Author Jeff Kinley has extensively written on the biblical end times, explaining the ins and outs of theories surrounding current events and what he believes the Bible prophesies about the future.
Kinley, who penned “The End of America?: Bible Prophecy and a Country in Crisis” and “As It Was in the Days of Noah: Warnings from Bible Prophecy About the Coming Global Storm,” among more than 30 additional books, recently told Faithwire why he believes Christians need to understand biblical prophecy properly.
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Citing the chaos unfolding around the world today, the author said humans live in a “foggy maze” filled with confusion. Understanding “history in advance” can provide hope and a reminder that God is in control.
“Paul told the Thessalonians in his first letter and his second letter, ‘Look, I want you to know what’s going to happen. I want you to know what’s going on. I want you to have clarity. I want you to have confidence, and I want you to have hope,'” Kinley said. “And it’s very important that we do that because we get many messages that come into believers.”
He continued, “So I just want to point people back to the Word of God and to seek out some trusted guides that could help you kind of navigate this really foggy maze that is the world that we’re living in right now.”
Watch Kinley discuss Gog, Magog, Russia, and the importance of understanding the end times:
The current crisis in Ukraine
Kinley also addressed the ongoing conflict in Ukraine as Russia continues its brutal assault to overtake the sovereign nation.
“It’s almost like these geopolitical tectonic plates are shifting all over the world,” Kinley said. “While on the one hand there’s calls for global unity, now we’ve got Russia coming in and, once again, trying to divide the world by invading Ukraine.”
The author said these events get people thinking about what the Bible has to say and whether Scripture addresses the current affairs we find ourselves in. Kinley said Matthew 24 includes Jesus’ comments about the end times and tribulation, including “rumors of wars.”
But that doesn’t necessarily mean the current crisis is part of that specific paradigm.
“I don’t think that’s what he’s talking about in this particular case, but it certainly is a prelude or a preview, if you will, of sort of the warm-up act for things that are going to happen later on,” Kinley said.
Is Russia Ezekiel’s Magog?
Kinley explained why Russia is such a fixture in end-times theology discussions, breaking down how the Prophet Ezekiel framed his foretellings.
As Faithwire has explored, Ezekiel wrote of a “Gog” from “Magog” and many have come to believe this Gog will be a future leader from Russia (Magog).
According to Ezekiel, this Gog from Magog will attack Israel along with other nations, including Persia (modern-day Iran), but God will step in and defeat the coalition.
But do many believe Magog is Russia? Kinley broke down some reasons, including geographic placement and directional mentions in Scripture.
“From a biblical perspective, anytime you have directions given in the Bible, then you always start with Israel being kind of the … center of the compass,” Kinley explained. “And it speaks about these nations coming from the uttermost parts of the north. If you just do a straight line north of Israel, you’re going to land in the middle of Russia.”
You can read much more about Gog and Magog in our explainer here.
The Israel factor
One of the most captivating elements of the Ezekiel discussion is the fact that, until 1948, Israel had been wiped off the map.
Ezekiel 36, though, speaks about Israel’s restoration after the Hebrews were scattered throughout the world, and many believe the post-Holocaust actions of 1948 — the restoration of Israel — fulfilled Ezekiel’s prophecy.
“Chronologically speaking, in order to have an invasion of Israel, you have to have an Israel. So, yes, Israel became a nation again after almost 20 centuries of being scattered,” Kinley explained. “Their language was dead. It’s really the miracle of miracles in the end times. And that’s what Ezekiel 36 and 37 talk about — that God’s going to bring his people back together again.”
He said more than half of the world’s Jews now live in Israel. Thus, many people believe, while Ezekiel 36 has been fulfilled, the Gog and Magog battle present in Ezekiel 38 has not.
That’s why modern-day events like the invasion of Ukraine pique so much interest among theologians.
A response to critics
Kinley also responded to those who contend the Gog of Magog invasion already happened at some other point in history, dismissing these claims by noting that there’s simply no record of anything like it in biblical, Jewish, or historical records.
“As you look through the rest of scripture you see zero examples of that mention,” he said. “In other words, you would think that a victory that great against that many nations with such a supernatural deliverance that God promises … would somehow be mentioned in some of the Jewish scriptures or in some of the apocryphal writings or in just in secular historical documents.”
Kinley said he expects this event will indeed unfold sometime in the future and also pointed out some of the language in the Scriptures that leads him to that conclusion.
“Twice again in this passage, it mentions the latter days. It actually says that,” he said. “And the latter years and the last days is …. when this attack will happen.”
Kinley discussed some of the other current and persistent events that back these biblical prophecies. The author said raging anti-Israel sentiment in many Middle Eastern countries — and proclamations from Iran that threaten Israel’s existence — only add credence to Scripture, the author said.
“These national leaders have called for the annihilation of Israel,” he said. “They want to drive them into the Mediterranean … wipe them off the map, and indeed, that’s one of the motivations that these nations in Ezekiel 38 will have. They want to come in, I believe, and just take Israel out.”
Read more about eschatology here.
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