One of the advantages of being operated on April 15th was that I was under anesthesia and could not hear or read anything about the latest prophetic nonsense being churned out by end-time prophecy teachers and preachers. What a relief! Unfortunately, it didn’t last long.

The usual suspects like John Hagee, Ray Comfort, Jack Hibbs, Joel Richardson, Joel Rosenberg, and many more are revving up the prophecy market. Here’s this example from John “Blood Moon” Hagee: 

Prophetically we are on the verge of the Gog-Magog War that Ezekiel described in chapters 38 and 39.

Do you know how many prophecy writers have claimed this down through the centuries? I know, it’s different today because Israel is back in the land, something the New Testament never mentions.

This is from Ray Comfort:

I’m going to show you how Iran is hidden in Bible prophecy. The nation of Iran has finally come out of the closet. Never before has it openly attacked Israel. Like a camouflaged predator, it has remained snarling in the shadows, but it’s never attacked.

Modern-day Iran is not in any way the revival of the Persian Empire![1] Check out this map to see the extent of the original (biblical) Persian Empire:

Persian Empire

Comfort published the book Russia Will Attack Israel in February 1991. That was more than 33 years ago since it was written sometime in 1990. He quotes material from a 1982 Reader’s Digest  article “Countdown in the Middle East”: “The Soviets are entrenched all around the rim of the Middle East heartland—In Afghanistan, South Yemen, Ethiopia, and Libya.” The “Soviets” pulled out of Afghanistan, and there was no mention of Ukraine or the fact that The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) would be dissolved on December 26, 1991. According to Comfort, we were “on the verge of the Gog-Magog War” more than 30 years ago.

Comfort’s Russia Will Attack Israel includes a list of supposed “PROPHETIC FACTS” (pages 17-35). The problem with these “facts” is that they describe what was to take place before that Apostolic generation passed away (Matt. 24:34) and therefore don’t have anything to do with current geopolitics. See Wars and Rumors of Wars, Last Days Madness, Is Jesus Coming Soon?, Matthew 24 Fulfilled, and Matthew 23-25. See a full list of recommended books at the end of this article.

Wars and Rumors of Wars

Wars and Rumors of Wars

A mountain of scholarship shows that the prophecy given by Jesus was fulfilled in exacting detail when He said it would: before the generation of those to whom He was speaking passed away. Skeptics read the Olivet Discourse in the right way, but come to the wrong conclusion. Christian futurists read it the wrong way and come to a different wrong conclusion.

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It didn’t take long to move from the April 8, 2024, solar eclipse to Gog and Magog. You might remember that when Russia invaded Ukraine, we were warned that the Gog and Magog war was near, “on the verge.” 

Russia as the end-time bad guy is not new, and neither are numerous examples of prophecy pundits linking Gog and Magog with historical candidates going back more than two millennia. Consider this from Ronald Reagan in 1971.  

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.[2]

In 1984, to show the extremism of Reagan’s religious beliefs and what they might mean if he got re-elected in 1984, “a 90-minute documentary entitled ‘Ronald Reagan and the Prophecy of Armageddon’ was broadcast at various times … on about 175 public radio stations.”[3] Bart Ehrman mentioned this type of misplaced prophetic hype and its effect on politics in the 1970s and 1980s in his 2023 book Armageddon: What the Bible Says About the End. See my comments on Ehrman’s book here.

Following the October 2023 Hamas attack on Israel, Glenn Beck sat down with popular Christian author Max Lucado to discuss the “End Times Prophecies Unfolding Around Us.”[4] The argument was that while World War II carried with it the “possibility of Christ returning,” Beck and Lucado reasoned that there wasn’t “enough” Biblical prophecy in play to seal the end-time deal. This time around, however, the missing ingredient has finally been added to the mix. “We’ve got Gog and Magog,” said Beck, “for the very first time.” Lucado responded with a smile and nodded in agreement. This is the great irony of Beck’s and Lucado’s statement. Far from the first time, “we’ve got Gog and Magog” for the hundredth time going back centuries. Most of these made sense since the battle was fought with men on horses, in chariots, with swords, clubs, spears, and bows and arrows.

The Gog and Magog End-Time Alliance

The Gog and Magog End-Time Alliance

Jet planes … missiles … and atomic weapons. You will search in vain in Ezekiel 38 and 39, and you will not find them. You will, however, find horses, bows and arrows, shields, clubs, and chariots. If the Gog and Magog prophecy was written for a time more than 2500 years in the future from Ezekiel’s day, why didn’t God describe the battle in terms that we could relate to and understand? Why confuse Ezekiel’s first readers and us?

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1.     One of the earliest attempts at finding the fulfillment was during the inter-testamental period, the 400 years of Revelational silence between Malachi and the gospels, in particular, the events surrounding the atrocities committed Antiochus IV Epiphanes (c. 215 BC-164 BC).[5]

a.     “The known invasion of Jerusalem by Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) in 167 BC follows many elements that are detailed in Daniel 11. Antiochus attacked from the north (he was from the northern, Seleucid Empire in Asia Minor). He committed the abominable act of profaning the temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar (cf. Dan 9:24-27) and made Jewish customs such as circumcision punishable by death.”

b.     “There is a long-standing consensus by scholars (such as Porphyry, Jerome, Adam Clarke, Matthew Henry, Jamieson-Fausset-Brown and Matthew Poole) that identifies GOG as Antiochus (Epiphanes) IV and that Ezekiel 38-39 prophesies his invasion of Israel and the destruction of his coalition army.”[6]

2.     “In the first century A.D., the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus identified Gog with ‘the Scythians,’ by then a generic term for various feared peoples of the north.”[7]

3.     “In early Christian terms, Gog and Magog were often identified with the Romans and their emperor. Eusebius [of Caesarea] seems to have been the first church father to suggest this identification. In his view, Gog … stands for the Roman Imperium.”[8]

4.     John Trapp wrote that Meshech represented the Muslims and Tubal the Roman Catholics. “These two are thus conjoined to show, as some think, that Turks and Popelings shall at length join their forces to root out the true religion, and that, while they are tumultuating and endeavouring the Church’s downfall, Christ shall come upon them and confound them.”

The following is from Frank Gumerlock’s book The Day and the Hour where he lists various Gog and Magog candidates through the centuries.[9]

1.     Goths (4th century)

2.     Goths and Moors (5th century)

3.     Huns (7th century)

4.     Islamic Empire (8th century)

5.     Hungarians (10th century)

6.     Mongols (14th century)

7.     Persecution of the Lollards (14th century)

8.     Turks (16th century)

9.     Mohammedans and the Papacy (16th century)

10.  Pope and Spain (16th century)

11.  Native Americans (17th century)

12.  France (18th century).

13.   Modern-day Russia (20th and 21st centuries)

14.  Islam

The rise of Russia as the end-time candidate has been popular for around 300 years.

1.     The German Hebrew scholar Wilhelm Gesenius (1786-1842) and Bible commentator William Lowth (1660-1732) identified Gog and Magog with Russia. 

2.     Henry Cowles did the same in his 1867/1870 commentary on Ezekiel: “The word is Rosch, and is supposed to be the earliest historical allusion to the people afterward known as the Russians.”[10]

3.     Arno C. Gaebelein wrote in 1916 that “Russia’s move southward ‘cannot be far off.’”[11]

4.     C.I. Scofield of Scofield Reference Bible fame stated in the 1909 first edition, “That the primary reference is to the northern (European) powers, headed up by Russia, all agree.”[12]

5.     David L. Cooper, When Gog’s Armies Meet the Almighty in the Land of Israel.[13]

6.     Hal Lindsey (“Russia is a Gog”): “The next war will not be with the Arabs, but with Russia” (General Moshe Dyan, 1968).[14]

7.     Jack Van Impe: “The Coming War with Russia According to the Bible: Where? When? Why?”  (A message preached at Canton Baptist Temple in Canton, Ohio and made available on a long-playing record album, c. 1969).

Beck’s fact-checkers must have been out to lunch on this topic. We already had Gog and Magog back in February of 2022, according to the late Pat Robertson. After Russia invaded Ukraine, Roberston enthusiastically announced, “God is getting ready to do something amazing that will be fulfilled!”[15] He was almost giddy as he repeatedly quoted from Ezekiel 38 and 39, the Gog and Magog prophecy, and said, “You can look at your maps. You can read your newspapers. You can listen to your news. And know for a fact that God is bringing to pass what he prophesied years ago through his servant Ezekiel.”[16] People have been doing this type of “newspaper exegesis” for more than two thousand years with the same result.

Comfort said, “Never before has [Persia/Iran] openly attacked Israel.” If Iran is Persia, then Persia did attack Israel. We can see that Israel was attacked by Persia in the book of Esther:

Now it happened in the days of Ahasuerus, the Ahasuerus who reigned from India to Cush over 127 provinces, in those days as King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne which was at the citadel in Susa, in the third year of his reign he held a banquet for all his officials and attendants, the army officers of Persia and Media, the nobles and the officials of his provinces, in his presence (1:1-3).

Look what’s in the third chapter of Esther: 

Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom [this included Israel]; their laws are different from those of all otherpeople and they do not comply with the king’s laws, so it is not in the king’s interest to let them remain. If it is pleasing to the king, let it be decreed that they be eliminated, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who carry out the king’s business, to put into the king’s treasuries….” Then the king’s scribes were summoned on the thirteenth day of the first month, and it was written just as Haman commanded to the king’s satraps, to the governors who were over each province and to the officials of each people, each province according to its script, each people according to its language, being written in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with the king’s signet ring. Letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces to annihilate, kill, and destroy all the Jews, both young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to seize their possessions as plunder (vv. 8-9, 12-13).

The events in the book of Esther are the events predicted in the battle described in Ezekiel 38-39. Here’s the clincher. The battle in Ezekiel 38 and 39 is clearly an ancient one or at least one fought with ancient weapons: All the soldiers are riding horses (38:4, 15; 39:20); these horse soldiers are “wielding swords” (38:4), carrying “bows and arrows, war clubs and spears” (39:3, 9); the weapons are made of wood (39:10), and it is these abandoned weapons that serve as fuel for “seven years” (39:9).

These same prophecy writers argue that the coming end-time war will be highly technological. For example, “A wave of technological innovation is sweeping the planet…. The future wave has already begun. We cannot stop it…. [T]he Antichrist will use some of this technology to control the world.”[17] How does this assessment of the immediate future square with the seven-year tribulation period when Israelites “take wood from the field” and “gather firewood from the forests”? (39:10).

There is nothing in the context that would lead the reader to conclude that horses, war clubs, swords, bows and arrows, and spears mean anything other than horses, war clubs, swords, bows and arrows, and spears. The spoils of war were gold, silver, cattle, and goods (38:12­-13), the same items Israel brought back from the captivity (Ezra 1:4). Haman (like Hitler who plundered the Jews) wanted to get his hands on this wealth (Esther 3:10). Where was Haman going to get the silver to pay the mercenaries and fill the king’s treasury (v. 9)? From the Jews he was planning to exterminate.

For further study, see the following books:

The Hope of Israel and the Nations

Matthew 24 Fulfilled

Matthew 23-25

The Destruction of Jerusalem

The Great Tribulation

Is Jesus Coming Soon?

Last Days Madness

Ten Popular Prophecy Myths Exposed and Answered

The Gog and Magog End-Time Alliance

The Destruction of Jerusalem, the Mysterious Language of St. Paul’s Description of the Man of Sin, and the Day of the Lord

Identifying the Real Last Days Scoffers

Jesus v. Jerusalem

Prophecy Wars

Revelation and the First Century

The Great Tribulation

The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition on the Book of Revelation

Paradise Restored: A Biblical Theology of Dominion

[1] “At its greatest extent, the empire included the modern territories of Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, all significant population centers of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya, Trace-Macedonia and Bulgaria, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, all of Abkhazia, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and parts of the North Caucasus, much of Central Asia, Afghanistan, Northern Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Oman, China, and UAE.”

[2]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:

[3] John Herbers,“Religious Leaders Tell of Worry on Armageddon View Ascribed to Reagan,” The New York Times (October 21, 1994), Sec. 1, page. 32.




[7] Boyer, When Time Shall Be No More, 153.

[8] J. Lust, “Gog,” Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, eds. Karel Van Der Toorn, Bob Becking, and Pieter W. Van Der Horst, 2ndrev. ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1995), 375.

[9] See Francis X Gumerlock, The Day and the Hour: Christianity’s Perennial Fascination with Predicting the End of the World (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision, 2000). 

[10] Ezekiel and Daniel With Notes, Critical, Explanatory, and Practical (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1870), 219.

[11] Quoted in Boyer, When Time Shall Be No More, 155.

[12] “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; Zechariah 14:1-9; Matthew 24:14-30; Revelation 14:14-20; Revelation 19:17-21; Revelation 19:17-21. ‘Gog’ is the prince, ‘Magog,’ his land. The reference to Meshech 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 (e.g. Gen. 15:18, note; Deut. 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’ (Isa. 2:10-22; Rev. 19:11-21 and to the battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16:14; 19:19, note), but includes also the final revolt of the nations at the close of the kingdom-age (Rev. 20:7-9).” Daniel I. Block, professor emeritus of Old Testament at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, in his commentary on Ezekiel writes, “The popular identification of Tubal with Tubolsk in Russia (H. Lindsey, The Late Great Planet Earth 1970, p. 53) is ludicrous . . . The popular identification of Meshech with Moscow (of Lindsey, The Late Great Planet Earth p. 53) is absurd.”

[13] David L. Cooper, When Gog’s Armies Meet the Almighty in the Land of Israel: An Exposition of Ezekiel Thirty-Eight and Thirty-Nine, 3rded. (Los Angeles: Biblical Research Society, [1940] 1958).

[14] Hal Lindsey, “Russia is a Gog,” Late Great Planet Earth (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1970), 59.



[17] Tim LaHaye, “The Coming Wave,” in Ed Hindson and Lee Fredrickson, Future Wave: End Times, Prophecy, and the Technological Explosion(Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2001), 7-8.