The Importance of Russia in Syria
TGP Prophecy Letter - January 28, 2022
At the outset of the Ukraine-Russia Crisis, Israel was scarcely to be found in the issue. This is beginning to change. The involvement of Israel, however, is not so much as part of the Ukraine-Russia Crisis, but seems to be in stride with it as Russia is seeking to expand her influence in the region.
An article appeared on 1/26/22 from DEBKAfile bearing the headline: “Russia posts patrols at Latakia – 2nd impediment to Israel air strikes over Syria.” Russia has had influence and presence in Syria for many years, but they are stepping up their commitments there. We strongly urge all to consider ALL OF THE FACTORS, PLAYERS, AND THEIR AIMS as this situation has many implications!
Syria, as most know, is Israel’s neighbor to the North. Not only is the Syrian regime against Israel, but they house the largest existential threat to Israel: IRAN. Iran has been Israel’s top priority for the past many years, and it is increasingly so as Iran races closer to a nuclear weapon. Iran does not hide their intentions for this weapon from anyone. Their publicized intent is to remove Israel from the map - to end the Zionist regime. Here’s one article showing their blatant stance: ‘We Will Not Back Off From the Annihilation of Israel,’ Iran Vows as Nuclear Talks Resume | United with Israel
Syria has been working with Iran and allowing them to set up bases to strike Israel and distribute weapons to Iran’s proxies: the Arab terrorist organizations that currently surround Israel. These Syrian-Iranian weapons holdings have been the targets of the IDF for the past few years, and one of the main methods Iran uses to transport weapons to the area is the sea ports, very prominently the Latakia Port. Israel has struck the Latakia port twice just in the past month of December.
NOW, however, Russia has increased their presence there. This complicates the matter for Israel because it makes it far more difficult to strike these Iranian outposts and incoming weapons and avoid conflict with the Russians. Again, we emphasize: Iran has been transporting weapons to the Syrian-Israeli front to use against Israel, and now Israel can no longer destroy these weapons enroute because of Russian presence. How is Israel to prevent a nuclear strike from Iran if they cannot attack their military bases just on the other side of the border? Israel’s hands are being tied, and fast. The only option left that we can imagine is for Israel to strike the Iranian homeland, something Israel has been rehearsing for months.
An article appeared 1/27/22 on All Israel News, written by a man named Joel Rosenberg who frequents the world political stage. The short article is entitled, “A czar is born: Who is Vladimir Putin, will he invade Ukraine, and is he a threat to Israel?” We HIGHLY recommend reading it, which you can do HERE.
In the article, he describes the man Putin, his personality, and aims. The author expresses nervous concern, posing the question, “What if Putin decides to form even closer military ties with Iran and Turkey? What if he tells the Iranians they could go ahead with building a nuclear arsenal and that Russia will protect them from any American or Israeli consequences? What if he decides to become more aggressive in rebuilding Syria and placing far more Russian troops in the Syria theater as a way of establishing Moscow’s hegemony in the region? What if he began issuing ultimatums to Israel? How different the world – and particularly the Middle East – would suddenly become. Let us pray this doesn’t happen.”
Little does Joel know that it is the Lord himself who is bringing the region to that very state he is dreading. With Bible in hand, we say that this is EXACTLY where this is all heading. Ezekiel 38 tells us that these two, among others, WILL be allied with the Russian Gog:
Ezekiel 38:5-6 - “Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.”
The Lord is bringing these things together in perfect, intricate detail. BUT, DEAR BRETHREN, we must emphasize that we do not believe Russia is going to invade Israel at this time. Why? Note what Mr. Rosenberg’s concern was. It was NOT that Russian would invade Israel, but that they would allow Iran to continue its nuclear program unhindered.
From Ezekiel 38-39, we know that Russia (Gog) will attempt to invade Israel in the future. They come, we emphasize, for spoil, and that is all that is mentioned. At the present time, we see tensions between Russia and Israel building. We see Russia seeking to expand her influence in the region, and this is hindering the much-needed operations of Israel to destroy the weapons of Iran and Syria. PLEASE NOTE, however, that there is no hint of Russia seeking to invade Israel at the time. At the present time, Russia’s hindering of Israeli operations appears to be a side effect of pursuing her own interests. They do not appear to be deliberately against Israel, although that can quickly change. This is because Gog’s motive of spoil is not yet present.
Requirements as Outlined in Ezekiel 38
We humbly entreat and challenge all to examine Ezekiel 38 to discern all of the factors present before Gog comes down. At the present time, nearly every criteria found in the text is missing from the world scene, but ALL factors must be present before Gog comes down, for otherwise the prophecy will be flawed. Here are some, but not all, of the factors that the chapter details:
1) Israel must be “at rest” and “dwelling safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates” (Eze. 38:11). The Hebrew for “safely” is betach and is found in Zech. 14:11, Jer. 23:5-6, 33:15-16, and Ezek. 28:24-26. Israel must be so safe, in fact, that they
2) Are called “the land of unwalled villages… having neither bars nor gates” (Eze. 38:11). This means no carnal defenses or fortifications. Once Christ is there, Israel has no use whatsoever for physical defenses. Christ will cleanse the land of these and act as their protection.
Consider Zech. 9:9-10 - “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.”
3) Israel must be called a land “brought back from the sword” (Eze. 38:8). We believe this to mean that Israel will have just come back from a war, ie – that detailed in Psalm 83, Zechariah 12-14, and other passages.
4) Israel has to possess the spoil that Gog desires (Eze. 38:12). This is critical as it is the only motive mentioned. Gog might not like Israel, he may be angry with Israel for striking near Gog’s interests, but NONE of these are the reason Gog comes down. In order for the prophecy to be accurate, Gog must come for SPOIL.
Not a single one of these factors is present at the moment. And so, we reason from Scripture that Gog will not come down for some time.
We DO, however, believe the things we are seeing may have some immediate results. Again, the immediate threat for Israel is NOT a Russian invasion, but Russian permission for Iran to continue its nuclear program. Israel has repeatedly emphasized that they will not allow this for any reason. Here are our thoughts as to what we consider to be a very logical, realistic, Scriptural and
A Likely Scenario to Be Watching For
The increase of Russian presence in Syria will allow Iran to bring in more weapons to be used against Israel without the fear of Israel destroying them. Iran already has missiles there that can reach most of Israel (Iranian missiles in Syria 'threaten most of Israel' - WIN). Israel then, knowing the Iranian threat to be at its greatest danger and knowing the risks of striking near the Russians, will feel that they have no choice but to strike the Iranian home-front – an operation that Israel has been rehearsing for many months. Of tantamount significance, Israel admits cannot destroy Iran, but merely push their nuclear capabilities back around 2-3 years (Would a military strike against Iran stop its nuclear program? - JPost). Israel will then strike Iran with the combined force of cyber and military power, effectively neutralizing Iran’s abilities.
Iran, however, will not sit around while this happens. We believe they will either have enough time to strike Israel to a degree and weaken the state, or they will be hit too hard and too quick, crippled to where they cannot fight for themselves. Regardless, they will then call upon her proxies – the Arab terrorist states that surround Israel based in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and the West Bank. Iran has been working to form this confederation for years (Hamas and Iran Join Forces to Encircle Israel). Although these states are not united on all topics, they have one common goal: to destroy Israel, the motive described in Psalm 83:3-8. News articles have been posted saying that IF Iran DID call upon them to go to war for her, they would obey. And so, similar to the Yom Kippur War in 1973, we believe these Arab nations will storm Israel at once. Iran, having been neutralized, cannot accompany them, thus explaining why Persia is NOT listed among the nations of Psalm 83, but DOES appear with Gog later on.
Concerning a military strike on Iran, Israel has been told by the United States Congress, ‘“Do not rely on American backing, certainly not on direct American action or American aid…You are alone and do what you think you need to do”’ (US lawmakers: Israel is alone regarding Iran, don’t rely on America - WIN). Israel, having been left with no choice but to strike Iran, will therefore do so without the aid of the United States. The United States, we believe, will have lost its prominence as a superpower to Russia or will simply be too weak to help, whether militarily or politically. We believe the current Ukraine-Russia Crisis might result in the Russian Bear asserting dominance over the Lions of Tarshish.
In the past, Israel has been able to defeat her terrorist neighbors with relative ease. However, we are convinced by the Scriptural testimony that this will not be the case at this point. It will be as in the days of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20 (which showcases the same players as today, we must add). Israel will realize that they cannot win this war, though try they will. Israel will either have been weakened by Iran, or the united forces of the Arabs round about Israel will finally be too much. They will call upon their Messiah in their most desperate hour as Christ foretold: “Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matt. 23:29).
It is at this time that Christ and the saints arrive at the scene, having destroyed the Arab armies on their way North from the Judgment scene:
Isaiah 63:1-2 - “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?”
We will shorten our comments for time’s sake, but desire to give a general outline of our thoughts. Zechariah 12-14 details with wonderful detail the events that will transpire from the time that the heathen “round about” come against Judah and Jerusalem (Zech. 12:2) to the establishment of the Kingdom proper in fulfillment of the land promise to Abraham.
Once these “heathen round about” (Zech. 14:14) have been destroyed and their wealth gathered, it is said, “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one” (Zech. 14:9) The word EARTH here is ‘erets, and out of 2502 occurrences in Scripture, 1509 times it is translated LAND. In this particular use and at this particular point in time, we believe this refers only to the Promised Land - the Kingdom Proper - which was just gained by Christ and the saints.
As a result of the “heathen round about” being destroyed,
- Israel will have acquired all of Syria and Jordan, including the Russian interests there.
- Concerning Jerusalem, “men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited” (Zech. 14:11).
- “the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance” (Zech. 14:14).
IT IS AT THIS TIME that the stage for Ezekiel 38 will have been PERFECTLY SET. ALL of the factors will be present along with countless motives for Russia. She will not only seek to retain her interests in Syria that this new Jewish “King” will have acquired, but will desire the spoils of war that Israel has just acquired from the heathen round about.
The world, shocked by the events, will wonder as to who this man is who claims to be Jesus. Where will they turn? To the figure of religious authority himself, the Pope. HE, as we learn from Revelation 20, will deceive the nations: “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them” (Rev 20:7-9).
THIS is when Gog comes down and is destroyed. He will, like the rest of the world, seek the Pope’s counsel on the newfound Jewish King who claims to be Jesus Christ. What will the Pope say? Being a Jesuit, he believes that the antichrist will rise among the Jews and proclaim himself King, and so he will do. He will boast to the world, “This is not Jesus, but the antichrist!” He will embolden Gog to go down against this “enemy”, likely telling him that God will bless his endeavors. Gog having been deceived, he will come down confidently “as a cloud to cover the land” (Eze. 38:16), only to be obliterated upon the mountains of Israel by the Lord of Hosts:
Ezekiel 38:18-23 - “And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face. For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.”
We believe after this event will begin Armageddon, where Christ and the saints expand the rule of their Kingdom to the ends of the earth, stamping out the Babylonian system and its followers until the earth is “filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2:14). As our comments are focused on Gog at the moment, we will end them here.
Yet, we cannot end without pointing out the relevance of the current situation to us! If Christ and the saints are the ones who destroy the Arabs encircling Israel, which Scripture demonstrates to be BEFORE Gog meets his end, that means we must be gathered and judged first. Let us be prepared then, for looking out at the world and seeing the stage set as it currently is, we could be gathered at any moment now. All of the conditions for the coming Arab-Israeli war are present. They are only missing the spark. We are personally dumbfounded that we have not been gathered yet, but gathered we will be, and that of a certainty. “And so shall we be ever with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:17).
May we all be found watching as our Lord has lovingly commanded us, and exerting our greatest efforts toward praising his name!