Weekly World Watch Andy Walton’s May 30 – June 5, 2010 “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) 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 May 30 – June 5, 2010 • Governments around world condemn Israeli raid • Turkey mulls military escort for blockade-buster vessel • Netanyahu defiant over pressure on Israel • Is flotilla battle signalling start of 'Gog and Magog'? • Cumbria shooting rampage death toll reaches 12 • Gunman will have planned massacre for years To print any of the event slides that follow, click the picture on the upper right
For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. Governments around world condemn Israeli raid The Globe & Mail, May 31, 2010 Israel may have won the battle to stop an international flotilla of protesters from reaching the Gaza Strip, but the killing of at least nine of those activists, and the international reaction that followed it, has meant Israel may well lose the diplomatic war. About 15 Israeli commandos dropped from helicopters onto the deck of the Turkish-flagged ship Mavi Marmara about 4:30 a.m. Monday as the ship steamed from Cyprus, bound for Gaza. Activists on the boat alleged that the commandos fired directly on passengers, but Israeli officials say they used force only after being attacked with knives, clubs and even live fire. Regardless of what happened on the deck of the ship, the longer-term consequences for Israel could be dire. The very blockade against Gaza that Israel sought to uphold could now be undone by its own heavy-handed action. And a national policy of relentlessly confronting Hamas, the Islamic rulers of the Gaza Strip, may lose its credibility. At the very least, Israel has become more isolated than at any time in recent history, an isolation that may undermine global efforts to bring its arch-foe, Iran, to heel over its nuclear ambitions. EVENT The speed and intensity with which governments around the world have condemned Israel appear unprecedented. The condemnation has come from traditional enemies of the Jewish state, and from its closest friends like Britain, Australia, America etc. Almost overnight Israel’s standing in the world has plummeted with every nation. Of course we do not condone every Israeli action. But we can also see the irrational hatred of the Jews by the so called “peace activists”. All this is bringing every nation against Israel and Jerusalem to battle. We are one step much closer now to the end. COMMENT BIBLE QUOTE (Joel 3:1,2)
I will bring thee forth, and all thine army,… a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. Turkey mulls military escort for blockade-buster vessel Debkafile, June 3, 2010 Five planes flew out of Israel Wednesday night, June 2, carrying hundreds of foreign passengers and nine bodies from the Turkish-led flotilla Israeli commandos raided and prevented from breaking the Gaza blockade two days ago. After surrendering to Turkey's ultimatum to release all the passengers, including the seven members of Islamist terrorist groups who assaulted the Israeli boarding party, debkafile reports the Netanyahu government faced a fresh ultimatum from Ankara: Lift the Gaza blockade at once. The Turkish president has said that Israel's military raid on civilian aid ships bound for the Gaza Strip has caused "irreparable" damage to his country's relations with Israel, and will "never" be forgiven. "From now on, Turkish-Israeli ties will never be the same. This incident has left an irreparable and deep scar," Abdullah Gul said in a televised speech on Thursday, as thousands gathered in the streets of Istanbul to pay their respects to the humanitarian activists killed during the raid. EVENT The total collapse in Israeli relations with Turkey is complete. Only a few years ago Turkey was Israel’s closest Muslim ally. That relationship has now descended into open hostility. It was a Turkish ship that Israel boarded with many Turkish citizens on board, (some were members of Islamist terror groups sponsored by Turkey). The Bible speaks of Turkey invading Israel. Turkey is Togarmah. Jewish historian Flavius Josephus regarded Togarmah as the father of the Phrygians. Phrygia is right in the middle of modern Turkey. We therefore expect Turkey to be against Israel when Gog invades. Togarmah is the last country mentioned in Ezekiel 38. Perhaps it is the final country to turn against Israel before the invasion begins? We watch and wait… COMMENT BIBLE QUOTE (Ezekiel 38:6)
For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. ; Netanyahu defiant over pressure on Israel The Guardian, June 3, 2010 Israel's prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, rejected criticism of its blockade of the Gaza Strip last night, saying the measures were necessary to prevent missile attacks against Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Rejecting demands to lift the closure of the Gaza Strip amid widespread international outrage over this week's violent interception of an aid flotilla, Netanyahu said on Israeli television that easing controls would put long-range Iranian missiles into the hands of Hamas. This threatened not just Israel but Europe, he said. "Once again, Israel faces hypocrisy and a biased rush to judgment," Netanyahu said. "The international community cannot afford an Iranian port on the Mediterranean ... The same countries that are criticising us today, should know that they could be targeted tomorrow." EVENT Israel remains defiant despite all the pressure on her from every other nation. Another ship yesterday was boarded and escorted away from Gaza. Israel knows that once ships can enter Gaza unhindered Iranian weapons would begin to be delivered. It is worth reiterating the truth behind the Turkish ship that Israel boarded where 9 people were killed. The Mavi Marmara, was a ship bought and supplied by a Turkish "humanitarian relief fund" known as IHH. IHH may boast about its good works, but intelligence agencies warn that it is in fact tied to Islamist terrorists. The CIA as long ago as 1996 noted it was linked to "Iran operatives" and gave "support for extremist/terrorist activity". This is why when the Israeli soldiers landed on this ship they were stabbed, beaten with metal poles and thrown over board. Israel’s enemies have taken “crafty council” to bring to an end the nation of Israel. COMMENT BIBLE QUOTE (Psalm 83:2,3)
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book Is flotilla battle signalling start of 'Gog and Magog'? Worldnetdaily, June 4, 2010 A council of rabbis in Israel says their nation's conflict with Turkey over a flotilla of "aid" ships headed for the blockaded Gaza Strip controlled by the terrorist Hamas organization just may be the beginning of the "Gog and Magog process where the world is against us, but which ends with the third and final redemption." The announcement comes today from the Rabbinical Council of Judea and Samaria, whose statement was reported by Israel National News. The council, which was assembled by Rabbi Zalman Melamed of Beit El and is supported by religious Zionist rabbis in the regions of Samaria and Judea, included a blessing for soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces. It also suggested an emergency government be developed to lead during a time of conflict. INN explained it interprets the "Gog and Magog" reference as a "vision of a war where the world is united against Israel that will precede the final redemption of Israel and the world." EVENT There are those currently living in Israel that know that a great war prophesied by God in Ezekiel 38 is coming. The events of the last week show us clearly that this time is fast approaching and also how quickly events can change. Ezekiel 38 speaks of many nations coming against Israel. Gog heads up the forces that come against Israel. Gog was the ancient ruler of Magog. Magog is the area north of the Black Sea – Russia. Other nations including Ethiopia, Libya and Turkey are also involved in attacking Israel. The Rabbi’s rightly say that a final redemption will come at the time Israel is invaded. It will come when Christ returns and saves his people. COMMENT BIBLE QUOTE (Daniel 12:1)
And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Cumbria shooting rampage death toll reaches 12 Reuters, May 29, 2010 Twelve people were killed by a gunman who went on the rampage across Cumbria in north-west England. Taxi driver Derrick Bird shot dead a colleague in the town of Whitehaven, before driving through the countryside apparently targeting people at random. Eleven others were injured, three critically and five seriously. Mr Bird's body was found in a wooded area in Boot in the Lake District, where a shotgun and a rifle fitted with a telescopic sight were recovered. The mass shooting is the UK's worst since 1996, when Thomas Hamilton killed 16 children and their teacher in an attack at a school in Dunblane, Scotland. In 1987 gun fanatic Michael Ryan killed 16 people in Hungerford, Berkshire. The Queen said she was "deeply shocked" by the Cumbria shootings and shared the country's "grief and horror". EVENT This event has been headline news in the UK for several days. As the report says a man went on the rampage and killed 12 people and seriously injured over 20 more. What made this so terrible was the random nature of the killing. The gunman, (a middle aged tax driver) killed people for no reason whatsoever. A cyclist, a woman walking her baby, a man working in a field etc. The other element to this violence is where it was. The Lake District is one of the most beautiful parts of the UK. Little villages nestle amongst wooded hills and lakes. It shows clearly that violence is not purely in the cities. It occurs everywhere and anywhere. Jesus said that the world would be as it was in the days of Noah – the days of Noah were full of violence. This event is shocking and shows how close we are… COMMENT BIBLE QUOTE (Genesis 6:13)
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. Gunman will have planned massacre for years Daily Express, June 4, 2010 Like every other rage killer Derrick bird was a time bomb. Outwardly he was a mild mannered, 52-year-old socially awkward taxi driver. But his very ordinariness was just a disguise. In the months before the shootings the killers lives begin to spiral out of control, usually through a mixture of debt or work-related problems. As their lives disintegrate rage killers such as Bird turn to guns and at first secretly enact out their revenge fantasy. Bird’s exact motivation remains unknown but the targeted killing of his brother and solicitor Kevin Commons strongly suggests an embittered family legal dispute. In reality Derrick Bird’s failed life was no different from thousands of other frustrated, divorced middle-aged men. There is no key distinguishing factor and no way to predict those who will one day “go postal”. At some point Bird would have begun preparing for his own suicide mission by failing to pay bills and giving up on hope that he would ever be able to overcome what he saw as his life engulfing problems. EVENT We can stop and wonder in disbelief when something like this occurs. Why would anyone kill so many people randomly? The answer is possibly in the article above. A combination of helplessness, hopelessness and godlessness. Helpless as this man had increasing money issues that he could not resolve. He became desperate and could not find a solution. Hopeless as nothing in the future made life worth living. And godless as he turned to prostitutes in Thailand and fantasised on violence. Under pressure we can all act in ways we never thought we would. The Bible says our hearts are desperately wicked. What keeps us in check is God’s word, a sure hope, prayer and the knowledge Christ is coming back. COMMENT BIBLE QUOTE (Jeremiah 17:9,10)
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.