The Role of Russia

We consider now a distinctive military campaign at the end of the age. just prior to, or at the commencement of, the millennial kingdom of the Lord.

The destruction of the Western powers had already taken place, and the total defeat, likewise, of the armies of the king of the north (the cruel Assyrian). including the eastern contingents, had been brought about by the intervention of Christ in His Davidic character - the Warrior King. It was probably this shattering defeat of the king of the north which sparked off the all-out onslaught of Gog and his confederates against Israel, described in Ezekiel 38 and 39.

In previous papers in this series we have remarked that the great army of the king of the north should not be confounded with the northern confederacy (that is, Russia and her allies), whose massive and swift-moving military machine sweeps down into Palestine at a slightly later time than that of Armageddon’s slaughter. The field was now clear for a walk-over victory (or so the idea must have occurred to the ruler of Russia) by launching an assault on the newly-formed and unprepared nation of Israel. His objective was twofold - to exterminate the nation, so recently settled in Palestine; and to carry away a vast quantity of rich spoils from that land.

But a dreadful miscalculation on the part of the commander-in-chief of the northern hordes will transform what he doubtless thought would be an easy victory into a disaster of the first magnitude. What a blunder he will make in failing to realize that Israel’s King, Jehovah their God, is now in their midst I

Gog’s armies will never reach Jerusalem. Divine power will render them impotent even to mount an attack or strike a single blow. They will perish on the mountains of Israel. Five-sixths of their entire forces will be killed, and after the birds and beasts have fed upon the carcases of the fallen, it will take seven months to bury the remains of this massive army. This will constitute an operation on a national scale by the people of Israel. As for the instruments of war abandoned in the wide war zone, it will require no less than seven years to burn up and dispose of the accumulation of weaponry formed, but never used, against the nation of Israel.

The foregoing, then, is a brief resume of the prophetic preview of this final phase of the age-end campaign, which will bring about the abolition of warfare on this hitherto war-ridden planet of earth (apart from the final revolt at the close of the millennial reign of Christ).

Now a careful reading of the relevant passage containing this prophecy (Ezekiel 38-39) will shed light on some of the controversial points which are bound to have been raised by the view expressed in this article - points which relate to the composition of the armies, and to the time of the invasion.

The Composition of the Armies.

Regarding the composition of the armies involved in this massive attack, we learn from Ezekiel 38. 2, 3 the name of the emperor and the designation of the territory over which he holds sway. “Gog”, the prince of Rosh (Russia), is the personal head of the land of Magog (“the land of Gog”). The European capital of this great confederation of states is mentioned, Meschech (Moscow) - and the Asiatic centre of the empire is referred to also, “Tubal” (Tobolsk). “Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I am against three, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meschech, and Tubal”, Ezek. 38. J.N.D., R.V., etc.

Gog’s allies, it will be seen, are drawn from all three divisions of the human race - Persia (Shemite division), Ethiopia and Libya (Hamite line), and Gomer (Germany) and her allies, vassal states of Russia (of Japhetic stock). The descendants of Togarmah, grandson of Japheth, are thought to have settled in Armenia, Gen. 10. 3. “Many people with thee”, indicates the comprehensive nature of the attacking forces under Gog, Ezek. 38. 6.

(Note: It is an impressive fact, that Russia and her future ruler are spoken of here in Ezekiel, over 14 centuries before the Russian state was founded by the semi-legendary figure Rurik, and his Varangian commandos from Scandinavia, around 862 A.D. A baffling truth this, for the secular historians to consider, but surely yet another instance of the stamp of divine inspiration, so prolific in the Scriptures of Truth!)

The Time of the Invasion

Two important time-pointers are before us in the text, which serve to establish when these predictions will have their fulfilment.

  1. It will be “in the latter days”, or “at the end of days”, that is, at the close of the present period of Gentile supremacy - at the end of the age, Ezek. 38. 16.
  2. It will be at the time when the restored nation of Israel, with her twelve tribes, will be dwelling in Palestine with their King and Messiah in the midst of them. In such circumstances there will be no fear or expectation of an attack - “and they shall all of them be dwelling in safety”, Ezek. 38. 8. J.N.D. “Thus saith the Lord God; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely”, v 14.

This feature in itself would imply that the earlier confrontation and defeat of Armageddon’s confederacies will have taken place, and the subsequent regathering of Israel’s ten lost tribes to their land and Messiah, will have been brought about. Palestine will then be repopulated by the whole nation of Israel, with supreme confidence in their King and Deliverer.

These two points, therefore, seem to confirm that the invasion by Russia at the time of the end will form the last wave of military attack against Israel and Palestine, just as the reign in righteousness, with its war-free period of 1,000 years, is being ushered in by the enthronement of David’s rightful Heir, the King of Glory.

In conclusion, then, to recapitulate and pin-point the main features of the invasion of Russia and her allies into Palestine, we have: -

  1. Their Motive - The extermination of Israel and the acquisition of great spoil.
  2. Their Minions - Many satellites will be drawn from the descendants of Shem, Ham and Japheth, making a concerted action by representatives of the three root-divisions of the human race.
  3. Their Might - They will swarm into the land with massed forces of fully equipped mobile armies.
  4. Their Mistake - Israel will be dwelling safely, in unwalled cities, having made no military preparations to repulse an attack. Either ignorance of the presence of Israel’s King in Jerusalem, or a miscalculation of the importance of that circumstance, must account for the incredible blunder of attempting an invasion at this time.
  5. Their Massacre - Five-sixth’s of the huge hordes will be killed, and it will take seven months to bury the slain, after the birds and beasts have fed on their carcases on the mountains of Palestine, Ezek. 39. 2-16.
  6. The Moral of this devastating defeat by divine power on behalf of God’s people will have a world-wide effect. The implications of the massacre will make their long-term impact upon the nations of the millennial world. Jehovah will be magnified, and His power feared.

Ezekiel 38. 23 intimates the result of the Russian defeat, for this, indeed, will be “a war to end all wars” (something that man can never achieve), “And I will magnify, and sanctify myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am Jehovah”, J.N.D.

(A final comment is appropriate here, to clarify a point which might be raised As readers will be aware, an allusion is found in Revelation 20. 8 to “Gog and Magog”. But that reference is not meant to be taken in a literal sense, and so must not be confused with the Gog and Magog of Ezekiel 38 and 39. However, while there is no historical connection of time or place between the Gog and Magog of Ezekiel and the Gog and Magog of Revelation, it has been suggested that a moral link between them does exist. Doubtless the decisive defeat of the northern confederacy in their invasion of Palestine at the beginning of the millennial reign of Christ, is intended to be a type of the final crushing of Satan in his last desperate attempt to dethrone God’s King in Zion at the end of the kingdom age. The symbolic significance of the expression in Revelation 20, therefore, does seem apposite).

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