Revelation 20 and Ezekiel 36-39

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Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
In Revelation 20:1-3 we have a restraining of the enemy against God's people. In Ezekiel 36, we likewise have a restraining of the enemy against God's people.

In Revelation 20:4-6 we have a resurrection of God's people. In Ezekiel 37 we have a resurrection of God's people.

In Revelation 20:7-9 we have the loosing of Satan and his minions, referred to as Gog and Magog, against God's people. In Ezekiel 38:1-17 we have the attack of Gog and Magog on God's people.

In Revelation 20:9b - 20:10 we have the destruction of Satan and Gog and Magog. In Ezekiel 38:18- Ezekiel 39:29 we have the destruction of Gog and Magog.

Does the prosperity of God's people (the Israel of God) in the Land (that is the whole Earth, and not just Palestine, in this New Covenant era) tie in better with postmillennialism or amillennialism?

This thread has been prompted by Steve's response to a post of mine on this thread:-

http://www.puritanboard.com/f46/amillenialism-current-state-satan-66359/

Quote from Me
Apostasies of various kinds associated with various parts of the world have happened in Church history down through the centuries?

Why would the current spiritual malaise in Western Europe and North America be the final release of Satan?

And [Satan] 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.
Ezekiel 37-39, a passage that is a helpful expansion on Revelation 20, indicates that this apostasy will happen after Israel (i.e. the New Covenant Church) has been securely settled in her Land (i.e. the whole Earth) for a long period of time. This hasn't been the case in Church history so far. See e.g. Patrick Fairbairn's commentary on Ezekiel.


Quote from Steve Rafalsky
Richard,

Has not the church been peacefully settled – generally speaking – upon the earth for a long period? Yes, there has been persecution at times, but the nations as a conglomerate have not gone after her. Satan’s power to assemble a Gog and Magog force was taken from him at the inception of the church age / “1,000 years” (cf Rev 20:8; Ezek 38, 39), though that has long been his desire.

I think it is commonly accepted that more Christians have been killed in the 20th and 21st centuries than have been killed in all the prior centuries of the church age combined. Might that not lead one to think something awful is afoot in the crawling shadows of this world?
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Richard,

I believe the amil would understand it this way:

In Ezek 36 we have the condemnation of the Israelites’ enemy (the prototypical heathen and adversary of Israel, Idumea / Esau), and the prophecy of the new covenant with Israel, and the new spiritual regeneration of God’s people in it. In Rev 20 we have the restraining of the deceiver, that he may not marshal the nations against God’s Israel.

In Ezek 37 we have the restoration of Israel from its deadened spiritual state (and exile from land and temple), with the promise of new life, a consequence of the new covenant, cf. Ezek 37:12-14:

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 ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,

And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.​

Could this be the same as Isaiah 66:7-9, “a nation born at once . . . [brought] forth in one day”, pertaining to the birth of the new Israel in Christ, on the day of Pentecost? I know there was a partial fulfilment of this upon the return from Babylon, but the commencement of the true return was effected by Messiah in His first advent.

In Rev 20 we have the spiritual resurrection of all those who are born anew in Christ, seated with Him in heavenly places (Eph 2:6), exempt now from the 2nd death. The same thing as Ezek 37, but with a different focus. Again, there was a partial fulfilment upon the return to the land, but not the full.

In Ezek and Rev I will simply restate your own words:

In Revelation 20:7-9 we have the loosing of Satan and his minions, referred to as Gog and Magog, against God's people. In Ezekiel 38:1-17 we have the attack of Gog and Magog on God's people.

In Revelation 20:9b - 20:10 we have the destruction of Satan and Gog and Magog. In Ezekiel 38:18- Ezekiel 39:29 we have the destruction of Gog and Magog.

It is your conclusion / rhetorical question I differ with:

Does the prosperity of God's people (the Israel of God) in the Land (that is the whole Earth, and not just Palestine, in this New Covenant era) tie in better with postmillennialism or amillennialism?

I suppose it depends on what we consider “the prosperity of God’s people”, a Jewish dream of material well-being on the sin and curse-laden earth before the return of Christ in judgment (and rescue of His people), or the spiritual well-being of the saints in the land of the “heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:6) in which we dwell by faith? Even the OT saints, does not Hebrews say that the patriarchs looked not at Canaan, but for a city whose builder and maker is God (Heb 11:10), and for a heavenly country, prepared for them by God (11:15, 16)? On this earth, were they not, even as we, “strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (v. 13)?

The elect have riches and prosperity in the promised land of the heavenlies now, and will have it on New Earth and Heaven in eschatological fulness and visible glory – world without end – after the general resurrection and judgment.

In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. –Jesus (John 16:33)​
 
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