QUESTION: I’m confused as to who Gog is. Is it Satan? Or something influenced by Satan?
ANSWER: Your confusion is understandable. For years the Watchtower taught that Gog was a reference to Satan after his ouster from heaven in 1914. But as of the 2014 Annual Meeting Gog is now said to represent the last kingdom.
The reason for the change is because Ezekiel 38:15 and 39:2 reveal that Gog will descend upon “Israel” from out of “the remotest parts of the north.” So, rightly, the connection is made with the king of the north. (By the way, this connection was pointed out to the Governing Body years ago, back around 1998, before even I went online with e-Watchman.)
Also, because Gog is said to become food for the birds of heaven and the wild beasts of the earth, as well as given a burial place in “Israel,” for that reason it is reasoned that Gog cannot symbolize a spirit creature, but a human chieftain.
The new understanding is a rather trivial point though. While all kingdoms of man have been under Satan’s authority, the 8th and last kingdom is so especially. And why is that the case?
Because prior to the coming to power of the last kingdom God has throughout history overridden the Devil’s domain if it suited his purpose to use such agencies to benefit his people.
For example, during the days of the first empire of biblical reckoning, God caused the pharaoh of Egypt to favor Joseph and his family. Also, certain Jews, such as Daniel, were favored by the king of Babylon. Also, successive kings of Persia were great benefactors of the Jews. It is revealed in the book of Daniel that behind the veil of invisibility Jehovah’s angel stood up as a strengthener to the king of Persia, in opposition to the demonic prince.
And even the Greeks and Romans gave the Jews a considerable amount of autonomy.
And going back to King James relenting and authorizing the mass production of Bibles in English, up to the present time, it is evident that the Anglo-American duo have provided an environment that has fostered and protected the spread of Christianity and ultimately the work of of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
But aside from initially using Satan’s earthly powers as his military force and punishing agent, particularly when the time comes to dispose of the harlot of Babylon, when the Kingdom of Christ has gathered all of those chosen, then God will no longer use earthly kingdoms to accomplish his work. It is at that point that the lamblike beast will begin to speak as a dragon. In other words, Satan will exert all his authority through his earthly human agency for the purpose of attempting to crush the sons of the Kingdom.
Consider that in connection with the last kingdom of man numerous prophecies mention “his god” – his god, of course, being Satan, the Devil.
For example, in regards to the king of the north Daniel wrote: “The king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt himself and magnify himself above every god; and against the God of gods he will speak astonishing things. And he will prove successful until the denunciation comes to a finish; because what is determined must take place. He will show no regard for the God of his fathers; nor will he show regard for the desire of women or for any other god, but he will magnify himself over everyone. But instead he will give glory to the god of fortresses; to a god that his fathers did not know he will give glory by means of gold and silver and precious stones and desirable things. He will act effectively against the most fortified strongholds, along with a foreign god. He will give great glory to those who give him recognition, and he will make them rule among many; and the ground he will apportion out for a price.”
In explanation, individual rulers of the previously mentioned world powers willingly acknowledged Jehovah’s supremacy. We could add Nebuchadnezzar to that list, along with the Persian king, Ahasuerus. And in the Christian era the realm of the king of the north has claimed to be Christian. But note, that, at some point the king of the north will no longer honor the God of his forefathers, but will promote a foreign god and speak astonishing blasphemies against the God of gods.
Consider, too, what Habakkuk wrote concerning the “Chaldean” during the appointed time of the vision, when the last king plunders many nations. Habakkuk 1:11 reads: “Then they move forward like the wind and pass through, But they will become guilty, because they credit their power to their god.”
In Revelation Satan is pictured as a seven-headed dragon and his authority is projected on earth by a seven-headed wild beast, which demands that all persons on earth worship it and the dragon who gives it authority. So, in that respect there is no distinction between the Devil and the beast he empowers to do his work.
Gog represents this same thing; namely, Satan’s authority on earth during the final part of the days. He will be in total opposition to the Kingdom of Christ at that time, because the Kingdom will be expressed on the earth then by the sealed sons of the Kingdom and Jesus himself will walk among them.
But, having considered all the foregoing, the slaughter of Gog and all his bands will also be a humiliating defeat for Satan and his demons. And since the end of Gog will also spell the end of Satan’s influence and authority on earth it is as though the Devil himself is slaughtered – crushed under the feet of the seed of God’s woman.
‘This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: ‘I am against you, Gog, head chieftain of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around and lead you and make you come up from the remotest parts of the north and bring you in upon the mountains of Israel. I will knock your bow out of your left hand and make your arrows fall from your right hand. On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the peoples who will be with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of birds of prey and the wild beasts of the field.”’