Ezekiel 38-39 - Part 3 (verses 17-23)
By Brother Mike (1-2-15; 51 minutes)
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 ?
Here we begin with the words, Thus saith the Lord GOD. The word here for GOD is actually the word Yahweh in Hebrew, which is the Lord's proper name, so I do believe it would be proper to translate these words as Thus saith the Lord Yahweh. I mean, if the Lord uses His proper name when He says something, should not we do the same in translation rather than change His name to some generic designation such as GOD or LORD, which is commonly used by pagans to designate their false Gods? I mean, there are a thousand of so-called GODS in the world, but there is only one Yahweh. He is the one and only true God, and His proper name is Yahweh. So shouldn't we call Him by His true and proper name? Of course we should! For how would you like to be called man, or if you are a woman, woman instead of by your proper name? Yes, it may set you apart in being a man and not a woman, or a woman and not a man, but it does nothing to set you apart as distinct from the rest of men or women. So, also, the word God does nothing to distinguish Yahweh from all the other so-called Gods in the world. Yet, Yahweh should be distinguished from all the other so-called Gods in the world, so let's call the one and only true God by His proper name, Yahweh. By this we know that when GOD says, Thus saith the Lord Yahweh, we know that the one and only true God is about to speak, and we should be all the more attentive to what He has to say because He is not just any God, but He is THE GOD, the one and only, the Yahweh of the Bible.
Now, Yahweh poses a question to Gog who is actually Satan. He says to him, 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? Obviously, the answer is, yes. For many of the Old Testament prophets did foretell for many years that Satan would come against the churches in the latter days, but normally it was typified in the foretelling of the destruction of Yahweh's Old Testament people as their destruction was a type or foreshadow of what would happen to Yahweh's New Testament people in the latter days. For instance, we read of Jeremiah foretelling the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem, which was an earthly picture of what would spiritually happen to the New Testament churches in the latter days. We see this in that as Jeremiah is prophesying against the Old Testament people, he brings up the latter days as to when it seems to find its ultimate fulfillment. For instance, while prophesying against Jerusalem and her prophets, we read,
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 .
And, again, we read,
Jer 30:24 The fierce anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it .
Apparently it is in the latter days [when] ye shall consider it perfectly because this is when the anger of the LORD shall not return, until He have executed, and till He have performed the thoughts of His heart, which from the context of Jeremiah is the destruction of His own people because they would not listen to His Words and act upon them in obedience. And, because what happened to ancient Israel was a type of what would happen to the New Israel, the churches, in the latter days, we can understand as to why in the latter days you shall consider it perfectly: it is because what Jeremiah and many of the Old Testament prophets prophesied against ancient Israel was also a prophecy against the New Israel, the churches. So we often see double applications to the prophecies of the Old Testament: one intended for ancient Israel and another intended for the New Testament churches because the Old Israel typified the New Israel. But whereas the Old prophecies had earthly, literal application to ancient Israel, they have spiritual application to the New Testament churches. So, in order to understand the Old prophecies and how they apply to the Church, we must interpret the prophecies spiritually by carefully comparing scripture with scripture, for the Old Age was the earthly, literal letter of the law, but the New Age is that of the Spirit. A failure to understand and recognize these things is why all the current interpretations of Ezekiel 38 and 39 that I have seen are off base and in error. They usually attempt to find the literal meaning, which applied to ancient Israel in the times of Old, and they miss the spiritual meaning, which is what applies to the New Israel, the churches in the last days.
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 .
Here in this verse, the first thing to make note of is the phrase at the same time. This phrase is actually more literally translated in that day. Also, the word GOD (capital GOD) should be translated as Yahweh. So our verse now reads,
18 And it shall come to pass in that day when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord Yahweh, that my fury shall come up in my face .
Now the phrase in that day does not refer to just one literal day when Satan came against the churches on May 21, 1988, but it refers to a whole time period of many days beginning with judgment upon the churches from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011, and ending with judgment upon Satan and his kingdom, the world, from May 21, 2011 to the Last Day of the world. This is the time period that the phrase, in that day refers to: It refers to the whole period of judgment, which began with the churches on May 21, 1988, and then continued with the whole world on May 21, 2011 and right to the end of the world. So, the phrase in that day refers to more than just one day, but, rather, a period of many days.
But, when our verse says, And it shall come to pass in that day when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, this is referring to only that part of in that day from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011 because this is the time period according to the biblical calendar when Gog (Satan) actually came against the Land of Israel (the churches).
Now, we read that it would be in that day; that is, from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011 when Satan is bringing judgment against the churches that [Yahweh's] fury will come up in [His] face. This reveals to us that Yahweh became extremely angered that Satan and his army were destroying the churches. Although the churches had gotten to a point where they would not listen to the counsel of the Lord, and they, therefore, deserved destruction, Yahweh paid a huge price at the cross in order that the churches be established, and to now see that they were being destroyed by Satan and his bands made him extremely angry even though it was Yahweh Himself who had recruited Satan and his bands to destroy the churches. Nevertheless, Yahweh had a very tender part in His heart for the churches, and to now be seeing them being destroyed made Him greatly angry and wrath-filled toward Satan and his bands. Yes, it would be on May 21, 2011 when Yahweh would bring his wrath upon Satan and his followers to spiritually destroy them for having come against the churches. It would be a day of vengeance. Even though Satan was permitted to spiritually destroy the churches from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011, Yahweh would now turn and destroy Satan for his arrogance. Indeed, on May 21, 2011 Yahweh's judgment on Satan and all his bands, the entire world, began. And, as we know, salvation was brought to an end for the entire world, and Satan was deposed from ruling over the churches, and he is now held in chains of darkness until that final day when he will be completely annihilated. It doesn't mean that Satan can now do nothing to influence the world, but it means he is no longer king over the churches, or over the world. He is restricted in what he can do, and what he cannot do according to the will of God as Yahweh rules over the world with a rod of iron.
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 . . .
In this verse we learn the reason as to why Yahweh had said that He would become furiously angry at seeing the churches being destroyed by Satan and his bands: we learn that it was because of [His] jealousy and in the fire of [His] wrath [has He] spoken. But why would Yahweh become jealous over the churches being destroyed? Well, it is because Yahweh had given His blood for the establishment of the churches, which harbored His dear elect, and now they were given over to Satan for destruction? You see, it made Yahweh jealous in the fire of His wrath in the same way that a good husband would become jealous and furious over his wife if she had been given over to an evil man to be raped and destroyed. Would not the husband's jealousy over his wife and his anger in wrath be brought against such an evil man? Of course! Even so, as Satan brought judgment against the churches, Yahweh became furious and jealous over the churches, and so it was certain that His wrath against Satan would come, which we now know began on May 21, 2011 when Yahweh's fury exploded against Satan and the world for having destroyed the churches.
Now, we read the following with respect to Yahweh's anger and wrath on the churches: Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel. The word here translated as shaking is the same word for earthquake, and this earthquake is said to have taken place in that day, which, as we had already mentioned, can refer to any of the days of judgment from May 21, 1988 to the Last Day of the world, but, here, we know it refers to May 21, 2011 because this is when we know that a great spiritual earthquake took place. This is when Yahweh began to bring His anger and fury against Satan and the world for having destroyed the churches. And, the nature of Yahweh's attack was to remove salvation from their midst. Never again would anyone be saved in the whole world, which, in essence, was a sentence to destruction since all the remaining people in the world would either die before the Last Day, or be destroyed in the fire of the Last Day. Either way, the unsaved world has nothing to look forward to but destruction and death forevermore. This is the great spiritual shaking, which took place on May 21, 2011, and it is terrible in our eyes.
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 .
Here we are told what the result is of the great shaking in the land of Israel (in the churches): the result is 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. Notice, first of all, that there are 5 categories of things which will shake at the presence of Yahweh: the fishes of the sea, the fowls of the heaven, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth. This is emphasizing the number 5, which is symbolic of judgment (see
Meaning of Bible Number 5
Next, what do each of these 5 categories of things spiritually represent? We'll begin with the fishes of the sea: What do the fishes of the sea symbolize? Actually, this is easy to answer because if you will remember, Jesus said that He would make His disciples fishers of men (Mt. 4:19; Mk. 1:17). So, obviously, fish represent people, and the fishes of the sea represent the people in the world. We see this also in various verses such as Ecclesiastes 9, where we read,
Ec 9:12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them .
And, again, we read in Habakkuk 1,
Hab 1:14 And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them ?
Here, in both of these verses, people are as the fishes, so we can see, once again, how it is that the fish of the sea represent the peoples in the world.
Now, the fowls of the heaven, what do they represent? In answer to this question, we should first recognize that the word fowls is the same word for birds, so if we can discover what birds represent, then we will know what fowls represent as well. We read of birds, for instance, in the following verses:
Pr 27:8 As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place .
Pr 6:5 Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler .
Ps 11:1 In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain ?
Isa 46:11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it .
From these verses, it is evident that a bird can represent a person, and we can conclude, therefore, that the fowls (birds) of the heaven represent people just like the fishes of the sea represent people. So, basically, the fishes of the sea and the fowls of the heaven refer to the same thing, namely people of the world.
But, now, who do the beasts of the field represent? Well, we read in Ecclesiastes 3,
Ec 3:18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts .
And, in the psalms we read,
Ps 49:12 Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish .
Ps 49:20 Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish .
So, it is clear by these verses, that the people of the world are beasts. Also, we had previously learned that the people of the world are referred to as the fishes of the sea and the fowls of the heaven as well.
Now, could the creeping things that creep upon the earth follow suit, and also refer to people in the world? The answer is, yes. We read in Habakkuk 1,
Hab 1:14 And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them ?
And, when Peter had the vision of the unclean things such as creeping things being let down to him in a blanket, it meant that Peter was to go to the gentiles with the gospel (Acts 10:11+). So the gentiles, or the unclean peoples of the world, were symbolized by the creeping things. Thus, once again, we see that the creeping things symbolize the peoples of the world.
Now, finally, the 5th category reads, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth. So what we have found is 5 categories, which represent the peoples of the world with the last category making sure it refers to ALL the peoples of the world. These are all the peoples who spiritually - not literally - shake at the presence of the Lord as He came in judgment on May 21, 2011. Or, to put it another way, this judgment on May 21, 2011 is against all the peoples of the world, and these peoples are listed by 5 categories - the fishes of the sea, the fowls of the heaven, the beasts of the field, the creeping things, and all the peoples which dwell on the face of the earth - in order to emphasize judgment upon ALL the peoples of the world (see
Meaning of Bible Number 5
Next, in our verse, we read, and the mountains shall be thrown down. Mountains in the Bible represent kingdoms, so this is saying that the kingdoms shall be thrown down. But, what kingdoms shall be thrown down on May 21, 2011? Why it is the kingdoms of Satan, of course. He was the ruler of the spiritual kingdoms of the earth, but all his kingdoms were thrown down (conquered) on May 21, 2011 when he was deposed from being the ruler over the churches and the world, and Christ took his place to rule with a rod of iron. Yes, Satan is still in the world to influence people to sin, but he no longer rules as he did from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011 when he was used by Yahweh as judgment against the churches. Thankfully, Satan will finally be completely annihilated on the Last Day when this world goes up in flame.
Now, we read that not only did all the people of the world come under the wrath of God; that is, spiritually shake at Yahweh's presence on May 21, 2011. And, not only did the kingdoms of Satan (the mountains) become thrown down on that day. But, we are told that every wall [fell] to the ground as well. What can this mean? Well, since a wall is what normally gave protection from the enemy, for all the walls to fall to the ground means that there is no longer any protection from the enemy. Spiritually speaking, this means that there is no salvation because salvation is what ensures the spiritual protection of the people; it ensures that there are great walls of protection. And, we can see that walls represent salvation, for instance, in Isaiah 26, where we read,
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, we see that 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. And, since our verse says that every wall [fell] to the ground, we know that beginning on May 21, 2011, salvation for the world came to an end because every wall (salvation) fell to the ground. What we have here, then, is another verse out of the many that declares the end to salvation. There can be no question that on May 21, 2011, salvation has ended for everyone who was not already saved before that time, and we will see this again from a different angle in the next verse.
21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother .
Here we first read that Yahweh says, And I will call for a sword against him [Gog who is Satan] throughout all my mountains. Now, in that Yahweh will call for a sword against Satan means that He will bring the Word of God, which is the sword of the spirit (Eph. 6:17), against him. And, in that Yahweh will call for a sword throughout all [His] mountains means that this sword, which is the Word of God, will be sent throughout all His kingdoms as has been done ever since May 21, 2011 as His elect proclaim the Word of God that judgment has come upon Satan and the whole world. Indeed, Yahweh's call for a sword against Satan has been fulfilled through the elect, for they are the prophets who carry forth the Word of God, which declares that Satan was conquered on May 21, 2011 when Christ deposed Satan from ruling over the churches and the world. And, now, as a result, Christ is the sole ruler over all the kingdoms, and He is ruling the world with a rod of iron wherein salvation has been removed from off the face of the earth. No eternal salvation is possible for anyone, any longer.
Now, we read during this time that every man's sword shall be against his brother. Since a sword represents each man's Word of God - the sword of the spirit is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17) - their Words of God are against one another. But, in just what way is every man's Word against his brother? Well, every man's Word is against his brother in the sense that no man's Word can save his brother because salvation came to an end ever since May 21, 2011. So, it is as if every man's sword is against his brother because if no one can be saved, then everyone is destined to die because the wages of sin is death, and everyone has sinned. Thus, what this verse is actually saying is that there is no more salvation available to the world. No man's Word of God (sword) can save another; it can only bring death. The Day of Salvation has ended, and the Day of Judgment has begun. This is why every man's sword is against his brother. To put it another way, every man's Word of God (sword) is against his brother because normally a man's Word of God (sword) can either cut to eternal life, or cut to eternal damnation - it is a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12) - but now that salvation has come to an end, a man's Word of God (sword) can only cut to damnation, and this is why every man's sword is against his brother. Every man's sword can only cut to damnation, and so this is why every man's sword is against his brother. What we have, therefore, in this verse is an indirect way of saying that salvation has come to an end.
22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone .
In this verse, we first read, And I will plead against him [Satan] with pestilence and with blood; that is, on May 21, 2011 Yahweh will come against Satan with pestilence and with blood. Obviously, this does not mean that Yahweh will come against Satan with literal pestilence and with literal blood. No, rather, pestilence and blood are both symbols for judgment. Remember when Yahweh came against Pharaoh in the days of Moses? He sent ten plagues upon Pharaoh so that Pharaoh would let His people go, and it just so happens that two of these plagues were turning the rivers into blood and bringing pestilence. We read of the Plague of blood in Exodus 7:17-21, where we read,
Thus saith the LORD, In this thou shalt know that I am the LORD: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood.
18 And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall lothe to drink of the water of the river .
19 And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone .
20 And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood .
21 And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt .
And, we read of the plague of pestilence in Exodus 9:3, where we read,
Ex 9:3 Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain [pestilence] .
Now, both of these plagues of blood and of pestilence were a result of God's judgment upon Pharaoh and his people. So, spiritually speaking, we should be able to recognize that when Yahweh says, And I will plead against him [Satan] with pestilence and with blood that we are being told that Satan has come under the spiritual judgment of Yahweh. It is not that Satan has come under a literal pestilence and blood, but, instead, the literal pestilence and the blood are being used to reveal that Satan, a spiritual being, has come under the spiritual wrath of God.
But, then, we read, and I will rain upon him [Satan], and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Notice, first of all, that we read, I [Yahweh] will rain upon him [Satan], and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him. The rain, of course, is symbolizing judgment so that we are being told is that Yahweh will rain judgment on Satan. But, not only will Yahweh rain down judgment upon Satan, but also upon Satan's bands, and upon the many people that are with him. So, there are three categories that will be rained on: Satan, his bands, and the many people that are with him. This emphasizes the number three, which is symbolic of Yahweh's purpose (see
Meaning of Bible Number 3
Next, we are told that this rain of judgment which came upon Satan and the world on May 21, 2011 was an overflowing rain (a downpour), great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Now, an overflowing rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone can each be shown, once again, to represent judgment. And, that there are four categories that symbolize judgment - the overflowing rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone - places emphasis on the number four, which is symbolic of worldwide (see
Meaning of the Bible number 4
23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD .
In this verse, by raining down spiritual judgment upon Satan and the world, Yahweh first says, Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself. In reading this, we have to ask, how does bringing a spiritual judgment upon Satan and the world - a judgment that the world for the most part does not recognize - result in the magnifying or making great of Yahweh? I mean, the world does not even recognize that judgment is taking place, so how can that result in magnifying Yahweh? To put it another way, when the ten plagues on Egypt took place in the days of Moses, the whole kingdom of Pharaoh literally experienced the plagues, and this obviously magnified or made Yahweh great, and He became the greatest God in the then known world. But, ever since May 21, 2011, the spiritual judgment upon the whole world has for the most part gone unrecognized, so how has it magnified or made great the name of Yahweh? Yes, it is a good question that has a good answer. The answer is that Yahweh has been greatly lifted up or magnified not by the world, but by the elect. They are the ones who have recognized that judgment has come, and it is the elect, therefore, who have and are magnifying their God, Yahweh, as spiritual judgment has come, and the elect declare this to the whole world. Furthermore, this declaring of judgment upon the world ever since May 21, 2011 by the elect has and is forcing more and more people to focus in on Yahweh, and this, of course, is giving glory to His name. Therefore, there is the magnifying of Yahweh in that judgment has come upon the world.
But, now, we read that by raining down spiritual judgment upon Satan and the world that Yahweh will, thus, not only magnify His self, but He will sanctify Himself as well. The word sanctify means to set apart as holy, but how, then, does Yahweh set Himself apart as holy by bringing spiritual judgment upon Satan and the world? The answer lies in that by bringing judgment, Yahweh is revealing that He must punish sin, and, if He must punish sin, it is because He is holy, and he, thus, demands that others be holy as well. If they will not be holy, then He must judge their sin, and it is this very act of judging sin that sets Him apart as being holy; otherwise, He could not judge sin. So, in bringing judgment against Satan and the world, Yahweh is making it clear that He is set apart from all the rest as holy. He does not sin, and, indeed, cannot sin. He is set far above all others as holy, and this, in turn, is why He must judge the world, for they are full of sin in and throughout.
Now we read, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD [Yahweh]. But, how will Yahweh be known in the eyes of many nations who will know that He is Lord by spiritual judgment having come on Satan and the world on May 21, 2011, something that the world does not recognize? The only possible answer to this question is that by bringing judgment on Satan and the world, Yahweh will be known in the eyes of many nations who know that He is the Lord because the nations who know that He is Lord refer to the elect. It is the elect who came out from all the different nations, and it is they who know that He is Lord, Yahweh, as He brings spiritual judgment against Satan and the world. Indeed, Yahweh is not only being magnified and sanctified through the elect by spiritual judgment having come on the world on May 21, 2011, but He is also being known in the eyes of many nations (the elect), and the elect know that He is Yahweh.
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.