Wesleyan Holiness and Finished Work Pentecostal Interpretations of Gog and Magog Biblical Texts

in Journal of Pentecostal Theology
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

This article surveys both Wesleyan Holiness and Finished Work Pentecostal interpretations of the Gog and Magog biblical texts (Ezekiel 38–39 and Rev. 20.7–10), examines the theology of these interpretations (observing the influence of dispensational eschatology), and evaluates how such theology affects Pentecostal mission, ethics, and politics. As dispensationalism dominated Pentecostal eschatology, readings of these texts reflected eager anticipation of the coming annihilation of God’s enemies in the Gog and Magog war or wars. Celebration of violence against those nations considered ‘doomed to divine destruction’ altered missional, ethical, and political perspectives toward these nations and peoples, contradicting the following values of early Pentecostals: (1) embrace of pacifism, (2) expectation for Christ’s imminent return, and (3) evangelistic zeal for all nations. This article demonstrates the dangers of dispensational eschatology and calls for the articulation of hopeful eschatologies that align more copacetically with Pentecostal values.

Sections

References

4

 See Larry McQueen, Toward a Pentecostal Eschatology: Discerning the Way Forward, Journal of Pentecostal Theology Supplement Series (Dorset: Deo Publishing, 2012), pp. 198–199.

9

Bartleman wrote, ‘The destruction of our fellow man must not enter into the principle of Christianity’. See Frank Bartelman, ‘The War–Separation’, The Bridegroom’s Messenger 9, no. 178 (January, 1916), p. 3.

10

 See E.W. Simpson, ‘A Talk on the Last Nine Verses of Rev. 20’, The Church of God Evangel 5, no. 41 (October, 1914), p. 4; E.A. Sexton, ‘The Glory Set Before Us’, The Bridegroom’s Messenger 9, no. 183 (June, 1916), p. 1; Sexton, ‘When Jesus Comes’, The Bridegroom’s Messenger 11, no. 204 (June, 1918), p. 1; T.S. Payne, ‘The Judgment’, The Church of God Evangel 8, no. 16 (April, 1917), pp. 2–3, and Payne, ‘Jesus Coming Again–Many Prophecies Refer to His Coming’, The Church of God Evangel 15, no. 25 (July, 1924), pp. 1–2.

11

 See Paul F. Beacham, ‘Question Drawer’, The Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 12, no. 34 (December, 1928), p. 9; Beacham, ‘Question Drawer’, The Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 13, no. 49 (April, 1929), p. 9; and Beacham, ‘Question Drawer’, The Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 13, no. 19 (September, 1929), p. 8. Similarly, Hughes understands Gog and Magog as figurative names for those used by Satan to persecute the Jews. See J.P. Hughes, ‘Jews and Their Affliction’, The Church of God Evangel 12, no. 29, (July, 1921), p. 3.

13

 See F.J. Lee, ‘At the End of the World’, The Faithful Standard, 1, no. 2 (May, 1922), pp. 8, 16–17; Lee, ‘Satan Bound–The Millennium Begun’, The Church of God Evangel 13, no. 27 (July, 1922), p. 3; and Lee, ‘Satan Loosed’, The Church of God Evangel 13, no. 29 (July, 1922), p. 3.

14

 See Louis S. Bauman, ‘When Russia’s Bear Meets Judah’s Lion’, The Bridegroom’s Messenger 26, no. 285 (June, 1932), pp. 414–517; Bauman, ‘When Russia’s Bear Meets Judah’s Lion’, The Bridegroom’s Messenger 26, no. 285 (June, 1932), pp. and Bauman, ‘When Russia’s Bear Meets Judah’s Lion’, The Church of God Evangel 24, no. 15 (June, 1933).

15

 See R.H. Bell, ‘The Day of the Lord’, The Church of God Evangel 24, no. 1 (March, 1933), p. 4. The writings of J.H. Ingram, J.W. Kelley, and H.A. Tomlinson provide further evidence that the names Russia and Gog were used interchangeably by this time. See J.H. Ingram, ‘La Igleasia Ha Muerto?’ The Church of God Evangel 24, no. 41 (December, 1933), p. 8; J.W. Kelley, ‘The Present War in Divine Prophecy’, Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 23, no. 35 (Dec 7, 1939), p. 9; and H.A. Tomlinson, ‘High Points of Pastor Homer A. Tomlinson’s Prophetic Talks in New York City’, White Winged Messenger 11, no. 2 (Jan 1934), p. 1; Tomlinson, ‘High Points of Pastor Homer A. Tomlinson’s Prophetic Talks in New York City’, p. 1, and Jay Beaman, Pentecostal Pacifism: The Origin, Development and Rejection of Pacific Belief Among the Pentecostals (Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2009), pp. 91–93.

17

 See E.L. Simmons, ‘Editorially Speaking’, The Church of God Evangel 30, no. 40 (December, 1939), pp. 4, 14.

18

G.H. Montgomery, ‘Gomer and Meshech: Are They Germany and Moscow?’ Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 23, no. 26 (October, 1939), pp. 2–3.

19

 See Paul F. Beacham, ‘Question Drawer’, Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 24, no. 5 (May, 1940), p. 7; Beacham, ‘Question Drawer’, Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 24, no. 44 (March, 1941), p. 8; Beacham, ‘Question Drawer’, Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 25, no. 16 (August, 1941), p. 8; Beacham, ‘Light on the Subject’, Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 33, no. 13, (August, 1949), p. 6; and Beacham, Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 30, no. 18 (August, 1946), p. 4.

20

E.L. Simmons, ed., ‘Question Box’, The Church of God Evangel 31, no. 17 (June, 1940), pp. 9, 14.

21

E.L. Simmons, ed., ‘Question Box’, The Church of God Evangel 32, no. 8 (April, 1941), pp. 9, 13; Simmons, ed., ‘Weekly Question Box’, The Church of God Evangel 33, no. 1 (March, 1942), p. 13; E.C. Clark, ed., ‘Religion and the World’, The Church of God Evangel 33, no. 45 (Jan, 1943), p. 4; Clark, ed., ‘Religion and the World’ The Church of God Evangel 34, no. 23 (August, 1943), p. 4; Clark, ed., ‘Religion and the World’ The Church of God Evangel 34, no. 38 (November, 1943), p. 4; Clark, ed., ‘Religion and the World’ The Church of God Evangel 37, no. 26 (August, 1946), p. 4; and Clifton T. Umstead, ‘Jerusalem: The Biblical Center of the Nations’ The Church of God Evangel 37, no. 6 (April, 1946), pp. 5, 14.

22

 See E.C. Clark, ed., ‘Religion and the World’ The Church of God Evangel 34, no. 23 (August, 1943), p. 4; and Clark, ed., ‘Religion and the World’ The Church of God Evangel 34, no. 38 (November, 1943), p. 4.

23

Beacham writes, ‘Magog is given as the name of the sons of Japheth, in Gen. 10:2, and it is thought by some that the predominating people in modern Russia descended from them. However, according to some of the details of persons and things involved in the prophecy, it does not seem consistent to interpret them altogether literally’. Paul F. Beacham, ‘Light on the Subject’, Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 34, no. 20 (September, 1950), p. 6.

25

 See William A. Coxe, ‘That Day’, The Pentecostal Evangel 564, (September, 1924), p. 3; and Coxe, ‘The Consummation of the Ages’, The Pentecostal Evangel 761 (August, 1928), p. 6.

27

 See Frodsham, ‘Young People’s Meeting’, The Pentecostal Evangel 597 (May, 1925), pp. 8–9, and Frodsham, ‘Foreshadowings of the Future’, The Pentecostal Evangel 851 (June, 1930), p. 4. Like Frodsham, Canadian Anglican minister Canon F.E. Howitt cites Dr. Gray’s research in his identification of the nations in Ezekiel 38–39. According to Howitt, Dr. Gray identifies Gomer as Germany, yet in his 1924 article, Frodsham claimed that Dr. Gray identifies Gomer as Crimea–further illuminating the fickleness of such designations. Howitt also published in Moody Monthly and King’s Business, consistently promoting dispensational eschatology. See F.E. Howitt, ‘Israel and Other Lands in Prophecy’, The Pentecostal Evangel 728 (March, 1928), pp. 2–3, 9. See also Matthew Avery Sutton, American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2014), p. 224.

28

 See Charles W. Walkem, ‘Question Box’, Bridal Call Foursquare 15, no. 9 (February, 1932), p. 23; Walkem, ‘Question Box’, Bridal Call Foursquare 16, no. 4 (September, 1932), p. 29; Walkem, ‘The Question Box’, Foursquare Crusader 7, no. 7 (November, 1932), p. 7; Walkem, ‘The Book of Revelation’, Bridal Call Crusader Foursquare 1, no. 15 (October, 1934), pp. 9, 15; Walkem, ‘Birds Eye Bible Briefs: Pre or Post-Tribulation Rapture, Installment 4’, Foursquare Crusader 2, no. 35. (February, 1936), pp. 5–8; Walkem, ‘The Question Box’, Foursquare Crusader 12, no. 40 (March, 1939), p. 4.

29

 See Charles W. Walkem, ‘Birds Eye Bible Briefs: Pre or Post-Tribulation Rapture, Installment 4’, Foursquare Crusader 2, no. 35. (February, 1936), p. 8.

30

 See Charles W. Walkem, ‘Birds Eye Bible Briefs: The Red Shirts of Russia, Installment 1’, The Foursquare Crusader 2, no. 39 (March, 1936), p. 5; and Walkem, ‘Signs of the Times: The Holy Land Conflict’, Foursquare Crusader 11, no. 46 (May, 1938), p. 4.

33

 See Aimee Semple MacPherson, ed., ‘Signs of the Times’, Bridal Call Crusader Foursquare 1, no. 15 (October, 1934), p. 8. Surprisingly, in this same periodical, one of Walkem’s articles describing the war of Gog and Magog as a postmillennial event is printed on an adjacent page. Whether the editors failed to recognize the disparity between these two views, or whether they intentionally allowed for theological diversity, remains unknown. See also Charles W. Walkem, ‘The Book of Revelation’, Bridal Call Crusader Foursquare 1, no. 15 (October, 1934), pp. 9, 15.

34

 See H.A. Ironside, ‘Has the Sino-Japanese War Any Prophetic Significance? Coming Events in the Light of the Bible’, The Latter Rain Evangel (April, 1932), pp. 9–11, 21, and Eugene Schuyler, H.A. Ironside: Ordained of the Lord, (Neptune, New Jersey: Loizeaux Brothers, 1976), pp. 203, 258.

35

 See Thomas M. Chalmers, ‘Russia and Armageddon (continued)’ The Pentecostal Evangel 1045 (April, 1934), pp. 2–4.

37

 See S.H. Frodsham, ‘The Dying World and the Living Word’, The Pentecostal Evangel 1339 (January, 1940), p. 4; Frodsham, ed., ‘The Dying World and the Living Word’, The Pentecostal Evangel 1371 (August, 1940), p. 7; Ralph M. Riggs, ‘Is The Roman Empire Soon to Be Revived?’ The Pentecostal Evangel 1373 (August, 1940), pp. 2–3; S.H. Frodsham, ed., ‘The Dying World and the Living Word’, The Pentecostal Evangel 1380 (October,, 1940), p. 10; S.H. Frodsham, ed., ‘The Dying World and the Living Word’, The Pentecostal Evangel 1387 (December, 1940), p. 17; Howard W. Rusthoi, ‘War Clouds Over Europe’, Foursquare Crusader 20 (January, 1940), pp. 4, 42; Howard W. Rusthoi, ‘Prophecy Marches On’, Foursquare Crusader 13, no. 22 (March, 1940), p. 5; C.W. Burpo, ‘Is Hitler the Anti-Christ?’ Foursquare Crusader 14, no. 1 (January, 1942), p. 6; D.P. Holloway, ‘The Present World Crisis in the Light of Prophecy’, The Pentecostal Evangel 1433 (October, 1941), pp. 8–9; Clarence Edward McCartney, ‘Hitler and Napoleon’, The Pentecostal Evangel 1450 (February, 1942), p. 16; S.H. Frodsham, ed.’,The Passing and the Permanent’, The Pentecostal Evangel 1557 (March, 1944), p. 16; S.H. Frodsham, ed., ‘The Passing and the Permanent’, The Pentecostal Evangel 1722 (May, 1947), p. 10; S.H. Frodsham, ed., ‘The Passing and the Permanent’, The Pentecostal Evangel 1731 (July, 1947), p. 10; Raymond W. Becker, ed., ‘Devotional Diamonds’, The Foursquare Magazine 20, no. 10 (October, 1948), pp. 12, 16; Robert C. Cunningham, ‘The Passing and the Permanent’, The Pentecostal Evangel 1826 (May, 1949), p. 9; D.P. Holloway, ‘Russia and Armageddon’, The Pentecostal Evangel 1830 (June, 1949), pp. 5–6; William Cantelon, ‘How Near Is Armageddon?’ The Foursquare Magazine 21, no. 8 (August, 1949), pp. 8–10.

38

Harry Hodge, ‘The Coming World Disaster: Prophecy is Being Fulfilled at a Rapid Rate’, Foursquare Crusader 13, no. 37 (June, 1941), p. 9.

39

S.H. Frodsham, ed., ‘The Dying World and the Living Word’, The Pentecostal Evangel 1416 (June, 1941), p. 4.

40

Frank M. Boyd, ‘Russia in Prophecy’, The Pentecostal Evangel 1883 (June, 1950), pp. 5, 13; Frank M. Boyd, ‘Russia in Prophecy: Part 2’, The Pentecostal Evangel 1884 (June, 1950), pp. 5, 11, 13; Frank M. Boyd, ‘Questions Answered’, The Pentecostal Evangel 1928 (April, 1951), pp. 10–13; Robert C. Cunningham, ed., ‘Passing and Permanent’, The Pentecostal Evangel 1932 (May, 1951), p. 7; Raymond W. Becker, ed., ‘Gleanings’, The Foursquare Magazine 24, no. 7 (July, 1951), pp. 17, 20; J. Narver Gortner, ‘Russia’s Origin, Character and Doom as Revealed in the Bible’, The Pentecostal Evangel 2002 (September, 1952), pp. 3, 11; W.W. Kirkby, ‘Ambitious Russia’, The Pentecostal Evangel 2232 (February, 1957), pp. 6–7; Robert C. Cunningham, ‘The Editorial Viewpoint: Israel’s Predicament’, The Pentecostal Evangel 2234 (March, 1957), p. 2; James C. Dodd, ‘Israel Today and Tomorrow’ The Pentecostal Evangel 2238 (March, 1957), pp. 16–17, 29; Harry J. Steil, ‘A Million Signs of the Times’, The Pentecostal Evangel 2255 (July, 1957), pp. 4–6, 30; and John T. Reed, ed., ‘The Coming Invasion’, The Bridegroom’s Messenger 56, no. 6, (June, 1968), pp. 1, 7.

42

 See Robert C. Cunningham, ed., ‘Passing and Permanent: News Briefs From Christian Perspectives’, The Pentecostal Evangel 1966 (January,1952), p. 2; Howard W. Rusthoi, ‘The Coming Messiah: Israel in Prophecy’, The Foursquare Magazine 27, no. 6 (June, 1954),pp. 6–8; Raymond L. Cox, ‘Suez and the Scriptures’, The Pentecostal Evangel 2222 (December, 1956), pp. 8–9; and Frank M. Boyd, ‘The Middle East in Prophecy’, The Pentecostal Evangel 2313 (September, 1958), p. 23.

43

Ralph M. Riggs, ‘A Hiding Place’, The Pentecostal Evangel 2226 (January, 1957), p. 4. For a more thorough treatment of Riggs’ eschatology, particularly his interpretation of the book of Revelation, see Ralph M. Riggs, The Story of the Future, (Springfield: Gospel Publishing House, 1968).

44

 See Henry J. Steil, ‘The Earth’s Ripening Harvest’, The Pentecostal Evangel 2608 (May, 1964), p. 3.

45

 See Larry McQueen, Toward a Pentecostal Eschatology: Discerning the Way Forward, Journal of Pentecostal Theology Supplement Series, (Dorset: Deo Publishing, 2012), pp. 198–199; and D. Wesley Myland, ‘The Book of Revelation of Jesus Christ: Eleventh Lecture–Christ Coming in Glory’, The Latter Rain Evangel 4, no. 5 (February, 1912), pp. 11–12.

46

 See William A. Coxe, ‘That Day’, The Pentecostal Evangel 564, (September, 1924), p. 3, William A. Coxe, ‘The Consummation of the Ages’, The Pentecostal Evangel 761 (August, 1928), p. 6; See Charles W. Walkem, ‘Question Box’, Bridal Call Foursquare 15, no. 9 (February, 1932), p. 23; Walkem, ‘Question Box’, Bridal Call Foursquare 16, no. 4 (September, 1932), p. 29; Walkem, ‘The Question Box’, Foursquare Crusader 7, no. 7 (November, 1932), p. 7; Walkem, ‘The Book of Revelation’, Bridal Call Crusader Foursquare 1, no. 15 (October, 1934), pp. 9, 15; Walkem, ‘Birds Eye Bible Briefs: Pre or Post-Tribulation Rapture, Installment 4’, Foursquare Crusader 2, no. 35. (February, 1936), pp. 5–8; and Walkem, ‘The Question Box’, Foursquare Crusader 12, no. 40 (March, 1939), p. 4.

47

 See Charles W. Walkem, ‘Birds Eye Bible Briefs: Pre or Post-Tribulation Rapture, Installment 4’, Foursquare Crusader 2, no. 35. (February, 1936), p. 8; and S.H. Frodsham, ed., ‘The Dying World and the Living Word’, The Pentecostal Evangel 1416 (June, 1941), p. 4.

48

 See Frank Bartelman, ‘The War–Separation’, The Bridegroom’s Messenger 9, no. 178 (January, 1916), p. 3.

49

 See Paul F. Beacham, ‘Question Drawer’, The Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 12, no. 34 (December, 1928), p. 9; Beacham, ‘Question Drawer’, The Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 13, no. 49 (April, 1929), p. 9; Beacham, ‘Question Drawer’, The Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 13, no. 19 (September, 1929), p. 8; Beacham, ‘Question Drawer’, Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 24, no. 5 (May, 1940), p. 7; Beacham, ‘Question Drawer’, Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 24, no. 44 (March, 1941), p. 8; Beacham, ‘Question Drawer’, Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 25, no. 16 (August, 1941), p. 8, Beacham, ‘Light on the Subject’, Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 33, no. 13, (August, 1949), p. 6; and Beacham, Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 30, no. 18 (August, 1946), p. 4.

Information

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 10 10 7
Full Text Views 5 5 5
PDF Downloads 0 0 0
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0