World Watch Today

American Embassy now in Jerusalem

Sixty-nine years after Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital, and 25 years after the US Congress passed a law directing that Washington move its embassy there– Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared the decision as “momentous.”

Of the 28 EU countries, only four sent representatives to the ministry reception: Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania. Austrian ambassador Martin Weiss, admitting that by showing up at the event he was stepping out of line with most of the EU, said that his attendance was a sign that Austria recognizes that this is a day of joy for Israelis. He added, however, that Austria does not currently have any plans to move its embassy.

The prophet Zechariah foresaw the politically vital position and troublesome nature of Jerusalem in the end time: “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples … I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it” (Zechariah 12:2-3).
We wait to see how much of a violent reaction takes place within the Middle East as a result of the move by America—Steven LeBlanc

Iran is running into trouble

05 04 2018

Israeli soldiers in the Golan Heights concerned about Iran troop

movements in southern Syria

Iran is having a difficult year.  Recently, a suspected Israeli missile strike targeted an Iranian military base in Syria, the second such strike in April. On April 30, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered what he claims is decisive proof that Iran has violated the terms of the nuclear deal…this proof would push President Trump to change or cancel the Iran agreement. But Iran is facing defiance at home as well, most recently with strikes in Iranian Kurdistan. So now Iran must deal with a possible collapse of the nuclear agreement with the West, strikes in Syria by Israel against Iranian positions in Syria, and major unrest in the Kurdish populated regions of Iran; And of course; more demonstrations in Iranian cities due to the stagnant Iranian economy.

The Kurdish Problem

The goad for the Iranian Kurdistan protests was the closure of Iran’s borders with Iraq. Iran first shut its border with Iraq after Iraqi Kurdistan voted for independence in an election last September. When Iraqi forces were positioned to quash the mostly Kurdish province of Kirkuk, the Iranian government, foreseeing a stream of Kurdish separatists trying to enter Iran, closed the border and sent tanks, supported by artillery, to help impose the closure.

Iran’s Kurdish population includes pro-independence elements and, like Turkey, Iran is alarmed about any pan-Kurdish crusade that could bring its Kurds together with the more battle-ready Kurds in Iraq and Syria.  No one wants to see an independent Kurdish nation, not the Iranians, the Syrians, the Turks or the Iraqis.  These nations fear a Kurdish uprising in their countries.

Financial problems

Iran suffers from other problems, including high unemployment, inflation, political unrest and lack of foreign investment. Cash-strapped Iran frantically needs investment capital, which was a large part of the reason Iran agreed to curb its nuclear development program in exchange for investment from Europe.  If America and Europe cancel the Iranian nuclear deal…the Iranian economy would suffer severely…foreign investment and hard currency inflows into the country would shrink considerably. Another problem is Iran is spending large amounts of money on foreign involvements in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, this means it is spending less at home on social welfare programs.  The average Iranian family is finding it harder to make ends meet, there is growing unrest in the country because of the anemic economy.

Possible war with Israel

There is a growing threat of direct confrontation between Iran and Israel; this would cost Iran a lot of money—they cannot afford a war with Israel, but it may happen.  Israel hasn’t taken responsibility for the latest missile strike on an Iranian base in Syria, but it is the most likely contender. I repeat– a costly war with Israel would severely strain Iran’s finances and gamble yet another round of mass demonstrations.

The greater a footing Iran establishes in Syria, the greater the threat it poses to Israel. For now, Israel is content to attack Iranian weapons convoys intended for Hezbollah (Iranian proxy in Lebanon) from the sky. The more Iranian targets it hits, though, the more it backs Iran into a corner—so a war between Israel and Iranian proxy Hezbollah may break out within the next 12 months.

So wars and rumors of war continue to come out of the Middle East (Matthew 24:6). We will wait and see if Iran will confront Israel.

North Korean Crisis update

Fears of a U.S. operation to oust the regime in Pyongyang have been North Korea’s greatest fear since the Korean War. But what is more difficult to discern is the relationship between China and North Korea. The leaders of the two nations engaged in a surprise meeting that shocked the world.

When the North Korea crisis began, there was a broadly believed, flawed theory that China was as alarmed by North Korea’s behavior as the United States was; it was hoped that China could serve as a origin of pressure on Kim Jong Un. The reality is the Chinese were quite satisfied to see North Korea handcuff America. If the U.S. attacked, America would be seen as an aggressor and would be blamed for a horrific war. If the U.S. refused to attack, it could be portrayed as tired and unable to stand up to North Korea. Either outcome would benefit China, showcasing a U.S that is tired or impulsive.

The North Koreans were aware that the Chinese regarded North Korea as dispensable. Their relationship with China has always been shaped by the Korean War, in which China did not get involved until its own borders were vulnerable. Even had China wished to be an honest negotiator between America and North Korea, history makes China questionable in North Korea’s eyes. China does not trust or like North Korea and the North Korean leadership knows this.

North Korea’s recent strategy is to drive a wedge between the U.S. and South Korea, which it has done. You see, South Korea does not want a war with the North. If war were to break out, South Korea would see millions of casualties. So the North is appearing to be more reasonable in its treatment of the South, hoping the South will distance itself from the threats of the Trump administration, and it knows South Korea absolutely fears war.

China would definitely like to see defense relations between the U.S. and South Korea damaged, as much as North Korea would. China wants to see U.S influence in Asia weakened. For this, China may attempt to seduce South Korea by making special rules for the access of South Korean goods to China possible thus reducing America’s influence over South Korea. There are many layers to this Asian crisis, and the outcome is unpredictable in the extreme.

What will happen next? North Korea must improve its relationship with China. If the North is ready to scale down its nuclear program, it will demand some kind of security guarantee in exchange, apparently with China influencing President Trump. If the North is simply looking for sanctions relief, weakening Chinese enforcement of sanctions is the goal. If the North has no intention of making substantive concessions in Kim’s meeting with Trump, war becomes all the more likely – again this would cause the Chinese to try to slow down the Americans. This is all very complicated and filled with maneuvering and subterfuge. No one in the West seems to really know what is going on between China and North Korea.
Over the next two months Kim Jong Un is set to meet at the bargaining table with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, U.S. President Donald Trump and possibly even Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe – despite having no actual experience with face-to-face diplomacy.

So difficult to know the outcome of these important meetings…they will be fascinating to watch.
Bible prophecies have long foretold the rise of an end-time Asiatic superpower capable of producing a huge army that will ultimately fight against a European beast power stationed in Jerusalem (Daniel 11:44; Revelation 9:13-17). Most likely North Korea will be part of the 200- million- man army that makes its way across the Euphrates river as it advances to Jerusalem (Revelation 9:16). That is yet to take place in the future, soon before Christ’s return.
—Steven LeBlanc

Who is the 2nd Beast of Revelation 13?

Revelation 13: 11 Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. 12 It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.13 And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people.

03 16 2018

National bestseller HITLER’S POPE describes the Catholic Church relationship with

Adolf Hitler

A deceitful false Christian leader—A “Catholic” despot will soon emerge; this man will sway millions with his stunning miracles.

The Bible reveals that this end-time revival of the Roman Empire will combine the power of a dominant church with the political machinery of the state—the “woman” (symbol of a religious leader) will ride the beast (symbol of the state—see Daniel 7:8, 20-21; Revelation 17: 1-6).

European history makes it clear that the Catholic Church, allied with European kings down through the years, made it possible for ambitious kings to unify large areas under the banner of what could then be termed the Holy Roman Empire. Revelation 17:1-2 says the great harlot (false church) involved herself with secular politics: “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication…”. God describes this “unholy” alliance between church and state as an act of spiritual fornication. God hates the “harlot” with her poisonous doctrines and destructive politicking.

The Apostle John, in the Book of Revelation, revealed just how influential the Catholic Church would become down through the centuries. An angel had explained to John that “the waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues (languages)” (17:15). No other Church in history has exercised so much power! This fallen woman who “sits on seven hills” (17:9) is the great false church whose headquarters is in Rome, Italy today. For over 2000 years Rome has been known as the “city on seven hills”. The Catholic Encyclopedia states: “It is within the city of Rome, called the city of seven hills, that the entire area of Vatican State proper is now connected” (The Catholic Encyclopedia “Rome” Thomas Nelson, 1976).

A study of history asserts that after Rome’s collapse in A.D. 476, her “deadly wound” was later healed. Europe once again became dominant in the world. History tells us that six of the seven kings or leaders of the prophesied revivals of the Roman Empire, in cooperation with the Roman church, did come to power in Europe. Below you will see the historical fulfillment of prophecy regarding the Pope-King, Church-State relationship. We await the seventh and final revival of the Holy Roman Empire. The six revivals thus far are:

● In 554 A.D. Emperor Justinian restored the Roman Empire and proclaimed himself the agent of God, the emperor of the resurrected Holy Roman Empire; he acknowledged the supremacy of the Pope. This was the first restoration of the Roman Empire in Europe.

● In the year 800 A.D. Charlemagne, a zealous Roman Catholic of Germanic heritage, was crowned by Pope Leo III as Emperor of the Romans. This was the second revival of the Holy Roman Empire. During his reign of forty-six years Charlemagne undertook fifty-two military campaigns. He brought much of western and central Europe under his power. Charlemagne’s empire encompassed today’s modern territories of Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Hungary, part of Spain, and most of Italy.

● The alliance between the Papacy and Germany was to play out again and again in European history. In 962, the new emperor of the German nation, Otto the Great, revived the European Empire (the first German Reich) and was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope John XII. Once again Germany became the pivot point of Europe. This Reich (Empire) became known as the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation – the third revival.

● Charles the V’s Catholic Hapsburg Empire dominated Europe and other parts of the world, including Spanish America in the early 1500s. This was the fourth of the “seven mountains on which the woman sits The fourth of the seven revivals of the Holy Roman Empire saw the Catholic Church playing a major role. Remember, a mountain is a symbol of nations or an empire (Revelation 17:9).

● One of history’s most prominent dictators was France’s Napoleon Bonaparte, who was to lead the fifth revival of the Roman Empire in Europe. In 1804 Napoleon crowned himself emperor of France, and later that year at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris Pope Pius II crowned Napoleon as the leader of the Holy Roman Empire of Europe.

● After Napoleon came the sixth and most destructive revival of the Roman Empire – the Hitler/Mussolini axis. What happened in Germany from 1933 to 1945 gives us the most recent example of Catholic compliance with secular power:

The Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (the future Pope Pius XII; 1939-58) and Germany’s Vice Chancellor, Franz von Papen, formally signed a concordat between the Holy See and the German Reich on July 20, 1933. Hitler interpreted the concordat to mean that he had won the church’s approval, thereby gaining international approval of his Nazi regime.

So why did the Catholic Church sign the agreement? The Church feared Hitler and sought to protect itself against the Nazi party in Germany. In turn Hitler gave the Catholic Church a degree of freedom to run its schools and programs without Nazi interference.

The Vatican has been highly criticized for its failure to speak out against Hitler during his reign of terror. Israel to this day is angry with Vatican officials for wanting to make Pope Pius XII a saint.

Six Kings have fallen. We now watch for prophecy to be fulfilled of the rise of a seventh king who will lead European super state. Allied with this seventh king will be ten other leaders or rulers who will “receive authority for one hour (symbolic of a short time) as kings with the beast” and “give their power and authority to the beast” (Revelation 17:12- 13). Notice the time frame of these final events in verse 14 of Revelation 17: “These (the Beast and the ten allied rulers or leaders) will make war with the Lamb (Jesus Christ), and the Lamb will overcome them…

This coming false prophet, will emerge to billions of human beings to be a dynamic, charismatic leader representing Jesus Christ. But his message will be that of Satan the Devil. This magnetic false church leader will perform “great signs” and even make fire come down from heaven! This coming religious leader, scriptures says, he will be worshipped by his followers.

This entire religious system he leads—the “mystery of lawlessness” —which teaches against, and distorts the laws of God—even breaking the laws of God. He uses pagan imagery in his worship services, claiming pagan imagery to be Christian—the Catholic Church and its daughter churches is filled with all types of pagan imagery and ritual. This end-time false Christian leader will attack God’s Church—those who keep the commandments of God, which includes those who keep the Sabbath, and those who refuse to accept any of the symbols or rituals of the Church of Rome. Notice how God defines His Church at the time of the end:

Revelation 14:12Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

Commandment keeping is important to God!  We watch closely the Vatican, and we will be very interested to see who will be the next in line to replace Pope Francis.

The North Korean surprise

There was a stunning development this past week that took the world by surprise!

In a striking announcement March 8th, South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui Yong proclaimed that U.S. President Donald Trump has accepted an invitation to meet with Kim Jong Un of North Korea as early as May. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the president would meet with Kim at a place and time to be determined, adding that America looks forward to a denuclearized North Korea.

This swift announcement follows a breakthrough meeting between South Korean officials and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that took place a few days ago. North Korea asserted that it will refrain from further nuclear or missile tests, and offered a conciliatory outreach by noting that he understands routine U.S.-South Korea military exercises must continue. This statement was truly shocking. Also of note, the U.S. president said in a tweet that sanctions would remain in place until an agreement is reached.

Why is North Korea bending? North Korea is under heavy sanctions pressure; its foreign currency reserves are quickly depleting. It is also attempting to relay a message to South Korea that it is reasonable and does not want a nuclear war with South Korea.

The announcement is an encouraging sign for China. Beijing’s uppermost priority is to calm the quarrel and discourage the United States from resorting to military action to blunt Pyongyang’s saber-rattling. Chinese leaders clearly grasp its limited ability to rein in North Korea, and they know they have little power to influence President Trump.

The March 8 announcement worries Japan. A sudden shift in the U.S. position will put Japan in a difficult place—as it fears North Korea and does not trust at all Kim Jong Un. How much Russia will be involved in all of this is yet to be seen.

There are still many weeks and many meetings before any Kim-Trump meeting would take place. Much can happen before now and then. At times such as these I always think of this passage about the spirit world interfering in world affairs. This is worth reading yet again—a very important passage:

When watching nations and geopolitical trends ALWAYS keep in mind that the spirt world is at work, toiling behind the scenes; often demons are motivating and influencing world leaders to make certain decisions. The North Korea story 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 a perceptive vision from the throne of God, revealing 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 and Leaders [types of false prophets] to prevail upon tyrants to make rash decisions. With this background; I cannot help but to consider that demon spirits will be involved, provoking and influencing the leader of North Korea.

Bible prophecies have long foretold the rise of an end-time Asiatic superpower capable of producing a huge army that will ultimately fight against a European beast power stationed in Jerusalem (Daniel 11:44; Revelation 9:13-17). Most likely North Korea will be part of the 200- million- man army that makes its way across the Euphrates river as it advances to Jerusalem (Revelation 9:16). That is yet to take place in the future, soon before Christ’s return.

Will President Trump actually be able to “de-nuke” North Korea? Hard to believe that will happen. We watch the whole situation with Daniel 2:21 in mind–God controls the course of world events; He removes kings and sets up other kings…thus we watch the Korean crisis with intense interest.

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