Jehovah’s Message Against Gog of Magog
“And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, . . . and say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I am against thee, O Gog.”—Ezek. 38:1-3, AS.
1. Is Jehovah God dependable?
JEHOVAH the God of systematic order has a due time and a fixed schedule for all his purposes. “For everything there is an appointed time; and there is a time for every purpose under the heavens: . . . ‘for [God] has set a time for every purpose and for every deed,’” (Eccl. 3:1, 17, AT) Man can depend upon it: there is a time for the sun to rise and a time for the sun to set; there is a time for the high tide and a time for the low tide. Time and tide, in fact, wait for no man, for they are not dependent upon man but are ordained by God. So it is with all that Jehovah does or purposes to do.
2. Explain how Jehovah is the Author, Fulfiller and Interpreter of Bible prophecy.
2 God’s purpose declared ahead of the time of its occurrence is called divine prophecy. It is really history written in advance, for without fail the event comes to pass in due time just as its infallible Author says it will. “For you know this first, that no prophecy of Scripture springs from any private release. For prophecy was at no time brought by man’s will, but men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit.” “All Scripture is inspired of God.” (2 Pet. 1:20, 21; 2 Tim. 3:16, NW) And since Almighty God assumes full responsibility for the carrying out of his purposes he is properly spoken of as the Fulfiller of prophecy. The Author and Fulfiller of prophecy is also the unerring Interpreter and Revealer of the same, for he alone knows the end from the beginning. “Do not interpretations belong to God?”—Gen. 40:8, NW.
3. In proof that only Jehovah God can foretell future events what did Daniel say?
3 God’s prophet Daniel recognized these basic truths, as he declared: “Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever; for wisdom and might are his. And he changeth the times and the seasons; he removeth kings, and setteth up kings; . . . he revealeth the deep and secret things; he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.” Furthermore, when Daniel was brought before the great king of the Babylonian empire to interpret a dream he confessed that only Jehovah God was able to reveal such prophetic secrets. Said Daniel: “The secret which the king hath demanded can neither wise men, enchanters, magicians, nor soothsayers, show unto the king; but there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and he hath made known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. . . . But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, . . . the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” (Dan. 2:20-22, 27, 28, 30, 45, AS) Of a truth, Jehovah the God of purpose, the all-wise, all-powerful and eternal One, is fully capable of declaring ahead of time his majestic purposes and then, in his due time, interpreting such Bible prophecies as they are fulfilled or are about to be fulfilled.
4. Where are we on the stream of time, and why is this of great significance?
4 The historical events of the past forty years—global wars, earthquakes, food shortages, sickness and sorrow, crimes and calamities, hatred and persecution of gospel preachers, etc.—establish beyond any question of doubt that we are living in the “last days” of this old world under Satan’s rule, otherwise spoken of in Scripture as “the consummation of the system of things.” (Matt. 24:3, NW; Mark 13; Luke 21; 2 Tim. 3:1-5) In this connection it is most significant to read in Bible prophecy that Jehovah God says that “after many days,” “in the latter years” and “in the latter days,” where we now find ourselves, he would have a special message delivered against Gog of Magog. This stated purpose of Jehovah was recorded more than 2,500 years ago in the book of Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39, and is now in the course of fulfillment.*
GOG AND HIS ALLIES
5. What gives a clue to Gog’s identity?
5 Who is this Gog of Magog? Some lexicographers have thought the name “Gog” comes from a root word meaning “high, mountain,”* or “high or over-topping,” as the summit of a great mountain, and hence figuratively identifies one that is “gigantic, great of stature, powerful, warlike.”* The latest Biblical lexicographers think the name “Gog” is drawn from the Sumerian word gug, meaning “darkness.”* This opinion agrees well with Gog’s identity as Satan the Devil. Christ Jesus after his resurrection associated Satan’s authority with darkness when he said to Saul of Tarsus: “I am sending you, to open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God.” This same Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul the apostle, likewise referred to Satan’s rule as “the authority of the darkness.”—Acts 26:17, 18; Col. 1:13, NW.
6. Why is Satan the Devil referred to as “Gog of Magog,” especially since A.D. 1919?
6 All related facts show that the cryptic name “Gog” refers to Jehovah God’s arch enemy, Satan the Devil, since his ouster from heaven after A.D. 1914. Concerning this we read: “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled but it did not prevail, neither was a place found for them any longer 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.” Hence, “woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.” (Rev. 12:7-9, 12, NW) From and after A.D. 1914 even to the present day ‘darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people.’ This is the period of time when the Devil, the god of darkness and despair, easily misleads earth’s inhabitants. The time since his being ousted from heaven is the “short period of time” just before the complete end of Satan’s system of things. Yes, this is the time referred to in Ezekiel’s prophecy as the “latter years” and “latter days” of the rule of darkness and oppression by “Gog, of the land of Magog.” In the prophecy the “land of Magog,” because of the uncertainty of its ancient location, well pictures the invisible, degraded region in the vicinity of the earth where Satan and his demons are now held under divine surveillance since their being thrown out of heaven.
7. What elements make up Gog’s organization?
7 Gog of Magog is the invisible god and wicked ruler of the present global system of things. (John 12:31; 16:11; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2) As such he is the head of a monstrous organization composed of invisible wicked demons that were hurled down to earth’s vicinity as well as of many visible earthly associates and allies. It is therefore not at all surprising that the chieftains of the earth, the high and mighty, the visible rulers of the nations, give their full support and strength to the god of this world and his system.
8. How do the political and commercial powers identify themselves as allies of Gog of Magog?
8 Politicians and statesmen may be blind to these facts, nevertheless, by their international conferences, peace pacts, treaty agreements and by their oath-bound leagues and alliances, they demonstrate that they are on Gog’s side and against Jehovah and his Christ. Giants of commerce and industry, and the big investment and banking financiers of international power and intrigue, are also in this same satanic camp serving very well Gog of Magog and his organization. “Why do the nations rage, and the peoples meditate a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against Jehovah, and against his anointed [Jesus].”—Ps. 2:1, 2, AS; Acts 4:25-30.
9. What about the clergy of Christendom, are they also allied with Gog of Magog? Explain.
9 The rulers of this world are certainly “against Jehovah, and against his anointed,” for Christ emphatically declared: “My kingdom is no part of this world.” Christ’s true and faithful footstep followers, Jesus said, “are no part of the world just as I am no part of the world.” This is why true Christians are taught to pray for Jehovah God’s kingdom under Christ to come. They are not taught to pray for the continuation of this present devilish world that will soon pass away at Armageddon. (John 18:36; 17:16; Matt. 6:9, 10, NW) But do the clergy of Christendom pray as Christ said they should? No, not at all! As a class they form a strong religio-political brotherhood with the temporal powers and thus endorse and put their stamp of approval on the present system of things, which is in opposition to Christ’s kingdom. Furthermore, they are continually heard to pray for this world’s prosperity and success. From their pulpits and over the radio the clergy laud the leaders of this world and bless anti-Christ schemes for peace such as the organization of the United Nations. Whenever in such countries as the United States of America the legislative bodies open their sessions the official voice of a clergyman is heard calling down divine blessings upon the deliberations. Thus by the company they keep the religious leaders of this world show they are also adulterous ‘friends of this world,’ hence enemies of Jehovah God. Jesus told a similar class of religionists in his day: “You are from your father the Devil and you wish to do the desires of your father.”—Jas. 4:4; John 8:44, NW.
10, 11. Name some other elements of this world that show they are under Gog’s control and domination.
10 The strong-arm agencies and military strategists of the world, backed up as they are in almost every nation by practically unlimited financial support and regimented manpower, are unquestionably deployed by Gog of Magog. The same is true with most of the wizards of scientific discovery and invention, who, together with a host of research technologists and specialists, are feverishly laboring to improve and strengthen Gog’s offensive and defensive engines of war. News agencies and propaganda organs of this world, by the skill of their writers and orators and through the medium of public press, radio, cinema and television, continually praise and extol the virtues of this present system of things, this “present evil world,” and thus they too serve well as tools of Satan. Mention can also be made of the many ethical and cultural associations, as well as social, educational and judicial bodies, who, wittingly or unwittingly, give active aid and support to Gog’s world organization. In one way or another and with untiring effort they attempt to build up, improve and perpetuate the rule of the nations that are under Satan’s control, all in opposition to God’s kingdom by Christ. “He that is not on my side is against me,” said Jesus, “and he that does not gather with me scatters.”—Matt. 12:30, NW.
11 Gog of Magog certainly has a great host of earthly allies, both willing and unwilling ones. As Ezekiel’s prophecy says Eze (38:3-6, AS), Gog’s forces and allies and armies are many and they are powerful. Besides “Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal: . . . [there are] horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them handling swords: Persia, Cush, and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer, and all his hordes; the house of Togarmah in the uttermost parts of the north, and all his hordes; even many peoples with thee.” To all of such in the ancient past Jehovah delivered his divine message, pictorial of how in these last days he would have a similar message delivered to all the hordes of Gog’s modern organization.
WHAT IS JEHOVAH’S MESSAGE?
12. Both in type and antitype who is credited with this message against Gog?
12 This is no message of a mere man. It does not spring from human imagination or ingenuity. In the prophecy Ezekiel did not speak of his own initiative. Rather, he confessed over and over again that the message was of divine origin, from the great Almighty Jehovah God himself. “And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face toward Gog, . . . and prophesy against him, and say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I am against thee, O Gog.” (Ezek. 38:14, AS) In verses fourteen and seventeen of this same chapter the point is again emphasized, and still again in Eze chapter thirty-nine, verses one, five, ten and thirteen the prophet declares that this is truly Jehovah’s weighty message. Likewise today, full credit and responsibility for the message against Gog of Magog rightfully belong to Jehovah God. As Ezekiel was merely the spokesman used by God, so also are those today who are privileged to speak in the name of Jehovah as his message-bearing witnesses.
13. What is the substance of the warning Jehovah gives Gog and his allies?
13 The content of this message is one of warning and doom delivered to Gog and his allies; it is really a summons served on Satan to Armageddon’s impending destruction. Jehovah’s message in substance is this: ‘You, Gog, and the vast hordes under your command, pay attention to this—now is the time to muster all your forces and resources, for your violent end is very near. You have observed how my faithful witnesses have been gathered out of Babylonish captivity and now dwell securely in peace and unity, enjoying a full measure of spiritual prosperity, and, seeing all this, you meditate in your wicked and covetous heart to attack their seemingly defenseless congregations as if such were unwalled villages. But watch out! For when you descend as a cloud to destroy my faithful people then I will stop you cold in your attack and all the earth will know that I am Jehovah. I am now warning you, Gog, and those under your control, that my wrath will soon arise and the fire of my jealousy will shortly burst forth upon you in all its devastating fury. In fact, so great and terrible will that display of divine vengeance be that even the fish and the birds and the creeping things of the earth, yes, and all mankind, shall quiver and shake. Imagine! even great mountains shall be thrown down and every walled fortress will be leveled to the ground! Terror will fill the hearts of your allies and they will turn their own lethal weapons of destruction on one another. Indeed I will rain upon you and those supporting you an overflowing and devastating flood of hailstones and sulphurous fire. How foolish then to think that you will escape! The whole earth and all that dwell in the heavens above will know that I am Jehovah!’—Ezekiel 38, 39.
14. In giving this warning message how does Jehovah display his matchless power and supremacy?
14 It is not necessary for Jehovah to carry out a sneak attack to catch his adversary Gog off balance in order to gain the victory. Jehovah’s power and might are so great he arranges the time and place, invites the enemy to prepare for the showdown fight, and even foretells in detail and long in advance what the final results will be. “Proclaim this to the nations: ‘Let it be war! Rouse up your warriors, muster your fighting men, march! Hammer your ploughshares into swords, your pruning-hooks into lances. Let your weaklings think them warriors, let your cowards think them heroes!’ Let the nations rouse themselves and march to Judgment Valley, for I will sit in judgment there, on all the nations round. In with the sickle!—the harvest is ripe! Come, tread the winepress, tread it, it is full; the troughs are overflowing with their wickedness. What a din of hordes, what a din within the valley of the Verdict! For the Eternal’s day [the day of Jehovah, AS] is near, within the valley of the Verdict.”—Joel 3:9-14, Mo.
15. In the light of Bible prophecy is it reasonable to think that any of Gog’s allies will survive Armageddon?
15 So devastating that slaughter, the dead will cover the ground as manure spread over a field. “Prophesy all this against them; tell them: The Eternal [Jehovah, AS] will roar from on high, . . . The din resounds to the world’s end, for the Eternal arraigns the nations, he indicts all mankind, and puts the wicked to the sword. Then shall the victims of the Eternal lie all over earth, from end to end, like dung on the face of the ground, unwailed, ungathered, unburied. Howl and cry, you rulers, roll in the ashes, you lords of the flock! ’Tis high time you were slain, and slain you shall be, falling like choice lambs. No escape for the rulers, no way for the lords of the flock to flee!”—Jer. 25:30, 31, 33-35, Mo.
16. Jehovah’s message to Gog includes what special invitation?
16 In the wake of Armageddon’s carnage, disease and pestilence from the rot and decay would plague the survivors were it not for the fact that Jehovah sends forth an invitation to the birds and beasts to attend this great slaughter. “Speak unto the birds of every sort, and to every beast of the field,” Jehovah says, and say to them, “Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, . . . Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth.” This certainly shows the contempt in which Jehovah holds the proud and haughty of Gog’s system, letting the wild beasts and vultures feed upon them as worthless carrion!—Ezek. 39:17, 18, AS.
17. What happy work of the future awaits Armageddon’s survivors, but first, what must be done?
17 With such a glorious feast of victory concluded, only the bones, bones from one end of the earth to the other, will be left for burial. What a task that will be for the survivors, to cleanse the earth of every remaining evidence of Gog’s forces! Even with the work well organized it will take seven months, Jehovah says, just to bury the bones. Scouting corps will be sent out on a full-time basis to search the land thoroughly and, when bones are found, markers will be set up for those with the spades and shovels who follow. (Ezek. 39:14, 15) Those privileged to share in that cleanup work will not view it as a revolting and disgusting assignment but will rejoice to be alive when Gog’s long and oppressive rule has come to an end and when the wicked are no more. Survivors of Armageddon will be happy and will greatly rejoice to have a share in preparing the earth for a global paradise of beauty and perfection under the reign of the King Christ Jesus. But first, before that happy day, this message against Gog must be delivered in its completeness.
WHO DELIVER THE MESSAGE?
18. Who are privileged to deliver Jehovah’s message against Gog and his allies, and how was Ezekiel a good picture of these?
18 Though the message against Gog of Magog is of divine origin, yet Jehovah is pleased to use human creatures as his dedicated and ordained messengers to speak in his name and by his authority. These are therefore properly called “Jehovah’s witnesses.” The prophets of old were witness-bearing messengers and as such were prototypes of Jehovah’s witnesses today. Commissioning Ezekiel as his spokesman, Jehovah said: “Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them. . . . All my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thy heart, and hear with thine ears. And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear [whether they will listen or refuse to listen, Mo.].”—Ezek. 3:4, 10, 11, AS.
19. (a) As one of Jehovah’s witnesses what authority was conferred upon Jeremiah? (b) To whom was he sent to deliver Jehovah’s message?
19 Concerning another one of God’s faithful witnesses, Jeremiah, we read: “Now the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, . . . I have appointed thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord Jehovah! behold, I know not how to speak; for I am a child. But Jehovah said unto me, Say not, I am a child; for to whomsoever I shall send thee thou shalt go, and whatsoever I shall command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid because of them; for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith Jehovah. Then Jehovah put forth his hand, and touched my mouth; and Jehovah said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth: see, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, . . . therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at them, lest I dismay thee before them. For, behold, I have made thee this day a fortified city, and an iron pillar, and brazen walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee, saith Jehovah, to deliver thee.”—Jer. 1:4-10, 17-19, AS.
20. In what particular respect was Isaiah a fitting picture of Jehovah’s message-bearing witnesses today?
20 Isaiah was another pictorial type of Jehovah’s witnesses in modern times. The prophet, when given a vision of the Lord Jehovah in his temple, cried out: “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of hosts.” The remnant of God’s witnesses A.D. 1918, when the Lord Jehovah came to the antitypical temple for judgment, were in a similar undone and unclean condition because of inactivity, compromise and bondage in modern Babylon. But as in Isaiah’s case so also in modern times, Jehovah in his loving-kindness removed the iniquity of his people and forgave them their sins and then gave them even greater privileges of service. “I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, Here am I; send me. And he said, Go, and tell this people, . . . Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until cities be waste without inhabitant, and houses without man, and the land become utterly waste.”—Isa. 6:5, 8, 9, 11, AS.
21. Are Jehovah’s witnesses today adequately qualified to deliver Jehovah’s message, and how so?
21 Jehovah’s witnesses today, like the Lord’s ancient witnesses, are under heavy responsibility before the Most High God. “We are therefore ambassadors substituting for Christ, as though God were making entreaty through us.” (2 Cor. 5:20, NW) As true Christians substituting for Christ they follow the course and example he set. He was a messenger or witness for Jehovah, but not a self-appointed one. (Mal. 2:7; Job 33:23; Rev. 1:5; 3:14) His message was Jehovah’s message. He did not speak of his own initiative. (John 5:19, 30; 7:28; 8:28, 42) So likewise it has been with Jehovah’s witnesses in this twentieth century. They have not appointed themselves to be God’s witnesses. Jehovah has made the appointment. They did not so much as choose their name, “Jehovah’s witnesses.” God did. (Isa. 43:9-11; 44:8) To start with they were but “a child,” untrained and inexperienced, yet by applying themselves to a diligent study of Jehovah’s revealed Word and with God’s holy spirit and blessing upon their efforts they became adequately qualified for their divine assignment. “Not that we of ourselves are adequately qualified to reckon anything as issuing from ourselves, but our being adequately qualified issues from God, who has indeed adequately qualified us to be ministers.”—2 Cor. 3:5, 6, NW.
22. (a) To what extent have Jehovah’s witnesses accepted the assignment conferred upon them? (b) What are some of the interesting questions that will be answered in the following article?
22 So to the ends of the earth these qualified and authorized messengers of Jehovah have been hastening, national boundaries and linguistic barriers notwithstanding. Nothing seems to hinder their preaching activity. As with Jeremiah violent storms of persecution and hateful opposition have raged against them, but such things have not stopped Jehovah’s witnesses. Neither have they shrunk back out of fear or because of the edicts of kings, princes, dictators, popes or priests. How well they have prospered in their assignment, to what extent they have delivered Jehovah’s message against Gog of Magog, and what the results have been, will be considered in the next article.
For a more detailed study of this prophecy see The Watchtower, October 1, 1953.
Analytical Concordance to the Bible, Robert Young.
Cyclopædia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, McClintock & Strong.
Bibel-Lexikon (German), Haag, 1953.
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. . . for I am a CHILD