World Watch Today

Why Turkey is Important

Steven LeBlanc

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Following a major suicide bombing in the border town of Suruc (in Turkey) a couple weeks ago, Turkey has officially joined the war against ISIS—though it is not clear exactly what Turkeys’ motives are by attacking ISIS… will Turkey use the excuse of fighting against ISIS as a tool to also bomb Kurdish positions close to ISIS positions? Remember, the Kurds and Turks have a hostile relationship that goes back years.

For months Turkey avoided direct participation in the fight against the Islamic State, limiting its role largely to supporting certain Syrian rebel factions. The reality behind this strategy was in fact an unofficial truce with the Islamic State under which Turkey turned a blind eye to Islamic State activities in Turkey– as long as the militants did not attack Turks within its borders. What this means is that Turkey allowed the Islamic State to sell oil and move personnel across the Turkish border back and forth into Syria. But now Turkey is turning its attention against ISIS, perhaps because it wants to influence America as it believes Iran and the western powers may come to an agreement on how to divide up Syria. They want to prove to America (whom they now wish to accommodate), that they are anti-ISIS. This change in positioning would help them to secure a “piece” of Syria should it be partitioned.

Turkey is also seeking to contain Kurdish ambitions for autonomy, and to ensure its dominance over Syrian armed opposition groups. It gets complicated, I know; the Middle East is layered with an almost endless assortment of factions, tribal strife, wars, power struggles and strange alliances (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Israel have an unspoken agreement to thwart Shiite Iranian ambitions in the Middle East). These nations will work together to hurt Iran.

Why is Turkey Important?

Turkey is one of the most geographically strategic countries in the world—a potentially lethal bridge between continents. İstanbul is the only city in the world that connects two continents. The city, which is located in both Asia and Europe, has been the capital city for many civilizations for thousands of years throughout its history.

Turkey has been called the World’s Island, a central meeting point of three continents – Asia, Europe and Africa via the Mediterranean and over centuries was used as the passage way for invaders both going from West to East and from East to West.

To its south you find Syria, Iraq and Iran; on its east lays Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan—former Russian satellite nations. To the West Turkey borders Greece and Bulgaria—European Union nations. It connects to the Mediterranean, Black and Aegean seas, and overlooks the all-important Bosporus and Dardanelles sea gates, linking Central Asia to the Mediterranean. In a world swayed by energy needs, its nexus location translates into a crucial energy transit hub for Europe, Iran and Russia.

Turkey is a Sunni nation of 78 million and boasts the 2nd most powerful army in the Middle East with 410,500 active frontline personnel, 3657 tanks and 989 aircraft.

Turkey views the Middle East as its sphere of influence and will not brook any country, whether Iran or Saudi Arabia, encroaching on its ambitions. Turkey, like Iran, is seeking to dominate the region. It is hostile toward the Kurds and does not trust the Iranians, who are Shiite. Turkey’s relationship with Iran is not hostile, but it is guarded. Turkey is somewhat dependent on Iran for its energy needs. Importing 26 percent of its oil from Iran in 2014 and is one of the biggest markets for Iranian natural gas.

As far as the United States is concerned, it does not want any one power to become too dominant. So America lukewarmly supports Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, and is attempting to diminish tensions with Iran, all in the hopes of creating a balance of power in the Middle East where one nation cannot exercise too much power thus extending its influence over others.

Psalm 83 contains a compelling prophecy of many Middle Eastern nations which includes Turkey—this prophecy we believe, will be fulfilled yet in the future. These Arab tribes will seek to destroy Israel:

“They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, ‘Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.’ For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You: The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them; they have helped the children of Lot” (verses 3-8).

These biblical names are significant. Edom includes the Palestinians and some of the Turks. The Ishmaelites, descendants of Ishmael, are many of the Arab peoples which would include Saudi Arabia and various tribal groups throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Moab is the area of central Jordan. The Hagrites appears to be other descendants of Hagar, mother of Ishmael.

Gebal, meaning “mountain” or “boundary,” may be a reference to the Phoenician city of Byblos, modern Jubayl in Lebanon. Ammon refers to northern Jordan around Amman, the capital (which gets its name from Ammon). Amalek appears to refer to a branch of Edomite Palestinians found in Israel, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey. Philistia is the area around what is known as the Gaza Strip. The children of Lot refers to Moab and Ammon—regions of modern-day Jordan.

Turkey is stirring; it will be interesting to see if in the future it takes on a more prominent position in Middle East politics asserting itself in regional power plays.

Moving Parts!

Steven LeBlanc

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US Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

The world has many moving parts. Here is what I have been watching lately (and a few observations):

Iran: The Iran deal will inject Iran, with an estimated $150 billion within the next 18 months. Iran can use many of these billions-plus in funds, and send some of that money to either Syria, Hamas or Hezbollah. Hezbollah (enemy of Israel) receives one billion dollars per year from Iran, that figure will grow significantly. Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt fear Iran. Prime minister Netanyahu said on NBC News’ “ Meet the Press”—“A Middle East crisscrossed with nuclear trip wires is a nightmare for the world”… “I think this deal is a dream deal for Iran, and it’s a nightmare deal for the world.”

“A lot of the Gulf countries feel they are being thrown under the bus,” said Mishaal al-Gergawi, managing director of the Delma Institute in Abu Dhabi and a prominent Emirati political commentator. “The Gulf thought it was in a monogamous relationship with the West, and now it realizes it’s being cheated on because the U.S. was in an open relationship with it.”

China: is experiencing a panic, a rapid deceleration in economic activity is causing both private and foreign capital to exit the country—is this a temporary panic or a longer-term angst that will cause a severe correction in world stock markets? The belief is that the Chinese economy is slowing—causing a plunge in commodity prices (iron ore, palladium, oil and gold). If the Chinese economy is slowing this impacts America companies who sell goods in China, hurting profits.

World Banks: printing massive amounts of money: Japan, China, and Europe are printing, and printing, and printing a lot of money. In doing this– these nations are devaluing their currencies. This has helped the dollar go higher and the Euro to fall by 30%.

Cracks in the European Union: The Greek crisis is causing division in Europe. Germany is being perceived by some, as a bit of a bully as it is the force to reckon with when dealing with European problems. The following is from Stratfor.com:

More recently, the economic crisis weakened the French economy and, as a result, France’s political influence. Meanwhile, it enhanced Germany’s role as the main decision-maker in Europe. France is still the main military force in continental Europe and has been particularly active abroad in recent years, as exemplified by its interventions in Northern and Central Africa. But Paris is concerned about its weakened political influence in EU affairs. Today, many of the most important decisions in Europe are made in Brussels, Berlin and Frankfurt.

These changing dynamics were clear during the Eurogroup negotiations on the Greek crisis. Berlin won the backing of fellow Central and Northern European nations, including the Netherlands, Finland, Slovakia and the Baltic states, most of which are part of Germany’s supply chain and all of which have strong trade ties with the Germans. But for historical reasons, Germany is a reluctant hegemon.

European Unemployment continues to cause stress in Europe. Germany has survived the recession quite well, but other nations, including France, are struggling, this is causing resentment between Eurozone member states:

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And of course there is Russia, but that subject will have to wait for a future blog.

Always keep in mind that watching world news and reading prophecies from the Bible, should encourage repentance, and drawing closer to God. We are not in the prediction business. Prophecy should lead to a sense of personal urgency and deep personal change:

“Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house … Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning—lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13:33-37).

“Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man”—Luke 21:36.

Agreement with Iran, and lying spirits

Steven LeBlanc

Prime Minister Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama presented two very different views of the future following the announcement of a nuclear deal with Iran.

The President is optimistic; Israelis are devastated that their closet ally (America) has been so easily “fooled” by the Iranians. The Obama administration expects the Iran deal to usher in an era of enhanced stability in the Middle East. Netanyahu warns that, “Israel is not bound by this deal with Iran because Iran continues to seek our destruction. We will always defend ourselves.”

One Saudi diplomat described the accord, which offers a gradual lifting of international sanctions in return for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program, as “extremely dangerous.” One of the Saudi princes said: “Iran is already a disruptive player in various nations throughout the Arab world, whether it’s Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, or Bahrain,” –and America is backing down in the Middle East yet again—It is showing a weak and tired hand—Iran will move in to fill the vacuum left by America’s timidity and fatigue.

There is very little interest on the part of the United States to engage in a military confrontation in the Persian Gulf—all players in the Middle East see this. The Obama administration wants America to have a smaller footprint in the Middle East—The Iran deal does just that.

With the collapse of Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and America leaving the Middle East—there are now major pockets of chaos expanding throughout the region. Washington’s policies have left a vacuum, Muslim visionaries and fanatics—from Sunni jihadists to militant Shiites—have filled the void THAT AMERICA HAS LEFT —all with the vision of grabbing power as they seek to control millions of people. Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s brutal Islamic State caliphate is now taking on the Iranian mullahs, who themselves want to re-establish a “greater Iran.” The Iran agreement will only escalate the chaos that is resurgent in the Middle East.

Netanyahu stated, “In the coming decade, the deal will reward Iran, the terrorist regime in Tehran, with hundreds of billions of dollars. This cash bonanza will fuel Iran’s terrorism worldwide. The deal means: Iran will receive roughly $100 billion in frozen assets overseas immediately after adoption of a Security Council JCPOA resolution.

In Israel, one of the world’s most chaotic democracies, politicians rarely agree on anything. Michael Oren, former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. writes, “which is why their reaction to the nuclear arms deal with Iran is definitely unique. For the first time in living memory, virtually all Israelis – left, right, religious, secular, Arabs, Jews – are together calling the deal disastrous.”

Will Congress approve this agreement? As Charles Krauthammer writes, Whatever Congress ultimately does, it won’t matter because the legal underpinning for the entire international sanctions regime against Iran will have been dismantled at the Security Council. Ten years of painstakingly constructed international sanctions will vanish overnight, irretrievably. Even if Congress rejects the agreement, do you think the Europeans, the Chinese or the Russians will reinstate sanctions? The result: The United States is left isolated while the rest of the world does thriving business with Iran.

The agreement with Iran seems to me so very naïve. It reminds me of the lying spirit that swayed King Ahab as recorded in 1 Kings 22. In 1 Kings 22 we are told of a council of war between the kings of Israel and Judah. Treacherous King Ahab and the good Jewish King Jehoshaphat were planning war against Syria to regain land that Israel had lost. At the council God’s prophet Micaiah was brought before the two kings, he revealed an insightful vision from the throne of God and how the world of angels and demons can sway world leaders.

Micaiah viewed God sitting on His throne and the spiritual host of heaven around Him. “Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, and said, ‘I will persuade him [Ahab].’ The LORD said to him, ‘In what way?’ So he said, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets’” (verses 21-22). God was allowing Ahab to be persuaded by his advisors (influenced by a lying spirit) to engage in a battle that would lead to Ahab’s death.

The lesson for us is that at times lying demonic spirits work through government advisors [types of false prophets] to prevail upon leaders to make foolish decisions. The Bible tells us there is a parallel world where demons seek to confuse and influence world leaders. With this in mind I cannot help but to wonder if demon spirits were involved in the sequence of discussions that lead to the agreement with Iran. I think so.

America desperately wicked

Steven LeBlanc

When I first heard that the Supreme court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, the scripture that came to mind is, “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked”—Jeremiah 17:9. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the redefinition of marriage seals the end of America—It is not an exaggeration to say America’s fate is sealed. Only God can define marriage. The decision of the five Supreme Court justices who favor same-sex marriage was an act of utter arrogance and rebellion against God’s designed order.

Isaiah 1:10 casts our leaders today as leaders of “Sodom”. Sodom is a word that expresses moral depravity, complacency and hatred of God’s standards and definition of good and evil. Many of our politicians, media elites and even some church leaders approve of a lifestyle that totally abandons the instruction that came from God.

It is no surprise to see the Supreme Court put their stamp of approval on marriage between two men or two women. A nation that legalizes abortion and attaches no shame to “living together” relationships, out-of-wedlock births and yawns at a divorce rate that is the highest in the world is not about to suddenly stand up and say no to the evil of same-sex marriage.

Not all of the justices agreed with the decision: “These justices know [those who favor same sex marriage],” dissenting Justice Scalia said, “they know that an institution [marriage] as old as government itself, and accepted by every nation in history until 15 years ago, [same-sex marriage] cannot possibly be supported by anything other than ignorance or bigotry.”
Justice Samuel Alito added, “as far as I’m aware, until the end of the 20th century, there was never a nation or a culture that recognized marriage between two people of the same sex.” There was not any society, prior to the Netherlands in 2001, that permitted same¬-sex marriage.

When Emperor Nero temporarily legalized same-sex marriage, Roman citizens opposed his foolishness. The Roman historian, Tacitus, claims that when Nero “went through a formal wedding ceremony with one of the perverts named Pythagorus”, the act inflamed general public anger toward Nero and eventually led to his forced suicide (Annals 15.37). In the 1960s, society was pressured to accept all kinds of immoral sexual relationships between men and women. Now the pressure is to accept, as healthy, the perversion of homosexual relationships and same-sex marriage.

Marriage is not to be defined by man. The definition of marriage is God’s prerogative only, “God created man in His image; in the Divine image he created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them, saying: ‘Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.’” (Gen. 1:28-29). Jesus Christ defines marriage as only between a man and a woman: “From the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother; and shall cleave to his wife.” (Mark 10:6-7). Genesis plainly teaches how God punished Sodom and Gomorrah for the sin of homosexuality: “The Lord rained down sulphurous fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah. He overthrew those cities and the whole Plain, together with the inhabitants of the cities and the produce of the soil.” (Gen. 19:24-25).

What is most outrageous is that same-sex “marriage” ignores a child’s best interests. And same-sex “marriage” serves to endorse the whole homosexual lifestyle in all its bisexual and transgender forms. Jeremiah 5:9 speaks of God’s anger when seeing our nation’s quick embrace of sexual sin, Should I not punish them for this?” declares the LORD. “Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?

Europe's Future Tyrant

06 16 2015

Democracy in Europe is a fragile thing. Eventually, in the not too distant future, we will see a tyrant come to power in Europe and democratic Europe will give way to a dictatorship. At first this man will appear reasonable and appealing, but soon after garnering support from other European leaders he will pursue an expansionist agenda. His dictatorship will encompass much of Europe; in a blitzkrieg like strike he will move troops into the Middle East fighting against and subduing a Middle East leader labeled as the King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43).

Satan uses tyrants, dictators, and evil men to massacre millions. Below is a brief list of tyrants who have killed massive numbers of men, women and children [taken from the Daily Mail website]. A future European dictator will be responsible for the deaths of multiple millions as well—but for now notice the death toll at the hands of history’s tyrants:

1 MAO ZEDONG
China (1949-76) Regime Communist Victims 60 million
China’s so-called ‘Great Helmsman’ was in fact the greatest mass murderer in history. Most of his victims were his fellow Chinese, murdered as ‘landlords’ after the communist takeover, starved in his misnamed ‘Great Leap Forward’ of 1958-61, or killed and tortured in labour camps in the Cultural Revolution of the Sixties. Mao’s rule, with its economic mismanagement and continual political upheavals, also spelled poverty for most of China’s untold millions. The country embraced capitalism long after his death.

2 JOSEPH STALIN
Soviet Union (1929-53) Regime Communist Victims 40 million
Lenin’s paranoid successor was the runner-up to Mao in the mass-murder stakes. Stalin imposed a deliberate famine on Ukraine, killed millions of the wealthier peasants – or ‘kulaks’ – as he forced them off their land, and purged his own party, shooting thousands and sending millions more to work as slaves and perish in the Gulag.

3 ADOLF HITLER
Germany (1933-45) Regime Nazi dictatorship Victims 30 million
The horror of Adolf Hitler’s dictatorship lies in the uniqueness of his most notorious crime, the Holocaust, which stands alone in the annals of inhuman cruelty. It was carried out under the cover of World War II, a conflict Hitler pursued with the goal of obtaining ‘Lebensraum’. The war ended up costing millions of lives, leaving Europe devastated and his Third Reich in ruins.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2091670/Hitler-Stalin-The-murderous-regimes-world.html#ixzz3d0ePvTTw

Historian Michael Rank says Genghis Khan and his descendants triggered 40 million deaths during the period of the Mongol invasions which took place in the 13th century, making him one of the deadliest dictators in history. However, with only one-seventh of the world population in the 13th century as there is now, that figure would equal 350 million today, which is more than half the population of Europe. Furthermore, the Lushan Rebellion in eight-century China killed 36 million. This figure equals approximately over 500 million today. Rank, see History’s Worst Dictators: A Short Guide to the Most Brutal Rulers, From Emperor Nero to Ivan the Terrible (Kindle Locations 805-809).

The future reveals another “Hitler” type figure will dominate Europe. Notice in Revelation 13 the subject of the Beast transitions from speaking of the revived Roman Empire [European power] as a “beast” to speaking of the political and military dictator of that empire as being the “beast” (verses 4-8). This dictator is also referred to in Revelation 17:12-13. Many people call him the future Antichrist. The Bible calls him the “Beast”—dictator.

Here are some details the Bible tell us concerning this despot based upon previous figures of history—especially mirroring Antiochus Epiphanies of ancient Syria who persecuted the Jews.

He may come from a German speaking nation (Isaiah 10:5-11).
He will understand mysterious/sinister things (Daniel 8:23).
He will pull the world into world war (Daniel 8:24).
He will be deceitful and break a treaty (Daniel 11:23-24).
He will make changes, impacting God’s appointed days of worship (Daniel 7:25; 11:37-38).
He will rise up unexpectedly (Daniel 8:23-24; 11:21-24).
He will be considered to be a man bringing peace (Daniel 8:25; 11:21-24).
He will come to an agreement with the Catholic Church. (Revelation 13:3-4; 17:1-11).
He will establish himself in Jerusalem near the beginning of his reign (Daniel 11:31; Luke 21:24).
He will be the leader of the resurrected Holy Roman Empire (Revelation 13:3,12).
He will help spread a counterfeit Christianity around the world (Revelation 13:3-17).
He will attack the English peoples, including the USA (Daniel 11:39; Ezekiel 5:1-4).
He will be against to those that keep the Sabbath (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 12:17; Revelation 13:16-17).

The world will prosper under his system for a short time (Daniel 11:39; Revelation 18:9-19).
He will attack Muslims [King of the South], and move troops into Israel– (Daniel 11:40-43).
Christ will kill him near Jerusalem (Revelation 19:19-20).

Who is this European leader—we do not know, but we are watching European politics closely. We must not rush to a conclusion when watching Europe and its politicians…but neither should we be asleep to what is happening on the Continent. I continue to read the European papers and have recently returned from a European trip. More later, in a future Blog, pertaining to this end-time dictator.

–Steven LeBlanc

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