24 Jun 2019

Russia in Jerusalem

More proof that we can’t really accurately make short-term predictions is seen in the announcement that the U.S., Israel, and…Russia(!) will meet in Jerusalem to discuss Mideast security issues.

According to a report in Al-Monitor:

“National security advisers John Bolton, Nikolay Patrushev and Meir Ben-Shabbat will convene June 24 in the Israeli capital to discuss the post-war order in Syria.

“’This is a crazy event. I don’t have sufficient superlatives to describe it,’ an Israeli defense source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. ‘It’s true that at this stage, the importance of the event is in the very decision to hold it, but think about it: Fifty-two years after Jerusalem’s liberation, we are bringing together there the heads of the American and Russian security councils to discuss arrangements for Syria after the war, with us as part of the process.’ The official got somewhat carried away talking about a ‘new Sykes-Picot’ — referring to the 1916 agreement dividing the region between the British and French colonial powers. Still, there is rare consensus in Israel about the summit being a tremendous achievement for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a strategic Israeli message to Iran and the rest of the Middle East that Israel is part of the axis of powers working together to instill a new order in the Middle East.”

Too often, I believe, we who love Bible prophecy like to announce that, for example, Ezekiel 38-39 is about to erupt.

Russia is the main bad actor in this drama, which will certainly happen at some point. If we’re honest, we have to admit that “Gog” might be Putin, or he might be a leader no one has heard of as of yet.

Currently, Putin knows full well that Israel is a force to be reckoned with. Obviously, he is no friend to the Jewish state, but the big, bad Vlad is a realist. With a naval base secured off the Syrian coast—long a coveted prospect for the Russians—Putin can bide his time. And now, astoundingly, the Russians need a strong Israel to keep the really bad actors at bay.

Who could have foreseen this? Certainly not me. For 40 years, I’ve heard that God-Magog was on the horizon.

It’s a long horizon.

Right now I’m looking at an email exchange between some prophecy students, several of whom are deluxe researchers. The speculation right now involves a specific prophecy related to Iran. The exchanges are a little chippy, as each jockeys for position to prove a point. Current events (as in real time) are being monitored by these people so that they can tell us all what is going to happen to and with Iran immediately.

But they will likely be wrong.

I don’t believe as preterists do, that much of prophecy has already been fulfilled, nor do I think the fulfillment of the greatest prophecies are very far off at all.

Neither do I believe, though, that we can say things with certainty when it comes to dates and places and actors. So long as these discussions stay in the realm of emails, that’s fine. It’s friends debating friends.

But the wider culture knows very, very little about the Bible. Actually, nothing about the Bible. Millions don’t even know a person named Isaiah ever existed in the ancient Near East. They don’t have a clue what our prophetic terminology means, and they aren’t aware of most end-times events. They have watched goofy apocalyptic movies starring people like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

What I wish we would do, as believers and supporters of Israel and students of Bible prophecy, is share the Gospel with them, using the prophetic model.

This is not being done on a wide scale by any very large ministry in this country. There is a void in this teaching. Andy Stanley hates it. So do Rick Warren and all the church growth guys. The Southern Baptists are now embarrassed about it. The Pentecostals are even dissing it.

So here you have a great opportunity.

Tell people what the Bible says about Bible prophecy, not what—I’m going to say it—John Hagee says about Bible prophecy. We jam our interpretations into the prophetic passages of the Bible and then stubbornly camp there. I wish we’d keep our eyes on the big picture, and use the astonishing, truly unique, and transcendent prophecies of the Bible to show people that Jesus Christ is the King of kings.

In some prophecy circles, there was/is no room for Russia as even a temporary ally of sorts with Israel.

Yet the Russians are in Jerusalem.