I think I shall never forget that wonderful weekend in 1997 when Israel Truth members from around North America and, even a couple from Europe, were mightily blessed through one of the most outstanding conferences ever held by our Association. Every once in awhile, I reflect on our conference theme and am amazed at how our opening statement reflected on what we are faced with today. Think about our current state of affairs as you read the following: “This is perhaps the most important conference we have ever held in Vancouver. ‘This is so because we are living in such incredible times. Sadly, all over the world, the Israel lands are experiencing much turmoil and our people can’t understand the reasons. They cannot see the evil forces steadily working to move all the old landmarks within church and state. As we view the scene from our vantage point here in 1997, it seems that moral-, financial and environmental conditions are on the verge of chaos or potential collapse. Far from taking the lead, our mainstream church denominations are floundering and liberalizing their doctrine to live with what they perceive as the new reality. And so, the purpose of this conference is to give us further spiritual- strength as we enter these next few crucial-years leading to the Kingdom Age.
With scholarly speakers like Pastors Alan Campbell, Karl Schott, Ernestine Young and the great intellectual of the movement, Douglas Nesbit, along with Vancouver’s two leading scholars, Jim Read and Tom Mitchell, the wisdom that emanated from 1997 surely substantiates what we face in these early days of 2022.
Nonetheless, at this time, I would like to review some comments made by Pastor Campbell in his first message. He referred to Ezekiel 38 and while space does not permit a full review, he did have this to say about the opening verses 1-7. He referred to “Gog”, the land of Magog and referred to the Lord God’s words, I am against thee, O Gog”. Now, the question that comes to most readers is “Who is Gog”. Most scholars today state it is “Russia” (then better known as the Soviet Union), and we agree. But it is clear through God’s remarks that Russia is not going to ultimately succeed.
Pastor Campbell then recited God’s prophecy in the first line of Verse 4, “And I will turn you back”. It’s interesting how God pulled the strings, so to speak; here’s how Wikipedia Encyclopedia related it, “The dissolution of the Soviet Union (1988–1991) was the process of internal political, economic and ethnic disintegration within the USSR as an unintended result of General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev’s effort of reform of the Soviet political and economic system in an attempt to end the Era of Stagnation, which resulted in the end of its existence as a sovereign state. In late 1991, the leaders of three of the Union’s founding and largest republics (the Russian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR and the Byelorussian SSR) declared that the Soviet Union no longer existed, and eleven more republics joined them shortly thereafter. Gorbachev had to resign his office as president and what was left of the parliament to formally acknowledge the Union’s collapse as a fait accompli.
So, Gog was turned back, just as God said Russia would be. It is God’s next few words that are somewhat puzzling. After declaring “I will turn thee back”, He said “and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth”. The balance of the verse and the verses 5-7 depict Gog’s allies in his endeavour. Now, anyone who has gone fishing knows that once the fish takes the bait and hook in its mouth, it doesn’t go merrily to the angler and hop in the fisherman’s basket, but it resists or fights tremendously to free itself. I have heard Christians today as relating the “hooks in the jaw” to the Russian buildup on the Ukrainian border, but as the Russian leadership seems confident enough to invade that country, there’s no hook in the jaw there. They know there is weak leadership and some division in the western nations and unless they have an ulterior motive yet to be uncovered, there is every possibility they will attempt to bring the Ukraine back to the fold or exact stringent advantages for Russia. Remember, they lost 13 satellite nations and deep down in the hearts of Russians like Putin, there is great longing to return to their past glories.
So, what could the “hook in the jaw” represent? Well, here’s one possibility! And I think a pretty good one. Let’s suppose Russia does invade Ukraine and the western nations stand aside militarily. This is becoming more likely as days go by; for example, Germany is already having cold feet and have said they will withhold major weaponry from Ukraine; France is hedging somewhat and even the UK is less bold. And of course, America, under its present leadership, does not embolden confidence with allies. But what other action could the western nations take to stem Russia’s aggressive tide.
Incidentally, one of our Bible study members pointed out that if Russia was to move against the Ukraine, it would have to do so between now and March 31st when the winter conditions would be ideal, in that their heavy tanks, etc. would not be bogged down. It’s hard to believe it could happen before the China Olympics conclude but the fact that Gog has transported heavier military equipment to the Belarus border with the Ukraine and reportedly brought massive medical supplies to the borders as well, any time after the Olympics to the end of March is possible.
Will the EU and America intervene? It’s possible but in our view, military intervention is highly unlikely. Still, interestingly, a Sanger/Schmitt article in the New York Times began with some chilling words, “The Biden administration and its allies are assembling a punishing set of financial, technology and military sanctions against Russia that they say would go into effect within hours of an invasion of Ukraine, hoping to make clear to President Vladimir V. Putin the high cost he would pay if he sends troops across the border”. Think about this! If they are implemented, it could have the effect of bringing Russia to its knees, including hardship for every Russian family. Could you imagine the anger and likely threats this could invoke and the fear amongst Putin’s inner circle of a possible revolution in Russia? Look at the uproar with the truckers’ They could well come to the conclusion that if the West won’t give them what they need and want, they will take it by force. Wars have started with less provocation. Interesting too, the nations that will be allied with Gog include Persia (Iran) and Togarmah, perhaps the southeastern part of Turkey?
In any event, Ezekiel 38 describes Gog as leading its forces up to the land of the unwalled villages (verse 11), to take a spoil (verse 12), which will cause massive destruction, as they come down onto the Canadian north, on their way to America. And as Ezekiel describes it, there will be a great shaking in the land, it would be a different war. We can’t go into further in this issue, but we encourage readers to review the entire chapter and, also chapter 39, where God steps in.
I’ve written before that when the Russian forces invade the land of the unwalled villages that Canadians, particularly those emanating from True Israel, will go to their knees in huge numbers and pray for the Lord Jesus Christ to intervene. That will be a revival like no other, one that is led by fear and the realization that the end of the age is upon us, but there will be a rush to seek the protection of God Almighty. And we will likely have another enemy to contend, for depending upon the action of America, Taiwan, New Zealand, Australia and many other of the Asia countries will be in great danger. I wrote previously that 2021 would be like a picnic compared to 2022. Whether hurricane conditions, so to speak, bring great catastrophe to the Israel world this year or next or the year after, keep this in mind, it will come, it will come!