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September 1 Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 38-39
“They shall dwell safely all of them!”
O God of all grace, what a great promise you have given us in this portion of your Word. In the midst of great judgment upon Gog and Magog, with all the assaults of the heathen “against the mountains of Israel,” against your church, against your chosen, you have promised that your people, your chosen, your elect, your redeemed, your Israel “shall dwell safely — all of them!” He makes the same promise again in Ezekiel 38:14.
Gog and Magog
The Holy Spirit does not leave us to guess who Gog and Magog represent in these two chapters (Ezekiel 38-39). In the 20th chapter of Revelation, he tells us plainly that Gog and Magog represent all the nations of the world (under the delusion of Satan) set in opposition to Christ, his Gospel, and his church. But let us never imagine, not even for a moment, that this is something beyond God’s control, or something not included in his sovereign purpose of grace in predestination. That is not the case. God says to these wicked ones, “I will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel” (Ezekiel 39:2).
Satan’s Little Season
Our Lord Jesus Christ, by his death on the cross, defeated Satan and bound him with a great chain. The purpose of his binding was “that he should deceive the nations no more.” As the result of Satan’s binding, the glorious Gospel of Christ has been carried into the four corners of the earth. Our Lord has been gathering his elect out of the four corners of the earth for more than two thousand years.
Yet, he told us that when the time appointed (symbolized by the thousand years) is fulfilled, Satan must be loosed for a little season. In Revelation 20:7-10 the Holy Spirit teaches us four things about this “little season:” — (1.) At the end of this present Gospel age, just before the coming of Christ, Satan will once again be turned loose upon the nations of the world (Revelation 20:7). — (2.) He will be allowed to deceive the nations of the world with false religion once more (Revelation 20:8). Gog and Magog, representing all the nations of the world, set in opposition to Christ, his church, and the Gospel of his grace. God the Holy Spirit does not use “Gog and Magog” to represent Russia, China, or any other literal nation! He tells us plainly that Gog and Magog represent the nations of the world under the influence of satanic deception. — (3.) Under the satanic delusion of false religion, all the nations of the world will rise up in opposition to Christ, his Gospel, and his church in the great battle of Armageddon (Revelation 20:9). This is the same battle described in Revelation 16:12-16 and 19:19-21. It is the final assault of Satan against the Lord Jesus Christ. The meaning of John’s vision in Revelation 20 is clear: Toward the close of this Gospel age, before Christ comes in glory, Satan will deceive the world with a false gospel, a false Christ, a false god, a false spirit, and a false faith; and the world, in the name of Christ, will turn in violent persecution against Christ’s kingdom. — (4.) Satan’s last assault, like all that have preceded it, shall be foiled in the end (Revelation 20:10). The purpose of God will not be frustrated. The truth of God shall not be overturned. The saints of God shall not be deceived. The church of God shall not be harmed. The Christ of God shall thoroughly defeat his enemies. The punishment of the beast and the false prophet is described in Revelation 19:20. God the Holy Ghost assures us that Satan, the beast, and the false prophet will all be cast into the lake of fire in Revelation 20:10. In that horrible place of damnation they will be unceasingly tormented forever. This battle will end in swift and decisive victory for us when Christ comes in power and great glory (2 Thessalonians 2:8).
No Harm Done
Understand this, child of God, and rejoice. — No harm shall be done to God’s Israel; no harm shall be done to our souls by all Satan’s devices. None of God’s elect shall be lost to the devices of the wicked one. — “They shall dwell safely — all of them!” And in the end, “they shall spoil those that spoiled them” (Ezekiel 39:10). — “Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God” (Ezekiel 39:28).