By Nathan Jones
What hook will drag Russia to attack Israel in the Gog-Magog War?
In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Calvary Chapel Aventura located in the Miami, Florida area and I will continue our ongoing study of the Gog-Magog War found in Ezekiel 38-39.
Hook in Russia's Mouth
Vic Batista: Ezekiel 38:1-7 talks about the later days. We need to pay attention to those timing "road signs" along the way in our study, right?
Nathan Jones: Yes, because if you look at this war that is to come against Israel, and you look at the political alliances that are happening in the Middle East with Russia in particular, these are alliances that have never existed ever in history. It's like, "Wow! This war is starting to coalesce. This is starting to become a reality." And, it will happen soon because we are given some clues in the passages that talk about timing. To me it's pretty evident that we are getting closer to the time when the Gog and Magog War will be happening.
Vic Batista: Let's go a little further into Ezekiel 38. Recap a few of the verses we've already covered and then move on from verse 8.
Nathan Jones: Ezekiel 38:1-7 starts with God telling the prophet Ezekiel to prophesy against a personage called Gog. Whether Gog's a person, or it is a demoniacally controlled person, or an actual demon, there is this Gog who is leader of the land of Magog. He is also a prince from Rosh, Meshech and Tubal.
In previous segments we went over Ezekiel's list of countries and we learned the modern-day equivalents of these names. For instance, Magog is all the 'Stan countries like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and others. Rosh is the ancient name for the Russian people, so Russia. That means this leader, Gog, will be from Russia. He will lead Russia and a coalition of Magog, or 'Stan countries. He'll also lead a number of countries that today comprise Turkey, Persia which is Iran, Ethiopia which is Sudan, and Put which is now Libya.
Russia and these major Islamic countries including Iran will join together and they will according to Ezekiel 38 devise a plan to go down to plunder and destroy Israel. Plundering is what Gog specifically wants to do. He wants to take its wealth and he wants to destroy the Jewish people. That sets us up for the following verses.
Vic Batista: I love how today with modern technology people can simply look at Google Earth and they can actually zoom into the Middle East and see all these countries.
Nathan Jones: Of course, when Ezekiel wrote this 2,600 years ago, he was using the names of the countries in his time period. But, in our time period, we have to look at the equivalents. We then can easily see that Russia leads a coalition of nations against Israel.
What's also interesting is that the nations directly surrounding Israel such as Lebanon, Jordan, Gaza, Syria and Egypt are not mentioned in the list of attacking nations. Some of the Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia are not in that list either, though they are later mentioned, and we'll get to that in later passages. The Saudi Arabian Peninsula nations sit out the attack. Therefore, we know something has to happen before this Gog-Magog War for the nations directly surrounding Israel and who hate Israel with such a passion and certainly would be ready to jump into any war against Israel, they are not ready to jump in. You have to wonder why. There must be another event that happens before the Gog-Magog War.
So, at some point Russia will covet the wealth of Israel. What wealth? Well, Israel in the last few years discovered a tremendous gas find in the Mediterranean Sea. Within ten years Israel believes they will be one of the major gas producers of the world. They'll be in direct competition with Russia who is the major gas producer for all of Europe and parts of Asia. Russia has always had it sights on the Middle East because it wants to control the oil fields and dominate the energy markets. Now we can see why they covet Israel's wealth, because they are coveting Israel's tremendous gas find.
Vic Batista: These are clues that these end time events are lining up perfectly. If we weren't not paying attention, we might miss these incredible signs.
Nathan Jones: Exactly, for as events play out they start giving us the prophetic puzzle pieces that are missing. Just five years ago a lot of people were wondering why Russia would want to attack Israel. Israel at the time had a pretty good economy, but nothing worth going to war over. Prophecy scholars were speculating that maybe Israel would find oil as Zion Oil was looking for oil in country. But then Israel found one of the biggest natural gas finds within their territorial waters in this century, and then all of a sudden the world is looking at Israel becoming a super power. Russia economically cannot stand against a major competitor, especially with Israel in the Middle East. This gas find helps fit the puzzle piece missing as to why Russia would want to take Israel out of the picture.
Vic Batista: Isn't it amazing how everything starts to fit into place?
Timing the War
Vic Batista: Ezekiel 38:8 says, "After many days you will be visited in the latter years." Again we see how God is talking about the timing, so this war wasn't something that was going to happen in Ezekiel's time, but it would be for the latter years, meaning the end times.
Nathan Jones: You bring up a great point, Pastor Vic. When the Bible talks about latter years, or last days, it is pointing back to Deuteronomy 4:30 where it says, "When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you," talking about Israel, "then in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and obey Him."
The term distress is also translated as tribulation, and that is where we get the name Tribulation. The Tribulation will be a seven-year time period, and we know it is seven years because of the book of Daniel. For seven years Israel will suffer under the worst attacks in all of its history from a one-world leader called the Antichrist. The rest of the world will also continue to suffer under the judgments of God.
This Tribulation time period is coming in the last days, so we know when we talk about the timing of end time events, these later years or last days, that this Gog-Magog War will happen to Israel sometime related to the Tribulation. The horrible attacks by Gog correspond somewhere related to this horrible Tribulation time period.
For Gog to attack Israel, a country of Israel is necessary, correct? Gog couldn't have attacked the nation of Israel before there even was a nation made in May of 1948. Israel hadn't been reborn before 1948, so up to 1948 there was nobody that could come and attack because there was no Israel. For all of these end time events to be fulfilled, Israel had to be back in the land again. Israel fulfills the prerequisite for this Ezekiel prophecy to happen.
We also know that the alliances within the Gog-Magog War have never historically occurred before. Russia has never been united with Turkey and Iran and all these other nations. Since we are starting to see these alliances today, we know that this war will be happening in the near future.
In the sixth segment of our study of the Gog & Magog War of Ezekiel 38-39, Vic and I will stop to marvel at what God's done so far to prepare Israel for the Gog-Magog War.