Middle East Watch         Week of 9/16/19

Map of the Middle East surrounded by a looking glass

Reports have surfaced that Iran, through its Revolutionary Guard Corps′ Quds Forces, is building a military base near the Syrian‐Iraqi border. At this position, it is estimated that the Iranians will be less than 186 miles from an American military position. Presently, the new Iranian base is not operational, but is believed to have the capacity of housing thousands of troops as well as store precision missiles and ammunition.

In May 2019, ImageSat International (ISI), a civilian satellite company, brought forth satellite images that the Iranians had been building a new border crossing (west of the present Al‐Bukamal Al‐Qaim border crossing) which would accelerate the transfer of weapons from Tehran to their proxy groups throughout the Middle East—particularly into Syria and Lebanon.

What are Iran proxy groups? Reporter David Daoud calls it, the spread of the “new Persian empire, under the aegis of the Islamic Republic of Iran”. There are no Iranian flags flying high over their conquered territories, no Iranian guards marching through their streets—no, by definition proxy means, an ally or confederate who can be relied upon to speak or act in one′s behalf. These proxy groups are supported by Iran with ammunition and finances and are always Shiites. Surprisingly, their reach runs as far as some parts of Africa and even South America—not to mention their current reign in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and other Middle Eastern states. Their main mission is to destabilize where ever they go, but, because they do not wear the banner of Iran most people around the world hardly notice them.

You may have heard of their most recent mischief of attacking Saudi oil, mostly through the Houthis—Yemen rebels who fight to protect themselves from the perceived encroachment of Sunni Islam coming from Saudi Arabia. Over the last few years their exploits have increased directly toward the Saudis, and last May they caused great damage on two Saudi oil tankers; however, there was no loss of life or oil spillage. This past week saw fires rising high over Abqaiq, in Saudi Arabia, due to a cruise missile and drone attack. The damage was 19 points of impact at two Saudi energy facilities, including to the kingdom′s crucial oil processing plant. Originally, the Houthis took credit for the attack, but this morning new evidence emerged from the Americans that the attacks did not come from the Houthis in Yemen, but from Iranian soil with Iranian weaponry.

(Just a note: You may wonder why the Islamic Iranians are fighting against the Islamic Saudis. The answer—one is Shiite and the other is Sunni (Wahhabi)—two major fractions of the Islamic religion. Iran′s proxies are always Shiite and align themselves with Tehran. Not that all terrorist are Shiite. Fifteen of 9/11 attackers were Saudis—or what some call, a poisonous Wahhabism that has fueled Islamist terrorism.)

What does this have to do with Bible Prophecy? Saudi Arabia is an ally of the United States, at least while a republican is in office. (Democrats, as a majority, desire to cut Saudi/American relations.) It was the first destination of Donald Trump′s travels abroad as President and where, it has been suggested, he was trying to set up Arab‐Israeli peace using the Sunni state which over time would put pressure on the Palestinians to come to terms with the Israelis. Their crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman (or MBS as he is known to his friends), although considered a ruthless ruler, was trying to modernize his country. He was hoping to make it a global hub that connects Asia, Europe and Africa; but also a modern country not dependent on oil exports. In his efforts to modernize Saudi Arabia the Crown Prince desired to build a business and industrial city that would link with Jordan and Egypt. He had mapped out a 10,230 square mile area devoted to the development of energy, water, biotechnology, food, advanced manufacturing and entertainment. MBS said, “This place is not for conventional people or conventional companies, this will be a place for the dreamers for the world.” There were even restrictions lifted for some countries to fly over Saudi Arabia to Israel. However, being a millennial, the crown prince is not as religious or loyal to the Wahhabi religion; therefore, his desire to see his nation more on the world stage did not set well with the more conservative of his nations religion.

Then with last year′s murder of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, inside Saudi Arabia′s consulate in Istanbul, also went the dreams of the crown prince as the world turn on him accusing him of ordering the murder of the missing Washington Post contributor who openly opposed the Crown Prince.

They say, timing is everything and it would appear this was not the time for peace. Not for Saudi Arabia and not for Israel. Fact is, the Scriptures indicate that Saudi Arabia (known in the Bible as Sheba and Dedan) align themselves with the forces of the Russian Invasion of Israel at the beginning of the Tribulation. Today, Saudi Arabia is weighed down with a Shiite/Sunni war in Yemen and continues to back Sunni rebels in Syria and elsewhere in an effort to gain advantage over Iran.

But, the U.S. President has stood by Saudi Arabia's side and has pledged to support and protect allies with retaliation. The U.N. says they have not finished their examination of the situation and when they do they will, “discuss with our partners how to proceed in a responsible manner.” Nobody really wants war—especially Iran. However, Russia has already processed the situation. As the leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran gather together today to discuss the situation in Idlib (a city in northwestern Syria) and decide on how to finish off the remaining opposition (or to make it sound nicer, secure a lasting truce in northwest Syria), Russia has warned the U.S., there is no reason for retaliation. As one of Iran′s allies, Russia is ready to stand toe to toe opposite the U.S. President. It is also interesting that Russia′s President Putin has commended the action of the President of Iran, for the role he has played helping to solve Syria′s crisis.

    Let′s put this all together:
  • Iran is building a new border crossing that is closer to their proxy armies (especially Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon) so they can deliver weaponry to them quicker.
  • Also, under construction is a military base on the border of Syrian and Iraq that can house missiles, thousands of troops and obviously will be in closer range to Israel and U.S. troops.
  • In our blog of 7/15/19, we reported that the leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, said he was expecting war with Israel this summer.
  • Russia and the US are at odds with other regarding Iran and
  • Continued fighting is scheduled not far from Damascus.

With all these circumstances coming together it could (just an observation) encourage the Ps 83 war, especially since Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to annex part of the West Bank back into Israeli control. (Some say this is just a campaign tactic as Israelis will once again go back to the polls tomorrow (Tuesday) to elect a leader for their country.)

All of this looks very interesting and if you have been following Bible Prophecy for a while, events are lining up very nicely. However, no one is claiming the Rapture might happen in about two more weeks—just events are happening in an interesting way—which is not unusual this time of year.

The Feast of Trumpets starts September 29th at sun down, lasting until September 30th at sun down. If you do not know what that means to Bible Prophecy check out this link.

If you are hoping to be taken in the Rapture, are you examining yourself? This would be an excellent time to start. Check out this link to help you determine what sins have a grip on you or have you bound. Yes, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God‐ref Rom 3:23; but, as followers of Christ we should not mind the things of the flesh…For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace; because the carnal mind is enmity against God‐ref Rom 8:5‐7. And by examining yourself, ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free‐ref Jn 8:32.

Sources: jpost.com; defenseworld.net; latimes.com; stamfordadvocate.com; thetower.org; washingtonpost.com; dictionary.com; nbcnews.com; jpost.com; marketwatch.com; denverpost.com; usatoday.com; cnbc.com; viewfromthewing.com; jpost.com; zamanalwsl.net; jpost.com.

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The Climate Is Going To Change, But Not The Way They Expect        Week of 9/9/19

Climate Change

Surely, you have heard of Climate Change—the Earth′s sustained temperature which is increasing enough to cause the climate to change—catastrophically—even to the destruction of the world. Over the years those who have a heightened concern for this subject have used different words to describe their fears such as, man induced Global Warming. It is a very big issue with the United Nations General Assembly. The United Nations Climate Change Conferences are held yearly to assess partner′s progress in dealing with the changing climate—they desire member countries to move toward an energy‐efficient, low‐carbon global economy. Former UN Secretary‐General, Ban Ki‐moon, is reported as believing Climate Change was a moral issue.

Some Americans believe Climate Change is so important that the CNN network televised a seven hour long Democratic Town Hall this past week, whose only topic was Climate Change. What can be talked about for seven hours regarding Climate Change? Obviously, repeated interviews on their evidence that it is a problem and ideas on how to stop it. Included in the many interviewees were leading U.S. 2020 Democrat Presidential candidates who offered their view of, in a nutshell, banning everything from fossil fuel (gas) powered cars to plastic straws. They say they want to live in a carbon free America, but, what does that mean to them, especially since even basic human activities such as breathing and digesting food produce carbon? Some want to ban certain foods, like meat, and apply teaching to eat healthy plant sustainable foods, focusing on moderation. Others want to ban coal‐burning plants; and still another wants to “minimize human life itself to help the environment”. Whoa—minimize human life itself to help the environment? It would appear that those who promote a Godless philosophy, to them, human life is extinguishable. And who determines who dies and who lives? How do we minimize life?

From the advocates of abortion (or new born baby killings, as promoted by some U.S. liberal state legislation) to behavioral scientist, marketing strategist Professor Magnus Soderlund from the Stockholm School of Economics, the killing of human life is no more than big business—all under the guise of saving the environment. (Professor Soderlund promotes the eating of human flesh to be the way of the future—just another human flesh industry. He believes people can be tricked into eating sustainably (which to him means, eating human flesh). Please note, there is significant evidence that people who consume human flesh suffer from disease and brain damage to say the least). And while other “elite” professionals have tooted their approval exclaiming, “Cannibalism is common in the animal kingdom; thus, there is no logical reason why it should not be allowed for humans”; those who are progressive enough to sacrifice their conscience by eating human flesh, in the words of Professor Soderlund, they will not be, “ too selfish to live sustainably”.

Another proponent for Climate Change believes the whole problem has arisen from man′s selfishness—or lack of denying self. In 2015, Pope Francis (who some believe is making a unholy stance with the UN) wrote a letter where he expressed that Mother Earth is crying out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. He continues by quoting from a Patriarch saint, “(we should) acknowledge our sins against creation…by stripping the earth of its natural forests or destroying its wetlands; for human beings to contaminate the earth′s waters, its land, its air, and its life—these are sins; for to commit a crime against the natural world is a sin against ourselves and a sin against God”.

Even Google, the American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet related services and products has an interest in Climate Change. For the last couple of years they have hosted summits where only the brightest, or techiest, or most influential, or very wealthy have been invited. This year their guest list included Leonardo DiCaprio (who has his own climate change foundation), Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, designer Diane von Furstenberg and her husband Barry Diller (founder of the Fox Broadcasting Company), former U.S. President Barrack Obama, and England′s Prince Harry with his wife Megan Markle. In the past Google Camp has discussed such important topics as Climate Change, human rights, online privacy and politics; however, this year all attentions were suppose to be on Climate Change. The biggest stink about this summit is, all these people who were ready to give speeches on the importance of changing their daily lives for the good of the world, so their global foot print will not be so big, are all arriving on their multimillion dollar yachts and (114) private jets, not to mention the Limousines to take them to the Italian Resort. Many on social media have criticized these actions as being hypocritical—they have even gone as far as to point out the elite′s carbon footprint for this trip—which was astronomical.

As sure as there are proponents for an issue, there are usually opponents against—and Climate Change is no different. There are those who call Climate Change a fraud, a hoax, a way for the powers who desire to dictate one‐world government to take control. Regarding the Pope′s alliance with the UN, some have suggested it is Rome′s greatest scientific blunder since Galileo. Click here if you are wondering what happened between Galileo and the Roman Catholic Church. The opponents for Climate Change say the proponents are not examining real science, but, only using their own computer made models. Many reputable sources have attributed solar flares as becoming a problem, which has been scarcely reported on by the mainstream media. Check out this link for more. Solar flares could cause us to experience power outages as our power grids could fail. This has happened before. Check out this link for more.

Believe it or not, the Bible does speak about climate change and global warming. And as outrageous as eating human flesh may sound—it may be the way of the future. The Bible depicts the Tribulation as the worse time that has ever been on the earth. However, the Tribulation is not coming because man has, what some say, polluted the land. No, the Scriptures tell us God′s wrath is coming because men would not repent of the works of their hands; that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts‐ref Rev 9:20, 21. The Tribulation is coming to destroy the fat and the strong of Israel; to feed Israel with judgment‐ref Ezek 34:16; because they have forgotten the God of their salvation, and have not been mindful of the Rock of their strength‐ ref Isa 17:4‐11. The Tribulation comes to cause the Jewish people to seek Jesus and to be obedient to His voice‐ref Deut 4:29, 30.

The fact is, once the Rapture has happen (meaning the born‐again church has been removed) the climate is going to change greatly when the U.S. and Russia rush toward a nuclear exchange. Back in 2006, a study of the potential global impacts of nuclear blasts worldwide was published by, Professor Richard Turco of UCLA and Professor Alan Robock. They warned that by detonating between 50 and 100 bombs, (back in 2006 that was just 0.03% of the world′s arsenal) would be “much greater than what we′re talking about with global warming and anything that′s happened in history with regards (to) volcanic eruptions”. Besides the impact of the detonation zone, where much of the USA and Russia can be expected to be a radioactive pile of ash, the world will experience a nuclear winter. That would mean that the dust kicked up into the atmosphere by the nuclear explosion would block sunlight from reaching the Earth′s surface. A day without sun would result in a cool day. Several days without the sun, may result in a very cold environment. Also remember, all green crops will be destroyed, 1/3rd of all trees on the planet will cease to exist and 1/3rd of the waters become radioactive—not to mention that ¼ of the population of the earth will die. This is just from the nuclear exchange at the beginning of the Tribulation. During the Tribulation the people will be scorched by ultraviolet radiation from the sun, due to the ozone layer being 40% (or more) depleted by the large amounts of nitrogen oxides produced by nuclear explosions. Yes, there should be real concern about the future of this planet if you have not repented of your sins and trusted Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior. The era of the Tribulation will be a time of suffering, sickness, diseases, pain, fear, sores, and agony. The reign of the Anti‐Christ will be a time of total control over people′s lives, as they will be required to take the mark of the Antichrist in their forehead or their right hand; and if they do not, they will be unable to conduct any transactions that involved money, buying or selling—however, if they do take the mark, they sign their eternal death warrant—hell most assuredly awaits them. Are you really prepared to live like this? It is not too late to surrender your life to Jesus Christ. He loves you. He gave His life so that you could have eternal life. Please check out this link if you would like to know more about receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

Are you confused about Bible Prophecy? Check out this recently published, Tribulation In Detail message.

Sources: wordhippo.com; grabien.com; time.com; theepochtimes.com; redstate.com; howstuffworks.com; cnsnews.com; foxnews.com; cfact.org; nationalgeographic.com; vatican.va; bbc.com; newyorker.com; townhall.com; offthegridnews.com; nationalgeographic.com; theguardian.com; britannica.com.

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Will Britain Leave Without Saying Goodbye?        Week of 9/2/19

A map of the old roman empire

As you may or may not be aware, British Prime Minister, Theresa May stepped down (see our blog of 6/3/19 for reasons why); and Boris Johnson, as of July, has taken her place. It was not an easy transition. Mr. Johnson totally revised the cabinet, sacking 10, accepted resignations from 4 and (whether encouraged or not) 2 are retiring. It has been called the most brutal reshuffle in decades.

PM Johnson campaigned on the promise of Brexit by Oct 31—no excuses. And, just to make sure it will come to pass the PM has requested the Queen to suspend Parliament (she is the only one who can) and she has agreed. What does this mean? In a nutshell, no motions or questions are allowed by Parliament, and no new laws can be passed until Parliament returns to session. Currently, the suspension is expected to start around the second week of September and restart October 14 after the Queen′s speech outlining PM Johnson′s new and, in his own words, exciting agenda. This move by the PM has been criticized, derided and called unconstitutional by the opposition—even going as far as to call it, an affront to democracy. In reality, this move will not give members of Parliament enough time to pass any laws to stop PM Johnson from securing a no deal Brexit.

And what are the effects of a Brexit with no deal? Some say there will be major food shortages. Popular British headlines read, “Food shortages could hit within days of no‐deal Brexit” and “No‐Deal Brexit Will Cause Immediate and Ruinous Food Shortages, New Paper Says”. The fact is Britain′s food industry has had two years to prepare for this event. Presently, Britain produces around 60% of her food and with the UK coming to the end of its growing season the other 30% (fresh fruits, etc.) is imported. Will they have delays? Maybe. Will there be problems? Most definitely. Whenever you put new policies into motion it takes some time to work out the details. However, food may not be the only thing that may be scares.

There are rumors that medicines will be hard to get. Without trade agreements in place, medicines that come from other countries may not be as easy to get as they once were. And for some, what may be worse, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will cease to be valid. This card entitles you to state provided medical treatment if you become sick or have an accident in any EU country. Of course, there is no guarantee on how professional that medical treatment may be, or even if you have the option of choosing not to engage yourself or your family member in such treatment that you may not agree with, but what are the chances of that? Actually, there have been many, but, that is not the subject of this blog.

Let us not forget that if the UK leaves the EU, traveling will not be as easy because members of the EU enjoy border‐less crossings. Passports are not needed as you are just traveling to a different section of the EU—something like traveling from Florida to Virginia within the United States. No International Driving Permits or green cards for insurance. Yes, if the UK leaves the EU, Brits will have to get more permits.

No trade agreements not only means items do not come in, it also means British export may not go out. And, if there are no trade agreements in place with Ireland it may bring back the bad memories of the border searches in the times of the Northern Ireland conflict-nobody wants those days to return. Scroll down on this page for a brief video called, “Brexit basics-the backstop”, by the BBC. Yes, Brexit may cause many challenges for herself and the EU. The question is, will it be worth it? As demonstrated by the vote 52% of Brits believe it will be worth it. There are reports that the government is ready with plans to provide for the food shortages and there is even talk that greater trade with the United States may take place.

What does this have to do with Bible Prophecy? Most Bible Scholars believe Dan 13:1 represents the European Union (or its former name, European Economic Community or EEC) which eventually will be headed by the Anti‐Christ. The Anti‐Christ, who rises out of the water, may denote nations in unrest or turmoil. Rev 17:15 gives us a definition of waters. The waters which thou sawest...are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. Dan 13:1a‐And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast (Anti‐Christ) rise up out of the sea (waters, the EEC). Rev 13:1 is showing the revived Roman Empire, headed by the Anti‐Christ, during the Tribulation. Presently, the frame work for the EU that will go through the Tribulation is in place—however, not without her troubles. Is Great Britain part of that EU? There is evidence that England (not including Scotland) was indeed part of the Old Roman Empire (check out the map above). But, as you can see in the map, there were many countries that were part of the Old Roman Empire—the Scriptures talk about ten kings (ten countries). So what countries will be involved in the EU of the Tribulation? The EU began in 1949 as the Council of Europe. They had six members. Fast forward to 1981, Greece became the tenth member. To date the EU has 28 member states. (See our blogs from June for a three part series on the EU.)

Will the UK leave the EU at this time? That remains to be seen (and should be very interesting to watch). Certainly, as we talked about last week, Scholars are still looking for the war of Ps 83, and the fall or destruction of Damascus before our gathering together. There is one thing that is certain—we are closer today than we were last year.

Sources: pmnewsnigeria.com-New British PM Johnson sacks 10 cabinet members; pmnewsnigeria.com-Boris Johnson leads two-horse race to succeed May; npr.org; jpost.com; bbc.com; alternet.org; metro.co.uk; stackexchange.com; theguardian.com; metro.co.uk; thesun.co.uk; cnn.com; london.eater.com; bbc.com-Will the EHIC be valid after Brexit?; bbc.com-Brexit: All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU; bbc.com-UK votes to LEAVE the EU;
Ted Kresge, The Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy-The Latter Days (The Gospel Truth of Saint Petersburg, Inc. 1998), 337 section 871-874-4G-3.

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