‘Fearful’ Of World War III?

30 April 22

With the Russian-Ukraine conflict intensifying, are you ‘FEARFUL’ that it will escalate into World War III? If so, there IS something you can do about your fear!

INTRODUCTION
With all the pandemic restrictions in most of the world ending in late February 2022, we are suddenly faced with the possibility of yet another global disaster—this time in the form of a large-scale war.

For those caught up in the fighting, the fear and anxiety is unimaginable, and for those of us watching from afar, the feelings of helpless dread and sadness can be ‘overwhelming’ for some. So, if you are feeling fearful and afraid about the state of the world right now, it’s okay, you are not alone!

The disturbing events that are unfolding in Ukraine have, understandably, been leaving people across the world ‘FEARFUL’.

[ VIDEO: “I’m Scared – Are We Threatened With World War 3?” – Vanessa Blank ].

“I am actually very afraid because this war is so close to us. And I’m afraid what all the political parts will do. There are a lot of states with a lot of power around us and know that something really bad will happen if nobody holds their feet still and do nothing. 

So, I know that all the states around us will not just stay still and watch what happened there. I know they want to react. And I know that this is getting a big war if they react like I thought that they will do. And I’m very afraid that me and my family is then in the middle of a war… I’m very afraid what this means for our future.”

[ Vanessa Blank – German resident (Founder of “Wild Women Bushcraft”) ]


<<< SUMMARY >>>

The following is a collection of ‘snippets’ from the post that aims to give you the overall ‘jest’ of this post.
[ 10-15 Minute Read ]


A WORLD IN ‘CHAOS’
We live today in the most complex period in recorded history. Almost every newspaper headline, every television news report, and every radio bulletin these days proclaims one essential message: The modern world is in ‘CHAOS’. We are caught up in a ‘whirlwind’ of anger, outrage, violence, abuse of power, lawlessness, fear, terrorism, war, economic uncertainty, and new national alignments of power and commerce. Today’s headlines seem to be a warning ‘knell’!

The rapid spread of the pandemic turned the world upside down. The world conditions have escalated from confusion to chaos. If anything, the events of the past few years should cause people to realize that our world has drastically changed—a mere handful of nations (and maybe even just a ‘few’ people) hold the power to determine the fate of the planet, and many people today are wringing their hands with fear and insecurity, and crying out for a ‘savior’. [ more… ]

WAYS TO AVOID ‘PANICKING’
Fear is an emotion that is a part of our survival instinct. It is an emotion that is triggered by the threat of danger, pain, or harm. This emotion drives the natural survival instinct in the body, releasing enzymes that drive us into action, bringing heightened states of alertness that are needed to respond to a threat, by either fighting or fleeing. Fear can also be a response that is generated from a memory of a life experience that has been painful, traumatic, or upsetting. It can even be activated by observing fear in others.

So, specifically, we are now seeing the “fear of the future” increasing these days as people succumb to pressures of congested lives that are heavily dependent on material wealth and factors that are not directly controllable by the self. The ‘unknown’ future can, for many individuals, create fear. This then can lead to great unhappiness and feelings of being ‘scared’.

The most common fears that individuals experience are:
– Suffering from terminal or long-term illness
– Living without money or source of income
– Not holding a job/losing their present job
– Losing a loved one

The following are techniques to prevent anxiety from developing into full-blown panic. They are divided into cognitive (Think), behavioral (Act), and mindfulness (Be) practices.

– THINK
– ACT
– BE
[ more… ]

CURRENT ‘MIDDLE EAST’ EVENTS
For quite some time now, the mutually assured destruction (MAD) policy has served as a deterrent for the U.S. and Russia not to launch their nuclear missiles at each other. If Russia would launch an attack against the United States, then the U.S. would retaliate by launching an attack against Russia. The fact that each superpower could virtually blow up the other served as a good ‘deterrent’—until now.

Today, however, we are living in a different world with enemies who have an entirely different worldview. Islamic theology teaches that Muslims who lose their lives in service to Allah our guaranteed entrance into paradise (Hadith 9:459). According to the Muslim tradition, Mohammad said, “The person who participates in (Holy battles) in Allah’s cause and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostles, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise (if he is killed in the battle as a martyr).” [ Hadith 1:35 ]. Consequently, the MAD policy may not be as much of a deterrent for radical Muslims as it has been for Russia. [more…]

‘WAR’ IN UKRAINE
Vladimir Putin has never gotten over the breakup of the Soviet Union and he wants to bring it back together again. In fact, Putin called the dissolution of the Soviet Union, “The greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century.” Approaching 70 years of age, he can’t wait any longer to reassemble and reestablish the “great Russian empire.” Many think that if he is going to make his ‘mark’ on Russian history, it’s going to have to be now or never.

So, the current invasion of Ukraine has been coming for a while now. Back in 2008, Russia invaded Georgia (and about 20% of Georgia is still being annexed by Russia).

Then, in 2014, during the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi—after Putin had poured billions of Rubles into creating a spectacular winter wonderland that he wanted to showcase to the world—Western intelligence operatives had something else in mind. During the middle of the Games, they triggered a political anti-Putin uprising, overthrowing Ukraine’s pro-Russia regime which had been headed by Viktor Yanukovych. Not only did this coup—known as the “Revolution of Dignity”—deflect international attention away from the Games, it publicly embarrassed and humiliated Putin on the world stage. Not a good idea!

Many believe that the timing of that revolution was intended to arouse and spur Putin into action—and so it did! He wasted no time invading Crimea almost immediately, and then Ukraine’s Donbas region (composed of the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces) soon thereafter. He has had his ‘sights’ on retaking all of Ukraine ever since.

Then, once Biden took office and Putin witnessed his administration’s feeble response in Afghanistan, his nonsensical progressive rhetoric, and lack of moral will, Putin saw an opportunity and took advantage of it—and invaded Ukraine. [ more… ]

A ‘RISK’ OF WORLD WAR III?
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the largest ground war in Europe since the Second World War, in an effort to reclaim the old Russian empire. However, it looks like Putin may have misjudged the situation, raising the prospect of a global ‘catastrophe’.

Defying escalating trade sanctions from the U.S., Canada, the European Union, and other countries, including Japan and Australia, Putin said Ukrainian forces must surrender their weapons or “bear the consequences.”

Tension is certainly higher in eastern Europe than at any point during the Cold War, when the U.S. and NATO allies were in a nuclear stand-off with Communist Russia—which saw, at one point, a combined global arsenal of 60,000 nuclear weapons (enough to destroy the world several times over).

Fears of a full-scale war have returned despite a number of nuclear treaties between the U.S. and Russia that have limited nuclear weapon arsenals to about 1,500 apiece (still enough to kill billions of people).

After a flurry of arms transfers to Ukraine by NATO, Putin has upped his warnings to the West, words taken by some to imply the possible use of nuclear weapons.

Putin said, on February 24, 2022, “To anyone who would consider interfering from the outside: if you do, you will face consequences greater than any you have faced in history. All relevant decisions have been taken. I hope you hear me.” [ more… ]

BIBLICAL ‘PROPHECY’ ABOUT WW III?
So, does Bible prophecy predict that there will be a “World War III” before the ‘End Times’ and Jesus return to this earth?

Well, Jesus plainly taught that there would be war (in general) prior to His return (Matthew 24:4-31). He said that there would be “wars and rumors of wars… For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places, there will be famines and earthquakes” [ Matthew 24:6-7 ]. So, Jesus does make it very clear that war will play a significant role in the last seven years prior to His return.

To be more specific, the future does hold at least one more “world war.” There is nothing in Scripture that says there will be a certain number of world wars. World Wars I and II are not explicitly mentioned in Scripture, nor is a possible third World War. It is only the last war (“Armageddon”) that is mentioned in detail, which allows the interpretation that there may be others before this final conflict.

However, in the Old Testament, the prophet Ezekiel describes a war that has a ‘coalition’ of countries led by Russia and including Iran, Turkey, and some other Middle Eastern countries. Hmmm… could this be associated with what is happening in Ukraine?

THE EZEKIEL 38-39 WAR ‘PROPHECY’
As I discussed in detail for the past seven months (in the “Who,” “What,” “Where,” “When,” “Why,” “How” series), the “Second Coming” of Jesus is an “incomplete” prophecy that I believe will be fulfilled VERY SOON!

Another such “incomplete” prophecy—that possibly relates to the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine—is called the “War of God and Magog” (in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39). Many people are wondering if these recent events have anything to do with this ‘End Times’ prophecy. [ more… ]

OVERVIEW
The Gog-Magog Battle is set between a massive coalition of nations descended from Noah’s sons Japheth and Ham against Israel (Genesis 10:2-7). The nations are from the territories of ancient Rosh, Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Persia, Cush, Gomer, and Beth-Togarmah (Ezekiel 38:2-6). Their leader is called “Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal” (Ezekiel 38:2-3). The battlefield is on “the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate” (Ezekiel 38:8). The purpose of the invasion is to “to seize spoil,” “carry off plunder,” and attack the people of Israel (Ezekiel 38:12-16). [more…]

THE DETAILS
Ezekiel provides the prophetic name of the leader of this coalition of nations as “Gog.” It is a title for a supreme position such as king, president, or Prime Minister. (The name translates as “hidden” or “covered.”)

Ezekiel 38:1-6 provides the ancient names of those territories which comprise the invading nations: Rosh, Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer, and Beth-Togarmah. The following list is the equivalent names.

GENERAL ‘TIMING’
The first general timing ‘clue’ is Ezekiel’s use of the terms “latter years” and “last days” (Ezekiel 38:8,16). The Gog-Magog Battle must happen in the prophetic scheme of the end times as it relates to the nation of Israel. The key verse that ‘unlocks’ the understanding as to what these terms mean can be found in Deuteronomy: “When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the Lord your God and obey His voice” (Deuteronomy 4:30). [ “Distress” is also translated as “Tribulation.” It is the Tribulation, also called Daniel’s Seventieth Week prophecy (Daniel 9:20-27), that brings the Jewish people as a nation back to a belief in the God of the Bible and later accept Jesus as their Messiah. ] So, these key phrases point to the Gog-Magog Battle happening in relation to the Tribulation period. [ more… ]

‘SPECIFIC’ TIMING
Now, there are a few different views on the ‘specific’ timing of the Ezekiel 38-39 war:

– Before Both the Rapture and the Tribulation
– After the Rapture But Before the Tribulation
– In the First Half or Middle of the Tribulation
– At the End of the Tribulation (Armageddon)
– Between the Tribulation and the Millennium
– At the Beginning of the Millennium
– At the End of the Millennium
[ more… ]

PROS
– With the world in chaos due to a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, Russia and its Islamic coalition could seize the opportunity to attack a friendless Israel

– Then, with the Muslim Gog-Magog nations out of the picture just before the Tribulation, the Antichrist would have an easier time making a peace covenant with Israel [ more… ]

CONS
– Placing the invasion before the Rapture could contradict the first general time clue of the terms “latter years” and “last days,” that is if this “time of Jacob’s trouble” is reserved only for the seven-year Tribulation (Jeremiah 30:7; Ezekiel 38:8,16) [ more… ]

CONCLUSION
I have to agree with Dr. Ron Rhodes (see his book about this in the “Resources” section below) that the timing of the Gog-Magog battle after the Rapture of the Church but just before or at the very onset of the Tribulation best fulfills these prerequisites and makes the most logical sense in the prophetic timeline. This is how Rhodes sees the ‘TIMELINE’ most likely playing out: [ more… ]

REASONS FOR INVASION
So, you might be asking why would Russia even want to invade the tiny country of Israel? Well, the four ‘main’ reasons why Russia will invade Israel are: The Land; Recent Gas and Oil Discoveries; Water; and Minerals. [more…]

END TIMES ‘SIGNS’
Scan your local newspaper, watch the evening news, or go online, and read the headlines at many news sites. Whether the focus is on local, national, or international events, nearly every story quickly descends into scenes of unsolvable chaos. Hopelessness and fear seem to grab so much of the world today.

As the world becomes more complex and interdependent—and as the rate of global change accelerates—our ability to sort through all the data to discover those points of connectivity diminishes. We might try to keep up with what is happening in the world, but we do so at the expense of understanding why.

Topics shift and jolt from one to the next at a mind-boggling rate. As a result, we find ourselves battered by fear, anxiety, resentment, and even rage—all the while struggling to grasp the significance of one world-changing event even as another pushes it aside to take his place. [more…]

GLOBAL ‘FEAR’
Just as millions of people dared to hope the two-year pandemic was receding, the war then breaks out in Ukraine, triggering a new surge of ‘fear’ in Western Europe and anxieties about a wider conflict—or worse—throughout the world.

As the West faces warnings about heightened nuclear threats from the Russian president Vladimir Putin, many people are struggling with the sudden new anxieties—worried about innocent people dying needlessly in Ukraine and worried that this crisis will ‘morph’ into World War III.

Psychologists have voiced particular concern about the effect of this latest global crisis on children and young people, which is now adding to what they had already from the pandemic—even those living in relative comfort in peaceful countries nowhere near Ukraine.

Anxiety and depression already rose by “a massive 25 percent” during the first year of the pandemic, the World Health Organization said, adding that young people were the worst hit. [more…]

‘FEARFULNESS’
Amid rising tensions around the world, the Millennials are worried the most that we are on the brink of World War III, (according to alarming new data published by the International Red Cross).

The report mentions that:

– A global report interviewed 16,000 Millennials aged between 20 and 35 from 16 countries

– More than half believe that nuclear weapons are likely to be used in the next 10 years
[ more… ]

HOW TO ‘RESPOND’
The ‘good news’ is that one CAN control how they respond to distressing news—by taking steps to prioritize their emotional wellbeing.

As a reminder, the fear of the future (“anticipatory fear”) is one of the most common struggles in the Western world, plaguing both young and old [ I ‘touched on’ this in the above “panicking” section ]. This fear manifests itself in a variety of ways, including trouble focusing, decreased motivation, low energy, high blood pressure, and insomnia.

Now, beyond the physical effects, fear of the future wreaks havoc on our ‘spiritual’ lives, filling our time with stagnant anxiety when it could be filled with spiritual vitality and growth. As Holocaust survivor, Corrie ten Boom observed, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”

So, what can one do when they find themselves paralyzed by anticipatory anxiety? [more…]

‘BIBLICAL’ TRUTHS ABOUT FEAR
So many of us were hoping that 2022 would be better because we thought nothing could be worse than the past two years but, the truth is, things may never get better or return to ‘normal’.

So many people have become fear-filled over the idea of what the future of their lives on earth will ‘look’ like. HOWEVER, just because the ‘world’ is driven by chaos does not mean that the ‘BELIEVER’ has to be. In fact, believers are ‘called’—even ‘commanded’—to the exact opposite!

As ‘children’ of God, the believer is called to be led by Jesus—and the Holy Spirit—the very ‘sources’ of lasting peace, comfort, and joy that ALL people’s weary souls long for.

THE ‘PROBLEMS’ WITH FEAR
Why does fear paralyze us? Well, fear ‘distorts’ the size of our problem.

Have you ever looked at yourself in a funhouse mirror? Your distorted reflection can be a scary thing! In the same way, fear distorts the size of your problem. [ more… ]

JESUS IS THE ‘CURE’
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” [ John 14:27 ]. The psalmist said that, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” [ Psalm 27:1 ]. The peace we have ‘in’ Christ is a good gift that the Father does not withhold from us. It’s available to us. The question is, will you ‘CHOOSE’ IT?

Now, NO ‘leader’ WILL be able ‘save’ us—nor any government. ONLY Jesus CAN and WILL ‘save’ the person that will put their trust in Him to be their ‘Savior’. [ more… ]

‘FEARLESSNESS’
Everyone fears something. Fear is a common human emotion that is deeply ‘wired’ in both our subconscious and conscious mind.

So, it is ‘natural’ for us to fear, but that doesn’t mean that it should ‘control’ our lives. Uncontrolled fear can lead to irrational thinking, bad behaviors, and worst, spiritual paralysis and possibly death.

Now, there are two ‘kinds’ of fear—healthy and unhealthy. The first is God-given and helps ‘protect’ you. The second, the ‘spirit’ of fear—that is from Satan—is designed to place you in ‘bondage’. This is what the Apostle Paul was talking about when he said: “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” [ 2 Timothy 1:7 ]. [more…]

BE ‘COURAGEOUS’
Now, it is one thing to say, “Okay, I’m not going to be afraid,” but ‘terror’ is a powerful force that can seize us and render us powerless to act. As an example, Moses had previously assured the Israelites that God would go with them: “The LORD your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory” [ Deuteronomy 20:4 ]. In other words, God would be with Israel as a ‘warrior’.

So, it’s easy for us to say today, “Why were they so afraid” (since we know how the story played out). But just imagine being Joshua and all of Israel, and not having yet lived any great victories. So, stepping across the Jordan River into a land of great danger certainly required strong faith. [more…]

‘HOPEFULNESS’
There is no question about it: we live in a world that is often a ‘scary’ place to be. When we face these fears that prompt us to ‘pull the covers over our heads’ and retreat from the world, what will we put our hope in? Will we exert our energy in wishful thinking, ‘crossing our fingers’ that our circumstances will change? Or, will we ‘hold our breath’ in the hope that ‘luck’ will go our way this time?

Well, biblically, hope is not wishful thinking. It is not a lucky chance. It is not ungrounded optimism. No, it is a rock-solid belief in the ‘CHARACTER’ of God. That is not to say we are guaranteed ‘rosebushes’ without thorns or a life free from tragedy or disaster. But because the believer knows that God is all-knowing and all-powerful, they can face down their fears by putting the outcome of their circumstances into God’s ‘hands’. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” [ Hebrews 11:1 ]. The ‘ANTIDOTE’ TO FEAR is ‘FAITH’ in God! [more…]

PEACEFULNESS’
When life is overwhelming, and you are enveloped in chaos how do you find peace in the storm? Finding peace in the chaos that is clamoring for our focus is so important—when it feels like our lives and dreams are swirling down the ‘drain’.

So often we find it hard to comprehend finding peace in the chaos we are experiencing, however, we probably have a ‘worldly’ concept of what peace should be.

The Hebrew word for peace is “šālôm.” This word means totality, completeness, fulfillment, wholeness, harmony, security, well-being, and even success—not necessarily the ‘absence’ of bad things happening to you. [ more… ]

WRAP-UP
Lots of people are thinking about the possibility of war, food shortages, rising gas prices, financial and political instability, future pandemics, and many other things—a society in chaos.

Now, because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the possibility of a larger war—even World War III—I can understand the ‘alarm’. The global economy seems to be hanging by a ‘thread’, and the ‘foundations’ of morality are collapsing like a very old, failing suspension bridge.

So, everyone should take responsible precautions and be prepared as much as possible, but there is a ‘balance’ to all of it. It’s easy to look at today’s world and feel troubled—even many believers are plagued with worry, fear, and doubt. There’s a natural sense of ‘fatalism’ and defeat as one looks at the turbulent times around them. However, for the believer “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” [ 2 Timothy 1:7 ]. The Bible also says that, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe” [ Proverbs 29:25 ]. [more…]

‘PROPHETIC’ TIMES?
So, are there implications of the Ukrainian invasion that are moving the world towards the fulfillment of Bible prophecy? Well, MOST ‘CERTAINLY’, however, I DON’T think that this war is ‘DIRECTLY’ tied to the Gog-Magog war, though we are seeing all of the nations and peoples mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39—Iran, Turkey, Sudan, Libya, and so forth—beginning to be ‘stirred up’. I think we are witnessing Russia ‘PREPARING’ to become the MAJOR ‘THREAT’ that they are prophesied to become leading into the ‘final’ End Times. [more…]

ARMAGEDDON?
Since Ezekiel 38 describes a great coalition of nations that will invade the land of Israel when Israel is regathered and resting in her land (Ezekiel 38:8, 11, 14), some have asked whether this is describing the war of “Armageddon.” Well, in my—and MANY prophecy experts—opinion, that really can’t be, because of a few ’obstacles’: [more…]

TIMING?
So, is it possible to narrow down the time when the Ezekiel 38-39 war will happen? Well, since Israel is not “living securely” or “at rest” in “unwalled villages” today, so the terminology in Ezekiel 38 fits much better within the first half of the Tribulation—since the Antichrist will broker a ‘covenant’ with Israel that he will protect them from her neighbors, and Israel will be able to let her ‘guard’ down (Daniel 9:27).

[ That said, I, and many others, believe that the Rapture will be before this Ezekiel war, which will create a lot of ‘angst’ in the world, something the Antichrist will ‘quell’ ]. [more…]

FEARFULNESS
So, are you ‘fearful’ about all this? Well, as I said previously, fear is only as ‘powerful’ as we make it. One CAN ‘CHOOSE’ to live in fear and panic, or they CAN ‘CHOOSE’ to find peace and connection. Shifting one’s mindset to find peace amid chaos is one way one can take back control of a terrifying situation.

In pondering the future of the world and our own future, the truth is that none of us knows how much time we have on this earth. None of us know if we will live even to see tomorrow. There are NO ‘guarantees’ associated with the ‘world’, HOWEVER, God has provided a ‘guarantee’—Jesus! [more…]

THE “END TIMES”?
Ten years ago, “globalism” was considered a conspiracy theory. The conditions needed for the Ezekiel 38 war seemed impossible. Technology had not yet reached the mark-of-the-beast ‘level’, and America was ‘sick’ but still fighting to get better. HOWEVER, in 2021 all of that changed. It looks like the water is ‘boiling’ a bit stronger these days (referring to the “frog in the pot” metaphor).

God definitely could cause the ‘heat’ to be turned down, and the water could cool a bit, but it doesn’t seem like that is going to be the case anytime soon (and I don’t read anything like that in Scripture about the End Times). Jesus said He would come “quickly” when things are ‘scalding’. It does seem that we are heading full speed ahead into everything the Bible prophesies about the future Tribulation period—and our ‘generation’ is seeing it all unfold!

[ FYI: For more details about the “last generation,” view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/last-generation-v249/ ]. [more…]

ADMIT – ACKNOWLEDGE – ACCEPT
So, why not pray to Jesus, right now, to become your personal Savior—since you don’t know if you will be alive tomorrow. The Bible says that, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life” [ John 3:36 ].

There are no magic words to say. God knows your ’heart’. [ Note: There is a “Prayer of Repentance” below if you need some help with the words. ]

HOPE IN THE DARKNESS
There is no doubt that our world faces unparalleled predicaments. The events of this world continue to increase in intensity—and not in a ‘good’ way. No human knows the details of how it will all play out or when the end will come, however, I hope that I have convinced you that God has revealed enough to help one see that what’s happening right now is part of His Master Plan, and that He is in control. There is no crisis with God. He ‘knows’ all things, and ‘controls’ all things!

The Apostle Paul was able to find contentment in both happy and sad situations because of Jesus. Paul writes in Philippians about “delighting in Jesus no matter where we find ourselves” (Philippians 4:4-7). He didn’t let his circumstances control him even though, at some points, his circumstances were pretty dire. [more…]

PLEASE ‘PREPARE’!
Pastor and prophecy expert Mark Hitchcock well said that, “Biblical prophecy is not given to ’scare’ us, but to ’PREPARE’ us! Not to make one ’anxious’ but to be ’aware’. It’s not just to satisfy our curiosity, it’s to shape our character.” Prophecy expert Jan Markell says that, “Things are not falling apart, they are falling into place.” Pastor Adrian Rogers once said: “Pray for revival; Prepare for survival; Look for His arrival.”

So, with a sense of ‘URGENCY’ on my mind, I want to STRONGLY ‘SUGGEST’ that you study how God’s prophetic order of events is playing out in our day! [more…]

DON’T BE ‘FEARFUL’!
Are you ‘FEARFUL’ of what lies ahead? Well, the Bible is clear: things are likely to get worse before they get better—and we better be ready! We must ‘PREPARE’ today for the challenges of tomorrow since none of us know exactly what tomorrow will hold—AND I believe the future will be even more challenging than the present.

HOWEVER, that is no cause for despair! “God gives strength for today in bright hope for tomorrow” (Psalm 23:6; Ephesians 1:18-20). Indeed, such hope is the hallmark of God’s ‘prophetic’ Word.

The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 14:3 that the purpose of prophecy is edification (strength), an exhortation (encouragement), and comfort (consolation). The believer is made strong by knowing God’s prophetic word regarding the future. The believer should be encouraged and comforted at the same time because, though they may not know exactly what the future holds, they know exactly ‘Who’ holds the future!

SO, even if the Russian-Ukraine conflict escalates into World War III, YOU NEED NOT BE ‘FEARFUL’! Jesus will ‘GUARANTEE’ that you will be 100% ‘FEARLESS’ when you become one of His ‘children’! So, ‘cry out’ for Him to be your ‘Savior’!

God has revealed the future to give the believer confidence, peace, and hope in these last days. My prayer is that I will ‘see’ everyone that is reading this in Heaven someday!!!

I am BEGGING YOU to GET SERIOUS and ‘PREPARE’ NOW for Jesus’ coming to ‘rapture’ the BELIEVERS!!!

<<< END OF SUMMARY >>>


<<< ALL THE ‘DETAILS’ >>>

The following is a comprehensive presentation of the topic that follows the ‘headings’ laid out in the Summary.


A WORLD IN CHAOS
We live today in the most complex period in recorded history. Almost every newspaper headline, every television news report, and every radio bulletin these days proclaims one essential message: The modern world is in ‘CHAOS’. We are caught up in a ‘whirlwind’ of anger, outrage, violence, abuse of power, lawlessness, fear, terrorism, war, economic uncertainty, and new national alignments of power and commerce. Today’s headlines seem to be a warning ‘knell’!

The rapid spread of the pandemic turned the world upside down. The world conditions have escalated from confusion to chaos. If anything, the events of the past few years should cause people to realize that our world has drastically changed—a mere handful of nations (and maybe even just a ‘few’ people) hold the power to determine the fate of the planet, and many people today are wringing their hands with fear and insecurity, and crying out for a ‘savior’.

The turmoil in America mirrors the unrest around the world. People in the U.K. are trying to make the best of their Brexit vote to leave the European Union. The remaining EU nations face economic challenges and are being overrun with immigrants fleeing impoverished and war-torn areas.

In the Middle East, the civil war in Syria lingers on, and there appears to be no end to the sectarian conflict. Complicating the situation, the war is not just between the government forces and the rebels, it also includes the terrorist group ISIS, which controls large portions of the country. Russia supports the government forces of President Bashar al-Assad, the U.S. supports the rebels, and ISIS is intent on waging war against everyone who does not support them.

The Palestinian/Israeli conflict—which includes groups in Gaza that regularly launch rocket attacks into Israel which Israel regularly responds with retaliatory attacks—has continued since the formation of the State of Israel in 1948. While there has been a reconciliation between Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and the countries of the Abrahamic Accords (UAE; Bahrain; Sudan; Morocco; and Oman), no peace agreement has been reached between the Israelis and Palestinians—and none seems likely.

Many African nations are rife with political corruption and economic stagnation. North Korea threatens its neighbors and the Western world as a rogue nation with nuclear weapons. China is creating fear and distrust among nations with its economic might, currency manipulation, and ‘island building’ in the South China Sea.

Of course, recently, Russian forces have invaded Ukraine and continue to ravage the county. Now, neighboring nations are also wondering if anyone will assist them if Russia decides to invade their countries.

It’s a world in ‘chaos’—something the esteemed diplomat Henry Kissinger said way back in 2016: “The world is in chaos. Fundamental upheavals are occurring in many parts of the world simultaneously, most of which are governed by disparate principles.”

So, most people are asking if the future be brighter or darker, and does anyone know where ‘things’ are headed?

Well, the National Intelligence Council—which provides long-term strategic analysis for the U.S. Intelligence Community—publishes an unclassified report every four years on the global trends that will affect the world over the next 20 years. Its most recent report—dated January 2017—anticipates weak economic growth that will challenge wealthy countries, exacerbate conditions for those living in poverty, and spur migration from poor countries whose populations are growing.

The report also predicts that governing will become more difficult over the next two decades as nations strive to provide security and prosperity for their citizens. “Growing global connectivity amid weak growth will increase tensions within and between societies… and religious influence will be increasingly consequential and more authoritative than many governments.

In the “Global Trends: Paradox of Progress” report it states: “The risk of conflict will increase due to diverging interests among major powers, an expanding terror threat, continued instability in weak states, and the spread of lethal, disruptive technologies.” The bottom line is that, “These trends will converge at an unprecedented pace to make governing and cooperation harder.”

In short, the world is ‘messier’ and more dangerous than ever. Disagreements, political polarization, fighting, and human suffering abound. Most people are REALLY ‘FEARFUL’ of what the future holds!

WAYS TO AVOID ‘PANICKING’
Fear is an emotion that is a part of our survival instinct. It is an emotion that is triggered by the threat of danger, pain, or harm. This emotion drives the natural survival instinct in the body, releasing enzymes that drive us into action, bringing heightened states of alertness that are needed to respond to a threat, by either fighting or fleeing. Fear can also be a response that is generated from a memory of a life experience that has been painful, traumatic, or upsetting. It can even be activated by observing fear in others.

So, specifically, we are now seeing the “fear of the future” increasing these days as people succumb to pressures of congested lives that are heavily dependent on material wealth and factors that are not directly controllable by the self. The ‘unknown’ future can, for many individuals, create fear. This then can lead to great unhappiness and feelings of being ‘scared’.

The most common fears that individuals experience are:

– Suffering from terminal or long-term illness
– Living without money or source of income
– Not holding a job/losing their present job
– Losing a loved one

The most common fears are the ones associated with the thought of a threat or something going wrong in the FUTURE, rather than something happening right now.

The fear of the future can create a feeling of danger or impending doom. This can drive us to act in ways that are out of the normal behavior pattern. It can also stimulate aggression, panic, or erratic movements. Fear creates several body conditions, which include: sickness, stiffness or numbness in the body, and a ‘draining’ paralytic kind of feeling.

The fear of the future is actually an ‘illusion’ created by the mind. It is not real and we do have the potential to change it. So, changing perceptions can break these ‘chains’ of fear and can give one a more ‘relaxed’ and positive feeling.

So then, what should one do? Well, as the world works to come out of a global pandemic, it’s understandable if your fear of the future has reached an all-time high. Psychiatrist and psychotherapist Frank Anderson, MD, who specializes in trauma treatment, said: “Dreading the future, or more commonly known as ‘anticipatory fear’, is quite common and can be quite debilitating in extreme cases. People struggle with anticipatory fear when they worry about the outcome of a future event they have never experienced before.”

Anticipatory fear can also be linked to the intolerance of uncertainty, which can lead to indecisiveness when it comes to many decisions, as well as an increased likelihood of constant comparison. The intolerance of uncertainty can lead to anticipatory fear as it causes people to continually overthink the possible outcomes of their decisions. Anderson explained that there are at least three ways that people might experience anticipatory fear and what it might look like.

– Avoiding Prior Painful Experiences
Past negative experiences can make people feel worried that the same series of events will line up allowing the past to recreate itself. Some form of trauma is often at the root of a dread response.

Now, while it’s important to learn from past experiences to a certain degree, it’s also important to remember that situations CAN change for the better.

– Protective Responses
So, anticipation that stems from past experiences are really just your brain’s way of trying to ‘protect’ you.

That said, if you are experiencing high levels of anticipatory fear, ‘protective responses’ can lead to being unable to think clearly or even being afraid of most social interactions.

– Preventative Preoccupation
This is when people begin to obsess over potential risks as a result of something that happened in the past.

It is often experienced by people who have struggled with anorexia nervosa, other eating disorders, or have become overly preoccupied with the fear of a ‘relapse’.

So, what are some of the ways to ‘fight’ anticipatory fear? Well, the following are a few suggestions:

– Always Remember Your Worst Fears Will ‘Rarely Come True’
The truth is most of us worry about things that are most likely never going to happen. The truth might be stranger than fiction but fiction will scare us more than reality, most times.

– Reflect On The ‘Potential Worst’
You need to ask yourself this even after you have decided your worst fear won’t come true: What is the worst that could happen? Yes, there are some scenarios and situations that would adversely affect our lives, but maybe the potential worst is only an inconvenience rather than a life-shattering experience.

– Turn Your Worries Into ‘Work’
Whether it’s gaining the courage to confront whatever it is you fear by purposefully working at it, engaging your mind in something interesting, or physical activity, you will feel a lot better when you ‘do’ things.

– Focus ‘On The Moment’
Most of our fears stem from our lack of knowledge about certain things, combined with an inability to see what the future brings. The truth is no matter how you look at it, you can only do what you can today. If you can’t do anything about your current fears, then go for a walk or take a nap.

– Think About The Last Time You Were ‘Scared’ Of Something
So, what happened? Chances are, you made it through. Maybe you think that you might have lost or things didn’t work out the way they should have, but maybe we don’t always lose because we are not good enough. Maybe we lose because there is a different ‘path’ that we ought to be taking.

– Ask For ‘Help’ If You Need It
Sometimes we walk through life feeling unknowingly fearful and we haven’t even had the courage to first admit to ourselves that we are scared. Once you gain this courage, you will find that you can much more clearly see the things you need to get through your fears. But more importantly, you will often recognize that you might have to humble yourself and come to the understanding that you actually ‘need’ others. (It’s okay, you’re ‘human’!)

– Visualize A ‘Positive Outcome’
Sometimes it can be hard to “think positively” ‘in’ the moment. But you can ‘visualize’ the outcome that you want by actually ‘projecting’ the reality that you want in a deliberate way. (It’s about experiencing the emotions and feelings of victory even before it happens.)

– ‘Meditate’ Often
There is a lot of psychological and medical research to show that spirituality helps people heal even physical ailments faster, so surely it can help with your future fears. It can help to calm your restlessness.

– Always Remember You Have ‘Fight’ In You
We have all felt defeated. However, courage doesn’t always mean that one will never feel defeated. Courage means that you do what you can, with what you have, regardless of how you might feel. So, first, start with the belief and then face your fears ‘head on’. Then just believe you can.

Now, specifically—because of the fear associated with the incessant news ‘cycles’—the following are some simple and effective ways to manage the fearfulness and uncertainty of ‘scary’ news, and how to avoid ‘panicking’ about current events, however dire.

The following are techniques to prevent anxiety from developing into full-blown panic. They are divided into cognitive (Think), behavioral (Act), and mindfulness (Be) practices.

THINK
Your mind is a powerful tool in managing anxiety. By changing your thought patterns, you can shift your perspective and calm your nervous system.

– Beware of ‘Fortune Telling’
The news can often trigger terrifying thoughts and images about the future, and it can feel like these fears are sure to come true. You might even believe that something awful is likely to happen because you thought of it. So, distinguish today between the mind’s fantasies and reality. When you notice you are fearing an ‘imagined’ disaster, call it what it is, “a fantasy,” and then return back to reality.

– Question ‘Catastrophizing’
Fear can turn a potential problem into a complete catastrophe (similar to what news reports often do to capture our attention). Notice when your mind ‘runs away’ to feared disasters. Realistically, how bad is the problem likely to be? What is the worst thing that could happen? Something you would never recover from or is it a situation you could live through and manage? Ask yourself (and others) whether it is likely to be as terrible as you fear.

– See Yourself ‘Coping’
As the news reminds us every day, bad things do happen. One of fear’s greatest lies is that you won’t be able to handle these problems when they arise. Yet you have experienced your own difficult experiences and they were not the end of your story. Decide that you WILL find ways to handle life’s inevitable challenges.

Today when you are worried about something that could happen, start to see yourself ‘coping’ skillfully with it. Recall the strength you’ve shown countless times in the past as you have risen to the occasion. Expect yourself to bring the same resourcefulness and determination to the problems of today—and tomorrow!

ACT
Fear often tries to ‘dictate’ our behavior in ways that set us up for even more fear. For example, when you are fearful about current events, you may be ‘driven’ to read every terrifying headline carefully crafted to capture your attention. Choose more deliberate actions—like the following ones—to unwind from stress and fear.

– Question ‘Opinions’
When you notice you are caught up in the latest fearful forecast, call it what it is—an ‘opinion’ that may or may not come true (statistically, usually not).

– ‘Turn Off’ the News
Remember that most of life happens ‘away’ from the 24-hour news cycle. It is probably unrealistic to avoid the news entirely, but catching up once a day, in most cases, will be sufficient. Any more than that and you’re probably just scratching the itch of your fearful preoccupation.

– Release ‘Tension’
Fearfulness about current events leads to physical tension that ‘builds up’ in the body—knots in the shoulders, stomach tightness, and an aching back. So, pause several times a day when you notice you are holding onto unnecessary tension in your muscles. Take three calming breaths, exhaling for a count of five. Now inhale as you shrug your shoulders up toward your ears, then exhale slowly as you completely let go of the tension, allowing the shoulders to relax and drop. Repeat twice more, each time with a calming breath in and out. End with three more breaths. You will, most likely, feel MUCH MORE ‘relaxed’.

BE
Frightening current events can wear you down over time, leaving you feeling exhausted and dispirited. Renew your ‘spirit’ by being truly ‘present’ in the moment. The following practices can guide you with these.

– Be Open to Uncertainty
Today, it is very stressful to face so many unknowns about our lives and our world:  “Will our country go to war?”; “Are we heading for a viral pandemic?”; “Will an asteroid destroy the planet?” [ Of course, many others. ]

So, trying to know in advance the answer to these questions often leads to worry, fear, and a false sense of responsibility that you need to figure out—at least right then.

Consider today as an opportunity to be open to—even embrace—the fundamental uncertainty woven into our existence. Let go of fear and worry and let life do what it will—since you can’t ‘control’ everything anyway!

– Spread ‘Love’
Love and fear are opposing ‘forces’—as one grows, the other shrinks. Look for ways today to meet the needs of those around you, especially in ways they aren’t expecting. Focus on acts of love rather than waiting to ‘feel’ loving. It is, most of the time, an antidote to fear.

– Find Some ‘Peace’
The most powerful way to address fearfulness is to recognize that everything will be ‘okay’ even though it may not be right then. There IS a ‘place’ beyond your fear, a peace that allows you to open to all of what it means to be alive. Now, this is not to deny the pain you might experience, but a ‘mindset’ to transcend it.

CURRENT ‘MIDDLE EAST’ EVENTS
For quite some time now, the mutually assured destruction (MAD) policy has served as a deterrent for the U.S. and Russia not to launch their nuclear missiles at each other. If Russia would launch an attack against the United States, then the U.S. would retaliate by launching an attack against Russia. The fact that each superpower could virtually blow up the other served as a good ‘deterrent’—until now.

Today, however, we are living in a different world with enemies who have an entirely different worldview. Islamic theology teaches that Muslims who lose their lives in service to Allah our guaranteed entrance into paradise (Hadith 9:459). According to the Muslim tradition, Mohammad said, “The person who participates in (Holy battles) in Allah’s cause and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostles, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise (if he is killed in the battle as a martyr).” [ Hadith 1:35 ]. Consequently, the MAD policy may not be as much of a deterrent for radical Muslims as it has been for Russia.

Today, Islamic martyrdom has been ‘glorified’ in Iran. Author Al Venter observed that while the MAD policy serves as a good turn among nations who generate value living and personal survival, the policy fails “Against a culture that glorifies death in holy war… if millions of martyrs are created in order to eradicate the state of Israel, or severely damage to the United States, they might be honored for having made the supreme sacrifice.”

So, once Iran actually has nuclear weapons, it will be doubtful that anyone will be able to stop them from using them. Again, Venter says that, “Once Tehran has proven its nuclear capability, there is absolutely nothing that anybody—or any nation—will be able to do about it. It would be a faith accompli. Done!”

Back in 2006, John McCain, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said that if Iran gets the bomb,“I think we could have of Armageddon.”

Meanwhile, Iran continues to make steady progress on the development of missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead a great distance away. Some of Iran’s recent missile purchases use Russian ballistic technology, and are possibly capable of reaching the United States—but DEFINITELY Israel! (Way back in 2005, President Ahmadinejad made numerous venomous statements against Israel. One was: “This regime that is occupying Jerusalem must be wiped from the map.”)

Now, perhaps the greatest concern to political leaders worldwide is that Russia has been assisting Iran in its nuclear program. Russia has been building nuclear reactors over the past decade, all within 40 miles of Tehran.

Iran has always claimed that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes—that is, to meet the energy needs of the Iranians, and that’s all. However, most observers do not believe this. The Associated Press reported that, “Many countries, including the United States, believe that Iran is using its nuclear program as a cover to produce an atomic weapon.” With Russia’s assistance, Iran clearly seems destined to become a dominant nation in the Middle East.

Until Iran actually has nuclear weapons in its hands, it will no doubt continue to deceive the rest of the world. Astute observers believe that Iran is obviously playing a game of high-stakes ‘cat and mouse’ with the international community over its nuclear program.

A senior Israeli security official was cited in the Jerusalem Post as saying, “History has shown that rogue nations tend to use diplomacy as a cover while they complete their work.” What this means is that while Iran continues to negotiate with the West over its nuclear development program, it is undoubtedly busy bringing its nuclear weapon plans to completion. As author Jerome Corsi put it, “Iran will stay on track to develop nuclear weapons as fast as possible. Until then, sign any agreement, say anything, cheat—do whatever is necessary to throw the world off-track.” He suggests that the entire mentality of the mullahs must be seen as cheating to buy time. “While buying time, the mullahs are willing to make whatever concessions they have to make, but they are resolved to never lose sight of their ultimate purposes—to get nuclear weapons, to defeat the United States, and to wipe Israel from the face of the earth.”

So, will Israel do a preemptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities? Israel government leaders have often affirmed that for Iran to come into possession of nuclear weapons is “Intolerable.” Israel’s leaders have sworn that never again will the Jews be passive in the face of their enemies (WW II).

Many are concerned about the consequences of an Israeli attack on Iran. With Iran’s fantastical hatred for Israel, how might that hatred manifest itself following an attack? Indeed, Iranian leaders have already claimed that if Israel attacks its nuclear installations, Iran will retaliate with its own missiles, which are already pointed at strategic sites in Israel. More than that, an Israeli attack might give radical Muslims in multiple middle eastern countries all the justification they need for launching an all-out attack against Israel.

[ FYI: For more details on the “Psalm 83 War” thesis, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/final-tribulation-v246/ ].

Probably the main ’sticking point’ in the Middle East is the ‘control’ of the oil. The world ‘runs’ on oil. Without it, everything shuts down. There would be no food, no heat, and no transportation without oil. In addition to that, without it, the entire global economy would ‘collapse’ and we could easily find ourselves reverting back to the 19th-century!

So, Iran has become a MAJOR ‘player’ in the global oil market. With the world steadily increasing demand for oil, Iran is making a fortune with its oil income. It’s been estimated that Iran possesses the second-largest reserve of oil in the world, second only to those of Saudi Arabia. Then, in addition to its oil reserves, Iran also possesses gas reserves. Iran is also the second-largest natural gas reserves in the world, second only to Russia. Unless there is some kind of ‘revolutionary’ energy source/method introduced, this means that Iran is economically secure for a long time.

Many analysts have been watching what has been happening in the Middle East for many years now and say that what is happening these days are the most ‘frightening’ set of circumstances they have ever seen.

‘WAR’ IN UKRAINE
Vladimir Putin has never gotten over the breakup of the Soviet Union and he wants to bring it back together again. In fact, Putin called the dissolution of the Soviet Union, “The greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century.” Approaching 70 years of age, he can’t wait any longer to reassemble and reestablish the “great Russian empire.” Many think that if he is going to make his ‘mark’ on Russian history, it’s going to have to be now or never.

So, the current invasion of Ukraine has been coming for a while now. Back in 2008, Russia invaded Georgia (and about 20% of Georgia is still being annexed by Russia).

Then, in 2014, during the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi—after Putin had poured billions of Rubles into creating a spectacular winter wonderland that he wanted to showcase to the world—Western intelligence operatives had something else in mind. During the middle of the Games, they triggered a political anti-Putin uprising, overthrowing Ukraine’s pro-Russia regime which had been headed by Viktor Yanukovych. Not only did this coup—known as the “Revolution of Dignity”—deflect international attention away from the Games, it publicly embarrassed and humiliated Putin on the world stage. Not a good idea!

Many believe that the timing of that revolution was intended to arouse and spur Putin into action—and so it did! He wasted no time invading Crimea almost immediately, and then Ukraine’s Donbas region (composed of the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces) soon thereafter. He has had his ‘sights’ on retaking all of Ukraine ever since.

Then, once Biden took office and Putin witnessed his administration’s feeble response in Afghanistan, his nonsensical progressive rhetoric, and lack of moral will, Putin saw an opportunity and took advantage of it—and invaded Ukraine.

Russia’s attack on Ukraine demonstrates that the Russian ‘Bear’ has not been defanged, as most believed it had become. Most also think that Putin honestly fears North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) encroaching up to a point where it can eventually launch a takeover of Russia.

The timing of Russia’s invasion is interesting because it seems like Putin and the rest of the hostile world powers were just waiting for the United States to pull out of Afghanistan. Now, the U.S. no longer possesses a regional base in Afghanistan from which to launch any kind of attack.

Then, some of the rationales behind Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is possessing ‘more’ land, but more importantly, it is the ‘quality’ of that land. Ukraine is very rich in terms of natural resources, agriculture, and even some of its technology.

Ukraine is considered the “breadbasket” of Eastern Europe. Ukraine accounts for 8% of global wheat exports, 13% of corn flows, and more than 33% of the sunflower oil trade. The agriculture sector sits at the heart of Ukraine’s economy, with 80%t of land under active cultivation (in 2019). In total, 57% of the land was used for growing crops—making it one of the most highly cultivated countries in the world. (By comparison, in 2019, the U.S. actively used 17% of its land for agriculture.)

The nation also possesses great mineral wealth. Ukraine belongs to the leading mineral-raw countries of the world with a wide range of minerals. Ukraine—0.4% of the Earth’s surface and 0.8% of the world’s population—has about 5% of the world’s mineral resources.

It is second globally in gallium extraction. It is fifth globally in germanium extraction. It is sixth globally in titanium extraction. It is seventh globally in iron extraction. It is eighth globally in manganese extraction. It has the largest lithium reserve in Europe (which is used to make batteries).

More than 20,000 deposits and manifestations of 200 different minerals have been discovered in Ukraine. Of these, 7,807 deposits of 94 types of minerals are of industrial importance. Ukraine holds one of the leading places in the reserves and extraction of iron, manganese, titanium-zirconium ores, and non-metallic raw materials. From gold to palladium, Ukraine has a substantial amount of rare-earth mineral deposits.

Coal, oil and natural gas, iron and manganese ores, native sulfur, rock and potassium salts, non-metallic building materials, and mineral waters have the greatest economic importance. The deposits are located in different geological regions of Ukraine.

In addition to all of Ukraine’s natural resources, it holds the natural gas pipeline going into Europe from Russia (which an estimated 40% of Russia’s economy is based on the sale of oil and gas to Europe. So, it is ‘essential’ that Russia controls that pipeline.)

All of what is happening in Ukraine has also emboldened other aggressor nations. They have concluded that the U.S. must be on the ‘decline’ and that they would not be responsive to outside aggressions (along with the rest of the ‘West’). So, North Korea is testing long-range missiles again and Iran may even now already possess a nuclear weapon. (The U.S. is still in Iraq fighting back ISIS.)

Military provocations are occurring in China and the Middle East as well. China continues to watch the West’s response to Russia, while flying daily reconnaissance missions over Taiwan, threatening their own invasion of that island nation. Meanwhile, Iran is being empowered by Russia and China to become a more potent terrorist state. Rocket exchanges between Israel and Iranian forces in Syria continue, with no end in sight. More Russian advisors were recently moved into that country to help direct military maneuvers, and Putin has threatened Israel to stay out of Syria.

One ‘fallout’ from the war in Ukraine—which has not yet been fully realized as of yet—is the impact it will have on our food supply. As was mentioned, Ukraine and Russia grow and export a sizable portion of the world’s grains, especially wheat and corn. The potential inability of farmers in Ukraine to plant their crops this spring, and the global ban on anything Russian, will have repercussions that soon affect all of us. Of even greater significance is the fact that upwards of one-third of the resources used in the production of fertilizers worldwide are supplied by Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. As a result of this looming fertilizer shortage, unless the war ends soon, there will be fewer crops harvested globally this fall. This would without question lead to an international food crisis.

In addition to the food shortage, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that the war in Ukraine is undermining the global economy in MANY ‘WAYS’:

– Causing inflation, food, and energy prices to surge
– Lowering the value of family income
– Making the supply chain crisis worse
– Damaging the economies of Ukraine and Russia
– Likely to alter the geopolitical order (New World Order)
– Damaging the dollar’s status as the global currency of choice
– The UN World Food Program (WFP) said bombed roads, bridges, and trains in Ukraine are collapsing Ukraine’s food supply chain
– The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the war may cause a global surge in malnutrition and famine

The longer this war rages, the greater the likelihood that a NATO member will encounter hostile exchanges with Russia, thus activating “Article Five” of the NATO agreement and drawing all NATO countries into the conflict.

This appears to be what the global elites—cooperating with the World Economic Forum (WEF)—are pushing for. Having lost the pandemic momentum, they need a crisis of historic proportions to ‘sink the ship’—to completely destroy the old world order of sovereign nation-states. The world’s current economic/financial system must be brought to its knees before its new global digital (cashless) system can be effectively introduced as the “only” solution. For this to occur, energy prices must continue to increase, inflation must soar, supply chains must be disrupted, and food and basic commodities must become scarce. The fact is, the global elites who are committed to the pursuit of a one-world government and financial system desperately ‘need’ this war—never mind the fact that tens of thousands of Russian and Ukrainian soldiers will lose their lives, or those innocent Ukrainian civilians will continue to die or have their lives ruined.

We are obviously heading into a time of global despair and mass confusion. The coming economic chaos, supply chains, and global wars will drastically alter the way we live.

What is happening today reminds me of the words of Winston Churchill back when World War I began (on October 1, 1939). He said that, “Russia is a riddle, wrapped up in a mystery, inside an enigma.” This eloquently spoke to the Western sense of Moscow as the “other”—an inscrutable and menacing land that plays by its own rules, usually to the detriment of those who choose more open regulations. Many think that is pretty much what we are seeing today.

A ‘RISK’ OF WORLD WAR III?
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the largest ground war in Europe since the Second World War, in an effort to reclaim the old Russian empire. However, it looks like Putin may have misjudged the situation, raising the prospect of a global ‘catastrophe’.

Defying escalating trade sanctions from the U.S., Canada, the European Union, and other countries, including Japan and Australia, Putin said Ukrainian forces must surrender their weapons or “bear the consequences.”

Tension is certainly higher in eastern Europe than at any point during the Cold War, when the U.S. and NATO allies were in a nuclear stand-off with Communist Russia—which saw, at one point, a combined global arsenal of 60,000 nuclear weapons (enough to destroy the world several times over).

Fears of a full-scale war have returned despite a number of nuclear treaties between the U.S. and Russia that have limited nuclear weapon arsenals to about 1,500 apiece (still enough to kill billions of people).

After a flurry of arms transfers to Ukraine by NATO, Putin has upped his warnings to the West, words taken by some to imply the possible use of nuclear weapons.

Putin said, on February 24, 2022, “To anyone who would consider interfering from the outside: if you do, you will face consequences greater than any you have faced in history. All relevant decisions have been taken. I hope you hear me.”

Fiona Hill, one of America’s Russia experts, who has written one of the best biographies of Putin, says that, “There’s lots of danger ahead. Putin is increasingly operating emotionally and likely to use all the weapons at his disposal, including nuclear ones.”

Putin’s visceral emotion is extraordinarily dangerous because there are few checks and balances around him (even the heads of his security and intelligence services looked like they have been thrown ‘off guard’ by how fast things have been moving).

Hill says that all of this “has been Putin’s methodical plan that goes back a very long way, at least to 2007 when he put the world, and certainly Europe, on notice that Moscow would not accept the further expansion of NATO. Then, within a year in 2008 NATO gave an open door to Georgia and Ukraine. All of this goes back to that ‘juncture’.”

Hill continues by saying, “Amid all this, Ukraine was the country that ‘got away’. Putin is now saying that Ukraine belongs to him and the past. Basically, if Vladimir Putin has his way, Ukraine will not exist as the modern-day Ukraine of the last 30 years—and, at this juncture, if he can, he’s going to go all the way.”

It has been said that what Putin wants isn’t necessarily to occupy the whole country, but really to divide it up. He’s looked at Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and other places where there is a division of the country between the officially sanctioned forces on the one hand, and the rebel forces on the other. It has been hypothesized that is something that Putin could “live with”—a fractured, shattered Ukraine with different bits being in different statuses. Putin just wants to ensure that Ukraine, like the other countries, has no other option than subjugation to Russia.

Many people have thought that we would never see a large ground war in Europe or a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia, because it could quickly escalate into a nuclear conflict. So, is this possible now and, if so, how close are we getting to that?

Well, we are “right there.” Basically, what Putin has said quite explicitly in recent days is that if anybody interferes in Ukraine, they will be met with a response that they’ve “never had in [their] history” (and he has put Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert), So, Putin is making it very clear that nuclear is on the ‘table’.

So—at this writing—one+ month since Russia invaded Ukraine, the war has reached a stalemate, raising concerns about whether fighting could spill over into neighboring countries.

The Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine has reverberated in Poland well beyond the influx of more than 1.4 million refugees, (a group of mostly women and children that threatens to overwhelm the country’s infrastructure for providing assistance).

Poland’s historical adversary Russia appears to many here to be on an expansionist path that could end up dragging Warsaw into a broader conflict with potentially catastrophic consequences—threatening the post-Cold War order that has seen the nation prosper and develop into a European success story.

A sense of disquiet is plainly evident, even as life appears to proceed at its normal, if hectic, pace in cities such as Warsaw and Krakow.

“Yes, Polish society is terrified,” said Slawomir Debski, a foreign policy expert in Poland who has advised several governments in Warsaw. “The whole society is aware of how awful, how terrible, and dramatic, any kinetic confrontation with Russia can be.”

The fact that Poland is an established member of both the European Union and NATO tempers fears that Moscow’s perceived push for a “Greater Russia” could eventually spill into Poland—which was a Soviet satellite state until the fall of Eastern Bloc communism in 1989 (the year the Berlin Wall came down).

Poland shares a contentious coexistence and profound mutual suspicion. To some, especially those who lived through the Cold War, the NATO ‘shield’ seems not all that persuasive.

In a national poll taken just after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Poles were asked how they felt. The most common response: “I am afraid,” was the choice of 78% of participants, according to the newspaper “Rzeczpospolita.” An additional 15.5% described themselves as worried, and only 6.5% identified “calm” as their state of mind.

Mikolaj Szlachta, a volunteer assisting crowds of exhausted Ukrainian refugees at the central rail station in Krakow, said: “I don’t think Russia’s leaders are dumb enough to attack a NATO country—that would mean a global conflict and World War III,” he said. “I hope it won’t get to that. But, then, anything can happen. You never know.”

SO, are we on the ‘verge’ of WW III? Well, we are several ‘steps’ away from something akin to World War I or World War II.

Right now we have what could be considered an “internationalized conflict” (a conflict between two different states that is drawing more and more attention from external actors). It is important to remember that things like WW I and WW II actually began with ‘localized’ conflicts between regional major powers and ‘minor’ powers. World War I began because of a fight between Serbia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire that then drew in other countries. World War II arguably began when Germany invaded Poland and other countries came to Poland’s defense.

So, even if the United States stays on the sidelines, there is some potential for escalation—some potential for World War III. But at the same time, the U.S. and China—and several other countries—are obviously trying to hang back and trying to urge restraint, which at least bodes well—many think—for the prospects of avoiding a World War III.

So then, many have asked if China does get involved, how quickly could things escalate? Well, if they did, we can imagine the Russian-Ukraine conflict becoming a kind of ‘proxy’ conflict between the U.S. and China in Ukraine. So, that would actually draw out the conflict quite a bit longer, as Russia and Ukraine can each draw upon a major ‘power backer’ for themselves.

So then, what might World War III actually look like? Well, the concept of “world war” came into being even before World War I. As early as July 1914, American newspapers featured prospective claims that, “unless Serbia complies with the Austrian ultimatum, Europe will witness a ‘world war.’”

After WWI, observers retrospectively described it with a range of terms including, but not limited to, “world war.” But English and French commentators referred more frequently to the “Great War.” In postwar Russia, Lenin used the term “Capitalist War.”

It also took some time for the phrase “World War II” to catch on after the war was finished. When Winston Churchill declared in a famous 1940 speech that, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” He did so in the context of crediting “British airmen who, undaunted by odds… are turning the tide of the World War.” Only after 1945, with the luxury of hindsight, did the phrase “World War II” become ‘canonized’ in the Western consciousness.

The idea of a third world war was voiced at many points during the Cold War— during the Korean War, the Cuban missile crisis, and the Vietnam War. When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1980, for example, newspapers published alarmist headlines such as “This May Be World War III,” and warned of the potential danger of regional conflicts escalating into a global catastrophe.

However, thankfully, none of these fears were ever realized!

Now, in the case of Ukraine, many of the people claiming that World War III has “already begun” are driven by the fantasy that, by doing so, they can rally Western support for what they see as an inevitable showdown with Russia. But this claim, amplified by Social Media channels, entails the risk of escalating the conflict—perhaps with the use of nuclear weapons—and producing precisely what others hope to prevent. (Memes were used by many Social Media users in what appears to have become a coping mechanism, as many fear that World War III could be on the horizon.)

Some say that the more the Ukraine crisis drags on, the bigger the risk of an “inadvertent escalation”—or something that goes wrong on the ‘margins’ of the war—could cause it to expand. A dangerous and tragic case would be if Russian forces were to inadvertently, launch a missile that landed in a bordering NATO country, such as Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland. If this were perceived by NATO commanders as an attack—and hopefully it wouldn’t—this would trigger the provisions of the NATO alliance’s “Article Five.”

NATO’s Article Five emphasizes “collective defense”—the idea that an attack on one NATO-allied country constitutes an attack on all member nations, theoretically provoking a mass, global response after deliberation from all NATO members. It’s likely that would spark a conflict between the West and Russia on the order of a world war, as it would involve most of the world’s superpowers.

There is a phrase, “The fog of war,” that means that even though one often has the sense that military maneuvers, campaigns, and attacks are orchestrated, one can never know exactly how they are going to ‘play out’.

What that conflict could look like varies. It is possible that U.S. and NATO involvement would remain conventional, meaning it would involve the deployment of air and ground forces—tanks, artillery, military helicopters, and fighter jets—to push back Russia’s forces.

So then, what would a world war mean for those superpowers not currently tangled up in the conflict? Well, in the case of China—the world’s second-largest superpower—it’s unclear. Even though the Chinese Communist Party has been critical of the United State’s role in the conflict, and suggested that, “NATO encroachment has provoked Russia,” China has been trying to ‘distance’ itself from Russia, offering itself up as a moderator and trying to find a peaceful solution.

Despite Russian setbacks, U.S. intelligence has indicated that Putin is determined to succeed, doubling down on tactics that have increasingly led to civilian deaths.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on the U.S. and its allies to implement a no-fly zone in Ukraine to prohibit Russian planes from flying over Ukrainian territory. However, the U.S. and other allied officials have rejected the idea, citing the risks of a military confrontation between the West and Russia that could quickly escalate into something worse. A no-fly zone is not a possibility at all, since Russia would interpret that as a clear act of war.

So, would World War III, if it happens, inevitably involve nuclear weapons? It is more than possible and the sad reality is that Russia and the U.S. have enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world MANY TIMES OVER!!!

Many say the only way they can see getting out of this war is for China to ‘step in’ and broker a real ceasefire and a settlement. By helping to resolve this crisis, it would definitely ‘elevate’ China on the world stage. So, it seems that China is “holding the trump card” in the pursuit of a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine. (It seems that there is only one person in the world who has any ‘leverage’ over Vladimir Putin—and that is the Chinese President Xi Jinping.)

Theoretical physicist Albert Einstein is purported to have warned in 1948 that, “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” So, the only way to ‘win’ the next world war is the PREVENT IT!

BIBLICAL ‘PROPHECY’ ABOUT WW III?
So, does Bible prophecy predict that there will be a “World War III” before the ‘End Times’ and Jesus return to this earth?

Well, Jesus plainly taught that there would be war (in general) prior to His return (Matthew 24:4-31). He said that there would be “wars and rumors of wars… For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places, there will be famines and earthquakes” [ Matthew 24:6-7 ]. So, Jesus does make it very clear that war will play a significant role in the last seven years prior to His return.

To be more specific, the future does hold at least one more “world war.” There is nothing in Scripture that says there will be a certain number of world wars. World Wars I and II are not explicitly mentioned in Scripture, nor is a possible third World War. It is only the last war (“Armageddon”) that is mentioned in detail, which allows the interpretation that there may be others before this final conflict.

However, in the Old Testament, the prophet Ezekiel describes a war that has a ‘coalition’ of countries led by Russia and including Iran, Turkey, and some other Middle Eastern countries. Hmmm… could this be associated with what is happening in Ukraine?

THE EZEKIEL 38-39 WAR ‘PROPHECY’
As I discussed in detail for the past seven months (in the “Who,” “What,” “Where,” “When,” “Why,” “How” series), the “Second Coming” of Jesus is an “incomplete” prophecy that I believe will be fulfilled VERY SOON!

Another such “incomplete” prophecy—that possibly relates to the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine—is called the “War of God and Magog” (in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39). Many people are wondering if these recent events have anything to do with this ‘End Times’ prophecy.

Well, just like one should do when reading any biblical passage, they should consider the ‘context’ of what they are reading. So, to understand Ezekiel’s prophecy about the coalition that is prophesied to come against Israel, let me tell you about Ezekiel chapters 36 and 37.

Here God divulges the future of the nation of Israel and His promise to regather the Jewish people “out of all [the] countries” of the world where they had been dispersed “and bring you into your own land” that had been promised to their forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Ezekiel 36:24).

Like the “dry bones” reanimated into a living person (Ezekiel 37:1-14), Israel did indeed become a nation once again on May 14, 1948, after nearly 1,900 years since the Romans had destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD and exiled the Jewish people across the globe. But, this reanimation would still LACK A ‘SOUL’—the national belief in Jesus as God’s Son. But, God was not done unveiling the future of Israel to Ezekiel and the world, for the following two chapters (Ezekiel 38 and 39) portray a great trial for the newly established nation of Israel—the Gog-Magog Battle—a trial that would lead towards granting that reanimated body (Israel) a ‘soul’.

OVERVIEW
The Gog-Magog Battle is set between a massive coalition of nations descended from Noah’s sons Japheth and Ham against Israel (Genesis 10:2-7). The nations are from the territories of ancient Rosh, Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Persia, Cush, Gomer, and Beth-Togarmah (Ezekiel 38:2-6). Their leader is called “Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal” (Ezekiel 38:2-3). The battlefield is on “the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate” (Ezekiel 38:8). The purpose of the invasion is to “to seize spoil,” “carry off plunder,” and attack the people of Israel (Ezekiel 38:12-16).

The end result of such a massive invasion by a seemingly invincible army on an unprotected Israel ends up surprising the invaders and shocking the world. The invading nations are, in truth, being ‘manipulated’ by God, pulled out of their lands as with “hooks in your jaws,” so that those nations feel God’s fury (Ezekiel 38:4,18). God ‘drags’ these specific nations to the “mountains of Israel” to “bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed… flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone” (Ezekiel 38:21-22). God’s ultimate purpose for supernaturally obliterating the invading coalition is that, “Thus, I [God], will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD” [ Ezekiel 38:23 ].

God’s supernatural victory over the Gog-Magog invaders allows Him to ‘reintroduce’ Himself to the world and declare in no uncertain terms that Jesus personally defends Israel. Should the people of the world doubt, they only have to look at Israel who “will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons… and they will make fires with them for seven years” (Ezekiel 39:9). As for the invaders’ corpses, “for seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land” in the newly named “Valley of Hamon Gog” by a newly built “town called Hamonah” (Ezekiel 39:11-12,16).

THE DETAILS
Ezekiel provides the prophetic name of the leader of this coalition of nations as “Gog.” It is a title for a supreme position such as king, president, or Prime Minister. (The name translates as “hidden” or “covered.”)

Ezekiel 38:1-6 provides the ancient names of those territories which comprise the invading nations: Rosh, Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer, and Beth-Togarmah. The following list is the equivalent names.

Magog
Historians point to the former Soviet nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, as well as including Afghanistan, as encompassing the land of Magog. Historian Edwin Yamauchi explains that Magog was the “ancient Scythian northern nomadic tribes who inhabited the territory from Central Asia across the southern steppes of modern Russia.” These nations, today consisting of a population of 60 million, are united by one commonality—Islam.

Meshech
The ancient Moschoi or Muschki or Musku tribe settled in Cilicia and Cappadocia, which is now part of modern-day Turkey. Ezekiel 27:13 notes these people traded in slaves to Tyre and Ezekiel 32:26 refers to them as an ancient bandit nation.

Tubal
The people of Tubal would have hailed from the ancient Tibarenoi tribe. For those who have equated Tubal as the Serbian city of Tobolsk, along with Meshech as the Russian city of Moscow, Hebrew Scripture experts claim there is “no etymological, grammatical, historical, or literary data in support of such a position.” This land also resides in modern-day Turkey.

Gomer
The Jewish historian Josephus identified Gomer who “founded those whom the Greeks now call Galatians [Galls], but were then called Gomerites. Some theologians point to Germany as the land of Gomer, leading one theologian to ask, “What if a united and anti-Semitic Germany were to seek its future fortunes while allied to an anti-Semitic Russia?” The Jewish Midrash Rabbah and Talmud also call Gomer “Germania” indicating today’s Germany. Gomer most popularly looks to reference the Gimirrai of the Assyrians, or Cimmerians, who lived in the Black Sea area adjacent to Turkey.

Beth-Togarmah
Togarmah, or Beth-Togarmah, which means the “house of Togarmah,” contains an etymological connection between the name Togarmah and the names Turkey and Turkestan. The Tilgaimmu resided between ancient Carchemish and Haran, which is modern-day Turkey and possibly the lands of Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Persia
The land of Persia is ancient and long-running and the easiest to identify, only having changed its name to Iran during the last century in 1935.

Cush
Cush is another area easy to identify, having split into Ethiopia and Sudan in more recent history.

Put
Most scholars claim that Put is Libya, with the possibility that the land also includes Algeria and Tunisia.

The “Many Nations”
Ezekiel describes “Sheba and Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions” as just observing the battle (Ezekiel 38:13). Sheba and Dedan were Shem’s descendants who settled in modern-day Saudi Arabia. Tarshish could refer to Tarsus located just northwest of Israel, or the island of Sardinia located just north of Carthage in the Mediterranean Sea. But, more than likely, the inhabitants of Tartessus, located on the southwest coast of Spain, denote the Phoenician merchants who sailed as far as Britain. The “young lions” could then be referring to Spain and Great Britain’s colonies in the New World (possibly the U.S.).

Noticeably absent from this list of Middle Eastern nations are those surrounding modern-day Israel, such as Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Gaza, Iraq, and the Arabian peninsula nations. Why these “many nations” are not also actively involved in the Gog-Magog battle is open to speculation, but a “Psalm 83” scenario—where the seer Asaph foresaw Israel subjugating their surrounding neighbors—could be the scenario that grants Israel the peaceful precondition Ezekiel describes that precedes the Gog-Magog invasion (Ezekiel 38:11).

[ FYI: For more details about the Psalm 83 war before the Gog-Magog war, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/final-tribulation-v246/ ].

Rosh
The Hebrew word “Rosh” as a noun indicates an actual landmass identifiable as modern-day Russia. The validity of this interpretation is for several reasons:

– Tenth Century Byzantine writers, such as Ibn-Fosslan, identified a group of Scythians dwelling in the northern parts of Taurus upon the river Volga as the Ros.

– Ninth Century BC Assyrian texts predating Ezekiel’s time also refer to the Rosh or Rashu.

– The early Byzantine Church claimed that the Ros were the people who lived far north of Greece in the area today known as Russia.

– No other nation exists more directly north of Israel and is more remote than modern-day Russia.

– Current news reports repeatedly show that Russia has very quickly solidified economic and military ties with the nations involved in the Gog-Magog coalition. Russia is building a nuclear reactor in Iran and arming Islamic nations. Russia has gained a foothold in Syria due to the Syrian civil war for the purpose of controlling the Middle East’s vast oil reserves. Israel’s Mediterranean gas deposits are seen as a direct threat to Russia’s monopoly of the natural gas supply to Europe.

When all arguments for Rosh being Russia are put on the table, it is clear that Russia descended from the Rosh people.

[ Map of Ezekiel 38 War – Credit: Todd Hampson ]

GENERAL ‘TIMING’
The first general timing ‘clue’ is Ezekiel’s use of the terms “latter years” and “last days” (Ezekiel 38:8,16). The Gog-Magog Battle must happen in the prophetic scheme of the end times as it relates to the nation of Israel. The key verse that ‘unlocks’ the understanding as to what these terms mean can be found in Deuteronomy: “When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the Lord your God and obey His voice” (Deuteronomy 4:30). [ “Distress” is also translated as “Tribulation.” It is the Tribulation, also called Daniel’s Seventieth Week prophecy (Daniel 9:20-27), that brings the Jewish people as a nation back to a belief in the God of the Bible and later accept Jesus as their Messiah. ] So, these key phrases point to the Gog-Magog Battle happening in relation to the Tribulation period.

The second general timing clue is that never in the history of the Middle East have the nations described in the coalition been united in a concerted attack against Israel, and in no time in history has Israel named a valley Hamon Gog, nor has the adjoining town called Hamonah, existed where the Jews buried their invaders’ dead bodies (Ezekiel 39:11-12,16). Lack of historical support leaves only a ‘FUTURE’ timing for the battle to occur.

The third general timing clue is given in Ezekiel 36 and 37 and involves the regathering of the Jewish people back into their homeland “from out of all countries” of the world (Ezekiel 36:24). As of 2020, out of the 14.5 million Jewish people in the world today, 47% reside in Israel, making up 6,841,000 (74%) of the population dwelling in the Holy Land. In addition to that, the Jews must have control of “the mountains of Israel,” which they gained when they took control of the mountains from the Jordanians during the Six Day War (Ezekiel 38:8).

The fourth general timing clue involves the developments nationally that have to occur to make the nations of the coalition unite in an invasion of Israel. Two factors have made this coalition possible today. The first is the religion of Islam uniting these nations in satanic hatred of the Jewish people. The second is the economic bounty that Israel now has with its revitalized land and newly discovered gas deposits. The coalition nations now see a viable motivation to unite for the singular purpose of ‘plundering’ Israel’s wealth.

The final general timing clue reads, “You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’” [ Ezekiel 38:11 ]. Israel must be living without walls, peacefully, and unsuspecting of an attack. Israel today lives in constant fear of attack and is always prepared for an invasion by the 60-plus million hostile Muslims surrounding their borders. Because of this turbulent climate, this part of the prophecy can be argued to have NOT YET been fulfilled.

‘SPECIFIC’ TIMING
Now, there are a few different views on the ‘specific’ timing of the Ezekiel 38-39 war:

– Before Both the Rapture and the Tribulation
– After the Rapture But Before the Tribulation
– In the First Half or Middle of the Tribulation
– At the End of the Tribulation (Armageddon)
– Between the Tribulation and the Millennium
– At the Beginning of the Millennium
– At the End of the Millennium

First off, by stating my view for what I think is ‘the’ timing for the Ezekiel 38-39 war, I am not being ‘dogmatic’ about this—nor should anyone else be, since there are ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ to every view.

[ The study of the end times (eschatology) is a non-primary doctrine. Since God has given mankind merely an overview of His future plans, He has left us with nothing concrete enough to pinpoint the exact timing, probably so that we Christians will not just sit quietly by, but get out there and witness with all our energy until the Lord’s return. The study and debate over when the Gog-Magog battle will take place should never ‘divide’ the believers! ]

However, that being said, I believe that one view seems to have the most pros and the least cons. Also, each of the timing views appears to revolve around dealing with two yet-to-be fulfilled key prerequisites:

– Israel has seven months to bury the dead invaders’ bodies and seven whole years to expend the leftover fuel and weapons (Ezekiel 39:9,12-16)

– Israel is in a state of unsuspecting peace before the invasion (Ezekiel 38:11)

The two views that place the timing of the Gog-Magog battle squarely before the Tribulation perfectly grant the full seven years of time needed to burn the weapons. Even if the Jewish people must flee into the wilderness at the midpoint of the Tribulation, they could have already stored the fuel in the location where they end up fleeing.

Another thought is that there could be a ‘gap’ of three-and-a-half years or so between the Gog-Magog battle and the beginning of the Tribulation—so that the fuel expires by the middle of the Tribulation just as the Jews flee.

Since the Tribulation begins with the peace covenant forged between the Antichrist and Israel, I think the only viable scenario for a peaceful prerequisite would be a Psalm 83 subjugation of Israel’s hostile bordering neighbors or to take Ezekiel’s description of Israel being at peace to mean militarily secure, which as one of the most powerful militaries in the world today, could certainly provide a false sense of security.

[ Take a look in the “Resources” section for books that give an analysis of all of the details. ]

SO, for me—and MANY OTHER prophecy experts—I believe that the Gog-Magog war will be after the Rapture and before the Tribulation.

PROS:
– With the world in chaos due to a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, Russia and its Islamic coalition could seize the opportunity to attack a friendless Israel

– Then, with the Muslim Gog-Magog nations out of the picture just before the Tribulation, the Antichrist would have an easier time making a peace covenant with Israel

– With the more Christianized nations in tatters due to a Pre-Tribulation Rapture and the Islamic world in ruins from the Gog-Magog Battle, the remaining European world power could fill the vacuum in the Middle East. By making a peace treaty with Israel and easily conquering the lands of the once Middle-Eastern Islamic countries, the Roman Empire could truly be revived once more as Daniel 2 and 7 prophesy. The only remaining world powers would be East-Asian, and the Bible records their continued existence, though under the control of the Antichrist and revolting at the very end of the Tribulation (Revelation 16:12).

– Also, with the Muslim world in tatters, Israel would have no resistance to rebuilding the Temple

[ Note: The Rapture does not start the Tribulation, but rather the signing of the peace covenant between the Antichrist and Israel does (Daniel 9:27). This fact would allow a three-and-a-half-year or more time delay between the Rapture and the Tribulation, giving Israel the full seven years to burn the weapons from the Gog-Magog Battle before being forced to flee into the desert (Matthew 24:15-16). ]

CONS:
– Placing the invasion before the Rapture could contradict the first general time clue of the terms “latter years” and “last days,” that is if this “time of Jacob’s trouble” is reserved only for the seven-year Tribulation (Jeremiah 30:7; Ezekiel 38:8,16)

– The peaceful precondition of Ezekiel 38:11 in which Israel has to be living unsuspecting and in peace before the Gog-Magog battle may only occur because of the peace covenant with the Antichrist, who cannot be revealed until the Tribulation begins

CONCLUSION
I have to agree with Dr. Ron Rhodes (see his book about this in the “Resources” section below) that the timing of the Gog-Magog battle after the Rapture of the Church but just before or at the very onset of the Tribulation best fulfills these prerequisites and makes the most logical sense in the prophetic timeline. This is how Rhodes sees the ‘TIMELINE’ most likely playing out:

– The Rapture of the Church removes the Restrainer

– Israel subjugates her surrounding neighbors in fulfillment of Psalm 83

– The Gog-Magog battle destroys the Russian and Muslim influence in the Middle East, makes the world aware of God’s presence, and restores Israel’s belief in the God of the Torah

– The Antichrist makes a peace covenant with Israel which starts the seven-year Tribulation, then conquers what is left of the Middle East, and birth’s his Revived Roman Empire

– Israel spends the seven years of the Tribulation burning the weapons

– Jesus returns at the end of the seven years to defeat His enemies at Armageddon resulting in Israel acknowledging that Jesus is God’s Son

– Jesus gathers the people from all over the world for the Sheep-Goat Judgment, which results in only believers entering the Millennial Kingdom

– At the very end of the Millennial Kingdom, a final battle takes place that is reminiscent of the first Gog-Magog Battle

The parallels between Ezekiel’s prophecy and today’s current events are compelling, almost frighteningly so. Ezekiel makes it clear that this coalition will assemble in “future years” to invade the land of Israel, “whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety” [ Ezekiel 38:8 ]. Those words, until the reestablishment of the modern state of Israel (in 1948), were not capable of being fulfilled. It hasn’t only been in the last four or five decades that Israel has experienced a ‘relative’ sense of safety as a nation.

Ezekiel identifies the leader of the invading collision as a man ruling over Meshech and Tubal, the region between the Black and the Caspian Sea—land controlled or coveted by Russia.

So, many people have been asking these questions related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:

– “Is Vladimir Putin the ‘Gog’ spoken of in the Ezekiel 38 prophecy?”
– “Is the land of ‘Magog’ Russia?”
– “Is the current Russia-Ukraine war the ‘Ezekiel 38-39 war’ spoken of in the Bible?”

Well, I think—as well as most bible prophecy experts—that the answers are “No,” “No,” and “No.” HOWEVER, this just might be a ‘’precursor’, or PREVIEW’ of coming ‘attractions’.

It does seem clear that the biblical passages ‘point’ to the leader of the area now controlled by Russia. We can see significant parallels between what Ezekiel predicted and what is happening in the Middle East today. Russia and Iran are allies. Russia and Turkey are once again exploring ways to realign their national interest. Most importantly, Israel is again back in the ‘Land’.

Joel C. Rosenberg, an American-Israeli communications strategist, said this about Russia:

“Over the years, people have asked me if Putin might be the Russian dictator referred to as Gog in the biblical prophecies of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38 and 39. Here’s my quick answer. It’s too soon to draw such a conclusion. There’s much more that would have to happen to indicate that Putin is the Gog of Bible prophecy, but there’s no question in my mind that Putin is Gog-esque.”

That is a great statement, isn’t it. He’s “Gog-esque.” He’s ‘dangerous’ and both Israel and the West should keep a close and wary eye on him—especially given all that Putin has done to build a strategic alliance between Russia and Iran and the other countries mentioned in the Gog Magog prophecies! So, if Putin is not Gog, he ‘looks’ very much like the one who will be.

Again, time will tell for certain. He just may be ‘setting the stage’ for somebody else who is waiting ‘in the wings’ (However, he is a frightening ‘foreshadow’ of what’s coming!)

Of course, only time will tell when the Gog-Magog Battle will truly take place, however, the coalition of invading nations mentioned in the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecy are already working together for the ‘FIRST TIME’ IN HISTORY!

The ‘scene’ seems to be pretty much set for this epic battle to be waged, and in the ‘NOT-TOO-DISTANT’ FUTURE!

REASONS FOR AN INVASION
So, you might be asking why would Russia even want to invade the tiny country of Israel? Well, the four ‘main’ reasons why Russia will invade Israel are:

– The Land
It’s a fertile crescent and a land ‘bridge’ between three continents—the European, African, and Asian continents. This little ’strip’ of land is VERY ’STRATEGIC’!

There’s also an economic reason since one can control the trade route (This is why the Roman Empire wanted to control it). This is probably why this piece of land has been THE most contested real estate throughout history.

– Recent Gas and Oil Discoveries
Israel just recently went from we are dependent on other countries for gas and oil to becoming energy independent and becoming a major exporter that threatens Russia’s economy. Just one gas field, called “Leviathan,” has been the largest gas field discovery in the world in the last decade. It is estimated to contain over 20 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, perhaps enough to power Israel for more than 100 years! [ Note: This is just one gas field. Israel also has “Karish,” (3 tcf), “Tanin” (1 tcf), and “Dolphin” (81 bcf)! ].

[ Note: Russia’s Putin contacted Israel’s prime minister and made an offer he believed Israel couldn’t refuse. Putin offered to guarantee the safety of Israel’s newly discovered Leviathan gas fields using the full might of the Russian military. Israel’s prime minister declined! (So then, Putin sent special forces, tanks, fighter jets, and sophisticated battlefield communications systems into Syria—which is on Israel’s northern border—and then ‘parked’ a NUCLEAR submarine off Syria’s coast!) ]

Israel could export the gas to Asia and it could export it to Europe reducing these regions’ dependence on Russian gas and boosting its own diplomatic muscle in the process. (Do you think Russia is going to sit by and let this destroy their economy? I’m thinking, NOPE!)

Russia’s aims are obvious. The real ‘access’ area to Israel is through Syria, with a ‘secondary’ route through Ukraine.

Today, we are witnessing a real-time build-up of the ‘horde’ that will seek to vanquish Israel (as described in Ezekiel 38). [ I believe that you are ‘privileged’ to see these events happening (Matthew 24:22, 34; Mark 13:20; Luke 21:32; Revelation 3:11; 22:7, 12, 20) ]. Alliances that only decades ago were considered “impossible”—that are mentioned in the Bible (Russia, Iran, and Turkey)—are coming to pass because a little country Israel is ‘sitting’ on a bunch of oil (a new discovery in the Golan Heights), a really big field of natural gas (“Leviathan”), and a whole lot of minerals in the Dead Sea. They all think that Israel is ‘isolated’ with no ‘true’ friend in the world that will come to their aid to protect it. [ However, God Himself will do this, and WOE to “Gog” and all his allies! ]

Then, with the United Nations, Russia, Syria, and all their neighbors considering that the Golan Heights is not part of Israel, many think that this will be another ‘stage-setting’ for the next war—possibly WW III. Since the whole world depends on energy and it is increasing tremendously in the amounts needed to sustain a country’s growth, this will definitely be considered “plunder” as the Bible terms it to entice them—primarily Russia, Iran, and Turkey—to come and get it!

[ Note: The Middle East produces 30.4% of the world’s oil and 14.4% of its natural gas. ]

– Water
Freshwater is necessary for the survival of all living organisms on Earth and humans cannot survive more than a few days without it. Water is also an integral part of many ecosystems that support us and a myriad of other species—especially in the Middle East, and Israel has a ‘ton’ of it and is one of the best countries in the world for knowing how to conserve it!

The Bible prophesied that Israel would “bloom as a rose” (Isaiah 35:1) and it has! However, in 1948, when Israel became a “state,” they didn’t have much water and the land was pretty much a mosquito/malaria-infected ’swamp’. But, they didn’t sit around for it to change on its own, they dug canals and reservoirs, and piped it everywhere they need it. They now have developed a technology to extract water from the air!

In addition to this, they have also become the world’s leading expert in desalinization plants. So much so, that many countries in the Middle East are asking Israel to share their technology with them.

All this to say, today Israel produces 20% MORE WATER than it CONSUMES!!! (Water just might become more precious than diamonds!)

– Minerals
It has been said that the Dead Sea is the BIGGEST and ‘RICHEST’ mineral deposit on the planet! Some have estimated the potential value of potash bromine and related salts is worth 4X the wealth of the entire United States! (I’m thinking any would-be dictator would take even high risks to capture a treasure like that!) The world will be beating a ‘path’ to Israel’s ‘door’ for all these chemicals.

Not only would these minerals be able to furnish enough fertilizer for the ENTIRE world, it would also provide Israel with many other chemicals needed to produce explosives needed to subdue its enemies! [ Do you think Russia has spent billions of dollars in helping the Arabs all these years because they love each other? Not! There is no love lost between them! Russia is just ‘stoking’ their hatred for Israel, and having them do their ‘dirty work’. ]

These are primarily the “spoil” that Russia will want to “seize.” Russia’s leader might just be REALLY ‘MAD’ what Israel is doing (selling oil and gas to Europe) and ‘JEALOUS’ (of Israel’s natural resources) that he comes to ‘crush’ Israel—to steal the land and slaughter the people! (“coming on like a storm. You will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your hordes, and many peoples with you” – Ezekiel 38:9).

So, again, the Russian invasion of Ukraine IS NOT the fulfillment today of what we read in Ezekiel 38, HOWEVER, it is a kind of ‘SETUP’ or ‘BUILD UP’ to it, making a shift of the prophetic ‘gears’ with the aggression of Russia and their expansionist policies that are taking place today.

END TIMES ‘SIGNS’
Scan your local newspaper, watch the evening news, or go online, and read the headlines at many news sites. Whether the focus is on local, national, or international events, nearly every story quickly descends into scenes of unsolvable chaos. Hopelessness and fear seem to grab so much of the world today.

As the world becomes more complex and interdependent—and as the rate of global change accelerates—our ability to sort through all the data to discover those points of connectivity diminishes. We might try to keep up with what is happening in the world, but we do so at the expense of understanding why.

Topics shift and jolt from one to the next at a mind-boggling rate. As a result, we find ourselves battered by fear, anxiety, resentment, and even rage—all the while struggling to grasp the significance of one world-changing event even as another pushes it aside to take his place.

At no time in history has the whole planet been calling for global unity while Russia is trying to divide the world by invading Ukraine. This has people wondering if the Bible really says anything about this.

Well, Jesus talked about the “latter days”—the End Times and the Tribulation—that there will be “wars and rumors of wars” with “nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom.”

Now, when Jesus spoke of nations rising against nations (in Matthew 24), He had a very specific period of time in mind—that time just before His return to earth (His “Second Coming”).

The thing is, nations ARE ‘connected’ to nations these days—all of the world’s countries are’ interconnected’ and many ‘relay’ upon each other—and Jesus said they will rise against each other in the end times. Cultures and systems intersect, collide, and absorb each impact as the world responds to ever-increasing social, economic, political, and ideological upheavals.

As we sense the ever-increasing ‘tension’ in the world these days, one wonders if the “birth pangs of the end times” have started (Matthew 24:8).

In 1986, author Tom Clancy wrote a frighteningly realistic novel titled,“Red Storm Rising,” a fictional tale built on the provocative premise that, facing economic collapse, the Soviet Union embarks on a bold move to seize the oil fields of the middle east in order to survive economically. More than 30 years later, could life be imitating art?

Clancy’s fictional tale links national rivalries, geography, oil, and religion in ways that are eerily similar to current events. It is not a terrorist attack on a strategic oil refinery that threatens the economic viability of Russia today, but rather an oil glut that has resulted in a dramatic slide in the price of oil.

The economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States, Europe, and Japan, for its aggressive actions against Ukraine, have taken an enormously heavy toll on Russia’s economy. These sanctions have also offended the collective soul of the Russian people, and Vladimir Putin has used this perceived threat to rally Russians behind his aggressive plan to restore his country’s greatness.

Eager to win back world prominence, and driven perhaps by his own more insidious motives, Putin has shown no hesitation in continuing his threats against Eastern Europe and in extending Russia’s influence across the Middle East.

But, most ominously, Russia sees an opportunity to expand its influence in the Middle East. As the U.S. pulls back from its historic role as a leader in the Middle East, Russia appears willing to invest its resources in the region—to become the new power broker in the deadly ‘game of thrones’ unfolding there.

The rapidly shifting landscape of alliances and allies has ended 100 years of assumed reality across the Middle East. Furthermore, Russia appears eager to shape this new reality to suit its own ends. It is now possible to envision a ‘framework’ by which Putin or a successor might cobble together a coalition of otherwise dissimilar states in a new alliance. But, what would unite the different ethnic and religious factions?

Perhaps a common goal—or a common enemy—Israel. Could Russia build a collision united in their desire to move against Israel?

Well, the Bible predicts there will be a ‘force’—a world power—that will successfully unite all of the disparate allies against a common foe—Israel.

Ezekiel 38 paints a detailed portrayal of an array of nations that joins forces ultimately to attack Israel at a time when the country will be experiencing a rare time of peace:

“The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him and say, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. And I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great host, all of them with buckler and shield, wielding swords. Persia, Cush, and Put are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all his hordes; Beth-togarmah from the uttermost parts of the north with all his hordes—many peoples are with you”
[ Ezekiel 38:1-6 ].

This future leader emerges as a ruthless, forceful commander who sets his mind on overtaking and overwhelming by force any opposing nation. He possesses a bold and shocking hubris that defies the world leaders of his day.

You know it seems to me like what’s been happening in our world here just in the past few years with pandemic and now with what’s happening with Russia and Ukraine, that many are calling a “prophetic shift of gears.” It seems like something is happening prophetically, and it’s accelerating—the ‘build up’ and the ‘stage setting’ for the End Times.

Pastor and author Mark Sayers says that there are “Two accelerants, first the pandemic and now Ukraine, moving the world into a whole new phase. Two short years, filled with levels of change that normally take decades.”

So, world changes that normally take decades are now being ‘compressed’ down into a couple of years. Sayers concludes his Tweet that there is “A reordering the world at hyper-speed.”

I think that is what we are seeing today—a setting of the stage that is moving at hyper-speed—and there is no ‘sign’ that is ‘flashing’ more brightly today than the rise of Russia, with its aggressive expansionist policies and its growing alliances with a lot of ‘bad actors’ in the world.

The Russian ‘Bear’ is on the prowl, and is acting like a mother bear that’s been robbed of her cubs!

It is interesting to me—and many others—that we have all gone through this pandemic ‘experience’ fir the past two and a half years, and it is the first time in human history that the entire world has gone through the dynamics of something like this—and it has united all of us, for good bad or ugly, but all the world went through it. Why? Well, I believe it’s an indicator that we are living in the days when God has an ‘end game plan’ (Matthew 24).

The thing is, I DO NOT think that we are EVER going to return to what one would call “normal.”

All of us like safety and predictability. BUT, everything today is unpredictable and terrifying to many people. Even though the pandemic has pretty much ‘subsided’, many people are still ‘terrified’ of it.

HOWEVER, God’s Word anticipates all of what is coming (prophecy), so the believer SHOULD NOT be concerned! They need to take strength and confidence and peace knowing that God’s ultimate endgame is to bring them to the Throne Room in Heaven above!

The thing is, NONE of this has to end in calamity and chaos! No, it can end ‘fantastically’, because the God of the Bible prophesied in His Word the end from the beginning, and there is a ‘countdown’ taking place right now. We may not be able to see the ‘clock’, but it’s in Heaven and it is ‘ticking’! (We only see the wars and rumors of wars, and the tragic, unchecked lawlessness.)

BUT, according to Jesus, He said there would be days just like this and that they would preempt the final days of His physical return—His “Second Coming”—and that He will deliver the believers from God’s wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

Unprecedented events are escalating like never before, and they are ‘SIGNS’ of the End Times just before the believers are ‘raptured’ from this earth before the final ‘Tribulation’. God did not give us prophecy to ‘scare’ us, but to ‘prepare’ us! Prophecy expert Jan Markell is fond of saying, “It’s not that everything is falling apart, but that the pieces are coming together.”

When one knows their Bible, and they see the headlines, they should be ‘excited’ that Jesus’ coming is sooner than when they first believed (Romans 13:11).

GLOBAL ‘FEAR’
Just as millions of people dared to hope the two-year pandemic was receding, the war then breaks out in Ukraine, triggering a new surge of ‘fear’ in Western Europe and anxieties about a wider conflict—or worse—throughout the world.

As the West faces warnings about heightened nuclear threats from the Russian president Vladimir Putin, many people are struggling with the sudden new anxieties—worried about innocent people dying needlessly in Ukraine and worried that this crisis will ‘morph’ into World War III.

Psychologists have voiced particular concern about the effect of this latest global crisis on children and young people, which is now adding to what they had already from the pandemic—even those living in relative comfort in peaceful countries nowhere near Ukraine.

Anxiety and depression already rose by “a massive 25 percent” during the first year of the pandemic, the World Health Organization said, adding that young people were the worst hit.

As many countries loosened pandemic restrictions, there seemed to be some light at the end of this grueling ‘tunnel’. However, then war broke out in Ukraine and violent images of missile attacks and deceased soldiers lying on the streets flooded our Social Media channels and ‘TV’ screens, with the threat of nuclear attacks being proposed. Understandably, many people are feeling a sense of despair and insecurity in the face of an accumulation of crises—with the impression they will never be able to get out of them.

We live in an ‘age’ of fear—an age that seems poised for an ‘apocalypse’. Rogue nations are going nuclear. Terrorists and jihadists are springing up in our midst, committing senseless mass murders in once-safe cities like Orlando and San Bernardino. Throughout the Middle East, terrorists commit beheadings and other atrocities, and then post a video of their acts on the Internet to shock the world.

Strange new diseases are mutating and threatening the entire world. Racial tensions have led us to the precipice of a race war. The national debt keeps rising, and there is no political will to stop it—which means that a global economic collapse is just a matter of time.

In May 2016, the highly respected British daily, “The Guardian,” published a report on the deepening fear and anxiety throughout our culture:

“We live with an epidemic of anxiety. In 1980, 4% of Americans suffered a mental disorder associated with anxiety Today half do. The trends in Britain are similar. A third of Britons will experience anxiety disorder at some stage in their life, with an explosion of reported anxiety among teenagers and young adults. Anxiety, depression, self-harm, attention deficit disorder, and profound eating problems afflict our young as never before.

“Anxiety has always been part of the human condition—as has depression and tendencies to self-harm—but never, it seems, on the scale. A number of trends appear to be colliding. This is an era when everyone is expected to find their personal route to happiness at the same time as the bonds of society, faith, and community—tried and tested mechanisms to support well-being–are fraying. Teenagers in particular—fearful of missing out FOMO)—are beset by a Marriott of agonizing choices about how to achieve the good life with few social and psychological anchors to help them navigate their way. Who can blame them if they respond with an ever-increasing sense of anxiety, if not panic?”

The Guardian concluded that this mood of spreading fear is due to a “fraying of the bonds of society, faith, and community,” with the result that people feel increasingly vulnerable, anxious, and fearful.

‘FEARFULNESS’
Amid rising tensions around the world, the Millennials are worried the most that we are on the brink of World War III, (according to alarming new data published by the International Red Cross).

The report mentions that:

– A global report interviewed 16,000 Millennials aged between 20 and 35 from 16 countries

– More than half believe that nuclear weapons are likely to be used in the next 10 years

Millennials consider war and armed conflict to be among the top five most important issues affecting people around the world today. Then, a shocking 47% in the U.S.believe that World War III is likely in their lifetime (40% of the Millennials from non-conflict countries believe it’s very likely that they will be affected by war or armed conflict in the future). However, 75% of all Millennials believe war is avoidable.

In a separate Instagram poll—conducted by the “Pubity Group, with 1.3 million of their members taking part to express their views and concerns—the data published discovered that of the 400,000 people aged 18 to 24 who responded, 76% believe that the current situation is the start of a World War III-like scenario. A further 74% are fearful the war will impact their lives, and 78% agree the conflict has made them feel ‘ANXIOUS’ FOR THEIR FUTURE.

The thing is, fear is only as ‘powerful’ as one makes it. One CAN ‘CHOOSE’ to live in fear and panic, or they CAN ‘CHOOSE’ to find peace and serenity. Shifting one’s mindset to find peace amid chaos is one way one can take back control of a terrifying situation.

HOW TO ‘RESPOND’
The ‘good news’ is that one CAN control how they respond to distressing news—by taking steps to prioritize their emotional wellbeing.

As a reminder, the fear of the future (“anticipatory fear”) is one of the most common struggles in the Western world, plaguing both young and old [ I ‘touched on’ this in the above “panicking” section ]. This fear manifests itself in a variety of ways, including trouble focusing, decreased motivation, low energy, high blood pressure, and insomnia.

Now, beyond the physical effects, fear of the future wreaks havoc on our ‘spiritual’ lives, filling our time with stagnant anxiety when it could be filled with spiritual vitality and growth. As Holocaust survivor, Corrie ten Boom observed, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”

So, what can one do when they find themselves paralyzed by anticipatory anxiety?

Well, most of one’s life is spent not actually fighting their ‘enemies’, but only the ‘dread’ of them. Often one’s deepest anxieties are not over something in the past—or even something in the present—but something in the future. The idea of what might happen—something ‘hypothetical’ in one’s mind.

Certified counselor and author Angela Breidenbach (President of “Christian Author Network”) suggests that one should practice the “P.EA.R.S.” policy (Prepare; Expect; Assess; Refer; Sketch):

– Prepare
The best way to face fear is to be on the ‘offensive’ and not on the defensive.

Take the time to explore what’s coming in the near future. Explore through conversation and make notes. It’s too hard to remember later. Jot down questions during the conversation, especially if there is no answer, for later action.

– Expect To Face The Fear
The timing may surprise us, but it will come.

– Assess What You Know
Where are you right now in the situation? Do you know enough about what you fear, of the expectation itself?

– Referrals
Look for someone who has gone through a similar situation. Most people love to help others and love to share opinions on what worked and what didn’t. Start asking for referrals and then act on them. Make a ‘coffee date’. Listen to someone else’s experiences. Use whatever you can glean from several different people. Don’t assume that you’ll get all you need from one person.

– Sketch Out A Plan
No one can remember everything they plan. Get organized and ‘sketch’ it out on paper in the form of an outline, freehand notes, or even a drawing. Put down anything that creates a firm visual or solid understanding of the idea.

Breidenbach says that the more you understand, the more confident you will feel, and the more confident you feel, the more likely you will act on the information.

[ Note: Psychologist and pastor Bill Gaultiere suggests a helpful 31-day ‘plan’ for those who struggle with fear, anxiety, and worry. It is in the “Articles” section below. (The title to search for is: “Fear Not: 31 Days to Freedom from Fear”) ].

‘BIBLICAL’ TRUTHS ABOUT FEAR
So many of us were hoping that 2022 would be better because we thought nothing could be worse than the past two years but, the truth is, things may never get better or return to ‘normal’.

So many people have become fear-filled over the idea of what the future of their lives on earth will ‘look’ like. HOWEVER, just because the ‘world’ is driven by chaos does not mean that the ‘BELIEVER’ has to be. In fact, believers are ‘called’—even ‘commanded’—to the exact opposite!

As ‘children’ of God, the believer is called to be led by Jesus—and the Holy Spirit—the very ‘sources’ of lasting peace, comfort, and joy that ALL people’s weary souls long for.

THE ‘PROBLEMS’ WITH FEAR
Why does fear paralyze us? Well, fear ‘distorts’ the size of our problem.

Have you ever looked at yourself in a funhouse mirror? Your distorted reflection can be a scary thing! In the same way, fear distorts the size of your problem.

Fear Utilizes The Wrong Standard For Analyzing Our Situation
The tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, soaring 2,717 feet. Compared to you, that skyscraper seems very tall. However, compared to Mount Everest, it is a mere ‘molehill’. In the same way, if you measure your problem against your own abilities, then your problem(s) is going to seem gigantic. But, if you measure your problem by the size of the God of the Bible, then your problem will seem like a ‘grasshopper’ (Isaiah 40:22).

Fear Forgets The Power Of God
The Israelites forgot the power of God, despite all the miracles they had experienced. When you focus on your current problem, it is easy to forget what God has done for you in the past.

Fear Destroys The Promise Of Your Future
Author of the book “Abundant Living,” E. Stanley Jones said that “Worry and anxiety are sand in the machinery of life; faith is the oil.” Fear is like ‘sand’—it takes only a few grains to bring your life to a grinding halt. However, faith is the ‘oil’ that enables you to move forward and overcome your fear.

This is why faith is the ‘antidote’ to fear. “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” [ Hebrews 11:1 ]. Courage is just another word for conviction—acting in light of what God has promised to do for you. If you sense God telling you to do something but you don’t do it, then you don’t have Biblical faith.

So, how do you allow faith, not fear, to have the final say in your life? Well, let me give you three principles for developing courage in the face of fear.

Realized That Fear Is A Normal Reaction
The key is to make sure fear is not your ‘final’ reaction. When King David’s son Absalom was leading a rebellion against him, David cried out to God, “Oh Lord, how my adversaries have increased! Many are rising up against me. Many are saying of my soul, ‘There is no deliverance for him in God’” [ Psalm 3:1-2 ]. Everyone was saying that David’s kingdom was over with. However, David continued, “But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head” [ Psalm 3:3 ]. David didn’t minimize his fear, but it was not his final response.

Reflect On The Promises Of God
Memorize God’s promises so you can recall them when you are running into trouble. For example, the next time you face a seemingly insurmountable problem, remember that, “With God all things are possible” [ Matthew 19:26 ].

Recount God’s Faithfulness To You
Again, King David continually recounted what God had done for him: “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth” [ Psalm 34:1 ]. Recounting God’s faithfulness not only strengthens the believer, but it also encourages people around us who are facing their own ‘giants’. Fear is contagious, but so is faith! That is why the believer needs to, like King David, continually tell others of God’s faithfulness to them.

The thing is, the same all-powerful God who moved ‘mountains’ in the past—parting the Red Sea, for example—is able to help you conquer whatever obstacle you are facing today so that you can experience the “abundant life” He has promised to you (John 10:10).

JESUS IS THE ‘CURE’
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” [ John 14:27 ]. The psalmist said that, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” [ Psalm 27:1 ]. The peace we have ‘in’ Christ is a good gift that the Father does not withhold from us. It’s available to us. The question is, will you ‘CHOOSE’ IT?

Now, NO ‘leader’ WILL be able ‘save’ us—nor any government. ONLY Jesus CAN and WILL ‘save’ the person that will put their trust in Him to be their ‘Savior’.

“God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). With God, disorder and chaos give way to order and peace. Jesus removes the chaos of sin and restores spiritual order to people who accept Him as Lord and Savior: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” [ John 10:10 ]. So, the ‘thief’ (Satan) steals, kills, and destroys—he brings chaos and fear but Jesus gives life to the full. Jesus brings order, peace, and restoration.

The book of the Revelation gives some detail regarding the end of the age and the restoration of order to God’s creation, after sin had brought disorder and chaos: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” [ Revelation 21:4 ]. Confusion will also be gone: “Now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” [ 1 Corinthians 13:12 ].

So, the believer ought to “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace” [ Colossians 3:15 ], and look to the Prince of Peace (Jesus) who gives us His otherworldly peace (John 14:27), and guards one’s mind from being “corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3).

This ‘broken’ world is just the believer’s temporary ‘home’. Heaven is their ‘real’ home: “But our citizenship is in Heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” [ Philippians 3:20 ]. So, this and other promises God gives the believer should give them hope, courage, and fearlessness!

‘FEARLESSNESS’
Everyone fears something. Fear is a common human emotion that is deeply ‘wired’ in both our subconscious and conscious mind.

So, it is ‘natural’ for us to fear, but that doesn’t mean that it should ‘control’ our lives. Uncontrolled fear can lead to irrational thinking, bad behaviors, and worst, spiritual paralysis and possibly death.

Now, there are two ‘kinds’ of fear—healthy and unhealthy. The first is God-given and helps ‘protect’ you. The second, the ‘spirit’ of fear—that is from Satan—is designed to place you in ‘bondage’. This is what the Apostle Paul was talking about when he said: “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” [ 2 Timothy 1:7 ].

A believer’s ‘battle’ against fear is not just a physical one—it is also spiritual. So, what is your greatest weapon against fear? Well, the Scriptures purport that God will help those who ‘cry out’ to Him with their fears: “In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached His ears… He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me… He brought me out into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me” [ Psalm 18:6, 17, 19 ].

The Bible offers a few ways to overcome fear: Realize that God is ‘with’ you; Trusting in God’s promises; Seeking the peace of God; Being ‘filled’ with God’s love; Being of ‘good courage’; and ‘Surrendering’ one’s fears to God.

– Realize That God Is ‘With’ You
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” [ Isaiah 41:10 ]. This verse gives the believer reason never to be fearful.

Another passage confirms why the believer should NOT be fearful: “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” [ Psalms 118:6 ]. Having God ‘on your side’ is MORE THAN ENOUGH for the believer to never be afraid of what the future holds!

The same sentiment is expressed in Psalms 23:4: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

– Trusting In God’s Promises
I once read a bumper sticker that read: “Every opportunity to fear is also an opportunity to trust God.”

Every time we are afraid, we must see it as an opportunity to ‘surrender’ everything in God’s hands. We simply trust Him that all things will work out together for good as long as we are doing our part (Romans 8:28).

Psalms 56:3-4 emphasizes this: “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You… In God I have put my trust; I WILL NOT FEAR. What can flesh do to me?”

In most cases, we really can’t do anything about most things we fear. You can’t control terrorists from bombing someplace. You can’t prevent natural disasters from destroying your city. You can’t prevent death from taking someone you love (even yourself!).

So, why should the believer fear? Well, instead of being fearful, the believer needs to just surrender their fear to God and trust Him that He will do what is best for them. After all, God is the believer’s heavenly Father who protects His ‘children’.

– Seek The Peace of God
When the believer is filled with so much fear, they don’t think properly. It seems everything that they do is subject to danger. They are constantly stricken with the thought that things can go wrong.

Thankfully, Jesus left them His peace: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” [ John 14:27 ]. This should assuage a believer’s fear.

The peace that Jesus brings originates from Him. It is NOT something that you ordinarily get from the ‘world’. For most people, peace is the absence of conflict and war. But for God, peace having an intimate and close relationship with Him.

Peace is having God in your life. Peace comes from the assurance and belief that God is always in control.

– Be Filled With God’s Love
God is love and those who follow God will also be filled with love. If we want to get rid of fear, we must replace it with something. If we keep our minds empty, fear can easily return.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” [ 1 John 4:18 ].

Love is an affection and emotion that does NOT produce any fear. In fact, if one truly loves God, we should not fear anything!

We need not fear death because after death, if we are secure with God, we can be confident that we will meet Jesus during our next waking moment (1 Corinthians 15:51). When love prevails, fear stops from existing. When love overcomes, fear is suppressed. When love reigns, fear is banished.

– Being of ‘Good Courage’
When Moses died, Israel lost a great leader. Now, it was time for Joshua to take the baton. However, the Israelites were afraid. They didn’t know whether Joshua would have the same authority and leadership as what they saw in Moses.

During this time, God encouraged Joshua: “Have I not commanded you? BE STRONG AND OF GOOD COURAGE; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” [ Joshua 1:9 ].

It is worth noting that God actually ‘commanded’ Joshua to be STRONG and of GOOD COURAGE. It isn’t a request of God or a mere suggestion.

People can be brave without having the right wisdom. They can be reckless, not fearing anything. For them, that’s how to be brave. However, God wants Joshua and the Israelites to have a different kind of courage, to have the courage to do what is right and proper in God’s eyes.

By being strong and courageous, you can DEFINITELY overcome fear!

– ‘Surrendering’ One’s Fears To God
One of the best ways to overcome fear is to simply ‘surrender’ all your fear unto God. “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” [ Psalms 34:4 ].

When we seek God with all our hearts, he will hear us and deliver us from all our fears. When you are fearful, bend your knees, put your hands together, and pray to God.

God is more than willing to deliver us and eliminate the ‘disturbance’ produced by fear.

So, the previous suggestions should be a ‘daily’ source of encouragement for a believer!

Contrary to what some may believe, God actually has a lot to say about BEING ‘FEARLESS’. In the Bible, the words “do not be afraid” actually appears 365 times. [ Of course, this depends upon the translation version ].

Now, the biblical command “do not fear” does not negate the need for prudence and caution in this world. We are not to be cavalier but prayerful in the face of danger.

The fear that the Bible tells us to avoid is concern mixed with anxiety or dread—the feeling of alarm one has when they expect trouble or danger. Followers of Christ are not to live in a state of anxiety. They have higher expectations than simply anticipating trouble. In fact, they have the ‘means’ to rise above fear: “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” [ 2 Timothy 1:7 ].

God’s command to “fear not” is applied in several ways in the Bible. For example, the fear of what other people think should never prevent us from obeying the Lord (1 Samuel 15:24; John 9:22). The believer should not fear lacking provision in this world (Luke 12:6-7), and one is not to fear the plans of the wicked, even when they rise to power (Psalm 37:1-2, 9-17, 35-38).

When the Bible tells us, “Do not fear,” it means we are not to allow anxiety or fretfulness to rule our lives or take root in our hearts. We are not to be people of panic. We are to be people of faith.

Fear is a God-given emotion when our mind alerts us to danger, real or perceived and anxiety is what we feel when our body is responding to the emotion of fear. Worry is the thought process that mulls over and gives power to the object of our fear.

Fear, anxiety, and worry show up together and feed into each other in the various situations where danger lurks. Even at times when we don’t know why we feel anxious, our brains have previously learned to fear in a similar situation that we simply can’t recall at that moment. Our anxiety is usually tied to our life experiences and thought patterns, not some random biological defect. To be fair, we don’t all experience fear, worry, and anxiety in the same way. Different bodies feel differently despite similar thought processes and experiences, but God did not tell us to fight a battle that is impossible to win. With God’s help, each one of us can progressively improve in the way we fight fear, anxiety, and worry.

All throughout the Gospels, Jesus addressed the fear, anxiety, and worry that those around Him were experiencing. However, He didn’t just do this to bring physical comfort to those experiencing ill effects of fear. HE challenged those He encountered to understand the spiritual significance of their fear, since it reflects one’s spiritual health and the condition of one’s ‘heart’.

Even though Jesus was full of compassion, His primary goal was not simply to eliminate the physical discomfort one’s fear, anxiety, and worry. He taught that our emotions reflect what is going on in our hearts, values, and thinking.

In each principle Jesus taught about fear, He also gave an ‘action’ step.

– Fearfulness Reveals What One Values (Matthew 6:19-24)
This verse challenges us to trust God rather than fall into worry and anxiety. Jesus reminded us all that life on earth is short and we can’t take anything with us. He taught that it is what one values that will become what one prioritizes. If one values the world’s priorities more than they value God’s priorities, they will naturally be anxious about the things of this world like food, clothing, and nice “stuff.”

Because if one’s money, health, and reputation are valuable to them, they will become anxious when what they love becomes ‘threatened’. Anxiety provides us a ‘window’ into what our hearts find truly valuable. When our hearts align with God’s values, we will view the ‘dangers’ around us differently.

So, a believer will keep their focus on what will last eternally.

– Fearfulness Reflects One’s View of God (Matthew 6:25-34)
How one responds to life’s troubles reflects how they view God and whether they trust how He has acted towards them. Jesus makes the case that one’s worry really stems from a heart of unbelief that God is acting in a good way towards them.

How often do we become distracted when we fear the future and take matters into our own hands? They seek to control their destiny and focus their attention on what they want most. They don’t trust God to provide or to keep them safe. Jesus reminded us that worry accomplishes very little and distracts us from being present in our lives today (not one minute more verse here).

God calls believers to overcome fear by keeping their focus on His faithfulness.

– Fearfulness Is Related to One’s Trust Level in God (Matthew 8)
Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount to model for them the way of life and that He has real power to intervene in our troubles.

Jesus REALLY cares about you and your specific circumstances. He cares about the things that keep you up at night. Jesus wanted His believers to know that they lacked the power to ‘control’ the outcome, but He does. During a fearful situation, we tend to focus on the problem, and we find ourselves under the illusion that we must find a way to control what ails us. Jesus says that, “apart from me, you can do nothing” [ John 15:5 ].

Again, God calls the believer to overcome fear by keeping their focus on trusting Him with their trials.

– Fearfulness Is Redirected Best by Compassionately Serving Others (Matthew 9:35-10:15)
When one is fearful, they are incessantly ‘inward-focused’. Jesus taught that any worry accomplishes little.

Because one’s thought patterns of fear, anxiety, and worry tend to focus on the ‘danger’ one faces, refocusing one’s mind and energy on serving others can make a major impact on how one deals with that fear. Anxiety tends to paralyze, isolate, and cause self-doubt. However, when we can learn to focus on others with a heart of compassion, life has renewed meaning and one will experience a renewed purpose and vision for their lives.

God calls the believer to overcome their fears by keeping their focus on serving others.

Fearfulness takes one’s eyes off pursuing what God values most and takes their eyes off pursuing the One who has the power to act and solve one’s problem—Jesus!

So, whenever one feels afraid or doubtful of what lies ahead, here are a few ‘popular’ scriptures that should serve as a constant reminder to the believer that they should have NO REASON TO ‘FEAR’!:

– “And Moses said to the people, ‘Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again’” [ Exodus 14:13 ].

– “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the only one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you [ Deuteronomy 31:6 ].

– “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” [ Joshua 1:9 ]

– “Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to Him” [ 2 Samuel 10:12 ].

– “Then David said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished” [ 1 Chronicles 28:20 ].

– “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the LORD God is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation” [ Isaiah 12:2 ].

– “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” [ Isaiah 26:3 ].

– “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” [ Isaiah 41:10 ].

– “’For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you,’ declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel” [ Isaiah 41:13-14 ].

– “I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears” [ Psalm 34:4 ].

– “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” [ Psalm 118:6 ].

– “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe” [ Proverbs 29:25 ].

– “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” [ Matthew 6:34 ].

– “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one” [ John 10:28-30 ].

– “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” [ John 14:27 ].

– “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” [ Romans 8:15 ].

– “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” [ Romans 8:38-39 ].

– “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” [ Philippians 4: 6-7 ].

– “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” [ 2 Timothy 1:7 ].

– “He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not fear’” [ Hebrews 13:5-6 ].

– “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” [ 1 Peter 5:6-7 ].

– “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” [ 1 John 4:18 ].

Even though there are many more promises from God’s Word that you can hold on to for peace and strength in the midst of life’s struggles, perhaps the ‘MOST’ PRECIOUS promise can be found in the words of Jesus: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” [ Matthew 28:20 ]. THAT is a very comforting truth!

The Bible is basically telling us that because God is by our side, and because He fights all our battles, we have no reason to fear. Whenever fear comes knocking at the door of your heart, instead of cowering, send faith to go answer it.

Another way to ‘BATTLE’ FEAR is to put on the “Armor of God” (Ephesians 6). These include the “Helmet of Salvation,” the “Breastplate of Righteousness,” the “Sword of the Spirit,” the “Shield of Faith,” the “Belt of Truth,” and the “Shoes of Peace.”

[ FYI: For more details about the “Armor of God,” view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/ready-for-battle-v235/ ].

BE ‘COURAGEOUS’
Now, it is one thing to say, “Okay, I’m not going to be afraid,” but ‘terror’ is a powerful force that can seize us and render us powerless to act. As an example, Moses had previously assured the Israelites that God would go with them: “The LORD your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory” [ Deuteronomy 20:4 ]. In other words, God would be with Israel as a ‘warrior’.

So, it’s easy for us to say today, “Why were they so afraid” (since we know how the story played out). But just imagine being Joshua and all of Israel, and not having yet lived any great victories. So, stepping across the Jordan River into a land of great danger certainly required strong faith.

However, imagine the courage that comes from entering battle with the strongest, most powerful ‘Swordsman’ at your side!

In the same way, believers today have yet to live out all the great ‘conquests’ God has promised to them. The New Testament encourages us in similar words to Deuteronomy 31:6, and the believers are to carry out the “Great Commission” (Matthew 28:18-20), for Jesus is with them (Matthew 28:20b). They are also to remain steadfast in their commitment to Christian ethics (Hebrews 13:1-5), for God “will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Let the believer then ‘press on’ without fear, confident that they will be ‘joined’ in the fight by Jesus, their ‘Warrior’.

The Bible is basically telling us that because God is by our ‘side’, and because He fights all our battles, the believer has NO ‘REASON’ TO FEAR. So, whenever fear comes knocking at the ‘door’ of their heart, instead of cowering, send Jesus to go answer it (James 4:7).

Now, even though the many verses and the “Armor of God” are ALL ‘AVAILABLE’ to the believer, all the time, Jesus knew that fear and worry would be a constant temptation in this world, So, He reminds the believer of a simple truth (when He asked His disciples a very profound question): “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” [ Matthew 6:27 ]

Of course, the answer is that fear and worry CAN NOT add even a single ‘SECOND’ to one’s life. So, rather than worrying, the believer must exercise their faith in Jesus. Fear reveals the believer’s LACK of trust in Him, so they must repent of their distrust and walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7) knowing that He will guide them through every ‘turn’ in their lives.

To walk truly fearlessly in the face of life’s threatening storms, the believer must fully place their trust in God. He wants us to see if they really believe what He says in His Word—and it begins with ‘surrendering’ their lives into His hands.

Walking fearlessly with our heavenly Father means that we have come to a place of COMPLETE ‘DEPENDENCY’ upon Him, a place where the believer knows that He has His best in mind for them no matter what. The challenges that come their way can be conquered when they place their faith in Him. Then, as their trust in God grows, they will realize that, while He will not shield them from life’s challenges, He will ‘shield’ them from defeat.

To walk fearlessly, one must know ‘Who’ they are following. God does not lead them down dark ‘alleys’ to abandon them. But He does take them through the tumultuous ‘storms’ of life, holding their hand every step of the way: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you” [ Psalm 56:3 ].

During the time of the prophet Isaiah, the people of God were going through a difficult time of upheaval, insecurity, and loss. But God’s promise to them 2,700 years ago remains a promise for us today: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned” [ Isaiah 43:1-2 ].

Over and over in Scripture, God assures His people to FEAR NOT. In the heat of battle and in moments of deep disappointment, God assures the believer that they have no reason to allow fear to intimidate, confuse, or defeat them!

As Jesus was preparing the disciples for ministry, He provided three pivotal ‘fear nots’ that the believer can cling to in their own moments of doubt (Matthew 10:24-31):

Fear Not, For The Truth Will Ultimately Triumph
Jesus said: “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known” [ Matthew 10:26 ]. Jesus encouraged the disciples that even amidst persecution, they did not need to be afraid. Why? Because God has promised to vindicate His faithful children. God has promised to ultimately exalt righteousness and judge sin.

Fear Not Because Heaven Is Your Destination
Then, Jesus told the disciples, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” [ Matthew 10:28 ]. Standing firm for the Gospel can be costly. But as children of the living God, we have nothing to fear on this earth because a believer’s eternal destination is secure in Jesus.

Fear Not Because God Has Everything Under Control
Finally, Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered” [ Matthew 10:29-30 ]. If God sustains the smallest of birds and takes interest in the smallest details of our lives, how much more does He take interest in providing for our needs?

When the believer finds themselves in deep ‘waters’, remember that God will not let them drown. TRUST IN HIM, and they will experience His presence in ways they could never have experienced in ten storm-less lifetimes! “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid” (Psalm 56:3-4).

The relationship between faith and fear is like a ‘seesaw’. When one is up, the other is down. So, when the believer allows fear to rise, their faith will decline. However, the opposite is true as well. When they increase their faith, their fear will fall.

Now, Jesus wasn’t talking about the believer’s “saving” faith, but their daily ‘living’ faith. The believer’s saving faith remains constant, but their daily living faith rises and falls according to the strength of our relationship with Him. When one is not in constant ‘intimacy’ with Him, the first ‘storm’ that hits will create fear and panic. When one gives Jesus the ‘crumbs’ of their time and attention, their faith and understanding in Him will weaken.

Faith that conquers fear depends on ‘ABSOLUTE’ TRUST in Jesus! It is the kind of faith that has an open heart to whatever God provides for the believer. It is a faith that is manifested as an utter DEPENDENCE on the ‘sovereignty’ of God. When the believer lives by faith (Romans 1:17), they know that even when the storm is at its worst, they can trust that God is working out His purposes for them (Romans 8:28).

When Jesus rebuked the disciples for their lack of faith, He was referring to their failure to trust Him in this practical situation (Matthew 8:25-26). How does the believer trust God with their eternal souls, yet not their daily needs? Well, God wants them to trust Him not only with their salvation, but also with their relationships, resources, and futures. He wants to see their professed faith in action. He wants them to put their complete trust in Him for every detail of their lives.

When one ‘walks’ close with Jesus and trusts Him daily, their faith will conquer their fears. When they put their focus on Jesus, fear fades into the background. So, at the first sign of fear, a believer’s plan of action should be seeking Jesus in prayer.

So, what’s the most frightening thing you have ever done? Well, in the case of Israel in Joshua’s day, they had to enter a land that was highly fortified, populated with great armies, and God had promised this land to them (Deuteronomy 1:8). Their conquest was His way of judging the horrific wickedness of the Canaanite peoples who dwelt there (Deuteronomy 7:2). BUT, that didn’t mean it was going to be a ‘cakewalk’. Just forty years prior at Kadesh, the parents of Joshua’s generation had refused to enter the land because of fear (Deuteronomy 1:28). Now, after decades of wilderness wandering, Israel had another chance to take the land.

So, if this opportunity to take the land was to turn out differently from the last time, Israel was going to have to “be strong and courageous” as they never were before. They needed to “not fear or be in dread of them” (namely, the peoples of the land). These commands were so important for Joshua’s time that God repeated them multiple times for him (Deuteronomy 31:7-8, 23; Josh 1:6-9).

God said that He would be with them. No matter how terrifying their circumstances or how powerful their foe appeared. They were not to tremble with fright but to TRUST in Him with all their heart. “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” [ Deuteronomy 31:6 ]. This goes for the believer today, too!

So, when one is more concerned with their ‘worldy’ possessions—their homes, cars, education, clothes, or bank accounts, they become anxious and fearful. The way of peace is the way of trust and faith in Jesus. He IS the One who holds the believer safe within His eternal care. Also, know that the loving Father is working out everything for the believer’s ultimate good and His glory (Romans 8:28).

This is why Jesus exhorted: “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” [ Matthew 6:19-20 ]. God has provided the solution for anxiety and worry—the believer is to trust Him and to use the possessions and gifts He gives you for His glory.

Psalm 91 speaks of the one who “dwells in the shelter of the Most High” and who says of God, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (verses 1-2). Those who trust in God can live fearlessly: “You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you” (verses 5-7).

There is a direct correlation between faith and the confidence to face the dangers of one’s life: “If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge,’ and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent” (verses 9-10). We rest in God’s promise: “‘Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble’” (verses 14–15).

I know we all can easily become anxious and the constant bombardment of terrible news has a tendency to eat away at the peace in our minds. We look around at the chaos and unrest in the world and fear of the unknown grips our hearts.

However, instead of focusing on all the possibilities of another world war, the fear of dying from the pandemic, and the fear of tyrannical governments, the believer must lift their eyes to the giver of Peace and ask Him WHO they can ‘bless’ today. Who can they ‘touch’ today? It’s amazing that when one shifts their focus from themselves to others, not only will the fear dissipate, but they can change the world slowly, one person at a time.

Believers ARE NOT to be fearful. They have NO ’REASON’ to live in fear!

‘HOPEFULNESS’
There is no question about it: we live in a world that is often a ‘scary’ place to be. When we face these fears that prompt us to ‘pull the covers over our heads’ and retreat from the world, what will we put our hope in? Will we exert our energy in wishful thinking, ‘crossing our fingers’ that our circumstances will change? Or, will we ‘hold our breath’ in the hope that ‘luck’ will go our way this time?

Well, biblically, hope is not wishful thinking. It is not a lucky chance. It is not ungrounded optimism. No, it is a rock-solid belief in the ‘CHARACTER’ of God. That is not to say we are guaranteed ‘rosebushes’ without thorns or a life free from tragedy or disaster. But because the believer knows that God is all-knowing and all-powerful, they can face down their fears by putting the outcome of their circumstances into God’s ‘hands’. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” [ Hebrews 11:1 ]. The ‘ANTIDOTE’ TO FEAR is ‘FAITH’ in God!

The Apostle Paul said, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” [ 2 Timothy 1:7 ]. Essentially, he said that his fear was NOT ‘from’ God (but it is really ‘from’ the Devil), but that power, love, and a stable mental attitude were what was from God.

Think about it. Fear is almost always based on the future. Sometimes we are afraid because we know what is coming in the future. But more commonly, we are afraid of what we DON’T ‘KNOW’ about what is coming in the future. We are afraid of what ‘MIGHT’ happen.

For instance, the Gallup organization asked 13 to 17-year-olds what they were most afraid of. The top 10 fears of these teens were:

– Nuclear war
– The future
– Being alone
– Crime and violence
– Heights
– War
– Not succeeding in life/being a failure
– Death/being killed
– Spiders
– Terrorist attacks

Notice that all these fares are ‘future-focused’, and all are mere “maybes.” These teens may not ever encounter any one of these in their entire life. Whether the future is just a minute from now (you’re waiting on a doctor’s diagnosis) or 50 years from now (you are worried about having enough money for retirement), fear’s ’sweet spot’ is in the future.

That is why God IS THE ‘ANSWER’ to ALL one’s fears. If God is good and loving (and He is), if God is all-powerful (and He is), if God has a purpose and plan that include His children (and He does)—and if we are His ‘children’—then there is no reason to fear and every reason to hope, since God is in ‘CONTROL’ of everything! (Yes, everything in your life!) So, if the believer accepts that God is in control, on that basis, they should ‘SHIFT’ THEIR BURDENS to His perfect and capable ‘shoulders’.

To understand why God is the answer to all fears, one must understand what the Bible says about fear—and it says a lot about it (as mentioned above). It tells us more than 300 times not to fear. “Fear not” is it most frequently repeated command. The word “afraid” occurs more than 200 times, and the word “fear” appears more than 400 times. Lest you think that the Bible heroes were fearless, there are more than 200 individuals in the Bible that said they were “afraid”—and not all of these were “bad guys.” Many were the ‘main’ characters, like Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Isaiah, Gideon, Saul, David, Paul, Felix, Timothy, and others.

Biblical heroes were ‘regular’ people—like you and me—who had to learn the same things you and I have to learn: to drive out fear by increasing our ‘knowledge’ of God, to shift our ‘focus’ from the present fear to an eternal hope, and ‘replace’ what we don’t know about the future with what we know about God. They did—and we can, too—put away childish things (being afraid of everything), and grow up in our faith and understanding of God and His promises.

Jesus came to “Proclaim liberty to the captives,” and that includes those held captive by fear (Luke 4:18). He also said that truth is the key to freedom (John 8:32). The thing is, God is good (Psalm 119:68), God is love (1 John 4:8, 16), and God has a future filled with hope for His children (Romans 8:28-29). God is a refuge in a fortress, a shield, and a defender for those who trust in Him (Psalm 91:2-4).

For those reasons and many more… “You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you” [ Psalm 91:5-7 ].

The Bible tells us that the believer is to take refuge in God not only when the future comes, but right now with our fears about the future (Psalm 64:10). As the Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians, we are to “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

If one doesn’t take their thoughts captive, they will take them captive—and that’s exactly what the Devil wants! He wants you to be ‘ruled’ by your worry and taken captive by your fears. Satan wants to ‘double-dip’. He wants you to live in ‘despair’ while you are in trials and live in ‘dread’ while you’re not. As long as he can keep you in dread or despair, he can keep you from joy!

[ FYI: For more details on how to have joy during ‘trials’, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/having-joy-through-trials-v198 ].

Fortunately, the believer has a ‘defense’ for both kinds of attack. God’s refuge stretches beyond the battlefield and into the barracks, where the battle of the mind is often fought.

The primary way the believer takes their thoughts captive is not by suppressing them or distracting themselves from them, but by ‘informing’ them—especially with God’s promises.

There are many promises we can turn to in our fears, but one of the most important (and oft-repeated) is God’s promise of DAILY ‘provisions’ (Exodus 16:4; Lamentations 3:23; Matthew 6:11, 34; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Hebrews 3:13).

So, be careful not to miss the ‘timing’ contained in this promise. If you don’t ‘feel’ the strength right now to handle what will happen tomorrow, don’t be surprised! God hasn’t given you today the strength you need for the rest of your life. He doesn’t promise that. God promises to give you TODAY the grace you need for today, and He promises to give you tomorrow the grace you need for tomorrow (Matthew 6:34).

So, live for God today, trust God for tomorrow. The only thing that is certain about tomorrow is that God WILL give you fresh mercy for it (Laminations 3:23).

The thing is, the believer CAN have hope not because they know the future, but because they know the ‘character’ of God, who ‘holds’ the future in His sovereign and loving ‘hands’ and ALWAYS ‘FULFILLS’ His promises!

God is for the believer (Romans 8:31), He has good plans for them (Romans 8:28; Ephesians 2:10), He will never leave them (Hebrews 13:5), and He will stop at nothing to deliver them from their ‘enemies’ (Romans 8:32). SO, ‘COMMIT’ to trusting Him today!

‘PEACEFULNESS’
When life is overwhelming, and you are enveloped in chaos how do you find peace in the storm? Finding peace in the chaos that is clamoring for our focus is so important—when it feels like our lives and dreams are swirling down the ‘drain’.

So often we find it hard to comprehend finding peace in the chaos we are experiencing, however, we probably have a ‘worldly’ concept of what peace should be.

The Hebrew word for peace is “šālôm.” This word means totality, completeness, fulfillment, wholeness, harmony, security, well-being, and even success—not necessarily the ‘absence’ of bad things happening to you.

The thing is, believers can find peace EVEN WHEN their world is chaotic—even in the midst of the strongest ‘storms’—because they know the One who ‘gives’ perfect peace.

An example of this was when Jesus and His close disciples were caught up in a raging windstorm on the Sea of Galilee. After must fear and trepidation on the part of the disciples (“don’t you care that we are perishing”), Jesus simply said, “Peace, be still.” (Mark 4:39b), and suddenly the wind stopped and all was calm.

When we read this account, we need to remember that Jesus IS always in control of our circumstances and, when we trust Him, He WILL calm the raging inside our ‘souls’.

When we find ourselves raging and tossing and turning on the inside, the Apostle Paul tells us what to do: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” [ Philippians 4:6-7 ]. While it is great to see the storm around us calm down, it is even more important that our ‘souls’ are calm in the midst of the storm. God has NOT promised to bring peace to every storm, BUT He HAS promised to give us peace ‘through’ any storm if we will trust Him to take care of us.

Finding peace in chaos is ONLY ‘TRULY’ possible ‘in’ Jesus. Without Him, we will be lost in the ‘noise’, ’drama’, and the ‘pain’ that we are experiencing. That is why He is called the “Prince of Peace.”

So, how does one ‘PRACTICALLY’ find peace in the midst of chaos?

Well, first off, find out what God ‘says’ about your situation in His ‘Word’ (the Bible). The following are just a few of the passages that address peace in the midst of chaos:

– “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” [ Isaiah 26:3 ].

– “The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace” [ Psalm 29:11 ].

– “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” [ Matthew 11:28-30 ].

– “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” [ John 14:27 ].

– “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” [ Philippians 4:6-7 ].

– Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” [ Colossians 3:15 ].

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all” [ 2 Thessalonians 3:16 ].

– “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” [ 1 Peter 5:7 ].

[ VIDEO: “Sometimes He Calms the Storm” by Scott Krippayne ]

The deeper one ‘presses into’ Jesus, the more they bring the things that are trying to steal their peace and lay them at the ‘feet’ of Jesus, the greater their ‘grip’ on the peace that He gives will be.

[ FYI: For more details on having peace ‘with’ God and then the peace ‘of’ God, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/know-peace-v201/ ].

WRAP-UP
Lots of people are thinking about the possibility of war, food shortages, rising gas prices, financial and political instability, future pandemics, and many other things—a society in chaos.

Now, because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the possibility of a larger war—even World War III—I can understand the ‘alarm’. The global economy seems to be hanging by a ‘thread’, and the ‘foundations’ of morality are collapsing like a very old, failing suspension bridge.

So, everyone should take responsible precautions and be prepared as much as possible, but there is a ‘balance’ to all of it. It’s easy to look at today’s world and feel troubled—even many believers are plagued with worry, fear, and doubt. There’s a natural sense of ‘fatalism’ and defeat as one looks at the turbulent times around them. However, for the believer “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” [ 2 Timothy 1:7 ]. The Bible also says that, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe” [ Proverbs 29:25 ].

Jesus doesn’t want the believer to live in anguish or anxiety. Instead, He wants the believer to remember Who’s in charge! The thing is, there is a powerful three-step process for ‘banishing’ worry and fear that can be ‘mined’ from the Bible (not the only ‘process’ available—just ‘a’ selection of three): Nothing can change God’s plans; Nothing can happen outside of God’s control; and Nothing can stop the coming Rapture of believers, the Great Tribulation, and Jesus’ Second Coming.

– Nothing Can Change God’s Plans
This is the central message of King David’s psalm affirming his confidence in God since someone in David’s life was alarmed and telling him to flee:

“I have put my trust in the Lord, so how can you advise me to flee like a bird to my mountain? How can you tell me the wicked will kill me with their bows and arrows? How can you suggest the foundations are destroyed and there is nothing the righteous can do? Don’t you know who is in charge? The Lord is still in His holy temple. The Lord is on His heavenly throne. His eyes miss nothing” [ Psalm 11:1-4 ].

This is also the ‘message’ the believer needs to embrace in these days. The ‘foundations’ seem to be crumbling, the wicked may seem to be stringing their ‘bows’, and the “End Times” seem to be very close. HOWEVER, the believer’s faith is ‘in’ Jesus, so there is NO NEED to panic! Jesus is still on His ’throne’ waiting for just the right time to come back for His ‘children’.

[ For more details on Jesus’ Second Coming, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/blessed-hope-v245/ ].

– Nothing Can Happen Outside His Control
If you look at verse four above again—“in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in Heaven”—Jesus is ‘protecting’ His children and causing all things to conform to His rule and reign. NOTHING will change Jesus’ plan.

In the fullness of time, Jesus WILL ‘RETURN’ just as the Bible predicted: “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns… And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” [ Revelation 19:11-16 ].

So, until then, the believer must ‘trust’ Jesus. Otherwise, they will worry every minute, fretting over everything that doesn’t go their way, and haunted by every ‘headline’. How much better is it to remember ‘Who’ is in control of politics, plagues, and the current ‘leaders’ on the earth. How much better is it to say, “In the Lord, I put my trust; how can you say to my soul, ‘Flee as a bird to your mountain.’” Right?

– Nothing Can Stop The Coming Rapture Of Believers, The Great Tribulation, And Jesus’ Second Coming
If you are worried about the times we are living in, I would suggest spending some time in the “Throne Room” by reading Psalms 96-99 (The recurring theme is “The Lord reigns.”) Then, go back and read Psalm 11 again—for the ‘prescription’!

So, be prepared and don’t be panicked. Rely on God during ‘turbulent’ times. The thing is, Jesus ‘Second Coming’ is closer than it has ever been, and when one looks at the world’s ‘condition’, it is possible that EVEN ’TODAY’ could be THE DAY when Jesus returns for His ‘children’!

‘PROPHETIC’ TIMES?
So, are there implications of the Ukrainian invasion that are moving the world towards the fulfillment of Bible prophecy? Well, MOST ‘CERTAINLY’, however, I DON’T think that this war is ‘DIRECTLY’ tied to the Gog-Magog war, though we are seeing all of the nations and peoples mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39—Iran, Turkey, Sudan, Libya, and so forth—beginning to be ‘stirred up’. I think we are witnessing Russia ‘PREPARING’ to become the MAJOR ‘THREAT’ that they are prophesied to become leading into the ‘final’ End Times.

Many believe ‘this’ invasion falls into one of the ten End Times ‘signs’ that Jesus gave in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. Jesus foretold that as we get closer to His return, there would be an increase in wars and rumors of war: “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” [ Matthew 24:6-7 ]. So, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine certainly falls under the “increase in wars and rumors of wars” ‘sign’. But, it is not an actual ‘prophetic’ war.

After all, Ezekiel 38 and 39—the Gog and Magog war—goes into great detail about how a leader from Russia a man designated as Gog leads Iran, Turkey, Sudan, Libya and all those “stan” nations together in an attempt to plunder and destroy Israel. That certainly hasn’t happened yet. BUT, we are seeing Russia getting its power back so that it will one day WILL lead a multi-national coalition against Israel.

Ezekiel also tells us that, “Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions” just ‘sit back’ and watch the Russian coalition invade Israel (Ezekiel 38:13). Sheba and Dedan are the ancient names of the Saudi countries, the Merchants of Tarshish are probably the nations at the ends of Europe along the Atlantic Ocean, and all their “young lions” are probably the descendants or colony countries of the New World.

That means that when the world gets to the point in history when Russia has gathered a large Islamic coalition and is ready to attack Israel, it believes that there is no nation standing in its way—since the U.S. and the European Union will probably be rather ‘weak’ at that point. But, I and many others think this will be because of the Rapture, since having a great number of believers in those countries, it will severely weaken the West.

After all, when this coalition attacks Israel, God Himself personally ‘steps in’ to defeat these armies using supernatural disasters, earthquakes, and by turning the invading armies against each other. Ezekiel even reveals that God will send fire raining down on their countries. That is God ‘stepping’ directly back into the affairs of the world once again. Therefore, the Gog-Magog war is NOT a “Church Age” event.

So, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is merely the beginning of ’TREMORS’, or “birth pangs,” as Jesus termed them (in Matthew 24).

ARMAGEDDON?
Since Ezekiel 38 describes a great coalition of nations that will invade the land of Israel when Israel is regathered and resting in her land (Ezekiel 38:8, 11, 14), some have asked whether this is describing the war of “Armageddon.” Well, in my—and MANY prophecy experts—opinion, that really can’t be, because of a few ’obstacles’:

– “Gog” leads the invasion in Ezekiel, and the “Antichrist” leads the invasion at Armageddon

– Russia, Iran, Turkey, and Islamic allies invade Israel in the Ezekiel war, and all nations invade Israel at Armageddon

– In Ezekiel 39, the destruction is on the Mountain of Israel, and at Armageddon, it stretches from the Megiddo in the north to Petra in the south

– In the Ezekiel war, the armies are destroyed by convulsions of nature, but at Armageddon, they are destroyed by the personal appearance of Jesus Christ

– Then, at the end of the Tribulation, Israel will not be “at rest” or “living securely” (which is required by Ezekiel 38:8, 38:11, and 38:14). In the time of the Great Tribulation (the last 3-1/2 years of the Tribulation), Israel will be fleeing to the mountains to escape their persecutors (Matthew 24:16).

– The armies all gather to plunder Israel in the Ezekiel war, whereas they all gather to fight against Jesus at Armageddon

It is also very important to distinguish “Gog” from the other final world ruler, the “Antichrist.” Here are the key differences between these two End Times rulers:

– Gog leads a Russian-Islamic coalition, whereas the Antichrist leads a Western coalition and eventually rules the entire world

– Gog is destroyed near the middle of the Tribulation, whereas the Antichrist is destroyed at the end of the Tribulation

TIMING?
So, is it possible to narrow down the time when the Ezekiel 38-39 war will happen? Well, since Israel is not “living securely” or “at rest” in “unwalled villages” today, so the terminology in Ezekiel 38 fits much better within the first half of the Tribulation—since the Antichrist will broker a ‘covenant’ with Israel that he will protect them from her neighbors, and Israel will be able to let her ‘guard’ down (Daniel 9:27).

[ That said, I, and many others, believe that the Rapture will be before this Ezekiel war, which will create a lot of ‘angst’ in the world, something the Antichrist will ‘quell’ ].

Prophecy expert Dr. John F. Walvoord gave this opinion about the ‘timing’ of the Ezekiel 38-39 war:

“One of the principal questions one could ask about this battle is, when is the battle going to occur? It has not occurred in the past. What indications do we have in this portion of scripture that the battle will occur at a specific time… one point at which Israel will be at rest is in the Millennial Kingdom. But, we are told expressly that, in the millennial kingdom, there will be no war (Isaiah 2:4), and only when the rebellion occurs at the end of the Millennium, when Satan is let loose (Revelation 20:7-9) does war break out. Certainly, Israel is not going to be at rest under these circumstances either, once Satan is let loose.

“There is only one. In the future that clearly fits this description of Ezekiel, and that is the first half of Daniel’s seventieth week of God program for Israel (Daniel 9:27). After the Church has been rapture, and the saints have been raised from the dead, and the living saints haven’t caught up to be with the Lord, a confederacy of nations will emerge in the Mediterranean Sea. Out of that Confederacy welcome a strong man who will become its dictator (the Antichrist). He is described in Daniel 9:26 as “the prince that shall come.” He will enter into a seven-year covenant of protection in peace with the people of Israel (Daniel 9:27).

“Under that covenant, Israel will be able to relax, for their Gentile enemies will have become their friends, apparently guaranteed their borders, and promised them freedom. During that first three and one-half years, we have the one time when re-gathered Israel is at rest and secure. Apparently, Russia will invade the land of Israel during that period, possibly toward its close, and the Scripture will then be fulfilled.”

This view provides a reasonable scenario for the Antichrist’s domination at the midpoint of the Tribulation. If the armies of Russia, Iran, Turkey, and Islamic allies are wiped out in Israel sometime before the mid-point of the Tribulation, this would create a massive ‘power vacuum’ and a dramatic shift in the balance of power that would allow the Antichrist to ascend to world domination (as predicted in Revelation 13).

To me—and many others—the events in our world today point toward the ‘IMPENDING’ fulfillment of the battle recorded in Ezekiel 38-39. All of the necessary antecedents for the fulfillment of this prophecy are in place or are moving in that direction VERY quickly.

Again, John Walvoord notes the significance of Ezekiel’s prophecy for today:

“In the present world seen there are many indications pointing to the conclusion that the end of the age may soon be upon us. These prophecies relating to Israel coming day of suffering an ultimate restoration maybe destined for fulfillment in the present generation. Never before in history of the world has there been a confluence of major evidences of preparation for the end.

“Today, to the north of the nation Israel is the armed might of Russia. Never before hasn’t seemed more likely that the prediction will be for field given by Ezekiel (chapters 38 and 39) of an invasion from the north.”

So, the ‘PRELUDE’ seems to be in place. All that remains is for the Rapture to take place—which COULD happen at ANY MOMENT—setting these events on ‘fast forward’.

It has been said that the believer should have their Bible in one hand and the daily newspaper in the other hand. This has never been more true, or necessary. Anyone who reads the daily headlines in light of Bible prophecy will see OMINOUS ‘developments’ that may just lead to the final Tribulation!

FEARFULNESS
So, are you ‘fearful’ about all this? Well, as I said previously, fear is only as ‘powerful’ as we make it. One CAN ‘CHOOSE’ to live in fear and panic, or they CAN ‘CHOOSE’ to find peace and connection. Shifting one’s mindset to find peace amid chaos is one way one can take back control of a terrifying situation.

In pondering the future of the world and our own future, the truth is that none of us knows how much time we have on this earth. None of us know if we will live even to see tomorrow. There are NO ‘guarantees’ associated with the ‘world’, HOWEVER, God has provided a ‘guarantee’—Jesus!

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” [ John 14:27 ]. The psalmist said that, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” [ Psalm 27:1 ]. The peace we have ‘in’ Jesus is a good gift God the Father does not withhold from the believer. It’s available, so the question is, will you ‘CHOOSE’ IT?

The thing is, the believer can “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace” [ Colossians 3:15 ], and look to the Prince of Peace (Jesus) who gives us His otherworldly peace (John 14:27), and guards their mind from being “corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3).

This ‘broken’ world is only the believer’s temporary ‘home’. Heaven is their ‘real’ home: “But our citizenship is in Heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” [ Philippians 3:20 ]. So, this and other promises God CAN ‘PROVIDE’ the believer with hope, courage, and fearlessness!

THE “END TIMES”?
Ten years ago, “globalism” was considered a conspiracy theory. The conditions needed for the Ezekiel 38 war seemed impossible. Technology had not yet reached the mark-of-the-beast ‘level’, and America was ‘sick’ but still fighting to get better. HOWEVER, in 2021 all of that changed. It looks like the water is ‘boiling’ a bit stronger these days (referring to the “frog in the pot” metaphor).

God definitely could cause the ‘heat’ to be turned down, and the water could cool a bit, but it doesn’t seem like that is going to be the case anytime soon (and I don’t read anything like that in Scripture about the End Times). Jesus said He would come “quickly” when things are ‘scalding’. It does seem that we are heading full speed ahead into everything the Bible prophesies about the future Tribulation period—and our ‘generation’ is seeing it all unfold!

[ FYI: For more details about the “last generation,” view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/last-generation-v249/ ].

In the midst of the struggle to live these days, we need to remember how blessed we are to see these things! Thankfully, God’s people will be removed (via the Rapture) prior to God’s judgment of the world (as has been the clear pattern of His activity in times past and His stated intentions at the end of the age). However, that doesn’t mean the believer won’t live in ‘dangerous’ times prior to the Rapture. In fact, the Apostle Paul said:

“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people” [ 2 Timothy 3:1-5 ]. We can’t say that we have not been uninformed.

To me, it seems that a RAPID ‘BOIL’ may begin soon—and when the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit-indwelled Church is removed via the Rapture—the preserving nature of the believers (“salt and light”) will allow the world to move immediately into a rapid boil. I dare not set dates, but it seems to me that we are VERY NEAR the time of the Rapture!

I know several generations of believers in different eras of church history have thought the same, but never in the history of the world have there been so many signs and conditions in place—“convergence”—as there are right now.

[ For more details on this “convergence,” view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/final-tribulation-v246/ ].

I think we have a ‘front row seat’ to prophecy and end-times conditions. Now, only God knows the day or hour, so we must keep courageously planning if we are going to live another 100 years and live as if we are going to see Jesus tomorrow!

Bible theologian A.W. Tozer said:

“To give any kind of prediction about world events apart from the Scripture is to practice a form of religious insanity that serves only to confuse people who then finally give up and say, “I can’t understand prophecy; I guess it’s not for me.” Any prediction of our Lord’s return that relies on education or technology is sure to be wrong and leads only to discouragement, and finally to abandonment of what the Bible has to say about Jesus’ return. The Blessed Hope is for the believer, and it brings comfort, assurance and confidence to the heart of the believer in the midst of this world’s turmoil. Our focus is not on the calamity around us, but on His glorious coming. Prophecy is not for the critical or curious eye, but for that eye focused on and looking for the Lord Jesus Christ, the Coming One.

Therefore, the point of Bible prophecy is not to alarm us but to alert us to the circumstances leading up to the Lord’s return. This alertness is to spur us on to be ready; and the Bible says a lot about how we can be ready for His return.”

Referring back to the Old Testament, Noah seemed crazy until the rain started. But soon, the world was covered by violent water like a massive ‘boiling pot’. So, please don’t ignore the conditions that are ‘screaming’ at us that that time is short, Jesus IS coming back, and that ‘judgment’ just may be coming SOON!

There’s a story of a couple of pastors from two local churches that were standing by the side of the road holding up a sign that read, “The End Is Near! Turn yourself around before it’s too late!”

They planned to hold up the sign to each passing car. The first driver sped by and yelled, “Leave us alone you religious nuts!”

Then, from around the curve, they heard screeching tires and a big splash.

The one pastor said to the other, “Do you think we should change the sign to simply say, ‘Bridge Out’?”

For the UNBELIEVER, the ‘bridge’ is looking like it is crumbling, and will be ‘OUT’ very soon! HOWEVER, there is a ‘WAY’ OUT for you! The Bible says that if one ‘repents’ of their sins and ‘calls upon’ Jesus to forgive all of their sins, they ‘believe’ that His death on the Cross is the full ‘payment’ for all their sins, that He was raised from the grave, and that He is their Lord, then the Bible says that one can be ‘saved’ from God’s wrath, NO MATTER what one has done or said!

SO, make this ‘choice’ before it’s too late—since not making a choice IS actually making a choice (not to do something)!

Billy Graham, in his book “World of Flame,” tells a true story from the life of President Dwight D. Eisenhower:

“One August, Eisenhower was vacationing in Denver, Colorado. One morning the president opened up the local newspaper and there was an open letter to him that was published from a six-year-old boy named Paul Haley, who was dying of cancer. Haley expressed in that letter a desire for president Eisenhower to visit with him while he was in Denver.

“So, in one of those acts of kindness of a president long remembered after his speeches have been forgotten, Eisenhower decided he was gonna go visit Paul Haley. He announced this to his staff and they all got in the limousine to go to the Haley home. As they arrived in front of a home, Eisenhower went up to the front door and knocked. The door was opened by Paul Haley’s father, Donald Haley. (Can you imagine the surprise of opening the front door and seeing the president of the United States?) Well, the thing is Donald Haley wasn’t dressed for the occasion (he hadn’t shaved for a day and was wearing some old jeans and a faded t-shirt). Little Paul Haley was standing behind him and peeked around his dad.

“The president looked at little Paul and said, “Paul, I’m president Eisenhower. I understand you wanted to visit with me.” So he put out his hand and little Paul Haley shook his hand. They then went for a walk back and forth on the sidewalk. After they had talked together for a while, Eisenhower said goodbye, got into his limousine and off he went.

“For years afterward, the Haley’s talked about that unique act of kindness of president Eisenhower and how they were thrilled about the day’s events. However, the father, in a newspaper interview, lamented about that day’s events. He said, “Just think about it, I had an unshaven face and was wearing faded blue jeans and a soiled t-shirt. What a way to meet the president of the United States!”

Let me suggest that there will be something that will be WAY MORE ‘embarrassing’. One day, the Bible says, suddenly and unexpectedly, the “Trumpet” will sound, the clouds will part, and all the believers will go to see the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus, in Heaven. YET, many “Christians” (and all unbelievers) are going be REALLY ‘embarrassed’ by their ‘spiritual appearance’ on that day! They are going to find that they have ‘clothed’ themselves in the faded and soiled garments of immorality, materialism, and personal ambition, rather than having clothed themselves in the pure ‘linen garments’ of the righteousness of Jesus (described in Revelation 19:8). Sadly, Jesus is going to say to these people, “I never knew you” (Matthew 7:21-23), and will send all of them to Hell, FOR ‘ETERNITY’!

So, let me ask you a very, very ‘PERSONAL’ QUESTION: “If Jesus were to return today or if you were to meet him in death today, would you be ‘ashamed’ of the spiritual appearance of your life right now?” If so, I pray you fall on your ‘knees’ RIGHT NOW, HUMBLE YOURSELF, CRY OUT to God, and PLEAD for Him to mercifully ‘SAVE’ YOU!

Now, if you are feeling ‘led’ to enter into a relationship with the living God of the Bible right now, all you have to do is admit, acknowledge, and accept.

ADMIT
One must realize that they ‘NEED’ to be “saved.” They must admit their need. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” [ Romans 3:23 ].

ACKNOWLEDGE
One must recognize and acknowledge that they need a Savior, and that Jesus is the Savior they need. The Bible is clear that one cannot save themselves. No amount of good works, effort, church attendance, or ritual can take away one’s sin. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” [ Ephesians 2:8-9 ]. Jesus is the Son of God who died in your place on the Cross and rose again on the third day. You can only be saved from your sins through Him. He is God’s ONLY ‘WAY’ to get to Heaven (John 14:6).

ACCEPT
One must accept Jesus as their personal Savior from sin. It is not enough just to know that you are a sinner, that you need a Savior, and that Jesus is the Savior you need. You must personally ‘RECEIVE’ Him by faith. You must accept Jesus and what He has done for you. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” [ John 1:12 ].

So, why not pray to Jesus, right now, to become your personal Savior—since you don’t know if you will be alive tomorrow. The Bible says that, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life” [ John 3:36 ].

There are no magic words to say. God knows your ’heart’. [ Note: There is a “Prayer of Repentance” below if you need some help with the words. ]

If you are an UNBELIEVER then today just might be the ‘day of grace’ for you! Since NONE of us know for sure if we will be alive tomorrow, this just might vibe the LAST TIME you will be about to ‘repent’ of your sins and ‘believe’ in Jesus!

The current events in the world today look like it is ‘prepping’ for the Ezekiel 38/39 war and the end of the ‘age’—so your redemption is drawing near (Luke 21:28).

Again, BELIEVERS are saved from God’s ‘wrath’ (Romans 5:6-11) and WILL NOT be ‘left behind’ to face the horrible realities of the Great Tribulation—but the unbelievers WILL ‘EXPERIENCE’ it all!

Many think that the next world war—“World War III”—will be ‘bad’—and it will be However, it WON’T hold a ‘candle’ to what the Bible says will happen during the Great Tribulation!:

– Over 50% of the world’s population will die
– 33% of the earth’s trees and grass will be scorched
– 33% of everything in the seas will be destroyed
– 33% of the world’s water will be poisoned
– 33% of the day will be complete darkness, in addition to the nighttime
– Locusts will torment by stinging people;
– Painful sores will infect those who took the Mark of the Beast
– Every living creature in the seas dies
– Rivers and springs turn to blood
– The “Battle of Armageddon” happens (more horrendous than the Ezekiel 38/39 war)

So, do you want to be around for all this? I’m thinking, ‘NOT’. Well, if reading that list of things didn’t ‘impress’ upon you the horrendous events that will be coming, maybe this video will:

HOPE IN THE DARKNESS
There is no doubt that our world faces unparalleled predicaments. The events of this world continue to increase in intensity—and not in a ‘good’ way. No human knows the details of how it will all play out or when the end will come, however, I hope that I have convinced you that God has revealed enough to help one see that what’s happening right now is part of His Master Plan, and that He is in control. There is no crisis with God. He ‘knows’ all things, and ‘controls’ all things!

The Apostle Paul was able to find contentment in both happy and sad situations because of Jesus. Paul writes in Philippians about “delighting in Jesus no matter where we find ourselves” (Philippians 4:4-7). He didn’t let his circumstances control him even though, at some points, his circumstances were pretty dire.

Life is stressful and doesn’t always go according to plan. However, believers can be ‘ASSURED’ that life will always go God’s way, even without understanding why, and that contentment comes from their ‘convictions’ and not their circumstances.

[ FYI: For more details on how to have ‘contentment’ while going through trials, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/having-joy-through-trials-v198/ ].

So, it doesn’t matter how bad things look because believers can find contentment in any situation, since God says that they don’t have to let the things of this world affect them. Yes, their circumstances will change for better or worse, but believers should not depend on ‘luck’ since they depend on God. God wants them to find comfort in Him and not in the ‘world’.

[ FYI: For more details on how to have ‘comfort’ while going through trials, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/got-comfort-v169/ ].

There are many things happening in our world today that can cause us to fear. But for those who have committed their lives to Jesus, God has provided precious promises in the Bible to bring peace in the midst of chaos.

The ‘KEY’ to experiencing the peace offered by these promises is to go from merely reading the words to actually believing that the promises are for you. This assurance of peace comes as we grasp the reality of who we are ‘in’ Christ, and who Christ is ‘in’ us. If you have received Jesus as your Savior, then the Bible says His Spirit dwells ‘within’ you, and you are “in Christ” (Romans 8:1; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 4:22-24).

So when you invite Jesus to be in the ‘center’ of your life, you can rest knowing that He loves you and is watching over your circumstances. His perfect love dwells ‘inside’ of you, and casts out all fear (1 John 4:18).

Now, this doesn’t mean everything will always go well for you. Jesus made it clear that, “in the world you will have tribulation,” BUT, then He brings the encouragement: “but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). In this promise, Jesus mirrors the assurance of the psalmist who writes: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” [ Psalm 34:19 ].

Author and survivor of the Holocaust Corrie ten Boom was very insightful about this kind of thing when she said:

“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God you’ll be at rest.”

If one looks around these days at all the headlines, they will be distressed, and if you look ’inside’ long enough and consider your life you will get depressed. HOWEVER, if you look to God you will find rest!

Moses declared of God, “His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart” (Psalm 91:4). This well-known chapter gives other comforting passages to strengthen our trust in the faithfulness of God:

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence” [ Psalm 91:1-3 ].

So, since God is in control of everything, I’m suggesting that, if you are not a believer, to become one so God can ‘control’ (guide) your life! God has the believer’s life in His ’hands’.

Christian pastor and theologian A.W. Tozer said decades ago:

“Try listening to the current news media that does not, in some way, focus on some war around the world. This increase of military activity, Jesus said, was one of the evidences of His soon return.

“Let us be alert to the season in which we are living. It is the season of the Blessed Hope, calling for us to cut our ties with the world and build ourselves on this One who will soon appear. He is our hope—a Blessed Hope enabling us to rise above our times and fix our gaze upon Him.”

Tozer then said that the believer is living in the ‘season’ of the “blessed hope”:

“As Bible-believing Christians, it is imperative that we stay fully alert to the times in which we live. Our enemy is a master deceiver and a con artist of the highest order, diverting our attention from the Blessed Hope with the problems we face every day. Understanding Bible prophecy will create a passion for holy living. To know the Blessed Hope is to live in full expectation of Christ’s imminent return. All signs today point to this being the season of the Blessed Hope.”

All the signs today point to this being the season of the “Blessed Hope.”

[ FYI: For more details about the “Blessed Hope,” view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/blessed-hope-v245/ ].

As a believer, you are SAFE in the ‘shelter’ of God. You SHOULD NOT be ‘afraid’ or FEARFUL! Some of the words in the song “Sheltered In Arms of God” might just encourage you:

“I feel the touch of hands so kind and tender
They’re leading me in paths that I must trod
I’ll have no fear for Jesus walks beside me
For I’m sheltered in the arms of God
So let the storms rage high
The dark clouds rise
They don’t worry me
For I’m sheltered safe within the arms of God
He walks with me
And naught of earth shall harm me
For I’m sheltered in the arms of God.”

[ Note: The full song is in the “Songs” section below ].

PLEASE ‘PREPARE’!
Pastor and prophecy expert Mark Hitchcock well said that, “Biblical prophecy is not given to ’scare’ us, but to ’PREPARE’ us! Not to make one ’anxious’ but to be ’aware’. It’s not just to satisfy our curiosity, it’s to shape our character.” Prophecy expert Jan Markell says that, “Things are not falling apart, they are falling into place.” Pastor Adrian Rogers once said: “Pray for revival; Prepare for survival; Look for His arrival.”

So, with a sense of ‘URGENCY’ on my mind, I want to STRONGLY ‘SUGGEST’ that you study how God’s prophetic order of events is playing out in our day!

[ NOTE: I did a major ‘series’ of posts just a few years ago that focused on the “End Times”—what the Bible prophesies to be the cataclysmic events preceding the “end of the age” and the final war, “Armageddon.” I wanted people to know what the Bible says about when it might possibly be and what to do about it.

The series started with post number 245 (July 2019) the “Blessed Hope” explaining that the believer doesn’t really have to worry about all the ‘angst’ in the world since they will be taken to Heaven before it gets ‘really’ bad, and ends with post number 251 (January 2020) to “‘Heed’ The Warning” about the “convergence” of all the things that Jesus and the prophets have said that would be happening just before the “Great Tribulation.” (The intermediary posts went into the details about the Tribulation, mankind’s “destiny,” if this is the last “generation,” and how the believer can become a “watchman” and a ‘sentinel’.)

– “‘Blessed’ Hope” [‘v245]:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/blessed-hope-v245/

– “‘Final’ Tribulation” [v246]:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/final-tribulation-v246/

– “Mankind’s ‘Destiny’” [v247]:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/mankinds-destiny-v247/

– “Last ‘Generation’ [v249]:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/last-generation-v249/

– “Being A ‘Watchman’” [v250]:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/being-a-watchman-v250/

– “‘Heed’ The Warning!” [v251]:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/heed-the-warning-v251/ ]

DON’T BE ‘FEARFUL’!
Are you ‘FEARFUL’ of what lies ahead? Well, the Bible is clear: things are likely to get worse before they get better—and we better be ready! We must ‘PREPARE’ today for the challenges of tomorrow since none of us know exactly what tomorrow will hold—AND I believe the future will be even more challenging than the present.

HOWEVER, that is no cause for despair! “God gives strength for today in bright hope for tomorrow” (Psalm 23:6; Ephesians 1:18-20). Indeed, such hope is the hallmark of God’s ‘prophetic’ Word.

The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 14:3 that the purpose of prophecy is edification (strength), an exhortation (encouragement), and comfort (consolation). The believer is made strong by knowing God’s prophetic word regarding the future. The believer should be encouraged and comforted at the same time because, though thy may not know exactly what the future holds, they know exactly ‘Who’ holds the future!

SO, even if the Russian-Ukraine conflict escalates into World War III, YOU NEED NOT BE ‘FEARFUL’! Jesus will ‘GUARANTEE’ that you will be 100% ‘FEARLESS’ when you become one of His ‘children’! So, ‘cry out’ for Him to be your ‘Savior’!

God has revealed the future to give the believer confidence, peace, and hope in these last days. My prayer is that I will ‘see’ everyone that is reading this in Heaven someday!!!

I am BEGGING YOU to GET SERIOUS and ‘PREPARE’ NOW for Jesus’ coming to ‘rapture’ the BELIEVERS!!!

[ Excerpts by: Brittany Loggins; Frank Anderson, MD; Kovie Biakolo; Seth J. Gillihan, PhD; Ron Rhodes; Gavriel Rosenfeld; Mina Aldroubi; Robert Tollast; Fiona Hill; Maura Reynolds; Tanner Stening; Zena Chamas; Doug Most; Andrew Hallock; Dana Ferrante; Joshua Shifrinson; Robin Wright; Tristan Bove; Seth J. Gillihan, PhD; David Treybig; Daisy Phillipson; Natalie Morris; Angela Breidenbach; Dr. Craig von Buseck; Blake Glosson; Matthew H. Patton; Dr. Tim Allchin; Suzanne Degges-White; Gary Drevitch; Nancy Colier; Tracie Braylock; Damond Duck; Nathan Jones; Tim Moore; Ron Rhodes; Jack Hibbs; David Jeremiah; Todd Hampson; Got Questions; Joel Rosenberg; Michael Youssef; Mark Hitchcock; Got Questions ]

RELATED POSTS:

“‘Fearful’ Of World War III?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/fearful-of-world-war-III-v278/

“‘Investigating’ Something”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/investigating-something-v277/

“‘HOW’ To Prepare To Meet Someone Important”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/how-to-prepare-to-meet-someone-important-v276/

“‘WHY’ Does Someone Return?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/why-does-someone-return-v275/

“‘WHEN’ Will Something Important Happen?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/when-will-something-important-happen-v274/

“‘WHERE’ You Return To”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/where-you-return-to-v273/

“‘WHAT’ Have You Done Lately?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/what-have-you-done-lately-v272/

“It’s ‘WHO’ You Know”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/its-who-you-know-v271/

“What Really ‘Matters’?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/what-really-matters-v270/

“A Sense Of ‘Urgency’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/a-sense-of-urgency-v269/

“The ‘Final’ Deception”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-final-deception-v268/

“The ‘Ongoing’ Deception”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-ongoing-deception-v267/

“Being ‘Discerning’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/being-discerning-v266/

“Gaining A Deep ‘Understanding’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/gaining-a-deep-understanding-v264/

“‘Presence’ Withdrawn?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/presence-withdrawn-v257/

“‘Protection’ Removed?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/protection-removed-v256/

“Got Your ‘Attention’ Yet?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/got-your-attention-yet-v255/

“Are You ‘Blind’?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/are-you-blind-v252/

“‘Heed’ The Warning!”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/heed-the-warning-v251/

“Being A ‘Watchman’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/being-a-watchman-v250/

“Last ‘Generation’:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/last-generation-v249/

“Mankind’s ‘Destiny’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/mankinds-destiny-v247/

“‘Final’ Tribulation”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/final-tribulation-v246/

“‘Blessed’ Hope”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/blessed-hope-v245/

“‘Saved’ From Death”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/saved-from-death-v219/

“‘Mayday!-Mayday!-Mayday’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/mayday-mayday-mayday-v218/

“Are You ‘Prepared’?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/are-you-prepared-v210/

‘PRAYER’ OF REPENTANCE
In the Bible, there is a parable that Jesus told about a Pharisee and a tax collector praying the the Temple. He notes that the tax collector didn’t even dare to lift his eyes toward Heaven as he prayed. Instead he “beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner’”—and Jesus said that the tax collector “went home justified,” he had been “born again” and ‘reconciled’ by God. (Luke 18:9-14).

If you are ‘sensing’ something like that right now, let me strongly encourage you to HUMBLE YOURSELF, CRY OUT to God, and PLEAD for Him to mercifully ‘SAVE’ YOU! None of us have a ‘claim’ on our salvation, nor do we have any ‘works’ that would cause us to deserve it or earn it—it is purely a gift of Divine grace—and all any of us can do is ask. So, CONFESS YOUR SINS and acknowledge to God that you have no hope for Heaven apart from what He provides through Jesus. [ See Psalm 51 ].

There is no ‘formula’ or certain words for this. So just talk to God, in your own words—He knows your ‘heart’. If you are genuinely sincere, and God does respond to your plea, one will usually have a sense of joy and peace.

Jesus said, “He that comes to Me, I will not cast out” [ John 6:37 ].

[ FYI: This is a great sermon on the “Call to Repentance” by John MacArthur from his book “The Gospel According to Jesus”: https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/90-22/the-call-to-repentance (Transcript: http://www.spiritedesign.com/TheCallToRepentance-JohnMacArthur(Jul-27-2019).pdf) ].

[ NOTE: If you have ‘tasted the kindness of the Lord’, please e-mail me—I would love to CELEBRATE with you, and help you get started on your ‘journey’ with Jesus! ].


<<< RESOURCES >>>


“How the End Begins: The Road to a Nuclear World War III”
By: Ron Rosenbaum

In this startling book, now in paperback, the bestselling author of Explaining Hitler warns that a nuclear World War III is not only the most massive and imminent threat to existence as we know it, but also one of the most ignored.

While Russian aggression grows and North Korean nuclear ambitions increase unabated, tensions continue to escalate between India and Pakistan and in the Middle East. Meanwhile, Iran remains committed to developing its nuclear program despite international sanctions.

No other writer has assembled the extraordinary array of sources and experiences that Ron Rosenbaum calls on to inform his examination of nuclear war. While working from both historical and contemporary perspectives to explore the people and events that could shape the form of a third world war, he suggests humans have never before been so close to annihilation. In this book, Rosenbaum examines both the paranoia and very real set of possibilities that informs our view of nuclear war and asks whether we can “undream” the nightmare.


“World War III: Starting in the Russia Ukraine War”
Simple explanations on how the Russia-Ukraine crisis inspired by Putin, the Moskva ship, and NATO is bringing the World War III fiction into reality
By: Dr. Olivia Hall

Russian media has stated that world war III has begun since missiles from the Ukraine military destroyed and led to the sinking of the Moskva. Overtime, there have been many declarations of the possibility of another world war since world war II ended. Thankfully, none has escalated to the global point where it could be termed a world war. this could be different as it has long been coming. For decades it has been nurtured and right now, it might just be ripe.

Lots of lives have been lost and many are still at stake. The NATO may fully get involved at this point, and would completely change the scale on which the war is fought.

In simple and straight to the point terms, this book explains why this may just be the next global war since 1945.

Scroll back up, buy a copy now and stay up to date with the most threatening period of our time.


“Not One Inch: America, Russia, and the Making of Post-Cold War Stalemate”
By: M. E. Sarotte

A leading expert on foreign policy reveals how tensions between America, NATO, and Russia transformed geopolitics in a Foreign Affairs Best Book of 2021

“Sarotte has the receipts, as it were: her authoritative tale draws on thousands of memos, letters, briefs, and other once secret documents—including many that have never been published before—which both fill in and complicate settled narratives on both sides.”—Joshua Yaffa, New Yorker

“The most engaging and carefully documented account of this period in East-West diplomacy currently available.”—Andrew Moravcsik, Foreign Affairs

Based on more than a hundred interviews and on secret records of White House-Kremlin contacts, Not One Inch shows how the United States successfully overcame Russian resistance in the 1990s to expand NATO to more than 900 million people. But it also reveals how Washington’s hardball tactics transformed the era between the Cold War and the present day, undermining what could have become a lasting partnership.

Vladimir Putin swears that Washington betrayed a promise that NATO would move “not one inch” eastward and justifies renewed confrontation as a necessary response to the alliance’s illegitimate “deployment of military infrastructure to our borders.” But the United States insists that neither President George H. W. Bush nor any other leader made such a promise.

Pulling back the curtain on U.S.-Russian relations in the critical years between the fall of the Berlin Wall and Putin’s rise to power, prize-winning Cold War historian M. E. Sarotte reveals the bitter clashes over NATO behind the façade of friendship and comes to a sobering conclusion: the damage did not have to happen. In this deeply researched and compellingly written book, Sarotte shows what went wrong.


“Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and with the Rest”
By: Angela Stent

From renowned foreign policy expert Angela Stent comes a dissection of how Putin created a paranoid and polarized world — and increased Russia’s status on the global stage.

How did Russia manage to emerge resurgent on the world stage and play a weak hand so effectively? Is it because Putin is a brilliant strategist? Or has Russia stepped into a vacuum created by the West’s distraction with its own domestic problems and US ambivalence about whether it still wants to act as a superpower? Putin’s World examines the country’s turbulent past, how it has influenced Putin, the Russians’ understanding of their position on the global stage and their future ambitions — and their conviction that the West has tried to deny them a seat at the table of great powers since the USSR collapsed.

This book looks at Russia’s key relationships — its downward spiral with the United States, Europe, and NATO; its ties to China, Japan, the Middle East; and with its neighbors, particularly the fraught relationship with Ukraine. Putin’s World will help Americans understand how and why the post-Cold War era has given way to a new, more dangerous world, one in which Russia poses a challenge to the United States in every corner of the globe — and one in which Russia has become a toxic and divisive subject in US politics.


“Red Storm Rising”
By: Tom Clancy

Tom Clancy’s second classic No 1 bestselling thriller — a chillingly authentic vision of modern war — now reissued in a new cover. Three Muslim terrorists who destroyed the Soviet Union’s largest petrochemical plant thought they were striking a blow for freedom. What they had done, unknowingly, was fire the first shots in World War III. Desperately short of oil, the Kremlin hawks see only one way of solving their problem: seize supplies in the Persian Gulf. To do that, they must first neutralise NATO’s forces and eliminate their response — and so they develop Red Storm, a dazzling master plan of diplomatic subterfuge and intense rearmament. The battle lines are drawn and Armageddon beckons!


“Ezekiel 38: When God Defends Israel” (DVD)

Ezekiel 38: When God Defends Israel, The Coming Russian-Iranian Led Invasion Of The Promised Land… This is the trailer for the 3-Disc DVD on the prophecies in Ezekiel 38 and 39.

[ Bill Salus and Mondo Gonzalez ]

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=584dTVa45BY

DVD: https://prophecywatchers.com/product/ezekiel-38-dvd/


“Living with Confidence in a Chaotic World: Certain Hope In Uncertain Times”
By: Dr. David Jeremiah

New York Times bestselling author, Dr. David Jeremiah updates his classic book, Living with Confidence in a Chaotic World, offering biblically based, practical instruction for living a confident life in a world filled with chaos and crisis.

“Let not your heart be troubled . . .”

Confidence can be hard to come by these days. People are losing their jobs, their houses, and their life savings at an unprecedented rate. Violence, natural disasters, and moral depravity seem to be skyrocketing. In the midst of all this chaos, we need to know . . . what on earth should we do now?

David Jeremiah brings a message of hope and confidence from the priceless counsel of the Word of God. He answers our most urgent questions, including:

– How can we weather this storm with a calm heart?
– What does it truly mean to “wait on the Lord”?
– What is Jesus saying to our chaotic world today?
– How on earth did we get into this mess?
– Can we take a broken world and rebuild it into something fruitful?

Living with Confidence in a Chaotic World shows us all that with the power and love of Almighty God, we can live with confidence in this age of turmoil.


“Global Warning: Are We on the Brink of World War III?”
By: Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson

From the author of the mega–bestselling Left Behind series Tim LaHaye and prophecy expert Ed Hindson comes a powerful new book on earth’s final hour.

For ages people have speculated about how the world will end. How can we discern the real clues from the many false alarms?

Prophecy experts Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson bring together ancient Bible prophecies and today’s news headlines to provide a panoramic survey of the final signs that will serve as God’s global warning to the people of all nations. Jesus promised He would someday return to Earth to bring judgment and set up His kingdom, and He even reveals specific details about what will happen.

What are those details? What can we expect? Will terrorism, nuclear threats, and the Middle East crisis have a part? Are there other clues we may have missed?

A captivating page–turner of a book with an urgent message for Christians and non–Christians alike!


“Northern Storm Rising: Russia, Iran, and the Emerging End-Times Military Coalition Against Israel”
By: Ron Rhodes

Almost 2700 years ago, the prophet Ezekiel detailed a massive end-times attack against Israel. The coalition he describes is still making headlines today. Bible scholar Ron Rhodes analyzes current events in the light of biblical prophecy and empowers readers to “interpret the signs of the times” (Matthew 16:3).

This up-to-date assessment of the situation in the Middle East reveals vital information about…

– financial and political ties between the group of nations north of Israel
– Muslim leaders’ growing antagonism toward Israel and the United States
– Iran’s development of nuclear weapons and the resulting threat to global security
– the polarization of nations supporting extremist Islam and the rest of the world
– globalization and its role in setting the stage for a cataclysmic war

Readers will grow in their confidence in God, for to Him, “the nations are like a drop in a bucket” (Isaiah 40:15).


“The Prophecy Collection: The End Times Survival Guide, The Coming Apostasy, Russia Rising”
By: Mark Hitchcock

Three popular books, now collected for the first time in one special edition!
We live in a world that seems to be on the verge of coming apart. Shootings. Killer viruses. The threat of nuclear war. All of it is just too real. What is happening in our world today is moving Christians to return to the foundations of our spiritual existence. Believers everywhere must get back to what matters most. We must always remember our battle, at its most basic level, is spiritual.

In The Prophecy Collection, popular Bible teacher Mark Hitchcock helps you discover spiritual insight and spiritual tools to understand what’s happening―and to prepare for the future―through three important works:

– The End Times Survival Guide
– The Coming Apostasy (coauthored with Jeff Kinley)
– Russia Rising

As we prepare fo the Lord’s coming, it’s time to understand the biblical truths you need to know in order to face an increasingly decaying, darkening world. No matter what the future holds, anchor your spiritual health and welfare on the immovable rock of God’s Word.


“Clash of Kingdoms: What the Bible Says about Russia, ISIS, Iran, and the End Times”
By: Charles Dyer and Mark Tobey

From the bestselling authors of The Rise of Babylon and The ISIS Crisis, the essential guide for Christians about what Bible prophecy foretells concerning current events in the Middle East—especially the rise of ISIS and the resurgence of Russia—while providing a way to find peace and hope in the face of end times concerns.

ISIS, Russia, and Iran are daily atop headlines and are among chief sources of intensifying unease among Americans about how current world conflicts will unfold. Using the Old Testament texts of prophets Ezekiel and Daniel as foundational passages, Bible experts Charles Dyer and Mark Tobey explain the connection between Bible prophecy and real-time events such as the growing alliance between Russia and Iran; the unsettling of the region as ISIS ravages countries and redraws boundaries; and the pull of Turkey and Saudi Arabia into the fray by Russian encroachment, Iranian meddling, and the United States’ inability to create and lead a coalition. Simultaneously, Dyer and Tobey provide practical encouragement and spiritual principles for finding comfort, strength, and perspective in an unsettling time while laying out a strategy for responding out of faith rather than fear in the face of end times concerns.


“Iran: The Coming Crisis: Radical Islam, Oil, and the Nuclear Threat”
By: Mark Hitchcock

The Past, Present, and Future – Exposed The events wracking the Middle East today are confusing to even the most avid news buff. Now all the answers to your questions are offered in just one resource. Divided into five main sections, Iran: The Coming Crisis contains the most up-to-date, thorough information available and is complete with maps, charts, and timelines for visual assistance. Iran’s past, present, and future are exposed – the country’s quest for nuclear weapons and support of Palestinian terror groups, its ability to “play the oil card,” and Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s apocalyptic beliefs that motivate his actions. You’ll discover the truth about today’s events, how they relate to Bible prophecy, and what the Bible clearly describes is yet to come. It’s a crisis unlike any the world has ever faced.


“Psalm 83, the Missing Prophecy Revealed How Israel Becomes the Next Mideast Superpower”
By: Bill Salus

An ancient prophecy written over 3000 years ago reveals that the Arab states and terrorist populations, which presently share common borders with Israel, will soon confederate in order to wipe Israel off of the map. These enemies of Israel are depicted on the red arrows upon the book cover image, and their mandate is clear: They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” (Psalm 83:4). Psalm 83 predicts a climactic, concluding Arab-Israeli war that has eluded the discernment of today’s top Bible scholars, and yet, the Middle East stage appears to be set for the fulfillment of this prophecy. While many of today’s top Bible experts are predicting that Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya, and several other countries are going to invade Israel according to the prophecy in Ezekiel 38, this timely book explains how Psalm 83 occurs prior. Discover how Israel defeats their ancient Arab enemies, and why Americans need to stand beside Israel in this coming war! This book is an updated version of Isralestine, The Ancient Blueprints of the Future Middle East, which was written by the same author. This updated version includes over 17 new chapters and appendices.


“The Prophecy Pros’ Illustrated Guide to Tough Questions About the End Times”
By: Jeff Kinley and Todd Hampson

Clear Answers to Complex Questions

In a field often clouded by confusion and sensationalism, keeping track of what the Bible says about the end times can be challenging even for seasoned believers. That’s why the bestselling authors behind the Prophecy Pros Podcast are here to bring you a comprehensive and user-friendly guide to the most need-to-know facts about what is to come.

Packed with charts, timelines, and infographics, TheProphecy Pros’ Illustrated Guide to Tough Questions About the End Times delivers speculation-free, biblically sourced answers to your questions on one of the Bible’s most significant topics. You’ll learn about imminent events like the rapture, Jesus’ second coming, and life in heaven, while understanding exactly what Bible prophecy is, where it’s found in Scripture, and why Christians should study it.

As you grow in your understanding of God’s plans for history still-to-come, your trust in Him will be transformed. Whether you’re new to your faith or a longtime student of Bible prophecy, this approachable handbook will provide helpful, straightforward answers to your queries and concerns about the end times, inspiring you to face the future with confidence!


“Isralestine: The Ancient Blueprints of the Future Middle East”
By: Bill Salus

ISRALESTINE; The Ancient Blueprints of the Future Middle East Set to explode in the not so distant future, is a devastating war in the Middle East. The Jews will fight off Arab aggression and end terrorism once and for all! ISRALESTINE; The Ancient Blueprints of the Future Middle East, boldly unveils significant Bible prophecy that has eluded the discernment of today’s great scholars. Once upon a foretold time the Jewish people were to meet with a holocaust type condition, out from which they would return back to their ancient homeland of Israel. They would begin as refugees, but promptly emerge into an exceedingly great army. As per Psalm 83, destiny’s design for this great army is a head to head confrontation with a formidable Arab confederacy consisting of Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians, Jordanians, Saudi Arabians and Egyptians. This Arab coalition has been developing in its fledgling stages since 1948 and will climax and officially confederate in the very near future. The Israeli Defense Force will decisively defeat this offensive and prove to be the “exceedingly great army” of Ezekiel 37:10. They will expand their territory, become regionally superior, take prisoners of war and exploit the resources of these conquered Arab nations. In that condition they will become one of, if not the wealthiest nations on earth. It is from that position of empowerment that the Jews will dwell securely in the Middle East. Subsequently the world stage is set for the Russian – Iranian led coalition of nations, which will form against Israel as prophesied in the book of Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39. This non–fiction thriller is carefully designed to cautiously navigate the reader through the end time’s calendar.


“Perfect Ending: Why Your Eternal Future Matters Today”
By: Dr. Robert Jeffress

As popular teacher Dr. Robert Jeffress shows in Perfect Ending, we may not know when Christ will return, but the Bible offers many details about what the end times look like. Strengthen your biblical knowledge and your spiritual life through this powerful look at the future God promises for every follower of Christ. As popular teacher Dr. Robert Jeffress shows in Perfect Ending, we may not know when Christ will return, but the Bible offers many details about what the end times look like. Strengthen your biblical knowledge and your spiritual life through this powerful look at the future God promises for every follower of Christ.


“The Book of Signs: 31 Undeniable Prophecies of the Apocalypse”
By: Dr. David Jeremiah

From one of the world’s most beloved Bible teachers comes a timely, compelling, and comprehensive biblical interpretation of Bible prophecy, the end times, and the apocalypse viewed through the lens of current world events.

Many Christians struggle to understand the Book of Revelation. “The end times.” “The apocalypse.” “The day of judgment.” These terms are both fascinating and frightening – but what do they really mean?

Drawing from decades of study, Dr. Jeremiah explains every key sign of the approaching apocalypse and what it means for you, including international, cultural, heavenly, tribulation, and end signs. With his engaging writing style and clear analysis of how current world events were foretold in the Bible, The Book of Signs is an encouraging guide to the Book of Revelation.

In The Book of Signs, Dr. David Jeremiah offers answers to questions including:

– What does the Bible tell us about the future?
– How much can we understand about biblical prophecy and its application in our lives?
– What signs and signals will precede the end of everything as we know it?
– Which of those signs and signals have already come to pass, which are we experiencing now, and which are still to come?

An epic and authoritative guide to biblical prophecy, The Book of Signs is a must-have resource for Christians seeking to navigate the uncertainties of the present and embrace God’s promises for the future with a renewed sense of hope and purpose.


“The Last Hour: An Israeli Insider Looks at the End Times”
By: Amir Tsarfati

Avoiding sensationalism and date-speculating, respected Bible teacher Amir Tsarfati uses his unique perspective as an Israeli Christian to lead you through a fascinating modern-day description of God’s plan for the end of the world.

Grounded from start to finish in Scripture, the book reveals how the Rapture, the imminent rise of the Antichrist, and the tragic horrors of the Great Tribulation will play out in our world today. He also helps you understand the roles–and fates–of Russia, Iran, Syria, Turkey, the European Union, the United States of America, and Israel in the end times, showing just how biblical prophecies are being fulfilled in our time. But above all, he offers hope that in the midst of chaos and horror, God is ultimately in control, and those who belong to him will be safe with him.


“The End Times Survival Guide: Ten Biblical Strategies for Faith and Hope in These Uncertain Days”
By: Mark Hitchcock

We live in a world that seems to be on the verge of coming apart. Shootings. Killer viruses. The threat of nuclear war. All of it is just too real.

Why does the apocalypse craze in movies and video games appeal to so many people so strongly? One answer is it shows us the primal foundations of our existence. In the same way, what’s happening in our world today is moving Christians to return to the foundations of our spiritual existence. Believers everywhere must get back to what matters most. We must always remember that our battle, at its most basic level, is spiritual.

So, what are the spiritual tools―the essentials―that Scripture tells us we must remember and use as the end draws near?

In The End Times Survival Guide, you will discover ten spiritual tools the Bible relates directly to our preparation for the Lord’s coming―ten biblical survival strategies to live out in these last days so you and your family can prosper in an increasingly decaying, darkening world. These strategies won’t guarantee your physical or financial well-being, but they are guaranteed to bring life and vitality to your spiritual health and welfare as you cling to the immovable rock of God’s Word.

When life is whittled down to its essence, the real issue is our spiritual condition before God. Discover how you can protect yourself and your family spiritually in these dark days.


“The End Times: A Guide to Bible Prophecy and the Last Days”
By: Britt Gillette

Terrorism. Mass shootings. Drug resistant superbugs. Everywhere you look, it seems as though the end is near. Is it? What does the Bible say?If you’ve ever wondered what will happen in the end times, this is the book for you. In simple language, you’ll learn what the Bible says about the last days and why it matters to your life. In The End Times, you’ll get answers to pressing questions, such as:• What is the Tribulation? And what will it bring?• Who is the Antichrist? And what will he be like?• What is the rapture? And when will it happen?• What is the mark of the beast? And who is the man behind it?• How will the world end? And much more…Once you finish reading this book, you’ll have a full grasp of the people, places, nations, and events pivotal to the end times. You’ll learn who the key figures and personalities are, what major events are set to take place, and God’s purpose in planning it all. Learn what the Bible says, and you’ll gain new insight into current events. Most of all, you’ll gain an inner peace that comes from knowing God’s plan and purpose for your life.


“Are You Ready for the End of Time?: Understanding Future Events from Prophetic Passages of the Bible”
By: J. C. Ryle

J. C. Ryle, accepted as one of the foremost Bible teachers of the last 200 years, turns his attention to the future. He investigates the nature of biblical prophecy, signs of the End Times, the Second Coming of Christ and the future state of the Church. He is careful not to push his interpretation of the texts, purposefully avoiding anything that can be called speculative or conjectural. Ryle analyses 8 passages and gives an 11–point summary of his prophetical creed.


“Days of Chaos: An End Times Handbook”
By: L.A. Marzulli

There are two ways of looking at the events happening in the world around us. The first is that all of these events are just natural phenomena. With this in mind one would look at Israel coming into her ancient homeland after almost 2,000 years of diaspora and would not see any relevance, nor would it matter. To put it bluntly, in this way of thinking one would embrace the world view that there is no god, no prophecy, and no supernatural world. There is only what we can see, hear, taste, smell and observe using the scientific method. Then there is the other world view that embraces The Holy Bible or The Guidebook to the Supernatural that takes the opposite stance on all of these positions. There is a God and He is good. There is a supernatural world and it is manifesting. There are signs that those who have eyes to see and ears to hear can point to and say that His coming—the Second Coming of Jesus—is soon. There is going to be a profound change in human history, and it begins upon His return.

The skeptic asks, where is the promise of His coming for all things continue as before? In my way of thinking based on my worldview, we are seeing the birth pains that Jesus warned us would appear before His return. It would seem that prophetic events are accelerating, as I believe we are seeing the signs that warn us of what is coming on the earth… These are the Days of Chaos.


“Israel and the Church: An Israeli Examines God’s Unfolding Plans for His Chosen Peoples”
By: Amir Tsarfati

“Amir Tsarfati tells the prophetic story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and in the process helps his readers to comprehend God’s unique purpose and plan for both Israel and the Church. His refutation of Replacement Theology is profound and yet easy to understand. This book answers a lot of questions many prophetic writers are afraid to ask.”
—Dr. David Jeremiah

As the day of the Lord rapidly draws near, we must appreciate God’s plans for all His people

To truly grasp Bible prophecy, we must first understand how God’s promises to Israel complement His vision for the church. While some believe God has forsaken Israel for the church, this goes against the nature of the faithful Lord we find in Scripture.

In his latest book, native Israeli and bestselling author Amir Tsarfati makes clear what the Bible says about God’s unique master plans for His two chosen groups, Israel and the church. Amir gets to the heart of key questions, such as…

– Do the promises God made to the Old Testament nation of Israel still apply to the Jewish people today?
– Has God replaced rebellious Israel with the church?
– Now that the church exists, does Israel possess a distinct role in the present age?
– How are current events in Israel relevant to the church?
– What should the church’s attitude be toward Israel?

Israel and the Church provides a fascinating look at all that God has prepared for His two peoples—and why it’s so relevant to us today!


“The Armageddon Code: One Journalist’s Quest for End-Times Answers”
By: Billy Hallowell

Through a thought-provoking, journalistic voice, Billy Hallowell, faith editor for theblaze.com, provides objective one-on-one interviews with various leading voices in Christian ministry to explain what they believe the Bible teaches us about the last days.

From its easy-to-understand writing style to other helpful tools, everything about this book was created to allow you to educate yourself on what the Bible says, compare what the experts believe, and draw your own conclusions about the end times.


“Where Do We Go from Here?: How Tomorrow’s Prophecies Foreshadow Today’s Problems”
By: Dr. David Jeremiah

Today’s headlines shout of modern plagues, social tensions, economic crises, and rampant depression. Many are asking, what day is it on God’s prophetic calendar? Trusted Bible teacher and Pastor Dr. David Jeremiah opens the Word of God to reveal what it has to say about the days we are living in.

Sharing how prophecies and wisdom from centuries ago still speak the truth today and point the way forward for tomorrow. Whether one is new to biblical prophecy or a longtime student of the Bible, this timely message will encourage and recalibrate us to the mission of God in our daily lives. Journey with Dr. Jeremiah back to the Bible to find out, Where Do We Go from Here?

A Cultural Prophecy: Socialism
A Biological Prophecy: Pandemic
A Financial Prophecy: Economic Crisis
A Political Prophecy: Cancel Culture
A Geographical Prophecy: Jerusalem
And how these all lead to the Final Prophecy—the Triumph of the Gospel. The day of Christ’s return is coming. We haven’t long to wait. But until then, we need to understand what the age requires—and we need to do what the Lord commands.


“Fearless Living in Troubled Times: Finding Hope in the Promise of Christ’s Return”
By: Michael Youssef

How Can I Live Out My Faith Amid a World in Distress?

Imagine a life of peace and purpose in the face of global disasters, increasing persecution, and economic instability. Is it really possible to live fearlessly in such troubled times?

Dr. Michael Youssef points to the first-century church, guiding you through the practical wisdom and powerful hope found in 1 and 2 Thessalonians—Paul’s letters to believers who lived in a hostile world. Through these chapters, you will discover how to…

– experience a productive, God-honoring life now, while also looking toward eternity
– overcome the fear of criticism, affliction, and even death with the right perspective
– understand the true nature of the end times, and what you can expect in the future

Explore what it means to be part of God’s family in a day when people desperately need to see your unwavering faith.


“Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear”
By: Max Lucado

Fear may fill the world but does not have to fill your heart.

Each sunrise seems to bring fresh reasons for fear. Layoffs at work. Slowdowns in the economy. Health scares. Division. Oversized and rude, fear herds us into the prison of our anxious minds and keeps us from the freedom Christ offers.

New York Times bestselling author and pastor Max Lucado invites us to turn to faith, not fear, as our default reaction to the threats of life. In this book, Max will help you:

– Find freedom from the fear of insignificance.
– Take comfort that the Lord will never leave your side.
– Unleash your worries and become filled with peace.

Today, learn to trust more and fear less.


“Future Glory: Living in the Hope of the Rapture, Heaven, and Eternity”
By: Ed Hindson

Glimpse the Splendor That Awaits You

Despite today’s hardships, the Bible promises a glorious new era is rapidly approaching. God’s plan for what’s ahead includes our rapture, our rewards, our participation in Jesus’ triumphal return, and our eternal glory in heaven. As a believer, you can trust that a wonderful future awaits you.

In Future Glory, prophecy expert Dr. Ed Hindson helps you explore the Bible’s seven unique promises that outline what’s in store for every Christian. You’ll gain a better understanding of
– the timeline for the rapture, Christ’s return, the millennium, and the creation of a new heaven and earth
– the awe-inspiring details of what life will be like in Christ’s kingdom
– your place in heaven and what it means to live with an eternal perspective

Written with attention to biblical details, Christ-minded wisdom, and a gracious compassion for our all-too-human tendency to be absorbed with the here and now, Future Glory will take you on an incredible journey into your prophetic future and the everlasting destiny God has prepared for you.


“What Are You Afraid Of?: Facing Down Your Fears with Faith”
By: David Jeremiah

For many people, worry, anxiety, and fear are constant companions: fear of death, fear of danger, fear of disease. And too often, these fears are crippling, keeping us from the life God has called us to live.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, says Dr. David Jeremiah. As Christians, we have been given all we need in order to face down even the most frightening, unexpected, and overwhelming obstacles in life.

In his new book, What Are You Afraid Of? Dr. Jeremiah explores the top ten fears that are holding so many of us back from the life God has called us to live and shares the supernatural secrets for facing down these fears with faith.


“Hope: Living Fearlessly in a Scary World”
By: David Jeremiah

Enjoy a great reading experience when you buy the Kindle edition of this book. Learn more about Great on Kindle, available in select categories.
View Kindle Edition
For many people, worry, anxiety, and fear are constant companions: fear of death, fear of danger, fear of disease. In today’s unpredictable and contentious world, who can blame us?

All too often, these fears are crippling, keeping us from the life God has called us to live. Is there any hope amidst all this darkness?

There is. As Christians, we have been given all we need in order to face down even the most frightening, unexpected, and overwhelming obstacles in life. In Hope, Dr. David Jeremiah explores the top seven fears that are holding so many of us back from the life God has called us to live and shares secrets for facing down these fears with hope in God. With each page, you’ll grow in your conviction that God is the answer you’ve been looking for: as you look to the future, you’ll begin to see nothing except his power and love guarding your every step.

Step into the truth and start living the fearless life God created you to enjoy.


“Every Prophecy of the Bible: Clear Explanations for Uncertain Times”
By: John F. Walvoord

Unprecedented natural disasters, political uprisings, and economic uncertainty: The Bible predicted it all. Now you can understand it—and know what’s coming next.

As we watch world events unfold, biblical prophecy becomes a subject of intense interest. Every Prophecy of the Bible brings clear answers to more than 1,000 key prophecies, backed with solid Scriptural evidence. Noted biblical scholar Dr. John F. Walvoord covers each prophecy from Genesis to Revelation, giving detailed insight into the many prophecies that have been fulfilled, as well as those that are still to come. By placing each event into historical context, the author gives insight into how the past, present, and future fit together to form an amazing, divine design.

An excellent reference guide for those seeking answers, this comprehensive book reassures readers that God’s master plan is to be trusted and that the Bible is an accurate source of hope for all Christians.


“30 Days to a Fearless Tomorrow”

Each day draws us one day closer to our heavenly destination, so we do not need to be anxious or afraid. Live each day with anticipation and joy—that is the message I want you to embrace during the next 30 days!

[ David Jeremiah ]

Website/App: https://www.davidjeremiah.org/30-days-to-a-fearless-tomorrow/app-download


! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

SPECIAL ‘GENERAL’ RESOURCE

ApologetiX Songbook
(An interactive PDF)

It features the lyrics to every song on every CD and every “download” from 1993-2020

Special features:

  • indexed by title, original song, original artist, subject, and Bible verse
  • each song’s page has icons showing what albums it appears on
  • each song’s page has a commentary from lyricist J. Jackson
  • each album’s page includes liner notes and track listing
  • print any pages you like or use for slides in church
  • photos from ApologetiX’s debut concert in 1992
  • discography of out-of-print cassettes
  • downloadable in PDF format

New features in this edition:

  • all song commentaries from J. Jackson updated and expanded
  • also indexed by year when original song spoofed was a hit
  • J.’s original handwritten rough lyrics to 40 ApX classics
  • scads of photos from ApX 25th-anniversary concerts
  • list of 40 ApX parodies most likely to be redone
  • over 200 new parodies and journal entries
  • list of the first ApX concerts in each state
  • six new full-length feature articles
  • DVD discography and synopses
  • never-before-seen rare photos
  • lyrics for over 700 parodies
  • over 1000 pages!

Interactive features:

  • click on any page number in indexes or TOC to go to that page
  • click on any album icon to go to its liner notes and track listings
  • click on any song title on an album page to go to that song

Note: This e-book is a download-only and doesn’t include sheet music.

The songbook is available for a donation of $50 or more. After we receive your donation, we’ll send you a follow-up email with the link.

Get the Songbook for a donation:
http://www.apologetix.com/store/store.php#songbook

Songbook Demo Video: https://rumble.com/vfazhl-apologetix-songbook-2020-demo.html


“THE SEARCH FOR MEANING” WEBSITE

This site presents discussions on the 12 most commonly asked questions about the Christian faith.

The 12 discussions are accessed by the “tabs” at the bottom of the page. The tabs are numbered 1-12. Roll your mouse over them and you will see the question displayed at the right. Click on the number to select that question.

Within each question (i.e. tabs 1-12), there are subtopics (or dialogues) to select that appear as smaller tabs underneath the numbered tabs. Roll your mouse over them and the title of these topics is also displayed to the right. Click on the open rectangle to select that dialogue.

For each question (1-12), a link to related resources and an optional flowchart is provided. To access this material, click on the respective words, “Related Resources” or “Options Flowchart.”

To play a more detailed discussion of the subject, between two people, select the desired dialogue and click on “Play Audio Dialogue.”

In the upper right-hand corner of the page, there is an icon that looks like binoculars looking at a question mark. Click on this icon to return to the homepage.

In the upper right-hand corner of a “Related Resources” page, there is an icon that looks like some books. Click on this icon to get to an “overview” page that has links to all of the resources for all of the questions. There also are additional “appendices” for most of the questions.

In the upper right-hand corner of a “Flowchart” page, there is an icon that looks like an Org chart. Click on this icon to get to an “overview” page that has links to all of the flowcharts.

http://4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q1_d1_1of10.html

[ Content by: Bill Kraftson and Lamar Smith; Website by Mark Besh ]


“FRUITS OF THE BEATITUDES” WEBSITE
(The ATTITUDES of Jesus that produce the CHARACTER of Jesus)

CLICK ON THE LINK to view:
http://fruitsofthebeatitudes.org/

FACEBOOK PAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/FruitsOfTheBeatitudes/

[ Mark Besh ]


[ P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about what it means to “believe,” visit the following link:
http://www.4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q10_d1_1of10.html ].


<<< ARTICLES >>>


“I’m scared – Are we now threatened with World War 3?-Be Prepared”

Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukrainian territory this morning.
What will this mean for Ukraine, Germany and all of Europe?
I’ll tell you honestly, I’m very scared of what’s coming.
A few months ago, when I started my Be-Prepared series, I was smiled at by many.
I’m glad I did and I urge any of my viewers to take care of themselves and their loved ones and don’t be caught off guard!

[ Vanessa Blank ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOr2ZpnSTU0&t=244s


“Dealing With Anxiety About War”

Dr. Michele Nealon, Psy.D., president of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, says it is time to double down on what we know about taking care of ourselves when stress and uncertainty leaves a mark on our mental well-being.

[ Good Day LA ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn6f40-QK98


“How Close Are We to World War III? | EP. 15”

How close are we to World War III? One month since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, hundreds of civilians and thousands of soldiers have been killed, and roughly 10 million Ukrainians have been displaced by the conflict. The war has reached a stalemate, raising concerns about whether fighting could spill over into neighboring countries.

Are we on the verge of another world war? To understand the current situation, and how it compares to the two major wars of the 20th century, we spoke with Joshua Shifrinson, a BU Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies associate professor of international relations.

[ Boston University ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iiy0z7ZtAT4


“Ukraine War: Are we heading towards World War III”

Russia has invaded Ukraine.
NATO has increased deployment in Eastern Europe.
Sweden has accused Russia of airspace violation.
Taiwan is on alert.
Is this the prelude to World War 3?

[ Gravitas Plus ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjl2QR4t7l0


“What Are The Chances of World War 3?”

According to the New York Times, at least 108 million people have been killed in wars in the twentieth century. The First World War started in Europe and lasted more than 4 years from 1914 to 1918 with 7 million civilians and 10 million military personnel losing their lives. The Second World War lasted for 6 years from 1939 to 1945 with deaths ranging from 50 million to more than 80 million. Both of these wars were catastrophic, but could it happen again? That’s what we’ll find out, in this episode of The Infographics Show: What Are The Chances of World War 3?

[ The Infographics Show ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UGxzkUTlsM


“What If World War III Happened Tomorrow?”

Human history has been full of battles and wars, some big and some small. But if World War 3 were to happen, it might be humanity’s biggest battle yet. Advanced technology, massive troops, and more intensive strategy would all be involved. Why would something like this happen? And how would this war be fought?

[ What If ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqHctQwqgQ0


“How the Next Great War Begins”

Please join the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security for an Art of Future Warfare Project panel discussion exploring how art and the creative process can shed light on the outbreak of a global conflict.

Just over 100 years since the outbreak of World War I, where and when might a 21st Century’s ‘Great Power’ war begin? Who will fight, and why? What will be the decisive technologies of a great power war? What will be the role of narrative both before and during such a conflict?

Answering these questions will be ADM James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), Dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University and former Supreme Allied Commander Europe; Ryan Evans, Editor-in-Chief at War On The Rocks; Nikolas Katsimpras, a former Hellenic Navy officer and lecturer at Columbia University who won the project’s first short story contest; and Siobhan Gorman, former intelligence reporter with The Wall Street Journal and a Director at Brunswick Group. As well, Katsimpras will read from his contest-winning story, “Coffee, Wi-Fi, And The Moon.”

The Art of Future Warfare project’s core mission is to cultivate a community of interest in works and ideas arising from the intersection of creativity and expectations about how emerging antagonists, disruptive technologies, and novel warfighting concepts may animate tomorrow’s armed and social conflicts.

[ Atlantic Council ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-O3f9rEBR0


“What If Russia Started World War 3?”

If you are able to support the Ukrainian people, please tap the “Donate” button.

What would happen if the largest country on Earth decided it needs more territory and power? It might just go to war over it.

Russia already takes up one-eighth of all of the inhabited land on the planet, the largest country in the world by area. And now it has its eyes on one of its European neighbors, Ukraine.

Russia Ukraine conflict has been long-standing, historically posing challenges for both nations.

What if Russia finally declared war?

[ What If ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtR2kn6Luds


“What If Russia Launched a Nuke?”

The threat of World War III is on the horizon. What if this war went nuclear? With their arsenal of nuclear weapons, Russia seems like a likely contender to launch the world’s next major nuclear attack. What does the process of launching a nuke look like? Is it worthwhile for Putin to take Russia’s attack strategy nuclear?

[ What If ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0X63nPRcro


“[HoI4] World War 3 [AI Simulation] 2022”

HoI4 AI simulation of World War 3.

All major / most minor nations were set up based on their actual real life numbers (source: globalfirepower.com). China received a boost to its navy to make up for the difference between the default Millennium Dawn Mod numbers and what China actually has in 2022 – in terms of its ratio vs the US Navy. Industry of China was as well boosted to reflect its current national output more closely (source: https://www.statista.com/chart/20858/top-10-countries-by-share-of-global-manufacturing-output).

The nations I picked for either side were for the most part influenced by Whatifalthist videos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrDJQ15u5_A) on the same topic. Though I normally never like sacrificing realism for the sake of balance of sides in any scenarios, some nations were put under Russo-Sino side for that purpose. I am hoping and counting on us never finding out how right or wrong this setup was!

[ GameWatcher ]

Simulation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8-e01Kq6TI


“How to Survive WWIII”

Tense International relations and a charged political climate around the world are making an impending World War III a likely possibility.

Countries like Sweden, Germany and Lithuania are even educating citizens on how to be prepared for a potential world war. But weapons technologies have evolved since World War II. This time, global warfare is going nuclear.

Should you be prepared too? What would you do if your city became a war zone? How well could you fend off nuclear warfare?

00:00 World War III
01:33 Disaster planning
02:34 Staying calm
03:33 Avoiding targets
04:20 Finding shelter
04:58 Nuclear attacks

[ How To Survive ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56Djbyvii1c


“What Would Happen After World War 3”

World War 3 has ended, but the world will never be the same. Fresh off the chaos from the most destructive war in history, there is a new world superpower, and life as you know it is gone forever. Which country is the top dog, and could humanity actually survive a nuclear war? Find out right here!

[ The Infographics Show ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1o_jEplpmw


“Russia just told truth about Ukraine and it’s SCARY”

Russian officials say that they consider that they are currently “at war” with NATO and the U.S. and that a nuclear war is a real possibility. This is not hyperbole. The U.S. continues to escalate war and Russia is noticing

[ Redacted with Natali and Clayton Morris ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK2PSkV1AN8


“Why are they hiding this about Ukraine?”

We follow the money in this segment, showing that defense contractors are getting WAY more than they tell us. While the U.S. hits debt limits and offers no social program for its citizens, it is amazing to see how much money is funneled into the war to the benefit of…not you probably. Clayton Morris breaks down the money trail and where it leads

[ Redacted with Natali and Clayton Morris ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZpzPWnoHGk


“6 Strategies to Overcome Fear and Anxiety”

You know what it’s like to be afraid of something, whether it be thunderstorms, a trip to the dentist, a stranger at your door, or losing someone dear to you. Fear is a normal reaction that warns our bodies to be careful. Anxiety is a type of fear, dealing more with worry and the future, rather than fearing something that is present.

When fear and anxiety become a pattern in our lives, they become a problem. If your plugged drain in the kitchen sink is a problem, do you ignore it? Of course not. You call a plumber or try to fix it yourself. When fearfulness causes harm to your physical and mental stability, and you find yourself avoiding things that might create more fear, don’t ignore it. When anxiety becomes a debilitating thing that leaves you cowering and sick, don’t try to push it away.

Learn how to overcome fear and anxiety.

The following 6 steps may be your ticket to getting rid of fear and anxiety disorders in your life.

Step 1: Learn More About Your Fear
This first step can be the hardest one, but it’s also absolutely necessary. You can’t overcome a fear that remains hidden in the dusty regions of your subconscious. You must face it. When you turn your face toward a person, you see that person and learn what he looks like and how he is acting. When you turn toward your fear (rather than away from it), you notice things about your fear that you didn’t know before. This awareness helps you overcome it.

To help yourself face your fears and anxiety, try keeping a journal over a period of two or three weeks. Record any patterns you notice. Do your hands turn clammy and your stomach clenches when you hear the doorbell? Do you experience more symptoms of anxiety in the morning or the evening? What do you tend to do when your fears arise? Jot down anything that seems significant. Transferring your fear patterns and symptoms into writing can help demystify them. They are no longer so big and insurmountable.

Most importantly, learning all about your fear gives you an idea of how to counter it.

Step 2: Use your Imagination in Positive Ways
An imagination is a wonderful thing. It gives you power, creativity, and the ability to think outside the box. Unfortunately, an active imagination can be a harmful tool when it causes you to think about negative things. Your imagination can magnify your fears, making your situation seem much worse than it actually is.

Instead of letting your imagination lead you down the dark corridors of fear, purposely use it for overcoming fear.

How do you do that? Pick a calm moment when you are relaxed and not anxious. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a situation that normally causes fear. For instance, if you are afraid of being lost in a crowded building, picture yourself in a busy airport. Now, imagine yourself handling the situation peacefully. You don’t freeze and begin to cry. Instead, you search for an information desk or a sign that will help you regain your sense of direction. You imagine yourself reaching the correct parking lot, unlocking your car door, and driving safely home without any bad incidents.

The peace you experienced in your imagined scenario can actually help you get through the actual ordeal more peacefully.

Step 3: Use Your Brain in a Different Way than Usual
Your fear and anxiety arise out of a certain part of your brain, and they allow emotion to overcome rational thought. When you feel your fearful symptoms coming forth, try to use a different part of your brain. Think about numbers, for instance. A nurse in the clinic might ask a patient to rate his pain on a scale of 1-10. Use this scale for your anxiety. How anxious are you when 1 is perfectly calm and 10 is your very worst symptom? Stop and analyze. Do you rate your fear at 7? Very good. You can work on lowering that to a 4 or a 3. Try using the next step to lower your fear rating.

Step 4: Focus on Your Breathing
Breathing is more important than you think. Usually, anxiety begins with short breaths. The short breaths cause a number of negative reactions in your body which quickly become an anxiety attack. The key to overcoming those fast outbreaks of anxiety is to control your breathing.

Fortunately, deep breathing is not complicated. Once you have recognized that you are becoming fearful, stop and focus on your breathing. Take a breath in, and then slowly let it out. Make sure your exhale is longer than your inhale. This isn’t just some psychological trick; deep breathing forces your body to physically calm itself.

Step 5: Practice Mindfulness
You’ve heard about mindfulness, but what exactly is it? Mindfulness is a passive thinking activity that allows you to become more aware of your fear. As you learned in Step 1, awareness helps you overcome your fear and anxiety.

Practice these mindfulness tips during some of your less severe times of fear and anxiety. When you recognize your fear symptoms arising, sit down and think about what is happening to you. This is like making a mental journal entry. Observe the symptoms as they arise. Don’t do anything about it. Just sit and keep track of yourself as the moment continues. Being passive raises your self-awareness, and it prevents you from doing the typical things you do when you experience fear. It helps get you out of a rut.

Step 6: Use Nature as Your Therapist
Talking to a therapist is an excellent way to work through your fears and anxiety. However, you can’t always be at your therapist’s office. Try going for a walk outside instead! Natural beauty found in parks, backyards, or wherever something green is growing does help reduce symptoms of fear and anxiety. Nature calms people, reducing stress levels and changing moods from anxious to relaxed. Plus, the physical activity of walking or jogging outdoors requires us to use our brains differently, which can cause a switch from irrational fearful thoughts to clearer thinking that can help overcome the fear.

Would you like to know more? Our counselors at Real Life Counseling can provide real help for your fear and anxiety problems. Please contact us to learn more.

[ Anxiety Issues – Staff Writer ]


“Beat Fear of the Future in 3 Easy Steps [Stop Anticipatory Anxiety]”

You can feel anxious about something happening right now.

And you can feel anxious about something that hasn’t even happened yet.

That’s what we’re going to focus on today–future fear, also known as fear of the future, chronophobia, or anticipatory anxiety.

It can be an absolutely draining thing.

I know this from experience.

But…there are ways to tackle this type of anxiety and lessen–and eventually overcome–the hold that fear of the future has on your life.

Because life is hard enough as it is–there’s no need for that sneaky future to control your life when it hasn’t even happened yet.

What is Fear of the Future / Future Fear? (Understanding Chronophobia)
The best way to learn about fear of the future is to go through a few examples.

Fear of the future / chronophobia can be:
Feeling nervous about a presentation you need to give next week
Overthinking and worrying ahead of a visit from your in-laws
Being anxious about the approach of major life events, such as a wedding, a birth, or graduation from high school or college
What I’m trying to say is this: not everyone deals with debilitating anxiety like I have in the past, but everyone can wrap their mind around what it feels like to fear the future.

Why Does Fear of Future Happen?
To understand where fear of the future comes from, you have to understand where your ancestors came from.

Back in the day of tribes and hunters and gatherers, there were people, your past people, who were on high alert for dangers that might come their way–scary things like massive beasts that might threaten their livelihood or terrible weather that might threaten their camp.

Anxiety and thinking about what the future might hold was not only helpful–it was crucial to the survival of your past people. Not being able to prepare for the future might be the difference between life and death.

Fortunately for us, life isn’t always that serious anymore.

But your brain doesn’t know that.

Your brain evolved over a period of thousands and thousands of years. It was forged in the fires of a dangerous world.

And so this is something that you, living your modern life, need to contend with.

It can be a major challenge. It was for me for many, many years.

But fearing the future is not a life sentence–it’s something that can be overcome.

How to Overcome Fear of the Future (Beat Your Future Fear)
To overcome fear of the future, you need a game plan, and not just any one will do.

You need a game plan personalized for your life.

You’re the one fearing the future, and the fears that you have are unique to your experience, your body, and your relationships.

Remember, mental health is a multifaceted thing and there are commonalities in how we all experience it, but the connecting points extend from who you are as a unique being.

1 – That’s step one–realizing what your unique flavor of future fear is.
How does it taste? What does it feel like? Are there themes that come up, time and time again, in your life?

These are your targets, your starting points.

And hey, you may not always be able to identify what it is that is making you feel so anxious. That’s OK, and it’s perfectly normal.

As long as you start the process with intention, you’ll be alright.

2 – Next up in this game plan is the actual planning part.
Now, this is where you need to be careful.

Planning can quickly turn into rumination, which can quickly turn into serious, emotional drainage.

A good plan for tackling the future, at least in my experience, is a rough outline.

It’s a set of bullet points, either written down or typed on the computer, of the basic issue/problem that you’re worrying about.

Research shows that writing something down makes your brain process it better, so this might be the best option for you, but again, do what feels right for you. This is YOUR life.

Map out the structure of the problem.

What is it exactly that’s bothering you?

What might you do if scenario one happens? What might you do about scenario two?

Keep it simple–and focus only on what you can control.

Your brain wants to trick you. It wants to convince you that the world is ending and that you’ll need to prepare for thousands of scenarios.

But you’re not your ancestors. You’re the Modern You.

Believe it or not, these two steps are enough for most people. The more I’ve done this, the more I’ve realized I don’t need to get really detailed about my future fear. Just expressing it out loud and writing it down has been enough.

3 – But you might need one more step, and the final step is taking action.
Action is the antidote.

Future fear literally can’t exist if you’re moving and taking action.

The world changes as you act.

When you’re in motion, acting and being, there’s no time or space to have countless thoughts about the future.

And it doesn’t necessarily need to be action preventing a disastrous future outcome. The odd thing is that your emotions change when you’re in motion, period.

Try it out.

Go for a run. Do a few push-ups. And then do a mental / physical / emotional reading of how you feel compared to minutes before. It’s almost magical the changes that can occur in a short amount of time.

Fearing the Future Does Not Need to Control Your Life
If it is controlling your life right now, be gentle with yourself.

Even though it may seem like you’ve wasted enough time already fearing the future, you don’t have to view it that way.

Consider it a past course in wisdom-gathering.

Because you’ve been there, you have the information you need to go somewhere else.

Think of your ancestors roaming, on foot, across rough terrain.

Think about how scared they must have been.

They gave you the tools you need. It’s the world that has changed.

Now all you need to do is use ancient tools to adapt to this modern world.
You can feel anxious about something you did.

[ Jordan Brown ]


“HOW TO STOP LIVING IN FEAR-10 TIPS TO MASTER YOUR PSYCHOLOGY AND ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS”

Fear of failure, fear of rejection or fear that we’re just not enough – fear is a common current that runs through all of our lives. And if we let it, fear can keep us locked up in the prison of the comfortable and predictable, which prevents us from reaching our true potential. Living in fear causes a double conundrum where you’re unfulfilled with the status quo yet afraid to pursue anything better.

But there is also a way that fear can serve a valuable purpose, helping us break through the frustration to achieve the life we truly desire. That’s right – if you allow it to, fear can become a tool for finding fulfillment. Discover how to stop living in fear – or better yet, how to use fear as your ultimate inspiration.

THE TYPES OF FEAR
To stop living in fear, you must understand the underlying psychology so that you can actively work against it. To a point, fear and anxiety have a place in healthy human psychology. Acute fear is a normal emotion that signals a potential threat to your physical or emotional safety. If you’re ever in an accident, feel you’re being followed or experience some other immediate threat, you’ll notice your blood starts pumping faster. Adrenaline shoots through your veins. You have a heightened awareness that allows you to take fast action in order to save yourself or others. Acute fear is a natural response that helped our ancestors survive.

There is another type of fear that occurs when the acute fear response becomes hyper-sensitive. It’s called chronic fear or indirect fear, and it occurs when we are continually exposed to low-level yet stressful events. We might watch a lot of news about war, political divisions or the latest disease discoveries, causing us to irrationally anticipate negative events. Unlike acute fear, chronic fear can lower our natural life-saving response and cause us to believe we need to be “saved” by an outside force.

WHY AM I LIVING IN FEAR?
According to research from Harvard, just over 19% of the total population has experienced an anxiety disorder in the previous 12 months. They’re some of the most common psychological issues in the U.S. In the modern world, it’s typically chronic fear that causes our deep-seated anxiety issues, and everything from the media to caffeine has been blamed. But living in a state of blame has never helped anyone solve their problems. It’s time to take ownership of your emotions and transform your life.

So, what’s the best way to deal with fear? You must learn to dance with it. In the video below, Tony reveals how to use fear to your advantage — instead of letting it use you.

SIGNS YOU’RE LIVING IN FEAR
Would you believe that many people go through life without realizing they’re living in fear? That’s because fear is often confused with comfort – we become comfortable with our lives, and we think that we are happy and fulfilled. Certainty is one of our Six Human Needs, but when we become too comfortable, it starts to hold us back. Here are a few signs you are living in fear:

Perfectionism. The need to be perfect is a mask we wear to protect ourselves from finding true intimacy and connection. As Tony says, it’s also the lowest standard in the world, because it is impossible to achieve.

Settling. On the other hand, settling for less than you deserve is a powerful indicator you’re letting your need for certainty run your life. If you don’t have an extraordinary, passionate relationship and a job you absolutely love, you’re living in fear.
Procrastination. Always putting your goals off until “tomorrow” or “when I have more time” is a classic delay tactic of those who are living in fear. It’s time to stop making excuses and start achieving your dreams.

Numbing yourself. When you’re living in a beautiful state, you don’t need drugs or alcohol to enjoy your life. You’re open to the world, you’re the master of your emotions and you feel pure joy each and every day.

HOW TO STOP LIVING IN FEAR
With chronic fear, you’re not experiencing anxiety – you’re living in it. The fear response becomes a maladaptive lifestyle, influencing everything you think, feel and do. Fear keeps you stuck in a self-perpetuating cycle of defeat and frustration. The upside to fear is that the emotions surrounding it are usually so unpleasant that they drive you to find another way.

Don’t let fear control you. There are many strategies for how to stop living in fear, from self-care to exercise to seeking professional help. When you commit to facing your fears, you’re able to discover strategies to overcome them and find peace.

fear

  1. DETERMINE THE SOURCE OF YOUR ANXIETY
    If you’re living in fear, your anxieties have escalated to the point that they’re running the show. You’re thinking about your worries constantly without much mindfulness as to what’s behind them. To stop living in fear, you must pinpoint what’s causing your distress.

Get out a piece of paper and brainstorm a list. When you’re finished, circle the items that are tangible concerns – fears that your house will burn down, your kids will go missing or you’ll lose your job tomorrow. Start giving yourself a sense of control by writing a few actions you can take to prevent these things from happening. Also recognize the intangible concerns – fears of the apocalypse, alien invasion from Mars or worldwide economic collapse. You’ll see that these have very little chance of happening – but you’ll also see that these fears often have deeper roots. If your fears fall into this category, you’ll need to do some self-reflection to discover how to stop living in fear.

  1. RECOGNIZE THAT LIFE HAPPENS FOR YOU
    “Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you,” as Tony Robbins says. Truly understanding and accepting this concept is the first step to fulfillment. When you put an end to the blame game and start becoming the master of your own destiny, endless possibilities open up to you. And when you see the world as a place of opportunity, not obstacles, you don’t let fear control you.

The reason for determining the source of your anxiety isn’t to give you an excuse to keep living in fear. It’s to help you assert power over those fears so that they no longer control you. Once you identify the source, you can change your story – and change your mindset. The first step is recognizing that you have a choice. You can blame outside forces for your emotions and continue to feel out of control. Or you can take charge of your life and learn how to stop living in fear.

  1. STOP THE EXCUSES
    Like blame, excuses are a defense mechanism we use to avoid facing our problems. It’s easy to push our hopes, desires and dreams aside when we have excuses: There’s just not enough time, I don’t have the money or the resources, I have a family, I’m too busy. And we start to hide behind those excuses instead of taking action to move forward.

Excuses are comforting when we’re living in fear. They’re safe. But excuses will also bring you back to exactly where you started. Remember that the next time an excuse floats into your mind. Are you truly where you want to be in life? Or are you falling back on fear and choosing to be comfortable instead of facing a challenge? By becoming more cognizant of your brain’s proclivity for using excuses so you won’t be held accountable, the better you will become at dismissing them.

Share your goals

  1. TURN YOUR “SHOULDS” INTO “MUSTS”
    In your mind, if you have no choice but to succeed – if achieving your goal is an absolute must – then nothing else matters. Sacrifices won’t even be a question. Excuses go out the window. You’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen. Period.

Even the most successful people feel like they’re living in fear sometimes. The difference is that rather than allowing fear to creep in and suck the life right out of their dreams, they know that the price they will pay if they don’t give their goals and visions every ounce of energy and focus they have is far scarier. They know the real fear is living a life where they have settled or compromised what they really wanted. How do you adopt that mindset and perspective?

Imagine yourself at 80 years old, nearing the end of your life. You are sitting in your rocking chair, reflecting on how you lived your life. Now, look back on your life as if you had not achieved the goal you are after at this moment. How has this affected the course of your life? What are your regrets? What do you wish you had made more time for? What do you wish you had attempted? Is there sadness and regret? Are you wondering, “What if. . .?” In this way, you can use fear to propel you toward your ultimate goal.

  1. ADOPT A GROWTH MINDSET
    People often give up on what they want because they believe that reaching their goal is beyond their abilities. They continue living in fear and settle into their lives, thinking that their goal is unattainable so they don’t even bother. But the most successful people foster a growth mindset. They don’t think of their abilities as fixed, but rather as flexible. And when faced with a setback, they work harder. They adopt a new strategy. They keep seeking a solution. They don’t give up when things become challenging. Instead, they find new ways to adapt and work harder to achieve their goals.

personal growth

  1. LEARN THAT PAIN BRINGS VALUABLE INSIGHT
    There isn’t one successful person in the world who hasn’t had to overcome major obstacles. The most painful experiences can help refine what you want and what you don’t want in life. Failure, disappointment, dead-ends – these can all be used as a means of reflecting and saying, “This didn’t work. It wasn’t the right fit. So what do I really want?”

Remember, we are built to adapt. So embrace your inner strength and use each experience as a tool to help you learn more about yourself and what you really must have in life. When you’re facing a painful experience or feel ready to give into fear, picture someone you admire who faced adversity – they wouldn’t have achieved the success they now have without learning how to stop living in fear.

  1. PRACTICE SELF-CARE
    Mastering your emotions and changing your mindset is psychological – but would you be surprised to learn that the psychological is also physical? Next time you feel like you’re living in fear, change your posture and adopt a “power pose.” It can make you feel more confident and less fearful.

Other self-care habits have an effect on your state as well. Physical activity is proven to reduce depression and anxiety, so next time you feel fear coming on, get out and go for a walk, practice yoga or take a bike ride. Mindfulness meditation is also proven to combat anxiety and depression and even lower blood pressure. Eliminating caffeine and alcohol from your diet is another self-care tip that’s essential to lowering anxious feelings. When you combine physical and psychological self-care, you have the recipe for how to stop living in fear.

feeling overwhelmed

  1. ADOPT AN ABUNDANCE MINDSET
    Fear cannot coexist with positive emotions. You cannot feel both scared and joyful, or afraid and peaceful. You can’t feel fear and gratitude at the same time, either – but you can replace one with the other. When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears. You shift your focus from the negative to the positive. Where focus goes, energy flows, so when you change your mindset in this way, you find that you naturally bring more positivity – and less fear – into your life.

Adopting an abundance mindset is key to unlocking how to stop living in fear. You can do this by keeping a gratitude journal, practicing priming or meditation, using visualization, coming up with empowering incantations and more. Next time you’re anxious or afraid, you’ll have a powerful toolbox that you can access to overcome those emotions.

  1. BE FULLY PRESENT
    When we’re living in fear, we’re often also living in either the past or the future. We let our past mistakes haunt us and affect our future decisions. We live in so much fear of what could happen that we forget to enjoy what is happening. As Tony tells us, “The past does not equal the future unless you live there.”

In today’s super-connected world, it’s easier than ever to live in the past – reconnecting with toxic people and reminiscing about old relationships. When surfing the Internet, it’s easy to get caught in fantasizing about your next relationship or vacation plans that will never manifest.

Stop missing your life. Put your phone down. Step away from the computer. Take up a new sport or game. Meet people in the here and now. Start living instead of worrying.

  1. KNOW THAT FAILURE IS INEVITABLE
    After all this work, you still need to accept one truth: You will fail. It’s just part of the process. Any successful person will tell you that. Failure provides insights and inherently corrects the faulty ways of approaching a problem. There is no teacher as impactful as the sting of failure and no lesson in resilience better than the burn of rejection. If you use these experiences as unique information, and adjust your strategy and approach the next time around, you will have an advantage that no one else does. With the right mindset you can change your story and say goodbye to living in fear.

If you’re ready to learn how to stop living in fear, you have to decide that your dreams are more important than your fear of failure. Make the decision today to master your fears and start existing as the most joyful, successful version of yourself possible.

[ Tony Robbins ]

VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8tqZmXaB6I


“How to Overcome the Fear of the Future”

Almost everybody worries about what will happen in the future. The prospect of not knowing if something good or bad will happen to you in the near future can produce a lot of fear and anxiety.

Jul. 28, 2015, 04:19 PM EDT | Updated Jul. 28, 2016
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
Almost everybody worries about what will happen in the future. The prospect of not knowing if something good or bad will happen to you in the near future can produce a lot of fear and anxiety.

As a result, here is a list of techniques and suggestions on how to manage this fear of dealing with the unknown.

  1. Can’t Predict What May Happen: Remember that no one can predict the future with 100 percent certainty. Even if the thing that you are afraid of does happen there are circumstances and factors that you can’t predict which can be used to your advantage. Remember that we may be 99 percent correct in predicting the future, but all it takes is for that 1 percent to make a world of difference.
  2. Take Things Slow: Learn to take it one day at a time. Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week or coming month, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your problems. When the time comes, hopefully you will have learned the skills to deal with your situation.
  3. Use Self-Visualization: Sometimes, we can get anxious over a task that we will have to perform in the near future. When this happens, visualize yourself doing the task in your mind. Self-visualization is a great way to reduce the fear and stress of a coming situation and increase your self-confidence.
  4. Learn To Relax: Remember to take a deep breath and try to find something to do to get your mind off of you anxieties and stresses. A person could take a walk, listen to some music, read the newspaper, watch TV, play on the computer or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things. This will distract you from your current worries.
  5. Worrying Makes It Worse: A lot of times, our worrying can make the problem even worse. All the worrying in the world will not change anything. All you can do is to do your best each day, hope for the best, and when something does happen, take it in stride.
  6. Get Help: If you still have trouble managing your anxiety of the future, then talking to a counselor or clergyman can be of great help. There are ways to help manage your fear and all it takes is some effort to find those answers.

[ Stan Popovich ]

MORE INFO: https://managingfear.com/


“FEAR OF THE FUTURE: EXPERIENCE HOPE WITH THE TRIVEDI EFFECT”

ARE YOU:

– scared that your life may not improve at all?
– frightened, that your earnings will not be enough to support your future?
– fearful, your future too will be depressing?
– scared you will become ill?
– worried your partner will leave you?
– scared that you will lose your job or be unsuccessful
– worried about life?

If questions such as these trouble you, then here are a few answers that will put them to rest.

Fear of the Future

UNDERSTANDING WHY WE FEEL FEARFUL OF THE FUTURE

Fear is a primitive emotion that has evolved as part of a survival instinct. It is an emotion that is triggered by the threat of danger, pain or harm. This emotion drives the natural survival instinct in the body, releasing enzymes that drive us into action, bringing heightened states of alertness that are needed to respond to a threat, by either fighting or fleeing. Fear can also be a response that is generated from a memory of a life experience that has been painful, traumatic or upsetting. It can also be activated by observing fear in others.

Fear of the Future is increasing in modern society as people succumb to pressures of congested lives that are heavily dependent on material wealth and factors that are not directly controllable by the self. The ‘unknown’ future can, for many individuals create fear. This type of fear can start to control lives and people can become too scared to take the pathways they really want to in life for fear of the risks involved or the uncertainty and outcomes associated with change. In this way, people live lives that are compromised, never daring to change or step into roles that they may inwardly desire. This can lead to great unhappiness and feelings of being unfulfilled.

WHY DOES THE FEAR OF THE FUTURE HAUNT US?

Fear of the future is part of human psyche. Many endocrinologists offer an explanation that fear triggers the release of hormones into the body, these increase alertness, preparing the body so that it is ready to move, run, fight, etc. This defensive response referred to in physiology as the fight or flight response is regulated by the hypothalamus.

THE MOST COMMON FEARS THAT INDIVIDUALS EXPERIENCE ARE:

– suffering from terminal or long-term illness
– living without money or source of income
– not holding a job/losing their present job in the future
– losing a loved one

Fear can also surface with situations, like exams, public speaking, a new job, a date, or even a party. Anxiety is a type of fear that is associated with the thought of a threat or something going wrong in the future, rather than something happening right now.

In retirement, fear of having to go into care, lose loved ones or becoming a burden are some of the biggest fears!

Fear can cause anxiety and stress.

Fear of the Future

HOW DOES FEAR OF THE FUTURE AFFECT US?

Fear of the Future can create a feeling of danger or impending doom. This can drive us to act in ways that is out of the normal behaviour pattern. It can stimulate aggression, panic, rapid or erratic movements, exaggerated movements that are never normally attempted. Fear creates several body conditions, which include:- sickness, stiffness or numbness in the body and a drugging, paralytic kind of feeling.

Fear prevents us from being rationale.

Quite often, opportunities are missed and situations are blown out of perspective, essentially because of the inner fear. It drives us to destruction fear consumes our thoughts and drives us to commit mistakes.

SYMPTOMS

Fear can create physical reactions in the human body as instinctively the body prepares to respond to an emergency. As blood sugars and blood flow to the muscles increase the mind becomes focused on the object of fear and a number of physical symptoms appear that can

INCLUDE:

– Rapid heart beat
– Stressful and struggling breath
– Gasping for breath
– Weakening of muscles, a sense of loss of control over body parts
– Heightened sweating
– Loss of Control over bowel movement
– Nausea or a peculiar churning sensation in the stomach
– Difficulty to focus on work at hand
– No co-ordination between body parts
– Dizziness
– Tense muscles, feeling frozen to the spot
– Loss of appetite
– Cycles of hot and cold sweating
– Dryness of the mouth

Over lengthy periods of time fears may increase causing irritability, sleeplessness, headaches, disrupted concentration, anxiety planning for the future , sexual problems, loss of libido, and loss of self confidence.

Long-term fear can dominate people s lives and stop people from traveling, working or even leaving the home, changing jobs, changing homes, giving talks or socialising. Long-term fear can lead to phobias, anxiety disorders, panic attack and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

COMBATING FEAR

Fear of the Future is actually an illusion created by the mind. It is not real and we do have the potential to change. Changing perceptions can break the chains of fear and bring in joy. There are many prescribed drugs that can be used to suppress on-going fear however treatments that involve long term dependency on harmful drugs can have long term side effects and cause further complications to the health and wellbeing of those individuals.

STEPS TO OVERCOME FEAR OF THE FUTURE

First face up to your fear. Determine exactly what it is that makes you fearful. The future is yet to be created, focus on the present and establish what you would love to do if fear was not a problem. You hold the key to your dreams; believe in them!

Knowing you fear or self-discovery is the second step. In this step, you need to identify the cause or reasons for your fear. Ideally, you could recall instances of fear and analyse what triggers them!

Explore relaxation techniques. The trick here is to find a technique that allows you to reach your inner thoughts and alleviate fear. People have found alternative therapies like hypnotherapy, healing modalities, Tai chi, Qigong, counseling or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

Try experiencing The Trivedi Effect® and join the thousands of people that have already overcome their fears, anxiety and stress. Allow The Trivedi Effect® to transform your life and allow fear to be replaced with inner peace and calm.

WHAT IS THE TRIVEDI EFFECT®?

The Trivedi Effect®-is a natural energy phenomenon, which when harnessed and transmitted by individuals can transform living and non-living organisms so that they can function at a higher level and serve a greater purpose.

HERE’S HOW THE TRIVEDI EFFECT®WORKS

Mr Mahendra Kumar Trivedi, Dahryn Trivedi and Master Gopal have the ability to transmit a universal energy through their thoughts that connects people with the God/Creator of their understanding through Energy Transmissions. In this process, the energy connects people with their inner guidance system in such a way that, within a short period of time, people start harnessing the Life Force/Vital Force that has the ability to bring into a person’s life, amongst other things, inner peace , increased vitality, good physical and mental health, emotional and psychological balance, pleasure and orgasm during sex, financial abundance and healthy relationships.

The impact and application of The Trivedi Effect® on living organisms as well as non-living materials has been explored, recorded, validated and discussed by leading international scientists through over 4,000 experiments conducted by the top institutes of the world. Experiments have shown that the energy interacts effortlessly with the recipient to bring about transformation that enhances performance, functionality and optimises potential. It acts is as if the recipient is being ‘upgraded’. To find out more about the Trivedi Science™ or view peer-reviewed publications on the results please view http://www.trivediscience.com

Through the company Trivedi Master Wellness LLC™ people all over the world can have accessed the Trivedi Effect® and have received Energy Transmissions™ for themselves through Trivedi Wellness Programs™. Over 150,000 people have experienced the Trivedi Effect®. Thousands of testimonials left by these people speak for themselves and are testament to the beneficial, miraculous impact this energy has on human beings. People suffering from fear , anxiety and stress as well as conditions that are also hard to resolve have experienced significant relief, improvement or elimination of these conditions. Individuals have reported heightened mood states, described as an “inner bliss” and a “deep calm,” or states of profound inner joy and happiness. To hear and read people’s testimonials about the Trivedi Effect® visit the Trivedi Testimonials™ website at http://www.triveditestimonials.com

Fear of Future Testimonial

[ Mahendra Trivedi ]


“When the World Is in Chaos, Control What You Can”

There are times in our lives when we are confronted with the reality that we are not in control of the world around us.

As hard as we try, and as much as we’d like to think we’re in control, the reality is, we are not. And there are seasons and circumstances that remind us of that fact.

A natural disaster, a terminal diagnosis, a wayward son, an unexpected layoff… each of those come to mind as examples.

At this current moment in time, almost everyone in the world, simultaneously, is being confronted with the reality of lost control through the spread of a virus. A tiny virus, invisible to the naked eye, has brought the world to a screeching halt, disrupting everything in its path—even life as normal.

Our control has been upended. No doubt about it.

We, of course, never had as much control over our lives and the world as we thought we did, but still, it is hard to lose the little that we had. The world, it feels, has spun into chaos.

So how do we respond when the world is in chaos? How do we begin to move forward?

For one, we take back control of what we can control—even in the smallest of ways.

We’ve all been reminded that we are not in ultimate control of the universe. But that doesn’t mean we’ve lost all ability to maintain control over our lives. Even if our usual day-to-day opportunities have been taken from us by another, there is still much we can control.

For example:

We can still control what time we wake up in the morning.

We can still choose to get ready in the morning for the day ahead.

We can eat healthy. We can remain physically active.

We can make our bed in the morning, we can choose to reset our home in the evening.

We can choose what we watch and listen to, and we can control what time we turn off the television at night.

We can always control our attitude and our response to the people and events around us.

We can love our family.

We can choose kind words in conversations.

If you are a man or woman of faith, you can choose to rely upon it during this time.

We can still decide to make the most of each day in front of us.

Controlling what you can might not seem like much, but it’s something.

Actually, it’s a lot more than something. It is an essential strategy for each of us going forward.

It is the first step in moving from a reactive life to a proactive one. And it is the first step in making the most of our current circumstances.

So, focus your energy there, even if it seems like very little. When the world is in chaos, control what you can.

Stay healthy, stay well, and stay focused. We’ll get through this together.

[ Joshua Becker ]


“Why Has the World Become Chaotic?”

A question I am often asked is, “Has the world become more chaotic? ”

And besides, wasn’t it already before? The world, especially the natural world, has undoubtedly always presented chaotic aspects. Meteorology is a very good example.

I observe that the human world has, on the other hand, become more chaotic, and therefore more uncertain mainly (but not only) for three reasons: increase in the number of people, connectivity, and speed.

Number of People
How many humans were there on earth 150 years ago? About a billion.

How many are we today? About eight billion.

The population has experienced incredible growth in recent years, in just a few generations.

In fact, we can speak of a real explosion!

If our ancestors lived in a relatively empty world, we inhabit a very, very full world! A full world and, we will see, a very connected world.

World populationWorld population

Connectivity
On August 4th, 1938, an exploratory expedition of the American Museum of Natural History looking for new species of birds in New Guinea, changed human history.

Entering the Great Valley of the Balim River, which was thought to be uninhabited, Richard Archbold and his colleagues were surprised to find a culture with a population of over 50,000 people. They experienced what was to be the last first encounter.

Such an event is very unlikely today…

People are meeting each other more and more.

And they also communicate more and more.

Over 3.5 billion people have access to the Internet
Since 2014, they are more mobile phones than people on this planet
There are actually more people who have a mobile phone than who have a bank account… or access to drinking water or toilets!

Not only are we communicating more and more, but we are also more and more aware of belonging to a single human community.

One evening in August 1997, I was driving home from dinner with a friend who lives on a barge on the Seine river in Paris. On the right bank, we arrive at the Alma tunnel: it is closed. We then see the chase between a policeman who tries to tackle, as in rugby, what appears to be a journalist or at least a person with cameras.

Arrived on the other side of the tunnel, we then see dozens of police vehicles, firefighters, ambulances all lit. A gas leak? An attack?

In fact, a car accident in a Parisian tunnel. For those of you who haven’t watched television in 20 years, Princess Diana had just died.

Some time later, an estimated 2.5 billion people in more than 190 countries, broadcast in 44 languages, watched Lady Di’s funeral on television. That’s 40% of humanity at the time, and although other estimates are much lower at 500 million, it would still be the most watched event on TV!

Hundreds of millions of people, an unprecedented number in human history, gathered around the disappearance of a woman they had never met …

A few years later, on December 26, 2004, I was in India on the road between Chennai and Pondicherry when a journalist called me from Paris on my French mobile phone, without knowing that I was in India, to get my opinion on the “situation”.

This is how I learned that I was in the part of India worst affected by the Tsunami which left 225,000 people dead and millions homeless in Asia.

Within hours, thousands of videos were already posted on the internet, triggering a surge of emotion and solidarity never seen in human history. Never before have so many people come to the aid of people they had never met.

Is this a sign of humanity becoming aware of its own existence on the scale of the planet?

We have never been so many on earth and we have never been so connected to each other … in every sense of the word!

Speed
Our world is also moving faster and faster.

The lithosphere (mineral) evolved over billions of years
The biosphere (life) evolved over millions of years
The noosphere (information) is now measured in nanoseconds

At the scale of human history, it took Homo Sapiens 3 million years to go from the hunter & gathering era to agriculturist & breeding era; then 30,000 years to enter the era of industry & commerce; and only 300 years to pass into the age of creation & communication which itself is only 30 years old.

Another example of speeding changes: our grandparents came into the world, worked and died close to the same geographical place, but for us today this seems highly unlikely (you can see Kevin’s life for more on that)!

Time is speeding up! We don’t have enough time to adapt…

A Crazy World?
Let’s say a world now “out of balance”.

More and more agents (people) being more and more connected. All that happening at a speed that takes the whole system (human world) far from equilibrium, that’s exactly what we need to have a chaotic system.

As David Ruelle, one of the first scientists to speak about the theories of chaos, writes: “The more oscillators there are and the more interconnection there is between them, the readier we should be to see chaos.”

Humanity is confronted with increasingly extreme situations, in particular in the social, economic and, even more dramatic for the long term, ecological fields. These are what we more commonly call crises.

We are going through a period of financial, economic, social and ecological crises. Crises that self-amplify among themselves and that create a systemic crisis in which one pulls the other, which itself aggravates the first and so on in an infernal circle.

We are the first generation of human beings who may leave to future generations (our children!) and knowingly, a planet in a worse condition and who will not ensure their survival because of our own actions.

In short: things looks bad… and things can get better!

Indeed, as I show in this article, according to chaos theories, our civilization can collapse … or a new civilization can emerge!

Collapse or Breakthrough?
Humanity has come to a turning point. We are at a time of complete redefinition of standards and values in terms of work, economy, and also social life.

Or more simply: how do we want to live together?

Now is the time to act. And it’s now, still according to the theories of chaos, that we have never had so much power to make a difference.

[ Bruno Marion ]


“Why Is the WORLD So Chaotic?”

In this “post-post-Cold War era,” there’s been a gradual but unmistakable erosion of U.S. and Western primacy. The result, says SAIS’ Hal Brands: a return of great power competition, a revival of global ideological struggle, and the empowerment of “the agents of international strife and disorder.”
If you think the world seems like a particularly chaotic place, you are far from alone. International security expert Hal Brands believes that perception is an understandable outcome of the sorting out process following decades of the Cold War.
“THE UNITED STATES AND ITS ALLIES were so dominant in the years after the Cold War that this was an era almost without precedent in the history of international relations,” says Brands, the Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs at SAIS’ Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs.

But many came to see those years as the new normal: The huge threat of totalitarian communism had disappeared, and liberal democracy had prevailed. Maybe all wasn’t right with the world, but so many wrongs were gone that it seemed like it had become a much safer place … forever.

Why does it seem so dangerous now? Because, not surprisingly, that dominance did not last.

“During the 1990s, the primary pre-occupation of U.S. policymakers was humanitarian crises and nuclear proliferation,” Brands says. “In the 2000s, it was those two plus terrorism. Since 2008, it’s been all of those plus a return to great power competition. The result is we’re getting all types of instability and rivalry that are leading to a number of different conflicts all at once in all major geopolitical arenas.”

Brands points out that the United States emerged from the Cold War with such world economic dominance that it accounted for nearly 25 percent of global GDP in 1994 and an even larger share of global military power.

And he wants you to know that the U.S. is still the world’s dominant power—by far. But there is no doubt that in what he terms the post-post-Cold War era, there has been a gradual but unmistakable erosion of U.S. and Western primacy. That’s led to a return of great power competition, a revival of global ideological struggle, and the empowerment of what he calls “the agents of international strife and disorder.”

The rise of China, not just economically but also militarily, is evident. That nation is asserting itself in the South China Sea in ways that would have been unthinkable 25 years ago. Authoritarian regimes, of the type that were supposed to disappear along with the Cold War, have returned with a literal vengeance. Putin’s Russia, in particular, has shown its willingness to project its power, both with its neighbors (Georgia and Ukraine) and allies further afield: Assad’s Syria.

One of the reasons for the rise of authoritarians is that they promise stability in a time of chaos. “The world has gone through a period of extremely disorienting change, in part due to globalization,” Brands says. “People do look for the sense of cohesion that an authoritarian regime can provide.

“But the other thing that’s happened is that authoritarian regimes got smarter,” Brands says. “They took note of the rise of liberal democracy and refined their own tools of popular control and oppression. And they went on the offensive, promoting themselves both at home and abroad. You can see that with the Russian interference in elections in Europe and in our own.”

graph with dragon head illustration
“As messy as the world is, it’s going to be a heck of a lot messier if the U.S. is not involved. One of the reasons Europe has not relapsed into feverish instability and violent conflict is that the U.S. has been there providing security. The same is true in Asia.”
All of this apparent chaos does not make Brands nostalgic for the Cold War. “I don’t think the Cold War is something to look back on with fondness,” he says. “The dangers were severe.”

Brands says that the current situation is not the result of blunders by U.S. leaders.

“I actually give U.S. policymakers pretty good grades during the post-Cold War era,” Brands says. “If we had not done things like maintain extended alliances, we would have had much worse instability much sooner. The expansion of NATO, for instance, was the right thing to do.”

What he does find dangerous is that today’s confusing international scene causes many to endorse retreating from involvement in the world. The election of President Donald Trump and his neoisolationist policies can be seen as a move in that direction, though the midterm results may well be a course correction.

Mary Sarotte, who specializes in trans-Atlantic relations as the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Distinguished Professor of Historical Studies at SAIS, agrees: “I think the European leaders were looking for a total repudiation of Trump in the midterms and were disappointed not to see that. But they also saw some things they liked, such as the Democrats getting more votes nationwide.

“So they are still holding their breath,” she says. “They can take four years of Trump, but not four years and a day. His re-election would be a clear sign that the trans-Atlantic relationship as we know it is breaking down—and the results of that could be terrible. It’s a very risky moment.”

Brands emphasizes the dangers of a U.S. withdrawal from engagement with the rest of the world.

“As messy as the world is, it’s going to be a heck of a lot messier if the U.S. is not involved,” he says. “A lot of what we do is not producing good outcomes but preventing bad outcomes. One of the reasons Europe has not relapsed into feverish instability and violent conflict is that the U.S. has been there providing security. The same is true in Asia.

“It really is dangerous if we look at the world and say, ‘That looks really messy. Why bother?’ Because things would get a lot worse in a hurry if we are not there. The last time the international order collapsed was in 1939, and too many people have forgotten that.”

[ Michael Hill ]


“Four Tips To Help You Feel Less Anxious About The Future”

This piece originally appeared on Shine, a free daily motivational text, and is reprinted with permission.

A word that I think sounds just like it feels: ambiguous. Think about it: am-big-u-ous. To me, the word sounds wobbly, fuzzy, and kind of unsure of itself. And that’s exactly how things that are “ambiguous” often feel to me–unsettling, unnerving, and uncertain.

For me, and many other people, uncertainty leads to worry. When things aren’t known or certain, it creates room for possibilities. And, seeing as we’re wired to worry, I can invent ways those possibilities will definitely not work in my favor.

A new year always brings out this side of me. Some people love January 1 and the whole “clean slate and a new year full of possibilities” concept. To me, it’s a buffet for my inner cynic–I can worry about all the things that could go wrong.

FEARING THE CRYSTAL BALL
Why do we sometimes worry about the future rather than welcoming it?

An article in The Atlantic goes deep into this topic, and it offers a few expert theories. One simple reason why: We have the ability to worry about the future, so we do.

“In other animals, unpredictability or uncertainty can lead to heightened vigilance, but I think what’s unique about humans is the ability to reflect on the fact that these future events are unknown or unpredictable,” Dan Grupe, a research associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, told The Atlantic. “Uncertainty itself can lead to a lot of distress for humans in particular.”

When we stare into a fuzzy crystal ball, it’s easy to start to worry about what’s inside, like a present we can never unwrap. And it feels productive. Studies show that we often believe worrying can prevent negative outcomes or it can help us find a better way of doing things.

Some people are more comfortable with uncertainty than others, and there’s even a scale created by researchers to measure a person’s intolerance of uncertainty and ambiguity. Psychologist Alain Samson, explains in Psychology Today that people with “a high need for certainty, preference for familiarity, etc., are considered to have a high intolerance of ambiguity.” But cultivating a high tolerance for uncertainty is key–it’s just as beneficial as having an optimistic outlook, Samson says.

Related: Here’s Your Brain’s User Manual For Uncertain Times

“It could be argued that uncertainty tolerance has become one of the most important siblings of optimism in the 21st century as far as psychological benefits are concerned,” Samson writes. “People with high uncertainty tolerance are generally more adaptable, which is a major advantage for life in a fast-changing world that is awash with information, full of choices, and host to many unpredictable events.”

So, how do us uncertainty intolerant folks learn to get better at embracing the fuzzy future? Here, a few tips:

  1. RECOGNIZE YOUR HINDSIGHT BIAS
    A statement that might feel comforting (or frightening): Everything has always been uncertain. Yup. Last year, the year before, the year before that–you had no idea how it was going to play out before it did. And yet, it can feel so much more certain when we look back on it.

A little thing called “hindsight bias” makes us feel this way. Journalist Dan Gardner and psychologist Philip E. Tetlock unpack this phenomenon in an essay for the Washington Post,“to try to get a handle on how worried we should be, we tend to compare the present with the past,” the authors write. “And when we look back, we tend to see much less uncertainty–not because there necessarily was less, but because hindsight bias drains the appearance of uncertainty.”

The past can feel predictable while the future can feel ambiguous–and it makes us forget that we’ve handled uncertainty before and came out on top. How do we fight our hindsight bias? The authors suggest keeping a diary as an accurate archive of your past dances with uncertainty.” By writing down your thoughts and feelings daily, you create an immutable record that may be consulted years or decades later,” Gardner and Tetlock explain. “People who have done this are routinely surprised by the gaps between what they remember feeling and what they wrote at the time.”

And maybe, you’ll be surprised by how that situation that feels so certain now was truly uncertain–yet you made it through. You’ve danced with uncertainty before, and you’re equipped to do it again.

Related: This Simple Task Can Help You Curb Your Constant Worrying

  1. LET YOURSELF IMAGINE THE BEST
    It might sound a little “cheer up, buttercup” but imagining the best possible scenario can help you feel good in the now and move into uncertainty with a little more confidence.

“In our minds, we can play out future scenarios to predict how we would personally think, feel, and respond to them,” Tchiki Davis, writes in Greater Good Magazine. “And by doing so, we experience thoughts and emotions similar to those that would occur if the situations were actually happening to us right now.”

Davis cites a study where participants were asked to imagine four positive things that could happen in the coming day. They did the exercise every day for 14 days straight. “At the end of the study, this group showed an increase in happiness, while groups who imagined negative or routine future events did not,” she writes.

If you start drifting into worst-case scenario mode, let yourself imagine the best-case scenario, too. It can help you create positive emotions to carry you through whatever is truly up ahead, good or bad.

  1. CULTIVATE AN OPENNESS TO UNCERTAINTY
    Rather than avoiding your fear of uncertainty, it can help to get intentional about it. That doesn’t mean trying to eliminate it immediately, but creating a little more space to accept and allow uncertainty here and there.

Tom Corboy, the founder and executive director of the OCD Center of Los Angeles, tells PsychCentral that gradually building a willingness and an openness toward uncertainty can help. He suggests trying a mindfulness activity and sitting with your feelings–with an open mind–next time they come up. “Using mindfulness, you can learn to sit with your feelings of uncertainty, and thus discover that you are indeed able to do so,” he says.

  1. FIND YOUR “I CAN’T CONTROL EVERYTHING” MANTRA
    For me, a lot of my issues with uncertainty come from wanting control–control over what happens next, how it happens, and how I’ll react in the moment. But it’s just not possible to know the future and control how it pans out.

To accept–and remind yourself–of this truth, it can help to have a mantra. The Serenity Prayer is my go-to, and it goes like this: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Related: Secrets Of The Most Resilient People

Find your own mantra or phrase that helps you let go of a little control. Or, maybe it’s a mantra that helps you remember resilience, growth, and so many key traits that are born out of uncertain times.

The next time you find your fear of uncertainty creeping in–or holding you back from new opportunities–turn to your mantra to remind yourself that you can handle uncertainty and accept what you can’t control.

You got this–even if you’re not sure what this is yet.

[ HALEY GOLDBERG ]


“Need Peace? 10 Ways to Cultivate Quiet in the Chaos”

When I feel scattered, lost or overwhelmed (in a positive or negative way), I need peace. I look for stillness and quiet. I find the ground so I don’t get swept away.

The more chaotic things are around you, the more challenging it can be to find peace within you so it’s important to create consistent practices to build inner peace. Then it will be there when you need it most.

When you need peace
Need Peace? 10 Ways to Cultivate Quiet in the Chaos.
When you need peace, here are a few ways to cultivate quiet in the chaos. Practice one at a time or if you already do some of these, see if some need more of your attention.

  1. Meditate
    When I wake up, before I do anything else, I sit quietly for 20 minutes and meditate. Call it meditation, mindfulness or sitting but carve out space to be you with you everyday.
  2. Journal
    I make sure to keep inner chaos at bay by writing it all down. Putting my mind on paper helps me to see it for what it is. It helps me let go of thoughts and ideas that aren’t serving me and to release any mind clutter trying to hold on. It clears the way for creativity and easier decision making.
  3. Saying No
    Creating peace means creating space in your calendar and on your to-do list so you can schedule more nothing. When we create boundaries around things that distract us from what matters, our level of engagement in what we care about becomes boundless. Say no to what you don’t have time for and to what you won’t allow in your life. You get to protect your time, attention and mental health. Say no more often to protect your health, your heart, and what matters most to you. Here’s how.
  4. Move
    I take a long walk and get on my yoga mat. If I don’t have extra time, I take a short walk and spend less time on my yoga mat but still I move. Stretch, do jumping jacks, have a dance party or do whatever else feels good.
  5. Connect
    Connecting might feel hard right now during the pandemic, but it’s still possible. Connect with people who lift you up and lift them right back. Socially distanced and even virtual connections are still a positive force when it comes to finding peace. Note: You don’t need a giant social circle or have to connect all the time to feel supported and be supportive.
  6. Nourish
    Stress makes me crave sugary food which often interrupts my sleep and causes more stress. Greens ground me and starting the day with a few servings of spinach, kale, and all the other fruits and veggies I include in my favorite smoothie helps me to focus. Find what fuels you in a positive way.
  7. Make new noise
    Sometimes the best way to drown out the noise of chaos is to create new noise. Make a playlist you enjoy with music that calms you. This one might help, or this classical playlist.
  8. Limit input
    No news, no social media, no breaking news.
  9. Under-react
    Have you ever made something bad even worse by over reacting? Catch yourself next time by taking a breath first. Does it even require your reaction? Most things don’t. See what happens when you let things unfold without your outrage, frustration or even a word. This can be challenging. If it needs to come out, see #2.
  10. Ask for help
    I recently asked my family not to call or text me with any news updates. They obliged. Ask for what you need … quiet time, an early night, a TV or internet-free space in the house. Ask for what will bring you peace.

What do you do to cultivate quiet in the chaos? How do you create more peace in your life?

[ Courtney Carver ]


“Why is there such chaos in the world?”

We are going to have six talks and several question and answer meetings so we will go very slowly and quietly into the whole problem of human existence. Please don’t be impatient if I repeat some things which have already been said. And we are going to deal with meditation, love, compassion, fear and all the travail of human life – the sorrows, the terrors, the violence – we are going to go into all these matters quietly, logically, perhaps sanely.

It is becoming more and more evident it is not the environment that matters, not the starvation, not the poverty, not the injustice, not all the things that exist around us. What is becoming more and more evident is that human beings are themselves becoming the terror of this world. Human beings themselves are destroying each other. Human beings are dividing themselves into tribes, into nationalities, into classes, into every kind of destructive, divisive process. The Communists and the Socialists and all the politicians will never transform the world, nor the scientists. The astrophysicists who are exploring the universe outside of themselves, they are not going to find the solution either. And so human beings, that is we, you and another, we are bringing about great chaos in the world, we are bringing great terror, we are becoming a danger to each other. Our religions, the organised beliefs, dogmas, rituals and all that absurd nonsense without much meaning are dividing the people – wars, preparations for wars, nuclear bombs, you know the whole terror of this world. And some of us are trying to escape from all this, going off into little communes, or joining monasteries, or following some Asiatic gurus away from this monstrous world, but they also cannot possibly solve the problems. You cannot escape from what is. Neither have ideologies helped man: on the contrary the Communist ideologies, the ideologies of the Hindus, the Buddhists, the Christians, they are again dividing man, destroying man. And human beings, because there is so much confusion, want or desire to commit themselves to something, to some group, to some idea, to some activity. And this commitment to something, to some philosophy, to some outrageous nonsensical gurus, is the desire of human beings to depend, to rely, to commit themselves to some beliefs, ideas, concepts.

And during these talks we hope that we can think about all these matters sanely, not antagonistically, not meeting each other with arguments, opinion against opinion, a conclusion against another conclusion, but rather together, you and I, the speaker, be concerned with all these matters. And if it is possible, think together, not agreeing together, not opposing each other, not contending against ideas, opinions, but rather together, each one of us, think about these matters. One cannot possibly think clearly and so together if we are committed to one experience and hold on to that experience. Or if you are very learned, have read a lot of books, steeped in philosophies, theories and ideas, whether it is Marxists or the Christian theologians, or the Hindu pundits, we cannot then think together. That is obvious.

That is, if you are very learned, if you are clinging to a certain belief or to certain experiences which you yourself have had, and hold on to those, how is it possible to think together? These experiences, conclusions, beliefs will prevent you from exchange. So, if you will kindly put aside all those, if you can, then we can meet each other, because the speaker has no beliefs, no values, doesn’t belong to any group or religion, he is not trying to do any kind of propaganda, to persuade you to think in a particular direction, or to convince you of what he is talking about. We must be very clear on this matter from the very beginning. There is no belief demanded or asked, there are no followers, there are no cults, there is no persuasion of any kind, in any direction, and therefore only then we can meet on the same platform, on the same ground, at the same level. Then we can together observe the extraordinary phenomena of human existence. And I hope that is very clear.

First of all I would like to ask, if I may, why human beings who have lived on this earth for five, ten million years, why are they after such a lengthy period of time, experience and sorrow, why are they still carrying on the same pattern? What is wrong? What has happened to man’s brain and heart after these million years? I do not know if you have asked such a question: why through a million years and more, of evolution, time, gathering immense knowledge, experience, the travails of everyday life for millions and millions of years, why we are still like that? Do you understand my question? Why, after such a lengthy period of time, we are still suffering, we are still hating each other, we are still living in some kind of peculiar personal illusions? Why we are tribal, committed to tribalism? You understand my question? Why? What is the cause of all this? There have been thousand philosophers, the leftists and the rightists and the centralists, there have been every kind of religious teacher, some so-called saints who are really not saints at all, they are probably neurotic people, why the theologians of the past in the Christian world and perhaps a much longer period in the Asiatic world, the pundits, the scholars, all this vast accumulation of knowledge has apparently not solved any of our problems. You understand? This is a very serious question: why human beings, you and another and perhaps oneself, why we go on in this way? What is the cause of it?

From the very beginning of time man has lived in conflict, not only with his environment but also with his neighbour, with his wife, with the woman he caught or dragged into the cave, it has been a constant battle, constant strife, endless misery, suffering for generation upon generation. We are not exaggerating, these are facts. We study history, which is really the story of man – his violence, his wars, his gathering of the land for himself and his family. Man has always apparently been destructive. And religions have tried to tame him, make him a little more peaceful, a little more gentle, a little more considerate. But apparently they too have not succeeded, whether in the Christian world – perhaps the Christian world has destroyed more human beings than any other race. They talk about peace and love and they are responsible for murdering millions and millions and millions of people. There is the Asiatic world with their superstitions, with their innumerable gods, but they have not been so violent. Their religion says, ‘Don’t kill’, but when circumstances force them they kill, they are as destructive as the West.

So, observing all this, which everyone must have seen, thought about, why is it after a million years and many, many, many million years, what has gone wrong with the human mind? The brain has evolved through time. Your brain is the result of thousands and thousands of years. It is not your particular brain, though we think it is our brain, the individual brain. If you examine it very carefully it is the human brain, genetically, racially, this brain has grown and evolved through time, which is obvious. And it has followed certain patterns of living, always trying to seek security, both physically as well as psychologically. Its pre-eminent demand has been to find, at any price, security. And is that the cause of this present chaos and misery and confusion and terror? You understand? Is that the cause, this eternal demand for personal security? Though the brain, your brain and mine, each individual brain is the result of great evolution, it is not your brain, it is the human brain. We can talk about it, we will ask questions about it later. But even the scientists are beginning to discover – at least some of them – that this brain is not yours or mine, it has grown through time, evolved. So it is the human brain. And that brain has sought security – inwardly, outwardly. And is that the cause of this terrible chaos in the world? You know if there is a cause for anything there is an end to the cause. Right? Do you see this? If there is a cause for physical pain there is an end to the physical pain, they can find it. If there is a cause for psychological disturbance, chaos, misery, the cause can be found and ended. So where there is a cause, a beginning, there is also an ending. And is our present degeneration, the danger, is that the result after all these millennia? Is the cause separativeness, individuality? You are following all this? Please! I am not laying down the law. We are together thinking about all this. So you must exercise your brain as the speaker is doing, not merely listen, but if you do listen with care, with attention, then perhaps we will meet each other. But if you are merely casually listening and thinking about other things then we shall not meet each other, there is no communication.

We are asking, if one may, this is a very serious matter, we are trying to find out together whether there is a cause for all this misery, for all this terrible chaos, uncertainty, terror, wars – a root cause. And if one can discover it, not somebody tell you the cause and you agree with it, but if you, yourself, discover or come upon it through observation, you yourself then will be free of the cause and therefore of the effect.

So we are asking: is this confusion, misery, the result of the human brain seeking, at all levels of life, security? Is that the cause? Though one must have security physically – clothes, food, a roof over one’s head, one must have that. But psychologically, inwardly, is there security at all, though one may seek it. We will go into this matter more deeply presently. And is this chaos the cause of this idea, a concept that each one of us is a separate entity? Because we have never gone into the question that the brain of each one of us is the common brain of humanity. We are enquiring into that. And this desire for security may have brought about this concept of the individual – me and you. We as a group against another group. Is that the cause? Or is there also another cause, which is: ideas, ideals, that is, the very substance of knowledge? This is rather difficult. You understand what we are talking about? Are we going together so far? Please I am not talking to myself. You have taken the trouble to come here in this unpleasant weather, uncomfortable, and so please kindly pay attention – if you also desire.

Because knowledge has become all important in the world. Technological knowledge – if you want to be a good carpenter you must spend many, many years learning, accumulating knowledge about the wood, the tools, the design, and acquiring great knowledge as a carpenter. Then that knowledge is used skilfully and so on. And if you are a scholar you acquire a great deal of knowledge, reading a great many books, storing up in the brain as memory and giving importance to knowledge, and assuming that knowledge will gradually through time, through accumulation of more and more knowledge you will ascend to heaven. And knowledge as a surgeon, as a philosopher, not only of outward things but also the psychological structure of man, structure of the mind, that knowledge, is that the cause of this present misery? Do you understand what I am… I hope you are following all this. We are not talking to please you, to entertain you. There are cinemas, football, tennis courts, every form of entertainment outside exists. So this is not an intellectual or, if one may use an ugly word, spiritual entertainment, or romantic, emotional froth! Because this is a very serious matter into which we are going: why human beings, with all the immense accumulated knowledge, why through all these years and millennia they are still the same, a little more sophisticated, a little more polished but the same psychological brutality, cruelty, not only to each other but to animals, to the world around them – why? What has happened to us? You understand my question sirs?

As we said, where there is a cause there is an ending of that cause. If we can understand that principle: if you have a toothache there is a cause for it, and there is an ending of that pain. Similarly where there is a psychological cause there is an ending of that cause, you understand? Please meet me on this. A war, there is a cause to war – economic, national, prestige, power, and so on. There is a cause to war, it is a division of nationalities, division of ideologies, the totalitarian and the non-totalitarian, the democratic, so-called democratic and the autocratic. And when one sees the war is a result of all this, there is a cause to war and therefore war can be ended, but nobody seems to want to end it. So if we can understand the principle, the truth that where there is a cause, that cause can be ended. You understand this?

So we are trying to find out, trying to observe together what is the cause of the extraordinary things that are going on in our life. What is the essence of that cause? Is it that the very beginning of man – and also woman – don’t get het up when I don’t mention woman – when man and woman began, is it that they took a wrong turn? Look at it please, go into it with me. Why should we suffer? If man is the creation of god, god must be a rather horrible entity, a monstrous entity that is making human beings go through hell. Right? He must be total disorder because we live in disorder – if he created us. If he created us and we are killing each other through terror, bombs, kidnapping – oh, you know all the terrible things that are happening in the world. If you are created in his image, that image must be monstrous. Obviously it is quite evident that man is responsible. Nobody outside of us, no gods, no angels, no Brahman, no higher – none of that is responsible for this, we are responsible. And what is the cause of this? You understand now? Is the cause selfishness? Is the cause the accumulated knowledge – please listen carefully. We are not against knowledge, knowledge is necessary – to drive a car, to learn a language, to operate any electronic… so on, so on, so on – knowledge is necessary. But the psychological knowledge that one has accumulated, generation after generation, is that the cause? Is it that the knowledge has been translated psychologically into concepts, into your belief and my belief – you are following all this? Please sirs, don’t go to sleep! If you are really deeply concerned about this, which everyone must be, why we live this way, so-called civilised human beings, with cars, marvellous surgeries, excellent communication, transport and all the rest of it, but psychologically inwardly, inside the skin, we have become terror, we have become the most dangerous people on earth. Right? We may be occasionally kind, occasionally loving, unselfish, but this separate individual unselfishness and so on has not solved the problem. It is not poverty, starvation, disease that is the problem, it is us, our consciousness.

So how shall we find out what is the cause of this degeneracy, this great cruelty, bestiality, indifference, you know? How will you find out? By my – by the speaker telling you? I know you want that. That would be the easiest thing, wouldn’t it, because our minds are always seeking the easiest way. But the speaker cannot tell you, and will not tell you. Then where are you? You follow? Please face this because it is your responsibility to find it – find the cause of this state of the world.

You know, if you love, if there is the sense of great compassion in your heart, this question still remains. You may follow somebody, the more Asiatic they are the more romantic and more nonsensical. None of them have asked this question, or have actually answered it. They have theories. The Hindus have gone into this and invented a theory. And the Christians say the original sin – that is a very convenient theory, then you can have Saviours and all the rest of it follows.

So how will you, as a human being, feeling responsible, because your brain, your whole psychological structure is the result of many, many, many million years, that structure is not yours, every human being in the world is of that structure. Because they suffer in China, in the Far East and in the Middle East and here, in the West. They are cruel, there is no sense of affection, care, there is divorce, there is every kind of brutality going on. And each one of us is part of that. And if you feel tremendously responsible for all this, as you must, if you are at all awake and aware of what is happening in the world, how will you enquire, how will you find out? Do you understand my question? Are you sufficiently earnest to give your time and your heart, your mind to find out? Not how to meditate, that will come much later. Not what is yoga and all that business. We can talk about that too, later. But this is far more important than all that because if you can find the cause there is an ending to that cause. If there is a discovery of what is the cause of sorrow of every human being in the world, then that sorrow can be ended.

Why there is such conflict between human beings, what is the cause of it. When you discover the cause it can be ended. Not through time, that is, say ‘Well, I will take time to find out the cause, I will spend a week meditating about it, thinking about it, pondering over it, discussing it’. That is, again, allowing time to discover the cause. Our brains – please follow all this – our brains are the result of time – right? – which is evolution. From the small micro cell to this enormous complex human being, to arrive at this stage has taken thousands of years, which is time. And we think in terms of time. That is, how can I find out the cause? You understand my question? And we are now going to spend time discussing it. Vous avez compris? You have understood what I am saying? Or can you be free of time and observe. You understand what I am saying? Would you admit that your brain is the result of time? Right? Though it is born, when it is born as a baby it is small, but as it grows older it gathers strength, vitality, more blood to the brain and evolves, grows. And this is the process of man and so this process is common to all of us, and this process is not yours, your petty little brain. It is the brain of all humanity, which suffers, which designs, which calculates, which creates images, which creates gods – you follow? – the whole thing is common to all of us.

And time is the pattern in which the brain lives – right? – pursues. You observe your own brain, how it acts, how it thinks. The speaker is not a specialist in brain, though he has discussed it with specialists who agree, some of them, some of them don’t agree. Some of them go very far with the speaker, some of them say it is all nonsense. It can only be discovered – listen to all this – which is, the scientists are investigating matter and through that investigation of matter they want to find out the ultimate. You follow all this? That is, through matter they are trying to find out the ultimate. We are the matter. You understand? You are matter, your brain is matter. And they go outside and investigate, they don’t begin with themselves. You understand what I am saying? And if they went through themselves they will come upon something most fantastically original, creative, beyond all time. But that requires tremendous observation of oneself, tremendous energy to give to this. But nobody wants to do that because that is not popular. That brings you nothing – no money, no position, no power, no status. But it is only through oneself which is matter, it is only through oneself that you can come upon that thing which is the beginning of all things.

So we are asking: what is the way, the manner, how is one to find out the cause of all this? Or are there several causes? Cause ‘A’ may be that man in conquering the environment at the beginning of time, gradually built himself the idea that he is separate, he is an individual against other individuals. ‘B’ may be this sense of continuous idea, concept of individuality is the cause, or it may be another, ‘C’ may be this tremendous psychological knowledge. This is difficult. Please go into it carefully.

You have gathered knowledge within the last thirty, twenty, fifty, sixty years as a separate individual – my experience, my belief, my consciousness. And this belief, this concept, this experience, which is after all knowledge, psychological knowledge which you have gathered, is that the cause? Or it is none of these. Do you understand my question? Is this becoming too difficult, too abstract? No, it is not abstract, it is not something that you read in a book and put it aside, it’s not something that some philosopher invents and then you read and you agree or disagree. It is something actual, you are facing it now. This is not then a concept, an idea. We are dealing with actualities of our daily life, which is so enormously complex. Or the cause may be – I am not telling you, you have to go into it yourself – for god’s sake, move! – when I use the words ‘For god’s sake’, they are just… Or is it the beginning of thought? Please go into it carefully. Is this spreading complex cruelty of man, his behaviour, his vanity, his terrible cruelty to everything, is the cause thought? You understand?

Thought and knowledge go together. Knowledge is always compounded in ignorance. Right? That is, knowledge can never be complete, whole, and therefore it is always within the shadow of ignorance. Right? Of course. This is logical. There is no complete knowledge about anything, even about the computers, or about your wife, or your husband, whatever – girl or whatever it is. So knowledge is always within the shadow of ignorance, so knowledge is always incomplete. And is thought, which is the child of knowledge, is that the cause? You are following all this? Please! You have to exercise thought when you drive a car. You have to exercise thought when you do your business, in the office, or in the factory or at home, when you cook, when you wash dishes, whatever one does, physically, one must have knowledge. Psychologically is knowledge necessary at all? You follow what I am saying? Please go into it carefully. And is the origin, cause of all this existence with all its chaos, and misery, confusion, uncertainty, insecurity, etc., etc., is thought the cause of all this? And if thought is the cause of it then thought can be ended. You follow? Where there is a cause there is an end. Where there is a beginning there is an ending. If you are addicted, or if you are a smoker, there was a cause and you can end it. So similarly, if thought is the cause of this state of the world then that can be ended. And with the ending there is a new beginning, totally different from that which thought has put together. You are following all this? So is thought the origin of all this?

Would you like the speaker to go into all this?

Questioner: Yes, please.

Krishnamurti: Not for you to follow, I am not your guru. Thank god! I am not your leader. I am not your philosopher. But the speaker has gone into this matter very, very deeply. All his life he has done this, has come to a point where he has found for himself – found, realised the cause of all this. And meditation is only when you have discovered the cause and the ending of the cause, then meditation begins. Meditation isn’t what you are all doing. Forgive me pointing it out. Trying to concentrate, trying to follow methods, systems, and all that, that is not meditation. Meditation comes naturally, uninvited when you have finished with all the cause. Right? So the function of the speaker, without any vanity, without any sense of doing propaganda, he says, let us walk together and find out. Let us walk together on the same road, on the same path, not your path and my path, the path of intelligence, which is not your intelligence or the speaker’s. That intelligence is to discover the cause. When there is the discovery of that cause there is that supreme intelligence, which in its very nature is compassionate love.

So we are asking one question, perhaps there is no other cause but this one cause: thought. You see man has never gone into this question of thought. They are just beginning, scientists are beginning to enquire. The Hindus have gone into it up to a certain point, the ancient Hindus, and stopped somewhere else. But we, the common people, ordinary people with our daily problems and anxieties, our attachments, and our griefs and our pains, we are asking this question: is all this the result of thought? Thought includes feeling, sensation, the pleasures, the fears, all that is part of thought. And if thought has created this world in which we live, some of it with great beauty: the marvellous cathedrals, the mosques, the temples, the poems, the literature. But what is inside the cathedrals, the mosques, the temples is put there by thought. The speaker once some years ago, in India, was speaking all over India and he happened to be behind Mr. Gandhi. And Mr. Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi whatever you like to call him, was saying that everybody could enter the temples. At that time only the Brahmanas could enter into the temples. And he was saying ‘Gods are in the temple, anybody can enter’. So the speaker was following him. Next week he came to the same town, and so they asked him, to catch him out because he was a Brahmana, they said, ‘What do you say, should non-Brahmanas enter temples?’ And it was a very simple answer, ‘God doesn’t exist in temples!’ If he exists at all it is somewhere else, totally, which is outside of man’s thought. Right? But they didn’t like that! So it goes on.

So I am asking you if thought is the result of this chaos. And if thought is the cause of this chaos thought can end and something totally new can begin. And it is your responsibility as a human being, not as an individual, as a human being, a human being who is in China, in India, in the Asiatic world, in the Arabic and in the Middle East, the West, that human being is asking this question. Is that the cause. And if it is the cause then how that cause can be dissipated and therefore the ending of it. Therefore from the ending of it a new beginning, a totally new beginning, which is the real revolution, not the Communist, not the terrorists, and so on. What is your responsibility and what is your answer to that question? You understand? The ball is in your court! You understand that term? When they are playing tennis the ball is in the opposite court. So how will you answer this question? Together during all these talks and question and answer meetings we will help each other to find it out. Right? For you to find it out so that you are not a follower, so that you have no authority over you to tell you what to think and what to do. Then you are a complete human being.

What time is it, sir?

Q: (Inaudible)

K: Grazie. I think that’s enough for this morning. May I go?

[ J. Krishnamurti ]


“14 Signs The World Is On The Verge Of Generational Chaos”

It is one of the great ironies of life that each generation believes its experiences are unique. The reality is that we have seen this movie before—with different actors, plot twists, and technological advancements.

The basic plot seems to push along a hauntingly familiar path.

In 1997, Neil Howe and William Strauss introduced the concept of Fourth Turning. They divided the population into four generational archetypes: Hero, Artist, Prophet, and Nomad (read more about the archetypes and their characteristics here).

Each generation consists of people who were born and came of age at the same period in history. They had similar experiences and thus gravitated toward similar attitudes.

The change of control from one generation to the next is called a “turning” in the Strauss/Howe scheme. On a Fourth Turning, the cycle repeats, sparking a generational crisis.

When Howe uses that word, he doesn’t mean a short period of difficulty. He means an existential crisis—one in which society’s strongest institutions collapse (or are severely challenged and stressed) and national survival is in serious doubt.

By Neil Howe’s timeline, we are today about halfway through the Fourth Turning’s Crisis phase. If this Fourth Turning is like previous ones, here is what we should see.

14 Signs the World Is on the Verge of Generational Chaos114 Signs the World Is on the Verge of Generational Chaos2

See how the following Fourth Turning characteristics match today’s landscape…

Rising community

Notice in the Orlando shooting coverage how often people use the word community to designate the different groups with which people identify.

Following the tragic nightclub events, Orlando’s communities drew together to support their members and each other. We see the same behavior in other stressful events. “Je suis Charlie,” the motto that emerged from the January 2015 Paris shootings, comes to mind.

Think of all the other disasters we have seen in recent times, and the public response to them. I am not suggesting that community comes to the fore only during a Fourth Turning—far from it. But it does gain strength during such periods.

Strengthening government

Small-government conservatives like me, and possibly you, are on the defensive. We live in a time when most voters would rather enlarge government than shrink it. We can expect to see stronger government action regardless of who wins this year’s presidential election.

Party realignment

Donald Trump is obviously changing the Republican Party into something quite different than it was just four years ago. Bernie Sanders may have done the same to the Democrats. I don’t think this is over yet. We will see a lot of shifting and movement between the two parties as they redefine themselves.

I am really quite taken with an interview that Trump did a few weeks ago where he talked about his vision that the Republican Party would be a “workers’ party” within four to eight years.

You spring that on me four years ago, and I smile indulgently. Now, within the framework of the Protected versus the Unprotected, I wonder…

Introverted foreign policy

Fifteen years on, the US is increasingly tired of the War on Terror. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders both gained traction in the primaries with a less aggressive approach to foreign engagement.

Technology to scale

The Internet has outgrown its adolescence and entered adulthood. The technology industry now views the Internet as a platform on which to build new capabilities: virtual reality, home automation, and more.

Rising income Equality

The years of ZIRP and QE served mainly to drive up asset prices, enriching those who are already wealthy and doing little for everyone else. Now a backlash is building against wealth concentration.

We may see attempts to raise taxes on the wealthy, higher working-class wages, and other measures intended to “level the playing field.”

Wage disruption

We’ve seen major retailers hike hourly pay in the last year; $15/hour minimum wages passed in California and elsewhere; and there are growing calls for labor to get a bigger piece of the pie.

Fertility bust

Birth rates are now near or even significantly below replacement rate throughout the developed world. Much of the Millennial Generation feels financially or otherwise unprepared for parenthood.

Falling immigration

Both the US and Europe are trying to control immigrant flows. Refugees from the Middle East are the exception in an otherwise less migratory world.

Falling crime

Criminal activity varies tremendously depending on where you are, but overall rates are down considerably from the 1980s and 1990s.

Strengthening family

This one may seem counterintuitive with birth rates down and young people reluctant to marry. My observations are that people delay marriage today precisely because they respect it so much.

They want to do it right or not at all. And once they do have kids, they take parenting very seriously. My Millennial Generation children and their friends, Howe’s Hero archetype, are amazingly protective of their children.

They seemingly script every moment of their children’s lives. My three-year-old granddaughter just started school, for God’s sake. My generation just didn’t approach child rearing like that.

Practical culture

The financial crisis has set a new standard of frugality, which has evolved into the “sharing” economy… think Uber and Airbnb. We even see the trend in fashion: Millennials have little interest in prestige labels and much prefer the low-priced “fast fashion” they can buy at Zara or H&M .

Rediscovered norms

The Fourth Turning is a time when people rediscover values and norms. That process can take many shapes, of course, but we may again see the “all-together” ethos that brought the US through the Depression and World War II.

Overprotective parenting

My Baby Boomer peers and I love to recall the unsupervised play and relative independence of our childhood years. Growing up as a country boy on the edge of a small West Texas city, I roamed the woods and ranches of our neighbors.

The barbed wire fences were built to keep the cattle in, but they didn’t keep the kids out. We knew which fields had the bulls we wanted to steer clear of. We explored quarries and lakes and rivers, clambered down into caves, and in general did things that would scare the pants off of today’s younger parents.

Today’s cautious parents won’t let children out of their sight—and often with good reason. As the crisis unfolds, we should see growing concern for protecting children from harm.

The worst is yet to come

So after Neil Howe explained all this at the conference, it was time for questions. Naturally, I voiced the question that we all want to know the answer to: “Will the crisis be over soon?”

Neil’s answer was succinct and not encouraging. He thinks we are only halfway through; and if the next few years play out like past Fourth Turnings, the worst is yet to come.

The good news is that we still have some time (even if we don’t know how much time). We can prepare our portfolios and lives to deal with the coming changes.

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[ John Mauldin ]


“The international system is somewhat dangerous and chaotic, Condoleezza Rice warns”

Condoleezza Rice, the former United States Secretary of State, said on Monday the ‘global order’ was in a “somewhat dangerous and chaotic” state.
The global or world order refers to a rule-based system of international relations created by the U.S. and its allies after World War Two.
Headlining a CNBC-moderated panel on “Political Risk in the 21st Century” at the Adipec oil and gas conference in Abu Dhabi, Rice told the audience that “the global order is suffering a period of dislocation.”

Condoleezza Rice, the former United States Secretary of State, said on Monday the ‘global order’, or rule-based system of international relations created by the U.S. and its allies after World War Two, was in a “somewhat dangerous and chaotic” state.

Headlining a CNBC-moderated panel on “Political Risk in the 21st Century” at the Adipec oil and gas conference in Abu Dhabi, Rice told the audience that “the global order is suffering a period of dislocation, I think we all feel that the international system is somewhat dangerous and chaotic.”

“It’s not because there are discreet crises but because instead, we’re seeing the breakdown of the global order as we once knew it,” Rice told the audience in Abu Dhabi.

The global order was created after the second World War by the U.S. and its allies with one of its central tenets being free and open trade, which was now under threat, she said.

“The international economy was created as one that was intended to be a positive sum game, as in ‘my growth would not come at your expense’ … They created a different kind of system, one that was based on free and open trade and one in which there were great institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank … that system also relied on U.S. leadership and U.S. military protection,” she said.

“I would suggest to you that now, now that system is under strain and under threat.”

Rice’s comments against a sea change in U.S. politics both domestically and internationally since the presidency of Donald Trump began in 2016. Trump’s presidential style and approach to global affairs and foreign policy has upended traditional norms and relationships on a geopolitical and economic front. Most notably, Trump’s decision to impose import tariffs on various trading partners and an ensuing trade war with China.

The U.S. and China are currently discussing a deal to end an escalation of tensions and tariffs seen to have impacted both countries’ growth negatively.

Trump has advocated an “America First” approach to global affairs; his critics say he is guilty of fermenting populist and protectionist sentiment in the U.S. that could actually damage the country’s interests rather than protect them.

Rice said the global system or global order, in place since 1945, was under threat from three challenges, the first being maintaining international security and preventing terrorist attacks as well as dealing with the cyber security threat.

“A second big challenge to the system, the global order that was created after 1945, is the problem of great power rivalry which has emerged strongly in the last several years,” she said, referencing U.S. relations with Russia (whose interference in the 2016 U.S. election is still “a major issue of division in the U.S.,” Rice said) as well as with a “rising China.”

“If Russia is a power that is somewhat diminished from where it was, China is a rising power. And how to deal with a relationship with China that is actually very complex, not at all simple, is one of the real challenges for the United States today,” she said.

However, Rice said that “nothing challenges this system like the rise of populism, nationalism, protectionism and isolationism,” she said.

“Populations are being told that the elites and institutions that represent them are not really in their interest, they’re being told that globalization has not served them well, and frankly, for some people globalization has not worked,” she said.

However, it was the international economic system in place since 1945 that “has sustained international economic growth,” she said.

If that system is to survive the challenges of great power rivalry, security threats and nationalism and populism, Rice said governments needed to meet citizens’ expectations when it comes to education, and employ technology in a better way.

Asked by CNBC’s Hadley Gamble how the U.S. should address being left out of joint economic projects, such as the recently renamed Russian-Chinese-Saudi investment fund, Rice said the U.S. needed to promote its own investment credentials.

“The U.S. needs to address that by being here, you can’t leave the playing field and expect that somebody else won’t come in. We need to be here, we need to make very clear that investment in the U.S. is both welcome and safer because after all we do have rule of law.”

“The rule of law, the respect for contracts, the respect for intellectual property, we have so many reasons for people to continue to want to make the US the investment destination.”

[ Holly Ellyatt ]


“What Americans Are Worrying About Right Now, From the Silent Generation to Gen Z”

It’s hardly a surprise that we are, as a nation, worrying about the future. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has hit us hard, affecting everything from mental health to finances. It’s completely natural to wonder, “What’s going to happen next?”

According to Verywell Mind’s latest Mental Health Tracker survey, 40% of Americans say they have worried about the future multiple times a week over the last month. And 36% say they’re currently more worried about the future than they normally would be.

During times of uncertainty, people often feel anxious. The COVID-19 pandemic has posed so many questions about the future of work, the state of the economy, and ongoing health risks. All that uncertainty makes it difficult to plan—and we’re realizing that the plans we do make may not work if things change.

Younger Americans Worry the Most
Millennials are more worried about the future than any other age group at 40%. This generation grew up learning about the American dream and watching older generations follow traditional retirement plans. But clearly, the world is changing. Millennials are less likely to have a nest egg—if any savings at all—and they may be wondering where to put their money or how to save. Millenials hold just 4.6% of US wealth compared to 53% held by Boomers.1 Plus, skyrocketing real estate prices may also be discouraging them.

Additionally, Millennials are still young enough to be significantly impacted by climate change as they age, and if they have young children, that anxiety only increases.

Meanwhile, less than a third of the Silent Generation are more worried about the future than normal, at 26%. Could this be because they’ve lived through wars, natural disasters, economic downturns, and political turmoil? They’re certainly most likely to have survived a great deal of hardship, so perhaps they’ve been less fazed by the pandemic—at least those who did not personally contract COVID-19. The Silent Generation is also likely to be more financially secure and less affected by changes in the economy.
Nearly half of Americans (48%) feel they worry about the future more than their grandparents did at their current age. By comparison, 31% say they worry about the same amount and 21% say they worry less than their grandparents did.

Most Americans are worried about the near-term future, with 60% saying they’re most worried about the next 5 years, and the next 1-3 years in particular.
Learn How to Have a Brighter Financial Future With Less Stress
Different Age Groups, Different Concerns
Generally, it’s financial and political instability and the possibility of future pandemics keeping us awake at night. But worries do vary by generation. Gen Z is the most worried about global warming at 38%, followed by the Silent generation at 34%. For Gen X, the main worry is financial instability/crisis. It seems reasonable to link this to the 2008 recession, which hit this generation particularly hard.

The biggest age skew for future concerns was political instability. 34% of the Gen X generation are worried about political instability, and it’s an even bigger concern for Boomers (49%) and the Silent Generation (54%).

This could be explained by the fact that “digital natives” (Millennials and Gen Z) have come of age in a time of targeted media echo chambers so they may be less sensitized to the increased polarity in American politics. Alternately, they might not be worried because think they don’t see the American political system as functional, and thus don’t think they have much to lose.

The older generations who have seen political instability in the past are likely concerned about our divided country. They may be seeing how families are fighting and friendships are ending across generations. Large-scale changes in the status quo— especially as public opinion grows increasingly progressive—can also be particularly intense for older individuals.
Stressed About Politics? You’re Not Alone!
Tackling Worries About the Future
Gen Z and millennials are most worried about negatively impacting the future of the world (32% and 29%, respectively).

Younger people likely have less money and fewer resources to create the change they want to make. They might find they can’t address the environmental issues they want because they don’t have time or money. They may also worry that they have to take certain jobs out of necessity as opposed to taking the jobs that they think would really make a difference.

Still, lots of us aren’t giving up hope of brighter days ahead. While 34% of Americans say they’re fearful about the future of the world, 47% of Americans express more feelings of hope than fear about the world’s future. Millennials are most hopeful about the future (59%), with Gen X at 44% and Gen Z and Boomers tied at 41%.

Coping With Anticipatory Anxiety
How to Stop Worrying About the Future
It’s reassuring to know that 65% of Americans believe it’s important for them to take care of their mental health. Our survey found that almost as many (61%) say they’ve taken steps to take care of their mental health at least once a week over the last month. Still, we can always do better—only 43% think they’re doing a good job of taking care of their mental health, and 15% say they’re not doing a good job at all.

Taking steps to stop worrying about the future can help you feel in control of your mental health in general. But that doesn’t mean a total embargo on worrying or beating yourself up if you do find yourself panicking about what the future holds.

In fact, the opposite approach is likely to be more productive. So make time in your schedule to worry. Set aside 15 minutes every day to worry about anything you want, and when you find yourself worrying outside of that prescribed time, remind yourself it’s not time to worry yet. With practice, you can learn to contain unproductive worrying to just 15 minutes of your day.

Learn to Evaporate Stress in Less Than a Minute

At the same time, learn how to differentiate between worrying and problem-solving. It’s helpful to work toward a goal so if you’re thinking about how to overcome an obstacle or how to manage your situation, keep thinking. But if you find yourself replaying unpleasant events in your mind over and over again or you worry about things outside of your control, that’s not unproductive. Distract yourself with a healthy activity, like listening to positive music or going for a walk, to change the channel in your brain.

Instead of denying how you’re feeling, acknowledge it—whether you’d call your emotion anxiety or refer to it as sadness, giving that worry a name can help your brain make sense of what’s going on. And when you are in those real moments of worry, practice relaxation exercises. Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness can calm your body and your brain.

Finally, focus on what you can control. Whether you establish a clear routine to stick to or you work on organizing your house, focusing on things you can control will help you manage your emotions when there are things outside of your control.
Methodology
The Verywell Mind Mental Health Tracker is a monthly measurement of Americans’ attitudes and behaviors around their mental health. The survey is fielded online, beginning April 28, 2021, to 4,000 adults living in the U.S. The total sample matches U.S. Census estimates for age, gender, race/ethnicity, and region.

[ Amy Morin, LCSW and Claire Gillespie ]


“Will 2022 Bring More War and Chaos?”

2021 has been a lesson in the limits of U.S. foreign policy.

By Emma Ashford, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, and Matthew Kroenig, deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

DECEMBER 17, 2021, 5:14 AM

Matthew Kroenig: Hi Emma. It is hard to believe this is our last column of 2021. The year flew by. I thought it might be a good time to take a look back at the major events of 2021 and maybe peer ahead to what might be in store for us in the new year.

Also, I think we can write whatever we want this week; I heard our editor is sick with COVID-19 like everyone in London.

[Ahem. Still here. -ed.]

Emma Ashford: I’m not going anywhere for Christmas. But on the upside, I get to take a vacation from my first full-time job to focus on my second full-time job: planning Christmas, playing Santa, baking, cooking, decorating, and peeling sugar-high toddlers off the ceiling.

Nothing gets one in the holiday spirit like reflecting on the past year in foreign policy. How would you sum up 2021? Any big themes or overarching ideas that come to mind?

MK: It was an eventful year. We are still dealing with the mutating COVID-19 pandemic. U.S.-China relations became more confrontational. The United States’ and NATO’s longest war came to a chaotic end in Afghanistan. And much more. What stands out for you?

EA: You forgot the Free Britney movement—a case study in the power of transnational nonstate protest movements to achieve their goals! But in retrospect, there were a few big themes that emerged in the last year. First, the tension between national borders and international interconnections. Even as the pandemic has waned, the travel restrictions it brought across the world have not fully loosened. And many Western states are getting more and more determined to close off borders to migrants wherever possible. So the free movement of people across the world is in decline.

Meanwhile, 2021 provided constant reminders that the free movement of goods is still an essential part of our economy. Global supply chains have been a mess all year, whether it was caused by the Ever Given—that ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal—or by pandemic disruptions.

MK: Good points. And how could we forget, but the year started with Donald Trump in the White House. The U.S. presidency passed to Joseph Biden, but only after a riot at the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6 that is still being investigated and sparking polarization in the United States. Even Fox News is splintering over a controversial Tucker Carlson special on the riots.

Iran does not want to return to the deal because China is buying its oil and it is on its way to entering the nuclear weapons club.

For many around the world, the return to a more traditional politician leading the free world was a breath of fresh air, but the Biden administration’s actual performance has been uneven.

EA: Yeah, I think that was the other big theme of the year: democracy and dictatorship, even in the West. We started the year with the Capitol riot, followed swiftly by a second Trump impeachment. We ended the year with the Biden administration’s Summit for Democracy. It’s not clear to me, however, that democracy in the United States is in a much better state than it was at the start of the year. It’s still shaky, and no amount of democracy summits will change that.

It also felt like this year had more than the usual share of military and security crises, even in the absence of Trump’s saber-rattling. We’ve had at least two war scares in Ukraine, a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, ongoing civil wars in Ethiopia and Yemen, a coup in Myanmar, and the assassination of Haiti’s president.

MK: The year is not over yet and I fear that one or more of these crises could erupt before we sing “Auld Lang Syne.” Russia continues to mass troops on Ukraine’s border. Iran’s nuclear breakout timeline has shrunk to just weeks—leading to more serious discussions of military options. And China continues to make threats against Taiwan.

If we manage to make it through the year in peace, these will continue to be among the major issues of the new year.

EA: Fair enough. My big point was that it feels to me like 2021 was actually a pretty awful year for U.S. foreign policy. There were lots of big shifts around the world, and a growing feeling that the United States isn’t well-placed to respond to any of them. Just look at the Iran nuclear negotiations: Talks in Vienna are ongoing, but Iran has made major strides in nuclear development and seems less and less willing to actually talk. Or consider Washington’s complete inability to work with other countries on trade issues. What’s your take?

MK: The record is certainly mixed, but I am more optimistic. Let me start with the positive. You are right that the United States is not and has never been omnipotent. But the United States is still the single-most influential country in the world, and its leadership is still required to solve most global challenges. After all, a major complaint from U.S. allies and partners this year—from the Afghanistan withdrawal to responding to the Russian threat against Ukraine—is that they want more, not less, involvement from Washington.

I also think the Biden administration’s basic philosophy is correct. Biden has been right to promise to revitalize alliances and the rules-based system and to stand up to dictators. His doctrine of rallying the world’s democracies to take on the threats posed by revisionist autocrats is exactly right.

EA: I’m not exactly sure we should judge U.S. foreign policy by the complaints of countries that don’t spend enough on their own defense and want the United States to pick up the tab!

But 2021 has also been a lesson in the limits of U.S. foreign policy. The Biden administration emerged in early 2021, promising that “America is back.” But what it’s found, I think, is a world that’s moved on and is concerned about U.S. stability and reliability in the future. Just look at the Iran nuclear negotiations: The United States hasn’t been able to get the Iranians back in the deal because it’s no longer able to credibly offer them carrots to do so. Trump may be gone, but his shadow still looms over foreign policy.

MK: I see it differently, and it leads to one of my criticisms of Biden’s first year. He hasn’t done enough to follow through on his promise to stand up to dictators. Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei’s negotiating position is unserious, as even the Europeans have acknowledged.

Iran does not want to return to the deal because China is buying its oil and it is on its way to entering the nuclear weapons club. Biden’s plan to engage Tehran has not worked, and it is time to return to the pressure track with tougher sanctions (such as secondary sanctions on China’s oil imports) and military pressure.

EA: Hang on. The Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign didn’t work; it didn’t bring Iran back to the table to negotiate an ostensibly better deal. And your solution is to dump the negotiations Biden has started—and go back to maximum pressure?

MK: We need a dual-track approach of pressure and engagement. We can continue the talks, but Tehran needs to know that failure to reach a deal will result in unacceptable consequences for Iran.

There is a reason the Iranians are increasingly skeptical of a deal. It’s because they know that, in less than three years, a new administration could come into office and tear it up again.

EA: This makes me a little crazy, I’ll be honest. There is a reason the Iranians are increasingly skeptical of a deal. It’s because they know that, in less than three years, a new administration could come into office and tear it up again. Trump’s choice to withdraw from the deal has made a mockery of the United States’ ability to credibly commit to diplomatic agreements for longer than one administration. That leaves the negotiators in Vienna stuck trying to find a deal that will appeal to Iran even if it only lasts a few years—a tall order, to be sure.

MK: The temptation to blame Trump for everything wrong with the world drives me a little crazy, to be honest. Iran is building nuclear weapons and that is Trump’s fault? Let’s focus on the real problem. Iran has been pursuing the bomb for over two decades; Iran’s diplomats are using the credible commitment argument as a rhetorical device.

Again, both U.S. and European negotiators report that Iran is not serious about the negotiations. Tehran does not want a deal because it sees the current path as pretty attractive; it is about to become a nuclear weapons power. If dead-end negotiations will not solve the problem, Washington needs to look at other options.

[ Emma Ashford ]


“How to think about the risk of nuclear war, according to 3 experts”

The threat of nuclear weapons never went away. But Putin’s invasion of Ukraine makes it visible again.

When Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his invasion of Ukraine on February 24, he also made a more nebulous threat: “No matter who tries to stand in our way or … create threats for our country and our people, they must know that Russia will respond immediately, and the consequences will be such as you have never seen in your entire history.”

Another part of his speech seemed to make his meaning clear. “Today’s Russia remains one of the most powerful nuclear states,” Putin said. As justification for the invasion, Putin also made unfounded claims that Ukraine was on a path to build its own nuclear arsenal. “There’s no evidence of that at all,” said Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists.

On February 27, Putin went a step further, ordering his country’s nuclear forces to a “special regime of combat duty” and blaming “illegal sanctions” and “aggressive statements” from countries in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Get in-depth coverage about Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Why Ukraine?

Learn the history behind the conflict and what Russian President Vladimir Putin has said about his war aims.

The stakes of Putin’s war

Russia’s invasion has the potential to set up a clash of nuclear world powers. It’s destabilizing the region and terrorizing Ukrainian citizens. It could also impact inflation, gas prices, and the global economy.

How other countries are responding

The US and its European allies have responded to Putin’s aggression with unprecedented sanctions, but have no plans to send troops to Ukraine, for good reason.

How to help

Where to donate if you want to assist refugees and people in Ukraine.

Jen Psaki, press secretary for the Biden White House, quickly responded. “At no point has Russia been under threat from NATO,” she said on ABC’s This Week. “We have the ability to defend ourselves.”

The Russian invasion has relied entirely on conventional weapons — tanks rattling down highways, bombers flying overhead, ships landing in the port city of Odesa — and experts told Vox that in the absence of a shocking escalation, that isn’t likely to change.

Still, Putin’s remarks were a stark reminder that nuclear weapons aren’t just the boogeymen of a bygone age, but remain a key part of the security order that emerged after the end of World War II. By Kristensen’s count, Russia has about 6,000 nuclear weapons and the United States has about 5,500. Either nuclear arsenal is large enough to kill billions of people — but also to serve as a deterrent against attack.

In recent decades, the so-called nuclear order has remained fairly stable. The seven other countries known to have nuclear weapons have much smaller arsenals. Most countries in the world have signed onto the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which limits the development of nuclear weapons. We asked three researchers of nuclear arms control about the risks the world faces now and what we might be able to do about them.

How worried should we be about the threat of nuclear weapons right now?
When Russia first invaded Ukraine, the scholars who spoke to Vox said a nuclear strike is unlikely but still a cause for concern, given that the invasion introduced the largest military operation in Europe since the Second World War.

“I’m more worried than I was a week ago,” Kristensen said. He pointed out that NATO increased its readiness levels for “all contingencies” in response to Putin’s speech, and with increased military buildup comes increased uncertainty. “That’s the fog of war, so to speak,” Kristensen said. “Out of that can come twists and turns that take you down a path that you couldn’t predict a week ago.”

When asked about Putin’s decision to place his nuclear forces on higher alert, Kristensen said, “There is nothing in Russia’s stated public nuclear doctrine that justifies this.” He added, “Putin has now taken yet another step that unnecessarily escalates the situation to what appears to be a direct nuclear threat.”

Matthew Bunn, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and former adviser to President Bill Clinton’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, initially told Vox, “I think there is virtually no chance nuclear weapons are going to be used in the Ukraine situation.” The main reason, Bunn said, is that the United States and its NATO allies have made it clear that they will not send troops to Ukraine. Without the threat of military intervention, Putin has little reason to use his nuclear weapons, especially since Russia has a staggering numbers advantage over the Ukrainian military.

Bunn qualified his statements after Putin’s escalation. “No one outside of Putin’s inner circle knows for sure why Putin has taken this action,” he said in an email. “My guess — and it’s only that — is that it is intended as further signaling to deter anyone in the West from even thinking about intervening militarily to help Ukraine.”

RELATED

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, explained
Paul Hare, senior lecturer in global studies at Boston University, argued that Putin’s real goal is to “swallow Ukraine” and restore the historical power of imperial Russia. “His objective is not to bring the world to nuclear war,” Hare said.

Hare interpreted Putin’s escalation as a reaction to a wave of international pressure and sanctions. “He feels that this is suggesting Russia is being pushed around by the severe sanctions and unity of Europe,” Hare said in an email. “We do of course hope that Putin is still a rational actor,” he added, by remembering that nuclear war will not serve his aims.

What does Russia’s nuclear arsenal look like? How does it compare to others in the world?
Russia’s roughly 6,000 warheads make it the country with the largest nuclear arsenal. When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Kristensen said most of those warheads were in reserves, with only about 1,600 deployed as land, sea, and air-based weapons, such as missiles in silos or bombs dropped by planes. (When the USSR fell apart at the end of the Cold War, there were nuclear weapons left behind on Ukrainian soil, but Ukraine returned them to Russia.)

The countries known to have nuclear weapons are Russia, the US, China, France, the UK, Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea. That includes every permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, which have been working to modernize their nuclear weapons over the past few decades, and three members of NATO. The total number of weapons has dropped by about 80 percent since the end of the Cold War, from an estimated 70,300 in 1986 to 12,700 in early 2022.

That’s still a lot of nukes. “There has been much discussion about whether that means Russia has a sort of trigger-happy nuclear posture,” Kristensen said. “It’s hard to pin down. if Russian officials were asked to sit down around a table and entirely consider how many tactical nuclear weapons were needed, purely based on real, strategic rationales, I suspect that number would quickly drop to a lot less [than what it is today].”

Does Putin have a reason to consider using nuclear weapons?
From a strategic standpoint, the experts said, there’s no reason for Russia to use nuclear weapons. But they said Putin himself was the biggest source of uncertainty. “The element of emotion and anger that’s crept into Putin’s statements in particular is striking,” said Hare. “Normally we’ve associated Russia’s diplomatic style with a kind of laconic, almost sarcastic manner.”

But a nuclear war would undermine any victory Putin might claim in Ukraine, Hare said, likely serving to alienate not just the West but also potential allies such as China. “China will be increasingly alarmed by Putin’s demeanor and will likely be urging him to restore the world order of global trade and investment on which China’s prosperity depends,” he explained. “A nuclear war is China’s worst nightmare.”

It’s worth remembering, Kristensen added, that Putin often makes allusions to Russia’s nuclear arsenal as a show of strength. In 2015, he said in a Russian state TV documentary that he had considered putting Russian nuclear forces on alert during the Russian annexation of Crimea a year prior.

This could be a sign that Putin’s nuclear rhetoric is more bark than bite, but Kristensen wasn’t ready to say that for sure. “He lives in a very small bubble, and he’s deeply paranoid,” Kristensen said. “He’s willing to do really not very rational things.”

Is the fear of a nuclear war enough to stop countries from using nuclear weapons?
“The physical fact of a nuclear weapon’s destructive power absolutely creates fear,” said Bunn. Nuclear deterrence — the idea that one country wouldn’t dare attack another for fear of a nuclear strike — was the major security policy of the Cold War period, and experts say it remains very much alive today. As my colleague Zack Beauchamp recently wrote, the threat of nuclear weapons is the reason the US won’t send troops to Ukraine.

But nuclear deterrence clearly didn’t end all wars. The existence of nuclear weapons “didn’t help us in Vietnam, they didn’t help us in Iraq, they didn’t help us in Afghanistan,” Bunn said. “Nuclear weapons aren’t useful for the majority of the security and well-being challenges that the United States faces.”

Since the Cold War, it’s been widely accepted that nuclear deterrence would help ensure that the borders of Europe would not be challenged. The Ukraine crisis, said Hare, is casting some doubt on that idea. “The credibility of deterrence hasn’t been tested for decades,” Hare said. “The whole international order is sort of being thrown up in the air. Is the Ukraine attack going to be a prelude to an attack on, say, the Baltic states that are even more vulnerable, or is Putin going to be satisfied with Ukraine?”

The answer, Hare said, will shape how the United States and its NATO allies decide to deploy their forces — conventional and nuclear — around the world. “We’re starting to see large powers begin to sort of entertain the thought of limited tactical nuclear weapons use scenarios, in a way that they didn’t spend very much time thinking about 10 years ago,” said Kristensen. These are the sorts of unlikely scenarios that have been tossed around in war games as contingencies since the Cold War, and could entail strikes on isolated military targets that are far from population centers, for example.

“The theory is very much like it was during the Cold War,” Kristensen explained. “You just sort of have some smaller nukes that you can pop off here and there, to force an adversary to take an off-ramp during a conflict.”

Putin’s war on Ukraine, explained
Is the world doing a good job keeping nuclear weapons under control?
For the most part, global efforts to prevent nuclear weapons from spreading, like the Non-Proliferation Treaty, have been strikingly successful. But these efforts need constant attention and maintenance. “Globally, the nuclear order is in pretty bad shape,” said Bunn. North Korea continues to build up its nuclear arsenal, India and Pakistan appear to be engaging in an arms race to build up short-range tactical nuclear weapons, and hostility is ratcheting up between the US, Russia, and China.

“People should pay attention,” said Kristensen. “They have to be vigilant about holding their governments accountable, and make sure that the policies that are in place and the way they’re implemented are constructive, that they actually lead to improving the situation rather than making it worse.” A key US-Russia agreement to limit nuclear-armed missiles, known as the New START Treaty, is set to expire in February 2026, and the degraded relations between the United States and Russia will make negotiating a renewal much harder.

“The huge increase in US-Russian hostility will lead to increased risks of conflict and make it more difficult to work with Russia,” Bunn said. “Whether it’s working to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to other countries or improving security for nuclear weapons and materials and facilities, all of that goes better if the United States and Russia are working together. And they’re not going to be doing that for some time to come.”

There is some good news, Bunn said. There are promising signs for the reinstatement of the Iran nuclear deal, which would affirm the principles of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. “It’s important to remember that only 5 percent of the countries in the world have nuclear weapons,” Bunn said. “Every other state has pledged to never develop nuclear weapons.”

For decades, Bunn added, about one in every 10 US lightbulbs was powered by uranium from decommissioned Russian warheads, which was sent to American nuclear power plants — a reminder that the world actively worked together to turn a tool of destruction into a force for good. “That’s remarkable,” Bunn said. “It’s never been true before in human history that the most powerful weapon available to our species was widely forsworn.”

Update, February 27, 3 pm ET: This story has been updated with additional expert comments following Putin’s order that Russia’s nuclear forces increase their readiness level.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVu8QbxafJE

[ Vox – Neel Dhanesha ]


“Nearly 70% of Americans are worried about a nuclear attack, according to APA survey. Here’s what could happen”

What could happen in the unlikely event of a nuclear attack
The world watched uneasily on Feb. 24 when Russian troops, under the orders of President Vladimir Putin, invaded Ukraine.

“The prospect of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, is now back within the realm of possibility,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said March 14.

Nearly 70% of Americans surveyed by the American Psychological Association said they “are worried the invasion of Ukraine is going to lead to nuclear war, and that they fear that we are at the beginning stages of World War III.”

Researchers estimate there are approximately 12,700 nuclear weapons spread between nine countries, with the United States and Russia holding the majority.

Researchers and government officials stress that a nuclear attack is very unlikely.

“We are assessing President Putin’s directive and, at this time, we see no reason to change our own alert levels,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Feb. 28.

“As long as these weapons are around, the possibility will always be there that they will actually be used,” said Alejandra Munoz, a project officer at the Dutch peace organization PAX.

Researchers, academics and advocacy groups for risk reduction and nuclear disarmament have written reports detailing what a hypothetical attack could look like and the long-term impact it could have on the planet and society.

Here’s what a nuclear attack could look like, hypothetically, and how the United States might respond.

[ Charlotte Morabito ]


“I’m scared-Are we now threatened with World War 3?-Be Prepared”

Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukrainian territory this morning.
What will this mean for Ukraine, Germany and all of Europe?
I’ll tell you honestly, I’m very scared of what’s coming.

A few months ago, when I started my Be-Prepared series, I was smiled at by many.
I’m glad I did and I urge any of my viewers to take care of themselves and their loved ones and don’t be caught off guard!

[ Wild Woman Bushcraft ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOr2ZpnSTU0


“Red Storm Rising if it Happened Today – US vs Russia Scenario”

[ Covert Cabal ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZFDopPXBGI


“How will we know when it’s World War III?”

Ukrainian service members search vehicles after curfew on April 4 on the outskirts of Kharkiv. (Chris Mcgrath/Getty Images)

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, commentators have openly worried that the escalating conflict may trigger World War III. In mid-March, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told NBC News that a third world war “may have already started.” Ukraine’s former prime minister, Oleksiy Honcharuck, went further, declaring that “World War Three … hаs аlreаdy begun.” Western journalists have followed suit, with Bret Stephens responding to Russia’s invasion by writing: “This is How World War III begins” and the British press wondering whether “World War 3 [is] now a reality in Europe?”

At first glance, these claims seem wildly exaggerated. World Wars I and II spanned multiple continents, while Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine is a war between two countries. Despite worldwide statements of support for Ukrainian forces, there has been no equivalent of England and France declaring war on Germany two days after it invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939. Foreign volunteers have poured into Ukraine from various Western nations, but that development is more analogous to the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939, which was not part of World War II.

So what would World War III actually look like?

Glancing at the historical origins and discursive features of a “world war” as a concept suggests that a Third World War will only come into existence when people subjectively agree that it has. So long as the conflict remains limited to its present parameters, naming it will continue to be a partisan fight driven by fears and fantasies.

The concept of “world war” came into being even before World War I. As early as July 1914, American newspapers featured prospective claims that “unless Servia complies with the Austrian ultimatum, Europe will witness a ‘world war.’” Around the same time, Germans feared the eruption of a “Weltkrieg” and the French a “guerre mondiale.”

After the war, observers retrospectively described it with a range of terms including, but not limited to, “world war.” American newspapers were filled with references to “the recent world war” and descriptions of “world war veterans.” But English and French commentators referred more frequently to the “Great War” and “La Grande Guerre.” In postwar Russia, Lenin used the term “world war” interchangeably with the “capitalist war.” All nations, in short, described the conflict subjectively in terms that allowed them to lend it significance and meaning.

Of course, the familiar designations, “First World War” and “World War I” did not emerge until a new war was on the horizon in 1939. Yet here, too, the terms “World War II” and the “Second World War” were also coined in advance of the conflict’s eruption, with commentators widely dreading a “Second World War” in the 1930s. In fact, such fears dated as far back as 1918, when American commentators favoring a harsh peace for Germany stressed the need to keep it from obtaining the “sinews for a Second World War.”

It took some time for the phrase “World War II” to catch on. During the conflict, Europeans did not always refer to the war with any numerical designation. When Winston Churchill declared in a famous 1940 speech that “never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few,” he did so in the context of crediting “British airmen who, undaunted by odds … are turning the tide of the World War.” Only after 1945, with the luxury of hindsight, did the phrase “World War II” become canonized in Western consciousness.

The idea of a third world war, by contrast, emerged prospectively during World War II. In 1944, a distinguished array of American and European writers and journalists, including William Shirer, Rex Stout and Emil Ludwig, founded the Society for the Prevention of World War III to pressure the U.S. government to impose a harsh peace treaty on postwar Germany to keep the nation from launching its third world war in half a century.

Similar fears were voiced after 1945. At many points during the Cold War — during the Korean War, the Cuban missile crisis and the Vietnam War — journalists expressed fears that the planet was on the brink of a third world war. When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1980, for example, newspapers published alarmist headlines such as “This May Be World War III” and “Has World War III Begun?” In all of these cases, the invocation of World War III was meant to warn of the potential danger of regional conflicts escalating into a global catastrophe.

None of these fears, of course, were ever realized. To this day, “World War III” does not stand in any history book as an actual event, but it remains a potential nightmare.

Intriguingly enough, this gap between reality and imagination may be causally linked.

On the one hand, the constant dire warnings about World War III may have functioned to prevent such a conflict from actually occurring. On the other hand, there may be a cost to taking such a rhetorical stance. Incessantly warning of a threat that never materializes can gradually desensitize people to its potential reality.

It can also promote reckless action. In the case of Ukraine, many of the people claiming that World War III has “already begun” are driven by the fantasy that, by doing so, they can rally Western support for what they see as an inevitable showdown with Russia. But this claim, amplified by social media, entails the risk of escalating the conflict — perhaps with the use of nuclear weapons — and producing precisely what others hope to prevent.

In the end, World War III will only enter the history books as a real event in retrospect. We should obviously hope that never happens and pray the concept remains prospective. Should it take place, the devastation could be total. As Albert Einstein famously warned in 1948, “I do not know how the Third World War will be fought, but I can tell you what they will use in the Fourth — rocks!”

[ Gavriel Rosenfeld ]


“How to cope with World War Three anxiety – if the news is scaring you right now”

It’s easy to spiral when you feel out of control (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)
It has been a pretty tumultuous couple of years when it comes to global disruption.

Just when we thought we were finally about to see the light – with all Covid restrictions in the UK set to end this week – we are suddenly faced with the possibility of yet another global disaster, this time in the form of a large-scale war.

Boris Johnson warned of ‘bloodshed and misery’ if war breaks out, and now this bleak prediction is becoming a reality.

After weeks of uncertainty and mixed messages, Russian forces have now invaded Ukraine territories. The ramifications of this move are terrifying, and we are already seeing the fallout.

This morning, Putin ordered a full-scale invasion and hundreds are feared dead following a major bombing campaign.

For those caught up in the fighting, the fear and anxiety will be unimaginable. And for those of us watching from afar – the feelings of helpless dread and sadness can be overwhelming.

So, if you’re feeling anxious and afraid about the state of the world right now, you’re not alone.

Sandra de Monte is the founder and director of MindBerry Group and she trained at Harvard and Regents University in London in global health, psychotherapy and counselling.

Sandra says the stress and anxiety that you may be feeling right now is directly linked to an acute sense of helplessness.

‘The disturbing events that are unfolding in Ukraine have, understandably, left people across the world anxious,’ Sandra tells Metro.co.uk. ‘Such distressing news can impact our thoughts and behaviours in subtle and dramatic ways.

‘Unfortunately, these types of events are often reminders of how many circumstances and situations affecting society are outside of our control.’

Although we may not be on the frontline, and it is still unclear how these global events may come to impact our lives directly, the stress of hearing about this crisis unfold may be manifesting in our daily routines, thoughts, and behaviours.

‘Upsetting events provoke a wide range of feelings such as anxiety, fear, frustration, or even a sense of numbness which can affect your relationships with those around you,’ says Sandra.

‘You may also notice an increase in stress, resulting in feelings of exhaustion or difficulty sleeping. This is your body’s reaction to changes.’

How to cope with stress caused by news headlines
You can’t self-care your way out of worrying about a war. No amount of breathing exercises, manifestation or positive thinking is going to change Putin’s mind, or alter the course of political maneuvers.

But we can change how we react to circumstances that are completely beyond our control.

No matter how relentlessly bleak the headlines may become, the ability to recognise what we are able to change, and what we have to adapt to, can help to limit our stress response, and stop us from spiralling.

‘The good news, is that we can control how we respond to others and ourselves in the aftermath of distressing news,’ says Sandra.

‘During challenging times like these, it’s important to assess how you’re doing, check in with loved ones, and take steps to prioritise your emotional wellbeing.’

Sandra and MindBerry suggest trying the simple techniques below to help you cope with this kind of anxiety:

Self talk
‘Check in with your thoughts and remember that your feelings are normal,’ says Sandra.

‘Remember that thinking about the topic that is making you feel anxious feeds your anxiety.’

Develop a coping plan
Sandra suggests connecting with friends and family and sharing your concerns to relieve stress.

‘We suggest using a focus exercise that you can do wherever and whenever you sit down for a few moments,’ says Sandra.

‘Breathe in and out and concentrate on your breath to check in with yourself. Then choose a colour and look around you to identify objects of that colour. This will calm you down and distract you from concerns and negative thinking.’

Be mindful of your media consumption
‘You may want to avoid or decrease the amount of time you spend on news and social media, particularly before bed, and refine your information sources to outlets that offer straightforward facts,’ says Sandra.

‘Try reading a book or listen to music that helps you feel more positive instead.’

[ Natalie Morris ]


“Is World War III a Nuclear Reality or an Empty Threat?”

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) — A Russian news agency quoted on March 2 Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s dire warning: If a third world war (WWIII) breaks out, it would involve nuclear weapons—and be destructive.

At a virtual Geneva meeting on disarmament, he also hinted that Ukraine has been seeking nuclear weapons to counter the Russian invasion—a rumour that remains unconfirmed.

Meanwhile, a former Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk repeated similar fears speculating that the Russian invasion could be the start of a third world war.

Are nuclear warnings and fears of a potential World War III political realities or just empty threats?

Dr Rebecca Eleanor Johnson, former president of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), and author of the 2022 report ‘Nuclear weapons are banned: What does that mean for Britain?’, told IDN “Putin invaded Ukraine and then put Russia’s nuclear weapons on high alert.

His egregious aggression, she said, demonstrates the existential dangers attached to nuclear deterrence theories: “We’ve been warning for years that deterrence is a communication with an adversary, and if that goes wrong, then nuclear-armed leaders are likely to threaten and use nuclear weapons, with disastrous humanitarian consequences.”

She pointed out that nuclear weapons and threats were embedded in the defence policies of Russia and NATO (countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) in the early 1950s and since then, they have driven proliferation and insecurity around the world.

“The war on Ukraine is a terrible reminder of what can go wrong if any leader’s possession of atomic weapons and illusions of nuclear deterrence go wrong. Putin, like Trump, Kim Jong-un, and other nuclear-armed leaders, has trumpeted nuclear threats before,” Dr Johnson said.

The difference now is that Putin is increasingly cornered by his invasion and the war crimes already committed through the use of thermobaric weaponry and so-called ‘conventional’ explosives against Ukraine’s cities and civilians, she added.

Meanwhile, the world’s nuclear forces are also a grim reminder—and ominously frightening—of the potential disaster facing the world, with nine of the world’s nuclear powers, namely the US, Russia, UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea, on virtual nuclear-readiness.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the nine nuclear-armed states together possessed an estimated 13,080 nuclear weapons at the start of 2021. This marked a decrease from the 13,400 that SIPRI estimated these states possessed at the beginning of 2020.

Despite this overall decrease, the estimated number of nuclear weapons currently deployed with operational forces increased to 3825, from 3720 last year. Around 2000 of these—nearly all of which belonged to Russia or the US—were kept in a state of high operational alert.

A breakdown of the latest available figures follows:

Ray Acheson, Director of Disarmament, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, told IDN Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons and his decision to heighten the alert level of Russian nuclear forces underscores the inherent risk posed by the existence of nuclear weapons.

“Whether or not nuclear weapons are used in this war, in the sense of being detonated, they are already being used to help facilitate Putin’s invasion of and war against Ukraine.”

But this is not just an issue of Russia having nuclear weapons, she argued.

Three NATO members—France, the United Kingdom, and the United States—also possess nuclear weapons, and US nuclear bombs are stored on the territory of five other NATO members—Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Turkey.

Each and every one of these nuclear weapons is a threat to peace and security. A nuclear war would be catastrophic, threatening all life on Earth, said Acheson.

“As long as these weapons exist, there is a risk that they will be detonated. As long as these weapons exist, they will be used to threaten and intimidate. As long as these weapons exist, they will extract billions of dollars towards their maintenance, modernisation, and deployment, when that money is so desperately needed to confront climate change and provide for social good,” she warned.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) outlaws the threat to use nuclear weapons, as well as the use, development, and possession of these weapons.

“All states must join the TPNW and support the global ban on nuclear bombs. The nuclear-armed states, and the other countries that host nuclear weapons, must renounce mass destruction as an alleged security policy and eliminate their arsenals, before it’s too late,” she added.

“This is a moment for people around the world to wake up to the nuclear threat. This is not an historical issue. We all live with the grave prospect of nuclear war every day, and we must take action to remove this threat once and for all,” Acheson declared.

Asked if Putin would order nuclear weapons to be fired, Dr Johnson said: “Yes, sadly I think he might, through miscalculation, ego or fear of failing to defeat Ukrainian resistance. Don’t be fooled by talk of ‘tactical nuclear weapons’—that’s just military jargon. If Putin is not stopped by Russian officials, and his orders result in the atomic incineration of cities, this would be a terrible war crime and crime against humanity, with massive existential risks.”

“Most of the world backed the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons because they understood our evidence and arguments about the need to ban the possession as well as use and deployments of nuclear weapons to prevent nuclear war. Putin’s invasion, combined with NATO’s expansion and failed wars of choice in Iraq and Afghanistan for the past three decades, have led to Ukraine’s suffering and this escalating crisis,” she added.

Dr Johnson said Ukraine is trapped between Russia and NATO, which hold some 12,000 nuclear weapons.

ICAN-connected studies have shown what is at risk when nuclear weapons are possessed and brandished by anyone.

Predatory, narcissistic people like Putin are psychologically prone to take risks, miscalculate, and follow their threats and failures by upping the ante with more aggressive and reckless actions.

“If they are given military power and nuclear weapons, that’s when failures of deterrence lead to ‘use them or lose them’ panics and the nuclear war that complacent militaries have refused to prevent when they could have eliminated these terrible weapons of mass destruction (WMD),” she declared.

After Putin put Russian nuclear forces on ‘special alert’, Boris Johnson said the UK was doing the same. Studies by Scientists for Global Responsibility and John Ainslie concluded that if 8 of the UK’s Trident nuclear missiles were fired at Moscow and five other Russian cities, they would murder millions of civilians and throw mushroom clouds of radioactive dust high into the atmosphere, causing global catastrophe through nuclear winter and mass starvation.

“This isn’t a theoretical game Putin and NATO are playing, it’s real life,” declared Dr Johnson.

According to SIPRI, while the US and Russia continued to reduce their overall nuclear weapon inventories by dismantling retired warheads in 2020, both are estimated to have had around 50 more nuclear warheads in operational deployment at the start of 2021 than a year earlier.

Russia also increased its overall military nuclear stockpile by around 180 warheads, mainly due to the deployment of more multi-warhead land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and sea-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).

Both countries’ deployed strategic nuclear forces remained within the limits set by the 2010 Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START), although the treaty does not limit total nuclear warhead inventories.

The overall number of warheads in global military stockpiles now appears to be increasing, a worrisome sign that the declining trend that has characterized global nuclear arsenals since the end of the cold war has stalled, said Hans M. Kristensen, Associate Senior Fellow with SIPRI’s Nuclear Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation Programme and Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS).

The last-minute extension of New START by Russia and the USA in February this year was a relief, but the prospects for additional bilateral nuclear arms control between the nuclear superpowers remain poor, he added. [IDN-InDepthNews – 08 March 2022]

[ Thalif Deen ]


“IS WORLD WAR III POSSIBLE? THE NEXT FEW WEEKS WILL TELL”

This report is part of ongoing coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war. Visit our dedicated page for more on this topic.

With Ukrainian resistance standing its ground and proving formidable against invading Russian forces, it’s possible the ground war entering waged by Russian President Vladimir Putin that is entering its second month could continue for some time, Northeastern experts say.

And if the U.S. and its NATO allies are going to avoid becoming militarily involved in a conflict that could spill over into other Western nations, potentially igniting a third world war, developments in the coming days will prove critical, says Mai’a Cross, the Edward W. Brooke Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at Northeastern.

What Russia’s invasion of Ukraine means for the global balance of power READ MORE
“The next few weeks are going to be crucial in terms of figuring out whether the war spreads beyond Ukraine,” Cross says. “Russia is not doing so well on the ground, and is ramping up missile and airstrikes. That risks an accidental crossing into the border of a NATO country. The question is how NATO would respond to that.”

If there are accidental or purposeful Russian strikes into NATO territory, it would trigger Article 5 of the Western treaty, which would necessarily provoke a military response from the U.S., Cross says. It’s likely that would spark a conflict between the West and Russia on the order of a world war, as it would involve most of the world’s superpowers, she says.

What that conflict could look like varies. It’s possible, Cross says, that U.S. and NATO involvement would remain conventional, meaning it would involve the deployment of air and ground forces—tanks, artillery, military helicopters, and fighter jets—to beat back Russia’s forces.

Mai’a Cross, the Edward W. Brooke Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at Northeastern. Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University

What would a world war mean for those superpowers not currently tangled up in the conflict? In the case of China, the world’s second largest superpower, it’s unclear—even though the Chinese Communist Party has been critical of the U.S.’s role in the conflict, suggesting that NATO encroachment has provoked Russia, Cross says.

“But what we’ve seen, especially since the invasion, is China trying to distance itself from Russia, offering itself up as a moderator and trying to find a peaceful solution,” Cross says.

Despite Russian setbacks in Ukraine, U.S. intelligence has indicated that Putin is determined to succeed, doubling down on tactics that have increasingly led to civilian deaths. The first indication of that was a Russian airstrike that hit a maternity hospital in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol in recent days. Russian forces also struck a theater in Mariupol where civilians were taking shelter, then a shopping mall in Kyiv that killed eight people.

Stephen Flynn, founding director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

“Part of Russian strategy now is to attack Ukrainian civilians,” Cross says. “They know that advancing by ground into these Ukrainian cities would be difficult to win without sustaining a lot of casualties. So sitting back more and targeting these cities from afar with missiles allows you to spread destruction faster. The unfortunate byproduct of that is civilian deaths.”

For days, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on the U.S. and its allies to implement a no-fly zone in Ukraine to prohibit Russian planes from flying over Ukrainian territory. But President Joe Biden and other allied officials have rejected the idea, citing the risks of a military confrontation between the West and Russia that could quickly escalate into something worse.

“A no-fly zone is not a possibility at all, because Russia would interpret that as a clear act of war,” Cross says.

Would World War III, if it happens, inevitably involve nuclear weapons? It’s more than possible, says Stephen Flynn, founding director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern.

“We’re still in the atomic age,” Flynn says. “I know it feels like we haven’t had to pay attention to that fact for some years, but the reality is that Russia and the United States have enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world many times over.”

[ Tanner Stening ]


“The Western World Is in Denial”

I understand why democratic countries are reluctant to fight, but I worry they don’t understand what will happen next.

KYIV, Ukraine—It’s been 19 days since Russia started the unprovoked war in Ukraine. I have changed my location three times, but I am staying in Kyiv to take care of my elderly parents. Every day I see Russians getting closer to my city from the northwest. I have been sleeping on the floor since February 24, when Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade my country. I am lucky. Others have lost their homes, or have no water, food, or heating. Russian troops have already killed several thousands of Ukrainians, including more than 80 children.

Every night I close my eyes thinking I might be next on Putin’s death-toll list. Nowadays you never know where the Russians will drop their bombs—onto a residential building, a kindergarten classroom, a monastery, or a maternity hospital.

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Every day Russians commit more and more atrocities in my country. Only after Putin unleashed hell on our lands did the West finally unite in support of Ukraine, providing more weapons. Finally, the collective democratic world squeezed Russia with unprecedented sanctions.

However, this has not stopped Putin from bombing and destroying Ukraine. If anything, his resolve has only strengthened. The Kremlin knows that Russians will feel the full impact of sanctions in a month or so. It also knows that Europe is so dependent on Russian fossil fuels that such harsh sanctions likely won’t last long. I already see more and more tweets sympathizing with Russians, saying those people do not deserve the limitations imposed against their nation for Putin’s war.

Read: America’s hesitation is heartbreaking

This is the same nation where 58 percent of people support Putin’s actions in Ukraine, according to the latest polls. Putin doesn’t kill anyone in Ukraine with his own hands; other Russians are doing that. The Kremlin has been planning to invade and destroy the identity of my country, and to do it quickly, and the Russian people are backing it. Russians are making this calculation because they believe they can afford to. The Kremlin knows that the West, despite its public admiration for Ukrainian courage, has left Ukraine alone on the actual battlefield. Westerners would rather help Ukraine with weapons and money but stand aside.

People in these countries are scared of World War III. I understand the fear—but don’t you understand that World War III may have already arrived? Ukraine has been begging NATO to establish a no-fly zone, to protect us from Russian bombs, or at least give us fighter jets so we can better protect our skies. So far, the answer on both is “no.”

Meanwhile, more than 2,187 people have died because of Russian attacks in Mariupol alone, according to officials there. Russian attacks from the air have almost destroyed Volnovakha, Kharkiv, and many other towns in Ukraine. Ukraine’s authorities, who first pressured world powers to impose preventive sanctions, then pushed them to cut Russia from the SWIFT international-payment system, then pushed them to cut Russia from the rest of the world, have been asking how many more people should die for the skies to be closed over Ukraine.

What I see from NATO is a version of this message: The war in Ukraine is not our war. We will come forward only if Russia attacks an alliance member or bombs our convoy to Ukraine.

People of Europe and the U.S. have been pressing their governments to take a proactive position. They sent donations. They sent thoughts and prayers. The governments, especially in Europe, are still very cautious when it comes to making any move that might provoke Russia. Leaders such as Emmanuel Macron still seem to believe that dialogue can persuade Putin to stop his atrocities. For many in Europe, Russia’s petroleum and gas are more valuable than Ukrainian lives.

I understand the Western governments’ position.

I also used to say “This is not my war” while watching Russia’s atrocities in Aleppo. I also sent my thoughts and prayers to the people of Syria, also destroyed with the help of Putin. And back in 2008, I was so young that I did not even care to think about Georgians, whose land was also devastated and divided by Putin. And before that Moldova, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Libya, and other African countries.

Those were not my wars. But in 2014 the war came to my country. Back then, the world continued to cooperate with the aggressor Russia, deepening its dependence on Russia’s fossil fuels. Western leaders were willing to turn their back on the war, certain that Putin would never dare to attack the powerful collective West.

Read: Why the West may have to offer Putin a way out

We in Ukraine also did not believe that Putin would dare to launch a full-scale invasion. But he did. Because in Moldova, Georgia, Syria, and Ukraine, Russia got away with its crimes. It did all this after the infamous “reset” of relations with the United States, and the United States allowed it. As Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on March 3, the West will “get over” its “hysteria” about Ukraine too.

I am afraid he might be right. And I am afraid of what that will mean for the rest of the world. Russia can’t let itself lose in Ukraine and has enough resources to keep its economy alive. Putin has made clear that he doesn’t see Ukraine as a sovereign nation and that he would rather destroy it than let it exist as a free European nation. Many, if not most, Russians share his view. Even many who claim to be liberals have tended to see Ukraine as a “special country,” meaning their country.

So maybe by saying “This is not our war,” the world’s leading democratic countries are simply showing that they are in denial about what will happen next. What if World War III has already started? Perhaps it began in Georgia, Moldova, and Syria. Perhaps in the future, the invasion of February 24 won’t be seen as the start, but as a key turning point.

It is obvious that Russia will not stop its crusade against democratic values and common sense in Ukraine. Russian propagandists have been talking about which country will be invaded next. Ukraine’s Defense Secretary Olexiy Danilov has said it might be Lithuania, a NATO member. Will NATO act only after Lithuania is invaded?

I don’t know. And I don’t call upon the peaceful nations of Europe to join our war either. All I can ask is that you think about your beloved cities and the people who might one day become Putin’s next targets.

Ukraine used to be known as a country of beautiful Soviet modernist architecture, featured in numerous Western music videos. It used to be a country of beautiful landscapes, cool restaurants, and humming rave culture. It is a country that has hosted two Eurovision Song Contests and one European soccer championship. A country that has become a battleground for U.S. politics and led to an impeachment scandal in America.

Kyiv used to amaze people with the beauty of the Dnipro River and impossibly long summer nights; Lviv dazzled people with its restaurants; Mariupol offered a vibrant mix of heavy industry and a lazy seashore-vacation mood. Kherson had awful roads but offered beautiful nature, pink lakes, the Black Sea, and plenty of homegrown food as compensation. Kharkiv, an education center, has hosted hundreds of international students and kept the special pride only a country’s first capital can have. For me, Kharkiv was a city of mathematics and large squares.

The Ukrainian people always welcomed guests from across Europe. We were so proud that the world had finally become interested in what we had to offer after the Maidan Revolution of 2014. Now the whole world is watching Putin destroy our land and murder our people: Kharkiv, Mariupol, Kherson, and now, the analysts say, Kyiv will be next.

Sanctions work, but they have not stopped Putin’s rockets falling from the skies. Now, after Georgia and Syria, those deathly rains have come to my land. What if they come to your land next?

Veronika Melkozerova is a journalist based in Kyiv. She is the executive editor of the New Voice of Ukraine, an English-language news site.

[ Veronika Melkozerova ]


“Will 2022 Bring More War and Chaos?”
2021 has been a lesson in the limits of U.S. foreign policy.

Matthew Kroenig: Hi Emma. It is hard to believe this is our last column of 2021. The year flew by. I thought it might be a good time to take a look back at the major events of 2021 and maybe peer ahead to what might be in store for us in the new year.

It’s Debatable
Also, I think we can write whatever we want this week; I heard our editor is sick with COVID-19 like everyone in London.

[Ahem. Still here. -ed.]

Emma Ashford: I’m not going anywhere for Christmas. But on the upside, I get to take a vacation from my first full-time job to focus on my second full-time job: planning Christmas, playing Santa, baking, cooking, decorating, and peeling sugar-high toddlers off the ceiling.

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Nothing gets one in the holiday spirit like reflecting on the past year in foreign policy. How would you sum up 2021? Any big themes or overarching ideas that come to mind?

MK: It was an eventful year. We are still dealing with the mutating COVID-19 pandemic. U.S.-China relations became more confrontational. The United States’ and NATO’s longest war came to a chaotic end in Afghanistan. And much more. What stands out for you?

EA: You forgot the Free Britney movement—a case study in the power of transnational nonstate protest movements to achieve their goals! But in retrospect, there were a few big themes that emerged in the last year. First, the tension between national borders and international interconnections. Even as the pandemic has waned, the travel restrictions it brought across the world have not fully loosened. And many Western states are getting more and more determined to close off borders to migrants wherever possible. So the free movement of people across the world is in decline.

Meanwhile, 2021 provided constant reminders that the free movement of goods is still an essential part of our economy. Global supply chains have been a mess all year, whether it was caused by the Ever Given—that ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal—or by pandemic disruptions.

MK: Good points. And how could we forget, but the year started with Donald Trump in the White House. The U.S. presidency passed to Joseph Biden, but only after a riot at the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6 that is still being investigated and sparking polarization in the United States. Even Fox News is splintering over a controversial Tucker Carlson special on the riots.

Iran does not want to return to the deal because China is buying its oil and it is on its way to entering the nuclear weapons club.

For many around the world, the return to a more traditional politician leading the free world was a breath of fresh air, but the Biden administration’s actual performance has been uneven.

EA: Yeah, I think that was the other big theme of the year: democracy and dictatorship, even in the West. We started the year with the Capitol riot, followed swiftly by a second Trump impeachment. We ended the year with the Biden administration’s Summit for Democracy. It’s not clear to me, however, that democracy in the United States is in a much better state than it was at the start of the year. It’s still shaky, and no amount of democracy summits will change that.

It also felt like this year had more than the usual share of military and security crises, even in the absence of Trump’s saber-rattling. We’ve had at least two war scares in Ukraine, a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, ongoing civil wars in Ethiopia and Yemen, a coup in Myanmar, and the assassination of Haiti’s president.

MK: The year is not over yet and I fear that one or more of these crises could erupt before we sing “Auld Lang Syne.” Russia continues to mass troops on Ukraine’s border. Iran’s nuclear breakout timeline has shrunk to just weeks—leading to more serious discussions of military options. And China continues to make threats against Taiwan.

If we manage to make it through the year in peace, these will continue to be among the major issues of the new year.

EA: Fair enough. My big point was that it feels to me like 2021 was actually a pretty awful year for U.S. foreign policy. There were lots of big shifts around the world, and a growing feeling that the United States isn’t well-placed to respond to any of them. Just look at the Iran nuclear negotiations: Talks in Vienna are ongoing, but Iran has made major strides in nuclear development and seems less and less willing to actually talk. Or consider Washington’s complete inability to work with other countries on trade issues. What’s your take?

MK: The record is certainly mixed, but I am more optimistic. Let me start with the positive. You are right that the United States is not and has never been omnipotent. But the United States is still the single-most influential country in the world, and its leadership is still required to solve most global challenges. After all, a major complaint from U.S. allies and partners this year—from the Afghanistan withdrawal to responding to the Russian threat against Ukraine—is that they want more, not less, involvement from Washington.

I also think the Biden administration’s basic philosophy is correct. Biden has been right to promise to revitalize alliances and the rules-based system and to stand up to dictators. His doctrine of rallying the world’s democracies to take on the threats posed by revisionist autocrats is exactly right.

EA: I’m not exactly sure we should judge U.S. foreign policy by the complaints of countries that don’t spend enough on their own defense and want the United States to pick up the tab!

But 2021 has also been a lesson in the limits of U.S. foreign policy. The Biden administration emerged in early 2021, promising that “America is back.” But what it’s found, I think, is a world that’s moved on and is concerned about U.S. stability and reliability in the future. Just look at the Iran nuclear negotiations: The United States hasn’t been able to get the Iranians back in the deal because it’s no longer able to credibly offer them carrots to do so. Trump may be gone, but his shadow still looms over foreign policy.

MK: I see it differently, and it leads to one of my criticisms of Biden’s first year. He hasn’t done enough to follow through on his promise to stand up to dictators. Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei’s negotiating position is unserious, as even the Europeans have acknowledged.

Iran does not want to return to the deal because China is buying its oil and it is on its way to entering the nuclear weapons club. Biden’s plan to engage Tehran has not worked, and it is time to return to the pressure track with tougher sanctions (such as secondary sanctions on China’s oil imports) and military pressure.

EA: Hang on. The Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign didn’t work; it didn’t bring Iran back to the table to negotiate an ostensibly better deal. And your solution is to dump the negotiations Biden has started—and go back to maximum pressure?

MK: We need a dual-track approach of pressure and engagement. We can continue the talks, but Tehran needs to know that failure to reach a deal will result in unacceptable consequences for Iran.

There is a reason the Iranians are increasingly skeptical of a deal. It’s because they know that, in less than three years, a new administration could come into office and tear it up again.

EA: This makes me a little crazy, I’ll be honest. There is a reason the Iranians are increasingly skeptical of a deal. It’s because they know that, in less than three years, a new administration could come into office and tear it up again. Trump’s choice to withdraw from the deal has made a mockery of the United States’ ability to credibly commit to diplomatic agreements for longer than one administration. That leaves the negotiators in Vienna stuck trying to find a deal that will appeal to Iran even if it only lasts a few years—a tall order, to be sure.

MK: The temptation to blame Trump for everything wrong with the world drives me a little crazy, to be honest. Iran is building nuclear weapons and that is Trump’s fault? Let’s focus on the real problem. Iran has been pursuing the bomb for over two decades; Iran’s diplomats are using the credible commitment argument as a rhetorical device.

Again, both U.S. and European negotiators report that Iran is not serious about the negotiations. Tehran does not want a deal because it sees the current path as pretty attractive; it is about to become a nuclear weapons power. If dead-end negotiations will not solve the problem, Washington needs to look at other options.
READ MORE

A Ukrainian serviceman patrols.
A Ukrainian serviceman patrols.
Biden Must Choose Between Appeasement and Deterrence in Ukraine
Russia’s threat on the Ukrainian border is not a bluff, but forceful U.S. financial sanctions could stop Putin from another land grab.

ARGUMENT | NIGEL GOULD-DAVIES
Two men sit behind a sign on a table that reads “Iran, Islamic Republic of.”
Two men sit behind a sign on a table that reads “Iran, Islamic Republic of.”
The View From Iran: What the Raisi Administration Wants in the Nuclear Talks
President Ebrahim Raisi doesn’t consider reviving the nuclear deal a top priority.

ANALYSIS | SAHEB SADEGHI

EA: Yes, it is Trump’s fault that Iran is advancing down the nuclear path. But let’s be precise here. At least for the last decade or so, Iran has been pursuing what scholars call latent nuclear capabilities. That means enrichment and other technologies that are needed for nuclear weapons. But it hasn’t actually taken those steps yet, and probably won’t unless negotiations fail.

MK: That degree of precision muddies, rather than clarifies, the situation. Iran has spent billions of dollars and suffered through sanctions and military threats for decades to get to a point where its scientists are within weeks of enriching enough weapons-grade uranium for a first nuclear weapon that would advance many of its stated security goals. And you expect it to voluntarily stop short once it gets there? That interpretation defies common sense.

Look at the differences in the way the United States treated Qaddafi—who ended up dead in a ditch after giving up Libya’s nuclear weapons—and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un to see why countries might want the bomb.

EA: On the contrary, I think if negotiations fail, then the Iranians would be insane not to push all the way to weaponization. Iranian leaders probably haven’t yet decided whether they’re going to go for the bomb, but anyone who says they aren’t at least considering it is being unbearably naive.

But here’s the key difference between you and me: I think it’s important to stop and think a little more about why. You only have to look at the differences in the way the United States treated Libya’s Muammar al-Qaddafi—who ended up dead in a ditch after giving up his nuclear weapons—and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un to understand why countries might want the bomb. I certainly don’t like that assessment, but I try to be realistic about the world.

Perhaps more importantly, if they do go for the bomb, it’s a clear failure of the last U.S. administration’s maximum pressure campaign. The deal had defused this situation by putting Iran in a monitored holding pattern, at a lower level of nuclear development. Trump’s choice to rip up the deal ruined that, and his sanctions campaign was worse than useless. If the talks in Vienna fail, Iran may become a nuclear power and Americans will have only themselves to blame for it.

And I’d note that if we don’t want 2022 to be the year of a potential Israel-Iran conflict, then the Biden administration needs to redouble its efforts in Vienna.

MK: Let’s pause this argument and return to the broader one. Biden’s approach to Iran is consistent with a pattern of going too easy on the bad guys. He should put more pressure on Iran. His exit from Afghanistan handed the country back to the Taliban.

He should do more to outline the negative consequences for Russia should Russian President Vladimir Putin decide to invade Ukraine again. And, while I have been happy to see him continue to tighten the screws on the Chinese Communist Party (including a new ban on investments in CCP tech companies this week), he could go further by, for example, clarifying the U.S. commitment to defend Taiwan. While he has now promised twice to defend Taiwan, his White House walked those statements back, and many observers assumed it was a gaffe. His administration should clarify that he really means it.

In short, I hope Biden’s New Year’s resolution is to follow through on his campaign promise to get tougher on the revisionist autocracies threatening the democratic world order.

EA: The Biden administration is in a tough spot. It was left a really terrible hand by the Trump administration: to manage the Afghanistan withdrawal, get Iran negotiations back on track, build a better strategy for the Indo-Pacific, and try to stabilize the relationship with Russia.

MK: Fair. But it has been in office for almost one year. At some point, we need to stop blaming his predecessor and hold Biden accountable for the challenges he was elected to address.I hope Biden’s New Year’s resolution is to follow through on his campaign promise to get tougher on the revisionist autocracies threatening the democratic world order.

EA: Right, and I don’t think the administration played that hand particularly well. I’m not concerned that it’s not being tough enough on the bad guys. There are no good or bad guys in international affairs, just states looking out for their own interests. But with the laudable exception of the Afghanistan withdrawal, Biden has largely dodged making tough choices. Whether it’s his unwillingness to challenge domestic manufacturing lobbies and push for a new Asian trade deal, or his waffling on arms sales, nuclear modernization, or the role of democracy in U.S. foreign policy, his policies are largely stuck in an unhelpful middle-ground.

By far the best decision that Biden made in 2021 was to continue the Afghanistan withdrawal, and to stick to his guns in light of all the criticism he received for it. I hope Biden’s New Year’s resolution is to be that decisive on other tough foreign policy choices.

Let’s wrap up here with predictions. What can we expect in 2022?

MK: It may be wishful thinking, but I predict that we finally return to a new, post-COVID-19 normal. Some of our foresight experts at the Atlantic Council are even predicting a new vaccine that would work for all coronaviruses.

I also predict that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s dictatorial tendencies will continue to weaken China and cause the rest of the world to balance more firmly against him. 2022 will be the year we stop debating whether the free world is in a new Cold War with China, because it will be so glaringly obvious that it is.

EA: I hope you’re right. I hate to be the depressing one, but I fear 2022 will see at least one major conflict. There are simply too many flashpoints around the world right now for me to bet that they will all be resolved peacefully. I’d give war in Ukraine a 50/50 chance at this point.

I’d also not overlook the Balkans: There’s a pretty good chance we’ll see a flareup of ethnic conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina or elsewhere. In short, I think 2022 is likely to be a reminder, as my friend Michael Kimmage put it recently, “that Europe is what it has always been, a battlefield of competing ethnic, national and imperial entities … and tragically far from whole, free and at peace.”

MK: As usual, I hope you are wrong! But in this case, I fear you might be right. Let’s hope we can enjoy our holiday in peace. It looks like 2022 will be another eventful year.

[ Emma Ashford and Matthew Kroenig ]


“‘We might have to leave quickly’: Finns living near border keep a watchful eye on Russia”

In the Finnish town of Imatra, on the country’s eastern border with Russia, residents are keeping a watchful eye on their neighbours to the east as tensions mount over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. For some, the threat of confrontation with Russia recalls one of the darker chapters in the country’s past.

[ France 24 ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVbETRiZqhg


“What Happens If There’s A Nuclear Attack”

Nearly 70% of Americans surveyed by the American Psychological Association said they worry the invasion of Ukraine could potentially lead to nuclear war and they fear that we could be at the beginning stages of World War III.

[ CNBC ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gObuL6CcRF0


“Analysis: Russian forces eye Moldova, as forces edge east to breakaway Transnistria”

Russian forces have been seen moving west towards to Moldova, as what’s thought to be fresh mass graves are spotted by satellite near Mariupol.

Defence Analyst at the Royal United Services Institute Dr Alex Walmsley takes a look at the latest developments on the ground in southern Ukraine.

[ Sky News ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikW0PfXcqXM


“Finland prepares for a potential war with Russia”

Russia’s Ukraine invasion has sparked concerns in Finland. The Nordic country is preparing for a possible conflict with Russia. Its citizens are learning how to use a gun. the government is stockpiling essentials. Palki Sharma tells you more.

[ WION ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEgh0CzaOdk


“How Finland Avoids A Russian Invasion”

[ OBF ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_eRUZS1Jcw


“How Putin’s invasion of Ukraine could escalate into World War III with the help of Russia’s nuclear arsenal”

Is the Ukraine crisis an isolated conflict, or is it a precursor to World War III?

Fears are growing that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offensive, the largest conventional military invasion since World War II, may be the prelude to another global war.

“We’re already in [World War III]. We have been for some time,” Fiona Hill, former director of the U.S. National Security Council, recently said in an interview with Politico on Monday, outlining the current state of the world.

“Sadly, we are treading back through old historical patterns that we said that we would never permit to happen again,” Hill added.

For now at least, the fighting is limited to Ukraine, and has yet to spill over into nearby NATO member countries. The U.S. and its allies, for their part, have condemned Putin’s actions while refusing to send their own troops to Ukraine, signaling an effort to avoid expanding the conflict.

But experts warn that war is never predictable. Russia is a nuclear state, which magnifies every problem.

Inadvertent escalation
Currently, the war is being fought in the eastern, southern, and northern regions of Ukraine, in cities including Kherson, which was recently claimed by Russian forces. Meanwhile, a large convoy of Russian military vehicles appears to have stalled 19 miles outside of the capital Kiev.

But the more the Ukraine crisis drags on, the bigger the risk of an “inadvertent escalation,” or something that goes wrong on the margins of the war, could cause it to expand.

“The bigger the conflict, the greater the possibility of something like that happening,” Mary Elise Sarotte, a post-Cold War historian and author of the 2021 book Not One Inch: America, Russia, and the Making of Post-Cold War Stalemate, told Fortune.

During the Cold War, the U.S. and the Soviet Union approached nuclear war several times. And many of these close calls were because of individual mistakes and human error.

“A dangerous and tragic case would be if Russian forces were to inadvertently, and I want to emphasize inadvertently, launch a missile that landed in a bordering NATO country, such as Poland,” Glennys Young, Russian studies expert and chair of the University of Washington’s history department, told Fortune.

“If this were perceived by NATO commanders as an attack, and hopefully it wouldn’t, this would trigger the provisions of the NATO alliance’s Article Five,” she continued.

NATO’s Article Five emphasizes “collective defense,” the idea that an attack on one NATO-allied country constitutes an attack on all member nations, theoretically provoking a mass, global response. A raging war in Ukraine, which shares borders with four NATO countries (Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland), raises the risk of Article Five being invoked. Doing so would involve deliberation from all NATO members and, potentially, Russia, and wouldn’t necessarily translate to an immediate response.

“There’s this phrase, ‘the fog of war,’” Young said. “It means that even though one often has the sense that military maneuvers, campaigns, and attacks are orchestrated, one can never know exactly how they’re going to play out.”

Putin’s personality
Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine was immediately met with international alarm, and some felt that his actions could be the biggest factor in creating a more global crisis.

“[Putin] has been doing so many things recently that are just brazen, reckless, unpredictable, and frankly self-harming,” Sarotte said. “Given that a person like that is now in charge of a nuclear arsenal, I do think there is a serious concern for war.”

Some longtime Russia observers have been surprised by Putin’s determined stance on Ukraine. They say he’s preoccupied with how the end of the Cold War turned out.

“His unstated goal is to avenge what he has called the greatest tragedy of the 20th century: The collapse of the Soviet Union, the unraveling of the Soviet empire and the territories that it once controlled,” Young said.

Putin has been undeterred by the sanctions President Joe Biden and other Western leaders have imposed on Russia while he’s doubled down on his invasion.

“Sadly, that seems to be the pattern we’re seeing. The greater the resistance in Ukraine, the more Putin seems to be willing to use intensified military force,” Young said, mentioning the recent civilian bombing of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, which killed 25 people and injured 112 more as of Wednesday.

Russia’s isolation
Putin has been relatively isolated throughout his Ukraine campaign. His main ally is Alexandr Lukashenko, president of Belarus, where tens of thousands of Russian troops have been stationed since before the Ukraine invasion began.

Some countries with close ties to Russia were initially neutral in their reaction to the invasion, with China neither criticizing nor endorsing Putin’s actions. But on Wednesday, six days after the invasion began, even China acquiesced and called the invasion of Ukraine a war, with officials saying they were “extremely concerned” with how Ukrainian civilians were being treated, indicating Beijing’s desire to prevent further escalation.

“I don’t think China and India are going to pick sides any more than they have,” Paul D’Anieri, a political science professor at the University of California at Riverside and author of the 2019 book Ukraine and Russia: From Civilized Divorce to Uncivil War, told Fortune.

“I don’t think either of them really wants to alienate Russia, but nor does either country have any reason to support what Russia is doing,” D’Anieri continued.

Other countries publicly supporting Ukraine, including the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, and Germany, have all sent missiles, rocket launchers, or machine guns to help with its resistance. If the conflict grows, western governments may be more inclined to respond directly, but that appears to be a long way off, according to D’Anieri.

“If violence becomes more indiscriminate, and lots more innocent people are killed, I think you’ll see more outrage, more willingness to help. But I think we’re still a very, very long way from western governments wanting to put their troops on the ground in Ukraine,” he said.

Senior ministers have dismissed talk that Russia could escalate the conflict with nuclear weapons, accusing Western politicians of intentionally fanning political flames. “It is in the heads of Western politicians that nuclear war is always revolving, and not in the head of the Russians,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

But Lavrov also indicated that Russia would be prepared to retaliate to any signs of aggression, warning Western governments to stand back. “If a real war against us starts developing, those who have such plans must have a think, and I believe such plans are being carried out,” he said.

The U.S. has said it will not send troops to Ukraine, preferring instead to rely on diplomacy and building an international consensus to condemn Putin. But even if western nations stand back, any Russian success in Ukraine would create more global tension.

“There are some places now where NATO and Russia share a border, but they’re relatively limited,” D’Anieri said. But, he added, if Russia successfully takes Ukraine, “you’d be back to a situation where you had a very long border between Russian-controlled territory and NATO.”

If this happens, D’Anieri believes tensions between Russia and the West would rise to their highest point since the 1950s.

As for Sarotte, she said the situation is among the most dangerous in recent memory, and is still rapidly evolving. “If you had asked me two weeks ago what the chance of major nuclear conflict was, I would have said pretty low, but now I would say I don’t know, and that’s not good,” she said.

[ TRISTAN BOVE ]


“Putin is ‘doubling down’: US ambassador to Russia”

U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan joins ‘Cavuto Live’ to provide insight into Putin’s latest threats amid the Ukraine invasion.

[ Fox News ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8z3I5Et_aQ0


Putin Warns America: Arming Ukraine Will Result in ‘Unpredictable Consequences’

Russia sent a formal diplomatic warning to the United States, calling on Washington and NATO to stop arming Ukraine.

The note said the Western campaign to pour weapons into Ukraine was “adding fuel” and could lead to “unpredictable consequences.”

The note came as news broke of a new massive US military aid package for Ukraine.

President Biden announced the new aid on Wednesday, which is worth $800 million and includes howitzers for the first time.

The package also includes helicopters, armed Switchblade drones, coastal defense drones, armored vehicles, radar systems, and thousands of Stinger and Javelin missiles.

The Russian note was sent to the State Department by the Russian Embassy in Washington.

It said the US and its NATO allies were ignoring “rigorous principles” on the transfer of weapons into the conflict zone and said the Western powers are oblivious to “the threat of high-precision weapons falling into the hands of radical nationalists, extremists and bandit forces in Ukraine.”

The Russians accused NATO of pressuring Ukraine to “abandon” peace talks with Moscow “in order to continue the bloodshed.”

The US and most of its NATO allies have shown little interest in supporting the negotiations between the warring sides.

The Western powers are signaling that they don’t want Kyiv to make any concessions to Moscow.

The Post reported last week that for some NATO members, “it’s better for the Ukrainians to keep fighting, and dying, than to achieve a peace that comes too early or at too high a cost to Kyiv and the rest of Europe.”

The formal Russian protest of the US arming Ukraine could be a precursor to Russia launching airstrikes on weapons shipments in Ukraine.

On Wednesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned that Moscow would view US or NATO vehicles transporting arms inside Ukraine as “legitimate military targets.”
It’s not clear if any US or NATO vehicles have actually brought weapons into Ukraine since Russia invaded.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby has said that Ukrainian troops bring the weapons into Ukraine after the US brings them to Eastern Europe.

So far, there haven’t been reports of Russia targeting weapons shipments as they enter Ukraine, but Moscow has hit weapons depots.

Earlier this week, Russia said it destroyed an S-300 missile defense system in Ukraine that was provided by a European country.

Russia’s protest highlights the danger of the US-led campaign to pour weapons into Ukraine and the risk of provoking Moscow.
On top of arming the Ukrainians, the US is also providing them with intelligence for attacks on Russian forces.

The huge amount of support raises questions about at what point Russia would consider the US a co-belligerent in the war.

[ Daniel Newton ]


“Russia warns of Nuke and Hypersonic deployment to Baltic”

Russia warned Sweden and Finland that if they joined NATO, then it will deploy nuclear weapons in hypersonic missiles in the heart of Europe. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is pushing Finland and Sweden towards NATO.

[ WION ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLLm3dZZrmw


“Russia warns US to stop arming Ukraine, sends formal letter warning”

Recently, US President Joe Biden announced $800 mn worth of military aid to Ukraine. Russia sent a diplomatic note to the United States to stop arming Ukraine. To get more details, we’re joined by Fred Weir, Russian Affairs Expert.

[ WION ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddrnHf-zeIg


“Vladimir Putin warns west to ‘think twice’ as Russia tests ‘Satan 2’ intercontinental ballistic missile”

Russia has successfully tested a new intercontinental nuclear ballistic missile as Vladimir Putin warned the Kremlin’s enemies to “think twice” about threatening his country.

The Russian defence ministry confirmed that its Sarmat missile had been launched on Wednesday from the Plesetsk launch facility in the north of the country.

Addressing the military at the launch, Mr Putin said: “This truly unique weapon will strengthen the combat potential of our armed forces, reliably ensure the security of Russia from external threats and make those who, in the heat of aggressive rhetoric, try to threaten our country, think twice.”

He claimed that the missile, dubbed “Satan II” by western analysts, has the “highest tactical and technical characteristics” and is “capable of overcoming all modern means of anti-missile defence”.

“It has no analogues in the world and won’t have for a long time to come,” he added.

The Russian army is expected to deploy ten or more nuclear warheads on each Sarmat missile, according to the US Congressional Research Service.

Russia’s defence ministry said the Sarmat’s training warheads reached a test range on Kamchatka in the Pacific, a distance of nearly 6,000 km.

It is not the first time Mr Putin has flexed Russia’s nuclear arsenal as a warning to the west over its support for Ukraine. Launching the invasion on February 24, he said that anyone who attempted to stand in Russia’s way would face “consequences that you have never encountered in your history”.

Days later, he ordered Russia’s nuclear forces to be put on high alert, raising concerns in the west.

The Sarmat has been in development for years and so its test-launch is not a surprise, but it comes at a moment of heightened geopolitical tensions following the invasion of Ukraine.

Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the state Roscosmos agency that oversees the missile factory building the Sarmat, described Wednesday’s test as a “present to NATO” in a comment on his messaging app channel.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned last month that the prospect of nuclear conflict “is now back within the realm of possibility”, though western leaders have denied that any direct military engagement with Russia will take place over Ukraine.

The Pentagon said that Russia had notified the US of the launch, adding that it saw the test as routine and not a threat.

In other developments, the Ukrainian General Staff said Wednesday that Russia was continuing to mount offensives at various locations in the eastern Donbas region.

Citizens were also urged to leave the besieged southern city of Mariupol as Russian shelling continued. Thousands of civilians are feared dead following weeks of indiscriminate artillery fire by Mr Putin’s forces.

Mariupol mayor Vadym Boychenko said 200,000 people had already left the city, which had a pre-war population of more than 400,000.

[ Evening Standard ]


“Russia warns West against sending weapons to Ukraine”

Moscow has formally warned of “unpredictable consequences” if the US and allies keep supplying weapons to Ukraine.

But Ukraine’s President Zelensky said “you can make the war shorter” if the world keeps supplying weapons to the country. He warned of the possibility of Russia targeting Ukraine with a nuclear strike.

Overnight new strikes hit the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and explosions were heard in the western city of Lviv.

Russia has today banned UK PM Boris Johnson

[ BBC News ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10a21k3XOdM


“Russia’s Nuclear Threat”

In this Tipping Point clip, I discuss the Russian nuclear threat to the world and how these events play into the end times.

[ Jimmy Evans interviews Mark Hitchcock ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfzwWbdOEZs


“Putin Threatens World With New Nuclear-Capable Missile”

Russia’s defense ministry on Wednesday announced it held a test launch of a nuclear-capable, intercontinental ballistic missile. Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the weapon—dubbed the Sarmat—and said it would force other countries to “think twice.”

The test occurred at 3:12 p.m. Moscow time from a silo launcher at the Plesetsk state test cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk region, according to Russian officials. The Kremlin reported that Putin watched the launch via videoconference. Afterwards, he released a statement in which he congratulated Russia’s defense ministry.

The launch took place as Russia continues its military attacks in Ukraine, which has caused tension between Putin and other world leaders. On March 23, The New York Times reported that the White House put together a team of national security officials to draft up responses should Putin resort to using any weapons of mass destruction, including those from Russia’s nuclear arsenal, in Ukraine.

“This is a big, momentous event in the development of advanced weapons systems for the Russian Army,” Putin said in his statement about the Sarmat’s reportedly successful test. “The new complex has the highest tactical and technical characteristics and is capable of overcoming all modern means of anti-missile defense. It has no analogues in the world and will not have any for a long time to come.”

In televised remarks later on Wednesday, Putin said, “This truly unique weapon will force all who are trying to threaten our country in the heat of frenzied, aggressive rhetoric to think twice,” The New York Times reported.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the successful test of a new nuclear-capable missile. In this photo, Putin is seen during a meeting at Catherine’s Hall in the Kremlin on April 20 in Moscow.

According to the New START treaty between the United States and Russia, either side must inform the other before it tests intercontinental-range weapons. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Washington had been notified ahead of time about the Sarmat’s planned launch.

“Such testing is routine, and it was not a surprise,” Kirby told reporters off-camera on Wednesday, according to CNN. He added that the U.S. “did not deem the test to be a threat to the United States or its allies.”

“The department remains focused on Russia’s unlawful and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine,” Kirby said.

A 2020 report from the Atlantic Council described the Sarmat as a nuclear-capable “heavy” intercontinental ballistic missile.

“The Sarmat possesses a greater throw-weight, faster speeds, and improved survivability compared to its predecessor. It is slated to replace the Voevoda, known more commonly by its NATO reporting name, SS-18 Satan,” the report stated.

[ Newsweek ]


“Ukraine’s tiny neighbor worries it could be next on Putin’s list
Moldova is poor, dependent on Moscow and split by a separatist movement, making it especially vulnerable to Russia.”

BENDER, Moldova — On its journey to the Black Sea from its source in Ukraine close to the Polish border, the Dniester River runs through the tiny country of Moldova. Its banks are home to boar, pheasant and Russian soldiers, who nominally protect a breakaway slice of the country.

Passing through a checkpoint in early April manned by the Operational Group of Russian Forces on the way to the breakaway region known as Transnistria, which has aligned with Russia, one blue-eyed soldier threw himself back in a chair, the flag of the Russian Federation on the shoulder of his camouflage uniform. Another stood, black shoelaces loosely tied, with a rifle slung over his arm. Dug in beside them was an armored personnel carrier. A third uniformed man watched from the shade.

The river separates not only the Russian-speaking area from the Republic of Moldova, but also two competing ideological visions for the region’s future: a Russian-backed enclave under Russia’s control and the other in the European camp of Western democracies. Following Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, the specter of armed conflict looms ever larger over Moldova.

An impasse here has existed since 1992, when a civil war followed the collapse of the Soviet Union and the establishment of the Republic of Moldova as an independent state.

Today, Transnistria’s paramilitary force is armed, supplied and supervised by Russia, according to Col. Rosian Vasiloi, former head of Moldova’s Border Police. Meanwhile, it is subsidized with Russian gas, electricity and social programs such as pensions.

Transnistria’s government, which has seceded, calls for Russia to annex it. If that happens, Moldova, which last year elected an openly pro-Western government, could be next, experts and local officials say.

“There are comrades here just waiting to be empowered,” said Anatolie Golea, a political journalist and founder of the Infotag News Agency, referring to pro-Kremlin politicians in the country. Most pro-Kremlin Transnistrians believe they will seize control of the breakaway region with a population of over 450,000 without invasion or occupation but simply through the changing of power, he said.

“Through elections and through tensions on elections, if they take the south of Ukraine, Russian influence will be huge in Moldova,” he said.

Riddled with corruption, Moldova is one of Europe’s poorest countries.

According to the United Nations, its gross national income is around $13,600, compared to $31,600 in nearby Poland. It gets 100 percent of its gas and electricity from Russia. Meanwhile, combat-ready Russian troops occupy part of its territory, and disinformation and viral messages have been bombarding it since the invasion of Ukraine.

All this makes the country vulnerable.

Neither a member of NATO nor the European Union, it provoked the Kremlin’s ire last year after a pro-European party founded by Maia Sandu, Moldova’s first female leader, won elections on an anti-corruption platform. Prior to that, the country’s political elite had been tied to the Kremlin.

A majority of Moldovans — 61 percent according to a recent poll — share Sandu’s vision of Moldova becoming part of the European Union, and in March, following the invasion of Ukraine, Sandu signed a formal application for E.U. membership.

Despite vowing to tackle corruption, clean house and foster European integration, Sandu now finds herself, and her country, even more exposed.

A significant minority — 31 percent — strongly oppose closer integration with Europe, according to a poll by Magenta Consulting.

Igor Dodon, Sandu’s predecessor, preached close ties with the Kremlin. Earlier this month, Dodon held a meeting with Russia’s ambassador where he expressed a “firm desire to maintain the relations established for the benefit of the peoples of both countries.”

By not condemning the invasion along with its European neighbors, Sandu’s government is following a policy of official neutrality out of an instinct for self-preservation, according to Natalia Albu, a professor at Alexandru cel Bun Military Academy, the main military academy of Moldova, and a security expert.

She cited a Moldovan proverb that goes back to the Ottoman occupation: “The head which is down is not cut by the sword.”

[ NBC News ]


“CIA director warns Putin’s ‘desperation’ over Russia’s failures in Ukraine could lead him to use nukes”

CIA Director William Burns on Thursday warned that the US can’t “take lightly” the threat of Russian President Vladimir Putin using nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

“Given the potential desperation of President Putin and the Russian leadership, given the setbacks that they’ve faced so far, militarily, none of us can take lightly the threat posed by a potential resort to tactical nuclear weapons or low-yield nuclear weapons,” Burns said in remarks at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

Since launching an unprovoked war in Ukraine in late February, Russia has struggled to make major gains on the ground. On top of failing to take Kyiv, Russia has lost thousands of soldiers and seen an astonishing number of generals killed. Russia also recently lost a missile cruiser called Moskva (named after the Russian capital) — the flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet.

In this context, experts have expressed grave concerns that Putin could turn to the use of weapons of mass destruction as he increasingly feels backed into a corner. Putin ordered Russia’s nuclear deterrent forces on high alert a few days after launching the war. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg subsequently decried Russia for “nuclear saber-rattling.”

“We’re obviously very concerned. I know President Biden is deeply concerned about avoiding a third world war, about avoiding a threshold in which, you know, nuclear conflict becomes possible,” Burns, a former US ambassador to Russia, said Thursday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a new interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper published Friday said the world needs to be “ready” for the possibility of Russia deploying tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Tactical nuclear weapons are typically far less powerful than strategic nuclear weapons, and have lower explosive blasts designed for use against military positions like bunkers or port facilities. But experts warn that can make their use more appealing.

“Tactical nuclear weapons exist because each side fears it would be deterred from using its big city-razing weapons by their very destructiveness. By making nuclear weapons smaller and the targeting more precise, their use becomes more thinkable. Paradoxically, while this makes deterrence threats more credible, it also makes the arms more tempting to use first, rather than simply in retaliation,” Nina Tannenwald, a political scientist at Brown University, wrote in Scientific American last month.

“Especially worrisome is the possibility that the war could escalate to the use of nuclear weapons. By increasing the alert level of Russian nuclear forces, Putin increases the risk of nuclear use through miscalculation or accident in the fog of war,” Tannenwald added. “In the worst scenario, if the war is going badly, Putin could reach for a tactical nuclear weapon out of desperation.”

Former US Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder in late March told Insider that the US and NATO “should help the Ukrainians, and beat the Russians” if Putin uses weapons of mass destruction, whether chemical or nuclear, in Ukraine.

“We can’t stand by as Russia decides that it’s going to use chemical warfare…or a nuclear weapon and say, ‘That’s none of our business,'” he added.

The Biden administration has provided Ukraine with billions in military assistance, including lethal aid, but has remained firm that US troops will not be deployed to fight Russia. That said, Biden in March said the US and NATO “would respond” if Putin used chemical weapons in Ukraine, and the White House has also set up a team to develop contingency plans in the event Russia turns to weapons of mass destruction.

In recent days, investigations were launched by the US and its allies over reports Russia used chemical weapons in the besieged port city of Mariupol.

[ Business Insider ]


“Is Putin Planning To Start A Nuclear War Against Ukraine? Harvard Prof Rawi Abdelal EXCLUSIVE”

In an exclusive conversation with India Today, Director of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Rawi Abdelal, spoke on the chances of nuclear warfare amid escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

When asked if Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning to start a nuclear war against Ukraine, he said, “Putin is more isolated now from getting good and honest feedback from his advisers than before.” Abdelal pointed out that President Putin wants to go down in history as the president who restored Russia’s greatness in central and eastern Europe.

“The broader question about nuclear war as we once feared it is not about Russia versus Ukraine, but Russia versus the West and for that logic, we must think what are the ways Russia and NATO could come to direct conflict leading to a nuclear exchange between the great powers as opposed to a single tactical nuclear strike in Ukraine”, said professor Abdelal.

He added that there are two ways to think about the possibility of a nuclear strike. “One is a tactical strike, just a nuclear weapon not a big one on the territory of Ukraine as the Russian forces get further bogged down and it may last longer”, said Rawi Abdelal.

[ India Today ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBnK5XWX0D0


“Russia’s Energy Role in Europe: What’s at Stake With the Ukraine Crisis”

Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has brought European dependence on Russian energy into sharp relief and set off a scramble for alternatives.

The threat of a large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine has put the United States and its European allies on high alert in part due to the potential for major disruptions to the European energy market, which remains highly dependent on Russian oil and gas. Russia’s recognition of Ukrainian separatist territories in Donetsk and Luhansk has already put the Nord Stream 2 (NS2) pipeline to Germany on hold, while Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to restrict energy exports.

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In an effort to mitigate such a crisis, the White House is spearheading efforts to redirect energy supplies to Europe, but experts say any solution will come at a painfully high cost.

What is Russia’s energy situation?
More on:

Russia
Ukraine
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Geopolitics of Energy

Russia is an energy giant—the world’s third-largest producer of oil and second-largest producer of natural gas. By some estimates, fossil fuels account for 14 percent of the nation’s economic output. Revenue from the sector is responsible for more than 40 percent of the federal budget.

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In recent years, Russia has used energy revenue to accumulate some $630 billion in foreign exchange reserves. In 2021, for example, the Kremlin balanced its budget with a relatively low oil price expectation of $45 per barrel; that year, prices averaged nearly $70 a barrel.

This conservative fiscal approach, as economic historian Adam Tooze points out, has allowed Putin to largely insulate his government from the effects of economic sanctions imposed after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Much of Russia’s energy output goes to satisfying European demand, especially natural gas sent over a network of Soviet-era pipelines crisscrossing Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. Moscow has sought to build new pipelines, including the controversial NS2, to bypass older networks. It has also approved a new gas pipeline to China, though its sales there would still be a fraction of its European sales.

How much does Europe rely on Russian energy?
There is a mutual dependence: The Kremlin depends on revenue from Europe, while Europe depends on Russian energy. But many analysts say Europe’s reliance means that imposing tougher sanctions on Russia risks putting a serious dent in its energy supplies.

A worker for the Russian state energy company Gazprom surveys a natural gas treatment facility at the starting point of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in northwest Russia.
A worker for the Russian state energy company Gazprom surveys a natural gas treatment facility at the starting point of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in northwest Russia. Peter Kovalev/TASS/Getty Images Share
Overall, Russia supplies about one-third of European natural gas consumption, used for winter heating as well as electricity generation and industrial production. The European Union (EU) also turns to Russia for more than one-quarter of its crude oil imports, the bloc’s largest single energy source.

Some EU states are far more dependent than others. Portugal and Spain use little Russian energy, while Germany, the largest European economy, gets more than half of its natural gas and more than 30 percent of its crude oil supplies from Russia. France gets most of its electricity from nuclear power but still relies on Russian imports to meet its fossil fuel needs. Analysts say plans in Germany and other countries to phase out nuclear and coal power could increase this dependence.

How could Nord Stream 2 alter this relationship?
NS2 is an expansion of the original Nord Stream pipeline, which was completed in 2011 and carries natural gas from northwest Russia through the Baltic Sea directly to Germany. NS2 was approved by the German government in 2018 and construction was completed in September 2021. However, its launch has faced regulatory delays and renewed political scrutiny amid rising Western tensions with Russia.

A map of Nordstream 2 pipeline showing the route from Russia to Germany in the Baltic Sea.
FINLAND

MAP

NS2 would allow more of Russia’s natural gas exports to Germany to bypass Ukraine and other current transit countries. This has been controversial from the start. Critics, including Washington, have warned it would give Moscow more sway over European countries and potentially widen political divisions over how to respond to Russian aggression. Eastern European countries such as Poland and Ukraine, meanwhile, worry that NS2 would deprive them of billions of dollars in annual transit fees and put them even more at the mercy of Russia.

For many observers, these dangers were amplified again in late 2021, as Russia held back from delivering additional gas supplies amid a spike in energy demand. The result was a tripling of prices and threats of shortages across Europe. For France, the episode confirmed its long-held advocacy for nuclear power.

What comes next?
U.S. and European leaders are particularly concerned about major supply disruptions in the case of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. In the wake of Russia’s recognition of Ukrainian separatists, the German government halted the NS2 certification process, and has previously said that it could cancel the project completely.

The looming challenge is keeping Europe supplied with fuel while also punishing Russia. U.S. President Joe Biden has promised to impose “severe costs” for a Russian invasion—including cutting Russian banks off from the global financial system. Western countries are already preparing new sanctions over the separatist recognition. But if Putin responds with gas cutoffs, that could spike energy prices further, drive inflation, and undermine Europe’s economic recovery.

Efforts are underway to backstop European energy needs. Europe has about one month’s worth of “cushion gas,” or the minimum gas typically required to be kept in storage, which it could draw on in an emergency. In addition, there is the roughly nine weeks worth of demand usually held by commercial suppliers, and the White House is spearheading efforts to scrape together additional liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies. A similar approach helped supply Japan in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

But analysts say that most of the world’s supply is spoken for, and that even if such measures could relieve the short-term crunch, the costs will be high. Former CFR Senior Fellow and Tufts University energy expert Amy Myers Jaffe argues that in the event of a full Russian cutoff, it is likely that “Europe will find a way.” Jaffe says producers could redirect some LNG shipments or shift more of their energy mix to coal or other sources. However, she warns, “any shifting of supply would be at premium prices, leaving European consumers with an even steeper bill.”

[ James McBride ]


“Russia’s War Shows the Chaos in the World Order”

AN INTERVIEW WITH BRANKO MILANOVIC

Economist Branko Milanovic saw firsthand the soaring inequality of Russia’s 1990s transition to capitalism. He spoke to Jacobin about how Vladimir Putin’s war has plunged the country back into crisis — and placed a bomb under the globalized order.

In the 1990s, as the former Soviet republics turned to the gospel of market liberalism, it was widely claimed that Russia could take up its place in a Western-led, globalized capitalist order. Yet while Boris Yeltsin steered Russia into the G8, the experiment brought mass joblessness and soaring mortality rates at home — feeding a climate of instability that aided Vladimir Putin’s rise. Now, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the Western sanctions in response are bringing fresh hardships for ordinary Russians — and they’re also sure to have major effects on the global economy.

Branko Milanovic is a former World Bank economist renowned for his work on global inequality. He spoke to Pablo Pryluka and Kate Reed about Russia’s place in the globalized capitalist order, the fallout of the war domestically, and the effects the invasion may have on its relations with China.

KR
Let’s start by talking about Russia’s internal inequalities. How did the collapse of the Soviet Union affect income and wealth inequality in Russia? Did Putin’s arrival as president in 2000 change that?

BM
Inequality in Russia increased tremendously in the 1990s. This had begun already around 1987, then there was a macroeconomic shock due to the reforms in 1992, and then privatizations, with the famous “loans-for-shares” scheme in 1996 which led to the privatization of large companies, practically to the stealing of assets.

I would like to point out that an increase in inequality under conditions of huge decline in real incomes, is entirely different than having the same increase in inequality under conditions of growth. Just compare China to Russia. China also had a tremendous increase in inequality, but at the same time, its income increased by — depending on what year you want to use as the base — five, six, or twelve times. Between 1987 and 1993, Russian GDP, on the contrary, fell by about 40 percent. Compare that to the US Great Depression, which saw about a 30 percent decline, from the peak to the trough. If you were in the lower part of the Russian income distribution, not only would you lose 40 percent of your income, but because inequality went against you, you would lose 60 or 70 percent.

Life expectancy in Russia declined at the fastest pace ever in recorded history during peacetime.
I think it’s useful to start with that tremendous decline. It’s easy to talk of decline in percentage terms, but behind it there are people who lost their jobs, faced massive wage and pension arrears (some wages would not be paid out six months), and had to re-qualify and find new jobs. You had doctors and engineers who had to drive taxis or sell trinkets on the street.

A further point is the increase in mortality rates. Life expectancy in Russia declined at the fastest pace ever in recorded history during peacetime. Put all this together and you have a total societal collapse — that can’t be overemphasized.

I worked in Russia in the early 1990s. For foreigners there — I was there with the World Bank — it was great: for $10 or $20 or $50, you had everything. For the people living there, it was horrible. While I’m a fan of János Kornai, the term he invented — calling it a “transitional recession” — is misleading in the Russian, or more broadly, Soviet case (including of course Ukraine and other ex-Soviet republics).

When you see how strikingly deep that depression was, how it affected people, how the industrial base was destroyed, calling it transitional recession seems inadequate because it implies a one-off and inevitable event, recognized as such by the people who suffer. I think that “inevitability” often distinguished observers from the population. If you pronounce that something is inevitable, then the losses that occur seem to be justified; but if you are yourself on the receiving end, it is hard to take such a detached attitude.

Things eventually did turn better in Russia. But it took quite some time, including yet another smaller collapse in 1998 — in this case because of the Asian financial crisis. The 1990s were disastrous years, and Putin was very lucky that he came to power in 2000, so that he was not associated directly with that decade. In the 2000s, the situation improved for many reasons, including the stabilization of the ruble, increased oil prices, higher agricultural output, and Putin’s own contribution in the sense that he got rid of many of the oligarchs who were fighting each other and dragging the country close to the civil war.

There’s a book, Godfather of the Kremlin, that impressed me quite a lot — I reviewed it — by Paul Klebnikov, the Forbes editor gunned down in Moscow in 2004. The reason why I read the book is that I was interested in Russian land reforms under [Pyotr] Stolypin, and Klebnikov did an enormous and excellent PhD dissertation on the topic. So that’s how I “discovered” him. Then I read his book, which is a story of the oligarch Boris Berezovsky. It’s really worth reading, because Klebnikov describes the technology of destruction, how the oligarchs not only stole the money, but while stealing the money, destroyed the economy.

That’s something many economists, including myself, hadn’t understood fully. It consisted in taking over a company, either by bribing or threatening the management (that is why it was useful to have a mafia), then stripping everything out of the company and making it go bankrupt, but even as it goes bankrupt it still produces income and you collect all the money until it ceases production. The employees are all sent home, and then you move to the next company. What is important to understand here is that those politically connected oligarchs not only made themselves rich, but made themselves rich by destroying the means of livelihood for thousands.

PP
You have described Russia as an “oligarchic capitalist economy” and the Russian government as “technocratic and neoliberal.” Could you expand on what the Russian economic model is, under Putin?

BM
Putin was always very neoliberal in the economic sphere: in favor of private enterprise and entrepreneurs. That neoliberalism stems, in his case, from anti-communism, and as we now see, Russian imperialism (which he might have acquired along the way). His heroes are anti-communist heroes of the Civil War. So that was his ideology, which is obvious nowadays as when on the first day after the invasion of Ukraine, he called the meeting with big business and essentially said: now’s the opportunity to show what you can do; we will get rid of all the restrictions, you hire as many people as you like, pay them whatever. Basically, full freedom for them. He talked about cutting taxation further, reducing regulation, etc.

I’ve heard people from the Russian government speak at several occasions. They are neoliberal, very technocratic, like obviously the famous technocratic group in the National Bank of Russia. Their power over key political decision-making is nonexistent. Someone recently aptly described how Putin makes these big geopolitical decisions, and then the technocrats have to find a way to somehow soften the economic blowback of such big decisions. Putin doesn’t seem to take an interest in how they would do it: he basically treats the government the way some people treat people who clean up their home: clean up the mess I made. I don’t think that he would have informed them of the decision to invade Ukraine. They were all, I suppose, shocked by the extent of the sanctions. I think these are skilled and competent people, and ideologically they are very neoliberal, but I don’t think they can do very much now given the current conditions.

PP
Let’s turn to the background of the current invasion of Ukraine. Do you think that after the fall of the USSR, Russia could have been involved in a “common European home”–type process as Mikhail Gorbachev hoped, and is the current conflict — if not provoked by the West — nonetheless somehow the fallout of the mismatch between turn-of-the-1990s optimism about Russia’s place in a liberalized, globalized world, and the reality?

BM
I think so. I may be biased because I knew Russia reasonably well in the 1990s. I always thought that that period was extremely important. And I understand that many young people don’t know the period, or that it’s rather irrelevant to them. But it fundamentally shaped the worldview of the generation that is now in power in Russia. If you look at Putin and people around him, they’re all between sixty-five and seventy, so they were thirty or thirty-five at that time and themselves — including Putin — experienced that decline. There was thus a huge discrepancy between their expectations as they were growing up in their twenties and what then happened.

Russia could have been integrated in a normal sense, that is, in not becoming a revisionist power, and we would not have to face a war.
So, I always thought that one really needs to go back to that period to understand what is happening today. Now, to answer your question directly, I’m not sure that Russia could even have been integrated into the Western order entirely, and be another Italy, which after being the enemy during the Second World War became an unquestionable US ally. But I think that if many mistakes had not been committed, we would not be today in this situation: Russia could have been integrated in a normal sense, that is, in not becoming a revisionist power, and we would not have to face a war and certainly not have to face somebody deciding possibly to use nuclear arms. Thus, today’s outcome is a clear indictment of the policies pursued after the end of the first Cold War.

PP
We’ve also seen attempts to explain Russian aggression in terms of a supposed age-old national culture…

BM
I don’t like such explanations in economics and I don’t like them in political science. They are always wrong because they are basically a distillation of whatever is commonplace at a given time. Thus, they always seem correct at a given point in time, but they are always wrong when you look at them ex post. Thus, you had essentialist explanations for Japan’s behavior, for Germany’s behavior, for Italy’s behavior, etc., but when these countries change, then somehow you rush to have a different essentialist explanation.

The same is true in economics. We had books written on how East Asia could never develop because of inordinate respect for the elderly and conservatism implied in Confucian ideology. Then, fifty years later, we read that precisely because they are Confucian and care about education, they have become developed. You also had Max Weber’s famous contrast of Catholics versus Protestants, but then in the 1960s and ’70s, you had all Catholic countries in Europe growing faster than predominantly Protestant countries. So, how does this work?

People also like to offer such explanations because they are profitable. You get your book published, and when people read it, precisely because such stories are a compilation of commonplaces, they say, “Wow, this really is phenomenal; it fits beautifully with what I thought.” But it fits beautifully because it gives the slice of today interpreted as a somehow inevitable outcome. But things change. Then you take another slice of history, and claim another essentialist explanation really matters.

KR
For the last ten years, the Russian economy has been stagnant, with falling GDP per capita (at least in most years) and rising inflation. The handling of the COVID crisis was another source of potential discontent. What are the ties, if any, between the economic situation in Russia and the decision to invade Ukraine?

BM
It’s difficult to say. I think that Putin was principally driven by the geopolitical factors which are very clear in his speeches. But certainly, the economic situation in Russia in the last ten years has not been good.

First, there was practically no growth. There were a few years when incomes went up, then a few years when they went down. Then the COVID crisis happened. Russia was not an exception: almost every country in the world had negative growth rates, and Russia was not, in that sense, worse than the others. But its control of COVID was pretty bad, maybe not so much compared with the US, but certainly as compared with China. I think that reflects the institutional inefficiency of the health system in Russia.

So, this crisis — pardon the expression, because it’s an atrocious war — is like the cherry on the cake. There’s been a lack of growth, a feeling of stagnation, the COVID crisis, and then a war. It’s a circular history of Russia: you improve the situation for ten or twenty years and then you have a calamitous decline. It has happened several times in the past hundred years and it is happening now again.

PP
The West has imposed enormous economic sanctions on Russia since the invasion began. We wanted to ask what you think about what Nicholas Mulder has recently called “the economic weapon”: How effective are economic sanctions vis-á-vis more direct military involvement, not just in this case but overall? And what are the humanitarian costs of economic sanctions?

BM
Mulder’s book has just been published. It was not a response to the current crisis; and I think that makes it even more useful because we often tend to project the present into the past, while that probably isn’t the case with his book.

Looking at the effects on Russia, the sanctions are obviously comprehensive. They are unparalleled in extent, and in particular the financial sanctions are something quite new. I don’t think we’ve ever seen a seizure of central bank assets. So, that’s a big step. And in Russian papers you could read of the effects of sanctions, for instance, on air transport: soon, people may not be able to fly from Moscow to Vladivostok. If the planes which Russian airline companies are currently leasing — which now they plan not to return — cannot be serviced and repaired by Boeing and Airbus, they won’t have adequate Russian substitutes. You cannot develop an airplane industry in a couple of years.

Aside from that, machine-building, and gas and oil industries entirely depend on Western technology. I wrote about it on my blog: the Soviet industrialization in the 1930s was also largely based on Western technology.

Now, car companies in Russia have already sent thousands of staff on twenty days’ leave. Many cars like Toyota, Nissan, and others are produced in Russia, but from the parts that come from all over the world. When these parts stop arriving, what are workers going to do? In the 1990s, some might have said, OK, let’s try to do import substitution. It might not have been a great policy, but it was feasible because the industrial base was there. But for the reasons that we discussed before, that industrial base has been either destroyed or totally changed. So, you cannot do import substitution now without foreign technology, without some essential industrial base, and without an increase in labor force (as Russia has a declining population).

KR
You’ve mentioned the question of time and sanctions, noting that the US, for instance, has imposed sanctions on Cuba for over sixty years. How might the longevity of sanctions — and the fact that there is apparently less popular demand to remove them than, say, to end the presence of active troop involvement — affect the next years and decades? Are there ramifications beyond Russia?

BM
I think that the sanctions would be very difficult to lift. When you look at other cases, like Iran, recently some sanctions were lifted, but most are still in place. The technological development of Iran and its ability to even sell oil have been impaired quite a lot. The fact that the sanctions have been put in place by Congress makes it even harder to lift them. Take the Jackson-Vanik amendment, the sanctions on the USSR because of limits on Jewish emigration. They were kept on the books for twenty years after the whole reason for them had disappeared. Every year the administration had to notify Congress that the sanctions shouldn’t be applied because there was no reason for them, but they were still on the books.

Even if the war were to stop tomorrow, the willingness to remove sanctions would be very low.
That’s why I think this is such a major event. Even if the war were to stop tomorrow, the willingness to remove sanctions would be very low and imply such a list of concessions that any Russian government that came after Putin’s would find it politically difficult to accept. It would require another Brest-Litovsk. In some form or another, we should thus expect sanctions to be around for a long time, even if perhaps not all of them will be equally binding.

PP
And what are the consequences of those changes? You recently wrote: “The problem is not that the government is making wrong policy choices; the problem is that, in the current situation, there are almost no good policy choices to make.” Politically, do you think this might influence the stability of Russian institutions as they work now?

BM
I think the government is basically doing a mopping up operation because it’s presented with a fait accompli. There are no good decisions: they are practically squeezed, given that the domain of decision-making is so narrowed by Putin’s political decisions, and by the response of the West.

There will be, certainly, increased rate of inflation, and then possibly shortages, and then inflation combined with shortages, with in addition many working-class Russians losing their jobs. It may be difficult to get even the elementary food and survival goods, and then the government will be pushed by events toward rationing.

I said before, the government is neoliberal. But if the alternative is people rioting, which might also happen — and I think economic reasons are very good reasons for rioting because nobody can accuse you of being an enemy or traitor if you are rioting because you don’t have enough to eat — the economy would have to move to some kind of wartime footing. Not necessarily because the government wants to do it, but because it would be led in that direction.

I see already the signs of shortages happening. Obviously, they won’t come immediately: there’ll still be stocks and people filling them up. Kornai had this very good idea that the other side of shortages is glut, or in other words, wastage. Because when you have a shortage of sugar today, what is everybody going to do? Try to buy ten, fifteen kilos. That makes the shortage worse, which makes people more likely to buy a hundred kilos. You build up stocks of it at home, some of it is wasted, but eventually the stocks run out.

So, I think that things will get worse and worse.

KR
One of the other likely consequences you’ve signaled is mass displacement: the immediate crisis faced by Ukrainian refugees, but also Russian emigrants. You suggest massive internal migration might be a medium-to long-term response in Russia: How might that play out?

BM
We are in the midst of the war and we don’t know how many migrants there will be. In the case of Bosnia, it was more than 20 percent of the population. Before this war started, I thought that if there is a war in Ukraine, migration might mean 5 million people leaving Ukraine. Now, it’s approximately 3 million already, and as it is being said, it is the fastest wave of migration ever, because it’s relatively easy to get from Ukraine to Poland.

But in the longer term, I think it’s impossible to tell how big the migration would be. And secondly, is there going to be a ceasefire soon? I think that if there is some kind of a political solution, many of these people would come back. They are nearby and, if their homes have not been destroyed, many of them might prefer to return rather than emigrate permanently. But the longer the war goes on, the more you create a new environment for yourself in the new country, the more likely you are to get a job, to find a cousin or somebody else to stay with. In the Syrian case, when it started people went to Turkey and the nearby countries. But as the war went on in Syria — now for more than a decade — people didn’t go back.

KR
And how about migration within Russia?

BM
I referred, in a recent blog post, to the link between internal migrations and the current sanctions regime. There is a strain of thought in Russia regarding its economic and geopolitical uniqueness: Eurasianism. Russia is almost entirely, population-wise, based on Europe, but under conditions like the current ones, you can imagine — and it is imagination more than reality — Russia trying to pivot toward Asia.

If you were to move people as if by decree, putting more people in East Asia would make sense and have certain advantages. East Asia is the most dynamic part of the world. Europe is declining both in population and in economic importance. Being close to Korea, Japan, China, trading with them and not being necessarily exposed to the sanctions and the issues that you had with Europe, would theoretically seem like a good proposition.

The problem is, however, that 80 percent of the population of Russia lives in the European part of Russia. The distances within Russia are enormous, the infrastructure is nonexistent or very inadequate, and the jobs in the East are few and insufficient. Vladivostok, for example, which is the largest city in the in the Pacific area, has a population of half a million, while Moscow’s is 12 million. So we are talking about a huge movement of population, which is difficult to envisage.

The Soviets tried to develop the northern parts of the country. They wanted to have more people there because it was where resources are. They paid them much better and many people went there — not in millions, but in thousands. But most of these one-company towns disappeared after the transition. If you look at Norilsk, where Roman Abramovich is making his money from nickel, it is not particularly attractive. Probably there’s darkness for eight months of the year. But it has made him one of the richest people in the world. But do you really expect maybe 2, 3, or 4 million people to go and live in such cities? I don’t think it’s realistic.

PP
Do you see a geopolitical movement to the East — and will this put Russia more at the mercy of China?

BM
I do. One of the points in both Capitalism, Alone and Global Inequality is that we are in the presence of a massive shift. This is a shift equivalent in importance to the Industrial Revolution. It’s a rebalancing of the world, with the rise of Asia: I don’t mean only China, but also Vietnam, India, and Indonesia — obviously large, populous countries — with the center of gravity of economic activity shifting from West to East. I think it is happening and will continue happening in the next two generations or maybe more.

When you look at the map of Eurasia — de facto one continent — you might end up with a situation like that of the 1400s and 1500s, with fairly rich parts on both the Atlantic and Pacific end, while the hinterland is relatively poor. There are studies that look, for example, at the level of income in 1400 or 1500 in England and China, and at grain yields in the Netherlands versus the Yangtze River Valley. Basically we are talking about the same level of market development and same or similar level of income. Obviously, those were very modest incomes compared to today, but they were the two end-parts of the Eurasian continent, the two maritime parts, both relatively similar in income, whereas in the continental Eurasia where Russia is now, you had the Mongol Empire that was much poorer and at a lower level of technological development. That would be Russia’s situation tomorrow too and the war with Ukraine makes this outcome even more likely, for all the reasons we mentioned before. I wrote about that in the introduction to my Russian edition of Global Inequality.

I won’t be around to study the long-term consequences, but I do think we might end up seeing this war as the really crucial event that accelerated such a development. The lack of economic development or relative poverty might raise other issues too, including how sustainable is the current political configuration of the whole area or Russia. The oil producing regions might ask why they need Moscow; why not create another United Arab Emirates? I don’t mean that seriously today, but clearly it does open up many possibilities.

PP
We are already seeing the EU and US move to dramatically cut imports of Russian oil. Rising fuel prices are adding to preexisting concerns about inflation and a cost-of-living crisis. What short- to medium-term impacts do you see for the EU and US, and how will the burdens and benefits be distributed?

BM
It seems to me, it looks like stagflation because we will probably have a decline or face no, or very modest, growth. This is especially problematic coming after the decline in 2020 and just a rebound in 2021. On the inflation part, there was a large monetary expansion due to COVID-related expenditures on maintaining adequate standard of living for many people. And now there are issues with higher food and gas prices.

With regard to food prices, I’m more worried about the impact on poorer countries, where food prices and riots and changes in government have often gone together. Egypt is a particularly good example: whenever you have an increase in food prices, you have riots. It doesn’t mean the government is bound to fall, but it is a permanent concern. Food and energy, including transportation costs, count for more than half of the expenditure of poorer and middle-class households. So, I find such price increases quite concerning and I’m not sure that international organizations will be able to deal with it. Political instability may follow.

I’m more worried about the impact on poorer countries, where food prices and riots and changes in government have often gone together.
That’s what my guess is now. I was very pessimistic about the political effects of COVID, though I must say they were relatively limited and not as bad as I had thought — that is, assuming that Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine is unrelated to his COVID self-isolation. But in the poorer countries, COVID, high morbidity and mortality rates, shortages of food, and the high price of energy create a very combustible combination.

KR
You write about the measures Russia may have to take in the short term to control consumer prices and ensure basic needs are met, such as rationing. Even before the war, economists like Isabella Weber had (controversially) floated the idea of reviving tools like price controls elsewhere. Do you think the policy landscape regarding these interventions in the West has shifted or will shift?

BM
I think that Isabella Weber was wrongly interpreted to have argued for price controls, period. Her view — the way I understood it, she could obviously say more — it is that there are certain prices, like the prices of energy or food that we mentioned (which you could also call “wage goods” in a Sraffian or Ricardian framework) that are by their very nature more important than other prices. This is because they are important for the livelihood of large groups of people.

There is a beautiful statement by David Ricardo when he says that whatever happens to luxuries, whether their import price goes up or down, is totally irrelevant for profits because profits depend entirely on wages, and wages on the costs of wage goods. If the price of luxuries goes up, it really only affects the consumption of capitalists, not the distribution between profit and wages. So putting Weber’s thinking in this classical framework, I think what she is saying is that there are goods that we should pay special attention to. And this seems to me to be true, and not sufficiently appreciated.

In her book on China, Weber uses the historical examples of what Chinese governments have done over the years with granaries, using them as a mechanism to control the supply, and thus the price, of grain. And, more recently, they have done the same with the supply of pork, obviously an important ingredient in the Chinese population’s consumption. When there was the swine flu they essentially used the supply coming from government sources to dampen the price increase. The US has for example a similar mechanism in strategic oil reserves. To repeat: I think that Weber is right in the sense that there are certain goods — and as I said, you might call them wage goods — which are really important for the maintenance of the normal life of large parts of the population. We have forgotten that.

This isn’t only about consumption by the way: you need to look at other key goods, at inputs whose effects spread throughout the economy. It used to be steel, maybe today it’s microchips, which are really built into the price of many final goods. For instance, the prices of used cars in the US have gone up because of shortage of chips. Shortage of microchips has led to a lower production of new cars, which has led in turn to an increase in the price of used cars.

So, it’s an argument that chips are very important, in a way that, say, perfume isn’t. This is my understanding of Weber’s points.

PP
You, along with other economists studying global inequalities in income and wealth, have highlighted the importance not only of tax havens of the extremely wealthy, but also financial centers like London in laundering their money. The UK has recently moved to target sanctions very specifically at certain Russian oligarchs with assets in the UK like Abramovich. First, what do you make of these targeted sanctions, and second, do you think this opens the possibility that governments begin to develop the political will to address the problems of offshore accounts, tax havens, money laundering, etc. more broadly?

BM
On governments addressing the problems of tax havens: I’m totally in favor. I think that the minimum corporate tax rate of 15 percent is right and that coordinated action by the major governments really could make a huge difference to the ability of rich people to hide from their own countries and from taxation, generally.

But I’m somewhat ambivalent about what has happened now. Because we are not really changing the rules of the game. We are basically giving individual governments the right to seize assets on entirely political grounds. Even the definitions are very unclear. I mean, who is close to Putin? Who is not close to him? How do we know? There used to be the Almanach de Gotha detailing the German nobility, but we don’t have that for the Russian elite today. We are in totally uncharted waters.

These governments, especially the British, and the elites in these countries, have been huge beneficiaries of the transfer of wealth, or to be blunt, thievery that happened after the fall of the Soviet Union. People may say, if we now take this money from the oligarchs, it’s good for global inequalities. Of course, arithmetically it is: you would have fewer billionaires. But the question is, to whom will that money go? One possibility, which I think is not unreasonable, would be to use it for reparations for Ukraine.

Politically motivated seizures of assets open up a Pandora’s Box. Let’s suppose China decides that wealth inequality in the UK is too high. So, should China then seize the assets of the British oligarchs? I understand that these decisions are made for political reasons, but we should not treat them as if they were based on some concern for common good and that they were suddenly made out of desire to reduce wealth inequality.

If similar decisions were made in a coordinated fashion by a number of governments, and with the participation of the UN or international organizations, affecting billionaires from many countries, and with clear rules regarding the use of such funds, they could be supported. But what we see today is wartime decision-making by individual governments, which may be OK for wartime conditions but cannot be used as a general principle and should not be camouflaged to be an attempt to exact justice. It has nothing to do with justice or equality. So, I’m more ambivalent toward that.

[ Jacobin ]


“Ukraine war sends Western anxiety soaring on back of pandemic”

Paris (AFP) – Just as millions of people dared to hope a two-year pandemic was receding, war broke out in Ukraine, triggering a new surge of anxiety in Western Europe and fears about wider conflict — or worse.

As the West faces a possible new Cold War and warnings about heightened nuclear threats fill social media and the airwaves, many people are struggling with the sudden new world order, even if they are living thousands of miles away from the frontlines in Ukraine.

Chogwu Enape, a 29-year-old policy researcher based in Paris, said she hadn’t been able to sleep properly since Russia invaded Ukraine last week.

“I’m worried about innocent people dying needlessly and I am worried that this crisis will morph into World War III,” Enape told AFP.

“Every single scroll on social media brings news or images of the invasion. The racism that Africans are facing while trying to flee brought it home for me,” she said.

“That could be me.”

Psychologists have voiced particular concern about the effect of the latest global crisis on children and young people, even those living in relative comfort in peaceful countries.

“Children are constantly absorbing things they read, see and hear and it’s completely natural for them to be picking up on the situation in Ukraine and feeling anxious,” explained Vivian Hill, a psychology professor at University College London.

Some therapists and counsellors have reported distress among their clients.

“Almost every person I have encountered has been affected” by the war, said psychotherapist Nilufar Ahmed, who is also a psychologist at Britain’s University of Bristol.

Others have turned to charity for help.

“We’ve heard from a number of people who are distressed by what they are seeing and hearing about the war in Ukraine, and who want to share their feelings with us,” a spokesman for British mental health charity Mind, which runs a helpline, told AFP.

Anxiety and depression already rose by “a massive 25 percent” during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday, adding that young people were the worst hit.

  • ‘Accumulation of crises’ –

Michelle Nealon, president of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, said that as many countries loosened Covid restrictions, “there was some light at the end of this gruelling tunnel”.

“Then war broke out, violent images of missile attacks and deceased soldiers lying on the streets flooded our social media and TV screens, threat of nuclear attacks hung in the air, and we watched economies scramble in the aftermath,” she said.

“There is a feeling of there is only so much that one can handle.”

The effects of these acute crises can last beyond the initial shock
The effects of these acute crises can last beyond the initial shock Charly TRIBALLEAU AFP/File
Antoine Pelissolo, a psychiatrist at France’s Henri-Mondor University Hospital, said some people felt “a sense of despair in the face of an accumulation of crises, with the impression they will never be able to get out of them”.

“For younger generations in particular, this brutal confrontation with the reality of war, and therefore possible death… is a shock that can cause anxiety and a strong feeling of insecurity.”

Ahmed pointed out that many in the West are responding differently to the Ukraine war than to conflicts in the Middle East or Africa.

“The current war is resonating more in Europe because the Ukrainians look like other Europeans more than the refugees that have dominated the public psyche, who tend to be racialised and constructed as different,” Ahmed said.

  • How to help –

What can we do to manage our mental health in a time of crisis?

For children, British psychotherapist Noel McDermott advised “keeping life ‘normal’ with structure and routine” and stressed the importance of school in helping them overcome frightening events.

‘Don’t just switch off the news — do something nourishing for yourself. Phone a loved one, go for a walk with a friend,’ one psychologist advised
‘Don’t just switch off the news — do something nourishing for yourself. Phone a loved one, go for a walk with a friend,’ one psychologist advised LEON NEAL AFP/File
Hill advised against avoiding the issue with children.

“Listen to their worries and provide honest answers to their questions (while trying) to give details at an age-appropriate level.”

For adults, Pelissolo recommended relaxation, meditation and physical activity to cope with rising anxiety.

Nealon said “sleeping well, eating a healthy diet and getting daily exercise are essential for keeping us physically and emotionally strong”.

Donating to a charity “would make a real difference and will make you feel better too”, Ahmed said.

All the experts advised children and adults to limit exposure to news about the war.

“Don’t just switch off the news — do something nourishing for yourself. Phone a loved one, go for a walk with a friend,” Ahmed recommended.

“Whenever you do look at the news, try to stick to reliable, trusted news sources that don’t engage in ‘What ifs?'”, the Mind spokesman advised.

“Try to regularly ask yourself, ‘Is this helping me or am I doom scrolling?'”

[ France 24 ]


“Ukraine, Russia, and the Fear of World War III”

ukraineIt was a horrifying video. Someone in Ukraine was filming out their window, watching as a jet approached. Within seconds, a missile could be seen zooming toward the apartment building; the person recording, seemingly a mom, only had a moment to gasp before the bomb exploded and a child started screaming. It was a harrowing, heartbreaking video, one I’m not sharing here out of respect for the people experiencing this horror in Ukraine. But seeing it was a terrible reminder that this isn’t a sanitary military conflict fought in far-off battlefields. It was in cities, with Russia specifically targeting civilian areas.

As a former military wife, this was beyond anything I could fathom. We were lucky — so much luckier than the people in Iraq and Afghanistan — to never have to worry about our children’s safety. The life-and-death decisions the Ukrainian people are having to make right now are heart-wrenching to think of, and worse, there’s virtually nothing we can do to help them. I can only watch through my tears as mothers huddle with their children in subway stations underground for safety, or keep their own fear contained so they can comfort their terrified children. An estimated 200,000 people have successfully fled the country, becoming refugees in neighboring nations like Poland and Moldova.

Yet the strength and bravery being displayed by the people of Ukraine is also nothing short of incredible. Despite being outmanned and arguably untrained, they’ve managed to stall the Russian troops trying to take over their country. The quick victory Vladimir Putin thought he would be able to get hasn’t happened. Soldiers have shown defiance to the last second, giving a literal middle finger to Russian warships as they stood their ground. Civilians have done everything they can to help, from throwing bicycles under tanks to stop them, making Molotov cocktails to throw at the invaders, blowing up bridges to cut supply lines, and fighting using guerilla warfare.

Then there’s the swell of support from virtually the entire world. People in the United States, Europe, even Iran and the Middle East, are supporting Ukraine in its fight for freedom. Truly, that is what is at stake here: a people’s freedom to live, to exist, to have their own culture and history and sovereignty recognized and protected. In Russia itself, thousands of people have been arrested for protesting their dictator’s murderous regime, showing that Putin’s war is not one the Russian people support, either.

Yet these glimmers of hope are all too easily dimmed. Make no mistake: China is watching very closely to see how the world treats Vladimir Putin. If he gets away with this invasion with nothing more than a slap on the wrist, China will know they can safely invade Taiwan, too — something they’re already flirting with in increasingly aggressive ways, even if you aren’t already aware of their ongoing genocide. Meanwhile, Putin has put nuclear war on the table, insinuating it once and then threatening it openly. Much of the world is terrified to engage in this war because of that. Make the wrong move, and congratulations: It’s World War III.

The idea of my children growing up during a world war hollows me out to my very core. Yet there’s so little I can do, except watch, wait, and pray.

How to Help
For now, there are small ways we can help from the United States. Remaining well-informed, believe it or not, is one of the best ways; Russia is a well-known peddler of disinformation, using it to create chaos and weaken countries. There are also international aid organizations, like the Red Cross and the International Rescue Committee, you can donate money to. Also needed is the willingness for world leaders to accept Ukrainian refugees, so you can speak to your congressperson or senator to urge the United States to help these innocent people displaced from war. But most of all, speak up and speak out. Share your support for Ukraine. Don’t stop talking about it, because — as mentioned before — Russia thrives on misinformation and propaganda. We need to be there for the people of Ukraine now more than ever, because this isn’t just their war. What happens in Ukraine will affect the entire world. We must do all we can to support them now, when they need it most.

Слава Україні! Героям слава! Glory to Ukraine! Glory to heroes!

[ By Cassy Fiano-Chesser ]


“War in Ukraine”

Tim Moore: For several weeks, American and European leaders warned that Russia was about to attack Ukraine. Now we know that the Russian Bear is indeed trying to expand his empire.

We’ve all watched the terrible devastation now being inflicted upon Ukraine since Russia aggressively rolled its military across the border in an attempt to overthrow Ukraine’s government and install a puppet government of its own. We’ve recoiled in horror as Russian President Vladimir Putin has devastated that nation and attacked and killed innocent people in his crusade.

We will now explore the reasons behind Putin’s attack and see if there are any implications for the Gog-Magog War of Ezekiel 38-39.

Weakness Of The West
Nathan Jones: The timing of Russia’s invasion is interesting because it seems like Putin and the rest of the hostile world powers were just waiting for the United States to pull out of Afghanistan, which we did very poorly, unfortunately. The botched Afghan pullout demonstrated the stunning weakness of our nation’s current inept leadership. We no longer possess a regional base in Afghanistan from which to launch a strike.

And, so far, it appears that both NATO and the United States are not going to do anything to stop Putin other than to throw economic sanctions at Russia. No wonder the aggressor nations feel so emboldened! North Korea is testing long-range missiles again. Iran may even now already possess a nuclear weapon. All of the Axis of Evil, as President George W. Bush called it during his time in office, appears to be on the move.

Tim Moore: They certainly are. Putin looked at what was happening during America’s pullout from Afghanistan regardless of the negative political implications for that nation. The world concluded that America must be on the decline and that the leadership in America would not be responsive to outside aggressions, along with the rest of the West.

Political Reasons
Tim Moore: Regarding the rationale behind Mr. Putin’s aggression in Ukraine, there are internal rationales that he’s using to try and convince his people this invasion will be good for Russia. For one, Russia would possess more land. Ukraine is very rich in terms of natural resources, agriculture, and even with some of its technology. Two, historic reasons also exist for Russia wanting to pull Ukraine back within its sphere of influence. And, three, Mr. Putin and some of his allies would like to destabilize the West. They feel that the West has become as weak as it’s ever been in terms of keeping our alliances. So, Putin believes now is the best time to pounce.

Nathan Jones: Absolutely, right. But, let’s also look at the reasons to invade from Russia’s perspective. Our ministry contacts in Russia say Putin has a viable reason for being concerned that NATO has been moving one country at a time closer and closer to Russia’s border.

Certainly, launching an incursion and killing innocent Ukrainian people does not justify Russia’s aggressive stance towards that nation, especially since Russia shares a lot of history with Ukraine. Most don’t remember that when Stalin was in power he starved out three and a half million Ukrainians and then repopulated the emptied areas in the eastern portion with Russians. Putin has been saying that he’s invading to liberate these Russians being in effect held hostage by the Ukrainian government, but the fact is that these Russians had been moved onto Ukrainian soil in a Russian attempt to take over more and more of that land.

Economically speaking, why does Russia seem so bent on taking Ukraine? Because that nation is extremely rich in resources. Ukraine is the breadbasket of Eastern Europe. The nation possesses great mineral wealth. It also holds the natural gas pipeline going into Europe from Russia. I read that 40% of Putin’s economy is based on the sale of oil and gas to Europe. So, it’s essential that Russia controls that pipeline.

Religious Reasons
Tim Moore: Besides Putin’s economic reasons, there are historical and religious implications as well. The Russians consider Ukraine to be the forerunner region for the Rus or Russian people. Most of the Rus people originated long ago from the Kyiv area.

Concerning the religious implications, the Russian Orthodox Church, which is now a major part of Eastern Orthodoxy, considers itself to be the mother church of that region. Fairly recently, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church asserted itself as separate from the Russian Orthodox Church. And so, there are theological tensions between these two nations.

We are not excusing Russia’s aggression on Ukraine, of course. We condemn it, but we are trying to understand the mindset of the Russian leader and people.

Mr. Putin has been using the excuse of de-Nazi-fying the Ukrainians. That’s such a farce because Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is a Jewish man. He is not given over to being a Nazi in any way, shape, or form. But, in the Russian mind, just the specter of the Nazi regime, which 80 years ago had rolled into Russia and created such havoc in their nation, is not something the average Russian desires to ever see again.

Back to what you said about NATO steadily expanding eastward towards the western borders of Russia, even in the midst of American and allied weakness, that would certainly make Russia feel as if they were being encroached upon. All of these reasons explain why we are now seeing Russia become such an aggressor just in the last few weeks.

Nathan Jones: You bring up a good point, because people wonder why is Putin doing this? We’ve listed quite a number of reasons. Primarily, when it comes to NATO encroachment, we point to the horror the Russian people feel remembering when the Germans marched into Russia and killed millions of its citizens. Sure, we know that NATO today is nothing more than a paper tiger. It’s not going to invade Russia. Regardless, Putin honestly fears NATO encroaching up to a point where it can eventually launch a takeover of Russia.

Foretold In Prophecy?
Nathan Jones: Let’s look at the Russian invasion of the Ukraine from a biblical perspective. Christians want to know if Russia’s attack on Ukraine was foretold in Bible prophecy.

Tim Moore: Russia’s attack on Ukraine demonstrates that the Russia Bear has not been defanged, as most believed it had become. Famously, when Mitt Romney was running against Barack Obama for president, Romney made a statement claiming that Russia was America’s greatest geopolitical threat. Obama dismissed him, scoffing that the Cold War was no more.

Nathan Jones: Yes, Obama replied that the “80’s were calling”!

Tim Moore: Yes, but Obama’s dismissal was premature. Sure, the Cold War was over, but it morphed into a different kind of conflict. It continued as an ideological conflict that Putin and the oligarchs who control Russia never stopped waging. The European nations had set the Cold War aside because many of them had become dependent upon Russian energy. That places the European nations in quite a precarious position, one they are now suffering the consequences for making such an alliance.

But, is this invasion right now directly tied to Bible prophecy? I think what we are witnessing is Russia becoming the major threat Russia was prophesied to become leading into the end times.

It’s important to realize that when a war like the one we’re witnessing begins, no matter how much planning the Russians made, nor even the Americans or NATO’s allies have made, things go sideways. The situation very quickly begins to be squeezed like a balloon. You think you can control the pressure, but then all of a sudden there’s a popout from another area. Russia could become so desperate that it raises the stakes dramatically. Mr. Putin could raise the alarm level to nuclear, which he has already threatened to do, which would be catastrophic for the world.

We could also see Mr. Putin become so desperate that he decides to form alliances with some of the Islamic nations listed in Ezekiel 38. He may even turn his sights southward because Russia is already fully engaged in Syria.

So, are there implications from the Ukrainian invasion that move the world towards the fulfillment of Bible prophecy? Most certainly! But, I don’t think that this war is directly tied to the Gog-Magog War. Though, we are seeing all of the nations and peoples mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39 — Iran, Turkey, Sudan, Libya, and so forth — beginning to be stirred up. And again, events could go southward towards the land of Israel very quickly.

Nathan Jones: I believe this invasion falls into one of the ten end times signs that Jesus gave in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. Jesus foretold that as we got closer to His return, there would be an increase in wars and rumors of war. As Matthew 24:6-7 reads: “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.”

So, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine certainly falls under the increase in wars and rumors of wars sign. But, it is not an actual prophetic war. After all, Ezekiel 38 and 39 — the Gog and Magog War — goes into great detail about how a leader from Russia — a man designated as Gog — leads Iran and the Sudan and Libya and all those ‘Stan nations and Turkey together in an attempt to plunder and destroy Israel. That hasn’t happened, certainly not yet. But, we are seeing Russia getting its power back so that it can one day lead a multi-national coalition.

In reading Ezekiel’s prophecy, the prophet tells us that “Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions” just sit back and watch the Russian coalition invade Israel (Ezek. 38:13). Sheba and Dedan are the ancient names of the Saudi countries, the Merchants of Tarshish would be the nations at the ends of Europe along the Atlantic Ocean, and all their young lions would be the descendants or colony countries of the New World.

That means that when the world gets to the point in history when Russia has gathered a large Islamic coalition and is ready to attack Israel, it believes that there is no nation standing in its way. Why isn’t Europe standing in Russia’s way? Well, it could be because the European Union remains rather weak at that point. But, I think it’s because the Rapture will even more severely weaken the West, along with China.

After all, when this coalition attacks Israel, God Himself personally steps in to defeat these armies using supernatural disasters and earthquakes and by turning the invading armies against each other. Ezekiel even reveals that God will send fire raining down on their countries. That’s God stepping directly back into the affairs of the world once again. Therefore, the Gog-Magog War is not a Church Age event.

Does the Russian invasion of Ukraine mean that we’re getting closer to the Rapture? Well, every day we’re getting closer to the Rapture! But, no, the invasion of Ukraine is certainly not the Gog-Magog War. It is merely the beginning tremors, or birth pangs, you might say.

Tim Moore: As Christians, we condemn the aggression that’s taking place in the Ukraine. We condemn all of the weakness that’s being manifested by the Western nations. We do not wish for any kind of armed conflict, obviously, for that could become very catastrophic very quickly due to a nuclear-armed Russia. History shows that when the Russian Bear is backed into a corner, in desperation it will lash out in a way that would be unthinkable with today’s weaponry.

Therefore, Christians need to be watching end time events unfold very carefully. We need to understand the background causes behind these conflicts. And, we need to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in the Ukraine, because they will be continuing to endure much suffering in the weeks and months to come.

[ Nathan Jones ]


“What Russia Wants in Ukraine”

Originally Published by the Gatestone Institute.

A massive build-up of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border is fueling speculation of an imminent invasion. Western leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against military action, but, especially after the catastrophic American withdrawal from Afghanistan, they appear divided and weak and may be unable to stop him.

A Russian invasion of Ukraine, if successful, would expand Moscow’s sphere of influence along its western border and pave the way for Eastern Europe and the Baltics to come under Russian domination once again.

On December 3, the Washington Post reported that it had obtained an American intelligence document which assessed that Russia is planning a multi-front offensive involving nearly 200,000 troops within the next few months. The unclassified document, which includes satellite photos, shows Russian forces massing in four locations near Ukraine.

The document states that Russia already has roughly half the units — 50 battlefield strike groups consisting of a total of 70,000 troops — it needs for an invasion deployed near the border. Most of those units have arrived since September. A Biden administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said:

“The Russian plans call for a military offensive against Ukraine as soon as early 2022 with a scale of forces twice what we saw this past spring during Russia’s snap exercise near Ukraine’s borders. The plans involve extensive movement of 100 battalion tactical groups with an estimated 175,000 personnel, along with armor, artillery and equipment.”

The American intelligence assessment — leaked on the same day that Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said that Russia has amassed nearly 100,000 troops near the border and will be ready to invade in late January 2022 — comes after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the Ukraine situation with his European counterparts. On December 1, after a NATO summit in Latvia, Blinken said:

“We don’t know whether President Putin has made the decision to invade. We do know that he is putting in place the capacity to do so on short order should he so decide. We must prepare for all contingencies.

“We’ve made it clear to the Kremlin that we will respond resolutely, including with a range of high impact economic measures that we’ve refrained from using in the past.”

On December 2, Blinken met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of a ministerial meeting of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Stockholm. Blinken demanded that Russia withdraw troops from the Ukrainian border. Lavrov deflected by warning that his country regarded the eastward expansion of the NATO military alliance as a “fundamental” security threat.

“No one should strengthen their security at the expense of the security of others,” Lavrov said. “NATO’s further eastward expansion will obviously affect our fundamental security interests.”

Putin, speaking at an investment forum in Moscow, warned that Russia would act if its “red lines” on Ukraine were crossed by NATO.

NATO has not agreed to grant Ukraine membership, nor has the alliance deployed troops or weapons to Ukraine. NATO views Ukraine as a “partner” and has provided training and other forms of military support.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg indicated that the alliance would not defend Ukraine if it was attacked by Russia:

“It is important to distinguish between NATO allies and partner Ukraine. NATO allies, there we provide [Article 5] guarantees, collective defense guarantees, and we will defend and protect all allies.

“Ukraine is a partner, a highly-valued partner. There’s a difference between a partner Ukraine and an ally like, for instance, Latvia. We need to understand the difference between a NATO ally, Latvia, other Baltic countries, Poland, Romania, and a close and highly valued partner, Ukraine. We provide support for Ukraine…for the NATO allies we have the security guarantees, Article 5.”

NATO did not defend Ukraine after Russia’s first invasion in 2014, when Moscow occupied and then annexed the Crimean Peninsula, nor did it defend Georgia, another NATO “partner,” after Russia’s invasion in 2008.

Stoltenberg hinted that the Western response to any Russian invasion would be limited to economic sanctions:

“There will be a high price to pay for Russia if they once again use force against the independent, sovereign nation Ukraine. We have demonstrated our ability to impose costs, economic, political actions.”

Stoltenberg also said that Russia has no right to extend its “sphere of influence” over Ukraine:

“It is only Ukraine and 30 NATO allies that decide when Ukraine is ready to join NATO. Russia has no veto. Russia has no say. And Russia has no right to establish a sphere of influence, trying to control their neighbors….

“They try to re-establish some kind of acceptance that Russia has the right to control what neighbors do, or not do….

“I, myself, I’m coming from a small country bordering Russia. And I’m very glad that our NATO allies have never respected that Russia has the kind of right to establish a sphere of influence in the North, trying to decide what Norway, as a small, independent country can do or not do.

“And that’s exactly the same for Ukraine. Ukraine is an independent, sovereign nation with internationally recognized borders, guaranteed by Russia and all the other powers. And those borders, those internationally recognized borders should be respected. And that includes, of course, Crimea as part of Ukraine, and Donbas as part of Ukraine. So, this idea that NATO’s support to a sovereign nation is the provocation, is just wrong. It’s to respect the sovereignty of, the will of, the Ukrainian people.

“So I think that tells more about Russia than about NATO.”

On December 3, U.S. President Joe Biden said that his administration was “putting together…the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for Mr. Putin to go ahead and do what people are worried he’s going to do.”

A spokesperson for the White House’s National Security Council said that Washington was “deeply concerned by evidence that Russia is stepping up its planning for significant military action against Ukraine.” He concluded:

“The Biden administration has been consistent in our message to Russia: the United States does not seek conflict, and the best way to avert a crisis and a negative spiral in the broader relationship is through diplomacy and de-escalation.”

The London-based Financial Times reported that some European officials were “surprised” about the strength of the U.S. intelligence assessment and that authorities on both sides of the Atlantic have spent weeks comparing and contrasting their evaluations.

The newspaper added that the Biden administration is seeking to announce the consequences to Russia of a Ukraine invasion as part of a diplomatic push to deter Putin from deciding to act.

An American defense official told the Financial Times that the Biden administration was considering providing weaponry to Ukraine, but that inter-agency discussions were continuing and no decisions had yet been made.

On December 3, a Biden administration official said:

“Since the beginning of this administration we have demonstrated that the United States and our allies are willing to use a number of tools to address harmful Russian actions, and we will not hesitate from making use of those and other tools in the future.”

On December 6, in an interview with the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail, Reznikov, the Ukrainian defense minister, urged military support from Britain, Canada and the United States, even if it is outside NATO. He said that the “Anglo-Saxon allies” were more likely to challenge Putin’s aggressive behavior than countries like France and Germany, which are more concerned about maintaining their economic relationships with Russia.

What Does Russia Want?

Analysts are divided on what is motivating Putin. Some believe that he is using the Ukraine issue to deflect from runaway inflation and a divisive push for Covid vaccine passports. Others say that Putin is fixated on restoring Russian control over Ukraine and other former members of the former Soviet Union.

Max Seddon, Moscow correspondent for the Financial Times, wrote:

“Analysts say Putin’s desire to rid Ukraine of western influence is underpinned by a conviction that it is an inalienable part of the ‘Russian world,’ a Moscow-centric sphere of influence rooted in the Soviet Union and the Tsarist empire.

“Putin has described the collapse of the USSR, which separated millions of intermarried families on either side of the Ukrainian border, as ‘the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century’ and has questioned the grounds on which Ukraine broke off from Russia.

“Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, Putin likened the Ukrainian peninsula, where Vladimir the Great — the first Christian ruler of Rus, a medieval state ruled from Kyiv — was baptized in 988AD, as ‘Russia’s Temple Mount’ — a notion that has no theological basis but cast Putin as the protector of Russians everywhere.”

In July, Putin published a 5,000-word article — “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians” — in which he wrote that he was convinced that the “true sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with Russia.” He vowed Moscow would never allow the country to become “anti-Russia.”

Putin was apparently referring to laws introduced by the Ukrainian government in July 2019 that aim to promote the primacy of the Ukrainian language. Those laws limit the use of the Russian language in public settings and exclude Russians from a list of Ukraine’s “indigenous peoples.”

In an interview with the Financial Times, political analyst Tatiana Stanovaya said:

“In Putin’s understanding, the people of Ukraine are basically one with Russians, so they should support integration with Russia. But since the country is under the thumb of the West the people are being tricked — they’re hostage to geopolitical games. If the Americans left, it’d be a unified state and everything would be great. Or so Putin thinks.”

Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine’s former foreign minister, added:

“Putin has a sense of mission on reinstalling a new kind of empire. It’s sitting very deep in his mind. Not just Ukraine’s success, but also any separate path of Ukraine would be highly damaging to the Russian mythology.

“The narrative in Russia is that there is no Ukrainian identity as such, including history, language, mentality and statehood. Putin’s stance on Ukraine is highly irrational. Ukrainians and Russians have two different sets of values.”

Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko said:

“Putin’s article claims to be about history, but in reality it is about the future and not the past. Ukraine holds the key to Putin’s dreams of restoring Russia’s great power status. He is painfully aware that without Ukraine, this will be impossible.

“Putin’s essay does not actually contain anything new. Indeed, we have already heard these same arguments many times before. However, his article does help clarify that the current conflict is not about control over Crimea or eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region; it is a war for the whole of Ukraine. Putin makes it perfectly clear that his goal is to keep Ukraine firmly within the Russian sphere of influence and to prevent Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration.”

Swedish scholar Anders Åslund warned:

“Make no mistake: by denying Ukraine’s right to independence, Putin is setting the stage for war. The West must quickly decide what it is willing to do to prevent it.”

Western Weakness, Energy Dependence
Putin appears to have become emboldened by perceptions that the West will most likely make public protests but do nothing to stop him.

In Europe, policies promoted for decades by Germany have allowed the European Union to become overly dependent on Russia for its energy supplies. If, in retaliation for a Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EU or the United States were to impose economic sanctions that threatened the survival of the Putin regime, Moscow could stop deliveries of oil and natural gas. Such a move would quickly bring the European Union to its knees and force the bloc to lift its sanctions.

Putin also appears to view the Biden administration as feeble and feckless. In July, for instance, the White House abruptly reversed long-standing bi-partisan policy consensus and reached an agreement with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that allows for the completion of a controversial natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.

The deal to complete the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would double shipments of Russian natural gas to Germany by transporting the gas under the Baltic Sea, angered the leaders of many countries in Eastern and Western Europe; they argued that it will effectively give Moscow a stranglehold over European gas supplies and open the continent to Russian blackmail.

Both the Obama and Trump administrations opposed the pipeline on the grounds that, once completed, it would strengthen Putin’s energy stranglehold over Europe.

The Trump administration was especially critical of the pipeline because it will funnel billions of dollars to Russia at a time when Germany is free-riding on the U.S. defense umbrella that protects Germany from that same Russia.

Just one day before the Biden-Merkel deal was announced, State Department Spokesman Ned Price criticized the pipeline as a “Kremlin geopolitical project that is intended to expand Russia’s influence over Europe’s energy resources and to circumvent Ukraine.” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had also previously asserted that the Biden administration “continues to believe that Nord Stream 2 is a bad deal for Europe.”

The Biden administration has not explained why or how completion of the pipeline would promote American or European strategic interests. The White House reportedly urged Ukraine to withhold public criticism of the deal with Germany and also asked Ukrainian officials not to discuss the agreement with members of the U.S. Congress. The Biden administration warned Ukraine that going public with opposition to Nord Stream 2 could “damage the Washington-Kyiv bilateral relationship.”

In November 2021, a classified German government document leaked to Axios, an American news website, showed that Germany urged the U.S. Congress not to impose sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The document stated that opposition to the pipeline would “weaken the credibility of the U.S. government” and “seriously weaken transatlantic unity on Russia.” It also claimed that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline poses “no threat” to Ukraine.

Geopolitical analysts on both sides of the Atlantic say that the pipeline deal will: 1) weaken American and strengthen Russian influence in Europe; 2) heighten divisions between the Eastern and Western European members of the European Union; 3) push some of the EU’s eastern periphery closer to China; 4) deprive Ukraine of the transit fees it now collects on gas pumped through an existing pipeline and thereby undermine Kiev’s struggle against Russian aggression; and 5) allow Putin to strong-arm Germany and the European Union by turning off deliveries of natural gas whenever he wants.

Failed Peace Talks
Russia and Ukraine have been engaged in an armed conflict since February 2014, when Russia occupied and annexed the Crimean Peninsula. Russia subsequently occupied much of the industrial Donbas region in eastern Ukraine. Russia is accused of arming and financing a separatist uprising in Ukraine. The conflict has cost over 14,000 lives and left millions displaced.

In September 2014, Russia and Ukraine signed a peace plan — the Minsk Protocol — for eastern Ukraine. The Minsk-1 agreement was drafted by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, which consisted of representatives from Ukraine, Russia, and the OSCE. It failed to stop fighting in Donbas. The Minsk-2 agreement, signed in February 2015, was mediated by the leaders of France and Germany in the so-called Normandy Format. The new agreement contained 13 provisions, hardly any of which have been implemented. Russia and Ukraine have each accused each other of failing to honor the agreement.

In 2021, Russia built-up troops on Ukraine’s borders on two separate occasions. In May, Moscow deployed around 100,000 troops near the border and in Crimea. In September, Russia deployed nearly 200,000 troops to Belarus, which shares a long border with Ukraine. Some military analysts described the deployments as rehearsals for a full-scale Russian offensive.

On December 2, during their meeting in Stockholm, Blinken, sitting alongside Lavrov, called for Russia to resume negotiations with Ukraine over the Minsk-2 agreement within the “Normandy Format,” sponsored by France and Germany. Lavrov demanded that the United States create an alternate channel of dialogue directly with the Kremlin.

Some analysts believe the latest Russian troop build-up on the border is designed, at least in part, to force direct negotiations between Moscow and Washington, according to David Herszenhorn, chief Brussels correspondent for Politico. A separate channel of dialogue could undermine the Normandy Format and further divide the West by prying apart Europe and the United States.

In a recent column, David Ignatius, foreign affairs commentator for the Washington Post, revealed that such a separate channel may already be in operation. The Biden administration, he wrote, “had signaled support for an eventual diplomatic deal on Ukraine that would give Putin much of what he wanted.”

Select Commentary
In an essay published by the Center for European Policy Analysis, analysts Edward Lucas, Ben Hodges and Carsten Schmiedl wrote:

“The Russian regime’s foremost interest is its own hold on power. All policy, internal and external, stems from this overriding goal. The Kremlin sees the West, the European Union (EU), and NATO as threats to this stability, and as potential instigators of ‘color revolutions’ that will exploit Russia’s ethnic, religious, political, and other fissures.

“The long-term goal is, therefore, a polycentric or multipolar world in which multilateral, rules-based organizations are unable to dictate terms to Russia. Instead, the Kremlin aims to be the dominant power in Eurasia, using Russia’s size to exert strong influence over its neighbors and over small countries, and to bargain with big countries on an equal basis….

“The ongoing war in Ukraine gives Russia a semi-permanent seat in European security discussions, and exploits underlying differences between France and Germany on one side, and the United States and other European countries on the other.”

Writing for the Poland-based Center for Eastern Studies, Russia expert Marek Menkiszak noted:

“Recent weeks have brought further displays of Russia’s escalating aggressive rhetoric and actions towards Ukraine, including troop movements near its border, as well as use of energy as leverage. This raises questions about Moscow’s intentions. Both the statements of Russian leaders and the policy of the Russian Federation in recent years indicate that it has not abandoned attempts to achieve one of its main policy objectives: restoring control over Ukraine. This is despite the fact that its actions to date — both limited military aggression and political, economic, and propaganda pressure — have only moved it further away from this goal. In the current conditions, with the stalemate in the Donbas conflict continuing, the Russian Federation is faced with a choice of its future strategy towards Ukraine. It has two main options: to escalate the armed conflict in the Donbas in order to achieve a rapid breakthrough, or to intensify long-term pressure, i.e. to play for Kyiv’s gradual exhaustion. The choice of strategy depends on the Russian perception of the situation, the attitude of Ukraine itself, and the behavior of key Western actors….

“There are several arguments in favor of the escalation scenario. Firstly, Moscow is apparently impatient with the lack of results from its previous policy of pressure on Kyiv. Secondly, the longer Ukraine remains outside Moscow’s strategic control, the further it distances itself from Moscow in all respects, and the stronger its independent existence becomes. Third, the Kremlin may see the current international situation as conducive to the implementation of such a plan.

“The first important factor here is Moscow’s likely perception of the relative weakness of the US — a key actor that could prevent it from pursuing aggressive action against Ukraine. The Kremlin’s initial fear of ‘retribution’ from the new Joe Biden administration for its interference in the 2016 presidential election seems to have given way to the belief that Washington is focused on domestic problems and the challenge from China, so it is seeking to improve relations with the Russian Federation. This may be evidenced by, among other things, decisions to drop further restrictions targeting the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a rather mild response to dangerous Russian cyberattacks on the United States (including on elements of its critical infrastructure), and an intensification of political and security (including arms control) dialogue with Moscow.”

In an essay published by the US-based Jamestown Foundation, Ukrainian diplomat Olexander Scherba wrote:

“It is now November 2021, and Ukraine’s warnings about Nord Stream Two were not heard. The pipeline, whose main purpose is to make Europe more dependent on Russia, was built — on Europe’s dime but under Russian Gazprom’s ownership and control. Nord Stream Two has yet to be certified, but it is already causing substantial problems.

“Because of the pipeline, the European Union is divided and Russia is all the more convinced that the EU is weak and corruptible. Moscow lobbyists around the world pontificate that, with energy demand as well as prices soaring, the West’s ‘green delusion’ is finally over, and the world is back to an era of rule by nations that have what really counts: oil, gas and coal.

“For quite a while, Moscow has pursued a three-fold strategy: fool Europe, corrupt Europe, seduce Europe. The Nord Stream Two saga included all three elements. It fooled Europe by promising an unnecessary pipeline that was rooted in geopolitical expediency. It corrupted Europe, by hiring its former leaders to lucrative advisory contracts and allowing Europe to finance what it promised would eventually be a cash cow. With the pipeline certification under consideration, Russia is now in the seduction phase, promising that once Nord Stream Two is certified, gas supply problems, will go away. Of course, that is like saying that one more bottle of vodka will make alcoholism go away….

“Do not make the mistake of handing an essential part of Europe’s future to a country that is demonstratively not the EU’s friend. Time will not be kind to such decision or to those who made it.”

In an essay published by the European Council on Foreign Relations, analyst Gustav Gressel concluded:

“Russia has a clear aim: to weaken Ukraine so much that it will be relatively easy to control the country’s politics. Moscow can achieve this by forcing Kyiv to implement the Minsk agreement on its terms — which would establish a de facto Russian veto on Ukrainian domestic affairs — and by starting and exploiting anti-government revolts.

Alternatively, Moscow could pressure Washington to ‘deliver’ Ukraine by signing security guarantees that favored Russia. These guarantees would prohibit Ukraine from not only joining NATO but also engaging in any form of cooperation with the West that would strengthen its resilience. This would eventually force Ukraine back into Moscow’s sphere of influence.

“Given these considerations, Kyiv may believe that it can either fight for independence now or be forced to do so later — probably in more challenging circumstances. Therefore, Kyiv may believe that it is worth standing up against a militarily superior enemy….

“If Russia’s coercive strategy works well, there is no guarantee that it will stop with Ukraine. Russia’s current alteration of the force structure in its Western Military District is partly directed against NATO. With Chinese-Russian military cooperation increasing, today’s imponderables may become tomorrow’s possibilities. American generals have long warned Europeans that, in the coming decades, the US may not be in a position to simultaneously protect its Asian and European allies against the threat of both China and Russia….

“Many European leaders do not seem to grasp the seriousness of the situation. One can see this in the defense of Nord Stream 2 in recently leaked German cables to members of the US Congress: Ukraine has a gun to its head, but the German government only seems worried about the survival of its pipeline. Berlin and Paris are resistant to a stronger NATO reaction — citing fears that Russia may feel threatened by a military capable Ukrainian state that has the support of the alliance. This is just the kind of poor judgement that enables Russian military aggression.

“For now, many eastern and central European nations may feel secure in the assumption that Washington will protect them by placing Moscow under diplomatic and military pressure. But they should not be complacent: while certain groups of think-tankers have been arguing for concessions to Russia since 2014, their ideas have gained a new resonance this time. A Washington preoccupied with countering Beijing may soon be willing to turn these arguments into policy — not for their brilliance, but for their convenience.”

[ Soeren Kern ]


“Are Ukraine’s vast natural resources a real reason behind Russia’s invasion?”

Ukraine’s geostrategic position has rendered it susceptible to the ongoing strains between Russia and the West.

Ukraine has become a seedbed of conflict between Russia and the West. The country’s geostrategic position has rendered it susceptible to the ongoing larger conflict between Russia and the West. As a buffer for the two conflicting blocs, Ukraine has had very difficult choices to make in the last decade.

Russia’s contention with the West
Russia is opposed to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) in its backyard, a position which is non-negotiable. However, Ukraine’s current government wants to not only join NATO but also be a part of the European Union (EU).

Although much of the struggle is military as well as strategic, that is not where the story ends. Ukraine’s economy, resources and the clash to lay claim to the country’s bountiful rare earth elements are also the motives to influence its political leanings – Russia or Europe? Pledge allegiance to Russia as an erstwhile Soviet state or open up to the West? Tough choice for Ukraine.

Ukraine’s economic significance for Russia and the West
Both Russia and the West see Ukraine as a prospective buffer against each other. A look at the country’s natural resources:

Oil and Gas

Ukraine has the second-biggest known gas reserves in Europe, apart from Russia’s gas reserves in Asia, although largely unexploited.

In terms of natural gas, the country has around 1.09 trillion cubic meters, which is an incredible amount. Picture this, it’s sufficient to be stretched around the earth several times. This is second only to Norway’s known resources of 1.53 trillion cubic meters.

However, ironically enough, Ukraine depends on gas imports and it is primarily because the USSR began extracting gas on a large scale in Siberia in the 1970s.

Thus, much of the gas exploration, as well as production, have been transferred to Russia, due to which Ukraine’s resources remain untapped. Presently, Russia supplies 40 per cent to 50 per cent of Europe’s gas consumption via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline as well as the Ukrainian network.

Germany is also a big consumer of Russia’s natural gas. The country gets 55 per cent of its natural gas from Russia, and the bulk of it goes through Ukraine, which earns a transit fee equivalent to $7 billion.

This is around four per cent of Ukraine’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product). While these colossal gas reserves remain unexploited, the country is still important for gas transport from Russia to Europe.
In 2019, Russia and Ukraine inked a transit agreement that allows easy transfer of Siberian gas to the EU through Ukraine’s huge gas transportation system, regardless of unilateral sanctions by the US.

Also Read: Russia-Ukraine war: Here’s how the crisis unfolded — a timeline

In order to feed the energy-hungry Europe, Russia set up the Nord Stream II gas pipeline to transport natural gas which would be cost-effective, reliable, and sustainable.

This also implies that the US is nowhere near the gas race. However, Gazprom’s Nord Stream II pipeline which goes through the Baltic Sea might have hit a major roadblock with the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Gazprom is Russia’s largest company and, as of 2019, was the world’s largest publicly-owned natural gas firm.

The German Chancellor has stopped certifying Nord Stream II in view of Russia’s aggression. Apart from natural gas, Ukraine abounds with minerals such as iron, coal, titanium, and other non-metallic raw materials. It’s the leading nation when it comes to reserves of titanium, iron and non-metallic raw materials.

Therefore, it is not surprising that Russia’sUkraine invasion will have a huge collateral effect on the coal and electricity sector.

In 2021, India imported coal to meet its domestic coal shortage and with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, that supply chain is going to get impacted. Ukraine has large natural resources, with precisely five per cent of the earth’s natural and mineral resources.

Ores such as iron, titanium, and non-metallic raw materials are some of the country’s major exports, and so are iron ore ($3.36 billion), corn ($4.77 billion), semi-finished iron ($2.55 billion), and seed oils ($3.75 billion), which are exported largely to China ($3.94 billion), Germany ($3.08 billion), and Italy ($2.57 billion), Poland ($2.75 billion), and to Russia ($4.69 billion).

Precious metals

Ukraine was the fifth largest exporter of iron ore in the world in 2019 and in the same year, iron ore was the third most-exported product in the country. Lithium and titanium are some of the precious metals on earth today. Why is that? Lets’ take a look:

Lithium

Ukraine’s breakaway territories in the Donbass region have abundant natural resources and, thus, make the area economically very feasible for the future. Lithium fields in Ukraine are concentrated in Zaporizhzhia oblast (Kruta Balka area), Donetsk (Shevchenkivske field), and Kirovohrad (Polokhivske field, Dobra area).

However, no mining work is happening in the area currently. The Dobra and Donetsk mines were up for grabs and there has been cut-throat competition between Chinese Chengxin Lithium and Australia-listed European Lithium, and both the companies want a foothold in the European lithium industry.

The companies are just two of a list of bids published online by the Ukrainian Geological Survey. Lithium chemicals are the main component of electric vehicle (EV) batteries. The majority of auto companies are looking at lithium reserves across the world.

Titanium

Some estimates indicate that up to 20 per cent of the proven world reserves of titanium ores are situated in Ukraine. But it is one of the few nations with a closed-loop production in the titanium industry – from mining and processing of the titanium iron ores to the producer of finished products.

Interestingly, China was the largest importer of Ukrainian titanium iron ores in 2021, with Russia on the second spot (15.3 per cent), and Turkey ranked third (14.5 per cent). The one industry that could be majorly impacted should the Ukraine-Russia clash intensify, is the aircraft industry, mainly because titanium is an important component used in the manufacture of aeroplanes.

Boeing, in a statement on January 31, said that the tensions over Ukraine create an “adverse climate” for its business. In the event of economic sanctions, the supply chain for titanium could be affected, and furthermore, the ability to produce aircraft could be hampered.

To illustrate, the US’ Boeing has broadened its titanium supply chain since 2014, when Russia was sanctioned for its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, however, it is still heavily reliant on Russia’s VSMPO-AVISMA — world’s largest manufacturer of titanium — for the supply of the metal.

Food security

Russian invasion of Ukraine means the former will rein in the exports, which will create food security issues as Ukraine is one of the largest distributors of wheat and corn. Grain exports are the mainstay of Ukraine’s economy.

Much of the country’s corn and wheat are destined for Africa and West Asia, which are heavily reliant on imports for food items. Over 50 per cent of Ukraine’s annual corn and wheat shipments head to Africa or the Middle East.

Global food security is the biggest concern if Ukraine’s exports are disturbed. Meanwhile, owing to distance, US wheat amounts to less than 10 per cent of what caters to those regions. Ukraine is aiming to clinch the third spot in wheat and fourth spot in corn this year, but the ranking could be missed due to the crisis with Russia.

Race between Russia and the West for Ukrainian resources

The US and Europe could be looking at food and energy security by trying to ensure Ukraine’s tilt towards the West, but will Russia allow it? The US has always been wary of Russia’s authority in Europe and the latter’s influence is only going to grow stronger now with Ukraine’s invasion, particularly in the Balkans, and if it is able to withstand global sanctions. However, Ukraine, which has the US’ support, can thrive and capitalise on its natural resources.

Could that be the US’ pretext to compete with Russia? While Europe depends on Russian natural gas, the US is trying to be a more prominent Liquefied Natural Gas supplier (LNG), even though the price of LNG would be substantially higher in price than that of Russian gas.

The point that the US is aiming to make is to stop Russia from dominating Europe through energy dependence and what US Secretary of State Antony Blinken termed “weaponising heat” by controlling gas during winter months when Europe needs Russia to stay warm.

Furthermore, fossil fuels are not infinite, which means Russia has to scout additional sources of natural gases to tap. The country has to look no further than to its west – Ukraine. All the strategic positions notwithstanding, to Russia and the West, Ukraine of the future is an untouched, untapped, natural resource hotspot.

A foothold in the country would mean an economic driver, energy security, and a strong and secure strategic position.

[ Business Today ]


“Why Americans should care about the Ukraine-Russia conflict”

The risk of the conflict escalating beyond Ukraine is “high,” one expert said.

What you need to know about the Russia-Ukraine conflict

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, what you should know about how and why it started.
Anatolii Stepanov/AFP via Getty Images
After weeks of mounting tensions and warnings from United States officials about an imminent attack, Russia’s military launched its invasion of Ukraine early Thursday.

Russia has spent weeks building up military forces near eastern Ukraine, amassing more than 150,000 troops in Belarus and on the Russian side of the border, according to U.S. officials, before it invaded, striking several cities and military bases in Ukraine, including Kyiv, its capital.

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The Kremlin had repeatedly denied warnings of an invasion before Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his intention to conduct a “special military operation” in Ukraine Thursday.

Leading up to the invasion, Americans were somewhat mixed on how the U.S. should respond. In a recent poll from Quinnipiac University, 57% of Americans said the U.S. should not send troops into Ukraine if Russia invades, and 54% support Biden’s decision to deploy troops to support NATO allies.

Last week, as U.S. officials continued to warn about an invasion and the escalating conflict, President Joe Biden addressed the American public and again made clear the U.S. will not send troops to support Ukraine. But he promised to defend “every inch” of NATO territory, already deploying several thousand more troops to Europe, and to support the Ukrainian people and their government with lethal defensive weapons, economic aid and crippling U.S. and allied sanctions on Russia. In the wake of the invasion, Biden announced new sanctions on Russian banks.

That high level of U.S. involvement is necessary, he said, because “this is about more than just Russia and Ukraine.”

“It’s about standing for what we believe in, for the future that we want for our world, for liberty, the right of countless countries to choose their own destiny, and the right of people to determine their own futures, or the principle that a country can’t change its neighbor’s borders by force,” Biden said. “If we do not stand for freedom where it is at risk today, we’ll surely pay a steeper price tomorrow.”

NATO ties
To understand the United States’ vested interest in the conflict, you’d have to go back to the Cold War, Craig Albert, an associate professor of political science and the director of Intelligence and Security Studies at Augusta University, told ABC News.

To counter Soviet aggression in Europe, the U.S. helped form the security alliance NATO, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, in 1949. In the years since, NATO has expanded several times, including adding three former Soviet republics.

Ukraine, a former Soviet republic that is bordered by Russia on the east, is not a NATO member, though in 2008 the alliance opened the door to membership. Putin has demanded this not happen, as he seeks to limit NATO along Russia’s border.

MORE: Biden says he expects Putin will go through with Ukraine invasion within days
“Ukraine has attached itself to the West, to NATO,” Albert said. “They still have military agreements, treaties, economic treaties, business treaties or relationships, even though there’s no NATO treaty in place between Ukraine and NATO and the U.S.”

One previous agreement is the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, reached between the U.S. and Russia in 1994, under which Ukraine would turn over its nuclear weapons stockpile in exchange for security assurances against threats to its territorial integrity and sovereignty, including seeking “immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine.” Russia would later flout that agreement when it seized Crimea in 2014.

The NATO members bordering Russia also present a concern to U.S. officials. The potential impact of the Ukraine conflict on U.S. interests is considered “significant,” by the Council on Foreign Relations, which said in part that the conflict “risks further deterioration of U.S.-Russia relations and greater escalation if Russia expands its presence in Ukraine or into NATO countries.”

As Russia tries to “reassert itself into the great power game,” the U.S. is seeking to maintain the balance of power in Europe and “protect Ukraine as a buffer against Russian-perceived aggression in Europe itself,” Albert said, noting that Ukraine is “strategically important” for Russia, the U.S. and NATO.

NATO is “critical to U.S. policy in Europe,” and supporting Ukraine for the past 30-plus years “has been integral to U.S. security policy for the European continent as a whole,” Matthew Pauly, an associate professor of history at Michigan State University who is an expert on Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe, told ABC News.

“There’s no doubt that the most eastern-facing NATO member states are quite rightly anxious about Russia’s actions in Ukraine,” Pauly said. “The United States obviously views it as its duty to oblige by the responsibilities of NATO membership to hold the line on the eastern front of NATO.”

Indeed, the U.S. had sent in troops amid the Russian aggression to support NATO’s eastern flank. On Thursday, Biden announced he was authorizing additional U.S. force capabilities to deploy to Germany as part of NATO’s response force — including the 8,500 troops put on “heightened alert” last month.

“Our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine but to defend our NATO allies and reassure those allies in the East,” Biden said during an address Thursday. “As I made crystal clear, the United States will defend every inch of NATO territory with the full force of American power.”

Preventing ‘world war’
The U.S. has sent thousands of additional troops to Central and Eastern Europe in recent weeks, though Biden made it clear he won’t be sending any to Ukraine to fight Russia and had stressed the importance of diplomacy toward achieving de-escalation.

In an interview with NBC News anchor Lester Holt earlier this month, Biden acknowledged the risk of further aggression. When asked what scenario could prompt him to send troops to aid Americans in Ukraine, Biden said, “There’s not. That’s a world war when Americans and Russia start shooting at one another.”

“We’re dealing with one of the largest armies in the world. It’s a very different situation, and things could go crazy quickly,” he said.

MORE: ‘Past time’ to leave: US evacuates diplomats, troops from Ukraine amid ‘war zone’ warnings
The risk of the conflict escalating beyond Ukraine is “high,” Michael “Mick” Patrick Mulroy, ABC News national security and defense analyst, said on ABC News Live last week.

“It should be a concern to everybody,” he said.

Preserving democracy and sovereignty
Another important dimension to U.S. involvement in the crisis has to do with its support of Ukraine as a democracy, Pauly said. Since 1991, when Ukraine declared its independence, the U.S. has offered “substantial” foreign aid, particularly in the 1990s, to help it emerge from the Soviet period, democratize and develop a free market economy, he said.

“Ukraine is a democracy, it’s the only really functioning democracy of the few in the former Soviet space,” Pauly said. “Although democratization has had sort of a challenging path in Ukraine, it’s hard to argue that it is not a democracy.”

“Democracy in Ukraine is worth protecting,” he continued. “Democracy is our best guarantee against war and best assurance of peace.”

The U.S., along with Western allies, has also voiced support for Ukraine maintaining its sovereignty and territorial integrity against Russian aggression.

Biden said the U.S. has been supplying Ukraine’s military with arms, training and intelligence to help defend itself.

“Nations have a right to sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the president said last week. “They have the freedom to set their own course and choose with whom they will associate.”

Impact at home
The exact impact of an invasion beyond the front lines remains unclear. Though Biden warned the American people that there would be “consequences at home” — foremost an increase in energy prices as a result.

“I will not pretend this will be painless,” Biden said last week. “There could be impact on our energy prices, so we’re taking active steps to alleviate the pressure on our own energy markets and offset rising prices.”

In an incursion limited to eastern Ukraine, there could be a rise in the price of oil by $5 or $10 a barrel, according to Patrick De Haan of GasBuddy. Currently, a $1 per barrel rise equates to about a 1.5 cents per gallon rise in the national average price of gas. In response to sanctions, Russia, could retaliate by curbing oil exports, he said, impacting global markets.

If higher oil and gas prices cause the Federal Reserve to be more aggressive in its monetary tightening, that could also impact inflation, according to Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics.

Cyberwarfare also remains a concern. Last month, the Department of Homeland Security warned that the U.S. response to a possible Russian invasion could result in a cyberattack launched against the U.S. by the Russian government or its proxies. Amid increased warnings of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, senior law enforcement and homeland security officials last week urged private industry and state officials to shore up their cyber infrastructure.

There’s also the impact on American troops, as more military forces are being deployed to support NATO countries.

“I think [Americans] should be paying attention to this because it could significantly affect strategic deployments of U.S. personnel,” Albert said. “If nothing else, just people moving from where they are in their typical assignments right now, to move somewhere else, more strategically positioned against, perhaps, a Russian invasion.”

[ Meredith Deliso – ABC News’ Conor Finnegan, Molly Nagle, Sarah Kolinovsky, Zunaira Zaki, Mary Burke, Layne Winn and Will Kim contributed to this report ]


“The Soviet roots of invoking fears about World War III”

Editor’s Note: Dire predictions about foreign intervention leading to “World War III” aren’t merely the most predictable and laziest form of anti-interventionist “logic,” argues Jamie Kirchick. They’re also an insidious echo of Soviet propaganda, routinely deployed to undercut the West’s defense of democracy and important international norms. This piece originally appeared in the Washington Post.

Days before the 2016 presidential election, candidate Donald Trump warned: “You’re going to end up in World War III over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton.”

Dire predictions about foreign intervention leading to “World War III” aren’t merely the most predictable and laziest form of anti-interventionist “logic.” They’re also an insidious echo of Soviet propaganda, routinely deployed to undercut the West’s defense of democracy and important international norms. If Trump had listened to his former self, he’d have abdicated an opportunity to enforce the global prohibition against use of chemical weapons.

On the campaign trail, Trump said Clinton’s suggestion of establishing a no-fly zone to protect civilians would risk confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia, which had sent men and materiel to abet Bashar al-Assad’s murderous regime. “You’re not fighting Syria anymore, you’re fighting Syria, Russia and Iran, all right?” Trump explained. “Russia is a nuclear country, but a country where the nukes work as opposed to other countries that talk.”

But after a recent chemical weapons attack against civilians reportedly perpetrated by the Assad regime, Trump ordered airstrikes against three Syrian government targets in concert with allies Britain and France and, noticeably, a world war didn’t start.

Before missiles were launched, the Pentagon warned Moscow through already established “deconfliction” channels that strikes were imminent, and subsequently, no Russian assets were hit. Russia vigorously protested the action against its client state—one in which it has an air and a naval base—but retaliation was entirely verbal, consisting of the usual diplomatic double talk at the United Nations, after this initial statement by Russia’s ambassador to the United States:

This was unsurprising, and transparent, as Russia—which plays a non-trivial role in perpetuating the Syria conflict—has little desire to pick an actual fight with the world’s most powerful military over a limited airstrike meant to punish specific war crimes, not overthrow the Assad regime. Nonetheless, in the days leading up to the strike, critics resorted to an apocalyptic framing of the conflict. Russian state television encouraged citizens to stock up on water and emergency supplies. In the United Kingdom, the Telegraph ran a headline asking, “could Britain be drawn into World War Three?” and the Daily Express ran one declaring “World War 3 ALERT: The ‘REAL reasons’ Trump is going to war in Syria.” Germany’s widely read Der Spiegel blared (in a headline since changed), “‘Get Ready Russia’: Donald Trump Risks a World War in Syria.” In the United States, Salon ran with the headline, “Trump and allies approach World War III in Syria, on literally no evidence.”

The claim that increased American military activity in Syria—whether in the form of a no-fly zone to protect civilians or the sort of precision airstrike carried out last week—would precipitate world war is one made by noninterventionists across the political spectrum. But as Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum explained back in 2016, when Trump initially used this line of attack against Clinton, the threat of World War III erupting over Syria could be sourced back to Russian propaganda, which painted the former secretary of state as a deranged “warmonger.” The specter of Western democracies plunging humanity into world war, though, claims a pedigree much older than the most recent American presidential election. Or the present-day U.S.-Russia dynamic. From the onset of the Cold War, it was a staple of Soviet propaganda meant to cast the United States as the aggressor and the Soviet Union as the bulwark of global “peace.”

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As the Soviet Union lowered its Iron Curtain across Central and Eastern Europe in the ashes of World War II, Moscow castigated opposition to its moves as risking World War III. Instrumental in this effort was perversion of the word “peace.” To win over potential allies in the West, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin orchestrated the creation of communist front groups and conferences with anodyne names like the “World Peace Council” and the “World Congress of Partisans for Peace.” The real purpose of this campaign wasn’t the promotion of “peace,” however, but Soviet foreign policy; the cynical implication being that anyone remotely skeptical of an organization or conclave with “peace” in its name was obviously in favor of war. George Orwell satirized this abuse of language in his masterpiece, “1984,” imagining a fictional superstate with the slogan: “WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.”

Across the globe, Moscow-backed peace outfits decried opposition to Soviet prerogatives as fascist agitation that would bring about another world war. At the 1949 National Labor Conference for Peace in Chicago, the Communist Party USA newspaper, the Daily Worker, reported “new opportunities for massing the strength of labor against the fomenters of the Cold War and the preparations for World War III.” The following year, after the United States joined a United Nations-led mission to resist the Soviet Union and China-backed invasion of South Korea by North Korea, the American Communist Party announced, “American imperialism has now entered the open military phase of its preparations to unleash World War III, threatening to embroil the whole world in a new world holocaust.”

Talk of World War III mostly abated throughout the years of detente but returned with a vengeance after the election of President Ronald Reagan and the subsequent “Euromissile” debate, one of the last great strategic confrontations of the Cold War. In the late 1970s, the Soviet Union began deploying intermediate-range nuclear warheads in Eastern Europe. As NATO debated whether to match this provocation by stationing similar weapons on its own territory, the Soviets launched a propaganda onslaught, echoed by Western sympathizers, insisting that any attempt to deter its nuclear blackmail would result in nuclear Armageddon.

“Stopping World War III” was the blunt title of a 1981 book published by the U.S. Peace Council, the American chapter of the Soviet-backed World Peace Council. “We fought World War I in Europe; we fought World War II in Europe and, if you dummies will let us, we will fight World War III in Europe,” declared Gene La Rocque, a retired U.S. Navy admiral who went on to become a fierce critic of American foreign policy and advocate for the dissolution of NATO. La Rocque’s Center for Defense Information, a think tank devoted to criticizing U.S. military spending, produced a 1983 documentary about nuclear weapons, “War without Winners.” Narrated by Paul Newman, it invited viewers to “contribute to preventing World War III.” Writing in the Guardian that same year, British Marxist historian E.P. Thompson, a founding member of European Nuclear Disarmament, claimed NATO was a “war movement” instigating “the preliminaries of World War III.”

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Following the collapse of Soviet communism, and as Putinist Russia began to attract sympathizers on the political right, the rhetoric of “World War III” expanded beyond traditional leftist redoubts. “Are we far from World War III?” former Texas Republican congressman, GOP presidential candidate and 1988 Libertarian Party presidential nominee Ron Paul asked last April, when Trump first struck Syria after its use of banned chemical weapons. “If you’re in favor of World War III, you have your candidate,” his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), declared during a 2015 Republican presidential debate after then-Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) called for a no-fly zone over parts of Syria. “We can’t risk World War III,” alt-right leader Richard Spencer tweeted at the time, imploring his followers to attend a protest against the strikes. A search for “World War III” on the paleoconservative clearinghouse Antiwar.com yields hundreds of results; the same for Ron Paul’s Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

Ideology aside, and intended or not, invocations of “World War III” have the same net effect: to obfuscate the belligerence of authoritarians and discourage deterrence by democracies. During the Cold War, it was never NATO—a consensual and defensive alliance of democratic nations—which threatened world peace but rather the Soviet-dominated Warsaw Pact, which invaded Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, and held Central and Eastern Europe in its grip until dissolving in 1991. Today, aided by guileless Westerners, the Russians insist that letting them get away with invading sovereign countries and suborning mass murder in Syria is predicate to preventing world war. A variant of “warmonger”—an epithet which roughly translates, in this context, into “critic of Russian foreign policy”—conjurings of “World War III” are a rhetorical means by which Russia psychologically projects its own bellicosity and lawlessness onto the West.

The purpose of invoking “World War III” isn’t to sound genuine alarm. It is to foster a culture of war-weary appeasement within one’s adversaries.

Of course, Moscow is capable of “turning the United States into radioactive ash,” as one of the Kremlin’s propagandists declared shortly after the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. But knowing the United States has the same nuclear capability has reliably prevented it from ever acting upon such a threat, and Russia certainly won’t risk doing so over a few dozen Tomahawk missiles fired at its troublesome puppet, Assad.

The purpose of invoking “World War III” isn’t to sound genuine alarm. It is to foster a culture of war-weary appeasement within one’s adversaries. That so many in the West have adopted this overwrought characterization indicates the triviality of much of our foreign policy debate.

Ponder a world where America and its allies backed down from their commitments and principles at every Russian cry of imminent world war. We would have surrendered West Berlin to Soviet blackmail, abandoned South Korea to the totalitarian North and permitted the placement of nuclear missiles 90 miles off the Florida coast. Thankfully, we never took empty World War III threats seriously. We shouldn’t do so today.

[ James Kirchick ]


“What’s Wrong With Russia’s Military”

For decades, Russia has been the world’s second most powerful military. Today, it is the second most powerful military inside Ukraine. How in the world did a nation with such a significant military overmatch get into a quagmire against a much weaker power? Just what is wrong with the Russian military?

[ The Infographics Show ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAp9lPRbmoc


“Could Russia Win a War Against NATO?”

It’s a possibility that NATO is eyeing as an increasing likelihood given the invasion of Ukraine. What was once thought impossible, is now at the forefront for every member of NATO- could Russia really declare war on the alliance, and could it win?

[ The Infographics Show ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBhjtI3UexU


“Russia’s Big Problem With Ukraine”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has the world on the edge of its seat. Will this conflict be the spark that ignites World War 3? Find out why the invasion isn’t exactly going to plan for Russia in today’s new video.

[ The Infographics Show ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrLrb1OQjGs


“Ukraine: Putin warns of fast response to intervention”

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Wednesday that if any other country intervenes in Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, Moscow will launch a quick-fire military response. Speaking to lawmakers, Putin said that “if anyone sets out to intervene in the current events from the outside and creates unacceptable threats for us that are strategic in nature, they should know that our response… will be lightning-fast”.

Putin said that the military would not hesitate to use the most modern weaponry. “We have all the tools for this, that no one else can boast of having. We won’t boast about it: we’ll use them, if needed.”

[ DW News ]

Report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=So-9TlcDIMQ


“Putin shuts the tap: How will Europe respond to Russian gas cut?”

The rest of Europe may not be at war but is it ready for the sacrifices of a wartime economy? The Kremlin shutting the tap on Bulgaria and Poland may be but a prelude to a brutally swift transition away from Russian gas and oil. Deals will be dropped, money will be lost.

Will citizens revolt when they receive their next jaw-dropping energy bill or do they agree that the invasion of Ukraine once and for all ended the argument with those espouse doing deals with Vladimir Putin as a means of encouraging peace through trade? Even Germany’s changing course.

[ France 24 English ]

Report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdMjiJ5h8L0


“Russian State TV Discusses Possibility Of Nuclear War”

Chris Hayes on ominous signs that Putin may be trying to get the Russian public on board with a serious escalation of war.

[ MSNBC ]

Report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcTaLKaRjy4


“What would it mean if Finland and Sweden join Nato?”

Finland and Sweden are said to be considering a joint bid to join Nato despite fears of retaliation from Russia.

Stockholm and Helsinki have long pursued policies of military neutrality to avoid conflict with regional powers.

But, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said “everything had changed” when Russia attacked Ukraine and told reporters that Helsinki must to be “prepared for all kinds of actions from Russia”.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has stressed that Moscow would have to “rebalance the situation” with its own measures if the Nato bid went ahead.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto has said it would be “useful” for Sweden and Finland to launch joint Nato membership bids, but added that no fixed date had been set for any potential application.

The BBC’s Ros Atkins explains the latest developments.

[ BBC News ]

Report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h4tsI0lTsg


“Amir Tsarfati: Special Update: What’s Next in the Ukraine War?”

Join Amir for a special update discussing what’s next in the Ukraine War.

[ Amir Tsarfati ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4JbrKN1V04


“The Russian-Iranian-Turkish Alliance (War of Gog & Magog)”

In today´s episode, Joel Rosenberg reads Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 to talk about the prophecy of the War of Gog and Magog, the enemies who God will fight to reveal himself that will end in a period of peace.

Through the verses, Joel explains geography clues to help up understand who will be involved in this war, the restored land where God will fight, and the importance of that land to be reborn as a country before it all started. Are we close to these events? That´s a thought that Joel reflects on through the reading.

Listen to Joel explaining how God will reveal himself, the importance of judgment in this context, and the vision of the Messiah. This teaching is from October 2019.

[ Joel Rosenberg ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2Ea6ioHqGA


“Billy Crone – Russia – Ukraine Update”

Pastor Billy Crone speaks on Bible Prophecy,
World Religions, Cults, and the Occult, Charismatic Chaos,
Abortion, Modern Technology, The Rapture, and more.
This is a bible-based Educational Channel for the believer and non-believer.

[ Billy Crone ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTECUMr7u6Y


“Amir Tsarfati: Bible Prophecy Update & Russia-Ukraine Analysis with Erick Stakelbeck”

Are we on the dawn of the Gog and Magog war, as described in the Book of Ezekiel? Is a latter day confederation assembling against Israel? Plus, the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities and the prophetic destruction of the city of Damascus. And finally, the rise of the Antichrist. Are we on the brink of end time prophecy becoming fulfilled? CRUCIAL analysis from Amir Tsarfati of Behold Israel on The Watchman Newscast! WATCH NOW!

[ Erick Stakelbeck ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9guX9_KY7Ts


“Dr Mark Hitchcock: The Russia / Ukraine Conflict”

Welcome to Calvary Tucson’s Annual Southwest Pastors and Leaders Conference 2022

Watch “The Russia / Ukraine Conflict” by Dr. Mark Hitchcock

[ Dr. Mark Hitchcock ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiit1iSJWBI


“A Biblical Response to the Russia and Ukraine War | Tony Evans Sermon”

Dr. Tony Evans’ powerful message explores the biblical response to the Russia and Ukraine war. Tony Evans dives deep into the role of the church in the end times, the destiny of Christians and topics including prophecy, the great tribulation, the second coming of Jesus Christ, earthquakes, wars, battles and the current events concerning Russia and Ukraine.

[ Tony Evans ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3Ec3bUsSsw


“AS THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR UNFOLDS–JESUS PROMISED END OF DAYS GRACE & PEACE THROUGH TRIBULATIONS”

We got to do a Zoom challenge on the road, to encourage two dozen frontline European missionaries just coming out of the Covid throes to now be plunged into the midst of all the turmoil in Europe. Pray for those serving in Europe as the hundreds of thousands of refugees flood in from Ukraine.

This challenge is not just for those watching Russia’s aggression in their backyard–it is for all of us getting ready for the dark days ahead. We who know Christ have a lifelong job description of sharing the Gospel of Peace & Hope. God wants us to shine as beacons of grace, redemption, and Spirit-prompted boldness in times of fear and despair. This world is not our home, we’re just passing through. Live for Christ in these strategic times.

[ John Barnett ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfvbv8kutO0


“HE just SPILLED the beans, and it’s BAD!!!”

March 31st, 2022 LIVE!!! With Monkey and James Kaddis!!! The leader of the free world has made a series of destructive statements while in Europe and the world will deepen its tailspin as a result. Make no mistake, we are quickly headed towards the world described to us in the book of Revelation after the rapture. We’ll talk about this and much more so buckle up, we’ll be running fast!!!

[ James Kaddis and Monkey ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhBK9_gkZFo&t=2463s


“Does the war between Russia and Ukraine have a connection to the end times?”

Does Russia have a role in end times Bible prophecy? Who/what are Gog and Magog? Is Russia attacking Ukraine a sign of the end times?

[ Got Questions Ministries ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jv_Vppk9oPc


“James Kaddis ‘Series’ On Russia/Ukraine Situation”

RUSSIA just put NATO on NOTICE!!!
As many of you know, Russia launched a missile at one of its own spy satellites and destroyed it in space. The consequences of that test were far-reaching, and things are getting even worse and Russia is choosing to threaten the use of this tested weaponry to flex their muscle in the international community.
Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AU3U2p16Ias

RUSSIA just PUT their FOOT down AGAIN!!!
In the past week, Russia has escorted (using their fighter jets) NATO aircraft away from Russian International airspace. This is not a surprise considering what we know regarding Ezekiel 38.
Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpnqWsF7XUw

RUSSIA and NATO may be in a NUCLEAR STANDOFF!!!
The recent news cycle points to a real problem developing between Europe and Russia. The world seems to be closing its eyes to what is happening, but the predictions of the Bible are true and completely accurate. What we’re seeing is evidence of that!
Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgwzsMz_XTo

RUSSIA just told NATO to END ITSELF!!!
This is another crazy story ripped hot off the press!!! Russia is getting more aggressive and it seems as though the world will not intervene. This seems to be right up the ally of Ezekiel’s prophecy concerning Israel and Russia’s future, so we shouldn’t be surprised!!!
Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaJjPaTrT-0

RUSSIA may START a NEW CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS!!!
As unbelievable as it sounds, Russia is threatening to setup positions in Cuba and Valenzuela if NATO doesn’t capitulate to Russia’s demands! To make things worse, the current regime in Washington has chosen to make a mockery of Russias very real threats!
Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrA9JX9eYeM

RUSSIA and NATO may HELP form a NEW EU!!!
You can’t make this stuff up!!! It’s hard to believe how fast so many things are coming together, but once again, it should not come as a surprise! the Bible NEVER gets it wrong and this story is no exception.
Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqIzRIz7hmc

This FRACTURE may change EVERYTHING!!!
It’s amazing to see the NATO countries beginning to change their tune as thier disagreements become more apparent. It may be, that if things continue in the current trajectory, we may see a new alliance comprised of the military of European nations that will form the revived Roman Empire!!!
Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNU7VnRsaMk

The ALLIANCE is SPLITTING and the world is CHANGING!!!
With Don Stewart and James Kaddis!!! More than a month has passed by since Russia attacked Ukraine and it’s painfully obvious that Europe doesn’t have the same stomach for war that Putin has. NATO appears to be fracturing, and Russia was just given a lifeline by the president of the United States. More and more we see evidence that God’s word is true and Jesus is coming soon!!!
Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtyjHkK3x2E

RUSSIA is SMARTER than most people THINK!!!
Make no mistake, there is a method to Russia’s madness. I[m no apologist for Putin, but let’s be honest and at least admit that he’s a very smart man. His plans to dismantle NATO have been successful so far and his motives for what he’s doing in Ukraine are slowly being communicated.
Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vos_0VOMBWc

NATO may fail! Next: Revived ROMAN EMPIRE!!!
The NATO Alliance continues to show evidence of the fact that it is splintering and now they claim they will commence operations to “reset.” It’s not looking pretty and things are getting worse!!!
Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_eNAeSscT


Former intelligence officer warns Putin could force NATO into war

In an exclusive interview with 60 Minutes on the border of Ukraine, former defence planner and intelligence officer with the British Army Philip Ingram says if Putin takes control over Ukraine, NATO has essentially given the ‘bully’ what he wants.

[ 60 Minutes Australia ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt3_0ZnJdzY


“NATO given ‘opportunity’ to ‘crush’ Russian army”

President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Ukrainian military have given NATO countries the opportunity to “crush the Russian army in Ukraine,” says Former US Army Vice Chief of Staff General Jack Keane.

“What better deterrent does NATO have than that,” Gen Keane told Sky news host Andrew Bolt.

“That the army would be crushed and they wouldn’t be able to think about conducting a further … attack into a NATO country for a number of years until they recovered from that kind of debacle.

“All NATO nations should see that as in their national interest to help the Ukrainians defeat the Russian military in Ukraine.”

[ Sky News Australia ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isRdTf1v0G4


“Why are they hiding THIS about Ukraine?”

Fighting heats up in Mariupol and there is debate about who is harming women and children in that region. We continue to discuss what is being oppressed so as not to over-simplify the war. Patrick Lancaster has been doing some amazing reporting that we highlight here.

[ Natali and Clayton Morris ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNRtc19GGFE


“NATO Analyst Reveals REAL Reason For The War in Ukraine”

[ Natali and Clayton Morris ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODei9VbPd7w


“Russians react to Finland joining NATO”

[ 1420 ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvjJsFCHXtM


“‘Russia and Iran are becoming a genocide coalition’ ALL ISRAEL NEWS Editor-in-Chief Joel Rosenberg tells Newsmax”

On nuclear negotiations with Iran, Rosenberg says: Biden is absolutely convinced that he understands how to conduct U.S. foreign policy. He is wrong

Russian President Vladimir Putin cannot afford to lose in Ukraine and lose face, ALL ISRAEL NEWS Editor-in-Chief Joel Rosenberg said in an interview with Newsmax on Monday.

“This raises a very significant risk that Putin is going to go genocidal using tactical battlefield nuclear weapons,” he said.

In his book, “Enemies and Allies,” Rosenberg quoted Putin’s own mantra: “You must hit first and hit so hard that your opponent will not rise to his feet”’ Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, however, did not fall in these lines, according to Rosenberg.

“I actually think that Putin has miscalculated very badly in Ukraine. He thought he was going to strike hard quickly… That’s his mantra. That’s his mission. Strike hard so fast that someone can’t get up. But he’s miscalculated. He missed he underestimated that Ukrainian resistance and resolve,” Rosenberg said.

With his back against the ropes, Rosenberg fears that Putin could be pushed to using extreme measures. He notes that the danger multiplies if Russia, as a nuclear armed power, would team up with “the genocidal regime in Iran” under the auspices of a new nuclear deal.

“The Iranian regime has openly called for Israel to be wiped off the planet, right off the map. So, the two of these matching up together, this is the genocide coalition forming. And that’s what makes it so dangerous,” Rosenberg explained.

Another concern of the ALL ISRAEL NEWS editor-in-chief stems from the White House itself.

“After 50 years in Washington, Biden is absolutely convinced that he understands how to conduct U.S. foreign policy. However, he’s wrong,” Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg invoked former President Barack Obama who said about his own vice president, “Never underestimate Joe Biden’s ability to F* up the situation.”

Rosenberg quoted former Defense Secretary Robert Gates who said, “I love Joe Biden, and if I had a personal problem, I would go to Joe Biden and I would trust him to help me. But when it comes to foreign policy and national security, the man has been wrong on every issue for the last 40 years.”

“Biden has been good on the Iron Dome system here in Israel and a few other things, but those are two of his closest friends warning about how Biden’s incompetence on foreign policy puts us in such a dangerous position,” he said of Obama and Gates.

[ Joel C. Rosenberg ]


“RUSSIA & THE MIDDLE EAST: THE RUSSIAN INVASION OF UKRAINE IS JUST A PRELUDE TO EZEKIEL 38-39”

Ezekiel 38-39 & Gog & Magog, and the Fight for Jerusalem

Jesus explained world events would be tied to Jerusalem in Matthew 24, where Jesus also saw a Jewish Temple rebuilt and part of the Tribulation events.

So for this to Temple to be built (that Paul, John, and Daniel also saw prophetically, with Christ), something must happen during the “times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24). That may be what we are seeing happening all around us in the world events touching upon the Nation of Israel.

Are we Living for Heaven Today?

As He taught on the End of Days, Jesus revealed that all of the magnificent buildings of Herod would become rubble. . . and that nothing on earth ever lasts; but Jesus came to His disciples with an offer of something they could become a part of that never ends.

Open to Luke 21:36 with me to see Christ’s application on prophecy, this is before we even look at our study tonight.

“Watch therefore, and pray always…” (Luke 21:36)

Pray is the word for beg, implore and beseech, it is an intense word! It was used after the chapter filled with prophecy and end times. Jesus was asking us:

What are you intensely asking (begging) God to be doing through your life that will last forever? That is what should most be on our hearts as we study an prophecy. Not whether our view is perfect and every detail is what will happen, it is whether we are living for what really matters!

One of our chllenges as students of the Bible is to study & search the Scriptures, seek to come to Biblical conclusions, and then wait.

We are called to do what the Lord left us to do, and not to spend all of our time speculating about what every possible news events has to do with the prophecies.

God is watching over His Word, He will perform it, and we are to be found faithfully doing what He left us to do!

Turn with me to Psalm 83.

Tonight we start with the Confederacy of Hate , a group of nations that seek Israel, but that never existed contemporaneously, ever in history. Yet God’s Word says they together seek to destroy Israel and end up like whirling dust.

The Confederacy of Hate

[ John Barnett ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEvpSi_5ufw


“Amir Tsarfati: TV7 Times Observer – Wars & Rumors of Wars: Biblical Prophecies”

Jonathan and Amir discuss recent world events in line with Biblical Prophecies for End Times, while emphasizing that only God knows the future.

[ Amir Tsarfati ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdj5jK71LIQ


“Prophecy Update | Russia, Ukraine, & The Battle of Gog & Magog | Ezekiel 38-39 | April 14”

Thursday April 14th Prophecy Update with Pastor Derek Neider.

[ Derek Neider ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=og4u2coQL94


“Signs Of The Times”

The Russian Bear is on the prowl.

[ Mark Hitchcock ]

Presentation: https://youtu.be/9TqPnet6peo?t=1606


“The War in Ukraine”

Prophecy Update – April 2022

[ Brett Meador ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeLQFtYIJuU


“Signs of the Times”

Prophecy Update – April 2022

[ Brett Meador ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyFOphKimsk


“Ezekiel 38: When God Defends Israel (Official Trailer)”

Ezekiel 38: When God Defends Israel, The Coming Russian-Iranian Led Invasion Of The Promised Land… This is the trailer for the 3-Disc DVD on the prophecies in Ezekiel 38 and 39.

[ Bill Salus ]

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=584dTVa45BY


“Amir Tsarfati: Gog and Magog”

Gog and Magog is a term used often to describe an end-times war. The Bible indicates that there will be two different wars with the same name. Only one of those wars you want to see and live through! Which one? When? Where?

[ Amir Tsarfati ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVZ5G31rfls


“Gog, Magog and Russia: Understanding the Biblical End Times”

Author Jeff Kinley breaks down why so many theologians’ eyes are on Russia. He dives into the Prophet Ezekiel’s writings on Israel, Russia and other nations — and explains how current events could play into the end times paradigm. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine upon us, this helpful explainer puts these events in context.

[ CBN News ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QI4bq-kZ7nA


“Amir Tsarfati – How current political situation plays into bible prophecy [Full Interview]”

Join as we talk with Amir Tsarfati about how America’s current political situation plays into bible prophecy.

[ KALO TV ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs6ux9qADNk&list=RDLVcdBi1m-TyAM


“Iran & Israel & End Time Prophecy — Part 1”

Jerry Johnston and Moira Brown sit down with Mark Hitchcock as he talks about Bible Prophecy and how it relates to the current events in Iran & Israel.

[ 100huntley ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djM0hldJWBE


“Iran & Israel & End Time Prophecy — Part 2”

Jerry Johnston and Moira Brown sit down with Mark Hitchcock as he talks about Bible Prophecy and how it relates to the current events in Iran & Israel.

[ 100huntley ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp1Wqje_I9k


“War and Bible Prophecy”

Ezekiel 38

[ Anthony George ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GCt_IcTX88


“Dr. David Jeremiah (3/14/2022) SPECIAL SERMON – Strong Russian Resurrection”

Strong Russian Resurrection.

[ Dr. David Jeremiah ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8brhFEhIptE


“Dr. David Jeremiah Special Sermon 2022 – ISLAMIC TERRORISM”

ISLAMIC TERRORISM – Bible Prophecy

[ David Jeremiah ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs1I3_b-750


“Dr. David Jeremiah AMAZING SERMON – How To Find Peace During The Storms Of Life”

How To Find Peace During The Storms Of Life

[ Dr. David Jeremiah ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-68_9oM5DM


“Dr. David Jeremiah URGENT MESSAGE – Understanding Our Place in Prophecy”

Understanding Our Place in Prophecy

[ Dr. David Jeremia ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1ViBhcNzFE


“Dr. David Jeremiah WARNING [ ECONOMIC SIGNS ] Nearer The Time Tribulation”

Nearer The Time Tribulation

[ Dr. David Jeremiah ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogFpetdkFko


“Dr. David Jeremiah WARNING MESSAGE -Financial Signs of the End Times”

Financial Signs of the End Times

[ Dr. David Jeremiah ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uX1lnKdKmoA


“Economic Chaos – A Financial Prophecy | Dr. David Jeremiah”

A cashless society. Microchipping people. Greed and discontentment are ever-present. Dr. David Jeremiah offers biblical insights and strategies for responding with a measured tone.

[ David Jeremiah ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NAw_XBUyKI


“‘Russia and Iran are becoming a genocide coalition’ ALL ISRAEL NEWS Editor-in-Chief Joel Rosenberg tells Newsmax”

On nuclear negotiations with Iran, Rosenberg says: Biden is absolutely convinced that he understands how to conduct U.S. foreign policy. He is wrong

Russian President Vladimir Putin cannot afford to lose in Ukraine and lose face, ALL ISRAEL NEWS Editor-in-Chief Joel Rosenberg said in an interview with Newsmax on Monday.

“This raises a very significant risk that Putin is going to go genocidal using tactical battlefield nuclear weapons,” he said.

In his book, “Enemies and Allies,” Rosenberg quoted Putin’s own mantra: “You must hit first and hit so hard that your opponent will not rise to his feet”’ Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, however, did not fall in these lines, according to Rosenberg.

“I actually think that Putin has miscalculated very badly in Ukraine. He thought he was going to strike hard quickly… That’s his mantra. That’s his mission. Strike hard so fast that someone can’t get up. But he’s miscalculated. He missed he underestimated that Ukrainian resistance and resolve,” Rosenberg said.

With his back against the ropes, Rosenberg fears that Putin could be pushed to using extreme measures. He notes that the danger multiplies if Russia, as a nuclear armed power, would team up with “the genocidal regime in Iran” under the auspices of a new nuclear deal.

“The Iranian regime has openly called for Israel to be wiped off the planet, right off the map. So, the two of these matching up together, this is the genocide coalition forming. And that’s what makes it so dangerous,” Rosenberg explained.

Another concern of the ALL ISRAEL NEWS editor-in-chief stems from the White House itself.

“After 50 years in Washington, Biden is absolutely convinced that he understands how to conduct U.S. foreign policy. However, he’s wrong,” Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg invoked former President Barack Obama who said about his own vice president, “Never underestimate Joe Biden’s ability to F* up the situation.”

Rosenberg quoted former Defense Secretary Robert Gates who said, “I love Joe Biden, and if I had a personal problem, I would go to Joe Biden and I would trust him to help me. But when it comes to foreign policy and national security, the man has been wrong on every issue for the last 40 years.”

“Biden has been good on the Iron Dome system here in Israel and a few other things, but those are two of his closest friends warning about how Biden’s incompetence on foreign policy puts us in such a dangerous position,” he said of Obama and Gates.

[ Joel C. Rosenberg ]


Russia and Ukraine – Clarity in the Chaos of War With Regard to Prophecy”

Everywhere we go today, people are raising questions and concerns about how everything we’re seeing worldwide relates to biblical prophecy. This message gives some biblical clarity to the chaos we’re seeing all around us.

[ Tony Evans ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epMeXh6IqZI


“Stepping Closer to Gog and Magog”

Tim Moore: Bill Koenig of World Watch Daily has for many years now possessed the keen ability to see patterns in world events, especially as they relate to Israel and America’s relationship with Israel. Bill has joined us to answer this poignant question: “What do you see in the near to intermediate future regarding Israel and America’s relationship with Israel?”

Bill Koenig: Let’s start with former President Trump’s administration’s efforts to make peace in the Middle East. It changed the whole dynamics of the Middle East positively by improving the Arab nations’ relationship with Israel by fostering normalization deals. I appreciated the normalization deals and accepted them, but my concern was it came at the expense of 132 Israeli communities. So, that is the bad thing. I believe that expense created some disruptions for the Trump Administration as well as for the Netanyahu Administration, and now neither administration exists.

But, the positive thing about the Abraham Accords is that it aligns Israel with some of these Sunni Arab countries, that for the most part they already had good relationships with Israel, but it was accelerated. As the result of former President Obama’s tragically flawed Iran Nuclear Deal, the Sunni Arabs had become greatly concerned that they needed intel intelligence, for their number one threat in the Middle East is Shiite Iran. Saudi Arabia, the old saying is, “Israel is going to be the first to be hit by a nuke, and Saudi Arabia will be second.” Well, a lot of people there believe that it will be Saudi Arabi that will be the first Sunni Arab nation to be nuked by Iran. So, that relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia stands very tenuously.

Most of the Sunni countries are petrified of a nuclear Iran and so they are going to run to Israel to gather their intelligence, build new relationships, and forge stronger cooperation. I think the normalization deal was very positive from that perspective.

Then there’s Turkey. Turkey has been nothing but a thorn in the side of Israel. Supposedly Turkey’s Erdogan now wants to improve his relationship with Israel, but I don’t trust Erdogan one bit.

Tim Moore: No, I don’t trust Erdogan either. I think that he has nationalistic Islamic ambitions so that he is going to try to make Turkey more and more radicalized than they’ve ever been since the Ottoman Empire. He’s flaunting some of his relationships with NATO and engaging in some very bad behavior in Syria. And so, that puts Russia and Turkey right on the northern border of Israel.

Events are poised for some very chaotic times! Now America has a president in Joe Biden who has been declaring that he’s going to restore the Iran Deal, and so he is going turn his back again on Israel.

Bill Koenig: Yes, the Biden Administration is already talking about organizing new Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, bringing William Burns of the CIA and few others from his administration who already have a history of operating in the Middle East. We know that these talks are going to go back to the old pattern of Two-State Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Supposedly the Biden Administration is going to start giving the Palestinian Authority hundreds of millions of dollars that we know will be going to all of the wrong people. It will be unfortunate, for the PA’s leaders are so corrupt, and the money will end up in the wrong hands. So, we’re seeing more of the same failed policies from the past.

I really appreciated the fact that President Trump moved the U.E. embassy to Jerusalem, and I don’t think the Biden Administration is going to undo that. They are going to accept that move as a reality and live with it. I just loved the Trump Administration’s acknowledgment that Israel has full rights to the Golan Heights despite the international community disliking that.

Then there may be enacted strong sanctions against Israel. Mordechai Kedar serves as one of the top Israeli intel guys, serving in the military for years, and who’s long studied the Middle East conflict. He said Iran was up against the ropes during the Obama Administration, but they threw him a lifeline that empowered Iran. Then Obama authorized a massive amount of money to be transferred to Iran — in the billions! Billions of dollars in cash were secretly transferred from the U.S. to Iran.

The Iran Nuclear Deal was a very bad deal. President Trump piled on some heavy-duty sanctions, and those sanctions were working. If the Biden Administration backs off Iran’s sanctions again, you can be sure that Iran is going to be bailed out again, which will make life more problematic for Israel’s survival in the Middle East.

Tim Moore: It certainly will. I am reminded often by Scripture to pray for the peace of Israel, not only right now, but that also means eternally. So, there will be no lasting and real peace, in spite of all these deals and accords offered by American presidents, until the Prince of Peace reigns in Jerusalem from Mount Zion on the throne of his father David. When Jesus Christ returns, Israel will have peace, and the whole world will be flooded by peace. So, even as we are commanded to pray for the peace of Israel, what that becomes is a prayer for the return of Jesus Christ — the Prince of Peace. While we advocate for peace in the Middle East right now, our prayer and our longing are for Jesus to return and reign and for peace to descend, not only upon Israel but on the rest of the world.

Bill Koenig: Absolutely! As fast as events happened in 2020 and even before that, but especially in 2020, now far into 2021, it could just be a matter of time before the Gog-Magog coalition as foretold in Ezekiel 38-39 forms. It’s all in God’s timing, though. A lot of these set up events — the catalyst or the hook in the jaw of the leader of the Gog-Magog forces could assemble at any time. Circumstances could accelerate quickly for the Iranian leadership to make a move on Israel and Israel responding to them as Jeremiah 49:35-39 prophesies.

We are now at a point in time with COVID and the precursors to the Mark of the Beast, with the political dynamics that are quickly falling into place, and with our country’s weak leadership, that the Gog-Magog War is just at the doorstep. I don’t think that there’s any doubt that Biden is going to be tested numerous times., and quite frankly, we all know that he’s not up to it.

Tim Moore: Bill, you mentioned “hooks in the jaws.” I pray the Lord doesn’t have to put hooks in people’s jaws to turn their heads and hearts toward Jesus Christ. I pray that we don’t live in a world where we have to be forced to bend the knee in order to see God’s calling.

Therefore, we turn our attention to godly things. Turn your study to God’s Word in order to understand the very prophetic events that we are speaking about. Then you can already be worshipping and longing for the soon return of Jesus Christ who is the Prince of Peace and our soon returning King. Godspeed!

[ Tim Moore ]


“Is Putin Mentioned in the Bible?”

On the Tipping Point show this week, I interview Rabbi Jason Sobel about where Russia is in bible prophecy.

[ Jimmy Evans ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWeIgg5aUzY


“Putin Doesn’t Know What’s Coming | Voddie Baucham”

Voddie Baucham explains God’s role in Putin’s attack on Ukraine.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8VTqvEYMjo


“Is Poland the next country in Vladimir Putin’s sights?”

Six weeks into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin’s armed forces have distinguished themselves not by their skill but by their savagery. The dictator’s soldiers have committed horrific war crimes against hundreds, and more likely thousands of innocent civilians. But while he watches Ukrainians suffer, Putin is also planning his next moves. And it’s here his weapons of choice are secrecy and surprise. Across Ukraine’s western border, the people of Poland fear they’re the next to be targeted. But as Nine News correspondent Mark Burrows reports, if the Russian leader thinks the Poles are unprepared for battle, he should think again.

[ 60 Minutes Australia ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rPe-Jt8QfU


“Middle East Meltdown 10. Ezekiel 38:6. March 27, 2022. Dr. Andrew Woods”

The Middle East Meltdown 010 – Ezekiel 38:6. March 27, 2022. Dr. Andy Woods, Sr. Pastor.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idZ3YFNYSVk


“Iran tensions could fulfill prophecies about the end of the world, some religious teachers say”

Smoke and flames have turned Australia’s skies blood-red, and wildfires still rage. Dozens of people died in recent floods in Jakarta, and Puerto Rico was hit with a series of earthquakes.

The torrent of troubling news swelled in the early days of 2020, as tensions with Iran flared after the United States killed Iran’s Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani in an airstrike in Baghdad. Late Tuesday, President Trump sought to ease Americans’ fears by tweeting, “All is well!”

But as conflict in the Middle East intensified and natural disasters struck, some voices are taking the opportunity to offer biblical interpretations. Religious teachers and authors, especially some conservative Christians, often draw on these kinds of current events as examples of how various predictions and descriptions in the Old and New Testaments could be coming true.

Many of these religious leaders view actions in Iran, a Muslim-majority country, as playing a special role in these predictions, which usually focus on the apocalypse, or the end of days.

California-based prophecy writer Bill Salus told viewers this week on the show “Prophecy Watchers” that “Iran is the elephant in the room in the Middle East … he’s the bully.” Salus suggested on the show that God is angry with the current Iranian leadership and that Christians should watch recent events as likely to fulfill biblical prophecies.

“I really do believe this is going to lead to other things,” Salus said. “This is number one on my radar.”

The popular Christian novelist Joel Rosenberg, who in recent years has led trips of evangelical leaders to meet with leaders in the Middle East, said that while he is cautious about saying that prophecies from the Bible are unfolding right now, he takes those forecasts from the Old and New Testaments seriously.

He interprets biblical texts such as Ezekiel 38, which describes a forthcoming war, as meaning that Iran will ally with Russia and attack Israel. And he says that Jeremiah 49, which describes the destruction of a nation, promises God’s judgment, as well as his eventual blessing, specifically on the nation of Iran. But, he says, Christians should not look at every flare-up as biblically significant.

“Unfortunately, there are a lot of prophecy nuts,” said Rosenberg, who attended McLean Bible Church in Virginia for two decades and now lives in Jerusalem. “These are people who have websites in capital letters, 90 exclamation marks, and it’s like: ‘Have some decaf, it’s going to be okay.’ ”

Hormoz Shariat, an Iranian-born Christian teacher who moved to the United States in 1979, teaches Iranians via a satellite channel. Through his Dallas-based ministry, Iran Alive Ministries, he says, he tells them about the biblical prophecies that include Iran.

“It prepares people to see a meaning in suffering that is now and wars in the future. It gives them hope that God will save Iran,” he said. “We could be in the end times. There are prophecies left to be fulfilled. I say: ‘I don’t know. It could be very close.’ ”

While some leaders are offering specific predictions about the end of days, others are sounding less apocalyptic in their teaching under Trump’s administration than they did in the past. That’s because many of them are pleased by his presidency, according to James Beverley, a research professor at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto and author of the forthcoming book “God’s Man in the White House: Donald Trump in Modern Christian Prophecy.” Trump has “eased the prophetic anxieties of his evangelical defenders” by advancing their religious liberties and granting some of their leaders access to the Oval Office, Beverley said.

The religious leaders who favor Trump, Beverley said, see him as the one chosen by God to restore Israel, resist globalism — as in his slogan “Make America Great Again” — and reverse what they see as the moral decay of America, particularly through policies to restrict abortion and crack down on illegal immigration.

But, Beverley wrote in an email, “even pro-Trump evangelicals can envision how Trump’s volatile nature could factor into the chaos envisioned in various apocalyptic scenarios.” He added: “The recent killing of the Iranian military leader led to a spike in prophetic chatter.”

On the website “Rapture Ready,” prophecy writer Matt Ward hints that the United States could be facing a world war moment with Iran.

“I have been watching the Middle East intently for 25 years now, and this is one of the most frightening set of circumstances I have ever seen,” he wrote.

Predictions about the end of the world tend to be more common among conservative Christians known as charismatics, who believe God uses signs and miracles in the modern world.

The widely read Charisma magazine recently published a piece comparing the recent events to Daniel 5, in which an ancient king is confronted with writing on wall that suggests his kingdom will be destroyed.

Date-setting and specific predictions about the end of days fueled sales of many books in previous decades, especially as the end of the second millennium was approaching. Hal Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth” from 1970 and the “Left Behind” series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins each sold tens of millions of copies. But as those dates came and went, many evangelical leaders learned to be cautious, Beverley said.

Still, many conservative Christians continue to show deep interest in end-time prophecy.

“What is alarming this year (the Australian fires, for example) fills the slot of the alarms of earlier times (the Y2K debacle or the creation of the bar code),” Beverley wrote.

Beverley said that some of the most popular prophetic teachers right now include David Jeremiah, Jim Bakker and Jack Van Impe, as well as Jonathan Cahn, a New Jersey-based author who uses fiction to spread his ideas, including last year’s “The Oracle,” which puts Trump at the center of God’s prophetic will.

Americans have different ideas about how the world will end, from nuclear war to zombies. Online pollster YouGov found in 2015 that 28 percent of Americans think the world will end in a nuclear war, 16 percent think it will end as a result of climate change, and 16 percent think it will end with a judgment day.

In some circles, climate change has stirred end-times fears, and Australia’s raging fires have prompted some observers to use apocalyptic language on the subject of climate change.

Republicans (20 percent) are much more likely than Democrats (12 percent) to believe that the world will end in a judgment day, according to the poll. Twenty-seven percent of Democrats said climate change will cause the world to end, compared with 5 percent of Republicans.

The apocalypse or dystopian futures have been popular tropes in mass media and fiction in recent years, in shows such as “Game of Thrones” and “The Walking Dead,” but the conversation has especially escalated since we entered the nuclear age, said Robert Joustra, an associate professor of international studies at Redeemer University College in Toronto and co-author of the book “How to Survive the Apocalypse.”

“ ‘Apocalypse’ holds up the hope for there being meaning and judgment for many people,” he said. “We reach for those concepts because they help organize our understanding of suffering and tragedy.”

[ Sarah Pulliam Bailey ]


“Puzzle Pieces – Russia, Israel, Ukraine”

Questions keep rolling into my mailbox. Over the last few weeks, the most asked Does this Russia/Ukraine thing have anything to do with Bible Prophecy?

The short answer is — indirectly, yes.

For the long answer, one needs to turn to Ezekiel chapters 38-39. Because names of nations change over the years, there is a need to compare Biblical maps with current-day maps to see who the players are.

Those invading Israel in the prophecy of Ezekiel are:

Modern name (Biblical name):

Russia (Magog).

Iran (Persia).

Meshech (Currently the southern part of Russia that reaches Turkey and Iran).

Tubal (The area of land east and north of Iran. Currently, five nations with “stan” at the end of their names. These nations include Afghanistan. The United States giving the country back to terrorists is probably a step in fulfilling this prophecy).

Ukraine (Gomer).

Turkey (Togarmah).

Ethiopia and Libya still have their Biblical names. Ethiopia and Libya still have their Biblical names.

From the wording of the passage, we can see that several things must happen before all the pieces of this invasion fall into place.

Russia is the clear leader, the one calling the shots, in the coming attack. Ukraine must either be allied with Russia or under Russian control to engage in an invasion with her. Therefore, any soon coming overthrow of Ukraine by Russia would satisfy that piece of the puzzle.

Another event that probably occurs before Ezekiel’s prophecy is the prophecy of Psalm 83.

If you notice in Ezekiel’s prophecy, there is no mention of Israel’s neighbors, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. Ezekiel’s attackers must march through these nations. The Psalm 83 prophecy has Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan invading Israel and being destroyed “as the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire.”

Looking at the history of hatred Israel’s neighbors have for her, it would be inconceivable to imagine Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan would not join the armies of Ezekiel. Therefore, the battle of Psalm 83 must occur first, with Israel winning and expanding her borders or a demilitarized zone imposed.

When the Russian alliance invades Israel, Israel is at rest. Ezekiel 38:11, “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.”

Since the day of her recreation, Israel has never been at rest. War and the threat of war is everyday life in Israel. Even when not at war, rockets fly into the nation, unrest is in the streets; it

is a constant daily struggle. No one feels at ease. The situation in the Middle East must change drastically in Israel’s favor for the prophecy of Ezekiel to come to pass.

I believe this peace that Israel experiences at the time of the Ezekiel attack is because of the victory of Psalm 83. I will not get into the long story of Psalm 83, but the signing of the treaty that starts the Tribulation Period is a direct result of Psalm 83.

Israel hands their protection over to a man instead of God by signing the treaty. Because their closest enemies are gone, and their security is assured, the nation finally feels at rest.

Once this happens, all the pieces of the Ezekiel invasion are in place.

Why would Russia lead this invasion? After Israel’s victory of Psalm 83, the Muslim nations of the area have a more incredible determination to see the destruction of Israel. The Bible says Russia wants “to take a spoil” (Ezekiel 38:12). Current speculation is that this “spoil” would be Israel’s natural gas and oil. This speculation is backed up by Genesis 49:1,25, “…in the last days…blessings of the deep that lieth under.”

Ezekiel 38:13 explains that the West will try to talk Russia and her allies from not invading. But talk is all they do, and conversation rarely stops an army set on destruction. The current situation with Ukraine may soon be a perfect example.

I believe the battle of Ezekiel 38-39 coincides with the sixth seal of Revelation (compare Ezekiel 38:20 with Revelation 6:15-17).

The result of the battle? Only sixteen percent of the invading forces survive (Ezekiel 39:2).

In the prophet’s words, Ezekiel 39:4-7, “Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beast of the field to be devoured. Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD. So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.”

Will the coming invasion of Ukraine by Russia cause WWIII? Probably not.

The Biblical alliances are forming. One last thing – Gaza and the West Bank fight against Israel in the prophecy of Psalm 83, so the Palestinians are involved as well. Once Russia takes over Ukraine, watch the relationship between the Palestinians and Israel’s neighbors. The final few puzzle pieces are about to be placed.

Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Website: http://www.preachers-point.com; Email: preacherspoint@gmail.com; Mail: 25 W 1200 N; Kingman IN 47952. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Timothy-Preacher-Johnson-101171088326638. All Scripture KJV

Snow is polarizing. People either hate it, or they love it. “I hate driving in the stuff!” “I can’t wait to get outside and build a snowman!” You get my drift (pun intended).

Here in my neck of the woods, it snowed from last Wednesday afternoon till about midnight Thursday night. People started emerging from their homes on Friday. Julie and I waited until Saturday.

Friday, while I was looking out the window, I wondered what the Bible says about snow?

Getting past the handful of verses describing skin with leprosy “as white as snow,” it gets interesting.

Job 37:6 tells us that God sends the snow. “For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.”

This verse brings me to a pet peeve of mine. The use of the term “mother nature.” Sorry people, but mother nature does not exist. God is in charge of the weather, the climate, and all things related to the beauty and devastation of nature. When we complain about the weather, we complain about God’s actions.

Back to the snow – Isaiah 55:10 explains how the snow helps the farmer and brings us bread to eat. “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater.”

The wisdom of Solomon explains that the absence of snow in the summertime is an example of the lack of honor a fool receives (Proverbs 26:1).

The following example of snow in the Bible reminds me of when I was in the Army. Two of us were riding in a jeep, and the windshield wipers stopped working. It was not raining, but there had been recent snow, and the roads were wet. Gook would fly onto the windshield from passing vehicles, and every so often, we would pull over grab some clean snow from the side of the road to wash the windshield. Snow is an excellent cleanser. Job 9:30, “If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands sever so clean.”

The next verse we will look at is 2 Samuel 23:20, which speaks of Benaiah, who “slew a lion in the midst of a pit in the time of snow.” The verse does not mention blood, but can you imagine all that red blood in the white snow?

Benaiah’s slaughter of the lion brings us to a transition. The Bible uses snow as an example of the cleansing made by blood.

Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

God can take our sins and make them as white as snow. I mentioned the cleansing by blood earlier, so how is this possible?

Revelation 1:5. “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.”

We are all sinners; therefore, we are guilty.

The Bible explains that forgiveness of sins and salvation is tied tightly to the blood. Hebrews 9:22, “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Leviticus 17:11 “… it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”

Tie it all together – our sins can be washed whiter than snow – the purging of sin and atonement is by the blood – it is Jesus’s blood that washes our sins away.

Sin cleansing only through the blood of Christ is why Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth,and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Ever tell a lie? Ever had a bad thought? Ever hate someone? The list goes on; we have all transgressed God’s law. God knows we cannot keep the law. That is why the law provided a way of salvation through the blood of the sinless sacrifice – Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.

Once we place our faith in the blood of Christ for the washing away of our sins and the salvation of our souls, the Holy Spirit moves into our heart, and salvation is ours.

We cannot do enough good to get right with God. Romans 3:28, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

Place your faith in Jesus Christ, not on your good works or religion.

Just as the snow melts, we will all pass away (Job 24:19). When you die, will you pass from this life justified, cleansed, washed by the blood of the Lamb? The choice is yours.

[ Tim Johnson ]


“Joel Rosenberg: Is The War of Gog & Magog Coming?”

Is it possible that we are witnessing Old Testament prophecies being fulfilled? Having researched the subject for more than 20 years, Joel C. Rosenberg provides helpful insight on the prophecy concerning Gog and Magog found in Ezekiel. He outlines who the modern-day players are, including Russia, Iran, Sudan, and Turkey, what parts of the prophecy have already come to pass and which pieces appear to be falling into place now.

[ Joel Rosenberg ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvo2IQGPdOs


“Joel Rosenberg: Putin’s Ukraine Invasion Is Bible Prophecy?”

Do Americans believe Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the COVID pandemic are Biblical signs of the “Last Days”? Joel C. Rosenberg and co-host Dr. Carl Moeller reveal the surprising results of an exclusive poll commissioned by The Joshua Fund that answers that question and more.

[ Joel Rosenberg ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkSKrFy1Rdw


“The Threat Of World War III And The End Times (Prophecy Points)”

Hey everybody, Greg Laurie here, with some thoughts on what is happening in Ukraine right now, this is a serious situation. As you know, if, a NATO nation is hit by Russian missiles or is attacked in any way that triggers a NATO response and the United States is of course a part of NATO. Thus we could find ourselves in direct conflict with the Russians.

If we were to establish a no-fly zone, for instance, over Ukraine, and President Putin has even threatened to use nuclear weapons. Now, I haven’t heard of something like that since the sixties, when I was a little boy and we would climb under our desk for bomb drills. This is serious and it can cause a lot of anxiety.

Jesus said in the last days there would be distress of nations with no way out. Everything is so vulnerable right now. And anything could happen to just set off a series of events that we do not want to see happen. So here’s what I would like to ask every Christian to do. It’s time. To pray.

We need to pray for divine intervention. You know, the Bible says the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord. So that’s our king or our president, President Biden. That would be Russia’s leader, President Putin, that would be President Selinsky in, uh, Ukraine and others in positions of leadership. We need to pray for these people and pray that God guides them and directs their steps and that they make the right decisions.

[ Greg Laurie ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUIMLuszuZ4


“Ezekiel 38-39: The War Of Gog & Magog”

The Founder and Chairman of The Joshua Fund, Joel C. Rosenberg, teaches on prophecy concerning the War of Gog and Magog from Ezekiel 38 & 39 during an Epicenter Briefing Conference.

[ Joel C. Rosenberg ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8sygu7iZPY


“War of Gog & Magog & Israel’s Regathering”

From Episode 018: The War of Gog & Magog is Someday in the Future | Listen to episode eighteen of Inside The Epicenter With Joel C. Rosenberg, a podcast from The Joshua Fund, where you find your podcasts. This teaching is from October 2019.

[ Joel Rosenberg ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KJh8Xs90hk


“Is The War of Gog & Magog Coming?”

Is it possible that we are witnessing Old Testament prophecies being fulfilled? Having researched the subject for more than 20 years, Joel C. Rosenberg provides helpful insight on the prophecy concerning Gog and Magog found in Ezekiel. He outlines who the modern-day players are, including Russia, Iran, Sudan, and Turkey, what parts of the prophecy have already come to pass and which pieces appear to be falling into place now.

[ Joel Rosenberg ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvo2IQGPdOs


“Is The War of Gog & Magog Coming? Part 2”

Is the prophecy in Ezekiel 38 & 39 about Vladimir Putin and possibly what’s happening in Ukraine?
Joel C. Rosenberg and co-host Dr. Carl Moeller address the growing speculation that Putin and Russia are at the center of Ezekiel’s Old Testament prophecy of Gog and Magog.

Rosenberg provides clarity on the subject, having researched this topic for more than 20 years, and gives listeners answers about “Last Days” events and what prerequisites are now in place for those things to happen.

[ Joel Rosenberg ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rh-kG_aS4yk


“Middle East Meltdown 11. Ezekiel 38:7-9”

[ Dr. Andy Woods ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0jeYsrSBP4


“What’s Ezekiel 38, The War of Gog & Magog Mean For Israel?”

From Episode 018: Ezekiel 38:1 | Listen to episode eighteen of Inside The Epicenter With Joel C. Rosenberg, a podcast from The Joshua Fund, where you find your podcasts. This teaching is from October 2019.

[ Joel Rosenberg ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=393FnL3buC8


“A Summary of the Book of Ezekiel”

What is the Book of Ezekiel all about? If you would like Ezekiel explained, an outline of Ezekiel, an overview of Ezekiel, or a summary of the Book of Ezekiel, you’ve come to the right place! In this Survey of Ezekiel video, Pastor Nelson with Bible Munch offers a “Summary of the Book of Ezekiel.”

[ GotQuestions ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PQX-yK7_Ms


“Understanding Gog and Magog”

[ Rapture Forums ]

– Part 1: https://www.raptureforums.com/ezekiel-38-39/understanding-gog-and-magog-part-1-of-7/

– Part 2: https://www.raptureforums.com/ezekiel-38-39/understanding-gog-and-magog-part-2-of-7/

– Part 3: https://www.raptureforums.com/ezekiel-38-39/understanding-gog-and-magog-part-3-of-7/

– Part 4: https://www.raptureforums.com/ezekiel-38-39/understanding-gog-and-magog-part-4-of-7/

– Part 5: https://www.raptureforums.com/ezekiel-38-39/understanding-gog-and-magog-part-5-of-7/

– Part 6: https://www.raptureforums.com/ezekiel-38-39/understanding-gog-and-magog-part-6-of-7/

– Part 7: https://www.raptureforums.com/ezekiel-38-39/understanding-gog-and-magog-part-7-of-7/


“The Gog/Magog War – Ezekiel 38-39”

[ Rapture Forums ]

– Part 1: https://www.raptureforums.com/ezekiel-38-39/gogmagog-war-ezekiel-38-39-part-1/

– Part 2: https://www.raptureforums.com/ezekiel-38-39/gogmagog-war-ezekiel-38-39-part-2/

– Part 3: https://www.raptureforums.com/ezekiel-38-39/gogmagog-war-ezekiel-38-39-part-3/

– Part 4: https://www.raptureforums.com/ezekiel-38-39/gogmagog-war-ezekiel-38-39-part-4-conclusion/


“Exploring Ezekiel 38”

Bill Salus burst on the prophetic scene a few years ago with a focus on a handful of the Bible’s ancient, Old Testament prophecies. From his interpretation of the upcoming Psalm 83 War, to the Iranian, “Nuclear Boomerang” prophecies of Jeremiah 49, and then the “Doom of Damascus” prophecies in Isaiah 17 . . . Bill has developed quite a faithful following. And for good reason. He has a heart for the Gospel and the lost. Now, we may be standing on the verge of another area of Bill’s intense focus, the coming Russian/Iranian attack on Israel . . . the Battle of Gog and Magog. Only time will tell if we are there, but you will definitely want to hear what Gary and Bill have to say about the future! Inquiring minds want to know.

[ Bill Salus ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPwMaD1kK8o


“Setting the Stage for Ezekiel 38”

Bill Salus has been one of our favorite guests since we first met almost 10 years ago. Bill has created a chronological timeline for the Bible’s future prophecies, many of which were written over 2,700 years ago! And here we are today, watching in amazement, as the nations fall into their long-prophesied positions and these ancient “war prophecies” appear ready to spring to life. The Bible predicts a series of future battles between Israel and several countries in the news today … Russia, Iran, Turkey, Syria, along with a few other long time enemies of Israel. Do these future wars happen before or after the rapture? Will we see the Russian/Iranian invasion of Israel? Or the destruction of Damascus? Will Iran acquire nuclear weapons? Gary and Bill have the answers!

[ Bill Salus ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKDg74-jHt4


“The Aftermath of Ezekiel 38”

Scripture tells us that the nation of Israel is God’s timepiece. When God restored them to their Land in 1948 after some 1900 years in exile, the prophetic clock began ticking at a faster pace. I’m sure you’re familiar with the word Armageddon, the final battle we see described in the book of Revelation. Armageddon is a time in the future when Israel is surrounded by all the armies of the world and facing annihilation.

[ Bill Salus ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-4IVvrkseA


“The Coming Ezekiel 38 War”

Scripture tells us that the nation of Israel is God’s timepiece. When God restored them to their Land in 1948 after some 1900 years in exile, the prophetic clock began ticking at a faster pace. I’m sure you’re familiar with the word Armageddon, the final battle we see described in the book of Revelation. Armageddon is a time in the future when Israel is surrounded by all the armies of the world and facing annihilation.

[ Bill Salus ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7cSmQkvon0


“Prophecy Update: Russia, Ukraine and Ezekiel 38”

Join Mondo Gonzales as he skypes with Bill Salus concerning the latest developments in the Middle East.

[ Bill Salus ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHfwn8JDnHI


“Ezekiel 38: Gog and Magog: The Day Russia Invades Israel”

Outside of the Battle of Armageddon, the War of Gog and Magog, prophesied some 2600 years ago in chapters 38 and 39 of the ancient book of Ezekiel, stands out as the 2nd most prominent end-time prophetic war featured in Scripture.

Ezekiel tells us that in the latter days, a group of armies from the “uttermost” north will orchestrate a massive sneak attack on Israel. At the time, Israel is said to be dwelling in relative security in a land without walls or bars. A shocking outcome awaits the enemy, as God breaks his silence and destroys the invading armies in a supernatural way. It’s a miraculous rescue mission and it leaves our world and the Jewish people changed forever.

Bible prophecy experts, Mondo Gonzales and Bill Salus, have produced an exhaustive, verse-by-verse study of these two critical chapters of Scripture, covering complicated scenarios that have caused Christians great confusion over the years. This 3 hour set of DVDs answers the questions we all want to know.

[ Bill Salus ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jo6neARf0mE


“Israeli’s Believe Ukraine is a Sign for Iran’s Future”

For many years, Vladimir Putin has complained about the injustice of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the loss of Russia’s rightful hegemony of the former Soviet Republics. In 2005, he said “the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century… Tens of millions of our citizens and fellow countrymen found themselves outside the Russian Federation.” The world watched him take northern Georgia (2008), Crimea and eastern Ukraine (2014), and did little about it. He took the measure of America during the Afghanistan retreat and read the polls of the American people’s appetite for foreign engagements. The dictators watched closely when the US did not respond to attacks on its soldiers in Syria near al Tanf.

Putin watched, learned and acted. The authoritarian President Xi Jinping in China, the Revolutionary Shi’ite Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his Republican Guards henchmen, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, are all watching. They are now analyzing and strategizing the best time to invade Taiwan; attack the Gulf states; let loose proxies in Gaza, Yemen and Lebanon; confront India, and threaten the Far East.

Authoritarian birds of a feather flock together, vocally supporting Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. During the unprovoked assault, Putin met with Pakistani Prime Minister Khan, while President Xi of China offered his support of Russia. The “Butcher of Tehran,” Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi told Putin, “The continued expansion of NATO is a serious threat against the stability and security of independent countries in various regions of the world.” The Iranians know that the US desperately wants to rejoin a weakened nuclear deal. It is an agreement that demands absolutely no restrictions on Iran’s expansionism; its support of aggressive proxies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen; or any limits on Iran’s terrorism, human rights abuses or missile development. The lesson of Ukraine for Iran is to hold out for more, as America under this administration is perceived not as a superpower but more of a 98-pound weakling.

As Yoav Limor, writing in Israel Hayom, says, “The lesson for the world is broader: Without resolve, the familiar global security order will crack. The Russian invasion of Ukraine poses dangers that could extend beyond the immediate battlefield, potentially changing the world security order for the worse.”

The Israelis are watching closely and know that their national security is in worse shape than just a month ago. The lesson of Ukraine for Israel is that it must rely on itself by itself, and that is the message most other nations will also take. With a new nuclear agreement whose feeble restrictions on nuclear development will evaporate in just a few years, it means that Israel will need to act sooner rather than later to strike Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Ukraine is the flashing signal telling Israel it has to go it alone regarding Iran. The weak western response to the naked Russian act of aggression has increased the chance for regional and global wars.

Unlike the rest of the world, Israel believes what its adversaries say. Supreme leader Khamenei has called for the destruction of the Zionist entity on innumerable occasions: “Our stance against Israel is the same stance we have always taken. Israel is a malignant cancerous tumor… that has to be removed and eradicated: it is possible, and it will happen.”

What is the Ukrainian connection to the Middle East? Russia is also the leading outside power in the region with the influence and desire to recreate the Soviet sphere of influence in the Levant and North Africa.

Russia has solidified its military status with new naval facilities at Tartus and an upgraded airbase at Khmeimim, both in Syria. It now projects on-the-ground military power from its bases in Syria into the eastern Mediterranean, affecting Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, Israel, the Gulf States and Egypt. Those Russian bases are close to the Black Sea and Crimea and in range of the Suez Canal, the Straits of Hormuz and Bab-el Mandeb – gateways and choke points of the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.

Appeasing Iran with a weak nuclear agreement in 2015, forgetting about previous Russian hegemonic invasions in eastern Ukraine (2014) and Georgia (2008), and ignoring China’s moves in Hong Kong and the South China Sea, were signboards for the dictators to move now or in the near future.

America’s poor leadership on the global stage, rhetoric with evaporating red lines, and an isolationist sentiment are a perfect storm to ignite regional wars in the Far East, Mideast, Eastern Europe and southern Asia. America is a nation that has lost its way, looking more like America in the 1930s, which ignored the rise of Hitler and Japan until there was no choice. When Emmanuel Macron is the most decisive leader in the West, you know that your adversaries will take notice and act.

To avoid war, you need the means to fight and for your enemies to believe you have the will to use them. America has the former, albeit somewhat hollowed out in recent years, and lacks the latter.

Unless things change, by 2030, Xi will be in Taipei. Israel will have struck Iranian nuclear facilities, and Hezbollah and Hamas will have sent tens of thousands of missiles into Israeli civilian areas.

PRAY: Pray for the protection of Israel. Pray for the return of strong American leadership on the world stage.

[ Dr. Ed Hindson ]


“Days of Chaos”

Attitude is the ever changing political landscape is Iran’s quest for nuclear power. This quest has put an enormous strain 90 entire region as Saudi Arabia, which is mostly made up of the majority Sunni wing of Islam, eyes the Iranians in the majority branch of the Shia Islam with fear and suspicion. It is no secret that the Arabians would love nothing more than to topple what they believe is the corrupt westernized Saudi government and establish a Shia caliphate across the region. Coupled with this is Russia’s backing of Orion and her involvement with the nation, as well as in Iran’s quest for nuclear power. This leaves Israel as the one, loan democratic form of government in the area.

Turkey, which at one time was friendly towards Israel, has changed its alliance and is now what I would describe as hostile towards Israel.

With a Russian bear supplying Iran, Syria, and other nations in the region, it makes me wonder when, no if, a war will erupt.

Can the Iranians make their intentions any clearer? The sworn enemy of Iran is Israel, and they are getting very close to achieving their nuclear ambitions, which, by the way, a gas mask won’t help with in the slightest. It would appear that the United States will not get involved in stopping Iran’s nuclear ambitions; so that leaves Israel hanging out there in the wind, and that wind is most likely to be the wind of war.

The Shia believe is that in order for the last Mahdi to manifest, there must be chaos. The Iranians are calling the so-called Arab spring a fulfillment of their prophecy about the Mahdi. They want Jerusalem rid of the Jews so they well at some point attack– It’s only a question of when. When this happens they will bound the straight of Hormuz and the gate of tears and the joke off about 40% of the worlds oil supply. This, combined with perhaps the destination of a few dirty bombs in the United States, will throw the already fragile global economy into chaos period

The United States is again negotiating with Iran about their ongoing nuclear program. Why is the United States administration choosing to ignore the thousands of Iranians who chance”Death to America, death to the Jews”?

Benjamin net and Yahoo, the previous Prime Minister of Israel, would you continually say that if Iran gets the bomb it would pose a direct, existential threat to Israel. However it seems to be falling on deaf ears for this current United States administration, in spite of all the warnings and protestations to the contrary.

[ L.A. Marzulli ]


“Palestinian Leaders Inciting Violence Against Israel, Raising Fears of Another War”

JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel hit Hamas targets inside the Gaza Strip overnight after terrorists fired a rocket into Israel for the first time in months. The attack represents the latest incident in a wave of terror attacks that could put Israel on the brink of another war.

After the rocket attack, Israel announced it had struck a Hamas weapons manufacturing site, saying the Iron Dome system knocked down the incoming missile. The confrontation follows weeks of Ramadan-inspired terror attacks inside Israel that left 14 dead, dozens more wounded and led to days of rioting on the Temple Mount.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett accused Hamas of inciting the violence.

“I view with utmost severity the remarks accusing Israel of the violence directed against us, and there are those who are encouraging rock-throwing and the use of violence against the citizens of the state of Israel. This is unacceptable to us. This is a reward for the inciters, especially Hamas, which are trying to ignite violence in Jerusalem,” said Bennett.

Itamar Marcus of the Israel-based NGO Palestinian Media Watch told CBN News back in February that PA leaders called for popular resistance.

“We already warned about this in February…that the Palestinian Authority (was) looking toward this period and literally calling for violence,” says Marcus.

He continues, “Now what does that mean? Now that means all the PLO leadership, all the PA leadership are calling for violence of individuals with knives, with guns and especially focused on the Al Aksa Mosque. So, this is coming from the top.”

Marcus says Palestinian Authority leaders like the PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ top Islamic advisor have called for religious violence during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

“Ramadan is not a month of laziness but rather a month of activity, of effort, and of hard work and as it also was in the life of the Prophet, a month of Jihad, conquest and victory,” said Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Supreme Shari’ah Judge. “Palestinians hear this. They say, oh, Allah expects me, Mohammad expects this of me. I’ve got to be violent. I’ve got to get the infidels. I’ve got to do conquest just like Mohammad.”

During this Passover holiday that coincided with Ramadan, Jews have been attacked in Jerusalem’s Old City, Palestinians have thrown rocks at buses carrying Jews to the Western Wall, and stockpiled stones on the Temple Mount, where the Al-Aqsa mosque has been the epicenter of clashes with Israeli police.

On the official PA TV prayer for Ramadan, an imam declared, “Allah, liberate the Al-Aqsa mosque from the defilement of the evil Jews.”

“Palestinians are very religious people,“ says Marcus.“Ramadan is the most important month of the year. They’re being told by Palestinian religious leaders, ‘Allah expects you to fight against the Jews…the ‘evil Jews.’ Liberate Al-Aqsa from the defilement of the evil Jews.’ When Palestinians hear this, they feel in order to be a good Muslim, they’ve got to attack Israelis, supposedly in defense of Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

It’s all something that’s happening from the top. Palestinians wouldn’t be collecting stones if they weren’t be directed from their leadership to do this,” Marcus added.

He says a western audience needs to know what’s behind the violence.

“Let people see what Palestinians are telling their own people and let them realize this is not a spontaneous thing. It has nothing to do with Israel’s behavior. It’s all violence that the Palestinian Authority orchestrated.”

[ Chris Mitchell ]


“Amir Tsarfati: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly News”

When we turn on the television, it seems that all we see is bad news. There is a reason for that – the world is quite literally falling apart. And maybe the ugliest news of all is that it’s not going to get any better. Yet, in the midst of the dark, there is always light, so, yes, there is good news, too. In his new teaching, “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly News”, Amir Tsarfati pulls no punches laying out the state this world is in. But he also reminds us that with God there is always hope, and he spells out in detail the wonderful news that awaits those who follow Christ.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28FeMWQcjr4


“What in the World is Going On? | Awaiting His Return”

Session 3 from “Awaiting His Return – Oxford 2022” Bible Prophecy Conference – Amir Tsarfati teaches a message titled “What in the World is Going On?”. Amir Tsarfati is the founder of Behold Israel.

[ Amir Tsarfati ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0zXVsat9ic


“David Jeremiah: Where Do We Go From Here? (LIFE Today)”

The author and pastor looks at current events through the lens of a pre-tribulation, futurist eschatology. Air date December 8, 2021.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tOlNp1Wy7U


“Interview with Dr. David Jeremiah | Where Do We Go From Here?”

For years, Dr. David Jeremiah has devoted a portion of his teaching to biblical prophecy. But never before has end times prophecy aligned so closely with current events.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl8o08XYpU0


“Is This The End? Interview with Dr. David Jeremiah & Sheila Walsh”

Dr. David Jeremiah sits down with guest host Sheila Walsh to discuss the disturbing events of the world we live in, and how we as Christians can still see the providence of God through it all.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cj-4NZbiCpY


“The Rise of Russia and the End Times | Luke 21 & Ezekiel 38”

The Bible says that Jesus is coming again! Jesus gives a list of events in Luke 21 to help us recognize certain indicators that we are drawing near to His Return. Among those things, Jesus says, will be “wars and commotions” and that “nation will rise against nation” and “kingdom against kingdom.” In the current war between Russia and Ukraine—an unprovoked attack by Russia against a sovereign nation—people have questions about whether this pertains to the End Times. Ezekiel 38 tells us that Russia will be the predominant player in a military campaign against Israel in the future. Join Pastor Gary as he shares about “The Rise of Russia and the End Times.”

[ Gary Hamrick ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cADgJ-gB4Fw&list=PL3ivXQIw5AwFP0QsHIUmdoghe2uXOWcqy


“Ukraine and Bible Prophecy”

We’re all aware of what’s happening over in the Ukraine right now. They’re under attack from Russia, and people have asked the question, “Is there any significance to all of this prophetically?” Let me pull the camera back and say this: I believe we’re living in the last days. I believe Christ could come back at any moment.

There are signs of the times the Bible tells us to be looking for. And in fact, Jesus likened it to labor pains in a woman who’s ready to give birth, the idea being the closer they get together, the closer you are to the birth. And as we see more signs—more things happening—they’re reminding us Christ is coming back again. Let’s go to Matthew 24.

What did Jesus say? “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6 NKJV). So this is war at a scale we have not seen in a long time. But let me look at another thing in Matthew 24. It talks about plagues being around us in the last days (Matthew 24:7). If the coronavirus is not a plague, I don’t know what it is. It’s a global plague.

Also, I would add that the Bible warns of a world leader that will come and dominate and deceive people but ultimately reveal his true colors. And he’s called the Antichrist. I believe a lot of this government overreach, imposing themselves on their people, is a sign of what is going to come later when Antichrist emerges on the scene.

Russia in Bible Prophecy

But let’s come to the situation in the Ukraine. Many Bible scholars believe in the Ezekiel 38, as it speaks of Magog attacking Israel, that that is modern day Russia. I could go and talk about that for, you know, 30 minutes, why they believe that’s true. I happen to agree with them, but it says in Ezekiel that the Jewish people will be scattered and regathered in their land again.

We know, during World War II and after the Holocaust, Jewish people from around the planet began to return to their land. And Israel officially became a nation on May 14, 1948. So that part of their prophecy has been fulfilled. But then scripture says a nation from the extreme north of Israel will march on her called Gog and Magog.

If you look on any map, you’ll see that is the geographical area of Russia. Ukraine used to be a part of the Russian Empire. They broke off in 1991. Are they going to be part of Russia again? Could be. But the one thing that I think of is that when I see the aggression of Russia or Magog, if you will, it’s a reminder that that’s what we’re going to see when Magog attacks Israel.

What Should We Do?

So Jesus said, “When you see these things begin to happen, freak out!”

No, he didn’t say that. He said, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28 NKJV). Here’s the bottom line and takeaway truth: Bible prophecies are being fulfilled in our lifetime. It seems like we’re seeing more things happen in real time, closer together, as the Scripture said they would be.

What should we do? We should look up, and we should remember that God is in control. And we’ve read the last page of the Bible, the last page of Revelation, and we win in the end.

Let me also add this: Let’s all be praying for the people of the Ukraine. They’re going through a time of great suffering right now. Pray for them. Pray that God gives to our leaders wisdom as they’re making very important decisions in the days ahead.

[ Greg Laurie ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwMegTvUTWc


“Are We Living in the End Times? Greg Laurie on Bible Prophecy Amid Chaos”

Are the end times upon us? This has been a central question among Christians for the past two millennia, though recent events have once again catapulted eschatology to the theological forefront. Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, is among the most well-known preachers in America. He’s also more than willing to discuss what Scripture says about the end of days — an oft-times avoided or played down topic in some houses of worship. Hear him explain why it’s essential to understand Bible prophecy.

[ CBN News ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgAVBVin8_w


“Signs of the End Times”

Are you ready for Christ’s return? For 2,000 years, followers of Christ have been looking for His prophesied reappearance. Could the heightened turmoil in today’s world be a sign that it is imminent? What should we be looking for? Join hosts Mart DeHaan and Jimmy DeYoung as they explore what the Bible says about Christ’s return. If He is coming soon, we should all be ready.

[ Our Daily Bread ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VC_JMPLkJRE


“The Days of Reckoning”

There has been a lot of discussion over the past couple of years regarding not just the fate of America in the last days, but Christians in America. From a biblically prophetic standpoint, there is no mention in scripture of a nation like the United States of America in the last day’s geopolitical panorama. Adding credence to this rather profound argument from silence is the seemingly ever-increasing list of existential problems currently facing our nation: the plandemic, the government’s unconstitutional handling of said crisis, the intentional stoking of racial tensions, the southern border crisis, insurmountable national debt, military, and diplomatic incompetence, skyrocketing inflation, global supply chain challenges, and the relentless push by communists and sexual perverts to dismantle the nuclear family — yes, America’s problems are piling up with no end in sight!

Even non-believers are seeing this, and are beginning to ask how this all ends. Hollywood and the entertainment industry are trying to answer, and are bent on capitalizing on the whole apocalyptic ‘end of the world’ genre as if there is no tomorrow (pun intended). Deemed as entertainment, Hollywood and the entertainment industry have taken on the new role as a global dealer, peddling out myth and fantasy to both desensitize and distract an increasingly anxious and panicky general public.

As it were, the political and military think tanks (the “grown-ups”) have also been dealing myth and fantasy for decades, confidently prophesying that America will remain strong. Some of the more provocative ones have tacitly mentioned a soft decline by the mid- 21st century, but none predicted our current trajectory. In fact, most of them now predict a soft-landing sometime in the 2040s to 2050s. Few (if any) publically announced the wheels coming off the bus as early as the 2020s for fear of losing their Washington D.C. bona fides. In fact, the only two non-religious groups who have been repeatedly calling for our doom and gloom over the past twenty years (with about the same track record I might add) are the gold and silver hustlers, and the environmentalist wackos. Both are in the ‘fear-business’ and both keep updating their date-setting charts for when they think the world is going to end.

Nevertheless, the average (awakened) American knows. They know the shine has worn off and that the new car smell has faded. The average American knows the country they were raised up in, is not the same country we are in now. The average American, who is actually paying just a little bit of attention to what is going on in the world, is finally realizing this with a growing sense of terror. The fear of our national collapse went straight from impossible to inevitable without ever pausing at improbable.

So how do things end for America from a biblical standpoint? Is it a day of reckoning, or is it days? Is it a sudden overthrow, or a drawn-out period of phased collapsing? Perhaps its a bit of both. I like the quote from Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 book, The Sun Also Rises, in which the character (Mike Campbell) says:

“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.

“Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.”

And who’s fault is it? The Democrats? The Republicans? The Globalists? The Deep Staters? The Church?

All and none of the above.

Yes, we are all at fault, but God foreknew this and He set the times, seasons, and boundaries by which nations would live. And yes, the Church, by and large, needs to wake up; however, this is not solely on the back of the churches. God will not hold this nation faultless given all the blood we’ve spilled on the altar of abortion (+70M). We can pray and ask God to perhaps delay that day of reckoning so more can be saved, but that window is quickly shutting. Events are moving so fast in the world now, that the sheer weight of its prophetic-geopolitical momentum cannot be slowed, save God slows it.

Given what Scripture says about the last day’s geopolitical construct (and it says a lot), and the fact we aren’t mentioned, means there are really only two serious options for our nation. The first is quick and sudden. The second is painfully drawn out over time, and then sudden. For the sake of argument, I’ll include a third, fourth, and fifth scenario, but these are highly unlikely as standalone, pre-tribulation events.

Option A — Divine Crisis: In this scenario, things continue on (in our increasingly deteriorating world) as they always have until the Lord suddenly, and without warning, removes His bride, the Church, from the earth at the Rapture. While all, true, born-again Christians are removed from around the world at this point, the 30M Christians (est. 10%) removed from the United States sets in motion a series of cascading global calamities.

First, it collapses the world’s only true superpower nation, the United States of America. This then collapses the world’s reserve currency, the US Dollar. This then upends the global economy. This then creates a power vacuum within the geopolitical power structure that other nations (say Russia, Iran, and China) quickly seek to fill. This event may or may not coincide with an existential natural calamity such as the eruption of the Yellowstone Supervolcano, or a massive geological event such as the Juan de Fuca Subduction Zone and/or the New Madrid Seismic Zone.

Option B — Consequential Tragedy: In this scenario, after suffering numerous, existential blows to the economy, the constitution, and to the morale of the American people, our nation finally begins to fracture. In response to either the tyrannical federal overreach and/or our skyrocketing inflation, a popular uprising (the people’s revolt) rises up across numerous cities and states prompting some federal response in the form of martial law. There could also be some kind of fracturing between the states and the federal government, fomenting talk and acts of secession, which also triggers a draconian reaction from the government. At which point, the military and law enforcement agencies across the nation also become divided, causing mass desertion and lawful insurrections against unlawful commands.

Both the saved and unsaved are impacted at this point, and while deprivation becomes the norm, persecution against Christians will be territorial, largely depending upon the predominant population groups of a particular area. IOW, persecution against Christians will depend on where in the US you live. The US begins to implode from within and causes global markets to lose confidence in the USD which prompts the immediate abandonment of its global reserve status. This upends the global economic and geopolitical order, and ultimately, our dissolution as a constitutional republic triggers a power vacuum causing competing powers to fill. At this point, adding insult to injury, God then issues the order for the Rapture.

Option C — The third possibility is purely a natural disaster-type scenario. If the Juan de Fuca Subduction Zone becomes active, it could trigger a massive earthquake, tsunami, and/or volcanic activity in the Pacific Northwest. The same could be said for the Yellowstone Supervolcano, or the New Madrid Seismic Zone. If our end came about through this type of scenario, this means either God allowed it or chose not to stop it as a form of punishment for the sins of this nation. Think Pompeii on steroids. In this scenario, both the saved and unsaved are impacted equally. However, I personally do not believe this to be a viable option as a standalone event before the Rapture, and I’ll list my reasons below in the assessment.

Option D — The fourth possibility is in my opinion, the most unlikely. It is where another nation, or coalition of nations, strikes the US through a series of coordinated, multi-domain attacks (e.g., information warfare, cyber-attacks, EMP, nuclear, etc.), but this is far less likely. For all its faults, the US still has the most dominant military on the planet. Why would the enemies of the US attack her and risk another Pearl Harbor moment when they could just watch her fall apart internally? Why risk rallying the world’s most dangerous nation? Again, it could happen, however, I do not see it happening prior to the Rapture. Nevertheless, I put this on here simply for the purpose of acknowledging it could happen, however unlikely.

Option E — The fifth possibility, is the “Extra-terrestrial Option” with ‘little green men’ (or whatever they disguise themselves as) making some huge, public arrival on our planet. Now, I believe ETs are actually demonic entities and will make an appearance, they will do so after the Rapture, not before.

Assessment
Both Option A and B have a lot of pros and cons. The pros for Option B are that we are witnessing our national breakdown in real-time. The cons against it are that it seems to not coincide with how the Bible says the days are just prior to the Rapture. Therefore, we must weigh (as in giving importance to) the pros and cons against what Scripture says (or doesn’t say) regarding this time we are living in. Let us go to the passages which set the context for these last days and see which is most likely to play out.

“And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” – Luke 17:26-30 (my emphasis)

In this passage, Option A is the most obvious choice, primarily, because it strongly suggests a sense of normalcy existing in the world prior to the Lord’s return at the Rapture. Clearly, the world will be anything but normal at the time of the Second Coming, so this must portend to the Pre-Tribulation Rapture time-frame. Note that Jesus isn’t focusing His message on the wickedness of the world (although we know it was very wicked back then) and He wasn’t focusing on the supernatural/occult conditions (although we know that world was saturated with it). Rather, He focused on the normal occurrences that have been in every generation. Buying and selling, eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, and so forth. These are signs of normalcy, not of desperation or calamity. Here is another passage that correlates with this same theme of normalcy.

“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 (my emphasis)

Here again, we see this sense of normalcy in the world. Things are one way, then suddenly, destruction strikes with a vengeance. In fact, Paul goes out of his way not to just contrast the distinctions between peace and safety, and sudden destruction, but also between the “you” “we” “they” “them.” If this were a standalone passage (i.e. not connected to any particular doctrine), I would say that this ‘sudden destruction’ could mean pretty much anything natural or man-caused. But, because it is injected within the context of the doctrine of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture (1 Thess. 4:13-5:9), it is the suddenness of the Rapture itself which catches the world off-guard. One more passage correlates with this same theme.

“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” – Revelation 3:10 (my emphasis)

I know this passage isn’t directed specifically at the Church in America. However, it is directed to all churches within our present dispensation known as the mystery kingdom. Furthermore, it is one of the clearest passages regarding the fate of the Church in the last days by none other than Jesus himself. Things will become more stressful and difficult for the Church in the last days, particularly those who Jesus considers “Philadelphian.” However, we don’t see the same sense of foreordained martyrdom for Philadelphia as we did for Smyrna.

Now, a lot of arguments could be made for Christians around the world who are currently suffering from severe persecution. This does not diminish or denigrate in any way their present trials. However, the collapse of say, Pakistan or Iran (take your pick of Christian persecuting countries) would not trigger the same global effect as the collapse of the United States would. The only way the US gets to that point of mass persecution against Christians is if our whole system collapses. Just because California wants to go full-tilt crazy against Christians, doesn’t mean Texas or Florida will. That’s just a safeguard of our separation of powers. Thus, the only trial that could come upon the ‘whole world’ (as indicated in Rev. 3:10) are those trials that are global in nature. The only trial we’ve had of this kind so far is the 2020 plandemic. Even then the response has been varied depending on where you live.

Therefore, if the US collapsed (for whatever reason), that would trigger a worldwide crisis, simply due to the expansive nature of US involvement in nearly every facet of life on earth. Thus, as the fate of America goes, so goes the world. The United States through both divine providence and human machinations has intricately interwoven itself into nearly every economy, every technology, and every geopolitical consideration since World War II. It’s hard to imagine a situation where the US doesn’t have some kind of stake in it. Granted, this ‘staked interest’ is currently eroding away rather quickly under our current administration, nevertheless, it’s still there. Parenthetically, we are also the world’s greatest roadblock to global governance. Hence, our removal as the world’s global superpower has to change before the end can come.

Conclusion
“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” – Acts 17:26-27 (my emphasis)

Given our present economic and societal woes, it’s tempting and natural to want to jump on the Option B bandwagon. At the rate things are going here in 2022, it’s natural for us to want to conclude given our national trajectory, we will implode first causing months/years of increasing economic deprivation and persecution before our final deliverance at the Rapture. It’s natural to conclude that Christians will once again, given the mad-dash towards globalism, suffer under the bootheels of antichristian totalitarianism. It’s natural to think that way because, for most of the Church’s history, that’s the way its been. It’s a natural and logical deduction…were the Rapture, not also a reality we have to factor into our planning. But it is. And we just happen to be that generation alive when all of the converging events (the two thousand year cycle, Israel back in the land, the push towards globalism, technology, lawlessness, etc.) are coming to a head.

To a finer point though, had our present situation (globalism on steroids) begun back in 2016, say, under a Hillary Clinton administration, I would say that Option B (national collapse/Christian persecution in America) would have already happened.

But that’s not how things turned out.

I believe the Trump presidency served as a final ‘grace period’ for our nation. No one, not even he, believed he would actually win the 2016 election. It still boggles the mind. Moreover, had fraud not played a definitive role in the 2020 election, he would still be president. Therefore, it’s my assessment that God allowed Trump to win for two specific purposes — 1) finalize the status of Jerusalem as Israel’s ancient and eternal capital in the eyes of the Gentile world, and 2) expose the rottenness of the Deep State embedded within our government. And because we know God is longsuffering that none should perish, the extra time also allowed more souls to be saved, all of which, is a win-win-win for God.

Another reason why I don’t believe our nation will collapse prior to the Rapture is that human government’s destiny is not set to continue indefinitely. Throughout Scripture, God has always operated with a structured timeframe in mind— whether we are talking about the days of creation, the antediluvian period, the dealings with the Israelites, and with the Gentile nations. Mankind has always operated under the divine parameters of God’s prophetic calendar. Our day and age is no exception.

Given the past two-thousand-year cycles, and the fact we are approaching the two-thousandth year mark of our Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection, all these things (the Church Age) are about to come to their conclusion anyway. That is not just my opinion but is scriptural.

“And they (the Jews) will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” – Luke 21:24 (my emphasis)

“For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” – Romans 11:25 (my emphasis)

“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” – 2 Thess. 2:7-8 (my emphasis)

Let me conclude with this. I know the times are growing dark and evil is on the rise, and lawlessness seems to be winning the battle. They are, it is, and it will…however, the battle is not the war. God is still in control, not just over the nations, but also over every micro-transaction that takes place every single second of the day. There is nothing that escapes His watchful eye, and He has already seen the end, so none of it is a surprise to Him. And just as God is perfectly longsuffering, He is also perfectly just. In His justness, a day of reckoning must come upon the earth. This includes the opening salvo of removing the world’s current superpower.

Although many might scoff at the notion of the Rapture as pure escapism; that we shouldn’t escape this coming judgment just because we are Americans, this misunderstands the context of the situation.

American Christians aren’t any better than other Christians from around the world. In fact, our generation (alive) of believers aren’t any more or less holy than any who have come before us. If you are a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, yours and my holiness aren’t even in question. We are covered in His blood, not our own good works. If that weren’t so, none of us would deserve heaven. Rather, God has afforded us to live in the moments right before His return. This is both a tremendous honor and a terrible privilege (i.e., being a watchman).

And if we are in Him (if you are born again believer- you are) then there is nothing, nothing in this life that can touch you without His say so (remember Job). And if something does affect or impact you negatively, then it will be worked out for His glory, and He will arm you (and I) with the tools to overcome these things. Do not mistake my confidence in God’s plan for overconfidence in my own abilities. I am nothing more than a mortally weak, morally frail, blood-bought sinner saved by grace. I am not confident in my own strength, because I know I have none. I am confident in God’s plan for my life and have to wholly rest in His strength. When we do that, it takes the weight off our shoulders, and back onto His, where it belongs. Because only He is strong enough to carry it. In closing, remember this

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ… For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” – Philippians 1:6, 3:20-21

[ Pete Garcia ]


“The Great Illusion”

Understanding Russia and China’s penchant for violent revolutions, shadowy secrecy, and a multi-generational distrust of the west, why would these two nations announce to the world a ‘no limits’ partnership at the beginning of the 2022 Beijing Olympics? Was this simply to give the current world order a giant middle finger, or is there something more nefarious at play? Or both?

Given Russia’s ongoing military provocations in Ukraine and China’s ominous threats towards Taiwan, it would seem this is far more serious than just bluster. But it begs a huge question, as to why they would paint a bull-eyes on their own backs by making a public announcement like this? If military conquest was always their intent (Ukraine, Taiwan), why tip their hand? Haven’t they read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, chiefly that all warfare is based on deception? Why telegraph your moves before you make them?

I think the question is answered with the sober realization that the US is on its way down, and although we may not recognize it, other nations have. I think we are seeing the same level of respect now from Russia and China that the Germans showed the British between the 1930s and 1940s. Ironically, instead of a Neville Chamberlain, we have a Joseph Biden. So perhaps the question regarding China and Russia’s telegraphed actions isn’t why now, but rather, why not?

Now, this article is by no means giving an excuse for what Putin has done in Ukraine, or what China plans to do in Taiwan, but if we are looking at provocations as objectively as possible, then the street goes both ways. As far as autocratic threats, has the West taken a good hard look in the mirror to see how it’s handled the draconian pandemic response, its medical mandates, and increasingly Orwellian censorship of free speech and assembly?

Assessment
In 1910, Angell wrote a book titled “The Great Illusion.” In it, he wrote that industrialization, modernization, and capitalism disincentivized war between modern western nation-states. He reasoned that because the cost of war was too high, thus unprofitable, war was unlikely to ever happen again. Even the periodical of note at that time, the Economist, was smitten. In 1913, they heralded, “War Becomes Impossible in Civilized World.” However, by June of 1914, the world would be engulfed in its First World War.

The theory championed then by Angell was similar to the one we hear being bantered around today. There has never been a war between two countries with a McDonald’s in them. Nonsense. As a matter of record, there are 60 McDonald’s franchises in Ukraine, and 847 in Russia. Somehow, the sway of the “Golden Arches” was not enough to quell the expansionist desires of one Vladimir Putin any more than a single mcnugget would appease the hunger of a ravenous bear. Apologies upfront for the length of the quote, but I needed to set the context by quoting from this amazing 2014 article titled, “World War One: First war was impossible, then inevitable.”

The real “Great Illusion,” of course, turned out to be the idea that economic self-interest made wars obsolete. Yet a variant of this naïve materialism has returned. It underlies, for example, the Western foreign policy that presents economic sanctions on Russia or Iran as a substitute for political compromise or military intervention.

The truth, as the world discovered in 1914 and is re-discovering today in Ukraine, the Middle East and the China seas, is that economic interests are swept aside once the genie of nationalist or religious militarism is released. As I pointed out in this column, Russia has in past conflicts withstood economic losses unimaginable to politicians and diplomats in the Western world — and the same is true of Iran and China.

Though historians continue to debate World War One’s proximate causes, two key destabilizing features of early 20th-century geopolitics created the necessary conditions for the sudden spiral into all-consuming conflict: the rise and fall of great powers, and the over-zealous observance of mutual-defense treaties. These features are now returning to destabilize geopolitics a century later…

Today, Russia is a declining power and China is rising, while the United States is trying to maintain the 20th-century balance of power, with Europe and Japan as junior partners. Under these conditions, both rising and declining powers often conflict with nations currently in control…

Rising and declining powers naturally tend to unite against the status quo leaders. In 1914, for example, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire did this against France, Britain, and Russia; today it is logical for China and Russia to collaborate against the United States, the European Union, and Japan…

…Which brings me to the clearest lesson from 1914: the pernicious nexus of treaties and alliances that commit great powers to fight on behalf of other countries. This turned localized conflicts into regional or global wars — and did so with terrifying speed and unpredictability…

Consider this statement by General Sir Richard Shirreff, formerly NATO’s second most senior military officer at a debate about Russia: “Everyone surely agrees that we would be ready to go to war to defend Britain’s borders. Well, as a NATO member, Britain’s borders are now in Latvia.”

It may seem almost impossible that Washington would go to war against Beijing to defend some uninhabited Japanese islands. Or against Moscow over some decrepit mining towns in Donbas, if Ukraine ever joined NATO. In early 1914, though, it seemed almost impossible that Britain and France would go to war with Germany to defend Russia against Austria-Hungary over a dispute with Serbia. Yet by June 28, war moved straight from impossible to inevitable — without ever passing through improbable. Four years later, 10 million people had died. (my emphasis)

A century ago (to the year) after the Bolsheviks officially cut ties with their Tsarist past, a dying Vladimir Lenin handpicks Josef Stalin to be the new secretary-general of the Bolshevik party. He would go on to become one of, if not, the greatest tyrants of the twentieth century. Here again, a century later, we see the shadowy pretenses come off as another Vladimir (Putin) removes all pretenses of going along to get along. The era of coexistence between the East (Russia and China) and the increasingly globalist-west, is over.

The Timeline To Conflict (Abbreviated)
Author’s note: For the sake of brevity, if the leader’s title says “Pro-NATO” assume significant cooperation and progress towards NATO membership. Pro-Russian, then a pulling away from the west towards Russia.

1991: Collapse of the Soviet Union

1991-94: Presidency of Leonid Kravchuk (1991-94) NATO relations were formally established in 1992 when Ukraine joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council after regaining its independence (this was later renamed the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council)

1994: Ukraine was the first post-soviet country to conclude a framework agreement with NATO in the framework of the Partnership for Peace

1994-2005: Presidency of Leonid Kuchma (Pro-NATO)

2004: Orange Revolution (this was caused by massive election fraud and corruption for pro-Russian presidential candidate-Yanukovych). Election overturned, re-voted, and Yushchenko elected

2005-10: Presidency of Viktor Yushchenko (Pro-NATO)

2008: Russia invades Georgia, creates to pro-Russian quasi-states

2010-14: Presidency of Viktor Yanukovych (Pro-Russian) – fled to Russia amid the Euromaidan uprising in Feb 2014

2014: Euromaidanuprising (Dec 2013-Feb 2014)

2014: (August) Russia invades and takes over Crimea

2014-19: The Interim Yatseniuk Government takes over

2014-19: Presidency of Petro Poroshenko (Pro-NATO)

2018: NATO added Ukraine in the list of NATO aspiring members

2019: Presidency of Volodymyr Zelensky (Pro-NATO)

On 14 September 2020, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky approved Ukraine’s new National Security Strategy, “which provides for the development of the distinctive partnership with NATO with the aim of membership in NATO.”

2021: (April) Russia begins buildup of troops on Russian-Ukraine border

2022: (Feb 24) Russia begins an invasion of Ukraine from three sides (East, North, and South)

Motivations
Russia: So what was the straw that broke the Russian camel’s back? Aside from the unceasing push of NATO eastward, and the relentless wooing of the West to Ukraine, it would seem it was President Zelensky’s unabashed intentions to join NATO. But national security concerns aside, the two underlying reasons behind the why of Putin’s obsession with Ukraine are these in order of precedence:

  1. Reuniting Ukraine back into the Russian sphere of control and influence (i.e. Alexandr Dugin’s Fourth Political Theory of a greater Russian Eurasia)
  2. Ukraine, and more importantly, Kyiv, holds religious and historical importance to Russia and the Eastern Orthodox faith, which means they are equally important to Putin
  3. Keeping EU dependent upon Russia for energy (natural gas)
  4. Russian influence domination of the Middle East

Ukraine: Clearly, western Ukraine’s motivation for NATO membership is collective protection from the West. Zelensky, and other pro-NATO president’s don’t want what happened to Georgia, to happen to them. Thus, they have played the over-eager candidate to an uninterested suitor all these years. The motivation from the West would be to hold off on Ukraine membership for another 20-25 years if possible. Ukraine carries with it a lot of baggage in the form of political and economic corruption, contested territories (Donbas Region) in the east, and a guaranteed war should they be accepted into NATO. This is something the rest of NATO is willing to take on at the present.

United States: The US motivation is to weaken Russia’s influence in Europe, primarily in the way of energy dependence. Nordstream 1 provides somewhere around 40% of Europe’s energy (natural gas) needs. Nordstream 2 pipeline would have provided another 40%, making 80% of Europe’s energy imports dependent upon good to fair relations with Russia. That was an unacceptable proposition for the Americans from Obama to Biden.

China: The People’s Republic of China, like Russia, are tired of the West running the world. For them, this is their century to dominate and feel like they are on the cusp to take it. From their belt and road initiative (BRI), to their stratospheric buildup of science and military, they are (as of 2015) considered a near-peer threat to US hegemony. They study history and know that just as all the European powers rose and fell, America is in decline and we are funding (through imports) their ascendancy. Financially speaking, the US could do little to hurt China. However, China has its own existential problems, like the massive gender imbalance in the population (male to female), aging populations, shady financials, non-existent transparency, and weakening markets in the west.

The West: The western world has largely decided to boycott and ban any dealings with Russia. International corporate giants like Nike and Apple have also genuflected a standing away from any dealings with Russia. This author is curious to know if these same companies will remain true to their convictions when China takes over Taiwan. Furthermore, with Russia siding with them, it’s likely our sanctions won’t hurt the Russians either. The priorities for the West largely lie with windmill threats (think Don Quixote) like man-caused climate change, social justice, white supremacy, and a million other politically correct issues. With a weak US president at the head of Western Civilization, and an aging military incapable of sustaining two major simultaneous conflicts, along with a host of European boutique-armies, the Chinese, Russians, and Iranians realize that now is the time to strike.

Globalists: For those dedicated New World Order types like the Rockefellers, Obamas, Clintons, Bushs’, Rothschilds, Soros, World Economic Forum devotees, Bilderbergers, Club of Rome, etc., this current crisis is the best of all possible scenarios. This is just a theory, so I’m not wholly wedded to it, but it seems plausible to say the least. If I were an NWO type, and I needed American subservient, and the two other global malcontents either neutralized or substantially weakened, I would just pit the three against each other and watch them destroy themselves. Sounds like the plot right out of the movie, The Sum of All Fears.

Macro View
Even more than the above-mentioned motivations is the question of global dominance between post-nationalist entities like Russia and China, and the globalists. The West wants to usher in the “Great Reset” and the United Nation’s Agenda 2030, but Russia and China are having none of it. That is why George Soros recently turned against China in a very public way, and why the World Economic Forum is solidly standing behind Ukraine and Zelensky.

There are two visions for the way ahead according to the world. There is the coming global government, and the multi-polar super-states with Russia and China at the helm. At least, that is the way men like Putin and Xi Jinping see it. For them, this is the World War I moment, except, they have all the momentum behind them. They see the US in decline and are beginning to make their moves to accelerate that decline.

They know the US Dollar (the world’s current global reserve currency) is on the outs, and they are trying to stay ahead of the curve. They are minimizing their ties and debt to the dollar, and are ready to bring online their own Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) to take the place as the global reserve currency.

Conclusion
“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” – Mark Twain

The great illusion isn’t that the economies drive peace, or that the US is in control (it isn’t and we aren’t). The great illusion is not economical or even geopolitical. It’s the biblically derived conclusion that unredeemed men think they are running world affairs. Regardless of whether you are an Egyptian Pharaoh, Babylonian King, Roman Caesar, US President, or global dictator, man does not control anything, but God. He sets the boundaries and the times for which nations rise and fall, not we mere mortals.

According to Scripture, there are two major wars left to happen. The first is the Gog-Magog War, and the second is the Armageddon Campaign. I tend to side with the Andy Woods Version of the players and actors in Gog-Magog, which means, Rosh (proper noun) means Russia, Magog (the nations formerly aligned under the Soviet Union) as well as the African, Turkish, Persian, and Asian cohorts joining in on the invasion. And these do so with no one to stop them.

Although the EastMed Pipeline Project is suspended, for now, it is my understanding that somehow this pipeline project eventually comes to fruition. It will begin shipping Europe’s energy needs from the Israeli Levant Basin through Cyprus, to Greece, and into southern Europe will come to supplant the defunct Nordstream pipelines. This, along with Israel’s tactical strikes against the Iranian nuclear project will certainly be enough cause to turn Russia’s ire to the south. They will turn their focus against Israel, and they will find no shortage of Israeli enemies that will join in the fracas, only to find out, that they are no match for God’s divine providence.

This brings the question back to my original point of why we are seeing what we are seeing with regards to Russia and China. The question really boils down to either why now or why not? I’ve always subscribed to the idea that given the exceptional nature of our nation’s existence, the US collapse at the Rapture of the Church is what triggers the global order to be overthrown in the blink of an eye. And I still believe that. However, if what I said is true with regards to the nations today, then our day of redemption must be all the sooner. Because in Ezekiel 38-39, God’s focus is not on the Church (where it is today), but back on this covenanted land and people, to whom He owes, seven final years.

“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;” – Acts 17:26-27

[ Pete Garcia ]


“IRAN-RUSSIA-ISRAEL–GOD WANTS US TO KNOW HIS PLANS FOR OUR FUTURE AS WE LIVE AT THE END OF THE WORLD”

What do Daniel & Ezekiel Say about: Israel’s Rebirth, Russia’s Invasion, Islam’s Everlasting Enmity, and the End of Days?

Ezekiel was a classic Biblical prophet:
It was through Ezekiel, God communicated powerful truths:
• The truth that Jerusalem and Israel are the epicenter of God’s plan and purpose in the End Times.
• The truth of the rebirth of the State of Israel in the End Times.
• The truth of the return of the Jewish people to the Holy Land in the End Times.
• The truth of a coming season of security and prosperity for Israel in the End Times.
• The truth of an apocalyptic showdown between Israel, Russia, Iran and a group of other nations in the epicenter in the End Times.
• The truth of the cataclysmic judgment of Israel’s enemies in the End Times.
• The truth of the supernatural rescue of Israel in the End Times.
• The truth of the salvation of the Jewish people in the End Times.
• And the truth of the building not just of a 3rd Temple in the End Times but a 4th Temple, too, from which the Messiah will reign.
These are vitally important truths for Christians, for Jews, indeed for all people in our time. Yet they are rarely taught.
Why not?
Dr. Mark Hitchcock, author of an excellent resource book – The End: A Complete Overview of Bible Prophecy and the End of Days (over 500 pages) – notes that:
• 28.5% of the Old Testament are prophetic verses
• 21.5% of the New Testament are prophetic verses
• All told, some 27% of the Bible are prophetic verses
Without question, prophecy is central to the Holy Scriptures. Yet very few pastors, priests or ministry leaders are teaching Bible prophecy today.
First, to reveal that the God of Israel is all-mighty, all-seeing, all-knowing God of the universe.

[ John Barnett ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1iLJc9oQRw


“Israel’s Interest in Ukraine Goes Beyond Ukraine”

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s visit to Moscow made him the first Western leader to sit down with Russian leader Vladimir Putin since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. The visit was highly significant for Israeli interests. Although Israel, like most countries, is concerned about the humanitarian toll on Ukraine, there is a long-term strategic angle to the Bennett trip, which includes Russia and Iran.

One of the most misguided comparisons made in the West about the Russian invasion of Ukraine is the drawing of a parallel between Ukraine and Israel because Ukraine has a Jewish president. Israel is a Jewish state with a Jewish identity. This is certainly not to undermine the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, but Ukraine is not Israel. Ukraine has a .4 to.5% Jewish population which Israel has not abandoned. Israel is resettling many Jewish refugees from Ukraine — and from far beyond. In fact, Israel has found itself so overwhelmed in its generosity, that the exceptional flow of refugees has prompted Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to revamp a “more balanced” policy. A full 90% of the refugees arriving in Israel are ineligible to immigrate, according to Israel’s Law of Return.

Aside from Israel’s concern for human life, which it consistently proves (from medically treating Palestinian jihadists to its rescue response during the great Haitian earthquake of 2010), its strategic interests in the Russia-Ukraine crisis cannot be ignored. Four months ago, Israel and Russia were collaborating together on the common goal of ousting Iran from Syria, and established a “deconfliction hotline to keep the sides from getting tangled up and accidentally clashing over Syria.” This was despite the long history of cooperation between Russia and Iran. Israel’s interest in keeping Iran out of Syria is an Israeli priority, given that Iran has been entrenching itself near the Syrian border with Israel, prompting Israel to launch a new phase in its campaign to protect itself from Iran’s jihad against it, as well as Iran’s proxies, such as Hezbollah.

Israel’s association with Russia still holds Israel’s priority during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

It is also a disservice to Israel for anyone to muddle Israel’s identity with Ukraine due to the Jewish identity of the Ukraine leader. Ukraine has a concerning reputation: a horrific history of persecuting Jews. It currently grapples with a big corruption problem, a Nazi problem, a World Economic Forum problem, and the long-time influence and interference of George Soros’ Open Society Foundation.

Benjamin Netanyahu was rather wise to instruct his government to “be quiet on Russia” and focus on Iran — the archenemy of Israel. So when Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett flew off to the Kremlin to try to broker peace, informed intuition should have registered that there had to be another salient matter at hand in Israel’s interests since the whole world is trying to broker peace. And indeed there is. Outside of global politicking, it is a requisite that Israel focus on its survival — which Iran threatens. According to a BBC article:

Israel has significant relations with both Russia and Ukraine…. But Mr Bennett was flying into something he sees as strategic in the crisis. “Israel has also developed frequent dialogue with the Russians, or ‘our neighbors to the north’ as one official reportedly referred to them recently. Russia controls the skies over Syria, where Israel routinely carries out air strikes. It says it targets weapons transfers and militants linked to Iran, the country it sees as an existential threat.”

Although the BBC report states that “the relationship dynamics of one regional crisis are becoming entangled in another,” the Russia-Ukraine crisis bears a gargantuan impact on the entire world. The interests of every ideology is in some fashion wrapped up in this crisis: Democracy, Nazism, Communism, Globalism, and Islam. In the meantime, innocents are suffering, so hopefully a peace deal can be brokered quickly. For those who also have interests in Israel’s survival, Netanyahu’s advice should not be dismissed.

[ Christine Douglass-Williams ]


“IT DOESN’T STOP IN UKRAINE–RUSSIA ALSO INVADES JERUSALEM, THE MOST MENTIONED PLACE IN THE BIBLE”

The war in Ukraine is just part of the staging for the BIG event. Russia has been on deck to mount a future invasion of Israel from the time of Ezekiel 2,600 years ago writing down God’s Word from ancient Babylon. The inexorable grind of the prophetic gears continues unstoppably to this moment.

WATCH UKRAINE–but keep your eye on JERUSALEM. That’s the REAL target that Satan will never stop until he ravages it at the END.
Jerusalem is God’s Countdown Clock for Humanity’s Survival

When Jesus told His disciples and us about the future he built every word of it around one spot on earth. In theological circles, this message (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21) is called the Olivet Discourse. Jesus framed His words about the rest of the history of this planet by the sight of Jerusalem in all its earthly glory spread in front of Him.

Look again at Christ’s very first words in Matthew 24:2. All that He says about His second coming is introduced by those words. He said keep your eye on Jerusalem. I am ascending from the Mount of Olives (the center of Jerusalem then and now) and I am returning to the Mount of Olives.

That is why understanding God’s plans for Jerusalem is key to interpreting God’s Word correctly.

[ John Barnett ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xDhr9XV2-Y


“Israeli Strategic Analyst Breaks Down Russia’s Move Into Ukraine”

On today’s Watchman Newscast, host Erick Stakelbeck is joined in northern Israel by Israel Defense Forces Reserve Major and strategic analyst Elliot Chodoff, who breaks down why Russia’s move into Ukraine has major implications for Israel–as Iran and its allies watch closely to see how the world responds. Will a successful Russian invasion embolden the Iranian regime and accelerate its terror campaign in the Middle East?

[ Erick Stakelbeck ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVi1xNprkFg&list=RDLVcdBi1m-TyAM&index=28


“Will Russia Draw U.S. & NATO Into War Over Ukraine? | Inside The Epicenter Ep. 39”

Prophecy Update: Did Rosenberg predict THIS geopolitical crisis? Warships and artillery are amassing on the border of Ukraine. Tensions globally are high as the threat of Russia and rumors of war linger. What does Joel think will happen, and how does he see his role in all of it?

[ Joel C. Rosenberg ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I3IesjRst8

“Let’s be clear: Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is not about the rapture and Russia in biblical prophecy”

As soon as “Russia” and “war” are mentioned in the same sentence, all the premillennial, rapture, tribulation, Armageddon believers are on high alert.

The Rapture Index (yes, there is such a thing) is at 186. The all-time high for the index is 188. The index tracks 45 categories. One of those categories is Gog.

In the code language of the rapture believers, “Gog” is Russia. Most mainline Christians roll their eyes at the mention of the rapture and the prophecies of the end of the world. This is a categorical mistake, because almost half the members of Congress are end-time rapture believers.

“Their constituency’s cherished beliefs may lead to the most dangerous and destructive self-fulfilling prophecy of all time,” according to Glen Scherer in “The Godly Must Be Crazy.” Estimates of the number of rapture believers in the United States vary from 60 million to 100 million. From his now eternal vantage point, Scherer may see that the godly have flown over “the cuckoo’s nest.”

Dispensationalism and Pat Robertson
As background, consider a summary of what the rapture believers are preaching: Dispensationalism is an end-times doctrine invented in the 19th century by the Irish-Anglo theologian John Nelson Darby. Dispensationalists offer a “literal” interpretation of the Bible that offers a detailed chronology of the impending end of the world. Any war that includes Russia, dispensationalists say, offers signs of the rapture. While the rest of the world witnesses Russia’s attempt to rupture world peace, excited evangelicals think it is the beginning of the end and the rapture.

Pat Robertson

Televangelist Pat Robertson, a fading voice from yesteryear, claims God has directed Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine to use the country as a “staging ground” to launch an attack on Israel and bring about the end times.

Robertson is one of those evangelicals who credit God with offering strategy to vicious autocrats like Putin in order to accomplish God’s goal. While Robertson admits Putin is out of his mind, he still believes Putin is listening to and being directed by God. In Robertson’s “captured by rapture delusions” mind, Putin is not really going after Ukraine. His real target is Israel.

Robertson insists that Putin will soon invade Israel, Iran, Turkey and Bulgaria. Then he jumps to the conclusion that always energizes rapture believers. He insists that Ezekiel 38 and 39 contain everything people need to know about what will soon happen. Robertson draws a straight line from Ukraine to Israel.

“While Robertson admits Putin is out of his mind, he still believes Putin is listening to and being directed by God.”

The televangelist insists, “All of that area is going to be mobilized against Israel in the latter days, and God says, ‘I am going to deal with it.’ So, you can look at your map and read your newspapers, you can listen to your news, but know of a fact that God is bringing to pass what he prophesied years ago through his servant, Ezekiel.”

An excited Robertson declares, “It’ all there. It’s going to happen. So I just say, that’s what’s coming up.”

Robertson wraps up his argument with a summary: “Is Putin crazy? Is he mad? Well, perhaps. But God says, ‘I’m going to put hooks in your jaw and I’m gonna draw you into this battle whether you like it or not.’ And he’s being compelled after the move into the Ukraine. He’s being compelled to move again, to get land bridge and across the Dardanelles with Turkey. And watch what’s going to happen next. You read your Bible because it’s coming to pass.”

Hal Lindsey chimes in

Hal Lindsey

Another old-time faithful rapture preacher, Hal Lindsey, also has weighed in on Putin’s invasion of Russia. His chief concern is the economic hardship that will afflict Americans as a result of the Putin war. In what is a subdued response for Lindsey, he asks about the change in Putin.

“What happened? Romans One happened. Putin suppressed the truth in unrighteousness (verse 18). He exchanged the truth of God for a lie (verse 25). He did not see fit to acknowledge God (verse 28). Therefore, God gave him over to a depraved mind (verse 28). A ‘depraved mind’ — or as the King James Version says, ‘a reprobate mind’ — means in part, a mind that can no longer think in its own best interest.”

Robert Jeffress offers some uncharacteristic nuance
Robert Jeffress, an icon of the rapture movement and a graduate of the pantheon of rapture teaching — Dallas Theological Seminary — offered an almost balanced account of Putin’s invasion. Jeffress has previously written, “I am more convinced than ever that we are living in the period the Bible calls ‘the last days. … We may be the generation that sees the Second Coming of Christ.”

Jeffress believes Jesus will return soon, but his current remarks on Putin and the Ukraine invasion are more nuanced than usual. In his online commentary, “How Christians Should Respond to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine,” Jeffress appeals to the sovereignty of God.

Robert Jeffress

“Nothing catches God by surprise or thwarts his plans,” he says. “The evil designs of dictators like Vladimir Putin are, in some mysterious way, turned and used by God to accomplish his greatest purpose in the world: ‘The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will’” (Proverbs 21:1).

Then in a surprising shift, Jeffress claims, “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is an awful display of needless aggression by a glory-hungry dictator. But these events probably do not herald the end of the world.” Jeffress has stepped back from the apocalyptic fervor that has animated his entire career and suggests the end is probably not now.

What is inconceivable is Jeffress insisting that God is directing Putin, God is pulling the strings with Putin to accomplish a greater purpose. This evangelical insistence of involving the sovereignty of God in the evil of Putin borders on the absurd. Rapture believers fail to understand that if they assist in bringing about world war, there will be no Superman Jesus appearing to “snatch” all true believers into the safety of the clouds. The rapture is an illusion; the rupture caused by Putin is a deadly reality.

A wise word from Rowan Williams

Rowan Williams

Rowan Williams, former archbishop of Canterbury, offers a more solid theological explanation than Jeffress: “God’s mysterious ways are appealed to when we can’t understand things (especially painful and shocking things) and we are encouraged to think about the vast gulf that separates us from God. But the Bible strongly suggests that this sort of religion is what we have to grow out of.”

God’s purposes are not tied to the machinations of dictators, human rights abusers and murdering terrorists and serial liars. God’s purpose, according to Williams in Tokens of Trust, is peace and praise: “This and this alone is God’s agenda: the world he has made is designed to become a reconciled world, a world in which diverse human communities come to share a life together because they share the conviction that God has acted to set them free from fear and guilt.”

God doesn’t work with the tools of the devil
God doesn’t choose to do God’s work with the tools of the devil, and Putin, is a “tool” of the devil, a cipher in the tragedy of corrupt power alienated from the eternal purposes of God. Robertson, Lindsey and Jeffress engage in a “theodical project,” not in theology.

In The Evils of Theodicy, Terrence Tilley argues that those who engage in the theodical project “participate in the practice of legitimating the coercive and marginalizing ecclesio-political structure which is the heritage of Constantinian Christianity.” Theodicy attempts to justify that the way things are is the way things are meant to be. The problem this creates is an awful alliance of God with the purposes of dictators, a merging of the strange idea that God does God’s work using the means of the devil.

I struggle to remain patient at the disquisitions on the purposes of God that link God to the killing of civilians and the unjustified use of war to acquire secular, political objectives. It seems odd that so many assume that Christians never have wrestled with the problem of evil or the reality of suffering and death. I am suspicious of evasive theodicies that seek to dismember God’s omnipotence and turns God into little more than the fatalistic adoration of a celestial despot or universal genocidal divinity.

I offer heart-felt, biblical rebuke to those who treat Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as a means to a greater end. The merciless pragmatism of many evangelicals, already emboldened to forsake Christian character, virtue and compassion for the price of winning the culture war, really goes off the rails with Putin.

“The merciless pragmatism of many evangelicals, already emboldened to forsake Christian character, virtue and compassion for the price of winning the culture war, really goes off the rails with Putin.”

In The Doors of the Sea David Bentley Hart argues: “Unless one can see the beginning and end of all things, one can draw no conclusions from finite experience regarding the coincidence in God of omnipotence and perfect goodness.” If the only way to protect the omnipotence of God is to align God with Putin’s terroristic goals, then let God be something other than omnipotent. The death of one Ukrainian is enough to thwart this line of argument.

A better theological undestanding
There are so many implausible misstatements of Christian teaching in reference to Putin that they are hard to ignore. As historian David Blight insists, “Disinformation has to be fought with good information,” but it must also be fought with better theological explanation.

If we wish to stand on a more solid theological ground, we will dismiss the bellowing of Robertson attributing the invasion to God’s greater purposes. It seems like an exulting in the spectacle of God’s divine cruelty. We also should sweep aside any suggestion that God sent Putin into Ukraine because of the invaluable lessons it will teach us all and the scary reminder that our economic stability may be undone. The softball arguments of these evangelical preachers are “merely unsophisticated in logic and pompous in air of didactic solemnity,” to quote Hart.

The rhetoric of these arguments is often eloquent even when it is silly. The claims of these preachers are all over the map and often disagree with one another. The invasion of Ukraine as a direct expression of God’s will, the insistence that it would be wrong of us to attempt to penetrate the “mystery” of God’s will, the stark literal interpretations of prophecy in Ezekiel and Daniel, and the incomprehensible idea that the suffering and death of Ukrainians and Russian troops possess an “epistemic significance” for us because they reveal divine attributes that might not otherwise be known or displayed — all of these need consignment to the theological wastebin.

Every preacher wishes to believe there is a divine plan in all the randomness, all the violence, all the evil of the world. In this way, they account for every loss of life in Ukraine in a sort of total sum as the will of God.

I will ask what Ivan Karamazov asks: If you could bring about a universal and final beatitude for all beings by torturing one small creature to death, would you think the price acceptable? Ivan chooses to return his ticket of entrance into heaven rather than allow that God is involved in the death of a single child.

[ RODNEY KENNEDY ]


“The Hook in the Jaw of Russia”

Join Amir for a Middle East Update discussing The Hook in the Jaw of Russia.

[ Amir Tsarfati ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df2CXJ_CGaU


“Nord Stream 2: How does the pipeline fit into the Ukraine-Russia crisis?”

Final approval of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has been put on hold because of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, Germany has said.

The pipeline between Russia and Germany was completed last September but is not yet operating.

What sanctions are being imposed on Russia?

What is Nord Stream 2?
Nord Stream 2 is a 1,200km pipeline under the Baltic Sea, which will take gas from the Russian coast near St Petersburg to Lubmin in Germany.

It cost €10bn (£8.4bn) and was completed last September. The Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom put up half of the cost and western energy firms such as Shell and ENGIE of France are paying the rest.

Nord Stream 2 runs parallel to an existing gas pipeline, Nord Stream, which has been working since 2011.

Together, these two pipelines could deliver 110bn cubic metres of gas to Europe every year. That is over a quarter of all the gas that European Union countries use annually.

Map showing the route of the Nord Stream pipelines between Russia and Germany.
How has the Ukraine crisis affected Nord Stream 2’s future?
The pipeline does not yet have an operating licence – and Germany has now put this on hold.

It took the step after Russia formally recognised two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine, and sent troops there.
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“In light of the most recent developments we must reassess the situation in particular regarding Nord Stream 2,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz said.

US President Joe Biden had previously vowed to shut down Nord Stream 2 if Moscow invades Ukraine, saying “I promise you we will be able to do it”.

Who is against Nord Stream 2?
The US and UK, along with Russia’s neighbours Poland and Ukraine, strongly oppose Nord Stream 2.

They fear that if were to start operating, it would give Russia even more of a stranglehold over gas supplies to Europe.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has called Nord Stream 2 “a dangerous political weapon”.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Europe needs to “snip the drip feed into our bloodstream from Nord Stream”.

In 2006, Russia shut off gas supplies going through Ukraine because of a financial quarrel between the two countries. It caused acute energy shortages during winter in central and eastern Europe.

There are fears Russia might stop gas supplies in the future for political reasons.

The US has tried to block Nord Stream 2 before, by imposing sanctions on companies involved in the project. However, it has only targeted Russian firms and not German ones, for fear of damaging diplomatic relations with Berlin.

Who wants Nord Stream 2?
Russia is keen to boost supplies of gas to Europe from its vast fields in the west of the country.

It wants an undersea pipeline to Europe, rather than relying on its land-based pipelines which go through Poland and Ukraine. These pipeline networks are aging and inefficient. Besides this, Poland and Ukraine charge high transit fees.

Before the Ukraine crisis, Mr Scholz’s predecessor Angela Merkel did a lot to try and push through Nord Stream 2.

Germany already imports 35% of the gas it needs from Russia and she thought Nord Stream 2 would be a way of getting much more Russian gas delivered directly to Germany.

Nord Stream 2 worker at controls
IMAGE SOURCE,TASS VIA GETTY IMAGES
Image caption,
Many countries fear Russia could hold back gas supplies from Europe for political reasons
When could Nord Stream 2 start running at the earliest?
Even before Germany’s latest action, the project still faced a big legal hurdle and was unlikely to be delivering any gas before the summer of 2022.

Germany’s regulator had already refused to give it an operating licence because Russian firm Gazprom owns both a 50% stake in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and all of the gas that would go through it.

Germany says that gives Russia too much control over supplies and it wants the ownership of the pipeline to be passed to another company.

[ BBC News ]


“What’s so PROPHETIC about Russia and Ukraine?”

LIVE UPDATE!!! February 28th, 2022…We’re now in day 5 of Russia’s full scale attack on Ukraine and lots of people are wondering if there’s any Biblical significance to what’s happening. The answer is obvious, but to many, it may not be so easily discernible. Today we’ll talk about the Biblical implications of this and everything in between!

[ James Kaddis ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1HQJ07jPQU


“RUSSIA just put NATO on NOTICE!!!”

As many of you know, Russia launched a missile at one of its own spy satellites and destroyed it in space. The consequences of that test were far-reaching, and things are getting even worse and Russia is choosing to threaten the use of this tested weaponry to flex their muscle in the international community.

[ James Kaddis ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AU3U2p16Ias


“RUSSIA just told NATO to END ITSELF!!!”

This is another crazy story ripped hot off the press!!! Russia is getting more aggressive and it seems as though the world will not intervene. This seems to be right up the ally of Ezekiel’s prophecy concerning Israel and Russia’s future, so we shouldn’t be surprised!!!

[ James Kaddis ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaJjPaTrT-0


“RUSSIA may START a NEW CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS!!!”

As unbelievable as it sounds, Russia is threatening to setup positions in Cuba and Valenzuela if NATO doesn’t capitulate to Russia’s demands! To make things worse, the current regime in Washington has chosen to make a mockery of Russias very real threats!

[ James Kaddis ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrA9JX9eYeM


“RUSSIA just PUT their FOOT down AGAIN!!!”

In the past week, Russia has escorted (using their fighter jets) NATO aircraft away from Russian International airspace. This is not a surprise considering what we know regarding Ezekiel 38.

[ James Kaddis ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpnqWsF7XUw


“RUSSIA and NATO may be in a NUCLEAR STANDOFF!!!”

The recent news cycle points to a real problem developing between Europe and Russia. The world seems to be closing its eyes to what is happening, but the predictions of the Bible are true and completely accurate. What we’re seeing is evidence of that!

[ James Kaddis ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgwzsMz_XTo


“RUSSIA and NATO may HELP form a NEW EU!!!”

You can’t make this stuff up!!! It’s hard to believe how fast so many things are coming together, but once again, it should not come as a surprise! the Bible NEVER gets it wrong and this story is no exception

[ James Kaddis ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqIzRIz7hmc


“RUSSIA and PUTIN just got a lifeline from the US!!!”

In this episode of Countdown 2 Eternity Pastor James and Don will discuss the moment that saved the political career of Putin and the lifeline handed to Russia. We’re certainly not surprised, but it’s always fascinating to see the Bible come to life as we have been given God’s plan through His word for the end

[ James Kaddis ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2uOfePnNZI


“The ALLIANCE is SPLITTING and the world is CHANGING!!!”

March 29th, 2022 LIVE!!! With Don Stewart and James Kaddis!!! More than a month has passed by since Russia attacked Ukraine and it’s painfully obvious that Europe doesn’t have the same stomach for war that Putin has. NATO appears to be fracturing, and Russia was just given a lifeline by the president of the United States.

[ James Kaddis and Don Stewart ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtyjHkK3x2E


“This FRACTURE may change EVERYTHING!!!”

It’s amazing to see the NATO countries beginning to change their tune as thier disagreements become more apparent. It may be, that if things continue in the current trajectory, we may see a new alliance comprised of the military of European nations that will form the revived Roman Empire!!!

[ James Kaddis ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNU7VnRsaMk


“What RUSSIA wants from ISRAEL may SURPRISE you!!!”

Russia recently made a demand of Israel that Israel may give in to, and if they do, it will setup even more stage markers for what will be the battle of Ezekiel 38. This one is crazy and we need to pay attention!!!

[ James Kaddis ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL5I4qhoKUE


“The GREAT RESET needs WW3!!!”

The globalist are getting more aggressive and they will use any means necessary to accomplish their nefarious goals. The agenda is clear; they’ve destroyed everything they have put their hands to, so now they need a reset, and they want to achieve that by war!!!

[ James Kaddis ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zv37Guy972E


“NATO may fail! Next: Revived ROMAN EMPIRE!!!”

The NATO Alliance continues to show evidence of the fact that it is splintering and now they claim they will commence operations to “reset.” It’s not looking pretty and things are getting worse!!!

[ James Kaddis ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_eNAeSscTQ


“Russia and Ukraine: The Sword and the Shield”

Originally Published by the Gatestone Institute.

By the time you read this article, Russian troops may have entered Ukraine or even captured its capital Kiev in a blitzkrieg that would have made Field Marshal von Paulus green with envy. Or, maybe you would witness nothing but more sabre rattling by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The two contrasting possibilities, even if one is closer to a probability, illustrate the fact that no one knows what Putin, the consummate poker player keeping his cards close to his chest, has in mind.

At the risk of ending up with egg on my face, I belong to the group who think there would be no full-scale invasion. To back that assertion one could cite three reasons.

The first is that Ukraine isn’t such a pushover that some Western analysts believe. It has a ready fighting force of around 250,000 with around 900,000 reservists. In addition, tens of thousands of Ukrainians who are citizens of European and North American countries and who have some military experience have been organized in a second-tier reserve for their original homeland.

To be sure, Russia has twice as many troops ready to fight and double the number of reservists that Ukraine boasts. It also enjoys superiority in the number of war planes, tanks and armored vehicles. However, Russian forces have numerous commitments. They have to guard Crimea, annexed in 2014, keep a high profile in Chechnya and Dagestan, show the flag close to Belarus, guard the endless frontiers with China, keep friendly despots in power in Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, project power in Iran and, in a different context in Syria, stroll in Transcaucasia and maintain special units for a possible, if mythical, clash with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Even then, conquering Ukraine wouldn’t be a cake-walk, if any war ever is.

Next, Ukraine does not have any natural resources that Russia might covet.

Between the 18th and 20th centuries, Ukraine, with its wheat-rich prairies, was the bread basket of the Tsarist Empire and, thanks to the Cossack element in its population, a fertile recruiting grant for elite mercenary fighters.

Those two factors, along with the fact that Kiev was the historic birthplace of what was to become the Russian “race”, if such a term has any meaning now, gives Ukraine a special status in the average Russian’s imagination.

All that, however, has faded into historic memory. Ukraine (“Frontier”) or the Ukraine (“the Frontier,” as Russians insist on calling it) is little more than a chunk of territory. And that is something that Russia, at least since shaking off the Mongol yoke, has not lacked. Solzhenitsyn liked to say that, having bitten more land that it could chew, Russia is “choking on territory.”

On the eve of the fall of the Soviet Empire, he advised Russians to get rid of their imperial possessions. In that he was echoing Khomiakov, the poet and prophet of pan-Slavism who saw Russia as the new standard-bearer of Christianity (the Third Rome), seeking conquest of human souls rather than chunks of territory.

The third element in our belief that invading Ukraine today may have little justification for Russia is the loss of its historic role as “the shield of the empire.” Kutuzov, the Russian general who defeated Napoleon, liked to say that Russia was his sword and Ukraine the shield. But even that was not always true. The Ukrainian “shield” didn’t prevent Bonaparte from reaching Moscow and burning it.

Nor did Operation Barbarossa, launched by Hitler, stop at “The Frontier.” Even worse, when needed, Russia was ready to drop “the shield” and run to the steppes. The Treaty of Tilsit in 1815 offered a foretaste of that, and the Brest-Litovsk deal signed by Trotsky with Imperial Germany in the First World War made Ukraine looks more like a sacrificial lamb than shield.

But who is going to invade Russia today?

Putin’s propaganda tries to portray NATO as the putative invader. At the same time he makes much of Russia’s money out of selling oil and gas to NATO members in Europe who, in turn, allow his money to be nested in their banks. As there has never been a war without at least some outline of an objective to be achieved, it would be wise to ask what NATO could gain from invading Russia via Ukraine.

For decades NATO’s raison d’être was to counter the Warsaw Pact led by the Soviet Union. But the Warsaw Pact has long ceased to exist and NATO members have massively scaled down resources and intellectual energies allocated to the alliance. In fact, under President Barack Obama, the US treated NATO as an encumbrance, while under President Joe Biden, the US has started concocting a parallel alliance with a few nations in the Anglo-sphere.

Moreover Russia, as the USSR, was closely associated in building a new world order after the Second World War and invited to join the Marshall Plan and NATO — offers that Stalin refused. The Helsinki Accords, towards the end of the Cold War, signaled Russia’s change of view on NATO from an existential threat to an instrument of diplomatic and cultural pressure. After the Cold War, Russia reached a number of cooperation accords with NATO and endorsed the US-led military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Putin tries to pose as a potential victim of a non-existent aggression. By doing so, he hopes to garner some sympathy at home and in other places where anti-American shibboleths provide the last refuge of assorted scoundrels.

It is with the same narrative of victimhood that he tries to peddle his shenanigans as “action to protect kith and kin”. Although not specifically recognized international law or the Vienna and Geneva Conventions dealing with armed conflict, that principle could enjoy a certain degree of moral legitimacy. But even then, it won’t apply to Ukraine, as the Kiev-based state isn’t persecuting any ethnic Russians or adepts of the Orthodox Church. By all accounts, a majority of Ukrainians wish to distance themselves from Russia to get closer to Western European democracies. They may be wrong in that but they certainly have as much right to exercise their national sovereignty as any other member of the United Nations.

Putin seems to be dreaming of a cordon sanitaire for Russia, one that is more of a cultural-political shield rather than a glacis in military terms. He wants Russia surrounded by Finlandized countries from China to the Caspian Basin, the Middle East and East and Central Europe.

Rather than threatening invasion, Putin should try to make his Russia so attractive that Ukrainians and others wish to choose it as a model rather than looking to old Western democracies. That, however, means that Russia must change and deal with its centuries-long identity crisis between European aspirations and Asiatic fears.

Amir Taheri was the executive editor-in-chief of the daily Kayhan in Iran from 1972 to 1979. He has worked at or written for innumerable publications, published eleven books, and has been a columnist for Asharq Al-Awsat since 1987.

[ Amir Taheri ]


“Russia mentioned in Bible Prophecy?”

Bible Prophecy expert Mark Hitchcock talks on Ezekiel 38 & 39. What does the Bible tell us about the New Jerusalem, Revived Roman Empire, & Great Tribulation & is Russia mentioned? Dr. Mark Hitchcock speak with Dr. John Hull about this and more.

[ 100Huntley interviews Mark Hitchcock ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdX3SOS-z_s&list=RDLVcdBi1m-TyAM&index=3


“Russia in Bible Prophecy?”

Bible Prophecy expert Mark Hitchcock talks on Ezekiel 38 & 39 and the relation of what is happening in Russia and the end of times.

[ 100Huntley interviews Mark Hitchcock ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vn1w8BGg6PM&list=RDLVcdBi1m-TyAM&index=15


“WE ALL JUST TOOK A BIG STEP TOWARDS THE END–BEWARE OF THE COMING WRATH OF GOD!”

RUSSIA. Russia. RUSSIA–it fills the headlines, but it is a small piece of a much larger picture.
We all just took a GIANT step towards the END of the WORLD these past two years.
COVID-19 has started the ball rolling towards GLOBAL Governance like nothing else.

We have had for the first time, every nation on Earth working together to stop the spread.

We have had worldwide events like the World Cup, 911, or the Super Bowl—but never anything like this.

God’s Wrath can be held in no longer when the Man of Sin is revealed.

The Man of Sin or AntiChrist is Satan masquerading as Jesus Christ inside a human.
That Beast, called the AntiChrist governs the whole world—and His rise triggers the coming wrath of God.

[ John Barnett ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPtYnnJF_l4


“WHAT DID JESUS SAY THE WORLD “LOOKS LIKE” WHEN HE RETURNS? THAT WORLD IS AROUND US TODAY (FTGC#52B )”

Here’s John in his farewell class to his 52 Greatest Chapter students as he explains Revelation & applies it. How can we understand what’s going on in Russia, & Ukraine, Taiwan & China, Israel & Iran, and every other dangerous situation around the world? Jesus explains EVERYTHING in Matthew 24 and then follows up with the last book of the Bible, Revelation, to ILLUSTRATE His Map of the End of Days.

Jesus described what the world looks like as He descends in blazing glory to the Mount of Olives, as He taught his two-chapter message in Matthew 24-25. Jesus explained what He wanted His servants to be doing when He Returns. Do you know what He said? Did you know that the 10 key trends Jesus described, that would be the “birth pains” of His Coming are ALL present today? Today we cover those trends, and the implications they have about the ever-darkening world into which we are called to live each day!

[ John Barnett ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAqqBOFDhwA


“Russia-Ukraine war: Some pastors wonder about “end of days”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted some of America’s most prominent evangelical leaders to raise a provocative question

FILE – Ukrainians cross an improvised path under a destroyed bridge while fleeing Irpin, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted some of America’s most prominent evangelical leaders to raise a provocative question — asking if the world is now in the biblically prophesied “end of days” that might culminate with the apocalypse and the second coming of Christ.

There’s no consensus on the answer, nor on any possible timetable.

Megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, addressing his congregation at First Baptist Dallas, said many Christians are wondering, in the face of carnage in Ukraine, “Why does God permit evil like this to continue? …. Are we near Armageddon and the end of the world?”

“We are living in the last days,” Jeffress said, “We’ve been living in the last days for the last 2000 years. We don’t know, is this the end? Is this the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning?”

The curators of raptureready.com — which shares commentary about “end of days” prophesies – suggest things could move quickly. Their “Rapture Index,” — on which any reading above 160 means “Fasten your seatbelts” — was raised this week to 187, close to its record high of 189 in 2016.

One of the most detailed alerts came from televangelist Pat Robertson, who came out of retirement on Feb. 28 to assert on “The 700 Club” that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “compelled by God” to invade Ukraine as a prelude to an eventual climactic battle in Israel. Robertson said verses of the Old Testament Book of Ezekiel support this scenario.

“You can say, well, Putin’s out of his mind. Yes, maybe so,” Robertson said. “But at the same time, he’s being compelled by God. He went into the Ukraine, but that wasn’t his goal. His goal was to move against Israel, ultimately.”

“It’s all there,” added Robertson, referring to Ezekiel. “And God is getting ready to do something amazing and that will be fulfilled.”

Also evoking Ezekiel – and a possible attack on Israel — was Greg Laurie, senior pastor at a California megachurch whose books and radio programs have a wide following.

“I believe we’re living in the last days. I believe Christ could come back at any moment,” Laurie said in a video posted on YouTube.

Citing the war in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic, he said biblical prophesies “are being fulfilled in our lifetime.”

“We are seeing more things happen in real time, closer together, as the scriptures said they would be,” Laurie said. “So what should we do? We should look up. We should remember that God is in control.”

Predictions of an imminent “end of days” have surfaced with regularity over the centuries. Pat Robertson, for example, has inaccurately predicted apocalyptic events on previous occasions.

“One of the characteristics of apocalyptic thinking is that the most recent crisis is surely the worst — this is the one that is going to trip the end times calendar,” said Dartmouth College history professor Randall Balmer.

“Now, admittedly, there may be some evidence for that, especially with Putin mumbling about nuclear weapons,” Balmer added via email. “But I also remember the urgency of the Six Day War and George H. W. Bush’s Persian Gulf War and, of course, 9/11.”

The suggestion that God is somehow using the Russia-Ukraine war to fulfill biblical prophesies troubles some Christian scholars, such as the Rev. Rodney Kennedy, a Baptist pastor in Schenectady, New York, and author of numerous books.

“This evangelical insistence of involving the sovereignty of God in the evil of Putin borders on the absurd,” Kennedy wrote recently in Baptist News.

“Rapture believers fail to understand that if they assist in bringing about world war, there will be no Superman Jesus appearing to ‘snatch’ all true believers into the safety of the clouds,” Kennedy wrote. “The rapture is an illusion; the rupture caused by Putin is a deadly reality.”

Russell Moore, public theologian at the evangelical magazine Christianity Today, said it’s wrong to try to connect world events to end-times prophecy, noting that Jesus himself said his second coming would be unexpected and unconnected with “wars and rumors of wars.”

“It’s not consistent with the Bible and it’s harmful to the witness of the church,” said Moore, noting that the world has outlived many episodes of end-times speculation.

Moore said most Christians he’s talked with are more concerned about Ukraine’s well-being.

“I’m surprised at how little I am finding the idea that these events are direct biblical prophecy,” he said. “I’m just not seeing that in the pews.”

That’s a change from the recent past, he noted, when many evangelicals tried to interpret world events as a road map to the apocalypse – driving sales for hugely successful authors Tim LaHaye (“Left Behind”) and Hal Lindsey (“The Late Great Planet Earth”).

“It’s very rare for me to find someone under the age of 50” preoccupied with such views today, Moore said.

Jeffress said members of his congregation in Dallas are “very troubled by the atrocities being committed against the Ukrainian people and think we should push back forcefully against Putin’s aggression.”

“However, they are not headed toward their bunkers and preparing for Armageddon — yet,” Jeffress said via email. “Most of our members understand that while the Bible prophesies the end of the world and return of Christ one day, no one has a clue when that day will be.”

Laurie, in a written reply to questions from The Associated Press, said his congregation at Harvest Christian Fellowship “isn’t fixated on the ‘end times.’”

“My message for Christians during this time and really all people in general is don’t panic, but pray,” Laurie advised. “Live every day like it may be your last.”

The war in Ukraine has heightened anxieties for some members of Mercy Hill Chapel, said Oleh Zhakunets, lead pastor of the small Southern Baptist church that holds services in Ukrainian and English in Parma, Ohio, a Cleveland suburb.

Several members have close relatives in Ukraine – some in more dangerous zones in eastern Ukraine and others who are welcoming refugees in the west, he said.

“It’s a bag of mixed feelings,” said Zhakunets, citing their worries for loved ones and their hope that God is in control.

Congregation members believe in biblical passages detailing signs of Jesus’ return, he said, but they don’t see Russia’s invasion as fulfilling a specific prophecy.

“A lot of that is just guesswork,” Zhakunets said. “We have hope that he’s coming, but in terms of specifics, we’re not going to give that kind of what we see as a false hope.”

[ DAVID CRARY, Peter Smith, Holly Meyer, and Deepa Bharath ]


“The World In Chaos – A Christian Perspective”

No doubt you are as troubled about world events as I am, especially as there seems no relief in sight.

And these days, praying isn’t so straightforward either, since we have less and less clarity on exactly what is the Lord’s intention (except for the obvious biblical prophecies.)

(Personally, I pray Lord, let YOUR will be done, and YOUR will prevail.)

Today on Twitter, Ron Perlman addressed the current situation from his own patriotic American perspective, and it sparked off some thoughts for me. What he said was this:

1/ It’s not that the truth won’t eventually emerge. It’s not that history will tolerate these times as anything but an aberration to our way of life. But I have to say, living through this time of lawlessness, cruelty, greed, indecency, blasphemy, this is difficult.

2/ Because for those of us who truly grasp America, its grandiosity, its generosity, its compassion, its aspiration that small men can be huge, to watch all of that under assault, and to have such a large segment of the populace thinks it’s cool, that those things are valueless…

3/ That is soul crushing! That is unprocessable! Incomprehensible. When so many of us mistake thugishness for strength. Bullying for power. Xenophobia for exceptionalism. Voyeurism for culture. Momentary titillation for love. Escaping crime for innocence. Stupidity for coolness.

(“momentary titillation for love, voyeurism for culture, escaping crime for innocence…” I say amen to all that, but then he goes on…)

4/ This I know; I love this place. I believe in this place. My optimism that justice and karma will win the day is unbending. That we are essentially good and generous and humble. But if you trade in hate, if you seek to divide, if you deal from the bottom of the deck, you are my enemy! And as long as you fight to keep hate alive, there I will be!

And in the comments on his post were:

“Many people have forgotten compassion, love, cohesion and decency and never got obsessed. That’s where the problem lies. Sad but unfortunately true”.

“Its as if people have forgotten compassion, empathy, and love. I think its time we stop accepting what is as the norm, and strive to be what we could be.”

“You’re 100% right. But our parents lived through the Depression and World War II. These taught them important lessons, which our generation has forgotten, and must re-learn.”

All these were hopeful that the inherent goodness of mankind would prevail. Only one said, “it’s only going to get worse…” and unfortunately I agree.

The Basic Fallacy
I’m not a typical all-American patriot as you know, and I rather doubt that the vision of America that Ron Perlman and others hold dear is accurate, but he speaks for me when he points out the degradation of society and culture.

Then he and others pin their hopes on essential goodness bouncing back. There I have to part company with them.

Human nature has always been the same! The core of humanity since Eden has been selfish, corrupt and violent throughout all centuries. Humanity is NOT going to get better, but worse.

The reason is not as commonly perceived, that people have become more sinful. No, people have always been sinful but in earlier centuries (in some countries) there was enough restraint to keep us on track. Not so today.

Restraint Is Being Removed
I want you to conduct a small mental experiment. Think of yourself back in your childhood, going to school.

You weren’t unruly, disobedient, you didn’t cheat (I hope) because you had parents, teachers, an educational system, a society and media that spoke out against those things and persuaded you that such behaviour was unacceptable. In a word, you were brought up well.

But now imagine if the influence of your friends, and opportunities within society, and the laxity of the educational system all tended towards you cheating, being rude, skipping lessons when you wanted to do something more interesting – in fact, if such things were not only overlooked but approved of and applauded by many – would you then have been so averse to bad behaviour, if you had the chance?

Be honest, would YOU have gone to a football match with your mates instead of a maths lesson? IF you knew there was no come-back, and you wouldn’t get into trouble? If all your friends thought it was “cool”?

What I’m saying is this – we were NOT better people then!
Within ALL of us is the desire and propensity to sin because the “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” Jeremiah 17:9.

Propaganda
Let’s not kid ourselves that previous generations were any different to today. But what they had was restraint (discipline, the fear of punishment, disapproval of elders, positive input from the media and so on).

And to that we add the role of religion, in particular church-going, Sunday Schools, religious education in schools, positive role-models, and a general respect for the Church.

All of that is outside of becoming a genuine Christian. For Christians, the restraint upon sin and human nature is the indwelling Holy Spirit.
So, if I may, I will liken the previous situation to a world with positive “propaganda” – to a good end, but propaganda none the less.

We learned from what we heard, read and saw that goodness and self sacrifice are better than selfishness, because in the movies the good guys always won; in books there was humility and kindness, and self-denial was rewarded in the end. The hero/heroine might have been tested but stood firm to their values.

What Changed?
It seems pretty obvious that the change took place in the “propaganda” and not so much in the people.

Change the stereotypes, the role-models, the teachers and mentors, and you change the pupils!

Alter the perception that good and right are rewarded, and replace it with an attitude of “I will take what I need at any cost”, and you end up with rampant selfishness and violence. People will always take advantage of an opportunity to get away with self-indulgence or greed, especially if they are encouraged by people they admire.

Learning the Wrong Attitudes
Need I mention the prevalence of very realistic games – murderous games that glory in rape, theft and bloodshed? Those who say youngsters are not influenced by such things should think again!

Kids wielding knives on the streets [an increasing problem] are taught their behaviour by example and by incentives. Not just peer-pressure, but the desire to belong and to have the kind of social order and approval they are missing at home and school.

Now, instead of getting good marks in homework, we hear that kids are awarded points for stabbing people, in a disturbing Score System. Kids haven’t changed. They still need support, acceptance, ambitions, rewards, the approval of their peers – they just go outside the system to find it now.

Sin Is Rising
Imagine a cork in a glass of water. As long as you keep your finger on the cork it will stay at the bottom, but the moment you let go, it will bob to the top.

Sin and human nature is like that.

If the cork is evil, then the finger is that of the gospel, discipline, justice, the Church and all that restrains. The restraining finger is a positive demonstration of good behaviour that is able to influence children from an early age.

Today more and more we see restraint being removed, allowing the cork of evil to emerge in a more and more full expression. It’s not that it was never there – it just wasn’t visible before!

What is Indulgence vs. Restraint

  1. Indulgence indicates the degree at which a society allows for relatively free gratification of basic and natural human drives related to enjoying life and having fun.
  2. Restraint expresses the degree that a society suppresses gratification of needs and regulates it by means of strict social norms. These might include:

Control – of essential human needs related to obtaining pleasure from life.
Cultural approval – and its impact on, and influence of the fulfilment of life and happiness.

  1. Gratification. Surrendering to the human drives related to enjoying life and having fun, without cultural restraints.

Clearly, as Christians, we believe in restraint, and not the full uninhibited gratification of human needs, simply because most of them are self-serving if not downright evil. However, the extent to which people today will accept “control” and “disapproval” is plunging downwards into zero.

The ultimate end of this is that all restraint will be eroded, allowing lawlessness to prevail unhindered – and eventually the devil himself will appear as the Man of Lawlessness.

Is There Hope?

In concluding this post, I wish I could offer some nugget of earthly hope or advice that would change things. I cannot. I can only warn against pinning your hopes to a false agenda (in many churches today) of a christian takeover of society, or mass conversions, or a global revival that will somehow turn back the tide.

If a revival comes, it will be limited and shortlived, in order to rescue as many people as possible before the final end, and to shore up the faith of those who are wavering.

But that will NOT change the course this world is set upon.
We can go to the bible to see in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 “in the latter days, terrible times will come. For men will be:

lovers of themselves,
lovers of money,
boastful,
arrogant,
abusive,
disobedient to their parents,
ungrateful,
unholy,
unloving,
unforgiving,
slanderous,
without self-control,
brutal,
without love of good,
traitorous,
reckless,
conceited,
lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
having a form of godliness but denying its power.

How many of those attitudes do we see today – including the last one mentioned, having a form of godliness (pretend Christians) but denying its power (having no gifts or fruit or genuine ministries).

What do we see today, but rebellion against God and righteousness, and the flouting of all kinds of laws. This is the predicted state of the world just before Jesus returns! And THAT is our HOPE! The bible calls it, the “blessed hope” and indeed it is:

The blessed hope defined in Titus 2:13 is “the glorious appearance of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

No Transformation of the World, without the Return of the Messiah
Meanwhile, let no one be deluded into thinking the Church and its self-appointed leadership are going to commandeer Government and the “seven mountains” of world institutions in order to turn things around.

The devil would love for you to fix upon a plan other than the biblical one, but we are warned…

Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-7

Our Hope
Let us do as commanded, hold fast to the truth, hang onto our faith, trust in God and look away from this world towards the world to come.

“You have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.” Heb 10:36 and remember that Jesus said:

“Because you have kept My command to endure with patience, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will never again leave it…” Rev 3:11

[ Tricia ]


“How to Eliminate the Chaos in Your Life”

[ PursueGOD Video ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYShVfb9Qz4


“Dr. David Jeremiah: Fearless (LIFE Today)”

The author of “Forward” unpacks how to fearlessly, positively, and passionately pursue Christ. Air date November 12, 2020.

[ LIFE Today ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGUTQVfZ5zg


“Fearless Faith ( Full Movie )”

Colton (Jason Burkey), a respected sheriff’s deputy begins to question his faith after his old partner is gunned down, while his new partner Officer Shep (Ben Davies) sets out on a courageous mission to lay his life down to save his.

[ Kevin Rushing ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfUwMbq3_-E


“This is Not the End of the World”

As I understand the future sequence of events, there will be the Rapture of the Church (I Thess. 4:13-18), the 7-year Tribulation Period (Dan. 9:24-27), the Second Coming of Jesus (Jn. 14:1-6; Acts 1:10-11), the 1,000-year reign of Jesus on earth (Dan. 2:35; Zech. 14:9; Matt. 25:31; Rev. 5:10; Rev. 20:1-6), Satan will be released on earth for an unspecified length of time (Rev. 20:7-8), and eventually there will be a new heaven and new earth (Psa. 102:25-26; Isa. 65:17; 66:22; Matt. 24:35; II Per. 3:13; Rev. 20:11; Rev. 21:1-2).

Having said this, Ukrainian Pres. Zelensky recently said, “The end of the world has arrived.” No, the end of the world will come, but not before every jot at tittle of the Word of God is fulfilled.

Here are some recent current events that appear to be prophecy-related.

One, concerning the Mark of the Beast and tracking all buying and selling: on Mar. 8, 2022, it was reported that Australia will quickly stop using physical money and could go cashless as soon as 2024 (no later than 2031).

Two, concerning the Battle of Gog and Magog: on Mar. 11, 2022, it was reported that the E.U. asked Israel to export natural gas to Europe through Egypt.

Income that was going to Russia could soon be going to Israel, and it is possible that this could be the hook that entices Russia to attack Israel.

On Mar. 13, 2022, it was reported that Russia has asked China for military equipment and aid to support its war in Ukraine.
On Mar. 14, 2022, Bloomberg reported that “Russia’s economy is fraying, its currency has collapsed, and its debt is junk. Next up is a potential default that could cost investors billions and shut the country out of most funding markets.”
On Mar. 14, 2022, it was reported that the U.S. warned China that there will be consequences if China gives military equipment aid to Russia to support its war in Ukraine.
On Mar. 15, 2022, it was reported that so many Russian citizens started buying gold bars, the Russian Central Bank has indefinitely suspended gold purchases.
Three, concerning strong delusion: on Mar. 11, 2022, at 1:20 am (exactly two years from the date, Mar. 11, and time, 1:20 am, that Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qasem Soleimani was assassinated in 2020), 12 ballistic missiles were fired from Iran at a U.S. military base in Irbil, Iraq.

Iran attacked the U.S. base at a time when Biden is removing sanctions on Iran, planning to give Iran billions of dollars, and trying to negotiate a deal that will let Iran get nuclear weapons.

How can a man that wants to give terrorists billions of dollars and nuclear weapons when they are firing missiles at U.S. troops not be strongly deluded?

Biden’s Assistant Secretary of Health is Rachel Levine. As a man, Rachel was married and the father of two boys, but Rachel divorced his wife, started wearing a bra and identifying as a woman.
On Mar. 13, 2022, it was reported that Rachel is one of USA Today’s Women of the Year.
Four, concerning hyper-inflation and an economic collapse, some pundits think we are seeing the beginning stages of an economic collapse now.

With the U.S. debt now more than $30 trillion, on Mar. 9, 2022, the U.S. House, and on Mar. 10, 2022, the U.S. Senate, passed a $1.5 trillion spending bill that was more than 2,700 pages long, loaded with pork projects, and few, if any, legislators had time to read.

(More: On Mar. 15, 2022, The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said producer prices increased 10% in the year ending in February. According to the report, the situation will continue to worsen.)

Five, concerning natural disasters increasing in frequency and intensity at the end of the age: on Mar. 13, 2022, it was reported that a 6.4 earthquake struck the Philippines, and a 6.6 earthquake struck Indonesia moments later.

It was too early for reports on injuries or destruction.

Six, concerning famine, on Mar. 14, 2022, an official with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that the inability of Ukrainian farmers to plant crops, especially wheat, is causing massive uncertainty over global food supplies.

(My opinion: The rapture of farmers could greatly exacerbate this problem.)

Seven, concerning a rebuilt Temple: on Mar. 14, 2022, it was reported that the Mikdash (Temple) Education Center has minted a 10-gram, pure silver coin that they are selling to fund “a practical effort to establish the third Temple.”

Eight, concerning the decline of America: on Mar. 16, 2022, the Gatestone Institute reported that an Iraqi political analyst (Ali Al-Sarraf) said, “The Biden administration is very foolish” (for ignoring the concerns of Saudi Arabia and the UAE while listening to Iran and Venezuela).

Al-Sarraf said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed rejected Biden’s attempts to contact them, “not because they want to abandon the alliance with the U.S., but because they do not see a president in the White House. This president is deaf. He cannot be trusted.”

Biden’s rejection of “America First” and turn to “Globalism First” is hurting the U.S.

Finally, are you Rapture Ready?

If you want to be rapture ready and go to heaven, you must be born again (John 3:3). God loves you, and if you have not done so, sincerely admit that you are a sinner; believe that Jesus is the virgin-born, sinless Son of God who died for the sins of the world, was buried, and raised from the dead; ask Him to forgive your sins, cleanse you, come into your heart and be your Saviour; then tell someone that you have done this.

[Daymond Duck ]


No More Putin

On Mar. 15, 2022, U.S. Sec. of State Antony Blinken said (on CNN’s Situation Room), “I am confident of, first of all, there will be an independent Ukraine a lot longer than a Vladimir Putin. One way or the other, Ukraine will be there, and at some point, Putin won’t. The real question is how much death and destruction are brought by Russia’s aggression in the meantime.”

Blinken is right; the day will come when there will be no more Putin, and if he is Gog (as in Ezek. 38), it could be sooner than anyone thinks (pray for his salvation).

Here are some stories that made the news in recent days.

One, concerning the New World Order (NWO; world government): on Mar. 16, 2022 (the day after Blinken predicted the end of Putin), it was reported that Putin said, Western “attempts to have global dominance is coming to an end.”

As I understand the Bible, the Antichrist will rise in the EU (Revived Roman Empire of Iron; Dan. 9:26b), have opposition (Dan. 7:8, 20), and go forth conquering and to conquer (Rev. 6:2).

It is my opinion that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is partly (not totally) a struggle over the structure of the New World Order (whether Ukraine will be in the EU region, in the Russian region, etc.).

Putin’s attempt to break the West’s global dominance will fail, and the Antichrist will ultimately come out of the EU.

I was recently asked if Putin is Gog.

We don’t know the identity of Gog, but we can express an opinion.

It is my opinion that Putin might be Gog.

God can take Putin’s life and replace him with someone else anytime God wants, but if we are as close to the Rapture and Tribulation Period as I think, Putin could be Gog.

He could lead his army and allies in an attack on Israel and die during that battle (Ezek. 39:1-5).

Two, on Mar. 21, 2022, Pres. Biden spoke at the Business Roundtable’s CEO Quarterly Meeting.

Biden made some comments about the New World Order (world government), and several websites have posted links to a video containing what he said.

Concerning the New World Order, Biden said, “We are at an inflection point in the world economy, not just the world economy, in the world, and that occurs every three or four generations. One of the top military people said in a secure meeting the other day [that] 60 million people died between 1900 and 1946. Since then, we have established a liberal world order, and that hasn’t happened in a long time, a lot of people dying, but nowhere near the chaos. And now is the time when things are shifting. There is going to be a New World Order out there, and we’ve got to lead it. We’ve got to unite the rest of the free world in doing it.”

It was the Pres. of the U.S. (not a Bible prophecy teacher) that said the New World Order (world government) is coming.

The UN intends to have it up and running by 2030 or sooner.

Pres. Biden is trying to unite the world to meet that goal.

According to the Bible, the coming world government will be:

Preceded by the Rapture.
Dominated by the EU, not the U.S., not Russia, not China, or any other nation or group of nations.
(FYI: Notice from point one above that Putin and the West are struggling with each other over who will dominate the New World Order.)

Three, concerning a global economic collapse and famine early in the Tribulation Period: on Mar. 17, 2022, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the war in Ukraine is undermining the global economy because it is:

Causing inflation, food, and energy prices to surge.
Lowering the value of family income.
Making the supply chain crisis worse.
Damaging the economies of Ukraine and Russia.
Likely to alter the geopolitical order (New World Order).
Damaging the dollar’s status as the global currency of choice.
(More: On Mar. 18, 2022, a coordinator at the UN World Food Program (WFP) said bombed roads, bridges and trains in Ukraine are collapsing Ukraine’s food supply chain. It was also reported that an official at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the war may cause a global surge in malnutrition and famine.)

Four, concerning the decline of America: on Mar. 20, 2022, Salvadoran Pres. Bukele expressed the opinion that Joe Biden and his handlers are destroying America, and it is likely on purpose.

Bukele posted this on Twitter: “Something so big and powerful (America) can’t be destroyed so quickly unless the enemy comes from within.”

(FYI: On Mar. 22, 2022, concerning Biden’s economic strategy and inflation causing gasoline, food, housing, utilities, etc., to surge: Pres. Biden said, “Our strategy is working.” The NWO he supports is for everyone to own nothing, and it looks like it is working.)

Five, also concerning the decline of America: on Mar. 21, 2022, it was reported that U.S. Sec. of State Blinken requested a meeting with Saudi Arabia and the UAE to discuss energy prices, and both governments refused to receive him.

Six, on Mar. 20, 2022, it was reported that the International Energy Agency (IEA) wants world leaders to ban the use of cars in cities on Sundays, limit the kinds of vehicles that can be driven on certain days, impose a tax on SUV’s, reduce speed limits, and more to achieve climate change goals.

If the climate change fanatics get their way, everyone will be poor, most will have to walk, and the population of the earth will be greatly reduced.

Seven, concerning the division of Israel and the Battle of Armageddon (Joel 3:2): on Mar. 15, 2022, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel said Israel’s construction of homes in Judea and Samaria is “infuriating” and “stupid.”

He said he tried to stop some recent construction that would connect Maale Adumim to Jerusalem but could not.

He said, “We can’t have the Israelis doing settlement growth in East Jerusalem or the West Bank.”

For whatever it is worth, God made an everlasting covenant to give East Jerusalem and the West Bank to the Jews (Gen. 17:7-8).

God also promised to bless those that bless Israel and to curse those that curse Israel (Gen. 12:2-3).

Putin is not the only thing that is coming to an end; the U.S., the NWO, and the end of efforts to divide Israel will come too.

Eight, concerning earthquakes increasing in frequency and intensity at the end of the age: on Mar. 16, 2022, a 7.3 earthquake struck near the same location as the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that damaged the nuclear reactors at Fukushima, Japan.

The quake caused power outages, cracks and broken windows in a few buildings, and the derailment of a high-speed bullet train. But for the most part, the injuries and damage were light.

Nine, concerning the ability to track everyone on earth: on Mar. 16, 2022, two computer scientists wrote an article saying, “Billions of digital devices (inside your TV, home, office, vehicles, refrigerator, etc.) are scanning and sensing your movements every day.”

According to these men, in 2018 (about 4 years ago), there were about 22 billion internet-connected devices in the world, and by 2030 there will be more than 50 billion internet-connected devices in the world.

The ability to track everyone is now a fact.

Ten, also concerning the ability to track everyone: on Mar. 9, 2022, Pres. Biden signed an executive order giving government agencies six months to consider the establishment of a digital currency (some officials say it is already a done deal).

A digital currency can be tracked, used to monitor what people buy and sell, and turned into a weapon to control what people buy and sell.

Economist Steve Forbes called it “an ugly power grab by Big Government.”

Simply put, it is a surveillance scheme that will likely lead to the Mark of the Beast, and about half the world appears ready to get on board now.

Eleven, concerning corruption and deceit: on Mar. 16, 2022, after 17 months of lies, denials and censorship by the Democrats, mainstream media, social media, etc., The New York Times finally confirmed that the Laptop from Hell belongs to Hunter Biden and the incriminating e-mails are authentic.

Some believe the corruption and deceit were deliberately carried out to impact the 2020 election, and the wrong man, the head of the Biden crime family, was declared the winner.

A big question is, “Why is The New York Times admitting the Biden family’s criminal activities now?”

Are some Democrats thinking about replacing Pres. Biden?

Twelve, concerning the Battle of Gog and Magog: in late Feb. 2022, Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN told the UN Security Council that Russia does not agree with Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, including West Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

On Mar. 16. 2022, it was reported that a Russian military patrol was spotted near the Golan Heights in Syria.

Finally, are you Rapture Ready?

If you want to be rapture ready and go to heaven, you must be born again (John 3:3). God loves you, and if you have not done so, sincerely admit that you are a sinner; believe that Jesus is the virgin-born, sinless Son of God who died for the sins of the world, was buried, and raised from the dead; ask Him to forgive your sins, cleanse you, come into your heart and be your Saviour; then tell someone that you have done this.

[ Daymond Duck ]


“What about war and biblical prophecy?”

Three weeks ago, people in Ukraine were going about their business as normal. Today, they are in the midst of a horrendous war—their homes and possessions being pulverized, their lives shattered as they shelter in bunkers or brave the perils of fleeing their country. And who knows what the situation will hold as the days and weeks of tragic aggression endure. But one thing is certain: our minds are riveted on eastern Europe, and our hearts are deeply stirred by the uncertainties of the hour.

Two eminently relevant questions I hear frequently:

What should we expect?
What should we do?
The first question, when asked by believers, is usually associated with prophecy, which can mean “forth-telling”—presenting the Christian message forthrightly—or “foretelling,” meaning presenting truths that have been revealed concerning the future.

There are many reasons why prophecy captures the interest of Bible believers—and the controversy therein is not something we can go into in this brief letter. Yet, oftentimes these differences in understanding stem from failure to recognize that the basic purpose of prophecy is redemptive and ethical—not date fixing and personality identifying. (For example, not a few have questioned whether Putin is the Antichrist. My father, an ardent Bible reader and teacher, was convinced Mussolini was the Antichrist!)

First, we should expect that Jesus, who left earth and ascended to heaven, will one day return. The return of Christ is preeminent in Christian teaching. Jesus affirmed it and His disciples reiterated it. He said unmistakably, “I will come again!” (John 14:3). But He did leave us with an air of certain uncertainty; we would not know when He would return, but there would be plenty of indicators that He would.

Second, we should expect that “the Day of the Lord will come” (2 Peter 3:10). The Bible teaches that the Lord who created and continues to uphold His creation has reserved the right to terminate it at His will. This cataclysmic event is variously called “the great and dreadful Day” or “the great and glorious Day” (Joel 2:31; Acts 2:20). Its unfolding will incorporate judgment for some and blessing for others—thus accounting for the starkly different descriptions.

Third, we should expect God will finalize His eternal plans for His creation. The Day of the Lord and the return of Christ do not spell out the end of the story for the created order. Far from it! God has announced, “I am making everything new!”—“a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” (Revelation 21:1, 5).

This new creation will be the home of the redeemed, and the Lord will reside among His people. They will meet Jesus face-to-face and finally be transformed into His likeness. They will have new bodies ideally suited to life in the new creation. Their salvation will be complete and God will be seen to be “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28).

Which brings us to the second question. What should we do?

Knowing what to do in a dangerous, frightening, intractable situation that some fear might lead to the end of the world can be deeply disturbing for many people. But think how the Scriptures above tell us what God is doing and, accordingly, what will happen in our lives.

That He is coming again fills us with hope and expectancy.
That He is going to make a new creation fills us with joy.
That He will perfect us when we see Christ fills us with confidence.
That He has a plan for the ages gives us the courage to face the future.
That the love of Christ is shed abroad in our hearts means—even in times of war—that love for an enemy can shine through.
That we have received compassion from our merciful God means our homes and hearts can be opened to refugees and the care they require.
People who display such evidence of God’s redemptive work stand out in a crowd—particularly a crowd that is confused and hopeless. This points to the fact that although our secularized society has little time or need for a Christian lifestyle or godly values, it does value the qualities of redeemed people in their midst.

But the Bible is acutely specific when it speaks to the ethical demands of a redeemed life in the context of the days in which we live. For instance, Peter—having spelled out the Day of the Lord in startling detail—asked the question, “Seeing everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?” (2 Peter 3:11). Then, as many preachers love to do, he proceeded to answer his own question! “You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.”

Time and space do not allow further exploration of the Bible’s answer to the tremendous questions we have raised. So, may I suggest a little homework? Ask yourself a few questions, or take them to a group of friends with whom you study and pray.

What role does a holy and godly life play in today’s secular environment—particularly in times of danger, uncertainty, and confusion?
Does the coming Day of the Lord fill me with glorious thoughts or dreadful thoughts?
How can I possibly affect the timing of the plans that God has for His universe?
As I pray—and I invite you to join me—that the ongoing situation in eastern Europe is peacefully resolved with certain haste, my hope is that you’ve found this message to be a helpful and timely comfort for your soul.

[ Stuart Briscoe ]


“Why is the World in Such Chaos?”

Why? Why is the world in such chaos? Why is the Church divided in its response to the current crises the world faces, whether it be plagues, pestilence, war, famine or injustice?

This is the question of the day all thinking people and especially Christians need answered. The answer for the ungodly is easy. The answer for the Church is not so easy.

The UnGodly and the Church Answer
The quick answer for the ungodly is easy. The world is in chaos because they have denied God and been turned over to a reprobate mind. That mind calls good evil and evil good. It is filled with envy and strife and seeks only to elevate itself above God and others (Romans 1:28, Isaiah 5:20, James 3:16, 2 Corinthians 10:5).

The answer for the Church is not so easy. Many (most) are well intended and sincerely want the truth and righteousness to reign. The problem is speaking before listening, answering before learning. Sometimes we are like kids in school. We want to be the one to give the answer, so we shout the answer to a question we think is being asked instead of waiting to hear the question. So we give the wrong answer.

Another problem is where we get our answer. Are we sitting in the counsel of the ungodly, standing in the path of sinners (Psalm 1:1-2)? Are we so anxious to be seen as the good guys, we speak out our own ideas instead of God’s wisdom? Even worse, do we use God’s word to justify our position as His position?

A Spiritual Battle
Here is what I want to encourage each of us with today.

First, recognize this is a spiritual battle on all fronts and our weapons are not carnal but spiritual. These spiritual weapons have the power to pull down these strongholds in our society and in our own lives (2 Corinthians 10:4).

Second, listen not to the counsel of the ungodly, but to God. We need to discern who we listen to in the Church. Many well intended but not Spirit-directed leaders are speaking out of their own understanding. We need to listen to those who speak with God’s wisdom. We need to take responsibility to seek God’s voice. We each are responsible before God to discern His words, His voice, and to know when a leader gets sidetracked by heartfelt but carnal ideals.

Third, remember that a quick study of Scripture shows that God allows many injustices in the world to linger as a result of man’s rebellion, but He will never allow injustice to go unaccounted for. We must be patient with and obedient to God’s timing. He is in control.

Fourth, listen before speaking and learn before answering. Just because the whole world is screaming and demanding an answer does not mean we need to speak. Jesus remained silent before his accusers and his judge (Matthew 26:63). The Bible teaches us to be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:9).

Ask for Wisdom
Lastly, we must ask for wisdom and believe He will give it. The world’s crisis does not require our immediate response. It requires our immediate conversation with our Father to determine His heart and His will at the moment. Our inaction and our silence doesn’t affirm or deny a certain message. It says we are doing what is most important: listening and waiting on our Father to direct us. That inaction or silence may not be socially acceptable. But it is biblical.

As Christians, you are safe in the shelter of God. You should not be afraid. You are free to wait, listen and respond as Spirit-led believers.

I leave you with the words of a song that came to mind today. We’re sheltered in God’s arms. This is still true no matter how crazy or demonic the world becomes. Dottie Rambo penned:

I feel the touch of hands so kind and tender
They’re leading me in paths that I must trod
I’ll have no fear for Jesus walks beside me
For I’m sheltered in the arms of God
So let the storms rage high
The dark clouds rise
They don’t worry me
For I’m sheltered safe within the arms of God
He walks with me
And naught of earth shall harm me
For I’m sheltered in the arms of God.

[ John Yeatts ]


“The Edge of Chaos”

A living system getting too close to the edge of chaos risks incoherence, but moving too far away risks rigidity, either case leading to extinction. Complex systems flourish at the edge of chaos. For the imaginative conservative, real thought, reflection, and learning often take place at the edge of chaos…

Studying history teaches us not only war, but about the ethnic, religious, cultural, political, and ideological conflicts between warring groups. Our own nation was split by a civil war within a century of breaking ties with the mother country. A nation can get imperial ambitions and go to war for more land. This happens in religion, too. The Schism of 1054 AD is an example of religious conflict, even if more theological than military. The Reformation sparked bloodshed among different religious groups, so we read about Luther and Melanchthon, about Zwingli and Calvin, and about Menno and the radical reformers. Today’s fractured Protestant world has more denominations than any of us could name.

In Michael Crichton’s The Lost World, we are introduced to the edge of chaos, “a place where there is enough innovation to keep a living system vibrant, and enough stability to keep it from collapsing into anarchy”.[1] Even those who do not believe in macroevolution (or science fiction) could perhaps see the edge of chaos in comparing different worldviews, different ethnicities, different cultures, and different religions. And those areas make for fantastic studies which can challenge our views and our upbringings, and hopefully mature us in our understandings. While in the religious realm we occasionally focus on subjects such as Judaism vs. Christianity or Roman Catholicism vs. Eastern Orthodoxy or Catholicism vs. Protestantism, there is much to be learned from dividing religion into huge blocks, maybe half a dozen, and seeing how they have related to each other. Here, at the edge of chaos, there is so much that we can explore.

As a child and later a teenager, I learned in Hebrew school about how those nasty Christians treated us Jews. There were the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the Holocaust. As Jewish comedian Tom Lehrer sang, “And everybody hates the Jews.” But is reality that simple? The Crusades were not about anti-Semitism, despite attacks on Jewish communities.[2] The Holocaust, while started in Lutheran and Catholic Germany, was based on a pagan, not a Christian, worldview.[3] We did not yet know back then that Hitler’s anti-Semitic philosophy was actually developed by World War I German General Eric Ludendorff,[4] but there were certainly enough Holocaust survivors around so that Holocaust denial[5] was nothing for us to consider.

The world has certainly been faced with anti-Semitism, from Haman in the Book of Esther to Antiochus IV Epiphanes in the second century BC through the Holocaust and even today.[6],[7] But history is often complicated. While Catholics have been accused of anti-Semitism, and certainly have been guilty at times, it is interesting to note those Catholics who have stood against it.[8],[9],[10] It took Luther to really institutionalize anti-Semitism as a church policy.[11]

A good review not only of church history,[12] Jewish history,[13] and historical theology is needed, but also of how Christians and Jews and Muslims have interacted throughout history. Again, looking at the big picture, have the Muslims really treated the Jews better than the Christians have treated the Jews over the course of the last fourteen centuries? The Arab-Israeli conflict is more recent,[14] so we need to get beyond current events and explore the interfaces of the world’s great faiths to get a view of history based not only on what each faith believes, but on how they have affected each other’s destinies throughout the centuries. And doing the latter helps us understand the former even better than taking religions and studying them in isolation.

Raised Lutheran and becoming a self-proclaimed agnostic,[15] American sociologist of religion Rodney Stark has written more than thirty books. In Bearing False Witness: Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History, Dr. Stark takes on common misconceptions of the Roman Catholic Church. These include the modern conceptions of two thousand years of Roman Catholic anti-Semitism; of Pope Pius XII being “Hitler’s Pope”; of suppression of the gospels; of the Christian persecution of pagans once Catholicism became the official church of Rome; of the Dark Ages; of certain aspects of the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition; of the persecution of scientists; of apathy towards New World slavery; of the divine right of kings; and of a repressive grip on progress that was broken by the Protestant Reformation, allowing for capitalism and religious freedom. Reading this book gives the impression that history has been rewritten and oversimplified, reduced at times to one-sentence expressions or clichés that do not look at different aspects of what has really happened over the millennia.

We could also look at US history not just as good guys vs. bad guys, although there certainly were both in the world wars, for example, but as a series of conflicts as Europeans colonized the New World, conquering and even massacring the natives. The colonial break from England was not welcome by all the colonists. While looking at primary sources debunks the myth that the South seceded for states’ rights, the Civil War could perhaps be seen not just as a conflict between slavery and abolitionism, but as a huge personality conflict between the more industrialized and egalitarian North and the more agricultural and autocratically-run South. When looking at any of these conflicts, seeking to understand what each side really believed leads to greater understanding than if one studies them from the viewpoint of “we were right and they were wrong.”

In The Lost World, a living system getting too close to the edge of chaos risks incoherence, but moving too far away risks rigidity, either case leading to extinction. Complex systems flourish at the edge of chaos.[16] For the imaginative conservative, real thought, reflection, and learning often take place at the edge of chaos, where we see how major ideologies are born and even clash, allowing us to see much better not only their interrelationships, but their specific teachings even better.

The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility. Will you help us remain a refreshing oasis in the increasingly contentious arena of modern discourse? Please consider donating now.

Notes:

[1] Michael Crichton. The Lost World. New York: Random House, 1995, pg. 3.

[2] Rodney Stark. God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades. Harper Collins e‑book, pg. 121.

[3] Gene Edward Veith, Jr. Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview.

[4] Will Brownell and Denise Drace-Brownell. The First Nazi: Erich Ludendorff, The Man Who Made Hitler Possible.

[5] Kenneth S. Stern. Holocaust Denial.

[6] Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin. Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism.

[7] Robert S. Wistrich. Antisemitism: The Longest Hatred.

[8] Rodney Stark’s Bearing False Witness: Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History is a great book for correcting many misconceptions, including those of a supposedly strongly anti-Semitic Catholic church.

[9] Peter Eisner. The Pope’s Last Crusade: How an American Jesuit Helped Pope Pius XI’s Campaign to Stop Hitler.

[10] Rabbi David G. Dalin. The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis.

[11] Martin Luther. On the Jews and Their Lies.

[12] Justo L. González. The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Present Age.

[13] Ken Spiro. WorldPerfect: The Jewish Impact on Civilization.

[14] Benjamin Netanyahu’s A Place Among the Nations: Israel and the World is an example of many books on this subject. Other viewpoints include Amy Dockster Marcus’s Jerusalem 1913: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, Susan Nathan’s The Other Side of Israel: My Journey Across the Jewish-Arab Divide, and Saree Makdisi’s Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation.

[15] A Christmas conversation with Rodney Stark. Center for Studies on New Religions. 25 December 2007.

[16] Crichton, pg. 3.

[ Howard Merken ]


“How to Eliminate the Chaos in Your Life”

[ PursueGOD ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYShVfb9Qz4


“Remaining Fearless These Last Days”

One thing that we will regularly learn throughout this book is, there are a few things that will build us up spiritually and maintain our strength in these last days. Our relationship with fellow Christians, our regular attendance at Christian meetings, and our sharing our faith with others, will strengthen us, make us steadfast. These are provisions from God that will help us to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” (Eph. 6:10) Max Anders comments, saying, “Paul introduces his final subject by urging the Ephesian believers to be strong in the Lord. When it comes to spiritual warfare, we cannot be sufficiently strong by ourselves. If we are going to have adequate strength for the spiritual battles of life, it must be the Lord’s strength. Only he has the mighty power sufficient to win spiritual battles against the demonic enemy.”[1] As we grow in knowledge and understanding, our chief desire will be to share our faith.

While Jesus was referring to our giving to the poor, we learn an important message from his words, “your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matt. 6:4) He is well aware of any difficult times that befall us. Even though God’s “throne is in heaven; his own eyes see, his watchful eyes examine the sons of men.” (Ps. 11:4) We know that God never has to sleep, so he is ever watchful, having loving interest in the welfare of his people. God “will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands, they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. (Ps. 91:11-12) Steven Lawson writes, “In part, this sovereign guardianship will be carried out by his angels whom the Lord will command and commission to guard you in all your ways. Satan quoted these verses to Christ in his temptation and shrewdly omitted this last phrase, “in all your ways” (Matt. 4:6; Luke 4:10–11). This divine protection extends only to the place of trusting and obeying God. The angels will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone (Ps. 34:7).”[2]

Remember the precious promise that God’s eyes “run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is complete toward him.” (2 Chron. 16:9) God is “is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the tired one, and full might to those lacking strength. (Isa. 40:28-29) Isaiah then promises that those who place their hope in God, they “will regain power; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not tire out. (Isa. 40:31) Contentment and peace belong to those, who accept that the Father’s power is always available to them, knowing that God is always interested in their best interests. We need to believe that “we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.” –Romans 8:28. [ more… ]

[ Christian Publishing House ]

Article: https://christianpublishinghouse.co/2017/10/19/remaining-fearless-these-last-days/


“Fearless in the Fight”
Nothing surprises God about the state of our world.

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Desperate for Jesus Women’s Conference with my mom at the church of my youth, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. This year’s keynote speakers, Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer, spoke about being fearless and godly women.

Moore’s teaching on 2 Timothy was particularly fitting given the current climate in our country. She reminded us that for Christians, time is not going, but coming — meaning all of time is pointed toward a singular event, the Second Coming of Christ.

Just as Paul reminded Timothy, she reminded us to fan the flames of our gifts, unafraid of obstacles or the local news or whatever challenges we might face, because God has not given us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:6-7).

We can boldly go to our jobs, love our neighbors, serve our communities, and worship in our churches because God is not caught off guard about the state of our world. Need a reminder? Read 2 Timothy 3. Paul warns Timothy that the last days would be terrible times, that people would be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, and unholy. Paul details a whole host of behaviors that seem to perfectly characterize the times in which we live.

Yet, even as Timothy faced the sinful men and women of his time , Paul reminded Timothy to keep his head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all of the duties of his ministry (2 Timothy 4: 5).

Paul could encourage Timothy, and he can encourage us. Paul was not naive about the difficulties of being a Christian in a culture that was hostile to his message. He was beaten, stoned, abandoned, imprisoned, went without food or sleep all for the sake of the gospel. Yet, even in the face of unimaginable dangers he persevered for the sake of the gospel, and not only did he persevere, he also wrote half of the New Testament, encouraged a new generation of disciples who would come after him, and took the good news of Jesus Christ to all corners of the world as it existed at the time.

Paul fought the good fight. He encouraged Timothy and encourages us to do the same. As Ms. Beth reminded the ladies at the Desperate for Jesus Conference, our time is too short and our work is too great for us to be fearful.

How will we pass the time until Jesus comes? Will we be like Paul, boasting in our weakness because only through Christ are we made strong? Will we boldly proclaim the good news of Christ to our co-workers, neighbors, and loved ones? Or will we spend our days worrying about things that were never within our control in the first place?

I want to be like Paul and Timothy. So in this current age, I choose to remind myself of the words of another beloved disciple, “There is no fear in love … but perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18).

[ Kathryn Freeman ]


“5 Tips from a Psychologist on Finding Peace In Chaos”
(When It Feels Like The World Is Falling Apart)

finding peace in chaos
Global pandemics, social injustice, the climate crisis, and now, terrorists attacking The Capitol? I know it can feel like the world is getting worse and worse each day. Finding peace in chaos seems like a challenge we must face far too often.

When dystopian nightmares become today’s actual news, and you find yourself facing the unimaginable, how do you deal with all the bad in the world and even begin to manage your wellbeing?

How can you find peace in chaos, contempt, antagonism, and violence?

Finding peace may sound daunting right now because it is. It’s vital to remember that peace within yourself is still possible in tough times like these.

Here are some ways to help you protect your wellbeing when you feel like the world is crumbling.

  1. Look for stabilizing forces.
    If you’re in the midst of a stormy sea, clinging to what is solid can help you stay sane. Seeking out sources of stability and comfort is a way to help you foster peace within yourself.

Stability can be found in the most mundane of comforts – re-watching your favorite TV series or puppy videos, for example, or baking your favorite chocolate chip cookies, or having a phone call with Grandma.

finding peace in chaos
Seeking out what is good, inspiring, and hope-inducing can help you rise above what is discouraging and fear-inducing.

The wise words of Fred Rogers hold even more true in moments of distress:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
Kindness is a stabilizing force to the chaos induced by fear and ignorance, so look for it everywhere. Some of my favorite social media accounts are those focused on the good in the world, such as @goodnews_movement, @upworthy, and @goodgoodgoodco.

Remember that no matter how unstable the world feels, there are always places and people that can help you connect to a sense of stability.

  1. Be mindful about what you consume.
    Speaking of social media, be very mindful (aka very careful, selective, and intentional) with the people and media you allow into your world.

Protect your boundaries by saying no. This isn’t the time for you to put up with people who drain your energy, or to say yes to things you really don’t want to do. Just because someone else wants to talk about the negative things happening in the world, doesn’t mean you need to participate. If those conversations don’t make you feel better, you probably shouldn’t be having them right now.

Also, say no to watching too much news. One way people deal with traumatic public events is to seek control by obsessing over gathering information. Overexposing yourself to disturbing images and hearing the stressful “play-by-play” usually doesn’t help you feel better. Being informed is one thing, but once you know the information, do you really need to scroll through every story, or watch the news for hours? To cultivate peace, limit your news intake to less than 15 minutes per day.

  1. Rid yourself of the stress chemicals in your body.
    Stress leads to the production of stress hormones in the body. These hormones help you with the fight or flight response designed to help you survive in stressful environments. Without physical activity, these hormones remain in your body and cause harm over time.

Taking care of your body almost always helps your mind feel more peace, too.

the world is getting worse
If you feel anxious, your shoulders feel tight, or you have headaches or stomachaches connected to stress about the state of the world, try going for a walk or jog, working out, or take advantage of any type of physical activity. Singing, creative expression, physical intimacy, and laughter can also help relax your frazzled nervous system and feel more at peace.

  1. Get help. Share the struggle openly with others.
    Humans were designed to be in community and to overcome difficulties with the support of others. If the world is feeling like a scary place, don’t keep those feelings to yourself, reach out to friends and loved ones for support. Be open and honest about what is worrying you. Don’t be so focused on perception management or maintaining an unrealistic image of perfection that you’re afraid to be vulnerable and honest.

how to deal with all the bad in the world
If leaning on your loved ones feels hard, start with opening up to one trusted person.

Therapy is a fantastic resource for those seeking more peace. Seek the support of a therapist or mental health professional to help you process the complicated emotions that can come from everything going on right now, and teach you techniques and tools that are peace-fostering, too.

  1. Focus on your power and strength.
    One of the best ways to cope with feeling powerless, is to focus on your power. Bring your attention to the many things you have control over. Even focusing on small areas of control like your breathing, the clothes you wear, or what time you wake up can be a helpful beginning to fostering more peace in your life.

Remember, too, that there are always people you can bring comfort to and help. Is there a cause that’s meaningful to you that you can raise awareness for? Is there a person you know who is suffering right now that you could help in some small way?

Even more powerful than looking for the helpers is becoming the helper.

If you can harness your stress and use it to do something that feels meaningful to you, it’s bound to help you feel a greater sense of peace too.

Finding peace in chaos can be elusive when it feels like the world is getting worse, but I hope these simple strategies help you remember that no matter what’s happening in the world, you have more control over your well-being than you think.

[ Dr. Therese Mascardo ]


“Finding Peace Amidst the Chaos of Uncertainty”

The experience of parenting in 2020 won’t be forgotten anytime soon. For many of us, this past spring marked our first experience with an unprecedented loss of normalcy and control – beyond our comprehension. Everything we traditionally counted on to provide a sense of safety, structure and routine for our families was taken away. As fall approaches, we wait to hear whether our children will be going to kindergarten, to high school, or to college. Will our family ski trip be cancelled? Will our son or daughter be married at our favorite inn? Will our children see their grandparents this year?

The realization has set in that not only has life as we know it been turned upside down, but that it is going to stay this way for a while. The uncertainty created by the pandemic is very real and can feel frightening at times.

That said, I want to encourage you to view this time as an opportunity to really reflect on your values and reframe what is truly important for yourself and your family right now. Not unlike the famous ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz, we do have power and we can create a peaceful life for ourselves even during a global pandemic. The following skills can truly become your superpowers if you put them into practice.

Embrace acceptance. As a parent who has invested blood, sweat and tears to give your family the best, the challenges of the pandemic can feel paralyzing. Whether that means your child is delaying attendance at a prestigious college or you’ve got little ones glued to their iPad while you navigate working from home, letting go of previous expectations and accepting the situation will make a difference. Part of acceptance is also validating your whirlwind of emotions – you may feel angry, frustrated and frightened. Once you acknowledge that, you can move forward and focus on what you can do vs. what you can’t control. Accepting the situation helps us feel grounded, giving us a firm footing to build the world we want for ourselves and our family.
Slow down. In a strange way, the craziness of this time forces us to pause and take inventory of our lives. Whereas before you might have spent a weekend running around to a million activities and gatherings, now you can take time to appreciate things in a simpler light. Allow yourself to be present in the moment and enjoy the reality that you can only do so much planning right now.

Recognize your resources. Our old system may have collapsed, so we need to build a new one with a network of supportive people. If caregiving help is an issue, enlist a family member or friend to read a book, draw a picture or play a game with your child over Zoom. Older teens can take advantage of free virtual activities provided by libraries and museums. I also recommend staying connected to the people in your life who can provide encouragement when you are having a rough day and challenge you when you are stuck.

Redefine success. I encourage you to think of success in a different way. Long-term goals may stay the same, but the path there may look very different. In this time of uncertainty, looking at goals in the short-term may prove to be a more efficient way of reaching those long-term goals. For example, if my child is unable to participate in the event that would be the stepping stone to a successful future, how do I think outside of the proverbial box to prepare him or her in a manner that is within my control. What can I offer my children through my own wisdom, talent, skills, and experience? How do I model success for my children through our daily interaction? Children more apt to respond to what they see than what they hear.

Find the value in practicing vulnerability. In a world of intense vulnerability, take the opportunity to be honest about your need for help. Fear thrives in isolation. There is strength in asking for help. As Brené Brown writes, “To be authentic, we must cultivate the courage to be imperfect – and vulnerable.” Allowing others to be supportive offers the opportunity to experience a sense of camaraderie and a sense of community.
Be kind to yourself. Make no mistake – uncertainty is very challenging and for this reason it is important to treat yourself with the utmost love, kindness and respect. You can begin by simply asking, “What do I need right now? What would it look like to do something healthy for myself physically? Who do I have to support me emotionally? Am I being mentally stimulated? What simple changes can I make to take better care of myself?” Unfortunately, our culture has embraced the notion that drinking wine when the kids are in bed is tantamount to self-care, but that is misleading. Taking care of yourself must happen from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. If you are struggling, I encourage you to find a virtual therapist to provide guidance and support.

As we navigate this time of uncertainty, this can be a valuable opportunity to re-evaluate and re-prioritize what is most important. If we cling to the idea that everything always must be perfect and on-track, we may miss the opportunity to experience the joy that is put before us in the moment.

[ Jacquelyn Guthridge ]


“FINDING PEACE IN A SEA OF CHAOS”

The past few months have been a trying time for many of us for a myriad of reasons. For some, just a short time ago we would have never imagined going through what we have experienced. Some examples are a pandemic, a loss of a loved one, a personal conviction for social justice, a division amongst friends and family, a lost sense of what “normal” feels like. We still may face natural struggles of life that drain peace away, such as stress from work or school, a recurring feeling of anxiety or depression and so on. Ultimately, many of us struggle with a loss of peace which can deeply perpetuate the difficulties of the current times. Let’s explore some ways to reintroduce peace in our lives.

MAINTAIN CONNECTIONS
It is difficult for some to feel as connected to people as they have in the past, and it is more challenging to try to connect. However, safely connecting with our loved ones will not only help us feel less lonely but also give us an outlet to express that chaos. We may also learn that we are not alone in our search for lost peace and learn to lean onto one another for support.

GET CONNECTED SPIRITUALLY
Prayer, fasting, meditating, and reading scripture can help us feel closer to God and closer to peace. Incorporating this into your normal routine can help cope with what was lost and increase the sense of community through fellowship with other likeminded individuals.

PRACTICE MINDFULNESS
Mindfulness focuses on the present by focusing our thoughts on what any of our five senses presently experience. This can be practiced in many ways, but a good start may be to find a place that feels comfortable, begin by focusing on breathing, and allow the mind to return to focusing on the present as it naturally wanders. Mindfulness implements calm and temporarily keeps chaos off the mind.

TAKE TIME TO CARE FOR YOURSELF
Practicing self-care regularly is vital to our wellbeing which include

Maintaining our physical wellbeing by eating well, exercising, resting, practicing good hygiene, etc.

Satisfying an intellectual itch to learn more or to think more deeply on interesting topics as a sense of escaping from the chaos around you for a moment

Tending to our emotional needs.
It is important to recognize what we are feeling and allow ourselves to feel that way for a time. Feeling negative emotions is okay, as repressing them will probably allow them to grow. However, it is equally important to not let them consume you and to be aware of how to express them. Find a healthy way to feel your emotions while allowing yourself to carry on with your day.

BOUNDARIES
Are there things in our lives that we just know will add to the chaos that we may be experiencing? How large a role do they play in our lives? Sometimes, it is unavoidable, but that does not mean that it should be all-consuming. Finding ways to limit our exposure to who or what builds chaos in our lives and implementing times to intentionally add peace to our lives should help bring about more balance.

REBUILD
Just as there is a time to focus on the past and a time to focus on the present, there is a time to focus on the future. Rebuilding peace takes time and effort. Perhaps this looks like managing life without a loved one or without what used to feel “normal” and accepting what life is today. Perhaps it means forgiving someone, reuniting with what was lost, or remembering that today’s situation does not equate to the rest of your life. No matter what it looks like, it is important to recognize that at some point, rebuilding will happen, and you will not be swimming in this sea of chaos forever.

Sometimes, we may need more help feeling ready or finding ways to rebuild. If you would like support along this path, feel free to reach out to a therapist for counseling and continue this journey. For more information on counseling services, visit our website.

[ Anthony Rosado ]


“How To Find Peace In Chaos”

Founder of Conscious Business Coach helping conscious entrepreneurs & business leaders focus their energy and find peace in chaos.

What if you could find peace in any chaos?

Day to day, you might deal with many triggers to your survival brain, unleashing a host of emotions, thoughts and body sensations each minute that can feel chaotic or out of control.

What does chaos look like to you?

Is it getting stressed scrolling through social media streams on conflict-ridden current events? Getting constantly interrupted by your kids on a video call while sharing space with your partner who is also working from home? Or trying to make many decisions in the face of the unknown?

Chaos often shows up internally. Maybe it’s a dull, throbbing headache, stiff neck or tight back. Or maybe it’s your constantly running mind that never shuts up, analyzing what happened or what needs to get done the next day right before bedtime.

It may be impractical to take time off for a 10-day silent retreat or meditate for an hour, let alone 15 minutes. Here are three quick, simple ways to find peace in chaos in any moment:

Moving Meditations

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With your legs shoulder-width apart, gently use your fists to tap two inches below your belly button, and imagine the vibration going into your core or “gut.” This is a major energy center in your body where life is birthed, and it is also known by some as the second chakra.

Close your eyes, and relax your mind. Focus your awareness where the vibration is on your energy center.

Where your mind goes, energy flows. Energy travels as light, sound or vibration. This exercise utilizes vibration to help bring your awareness back into your body’s core and center.

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After 100 or so taps with your fist, now suck your belly button in to your spine, similar to a crunch standing or sitting up. Keep pumping. This is called intestinal exercise.

Now that you’ve used vibration through tapping, you’ve brought your brain’s scattered energy from outside yourself back into your body, drawing downward to your gut. Intestinal exercise helps you keep your focus centered on the gut and heat up your core.

Typically, we have hot heads and cold guts. By reversing this improper circulation using the “water up, fire down” principle, you can bring the “fire” in your head down to heat up your core, and bring the cold gut energy back up to your head for a calm, cool mind.

By exercising your intestines, you’re pumping fresh oxygen, increasing blood flow, better absorbing nutrients and processing undigested waste to achieve the proper “water up, fire down” circulation. You’ll know you have proper energy circulation if you heat up, sweat or form saliva in your mouth.

Master Your Emotions

Other exercises can really allow you to master your emotions by embracing the “bad” or unwanted emotions like anger, sadness or jealousy.

This practice takes five minutes or less and keeps your focus on observing the emotion rather than becoming or identifying as the emotion itself. There are many exercises, but here’s a sample of one exercise that has proven very powerful with my business leader clients.

Close your eyes. Scan your body from your head to your toes. Where do you notice tension, pain or unwanted emotions?

Ask yourself, “What color is the pain or unwanted emotion? What shape? What texture? What movement?”

Now imagine one of your happiest memories. Who’s around you? Where are you? What songs and smells surround you? How does it feel?

Saturate every cell in your body with the energy of that happy memory.

Now go back to the pain. Ask yourself, “What color is the pain now? What shape? What texture? What movement?”

My clients who practice this are able to shift their unwanted feeling’s shape, color, movement — sometimes disappearing the unwanted emotion altogether.

The more you master your emotions, the quicker you’ll be able to develop your emotional resilience as a leader.

Listen Within

The final exercise to access peace in chao is listening within.

Simply close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and ask your heart, “What’s my message for today?”

Continue asking and listening. Often, the response is simple in just a few words.

You can not only talk to your heart, but any organ, or area of pain, as well.

By tapping into your own inner wisdom to listen within, you’ll get very aligned answers to decisions you need to make without having to question or regret the decision.

The more you practice, the easier your body and heart can communicate clearer messages, and the more power you’ll have to simply notice your thoughts, feelings and body sensations passing through, rather than getting lost in them.

Mastery Requires Practice

Before you can experience peace, it’s critical to bring your awareness from outside yourself into your body. Then bring that energy down from your head into your core. You’ve now aligned your body, heart, mind and soul in just a few minutes.

By focusing inward, you’ll build your inner guidance system more strongly to guide you through uncertainty. You’ll be the calm in the eye of the storm, no matter how chaotic it gets inside or out. You can choose the most aligned response each moment.

When you have the courage to practice these moments of peace of moving meditations, mastering your emotions and listening within, you will not only find peace amid chaos; you will become a source of peace in the chaos of our world.

By embodying peace in any chaos, you can access an abundant, infinite supply of energy to serve your team, your customers, your stakeholders and, most importantly, yourself.

Forbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only community for leading business and career coaches. Do I qualify?

[ Anna Choi ]


“Drip Feed of Dread”

What’s with the news continually drip feeding stories of dread? Find out with guest Dr. J.B. Hixson along with Tim Moore and Nathan Jones of the Lamb & Lion Ministries evangelism team as they provide their Prophetic Perspectives

[ Christ in Prophecy ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkCNhxLEbZM


“Moving From Fear to Courage”

[ Robert Jeffress ]

– Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkrxJ1f2-0E
– Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwxDg5iOyp4


“10 Ways to Fight Fear”

In light of all the uneasiness caused by coronavirus and its fallout in the economy, I thought it would be helpful to post this timely wisdom by Isaac Watts.

Fear is an excellent provision of God to guard us from many dangers when fixed on a proper object and proper degree. When God is the object of our fear, we are able to maintain a holy awe of his majesty, and it awakens a constant desire in us to please him. But when fear ruffles the spirit, throws the soul into unrest, and turns us from a steady course of duty, it becomes a sinful and forbidden passion.

For some, fear is a constant tyrant over them. This ought to stir them up as far as possible to shake off this bondage that robs them of comfort. May the Spirit help the following methods to be happily successful.

  1. Keep your faith awake and living.
    Remember you are under the special eye and protection of your God and Savior! Brighten your faith and hope daily by a frequent examination of your hearts, and walking before God. Commit your souls into the hands of Jesus and his Spirit for pardoning and renewing grace. A living faith gives divine courage. Faith is a noble shield to ward off fear, and our helmet is the hope of our salvation.
  2. Take heed of defiling your souls with sensuality.
    Guilt will create fear and fill the soul with perplexing tumult of thoughts.
  3. Consider the covenant of grace as a blessed treasury.
    Here is an armor of defense found for every assault and danger! Get a large acquaintance with the promises of the gospel, that in every special time of need you may have a suitable word of refuge and support. In special seasons of trial keep your mind fixed upon some single promise that is most suited to the present danger or suffering, and to the present taste and relish of your soul. Fixing and living on a particular word of grace for the whole day will let it abide on your heart and whisper to your soul the divine sweetness in the dark and solitary watches of the night. In a fresh assault, fly to the word you have chosen for your refuge and meditation.
  4. Pursue the spirit of prayer, and moral strength and courage will descend upon you!
    Address the throne of God with earnestness and faith, and cry to the God of your salvation without ceasing. He gives renewed strength for the battle, courage in the midst of tears, and he can preserve and secure us in the most extreme peril. He may repel the most imminent danger, and rebukes the spirit of fear to gain moral courage. While at the mercy seat, keep an eye on Christ Jesus your mediator, advocate, and the captain of your salvation. He is engaged to see you brought safely home to heaven. Many a feeble Christian, in coming to the mercy seat with overwhelming fears, has risen from his knees with a heavenly calmness and composure! The army of fears has vanished, and he has gone out to face the most formidable of his adversaries with divine resolution and courage.
  5. Wean yourself more from the flesh and the delights belonging to the mortal life.
    Learn to put off a little of that sinful tenderness for self which we brought into the world with us. One of the first lessons in the school of Christ is self-denial (Matthew 16:24). We must subdue this self-love and softness if we would be good soldiers of Jesus Christ and gain a spirit of sacred courage and resolution. We must be dead to the things of the flesh and sense if we would gain a victory over the complaints and groanings of nature.
  6. Endeavor to keep yourselves always employed in some proper work, that your fears may be diverted.
    If our thoughts and hands are idle and empty, we lie open to the invasion of our fears from every side. The imagination at leisure can sit and brood over its own terrors. Lack of occupation exposes the mind to frightful images that fancy can furnish.
  7. Keep your eye on the hand of God in all the affairs of men.
    View his powerful and overruling providence in all things, including your most troubling fears. Learn to see God in all things, and behold him as your God, and the distressing fears within you will have little influence to awaken the passions of your soul. Do thunder and lightning frightening you? In whose hands is the thunder? Who directs its flashes and every sweeping blast of wind or fire to its appointed place? Do political upheavals awaken your fears? Rejoice and stand firm amidst the tumult and the shaking of the nations (Psalm 46).

Perhaps personal dangers threaten your good name, estate, flesh, or your life. The presence of God is a universal spring of comfort and courage, and a wide-spreading shield against every mischief. Does slander, poverty, or sickness frighten you? Remember that diseases are your servants of our Lord Jesus, and he can bid pains and anguish of body go or come as he pleases. None will tarry with you beyond his appointed moment. He is a wise physician and he will deal tenderly with you. Are you afraid of persecuting enemies? These are but instruments to execute his divine purposes and are chained under the sovereign dominion of Christ. They cannot move or act beyond his permission! We are all immortal till our work is done!

  1. Recollect your own experiences of the goodness of God in carrying you through former seasons of danger and sorrow.
    Remember how high the tempest of your fears has sometimes risen, and how God has sunk them at once into silence. Remember how extreme your danger has been, but the eye of God has found a path of safety for you! He has led you as one blind by the way you didn’t know, and has made darkness light before you, and the crooked straight!
  2. Consider the divine command to put aside fear.
    Remember that exercising faith and showing courage are duties as well as blessings! “Fear not” is often repeated because God knows very well how prone our feeble natures are to become frightened at every appearance of danger (Matthew 10:28). The Lord of hosts alone is the proper object of our supreme fear. He will overrule and abolish all other fears. The fear of the Lord is an effectual cure for sinful fear. Christ chided his disciples when they were afraid in the storm. For a Christian to give himself up to the wild tyranny of his fears is contrary to the very spirit and design of the gospel (2 Timothy 1:7). Remember that you are the sons and daughters of God. It is below your dignity to yield to this slavery. Your Father himself reproves, and your Redeemer forbids it.
  3. Consider the many advantages that arise from a courageous spirit in the midst of dangers.
    It establishes your feet on a solid rock in the midst of the storms; it motivates you to practice every duty; it prevents many of the mischiefs you fear; it will preserve the soul and serenity and calmness under painful events of providence; it will make sorrows lighter, and the heaviest afflictions become more tolerable.

If we give in to fear, it throws the whole frame of our nature into tumult and confusion. Fear is a dreadful bondage of the soul, and holds the man in chains. It feels the smart of those very evils that frighten us at a distance that may never come near to us. When afraid, the very sufferings which are prevented by the mercy of God we must endure in our thoughts we must feel the pain of them by indulgence and excessive fear. But always remember, Jesus can support me in the heaviest distressed. He can bear me on the wings of faith and hope, high above the turmoils of life.

[ Issac Watts ]


“Fear Not: 31 Days to Freedom from Fear”

Do you struggle with fear, anxiety, or worry? Many people I talk to do.

For years I suffered from anxiety. But not anymore! By submitting my life to Christ and his kingdom — through his Word — I have found freedom. By learning to live my whole life as an apprentice to Jesus, devoted to him alone, I have learned not to worry about the outcomes of events, what people think about me, or whether or not I succeed.

Are you feeling anxious or afraid of the coronavirus and its effects on society?

Check out our free “Coronavirus Bible Verses” and related “Soul Talks” podcasts.

365 Fear Nots
It’s been said that there are 365 Fear Nots in the Bible, one for each day of the year! In Your Best Life In Jesus’ Easy Yoke I explain that there are actually more than 365 verses in the Bible guiding us in how we deal with “fear” (or “afraid”, “frightened”, “terrified”) and other verses on “worry,” “anxiety”, and related issues. We can be sure that 365 days a year the Lord says to us: “Fear not!”

Again and again in the Bible God’s promise to us is: “You will not fear… by day” (Psalm 91:5). For the Bible Study, I selected 31 of my favorite Fear Not Bible passages (from the NIV84) and identified the fearless truth God is teaching us.

The 31 “Fear Not” Bible verses below are a daily training program with Jesus to help you overcome fear and anxiety. If you train with Jesus in this way for 31 days then you will grow in his peace for 356 days a year!

How the Fear Not Training Works
Renewing your mind in Scripture is the key to overcoming fear and anxiety. So I encourage you to read, meditate on, and pray on one Fear Not Bible passage per day for 31 days. You need to approach this like you’re taking your daily dose of medicine – because you are!

You may want to write the Fear Not Scripture down on an index card each day so you can carry it with you. Re-read it and turn it over and over in your mind and let it lead you into personal prayers. You could memorize the passages that especially speak to your struggles. You’re seeking to form new habits, which is why it’s a 31-day program!

In Your Best Life In Jesus’ Easy Yoke I share with you my personal stories of overcoming fear, worry, and anxiety. And the stories of many people I’ve helped. I’ll help you to draw closer to Christ and to pray Scripture from the depths of your heart so that you can experience God’s love, joy, peace, and power! This book is easy to share with a friend or a small group.

Fear Nots for 31 Days
Here are the Scriptures in the 31 Days to Freedom From Fear:

Day 1 Fear Not: the Lord, Creator, and Savior, calls you by name to say, “You’re mine!”
“But now, this is what the LORD says – he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine’” (Isaiah 43:1).

Day 2 Fear Not: Come to Jesus with tiresome burdens to rest in his care as you work with him
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Day 3 Fear Not: the Shepherd is with you to train you to find comfort in him
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).

Day 4 Fear Not: Don’t be anxious – instead pray, ask, give thanks, be guarded by God’s peace
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Day 5 Fear Not: Jesus’ way is to simplify: Don’t worry. Be like the birds and flowers. Seek God.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important…? Look at the birds… your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow…. Will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?… But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:25-34).

Day 6 Fear Not: The fear of the Lord alone is the beginning of wisdom, not the end
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding” (Psalm 111:10a).

Day 7 Fear Not: God’s perfect love (which often comes through people) removes fear
“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another… There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:11, 18).

Day 8 Fear Not: the Lord wants to hold your hand and help you
“For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you’” (Isaiah 41:13).

Day 9 Fear Not: God wants to set you free from fear by being a Daddy to your inner child
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption and by him, we cry, ‘Abba, Father’” (Romans 8:15).

Day 10 Fear Not: If we live in the Lord’s light and salvation we need not fear any threat
“The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?… Though an army besieges me, my heart will not fear; though war breaks out against me, even then will I be confident” (Psalm 27:1, 3).

Day 11 Fear Not: When you fear the Lord you discover that he is a compassionate Father
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him” (Psalm 103:13).

Day 12 Fear Not: Fearful hearts need encouragement to put hope in God’s help and justice
“Say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution, he will come to save you’” (Isaiah 35:4).

Day 13 Fear Not: Give up all your worries to God who cares for you
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

Day 14 Fear Not: The Lord’s ministering angels bring peace to those who trust Christ
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people’” (Luke 2:10).

Day 15 Fear Not: God is with you, strengthening you and upholding you
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

Day 16 Fear Not: God doesn’t want you to suffer shame
“Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated” (Isaiah 54:4a).

Day 17 Fear Not: Practice being quiet before God; learn to be still in his presence
“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

Day 18 Fear Not: Jesus taught us not to fear people, but the God who cares for little sparrows
“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has the power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Luke 12:4-7).

Day 19 Fear Not: Trust God – he won’t frighten you! He gives you power, love, self-control
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Day 20 Fear Not: Trust God who delights in you and bad news won’t scare you – you’ll overcome!
“Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands… He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end, he will look in triumph on his foes” (Psalm 112:1, 7-8).

Day 21 Fear Not: Call the Lord and he comes close and comforts your fears
“You came near when I called you, and you said, ‘Do not fear’” (Lamentations 3:57).

Day 22 Fear Not: The risen Christ brings peace to those who are hiding behind locked doors
“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’” (John 20:19).

Day 23 Fear Not: Rely on God to “work in” you and then “work out” of you
“Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:12b-13).

Day 24 Fear Not: To “fear God” is to worship him as glorious and holy
“Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed” (Revelation 15:4).

Day 25 Fear Not: Even in suffering you are blessed if you do what’s right and look to God
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened’” (1 Peter 3:14).

Day 26 Fear Not: Like Paul, accept your weakness, rely on God’s grace, be made strong in Christ
“Three times I [Paul] pleaded with the Lord to take [the thorn in my flesh] away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ …That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10).

Day 27 Fear Not: trust God to give you the words to say and you won’t fear public speaking
“Do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit” (Mark 13:11b).

Day 28 Fear Not: Step into God’s light – be true and honest – and he’ll empower you
“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God” (John 3:20-21).

Day 29 Fear Not: Look to Jesus for the gift of the Father: the Spirit as your indwelling Comforter
“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor [“Paraclete”: Comforter, Encourager, Advocate] to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth… You know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you (John 14:16-18).

Day 30 Fear Not: The Lord sets us free from fear by removing our punishment and our enemy
“The LORD has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy… Never again will you fear any harm… The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:15, 17).

Day 31 Fear Not: Prayer helps us to overcome our fears of sharing the good news of Jesus
“Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19)

[ Bill Gaultiere ]


“How Much Worse Will It Get?”

As the world guardedly enters into a new year, many, from all corners of society, are wondering just what kind of future lies ahead for everyone in 2022 and beyond. Moreover, prophetically awake Christians, are wondering how much worse things will become as we draw closer to the end. If the general sentiment is anything like the meme that is making its rounds these days, the forecast does not look promising.

Although done somewhat tongue-in-cheek, it makes sense that as the signs of global decomposition are becoming more obvious, even the non-prophecy-watching population is starting to notice that something is terribly amiss. Even the secular news pundits are reporting on the storm clouds building on the horizon and are starting to panic. They, like many in the prophecy-watching community, are beginning to say that the coming tough times are all but unavoidable. For the record, yes, things will get worse before they get better, but worse in ways that most people can’t understand…and that confusion is by design. Nevertheless, as things move from bad to worse, two major themes are beginning to emerge amongst the Christian-Eschatological community.

The first narrative says that we (i.e. Western Christendom) are about to enter into a time of great persecution. A time which will include the intensification of persecution against the body of Christ writ large, which will mirror both what Christians outside of Western Civilization are presently going through, as well as what Christians have historically endured over the last two thousand years.

The second narrative being expressed by a growing number is that we are on the verge of a Third Great Awakening. This view is gaining momentum because historically, it has been true. When times of great persecution and tribulation occurred, the Church exploded like a wind-driven wildfire. The proponents of this view believe that out of the tribulation will arise this ‘church victorious’ where hundreds of millions come to a saving knowledge of Christ.

Let me just say up front that both of these narratives are in fact, wrong. Tough times and targeted persecution are two different things. Furthermore, the hope in a third great revival sounds good in theory, but it does not line up with God’s prophetic word.

Here is why.

Modus Operandi (The WHY)
First let me say, while I’m no fan of Satan, I don’t want anyone to make the mistake of underestimating him. He is the most powerful and intelligent being ever created. He’s had thousands of years to study humanity and most likely has a perfect working knowledge of all aspects of our physical universe. As such, Satan knows and uses three things very well to kill and destroy his enemy:

  1. Asymmetric Warfare – He is clever enough not to go after Christians directly. He learned his lesson after the first two centuries of the early Church that the more he attacked Christianity, the faster it spread. Therefore, he will never allow an obvious frontal assault on the body of Christ to happen again unless he has no other recourse. Thus, he will devote the majority of his time attacking the issues Christians care about most while avoiding attacking Christians directly. The last thing he wants to do is create anything Christians can rally around this close to the end (i.e., the Chick-Fil-A effect).
  2. War of compromise – He will influence the global leaders he controls to increasingly put barriers in between one’s faith, and one’s ability to live or earn a living. He is heavily invested in the war of compromise, because he knows if he can get churches and believers divided over smaller issues, then it will be much easier to get them to compromise on the big things. In so doing, he can divide up the Christian population, undercut the ethical foundations for Christianity stands for, and then promote this Luciferian agenda all the while avoiding triggering tens of millions of fired-up, Holy Spirit-filled believers.
  3. Whispering campaign – Satan has mastered the art of subtle persuasion and has favored this approach going back to the Garden of Eden. When Jesus said ‘he was a liar from the beginning,’ He was speaking to Satan’s inability to speak the truth because of his blind hatred for it (John 8:44). But let’s not mistake his shortcomings as weaknesses that we mere humans can exploit. Satan’s goal now is not to outright ban Christianity, but stigmatize it so much that no one wants to talk about it in “good company.”

Again, Satan is far too clever to go and paint a bulls-eye on just Christians this close to the end, because he knows what will happen. Let’s review Satan’s greatest backfires:

– Deceives Eve- introduces sin and death; God promises a deliver through her lineage
– Corrupts the world; God floods it and starts again with his hand-selected family
– Convinces man to build a tower; God separates man so thoroughly it would take four millennia to recover
– Tries to have Moses killed; God uses Moses to deliver the Israelites
– Tries to kill Esther; uses her to save the Jews
– Has the Messiah crucified; Opens up salvation for all mankind
– Tries to crush the early church; causes it to spread globally
– Tries to wipe out the Jews with a Holocaust; Israel becomes a mighty nation again

Despite his flaws, Satan is still smarter and far more powerful than we are in our own strength. He loves to lie and plant seeds of doubt and confusion anywhere he can. He has been very successful in using these subtle tactics to destroy billions over the history of mankind. Interestingly, the fact we are seeing much more aggressive posturing by him here in recent years is telling. It tells us that he realizes he is running out of time, and he (and his forces) are stepping up their campaign of chaos and destruction.

Why you might ask?

Because Jesus is not the only one building His Church.

Satan is building up his church as well. He needs this division between the “wheat and tares” completed as much as possible before the Rapture happens, so when it does, his “Mystery Babylon” will already be in place. Satan knows the Rapture will happen, and he knows it will happen before the seven-year Tribulation. He also knows that he will only have a few years and he’s not going to waste a second of it allowing any of those left behind to wonder about the Rapture they just missed out on. He wants a system in place, ready to go, to be able to perpetuate the great delusion that will come upon all those who dwell upon the earth. (2 Thess. 2:8, Rev. 17)

Gray War Strategy (The HOW)
Here is where the spiritual spills over into the geopolitical and cultural realms. Like the color revolutions of the recent past, Satan loves to sow confusion. This is where he thrives. Where do you think people like George Soros and Saul Alinsky learned this from? What we are witnessing now is three wars (in both the physical and spiritual realms) being conducted upon us simultaneously. And while these are all forms of war, they manifest themselves in distinctly unique ways. Taken together, they form the strategy of a Gray War which is waged just below the threshold of open active warfare.

– Cold Civil War
a. Where an entity is divided either organically or artificially and pits two ideologically opposed sides against each other
b. Regardless of who wins, the unit as a whole is now much weaker

– Cold War Tactics
a. Where two ideologies oppose each other over economic, cultural, religious, and geopolitical differences (ex. free-market capitalism vs. communism)
b. Neither side fights each other directly, but battles through proxies (media, pop culture, legislations, etc.)
c. This conflict relies heavily upon the use of espionage, spycraft, and subterfuge to destabilize the other side (Deep State double-agents embedded in traditional government positions)
d. Relies upon a Fifth Column media acolytes to conduct information and misinformation campaigns

– Spiritual Color Revolutions
a. Cold War tactics utilized in the spiritual realm, not against God, but against Christians. Just take the chart below and apply it against the Church
b. Relies heavily upon spiritual subterfuge and deception campaigns to demoralize, sow confusion, divide and conquer churches
c. Use of proxy entities (nations, businesses, leaders, media, etc.) to conduct “hard power” operations (i.e., persecutions and provocations) against the body of Christ
d. Use of proxy entities (nations, businesses, leaders, media, etc.) to conduct “soft power” operations to force or coerce compromise on positions of doctrinal essentials

Regarding the upcoming American mid-term elections, Satan (and his human puppets) will be more concerned about controlling the narrative rather than attacking Christians outright. In other words, it is a far more effective tactic for him to continue to discourage and confuse the Church than it is to have them thrown into FEMA camps. He wants the body of Christ confused, divided and demoralized as we move into the final stretch, not rallying around some perceived targeted persecution (i.e., martyr complex).

There are numerous places in Scripture that point to Satan’s current authority on this earth. The first is in Luke 4:5-7, where Satan tells Christ (without rebuttal) that the kingdoms of the earth are his to give to whom he chooses. The second is in 1 John 5:19, where John states that the whole world lies under the sway of the devil. Jesus refers to Satan as the “ruler of this world” (John 12:31). Paul refers to him as the “prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2) and the “god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4). Jude makes a brief comment that even Michael the Archangel dared not bring a “reviling accusation” against Satan, but simply rebuked him in Jesus’ name (Jude 1:9).

Still, Satan knows there are still enough institutions and organizations in the West that will fight back against authoritarianism if pressed too hard too fast. He knows westerners still have too many avenues to push back against the rising tyranny in places like the US, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, and even Canada.

The bottom line here is, as bad as things are in places like Australia and California, they are still not as bad, as say, North Korea or Afghanistan. Neither will it get that bad in the few weeks, months, and years we have left before the Rapture. We have the genius of our Founders building in the separation of powers.

The Church Of Last Days
Satan’s greatest enemy on the earth is the blood-bought, born-again Church. This is why he is using these gray war strategies against us. And if I am correct, then Scripture should confirm my theory regarding the state of Christendom in the last days.

Jesus Christ addressed seven letters to seven churches in Revelation chapters 2-3. Yes, they were real historical churches in John’s day, and yes, the condemnations/commendations are applicable to all churches of all ages (he who hath an ear, let him hear). However, the order in which they were given to us, prophetically outlines the predominant churches of those particular ages. This is why the first letter given is Ephesus and not Laodicea. In particular, is the distinction between the first three churches, and the last four, which have the endings of each flipped which I believe means they will exist concurrent with each other. Tell me if this doesn’t sound exactly like where we are today:

– The apostolic church of Ephesus (first-century church)
– The persecuted church of Smyrna (second-third century church)
– The corrupted church of Pergamos (third-sixth century church)

——

– The global yet corrupted church of Thyatira (6th- present-day Roman Catholicism)
– The spiritually dead church of Sardis (16th century- present-day mainline Protestantism)
– The faithful w/ little strength church of Philadelphia (18th century- present-day Bible-believing fundamentalism)
– The lukewarm and nauseating church of Laodicea (19th century – present-day emergent, Seeker Friendly, Prosperity Gospel, Social Justice Gospel, pseudo-Christian, ecumenical liberal, and progressive churches)

So ultimately (and this is a big picture view here) Christendom will be divided into three major camps (consisting of the last four churches) going into the last days.

Think about it like a spectrum. On the far left, you have the apostate church. In the middle, you have a mix of mainline protestants, Roman Catholics, and evangelicals who (in varying degrees) will be leaning to the left or right of center. Lastly, on the far right, you have the Biblical fundamentalists who adhere to a faithful rendering of God’s word.

Western Christendom is no longer pegged to the right or even right of center. The needle is increasingly being pulled to the left, meaning the authority and importance of the Church is increasingly leaving those right of center out in the cold. Just look at our nation today which is largely post-modern, post-American, and post-Christian.

So while persecution is coming, and along with it, a great, global revival, it will not be coming this side of the Rapture. Thus, and to reiterate what I mentioned earlier, whenever Satan attempts to do some major move against God’s people, it backfires and further progresses God’s divine agenda. No, I think Satan is going to “stay in his lane” this time and continue corrupting and weakening the church as best he can until God divides us permanently at the Rapture.

But some will say, wait a minute. What about all the real persecution going on right now in places all over the world? Places like North Korea, Pakistan, Iran, Nigeria, and so forth?

Well, all I can say is selective persecution against believers (even against the Old Testament saints) is nothing new. Hebrews 11 reviews for us the long history of atrocities conducted against God’s chosen. Persecution has been a mainstay in the human condition since Cain killed Abel. As such, persecution itself cannot really be used as a metric to determine how close we are to the end or else Christ would have come back in the 2nd century. I’m not making light of persecution, nor am I minimizing its horrors, I’m simply saying that persecution in and of itself has been one of the most consistent realities Christians have had to endure for all of history.

Bottom line is that the church of the last days will be more Laodicean, than Philadelphian, which is why Christ describes them as having “little strength.”

What makes the days in which we live unique is the fact the West has spent the last four centuries, and at great cost, fostering liberty and the rule of law to prohibit things like religious persecution.

In order for those Church and Israel to suddenly be put under the knife again in the West something seriously wrong is going to have to happen. Granted, something seriously went wrong in World War II, but the world rallied and defeated the evil Nazi Regime. Satan doesn’t need that again. He has been far more effective in corrupting the Church.

In the meantime, Satan is going to ratchet up the coercion and deception campaigns in the form of a ‘blanket punishment’ against all of Western Civilization. The reason for that is because Western Civilization has its moral-ethical foundations largely built upon Judeo-Christian principles. This is why we are seeing the Satanic strategy of targeting norms, values, and truth on things like the family, the schools, sports, historical sites, history itself, free speech, abortion, marriage, medical mandates, peace, safety, gender, and corporate wokeness. While these are all things Christians care about, these are not “exclusively” Christian issues.

Conclusion
In closing, let’s just keep a few things in perspective. Yes, the Bible says the world is going to continue to wax worse and worse, and will not get any better until Christ returns at the Second Coming (2 Tim. 3, 2 Peter 3, Matt. 24, etc.). However, in order for Christians in the West to undergo the kind of persecution many are now predicting, would require our entire system to collapse…and it will…at the Rapture. Nevertheless, things will continue to get tougher economically, politically, and socially before our deliverance.

Right now, we are in the time of the birth pangs, where there is an intentional intensifying period of lawlessness and wickedness. These two will have repercussions in the economic world, which may cause financial hard times and increased periods of deprivation. If you look at the intentional destruction of our current economic structure, they are doing it to pave the way for the coming mark of the beast system. Granted, the powers that be are not calling it that, but we Christians ultimately know that is where it is headed. The same goes for medical mandates. These are not the mark of the beast but serve as a form of conditioning to prepare this generation to accept it when it does come.

I’m not trying to make the devil out to be more powerful than he is, but neither am I attempting to minimize his cunning. Furthermore, we can see the purposeful ramping up of wickedness and lawlessness around the world. Where it used to be isolated in this place or that, now this lawlessness has become global in reach and depth. We can see the geopolitical winds shifting and the nations of the world are aligning themselves just as the bible says they would be. The economic problems in the world are both purposeful and are driving everyone to the same destination – a single, digital, global currency. Just as Satan is trying to pre-stage his “Mystery Babylon” religion, he is also pre-staging his economic “Babylon the Great” so that when the right time comes (i.e., the Rapture), he will have it ready to go.

So how much worse will it get? This depends on how close we get to the Tribulation. How close will the Church come to that watery judgment that is coming upon the whole earth? Even now we can see the storm clouds building on the horizon.

How close will the Church come to that fiery hour of testing that is coming upon the earth? Even now, we can see the soldiers loading the furnace and the smoke rising.

Well, if the OT foreshadowing still holds true, and I believe it does, then we will be like Daniel in Daniel chapter three or Enoch in Genesis six. We aren’t going to be anywhere near there. This means the fact we are seeing the signs of this coming Tribulation already here, the deliverance of Christ’s bride, the Church, will be all the sooner.

“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” – Rev. 3:10

[ Pete Garcia ]


“The Unchanging God in a World of Chaos”

Whatever my view of “chaos” was prior to 2020 was severely flawed. My, oh my, how far I had underrated chaos! There is a saying that “change is the only constant”, but again I never understood what that meant until this year. I thought I did, but boy, was I wrong! Change, upheaval, unrest, chaos, discontentment, and anxiety appear to be the authors of this wild ride we are on. We cling to hope of consistency and we have a deep desire for some semblance of control. While I cannot bring order to this crazy world, I can try to keep us anchored on a few truths.

First, Paul clearly states in 1 Corinthians 14:33 that “…God is not a God of disorder but of peace…” While Paul here is talking about order in our worship services, the truth that this passage holds is true beyond the realm of a worship service. Where we see chaos and disorder and confusion, God is not writing that book. This does not imply that God is not in control. Not at all. God allows these things so that His glory might be best displayed and we are thankful for that, but we should never presume that the enemy is not active and at work in the chaos and disorder of this world. We must be careful not to ascribe to God what Satan is penning, but we also must acknowledge that it is God who allows Satan to hold the pen. Why then is God allowing the author of confusion to have a field day? For God’s glory. We may not see it and we certainly do not understand it, but Romans 8:28 says “and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,”. The truth in this is that I know that God is not causing the chaos, but I know that He is using it for my good. Not “my good” in that good temporary things may happen, but “my good” in that God’s grace would be poured out on me in exceeding measure so that I may know His goodness and know my salvation and hope that He provides. The chaos of these days have already been redeemed for God’s glory and my eternal benefit.

Second, God is in the details. My good friend and fellow elder, Dave Bolender, recently surprised me by telling me that the phrase “the devil is in the details” is actually a recent phrase and the original, much older version is “God is in the details.” Dr. Bolender told me “God is in the details of our life, but the devil is also there trying to mess with them. Who else but the great counterfeiter would try something that sneaky?” We have a God of infinite worth and power and yet He is engaged in the details of your life. Yet, we prefer to think that the devil is in the details. Satan might pretend to be and he might even do a good job of convincing you, but we need to look a little deeper into the details of the details. The details of 2020 would declare chaos and confusion, yet look deeper. God has been bringing us back to Him through repentance and prayer and study and focus. He has been softening our hearts and minds and causing us to lean on Him even more. God is certainly in the details. Every detail.

Lastly, God is unchanging. The theological term is that God is immutable. We do not change God, He changes us. When we pray, we do not change His mind, He changes our hearts. This immutability brings great hope and peace to believers in Christ. Romans 11:29 says that “the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Irrevocable. When God calls us to Himself, He changes us forever. Regardless of what happens here, we are His children. Forever. In fact, Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:13 that “if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” God’s faithfulness is not dependent upon my faithfulness. What a blessing! I belong to God and He is unchanging no matter what my situation and circumstance appears to be. I now live my life in response to the overwhelming faithfulness of my God.

My prayer is that in the confusion and chaos of the present situation, you would take these three truths to heart. God is the author of peace. God is in the details. God is unchanging. I have a God who loved me so much, He gave His own son in my place so that I might have eternal life with Him as His child. He does not change His love for me and He does not change His mind. In fact, He cares for me so much that He is in every detail of my life, bringing me the peace that only He provides. I pray you know these truths and they are honey to your soul. When all may seem lost or irreparable, may you know that God is still on the throne and that we are confident in His love for us. If you are not sure of these truths, I pray that you would come to know your only Savior, Jesus Christ, so that you may know the fullness of the goodness of God. The world is full of chaos, but God is unchanging in the love and hope that He brings.

[ Adam Baker ]


“Overcoming Fear” | Sermon by Pastor Jimmy Evans”

Everyone fears something; we expect the worst to happen. But faith believes in the seemingly impossible. We choose whether or not to succumb to fear or live by faith in Christ — who died the worst death imaginable yet rose as the Prince of Peace! On his way to the cross, Jesus experienced more fear than any person ever, and yet He overcame it. Based on Christ’s example, Dr. @Tipping Point with Jimmy Evans shows us how to overcome our fears and accomplish God’s will for our lives.

[ Jimmy Evans ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ-X8yZYoiU


“Remaining Fearless These Last Days”

One thing that we will regularly learn throughout this book is, there are a few things that will build us up spiritually and maintain our strength in these last days. Our relationship with fellow Christians, our regular attendance at Christian meetings, and our sharing our faith with others, will strengthen us, make us steadfast. These are provisions from God that will help us to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” (Eph. 6:10) Max Anders comments, saying, “Paul introduces his final subject by urging the Ephesian believers to be strong in the Lord. When it comes to spiritual warfare, we cannot be sufficiently strong by ourselves. If we are going to have adequate strength for the spiritual battles of life, it must be the Lord’s strength. Only he has the mighty power sufficient to win spiritual battles against the demonic enemy.”[1] As we grow in knowledge and understanding, our chief desire will be to share our faith.

While Jesus was referring to our giving to the poor, we learn an important message from his words, “your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matt. 6:4) He is well aware of any difficult times that befall us. Even though God’s “throne is in heaven; his own eyes see, his watchful eyes examine the sons of men.” (Ps. 11:4) We know that God never has to sleep, so he is ever watchful, having loving interest in the welfare of his people. God “will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands, they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. (Ps. 91:11-12) Steven Lawson writes, “In part, this sovereign guardianship will be carried out by his angels whom the Lord will command and commission to guard you in all your ways. Satan quoted these verses to Christ in his temptation and shrewdly omitted this last phrase, “in all your ways” (Matt. 4:6; Luke 4:10–11). This divine protection extends only to the place of trusting and obeying God. The angels will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone (Ps. 34:7).”[2]

Remember the precious promise that God’s eyes “run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is complete toward him.” (2 Chron. 16:9) God is “is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the tired one, and full might to those lacking strength. (Isa. 40:28-29) Isaiah then promises that those who place their hope in God, they “will regain power; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not tire out. (Isa. 40:31) Contentment and peace belong to those, who accept that the Father’s power is always available to them, knowing that God is always interested in their best interests. We need to believe that “we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.” –Romans 8:28.

FEARLESS
We need to understand Roman’s 8:28 better as it is often misused. Many read into Paul’s words that God causes everything to happen both good or bad. This is certainly one reason that the subject of suffering and evil is often misunderstood. It is true that nothing happens outside of God’s plan for our good. God is responsible for everything, but not always directly. If he started the human race, and we end up with what we now have, in essence, he is responsible. Just as parents, who have a child are similarly responsible for the child committing murder 21 years into his life because they procreated and gave birth to the child. The mother and father are indirectly responsible. King David commits adultery with Bathsheba and has her husband Uriah killed to cover things up, and impregnates Bathsheba, but the adulterine child, who remains nameless, died. Is God responsible for the death of that child? We can answer yes and no to that question. He is responsible in two ways: (1) He created humankind so there would have been no affair, murder, adulterine child if he had not. (2) He did not step in and save the child when he had the power to do so. However, he is not directly responsible, because he did not make King David and Bathsheba commit the acts that led to the child being born, nor did he bring an illness on the adulterine child, he just did not move in to protect the child, in a time that had a high rate of infant deaths.

God is INDIRECTLY responsible for ALL things and DIRECTLY responsible for SOME things. When we attribute things to God we need to qualify (i.e., explain) them. Without explaining the directly or indirectly part of God being responsible, we would be saying God brought about Vlad Dracula, Joseph Stalin, and Adolf Hitler for our good. God is indirectly responsible for all events in human history because he allowed sin to enter the world, as opposed to just destroying Satan, Adam, and Eve and starting over. God is directly responsible for many human events because he directly stepped in miraculously and used a group, person, organization, or country to carry out his will and purposes. God is indirectly responsible for Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler. God is directly responsible for Babylon conquering Jerusalem. God is directly responsible for helping William Tyndale bring us the first printed English translation of the Bible. E can only know afterward (sometimes) if God is directly or indirectly responsible, and then, it is still an educated guess. Overly attributing everything to God without explaining whether he is directly or indirectly responsible is why unbelievers sometimes see Christians as illogical and irrational. A four-year-old child was rescued from a surging river by a priest in 1894. If the child were rescued in the same manner today, the media would quote Christian leaders as saying God used the priest to save the child. However, only afterward do we know that this is not true. Why? Because that four-year-old child, who nearly drowned in that river in 1894 was Adolf Hitler. Hitler being saved by the priest can be indirectly attributed to God not directly.

The reason people think that God does not care about us is the words of some religious leaders, which have made them, feel this way. When tragedy strikes, what do some pastors and Bible scholars often say? When 9/11 took place, with thousands dying in the twin towers of New York, many ministers said: “It was God’s will. God must have had some good reason for doing this.” When religious leaders make such comments or similar ones, they are actually blaming God for the bad things that happened. Yet, the disciple James wrote, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.” (James 1:13) God never directly causes what is bad. Indeed, “far be it from God that he should do wickedness, and from the Almighty that he should do wrong.” (Job 34:10 God has allowed sin, old age, wickedness, suffering, and death to enter humanity after the rebellion by Satan, Adam, and Eve. He did not cause Satan to rebel, Eve to eat of the forbidden tree, or Adam to join that rebellion but God had allowed them to exercise the free will that he gave them.

God allowed these things as an object lesson for his creation. What has this object lesson proven? God does not cause evil and suffering. (Rom. 9:14) The fact that God has allowed evil, pain, and suffering have shown that independence from God has not brought about a better world. (Jer. 8:5-6, 9) God’s permission of evil, pain, and suffering has also proved that Satan has not been able to turn all humans away from God. (Ex. 9:16; 1 Sam. 12:22; Heb. 12:1) The fact that God has permitted evil, pain, and suffering to continue has provided proof that only God, the Creator, has the capability and the right to rule over humankind for their eternal blessing and happiness. (Eccl. 8:9) Satan has been the god of this world since the sin in Eden (over 6,000 years), and how has that worked out for man, and what has been the result of man’s course of independence from God and his rule? – Matthew 4:8-9; John 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; 1 John 5:19; Psalm 127:1.

One might ask if God is watching us in everything that we do and is looking out for us, why should a Christian be fearful of anything. We can be assured of the above texts but there are other parts of the Bible too, and God does not step in and miraculously solve every difficult time we encounter. At times, it is more about endurance. Difficult times befall us all. Yes, wise King Solomon observed, “Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and unexpected events happen to them all.” (Eccles. 9:11) Nevertheless, if we study the Bible, talk about it, and obey it, because we accept it is God’s Word, we will be in such a happy life, for we will know the truth and it will make us free. (John 8:32) The Psalmist writes, “that this is God, our God forever and ever. He himself will guide us until death.” (Ps. 48:14) Yes, God guides us but he does so primarily through the inspired, fully inerrant, authoritative Word of God.

One of the primary ways to remain fearless in these last days is to grow in our understanding of God’s Word. As we better understand how he has dealt Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the Israelites for the 1,600 years, and the first-century Christians, we can better understand his will and purposes for us. We can appreciate that God is the Eternal God (Ps. 90:1), the Almighty (Ps. 91:1), the Most High (Ps. 91:1), who always was, is and is to be (Ps. 90:2); without beginning, without end (Rev. 1:8), who knows the end from the beginning (Isa. 46:10), the source of goodness and life. (Matt. 19:16-17) As we study God’s Word, we will be taught of a level of righteousness and its blessings that was part of man before the fall, the level of human unrighteousness after the fall and the six-thousand years of depravity that has followed, the level of righteousness and its blessings that God’s people can still retain, and the level of righteousness and its blessings that will be restored after Jesus’ second coming. Blessed are those who walk with God (Ps. 89:15), that is follow the life course outlined in his Word, which will make us pleasing in his eyes. (Isa. 41:13) Knowing these things will bring us comfort and console us during the most difficult times.

Christians must learn these things and far more, as we need to have an accurate understanding of why God created us, what issues were raised in the Garden of Eden and at the beginning of the book of Job, why God then allowed sin, wickedness, sickness, old age, and death to enter humanity, as well as what he has done on our behalf to set things straight. If we are not fully informed of these things, we cannot totally value the promises of how we are to be protected that we find from Genesis 3:15 to Revelation 22:21. All Christians who are seeking a righteous standard before God become targets of Satan. King David, speaking prophetically of Jesus, said, “For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.” (Ps. 69:9) The apostle Paul wrote, “For even the Christ did not please himself, but just as it is written: “The reproaches of those reproaching you have fallen upon me.”[3] – Romans 15:3.

The Effects of Knowing God’s Word
When we accept the truths found in God’s Word, it influences us and our disposition and the pathway along which they walk with God. It becomes noticeable to our family, friends, and coworkers that we have a new perspective on things, a new biblical worldview, and that we have made a course correction in our life. Of course, those in the world of humankind that is alienated from God, they will likely find our changes amusing, believing that we have lost all reason. We need to trust in God “with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6) The better we know and understand the Father, the easier it will be to trust in him in times of difficulty.

It is much more than acquiring knowledge, wisdom, insight, and understand. Yes, those things are very important. Yet, to possess these truths and not share them with others is to sidestep Jesus command to proclaim the Word, teach others, and make disciples. (Matt. 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1;8) We must become champions of God’s Word, soldiers of the truths that we learn, taking the battle to Satan’s fallen world. If we are fearful, we will shy away from this Christian responsibility. Those who are fearful are in a constant condition of anxiety and worry about many things that might never happen. The Lord Jesus instructed, “Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own wickedness.” “And who of you by being anxious can add one cubit[4] to his life span?” (Matt. 6:34, 27) Sadly, many do not fully trust Jesus’ words and fail to cast all their worries upon him. Therefore, they live a life of perpetual fear over something that might never happen. The apostle Paul described this as “those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.” (Heb. 2:15) What did Paul mean?

2:15. Jesus has destroyed our archenemy, but he has also liberated us from our chief fear. Death still occurs. We need no longer be afraid of it. Like Satan, death has a limited sovereignty. Its presence will conclude at the return of Christ with the resurrection of believers (1 Cor. 15:54). This hope sets us free from the nagging fear of death which can enslave us. Death cannot separate God’s people from the love of God (Rom. 8:35–39). Satan no longer can use the fear of death to intimidate us or frighten us.

Notice that Christ has not yet abolished death. He has defeated the devil who had the power of death (Col. 2:15). We still face natural death. The removal of sin by the death of Jesus withdraws the sting of sin (1 Cor. 15:55–57). One day Jesus will completely destroy death (1 Cor. 15:54). For Christians the fear of death is already gone.

Although this verse does not precisely mention the resurrection, we realize that the original readers would have understood the importance of the resurrection. Whenever we describe Jesus’ death as a victory (Heb. 2:14), we point to his resurrection. Jesus’ resurrection is the cornerstone of the victory over the fear of death which we have as believers.[5]

We have a Deliverer, who is Christ Jesus, and he has set us free from self-bondage, that is, bondage to our human weaknesses (Rom. 3:23-24), as well as bondage to our mental bent toward wickedness (Gen. 6:5; 8:21), not to mention bondage to our inner heart that is treacherous. (Jer. 17:9) We are also set free form Satan and his world that is alienated from God, and the present condition of this world. – John 8:32.

Examine Yourselves to See Whether You Are In the Faith
2 Corinthians 13:5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

5 Keep testing yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Keep examining yourselves! Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you, unless indeed you fail to meet the test?

When was the last time that we truly took a good look at ourselves? How did we feel about what we saw? When we ponder over our personality, what are we actually projecting to others? Most of us are very complex people when it comes to our thoughts, feelings and beliefs, so it might be difficult to lock down what kind of personality that we have. As a man, are we faithful like Abraham one moment and then blown back and forth like doubting Thomas the next? As a female, are we submissive like Sarah when we are in public and then like domineering Jezebel in private? As a Christian, are we devoted and energetic for the truth on Christian meeting days and then loving the world like Demas[6] the other days out of the week? As a Christian, have we entirely taken off the old person with its practices and clothed ourselves with the new person? – Colossians 3:9-10; Ephesians 4:20-24.

Some women are known to spend much time every morning, ‘putting on their face,’ as it is commonly expressed. So much so, it has been commonly joked about, and men know not to interfere until the project is over. However, truth be told, men are very much concerned with how they look when going out into public. Thus, all of us are conscious of whether our hair is out of place, if we have a pimple or a cold sore, or if there is something about us that is unkempt, ruffled, scruffy, or messy. We want to look our best. What we may not have considered is, our personality is always showing as well. The deeper question though is “are we putting on our personality to cover over before we go out in public while our real personality is on display in private?” Is what the public sees, who we really are? Does our real personality bring honor to God?

A man walking the roads of the countryside in a small European country comes to a fork in the road. He is uncertain as to which way he should go. Therefore, he asks several who are passing by for directions, but some told him to take the left fork, and others said to make the right. After receiving contradictory information, he simply did not know what to do, how was he to go on, without knowing for certain which path led to the destination. He was unable to move on until he knew what the right path was. Having doubts about our faith, our walk with God, his Word can influence us similarly. It can actually cause severe emotional turmoil as we go about our Christian life.

There was a similar situation on the first-century Corinthian congregation. Some known as “super-apostles” were actually taking the apostle Paul to task, as to Paul’s walk with God, saying, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.” (2 Cor. 10:7-12; 11:5-6, ESV) Certainly, we can see how a Christian in that congregation could wonder if they were truly walking with God when the apostle Paul himself was being called into question.

Paul founded the Corinthian congregation in about 50 C.E.[7] on his second missionary journey. “When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.’ And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.” (Acts 18:5-11, ESV) The apostle Paul was deeply interested in the spiritual wellbeing of the brothers and sisters in Corinth. Moreover, the Corinthian Christians were interested in their spiritual welfare as well, so they wrote Paul for his counsel on certain matters. (1 Cor. 7:1-40) Therefore, Paul, under inspiration offered them inspired counsel in what would be his second letter to them.

“Keep testing yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Keep examining yourselves! Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you, unless indeed you fail to meet the test?” (2 Cor. 13:5) If these brothers in the days of having Paul found their congregation, who spent sixteen months under the guidance of the greatest, inspired Christian, needed to self-examine themselves, how much more should we need to do so, as we are 2,000-years removed? If these brothers followed this advice to examine themselves, it would have offered them direction on how to walk with God and let them know if they were on the right path.

Remember, Jesus warned, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 7:21, ESV) In other words, not every Christian was going to enter into the kingdom, even though they felt that they were walking with God. Jesus spoke of their mindset in the next verse, “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’” (Matt. 7:22, ESV) Yes, these ones, who felt that they were walking with God, on that day they were supposing that they were truly Christian, were in for a rude awakening. What is Jesus going to say to these ones, “And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matt. 7:23) What were and are these ones lacking?

Jesus said they were not doing the will of the Father, even though they believed they were. Notice that in 98 C.E., the apostle John, the last surviving apostle, in one of his letters offered that same warning too. He wrote, “The world is passing away, and its lusts; but the one who does the will of God remains forever.” (1 John 2:17) Thus, we can see the wisdom of the apostle Paul’s counsel to ‘Keep testing ourselves to see if you are in the faith. Keep examining ourselves!’ Thus, the next question is, what do we need to do to follow this advice? How does one test whether or not they are in the faith? In addition, what does it mean to ‘keep examining ourselves after we have tested ourselves?

Keep Testing Yourselves

In a test, there is an examination of a person or an object to find something out, e.g., whether it is functioning properly or not. In this test, there must be a standard by which the person or object is measured. For example, the “normal” human body temperature is 98.6°F (37°C). Therefore, if we were testing our temperature, it would be measured against the normal body temperature. Anything above or below that would be considered high or low. Another example is the normal resting heart rate for adults, which ranges from 60 to 100 beats a minute. However, our test in this publication is to see if we are truly Christian. However, what we are looking for when we ‘test ourselves, to see if we are in the faith,’ is not the faith, that is the basic Bible doctrines. In our test, we are the subject. What we are testing is, if we are truly walking with God. If we are to test our walk as a Christian, we need to have a perfect standard. Our perfect standard by which to measure ourselves is,

Psalm 19:7-8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

7 The law of Jehovah is perfect,
restoring the soul;
the testimony of Jehovah is sure,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of Jehovah are right,
rejoicing the heart;

Yes, the Word of God, the Bible is the standard by which we can measure our walk with God. On this, the author of Hebrews wrote, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12) Thus, we must test our walk with God by examining our life course as outlined by Scripture, to find his favor, to be in an approved standing, to be declared righteous before him. Herein, each of the twenty chapters will have a text that they will be built around, a text that defines what we should be in the eyes of God. For example, several times Jesus says ‘if we are doing _, we are truly his disciples.’ Well, the objective would be to discover what all is involved in doing _.

Keep Examining Yourselves

The phrase keep examining yourselves is self-explanatory, but it involves a self-examination. We may have been a Christian for a number of years, but how many times have we had a spiritual checkup. Every six months we are to go in for a dental cleaning and unless there is a problem, we should get a health screening once a year. The problem with our spirituality is it is far more susceptible to injury than we are physically. The author of Hebrews warns us, “We must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” (2:1) One chapter later, we are told, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (3:12-13) This same author warns us about falling away (6:6), becoming sluggish (6:12), and growing weary or fainthearted (12:25).

Why would this be the case? If we are saved, why is it necessary that we keep examining ourselves? Why would we still be susceptible to bad behaviors to the point of drifting away, to the point of having an unbelieving heart, falling away, becoming sluggish, growing weary or fainthearted?

There are four reasons. (1) First and foremost, we have inherited sin, which means that we are missing the mark of perfection. (2) In addition, our environment can condition us into the bad thinking and behavior. (3) We have our human weaknesses, which include inborn tendencies that we naturally lean toward evil, leading us into bad behaviors. (4) Moreover, there is the world of Satan and his demons that caters to these human weaknesses, which also leads us down the path of bad thinking and behaviors. After our self-examination, what is needed if we are to overcome any bad thinking or behaviors and how are we to avoid developing them in the future? We will offer more on this in each chapter as well as two appendices at the end, but we offer this for now. It is paramount that we fully understand what all is involved in our human imperfection and never believe that we are so strong spiritually that we would never fall away, slow down, or becoming sluggish in our walk with God.

Obviously, this should be of the greatest concern to each one of us. We may be a person of good character, and believe that in any situation, we will make the right decisions. However, the moment that innocent appearing situation arises, we are plagued with the inner desire toward wrong. We need to address more than what our friends, or our workmates or our spouse may see. We need to look into our inner self, in the hopes of determining, who we really are, and what do we need to do to have a good heart (i.e., inner person).

As we know, we could not function with half a heart. However, we can function, albeit dysfunctional, with a heart that is divided. Yes, we have things outside of us that can contribute to bad thinking, which id left unchecked will lead to bad behavior, but we also have some things within. The apostle Paul bewailed about himself, “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.” (Romans 7:19-20) This is because all of us are mentally bent toward the doing of wrong, instead of the doing of good. (Gen 6:5; 8:21; Rom 5:12; Eph. 4:20-24; Col 3:5-11) Jeremiah the prophet informs us of the condition of our heart (our inner person), “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” These factors contribute to our being more vulnerable to the worldly desires and the weak human flesh than we may have thought. One needs to understand just how bad human imperfection is before they can fully implement the right Christian Living Skills.

Returning to the book of Hebrews, we are told, “solid food belongs to the mature, to those who through practice have their discernment trained to distinguish between good and evil.” (5:14) We will have evidence that we are one of the mature ones by training ourselves to distinguish between good and evil. We likely believe that we are already spiritually mature, which may very well be the case. Nevertheless, we are told by Paul to carry out this self-examination and to keep on examining ourselves, to remain that way, and even to improve upon what we currently have by way of maturity. Just as a man or woman in a marathon must continually train their muscles to surpass others in the sport, our discernment (perception) needs to be trained through regularly and rightly applying the Word of God. Throughout this publication, we will apply the inspired words of James, Jesus’ half-brother.

James 1:22-25 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face[8] in a mirror.

24 for he looks at himself and goes away, and immediately forgets what sort of man he was. 25 But he that looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, being no hearer who forgets but a doer of a work, he will be blessed in his doing.

When we are inundated in the Word of God, it serves as the voice of God, telling us the way in which to walk.

[1] Max Anders, Galatians-Colossians, vol. 8, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 190.

[2] Steven Lawson. Holman Old Testament Commentary – Psalms 76-150 (Kindle Locations 2561-2564). B&H Publishing Group.

[3] A quotation from Ps 69:9
[4] I.e., a single hour

[5] Thomas D. Lea, Hebrews, James, vol. 10, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 29–30.

[6] A “fellow worker” with Paul at Rome (Col. 4:14; Philem. 24), who eventually, “in love with this present world,” forsook the apostle and left for Thessalonica (2 Tim. 4:10). No other particulars are given concerning him. (ISBE, Volume 1, Page 918)

[7] B.C.E. means “before the Common Era,” which is more accurate than B.C. (“before Christ”). C.E. denotes “Common Era,” often called A.D., for anno Domini, meaning “in the year of our Lord.”

[8] Lit the face of his birth

[ Christian Publishing House ]


“A Resurrection of Hope”

Find out why Dr. David Jeremiah believes Luke’s account of the disciples’ encounter on the road to Emmaus is one of the Bible’s most compelling proofs for the evidence of Christ’s resurrection.

[ David Jeremiah ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QD1SILBfepg


“Stay Calm Until Christ Returns”

What should God’s people do until Christ returns? Dr. David Jeremiah answers that question from several perspectives with wisdom from God’s Word.

[ David Jeremiah ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIOWhQKVjFY


“THE HOPE THAT KEEPS ME GOING–GOD IS ALWAYS THERE”

When God Says ALL, He means All
How do we resist the Devil?
Paul said the shield of faith extinguishes all the fiery darts.
Paul had experienced those flaming arrows extinguished.
Ephesians 6:16 (NKJV) above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one
Jesus saw him flee.
Matthew 4:11 (NKJV) Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
James assures us he will flee.
James 4:7 (NKJV) Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
John the final Scripture writer affirms even more of the same when he said we are overcomers in Christ.
1 John 4:4 (NKJV) You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
Jesus saw the devil flee. Matthew 4:11
James saw the devil flee. James 4:7
Paul saw his fiery attacks extinguished. Ephesians 6:16
Peter affirms we can resist the Devil. 1 Peter 5:9
John attests that God is greater than anything the Devil shoots at us. 1 Jn. 4:4
It always works, just try it is God’s promise.
Only the shield of faith, (looking for God each time we’re tempted), can extinguish these flaming arrows.
Here is a simple set of the big seven temptations we face all through life, that only the shield of faith can extinguish.

We Extinguishing Satan’s Darts by Responding to God

[ John Barnett ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcnlKzy2PAw


“Comfort in Chaos”
[ Isaiah 40:31 ]

What could be more appropriate in an age of anxiety than a message from God that speaks comfort in the midst of chaos? In Isaiah’s day, the people had lost sight of God and His greatness. Without this reference point, every aspect of their lives showed evidence of stress fractures. In this series from Isaiah 40:31, Alistair Begg directs our gaze to the transcendence of God. These ancient words speak with timeless relevance, encouraging the weary, correcting the faulty, and reminding the forgetful that God is not too great to care—but that He is too great ever to fail.

– The Identity of God
– The Necessity of Hope
– The Discovery of Strength
– The Victory of Faith

[ Alistair Begg ]

Sermon Series: https://www.truthforlife.org/resources/series/comfort-in-chaos/


“Freedom From Fear”

Sometimes it seems that no matter what we do, there is something to fear or worry about. Yet God did not create us for a life of worry or anxiety. He wants us to live a victorious life in service to Him. In Freedom From Fear, Michael Youssef teaches what that Bible says about fear and how to overcome it through faith in God.
Scripture: Isaiah 43:1-2

[ Michael Youssef ]

Sermon Series: https://www.ltw.org/watch/teaching/series/freedom-from-fear/part-1


“So Do Not Fear”

Sermon Series.

[ Alistair Begg ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yReJjDCLeRA


“How to Find Peace in the Midst of Chaos: Be Still in the Needs of Everyday Life”

Do you see others doing well, having all the things, and get angry or anxious about your struggles? I do. Discontentment is a continual battle. Today, in this 40-day fast to be still and know God more, we are going to see how to find peace in the midst of chaos to be still in the needs of everyday life when discontentment threatens to cause anxiety.

Table of Contents hide
1 Peace in the Midst of Chaos Scripture for Study
1.1 Where Is Peace in the Midst of Chaos?
2 How Do You Stay Peaceful in the Midst of Chaos?
2.1 Tremble [With Anger or Fear], and Do Not Sin.
2.2 Meditate
3 In the Midst of the Storm, God Is There
3.1 Don’t Compare
3.2 How Do You Stay at Peace?
3.3 A Prayer for Peace in the Midst of Chaos
4 Will you Choose Peace in the Midst of Chaos?
Peace in the Midst of Chaos Scripture for Study
Today we turn our attention to Psalm 4 which is a great scripture on peace in the midst of chaos. David gives us useful insight into how to be still in the needs of everyday life and know God more.

“Tremble [with anger or fear], and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed and be still [reflect on your sin and repent of your rebellion]. Selah.” (Psalm 4:4 AMP)

Where Is Peace in the Midst of Chaos?
The context of Psalm 4:4 is important for understanding this finding peace in chaos Bible passage. David wrote this Psalm to help believers in God in their walk and worship.

He is answering the question, “Where is peace in the midst of chaos?” To answer it, David begins with a reminder that God has been faithful. He then makes a request that He hears this prayer. Finally, he focuses on the sinfulness of men.

It is easy to live in our old flesh or carnal nature, to love what is worthless, and to waste our lives away pursuing the things of this world. We spend too much time searching for peace in the things of this world rather than finding peace in God.

How to Find Peace in the Midst of Chaos_ Be Still in the Needs of Everyday Life PinIt Peace quotes, in the midst of chaos quotes, peace of mind quotes, Where is peace in the midst of chaos? Peace in the midst of chaos scripture, how do you stay peaceful in the midst of chaos? #PeaceOfMind #HopeJoyInChrist

Do you forget to be still and pursue God for peace in the midst of chaos because the needs of life are physical and right in your face?

Yep, guilty as charged. I get so focused on the need in front of me that I forget God is my help and support through life. What are your physical needs right now?

Some of my needs change daily, but many are the same.

I need help taking care of the house, raising the kids, paying the bills, handling grief over situations that are too hard to explain… My focus day in and day out is on the physical side of life.

Make the meals
Clean the house
Balance the checkbook – (pray it’s not red)
Teach the kids
Make my husband a priority when I am so exhausted from keeping tiny humans alive
The physical needs of life take their toll until there is nothing left to give anyone – least of all God. How do you stay peaceful in the midst of chaos?

Many times I ask God “How can I calm my anxiety when life is hard?” Can you relate?

Related Post: How can I calm my anxiety when life is hard?

How Do You Stay Peaceful in the Midst of Chaos?
We can make three observations about how to be still from Psalm 4:4.

Remember God’s command
Remember God is bigger
Meditate (or intentionally think) about God with gratitude and worship
The first is clearly just to remember that God said to be still. David reminds the people that God sets apart the godly men for Himself and that the Lord hears when you call to Him – I love that reminder.

Do you need to be reminded that God hears when you call to Him in the midst of your needs and the chaos of everyday life? I need that reminder but honestly, it leaves me with more questions.

But how do you keep your mind calm and peaceful?
How can we remember to call out to Him and be still when there are real needs and real chaos?
How do you get peace in chaos? Psalm 4:4 gives us clear directions.

Tremble [With Anger or Fear], and Do Not Sin.
What does it mean to tremble but not sin? What does it mean to be angry and not sin?

The word tremble is talking about the fear of the Lord. Remember how big God is. It’s so easy to see how big my problems are and feel anxious but God is bigger than my problem!

Make intentional time to remember that God is bigger than your problem every day!

Meditate
Meditate in your heart upon your bed and be still [reflect on your sin and repent of your rebellion].

When you lie down, instead of being angry about all the needs and the chaos of life, take time to fear God. Be still here is referring to our anxious thoughts.

Don’t worry about your needs, give those needs to your big trustworthy God. Spend time reflecting on your day, confess the times you are worried, and ask God to help direct your thoughts to Him in those times tomorrow.

Related: 7 Different Types of Biblical Fasting

In the Midst of the Storm, God Is There
The application from Psalm 4:4 is peace! To be still in the midst of the needs and chaos of life requires you to remember God is bigger than your problem. God is bigger than chaos. In the midst of the storm, God is there!

What is chaos in the Bible? The Psalm goes on to address how easy it is to be discontent with our path in life which leads to chaos. We wish for the good things others have forgetting that we are all in a different season.

Don’t Compare
We live with a faulty perspective of others’ lives! You have no idea how long your friend’s season of waiting and hardship was before she received her good things. On top of this, you have no idea what things are hard for her right now.

Discontentment comes when we compare the best parts of someone’s life with the hard parts of our own life. Trust God, even though the needs seem too many and the chaos seems beyond your ability to cope, God, is with you in the midst of the storm.

How Do You Stay at Peace?
When we keep our eyes and thoughts on God and throw off the bondage of discontentment, we can rest in peace.

To be still in the midst of the chaos of life is to find true peace with God no matter how many needs we are still facing.

Related Post: 6 Verses That Help Me Think Truth -Peace of Mind

A Prayer for Peace in the Midst of Chaos
Holy Spirit,

Remind me that You are with me, within me every day. As the chaos closes in on me and the needs seem to overwhelm me remind me to be still and know You are with me, You never leave me or forsake me. You’ve been faithful in the past, help me remember those times when I want to give up hope in these trials.

Forgive me for longing for the good of others and growing weary in this season. Forgive my discontentment and habit of trying to fix things myself. Teach me to wait for You, trust Your no and Your not yet, because You are trustworthy. Keep my eyes fixed on You so that Peace that paces understanding will stay.

Amen

Related: Adding Fasting and Prayer for Marriage Blessing

Will you Choose Peace in the Midst of Chaos?
If anyone in scripture had experience with chaos it was David. It is encouraging to see how he found peace in the midst of chaos. If David could learn how to be still in the needs of everyday life – so can I, so can you!

How can we all have peace in the midst of real needs? Fear God and spend intentional time meditating on all He has done in your life.

God has done a lot in my life, how about you?

When I stop to look back on how big God has been, how God has shown up and shown off in my past I find peace.

Can I pray for you over the struggles you are facing? Drop a comment below and I’ll be praying for you today!

In HIM,

[ Tiffany Montgomery ]


“THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN THE MIDST OF THE CHAOS OF OUR WORLD”

Whether it’s on social media, the radio, or on TV, events like police officers being shot, Black Lives Matter, and terrorist attacks seemingly dominate our daily news. Every person is created by God in His image and likeness and worthy of dignity and respect. As Christians, we believe this firmly, because it is at the heart of what it means to have a biblical worldview.

Overrealized Eschatology and the Consequences of Political Activism

At the heart of much of the response to the current world, affairs are what theologians call an over-realized eschatology. This heavy theological term essentially means that we focus too much on what may or may not happen in the future. For all, we know something could fall from the sky in the next nanosecond and eliminate our world. Perhaps even some rogue country with nuclear weapons could deploy all of their nuke’s thus plausibly beginning the unloading of the world’s nuclear supply onto each other. The truth is we don’t know, and since we don’t know what’s going to happen even one second from now, what can we possibly do right now about the chaos of our world?

For many people the answer to that question is political activism. These people suggest that we should take advantage of every tragedy and use it as a vehicle to bring about change in our culture. Instead of allowing for a period of mourning, political activists tell people to not waste these opportunities. Whenever tragedy strikes the opposing viewpoint is attacked, ridiculed, and shamed, until at last people believe that those with a differing viewpoint than themselves are not only wrong but should be shouted down and silenced.

Respect is not something that we as human beings do very well. We often associate “respect” with the idea of someone doing something that merits respect. As Christians, we believe, following the Scriptures that all men and women are created and sustained by God. Every single person regardless of skin color is valuable and worthy of dignity, and respect. Respect is something you and I should show to every single person since they are an image bearer.

Kingdom Work and the Imminent Return of Christ

While we live in between the times of the imminent return of Christ, we have work to do. We have people to minister to, and disciples to make. We also have work to do in our own local churches. In addition, we have indwelling sin. If this isn’t enough, we have neighbors who need to hear the Gospel and see us living on mission to the glory of God. Lastly, this is why we must proclaim the good news that in the midst of the chaos of our day, King Jesus is soon returning.

Everyone is a sinner by nature and by choice, which means there are none that can escape the wrath and judgment of God apart from the saving work of Jesus Christ. God sees the heart of man, and knows what we are capable of. All lives matter because God created man in His image and likeness. Jesus came as the sinless substitute and died in the place of sinners for their sin and rose from the dead to gives us new life.

Let’s you and I love one another as Jesus has instructed (John 13:35). While we’re at it let’s pray for our political and church leaders. Let’s also commit to speaking out on social issues because of the grace of God. Now in all that we do, say, and think, may you and I be thankful to God for His grace and shine the light of Christ brightly as we daily endeavor to live in a matter worthy of Christ.

[ Dave Jenkins ]


“The World Changed In One Night”

In “The World Changed In One Night”, Pastor Tim Dilena reminds us that in these uncertain times, God is speaking to the church, God is lifting our eyes to the throne, and God is getting us ready for the revival that is coming.

[ Tim Dilena ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5KtfIdLZ6Q


“Are You Ready for the Rapture?”

It’s hard to believe but Christians are actually fighting over the return of Jesus! But the rapture of the church is an important doctrine, taught by Jesus, John, and the Apostle Paul and we have a responsibility to get it right.

[ Billy Crone ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt5k0FhSYa4


“There’s Something Much Bigger Going On Here…”

This Theory on Why it Will Only End After 7 Months, Will Shock You…

[ Off The Kirb Ministries ]

Commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F12RlVd-PFs


“Don’t Ignore This Verse | A Warning That Is Coming To Life In 2022”

In 2 Timothy chapter 3 the bible speaks about the last days and the state of the world….. are we seeing the scriptures being fulfilled in this present day?

[ Grace For Purpose ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xT2QNZUTPQg


“Are We on the Verge of the Tribulation?”

World War III
The Bible says there will be a World War III (Revelation 6:4), and we’re much closer to it today than when 2022 started and probably the closest we’ve been since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Every day seems to bring a new escalation between NATO and its allies and Russia over the latter’s invasion of Ukraine. NATO has sanctioned Russia, is providing arms to the Ukrainian resistance, and many of its members have called for direct intervention in Ukraine. Even if NATO avoids a direct military conflict, all it takes is for Russia to make one mistake which leads to a deadly strike in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, or Romania (all NATO members bordering Ukraine), and