This is the thirteenth in a short (!) series of posts dealing with the proper interpretation of Old Testament Kingdom Prophecy (OTKP). If you’re new to this subject (or to my blog), you’ll want to read the essay with which I introduced the series (just click here).
My goal in these eschatological adventures is two-fold.
First, I want to open up something of the Christ-centered truth and beauty of OTKP to my brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Secondly, I want to reason a little with my premillennial brethren. In particular, I want to make the case that we all will best understand, enjoy, and profit from OTKP when we see that its true sphere of fulfillment is: 1) Christ, 2) the New Covenant he instituted by his blood, 3) the two-staged spiritual Kingdom he has already introduced (and will soon consummate), and, 4) the New Covenant community he is creating out of elect Jews and Gentiles: the Church.
In short, I would like my premillennial brothers to reconsider the amillennial approach to the interpretation of OTKP.
Since the end of the age will soon be upon us, it is important that we stand together as much as possible. Seeing eye to eye on eschatology would definitely help. These essays—and the book in progress from which they are extracted—represent my best effort at contributing to that worthy goal.
Ezekiel’s Last Battle (Ezekiel 38-39)
This is a long post. It had to be, because the text it discusses is long, difficult, and very important. Hopefully, you will find it more than worthwhile!
These two controversial chapters describe the Deception, Destruction, and Disposal of Israel’s great eschatological enemies: Gog and his worldwide confederation of evil armies.
In the latter days, by divine decree, they will go up against a people fully restored to the LORD and his covenant blessings. Thinking to annihilate them and seize their homeland, Gog and his armies themselves will be annihilated: Under furious strokes of divine judgment they will fall to their complete and everlasting destruction upon the mountains of Israel.
An Oracle of Good News?
While the prospect of such an attack would surely have been unsettling to devout Jews from Ezekiel’s day onward, it is easy to see how they could also reckon it an Oracle of Good News. Yes, God himself is behind the dreadful assault, so it will surely come to pass. But far from being a judgment against his people, it will actually be final retribution against their remaining enemies. Moreover, on that day Israel herself will not even have to fight, for God, as at the Exodus, will fight for her: with pestilence, blood, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.
In short, the good news is that this battle will indeed be the last battle; the battle in which God supremely “sets his glory among the nations,” manifesting his absolute sovereignty, justice, wrath, power, goodness, grace, mercy, and love—-and then opening up before his grateful people a door into the eternal blessings of the World to Come (38:16, 23, 39:7, 13, 21).