The Hungry Russian Bear prepares to devour another piece of Ukraine
Israeli peace talks, Iranian nuclear talks, a strong Russia and a changing Middle East.
April 13, 2014 - Audio, 10 minutes
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Russia is making moves that strongly suggest that the bear is prepared to devour another piece of Ukraine. The idea of a new Palestinian state is going nowhere. U.S. Iran tensions are returning, The Economist suggests that America could Abandon Israel. Keep listening as we consider some of the many events taking place this week, that are related to Bible prophecy!
Russia and Ukraine
The National Post in Canada is reporting that "NATO releases commercial satellite images showing Russian forces gathering on Ukraine border." The news report says, "NATO released satellite photographs on Thursday showing Russian military equipment, including fighter jets and tanks, that it described as part of a deployment of as many as 40,000 troops near the border with Ukraine. The release came the same day that President Vladimir Putin of Russia reiterated a threat to curtail gas sales to Ukraine." The report continues, "The Kremlin has accused the West of exaggerating Russia’s military presence along the Ukrainian border and has insisted that it has no plans for a second military incursion after its lightning-quick occupation and annexation of Crimea. Still, Russia has warned that it may take military action to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine if they are threatened." It has been reported that there have been rising tensions between the new Ukrainian government and pro-Russia protesters. Today, some police stations, police buildings and other official buildings in eastern Ukraine have been taken over by gunmen who claim to be the "people's militia". Is this a prelude to Russia moving into Eastern Ukraine as it did into Crimea? If the gunmen are Russian or backed by Russia, if the Ukrainian government acts against them, it is likely that Russia will move to "protect ethnic Russians" from aggression.
An article on the BBC news website today, entitled: "Germans not keen to ruffle Russian feathers", explains how Germany feels a lot nearer Moscow not just physically, but also emotionally and how the common sentiment is that "Germany has to do business with Russia."
The building again of the "image empire", the kingdom of men depicted in Daniel chapter 2 is certainly taking place. Nebuchadnezzar saw what must take place in the latter days (verse 28), that a great image empire, with Roman, Greek, Persian and Babylonian elements would stand together - as it is broken to pieces together (verse 35) - by a little stone - the kingdom of God (verses 35, 44, 45).
It is in these days that God will set up this kingdom, the Lord Jesus Christ will return to sit upon David's throne in Jerusalem (Luke 1:32,33).
"And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever."
Israeli, Palestinian Peace Talks
At this point it doesn't appear that the Israeli, Palestinian, talks to extend the peace talks are going anywhere. It doesn't suit the interests of Israel's current government to cave in to Palestinian demands and the Palestinians believe they can achieve more at the UN than they can by negotiating with Israel. Even if the talks are extended due to American pressure, it seems very unlikely that a deal can be reached that both sides would be able to sell to their populations. The Economist looks at the Israeli, Palestinian "peace process", in an article entitled, "A peace process that is going nowhere. John Kerry’s dogged bid for a two-state solution has faltered", and asks: "Could America ever ditch Israel?"
America certainly hasn't been as supportive of Israel as they have been at times in the past. Obama and John Kerry are generally not considered as friends of Israel. The general population in Israel doesn't feel that way. An article in the Jerusalem Post from March 11, of this year, reported that in a poll, two-thirds of Israeli Jews didn't trust Kerry on security.
Iranian Nuclear Talks
The National Post reports that "U.S. Iran tensions return". Iran of course is allied with Russia. The West's tepid response to Russia's takeover of Crimea, Obama's erasable "red lines" with chemical weapons use in Syria and other foreign policy blunders, will no doubt have emboldened Iran.
America is losing on several fronts. Russia is acting with impunity in Ukraine and there are fears they may start to move into other countries in the former Soviet block. Chemical weapons use continues in Syria - Obama's "red line" was crossed a long time ago. The "peace talks" and the plan for a Palestinian Arab state in Israel, are going nowhere. All John Kerry's efforts so far have gone nowhere. One asks the question, what are American security assurances worth anyway? The nuclear talks with Iran and the thawing of relations has not achieved the desired effect. The fact is that America does not have the clout that it used to and it doesn't seem that other countries are willing to dance to their tune.
The perceived American weakness in Syria and Ukraine has sent a clear message to; Iran, that America is weak and unwilling to act; to the Palestinians that giving in to American demands is not essential; to Israel, that American security guarantees are not very valuable; and, other Eastern European countries in Russia's shadow are no doubt questioning how secure being a member of NATO makes them. This perceived American weakness will embolden Iran and strengthen their resolve to continue with their nuclear program. However the reasons that America has not acted in Syria and Eastern Europe do not apply in the Gulf. In the Gulf America has vital interests that it will protect. Other Gulf states including Saudi Arabia are also threatened by Iran. The common enemy in Iran is even bring them closer to Israel. All these events are creating a north south division as we expect from Bible prophecy.
Will America Abandon Israel
We have seen how the Economist asked if America could abandon Israel. Considering America's vital assets in the Gulf and taking into account the new reality developing in the Middle East the United States can hardly afford to abandon Israel. However it is true that if the Palestinian problem were dealt with it would open the doors to a very prosperous Middle East - at least for those countries in the Sheba and Dedan alliance with the West. If the Palestinian problem could be dealt with, America may be able to build the kind of "king of the south" alliance that it would like in the Middle East, bringing countries such as Saudi Arabia and Israel together, which is practically required in the face of the Russian, Syrian, Iranian axis to the north.
The Most High Rules in the Kingdom of Men
America, as well as all the nations we have considered will do exactly what the Almighty wishes them to do, as He prepares the scene to introduce his son, the king of Israel, into the world. In 1849 John Thomas, in the book Elpis Israel, wrote how the Jews must return to their ancient homeland and become prosperous as a prerequisite to the return of Jesus Christ to the earth. He also wrote how Britain would play a key role in their restoration. This came to pass when Britain issued the Balfour declaration. Of Britain John Thomas wrote:
"The finger of God has indicated a course to be pursued by Britain which cannot be evaded, and which her counsellors will not only be willing, but eager, to adopt when the crisis comes upon them.
"The decree has long since gone forth which calls upon the Lion of Tarshish to protect the Jews. Upwards of a thousand years before the British were a nation, the prophet addresses them as the power which at "evening-tide" should interest themselves in behalf of Israel."
America, Canada with Britain are in the same grouping of nations, as described in Ezekiel 38:13. God has appointed a course for them to take which cannot be evaded.
The course that nations will take and their future movements are laid out in the scriptures. The accuracy of these prophecies has been proved by the many events that have already been fulfilled. We have a more sure word of prophecy and we need to take heed. These are exciting times prophetically and there are so many significant events and headlines to consider. All these things should make us consider our lives, examine ourselves, seek to help each other and prepare to meet the King of Israel. Come back next week God willing, to the Bible in the News. This has been David Billington with you. www.bibleinthenews.com
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