News today continues to prove Bible prophecy truth. Stage-setting for fulfillment of things foretold to come moves forward.
In the realm of setting the stage for the horrific wars that are predicted at the windup of the days leading to Christ’s return, the prophet Ezekiel’s words are front and center:
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, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands: and many people with thee. (Ezekiel 38:1–6)
Dr. Harry A. Ironside, one of the most recognized of those who had a literal, futurist view of Bible prophecy, wrote the following early in the twentieth century:
In the last days, the final head of the Russian people will look with covetous eyes upon the great developments in the land of Palestine. They will determine that Russia must have her part of the wealth there produced. Consequently, we have the picture of a vast army, augmented by warriors from Persia, Cush, Phut, marching down toward Palestine.
Dr. Jack Van Impe, who recently went to be home with the Lord, wrote the following about Ezekiel’s prophecy:
There is no need to marshal the scholars of the past to confirm the place or purpose of this war. Ezekiel explained:
“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 it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.” (Ezek. 38:8).
What a clear and up-to-date description of Israel! She is certainly the land that is brought back from the sword—gathered out of many people—a former wasteland—brought forth out of the nations. (“The Coming War with Russia,” Dr. Jack VanImpe, Perhaps Today magazine)
There is little question that Russia is the nation or people of Rosh, as Ezekiel terms it, which will be the lead nation in the Gog-Magog assault. Its chief prince, i.e., its leader, will be the leader of the coalition that will invade Israel. The reason, according to the prophet, will be to take “spoil.” That is, they will desire to plunder Israel’s wealth.
It is rational to ask what could induce a coalition of nations to conspire to do such a thing in these days of nuclear weaponry. Israel reportedly has one of the top nuclear arsenals in terms of number of weapons. It would be foolhardy to attack as described in Ezekiel 38 and 39. This is especially a relevant question since Israel has demonstrated on many occasions that it will defend its territory. And, in modern times, it has never lost!
Ezekiel gives the reason Gog gets the evil thought. It is apparently because Israel will be dwelling in “unwalled villages.” That is, it will be without defense, as walls were for the defense of nations in so-called Bible times.
But there is the factor also of that matter of Gog’s “evil thought” including, apparently, the knowledge that there are “spoils” to be garnered by such an attack. It must be that the “spoil” is desperately needed for some reason.
Now we consider the way things are shaping in the Middle East in these times. One must concede they are strange, I think. Never has there been a world completely shut down because of something proven to be not much more than a flu bug with somewhat of an extra bite.
So, with these strange times and all other considerations we’ve discussed in these commentaries many times, it is prudent to ask whether the Gog-Magog war might be in view.
It is my opinion that this assault won’t take place until after the Rapture of the Church. My belief revolves around a number of factors covered before. Space here doesn’t allow that we go over that territory again.
So what do we see in the news at the moment that might be setting the stage for the Gog-Magog war, which the Lord Himself will win for Israel?
A quick look at the three major players in that coalition and one more minor nation involved in the attack will help clue us.
The first news item involves Iran, Israel’s chief Middle East enemy of dangerous proportion. Iran, of course, covers much of what was Persia in Ezekiel’s time.
Iran will support any nation or group that fights Israel, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday, ahead of this week’s annual observance of Quds (Jerusalem) Day to express support for Palestinians.
We will support and assist any nation or any group anywhere who opposes and fights the Zionist regime, and we do not hesitate to say this,” Khamenei said in a post on his official English-language Twitter account.
Iran, Israel’s arch-enemy in the Middle East, has been a key supporter, along with Russia, of President Bashar al-Assad during Syria’s civil war, sending military advisers as well as material and regional Shi’ite militias. (“Iran: Will Support Any Nation or Group That Fights Israel Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei Launches Threat,” Reuters, May 22, 2020)
The second story brings into view a major and a minor player as listed by Ezekiel. These two nations, close in proximity in military affairs, prove they’re already closing in on conflict that might bring Libya totally into the Turkish orbit. The way things go with strongmen bullying and bashing their way around in the region, it might be just a matter of time before joint battle strategy is forthcoming.
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said Haftar’s LNA received warplanes with ‘foreign support’ [File: Cem Ozdel/Anadolu]
Turkey has warned that attacks on its interests in Libya by renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar’s forces will have “grave consequences” after advances by the country’s Turkish-backed government.
Ankara has provided military support to the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya, which has been battling to fend off a year-long offensive by Haftar’s forces to take control of the capital Tripoli.
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy on Thursday said Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) had received warplanes with “foreign support” and that they had vowed to target Turkish positions in Libya with an air campaign.
“In the event Turkish interests in Libya are targeted, this will have very grave consequences,” Aksoy said on Thursday, adding that the LNA’s statements were “delusional.” (“Grave Consequences: Turkey Warns Libya’s Haftar Against Attacks | Turkey News, Al Jazeera May 21, 2020)
The third nation in the news will lead the coalition against God’s chosen people, according to Ezekiel. Russia, already strapped for cash because of falling petroleum and natural gas prices and myriad other economic woes, was hit harder by the COVID-19 crisis than has been reported.
MOSCOW (Reuters)—Russia’s economy could contract by more than 8% in the second quarter of 2020, central bank governor Elvira Nabiullina said on Friday, adding that the bank would revise its most recent gross domestic product forecast.
Nabiullina said cutting Russia’s benchmark interest rate by 100 basis points from 5.5% will be considered in June.
On inflation, Nabiullina said the bank’s year-end forecast was 3.8-4.8%, with peak annual inflation expected in the summer. (“Russian GDP Could Fall by More than 8% Second Quarter 2020, Nabiullina, May 22, 2020)
Russia’s Gross National Product figures are dismal and scheduled to get much, much worse. Israel is all but certain to pick up Russian clients in Europe and elsewhere because of tremendous finds in and around Israel. Could it all have to do with the “evil thought” the Russian leader of that day will have, thus bring Russia, Turkey (Togarmah), Iran (Persia), and Libya down over the mountains of Israel to take “great spoil”?