Chapter 8 - The real meaning of 'Gog and Magog'
The subject concerning 'Gog and Magog' is also another misunderstood event by most readers and even historical commentators of the "Abrahamic" religions. The interpretation given by St. Augustine of Hippo concerning his observation is later to be shown to be correct in describing the identity of 'Gog and Magog'. St. Augustine gives us the true meaning of 'Gog and Magog' as being a spiritual manifestation. However, the rest of the observation is inundated with Millennialistic overtones. These overtones and undertones derive from John’s Millennialism within the Book of Revelation. However, John’s Millennialism is a spin-off and error based on Paul’s Dispensationalism. First, the attempt will be made to correct and elaborate St. Augustine’s interpretation by offering a proposed theory which is supported by biblical evidence. St. Augustine of Hippo must be congratulated for metaphysical and dogmatic defense. Furthermore, his work is a necessary step that will reveal to the readers the true and original meanings 'Gog and Magog'.
St.Augustine of Hippo stated in his treatise - ' City of God ':
“Chapter 11.—Of Gog and Magog, Who are to Be Roused by the Devil to Persecute the Church, When He is Loosed in the End of the World.
“And when the thousand years are finished, Satan shall be loosed from his prison, and shall go out to seduce the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, and shall draw them to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.” This then, is his purpose in seducing them, to draw them to this battle. For even before this he was wont to use as many and various seductions as he could continue. And the words “he shall go out” mean, he shall burst forth from lurking hatred into open persecution. For this persecution, occurring while the final judgment is imminent, shall be the last which shall be endured by the holy Church throughout the world, the whole city of Christ being assailed by the whole city of the devil, as each exists on earth. For these nations which he names Gog and Magog are not to be understood of some barbarous nations in some part of the world, whether the Getæ and Massagetæ, as some conclude from the initial letters, or some other foreign nations not under the Roman government. For John marks that they are spread over the whole earth, when he says, “The nations which are in the four corners of the earth,” and he added that these are Gog and Magog. The meaning of these names we find to be, Gog, “a roof,” Magog, “from a roof,”—a house, as it were, and he who comes out of the house. They are therefore the nations in which we found that the devil was shut up as in an abyss, and the devil himself coming out from them and going forth, so that they are the roof, he from the roof. Or if we refer both words to the nations, not one to them and one to the devil, then they are both the roof, because in them the old enemy is at present shut up, and as it were roofed in; and they shall be from the roof when they break forth from concealed to open hatred. The words, “And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and encompassed the camp of the saints and the beloved city,” do not mean that they have come, or shall come, to one place, as if the camp of the saints and the beloved city should be in some one place; for this camp is nothing else than the Church of Christ extending over the whole world. And consequently wherever the Church shall be,—and it shall be in all nations, as is signified by “the breadth of the earth,”—there also shall be the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and there it shall be encompassed by the savage persecution of all its enemies; for they too shall exist along with it in all nations,—that is, it shall be straightened, and hard pressed, and shut up in the straits of tribulation, but shall not desert its military duty, which is signified by the word “camp.” (Source: City of God , Book 20,Chapter 11)
The answer is clear concerning the riddle of 'Gog and Magog'. The Ezekiel prophecy was intended for the events surrounding the construction of the Second Temple. When Ezekiel wrote down this section concerning 'Gog and Magog' it was meant as a spiritual entity. Furthermore, his mention of 'Gog and Magog', was an explanation to the spiritual manifestation of forces against the construction of the Second Temple. The mention by John, if he was following the same pattern of Ezekiel, was presenting a spiritual manifestation of forces supporting the rise of a physical rebellion. This would mean that John’s mention of 'Gog and Magog' was directed against a post-Roman entity and those who have never accepted the gospel. Moreover, the prediction will be proven false and its descriptive language may be a derivative of later pre-Amillennialism. Furthermore, through the spiritualized description given by John, the post-Roman entity rises after A.D. 1140 the end of the supposed 1,000 year reign/rule of Jesus. Ezekiel's 'Gog and Magog' and John's 'Gog and Magog' flows in different directions. For example, Ezekiel 'Gog and Magog' is rather physical to spiritual opposition while John's 'Gog and Magog' is spiritual to physical opposition to the new Temple being Jesus himself. The order of Temples: 1st Temple of Solomon, 2nd Temple of Zerubbabel(Herod), and 3rd Temple being Jesus himself (Revelation 21:3 & Revelation 22:21).
The apocalyptic message of John was meant for those living during Roman times. It was neither meant nor intended for any time after A.D. 1140. If Revelation 21:22 is the actual physical body of Jesus then by reading the rest of the chapter (Revelation 21:23-27) we get the conclusion that 'Gog and Magog' are nations who refuse to accept Jesus as the Messiah (Revelation 20:8, Revelation 18:13, Revelation 1:7). The mention of "slaves" and "those who pierced him" indicates the era of which these verses were intended to be manifested. The supporting proof would be the identity of who and what is "Babylon" in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 14:8 and 1st Peter 4:13) which is the Roman Empire. Finally, the mention of seven hills or mountains (Revelation 17:9) positively identifies the Roman Empire. Nevertheless, 'Gog' stated in the Book of Revelation is the human populace roused to fight Jesus and his saints at Jerusalem. 'Magog' would be represented as Satan (Revelation 20:7-8) the one who instigated the war. The imagery of the instigation is the second and final series to the temptation of Adam (Genesis Chapter three) but this time Adam is represented as the whole Human race given the designation as 'Gog & Magog' in the Book of Revelation 20:8.
The proper order of events: In A.D. 70; the "captivity" repeated by the Romans and earlier initiated by the Babylonians, lead twice to the physical destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Furthermore, this would be the signal to begin the cycle (The importance of the seventy years cycle is explained in another chapter of this book). A.D. 70 to A.D. 140 is the actual GREAT tribulation of the Book of Revelation in which it was intended (Revelation 1:9, Revelation 2:9, and Revelation 7:14). Yes, the first two verses tell us two types of eras: (1) The years before the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70 are considered the tribulation and those years after A.D. 70 are the GREAT tribulation. (2) The last verse, Revelation 7:14, tells of an actual physical resurrection which is the first physical resurrection of the whole Christian congregation or community. The actual and physical thousand years reign of Messiah Jesus and his followers occur between - A.D. 140 to A.D. 1140 (Revelation 20:6).
The total apocalyptic model within the Book of Revelation:
1. The Pre Tribulation era before Jesus crucifixion
2. The Tribulation era after the crucifixion of Jesus
3. The Great Tribulation era, initiated with the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70.
4. The Rapture event at A.D. 140.
5. The 1,000 year reign or rule lasting until A.D. 1140.
6. The Judgment war of 'Gog and Magog'
7. The Lake of Fire event
8. The city of New Jerusalem ( 'City of God’ ) era
*All of this above supposedly happening between A.D. 1 to A.D. 1140.
The resurrection of 'Gog' are considered an evil manifestation of the power of Satan ('Magog'). The Ezekiel verses, Ezekiel 37:1-14, is the background imagery of the events surrounding Revelation 20:8. In the first resurrection, the end of the great tribulation which is A.D. 140, messiah Jesus rules for 1,000 years, literally or a thousand generations, with his Christian saints by initiating the rapture. In the year A.D. 1140, the jealousy and hate resurrects itself within the people who have never accepted the physical miracle or the supposed supernatural disturbance (rapture) which supposedly occurred within the material history or timeline on planet Earth in A.D. 140. In other words, John’s suggestion to his readers is that people who never believed will still be living after the A.D. 140 event in which messiah Jesus returns through "rapture". Let me explain John’s false predictions:
Before Jesus crucifixion until Jesus crucifixion ("armageddon") -Pre Tribulation years
*The meaning of "armageddon" as Jesus crucifixion is explained in another chapter.*
Before A.D. 70 - The tribulation years of the Church or congregation of the Messiah before the destruction and not desecration of the Temple in Jerusalem.
A.D. 70 - The physical destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem, the signal for the GREAT tribulation for the early Christian community. Paul expected only a desecration of the Temple while John later revised the "prophecy". Paul was executed before the Temple's destruction and the Gospel of Matthew keeped Paul's false prediction in Matthew chapter twenty-four.
A.D. 70 to A.D. 140 – The era of the GREAT tribulation, the Roman Empire is ruled by the spirit of Nero which could be Nero himself but my theory would suggest a combination of events. Nero is ruling or actually his successors carry on his policies and this is the spirit of Nero. Through historical records the deduction could be derived that Nero himself, the spirit of Nero and the successors who followed the same policy towards the Christian community could be properly labeled as "666". The previous example could be validated because the Roman emperor Vespasian destroyed the Temple two years after Nero's death. Later evidence will be shown to connect "666" with the Roman leadership and its idols at the marketplace.
A.D. 140 - The 1st physical resurrection takes place or rapture of the congregation of the Messiah. This is the difference between Paul’s Dispensationalism and John’s Millennialism because Paul expected or falsely predicted the desecration of the Temple while John is describing the destruction of the Temple (The Gospel of John 2:19-21 and Revelation 6:13-14, 8:10-13, 12:2, 13:5).
A.D. 140 to A.D. 1140 - Messiah Jesus and his congregation rules the Earth with an iron fist or strength for a thousand years (Revelation 2:27, Revelation 19:15-16 and Revelation 20:6) through Jerusalem.
A.D. 1140 - The resurrection of an evil spirit and enmity creates the spiritual forces of 'Gog and Magog' then is physically manifested with actual people rebelling against the rule of Messiah Jesus (Revelation 20:7-8).
Post A.D. 1140 - The battles for Earth commences and then after the second victory, the second resurrection is commanded to occur. The second resurrection separates the nominal Christians from the faithful Christians. The first victory occurred at A.D. 140 where the leaders of the earth were humiliated and proven incorrect by Messiah Jesus through the event of rapture. The second victory is detailed as the final result of the unraveling of material history warped by apocalyptic events (Revelation 20:9-15).
The reason why John describes the Temple as Jesus himself (Revelation 21:22) is because the role of the Temple has expired (Revelation 21:3). The role of 'Gog and Magog' is repeated like the events of Zerubbabel in his difficulties to rebuild the Second Temple. The first 'Gog and Magog' of Ezekiel are the spiritual forces whom are obstructionistic in the construction of the second Temple under Zerubbabel (Ezekiel chapter thirty-eight, Ezekiel Chapter thirty-nine, Obadiah 1:20, All of the Book of Haggai, Zechariah chapter three, Zechariah 4:9, Ezra 6:14, Nehemiah 1:7, Nehemiah chapter four, Nehemiah 5:1-13, Nehemiah 6:1-15). The passages of Nehemiah are the main evidence for the first 'Gog and Magog' to have physically existed in spiritual form. The other verses which are not in the Book of Nehemiah, and are rather prophetic, and are spiritual manifestations of the Nehemiah passages. In other words, the Nehemiah passages are more historical records and literal in description. Therefore, there are two eras in which 'Gog and Magog' were to occur if we accept the words of John to be from a divine source. So, accordingly, the second 'Gog and Magog' are several generations after those who have seen the return of Messiah Jesus. In other words, the second 'Gog and Magog' are those generations of human beings who still do not believe and lived under the thousand years reign and rule of Messiah Jesus and his Christian saints. Now, the 'Gog' are accompanied by nominal Christians (Revelation 2:22, Revelation 2:26, Revelation 21:7-8). The meaning of "false prophet" in Revelation 20:10 is a leader among the nominal Christians and is the successor of Korah and represented as the spirit of Korah who rebelled against Moses stated in the Book of Numbers (Numbers chapter sixteen). As noted, the first manifestation of the bottomless pit (Numbers 16:32) and concluding with the second and final bottomless pit (Revelation 20:10-15). The second and final bottomless pit is destroyed by the all-consuming Lake of Fire according to John in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 20:14).
Therefore, "Magog" being a single entity is Satan himself according to the writings attributed to Ezekiel and Zechariah. Ezekiel 39:6 is separating "Magog" from the group body or plural entities of "Gog". Therefore, the Ezekiel passage is a symbolic composition describing the events surrounding the opposition to rebuild the Temple under Zerubbabel's leadership. The physical evidence of this rebellion or opposition is described in the book of Zechariah. Zechariah chapters three and four is in reference to the writings and symbolic events of Ezekiel 39:6. In other words; the mention of ‘Gog and Magog’ is describing the rebuilding of the Second Temple after Babylonian captivity, which already occurred, and not detailing a future event.
The role and explanation of what is and who are 'Gog and Magog' has been presented. The eras were presented and explained but a critical problem has presented itself. How could this be true if the events of A.D. 140 never occurred? The complete physical manifestations concerning the Book of Revelation was supposedly concluded at A.D. 1140.
Therefore, there are two opposing versions: Preterist view and Millennialist view.
Would this model be true: Thesis --> <-- Anti Thesis = Synthesis? Is there a mixture of the Preterist view and Millennialist view?
If you totally deny my evidence and therefore embrace the Millennialist or futurist view then the problem derives from the rejection of the evidence. Millennialism or futurism and even historicism would be going against the literal or actual meaning and intent of the Book of Revelation.
If you embrace the Preterist view which means that the prophecies were fulfilled around A.D. 70 therefore the Book of Revelation were "fulfilled" with exception to the last four or three chapters. The previous perception is surely true according to my research. However, the conclusion is the Book of Revelation is not a supernatural book but rather a natural treatise employing borrowed language from previous Old Testament sources. The Full-Preterist view and the Amillennial view would be addressed later. The views described would be shown to also be insufficient when challenged with various proofs showing the Book of Revelation to be a total or complete natural treatise.
However, the “full manifestations” of the Book of Revelation were fulfilled and completed at A.D. 1140. Historically, the message was completed when Constantine co-authored legislation called: The Edict of Milan in A.D. 313, which ended the persecution of Christians within the Roman Empire. The previous will also be elaborated in a later chapter.
Therefore, if this is true then what we are left with is only the message concerning the Book of Revelation. The remainder is the spiritual meaning of the Book of Revelation and all of the New Testament canon. The deviant ‘Gnostics’would be correct if the predictions and “prophecies” within the New Testament are proven to be false. In other words, the remainder would be the new description – “Full-Amillennialism” of the past ‘Gnostics’.
A. The evidence above refutes some of the commentary by St. Augustine of Hippo eventhough he properly described the identity of who and what is 'Gog and Magog'.
B. The Millennialist ,and even parts of the Preterist view, has been discredited. If the destruction of the Temple is taken into account then the idea of a seventy years cycle is calculated because it was intended to be a copy of the previous Babylonian destruction of the first Temple. Therefore, something had to happen at A.D. 140 and the only expected event would fit the space in the timeline would be the rapture and appearance of Messiah Jesus initiating the thousand years reign. Furthermore, John's message within the Book of Revelation was to introduce a timeline of events which was meant to be literal. Therefore, the symbolic language employed by John was to code his message because of the possible confiscation of his letters by his Roman captors. Hence, the reason of omitting direct references to "Rome" or "Romans" or “Nero” throughout his treatise to the seven churches.
C. The only other texts outside of the Christian and Jewish texts which describe 'Gog and Magog' are the Islamic texts. The Islamic texts are also proven in error or wrong unless, of course, a new interpretation through the ijtehad process is developed and presented. The Quran details of a past event (Qu'ran 18:94) but even its verses (Qu'ran 18:86-99) are not in accordance with the earlier presentation stated in Biblical sources. Therefore, the Qu'ran details a future event and makes the error of stating that these are actual tribes. Then it made a false conclusion and a false assertion that these tribes are now in existence (Qu'ran 18:99). Unless of course, the 'Gog and Magog' in the Qu'ran are not the same entity which are described in the Bible. Through the known Islamic texts and polemics we find numerous errors even by interpreters of Islamic texts. As explained, the proper meaning is that 'Gog' is a group of people and the 'Magog' is the spiritual manifestation of Satan (Zechariah 3:1) which occurred during the construction of the second Temple under the leadership of Zerubbabel.
D. There are two manifestations of 'Gog and Magog'. There are also two Temples and one symbolic Temple associated with these two types of manifestations. The 1st 'Gog and Magog' is associated with building of the second Temple and surrounds the events of Zerubbabel's struggle to rebuild the Temple. The 2nd 'Gog and Magog', according to John’s interpretation, is associated with the struggle of people to accept the rule of Jesus and his Christian saints during the conclusion of the thousand years span. The people are exhorted to fight against the millennial system of Jesus. The people who never accepted Jesus as the Messiah and the spirit of Satan is what composes the entity of 'Gog and Magog' stated in the Book of Revelation.
E. Therefore; Jewish, Christian and Islamic sources of moral codes, has exhibited through erros, are still sources of beneficence and non-maleficience. Therefore, the previous theory is stating our moral codes are derived from natural observations. The reason for the previous is based on the formula of modern philosophers like W.D. Ross and others. Many modern philosophers and historical scholars, through anthropology, show that the morals derived from the said religions existed previously. In other words, the sources of the moral codes are proven to be derived from ancient belief systems which composed moral laws before the said religions. The previous example will be discussed in another chapter. Furthermore, these observations are the source of our current natural rights and human rights. However, these sources may have derived their“beneficience” from a natural source like natural evolution. For instance, the naturalist theory which observes the Book of Ecclesiastes (or Kohelet in Hebrew) to be relevant compared to the “prophecies” or predictions by John, the writer of the Book of Revelation. For example, the book attributed to Solomon, does contain wisdom against various forms of the "beast" (leaders, business leaders and others of social responsibility) and to avoid becoming a spiritual "beast". For instance, Paul even uses the term "beast" to describe those at the church of Ephesus (1st Corinthians 15:32). The previous proofs are the moral lessons within these so-called “religious”sources which surpasses the Book of Revelation. Furthermore, it would be acceptable to accept the idea that messiah Jesus was human and not divine. It would be proven, in another chapter, the moral codes from these “religious” sources derive from natural evolution. In other words; through trial and error, in the human evolutionary chain of events based on the cycle of material history or social evolution.
F. The mention of "Magog" in the Book of Genesis (Genesis 10:2-5) is partly relevant to both Ezekiel's and Revelation's usage of the term "Magog". Both Ezekiel's and Revelation's use of the term is symbolic rather than a literal description of a tribe or a group of tribes. The previous mentioned supposition is known through the rest of the verses because of the use of the term "Gentiles" is also shown as a return to the symbolic designation of the lands (Revelation 20:8). Therefore, "Gog" are several generations of Gentiles who never accepted the message of Jesus despite being ruled for a thousand years under the government of Jesus. The previous statement is an assumption of the mind of the writer of the Book of Revelation. The said statement is actually a dangerous proposal which could lead to generalizations and prejudices by those not knowing that all of the said predictions located in the Book of Revelation were "fulfilled". Revelation 20:8-" ...the NATIONS which are in the four quarters(or corners) of the earth,…”. The NATIONS are transformed into "Gog" when the spirit of "Magog" rallies them to the fight after the thousand years rule of Jesus. Simply, the use of the term "Magog" evolved into a spiritual designation. The spiritual designation was proven through Ezekiel's use of the term. Furthermore, the use by the Book of Revelation was to present a spiritual transformation of physical lands and people when they accept the call of "Magog"(Satan) changing them into "Gog" (The rebellious people after the 1,000 year reign). The failed prediction by the writer of the Book of Revelation may lead to dangerous generalizations and lead to other modern absurd theories. These dangerous generalizations will be addressed in chapter thirteen of this book – Book of Revolution.
G. There is also a confusion concerning prophecies derived from the Book of Ezekiel. The verses stated in the Book of Ezekiel are describing Zerubbabel, the leader in the construction of the Second Temple after Babylonian captivity. The evidence to describe Zerubbabel is Isaiah 52:9-11 and Zechariah 13:7-9 (because these two passages are associated with Ezekiel chapter thirty-seven). The supporting evidence is located in Ezekiel 39:23 and Ezekiel 45:15-19 which are clearly showing ceremonial procedures something which does not agree with both Paul’s Dispensationalism and John’s Millennialism. Furthermore, in the New Testament Canon within the four documents (Colossians 1:25-27, Ephesians 1:10, Ephesians 1:17, Ephesians 3:2, 1st Corinthians 9:17, Hebrews 9:9-15, and Hebrews 9:24) the temple ceremonies are stated to be no longer relevant. The writer of the Book of Revelation, John, states in Revelation 21:3 and Revelation 21:22 that Jesus is the new tabernacle/temple on earth and the new temple in heaven. The reason is the importance of the phrase - "time is short" statements by Paul (1st Corinthians 7:29) and John (Revelation 1:3, Revelation 3:10, Revelation 6:11, and Revelation 22:6). The previous statements are an example of Paul’s Dispensationalism. With all the evidence the only conclusion is that the Ezekiel passages were meant for Zerubbabel and for those who are associated with the construction of the Second Temple (Zechariah 2:8, Haggai 1:23) because these previous individuals, Zerubabbel and others, continued with the Temple ceremonies.