Weekly World Watch Andy Walton’s February 10 - 16, 2019 “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: (email@example.com). Please note that these are personal thoughts and the aim is purely to stimulate Bible study. 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 February 10 - 16, 2019 • Warsaw: Middle East “Peace & Security” conference • Sunni Arabs and Israelis close ranks against Iran • Russia, Turkey and Iran hold rival conference • Iran and Israel trade threats of destruction • IDF warns Hamas likely to spark war in Gaza • Russia plans to “unplug” from the internet To print any of the event slides that follow, click the picture on the upper right PRESS SPACE BAR TO CONTINUE
For you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When people say, “peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as travail comes upon a woman with child, and there will be no escape. Warsaw: Middle East “Peace & Security” conference Al Jazeera, February 13, 2019 A United States-led two-day conference on "peace and security" in the Middle East started on Wednesday - a gathering denounced by uninvited Iran as "dead on arrival". The meeting was first announced last month by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after his strongly worded anti-Iran speech in Cairo and has been widely perceived as an effort to rally world powers behind Washington's vision against Tehran. But the conference comes at a sensitive moment as the European Union is trying to prop up JCPOA, the 2015 nuclear deal which was signed to prevent Tehran from building nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief. The US withdrew from the deal in 2018. EVENT COMMENT America put this conference together (hosted in Poland) to try to shore up its position when it withdraws from Syria in the next month or two. This meeting also represents the first attempt by the Trump administration to build a coalition against Iran. It is interesting that Poland was chosen as the venue for the “peace” conference. Poland is trying to establish a permanent US military presence to counter Russia's “regional ambitions”. Many EU nations did not attend this conference as they want to continue to trade with Iran behind the scenes and don’t accept Trump pulling out of the nuclear deal. So this conference isolated Iran AND Russia at the same time. From a Bible perspective this division is precisely detailed in Ezekiel 38 which the next slide shows. We are also fascinated by the title of the conference because when the world talks about “peace and security” sudden destruction comes… BIBLE QUOTE (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3)
Sheba, and Dedan [Sunni Muslims], and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? Sunni Arabs and Israelis close ranks against Iran The Times, February 15, 2018 Mike Pence, the US vice-president, hailed a new era for the Middle East yesterday as Israeli and Arab leaders found common cause at landmark talks staged to counter Iran. Mr Pence said that “a brighter future” awaited the region after he saw representatives of Gulf states that refuse to recognise Israel sitting down with Binyamin Netanyahu and “all breaking bread together” in Warsaw. The talks took place as the presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey met in Sochi to map out the future of Syria, the arena that the Iranian government has used to expand its political, economic and military clout across the region. The rival meetings mirrored the Sunni-Shia rift between Saudi Arabia and Iran that is cleaving not only the Middle East but the wider world into opposing camps. Arab nations at the summit were Attendees included Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Tunisia. EVENT COMMENT This is an amazing headline as it really is exactly what we would expect reading Ezekiel 38 that we quote so often. There are two opposing forces in Ezekiel 38. One force attacking Israel the other standing against that force. The attacking force is headed up by Russia and joined with Iran and Turkey, Libya and Sudan. The opposing force is Saudi Arabia, Gulf States, Britain and the US. Ezekiel 38 describes these nations by their ancient names of Sheba, Dedan, Tarshish and the young lions. It is only in recent years that we have come to understand the division in the Muslim world between Shia and Sunni. The Gulf Arab states are Sunni Muslim. Iran, Syria, Iraq are Shia Muslim. The Sunni Arabs are siding with Israel against their common foe, Iran. BIBLE QUOTE (Ezekiel 38:13)
Russia, Turkey and Iran hold rival conference Euronews, February 14, 2019 While the US-sponsored conference focusing on Iran continues in Warsaw, the notable absentees from that event are holding their own meeting today in the Russian ski resort of Sochi. Vladimir Putin is meeting Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iran's Hassan Rouhani for a rival summit to discuss the situation in Syria and the pending withdrawal of US troops there. There are significant differences between them, however. The three powers have all insisted they want a political solution to close the nearly eight-year civil war in Syria. But Moscow and Tehran both support the current Syrian government of President Bashar Assad, while Turkey and the United States back different rebel formations. Various phases of negotiation in the last few years have not produced a solution to end the fighting, which has meant over 400,000 people have been killed, millions more displaced and many historic sites destroyed. EVENT COMMENT On the very same day that America, Israel and the Gulf Arab states met in Poland, Russia held its own conference. But what a different group of nations. Russia, Iran and Turkey. The exact nations mentioned in Ezekiel 38 as joining forces to invade Israel in the future. God is showing us BEFORE it happens so very clearly that we are very close to the end. Christadelphians have spoken about this alignment for over 170 years. During that time we have surely never seen the alignment of the nations so clearly as we see them now. God knew this would happen thousands of years in advance and in his mercy decided to tell us (who are living at the very time of the end) exactly what we should be watching. Why did he do that? God did this so we have every opportunity to prepare and be ready for when his Son returns…. BIBLE QUOTE I will turn you [Gog/ Russian leader] around and put hooks in your jaws to lead you out with your whole army—your horses and charioteers in full armour and a great horde armed with shields and swords. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya will join you, too, with all their weapons. Gomer and all its armies will also join you, along with the armies of Beth-Togarmah (Ezekiel 38:4-6 NLT)
Iran and Israel trade threats of destruction Al Jazeera, February 11, 2019 EVENT Israel and Iran traded threats of mutual destruction on Monday as the Islamic Republic celebrated the 40th anniversary of its revolution. A commander from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) threatened to destroy the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa if the United States attacked Iran, state news agency IRNA reported, provoking a strongly worded response from Israel. "The US should know that we would raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground in the event of a military attack on us," General Yadollah Javani, head of the guard's political bureau, was quoted as saying. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to respond, saying later on Monday it would mark Iran's last revolution anniversary if it attacked any cities in Israel. "I don't ignore the threats from the Iranian regime, but I'm also not intimidated by them," Netanyahu said in a Hebrew-language video. "If this regime makes the terrible mistake and tries to destroy Tel Aviv or Haifa, it won't be successful and it will be the last anniversary of their revolution they will ever celebrate." The rhetoric between Israel and Iran continues to get worse as both sides edge closer to conflict. And it isn't just threats between Israel and Iran. This week US vice president Mike Pence claimed at a summit on peace and security in the Middle East that Iran is planning a “new Holocaust” to destroy Israel. “The Iranian regime openly advocates another Holocaust and seeks the means to achieve it,” he told delegates at the conference, which was co-hosted by the US and Poland in Warsaw. The Bible speaks of Iran in a number of places in relation to the time of the end. One place is in the passage below. Iran is the treacherous dealer who attacks… COMMENT BIBLE QUOTE A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease. Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travaileth: I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it. (Isaiah 21:2)
IDF warns Hamas likely to spark war in Gaza The Times of Israel, February 14, 2019 EVENT The Hamas terror group may seek to spark a war with Israel in the near future in an attempt to elicit international sympathy and an influx of international aid money to the Gaza Strip, which it controls, according to an Israeli Military Intelligence assessment released Wednesday. The Israel Defense Forces believes Hamas or the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the second largest terror group in Gaza, could attempt to draw Israel into a war by conducting an attack along the border — another anti-tank missile strike on a bus, an ambush from an as-yet-undiscovered tunnel or a similar low-level but significant attack. According to the intelligence assessment, parts of which were distributed to reporters on Wednesday, while the Israeli military sees the northern arena — Lebanon and the Iranian entrenchment in Syria — as the larger challenges facing the Jewish state, the more immediate threats come from the Gaza Strip. We may be nearing a very significant time… As Israel prepare to vote in a new general election on the 9th April there are an increasing number of reports (including from the IDF itself) that conflict could start before the election. DEBKAfile reported this week that “Iran and Hezballah have decided to inflame Israel’s northern and Gaza borders in turn in the run-up to parliamentary election on April 9. As voting days approach, they will turn the heat up for conflagrations on both borders at once.” This is exactly what Psalm 83 says will happen. An initial inner ring conflagration between Israel and surrounding peoples. It is exactly what Zechariah 12 says as well. Following this conflict (which Israel wins although is weakened) Russia then descends… COMMENT BIBLE QUOTE Don’t you hear the uproar of your enemies? Don’t you see that your arrogant enemies are rising up? They devise crafty schemes against your people; they conspire against your precious ones. “Come,” they say, “let us wipe out Israel as a nation. We will destroy the very memory of its existence.” Isn’t this exactly what we have been reading in this weeks WWW? (Psalm 83:2-4 NLT)
Russia plans to “unplug” from the internet BBC, February 15, 2018 EVENT Russia is considering whether to disconnect from the global internet briefly, as part of a test of its cyber-defenses. The test will mean data passing between Russian citizens and organisations stays inside the nation rather than being routed internationally. A draft law mandating technical changes needed to operate independently was introduced to its parliament last year. The test is expected to happen before 1 April but no exact date has been set. The draft law, called the Digital Economy National Program, requires Russia's ISPs to ensure that it can operate in the event of foreign powers acting to isolate the country online. Eventually the Russian government wants all domestic traffic to pass through these routing points. This is believed to be part of an effort to set up a mass censorship system akin to that seen in China, which tries to scrub out prohibited traffic. COMMENT Nations now require the internet in all aspects of life. Business’s and even homes now are powered by the internet. If a nation lost control of it then it would spell almost instant disaster. Russia therefore is preparing to test its ability to survive by temporarily disconnecting from the global internet. What Russia wants to do is to bring the points that handle data entering or exiting the country within its borders and under its control- so that it can then pull up the drawbridge, as it were, to external traffic if it's under threat. It can then also decide to censor what people can view (China does this already). What this is though in simple terms is Russia preparing for what it knows is coming. For what is coming is headed up by them! Russians play many moves ahead (as in chess) and therefore may already know what they will one day do. Hence the preparations now - building up the military, war games and getting the country ready. “Get ready; be prepared! Keep all the armies around you mobilized, and take command of them. A long time from now you will be called into action. In the distant future you will swoop down on the land of Israel, which will be enjoying peace after recovering from war and after its people have returned from many lands to the mountains of Israel. A long time from now = now! BIBLE QUOTE (Ezekiel 38:7 NLT)
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