World Watch Today

The German Chancellor's control over Europe has ended

Certain European leaders are saying “NO” to Angela Merkel of Germany regarding her policy of Immigration from the Middle East and North Africa. A new pro-border consensus is budding, which includes Italy, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Poland and others states who are saying no to immigration from the world of Islam.

In Revelation 17:12 we are told that in the near future, there will be union of “ten kings [leaders] who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour [a short time] as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast” (verses 12-13). The focus of this prophecy is Europe.


Why this Middle East nation is important!

Major instability in Jordan would have consequences for the entire Middle East

06 10 2018aJordanian protesters at a demonstration outside the Prime Minister’s office in Amman

Jordan occupies a strategic location in the Middle East, wedged between Israel and Saudi Arabia. To its north and northeast lie Syria and Iraq – the region’s main trouble spots that have drawn in regional and global powers like Iran, Turkey, Russia and the United States. Jordan is now home to 660,000 Syrian refugees, nearly 7 percent of its total population.

For years, Jordan has been a fairly stable country in a volatile region. But recently we have seen a change in this pivotal Middle East country, as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets recently to protest government austerity measures. How much does it really matter that a small country like Jordan is experiencing the sort of social unrest that is normal in this chaotic region? It matters much!

Israel watching Jordan closely

Israel shares its longest border with Jordan, and a majority of Jordanians are of Palestinian origin. Jordan relies heavily on Israel for its national security, and Jordan helps Israel contain potential dangers. But Israel is exposed at the moment – Israel Defense Forces are on alert due to escalating instability in the West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights, Sinai Peninsula and Lebanon. Israel is especially uneasy that Iran will make inroads into Jordan through proxy groups.  According to Al-Jazeera, the recent protests in Jordan were led in part by a youth movement called Hirak Shababi, which Israeli intelligence accused in 2016 of being directed and funded by Hezbollah, Iran’s longtime proxy in Lebanon. The Israeli Defense Ministry does not want to see any form of Iranian proxy group take hold in Jordan.

Jordan in Prophecy

Psalm 83 foretells a confederation of Arab nations that are determined to eliminate Israel—Jordan will be involved in this cabal of nations. This prophecy will take place, but not in the next year.  It will take time, right now many Arab nations are more worried about Iran’s growing influence in the Middle East than any Israeli threat.  See the prophecy below:

“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” (Psalms 83:3-8).

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 throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Moab is the area of central Jordan. The Hagrites appears to refer to other descendants of Hagar, mother of Ishmael.  Gebal, meaning “mountain” or “boundary,” is commonly equated with 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. Philistia is the area around what is today known as the Gaza Strip. Anciently Tyre was a major city-state in southern Lebanon along the Mediterranean coast. Assyria ethnically appears to refer to inhabitants of Central Europe who migrated there many centuries ago, while geographically Assyria is in what is today northern Iraq. The children of Lot refers to Moab and Ammon—again, regions of modern-day Jordan.

06 10 2018b

●Jordan has an estimated two million Palestinians and 1.4 million Syrian refugees residing in the country. In a nation of just 9.5 million people, this represents over a third of the population.

Alongside Egypt, Jordan is one of only two Arab nations to have made peace with Israel. In 1994, Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel, ending the 46-year official state of war.

●Unlike the other Arab states in the Middle East, Jordan has no oil of its own.

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

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