The Force of Destiny: By John Hamilton

Israel’s Hamas War, Gas-and-Oil, and the Awakening of the Russian Bear

While fighting Hamas in Gaza, on Oct. 29, Israel announced that it was awarding 12 licenses for exploring offshore natural gas fields to six major companies.

This news was overlooked by the major media, but this new development may give us an indication of how close we are to the Rapture and the return of Jesus Christ to claim his own. In a word, very.

These resources have lain more or less dormant. It has been nearly a full quarter-century since British Gas (BG) discovered them, sitting some 20 miles west of Israel under the Mediterranean. BG estimated the find at 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

But who owned them? It was then, and is now, a question. The Oslo Accords (1995, first major agreement between Israelis and Palestinians) gave rights to both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel. The PA attempted development.

Israel consistently blocked that development, however. And then, in December 2008, Israel went one better: it declared sovereignty over the Gaza Marine area.

Soon after, more major nearby oil-gas deposits were discovered:

  • The Tamar gas field (2009)
  • The even larger Leviathan gas field (2010).

These finds were potential game changers, able to make Israel an oil-and-gas player just like rich Arab neighbors, who had enjoyed that status for many decades.

But progress was slow.

A 2022 global energy crisis brought about by the USA’s destruction of the Nord Stream Pipeline and the sanctions placed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine re-ignited Israel’s interest.

Following his November 2022 reelection, Netanyahu gave the green light to tap the fields. In 2023, Israeli, U.S., Egyptian, Jordanian, and Palestinian Authority officials met to discuss the project. On June 18, 2023, Israel approved the development of the Gaza field, Netanyahu saying progress would hinge on “preserving the State of Israel’s security and diplomatic needs” and coordination with the Palestinian Authority and neighboring Egypt. At the same time, just this past summer, Hamas official Ismail Rudwan told Reuters: “We reaffirm that our people in Gaza have the rights to their natural resources.” (June 18)

But Israel apparently, in the end, still thought otherwise.

Two months later, Israel’s number one ally jumped in with muscle. In August 2023, two months before Oct. 7, interestingly, the Pentagon began building a $35.8 million troop facility in Israel’s Negev desert, 20 miles from Gaza. This was described as a radar site to monitor for missile attacks on Israel. According to one media report, the base is part of a “secret” U.S. military presence in Israel. (The Intercept, Oct. 27)

But not so secret, really, at least not to rivals. In Moscow, this construction did not go unnoticed. Nor do Uncle Sam’s warships sitting off the coast. Formerly a friend of Israel, Russia now sees Israel as moving even closer to its Ukraine-arming enemy, Washington.

This causes it, in turn, to move closer to Iran and Turkey, sworn enemies of Israel. (Ezekiel predicted an alliance between Russia, Iran, Turkey, and other nations as well – more than five centuries before Jesus appeared in Israel.)

Israel’s enemies are menacing. There is a cold war of words and weapons. Turkey’s head recently compared Netanyahu to Hitler. Iran is racing to finish building its nuclear weapons.

How long before this cold war sentiment becomes hot war carnage?

But for Russia to take the next step and lead a group of nations to seize the oil-and-gas plunder that belongs to another country? As Ezekiel 38 describes?

That is unthinkable to many, possibly because Russia has taken so much provocation from the West without response to date: the encroachment of NATO, the USA and EU arming of Ukraine, and the destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline. Russia made threats but took no action.

So it is that many believe forbearance will continue unabated forever.

But will it? Or will the Russian bear strike back? Against the West and the West’s Middle East ally, Israel, as well?

Prophecy watchers believe one day it will and that that event has the force of destiny about it. Only the timing is unclear.

The Crucial Question: When

Bible scholars who know prophecy agree Russia will invade Israel but differ on timing. Each of the following points in time has its adherents.

  • Before Both the Rapture and the Tribulation

Perhaps a majority of modern-day Bible prophecy experts believe the Gog-Magog Battle will occur before both the Rapture of the Church and the seven-year Tribulation, possibly because this will ignite World War III and mass carnage, and the church is protected from this, they reason. Notables have included widely-read authors such as Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins (Left Behind), and Joel Rosenberg (Epicenter).

  • After the Rapture But Before the Tribulation

Adherents have included educators Tommy Ice and Ed Hindson. Both have been associated with the Pre-Trib Research Center. Also, Arnold Fruchtenbaum of Ariel Ministries reasons the Russian invasion as taking place “sometime before the Tribulation” because “God will punish Russia for her sins,” for “the key sin is her long history of anti-Semitism, a problem that persists in Russia to this day.”

  • In the First Half or Middle of the Tribulation

Supporters of this view include major names like John Walvoord, J. Dwight Pentecost, Charles Ryrie, Herman Hoyt, Charles Dyer, and Mark Hitchcock. As Pentecost explained, “To place the events in the middle of the week is the only position consistent with the chronology of these extended passages (Isaiah 30-35 and Joel 2-3).”

  • At the End of the Tribulation (Armageddon)

Supporters of this stance include Louis Bauman and Charles Feinberg. They believe the Gog-Magog Battle and the final battle of Armageddon are the same event.

Prophecy watchers would very much like clarity on such a major element of prophecy, but indeed, we “see through a glass darkly.”

Meanwhile, evangelist and author Nathan Jones (The Mighty Angels of Revelation) packages the matter in an apt metaphor. It seems like Bible prophecy is a 100-piece puzzle, he says, and God has given us 75 pieces. We see the outline of the picture but are without every detail. This calls to mind the scripture: it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and the honor of kings to search it out.

The believer can surely take comfort in knowing that this search is not forever, and arriving at both the understanding of prophecy and its physical terminus, i.e., the realization of the Kingdom of Christ on planet Earth, is a certainty. Point-by-point progress toward that goal is not linear, is not uniformly clear at the present moment, but always has on it the force of destiny. This is the Real and Final New World Order, and it cannot be stopped.

John Hamilton is the author of False Flags, State Secrets, Government Deceptions:

A Short History of the Modern Era and THE COVID VACCINE: And the silencing of our doctors and scientists.