A few weeks ago, the United Nations voted (with the first ever abstention by the U.S.) to condemn Israel for their housing settlements in their disputed territories. Also, a few weeks ago Russia, Iran and Turkey signed a mutual military agreement to fight ISIS in Syria (which sits on the northern border of Israel). A couple of days ago Russia renewed a 50 year lease for a Russian naval port in Syria on the Mediterranean and for an air force base, also in Syria. So what does this have to do with Biblical prophecy?
In chapters 38 and 39 of the Old Testament Book of Ezekiel there is a very clear prophecy of a coming major war between 6 countries and Israel in the LAST DAYS. Remember that Ezekiel wrote this book 2,600 years ago (circa 586 B.C.). Before I get into the specific events foretold to occur, I believe it is important to first set the stage based upon chapters 36 and 37 in Ezekiel. Remember this was written at a time when the Jews were still living in the land of Israel.
“For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.”
Of course this occurred officially on May 14, 1948 when the Jews declared their independence and the nation of Israel was founded.
“Therefore prophesy and say to them: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them.”
“…and say to them, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel…”
In other words, while the Jews still occupied the land of Israel, God instructed Ezekiel to prophesy to them that He would bring them BACK from the nations of the world (where they were later dispersed in 70A.D. by the Roman Titus) and would reinstate the Promised land. Here we have clear evidence that it was God’s intent to see the Jews dispersed because of their sins but in fulfillment of His Abrahamic promises to them, he would bring them back to THEIR land that would amaze a world that believed this was never, ever going to happen.
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day I cleanse you from your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt. The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. They will say “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins , desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.”
I stress these prophecies because of the fact that God said he would bring the Jews back in the LAST DAYS and rebuild the nation and land of Israel. Check out pictures of Israel from the 1930’s and 40’s when the land was not in control of the Jews but of the Palestinians. The change is incredible! Israel was an absolute mess with ruined cities, no clean water or electricity, etc. Since the Jews had to return to the land BEFORE the prophesied War of Gog and Magog, which they now have, there is now nothing standing in the way of this battle.
As I have said previously, some have viewed this war of Gog and Magog as being the same as Armageddon, there are substantial differences. In the war of Gog and Magog, the invading counties are actually named (Magog, Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer and Beth Togarmah – see Ezekiel 38:1-6) where in the battle of Armageddon ALL the nations of the world will invade Israel (“They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the WHOLE (capitals mine) world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.” Revelation 16:14, and, “Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.” Revelation 16:16). I believe the Bible is clear. These are two distinctly different wars. If you look at the timing of these two wars, you will notice in the war of Gog and Magog God’s wrath destroys the invaders (Ezekiel 39:19-22) where at Armageddon Christ returns and “Out of His comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations.” Revelation 19:15.
Also, at the destruction of the invaders at the war of Gog and Magog, the Bible says it will take 7 months to bury the dead and 7 years to burn the implements of war (Ezekiel 39:12 and 39:9). At Armageddon, the dead are eaten “The rest of them were killed by the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse (Christ), and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.” Revelation 19:21. So at the first battle, it takes 7 months to bury the dead but at Armageddon the dead are eaten by the birds with NO burial. Finally, at the war of Gog and Magog, only one sixth of the invaders will not perish (Ezekiel 39:2) while at Armageddon ALL the invaders will be destroyed (Revelation 19:21).
Since this post is about the coming war of Gog and Magog (and one that could soon happen with the recent alignments of the all key players), you may be wondering who is Gog of Magog? Where is Persia, Gomer, Cush, Put and Beth Togarmah. According to Biblical scholars (and I will use Tim LaHaye’s Prophecy Study Bible – KJV for clearer definition), these are the ancient names of the lands occupied by the future enemies of the rebuilt land of Israel. Most of us recognize Persia as modern day Iran. The rest of them are known today as the following:
- Magog – Gog is the leader of the this 6 country coalition. Magog in ancient times is identified with the vast land north of Israel beyond the Caucasus, around and above the Black Sea. Most view this today as the country known as Russia. Furthermore when the Bible refers to Gog as the chief prince of Meshech (Moscow?) and Tubal and says he will come from the uttermost north of Israel, any global map would ascertain Russia as being Magog with the distinct leader of Russia and this coalition being called Gog. Interestingly, in Hebrew “chief” is called Rosh which when the Bible is translated refers to Gog as the prince of Rosh (Russia?), Meshech (Moscow?) and Tubal (todays Georgia recently invaded by Russia).
- Persia – Iran
- Cush – Ethiopia, Sudan
- Put – Libya
- Gomer – eastern Turkey and the Ukraine, possibly the Cimmerians who migrated from Western Asia to eastern and Central Europe.
- Beth Togarmah – eastern Turkey and the Ukraine
Except for most of Russia, all of these countries are Islamic and have very anti-Israeli views. Today, not one of these countries “touch” Israel’s borders. Imagine a scenario today where a possible “solution” is offered by a current or future Russian leader to finally solve the problems with Israel and form a coalition of these countries to once and for all eliminate the Jews from Israel. They would band together and invade but would be defeated by a furious God so that it would take 7 months to bury the dead and 7 years to burn the implements of war! With the recent treaties of Russia with Syria, Iran, Turkey, et.al. does anyone not believe this is a distinct possibility of something that could occur very soon?
You might ask, “Where is the U.S. in all this? They would never let this happen to Israel, their ally”! Actually, the Bible does inform us as to how the rest of the world will react (another example of why this is NOT the battle of Armageddon). The rest of the world is watching and asking the invaders:
“Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages will say to you, “Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?”
In other words, NO other country will come to Israel’s aid when the 6 nations mentioned above gather together and invade. Many scholars believe the merchants of Tarshish refers to the United Kingdom and her commonwealth of countries, like the United States. Instead, they will ask questions like Why are you doing this? Do you want the riches that Israel has been given? I have long believed that with the United States history of protecting Israel this could not happen as long as the U.S. was a global power. I have altered my assumptions based on the current news and fact that I could see a scenario where either the U.S. draws back their support (like what happened under the Obama administration) or a significant event like the Rapture would not only take the Believers in Christ out of the world but could at the same time embolden Russia and her allies to once and for all solve their perception of the Jewish “problem”. Not to be self righteous but how many believing Christians are there in power in the U.S. versus Russia and her allies? But, God has spoken and when these people do in fact invade:
“Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord God: this is the day whereof I have spoken.”
Please, do not be afraid of this event when it occurs. If you are a Believer and we have not yet been Raptured, we should take this as yet another fulfillment of God’s prophecies to us as proof of His Being and His promised fulfillments. If the Rapture has occurred and you are reading this (which means you WERE NOT previously Raptured with the Believers) and recognize this was prophesied previously, you CAN STILL accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. For all of us, whether we witness this war or not God’s Word is eternal and should take solace in His statement to us:
“Therefore, comfort one another with these words.”
1 Thessalonians 4:18