Hi friends! Some have asked, so I’ll do my best to respond as succinctly as possible. The question I hear is, “Are we on the verge of the Northern Invasion (War of Gog and Magog) that is described in Ezekiel 38-39?” In short, it is too early to say for sure, though what is going on in the Middle East cannot be ruled out as the stage being set for that end time event.
To put the question (and its answer) into context, let’s briefly review Ezekiel 36-37. In those chapters, the Lord speaks prophecy through the prophet Ezekiel, indicating that He will prepare the land of Israel for the return of the Jews to Israel. We know that, following the Roman destruction of the temple and conquest of Jerusalem in 70 AD, Jews were literally dispersed all over the world. They became a people without a land and they integrated into the many societies in which they were scattered.
But God’s Word says they will be back in the land during the last days. So, the Lord prepared the land, which had become dry, barren, treeless, swampy (in places) and infertile. As Jews began returning to the homeland in the 1800’s, they began cultivating the land. God granted them favor and ingenuity in doing so, and the land began to revive.
Then, Ezekiel 37 describes dry bones (“the whole house of Israel”) coming alive once again. Jews began returning to their land en masse, and on May 14, 1948, the nation of Israel was reborn from the dust and ashes! That chapter also indicates that God would “breathe life into them.” Indeed, Israel is very much alive today, and the Spirit of the Living God is drawing them to recognize Jesus as Messiah! (Just as the prophet testified!)
So, logic would tell us that, since Ezekiel 36-37 are fulfilled to a large degree (though not 100% yet), the prophecies of Ezekiel 38-39 may soon be on the horizon. We just don’t quite know when that horizon will break on the scene! But here are some events of today that lead us to ask whether or not the War of Gog and Magog is imminent:
- Ezekiel 38 describes a coalition led by Russia and Iran that will invade Israel from the north. Russia and Iran are most definitely working hand-in-hand in Syria, Iraq and other places in the Middle East.
- Ezekiel 38 also describes nations and people groups such as Turkey, Sudan, Libya, Algeria and other modern-day radical Muslim groups who are very anti-Israel and would love to see them wiped from the face of the earth.
- Syria and Lebanon are not mentioned in that coalition that will attack Israel. Right now, Syria seems to be on the verge of destruction as an evil regime, rebel groups, and ISIS all vie for power and possession of the weapons of mass destruction currently in Syria. Isaiah 17:1 tells us that Damascus Syria will be utterly destroyed. Could this be the “clearing away” of Israel’s immediate northern neighbors that will allow Russia and its coalition partners a pathway to invade Israel?
- The Russian and Iranian militaries are moving very swiftly into Syria and are already conducting airstrikes from Russian-built bases in Syria. Meanwhile, Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops are moving into Syria, very near the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. (Rocket fire has even spilled over into Israel.)
- Ezekiel 38 tells us that God will put hooks in the jaws of the Russian coalition and will bring them down out of the north to attack Israel. Lots of speculation has surrounded the idea of “hooks in the jaw,” but in recent years, Bible scholars have begun to suggest that those hooks could be a resource that Russia wants very badly: oil and gas. Russia has great desire to control all oil and gas in the Middle East. While news has stirred about oil and gas finds off the Israeli coast of the Mediterranean Sea over the past few years, just this week it was announced that oil has been discovered in the Golan Heights!
- “Gog” almost certainly refers to a title, not a country. “Gog” is defined by most as a czar or a tyrannical leader. President Vladimir Putin comes across to many as being very “czar-like.” Gog will ultimately build and lead the coalition that will invade Israel, and Putin seems to be flexing his muscle and filling the power vacuum left by a weak US administration. Could he be the guy?
So, the question remains: Are we seeing the prelude to the Northern Invasion (War of Gog and Magog)? In reality, we cannot say for sure, as only God knows the timing of end time events leading up to the rapture. Time will answer that question. However, what we see happening before our very eyes could be that prelude.
Regardless of whether we are or aren’t seeing signs of the War of Gog and Magog take shape, as believers we must be ready! Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is soon to call us up to meet Him in the air (rapture), and we are commanded to be ready as a bride awaiting her Bridegroom.
We are diving into the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecy in our study together, Looking for the Blessed Hope. I encourage you to follow along on this blog. Better still, if you are in the Phoenix area, join us for the live study! We meet on Thursday nights (until 11/19/15) and you are invited to join us. Click here for details.