November 2017

Saudi Arabia seeks to assert itself

11 17 2017

Mohammed bin Salman, the future King of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is attempting to flex its muscle. Mohammed bin Salman has increased Saudi intervention in Yemen, with bombing strikes and air, land and sea blockades. He has tried to isolate Qatar, hoping to turn it into an obedient satellite state. He has apparently forced the Lebanese prime minister to resign, attempting to destabilize the Iranian backed Shiite-dominated government in Lebanon. All these are part of a struggle to fight back against Iran’s growing regional impact.

Of note internally is the fact that the Saudis have a large youth population – at least two-thirds of all citizens are under the age of 30. Unrest is mounting in this oil-rich country. Most of the unrest is coming from the young who see government corruption and religious extremism as holding back their future. The future king, Mohammed bin Salman, has been making unparalleled moves against the religious establishment as well as the royal family itself, including imposing social reforms (women can now drive), and ordering the arrests of dozens of princes and senior officials. And let’s not forget, the young future King certainly has enemies but as of yet they have not played their hand.

What we are seeing today is that Middle East Saudi stratagem is struggling. The war in Yemen has turned into a quagmire, creating a civil war on Saudi Arabia’s border (Yemen). Yemen (rebels there who are backed by Iran) is surging with fury against the Saudi Kingdom. Qatar refuses to give into Saudi Arabia—tensions are increasing between the two nations. And Lebanon could collapse into another vicious civil war. Don’t expect things to calm down soon.

Saudi Arabia has to spend a lot of money to keep up with its proxy war against Iran—its great enemy in the region. Remember Saudi Arabia is Sunni—Iran is Shiite. These nations do not fight each other directly but instead they wage expensive proxy conflicts throughout the region. When protests began in 2011 against the Iranian-backed regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the Saudis used their oil wealth to back rebel groups that are anti-Iran. All of this costs money. The leadership in Iran believes Saudi Arabia will eventually collapse under the weight of its own internal power struggles, in the interim, the best thing Iran can do is engage Saudi Arabia in expensive and time-consuming proxy wars thus draining the Saudi treasury.

We must always keep in mind that Saudi Arabia is prophetically significant–We believe Saudi Arabia is home to the descendants of Ishmael: “He (Ishmael) 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 his brothers.”—Genesis 16:12. That description continues to play out in real time even today.

Saudi Arabia is a big player in the Middle East—we need to watch this nation and its internal challenges more closely.

Amazing facts about Germany (updated):

11 05 2017

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

●For the past 5 years Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, has be voted the world’s most powerful woman.
●Angela Merkel is considered the 3rd most powerful leader in the world by Forbes magazine; President Putin of Russia is ranked #1, President Trump of the USA is ranked #2, and Angela Merkel of Germany is ranked #3.
●German companies employ over 730,000 people in the United States. The #1 German employer in America is Siemens, employing nearly 50,000 people. Siemens is a leading supplier of systems for power generation and transmission as well as medical diagnosis equipment.
●By a wide margin, Germany is the world’s #1 exporter of cars: Cars are the world’s number one export product, besting crude petroleum revenues which have been handicapped by tumbling oil prices. Last year’s 3 largest exporters of cars in dollar value were: Germany: US$151.9 billion (21.8% of total car exports), Japan: $91.9 billion (13.2%), the United States: $53.8 billion (7.7%).
●Famous American companies that are German owned: Trader Joes (popular California food store), T-Mobile, Bayer corporation (Bayer aspirin), Allianz Life Insurance, DHL Holdings (delivery company), Random House (publisher), Daimler Group (Daimler owns or has shares in a number of car, bus, truck and motorcycle brands including Mercedes-Benz).
●Germany export more goods in dollar terms to America than to any other nation, more than it exports to China.
●Germany is the world’s No. 3 arms exporter, after the United States and Russia-(most people are amazed at this stat)-Israel and Saudi Arabia, are among Germany’s elite customers. So are Algeria, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
●The Israeli Navy presently maintains a fleet of five state-of-the-art German underwater submarines of the Dolphin Class, which can be equipped with nuclear warheads, with a sixth due for delivery this year.  Germany makes some of the world’s most advanced high-tech submarines.
●Germany is the 2nd largest financial contributor to the Catholic Church; America ranks as the #1 contributor to the Catholic church.
Germany has one of the lowest birthrates in the world. There is a scarcity of children in Germany. Over the past 20 years nearly 2000 schools were closed in Germany due to a shortage of children in the country.
●There are approximately 117,000 Jews living in Germany today, compared with 475,000 Jews living in France.
●Deutsche Bank is Germany’s biggest bank, and the second-largest bank in Europe, Deutsche Bank is not doing well. This is fact is alarming. Deutsche Bank is one of the world’s 10 largest banks in terms of total assets– the International Monetary Fund has said it’s “the most important net contributor to systemic risks” to the global financial system. So, if Deutsche Bank gets into trouble, this will shake the world financial markets
●Germany has over 400 zoos, the most in the world.
●65% of the Autobahn (highway) has no speed limit.

Note that we are watching this closelyGermany is making moves on the military front. President Trump has hinted that the United States might refuse to protect members that fail to meet the NATO defense spending target of 2 percent of GDP. On Jan. 18, Germany’s defense minister announced that Berlin would boost its military budget this year by nearly 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion) to reach 37 billion euros. Germany has vowed to continue increasing defense expenditures over the next three years. Germany is almost forced to focus more of its attention on defense.

In the not too distant future-we are told that political chaos in Europe (Revelation 17), will lead to a newly formed confederation of states that will be beastlike (terribly destructive). We believe that Germany will play the leading role in the end-time beast system.  We are also told in the book of Daniel, that God often removes and sets up leaders according to His purpose and insights: Daniel 2:21- He controls the course of world events; He removes kings and sets up other kings…thus we watch Europe with this in mind, and with intense interest!

European leaders will eventually choose one single dictator, the prophesied “beast,” –he will set up a system that will be extremely brutal (Revelation 17 verses 12 and 13).  European extremism will return to European cities.  Jesus Christ himself will destroy this end-time empire; and then Christ will establish the Kingdom of God on earth, that Kingdom will rule the nations with justice and force.  Europe is important-we will continue to watch events in Europe, and we will monitor closely political change in Germany -doing so with a differentiating eye-Steven LeBlanc

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