Russia Invades Ukraine
Will Not Fulfill Ezekiel 38-39 - Here's Why
Many Christian leaders are wondering whether the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39 is at hand, following the Russian invasion in the Ukraine. Many are also worried that this will lead us all into World War III and devastating end-times.
Let’s take a moment and prove that Ezekiel 38-39 cannot be talking about the Ukraine invasion, nor can it be referring to anything this side of the return of Jesus!
SPOILER ALERT: By the time you read through the evidence you will find that Ezekiel 38-39 is a prophecy for a time, way off in the future, that brings us to when Jesus is ruling the earth in the 1,000-Year Millennium.
Ready? Let’s take a deep dive into bible study and you’ll be able to place Ezekiel 38-39 properly in the grand scheme of God’s prophetic timeline.
Context is Everything
Let’s first consider the time sequence. In chapter 36, God laments the wasteland that has become the landscape of Israel, following their dispersal due to rebellion. God promises to restore Israel, repopulate the entire region and give them the Holy Spirit. The next chapter, Ezekiel 37, continues on the same vein. The Lord describes the Valley of Dry Bones, which pictures the restoration of the children of all 12 tribes of Israel coming back to Israel after Christ returns in the Kingdom of God (vss 11, 21). The latter part of the chapter describes the Two Sticks being rejoined, which pictures the Northern and Southern Kingdoms of Israel coming together again. Then we see King David being resurrected to be King over Israel once again (vs 24), but this time under Jesus, the King of Kings.
This could only be talking about the Kingdom of God established in Israel after Christ’s return.
The chapter concludes by affirming that this is, indeed, talking about the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ: Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore (Eze 37:26-28 KJV).
Now in chapter 38, Ezekiel receives a word from the Lord describing an invasion of the land of Israel by what we know today as Russia (vs 2, Gog and Magog).
So many seem to misdate this Russian invasion. Many attribute it to modern-day events before the return of Jesus. But always check the context of Scriptures. We’ve already seen that in the previous chapters the time frame is the return of Christ and the Millennium. But there are more clues to come.
Speaking to Russia, God says:
A LONG TIME FROM NOW you will be called into action. IN THE DISTANT FUTURE you will swoop down on the land of Israel, which will be ENJOYING PEACE after recovering from war and after its people have returned from many lands to the mountains of Israel. You and all your allies—a vast and awesome army—will roll down on them like a storm and cover the land like a cloud (Ezek 38:8-9, NLT).
When this chapter speaks of “a long time from now” and “in the distant future,” it’s referring to the time after Christ had returned to earth. If they meant this prophecy will occur in the “last days,” they would have said the “last days.” Instead, they project to a time beyond the last days — into the Millennium.
We’ve already seen in the previous chapter that Israel is “enjoying peace after recovering from war” and after “its people have returned from many lands to the mountains of Israel.”
Some misconstrue the reference of Israel returning to its land as a reference to the creation of Modern Israel, after the Jews returned to form their homeland in 1948. That may be a type of what is to come, but consider this: Has Israel ever enjoyed peace after recovering from war at any time since 1948? They are constantly at a heightened sense of alert for any type of attack at any time.
The other aspect to suggest that this scripture is not referring to Modern Israel is that Ezekiel 37 talks about all 12 tribes of Israel returning. We’re not going explain more on this topic at this time, except to say that the Jews that formed Modern Israel were from the tribes of Judah, Levi and Benjamin – essentially the southern tribes of Judah. The ten tribes of Israel were dispersed into the world after their conquest in 721 BC and they never returned to the Middle East, having formed other nations in the world, among them America and Great Britain. We’ll save that for another time.
Let’s continue on in chapter 38, as this next piece of evidence proves that the time frame given here is the Millennial rule of Christ.
This is what the Sovereign LORD says: At that time evil thoughts will come to your mind, and you will devise a wicked scheme.
You will say, ‘Israel is an unprotected land filled with unwalled villages! I will march against her and destroy these people who live in such confidence! I will go to those formerly desolate cities that are now filled with people who have returned from exile in many nations. I will capture vast amounts of plunder, for the people are rich with livestock and other possessions now. They think the whole world revolves around them!’
“Therefore, son of man, prophesy against Gog. Give him this message from the Sovereign LORD: When my people are living in peace in their land, then you will rouse yourself.
You will come from your homeland in the distant north with your vast cavalry and your mighty army, and you will attack my people Israel, covering their land like a cloud. At that time in the distant future, I will bring you against my land as everyone watches, and my holiness will be displayed by what happens to you, Gog. Then all the nations will know that I am the LORD (Ezek 38:10-12, 14-16 KJV).
Now answer these questions and you’ll confirm the timeframe for this prophecy.
Is Israel today an “unprotected land?” Is she filled with “unwalled villages?” Is Israel today “living in peace?” Of course not! Anyone going there today will see that Israel is always bracing for the next attack.
Does the “whole world revolve around Israel today?” No, but in the Millennium they will be because Jesus Christ will be King of Kings and Lord of Lords in Jerusalem.
Indeed, what we’ve just read was a prophecy for the DISTANT FUTURE. It is not speaking of the time now.
God Confirms in Revelation
For further verification, let’s compare this passage of Scripture with the book of Revelation, where we can arrive at no other conclusion but that this prophecy in Ezekiel 38-39 is talking about a time yet to come during the 1,000 year reign of Christ.
And when the thousand years are expired (this is at the end of the Millennium!), Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Rev 20:7-10 KJV).
Here the Apostle John affirms that when Gog and Magog attempt to invade Israel, they are pushed back and destroyed. “Fire comes down from heaven” and “devours them.” That’s the same thing that happens in Ezekiel 38-39, where we read:
And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone (Ezekiel 38:22).
And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD (Ezekiel 39:6).
Check with a concordance. The only prophetic mentions of Gog and Magog are in Ezekiel 38-39 and Revelation 20. God is telling us to connect these passages. And they say the same thing: Israel is protected from the armies advanced by Russia (Gog and Magog) at the end of the 1,000 years of Christ’s reign.
If you’re wondering how in the world could Russia attack Israel during the Millennial Reign of Christ, this portion of Revelation explains. Satan is loosed to deceive the nations and those, who align themselves with Satan, can be removed with him. God gives everyone freedom of choice. But those who remain, worship the Lord forever. Following this point comes a new earth and a new heaven.
To sum up, many have been confused about this passage in Ezekiel 38-39 and have attached a present-day narrative to it, overlooking the many millennial aspects of this prophecy. Now you won’t be one of those who misunderstand or misteach this scripture.