Recently, I was listening to a nationally syndicated radio program, and the host made an astonishing observation. She described a recent trip she took to Israel. She talked about looking over the border into Syria. Then she dropped a line that grabbed my attention. She said, "When you look over the border today, you're not looking at Syria anymore. You're looking at Russia, Iran, and Turkey."
This wasn't a religious broadcast. It was a secular, political talk show. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think the host realized the true significance of her observation. I don't think she spoke from a perspective of bible prophecy, and it made her statement even more powerful. Because any objective observer has to agree with her. The nation of Syria no longer exists. It may exist in name, but that's it. What used to be Syria has been carved up and divided by any number of groups. And the three biggest are Russia, Iran, and Turkey. Why is this so significant? It's significant because it sets the stage for an event the Bible prophesied over 2,000 years ago.
The Gog of Magog War
Twenty-six centuries ago, Ezekiel described a last days alliance that will invade Israel from the north. The Bible says a man named Gog will lead this massive invasion force (Ezekiel 38:2-6). Here are the nations who will join Gog, followed by their modern day names:
- Rosh = Russia
- Magog = Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan
- Persia = Iran
- Cush = Sudan
- Put = Libya
- Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Beth-togarmah = Turkey
Notice anything? That's right. Of all those nations, the three most powerful - Russia, Iran, and Turkey - now reside in Syria.
They have military forces camped on Israel's border. And not just any border - Israel's northern border. Remember, Ezekiel said the Gog of Magog invasion force will come from the north (Ezekiel 38:15; Ezekiel 39:2). So now we have three of the nations in Gog's invading force perched on Israel's northern border. Mere coincidence? I don't think so.
The Bible foretold this exact scenario in Ezekiel 38-39. Never before have the military forces of these three nations been on Israel's northern border at the same time. And never in the history of the world, have the three formed an alliance. At least that is, until now...
In the past two decades, Russia and Iran have become close allies. In 1995, the Russian Ministry for Atomic Energy signed an agreement with Iran to finish the Bushehr nuclear power plant. This work had stopped following the 1979 Islamic revolution. Since then, the two nations continue to strengthen their economic and military ties. Russia is one of the few world powers that consistently defended the existence of Iran's nuclear program. Today, both nations freely work together to prop up Bashar Assad's regime and suppress any opposing factions in Syria. They've coordinated military operations in Syria and carved the nation into spheres of influence. Despite thousands of years of recorded history in which there's no record of such Russian-Iranian cooperation, today we see it.
And what about Turkey? For years, those who study bible prophecy have wondered how Turkey fits into this alliance. After all, Turkey is a longtime ally of Israel. As a founding member of NATO, the idea of Turkey joining a Russian invasion of Israel has been hard for many to imagine. After all, NATO exists to combat Russian aggression. As recently as 2014, I noted in my book Signs of the Second Coming:
"Turkey is another interesting member of this military alliance. Since the restoration of Israel in 1948, those who understand bible prophecy have struggled to figure out how Turkey fits in. Why? Because in 1949, Turkey became the first Muslim majority country to officially recognize the state of Israel. Turkey and Israel have a long history of diplomatic, economic, and military cooperation. Turkey is also a member of NATO. And what is the purpose of NATO? Its purpose is to defend member nations against Russian aggression. So why would Turkey join a Russian alliance to invade another country?
While it hasn't made sense in recent years, that idea doesn't seem so far-fetched today. In May 2010, Turkey and Russia signed a series of agreements enhancing their energy ties, including an agreement to build Turkey's first nuclear power plant. And in recent years, Turkey's domestic politics - historically secular in nature - have been heavily influenced by Islam. And that gives Turkey more than enough motive to join the Gog of Magog Alliance."
And here we are. The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has consolidated power in Turkey. Ataturk's Turkish Republic is dead. Its secular government is gone. In its place, Erdogan is building an Islamic Republic aligned against Israel. The relationship between Vladimir Putin and Erdogan is strong and growing. All that's left to take place is a clear break between Turkey and NATO, permanently moving Turkey into Russia's sphere of influence.
What It All Means
So what does all this mean? It means the stage is now set for the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39. And it means more events will begin to align with Ezekiel's account. Expect this alliance to get closer. Expect Israel to become isolated. And expect more nations to join Russia, Iran, and Turkey. As these events take place, it means the world draws closer and closer to witnessing the Gog of Magog war.
This means Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the other nations in the Gog of Magog alliance will send an overwhelming invasion force against Israel (Ezekiel 38:8-9). No other nation will come to Israel's defense (Ezekiel 38:15-16). But God will. This means He'll put His full power on display for the people of this world when He supernaturally destroys Israel's invaders (Ezekiel 38:18-23). Most of all, it means we're in the last days (Ezekiel 38:8; Ezekiel 39:25-29), the Second Coming is near, and the rapture of the church is even closer!