Syria Today                     Week of 1/21 & 28/19

Map of Syrian colored with surrounding countries and fighting fractions within Syria.

Syria is the country just above Israel. It borders the Mediterranean Sea, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon. It has a total land mass of 71,500 square miles (or 185,180 square kilometers). For the last 8 years Syria and her citizen′s have suffered through a brutal civil war which displaced 6.2 million people and sent 5.6 million fleeing to other countries. So what caused this civil war? Does anyone still remember?

Around the beginning of 2011, the Middle East leaped into a new era—the Arab Spring. This was not a season or natural phenomenon, but a movement by the people to overthrow authoritarian regimes—Spring meaning newness of life or refreshing of political powers. It started in Tunisia and swept through most Middle Eastern countries—including Syria. The leader of Syria, Bashar Hafez al‐Assad, responded in an authoritarian regime way—he had hundreds of demonstrators killed or imprisoned. Around that time some left the Syrian military and formed the Free Syrian Army (FSA), aimed to overthrow the government.

That was then—today the Syrian War has evolved—it is not just Syrians fighting Syrians for freedom; it is a chess match between several players. Islam, like Christianity, has several factions that have splintered from the original. The two main fractions are Sunni and Shia. These two fight amongst themselves unless they have a common enemy, like Israel or the Americans. However, over the years, Sunnis are less hostile toward the West and, of late, are even (somewhat) publicly tolerant of the Jewish people (example Saudi Arabia). Most Middle East countries have both Moslem factions, and Syria is no different. Backing Shia (which Assad associates) are the Syrian government troops, Iran, Afghan Shiite militia, Hezbollah (the Lebanese Shiite militia), Iraqi Shiite militia and one of Assad's closest allies, Russia. Russia is actually not on the side of any Islamic group, it has its own agenda.

Those opposing Assad (perhaps not with troops on the ground but providing logistics) are Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey (not necessarily there to promote peace or stand with their religious brothers), Qatar, United Arab Emirates and the United States. Israel has also provided some aid to the rebel forces, but their main interest seems to be the prevention of Hezbollah receiving technologically advanced weapons from Iran (Hezbollah and Iran being sworn enemies of Israel). This is the reason that the Israeli air force has repeatedly attacked Iranian warehouses and weapons that are located in Damascus. This brings us to the Iranian medium‐range surface‐to‐surface missile that was fired at Israel on Sunday, January 20, 2019. Israel took down the missile with their anti‐missile defenses, but tensions between the two parties are high.

So the Syrian War is hosting Afghan, Lebanese and Iraqi militias, Russia, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, UAE and the United States. But wait, there is more. When President Obama′s Administration pulled U.S. troops out of Iraq in 2011 (after fighting a nine year war in the country), they left a gaping political black hole. This allowed Iran to interfere with the Iraqi political climate, insuring the terrorist group ISIS (or ISIL) to emerge with no opposition except the Kurds. ISIS eventually moved into Syria with hardly a notice by other occupants of the country. Today, there are still pockets of ISIS in Syria, which some believe should be easily conquered by one of the many countries who have been fighting them over the last 5 or so years. Countries that have joined with the American-lead air strikes against ISIS are Australia, Bahrain, Canada, France, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the U. K. Russia has also sent fighter against ISIS, but are not under the American-lead coalition. The Kurds also fight ISIS backed by the U.S., Russia and other countries. While 2018 brought a sigh of relief and the hope that ISIS had been defeated, some are not so optimistic. They believe that it is only a matter of time till ISIS raises its cruel head once again. It is considered by some analysts that President Assad of Syria allowed the cruel ISIS to invade his country to show the west that he is a much better choice as leader of Syria than cruel ISIS.

So where does this leave Syria? Some in Israel believe the Syrian war is, for all military purposes, over. Their reasoning is that after 8 years of fighting, President Assad is still Syria′s leader; and there does not appear to be any power changes on the horizon. Where does this leave the countries that are currently in Syria? The main players on Assad′s side (Iran and Russia) believe they will stay. Russia has military interests (an air base and their only sea port on the Mediterranean Sea), and Iran wants to generously stay to help rebuild Syria. Regarding Iran, besides Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Americans want Iran to go home and plan to persuade them by any means within their power. Turkey desires to keep a presence in the northern part of the country due to their ongoing battle with Kurds. The Americans, for the most part, are already in the process of leaving.

What has developed from this Syrian war?—Deeper political ties. Ties the Bible speaks of regarding the times we are living. The countries of Russia, Iran and Turkey already had political agreements, but now they have been able to work together, talk together and reason with one another regarding the Middle East. Russia (Magog), Iran (Persia), Turkey. The three just met in Tehran last September. Click here for more. It is interesting to note that Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan are not mentioned in the invasion against Israel.

You cannot deny it. Events are lining up so closely to Bible Prophecy like never before in history. Not just one sign, but many check out this chart. Are you ready to meet Jesus? If not, there is still time. You cannot stand before Almighty God and say you did not know. Take time to get right with God. Your eternity depends on it—whether you believe it or not. Click here for more.


U.S. And Israel                     Week of 1/14/19

Days before 24 December 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump declared he was pulling the American troops out of Syria to bring them back home. This announcement lead to a flurry of emotion including the resignation of the U.S. Defense Secretary‐James Mattis; former envoy for the global coalition to defeat ISIS‐Brett McGurk; chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff‐Joseph Dunford; and the man who had the tasked of resolving the Qatar dispute‐Anthony Zinni.

The U.S. is not the only country changing the military guard—Israel also has a new IDF leader‐Maj.‐Gen. Aviv Kochavi who will be the 22nd chief of staff for the IDF replacing Lt.‐Gen. Gadi Eisenkot. Also leaving PM Netanyahu's cabinet is the Defense Minister‐Avigdor Lieberman and Minister of Aliyah and Integration‐Sofa Landver. The PM has taken on the task of running the Defense Minister′s position himself and is not overjoyed with the new selection of the IDF, but right now his full attentions need to be on Israel′s upcoming April election. (Note, it is very interesting how similar the political picture is between both the U.S. and Israel. Both Presidents are facing law suits and accusations, both have cabinet members jumping ship, both are considered as great defenders of their country or the greatest fools their country has produced (depends on which side of the fence you ride) and both are having problems making peace with the Palestinians.)

How does the U.S. pulling out of Syria affect Israel? Many Israeli′s are confused. They consider President Trump their best US Presidential ally, but why is he recalling troops that help secure their northern border? Some believe it may have been in connection with a deal that was made with Turkey (a very moderate U.S. ally) for buying weapons and an agreement that the U.S. would leave Syria. More than likely it is due to the campaign promise he made to send sons and daughters back home—alive. But as it turns out, President Trump is not forsaking his allies in the Middle East. He has continued to support US allies in Syria with weapons, munitions and logistical equipment—it is just that the President thinks it is time for the Kurds to stand on their own, without U.S. intervention. However to date, it is unclear whether he will leave Syria completely as the country continues to be a powder keg between Iran, Turkey, and the Kurds (a U.S. ally). No matter what the U.S. does, PM Netanyahu says Israel will defend itself. And as the Scriptures foretell, after the Rapture Israel will only have one friend who can come to their rescue, but they will need to humble themselves and call out for His help first—that friend is God (click here for more).


January-New Beginning                     Week of 1/7/19

The month of January denotes a time of new beginnings, but there is one particular fact that could be rather alarming—population growth. Presently, the population of the world is nearing 7.6 billion people. In a data book entitled, “The World′s Cities in 2018” by the UN′s Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2018), suggest that some 55% of the world′s population currently live in cities while projecting that by 2030 the percentage will rise to 60. In the year 2000 there were 371 cities with a population over one million. In 2018 there were 548 and it is projected that by 2030 there will be 706 cities. Let us not forget those cities that have a population over 10 million—mega‐cities. They are projected to rise from 33 in 2018 to 43 by 2030. (China had 6 mega‐cities, India had 5.) While all these cities are growing, there is the expected rural land decline where countries are losing farm land and natural empty spaces.

What are the ten largest cities in the world? For 2018 they were Tokyo (Japan), Delhi (India), Shanghai (China), São Paulo (Brazil), Mexico City (Mexico), Cairo (Egypt), Beijing (China), Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Osaka (Japan). In 2030 the projection is Delhi (India), Tokyo (Japan), Shanghai (China), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Cairo (Egypt), Bombay (India), Beijing (China), Mexico City (Mexico), São Paulo (Brazil), and Kinshasa (Congo)—most in the global south. Note, none of the largest cities in the world are in the most powerful countries of the world—except China. The Kings of the East—countries like India, Pakistan, China, etc. have vast populations just as the Bible details that they would. In fact, statistics show that in America and Europe population growth is slowing and as America is the 3rd largest country by population in the world, it is estimated that by 2050 (or sooner) the Caucasian will be a minority in America due to the influx of immigrants having children. (See our 7/17/2018 blog).

So, while the UN expects the world′s cities population to rise, other sources paint a slightly different picture. Statistically and put simply, women in certain areas are not giving birth. There are a number of reasons why they decline to have children: they want to pursue a career, the cost of raising children or they have the availability to birth control and abortion. In some instances the government can play a role as in China. For over 35 years the Chinese government had a policy for the ethnic Han Chinese living in urban areas to only have one child. (Citizens living in rural areas and minorities living in China were not subject to this law.) If that child was a girl, they would kill the child by government forced abortion, abandonment, take the baby to an orphanage or put her up for adoption out of country—boys were counted as more valuable. And even though the policy did decrease China′s 1.4 billion population by 300 million in over the first 20 years, the government realized that a society of only men can not produce children; hence fewer in the work force and no one to care for these aging “forever bachelors” changed the policy to two children per family. Another reason for the decline in population, which is especially true in America and Europe—there simply are not enough men who desire to have sex with a women. They prefer men with men, which has been escalated by the #me too movement.

Another way to offset the world′s population growth is by natural disaster and economics. For example, after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan the death toll left the city with 15,894 confirmed deaths and around 2,500 missing persons. Economics can be just as devastating to a city. Take Detroit, Michigan in the United States when the auto industry closed its doors leaving the city “and surrounding areas” a virtual ghost town, which have since been inhabited by immigrants desiring Sharia law (a religious law forming part of the Islamic tradition).

Most, as being citizens of the world, have a bleak future. The Bible tells us what to expect. There are people already in place who desire a one‐world government. America, for instance, is fighting to keep her over 200 year old Constitution. There is no country in the world that has lived under one document of law for so long as they. Sadly, as modern American children have been taught in school that their form of government (that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) is bad and the best form of government is communist China (according to, "disadvantages of communism include strong government control, little motivation for individuals to better themselves, limited individual freedom, and protection of inefficient people or producers"). Unfortunately, the tides will more than likely turn in America as more Millennials (who have been taught one‐world is the new order) and immigrants gain political power. There will be a population decrease in the not so distance future and if you survive (your best chance of survival would be in the southern hemisphere; however, no where will be pleasant) you will see ¼ of the world′s population destroyed, all green grass (crops) destroyed, ⅓ of the waters becoming radioactive and you will wish you had seriously considered surrendering your life to Jesus Christ. Click here for more detail. Most Christians today are not watching for the Rapture. Most do not even have time to spend with their Creator reading the Bible. Being a Christian is only a word of which they do not know the true meaning. They will not hear the words, “Well done thou good and faithful servant”. They will not enter into joy of the Lord‐ref Mt 25:21. If you are a true believer in Jesus Christ then you have a much different future—one of joy not of despair. The choice is yours.