So by the time we get to the events of v.7 and later, the clock has already run out on the 1,000 year Kingdom

      • As we will see from our study of these events, these final events last at least seven years and likely a little longer

      • So now we can calculate the entire Kingdom period between the Tribulation and the New Heavens and Earth

      • That period must be at least 75 days + 1,000 years + 7 years

      • For simplicity sake, we say the total is 1,007 years

    • This detail is important for two reasons…

      • First, it helps us understand the purpose of the 1,000 year period 

      • The Kingdom serves a specific purpose which is understood by separating it from the time of the war of Gog and Magog

      • Secondly, it helps us know that the war being described in this chapter is the same war Ezekiel describes in Ezekiel 38 & 39

  • Let’s start by understanding how the war gets started, which Revelation explains in the second half of v.7

    • The culminating events of the Kingdom age begin with Satan released from his imprisonment in the abyss

      • We remember Satan was bound and committed to this prison during the 75 days that preceded the Kingdom

Rev. 20:1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand.
Rev. 20:2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;
  • Notice John said in v.2 that Satan will be bound for a total of 1,000 years

    • He is in prison before the Kingdom starts and he is not released until the 1,000 years have taken place

    • So Satan spends the duration of the Kingdom away from mankind and unable to tempt anyone

  • But once Satan is released, he immediately begins to deceive humanity leading to a war on earth for the first time since the end of Tribulation 

    • That war will involve countless numbers of people from all the Gentile nations of the earth  

    • Their target is Israel, and more specifically, the temple in Jerusalem 

  • Notice Revelation 20 says they come up to the broad plain and surround the beloved city 

    • The broad plain is the flat area that surrounds the high mountain on which the temple sits

    • We studied that broad plain earlier in Zechariah’s description of the Kingdom topography 

Zech. 14:9  And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.
Zech. 14:10  All the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; but Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site from Benjamin’s Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s wine presses.
  • So the detail of a broad plain clearly identifies the battle as taking place in Israel after the Millennial Kingdom

  • Finally, back in Revelation 20:9 John says that the battle is over quickly with a supernatural destruction of the invaders 

    • God sends fire from heaven to devour them and that’s the last thing we read in Revelation 20 about the final war

      • This brief mention of the final events of the Kingdom raise more questions than they answer

      • And once more Revelation has only skimmed the surface of these events because the details are elsewhere in the Bible

    • So let’s list the questions we will address in our study tonight as we revisit Ezekiel 38 & 39 and elsewhere in the Bible

      • First, why was Satan bound only to be released again?

      • Secondly, why doesn’t the Lord destroy Satan in the first place prior to the start of the Kingdom?

      • Finally, who are Gog and Magog and what can we learn about this final war?

    • We start with the question of why was Satan bound in the first place, which begins by understanding his role on earth today

      • The Bible says that Satan provokes sin in two ways

      • First, the Bible says Satan is the great deceiver – the author of lies

    • By contrast, Jesus is the Truth, so all true and righteous knowledge comes from God, and God cannot lie, the Bible says

      • And yet the world is filled with lies, and the Bible says all those lies have their origin in Satan and his demons

      • Jesus said Satan is the father of lies and has been from the beginning, referring to his deception in the Garden of Eden

      • Had Satan never existed, the world would have known only truth

    • Satan is the author of all false knowledge on earth, and he uses his lies to trick the world concerning God and sin

      • As we read earlier in this study

Rev. 12:9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
  • So the enemy provokes sin by deceiving the world, and secondly he provokes sin by tempting our flesh nature to act according to its desire

    • He knows that our flesh nature is already predisposed to act against the word of God, as Paul explains in Romans 7

Rom. 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.
  • Our physical body has its own desires, and Satan and his demons are experts at enticing our flesh to fulfill its desires

    • Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that we all know the experience of being tempted by the enemy, who is our “tempter” (1 Thessalonians 3:5)

    • But in that same verse Paul also says that the Lord provides us a way of escape from the temptation if we would only take it

  • So the old saying that “the devil made me do it” is simply an excuse

    • The enemy may deceive us at times, but we have the word of God to correct our thinking

    • And he certainly tempts us to give in to sin, but the Lord has given us His Spirit to lead us into righteousness

    • So at the end of the day, the devil (and his demons) don’t make us sin…it’s our choice to sin either out of ignorance or lust 

  • But as we studied in prior weeks, Jesus will rule the Kingdom with a rod of iron enforcing righteousness perfectly, without variation or delay

    • If Satan were loose deceiving and tempting the world to sin, it would undermine Jesus’ perfect rule 

    • So for 1,000 years, to ensure there is no opportunity for sin to gain a foothold, our enemy is bound and out of the way

    • There is still sin in the world because the world is filled with people who possess a sin nature 

  • But those people live under the watchful eye of a perfect and just King Who limits sin’s impact and judges it instantly and perfectly

    • And with the enemy bound, there is no catalyst to disturb that perfect peace

    • And though Scripture doesn’t say, I assume that his demons are also in the abyss and bound during this time

    • It makes no sense to think that the king of the demons is bound while the demons roam free to wreck havoc 

  • So we understand why Satan is bound, but why is he later released?

    • Paul gives us the answer to that question in 1 Corinthians 15, and the answer is related to why he was bound in the first place

1Cor. 15:24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.
1Cor. 15:25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.
1Cor. 15:26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
1Cor. 15:27 For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him.
1Cor. 15:28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.
  • Paul quotes from Psalm 8 in which the Father promises He will eventually place all Creation under Jesus’ authority 

    • Every enemy of God will be subjected to Christ’s authority before this world ends, and the last enemy to fall will be death 

    • Death is a reference to the one who personifies death, Satan, because he brought sin and death into existence

  • Once Satan is defeated and all things are under Christ’s rule, then Paul says all powers and authority will be abolished forever

    • In other words, no longer will Christ rule separately from the Father much less will the saints rule in a government

    • Because there will be nothing to rule…if the last source of sin and rebellion is crushed then there is nothing that needs ruling 

  • We’re learning the very purpose for the 1,000-year Kingdom and for the whole creation itself: to give opportunity for Jesus to rule over sin

    • According to the chronology of the Bible, the world has existed in its present form for about 6,000 years

      • During that time, the fallen world has been the dominion of Satan and sinful humanity has tried to rule itself

      • The testimony of those 6,000 years is death, war, misery and destruction…it’s been a disaster

    • Those 6,000 years of history proves that we cannot rule our own hearts, just as the Lord declared

Jer. 17:5  Thus says the LORD, 
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind 
And makes flesh his strength, 
And whose heart turns away from the LORD.
Jer. 17:6  “For he will be like a bush in the desert 
And will not see when prosperity comes, 
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, 
A land of salt without inhabitant.
Jer. 17:7  “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD 
And whose trust is the LORD.
Jer. 17:9  “The heart is more deceitful than all else 
And is desperately sick; 
Who can understand it?
  • If we trust in the heart or strength of mankind, we are sunk

  • But if we trust the Lord to rule our hearts, we are blessed

  • For 6,000 years the world has trusted in mankind, and not coincidentally the number 6 in the Bible is the number for sinful, fallen man

    • But for an additional thousand years, the world will experience what it’s like when we trust in the Lord’s rule over Creation

    • And when you add that additional thousand years to the age of the world, you get 7,000

    • And 7 is the number of perfection and completeness 

  • So the purpose of the Kingdom is to be a capstone on the earth’s existence highlighting Jesus’ perfect rule

    • Those final 1,000 years contrast with the prior 6,000 years to make the point that only through the Messiah come righteousness and justice

      • Satan will be bound during that time to prevent him from interfering with Jesus’ rule over the Creation

      • And then once the 1,000 years is complete and God is ready to end this phase of history, He releases Satan for a little while

    • Why? Paul says so that he may be defeated as planned and once death is defeated, then this age may come to a complete end

      • When Jesus crushes Satan’s final rebellion, He will have abolished His final enemy

      • And at that point this Creation will have met its intended purpose as Paul explained

    • Now we know why Satan was bound – to make possible 1,000 years of perfection

    • And why he must be set free to deceive the nations – so that Creation itself can come to completion and Christ can defeat the last enemy

      • But had Satan been destroyed at the beginning of the 1,000 years, then there would have been no Kingdom at all

      • Because once the final enemy is abolished, Christ returns all authority back to the Father, Paul says

    • That leads us into the last events of this book, the final judgment and  the New Heavens and New Earth in Chapters 21 & 22

      • But before we go there, we still have one final question to answer tonight

      • Who are Gog and Magog, and what are the details of Satan’s deception and this final battle?

      • Revelation doesn’t tell us much other than mention the names and explain how the battle ends

    • And that’s because the details are elsewhere in the Bible, and in fact the mention of Gog and Magog are intended as markers to leads us

      • There are only two mentions of a “Gog and Magog" in connection with a war against God’s people

      • We have this mention in Revelation 20 and as mentioned earlier in Ezekiel 38 & 39

      • Chapter 38 describes the preparations for the war and the war itself, while Chapter 39 describes the aftermath of the war

    • And as I mentioned last week, our ministry features a comprehensive teaching on Ezekiel online already 

      • So we won’t cover all of Chapters 38 & 39 here…we will just cover the main points as they relate to Revelation 20

      • Starting with a simple framework for understanding the purpose of these chapters in Ezekiel’s prophecy 

  • Ezekiel is a long book of prophecy with 48 chapters, and the last 16 chapters (33-48) are all devoted to prophecies related to the Kingdom

    • Last week when we studied the temple in the Kingdom, most of what we studied came from Chapters 40-48 of Ezekiel

      • And Ezekiel also tells the story of the final war that ends the Kingdom period, the war of Gog and Magog

      • Those details are found in Chapters 38-39, before the discussion of the temple

      • So perhaps for that reason, some scholars have decided that the events of Ezekiel 38 & 39 precede the time of the Kingdom 

    • But a closer examination of the structure of Ezekiel’s final chapters tells a different story

      • Those chapters are not organized chronologically, they are organized according to God’s promises to Abraham

      • Because the entire Kingdom is a fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant given to Israel 

    • So Ezekiel 33-48 are an explanation of how God is going to fulfill His covenant to Abraham and Abraham’s descendants 

      • We can summarize this relationship with a simple chart

      • There are four parts to the Abrahamic promises

    • God promised Abraham an inheritance of land with prosperity, descendants living securely and His presence dwelling among them

      • Later the Lord added a fourth promise to David to provide a king to rule the land perfectly

      • So a king to rule a land of prosperity filled with a people at peace with the Lord among them in glory

  • Ezekiel 33-48 is the story of how the Lord will fulfill all four promises in the kingdom

    • And Chapters 38 & 39 show how God fulfills His promise to ensure the security of Israel in the land while demonstrating His glory to the nations

      • God allows Satan loose to deceive the nations, teaching them how to wage war and tempting them to do so

      • And then as Satan attempts to take peace away from Israel, the Lord intervenes to stop the battle before it starts

      • And in that way, the Lord uses Satan to show Israel that He is indeed keeping His promise to protect them

  • So let’s start our summary of Ezekiel 38 & 39 by looking at the primary human actors in this war

Ezek. 38:1  And the word of the LORD came to me saying,
Ezek. 38:2 “Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him
Ezek. 38:3 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal.
Ezek. 38:4 “I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords;
Ezek. 38:5 Persia, Ethiopia and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet;
Ezek. 38:6 Gomer with all its troops; Beth-togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops — many peoples with you.
Ezek. 38:7  “Be prepared, and prepare yourself, you and all your companies that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them.
Ezek. 38:8 “After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them.   
  • Our first actor in this drama is Gog, from the land of Magog

    • The word Gog is a title, not a specific name, similar to Pharaoh or Caesar  

      • So Gog is a person while Magog is the nation or land that he comes from

      • And from the table of nations in Genesis 10, Magog roughly refers to Eastern Europe including present day Turkey  

      • Among Noah’s grandsons to settle in that region north of Israel included men named Magog, Mechech, and Tubal

    • A man with the title Gog comes from this land, and this man will be joined by allies from east and south to start a war

      • They come to invade Israel from every possible direction but notice the impetus to gather and fight comes from God

      • In v.4 we’re told God draws them into battle, and we know from Revelation 20 that God uses Satan to accomplish that outcome

    • Next, notice the army is equipped in a very rudimentary way, with horses and rudimentary weapons

      • In Chapter 39 we learn that they battle using wooden clubs and spears, wooden shields and helmets, wooden bows and arrows

      • In fact, everything used in the battle will be made of wood, not metal

      • Remember, Isaiah told us that since the art of war will be lost in the Kingdom, all metal will be refashioned into farm equipment

    • And finally, notice that the attack will come against a land that has been restored from the sword

      • The word for restored is the Hebrew word shuv, which has many shades of interpretation

      • In this context, the best interpretation would be turned away from or to have put away

      • In other words, in that day Israel will be a defenseless land, a land without military weaponry because obviously none is needed

  • Notice a few other key details…this happens in the latter days after they have been summoned by God back into their land to live peacefully

    • Secondly, Israel will have been gathered from among the nations to live in their mountain which was previously a continual waste

      • That’s a reference to Israel regathered after the end of the Age of Gentiles, which ends with the conclusion of Tribulation

    • Finally, notice the small phrase at the very end of v.8…”all of them”

      • All of Israel is dwelling in this place, not just some Jews but all Jews

      • Putting all this together (with many other details in these chapters), this must be Israel in the Kingdom

    • But if you’ve studied Ezekiel’s war before or if you’re a student of prophecy, then you may have heard others placing these events earlier

      • It’s common to hear teachers placing these events prior to Tribulation, in our world today

      • But for the reasons I’ve shown already and more to come, that timeline just doesn’t fit the details nor the purpose of the war

    • As we continue our study, we will see more evidence stacking up for this war to take place at the end of the Millennial Kingdom 

      • It’s worth noting that the only two places in the Bible where the leader Gog of Magog is mentioned is in Ezekiel and Revelation

      • That connection all by itself demands an explanation

    • Given the similarities of the situation, the obvious and logical connection would be that these reference the same individual

      • John mentions the name Gog in Revelation 20 with no explanation because it’s a reference to the earlier prophecy 

      • He expects his readers to know who Gog is from having read Ezekiel

  • Now let’s move to the invasion itself

Ezek. 38:9 “You will go up, you will come like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you.”
Ezek. 38:10  ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan,
Ezek. 38:11 and you will say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates,
Ezek. 38:12 to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods, who live at the center of the world.’
Ezek. 38:13 “Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its villages will say to you, ‘Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?’”’
Ezek. 38:14  “Therefore prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “On that day when My people Israel are living securely, will you not know it?
Ezek. 38:15 “You will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army;
Ezek. 38:16 and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It shall come about in the last days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog.”
  • In v.9 we read about the movement of a vast army of people so great that it covers the ground like a cloud, which agrees with what Revelation 20 told us

    • Then beginning in v.10 we see how this invasion unfolded

      • An evil thought entered into the mind of an evil man, Gog

      • He devises a plan to invade Israel and his idea originates in  opportunity and greed

    • Gog notices the land is at rest, which means quiet, unsuspecting and the land is unwalled, no bars, no gates

      • Walls are the most basic of protective measures intended to defend against an enemy attack

      • So an unwalled village indicates a total lack of concern, like living in a house without a front door

    • Secondly, Gog’s greed gives him reason to seize upon that opportunity

      • In v.12 Gog notices the abundance of the land, the cattle and goods amassed in the land

      • The Bible says the abundance of Israel in the Kingdom will be second to none 

      • Israel will be blessed above all other nations in that time period, so it makes sense for Gog to see something there he wants

    • Ezekiel says these thoughts entered into Gog’s mind, but we know from Revelation 20 who the real instigator of these muses was: Satan

      • Though he’s not mentioned here, Revelation tells us that Satan has returned to work deceiving the world by this point

      • He deceives Gog to thinking that he can win this battle and that God has been wrong to bless Israel so much

      • Then Satan has tempted Gog’s lust into taking what Israel has for himself 

  • So in v.15 Gog recruits others to enter into battle with him, and with the help of Satan he recruits other nations to invade from the north

    • In v.13 we’re told that Israel’s neighbors are puzzled by invaders gathering on Israel’s border

      • They seemed surprised and in disbelief at the unfolding events indicating how out of the ordinary this action will be in that day

      • No one has seen war before, so people in this day are literally stupefied to see an amassing of an army

    • Then in v.14, we hear the Lord’s challenge to Gog, asking rhetorically will Gog disrupt the peace that God has given to His people Israel?

      • Curiously, we know the Kingdom will be a time without war for 1,000 years

      • In fact, Isaiah told us that the knowledge of how to wage war will be completely lost

Is. 2:4  And He will judge between the nations, 
And will render decisions for many peoples; 
And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. 
Nation will not lift up sword against nation, 
And never again will they learn war.
  • Generations will be born and raised without experiencing war so no one will even know how it’s done

    • And the technology of war will be gone as well 

  • But God promised He would ensure Israel safety in their land during the Kingdom, so how will Israel know God is keeping that promise?

    • Without a threat to Israel’s peace, there is no way for God to demonstrate His faithfulness to keep the peace covenant

    • It’s as if God promised to cure you from cancer, but until you contract cancer, you can’t know God kept His promise

    • But since God said He will protect Israel from her enemies, He shows Himself faithful by defending Israel against Gog

  • So Gog’s invasion is how the Lord brings about Satan’s end, but it also serves an important purpose in the Kingdom 

    • It gives opportunity for the Lord to show Himself faithful to the peace covenant He makes with Israel in that age

    • By how the Lord defends Israel against Gog’s invasion, everyone will come to see just how securely the people are dwelling in the land

  • Next, look at the nature of warfare in this coming day

    • In v.15 the Lord describes the invasion as many peoples all riding horses

      • The Hebrew word translated as horse means…horse

      • There is nothing in the text to indicate this is a symbolic reference to some non-horse tool of war

      • Which means this is a type of warfare where horses are again a chief means of transportation

    • If we suppose this battle happens in the present day, then we have a very difficult time explaining this reference

      • The Israeli Defense Forces are among the most modern and sophisticated in the world

      • Moreover, the armies of Russia, Turkey, Iran, Libya, and even Ethiopia possess tanks, armored vehicles, aircraft, etc. 

      • So either we place these events in the pre-industrial times or forward to the Kingdom age where war technology is unknown

    • The people come into Israel covering the land like a cloud, similar to the description we saw in Revelation 20 of as many people as the sand

      • But God says He will be sanctified in Gog’s destruction

      • And the people will see the Lord’s faithfulness as He destroys the invaders 

  • Speaking of destruction, let’s see how the Lord does that in Chapter 39

Ezek. 39:1 “And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal;
Ezek. 39:2 and I will turn you around, drive you on, take you up from the remotest parts of the north and bring you against the mountains of Israel.
Ezek. 39:3 “I will strike your bow from your left hand and dash down your arrows from your right hand.
Ezek. 39:4 “You will fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you as food to every kind of predatory bird and beast of the field.
Ezek. 39:5 “You will fall on the open field; for it is I who have spoken,” declares the Lord GOD.
Ezek. 39:6 “And I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands in safety; and they will know that I am the LORD.
  • The Lord sets about thwarting Gog’s attack, and notice in v.3 the Lord says He will strike the bow and arrows from their hands

    • This reminds us of what we learned in Chapter 38, that the war is prosecuted in very rudimentary ways

      • As Isaiah told us the time of the Kingdom is a time of ignorance when it comes to war

      • So Gog has recruited a vast army, but one that relies on the simplest of tools like bows and arrows

      • Why do they think they can win with such simple tools? They were deceived by Satan into thinking they could win

    • But at the same time, Israel stands completely defenseless, so these simple weapons are a true threat to Israel’s peace in the land

      • So the Lord defends Israel against this uncountable army by defeating it by His own might

      • Israel never engages in the battle at all

    • As this army invades and attacks, they are struck down en mass by a supernatural act of God 

      • Notice in v.6 the invaders are destroyed by fire from Heaven, a clear parallel to what John told us in Revelation 20

      • The army of the land of Magog will be completely consumed by fire from Heaven and the battle will end instantly

      • And Israel’s peace will have remained intact during the Kingdom

  • But there’s one more interesting details to this battle…

Ezek. 39:9  “Then those who inhabit the cities of Israel will go out and make fires with the weapons and burn them, both shields and bucklers, bows and arrows, war clubs and spears, and for seven years they will make fires of them.
Ezek. 39:10 “They will not take wood from the field or gather firewood from the forests, for they will make fires with the weapons; and they will take the spoil of those who despoiled them and seize the plunder of those who plundered them,” declares the Lord GOD.
Ezek. 39:11  “On that day I will give Gog a burial ground there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea, and it will block off those who would pass by. So they will bury Gog there with all his horde, and they will call it the valley of Hamon-gog.
Ezek. 39:12 “For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them in order to cleanse the land.
Ezek. 39:13 “Even all the people of the land will bury them; and it will be to their renown on the day that I glorify Myself,” declares the Lord GOD.
Ezek. 39:14 “They will set apart men who will constantly pass through the land, burying those who were passing through, even those left on the surface of the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make a search.
Ezek. 39:15 “As those who pass through the land pass through and anyone sees a man’s bone, then he will set up a marker by it until the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamon-gog.
Ezek. 39:16 “And even the name of the city will be Hamonah. So they will cleanse the land.”’
  • After the Lord has vanquished the invading armies, the wasteland of dead and their wooden tools become huge supply of fuel

    • So the people of Israel will go out to scavenge from among these weapons

      • Notice the people of Israel weren’t involved in the battle at all since the Lord did the fighting

      • They stayed securely in their unwalled villages while the Lord fought the battle for them out in the plain 

    • The people of Israel collect weapons of all kinds, including shields, bows, arrows, war clubs, and spears

      • And for seven years Israel will use these tools as fuel for fire

      • This is confirmation that the tools used by the invading army are made of wood, because wood burns, but steel does not

    • In fact, in v.10 the Lord says that the people won’t even bother to take wood from the field or gather firewood from the forest afterward

      • They have enough wood from these implements to satisfy their needs for fuel, so wood is the primary fuel for the Kingdom age

      • There were so many invaders that the materials collected keeps all Israel supplied with wood for burning to last seven years

      • That’s a huge quantity of wood, and it tells us how vast this invading army must have been

  • Then Gog and all his multitude of army will be buried in the land of Israel where they fell

    • The location of burial will be in a valley east of the sea

      • The sea is the Mediterranean Sea, and the most prominent valley east of the Med. is the Jordan River valley

      • So more than likely, that’s the valley in mind here

    • And the bodies in that area will be so numerous that the burial ground will block the passage of people through the valley

      • Remember, a Jew may not traverse over graves, so the number of bodies buried in this region makes passage impossible

      • They will rename the valley Hamon-gog, which means multitude or uproar, so the valley is called the multitude of Gog

    • The dead will be so numerous that the burial process will require seven months

      • Israel will go through the land meticulously looking for unburied bones of the fallen so they might cleanse the land

      • And as they find a bone, they will mark it carefully to prevent a Jew from stumbling across it and becoming defiled

      • Then having marked the bone, it will then be buried in the valley where no one may go

      • Notice in v.13 the Lord says that Israel will make a name for itself among all the nations by how they respond to the dead

  • Turning back to the text, the Lord adds one more detail to help us understand how the Lord cleansed the land

Ezek. 39:17  “As for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Speak to every kind of bird and to every beast of the field, “Assemble and come, gather from every side to My sacrifice which I am going to sacrifice for you, as a great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh and drink blood.
Ezek. 39:18 “You will eat the flesh of mighty men and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, as though they were rams, lambs, goats and bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
Ezek. 39:19 “So you will eat fat until you are glutted, and drink blood until you are drunk, from My sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
Ezek. 39:20 “You will be glutted at My table with horses and charioteers, with mighty men and all the men of war,” declares the Lord GOD.
  • In the Bible, the Lord directs people to make a sacrifice of animals

    • Our sacrifices of bulls and goats were intended to remind us of our sin and the need for a covering of blood

      • Now in this final act of war the Lord turns the tables

      • Remember, this event is the final moment of this world, the last event of human history on planet earth

    • And in that final moment, the Lord makes humanity a sacrifice to the animals

      • The animals gain the benefit while man pays the price and God is the One making the sacrifice

      • The message is that the need for sacrifice of any kind has come to an end

      • The Lord Himself conducts the final sacrifice and the final offering are those who oppose Him

      • And that final act of judgment to close the age gives opportunity for the Lord to be glorified

Ezek. 39:21  “And I will set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them.
  • So with that all unbelief in Creation is gone though not yet judged

    • And that’s what we move into next week…the judgment moment for the souls of all unbelievers who have ever lived

      • Following that moment, the earth and its works will be burned up and a new world appears

      • We study that process over the next couple of weeks to finish our study