Tag Archive | Russia

Is this the End of Days?

Fear1I felt at this time, with recent decisions coming from Washington D.C., that I needed to say something about the enemies rising against the American people.

Several weeks ago, Russian troops moved into Syria to take on ISIS. Now the decision has been made to move American troops into the region. After the announcement was made, several senators expressed their concern that, not only did the administration not know what they were doing, they don’t know who they are fighting. To make matters even more volatile, the Russians have moved their tactical nuclear weapons into the Middle East. Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church his intention to destroy ISIS, promising to first warn every one else to get out of the way.

Iwo JimaUnfortunately, since 14 of our top military commanders have been fired in the last 18 months, as Senator Lindsay Graham expressed, it seems that those making the decisions in Washington don’t know what they are doing. But what else should we expect? When you have a bunch of progressive liberals in control who don’t believe in God, they have no understanding or idea of how to deal with a religious situation.

“So Pastor Ron… why are you bringing this up now?”

I’m glad you asked.

In Ezekiel 38:1-9, it says…

 Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh (Russia), Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you.

   “Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them. After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you.”

(Just for a little clarification… Rosh is Russia. Meshech and Tubal are Turkey. Persia is Iran. Those brought back from the sword is referring to the Jewish people.)

What we are currently witnessing is the beginning of a setup of the End Times.

Listen to Isaiah 46:10…

Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure…”

Please understand that I’m not trying to scare you. What I AM trying to do is to let you know that God’s got this! He has it all under control. Nothing that is going on is catching Him by surprise. When it seems to us that the world is out of control, we can rest assured that He has it under control.

Coptic ChristiansThe rebels in Syria that the Russians are fighting are the same as ISIS. Even though Russia will one day turn, right now they are on the right side of this conflict, and the U.S. is on the wrong side. If you look at any video of ISIS fighters, they are not carrying Syrian or Russian weapons… they are carrying U.S. weapons — the ones we gave them.

In my most recent book, The Hiram Code, I discuss not just what is going to happen during these turbulent times, but how you can have favor in spite of what is going on. When every nation was rising up against Israel, King Hiram was smart enough to embrace Israel. As a result, he became the wealthiest ruler in the world, with an empire that lasted 300 years — even longer than Israel.

So what do we do?

Prayer2We can pray.

We can trust God.

We can keep living our lives, and sharing the love of Christ with the world .

What we don’t have to do is live in fear and hopelessness. We don’t have to sit around, wringing our hands and waiting for those in Washington to start making good decisions. We have God’s Word. We know what has been declared from Heaven, and we need to get our lives positioned in accordance with His will. We need to live our lives for the glory of God.

As The World Burns…

Burning EarthAs I sit here watching the Middle East and Europe burn in a blaze that is rapidly moving this direction, I am baffled…

It is beyond my understanding how any Christian of any race could support the leaders of our government who refuse to acknowledge the Islamic fanatics and their fiendish goals toward the world.

When a Muslim with ties to Al-Qaeda opened fire in Fort Hood, killing 13 brave servicemen-and-women, this administration categorized it as “workplace violence.”

When a kosher deli in Paris was viciously attacked, and four Jews were murdered by a shooter who had pledged support to ISIS, our president referred to it as an “act of random violence.”

Recently, at a press conference, Attorney General Eric Holder sarcastically chastised Fox News for its criticism of the administration’s unwillingness to invoke the terms “Islamic” or “radical Islam” when discussing terror attacks. He said…

“The terminology has, it seems to me, little or no impact on ultimately what we have to do.”

Well, Mr. Holder, I think any military strategist (or second-grade football coach, for that matter) will tell you that properly identifying your enemy is the first step in defeating him. Correctly diagnosing any problem is the first step to solving it. You are going to have a hard time getting healed of cancer if, when you go to the doctor, he refers to your condition as a “broken toe”, and treats you according to that diagnosis. Ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu said…

If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril… If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.

And now, as the president’s Summit on Extremism gets under way, the phrases that have, basically, been discouraged from the summit???

Radical Islam and Islamic Extremism.

Coptic ChristiansThis White House has been immune to criticism because its critics are wrongly called racists — those who point out the president’s refusal to defend Christians, Jews, or their values. Whether citing climate change as the greatest threat against our world, or rushing in to talk about street crime in America’s cities, this administration has done precious little about the threat of groups like ISIS and their horrific acts — like the recent beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians (Christians, Mr. President — not citizens). Dare we speak of the slaughter of tens of thousands of black Christians in the Sudan, Libya, and Somalia. And while this administration supports abortion on demand, gay marriage, and just about every other ungodly, liberal cause you can imagine, the world continues to burn.

In the Book of Esther, there was an ungodly man named Haman in a position of power whose desire it was to slaughter the Jewish people. Yet, in the face of this evil, a young queen named Esther risked everything to defend her people. When faced with the decision whether or not to take a stand, her cousin Mordecai told her…

“For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” ~ Esther 4:14

As our leaders stand in Washington, wringing their hands and mincing their words, leaders in countries like Jordan and Egypt are taking decisive action against these acts of terror. Leaders in countries like France are making bold declarations with regard to the growing threat of anti-Semitism.

However, more than on the political stage…

RP & PauletteHow silent can the pulpits of America remain in the face of war looming in Russia and the Middle East? Pastors white, African-American, Asian-American, and Hispanic must stand on the side of the Bible in opposing evil, abortion, homosexuality, and the genocide of Christians, as well as stand in unwavering solidarity with God’s people – Israel.

Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. ~ James 4:17

We as Christians — pastors and laymen alike — will give an account to God for how we live, and upon what side of the issues we stand. Pastors, however, will be held to a higher standard…

My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. ~ James 3:1


CrossFor pastors, the time is long past for complacency and “milk-toast” Christianity. It is time to stand squarely on the Word of God, rightly-divide His Word, and be a voice of salvation, truth, and hope instead of political correctness and cowardice. Pastors – if you are more concerned with being relevant than righteous, or “hip” than holy, you are probably in the wrong line of work. We don’t preach from the book of the month… we are guided by the Book of the Ages!

It takes courage to stand in the face of overwhelming evil.

It takes courage to say no when everyone else is saying yes.

It takes courage to face off against the giant.

It takes courage to stare into the mouth of the angry furnace.

You, my friends, have been put here for such a time as this.

It is time to stand.

Pastor Ron

Keep Calm… and Focus.

We are living in a time of uncertainty. We are living in an age that, in spite of all of our toys and technology, we can’t answer the seemingly simple questions. We can transplant a human heart from one person into another, but we cannot cure the common cold. We have the technology to put people in space, but we’re still baffled by cancer, AIDS, and Alzheimer’s. We talk about hope and change, yet we have a media that thrives on agenda-driven bad news and fear-mongering.

And for any of us who still watch the news, two stories have captivated the headlines for days now: The disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, and the events unfolding in the Ukraine.

When Flight 370 went missing on March 8, most people assumed it was just another unfortunate plane crash. However, after days of searching without any sign of wreckage, our thoughts quickly turned to something more dastardly: terrorism. Upon the discovery that two passengers were (allegedly) on the plane with fake passports, as well as many questions surrounding the pilot, the idea that the plane had not, in fact, crashed began to surface. Was it possible that the plane had been hijacked for some nefarious purpose? Most of us still remember the feelings we felt in the pit of our stomach when 9-11 unfolded right before our eyes. Could this be the precursor to another 9-11?

And while all of the events surrounding Flight 370 were taking place, the world has been watching events unfold in the Ukraine as Russia announced the annexation of the Crimea into the Russian empire. While world leaders have denounced Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, and promised sanctions against the nation and it’s leadership, for the rest of us over the age of 30, we feel as though history is repeating itself, and are left wondering if we are seeing the genesis of another Cold War.

And all of it is having the same effect: Fear. We’re afraid of flying, afraid of traveling, and afraid for those who are. We’re in fear that history is coming full-circle, and that the days of school children hiding under desks, anti-Russian rhetoric, and threats of nuclear war are back on the table. So what are we supposed to do? How should we conduct ourselves during uncertain times?

Keep calmWell… to coin a phrase from a 1939 British motivational poster, we should “Keep Calm”.

Recently, my wife and I had the pleasure of a visit from my daughter and her kids. While they were staying with us, my (only) granddaughter wanted to go see a movie, so we went to see Catching Fire, from the popular Hunger Games series. There is a scene in the movie in which the evil President Snow is discussing with Plutarch Heavensbee (another “bad guy”) how to destroy Katniss Everdeen, the story’s heroine. Part of their conversation really caught my attention…

Plutarch Heavensbee: “Shut down the black markets take away what little they have, then double the amount of floggings and executions… put them on TV. Broadcast them live! Sow fear, more fear.”

President Snow: “It won’t work. Fear does not work as long as they have hope…”

That’s it. That’s the bottom line when it comes to dealing with fear…

Hope.

As believers in Jesus Christ, we have a Hope. Our hope is in the fact that this world, although a temporary residence, is not our home. We can follow the instruction of the Apostle Paul by being…

“… Joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. ~ Romans 12:12

There is a very short, yet very powerful scene in the movie 42. It is the first time that Jackie Robinson steps out onto the field in a Dodgers uniform. He hears the cheers of the crowd, but then the voices of hate hurling racial epithets at him cut through the cheers. Just as he is beginning to focus on those voices, he hears another sound… he turns his focus to a small section of African-Americans in the grandstand, cheering him on. A slight smile comes across his face, and the hate-filled cat-calls fade into the distance. The hateful cries were still there. What made the difference?

Focus.

We can choose to focus on the negatives. We can choose to focus on our past experiences and perceptions. We can listen to the panicked cries coming from the agenda-driven media-elite. We can choose to ignore the fact that, for every airplane that experiences tragedy, hundreds of thousands of flights take place without a hitch. We can barricade ourselves up in our homes with our TV remotes and smartphones, isolating ourselves from the world.

Or…

We can arm ourselves with Hope. We can put on the full armor of God. We can stand boldly in the face of adversity and, while the world falls apart around us, shine the light of Jesus on our signs that read “Hope Found Here”. We can reach out to those around us, and make a difference. Hope is life. Hope is real. Hope is contagious.

Hope is Jesus.

So, what’s it going to be? You have the rest of the day (and your life) before you… where is your focus going to be? How are you going to change the corner of the world that you are touching?

In the Hunger Games, they have a saying…

“May the odds be ever in your favor.”

With Jesus as your Hope… they are.

Pastor Ron

Capturing The Olympic Spirit

imageAs we say goodbye to the XXII Winter Olympic games, and the world says goodbye to Sochi, Russia, with all of the pomp, opulence, and fanfare that any Olympic games is deserving of, I am reminded of the Olympic Creed, adopted by Pierre de Coubertin from the inspiration he received from a speech given by Bishop Ethelbert Talbot at a service during the 1908 Olympic Games…

The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.

During these games, this creed was borne out over and over again in the faces of winners and unsuccessful competitors alike. In most cases, competitors who came up short of the gold understood that this defeat was not the end, but merely a clarion call to work harder, find that “edge”, and bring the painful lessons of the past to bear in preparation for the next time, with a determined unwillingness to make the same mistakes again.

One has to wonder if the apostle Paul ever observed the Olympics firsthand (the ancient Olympics were believed by many to have begun around 776 B.C.), or if he was merely familiar with the stories of what athletes went through in preparation for the event. After all, it was Paul who penned…

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. ~ II Timothy 4:7

At the end of the day, Paul knew he had done his best. He knew he had given his all. He knew there was a prize waiting for him at the finish line, and that it wasn’t reserved exclusively for him. In the next verse he goes 0n to say…

Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

… And not to me only, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Paul knew there were many who had gone on before him… names like Moses, Elijah, Deborah, David, and Abraham… others who had fought the good fight, and had been his forerunners in the faith.

However, I also believe he knew there would be others after him, with names like Charles, Catherine, Billy, Bob, and Joyce… people who would take up the mantle and track shoes of the great runners of the faith, and continue the race. After all, the race we run is not a sprint, but a long-distance relay in which “the called” run the distance and then, at the end of their leg of the race, hand the baton of faith to the next tent-maker, fisherman, shoe salesman, gang member, or dejected teenager in line. And as the sweat-drenched, blood-covered baton is passed to the next competitor, they hear the call echo from all who have gone before…

Let us not become weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not faint. ~ Galatians 6:9

So what about you, Runner? Are you ready to strap on those shoes, and leave the thrills, spills, and defeats of the past behind? Your due season may be closer than you think.

Ready… Set…

Go!

FONW2014

I want you to join me at Abba’s House for Fresh Oil New Wine, March 2-6. Registration is free, and I will be speaking on Due Season the very first night. My friends Perry Stone, John Hagee, Rabbi Curt Landry, Randy Caldwell, Dwain Miller, and more will be joining me. I hope to see you there! Click here for more info and to register.