Is Russia’s “land grab” part of a prophecy in the Bible? Is Russia going to be a major player in end-times prophecy?
Who is Magog in the Bible?
Magog was a grandson of Noah so this name has been around for a very long time. He and his descendants migrated north toward northern Asia and southeast Europe. Magog is also mentioned in Revelation 20:7-9 when
“the thousand years (of the millennium) are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them.”
Since Magog has been around since early in human history it is only fitting that they are part of the close of human history as recorded in the Bible. Magog apparently will try to overcome Jesus Christ Himself and Satan will be leading them (Rev 20:7-8) so Magog will be found fighting for the wrong side!
Who is Gog in the Bible?
Apparently, Gog are the people and the land is Magog because in Ezekiel 32:2-3 the prophet wrote,
“Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech [or “Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech] and Tubal, and prophesy against him and say, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech[or“Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech] and Tubal.”
Some Bible scholars believe that Mescheh is another name for Moscow but I disagree because Mescheh is located near the ancient city-states of Tubal, Magog, Togamah, and Gomer but this is not where the Russian Federation is located. The nations Ezekiel mentions are in Asia Minor. The question is, will Russia eventual extend its reach to this area as well? At present, they are just north of this area, just across from the Black Sea. Whether this is going to be part of the Russian Federation or a cooperative work with the world’s largest military, China, no one can be 100% certain and only time will tell. One thing that we do know is that
“Gomer and all his hordes; Beth-togarmah [will come] from the uttermost parts of the north with all his hordes [and] after many days you will be mustered. In the latter years you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land whose people were gathered from many peoples upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste” (Ezk 38:6, 8).
At that time, they
“will come from your place out of the uttermost parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great host, a mighty army. You will come up against my people Israel, like a cloud covering the land. In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes” (Ezk 38:15-16).
Could the “uttermost parts of the north” mean the farthest parts of the north? If you draw a line straight north from where Tubal, Magog, Togamah, and Gomer were, you end up you in Russia!
Talk about a mass funeral that is coming for Gog and Magog. This will be the world’s biggest and bloodiest war in human history and they will be fighting (and losing) against God Who
“will give to Gog a place for burial in Israel, the Valley of the Travelers, east of the sea. It will block the travelers, for there Gog and all his multitude will be buried. It will be called the Valley of Hamon-gog [literally, the “multitude of Gog]. For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land. All the people of the land will bury them, and it will bring them renown on the day that I show my glory, declares the Lord God. They will set apart men to travel through the land regularly and bury those travelers remaining on the face of the land, so as to cleanse it. At [or “until”] the end of seven months they will make their search. And when these travel through the land and anyone sees a human bone, then he shall set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon-gog. (Hamonah [literally “multitude”] is also the name of the city.) Thus shall they cleanse the land” (Ezk 39:11-12).
There will be so many dead bodies strewn in the valley that they must bury them in order for anyone to pass through. The Russian Federation has one of the largest military forces in the world and so if Gog or Magog is Russia and the Chinese joined together, it would not be surprising that dead bodies will block access through the valley because there’ll be millions upon millions of casualties with bodies piled upon bodies.
Gog and Magog Prepare for Battle
Revelation 20:8-9 says that
“Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them”
so even if Russia is Gog or Magog and is joined by China or other nations, it will not end well for them or for anyone that is not saved because
“all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Lord God. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur” (Ezk 38:20b-23).
Are Gog and Magog the same people or nations? It doesn’t seem so because in Ezekiel’s prophecy, Gog is destined to be the leader of a great army that attacks the land of Israel. Gog is described as “of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal” which may mean that they are not the same people exactly but they do appear together in purpose. When Gog and Magog join forces it seems that they are joining together in the battle against the Lord God during the Tribulation. Needless to say, they will not win for if “God is for us, who can be against us” (Rom 8:31) just as if God is against someone, who can stand (Ex 3:14)?
Another Cold War Coming?
Is Russia heading back to the Communist nation that it previously was? Are the tentacles of the former Soviet Union going to start spreading eastward towards Europe and the republics that were previously part of the Soviet Union? It would seem that way. For Christians, there is no need to worry about end time events. There is only need to pray for those who have not yet trusted in the God of history for all history is His-story! One thing we know for sure; God is in control. Nothing takes Him by surprise. He pours His prophecies into the mold of history and nothing can break the mold.
We don’t need to be waiting for anything to happen in prophecy before Christ returns because He could return at any second…and He may! There is nothing that needs to happen next in prophecy before His second appearing. Don’t fix your eyes on prophecy but fix your eyes upon your Redeemer for your redemption is drawing near (Luke 21:28). If a person has not repented and trusted in Christ by the time He returns, there will only be a fearful judgment that they will face. Revelation 20:11-15 is a serious warning for all who have not yet been born again, “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Which book is your name recorded in? The book of life or the other book Jesus first opens?
Let me make a prediction. If you are not saved before Jesus’ Second Advent, then your name will not be found in the book of life…it will be in the books where you will be judged and condemned. While you are reading this, there is yet time for you to choose to believe (2 Cor 6:2). Jesus Himself tells all who will listen “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36).
Another Reading on Patheos to Check Out: What Did Jesus Really Look Like: A Look at the Bible Facts
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want to Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon.