By Nathan Jones
Q) Is a massive invasion of Israel coming?
To answer this tough Bible question, Dr. David Reagan and I on a Christ in Prophecy television episode interviewed Dr. Ron Rhodes. Dr. Rhodes is the founder and director of Reasoning From the Scriptures Ministries. With nearly 50 books penned and decades of public teaching, he is an expert on the Bible. As a former "Bible Answer Man," he specializes in easy to understand answers to the really tough questions about the Bible and the defense of the Scriptures.
If you look off into the distance and you see a bunch of dark clouds coming on the scene, and you see some lightening and the winds are blowing toward you, then you can kind of know when the rains will be coming down. By being an accurate observer of the times, you can tell that a storm's coming at you. Well, according to the Scripture, there is a northern storm emerging on the scene. Jesus told us to be accurate observers of the times, so look off towards what's happening in Russia and Iran and Turkey and the Sudan and all of those nations over there.
The Bible says that there's going to be a massive invasion of Israel. We don't like to talk about those kinds of things. I mean, we're sick of war. But, the Bible is very clear that there's going to be a massive invasion of Israel.
There's going to be a coalition of nations involved coming from north of Israel. One of the nations involved Ezekiel calls Rosh, and that lies to the uttermost north of Israel. If you were to take a ruler and draw a line straight north from Jerusalem, you're going to reach Russia. Joining Russia will be a variety of Islamic nations including Iran and the Sudan and Libya and Turkey and others.
When Ezekiel wrote back in the 6th Century BC, Islam did not exist. He probably had no idea what would make all these nations unify together. In fact, for many years there have been some more liberal-type Christians who have said these nations are not contiguous or next to each other, therefore it doesn't make sense to say that they are going to join together in a battle. But see, recent history reveals Islam is what joins those nations together. Islam came into being in the 6th and 7th century and that's what unifies them, with the exception of Russia.
Did you know, though, that Russia is 20% Islamic and they've got thousands of Muslim temples over there? Russia also has a long history of aggression against Israel. We saw that in 1967, 1973 and 1982. In each case American Presidents have stared down the Russian bear. When you look at some of the alliances that Putin's building, for example with Iran, how could anyone deny it? He signed not only an agreement in which Iran is provided nuclear weaponry, but he has also signed a 25-year agreement in which Iran gives 500 million dollars a year to Russia in order to build up Iran's military.
Iran while under President Ahmadinejad has said that he would like to see Israel wiped off the map. He has said we're going to see very soon what it's like to live in a US-free and Israel-free world.
I think that the stage is being set. I'm not one of those people who likes to set dates. That's not a healthy thing. In fact, Christ told us not to, so I don't want to imply any date or anything like that. But, I will tell you that Jesus told us to be accurate observers of the times. As I observe what's taking place with Russia and Iran and Turkey and the Sudan and Libya, not only are these nations aligning with each other, but every one of them has a motive to hate Israel. These nations stand against Israel. They believe that Israel belongs to them. They believe that Allah promised that Holy Land to them and that in our Bible the Old Testament has been changed by Jews and Christians, but originally they say the land was promised to the Muslims. They accuse Israel of basically stealing something that wasn't theirs back in 1948 when they became a nation.
Now, of course, there's been recent overtures in trying to build the Palestinian state and divide Jerusalem. The Muslims don't want a part of Jerusalem — they want all of it! They're going to go to war one day over it. I see what is taking place right now is setting the stage for this eventual storm that will just come in like gangbusters.
Despite the ominous storm, God is going to stand for Israel. He who stands for Israel does not sleep or slumber, as Psalm 121 tells us.
You know what's interesting, though? Israel is going to be so overwhelmed when this invasion takes place that there's not going to be a chance of Israel's survival. When God actually turns back the invading force, it's like everybody's going to recognize God's hand. I want you to notice that when God speaks, He says that they may know that "I am the Lord thy God." Now, this is the same language we see in the Exodus account when God delivered Israel from the Egyptians, "That they may know that I am the Lord thy God." In fact, Ezekiel says point blank it'll be done in such a way that even the Jews will realize it came from God, so I think there's going to be massive conversions as a result of this.
I've heard some people say that when this coalition army gets destroyed that the Antichrist might stand up and try to take credit for it. I suppose that's possible. I've heard some people like Dr. Dwight Pentecost say that. But, the text indicates that God is going to get the glory for this. God says that "they may know that I am the Lord thy God." A lot of people are going to become acquainted with Yahweh for the first time.
The 144,000 Jews that become witnesses during the Tribulation might convert because of God's victory in the Ezekiel 38-39 Gog-Magog Battle. I think those 144,000 witnesses will be kind of like 144,000 Jewish Billy Grahams going all over the world witnessing. I also think there's going to be conversions based upon the two witnesses of Revelation 11.
I also think that when Christians vanish off the planet, all our books are going to be left behind. I think that many people are going to turn to the Lord as the result of that. That was really my goal in writing my book titled Northern Storm Rising. I believe that one of the ministries God has called me to is to communicate effectively with people. The truth is that the Bible is one of the most exciting books in existence and if I can help communicate that excitement in what I write then I've succeeded. If people get anything from this book, it's that God is in control of human history and that the Bible can be absolutely trusted in its prophecies.
If I didn't believe in a sovereign God today, I'd have a lot to worry about. Our world seems to be spinning out of control in so many different ways. But, God is directing human history toward its culmination, and one day when you and I have been with Christ for billions of years we're going to look back on all of this and just marvel at the way that God directed the circumstances on earth towards its end.
With Russia supplying nuclear know-how and materials to Iran to build their nuclear power plant and nuclear weapons, to Iran's boisterous threats to destroy Israel and the United States with their growing weapons stockpile, to Turkey doing a 180 in leaving behind diplomatic relations with Israel and allying itself with Iran, to the unification of Middle Eastern countries under the Koran, to the economic and political alliances made between all the players of the Gog-Magog Coalition that exist this very day — everything seems to be in place for the fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecy in chapters 38-39. And yet, there is one piece still missing.
The nations comprising the Gog-Magog Coalition are missing the nations that immediately border the nation of Israel — Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Gaza and Egypt. These nations are either openly hostile or in a tenuous peace accord with Israel. Those who say they have peace practice war games and invasion scenarios that strategize the destruction of Israel, so the peace is only superficial at best. These nations would never sit out an all-out Islamic invasion of Israel, and have to fit into the prophetic picture somehow.
The missing piece and most likely next step in prophetic events is most likely found in Psalm 83. Psalm 83 is read as an imprecatory prayer, in that it calls down judgment and justice upon an enemy. In Psalm 83, all the nations it lists have modern equivalents as the nations that surround Israel. Israel has never fully subjugated those lands since becoming a nation again in 1948, and so Psalm 83 has never been totally fulfilled. If a Psalm 83 conquest were to happen, it would answer the question as to why the Ezekiel 38-39 Gog-Magog countries do not include the nations bordering Israel, but instead only comprise of an outer ring of Islamic nations.
Psalm 83 is only a prophetic theory, but a logical one that fills in a gap long questioned. It also provides a required peaceful precondition to the Gog-Magog Battle because the outer ring of Muslim nations would fear Israel's greater expanse of power in the region and control of more resources. The resources Israel would acquire on top of their newly found gas wealth would drive the leader of the invading coalition designated Gog to desire to plunder Israel, the impetus behind the Gog-Magog Invasion.
For more on the timing of the Gog-Magog Battle, check out the articles Timing Magog and The Wars of the End Times. For a "Christ in Prophecy" television interview with Bill Salus, author of the Psalm 83-themed book Isralestine, visit his website Prophecy Depot or Lamb & Lion Ministries' Programs page.