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Putin, Russia & Gog
Is Putin the Gog of Bible Prophecy?
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March 15, 2024 - Audio, 12.17 MIN
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In this episode we take a look at the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 and the role of the leader of Russia in the latter days.

This week Russia has started its presidential election.

According to Western news outlets the election has been characterised by a lack of opposition to President Vladimir Putin. Putin, 71, has been in power longer than any Kremlin leader since Stalin, is expected to win a landslide victory.

Some anti-Ukraine-war candidates have apparently been blocked from running and many rivals seem to strangely disappear if they begin to threaten Putin. The biggest potential threat to Putin in recent times, Aleksei Navalny recently died last month from unexplained circumstances at the age of 47 in an Arctic prison where he was serving a 19-year sentence. It is suspected it was an assassination directed by Putin.

According to Politico, In a sarcastic tweet, before polling had barely started, the EU president Charles Michel. wrote: “Would like to congratulate Vladimir Putin on his landslide victory in the elections starting today, No opposition. No freedom. No choice,”.

But what does the Bible say about this? What might we expect from the leader of Russia in our times?

Gog leader of the latter day invasion of Israel

In the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 we come across a description of a great battle which will soon take place. The prophecy is about the time when the people of Israel has returned to their land which points us in the direction of our time. It has only been since 1948 that the state of Israel was founded - fulfilling this and other Bible prophecies and indicating we are living in the Latter Days just before Jesus returns.

The prophecy depicts a time when a Northern invader attacks Israel with a coalition of nations. On their last legs, God acts to save His people of Israel which he does through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ who saves them in that day. 

Characteristics of Gog

The Bible tells us that the leader of this invasion is an individual called Gog. There are a number of interesting identifiers and characteristics in the prophecy which are worthy of note:

1. The leader of Russia: According to the prophecy (Ezek 38:2) Gog is the Prince or ‘leader’ of the people of the Rus or Rosh. This name in the Hebrew has been linked to the name of Russia. Currently that leader is Putin - so this might relate to him or his successor.

2. Gog originates in North: Ezekiel 38:15 describes Gog as coming from the "north parts" with a mighty army. This geographical indicator again links Gog with modern Russia, which is situated to the north of Israel and is known for its significant military capabilities and weaponry.

3. Coalition Leader: In Ezekiel 38:5-6, Gog is depicted as the leader of a coalition of nations - labeled by ancient names which we have to do considerable historical research to determine their modern equivelents. These include Magog (Central Europe), Persia (Iran), Ethiopia & Libya (North Africa), Gomer (Western Europe), and  the house of Togarmah (The Turkic Nations). This suggests that Gog is a leader capable of forging strong alliances. Russia's current international relationships and its efforts to establish itself as a central figure among a variety of nations is clearly a modern parallel to this. Its interesting to note that European territories and peoples are mentioned in the prophecy. Currently of course, the European powers are very anti-Russia so something will have to change. Interestingly this week Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, had a meeting with Donald Trump. The BBC reported that he said after that meeting that, should he be elected, Trump “will not give a penny in the Ukraine-Russia war. That is why the war will end”. Should Trump be elected therefore the confidence that the European and NATO nations have expressed in supporting Ukraine may well wane and they might have to accept a Russian victory. There are already calls for Ukraine to surrender - most notably this week The Guardian ran a headline “Pope provokes outrage by saying Ukraine should ‘raise white flag’ and end war with Russia”.

4. Aggressor: The prophecy outlines Gog's initiation of this major conflict against Israel (Ezekiel 38:16), this is shown in modern Russia's assertive international stance and its involvement in conflicts that could have strategic implications similar to those described in the prophecy. The wars in Crimea and Ukraine can be pointed to as recent aggression by Russia. Putin is well known for his aggressive threats and actions. In fact this week Al Jazeera ran an article entitled “Putin resumes ‘sabre-rattling’ with warning Russia ready for nuclear war”. The article quotes Putin to have said “From a military-technical point of view, we are, of course, ready. They [Russian forces] are constantly in a state of combat readiness,” Putin said during an interview with the Rossiya-1 state TV channel. “Our triad, the nuclear triad, it is more modern than any other triad,” he continued. “Only we and the Americans actually have such triads. And we have advanced much more here.”

5. Motivated by Plunder: Gog's invasion is driven by a desire to "take a spoil" and "to take a prey" (Ezekiel 38:12), indicating economic or material motivations and the subjugation of people. This mirrors the strategic economic interests that might motivate modern nations, including Russia, in their geopolitical endeavours, particularly in regions rich in natural resources or of strategic or historic importance. The land of Israel is one such location.

6. Guard to its Allies: Ezekiel 38:7 mentions, "Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them." This implies that Gog not only leads but also offers protection to its allies. This characteristic can be related to modern Russia's role in providing military support, security guarantees, or political backing to its allies - Russias dealings with Syria and Iran are examples of this attitude in modern times.

7. Ruthless and Aggressive: The narrative of Gog's invasion in Ezekiel 38-39 suggests an aggressive posture towards Israel, implying a level of ruthlessness in the actions taken. For instance, the scale and suddenness of the invasion, as described in Ezekiel 38:9, "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," portray Gog as not only aggressive but also overwhelming in force. The motive "to take a spoil, and to take a prey" (Ezekiel 38:12) further suggests a willingness to aggressively exploit and dominate. This characteristic can be seen in Putin’s use of force and intimidation to achieve his strategic objectives, often without regard for international norms or the well-being of those in the targeted regions. The recent crushing of Putin’s opposition in the recent elections show how this attitude is prevalent in modern Russia.

Signs of the times

So as we watch and review the news we see Bible prophecy in action. We see a Russia, headed by an authoritative aggressive leader as we would expect by Bible prophecy. We shall have to see if Putin is the Gog mentioned in the prophecy but even if he passes off the scene, as all mortal men are destined to, his successor will no doubt continue the work he has begun.

These are sure signs of the times that soon the Lord Jesus will return to the earth. The prophecies speak of Christ defeating Gog’s armies and establishing God’s Kingdom on the earth with it’s capital in Jerusalem. When Jesus was not even born it was prophesied of him that he would “be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:” (Luke 1:32). This is the long expected hope of Bible believers.

So keep watching and waiting with us here on Bible In the News. Tune in next week for another episode where we look at current events, in the light of Bible prophecy…

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