“Son of man,
set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech
and Tubal; prophesy against him and say; 'This is what the Sovereign
Lord says: I am against you, O
Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.
I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with
your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde
with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. 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.' (Ezekiel 38:3-6)
From time to time Scripture gives us brief glimpses of
the supernatural powers behind Earthly thrones.
Isaiah 14:3, Ezekiel 28:12, Daniel 10:13, 20
and Daniel 12:1 are examples of this. When these supernatural powers
are referred to as the king of a particular country, as is the case in
Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 it tells us God has Satan in view.
When the power behind the throne is called a prince, it's one of
Some years ago, I came to the conclusion that Gog is
one of these supernatural powers, perhaps Satan's counterpart to the
Archangel Michael, who is also called a chief prince (Daniel 10:13)
and who is responsible for the
defense of Israel (Daniel 12:1).
A review of Genesis 10 shows that Gog's name does not appear
in the human genealogies there, nor can he be found among their descendants
by any other means, but he appears to be well known to God.
On the other hand, Magog
does appear in Genesis 10 as the 2nd son of Japeth
and brother of Meshech and Tubal.
Most scholars believe Magog represents modern day Russia, while
Meshech and Tubal likely settled nearby in eastern Turkey, and there's
universal agreement that Persia is now known as Iran.
In the past we've pinned down the modern equivalents of the other
nations involved in the Ezekiel 38 scenario, so for the purpose of
this article I want to focus on the growing relationship between two of the
key national participants, Magog (Russia) and Persia (Iran).
Some scholars observe that when the Lord lists groups
of nations, He often does so in priority order, with the most important ones
first. If so, then placing
Persia first in the order of nations that will be joining Magog and his
brothers in the coming attack against Israel is a sign of Persia's
importance to the group's objectives.
The Sleeping Bear Has Awakened
As Russia has moved to re-assert itself as a player on
the world stage, one of the first steps has involved the Middle East.
This began with the agreement to help Iran build nuclear reactors,
supposedly for peaceful purposes.
After numerous delays caused primarily by Western objections, the
Bushier reactor has finally come on line. It's the first of what was
originally announced as an agreement to build 10 such power plants. Through
out all this Russia has been steadfastly opposed to any military efforts
aimed at destroying Iran's nuclear program.
Then there was Russia's decision to relocate portions
of its Black Sea naval fleet to the Eastern Mediterranean, revamping its
Soviet era support base in Tartus on the coast of Syria to accommodate its
Most recently has been Russia's support of the Syrian
government in it's efforts to put down the internal strife that has engulfed
that country. On two separate occasions, the Russian delegate to the UN has
used his Security Council veto to defeat motions that were perceived to be
against Syrian government interests.
Since Iran also supports the Syrian government, the three countries
have been drawn into a tighter partnership to withstand world wide pressure
for a “regime change” in Syria and an end to the violence there.
As I write this, Debkafile has reported that Kofi
Annan, the former UN head and now its mediator on the Syrian crisis has
offered a plan that would put Russia and Iran at the head of a “contact
group” empowered to put an end to the problem through a negotiated
settlement with Syrian Pres. Assad.
The settlement would include an assurance of safety for him, his
family and his entourage in return for stepping aside.
(There are unconfirmed reports that Assad has already transferred $6
million of his personal fortune to Moscow, probable site of his exile, if it
comes to that.) According to
Debkafile this plan was approved
in advance by the Obama Administration in the hope that
it would cause Iran to show a little more flexibility in the upcoming
negotiations on its nuclear program, although Iran had given no indication
that it would do so.
The rationale behind this plan is that having supported
Syria through out, only Russia and Iran have the influence necessary to
convince Assad to step down. Any
other attempt would require military force, something everyone's desperate
to avoid. So far Iran has
refused to be influenced by this unprecedented offer.
In fact, after Hillary Clinton warned Iran to come to the next
negotiating session prepared to offer something concrete,
Iran threatened to cancel the next round altogether.
A Fine Mess You Got Us Into This Time
Students of prophecy can see that this is an important
departure from the past. It
marks the first time the US has ever considered allowing a government
hostile to its objectives to take the lead in an issue involving Middle East
security. The US has always
maintained its leadership position in order to protect Israel's interests.
If this plan goes through, Russia and Iran would have a powerful,
even controlling voice in determining Syria's future, since the “contact
group” would in effect become the interim head of Syria's new government.
No thinking person would ever expect Russia and Iran to replace the
Assad regime with one more tolerant toward Israel.
In fact the opposite would be much more likely,
and as a practical matter Russia and Iran would also have direct
control of the Syrian military, in which both are already heavily involved.
Israel's northern border
would quickly become even less secure than it is now.
Debkafile has also reported that Turkey has abandoned its support of
the Syrian rebels and is lining up behind Moscow in the hope of being part
of the “contact group.” That
would put the third major Ezekiel 38 player on the field.
Conventional wisdom has always held that the Magog
invasion cannot take place until there's absolute certainty that the US
would neither intervene nor retaliate.
Speculations on how that might come about have included some sort of
terrorist blackmail, such as the threat of a nuclear attack, or the
crippling effect the rapture of the Church would have on the US.
But even though the US is now noticeably weaker than in
the past without either of these things happening, I've never heard anyone
suggest that we might voluntarily step aside and allow Israel's enemies to
gain such an advantage.
Whether Kofi Annan's proposal
ultimately gets accepted or not
the door has now been opened to this possibility as well. I wonder how
Israel feels about that.
We should all watch to see how this plays out in the UN
because even though Iran has rejected the offer, the deal is probably far
from dead. People with
experience in these matters know that the first step in any negotiation is
to reject the other party's offer.
They also know that the one who appears most willing to hold firm
will usually wind up with the better end of the deal.
So far it seems to me that Iran is the one holding firm.
The US talks about leaving all the options on the table, but we act
like we'll do just about anything to avoid a military solution. To approve
an offer like this in advance of any concessions from the other side, and
without even a clue that concessions could result conveys that idea pretty
Like so many before it, this plan could all blow away
like fallen leaves before the autumn winds, but if it comes to fruition a
more decisive step toward the Magog invasion could hardly be imagined.
You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 06-09-12