Weekly update: Russia, Turkey and Iran – is this Gog and Magog?

editor - 25 October 2019

The recent US withdrawal from North-east Syria has given Turkey, Iran and Russia space to gain more influence in the Middle East. Many commentators feel that President Trump has not only stabbed his former ally in the fight against ISIS – the Kurds – in the back, he has also shown that Israel can no longer rely on the US.

How should we see these developments from a Biblical perspective? In the first instance, they no doubt constitute an increased direct threat for Israel. We are also witnessing a time in which the Western powers (especially USA and Europe) are becoming practically irrelevant in the Middle East. There seems little doubt that we are seeing the gradual fulfilment of the prophecies in chapters 38 and 39 of the book of Ezekiel concerning “Gog and Magog” – which, one way or another, will involve Russia, Turkey and Iran, as well as Libya (Put) and Sudan (Cush), moving against Israel. In this weekly update we share teachings by Bible teachers Amir Tsafarti and Rev. Willem Glashouwer on this topic.

We encourage you to read the many excellent analyses of current developments in Syria, involving Iran, Russia and Turkey, as well as Western powers. The bottom line is this: we need to keep our eyes on what is happening, and lift up our prayers to the Lord – that however all of this plays out, He will protect His people Israel, and that we may be ready to meet the Lord Jesus Christ when He comes.

The growing threat to Israel from Iran, Russia and Turkey

The Jerusalem Post reports that “‘Israel is currently dealing with multiple arenas and enemies at the same time with the northern front being the most fragile which could deteriorate into war’, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen.Aviv Kochavi has said. Despite the fact that Israel’s enemies are not interested in war, the IDF has ‘increased its pace of preparations’ for confrontation, Kochavi told journalists on Wednesday. ‘On both the northern and southern fronts, the situation is tense and fragile, and could deteriorate into a confrontation.’” “According to Israel’s top military officer, the “central strategic challenge of the State of Israel lies in the northern arena” where Iran continues to consolidate its forces in Syria and continues to work with Hezbollah on its precision missile project.”
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According to Yochanan Visser, the US pull-out from Syria “could lead to a war between Iran and Israel anytime soon.”
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Con Coughlin reports on the growing alliance between Russia and Turkey – in which Russia is the dominant partner: “These days, the Soviet Union might be no more, but Russia under President Vladimir Putin’s autocratic rule is just as determined to undermine the West and its allies, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to judge by his successful summit with the Russian leader this week at the Black Sea city of Sochi, is proving to be Moscow’s useful idiot in accomplishing these goals.”
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Amir Tsafarti comments on the growing military cooperation between Russia and Turkey:
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Khaled Abu Toameh reports at Gatestone Institute about the relationship between Hamas, an ally of Iran, and Turkey: “Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated terror group ruling the Gaza Strip since 2007, is the only Palestinian party that has come out in support of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s war on the Kurds in Syria. A statement issued by Hamas on October 14 said that the terror group ‘understands Turkey’s right to protect its border, defend itself and remove threats harmful to its national security against the tampering of the Zionist Mossad in the region, as part of [Israel’s] effort to undermine Arab and Islamic national security … Hamas’s support for Erdogan’s war on the Kurds seems to be in the context of its attempt to persuade the Turkish authorities to allow its members to continue using Turkey as a base for masterminding terrorist attacks against Israel.”
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Dr. James Dorsey’s analysis: “Turkey, like much of the Middle East, is discovering that what goes around comes around. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appears to have miscalculated the fallout of what may prove to be a foolhardy intervention in Syria and neglected alternative options that could have strengthened Turkey’s position without sparking the ire of much of the international community. His strategic error is rooted in a policy of decades of denial of Kurdish identity and suppression of Kurdish cultural and political rights that was more likely to fuel conflict than encourage societal cohesion.”
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According to historian and international relations analyst Emil Avdaliani, Russia could emerge from the chaos in Eurasia as the dominant player: “The geopolitical landscape is changing fast across the Eurasian landmass. As it did over the centuries, Russia will continue to position itself at a distance from the rising warring camps of China and the Western powers. Each needs Moscow, and the Kremlin knows it. Chaos in the super-continent could usher in an era of a much stronger Russian role in northern Eurasia, though it would have a more limited scope than that envisioned among the Kremlin elites.”
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Teachings by Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer on Gog and Magog

Rev. Glashouwer is less convinced that Ezekiel 38 and 39 refer in the first instance to Russia. “Biblical prophecies need to be read with great caution. Identification of Ezekiel 38 and 39 with Turkey makes you careful not to take for granted that in these chapters it is Russia and its allies that suddenly could attack Israel. Especially with Turkey that has never given up its dream of a restored Ottoman Empire, in which the call for a restored Caliphate for the entire Islamic world with Constantinople / Istanbul as its center is gaining force more and more.”
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Rev. Glashouwer explains how, according to Ezekiel 38 and 39, the countries that form the “second ring” around Israel will suddenly attack Israel in that day, when His people Israel is living in safety. The prophecy is about Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. The countries involved in this prophecy are identified via their ancient names mentioned in the Bible. The prophecies of the Bible are very accurate. But we should never forget: God is in control and ultimately it will lead to His Kingdom and the coming of the King of the Kingdom – Jesus Christ, who will establish peace all over the world!


Video teachings by Amir Tsafarti

Watch these two teachings by Israeli Bible teacher Amir Tsafarti on these issues:

Prophetic changes in the Middle East
Very recent teaching by Amir Tsafarti on the current events in the Middle East.
Click here..

Gog and Magog
A slightly older teaching on the “Gog and Magog” prophecies in Ezekiel 38-39 and Revelation 20 (this teaching was made before the situation in Syria had come into being).
Click here..


Shabbat shalom,

Andrew Tucker
Editor-in-Chief –Israel & Christians Today


Scripture for the week: Ezekiel 38

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of[Prince of Rosh] Meshek and Tubal; prophesy against him and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of [OR; Gog, Prince of Rosh] Meshek and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords.Persia, Cushand Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you.
“‘Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.
10 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. 11 You will say, “I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. 12 I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.” 13 Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villageswill say to you, “Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?”’
14 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it? 15 You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army. 16 You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.
17 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: You are the one I spoke of in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel. At that time they prophesied for years that I would bring you against them. 18 This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign Lord. 19 In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. 20 The fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground. 21 I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign Lord. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. 22 I will execute judgment on him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. 23 And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’


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