Last updated on September 27, 2023
“For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.”
I Thessalonians 5:3
In the fall of 2016, I was returning from receiving a book award for Seventh Dimension – The City: A Young Adult Fantasy in Las Vegas. As the plane took off and I peered out the window, a small jet came out of nowhere, aimed directly at us. As the approaching plane sped closer, I saw the two men in the cockpit. That plane is going to hit us!
At the last second, the plane veered off and disappeared from view. I glanced around, expecting to hear other people’s reactions to the near mid-air collision, but no one seemed to have noticed but me. As I tried to comprehend what I’d just seen, the flight attendant offered snacks in the aisle. When she reached my seat, I asked her, “Did you see that? A plane almost hit us?” She laughed, “Oh, that happens all the time,” and kept moving.
Stunned by her reaction, I stared at her. What do you say to that? I spent the rest of the trip wondering who owned that plane. When I returned, I did an internet search for all American planes, commercial, private, and military, but I couldn’t find a plane that looked like the one I’d seen. So I just let it go, unable to figure it out.
A few months later, I went to the RT News website to prep for an upcoming show, and to my dismay, there was the same type of plane I had witnessed in Las Vegas in a sidebar jpeg. That was the first time I realized what I saw was a Russian plane. That was impossible; were Russian planes allowed in U.S. airspace?
I didn’t have time to pursue that rabbit trail at that moment, but after investigating further, I went to Shutterstock.com to buy a jpeg of a Russian plane if one was available. I was surprised to find several jpegs, and I purchased two.
As I said, this was back in 2016. How can I be so sure of the date and year? Because it was one of a handful of book awards I received in person, and it was before I went through breast cancer treatment that began in January 2017 and lasted the entire year. The awards event was in October, right before the November 2016 election.
I received my somewhat dire double mastectomy surgery results when Trump was sworn into office. Ironically, I missed the swearing-in ceremony because of my doctor’s appointment but captioned it on RT News that evening with Russian news commentary.
At that time, it made no sense to me that I would see a Russian plane in the air, and it made less sense when Trump won the election and during Trump’s time in office. He and Putin had a “respectful relationship.” I knew Trump was too strong a leader for Russia to pull any shenanigans, and regularly captioning Russian News, I grew to like the station, recognizing that there was more “freedom of speech” on the Russian news station than there was on American news stations where often I would caption verbatim the same news stories from one local news station to the next. East Coast news airs three hours before Pacific Coast news. How could the reports be so similar?
As I’ve emphasized repeatedly in God’s Good Works: Stories to Treasure and Tales to Ponder, 90 percent of the news media in this country is controlled by only a handful of news media outlets.
Fast forward to 2022. On February 24, 2022, Vladimir Putin began offensive military operations in Ukraine on several fronts. A year later, the war continues with no end in sight.
What Putin most likely perceived to be a short-term affair has turned into something far more ominous and, in my opinion, dangerous. I fear it will likely lead to a nuclear confrontation and World War III. Because Kyiv used to be Russia’s capital (formerly known as Kievan Rus), we might be witnessing the prelude to the Ezekiel 38-39 War if, indeed, the country that invades Israel from the North is Russia.
In 2016, I couldn’t have imagined what the world would be like in 2023. It wasn’t long after the Ukrainian War started that I had an epiphany—I suddenly realized that what I saw in 2016 in the Las Vegas skies wasn’t a real plane. God had given me a vision of the future.
Initially, I wanted to dismiss it. How could that be? I’ve always believed China was a more significant threat to the U.S. But maybe China and Russia were in cahoots with each other.
I know this: I became a prepper once I understood that the plane I saw was Russian. I began to buy survivor food in bulk, things I might need in case of a disaster, like batteries, flashlights, fire starters, extra fuel for my propane gas grill, tools to fix things, portable solar panels, and yes, I bought myself a gun. I also took a class to obtain a concealed weapons permit. Whatever I thought I might need in a disaster, I purchased.
I also bought a small Baofeng radio and received my technician’s license as a ham radio operator. Being able to communicate is crucial to me. When I learned that my tech license wasn’t suitable for long-distance communication (HF frequencies), I earned my general and extra license (the highest rating for amateur ham radio operators). Then I learned CW, another way to communicate on the radio. I can now “talk” via Morse Cord anywhere in the world. I even contacted a CW operator in Italy and recently one in England.
The bottom line is we live in highly uncertain times. Even though I am a pre-tribulation rapture believer, God has given us an example of how to mitigate disaster in the Old Testament story of Joseph. Not everyone will prepare or heed warnings; perhaps God does not warn everyone as He did with me. I also felt like I needed to consider others and be able to help my friends and family in an emergency, which brings me to another insight I had when I was in Jerusalem just three weeks ago.
I was in Israel from February 27 to March 9 this year (2023). My last trip to Israel was in January 1991, at the start of the Gulf War. The distinction between the two trips was astounding.
In 1991, Israel was preparing for war. Few tourists were there. I was in Israel as a student taking a class at the Institute of Holy Land Studies, unlike my trip this year when I was touring with a church group. In fact, in 1991, the U.S. government asked all non-essential personnel to return to the United States. In the meantime, while I was trying to decide what to do, the school showed us how to use gas masks. That’s when I decided it was time to come home.
While I realize we aren’t looking at an imminent war like in January 1991, I don’t believe the populace is looking for any war now or in the future. They are living in a bubble of “peace and security.”
I enjoyed seeing families out at night in Jerusalem enjoying themselves underneath the stars, where business is booming and visitors like me arrive worldwide. There is no place like Israel, with its rich history, historical significance, and ties to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. It is a land of contrasts—physical beauty and spiritual significance, but a cultural enigma. How people live together in such a place is hard to fathom; yet, they live together despite their differences.
Underneath the surface, however, is a powder keg. Perhaps the Israelis have lived with such tension for so long that they ignore the threat of war, trusting the government to protect their borders. But as a Christian familiar with the Scriptures, according to Ezekiel 38 and 39, Israel will be attacked from the North. Russia is the most prominent country north of Israel. Could this war be imminent? Is Putin “Gog,” as referred to in Ezekiel? In my opinion, it’s more than probable. Putin is just too smart to let a good opportunity go to waste.
I pray for the peace of Jerusalem. I pray for their salvation. It’s a bitter pill to swallow as you see families living in pseudo-peace, knowing that two-thirds of Israel’s inhabitants will be killed during the tribulation (Zechariah 13:8).
“And it shall come to pass in all the land,”
Says the Lord,
“That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die,
But one-third shall be left in it:”
I will bring the one-third through the fire…”
I thank God I could make the trip and see those parts of Israel I did not get to visit in January 1991. The world is more dangerous now than it was then. Whatever God’s timetable is for Israel, I pray I will be busy doing the Lord’s work until the rapture. Why God gave me that vision in 2016 is unclear, but I’m sure it is prophetic, a word of knowledge, and He meant for me to share it in the context of my recent trip to Israel.
As II Timothy 4:5 says, “But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, my recent trip to Israel was Your gift to me. I pray that my gift to You will be my faithfulness until You call me home, whether through the rapture or naturally. I praise You, Lord, all night long and forever.
Jerusalem at night