As war clouds darken, keep a watch on little Israel
Reports have emerged of a massive array of Russian land, sea and air weaponry being deployed in Syria and off its coastline, ostensibly for the launching of a Russian ‘naval exercise’
By Charles Gardner
There has been much speculation over whether Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could be a dress rehearsal for Armageddon (Revelation 16:16).
Certainly we need to brace ourselves for the possibility of a wider conflict after millions have fled for their lives from the barrage of missiles striking Kyiv and other cities.
Russia is evidently seeking to restore the ‘glory’ of her former empire, but Vladimir Putin ought to know (as he claims to be an Orthodox Christian) that “the ruler of God’s creation” – our Lord Jesus (Revelation 3:14) – “brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing” (Isaiah 40:23). They are here today, and gone tomorrow.
The invasion of Ukraine, shocking as it is, could be something of a distraction from Russia’s operations in the Middle East
The invasion of Ukraine, shocking as it is, could be something of a distraction from Russia’s operations in the Middle East where, the Bible tells us, the final great battle between good and evil forces will take place.
Reports have emerged of a massive array of Russian land, sea and air weaponry being deployed in Syria and off its coastline, ostensibly for the launching of a Russian ‘naval exercise’ – the biggest by far since the end of the Cold War.1
Meanwhile, Russia continues to back Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who is allowing the virulently anti-Semitic Iranian military to establish a foothold in his country – which borders Israel…
In addition, Syria’s army has begun recruiting its own troops to fight alongside Russian forces in Ukraine.
A toxic mix indeed. But the West has yet to take the Iranian threat seriously, continuing to soft-pedal with a rogue regime set on producing a nuclear weapon.
Indeed, our approach recalls the efforts to appease Hitler in the run-up to World War 2. How many of us are aware of the collaboration of Islamic mullahs with the Nazi leader?
What we do need to seriously embrace is the reality that, for all his fierce opposition to wokery, Putin is a staunch ally of a fundamentalist Islamic state, ruled by fanatical ayatollahs who, along with persecuting Christians, have repeatedly threatened to wipe Israel off the map. (It is also worth noting, in this respect, that Ukraine is not only being led by the heroic Volodomyr Zelensky, a Jew, but also has a significant Jewish population, including Messianic believers).
Understandably, the Israeli Defence Force has launched several successful strikes on Syrian-based Iranian military targets. And while it hasn’t publicly reacted, Moscow has reportedly warned Israel that further action of this kind would lead to a ‘sharp escalation’ of conflict in the region.
Although aware of the need to maintain their current reasonably friendly relations with Russia, Israel also knows they can’t afford to allow sworn enemies to continue building up a presence on their northern border.
As for the final great battle we have been discussing, where does the Bible say it will be fought? Armageddon. Centred on the town of Megiddo, it’s a vast plain in the north of Israel where many previous battles have taken place.
As already noted, the present crisis could widen into a major armed conflict. But let’s remember how last century’s two World Wars, involving the rise and fall of empires hungry to regain territory, were ultimately about Israel.
World War I paved the way for the return of the Jewish people to their ancient land in fulfilment of a raft of Old Testament prophecies. I have recently written of the miraculous way in which Jerusalem was taken by the Allies on 9 December 1917, signalling the collapse after 400 years of the Turkish Ottoman Empire and in the process ending “the times of the gentiles” to which Jesus referred (Luke 21:24).
The efforts of dictators to seek world domination will ultimately come to naught
World War II, which included the satanic mass slaughter of European Jews, also paved the way for the miraculous rebirth of Israel just three years after the conflict ended, fulfilling Ezekiel’s prophecy of the ‘valley of dry bones’ (Ezekiel 37).
God is on the throne, and his ways are perfect. As my South African compatriot and Israel Today colleague Stan Goodenough put it, Israel and the Jews are as central to current events as the eye of a hurricane is to the storm.2
We need to see heaven’s perspective, which is from the vantage-point of Jerusalem, the mountain of the Lord (Psalm 48:1). Jesus is coming to reign on earth, but his enemy will gather armies together in a desperate but vain attempt to stop that happening.
The efforts of dictators to seek world domination will ultimately come to naught, because it will mean contending with Jesus himself, “the ruler of God’s creation”, and Israel, the “apple of his eye” (Zechariah 2:8).
Put your trust in Jesus, not in the swaggering princes who boastfully strut the global stage. He’s got the whole world in his hands – including you. So do not fear; the Lord is near.
1 Ukraine, and why it is always about Israel, Israel Today, 18 February 2022
Cries for help
There has been a huge increase in cries for help from Jews trapped in Ukraine wishing to make Aliyah (re-settle in Israel).
Many have already been successfully airlifted to the Jewish state, which is reportedly ready to provide emergency evacuation for up to 200,000 people.
Meanwhile the Chief Rabbi of Kyiv invited Christians to join the Jewish community in declaring Psalm 31 (a hymn of protection) over the unfolding nightmare there.
And a prayer initiative originally organised by an advisor to Winston Churchill during World War II has apparently resurfaced, calling on everyone to stop what they are doing at 8pm UK time each evening to pray for God’s help.
Arabs disgusted by Amnesty ‘lies’
Israeli Arabs have responded in disgust to the way Amnesty International (AI) has accused the Jewish state of practising apartheid.
“Israel is not an apartheid state”
Among them was Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid, who tweeted: “Amnesty International is lying about Israel,” adding: “I’m here to set the record straight: Israel is not an apartheid state.”
Even Mansour Abbas, head of an Arab party in Israel, has confirmed this, saying he would not use the word ‘apartheid’ to describe relations between Jews and Arabs. He is, after all, part of the governing coalition.
Eid made further reference to AI’s “misinformation and lies”, saying that they and other Israel-haters “can’t seem to live with the fact that the world is embracing Israel with open arms. They want to continue demonising Israel and denying it the right to exist as the one and only Jewish state.”
Meanwhile an AI official tweeted that it’s okay to hound Israeli representatives in order to prevent them from speaking on university campuses. The tweet, by Ilyas Nagdee, was posted after a Cambridge University talk by Israeli Ambassador to Britain Tzipi Hotovely was disrupted by protesters.
Ice cream meltdown follows Israel boycott
After Unilever’s stock prices plummeted in the wake of their boycott of Israel, the Jewish state’s Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked cited a Bible verse from Genesis: “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.” (Genesis 12:3)
It was last summer when the company informed one of their brands, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, that it could no longer be sold in areas under ‘Israeli occupation’. As a result, several American states, including New York, Illinois and Texas, withdrew investments and pension funds related to the food giant, wiping $26 billion off their stock prices. Shaked noted that anyone familiar with Scripture should not be surprised by this outcome.
Jewish leader not joking anymore
Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky has become an unlikely hero after refusing to budge in the face of the Russian onslaught on his country.
The 44-year-old former actor-comedian rocketed to fame in a TV series called ‘Servant of the People’, in which he played a lovable high school teacher fed up with corrupt politicians who accidentally becomes president. Now the ‘fairy tale’ has come true. And after an offer from the United States to transport him to safety, he simply replied: “I need ammunition, not a ride.”
Middle East terror groups believe America’s weakened status in the world has increased the chances of fulfilling their goal of replacing Israel with an Islamic state. Article 13 of the Hamas Charter states: “There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad (holy war).”
Preparations are in hand for what is expected to be a massive earthquake in Israel any time soon, and Scripture backs this up.
The prophet Zechariah said such a calamity would take place when the Messiah places his feet on the Mt of Olives (Zechariah 14:4).
Judge’s formal apology
Former South African Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has succumbed to intense pressure by making a formal apology for supporting Israel in a webinar nearly two years ago. He said at the time: “I’m under an obligation as a Christian to love Israel… because I know hatred for Israel by me and for my nation can only attract unprecedented curses upon our nation.”
- More than a dozen Dutch universities have asked their staff to reveal their ties to Israeli and Jewish organisations following pressure from a pro-Palestinian advocacy group.
- Jordanian researcher Dr Abdullah Sawalha says a growing number of today’s Arabs consider the Jews to be their cousins.
Other recent articles by Charles Gardner, which can be found at www.heartpublications.co.uk, include:
David versus Goliath
God’s terrifying tempests
Guinness guides the generals
That beastly mark!
A tale of two images
Charles is also a regular contributor to Israel Today at www.israeltoday.co.il
His latest book, ‘To the Jew First’, is available from Christian Publications International. He is also author of ‘King of the Jews’, ‘A Nation Reborn’ (both CPI), ‘Israel the Chosen’ (Amazon) and ‘Peace in Jerusalem’ (olivepresspublisher.com & Eden) – all available from Amazon.