Yet another interesting and germane commentary by Jan Markell.
As mentioned so many times on this blog, we are closely watching the developments of Russia, as the Russian army continues to grab more and more land in the country of Georgia, as their troops move further south. Georgia has the only pipeline in the immediate region that Russia does not control, and it seems clear that the intent is to secure this last pipeline, giving Russia complete dominance in the region over oil and gas.
However, a new problem has arisen for Russia, and that problem is the huge reserves of gas which have been discovered in Israel [One of many articles found here]. Not only does this discovery create energy independence for Israel, but Israel now represents a major threat to Russian plans for energy dominance in the region. Joel Rosenberg's book "Epicenter" does an excellent job in describing Russia's plans in the Middle-East, including full control of gas and oil.
This new discovery could very well be the "plunder" that Ezekiel described as the motivation for the Russian led invasion of Israel described in Ezekiel 38.
Jan Markell's commentary addresses this situation, link provided "Russian Roulette":
By Jan Markell
Russia has an evil intent, and she is going to be seriously wounded when she perpetrates it. Russia is regaining her old aggressiveness and brutality. White House correspondent Bill Koenig and I discussed it on air Saturday, March 21, on my live broadcast. We know this for sure: The Russian invasion of Israel has not yet happened. It is a future event but we don't know how future. It is often called the Gog-Magog War. According to Josephus, the ancient Scythians inhabited the land of Magog that is now Russia.
Here's what else we know from Ezekiel 38. Many Islamic nations will participate (verse 5). It is in the "latter days" (verses 8 and 16). Israel is "living securely" (verse 8). A major motive will be to seize Israel's wealth (verse 12). Many nations will object but will not get involved (verse 13). God is angry because forces are invading His land (verse 16). God raises severe judgment on the invaders (verse 22). Many nations are awed at this and recognize that He is Lord (verse 23).
The scenario in chapter 39 states that the devastation of the enemy will be great (verse 4). God will send fire upon the lands of some of those involved in this invasion of Israel (verse 6). God's holy name is made known in Israel, and they will know He is the Holy One of Israel (verse 7). Israel will burn weapons for seven years, which may indicate this is a Tribulation war (verse 9). Russia and her allies will be buried in Israel for seven months (verse 12). Israel will know that the Lord God of Israel orchestrated this. His glory is set among the nations and in Israel (verse 21). Israel will have some kind of spiritual awakening (verse 22). God will not hide His face from them any longer for He will pour out His Spirit on the house of Israel (verse 29). This should not be confused with "all Israel saved" at the Second Coming.
Since Bible prophecy is in a fast-forward mode, we need to be paying attention to major events taking place. One of the issues that those with their eye on the sky have wondered about is what is the wealth Israel possesses that is so vital that Gog (Russia) and her allies are willing to invade Israel to seize it. A story many seem to think significant is the fact that Israel has just discovered five trillion feet of natural gas off the shore of Haifa. And that is just for starters. It is believed there is much more soon to be tapped into, as well as oil not yet discovered in various parts of the country. Oil may be a speculation but the natural gas is a reality.
Russia needs natural gas! That was, in part, her reason for invading the former Soviet state of Georgia. Additionally, Russia is building seaports in Syria and Libya. Libya is one of the participants in this forthcoming war. Another participant -- Turkey -- is now more aligned with Russia than ever before. A primary participant in the Gog-Magog war is Iran who is always strengthening her ties with Russia.
As for other items of wealth or a "spoil" in Israel, we should include her Dead Sea assets and technological wealth. But it is the natural gas find that everyone should keep an eye on. This was the missing piece of the puzzle! And hardly anyone is paying attention to it. The media just says this will be a great asset for Israel as they are clueless about the Ezekiel 38-39 passage and how this find might apply to biblical prophecy.
Returning to the theme of the rapid escalation of events today, Dr. Thomas Ice says, "Things are moving so fast in the last six months that stage-setting events are happening at a speed no one person can keep up with. Prophecy is on fast-forward!"
Dr. Ice also says, "God's plan for history always moves forward in relation to what He is doing with Israel. Thus, the fact that Israel has been and continues to be reconstituted as a nation is prophetically significant, so significant that it makes Israel God's 'super-sign' of the end-times. Were Israel not a nation again it would be impossible for events of the end-time to occur since so many of them take place in that tiny country or in reference to her. But she has returned and so it is that all other aspects of Bible prophecy are also being prepared for the grand finale of history."
Yes, it is a tragedy that the church today does not care about this topic, but the Bible predicted scoffers near the end (II Peter 3:4). Too bad much of the scoffing is coming from church pulpits. And it grieves many of us that once-solid denominations and churches now embrace Replacement Theology that says the church is the new Israel. Nonetheless, in this dark day, keep looking up -- even if you get a stiff neck. Keep listening for the sound of a glorious trumpet! Stage-setting signs have never been so prolific! Not everyone has this blessed hope!