Weekly World Watch Andy Walton’s March 4 - 10, 2012 “If the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.” (Ezekiel 33:6, New International Version) PRESS SPACE BAR TO CONTINUE To skip the introductory slides and go straight to this weeks developments click here.
What is a Weekly World Watch? The idea is simple. It is to look at current events and compare them to events spoken of in the Bible. . I hope to build up a picture of God’s hand working in the affairs of this world. God is bringing about a day when all nations will be gathered to Jerusalem to battle. At that time God will send His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, back to this earth. Jesus will then establish God’s kingdom on earth. This kingdom will last for ever. This is our hope and the reason we watch. The following six themes will appear repeatedly in WWW: • Israel: The continuing conflict in the Middle East and focus on Jerusalem. • Europe: Its developing union, both political and religious. • Russia: Its return to anti-Western ways as Bible prophecy’s “king of the north.” • The UK and the US: Bible prophecy’s “king of the south.” • Moral standards in decline and violence on the increase. • Increasing natural disasters: including earthquake, famine etc WWW presentations in PowerPoint can be ordered as audio/visual CDs by clicking here. Move your mouse to place the cursor on the blue link and click.
BIBLE QUOTE What is in a Weekly World Watch? Each WWW looks at a few key developments that have happened during the past week. It is in no way meant to be exhaustive – just a look at those events I saw as significant from a Biblical point of view. Every WWW event slide has the following format. To reveal each block of text just left click your mouse or press the space bar. You control when it appears. News Photo This is straight from a news report that caught my eye because it looked significant from a Biblical perspective, usually that of prophecy. HEADLINE The source of the headline and the date are included. This is the reporter’s description of the event. It is always a direct quotation from the news report and reflects the understanding of the reporter and editors. EVENT This is my comment on why the event is interesting to a Bible student. The intention of the WWW is to offer brief Biblical perspectives without going into detail. If more detail is desired, please e-mail me: (firstname.lastname@example.org). COMMENT This is normally one verse which backs up why the event that has occurred is interesting from a Biblical perspective. Please read in its context. Unless stated otherwise, all quotes are from the King James Version.(Book, chapter, and verse)
This Week’s Developments March 4 - 10, 2012 • The Return of Vladimir Putin • Profile: Vladimir Putin • Russia upgrades radar station in Syria to aid Iran • Palestinians fire 92 rockets at southern Israel • US danger rating for Syrian missiles - ahead of Iran • Huge solar flare to hit Earth – with more to come To print any of the event slides that follow, click the picture on the upper right PRESS SPACE BAR TO CONTINUE
I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, “Turn back” same Hebrew as “restore” They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be until the day that I visit them, saith the LORD; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place. The Return of Vladimir Putin The Washington Post, March 6, 2012 Vladimir Putin is heading back to the Kremlin — but for the last four years it often felt like he’d never left. As prime minister, he remained Russia’s dominant political figure, his drive, sharp tongue and cocky bearing overshadowing his affable but mostly feckless successor Dmitry Medvedev. Yet although he was still effectively Russia’s leader, his return to the presidency is more significant than simply switching titles for several reasons: FOREIGN POLICY: While Medvedev appeared amenable to the Obama’s “reset” initiative, Putin takes a much dimmer view of Washington and the West in general. He could toughen Moscow’s opposition to placing U.S. missile-shield systems in Europe, firm up Russia’s resistance to international military intervention in foreign conflicts such as Syria and push for more Russian influence in former Soviet republics. EVENT Putin has been returned to power! To be accurate his election win will put him back in power on the 8th May when he will be inaugurated. As the article above points out Russia will turn back to its anti west ways under Putin. The remarkable thing is this. The Bible predicted that Gog (a Russian leader) would be restored prior to the invasion of Israel. Ezekiel 38 says “I [God] will turn thee back”. This is normally translated as “I will restore thee”, or “I will return thee”. In Jeremiah 27:22 it speaks of the Jews being taken captive into Babylon but God then says “I.. will restore them to this place.” Same word as in Ezekiel 38. Putin has been restored to his place. That of President and ruler (prince) of Magog, Meshech and Tubal - each one of these places is in modern Russia. We have surely witnessed this week fulfilment of an exact and detailed prophecy written 2500 years ago. How wonderful is that! he COMMENT BIBLE QUOTE (Ezekiel 38:3,4) (Jeremiah 27:22)
he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft [deceit] to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.. Profile: Vladimir Putin BBConline, March 5, 2012 Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin became a KGB spy after graduating from university, and served in East Germany. He enjoys a macho image, helped by election stunts like flying into Chechnya on a fighter jet in 2000 and appearing at a Russian bikers' rally after the 2011 parliamentary election date was announced. He possessed a black belt in Judo. Mr Putin's patriotic rhetoric and evident nostalgia for the USSR - he once famously called its collapse "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe" of the 20th Century - have played well with much of the public. Most analysts believed he never left power and he announced in September 2011 that he would seek re-election to the Kremlin. Early results in the March presidential vote gave him a sweeping victory, despite allegations of election fraud. Russian opposition politicians and journalists allege that Putin secretly owns a large fortune (as much as $40 billion). This would make Putin one of the richest men in the world. EVENT The Bible speaks of Gog – a man – ruler of Magog, Meshech and Tubal. All these are ancient names for areas with modern Russia. Gog means “mountain”. Someone who sees himself as great and powerful. Interesting Putin’s own name indicates this. Vladimir means “to rule with greatness” or even “master of the universe!” Putin means “the way”. We could combine to read “the way to be master of the universe / the world”. In fact Putin has used very similar words in a recent speech when he accused America of being “boss of the planet.” This is something that Putin himself aspires to. We are told that he would prosper and would be deceitful. Both of these attributes are mentioned above. Putin declares to only be worth $150,000. In fact he is worth $40,000,000,000! He has won this election through fraud and deceit. He is surely Gog. COMMENT BIBLE QUOTE (Daniel 8:24-25)
And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. The king spoken of here is Antiochus Epiphanies. We know that a latter day Antiochus will stand against Christ. Daniel 8 describes the ruler as a little horn. This is NOT the little horn of Daniel 7 Daniel 7 horn (out of Rome) = the Pope Daniel 8 horn (out of Greece) = King of the north / Gog Putin election victory: What next for Russia? BBConline, March 6, 2012 The clearest indication that in the last few months Vladimir Putin was indeed rattled by the implications of Russia's burgeoning opposition movement came on election night on Sunday. He addressed loyal supporters gathered at his open air victory party in a voice raw with emotion. Apparently moved to tears, he roared in triumph at the crowd and described the election as a battle for survival against a dangerous foe who had now been vanquished. So the question now for those watching events in Russia is, with the election over, what is the next step? Perhaps the two big test cases, and the issues where Western governments are most concerned, are the foreign policy challenges which in recent months have seen Russian vetoes at the United Nations blocking international attempts at exerting pressure - on Iran and on Syria. Of the two, Syria is probably the more urgent issue. EVENT COMMENT We know that ultimately Russia will come down and invade Israel. But there are events to take place before that happens. Those events involve Syria. The analysis by the BBC in the report above continued to say “While President Assad stays in control in Damascus, Russia will not abandon its long-time Middle Eastern ally. But what if his position weakens internally?” The article went on to say that if Assad looked like he was losing control Russia could “adjust its position”. In other words it could reduce its support for Assad. It would never sanction foreign intervention however. So the scenario could be this. Assad’s power is drained. Russia reduces support. Assad sees the game is up and launches a major offensive to stay in power and involves Israel. Damascus is destroyed. Russia is “pushed” into invading the Middle East…. BIBLE QUOTE (Daniel 8:24-25)
The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of hosts. And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean. US danger rating for Syrian missiles - ahead of Iran Debkafile, March 7, 2012 US military officials said on Wednesday, March 7, that contrary to the prevailing impression, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed not only their dispute over an attack on Iran at their White House meeting on March 5, but devoted considerable attention to the Syrian crisis, focusing on the hundreds of surface-to-surface missiles armed with chemical and biological warheads possessed by Syria. The peril of the Assad regime launching them now tops America’s chart of the threats looming over Israel and Turkey, those sources told debkafile. The US president accordingly prevailed upon his Israeli guest to hurry up and patch up relations with Turkey, which he was willing to assist, because it would take a combined US-Turkish-Israeli military effort to ward off an attack by Syria’s poisoned missiles. Indeed, if the Syrian conflict is not solved, America might be forced to turn its missile shield against Bashar Assad’s missiles before they are needed against an Iranian attack. EVENT We have been indicating for some time that the crisis in Syria could well come before the crisis with Iran. The report above says that in fact this is how the American’s see the situation with Syria in such a volatile situation that they may resort to using chemical or biological weapons against Israel or Turkey. The scriptural reasoning for thinking this may happen is as follows. We know Damascus must be destroyed. Israel is weakened at this time. We know Iran must invade Israel with Russia. Therefore it is highly probable that Syria is destroyed before the Russian invasion and therefore Iran escapes a military invasion. We watch and wait COMMENT BIBLE QUOTE (Isaiah 17:3-4)
They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: ..; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Palestinians fire 92 rockets at southern Israel Jerusalem Post, March 10, 2012 Palestinian terrorists in Gaza targeted cities, towns, and farming regions in southern Israel with waves of rockets throughout Friday and Saturday, setting off air raid sirens and injuring eight people. Ninety two rockets - Kassams and the longer-range Grads - were fired by midday Saturday at civilian regions. Of those, the Iron Dome anti-rocket system intercepted 25 projectiles heading directly into city centers in Ashdod, Beersheba and Ashkelon. Sixty seven rockets exploded in Israeli territory, most of them in open fields. The barrage came after the IAF foiled a major terror attack, killing the secretary general of the Popular Resistance Committees, Zuhair Qaisi. Eight people were injured on Friday evening. In the Eshkol Regional Council, a 40-year-old man was seriously injured from rocket shrapnel, a second man was moderately injured by shrapnel in his stomach, and a third was lightly injured. EVENT This is the worst violence in Israel for some time. Many missiles were fired and hit Beersheba, Ashkelon, Kiryat Malachi, Netivot, Ofakim, Gan Yavneh, Kfar Azza and the Eshkol and Shear Hanegev villages and kibbutzim. Lacking sufficient Iron Dome anti-missile batteries, the Israeli Air Force went into action to pinpoint the missile launchers, killing at least eight Palestinian, all members of the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad. This group took responsibility for avenging the deaths of the “Committees” chief, announcing that the “truce was dead" and they would keep up their missile offensive against Israel. We could be approaching a time when all the enemies of Israel decide to launch an offensive against them. It will include the Palestinians (Philistines) and the inhabitants of Tyre (Hezbollah). They will fail to cut Israel off from being a nation… COMMENT BIBLE QUOTE (Psalm 83:4-7)
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Huge solar flare to hit Earth – with more to come Daily Telegraph, March 3, 2012 A massive solar flare will hit Earth on Thursday bringing with it the threat of power and GPS blackouts but also improving the chance of seeing the northern lights. The burst of charged particles which has been released by the Sun and is rushing towards Earth is the biggest since August and comes as the Sun begins the most active stage of its 11-year cycle. Prior to the August flare, the Sun had not erupted with such magnitude since December 2006, before it entered a five-year period of relative calm. The cloud of particles will begin reaching Earth at about midday on Thursday and should last until Friday but could be followed by further bursts, experts said. EVENT Britain could be facing another 18 months of potentially disrupted power grids, satellites and flights during a “few rough years of space weather”, according to a leading expert. Space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock said there could be another “five or six” major incidents in the coming months, where the sun emits massive amounts of matter. Experts speculate there could be power blackouts, GPS disruption and huge disturbance to flights. Prof Alan Woodward, of the University of Surrey's computing department, said a massive flare during the Olympics this summer would have the potential to be catastrophic. He said: "As the 2012 Olympic approach we have a convergence of an event that is the most connected, computer intensive event, ever, with a record level of sunspot activity which typically leads to solar flares. Jesus said there would be signs in the sun, moon and stars before he returned. We may see much more of these literal signs in the sun the closer we get to his return… COMMENT BIBLE QUOTE (Luke 21:25-27)
Weekly World Watch The end of this week’s WWW will be e-mailed to you each week. Please forward the e-mail addresses of others who may be interested. I will include them in the list of recipients. Comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome. E-MAIL ANDY Click here (Move the mouse until the cursor appears.) To watch again, click here.