Russia in Bible Prophecy! Really?
A Christadelphian Video: Description: For many years Bible students have been watching the movements of Russia and how they relate to the latter day prophecies and predictions of Christ’s return.
Contemporary Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy
The inevitable result of blindness or treachery on the part of Western leaders, is that war with Russia is inevitable. But there is nothing new in that deduction. Christadelphians were proclaiming that fact, unequivocally, more than 100 years ago. How astonishing it is to read these words penned by a Christadelphian expositor, on December 19th, 1870:
“England must, sooner or later be drawn in as the principle in a war with Russia and Prussia. I have written Earl Granville, and told him that, oppose Russia or not, Russia will succeed; for it is the prophetic and manifest destiny of Europe to be Cossacked, which England cannot prevent.”
Prior to that date, in 1854, the same Christadelphian writer, John Thomas, had written a work entitled: Anatolia or Russia Triumphant and Europe Chained. The title of the work is too clear to require further explanation. In a summary, the author stated: “Surely it requires no great sagacity to perceive that Russia must be triumphant and Europe chained! This is destiny.” He based such a conclusion on the facts of Bible prophecy.
Earlier still, in 1848, the same writer published a work entitled Elpis Israel meaning, The Hope of Israel – in which he clearly set forth his beliefs concerning the future destiny of the nations — beliefs based entirely upon his understanding of Bible prophecy. In the Preface to that work he wrote:
“The future movements of Russia are notable signs of the times, because they are predicted in the Scriptures of Truth. The Russian Autocracy in its plenitude, and on the verge of dissolution, is the Image of Nebuchadnezzar standing upon the Mountains of Israel, ready to be smitten by the Stone. When Russia makes its grand move for the building-up of its Image-empire, then let the reader know that the end of all things, as at present constituted, is at hand. . . .”
From the international political situation which existed around 1848 there was no way in the world that John Thomas could determine the future movements of the nations. And he never attempted to do so. In this particular work, Elpis Israel he advised: “Men should never prophesy of the future from present appearances” (p. 385). His own policy was singular: carefully examine the evidence of Bible prophecy, and that is the way it must inevitably turn out. History has proved his prognostications to be correct.
Let the reader carefully note that the predictions so unequivocally propounded by Christadelphians so long ago were based entirely upon their understanding of Bible prophecy. John Thomas proclaimed his beliefs concerning the future in store for Europe upon the basis that “the future movements of Russia” had been “predicted in the Scriptures of truth.” History has certainly testified to the accuracy of his prognostications. Therefore his understanding of Bible prophecy in regard to that nation must have been correctly and wisely founded.
The reader is urged to make a careful examination of Ezekiel 38. There he will find a remarkable prophecy concerning “the latter years” (v.8). or the “latter days” (v. 16); terms which speak of the closing days of man’s rule over the nations. and the beginning of the epoch of divine intervention in human affairs, and the establishment of God’s kingdom upon the earth (vv. 18-23).
The prophecy speaks of a mighty power to be manifested in “the last days.” The leader of this confederacy of nations is termed “Gog” (v. 2). This is a title, a Hebrew word meaning a roof and hence one at the top. This meaning can have both political and geographical connotations. Politically, the word indicates a powerful leader, a man of immense political and military stature. Geographically, he comes from the “top”, or “the uttermost parts of the north” (v. 6 R.V.). In other words, the powerful man code-named “Gog” here is to become leader of the land of Magog. According to the historian Josephus, these people were the ancient Scythians. Herodotus wrote that “they spread from the river of Tanais or Don, westward along the banks of the Ister, or Danube” — in other words, the area later known as Hungary and Transylvania. Diodorus Siculus, who wrote approximately 100 years before Josephus, traced the Scythians much further into Europe, to the shore of the Baltic. Therefore, the “land of Magog” incorporates the nations of Central Europe, including Germany, and incorporating other nations as far as the Baltic. However, in an examination of the opening verses of Ezekiel 38 it should be carefully noted that “Gog” is not the Prince of Magog but of Rosh, as shall shortly be established. The importance of this is that Europe, especially Central Europe, is to come under the leadership or authority of one, Gog. This power over these nations he must therefore establish either by stealth or negotiation, or by conquest. The present situation in Europe, in assessing the relevant positions of NATO and the Warsaw Pact countries makes the outcome of Ezekiel’s prophecy, in this regard, inevitable.
Russia Identified in Ezekiel’s Prophecy
Gog is next termed “the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.” In the original Hebrew, however, the word “chief’ is a proper noun “Rosh.” Therefore it should be transliterated and not translated. The R.V. renders the phrase “Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. . . .”
There is an impressive array of evidence to identify the name of Rosh with modern Russia. The historian Bochart, in his work Sacred Geography wrote: “Ros is the most ancient form under which history makes mention of Russia. Stanley, in his book The Jewish Church stated:
“The name Russ, Hebrew Roas, LXX Ros, unfortunately translated in the English version the chief first appeared in Ezekiel 38:2 and 39:1. It is the only name of a modern nation that appears in the Old Testament.”
Edward Gibbon, in Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire wrote: “Among the Greeks, the national appellation has a singular form, Ros.” The highly respected Hebrew scholar Gesenius, in his Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament states:
“Proper noun of a northern nation, with Tubal and Meshech undoubtedly the Russians, who are mentioned by Byzantine writers of the tenth century under the name of oi Ros — the Russians dwelling to the north of Taurus. . . .”
The word rendered “prince” in the A.V. is also interesting. The Hebrew word signifies an exalted one (Strong) or lifted up (Gesenius). The imputation is that Ezekiel was describing a powerful and authoritative leader who would become the leader of Russia and other nations, in “the latter days.”
The names “Meshech” and “Tubal” further establish, beyond reasonable doubt, that the verse is describing a confederacy of European nations under the leadership of the most powerful and autocratic man in Russia at the time of divine intervention in human affairs (Ezek. 38:18-23). Of these two names Bochart has written:
“It is credible that from Rhos and Mesech . . . of whom Ezekiel speaks, descended the Russians and Muscovites, nations of the greatest celebrity in European Scythia . . . .”
And Gesenius wrote of them:
“A barbarous people, inhabiting the Moschian mountains between Iberia (now Georgia) Armenia, and Colchis. . . .”
Tubal, or Tobol, is not difficult to identify with modern Tobolski.
Thus, Ezekiel 38 paints a fearful picture of world affairs in “the latter days” (v. 16). An all-powerful Russia, dominating all of Europe and confederate with many other nations, including Persia, Ethiopia, Libya, Gomer, (France, Spain, Belgium, etc.). and Togarmah (ancient Armenia from the Black Sea to the Caspian, now the southern area of the U.S.S.R. and portion of Turkey), gathers together all its military might, and comes to invade the Middle-East, which has been re-settled by the Jews after many centuries of dispersion (V. 5, 6, 7, 8, 11).
At that time. when “Russia makes its grand move for the building-up of its Image-empire” (Elpis Israel Preface, 1848) the great Creator of heaven and earth will intervene (vv. 18-23). He shall:
“Send Jesus Christ whom the heavens must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His Holy prophets since the world began…. Because He hath appointed a day in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance onto all men, in that He hath raised him from the dead.” (Acts 3:20-21; 17:31).
Those, indeed, will be days of judgment, when God will bring down all human governments and powers, when He will crush the might of all flesh, and when He will subdue all nations under the rule and authority of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. God will announce His “controversy with the nations” because of the evil of their ways. And “the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth. (Jer. 25:30-33; Ezek. 38:19-23; Zeph. 3:8-9).
Russian aims for world domination will come to a bitter end in the land of Israel (Ezek. 39:1-22) when Jesus Christ and his resurrected, immortalized saints will “break them with a rod of iron” and “dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel (Ps. 2:1-9, cp. Rev. 2:26-27).
The Great Confrontation in History
Christ’s judgments will then go forth to reach all nations; for, “as a snare” shall that day “come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth” (Luke 21:35). He will subdue the power of all nations, so that “all kings shall fall down before him” (Ps. 72:11).
Then, when all human authority has been removed from the earth, “the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. . . . And there was given unto him (Christ) dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (Dan. 2:44; 7:14).
Finally, when Christ’s confrontation with the nations has been resolved in his favor, and when divine judgments have humbled all flesh, the peoples of the earth who survive to witness the dawn of a New Age will rejoice. The curse upon the earth will be removed, and the ground shall bring forth prolifically to provide adequately for the needs of all (Isa. 41:18-20; 43:18-20, 55:12-13; Amos 9:13). Peace, righteousness, and well-being will become the stability of those times, when “they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid. . . .” (Micah 4:4)
Where, anywhere on earth. is the political leader who can offer a guaranteed future such as this? There is not one.
At this time of deepening political darkness and developing crisis for the earth, to whom shall we turn? There is only one: The God of heaven whose promised word, down through the Ages, has always proven totally reliable. The Bible is largely a book of prophecy, and all the prophecies God has ever caused to be written have been accurately fulfilled, excepting only those relating to the return of Christ and the establishment of His kingdom upon earth. If all other prophecies may be tested and found constant and dependable, how can we afford to doubt those which yet remain to be fulfilled? We would be foolish to do so. Not only because God has proven faithful in that which He has Promised — but because, in any event, there is no one else to whom we might turn. There is no real alternative. The unfolding of history has shown consistently that man is utterly incapable of correctly and wisely governing either himself or his fellowman, apart from the exercise of divine wisdom which comes only from God. “The way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. . .” (Jer. 10:23). But man, in his pride and arrogance, generally refuses to bow in humility before the God who created him. If we fall into such an error, the price we will pay will be high: we will remain without hope, as the gathering crisis deepens, and will face only eternal destruction.
And what of our families? What hope or encouragement can we offer them in these evil times? None whatever of any value, apart from the hope which God would extend to us, through the message of the gospel.
Become moved by the majestic power of God’s prophetic word:
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow onto it. And many people shall go and say, “Come ye, and let as go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach as of his ways, and we will walk in his paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isa. 2:2-4).
What a glorious picture of the future, in contrast to the corruption and chaos of the present — for, in these contemporary times, “the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19).
What You must do at this Hour of Crisis
There remains only one hope for the survival of the human race: the return of Christ to this earth. But for each of us, as individuals, the matter of eternal salvation is far more personal. It is necessary to acknowledge that only God can provide for our eternal redemption. And He has done this through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We must accept, through faith based upon a sound knowledge of the Truth, that “he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. . . .” (Heb. 7:25). The Son of God taught unequivocally: “He that believeth (the gospel) and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:15-16).
Time is fast running out. Soon, Russia will make her grand bid for world domination. And Christ will be back in the earth. And the outpouring of divine judgments upon the nations will commence. Soon, it will be too late. Now is the day of opportunity. Learn how to “worship” God “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). Then, and only then will you be able to face the future with a faith and a sureness and a conviction which will see you through the days ahead, until Christ returns.
Christ is coming to reign on earth. He offers you eternal life, and the privilege of ruling and reigning with him over the nations (2 Pet. 1:4; Rev. 5:9-10). Will you reject this? It is the only really worthwhile offer you have ever received in your life!
Extract reproduced from http://www.christadelphia.org/archive/war.php