The Current Crisis In Europe Week of 6/25/2018
All around the world countries find themselves dealing with some kind of crisis at one point or another. Currently, Europe is having an immigration/asylum seekers crisis. What is a crisis? A crisis is a condition of instability or danger, as in social, economic, political, or international affairs, leading to a decisive change. So what does this have to do with Bible Prophecy? Maybe nothing or maybe it is creating a situation in Europe that needs strong leadership—a leader that can solve problems.
According to UK′s Refugeecouncil.org, as of 2017 over 65 million people have left their native-lands in search of a better life. This could be the result of fearing for their life due to natural disaster; the social, economic or the political instability of their county; and/or war creating mayhem. It could even be as simple as they have obtained a job in the host country, they want to join someone who lives in the host country or they desire to come to study (go to school). Whatever the case, they come. This has created the greatest refugee crisis since WW2 and where are these people settling? Mostly, in Western Europe.
Humanitarians will tell you this is a good thing. Besides boosting the host countries economy, refugees:
- Are law-abiding citizens.
- Do not get large handouts.
- Are hard workers and create jobs.
- Pay more into the public purse than a native born.
Around the world, natural born citizens do not agree. Some are losing their jobs to the refugees, crime has increased and taxes are on the rise due to the immigration problem. Besides this, as we reported in our blog of 4/8/18, European countries, tired of the corruption in their leadership, are disillusioned with the EU and in most recent elections have voted for more conservative officials that will protect their borders and bring jobs and security back to their homelands.
So, what are most politicians running platform? You guessed it, immigration. And that is how one of the youngest present day world leaders was elected—he campaigned on something he has focused on his whole political career—immigration. Who would this be? The media has nicknamed him, wunderwuzzi (Wonder Boy), a Savior, and even “he who can walk on water” because he has risen to power so quickly. At 24, he was his countries State Secretary of Integration focusing on easing immigrates into his countries society (multiculturalism). At 27 he became Europe′s youngest foreign minister serving as the youngest cabinet member in the history of his country and making a hard stance against Germany′s open border policy by closing his countries roads that lead to Germany. Who is this wunderwuzzi? Sebastian Kurz of Austria. He is currently the thirty‐one year old Prime Minister (Chancellor) and in July will take his reign as EU′s rotating president. He is only scheduled to preside for 6 months, but, according to the Treaty of Lisbon signed in 2007 and effective 1 December 2009, he could lay claim to the treaties entity which entitles the EU with the creation of a long‐term (two and one half year) Presidency. There is no indication he will do this and some members have voiced opposition to this treaty as it moves power away from national electorates. However, others claim it will enable more checks and balances within the community.
And while PM Kurz had enough votes to win the election, he needed to form a coalition with a controversial party (the Freedom Party) that was founded by former Nazi officers in order to govern. Due to this parties reputation (not only for anti‐Semitism, but, also for its leaderships homoerotic ties), Heinz‐Christian Strache (leader of the Freedom Party) was not present on the recent visit to Israel.
Earlier this month, PM Kurz visited Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center ensuring that the institution would be allowed access to the Austrian State Archives and copy any Holocaust related items. He pledged Austria would contribute to the creation of a new Holocaust heritage collections center at Yad Vashem and expressed his sorrow that Austria had contributed in the Holocaust and had a debt to pay. He also visited the Western Wall (which the Times of Israel called “a rare move for the leader of an EU country” due to the fact that the wall lies within the area the Palestinians claim to be their own state). PM Kurz also spoke in front of the American Jewish Committee′s Global Forum in Jerusalem declaring Israel′s security is part of Vienna′s national interest (something German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed ten years earlier in front of the Knesset). He has vowed to fight against anti‐Semitism and stand up for the Jewish state in the Middle East. He did not expressly talk about the Israeli‐Palestinian conflict but said that a “commitment to a peaceful future is needed from all sides.” In his press statement with PM Netanyahu, the Times of Israel reported, “Kurz said he would try to “raise awareness in Europe for the special situation and the special security needs of Israel, “previewing his country′s upcoming stewardship of the EU, slated to begin in July. Netanyahu praised Kurz′s promise, calling him a “true friend of Israel and of the Jewish people.””
While some in the Christian world have termed him the Anti‐Christ (a term many bestow on those they do not like) Prime Minister Kurz does not appear to meet all the qualifications (click here if you′d like to know them). We do know about his schooling and political life, but, his background is a mystery. We only know he was born in Vienna to Josef and Elizabeth Kurz (who are Roman Catholic) and his maternal grandmother was Serbian who fled to Austria during WW2. He has been living with his long‐time girl friend which is enough for Bible Prophecy students to claim he is not the Anti‐Christ.
So what does this have to do with Bible Prophecy? Maybe nothing or maybe Europe has a situation that needs strong leadership—a leader who looks like he can lead the world toward harmonious relations between nations.
If the Rapture happens this year, will you be taken? Or will you be left to endure a nuclear WW3? You say you believe in God—the devils also believe, and tremble‐Ja 2:19. You say, “I do good things, I′m not like that bad person who does bad things.” It is written, Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity‐Mat 7:22, 23. These people thought they were doing good deeds, but Jesus tells them they are working iniquity. Why? Because they are not doing God′s will, but their own will‐ref Mat 7:21. Remember the Scripture, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known My ways: unto whom I sware in My wrath that they should not enter into My rest‐Ps 95:10, 11; Heb 3:10, 11. Time is very short. The world is going in a bad direction. Take time to make your calling and election sure‐ref 2 Peter 1:10.
Sources: dictionary.com; aaas.org; refugeecouncil.org.uk; thesun.co.uk; ozy.com; wikipedia.org; consilium.europa.eu, lisbon-treaty.org, suffragio.org, nytimes.com; wikipedia.org; cnn.com; timesofisrael.com; timesofisrael.com.
Words of Tolerance? Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas! Week of 6/18/2018
In May 2018 a report surfaced with the news that Israeli tourism was up by twenty‐five percent over the previous year. However, there was some concern that they would not out do the previous end of year number of 3.6 million visitors due to the regional conflicts.
To date, Israel is indeed having border conflicts. In the southern regions of Israel along the Gaza border, Israel continues to be on fire. The terror kites (kites attached to Molotov cocktails or other incendiary devices) are the newest crime against the Israelis causing severe damage to crops—not to mention the risk to firefighters and others trying to extinguish the blazes. Yes, Israel has the technology to destroy any missile coming over her borders, but, a kite with a Molotov cocktail attached? What can they do? Perhaps some prayers that the Lord will change the wind patterns to blow toward the west are called for. The Israeli children living near the Gaza border have decided to send their own message to the children of Gaza. On Saturday they sent balloons, but, these were filled with candy. The message was, “The children in Gaza, who are innocent victims of the cruel Hamas regime, deserve to know that children in Israel don′t hate them.”
On Israel′s most northern border, along the Golan Heights, the Iranian militias are to keep a distance of about twenty‐five to thirty‐seven miles from the Golan border. To date, they range from about six to just under a mile and it appears they are pretending to be Syrian soldiers by their uniforms. Five hundred strong they are reportedly ready to attack a Syrian Rebel position in what is known as the Triangle of Death. Any fighting here would be of special interest to the IDF (Israel Defense Force) as war could easily flow over its borders. Russian diplomats are in Israel presently to discuss the withdrawal of all Iranian troops and Shiite militias from areas near Israel′s border.
Speaking of Iran, in our blog of 4/23/18 we discussed the critical situation Iran has due to water shortages. Now it appears Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to help. In response to Iran′s current water crisis, the PM has made a video (actually he has made five videos to Iran which are extremely popular on his Facebook page) offering the Iranians with the technology from Israel to help them through this drought. The PM says, “We will show how Iranian farmers can save their crops and feed their families. The Iranian regime shouts, ‘Death to Israel.’ In response, Israel shouts, ‘Life to the Iranian people,’” Netanyahu says. “The people of Iran are good and decent—they shouldn′t have to face such a cruel regime alone.” (Even though the PM is a true Jew, it seems he may have been reading the New Testament which reads, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you‐Mt 5:44). This video was widely reported in the Iranian media and the Iranian Energy Minister said, “Iran does not need Israel′s help.”
On Israel′s eastern front there is still another conflict. As it may not be life threatening or property damaging—it is indeed an attack. From May 28‐June 1, 2018, the fifth, “Christ at the Checkpoint” was held in Bethlehem, Palestine (according to the website). This every other year event (under the supervision of the Bethlehem Bible College) is led by Palestinian Christians, for the purpose of, well, click here for their manifesto. On their website they state, “Many of our supporters are Israeli Jews who believe that the present Israeli treatment of the Palestinians does not reflect the deeper moral values of Judaism itself.” At the conference, not all were Christian—there were also Muslims, (maybe for the first time) a Messianic Jew and non‐believers. At the opening session, the chairman of the Bible College said, “This conference is not about taking sides…We don′t want you to go back and say, I′m on the Palestinian side or I′m on the Israeli side. This conference is about building awareness.” Awareness of the many check points that Israel has set‐up in what the Palestinians consider their land. Check points that (through Palestinian eyes) are hindrances to daily life and demoralizing. In truth, Israel has set‐up check points, but, it is not to hinder or cause stress to the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians. Israeli soldiers do guard these checkpoints—to protect other Israelis. They guard against suicide bombers. They guard against Arabs driving cars loaded with bombs ramming into crowds of Jews. Yes, to be honest, there have been bad decisions made by Israeli soldiers—but, there has also been bad decisions made by the Arab citizens as well. If Christ was at the center of this conference and they truly wanted to heal relationships between Jews and Arabs then why bring up what they perceive as hardships for the Palestinian people as a result of Israeli occupation? Why call for support for the anti-Israel Boycott? Why even care if American moves its embassy to Jerusalem which they call a crime? The list goes on. What has happened to the church? It use to preach, The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these‐Mt 12:29‐31. It seems if you really want to bring groups of people together it would be best to start teaching, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself‐ref Mt 12:31.
As the Rapture and Tribulation approach the world is aligning against the Jew. Within Israel, some of her own citizens are very critical of the government′s response to the Palestinian problem. Globally, one would be hard pressed to find a country that is in support of Israel, with the exception of the U.S. government. (Note, many Americans are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.) Anti‐Semitism is on the rise even polluting European football (soccer) matches whose fans chant, “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas” and worse. True Christians will stand with Israel and will pray for the peace of Jerusalem as God commanded them‐ref Ps 122:6. Nowhere in Scripture does it command us to hate the Jew. Those who teach such things are revealing what spirit they really follow—and it is not Christ. Students of Bible can′t say, we never read that. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me‐Jn 5:39. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so‐Acts 17:11.
2018—Should the World Tremble? Week of 6/11/2018
It is written, When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end‐Mark 13:7 (NAS).
Since Adam′s spiritual fall in the garden, the earth has been filling itself with violence. Kings (or rulers) going to battle have been a common occurrence for millennia and will continue until the Millennium (click here for more detail).
The 2017 Global Peace index reveals the most unstable countries in the world are in the Middle East. Let′s take a look at how they stack up militarily. MIL PERS = Military Personnel, FTR AIRCFT = Fighter Aircraft, COMBAT TA = Combat Tanks, ROCKET PROJ = Rocket Projectors, AIRCFT CARRIERS = Aircraft Carriers, SUBS = Submarines and DES = Destroyers. Just because a country has no submarines or destroyers or fighter aircraft does not mean it is devoid of a navy or an air force. They may have other vessels or jets not on our list. Check out this source for a more complete accounting.
|COUNTRY||MIL PERS||FTR AIRCFT||COMBAT TA||ROCKET PROJ||AIRCFT CARRIERS||SUBS||DES|
Compared to the top three powers in the world:
|COUNTRY||MIL PERS||FTR AIRCFT||COMBAT TA||ROCKET PROJ||AIRCFT CARRIERS||SUBS||DES|
While the above figures do not represent countries with nuclear capabilities, it is usually considered a great military advantage to have a nuclear bomb or two. Also, traditional warfare fought in hand to hand combat would usually favor a military with the greatest number of personnel. However, history shows that this is not always true. For instance Israel, because she was under God protection, while being outnumbered by the enemy won great victories during many of her wars (War of Independence, 7 Day War, etc.). So, the size of the military personnel is not always a sign of conclusive victory.
As wars continue to increase in the Middle East (culminating to the Russian/Arab invasion of Israel), the major powers of this world are already posturing themselves. With new technologies always on the horizon, developers from all walks of life have an infinite number of ways to destroy their enemies and the world as we know it. Russia has been especially busy on this front. One of the most alarming weapons is the nuclear capable underwater drone called, Ocean Multipurpose System Status‐6 developed by Rubin Design Bureau, one of Russia′s submarine manufacturers. Russia reports it can be outfitted with a 100‐megaton nuclear warhead; and, according to Russian TV (from 2015), the drone has a range of 6,200 miles, a top speed in excess of 56 knots and can descend into depths of 3,280 feet. The top brass of the Russian Navy has said the drone′s miniature nuclear power plant has successfully passed operational tests giving their fleet a variety of options while in enemy waters. Some have projected those options include a rocket causing a 300 foot tsunami enabling an enemy naval base to be submerged.
And if that is not intimidating enough, Ynetnews.com has reported Russia has attempted and succeeded with the longest surface to air missile launch. It comes from the new S‐500 aerial defense system which intercepted a target almost 300 miles away. This is almost 50 miles better than previously tested missiles. It is also suppose to intercept missiles, drones, and even stealth fighters like the F‐35 which is used by the Israeli Air Force.
Speaking of Air Forces, the newest Russian war fighter jet is the SU‐57. This is supposed to put fear in all who pilot the American F‐22. This Russian war jet is not exactly stealth, but it has mounted radars that allows it to excel at a tactic called, “beaming” which means it will trick the radars on any of the US stealth jets. It is equipped with data link, integrated sensors and electronic warfare components. It even has an electrically enhanced optical sensor (a glorified telescope) which enables the pilot to use the optical eye piece to locate any stealth fighters, even if his sensors have provided only a general direction. As great as this jet sounds, not everyone is buying into the hype. Buyers for the Russian jet have backed out opting for American made stealth jets. But only time will tell if any of these new weapons are as good as the Russians say they are. If indeed they are as good as they’ve been made to sound, some of us may not be around to give a full report, but if you know Bible Prophecy this is not a surprise.
Will Russia invade Israel this year? Probably not, but, sometimes things move rather quickly in the Middle East. Will the Rapture happen tomorrow? No. Remember, there is a good possibility that Damascus will be turned into a ruinous heap before the Rapture, and Syria has had a lot of fighting in the surrounding areas of Damascus. Whether Damascus is destroyed or not before the Rapture are you ready to meet Jesus? You watch the news for end‐time events, but, are you watching out for your soul? It′s not a question if you know Jesus, but, does He know you?‐ref Mt 7:21-23. Be sure—your eternity depends on it.