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Ukraine and Israel’s Natural Gas: A “Hook in the Jaw of Gog” (Russia) (By Senior Pastor Louis Rosen

Ezekiel 38:2-4 says the following: “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.” On the surface this may seem like an insignificant passage involving names and people groups of no significance in our day and age. Wrong! Ezekiel chapters 38-39 describe a war that will take place whereby a Russian led coalition of nations will invade Israel with the intent of destroying them – “but God!”The potential present day conflict that is occurring in the Ukraine whereby the Russian army is positioning itself to possibly take over the nation of Ukraine and the United States and the European Union are on the verge of creating sanctions against Russia is more than intriguing to one who studies the Bible. On March 3rd Russian controlled natural gas giant Gazprom has threatened to disrupt the natural gas supplies to Europe following warnings John Kerry and others that harsh economic sanctions could be imposed on Russia, as the Ukraine crisis threatens to spiral into a trade war. Russia is the largest exporter of natural gas in the world. Europe is Russia’s largest supplier. Israel has discovered the largest reserve of natural gas (Leviathan gas field) off the coast of Haifa in a joint United States/Israel drilling operation in 2010. So what if sanctions are imposed on Russia and Israel steps in and offers to supply Europe with natural gas since they have discovered the largest gas reserve? Do you think the Russians and Iranians would be happy to see Israel in the oil and gas business? Could this be the proverbial hook that Ezekiel 38:4 speaks of that leads to a Russian coalition led invasion into Israel? Only time will tell but, for the serious Bible student, this potential crisis can be found in the prophetic Scriptures of Ezekiel chapters 38-39.In regards to the present day countries mentioned in the Ezekiel prophesy, the Bible usually describes geography in relation to Israel. For example, "south" means south of Israel; "north" signifies north of Israel. The nation due north of Israel is Russia. Genesis 10 helps to establish the identity of these people. Magog was the second son of Japheth who, according to Josephus, the great Jewish historian, settled north of the Black Sea. Tubal and Meshech were the fifth and sixth sons of Japheth, and their descendants settled south of the Black Sea. It is believed that these people intermarried and became known as Magog, the dominant tribe. The name Moscow derives from the tribal name Meshech; and Tobolsk, the name of the principal state, comes from Tubal. The noun Gog is from the original tribal name Magog, which gradually became Rash, then Russ, and today is known as Russia. Persia is present day Iran (a nation who has publically stated the desire to wipe Israel off the map and are currently enriching uranium to make a nuclear bomb). Bible scholars have identified the other nations to be present day Turkey, Libya, Ethiopia, Armenia, and Germany. The primary reason Russia will invade Israel is that God has decreed it (Ezekiel 38:4). God has proclaimed that He raises up whom He will and puts down whom He will (Ezekiel 21:26; Daniel 4:34, 35). So what time could we be approaching? Ezekiel’s prophecies are chronological. Falling between the prophecies of Israel’s modern re-birth (Ezekiel 36-37) and the Millennium (Ezekiel 40-48), the battle of Ezekiel 38-39 probably will take place during a time of peace after 1948 but before the 2nd coming of Jesus the Christ. Although Israel will be invaded by coalition of nations who will be far superior to them and Israel will be forsaken by her friends (USA), Israel will turn to God, and He will do for modern Israel what He did for ancient Israel. As the God over all forces, He will deliver Israel from the hands of her oppressor. As certain as the Russian coalition will come down against Israel, so it is that God will destroy the invading forces and deliver Israel supernaturally. And the prophet doesn't leave us in doubt as to the methods God will use in this destruction. It is noteworthy that this is not the first time they will have been used by the Almighty, for all of them have precedence in the Old Testament. Read the entire account of Ezekiel chapters 38-39 and you will discover the exact manner in which God will deliver Israel. Since God said it – that settles it – whether we believe it or not does not change the outcome. Let us watch and pray our redeemer draws nigh – we do not know the day or hour when Jesus will appear but we are to know the season. We are living in the season of the return of Jesus the Christ. Maranatha…Lord, come quickly. A couple of resources used for the article: God be the Glory,Pastor Louis Rosenthal

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