James F. Gauss, author of
And a dozen other books.
Surely the Lord God does nothing,
unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
Is it possible that we are witnessing the beginning of the fulfillment of the prophecy of Ezekiel in Ezekiel 38? In Ezekiel 38, God tells the prophet Ezekiel of a coming war in which overwhelming forces of evil from the north will come against Israel at a time when she is living in peace and the Jews from all nations have returned to Israel. Are the precursors to that great event now starting to take shape in the Middle East? Has President Obama unknowingly or purposely set the stage for the fulfillment of the prophecy in Ezekiel 38?
In case you have not been paying attention, there are some interesting developments in the Middle East that have taken place over the last 2-3 years. Before looking at this prophecy, let me catch you up on current events in the Middle East and elsewhere in case you have missed them.
ISIS. First, let’s look at the rapid development of ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). First, President Obama and his administration prefer to refer to this Islamic terrorist group as ISIL (The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant). That in itself is interesting and significant since only a true Muslim would understand the significance of such a reference. The “Levant” refers to the Middle Eastern area that includes Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Israel. Other countries that are sometimes included in the Levant are Egypt, Cyprus and Turkey. ISIS or ISIL has made it clear that they are establishing a new caliphate (Islamic area of control) to include the Levant. They are well on their way to doing so.
Obama insists that there is a 60+ country coalition that is fighting against ISIS, yet ISIS has grown stronger and taken over more territory in the Middle East and Northern Africa and spread its tentacles of terror into Europe and America. While the roots of ISIS have been in Syria for over a decade, the group did not rise to some prominence until after President Obama withdrew all military combat units out of Iraq at the end of 2011. However, ISIS was not unknown to U.S. military intelligence who strongly advised Obama that the group could quickly become an Islamic terrorist threat and advised the President to take military action against them. Obama did not listen to his military advisors and refused to take any action.
It has recently been disclosed by over 50 military intelligence personnel that the Obama administration, prior to the 2012 presidential election, modified their intelligence reports that warned of the threat of ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups in the Middle East, so that it looked like the threat of Islamic terrorism in the Middle East had been defeated.
In April, 2013 ISIS burst onto the scene taking territories in Syria and northwest Iraq. Obama’s military advisors once again recommended that he wipe out this fledgling terrorist group. Obama refused to take their advice and did nothing. Two years later (April, 2015), ISIS had grown to 31,000 fighters (some on the ground estimate up to 200,000) and are in at least 8 Middle Eastern and North African countries.
Despite receiving multiple warnings from his military advisors for over two and a half years, Obama did not authorize airstrikes against ISIS until August, 2014. Along with a handful of coalition allies only about 5-10 sorties (bombing runs) per day have been carried out, thus making the bombing effort largely ineffective in destroying ISIS. Instead, ISIS has become more brutal in its attacks on women, children, Christians, peaceful Muslims and anyone else they deem to be infidels or those that refuse to follow their brand of barbaric Islam.
Because Obama withdrew U.S. forces from Iraq and much of Afghanistan against all military advice, ISIS not only mushroomed into a formidable military, but has been recruiting thousands of fighters and ISIS supporters from nations outside the Middle East. In addition, ISIS has been successful in getting their terrorist agents into almost every European nation and into all 50 U.S. states. The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) has recently confirmed that it has active investigations into ISIS cells in all 50 states.
To make the situation even worse, Obama has decided to import 255,000 virtually unvetted Middle Eastern Muslim refugees over the next 3 years—70,000 in 2015; 85,000 in 2016 and 100,000 in 2017. The FBI has already declared that it will be impossible to determine who among these 255,000 “refugees” are terrorists that are seeking to do America harm. In the last year alone the Obama administration and his (not the people’s) DHS (Department of Homeland Security) deliberately permitted 1519 known Muslims or Muslim sympathizers who had a history of supporting Islamic terrorists abroad to enter the United States. Why?—because these poor terrorists committed their acts of support “under duress” according to the DHS. It is interesting that known Islamic terrorist sympathizers and supporters are given a pass because they were believed to have committed their acts under duress, but in American schools there is a “zero tolerance” policy for a second grader who accidently brought a pair of scissors to school. After all, he might slice and dice the teacher and his classmates.
Iran. It has long been known by intelligent sources that Iran has been the main sponsor and perpetrator of Islamic terrorism in the world and the chief supplier of military equipment and ordnance that killed and maimed the majority of American GIs in Iraq. As soon as Obama pulled U.S. forces out of Iraq, Iran quickly filled the void.
To reward this seasonal purveyor of Islamic terror who regularly vows to annihilate Israel and chants “death to America” like it’s some nursery rhyme, Obama, along with the demented leaders of Germany, France, Russia and China, decided it was in the world’s best interest to strike a deal with Iran that will assure their continued “secret” development of nuclear weapons. Although the “deal” has never been fully disclosed to the American public or Congress, those parts which have been leaked have been called an atrocity and complete surrender to the world’s most evil power. Virtually every U.S. military leader has referred to the deal as a disaster of gigantic proportions that will greatly diminish Israel’s survival and possibly that of the United States and Europe.
No sooner was the ink dry on the deal, Iran insisted on other demands that would further strengthen the deal for Iran, while weakening it for the free world. After the deal was completed a representative of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) went to Iran to collect samples from Iran’s notorious Parchin military nuclear site to be analyzed for Iran’s compliance with the deal. The IAEA was not able to secure its own samples for analysis, but instead was given samples taken by Iranian personnel. Representatives of the IAEA proclaimed their site visit was a success. Really!
Such a disastrous agreement that greatly risks the safety and security of Israel, America and the entire world was led largely by Islamic-addled minds of the Obama administration. If allowed to persist, it will undoubtedly result in a nuclear arms race in the Middle East or force Israel to carry out a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to preserve its existence.
Russia. Fresh from his uncontested incursion into Ukraine (where no European country or the U.S. lifted a hand in joint defense), President Vladimir Putin decided to venture into Syria under the guise of helping brutal Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad fight against ISIS. Again, this was made possible due to Obama’s refusal to effectively engage this Islamic terrorist group, now formidable army. Putin is all too happy to fill the void left by Obama and establish a strong presence in the Middle East. Putin has very effectively done so by making quick alliances with Syria, Iraq and Iran. On September 30, about two weeks after Putin moved military personnel, equipment, planes, tanks, etc. into northwest Syria, Russia carried out its first airstrikes—not against ISIS (U.S. military intelligence surmised), but against Syrian rebels that are fighting against the corrupt al-Assad regime. On the very same day, Putin strongly advised the U.S. to get its military planes out of Syrian air space and stop their sorties against ISIS.
No great surprise to this writer, but the day after Russia’s first airstrikes, Iran sent thousands of foot soldiers into Syria to join up with the Islamic terrorist group, Hezbollah. To any intelligent observer, this could get out-of-hand very quickly.
Muslim migration to Europe. A direct result of Obama’s failed foreign and military strategy in the Middle East, the collapse of the Iraqi government and military and the general chaos created throughout the Middle East, hundreds of thousands of people (Muslims, Christians and other religious and ethnic groups) have been brutally raped, beaten, dismembered, barbarically murdered or driven from their homes by ISIS and associated Muslim terrorists who just happen to follow the “true” teachings of the Qur’an and their false prophet, Mohammad. Those natives that remain, mostly Muslims from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Africa and elsewhere, along with thousands of Mid-Eastern Christians are desperately fleeing to southern Europe. This mass migration, unprecedented in modern history, is fearfully expected to reach 35 million. If so, it will destroy the social, political, economic and religious fabric of Europe.
Europe as a whole is ill equipped to handle this mass migration of mostly hostile immigrants. Although they are fleeing Islamic terror the majority still cling to their rigid Islamic beliefs of Islamic law and Islamic domination. At the end of 2013, Europe was already home to 43.5 million Muslims or 6% of the European population. It has been suggested by Muslim culture observers and researchers, that when the Muslim population approaches 5% of the native population, chaos ensues, disrupting the normal fabric of life for those whose homeland has been “invaded” by Muslims. Historically, as well as currently, the majority of Muslims are aggressive, demanding and belligerent when it comes to asserting their way of life. For more than a decade many countries in Europe have been confronting the Islamic belligerency and even Islamic jihad with little success. Imagine if 35 million more Muslims flood European culture. Europe will never be the same.
Among the current migration to Europe are an estimated 70% young men, not families or women and children. This is of great concern, especially when a survey of those arriving disclosed that over 14% supported ISIS’ objectives. Therefore, it is deemed possible by European authorities that this Muslim migration may include thousands of ISIS or other Islamic terrorists.
Jewish migration to Israel. Depending on what survey or data one chooses to observe there is or is not a rise in anti-Semitism in European countries. While anti-Jew sentiment persists in Europe, in many countries it is unchanged, but in others it is growing. For instance, in a 2013 poll by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, it was discovered that in France, 70% of Jews surveyed said they felt threatened and 35% said they had experienced anti-Semitism. This could explain why, in the past year or two, over 20,000 Jews fled France for life in Israel.
By May of this year, the migration of Jews to Israel was up 40% over the previous year. In February, 2015, Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, told European Jews to return to Israel. A year ago, at a Rosh Hashana celebration in the United States, Vice President Joe Biden told a Jewish group that Israel was the only safe place for American Jews. Hundreds of American Jews appear to be taking his advice and moving to Israel.
Since 1948 when the Jewish state of Israel was re-established and through 2013, 140,488 Jews migrated to Israel from Canada and the USA. In 2014, 3,700 Jews left Canada and the United States for Israel, the most since 1983. In 2014, Israel saw a 32% increase in new settlers coming from all over the world.
There is a good reason for American Jews to consider such a move. In the good ole USA, during the 2014-2015 college year saw a reported 520 anti-Jewish events on America’s university campuses, an increase of 38% over the previous school year. While Christians and political conservatives are often banned from America’s campuses, Muslim and anti-Jew speakers are ushered in. In addition, there is a growing anti-Israel sentiment among some evangelical Christian churches in the U.S.
The nation of Israel. In early 2014, it was estimated that the world Jewish population was 14.2 million. At the beginning of 2015, Israel’s population was at 8.4 million, of which 6.3 million or 75% are Jews. The majority of the remainder, 20.7% are Arabs. This means that Israel is currently home to over 44% of the world’s Jews living in an area half the size of Switzerland. Of course this tiny nation is not surrounded by allies, but rather by those who would love to see it obliterated. Among its Middle East neighbors there are an estimated 317 million Muslims. If the Muslim nation of Pakistan is included with another 167 million Muslims, that means Israel is outnumbered 58:1. Perhaps this explains why Israel has the 4th most powerful military in the world, right behind the United States, Russia and China.
The actors in Ezekiel 38. To understand what is prophesied to transpire in Ezekiel 38, we must first identify the participants.
Gog (vs. 2). It seems that most biblical scholars concur that Gog refers to a future leader of Russia or the leader of a combined military force that comes against Israel and God.
Magog (vs. 2). Magog is considered to be the nation of Russia.
Rosh, Meshech & Tubal (vss. 2, 3). These three countries or regions are believed to be Russia’s satellite countries. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union in December, 1991, the Russian empire included 14 Socialist Republics. Together with Russia, they made up what was called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or the Soviet Union.
Persia (vs. 5). Persia is the old world and biblical name for Iran.
Ethiopía or Cush (vs. 5). Different versions of the Bible refer to this North African region as Ethiopia or Cush. Some biblical scholars believe that this may or may not refer to today’s Ethiopia but may possibly be Northern Sudan, which is occupied by radical Muslims.
Put (vs. 5). Put is Libya in Northern Africa and is 97% Muslim.
Gomer (vs. 6). Gomer is believed to be present-day Germany and Eastern Europe.
Beth-togarmah (vs. 6). The common consensus is that this region is current-day Turkey.
Sheba & Dedan (vs. 13). Most likely refers to the Arabian Peninsula countries.
Tarshish (vs. 13). There is some uncertainty about this region, but most scholars believe that it is likely Spain.
The Ezekiel 38 Prophesy, Verse by Verse. Now that we know the current events unfolding in the Middle East and the countries or regions referred to in Ezekiel 38, let’s examine each verse to see how it fits current and possibly future events in the Middle East and Israel.
NOTE: The events prophesied in Ezekiel 38 may occur before or after the “rapture”. Biblical scholars differ in their opinion. However, the battle depicted here is not the battle of Armageddon that occurs after the Great Tribulation. In any case scenario, we must be ready.
Verse (A paraphrased interpretation):
- The word of God comes to Ezekiel. So, we know that what follows is from the mouth of God Almighty through the prophet Ezekiel.
02-03. God makes it clear that the prophecy is against Magog, Rosh, Meshech & Tubal, that is against Russia and her satellite countries. Currently, Russia’s former satellite countries are independent nations. They are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belorussia (now Belarus), Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirgiziya (now Kyrgyzstan), Latvia, Lithuania, Moldavia (now Moldova), Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Russia’s current president, Vladimir Putin, appears to have every intention of re-establishing the Russian empire. In the early spring of 2014, Russian troops invaded the Crimea region of the Ukraine. Europe, the United States and the rest of the world, although protesting meekly, did nothing. Emboldened by this lack of confrontation, Putin’s forces continue to occupy the Crimea and are threatening the rest of Ukraine. To be noted, Russia still has military bases in 8 of its former 14 satellite regions.
- God will motivate Russia and its satellites to gather their armies. According to Global Firepower (www.globalfirepower.com), the 2015 military manpower strength of Russia was 766,055 active duty soldiers and another 2,485,000 in reserve, for a total of 3,251,055 troops. However, if we add in the fourteen former satellite countries, the overall potential manpower strength of active plus reserves would be 6,353,462 soldiers. Israel currently has an estimated 790,000 active and reserve military personnel.
- Persia (Iran and possibly Iraq), along with Ethiopia (or Northern Sudan or Republic of Sudan) and Turkey will join Russia. The one thing that Iran, Iraq, Republic of Sudan and Turkey have in common is that they are almost entirely radical Muslim countries that would like to see Israel annihilated. These four countries would add another nearly four million soldiers to Russia’s coalition army.
- Germany, Eastern Europe and Turkey will also join Russia against Israel. Why Germany, you might ask? Anti-Semitism is growing in Germany once again. So much so that it led the Israeli ambassador to Germany to proclaim last year that it was like 1938 all over again under the Nazis. A large part of this growing anti-Semitism in Germany as well as in other European countries can be traced to the growing Muslim populations in those countries. It is not farfetched to see that as Germany’s Muslim population grows that just as during the Hitler era, Germans may once again blame Israel and the Jews for their plight.
- Be prepared . . . prepare yourself . . . be on guard . . . In this verse it is almost like God takes a deep breath and says, get ready for what is coming. I’m warning you in advance.
- In the last days God will summon Russia and her allies to come against Israel who is living in peace and where Jews from all over the world have returned. Jews from all over the world have been moving to Israel for decades, but there seems to be a greater urgency for the worldwide Jewish population to do so today. As mentioned previously, Israel is now home to over 44% of the world’s population and that number is growing every month and every year. As anti-Semitism grows in the world, more and more Jews will seek the relative safety of Israel. It has been said by biblical scholars, that when the Jews start leaving the United States for Israel, it’s time to pay attention.
- This combined army will be overwhelming. Just taking the total armies referred to in verses 4 and 5, Israel would be outnumbered by 13:1.
- God will put an evil plan into the minds of the leaders of this massive army. Why would God do such a thing? The last verse of this chapter states, so that the God of the Jews, the God of all creation will be magnified and sanctified and so that the whole world will know that He is the Lord God Almighty.
- They will attack what they believe is a defenseless Israel. Remember Israel’s Six Day War in June, 1967? Israel remembers it as the Miracle of the Six Day War. That is because Israel had 275,000 troops at the time while its attackers (Egypt, Syria, Iraq & Jordan) had 456,000. The Muslim alliance believed they had a sure victory and would push the Israelis into the Mediterranean Sea. Israel’s rabbi leaders were so concerned about the potential for horrendous casualties that they designated every public park as a potential cemetery. In 6 days of one-sided fighting the Israeli forces totally overcame the enemy forces with minimal casualties (776 lost), compared to an estimated 18,000 lost by their aggressors. Israel tripled the size of their nation with re-captured land of their ancestors, including the capital city of Jerusalem.
God’s providence was apparent throughout the brief war. Although Israel was out-flanked on all three land borders to the north, west and south and greatly outnumbered and outgunned, within hours her air force had obliterated the Egyptian air force before it got one plane off the ground. As Arab ground forces were routinely dispatched by superior Israeli forces, Egyptian soldiers ran out of their shoes as they hastily retreated across the Sinai desert. With God’s intervention, Israel quickly secured their destiny despite Russia pouring in $2 billion in military aid in support of the Arab effort to destroy Israel.
- The enemy army intent was to plunder Israel. As in the Six Day War of 1967, the intent of this massive army will be to plunder and destroy Israel.
- The Arabian nations will be supportive of the Russian allied army. In addition to Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, the Arab League nations include all the nations of the Arabian Peninsula, the nations of the North African tier and surprisingly the war torn nation of Somalia. While most of these nations are currently at peace with Israel, it would not take much for them to align themselves with Russia and its allies should a sure victory over Israel look imminent.
- Again, this will happen when Israel is living in peace in the Last Days. Although Israel has faced many challenges and attacks in its brief 67-year rebirth, for the Jew it is the only place on earth where the Jewish people can truly feel free from Jew hatred, discrimination and persecution.
- Russia will summon a massive army from the north to invade Israel. Looking at the map of the Middle East, Syria is essentially north of Israel, as is the majority of Eastern Europe, including Turkey. Even Russia could be considered to be north of Israel since the western part of the gigantic nation is directly north of Israel.
- This will happen in the Last Days so that everyone will know Almighty God. God’s purpose is always to point the nations to Him so that they will know that He is the One and Only true God. It is not Allah, Hindi or any other god created by man.
- This was prophesied long ago. This prophecy of Ezekiel 38 is believed to have occurred around 587 B.C. or about 2600 years ago. It is believed that it has not ever been fulfilled.
- On the day Russia and her forces attack Israel, God’s fury will come against them. Just like Israel’s experiences in ancient times when God fought for her; just like the more recent 1967 victory; God will once again defend His people and demonstrate His anger toward those that hate Israel.
- God’s power will be so evident that there will be a great earthquake in Israel. Enough said. In Jewish history an earthquake often accompanied God’s presence.
- On that day there will be a great shaking throughout the whole earth. Once again, God’s purpose is so that the entire earth—all nations and peoples—will take notice and know that there is no other god but Jehovah God of the Jews.
- There will be great confusion and fighting among the enemies of Israel. Often, in biblical history, one of God’s tactics against Israel’s attackers is to cause great confusion among them so that they attack each other (see the story of Gideon in Judges 7 as an example).
- There will be disease and natural disasters that will come upon the enemy. As in the days of Moses when God sent plagues, etc. upon the Egyptians, so it will be so during this battle.
- God will be magnified, sanctified and everyone throughout the world will know that the God of the Jews is the Lord God Almighty. This battle and its results will demonstrate to the world that God is alive and the defender of Israel. Once again, despite overwhelming odds in favor of Israel’s enemies, God will bring her the undisputed victory.
Chap. 39:1-4. God will utterly destroy the forces of Russia and her allies. God’s victory is total.
Recap. So, could we be witnessing the development of the beginning of this prophecy? A lot has to transpire. It may take years, or it could happen very quickly. Especially if the rest of the world sits back and does nothing to intervene.
First. Jews have been returning to Israel by the thousands for several decades. However, the Jewish migration to Israel increased by 32% last year and is continuing to escalate. Israel is now home to at least 44% of the world’s Jewish population.
Second. President Obama has left a huge void in the Middle East in which Israel’s enemies are all too willing to fill.
Third. President Obama, along with his prime negotiator, John Kerry, and the negotiators from Germany, France, Russia and China have assured Iran that they are free to pursue their nuclear weapon ambitions, thus greatly emboldening Iran and its desire to destroy Israel and usher in the End Times (that is, their version of it).
Fourth. Russia, under Vladimir Putin’s leadership appear to have every intention on reestablishing their dominance over their former satellite countries as well as in the Middle East.
Fifth. Putin has seen that America and Europe’s resolve to oppose him is weak and empty threats. It appears he is free to do as he pleases.
Sixth. The great migration of Muslims to Europe will dramatically alter Europe’s socio-economic, religious and political fabric, making it impossible for Jew to stay in Europe.
Seventh. The military alliance between Russia, Syria, Iran and Iraq spoken of in this prophecy has already occurred.
Eighth. The armies of the north are starting to gather. Virtually all support for Israel is being withdrawn. Over the last several years the UN has issued more resolutions condemning Israel than all the other 192 member nations combined. Most of the condemning resolutions were initiated by Arab nations. In contrast, the UN has only issued eight resolutions against Iran since 2006, the leading sponsor of global terrorism.
NOTE. If you have not seen Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s powerful speech before the U.N. on October 1, you can watch it here. Also note that, not only did the Iran delegation not attend, President Obama called out America’s ambassador so that she was not present for the speech.