A well-written acronym is like glue: it sticks. Here is an acronym for the word Bible: “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.” In the Bible, our loving God tells us what has happened, what is happening, and what is going to happen in the future. He tells us how to live in this present sinful world. One of the future things He tells us about is a coming time of trouble, unlike anything that humanity has ever seen. Jesus described this coming, horrible time of trouble as follows: For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be, and unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened (Matthew 24:21-22).
In this series, we will deal with this coming time of trouble and the evil men that will rise to great power. In part one, we dealt with a coalition of evil kings that will arise from the east. In the Bible, they are identified as “the kings from the east” (Revelation 16:12). Now, in part two, we will consider God’s message to us concerning the coming invasion of Israel.
- The Russian leader will head up the invasion
We learn about the coming invasion of Israel in chapters 38 and 39 of Ezekiel. Several different nations will be involved in the coming invasion, but the leader from Russia will head up the campaign. The Ezekiel text is approximately 2,600 years old, so we will not recognize some of the nations mentioned there. Ancient records which have been preserved, however, can help us identify the nations that will be involved in this wicked invasion.
Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, Thus says the LORD GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal ( Ezekiel 38: 1-3).
Gesenius, who was a world-renowned authority on the Hebrew language, published his Hebrew lexicon in the mid- 1800s. “Gog,” said Gesenius, “is undoubtedly the Russians.” Magog was a grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:2.) We believe that Gog represents the Russian leader and Magog represents the land of Russia. Gesenius tells us that “Rosh” was an early form of the word from which we get Russia. “Meshech” is an ancient tribal name for “Moscow.” The name “Tubal” in verses 2 and 3 is often regarded as an ancient tribal name for “Tobolsk,” the former eastern capital of Russia.
Why God will be against Russia
God will be against Russia because Russia has perpetually been against the Jews. Several times since Israel became a nation again in 1948 she has been invaded by surrounding Islamic nations and has had to go to war. In each of these instances, Russia has backed the Islamic invaders.
There is a political party in Russia known as the Pamyat. Members wear black shirts and armbands like the Nazis did in Hitler’s Germany. To become a member of the Pamyat party, one must supply the party with the names and addresses of Jews. The Pamyat party slogan is, “Death to the Jews!”
The Blessing or the Curse
God made a covenant with Abraham, the first Jew. This covenant, recorded in the book of Genesis, is still in effect today: I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed (Genesis 12:3).
- The Coalition of the Wicked
In preparation for the coming invasion of Israel, Russia will put together a coalition of nations to assist her. Their mission will be to steal from and kill the Jews. This will be a coalition of the wicked.
Persia will invade Israel (Ezekiel 38:5)
The first country mentioned in this wicked coalition is the ancient country of Persia. Down through the centuries, her name has remained the same until 1932 when the country of Persia was renamed “Iran.” Is Iran against the Jews today? Absolutely. Iran is also the leading sponsor of terrorism in the world. God spoke these words 2,600 years ago, but they are as up to date as tomorrow’s newspaper. Today, Russia and Iran are allies. Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, has said repeatedly through the years that Russia is fully committed to assisting Iran to develop nuclear power.
“The Missile of Death”
In August of 2010 the president of Iran at the time, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, held a televised press conference before an audience of supporters and military officers. Ahmadinejad’s purpose for holding the press conference was to brag about Iran’s new missile. The Iranian leader boasted that the new missile could travel several hundred miles before hitting its target. He then announced the name of the new missile: “The Missile of Death.” The television cameras recorded what happened next. Everyone in the audience jumped to their feet and chanted the words: “Death to America! Death to England! Death to Israel!” For nearly 50 years, I’ve been telling people on the radio, from the pulpit, on the printed page, and in conversations, to watch the connection between Iran and Russia because God’s word tells us that one day they will form a coalition and invade Israel.
Ethiopia and Libya (Ezekiel 38:5)
Many Bibles use the Hebrew names here of “Cush” and “Put.” The New King James version has, I believe, properly translated these as “Ethiopia” and “Libya.” These two African nations will join the coalition and invade Israel.
Germany and Turkey (Ezekiel 38:6)
“Gomer” is harder to identify. The indications from scholars who have done extensive research believe Gomer is Germany. “Togarmah” is probably Turkey.
Where do they stand?
God, who knows the end from the beginning, told us 2,600 years ago that these six nations will invade Israel in the latter days. How many of these nations support Israel today? None of these nations support Israel. They are all against her.
- The Invasion will come when Israel will be living in peace
“Peace, at last!”
The prophet Daniel lived over 2,500 years ago. God sent the angel Gabriel to Daniel to give him a prophecy that focused on Israel. This prophecy is often referred to as “the prophecy of the seventy weeks.” Beginning with this prophecy given to Daniel and then reading the words of other prophets found in the Bible, including the words of the Lord Jesus, we have learned much about that coming time of trouble that is known as the “Tribulation.” From our studies of these Scriptures, we conclude that a man from Europe will rise to prominence and offer Israel a peace agreement. Many others in recent years have tried and failed. This man will not fail. His power will not come from God but Satan. The Jews of Israel will proclaim, “Peace, at last!”
To help people understand the writings of Daniel, I wrote two books entitled, The Time of the End, and The End of Human History, which is on Revelation. Both books have helped many people understand the times in which we live and the coming time of trouble.
Russia and her allies will then make their move
The Word of God tells us that when Israel is dwelling in peace, the Russian coalition will strike. From our study of Bible prophecy, we expect that the Rapture will have taken place when these events unfold. The Lord will take those who have accepted Him as Savior to heaven before the time of trouble begins ( 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).
In Ezekiel 38, God addresses the Russian leader who will evade Israel at that time. …In the later days you will come to the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; and now all of them dwell safely. You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you (Ezekiel 38:8-9).
God continues to address the Russian leader of the last days in verse ten: …You will make an evil plan, and then He proceeds to tell what the evil plan will be: You will say, I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates – to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land (Ezekiel 38:11-12).
- The Surprise Ending
The world will be shocked at the surprise ending. God, Himself will get involved and will prove that He is God to the Jews and the nations of the world. One way in which He will do this is by destroying the evil coalition. You can read all about it in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39.
“Horses or Aircraft?”
In verse 15, the Hebrew word “cuwc” is translated in our English Bibles as “horses,” which is usually correct but not always. In two places in the Old Testament “cuwc” is translated as “crane,” which is a flying bird. The Hebrew meaning of “cuwc” is “to skip for joy, leap as a horse or as a sparrow from its rapid flight.” I personally think that the 2,600-year-old Hebrew text is describing an air attack on Israel. Notice also God’s words in verse nine: You will ascend…like a storm…like a cloud.
Fire and Brimstone
God may wipe out the invaders all by Himself or He may use men and modern weapons to stop the invaders. The ancient text seems to describe modern weapons of mass destruction. In verse 22, God tells us what He is going to do to these invaders: …I will rain down him…flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.
God will use this event to get people’s attention, and many at that time will come to faith in the one, true God, the God who paid for our sins on the cross. The great passion of God is for the souls of men. After He has destroyed the evil invaders, notice His thoughts: …I will magnify myself…I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord (Ezekiel 38:23).
Friend, if you want to have your sins forgiven, and go to heaven someday, you must put your faith in the One Who paid our sin debt. Read John 3:16 and then tell Him you believe and Christ will be your Savior.