The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

Is Russia Mentioned in the Bible?

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If there is one prophetic section of the Bible that is repeatedly turned to for support that our world is on the eve of destruction, it’s Ezekiel 38 and 39. M. R. DeHaan, writing in 1951, identified “the sign of Gog and Magog” to be one of the “three most outstanding signs of the coming of Christ.”[1] In 1972, Carl Johnson wrote Prophecy Made Plain for Times Like These.[2] His chapter on “When Russia Invades the Middle East” includes a lengthy quotation from a message Jack Van Impe gave at Canton Baptist Temple in Canton, Ohio, sometime in 1969. Like so many who claim to know what’s on the prophetic horizon, Van Impe made his case for an imminent war with Russia on what the newspapers of 1969 were reporting. This war was so close, he charged, “that the stage is being set for what could explode into World War III at any moment.”[3]

Just two years later, Ronald Reagan, then governor of California, followed a similar prophetic script:

Ezekiel tells us that Gog, the nation that will lead all of the other powers of darkness against Israel, will come out of the north. Biblical scholars have been saying for generations that Gog must be Russia. What other powerful nation is to the north of Israel? None. But it didn’t seem to make sense before the Russian revolution, when Russia was a Christian country. Now it does, now that Russia has become Communistic and atheistic, now that Russia has set itself against God. Now it fits the description of Gog perfectly.[4]

This familiar interpretation of Ezekiel 38 and 39 has been written about, talked about, and repeated so often that it has become an unquestioned tenet of prophetic orthodoxy. Ed Hindson confirms this when he writes, “Without question, these two chapters offer the most detailed biblical prophecy outlining a future war. It is also the timeliest indication that we are living in the very period the Bible speaks of just prior to the return of Christ.” He is sure that the fulfillment of this two-chapter prophecy refers to a “forthcoming attack on Israel . . . [that] could be right around the corner.”[5] Those unfamiliar with the history of interpretation of this prophecy might be surprised that prophetic speculators have been making the same claim for more than 1500 years!

As we’ll see in future articles, the answer to this article’s question is no.

M. R. DeHaan, Signs of the Times and other Prophetic Messages (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1951), 74.
Carl G. Johnson, Prophecy Made Plain for Times Like These (Chicago: Moody Press, 1972).
Jack Van Impe, The Coming War With Russia (Old Time Gospel Hour Press, n.d.). The quotation is taken from a message that Van Impe gave at Canton Baptist Temple, Canton, Ohio. The talk was recorded and available on a as an LP. quoted in Johnson, Prophecy Made Plain for Times Like These, 82–83.
[4] From an address that Ronald Reagan gave at a dinner with California legislators in 1971. Quoted in Paul Boyer, When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern Culture (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1992), 162.
Ed Hindson, “Is War with Iran Inevitable?,” National Liberty Journal (March 2007), 9. Also see Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Global warning: Are we on the Brink of World War III? (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2007), 127.

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