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The Coming Invasion of Russia - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
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January 25, 2024 5:00 am

The Coming Invasion of Russia - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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January 25, 2024 5:00 am

Pastor Skip encourages you with the truth that you can know and understand Bible prophecy.

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I want you to know something else going into this. Bible prophecy can sometimes be complicated, but that doesn't mean that it's designed to be unknowable. So don't like throw up your arms and go, okay, this is weird. I can't ever understand this.

Yes, you can. It's why the angel said to Daniel, know and understand. It's why Jesus said, know therefore and understand. Biblical prophecy can be intimidating to many, but that doesn't mean it's unknowable. And today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Pastor Skip encourages you with the truth that you can know and understand Bible prophecy.

Now here's news about a new study guide for Skip series, The End is Near. It is designed to give you a deeper grasp of current times and biblical end times. Is the end near?

That's a question on many minds. And that's why Pastor Skip Heitzig spent many months in 2023 presenting 26 full length messages in his The End is Near series. The second coming of Jesus Christ dominates the Bible next to the subject of faith. The coming of Christ in the future is the most discussed topic in the book. To compliment this excellent series, a study guide from Skip is now available. This study guide is over 100 pages in length and covers all 26 messages in the series. The End is Near study guide includes notes, summaries and questions for group or personal study.

We need to understand the times and this study guide will aid in this effort. With your gift of $50 or more to connect with Skip Heitzig, you will receive a copy of The End is Near study guide from Skip's in-depth 26 part series. Your gift will support the production and expansion of the Connect with Skip broadcast. Call 1-800-922-1888 or go online to connectwithskip.com.

That's 1-800-922-1888 or connectwithskip.com. Okay, we're going to turn to Ezekiel 38 as we join Skip for today's teaching. If you were with us in the very beginning, we noted that some 26% of the Bible is prophetic and yet it is absent in many pulpits.

Many people do not want to talk about the things that we talk about so they're kind of leaving out a fourth of the Bible or more depending on their preaching style. But we believe and this go around on teaching on this subject, my staff encouraged me to go deep instead of shallow so we have been trying to go into the weeds a little bit and my goal is to make you knowledgeable in all things end times. So we are in the book of Ezekiel. You can take your Bible and turn to Ezekiel chapter 38 and 39, two chapters that we will be in this week and next week. Last week we covered chapter 36 and 37. No, we're not going through the Bible on the weekends but we're talking about in this series on the end times, we're talking about Israel in prophecy and the next couple weeks we'll sum that up.

So we're in Ezekiel chapter 38. Now in a moment I'm going to show you a little video because if you grew up in the United States of America like in the 50s and 60s, they showed you videos like this in school. Imagine being a little kid and watching this. That signal means to stop whatever you are doing and get to the nearest safe place fast. Always remember the flash of an atomic bomb can come at any time no matter where you may be. So that was an era known as the Cold War. The Cold War was like 1947 to 1991 officially and it was a period of geopolitical tension between the United States of America and the USSR, between Russia and the United States. That tension between these superpowers caused a lot of fear in our world and that fear was balanced by a very strong US military and strong alliances that the United States made with other nations to counteract and mitigate against that possibility. Fast forward to now where we have not quite the same political will you might say. We don't have the will to engage in anything.

We don't want to send troops anywhere or protect like we used to. So because of that, at least in part, because of that, nations that are bully nations see a weakness in the West, the unwillingness in the West, and people like Vladimir Putin and Russia make moves on nations like Soviet Georgia, Crimea, and most recently Ukraine to attack them. In fact, Vladimir Putin has had a desire to restore Russia to its former glory and in so doing to humiliate the United States whom he blames for the destruction of the Soviet Union. Vladimir Putin said that the USSR and I'm quoting was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.

So that is who we're dealing with in Russia. Now what's amazing is that 2,500 years ago, 2,600 years ago, there was a Jewish prophet by the name of Ezekiel who foretold Russia's rise to power in the last days. It's a prophecy you're about to read in just a few moments. He foretold of a coalition and a conflict that is typically known as the War of Gog and Magog. How many of you have heard of that, Gog and Magog?

Okay, a lot of you are biblically informed so you know about that. Gog and Magog, very famous predicted battle. I'll give you the spoiler alert right up front. I'll give you the plot. Ezekiel describes an eschatological conflict led by a leader of a region whose ancient name was Magog.

Today, it is known as the Russian Federation. This leader forms a military alliance with other nations and they all come to attack Israel at some point. Then Ezekiel predicts something really incredible and that is how those enemies that attack are dealt with, how the coalition is defeated. And as we read the text, we do not read about the superior military might of the Israelis, nor do we hear of the allies of Israel coming to help them, but we read about how God on His own supernaturally moves to defend Israel and destroy her enemies. The second reason this is fascinating is that as we go through the language in chapter 39 of Ezekiel, the language seems to imply the use of nuclear weaponry, something we want to look at next time because you just don't have time in one setting like this to do so.

But I want you to note something up front. Lest you think that this whole prophecy thing of Gog and Magog is just something crazy fundamental Christians in America deal with, but nobody else is really into that. The Jewish people know about this battle.

Talk to a rabbi, read Jewish commentaries, look up Jewish encyclopedias. You will discover all of them speak about a coming war in the future called the War of Gog and Magog. And they will tell you that it will be a battle that will happen later on or toward the end before the Messiah comes. So it is not unknown, but well known in Judaism.

Also, the Muslims know about this war, and it has found its way into the Quran even, though it is called in Arabic the battle of Yajuj and Majuj, but it's the same battle. Now chapter 38 is one of those chapters where you start to read it and you go, yeah, no. All these weird names and places and this really has nothing to do with me in my life, so why are you preaching a sermon on it? You'll discover actually it has everything to do with your life and possibly in the near future. We just don't know. But I want you to know something else going into this. Bible prophecy can sometimes be complicated, but that doesn't mean that it's designed to be unknowable. So don't like throw up your arms and go, okay, this is weird. I can't ever understand this.

Yes, you can. It's why the angel said to Daniel, know and understand. It's why Jesus said, know therefore and understand.

It can be complicated, but it can be unraveled, and it is designed to be understood. So we should approach Ezekiel 38 and 39 believing what Paul said to Timothy that all scripture is inspired by God and given for our prophet. So what I want to do today in looking at Ezekiel 38, we're not going to look at all of it, just a portion of it, is I'm going to approach this like a reporter asking who, where, when, and why.

First of all, who? Who is going to invade? Let's begin and read the first few verses together. Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, Son of man, set your face against Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws, and lead you out with all your army horses and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with buckler shields, all of them handling swords.

Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet, Gomer and all its troops, the house of Tugarmah from the far north and all its troops, many people are with you. Now the names we just read are our proper names, and they all speak of places where the people who originally had these names settled, the people who originally had these names settled. So they're all places. There's only one name that is not a place but a person, and that is the first one, and that is Gog, where he says, Set your face against Gog. Here's what you need to know about Gog.

Gog is not a place, it's a person. In fact, it's a title. It's not a name, it's a title. It would be a title like Pharaoh or like Tsar or like Caesar. Gog, most scholars believe, is some kind of military leader.

That's what the word means. And so he is called in verse 2, the prince of Magog, or the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, but he's of the land of Magog. And we know it's a person because he gets a pronoun, and it's not his own preferred pronoun, by the way. It's a pronoun that the author assigns to him as a male pronoun, he and him, because he is a male leader coming in the future. This leader builds an alliance with nations that are listed here.

It is a political alliance, economic alliance, diplomatic and military alliance. And they're after something. They're after someone in particular. So who are these people? Who are these nations? If you're a Bible student, they're familiar to you. If you're a Bible student, you know that these are names that have been lifted directly out of Genesis chapter 10, called the table of nations. Genesis chapter 10 is the genealogical record of Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and their offspring.

And they come out of chapter 10 of Genesis, but they settled in different geographical regions. So let's look at the first, Magog. Magog. Who was Magog? Magog was the second son of Japheth, and also the grandson of Abraham. Don't worry, I'm not going to do this with every one of these persons giving you their background because we don't have the time.

You probably wouldn't be as interested, and it doesn't serve our purpose. So he's the second son of Japheth. He's the grandson of Noah, but he founded the domain of the Scythians. The Scythians were the people that settled north of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, or the area of the former Soviet Republic.

You could look that up in an encyclopedia. You could look it up in the first mention of this, the Greek poet Hesiod, the father of history, Herodotus, the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, all of them bear witness that that is where the Scythian race came from and where they settled north of the Caucasus Mountains. So this leader, Gog, this person, by the way, this person is a bad person because God says, I am against you, O Gog. So God is against Gog, and that makes him a bad person.

Anyone that God is against would be designated by necessity as a bad person. So Gog is the ruler of Magog, and he is the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. Rosh is a linguistic root where we get the term Russia from.

I want to throw this up on the screen for you to look at. John Walvoord said, in the study of how ancient words came into modern language, it is quite common for the consonants to remain the same, but vowels to be changed. In the word Rosh, if the vowel O is changed to U, it becomes the root of the modern word Russia with the suffix added. The original word or term for the country Russia was the word Rus, R-U-S, and that's where this word is tied to, Rosh. Then the next word is Meshech, and without going through all the gymnastics here, that is related to the city Moscow. Tubal is a term some of you may be familiar with if you know Russian geography. There's a river running through Russia called the Tubal River or the Tobol River, and there's a city on the Tubal River called Tobolsk, and it is believed that Tubal is referred to or Tobolsk is referred to in the word Tubal.

Go down now to verse 15. Then you will come from your place out of the far north. If you were just to take a globe and put your finger on the country of Israel and just go far north, you'll only end up in one place, and that is this area north of the Caucasus Mountains where the Scythians dominated or modern day Russia. So then this passage we can safely say is addressed to Russia and its allies who will form some kind of a political pact. One of the questions I've been getting lately, more and more and more, is about Vladimir Putin. Those who know this prophecy will simply say, is Putin Gog?

And here's my answer. I don't know. It's too early to tell, but like my friend Joel Rosenberg says, Putin is certainly Gog-esque, certainly Gog-esque, right? He seems to be leaning more and more in that direction, given the coalitions that he is forming, given the activities that he is engaged in. Now it could be that in this recent battle with Ukraine that started last year that Putin and the Russians will be defeated in that. If he wins the battle in Ukraine, what makes leaders around the world nervous is who will he target next?

And that question is an important, significant question because he has mentioned that he has other aspirations. So we have Gog and Magog. Next, in verse five, on that list first is Persia. Now Persia is an ancient name or an ancient country, and it went by that name until 1935 when the name was changed to Iran, known in Texas as Iran. And it was called Iran until 1979 when the name changed again because of the Islamic revolution in that country, and now it is the Islamic Republic of Iran.

It is headed by an aggressively anti-Semitic, aggressively anti-American set of leaders. And today, here's what makes this interesting, today there is forming an alliance between Moscow, between Magog and Persia. Iran and Russia are forming an alliance like we have never seen before in history, started a few years back and it is growing. Did you know that it was Russia that helped Iran build its nuclear facility? Did you know that today there are around a thousand Russian nuclear scientists living and working in Iran?

According to the Mossad, which is the Israeli intelligence agency, Iran has been delivering weapons to Russia in this war with Ukraine the past few months and plans to deliver more. What is baffling to some of us is that the American administration under Barack Obama made a deal with Iran to supply them with a hundred billion dollars and as part of the deal to send an airplane filled with 1.8 billion dollars in cash. Why does that make us nervous?

Why do we think that's a bad idea? Because Iran, did you know Iran is the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism on the earth? They're the worst player out there and we're sending them money. You know what Iran refers to us as, the United States?

The great Satan. Israel is the little Satan, they want it annihilated and they call us the great Satan. Here's an article from USA Today a few years back and it's up on the screen, quote, Russia and Iran are increasingly cooperating in multiple arenas, notably their joint efforts to preserve the regime of Syria's President Bashar Assad in his civil war by providing military support and diplomatic pressure on his behalf, close quote.

We're seeing the alignment. Next on the list is Ethiopia. Ethiopia is more of a modern name.

The old translations, the Hebrew in fact says Cush, Cush. Cush or Ethiopia is the area south of Egypt, partly Ethiopia but principally the country of Sudan. Sudan is the ally of Russia, as you might expect, and the ally of Iran and traditionally has been very anti-Israel. Next on the list is Libya. Now Libya is the only country in this list that retains its ancient name and it is listed here but may include modern day Algeria and Tunisia as well, given the area where this was settled. So we're dealing with here the Islamic states of the upper Nile region.

By the way, Libya is an ally with Russia and Libya is an ally with Iran today. What's fascinating also about this prophecy isn't just who is mentioned but who's not mentioned. Egypt is not mentioned. Egypt is a major country. Egypt for generations has been against Israel. There are some not nice things spoken against Egypt in the Bible. But Egypt is not mentioned in this coalition in the last days. That's interesting because in 1979 Egypt signed a peace agreement with Israel.

Under Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin at the time, it has been in force ever since and lately Egypt with its president today is warming up to Israel. Next on the list is Gomer, and those of you who are Bible students know that Gomer is the country where Gomer Pyle comes from. Is that right? No, that's not right. Do you even know who Gomer Pyle is?

Okay. For others of you, you just need to Google it. I'm looking at young people going, Gomer Pyle. Golly!

You'll have to Google that one. So, no, Gomer settled along the Danube and the Rhine Rivers that would comprise the nations of Poland, the Czech Republic, and East Germany. Adolf Hitler already proved that these countries can be swayed to become very anti-Semitic. Some will associate Gomer with Cappadocia. Which is a region in modern-day Central Turkey. Speaking of Turkey, look at the next on the list, and that is the House of Togarmah. Togarmah became the Turkish tribes of Central Asia.

It comprises modern-day Turkey. That's Skip Heitig. With a message from his series, The End is Near, find the full message, as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. God has revealed Himself through His Word so that we might know Him intimately and personally. That's why we share these messages, to help you connect to God through His Word and grow in your walk with Christ. And when you support this ministry, you keep these teachings you love available to you and to so many others around the world, so they too can grow and connect with God. Just call 800-922-1888 to give a gift today. That's 800-922-1888. Or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate.

Thank you. Tomorrow, Skip concludes his message, The Coming Invasion of Russia, and shows you why the location of Israel on the globe is no accident. In God's geography class, He put Israel at the center of the world.

So much so that in the Bible, whenever you get geographical areas, north, south, east, and west, they're all relative to Israel and Jerusalem in particular. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the crossing. Cast all burdens on His Word. Make a connection, a connection. Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-25 04:47:28 / 2024-01-25 04:56:03 / 9

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