Now Is The Time 2/28/22
While Russia has already begun its invasion of Ukraine (which has been labeled a blatant violation of international law), NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced, “NATO has decided to activate our defense plans at the request of our top military commander, General Tod Wolters.” By activating the forces, including the NATO Response Force which can move swiftly to wherever is needed, they believe they will protect and shield Allied nations. Referring back to our blog of 2/12/20, What Is Really Important To Look For Regarding Bible Prophecy?, we notice that the area the Bible calls Gomer, participants in the Russian invasion of Israel of Ezk 38, are currently NATO members—they include, Poland, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania. There is also an interesting reference to Germany, although the majority of it was not part of the old Roman Empire. Although very unlikely Russia would invade Germany, Germany may be a financial participant to an invasion of the Jewish homeland. Check out this article from the Gatestone Institute by Robert E. Kaplan back in 2013. We spoke in our last blog of what President Putin wanted—NATO to pull all their forces back to the line before the Warsaw Pact fell apart—that would include those nations of the Biblical region of Gomer.
This past weekend has seen heighten extremes from the Americans, EU, NATO and Russia. In response to military advancements into the Ukraine, the West has targeted even more financial sanctions against President Putin and many of his close friends (those sanctions would make life inconvenient, but could be worked around).
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that Russian state media outlets (Russia Today, better known as RT, and Sputnik), “will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin′s war and to sow division in our union.” She also said, “We are developing tools to ban toxic and harmful disinformation in Europe.” But, the EU is not stopping there—President von der Leyen also made this pledge, “For the first time, the EU will finance the purchase and delivery of weapons and equipment to a country under attack.” The EU is planning to spend $507 million on weapons for Ukraine, in addition to $56 million on items like medical supplies. There is apparently also a ban on Russian aircraft over the EU as reports have surfaced that the Russians have been removing their people from Europe.
Turkey, a member of NATO, has been building cooperation with Russia on defense and energy. But they have also been selling highly developed drones to the Ukraine and plan to co‐produce more (at the displeasure of Russia), according to aljazeera.com. Turkey has spoken unfavorably regarding Russia′s war on Ukraine, but last month allowed (6) Russian warships and a submarine to pass through the straits to the Black Sea (which Ukraine asked them to close) as Russia had planned naval drills near Ukraine waters. This weekend Turkey has reluctantly vowed to close the straits to meet with their NATO obligations. The question can be asked, would Turkey dare to deny Russia any request?
This weekend Russia has also had its say. President Putin, who is in a difficult situation, seems to believe this calls for drastic measure. So the Russian President has decided to place Russia′s strategic deterrence forces on “special” alert. According to the Kremlin website (which appears to have been taken off‐line—possibly not due to Russian intent) the scheduling of these exercises is to “check the readiness of command and control structures, combat launch crews, combat ship and strategic missile carrier crews to perform the assigned missions as well as the reliability of the strategic nuclear and non‐nuclear forces.” The world is in an uproar—would President Putin actually set off his nukes? If he feels the sovereignty of his country (it is his country—he made himself the lifetime President) is being threatened, he will strike. After all, he has said, what is a world without Russia?
The Russian ally, Belarus, is in the process of changing their constitution to allow use of nuclear weapons, not only to be used in their country, but also to obtain them for their own protection. They have plans to ask Russia for those weapons, and they have their troops on alert—ready to fight with their Russian neighbors. Today negotiations are planned to take place in Belarus—even Israel has offered to be the negotiators, which it is reported, the Kremlin will keep the offer in mind.
But, Russia has not only concentrated its efforts in Ukraine. They are also utilizing their base in Syria to hold, what is being called, the biggest Russian naval deployment to the Mediterranean Sea since Cold War times. This involves 15 warships and about 30 aircraft. It has been reported that these maneuvers have a threefold objective—they will train for action, protect Russia′s national interests and fend off military aggression toward the Russian Federation. (One could ask what military aggression does Russia expect in Syria?) Arriving with these trained Russian soldiers are long‐range, nuclear‐capable Tu‐22M3 bombers and MiG‐31 fighter jets carrying the latest Kinzhal hypersonic cruise missiles. It is reported that the Kinzhal, which translates as “dagger” in Russian, has a range of up to about 1,250 miles and flies 10 times the speed of sound—that means that it is somewhat hard to intercept. As the Kinzhal is not exactly new, meaning the Russians have spoken of it in previous years, many military analyst believe the specs are moderately exaggerated. It is reported that the Kinzhal can be used as an air‐to‐ground missile, as well as an anti‐ship weapon, depending on its head.
Interestingly, Lebanon has been sending their drones into Israel. Some of these drones have been able to elude the Iron Dome technologically. This is especially interesting, not unusual, as the terrorist forces in Lebanon have been at war with Israel for many years—what is interesting is that the technology they are now using may be something above what the Israelis are ready for. Check out this article from Stripes.com website.
Finally, how could a war between Russia and Ukraine be causing problems in Israel? The answer lies within their borders—between the Russian and Ukrainian Jews. There have been 1.2 million Russia Jews that have made aliyah to Israel—this represents about 20% of the population. This actually may mostly include Ukrainain Jews. Back before WW2, Europe repeatedly set aside pockets to corral their Jewish population due to antisemitism—in other words, where Jewish settlement were permitted. Have you ever heard of the Pale of Settlement or in Russian, Cherta (postoyannoy yevreyskoy) osedlosti? This is where the Russians allowed the Jews to live—today we call it, Ukraine. Ukraine has a Jewish population of 43,000, but most estimate around 200,000 Ukrainians are technically eligible for Israeli citizenship, meaning that they have identifiable Jewish ancestry. The European Jewish Congress says that number could be as high as 400,000. Most of Ukraine′s Jewish population live in the country′s largest cities; however, they are literally scattered throughout the country. Because Russia′s attack has taken aim at the entire country, all Jewish communities face exposure to violence and the consequences of war—hence, the friction between the Russian and Ukrainian Jews of Israel. Many have family they cannot get to—elderly family members who have no one and are impoverished. In fear, they wait to die. There are Israeli organizations that are trying to help relieve some anxiety by supplying food and medical help. Even Israel′s Foreign Minister to Ukraine has remained in the country, continuing to work.
There has also been reports of the Russians planning on targeting certain groups within Ukraine. These will either be executed or held in camps. There is even an interesting article from the Jerusalem Post which reports on the thoughts of an Ukrainian pastor. He shares his fears, “that the next hostage, that the bargaining chip in the hands of Putin, will be Israel.” He adds, “Hezbollah and (Bashar al‐) Assad are just sitting on the borders waiting for a green light from Putin.”
The Bible predicts that in the latter days, there will be wars and rumors of wars—the month of February has had it′s share of rumors culminating with a real war, although some prefer to refer to it as a conflict. Countries and boundaries are quickly aligning as the Bible says they will just before the Rapture of God′s people. As many are watching these events break forth, they are either for it or against it, but few actually understand the events. What happens when WW3 actually breaks forth? The Bible predicts it is coming and time is running out for you. No matter where you are on this globe you will be affected by nuclear‐capable weapons—your country may not be annihilated by these missiles, but the nuclear fallout will affect the entire world, resulting in a great famine, continued pestilence and, finally, death. Take time to read through the following link—even if you have read it before. You cannot ride the fence—not choosing to follow Jesus now, may seal your eternity forever. Even if you have broken every one of the Ten Commandment but come to God with a broken and contrite heart, it is written, He will not despise‐ref Ps 51:17. The fact is, The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit‐Ps 34:18. Repent of your sins, get baptized by full immersion. Read and study your Bible everyday and practice what you have read. If you do not change your ways, you will die in your sins. Confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior to others—it is not an easy thing to do or the most popular, but it is the best thing you can do for yourself. Check out this link if you would like to know more about receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
Sources: jewishpress.com; afn.net; nato.int; abcnews.go.com; russianmilitaryanalysis.wordpress.com; rt.com-Drone Evades Israels Iron Dome; rt.com-Putin Places Russian Nuclear Deterrent On Highest Alert; en.kremlin.ru; rt.com-EU To Ban RT and Sputnik; rt.com-EU Reveals Major Update On Weapons For Ukraine; aljazeera.com-Ukraine Asks Turkey to shut Black Sea Waterways To Russian Ships; nbcnews.com; aljazeera.com-Russia-Ukraine Live News: First Round Of Talks Concludes; jpost.com-Bennett Offers Putin To Mediate End To War With Ukraine; jewishvirtuallibrary.org; jta.org; jewishchronicle.timesofisrael.com; boisestatepublicradio.org; jpost.com-Putin's Next Bargaining Chip Will Be Israel - Ukrainian-Born Pastor.
Photo Design: End-time.com.
Are Prophecies Coming To Pass? 2/7/22
When a new year starts, one usually takes a breathe, after all the holiday excitement, and reflects about the last year and what the new year may hold. The same goes for Bible prophecy students. You might hear them say, “We are now closer to the Rapture than we were last year”—but how true is that?
Maybe you have learned that from the first century to present day, there have been a number of predicts for the “end of the world”—and not one of them has come true. The mocker snarlingly says, “·Jesus promised to come again. Where is His promised coming? Our ancestors have died, but the world continues the way it has been since it was formed.” They believe the Bible's prophecies are just fables. They admit to the possibility of the world's desecration, but it is more palatable for them to believe in the destruction of the world due to the ecological irresponsibilities of previous generations—they label it, climate change. Because their government officials and some scientist have predicted it, they assume it to be true. How can you know the truth? It is clear that the majority of the world believes that there is an “end of the world”. The question is whether it will happen the way the Bible says it will happen, or the way the governments of the world predict it will happen. You might say, “What difference does it make—we are all going to die”. Yes, however, the difference is where you will spend eternity. Eternity, that's a long time. In the book of Matthew, Mark and Luke when the disciples asked Jesus to tell them about the end of this world, His first reply was, Be careful (take heed) you are not fooled (or deceived). The Bible indicates there are only two choices. Once you die you either will go to heaven to live with Jesus, or you will burn in hell.
Truth is defined as, “the true state of facts”. There are thousands of Bible prophecies. The prophecies that have already happened can be verified by historical accounts—this is how we know they came true. None of these prophecies has ever been wrong, including the prophecies concerning the age we now live. Three Bible prophecies that are for today include violence, public unrest, and diseases shall increase. Now, if this statement had been made last year you might not think to highly of it, but these prophecies were made thousand of years ago regarding the times we are now living. If you are skeptical, read about the world's biggest skeptic. If you go to Biblestudies.org home page, you will find proof the Bible is true, plus more signs of the times. Let's look back on 2021 and see if there have been any new events lining up with Bible prophecy.
In our blog of 2/12/20, What Is Really Important To Look For Regarding Bible Prophecy?, we examined if the land masses of Ezekiel chapter 38 were allied with present day Russia. In 2020, most of the countries did indeed, at the very least, have economic agreements with Russia—but not all. It is written, SON OF MAN, SET THY FACE AGAINST GOG, THE LAND OF MAGOG, THE CHIEF PRINCE (RULER) OF MESHECH AND TUBAL, AND PROPHESY AGAINST HIM-Ezk 38:2. The land area of Meshech can include the southern part of Russia by the Black Sea, as well as Georgia and Armenia. Some believe Turkey could also be included. Armenia is a member of the economic alliance, Eurasian Economic Union or EAEU. They are also members of the Russian backed, Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)—emulating NATO. (If you would like to learn more about NATO, see our 4/8/19 blog, Explanation of NATO. The small country of Georgia, on the other hand, is only obligated to Russia though economics, which could cause enough chaos, without military intervention, to destabilize the country. They have had, and still maintain, conflict with the old communist block dictators which direct Russia's helm. It seems agreed among those who study wars and Russia, that President Putin can not tolerate that countries who once belonged to the U.S.S.R., are now seeking alliances with NATO or the U.N. According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, a popular German news outlet, “clear orientation [of Georgia] towards the West and NATO intensified Moscow's fear of being encircled and above all the fear of be infected by democracy.”
Tubal is also part of Russia, between the Black and Caspian seas. It includes the Ukraine and Kazakhstan, and possibly Georgia and Azerbaijan. Back in 2014, President Putin took Crimea away from the Ukraine. To try to protect their sovereignty, the Ukraine President has asked to join NATO. President Putin is opposed to this action and demands that NATO refuse any request from Ukraine to join NATO—even though Russia has, according to an article of 12/22/21 in americanmilitarynews.com, 265,000 troops have congregated as far as 250 miles from the Ukrainian border. That equates to 122,000 troops within the radius of 125 miles from the border, plus, 143,500 approximately 250 miles away. Russia is also seeking that NATO move their equipment and soldiers back to the previous lines of 1991, before the fall of U.S.S.R.—that would push them away from Russia to the land area of the Warsaw Pact Treaty days. Even with negotiation talks between Russia, U.S and NATO, the end result thus far is this statement from Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, “If they insist that they won't change their position, we won't change our position either”.
Remember that CSTO treaty? Under Article 4, members are obligated to regard any aggression toward any CSTO member states as aggression against the other members of CSTO. The main emphasis of the Treaty is said to prevent bloodshed and application of force for solving problems both inside the country and on the borders with other states. This is especially interesting regarding the great army that amasses to invade the tiny state of Israel as predicted in Ezekiel chapter 38. Presently, member countries of the CSTO are Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.
With Russia's intensifying actions of harassment toward NATO aircraft and warships, it is evident that NATO members really does not know how to handle the situation. Member countries of NATO are not unified with what actions to take—that includes a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. has sent 3000 soldiers to Europe (2,000 troops to Poland and Germany, plus 1,000 to Romania). They also have a few hundred American military trainers and special-operations forces inside the country. Canada has also sent special forces trainers, while the UK has sent hundreds of modern anti-tank weapons. With little response from the U.S., the Baltic states have pressured Washington to deliver Stinger and Javelin missiles to the Ukraine. The latest development is the security alliance between Poland, UK and Ukraine. Will Russia invade? Some officials in Ukraine do not believe Russia would dare—Russia does not desire a war with the West. Although, with no clear commitments from the U.S. or NATO, who can tell?
Thus far, it looks like events are right in line with Bible Prophecy. Are you ready? You can be—you can have peace and assurance you are going to heaven when you die. Begin reading your Bible. Start in the New Testament with the book of St. John. Ask the Lord to open your eyes and make your heart soft toward His Word. Read and reflect upon at least 5 chapters a day. Repent of your sins—that means to turn from those things you have learned and know are wicked in the light of God's Word. Check out this link if you would like to know more about receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
Sources: rationalwiki.org; biblestudies.org; webstersdictionary1828.com, europe.unc.edu, globalsecurity.org, rbth.com, fpri.org, romeosquared.eu, eurotopics.net, cnn.com, americanmilitarynews.com, globalsecurity.org, wsj.com, lrt.lt.
Photo Design: End-time.com.