The Attack by Gog of Magog
1. What does the Bible disclose concerning Satan’s invisible organization, and how is Satan symbolized in Revelation to harmonize with that disclosure?
THE Holy Bible reveals many marvelous things to us about the invisible realm of spirit persons. It discloses that Satan the Devil has an invisible organization of demons and that there are spirit princes in it. Daniel’s prophecy reveals that there was one such spirit prince in unseen charge of the Persian empire, when it dominated the world, and also that there was a spirit prince in charge of the rising power of Greece, which was to overthrow Persia and succeed it as the dominant world power. (Daniel, chapter 10) The Bible’s last book, Revelation, indicates that up to a certain date there would be seven such world powers having to do with Jehovah’s witnesses, these, in the order of their rise to dominance, being (1) Egypt, (2) Assyria, (3) Babylon, (4) Medo-Persia, (5) Greece, (6) Rome, and (7) the Anglo-American world power of today. According to what Daniel’s prophecy suggests, each of these seven world powers has had a spirit prince in secret charge of it. In Revelation Satan the Devil, their ruler, is pictured as a great fiery-red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns and upon its heads seven diadems. Thus the fact that Satan the Devil has headship over the seven princes of the seven world powers is pictured in that the great dragon in heaven has seven diademed heads. According to the facts of history, headship over Gog is not pictured in any of the dragon’s seven heads.
2. When did a change in the position of the Dragon and his spirit princes come, and how?
2 Of course, that was while the symbolic Dragon was still up in heaven. Then came A.D. 1914, a year of war not only for the earth but also for the invisible heavens, because that year Jehovah God enthroned the newborn kingdom of his Son Jesus Christ and “war broke out in heaven.” The Dragon and its angels fought against the Kingdom but did not hold onto even a bridgehead in heaven. “So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him.” (Rev. 12:7-9, NW) Thus the seven spirit princes were cast down, the Dragon’s headship over whom was indicated by its seven diademed heads.
3, 4. (a) How is Satan’s organization symbolized, and how its latest dominant member? (b) How is the League of Nations pictured, and do the Dragon and the wild beast develop each an eighth head because of it?
3 The Dragon has a visible organization, of which the seven world powers have been dominant members. This entire visible organization is pictured as a wild beast, it too having seven heads, to correspond with those dominant world powers. This wild beast came up out of the sea. But upon the scene another wild beast appears, rising out of the earth. Its one head has two horns like a lamb’s. After performing great signs it recommends making an image of the seven-headed wild beast for mankind’s worship.
4 Briefly, the two-horned beast out of the earth pictures the two-membered world power of one speech today, the Anglo-American world power. The image that this Anglo-American world power took the lead in recommending was the League of Nations, today the United Nations. In Revelation, chapter seventeen, this League of Nations or United Nations is itself pictured as a wild beast of scarlet color and with seven heads, upon which the prostitute woman Babylon the Great sits as rider. That seven-headed wild beast really results from the preceding seven world powers, but it acts like an eighth king or world power. It is so spoken of in these words: “And the wild beast that was [before World War II] but is not [during World War II], it is also itself an eighth king, but owes its existence to the seven, and it goes off into destruction.” (Rev. 17:8, 11, NW) In view of this eighth world power, the question now is, Did the seven-headed wild beast from the sea grow another head and become eight-headed? Did Satan the Devil then appoint an eighth spirit prince to supervise the League of Nations (now the United Nations) and thus did the great Dragon add another head to its seven? The Divine Record does not say so. When the Dragon is finally cast into the abyss at Armageddon and the wild beast from the sea is cast into destruction in the lake of fire, they are still understood as having each the same number of heads as before, just seven.—Rev. 19:19, 20.
5. In the relations between the seventh world power and the League beast, what fact does away with any need of an eighth demon prince? And so who still dominates?
5 One fact we must remember: The League beast or eighth world power is really under the seventh world power, for it was this Anglo-American combine that designed and then put breath of life into the League beast. Hence this eighth world-power beast is actually under the unseen control of the spirit prince of the seventh world power. This fact would do away with any need of an eighth demon prince. Despite the existence of the League or United Nations or along with its existence, the seventh world power and its spirit prince wield just as much power in Satan’s world as before the great Dragon was ejected from heaven and before the League of Nations was formed. Consequently there exists no eighth demon prince for the seventh prince to have a rivalry with or to be succeeded by. Such would be the case if Gog were a new and eighth spirit prince newly raised to power to act as Satan’s chief of staff on the battlefield of Armageddon. Since World War I Britain itself may have weakened, but her horn of power today is reinforced by the atomic bomb, and her partner America has become the world’s most powerful nation. In view of this fact the seventh world-power prince would still dominate in Satan’s unseen organization.
6. How do the mouths out of which the frogs hop show there is no eighth spirit prince, but where, nevertheless, do we locate Gog?
6 This seventh world power becomes the “false prophet” of Revelation (16:13; 19:20; 20:10), and when we see frogs hop out to croak and urge the world rulers on to Armageddon, what? It is not out of the mouth of the eighth world power or “image of the wild beast” that a frog hops, but it is out of the mouth of the “false prophet” and out of the mouth of the wild beast from the sea with still only seven heads. (Rev. 16:13-16) So there is visibly nothing on earth for any eighth spirit prince to be represented by in Bible symbolisms. Hence the suggestion of twenty years ago that Gog was an eighth demon prince is now seen to be without proof. However, that suggestion was leading us in the right direction for locating Gog, namely, in the spirit world and not in the visible earthly, human society. Therefore Gog still represents, not a visible human ruler or nation, such as Russia, but a spirit ruler. Whom, then, does Gog symbolize?
7. Of whom, then, is Gog a prophetic figure, and when, and where?
7 It is evident now that Gog is a figure prophetic of the ruler of all seven demon princes, namely, Satan the Devil. So Gog pictures that original Serpent, the Dragon, not when up in heaven but when down here at the earth. That is to say, after he has been cast out of heaven and been restrained at the earth with his seven demon princes. Thus Gog pictures Satan during the short period of time that he has left between the end of the war in heaven and the battle of Armageddon. After his ejection from heaven Satan the Dragon is angry with God’s woman who gave birth to the Kingdom. So it is the Dragon that goes forth to make war upon the “remaining ones of her seed” who observe God’s commandments and have the work of bearing witness to Jesus. It is the Dragon out of whose mouth the frog hops to gather the world rulers to Armageddon. It is the seven-headed Dragon itself that takes charge of the final attack and the ensuing war at Armageddon.—Rev. 12:7-17; 16:13.
8. Whom does Jehovah use to crush the Serpent’s head, and what, if anything, does this argue for Satan’s using an eighth spirit prince at Armageddon? Why?
8 True, Jehovah God does use Jesus Christ to fight as his chief of staff at Armageddon. But why is that so? Because Jehovah had foretold that, because the Serpent misled our first parents into sin in Eden, the Seed of God’s woman would bruise the great Serpent at the head. At Armageddon Jehovah has Jesus Christ, the woman’s Seed, do the crushing. (Gen. 3:15; Rom. 16:20) This would not, however, call for Satan to mimic God in this respect and appoint a new, untried demon prince to fight as his chief of staff at Armageddon. The Dragon, having already tried out a full set of seven demon princes, now assumes charge personally to face Christ on the field. He now knows that Christ is the woman’s Seed assigned to bruise him at the head as a serpent. So would the Dragon trust some inexperienced spirit prince with this vital task of conducting field maneuvers to stave off the crushing heel of the woman’s Seed from “that original serpent,” the Dragon? Never! Armageddon is his big fight, like that of a roaring lion cornered in his lair. Furthermore, Ezekiel’s prophecy pictures this as Jehovah’s fight against Gog, hence against Satan the Devil, thus making it a fight between the true God and the false, between the God of the righteous new world and the “god of this world.” (2 Cor. 4:4) “Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I am against thee, O Gog.”—Ezek. 38:3, AS.
9. In Ezekiel’s prophecy, why is it not unusual for Satan to be pictured by an individual like Gog?
9 It should not seem unusual that Gog is used to picture Satan the Devil. In the same book of Ezekiel the king of Tyre is used to picture the Devil from the time he was in Eden and when he became iniquitous and was cast out of God’s family and was abased as if being cast down to a Tartarus. But now, as Gog, Satan is pictured after he has been hurled from heaven down to the earth and is held in check here until at Armageddon he is transferred from his Tartarus condition into the abyss and put under a sealed cover there for a thousand years. (Rev. 20:1-3, 7) Incidentally, the allies of Gog in his final attack are nations that were heavy commercial traders with the king of Tyre.—Ezek. 27:2-25; 28:13-18.
10. Where is Ezekiel’s “land of Magog,” and how does it differ from Magog in Revelation?
10 Gog is said to be of the land of Magog. “Magog” was the name of one of Japheth’s seven sons, hence one of Noah’s grandsons. (Gen. 10:2) Where his land was is uncertain but it is usually located geographically in northeastern Europe and Central Asia, the land of the fierce Scythians and Tartars. However, this does not mean that in Ezekiel’s prophecy the “land of Magog” means now the land of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. At Revelation 20:8 Gog and Magog are mentioned, but there both are names of earthly lands and they have a different time-location from that of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel’s prophecy. In Ezekiel Magog is premillennial, whereas in Revelation Magog is located at the end of the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. So, in Ezekiel’s prophecy, Magog corresponds with the realm of its chief ruler, Satan the Devil, and represents his spiritual realm. This agrees well with the fact that the Bible leaves the location of Magog indeterminate to man, hence a realm beyond man’s intimate knowledge. Magog is a limited spirit realm near the earth’s vicinity, for it is the location of Satan, the Dragon, after he and his wicked angels have been forced down there by the war in heaven. From that standpoint it is a degraded land, where the spirit inhabitants are subject to Jehovah’s disposition and held in reserve for him to express his further judgment.
11. How is the visible part of Gog’s organization pictured, and what title of his argues against Gog’s being a subordinate prince?
11 The land of Magog, therefore, pictures the debased realm of the invisible part of Satan’s world since A.D. 1918. But Gog still has also a visible part to his world organization. He still has earthly allies and subjects, as is shown in Ezekiel’s prophecy, which addresses him as “Gog, the great prince of Meshech and Tubal.” (Ezek. 38:3; 39:1, AT) Some translations render this, “Gog, prince of Rosh,a Meshech, and Tubal.” (AS; Mo; Yg; Ro; LXX) And since the name “Rosh” really means, not Russia, but “head,” it was reasoned that Rosh meant Satan the “head” and so Gog was a mere prince of Satan the Devil, a “prince of the chief.” (AV, margin) But if we reason this way, it would also mean that Gog was a prince not of Satan the Devil only but also of Meshech and Tubal and subordinate to all three of them; which is not the case. However, other modern translations show that, instead of a subordinate prince, Gog is the “chief prince,” the great chieftain. (RS; Soncino; Fenton) Some call him the “great prince.” (AT; Bover-Cantera) Others call him the “sovereign prince.” (Lienart; Crampon; Maredsous) Calling Gog by these superior titles in translating the Hebrew text again strongly indicates that he is Satan, “the ruler of the demons,” and not an eighth subordinate prince who sallies forth to represent him on the field of battle. Gog, that is, Satan the Devil, does not stay back home in the rear in the land of Magog, to await the bursting in of God’s fire upon him there. No, he egotistically takes charge of his vast hordes of aggressors and madly leads them in attack upon the remaining ones of the Seed of God’s woman.
12. What other lands picture parts of Gog’s visible organization, and for what business were Meshech and Tubal distinguished?
12 Meshech and Tubal, of which Gog is the sovereign prince, here picture a part of Satan’s visible organization. So do Persia, Cush (Ethiopia), Put (Libya), Gomer and the house of Togarmah, whose hordes form part of Gog’s final assault forces in the disastrous expedition that they are duped into undertaking by the symbolic frog, the “inspired expression,” that leaps out of the Dragon’s mouth. Ancient Meshech and Tubal were both Japhetic. Like Magog, they derived their names from the sons of Japheth. But the Bible reports Meshech and Tubal as doing a great business with human slaves and brass utensils in the markets of the king of Tyre, who is also a prophetic picture of Satan the Devil. Meshech and Tubal were situated to the north of Palestine. They represent those who do business with Satan the Devil for commercial profit. By the time of Gog’s attack Persia, which was once the fourth world power, has declined so far that its forces become a minor part of the mixed army of Gog. Hence Gog’s attack could not have been away back there several centuries before Christ in the days when Persia was the dominant world power. Persia was the one that let the Israelites, the captives of Babylon, return to the Holy Land. So Persia knew of the restoration of Israel’s remnant to the Land of Promise. Even today the good news of God’s kingdom is being preached to some extent in the modern land of Persia or Iran.
13. From what points of the compass are Gog’s visible forces drawn, and of what is this a warning to the New World society?
13 The troops of Cush (or Ethiopia) and of Put were Hamitic. Since Put was southeast of Cush in Africa and corresponded to Somaliland, it shows how far south Gog’s influence extended and how far his call to arms was sounded. The men of Put as well as those of Persia once served in the army of Tyre as its soldiers, so that they were experienced in fighting on the side of Satan the Devil. The hordes of Gomer and Togarmah were Japhetic, their names also being taken from the sons of Japheth. Gomer’s descendants spread as far over as western Europe, whereas the house of Togarmah occupied what is Armenia and was spoken of as being “in the far north.” (Ezek. 38:6, Mo) Thus when we look at the land they attack, the attacking forces of Gog are drawn from the far north and far south and hem their victim in, and they make up a conglomerate army of “many peoples.” This fact is a warning that Jehovah’s New World society will be put in the squeeze by the invisible and visible hordes of the sovereign prince Gog. It accords with the prophecy that the New World society will be hated by all worldly nations.
TIME OF THE ATTACK
14. How have we been alerted to know that the attack is due to occur shortly?
14 As a faithful Keeper of his people who bear his name, Jehovah is ever on guard for them and never slumbers nor sleeps. After these eighteen centuries since the days of Christ’s apostles he is not sound asleep but is now as keenly awake as ever, as this is His day, “the day of Jehovah,” and the time has drawn close for the awe-striking demonstration of his power against his combined enemies. Timelily he rouses his faithful witnesses and alerts them to what is now due to take place. He opens their understanding as to who the real Gog is and reminds them that the assault by this powerful foe is soon to occur, this foe who comes from the far north. We know from God’s illuminated Word that the time has come close. Jehovah God himself has timed Gog’s assault, for he notified Gog that it would be after many days and in the end of the years. Since Jehovah said his witnesses were to announce this to Gog, they have to know of it in advance, and they do. This is the inspired announcement they can now make to the real Gog:
15. What inspired announcement can we now make to the real Gog?
15 “Be ready, and keep ready, you and all your host mustered about you; keep yourself in reserve for me. For after many days you shall be called up for service, in the end of the years you shall march against a land restored from desolation, and inhabited by a people gathered from many a nation, against the mountains of Israel that were once a perpetual waste [or, once waste for a long time, Crampon], but are now inhabited by a people brought home from the nations, all of them living in security—you shall advance like a storm, you shall come like a cloud covering the land, you and all your hordes, and many a people with you.” (Ezek. 38:7-9, AT) It will take great faith for Jehovah’s witnesses to face the fulfillment of this prophecy. It means such a frightful horde of attackers under the sovereign prince Gog storming against them.
16. When must such prophecy apply, and why do we need to fortify ourselves now?
16 The prophecy must apply in this “time of the end,” particularly since 1919. From that year forward Jehovah began releasing his anointed witnesses, the remnant of his spiritual Israelites, from the power of this Babylonish world and restored them to the land that their enemies had desolated by persecuting them during World War I. Thus in 1919 a nation was brought forth at once and a land was born in one day, in the “day of Jehovah.” (Isa. 66:7, 8) After that years had to be allowed for the restored remnant to get settled in the land and learn to live in security, trusting in Jehovah’s protection, and to build up the condition of the New World society to one of great spiritual prosperity so as to command the attention of this old world, the organization of sovereign prince Gog. The attack would therefore be timed by Jehovah God to fall at the close of the years of the “time of the end.” This would be when Armageddon, “the war of the great day of God the Almighty,” would be scheduled to begin. Since the “time of the end” began at the birth of God’s Messianic kingdom in 1914, we can appreciate that we are well along in the “last days” of prince Gog’s world organization. How we need to fortify ourselves against the impending attack, which we ourselves are now commissioned to announce in obedience to Jehovah God!—Ezek. 38:1-3; 39:1-3.
REASON FOR THE ASSAULT
17. Knowing what thing helps us to appreciate more why the attack must come?
17 Those of the New World society know that the attack must come, for the prophecy they now declare foretells its coming and must have a fulfillment in vindication of the sureness of Jehovah’s Word. But if the New World society knows the reason for the attack, it helps them to appreciate all the more why the attack must come and why they must now never leave it out of their calculations for the future. Naturally the sovereign prince Gog would have some selfish reason for launching his attack, and this would operate as a driving force upon him to enlist the service of his invisible demon forces as well as his visible earthly allies in his expedition against the New World society. The Almighty God calls attention to this selfish driving force of greed and covetousness behind Gog in these prophetic words:
18. In what prophetic words does God call attention to the driving force behind Gog of Magog?
18 “Thus says the Lord GOD [Jehovah, AS; Da]: On that day shall thoughts come into your mind, and you shall plan a mischievous scheme, saying, ‘I will march against this land of open villages, I will fall upon these quiet people who live in security, all of them undefended by wall or bar or gates,’ to despoil them, and prey upon them, to bring down your hand against the re-inhabited wastes, and against the people gathered from the nations, who are peacefully acquiring cattle and goods, as they live at the center of the earth. Sheba and Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all her magnates [young lions, AS], shall say to you, ‘Was it to despoil them that you came? Was it to prey upon them that you mustered your host? Was it to carry off silver and gold, to seize cattle and goods, to take great spoil?’ Therefore prophesy, O mortal man, and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD [Jehovah]: On that day when my people Israel are living in security, shall you not bestir yourself and come from your place in the farthest north—you and many a people with you, all of them riding on horseback, a great host, a mighty army—and fall upon my people Israel like a cloud covering the land? It shall come to pass in the end of the days that I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me, when I reveal my holiness in their sight, through my dealings with you, O Gog.’”—Ezek. 38:10-16, AT.
19. Why does covetousness now ferment in Gog’s heart, and what, therefore, is his resolve?
19 The same covetousness that produced Satan the Devil in the paradise of Eden now ferments in the heart of this sovereign prince Gog and courses through every fiber of his being. Especially is this so in these “last days” when he can contrast the condition of Jehovah’s restored remnant and their good-will companions and the condition of his old doomed world. With resentful eyes Gog views the spiritual prosperity of Jehovah’s remnant. He begrudges them this flourishing paradise condition in which their theocratic society dwells and worships Jehovah, and particularly so when he beholds the distress of nations in his own world and realizes that its display of pomp, power and artificial prosperity can last now for only a “short period of time” until he and his seed shall have their heads mashed in at the battle of Armageddon. If his own world organization cannot prosper and if it cannot enjoy lasting prosperity religiously, economically and nationally, then no other organization shall enjoy it either! That is Gog’s envious resolve.
20, 21. (a) In what does the paradisaic prosperity that the New World society enjoys consist? (b) What do they have now to correspond with cattle and goods and silver and gold?
20 However, Jehovah’s New World society is made up of faithful Christians who are persecuted world-wide. In the main they are poor in this world’s goods. What, then, could be the paradisaic prosperity that they are now enjoying and that this sovereign prince Gog could covet? This: that they have the precious possession of God’s name, by which they are called. For at least sixteen centuries Satan the Devil has apparently succeeded in keeping the adorable name of the true God out of the knowledge of people who professed to worship him. But now, since A.D. 1914, Satan the Dragon has suffered a great humiliation by being plummeted down from heaven to the degraded “land of Magog,” whereas the hated name “Jehovah” has come up and is destined to rise to the zenith of its glory at the battle of the great day of God the Almighty.
21 Not only that, but Jehovah’s remnant by their deliverance from the enslaving power of this Babylonish world have had nationhood conferred upon them; they are a people distinct from every other people on the face of this earth and are organized into a theocratic society that stands first, last and all the time for Jehovah’s new world. Moreover, they have the most powerful message of any on earth, the Kingdom good news, with an expansive force that all of Satan’s restraining forces cannot hold in and confine, but it swells to the ends of the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations in obedience to Christ’s command. Irresistibly powering it is Jehovah’s spirit that is poured upon his people. (Ezek. 39:29) The method of propagating it, “publicly and from house to house,” is most productive of results. (Matt. 24:14; Acts 20:20) It alone satisfies the yearning of those who seek happiness by the satisfying of the spiritual need, of which they are so conscious; and so hundreds of thousands of these are flocking to the land of the restored remnant to enjoy real and lasting spiritual prosperity. To the remnant these are like flocks and herds in their possession; also the restored old truths and the newly revealed truths concerning the new world are more precious than literal silver and gold. Nothing that Gog of Magog has compares with this spiritual wealth. Nothing that we have harmonizes with the propaganda and prosperity schemes of this old world. Operating theocratically in obedience to Jehovah, we carry on just counter to Gog’s old world, and yet we do not meddle in it by dictating to it or conspiring against it or planning armed violence against it.
22. How do the restored remnant “live at the center of the earth”?
22 As Jehovah God says, the restored remnant of the New World society “live at the center of the earth,” or, dwell at the navel of the earth. Spread out though they are all over the earth in their preaching activities, yet the restored remnant in their theocratic organization are the nucleus from which the New World society on earth finally spreads out to encircle all the globe. All the theocratic human society of the new world revolves around them, and in restoring them from mystic Babylon the foundations of the “new earth” were laid by Jehovah God, the Creator of the new world. (Isa. 51:16) They are the most interesting, worth-while thing God has on earth, and his attention is focused upon them. So, too, the malicious attention of Gog of Magog is centered upon them. He despises the idea of a “new earth” in a perpetual new world!
23. (a) How do Meshech, Tubal, Persia, Cush, Gomer and Togarmah show they feel like Gog about it? (b) What do the remarks by Sheba, Dedan and the magnates of Tarshish show?
23 Those whom Gog enlists in his army, pictured by Meshech, Tubal, Persia, Cush, Gomer and Togarmah, feel the same way about it as Gog does. They are the active seed of the Serpent and have his selfish, envious, greedy spirit and are stimulated by the same motives. Readily they enlist in his assault forces and volunteer for his nefarious work. There are others also who view Gog’s plan of attack with selfish interests and these are pictured by Sheba, Dedan and the lionlike magnates of Tarshish. In ancient days these were great commercial people and kept up regular trade with Tyre, whose king was used to symbolize the commercially minded Satan. (Ezek. 27:12, 15, 20, 22) At that time they were at the ends of the known inhabited earth, Tarshish being at the western end of the Mediterranean Sea, in what is now Spain, and Sheba being at what Jesus called the “ends of the earth.”—Matt. 12:42, NW.
24. What does such selfish interest of Sheba, Dedan and Tarshish denote?
24 This denotes that in our day all the nations to the four corners of the earth will know of Gog’s planned attack against the New World society and will be interested in it because of the selfish gain they hope to make out of it, even if they do not themselves take a direct, active part in the attack. All the same, they hope that the attack will be a success and that they can do profit-making business with the victors afterward. They want to see the remnant of spiritual Israel despoiled and reduced to poverty, not that they have a commercial competition with the remnant of spiritual Israel, but because these do not represent nor speak bright prospects for the commercialism of this world, but warn that it will perish. It is not pleasant to hear that the world organization of Gog of Magog will be bankrupted and that their partnership with the god of mammon and his system of things will be dissolved. Because they have such selfish sympathy with Gog’s policy of aggression and against the life interests of the remnant of the least of Christ’s brothers, they are “goats,” and they will perish with the Devil and his angels in the everlasting fire that is reserved for them.—Matt. 25:31-46.
25. From what source does Gog’s scheme spring, and what would he like to do respecting Jehovah’s sanctuary?
25 Thus Gog of Magog and his hordes and selfish backers are bared as having a bad heart out of which nothing good can come. (Matt. 12:34, 35) Out of his own wicked heart, of his own accord, he proceeds to “plan a mischievous scheme” against an inoffensive, peaceable, God-fearing people, to vent his spleen against Jehovah. So he chooses his own course of self-destruction. According to promise, Jehovah has set his sanctuary, his tabernacle, in the midst of his restored remnant, by restoring to them his pure, theocratic worship as in the days of Christ’s apostles. (Ezek. 37:25-28) Gog of Magog would like to despoil this temple of what riches it might contain that are dedicated to Jehovah and break up this temple worship, which is now being rendered by even a “great crowd” of people of good will from all nations and peoples.
26. How may Gog’s attack therefore be described, and what should the New World society now never let out of their minds?
26 Gog’s attack is therefore nothing less than a low-down, premeditated outrage against Jehovah God, a violent expression of disesteem for Jehovah’s name and of sneering contempt for those who bear that sacred name and try to live up to it. Gog’s attack displays no respectful dread of Jehovah God, but, instead, a putting of him to the test just too far, beyond the point of further toleration. Gog likely remembers how, in the seventh century before Christ, Emperor Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came out of the north and assaulted Jerusalem and despoiled and destroyed the temple, and how, in our first century, the Romans repeated this performance, and they both got away with it. In fact, they were used to express Jehovah’s judgment upon the nation of Israel. So now Gog thinks he, too, can get away with it, and he would like to believe that his assault will serve as a divine judgment upon the restored remnant of spiritual Israel, for he comes out of the north, “the farthest north.” Is that not the proper direction from which a divine judgment should come against Jehovah’s people? So forward with his plans and preparations for the final, all-out attack he goes. Never, now, throughout the rest of this “time of the end,” should you of Jehovah’s New World society let out of your minds that Gog of Magog begrudges you your spiritual prosperity and covets your wealth of influence for the new world. Be sure of this: The New World Society Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses at Yankee Stadium, New York city, in 1953, will whet his greedy appetite still more. Consequently, be now on never-relaxing guard.
27. Does Jehovah do any maneuvering of Gog, and how does he inform Gog he has no fear of his attack?
27 Gog schemes the final, do-or-die attack on the only part of Jehovah’s theocratic organization that he can get at, now that he has been permanently excluded from heaven. Regardless of Gog’s own self-induced motives, Jehovah God has his own supreme purpose to serve by permitting Gog’s attack. Without interfering with Gog’s own self-initiated schemes but, rather, working right along with them, Jehovah God maneuvers Gog into making the attack. Jehovah has no fear at all of this attack but, rather, welcomes it. To inform Gog of Magog so, he has his witnesses utter the prophecy: “Thus says the Lord GOD [Jehovah]: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the great prince of Meshech and Tubal; I will turn you round, and put hooks in your jaws; and I will lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all of them in full panoply, a mighty host, equipped with buckler and shield, all of them wielding the sword—Persia, Cush, and Put, all of them equipped with shield and helmet, together with Gomer and all his hordes, the house of Togarmah and all their hordes, from the farthest north—many a people with you. Be ready, and keep ready, you and all your host mustered about you; keep yourself in reserve for me. For after many days you shall be called up for service.”—Ezek. 38:3-8; 39:1, 2, AT.
28. In expressing hatred of the Serpent, what did Jehovah say six thousand years ago, and what in Pharaoh’s course illustrates how Jehovah draws Gog with hooks in his jaws?
28 Jehovah’s hatred of the devouring Dragon, the original Serpent, is no less today than it was six thousand years ago. In the garden of Eden, after the treachery of Satan, the great Serpent, in luring Eve and Adam into sin, Jehovah published his hatred of the Serpent, advising him that Jehovah would put enmity between His woman and the Serpent and between her Seed and the Serpent’s seed; and that, although the Serpent would bruise her Seed at the heel, yet her Seed would bruise the Serpent at the head. (Gen. 3:15) Now, “after many days” and “in the end of the years,” the fixed time has come for the original Serpent, at present known as Gog, to be crushed at the head with all his seed. Hence Jehovah draws Gog of Magog to his destruction as with hooks in his jaws. How? By letting Gog harden his heart against Jehovah, just as Pharaoh of ancient Egypt did after Jehovah had poured out the tenth and last plague upon Egypt. Some days later Pharaoh learned that the departed Israelites under Moses were apparently trapped unarmed in the entangling wilderness and with the Red Sea blocking the escape route. Forgetting the lessons he should have learned from the ten plagues, he mustered his mobile fighting units and went in pursuit, to drag the Israelites back to his slavepen. Against Pharaoh’s horsemen and chariots the Israelites were militarily helpless. By this fact Jehovah deluded Pharaoh and maneuvered him without any injustice to Pharaoh, letting him harden his heart to make a desperate assault upon Jehovah’s people. Seeing that Pharaoh was already a human vessel fitted to destruction because of his unchangeably wicked heart, Jehovah let him ride at top speed to his own destruction.—Ex. 14:3, 4, 28-31.
29, 30. By what delusion are Gog and his allies drawn to the attack?
29 So, too, with Gog of Magog. By a delusion Jehovah draws him on to the destruction which he deserves and to which he was sentenced six thousand years ago. To Gog the New World society of the restored remnant and their good-will companions seems to be in such an exposed state, being unarmed with carnal weapons and hated by all nations. Hence the invasion, conquest and spoiling of it seem just an easy matter that can be done with impunity as by a “hit-and-run driver.” Gog’s visible allies on earth have no faith in Jehovah’s purpose to step in in behalf of his spiritual Israel. So they are willing and ready to put him to the test just once more, not realizing that this time it may be tempting Jehovah too far and he might surprise them by intervening just as he used to do in the days of yore.
30 As for their invisible sovereign prince, Gog of Magog, he painfully knows he has but a short period of time. But he is resolved that, if he has to go down, what a blow it would be to Jehovah’s prestige for him to destroy the remaining ones of the seed of God’s woman as his last act before being crushed himself! It would put a feather in his cap and would be to Jehovah’s eternal reproach. He would have satisfaction as he went down into the abyss. He would bruise the remnant at their heel by wiping them out and would prevent their surviving the battle of Armageddon. Necessarily, this would mean also that their good-will companions would fail to survive. That promised preservation act by Jehovah at Armageddon is something for Gog to prevent. If all of his own in heaven and on earth have to be ruined, then he will ruin everything else visible on earth and make it a desolation. There will be no repeating of Noah’s preservation! That is what Gog viciously decides.
31. In thus hooking Gog and leading him on, why does Jehovah still do Gog no wrong?
31 Therefore, when Jehovah holds out the hooks of delusion, by letting his people dwell in security in open villages with no city walls, bars or gates or other military defense, Gog yawns open his jaws wide and clamps them shut on the hooks and willingly, yes, even eagerly, submits to being led with all his army, horses and horsemen in full armor to the attack upon the New World society, to enrich himself at the expense of Jehovah’s people. By hooking Gog through this delusion and maneuvering him to an attack that merits having his head crushed, Jehovah does Gog no wrong. Gog is already a criminal with a long-deferred sentence of destruction dangling over his head, and Jehovah God does this long-condemned criminal no injustice by leading him with hooks out of the land of Magog to the execution to which he is justly sentenced.
32. How long ago, at least, was Gog’s attack foretold, and how was it appropriate when Jehovah said to him, “Keep yourself in reserve for me”?
32 This execution was long foretold and, accordingly, has long been held in store. This is denoted in these words: “Thus says the Lord GOD [Jehovah, AS]: Are you he of whom I spoke in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel, who in those days prophesied for years that I would bring you against them?” (Ezek. 38:17, RS) This indicates that even Ezekiel, who delivered the original prophecy, spoke long in advance of it, twenty-five centuries in advance, not to mention also Joel (3:9-17) as possibly another prophet of Israel to tell of this final assault. How appropriate that Jehovah, in addressing Gog, really meaning Satan the Devil, should say to him: “Keep yourself in reserve for me”! (Ezek. 38:7, AT) “Hold yourself in reserve for me!” (Mo) “Hold yourself at my disposition.” (Maredsous; Lienart) “Put yourself at my service.” (L’École Biblique) Even after war was fought in heaven and the great Dragon was cast down to the earth, Jehovah’s holding of Gog of Magog in reserve for Armageddon has applied, for already it is thirty-five years since A.D. 1918, when World War I closed. Instead of destroying Satan and his demons and his earthly organization then, Jehovah cut the days of tribulation short and held Gog of Magog in store for final handling at Armageddon. This agrees with Jehovah’s words to Egypt’s Pharaoh after the sixth plague: “For this cause I have kept you in existence, for the sake of showing you my power and in order to have my name declared in all the earth.”—Ex. 9:16, NW; Rom. 9:17, 18, NW; Matt. 24:21, 22.
33. Through his dealings with Gog, what will Jehovah reveal in the sight of the nations?
33 To Gog of Magog all these years of this “time of the end” seem like a short period of time, and he is now itching to begin his final attack upon the New World society. Let him now have his wish, for Jehovah’s time to lead the condemned criminal out to his execution has come, to show Gog His power. “So that the nations may know me, when I reveal my holiness in their sight, through my dealings with you, O Gog.” (Ezek. 38:16, AT) In this way Jehovah will vindicate his holiness, teaching all the universe that he is not to be mocked, but that what belongs to him is never to be mishandled, abused or treated as common, profane and free for misappropriation. Hence hands off the New World society bearing my name!
34. To what location does Jehovah lead Gog and his hordes, and when does Armageddon begin?
34 The hour of execution arrives! By means of hooks in Gog’s jaws Jehovah the Almighty leads him and his hordes down from the north, down through Gilead and along the east bank of the Jordan River and toward the plateau of Moab on the east coast of the Dead Sea, according to the symbolic language of Ezekiel’s prophecy. Gog now poises himself for the attack! His overt act is committed! Now the Almighty God has him where he wants him, caught in the act. Now Jehovah God moves to crush Gog by means of the great Seed of his woman, Jesus Christ. The battle of the great day of God the Almighty begins. The battle account, written long ahead, says:
35. How does the battle account, written long ahead, read?
35 “And it shall come to pass in that day, when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovah, that my wrath shall come up into my nostrils. 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; so that the fishes of the sea, and the birds of the heavens, 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. And I will call for a sword against him unto all my mountains, saith the Lord Jehovah: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. And with pestilence and with blood will I enter into judgment with him; and I will rain upon him, and upon his hordes, and upon the many peoples that are with him, an overflowing shower, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. And I will magnify myself, and sanctify myself, and I will make myself known in the eyes of many nations; and they shall know that I am Jehovah.”—Ezek. 38:18-23, AS.
36. What catastrophic horrors are all written into that advance battle-account, and why will none of the enemy escape?
36 Shocking surprise, consternation, fright, collapse of government and management, panic, wild anarchy, fratricidal warfare, tremendous upheavals of earth, landslides, falling defense and protective edifices, cloudbursts, overflowing flash floods, rain of corrosive liquid fire, terror in the air, on land, in the sea, are all written in that advance battle-account and destined for Gog’s attacking forces. Even normally, the sun and the atmosphere, working together to stir up a storm, will generate and release millions of times more energy than modern science can by detonating a hundred atomic bombs at once. Let the nations then release all at one time all the atomic and hydrogen bombs they possess. The global storm that shall then strike the nations of Satan’s world will be far worse than that. The great trembling of the earth’s crust that the Almighty Creator will then cause over all the globe will prove more powerful than hundreds of millions of atom bombs, and He will not have to explode plutonium, either, to do it. Horrifying and awful, too, will be the insane, selfish, fruitless fight for survival, man against man within the ranks of this world, in a mad scramble to save self, every man becoming his neighbor’s enemy. But all in vain! Those who may thus triumph in the fight of survival against fellow man will finally be executed through supernatural means by the fighting forces of Jehovah’s King of kings, the Seed of his woman, Jesus Christ. None of them shall escape. (1 Thess. 5:3) What a lot it seems to require to make the nations of this world know that the living and true God is named Jehovah!
37. Will Satan’s invisible realm escape the release of Jehovah’s flaming fury, and how does the prophecy show whether it will?
37 The nations of earth are only willing dupes. The invisible wicked spirit forces in Satan’s organization are the troublemakers behind them all. Will they, then, escape the destructive release of Jehovah’s flaming fury? No! In notification of this he says to Gog of the degraded demon realm of Magog: “And I will send a fire on Magog, and on them that dwell securely in the isles; and they shall know that I am Jehovah. And my holy name will I make known in the midst of my people Israel; neither will I suffer my holy name to be profaned any more: and the nations shall know that I am Jehovah, the Holy One in Israel. Behold, it cometh, and it shall be done, saith the Lord Jehovah; this is the day whereof I have spoken.” (Ezek. 39:6-8, AS) Yes, Magog will be consumed as with fire when Jehovah’s fighting Seed of his woman, Jesus Christ, crushes the great Serpent and his demon seed, casting them chained into the abyss under an officially sealed cover for the thousand years of his reign.—Rom. 16:20; Eph. 6:12; Rev. 20:1-3.
38. What does the sending of fire on those dwelling in the isles, or coastlands, mean?
38 Not only Magog in the invisible rear but also the battle-remote coastlands, or isles, shall feel the fire of destruction. That means that not only those on the military fighting front in Gog’s attack forces but also those staying at home and making up the civilian front backing up Gog’s hordes will be reached by the destructive forces from on high. Their dwelling securely, easy-going and indifferently will be rudely broken up. Such civilian backers of Gog’s attack must bear their community responsibility for their representative armies at the front. Protest Gog’s attack? No, not they. So they are condemned as heart and soul a part of Satan’s world organization. Jehovah rightly sends his fiery destruction upon them. Thus Satan’s entire seed, seen and unseen, perish.
SHARERS OF THE VICTORY
39. As Gog musters his forces and moves in to the attack, what should those of the New World society do to witness Jehovah’s victorious demonstration?
39 As the New World society see Gog of Magog mustering his forces should they get on the run? Eventually when they see Gog’s forces moving in to the attack like a growling, heavens-blackening storm cloud of living demons and human hordes, should they flee, at least, then? No! Never should they and never will the faithful remnant and their good-will companions abandon the newborn theocratic land of the New World society. This is the Beulah land of prophecy, to which the remnant are married, and never under any stress will they break their marriage ties, and their loyal companions will stick with them. (Isa. 62:4, 5) They will stand their ground, continuing to dwell in this theocratic land, trusting in Jehovah God for security and not in carnal weapons or in speed of compromising flight. Steadfastly doing so, they will witness his victorious demonstration of power over his combined old-world foes, the profaners of his holy name. They will glory in his triumph by Jesus Christ.
40. How will the birds and beasts share benefits of Jehovah’s triumph, and in compensation for what?
40 Even the once-terrified birds and beasts of the field will share in the benefits of his triumph. Jehovah bids his prophet to invite those long-mistreated birds and beasts to feast upon His great sacrifice, his slaughter of all his foes, whose carcasses will lie strewn upon the ground like fertilizer, unlamented, unburied, abhorred by the New World society, who survive. Let the birds and the beasts pick the skeletons of these white and clean. Let the bird and animal kingdom thus be repaid for all the wanton slaughter that Gog’s old world has inflicted upon them during the past 4,000 years since the Flood.—Ezek. 39:1-5, 17-20; Rev. 19:17-21.
41. What indicates that the slaughter then will be enormous, and where will the bones be buried, and for what reason?
41 Enormous will be the mass slaughter of that day of days, for tremendous will be the forces lined up on Gog’s side in that battle. That will indeed be a global conflict if ever there was one, for not a section of the globe will escape the destruction. By the prophecy we are informed that the wooden parts that are left of the man-killing weapons of Gog’s mob will be so abundant that it will take seven years for the surviving Israelites to collect them and use them up as firewood. (Ezek. 39:9, 10) But what about the bones of Gog’s slain hordes? Will they be left to pollute the soil of the “new earth”? No; but Jehovah will assign them a burial place, pictured by the valley of Abarim, where Jehovah brought Gog’s mob to a dead halt in destruction. It lies east of the Dead Sea. As the Dead Sea is a Scripture symbol of everlasting destruction, or “second death,” this burial place pictures that those on Gog’s side are destroyed in second death. (Rev. 20:14, 15; 21:8, NW) So the burial of the bones is for cleansing the land and is not to symbolize any hope of a resurrection for Gog’s mob. The valley of burial will be called The Valley of Gog’s Mob, and the symbolic city nearby will be called Hamonah (that is, Mob), as a memorial of Jehovah’s victory over Gog’s mob.—Ezek. 39:11-16, AT; AS.
42. Why have we no need to fear, and how may we serve as everliving witnesses to Jehovah’s vindication victory?
42 Courage, then, every one of you of the New World society! If we keep trusting in Jehovah and proving our trust by holding loyal to his theocratic government and to the proclaiming of the good news of his kingdom by Christ, we have no need to fear, neither from the formidable appearance of Gog’s mob nor from the awesomeness of Jehovah’s supreme display of his battle might, for Jehovah is with us! Cowardly flight could, but Gog will never, dislodge us from our God-given land. Deliverance lies in not running! During this “time of the end,” this “day of Jehovah,” we have been witnesses to Jehovah’s name and kingdom. Shortly now we are to be made eyewitnesses of the most magnificent spectacle when Jehovah reveals his glory at Armageddon in vindication of his creation-wide sovereignty. As beholders of this the New World society can serve as an everliving witness to Jehovah’s vindication victory by relating it to all the children born in the new world, yes, to all those who will be brought forth to life on earth by the resurrection of the dead. So here, in the face of gathering enemies, we stand today in the land of restored theocracy. God grant us to maintain our stand here immovable by ceaseless activity and a vigilant guard until his sublime victory over Gog of Magog.
a This name, like Meshech and Tubal, would be the name of a country, not the name of an individual. Byzantine and Arabian historians often mentioned a barbarous people called Ross, who lived to the north of the Taurus Mountains and on the banks of the Volga River.