Russia is making headlines and it’s not the recent Winter Olympics in Sochi topping the news. Russia is making a power play nearby, seizing sovereign lands, roadways, and transportation hubs. As the United States downsizes it’s DOD budget and continues to systematically hollow out our military, Russia is in the midst of a resurgence and a massive military build up. There is a lot of Cold War rhetoric coming from Moscow and they have the military might to back it up. Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin and team have been calling the shots, assuming leadership in pivotal events, and brokering deals during world crisis….a task almost exclusively the responsibility of the U.S. until recently. Two of the most crucial situations during the past year were handled almost solely by the Russians. First, there was the chemical weapons standoff in Syria, then the deal brokered between the world economic powers and Iran. Russia played a huge roll in both situations. It’s worth noting that both the events in Syria and the “nuclear peace initiative” with Iran are far from being over. Both of these hotspots will be major problems for U.S. and E.U. interests in the near future.
Russia doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it has vast worldwide influence, and it is gaining political and military clout in the Middle East….. an area once dominated by United States foreign policy. With the U.S. loosing ground in the region, Russia is quickly filling the void. The current events in the Ukraine and Crimea region show just how determined Russia is when it comes to new opportunity. In this case, a deposed Ukrainian President and the political upheaval have given Russia the perfect opportunity to seize land and with it, resources, influence, and territory. It’s unclear just how far the Kremlin will go in it’s power grab, although I believe looking at the current situation…..it’s not hard to see a divided Ukraine at the very least. One thing is clear, neither the Russian or Ukraine’s leaders seem to be backing down, instead they are taking a hardline stance and threatening to use force to achieve the upper-hand in the current standoff. This tense situation may very well diminish over the coming weeks with both sides coming to an agreement or there could be an escalation in the crisis, leading to hostilities.
As bible believers, this situation should remind us of a stark reality. Russia will one day look farther South and Israel will be the military objective. As this coming invasion takes shape…there will be no deal brokered and no last minute agreement, just an all out assault on Israel by a hostile enemy. Two facts need to be kept in mind as we look towards what is to be a major end time event. The first fact is: Russia desperately needs natural resources and energy to achieve it’s future objectives and secure it’s interests. The second fact is: Israel is accumulating vast wealth, energy, and harnessing natural resources such as massive natural gas deposits and oil. One day in the future….Russia and Iran (Persia) along with a confederacy of Islamic nations, will attempt to invade Israel and seize it’s riches. Look at what the Lord told his prophet Ezekiel to write concerning this ill fated invasion:
The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him3 and say, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. And I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great host, all of them with buckler and shield, wielding swords. Persia, Cush, and Put are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all his hordes;Beth-togarmah from the uttermost parts of the north with all his hordes—many peoples are with you.
7 “Be ready and keep ready, you and all your hosts that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them. 8 After many days you will be mustered. In the latter years you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land whose people were gathered from many peoples upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste. Its people were brought out from the peoples and now dwell securely, all of them. 9 You will advance, coming on like a storm. You will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your hordes, and many peoples with you.
10 “Thus says the Lord God: On that day, thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil scheme 11 and say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will fall upon the quiet people who dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having no bars or gates,’ 12 to seize spoil and carry off plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places that are now inhabited, and the people who were gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell at the center of the earth. 13 Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all its leaders will say to you, ‘Have you come to seize spoil? Have you assembled your hosts to carry off plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to seize great spoil?’
14 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy, and say to Gog, Thus says the Lord God: On that day when my people Israel are dwelling securely, will you not know it? 15 You will come from your place out of the uttermost parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great host, a mighty army.
You will come up against my people Israel, like a cloud covering the land. In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.
17 “Thus says the Lord God: Are you he of whom I spoke in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel, who in those days prophesied for years that I would bring you against them? 18 But on that day, the day that Gog shall come against the land of Israel, declares the Lord God, my wrath will be roused in my anger. 19 For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. 20 The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. 21 I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Lord God. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. 22 With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur.23 So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
The word of the Lord is certain and true. A military invasion like none other is coming, because God said it will happen and he breaks events down with great detail in his word. Russia, Persia (Iran), Turkey, Libya, and a host of Islamic nations will all converge on tiny Israel. They will be looking to take their share of Israel’s riches. In just this past year, there have been vast natural gas deposits discovered in Israel and off of it’s Mediterranean coast. Israel is basically energy independent and now will have plenty to spare. Other countries are taking notice of Israel’s prosperity. It continues to flourish while being flanked all around by hate, jealousy, and calls for it’s destruction. Ezekiel describes Russia’s turning south toward Israel and tells us that God puts a hook in the enemy’s jaw, turning and drawing it toward the nation of Israel.
I’d like to share some thoughts on this coming invasion of Israel. This is the first time in history such an invasion is possible because prior to 1948, Israel had not been in existence since the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. That’s a miracle 1,900 years in the making. That all changed May 14th, 1948 with the rebirth of Israel….a rebirth prophesied and described in Ezekiel 37:1-28. I see the Lord working on the world stage as he prospers modern Israel and it her prosperity doesn’t sit well with the nations around the region. Ezekiel mentions that Persia will be with Russia on this military conquest. You don’t need to look hard to see that Russia and Iran are forging economic ties and that Russia helped broker the recent Iran nuclear deal. Military alliances and confederations are forming…..events and players are moving into place for a showdown.
In Ezekiel 38:13 we see that other nations that have economic ties with Israel will ask Russia about their plan to take riches. Many bible scholars see this as Western nations dialoging and perhaps complaining about Russian aggression against Israel. This plea for diplomacy is completely ignored. Just look at the current crisis in Ukraine. Secretary of State Kerry and the E.U. threaten sanctions and verbal scolding, while Russia moves forward with her plans. Vladimir Putin and John Kerry’s Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Surgey Lavrov are side stepping the U.S. and E.U. along with our predictable paper tiger rhetoric. It’s conceivable that a much weaker America will not come to the aid of Israel and the bible seems to indicate Israel will have to go it alone during the Russian invasion of the promise land. With our military stretched thin and our economy faltering, this is a plausible scenario. Nations that engage in commerce with Israel will be on the sidelines voicing concern to Russia over the invasion, but they will seemingly be ignored. The greatest fact about the coming invasion will be how Israel wins the war. Ezekiel describes in great detail how God himself will burn with anger as his beloved nation is being overrun. The Lord himself will fight for Israel and vanquish the invaders in a flurry of earthquakes, hailstones, fire, and sulfur from Heaven. In the confusion, the invading armies will turn their weapons on each other and Lord will make his name know throughout Israel again as described in Ezekiel 39:7.
Many people ask if the Gog-Magog invasion will occur before or after the rapture of the church. I don’t know the precise time of this event. I’m ok with that because God knows and it will happen on the exact day he has appointed. Many respected bible prophecy teachers believe this invasion will probably take place shortly before the rapture or in very close proximity to the rapture, and that seems likely. No one can know for certain, but one thing is worth noting. We are now seeing signs, movements, and events which point to a Russian invasion of Israel in the time ahead. It is this writer’s belief that the Gog-Magog invasion is in the very near future. If we take a realistic look at the world situation and the strategic alignments now forming, there is ample evidence making the Gog-Magog invasion a very plausible event in our lifetime. Why is this important to the Christian? Events indicate that we are nearing or perhaps in the last days. God is holy and his judgement will fall on un-repentant people soon. He is also patient and merciful to those who call out to him and trust in his son for atonement of their sinful heart. We should be deliberate in telling every lost person we meet about our savior while there is still time and it’s still day. We don’t know the day or hour, but we are to discern the times we live in. Come quickly Lord Jesus.
All for Him,