Aug 12, 2008

Gog And The Magog Chess Match

By Terry James

Russian moves, begun this past Friday in the Caucasus region and other parts of what was the former Soviet Union, should sound the siren alarm of things to come for the spiritually attuned Bible prophecy student.

We have watched Iran’s posturing and repositioning during the past months, with the area of ancient Persia coming into focus as a predicted player on the regional chess board that will be part of the end game, as foretold by Ezekiel the prophet. Now, the nation-state that is at the heart of the coalition foretold to storm toward the oil-rich Middle East and Israel seems to be demonstrating intention to achieve its manifest destiny.

Russia’s unabashed moves to solidify its southernmost sectors of hegemony was swift, and without announcement. With much of the Georgian population wanting to be a part of Mother Russia, not an independent state, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev’s and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s collective job of making the strategic moves was made relatively simple.

One report from a respected world strategic analyst organization gave the following assessment:

Given the speed with which the Russians reacted to Georgia’s incursion into South Ossetia, Moscow was clearly ready to intervene. We suspect the Georgians were set up for this in some way, but at this point the buildup to the conflict no longer matters. What matters is the message that Russia is sending to the West. Russian President Dmitri Medvedev summed this message up best: "Historically Russia has been, and will continue to be, a guarantor of security for peoples of the Caucasus."

Strategically, we said Russia would respond to Kosovo’s independence, and they have. Russia is now declaring the Caucasus to be part of its sphere of influence.

We have spoken for months of how Russia would find a window of opportunity to redefine the region. This is happening now.

All too familiar with the sight of Russian tanks, the Baltic countries are terrified of what they face in the long run, and they should be. This is the first major Russian intervention since the fall of the Soviet Union. Yes, Russia has been involved elsewhere. Yes, Russia has fought. But this is on a new order of confidence and indifference to general opinion. We will look at this as a defining moment.

The most important reaction will not be in the United States or Western Europe. It is the reaction in the former Soviet states that matters most right now.

That is the real audience for this. Watch the reaction of Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Nagorno-Karabakh and the Balts. How will Russia’s moves affect them psychologically?

The Russians hold a trump card with the Americans: Iran. They can flood Iran with weapons at will. The main U.S. counter is in Ukraine and Central Asia, but is not nearly as painful.

Tactically, there is only one issue: Will the Russians attack Georgia on the ground? If they are going to, the Russians have likely made that decision days ago. Focus on whether Russia invades Georgia proper. Then watch the former Soviet states. The United States and Germany are of secondary interest at this point (Stratfor Report, Strategic Forecasting Inc., Red Alert - Georgia Intelligence Guidance, August 8, 2008).

Russia can do anything it wants in the region, and it appears it is now putting all pretense of being a reformed Communist power to rest. The Kremlin is still commanded by a cadre of KGB thugs, of which Putin, known to be the chief thug, ostensibly holds power as great as former U.S.S.R. dictators like Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Breshnev, and the rest. Certainly America, its military stretched to near limits in Iraq and Afghanistan, can do little more in the aggression by the Russians than offer to broker peace in the matter between the bear and its relatively toothless victims. We know about how much effect that offer will have upon the likes of Mr. Putin and his friends.

I am by no means saying that Putin will end up fulfilling the prophetic role of “Gog, chief prince of Rosh,” as foretold by Ezekiel. But plainly, he--like Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad-is setting the end-of-days chess board in a way we would be foolish to ignore. Christians for the most part haven’t the slightest inkling of this and other prophetic stage settings going on. Most pastors and pew-sitters, it is sad to say, will be a totally clueless part of the prophecy that warns in quite ominous terms what is about to happen to a world ripe for judgment.

“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:34-36).