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Today’s Audio Devotion:
The Real Deal Dad: Authentic Fatherhood

We all have one; many of us are one—a father, that is. As we honor the fathers in our lives this weekend, it’s a good time to ask: What is an authentic father like? Books are available on the subject, but is there one infallible source by which to evaluate fatherhood?

Not even the Bible says, “These are the traits of a good father.” We have something else, however. We have the example of our divine Father, our Heavenly Father, who is the spiritual Father to all who believe. And “all” includes today’s dads. The Bible makes a clear point of saying we have been adopted into God’s family, the head of which is God the Father. So we do have a perfect example of the traits of an authentic father: God Himself. There are many traits of God revealed in Scripture, but how about the traits manifested by God the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Dads, the more you know and spend time with your Heavenly Father, the more like Him you will become.

A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.
Billy Graham

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There are more than 10 million Russian-speaking people currently living in the U.S.

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“I grew up with atheist parents. They hated anything to do with God. I was recently saved while watching Turning Point. Dr. Jeremiah opened my eyes to the truth. I understand now we have a purpose here on earth. I told my parents of my faith and they were furious. But by continually reading my Bible and being encouraged by the programs and my church, I was able to influence even my father by the changes he saw in me. I convinced him to watch Turning Point with me and after the first program, he was hooked. He kept watching each week and finally asked if he could go to church with me. He was saved that Sunday along with my mother! He then talked with his two brothers and they too received Jesus when they saw the joy in him. Thank you for turning our world around.”

— Tatiana from Moscow

In Ezekiel 38, the Lord revealed a ten–nation coalition that will assemble in the Last Days. The names and places that Ezekiel describes are foreign to us today, but a closer look at Scripture and history will help us translate these into modern times.

You will not find the name Russia anywhere in the Bible. But the nation we know as Russia figures prominently in prophecy. In Ezekiel’s list of ten names, the third name, Rosh, is most likely the territory we know as Russia. Not only do the two names bear phonetic similarity, but Ezekiel’s description of the location also points to Russia.

Biblical prophets assumed Israel to be the center of the world. Whenever we find compass points or geographical directions in prophecy, they are given in relation to the position of Israel.

Ezekiel and Daniel both describe Israel’s End Times aggressor as descending from the north. Daniel used the phrase “king of the North” to describe the commander of the alliance (Daniel 11:5-35). Ezekiel’s prophecy lends support to Daniel’s, indicating the invading armies will arrive in Israel “from the far north” (Ezekiel 38:6, 15). Russia is the only modern nation to match this description.

Here is a glimpse of what the future Russian alliance will look like:

Map of Russia

The Commander of the Alliance:

Gog (Ezekiel 38:1–2, 7)

  • The name of a person rather than a nation.

  • Some scholars believe Gog is a title rather than a personal name.

Nations in the Alliance:

Magog

  • Modern-day “–stan” countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and perhaps Afghanistan)

  • Home of Gog

  • Noah's second son (Genesis 10:2; 1 Chronicles 1:5; Revelation 20:8)

  • Today, these nations are predominantly Muslim.

Rosh

  • Modern–day Russia

  • Ruled by Gog

Meshech and Tubal

  • Many experts identify these as territories in modern Turkey

  • The fifth and sixth sons of Noah (Genesis 10:2)

Persia

  • Changed its name to Iran in 1935

  • Fiercely opposes Israel today.

Ethiopia

  • Modern–day Sudan and Ethiopia

  • Founded by Cush, grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:6)

  • Sudan is one of Israel's greatest enemies

Libya

  • The same as modern–day Libya

  • Founded by Put, the grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:6)

  • Has current ties with Russia

Gomer

  • Modern Germany (theorized because the name sounds similar to "Gomer")

  • First son of Japheth, grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:2)

Togarmah

  • "From the far North" (Ezekiel 38:6); possibly modern–day Turkey

  • Third son of Gomer, great grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:3)

These are the nations that will form a coalition and march against Israel, setting the stage for this gigantic world war focused on the Holy Land. Though the northern armies of Russia and Turkey will lead the coalition, they will be joined by Iran from the east, Sudan and Libya from the south, and (possibly) Germany from the west in the form of a revived European coalition of nations.

To darken the picture for Israel, these likely represent the chief allies in the invasion. In Ezekiel 38:9, the prophet added that the nation will have “many peoples” on its side.

When Russia is ready to move against Israel, its allies will include the Arab states of the Near East and likely the nations in the former Soviet Bloc.

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