“And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.”(Gen. 2:10-14)
The planet earth is 25,000 miles in circumference.It has seven continents and over 57,000,000 square miles, yet you can’t pick up any major newspaper without seeing headlines concerning one small region known as the Middle East.
What’s even stranger is the fact that this is the exact area where the Bible says human civilization began.
If you’ll pick up a standard work on world history, you’ll find historians confirming this truth.For instance, Peter Stearns’ Encyclopedia of World History states that
The first known civilizations developed in three river valley systems in Eurasia: (1) the Tigris-EuphratesValley (Mesopotamia); (2) the NileValley (Egypt); and (3) the IndusValley . . .
The earliest civilization was in the region of SUMER in southern Mesopotamia.
Man dreams of exploring space and maybe some day even populating it, yet he can’t even establish a lasting peace in the land he has occupied for 6,000 years.Man is still at “square one,” exactly where he started, and things are growing worse, not better.The entire world is affected by this in many ways, yet no matter what man does he can’t keep the Middle East out of the headlines.There’s a very good reason for this, but the answer will not be found on NBC, CNN, CBS, ABC, or FOX.Nor will the answer be found in the New York Times, the Washington Times, Foreign Affairs, or the Wall Street Journal.Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly might come closer to the solution than most, but not close enough. The liberals don’t have the answer, nor do the moderates or the conservatives. No one is addressing the real issue in the Middle East, so no one will solve the problem and establish peace.The world will remain unstable and the wars will only get bigger and bloodier in the months and years ahead.
It isn’t that the answer is hidden.To the contrary, the answer is accessible to anyone who desires to have it, but that constitutes a small number of people who do something that most people in the world never do: believe the Bible.
That’s right.The Middle East problem is not political in nature; it’s theological.That is a fact that will never be embraced by world leaders, so man will never solve the Middle East conflict, never win the War on Terror, and never enjoy a lasting world peace.The prophet Isaiah said it best over 2,700 years ago when he said, “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.”
Not only does the Bible declare that man will not establish a Middle East peace, it also foretells the future of this region.It is this author’s belief that the time is at hand.The main players of the Middle East conflict are spoken of in the Bible.Many of its prophecies regarding the Middle East have already been fulfilled, and others are rapidly approaching fulfillment.
You could lay this booklet aside, and go on about your business, but the fact is that “your business” is about to undergo some massive changes in the years ahead.You can face this issue willingly now, or you can be forced to face it in the future when your life is turned upside down.The Middle East concerns you because it concerns everyone. There isn’t a living soul on planet earth who will not be affected by World War III, the coming war in the Middle East.
If the stock market falls a few thousands points and plunges our nation into another Great Depression, you will be affected.If terrorists on our own soil carry out their “perfect day” plans by raping and murdering American children in public schools, you will be affected.If millions of our young men are sent off to foreign fields of battle, possibly your own brothers, sons, husbands or fathers, you will be affected.To pretend that the Middle East is no concern of yours is just plain stupid.God is concerned about the Middle East, therefore you should be concerned about it.If you aren’t, you can rest assured that He is quite capable of getting your attention.Sooner or later you will be concerned.Hopefully, it won’t be too late.
In this study, we will not attempt to set dates, identify the Antichrist, or solve the many mysteries of Bible prophecy.Our purpose in this study is to explain from a Biblical perspective what you see unfolding daily in the newspapers and on the nightly news, specifically the developments in Russia and the Islamic nations and how these developments will lead to World War III.We’ll let someone else publish the specific details of the next World War(s), the role of communist China, the ten-horned beast, where America fits in, and other prophetic subjects.Our purpose is an evangelistic one: to simply show that World War III is coming, probably sooner than later, and you will be affected, so now is the time to prepare.
Israel: God's Country
There is one nation that is unlike all other nations.After the original “UN” movement was judged at Babel in Genesis 11, God called a man named Abram out of that same region and made an unconditional covenant with him.Abram (later named Abraham) left Ur of the Chaldees for a better land that God would give him.The original promise, which is just as sound today as it was 4,000 years ago, is found in Genesis 12:1-3:“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
There are several things that we could mention about this covenant, but five items will suffice for this study:
(1)It’s an unconditional covenantafterAbraham leaves
his father’s house.God doesn’t say He’ll bless
Abraham if Abraham does such and such.There’s no
if in the passage or anywhere in the chapter.
(2) Abraham is given some land.
(3) Abraham’s people will become a great nation
in the promised land.
(4) A divine blessing is given to Abraham, to those whom
he blesses, and to those who bless him.
(5) A curse is given to those who curse Abraham.
There is nothing anywhere in the Bible that disannuls the above covenant.One cannot relegate it to the “law of Moses” because it was given hundreds of years before Moses, and there is nothing in the New Testament that says this covenant was disannulled at Calvary.The law of Moses was fulfilled by Jesus at Calvary (Mat. 5:17, John 19:30, Col. 2:14), but God’s unconditional covenant with Abraham still stands, just as God’s unconditional covenant with Noah still stands (Gen. 9:11-17).When you see a rainbow, remember God’s covenant with Noah.When you see a Jew or a Jewish flag, remember Genesis 12:1-3.
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
As sinful humans who make covenant-breaking a way of life, it is hard for us to comprehend someone keeping a promise for thousands of years, but that is precisely what God has done with Israel, and that’s what He continues to do.A blessing is a blessing, and God does not reverse His blessings.Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac in Genesis 25:5-6.Then in Genesis 27:27-29 Isaac passed God’s blessing on to his son Jacob (Israel).When he learned that Jacob had gotten this blessing through deceit, he stated that he could not reverse the blessing, but that Jacob would indeed be blessed.Genesis 27:33 says, “And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.”God had already determined in Genesis 25:23 that Jacob, not Esau, would receive the blessing; so, although Jacob did not get the blessing honestly, it was still God’s will for him to have it, and God would not go back on His word and reverse the blessing.
A similar thing happened in Genesis 9.In Genesis 9:1, God blessed the three sons of Noah, including Ham.Then Ham sins in Genesis 9:24-25, yet God does not curse him.Instead, God curses his son Canaan.As strange and unfair as this might seem, we must believe the word of God and trust God’s judgment.God does not reverse an unconditional blessing or covenant.
Numbers 22 offers yet another example.Balaam was hired to curse God’s people, the children of Israel, yet he is told by God Himself, “Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.” (Num. 22:12)In spite of all the sins that Israel had committed since leaving Egypt, God still counted the descendants of Abraham a blessed people whom He could not curse.That is, the original blessing of Genesis 12:1-3 was still binding.Like it or not, the Jews are God’s chosen people, they are blessed of God, and anyone who “messes” with them is cursed.(By the way, Balaam ended up dead in Numbers 31:8)
Just as the United States Government views some nations of the world as “most favored nations,” God too has a favored nation, the nation of Israel.Other nations who desire to be favored by God must “bless” Israel.Nations who oppose or curse Israel become God’s enemies.
Isaiah 62:1-2 says, “For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.”God says that He will not restuntil Jerusalem shines forth in righteousness.That is obviously not happening today, and it will not happen until she (Jerusalem) receives her King, the Lord Jesus Christ (Mat. , Psa. 24).God isn’t resting—He isn’t being content and satisfied—until Israel receives the fullness of His blessing.Those who hinder this blessing by opposing Israel can expect nothing but curses from God.
Satan’s “Axis of Evil”
On January 1, 2002, in his State of the Union Speech, President George W. Bush stated that Iraq, Iran, and North Korea constituted an “axis of evil.”The mainstream media nearly had a heart attack, just as they did on March 8, 1983, when President Reagan called the Soviet Union an “evil empire.”But no serious Christian had a problem with either of the labels.We only regret that such truthful statements aren’t made more often.
The Bible declares that an axis of evil will wage war against God’s nation of Israel in the future, and the current Middle East rumblings suggest that the day is rapidly approaching.When this happens, it will not be a small thing that people can ignore.It will be a massive event that will change the world forever.
The nations attacking Israel are named in Ezekiel 38:1-9:“And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 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: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. 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.”
Since this prophecy was first given some 2,600 years ago, Israel has been involved in many conflicts, including twenty-seven actual sieges, yet none of Israel’s conflicts match the details of Ezekiel’s prophecy.This has led Bible-believing commentators and teachers to apply this prophecy to some future event.It is this author’s belief that Ezekiel’s prophecy will be fulfilled in the near future and that the world as we know it will be changed forever.
Now Is the Time
The chapter preceding this prophecy, Ezekiel 37, deals with the restoration of the nation of Israel.For over 2,500 hundred years, there was no nation of Israel, but then on May 14, 1948, the Jewish people living in their original homeland declared their national independence.The prophecy of Ezekiel 37 became a reality—at least partially—as Israel was officially planted in her homeland, and we’ve witnessed her continual fruit for the past six decades.Since May 15, 1948, the Arabs have tried time and time again to uproot Israel, but her roots only grow deeper, as was foretold by another Old Testament prophet: “And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.” (Amos 9:14-15)Israel isn’t filled with God’s Spirit yet, as Ezekiel 37:14 demands, but she has been planted in her homeland, and she is there to stay.
The chapters following Ezekiel 38-39 deal with the coming millennial kingdom of Christ, which follows His second coming.This means that the events of Ezekiel 38-39 must occur before Christ returns to set up His kingdom.
This can mean only one thing: Ezekiel’s prophecy regarding World War III in the Middle East must be fulfilled in the near future, a time afterIsrael has been planted in the land, yet a time before Christ returns.If this seems to you like a long time space, please keep reading.After considering the material in the forthcoming pages, you will likely find yourself surprised that it hasn’t already happened.
If the subject matter is confusing to you, it might be beneficial for you to read a couple other publications first, both of which may be read on our web site.Read The Second Coming of Jesus Christ in order to grasp a fair understanding of future prophetic events.Then read Don’t Mess with Israel to see why this little country in the Middle East is so important. Both publications can be read at www.biblebaptistpublications.org, or hard copies may be ordered from our ministry address in the front of this publication.
Identifying Gog and Magog
The prophecy at hand deals with an evil axis headed up by a prince named Gog in the land of Magog. Ezekiel 38:2-3 says, “Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.”Gog is the prince, or the leader, and Magog is the land.The big question is what land?There are no countries named Magog today, and we know of no princes named Gog.
This should come as no surprise to any student of Scripture.There was an empire in the Bible called Babylon, yet today we use the word Iraq.Persia was a country’s name in the Bible, yet this country is now called Iran. Likewise, the names Gog and Magog do not appear on modern maps, but these names have been well researched and it has been believed for over a century that they have reference to either Russia, Turkey, or a combination of both.
The Scripture gives a pretty strong hint of this by telling us that this evil power is located north of Israel.Ezekiel 38:15 and 39:2 say that this invading enemy comes from “the north parts,” and 38:6 uses the term “north quarters.”As any world map will show, Russia is north of Israel.
Before Russia became a Communist nation, and long before the Soviet Union became a world superpower, Bible scholars had Ezekiel’s Gog and Magog identified as Russia.One such scholar was C.I. Scofield.In his note on Ezekiel 38:2, in his 1909 reference Bible, Dr. Scofield offered the following comments:
That the primary reference is to the northern (European) powers, headed up by Russia, all agree. The whole passage should be read in connection with Zec 12:1-4; 14:1-9; Mt 24:14-30; Re 14:14-20; 19:17-21, "gog" is the prince, "Magog," his land. The reference to Meshech and Tubal (Moscow and Tobolsk) is a clear mark of identification. Russia and the northern powers have been the latest persecutors of dispersed Israel, and it is congruous both with divine justice and with the covenants (e.g. Cmt. on Ge 15:18Cmt. on De 30:3 that destruction should fall at the climax of the last mad attempt to exterminate the remnant of Israel in Jerusalem . . .
Commenting on “Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal” (Ezk. 38:2), the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary (1871) says
The Scythian Tauri in the Crimea were so called. The Araxes also was called "Rhos." The modern Russians may have hence assumed their name, as Moscow and Tobolsk from Meshech and Tubal, though their proper ancient name was Slavi, or Wends. HENGSTENBERG supports English Version, as "Rosh" is not found in the Bible. "Magog was Gog's original kingdom, though he acquired also Meshech and Tubal, so as to be called their chief prince."
Some reference works speak of the name Scythians having been an earlier name for the people now known as Russians.In fact, the StateHistoricalMuseum in Moscow has on display numerous Scythian artifacts that were dug up by Russians in Russia.Interestingly enough, Encyclopedia Britannica says that a “Scythian” was a
member of a nomadic people originally of Iranian stock who migrated from Central Asia to southern Russia in the 8th and 7th centuries BC .
An Iranian-Russian connection?Hmmm.Keep that in mind, please.
In his 1918 book, The Prophet Ezekiel, Dr. Arno Gaebelein agreed that this prophecy concerns the people known today as Russians.J. Dwight Pentecost agreed (1958), as did the first century Jewish historian, Josephus (A.D. 93). Professor H. S. Osborne supported this view in his Biblical History (1890), and even French atheist Voltaire claimed that Magog was Russia in his Philosophical Dictionary.There really isn’t much debate over the identity of Gog and Magog.Some do suggest that Turkey is intended, which is Russia’s southern neighbor, but, for reasons we shall see shortly, it seems more likely that Turkey might be part of the axis rather than the leader of it.Most agree that Russia will head up the coming invasion of Israel.
We’ll deal with Gog’s Muslim allies later, but who is to say that Russia isn’t slowly becoming a Muslim nation herself?There were 300 mosques in the Soviet Union when it collapsed in 1991.Today, there are around 8,000, half of which were built with money from Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.There were no Islamic religious schools in the nation in 1991, yet today there are over 50 there training tens of thousands of Muslims. Only the future will tell, but some believe Russia could become a majority-Muslim nation.
If this northern power does not refer specifically to Russia, then it at least refers to one of the Islamic nations in the Black and Caspian Sea region (perhaps Turkey), probably being backed by Russian arms and training.Either way, Russia will likely be involved.
Russia’s Anti-Israel History
Russia really hasn’t been trying very hard to hide her plans.Leading up to the Six Day War of 1967, the Soviet Union had invested around $2 billion in military aid for Israel’s Arab enemies.As Israel destroyed the Arab coalition, the Soviets saw their own weapons being destroyed and the very soldiers they had trained being defeated.In fact, they saw the very war plans that they had written a year earlier (1966) failing miserably.This led the Soviets to propose that President Johnson “demand” that Israel cease its military action against the Arab powers that had started the war or else they (the Russians) would take military action.Rather than yield to the Soviet threats, Johnson ordered the United States 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean to change its direction and steam toward Israel in a massive show of support for Israel and against the Russians and Arabs.Russia backed down.
The Russians were involved in the Yom Kippur War of 1973 when Arab forces attacked Israel on the Day of Atonement, the most sacred day of the Jewish year.In addition to supplying weapons, ammunition, and military training, the Soviets were orchestrating the war from behind the scenes, and they had plans for direct involvement.Although deeply plagued with the Watergate scandal, President Nixon didn’t hesitate to stand up to the Soviets.He sent a firm letter reminding them of their signed agreements to prevent nuclear war (1972), and he informed them that they were in danger of violating those agreements.Again, they backed down.
Many would argue that Russia is no longer a threat because the Soviet Union has fallen and the Cold War is over.For anyone holding this view, we recommend our book Satan’s New World Order, specifically the chapter on communism.The communists have had plans for decades to launch a massive “peace” movement and deceive free nations into taking down their guards.The Russian bear isn’t dead; he has only been hibernating.
Czar Putin and His Plans
But his nap is about over.Former KGB top spy and current Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, has been centralizingpower to himself in recent years.Rather than being elected by the people, the nation’s eighty-nine regional governors are now appointed by the Kremlin, of which Putin is the head.In the words of Sergei Mitrokhin of Russia’s Yabloko Party, these actions by Putin are “a step toward dictatorship.”Joel Rosenberg sums up some of Putin’s dictatorial tendencies on page 95 of his excellent book, Epicenter:
Over the past eighteen months or so [prior to December, 2004], Vladimir Putin has steadily turned the clock back on Russian democracy, centralizing power back in the Kremlin and slowly morphing himself into an all-powerful Czar.
He has nationalized Russian television networks; thrown political opponents in prison on suspect charges; all but threatened to seize and nationalize one of Russia’s largest petroleum companies; announced Russia’s governors will no longer be popularly elected but rather appointed by the Kremlin; and steadfastly supported a presidential candidate in Ukraine even after international observers protested the candidate was trying to steal the election.
Meanwhile, Putin is selling nuclear power plants, fuel, and technology to Iran—the most dangerous state sponsor of terrorism on the planet—has announced a 40% increase in the Russian military budget, and just announced the development of a new class of Russian strategic nuclear missiles.
On April 25, 2005, Putin gave a speech and declared that “the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.”A world leader who talks like that while building up his military and centralizing his power is a man to be taken seriously.After all, the Soviet Union killed over 20,000,000 people under Stalin’s reign alone, and an estimated 100,000,000 people died at the hands of twentieth century communism.In spite of these facts, polls indicate that one quarter of the Russian people would vote for Stalin if he were alive and running for office today.
In the book First Person, three Russian journalists offer quotes from six different interviews with Putin.In those interviews, the Russian leader says that his mission is to stop the collapse of the U.S.S.R., he considers Napoleon to be history’s most interesting political leader, and he boasts that in the Kremlin no one has any control over him because he controls everyone else.When asked about his critics, he bluntly replied, “To hell with them.”
Putin’s term in office expires in 2008.He could refuse to step down, or another hard line communist could be elected, such as Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky, the Hitler-like radical who proposes “the final thrust south” which could give Russia control of the entire Mediterranean area, including Israel. Then again, with the growing Islamic movement in Russia, a Muslim could end up in the driver’s seat. Whatever unfolds over the next few years, one thing is certain: the bear is awake and growing hungrier every day.
The Hungry Bear
We know the Russian bear is hungry from reading Ezekiel 38:12-13.These verses tell us that Gog invades Israel in order “to take a spoil.”But what spoil?Russia is hungry for what?What does Israel have that Russia needs?
First, invading Israel would give Russia a warm water entrance into the oceans of the world, something they do not presently have with the Black Sea.Russia wants to be the world superpower, so she must get the edge on America by having a warm water port.Possessing the land of Israel would situate her perfectly at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe, and Israel’s Mediterranean coastline would provide more than enough ocean access.
A second reason for Russia wanting Israel is the rich mineral deposits of the Dead Sea, estimated to be worth trillions of dollars. The sea contains an estimated two billion tons of potash, twenty-two billion tons of magnesium chloride, twelve billion tons of sodium chloride, six billion tons of calcium chloride, as well as gold, cobalt, cerium, and manganese.Some factories have been built to extract these resources from the sea, but much more could be done, and the Russians would love to be the ones to do it.
A third reason is oil.Russia needs oil in order to boost her economy and build up her military machine.In addition to taking Arab oil, Russia would also seek oil in Israel, especially if Israel becomes a main player in big oil, which some are predicting.After all, one cannot spell “spoil” (Ezk. 38:12-13) without spelling “oil.”
Oil in Israel?
The notion that Israel might possess large oil reserves is an interesting study in itself.There are several portions of Scripture that hint of some buried treasure in Israel.When blessing his sons in Genesis chapter 49, Jacob spoke of the “last days” (verse 1), and then when blessing Joseph in verse 25 he spoke of “blessings of the deep that lieth under.” Could this include oil in the “last days”?
Deuteronomy chapter 33 also offers some interesting terminology.Verse 13 speaks of “. . . the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath.”Verse 19 says there are “treasures hid in the sand”, and verse 24 speaks of the tribe of Asher and says, “let him dip his foot in oil.”Also, Deuteronomy 32:13 speaks of “oil out of the flinty rock.”
Whether these references concern large oil reserves in Israel or not, we can’t be sure, but some folks are more than a little interested in the subject.Zion Oil & Gas is an American-based company whose mission is to help Israel by finding and producing oil and gas in the holy land.The following is the first paragraph of the company’s Vision Statement from their web site:
From its inception, the calling of Zion Oil & Gas has been to assist Israel in the restoration of the Land by finding and producing oil and gas, the rock oil and source of energy buried deep beneath the ancient hills and valleys of the Land of Israel, necessary to make the People of Israel politically and economically independent. For the State of Israel is not only a refuge for Jews, but is the answer to the prayers of many generations of the Jewish people: "And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God." (Amos 9:15)
Founded in 1983 by a Christian, this company’s web site displays an Israeli flag and has more Scripture references than some church web sites.I’m not a financial advisor (nor do I play one on TV), but a few shares of this company’s stock might not be a bad investment.
Another Would-Be Czar
Earlier I mentioned Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky, another Russian with high ambitions.If this man were to become the Russian leader in 2008 or in 2012, he would undoubtedly begin his “Final Thrust to the South,” a massive strategy that he proposed in 1993:
Let Russia make its final “thrust” to the south.I can see the Russian soldiers gathering for the final expedition southward.I can see Russian commanders in Russian division and army headquarters, mapping out the route for the military formations and the endpoints of those routes. I see aircraft gathered in air bases around the southern regions of Russia.I see submarines surfacing . . . and amphibious assault ships near the shore . . . and armored infantry vehicles are on the move and great masses of tanks are rolling through.Russia will finally make her last military expedition.
Zhirinovsky has made it clear that he wants to rebuild the Byzantine Empire, which would include basically all the Mediterranean coastline of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. I’m not predicting that Zhirinovsky will become the next Russian leader, but it is a possibility.If one quarter of the Russian voters would be willing to vote for Stalin, then even more would likely vote for Zhirinovsky or someone with similar goals.But then again, they already have a rising Czar in Putin.No matter how things play out, Russia’s future isn’t looking very peaceful.They’ve had Israel in their sights in the past, and the Bible declares that they will target Israel in the future.That means war—major war.
Russia’s Islamic Allies
Ezekiel’s account also lists some Russian allies, allies that just happen to be followers of Muhammad, a man who taught his followers to kill those who refused to convert.Ezekiel 38:5-6 reads, “Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.”
Persia in the Bible is the modern area known as Iran.The word Iranis from a word meaning noble, so that has been the country’s preferred name since 1935.
The Ethiopia and Libya in the passage are believed by some to not be the Ethiopia and Libya of North Africa, but rather ancient states that bordered Persia.II Chronicles speaks of “the Arabians, that were near the Ethiopians”, which might imply that the Ethiopians were further east than some think.Others believe these are just references to the present day North African nations.In either case, these two states would serve as Islamic allies for Russia.
Gomer and Togarmah are believed to have reference to the area stretching from Turkey and Georgia all the way eastward through Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, all being located south or southeast of Russia.
These allies constitute a heavy Muslim population, therefore a natural enmity with Israel.It makes perfect sense that they would side with Russia in a war against Israel.Never in history have more pieces been in place than today.
During Putin’s first year inoffice (2000), he invited Yasser Arafat to Moscow.The next year he invited Iranian president Mohammed Khatami to Moscow.The meeting included talks on arms sales and nuclear cooperation.Meles Zenawi, the prime minister of Ethiopia, has been to Moscow and signed an arms treaty.The crown prince of Saudi Arabia was in Moscow in September, 2003, and at that time Putin said that the nations of the Arab world were Russia’s “closest partners and associates.”Then in October, 2003, Putin requested that Russia be accepted as a member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) since one in every seven Russians are Muslims and there are over 7,000 Mosques in Russia.Russia was accepted with “observer status.”Putin visited Turkey in 2004, and he visited Egypt and the headquarters of the Arab League in 2005.On that same trip, he visited the Palestinian Authority, laid a wreath at the grave of terrorist leader Yasser Arafat, and agreed to sell arms to terrorists.Of course, they weren’t called terrorists; they were called Palestinians. In 2006, Putin invited the Hamas leadership to Russia and stated that he didn’t view Hamas as a terrorist organization.As this booklet is being written (October, 2007), Putin is making a trip to Iran, the first name on Ezekiel’s list.Clearly, Russia is working overtime to form an axis with the Arab world.
The Islamic Antichrist
The most threatening ally on Ezekiel’s list is the first one named, Iran.On October 16, 2007, Russian leader Vladimir Putin visited Iran, the first time a Russian leader had done so since 1943.In the meeting, five presidents from the Caspian Sea states agreed to never allow their territory to be used for aggression against any of the party members “under any circumstances.”Interpretation: If America or Israel decides to attack Iran’s nuclear reactors, no cooperation will be given from Russia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and probably not from anyone else in the region.
The next day, October 17, President Bush upset more than a few folk when he uttered this politically incorrect warning:
We’ve got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel . . . So I've told people that, if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.
But they’re not interested in preventing any such thing.The Muslim-mad Arab nations are eaten up with hatred toward Israel and the United States, and they are aligning themselves with Gog and Magog in the axis of evil, just as Ezekiel prophesied.If anyone stands up to Iran, it will be Israel or the United States, not Russia and company.
Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a man who denies that the Holocaust ever happened, has gone on record stating that he wants to “wipe Israel off the map.”He stated at the “World without Zionism” conference in 2005 that “anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury.”And there’s no reason to think that he doesn’t mean it.Iran already has missiles that can reach Israel and England, and top U.S. military officials said back in 1998 that they could have ICBMs capable of hitting the United States within five years, by 2003.
It should be understood that Ahmadinejad is not just another ambitious Arab.This man is driven by the deep religious conviction that it is his calling to lead a holy war against Israel and the United States.He believes the end of the world is only a few years away and that he can hasten the coming of the Twelfth Imam, his messiah, by warring against Jews and Christians.In fact, he claims that this messiah is alive today and that he holds secret meetings with him.The Twelfth Imam belief is not a universal Muslim belief, but it is the belief of Ahmadinejad, and he should not be taken lightly.
Awaiting the Islamic Antichrist
Muslims in general do believe in a coming messiah, usually termed Al-Mahdi, which means “the guided one.”What’s so interesting is that their beliefs about this coming leader are strikingly similar to the Biblical descriptions of Antichrist.An excellent book to read on this subject is Antichrist: Islam’s Awaited Messiah, by Joel Richardson.We will quote from brother Richardson’s book on the next few pages in order to show the reader some of the similarities between the Muslim messiah and the Biblical Antichrist.
First, the Muslim messiah appears after a time of great suffering.According to eighth century Muslim scholar Ibn Kathir,
. . . mankind will have reached a stage of great suffering.then the awaited Mahdi will appear . . .
This parallels with the Biblical description of the “great tribulation” that Jesus foretold in Matthew 24:21.This covers Revelation chapters 6 through 19.
Concerning this future Arab leader, faithful Muslims also believe that
Every believer will be obligated to support him . . .
This matches the mandatory worship of the Antichrist in Revelation chapter 13.
Egyptian authors Muhammad ibn Izzat and Muhammad ‘Arif claim that Mahdi’s headquarters will be in Jerusalem:
. . . Jerusalem will be the location of the rightly guided caliphate and the center of Islamic rule, which will be headed by Imam al-Mahdi . . .
Although he doesn’t rise to power in Jerusalem, the Bible does speak of the Antichrist being in the rebuilt temple, which is in Jerusalem, and demanding worship there (II Ths. 2:3-8).
Muslim writings claim that their messiah will make a peace agreement with the “Romans” (Western powers? Ending the War on Terror?) and that this agreement will be mediated through a Jew.Furthermore, the length of this agreement is said to be seven years.Richardson’s quote from a particular hadith reads as follows:
There will be four agreements between you and the Romans [Christians].The fourth agreement will be mediated through a person who will be from the progeny of Hadrat Haroon [Honorable Aaron—Moses’ brother] and will be upheld for seven years.
Those familiar with the books of Daniel and Revelation know that the tribulation period is a seven year period, consisting of two three and one half year periods (Rev. 11:2, 11:3, 12:6, 12:14, 13:5; Dan. 12:7, 9:27).Daniel speaks of a seven year covenant in particular between the Antichrist and “many.”(See Clarence Larkin’s commentary on The Book of Daniel for an explanation on why a prophetic “week” equals seven years.)
The Antichrist first makes his appearance in Revelation 6:2 riding a white horse:“And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.”Interestingly enough, Muslim writers claim that this character is none other than their Mahdi!
The Egyptian writers mentioned earlier also state that followers of the Mahdiwill have
marks of prostration in their foreheads
The Bible declares that the followers of Antichrist will have a mark in their foreheads or in their right hands: “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads.”(Rev. 13:16).
It is also believed by Muslims that this world ruler will
lead a world revolution and set up a new world order
This is precisely what the Antichrist will do, according to Revelation chapter 13.
If that isn’t enough, Muslim prophecy writers also claim that their coming Mahdi will find the long “lost” Ark of the Covenant and bring it to Jerusalem!No, I’m not kidding:
At the hands of Mahdi the Ark of the Covenant will be brought forth from the Lake of Tiberias and taken and placed in Jerusalem.
The Bible says the Antichrist will go into the Jewish temple at Jerusalem (to be rebuilt) and that he will sit in it as God: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (II Ths. 2:3-4)Jesus said he (the Antichrist) will “stand in the holy place” and commit the “abomination of desolation” that Daniel prophesied (Mat. 25:15; Dan. ).
For further quotes and comparisons we recommend the aforementioned book by Joel Richardson.One thing is quite clear: the Islamic world is expecting a great leader to appear in the next few years, and, in many ways, he meets the Biblical description of Antichrist.It is possible that this individual might be the Gog of Ezekiel chapter 38 who leads an axis of evil against Israel.Only time will tell.Future headlines should prove to be interesting.
Muslims Attack Israel
According to Ezekiel’s account, after Satan has formed his axis of evil he will lead it in an attack on Israel:“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. 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.”(Ezk. 38:8-9)
Verse eleven states that this will happen when Israel is dwelling safely in the land and at rest:“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.”This could not have happened before 1948, because it wasn’t until then that Israel was even in the land, but today Israel is in the land.Although it might be a stretch to claim that Israel is currently “at rest,” she is enjoying more rest now than in past years.After all, Yasser Arafat and Sadaam Hussein are dead; Israel has peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt; the former Soviet empire has not been a threat in recent years; Israel has had the United States as her ally for six decades; she has the world’s most effective air force, and the Israeli economy is doing well.Things could be better for Israel, yes, but things could also be a lot worse.Once a peace treaty is signed with the Antichrist, Israel will feel more “at rest” than at any time since 1948.It is during this time that Gog will lead his forces against Israel in what could most likely be termed World War III.
Once Israel is attacked, it is none other than God Himself that defends His chosen nation against her many enemies.A careful reading of Ezekiel’s account reveals the following:
(1) Some Arab nations and Western nations will question
Gog’s invasion of Israel, but not do anything about it
(Ezk. 38:13).The “young lions” might have reference to
the United States since England’s symbol is a lion and the
U.S. came from England.
(2) God will use this event to glorify Himself in the sight
of all nations (Ezk. 38:16, 23, 39:7, 13, 21, 22, 28, 29)
much like He did by drowning Pharoah and the Egyptian
army in the Red Sea in Exodus.
(3) The means by which God will defeat Israel’s enemies
are a massive earthquake (Ezk. 38:19-20), confusion in
battle so that brother fights against brother (Ezk. 38:21),
pestilence, blood, rain, great hailstones, fire, and
brimstone (Ezk. 38:22).
(4) Over eighty percent of Israel’s enemies will be killed
upon the mountains of Israel (Ezk. 391-6).
(5) It will take seven years to burn all the weapons left
over from this war (Ezk. 39:9).
(6) It will take seven months to bury the bones of Israel’s
dead enemies (Ezk. 39:11-13).
(7) The flesh and blood of Israel’s enemies will be
consumed by the fowls of the air and the beasts of the
field (Ezk. 39:17-20).
(8) All nations will get a new and proper attitude
concerning God’s chosen nation of Israel (Ezk. 39:23-29).
There are different views on the time and the details of this coming war.Some believe that Gog is the Antichrist, while others do not.As already stated, some believe that Gog and Magog concerns Russia, while others believe Turkey is a more likely candidate.Some believe that Gog’s attack on Israel is the battle of Armageddon, involving many other nations (Rev. 16:16; Zch. 12:1-4, 14:1-9; Rev. 19:11-21), while others believe Armageddon comes later, though not much later.It is not our purpose to debate the details, but rather to show the reader that the time is clearly approaching.Just follow the headlines and see the events unfolding.
What to Expect
Someone once said that it’s never good to prophesy because if you prophesy correctly, no one will remember it, and if you prophesy incorrectly, no one will forget it.I firmly believe this, so I’ll not be making any specific prophecies.However, based on what the word of God has shown us, there are some general things that we should expect to see as Ezekiel’s prophecy fulfillment draws nearer:
(1) Watch for Iran to become more of a threat as Russia
continues to help this nation develop its nuclear
(2) Watch for more unity to develop between the nations
around the Caspian and BlackSeas.
(3) Watch for these nations (including Turkey) to become
more anti-Israel and anti-America.
(4) Watch for the Muslim population in Russia to grow
and gain more influence.
(5) Watch for Israel to “strike it big” with oil or some
other valuable natural resource.
(6) Watch for Russia to become more of a dictatorship and
less of a democracy.
(7) Watch for more talk of a plan for “Middle East Peace.”
Ultimately, there will be a seven year covenant signed.
(8) Watch for developments in Israel’s plans to build a
temple in Jerusalem.
(9) Watch for Iraq to become more stabilized and
prosperous.We haven’t dealt with Iraq in this study, but
global corporations are pouring billions of dollars into this
country as the American military works towards
establishing Iraq as a free democratic society. Babylon
(Iraq) must be rebuilt and flourishing in the last days (Zch.
5:5-11; Jer. 50-51; Isa. 47; Rev. 17-18).In fact, some
Muslims believe that the Mahdi (Antichrist) will arise out
of Iraq, and there is Scriptural support for this.
(10) Watch for political correctness to continue helping
the Muslim cause in America.I hate to mention it, but
Ezekiel’s record indicates that no nation comes to Israel’s
defense.This means that something must happen to cause
America to be more neutral and less pro-Israel.There
isn’t space here to discuss the things that could bring this
about, but the bottom line is that America probably isn’t
going to wake up and see Islamism as a threat.Instead,
she will express “religious tolerance” and claim that
terrorism is the evil fruit of radical Islam while accepting
the lie that Islam itself is a “good religion.”
What to Do
There’s nothing that anyone can do to prevent the coming World War.The word of God cannot be altered.Ambitious goals like “saving the world” or “saving America” are unrealistic, unattainable, and unscriptural.It is much better to focus on what we can do rather than wasting our time and resources on empty dreams.There are three simple things that everyone can do and should do as we see Bible prophecy nearing its fulfillment.
First, become a Christian by repenting of sin and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as God’s Son and the Saviour of the world.Those who are truly saved will be taken out of this world before the horrible events of Revelation begin.We will undoubtedly see more warning signs as the day approaches, but the church (true born-again believers in Christ) will be gone when the “great tribulation” strikes the earth.If you are not certain of your salvation, please read the next section.
Secondly, live for God and bring others to Christ.Our publication titled Your New Life in Christ can help you get started along the right path.It can be ordered by mail, from our web site, or one can read it on the web site.Our contact information is provided in the front of this booklet.
In your efforts to bring others to Christ, please remember the millions of Jews and the billions of Muslims that are lost and will one day find themselves in the “great tribulation” under the rule of Antichrist.Win them while you can by witnessing, praying, and supporting missionaries to the Jews and Muslims.
Finally, using copies of this booklet can be an effective way of reaching others with the gospel.When people see that we are truly living in the last days and that coming events will affect them personally, many will be willing to turn to God.America is a tough place for getting real converts because we are a prosperous nation where people generally feel no sense of need.This booklet, when used with wisdom and prayer, can show them that they are not prepared for what lies ahead and that they have a need to get prepared.You can help them to do just that, and your reward will be eternal.Please consider giving out copies of this booklet to your family members and friends, or at least consider speaking to them about the things you’ve learned.
The Five Facts of Life
The following paragraphs contain the text of our most popular salvation tract, The Five Facts of Life.In addition to being published as a tract since 1994, the points of this tract have also been printed on the inside of thousands of our booklet covers, on the Statement Stickers that we publish, and even on T-shirts.Please read through these paragraphs carefully and prayerfully, asking God to show you His truth.
You Are a Sinner
The first fact that you need to realize in life is that you are a natural-born sinner, a natural transgressor against God:"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."(Romans 3:23)"As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one."(Romans 3:10)"Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." (Psalm 51:5)
Most people have the false idea that we all LEARN to be sinners as we grow older and are influenced by evil, but this isn't true.God's word declares that we are all sinners by nature.We are all transgressors against God.
You Are Going To Die
Death isn't a very popular subject, but it is certainly a very REAL subject.Sooner or later, your heart will beat for the last time, your loved ones will mourn over your passing, and your body will be laid to rest in a grave.It's a fact of life, and the Bible tells us why: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."(Romans 5:12)“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
Why do people die?People die because people are SINNERS.Do you remember the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden?It wasn't until AFTER they had sinned that they were subject unto death.God told them in Genesis 2:17 that they would "die" when they ate of the forbidden fruit.Before man had sinned, he was ABOVE death, not subject unto it.Today, however, we are all sinners, because we have all inherited our sin nature from Adam.We must all die, just as Adam died (Genesis 5:5).
You Will Be Judged
God is the all-powerful Creator, the Supreme Commander of the Universe.He is in complete control of all people, places, and things, so no one should think it unreasonable that God intends to judge all men.We must all give account to our Maker: "For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil."(Ecclesiastes 12:14)"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."(Hebrews 9:27)
It may be a terrifying thought, but it is still the truth: YOU will stand before God and you will be judged by Him.Every sin that you have ever committed will be revealed--EVERY SECRET SIN!You may have managed to hide many things from your fellow man, but you have hid NOTHING from God, friend.He knows all things, and He will hold you accountable.You WILL be judged.
You Can't Save Yourself
When God judges this world, billions of people are going to be absolutely SHOCKED to find out that NO ONE--ABSOLUTELY NO ONE--was able to earn their way into Heaven.People have the false idea that they'll be permitted to enter Heaven as long as they "do more good works than bad."The word of God tells us just the opposite: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."(Ephesians 2:8-9) "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."(Romans 4:5)"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."(Isaiah 64:6)
The "good works" that you do are only good in YOUR eyes.In God's sight, you are a hopeless sinner, and your works are totally unacceptable.If you are counting on your own righteousness to save you, then you are setting yourself up for a very big disappointment:“For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth."(Romans 10:3-4)
The Bible clearly states that we are all cursed with sin, and that we are all totally incapable of earning our salvation by our own righteousness.Friend, unless your SINS are removed, God will NOT accept you.You are hopeless.
Your Only Hope Is the Lord Jesus Christ
When you are ready to accept the fact that you are a lost and dying sinner and that your "good works" are unacceptable to God, then you can begin to see your need for Jesus Christ.He came into this world to lay down His sinless life for YOU--to pay for your sins--because you couldn't.Jesus is your only hope for salvation.Only by receiving Him as your Saviour can you enter the gates of Heaven.There is no other way: "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me."(John 14:6)"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."(Acts )
The Lord Jesus Christ PAID for your sins by shedding His own blood on Calvary.By receiving Him as your Saviour, you can be WASHED from all your sins in His precious blood (Rev. 1:5; Col. 1:14; Acts 20:28; I Pet. 1:18-19).Notice these important words from Romans 5:8-9: "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."
Jesus PAID your way to Heaven for you!By receiving Him as your Saviour, you will be receiving God's ONLY means of Salvation for you.Are you willing to forsake YOUR righteousness and receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your ONLY HOPE for Salvation?Romans says, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."Romans 10:9 says,"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."Why not pray right now and ask the Lord to come into your heart and cleanse you from all sin?He will save you just as He promised.That's a fact.
Chambers, Joseph. A Palace for the Antichrist. Green Forrest, AR: New Leaf Press, Inc., 1996.
The Companion Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, Inc.
Hagee, John.Jerusalem Countdown: A Prelude to War. Lake Mary, FL: Frontline, 2006.
The Scofield Reference Bible (1909, 1917), comments on Ezekiel 38:2.
 Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary, Volume II (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 2002), p. 349.
 Encyclopedia Britannica (2005), Deluxe Edition, CD Rom
 Joel Rosenberg, Epicenter (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2006), p. 155.
 Ibid., 152.
 Ibid., 93.
 Ibid., 99.
 Vladimir Putin, First Person: An Astonishingly Frank Self-Portrait By Russia’s President, with Nataliya Gevorkyan, Natayla Timokova, and Andrei Kolesnikov, trans. Catherine A. Fitzpatrick (New York: Public Affairs, 2000).
 Joel Rosenberg, Epicenter, p. 141.
 Ibid., 135-136.
www.drudgereport.com, October 17, 2007
New York Times, October 27, 2005
 JoelRosenberg, Epicenter, 109-110
 Joel Richardson, Antichrist: Islam’s Awaited Messiah (Enumclaw, WA: Pleasant World, 2006), p. 40.
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