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Putin orders Russian military forces into combat in Syria, just miles from northern border of Israel. Russian forces working closely with Iran. Here’s the latest.

In Uncategorized on October 1, 2015 at 9:30 pm
(photo credit: CNN)

(photo credit: CNN)

(Rochester, New York) — In the Kremlin’s biggest military operation in the Middle East since 1941, Russian air and ground forces are now engaged in combat in Syria. And they are now operating just miles from the northern mountains of Israel.

The Kremlin’s stated objective is to defeat ISIS and protect the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a long-time Russian ally in the Middle East. But Vladimir Putin’s aggressive moves have broader, more ominous implications.

  1. Putin is a Czar, an imperialist, consumed with “Mother Russia’s” need to expand it’s borders and influence — and he is now on the move to seize control of the dynamic in the epicenter.
  2. Putin specifically wants to replace the United States as the dominant military and political force in the Near East. It’s been firm, bipartisan U.S. foreign policy since World War II to keep the Russian military out of the Middle East. Yet President Obama is surrendering the region to the Kremlin with breathtaking speed and foolish recklessness.
  3. Putin is not alone in making these moves — he is working hand-in-glove with Iran’s government, which is also sending military forces into Syria.
  4. The Hebrew prophet Ezekiel wrote 2,500 years ago that in the “last days” of history, Russia and Iran will form a military alliance to attack Israel from the north. Bible scholars refer to this eschatological conflict, described in Ezekiel 38-39, as the “War of Gog & Magog.” Are these sudden and dramatic moves by Moscow and Tehran are simply coincidental, or have prophetic implications?

In the days ahead, I will examine the prophetic angle.

For now, let’s simply consider the magnitude of what Putin is doing.

“This is not only the Kremlin’s biggest military expedition outside the old Soviet Union since 1989, but the first Russian campaign in the Middle East since Moscow allied with Britain to invade Iran in 1941,” notes the UK Telegraph.

Putin is rapidly building two new Russian military bases in Syria, including a forward operating air base. He’s ordering Russian ground forces, tanks, heavy equipment into the Syrian theater. He’s ordered the Russian air force to launch bombing missions throughout Syria. He’s doing this in close coordination with the Iranian government and military. And today he signed orders to draft 150,000 more Russian men into the military.

As I wrote on September 16th, Putin is taking advantage of the geopolitical vacuum in the Middle East created by President Obama’s full-scale retreat from the region and appeasement of American enemies. And he’s not inching in — he’s going big and bold.

And the whole region is watching. Netanyahu was just in Moscow last week, holding an emergency meeting with Putin to discuss the dangers of this rapidly intensifying Russian-Iranian alliance.

Jordan, Egypt, the Saudis and the Gulf states are watching, too. They see America cutting them loose, and the Russian military surging into the region — not in advisory capacities as during the 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israeli wars, but in full combat mode.

More news and analysis soon. But here are the latest headlines…..



When it comes to choosing the next American President, what lessons can we draw from the Biblical stories of Josiah, Samuel and David? (My address to the Values Voter Summit)

In Uncategorized on October 1, 2015 at 2:38 pm

Joel-FRC-VVS15On Saturday, I addressed the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C.

[To watch the video of my remarks, please click here.]

After most of the GOP presidential candidates had spoken, I was the last general session speaker at the two-day Summit. In my remarks, I focused on the darkness falling upon the Middle East — and particularly the emerging threat of Apocalyptic Islam — as well as why America is currently on the road to implosion unless we dramatically change course.

Rather than spend extensive time looking at the many existential challenges we face, however, I focused mostly on how we might best approach choosing the next American President. Who would be best candidate to lead America in 2017 and beyond? Who has the right character, vision, and detailed, substantive, serious plans for reform? Who has the wisdom, experience and sound judgment? Who is ready for the enormous and complicated challenges facing this great country?

I noted that I have been praying about this and studying the Scriptures for many months, asking the Lord for clarity, and here is what I have concluded: America also needs a Josiah. A President cannot save America from all our troubles. We desperately need a massive spiritual revival, a Third Great Awakening that transform hearts and minds from the Carolinas to California. But leadership matters. We need a leader like the one-time King of Judah whom the Bible describes as one of the most humble, strong, courageous, wise and impressive leaders in Jewish history.

In addition, I noted the story of the Hebrew prophet Samuel. The Bible tells us that Samuel was sent by God to the house of Jesse in Bethlehem to anoint the next King of Israel. The first person Samuel saw in Jesse’s home looked like just the right guy. But God said no, this wasn’t the one He had chosen. Then the next person Samuel saw looked like the right choice. But again God said no. This happened again and again until finally the Lord directed Samuel to anoint David — who wasn’t even in the room when Samuel began his search.

As we examine and study all the candidates, let us be prayerful and careful. Is it possible someone we’re not carefully considering right now might be the one the Lord is raising up? Is it possible that someone at or near the bottom in the polls — or just beginning to creep up in the polls — has more to offer than we realize? I can’t say if God will give us a Josiah — or a David — but let us not be hasty in making a decision, but watching carefully and seeking the Lord’s counsel.

Finally, I noted that sometimes God doesn’t raise up leaders after His own heart to lead a nation. Sometimes He requires His children to live under tyranny. Consider the story of Pastor Saeed Abedini. For three years, Saeed has been held in prison in Iran for preaching the Gospel and living for Christ. He has no immediate hope of a Josiah or a David coming to power in Iran. But he still is trying to cling to Christ and serve His Savior faithfully. We need to be praying for him to be brave and strong and healthy and released soon. And we need to consider his example — could we be faithful for Christ amidst tyranny?

God help us all.



Do the presidential candidates understand the threat of Apocalyptic Islam? Here’s what they need to know.

In Uncategorized on September 26, 2015 at 11:07 am
The GOP presidential candidates at a debate held at the Reagan Library. Do they understand the threats we face?

The GOP presidential candidates at a debate held at the Reagan Library. Do they understand the threats we face?

Fourteen years after the attacks of 9/11, the nature of the threat we face in the Middle East has changed significantly. Radical Islam is still a major problem. But the most serious threat we now face in the region is from a movement I call Apocalyptic Islam.

Do Members of the House and Senate, U.S. policymakers, and the presidential candidates understand the nature of this threat? If they do, they need to talk about it publicly and explain how they would counter it before it’s too late.

Earlier this week, I spent an hour with a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill discussing such matters.

Today, I look forward to raising this issue during my remarks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C.

Here are two fact sheets I recently put together that provide more details:

Also, here is a column I recently wrote for the National Review. I hope you find this material helpful. Please feel free to share it with others.

Radical Islam? Apocalyptic Islam Poses The Greater Threat
By Joel C. Rosenberg
September 11, 2015
To misunderstand the nature and threat of evil is to risk being blindsided by it.

Fourteen years ago — on September 11, 2001 — America was blindsided by the forces of radical Islam. Pre-9/11, American leaders rightly understood that the vast majority of the world’s Muslims were generally peace-loving people who posed no threat to our homeland. But they failed to adequately comprehend, much less counter, the theology, political ideology, and operational strategy of men like Osama bin Laden.

The results were devastating. The attacks against the World Trade Center, against the Pentagon, and over Shanksville, Pa., killed nearly 3,000 Americans, along with individuals from 93 other nations, in the most devastating sneak attack since we were blindsided by the Imperial Japanese at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Today, President Obama and members of his administration still refuse to use the term “radical Islam,” even as Jordan’s King Abdullah II, a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, candidly admits that the West is engaged in a “third world war” against Islamic terrorism. Abdullah adds that, at its core, “this is a Muslim problem. We need to take ownership of this. We need to stand up and say what is right and what is wrong.”
The king is right. The threat of radical Islam to the U.S. and our allies is serious and ongoing.
That said, there is a dramatic shift underway in the Muslim world. The most serious threat we face in the Middle East and North Africa is no longer radical Islam but apocalyptic Islam….




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