Here are some observations that Sis. Faith Gini has shared and had no objection if we shared it with others. These are interesting thoughts in light of developments on the world scene in relation to long help prophetic expectations.
Watching this war closely has provided me with a few thoughts about the details of what we know is on the way and I'd like to share this with you:
1) The Russian advance on Turkey and Egypt now makes perfect sense. Both Turkey and Egypt are the key Med. countries that the US is using to access the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf. Russia will aim at cutting off the US / UK forces from the Persian Gulf in by blocking these gateway points (i.e. the eastern Med.-southern Turkey - Kurdistan; the Suez Canal)
2) Israel is the only US ally capable of resisting this advance, esp. in the Red Sea / Suez Canal area. Thus the 'tidings coming out of the north and the east' that draw Russia into direct combat with Israel. This is important, the Russian aim will not be to attack Israel head on but it will be turned around and provoked into confrontation with Israel ('I will put hooks in your jaws').
3) Just like we are, the Russians are learning quite allot about the US military strategy, 'shock and awe'. Although this kind of strategy has limited effects on a country like Iraq, they probably figure this would work on Israel, esp. since their original strategy of attacking when it was difficult to quickly mobilize Israel's reserve force, worked so well for Syria and Egypt in 1973. The only way they can quickly take on Israel is with a huge attack against its civilian population, the source of Israel's nearly 1 million man strong army. We have been warned what the outcome of this attack with be and just how far they will be able to advance.
This means that all the coast of Israel (where over 80% of its infrastructure is located) and most of the north will fall in enemy hands as far as Jerusalem. The south (Judah) will not and most of the resistance will be based here. Russian forces will advance around Jerusalem and through central and southern Jordan in order to cut off Israel's only remaining free port and link with allied forces at Eilat. This advance will be stopped at Bozrah (in the area of the north-central Arava on the Jordanian side) by a force that they can not imagine.
4) What we are seeing at this point, are the 'young lions' (US / UK) and a reactivation of the conflict between the king of the south and the king of north in this region. It is important to note that those forces in the time of Alexander the Great (they were his successors) were not of Arab or Semitic origin. These are WESTERN forces fighting for control in the Middle East just as is taking place before our eyes.
For us, what is currently taking place means that the other side of the puzzle, i.e. the King of the North, could come into play at anytime and this should serve as a warning for us. Up until now I have been thinking that the US /UK will take Iraq and it may take a few more months or longer for Russia to get stirred up enough to take such drastic action. But considering that the US/UK will have to bring in even more reinforcements in the ME means that Russia may act sooner than we could anticipate. And of course we know what that means for us and where we will be personally.
yours in the Hope of Israel,
One thing can be certain, is that with forming political and military alliances (and with the Catholic Church extremely busy behind the scenes) that we should not be too quick to throw off long held prophetic expectations. We cannot, as some have contended, write off traditional Christadelphian prophecy as nothing more then the remnants of Protestant thinking. We also should not be careless to think that just because "it is over 100 years old" that it is automatically outdated. Much of what Christadelphians have contended for all these many years is just as relevant now, if not more so, as it was over 100 years ago. The course of world events have not nullified general and many specific prophetic expectations - maybe has helped us fill in the cracks as it were but not to nullify. The world scene may change but God's Word does not. The scriptures speak now in the same way as they always have. We need to give Christadelphians of old some credit in being able anchor their prophetic understanding based upon what the Bible was forcing them to conclude and not what was just happening in the newspaper. This does not mean unqualified or unstudied acceptance of everything they wrote, but they certainly deserve serious and scriptural consideration before we go searching for other ideas.
If we depend on the scriptures then we see that prophecy is not a groping in the dark, not knowing what to expect until it happens and then possibly missing it when it does happen, but as is stated by the Apostle Peter "we have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." Prophecy cannot be a "light" for us if we do not know what to expect before it happens. How can we "take heed" if we do not understand? As a light it illuminates the path that we are on, it gives us expectation and hope and a gage to see where we are and what is to come in the development and consummation of God's Plan. Think of the great joy experienced by the Brotherhood when the events of 1917 and 1948 transpired, something that Christadelphians had been expecting (based upon the "light" of prophecy) to happen all along. Though they weren't exactly sure of when it would happen nor would they be sure of the exact political and military activities leading up to it, they knew it would happen. They were overjoyed to see the confirmation of God's word when expectation turned to fulfillment. This did not weaken their conviction that Christadelphians had an understanding of the "sure of word of prophecy" but strengthened it. May we also be strengthened in these very momentous times as the pieces fall into place leading up to "the great and terrible day of the LORD".