July 2012

DANGEROUS CHANGES IN THE ARAB WORLD

Steven LeBlanc

Many Europeans and news media elites in America believe that the future of the Arab world now belongs to the trendy Facebook generation kids of Tahrir Square, Tunisia and Morocco. But such wishful thinking is naïve to the extreme.

Tunisia and Morocco elected Islamist governments. Egypt has now elected an Islamist government. When Syria falls the Moslem brotherhood will most likely seize power. The Brotherhood’s Palestinian power (Hamas) now controls the Gaza strip and is a constant thorn in the side of Israel. The Nation of Jordan is now vulnerable to an Arab uprising and there is considerable unrest in the tiny Island nation of Bahrain. Saudi Arabia fears Iran, which has long wanted to overthrow the ruling Saudi family. The Middle East has changed in ways unthinkable just 3 to 4 years ago. The Moslem Brotherhood, once held in check is now the ascending power in the region.

Yes, it is true dictators have been removed from power, but this is no guarantee that more sane and rational governments will now rule in the Arab word. Most likely you will see Arab governments become more anti-American, and certainly more anti-Israel. The whole Middle East region has become more unpredictable and dangerous. Moderate Islam can quickly morph into radical Islam, the type demonstrated by the repression and extremism of Taliban Afghanistan, Islamist Sudan and the fanatical mullahs of Iran.

The true character of the Arab world includes a proclivity to fight and seek out conflict. Notice a prophecy in the Book of Genesis regarding the descendants of Ishmael: But God sent a message to Hagar, assuring her that her son would live and nations would come from him. He said to her, “I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count … You are now with child and you will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael [which means ‘God hears’] for the LORD has heard of your misery. He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all [of] his brothers” (Genesis 16:10-12).

This description of Ishmael’s descendants is very significant because many of today’s Arabs are descendants of this same Ishmael, whose father was Abraham. Muhammad, the founder and the prophet of Islam is a descendant of this Ishmael, the son of Abraham by Hagar.

The Moslem Brotherhood is growing in power in the Middle East—this fact is no small threat to Israel and American interests in the region.

THE DECEITFUL FOOD INDUSTRY

The last 100 years has produced a greater change in the way we grow and distribute food than any of the preceding millennia. So it may be difficult for many to fully appreciate the impact or modern application of some of these biblical edicts laid out for us:

“Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord, But a just weight is His delight.”
Proverbs 11:1. “Shall I acquit a man with dishonest scales, with a bag of false weights?”
Micah 6:11

Today’s regulated industry and standardized measurements may cause us to dismiss these verses as not really applicable to modern times. Human nature does not change, however. Recent documentaries exposing common practices within the industry are propelling consumers into a new age of awareness of the deception inherent in the food industry today.

Consumers are shocked t o know what manufacturers are using to enhance the appeal of a myriad of products such as orange juice, farmed salmon, bread, ice cream, candies, and even fresh fruits and vegetables. Manufacturers are using everything from the unappealing to the downright horrifying or harmful in their products and are counting on consumer ignorance; every effort for enhanced labeling of these ingredients are fought tooth and nail, in order to protect the bottom line. A quick look at recent headlines brings these Bible verses into a fresh perspective:

“Meat glue safety and labeling defended by industry”

“Something fishy? Counterfeit foods enter the U.S. market ”

“How to tell if your olive oil is the real thing”

“Chicken injected with beef waste sold in UK”

“Foods & Drinks With Propylene Glycol”

“11 Disgusting Ingredients You Eat Every Day That Food Companies Don’t Talk About”

The deception even goes beyond using deceptive or harmful ingredients in food; companies are quietly reducing packaging size, hoping that consumers won’t notice the smaller package sizes like they would a price increase. Scripture is very clear about deceit; it is no small matter to the Lord:

“Listen to this, you who rob the poor and trample down the needy!
You can’t wait for the Sabbath day to be over and the religious festivals to end
so you can get back to cheating the helpless.
You measure out grain with dishonest measures and cheat the buyer with dishonest scales.
And you mix the grain you sell with chaff swept from the floor.
Then you enslave poor people for one piece of silver or a pair of sandals.
Now the LORD has sworn this oath by his own name, the Pride of Israel:
“I will never forget the wicked things you have done!
The earth will tremble for your deeds, and everyone will mourn.”
Amos 8:4-8

Euro crisis deepens amidst concerns over Germany and the Netherlands.

Summer is Europe’s vacation period, with August traditionally being a month when it is almost impossible to get anything done. This year may be different for Europe’s politicians, however, as the euro crisis appears to have lurched downward in the past few days causing near panic amongst bankers and government officials alike. It appears inevitable that at least some politicians will be cancelling vacations in the next few weeks in order to deal with the widening crisis.

The basic problem is this: Spain, like Italy, Greece, Ireland and Portugal, is a mess. The next page in this saga was turned when it recently came to light that the Spanish and Italian sub-regions or provinces are in bad….very bad shape. Sicily’s government, for example, has had to admit that it is on the verge of insolvency. This means that in addition to the national debt, which is already crippling these countries, their governments will have to find further money to rescue the provinces. This news has led to a general market realization that Spain will likely require a direct bail out for its governmental finances from its EU partners, and possibly Italy as well, because they are unable to shoulder this burden on their own. While it has been speculated for some time that this might happen, the recent spat of bad news highlighting the depth of the crisis has caused the financial markets to raise the level of borrowing cost for Rome and Madrid, further compounding the problem.

That southern Europe is an economic disaster is nothing new since it has been covered in the news for over three years. But this week’s bad news included an announcement by Moody’s, the international credit rating agency, that Germany and the Netherlands may have their credit worthiness downgraded in the near future. The main reason for Moody’s warning is its view that the crisis in Spain and the rest of southern Europe may well cause the Germans and Dutch to absorb some of their EU partners’ debt in order to save the euro. But there is a real question as to whether these countries have the financial wherewithal to do that without pushing their own finances off a cliff. Here is a short clip from BBC News explaining the importance of the recent warning from Moody’s:

The key issue now is whether Germany will act to save Spain and Italy from the crisis, and if so, where will it find the money to do it. One thing seems for certain though, if Germany is expected to risk its own credit worthiness and economy to save its EU partners, it will certainly require deep political concessions. Continue to visit worldwatchtoday.org as we follow the political and prophetic ramifications of the euro crisis.

WWT Radio: Germany and Europe in prophecy.

Eye on Europe

Worst Drought in 55 years

Steven LeBlanc

America is in the middle of its worst drought in more than 55 years. The most recent U.S. Drought Monitor states that 80% of the nation is either in a drought or considered “abnormally dry.”

Only three droughts in the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s (1934, 1939 and 1931) and two droughts in the 1950s (1954 and 1956) were more devastating than the drought of 2012. What we have seen in the past 2 years in the Midwest—is not a slow creeping drought—what we are seeing are FLASH DROUGHTS—these are particularly vicious and dangerous droughts.

Last year at this time, around 60% of the U.S. corn crop was rated good or excellent. This year, only 26% earns those rankings. More than 1,300 counties in 26 states are being named natural-disaster areas, the biggest such declaration ever by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Iowa saw temperatures as hit 106 on Monday. That’s five degrees above the previous record and fully 20 degrees above average. Iowa is the top U.S. corn and soybean producer. America is the world’s largest exporter of corn, wheat and soy beans; global prices for those commodities are at record levels. The extended drought means we will see higher food prices at the supermarket.

In Leviticus 26, God promises “rain in due season” and that “the land shall yield her increase” (verse 4)—“if ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them” (verse 3). But when we as a people ignore God’s commandments, our leaders embrace gay marriage, and we continue to abort our children—can we expect God’s blessings?

God will often use weather as a form of punishment (Amos 4:7). “I also withheld rain from you when the harvest was still three months away. I sent rain on one town, but withheld it from another. One field had rain; another had none and dried up”. There is no question that the time of National Punishment is before us.

Israel, Iran & Rising Price of Oil

Steven LeBlanc

Israel accused Iran of orchestrating a bombing attack at a resort in Bulgaria, frequented by Israelis, that killed at least six people and injured 30 others. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would “respond with force.”

The possibility of a clash between the two Middle Eastern nations has upset the rather tranquil oil markets. Any conflict could escalate and oil could spike significantly higher.

US defense secretary Leon Panetta’s warns that if Iran seeks to block the Strait of Hormuz (17 m barrels a day of oil—a third of the internationally traded seaborne market moves through the Strait), such action would trigger an immediate response by the United States.

Daniel 11:40-45 reveals that two forces clash, eventually dragging the world into a devastating world war. We are told that the King of the South (Islamic power) pushes (attacks) the King of the North (European Beast power). This provocation is yet in the future—seeing the spike in oil prices is a reminder that oil is bound to play a major role in end-time events. Oil is the commodity that feeds the world’s economy.

Daniel 11:40-45: 40 “At the time of the end, the king of the south shall attack him, but the king of the north shall rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen, and with many ships. And he shall come into countries and shall overflow and pass through. 41 He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites. 42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 He shall become ruler of the treasures of gold and of silver, and all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and the Cushites shall follow in his train. 44 But news from the east and the north shall alarm him, and he shall go out with great fury to destroy and devote many to destruction. 45 And he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him.

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