Aug 23, 2008

Oh, My Gog!

By Hal Lindsey

More than 2,500 years ago, a captive of the Babylonian Empire named Ezekiel penned a prophecy, dated for some future era called "the latter days," saying an alliance will arise, which Ezekiel calls collectively, "Gog, the land of Magog, the ruler of Rosh, Meschech and Tubal." It, together with an alliance led by Persia, including Turkey, makes up much of the Baltic region and the Mediterranean Middle East.

Without taking up too much time, "Gog" refers to modern Russia, from Moscow (Meshech) to Siberia. (Tubal). "Magog" refers to the states along the Black Sea, and in particular, the Republic of Georgia.

I outlined Ezekiel's prophecy in 1969 in my book "The Late, Great, Planet Earth" at a time most of this territory was a well-entrenched part of the Soviet Union.

"After many days you shall be visited: in the latter years you shall 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." (Ezekiel 38:8)

According to the prophet Ezekiel, this Russian led alliance of nations would sweep suddenly down upon Israel in a surprise invasion that evokes only a weak diplomatic response from the West.

"Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say to you, Are you come to take a spoil? have you gathered your company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?" (Ezekiel 38:13)

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, most of these republics broke with Russia to form new alliances with NATO and the West – an event for which I was widely ridiculed at the time.

How could most of Magog, like Ukraine, Georgia and Turkey, all firmly allied with the West, also be part of Russia's Gog alliance?

I didn't know. But I didn't pen Ezekiel's prophecy. I only reported it.

Now, Gog has evidently decided to reclaim its former Soviet empire, starting with Magog. Despite weeks of promising to withdraw almost any minute, the Russian military continues to dig in and consolidate its forces in and near the Georgian port of Poti on the Black Sea.

The Russians introduced tight restrictions of movement on Georgian citizens, refusing to accept anything except Russian documents. Despite agreements to the contrary, the Kremlin now says that "Russian forces will leave in their own time."

When Poland was contemplating an agreement that would allow the U.S. to deploy missile interceptor batteries in its territory, Russia warned them that by entering the treaty agreement they ran the risk of a Russian nuclear attack. When the Poles signed the treaty in defiance of the Kremlin, Russia promised its response would "rise above the level of diplomacy," a reference to the principle that "war is the result of failed diplomacy."

The Russian invasion and apparent occupation of Georgia is feared by many analysts, particularly those from former Soviet republics, that Vladimir Putin plans to re-conquer and restore the former empire.

Russia has broken off all ties with NATO, and the NATO alliance is beginning to show signs of strain as analysts warn of "a new Cold War – or worse."

Then, as now, the proxy battleground for the Cold War between East and West is in the Middle. So it was no surprise to read that Russia has targeted Israel for retaliation after Israel refused to honor a military embargo against Georgia.

According to a report in the World Tribune, "We asked Israel not to sell offensive weapons to a hostile neighboring state, but they said they're a sovereign state," a diplomatic source said. "Well, Israel shouldn't be surprised if we sell offensive weapons to Israel's neighbors."

In December 2007, Israel agreed not to sign new contracts for offensive weapons to Georgia. But the Israeli Defense Ministry, supported by the United States, maintained it would honor existing arms deals with Tbilisi.

"We told the Israelis that this was a very unwise move and that Russians were being killed because of Georgia's policy," the Russian source said. "They didn't take us seriously, probably because they were encouraged by the United States."

I don't want anyone to miss the point here. The point isn't that the Gog Magog War has begun. I don't know if it has. I can't say for sure that this is even it.

The point is this. Two thousand, five hundred years ago, a Hebrew captive living in Babylon outlined in detail the scenario that has continued to unfold and take shape in precise detail for most of the past generation.

Even when short-term political changes seemed to indicate otherwise, the scenario eventually resumes its original course, as if following a pre-determined script.

Ezekiel predicted this alignment of nations could only take place after Israel was restored to its place among the nations of the world. And so it unfolds. So, if that isn't the point, what is? It's simple. Who told Ezekiel?

Because the same One that told Ezekiel the future also extends you an offer of pardon, if you are ready to believe that He is, and allow Him into your heart as your Lord and Savior.

I pray that you decide well. Time is not on your side.