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Russia in Bible prophecy

God and the nations

The Bible message primarily concerns the nation of Israel. The hope of a true Christian is therein styled "the hope of Israel" (Acts 28:20). Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity, made this very clear when he said "Salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22). This hope of salvation will be realised by the prospect of living forever in the Kingdom of God (2 Peter 1:11 & Daniel 7:27). The Kingdom of God is to be established in the earth with Jerusalem as it's capital city (Jeremiah 3:17). That is why the apostles asked Jesus, after his resurrection, if he was going to "restore again the kingdom (of God) to Israel" (Acts 1:1-6).

A cursory glance at the above passages of scripture will confirm that the nation of Israel features prominently in the purpose of God. Closer investigation will reveal that the Bible has much to say about other nations, especially those who inpinge on the life of Israel, as for example, Egypt, Babylon, Assyria etc. Looking at nations in modern times, we find that Bible prophecy is concerned with nations as Persia (Iran), Ethiopia and Libya (Ezekiel 38:5). From this chapter in Ezekiel we learn that these nations are involved in a confederacy which invades the land of Israel (verse 8). These invaders are defeated and destroyed by God, resulting in Israel being "saved with an everlasting salvation", (Isaiah 45:17) so that following the establishment of the Kingdom of God, "God will be known in the eyes of many nations" (Ezekiel 38:23).

The invading leader identified

The leader of this invasion is named as Gog, who is described as "the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal" (verse 2 RV). Unlike other names in this chapter at which we have looked, these ancient names have been superseded by more modern ones. Experts confidently assert that "Ros (or Rosh) is the most ancient form under which history makes mention of the name Russia", and Russian historians themselves confirm this by stating that "Russians derive their name from Ros". Ezekiel 38 adds it's own confirmation to this interpretation by pinpointing the geographical location of this prince of Rosh. This is described as "the north parts", or, as the revised version gives it "the uttermost parts of the north" (verse 15). A glance at a map (see below) will reveal that in relation to the land of Israel, the territory of Russia lies in the "uttermost parts of the north". It is particularly noticeable that Moscow (Meshech) is almost due north of Jerusalem. There can be no doubt that the Gog of this chapter represents the person in control of the affairs of Russia and is the leader of the forces that will invade Israel.

This map shows Russia to be to the north of Israel

When will this invasion happen?

It is abundantly clear that this event has has not yet happened. The evidence of history testifies that this invasion is yet in the future. The prophecy itself confirms this, whilst at the same time giving clear indicators of the period in which it will happen.

The invasion of the land of Israel takes place after it's inhabitants have been "brought forth out of the nations" to "dwell safely" (verse 8). They will inhabit "the desolate places" of the "mountains of Israel" (verses 12 & 8). They will be so successful in organising their economy that the invader will seek to overrun land in order to appropriate the results of Israel's prosperity. "Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?" (verses 10-13).

Today, we see a situation comparable to this. We see the Jews returning to their land in great numbers following the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Along with this influx of Jews from around the world, the Israeli economy has mushroomed to such an extent that it is considered to be "an economic and technological powerhouse". At the same time, the Russian economy has plummeted, bringing it's people to the verge of revolt. President Putin and his government seem powerless to stem the tide of poverty and the resulting anger that is creeping in over the masses of the Russian people. The scene seems to be set for an envious Russia to cast it's eye in the direction of prosperous Israel. Never in the history of either country have their respective situations corresponded with the scenario that exists today! Add to this the way in which, in relatively recent years, the countries of Persia, Ethiopia and Libya (verse 5) have turned their backs on the West and allied themselves with Russia, and the jigsaw is ready to receive its final piece.

Current Russian President Vladimir Putin

The Time is Ripe

The scene has been set in Bible prophecy. When the invasion of Israel by Russia takes place, it will be the signal for divine intervention in world affairs. "It shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come up against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face" (verse 18). At this juncture the armies of the invading nations will be overthrown by Jesus Christ at his return to the earth, and the way cleared for the establishment of the Kingdom of God in the land of Israel.


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