Friday, April 5, 2013

Satan's Release from Prison

The Worst is Yet to Come


   Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 
   and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 
   They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 20:7-9

   When Satan's term in prison is up he will be released and he will go to all the nations.  This prophecy is obviously not only for the Mediterranean area, but possibly it is only for the four-corners of the then known world since it specifically mentions the lands that make up the territory of Magog.  

It is worthy of note that four trumpets have sounded and four bowls have been poured out, but so far no “woes” have happened.  Now with Satan’s release from prison, the horrible things that happen on earth are so much worse that they are classified as woes.   It is also notable that the angels with the trumpets are sequential, 9:11, like the angels with the seven bowls of wrath, are.

 According to some, Magog, means, the region of Gog.  Plainly, Gog is a person, or, the prince of an area that bears his name; Magog.  In the words of Unger++, Gog, the prince and Magog, his land, will invade Palestine by a great northern confederacy, ostensibly headed up by Russia.  Gog is belonging to the land of Magog the situation of which is defined by its proximity to the isles of the Aegean.  

Allowing for some discrepancy between people who make maps, an atlas shows that the Meshech is the area between the Caspian and the Black Sea, which today is called, The Ukraine.  Tubal, known as Turkey, is directly south of the Black Sea.   Ezekiel chapters 38&39 have much to say about Gog and the last war against Israel. 

Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal". Ezekiel 38:3  Isn't it interesting that Russia has taken Syria's side in a war that probably will spill over into Isreal?  If it does I think that we can expect Christ's return soon after Russia and the Northern Confederacy turn their eyes on Israel!

   In the neighbourhood of fifty years ago, when preachers would still explain Biblical prophecies relating to the end times, they told us that Gog referred to Russia and Magog to China.  What I found interesting about this, now, is that during the Syrian crisis, when the United Nations wanted to impose sanctions against Syria it was Russia and China who opposed the idea.

   Even though we have all this information about the chief prince of Gog, (the northern confederacy) we cannot accept that only those areas, just mentioned, which are north of Israel, will wage a war against the Jews at that time.  We just read that The Destroyer shall go out to the nations, which are in the four quarters of the earth. 

The Last Great War 

  This will be the last great onslaught of anti-Semitism in the history of our world, and unfortunate will be those nations that take up arms against Israel at that time.

   Satan will gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 20:8.   This army was also predicted by Ezekiel; You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you. Ezekiel 38:9.  We read that the army compassed the camp and the city but here we do not read that the war against the Jews actually happened.

“I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,” says the Lord God. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother”. Ezekiel 38:21.  The picture I see is that of an army, composed of so many different nations and attitudes, and perhaps different reasons for being there, that before they engage Israel in war, they turn on each other with their weapons.

According to Christ Israel will certainly experience the agony of that war. Mat. 24:15  Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" ... then let those who are in Judea flee upon the mountains ... For then there shall be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until now, nor by any means shall be. Mat. 24:15-16+21  

   As was said earlier about the word “horses”, it can mean “a method of transportation”; in like manner, the word “sword”, can mean “any weapon used in war”, so that the word sword could include rifles, land mines, tanks, etc.  We also note that fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 20:9

   As noted several times already, the word, heaven means an elevated (or lofty) place.  Therefore the fire that came out of heaven may be something as ordinary as fire (bombs) from an aeroplane or perhaps extraordinary as fire from other airborne objects.  

About this same incident Ezekiel wrote, I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Ez. 38:18  A scene, perhaps, not too different than that which the Allied forces enacted in Libya in 2011.  Just because the Lord says He will do it, it does not mean that He will not use man made war machines to carry out His plans.

  Throughout these posts it is being maintained that the trumpets and the bowls of wrath go hand in hand; a trumpet sounds the warning and the associated bowl of wrath is poured out immediately after. 

  It is also accepted that the trumpets are blown and the bowls of wrath are poured in the sequence in which they are written and that the last three trumpets will be blown and the last three bowls poured after Satan is released from the pit.  It seems that because of his presence and his desire to do damage and destruction, the effects of the last three bowls of wrath are more severe; severe enough to be referred to as woes.

++ Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Merrill F. Unger

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