Gog and Magog
Is God really responsible for everything that happens? Are all things really "from Him, through Him, and to Him" the way some Christians believe?
Doesn't James 1.13 say "Let no one say when he is tempted 'I am being tempted by God', for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone."?
Yet we know temptations come. We struggle with fossils from our past all the time. What gives? Is God a liar?
I want to introduce you to Gog and Magog. Read about them in Ezekiel 38-39, and in Revelation 20.8. God says several things about them.
1) He is against them
2) He is going to hook them in the mouth
3) He is goung to draw them out against the "Holy Land"
4) He is going to destroy them by raining fire and brimstone on them.
Who are Gog and Magog? Most biblical scholars will probably tell you that they are nations - people groups, tribes, that sort of thing. Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye think they are Russia. I think they may well be a people group, but at a deper level they represent that rebellious, self-willed, lustful part of all of us. Gog and Magog represent the carnal mind - one of the few things clearly stated to be an enemy of God in the New Testament. Why do I think this?
Well, consider the verses following the one in James I had you read earlier. James 1.14 says "but each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires, and enticed." The terms 'drawn away' and 'enticed' are of particular importance here. In Greek, these are hunting terms. They relate to the catching and securing of game or fish. A fish is drawn away by a lure, and enticed by the hook on that lure. The distinction is not clear in English, but in Greek these words represent two phases of the catching of game: the lure, and the trap itself.
In Ezekiel 38, God says he will put hooks in the jaws of Gog and Magog. Do you see the connection now? Gog and Magog are something which can be hooked and drawn out. That part of us which responds to luring and enticement - that part which follows its lusts (desires) - which part is that? The carnal mind.
I want to take a moment and tell you that the carnal mind is different from the physical body. There is nothing inherently sinful in the physical body. But the carnal mind was produced as a result of rebellion against God. The carnal mind is that which causes us to follow the lusts of the body - lust for wealth, lust for food, lust for power and recognition and praise. The needs of the body - food, clothing, learning, sex, protection - none of these are wrong in and of themselves. But the carnal mind perverts these lawful needs into lawless goals. It changes our perception from "food, clothing, shelter are things I need along the way to my ultimate purpose" into "food, clothing, and shelter are the goals of my journey."
You can see this carnal mind clearly in the actions of the nation of Israel, as they wandered through the desert. Whenever they lacked water, or food, they were happy to follow God. But when ever God led them to some more food, or fresh water, they wanted to stop following God and make a permanent camp.
God is against the carnal mind, and everything it produces. The world system we now live in is a product of the actions of the carnal mind - a quest for power, the building up of the "I am God all by myself" tower.
Gog and Magog are mentioned again, in Revelation 20. Notice please verse 7. Satan is released from his restraint (who releases him? the same one who restrained him in the first place: an angel OF GOD!) He goes out to deceive the nations who occupy the four corners of the earth. These nations have a name: Gog and Magog. Sorry Hal! Sorry Tim! There goes another prophecy prognosticator sacred cow! Gog and Magog are every nation on earth, and their number is as the sand of the sea! They cover the whole earth! And the only reason they come TOGETHER (ie their only unity) lies in their desire to attack the camp of the saints, and the beloved city.
By now, the image of Gog and Magog should be coming into focus in your perceptions. Gog and Magog has a root in all of us. But take heart, because God has promised to expose and burn that root.
Jesus made a promise to his disciples in John 15.6. This verse has probably been used as a threat agains you by some religious witch at one time or another, but I want you to see it as a promise: God is going to pull out, wither, gather up, and throw in the fire every part of you that can't or won't abide in Him. The carnal mind cannot and will not abide in Him, because it abides in / lives in / depends on only itself. Thus God pledges himself to eliminate it. How? By FIRE - exposure to His nature. The specific promise is this: they will be cast into the fire, with the result that they are burned. Now to be sure God also exposes to fire that of Himself in us. But the result of that action is purification. Fire destroys wood, hay, and stubble, but it refines gold and silver, and produces precious stones.
By the way. In both Ezekiel and Revelation, it is the fire of God which destroys Gog and Magog.
Back to James now. It it or is it not God doing these things? What of the original question in this essay?
It is most definitely God. How could it not be? But James seems to say temptation does not come from God. True. God releases Satan to tempt Gog and Magog. So Satan works directly on Gog and Magog, to bring them to war against the identity of God. What is God's purpose in all this? God is a master tactician. He knows just how to win a battle: draw them out into the open and Napalm to the bone!
Gog and Magog in a free-fire zone! Napalm, Napalm to the bone!
The purpose of God is to fully bring forth the character and nature of Jesus Christ in you. You as an individual, and we as a body, are growing up in all respects into Him who is the head. But along the way, there are enemies to be slaughtered and obstacles to be breached.
The defeat of Gog and Magog is the last battle before the appearing of the New Jerusalem, ZION, the fully matured people of God - the fullness of God indwelling His people, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. That's why Gog and Magog come up against the CAMP of the saints. A camp is a temporary dwelling place. The saints are camped, waiting for what? For Gog and Magog! And once they are wiped out? The very next image John sees is the New Jerusalem! Gog and Magog line up against 1) the camp of the Saints and 2) the beloved city. In another post, I mentioned how God is calling us to become right-handed people, and leave the realm of left handedness. It's tome to cross over from relating to God merely on the basis of love and tenderness, and add to that power and authority. The beloved city awaits the coming of the new capitol city. Jerusalem becomes Zion - just after wiping out Gog and Magog.
So the next time you feel broken and defeated because of what you perceive to be a failure of sin - whatever it may be - realize what is actually taking place. God is putting the hooks in your Gog and Magog, drawing out that carnal nature, to be fully exposed and destroyed. Step by step, event by event, area by area, Gog and Magog are being exterminated. For them, there is no mercy, no quarter, no surrender, and no rest. Kill them all-Let God sort out the rest. Be of good cheer, because Zion is coming, and now is!
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