Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them Week of 7/9/2018
In what was a historical moment for Ethiopian and Eritrean history (however, it may not have made national headlines) both countries President signed a peace treaty uniting the two countries for the first time in twenty years, bringing (what is hoped) a time of peace for the Horn of Africa.
You say you have never heard of Eritrea? Why is this even important? Let′s step back and review some history. By looking at the map above, Eritrea (top left center next to the blue water) is a water front country. Not particular wide, but very desirous due to its access to the water. It lies some 6,500 feet above sea level on its coast, but also has a mountainous area that rises about 7,500 feet above sea level lending to a north south axis. The main population is Muslim with about 40% Eritrean Orthodox and the rest of the population primarily Roman Catholic. There is also a small group of Protestant believers and those who hold to traditional ideologies.
Eritrea has been intertwined with Ethiopia over the millennia. This area has been occupied not only by the Ethiopians, but also the Ottoman Turks, Italians, and British, rendered back to the Ethiopians and now in its current state—independent.
Two centuries ago it gained particular attraction due to the opening of the Suez Canal which gave direct access from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. Ships in these waters needed a secure port of call and with the development of Asseb (the capital city port) and Massawa (the oldest port developed by the Arabs) Eritrea had it all. After WW2, the United States urged the UN to annex Eritrea to Ethiopia as the US had an interest of having a naval presence on the Red Sea, although the US navy was never deployed there. By the 1950′s the UN did rule that Eritrea should become part of Ethiopia as an autonomous federal province with its own constitution and elected government. Herein also gave Ethiopia the opportunity to regain port access and they started the Imperial Ethiopian Navy which was established for patrolling the Red Sea coast. With the loan of training ships from the US the Imperial Ethiopian Navy carried on from the 1950′s to 1990′s.
Again, by looking at the map above you should see Ethiopia in the middle surrounded by (starting in the southwest of Ethiopia) Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea and Sudan. Ethiopia has one particular problem—it is land locked. In the past, Ethiopia had access through Eritrea to the Red Sea, but due to strong‐armed governing by Ethiopia, an uprising by mostly what was Muslim turned Marxist groups, provided the political instability that came close to toppling Ethiopia.
By May 24, 1993 Eritrea won independence and it looked as if both Ethiopia and Eritrea would be on better terms. At that time trade flourished between the two countries, particularly after customs duties were abolished in 1995. But by 1998 events drastically reversed due to border disputes. Once again, there was a devastating war between the two countries which has lasted some 20 years of which the only profit (if you can call it that) was mass killings, hunger and poverty.
Since then a new dawn has broken through the darkness to shed some light. In April of this year Ethiopia appointed Abiy Ahmed, a 41 yrs old (currently the youngest of the African leaders) to lead the country out of crisis. According to aljazeera.com, “He has freed thousands of political prisoners, lifted the state of emergency, admitted the regime used torture against political opponents in the past and took steps to make peace with his nation′s “archenemy”, Eritrea. He also liberalised flagship state‐controlled outfits, namely Ethiopia Airlines and the telecommunication sector and took important steps to move the country away from a state‐controlled economy.” Both countries are to, “work to promote close cooperation in political, economic, social, cultural and security areas.” Most importantly they have “agreed to participate in the development of ports…potentially (having) a huge economic boost for both countries, particularly landlocked Ethiopia which has one of Africa′s fastest growing economies.”
Back to Bible Prophecy, Ezekiel chapter 38 reveals that Russia, Meshech and Tubal (Moscow and Tobolsk) invade the land brought back from the sword—against the mountains of Israel‐ref Ezk 38:8. These passages give military operations and even the allies of Russia‐ref Ezk 38:5. The KJV reads, Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet. The present developments are indeed interesting as a strong Ethiopia is what one would expect to come against Israel. And an Ethiopia that would have a navy would indeed be of great asset. A full scale attack against Israel would mean not only from the north or the east, but also from the west (by way of the Mediterranean Sea) and from the south (by way of the Gulf of Aqaba). Due to the Suez Canal, Ethiopia could come either way. And where could Ethiopia get ships to supply their navy? Presently, they have very good ties with Russia.
Regarding Eritrea, the majority of the population (even though there is much enthusiasm) is watching—watching to see if their President will hold true to his promise of peace. Over the years he has made several promises regarding policy changes he plans to make for the good of the people and the Eritreans are still waiting. The heavy hand of this regime is of an oppressive nature. Still today, Eritreans can telephone their family members who they have not spoken to for over 20 years. In a few weeks it is hoped that the airlines will be reopened to the once rival countries, that there will be normalization of trade, and the opening of the land borders among other things. Time will only tell. The real story here perhaps is—will Ethiopia be able to reorganize the Imperial Royal Navy once again.
As you can see, countries and events have been taking shape to what the Bible says will happen in the latter days. Are you ready? We have been asking our readers this question most every week because you really need to examine yourself. Do you desire to have God walk with you or are you willing to walk with God? Do you follow God′s leading or lead in front of God and expect Him to take care of you? Do you want God to do your will or are you willing to do God′s will? When you pray, do you want God to conform to what you desire, or are you willing to conform to what “He” wants for your life? How long has it been since you conscientiously thanked God for dying on the cross to save you from your sins and give you eternal life? When was the last time you were thankful at all? Click here for some information to enhance your walk with the Lord.
Photo: courtesy of nationsonline.org. (permission for use: You are free to use this map for educational purposes, please refer to the Nations Online Project.)
Iranian Freedom? Week of 7/2/2018
In an already tense situation on Israel′s northern border with Syria, more fighting has broken out between the pro‐Assad coalition and the Islamic Rebels in the area bordering Jordan and Israel. Normally, this is not a big deal—the IDF is prepared for such events, but, it seems the Russians have joined the coalition along with one Iranian backed Shiite militia from Iraq, according to the Long War Journal. This would make it difficult for Israel to attack as they would not want to hit any Russian fighters. Last Thursday alone there were 84 airstrikes against the rebels in Daraa. This has sent Syrian refugees fleeing into the demilitarized zone (established after the 1973 Yom Kippur War) in hopes of entering either Jordan or Israel. However, both countries have closed their borders, but, are providing humanitarian help. Israel has even taken 4 Syrian orphaned children (due to the war) into the country to provide much needed medical attention.
Israel′s army has sent tanks and artillery cannons to strengthen and support the IDF′s 210th Bashan Division, which defends the Golan. The plan is, offer a determined response to any fire coming from Syria, whether deliberate or accidental—Israel stands ready to defend her borders.
U.S. President Trump and Russian President Putin are scheduled to meet in Helsinki, Finland, on July 15th or 16th (depending on what news source you use) to discuss, among other things, Syria. It has been reported that the U.S. President is open to having Bashar Assad (leader of Syria) remain in power, but, that the Iranian and Iranian‐aligned forces (who are bent on the annihilation of Israel) would need to leave Syria. If Russia cannot (or will not) make this happen, the U.S. would be in favor of having Israel handle the situation any way they see fit.
As for the country of Iran, the Iranian people seem to be in great unrest. As reported in our 4/23/18 blog (and others), the Iranian people are at odds with the government for water shortages, state oppression, and pollution (all of which are covered in President Netanyahu′s newest video to the Iranian people (click here to see it). Not to mention they want an end with their countries involvement with the fighting in Syria and Yemen in hopes that the government would use these financial resources to help the people of Iran. However, the government's response to the protest has turned ugly. Reports are coming out of Iran that the government police have started shooting at peaceful demonstrators. From videos uploaded to the internet by Iranians on the ground, between June 30 and July 1, one can view the fires in the streets, regime forces firing at civilians, and growing unrest. While demonstrators were protesting the water shortages, protesters were seen defending themselves with stones as the security forces brutally suppressed their protest. One reporter noted, “During the Iran-Iraq war, people of Khorramshahr defended their city & country against invasion. Many of them died. Today, they were defending themselves against the Islamic Repub. Their own government opened fire on them. Their own government doesn′t care about their problems.” Already there are 21 dead and over 450 arrested.
Due to the U.S.′s withdrawal from the Iranian deal and U.S. sanctions being set in place (not only on Iran, but, on all countries who trade with her) the financial stability of Iran is very shaky. So shaky, that the Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, is flying to Europe to rally support for the nuclear deal. He needs to know how cooperative Europe will be with Iran. Will they provide the financial assistance they need to help squelch the uprisings at home and perhaps provide for the ongoing military buildup and financial aid to the anti‐Semitic terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas.
At a time when most everyone is hoping for peace, there is none. President Rouhani is scheduled to meet with Chancellor Kurz of Austria (we reported on him in the last blog) after he meets with the Swiss President, Alain Berset. On July 4, Chancellor Kurz plans to speak plainly with Rouhani about Iran′s destabilization of the Middle East by already starting the increase of Iran′s uranium enrichment. Chancellor Kurz also wishes to discuss the human rights situation in Iran where there has been more executions per year in Iran than under his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
There has been no time in history as close to Bible Prophecy than this one. Click here if you need more proof. Will you go to heaven? Many are positive they will go to heaven when they die. Many are positive they will be raptured when that occurs. However, the Bible states clearly (of that number that believe they are saved) only a few, a very few really are saved by the grace of God. Are you striving to enter the narrow gate? Do you fear the Lord? It is written, So the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God for our good always and for our survival, as it is today. It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the Lord our God, just as He commanded us‐Deut 6:24 (NAS). We have said it before and it bears repeating—time is very short. The people of this world are going in a wrong direction. Take time to make your calling and election sure‐ref 2 Peter 1:10.
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