Will God Destroy Russia
by Tim LaHaye
The unbelievable upheaval in the Soviet Union that has
already toppled that government has caused many to ask, "Will God
still destroy Russia on the mountains of Israel the Way the prophet
Ezekiel described in Ezekiel Chapters 38 and 39.
Since that prophecy has never been fulfilled, you can be sure that
as long as there is a God in heaven who always keeps
His Word, it will come to Pass some day. The fact that the Arab
"hordes," even after the war in the Persian Gulf of 1991, are still
allies of Russia indicates it may be sooner than most people
If, as biblical prophecy predicts, Russia is going to lead an attack on
Israel and be destroyed by God in the process, that nation had better
get with it or they will no longer be a world power. At the rate they
are collapsing internally, Russia will be a fifth-rate nation by the twenty-
To help you put all these events in perspective, read Ezekiel 38 and 39
before proceeding with this chapter.
Why Single Out Russia?
Next to His Son, human beings are dearest to the heart of God. He seems to love them
even more than He does the angels, for He sent His only begotten Son to die for human
beings. Only mankind can sin against God yet be forgiven and granted eternal life
through belief in His Son.
In two chapters of the Book of Ezekiel, however, God establishes that He is against the
nation of Russia. That is most unusual because history shows that God is for mankind.
There must be some compelling reason why God, who loves us so much that He gave
His Son for us, would turn so aggressively against an entire nation.
The key, I believe, is the satanic presence that indwelt many of the Russian leaders for
so many years. In several Old Testament prophecies, God's proclamation of judgment
went far beyond the immediate kingdom to the spirit of Satan that controlled the rulers.
The power of government to oppress billions of people was never lost on Satan. Early in
human history he learned to give special attention to world leaders - as he will to the
Antichrist world dictator during the Tribulation period. For if Satan controls the dictator,
king, or leader of a country, he can ultimately tyrannize that country.
In Daniels day the supreme example was Nebuchadnezzar. Satan exercised dominion
over both king and country; thus God opposed both the nation of Babylon, because of its
unrighteous ways, and the spirit of Satan, which indwelt the king
So it has been with Russia since 1917. God not only abhors the philosophy of the former
Soviet system but the source of power behind it, Satan himself. Consider these
prophecies from a loving God who declares He is against Russia, her leader, her capital
city, and one of her major provinces.
And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, 0 Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal (Ezek. 38:1-3).
Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, 0 Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand (Ezek.
God not only opposes Russia but vividly describes her coming destruction, vowing, "I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals" (Ezek. 39:4;NIV). This is similar to our Lord's prediction concerning the armies of the Antichrist. (See Matt. 24:28 and Rev. 19:17-21.) Such graphic prophecies are reserved
not just for Stalin-like dictators who brutalize their subjects but the satanic spirit that
indwells them. This judgment is really aimed at the satanic power within "Gog," the chief ruler of the Russians.
God Against Gog
Ever since the Bolshevik Revolution, Satan has ostensibly made his anti-human
headquarters the city of Moscow and his personal dwelling such leaders as Lenin,
Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov, and for six and one-half years, Gorbachev, who was more subtle than all of them. Under satanic influence, they incited communism's anti-human governmental systems to enslave upward of 1.5 billion people and thus incurred the wrath of God for three reasons:
1. They propagated an atheistic religion.
The most heinous sin in God's eyes is to deceive people by teaching a religion other than the gospel of Christ.
Our Lord revealed the attitude of God in every deed. He always had time for repentant
sinners and showered mercy upon them. He reserved His severest strictures not for
adulterers, tax collectors, or other sinners but for the religious leaders of His day. Why?
They had deceived people about God.
The doctrine of atheism is such an integral part of communism that wherever the
philosophy has gone - either in a totalitarian takeover of a country or in the infiltration of
the universities of the free world - its teachers have always taught
materialism and atheism, the fundamental doctrines of Karl Marx and
his disciples. They have appealed to the masses with their philosophy
of economic socialism because it attracts votes.
An irony of history is that the precepts of communism have never
worked successfully. Never has communism raised the standard of
living in any country. In addition, every country that has voted
Communists into power in a free election has always voted them out
of power at the first opportunity. Witness the dissolution of the USSR.
Since its inception, communism has consistently fostered a rejection of
God, supplanting Him with a belief in "man's potential, not God's.'' It is
safe to say that no other philosophy of life has created more skeptics,
agnostics, and unbelievers, and it would never have had the worldwide
impact it has had without the power of the former Soviet Union
Communism has been effective in polluting the minds of young people
in the Western world because it is so close to secular humanism. This
philosophy of life, to one degree or another, is held by most of those
who occupy chairs of philosophy, law, or education in the major
universities and other educational institutions of the West. As I have
explained in my four books on secular humanism, not all secular
humanists are Communists, but all Communists are secular
humanists.' Therefore, it would be easy for Communists to infiltrate
educational institutions in any country, even in the free world.
Posing as secular humanists, these Marxist professors teach their anti-
God, anti-morality, anti-free enterprise, and anti-Christianity
philosophy. Many Communists have used this subterfuge to earn their
living at taxpayers' expense in our educational institutions, spending
their entire lifetimes polluting the faith of as many of the thirteen
million college students in America as they can. Despite recent
events, they continue to pursue the same ends throughout the rest of
the Western world.
I debated one secular humanist who has been a philosophy professor
in a major educational institution on the West Coast for forty years.
He proudly testified that he had changed the faith of many of his
students who came from "fundamentalist Christian homes." I do not know whether the man is a Communist, but it really doesn't matter. The shocking effects on his students are the same whether he is or isn't
The great tragedy in all of this is that young people do not become
unbelievers because of lack of evidence. God has supplied
overwhelming testimony in the Bible regarding His existence, His
supernaturalness, and the supernaturalness of Jesus Christ. I have had
the joy of leading many people to Christ after they have thoroughly
investigated the logical reasons for accepting the bodily resurrection
of Jesus as historical fact.
Why, then, in the face of persuasive evidence, do so many young
people become unbelievers in our secular institutions? It is simply that
the evidence is not taught in those institutions. Consequently, young
people become atheists or agnostics after examining only one side of
the issue - the infidels side.
Most college professors believe that their anti-God position is the only
one entitled to exposure in the halls of acafemia. When one
contemplates the infiltrated universities of the West- world, and the
many other places that Communists and humanist sympathizers have
penetrated with their educational missionary work, it is probably safe
to say that Russia has damned as many souls intellectually as she has
destroyed physically. No wonder God says, "I am against you, 0 Gog."
2. Russia has violated more biblical principles than any other
The former Soviet Union continually taught people to act as she did. It
is one thing to blatantly teach atheism; it is another to infuse a lifestyle
that is diametrically opposed to the purposes of God.
The Bible makes it clear that happiness is the result of obeying God's
principles (Luke 11:28). We are seeing this vividly illustrated in the
social and family scene in the United States today. The Christian
families who practice biblical principles enjoy harmony and love in an
openly anti-Christian culture. By contrast, those who follow the
philosophy of secular humanism and communism - man as the
center of all things, and self-indulgence, self-actualization, and self-
realization as his primary purpose - seriously compound their
It is one of the long-standing tactics of Communists to
pollute the morals of a nation they have targeted for takeover. They
successfully assaulted the morals of Great Britain before and during
World War 11, then came to Canada and America to duplicate the
process during the past three decades.
For example, who has advocated "free love," permissive sex,"
"abortion on demand," "homosexual rights," "the free distribution of
pornography," and "the removal of laws against non-prescriptive drugs
and marijuana?" It has not been parents, church leaders, construction
workers, or family-oriented people. These radical social activities have
been consistently advocated from the halls of our prestigious
universities and colleges, where secular humanist and Communist
teachings are welcomed with open arms.
If Jesus were on earth today, He would say of the Communists what
He said of the Pharisees in Matthew 23:15-16;NIV: "You travel over
land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you
make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. Woe to you, blind
guides ... !"
God is against Russia because of its soul-damning philosophy of
3. Russia has persecuted the Jews.
Everyone knows that Karl Marx was a Jew, and most people realize
that both Lenin and Stalin were partially Jewish. But, many do not
realize that the majority of the leading fifty men who seized control of
Russia in the Bolshevik Revolution were also Jews.
Since then, however, there has been a systematic purge of Jewish
leadership within the Communist party in Russia, primarily instigated
by Stalin. He authorized the extermination of many Jewish leaders in
the party as well as ordinary Jewish citizens.
We cannot identify with certainty the reasons for this deep-rooted
antagonism between Communist leaders and the Jews. It could be
nationalism - that is, Russian Communists do not trust non-Russians.
Consequently, they might have used the Jews to foment revolution
early in the century then have them systematically removed from
positions of power. But quite possibly the Communists felt intimidated
by the intellectual gifts of their Jewish comrades.
Not content just to silence Jewish opposition in Russia, the
Communists were unwilling to permit the large Jewish population of
the nation to emigrate to Israel until forced to do so by the refusal of
our government to grant them "Most Favored Nation" trading status.
Even when they have begrudgingly permitted them to emigrate, it has
been accomplished by difficulty and disagreement.
God made it very clear in His Word that He would bless the nations
that are good to the Jews and curse those that persecute them. In all
history there has never been a case where a nation that has
mistreated the Jews has conquered a nation that was benevolent to
them. As we will see later, America's policy of defending Israel is
probably our greatest line of national defense. By contrast, Russia's
policy of persecution will prove to be her death knell.
The Coming Destruction of Russia
It appears now that the days of the Soviet empire are over. But be
sure of this, Russia will come out of all the present turmoil in charge.
Why is that? She already has control of the thirty thousand missiles
and the military capability of the country. A new and more ruthless
men could emerge and consolidate the empire and still maintain good
relations with the Arab allies.
No rational person takes pleasure in the destruction of an entire
nation, not even when that destruction is an act of judgment by a
righteous, sovereign God. However, we must recognize that Z500
years ago the Hebrew prophets, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit,
made such a prediction, and world conditions seem to indicate that
the coming destruction cannot be far off. Russia is unquestionably the
nation identified in the prophecies of Ezekiel 38 and 39.
It is not sufficient just to say that Bible scholars for several hundred
years have interpreted Ezekiel 38 and 39 as referring to Russia. We
must be more explicit than that, for the proper identity of "Gog" and
"Magog" is essential to the interpretation of this passage. Therefore, I
suggest three reasons that confirm the identity of that nation, which is
also predicted to invade Israel in the last days.
1. Russia's Philosophy
We have already seen in the Bible that God is against "Magog" (the
country) and "Gog" (the chief prince of the country). Why would a loving
God who has always been fir mankind be against this nation? Because
the nation is against Him.
As the preceding section showed, "Magog" exhibits her antagonism
toward God by opposing humanity, the special object of God's love,
defying God's Word; and above all, antagonizing His people, the nation of
Israel. Philosophically and religiously, the nation of Russia qualifies in
every way. It is anti-God, anti-human, anti-Bible, and anti-Israel. But
there is another reason for recognizing "Magog" as Russia.
2. Russia's Geographical Location
Another significant reason for identifying Russia as Magog is her
geographical location. The Bible usually describes geography in relation
to Israel. For example, "south" means south of Israel; "north" signifies
north of Israel.
The only likely exception would come in this instance, in that Ezekiel was
in Babylon when he spoke the prophecy. A case could be made that he
may have meant "north of Babylon" when he said, "You will come from
your place in the far north" (38:15;NIV), or, "I will bring you from the far
north and send you against the mountains of Israel" (39:2;NIV).
The following map shows that it doesn't matter whether one starts in
Israel or Babylon; north in either case leads to the broad expanse of the
former Soviet Union. Unquestionably, the invading forces that will march
against the nation Israel, recalled from the nations of the world and
established in her own land, come from none other than Russia.
3. The Study of Etymology
Etymology is the study of linguistic changes and the history of words.
We will investigate the etymology of the names of nations. As we will
see, "Magog" is an ancient name for the nation now known as Russia.
"Gog" merely means "the chief prince of Magog," or more literally, the
chief prince of Meshech and Tubal (38:2-3; 39:1).
Genesis 10 helps to establish the identity of these people. Magog was the
second son of Japheth who, according to
Josephus, the great Jewish historian, settled north of the Black Sea.
Tubal and Meshech were the fifth and sixth sons of Japheth, and their
descendants settled south of the Black Sea. It is believed that these
people intermarried and became known as Magog, the dominant tribe.
The name "Moscow" derives from the tribal name "Meshech," and
"Tobolsk," the name of the principal state, from "'Tubal." The noun "Gog"
is from the original tribal name "Magog," which gradually became
"Rosh," then "Russ," and today is known as "Russia."
In The Late Great Planet Earth, Hal Lindsey offers a helpful
discussion on the identity of these nations.
Dead Men Do Tell Tales!
It is necessary on the next few pages to establish some documentation
from ancient history. Some people find this subject "a little dull," to say
the least. If this is your case, you may wish to skim over the high points.
For others, it will prove to be rewarding to check carefully the grounds
upon which the historical case is built.
Herodotus, the fifth century B.C. Greek philosopher, is quoted as
mentioning Meshech and Tubal. He identified them
with a people named the Samaritans and Muschovites, who lived at
that time in the ancient province of Pontus in northern Asia Minor.
Josephus, a Jewish historian of the first century, says that the people
of his day known as the Moschevi and Thobelites were founded by
Meshech and Tubal, respectively. He said, "... Magog is called
the Scythians by the Greeks." He continued by saying that these
people lived in the northern regions above the Caucasus Mountains.
Pliny, a noted Roman writer of early Christian times, said, "Hierapolis,
taken by the Scythians, was afterward called Magog." In this he
shows that the dreaded barbaric people called the Scythians were
identified with their ancient tribal name. Any good history book of
ancient times traces the Scythians to be a principal part of the people
who make up modem Russia.
Wilhehn Gesenius, a great Hebrew scholar of the early nineteenth
century, discusses these words in his unsurpassed Hebrew Lexicon.
"Meshech," he says, "was founder of the Moschi, a barbarous people,
who dwelt in the Moschian mountains.
This scholar went onto say that the Greek name, "Moschi," derived
from the Hebrew name Meshech is the source of the name for the
city of Moscow In discussing Tubal he said, "Tubal is the son of
Rapheth, founder of the Tibereni, a people dwelling on the Black Sea
to the west of the Moschi."
Gesenius concludes by saying that these people undoubtedly make up
the modem Russian people.
Rosh is Russia
There is one more name to consider in this line of evidence. It is the
Hebrew word, "Rosh," translated "chief" in Ezekiel 38:2-3 of the King
James and Revised Standard Versions. The word literally means in
Hebrew the "top" or "head" of something. According to most
scholars, this word is used in the sense of a proper name, not as a
descriptive noun qualifying the word "prince."
The German scholar, Dr. Keil, says, after a careful grammatical
analysis, that it should be translated as a proper name, i.e., Rosh. He
says, "The Byzantine and Arabic writers frequently mention a people called Ros and Rus, dwelling in the country of Taurus, and reckoned among the Scythian tribes."
Dr. Gesenius in his Hebrew Lexicon says, "... Rosh was a
designation for the tribes then north of the Taurus Mountains,
dwelling in the neighborhood of the Volga."
He concluded that in this name and tribe we have the first historical
trace of the Russ or Russian nation .
In 1857, Rev. F. E. Pitts delivered two sermons on prophecy before a
joint session of the houses of the United States Congress. His was
one of the most respected prophetic voices of his day. Sixty years
before the Communist conquest of Russia, he had the boldness to
warn the United States government of the coming day when Russia
would be a dominant world power. Obviously he had insight,
unpopular in his day, derived from Ezekiel 38 and 39.
Pitts had access to prophetic literature that is no longer available -
literature showing that more than a hundred years ago it was popular
to identify "Rosh" as Russia.
The Sons of Japheth
The very name of the ancient patriarches of the Russian dominions
determine their location and nationality. "Gog" signifies a prince, or
head, of many countries. Magog, Gomer, Meshech, and Tubal are
four of the seven sons of Japheth. (See Gen. 10 and 1 Chron. 1.)
These patriarches, according to Calmet, Brown, Bochart, and others,
settled within the bounds of what is now the Russian dominions.
"Magog," says Josephus, "founded the Magogue, whom the Greeks
call Sythee." The Scyth form almost one-fourth of the Russian
population. They extended from Hungary, Transylvania, and
Wallachia, on the west, to the River Dan on the east. The Russian
territory of this people embraces a large portion both of Europe and
Meshech, the sixth son of Japheth, settled in the northeastern portion
of Asia Minor. His posterity extended from the shores of the Euxine
[Black] Sea along to the south of the Caucasus. He was the father of
the Rossi and Moschi, who dispersed their colonies over a vast
portion of Russian territory. And their names are preserved in the
names of Russians and Muscovites to this day. The Septuagint
version of the Old Testament renders the term "Meshech" by the words "Mosch" and
"Rosch;" while "Moscovy" is a common name for Russia, and the city of
Moscow is one of her principal cities.
Tubal, or Tobal, the fifth son of Japheth, settled beyond the Caspian and
Black Seas in the eastern possessions of Russia, embracing a very large
portion of these dominions. The name of this patriarch is still preserved in
the river Tobal, which waters an immense tract of Russian territory; and
the city of Tobalski in Russia is still a monument to this son of Japheth.
All these facts make it certain that, as Magog, Meshech, and Tubal
compose the present possessions of Russia, the sovereignty of that
empire is the chief prince addressed in the prophetic message.
Destined for Greatness
We must look to Russia, then, as the colossal giant of reconstructed
monarchy, embodying the show of autocracy in the last grand
organization - embracing all the principles foreshadowed in the metallic
symbol of the vision "whose brightness was excellent, and the form
thereof terrible." In fact, the emperor of all the Russians still bears the
royal cognomen of the golden-headed monarchs of ancient Babylon.
Who is the present emperor of Russia? Alexander the Czar. And who are
found among the monarchs of Assyria? Nobonazar, Nebuchadnezzar, and
Belshazzar. These were not accidental terminations of their respective
names but were doubtless terms of Assyrian royalty. So also the Roman
Caesars, which scarcely vary from the true pronunciation of the czars.
We behold in Russia the original trunk of autocracy.
In the time of Catharine, she arose in august magnitude and entered into
the European state system about the time of the rise of our great country.
We see rising on the one hand and on the other, the two great powers
that represent, respectively, their opposing principles of government that
will come in collision in the last dreadful fray.
In the light of the evidence that is available, we are not surprised that
students of prophecy foresaw Russia's role as a world power years ago -
long before her country showed any signs of greatness. Bishop Lowth of
England wrote in 1710, "Rosh, taken as a proper name, in Ezekiel signifies
of Scythia, from whom the modem Russians derive their name." It should
be remembered that most of these quotations were written many years
before the Bolshevik Revolution and the rise of Russia to power. Bible
scholars anticipated Russia becoming a dominant power in the end time
while she was literally a nonentity as a nation. Early in this century, she
was still a second-rate influence in the affairs of nations; in 1905 little
Japan defeated Russia in the Russo-Japanese War.
Why Will Russia Attack Israel?
During the past sixty years, Russian diplomats and foreign policy
strategists have proved that they are much smarter than their Western
counterparts. Every time our diplomats engage them in conference, we
lose land, friends, people, or rights.
What would make a superpower like Russia, at the end time, abandon the
path of diplomacy and attack the little nation of Israel? There are four
1. Russia's Long-Standing Hatred of the Jews
It is clear from history that the Jews cannot be intimidated
by the Russians or anyone else. We can be certain that the
Russians are not pleased with Israel's four military victories
It is highly possible that the Russians will finally decide that they cannot
defeat the Israelis through their Arab allies without personally engaging
them on the field of combat. This decision could be the one that summons
them to march against Israel.
2. Plunder, Spoil, and Wealth
In Ezekiel 38:12-13;NIV we read,
I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against
the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in
livestock and goods, living at the center of the land. Sheba and Dedan and
the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages will say to you, "Have you
come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off
silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much
These verses seem to suggest two important possibilities. One is that
the economic conditions of Israel are destined to improve and those of
the former Soviet Union deteriorate. We have already seen that, as a
result of the peace treaties made between the Jews and the Arabs,
Israel will experience a time of phenomenal material blessing, making
her an object of greed on the part of those who will again inevitably
be the Russian dictators.
As we see from daily news accounts, the future is not so bright for
Russia. One way in which God has manifested His displeasure with
Russia as a nation during the past six decades, lies in her total
economic failure under communism. The Crimea was known under
the czars as "the breadbasket of the world." The wheat harvested
there was bountiful and more than sufficient for the needs of the
Russian people; large quantities were exported to other nations of
Since the Russian Revolution, however, the severe weather of the
Soviet Union has worsened, producing some of the harshest winters
on record. Russia has become notorious for poor wheat crops - partly
because of the weather and partly because of the lack of motivation
among the Russian workers under communism.
Reports from Russia that scientists have desperately tried to
manipulate the weather are probably fraudulent; if they are true, they
give evidence that the scientific endeavors have not worked or have
even made the situation worse.
Economic judgment from God is destined to continue, bringing the
need to purchase increasing quantities of foreign grain. Again, daily
news accounts tell of their plight. It appears critical.
3. God's Sovereign Will
The primary reason Russia will invade Israel is that God has decreed
it. Ezekiel 38:3-4,8;NIV declares:
This is what the Sovereign Lord says ... 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
After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will
invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from
many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had
long been desolate. They had been brought out from
the nations, and now all of them live in safety.
Ezekiel 39:2;NIV adds: "I will turn you around and drag you along. I
will bring you from the far north and send you against the mountains
Why? "This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On that day thoughts
will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme" (Ezek.
The attack on Israel is conceived and mobilized by almighty God. This
implies that God will stir the Russians' greedy plan, fulfilling Ezekiel
38:4;NIV: "I will ... put hooks in your jaws and bring you out ......
In studying these two chapters of Ezekiel, I sense that God will pour
out His wrath upon Russia not only to demonstrate His power but also
to heap judgment on those who have persecuted human beings,
When will this happen? The prophetic scenario is plain: at a time
when Russia does not have Israel as her primary target. Russia's
major objective has admittedly been world conquest. One way in
which the Communists were consistent for the last seventy-four years
was in their implacable movement toward that primary objective.
God has proclaimed that He raises up whom He win and puts down
whom He will. (See Ezek. 21:26 and Dan. 4:24-25.) Even at the end
time, when Russia reigns as a superpower, God will still be in control
for He is able to "put hooks in her jaw" and lead her to obey His will.
4. A Matter of Safety
We have said that Israel is the third most powerful nation in the
world, particularly if we limit that assessment to nations within a
thousand miles of her homeland. Apart from world conquest, what
was the chief objective of the former Soviet Union? To conquer the
United States of America. Who is to say that quest was lost in the
recent changes - or if it was, that it won't be returned in a short time?
At present, no one really knows whether the United States
military forces are more powerful than Russian's or whether our
government leaders will have the moral courage and national will to
oppose Russia when these climactic events occur. Many
knowledgeable people believe that the mood in this country is so anti-
war as to be anti-self-defense. Our nation may prefer to capitulate
even to Communist domination rather than to fight.
My point, however, is that no one - not even the Russians - really
knows whether they would be victorious in a firststrike attack against
the United States, particularly after the incredibly accurate, pinpoint
bombing and the use of "smart weapons" during the attack on Saddam
Hussein, who was using Soviet-built equipment. Therefore, before
attacking the United States, they would surely attempt to nullify
military assistance from any other source on earth.
The government of Israel is pragmatic enough to know that if Russia
attacks the United States, Israel herself would be the next target.
Therefore, the Commonwealth of Independent States' military
leadership, headed by Russia, may theorize that an invasion of Israel
must precede a frontal assault on the leader of the Western world.
Consequently, an invasion of Israel may be just one more step in the
fulfillment of their objective of world conquest.
Russia's Allies in the Attack on Israel
The only war that Russia has ever fought alone, they lost - against
Afghanistan. We can be certain that the Russians will not invade
Israel alone. The prophet Ezekiel stipulates that they will bring "many
nations with you .... hordes gathered about you..." (Ezek. 38:6-7;NIV)
But, he also notes that Russia will be in command (38:7).
1. Persia, or Iran
Russia's confederates, as disclosed in Ezekiel 38:5-6, are among her
current friends. Those not in her orbit of friends at present are being
cultivated either secretly or openly. Hal Lindsey offers interesting
suggestions as to the identity of Russia's allies.
All authorities agree on who Persia is today. It is
modem Iran. This is significant because it is being
wooed to join the United Arab Republic in its hostility against Israel. The Russians are at this moment seeking to gain footholds in Iran by various overtures of aid.
Secret information coming out of Iran indicates the government is
shaky and could easily be toppled replacing it with a ruler favorable to
Russia and the eventual leaders. It would not be surprising to see
Russia invade Iran if it seemed necessary to achieve her ends,
particularly now that Iran is weakened militarily and economically
through her long war with Iraq.
In order to mount the large-scale invasion predicted by Ezekiel,
Russia would need Iran as an ally. It would be much more difficult to
move a large land army across the Caucasus Mountains that border
Turkey, than the Elburz Mountains that border Iran. Iran's general
terrain is also much easier to cross than Turkey's. Transportation,
however, will be needed through both countries.
2. Ethiopia or Cush (Black African Nations)
Ethiopia is a translation of the Hebrew word, "Cush." Cush was the
first son of Ham, one of the sons of Noah. Moses mentions "the land
of Cush" as originally being adjacent to an area near the Tigris and
Euphrates rivers (Gen. 2:13).
After examining many authorities on the subject, the writer
discovered once again why Dr. Gesenius is recognized as one of the
great scholars of history. Gesenius summarized all of the evidence as
follows: (1) The Cushites were black men. (2) They migrated first to
the Arabian peninsula and then across the Red Sea to the area south
of Egypt. (3) All the black people of Africa are descended from
Cush is translated "Ethiopia" twenty-one times in the King James
Version, which is somewhat misleading. It is certain that the ancient
Ethiopians (modem Abyssinia) are made up of Cushites, but they do
not represent all of them, according to history.
The sobering conclusion is this: many of the African nations will be
united and allied with the Russians in the
invasion of Israel. This is in accord with Daniels graphic description of
this invasion (Dan. 11:36-45).
The Russian force is called "the King of the North" and the sphere of
power that the African (Cush) will be a part of is called "the King of
One of the most active areas for the Communist "gospel" is in Africa.
As we see further developments in this area in the future, we realize
that many African nations will become converted to communism.
3. Libya or Put (Arabic African Nations)
Libya is the translation of the original Hebrew word, "Put." We have
the same problem pinpointing these people as with Cush. Put was the
third son of Ham (Gen. 10:6). The descendants of Put migrated to the
land west of Egypt and became the source of the North African Arab
nations, such as Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco. The first
settlement of Put was called Libya by the ancient historians, Josephus
and Pliny. The Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, called
the Septuagint, translates Put as Libya in about 165 B.C.
The conclusion is that Russia's ally, Put, certainly included more than
what is now called Libya. Once again, there are current events to
show the beginning of this alliance. The territory of Northern Africa is
becoming solidly pro-Soviet. Algeria appears to be already Communist
and allied with Russia.
As we watch this area in the next few years, we will see indications
that it is destined to join the southern sphere of power that will attack
Israel along with the "King of the North."
4. Gomer and All Its Hordes (Iron Curtain Countries)
Gomer was the eldest son of Japheth and the father of Ashkenaz,
Riphath, and Togarmah. These people make up an extremely
important part of the future Russian invasion force.
Dr. Young, citing the best of the most recent archaeological finds,
says of Gomer and his hordes, "They settled on the north of the Black
Sea, and then spread themselves southward and westward to the
extremities of Europe."
Gesenius speaks of part of Gomez's "hordes" as being Ashkenaz ". . .
the proper name of a region and a nation in northern Asia, sprung from
the Cimmerians who are the ancient people of Gomer. The modem
Jews understand it to be Germany, and call that country by this
Hebrew name - - . ."
Josephus called the sons of Ashkenaz' "the Rheginians," and a map of
the ancient Roman Empire places them in the area of modem Poland,
Czechoslovakia, and East Germany to the banks of the Danube River.
The modem Jewish Talmud confirms the same geographical picture.
The conclusion is that Gomer and its hordes are a part of the vast area
of modem Eastern Europe that was totally behind the Iron Curtain.
This includes East Germany and the Slovak countries.
5. Togarmah and All Its Hordes (Southern Russia and the
In Ezekiel 38:6;Amp. "the house of Togarmah... and all his hordes" are
specifically pointed out as being from "the uttermost parts of the north
and all his hordes." Dr. Bauman traces evidence of some of the sons
of Togarmah to the Turkoman tribes in central Asia. This would
explain the statement, "of the north quarters, and all his bands."
The conclusion is that Togarmah is part of modem South-Russia and is
probably the origin of the Cossacks and other people of the Eastern
part of Russia. It is interesting to note that the Cossacks have always
loved horses and have been recognized as producing the finest army
of cavalry in the world. Today, they are reported to have several
divisions of cavalry.
It is believed by some military men that cavalry will actually be used in
the invasion of the Middle East just as Ezekiel and other prophets
literally predicted. During the Korean War, the Red Chinese proved
that in rugged mountainous terrain, horses are still the fastest means of
moving a large attacking force into battle zones.
Isn't it a coincidence that such terrain stands between Russia and
6. Many People Are With You
Ezekiel indicates that he hasnt given a complete list of allies. Enough is
given, however, to make this writer amazed by the number of people
and nations that will be involved.
Ezekiel, prophetically addressing the Russian ruler, commands him to
"be prepared; yes, prepare yourself, you and all your companies that
are assembled about you, and you be a guard and commander for
them" (Ezek. 38:7;Amp.).
In other words, the Russian ruler is to equip his confederates with arms and to assume command. If you have doubts about all
that has been said in this chapter, isn't it a bit unnerving to note that
almost all of the countries predicted as part of this great army are
already armed with weapons created and manufactured in Russia or
her satellite nations?
What's Your Name, Gog?
We have seen that Russia will arm and equip a vast confederacy.
This powerful group of allies will lead an attack on restored Israel.
Russia and her confederates, however, will be destroyed completely
by an act that Israel will acknowledge as being from their God. This
act will bring many in Israel to believe in their true Messiah (Ezek.
Additional insight is found in the address delivered by the Rev. F. E.
Pitts before the U.S. Congress more than 135 years ago.
"Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north
quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee" (Ezek. 38:6).
"Gomer," another son of Japheth, settled farther down westward in
Europe; and has left his name entailed in Hungary, in a city and
country both known to this day as the city and country of Gomer.
"Togarmah," the son of Gomer, according to Cicero and Strabo not
only peopled a large portion of Western Europe but sent settlements
into Turcomania and Scythia in Russia.
Russia, then, according to the Scriptures, is the headship or leading
power around which the multitudinous armies of allied monarchy shall
be gathered together.
"Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and
helmet" (Ezek. 38:5).
Persia here represents the swarming hosts from the Asiatic
possessions; Ethiopia, Libya, and the armies's of Africa.
"Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to
cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee"
(Ezek. 38:9). The invasion is here announced by an armament
such as the world never saw. For the millions that are to assemble
under Gog or Russia embrace nearly all of Europe, as well as a large
portion of Asia and Africa. This army is drafted from three continents
to invade a fourth. It rises dismal as a cloud, and dreadful as a storm.
From all this we learn that a dominant leader, called Go& described
as the "chief prince of Rosh," is going to arise and lead Russia into a
vast northeastern confederation of nations including Iran, Ethiopia,
and other African nations, Germany, Armenia, possibly Turkey,
conceivably some orientals, and whoever else can be included with
the statement, "And many peoples with thee." This group of nations,
headed by Russia, will advance against Israel in the last days.
The Russian Invasion of Israel
Some. 2,500 years ago the Hebrew prophet Ezekiel described in
considerable detail the circumstances under which God-rejecting
Russia and her hordes of anti-Semitic nations would attempt to invade
the little nation of Israel.
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
After many days you will be called to arms In future years you will
invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were
gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had
long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and
now all of them live in safety. You and all your troops and the many
nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a
cloud covering the land.
You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations
with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army.
You win advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers
the land. In days to come, 0 Gog, I will bring
you against my land, so that the nations may know
me when I show myself holy through you before
their eyes (Ezek. 38:4,8-9,15-16;NIV).
There are two legitimate ways to interpret the kind of weapons used
in this prophecy - literally and symbolically. Bible-believing scholars
can be found on either side.
A literal interpretation of the passage suggests that modem methods
of warfare may someday become obsolete, and man will return to
primitive weapons. That is not as far-fetched as it may appear at first.
For years, electronic scientists have reportedly been working on heat-
ray devices that would have the capacity from many miles distant to
render metallic surfaces so hot they could not be touched.
If such an invention were produced by the West, Russia could not
invade Israel with tanks, bazookas, and modem weaponry. They
would have to resort to horses. Metal weapons would be replaced
with wooden; these would not be wooden swords and spears as used
in ancient days, but implements fashioned with enormous strength out
of basic wood materials seasoned with resin or lignostone, or other
chemically treated woods that already are used industrially and have
an amazingly long bum life.
If, on the other hand, the passage is to be taken symbolicaIly, the
prophet Ezekiel is merely describing implements of war in terms
meaningful to his contemporary audience. We must always remember
that the Bible was written to specific people at a specific time and
must therefore be meaningful to them. If the prophet Z500 years ago
had addressed himself to tanks, half-tracks, aircraft carriers, and
airplanes, no one would have understood what he meant.
Regardless which approach we take in interpreting this passage of
Scripture, Russia will mount a massive military attack on Israel, and
only God will be Israel's defense. God's supernatural intervention will
"The Hordes" Who join Russia in This Invasion
Russia almost never does anything alone. We have already seen that
when they pursue a goal unilaterally, as in Afghanistan, they get
bogged down in an endless war. That is
usually not Russia's style. Instead, she prefers to supply the military
technology and money to her satraps, such as the Palestine Liberation
Organization, Cuba, Syria, or Egypt. Consequently, when Russia
comes down to invade Israel, she will use Middle East hatred of the
Jews to her advantage and inveigle these nation to help her in the
This will probably be the most massive invasion army assembled in
the history of the world - all in opposition to Israel, a nation of less
than four million people. For the first time since World War IL Israels
friends will betray her.
Two Confederations of Nations
I am convinced, for two reasons, that the invasion described by
Ezekiel is not the Battle of Annageddon - warfare between Jesus
Christ and the nations - described in Revelation 16.
First, at this time there will be two leagues of nations: the northeastern
confederation that invades with Russia, and the western
confederation that has befriended Israel in the past.
Second, in Ezekiel's account only a certain number from the armies of
the world will march against the Jews. In the Battle of Annageddon,
am-des will come from all the countries of the world against Christ -
not Israel. Yet, while this warfare will not be the real Battle of
Armageddon, to the participants it will seem like it.
The Northeastern Confederation
We have already identified some of the nations that will join Russia.
Actually, five countries will constitute the northeastern confederation:
1. Russia, the instigator and leader;
2. Persia (Iran), if the former Soviets can somehow repair the breach
between Iraq and Iran, Iraq may also be included;
3. Ethiopia (Cush), which could involve Libya and representatives
from many other African nations;
4. Gomer (Germany) "and its hordes," now that Germany has been
unified, this is even more plausible;
5. Togarmah "and its hordes" - Armenia, which may well involve
Turkey and other nations or peoples remaining from the Turkish
Empire. Some diplomatic efforts are needed here, but remember, those allies have a common religion.
The Western Confederation
The western confederation of nations also appears in Ezekiel's prophecy.
Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages will say to
you, "Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to
carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much
plunder?" (Ezek. 38:13;NIV).
Who are these nations that greet force with diplomacy? There is little doubt that
the western confederation comprises the democracies of the West, principally
the United States, Great Britain, and Canada. "Sheba and Dedan and the
merchants of Tarshish" were the seafaring Phoenicians, many of whom migrated
to Europe, particularly the British Isles and
Spain. These countries, the colonizers of the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries, provide the only vigorous anti-Communist spirit in the world today.
The American Standard Version renders "Tarshish and her villages" in verse 13 as
"Tarshish and her young lions [or strong lions]." For this reason, many Bible
scholars identify America, Canada, Australia, and other western democracies as
the "cubs" of Great Britain and Spain, the colonizers of the West. Certainly, that is historically valid. Therefore, this probably does identify the nations of the prophecy. If the invasion were to take place in the decade of the nineties, the western democracies would qualify.
It stands to reason that Russia does not take the entire world with her against
Israel. At a time when two confederations of nations exist - basically still
Communist versus antiCommunist - Israel is allied with the anti-Communists, as
it is today.
Unfortunately for Israel, instead of meeting the gathering invasion horde with
force, the western democracies will confront it with diplomacy. This historically represents the weak response of the democracies in both the world wars and in almost every conflict since. Instead of sending help at the moment when Israel needs the support of her allies, they will send a diplomatic note (perhaps through
the United Nations) that essentially inquires of Russia and her hordes, "What are you going to do in little Israel - loot and carry away silver and gold, take away livestock and goods, and seize many riches?"
This may be the most breathtaking, dramatic moment in the history of modem
Israel. Until this time, Israel could depend at least on the United States of
I well recall an incident that occurred as I jogged along a Mediterranean beach
during one of my trips to Israel. A young English-speaking college student - an
Israeli - began to jog with me, and we started a conversation. As we discussed
Israel's victory in the Six-Day War, I asked if it ever occurred to him that Russia
might someday invade Israel herself instead of sending the Arab nations.
Pointing through the evening fog that was settling on the waters of the
Mediterranean Sea (where the U.S. Seventh Fleet sailed in military splendor), he
responded, "Oh, we're not worried about that; we know America would come to our rescue!"
He was right for it was our Patriot Missiles that saved Israel from
Saddam Husseine's Scud Missiles in the Persian Gulf War.
According to Ezekiel's prophecy, the day will come when Israel's
friends will not always come to her aid. When Russia's invasion
forces rattle their spears, the western democracies, including
America, will use the impotent instrument of diplomacy instead of the
one power that all terrorists, murderers, dictators, and lawless
individuals or nations understand: force.
In the history of the world, no nation except Switzerland has ever
enjoyed peace through weakness, and her peace was only an
accommodation by the militaristic nations of the world wars to
maintain free access to the exchange of money. All other nations
have found that peace comes exclusively through strength.
The use of diplomacy, at this strategic time in prophetic history, would
indicate that the Western democracies will continue to dissipate their
strength and military might while Russia builds her power base,
probably through unfair trading policies that permit Russia to rape the
technology of the West.
Nevertheless, when she finds herself confronted by her enemies and
betrayed by her allies, the little nation of Israel, who has not set her
heart toward God since returning to the Promised Land, will turn to
Him in desperation - and in that moment find Him a ready deliverer.
How God Delivers Israel
The scenario that develops at this point in our prophetic story is
exciting. Confronted by overwhelming forces from Russia and
forsaken by her friends, Israel will turn to God, and He will do for
modem Israel what He did for ancient Israel. As the God over all
forces, He will deliver Israel from the hands of the oppressor. As
certain as it is that Russia and her Middle East hordes will come down
against Israel, so certain is it that God will destroy the invading forces
and deliver Israel supernaturally.
The prophet does not leave us in doubt as to the methods that God will
use in this destruction. It is noteworthy that this is not the first time
they will have been used by the Almighty, for all of them have
precedence in the Old Testament.
1. A Mighty Earthquake
In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that
time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of
the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, every creature that
moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth
will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the
cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground (Ezek. 38:19-
Evidently, God permits the Russians and their hordes to begin an
airborne invasion while the infantry launches aground assault. But at a
strategic moment, He generates a powerful and destructive
earthquake that causes people to "tremble" at His presence. This
catastrophe will manifest the power of a supernatural God.
Earthquakes were, of course, used by God in ancient days; Amos 1:1
and Zechariah 14:5 recount the terrible earthquake that rocked the
land of Palestine in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah. It was no doubt
a special intervention of God that caused that earthquake.
Jesus predicted that earthquakes would be one of the signs of His
return and the end of the age (Matt. 24:7-8). The record shows that
we have experienced an alarming increase in earthquakes during the
past fifty years. One seismologist has stated that in each of the past
five decades, the number and severity of earthquakes have surpassed
the preceding decade. We should also remember that the Book of
Revelation predicts that during the first quarter of the Tribulation, a
mighty earthquake will create havoc throughout the entire world (Rev.
6:12-17). Another earthquake in the middle of the Tribulation will rock
the city of Jerusalem (Rev. 11:13), and still another at the end of the
Tribulation could well be the mightiest earthquake ever to shake the
earth (Rev.16:17-21). Consequently, it is not unlike God to use His
power to create earthquakes in defense of Israel when Russia's
armies come against her.
2. The Sword of the Lord
I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the
Sovereign Lord. Every mares sword will be against his brother (Ezek.
Nothing shakes man from his independence and false sense of
security like an earthquake, particularly one having
the magnitude that God will provide for Israel's deliverance. And
because Israel is no match for the invading hordes of military
personnel about to devour her, the Lord will confuse her enemies, and
they will do battle with each other. If they are using tanks, they will
train them on each other. If they are using airplanes, they will
dogfight against their own planes. Or if, as already indicated, they
have reverted to more primitive weapons of warfare, Israel's enemies
will skirmish among themselves rather than against their originally
One precedent for such an incredible event appears in Judges 7:8-22,
where the story is told of a large army becoming so confused that the
soldiers attacked each other and fled in fright from a mere three
3. Plague and bloodshed
I will execute judgment upon him with plague
and bloodshed ... (Ezek. 38:22;NIV).
History shows that plagues have often accompanied the wanton
killing of human beings in battle. Human carnage, blood, and the
remains of a battlefield breed disease. But in the case of Russia's
invasion of Israel, the plague seems to be something uniquely
manipulated by God to further destroy the effectiveness of the
The next judgment to befall the invaders is a plague-like pestilence
that causes much bloodshed. Pestilence associated with the aftermath
of war is similar to that foretold by our Lord in Matthew 24. Those
who survive the earthquake and the hand-to-hand combat will
certainly perish in the plague.
- I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones
and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on
the many nations with him (Ezek. 38:22;NIV).
The portion of the invading force that is left after the earthquake, the
fighting, and the plague will be destroyed by hailstones and burning
For those who interpret this verse literally, there are Old Testament
precedents both in the destruction God reigned down on Sodom and
Gomorrah and in some of the battles of Israel. For example, Joshua
10:11;NIV, states that when Joshua's
armies fought against the Amorites that "the Lord hurled large
hailstones down on them from the sky, and more of them died from
the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites."
This final stage in God's judgment on the invaders could create not
only a muddy terrain that would bog down any military advance but
also flooding conditions that would imperil human life.
5. Burning sulfur
The use of burning sulfur as a means of judgment recalls the
destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, with both earthquake and fire
and brimstone - that is, burning sulfur.
The troops who survive the other four judgments win die as a result
of the falling, burning sulfur. No wonder God says in Ezekiel 39:4;
NIV, "On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops
and the nations with you ......
These five judgments of God will result in the annihilation of the
armies of Gog and his allies. This will undoubtedly be the greatest
holocaust fulfilled in a single day in the history of the world. But, there
God Destroys the Spies "In the Isles"
You will fall in the open field, for I have spoken,
declares the Sovereign Lord. I will send fire on Magog
and on those who live in safety in the coastlands, and
they will know that I am the Lord (Ezek. 39:5-6;NIV).
As a special demonstration to the world of God's omnipotence,
Ezekiel gives an unusual prophecy. God will not only destroy the
entire army of Magog but also consume with fire those who "live in
safety in the coastlands." The word "coastlands" is understood by
Bible scholars to mean "the nations," some older translations render it
"in the isles."
Who would qualify as those who live in nations not involved in the
conflict? They could be individuals who live in safety or security on
islands, or this could refer to uninvolved coastland nations.
The verse probably refers to the many Communist spies and
sympathizers who live in the western democracies - who regularly
take advantage of their freedom by pursuing subversion for the cause of Moscow and the Kremlin. Such spies or
Communist infiltrators occupy many key positions throughout
America - in the bureaucracy, universities and colleges, and the media
- and subvert the minds of our citizens.
These people who have spent much of their adult life betraying the
country that gives them freedom and safety will suddenly be
consumed by fire. The United States will not have to reactivate the
House Un-American Activities Committees to administer justice.
Rather, the God who knows "the thoughts and intents of the heart"
will judge these traitors by fire.
We can only imagine the number of vacancies that will occur in one
day in the federal and state governments and in the three thousand
universities and colleges of America. In all likelihood, this same
judgment will create similar vacancies in Canada Australia, and the
British Isles. At the United Nations, divine fire judgment will suddenly
fall and reveal the identity of those who really are Communist spies or
sympathizers. Such an event will create electrifying headlines.
The World in Chaos - Time for the Antichrist
Can you imagine the chaos into which the world's nations will be
plunged the day after God destroys not only the invading armies of
Russia but also the Communist spies in the Western world? On the
one hand, the skeptical attitude of the secular humanists toward the
existence of God will suddenly be confronted with irrefutable
evidence of a supernatural God. There will be absolutely no other
explanation for these events. In addition, many trusted leaders in key
positions of influence will have been destroyed by fire because they
were traitors to their country.
Probably the greatest result of this chaos will be that Western
democratic leaders who survive will become the dominant leaders of
the world. The threat of worldwide communism will have been
destroyed in a single day, leaving Israel and the Western
confederation of nations in a world-dominating position.
We cannot be certain what will occur politically immediately after this
awesome event. But I believe that the rising tide of interest in world
government under the guise of the New World order will suddenly
find little opposition. Communism
will have been removed as a world threat - in reality rather than
merely in rhetoric as with the supposed changes that have taken place
in the former former Soviet Union. The humanistic politicians of the
world will naturally assume, therefore, that a one-world government -
within either the United Nations or its replacement - should provide
the solution to this planet's ills.
All this will prepare the way for the Antichrist to consolidate the
nations in preparation for the day when he signs a covenant with
Israel and ushers in the Great Tribulation period spoken of so
frequently by our Lord and the Hebrew prophets.
Of this we can be certain: all the world will momentarily stand in awe
of the supernatural God in heaven who, after more than 1900 years of
silence, has spoken in terms that even the most unbelieving can
understand. And the time of that coming destruction may not be too
It is my prayer that during the rapid organization of the New World
order government, millions of people who have been hood-winked by
secular humanism, rationalism, skepticism, and the New Age religions
will suddenly realize there is indeed a God in heaven and call upon Him in simple faith.