Commentary on world events that relate to Bible prophecy and on Rapture Ready issues world events.

May 7, 2012

The Rise of Russia Today (RT Television)

The Russia Today network, now simply known as "RT", has become a global multilingual television news network, reaching 430 million people in over 100 countries. It was founded in 2005 by the government-owned RIA Novosti. RT has 21 bureaus in 16 countries, with "presences" in Washington DC, New York, London, Paris, Delhi, Cairo, Baghdad, Kiev, and other cities. It employs over 2,000 media professionals worldwide.

RT is only available to 50 million people in the United States via satellite network. That is enough to make it the second most-watched foreign news channel in the United States, after BBC News. RT has made huge strides in the Internet video market. By March 2012, its YouTube videos have received almost 700 million views.

I have become a regular watcher of a few RT programs that make it to YouTube. One example is Max Keiser, a financial commentator living in Paris who has a program that focuses on the fallout from U.S. banking scandals. Capital Account is another program that features stories about the debt crisis.

It amazes me  to realize that we have reached the point that a network out of Moscow has a better grasp of the issues facing our nation than ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox news. Last week, RT had a story on how the Republican-controlled House of Representatives had sneakily passed CISPA--a bill that would require the sharing of information between the government and private online companies to stop possible cyber security threats. Even though CISPA had the potential to steamroll civil liberties, the major news media in America treated it like a page-three news story.

I have no delusions about RT's motivation for critiquing the U.S. By airing our dirty laundry, it makes Mother Russia look better by comparison. It doesn't matter if a friend or foe is sharing the truth. The sad fact is that a growing group of Americans are having to turn to the news outlet of our traditional adversary to find news that our domestic media would rather suppress.

You are not going to find any truth when it comes to RT coverage of news in Russia. Every RT reporter knows there's a code of silence over how Vladimir Putin used fraud to reestablish himself as the ruler of the Russian Federation. Since he controls the majority of the media in Russia, every reporter knows how foolish it would be to get on Putin's bad side.

America may have won the Cold War but we are clearly behind in the propaganda war. The Voice of America started during World War II as means to counter Nazi propaganda. It reached its zenith with the broadcast of Radio Free Europe. Over the past several years, VOA has been in steady decline. VOA still has a weekly audience of 123 million, but this number is spread very thinly over the whole globe.

There is not much of a message to the VOA broadcasts. The network has become so liberalized that all it broadcasts is just a bland rehashing of news anyone can find on a dozen other services. While RT is influencing the attitude of the global community with its coverage of current news events, we're broadcasting jazz music to Central America.

One area where RT is seeing its greatest growth is in the Middle East. According to some estimates, the network's Arabic channel is beating Al Jazeera in some markets. the Al Jazeera channel does not have the funding that RT enjoys, and it has been tainted by past friendly coverage given to radical Islamic groups.

It is a very significant redevelopment for Russia to have a direct voice to Arab nations. During the days of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, most Muslims viewed the USSR as a godless adversary that was ranked right behind Israel and the U.S. Today, Russia has become friends with several key players in the Middle East.

I find it interesting that many of the nations Russia is the most chummy with are the ones cited by Bible prophecy as followers of Gog in the coming Ezekiel 38 and 39 attack against Israel. The connection that has my greatest attention is the Moscow-Damascus alliance. While most nations have backed away from Syria for its brutal suppression of protesters, Russia has maintained the view that the Syrian leadership can do no wrong.

Right now, there is no official state antagonism between Israel and Russia. After all, Russia is a member of the Quartet on the Middle East--nations involved in mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For now, the only bump in their relationship is the fact that Russia always seem to be the one arming Israel's foes. As we get closer to the tribulation hour, I would look for RT to become a leading source of hostility against the Jewish state. In the days before the Gog invasion, RT might put some of Hitler's best propagandists to shame.

"And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee" (Ezekiel 38:1-6).


Evil Seducers in Limelight

It seems the prophetic moment has arrived that the apostle Paul warned about in more than one epistle: “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13); and “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, stand” (Ephesians 6:13).

Unfolding events of recent days make clear the accuracy of God’s Word in foretelling things to come. Paul, in his perilous times prophecy of 2 Timothy, speaks to some very specific characteristics of end-times mankind that will mark the very end of the Age of Grace--the time just before Christ calls His church into Heaven (John 14:6; Revelation 4:1).

He writes in that 2 Timothy, chapter 3, forewarning, as I’ve picked and chosen, the following: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves…proud, blasphemers…unholy, without natural affection…false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good” (2 Timothy 3:1-3).

Issues and events, as they have developed in very recent days, are accurately described and defined by words I’ve chosen from Paul’s "perilous times" prophecy. It’s almost as if the public carrying on of one individual in particular epitomizes all of the characteristics that Paul prophesies for the very days in which we find ourselves. It’s as if we see personified the end- times characteristics of Paul’s prophecy manifested before our very eyes and ears in the news reports. Specifically, I see these characteristics displayed: unholy, blasphemers, false accusers, fierce, and despisers of those that are good.

The individual–the human subject of all the recent attention--displays the last- days evil that has become a visceral part of American culture. Media–both news and entertainment--seem to proudly put it all in the limelight for the eager eyes and ears of the American public. The nation’s youth seem to me to be the particular recipients of the evil’s spotlight-focus.

The Obama administration has stated it has made it a priority to attack bullying whenever and wherever it raises its ugly head. But, like so much of the surface promises of transparency and action on behalf of the American public, its true intentions and nature have been exposed by the light of truth. Administration propagandists have at their disposal mainstream media sycophants–both entertainment and news—that have done all they can to cover the recent hubbub created by one of its chosen in the ongoing war against Judeo-Christian-value-based morality in this nation.

Dan Savage, spokesman for the so-called anti-bullying organization, “It Gets Better Project,” behind which the Obama administration has thrown its presidential weight, viciously attacked, verbally, a group of Christian high school students who walked out on one of his what has been described as “vulgar and vitriolic” presentations. This excerpt of a blog-report on the matters involved explains further:

This is the same Dan Savage who spoke at the National High School Journalism Conference last week, where he ripped into the Bible and called religious students "pansy-assed" for walking out on him. But, there’s much more to Dan Savage than just anti-religious bullying. He’s one of the biggest bullies on the planet. And he’s the point person the White House specifically chose–and fundraised for–in order to push their anti-bullying agenda. Now, it’s not as though the White House was ignorant of the fact that the "It Gets Better Project" is run by Savage. On the contrary–search the White House website for Savage’s name, and two "It Gets Better" links come up… The Obama Administration has placed significant support behind the so-called "It Gets Better Project." The White House has devoted a specific section of the White House.gov website to the project. President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and many other administration officials have cut videos on behalf of the Project. (Breitbart.com, http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/04/29/Obama-Administration-Dan-Savage. Thanks to Dana Neel for the source material.)

The organization’s goal, at first glance, seems honorable. Its stated purpose is designed to protect children from bullying; its suggested pledge states:

Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I'll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I'll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that "It Gets Better."

However, it is the latter part of the pledge to which Savage–and a vast number within the administration--are truly devoted. The homosexual agenda is all important in their scheme to affect and infect the morality of America’s youth.

The kinds of “bullying” verbiage from the “lectures” Mr. Savage presents–as he did the day the high school students walked out, thus igniting his wrath—are actually more salacious than I’m willing to post here. But, suffice it to say that he has made the following statement that he wishes “all ****ing Republicans were dead.” He has used the same kind of language in wishing Christians were in the same condition.

We are indeed in Paul’s perilous times. This generation is facing a most evil day. We had better gird for the evil men and seducers–which include the mainstream media--who are out to remove every trace of morality from the face of America and the world. But, the same apostle who forewarned of this very hour was given the following from the Holy Spirit to comfort and reassure Christians alive in these troubling but exciting days: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).