August 29, 2016
Russia and Turkey Kiss and Makeup
A major shift has occurred in the balance of power in the Middle East. Following the failed Turkish coup of mid-July, Turkey, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, has become excessively and suspiciously close to Russia.
Earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan flew to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The meeting resulted in both nations agreeing to mend the bilateral relations strained after the shooting down of a Russian military jet by Turkey in November.
Because Erdogan had already apologized in June for the downing of the plane, the pathway is open for Russia to gradually lift economic sanctions on Turkey, including restrictions on sightseeing trips to the country and an import ban on Turkish livestock and agricultural products.
One possible reason why Erdogan has gone from describing Putin as a foe to calling him his “dear friend” is due to the help Russia provided during the coup. It now appears that Russian intelligence tipped off Erdogan just hours before the planned overthrow of his regime.
When the coup plotters got wind of the Russian communications with Erdogan loyalists, they moved up their plans several hours. Deprived of the element of surprise, the coup failed, and Erdogan is ready to switch from NATO to the Russian side.
The sudden lack of trust between Washington and Ankara has raised safety concerns over nuclear weapons stored at the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey.
The European news outlet EurActiv.com, quoting two independent sources, said the Pentagon, has ordered the emergency evacuation to Romania of an estimated 50 B-61s, (which is a tactical nuclear bomb that’s carried by fighter jets with a blast yield of up to 340 kilotons).
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has given Russia the go-ahead to use its Incirlik air base for operations in Syria. Though no official request from Moscow to use the strategic military facility has been made, an upper house member of Russia’s Parliament, Igor Morozov has said that “It just remains to come to an agreement with Erdogan that we get the NATO base at Incirlik as our primary airbase.”
According to the MP, Incirlik would give Moscow a strategic advantage providing for a swifter conclusion to Russia’s anti-terrorist operation in Syria. A key reason for the reset is energy. Putin wanted to restart the Turkish Stream Project, which will transport 63 billion cubic meters of natural gas from the Russian Black Sea coast to Turkey and on to Europe. With Russia and Turkey acting as partners, Europe will have little left to do but continue to be dependent on energy coming from Mother Russia.
This “kiss and makeup” between Turkey and Russia is important to prophecy watchers. With Iran also part of this lovefest, we now have all the key nations of the Gog Magog invasion in place. The only thing that remains is the “hooks into thy jaws” motivation that triggers the invasion of Israel. I believe the Rapture is the next major prophetic event; the Church’s departure may be what gives Putin the confidence making such a daring move.
“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. Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.’ Thus saith the Lord God; ‘It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:’ And thou shalt say, ‘I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, to take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land’” (Ezekiel 38: 3-12). --Todd
Revisiting a Fearful Future
I wrote a series of articles with the title "Scanning a Fearful Future" at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011. The ten-article series involved the fears people were expressing through emails. Almost all emails involved great anxiety over what well-known secular and Bible prophecy pundits were predicting for the immediate future.
The pundits were saying that the U.S. and world economy would collapse at any moment and America would no longer be the America as we've known it. There would be the development of a police state and tremendous, martyr-like persecution for Christians. I wrote in that series of articles that no such world-rending catastrophe would occur prior to the Rapture of the Church (all born-again believers). The Holy Spirit, I'm convinced with all that is within my spirit, led me to this conviction, based upon Bible truth.
I believed--and wrote--that such a world-rending cataclysm was indeed going to occur. The world's economic disposition was (and remains) in a most precarious status. But, the Lord was telling me in my spirit--based on my prayer and study of Bible prophecy--that no man-made crisis or action would bring America or the world into complete collapse. My conclusion--totally scripturally based--was that it would be the Lord, Himself, who will bring the world system into chaos with Christ's catastrophic intervention via the Rapture.
This finding was carried through in my writing of Rapture Ready...Or Not: 15 Reasons This Is the Generation That Will Be Left Behind
Therein I put excerpts of the series of articles, and gave reasons for why I believe my conclusions to be validated.
Bottom line to report as of this writing is that my conclusion reached remains validated. We are now at a point almost six years later, and the world has not collapsed as the pundits predicted for 2011 or 2012. Yet, the situation has worsened, not gotten better in every direction one looks on the geopolitical, socioeconomic, religious, and geophysical landscapes. Evil men and seducers have gotten worse and worse, just as the apostle Paul prophesied. The apostle's forewarning of perilous times (2 Timothy 3) is coming to pass before our eyes daily.
But, God's staying hand of control remains upon this reeling, dangerous world of growing godlessness. Planet earth will obviously stay on its course of destruction, but the end is not yet.
With all that said, there is at present a fearfulness such as I haven't sensed, not even in those days the pundits were predicting any-moment world economic collapse in 2010 and 2011. Christians are worried--almost frantic in some cases--looking after things that seem about ready to come down upon their lives. The trepidation in the emails is more pronounced even than in those days six years ago--yet the world and life in the U.S. goes on pretty much as normal for these times of this increasing debauchery and societal upheaval.
This year's presidential election season contributes mightily to the trepidation, I have no doubt. Another four or eight years of the sort of deliberate dismantling of the American republic that we have suffered will, people fear, end in total loss of religious liberty at best, and of personal freedom of every sort at worst.
Looking at all of this from the humanistic perspective, the reasons for fear, even panic, seem justified. But, for the Christian who has the mind of Christ at the center of their spiritual reasoning, there is a far different mindset that is available. I was listening to Dr. Charles Stanley present his message that touched on the topic of fear and upon such spiritual reasoning. He gave the following passage from the book of Isaiah.
I find it most comforting and reassuring.
Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. (Isaiah 41:9-13)
It is true that these words were given in this instance to Israel. But, the Lord of Heaven changes not. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Those who are in God's family can rely on His promises--which are ours totally and forever, no matter the period in history in which we live.
The world has not collapsed. God is still on the throne. Prayer changes things, just as His Word tells us.
For those who don't know Christ for salvation the future is indeed bleak. It is fearful--frightful beyond all imagination. But for the Christian alive at the end of the age--this Age of Grace--we are to, when we see all these portentous developments begin to come to pass, lift up our heads and look to Jesus. His coming for His Bride is about to take place (Luke 21:28).