PostMillennial Distinctives of Ezekiel 38:8-23

I was excited when I heard that the next Narnia movie to be made would be Prince Caspian, although I haven’t heard much about it lately.  The thought of a golden age of rulers followed by a period in time when the people forgot about the wonders of the kingdom has caused me to envision what the post-millennial world will really be like.  Consider that Christ will have personally reigned on the earth for 1000 years, during which time the fruitfulness of the earth has been restored, Christ has judged the nations in a completely blameless way, and evil influences are bound in the bottomless pit.  Then it seems that the total depravity of man (I’m not a Calvinist really, I just like the phrase) takes over again once Satan is released from the bottomless pit.  The nations that walked in the light of the LORD suddenly fall under the dark cloud of Satan’s influence once again.
 
Let’s look at the text of Ezekiel 38:8-23.  What are the scriptures saying to us?  The phrase that I’m relying the heaviest on is "after many days".  It is identical to the phrase found in Isaiah 24:22.  The context there is the judgement of the earth and beginning of the Messianic reign, but with one flash-forward when speaking of the judgement of the host of the high ones.  Here is the passage.
 
19 The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. 20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again. 21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. 22 And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. 23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.
 
Here the host of the high ones are punished, but in the following way.  First they are gathered together, imprisoned in a pit, but their final judgement will not be until "after many days".  It is at this time, when the host of the high ones are imprisoned, that the LORD will begin His reign in mount Zion and in Jerusalem.  From our New Testament [premillennial] perspective, we understand what this passage means.  Satan, and all unclean spirits (Zech. 13:2), will be bound in the bottomless pit, but will not be ultimately judged until after the thousand year reign of Christ.
 
Ezekiel 38:8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword,
 
So when we come to Ezekiel 38:1-8, we understand that there is an invasion from Magog, headed up by Gog, which will attempt to invade Israel.  God will put hooks in the jaws of this army and turn them around.  Then we have the phrase that is identical to the phrase in Isaiah.  "After many days" and then the mention of a visitation for the purpose of judgement just as we saw in Isaiah 24:22.  So Ezekiel has not only looked here into the last days, he has looked into the latter years of the last days after the millennium when the final judgement is taking place.  So the verses which follow the turning around of Gog in chapter 38 sort of skip to the final Gog/Magog conflict after the millennium when Satan is once again released.  The verses which follow the turning around of Gog in 39 are what happens immediately after that at the battle of Armageddon.
 
I will turn you around and after many days will be the time of your final visitation for punishment.  In those latter years you will be brought back into this land only under very different circumstances.
 
Note also:  thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword.  Here Gog and company are entering a land that has recovered from a great conflict.  There was a great war, but this land has been brought through that.  It is a thing of the past for them.  …is gathered out of many people.  The regathering of Israel has occurred and is a part of the history of this land now.  This must be during or after the millennium.  After the judgement of the heathen, the LORD will gather all Israelites out of every corner of the earth from every nation.  See my last post.  …against the mountains of Israel which have been always waste.  Without getting too much into detail, this simply cannot be at this time.  There will be a judgement during the judgement of Babylon which will result in a completely uninhabitable section of land, Isaiah 13:19-22, 34:9-14, Jeremiah 50:38-40, and Revelation 18:21-23.  It is here in this wasteland which occurred at the judgement of Babylon that the passage refers to.  There is no such section right now.  They shall dwell safely all of them.  This must be at a time when all Israelites are safe, not just some.  Simply put, in verse 8, we have a description of Israel that cannot and will not occur in this age, only in the age to come.
 
9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.
 
This corresponds with "the number of whom is as the sand of the sea", Revelation 20:8.
 
10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
 
Here we have a new influence in the mind of Gog.  Suddenly, after all this time, an evil thought comes into his mind.  This is the influence of the newly released Satan and horde.  I’ve covered verse 11 in my last post.  Note verse 12 tells us the sole reason for the invasion is to take spoil.  This is not an attack to try to destroy the people of Israel as we see again and again in the PreMillennial scenario.  This is a march to take the riches of a people living completely at peace with each other.  Verse 13 shows us something quite unlikely in any situation in this age.  Some of the nations are sort of protesting as Gog marches toward the people of Israel.  Contrast that with Israel’s current situation.
 
Verse 17 is a testimony against Gog.  It’s like the LORD is saying, "Aren’t you the one that I said would do this so many ages ago?  My prophets foretold of this very time and now you are doing exactly what I said you would do."
 
Note that the judgement of verse 22 is almost an exact description of the judgement of Revelation 20:9.  There is one other detail in Ezekiel 38:21 which shows that the armies of Gog will fight against themselves.  But the judgement of fire from heaven is consistent in both Ezekiel 38:22 and Revelation 20:9.  In Ezekiel 38 there is no mention of a mass slaughter as we have at the battle of Armageddon.  That is PreMillennial and the description of that is confined to Ezekiel 39, which matches the PreMillennial event in Revelation 19:17-21.
 
Again I submit that those prophecy scholars who are interpreting from this passage that there will be this era of extended peace and security for Israel before the end of this age are quite mistaken.  These prophecies of safe and secure dwelling for Israel will be fulfilled in the Millennium.  The section of Ezekiel 38:8-23 will occur after the Millennium has expired and Satan is released from his prison.  There is only one thing for Israel to expect right now, and it’s not good.  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
 
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
 
-The Orange Mailman
Advertisements
This entry was posted in Eschatology. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to PostMillennial Distinctives of Ezekiel 38:8-23

  1. Kerry says:

    Hi Orange,
     
    Have you noticed that there are actually two periods of peace in Eze 38-39?  Let me point them out.
     
    Eze 38:10  Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: Eze 38:11  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 safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
    Here Israel will be dwelling in safety; all of them.  This is prior to the first time Gog invades Israel.  Next Gog invades and is defeated by the Lord.
    Eze 38:15  And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: Eze 38:16  And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes. Eze 38:17  Thus saith the Lord GOD; 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? Eze 38:18  And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face. Eze 38:19  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;
     
    Next we see some very dramatic events.
     
    Eze 38:20  So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, 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.
     
    Every creature on earth, including all men, shake at the presence of God.  The mountains are thrown down and every wall falls to the ground.  This is at the conclusion of the first time Gog invades Israel.  After Gog has been defeated we see peace again in Israel.
     
    Eze 39:7  So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. Eze 39:8  Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
     
    Eze 39:21  And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. Eze 39:22  So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.
     
    Eze 39:25  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name; Eze 39:26  After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid. Eze 39:27  When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies\’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; Eze 39:28  Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Eze 39:29  Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
     
    Here we see Israel knowing that the Lord is their God from that day forward.  So to recap first we see Israel living at rest and safely.  Then Gog invades.  God defeats Gog and Israel is gathered to the Lord after that and He will not hide His face from them any longer, for He has poured His spirit out upon the house of Israel after Gog is completely defeated.  There has to be a period of peace, no bars or gates, before the initial Gog invasion.  If you are to say that Eze 38:8 happens after the millennium then you are faced with trying to explain how Israel would not know that the Lord was their God while He was reigning from Jerusalem during the millennium (Eze 39:22).  How could He not show His face while sitting on the throne in Jerusalem (39:29)?  Eze 39:26 shows Israel being gathered out of her enemies lands.  In the millennium Israel lives in Israel….
     
    Peace,Seeker

  2. Kerry says:

    Hi Orange,
     
    Have you noticed that there are actually two periods of peace in Eze 38-39?  Let me point them out.
     
    Eze 38:10  Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: Eze 38:11  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 safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
    Here Israel will be dwelling in safety; all of them.  This is prior to the first time Gog invades Israel.  Next Gog invades and is defeated by the Lord.
    Eze 38:15  And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: Eze 38:16  And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes. Eze 38:17  Thus saith the Lord GOD; 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? Eze 38:18  And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face. Eze 38:19  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;
     
    Next we see some very dramatic events.
     
    Eze 38:20  So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, 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.
     
    Every creature on earth, including all men, shake at the presence of God.  The mountains are thrown down and every wall falls to the ground.  This is at the conclusion of the first time Gog invades Israel.  After Gog has been defeated we see peace again in Israel.
     
    Eze 39:7  So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. Eze 39:8  Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
     
    Eze 39:21  And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. Eze 39:22  So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.
     
    Eze 39:25  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name; Eze 39:26  After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid. Eze 39:27  When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies\’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; Eze 39:28  Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Eze 39:29  Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
     
    Here we see Israel knowing that the Lord is their God from that day forward.  So to recap first we see Israel living at rest and safely.  Then Gog invades.  God defeats Gog and Israel is gathered to the Lord after that and He will not hide His face from them any longer, for He has poured His spirit out upon the house of Israel after Gog is completely defeated.  There has to be a period of peace, no bars or gates, before the initial Gog invasion.  If you are to say that Eze 38:8 happens after the millennium then you are faced with trying to explain how Israel would not know that the Lord was their God while He was reigning from Jerusalem during the millennium (Eze 39:22).  How could He not show His face while sitting on the throne in Jerusalem (39:29)?  Eze 39:26 shows Israel being gathered out of her enemies lands.  In the millennium Israel lives in Israel….
     
    Peace,Seeker

  3. Darrin says:

    The occasion of the prophecy is the invasion of Gog.  There are clearly two sections.  In the first, God deals with him, only to have him come back "after many days".  In the second section, God just tells how He deals with him.  The occasion is NOT the time of peace.  The prophecy is given against Gog as he is invading.  The time of peace is "after many days", that is, after the initial invasion.  Take second look at the PostMillennial distinctives that I list in chapter 38.
     
    Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
     
    -The Orange Mailman

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s