God and the Invasion: Where is Yahweh in All This?

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden

Absolutely nothing happens randomly, catching God by surprise. Everything is filtered through His sovereign will including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But, there is constant spiritual warfare going on in which Satan strives to inflict the world with evil forces. Putin is an agent of evil daring America and its allies to stop his bloody aggression. Will we? Let’s look at what is at stake spiritually and materially.

My latest book, Daniel: Prophet at the King’s Command, begins with the invasion of Jerusalem by Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar. The prophet, Daniel, then just a teenager, poses the question, “Where is Yahweh in all this.” Yahweh is the Hebrew word for God. There had been many invasions of innocent nations by evil nations before Daniel’s 605 BC generation. And there have been many such invasions since throughout the entire globe. It would seem that civilization should have learned to live peacefully after thousands of years. But as long as there is evil in the world, there will be wars among nations. There will always be narcissistic leaders of passive nations that are willing to risk innumerable lives of their own citizens to gain control of the government and citizens of another country. Evil will always be with us on personal and aggregate levels until Christ comes again. Satan will manipulate his subjects, but, according to the scriptures, God will never lose control.

Putin is an evil dictator. He may also be a psychopath. Although he claims membership in the Russian Orthodox Church, he is a Communist leader, and Communism is both atheistic and antireligious. In contrast, Ukraine adheres to Christianity with over 70% of its population declaring themselves believers. Although Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is Jewish, he has great respect for Christians and churches, and he actively supports religious freedom in the country. Ukraine is the main missionary sending country for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. So, the deadly crisis in Ukraine is more than a ruthless tyrant dictator seeking to reestablish the former Soviet Union nation by nation. Granted, that is apparently his long-term strategy. But the war is more about an evil government’s attempt to consume a Christian nation. It is a classic example of spiritual warfare on a massive scale. The Bible teaches that certain of Satan’s demons are assigned to rule over certain nations. The nations of Russia, China, and Iran must have very powerful demons.

Godly people worldwide, including America and the NATO nations, oppose Putin’s diabolical action. Even many of Russia’s own people are rising up and protesting the attack on Ukraine. Brave Ukraine civilians are taking up arms and resisting the Goliath Russian army. Many Russian soldiers are surrendering to the weaker Ukraine soldiers. It is difficult to predict what will be the end result of Putin’s brazen disregard for world order. I believe it will eventually backfire on him and the Russian government even though it may look like a win initially. God may use this atrocity to ultimately unleash His wrath on the government that has been Satan’s operative for almost a century. Pray that America remains on the right side spiritually and otherwise. Whatever happens, we should watch it closely with an eye toward where Yahweh is in all this.

A Weak America Invited a Resurgence of Communist Expansionism

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Largely due to the tough stands of presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, the Cold War with the Soviet Union ended in 1989 after 44 years. Communism was generally contained until Russia invaded the former Soviet nation of Georgia and later Crimea under the Obama administration. After no aggressive incursions while Trump was president, Putin is now at the threshold of the Ukrainian border with over 125,000 troops ready to invade after sensing weakness from the Biden administration. Let’s look at what is about to happen and why.

During my 24 years in the Air Force, my assignments were divided between flying and developing strategies to restrain the Soviet Union. Both responsibilities were in support of the Cold War between the world’s two superpowers. The Soviet Union’s objective was to ultimately rule the world under Communism. This involved expanding their subversion to as many countries as possible. They also were intent on controlling the realm of space and achieving superiority in nuclear weapons. The objective of the U.S. was to stop them, which we did 33 years ago through military and economic dominance. Russia, the residual nation of the defeated Soviet Union is hardly a superpower now. Its Gross National Product (GDP) in 2021 was $1.5 trillion compared to $21.8 trillion for the U.S. That positions Russia at 11th among the world’s leading economies. But Russia’s priority on military power ranks them third in the world in that category behind the U.S. and China. And its obvious objective, under the leadership of President Putin, is to resurrect the Soviet Union and spread Communism throughout the world. Their plan is to first reclaim the European Soviet Bloc countries beginning with Georgia, Crimea, and now Ukraine. Russia has craved its re-designation as a superpower nation for decades and has always looked to take any advantage of a weakened America.

If Russia succeeds in Ukraine, it will definitely move on to the next country. The Bible indicates it will one day invade Israel. When that happens, get ready to see the destruction and remaking of all creation with Jesus Christ as King of Heaven on earth. That is my theological comment for this post. You’re welcome.

For a year now, President Biden has given Putin every evidence of weakness on the international scene. Putin invaded Crimea after President Obama failed to show resolve in Syria. Likewise, he began preparations for invading Ukraine shortly after President Biden’s fiasco in Afghanistan and an abundance of other failures. He knew better than to try anything during President Trump’s term. If Trump were in the White House now, it is extremely unlikely we would see 125,000 Russian troops on Ukraine’s border. All we are hearing from the Biden administration is that, if Russia invades, the U.S. will apply strong sanctions, and that we may even deploy U.S. forces into North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries. The Russian buildup of military forces at Ukraine’s border has been going on for months. We should have already had a U.S. force deployed to NATO countries many weeks ago. We should also make clear to Russia that, if they invade, they will face U.S. forces with a vengeance on Ukraine soil. All NATO countries should send the same signal. Putin only respects and responds to a will to employ military might. Economic sanctions don’t worry him much. The Biden administration needs to grow a backbone if we are going to avoid another generation of Russia’s expansionism. The time to stop it is now. It will be more difficult with each country that goes down.

America’s most important allies are the nations of the European Union and Great Britain. Four NATO countries border the Ukraine on its west. Ukraine could be a stepping stone to invading NATO allies, in which case, as a member of NATO, we would be obligated to their defense. Furthermore, China is showing signs of invading our friend, Taiwan. Without a doubt, China’s president, Xi Jinping, and his cronies are watching the Biden administration very closely to decide whether they can get by with invading Taiwan without a military reaction from the U.S. If we punt on Ukraine, China will move next.

The whole world, friend and foe alike, expects America to be the protector of democracy. Failure in that role is failure in every international relationship. America must get this one right.

Impeachment Hearing Reality

impeachmenthearing1

I have avoided commenting on the impeachment because it has been so media saturated. However, after watching much of the first day of the televised hearing, I must make a few observations. Never in my life have I witnessed such a brazen attempt to invalidate the majority will of the people. True patriotic Americans must stand against this elitist liberal majority in Congress who are denying Democracy.

In 2016, Americans elected one of the most unusual candidates for president in our nation’s history. President Donald J. Trump won 57% to 43%. His victory so shocked most Democrats, many were talking impeachment before he even assumed office. Since his election in 2016, liberals have been obsessed with impeaching this duly elected president any way they can. When the two-year, over $25,000,000 Mueller investigation flopped, the desperate Dems had to come up with something else quickly to ensure he didn’t win a second term. The best they could do was to make something huge out of almost nothing in the president’s dealings with the president of Ukraine.

The problem Democrats and a scant few Republicans have with President Trump boils down to his unorthodox businessman approach to running this country. He is not playing by the norms of Washington and is a threat to the establishment, often called the “deep state.” America did something in 2016 that had never been done before. The majority got so fed up with Washington’s incompetence and lack of accountability, they opted for an outsider businessman who would bring fresh ideas to governing and would not be intimidated by the politically ensconced establishment.

That out-of-the-political-mainstream president America elected has produced the best economy in decades, strengthened the military, re-established our respect abroad, reassured domestic freedoms, streamlined governing processes, and refocused the nation’s priorities toward Christianity. He has without question kept his campaign promise to “make America great again.” Granted, these national advancements have come with some consternation involving many people’s concept of how the nation’s leader should behave. This is evident in the current impeachment debacle.

President Trump came to the White House as a wealthy business man, not a seasoned politician. Regarding the Ukraine issue, he stretched the political norm by engaging in personal, back-channel negotiations with another head of state in what might seem more like a business deal than a diplomatic action. Our president has acted in both domestic and international exchanges more out of business pragmatism than out of political expediency. This alternative diplomacy, celebrated by most conservatives, is being flagged by the liberals as bribery and extortion–a giant leap from reality. I suppose desperate times call for desperate measures from today’s Democrats.

The president had good reasons to pursue investigation of Ukraine’s past corrupt business dealings that have hurt the United States. The fact that his potential opponent, Vice President Biden as well as his son, were likely involved in some related shady activities added to his incentive to investigate. However, there is no law to prevent him from doing so. If anything was broken here, it was only precedent, not law. The substantive issue is whether the president withheld foreign aid approved by Congress for Ukraine in exchange for an investigation by that country–a so-called “quid pro quo.” Although, he obliquely implied to Ukraine’s president Zelensky that the aid would follow the commitment to an investigation involving the Bidens, the aid was delivered without such a commitment. The businessman Trump apparently used the aid temporarily as an incentive for Zelensky to investigate, but wisely never intended to make it a quid pro quo.

The Democrats’ problem is two-fold. First, they can’t get past the election loss that set back their liberal socialist agenda. Secondly, they just can’t stomach the undiplomatic maneuvering and the unconventional methods being used successfully by the president. Even though it is ultimately in the best interests of America, his methodology counters much of the tradition the establishment has learned to operate within. These changes in technique reduce the power of his opponents. How dare an outsider sit in the oval office and operate from a whole new paradigm! What they don’t seem to grasp is that the same majority that elected this “renegade” likes what he is doing and will vote for him again. The Democrats’ determination to take Trump down is only feeding the Republicans’ determination to give him a second term.

I predict the Democratic majority House will impeach President Trump regardless of how irrational that is. Then, the Senate impeachment trial will exonerate him leaving him in office for the rest of this term. The majority of Americans will be so disgusted with the Democrats, they will hand a landslide victory to the president next year. The Democrats’ unprecedented hatred for our president will be their demise.

The last three years of American politics have been a laughing stock for the entire world to see. Our political process resembles that of a third-world country. We should all be embarrassed. I sure am.

 

Who Is Vladimir Putin Really?

If we put a face on the greatest threat to America today, it has to be the face of Vladimir Putin, president of Russia. He has led a bipolar life. A man of humble beginnings who rose to prominence in the government of the homeland he loves, he is also a maniacal and ruthless leader with scant moral character. Every American needs to know this man and watch carefully the relationships between both countries and both presidents. Here are some facts to consider.

There are more immediate threats to America such as North Korea and radical Islam, but Russia remains the only threat that can virtually annihilate us. It is the only nation with a nuclear arsenal that could total destroy our densest population centers and has shown the capability and willingness to wreck our internet. The country is also assessed to be capable of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack that could destroy our electrical power grids. Only one man in the world could make any of this happen with a nod of his head.

Vladimir Putin was born in 1952 in Leningrad, Russia, to parents of very modest means. He was a troubled child in primary school but began to take his studies and behavior more seriously in high school. He seemed to have developed a personal vision as a teen for doing something great to advance his country. In 1975, he graduated from Leningrad State University with a law degree. He became infatuated with the field of intelligence and in the late 1970’s enrolled in the KGB school in the capital city of Moscow. The English translation for KGB is “Committee for State Security,” which is loosely the counterpart for the American CIA. He advanced quickly to a high level position with the Soviet Union intelligence service.

In 1983, he married Lyudmila Shkrebneva, a flight attendant, just before departing to his first KGB field position in East Germany. They had two daughters, Maria and Katerina. The couple divorced in 2013. Putin is officially single, but a long-standing rumor has it he is secretly married to¬†Olympic gold medal gymnast Alina Kabaeva. In East Germany, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and assigned as senior assistant to the head of the department. In 1991, frustrated by the fall of the Soviet Union, he crossed over to politics becoming the deputy chairman of city government in St. Petersburg. He realized his future had to be within Russia’s first ever attempt at a fledgling democracy. From there, he move swiftly up the political ladder to Moscow and was appointed in 1999 as Director of the Federal Security Service and Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.

Within a year, Russian President Boris Yeltsin appointed him as prime minister of Russia. Within a few months, Yeltsin stepped down and Putin became president never having been elected under the relatively new Russian pseudo-democracy. He was later overwhelmingly elected as president in 2000 and reelected in 2004, both by wide margins. Due to term limits prohibiting a third term for Putin, Dmitry Medvedev was elected president in 2008 and immediately appointed Putin as his Prime Minister. Many in Russia considered Medvedev to be a figure head with Putin still running the government. Putin ran again for president in 2012 for a newly legislated six year term. He won handily again in 2018 and will be president until at least 2024.

Western analysts no longer consider Russia a real democracy due to political corruption that gives Putin a land-slide victory every election. Elections have become more of an exercise of fear than of freedom. He is known to torture his opposition or even assassinate them. The recent nerve agent poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter living in England was the latest in a long list of those who ran afoul of the Kremlin and suffered or died under suspicious circumstances.

Putin seems to be pursuing a foreign policy of slow, long-term of geographical expansion much like the old Soviet Union of his earlier years. In 2014, after several military incursions into Ukraine, Russian soldiers in unmarked uniforms invaded the Ukraine’s territory of Crimea and claimed it for Russia. Since then, Ukraine has had many armed conflicts with Russian backed separatist forces in their country. Then in 2015, Russian forces moved into Syria to help prop up the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. The Russian forces are also assisting the Iranian forces there.

So, here we have a man cultured in the dictatorial and empire-building Soviet Union who has risen to power through corrupt elections and thuggery, but earnestly wants to be legitimized and respected on the world scene. President Trump’s approach to try to form a friendly relationship with Putin is a very long shot. The President’s personal policy in dealing with our enemy heads of state seems to be to open more lines of communication with them while keeping them at arms length (ala Kim Jong- un). I’m for giving him a chance as long as he keeps the pressure on with continued serious sanctions and requirements of concessions. Putin must also feel the wrath of America if he encroaches on another country again. Being a buddy with a despot can backfire if not handled very carefully with eyes wide open. Go for it, Mr. President. But, America is watching closely.

 

 

 

 

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