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The Vatican’s Historic Opposition to the Jewish State- Bible in the News Video Post

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Enmity Between Vatican and Jerusalem
A Tale of Two Cities – the reasons for the implacable enmity of the Vatican for Israel exposed

June 9, 2018 – Audio, 19.63 MIN
(Links at bottom of page to download free viewers.)
Catholic publications expose the notable absence of the Vatican from the opening ceremonies of the American Embassy in Jerusalem. The differences between the Vatican’s outlook on the move and Evangelical Christians is notable and rooted in a deeply different religious belief in the kingdom of God.

The age-old struggle between the Vatican and Jerusalem came to light over the past few weeks. Editorials and articles began to highlight the completely different positions of the Vatican to the Evangelical Christian community when it came to Jerusalem and Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu with his wife Sarah,
Trump’s daughter Ivanka and Jered Kushner at
opening of US Embassy in Jerusalem.

It was the Catholic publication Crux under the headline “Why Vatican won’t be joining U.S. on Jerusalem’s Embassy Row” that stated the following:

“Among several controversial aspects of Monday’s transfer of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem was the presence at the dedication ceremony of two high-profile American Evangelical pastors: John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel, and Robert Jeffress, a Dallas-based Southern Baptist and major Trump supporter.

In contrast to this the article point out the absence of any Catholic presence:

Notably, however, there were no Catholic dignitaries on Monday’s line-up – no American Catholic leaders, no members of the local Christian community in the Holy Land, and certainly not Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, the pope’s ambassador to Israel, whose embassy remains firmly ensconced in Tel Aviv. No Catholic gave a blessing, and no prominent Catholic figure was heard endorsing the move.

The article also pointed out not only where the no Catholic officials present, but the Pope was amongst the first world leaders to speak out against the embassy move when it was announced in December, when he stated:

“I wish to make a heartfelt appeal to ensure that everyone is committed to respecting the status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.” 

The Vatican’s Historic Opposition to the Jewish State:

Herzl’s appeals to Pope Pius X for support for
a Jewish homeland were rejected,

The Vatican has long opposed a Jewish state, let alone the capital in Jerusalem. In 1904 Theodore Herzl sought the Pope’s support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. He received the following reply from Pius X on January 10, 1904:

We cannot prevent the Jews from going to Jerusalem – but we could never sanction it. The ground of Jerusalem, if it were not always sacred, has been sanctified by the life of Jesus Christ. As the head of the Church, I cannot answer you otherwise. The Jews have not recognized Our Lord; therefore, we cannot recognize the Jewish people.

Why would the Catholic Church be hostile to the downtrodden Jewish people in their struggle for a homeland and in their quest to move their capital to Jerusalem? It was the writer Avro Manhattan that answers this in his 1982 book the Vatican Washington Moscow Alliance where he stated:

The Vatican could not and would not tolerate the establishment of an Israel which claimed messianic privileges, or rather, messianic uniqueness and which, therefore, would compete with the Roman Catholic Church as the Centre of a future spiritual kingdom….

The spectre of the creation of such a theocracy has haunted the inner chambers of the Catholic Church from her earliest inception, and is still a dominant fear.  Hence her equivocal role in world affairs surrounding the birth and existence of the State of Israel.  Such a State was defined as a territorial entity erected upon racial and religious tenets….. (The Vatican Moscow Washington Alliance, Avro Manhattan, c1982.)

The Vatican fears a resurgent Jewish state because the Jews were God’s chosen people, and it erroneously views itself as the replacement of the Jews in God’s purpose. Jeremiah clearly states that the covenant God made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David and their seed would end:

Thus saith the Lord; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.” (Jeremiah 33:25–26) 

Avro Manhattan exposed
the Vatican’s hostility to Israel

The Vatican fears this. It sees Israel as competition to its self-appointed role as God’s voice on earth. Manhattan went on to state:

In Vatican eyes… the millenarian yearning for a global Hebrew theocracy represents a deadly threat to the eschatological teachings of the Catholic Church.  When translated into concrete political terms, such a view spells not only rivalry, but implacable enmity.  (The Vatican Moscow Washington Alliance, Avro Manhattan, c1982.) 

The enmity Manhattan talks about has been in existence from the beginning of time. It was in the garden of Eden that God pointed out a hostility that would exist between the kingdom of men and the kingdom of God when the angels said to the serpent:

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) 

The Church sees itself as the Kingdom of God on earth. In fact, the very word Christendom means Christ’s Kingdom. It was article 763 of the Catechism of the Church, penned by John Paul II, that it was stated:

To fulfill the Father’s will Christ ushered in the Kingdom of heaven on earth. The Church “is the reign of Christ already present in mystery.”

Chaim Weizmann exposed
the Vatican’s interference
to Israel’s existence

Believing herself to be the “kingdom of God” any entity that might contest for the title is bitterly opposed.
The current opposition of the Vatican to the capital of Israel being in Jerusalem is nothing new. Chaim Weizmann discussed Catholic interference back to the Jewish state back in the 1920’s:

“The Catholics have been chiefly responsible for uniting the Muslims and the Christians against us, because what the Vatican really wishes to have is something which amounts to power in Palestine, and it has been using various Catholic members of the League, such as Spain, Brazil, Italy, Belgium and France, in order to achieve its object, and this is really the inner meaning of its attacks against us.” (During discussions with
the League of Nations on the future of Palestine 1922).

The Vatican’s denial of Israel as God’s people

The fact is the Bible repeatedly speaks of the return of the Jews to the land of Israel as being God’s work – a message that has been reiterated by the Whitehouse repeatedly over the last year. Isaiah clearly states:

And it shall come to pass in that day, That the Lord shall set his hand again the second time To recover the remnant of his people, Which shall be left, from Assyria, And from Egypt, and from Pathros, And from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, And from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, And shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth.” (Isaiah 11:11–12) 

The history of the fulfillment of this is document by historian Martin Gilbert in his book From the Ends of the Earth.
Yet the Church remains defiantly in denial. In 1948 when the state of Israel was proclaimed, the Vatican stated:

“Modern Israel is not the true heir of Biblical Israel, but a secular state….
The Holy Land and its sacred sites belong to Christianity, the True Israel.” (Vatican Newspaper L’Osservatore Roman May 14, 1948). 

Archbishop Bustros

At the more recent Synod on the Middle East held at the Vatican in 2010, the head of the Synod Commission, Archbishop Cyrille Bustros stated:

“The Holy Scriptures cannot be used to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians,
to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands… For Christians, one can no longer talk of the land promised to the Jewish people. This promise was nullified by Christ. There is no longer a favoured people, a chosen people;
all men and women of every country have become the chosen people…

Statements from leading Catholic official make clear their stand:

“We do not believe anymore that the Jews are the Chosen People.” -Archbishop of Israel, Elias Chacour

“Do not believe their claim that they are God’s chosen people, because it is not true.” – Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III

“Israel has nothing to do with the Bible.” -Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal

These statements are reminiscent of another enemy of Israel, Adolf Hitler who said of the Jews:

“We are God’s people…
there cannot
 be two chosen peoples.”

So the differences between the Whitehouse and the Vatican on the issue of Israel and Jerusalem are not just political – they are deeply religious.

An international city?

The concept of Jerusalem being a city with international status was also raised again. The previously mentioned Crux article went on to recall:

“…a Vatican diplomat speaking before the United Nations reiterated the Holy See’s long-standing position that Jerusalem is in a unique diplomatic category. Monsignor Simon Kassas, Chargé d’Affaires of the Vatican’s mission to the United Nations, said the Vatican believes Jerusalem needs an “internationally guaranteed” special status, in order to ensure freedom of religion for the city’s inhabitants, “as well as secure, free and unhindered access to the Holy Places by the faithful of all religions and nationalities.”

Pope Pius XII “Hitler’s Pope”

The UN partition plan is often referenced in this discussion. However, what is often neglected to be mentioned is that this was the Vatican’s idea. In 1949 Pope Pius XII (Hiter’s Pope), had stated:

“We have already insisted in Our Encyclical letter In Multi- plic-ibus, that the time has come when Jerusalem and its vicinity, where the previous memorials of the Life and Death of the Divine Redeemer are preserved, should be accorded and legally guaranteed an “international” status, which in the present circumstances seems to offer the best and most satisfactory protection for these sacred monuments.” (Pope Pius XII leter to Bishops:
Redemptoris Nostri Crucitatus, April, 1949)

The same Catholic article in Crux highlighted the interference of the Church in political affairs in the middle east:

Over the years, the Catholic bishops of the Middle East have typically been strongly pro-Palestinian. Most have not gone as far as Greek Melkite Archbishop Hilarion Capucci, who was arrested in 1974 and later convicted by an Israeli court for smuggling guns to the PLO in the trunk of his Mercedes sedan, but many sympathized with Capucci’s aims.

The Vatican wants control of Jerusalem for itself. Eventually, it will launch another crusade to wrestle it from Jewish hands which will be momentarily successful:

And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.” (Daniel 11:45) 

However it will ultimately fail when he does “come to his end”.

Therefore, America’s move of its embassy to Jerusalem is a direct threat to the Vatican as it legitimizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in the eyes of the world.

There is no doubt that Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s government, because God stated it:

The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; He will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. If thy children will keep my covenant And my testimony that I shall teach them, Their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore. For the Lord hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: Here will I dwell; for I have desired it.” (Psalm 132:11–14) 

While the current government of Israel is by no means what God has in mind for Israel, Jerusalem is the place he has chosen as its capital.

Vatican: The Great Harlot

Robert Jefress referred to the Vatican
as “The Great Whore of Babylon”

The division over Jerusalem is clear. Those who support it tend to be bible fundamentalists such as “American Evangelical pastors: John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel, and Robert Jeffress, a Dallas-based Southern Baptist”. The publication Crux went on to state of Jeffress:

For the record, Jeffress also once suggested the Catholic Church represents “the genius of Satan,” and Hagee over the years has referred ambiguously to Catholicism as the “Great Whore of Babylon.”

This is most interesting because it is a reference to the Catholic Church as the “Harlot of Revelation” mentioned in Revelation 17. This has long been the protestant view of Catholicism, based on identification of the scriptures. We read in Revelation 17:

Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” (Revelation 17:1–2) 

This woman has a name:

And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” (Revelation 17:5) 

She is a political player who is involved with the political rulers of the world:

And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:18) 

The Vatican certainly fulfills this role. No other religion has a voice in the United Nations like the Vatican does. No other religious leader has the kings and rulers of the earth lined up for audiences. She has been a persecutor of believers:

And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” (Revelation 17:6) 

The Vatican is guilty of this charge with its history during the various inquisitions.  She is a city geographical situated on 7 hills:

And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” (Revelation 17:9) 

The Vatican is situated in Rome, which has been identified as the city of 7 hills since the dawn of history.
So it was fascinating to see a Catholic publication highlight the fact that protestant Bible believers identify her with this harlot system or Revelation.

Europe – Under Vatican Influence when it comes to Jerusalem

What was equally as fascinating was to see the how a Catholic paper identified the influence the Vatican has played in shaping the European view of Israel and Jerusalem. The same article in Crux stated of the UN resolution:

Vatican diplomats at the time (1948)  played a key role in having that language inserted, counting on the support of the “Catholic countries” of Europe. Jerusalem was envisioned as a corpus separatum, a place apart, though that plan was never implemented on the ground. The Vatican has softened its stance over the years, looking for vaguer “international guarantees,” but still sees the UN resolutions as the de jure starting point.

The fact that the Catholic Church exercised its influence over the “kings of the earth” when it came to this fundamental issue is quite significant. Indeed,

“…the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” (Revelation 17:2) 

Archbishop Justin Welby:
“EU is the greatest dream realized since
fall of the Western Roman Empire”

What was also significant this week was the controversy caused by one of Rome’s harlot daughters, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who made a very political statement about the European Union:

The EU has been the greatest dream realised for human beings since the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It has brought peace, prosperity, compassion for the poor and weak, purpose for the aspirational and hope for all its people.

The connection between the European Union and the Roman Empire is profound. In prophetic terms, the Christian Roman Empire and its successor the Holy Roman Empire are the Beast of the Sea and the Beast of the Earth in Revelation 13.  The European Union is the beast that is directed by the great harlot in Revelation 17:

He carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.” (Revelation 17:3) 

The horns of the beast are identified with the nations who voluntarily come together – giving up their sovereignty to the beast:

And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.” (Revelation 17:12–13) 

Britain is in the throws of a messy divorce from this great system, as is required by scripture, even if her politicians would like it to be different. The EU is the successor of the Roman Empire, the feet of Nebuchadnezzar’s image, and the beast which the Vatican harlot has and will control. This system, championed by the Vatican will challenge the Lord Jesus Christ for control of Jerusalem and the world when he returns:

These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Revelation 17:14) 

So this week has been an exciting week, reminding us of the hand of God at work in the nations. Reminding us that we live on the knife edge of the kingdom. God has been at work restoring Israel to the land. Restoring Jerusalem to the Jews – 51 years ago this week during the 6 Day war. The nations will rise up in protest, and even beat their plowshares into swords… but the Lord will be victorious, and Jerusalem will be the centre of world worship once again when all nations will go up to Jerusalem to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…. Whether the world likes it, or not.

For the Bible in the News, this has been Jonathan Bowen joining you.

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Israel’s Next 70 Years Will Shake the World Bible in the News Video Post

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Israel’s Next 70 Years Will Shake the World.
As Israel celebrates its 70th Anniversary the Bible clearly shows what the next 70 years will bring – and it is going to shake the world.

April 21, 2018 – Audio, 20.00 MIN
(Links at bottom of page to download free viewers.)

As the tiny nation of Israel celebrates its 70th birthday, Bible prophecy figures heavily into the events that have taken place. These same prophecies also give us a clear indication of what Israel’s next 70 years will bring… and this will shake the world to its foundations!

This past week the Bible was in the News once again as Israel celebrated its 70th Birthday.

No nation under heaven has had more reason to celebrate. The Jewish people have survived millennia of diaspora. They have survived persecution from pagans, Christians, and Muslim nations. The arose out of the ashes of the holocaust, the pogroms of Russia and the persecution in Islamic countries to become a nation once again. This is a direct fulfillment of the words of Jeremiah:

“Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; Neither be dismayed, O Israel: For, lo, I will save thee from afar, And thy seed from the land of their captivity; And Jacob shall return, And shall be in rest, and be quiet, And none shall make him afraid. For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: Though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, Yet will I not make a full end of thee: But I will correct thee in measure, And will not leave thee altogether unpunished.” (Jeremiah 30:10–11)

Israel celebrated 70 years this week, a feat that is the direct result of the Bible.

Over the last 70 years Israel’s population has increased. A consensus take n in May of 1948 put Israel’s population at 600,000. It has exploded to almost 9 million with about 75% being Jews. Over 600,000 live in the West Bank. This population explosion is again prophesied in the Bible:

“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, That I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah With the seed of man, and with the seed of beast. And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, To pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, And to destroy, and to afflict; So will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 31:27–28)

The time to pluck up and pull down is over, and the time to plant and build has come.

Israel reflects on the pioneers turning a desert back farmland.

The 70th year celebrations featured a display of the reclamation of the barren land from deserts and swamps to the agricultural miracle we see today. This is also a direct fulfillment of Bible prophecy:

“And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, And they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; And they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; They shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, And they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, Saith the LORD thy God.” (Amos 9:14–15)

Again, the prophet Jeremiah records:

“For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.” (Jeremiah 24:6)

Israel economy has also been blossoming.  It rose from $2.5 billion in 1960, to approximately $387.4 billion in 2017.  Its economic growth was ahead of the USA, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Australia, France, Germany, and Russia in 2016, according to theGlobalEconomy.com. Considering that Israel is only 70 years old, and yet is ahead of nations who have been in existence for centuries, and some for millennia, it is again miraculous. Once again, this is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy, where Ezekiel describes:

“… the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.” (Ezekiel 38:12)

While Israel may celebrate the pioneers and the personalities who worked so hard to achieve the current status they enjoy, the reality is this is a miracle, and the work of God’s hands:

 “…They shall inherit the land for ever, The branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.” (Isaiah 60:21)

The growth expansion of Israel into the West Bank and Jerusalem in 1967 has been a bone of contention with many since that time. The war itself was a miracle, fought in 6 days, with Israel resting on the 7th, and saw the biblical heartland of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria back in Jewish hands. This was also a fulfillment of the prophets, when God stated:

“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, When I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem…” (Joel 3:1)

As with most nations celebrating an anniversary like this, it is customary, not just to look at achievements of the past, but also to the future.  Now, with Israel this is much easier to do. Most nations have plans and aspirations. Israel has destiny, a destiny not chosen by itself but by the creator of heaven and earth. Let us consider what is in store for Israel in during the next few decades, standing on the shoulders of what has been accomplished and looking to the future.

These will be the headlines of next few decades:

Russia, Iran and Europe to be decimated in Israel

The recent missile attacks on Syria by France, Britain and the United States have provoked the Russian bear. The whole world is bracing for a response. Israel’s attack on the Iranian base has spawned a flurry of headlines regarding Iran’s threats to Israel. However, while the media speculates on the present situation, the Bible is clear about future events. Russia with a conglomeration of European nations, Iran and others will invade Israel as is described in Ezekiel 38, which we have discussed many times on the Bible in the News.

Now, let us not be confused about this. This attack, will only be momentarily successful. Russia, Iran and the nations who join it will make their way to Jerusalem, where they be destroyed as the Bible clearly predicts:

“And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.” (Daniel 11:45)

Israel’s military forces figured heavily in their 70th Year Celebrations

While the IDF has figured heavily in Israel’s history, and featured in their 70th year celebrations, this will not be one of their accomplishments. When these nations, along with the Vatican move against Israel, and the miraculous work God has been performing with them, they will be fighting against him, and ultimately against his Messiah:

 “…he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.” (Daniel 8:25)

Their destruction will be the work of Almighty God himself:

“And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 38:21–23)

Whereas they came to institute Catholic worship in Jerusalem, on the temple mount, “planting the tabernacles of his palace… in the holy mountain” they will be obliterated, and a new age will begin for Israel and the world.

Restoration of the Monarchy

The future of Israel will be an exciting one. It will not be ruled by politicians through the Knesset, rather the Davidic monarchy will be restored to this city. Yes, it was God who used the Babylonians to remove the monarchy from Judah in the reign of the wicked King Zedekiah:

“And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.” (Ezekiel 21:25–27)

In the very moment that God decreed the removal of Judah’s monarchy, he also predicted its return “when he came whose right it is” that he “would give it him”.

This is in keeping with the promise that was originally to David, when he stated of David’s future son:

“He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son… And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.” (2 Samuel 7:13-16)

This is reiterated by Jeremiah of the future age:

“In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.” (Jeremiah 33:15)

If there was any notion of Israel’s Monarchy being removed forever, it is quickly dissipated later in this same chapter of Jeremiah:

“Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers.” (Jeremiah 33:20–21)

And again, some might argue that Christianity replaced Israel in God’s purpose, but the prophets beg to differ:

“Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the LORD hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them.

Rather, God reiterates his resolve on the matter:

Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.” (Jeremiah 33:24–26)

So it will be, that the monarch will be restored to Jerusalem as the second Psalm clearly establishes:

“Yet have I set my king Upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; This day have I begotten thee.” (Psalm 2:6–7)

Jerusalem will be the capital, and the fallen down ruins of the palace of David will be rebuilt:

“In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, And close up the breaches thereof; And I will raise up his ruins, And I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, Which are called by my name, Saith the LORD that doeth this.” (Amos 9:11–12)

So clearly, the monarch will be restored to the nation of Israel, to Judah and to David’s house in Jerusalem. This will surely put the cat amongst the pigeons at the United Nations and in the Council of Europe. But rage as much as they want, God will laugh at them.

Israel Annexes the Sinai, the Gaza Strip, the West bank, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria

Now never mind America moving its embassy to Jerusalem next month and the controversy that has sparked. Future territorial expansion is also part of Israel’s destiny. This is what we just read in Amos… “he is going to poses the remnant of Edom, and of all the nations.” Edom existed in the area of modern day Jordan. It was the Jordanians who used to control the West bank. But, never mind the West bank, either.  That is a given, Israel’s growth will go far beyond that. The Psalm continues:

“Ask of me, And I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, And the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” (Psalm 2:6–7)

You see, Israel’s return to the land is a fulfillment of prophecy. It has happened just as the prophets under divine inspiration predicted. But there is more. This is all founded upon the promises that were made to Abraham when the nation was established millennia ago. Now, God always keeps his promises. Here is what he said:

“In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:” (Genesis 15:18)

Now that pretty much takes in the area of the Sinai, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, the northern part of Saudi Arabia, half of Iraq and Syria.

If you think the debate over Israel’s annexation of the Westbank has been stormy, you haven’t seen anything yet. Not to worry though… that’s just the immediate area to be conquered by Israel’s monarchy.

Israel Establishes World Empire

The fact is, Israel’s empire is eventually going to be world-wide. This is not something that is politically correct to talk about, but fortunately, by then Israel will not be a democracy where this is up for debate, and the parliament will be paralyzed by different interest groups. Instead, as we have seen, a theocracy ruled by God’s Messiah will be established. Once in place, it will assert its control over all nations.

Here is what the prophet Daniel describes when the kingdoms of men fall, and the Kingdom of Israel is depicted as a little stone that breaks the pride of man, and his empires spanning from the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar, the Medes and Persians under Cyrus and Darius, the Greeks under Alexander the Great and the Romans… and their latter day successors today:

“Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image (representing Man’s kingdom’s) upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” (Daniel 2:34–35)

What does Daniel mean by this… well, he tells us in the interpretation of the dream:

“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” (Daniel 2:44–45)

So a world empire is going to begin in Jerusalem, and eventually envelope the entire planet. This may seem far fetched, but then so was the idea of the Jews, a people scatter and broken over thousands of years returning to their land and rebuilding a nation.

Dome of the Rock Removed Temple Built in Jerusalem.

One of promises that was intertwined with the everlasting monarchy was the fact that a temple would be built in Jerusalem. This was first promised to David:

“He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” (2 Samuel 7:13)

Now, contrary to Palestinian assertions, Solomon built a house for God in Jerusalem, which archaeology clearly attests to. Although destroyed by the Babylonians, it was rebuilt during the times of the Jewish governors Zerubbabel and Nehemiah, when Joshua was high priest, Ezra was scribe, and the prophets Zechariah, Haggai, and Malachi were active. It was later embellished by Herod the Great, but destroyed in AD70 by the Romans led by Titus.

The Romans built a temple to Jupiter under the emperor Hadrian around AD130 on the site of the Temple. Jerusalem passed from pagan Roman hands to Christian Roman hands, and was wrestled from them by the Muslims who built the Dome of the Rock in 691 AD during the Umayyad Caliphet. This has remained there ever since.

The Russians are destined to remove it when they come in a crusade, (which is destined for disaster), to re-establish Christian rule as we mentioned earlier:

“And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.” (Daniel 11:45)

Once the Russian’s and their hordes are destroyed, the third temple will be built, and will form the center of world religion, replacing the Vatican and Catholicism, or Mecca for the Muslims, as Isaiah prophecies:

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, That the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; And he will teach us of his ways, And we will walk in his paths: For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:2–3)

The priesthood is also to be re-established by Messiah:

“But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: And he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, As in the days of old, and as in former years.” (Malachi 3:2–4)

Rather than be a catalyst for world war, this will bring about the end of wars and a time of peace the earth has never before witnessed, when Messiah asserts his rule over the nations and calms the raging waves of the sea:

“And he shall judge among the nations, And shall rebuke many people: And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruninghooks: Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:4)

Israel’s 70th Birthday has been something wonderful to celebrate as it has been God’s doing, to regather his people, plant them in his land, multiply them, and make them prosperous once again, and restore Jerusalem.

However, the next few decades will be the most exciting – when God continues Israel’s restoration: it’s deliverance from the threat of the nations, when God re-establishment of the Davidic Monarchy, when the Messiah, the son of David rebuilds the temple as a center of world worship, and when God’s kingdom covers the world bringing in an era of real world peace.

The time has come when God has turned his face to favour Zion, and it is during this time that he will send the Messiah:

“Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: For the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come. For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, And favour the dust thereof. So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, And all the kings of the earth thy glory. When the LORD shall build up Zion, He shall appear in his glory.” (Psalm 102:13–16)

These are exciting times. During the past 70 year we have witnessed the prophets who have written down the words of God in the scriptures proven to be true.  Now we wait, with great anticipation, to see the completion of the rest of their story.

For the Bible in the News, this has been Jonathan Bowen joining you.

For more audio like this and to visit the back catalogue visit http://www.bibleinthenews.com/Podcasts

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*WOW! Russia’s new weapons!* – The nations are preparing for War – Bible in the News Video Post

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Preparing for war – Russia’s new weapons
The nations are preparing for the great conflict of the latter days

May 27, 2018 – Audio, 12.17 MIN
(Links at bottom of page to download free viewers.)
Hello and welcome to another Bible in the news. This week we review Russia’s scary new weapons which will be ready for use in the next two years. The nations are indeed preparing for the great conflict of the latter days as we would expect from Bible prophecy. This is Matt Davies joining you.

A 3000 year old prophecy

In the Bible, in the book of Joel chapter 3, we read of a remarkable prophecy of our time. We know this because in the first verse, God, through the prophet declares:

“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem…” Joel 3:1

It is thought that Joel was written around 900 years before Christ. We have seen God’s hand at work fulfilling this prophecy in recent years, 3000 years later. The Jewish people, who despite being scattered from their homeland by the Romans nearly 2000 years ago, retained their cultural identity and in recent times have been regathered to their land. They declared the independence of the state of Israel in 1948, 60 years ago. They obtained control of Jerusalem after the ‘Six Day’ war in 1967.

Joel chapter 3 is a prophecy for our days then – in the time when God has indeed brought again the captivity of the people of Judah and Jerusalem back from their wandering.

The next verse explains Gods intention for this regathered people:

“I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat (God’s judgment), and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” Joel 3:2

So God is going to bring the nations against Israel. This seems counterproductive. Why would God restore Israel in order to then bring the nations against them? The answer is in the verse. He will “plead with them” for His people and His heritage, Israel.

The people of Israel are set to become the center of an international controversy. They will be attacked by the nations but then God will act in defense of His people.

The grand point to this is recorded later in the chapter:

“The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.” Joel 3:16-17

These things then that have been revealed to any who wish to understand the Creators purpose. He will use this coming conflict in order that people will know Him. Clearly this indicates that Israel do not currently know Him. In that day the world will know Him and He will dwell in Jerusalem which will become the capital city of the Kingdom of God on earth. At this time Jesus and His faithful followers will be “kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth”. (Rev 5:10)

This is ultimately where the world is heading and this is God’s great purpose.

Prepare war

It is interesting to consider that in the middle of the prophecy of Joel chapter 3 we read:
“Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.” Joel 3:9-10

So we can expect, after the regathering of the people of Israel, a preparation for war that involves resources being spent on developing weaponry.

In the companion prophecy of Ezekiel 38, we read of the principal nations involved in the coming conflict. The main leader of the attack, we are told, is God who is the prince of Rosh. Rosh is an ancient name for the people of the Rus, who we now call the Russians.

We would expect therefore to see them leading the way in the preparation for war in the latter days.

Bible in the News

Avangard – Russia’s hypersonic weapon
Credit: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

This week in the news we have once again read of Russias preparations for war.

CNBC reported on the 24th May that “Russia quietly conducted the world’s longest surface-to-air missile test”. The report stated that:

“Russia quietly conducted the world’s longest surface-to-air missile test, according to sources with direct knowledge of U.S. intelligence concerning the weapons program. The S-500 surface-to-air missile system successfully struck a target 299 miles away, which the U.S. assessed is 50 miles further than any known test, said the sources, who spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity… The latest revelation comes one week after CNBC learned that multiple U.S. intelligence reports assess that Russia will be capable of fielding a hypersonic glide vehicle called Avangard, a weapon that no country can defend against, by 2020. The hypersonic weapon is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, is designed to sit atop an intercontinental ballistic missile. Once launched, it uses aerodynamic forces to sail on top of the atmosphere.”

Sarmat missile prototype arriving for testing on a train.
Credit Russian government / RussiaSpaceWeb.com

The Avangard hypersonic weapon is supposed to move at 20 times the speed of sound – so fast that it would be impossible to stop. It can carry nuclear warheads and according to reports, there is no known defense against it.

On the 19th of May Russia Today ran an article entitled “New ICBM in 2020, hypersonic glider in 2019: Putin outlines nuclear deployment plans.” ICBM stands for ‘intercontinental ballistic missile’. In the report it stated:
“The Sarmat is Russia’s future silo-based intercontinental ballistic missile, which will replace the ageing Voyevoda ICBMs. The new weapon is said to have extended range, which allows such missiles to reach US territory from the south, where they cannot be stopped by anti-ballistic interceptors deployed in Alaska. The Avangard is a nuclear warhead, which can glide through the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds that make it virtually impossible to intercept with modern and near-future technologies. The Sarmat is expected to carry Avangard gliders. Both weapon systems were showcased by Putin in March during a key policy speech. He said they and several other weapons currently in development in Russia make American ABM systems incapable of reducing Russian nuclear deterrence in the foreseeable future. He said this means that Washington’s decades-old effort to tip the strategic balance with Russia in America’s favor has failed.”

The new Sarmat missile has been nicknamed “Satan 2”. These new weapons which have been in this weeks news are two of six which Putin had announced back on March 1st in his “state-of-nation address.”

Putin’s state of the nation address from March 1st 2018
Source: New York Times   Credit: Maxim Shipenkov/European Pressphoto Agency


Other weapons he boasted of were a nuclear-armed underwater drone, hypersonic cruise missiles and lasers and a nuclear-powered cruise missile with unlimited range. ITV ran a report on the speech and entitled it “
‘You listen to us now’: Putin boasts of Russia’s new ‘invulnerable’ nuclear weapons.”

We can indeed see the signs of the ramping up of efforts to be ready for war with Russia leading the world now with its superior weaponry.

The Coming Kingdom

In Joel we read of the preparation for war and that men would “Beat their plowshares into swords, and their pruninghooks into spears.” In a complete reversal of the prophecy of the preparation to war we read of the following in Micah which speaks of the aftermath of the conflict:

“And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any moreBut they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it”. Micah 4:3-4

What a time to look forward to. A time of peace and of righteousness in the coming Kingdom of God. As we see the signs of the coming conflict unwittingly being set in motion by the powers of men, let us never forget that it is God, the creator of the heavens and the earth who is in control of these things and who has a purpose which He will fulfil.

Therefore we watch and wait for Christ’s return knowing that it is our lot to wait patiently as God calls out of the Gentiles a people for His name (Act 15:14) who will be part of that coming Kingdom.

In the Psalms we read these words:

“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” Psalm 37:7

This has been Matt Davies. Join us again next week God willing for another Bible in the News.

For more audio like this and to visit the back catalogue visit http://www.bibleinthenews.com/Podcasts

If you wish to make a comment a about anything you have seen or read on this page – Good or Bad, Please use the form below

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Bible Truth and Prophecy, – Welcome to our site run by the Christadelphians Worldwide to help promote the understanding of God’s Word to those who are seeking the Truth about the Human condition and Gods plan and Purpose with the Earth and Mankind upon it.

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What have ye to do with me, coasts of Palestine? The Palestinian: Great March of Return Bible in the News Video Post

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The Palestinian “Great March of Return”
What have ye to do with me, coasts of Palestine?

April 28, 2018 – Audio, 10.51 MIN
(Links at bottom of page to download free viewers.)

This week has seen further clashes along the Gaza strip between the Palestinians and Israel. We review this in the light of Bible prophecy and consider how accurate the prophets of old have been in describing the current tensions in the region.

Welcome to Bible in the News. This is Matt Davies joining you.

Clashes on the Gazan border

For the last five Fridays Palestinians have gathered to the fences marking the border with Israel and attempted to march into Israel. They have burnt tyres, thrown stones and other weapons. Photos released by the IDF show Gazan protesters attempting to dismantle the fence.

Palestinians clash with Israeli troops along the Gaza boarder
Source: The Independant

The protest is supposed to last up until May 15th which was the day that Israel declared itself an independent state in 1948, 70 years ago. The Palestinians call this – Nakba Day, the day of the catastrophe. The protest has been labeled the “Great March of Return” and the demand is that so-called Palestinian “refugees” and their descendants be allowed to return to what is now Israel.

The protests have been organised by independent activists but have also been endorsed and supported by Hamas, the terrorist organisation which rules the Gaza strip.

Haaretz ran a report on the 28th April entitled: “Gaza Protests: ‘Three Killed, 174 Wounded’ as Palestinians March on Border for Fifth Week.” The report stated:

“Three Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli security forces Friday as thousands participated in the “March of Return” along the Israel-Gaza border for the fifth week in a row, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. At least 174 Palestinians were wounded by live fire, said the ministry….
According to the IDF, hundreds of Palestinians rushed the border in central Gaza near the Karni Crossing. Several were wounded by Israeli fire in response.”

The ‘Times of Israel’ also ran a report entitled “IDF says ‘hundreds’ try to breach Gaza fence; 3 killed, over 300 hurt in clashes”. In it it states:

“The Israeli army says its troops only open fire at demonstrators who engage in violence, or who attempt to breach the barrier separating the territory from Israel. Palestinian videos have emerged that purport to show soldiers shooting protesters who did not pose a threat. The army has accused Hamas of fabricating video footage or releasing only partial clips. The military also says Hamas is using the protests as cover to damage the border fence and prepare to infiltrate and carry out attacks.”

Source: Haaretz.

Tensions are high and are set to escalate as we approach Israel’s independence day. However, from Bible prophecy we can expect the peoples of the Gaza strip to remain where they have been placed for the prophecies to unfold as described in the Bible.

The Palestinians in Bible prophecy

The Bible has much to say about the time period we are living in today and hints at the situation with the Palestinian people in Gaza.

According to the prophets at the time of the end and of Christ’s return, there is to be a hostile people to the West of Israel dwelling along the coast.

Consider this prophecy which speaks of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, the son of David who was the son of Jesse:

And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious… And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth…. But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; andthe children of Ammon shall obey them.
Isaiah 11:10-12

This prophecy is yet to occur. It speaks of the future when Jesus Christ has returned and is setting up his Kingdom in Israel. We learn here that as Israel return they will “fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west”. It would seem therefore that this is a prediction of a people to the West of Israel who are hostile to them.

In Joel 3 we have a prophecy about Armageddon and the attack of the nations on Jerusalem before the return of Jesus (see Revelation 16, Ezekiel 38, Daniel 11 and Zechariah 12-14). In Joel 3 we get a hint of an antagonistic people who reside on the coast:

“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink. Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompence? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head;” Joel 3:1-4

So at the time when Israel has returned and been regathered the nations will attack Israel but will be judged by God. We are in this time now. The Jews have been regathered and Israel is celebrating 70 years since the establishment of their state in 1948. Note here how the prophet is compelled to condemn “the coasts of Palestine”. This indicates there are a people there who are not supportive of God’s people of Israel.

How amazing it is that the prophets of the Bible foresaw long ago the tensions we are witnessing in the news today. This gives us great confidence in the scriptures of truth.

A coming temporary peace

The prophecy of Ezekiel 38 sets out a picture of the time just before the attack of the nations on Israel. In it, it describes Israel as being at peace.
It mentions “the land of unwalled villages;” and the people as “them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,” (v11).

It would appear therefore that somehow a temporary peace is to be reached. How will this come about we wonder?

Current events with America could prove to be the key. In December last year, Donald Trump declared that America was going to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This caused international uproar. However, it would appear this was done to help further peace talks as it has taken the question of Jerusalem off of the table as far as America is concerned.

On April 2nd Haaretz ran an article entitled “White House Officials Tell Haaretz Peace Plan Still on the Agenda – and Could Surprise Skeptics”. In it it is stated that:

“The Trump administration thought to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would ultimately push the process forward”. The report states that although the Americans knew that recognition of Jerusalem would cause initial anger on the Palestinian side, later down the road it would make negotiations easier for peace. Apparently the Americans have been speaking with Saudi Arabia and have a plan which they are putting together.

On Saturday 27th April the Jerusalem Post ran an article entitled ”Abbas Sets conditions for hearing out Trumps anticipated Peace Plan”. Within it, it stated, “Multiple White House officials have recently said the Trump administration is finalising its plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Tune in on the 1st of May at 7PMGodwilling for two special talks on Jerusalem in Bible Prophecy.

Bible prophecy and Jerusalem

So we watch and we wait as we see world events bringing the nations into position just as the Bible predicts. These events herald the soon return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of God’s Kingdom on the Earth.

If you are interested in these matters and wish to find out more, the UK Nottingham Forest Road Christadelphians are held two special talks at the University of Nottingham. The overall theme was “Jerusalem in Bible prophecy” and there are to be two talks:
1. Israel’s scattering, survival and regathering
2. Jerusalem, future capital of the Kingdom of God

JERUSALEM in Bible Prophecy: 2 part Bible Study Series

 

For more audio like this and to visit the back catalogue visit http://www.bibleinthenews.com/Podcasts

If you wish to make a comment a about anything you have seen or read on this page – Good or Bad, Please use the form below

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2016-07-25 21_51_35 (Subscribe for updates)

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KeyToTheBible was created by Christadelphians for everyone to learn about God’s message.

Bible Truth and Prophecy, – Welcome to our site run by the Christadelphians Worldwide to help promote the understanding of God’s Word to those who are seeking the Truth about the Human condition and Gods plan and Purpose with the Earth and Mankind upon it.

Other Christadelphian Channels we recommend
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Read a variety of booklets on-line concerning various key Bible subjects.
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End Time Prophecies are interpreted using the Bible, not man made ideas or notions.
Key Biblical subjects such as the Trinity, Devil/Satan worship, Holy Spirit Gifts & much more are all dealt with extensively from the Bible’s viewpoint and not man’s.We will demonstrate how Christian beliefs have become corrupted, and reveal the ‘Truth’ as taught by the 1st Century Apostles.

USA Ignites Worldwide Division Over Iran and Hostilities Break Out Bible in the News Video Post

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USA Ignites Worldwide Division Over Iran and Hostilities Break Out
US President Trump decertifies the Iranian Nuclear deal and the world is in an uproar, dividing along biblically prophecied lines.

May 12, 2018 – Audio, 24.00 MIN
(Links at bottom of page to download free viewers.)
This past week the world was humming with news of President Donald Trump’s decision to decertify the American participation in the Iranian nuclear deal. This was followed by stark reactions around the world. Hostilities almost immediately broke out between Iran and Israel.

This past week the world was humming with news of President Donald Trump’s decision to decertify the American participation in the Iranian nuclear deal. This is in keeping with Bible prophecy that lays out the positions of the nations when it comes to hostility toward Israel in the time of the end. On the one side Russia will form an alliance against Israel:

“Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the prince of Rosh (Russia) Meshech (Moscow) and Tubal (Tobolsk): And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords….” (Ezekiel 38:3–4) 

On the other side are the merchants of Tarshish and their Arabic allies:

“Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?” (Ezekiel 38:13) 

So it was exciting to see these alliances coming into place this week as President Trump announced America’s decertification of the Iranian Nuclear deal which sparked worldwide responses – dividing the nations along biblical lines.

USA decertifies Iran Nuclear Agreement

Let’s listen to some of Trumps statement:

Upon taking office, I’ve ordered a complete strategic review of our policy toward the rogue regime in Iran. That review is now complete. Today I am announcing our strategy, along with several major steps we are taking to confront the Iranian regime’s hostile actions, and to ensure that Iran never, and I mean never, acquires a nuclear weapon. Our policy is based on a clear ride assessment of the Iranian dictatorship, its sponsoring of terrorism and its continuing aggression in the Middle East and all around the world. 

What is interesting to note, is the US policy is based on Iran’s movements in the Middle East. This was re-iterated later in his statement:

Given the regimes murderous past, and present, we should not take lake lightly its sinister vision for the future. The regime’s two favourite chants are, “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”.  Realizing the gravity of the situation, the United States, and the United Nations Security Council sought over many years to stop Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons with a wide array of strong economic sanctions, but the previous administration lifted these sanctions just before what would have been the total collapse of the Iranian regime, through the deeply controversial 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

And again, it is clear what the issue is:

By its own terms, the Iran deal was supposed to contribute to regional and international peace and security. Yet, while the United States adheres to our commitment under the deal, the Iranian regime continues to fuel conflict, terror and turmoil throughout the Middle East and beyond.

The new plan revealed the same:

So today, in recognition of the increasing menace posed by Iran, and after extensive consultations with our allies, I am announcing a new strategy to address the full range of Iran’s destructive actions.
First, we will work with our allies to counter the regimes destabilizing activity and support for terrorist proxies in the region.
Second, we will place additional sanctions on the regime to block their financing of terror.
Third, we will address the regimes proliferation of missiles and weapons that threaten its neighbours, global trade, and freedom of navigation.
Finally, we will deny the regime all paths to a nuclear weapon. 

The reasons were made very clear:

Since the signing of the nuclear agreement, the regimes dangerous aggression has only escalated.   At the same time it has received massive sanctions relief while continuing to develop its missiles program.

Speaking of the law passed by the American Congress governing the suspension of sanctions on Iran, Trump pointed out his responsibility to the American people:

Among other conditions, this law requires the president, or his designee, to certify that the suspension of sanctions under the deal is appropriate and proportionate to measure and other measures taken by the Iran to terminate its illicit nuclear program.

Based on the factual record I have put forward, I am announcing today that we cannot and will not make this certification. We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror, and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout. That is why I am directing my administration to work closely with congress and our allies, to address the deal’s many serious flaws, so that the Iranian regime can never threaten the world with nuclear weapons…

To protect against a deadlock in the review of the Iran deal, President Trump was clear:

In the event we are not able to reach a solution, working with congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated.  It is under continuous review, and our participation can be cancelled by me, as president, any time. 

America is clearly interested in the welfare of its allies in the region such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, both threatened by Iranian terrorist proxies in Syria and Yemen.

Israel’s Response

It was no surprise to see Israel’s reaction to the announcement. Let’s listen to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response:

Israel fully supports President Trump’s bold decision today, to reject the disastrous nuclear deal with the terrorist regime in Tehran. Israel has opposed the nuclear deal from the start because we said, that rather than blocking Iran’s deal to a bomb, the deal actually paves Iran’s path to an entire arsenal of nuclear bombs, and this within a few year’s time.
The removal of sanctions under the deal has already produced disastrous results. The deal didn’t push war further away, it actually brought it closer. The deal didn’t reduce Iran’s aggression, it dramatically increased it. We see this across the entire Middle East. Since the deal the deal we’ve seen Iran’s aggression grow every day: in Iraq, Lebanon, in Yemen, in Gaza, and most of all in Syria, where Iran is trying to establish military bases from which to attack Israel.   

Israel’s interests are obviously much more then economic, but the security of its people against an aggressive element of Nebuchadnezar’s image of world empires.

US move on Iran brings Russia and Europe Closer Together

The UK Daily Express ran a headline: “WORLD WAR 3 FEARS: Russia BACKS Iran as Putin STARES DOWN Trump”, and the paper went on to report:

WORLD War 3 fears are growing after Russia rushed to back Iran in the Middle East’s escalating nuclear crisis – a move which plunges Vladimir Putin into a deadly standoff with Donald Trump.
ABC News posted an article with the headline US move on Iran brings Russia and Europe Closer Together. The article stated:
President Vladimir Putin’s foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said the Russian president discussed the situation around the 2015 nuclear deal in Friday’s phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and their positions were “practically identical.”
Ushakov added that Putin will have further discussions on the issue with Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron when they visit Russia this month.
Ushakov’s statement reflected a Kremlin hope that a rift between Washington and its European allies will offer a chance of rebuilding ties with Europe’s economic powerhouses. Europe is rattled by President Donald Trump’s decision to re-impose sanctions of Iran that mean European companies must halt business with Iran or face U.S. punishment.

In the face of US Sanctions, Russia is signing a free trade pact with Iran. The Boston Globe reported under the headline, “Russia and allies to sign trade pact with Iran”.

The Kremlin said Friday that Russia and its ex-Soviet allies will sign a free-trade pact with Iran, the latest fallout from the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

President Vladimir Putin’s foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said, the deal among Iran, Russia, and other members of the Moscow-dominated Eurasian Economic Union is to be signed next week. The group includes Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan.

France “Do we want to be vassals?”

French Finance Minister Bruno La Maire.

The response from France was also very clear as CTV News reported:

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Europe-1 radio that Europe should not accept that the U.S. is the “world’s economic policeman.”

“Do we want to be vassals who obey decisions taken by the United States while clinging to the hem of their trousers?” Le Maire asked. “Or do we want to say we have our economic interests, we consider we will continue to do trade with Iran?”

Europe – USA cannot terminate agreement

It should be no surprise either, that the European Union would not support Trump. Listen to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini’s acidic response.

It is not a bilateral agreement. It does not belong to any single country, and it is not up to any single country to terminate it. It is a multi-lateral agreement which was unanimously endorsed by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231….

There have been no violations of any of the commitments included in the agreement. The scope of the agreement relates to the nuclear program and is being fulfilled…

We believe that we have a collective responsibility to preserve it for our own collective security….

The United States domestic process, and I underline domestic, following today’s announcement of President Trump, is now in the hands of the United States Congress.

The JCPOA is not a domestic issue, but a UN Security Council resolution. The international  community, and the European Union with it, has clearly indicated that the deal is and will continue to be in place.

In answering a question following the statement, the European Union’s position was crystalized even further:

This deal is not a bilateral agreement. This is not an international treaty. This is an annex, a very long annex, to a UN Security Council resolution, unanimously adopted.

To my knowledge there is not one single country in the world that can terminate a UN Security Council resolution that has been adopted.  Even more so, adopted unanimously, and implemented, and verified. And with the rest of the international community continuing to support and implement it.

So it is clearly not in the hands of any president of any country in the world to terminate an agreement of this sort, because this a UN Security Council resolution. This is a plan of action sets things to be done, commitments, nuclear related commitments, an only nuclear related commitments, and that has been implemented. So, President of the United States has many powers, not this one.

It becomes very clear that the European Union is completely uninterested in Iran’s support of terrorism both against Israel and also Saudi Arabia.

The arrogant pride with which this statement was given is remarkable, and it is no surprise. At the time of the end the nations of Europe will be allied with Russia and Iran against Israel, and the King of the South powers which include America:

“Persia (Iran), Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee… in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.” (Ezekiel 38:5–8)

Turkey’s Reponse

This verse also include the areas of Gomer and Togarmah, which correspond to the area of Turkey and the Caucasus region. The Gomeric tribes migrated across Europe and are identified with France (Gaul) and Germany, while the area of Magogue constitutes Eastern Europe.

Turkey’s position was also made clear, as was reported by the Times of Israel:

Following the announcement, the Turkish presidency it feared Trump’s decision could open up “new conflicts.”

“The unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the nuclear deal is a decision that will cause instability and new conflicts,” said Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for President Erdogan, on Twitter. “Turkey will continue to resolutely oppose all types of nuclear arms.”

Turkey and Iran are striving to develop pragmatic relations with each other, particularly over Syria which borders both countries, despite a long-standing, reciprocal distrust.

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States

However, others in the region are on a completely different side of the fence when it comes to this:

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir was interviewed by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer regarding the Saudi support for President Trump:

Joining us now from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, Foreign Minister thanks so much for joining us. Why do you, the Saudi government, support president Trump’s decision.

Al-Jubeir: We believe that the nuclear deal was flawed. We believe that the sunset clause should be eliminated. We believe that the inspections should be tightened. We believe that the deal does not deal with Iran’s ballistic missile program, nor does it deal with Iran’s support for terrorism and interference with the affairs of the countries of the region….

So again, like America and Israel, the Saudi’s issue with Iran is not just the nuclear issue, but also Iran’s support of terrorism in the region. When questioned about what Saudi Arabia would do,

We will do whatever it takes to protect our people. We have made it very clear that if Iran acquires nuclear capability, we will do everything we can to do the same….

Our message to the Iranian leadership is the policies of the past have got to come to an end. You cannot be a revolution. You cannot seek to expand and dominate the region. You cannot seek to acquire a nuclear program surreptitiously. You must abide by international law. You must cease supporting terrorism. You must cease providing ballistic missiles to terrorist organizations like “so called” Hezbollah and the Houthis, and you must respect the principle of good neighborliness….

When asked why the agreement was so flawed, the Saudi’s were clear, something the European Union is not willing to acknowledge because it is more interested in its own economic interests than the peace in the Middle East:

The agreement  is flawed because by 2025 it allows Iran to have the ability to have unlimited enrichment capability, which could cause it to build capacity to the point where it could have enough enriched uranium for a nuclear a weapon within a week. That is clearly not acceptable.

The Other Gulf States

The scriptures don’t just indicate the Saudi’s will be on the other side of the fence in the latter days. Daniel 11 speaks of Edom, Moab and Ammon which correspond to the geographical area of modern day Joran. Ezekiel 38 speaks of Sheba and Dedan, which encompass the geographical area of Saudi Araba and other Gulf States. Isaiah 19 and Daniel 11 describes Egypt being attacked by Russia, described as the cruel Lord, or the King of the North .

The Saudi Minister also clearly stated who was onside with the USA and them in their position, exactly as the Bible describes:

….The sanctions will be re-imposed, we support the US position, our allies in Bahrain, The United Arab Emirates, in Jordan, in Egypt support this decision, the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) Secretary General supports it, the Arab League Secretary General supports it,  the Secretary General of Islamic Countries also supports it. 

Regarding Iran’s support for the Houthis in the region, and their continued bombardment of Riyadh the Saudi’s were also very clear:

We are trying to avoid at all costs direct military action vis a vis Iran, but Iran’s behavior such as this cannot continue. This is tantamount to a declaration of war. When somebody provides missiles to a terrorist group that lobs those missiles at your cities,  and your civilians indiscriminately, what to you call it, a friendly act? Of course not. 

This is of course, the same issue Israel faces with Hezbollah and Iran in Syria.

Missiles Fly in the Middle East

Israeli Missile fire as seen from Daraa, Syrai on Thursday

The past two weeks have seen tensions soar in the middle East. The hostilities began when an armed Iranian drone violated Israeli air space. Israel responded by bombing the launch site for the drone.

Following Trump’s announcement, Iranian forces in Syria fired 20 missiles into Israel.

This was followed by Israel firing 70 missiles from 28 planes into Syria, targeting Iranian bases in the region. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported:

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Thursday morning that Israel has struck “all of the Iranian infrastructure in Syria.” Lieberman said that Israel does not seek escalation, but added that it won’t allow Iran to turn Syria into a “forward base” against Israel.

Reports in Syria said that Israel has also struck army posts as position used by Hezbollah and Iranian-backed militias in the Syrian Golan, near the Druze village Khader and Khan Arnabah, close to the border with Israel. The reports said that the rockets that struck Israel overnight were fired from those posts.

It is reported that eight Iranians were killed in the attack. The report continued:

This is the first time Israel directly accuses Iran of firing towards Israeli territory. During the Syrian Civil War, rockets were fired at Israel from Syria several times, usually by groups in southern Syria that are affiliated with Iran, Hezbollah and the Assad regime.

Tensions Rise World Wide

This week saw the United States re-establish it’s Second Fleet due to growing Russian tensions.

CNN Reported:

Amid heightened tensions with Russia, the US Navy announced Friday the re-establishment of the US Second Fleet which will be responsible for Naval forces along the East Coast and in the northern Atlantic Ocean.

“Our National Defense Strategy makes clear that we’re back in an era of great power competition as the security environment continues to grow more challenging and complex,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said at a change-of-command ceremony Friday in Norfolk, Virginia.

“That’s why today, we’re standing up Second Fleet to address these changes, particularly in the north Atlantic,” he added.

“NATO is refocusing on the Atlantic in recognition of the great power competition prompted by a resurgent Russia,” Pentagon spokesman Johnny Michael told CNN.

This is again in keeping with the Biblical portrayal of the time of the end where the “many ships” of the King of the North described in Daniel 11:40 and counterbalanced by the “Ships of Tarshish” described in Ezekiel 38:13 and Isaiah 60:9.

CNN Reported under the headline: “US stealth fighters intercept Russian bombers off the coast of Alaska

Two Russian TU-95 “Bear” bombers were intercepted by US F-22 stealth fighters in international airspace off the coast of Alaska on Friday, according to North American Aerospace Defense Command.

“At approximately 10 a.m. ET, two Alaskan-based NORAD F-22 fighters intercepted and visually identified two Russian TU-95 ‘Bear’ long-range bomber aircraft flying in the Air Defense Identification Zone around the western coast of Alaska, north of the Aleutian Islands,” NORAD and USNORTHCOM spokesman Canadian Army Maj. Andrew Hennessy said in a statement.

So as the world ratchets up tensions in preparation for World War III, let us be prepared to meet our Lord:

“But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,” (1 Thessalonians 5:4–9) 

For the Bible in the News, this has been Jonathan Bowen joining you.

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Britain against Russia – a sign of the times
Bible prophecy and Russia and Britain at odds in the latter days

April 8, 2018 – Audio, 18.26 MIN
(Links at bottom of page to download free viewers.)

Can we expect to see Russia and the UK at odds from Bible prophecy? Ezekiel 38 indicates that we can. This week in Bible in the news we consider Britain and Russia in prophecy.

Hello this is Matt Davies joining you.

The latter days

Ezekiel 38 is a fascinating prophecy because it outlines to us the state of the nations in “the latter days”. This phrase is very interesting to consider. When we come across phrases in the Bible which repeat it is because God, through His inspiration of His prophets, is revealing something for us to consider. “The Latter Days” is a ‘sign post phrase’. It is referring to a specific time in history. Consider what the Bible has to say about this time period:

  • The people of Israel will have returned to their land after a period of dispersion (Hosea 3:5)
  • The nation of Moab (area of Jordan) would be restored after a time of non-existence (Jer 48:47)
  • Israel will be victorious over their Arab neighbors (Num 24:14)
  • A power to the North will attack Israel but will come to his end (Daniel 10:14&11:40-45)
  • Israel will face a time of tribulation which will cause them to reflect on God (Deut 4:30 & 31:29, Jeremiah 21:20, 30:24)
  • God’s law will go forth from Zion and all nations will obey it (Isa 2:2, Micah 4:1)

The prophecy of Ezekiel 38 has a lot to say about this time period. “The latter days” is mentioned in verse 16 so we know this is a revelation of events which take place at the same time as the other passages we have referred to.

Like the other passages, we see the “latter days” is a time period when Israel has returned after a period of dispersion. The prophecy focuses on “the mountains of Israel” which is the modern day “West bank” area. It mentions the Jews who live there as living in places which were “desolate places that are now inhabited” (v12). The inhabitants are those who “are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land”.

Therefore this is speaking of our times. The state of Israel came into existence in 1948 and Jews have been settling in the area of the mountains of Israel ever since – much to the disgust of the nations of the world.

We know therefore we are living in the “latter day” period. The time when ultimately a great conflict will take place with the regathered people of Israel but will end up with the Kingdom of God being established on the earth.

The invader from the North as Russia

Ezekiel 38, like Daniel 11, tells us of a great invading force which comes from the North (Eze 38:15). What is interesting about it, is that it gives us the names of the nations who will be involved. The names though are the ancient names of those nations.

We are told the invading force is headed up by a mysterious man called “Gog”. He is “the prince of Rosh” (NKJV).

According to the Hebrew scholar Gesenius

“Rosh is a “proper name of a northern nation, mentioned with Tubal and Meshech; undoubtedly the Russians, who are mentioned by Byzantine writers of the tenth century, under the name oi Ῥῶς (Ros), dwelling to the north of Taurus [Mountains in Turkey], and described by Ibn Fosslan, an Arabic writer of the same age, as dwelling on the river Rha (Wolga [Volga]).”

Gesenius’, Hebrew Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament

Another scholar called “Clyde E Billington Jr.” states:

“Historical, ethnological, and archaeological evidence all favour the conclusion that the Rosh people of Ezekiel 38-39 were the ancestors of the Rus/Ros people of Europe and Asia. The Rosh people who are mentioned in Ezekiel were well known to ancient and medieval writers by a variety of names which all derived from the names of Tiras and Rosh. Those Rosh people who lived to the north of the Black Sea in ancient and medieval times were called the Rus/Ros/Rox/Aorsi from very early times. From this mixture with Salvs and with the Varangian Rus in the 9th century, the Rosh people of the area north of the Black Sea formed the people known today as the Russians.”

Clyde E Billington Jr., The Rosh People In History And Prophecy (Part Three) Michigan Theological Journal (Spring 1993)

From this evidence, Gog then is the leader of the Russians. Currently, the leader of the Russians is Vladimir Putin. Putin recently won another election as Russia’s president which will keep him in power for another six years.

We are not saying Putin is the Gog of Ezekiel 38 but he is certainly showing the same ruthless aggression and tactical intelligence that we might expect from Gog. Gog though may still be waiting in the shadows learning from the behavior of Putin as Russia becomes great.

In Ezekiel 38 verses 1-9 we read of Gog aligning Russia with other nations to invade Israel. Also with Russia are Persia (Iran), Etheopia and Libya (Northern African nations), Gomer (Western Europe), Magog (Eastern Europe) and the house of Togamer (the Turkic nations).

Tarshish as Britain

The British power is also in Ezekiel 38 but is not with the attacking force who comes against Israel. They are found in verse 13 under the name of ‘Tarshish’.

There are some very good Biblical and historical reasons for concluding Britain is Tarshish. Looking at the clues we get from the Bible we can see that Tarshish is a trading power operating in the region of Sheba & Dedan (modern-day Gulf States). We’re told that in Ezekiel 38:13. Also in Ezekiel 38:13 we read that there are political “young lions” – that is nations who are now independent of their ‘Tarshish’ mother lion. We, therefore, conclude that Tarshish is a colonial power.

From other parts of the Bible, we find that the Tarshish people are descended from Japheth & an area which is an island or coastal land (Gen 10:4-5). It is thought that descendants from these men immigrated to the far West of Europe.

In passages such as 2 Chron 9:21 Psalm 48:7 Isaiah 2:16, 23:1, 60:9 and Ezekiel 27:25 Tarshish was known as an ancient maritime power. Some of the oldest boats ever discovered have been found in and around Britain.

Tarshish was an ancient trading power who was active in global markets and in the past, it particularly traded with India 2 Chron 9:20-21. In Isaiah 23:6 we read Tarshish would take over from the trade of Tyre (Phoenicians).

From Ezekiel 27:12 we can see that in ancient times Tarshish was a source of silver, iron, tin and lead & traded with the ancient Phoenicians of Tyre. These metals are located in abundance in Britain and there is abundant evidence that they have been mined from ancient times.

When you piece all of these things together it would appear that only Britain fulfills the requirements of the Biblical clues of who Tarshish is.

Rosh and Tarshish

What does this Tarshish power do in Ezekiel 38? two points here:

  1. Tarshish is on opposite sites to the Rosh power.
  2. When Russia and her confederacy invades Israel the Tarshish power can only say “Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?” (v13). Although they pose this question it does not appear that any action is or can be taken against the aggression of Gog.

Therefore we can expect, in the time period of the latter days when Israel have returned to their land a distancing of the powers of Britain and Russia. We can expect Russia to be dominant and aggressive and Britain, although having the pride to verbally stand up to the Russian power, to not have the teeth to do anything to stop an invasion from Russia into Israel.

The events in the news we are witnessing indicate that these predictions from the Bible are holding true.

Bible in the News

On March 3rd this year a Russian lady called “Yulia” arrived in London from Moscow. She was there to visit her Father, Sergei Skripal.

Skripal was a former Russian double agent. Sergei Skripal was jailed by Russia for spying for but released as part of a spy swap between the US and Russia in 2010.

Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33 – source: BBC

According to the Evening Standard he had recently written to Putin and asked to be pardoned so he could visit his home country.

On March 4th, Yulia was in Salisbury, in the South of England and met up for a drink with her father Sergei. At about 2:20 pm they went to a pizza restaurant.

2 Hours later, they were on a bench outside the Pizza restaurant. A member of the public was calling 999 after seeing the pair in a terrible condition. They were showing all the symptoms of a serious poisoning and it was doubtful the pair would survive.

The next day Wiltshire Police declare what has happened as a “major incident”. Boris Johnson the UK Foreign Secretary declared that Britain would “respond appropriately and robustly” if Russia was involved.

On March 12th, the British Priminister, Theresa May gave a speech and revealed that that the Skripals were poisoned with a Russian-made nerve agent called Novichok, and calls on Russia to give a “credible response”. She set a deadline for Russia to respond. They chose not to.

The prime minister said there were    two plausible explanations “Either this was a direct by the Russian state against our country, or the Russian government lost control of this potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others.”

In a news report by the Guardian it was reported:

“May made clear that she believed there was already “a backdrop of a well-established pattern of Russian state aggression” – listing the illegal annexation of Crimea, violating European airspace and a “sustained campaign of cyber-espionage and disruption”, including “meddling in and hacking the Danish ministry of defence and the Bundestag, among many others”. She also spoke of the extrajudicial killing of terrorists and dissidents outside Russia and the murder of Litvinenko.”

After the deadline was ignored  23 Russian “undeclared intelligence officers” were expelled by Britain. Many other nations condemned Russia and expelled diplomats in solidarity with the UK.

May gave Russia a deadline to respond.

Britain has not shown their evidence that the nerve agent was Russian and this has led to some in the international community condemning Britain. Russia denies all connections with the attack.

The game continues though.

On the 7th of April the BBC ran a report entitled “Russian spy: Embassy request is tactic, says ”. The report came after Russia had asked for a meeting with the UK to discuss the incident. the report stated:

“The Foreign Office has described a Russian request for a meeting with Boris Johnson on the Salisbury poisoning as a “diversionary tactic”. The Foreign Office said Russia’s response had been “unsatisfactory”, as it had been three weeks since Russia was asked to “engage constructively”. The Russian Embassy said it was “high time” for a meeting on the inquiry. Current interaction between the embassy and the Foreign Office was “utterly unsatisfactory”, it said. The Foreign Office said it would respond to the invitation for a meeting between Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko and Foreign Secretary Johnson “in due course”. It said: “It’s over three weeks since we asked Russia to engage constructively and answer a number of questions relating to the attempted assassinations of Skripal and his daughter. “Now, after failing in their attempts the UN and international chemical weapons watchdog this week and with the victims’ condition improving, they seem to be pursuing a different diversionary tactic.”

So as we watch with Bibles in hand we see that the Tarshish power and the people of the Rosh are indeed on separate sides as we would expect from Bible prophecy. As the great conflict of the latter days comes closer the pieces are being arranged so that the nations can take their place just as the prophets of old stated they would by the power of the living God.

The Kingdom of God

We are in the latter days. We are witnessing the formation of the nations as the prophecies of the Bible have predicted.

We’ll end the Bible in the News this week by quoting from Isaiah 2 and other events which will soon unfold on the world stage in “the latter days”. These are descriptions of the coming literal and physical Kingdom of God which Jesus Christ will soon establish on the earth when he returns to sit on the throne of his Father David and the Kingdom of Israel is once again restored. The signs are there to warn us and also encourage us that soon the reality of that Kingdom will be here.

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 
And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war .” Isaiah 2:2-4

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Out Today – Don Pearce’s Milestones Bible Magazine article from Winter 2017/18

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Every 4 months Don writes a Milestones article for the BibleMagazine – in the following months we provide the article free of charge. here is the latest….

Bible Magazine Winter 2017/18

Once again, we have been somewhat overwhelmed by the speed at which things are racing onwards, towards that grand dénouement—the Return of our Lord and Master. Indeed, as one of our hymns says, the days are quickly flying and Christ will come again. So many things are now realities that our early brethren and sisters could only imagine with the eye of faith. With Britain on the exit pathway from the EU, the remaining members have pressed on with their plans for the forming of the United States of Europe. In truth, this lay at the heart of the EU but was too sensitive to discuss in public, especially in Britain. Now this is regularly being talked about and the EU Commission is pressing for rapid progress. Running in parallel is the urgent call for Europe’s own army.

We are seeing the forming of the latter-day phase of the European Beast system. Just as Communism was the brake on Russia returning to its Tsarist roots, so Britain was the brake on European integration. We have seen what amazing progress has taken place in Russia to integrate Church and State, with Mr Putin happy to act in the spirit of the Tsars to rebuild Russia’s fortunes. Now with Brexit, we are beginning to see similar progress, with the Papal support for a central government to control Europe just as the founding Fathers of Europe had envisaged.

The idea of One Europe grew out of the events of World War 1—one hundred years ago. Step by step it is nearly at its desired end point!

The Roman Catholic founding fathers of the EU had this bold vision of a United States of Europe. But they realised that nations would not easily give up their sovereignty. So, deceit was the way to sell the dream. The chief architect of today’s Europe was Jean Monnet of France. This is an extract from an article by Christopher Booker who co-authored the book The Great Deception first published in 2003. The article was written for the Daily Mail 31-Dec-12, on the 40th anniversary of Britain joining the EU.

The real story, surprisingly, goes back to the 1920s, when a senior League of Nations official, Frenchman Jean Monnet, first began to dream of building a ‘United States of Europe’, very much on the lines that decades later would shape the European Union as it is today.

After World War II, Monnet, by then the second most powerful man in France, finally set the project on its way. He knew there was no chance of bringing such an astonishingly ambitious vision into being all at once. So his plan was that it should gradually be constructed, piece by stealthy piece, without ever declaring too openly what was intended to be its ultimate goal.

At first it should be presented as just a trading arrangement, the ‘Common Market’ set up in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome. But the essence of that treaty was to create the core institutions of what Monnet always intended should one day be the ‘Government of Europe’.

The idea was to work for ‘ever closer union’.

Treaty by treaty, it would take over more powers from national governments, based on the sacred principle that once power to make laws was handed over to Brussels it could never be given back.

Ever more countries would be brought into the net, until the project reached its ultimate goal as a super-government, with its own president and parliament, its own currency and armed forces, its own flag and anthem—all the attributes of a fully-fledged nation state.

Thus, stealthily assembled over decades, would this new ‘country called Europe’ finally take its place on the world stage. What we found most shocking in researching this story was that, when Britain’s leaders first considered joining the project, they were made fully aware of this hidden agenda.

As we see from Cabinet papers and other documents of the early Sixties, Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and his ‘Europe Minister’ Edward Heath were put completely in the picture about the secret ‘grand plan’. But in June 1961 the Cabinet formally agreed that it must not be revealed to the British people.

In Macmillan’s words, to admit ‘the political objectives’ of the Rome Treaty would raise ‘problems of public relations’ so ‘considerable’ that they should be kept under wraps. It was vital to emphasise only the economic advantages of British entry.

Thus did Macmillan and Heath become drawn into complicity with that same web of deceit which was driving the ‘project’ itself.

The “Monnet method” (or engrenage—gearing) is spelled out in the book The Great Deception, by Christopher Booker and Richard North.

There would never be any single, clear definition of these terms. But every ‘project’ insider would know what was meant by engrenage, or ‘gearing’. It provided a blanket word to describe all those various techniques whereby the ‘project’ could advance what was really its only underlying agenda: a steady, relentless pressure to extend the Commission’s supranational powers. Each new advance it made would merely be regarded as a means of gearing up for the next. Each new addition to its competences might begin with a small, innocuous-seeming proposal to which nobody could object; until the principle was conceded, and those powers could then be steadily enlarged. Each new problem or setback could be used as a ‘beneficial crisis’ to justify further extending the Commission’s powers to provide the remedy.

Thus, brick by brick, would the great supranational structure be assembled. Above all it would be vital never to define too clearly what was the ‘project’s’ ultimate goal, for fear this would arouse the countervailing forces which might seek to sabotage it before it was complete

In this sense, an intention to obscure and to deceive was implicit in the nature of the ‘project’ from the moment it was launched. This habit of concealment was to remain such a defining characteristic of the ‘project’ that it would come increasingly to affect all those caught in its spell. Page 583 The Great Deception

The one thing above all the ‘project’ could never be, because by definition it had never been intended to be, was in the remotest sense democratic. The whole purpose of a supranational body is to stand above the wishes of the individual nations and peoples. When Monnet and Slater first conceived their idea of a supranational ‘United States of Europe’ it never entered their minds that the wishes of the people should be consulted. They were technocrats, who thought that the future of Europe would best be served by placing it under the role of a government of technocrats like themselves, men whose only interest was efficient co-operation to pursue a common goal, unsullied by any need to resort to all the messy, unpredictable business of elections. Page 602 The Great Deception

This is what we have witnessed this year. We remind ourselves of the steps. Starting with the Rome Declaration issued in March at the EU summit held at Rome to celebrate the Common Market/EU’s 60th birthday. At the end of the summit, the 27 members, (the UK was about to deliver her Brexit letter and so felt it prudent to give the birthday party a miss), issued a defiant Declaration of Unity in the face of Britain’s perceived treachery. Here are the main points:

We, the Leaders of 27 Member States and of EU institutions, take pride in the achievements of the European Union: the construction of European unity is a bold, far-sighted endeavour. Sixty years ago, recovering from the tragedy of two world wars, we decided to bond together and rebuild our continent from its ashes. We have built a unique Union with common institutions and strong values, a community of peace, freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, a major economic power with unparalleled levels of social protection and welfare.

European unity started as the dream of a few, it became the hope of the many. Then Europe became one again. Today, we are united and stronger: hundreds of millions of people across Europe benefit from living in an enlarged Union that has overcome the old divides.

We will make the European Union stronger and more resilient, through even greater unity and solidarity amongst us and the respect of common rules. Unity is both a necessity and our free choice. Taken individually, we would be side-lined by global dynamics. Standing together is our best chance to influence them, and to defend our common interests and values. We will act together, at different paces and intensity where necessary, while moving in the same direction, as we have done in the past, in line with the Treaties and keeping the door open to those who want to join later. Our Union is undivided and indivisible.

We as Leaders, working together within the European Council and among our institutions, will ensure that today’s agenda is implemented, so as to become tomorrow’s reality. We have united for the better. Europe is our common futureThe Rome Declaration 25-Mar-17

This was followed on September 13th, as we saw in the last update, by the annual “State of the Union” speech delivered by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. Last year it was very downbeat as Britain had just voted to leave, the economy was shaky. Since then there had been better economic news and the shock of Brexit had subsided. And so he was very upbeat this year. Things were looking up. The “wind was in the EU sails”, now was the time for pressing on with further integration. This Latvian cartoonist the following day captured the spirit of Juncker’s speech as Europe sails away from her links to the UK. The Daily Telegraph 13-Sep17 used the headline:

‘A United States of Europe’

Here are some extracts from Juncker’s speech—those in bold are in the original document, mine are in bold.

I want our Union to be stronger and for this we need a stronger single market.

I am also strongly in favour of moving to qualified majority voting for decisions on the common consolidated corporate tax base, on VAT, on fair taxes for the digital industry and on the financial transaction tax.

Europe has to be able to act quicker and more decisively, and this also applies to the Economic and Monetary Union.

We need a European Minister of Economy and Finance: a European Minister that promotes and supports structural reforms in our Member States. He or she can build on the work the Commission has been doing since 2015 with our Structural Reform Support Service. The new Minister should coordinate all EU financial instruments that can be deployed if a Member State is in a recession or hit by a fundamental crisis.

More democracy means more efficiency. Europe would function better if we were to merge the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission.

Europe would be easier to understand if one captain was steering the ship.

Having a single President would simply better reflect the true nature of our European Union as both a Union of States and a Union of citizens. On 30 March 2019, we will be a Union of 27. I suggest that we prepare for this moment well, amongst the 27 and within the EU institutions.

European Parliament elections will take place just a few weeks later, in May 2019. Europeans have a date with democracy. They need to go to the polls with a clear understanding of how the European Union will develop over the years to come.

This is why I call on President Tusk and Romania, the country holding the Presidency in the first half of 2019, to organise a Special Summit in Romania on 30 March 2019. This should be the moment we come together to take the decisions needed for a more united, stronger and democratic Europe.

My hope is that on 30 March 2019, Europeans will wake up to a Union where we stand by all our values. Where all Member States respect the rule of law without exception. Where being a full member of the euro area, the Banking Union and the Schengen area has become the norm for all.

Helmut Kohl and Jacques Delors, whom I had the honour to know, taught me that Europe only moves forward when it is bold. The single market, Schengen and the single currency: these were all ideas that were written off as pipe dreams before they happened. And yet these three ambitious projects are now a part of our daily reality.

Now that Europe is doing better, people tell me I should not rock the boat.

But now is not the time to err on the side of caution.

We started to fix the European roof. But today and tomorrow we must patiently, floor by floor, moment by moment, inspiration by inspiration, continue to add new floors to the European House.

We must complete the European House now that the sun is shining and whilst it still is.

Because when the next clouds appear on the horizon – and they will appear one day – it will be too late.

So let’s throw off the bowlines.

Sail away from the harbour.

And catch the trade winds in our sails.

Two weeks later it was the turn of the new French President to set out his plans for Europe.

Macron seeks far-reaching EU overhaul

The French President, Emmanuel Macron, laid out an overhaul of the EU on Tuesday (26 September) to make it more integrated, more democratic, and more competitive.

“The only way to ensure our future is to rebuild a sovereign, united and democratic Europe“, he said.

Macron signalled that he was ready to push forward without all member states.

Multi-speed Europe: He said that he wanted the EU to launch a “group for the rebuilding of Europe” that would include countries that are willing to move forward and would work with EU institutions.

Macron, who was speaking to an audience of French and foreign students, insisted on European cultural heritage and the need to develop a European education system.

“The Europe of multilingualism is a chance,” he said.

He said that by 2024, all European students should speak at least two languages and that half of Europeans under 25 – students and apprentices alike – should have spent at least six months in another country.

He also proposed to launch a “Sorbonne process” to create European universities and develop the harmonisation and recognition of diplomas in the secondary education system.

He laid out a vision of the EU in 2024 that is based on “common democratic values” as well as a “simpler, more protective” single market.

This EU would include a more integrated eurozone with its own budget managed by a finance minister who would be held responsible by a eurozone parliament.

The budget would be funded by a tax on internet companies – which France is currently pushing – a “green tax”, and a future corporation tax that would be harmonised. EUObserver 26-Sep-17

His dream fitted that of the founding fathers, remove national barriers, make it citizen think as Europeans. It would be a long road, but by working through students at “European” universities, this would be speeded up.

The Grand Plans to Renew the European Union

Under this headline, Stratfor 30-Oct-17 made this pointed observation on Junker’s and Macron’s talks:

“Both speeches have served their purpose: to jump-start discussions of deeper integration and to outline the grand plans for reform that Europe so desperately needs.”

Following hard on Macron’s speech came a press release from the European Commission 24-Oct-17 entitled: Commission Work Programme 2018: An agenda for a more united, stronger and more democratic Europe. The Commission is anxious to implement the 10 key ideas in Juncker’s State of the Union speech as quickly as possible. It lists 66 “Priority pending proposals requiring swift adoption by the Parliament and Council.” This includes defence matters, and what it terms “European political parties and European political foundations.”

While completing today’s agenda, this Commission will continue with work to prepare the Union of tomorrow. The 2018 Work Programme includes a number of initiatives that look further forward, towards 2025 and beyond. From 30 March 2019, the European Union will be a Union of 27 Member States, and now is the time to shape this More United, Stronger and More Democratic Union.

A More United Union will require a credible enlargement perspective for frontrunner candidates in the Western Balkans. To build a Stronger Union, the Commission will table a proposal for the future Multi-annual Financial Framework and will also propose more efficient Single Market law-making and more efficiency and consistency in implementing the Common Foreign Policy. We will adopt a Reflection Paper on a sustainable European future and a Communication on the future of EU energy and climate policy, and propose an extension of the tasks of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office to also tackle terrorism. For a More Democratic Union, we will make proposals for the creation of a permanent and accountable European Minister of Economy and Finance, an initiative on further enhancing subsidiarity and proportionality, and a Communication on enhancing efficiency at the helm of the European Union. We will also propose an initiative on the enforcement of the rule of law.

Schulz calls for ‘United States of Europe’ as SPD agrees talks with Merkel

The German elections (September 24th) turned out rather a disaster for Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU) and their sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU). Together with their coalition partners, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), they all lost seats. Although her party emerged the strongest, it was still well short on numbers. The SPD, had said they no longer wanted to be in a coalition with her, so she had to try to find other partners. This mission broke down after ten weeks of discussions. Faced with the prospect of fresh elections, the SPD leader, Martin Schulz has just appealed to his party members to let him try to see if they could join again as junior coalition members. He made it clear that his price would be high.

He demanded Berlin join French President Emmanuel Macron and other proponents of major EU reforms in boosting the bloc and its currency union, including by raising investment and giving the eurozone a common finance minister and budget.

Pledged that any government that emerges must drive forward “the fundamental renewal of Europe”.

Schulz made a passionate call for a “United States of Europe” by 2025. Euractiv 08-Dec-17

The SPD have agreed that he can hold “open-ended” talks with Ms Merkel. We await the outcome. Meanwhile it has left Germany rather impotent at this critical time in the Brexit talks.

Re-thinking Europe

Since the last update, the COMECE (the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community) conference at the Vatican has been held with the above theme.

It was part of the Vatican’s celebration of the 60th birthday of the EU and was held in the Vatican over three days, 27-29th October.

COMECE has invited politicians including Frans Timmermans, first vice-president of the European Commission, Pat Cox, former president of the European Parliament, as well as the current president Antonio Tajani.

350 participants representing the Church, religious movements and the world of politics will reflect (anew) on the challenges currently facing the EU. Vatican Radio 10-Oct-17

The Pope also addressed the assembly with a long speech.

On Europe: Pope Francis lays out his own ‘Benedict option’

It is not new for papal speeches on Europe to refer to its patron, the sixth-century St. Benedict of Nursia. But what made Francis’s reference to the founder of western monasticism unusual was the parallel he drew between the twilight of the Roman empire then and Europe now.

For St. Benedict, said Francis, “the important thing was not functions but persons.” He pointed to a view of man radically different from classical Greek and Roman culture, one that transcended role and status, which was rooted in man as the image of God. The outworking of this novel concept became – through monasteries – the source of Europe’s cultural and economic rebirth.

Francis sees in this story both a lesson about Europe’s current moment and a signpost to the Church’s future role. The greatest contribution Christians can make, he argued, is to rescue the importance of the person in the face of a soulless technification of politics and economics.

“There are no citizens, only votes,” he complained. “There are no migrants, only quotas. There are no workers, only economic markers. There are no poor, only thresholds of poverty.”

Elsewhere, not least in his Charlemagne speech, Francis has described the Church’s role in Europe as one of service not power, watering the roots of the continent’s culture through humble service rather than hankering after lost gains. On Saturday he repeated this message, reminding those present that “Christians are called to restore dignity to politics and to view politics as a lofty service to the common good, not as a platform for power.”

Francis sums up this vision at the end, when he says Christians are called “to revitalize Europe and to revive its conscience, not by occupying spaces but by generating processes capable of awakening new energies in society” – just as, Francis said, St. Benedict did in giving birth to [the monasteries,] “an exciting and irresistible movement that changed the face of Europe.”

Pope Francis is keenly aware that the Roman Church has a vital role in rebuilding Europe, and he sees putting Christianity back at its heart, as the only way to prevent Europe being overtaken by a Moslem way of life.

Brexit talks going somewhere?

It has been a tumultuous few months for the Brexit talks. After six rounds of talks, there seems to have been little progress on making sufficient headway on the “divorce settlement costs” to move to the vital talks on a trade agreement, without which businesses both here and in the EU, cannot move forward. The UK is anxious to get matters agreed so that she can be ready to make trade agreements with non-EU countries, a matter that as an EU member, she has been unable to do. In the EU all are bound by the same rules. Any trade agreements have to be painfully negotiated to satisfy the needs of all 28 members. If Britain is to leave in March 2019, she needs to know what to plan for. The EU has been reluctant to say what they would like, putting the onus on Britain as she is the one wanting to leave. Mid-December is a critical date, this is when the next heads of government summit meeting is being held and the EU negotiators have said that unless sufficient progress is made on the divorce costs they will not be able to recommend that they can move on to the next stage.

Things looked very grim in early December as the UK government is very split over what they want. Mrs. May still hopes that Britain will remain part of Europe. The Irish border became the final touchstone for the talks. At the moment, Northern Ireland, as a member of the UK, is a member of the EU, as are the Irish Republic. Trade freely flows across the border. With Britain leaving the EU what will happen? There is a very strong feeling on both sides the border that they want things as seamless as it is now. But with Northern Ireland out of the EU this theoretically can’t happen. There have to be border crossings and customs posts etc.

There was talk of N.I. remaining in the EU, but if special treatment was to be meted out then Scotland, Wales and London wanted that same treatment. The Ulster Democratic Party who are being relied on to support the government are fearful of a move for Protestant Northern Ireland to be absorbed into Roman Catholic Irish Republic. Mrs May has promised this won’t happen.

At the beginning of December an agreement had apparently solved this seemingly intractable problem and Mrs May had a morning meeting scheduled on the 4th December with European Commission President, Jean-Claude Junker, to see if sufficient progress had been made. At the last moment there was talk of an agreement and she flew off for her meeting. The news was good, there were smiles all round. Then as they sat down to lunch there was an urgent phone call from the leader of the DUP, saying that they had seen the leaked details and it didn’t accord with what they had agreed to. It remained for May and Junker to announce that there were still a few loose pieces which needed to be dealt with, and although December the 4th had been set as the absolute deadline, a few more days were granted. There followed several days of frenetic negotiations until a “fudge” wording was agreed.

The wording on Northern Ireland and the border with the Republic is general and about principles. It will fall to later talks to work out how the “detailed arrangements” will work. This, as the UK has often pointed out, needs decisions on the general arrangements for UK trade with the EU before anyone can finalise the border arrangements. There will be considerable debate about the meaning of this statement “In the absence of agreed solutions the UK will maintain full alignment with the rules of the internal market and customs union which now or in the future support North-south co-operation, the all island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement” John Redwood Diary 08-Dec-17

We now turn to Israel and Mr Trump’s declaration regarding Jerusalem.

Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israeli Capital

During his election campaign, Mr Trump had made clear that he recognised Jerusalem as being the capital of Israel and intended to arrange to move the American Embassy there. America has long acknowledged the reality of Israel’s capital, but had feared an Arab backlash for such a move. It was back in 1995 that the American Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act, urging the US government to move the Embassy to Jerusalem. This had resulted ever since in a 6-monthly ritual of signing a waiver postponing this step.

Although Mr Trump has been in office for nearly a year, this matter has continued to be fudged. However, much to Israel’s joy he at last signed the necessary recognition in December.

The president also announced that he has instructed the relevant teams to begin planning the relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, yet did not state when such a move will take place.

Finally, Trump stressed that the American recognition of Jerusalem is not tantamount to a position on the issue of Israeli borders and sovereignty in Jerusalem. Those, he said, will be decided upon in negotiations.

“It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said, adding that the move was “a long overdue step to advance the peace process” between Israel and the Palestinians.

He said recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is not only a “necessary condition for achieving peace,” but also “in the best interests of the United States of America.” Haaretz 06-Dec-17

There was a storm of protest from the Palestinians, the lights of the Christmas tree in Bethlehem were extinguished and many clashes with the Israeli military. However, the threatened intifada hasn’t materialised at the time of writing. Many Arab nations have been muted in their opposition, acknowledging that as they need to have Israel on their side, the reality is that they go to Jerusalem when they want to meet the Israeli government. Jerusalem has never been the capital city of the Palestinians. Even the call that this is the third holiest site for Moslem’s doesn’t fit with history. Only after Israel’s capture of it in 1967 did it suddenly assume interest in Moslem eyes.

Mr Netanyahu visited France to see President Macron and also held a meeting in Brussels with EU leaders, asking them to accept the reality of Jerusalem being Israel’s capital. It can be no true obstacle to peace talks as there can be no meaningful talks until Israel’s control of this city is recognised. It was telling that no EU leaders were prepared to agree with him! If we need evidence of the undercurrent of dislike for Israel, this brought matters to the fore. It reinforces the Biblical picture of Europe being part of the confederacy of nations that comes against Jerusalem.

Saudi Prince to White House: Jerusalem issue is no bar to our engagement with Israel

On the other hand, the Saudi Crown Prince had been in touch with Mr Trump.

Official White House sources disclosed Tuesday that Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman had informed President Trump that, while Riyadh publicly objects to Jerusalem’s recognition as Israeli capital and the US embassy’s move to Jerusalem, neither is a bar to Saudi engagement with Israel; nor should it be detrimental to Trump administration steps in the Middle East. DEBKAfile 05-Dec-17

There have been many reports recently on the improving relations between Israel and the moderate Middle East Arab countries. These moves are being led by the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman (known as MBS). He was appointed as the Minister of Defence in 2015 and retained his existing role of Minister of the State. The 32-year-old was chosen by his father, King Salman to be his successor in June 2017. He has acted swiftly to eliminate the widespread corruption in the country and put under house arrest, in a very expensive hotel, many of his rivals, insisting that they pay-back what they are alleged to have embezzled as the price of their freedom! He has pledged close cooperation with President Trump and has made it clear that he wants to work with Israel, declaring that his countrymen are free to visit Israel.

In 2016 he set out his vision for the future of Saudi Arabia under Vision 2030. He is seeking to greatly reduce the power of the religious authorities and make Saudi more open, more Westernised. Women have now been given permission to drive, and cinemas are now permitted.

Neom, Saudi Arabia’s proposed Mega City

In one of his efforts to diversify away from shrinking oil-based revenues, the young Crown Prince unveiled plans for a new Mega City called Neom. The question is whether it will reach the light of day. The scale is breath-taking; it is situated close to Jordan, Egypt and Israel, in a huge tract of land. It will operate under liberal rules, with men and women working side-by-side, thus making it possible for Israeli participation, which he seeks.

He unveiled this $500bn project before 3,500 of the “who’s who of business, corporate executives and government officials from 88 countries”. (Hindustan Times 26-Oct-17) The money is to come from Saudi’s Wealth Fund, plus the sale of part of the oil giant Saudi Aramco.

It includes bridges across from Saudi to Egypt, utilizing the islands in the mouth of the Gulf of Aquaba, which Egypt has recently given control of to Saudi. This project, based upon the “free zone” which has brought great wealth to Dubai, is potentially of great interest to Britain, who has the skills to manage big projects. It is in the region of the Dedan who was Abraham’s grandson. It would give a big boost to the proposed high-speed railway link from Eilat to Beersheba to link up with the existing high-speed line to the port at Ashdod, which the Chinese and the Indians are interested in financing. It would enable goods to be transported to the Mediterranean coast, avoiding the costs of the Suez Canal. Egypt might not be too thrilled!

Russia’s unexpected military victory in Syria

When Mr Putin announced in 2015 that he was coming to the aid of his friend President Assad of Syria, it was thought that Russia would get bogged down in this seemingly intractable war.

Two years on, it is safe to say that Syria has not become a repeat of the Soviet Union’s failed campaign in Afghanistan. The military and political situation of the Assad regime, which seemed almost hopeless in the summer of 2015, has radically improved. The Syrian government is now in control of over 90 percent of the country’s territory. The self-proclaimed Islamic State is on the brink of extinction. Many other radical Islamist groups have been left in a severely weakened state. The more moderate anti-Assad opposition, which receives massive military assistance from the United States and Gulf monarchies, is not doing much better, either. President Assad’s political future is no longer in any doubt.

The greatest surprise is not the success of Russia’s intervention in Syria, but the very limited forces and assets that have proved sufficient to achieve that victory. Moscow did not deploy any large numbers of troops on the ground. Its losses in Syria have been negligible. The Russian expeditionary force has remained very small throughout the entire campaign. The amount of military hardware Russia has deployed in Syria is also very limited.

The Russian Air Force group in Syria is not very large, either. It was estimated at various periods at 30-50 combat aircraft and 16-40 helicopters.

The Syrian campaign has not been very long, but almost all senior Russian military commanders have been involved. Russian officers gained valuable, real-life experience of complex modern warfare in a remote theater.

The availability of these experienced commanders, a record of a successful and victorious military campaign, and the lessons learned from using air power, modern technology and special operations forces will provide a major boost to the Russian military machine for years to come. Additionally, the confidence gained by the Russian military in Syria may steer Russian foreign and military policy toward a more assertive and interventionist course. Defense News 11-Dec 17

Whirlwind Putin Tour Highlights Moscow’s New Reach in Mideast

In mid-December Mr Putin paid a surprise visit to Syria on his way to Egypt. He declared that as victory had been achieved he could pull back some of the troops and equipment, though he emphasised that Russia was there to stay in Syria.

He then flew to Egypt and announced the resumption of flights between the two countries which had been suspended following the shooting down of a Russian plane over Sinai in October 2015, and the signing of the contract to supply Egypt with a $30bn nuclear plant. At the time of writing there is no more news of the use of shared military bases.

He then departed to Turkey for his 8th meeting with Mr Erdogan just this year! The supply of the Russian S-400 is on the agenda together with talks on Syria. (New York Times 11-Dec-17)

Once again, we wonder at the behind-the-scenes work of the angels which ensures the events we see unfold in a seeming natural way because the right person is in the right place at the right time!

We take courage for we see the complexity of these things and are assured of the incredible mind of our God. We continue to wait for our Master’s coming and pray for an answer of peace in that day.

 

The King of the South Contending with the King of the North Bible in the News Video Post

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The King of the South Contending with the King of the North
A sure sign we are living in the time of the end.

March 25, 2018 – Audio, 10.45 MIN
(Links at bottom of page to download free viewers.)
The division in the Middle East between the north and the south is been acentuated this week by a number of significant events around the world. In the United States, John Bolton has been appointed as National Security advisor. John is against the Iranian nuclear deal and is heralded as a great supporter of Israel. Ex-Israeli defence minister Shaul Mofaz today said in the past John Bolton pushed for Israeli strike on Iran. This quick change in the American administration follows the sacking of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. Rex supported the Iranian nuclear deal, while his replacement, Mike Pompeo is adamantly opposed. Also this week Israel suddenly claimed responsibility for destroying a nuclear facility in Syria on the Euphrates river in September 2007. Why the announcement now? Most likely intended to be a warning to Iran about its nuclear facilities. There were also reports this week that Iran is constructing military bases in Syria near the Russians, in an attempt to deter Israel from destroying them.

Today in Syria both Russia and Iran are dictating events. Iran has operated in Lebanon for years through her proxy Hezbollah. But now Iran is acting directly on Israel’s doorstep. Not much can be done in Syria these days without the blessing of the Russians.

 

Air India Flight Lands in IsraelAn Air India flight from New Delhi, arrives at Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel
on Thursday, after using Saudi airspace for the first time.

Saudi Arabia allowing Air India to use its airspace for flights to Israel, may not seem like a big event, but considering the last 70 years since the establishment of the State of Israel, it demonstrates a massive change. It is no secret that Iran is as much of a threat to the Saudi’s as they are to Israel and that Saudi Arabia would happily turn a blind eye to Israel using her airspace for an attack on Iran.

The assasinations in the UK, apparently by the Russians, were very audacious and aggressive on a foreign countries soil. Actions such as that indicate there is already a kind of covert war happening between Russia and some of the west.

Russian aggression, Britain being forced to react, President Trump in the United States believing that peace comes by strength, Iranian operations in Syria and the continuation of her nuclear program, the thaw in relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, are all events coming together and accentuating the north, south division to the Middle East, as spoken of by Ezekiel and Daniel in prophecies relating to the time of the end.

The North South Division in Ezekiel 38

Ezekiel 38 is a contest between the “son of man” and Gog. “Son of man, set thy face against Gog”, the prophecy begins. Ezekiel, designated the “son of man’ is representative of the one who will set his face against Gog and destroy him. This is the Lord Jesus Christ and his resurrected saints. As the prophet says in Zechariah 14:5 “…the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” In Ezekiel there is a questioning and opposition to Gog’s invasion of the mountains of Israel, a particular concern for the spoil that Gog has come for. This objection comes from Sheba and Dedan, Tarshish and her young lions. In the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 then, there are two groupings of nations laid out; a northern group and a southern group. The northern group is based in the uttermost parts of the north (verse 6, 15 – ASV).

Gog the King of the North

Gog is the prince of Rosh. Ezekiel 38:2 (ASV) “Son of man, set thy face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him” The name in the Hebrew text “Rosh” has been identified by different Bible dictionaries and lexicons as Russia. Langenscheidt’s Hebrew-English dictionary says under Rosh: “Proper name of a Scythian people, Russians.” The lexicographer Gesenius says under Rosh: “Proper name of a northern nation, mentioned with Tubal and Meshech; undoubtedly the Russians, who are mentioned by Byzantine writers of the tenth century by the name Rus.” This is Kievan Rus.

In Ezekiel’s prophecy, with Gog in the invasion are Persia, Ethiopia (Cush), and Libya.

Sheba and Dedan and the Tarshish Powers

Sheba and Dedan are mentioned in Genesis 25:1-4, they are descendants of Abraham the patriarch and his wife Keturah. They are cousins to the Midianite children. (There is another ‘Sheba and Dedan’ mentioned in Genesis 10:7, where “Sheba and Dedan” are the descendants of Cush. However, in Ezekiel 38 Cush or Ethiopia is with the King of the North.) The lexicographer Gesenius identifies Sheba with the Sabaeans, a nation and region of Arabia. He supposes there were two Arabian tribes, Sheba and Dedan, one in southern Arabia and one based in northern Arabia. Smith in his Bible Dictionary identifies Sheba with the great south Arabian kingdom and the peoples which composed it. Werner Keller in “The Bible as History” identifies Sheba with the ancient kingdom of Sheba based in southern Arabia, which was a merchant power who did business with the Kingdom of Israel under Solomon – the queen of Sheba came to visit. him. It is quite certain then that Sheba and Dedan in Ezekiel 38 are the tribes and kingdoms of the the Arabian desert, which is modern day Saudi Arabia, Yemen and we could include the other nations of the Arabian peninsula as well.

The North South Division in Daniel 11

Earlier in Daniel 11 the King of the North was based in Syria and the King of the South in Egypt. In the time of the end however, when describing the King of the South, one must include Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish. Issues of the Bible Magazine (Volume 20, Issue 3 and Volume 26, Issue 4 http://www.biblemagazine.com/magazine/vol-26/v26i4mag.pdf) deal in depth with the identification of Tarshish, as Great Britain and her allies.

Daniel’s prophecies of chapters 8 and 11 are more concerned with the Greek portion of the Roman Empire. So, the Roman king is depicted as a little horn that grows out of the Greek “king of the north” horn. The Eastern Roman Empire was at last destroyed by the Ottoman power and its base was transfered north to Moscow. So Moscow become the base of the king of the north as depicted by Ezekiel 38. Over the last few years we have seen Russia steadily moving south again, into the Crimea, Georgia and creating bases in Syria.

Gog and the King of the North are the Same

The Gog of Ezekiel 38 and the “king of the north” are the same power depicted in different ways. We say this because: Their geographical position is the same, Gog’s country is in the uttermost parts of the north; they are both adversaries and invaders of Israel; they both invade the land at the same time, Gog in the latter days and the king of the north at the time of the end; they are allied with the same peoples, Gog with the Persians, Ethiopians and Libyans and the king of the north has the Libyans and Ethiopians at his steps; both meet the same end, the king of the north encounters Michael (meaning who is like El), the great prince who stands up for God’s people, the king of fierce countenance in Daniel 8:23 is destroyed “without hand” when he stands up against the prince of princes and Gog is destroyed by Yahweh when he invades the mountains of Israel.

The King of the South Contending with the King of the North

In Daniel 11 where we read that the king of the south pushes at him, the AV translation–and most of the others–don’t capture the sense of the original Hebrew text. In the literal column in Green’s translation the full meaning is brought out, it reads: “And at the time of (the) end, shall engage in butting with him, the king of the south.” “With him” is a much better translation of the hebrew “em-oh”. The verb “yitnahgach” translated “shall engage in butting” is in a reflexive voice, which adds this back and forth, tit for tat, meaning. Brown, Driver, Briggs Lexicon says it means: “engage in thrusting with, wage war with.” The sense of the passage then, is a pushing match that ends in the king of the north coming against the King of the South with all out force. It is not a single push, but rather a series of pushes over time, with the king of the north doing his fair share of pushing. This is a characteristic of the time of the end, a summary of the what the time of the end will be like. At the time of the end the King of the South will engage in thrusting back and forth with the king of the North.

This is exactly as we have seen events this last week. The King of the South and the King of the North pushing at each other. The division of the Arab world into a north and a south. Iran allied with the King of the North and the Saudis and others allied with the King of the South. As this picture comes into focus, it is a sure sign that we are living in the time of the end.

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:1-3)

Come back next week God willing, to once again see prophecy fulfilling and the Bible in the News. This has been David Billington with you.

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War on the West: Russia’s Growing Threat to Britain & NATO Bible in the News Video Post

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PUTIN’S WAR ON THE WEST
Russia’s Growing Threat to Britain & NATO by Paul Billington

April 1, 2018 – Audio, 8.40 MIN
(Links at bottom of page to download free viewers.)
The April issue of the Bible Magazine is now at the printer and highlights the escalating tensions between Russia and the West, and between Britain and the Autocrat Putin in particular. According to a headline in the U.K.’s Sunday Express:
“Russia on brink of WAR threat: Kremlin warns UK is walking a ‘dangerous’ and ‘INSANE’ path.”
And again in the same paper:
“World War 3: Russian jets’ ‘DARK MISSIONS’ over Baltic spark fears of covert invasion.”
The paper went on to say:
“The alarming news comes off the back of reports, Russia has been extending its military reach into northern Europe.”
An earlier article in The Times newspaper (now reproduced in the Bible Magazine) had the headline  “Vladimir Putin is preparing for Armageddon.” Yet another news headline read: “Tensions between the UK and Russia are at breaking point. If things were to escalate to war, Vladimir Putin owns a terrifying war chest at his disposal.”

Current Issue of The Bible Magazine

As tension has escalated during the past month, Russia has issued warnings to Britain. For example:
“Maria Zakharova, a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, said the prime minister’s plans to sanction Russia, including its decision to expel 23 Russian diplomats from the UK, was extraordinarily dangerous. She warned Moscow was still working on retaliatory measures against Britain for the biggest such expulsion since the Cold War following the poisoning, which left Mr Skripal and his daughter critically ill.
“At a routine briefing, Ms Zakharova told reporters she wanted to comment on ‘the statements made by the prime minister of Britain in parliament with completely insane accusations towards the Russian Federation, our entire country, our entire people.’
“She said: ‘In connection with the introduction by Britain of unfriendly steps towards Russia, we plan to introduce reciprocal steps, without doubt… They are currently being worked on and will be adopted in the near future.’ “
Such warnings to the West by Russia go largely unheeded. This may not be wise because the Sure Word of Prophecy DOES tell us about the overwhelming power of Russia (the latter-day King of the North) and of his whirlwind invasion, when many countries will be overthrown—Daniel 11:40, 41.
Europe’s “Lukewarm” Support
The German Foreign Minister was less than enthusiastic in his support for Britain in its row with Russia. He said that it was a “bilateral issue” and that the U. K. “should clarify details of the evidence” that Russia had been behind the poisoning attack.
Another crack in the European response came when Bulgaria said that it will not expel Russian diplomats. There are now 9 EU states that will not support Britain.
A Development Foretold
Now the coming together of Europe and Russia was foretold in the Bible, and was commented upon by several of those who were able to explain its prophecies to their contemporaries. 150 years ago one of the most remarkable explanations of this development was given by John Thomas in his book Elpis Israel (published 1849). In his comment upon the Image prophecy of Daniel chapter 2 he noted the fact that this Image—representing the empires of men—is to be smitten and broken in pieces together (see verses 35 and 45). He wrote:
“The idea I would convey is well expressed by the prophet, saying, ‘The God in heaven, who revealeth secrets, maketh known to the king what shall be in the latter days’ (Daniel 2:28). That is, there will be in the latter days a dominion, ruling over all the countries mainly comprehended in the limits of the successive empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome; and represented by the Image as a whole; and which will be broken by a power from heaven, which will utterly destroy it, and set up an empire which will cover all the territory it possessed.

 

Title page of ‘Anatolia,’ written by John Thomas in 1854

He continued: “Now, there has never yet existed a single dominion, contemporary with the toe-kingdoms, and of course comprehending them in its jurisdiction, which could claim to be represented by Nebuchadnezzar’s Image. In order, then, to prepare for the catastrophe, the Image which is now in antagonistic parts, must be confederate, in other words, a dominion must arise before the setting up of the kingdom of God, which shall rule over these territories.”
In other words,  he was saying that Europe must be incorporated into this future Image-empire.
In 1854 the author of Elpis Israel published another work entitled “Russia Triumphant and Europe Chained!” This was a detailed exposition of Daniel’s prophecy.
This was followed by many other Christadelphian works, all covering the same ground. For example in 1885 a Christadelphian newspaper carried the headline:
AN ANGLO-RUSSIAN WAR FORETOLD IN THE BIBLE.
THE COMING BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON.
So Vladimir Putin’s War on the West is no surprise to Christadelphian Bible students who follow the same path trodden by John Thomas well over a century ago.. The Bible Magazine has published several articles on the topic over the years—for example:
Vol. 17 Issue # 1 2003/4 “Russia’s Triumph over Europe.”
Vol. 21 Issue # 4 in 2008 “Russia Triumphant and Europe Chained.”
Today, as we see “Putin’s War on the West” taking shape again, we must realize that the prophetic word is sure and certain. There is no change. Russia will build up its image-empire as a preliminary to the fulfillment of Ezekiel chapter 38. The April issue of the Bible Magazine gives the background to this prophecy and explains where events are heading and how they involve Israel. You can obtain a free copy by contacting:
or,
The Bible Magazine, PO Box 514, Burford, Ontario, N0E 1A0 Canada
This has been Paul Billington bringing you this edition of the Bible in the News.

For more audio like this and to visit the back catalogue visit http://www.bibleinthenews.com/Podcasts

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