The references to a great fire falling from heaven, resulting from the assaults of Gog and Magog are found in only two places in the Bible. The first is in Ezekiel, Chapters 38 and 39. The second is in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 20. verse 8.
Each of these passages speaks of an horrific attack against the people of God by the powers of evil, and of a dramatic intervention by God himself who comes against them, confronting them with every form of terror, even bringing 'fire down from heaven to consume them.'
Saint Augustine teaches about Gog and Magog. He also explains the meaning of Satan being chained for a thousand years as it is referred to in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 20.
This is what Saint Augustine says the Book of Revelation means about Gog and Magog, and binding of Satan for a thousand years:
After the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, the Church was born. The proclamation of the Gospel began the spiritual reign of Christ on earth. St. Augustine says that this accompanied the prophetic:
"Satan will be bound for a thousand years." (Rev. 20:2)
The power of Satan over the world was then restrained for a long period of time. (The reference to a time-period of a thousand years is allegorical, not literal.) It does not mean that the power of Satan was destroyed entirely; it simply means that Satan's power to rule over the races of men, as he had in the past, was done away with. He was still like a vicious dog, who attacked the Church ferociously, but his power was chained. While Satan was thus bound, he could not enforce the rule he once had over the peoples of the earth. So, in a spiritual way, Satan was bound for a thousand years. He was robbed of the dominion he had over the world. This "binding of Satan" restrained him from destroying the work of the Church, which was then able to established the spiritual Kingdom of Christ on earth.
Satan had told Christ, "all the kingdoms of the world have been given to me." That may have been true at that time. Every culture in the whole world, except for the Jews, was steeped in the worship of pantheons of false gods, which were demons who demanded worship and tribute from all who served them.
Christ had said: "If a man wishes to rob a strong man of his possessions, he must first bind that strong man, so that he can take his possessions from him." (Matt.12:29) Christ is the one who bound Satan (the strong man) and took his possessions: which were the souls of men. To take Satan's possessions from him, Christ first had to BIND HIM. Then, after Satan was bound, the Christian gospel, though amidst persecution, was effectively preached to all nations for a thousand years.
This, and ONLY THIS, is what the scripture means when it says that: "Satan will be bound for a thousand years."
"But after the thousand years are over, Satan will be released to deceive the nations in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, and mobilize them for war. His armies will be as many as the sands of the sea; they will swarm over the entire country and besiege the Camp of the Saints, which is the City that God loves. But fire will come down on them from heaven, and consume them." (Rev. 20:7)
In the original language, Gog means: "under the roof". Magog means "out from under the roof". Gog refers to Satan as he is captive, bound, kept as it were: under a roof. Magog refers to Satan being unloosed. As Magog, he bursts forth from where he had been bound, under the roof. The scriptural references to Gog and Magog symbolize the full fury of Satan unchained: the unleashing of the spirit of antichrist.
Thus, Saint Augustine says that after Satan's power has been restrained for a long period of time (i.e. a thousand years), he will be released to deceive the nations. This is only to be taken in a spiritual, and historical sense. Historically this became evident by the traumatic dissension's which began to tear into the heart of Christianity. This was soon followed the absolute rejection of God himself, and everything that the Church teaches, through scientific atheism, and the resurgence of wide-spread fascination with the occult. Finally, in the later days it was manifest by the genocidal persecutions of Hitler, and the murderous repression's of Christianity by the Communists. Russia actually enthroned 'museums of atheism', all over the country, and atheism became the "official religion" of Communist Russia. Soon thereafter came numerous murderous uprisings, and the repression of Christianity by political Marxists all over the world. Finally, this rejection of religion began to pervade the whole world. The christian west became saturated with pornography, sexual licentiousness, the public mockery of God, and indulgence in every form of the occult. The release of Satan from his prison can be now be clearly seen by looking back at recent history. Even thirty years ago, it would have been unthinkable to graphically demonstrate to 7th graders how to put on a condom. Now, such things are taught to young children all over the world! They are even provided free condoms, or birth-control pills, or morning after pills - at the junior high school level!
St. Augustine states that what the scripture means when it says that "his armies will be as many as the sands of the sea; they will swarm over the entire country and besiege the Camp of the Saints, which is the City that God loves", is that at some point Satan's power will universally re-conquer the whole world! After the thousand years are over, he will wage war against the Church, which is the camp of the saints, in every way conceivable. He predicts that Christians and all men of good-will throughout the whole world will be besieged, on a spiritual and cultural level by the powerful influences of the forces of Satan: "whose armies will be as many as the sands of the sea." History has proven that he was correct. In the recent decades, the power of evil has re-conquered many countries, peoples, families. Just as Saint Augustine predicted it would, the power of evil has surrounded the people of God on earth at every level. There is not a newspaper, or a billboard, or a radio, or a television, or a computer anywhere - where the "the people of God" are not bombarded by every form of immorality.
However, says St. Augustine, there will be a sudden end to this. He says that the Holy Spirit, as through a great fire, will fall from heaven, and will consume the enemies of the Church. Now it appears that this great fire that will fall from heaven, will literally BE a great fire which will fall from heaven, though Saint Augustine did not clearly foresee that. He only knew that the Holy Spirit would be poured at as fire upon the Church, and that the enemies of the Church would be consumed.
The meaning of Ezekiel, Chapter 38, must be understood in both an allegorical, and literal sense. Here, Gog firstly refers to the "malevolent spirit of atheism" that came from "Rosh", the land to the farthest north of Israel, which is Russia. The godless spirit of atheism was first celebrated and embraced with diabolic delight by apostate atheists, who fiendishly rejoiced in their pridefull rejection of God and christian morality. In the early 20th century they saw themselves as enlightened social reformers, or academics, but they were nothing but duped, pridefull agents from hell. This defiant spirit of atheism, and the rejection of religion, spread rapidly throughout the whole world. In this way, Israel, which is the Church, was attacked by an army such has never been seen before - even unto the remotest ages. They swarmed over the whole land, teaching and spreading immorality in all its forms. This malevolent spirit of the antichrist, not only rejected God and all religion: but it embraced every form of sin conceivable. This spiritual attack on everything that is holy, by Gog and Magog, defiled the spiritual Israel, which allegorically represents all the people of God. Evil spread like a dark cloud over the whole earth. Gog and Magog, is the defiant, corrupt, and hateful spirit of the antichrist - manifested by evil.
This formal rejection of God. and Christian morality was enforced by law in Russia, and then by China. Christians in many places were slaughtered and the practice of the faith outlawed. This pridefull, diabolic spirit was then able to corrupted the entire Christian civilization. The assault of Gog and Magog triggered the great apostasy throughout all of Christianity. In the allegorical sense, the complete godlessness, firstly embraced by Russia, the land to the far north of Israel, ultimately attacked all of God's people, represented by Israel. (Russia first legalized abortion in 1923). This assault of Gog and Magog, which spawned the pridefull rejection of everything sacred, wreaked terrible spiritual havoc in every population, in every Christian nation. So firstly, Israel, in Ezekiel 38, is allegorically figurative of the whole Church: attacked by "Gog and Magog".
Secondly, the nation of Israel itself, must be figured into this fearsome prophecy in a literal sense as well. This is because, as the scripture says: Israel has been gathered back together by God, as a nation, in the last days of the world, after it had been dispersed for many generations - unto every corner of the earth. (Ezek 38:8) Clearly, Israel as a nation, has literally been called back by God to the "long deserted mountains of Israel" - just as the scriptures of Ezekiel 38 prophesy that it will be. Therefore, the nation of Israel itself will surely be a focal point of these cataclysmic, earth shattering prophecies by which "God will display his holiness to the nations". The passage of Ezekiel 38 is one of the most, specific, spectacular, and most fearsome prophecies in of the Old Testament. As Americans, we should take note that God clearly states in this fearsome prophecy, that "I will send fire to Magog - to those living undisturbed on the islands - and they will learn that I am the Lord. I have spoken! I am going to see that my holy name is known among my people Israel, and I will no longer allow my my holy name to be profaned; the nations shall learn that I am the Lord, holy in Israel." (Ezek 39:6)
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