One of the major leading theories of Evangelical Christianity with regard to Russia is that it is the biblically mentioned ‘Gog’ (& Magog) spoken of in Ezekiel 38. This is widely believed largely because of the biblical description of geographic location, and the fact that Russia is (and has been since the begining of the 20th century) a world power.

Recently certain ministers, to include Pat Robertson, have publicly stated that this current invasion of Ukraine by Russia is paving of the way for the fulfilment of Ezekiel 38 & 39. Bear in mind that a large contingent of those who believe this (including the mentioned Pat Robertson) have lately been involved in false prophecy, as many evangelical dispensationalists prophesied that Trump would be in office as president of the United States during this term.

With that said, and as I’ve spoken of many times in the past – it is important that we turn away from those who prophesy falsely. Which is rather difficult for those of us Pentecostals who continue to believe that the gifts, and five-fold ministry are indeed for today, as it seems that the greater number of Pentecostals have been deceived in these days. However, this issue strikes largely at the heart of WHY they have been deceived, and WHY false prophecy has prevailed among them. The root of it is failing to perceive Christ’s coming, and its full ramifications. While I will not explain further on this, here, (as most Evangelicals, and Pentecostals believe that they do fully perceive Christ’s coming and its ramifications, perhaps it will become clear as I delve into this topic that they have not (‘they’ meaning those who have fallen into false prophecy because it is on the basis of wrongly interpreting scripture)).

So, let me directly answer the question, rather than droll on in baffling words: Is the current Russian invasion of Ukraine the beginning of the fulfilment of Ezekiel 38 & 39? NO. This is further deception along the same lines (and having the same root) as the false political prophecies regarding the election of Donald Trump to the second term.

Now as a caveat, I will clarify that Ezekiel 38 & 39 are yet to be fulfilled, and the things are happening are therefore all precursors to those events. I wrote somewhat recently a post speaking of a phenomena which I call the ‘present tense deception‘ (<– which is there linked so you can get a fuller understanding of what I mean by that if you choose); basically, the present tense deception is being deceived by our current circumstances and parallels in our present situation with biblical principles. Christians often tend to assume that anything they see or experience which seems apocalyptic might just be the fulfilment of biblical prophecy. It has happened throughout history that we assume certain events are the end, or the beginning of it: the early protestants believed that they were living in the end times as they were being systematically persecuted and burned at the stake (in fact much protestant literature of the 14th & 15th century speaks harshly of the Catholic church as the antichrist kingdom, and the pope himself as antichrist); likewise with contemporary events, many dispensationalists believed that the ‘rapture’ would take place at the beginning of the 1900s; many believed that World War I was the end when it came along, likewise World War II, and many speculated that Hitler was the antichrist.

So today, the ‘present tense deception’ rages. Surely Russia must be this ‘Gog’ the land of the North, and this aggression towards Ukraine only proves it?

Now let’s take a step back and consider this in light of the full counsel of scripture – instead of our circumstance, and presumptive interpretation which in recent times has led to globally spread false prophecy.

I wrote a post a couple of years ago about Ezekiel 37 (which is here) (which went along with a post I wrote a couple of days before that to dispel the concept of what people call ‘replacement theology‘).

While those posts are linked above for your perusal, I will recap quickly: Ezekiel 37 speaks of God’s gathering His people Israel together (v. 21 & 22) and the coming of Messiah (v. 24) to establish a New Covenant with them (v. 26).

Great! The modern problem of interpretation is that in current times (remember the concept of the ‘present tense deception’) a large contingent of the Jewish people have gathered together in Palestine and created a nation-state which they call Israel. This has created immense confusion about the interpretation of Ezekiel 37. Many of the Jews believe (and reasonably so for the Jews because they don’t believe that Jesus was the Messiah) that the modern nation of Israel fulfills Ezekiel 37. Again that makes sense, because they don’t believe in Jesus. The problem is, that many of our Evangelical leaders, then take this Jewish interpretation of Ezekiel 37.

Why is that a problem? Let me recap the chapter highlights again: 1) God brings Israel together & unifies them (v. 21 & 22), 2) THE MESSIAH COMES (v. 24), 3) A NEW COVENANT IS ESTABLISHED THROUGH THE MESSIAH (v. 26)

To interpret Ezekiel 37 as being fulfilled in the present tense is to deny that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, and the fulfilment of this chapter. Again, this makes sense for Jews, they don’t believe that Jesus was the Messiah, they are still waiting for the Messiah to come – which I might add, according to Christian theology means that they are waiting for the coming of the Antichrist: a different Messiah who is not Jesus.

Instead of discerning that Ezekiel 37 was fulfilled at the coming of Jesus Christ, when He established the New Covenant in His blood, our Christian leaders because of contemporary circumstances have taken on an antichrist interpretation of scriptures. (That’s why the false prophecy, by the way – in the way the interpret scripture and events, they are not discerning the coming of Christ and it’s ramifications.)

Ok, so now that we are through that: Ezekiel 37 is completely fulfilled, yet Ezekiel 38 & 39 speak of the ‘latter days,’ (38:16) or the utter end.

Now these two chapters, along with the current event of the establishment of a nation-state of Jews called Israel really help to throw confusion into those who want to believe in Jesus, AND that the modern state of Israel fulfills Ezekiel 37 (it doesn’t fulfill both – as some proponents may insist). The reason it creates such confusion is that Ezekiel spoke under the Old Covenant to Jews before Christ came, and used Old Covenant concepts and terminology. However, if these two chapters are not fulfilled until AFTER the coming of Messiah, perhaps, Messiah’s coming will itself give us clarity and understanding of the events of Ezekiel 38 & 39.

In fact, the New Testament, written by followers of the Messiah after His appearance, also speaks of the events of Ezekiel 38 & 39. Perhaps the clearest place that it speaks of these events is in Revelation chapter 20.

Revelation 20:7-9
7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

Now the first thing to notice is that John the Revelator who write the Revelation specifically ties these events in with the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 & 39, by addressing Gog and Magog. And in case there is any confusion that he is specifically tying this to the prophecy of Ezekiel, let me point out that there is no other like prophecy in all of scripture that refers to ‘Gog and Magog,’ ONLY Ezekiel. So John, specifically pinpoints Ezekiel’s prophecy as he describes these events of Revelation.

Now, let’s consider a couple of verses which show the parallel – that these events are one and the same:

2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of 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 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:

5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:

6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.

7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.

9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.

Ok, so here’s the first thing I’ll point out, while the wrath that Ezekiel prophesies is against this ‘Gog and Magog’ specifically, yet THESE ARE NOT THE ONLY NATIONS GATHERED. Rather it also speaks of: Persia, Ethiopia, Libya, Gomer, the house of Togarmah AND MANY PEOPLE WITH THEE. So vast an army that they will be like a cloud that covers the land.

This parallels with Revelation 20:8, which speaks of Satan deceiving all nations of the earth, and an army being gathered from all quarters of the earth, an army so immense that it can be figuratively compared to the sand of the sea. (This isn’t proof that it’s not Russia, we’re just visiting parallels to affirm that Rev. 20, and Ezek. 38 & 39 speak of the same events.)

How are these armies destroyed? Well, according to Ezekiel:

38:21, 22
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.

And according to the Revelation:

9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

According to Ezekiel, God will afflict them, they will fight eachother, and God will destroy them with a rain of fire and brimstone, and according to Revelation they are destroyed with fire.

So, we have two pretty conclusive affirmations that these events are one in the same 1) John refers to Ezekiel’s prophecy of Gog and Magog, 2) the events are the same: the nations of the world gather together against God’s people and are consumed by fire and brimstone.

Ok, so how can we know with certainty that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is not a direct lead up to these events?

Well, in addition to the fact that the modern nation state of Israel is not the fulfilment of Ezekiel 37 (which we should never have been deceived by to begin with), the Revelation also gives us a clear chronology that specifies these events take place AFTER the fall of the antichrist and his kingdom, AFTER the second coming of Christ, and AFTER the thousand year reign.

Where are they gathered together? Ezekiel clearly speaks of the ‘land of Israel’ though this may be figurative language as He spoke under the Old Testament, so let’s consider what Revelation says:

And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city:

Notice that Revelation refers to this battle being upon ‘THE SAINTS,’ not upon the ‘nation of Israel,’ nor upon the house of Israel, or of Jacob as Old Testament typology speaks, but THE SAINTS. That is: those who follow Jesus Christ, for the followers of Christ are the True Israel of God according to the New Covenant (which Ezekiel predicted in chapter 37).

According to the New Covenant which Christ established, there is no promise of physical land, the Old Covenant of land and physical circumcision is superseded by the superior covenant in Christ’s blood (Heb. 8:6-13) which promises God’s Kingdom (heaven) rather than temporal (passing away) land. The beloved city is not the ancient earthly city of Jerusalem, but New Jerusalem, which is the Church, the bride of Christ. If there is any confusion about this for Christians, Paul clarifies in Galatians 4:24-26

24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

That is: Paul points out that: ‘Jerusalem which now is,’ that is: the earthly city of Jerusalem is still in bondage to sin and to the Law – IT IS NOT ETERNAL, whereas HEAVENLY Jerusalem, is eternal. Thus while Ezekiel spoke typologically of the land of Israel, the New Testament clarifies that those types are an allegory of the True Israel: those who follow Jesus Christ and are resurected.

So now, let’s look at a verse which show us Ezekiel 38 & 39 that show these chapters don’t speak of the modern nation-state of Israel, but rather the saints AFTER the thousand-year reign:

Ezekiel 38:11 & 12
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,

12 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.

Ok, so verse 11… well if you know anything at all about the modern nation-state of Israel, you know that it is NOT a land of unwalled villages, it is NOT a dwelling without walls and having neither bars nor gates. The prophecy of this verse is DEFINATELY NOT fulfilled in the contemporary nation called Israel. Today the Jewish nation is surrounded by enemies, and they have the MOST technologically advanced defense system in the entire world. In fact, if there was a polar opposite of the fulfilment of this verse, it would the modern nation-state of Israel. They are surrounded by enemies, they have the iron dome defense system, the IDF, Mossad, and their internal intelligence communities are perpetually active, vigilant, alert.

But, who would this verse be true of? Well, the saints who live and reign with Christ for a thousand years, while Satan is bound in the abyss.

Here’s another question, how do we know that the thousand year reign is still to come? Perhaps it is figurative of some time after the coming of Christ?

Ok, so to answer this I will summarize, rather than quoting large swarthes of scripture where I’m more apt to lose people: Revelation 19 speaks of Christ’s return and a great battle to the defeat of the antichrist kingdom, culminating in the antichrist being cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20).

For this to happen, the antichrist kingdom had to have come, and run its full course. Chapter 20 continues this narrative and speaks of Satan being bound in ‘the Abyss’ (Rev. 20:3)- as opposed to the ‘lake of fire’ where the antichrist was cast.

Then, verse four affirms that the resurrection of the just takes place AFTER the reign of the antichrist, because it specifically references that those who live and reign with Christ HAD NOT (past tense) worshipped the beast, or his image, nor HAD received his mark (again all past tense language – which below I point out again by bolding and underlining the past tense phrases):

Rev. 20:1-4
1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

So, in summary, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is not a laying of the foundation for the events of Ezekiel 38-39, or of the first resurrection. But assuming so might fill people will fear, so… we should stop teaching falsely… is my recommendation on that. And don’t listen to these people who have proven themselves false prophets, and who deny by their end-time teachings the coming of Christ.