Monday, February 28, 2022

Russia--Nuclear Forces On High Alert

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Associated Press and most other news organizations were reporting yesterday that Putin has, "In a dramatic escalation of East-West tensions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine...ordered Russian nuclear forces put on high alert Sunday in response to what he called "aggressive statements" by leading NATO powers."

A senior US defense official says, on condition of anonymity, Putin's action "is potentially putting in play forces that, if there's a miscalculation, could make things much, much more dangerous."

Let's look at the weekend of war from a biblical perspective---what has happened, what could happen, and what it means biblically.

Be informed, not misled.

Most news services are reporting, as Associated Press is doing, that Putin's directive to put nuclear weapons in an increased state of readiness for launch raised fears that the crisis could boil over into nuclear warfare, whether by design or mistake."

Why would Putin put his nuclear forces on alert status? 

House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) explained yesterday the two reasons he thinks  Putin has rolled out his nuclear forces.

First, he says, he "believes one reason is that this war is not going well for Putin, and he is being painted into a corner and he wants to be a stronger hand to try to negotiate a way out."

This could be true. A delegation of Ukrainians is scheduled to meet with Russia today.

It has been widely reported that Putin thought taking over the country would be much easier---he underestimated the resistance.

Secondly, McCarthy says, "Putin is unstable."

"At this moment in time," he says, "no country in the world should stand with Putin. Everyone should unite around the basis of what he just claimed to take in just the last hours"---referring to the command for nuclear readiness..."The move signals tensions could boil over into a nuclear war."

Last week Putin forcefully told the press that countries "who interfere with his invasion of Ukraine will face 'consequences you have never seen in your history'."

Some US defense experts are suggesting Putin was indeed surprised at the Ukraine resistance and is putting the nuclear threat in play in order to de-escalate and topple Ukraine---specifically Kyiv more quickly.  

There's growing concern over President Biden's mental readiness for any military action.

No one doubts that Putin has indeed put his nuclear weapons on readiness status, but many---Democrats and Republicans--- are concerned about President Biden's mental readiness as a leader.

ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos said yesterday on “This Week” that a new ABC News/Washington Post poll "shows 54% of Americans do not believe President Joe Biden is mentally sharp" during his interview with White House press secretary Jen Psaki. 

He said, “The president is approaching his State of the Union in a pretty difficult political position right now, 37% approval rating, Democrats trailing badly in the midterm polling. A majority in our recent poll out this morning even question the president’s mental capacity. How is he going to turn that around on Tuesday night? And how much has his State of the Union been changed by this war in Ukraine?”

Press Secretary answered with this: 

“You know, George, from covering State of the Unions for some time, that it is about delivering a message to the public at a moment in time. And if you look back when President Obama gave his first State of the Union, it was during the worst financial crisis in a generation. When President Bush gave his first State of the Union, it was shortly after 9/11. Leaders lead during crises. That’s exactly what President Biden is doing. He’ll speak to that, but he’s also going to speak about his optimism about what’s ahead and what we all have to look forward to.”

Looking ahead.

George Stephanopoulos is not the only leftist who is raising this concern. Many others on the left are equally concerned with a majority expressing their belief that President Biden is unfit to serve. And rightly so. Even a fifth-grader can see our President has cognitive issues.

I'm not sure where Sake finds her "hope and change" in the future of Democrat leadership. If not President Biden, does Vice President Harris inspire America to be hopeful?

How about Hillary? Her name is being discussed ---again---as a possible replacement for Biden in 2024. Inspiring? Probably not. Nancy? Maybe Sen. Chuch Schumer?

Avowed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders is getting quite politically active again. How about AOC?

It's pretty difficult to find leadership from the left that even closely reflects the views and beliefs of most Americans.

Looking ahead at a conservative Republican-led country, however, does give some hope and the promise of returning to our founding principles---principles that actually worked in real life. Principles that allowed our country, and our freedom and liberty to prosper and thrive.

Yesterday Reuters News Service reported on the CPAC annual conservative conference in Florida that closed this weekend, noting that 59% of the people present, in a straw vote, voted for Trump, while 28% voted for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

In a straw poll question that did not include Trump, DeSantis got 61% of the votes.

CPAC is the largest conservative PAC in the country, so those who attend are strongly conservative.

Some attendees from Florida said they preferred Trump in 2024 because they want to keep DeSantis as Governor for a few more years because of what he has done for the state. DeSantis is a 43-year-old former lawyer with three young children and a wife who has been battling breast cancer, whom some say could easily run for president in 2028.

We'll see how all that plays out.

Looking ahead from a biblical perspective.

Many Christian leaders called for all Americans and Christians around the globe to pray for the people of Ukraine yesterday.

Special Message from Franklin Graham: 
"I would like to join others in calling for a special day of prayer for the people of Ukraine. Today—Sunday, February 27—I hope that tens of thousands of churches and millions of families around the world will stand together in prayer, asking Almighty God to work in the hearts of leaders and bring an end to this deadly conflict. Let’s lift up in prayer those who are enduring these dark days filled with uncertainty, fear, hardship, loss, and suffering. May they know the comfort, presence, peace, and protection of God who is a “refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

Christian leaders are also noting that this horrific, unprovoked attack on Ukraine by Russia is not merely political, but also has a spiritual component as well.

Are these the "end times" the Bible speaks of? Is Russia a player in biblical teaching about the end times?

Most Bible prophecy experts discuss these topics carefully and prayerfully because the Bible clearly tells us not to set dates regarding God's plans and the future. However, the Bible---including Jesus Himself, taught there would be signs that would help us understand the times in which we live.

World events, as they pertain to the writing of the Prophet Ezekiel, seem to place Russia in the mix of events.

Joel Rosenberg, among others, has written extensively about this.

Some of his thoughts, and some of my own.

The Hebrew prophet Ezekiel wrote 2500 years ago that in the last days of history, Russia and Iran will form a military alliance to attack Israel from the north. Most biblical scholars refer to this as described in Ezekiel 38-39 as the "War of Gog and Magog."

The text discusses a "Gog, of the land of Magog" and points to not only a battle but a victory for the Lord before the eyes of the world.

EZ. 38: 14-18 says: 

14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?

15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:

16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.

17 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?

18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face.

Rosenberg writes:

“Gog is a person. Whoever Gog is, he is from the land of Magog and is the leader of Tubal and Meshek (some translations add ‘Rosh’ to the list) and a confederacy of other nations: Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer, and Beth Togarmah (Ezekiel 38:5–6),” the outlet notes. “And, whoever he is, he will have plans to ‘attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people,’ viz., Israel (verses 11, 14, and 18). But, regardless of Gog’s plans, the Lord God is against him and will defeat him soundly (Ezekiel 38:4, 19–23; 39:3–5).”

So, Why is Russia believed to be Magog by so many?

If you take out a map and look to the north (these Scriptures note Gog comes from the “far north”), you’ll find Russia and former Soviet territories. So, it’s not surprising to see so many Bible experts point to this region.

One other note worth mentioning here is “Persia,” a nation listed as being in alliance with Magog, is modern-day Iran. Considering current affairs and trajectories, that piece is raising a lot of eyebrows.

Dr. Roger Barrier, a retired teaching pastor from Casas Church in Tucson, AZ. has often reminded his audience that as we consider the end of days: "God has not given us all of the details regarding end times."

I personally believe the biblical teaching that Israel will re-emerge as a nation has taken place in 1948, however, I do not believe that the Gog and Magog prophecy has been fulfilled yet.

The one-day future evil leader of Russia is going to form an alliance with Iran, Turkey, and some other hostile countries to come and surround and attack Israel in the "last days."

Could Putin be that person? We don't know. But if not, it will be someone who acts much like he is acting today.

Is the chaos in Ukraine a part of these Scriptures being fulfilled?  We don't know for sure. But Bible-believing Christians should be paying close attention.

Pray for the people of Ukraine.

And when you see these kinds of things taking place, Jesus told us to "lookup" because our redemption is drawing nigh.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Hopeful. Be Blessed. Be Prayerful.