From Special contributor: Wayne C. Ritchie
Ezekiel 38 1-6 & 14-16: Ezekiel 38 and 39 are interesting chapter. I would encourage you to read it in the light of what is currently taking place. I would use a Bible like the Message or Living Bible and start with Ezekiel 36. I would also read Psalms 83.
In this study I am not going to teach Ezekiel 38 or Psalms, I bring it up to show what the Bible says will take place during the end times. But I will address the question who is Gog from the country of Magog? For years it was considered to be Russia, now some modern teachers say it is not. I will say, with all that is currently going on it seems very likely, to me, that it is Russia.
The question I will address is How Close are we to the Rapture? Earlier this mouth Russia completed a secret missile deal with Syria. Russia will send two batteries of S-300 missiles, one of the most advanced missile systems in the world. An S-300 missile placed in Syria can reach every city in Israel. It can also shoot down any Israeli jet right after take off from any base in Israel. Once the missiles arrive in Syria it will take about four months before they become operational. UPDATE: This is being disputed but we shall see what really happens.
Will Obama allow them to be deployed? More than likely. Obama’s position is to keep us from getting involved in what he calls an “illegal war” like we did in Iraq. Our President has taken the stand to remove our so-called war on terror and replace it with as he said a “return to normalcy.” He also said “Lethal force will only be used against targets who pose a continuing imminent threat to Americans.” The Syrian conflict does not meet that criteria.
I have always agreed that America is not a key player in end-time events. I have always said that it is because of one of two reasons. (1). A revival takes place in America just before the Rapture and once the Rapture occurs so many American will be gone that the nation will become weak, or (2). American is destroyed either from the inside or by an attack on our nations. But now a third scenario is very possible. Obama is still president and he will not lift a finger to aid Israel when Russia attacks. Why? Because a Russian invasion of Israel does not meet his criteria of a “continuing imminent threat to Americans.”
What the US did do was have John Kerry on Friday say “Russia’s transfer of the S-300 missiles [to Syria] would be not helpful while Washington and Moscow try to get the Syrian government and opposition into peace negotiations.”
Will Israel allow them to be deployed? Putin knows the risk he is taking so before taking it he asked, not in a friendly tone, for Netanyahu to meet with him at a villa on the Black Sea. On May 14 Netanyahu made a quick trip to Russia. There Putin basically told him that the missiles will be deployed and if they try to stop the delivery or try to destroy them it could set off the whole middle east and Israel would not escape unscathed. Israel would end up facing the enormous arsenal of rockets and missiles amassed against them. He went on to tell Netanyahu that Russia would not allow Assad to fall from power.
Netanyahu’s response to Petin? The deployment of the missiles “is likely to draw us into a response, and could send the region deteriorating into war.”
Putin’s response to Netanyahu? “Any more Israeli air strikes against Syria could have the same results. Such an attack would not only be considered a declaration of war against Syria and its allies, but also an assault on Russia.”
Netanyahu flew back to Israel and informed his cabinet. Putin announced to the world their plans to send the missiles.
Upon hearing the news the Israeli Minister of Intelligence said that Russia’s decision to press on with the deal is an odd and unjustifiable move. It is totally wrong on moral grounds.
The Israeli Defense Minister said “The missiles are a threat, let’s hope it doesn’t happen [that they are delivered]. But if it does, we’ll know what to do.”
How Close are we? Syria President Assad joined in the rhetoric by declaring that an Israeli assault on Syria would elicit a devastating response. Israel response to Assad? “If Assad does attack Israel we will bring him down.
How close are we? The leader of Hezbollah said they currently have 5,000 fighters in Syria fighting alongside President Assad’s forces and another 5,000 ready to join them. It was also learned that between 1,500 -2,000 fighters from Iraq are also helping Assad’s forces. The leader of Hizballah said “With just two words, I can muster tens of thousands of volunteers to fight for Bashar Assad.” He went on to say Al Qaeda fighters were streaming into Syria and Israel is planning more attacks. He said that if Assad falls, so too will the resistance front against Israel – as well as the Palestinian people of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Hizballah will not let this happen.
How close are we? On Wednesday a US State Department spokeswomen said Hezbollah fighters in Syria is “unacceptable” and “dangerous.” She also said, “We demand that Hezbollah withdraw its fighters from Syria immediately.” And what was Hezbollah’s response? You guessed it – as of this hour that request has been ignored.
How close are we? This week, for the first time, Syrian troops fired on an Israeli patrol in the Golan Heights. The next day the IDF Chief of General Staff said the IDF was preparing for the “tangible scenario of a confrontation on multiple fronts.” He also said if another attack on an Israeli patrol occurred Syria would “bear the consequence.”
How close are we? On Wednesday the commander of the Israeli Air Force warned the nation that war could break out on Israel’s northern border at any moment, demanding the full engagement of the Israeli Air Force. He also said “These days a number of scenarios can lead to a surprise war. He went on to say that aerial superiority was the key to victory in such a war, and that swift triumph on the field would be of supreme strategic importance.
How close are we? In the waters off Syria and Israel 12 Russian warships are stationed. It is the largest Russia sustained naval deployment since the end of the Cold war. The Russian defense minister said that the naval task force was needed in order to protect Russian interests in the region.
And what is our response? We have removed naval vessels from the Mediterranean and been silent about the Russian warships When our new Secretary of State, John Kerry, went to Israel and spent 48 hours. His whole focus was on re-establishing peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. During his visit he was informed that the US proposals on the subject are unworkable and … reviving talks [are] non-existent. He response, “We’re getting toward a time now when hard decisions need to be made.“ What he means by that anyone can guess.
How close are we? A few days ago Assad told Lebanon TV that his country would not “get in the way” of any Syrian groups that attempt to liberate the Golan Heights [from Israel].”
How close are we? A few days ago Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary said, “President Assad is absolutely serious about opening a front against Israel from the Golan. It only remains to be done.” He also added “we will help.”
In America: I did not hear one comment from any news network about any of this. I learned most of it from reading two Israeli newspapers and spending hours in research on the net. In our country we heard a lot about the three scandals rocking Washington. We hear a lot about the popular trials that have captured our attention. We all long for, as Obama said, “a return normalcy.” That is not going to happen.
In Israel it is all they talk about. Israelis spent most of this week practicing home front drills. Netanyahu said. “It is important to maintain functional continuity in the home front that is under fire. School children spent three school days on bomb shelter drills. On Friday Netanyahu said the government will equip every Israeli with a gas mask at no cost to them. The cost $350 million dollars. Do they know something we don’t know?
In Russia an agreement was reached to sell at least 10 Mig-29 fighter planes to Assad.
In Syria the Syrian rebel commander urged the international community to prevent the transfer of Migs, indicating that the sale would further tip the scales in Assad’s favor.
Those are some powerful facts, believers it’s time to start sharing the good news for the return of the king is coming sooner then we think.