The front page headline of the May 15, 02 Colorado Springs Gazette blazoned, "U.S., Russia sign historic treaty, former foes finalize nuclear weapons pact."
With the ancient Scythians of Russia suddenly becoming ever chummier with the Western powers we felt it necessary to review our message, "The Scythians Victory and Defeats."
In this message we will consider three ancient names from the Bible and their relevance to Bible prophecy.
The first is "Magog," and for this study we will look at the prophecies found in Ezekiel Chapters 38 & 39 along with Revelation 20:8 which speak of this land. The second area is referred to as "Ashkenaz" and for this particular study we will be looking at Jeremiah Chapters 50 & 51. Then lastly is the name of a people mentioned in Colossians 3:11 known as the "Scythians."
Bible scholars have discovered that all three of these names are connected to the same people. According to Ungers Bible Dictionary, historical records such as those left by Josephus and Jerome reveal that the region where these "Scythians" could be found was located in the nation now known as Russia.
We begin our look at Russias prophesied destiny by first being granted a glimpse of a future victory over modern day Iraq by these ancient Scythians. No one should be misled by Russias ongoing verbal defense of Iraq. Russia is in severe financial straits and has very practical economic reasons for wanting Iraq back on its feet contributing to the Russian economy. When Russia is presented with the opportunity to acquire Iraqi wealth by intrigue and force there will be no hesitation.
The strategic importance of the Middle East to Russia should never be underestimated.
When reading verse 27 of Jeremiah Ch. 51 we find the names Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz participating in an upcoming Middle East war which will complete the overthrow of Iraq and desolate much of the country.
These three areas can be traced by ancient maps to overlap the modern regions of Russia, Germany, Turkey and Iran. It is our belief by Psalm 83 and Jer. 49 that this war with Iraq will be a major development towards an even greater Middle East conflict which will involve the countries of Israel, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan and the Palestinians.
Russia will benefit significantly from the victory over Iraq (Chaldea) due to its participation as a United Nations ally and will share in the time of dividing up the spoils of this war as is described in Jer. 50:10.
This verse is pivotal for understanding the prophesied future of Russia. We quote, "All who plunder her shall be satisfied, says the Lord." This means that Russia will enjoy victory in this war and it is this minute prophecy which distinguishes this war from the two future battles where the Scythians are to suffer humiliating defeat.
After this devastating war, which will include the use of weapons of mass destruction according to such prophetic passages as Jeremiah 51:26 & 51:62, we believe disarmament will take place throughout the immediate region surrounding Israel.
With the prospect of peace and safety being heralded in the land of Israel, cautious Jews will return from all of the countries where they had remained firmly entrenched. Since many of Israels ancient enemies will have been crushed, they will have reason to believe that remaining antagonists who have witnessed the consequences of pursuing war will then acquiesce to a new world order of peace. As one of the seven heads of the United Nations Security Council, Russia will possibly be viewed as a new globalist ally by Israel.
We believe it will be after this war that the Anti-Christ will confirm the 7-year covenant with Israel prophesied of in Dan. 9:27. A brief period of peace and safety will then ensue. It is during this time gap of temporary peace and safety brought about by the man known as "Anti-Christ" and "the prince who is to come" (I Jn. 4:3 & Dan. 9:26), that we believe the sudden destruction prophesied of in I Thess. 5:3 comes.
During the first 3 ½ years of this covenant the Russian/Scythians will lead an invasion against Israel as is prophesied in Ezek. Chaps. 38 & 39. According to Ezek. 38:10-11 Russia will strike at Israel during this time of peace and safety. This dovetails with the Scriptures found in Revelation 5:3 & 4 when the red horse is sent forth to take peace from the earth. Russia will betray the confidence of all who looked up to her might as a new force for peace.
One only needs to read Chaps. 38 & 39 of Ezekiel in their entirety to realize that Russias defeat will be catastrophic (Ezek. 9:10). Pray for the people of Russia. Her land will not escape the sword.
By examining the Scriptures, we have been lead to conclude that there is no other possible time that this invasion can take place then during the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation Period.
Israel has no peace and safety at present and as of the midway point of the 7-year agreement; the Anti-Christ will dismantle the peace covenant and will relentlessly persecute Israel according to Dan. 9:27 & Rev. 13:5-8. The time of temporary peace and safety prophesied to be in effect when Russia invades appropriately fits during the first 3 ½ years of the Anti-Christs 7-year covenant with Israel. There simply is no other window of such a time of peace and safety presented in the scriptures for these last days.
It is of special interest to note that we are told in Ezek. 38:12 that Russia and its confederates will invade Israel "To take plunder and to take booty." The mineral wealth of the Dead Sea alone is staggering, but the wealth being revealed in Israel does not end there.
According to a Jerusalem Post article reprinted in the Jan. 99 Colorado Christian News which headlined, "Oil found in Israel," "Givot Olam Oil Exploration has struck oil at a site near Rosh Haayin Givot Olam confirmed that the fluid gushing through the pipe at the Meged-2 bore is high quality oil from the Paleozoic basin...That location, known as Meged-3 is thought to contain 1 billion barrels and four trillion cubic feet of natural gas. "If this proves to be the case, there will be enough oil for Israel to last your lifetime and mine," said Tovia Luskin, the companys senior scientist and director. Work started on Meged-2 Tuesday afternoon, and the well began producing hydrocarbon gas at a rate of 400 barrels a day...The Paleozoic basin, which is the source of oil throughout Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries is one of the largest oil-producing basins in the world."
Then from a Feb. 29, 00 Middle East Newsline report which headlined, "Israel excited by prospect of natural gas" we read, "Israel is excited over the prospect of a huge reserve of natural gas off the Mediterranean coast Druckman said the reservoir found at the Mary-1 drilling site is four times larger than the last report of a large offshore deposit in June. She said the deposit could be worth up to $4 billion and that within 18 months Israelis could receive the natural gas Industry and Trade Minister Ran Cohen said the discovery of large offshore gas deposits near Ashkelon, Gaza and Sinai will have a positive effect on industry."
A closer look at the Scriptures, for what is found to happen after Russia is defeated in the war of Ezek. Chaps. 38 & 39, is paramount for understanding that this is not the same war with Magog described at the close of the Millennial Reign of Christ in Rev. 20:7-9.
Our comparison begins with Ezek. 39:29. The specific time period recorded for us is just after the end of the Magog war against Israel. God declares that at that time, "I will not hide my face from them (that is Israel) any more; for I shall have poured out my Spirit on the house of Israel."
This could not be the same war as the one that concludes the Millennial Reign of Jesus because according to the revelation of Jn. 19:31-37, Zech. 12:10 and Rev. 20:4 the Israelites will have already been looking upon the face of God in the visage of Christ for 1,000 years before this final conflagration (Isa. 9:6).
Also, Rev. 20:11 reveals to us that immediately after the regathering and defeat of Magog at the close of the Millennial Reign, the great White Throne judgment of God takes place in Heaven. Revelation 20:11 reveals that the present earth will flee away to oblivion before the face of God at this time.
In contrast, at the conclusion of the tribulation period Magog war in Ezek. 39:12 we are told that the Israelis will be burying the dead from this war on earth for 7 months. Additionally the account of Ezek. 39:9, tells us that activity will continue on the present earth with the destruction of weapons from this war for 7 years.
Some may disagree with our position that Israels labor would have to continue on into the 1,000 year reign of Christ. This is the natural understanding if the Ezekiel war takes place during the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation Period and the destruction of weapons continues on past the return of Jesus only three and a half or more years later. Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3 fully supports our position and conclusively presents the fact that the destruction of weapons will indeed be taking place after the start of the Millennial Reign.
In summation, we anticipate the following for the modern-day Scythians of Russia. They will at first join in a coalition war and will share in the plundering of Iraq (Jer. 51:27 & 50:10).
A historic 7 year covenant which will most likely include disarmament for the region immediately surrounding Israel will be put into place (Dan. 9:27).
Russia and its confederates will shortly thereafter defy the treaty and will attack the peaceful unfortified nation of Israel in an attempt to conquer the Middle East (Ezek. 38:9-12).
In contrast to the previous victory against Iraq, this time the Scythians will be defeated and themselves become the plundered (Ezek. 39:10).
There is no specific mention of the Scythians being involved in the War of Armageddon described in Rev. 19:17-21 & Zech. Ch. 12. This renown conflict will take place at the conclusion of the 7-year Tribulation Period. At this juncture in time Russia will no longer be in a position to be a major participant.
After 1,000 years of restoration and forgetfulness the Scythians (Magogites) will make war one last time. The barbarians of that future time will assail the gate of the Holy City of God and their fate will quickly be forever sealed with fire (Rev. 20:1-10).
A critical question needs to be asked and answered. That is, how did any of the Scythians receive Gods grace to enter the millennium to repopulate after having attacked Israel just a short time earlier during the Tribulation Period?
They will have made it the same way that all must receive Gods grace as has been happening throughout Russia in these last days. That is by having faith in the only Savior Jesus Christ whose atoning blood sacrifice delivers all who believe from the eternal penalty of sin; "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all" (Col. 3:11).
Are you prepared to be glorified and caught up to Heaven before the Tribulation Period begins at the blessed transformation known as the Rapture, or will you be left behind? You need to be sure in this extremely late hour (I Cor. 15:50-58).
Dont put it off. All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. You have Gods Word on it (Rom. 10:13).