Prophecy Letters

"Blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them." Matt. 13:16-17

The Prophecy Letter is a circular letter that we send out relating to the development of latter-day prophecy.

March 2022

Could Russia Lose the Ukraine War?

TGP Prophecy Letter – March 28, 2022

So far, the Russia-Ukraine War has not gone according to Putin’s plans. While it is possible that Russia will still come out victorious or the current crisis will escalate to World War 3, there are mounting reasons why this might not be the case. At the current time, we personally believe the chances of Russia coming to “terms” with Ukraine and withdrawing are just as great as further escalation. Many news outlets are publishing conflicting information, but countless headlines are showing the possibility of a stalemate (‘Neither side here can win’ - NBC News). We have not personally heard this scenario spoken about in Christadelphian circles as most of the talk regards further escalation. Therefore, we would like to discuss the growing possibility of de-escalation and its prophetical implications, for it’s possible that a Russian pull-out of Ukraine might better set the stage for Ezekiel 38-39 than a Russian victory!

As some might not be aware of these specific aspects of the crisis, allow us to explain the situation. It’s critical to understand the political aspect for both Putin and Zelensky as they both look for a “good” way to end this conflict:

Why is a stalemate a possibility? Essentially, Putin bit off more than he thought he would have to chew. What was intended to be a three-day take-over of Ukraine is now over a month old without a shimmer of victory in sight. It is clear that things have not gone as Putin intended. He is increasingly finding himself between a rock and a hard place with no easy way out.

Putin expected a quick triumph in Ukraine where the Ukrainians would welcome his rule and the Russian people would rejoice in their strong leader. However, Russia has now lost more troops in one month of fighting in Ukraine than they did over an entire decade in Afghanistan (The Jerusalem Post). Putin also believed he would have the backing of the Russian people, but many of his own citizens are turning against him as protests continue to mount. Even some of the Russian troops are turning on Putin, for they believed him when he said it was merely a “military drill.” Ukraine is fighting much harder than he thought they would, in some cases even pushing back the Russian forces (Arutz Sheva). Not only this, but the sanctions placed by the other countries of the world are adding to the unrest, crippling the Russian economy (Yahoo! News).

It seems that Putin can no longer “win” this war in the true sense of the word. If he takes over Ukraine, he will face the never-ending problem of the people of Ukraine who will continually war against his rule. Their fighting spirit will likely only intensify with Russian rule. Putin’s popularity has drastically dropped, and his political position could be at stake as there is growing talk of assassination and/or replacement (though we believe he is likely the “Prince of Rosh” when Gog comes against Israel and will be preserved until the Lord Himself sends fire on the land of Magog - Ezekiel 39:6).

Furthermore, it appears Putin had intentions of another invasion after Ukraine was taken, but as Ukraine has cost far more troops, resources, and money than anticipated, this is increasingly less likely. Consider too that if Russia takes Ukraine, the crushing sanctions on the Russian economy which will likely not be lifted. The world has suffered some from the sanctions on Russia, but it appears that they are making plans to keep Russia out of the picture. One example of this is seen in regard to gas: EU signs US gas deal to curb reliance on Russia - BBC News. The point is, it is difficult to see how Russia – and therefore Putin - will prosper to any degree if they successfully complete their assault on Ukraine.

If Putin does not take over Ukraine and decides to de-escalate, things might begin returning to normal on the world scene for Russia, but not so easily for Putin. This was a war waged by one man, not the entire country. Putin did not have the backing of the people, nor even of most of his military. This puts his political position at risk. The topic is discussed in the following news article from Yahoo! News, An exiled oligarch who spent almost a decade in a Russian prison predicts the Ukraine war will end Putin's regime. Putin apparently wants out of the situation, but has yet to find a way to do so that will preserve himself and his political stature.

For this reason, we are seeing news items like the following: Ukraine: Putin will search for a way to save face - BBC News. This article, which we highly recommend reading, was published on March 16th, and it suggests the possibility that Russia and Ukraine would agree to specific terms to end the conflict:

For Ukrainian President Zelensky, “there's one overriding objective - to make sure that Ukraine comes out of this appalling experience a united, independent country, not a province of Russia, which is what President Putin originally seemed to think he could turn it into.”

For Putin, all that counts now is that he can declare victory. No matter that everyone in his entire administration will understand that Russia has been given a bloody nose in this unnecessary invasion.”

The article then describes how both sides can declare “victory” and go their separate ways while still intact. The most important agreement would be for Ukraine to not seek NATO membership. This promise not to join NATO would likely be held up by Putin as his trophy, for he would likely claim that a non-NATO Ukraine was his objective “all along.” Russia, then, would allow Zelensky to remain in office and pull their forces out.

At the time of its publishing, the article was merely conjecture. However, these terms are now coming out of the leaders’ mouths:

As sanctions bite, how much economic pain is Putin willing to take? - Euronews

Putin shared his demands for ending the war, including Ukraine not joining NATO and the status of occupied territories: report - MSN

Russia ends demand to oust Zelensky, disarm Ukraine, but large gaps remain, Bennett says - World Israel News

Bennett: Russia no longer wants to replace Zelensky - The Jerusalem Post

Ukraine President reveals ‘compromise’ he might accept to end invasion - Daily Telegraph

These last two were published just today (3/28/22):

Ukraine would consider referendum on staying out of NATO, says Zelenskyy - Euronews

Zelensky says Ukraine prepared to discuss neutrality in peace talks - BBC News

Both parties agree that a compromise is a ways off, but it appears we are seeing the groundwork for one being paved. Again, the situation might still escalate to a terrible extent and lead to NATO becoming directly involved, but it might also de-escalate and ultimately lead to a Russia withdrawal of troops back to the homeland.

Possible Prophetical Relevance

Now to the important information! We want to consider the prophetical implications of this scenario, should it occur. We note that in Ezekiel 38-39, Gog is spoken of as being pulled or turned back, and that is when they come against Israel:

Ezekiel 38:4“And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:”

Ezekiel 39:2“And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:”

This gives the impression that Russia will have been in a particular vicinity, be on their way from that vicinity back to Russia, but then be caused to change direction by the Lord’s hand and come against Israel. Our Brother Wayne Tanner has suggested that a Russian withdrawal of Ukraine might comprise this “turning back.” Brother Wayne has also pointed out that the present sanctions on Russia appear to be creating both the need and desire for spoil that is said to be sole goal of Gog in coming against Israel:

Ezekiel 38:11-12“And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, 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.”

What is this “spoil” and great wealth that Israel has when Gog comes down? Where does Israel obtain it? We submit that it is not anything that Israel presently has, but what they will have in the future. We believe Scripture tells us when, how, from whom, and by whom this great wealth is acquired. Consider the following passages as we try to wrap up our comments:

Zechariah 14:14 – “And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.”

Zechariah 12 and 14 expound upon the same event, dealing with a final war between Israel and “the heathen/people round about” (Zechariah 12:2,6). Zechariah 14 is often used to refer to the Gogian invasion, but there are a number of issues with this interpretation, the chief of them being the enemy. Israel has enemies that are close to her and afar off. The term “heathen/people round about” is defined by Scripture to relate not to any nation who decides to surround Israel, but to those that border her:

Deuteronomy 13:7“Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;”

Here, we learn that the phrase “round about” is applied only to nations that border or are close to Israel. Nations who are “far off”, which would include Russia, are not described in this way, but as being “from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth.” In Zechariah 12 and 14, it is “the heathen round about” that come against Israel. These refer to Israel’s thorny Arab neighbors as detailed with incredible precision in Psalm 83.

It is from these nations that Israel is said to gather great wealth: “gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance” (Zechariah 14:14). This victory is said to be attained not by Israel alone, but by the Lord and his saints (Zechariah 12:5-7, 14:4-5). Thus, we read a snapshot of the aftermath of this war earlier in Zechariah:

Zechariah 2:4-5“And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein: For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.”

These verses create the Israel of Ezekiel 38 in precise detail. Israel is finally safe from the enemies around them, they have neither bars nor gates as the Lord is their defense, and they are greatly increased with riches and cattle. It is only after these criteria are met that Scripture says Gog will come down. It is because of the wonderful detail and clarity of Scripture that we confidently believe that Russia will not come against Israel at this time. The Scriptures lead us to conclude that Christ must first return, the saints must be gathered and judged, the nations of Psalm 83 must come against Israel and be destroyed by Christ and the saints, and their wealth must first be gathered. Then, we believe, Gog will come seeking spoil.

Will Putin decide to pull out of Ukraine? Though it is possible, a humiliated and desperate Putin is a dangerous Putin. Many are fearing that instead of choosing to de-escalate, he will do anything and everything to achieve victory and save his pride, which likely means using nuclear weapons (All Israel News). This would almost certainly start World War 3.

However these events transpire, may we never forget that it is our Father in heaven who is directing these affairs. May we be consoled in knowing that nothing is ever out of His control! These signs in the political heavens are given to warn us that our Lord draws nigh. Though our faith might soon be tried in the fire, let us rest and confide in the promise of his coming, for “it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation” (Isaiah 25:9).

Russia - Ukraine War Update, The Iranian Factor, The Syrian Factor

TGP Prophecy Letter – March 3, 2022

Russia-Ukraine War Update

As we mentioned in the last Prophecy Letter, we want to now discuss the effect of the Russia-Ukraine war on Israel and her enemies. Before we begin with this, we feel obligated to offer an update on two items that have changed since our last newsletter:

1. We previously reported that Turkey had told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that they had barred Russian ships from entering the Black Sea. Though this was told to Ukraine, Turkey did not immediately implement it. The latest news is that Turkey has warned ALL countries not to pass their warships through straits (Reuters). Even Russia is included in this ban. Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said, “Turkey will use its authority over the Turkish Straits under the 1936 Montreux Convention to prevent the Russia-Ukraine ‘crisis’ from further escalating” (The National Interest). He has also said that “the Russian attack (on Ukraine) is unacceptable” (Reuters). Because of Turkey’s block, Russia has cancelled their plans for their warships in the Black Sea (Al Jazeera).

It appears that Turkey, like other countries, is trying to sit on the fence as they are unsure of the outcome of the Russian war. Remember that Turkey is part of NATO. If a NATO nation is invaded by Russia, Turkey will be obligated to war against it according to the pact. They have commitments to the West, but they also have warm relations with Russia which they are trying to balance. If Turkey is too pro-Russia and Russia loses this conflict, that spells trouble for Turkey with her NATO allies and the rest of the world. If they are too anti-Russia and Russia wins, that spells trouble for Turkey with Russia.

Turkey is not the only country in this predicament, but they are most interesting because we know their future as Togarmah will be to ally with Gog (Ezekiel 38:6). Though this could happen soon, Turkey is presently not allied with Russia to the degree that Ezekiel 38 prophesies, not to mention the other entities mentioned. At this time, Turkey’s actions have only been against Russia. Not only have they blocked their ships, but they have supplied Ukraine with drones that have downed Russia tanks (Business Insider). Russia is acting alone. The alliance is not fully matured. Ezekiel 38 is yet in the future.

2. On the prospect of another World War, we offer the following recent news items:

NATO Activates Response Force for First Time as US Readies More Troops - Yahoo! News

Russia's Sergei Lavrov says a third World War would be nuclear - National Post

Russian FM warns World War 3 will be 'devastating nuclear war' - The Jerusalem Post

Did Putin just threaten America with a nuclear strike? - analysis - World Israel News

Biden rallies Congress behind Ukraine, says Putin has 'no idea what's coming' - Reuters


Now, please bear with us regarding our intended topic: the implications of the Ukraine-Russia war for Israel and her enemies.

The Iranian Factor

Interestingly, the present crisis is doing a lot to set the stage for the war between Israel and the Proximal Arab States as foretold countless times throughout Scripture, the most extensive passages being Psalm 83 and Zechariah 12-14. For the second time since the crisis, The Jerusalem Post has emphasized that while a Russian invasion of Ukraine is bad, a nuclear Iran is worse.

Iran is Israel’s greatest threat at the moment. Yet, we do not believe them to be mentioned in any latter-day prophecies except for Ezekiel 38. Please allow us to explain this important aspect. Some believe that the mention of Assur in Psalm 83:8 is a reference to Iran, citing that some of Iran used to belong to the Assyrians. It is however IRAQ that comprises the largest portion of the old Assyrian homeland. Of great importance, we emphasize the incredible detail of prophecy: It does not merely say “Assyria”, but “Assur”, which was the capitol of Assyria and is located in Iraq. By referring specifically to the capitol, the prophecy is far more specific to location and power, adding further evidence that the name Assur refers to IRAQ and not IRAN.

Prophecy and current events lead us to believe that, while not present in this Psalm 83 war when the heathen “round about” come against Israel, Iran is the catalyst for this war. Iran is presently “the head” of most of the entities listed in Psalm 83, they even calling them their “proxies.” We believe Israel will neutralize Iran temporarily, causing Iran to call upon her proxies around Israel to war against it. The Russian invasion of Ukraine appears to be making this more likely.

The Jerusalem Post recently published an article detailing how and why: How war in Ukraine increases Iran’s threat to Israel. We normally try to merely cite sources as it saves time and space, but this article gets to the point so clearly that we offer an excerpt of it:

“The message that Russia’s unprovoked attack has for the world is clear: other countries can do the same. In the Middle East, Iran understands that the Russian operation gives it a blank check to continue attacking countries throughout the region. This has potential repercussions for Israel. Jerusalem has always behaved as if it will have to face Iran alone, but the conflict in Ukraine is yet another message for the Middle East…

There is a chance that the war in Ukraine and the US focus on it could lead Iran to believe it can exploit this chaotic time to encourage its proxies to attack Israel. Hezbollah has been threatening Israel and increasingly stockpiling missiles and drones. Tehran could benefit from the Ukraine crisis by either getting a reduction in nuclear sanctions or empowering its proxies Tehran also backs Hamas, which has recently rolled out new drone and missile threats… The risk that the Russian war in Ukraine could increase the chances of an Israeli clash with Iran is clear.

By location, Hezbollah correlates directly to Tyre and Gebal in Psalm 83:7. Hamas, also mentioned as an Iranian proxy, works out of the “Palestinian” Gaza Strip which is the precise ancient territory of the Philistines. They also are directly mentioned in Psalm 83:7. Consider the verse:

Psalms 83:7“Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre”. Note how it specifically says “the Philistines WITH the inhabitants of Tyre.” Does this imply that these two factions have a special relationship? It appears so, and this is precisely what we are seeing. The painstaking detail our Father gave us in prophecy never ceases to amaze us.

The point is, Israel sees the effect of the Ukraine war and is preparing for a showdown with Iran and her allies.

On top of this, there is the latest Iran “deal” that is far worse than its already-dismal predecessor. Consider this: Report: Iran leverages Ukraine war to extract nuclear deal concessions - World Israel News. This “deal” further pushes Israel to strike Iran. An article on Arutz Sheva explains why:

“The draft (of the nuclear) agreement does not require Iran to destroy its centrifuges, one of the biggest mistakes of the original deal that allowed Iran to enrich uranium to a level approaching the purity needed for a bomb. Iran would remain on the threshold of building a bomb – with a breakout time of perhaps as little as six months. (President Barack Obama thought he’d won the lottery by asserting his deal made it a whole year) …

Reports indicate the U.S. is also prepared to unfreeze $7 billion in Iranian funds held by South Korean banks. This money will allow Iran to fund more terror, further develop its ballistic missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads, and continue to destabilize the region and threaten its neighbors…

Given the IAEA’s inability to verify Iran’s compliance with any deal and the certainty that Iran’s leaders will not give up their nuclear program, it is necessary to strike Iran before we (Israel) are forced to sit on the sideline and watch our Middle East allies be slaughtered.”

Even if a nuclear deal is reached, it will only further empower Iran as it will likely result in them receiving another $7 billion more than they already have, they will not be required to destroy any centrifuges, nor will there be any inspection to ensure that Iran is not making nuclear weapons. It is utter foolishness of the Western powers to even contrive such a deal. It is only explainable by the fact that it is the Lord working among the nations to bring about his prophecies. The Proximal war appears to be fast approaching us. Here is another article on the subject for any who are interested: Israel Prepares for Battle vs. Ultra Militant Iran Axis - Israel Radar.

What does this mean for you and I? We believe its importance cannot be overstressed. We have found Scripture to clearly show that the redeemed saints take part in destroying these enemies (see Zechariah 12:2,7, 14:4-5,14, Obadiah 18-21, and Isaiah 10:17). If we are with Christ at that time, Christ must have already returned, we will have been gathered, judged, and have celebrated the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. All of this, and yet we have been blessed to see the stage set as it is. We could be gathered at any second.

The Syrian Factor

The Russia-Ukraine war might even have relevance to the prophecy of Isaiah 17!

Isaiah 17:1-3“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid. The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of hosts.”

As we have seen, the Ukrainian crisis is contributing to an Israeli strike on Iran. Since Iran has moved much of their weapons to Syria and Damascus in particular, Israel will be sure to strike these weapons outposts when attempting to neutralizing Iran. We believe this might be when the prophecy of Isaiah 17 is fulfilled. Damascus will be destroyed, and Israel will lose the fortress in Ephraim which we believe to refer to the Golan Heights – the strategic defensive position overlooking Israel below.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine makes this more likely in another way too. Russia just recently said that they take “issue with Israel's sovereignty (over the) Golan Heights” (The Jerusalem Post). This is incredibly important! It is causing many analysts to wonder, Will Russia back a Syrian invasion of Golan Heights? (United with Israel). Syria has longed wanted the fortress of the Golan Heights. They were found to be of critical advantage in previous Arab-Israeli wars. If Russia is victorious in Ukraine, they will likely support Syria in reclaiming it. This in itself could be the start of a war ending in Damascus being destroyed and Israel losing some of her northern territory.

To be clear, here is the short listing of what we believe might be the order of events:

1. Russia is victorious in Ukraine, emboldening Iran and Syria.

2. Israel strikes Iran and her weapons outposts in Syria. Damascus is destroyed in the process or aftermath. Though Iran might be able to fire some of their weapons, Iran will be neutralized (though they will recuperate in time and come down with Russia at a later date).

3. Iran calls upon her proxies as listed in Psalm 83 to retaliate. Syria is a part of this, and as a result Israel loses the Golan Heights and becomes vulnerable.

4. Israel will then be weakened and cry to their Messiah for deliverance, at which time Christ and the saints destroy Israel’s enemies on their way to Jerusalem (Isaiah 63, Habakkuk 3).

It’s important to remember that with prophecy, what we are often given is merely a snapshot of an event. We are then left to study, watch, and wait to see why, how, and when these snapshots will occur and how they fit into the larger picture. Our suggestions are merely an attempt to answer these. Take them for what you will, but the overall message is to prepare to be gathered Brothers and Sisters.

There are yet many more topics for consideration, but doing so is not timely. Here, however, are some other headlines for your perusal relevant to the upcoming and final Arab-Israeli war:

Invasion of Ukraine makes it obvious: IDF will fight its own battles - The Jerusalem Post

Alleged Israeli airstrike targets Damascus - The Jerusalem Post

The Enemy in the North: Hezbollah Precision Missiles Threaten Israel - United with Israel

Note: Our title picture for TGP Prophecy Letter reflects our purpose with it. It depicts a watchman on top of the city walls blowing the shofar to warn and announce to the people the great signs of the Lord. The wall bears the Hebrew inscription "Prophecy Letter."