The Sabbath question

Where shall we gather

More Studies

Contact Us


(Some of the Bible verses quoted in this study have had comments added in brackets. The sole purpose of this study technique is to emphasise or introduce a line of thought. All verses KJV unless otherwise stated).

A theory presents itself from many Bible prophecies, that the Gog & Magog story of Ezekiel 38, was a prophecy of events, which would have occurred 2000 years ago, had Israel accepted Jesus.
( A more in depth study of this concept can be seen here: Man's Choices )

This concept is hard to grasp at first, but with a renewed look at Old Testament writings with this mindset, suddenly many of the old prophecies start to make a lot more sense.
As you will be aware, different forms of prophecy appear in the Bible, eg. Apocalyptic, Messianic, Judaic, etc.
Judaic prophecies were given to the biological offspring of Abraham. When God renewed His covenant to Israel at Mt Sinai, He promised to send blessings or curses depending upon Israel's faithfulness to the terms and conditions stipulated in the covenant.

The point is, even though the Bible clearly states the promise of blessings as well as curses, is that the most wonderful things promised to Israel could not be fulfilled because Israel repeatedly violated the covenant. Therefore God implemented the curses instead of the blessings He promised. After the Jews rejected Jesus, God redefined the nation of Israel through the new covenant.
God is not a respecter of persons; believers in Christ, who comply with the conditions of the new covenant, are now the seed of Abraham;
(Gal 3:29) And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Some Judiac prophecies were abandoned, in accordance to the terms and conditions given in the old covenant. Judiac prophecies are not to be confused with the 3 unconditional prophecies given to Abraham. Everything promised to Abraham will be fulfilled to the redefined seed of Abraham; that is, those who comply with the conditions of the new covenant. As in the old covenant, as well as a promised blessing; eternal life, a curse still stands for the disobedient; eternal death.

Option A / Option B

In many places in the Bible, God has presented this Option A / Option B scenario.
For example;
(1Sa 12:14) If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD..... But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you...

We see 2 possible outcomes here, 1 of them will NOT be fulfilled.
Notice 'If' is the key word.

It is interesting to note, that God had always reserved the right to reverse any conditional promises;
(Jer 18:9) ...at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;
(Jer 18:10) If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
(Jer 18:11) Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, ...

Again, we find another Option A / Option B scenario;
(Exo 18:23) If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.

Is God a liar because the people did not live in their land in peace, according to what is presented in this verse?
No, the verse was conditional, and they chose option B; by not obeying God.
This line of blessing didn't happen!

Another example appears in Deuteronomy 28:1-14; these verses of Scripture relate to how the Hebrews were to enjoy the Promised Land.
Was God a liar because it didn't play out according to that portion of Scripture?
No, the people chose option B, disobedience.
Again, we see that this portion of Scripture didn't happen.

Notice from these following verses, the covenant God was going to make had they accepted the promised Messiah, Jesus, 2000 years ago;
(Jer 31:31) Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
(Jer 31:32) Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband unto them, saith the LORD:
(Jer 31:33) But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
(Jer 31:34) And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

This option A or B concept is presented many times in the Bible. Even though God foreknew which option would occur, due to foreknowing man's choices; He did not reduce the Scripture to present just that one choice. The fact is, man has always been given free will to choose, and so was presented with both options. Both options were given also for the benefit of subsequent generations, so we can study the two options, and the outcomes due to their actions; and hopefully, we won't make the same mistake as them. God did not reduce the choice to 'the one' which He foreknew man was going to take.

We see even today, we still are given option A or B.
(Mat 25:32) And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep (option A) from the goats (option B):
(Rom 6:16) Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death (option B), or of obedience unto righteousness (option A).
(2Pe 3:9) The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish (option B) but that all should come to repentance (option A).

With a renewed mindset, Old Testament prophecies appear to reinforce the idea that Christ's kingdom was given an option to begin when Jesus appeared 2000 years ago.
For example;
(Dan 9:24) Seventy weeks are determined (conditionally) upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

We know the 70th week mentioned here, is the week Jesus was sacrificed. Just as Abraham was prepared to sacrifice Isaac on an altar; had Jesus been accepted, it is possible He would have been sacrificed this same way. Had Jesus been accepted, sin would have ended and everlasting righteousness would have commenced.
Has sin ended?
Did everlasting righteousness commence?
So what went wrong?
They chose option B, by rejecting Jesus.

Had they accepted Jesus, notice what would have happened; the righteous dead would have been raised;
(Eze 37:12) Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

And David would have been their king;
(Eze 37:24) And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.

It should also be noted that in Revelations story (option B), David is not mentioned as king, but Jesus is king.
At first, this is a hard concept to accept; but if one re-reads many of the Old Testament prophecies with this concept in mind, things begin to make a lot more sense.
Notice here, how 'the day of the Lord' was to occur 2000 years ago;
(Mal 3:1) Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
(Mal 4:5) Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

And notice that Elijah DID come;
(Mat 11:11) Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist:...
(Mat 11:14) And if ye will receive it, this is Elijah, which was for to come.

Jesus disciples asked him, saying, "Why say the scribes that Elijah must first come";
(Mat 17:12) But I say unto you, That Elijah is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed...

Notice the conditional element is added in the last verse of Malachi;
(Mal 4:6) And he (Elijah, ie. John the Baptist) shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers (Option A), lest I come and smite the earth with a curse (Option B).

Leviticus 26:14-46 also gives examples of the 'conditional' elements in more detail.

Not understanding the option A or B concept, is why many Christians today try to relate Malachi to our time, and hence place Elijah as one of the Two witnesses; thinking that he has to appear prior to the Second Coming. Malachi is actually an 'option A' prophecy. You will also notice that 'option B', that is, Jesus catching up the saints in the air, to be with Him in heaven; doesn't appear until New Testament writings (i.e. 'option B' writings). In 'option A', the righteous would have remained on the earth.

It is also interesting to note, that the Second Coming scenario appears nowhere in the Old Testament other than Daniel, which is where 'option B' was first introduced in subsequent visions given to Daniel. The phrase 'kingdom of God' or 'kingdom of Heaven' appears not once in the Old Testament!
Those living prior to Jesus first coming didn't need to know about 'option B', because God's ideal was that they should accept Jesus, even though He foreknew that 'option B' would need to be implemented.
What kind of encouragement would it have been for the Jew's, if God had told them what He foreknew was going to happen, and only presented one option through prophecy, being; "you are going to fail and be cursed".

The following verses are another example of Christians trying to place 'option A' verses in our time. In doing so, they believe Jews will return to and possess Israel, before Jesus returns, and are hence closely watching developments in Israel today. Some are even funding Jews to return to Israel in an effort to help fulfil the prophecy. This was 'option A', and won't occur in our day;
(Jer 30:3) For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it...
(Jer 30:8) For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:
(Jer 30:9) But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.
Notice, again David was to be king over them, just as we saw in the Ezekiel verse.

Notice Jesus' words as He witnessed His foreknown rejection, and revealed that 'option B' would now be implemented;
(Mat 23:37) O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
And the result of the people rejecting 'option A';
(Mat 23:38) Behold, your house is left unto you desolate (option B).

We need to be aware, that the Bible is full of parallels; stories given in Old Testament times, which relate to events and situations which will occur in the End Times.
There is a degree of parallelism between the Magog stories of Ezekiel and Revelation, but do their pieces fully align.

Gog & Magog

Lets now look more closely at the 2 Gog & Magog prophecies given in Ezekiel and Revelation. It is our understanding that Gog represents Satan, and Magog is his army of wicked people. Satan wants to be God (hence Gog).
We know that Revelations Gog & Magog event happens 1000 years after the Second Coming;
(Rev 20:7) And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
(Rev 20:8) And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
(Rev 20:9) And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

This is the second death of the wicked. We know that as a part of this second death (of the wicked), they are cast into the lake of fire;
(Rev 20:14) And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
(Rev 20:15) And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Note that there are no bodies or bones to be disposed of at this second death.
We know however at the Second Coming, at the first death of the wicked, there will be bodies;
(Rev 19:14) And the armies which were in heaven followed him (Jesus) upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
(Rev 19:15) And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: (note from verse 21 below, the purpose of this sword) and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
(Rev 19:16) And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
(Rev 19:17) And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
(Rev 19:18) That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
(Rev 19:19) And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
(Rev 19:20) And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
(Rev 19:21) And the remnant (of the wicked) were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

Notice from Ezekiel's Magog story, that not only do the beasts and birds feed on the bodies, but there are also bones left scattered around to be buried;
(Eze 39:4) Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured...
(Eze 39:12) And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.

If you attempt to line up the above Ezekiel verses with the 'feast of the fowls' at the second coming story given in Revelation 19, you end up with a 1000 year gap between these two events. If alternatively you place Ezekiel's Magog story at the end of the 1000 years, you have another conflict. The bodies in Ezekiel's story are killed by sword, pestilence, great hailstones, fire and brimstone. Then bodies are devoured by beasts and many remains needing burying.
In Revelations Magog story, the wicked are destroyed by fire out of heaven and are cast into the lake of fire, being eternally destroyed.
No bones left to dispose of !!!
It should also be noted that here is no concept of a second death given in the Ezekiel prophecy.

Other issues that need consideration;

Notice in Ezekiel that the wicked come against unwalled villages;
(Eze 38:11) And thou (Satan) shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
(Eze 38:15) And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:

In Revelation they come against the holy city, New Jerusalem.
(Rev 20:9) And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
(Rev 21:10) And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,...
(Rev 21:12) And had a wall great and high...

This great high wall is not mentioned in Ezekiel's event.
It should also be noted that Ezekiel's story doesn't describe a New Jerusalem coming from heaven.

There is also no mention of a new earth in Ezekiel's story, the people were to cleanse the earth;
(Eze 39:12) And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land...
(Eze 39:14) And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search.
(Eze 39:16) And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land.

In Ezekiel's story, Satan and his wicked army come from the North;
(Eze 38:15) And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:

In Revelations story, they are gathered from all corners of the earth;
(Rev 20:8) And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

In Ezekiel's story, weapons are gathered and burned for 7 years;
(Eze 39:9) And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years:

To say this is a prophecy for our time, would be to say, that today man would fight with bows and arrows, etc.
Now some may say, they are symbolic of weapons we would use today.
If that were the case, how much fire would you get out of today's huge variety of modern weapons, mostly made out of metal?
How long would a pile of metal machine guns burn, or missile launchers, etc?
The other problem we have, is that Revelation's version doesn't mention gathering and burning of any weapons.

There are many other discrepancies between these two stories.
For example, note the identity of the specific nations joining with Gog to make war against Israel (Eze 38).
God provided their identity so we can make no mistake as to who the partners in war against God's people really are in Ezekiel's story. These are not symbolic nations.
It is quite clear that these are two different events.
They were written at different times in history, for differently timed events in history.
With this new mindset, you will notice that with the exception of Daniel (where 'option B' is first introduced), most of the Old Testament is in reference to 'option A'!!!
If you consider this concept, the Bible is seen in a whole new light.
[Read our full study on this concept here: Mans Choices ].

Home  | More Studies  | Contact Us