The Imminent Invasion of Israel

Appendix 3: Who is GOG?

Ezekiel 38 predicts an invasion of Israel in the last days by a vast confederation of nations from north of the Black and Caspian Seas, extending down to modern Iran in the east, and as far as modern Libya to the west. The leader of this offensive is called Gog, identified as the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal.

(1) Gog is a person, not a place. Ezekiel says that Gog is “of the land of Magog” and that he is the “Prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal” (Ezekiel 38:2, 39:1). This clearly identifies Gog as a ruler or prince of nations.

(2) Gog is the leader of the invasion in Ezekiel 38-39, where the name Gog appears 11 times, more than any other name. God directly addresses Gog on several occasions. Gog must be the leader and key figure of this invading force.

(3) Gog is not the antichrist. The antichrist rules the great Western confederation of nations during the first part of the Tribulation and eventually the whole world for 3.5 years. Gog, however, leads the great Russian-Islamic Alliance.
Gog leads his troops into Israel for the Battle of Gog and Magog; Antichrist leads his army into Israel at the very end of the Tribulation for the War of Armageddon.

(4) Although Gog could be the person's name, it is probably a title - like Caesar. Gog is the demonically inspired ruler of this alliance of invading nations. Gog means a high mountain, high, supreme, or a height, denoting his authority and power. He personifies the evil forces gathering against Israel to destroy her. 

(5) Gog is from the land of Magog and rules over Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. To discern the land from which Gog arises, we must identify the land of Magog, which we do in Appendix 4 - it is Central Asia and Russia. Ezekiel prophetically identified the Russian leader as “Gog” because of his connection to “Magog.” This gives the ethnic background of this commander and his people. Gog is the symbolic name of the nation's leader and Magog is his land. He is also the prince of the ancient people who were called Rosh, Meshech and Tubal (see Appendices 5 & 6).

Historical background. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Russia helped Israel obtain arms to fight the many hostile countries including Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan. However, after this initial co-operation, relations between the 2 countries quickly soured, with Russia threatening to attack Israel during both the 1956 Sinai Campaign and the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. Russia severed diplomatic relations with Israel following the 1967 Six Day War, then aligned itself with Arab nationalist regimes and gave support to Palestine militants. Russia also strongly opposed the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia's relationship with Israel has changed, but despite renewed diplomatic relations, Russia remains allied with Israel's enemies.

If Magog and Rosh are Russia led by Gog, then if this invasion is imminent there should be a credible candidate for Gog, and there is: Vladimir Putin. Please note that I am not saying that he is Gog, simply that he might be Gog, as he potentially fits the bill. This means that this invasion could take place very soon. 

Since Putin took power in 1999, he has established unrivalled dominance of both houses of parliament, reasserted control over the country's huge energy industry, forced the closure of the last independent national television network, strengthened Russia's ties to its former communist allies, and employed what he calls managed democracy. He has manipulated elections, silenced critics and gradually tightened his grip on the nation. Democratic ideals, such as freedom of speech, are rapidly eroding under Vladimir Putin's autocratic leadership. Putin has faced growing criticism for restricting democratic freedoms and concentrating his presidential powers. Once thought to be a growing capitalist ally, Russia is returning to its Soviet roots.

Putin is a former KGB officer, and reports estimate that one in every 4 officials in Putin's government has a background in the military or security services. Some critics have described Russia as being ruled by a “power-hungry mafia” of former KGB and military officers, who have grabbed “the nation by the throat.” Sergei Mitrokhin, a former parliamentary leader and member of the Yabloko party, described recent events as “a step toward dictatorship.” In an April 2005 speech, Putin lamented the demise of the Soviet Union, calling it the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” Putin has also called on Israel to withdraw from all the occupied Arab lands back to the June 4, 1967 border. Putin has also stressed the necessity of a complete Israeli withdrawal from Golan Heights.

Growing anti-Semitism within Russia and Putin's questionable commitment to democratic reforms are lingering concerns. During the Soviet era more than a million Jews fled Russia to escape state-sponsored anti-Semitism, and in recent years, there has been a dramatic resurgence of anti-Jewish sentiment. The emergence of a new and very violent generation of ultra-nationalists and of extremist Islamist organisations as well as reports of several serious anti-Semitic incidents is cause for concern. A worsening of the domestic situation in Russia - economically, socially, and security-wise - could prompt a resurgence of anti-Semitism in the near future. Even more disturbing is a recent poll that reported that as many as one-third of Russians are in favour of officially restricting Jews and preventing them from holding any governmental or cultural positions.

Due to constitutionally mandated term limits, Putin was ineligible to run for a 3rd consecutive Presidential term. After the victory of his successor, Dmitry Medvedev, in the 2008 presidential elections, he was nominated by the latter to be Russia'sPrime Minister. Putin has continued to enjoy high approval ratings from the Russian public through bringing political stability and re-establishing the rule of law and recovering Russia's economy from crisis. Many believe Putin is still the real controlling power behind Medvedev and will return for another term as President.

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