Is the Ukraine War the Start of Gog and Magog?

Samuel Rindlisbacher

How much of biblical prophecy is playing out in current events around the world? A brief examination of end-time prophecies, Israel, and Gog and Magog.

While evaluating the terrible war between Russia and Ukraine, Ezekiel 38—39 is often referenced, causing people to ask whether this war could be the beginning of the onslaught that Ezekiel prophesied. Based on my understanding of the Bible, I don’t believe this to be the case for the following reasons:

The march of Russia (Gog and Magog from the far north; Ezek 38:1-2, 15) will come at a time when Israel is dwelling in safety and without walls (vv. 8-11). This isn’t the case today. Although “Shalom” is the common greeting in Israel, true peace is still a pipe dream. Large security walls, electric fences, military checkpoints, a large army contingent, and continuous military standby are part of everyday life in Israel. Additionally, terrorist plots are uncovered (and prevented, for the most part) on a daily basis. Yes, people are talking about peace a great deal (1 Thess 5:3) and making peace treaties with more and more nations. Nevertheless, Israel’s peace is threatened daily, and powerful enemies (first and foremost Iran, Hamas, Fatah, the Islamic State, and others) are denying Israel’s right to exist. Because of this, the march of Gog and Magog (Ezek 38—39) couldn’t be taking place today.

This future march is the deployment of a great army and many peoples led by Gog (Ezek 38:14-23), an enemy from the far north (v. 15). It will occur when Israel is gathered from among the Gentiles one last time. Biblical prophecy shows that Israel will be scattered again during the Great Tribulation after the Rapture of the Church, but will be preserved in a safe place by God Himself. After that, the remnant of the Jews will return to Israel and dwell in complete safety (cf. Rev 12:6; Ezek 38:8; Mark 13:27). The attack of Gog and Magog will then threaten this safety, but the Lord Himself will fight for Israel and judge Gog and Magog (Ezek 39:11). This victory will be the final victory of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, over His enemies. Then the Lord, as King of Israel, will establish His Millennial Kingdom. This will forever change Israel’s fate (Ezek 39:25-28), for God Himself will be Israel’s guarantee of security. He will pour out His Spirit on Israel and never hide His face from His people again (v. 29).

The March of Gog and Magog in Revelation
We see another march of Gog and Magog at the end of the book of Revelation. This deployment, however, must be distinguished from the march of Gog and Magog in the book of Ezekiel. The two are completely separate events. One will take place at the beginning of the Millennium and will be the final challenging of God’s rule on earth.

The other event will take place at the end of God’s reign on earth. It is the very last rebellion of Satan and his accomplices. God’s fire will end their rebellion and irrevocably seal Satan’s fate (Rev 20:7-15).

Events are coming at us fast. New information is bombarding us daily. But the many reports of horrific news aren’t yet the events from Revelation. Rather, they serve as harbingers. They are the rumble of thunder and the flash of lightning of the ever-approaching apocalyptic storm. They are references to the events that pave the way for the Antichrist (Rev 6:2; 13:11ff.). Even if civil wars, rising prices and inflation, hunger and plagues, etc. are on the rise today (cf. Rev 6), these events aren’t yet the Great Tribulation. They’re just a “foretaste” of what is soon to come.

Satan will only have a free hand here on earth after the Rapture has taken place and we, as the Church of Jesus, are in heaven to celebrate the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:1-8). Then the world will go off the rails. Civil wars, cost of living, inflation, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts will increase to an unprecedented degree (Rev 6). These events will help give the Antichrist power. The Antichrist will superficially solve people’s problems (Dan 11:36), but his system is one of deception (Rev 13:11-18). He will be so effective that people will voluntarily and democratically help him get to power (Rev 17:13). Many will see the Antichrist as their “redeemer.” Not the redeemer from their sins, but from their economic, political, and societal problems. They will accept him, just as Jesus foretold (John 5:43). Together with his companion, Europe’s political leader, he will establish a satanic entity endowed with Satan’s power (Rev 13:4), to turn humanity against God and His Christ.

The recent past shows us how something like this could come about. Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933 and was elected democratically. The factors that aided and contributed to his victory were inflation, mass unemployment, the chaos of war, poverty, hunger, and epidemics, as well as a chief propagandist (Goebbels), who was a master of every form of manipulation and deception.

The course has been set; the end-time train has begun to pick up speed, and we’re watching with amazement as God’s Word is fulfilled. We don’t have to bury our heads in the sand, but we can be glad that we can expect Jesus Christ and His Rapture any day now. So, let’s use the time we have remaining to invite people to Jesus Christ, so they can be reconciled to Him. Let’s rejoice because our Lord is coming—perhaps today! Maranatha; come soon, Lord Jesus!

Midnight Call - 01/2023

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