Russia is Furious! What Does that Mean for Israel?

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Russian IL-20 (Photo credit: Avionews)

Major news outlets have confirmed Israeli airstrikes in and around Latakia, Syria on Monday.  In the midst of the attacks, a Russian-made S-200 anti-aircraft defense system activated by Syrian forces, inadvertently shot down a Russian IL-20 that was on reconnaissance over the Mediterranean Sea.  While Russian President Vladimir Putin cited “tragic chance events” publicly, Russia’s Defense Ministry clearly blamed Israel for irresponsible actions that led to the downing of the Russian aircraft.  In fact, Israel’s ambassador to Russia was summoned and rebuked for the action taken by Israel.

But here is what the media will not tell you: potentially, there are significant Biblical implications to what is happening in and around Syria.  Let’s set the stage:

Syria serves as host to many nations, rebel groups and terrorists vying for power in that war-torn land.  Not surprisingly, the Bible is more accurate than today’s news!  Ezekiel 38 describes a coalition that will invade Israel in what is known as the War of Gog and Magog.  A trio of modern-day nations, currently entrenched in Syria, will lead that coalition: Russia, Iran and Turkey.  Verse 4 says God Himself will put a “hook in the jaw” of Gog, a Russian czar who will lead the invasion, and drag him down from the “remote parts of the north” (verse 6).

Today, Russia patrols the Syrian-Israeli border, Iran has very actively moved weapons and troops into Syria (which may be what prompted Monday night’s attack), and Turkish President Erdogan is marking his territory with troops and bluster in Syria as well.  One could make a strong argument that the “hook in the jaw” has already been set, God has drawn Gog and his allies down to Israel’s border, and will soon draw them to the mountains of Israel (where they will ultimately be defeated by the Lord).

But tensions ratcheted up on Monday, leaving Russia embarrassed and furious.  Why?

  • The Russians claim Israel did not provide sufficient warning before launching airstrikes.  Thus, furious at Israel.
  • A Russian plane, along with 15 airmen, was shot down…by a Russian-made defense system fired by Syria.  Thus, furious at Syria, but embarrassed that their own defense system did not identify the aircraft as Russian.
  • Israeli F-16’s are accused of having “hidden behind” the Russian IL-20 to avoid return attacks from the S-200 defense system.  Thus, embarrassed, yet furious at Israel for those tactics.  (It is unclear if the allegation is true, as reports indicate IAF F-16’s were back in Israeli airspace when the Russian plane was hit.)

Though not widely reported, undertones suggest Russia views the US as the instigator behind Israel’s attack (or at least very much in favor of it), and is viewing Israel as a US “proxy.” Thus, Putin is hinting that any action taken by either Israel or the US may result in direct attacks upon Israel.  To make matters worse, a very significant influx (perhaps doubling or more) of Russian fighter jets, cargo planes and other military equipment has occurred at bases not only in Syria, but in Iran as well, just since the Latakia attacks!  They are preparing a multiple front against Israel.

If all is accurate, the gravity of the situation is extreme.  Imagine Israel continuing to take preemptive action in Syria.  While Russia has allowed them to come in and take care of business in certain areas, Russia is now thoroughly embarrassed and likely not in a cooperative mood.  Yet, Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders have consistently said they will not allow Iran to build up their military in Syria and threaten Israel’s security.  At the moment, Idlib is the focus of attention in Syria (at least in the media), as that is the last rebel stronghold.  However, Damascus is the real barometer.  Interestingly, Israeli officials just released a satellite photo of Assad’s palace in Damascus.  Why?  Who knows!

Secondly, imagine Russia declaring war on Israel.  They are certainly laying the foundation of their rationale when they imply that Israel will be the whipping boy if the US or its allies take action.  A French warship apparently fired off missiles during the attack on Latakia.  The Polish president requested the US to build a large military base in Poland (a former Russian ally!)  Israel is cutting deals with Greece, Cyprus and others to supply oil and gas to Europe (in place of Russian exports). There is plenty of activity taking place by US-NATO allies.

Is it conceivable that Russia could declare war on Israel?  My answer is this: the Bible is more accurate than today’s headlines.  Through the prophet Ezekiel, God has warned that Gog (Russian leader) will indeed lead a coalition into Israel “to capture spoil and to seize plunder” (Ezekiel 38:12).  Vladimir Putin is very “Gog-like,” and is certainly in a position and has all the necessary motivation to fulfill what the Word of God says will one day take place.

The question is: Could it be soon?

So, here is my challenge to you:  Pull up and read any news article about what is happening with Russia and Iran inside Syria right now, then slowly and carefully read Ezekiel 38.  See for yourself if the headlines or the Bible is more accurate.

As a believer, these are exciting times, as we know our time on earth may be coming to an end.  For others, these are dreadful times, as the Bible describes the terrible days of the tribulation that will follow our departure in the rapture.  It is time to wake up, and to determine on which side of the fence we stand!

Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.  The night is almost gone, and the day is near.
~Romans 13:11-12

Presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey Met Earlier Today

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Iranian President Rouhani, Turkish President Erdogan, Russian President Putin meet in Ankara  (Photo credit: Reuters)

Ripped from the prophecy of Ezekiel 38, the three key players in the end time War of Gog and Magog met earlier today in Ankara Turkey to discuss the situation in Syria.  (Reuters released the story and you can find it here.)

Here is what I find interesting about the scenario:  while Russia and Iran are allies in Syria, Turkey actually opposes the Assad regime and is more concerned with driving out the Kurds.  However, when it comes to the end game (destruction of Israel), they will “partner up” under the guise of “discussing the situation in Syria,” plotting to use the situation in Syria to further their own separate agendas there.

Russia wants power and resources (oil and gas, recently found off Israel’s coast), Iran wants religious (Shi’ite) domination as they attempt to establish a worldwide caliphate, Turkey wants Sunni domination and is threatened by the Kurds (and Saudi Arabia, by the way).

However, Ezekiel tells us clearly that God Himself will put a hook in the jaw of Gog, the coalition leader, and draw him (a Russian czar) and the allied invaders (Iran, Turkey, Sudan and Libya) down from the north into battle on the mountains of Israel (northern Israel, near the Golan Heights).  (Ezekiel 38:4)

So, where are Sudan and Libya, you ask?  Good question!  They are silently serving as terrorist training grounds and are closely linked to the coalition partners, particularly Iran.

Today’s news continues to confirm what the prophets of old said would happen in the last days.  In this case, read Ezekiel 38 in light of today’s event and you will come face-to-face with the reality that the stage is being set for that northern invasion.

Jesus said:

But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
~Luke 21:28

Vladimir Putin: New Czar Rising…but is He Gog?

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On Sunday, Vladimir Putin won re-election as Russia’s president for 6 more years.  No great surprise, as there were no other viable candidates, and the election was totally rigged.  (News reports showed poll workers stuffing ballot boxes…as if Putin really needed fraudulent votes to win the election.)

Mark my words…Putin is no ordinary man, and this was no ordinary election.  The 6 years ahead will be unparalleled as the egomaniac, power-hungry Putin takes the reigns as czar in an attempt to become the most powerful man in the world.

Consider this: For years, Putin has angled to consolidate Russian power in his hands and his alone.  He has now done that.  Russia is a totalitarian state (consolidated power) with mega-imperialist ambitions to land-grab whatever territory Putin can get his hands on.  He is poised to challenge the US and our allies, betting we will not respond strongly enough to stop him.  He strives to make Russia the world’s only superpower.

Through the years, Putin has quietly built up Russia’s military, has cozied up to nuclear power states (such as North Korea), helped put Iran on the verge of nuclear capability, and has moved his military like pieces on a chess board with little, if any, opposition.  Russia has a critical seaport on the Syrian coast, and has disbursed large numbers of troops to borders with NATO member states such as Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.  He continues to threaten takeover of the Ukraine and has even set his sites on places like Finland.  If left unchecked, he will undoubtedly run amok in Eastern Europe and elsewhere.

The only real hurdle left for him: the Russian economy.  It is still in the tank and, in order to fulfill his ambitions, he must somehow address that need.

Here is where it gets dicey!

In that part of the world, Russia does what Russia wants to do…except they are in desperate need of an economic engine to fuel their ambitions.  Oil and gas, the bedrock of their economy for ages, are dribbling now.  They have no other resources capable of filling the void.  So, what does Putin see?  Seemingly the best economic windfall in the entire region: Israeli oil and gas!

You know where this is going!

Russia is not in Syria to fight terrorism.  They are in Syria to take over valuable footholds (such as seaports and military bases), ultimately to get oil and gas flowing once again into Europe.  Not surprisingly, as Russia and Iran (who is in Syria for an entirely different reason) land-grab in Syria, they threaten Turkey’s Erdogan, who is also power-hungry!  His ambition, though, is not economic, but religious, as he wants to re-establish an empire, similar to the old Ottoman Empire, and become the Sunni sultan.  He wants to rule the entire region (indeed, the world) religiously!

All that is happening in Syria, and those three (Russia, Iran and Turkey) are the key players in the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecy, predicting that coalition (along with others) to advance from the north to invade Israel.  Every one of them have motive, and the stage is completely set for that to take place!

So, the question that has been asked routinely over the past several years is now more relevant than ever before: Is Vladimir Putin the character Ezekiel identifies as the leader of the coalition, Gog of Magog?  Some Bible scholars who have been hesitant to make clear statements about that are now stating their belief that Putin is indeed Gog.

While I believe Christians will be raptured prior to the antichrist being revealed, I think it is possible God could unveil Gog of Magog in our lifetime, while we are still here on earth.  So, do I think Putin is Gog?  He definitely has the characteristics the Bible describes, and the stage appears fully set.  Yes, I believe he could be…but only God knows that at the moment.

But here is an interesting thought: the Russian constitution allows a president to serve only 2 consecutive terms and this is Putin’s second.  (He served previously as Prime Minister.)  If Putin is indeed Gog, it seems highly likely the invasion of Israel by the northern coalition will occur in the next 6 years!

We don’t know for certain the chronology of end time events.  Will the rapture occur before or after the northern invasion?  Will the defeat of the Islamic world during the War of Gog and Magog prepare the way for the antichrist to come to power? If the rapture occurs after the northern invasion, how long after?

We just don’t know!  But I DO know one thing for certain: there is nothing that MUST happen before Jesus appears in the clouds and takes us (Christians) up to be with Him!  As Christians, I believe we are living in perhaps the most exciting time in history!  Jesus could come in our very lifetime…and He tells us to be ready.  I am excited about our future.  How about you!  But, are we ready?  Are we about our Father’s business?  Are we watchmen on the wall, sounding the alarm to all who will listen?

That’s our call, and in these end times we must look up, for our redemption draws near!  (Luke 21:28)

Joel Rosenberg: “Trump is Tougher on Jeff Sessions than on Vladimir Putin”

Joel Rosenberg appeared on Fox News Friday night, where he spoke to Shannon Bream about growing concerns about Russia and the dangerous ambitions of Vladimir Putin.  While Rosenberg acknowledged stronger policy regarding Russia, he calls Trump “radio silent” when it comes to standing up to Putin verbally.

 I’m not saying that the President’s policies [towards Russia] so far are bad. Like, he’s increasing defense spending dramatically in the United States. He’s pushing NATO to spend more on their own defense, and they’re doing it. He’s got a great national security team around him. But he’s radio silent when it comes to Vladimir Putin, the worst dictator on the planet. He’s tougher on Jeff Sessions, than he is on Vladimir Putin.
~Joel Rosenberg on Fox News, March 9, 2018

In addition, Bream and Rosenberg discussed the recently-released statements from Obama National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, revealing her command to a cyber-response team to “stand down” in efforts to squelch Russian interference in 2016 elections.

It is incomprehensible that in the midst of a presidential campaign — a general election — that a national security advisor would tell a team of people dealing with Russian attacks — aggressive attacks — [to stand down.]
~Joel Rosenberg on Fox News, March 9, 2018

Catch the entire 5-minute video here:

 

BTW – I’m reading Joel Rosenberg’s new book, The Kremlin Conspiracy.  As always, the plot seems all too real in today’s world, as he paints the picture of a power-hungry Russian czar, anxious to become the most powerful man on the planet!  Let’s hope it remains fiction!

The sleeping bear (Russia) is definitely awakening!  How the US (and the world) deal with Russia and Iran is very critical, and as believers, it is our obligation to pray for wisdom for our leaders and our allies.  Will you stop and do that right now?

Blessings!