Moscow plans to send submarines designed to carry 16 long-range nuclear missiles to the southern hemisphere. Russia has also put many of its nuclear bombers back on patrol. In February, two Russian bombers made news by circling the US island of Guam that demonstrated President Vladimir Putin’s growing strategic assertiveness toward America.

Russia has also shown some aggression towards Israel. It sold S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria and if that was not enough of a threat to Israel, Russia has backed Syrian forces in the Golan Heights, which is the northern border of Israel & Syria.

In March, President Vladimir Putin made the decision to deploy a naval unit in the Mediterranean Sea on a permanent basis at the Tardus Naval Port in Syria. (The Kremlin leaders acquired the Tardus Naval Port in 1971 without any real purpose for it. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia lacked the funds to develop the base.)

  • Knowing that Syria is undergoing a civil war, Tardus would seem to be an unwise investment.
  • Russia supported Saddam Hussein and lost billions in the wake of the first Gulf War.
  • Russia backed Gaddafi’s regime and cost Russia construction contracts, and its investments in Libyan gas and oil to the tune of $10 billion.
  • The Russians also lost billions in Cypress when that nation’s banking collapsed.
  • So is Putin’s willingness to stand with Bashar Al-Assad another investment gamble or does it have more prophetic meaning?

Since Assad is wildly hated for his brutality against his own people, Moscow has lost prestige with many moderate Arab states. Putin has remained loyal to Assad because the alliance fits in his master plan to control the natural gas market across Europe. 

Russia already controls a quarter of the natural gas consumed in the European Union.

In July 2011, Iran, Iraq, and Syria agreed to build a gas pipeline from the South Pars gas field in Iran to Lebanon and across the Mediterranean to Europe. The pipeline would be managed by Russia and would carry 110 million cubic meters of gas.

One of the obstacles of Russia’s influence over Israel has been the nation of Turkey. Russian warships would have to pass through straits in Turkey in order to reach the Mediterranean. Since Moscow supplies sixty percent of Turkey’s natural gas, Turkey may find it hard to ignore this amount of leverage. The fact that Turkey now has an Islamic leaning government makes its neutrality or assistance in a conflict all the more likely.

Natural gas may be the key reason why Russia may eventually attack Israel. In 2010, 25 trillion cubic feet of natural gas was discovered just off of Haifa, Israel’s northern coast. The Jewish state is now working to develop those fields. Of course, it would be a devastating blow to Putin’s plans to monopolize natural gas if Israel became a major supplier of gas to Europe, which is Israel’s plan.

Ezekiel 38:10 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme.”

It’s too early in history for the Ezekiel passage to be fulfilled, but could Putin deciding that he wants to control all the natural gas be the beginning of the “evil scheme” of Ezekiel 38:10? 

Isaiah 45:3

“I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name
.”

Isaiah was prophesizing about Cyrus of Babylon. His finding hidden treasure was to show Cyrus that Jehovah was the only true God, HOWEVER it was for the sake of Israel that he was prospered.

In Deuteronomy 33, Moses is near death but before he dies He leaves each tribe with a blessing…

Deuteronomy 33:19

They will summon peoples to the mountain and there offer the sacrifices of the righteous; they will feast on the abundance of the seas,
on the treasures hidden in the sand
.”

Russia is taking a harder stance than it has in the last twenty years. The question is why and what is the purpose? Is it the beginning of fulfilling prophecy from 3,000 years ago?

Will Israel’s “hidden treasure” of natural gas cause conflict between Israel and Russia and eventually the Middle East? How far will Russia go?


Do you have morals? I believe pretty much everyone would answer that question with a “yes”.

The dictionary defines morals as: “pertaining to or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct” Morals: “principles or habits with respect to right or wrong conduct.”

So morals are…

  • Principles which decide right or wrong conduct
  • Which lead to deciding values
  • Which lead to setting priorities
  • Which affect our way of life
  • Which affect our relationship with others and with the Lord

 Recently, I assume because of this blog and website, the radio show and the Facebook page, I’ve been asked about my thoughts on current events. There’s been a lot in the news of late. People have asked me what I think of the new Pope.

I’ve been asked what I think about all the earthquakes happening around the world.  I’ve been asked what I think about the economy (especially in Europe with what recently happened in Cyprus).

What are my thoughts on all of this? These are just the symptoms– the problem is our lack of repentance and desire to live Godly lives.

To understand the day and the age we live in we have to see how ungodly our culture has become. The Lord through the apostle Paul gave us fair warning….

 2 Timothy 3:1-5

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”

Have nothing to do with such peoplemeans do NOT live as they live. Reject their lifestyle, their values, their priorities, their morals and embrace how God says to live!

 2 Peter 3:3-4

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”

The time Jesus takes to return is obviously in the Lord’s hand, not ours. To ask in a mocking way, why hasn’t He come already, is scoffing. We need to understand that the Lord’s delay is not a delay but an act of grace giving us more time to serve and witness for Him!

Scripture is clear in the last days morals, values will be more and more ungodly.

 At the recent National Religious Broadcasters conference, a NRBC Board Member said, “Christians may have to decide whether to “bow our knee” to government or to God.” Why? What are the issues? She listed two, same-sex marriage and President Obama’s birth control mandate.

This problem with living against God’s Word is that that decision produces many symptoms that affect our daily lives.

The ITT Website (interpretingthetimes.com) and our Facebook page has daily articles that show how morally bankrupt our culture is. Why are some of the articles posted on our website and Facebook page? To either encourage you or to help you see how spiritually bankrupt we are! Check out this website for the blogs and current headlines and checkout and like us on Facebook and stay up to date daily and help others see the spiritual condition of our nation and culture.

For example, a recent article posted was:

  • A university founded by the Methodists in the 1800′s in Atlanta, Georgia has decided to expel Chick-Fil-A from its campus; the decision was mostly over the company’s beliefs in Biblical marriage.
  • A number of colleges and universities that have been offended by Chick-Fil-A’s founder’s comments on his belief in Biblical marriage and have considered kicking Chick-Fil-A off campus for its beliefs. In fact some have already done so, such as Elon University in North Carolina.
  • The issue of same sex marriage has also produced a new version of the Bible. The Queen James Bible. In this edition they have re-written 8 verses, 8 verses that changed an entire doctrine. This act has become so ungodly that we are now changing and reprinting the Word of God!
  • Our Supreme Court has to make ruling on the issue of what marriage is. When we have to institute laws that go against God’s Word, where are we headed as a nation?

We have tensions throughout the world. Iran, North Korea, Syria. Everyday lives are being destroyed; everyday lives are being changed. What’s the difference? Everyday some are accepting Jesus and His teaching and every day some are mocking and rejecting Jesus and His teaching.

Where do you fit in?

What are your morals? Values? Priorities?


Psalms, Daniel, Joel, Obadiah & Zephaniah, all Old Testament books, all speak of Jerusalem as God’s Holy Hill.

Joel 3:17

“Then you will know that I, the Lord your God, dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her.”

Three weeks ago I asked you to pray for Israel. Psalm 122 tells us that we are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. I explained that David wrote that Psalm for when those traveling to Jerusalem to celebrate a festival time could sing that Psalm. They would be praying for the peace of Jerusalem, which was a prayer for the ability to worship without distraction.

I explained that true peace will not come to Jerusalem unto the Lord returns.

Then I asked you to pray for the elections facing Israel. Those elections took place on January 22, 2013.

The results were NOT what most had anticipated, not what most of the polls showed going into the elections.

It was believed that Israel was moving more to the “right” meaning that they would be moving away from the peace process with the Palestinians, that they would not be as open about dividing Jerusalem, God’s Holy Hill. It meant they were moving toward a much harder stance with security and especially with Iran.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likid party, before the elections, held 27 of the 120 seats in Israel’s government. It was believed that after the early elections were called that his party would have 45-47 seats. They ended up with just 31.  His party is still the largest party but it doesn’t hold the political power it was expected to have.

Israel’s second largest party is a party that did not exist a few months ago. It is led by a former news anchor personality who got out of TV and into politics. He formed this new party just for these elections and they won 19 seats, which is amazing. The party’s name is Yesh Atid which means “There is a future”. They would be considered more center/right. Their focus is changing the old corrupt system and to create a new political system which offers change and hope. (Sound familiar? Obama 2008?)

Arabs who live in Israel take part in the election process. They have their own party and they have a voice.  If THEY are included in the final tally it seems that the power is divided evenly, 60 seats to the left (liberal) and 60 seats to the right (conservative).

Is there a future for Israel?

Iran wants to wipe them off the map. Egypt has a new leader who calls Israelis pigs and monkeys. Syria has killed over 40,000 people and has deadly chemical weapons. Internationally Israel is becoming more and more isolated, including a strained relationship with the United States. Israelis see the darkness around them but they also see new possibilities such as the natural gas that has been discovered off the shore of Haifa and the pipelines being built to harvest that. In the near future Israel could actually be exporting natural gas to Europe! This new party is a fresh political face; it’s not the same status quo and that appealed to the younger Israeli voters. This party won because of first-time young voters (again, sound familiar?)

The problem with this new direction is that Israelis are looking for change, hope, a brighter future but they are doing it by looking everywhere except to God. There is a hardening toward God taking place. By its own admission, this new party is a very “secular” party.

Recently Benjamin Netanyahu has been seeking out Scripture, including hosting a Bible study in his own home. That Scripture was becoming an element that he was including in his decisions.

At the United Nation General Assembly meeting in New York last fall, Benjamin Netanyahu drew a bomb and said this is the Red Line for Iran. When they get to this point (expected in 2013) there would be no stopping them. With these election results, Netanyahu’s political power has been reduced. Military analysts inside Israel say that because of that an Israel pre-empted strike against Iran is less likely.

What does all of this mean?

Will Israel strike Iran?
Will Israel negotiate with the Palestinians?
Is Jerusalem going to be a part of those negotiations?
Will Israel/ U.S. relations be stronger or weaker?
Will Israel become self-sufficient because of the natural gas discovery?
What will happen to the peace treaty signed with Egypt?
What will happen with the threat of chemical weapons in Syria?

Much will be happening in Israel. Remember Psalm 122 tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem – God’s Holy Hill.

2,500 years ago God spoke through His prophet Daniel. He gave Daniel a vision of a time that was still future for Israel of Daniel’s day, as well as for us today. Parts of God’s plan are still yet to be seen. It calls for nations becoming one. It calls for a…

Global leader
Global economy
Global military 

Are we heading in this direction???? 

Here is what the prophet saw – a vision of 4 beasts.
We are told 3 beasts were the kingdoms of Persia, Greece and Rome.
The 4th beast is still future; it is the antichrist and is yet to come…

Daniel 7:19-22

19 “Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws—the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. 20 I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. 21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.”

Remember a year ago (August 2, 2011) – the debt ceiling debate and how the government almost shut down? That’s all people were talking about.

What happened when the raising the debt ceiling debate was no longer in the headlines?

It was agreed the debt ceiling would be raised but a “super committee” was put in place to come up with some type of agreed upon budget cuts by November 2011.

WHAT would happen if they failed to agree on budget cuts???

Remember???

AUTOMATIC cuts would go into place including cuts from our defense budget – which no one said they wanted to see happen.

So……

Between then and now…

THIS is the agenda and the cuts that are happening…

Looking at 4 documents as a resource – which can be accessed easily online.

(Document # 1) A unified security budget

  1. This document states the recommended military cuts
  2. Scaling back U.S. ground forces by 20%
  3. Reduce Navy fleet by 20%
    1. Cutting back from 12 aircraft carriers to 8
    2. Cut Navy fleet from 285 ships to 230 (313 is recommended)
    3. Cutting ballistic missile submarines, 14 are planned, cut 8 leaving 6
  4. Reduce Air Force by 2 combat units
    1. Cutting helicopters
  5. Cease all further development of missile defense
  6. Implement “R2P” – “Responsibility to protect” – Placing more Blue U.N. helmets on U.S. troops making them peacekeeping troops NOT U.S. soldiers

(Document # 2) Foreign policy – the Green dividend

  • Savings from defense cuts are to be used for “Green Stimulus”
  • Transferring American wealth to developing countries

(Document # 3) Climate Change and Conflict

  • This document says climate change is a direct threat to National Security
  • If we help other countries develop climate control to fight against global warming then
    • Iran won’t build nuclear weapons
    • Russia and China will become peacekeeping nations
    • This document makes this POINT: The Arab Spring happened because of climate change (things such as rising food prices) This is Not true!

(Document # 4) Department of Defense review

  • This document calls for increase drone usage
  • “Shifting operational landscape” which means cut back military and use them as U.N. peacekeeping forces
  • Address and redirect resources for a “balanced” global effort to help poor countries contend with climate issues. 

Example of this “Address and redirect resources” is the Safeer Center located in the West Bank  (the U.S. plans to spend $100 million in the West Bank & Gaza for buildings such as this)

What makes the Safeer Center climate friendly?

  • It has a rainwater collection system for garden water
  • It has energy efficient insulation
  • It has double glass windows
  • It has window shades
  • And they used recycled wood

Is spending $100 million dollars on building in the west bank really going to help America?

————————————————————————————————

This is where our country is headed.

  • More global – less domestic
  • Weaker military – stronger climate change policies

—————————————————————————————

2,500 years ago God, through Daniel, has given us a picture of a day when nations will align together and one of the driving forces will be to come against the Lord and anything or anyone who tries to do Godly things and live a Godly lifestyle.

The message given through Daniel told us there will be a direct assault against the Kingdom of God.

We are to be ready, to give an answer for our faith, to be a resource, and to provide help (aid) whenever possible.

Why do we do what we do?

Because we understand who God is and what was done for us!

Run the Race to Win the Prize

1 Corinthians 9

  • Every 2 years we get to enjoy the Olympics
  • Summer / Winter games combine 33 different sports with almost 400 events
  • Today’s games have over 10,000 world class athletes from 200 nations
  • Yet the first Olympic Games for which we still have written records were held in 776 B.C.
  • The Olympic Games were held for almost 1,200 years. From the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD
  • In 393 AD, the Roman emperor Theodosius I, a Christian, abolished the Games because of their pagan influences.  The Olympics took on a religious importance, with shrines and altars being built and featured sporting events alongside ritual sacrifices honoring gods such as Zeus.
  • The Ancient Olympic Games started in Greece. It was kingdom versus kingdom. These games featured mainly athletic but also had chariot racing events. During the games, all conflicts among the participating city-states were postponed until the games were finished.
  • After a 1,500 year absence, a French athlete got everything started again. The modern day International Olympic Committee (IOC) was established in 1894.  Games were once again established in 1896. These Games brought together 14 nations and 241 athletes who competed in 43 events.
  • The Olympics became even more popular in 1964 when satellites were used to broadcast live television worldwide, and then again in 1968 with the introduction of color television.
  • 1968 games in Mexico city – had a viewership of 600 million
  • 1992 Summer games in Spain had a viewership of 3.5 billion
  • With that kind of viewership, TV executives took notice. NBC has paid $3.5 billion for the broadcast rights of all the Olympic Games from 2000 to 2012

Competition  – National pride – Rewards

All values that people respond to

Common ground for all to meet on

1 Corinthians 9:24

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”

  • Olympic Games & the Isthmian games (which were held in Corinth)
  • What is the prize? A crown made of greenery.
  • See the comparison to the Christian life and being a world class athlete?
  • We are to serve our Lord with the same commitment and dedication a world class athlete has for his or her sport!
  • We are running a race where the reward, a crown, will last forever.

 

Galatians 2:2

I went in response to a revelation and set before them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did this privately to those who seemed to be leaders, for fear that I was running or had run my race in vain.”

  • Conflicts among church leaders, Legalism
  • Paul’s concern at the Jerusalem council was the understanding that a Gentile can become a Christian, there was no middle step such as Gentile-convert to being a Jew, and THEN can become a Christian

 

Hebrews 12:1

“let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

  • An athlete would strip away anything that would hinder them
  • Running in the nude was common (in Paul’s day!)
  • We as believers are to throw off any sin that hinders us such as bad habits, bad attitudes, laziness, pride, selfishness. GET RID OF IT!

 

2 Timothy 4:6-8

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that…

  • Paul writes to Timothy that he is about to finish the race. He has kept his eyes on the prize and is about to receive his reward from God for a life well lived.
  • He writes from 3 perspectives
    • (His present) He is about to finish his earthly life and he is passing the baton on.
    • (His past) He has been faithful.
    • (His future) He’s looking forward to receiving his HEAVENLY reward.