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When Will Russia
False teachers have circulated the notion in many church circles
that Russia’s major invasion of Israel (in Palestine) is in our time,
BEFORE Jesus’ coming. Their belief is based upon a misunderstanding
of the timing of events mentioned in Ezekiel 38 and 39.
It is a fallacy that is widely believed.
By Malcolm B Heap, Midnight Ministries
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Some little-known aspects of Bible prophecy are:
When Russia Invades Israel
After many days you [descendants of Gog, Magog, Rosh, Meshech, Tubal] will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely (Ezek 38:8).
You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you (38:9).
The underlined words are keys to grasping the timing of this prophecy. I will explain in a moment.
It is a widely held view that Ezekiel 38 depicts an invasion of the little nation state of Israel by Russia before Jesus’ coming, but it is wrong.
I don’t argue with the common identification of Gog, Magog, Rosh, Meshech and Tubal as Asiatic peoples of the north-east (from Palestine’s vantage point). I’m persuaded that there are good reasons, etymological and ethnic, for believing that:
But to say that Israel, in Palestine today, fulfils the biblical prophecy of ‘Israel’ in Ezekiel 38 and 39 is a gross error. Who the biblical ‘Israel’ is today is explained in our booklet The Identity of Britain and America. Relatively few believe it, but it is a fact that those modern nations are the primary progeny of Israel – not in their entirety, of course, but in a major proportion of their indigenous population.
Several facts of revelation indicate when this attack against Israel, in Ezekiel 38, comes. The best interpretation of Bible prophecy is in the Bible itself. God has given us the key. It’s in Revelation 20. Notice:
Now, when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.
They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them (Rev 20:7-9).
Gog and Magog’s major invasion of Israel is AT THE END OF THE MILLENNIUM. That’s why Ezekiel 38:8 says "in the latter years" and "after MANY days". In God’s plan for man you can’t get many more days than the end of the Millennium, the 1,000 years when Jesus rules earth as King of kings.
Notice also the other underlined words in Ezek 38:8 – Israel will be brought back from the sword and gathered from many people. Israel today does not fulfil that condition. They have yet to be rescued by God from war, from being conquered and taken captive into many nations. That is what is about to happen to Britain, America, and other people whose ethnic lineage is Israelite. We are nearly at the time of the Great Tribulation (Matt 24:21), when these main players on the world scene will be occupied and taken over by other nations.
The capping is put on the prophecy by the words: now all of them dwell safely, as also in 38:14 where it is repeated. The little nation state of Israel today does NOT dwell safely. She is surrounded by enemies, especially Iran, who wants to wipe her off the face of the earth!
Restored Israel in the Millennium will be at peace, in "unwalled villages" "having neither bars nor gates" (Ezek 38:11). That is not Israel’s position today. Look at the wall that Israel has erected to keep Palestinian suicide bombers out of Israel’s towns! No, it is a Millennial prophecy.
At that time of total restoration and peace, Israel will reinhabit "the waste places" (38:12). All the desert ("waste places") between the Euphrates and Nile is Israel’s original territory. They will return there.
God will bring them back to their own land through a mighty deliverance, matching the Red Sea crossing from Egypt (Jer 16:14; 3:18).
Israel (Israelites from all tribes) and Judah (the Jews, one tribe of Israel) will be reunited (Ezek 37:22) in Palestine, with one king over them. That is not going to happen this side of Jesus’ return. Jesus will be world ruler, and David will be Israel’s king (37:24).
The Bible teachers (some of them false) who have promoted the pre-Millennial Russian invasion theory don’t grasp those prophetic facts. They don’t put the prophecy into its right timescale or proper perspective.
Ezekiel’s prophecies show that all this is to take place AFTER the whole nation is converted (Ezek 36:24-38). That’s why God calls Israel "My land" and "My people" in verse 16. The Israel you see today in Palestine is not God’s people. He is not their God. They are a secular nation like all others.
The culmination of Ezekiel’s 38 prophecy is this:
Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself. And I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord (38:23).
God is not magnified or sanctified in the eyes of the "many" today. He is not known by whole nations. That won’t take place until after Jesus returns to take full control of human affairs.
Ezekiel 38 ends on that note, and chapter 39 begins a separate prophecy, in another timescale. Ezekiel 39 is for our time, fulfilling Jesus’ axiom that the last shall be first.
A Common Misunderstanding
The misconception about the timing of Rosh’s invasion of Israel is linked to another widely held misunderstanding:
Confirming The Covenant: Dan 9:27.
A major misunderstanding surrounds the subject of Daniel 9:27. Who is the 'he' mentioned there? Numerous preachers and 'prophecy experts' declare (as per Bullinger) that it refers to a coming 'prince', a human ruler who will make a pact with Israel [in the ‘holy’ land] for seven years and then break it in the middle of that time, causing sacrifices to cease.
That's not what it is referring to at all. The 'he' of verse 27 refers back to 'the Anointed One' or 'Messiah' of verse 26 – Jesus. HE was the one who 'confirmed' a covenant for 7 years (the New Covenant) and was 'cut off' after the stated 69 weeks, and who caused sacrifice (temple sacrifices) to cease in the middle of the 'prophetic week' of 7 years (9:26). His physical ministry lasted 3½ years, after which He died, paying the price of sins. Thus He brought "an end to [Old Covenant] sacrifice and offering" (9:27) by His death.
[The final 3½ years was fulfilled by Jesus in the Spirit, as He trained the apostle Paul to take the Gospel to the Gentiles.]
This subject of the 70 weeks' prophecy is quite involved so may I recom- mend that you read the separate article by that title? (It is also included in Under- standing The Book of Revelation [£7].) (Daniel’s Prophecies For Our Time! p 48.)
This Bible footnote further illustrates the widespread error:
Ezekiel’s conflict of Gog and Magog should be placed in the midst of Daniel’s 70th week (Dan 9:24-27). [Not so!!] Israel is at peace in the land (v 14), having [made] a certain covenant with the ruler of the western confederation (Dan 9:27). The northern confederacy, sensing an easy prey, will descend upon Israel, forcing the prince of the covenant (Dan 9:27) to break that covenant and invade Israel (Dan 11:45). (NKJV Believer’s Study Bible, footnote on Ezek 38.)
What error! What confusion!
A major reason for the problems is that Bible scholars are trying to find out all that is needed from the Bible. But God doesn’t provide all the details in the Bible about what is to occur. He only provides a foundation or skeleton. Nor can you work it all out by your own intellect. Prophetic revelation from God is needed today to amplify what is in the Bible.
This is where true prophets come in. God gives them the extra little ‘bits and pieces’ to complete the picture (as much as God means us to know for now).
Ezekiel 38 and 39 are separate prophecies in different eras.
However, God told a modern prophet, Henry Gruver, that Russia will attack Britain this side of the Millennium. Prince Charles also featured in the vision, as did the Russian General Lebed, showing that it is for our time, NOW! The full account is given in Revelations From God About The Judgement Of Britain (Jud).
I believe Ezekiel 39 pertains to our time now. What is about to happen to Britain is detailed in The Prophecies Of Hosea Concerning Britain.
The outcome is predicted in Ezekiel 39. Notice:
So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore. Then the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel (39:7).
God allows terrible disasters to occur for people to see the dreadful end result of their own wrong ways and to experience the effects of evil, that they may be humbled, come to repentance, and turn to God.
After God defeats the Asiatic warmongers, the massive stock of weaponry will be dismantled and recycled. It will take 7 years to do so! (39:9.)
Likewise, it will take 7 months to bury the dead after the Chinese / Russian occupation (39:12) which could refer to the invasion of America as per Gruver’s vision of submarines attacking America, and Dumitru Duduman’s vision of China conquering America (in The Imminent Fall Of America). Remember also that the description of weaponry (39:9,10) may be representative. Ezekiel would see the weapons of his day. Modern counterparts are guns, armoured vehicles, tanks, battleships, missiles, etc..
Several prophetic facts point to Ezekiel 39 being a prophecy for this day and not post-Millennial:
Ezekiel 38:1. Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
2. Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
3. and say, ‘Thus says he Lord God, Behold I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal.
4. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.
5. Persia, Ethiopia [Cush], and Libya [Put] are with them, all of them with shield and helmet;
6. Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops – many people are with you.
7. Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them.
8. After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. [This is a prophecy for the Millennium – NOT in this age before Jesus’ return.]
9. You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you.
10. Thus says the Lord God: On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan.
11. 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 —
12. 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,
13. Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?
14. Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, Thus says the Lord God, On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it?
15. Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army.
16. You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.
17. Thus says the Lord God, Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them?
18. And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel, says the Lord God, that My fury will show in My face.
19. For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel,
20. so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.
21. I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains, says the Lord God. Every man’s sword will be against his brother.
22. And I will bring him to judgement with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.
23. Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself. And I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.
Ezekiel 39:1. And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus says the Lord God, Behold I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal;
2. And I will turn you around and lead you on, bringing you up from the far north, and bring you against the mountains of Israel.
3. Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand.
4. You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
5. You shall fall on the open field; for I have spoken, says the Lord God.
6. And I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in security in the coastlands. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.
7. So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore. Then the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel.
8. Surely it is coming, and it shall be done, says the Lord God. This is the day of which I have spoken.
9. Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years.
10. They will not take wood from the field nor cut down any from the forests, because they will make fires with the weapons; and they will plunder those who plundered them, and pillage those who pillaged them, says the Lord God.
11. It will come to pass in that day that I will give Gog a burial place there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea; and it will obstruct travellers, because there they will bury Gog and all his multitude. Therefore they will call it the valley of Hamon Gog [literally, The Multitude of Gog].
12. For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land.
13. Indeed all the people of the land will be burying, and they will gain renown for it on the day that I am glorified, says the Lord God.
14. They will set apart men regularly employed, with the help of a search party [literally those who pass through], to pass through the land and bury those bodies remaining on the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make a search.
15. The search party will pass through the land; and when anyone sees a man’s bone, he shall set up a marker by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon Gog.
16. The name of the city will also be Hamonah [literally A Multitude]. Thus they shall cleanse the land.
17. And as for you, son of man, thus says the Lord God, Speak to every sort of bird and to every beast of the field: Assemble yourselves and come; gather together from all sides to My sacrificial meal which I am sacrificing for you, a great sacrificial meal on the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh and drink blood.
18. You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams and lambs, of goats and bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
19. You shall eat fat till you are full, and drink blood till you are drunk, at My sacrificial meal which I am sacrificing for you.
20. You shall be filled at My table with horses and riders, with mighty men and with all the men of war, says the Lord God.
[The above verses describe the mockery God will make of these evil people at Armageddon.]
21. I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgement which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them.
22. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day forward.
23. The Gentiles shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they were unfaithful to Me, therefore I hid My face from them. I gave them into the hand of their enemies, and they all fell by the sword.
24. According to their uncleanness and according to their trangressions I have dealt with them, and hidden My face from them.
25. Therefore thus says the Lord God; Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name —
26. after they have borne their shame, and all their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, when they dwelt safely in their own land and no one made them afraid.
27. When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations,
28. then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive [literally, there] any longer.
29. And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel, says the Lord God.
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