Peace Process and
An open letter from Christians to Christians
The Remnant, the "Holy Flock,"
Will Be A Blesser Nation
After its decisive victory over the Arabs (Isaiah 11:14;
Zephaniah 2:4-10; Ezekiel 36:7), Israel will dwell in peace and
"unwalled villages" as symbolized in Ezekiel (38:11). At this
juncture, Gog and the nations listed will invade Israel (Ezekiel
38:3-6). Here we disagree with many of our "born-again" Christian
friends. We do not believe in a so-called "second holocaust"—in
which nine-tenths of the Israelis will be eternally condemned when
slain by the forces of Gog and only a one-tenth holy remnant
The Purpose of Gog's Invasion
Is the purpose of Gog's invasion to once and for all teach Israel
a lesson of God's sovereignty? Or is it to teach the Gentile nations
which attack the Land the sovereignty of the God of Israel? The
answer is "Yes" to both questions. But the way God accomplishes this
lesson is different in each case. On Israel's behalf He fights for
them as He did in ancient times, "Then shall the LORD go forth and
fight against those nations as when he fought in the day of battle"
(Zechariah 14:1-3) In their spectacular deliverance the LORD says,
"I will bring again the captivity of Jacob and have mercy upon the
whole house of Israel…for I have poured out my spirit upon the house
of Israel…" (Ezekiel 39:25,29). On the other hand, the way God will
sanctity Himself "in the eyes of many nations" so that "they shall
know that I am the LORD" is by defeating them (Ezekiel 38:23). They
will be so dumbstruck by Israel's extraordinarily outstanding
victory, that they will have no choice but to glorify God. "For I am
with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee, though I make a full end of
all nations [governments, not the people] whither I have scattered
thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee…" (Jeremiah 30:11).
Actually, Ezekiel's prophecy does not indicate how many Jews are
killed during Gog's invasion. But great emphasis is given to the
Lord's destruction of the forces of Gog. By contrast is Israel's
prospect, "Now I shall restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy
on the whole house of Israel" (Ezekiel 39:25, NAS). A parallel
prophecy speaks of half of Jerusalem being exiled (not destroyed)
but the rest of the people would remain (Zechariah 14:2,3). What
becomes of those who went into exile? The prophet Isaiah shows a
further regathering of Jews to Israel after the invasion of Gog
(Isaiah 66:19,20; 60:4-9). The "half" who are taken into exile
during the invasion will return in this post-Gog invasion
The Scepter Over Israel
This concept of the destruction of nine-tenths is based on the
Revised Standard Version's (1952) gross mistranslation of Ezekiel
20:37 which among several errors implies the "rod" that Israelis
pass under is a shepherd's counting rod. The New Revised Standard
Version has corrected its former mistranslation and shows that the
thought of counting or numbering is not contained in the Hebrew
text. The Hebrew word "shebet" is translated "rod" in the King James
rendering of this text, but it can be translated also "staff" or
"scepter." The thought of counting is not contained in "shebet" even
though "second holocaust" commentators unfortunately couple it with
tithing (Leviticus 27:32,33).
The Hebrew word "shebet" (here rendered "rod") is often
translated "scepter" when the thought of a reigning king is in the
context. Actually the context of Ezekiel 20:37 presents God as
reigning over the Jewish people during their regathering (vs. 34).
That is why some Bibles have "scepter" in the margin as an
alternative rendering of "shebet."
In any case, under the Law when every tenth animal was
tithed—given to God (Leviticus 27:32,33) the tenth animal was not to
be inspected and determined better than the rest. Even if the animal
was bad, blemished or defective, it was still the Lord's. This
procedure does not fit as a picture of "Jews of faith" as a tenth
part being delivered out of Gog's invasion as some claim.
Since every tenth animal in the flock or herd was given to the
Lord, what happened to the other nine-tenths? Were they killed? No.
They remained alive as the flock or herd of the shepherd. Therefore,
the nine-tenths of living animals cannot portray the death of
nine-tenths of Israel in Gog's invasion. In fact, nothing in the
description of Gog indicates such a massive destruction of Jewish
life. Rather the outcome of the invasion will be glorious for
Israel, "the whole house of Israel" (Ezekiel 39:25, NAS).
Is the Holy Remnant Small?
The several Hebrew words translated "remnant" mean "remainder,
descendants, survivors." The thought of a minority is not implicit
in these Hebrew words. The meaning for "remnant" can refer to either
a minority or a majority. When a tenth part of an ephah (1½ bushels)
of flour is given to the priest for a sin-offering, he only used one
handful of the flour as an offering upon the altar. The leftover
flour (still more than a bushel) is referred to as a "remnant"
(Leviticus 5:11-13; 2:3). Here the "remnant" (Hebrew "yathar") is
significantly the larger portion.
Another example in the New Testament of a remnant being the
larger portion is in the Apostle Peter's discourse (Acts 15:14-17).
When the Apostle described the "residue of men" who will seek the
Lord in His Kingdom, he quotes from the Old Testament which renders
the phrase, "remnant [Hebrew word "she'eriyth"] of Edom" (Amos
9:11). In the Hebrew "Edom" means "reddish, Adam or man."
Conversely, "Adam" or "man" means "reddish." Hence the phrase,
"residue of men," in Peter's discourse refers to the overwhelming
majority of the human race who will be on trial for eternal life in
the Kingdom. Since both of these Hebrew words ("yathar" and
"she'eriyth") are used in Scripture to refer to the "remnant of
Israel," obviously, the thought of "a minority" is not inherent in
the phrase, "remnant of Israel."
The Prophet Micah (2:12) gives insight as to the size of the
"remnant of Israel" in three different instances:
I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely
gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the
sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they
shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.
First, "Jacob" always refers to natural Israel. Therefore, "O
Jacob, all of thee," whom the Lord assembles or gathers to the Land
equals the "remnant of Israel" in the next phrase. This internal
equation demonstrates "remnant" is not a small 1/10 minority.
Second, this "remnant of Israel" is like a flock of sheep of Bozrah.
Bozrah was not only noted for large sheep but for very large flocks
of sheep. Third, this sheepfold is noisy because it is crowded with
men. Therefore the remnant must be a large flock.
The Rotherham translation speaks of this "remnant" as "sheep in
distress." This rendering locates the context at the time of Gog's
invasion when Israel will be surrounded by enemies. The next verse
shows how these sheep of Israel are delivered (Micah 2:13):
The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up
[out], and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it:
and their king shall pass before them.
The Hebrew for "breaker" is the "one who breaks out or through."
Their king will deliver them from the forces of Gog. Only those who
are "feeble" (Hebrew, "bend the knee"), that is, turn to the Lord in
prayers of faith will be delivered (Zechariah 12:8). Those lacking
this faith will be killed (Ezekiel 20:38) and not immediately share
in the special blessings of the remnant or flock that are brought
through the trouble safely. But even these lacking faith who die
will come forth from their graves in the general resurrection of the
"unjust" to a fair trial or "judgment" (John 5:28,29 NAS).
Only after their deliverance from Gog's invasion will the Messiah
or Christ reveal himself to Israel by pouring God's spirit upon them
(Zechariah 12:9-14). Those who accept Christ at this time are
described as "all families [of Israel] that remain." Therefore, all
the "remnant of Israel," who are a large flock, shall recognize
their Savior who died for them…and there will be "great mourning"
throughout the Land. But the very next verse shows a wonderful
opportunity will be opened, "In that day there shall be a fountain
opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for
sin and for uncleanness" (Zechariah 13:1).
Further Regathering After Gog's Defeat
Not only is there a pre-Gog invasion gathering of Jews, but also
a post-Gog invasion regathering. This further regathering after the
destruction of Gog is prophesied in Isaiah 66 & 60 and also
Ezekiel 36. The Isaiah 66 prophecy parallels the time after Gog's
defeat when the Gentile nations see the Lord's glory through the
great destruction He brings upon them (Isaiah 66:15,16,18 and
Ezekiel 39:21). This prophecy in Isaiah additionally explains that
some Gentiles escape "…I will send those that escape of them unto
the nations…and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles. And
they shall bring all your brethren…out of all nations…to my holy
mountain Jerusalem" (Isaiah 66:19,20).
Similarly, the prophecy in Isaiah 60 reveals that the Gentiles
shall see God's glory upon Israel and they come into harmony with
God's Kingdom in Israel, "and the Gentiles shall come to thy light."
After the trouble is over and the Kingdom is set up in Israel, there
is a further regathering, "Thy sons shall come from far" on "ships"
to Israel and "to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified
thee" (Isaiah 60:2-9).
The parallel passages in Ezekiel 36 supply added details (vss. 23-38).
Specifically, vs. 23 focuses on the time after Gog's defeat,
"I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the
heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the
heathen shall know that I am the LORD God, when I shall be
sanctified in you before their eyes" (Ezekiel 36:23 and Ezekiel 39:21-23,27).
After the heathen nations see the Lord in the
miraculous deliverance of Israel from their invading forces, a
further regathering is expected, "For I will take you from among the
heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you
into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you and ye
shall be clean…" (Ezekiel 36:24,25). Significantly, it should be
noted that these Jews gathered after the invasion of Gog are
"cleansed with water" just as those gathered before the invasion are
cleansed in the "fountain…for sin" (Zechariah 13:1). Also, at this
time the newly gathered flock will receive the Holy spirit as did
the flock of Israel who was already in the Land and delivered during
Gog's invasion (Zechariah 12:9,10).
The "remnant of Israel" which was a large flock before Gog's
invasion (Micah 2:12) is now increased in size to include these
cleansed Jews regathered after Gog's defeat. "I will increase them
with men like a flock." This combined flock that is now increased in
size is described as a "holy flock" (Ezekiel 36:37,38).
The "second holocaust" commentators believe all of the Jewish
people will return to Israel before Gog's invasion. But the
nine-tenths ratio of judgment on the Jews in the Land during Gog's
invasion becomes meaningless if there are still Jews outside of
Israel who will return (also Isaiah 66:18-20; 60:4-9 and Ezekiel
36:23-28). The nine-tenths destruction becomes even more pointless
since during Gog's invasion, "half of the city shall go forth into
captivity [exile]" (Zechariah 14:2). These recently exiled Jews will
be also part of the grouping of Jews who return after Gog's invasion
is over. They will have the opportunity to be cleansed, receive the
Holy spirit and be part of the "holy flock" together with those who
lived through Gog's invasion.
Both segments of this flock—those that lived through Gog's
invasion and those who are gathered to Israel after Gog's
defeat—accept the Savior, are washed and receive the Holy spirit.
Therefore, it is a "holy flock," a sanctified flock, that is set
aside to God's service, God's destined purpose. For what service is
the "holy flock" sanctified?
The Destined Purpose of the "Holy Flock"
This large and cleansed holy flock, the descendants of Jacob, is
the earthly seed of Abraham ("sand which is upon the sea shore")
which will work with the spiritual seed, Christ and his Church
("stars of the heaven") to bless all the families of the earth
(Genesis 22:16-18; Galatians 3:16, 27-29). All the Land promised
from the Euphrates to the River of Egypt will then belong to these
descendants, the remnant of Jacob (Genesis 13:15,16; 15:18) for
Jerusalem will be the capital of God's Kingdom and the Land of
Israel its operational base.
"All Israel shall be saved" then is not a gross exaggeration on
the part of the Apostle Paul (Romans 11:26). How are they saved?
Israel is "saved" by the Deliverer, the Christ, that comes out of
Zion, the Kingdom of God. The Deliverer saves them by turning "away
ungodliness from Jacob." By Christ's death they are saved from
Adamic death and the condemnation of the Mosaic Law. Why are they
saved? "They are beloved for the fathers' sakes. For the gifts and
calling of God are without repentance" (Romans 11:28,29).
Then the fathers of Israel—Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Samuel,
Elijah and the rest—will constitute the government of Israel and
will be "princes" on earth, "children" of the King and of his Bride
Psalm 45:10-16). God will restore (by raising from the dead) their
"judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning"
(Isaiah 1:25,26). What will begin as God's Kingdom on earth in
Jerusalem and Israel will eventually extend to the ends of the earth
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the
mountain [Kingdom] of the Lord's house shall be established in the
top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and
all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say,
Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the
house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and
we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion [the spiritual seed of
blessing] shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from
Jerusalem [the natural seed of blessing].
The whole world—the Arab peoples too—will come up to worship the
God of Jacob in Jerusalem. Peoples of all national tongues will come
to pray to the LORD God of Israel because they will understand God
is blessing Israel (Zechariah 8:3, 21-23):
…Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth, and the
mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain…O house of Judah
and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a
blessing; fear not, but let your hands be strong….It shall yet
come to pass that there shall come people and the inhabitants of
many cities,….saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD,
and to seek the LORD of hosts…ten men shall take hold out of all
the languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of
him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard
that God is with you.
God's own peace process will succeed when man's has failed. The
peace God will give Israel and the whole world will be
all-comprehensive and permanent. All peoples, both Jews and
Gentiles, even Israelis and Arabs who faithfully drink of the "water
of life freely" and who overcome "shall inherit all things"
(Revelation 22:17; 21:7).