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“ They shall spoil those that spoiled them and robbed them, saith the Lord God." All the wealth that is left of this great army is theirs, their gold and silver and apparel, even as Zechariah, speaking of this same thing, says (14:14), “ And Judah also (that is, the remnant of Judah) shall fight at Jerusalem (or "against Jerusalem,' [margin]), and the wealth of all the heathen shall be gathered together, gold and silver and apparel in great abundance."
Now we have already shown that Gog and the beast of the Revelation are one and the same thing, and therefore what is said of the one must needs be true also of the other. And so we find it; the great sacrifice that the Lord sacrifices for the fowls and beasts (the remnant of Israel), and the great table that he provides for them, are spoken of in the Book of the Revelation as a great supper; and so it is written (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, that ye may eat 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, free and bond, both small and great.'
THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB
This supper is also called “The Marriage Supper of the Lamb." Now who is the bridegroom? Who is the bride? Who are the guests that are invited to the marriage? And of what do they partake? As this is called the marriage supper of the Lamb, therefore the bridegroom is Christ, and the bride of Christ is the church of Christ, made perfect by resurrection from the dead. But who are the guests that are invited to this great marriage supper of the Lamb of God? for the guests can be neither the bride, nor the bridegroom. We answer, The guests are the remnant of Israel, of whom the angel said to John, “Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb." And those who are called to this supper are spoken of figuratively as fowl that Ay in the midst of heaven,” for John says, “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 marriage supper of the great God." Therefore the people symbolized as the fowls of heaven are the invited guests, and the ones that the angel pronounced blessed.
Now as the Book of the Revelation is called "the testimony of Jesus," and as that is explained to be “the spirit of prophecy,” it follows that in the prophets we are to look for the meaning of these figurative expressions, and so in Ezekiel's prophecy of these same things we are shown plainly who these fowls represent (Ezek. 39: 1-22). They are the people who dwell in the cities of Israel after the judgment is over, after Gog, the spoiler, is spoiled. The fowls, therefore, are those who spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, — the remnant of Israel, the hundred and forty-four thousand who are men in the flesh, mortal men.
The supper that the great God provides for these fowls, the remnant of Israel, consists of Gog and all his multitude, or the Assyrian and all his people, or the Beast and the kings of the earth, and their armies. Concerning the Beast, John says, “ 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. 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 worshipped his image; these were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone." This is the same lake of fire and brimstone that we have already described, showing in plain language what these elements of destruction are that will be employed to destroy the heathen nations after their work is done.
But Ezekiel testifies that after Gog falls upon the open field, the Lord says (39:6), “And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles; and they shall know that I am the Lord." And so also John says of these same people (Rev. 9:21), “And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword (the word of command) proceeded out of his mouth; and all the fowls were filled with their Aesh.” This accords also with what Daniel says about these same people (7:11-12) where he says of the fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, with ten horns and the little blasphemous horn, “I beheld until the beast was slain, and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame" (that is, was cast into a lake of fire burning with brimstone). Then Daniel adds, “ As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time" (or as the margin reads, “A prolonging life was given them ”). Therefore Daniel, Ezekiel, and John, all three, speak of judgments that are to be executed upon the nations that are left after Gog and his multitudes fall upon the mountains of Israel to destroy the rebellious people. So also the Lord will send the remnant against the nations to destroy nations and kingdoms, for the Lord says of the remnant who are the true Jacob and who constitute the foundation of the new nation (Jer. 5!: 20), “ Thou art my battle ax and weapons of war, for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms."
Now as an example of the course that the Lord will pursue in carrying out this remarkable prophecy, we shall call attention to what he will do with some of the smaller nations that border upon Israel's inheritance. We call attention to the twenty-fifth chapter of Ezekiel (verses 12-14) where among the things stated the Lord says of Edom, “ Thus saith the Lord, Because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah, by taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended and revenged himself upon them, therefore thus saith the Lord God, I will also stretch out mine hand upon Edom, and I will cut off man and beast from it, and I will make it desolate from Teman, and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword, and I will lay my vengeance upon
Edom by the hand of my people Israel, and they shall do in Edom according to mine anger and according to my fury, and they shall know my vengeance, saith the Lord God." This is a practical illustration of the manner in which the Lord will deal with the nations of the earth in that day. Moreover, the king of the house of David that will be the chief among the remnant is called the“ man child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron ” (Rev. 12:5).
LATTER DAY CAPTIVITIES OF ISRAEL We will now return to complete our interpretation of the prophecy of Ezekiel (chapter 39, verses 21 and onward), where the Lord says, And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God, from that day and forward.” From the tenor of that part of this prophecy, recorded in the thirty-eighth chapter one might conclude that the house of Israel had not received much damage from the invasion of Gog, but rather that he had come up against them with a mischievous purpose, but that he had been foiled and thwarted, and instead of destroying the house of Israel and robbing their treasures, he had himself been destroyed and spoiled. But alas for the rebellious house! Gog first destroys them and robs their treasures, and is after that himself destroyed, for the Lord says of Gog, under the title of the Assyrian (Isa. 10:6), “I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.” And therefore the Lord says by the hand of Ezekiel (39:23), “ And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity, because they trespassed against me; therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies. So fell they all by the sword.”
Therefore the house of Israel in that day falls by the sword of Gog, and it is at this time also that a third part of them are driven into captivity, as we have already shown from the first chapters of Ezekiel (5:12), “A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee, and a third part shall fall by the sword (of Gog) round about, and I will scatter a third part into all winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.”
Now this third part that goes into captivity at this time consists partly of the house of Israel, the ten tribes, and partly of the house of Judah, the two tribes. Israel's dispersion and captivity from that time continues 390 years, and Judah's dispersion and captivity continues from this time forty years; and the treatment that they will receive at the hands of the nations during the terms of these captivities Moses, in particular, has described most graphically (Lev. 26: 33-46, and Deut. 28: 62-68). And so the Lord says, “ The heathen shall know that they go into captivity because of their iniquity, because, says the Lord, they trespassed against me, therefore I hid my face from them (as their song said he would do) and gave them into the hand of their enemies. So fell they all by the sword.” And the Lord continues, saying, “ According to their uncleanness, and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them ” (Ezek. 39:24).
This now brings us to a point in this prophecy to which special attention is invited, as that which the Lord here says is conclusive as to their captivities and the period in Israel's history when they occur; for these captivities appear not to be known or understood among
modern commentators. Hearken
therefore to this word of the Lord (verse 25): “Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for my holy name." But, we ask, when will he bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel? The Lord himself answers, “ After they have borne their shame and all their trespasses, whereby they have trespassed against me." But we ask again, When did they trespass against the Lord so grievously as to bring such evil upon themselves? The Lord answers again, “When they dwelt safely in their land and none made them afraid” (verse 26). And we may inquire once more, When did they dwell safely in their land and none made them afraid? This is plainly stated in three different places in this prophecy: first (Ezek. 38:8), it is said, “ After they are brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them "; again (verse 11), Gog says, “I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates"; again (verse 14), the Lord says to Gog, “When my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?” And the fourth time that it is spoken of (39: 26) we are told what kind of character they manifested when they dwelt safely in their land, before the invasion of Gog and his multitude, namely, they were a nation of uncleanness, a nation of transgressors. Therefore the Lord brought against them the “ king of fierce countenance," Gog, and his multitudes, the worst of the heathen, brutish men skilful to destroy, to punish them.
Now as they were transgressors when they dwelt safely in their land, and therefore have been dispersed through the countries, they must remain there during the terms appointed, 390, and forty years, and bear their shame till those periods transpire. Then the Lord says, “I will bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel,” and then in verse 27 the Lord continues, saying, “When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations."
Now when people have had their senses exercised upon Scripture matters, they should be able to discern a simple matter like the following; for instance, when the Lord says of his people, “Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel,” speaking from the standpoint of their dispersion by the hand of Gog in the latter days, the Lord intends us, like intelligent people, to understand that he will now bring them again the second time from their enemies' lands. He brought them the first time at the second exodus from among all nations and planted them in their own land where they dwelled safely before the invasion of Gog, but after Gog scatters them, then he says that he will gather them again, and leave none of them any more there, and says further, “ Neither will I hide my face any more from them, for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God.”
In the foregoing we have dwelt quite particularly upon these points to make clear and to prove these latter day captivities, for when they are established in one's mind, it aids greatly in understanding Scriptures that treat of other matters connected with these things.
THE IDOLATRY OF THE LATTER DAYS
We have already shown from Moses and the prophets that the house of Israel and the house of Judah will again fall away into the basest and most abominable idolatries in the latter days. One would undoubtedly suppose that with the history of the past before their eyes, and especially with the terrible things which the Lord will do with Israel among the nations in the time of the second exodus, and the terrible things also that he will do with themselves while they pass again through the wilderness of the people, in purging out the rebels and them that transgress against the Lord before he brings them in to plant them again in the mountain of his inheritance when they shall at first be called “the city of righteousness, the faithful city,"— I say that we would most certainly suppose that they would never again seek stocks and stones, and deny the God that is above, and worship the works of their own hands, yet we cannot deny the Scripture that informs us that thus it will be. Therefore in addition to what we have already proved, we will adduce more Scriptures to show that this strange spectacle shall yet be seen in the earth.
The prophet Micah (4:1) speaks especially of what shall come to pass in the last days, how that “the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the tops of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills, and when many nations (that is, after the judgments are executed) shall come and say, Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths (and the reason assigned is), for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." But how does this Prophet inform us that this changed condition of the rebellious nations is brought about, and how it is that they are so obedient and attentive unto the word of the Lord in those times? Why he says in verse 11 and onward of chapter 4 (referring to Gog's invasion), “Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, let our eye look upon Zion. But they knew not the thoughts of the Lord, neither understand they his counsel, for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the foor."
Then the Lord says to the remnant of Israel who follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth, “ Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion, for I will make thine horn iron, and thy hoofs brass, and thou shalt beat in pieces many people, and I will consecrate their gold, silver, and apparel, their gain unto the Lord, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.” Again (Mic. 5:7 and onward) he continues, " And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass that tarrieth not for man nor waiteth for the sons of men, and the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces and none can deliver. Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thinė enemies shall be cut off.”
This brings us now to the point that we have especially in view, for no man properly instructed in the Scriptures will deny that these testimonies above recited apply to the great day of the Lord. And what else does the Prophet say obtains and takes place in those times? He continues, “ And it shall come