Gog and Magog
Gog and Magog – Will Happen Before and After the Tribulation
Gog’s Invasion Force, Gog and Magog: Ezekiel reveals how God will allow Satan to use the tools already in place, Islam’s hatred of the descendants of Isaac and Russia’s need for a secure power base in the Middle East. But, God’s purpose is to reveal Himself to a remnant of His children and bring them to faith in Him. Gog and Magog (see Rev. 20:8).
Ezekiel predicts that this will be accomplished when the Messiah delivers them from the invading hordes led by Gog (Russian leader), of the land of Magog (the land around and above the Black Sea), the prince of Rosh, (Rosh are the modern ethnic Russians). Meshech and Tubal. (Sons of Japheth (Gen. 10:2), ancestors of peoples who settled in Eastern Europe and southern Asia). It is easy to establish who this power is. The first clue Ezekiel repeats three times. He will come from the extreme or uttermost north of Israel, Russia.
Second, he will be a descendent of the ancient tribes of Magog, Meshech, Tubal and a later people named after the combination of these people.
Third the Russian people will rise to power. Ezekiel clearly identifies the time: “After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them” (Ezek. 38:8). In other words, this refers to our present era, which began with the rebirth of the nation of Israel which was in May of 1948.
Ezekiel gives a roll call of those who will fight alongside of the Russians in this invasion of Israel: “Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops, the many nations with you (Ezek. 38:5–6).
Persia is modern Iran; Cush is the son of Ham (one of Noah’s sons), and is the father of the black African people. Phut is another son of Ham and this involves North Africa, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritania. Gomer is Eastern Turkey. Beth Togarmah is central Asia: Islamic southern Republics of the former Soviet Union, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tadzhikistan, and Kazakhstan.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian government has continued to collapse into chaos. Russian business is largely run by Russian organized crime. At the present, those who have the money dictate politics. It’s the present world system’s golden rule: “He who has the gold makes the rules.” The Russian mob is just as interested in conquering the Middle East to obtain a cheap source of oil as any preceding legitimate government of Russia ever was.
And what remains of the Russian political system has a vested interest in hanging on to what little authority it still has. A number of old politicians and military officers cannot bear Russia’s present humiliation. They passionately want to restore Russia as a super power. Economically, Russia is a disaster. But from the standpoint of the invention and creation of military weapons, the Russians are world class. And the legacy of the Soviet Union years is the most formidable arsenal of weapons in history. More than once Russian leaders have reminded Western leaders of this point when they felt ignored in world decisions.
Russia has, in keeping with the above purpose, opted to go to the Third World, where it can exercise great authority and lead it. Now the dominant power bloc in the third world is the oil rich Muslim nations. So, it fits into Russian overall strategy to help the Muslims in order to establish leadership over them, and to form a power base from which they can build toward super power status.
Russia now has a huge financial stake in Iran. Iran supplies hard currency in exchange for weapons, particularly weapons of mass destruction, which Russia has in abundance. But Iran won’t do business with the Russian mob, so Russian organized crime is as dependent on the political system as the system is on the mob’s control of business. And Iran is the key for both, if they want to survive and prosper at this time.
But the real reason for Russia’s “hook in the jaw” is the pact signed with Iran (in Feb. 1991). In the aftermath of the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia greatly feared that the southern Republics of the former union, which are heavily populated by Muslims, would catch the Islamic Fundamentalist Revival “fever.” Even the Muslims of the little state of Chechnya caused great disruption when they had an Islamic motivated revolt.
Russia rightly foresaw the threat of this happening in a Muslim dominated republic like Kazakhstan, which had a large percentage of the former Soviet Union’s nuclear tipped ICBM’s buried in silos on its soil. Iran’s fanatical dedication to Islam was and is very attractive to Muslims who had been forced into an atheistic society for some 70 plus years.
The Russian leaders knew that in order to get what they wanted, Iran would have to get what it wants. So, Moscow offered Tehran a deal it couldn’t refuse. In Feb. 1991, a pact was made between Russia and Iran. Some of the points of this pact is:
- Russia agreed to supply Iran with both materials and world class nuclear and missile experts. They would help Iran build its own nuclear warheads and delivery systems.
- In exchange, Iran agreed not to encourage in any way an Islamic revival in the former Soviet Republics and also not to interfere with Russia’s efforts to put down any such revivals.
- Russia agreed to fight alongside Iran against the West in the event they invaded Iran, invaded other Muslim nations of the region, or sought to interfere with the internal affairs of the Muslim nations of the region.
This pact virtually ensured that Russia would one day be drawn into war against the West on behalf of its Muslim allies.
It is predicted that the Islamic republics will finally have their revenge against Israel for daring to claim possession of the Third holiest site in Islam, Jerusalem. Almost against its better judgment, Russia will find herself at the head of a vast northern army running headlong toward their date with destiny on the mountains of Israel.
Ezekiel foresaw the situation: “And you will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army; and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It will come about in the last days that I shall bring you against My land, in order that the nations may know Me when I shall be sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog” (Ezek. 38:15-16).
“And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire for seven years; so that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those who spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord God (Ezek. 39:9-10).
Ezekiel’s prophecy you just read covers the first time Gog and Magog wars against Israel (Ezekiel chapter 38). A reading of this chapter will show that the Israelites are living safely in un-walled cities. Ezek. 39:9 then goes on to tell how Israel will burn the implements of war for seven years.
The second time is after the Millennium when Satan is loosed, and Satan’s armies surround the holy city of New Jerusalem (Rev. 20:8-9). New Jerusalem (see Rev. 21:1-2). At that time absolutely everyone in that invasion is destroyed and Satan is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone Devil Cast into the Lake of Fire (see Rev. 20:10).
Up until this point Hal Lindsey explains, Russia and its Muslim allies have been the aggressors and have run rampant through the Middle East and Africa virtually unopposed. They have wreaked havoc with the Antichrist’s world order. (Hal Lindsey believes that the Gog, Magog war will start at the beginning of the Tribulation). Now he sees that they face the fury of a mobilized Western army. It is at this point he states, that the Antichrist will launch his nuclear counterattack. He covers his counterattack by launching the greatest salvo of nuclear tipped ICBM’s imaginable.
This will surely be answered by Russian and Muslim ICBM’s, which will have been programmed to launch on warning. “And the sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up” is a perfect first century description of the atmospheric effect from a nuclear blast. Catastrophic damage is done both as the atmosphere is compressed on itself and pushed away and then when it returns with almost equal force into the vacuum. He also states that the 21 Judgments are in order (the seven each of seals, trumpets and vials or bowls).
The great nations that do get Biblical reference are the Kings of the East, (China, India, Pakistan, all openly nuclear), Russia (Gog-Magog), Libya, Egypt, Iran, Iraq and so on. Many of them have remained obscure, impotent little Third World nations for most of recorded modern history. Now, at the appointed time, they are front-page news. Right on schedule.
Russia to be Destroyed: When will Russia be destroyed. According to Tim LaHaye, this Gog and Magog war would have to be at the beginning of Tribulation as he makes reference to the 7 years it takes for Israel to burn their implements of war, or even before it. It is possible that Russia could be destroyed before the Rapture of the Church. There is nothing that demands it, for the Lord can come at any time. However, there is no reason to believe that Russia will not be destroyed before the Rapture.
(Ezek. 39:9), tells us about the 7 years of burning of their weapons. Since the Jews will be persecuted by the Antichrist for the last 3-1/2 years of the Tribulation, that may suggest Russia and her Arab allies will be destroyed at least 3-1/2 years prior to the beginning of the Tribulation. It could, of course, be more. One of the mysteries of prophecy is whether Russia is destroyed before the Rapture or after it occurs.
If the Antichrist signs a covenant with Israel immediately after the Rapture of the Church, this beginning the Tribulation, it is highly probable that Russia will be destroyed before the Rapture. However, if there is a period of time between the Rapture of the Church and the beginning of the Tribulation, the Church could be Raptured, Russia destroyed, and then the Antichrist setup his one world government. All the more reason Christian’s should be ready at any moment to “depart and be with Christ” in the Rapture. It can come at any time.
The Soviet Union at the time it collapsed had thirty thousand atomic or neutron warheads, many aimed at population centers? Since the breakup of the “evil empire,” no one knows what has happened to all those weapons. Russia claimed it was too poor to dismantle the ones in Yugoslavia and other struggling republics, and the host countries could not afford to man them, dismantle them, or protect them from terrorists. So what did they do?
These cash poor countries began selling them to rogue nations like Iran, Iraq, China, India, and only God knows who else. Over 10,000 nuclear scientists from Russia are reported to have migrated with these warheads to other countries. A case could be made that the world is in a much more precarious condition today than when the Soviet Communists controlled all their weapons!
General Alexander Lebed, national security advisor to Russian president Boris Yeltsin, shocked the world some time ago by announcing that 100 suitcase size nuclear bombs were missing! The bombs in question were 1 kiloton weapons developed by the KGB for special forces operations during the cold war. Weighing between 60 & 100 pounds, each is easily transported and could be set up and detonated by a single man in less than one half hour. Detonated in a city, a single bomb could kill up to 100,000 people. No one has any idea where they are; neither do they know if the bombs have been destroyed, stored, sold, or stolen.
Reports coming out of the former Soviet Union indicate that since the fall of the empire, security measures have been so lax that as many as 250 such bombs are missing. It is only a matter of time before these KGB manufactured bombs, or more sophisticated miniaturized bombs, fall into the hands of the wrong people.
Russia’s Fatal Hooked Harness: Russia’s chief partner in that invasion is Persia, or modern day Iran (Ezek. 38:5). Joseph de Courcy, editor of Intelligence Digest, points out that Iran is capable of spreading the Islamic revolution throughout Central Asia, the Transcaucasus and into the Muslim regions of Russia itself.
No one is more aware of this threat than the leaders of Russia. They were forced to sign a pact with Iran out of fear of this potentially disastrous development. The pact guarantees Iran use of their top nuclear and missile scientists, access to every weapon in their arsenal and a commitment to fight alongside Iran against the West in the event of any future armed interference against them. But Iran has only one priority on its foreign policy agenda, the destruction of the State of Israel. Ezekiel talks about a day, in the not too distant future, in which Russia will be inexorably drawn into a conflict in the Middle East.
Ezekiel’s prophecy indicates that this invasion will occur almost against Russia’s own will. Ezekiel’s illustration of “A hook in the jaw” of the Russian leader (see Ezek. 38:4), refers to a donkey bridle made with cruel hooks on both sides that dug into a stubborn donkey’s jaw when he refused to follow his master. Every day it becomes clearer just what that “hook in Russia’s jaw” will be, the alliance Russia made with the growing Islamic powers of the Middle East, led by the fanatical Islamic Fundamentalists of Iran.
Both Ezekiel and Revelation make it clear that it is God who places that hook in Russia’s jaw. Yet, Russia has historically been an expansionist power itself, one with a particular long term interest in the lands that lie directly to its south. Even in “democratic” Russia, a government agency has been actively studying the possibility of nuclear weapons cooperation with Iran, Libya, Iraq and Algeria, all named as part of the Magog coalition that invades Israel (in Ezek. chapter 38). Russia is even working a contingency plan for a full scale military alliance with Tehran.
It is Russia’s direct alliance with Iran that is one of the most prophetically significant developments in the world today. “Iran’s ultimate goal is to be the undisputed leader of the Islamic world, and the way it hopes to achieve this is by delivering Jerusalem to Islam,” explains de Courcy. “With so much of the current Arab world firmly in the western camp, particularly the oil rich states of the Arabian peninsula, and with Israel’s military machine maintaining its regional dominance through American aid, the only way in which Iran can achieve its aim is through a strategic alliance with Moscow.” It is immensely significant to see how some of the best of the secular intelligence communities are coming to the same conclusions as those of Bible prophecy experts.
What must take place before tribulation is Russia and her allies will go down to destroy the nation of Israel but will themselves be destroyed supernaturally by God (see Ezek. Chapters 38 and 39). As the timing isn’t quite sure as to how this attack is in relation to the Rapture, it must take place prior to the Rapture as scripture is quite clear on the time it will take Israel to bury the dead and burn the weapons they leave.
There is one possibility that may offer hope for Israel and make it worthwhile to send these peace envoys from the US and have peace conferences. Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, one of the highly significant prophecies in the Old Testament, indicates that Russia and their allies (who make up most of the Arab world), are going to go down against Israel in battle to destroy the Jews once and for all. They of course, will be destroyed on the mountains of Israel, not by military hardware they received from the USA, but by the direct intervention of God.
Tim LaHaye is personally convinced that will take place between 3-1/2 to 7 years or more before the Tribulation. Some of his friends disagree. They think that will be the battle of Armageddon. He does not think so and suggests four reasons it cannot be confused with that battle that takes place at the very end of Tribulation and culminates with the Glorious Appearing of Christ and the establishment of His Millennial Kingdom:
- Armageddon is not directed against Israel, but constitutes an attack on the part of the world’s nations against Christ (Rev. 16:12-21 and 19:11-21). The deception of the Antichrist and his insane hatred of Jesus Christ at the end of the Tribulation period will culminate with his bringing together, even from the Orient over the dried up river Euphrates, hordes of people against, not Israel, but Jesus Christ, the coming King. That he will utterly fail is clearly predicted (in Rev. chapter 19). However, this Scripture passage should not be confused with Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, which to even a casual reader plainly states that Israel is the object of Gog’s and Magog’s hatred. These two attacks are unique and distinct, and he believes they will occur at least ten or more years apart.
- No one-world government is functioning during the events (in Ezekiel 38 and 39). The destruction of Russia as revealed by God to His prophet, will come at a time when, as we have already seen, Israel is the central focus of two confederations of nations. These two confederations, the northeastern confederation of Russia and her hordes verses the western democracies that do not come to the aid of Israel, cannot coexist in the one world government, predicted by our Lord and His prophets for the seven-year tribulation Tribulation.
- Gog comes from the North, the Antichrist from Europe, Gog, the prince and Magog the country are predicted to come from the “north parts” (Ezek. 38:15). According to Daniel 7:8, 24, 26), the Antichrist comes out of Rome, a mixed blood of Romans, Greeks, and possibly Jews.
- It takes 7 years to burn the implements of war (Ezek. 39:8-10). Armageddon occurs at the end of the Tribulation just before the Millennium. This in turn according (to 2 Peter 3), begins with a renovation of the earth by fire. It is unlikely that the Jews will not spend the first 7 winters of the Millennium burning the implements of war left over from the Tribulation.
Taking these four reasons together, we can only conclude that Ezekiel 38 and 39 are not to be confused with Armageddon. Instead, they occur ten or more years earlier, prior to the tribulation period.
When Does Israel Burn War Implements: In (Ezekiel 39:8-10), we find that after Russia has been supernaturally destroyed, “those who live in the towns of Israel will go out and use the weapons for fuel and burn them up. For 7 years they will use them for fuel.” Obviously, the Israelis are not going to pile all the war implements together and make an enormous bonfire. In a land that enjoys quite mild winters, they will use the weapons for fuel for seven seasons instead of gathering firewood from the forests.
Two facts stand out in bold relief. First, Israel will enjoy seven years of peace after Russia is destroyed. Second, for seven winters they will be reminded of God’s supernatural intervention on their behalf as they burn the implements of war. It is vitally important that we locate these seven years chronologically, because they are the key to the period in which the Soviet Union will be destroyed.
God has not left us without information regarding His plans for the future. There is a chart in the May 2002 issue of Tim LaHaye’s newsletter called Pre-Trib Perspectives that reflects the major events accepted by almost all scholars who hold a pre-tribulation view of prophecy. Note also that the Antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel during the latter 3-1/2 years of the tribulation. According to Revelation 12, this event will unleash the harshest anti-Semitic persecution the world has ever know, a fiery furnace arranged for the Jews by the Antichrist.
Russia will have to be destroyed at least 3-1/2 years before the tribulation begins for the Jews to have 7 years in which to burn the implements of war. Keep in mind that there is no reason necessitating the Jews’ burning the weapons during the first 3-1/2 years of the Tribulation. The entire 7 year period of burning could occur before the Tribulation begins, but there is no way to be certain of this. We can only speculate as to whether the 7 year period occurs entirely before the Tribulation. We know that it cannot extend beyond the Tribulation.
When Will God Destroy Russia: Having considered the possibilities for the 7 years when the implements of war are burned, we can only speculate on the possible time of the invasion of Israel and the subsequent destruction of Russia. Although we know they will take place a minimum of 3-1/2 years before the Tribulation, no one can predict when the Tribulation will occur; the exact time of our Lord’s return is known only to God.
Rosh, Gog, Magog, Meshack and Tubal: The nouns (in Ezekiel 38 and 39), have been held for years to be Russia: “Rosh” or Gog” for Russia; “Meshack” for Moscow; and “Tubal” for Tobolsk, the largest state. Genesis 10 is of help in establishing the identity of these names. Magog was the second son of Japheth who settled north of the Black Sea. Tubal and Meshack were the fifth and sixth sons of Japheth, whose descendants settled south of the Black Sea.
These people intermarried and became known as Magog, the dominant tribe. The name Moscow comes from the tribal name Meshack. The noun Gog is from the original tribal name Magog, which gradually became “Rosh”, then “Rus”, and today as “Russia”. These make up the modern Russian people.