by Pastor Mike Taylor
Ezekiel 38:1 :”And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal:
4 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:”
As we read this prophecy written by Ezekiel some 2600 years ago during the Babylonian captivity, I have often wondered how the events spoken of by the prophet would be manifested in the end of days before the return of Jesus Christ for His church.
Ezekiel tells of a future invasion of Israel by a vast coalition of nations that surround it. it’s not hard to imagine that this invasion could be fulfilled in our lifetime, when we see events that are being fulfilled even as I write this.. Ezekiel 36-37 predicts a gathering of the Jews to the nation of Israel, which will be followed by this massive invasion. For 19 centuries the Jewish people were scattered throughout the world, and until May 14, 1948 there was no nation of Israel to invade. With the nation of Israel now a reality, the stage seems set for the war that will usher in the tribulation and the rise of the Antichrist; a war that will end with the destruction of Israel’s enemies by God Himself, and lead to the signing of a peace treaty with the Antichrist.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE CALLED GOG-MAGOG?
Question arises, who is the prophesied enemy of Israel called Gog-Magog in our Bible, and where do they live today? Looking at the passage we just quoted, the Hebrew word ‘rosh’ in verse 3 is identified with Russia, ‘Tubal’ with Tiblisi or Tobolsk (Turkey) and ‘Meshech’ with Moscow, therefore Gog and Magog refers to Russia and it's coalition of Islamic nations. This is one of the most commonly held views and is based on a different interpretation of the Hebrew word Rosh (used as a noun rather than adjective), similarities in the pronunciation of words, and the Greek translation of Rosh referring to a tribe of people found in what is now Russia.
(Given Russia’s obvious involvement in giving arms and technology to Iran and Syria, I believe they will be the major player in the attack if not actively involved in it.) Mark Steyn makes an interesting analogy of who the people of this coalition will be composed of. We know by scripture that it will probably be Russia, but who makes up the people of Russia? Mark Steyn wrote:
“There are ten million people in Moscow. Do you know how many of them are Muslim? Two and a half million. Or about a quarter of the population. The ethnic Russians are older; the Muslims are younger. The ethnic Russians are already in net population decline; the Muslim population in the country has increased by 40% in the last 15 years. Seven out of ten Russian pregnancies (according to some surveys) are aborted; in some Muslim communities, the fertility rate is ten babies per woman. Russian men have record rates of heart disease, liver disease, drug addiction and Aids; Muslims are the only guys in the country who aren’t face down in the vodka. Faced with these trends, most experts extrapolate: thus, it’s generally accepted that by mid-century the Russian Federation will be majority Muslim. But you don’t really need to extrapolate when the future’s already checking in at reception. The Toronto Star (which is Canada’s biggest-selling newspaper and impeccably liberal) recently noted that by 2015 Muslims will make up a majority of Russia’s army. . . . What will happen in Russia? A remorseless evolution into a majority Muslim state? Bosnian-style civil war? The secession of a dozen or so of Russia’s 89 federal regions? A Muslim military coup? Or a panicky attempt to arrest decline by selling off your few remaining assets, including national resources to the Chinese and nukes to anyone who wants them? None of us knows, but we should know enough to know we don’t know. The Russia of 15 years ago is already ancient history. . . . By 2050, Russia will be the umpteenth Muslim nuclear power, but the first with a permanent seat on the UNSC. | Mark Steyn “The Bear Goes Walkabout,” marksteyn.com. 2/2/07
Imagine that. The great Muslim bear poised to the north of Israel. Assuming the accuracy of these facts, or even anything close, one can see another explanation for Russia’s participation in the Islamic invasion of Israel in the end times. Russia will lead this Islamic invading force, because Russia itself will be dominated by Muslims. This is something that no one could have envisioned even a decade or two ago. Yet, it appears to be happening right before our eyes. No wonder why Russia is aligned with the likes of Iran, Syria, and other Islamic countries in the Middle East. Of course, it is about military might, but ethnic and religious links strengthen the idea of an Islamic invasion due to the hatred of the people against Israel. And Russia has always been Anti-Semitic in the past, and will be even more rabid in the future.
DON'T GET CONFUSED
Some people get confused when reading scripture and connect the Gog-Magog description noted in Revelation chapter 20 and erroneously connect Ezekiel 38 as being the same as the people mentioned in our last book of the Bible. But it's not the same people in both passages. How do we know this? The war at the end of the tribulation, known as Armageddon, is a world war. Revelation tells us that this battle will involve all nations. The war described in Ezekiel includes specific nations that invade Israel. Also, Armageddon is at the climax of the tribulation, while the war described in Ezekiel comes well before then. So they are two different wars, but are both attempting to destroy Israel, before the Tribulation and at the end of the Millennium .
What is the purpose of God bringing this vast array of military might against the tiny nation of Israel before the Tribulation begins? Ezekiel gives us the answer after identifying the actors in this regional war.
Ezekiel 15 “And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:
16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.”
God will reveal Himself to the nations round about Israel, that indeed, there is a God in Israel who saves His people. It will bring glory and honor to our God who steps back into the history of mankind and makes himself real in the eyes of the world, and especially Israel...Ezekiel continues:
18 “And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face.
19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;
20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.
21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord God: every man's sword shall be against his brother.
22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.
23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord.”
This will be a devastating war for the army who dares come against Israel and tries to take His land given to His chosen people. There will be no mistake who has defeated this overwhelming force, as God will strike the invading army with what can only be attributed to Divine intervention. Ezekiel chapter 39 continues the carnage that befalls this coalition of nations:
2 “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:
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.”
God tells Ezekiel that He will utterly destroy this invading army and leave only 1/6 of these people left alive. He will destroy upwards of 85% of this army. If a million Islamic forces come against Israel from all sides, then God will destroy 850,000 of them, hypothetically in dealing with numbers to make this real to you. And from what I can determine, the plagues that befall this army will follow those who survive and return to their homelands, their native countries and the carnage continues. In what form? Maybe in disease, radiation poisoning, sickness and eventual death of those who survived the war brought to Israel?? It will be an awakening to not only the heathen of the nations, but to Israel herself, as she realizes that the God of her Fathers is still very much alive. This war of complete near total destruction of this invading army will bring Israel to clamor for the rebuilding of their long awaited Temple and a overwhelming desire to enter into a blood covenant of worshiping the God of Israel, Yahweh, (YHWH) by resuming animal sacrifices. It will bring to fruition a treaty between the nations of the world who have envisioned a two state solution upon Israel, dividing the land between Israel and the Palestinians as Israel will be allowed to rebuild the 3rd Temple, even on the Temple Mount, or possibly in the archaeological known site in the City of David to it's immediate south. But a Temple will be rebuilt and this treaty will usher in the Tribulation of 7 years and the Anti-Christ revealed.
GOG-MAGOG (RUSSIA) MOVES INTO SYRIA!!
If you've been following the news reports, you know that the Russian bear has moved its military muscle into Syria. Many reports show that Russia has established a “beach head” in the government stronghold of Latakia with T-90 tanks, Russian warplanes, and strategic missiles of air to surface and anti-aircraft with boots on the ground. They claim to be supporting the government of the Assad regime by fighting the rebels and ISIS in the region. Is this not an overkill, when ISIS or the rebels do not have an air force needing surface to air missiles, and why the anti-aircraft armaments? I believe what we are seeing is an excuse to inject the Russian military into the affairs of the Middle East and taking residence just to the north of Israel, as a clue of something bigger they have in mind.
What could that be?
It was reported that old man Vladdy Putin, made an offer to Israel to enter into an alliance with Israel to protect their up and coming gas and oil fields called Leviathan off the Mediterranean coast in Israeli waters. Of course, being a “so called ally” of the United States, Israel respectfully declined. I use that quote as tongue in cheek, as the friendship and being an ally of the USA is in dire peril from the “idiot in chief” in the White House and his Democratic party. Israel is all but been abandoned by their once trusted friend with the new Iran deal that the POTUS cooked up to sell out Israel with a nuclear equipped Iran. Israel is all but surrounded by hostile enemies. She is surrounded to her north by Syria aided by the former Soviet Union, Russia the wounded bear who needs the cash inflow that a large oil and gas deposit could provide them, as was the reason that Russia made the offer for a partnership in developing this energy sector of Israel. Then to the north-east by Iran who has vowed the annihilation and a well placed atomic bomb would fit the bill nicely. To the immediate east, by Jordan who is becoming more hostile over the Temple Mount and the Palestinian riots and alleged Israeli aggression to stop these riots. To the south, Saudi Arabia who being the center of Islam, hates Israel and would join any military power that promises the destruction of Israel. To it's west, Hamas in Gaza and Egypt with it's Muslim Brotherhood, would be quick to form an alliance with an attack spearheaded by Russian guarantees of victory.
EZEKIEL'S PROPHESIED WAR ON THE HORIZON
As you should be able to plainly see, the coalition prophesied by the prophet Ezekiel is right in front of the headlines of our newspapers and on our TV sets solidifying every day. But what does that mean for the person who is watching this drama play out in our modern times? It has always been my belief that Ezekiel's prophesy concerning the Gog-Magog invasion of Israel bumps up to the removal of the church from this planet. Why do I say that? Because the event will be so destructive and no one dares come against Israel, as her “Secret Weapon” has displayed His power for the whole world to witness and there can be no doubt that the world must regroup if it plans on fighting another day. That's a another reason why I think this coalition that was Muslim in it's ethnicity, even to it's leader, Russia the Bear, will do as Muslims always have done, feign submission to the adversary, until you become stronger than them and then attack later. Hence a treaty will be brought to make a “false peace” with Israel by a newly elected leader from the remnant of the Roman Empire, the Anti-Christ. And if the Anti-Christ is revealed at this time, the church is not on this earth. The Bible plainly states that in 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2:2
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only HE WHO NOW LETTETH WILL LET, UNTIL HE BE TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY. (my emphasis)
8 And THEN shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
Verse 7 identifies that the Holy Spirit, which I believe Paul speaks of will be removed out of the way, so that lawlessness, and the rule of Satan on this earth will be allowed with nothing holding him back. Oh, the Holy Spirit will still be here on earth, but back to Pre-Pentecostal involvement with mankind, and not in the fullness that was given to those who are saved by grace, the Church of Jesus Christ. Jesus said that He would send a Comforter to us, and He would never leave us alone. John chapter 14:
16 “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
Paul referred back to this, when he wrote to the Hebrews in chapter 13:
5 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
Point of these quoted verses, that if Jesus said He would never leave us comfortless, and He would never leave us alone, then if the Holy Spirit is being removed from this earth and being “drawn back' to pre-Pentecostal levels, then to leave His Church on this earth to endure the Tribulation and subject to Satan's all out wrath, would make Jesus a liar, and we know He cannot lie.
Do you not see the connection between what is a happening in Syria with the Russian presence to the north of Israel's border, is bumping up to the coming war prophesied by Ezekiel? Do you not see that this is the precursor to the revealing of the Anti-Christ by a treaty made with Israel? Beforehand, we will hear our call by the trump of God and the voice of an arch-angel to our Heavenly Home to be with Jesus forever and ever!!
How long will the interval be between this devastating war fought on the mountains of Israel and this treaty? (I use the word “fought”, as this is not a fight, as God will decimate this force, and there will be no fight, except against each other). We don't know the amount of time, but in my mind, it's not a long period of time, as Israel moves to rebuild her Temple and nobody is going to stop her, so a 7 year treaty will be enacted and Israel will believe she has been saved by a politician she looks to as her “political messiah” to protect her nation and her sovereignty, provided “safety and security”.
I could point to many other factors, not just this one, that paints the picture that we indeed, in the final days of the Church remaining on this earth. As I have covered many recent messages, this is but one of the ingredients of this end of days evil brew that is being revealed in our time. The news is full of end time details that are forming right now. All it will take is Ezekiel's prophecy to be fulfilled and then the Anti-Christ will be revealed upon the world scene and Revelation chapter 6 will begin with Jesus opening seal 1-6. This my friends is the beginning of the Tribulation. So let's recap and put these in order:
1. Russian and the Islamic coalition is forming right now in the Middle East
2. Vladmir Putin wants the gas and oil found in the Middle east, and Israel .
3. Russian has taken it's military to Syria on a pretense of defending Assad.
4. Russia has brought more armament than is necessary to defeat ISIS/rebels.
5. Russia has warplanes, anti-aircraft missiles, and tanks to wage a larger war.
6. Russia is identified in scripture as the leader of the Gog-Magog invasion.
7. Gog-Magog will invade Israel with Islamic coalition with superior forces.
8. God will decimate and near totally destroy this coalition on Israel's mountains.
9. Those who survive the war of Ezekiel 38-39 will carry the plague back home.
10. Israel will insist on rebuilding their 3rd temple and resuming animal sacrifices.
11. A charismatic leader will step forward to make a treaty with Israel.
12. The treaty will allow Israel to rebuild her long awaited temple in short order.
13. Revelation chapter 6 will begin with the Tribulation of the 1st 3.5 years.
14. Before this treaty is signed, and the AC revealed, the Church will be removed.
15. How much time from now till all of the above is fulfilled?
If you read and ponder each point, you can envision this time element to move very rapidly from today. All it takes is for Putin to have an evil thought and plan for Israel's invasion. Ezekiel:
10, “Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
11. And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
1. To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.”
I believe Putin, which may be Gog in the flesh, has already thought the evil thought and is making plans to implement his plans in the near future. That's how close I believe we are to seeing this prophecy being fulfilled and seeing Jesus coming with a loud trumpet call, 1st Corinthians:
51 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”
To all who read this, the coming of our Lord Jesus could be in the next breath you take. The signs of His soon return are plain as the nose on your face. We cannot deny that the setting is being set for the end of this age, the Church Age, or the end of the Age of Grace. What is coming is beyond horrific, beyond your imagination, and will be the worst time in all of mankind's history of rebellion against a Holy God. Jesus said it would be so in Matthew 24:
21 “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.”
For any sane person who understands what I have just briefly covered, this world you now live in will become literally, hell on earth. Many people will die, probably even you, should you enter into the time known as the Tribulation and the Great Tribulation. Many will be saved through it, but many will depart from God into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth...but in the end, 80% upwards will die during this 7 short years. Think of it for a moment. There are 7-8 billion people on this earth now, give or take a few million and 80% or roughly 6 billion people will die in 7 short years. Can you imagine it? Would you want to live it? Or die ?
And the simple answer to those questions, is you don't have to. God made a way for us to get victory over sin, death, hell and the grave. He is called Jesus Christ. Humble yourself and call out to Him in repentance from sinning against a Holy God, for all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God, as Paul wrote in Romans 3:23.
Believe on the Lord Jesus and embrace the focus of the entire bible.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Those verses are your beginning solid foundation to start becoming conformed to the image of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Messiah. From there, get in the book you may have sitting on a dusty shelf and read what God expects of each of us. Live like it's your last day on earth, for brethren, it just might be....the end of this age is in sight.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying for your salvation. If you need prayer, counseling, or just a friendly ear, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit me online at www.churchofgod-usa.org, for more biblical instructions in God's Holy Word. God bless you all,
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET