Russia is mentioned in the Bible in a number of places. The references are related to the future, a time period that matches up with the time period in which we are living.
Ezekiel chapter 38 tells of a Russian invasion of the Middle East. Many think that Christians are manipulating the Scriptures to make them say what they want them to say. This, of course, is untrue. I happen to use the Old Scofield reference Bible copyrighted in 1909. The footnote in the Old Scofield Bible on Ezekiel chapter 38 demonstrates that this is not true.
Scofield’s note about Ezekiel 38 is as follows: “That the primary reference is to the Northern (European) powers, headed up by Russia, all agree. The whole passage should be read in connection with Zechariah 12:1-4; 14:1-9; Matthew 24:14-30; Revelation 14:14-20; 19:17-21. “Gog” is the prince, “Magog”, his land. The reference to Mesheck and Tubal (Moscow and Tobolsk) is a clear mark of identification. Russia and the Northern powers have been the latest persecutors of dispersed Israel, and it is congruous both with divine justice and with the covenants (eg. Genesis 15:8, note; Deuteronomy 30:3 note) that destruction should fall at the climax of the last mad attempt to exterminate the remnant of Israel in Jerusalem. The whole prophecy belongs to the yet future “day of Jehovah” (Isaiah 2:10-22; Revelation 19:11-21), and to the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:14; 19:19 note), but includes also the final revolt of the nations at the close of the kingdom-age (Revelation 20:7-9).” Scofield Reference Bible, footnote I, page 883.
Please remember that this footnote in the Old Scofield Bible was written nearly seventy-five years ago. It was commonly believed at that time and before that Ezekiel 38 was referring to Israel. It was not until 1948 that Israel became a nation again after nearly 2,000 years of dispersion. Even this dispersion of Israel and their regathering was foretold by the Old Testament prophets.
Israel ceased to exist as a nation in their homeland in 70 AD when Titus brought his Roman legions to Jerusalem fulfilling many prophetic passages such as the following found in Ezekiel 36:19-36. “And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. 20And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land. 21But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. 22Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. 23And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. 24For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 28And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. 29I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. 30And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. 31Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. 32Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. 33Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. 34And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. 35And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. 36Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.”
The Bible tells us after Jesus Christ was crucified to pay for the sins of the world that the Jewish people would reject the savior and then lose their homeland causing them to be scattered among the nations of the world. Yet they would not lose their national identity, and eventually they would be gathered back into their land. After becoming reborn as a nation in the land of Israel, the world would come to war in the Middle East. This World War, called Armageddon, would be triggered by Russia’s invasion of Israel and the Middle East. All of the world’s nations would then be drawn into a nuclear holocaust that would take the lives of one-third of all the persons on the planet earth.
God is said to draw Russia down into the Middle East so that God may judge Russia for all her crimes against God (Ezekiel 38:16-18). The bait must include the enormous wealth of oil God has planted beneath the Middle Eastern countries. Only in this time in history when the Jew has returned to the land does oil have the significant drawing power to involve all the nations of the world in battle.
Amazingly the countries essential to Russia’s invasion that will be allied with the Soviets at the same time are named by name. It is as though Ezekiel were writing today. IRAN (Persia), ETHIOPIA, LIBYA, and TURKEY, will apparently be staging points for the Russian invasion (Ezekiel 38:5-6). Take a look at your map and see how the first four of these countries completely surround the Middle East. How could Ezekiel have known these things? Obviously, only God could have told us these things.
The time frame is the latter days (see Ezekiel 38:8, 16). This is the time when the Jew is regathered as a nation in the land. Armageddon will be a battle involving this regathered people, according to Ezekiel 38:12, “upon the people that are gathered out of the nations.”
Russia, as we know it today, will be destroyed. Five-sixths of the Soviet Union will be destroyed (Ezekiel 39:2). Only one-sixth will survive Armageddon. Mountains will be cast down (Ezekiel 38:2), the steep places shall fall. Fire will fall upon Russia (Ezekiel 39:6). Comparing these verses with Zechariah 14:12,15 and other passages we find evidently nuclear bombs will hit most of the populated areas of the Soviet Union. Never before in history did we have existing in the world the level of destruction that the Bible describes in these passages.
How close are we? We know that all believers are going to be raptured seven years before Russia’s invasion of the Middle East, and we see Russia’s intentions in the Middle East (including Libya and Ethiopia presently being Soviet client states). We see Iran falling and heading toward the Soviets, and Turkey also moving toward the Soviets. Current world events show that we are getting close. If we Christians were raptured today, we would have seven years before all the conditions of Ezekiel 38 would be fulfilled.
Jesus said, “When these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh (Luke 21:28).”
If you haven’t trusted Christ as your Saviour, then it is urgent that you do so! Unbelievers will be left behind at the rapture and will go through the most difficult time the world has ever experienced in all of its history (Matthew 24:21). Believers will escape (I Thessalonians 4:13-18).
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Trust Jesus Christ as your only hope for Heaven today!