Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Russia Factor

There have been a couple seemingly unrelated news threads about Russia lately that would certainly catch the attention of anyone familiar with the traditional interpretation of Ezekiel 38 equating Russia with Magog... Russia has changed their military doctrine to permit preemptive limited use of nuclear weapons and Russia is moving closer to delivering an advanced air defense missile system to Iran.

I do think these developments tie into Ezekiel 38 but not in the way most prophecy watchers would look at them. I regard the Ezekiel term "Gog" to be a reference to the Antichrist due to its use in Revelation 20:8. Then since the Antichrist must come from either the Revived Roman Empire or, more likely, the Revived Ottoman Empire, Magog can not be Russia (see Daniel 9:26). A careful study of the Ezekiel terms "Rosh" and "Magog" reinforce that interpretation.

Russia is certainly feeling threatened by the expansion of NATO to include their former satellite nations and the deployment of anti-missile systems in Romania. They must be desperate to counter this perceived threat against them and that is why they are changing their nuclear weapons doctrine as well as becoming more aligned with Iran. Considering the Ezekiel 38 nations, Russia is the principal weapons supplier to all of them except for Turkey which is a member of NATO. But Turkey has been actively pursuing closer alignment with the Islamic nations that are supplied by Russia so it'll be interesting to see if the if they will be looking to Russia for more of their military hardware as time goes on.

Based on these factors, I expect Russia will participate in Ezekiel 38 by encouraging the nations mentioned in this passage to use their weapons against Israel. Indeed, moving forward with supplying Iran with an advanced air defense system may be the trigger that sets off the chain of events that puts the hooks in the jaws of Gog (Ezekiel 38:4).

Russia does bear watching because they are poised to aid and abet the next large-scale attack on Israel. Of course since the Antichrist is involved, I don't expect to be on the planet at the time. Given the nearness of these likely events, this is not a time to be without Jesus in your life.

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