At Any Moment
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
At Any Moment – Jonathan Brentner - https://www.jonathanbrentner.com/https/jonathan-brentner-g8fgsquarespacecom/config/2022/2/24/at-any-moment
In my book, The Triumph of the Redeemed, I used the following story to introduce the New Testament expectancy of Jesus’ imminent appearing:
A GEICO commercial from a few years ago portrays a spy on a large, flat roof fleeing from armed men as a black helicopter approaches from the air, presumably to join the chase. The man’s phone rings as his adversaries appear ready to capture him and perhaps kill him. Thinking the call is from those coming to rescue him, he answers the phone, shouting, “Where are you?”
We then see his mom relaxing by a swimming pool as she calmly talks to him about his dad’s battle with squirrels in the attic as we see the furry animals flee the house and run around the water. As she continues talking to her exasperated son, the narrator interjects, “If you’re a mom, you call at the worst time. It’s what you do.”
Reflecting on New Testament teaching regarding Jesus’ imminent appearing, we might change this to: “Once we receive the Lord’s gift of eternal life, we live in expectancy of Jesus’ imminent return. It’s what we do.”[i]
New Testament saints regarded the biblical event that we call the Rapture as something that could happen at any moment. It’s what they did. It’s something we should do as well.
So far in this series designed to help believers defend their hope as well as enable pastors to boldly proclaim the biblical truth of the Rapture, we have established it as a biblical event and something that cannot happen at the same time as the Second Coming (click here).
We also reviewed evidence demonstrating that people in the early centuries of the church believed the Lord would come for them before a period of God’s wrath upon the earth. Modern day scoffers attack biblical truths related to the Rapture on the basis of church history, but they err greatly, deceive many people, and cause much division among believers.
The Scripture passages that I referenced in my second post reveal that a significant amount of time must transpire between the Rapture and Jesus’ Second Coming. However, it’s the eager expectancy for which New Testament saints watched for Jesus’ appearing that places the Rapture before the start of the seven-year Tribulation.
In Philippians 3:20–21 Paul wrote this:
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him to subject all things to himself.
The Greek word for “await” in verse 20 denotes to an “intense anticipation” or an “excited expectation” of a future event.[ii] In this text, Paul portrays believers as eagerly longing for Jesus’ appearing with great anticipation; they expected it could happen at any moment.
Luke used the same Greek word for “await” in Acts 17:16 to describe Paul’s restless “waiting” in Athens for Silas and Timothy to rejoin him. After the apostle’s distressing experiences in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea, we know he intently watched and longed for a reunion with his fellow laborers. This is the same passionate yearning of the soul with which the apostle characterizes the waiting of New Testament saints for the Lord’s appearing.
Paul’s depiction of believers excitedly watching for the Rapture only makes sense if it could occur at any moment. If they believed that a part of the Tribulation would happen before the Rapture, they wouldn’t have had the same attitude since much suffering and death would, of necessity, precede it. They would have faced intense and deadly persecution rather than the joy of Jesus catching them up in the air to take them home to heaven.
In 1 Corinthians 1:7, Paul used the same Greek word for “wait” as he did in Philippians 3:20 to indicate his readers’ heartfelt longing for Jesus’ appearing, “so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Despite the immaturity of the saints in Corinth, they excitedly watched for Jesus’ appearing.
This heightened expectation of the early followers of Jesus tells us they regarded the Rapture as imminent. No other explanation fits with their anticipation of it possibly occurring in the immediate future.
We see a similar expression of such watchfulness in Titus 2:11–13:
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
Upon turning to Jesus, New Testament saints immediately began waiting for their “blessed hope,” the Lord’s return for them, as though it might occur at any time. It’s what they did.
Paul and the other apostles did not divorce the Rapture from their preaching; they proclaimed it along the other essentials of our faith such as Jesus’ death on the cross on our behalf, His burial, and His resurrection.
In 1 Corinthians 16:22, Paul prayed, “Our Lord, come.” The word for this phrase in the original text is the Aramaic maranatha. This word signifies “a petition to Christ that He should return now—at any moment. Paul used it in this letter to Greek-speaking (mostly Gentile) Christians in Corinth because it expressed an idea that had become universal in the early church. Christ could come at any moment, and Christians called upon him to do so.”[iii]
Jesus’ return for His church was not only something these early saints believed might happen at any instant; they prayed for it to happen soon. The word maranatha expressed their heartfelt desire for Christ to appear take them away from the earth. Why would they pray for Jesus to come if they didn’t believe it could occur in their lifetime?
This prayer speaks to the imminent hope they cherished for Jesus’ appearing.
Jesus’ last words to His church were these, “Surely I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:20). The Greek word for “soon” denotes suddenness and might be more appropriately translated “quickly.”
The Didache, which means the “teaching” in the Greek, is a brief document from the early church. Scholars date it to the first century, perhaps as early as AD 70, although its author likely didn’t compile it as formal document until about AD 300. Many believe it represents beliefs from the time of the apostles—and some regarded it as inspired—but the church later rejected its inclusion in the New Testament.
The first sentence of the treatise provides an extended title: “The Lord’s Teaching Through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations,” and in chapter 16 we find this instruction:
“Watch for your life’s sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ready, for you know not the hour in which our Lord will come.”
This indicates an imminence regarding the Lord’s appearing, such as would be the case for someone expecting the Rapture to occur at any time.
Although this is not Scripture, it provides further insight into the anticipation of the early believers.
THE RAPTURE MUST HAPPEN BEFORE THE TRIBULATION
Why would the apostles portray early believers as eagerly anticipating Jesus’ appearing if the Tribulation—with its widespread devastation and deadly persecution of the saints —had to occur beforehand? Would this be the case if they believed they would see the terrors of the seal judgments in Revelation 6? It’s difficult to imagine that the New Testament saints would have had the same eager expectation if the apostles had taught them that they would see the deadly terrors of the day of the Lord before the Rapture.
The Rapture must occur before the prophesied events of the Tribulation for it to be the imminent event the apostles defined as our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:11–14) and something the early saints awaited with eagerly anticipation (Philippians 3:20–21).
As our world grows darker and increasingly violent each week, there’s no greater solace for our souls that what we find in our hope in Jesus’ soon return. If you have not yet placed all your hope on Him and the blood He shed for you on Calvary, please do so before it’s to late to avoid the time of wrath headed to this world.
My post, Salvation in No Other Name, explains the path to trusting in Jesus alone for salvation and eternal life.
Note: Please consider signing up for my newsletter on the home page of my website at https://www.jonathanbrentner.com/ . It will greatly help me in reaching more people. Thanks!
My new book, The Triumph of the Redeemed-An eternal Perspective that Calms Our Fears in Perilous Times, is now available on Amazon.
Jonathan C. Brentner — Website: Our Journey Home
[i] Jonathan C. Brentner, The Triumph of the Redeemed (Crane, MO, Defender Publishing, 2021), p.p. 113-114.
[ii] Colin Brown, ed., Dictionary of New Testament Theology Vol. 2, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1969) p. 244.
[iii] Wayne A. Brindle, “Imminence,” The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy, eds. Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2004), p. 145.
‘Day of the Lord’ in Relation to the Pre-Trib Rapture - By Alexander Major - https://www.raptureready.com/2022/02/27/day-of-the-lord-in-relation-to-the-pre-trib-rapture-by-alexander-major/
The Day of the Lord is a future time when God directly intervenes in the affairs of man through unprecedented judgment. It will come on an unsuspecting world, plunging it into absolute darkness and terror. It will be preceded by the most stunning and unforeseen event in human history: the rapture. When Jesus Christ appears in the clouds to take his church to be with him, deliverance will be granted to those taken up, but judgment poured out on those left behind.
Not everyone, however, is convinced that the rapture will happen. There is also considerable debate among well-meaning scholars concerning the particulars of this thrilling but mysterious event. Furthermore, even within the church, there are dissenting views concerning the rapture’s timing.
This essay will explore “the day of the Lord” in 1 Thessalonians and the Olivet Discourse and contend that Jesus and Paul taught a pretribulational rapture of the church. Matthew’s version of the Olivet Discourse will be consulted because it is primarily concerned with the events of Daniel’s 70th week. This essay was written with the conviction that excitement for Christ’s imminent return encourages evangelistic fervor and holy living among God’s people.
The Rapture in 1 Thessalonians
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thess 4:16).
The rapture begins with Christ leaving heaven and descending into earth’s atmosphere. Following the blast of a trumpet, the dead in Christ will rise from their graves. Bodies that have been lost at sea will be instantaneously recreated. Graves will break open as bodies of deceased saints are recreated and glorified. Following the translation of all dead saints, they, together with all Christians who are still alive on earth, will be caught up (ἁρπάζω) into the clouds to meet Jesus in the air. This word means to seize, catch up, snatch away, carry off by force . In 1 Thessalonians 4:17, the word suggests a sudden and instantaneous removal of all believers on earth by Jesus Himself.
This concept unsettles some biblical scholars. They claim that the word “rapture” appears nowhere in the Bible. Their assertion is touted as a fatal blow to the pretribulational rapture position when it is a straw-man argument. If these scholars were reading the Latin Vulgate, they would have read the Latin translation of ἁρπάζω, rapio, from which the English word “rapture” is derived.
The assertion that believers will be kept from God’s coming wrath is not extra-biblical; it is entirely biblical. Paul taught this truth to the Thessalonians. “For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come” (1 Thess 1:9-10).
Here, Paul reveals that believers are looking for and awaiting Jesus Himself, not the arrival of antichrist or any other preliminary event. He even says that Jesus “rescues us from the wrath to come.” While it is certainly true that Jesus has rescued believers from all forms of God’s judgment, the specific wrath here is the final eschatological wrath of the day of the Lord. Believers are said to be rescued from (ἐκ) it. This genitive preposition literally means “out of.” Thus, Christians will not merely be preserved through the tribulation; they will be kept out of it through the rapture.
The Day of the Lord
The day of the Lord is a technical term with roots in the OT, where it occurs 19 times. In the OT, historical judgments often foreshadowed the ultimate eschatological day of the Lord. Localized disasters, such as the locust invasion in Joel, anticipated global cataclysms associated with God’s final judgment. Isaiah 2:12 says, “For the Lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning against everyone who is proud and lofty and against everyone who is lifted up, that he may be abased.” In Joel 2:30-31, scripture says, “I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.”
Concerning this same time, Amos writes that “It will be darkness and not light” (Amos 5:18). The day of the Lord may specifically refer to the second coming of Christ, or it may refer to the broader period between the rapture and the end of the millennium.
After detailing the rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul continues his eschatological admonition into chapter 5, focusing on the times and epochs (καιρός, literally a fixed time-period). The day of the Lord is said to come upon the world “like a thief in the night.” On the contrary, believers will not be caught off guard. Why not? Because they will be taken to safety in the rapture that Paul discussed earlier. Paul wrote, “you have no need of anything to be written to you” (v. 2) because he had already taught the pretribulational rapture. Paul likely borrowed his thief terminology from Jesus in Matthew 24:43. There, Jesus likened his coming to the unannounced arrival of a thief.
The question in this discussion is, was Jesus referring to His second coming at the end of the tribulation or to the rapture of the church before the tribulation? A brief survey of the Olivet Discourse is in order.
The Olivet Discourse
In Matthew 24:1-3, Jesus’s disciples admire the second temple. Unmoved by their excitement, Jesus predicts the temple’s destruction. The disciples then ask Jesus two specific questions. First, they ask Him, “When will these things happen?” Second, they ask, “What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” In vv. 4-14, Christ answers the second question, surveying the entire seven-year tribulation, which concludes with the second coming in vv. 29-31. Jesus reveals many signs that will signal the nearness of His return at the end of the tribulation, culminating at v. 14. These signs are false messiahs, wars and rumors of wars, nations rising against nations, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes. These are all identified as the “beginning of sorrows” because they are merely the initial judgments of the tribulation.
In v. 15, Jesus gives His listeners the super-sign of the end: the Abomination of Desolation. Here, the literary device of recapitulation returns the reader to the mid-point of the tribulation when the antichrist enthrones himself in the Jerusalem temple . In v. 21, Jesus designates this time as the Great Tribulation because its severity will be unmatched in all human history. The Great Tribulation intensifies up to the second coming of Christ in vv. 29-31. The parable of the fig tree (vv. 32-34) teaches that the convergence of all the signs will inform the terminal generation that Christ’s return is at hand.
In v. 36 however, a transition is observed with peri de, “now concerning.” This takes the reader back to the first of the two questions that the disciples asked, “When will these things happen?”  Jesus transitions from describing events that will characterize “those days” (plural, vv. 24:19, 22, 29) to surveying “that day” (singular, v. 36). This transition also marks a significant shift in Jesus’s earlier emphasis on what people can know via the signs of His return in “those days” to the mysterious, surprise return of Christ on “that day” . Jesus’ analogy to the days of Noah describes the business-as-usual mindset that characterized the world before the flood.
Apparently, this same unsuspecting mindset will once again be commonplace in the days leading up to that day, with the result that “that day” will catch the world by surprise . The question is, which day? It can only be the day of the Lord and the accompanying rapture of the church.
Is Matthew 24:36 a Rapture Passage?
A seeming contradiction must be resolved. All post-tribulationalists and many pre-tribulationalists, compelled by context, interpret Matthew 24:36-44 as referring to the same event outlined in vv. 29-31: the return of Christ in power and glory immediately after the tribulation of those days. Many of them do not observe the slight shift in focus from those days to that day. Are vv. 36-44 really describing the post-tribulational return of Christ? Jesus said in Matthew 24:39 that people “did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
Is it possible during the Great Tribulation that men will “not understand” (γινώσκω) what is happening, precisely when God’s judgments are poured out in all their intensity? Ryrie states that “when the Great Tribulation comes, men will act as if they think the world is coming to an end” . One-fourth of the earth’s population is wiped out in the fourth seal judgment alone (Rev 6:8). At the sixth seal judgment, all men recognize that God’s wrath has come, and they attempt to hide from it (Rev 6:12). The event of vv. 36-44, however, occurs during a time of relative peace, when a business-as-usual mindset still characterizes the world. This mindset is incompatible with the conditions on earth during the Great Tribulation.
Concerning the Great Tribulation in Daniel 12:1-3, Walvoord writes, “This description of the time of the end confirms Daniel’s revelation that the time of the end will be a period of trouble such as the world has never known, trouble of such character that it would result in the extermination of the human race if it were not cut short by the consummation, the second coming of Jesus Christ” . The event of Matthew 24:36 must be understood as occurring immediately before the tribulation begins.
The Timing of the Day of The Lord
A distinction must be made, however. The rapture does not begin the seven-year tribulation. According to Daniel 9:27, the confirmation of a seven-year covenant between Israel and the antichrist does. It has been increasingly common to postulate an indefinite time gap between the rapture and the confirmation of this covenant . There could be a gap, but it is unlikely to be significant because the primary purpose of the rapture is to remove the church from the world before God’s eschatological wrath begins (1 Thess 1:10).
The tension in the Olivet Discourse between what the disciples can know (γινώσκω in v. 32) and what they cannot know (οὐ δοκέω in v. 44) can only be reconciled by recognizing that Jesus references two distinct time periods: the days leading up to His second coming (vv. 4-32), and the time just before the pretribulational rapture (vv. 36-44).
Is Not the Olivet Discourse for Israel?
An objection is raised that because the Olivet Discourse is for Israel, it, therefore, cannot allude to the rapture of the church. Jesus, however, is answering His disciples’ question, “When will these things happen?” Jesus answers this question by teaching that the day of the Lord will catch the world by complete surprise and that not even believers will know the day in advance.
Matthew 24: 36-44 is not particularly concerned with the rapture but with the state of the world just before Daniel’s 70th week begins. Only then will a routine, business-as-usual mindset characterize the world . Then suddenly and without warning, a cataclysmic and signless event will catch the entire world by complete surprise and plunge it into a time of devastating judgment. This is the most literal interpretation of the “thief in the night” language that Jesus and Paul employ. A thief never provides signs that announce his arrival at night. He relies on the element of surprise. In the same way, the unexpected arrival of Jesus Christ in the clouds before the tribulation will be signless.
The admonition to the believer is to be always ready. The warning to the nonbeliever is that at any moment, he or she may be left behind to face Daniel’s 70th week.
When Paul wrote to the Thessalonians about the rapture, he commanded them to “comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess 4:18). No greater comfort exists than the expectation of the imminent rapture of the church prior to the tribulation. Paul borrowed his “thief in the night” imagery from Jesus, who employed it in describing the conditions of the world prior to the tribulation, not the second coming. Pre-tribulationalists, using the grammatical historical method of interpretation, can teach that Jesus Christ will come for His church before the tribulation “as a thief in the night.” May it be that Christ finds his followers alert on that day.
Southern California Seminary
 G. Abbott-Smith, A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1922), 60.
 John F. MacArthur Jr., Revelation 12-22, MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 2000), 61.
 John F. Hart. Should Pretribulationists Reconsider the Rapture in Matthew 24:36-44? Part 1 of 3. (Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, 2007), 70.
 Ibid., 71
 William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary, Old and New Testaments, ed. Arthur Farstad (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), 2040.
 Charles Caldwell Ryrie, Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide to Understanding Biblical Truth (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1999), 540.
 John F. Walvoord, Daniel: The Key To Prophetic Revelation (Galaxie Software, 2008), 283.
 Bill Salus, The Next Prophecies (La Quinta CA: Prophecy Depot Publishing, 2018), 33.
 Some scholars identify the period of “peace and safety” of 1 Thessalonians 5:2 with the rise of antichrist. In this interpretation, antichrist rides forth onto the world scene with a short-lived pseudo-peace. However, it must be remembered that antichrist will bring order out of chaos following the first global cataclysm, the rapture. He will initially conquer through deceptive peace (Rev 6:1-2). The natural language of 1 Thessalonians 5:2 strongly suggests that the period of “peace and safety” occurs before the first global cataclysm, not after it. The order of events would be: 1) Peace and Security. 2) Pretribulational Rapture. 3) Chaos and fear. 5) Rise of antichrist and pseudo-peace (Rev 6:1-2). 6) Pseudo-peace ends with the second seal (Rev 6:3-4).
Ukrainian MP: ‘We are not only fighting for Ukraine, we are fighting for the New World Order’ – Leo Hohmann - https://leohohmann.com/2022/02/28/ukrainian-mp-we-are-not-only-fighting-for-ukraine-we-are-fighting-for-the-new-world-order/
Ukrainian member of Parliament Kira Rudik stated in an interview over the weekend with Fox News that she and her fellow Ukrainian citizens are not only fighting Russia to save their own country but to save the “new world order that includes all the other democratic countries.”
Of course “democratic” is in the eye of the beholder. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau says he’s for “preserving our Democracy” too, even while he was locking truck drivers out of their bank accounts and towing their trucks away to be expropriated by the state. The truckers’ crime? They did not agree with Trudeau’s Covid vaccine mandates and mask mandates.
Joe Biden and his handlers also remind us daily that he is fighting to save America’s democracy even as his Department of Justice brands entire swaths of the population who criticize his Covid policies as potential terrorists simply because they don’t like his Covid mandates or speak out against election fraud in the 2020 election.
This is the “democracy” heralded by the proponents of the Great Reset, aka new world order. And that’s what Ms. Rudik says her people in Ukraine are fighting to preserve. The entire interview is interesting but pay particular attention in the segment that runs from the 1:43 mark to 2:05 mark.
Ukraine is a complicated nation with a complicated history.
All we are getting in America is the slanted coverage from the corporate-owned, state-run mainstream media along with, hate to say it, often just as slanted views from the American conservative media. And from what I have been watching over the last four days, these media outlets seem to be pushing the narrative toward all-out war with Russia. This could lead to a nuclear exchange but they don’t care.
They are gearing all their coverage right now around “poor Ukraine,” having to defend their borders with housewives and old men carrying AK-47s.
I’m not saying there’s not some of that going on, or that such actions are not commendable. What I am saying is that there is much more to the story that we are not being told.
The mainstream corporate media’s main method of slanting the story is not always in what they are telling you but what they are not telling you. Rather than give you both sides and let you make up your mind which seems right to believe, they want to force-feed you only the narrative that supports an agenda. And right now that agenda is war.
As the venerable Dr. Vernon Coleman writes, and I agree, war was always going to be needed to forcibly implement the Great Reset. And volatile Ukraine is the perfect place to start it.
For a taste of Ukraine’s brutal history as a place populated by back-biting, disgruntled family members, I share the following information provided by the Orthodox Church (this came from the Church’s Youtube channel in a post from Saturday, Feb. 26. I did not change any of the content but did clean up some of the grammar as English is not the first language of the Orthodox hierarchy. Also know that this history is from the Russian and Eastern Ukrainian perspective, so I’m not necessarily endorsing it, all I am doing is sharing it because every dispute has two sides to the story and we in the West are only hearing one side right now in an all-out, politically motivated propaganda assault).
We tried to avoid the painful subject of war in Ukraine but there were just too many comments and questions coming. We are forced to comment on the subject. First, the war did not start three days ago, it started back in 2014, at the Maidan Revolution that was sponsored by the Western powers to topple the pro-Russian government.
Most don’t know the history of Ukraine. The country is made up of three groups of people.
The first are central Ukrainians who are neutral and have mixed feelings about both the West and Russia, most of them speak Russian.
The second group are southern and eastern Ukrainians who speak Russian and consider themselves to be Russian mostly. They live in Odessa, Crimea, Donbas and Kharkov.
The third and smallest group are western Ukrainians, who are extremely Russophobe and have their center in Lvov, and they are not Orthodox. They are mostly Roman Catholics Uniates or Latin Rite, and they do not speak Russian. They speak Ukrainian, which is so similar to Russian that many think it is more a matter of different dialects. These western Ukrainians are mostly leftovers from once powerful Poland that competed with Russia for control of Ukraine.
This unnatural union of three different-minded groups of people was created by Lenin for the first time 100 years ago. And therefore we have a civil war for the last eight years and it is not the first one.
Millions of Russian-speaking Ukrainians were killed by western Ukrainians during Hitler occupation of Ukraine. Historically Ukraine was only Kiev and the lands that surround it. Ukraine in both Russian and Ukrainian literally means “Border land.”
So to be Ukrainian would mean to be Borderian. And, indeed, Ukraine became the border (a fault line) of many competing superpowers.
But it is a historical fact that Russian Christian culture started in Kiev, but Russians failed to spread to the West so they went to the East and moved their political power to Moscow and St. Petersburg.
During the Second World War, Western Ukrainians for various reasons joined Hitler to fight the USSR, and to this day, Western Ukraine remains a lair of neo-Nazism and Banderism (named after Bandera, the Ukrainian Nazi leader).
The new pro-Western government that was established in 2014, has banned Russian language in public and has unleashed neo-Nazi Banderists across Kiev, and Russian-speaking Eastern and Southern Ukraine. They even managed to burn 39 Russian-Ukrainians alive in Odessa’s Trade Union Hall. These events triggered a war in eastern Donbas region and led to Crimea’s separation.
For eight years, war in Eastern Ukraine lasted. killing 14,000 people, mostly Russian speaking civilians.
In 2018, Ukraine ended its strategic partnership agreement with Russia and says it wants to enter NATO. Russia being a superpower does not want US-NATO troops and missiles in Ukraine, and that is why we have this tragic invasion.
Both Ukraine and Russia belong to the Jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Patriarch of Russia, Cyril, is in a very bad position, because both Ukrainian Orthodox Church and many Ukrainian soldiers are under his spiritual care.
If he condemns the invasion that could end the eight-year war and Russophobe and anti-Orthodox government, he does no good to his people in Ukraine and the Church. But if he embraces war he abandons many central and western Ukrainians who are loyal to the Moscow Patriarchate but are willing to defend the current Ukraine, and also many who are just conscripts.
Let us all pray for the speedy end of this eight years long war.
24 Things That I Think That I Think About How The War In Ukraine Is Going - by Michael Snyder - http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/24-things-that-i-think-that-i-think-about-how-the-war-in-ukraine-is-going/
What we are watching happen in Ukraine should deeply sadden all of us, because it didn’t have to happen. It should have been so easy for global leaders to sit down and come up with a plan that would have satisfied everybody, but it is too late for that at this point. Now that Ukraine has been invaded, there is no turning back. The world will never be the same after this, and everybody around the planet should be crying out for peace. Because now that World War 3 has begun, all of us are in danger. If nuclear missiles start flying back and forth, hundreds of millions of people will end up dead.
I have been voraciously following coverage of the war in Ukraine, and both sides are definitely trying to make themselves look as good as possible. As a result, social media and major news outlets are being flooded with photos and videos that are supposedly from the war. In some cases they are accurate, but in other cases they are not. In fact, some of the most viral material has already been proven to be completely fake, and you need to be careful because in many instances viral videos are actually being used to raise money for fake charities.
With so much fraudulent propaganda being pumped out, it can be difficult to separate truth from fiction. With that being said, the following are 24 things that I think that I think about how the war in Ukraine is going…
#1 Russia has captured more territory every single day of the war so far. Everyone pretty much agrees on that. But everyone also pretty much agrees that the Russians are moving much slower than Vladimir Putin would like.
#2 I think that Putin believed that taking Ukraine would be a fairly easy task. Unfortunately for him, that has proven not to be true.
#3 If Putin knew how difficult the war would be, I don’t think that he would have been so eager to pull the trigger.
#4 But Putin can’t turn back now, because that would represent an absolutely humiliating defeat and it would mean accepting Ukraine as a member of NATO and having NATO missiles on Ukrainian soil from this point forward.
#5 Initially, the Russians were trying to conduct the war in a way that minimized civilian casualties, because they wanted to try to win over the hearts and minds of Ukrainian citizens. Needless to say, that isn’t going to happen.
#6 Many of the major cities in Ukraine have either been totally encircled or are in the process of being totally encircled. Even without using nuclear weapons, the Russians could completely flatten every one of those cities using conventional weapons. But the Russians don’t want to kill millions of civilians, and so they will essentially be laying siege to these areas until they eventually fall.
#7 As the war goes on, I think that Ukrainian forces will be squeezed into tighter and tighter pockets that are completely cut off from one another. In many cases, Ukrainian forces will find themselves totally surrounded in core urban areas. If they do not surrender, the Russians will just keep hammering them day after day with targeted strikes.
#8 It appears that Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky is either extremely courageous or he is flat out lying to us. If he is still in Ukraine, and that is a big if, then I have to applaud his courage and bravery. So many others would have fled in the face of a Russian invasion, but if he has chosen to stay and fight then his people are right to regard him as a hero. But if he has already left Ukraine and is just acting as if he has stayed behind to fight, then that is the opposite of courage.
#9 It is odd that the Russians haven’t been able to find Zelensky yet, because they have definitely been hunting for him.
#10 Zelensky is trying really hard to drag western powers into the war. He is begging Joe Biden to establish a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine, but Biden understands that this would mean direct military conflict with the Russians.
#11 The EU has announced that they will be providing fighter jets to Ukraine. This is an extremely dangerous thing to do, because Putin has warned that those that provide military equipment to Ukraine will be targeted.
#12 I don’t know why the EU believes that fighter jets will make much of a difference, because most of the military airfields under Ukraine’s control have already been destroyed.
#13 The entire world was shocked when Putin put his strategic nuclear forces on alert over the weekend. Putin definitely escalated things dramatically by making this move, but hopefully it will get people to understand that we really could end up with a nuclear war at the end of all this.
#14 Now that western powers have weaponized SWIFT, I think that there will be a mass exodus to China’s version. Most people have not even heard of CIPS (Cross-Border Interbank Payment System) until now, but this crisis is going to make it a lot more prominent.
#15 I would love it if the “peace talks” between Russia and Ukraine brought an end to the shooting. Unfortunately, to me it appears that Ukraine is simply using those talks as a stalling tactic. Zelensky still seems to think that western powers can be dragged into the conflict, and so he is trying to buy as much time as possible.
#16 When Zelensky signed an application for Ukraine to become a member of the European Union on Monday, that was another clear sign that he has no intention of turning Ukraine into a “neutral country” like the Russians are demanding.
#17 If Zelensky cannot get anyone to come help Ukraine, he will lose this war.
#18 But even if Russia wins the battle for Ukraine, it will be considered a pariah state from now on, and being cut off from the west will be very painful.
#19 I think that Richard Moore, the chief of MI6, certainly revealed a lot when he tweeted this…
“With the tragedy and destruction unfolding so distressingly in Ukraine, we should remember the values and hard won freedoms that distinguish us from Putin, none more than LGBT+ rights. So let’s resume our series of tweets to mark #LGBTHM2022.”
#20 One member of the Ukrainian Parliament has her own spin on what this war is really all about, and it is definitely raising a lot of eyebrows.
#21 I think that this war is going to make the global energy crisis much worse.
#22 I think that this war is going to make the global food crisis much worse.
#23 I think that the things that western powers are doing to punish Russia will really hurt the Russians.
#24 But I also think that the Russians have more than 1,000 different ways of hurting us without even using nukes.
Even if a ceasefire in Ukraine is announced tomorrow, the U.S. and Russia will be bitter enemies from this point forward because of everything that has transpired.
There will never be peace between our two nations again, and that makes me very sad.
I don’t consider the Russian people to be my enemies, and I know that most of them do not consider the American people to be their enemies.
But our two governments absolutely hate one another, and now we have stumbled into a war that almost all of us did not want.
If our leaders continue to behave irrationally, will we eventually see nuclear weapons get used?
Vladimir Putin essentially threatened to use them when he put his nuclear forces on alert over the weekend.
And day after day, U.S. and EU officials just continue to escalate matters.
What we really need right now are leaders with cool heads that are determined to find a way out of this mess.
Because if a way out cannot be found, the consequences will be unimaginable for all of us.
Daily Devotion: Choose the Right Voice - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Do not be afraid; only believe.’ —Mark 5:36
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/choose-the-right-voice/ - Listen
As Jairus made his way back home with Jesus, something tragic happened. Messengers arrived and told him, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” (Mark 5:35 NKJV).
I’ve stood in the shoes of Jairus. I remember distinctly the day in 2008 when I heard the unthinkable news that our son Christopher had gone to be with the Lord. He died in an automobile accident. To say that my life changed is an understatement. It almost felt as though my life was over and that my world had ended. I didn’t know how I was going to get through it.
How devastating that must have been for Jairus to hear those words. But let’s not miss the next verse: “As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to [Jairus], ‘Do not be afraid; only believe’” (verse 36 NKJV).
Jairus had to choose which voice he was going to listen to. Was he going to listen to the voice of the person who just said that his daughter was dead? Or, was he going to listen to the voice of Jesus, who said, “Don’t be afraid; only believe”?
If you’ve lost a loved one, especially a child, you can get through this by hanging onto Jesus Christ. He’s your only hope at a time like this.
We choose every day what voice we are going to listen to. Will we listen to the voice of God as He speaks to us through Scripture? Or, will we listen to the voice of the culture or even the voice of the Devil, who would say that we’re worthless, that we’re failures, and that our lives aren’t even worth living?
Listen to the voice of God who says, “I love you. I have a plan for you. I have a future for you. Trust Me. Don’t be afraid.”
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