Is it possible that 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 and Revelation 20:7-10 describe the same event?


I am afraid that I cannot give you a definitive answer.  I will have to say that I cannot blame people who see some potential parallels between the “lawless one” of 2 Thess 2:8 and the deception of Gog in Revelation 20:7-10.  Both have at least the appearance of being end-time prophecies.  Both seem to be happening at a time when Satan is being given a greater freedom of action against God’s people, immediately before final judgment.

I see some potential distinctions between these prophecies, which deserve pointing out, but which are not definitive to me.  Using Ezekiel 37 and 38 as a model, I believe that the person God and the people Magog are symbolic of any great power which would attack the seemingly powerless and undefended Church of God.  In both Ezekiel and Revelation, the description is generic enough that I tend to think it is a general prophecy rather than a prediction of a single event.  On the other hand, the tone of 2 Thess 2:8 seems to point to a single event and a single person.  I am not convinced of this, but it is the impression I am given.

My answer is that I cannot say for sure.  I prefer not to interpret prophecies which appear at first glance to be of the future.  Such prophecies will interpret themselves when the events come.  It is unwise for believers today to try to fit current events to Bible prophecies and to try to give definite and specific interpretations to prophecies which appear to be about the future.  The events will interpret themselves, and I would prefer to leave it at that.

I like Isaac Newton’s comment on those who try to fit current events into prophecies or try to predict the fulfillment of prophecies ahead of time.  It seems wise to me.  Here is the quote:

The folly of Interpreters has been, to foretell times and things, by this Prophecy, as if God designed to make them Prophets. By this rashness they have not only exposed themselves, but brought the Prophecy also into contempt. The design of God was much otherwise. He gave this and the Prophecies of the Old Testaments, not to gratify men’s curiosities by enabling them to foreknow things, but that after they were fulfilled they might be interpreted by the event; and his own Providence, not the Interpreters, be then manifested thereby to the world. For the event of things predicted many ages before, will then be a convincing argument that the world is governed by providence.

I will simply say, yes, it seems at least possible that the two passages describe the same event, but I am simply unsure and feel it is best to say that I do not know.

John Oakes

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