The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, turn your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him and say: This is what the Lord God says: Look, I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws, and bring you out with all your army, including horses and riders, who are all splendidly dressed, a huge company armed with shields and bucklers, all of them brandishing swords. (Ezekiel 38:1-4)
“This is what the Lord God says: On that day, thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will devise an evil plan. You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of open villages; I will come against a tranquil people who are living securely, all of them living without walls and without bars or gates— in order to seize spoil and carry off plunder, to turn your hand against ruins now inhabited and against a people gathered from the nations, who have been acquiring cattle and possessions and who live at the center of the world.’ Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its rulers will ask you, ‘Have you come to seize spoil? Have you assembled your hordes to carry off plunder, to make off with silver and gold, to take cattle and possessions, to seize great spoil?’ (Ezekiel 38:10-13)
Bible scholars have long identified Gog as the leader of Russia, and the land of Magog as Russia.
The invasion of Israel will be primarily motivated by greed for their great wealth. The recent annexation of Crimea will be their strategy. The Crimean Peninsula was invaded and annexed by the Russian Federation in 2014. They used the excuse of the Ukrainian revolution, and Russian masked troops occupied key Crimean locations, including airports and military bases, following Putin’s orders.
To understand why Russia would invade the Middle East, it is critical to understand Putin, the “President for Life”:
Putin Believes He’s Destined to Make Russia Great Again. And He’s Just Getting Started / Time, March 19, 2018
He came to believe that he had been chosen for a special mission—to save Russia. This more than anything inspired the events of 2014, when he decided to annex the Crimean peninsula in response to a revolution in Ukraine that he believed to be part of a global anti-Russia conspiracy. The Western world reacted with dismay, and the U.S. and Europe imposed steep sanctions on Russia. But for many Russians the annexation of Crimea signified that Russia, for the first time after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, was once again a real superpower.
Ever since, making Russia great again has become a new ideology for Putin.
You don’t have to look far to find evidence of what Putin will do with his next term in power. Two weeks before the presidential elections, he spoke about a new generation of Russian nuclear missiles that can overcome any kind of defense.
Ignoring tradition, the president made his address from the gigantic Moscow Manege conference center rather than the Kremlin so that Putin could proudly show his video presentation—an illustration with missiles flying toward the U.S.—to applause from Russian officials.
It was hailed around the world as a return to the Cold War, which was exactly Putin’s intention. Russia can’t pretend to be an economic superpower, but it has another asset: nuclear weapons. Putin believes there is no other way to make the West respect Russia.
Making Russia Great Again: The Future of the Russian Presidency / International Policy Digest, June 16, 2019
Putin’s presidency invoked positive images of the USSR, returning to the former greatness of Russia, which led to a renewed respect for strong state power. Everything was put into the order – even oligarchs were subordinated to the president, and only those who express absolute loyalty to him maintained their status. The majority of Russians are inspired by Putin’s foreign policy. In 2014 he annexed Crimea and was termed as a “Gatherer of Russian Land” like Peter the Great. Military actions in Ukraine and Syria and the increasing hostility with the West also increased his popularity.
Putin became not simply a leader but a brand. Supporting the definition of Putin’s regime as a form of distilled or hybrid authoritarianism. Therefore it can be defined as a commercialized Soviet regime that has replaced Marxism-Leninism with an eclectic ideology centered on the idea of resurgent great-power status, combining neo-imperialism with state capitalism. In addition to this, there is the “cult of personality” – the inherent component of the Soviet political system – which in part was revitalized in Putin’s Russia.
Just as Germany was humiliated after World War 1, Russian has fallen far since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the loss of superpower status:
Resurgent Russia: Myth and reality / Al Jazeera, February 17, 2019
… Russia is not that powerful after all. Its GDP of $1.57 trillion is barely 8 percent of the US’ and comparable to that of a mid-sized European country like Spain. The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), which Putin finally managed to create in 2014 after years-long efforts, is no match for the economic juggernaut that is the EU.
Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal, inherited from the once-mighty Soviet Union, is at the same level as the US’. Yet, despite the ambitious military reform over the past decade, the Russian conventional forces lag far behind the US army’s in terms of capability and technological sophistication.
On the other hand, Israel has boomed since May 1948, when it was officially declared an independent state.
The economy of Israel is advanced by global standards. Israel ranks within the top 20 nations in the world on the latest report of the UN’s Human Development Index, which places it in the category of “Very Highly Developed”, allowing the country to enjoy a higher standard of living than many other Western countries. The prosperity of Israel’s advanced economy allows the country to have a sophisticated welfare state, a modern infrastructure, and a high-technology sector competitively on par with Silicon Valley.
Relatively poor in natural resources, Israel depends on imports of petroleum, raw materials, wheat, motor vehicles, uncut diamonds and production inputs, though the country’s nearly total reliance on energy imports may change in the future with recent discoveries of natural gas reserves off its coast:
Largest Natural Gas Reserve Discovered in Israel Worth Approximately $95 Billion / Haartz, December 29, 2010
The largest reserve of natural gas, over 16 trillion cubic feet, has been discovered off the coast of Israel, and is estimated to be worth more than $95 billion, U.S. company Noble Energy Inc. announced on Wednesday.
The reserve, Leviathon, is the largest amount of natural gas discovered in the world in the last decade and is located in approximately 5,400 feet (1,645 meters) of water, about 130 kilometers offshore of Haifa and 29 miles (47 kilometers) southwest of the Tamar discovery.
Last year, Israeli company Isramco announced that reserves of natural gas have been discovered at its Tamar 1 offshore drill site 90 kilometers west of Haifa, making it the largest ever discovered in Israel until now – three times bigger than that of the “Yam Thetis” consortium and worth $15 billion.
Noble Energy CEO Charles Davidson said, “Leviathan is the latest major discovery for Noble Energy and is easily the largest exploration discovery in our history.“
Leviathan natural gas platform on its way to Israel / Israel National News, July 14, 2019
The largest energy project in the history of the State of Israel is reaching its final stages of completion and remains on schedule to deliver first commercial gas sales to the Israel domestic market and regional markets before the end of the year.
In recent weeks the Leviathan partnership –comprised of Noble Energy, Delek Drilling and Ratio – completed the construction and testing of the production units (topsides) of the Leviathan Platform that will process natural gas from the reservoir and transport it to Israel’s national gas pipeline.
After connecting and assembling the topside units of the platform, Noble Energy will start a series of commissioning tests before initiating commercial gas flow to the domestic market before the end of 2019.
For the first time in history, Israel will also become a significant energy exporter when flow of Leviathan natural gas to Israel’s neighbors begins.
Is it likely that Putin will use a Middle East uprising as an excuse to invade Israel and try to annex it, just like he did with Crimea? Is this Gog’s plan – to make Russia great again?
Greed is a strong and selfish desire to have more of something, most often money or power. There are many warnings in the Bible about giving in to greed and longing for riches.
Greed and a desire for riches are traps that bring ruin and destruction. “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil,” and Christians are warned, “Do not put your trust in wealth” (see 1 Timothy 6:9-10, 17-18). Covetousness, or having an excessive or greedy desire for more, is idolatry. Ephesians 5:5 says, “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person – such a man is an idolater – has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”
Is this great battle already beginning? What are the facts on the ground? Following the data points in the news and Biblical prophecy leads to some earth shaking predictions. Consider this recent headline:
‘Significant buildup’ of Russian military forces in Crimea / Washington Examiner, June 12, 2019
Over the past 18 months, the Russian military has reportedly been expanding and building up its forces and infrastructure in Crimea.
A U.S. intelligence official told Defense One that Russia was conducting “a deliberate and systematic buildup of their forces on the peninsula.”
“The combat radius covers all Ukraine and beyond the Black Sea. It significantly increases their strike options, potentially extending to the Middle East,” the official said.
The United States is also preparing. In recent weeks the US has sent thousands of troops, an aircraft carrier, nuclear-capable B-52 bombers and advanced fighter jets to the Middle East, and fears are growing of a wider conflict after mysterious oil tanker attacks near the Strait of Hormuz blamed on Iran, attacks by Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen on Saudi Arabia and Iran’s downing of the US military drone.
What will be the result of this upcoming invasion?
Now on that day, the day when Gog comes against the land of Israel”—this is the declaration of the Lord God—“My wrath will flare up. I swear in My zeal and fiery rage: On that day there will be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the animals of the field, every creature that crawls on the ground, and every human being on the face of the earth will tremble before Me. The mountains will be thrown down, the cliffs will collapse, and every wall will fall to the ground. I will call for a sword against him on all My mountains”—the declaration of the Lord God—“and every man’s sword will be against his brother. I will execute judgment on him with plague and bloodshed. I will pour out torrential rain, hailstones, fire, and brimstone on him, as well as his troops and the many peoples who are with him. (Ezekiel 38: 17-22)
The “birth pains” of the world are building and converging towards an unprecedented climax.
If you are not sure that you are saved, you can accept Christ into your life right now, by praying:
“Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior.”