Why You Won’t Read this Article!

Hi gang!  This is the first of a two-part idea I want to share today. Read carefully below, then check back later this afternoon for the conclusion, entitled “Root of the Problem…and Embracing the Solution!”

If you live in the US, do you remember the brutal massacre at Columbine High School in 1999?  It opened our eyes to school violence and it was abhorred by every sensible person in America.  We vowed never to allow that to happen again.

Almost 20 years later, shootings at schools, churches and other public places  have become so commonplace many hardly even make the news.  By and large, we have become desensitized to them, making such news so ho-hum we don’t even read or watch it.  So, stick with me here!

Is it any wonder, then, we seldom give a second thought to the atrocities taking place in Syria.  Since 2011, 500,000 people (almost all of them regular citizens, including children) have been killed, 5 million have been displaced to foreign lands, and another 6 million have been displaced within Syria.  Citizens are crying out for attention to the situation, and help from the international community.  But it falls on deaf, desensitized ears.  No one seems to care that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, backed by the Russians, has consistently used chemical weapons on his own people, and his troops have literally bombed the life out of many cities.

Why is this?  Have we learned nothing from the past?  Prior to and during the Holocaust, people and nations turned a blind eye.  Afterward, there was a cry of “Never again!”  Why do we wait until the carnage is done before we make a move?  Are we so oblivious to the value of life and so desensitized to the brutality that we fail to even notice what’s going on?

I don’t believe it is a conscious choice (for most), but we seem to give little attention to things of which we have become desensitized.  May I gently remind us all that every life matters to our Creator?  In fact, may I share a few pictures of those who feel neglected and forgotten?  Each one is a real person, with a name.  We may not know the name, but the Creator does!

As you peruse the pictures below, will you commit 5 minutes right now to pray for these precious people, and thousands others they represent?  Let’s also ask the Lord to burden our hearts for those who are suffering.  Perhaps we can’t go there and do something, but every one of us can pray.  Let’s engage in the battle on our knees!  (Then remember to check back this afternoon!)

Top left, a wounded Syrian child receives medical treatment at a hospital in Aleppo, 2012. Top right, an injured girl is treated at a makeshift hospital in Douma, 2014. Bottom left, Omran Daqneesh sits alone in the back of the ambulance after he got injured during air strikes, Aleppo, 2016. Bottom right, a Syrian girl receives treatment at a make-shift hospital in Douma, 2018.

Top left, a boy walks past a building destroyed during fighting in Aleppo, 2012. Top right, A child spotted walking in the rubbles of Aleppo, 2014. Bottom left, a Syrian child in Aleppo, 2016. Bottom right, a Syrian boy runs past a destroyed building in Douma, 2018.

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?