Updated: Jun 25, 2022
Originally published: 9/25/2012
“History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.” -Ronald Reagan
The geopolitical landscape is continually in a state of flux, and it is exactly at moments like this, that I start looking at the things that the media chooses not to focus on because they are too scared to.
With the Middle East cauldron boiling over in every direction, it’s hard not to imagine any significant scenario happening that doesn’t link back to the tiny nation of Israel in some form or fashion. With hostile neighbors on every side, it seems that the slightest provocation will set off the powder keg of violence against Israel that is pent up and seeking release. We don’t know when it will happen, but we can sense it building and brewing, like the rumbling of a volcano under our feet. In some of my previous SMPs (Snapshot of a Moving Picture), I’ve stated similar scenarios to these listed below, but they remain the areas to watch as they continue to conform to the prophetic scenario that is laid out within the pages of the Bible.
UFM: Union for the Mediterranean is to my knowledge, one of the few multi-nation organizations (outside the UN) that Israel is a full member of. Ironically, with 99% of the southern half of the membership openly hostile to Israel, it seems weird that these nations would still be a party to something that included their sworn enemy. But the Arab Spring has shaken up the old peace treaties and leadership there and replaced them with those seeking open conflict with Israel. I believe that despite all the violence and chaos we currently see on TV every night, we are actually in the calm before the storm. In a post-Psalm 83/Isaiah 17/Obadiah world, much of the spit and vinegar that is in the blood of the Arabs will have been spent, and it is in that exact moment that the EU through the UFM will seek to incorporate those deflated and defeated nations into some broader economic and political conglomerate that eerily resembles Rome’s former glory days. We can see now how the Abraham Accords has been created to normalize relations between certain Arab states and Israel.
Greece: The economic woes are not over for this tiny coastal nation. I won’t rehash what thousands of news articles that already has, but there is still lingering this idea that there is money to be made from Israel and Cyprus’s massive natural gas discoveries. Although a couple of years old, this article ties Russia’s intent, with Israel’s treasure.
Moscow is seeking to exploit the deepening strategic ties between Israel and Greece to jump aboard their plans to build an underwater gas pipeline linking Greece to the Israeli Mediterranean port of Ashkelon. This would link up with the existing Ashkelon oil and gas pipeline to Eilat, Israel’s Red Sea port. Russian energy strategists are eyeing the planned and existing segments of this route with great interest, having calculated that the quickest and cheapest outlet for marketing Russian gas to the Far East is through Eilat. (Source)
IMG Source: Weekly Standard
As I’ve said before, when you’re down in the dumps, you’ll take whatever friend you can get. This is why Israel and Greece (who previously had very little to do with each other) have turned to each other for economic and military alliances. It is apparent to me, that as Greece is in deep economic trouble, this pipeline idea seems like the natural way to provide both Europe and Israel with a win-win situation. Cyprus and Greece seem the natural conduits through which the natural gas would be transferred. The sore losers will end up being Turkey and Russia who will get cut out of the deal. Of course, with the number of Euros the Greeks have been borrowing, this may be forced upon them as a means to settle the difference. Update: With the ongoing conflict in Ukraine souring ties between Russia and Europe, the EU has unexpectedly (yet, not) to Israel to solve the issue of their impending energy crisis.
China: As the older and more prudent generation turns the reins of power over to the younger and more ambitious generation (both in the military and politburo), provocations like what we are currently witnessing will only increase. Like the pre-WWII Japan or Germany, so too are these ambitious leaders seeking to enlarge their borders for natural resources, precious metals, and securing oil supplies to carry them on into the future. The ‘Mexican Standoff’ I mentioned in an earlier SMP has expanded from China-Vietnam-Philippines to now include Japan over the Senkako Islands. They have threatened everything from military action (war) to economic sabotage (bond attacks) to force Japan’s hand over the purchase of what the Japanese claim is rightfully theirs. Update: Tensions are ramping up through the roof over the decades-old standoff between China and Taiwan. China will seek to tie up this loose end sooner rather than later.
Both sides appear unwilling to back down from this issue, and you can bet that Chinese Communist party members are stoking the ethnic flames in Chinese cities to get the public behind what we would consider a trivial issue. In fact, because it seems trivial, I wonder if there is not some real reason that China is going to the lengths it has gone to. The US is stuck in the middle as the sworn protectorate of Japan since the end of WWII, and we are desperately seeking to appeal to cooler heads with our Chinese debtor overlords to find some other means to end this. I expect we pressure Japan to give back the Islands so as to keep the Chinese behemoth at bay. What will ultimately end up happening though, because of our fence-riding double-speak, both Japan and China will decide to wash their hands of us.
EU: Understanding what the Bible says about this newly revived Roman Empire, one only needs to look at a map to see how both the UFM and the EU fit this model almost to a ‘T’. What started out as an economic alliance of Coal and Steel now has put 27 European nations together as a union that not only shares economic goals (and pains), and political privileges but now wants to create their own Army to provide a unified defense force.
For Europe to be a truly strong actor and global leader it needs a strong institutional set-up,” said Mr Westerwelle and Mr Sikorski. ”It needs a directly elected president who personally appoints the members of his ‘European government’. As well as calling for a single, elected head of state for Europe, the bloc demanded a new defence policy, under the control of a pan-EU foreign ministry commanded by Baroness Ashton, which ”could eventually involve a European army. (Source)
In this map, members of the EU are in dark purple, members of NATO but not the EU is yellow, and in light purple are both. Standing up an Army in the EU would not take decades as many people suspect, but can be done by simply renaming NATO into something else.
At the moment, both Britain and the US oppose the idea of a stronger, more centralized European Super-state with its own military. They feel that to do so would not only destroy national sovereignty within Europe but would destroy the NATO alliance as well. My thoughts on this are as the US is quickly losing its superpower status through massive debt and political insolvency, we will no longer be in a position to stop Europe from doing what they want to do.
Conclusion: If one were to step back and look at the current issues going on in the world, you would see that the world at large can sense that hard times are coming. It is not just the economic woes that have people around the globe unsettled; it is the feeling that all is not right in the universe and are jockeying for their ‘crash-landing’ positions.
As much as the geopolitical world is rife with tension and hostility, the natural world too is increasingly groaning under the curse that was placed upon it. My thoughts on this are as the current fiat monetary systems start coming unhinged, nations will seek to divert their people’s economic woes to more tangible and affordable ones as a means of diversion. Kings, emperors, presidents, and prime ministers could always use an outside nation or people group to unload their anger and frustration upon, which is why tense standoffs and conflicts will increasingly occur around the globe as nations start to feel the pinch of their economies collapsing.
If you can’t bribe your people with bread and circuses, you can always redirect their anger at someone else, which usually ends up in armed conflict. In Revelation 6, we see the four horsemen of the Apocalypse riding across the planet in the last days. The rider on the white horse represents the Anti-Christ bringing in some sort of false peace by means of political conquest. Daniel 9:27 states that this man will re-affirm a covenant with Israel and that he will have come from somewhere from within the boundaries of the old Roman Empire. The second rider rides the red horse of war. He takes peace from the earth and carries with him a great sword. The third is the rider on the black horse which represents famine and economic collapse. The last rider rides the gray horse and represents pestilence and disease, and death and hell follow him. Many have speculated that we are currently already seeing these riders, but 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 states that we will not even know who the first rider is until after the Rapture takes place.
So if what we are seeing around the world today is troubling, one can hardly imagine what the world will look like after the Rapture of the Church. The world has been suffering the birth-pangs now for decades, and it seems we are just waiting breathlessly for that trigger event that will cause everything to come apart at the seams. Some prudent advice would be to be prepared as you should, in case of things less ominous occur, such as power outages and storms. But we as Christians do not take this to the point of paranoia and start hoarding gold or moving our families to underground bunkers.
Our God, who is the Creator of the Universe and also indwells us personally through the Holy Spirit, has not only seen the end but has determined the end. So even as the Four Horsemen approach their appointed place and time in destiny to start their devastating gallop across this planet, what we now hear is only the echoes of their hoof beats growing louder. We know they can’t start their ride until God says so, which won’t be until He removes His Bride first. This might be absolutely terrifying for the unbelieving and Christ-rejecting world…but should be good news for the Body of Christ…because we know what has to happen first.
“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” Revelation 3:10