Mar 10, 2014
The Lack of a Long-Term Strategy
I’m not sure how generations in the future will think of the age in which we live. So many stunning events will take place during the Tribulation; we’ll likely be seen as just a hazy preface to the big show. Since our actions are leading up to the apocalypse, I think our generation will be regarded as one of profound short-sightedness.
The reason why our problems are never resolved is because we only apply quick-fixes to every situation. If a Google-type site exists during the Millennium, anyone doing a search of 2014 will probably see ads for band-aids. The reason why is because every time trouble flairs up we apply yet another bandage to the wound.
A clear example of this practice is how we handled the 2007 global financial crisis. We are now in our seventh year of trying to paper over our financial sins with money printing. At first, with Greece, a new bailout was only needed once every year. Then as time passed some other Euro member nations also needed to have their debts rolled over. We’re now at the point where hardly a month or week goes by without some central bank needing to give money to some nation, city, or a “too big to fail” bank.
The current crisis in Ukraine is another good example of short-term thinking. After Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded the Ukraine’s Crimea region with troops, stock markets around the world plunged in value. Once Putin slightly softened his tone, financial markets roared back. In fact, the Dow Jones gained more on the rebound than what it lost the day before. If Putin would invade a few more neighbors, we could all be rich.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) had the best explanation for why the Obama Administration’s diplomatic strategy has been outstripped by Putin. He recently said on Fox News:
Putin is playing chess and I think we’re playing marbles, I don’t think it’s even close. If you look at the nuclear negotiations, we got our fanny handed to us. They took tactical nukes out of the equation; huge mistake, especially for our allies in the Baltics. And I really think it’s the naive position on the National Security Council and the president’s advisors that if we just keep giving things to Russia, they’ll finally wake up and say, boy, the United States isn’t all that bad. That is completely missing the motivation of why Russia does what Russia does.
Probably the dumbest comments I’ve heard on the Ukraine crisis came from a chorus of people who said, “After Putin just spent $50 billion on the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, it would be unwise for him to let all this positive PR be nullified by naked aggression” This same type of thinking didn’t work with Hitler. The Fuehrer put on an extravaganza for the 1936 Berlin Olympics, but it didn’t stop him from invading Poland. What people don’t understand is that Putin and Hitler are of the mindset that wants it all. If they manage to take over the world, for them—every day will become an Olympic celebration.
We may soon find that China has become another member of Putin’s chess club. Beijing has been incredibly skilled at making deals around the world that undermine America’s economic power. Without anyone noticing, the Chinese have become the dominant trading partner to the continent of Africa. When the day comes that the dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency, we’ll largely have China to thank for that turn of events.
Our short-sightedness is also manifested in the diplomatic games that we’ve been playing with Iran and North Korea over their nuclear programs. We operate under the idea that as long as we continue to have a dialogue with these outlaw nations, there is no reason for alarm. As the yack-fest goes on, both these countries are working on weapons systems that will someday pose a direct threat to North America.
I think Christians have a huge problem with long-term planning. Most believers live in the here and now with no understanding of how much more important the biblical view is over carnal interests. When compared to the kingdom of God, everything in this world will seem as brief as the singing career of Justin Bieber. The leaders of this world strive for a corruptible reward; the one we should be seeking after will last—forever.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21 NIV).
Is Gog Hooked?
Strange, fast-track things continue to be afoot at this late date of prophetic progression.
America is in swift decline, which those who observe the times in light of Bible prophecy from a futurist, pretribulation viewpoint have long said must happen. The demise is being deliberately orchestrated, in my view and the opinions of others. Many have long surmised that this must be the case, because such a great superpower--apart from the revived Roman Empire—is mentioned nowhere in prophecy yet future.
The European Union (EU)–that prophesied, end-times empire--despite occasional setbacks is on a rapid ascent within the panoply of nation-states. To add to the mix, this Catholic pontiff certainly seems to be working hard in at least preparing the stage for the second beast of Revelation chapter 13 in calling all religions–all peoples, for that matter—together in declaring that there are many ways to God and heaven. He is loved and adored by increasing millions from every religious order, it seems. World media love him, and this just might be the most powerful indicator of all of just what part he is set to play in the wind-up of the age.
Even evangelicals in the U.S. are joining in the welcome of the new pope and his call for unity. Just within the past week or two, ministers such as Kenneth Copeland have begun lauding Pope Francis’ praises for the pope having personally appealed to Copeland and others to join him in this ecumenical move toward uniting the world religiously.
At the same time, more and more evangelicals as well as others within Christendom are turning against Israel as the rightful heir to the land God gave that people. Replacement theology is the order of the day, while our own pretrib view and support for God’s chosen nation diminish daily, it seems. So-called Christian Palestinianism is on the rise–this meaning that Israel, according to those who hold to this “theology”--has no biblically guaranteed place in the world. The gist of the worldview is that the land should be given to the hapless Palestinians, with no thought to any God-given guarantee that some–like us—see in prophecy yet future.
The coalition of nations prophetically destined to come against Israel at the wind-up of human history this side of the Millennium is already in alignment, with the two chief nations of that attack closely in cahoots. Russia (Rosh) and Iran (Persia) are together in nefarious doings to threaten Israel and world peace with their progress toward developing nuclear weaponry.
With the Gog-Magog forces gathering, there is a cry for peace and safety. The Roadmap to Peace might be the nucleus of the covenant made with death and hell prophetically scheduled, according to Daniel 9: 26-27 and Isaiah 28: 15, 18.
The man of sin is not in view, but we see prototypes in these days of strange doings. Certainly, we see the road for his coming to power being paved almost hourly. One senses the first beast of Revelation 13 must be waiting in the shadows, just behind the curtain of the end-times stage.
However, there is one prophetic power-player that just could be coming into his own position of last-days destiny. I, of course, am not the only one thinking this while we witness the geopolitical gyrations and machinations of one Vladimir Putin taking place. With ease, seemingly, he has outwitted and outbluffed the supposed leader of the free world and that leader’s secretary of state. While they make inane statements that Mr. Putin should be a good citizen and not act like someone out of the barbaric past, the Russian simply goes about the business of reassembling the Soviet Union with the only push-back consisting of diplomatic gobbledygook.
Wait! There is something about how the diplomats will handle the one known as Gog mentioned somewhere, isn’t there? Oh, yes! It is found in the prophet Ezekiel’s prophecy of the Gog-Magog attack: “Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?” (Ezekiel 38:13).
This sounds eerily familiar…not unlike the weak-kneed diplomatic protests we are hearing now while Mr. Putin has his way with Ukraine, does it not?
Putin can’t let Ukraine remove too far from Russia’s sphere of direct influence. And he won’t.
Russian-owned natural gas and petroleum company, Gazprom, controls nearly one-fifth of the world's gas reserves and supplies more than half of the gas Ukraine uses annually. Putin threatens to do away with the deal Russia had with the now deposed Ukrainian pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych, because of opposition to Russian hegemony that is developing. The price rise (more than 30%) in gas supply would be disastrous to the already strapped Ukrainian economy.
On top of that threat, the Russian military, of course, has already intruded and awaits orders to bring that state back under total domination like in times of the USSR. Vladimir Putin apparently already has deeply within his tyrannical brain the thought to not only hang on to the energy resources Russia possesses, but to begin expanding Russian influence as he eyes the now gas-rich Israel to the south.
It is thought that Israel will soon make huge inroads into supplying Europe with the absolutely critical energy it needs, because of uncertainty over Russia’s future moves, militarily and otherwise. God’s Word has something to say about some future leader’s thinking and the ramifications that will result from his taking action on those “evil thoughts":
“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" (Ezekiel 38:3).
“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 38:10-12).