The world seems bent on dividing itself into teams for some future competition in a sport that no one dares contemplate. Russia is extending olive branches to Syria and Iran, in addition to nuclear technology, even while it beats up Georgia for trying to join NATO. Russia is threatening to turn the Middle East into a theatre for great power conflict and diplomacy even as it tries to reconstitute Soviet client states into a new Russian empire.
NATO has proved itself to be quite worthless as a deterrent to the expansion minded Russians and its glory days are clearly behind it. America and European NATO nations are forever at each other’s throat and the alliance has clearly outlived its usefulness. The United States has stayed in NATO for too long and given too much blood and treasure to keep the spineless alliance alive in a day of real emerging threats. NATO has become a debating society between European and Americans rather than a credible fighting force. I can’t help but believe the Russians look at NATO and smile because with the departure of the Soviet Union, the alliance has become fat lazy and utterly ineffective: no match for an emergent petro Russia flushed with cash and spoiling for a fight.
In the “Last Days” the Bible seems to say that the Russians will lead a confederation of Islamic nations, including Iran, into an attack on Israel with a gigantic military force that will ultimately be defeated in grand style by supernatural intervention from above. The Bible gives the tribal names as they existed back in biblical times for the peoples involved, but by careful study of those names some interesting things emerge. First, The Russia of the invasion (Gog) seems to have regained most if not all of the former Soviet States. That might have grave implications for the current Georgia crisis. It may well be that the West is about to lose the conflict over Russia reacquiring the old Soviet Satellite states. So too Russia is moving to reestablish soviet bases in Syria and even now is moving a mighty Aircraft Carrier Force, The Admiral Kuznetsov, into the Middle East. They’re establishing new defense agreements with Syria right now as a response to the condemnation they’ve received by invading Georgia.
Second, The NATO alliance that we know today is not the NATO of the future biblical times because Turkey is included in the Russian led coalition that will attack Israel. Today Turkey is a member of NATO and has relations with Israel but the inclusion of Turkey, a secular Islamic country, in NATO has always been on the problematic side. One can easily imagine a surge of fundamentalism in Turkey or a successful attack that defangs Iran by Israel as something that fundamentally changes and solidifies Islamic Nations and even drives them further into the Russian “sphere of influence.” Add to this the tremendous influx throughout Europe of unassimilated Moslems and a rising militant sentiment among their immigrants and the secular aspects of Turkey’s government may not be long for this world.
In addition the bible makes clear that Israel will be at peace, with a guaranteed security agreement, when she is attacked by Russia and her neighbors to usher in Armageddon. Clearly Israel is not at peace in 2008 and the prospects for such a peace seem to be very low, if not nonexistent. The Bible repeats this condition that Israel will be at peace about three times for emphasis. This doesn’t mean that bad things won’t happen and that war will be avoided between Israel and Iran at this time but it’s unlikely to be Armageddon.
I don’t think the conditions are right for the War of Armageddon as the bible describes it but I do think the coming conflict with Iran and Syria, the actions of Putin in Russia, the divisions in NATO, the emergence of China and the economic conditions in America may well set the stage for Armageddon at some future point. No one knows when Armageddon will occur but we can know the general season in which it’s going to occur and that season is looking a lot like our generation.
One can see the challenges for the American economy and the potential meltdown of the US Dollar and the economic devastation of America from all the debt we’re foolishly acquired. Our good friends China and Saudi Arabia are major creditors of the USA and they could sink us without firing a shot by trashing our currency. If the day should come when they don’t think we can make good on the debt and they sell off dollars, for whatever they can get, then America will no longer be a player on the world stage. Internal strife will demand all our attention and the military budget will just have to suffer for awhile. Our energy dependence and addiction to spending has undermined our national security and it will be decades before we can end that situation, especially with a gridlocked congress. Remember: The USA is not mentioned or implied as a player in the world of the last days. This might mean we are a part of the European Alliance via some structure like NATO, or it may mean we’ve turned isolationist, or that some disaster befalls us either natural disaster, economic disaster, or what have you, that takes us out of world leadership. If I had to guess right now I would say the USA will be destroyed economically as a consequence of no one buying our debt anymore.
Europe has made great strides toward economic and political union but it needs to go much further in military union. Frankly it needs an armed forces of Europe that is uniquely its own and it needs to stop relying on America and NATO because it’s looking increasingly like America can’t continue funding European defense. The US is overcommitted and fiscally irresponsible and if the Europeans don’t take action to secure their own defense they risk coming under the Russian thumb, ironically, much like Georgia. The Bible makes it clear that some form of the Roman Empire must rise again and it’s from Europe in the last days that the Antichrist will appear. This leader will find solutions to gut wrenching problems in all areas of life from economic, to peace in the Middle East, and will consolidate control of the world’s economy and truly unify it. He will create a currency that people can depend on but he will have lots of controls to weed out counterfeiting and illegal activities and even solve many security issues by biometric access to economic assets. The world will trade many civil liberties for a stable economic system and the illusion of security and peace. After the scare the Russians are giving us and the near certainty of an attack against Iran it might get a bit stressful in this old world!
The Russians are clearly about reconstituting the Soviet Empire and obtaining a strangle hold on the Earths most precious commodity: Oil. Russia is not entitled to takeover boarder states because it wants a buffer from the Western Democracies. We don’t get to takeover Mexico as a buffer to Venezuela right? This kind of thinking is what sank the world into two world wars, and Soviet Communism, for most of the Twentieth Century. Russia is clearly in the wrong but it’s got lots of money, it’s got lots of oil, and lots of influence because Europe needs their oil. It won’t take much for Russia to drive a wedge between Europe and America because the Europeans are only too happy to trade the former Soviet States, some of them fledgling democracies, for peace. The Russian see the USA in the same position the Old Soviet Union was in before it died: We’re broke, we’re overextended, and our infrastructure and dependence on foreign oil makes us vulnerable to catastrophic change. The Soviets had a dependency on foreign grain and food stuffs but dependency is dependency.
So what happens from here? What’s the next big shoe to drop? Assuming that we are indeed in the last days here is MY SPECULATION: NOT THE WORD OF THE BIBLE!
I suspect that we’re going to face in America an economic event, a depression and currency collapse which will remove us from power and force Europe to become a military power in her own right and produce a leader that will deal with both the economic mess and world peace. I think Israel will attack Iran, perhaps with our help, perhaps before the American Elections and certainly before the new President is sworn in. I would further guess that the Russians will win the Georgia crisis and that they’ll successfully incorporate by force or coercion the client states of the Soviet Union. I would guess that the coming war in Iran will greatly tick off the Iranians and the Russians and the Syrians and that such a war could do great damage to the region precipitating the possible use of limited WMD’s. Certainly there is an unfulfilled prophesies that Damascus will be wiped off the map and there are verses that suggest some sort of chemical or biological weapon will be used against Jerusalem in the last days. Either way I think we may see the setting of the stage for the Biblical Predictions of Armageddon within a matter of years.
ONCE AGAIN THIS IS MY SPECULATION BASED ON MY UNDERSTANDING OF BIBLICAL PROPHESY. I MAY WELL BE WRONG. It does strike me as a plausible transition from the world of today to the world predicted by Ezekiel and John. Interesting how the Bible can suggest such a plausible outcome to the events we’re witnessing right now, when you consider that it was written by lots of different authors between about 1440 BC. – 96 AD. Go figure!