Like most Americans who were alive at the time, I will never forget September 11, 2001. As a young, enlisted soldier, I was outraged at the sights I saw on television. My anger deepened when the twin towers of the World Trade Center fell, the Pentagon was attacked, and Flight 93 went down in a Pennsylvania field. I wanted to fight – to defend my country against the evil aggression of radical Islam.
The events of 9/11 changed the direction of my life. Not long after, I was commissioned as a U.S. Army Chaplain. God’s call to minister to our armed forces took me to countries and places that are not on most maps and the names of which I cannot pronounce. On those overseas deployments, I often held the hand of a soldier as he took his last breath.
My ministry stateside included death notifications. That means I had to put on my dress uniform and knock on some stranger’s door and tell them that their son or daughter, husband or wife, dad or mom, was killed in combat. Many, many times, I was called upon to officiate military funerals and memorial ceremonies. Over 400 times, I stood before a flag-draped coffin and tried to bring words of comfort to a grieving family.
As a Combat Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, Operation Inherent Resolve, and Operation Enduring Freedom, I understand the price the Global War on Terror has cost the United States. It has cost us our brightest and our best. We have paid with the blood of our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. It was a cost we were all willing to pay for the country that we love.
However, like many of those I served with, I find myself stunned in disbelief by the recent events in Afghanistan. Where are we twenty years after 9/11? Isis is making a comeback in Iraq, and the Taliban control all of Afghanistan. In fact, the Taliban are even more powerful now than they were twenty years ago because of all the American weapons, vehicles, aircraft, and equipment that were left behind in Afghanistan.
America’s swift and total abandonment of its U.S. Air Force in Kabul, Afghanistan, has even mainstream fake news media anchors confused. They found it almost impossible to find the words to cover for the president’s inability to form a cogent thought in answer to questions.
President Joe Biden stood before microphones on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, and ranted about how COVID vaccines would be mandated, with only a slight mention of the thousands of Americans left stranded in Afghanistan while the vicious Taliban horde moved to take over the country. Biden seemed oblivious to questions even from his friends in the fake news media. While Afghan women and girls as young as five years of age were being taken as sex slaves and the families of Afghanistan were being slaughtered, Biden seemed to have no idea about how to deal with what the American or Afghanistan military should do to handle the cut-and-run strategy his administration chose to employ.
Afghan women were seen literally tossing their little children across barbed-wire fences to American military personnel to get them out of the country on C-17 and other aircraft that the U.S. Air force were trying to fly out of the Kabul airport in the panic to evacuate as many as possible.
Some of those flights saw men hanging from anything they could grasp while the planes lifted off. Some fell hundreds and even thousands of feet to their deaths. One aircraft had to make an emergency landing because the landing gear would not fully retract. That was because some men, trying desperately to flee the Taliban, had tried to hide in the massive landing-gear area to fly to safety. They were crushed to death, of course.
Then on August 26, 2021, more than 100 people were killed, including at least 13 U.S. service members and 90 Afghans, at the Kabul airport when two blasts ripped through crowds trying to enter the American-controlled facility. A suicide bomb attack at the airport’s Abbey Gate was followed by an assault by gunmen that disrupted the final push of the U.S.-led evacuation effort. It was a tragic way to end our twenty-year involvement in Afghanistan.
With Afghanistan back in the news, people have been asking, “Does Afghanistan have a role in Bible prophecy?” The answer is: Yes, Afghanistan does have a role in Bible prophecy.
In Ezekiel 38, written over 2,600 years ago, the prophet Ezekiel prophesied that an alliance of nations will form in the last days, just before Christ returns, and that alliance will include Afghanistan. Actually, Ezekiel identifies the nations in this alliance as “Magog, Rosh, Meshech, Tubal, Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer, and Beth-togarmah.” I don’t blame you at all if none of these names make any sense. After all, these don’t sound like the names of any nations on earth today. However, keep in mind that Ezekiel named the nations of this alliance as they were known in his day, and each one represents an identifiable nation currently in existence.
In fact, long before Russia became a world power, scholars identified Rosh as the nation of Russia and Gog as its ruler. And of course, right up until March 21, 1935, the world knew the nation of Iran as Persia – the same Persia referenced by Ezekiel. So, Persia is a clear reference to Iran.
Today, Bible scholars call these nations the Gog Magog Alliance. To help you understand this alliance, let me give you the name of the country in the time of Ezekiel and the country’s name today. First, Rosh is Russia. Magog consists of the modern nations of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan. Persia is Iran. Cush is Sudan. Put is the modern country of Libya. Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Beth-togarmah are in present-day Turkey.
In the history of the world, such an alliance of nations has never existed. Yet today we see it coming together right in front of us. In the 2,600 years since Ezekiel recorded his prophecies, these nations have never been part of an alliance of any sort. That all changed in the late 1980s when Russia began allying herself with the Arab nations in the Middle East.
The Bible says in Ezekiel 38:8 that the Gog Magog alliance will form and come against Israel “in the latter days.” The Hebrew word used in this passage to describe the latter days is “acharith,” and it generally translates as the “after-part, latter part, or end.” In other words, this alliance will form in the last days just before the return of Jesus Christ.
Ezekiel provided additional clues as to the timing of the Gog Magog attack against Israel. In Ezekiel 38:12, Russia’s ruler (Gog) says to himself, “To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.” The ruler of Russia (Gog) will attack the land when it’s filled with the exiles who return from among the nations. The target of this future invasion is the modern-day state of Israel.
God Himself confirms this when He says the invasion will occur after Israel had been “gathered out of many people” (Ezekiel 38:8). In Ezekiel 39:27, God says it will happen “When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands.” This return home from among many nations has happened only once in all human history: The 1948 regathering of the Jewish people and the restoration of Israel in the Promised Land.
So, I believe the situation in Afghanistan is setting the stage for the Gog Magog war. With the United States leaving Afghanistan, Russia has already been making moves to strengthen its presence there. Today’s headlines point to the fulfillment of the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecies soon, and those prophecies point to the fulfillment of all the Second Coming prophecies in short order.
Never have so many signs of the Second Coming been present, and never before has it been more important to share the Good News. So, make sure to tell everyone you know that Jesus is the only way, and He is coming soon.
As heartbroken as I am about the situation in Afghanistan, I still find myself hopeful about the things God is doing at the end of this age. I continue to pray for repentance and revival in the world while I also pray come quickly, Lord Jesus.