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Will Russia
Attack Israel?

False teachers have circulated the notion in many church circles that Russia will invade Israel (in Palestine) in our time, BEFORE Jesus’ coming. Their belief is based upon a misunderstanding of the timing of events mentioned in Ezekiel 38 and 39. It is a fallacy that is widely believed.

Some little-known aspects of Bible prophecy are:

1) The identity of modern Israel.
2) The timing of when Russia will invade Israel.
3) When Gog will be buried (Ezek 39:11 ff).

When Russia Invades Israel

After many days you [descendants of Gog, Magog, Rosh, Meshech, Tubal] will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely (Ezek 38:8).

You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you (Ezek 38:9).

The underlined words are keys to grasping the timing of this prophecy. I will explain in a moment.

It is a widely held view that Ezekiel 38 depicts an invasion of the little nation state of Israel by Russia before Jesus’ coming, but it is wrong.

I don’t argue with the common identification of Gog, Magog, Rosh, Meshech and Tubal as peoples of the north-east (from Palestine’s vantage point). I’m persuaded that there are good reasons, etymological and ethnic, for believing that:

  • Gog (leader) and Magog could refer to Mongol (Asiatic) people and others in the vicinity, and that

  • Russia may be derived from Rosh, and that,

  • Moscow and Muscovites may be linked to Meschech.

But to say that Israel, in Palestine today, fulfils the biblical prophecy of ‘Israel’ in Ezekiel 38 and 39 is a gross error. Who the biblical ‘Israel’ is today is explained in our booklet The Identity of Britain and America. Relatively few believe it, but it is a fact that those modern nations are the primary progeny of Israel – not in their entirety, of course, but in a major proportion of their indigenous population.

Several facts of revelation indicate when this attack against Israel comes. The best interpretation of Bible prophecy is in the Bible itself. God has given us the key. It’s in Revelation 20. Notice:

Now, when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.

They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them (Rev 20:7-9).

Gog and Magog invade Israel AT THE END OF THE MILLENNIUM. That’s why Ezekiel 38:8 says “in the latter years” and “after MANY days”. In God’s plan for man you can’t get many more days than the end of the Millennium, the 1,000 years when Jesus rules earth as King of kings.

Notice also the other underlined words in Ezek 38:8 – Israel will be brought back from the sword and gathered from many people. Israel today does not fulfil that condition. They have not been rescued by God from war, from being conquered and taken captive into many nations. That is what is about to happen to Britain, America, and other people whose ethnic lineage is Israelite. We are nearly at the time of the Great Tribulation (Matt 24:21), when these main players on the world scene are occupied and taken over by Gentiles.

The capping is put on the prophecy by the words: now all of them dwell safely, as also in 38:14 where it is repeated. Israel today does NOT dwell safely. She is surrounded by enemies, especially Iran, who wants to wipe her off the face of the earth!

Restored Israel in the Millennium will be at peace, in “unwalled villages” “having neither bars nor gates” (Ezek 38:11). That is not Israel’s position today. Look at the wall that Israel has erected to keep Palestinian suicide bombers out of Israel’s towns! No, it is a Millennial prophecy.

At that time of total restoration and peace, Israel will reinhabit “the waste places” (38:12). All the desert (“waste places”) between the Euphrates and Nile is Israel’s original territory. They will return there.

God will bring them back to their own land through a mighty deliverance, matching the Red Sea crossing from Egypt (Jer 16:14; 3:18).

Israel (Israelites from all tribes) and Judah (the Jews, one tribe of Israel) will be reunited (Ezek 37:22) in Palestine, with one king over them. That is not going to happen this side of Jesus’ return. Jesus will be world ruler, and David will be Israel’s king (37:24).

The false teachers who have promoted the pre-Millennial Russian invasion theory don’t grasp those prophetic facts. They don’t put the prophecy into its right timescale or proper perspective.

Ezekiel’s prophecies show that all this is to take place AFTER the whole nation is converted (Ezek 36:24-38). That’s why God calls Israel “My land” and “My people” in verse 16. The Israel you see today in Palestine is not God’s people. He is not their God. They are a secular nation like all others.

The culmination of Ezekiel’s 38 prophecy is this:

Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself. And I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord (38:23).

God is not magnified or sanctified in the eyes of the “many” today. He is not known by whole nations. That won’t take place until after Jesus returns to take full control of human affairs.

Ezekiel 38 ends on that note, and chapter 39 begins a separate prophecy, in another timescale. Ezekiel 39 is for our time, fulfilling Jesus’ axiom that the last shall be first.

A Common Misunderstanding

The misconception about the timing of Rosh’s invasion of Israel is linked to another widely held misunderstanding:

Confirming The Covenant: Dan 9:27

A major misunderstanding surrounds the subject of Daniel 9:27. Who is the 'he' mentioned there? Numerous preachers and 'prophecy experts' declare (as per Bullinger) that it refers to a coming 'prince', a human ruler who will make a pact with Israel [in the ‘holy’ land] for seven years and then break it in the middle of that time, causing sacrifices to cease.

That's not what it is referring to at all. The 'he' of verse 27 refers back to 'the Anointed One' or 'Messiah' of verse 26 – Jesus. HE was the one who 'confirmed' a covenant for 7 years (the New Covenant) and was 'cut off' after the stated 69 weeks, and who caused sacrifice (temple sacrifices) to cease in the middle of the 'prophetic week' of 7 years (9:26). His physical ministry lasted 3½ years, after which He died, paying the price of sins. Thus He brought "an end to [Old Covenant] sacrifice and offering" (9:27) by His death.

This subject of the 70 weeks' prophecy is quite involved, so may I recommend that you read the separate article by that title? (It is also included in Understanding The Book of Revelation [£7.00].) (Daniel’s Prophecies For Our Time! p 48.)

This Bible footnote further illustrates the error:

Ezekiel’s conflict of Gog and Magog should be placed in the midst of Daniel’s 70th week (Dan 9:24-27). [Not so!!] Israel is at peace in the land (v 14), having [made] a certain covenant with the ruler of the western confederation (Dan 9:27). The northern confederacy, sensing an easy prey, will descend upon Israel, forcing the prince of the covenant (Dan 9:27) to break that covenant and invade Israel (Dan 11:45). (NKJV Believer’s Study Bible, footnote on Ezek 38.)

What error! What confusion!

A major reason for the problems is that Bible scholars are trying to find out all that is needed from the Bible. But God doesn’t provide all the details in the Bible about what is to occur. Nor can you work it all out by your own intellect. Prophetic revelation from God is needed today to amplify what is in the Bible.

This is where true prophets come in. God gives them the extra little ‘bits and pieces’ to complete the picture (as much as God means us to know for now).

Ezekiel 39

Ezekiel 38 and 39 are separate prophecies.

God told a modern prophet, Henry Gruver, that Russia will attack Britain this side of the Millennium. Prince Charles also featured in the vision, as did the Russian General Lebed, showing that it is for our time, NOW! The full account is given in Revelations From God About The Judgement Of Britain (Jud).

I believe Ezekiel 39 pertains to our time now. What is about to happen to Britain is detailed in The Prophecies Of Hosea Concerning Britain.

The outcome is predicted in Ezekiel 39. Notice:

So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore. Then the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel (39:7).

The purpose in God allowing terrible disasters to occur is for people to see the end result of their own wrong ways and to experience the effects of evil, that they may be humbled, come to repentance, and turn to God.

After God defeats the Asiatic warmongers, the massive stock of weaponry will be dismantled and recycled. It will take 7 years to do so! (39:9.)

Likewise, it will take 7 months to bury the dead after the Chinese / Russian occupation (39:12) which could refer to the invasion of America as per Gruver’s vision of submarines attacking America, and Dumitru Duduman’s vision of China conquering America (in The Imminent Fall Of America). Remember also that the description of weaponry (39:9,10) may be representative. Ezekiel would see the weapons of his day. Modern counterparts are guns, armoured vehicles, tanks, battleships, missiles, etc..

Several prophetic facts point to Ezekiel 39 being a prophecy for this day and not post-Millennial:

  • The burial place in Israel for Gog (39:11). In contrast, at the end of the Millennium, the rebellious will be destroyed by fire (Rev 20:9; Ezek 38:22).

  • The land is to be cleansed to live in (39:12-16).

  • The description in Ezek 39:17-20 matches that in Rev 19:18, concerning Jesus’ coming; and in Rev 16:12-16 regarding the kings of the east being finally defeated at Armageddon.

  • Israel will be brought back from exile (39:25).

  • The whole nation of Israel will know God then from that day forward (39:22), i.e. During Jesus’ reign.

  • Gentile nations will also then understand why Israel had gone into captivity (39:23).

  • Because Israel will hallow God’s name (39:27).

  • And will have received His Spirit (39:29), after they have borne shame for their unfaithfulness (39:26).

Malcolm B Heap, December 2007

Copyright: Midnight Ministries, PO Box 29, Aylesbury, HP17 8TL, UK