Russia and West on Collision Course
The relationship between Russia and Western Nations has been in continuous decline the past several years. The key point where it became clear that we were headed for a new cold war is Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The West responded to the move with a series of sanctions on Russian interests.
What has caused the most amount of damage to Russia-US relations is the uproar over Russia’s attempt to meddle in the 2016 election. There is no indication that Russian agents had any major impact on the vote, but nonetheless, the result was more sanctions. Last July, the House and Senate both passed the Russian Sanctions Bill by an overwhelming majority, 419 to 33 in the House and 98 to 2 in the Senate. The Russian Foreign Ministry retaliated by seizing two properties owned by the U.S. Embassy, and by cutting the authorized embassy and consulate staff by 755 employees, from 1,210 to 455.
Vladimir Putin may have enjoyed the early days of the Russian collusion investigation, but if there was ever a case of too much of a good thing, this caper would qualify. Month after month, Putin has been accused in the Western press of plotting with Trump in committing the crime of the century. Democrats and the liberal media are unable to find any evidence of collusion, but they are determined to keep searching for their preferred version of the truth.
This madness has clearly taken a toll on the Russian leader. He has been increasingly talking more like he was the leader of North Korea. In a recent two-hour-long address, Putin said Russia has tested a new generation of nuclear weapons that can’t be intercepted and are capable of hitting any part of the US. The Russian president accompanied his announcement with a computer-generated video which showed the missiles arcing towards the US on a map of the world. He also said that Russia needs to prepare for World War III.
Another sign of the growing tension was the nerve-agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Great Britain. The detection of Novichok, a military-grade chemical that was developed in the Soviet Union in the 1970s, left little doubt that the Kremlin was behind the attack.
British Prime Minister Theresa May gave Putin 24 hours to respond to claims of his government’s involvement. The Russian foreign ministry issued a chilling response, warning not to “threaten a nuclear power.”
The Russian embassy piled on by issuing a statement which read: “The temperature of Russia-UK relations drops to minus-23, but we are not afraid of cold weather.” The embassy added in a separate tweet: “We consider this hostile action as totally unacceptable, unjustified and shortsighted. All the responsibility for the deterioration of the Russia-UK relationship lies with the current political leadership of Britain.”
Putin has no immediate need to modify his behavior. Russia has learned to deal with previous sanctions, and there is little chance of any major new ones being enacted. Putin has an election coming up, and the Russian people wildly approve of his standoff with the West. It was pure Putin for him to snub his critics by making a campaign stop in Crimea.
The greatest chance of a conflict between the West and Russia would be over the nation of Syria. Top Russian officials have threatened to retaliate with force if President Donald Trump orders an attack that could endanger the lives of its soldiers stationed there in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Syria has become a crazy quilt of land occupied by six foreign powers, so a major miscalculation is probably only a matter of time.
Russian military police that are standing guard over the Syrian capital, Damascus, probably have no knowledge of the Bible passage that warns of the city’s complete destruction. I find it very interesting that Damascus is one of only a few cities in Syria that has escaped major damage. At this point, the residents of Damascus should have the same type of puzzlement that the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had over their luck in escaping allied bombings.
There are an infinite number of outcomes over what will happen when the Isaiah prophecy is fulfilled. Since the stakes are very near to the ultimate danger, it is my prayer to not be around to see the consequences.
“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from [being] a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap” (Isaiah 17:1).
One of the prophetic Scriptures most poured over by those who hold the pre-Millennial, pre-Trib view of eschatology is the following.
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:32-35)
Despite the fact that the seminaries more often than not teach that Jesus, in the Olivet Discourse, addresses only the Jews (Israel), many, including this writer, believe Jesus is speaking not just to Israel. He is speaking here to all, Jews and Gentiles alike, who will accept Christ for salvation down through the ages.
Although there are differences of opinion in precisely what the prophecy means, most agree that the fig tree in Scripture refers most often to the nation Israel.
This prophecy, given by the Lord Himself, is thought by many to be among the strongest scriptural reasons to believe that this present generation will experience Christ’s return to planet earth. Israel, as is said, is God’s prophetic timepiece. The view holds that this generation will see the prophecy fulfilled within the definitive timeline framed by Israel being back in the land God gave them.
Certainly, recent history, in combination with current events, seems to present a strong case that gives this view credibility.
That case is built upon the following:
1) The Bible gives the definition of a generation as 70 years.
2) The nation Israel was reborn–in a single day, as prophesied–in 1948.
3) We are in the year 2018–70 years since Israel came back into the land as a nation following World War II.
4) America is scheduled to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, letting all the world know that we consider Jerusalem the Jewish state’s capital.
5) This is scheduled to happen May 14, the exact anniversary of the month and day of Israel’s rebirth into modernity.
These factors are not all to consider in thinking on Jesus’ prophecy. There is strong reason to believe that this foretelling speaks clearly to a pre-Tribulation Rapture, admittedly the view held today by fewer and fewer pastors and professing Christians.
The Lord next said the following:
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (Matthew 24:36)
Jesus is here talking of a specific day and hour that no one will know. It will be an unannounced event, so far as timing is concerned. This cannot be the Second Advent when Christ returns as given in Revelation 19:11. There are precise number of days when that great event will take place, as measured from the midway point of the 7-year Tribulation. This unknown day and hour Jesus talks about is, rather, the first phase of His Second Coming–the Rapture of the Church!
Immediately after Jesus talked about the generation that would see all the prophecies fulfilled, He spoke of the human condition that will be prevalent at the time of His return. In fact, He spoke of several conditions that will mark that last generation before the first phase of His Second Coming.
We have been over these conditions many times over the past number of years. I refer to Christ’s “days of Noah, days of Lot” prophecy.
The Lord spoke with precision as to what that generation will be doing with regard to carrying on life in general. This is all outlined immediately following Him saying that no man knows the day or hour when His next intervention will take place into the affairs of mankind.
Read again Matthew 24:36-42 and Luke 17: 26-30 to understand the time of His sudden, catastrophic intervention into life on earth.
My contention has been for many years that this time when he suddenly comes for His Church will be in the middle of an economic boom. Economists and others have for years been predicting an economic downturn–even another Great Depression. And, admittedly, by all fiscal principles one can bring forth from economic physics, the world should have long ago fallen into depression.
Then came Trump. He came out of the prayers of those called by the Name of Jesus Christ, who implored the Lord to act leading up to the 2016 presidential election. The miracle occurred. The nation was given, as I’ve said before, not a godly man, but without a doubt–in my mind at least–God’s man for the hour, a president who has put in place policies and structure for a profound economic uptick.
All of this appears to be God’s preparation for bringing this generation to very near the moment of Christ’s shout: “Come up here!” (Revelation 4:1)
***Terry’s “Dream Doors Adventures” series Reminder***
The new book release by Terry James and Douglas Hirt presents the coming Millennium in a story that is exciting and inspiring to children and adults alike.
“Adam’s Apples” is the first of a series we hope every grand parent will want to get for the grand children they love.
Many have already gotten this book for the kids they love, or just to read themselves. Adam’s Apples is already number 1 in new releases in children’s books!
The Dream Doors Adventures series are fantasy tales based on God’s Promise that “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the hearts of mankind, the things God has prepared for those who love Him!”
Please help us in disseminating God’s Truth, even through fantasy, so the young ones in your life will come to know better the God of Heaven and the Jesus they’ve heard so much about!
To read more about this book: