The wedding banquet

The king said to his slaves, “The marriage feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy.  Therefore, go to the roads leading out of the city, and invite anyone you find to the marriage feast.’ Accordingly, those slaves went out to the roads and gathered all they found, both wicked and good; and the room for the wedding ceremonies was filled with those dining.” (Matthew 22:1-14)

The need for preparation

So, the question is: what kind of people are these which are sitting at the wedding banquet? Luke 14:21 gives a surprising picture of them: they are the poor and crippled and blind and lame. These were taken directly from the street, wicked and good, while they were just attending to their business and walking along. Their invitation was totally unexpected and they were not ready. No one could await such a surprise, so they were not fit at all.  Moreover, they were likely badly clothed since they didn’t have any marriage garment.

This is why the first command given to Gog is: “Be ready, prepare yourselves, you with all the armies that are assembled with you…” Ezekiel38:7

Which is the purpose? God has a name to defend, for: “I will make my holy name known among my people Israel, and I will not allow my holy name to be profaned any longer; and the nations will have to know that I am Jehovah, the Holy One in Israel. ” Ezekiel 39:7

In conclusion, to be under the attack is a people living in a spiritual paradise but not free from stain. Jesus told many parables concerning the last days of this system of thing. One of them is that of the ten virgins. Matthew 25:1-13 reads as follows:

They all became drowsy and fell asleep

“Then the Kingdom of the heavens may be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were discreet. For the foolish took their lamps but took no oil with them, while the bridegroom was delaying, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.”

The ten kings belonging to Gog of Magog

Ten are the virgins and ten is a number denoting fullness. When compared to seven, in the Bible 10 can represent something of a subordinate nature. The ten virgins are not all wise, just half of them are. It’s something like a battlefield having two opposite formations made up of 5 captains against other 5. Ten is the number of kings in Revelation, too. Of course, ten are my toes and ten are the toes under the legs of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue.  Not unexpectedly, ten is the number of kings under the rule of Gog of Magog, all the nations of the world.  They belong to both sides of the military line-up and are the nations represented in the map below.

The battle chessboard

As in every self-respecting war, the battle chessboard is essential. The names of the lands in the list of Ezekiel are:

1)Meshech         Ezekiel 38:3        Turkey 2)Tubal         Ezekiel 38:3      Turkey
3)Persia              Ezekiel 38:5        Iran 4)Ethiopia     Ezekiel 38:5      Ethiopia
5)Put                  Ezekiel 38:5        North Africa 6)Gomer       Ezekiel 38:6     Turkey
7)Togarmah       Ezekiel 38:6        Turkey 8)Sheba         Ezekiel 38:13    South Arabia
9)Dedan             Ezekiel 38:13      Arabia 10)Tarshish  Ezekiel 38:13 Spain and possibly Britain

Beth-Togarmah

Twice in chapter 38, when relating to Gog and the preparation for the war against Israel, in vv. 6 and 15, Ezekiel insists on the expression from the “farthest north”. Some commentator has claimed that this refers to Russia since it is north of Israel. Yet there is evidence that the reference in v. 15 to Togarmah is located in Asia Minor, i.e., part of Turkey. So, if the “farthest north” is Asia Minor in v. 15, that same Hebrew expression in v. 6 must refer to the same “far north” country, that is Turkey.

“The house of Togarmah from the remotest parts of the north, along with all its troops.” verse 6

“You will come from your place, from the remotest parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly, a vast army”. verse 15

 Thus, according to many scholars (among others Pliny the Elder and Maimonides )and many Bible dictionaries and atlas  (The Oxford Bible Atlas, The Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary ,The IVP Bible Background Commentary , The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, etc.) the lands of Magog, Togarmah , Tubal, Gomer and Meshech were all situated in Turkey. It’s the geographical zone later occupied by the seven congregations listed in Revelation 2 and 3. They are Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. All of them are models of the present day congregations all over the earth. The other lands such as Put, Persia, Dedan, Ethiopia, Sheba, and Tarshish are all surrounding Israel but mainly from the south.

A dangerous spiritual situation

Let’s go back to the situation represented in the Virgin’s parable. They all went asleep. This is the representation of a danger. Anyway, this is the spiritual state of today among all God’s worshipers. Which is the oil missing to the virgins? Their teachings are not fully in harmony with the Bible doctrines, and especially, they deny the Bible teachings about the matter concerning the shape of the earth. This is a tremendous stain from the point of view of their Creator.

A grand evening meal

In Luke 14:15-24 we can read about many people invited to a grand evening meal and all refusing to take part in it. Jesus was sitting at a banquet when one of the fellow guests said to him: “Happy is the one who dines in the Kingdom of God.”

Jesus answered to him: “A man was spreading a grand evening meal, and he invited many.  He sent his slave out at the hour of the evening meal to say to the invited ones, ‘Come because everything is now ready.’  But they all alike began to make excuses. […] Then the master of the house became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out quickly to the main streets and the alleys of the city, and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ In time the slave said, ‘Master, what you ordered has been done, and still there is room.’  So the master said to the slave, ‘Go out to the roads and the lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled.  For I say to you, none of those men who were invited will taste my evening meal.’” Among God’s people, many are those invited to take part in the grand evening meal. They belong to the “remnant” discussed in Romans 9:27-29. Not all of them will receive the awaited reward. Why?

Armies sent to burn the city

Once more, in Matthew 22:1-14, Jesus clarifies the fact that all those who were invited to the wedding banquet didn’t bother and went off to their business. Not only they refused to take part in the feast but they killed the king’s slaves. At this point, Jesus adds: “The king grew wrathful and sent his armies and killed those murderers and burned their city. What does this mean? It is actually a war, the war of “Gog of Magog”.

 The new Jerusalem

And, please, listen. When you have just one hundred refusing guests you don’t need to send your armies. But here the invited were a whole city. Which city? In the Book of Revelation, the name of the city is the New Jerusalem, as well as Zion in other books of the Greek Scriptures. Since much concerning Jerusalem in the Scriptures is in condemnation of her, it is clear that only when faithful did Jerusalem prefigure the true Christian congregation, the “Israel of God.” Galatians 6:16

The term New Jerusalem occurs twice in the Book of Revelation, in 3:12 and 21:2. A large portion of the final two chapters of Revelation deals with John’s vision of the New Jerusalem. He describes her as “‘the bride, the wife of the Lamb'” in Rev 21:9-10.

” If you conquer, I will make you a pillar in the temple of my God; you will never go out of it. I will write on you the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem that comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.” Rev. 3:12 “And I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband”. Rev 21:2Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”  Rev.21:9

Visualizing Gog as a tragic character

When unfaithful, Jerusalem is a prostitute and an adulterous woman. As such it could only represent the apostate Antichrist. This is following a course of infidelity to the God whose name he claims to bear. When visualizing Gog of Magog, we should imagine him as an actor playing his part on a stage in a conclusive, final act. For instance, you could imagine him as following the pattern played by Othello in a Shakespearean tragedy. In the end, he kills his wife Desdemona and then kills himself. Othello is half a model. Then Gog will become something totally different.

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