© Copyright 2010-2015
© Copyright 2010-2015

Ezekiel 38-39 - Part 2 (verses 9-16)        
By Brother Mike (12-13-14; 60 minutes)  


Verse 9:  

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

In this verse, Yahweh is still addressing Gog (Satan), and He first says to Satan that Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm. Actually, the sentence and come like a storm is not in the Hebrew, so it would best be translated like this: Thou shalt ascend as a devastation [destruction]. In other words, God is telling Satan that when it is time for him to come against the churches, he will come up as a devastation or destruction to all the churches. And, from our vantage point, we know that the way in which Satan devastated the churches was by overcoming them with false gospels so close to the truth that they would deceive God's elect if that were possible. As we read in Matthew 24, 

Mt 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect

And, again, we read in Mark, 

Mr 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect

Now, we read further that Yahweh not only says to Satan that Thou shalt ascend as a devastation, but He further says to Satan, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. Why does God say that Satan shalt be like a cloud to cover the land? In answer to this question, a cloud is often symbolic of judgment in the Bible, so in that Satan shall be like a cloud to cover the land, it simply means that Satan comes in judgment against the whole land. The land, of course, refers back to the mountains of Israel, which, in this context, refers to the New Testament churches of the Church Age. So this is simply revealing that Satan comes in judgment against all of the New Testament churches, which we now know began on May 21, 1988 according to the Biblical Calendar when Satan and all his bands, or combatants, made of false Christians from around the world spiritually conquered the corporate Church. God removed His hand of protection to the churches, and then Satan entered in to be worshipped as if he were Christ Himself even to this day, and all the false Christians loved it that way, for now they could openly carry on with all their false teachings and false gospels with no or very little opposition. Indeed, it appeared as if Satan had finally won, but, as we now know, it only lasted for 23 years, and then Satan was vanquished on May 21, 2011.  


Verse 10: 

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 . . . 

In this verse, we first read, Thus saith the Lord GOD. The word here for GOD is actually the word Yahweh, so we can translate it, Thus saith the Lord Yahweh. Then, the Lord says to Gog (Satan), It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought. A more literal translation would look like this: 

10 Thus saith the Lord Yahweh, and it shall come to pass in that day [that] things will come into your heart, and you devise evil . . . 

This let's us know that on the very day in which Satan came against the churches, which was May 21, 1988, evil thoughts came into his mind to devise evil. And, just what evil did he devise? We will find an answer to this in the following verses. 


Verse 11:  

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 . . . 

First, in this verse, Satan says [he] will go up to the land of unwalled villages. To go up to a land without walls literally means it is a land without protection or salvation from the enemy because, to a very large extent, whether a land or place had great walls determined whether it would be saved from the enemy. Great walls became synonymous with salvation if you had them and with destruction if you did not have them. And, herein lays the spiritual meaning of a wall: to have walls means that you have salvation, but to have no walls means that you are lacking in salvation. So, as our verse says, all them dwelling without walls means that there was no salvation. We can see how walls are synonymous with salvation, for instance, in Isaiah 26: 

Isa 26:1 In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks

And, again, we read in Jeremiah 15: 

Jer 15:20 And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brasen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the LORD

So to have walls are one and the same as having salvation, and to be without walls is one and the same with having no salvation. This could also be applied to bars and gates. Gates were made from metal bars, and they, when closed, were used to keep the enemy out even as the walls. The gates and bars actually were an extension of the walls in order to seal off any entrance from enemies. Therefore, to be without walls, bars, and gates as our verse says is to be without salvation from the enemy. Our verse, then, reveals that when Satan was brought up by God to come against the churches on May 21, 1988, Satan realized that there were no walls, bars, and gates to protect the churches any longer; that is, there was no more salvation in the churches, and this, we now know, was because on May 21, 1988, the Holy Spirit who gives salvation was removed from the churches as judgment against them. As we read in 2Thessalonians 2, 

2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work [in the churches]: only He [the Holy Spirit] who now letteth will let, until he [the Holy Spirit] be taken out of the way [removed from the churches]

The mystery of iniquity in this verse, then, is Satan sowing tares (unsaved people) in the churches, and so this verse is saying that the Holy Spirit, which is he who now letteth in our verse, allowed Satan to work in the churches until he [the Holy Spirit] be taken out of the way, or until the Holy Spirit was taken out of the midst of the churches. There was a time, therefore, when the Holy Spirit was removed from all the churches, and this meant that salvation could be found no more in any church. This took place on May 21, 1988 according to the biblical calendar

Now, this fact that the Holy Spirit was removed from the corporate church on the same day that Satan was brought up against the churches is what made Satan devise an evil scheme in his heart. He saw that the churches no longer had any protection because the Holy Spirit had departed out from their midst, so it came into his heart to devise an evil scheme against them. He figured that he would go up into the churches now that the Holy Spirit had departed, and he would take a spoil, and plunder the churches. We will read more about this in the next verse. 

But, before we move on to the next verse, a question arises, namely, how can Satan say that he will go to them that are at rest, and that dwell safely when we are told that all of them [are] dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates. In other words, how can they be dwelling safely when they have no walls, bars, or gates to protect them? The answer is that the word here translated as safely in the phrase dwell safely can actually be translated as carelessly in some cases. So when the scripture says that they dwell safely, it actually would better be translated that they dwell carelessly. This makes more sense to the context because it would be more likely that the churches would be dwelling carelessly if they had no wall, bars, nor gates for protection. It also makes sense when we think about how the churches actually were on May 21, 1988. They had no idea that Satan had just taken them over and judgment had come upon them. No, it was a complete surprise to them, and we could say that the reason why it was a complete surprise to them is that they were dwelling carelessly. They were making and obeying their own doctrines, and doing their own thing. They certainly weren't paying careful attention to the Word of God, or they would have known that judgment had come upon them on May 21, 1988. Rather, they were spiritually destroyed without most of them even knowing it because they were dwelling carelessly, not safely. Therefore, our verse would better read, 

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 carelessly, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates .


Verse 12: 

12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land

This verse continues with the reason as to why Satan devised a plan in his heart on May 21, 1988 to spiritually plunder the churches. It was as our verse says, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land

Now let's first look at the first part of this verse. It says, To take a spoil, and to take a prey. In the Hebrew it actually reads like this: To take spoil of spoil, and to take a prey of prey. This reveals that Satan had actually spoiled and taken a prey already in the churches before May 21, 1988, and now he was going to take spoil of spoil, and prey of prey. And, just how had Satan already spoiled and taken a prey in the churches? Well, if you will remember, he had been busy planting tares (unsaved people) in the churches right from the beginning so that by the time May 21, 1988 came around, the churches were already full of unsaved people, and much of the truth had already been trampled to the ground. So, in this sense, Satan had already spoiled, and taken a prey. But, now, on May 21, 1988, he was going to take spoil from that spoil, and prey from that prey. In other words, Satan would now be able to completely destroy the churches; it would be like the final blow that broke the camel's back. And, this is exactly what Satan did on May 21, 1988: he completely broke the backbone of the Church as the Holy Spirit removed Himself from the midst of the Church, and Satan, the false Christ, took his seat in the temple of God (the churches), being worshipped as if he were God. 

Now, It is interesting to contemplate what the spoil and the prey was that Satan obtained when he conquered the churches. Normally the spoil and the prey that a conquering army would receive would be all the valuables that the defeated army had such as their food, clothing, jewelry, armor, weapons, any gold and silver, slaves, and the like. But what was it that Satan obtained by conquering the churches? First of all, he began to receive instant worship from about 2 billion people in all the churches worldwide. They, of course, believed that they were worshipping Christ, but now that Satan was seated in the churches, they were actually worshipping Satan, the false Christ, without even realizing it. Furthermore, by gaining rulership in all the churches worldwide, Satan obtained a platform by which he could deceive the whole world into thinking that he was God as he evangelized the world with his false gospels, which often featured signs and wonders to cause the people to marvel at his apparent greatness. Indeed, with Satan having conquered the churches, it was now as if he was God, and he loved it that way. He must of somehow thought in his depraved and deceived mind that he was the Almighty, and he was due worship from everyone. But, fortunately, as we had learned in our previous study of verse 8 of Ezekiel 38, but it [the mountains of Israel; the elect] is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. Yes, even though Satan was permitted to take over the churches, the Lord had set apart a remnant of people for Himself who were in the churches, and they would be kept safe, for they would be brought out from the churches to worship the Lord in their own spiritual land as they have been doing so to this day. 

Now, Gog (Satan) not only devised in his heart To take a spoil, and to take a prey on May 21, 1988, but we are told that he devised to turn [his] hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited. The desolate places refer to all the churches in which the Holy Spirit was removed from on May 21, 1988. It was this removal of the Holy Spirit (God) from the churches that made all the churches spiritually desolate places, but, nevertheless, the churches were still inhabited by people; hence, the churches were desolate places that are now inhabited. In fact, the churches had grown in numbers at phenomenal rates due to the gospel having been greatly watered down into gospels that were pleasing to the masses. This was in fulfillment to 2Timothy 4:3-4 where we read,  

2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears ;
4
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables

So, on May 21, 1988, all the churches had become desolate places, but with inhabitants, and Satan turned his hand, which is a figure of speech to mean that He turned his will, against the churches.

Next, we are told that Satan's plan was to turn his hand upon the people that are gathered out of the nations. These people, of course, refer to the people in the churches just as the desolate places that are now inhabited also referred to the churches; they are the people that are gathered out of the nations. Indeed, as the gospel message was sent out into the world during the Church Age, peoples from all the various nations would respond and become a part of the Church. This is how the churches worldwide became populated, but it was now on May 21 1988 that Satan's plan was to turn his will against these people who were gathered out of the nations (see Why leave all churches? ).  

Finally, we read that these people who were gathered out of the nations, namely all the people of the churches, have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land. Spiritually speaking, that they had gotten cattle means they had gotten followers through their evangelistic efforts, and that they had gotten goods means they had gotten spiritual riches from the gospel of eternal life. Indeed, these church people had been blessed by God, but, now, on May 21, 1988 Satan devised to turn his hand (his will) against them.  


Verse 13: 

13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil

In this verse, we read of Sheba, Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish with all the young lions thereof. Now Sheba and Dedan were both great, great grandsons of Noah, great grandsons of Ham, Grandsons to Cush, and sons of Raamah while Tarshish was the great grandson of Noah, the grandson of Japheth, and the son of Javan. We discover this in Genesis 10 where we read, 

Gen. 10:1 Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood .
2 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras
3 And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah .
4 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim .
5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations
6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan .
7 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan

Now we were told in verse 5,

5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations

From this, we can surmise that Sheba, Dedan, and Tarshish became the progenitors to regions of people named after their names. So Sheba became a region of people descended from Sheba, and Dedan became a region of people descended from Dedan, and Tarshish became a region of people descended from Tarshish. In fact, Sheba and Dedan became settlements along the southern and northern portions of the Red Sea in Arabia, respectively (see map 1 and map 2 ), and Tarshish was thought to become a region touching the very northeast sector of the Mediterranean Sea (see map 1 ). Each of these settlements was a type of the peoples of the world who would come up against the churches over 2500 years later on May 21, 1988. And, since many of the unsaved peoples of the world were already in the churches by the time May 21, 1988 came around, for Satan had previously planted tares (unsaved people) in the churches from all over the world for hundreds of years, spiritually speaking, Sheba, Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish each represent the false Christians from the peoples of the world who would take over and be in the churches by May 21, 1988. They're called merchants in the case of Tarshish because they would be those who are merchandising their gospel through the churches to the world even as the merchants of Tarshish, which was located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, merchandised literal goods to the world by ships. But, this is not to say that Sheba and Dedan were not merchants, for they are also described as merchants in the following passages: 

Eze 27:22 The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they were thy merchants: they occupied in thy fairs with chief of all spices, and with all precious stones, and gold .

Eze 27:20 Dedan was thy merchant in precious clothes for chariots

So we can describe Sheba and Dedan as well as Tarshish as all merchants. They are all a type of the false Christians who would come to take over and occupy the churches by May 21, 1988, and who would have been involved in the merchandising of their gospels through the churches to the world.

Now, we read about the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof. What here do the young lions refer to? Well, since the young lions are referring to those who are of Tarshish, and Tarshish typifies the world, we can know that the young lions typify those of the world who came up to spiritually devour the churches leading up to and beginning on May 21, 1988. Therefore, the young lions are the false Christians who infiltrated the churches with all their false teachings and gospels. They are referred to as lions because they came to devour the churches like a lion. We read of a type of this in Jeremiah 2, where we read, 

Jer 2:15 The young lions roared upon him, and yelled, and they made his land waste: his cities are burned without inhabitant

Yes, these young lions came with gospels so close to the truth that they could deceive God's elect if that were possible. As we read in Matthew 24, 

Mt 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect

And, again, in Mark 13 we read, 

Mr 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect

These false Christs (false words of God) and false prophets came believing that they were receiving messages from God in tongues, dreams, visions, prophecy, words of knowledge, and some of them even deceived the world by supposedly healing people, making people fall backward by touching them, or, believe it or not, by throwing the Holy Spirit at them. They would say that they had received a message from the Lord as if they had some special relationship with God when, in truth, the only relationship they ever had was with Satan, the false Christ. Nevertheless, the world ran after these false gospels and still does because they are an evil generation, for it is an evil generation that seeks for a sign. As Christ taught, 

Lu 11:29 . . . This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet .

What Christ meant was that the only sign that He would give the people is His death, burial, and resurrection to which Jonah's brush with death and apparent resurrection in the belly of the whale pictured. So the true gospel is not focused upon signs and wonders, but the death, burial and resurrection of Christ apart from which no person could ever be saved. 

Now returning to our verse,

13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil

In this verse, Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, which we learned refers to those who infiltrated the churches in the latter years leading up to and beginning on May 21, 1988, shall say unto Gog (Satan) on May 21, 1988, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? But, why would such questions be asked to Satan by those who had already to a great extent infiltrated the churches as tares (as unsaved people), and who virtually already destroyed the churches by May 21, 1988? Well, because they are wondering what Satan has now come to do on May 21, 1988 since that the churches were already for the most part spoiled. So the ones who already spoiled the churches for him ask him, Art thou come to take a spoil? Actually the verse can literally be translated, Art thou come to take a spoil of spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey of prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a spoil of great spoil? By asking these questions, it is being made clear that the churches were virtually already spoiled or destroyed leading up May 21, 1988. All that Satan now had to do was to take up his seat in the temple (the churches) with virtually no struggle whatsoever because the Holy Spirit had been removed from the churches on May 21, 1988 in order that Satan could come in as the false Christ to bring judgment against the churches. Yes, the churches were greatly spoiled before and leading up to May 21, 1988 by Satan having planted tares (unsaved people) in the churches throughout the previous centuries, but on May 21, 1988, Satan took spoil of spoil by becoming ruler over all the churches, having finally reached the apex of his lust. 

Now, let's contemplate what spoil Satan had obtained on May 21, 1988. First of all, Satan took the place of Christ as the Antichrist, or false Christ, in all the churches (see Who is The Antichrist? ). This means he became king and God over all the peoples in the churches, and they worshipped him as if he were God. Second of all, his rulership in the churches gave him a platform for spreading his false gospels by recruiting even more worshippers and people subservient to him. These false gospels were very successful because they featured signs and wonders with supposed direct messages from God, which catered to the sinful lusts of the people in wanting to experience signs and wonders before they would believe. Many were deceived, and became a part of the churches to worship their false Christ, Satan, without even knowing it. The true believers, on the other hand, were silenced by not being allowed to proclaim the Word of God in the churches. As we read in Revelation 13, 

Re 13:16 And he [Satan] causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads :
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name

This passage reveals that no man could buy or sell; that is, teach or proclaim the Word of God in the churches unless he bore the spiritual mark of the beast, Satan. And, in time, the true believers were forced to leave the churches, and they also soon became aware of the Lord's command to depart out from the churches (see Why Leave All Churches? ). In obedience to the Lord's command, the elect all departed out of the churches, and, in obedience, remain out of the churches even to this day. Those who are staying in the churches are simply tares bundled for the fire, which fire spiritually began on May 21, 2011 and will end on the Last Day with a literal fire to completely annihilate all the chaff. We read, 

2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up .
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness ,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat ?


Verse 14:   

14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it ?  

In this verse Yahweh first says to Ezekiel, Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog (Satan). From these first few words, we must ask why it is that Yahweh says to Ezekiel, Therefore. In other words, Therefore, because of what? Well, Therefore because I, Yahweh, have just told you, Satan, in advance that you will come up against the churches in the later years, Therefore, son of man prophesy and say unto Gog (Satan), Thus saith the Lord Yahweh; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? The answer is, of course Satan will know it because he was told in advance that he would know it by God Himself. Yes, when May 21, 1988 came, Satan knew it, for on that day he was released from his bondage to not being able to frustrate God's plan to save His elect through the churches so that now he could keep the elect from being saved in the churches. Also, at this time, the Holy Spirit removed Himself from the churches so that Satan was able to enter the churches as the Antichrist, the false Christ, to rule the churches by his deception as judgment against them. 

Now, let's look a little more closely at the sentence, In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely. Actually the word translated as safely can also be translated as carelessly depending on the context. And, since the context is In that day, which refers to May 21, 1988 when Satan was loosed, and the protection of the churches by the Holy Spirit was removed from their midst, it is difficult to think that the churches were then dwelling safely. No, rather, it would be better to translate the word safely as carelessly as we did back in verse 11. So our verse would read like this:  

14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth carelessly, shalt thou not know it

This reveals to us that when Satan sees that the churches are dwelling carelessly; that is, they have no longer any protection from God by the Holy Spirit so that all Satan sees is how unfaithful the churches have become, then Satan will know that it is time for him to come against the churches as a cloud to cover the land. We read, 

Pr 1:33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil

But, the churches would NOT hearken unto Yahweh, so they did NOT dwell safely, and were NOT quiet from the fear of evil. No, on May 21, 1988, the churches were dwelling carelessly as they held many false doctrines, and they would not hearken unto the Lord, so the Lord brought up Satan to spiritually destroy the churches, and, destroy, he did, with all his false gospels and teachings even to this day. 


Verse 15:   

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 . . . 

Here, Gog (Satan) is told that he shall come from [his] place out of the north parts. The north is symbolic of the place where the enemy comes from in the Bible as we read of Nebuchadnezzar, who was a type of Satan who came up against the churches, coming from the north parts when he came up against Judah and Jerusalem to destroy them in 587 BC. We read in Jeremiah 25, 

Jer 25:9 Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations

And, again, we read, 

Jer 50:3 For out of the north there cometh up a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast

And, we read in Jeremiah 1, 

Jer 1:14 Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land

And, in verse 15, 

Jer 1:15 For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the LORD; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah

So, Gog (Satan) comes from the north because he is the enemy who came against the churches in the later years even as the Babylonians came against Judah in 587 BC. The north parts are symbolic of that place where Satan comes from, and, since Satan's place is with this world, the place where he comes from is from this world, which we learned in an earlier study is symbolized by Magog, which was a region originally north of Israel. So we can see why Satan is spoken of as coming from the north parts: it is because the north parts are Magog, which is symbolic of all the nations of the world. This is where Satan comes from, and what he has ruled over. 

Now, our verse says that Satan not only comes out of the north parts (the world), but he comes with many people, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army. Now in that all of them are riding horses simply means that they come in battle, and we are told that they are a great company, and a mighty army. So, all these people who come with Satan in battle against the churches are a great company of people, and a mighty army. Spiritually, they come looking just like the elect. They come with doctrines so close to the truth, that they could deceive the elect if that were possible, and they have the power to do certain miracles to verify their false gospels as if they were true, and to cater to the lusts of unsaved people who seek for signs. Yes, they come to deceive the churches and the whole world into following gospels that cannot save. Indeed, they are a spiritually mighty army! 


Verse 16:

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

In this verse we read, And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel. My people of Israel, of course, is not referring to Old Testament Israel because they were cut off from being God's people at the cross when the veil of the temple was rent in two, which signified that God no longer recognized them as His people. Instead, My people of Israel here refers to the New Testament churches in the latter days, which were the outward representation of the eternal Israel, the elect, who dwelt in them. 

Now, we are told that thou [Satan] shalt come up against my people of Israel; that is, the New Testament churches, as a cloud to cover the land. This mirrors what was already said in verse 9, namely that Thou [Satan] shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land. The idea of Satan being as a cloud is simply teaching that he is coming in judgment since a cloud symbolizes judgment, and the idea that this cloud covers the land means that this judgment is against the whole land, which is all the churches. Judgment is not just against some of the churches, but it is against all of the churches, for the cloud covers the land. 

Next, we find that this judgment brought on the churches by Satan shall be in the latter days. This makes it clear that the focal point of Ezekiel 38 is on the spiritual destruction of the New Testament churches beginning on May 21, 1988, which was in the latter days, and not primarily on the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 587 BC, which was not in the latter days. Nevertheless, the destruction of Judah by the Babylonians was a type of what would happen to the churches. For instance, in speaking about God's judgment on Jerusalem and on her false prophets, Jeremiah says, 

Jer 23:20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly

Here God says, in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly because the judgment that Jeremiah was foretelling which would come upon God's Old Testament people was a type of the judgment which would come upon God's New Testament people, the churches. So, although Jeremiah was foretelling the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem and her prophets by the Babylonians in 587 BC, he was also, at the same time, foretelling the judgment of God upon the New Testament churches, which would take place about 2500 years later on May 21, 1988. 

Now, returning to our verse, we read, 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. Here, Yahweh is saying that He will bring Gog (Satan) against the churches so that the heathen may know [Him] when [He] shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes. Now how is it that by bringing Satan against the churches that the heathen might know Yahweh when He shall be sanctified in Satan before their eyes? Well, remember that when Satan came up against the churches on May 21, 1988, it was only about six years later when the Latter Rain began and the gospel began to go out to the whole world outside of the churches. Many of the heathen (unsaved people) outside of the churches were saved as a result. So, first, Satan came up against the churches to spiritually destroy them because of their rebellion through which God was sanctified; that is, set apart as the Holy and Righteous Judge, but it was because of the rebellion of the churches that the Lord then sent the gospel out into the whole world apart from the churches, and, as a result, many of the heathen were saved during the Latter Rain from September 7, 1994 to May 21, 2011. To put it another way, the Lord brought judgment against and removed salvation from the midst of His churches due their rebelliousness of not listening to and obeying His Word, and this caused Him to turn away from the churches, and to send out the gospel apart from the churches into the whole world, which resulted in the salvation of many of the heathen. In this way, the bringing of Satan against the churches resulted in the salvation of many as the Lord was sanctified, or set apart, before their eyes as the holy and righteous Judge. 


Now may the LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

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