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Out Today – Don Pearce’s Milestones Bible Magazine article for Summer 2018

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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 Summer 2018 (Downloadable .pdf)

Bible Magazine Summer 2018

[Blue text = my highlight. Don.] 27-06-18

Bible Magazine Summer 2018

As the night of Gentile domination comes closer to its end with the dawning of the new millennial day which will see the elevation of Israel as God’s righteous people, acknowledging the Lord Jesus as their Messiah, so the world political picture glows with greater clarity.

The times of the Gentiles will end with the greatest of earthquakes. The existing political ‘heavens and earth’ are to be removed to be replaced by God’s Son and a multitude of redeemed ones who will wrest control from the powers that be, to bring about the Kingdom of God on earth, long foretold by the prophets of old.

Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. Amos 3:7

It is so exciting, yet sobering, to see so many of the prophetic pictures growing clearer as this time rapidly approaches. In a world of apparent time and chance, Bible watchers can discern the amazing power of God, to see into the future, so that the many pictures conveyed through the prophets will turn out all to be correctly foreseen. God’s angels have always worked down through the ages bringing to bear influences which will ensure that a particular leader will act as he does, thereby moving forward God’s purpose.

Sennacherib, King of Assyria was a prime example.

O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.

I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.

Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few.

Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.

For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man:

And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.

Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood. Isa 10:5-7,12-15

What the Prophets have Foretold

When we pull together all the pictures painted through the prophets the details are quite amazing.

  • Nebuchadnezzar’s Image stands united in the latter days upon it iron/clay feet. Dan. 2
  • Powers from the north with many companions unite to come against Israel, who have returned to their former land. Eze. 38
  • The King of the North comes with many ships against Israel and Egypt. Dan. 11
  • Israel dwelling securely and prosperously. Eze. 38
  • Yet has neighbours who are pricking briers and grievous thorns. Eze. 28
  • Israel having a friendly group supporting her – Sheba, Dedan, the Merchants of Tarshish and her young lions. Eze. 38
  • A Dagon, Beast and False Prophet Powers Rev. 16
  • A latter-day Tyre power reviving after a 70-year hiatus to become a world trading power, who ultimately will be used to serve the God of Israel. Isa. 23
  • The reflourishing of the Babylon Tree after 2520 years. Dan. 4

Many more prophecies fill in the details.

So many of these pictures have appeared in deeper clarity in the past months and years, as one-by-one the angels ensure that the ambitions of men are directed to move forward God’s Purpose with Israel. The time of trouble such as never was before (Dan 12) is about to work it transforming power on Israel’s heart as they learn not to trust in their own arm, but God’s.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. Isa .10:20

This amazing prophecy which tells us of Israel putting her trust in the power that eventually smites her is a clear reference to her friendship with Russia! A remarkable fact, for Russia has long been anti-Semitic, but through the Divine outworking, the influence that one of the other three families who shared the same floor in the block of flats where young Mr Putin was brought up, had a permanent effect. A kind, religious, Jewish family in Soviet Russia extended their friendship to the young lad. He has never forgotten their kindness. Yet who was to know that this boy was the future president of Russia? Well, we can be sure the angels knew that! Also ensuring that a school teacher who had a strong influence upon him was also Jewish. Many years later when visiting Israel (she had emigrated there on retirement), he looked her up and bought her a flat as she was in difficult circumstances.

Sheba, and Dedan, and the Merchants of Tarshish, with all the Young Lions thereof

As always there is so much material to look at, but we want in this issue to concentrate on the Middle East and see how in so many ways the little verse in Ezekiel 38 is coming to pass.

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? Eze 38:13

We dealt with the locations of the Biblical three Shebas and two Dedans (Gen. 10:8,28; 25:3) in the current Milestones 2017. To briefly summarise: The Hamitic Dedan moved to Bahrain and spread southwards along the Persian Gulf. The Hamitic Sheba moved to the area of Yemen today. Shem’s gt, gt, grandson Joktan gave his name to Jectan in Saudi Arabia. His 13 children were powerful, and his son Sheba took over the territory of the Hamitic Sheba in today’s Yemen. A powerful spice kingdom, they became spice traders. Much later we come to Abraham’s son by Keturah, Jokshan, whose sons were Sheba and Dedan. It would appear that this Sheba was drawn to his relatives in the Yemen area! Dedan lived in northern Saudi Arabia. Excavations at Al Ula confirm that this was ancient Dedan. Ezekiel 25:13 also confirms that it was close to Teman.

Sheba and Dedan point us to the Arab nations living in the Gulf region, foremost being Saudi Arabia. Interestingly they are Sunni Moslems as opposed to the Shiites of Iran and Iraq. The picture in Ezekiel 38 clearly points to this group of nations being opposed to Gog’s invasion of Israel. True they are powerless to make more than a protest, yet how remarkable is this picture of Arab nations supporting Israel! It would seem preposterous 20, 30 years ago, yet how the situation has changed, and this is indeed the reality.

Yemen—TIme for Change

As this update was being prepared, there seems to be a move in the situation in Yemen. This is Sheba territory, but it has been partially under the control of the Houthi rebels who are backed by Iran. They have been firing Iranian missiles from their bases in Yemen into the Saudi capital Riyadh. There has been a Saudi backed effort to drive the rebel out, but this battle has been raging for over 3 years, with small success. A change of tactic was signalled when Saudi and Abu Dhabi formed a new Council.

New Saudi-UAE Pact Backed by US Launches Hudaydah Offensive

Two oil-rich Gulf Arab rulers, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, quietly made history on June 6, when they forged a new pact in Jeddah, cheered on by the Trump administration. The first practical outcome of their new pact, dubbed the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council, came about on June 13 when they launched a major offensive to wrest the important Yemen port of Hudaydah from Houthi rebels. Their new pact has broad ramifications which transcend the Yemen war. In a trice, it reduced the traditional Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to insignificance. Debka 15-Jun-18

At the time of writing the Saudi-led forces have seized control of the airport, but driving the Houthi out of the port area is proving very difficult. If they succeed, then this will cut off their main supply route and hopefully bring them to the negotiating table. The humanitarian crisis is extreme, but aid ships are being unloaded even as the battle for the port rages. If the Saudis can gain control, then this will make aid distribution much easier.

Jordan—a Quiet Affair

Israel’s PM, Mr Netanyahu made a secret visit to Jordan to patch up relations following two deaths last year at a shooting at the Israel Embassy in Jordan.

Israel handles its relations with the Arab world in the shadows, like a forbidden romance.

On Monday, King Abdullah of Jordan hosted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Amman. The meeting included many participants. Abdullah and Netanyahu addressed several issues and even signed a general agreement of some kind.

Nevertheless, the Jordan royal house did not publicize the event. Unusually, the official photographer did not post any pictures on Facebook. Even the Jordanian press release characterized the meeting as a negative thing that had to be completed as quickly as possible, stating: “Prime Minister Netanyahu left Jordan after a short visit.”

“Short” is apparently a relative term. The meeting included discussions of matters existential to Jordan and very important to Israel. Mossad head Yossi Cohen, Netanyahu’s economic adviser Avi Simhon, military attaché Brig. Gen. Eliezer Toledano, and other advisers were part of the prime minister’s team. Cohen’s Jordanian counterpart, Adnan Jundi, was also there, as was Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, and many others of the king’s advisers. When a group like this meets, it is obvious that they are talking business, not merely making conversation.

The two leaders discussed Syrian President Bashar Assad’s likely return to the Syrian Golan Heights, a development that could send another wave of refugees into Jordan and the Golan – to Israel’s dismay – into the hands of Iranian militias. Abdullah and Netanyahu coordinated on the “deal of the century,” which advisers to U.S. President Donald Trump are once again here to promote. They agreed that Jordan would retain its position of responsibility for the Temple Mount. If the king is a “mentsch” (a good guy), and people say he is, he would also have thanked Netanyahu for Israel’s special help recently on a matter that is still under a censorship blackout.

Jordan is mired in a deep economic crisis. The two leaders agreed that Israel would lift a few restraints that have made it difficult for Jordan to sell produce in Judea and Samaria. This is not the only recent contribution to Jordan’s economy, either: Two weeks ago, Saudi Arabia announced it would provide $2 billion in aid to the Jordanians. Rumor has it that Israel had a hand in that deal.

It is clear that after a brief attempt to move closer to the Syrian-Iranian axis, Abdullah has come back to the Sunni side these past few weeks. Israel has a common denominator with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf states, all staunch opponents of Iran. These are the deep currents flowing underneath the first meeting between the two leaders in four years.

But very little can be said about everything that went on behind the scenes. That’s how it is when lovers meet in secret. israelhayom.com 22-Jun-18

Bahrain Will Be First Gulf State to Form Ties With Israel’

This was an off-the-record statement by a Bahrainian (ancient Dedan) Minister that they would soon be recognising officially the State of Israel!

On the verge of a breakthrough? Israel and Bahrain appear to be getting closer than ever.

Ahead of an extraordinary official visit by an Israeli delegation to Bahrain later this month, an official from the Kingdom told i24NEWS that Bahrain will be the Gulf state to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.

“Bahrain does not view Israel as an Enemy.”

The wealthy Gulf monarchy shares with Israel a deep resentment towards Iran. i24News 20-Jun-18

Reports: Israel-Saudi Strategic Axis Taking Shape

Israel and Saudi Arabia have moved to tighten military and security cooperation in an effort to counter Iran’s expanding presence in the Middle East.

In November, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, in an interview with the Saudi news site Elaph, said “I participated in a meeting of chiefs of staff in Washington and when I heard what the Saudi representative said, I found that he fully matched what I think about Iran and the need to deal with it in the region and the need to stop its expansion program.” “There is an opportunity with President Trump to form a new international coalition in the region, a large and comprehensive strategic plan must be implemented to stop the Iranian threat.”

Eisenkot also said Israel “is ready to share information if necessary,” with the Saudis “and there are many common interests we have in common with them.”

Several reports also noted that Israeli and Saudi officials have held face-to-face meetings, though neither side disclosed the topics discussed. Geostrategy Direct 09-Jan-18

As we reported in the last issue, Israeli leaders met with Saudi officials during a March visit to Egypt by Crown Prince bin Salman, who was on his way to the UK.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with senior Israeli officials during his visit to Egypt this week.

The report said the meeting focused on the normalization of ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia and included Saudi Arabia’s commitment to the “deal of the century,” the Middle East peace plan being devised by U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration.

Within that framework, Israel would take part in the unprecedented real estate venture [NEOM] being sponsored by the Saudis in the Gulf of Aqaba. Israel Hayom 07-Mar-18

Driving Force for Regional Change

Sunday marked the first time women in Saudi Arabia were officially allowed to drive. The decision was taken by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, often called MBS, as part of his move to bring parts of Saudi society up to date with the modern world.

The ripples from these changes can be felt far from Riyadh. It is no secret that Israel and the Saudis, faced by the common enemy of the Shi’ite Islamic Republic of Iran, are increasingly seen as being on the same side. Apart from the nuclear specter, Saudi Arabia has suffered from Iranian-sponsored rocket attacks from Yemen. There is obviously more contact between the Jewish state and the Sunni kingdom, albeit not in the open. Although Israelis cannot travel to Saudi Arabia, the inauguration in March of direct Air India flights to Israel through Saudi airspace should not be underestimated in showing improved Israeli-Saudi relations.

The ramifications for the latest Israel-Palestinian peace plans also need to be considered, especially in light of the visit this week by Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner on behalf of US President Donald Trump, who is keen to make the “Deal of the Century.” Saudi Arabia can put pressure on the Palestinians and the kingdom is currently more concerned with the Iranian threat and aggrandizement than it is with Palestinian posturing.

MBS’s modernization measures therefore, even if limited, could be a driving force for regional change. Jerusalem Post 25-Jun-18

The Merchants of Tarshish Trading in the Middle East

We have long seen Britain in the role of the latter-day Tarshish power; a trading nation working in the Middle East and with Israel. With Brexit rapidly approaching, Britain is building up her links with this region. It was significant that Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s first major trip was to Britain. The ties between the two countries go back a long way and both are monarchies. Britain has many skills that he needs for his ambitious NEOM project. Trade between the two countries is growing and both sides are looking to expand it much further.

With its ambitious “Vision 2030” development plans, the UK government sees Saudi Arabia as an increasingly significant potential consumer of British goods and services. It also sees it as a potential investor, as Britain prepares to leave the EU. In 2016, bilateral trade in goods and services with Saudi Arabia were worth nearly £9bn, and some 30,000 Brits live and work in Saudi Arabia. After the visit of MBS to London in March 2018 a joint communique agreed “public procurement with UK companies in Vision 2030 priority areas, including: education, training and skills; financial and investment services; culture and entertainment; healthcare services and life sciences; technology and renewable energy; and the defence industry.” BICOM (Britain Israel Communication & Research Centre) 15-Jun-18

Gulf Base Assures Britain a Key Naval Presence Following Brexit

Britain has made good on her promise to rebuild her military ties with the Middle East. “East of Suez” re-entered the military vocabulary. With the official opening this April of a new naval base in Bahrain—ancient Dedan—Britain has re-established a naval presence in the region.

Britain’s ability to maintain a global military presence post-Brexit has been greatly enhanced by the opening of the Royal Navy’s permanent base in the Gulf, according to one of the UK’s most senior officers.

At a time when Iran continues to pose a serious threat to the security of the oil-rich Gulf region, the HMS Juffair base at the Bahraini port of Mina Salman will enable Britain to play its part in keeping the region’s vital sea lanes open.

The £40 million base – paid for mainly by the Bahraini government – will allow the Navy to maintain a permanent presence in the region, without having to return warships to Britain every six months for routine maintenance.

The base can also be used by other British forces, such as the Army and Special Forces, to conduct operations throughout the region, including in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

Gen Sir Christopher Deverell, the commander of Britain’s Joint Forces Command, said the official opening of the base yesterday, where the Duke of York was the guest of honour, was an important step towards the development of “a global Britain”.

He said the establishment of Britain’s first permanent military base in the Gulf since the early Seventies would allow the UK to play an increased role in regional security. Daily Telegraph 07-Apr-18

The Merchants of Tarshish co-operating with Israel

As I write, Price William has landed in Israel to mark the first official visit since the State of Israel was established 70 years ago! He had spent the previous day visiting Jordan and is due to visit Ramallah. Why now, after 70 years of not visiting Israel? Britain had strong interests in Arab countries in the past and was loathe to cause upset. With the changed situation in the Middle East’s relationship with Israel, this no longer applies, Israel is no longer seen as the great enemy, but as a friend to cultivate, driven by the Arab saying, ‘mine enemy’s enemy is my friend’! Who would have thought that Iran’s aggression would have brought Jews and Arabs together?

Also, under Conservative governments there has been a much greater friendliness to Israel, Mrs May is particularly liked by Israel.

Over the past several years, the close but often complicated relations between Israel and the United Kingdom have grown much closer. Experts point to rising trade figures, stronger economic ties, increasingly transparent military cooperation and even the hope of a creeping shift in Britain’s voting patterns in international institutions. Among the factors contributing to the new trends, according to experts, are Britain’s planned withdrawal from the European Union, the shift in international focus in the Middle East from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the global war on terror, and the return to power of the Conservative Party, considered friendlier to Israel than the Labour Party. Haaretz 03-Jun-18

The visit to Haifa last November of the HMS Ocean was a further step in the UK’s changing attitude. In July 2017 there had been a 3-day joint sea search and rescue exercise between the IAF helicopter squadron and the Royal Navy squadron based in Cyprus.

Prince William Hails Israel-UK Ties “Which Have Never Been Stronger”

Ending a full day in Israel, the Duke of Cambridge, speaking at a reception in the British ambassador’s residence, praised UK-Israel cooperation “in the economy, in science and in security … two open societies that thrive on innovation, diversity, talent and excellence.” Debka 26-Jun-18

In recent years Britain has made Israel a key market—there is a lot of synergy between the two countries. Israel is very good at developing ground breaking ideas, Britain is very good at turning ideas into a marketable product. This used to be America’s exclusive field, but with changed relations under President Obama, many Israelis saw that Britain had advantages. It was a much shorter flight to visit and time-zone-wise only 2 hours difference, instead of California’s Silicon Valley being 10 hours behind. It also gave them easy access to the EU markets.

UK Israel Tech Hub Celebrates 175 Partnerships, 54 Deals

The UK Israel Tech Hub was set up in by the UK government in October 2011 to bring together British and Israeli companies to develop technological innovation and business growth. It is based in the UK Embassy in Tel Aviv. According to its Impact Report, just published, it has led to 175 tech partnerships and 54 deals worth a cumulative £85 million.

The hub enables British companies to access Israel’s world-leading innovations in areas including artificial intelligence, chatbots, blockchain and Internet of Things and in projects such as smart cities and smart industries. At the same time, the hub has helped Israeli companies go global.

The potential UK economic impact of the UK-Israel innovation partnerships established through the hub since 2011 is £800 million, according to the June 2018 report.

The hub focuses on sectors such as retail, insure-tech, cyber, healthcare, mobility, smart cities, ed-tech, and Arab-led technology.

More than 150 UK companies and 490 Israeli companies engaged in hub activities during 2016-2017.

“We are pleased to see more and more UK companies tackling their innovation challenges and creating long term partnerships meant to incorporate Israeli innovation into their businesses and create sustainable value for them,” said Ayelet Mavor, director of the UK Israel Tech Hub. “RBS, HSBC as well as organizations such as the NHS are paving the way for their UK peers to work with innovators and create real win-win partnerships.” Israel21c 25-Jun-18

Brexit Spurs UK to seek Trade Agreement with Israel

Trade has been steadily increasing between the two countries, but Brexit has moved it up a gear.

In a move that Foreign Ministry officials say, “cannot be taken for granted,” the United Kingdom included Israel as one of 10 countries with which it seeks to sign new bilateral free trade agreements. A joint working group has already been established toward that end. Britain must take a strategic view of the region ahead of Brexit, and Israel has been tagged as one of the preferred countries in the first phase, Israeli foreign policy officials told Haaretz last week. “Despite Israel’s small economic size, in global terms, they also looked at the contribution to the European research and development program and the field of innovation,” one official said.

According to the British Embassy in Israel, bilateral trade of goods reached a record $9.1 billion in 2017 (up from $7.2 billion in 2016). For trade in services, the latest figures available are from 2015 – $1.6 billion. Britain is the second largest market for Israeli exports, after the United States.

Since the 2016 Brexit referendum, there have been signs of increased Israeli business interest in Britain: In the 12 months following the referendum (June 2016 to June 2017), 32 Israeli companies set up shop in the United Kingdom, compared with 25 companies between June 2015 and June 2016. Between July 2017 and March 2018, an additional 20 or so Israeli companies established bases in Britain.

In the year after the referendum, Israeli investment in the United Kingdom rose to 154 million pounds sterling ($205.5 million), from 114 million pounds, an increase of 33 percent. By March of this year, Israeli foreign direct investment since the referendum amounted to 400 million pounds. In addition, Israeli investors have injected over 400 million pounds into infrastructure projects in Britain in the past four years.

In the last two years, a growing number of high-tech partnerships were established, including a program incorporating Israeli digital health technology into Britain’s National Health Service. Last year a project was launched, with an initial budget of 5 million pounds, for joint research into medical conditions affecting the elderly and technologies and precision medicine for older populations. Haaretz 03-Jun-18

“And all their young lions” NKJV

This is a phrase in Ezekiel 38:13 that is a puzzle to commentators. By rightly understanding who the Merchants of Tarshish are, we see what a wonderful phrase it is and so apt! Britain has a Commonwealth of countries, many of them former possessions, who are now independent, but look to Britain as the “mother country”. Hence the cartoonists picture of Britain as an old lion, surrounded by her young lions. Although Britain is regarded as one country, the United Kingdom is just that, four countries, England Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland united as one. All merchant, trading countries, hence the Merchants of Tarshish. The Young Lions are spread around the globe, the foremost of whom are the United States, Australia, Canada, India and New Zealand. Countries which are friendly to Israel and trade with the Sheba-Dedan countries. A quite remarkable grouping of nations. No other power matches these maritime, trading countries. As we saw in the last update, this year was the occasion of the 4-yearly Commonwealth Games, which were held in April in Australia; in 2022 they are due to be held in Birmingham in the UK.

Every four years the Commonwealth Heads of Government meet to exchange ideas and boost their trade with fellow members. This year it was held in London 16-20th April and attended by the leaders of the 53 member countries, the biggest such meeting held in the UK. This year’s theme was “Towards a Common Future”.

One of the important decisions was the agreement that Prince Charles would succeed the Queen in due course as Head of the Commonwealth. The Queen has done a wonderful job of holding the Commonwealth together. In preparation, I believe, for Brexit when Britain’s trade will inevitably shift from Europe to a global reach. The Prime Minster May, paid tribute to the Queen’s role in her opening speech.

Finally, on behalf of all of you assembled here in Buckingham Palace, I want to offer my heartfelt thanks to Your Majesty, Head of the Commonwealth.

This week you have opened your homes to us – here in London and in Windsor. Over many years you have been the Commonwealth’s most steadfast and fervent champion.

You have been true to the deepest values of the Commonwealth – that the voice of the smallest member country is worth precisely as much as that of the largest; that the wealthiest and the most vulnerable stand shoulder to shoulder.

You have seen us through some of our most serious challenges.

And we commit to sustaining this Commonwealth, which you have so carefully nurtured.

For your service, for your dedication, for your constancy – we thank you. Gov.uk 19-Mar-18

The Foremost Young Lion’s Links to Britain and Israel

The United States was the first of the Empire nations to gain her independence, in 1776, long before the others gained theirs between 1901 (Australia) to 1984 (Brunei). Although not a member of the Commonwealth, she is the oldest of the young lions. Interestingly there are moves to invite her to join the Commonwealth, and in anticipation of this, the Royal Commonwealth Society opened a branch in Mississippi in September 2017.

Explaining the decision to create a US branch, a spokesman for the Royal Commonwealth Society played up the countries’ shared values.

“The fraternal links between the UK and the USA are strong and well-established, beyond our language, common legal systems and common interests,” the spokesman said.

“In a similar vein the US has natural connections based on language, culture, commerce and security, with a breadth of Commonwealth countries.

“The establishment of a Branch of the RCS in the US will serve to strengthen these links to mutual advantage.” Daily Telegraph 16-Sep-17

Mr. Trump’s mother, Mary Anne MacLeod was born in the Scottish island of Lewis in the Hebrides and emigrated to the US in 1930 aged 18 to seek her fortune. She married Fredrick Trump, a successful property developer and a very eligible New Yorker.

Mr. Trump is due to make a 3-day visit to the UK on July 13th following his visit to a NATO meeting in Brussels on July 11 and 12. He is due to meet the Queen at Winsor Castle and the Prime Minister at Chequers.

Britain is hoping to be able to sign an advantageous post-Brexit trade deal with the US. At the moment Britain has been hit with the tariffs that Mr Trump has imposed on Europe and China in his ongoing “trade wars”. Outside the EU, Britain would be able to negotiate for an exemption.

Mr Trump has expressed his view that he is “a big fan of the UK”. However, the Labour Party has signalled its opposition to Mr Trump and has promised demonstrations to coincide with his visit, which is being planned to avoid London.

Mr Trump is a strong supporter of Israel in contrast to his predecessor. His UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has consistently supported Israel in the UN meetings and chided the constant seeking to find fault with Israel. Following his declaration last December, that he would move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, this was carried out on 14th May 2018 to mark Israel’s 70th anniversary celebrations. It is temporarily being housed in the US Consulate, though there are plans to erect a new building nearby. The square outside has been renamed United States Square.

Two hundred and fifty Americans attended the ceremony. Mr Trump, who dislikes flying, sent his daughter, Ivanka, to unveil the new embassy plaque. Although the legislation to move the embassy was passed by Congress in 1995 and signed by President Bill Clinton, for nearly 23 years the decision has been postponed by the US President signing a 6-month waiver. As Mr Trump acknowledged in a video message, the opening had been “a long time coming.”

“Today, Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s government, it is the home of the Israeli legislature and the Israeli Supreme Court, and Israel’s prime minister and president”

“Israel is a sovereign nation with the right, like every other sovereign nation, to determine its own capital. Yet for many years we failed to acknowledge the obvious. The plain reality that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital”. Ynet News 14-May-18

Mr Netanyahu thanked Mr Trump for carrying out the move.

“What a glorious day for Israel. Remember this moment. This is history. President Trump, by recognizing history you have made history. All of us are deeply moved, all of us are deeply grateful.”

“This is a great day. A great day for Jerusalem. A great day for the State of Israel. A day that will be engraved in our national memory for generations.” Ynet News 14-May-18

Trump Backs Israel Over Iran in Syria

President Trump is backing Israel’s drive to push Iran out of Syria. Even Russia is beginning to see that Iran’s presence in Syria will make it much harder for Russia to consolidate her gains. Mr. Netanyahu was invited to watch the annual Victory Day Parade in Moscow this year and used the opportunity to urge Mr Putin, not to support Iran’s desire to build an arc of influence stretching to the Mediterranean. Israel has been active in destroying Iran bases and weapons deliveries in Syria, without opposition from Russian forces.

Now President Trump is putting his weight behind Israel. American forces operating in Syria are being used to withstand Iranian advancement.

President Trump is Contemplating Upgrading Israel’s Military Status

Raising Israel from “major non-NATO ally” to member of the Partnership for Interoperability Initiative, as the sixth member of this exclusive club, alongside Australia, Finland, Georgia, Jordan and Sweden. Israel’s clearance for shared intelligence will be comparable to that of Australia, the UK and New Zealand.

The US Mediterranean fleet will establish a permanent presence in the Israeli ports of Haifa and Ashdod, instead of occasional visits. US Navy aircraft carriers and Aegis destroyers will be berthed there. The Lockheed Martin Aegis Combat System is an integrated naval weapons system developed by the Missile and Surface Radar Division. It uses powerful computer and radar technology to track and guide weapons for destroying enemy targets. Aegis is now part of NATO’s European missile defense system.

In 2017, the US established its first official, permanent military base in Israel. Stationed atop Mt. Keren deep in the southern Negev desert, it is administered by the US military’s European Command and includes barracks, offices and support services. Its mission is to monitor Iranian airspace 1,000 miles to the northeast for any sign of a missile launch. The THAAD radar atop Mt. Keren is the most advanced mobile radar array in use today. Debka 08-Jun-18,

In addition to supplying the IDF with more sophisticated weapons, he is strengthening the US presence in Israel.

The US will top up its own war reserve stock of weapons and ammo at the Negev base. This reserve pre-positions supplies of war materiel ready for use if needed for war. It includes a Strategic Petroleum Reserve in case of need.

All in all, the Trump administration is providing Israel and its armed forces with the military resources for preparing for war of a quality and quantity far in excess of those possessed by NATO’s members. ibid

What an incredible picture is unfolding, in line with what the prophets recorded from God, millennia ago. Who can doubt that Israel’s God is the True and only God. How wonderful that through the pages of the Bible we have come to trust in Him and are assured that every tiny detail will be fulfilled. As we see Britain re-aligning herself away from Europe and focusing on the Middle East and the rest of the world, we can be quietly confident that our Master is at the door. Soon he will be back to bring all nations into submission to his rule and establish peace and righteousness from Jerusalem to the end of the earth. In that day God’s name will be praised by all and no longer used in blasphemy by godless tongues.

Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.

In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory. Isa. 45:21-25

Let us hold fast to the certainty of the Truth in these closing days of the Gentiles. The Lord is about to come to his household!

Words 6100

Out Today – July 2018 Milestones Bible Magazine Prophecy Update review – Don Pearce’s

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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….

Subjects covered in this article

Bible Magazine Spring 2018.

  • Putin wins another six years at Russia’s helm in landslide victory.
  • Britain has found its role in taking on Putin.
  • Russia poisoning is not EU concern, Germany says.
  • Why EU leaders may not be in the mood to hit back hard at Russia over spy attack.
  • ‘Decisive step’ in Brexit ahead of EU summit
  • How Brexit Opens Up a Path for a US-UK Free Trade Agreement
  • The Commonwealth Service: A Celebration of the Commonwealth.
  • Our future lies with the Commonwealth and not the EU.
  • “We have made more progress in European defense policy over the last year than in the last 20 years.”.
  • PESCO – an instrument relevant for the security of the EU and its citizens.
  • What Prince William’s visit means for Israeli-British Relations.
  • Israeli and Saudi officials reportedly hold series of secret meetings in Egypt
  • History is Made as Israel, Arab States Attend Gaza Conference at White House.
  • The Gas Deal with Egypt: Israel Deepens its Anchor in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Bible Magazine July 2018 Prophecy review

Bible Magazine Spring 2018

The world’s political tectonic plates are beginning to splinter under the great pressures being exerted in so many directions. The stage is being prepared by unseen angelic hands for the grand finale in the 6,000-year contest between the thinking of the flesh versus the ways of God.

Within the comings and goings of the world scene, Bible students are encouraged by the direction that recent events are moving the chess pieces on the world stage. It will be a time of trouble, fear and destruction, we do not rejoice in this, but scripture teaches us that the ways of man are so astray from God’s ways that to reverse the godlessness of generations will need a display of power and judgements such as we read of in Exodus, that brought about the ending of Israel’s slavery in Egypt.

We know that today it is that same focus on Israel that is the key to what is happening in the political world. Brought up on a diet of humanism or even a religious background that see the Jews as Christ-killers and so through Trinitarian eyes, God-killers, then the return of Israel to their land is of no real interest. Their claims to the land carry no weight. Whereas Protestant countries, especially those linked through Britain, are influenced in their view of Israel. True it is that trade is the great motivating force, but the Biblical background of many of the political leaders gives an added dimension to their dealings.

The coming clash takes place in Israel. Nations will assemble to attack her, only to be defeated by the newly returned Lord Jesus, Israel’s Messiah and the host of recreated immortal ones gathered from the dust of the earth from past ages will be united with fellow pilgrims who are alive at Christ’s coming.

The defeat of Israel’s enemies opens the way for the chastened nation to recognise their saviour as their Messiah and begin the process of establishing God’s Kingdom in Israel, spreading out to eventually embrace all nations on earth. Then indeed God’s Mercy will be seen. Out of the misery and chaos of today will emerge new generations who will be educated in righteous ways. Who will honour the God of Israel as the true and living God who has created all things. In the words of God through Habakkuk:

For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. Hab. 2:14

This is the end point. We are at the start of that end time period. The closer we get to the Return of the Master, the greater the convulsions on the political scene. Scripture likens them to birth pains! Isaiah saw the troubles of his day:

Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travaileth: I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it. Isa. 21:3

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows [Gk. odin “the pains of a woman in travail”]. Mark 13:8

And so we see the grouping of the nations for this final scene prior to the Master’s Return.

We see Britain and America being pushed together and away from Russia. Europe integrating politically at a breath-taking speed, whilst not wanting to sever their ties with Russia. At the same time the Southern Arab, Gulf State nations, are increasingly working with Israel. So lets look at these areas.

Putin wins another six years at Russia’s helm in landslide victory

His victory was widely predicted, as all strong opposition had been effectively squashed!

Russian President Vladimir Putin won a landslide re-election victory on Sunday (18 March), extending his rule over the world’s largest country for another six years at a time when his ties with the West are on a hostile trajectory.

Putin’s victory will take his political dominance of Russia to nearly a quarter of a century, until 2024, by which time he will be 71. Only Soviet dictator Josef Stalin ruled for longer. Putin has promised to use his new term to beef up Russia’s defences against the West and to raise living standards.

Putin’s bellicose language reached a crescendo before the election in a state-of-the-nation speech when he unveiled new nuclear weapons, saying they could hit almost any point in the world and evade a US-built missile shield.

At odds with the West over Syria, Ukraine, allegations of Russian election meddling and cyber-attacks and the poisoning in Britain of a former Russian spy and his daughter, relations between Moscow and the West are at a post-Cold War low.

Putin, 65, has been in power, either as president or prime minister, since 2000.

Allies laud the former KGB agent as a father-of-the-nation figure who has restored national pride and expanded Moscow’s global clout with interventions in Syria and Ukraine.

Critics accuse him of overseeing a corrupt, authoritarian system and of illegally annexing Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014, a move that isolated Russia internationally. EurActiv 19-Mar-18

Britain has found its role in taking on Putin

The poisoning of a Russian double agent and his visiting daughter in the normally sleepy town of Salisbury, UK has held the world headlines during the past two weeks. Traced now to a Russian military-grade nerve gas with the code name A-230 developed in the 1970’s and 1980’s by the Soviets, itx is the most toxic nerve chemical ever developed with no known antidote. Neither of the two Russians poisoned with it are expected to recover. Several Russian’s who have fled from Russia because of conflict with Putin have died unexpectedly and it is likely that these previous deaths will be examined for signs of poisoning by this nerve-gas.

Its effect has been to put Britain and her allies on collision course with Russia. Mrs May has challenged Mr Putin to admit responsibility, which, not surprisingly he refuses to do, drawing attention of the closeness of Britain’s centre for chemical weapons as being only a few miles down the road, accusing Britain of carrying out the poisoning!

Mrs May has expelled 23 people from the Russian Embassy in London claiming that those expelled are known to be Russian agents rather than Embassy staff. Russia has retaliated expelling 23 of the British staff – a move that was expected.  Her handling of the case was commended—the headline to this section is from the Daily Telegraph 16-Mar-18. The article was written by the former Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

As someone who has dealt with Putin on many occasions, I am in no doubt that he understands only the language of power. Those states who fear that our actions could escalate the situation must ask themselves whether there is also a cost of inaction, and whether it is the West, or Putin, who is really escalating the situation.

Theresa May’s initial response to the Skripal attack was measured and resolute. However, as important (and perhaps more so) is how the wider transatlantic community responds. The initial signs are positive, but leaders’ statements of recent days must be converted into concrete measures such as extending sanctions against Putin’s acolytes.

While all eyes are on the immediate tactical response, the attack on British soil should also be seen by Britain and her allies as a wake-up call to confront Putin’s hybrid war against us. Britain should now pull together the coalition of freedom-loving allies to devote the resources and manpower needed to generate a joined-up transatlantic response. A response that defends our open societies and actively combats this concerted and cynical effort to undermine our democracy and security from within.

It is early days at the time of writing to see how strongly the West gives Mrs May their support in this matter. Already the German Foreign Minister has given his viewpoint!

Russia poisoning is not EU concern, Germany says

Heiko Maas, the German foreign minister, has described Russia as a “difficult partner”, but said the UK poisoning was a “bilateral” issue, indicating that Britain can count on little support from the EU.

Maas spoke ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday (19 March), one day after Russian leader Vladimir Putin secured six more years in power and in the wake of British allegations that Russia poisoned a former spy, Sergei Skripal, in the UK earlier this month using a form of nerve gas.

Germany joined France and the US in backing the UK accusation last week, but Maas added on Monday that “dialogue” with Russia ought to continue as it was “an important partner” in solving international conflicts.

Donald Trump has given his strong support to Mrs May. We would expect Europe to be lukewarm regarding condemnation of Russia, as increasingly the “Dragon” and the “Beast” and the “False Prophet” cooperate as the two feet of Nebuchadnezzar’s Image prepare to carry them into the Egypt and Israel as foretold in Ezekiel 38 and Daniel 11. Britain and the US also work together but in opposition to the Gogian powers who come against Israel. (Ezekiel 38:13) As a CNBC 19-Mar-18 headline put it:

Why EU leaders may not be in the mood to hit back hard at Russia over spy attack

Divided interests within the European Union will likely impede a uniform response toward Russia over its alleged nerve attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Britain.

Russia has so far not appeared phased by the U.K. government’s threats of retaliation, which so far consist of the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats from the country.

If you’re waiting for Russia to be firmly punished for its alleged nerve agent attack on a former spy in England, don’t hold your breath.

Following several years of what some have criticized as the U.K. government’s overly-lax policy towards Russia, experts aren’t betting on any sweeping measures that would send a ground-shaking message to the Kremlin over its recent behavior.

This is, in part, because of the U.K.’s economic ties to Moscow, as well as divided interests within the European Union (EU), thanks to several countries’ heavy reliance on Russian resources.

If the Kremlin is testing how far it can push the U.K. and get away with it, it may end up pleasantly surprised.

Delivering a uniform response beyond words may prove more difficult. Otilia Dhand, senior vice president at Teneo Intelligence, spoke to CNBC from Brussels about EU leaders’ deliberations.

“I don’t get the feeling that among EU leaders there is a big appetite for additional economic sanctions on Russia,” Dhand said. “In fact, this is quite unlikely. Individual sanctions? Probably, yes.”

Divided national interests

This is because European policies toward Moscow are based on the individual interests of member states, Dhand said. “Some of them are highly dependent on imports of energy from Russia, some are personally or politically aligned with Putin, and individual interests of these countries effectively question the cohesion of EU policy on Russia.”

A case in point is Nord Stream 2, an $11 billion project that would ship Russian gas across the Baltic. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed support for the project and Germany’s foreign minister has suggested easing Russian sanctions, while Poland has called for U.S. sanctions on the pipeline. German hopes for the project’s success have engendered broadly softer language from the European economic powerhouse toward Moscow

‘Decisive step’ in Brexit ahead of EU summit

The Brexit talks appear to have been limping along. The EU has no real interest in being helpful to Britain. Its negotiators are afraid of other members seeking to follow Britain’s exit pathway if things are made easy for Britain. The days of the EU being a “Common Market” are long gone, a political union is the goal, to form a United States of Europe. Because the UK is opposed to this, then Britain is showing her opposition to Europe’s aims and so is out of favour with the new dreams of the European elites who control the real power in Europe. The European edifice is a slow-moving creature, proceeding at the pace of the slowest country.,. Everything must be agreed by all 27 members, apart from areas where they allow majority voting to avoid being held up by an “awkward” member or two.

It was therefore rather surprising to hear an announcement March 19th that an agreement had largely been hammered out. This picture showed the EU negotiator, Michael Barnier, standing in front of a display of the 130 pages of the proposed draft Brexit deal put forward by the EU, with the agreed sections highlighted in green. It looked very impressive!

What emerged was a heavy price had been agreed by Britain. And until the last details are agreed there is no Agreement—the non-green items on the pages must be agreed for it to become a reality. As Mr Barnier often reiterates, “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”.

One of the key stumbling blocks is how to handle the Northern Ireland border with the Irish Republic. Now with both sides of the border being in the EU, the border is seamless and trade flows freely both ways. With Northern Ireland out of the EU, then there have to be border controls.

The international border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is about 310 miles long with, depending on how many tracks you include, as many as 275 crossing points.

In reality, the entire border is a crossing point because, apart from road signs changing from miles per hour to kilometres per hour, there is no physical infrastructure to see. BBC 30-Nov-17

Both sides want to avoid any change in the seamless transition that exists now. Only by electronic data exchange could this be achieved in measure, as happens between Canada and the US, but passport control needs to be in place. One suggestion is to do away with border checks altogether as the trade is relatively small in relation to the UK’s total exports. This would not be readily accepted by the EU as it would potentially allow cheaper goods, not up to EU standards to enter the Republic.

Britain appears to have given way on all key matters. If, and it is a big if, the whole document is agreed, then there will be a transition period running from Brexit March 2019 to the end of 2020. During this time Britain will have to continue to pay into the EU funds—indeed liabilities continue although on a much smaller scale until 2064! Britain’s fishing grounds would still be subject to EU control until the end of the transition period, and then no guarantee that Britain will be able to take back full control. EU citizens will be able to freely enter Britain during the transition period and have the rights to settle if they wished.

There are some gains, the EU has agreed that Britain can negotiate Trade Agreements before she leaves. They would not come into effect until after the end of 2020, but at least the sensible view has been agreed that Britain needs to get in place agreements before she leaves, otherwise she would be left in limbo. She will also not be bound by any EU foreign policy during this period if it conflicts with any “vital interests” of the UK.

Mrs May’s natural inclination as one who voted to remain in the EU is to be as close as she can to Europe. It would appear that God has other plans for Britain, which need her to separate from Continental Europe and forge alliances with her friends outside the EU. Both America and Australia are emphasising that Britain needs to separate from the EU to be able to sign up to Agreements.

How Brexit Opens Up a Path for a US-UK Free Trade Agreement

This was the headline to an interesting article by Ted R. Bromund, who is the Margaret Thatcher senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

Last week, I was in Brussels to help launch a new report on financial services in Britain and the European Union after Brexit. During that time, we inched a bit closer to the creation of a free trade area between the U.S. and Britain—and I learned a bit about why the EU is standing in the way.

Britain didn’t vote to leave the EU to make itself richer. It voted to leave to get back its right to govern itself. But Europe is a slow-growing part of the world, and that has a lot—not everything, but a lot—to do with bad European policies.

By reclaiming its sovereignty, Britain also took back the ability to choose its own path in taxation, labor, regulatory, and trade policies.

The EU doesn’t like this much. European leaders, such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have regularly warned that Britain won’t be allowed full access to the EU’s single market if it doesn’t accept all of the EU’s other obligations. This is what she calls “cherry-picking.”

What the EU is actually afraid of is that Britain will dump a good deal of the EU’s regulatory overhead, keep market access in the EU, and then run off and sign trade deals with a lot of the rest of the world—trade deals the EU hasn’t been able to negotiate. In other words, it fears a competitive Britain.

Happily, that’s the way things seem to be headed. Britain has been too slow—far too slow, really—for reasons of domestic politics to make it clear that while it wants free trade with the EU, it plans to diverge from its regulatory model. But it’s now become clear that Britain is going to diverge.

That’s good. Without diverging, Britain won’t be able to sign those other trade deals, because it won’t have anything to offer in the deal.

As a series of high-level U.S. visitors to Britain have made clear over the past week, if the United Kingdom can’t talk about regulations and agriculture, there’s not much left to talk about, because trade in other visible goods between the U.S. and Britain is already close to free.

This isn’t just a U.S. concern. The biggest news of the past week was the invitation to Britain, from the prime minister of Australia, for Britain to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership—the same agreement the U.S. unwisely quit last year.

That would bring to Britain free trade with Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and a series of fast-growing Asian economies. This offer refutes the ridiculous claim that no one will want to negotiate with Britain—the world’s fifth- or sixth-largest economy—outside the EU.

But again, the Australians made the point that Britain needs to break out of the EU’s clutches for this to work. And there’s the irony of it. Outside the EU, nations are clamoring to do a deal with Britain, but the EU itself is far less eager. The Daily Signal 05-Mar-18

The Australian offer is to bring Britain into the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP. This has arisen from the ashes of the Trans-Pacific Partnership which collapsed when Donald Trump came to office and pulled America out of the ten-year negotiations. The other participants didn’t give up and the CPTPP is a slightly slimmer version—580 pages long compared to 632.

Its members—Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam—constitute 13.5% of the world economy. The gains will only be a third as much as had been expected under TPP but these are still meaningful. The economies of the CPTPP members will be made 1.7% larger than they would have been, on average, by 2030, according to estimates from the Peterson Institute for International Economics. The biggest winners, in percentage terms, are poorer nations like Vietnam and Peru, who are expected see their economies expand by 2-3% each. And most of these benefits are likely to accrue quickly. Two months after six of the 11 members ratify the agreement, it will come into force.

Apart from America, the other big boy not at the party is China. The Chinese have not shown much interest in joining, preferring to try to build different trade agreements. The Economist 12-Mar-18

British participation would in effect replace the US, and bring potential gains to the UK, opening world markets in addition to the many Commonwealth countries anxious to do deals with Britain.

The Commonwealth Service: A Celebration of the Commonwealth

This is a service held in March every year at Westminster Abbey to mark Commonwealth Day.

The entire Royal Family will attend a Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on 12th March to mark Commonwealth Day

Her Majesty the Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, will be accompanied by the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry & Meghan Markle, the Duke of York, the Princess Royal, the Countess of Wessex, the Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Alexandra.

The Earl of Wessex, the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent will be absent from the service due to other commitments.

The Commonwealth service is the largest annual inter-faith gathering in the United Kingdom, and it is organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society. The Commonwealth service will be broadcast live on BBC One and BBC World to celebrate Her Majesty’s commitment to the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth represents 53 countries and almost 2.4 billion people. The theme of this year’s service is ‘Towards a Common Future’ and emphasizes how the Commonwealth can address global challenges to create a better future for all those in the Commonwealth. This link to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which will be held in April, with leaders from all 53 countries expected to attend. RoyalCentral.co.uk 02-Mar-18

The 4-yearly Commonwealth Games are due to be held in Australia between the 4th and 15th April 2018. It is a very popular event, this year hosting competitors from 70 Commonwealth countries and dependenciesce.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held in Birmingham, England. This will be the third Commonwealth Games to be hosted in England following London 1934 and Manchester 2002. This will also coincide with the Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II, head of the Commonwealth. Wikipedia

Britains future lies with the Commonwealth and not the EU

The Express 14-Feb-18

Post-Brexit, the Commonwealth will be more relevant and modern than ever.

When we joined the Common Market in 1973, we were in effect telling the 33 then members of the Commonwealth where they could go.

Instead of treating nations such as India, Tanzania, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia with the respect they deserved as our valued allies, we dumped them in favour of a new European club.

And as the Common Market morphed into the European Union and we operated within the customs union, we increased trade barriers against many of them. This is perhaps not the time to reflect more fully on that betrayal of nations which, in our hour of need, dropped everything to come and save Europe from the Third Reich. We repaid them by deserting them in less than thirty years.

But let’s not spend too long on the past. Let’s enter instead into the spirit of Brexit and look to the future. Because the very last word you should use about the Commonwealth today is irrelevant.

In April, London hosts the Commonwealth Summit which will bring together the 52 heads of the body’s governments.

The member countries span Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Pacific – with a combined population of over 2.4 billion people, making up one third of the world’s population. And 60 per cent of the Commonwealth population are under 30-years-old. It is an amazing, growing and evermore prosperous market.

Over the past ten years – long before Brexit – our exports to Commonwealth countries have risen much faster than exports to our fellow members of the EU Single Market, which have actually fallen.

We have doubled our sales to Singapore and New Zealand and increased those to Malaysia by 50 per cent. The IMF forecasts that our four current main Commonwealth markets – Canada, Australia, Singapore and India – will each grow faster than the EU, offering fantastic opportunities.

These stellar export figures are all, remember, without utilising any of the opportunities presented by Brexit. We do not have a single British-negotiated treaty with any of them, since we are only allowed to be part of EU-wide trade deals.

Had we not been in the EU for example, we would have signed a trade treaty with Australia many years ago.

Only this week the Australian High Commissioner, Alexander Downer, spoke about the huge benefits of free trade. As he put it: Australia wants to “build back” its trade with the UK. “We could build substantially more trade if we were able to negotiate a free trade agreement.”

Or there’s India, many of whose leading companies are English-speaking. We are the third largest investor in India, and vice versa. The potential for that bond to grow far deeper is huge. But until Brexit we have been unable to sign a trade treaty. Now these opportunities have returned.

Indeed, there is now a dedicated Commonwealth desk at the Department of International Trade headed by Liam Fox. It has a team of civil servants working specifically on this trade. Quite rightly, last year Dr Fox remarked that Brexit provides an opportunity “to renew bonds of trade and commerce with our allies across the globe”.

Remember this key fact: 93 per cent of the world’s population are not in the EU. Post-Brexit, the world is our oyster and the opportunities for us to prosper are almost limitless.

That means in areas such as South East Asia, for example, where Commonwealth members like Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore can open doors to the whole 650 million-strong region.

Our membership of the EU has meant we are far behind where we need to be in cementing trading links with these go ahead areas, where the world economy of the next decades is heading. But our Commonwealth ties give us a great opportunity to overcome that.

The Commonwealth is in so many ways our natural home. To be blunt: we have little in common with our European neighbours beyond geography and the history that geography has given us.

But we share with our Commonwealth allies a mix of language, common law, parliamentary democracy and culture – not to mention the family and business links.

In so many areas the EU is backward looking and sclerotic, while the Commonwealth is the future. Thanks to Brexit we are free to take full advantage. The Express 14-Feb-18

 “We have made more progress in European defense policy over the last year than in the last 20 years.”

This was the triumphant claim of the EU Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, at the Munich Security Conference held 16-18th Feb 2018. This annual Conference in Germany brings together military and political leaders from around the world to discuss pressing security issues. For the European participants there was satisfaction that at last real progress had been made to bring about the final pillar in the building of a United States of Europe—the forming of a European Army.

Mr Juncker was correct. The EU has made more progress in the past 12 months than the last 20 years. Brexit has opened the flood-stream to the pent-up planning that was being frustrated by Britain’s opposition to any dilution of NATO. As Britain’s influence wanes in the EU, they are ready to go! As the German Foreign Minister put it, “We have paved the way politically to establish an ‘Army of Europeans’”. “In the foreseeable future, the EU will be able to buildup its arms to such an extent that it will no longer need US support.”

Look at the unfolding timetable since Britain delivered her Brexit letter in March 2017 as shown in the slide. There have been in the past 12 months a succession of statements and meetings, cumulating in the 1st PESCO meeting. This acronym is formed from Permanent Structured Cooperation. It flowed out from Junker’s State of the Union Speech in September and Macron’s speech in the same month. The current set-up whereby each EU member State develops it own version of military hardware and software is very inefficient and prevents, in many cases, cooperation on the battlefield. PESCO, inaugurated at the November EU heads of Government summit meeting, pools the EU’s resources and will make identical weapons for all the 25 members that have signed up to it. At their 1st meeting on 6th March 2018 they adopted the first set of 17 different projects and a future roadmap.

PESCO – an instrument relevant for the secu rity of the EU and its citizens

PESCO is both a permanent framework for closer cooperation and a structured process to gradually deepen defence cooperation within the Union framework. It will be a driver for integration in the field of defence.

Each participating Member State provides a plan for the national contributions and efforts they have agreed to make. These national implementation plans are subject to regular assessment. This is different from the voluntary approach that is currently the rule within the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy.

PESCO is designed to make European defence more efficient and to deliver more output by providing enhanced coordination and collaboration in the areas of investment, capability development and operational readiness. Enhanced cooperation in this domain will allow decreasing the number of different weapons’ systems in Europe, and therefore strengthen operational cooperation among Member States, increase interoperability and industrial competitiveness.

PESCO will help reinforce the EU’s strategic autonomy to act alone when necessary and with partners whenever possible. Whilst PESCO is underpinned by the idea that sovereignty can be better exercised when working together, national sovereignty remains effectively untouched

 

Military capacities developed within PESCO remain in the hands of Member States that can also make them available in other contexts such as NATO or the UN. eeas.europa.eu PESCO factsheet

Britain has a large military arms business and although not approving of PESCO would like to be in the running for the supply of military equipment. The matter was discussed at the March meeting, but the 25 PESCO members decided not to give an answer on this question of non-members participating until the end of the year, when it should be clearer which way Brexit negotiations are going.

Euractiv 06-Mar-18 commented on the speed of progress as of “unprecedented scale” in terms of money and scale of planned activities. (See slide)

Pesco is Italian for a peach tree; peaches are soft on the outside but have a stone heart! A good analogy for the EU.

Let us turn to Israel and the Middle East.

What Prince William’s visit means for Israeli-British Relations

As this Jerusalem Post 04-Mar-18 article pointed out, this was the 1st time an official Royal visit has been planned for the 70 years that there has been a State of Israel! It is rather fitting that in this anniversary year this matter should be rectified with a planned visit by Prince William, although the date has not yet been set.

The pro-Arab leanings of the UK civil service, perhaps explain why no visit has taken place. Matters have changed considerably with Mrs May and Boris Johnson keen on developing trade between the two countries.

Ties between Israel and Britain are significant on a number of levels. Britain exported goods and services to Israel worth $4.3 billion in 2017. Exports to Saudi Arabia are a few billion dollars higher. But Israel also has much to offer Britain that the Saudis can’t. Israel exported to Britain to the tune of $5.1b. Israel has important technological innovations and the two countries share important intelligence information as well.

Perhaps the British government, particularly in the Brexit era, sees Israel as worthy of royal attention. It could also be that a royal visit will not anger countries like Saudi Arabia, particularly at a time when the Saudis view Israel as an important ally in the fight against Iranian expansionism. Jerusalem Post 04-Mar-18

Israeli and Saudi officials reportedly hold series of secret meetings in Egypt

There have been several signs of progress on the acceptance of Israel by the Arab nations, Saudi Arabia in particular. Crown Prince bin Salman stopped off in Egypt on his way to Britain. Here he met with Israel officials.

Top Israeli and Saudi Arabian officials reportedly held a series of secret meetings in Cairo last week, ahead of US President Donald Trump’s expected unveiling of his long-awaited Middle East peace plan.

According to a report on Israel’s Channel 10 news, a Palestinian Authority official told an Arabic news site on Friday that Egyptian officials were mediating talks that he described as “significant development” in the slowly warming ties between Jerusalem and Riyadh, a trend that he said was undermining the authority of the Ramallah-based Palestinian government.

“The warm relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia are damaging the Palestinian Authority,” the official was quoted saying. “It seems that Israel is no longer the greatest enemy in the region anymore.”

In one of the first visible signs of Israel-Saudi ties, this week, the Saudis granted Air India permission to fly through Saudi airspace to Israel, a first in 70 years.

According to the PA official, the talks—held at a luxury hotel, with Egyptian officials present—also dealt with the economic interests of Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, particularly in the Red Sea region. Times of Israel 12-Mar-18

This was followed by a White House meeting to discuss the situation in Gaza. Israel and the US are aware that the only way to win Palestinian minds is to bypass their political leaders and improve their living conditions. President Trump assembled a formidable team to discuss this matter.

History is Made as Israel, Arab States Attend Gaza Conference at White House

The Trump administration again made history on Tuesday, bringing together five Arab states [Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates. Don] with whom Israel currently has no formal diplomatic relations, as well as Egypt and Jordan – and Israel – all at the same table – in order to discuss how to make life better for Gazans.

Also at the meeting were other important stakeholders [Canada, Cyprus, European Union, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, & OPIC. Don] as well as representatives from the United Nations, USAID and the Office of the Quartet.

The meeting, convened by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, brought nearly two dozen nations and international organizations together.

U.S. Special Representative to International Negotiations, Jason D. Greenblatt, reported on the current situation in the enclave and said he would present proposals on how to change the situation.

“We asked you here because we believe we can do much better; we must do much better,” Greenblatt told those at the table. The Jewish Press 13-Mar-18

Although the world press blames Israel for the situation in Gaza, Hamas is responsible for the diverting of humanitarian funds for those living in Gaza, to military projects. Hamas officials live in luxury, in the main, while the ordinary people suffer. Israel is currently planning a rail link off the Ashkelon-Beersheba line to the Gaza Erez crossing to not only relieve the roads of the heavy congestion, but to dramatically increase the volume of goods shipped to Gaza and greatly reduce the freight costs.

The Gas Deal with Egypt: Israel Deepens its Anchor in the Eastern Mediterranean

In March a $15bn natural gas deal was signed between the owners of the Tamer and Leviathan gas fields and an Egyptian company, Dolpinus Holding. The gas will be supplied over a 10-year period for gas liquification for supply to Europe. This seems a cheaper option than supplying gas by pipeline to Turkey or—a much longer and deeper undersea route to Greece via Cyprus and Crete. The recently developed Egyptian Zohr field, which is bigger than Leviathan, will supply Egypt’s needs; but Egypt has a large plant for liquifying gas for transportation by special sea tankers, which is idle through lack of gas. This would anchor Israel and Egypt. Israel is currently building a gas pipeline to Jordan to handle gas from Tamar and newer fields as they come on stream under a sale of gas agreement signed in 2016 with Jordan over a 15-year period.

What exciting times we live in! We can see the regrouping of the nations and know that the Master must soon be here. Time and time again, in hindsight we have seen angelic hands holding things back as the time wasn’t quite ready, there were more to be called to the gospel fold.

And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted his hand to heaven,

 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. Rev. 10:5

 

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.

 

Out Today – Don Pearce’s Milestones Bible Magazine article from Fall 2017

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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 Fall 2017

Speaking with a young Brother at the meeting about the signs of our times, he said, “It is so exciting, everything is coming together. There are so many areas where the situation is on track! The angels must be working overtime!” I agreed and said that was a phrase that I find myself often using today. It doesn’t matter where one looks, things are dropping into their appointed place.

With Brexit talks stumbling along there have been two key visions of what the future might hold. One was by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker in his “State of the Union talk” describing the vision that he had of a United States of Europe. Brexit only had a fleeting mention and that was near the end of his hour-long talk! Europe had more interesting things to discuss than Britain’s exit! Significantly one prominent cartoonist depicted him as a Roman Emperor!

A few days later, B0oris Johnson, the UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs wrote an article for the Daily Telegraph outlining his vision of a Britain freed from the shackles of Europe, prospering as a trading nation.

At the same time, Russia was undertaking massive troop manoeuvres. The annual Russian strategic exercises take place in one of the four military areas of Russia. Last year Kavkaz-2016 took place in the Southern Military District. (Kavkaz = South). This year Zapad-2017 took place in the West. (Zapad = West) Much to the eastern border countries concerns, these exercises simulate the takeover of an imaginary country. Although limited to no more than 13,000 troops to keep it “Kosher” with NATO, many feared that under cover of these manoeuvres, many more troops would be involved, with the possibility of the troops not returning at the end of the exercise. The exercises are still ongoing as this is being written, and so far, there have been no reports of any aggression. The use of advanced missiles and tanks is a powerful reminder that Russia is an ever-growing military threat to the EU border countries.

A recent visit by the Vatican’s No 2, Secretary of State to Russia raised hopes of a possible visit by the Pope to Russia in the not too distant future. Differences are being put aside in order to work together. We have long anticipated that at the time when the Image stands upon its feet, the Pope will be the “eyes and mouth” in the Babylonian head of Nebuchadnezzar’s Image, directing the nations against God’s people.

Israel and Britain continue to flourish as trading partners. Whether coincidentally or not, the very day that Britain delivered her Brexit letter to the EU’s President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, was the day that the UK and Israel inaugurated the UK-Israel Trade Working Group! This was yet another step in the increasing cooperation between the two countries, which is pushing bilateral trade to over £5bn a year. The Israelis are looking forward to working with a Britain no longer shackled to toeing the EU line.

We see a world where men’s hearts are failing them for fear. Terrorists have struck in many places. Storms, hurricanes, floods, excessive heat, earthquakes, have brought a toll of death and destruction. Where will it all end? We know that these are signs that the Master’s return must be near.

We are virtually two jubilee periods (Nov. 1917-2017) since the Balfour Declaration which enabled the Jews to return to their homeland. We are one jubilee (Nov. 1947-2017) since the UN resolution 181 which enabled the State of Israel to be established. What will be the event that marks this new jubilee period as Israel celebrates (20th Sept. 2017) the start of a New Year?

So, we have many matters to look at in this update of events which excite Bible Watchers in these closing days of the Gentiles, as they anticipate the soon revival of Israel as God’s Kingdom on earth, with the Lord Jesus reigning over, not only Israel, but Abraham’s other children, and indeed, all nations, from David’s restored throne in Zion.

A Brexit update

We finished the last issue with the results just in of Mrs. May’s attempt to boost her majority in the UK parliament, to give her a stronger mandate to negotiate Britain’s exit from Europe. This turned out to be a spectacular failure, as the nation switched to supporting Labour, and the Conservative party ended up losing their majority. Mrs. May was considerably weakened and chastened. After much negotiation, she made a deal with the Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, to give the Conservatives their 10-seat support in the many votes which lie ahead on Brexit matters.

The UK’s weakened position has given the EU the upper hand in negotiations, and the talks have gone badly as far as Britain in concerned. The probable outcome is that Britain may well leave without arriving at an agreement. It had been hoped that by October, sufficient progress would have been made concerning the costs of this “divorce”, for the EU to declare that they could move on to discussions on the type of trading agreement the EU are willing to extend to the UK. At the moment, the prospects for this are very slim, and even November is being mentions with little prospect of it happening then! There is little enthusiasm to be accommodating to Britain’s needs. As with all EU negotiations they operate within very narrow guidelines. They have an agreed position and the EU negotiators have no flexibility to vary this position.

We can see the angelic hands behind the situation. A weakened UK government is not in the driving seat, Britain has to find an independent role outside the EU, which is not the position in other circumstances the UK government would seek. They would like to have one foot still in the EU! This would prove to be drag on both the EU’s plans and Britain’s plans. A clean break would appear to be what Britain is heading for.

All the talk of doom that accompanied the Brexit vote last year has proved groundless. Britain is continuing to fire on all cylinders with unemployment at its lowest level for many years, the manufacturing sector is growing and inward investment continuing to flow in. Several business leaders have come out to declare that if Britain doesn’t secure a post-Brexit trade agreement, this will not matter. Many non-EU members trade with the EU under World Trade Organization tariff rules. If Britain traded under these rules which, although imposing tariffs, would not cost Britain as much as she now pays in membership contributions in order to trade tariff-free.

An interesting tussle lies ahead. The EU is anxious to make it as difficult as possible for Britain to leave in order to deter any other members from going down this path.

The City of London has a special representative to the EU, Jeremy Browne, an ex-MP, who according to a leaked memo, gave a sobering assessment to 350 executives of financial firms in London. Commenting on the slow progress he said:

“In the minds of the EU this is Britain’s problem, and they feign a detached indifference. It is the received wisdom that all that is required is for Britain to come to terms with the inevitable and yield accordingly.”

There is also a warning that the EU could put political interests – keeping the bloc united and strong – ahead of the economic interests of its businesses.

“It was stated again that the voice of businesses in the EU will not sway the political decision makers,” Mr Browne writes.

“The big German corporates, for example, will not issue tough warnings to their politicians. It is, I think, underestimated in Britain how deeply corporate Europe buys into the EU orthodoxy. They are not boat-rockers by nature, but they also attach great importance to protecting the integrity of the single market, and going further still, to deepening Eurozone integration.” Sunday Telegraph 10-Sep-17

Catching the wind in the EU’s sails

The EU’s “State of the Nation” speech is delivered each September by the President of the European Commission. Last year it was a very pessimistic talk. Britain had voted to leave, migrants were pouring into Europe, the economy was stuttering, and as Mr Juncker declared last year, “Our European Union is, at least in part, in an existential crisis”.

This year’s speech was remarkably upbeat and was headed: “The State of the Union: Catching the wind in our sails”. The Economist’s cartoonist caught the mood with this cartoon.

Twelve months on, the mood has lifted so dramatically that last year’s fears have come to seem almost quaint. There is a whiff of change in the air, explained by two things. The first is a sense of optimism. It is fostered by defeats for anti-European parties in France, the Netherlands and elsewhere; and by a cyclical economic upturn that has seen the EU outpace America’s GDP growth for two years. There is also a confidence among officials that, rather than encourage Europe’s disruptive forces, the horrors of Brexit and Donald Trump have helped Europeans recover their love for stability. One calls the EU “super-vaccinated” by uncertainty elsewhere. And the election of Emmanuel Macron in France, along with the imminent re-election of Angela Merkel in Germany, offer a window of opportunity for reform.

Thus, was the scene set for Mr Juncker, on September 13th, to declare the wind back in Europe’s sails. In an hour-long address to MEPs he scampered through an ambitious set of proposals designed to illustrate that Brussels still matters. Some of his more outlandish notions—e.g., to merge the presidencies of the European Commission and Council, thus creating one mega-president for the EU—reminded sceptical observers why they were reluctant to give the commission presidency to the old federalist Mr Juncker in the first place. But other ideas were broadly welcomed. Among other goodies, Mr Juncker offered a rash of trade deals, a beefed-up cyber-security agency and a promise to expand the EU to the troubled countries of the western Balkans. Mrs Merkel’s chief of staff called it an “important and great” speech. The Economist 16-Sep-17

Here are some of his key points:

  • Now is the time to build a more united, stronger and more democratic Europe for 2025.
  • East to West: Europe must breathe with both lungs. Otherwise our continent will struggle for air.
  • The euro is meant to be the single currency of the European Union as a whole. All but two of our Member States are required and entitled to join the euro once they fulfil all conditions.
  • EU membership ruled out for Turkey for the foreseeable future.

Turkey has been taking giant strides away from the European Union for some time.

  • I want a stronger Economic and Monetary Union.
  • And I want us to dedicate further efforts to defence matters. A new European Defence Fund is in the offing. As is a Permanent Structured Cooperation in the area of defence. By 2025 we need a fully-fledged European Defence Union. We need it. And NATO wants it.

Quite a sweeping vision. Many in Britain are pleased that the UK is sailing in the opposite direction. Envisaging all members to be part of the euro is a step which would spell disaster for the UK. Outside the euro, the Bank of England has been free to set interest rates to suit what is best for Britain.

The Daily Telegraph’s 15-Sep-17 cartoon which accompanied the details of this speech saw Mr Juncker as a Roman Caesar, addressing his people!

This is significant as we see Europe heading to build-up the final phase of the Beast-system, modelled on the Beast of the Earth of Revelation 13:11-14

This is a recreation of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation to give it its full title, with its system of control by Pope and Emperor, working together to rule Europe. The HRE came to an end with Vial judgments of Rev. 16:1-10.

We also recognise that the feet and toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s Image dream, which represent the situation currently unfolding in Russia and Europe, are attached to the iron legs which represented the Roman Empire in the past. Over time, the Eastern and Western legs came to an end. In the East, Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia was murdered in July 1918. Communism then held sway until its own downfall in 1991. Since then we have seen a return to the former days where, especially under Putin, Church and State work, together. Mr Putin models himself on Tsar Peter the Great and, just maybe, the 36-year-old Grand Duke George Mikhailovich, the heir to the Romanov throne that is backed of the Russian Orthodox Church, may take up duties!

In the West, the last Holy Roman Emperor, Francis resigned in 1806, but the Hapsburg branch continued until Charles I resigned when Austria became a republic in 1918. Hitler attempted to re-establish the German Empire, which he planned in detail and much of the current EU is modelled on the plans drawn up during WWII. The founding fathers of what is now the EU, had their vision of a Christianised Europe with Church and State working together as in former times. Britain was always opposed to a political union of Europe and withstood plans for deeper political union. It was always understood however that monetary union—the euro—could only work within political union. With Brexit imminent, as Mr Juncker indicated, they could now proceed with their goals. This is what Pope Francis desires too. We shall come back to the subtle changes that are taking place in Europe regarding the role of religion, a little later.

“My vision for a bold thriving Britain enabled by Brexit”—Johnson

Boris Johnson, the UK Foreign Secretary who is an ardent supporter of Britain making her own way in the world, wrote a longish article in the Daily Telegraph 16-Sep-17, with the above heading. He explained why Britain joined in the first place:

To understand why we wanted to join, you have to remember the shock of Suez, the loss of confidence in Westminster and Whitehall, the way in which this post-imperial future was sold to the people – a common market, a way of maximising trade.

Soon found different agenda Then came the gradual realisation that this was a very different agenda, an attempt not just at economic but political integration of a kind that the British people had never bargained for; and you may remember how we were repeatedly assured that even if we were unhappy with the direction of the project, even if we disagreed with the concept of ever-closer union, it was none the less worth putting up with it all for the sake of the influence we would have.

But that influence never really came, Mr Johnson observed. Britain has 16% of the EU’s GDP, 13% of its population, but only 3.6% of EU officials.

And I remember the mantra of EU officials – Britain objects, Britain protests, but in the end she always signs up.

Although we kept trying to deny it – with an embarrassing lack of realism – we all knew that the logic was not economic but political. It wasn’t about creating a single market; it was about trussing the nations together in a gigantic and ever-tightening cat’s cradle of red tape.

To every question, to every crisis – whether it is the euro or immigration – the answer is always the same: more Europe!

I look ahead over the next 15 years at what may be coming down the track: the push to create an economic government of Europe, the activism of the ECJ in all the new competences of the Lisbon Treaty; and I ask myself, do I really believe that if we had stayed in, we would have produced a more devolved, a more decentralised, a more free-trading European Union?

I am afraid not.

And therefore it is wrong for us to be there – always trying to make things different, always getting in the way, always moaning.

Our destiny will be in our own hands, and that will be immensely healthy.

Outside the EU, there are obvious opportunities – in agriculture, fisheries, in the setting of indirect taxation.

We will have an immigration policy that suits the UK, not slamming the door but welcoming the talent we need, from the EU and around the world.

There are in fact four zones of the world where big tech investments are made: Boston, Silicon Valley, Shanghai and the triangle formed by London, Oxford and Cambridge.

We are investing in the new battery technology that will be part of the driverless revolution. And this country already boasts companies such as Deep Mind, one of the most promising artificial intelligence companies in the world.

We will be able to intensify old friendships around the world, not least with fast-growing Commonwealth economies, and to build a truly Global Britain.

We have the biggest financial centre in this hemisphere – and, by common consent, we will still have one by the time the Brexit controversy is a distant memory.

Look at Canary Wharf – a banking district now bigger than Frankfurt itself.

Look at our universities – the best in the world, with just one Cambridge college responsible not just for more Nobel prizes than France but indeed for more than Russia and China combined.

It is an astonishing fact that of all the kings, queens, presidents and prime ministers in the world, one in seven was educated in this country.

I was proud to be mayor of the greatest city on Earth, and I believe we can be the greatest country on Earth. Indeed, a recent estimate by the Henry Jackson Society just this month made a tally of the various nations’ political, economic and cultural throw-weight, and concluded that, with the second biggest contribution to NATO; with our forces deployed around the world; with our bankers, our chefs, our scientists, our poets and, yes, our diplomats, Britain at the beginning of the 21st century was the second-greatest power on Earth after America.

Not all his cabinet colleagues share his view-point. Many are still deeply bedded to Europe and are afraid to let go. We shall have to wait and see how it finally settles out. The latter-day Tyre power is one that after her period of 70 years of decline, revives and becomes a global power!

And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the LORD will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth.

And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to the LORD: it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before the LORD, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing. Isa. 23:17,18

A remarkable prophecy that relates to our time, for the prophet Isaiah says of the ancient Tyre of his day that God’s punishments would fall upon her and she would go afar off.

Pass ye over to Tarshish; howl, ye inhabitants of the isle.

Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days? her own feet shall carry her afar off to sojourn. Isa. 23:6,7

The close of the chapter sees the Tyre power using her wealth and her Tarshish ships in service to Israel’s God. A situation that has not existed from Isaiah’s day onwards. Britain fits the bill as a great maritime trading nation and the “mother” of the Israel-friendly, Protestant nations.

National Shipbuilding Strategy: The Future of Naval Shipbuilding in the UK

The government is planning to rebuild the Royal Navy. The recent launch of the UK’s first two state-of-the-art aircraft carriers have highlighted the tremendous strides the industry has taken. Britain is now placed to compete with overseas shipyards. The adoption of modular building (where different shipyards build various sections, which are brought together for final assembly) has transformed efficiency. In September, the UK issued its National Shipbuilding Strategy: The Future of Naval Shipbuilding in the UK, a 56-page document.

Here are a few paragraphs from the Forward, written by Michael Fallon the Defence Secretary:

As an island nation, the UK’s security and prosperity have long been associated with the seas. For centuries our world-renowned Royal Navy and expert shipwrights and engineers have protected our people and safeguarded our interests. During two World Wars, it was the aircraft carriers, frigates, destroyers and other warships built by men and women across the country that kept our fortunes afloat.

Today 95 per cent of our trade still goes by sea and our Royal Navy is busier than ever leading the fight against global terror, protecting shipping lanes from piracy, and tackling illegal migration in the Mediterranean.

In a post-Brexit world, the need for us to project our influence, to keep reaching out to friends and allies alike, will be more important than ever. That’s why we are investing billions in the Royal Navy over the coming decade. Our larger future fleet will include: our two mighty flagships, the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers; next generation Dreadnought submarines; Type 45 destroyers; and a phalanx of new frigates – not just Type 26 Global Combat Ships but a flexible and adaptable general purpose light frigate – the Type 31e. These new frigates, the T26 and T31e detailed in this strategy, represent a significant proportion of the billions we are spending on the procurement of surface ships over the coming decade.

To achieve our ambitions we need a strong shipbuilding industry as part of a wider maritime sector. Today some 111,000 people are working in the maritime and marine sectors in the UK, including in the shipyards, supplying the parts, or supporting the equipment that keep this great industry alive, from Appledore to Rosyth and beyond. Sir John Parker’s 2016 report shows the Industry has not stood still. Indeed, there has been a renaissance in the sector fuelled by a diversification into support, repair and wider marine engineering work.

The two-fold vision of the report sees:

  • A Royal Navy with more ships, which are modern and are capable of being incrementally modernised and improved, are exportable and can work with allies. Defence shows agility, pace and grip in how we plan for, procure, and operate these ships.
  • A shipbuilding enterprise that, encouraged by a clearer grip by Defence, and with greater certainty about the Royal Navy’s procurement plans, has the confidence to invest for the long-term in its people and its assets to raise productivity and innovation and improve its competitiveness in the domestic and overseas markets. In this way, the sector can become more resilient to the peaks and troughs of Royal Navy business, bringing more sustained growth and prosperity to the regions in which those businesses are based.

Government pledges to double UK fleet flying under the Red Duster

Brexit talks have also focused Britain’s attention on her merchant navy. World trade needs ships to convey the goods to their required destination. The shipbuilding industry went into decline, but using modern technology, it is set for a revival.

Britain’s famous Red Duster will fly proudly in new ports across the globe as part of our new trade drive after our exit from the EU.

The flag of the UK’s Merchant Navy, more properly known as the Red Ensign, is one of the most admired and well-known emblems on the high seas with every vessel sporting it under the protection of the Royal Navy.

And now Shipping Minister John Hayes wants to increase the amount of trade carried under the Duster to showcase Britain’s trading and maritime might around the world.

The government is working to double the size of the UK Ship Register from 16 to 30 million gross tonnage after we leave and build a new partnership with the EU – propelling the UK from 15th place into the top ten global maritime nations. This will be good for the UK, helping boost trade and exports, create jobs and ultimately boost the economy across the UK.

Maritime Minister John Hayes will use next week’s London International Shipping Week to start the drive for new business, selling the main benefits of flying the British flag including:

  • International tax breaks for vessels flying the Duster
  • British consular support for ships in foreign docks
  • The protection of the Royal Navy

Shipping Week is expected to feature ministers from up to 50 nations around the world and up to 15,000 high level shipping delegates. UK Dept. for Transport, Maritime and Coastguards Agency 11-Sep-17

Greek shipowners would consider relocating to London, says study

This was the heading to a short report in MaritimeUK 31-Aug-17, concerning a survey carried out by Ernst & Young of 776 Greek shipping executives. When asked if they would consider relocating from Greece, 56% said they would and the UK was the favoured destination. Post-Brexit they anticipated Britain would have considerably lower taxes and offer an easier regulatory regime. This would be a considerable boost to the UK.

The growing importance of Suez

A maritime nation needs to defend its critical trade routes. Britain, trading with India, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Japan and China, needs to ensure that the Suez Canal is kept open for her vessels to transit. Hence Britain is being drawn back to Egypt and the Gulf States in order to maintain her interests. In wonderful ways, angelic hands influence political decisions in seemingly natural ways.

“The return of the Guttenbergs”

By the time this article is printed the Germany elections will be over. At the moment, the expectation is that Angela Merkel will comfortably be re-elected for her fourth term. There does not appear to be a credible alternative leader. In any case, Germany has always needed a coalition in post-war elections. A newish party, Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland, AfD) was founded in 2013 by former members of Ms. Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party. It is described as a right-wing, populist party. It campaigned on abolishing the euro, as being not right for Germany. It is against same-sex marriages and adoption by same-sex couples and agues for family values. If it does well—it is expected to come third in the elections—it may well form part of a future coalition.

In the unlikely—though recently what in politics has turned out to be predictable—event of Ms. Merkel not being elected, there is another person waiting in the wings!

According to UK political betting sites, they put in 3rd place for becoming Chancellor someone who isn’t even standing in these elections, nor holds a ministerial position!

This is Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, the former Minister of Defence who resigned in disgrace in 2011 following a plagiarism scandal surrounding his doctorate dissertation He has subsequently lived and worked in New York. He was invited to come back to Germany and give talks in the run up to the September 24th elections. He received rapturous acclaim before packed audiences. He spoke at one meeting for 75 minutes without notes — he joked that he could not have read out a written speech because someone might have thought it was plagiarised! (Financial Times 03-Sep-17)

He says he is not planning to return to politics, we shall see. Ms. Merkel has welcomed his support. He struck a chord with ordinary Germans, he was not afraid to say what other leaders agree with, but fear to state—“Germany for the Germans”. In other-words, immigrants are welcome, but they must adapt and live the German way of life.

“But there is one thing that can repeat itself, something that made me very proud,” Guttenberg said, “and that is to see how the [German] people cared for those who needed their help”. The audience in Kulmbach broke out in loud applause.

Guttenberg followed his encouragement with a strong warning that he reiterated at the Gillamoos festival, where he said: “When we are not ready to love our culture, then others will start to define our culture.” To prevent that from happening, Guttenberg called on the German people “to live and determine our culture, to carry it aggressively outward, rather than sacrificing it prematurely to please someone else.”

The topic of “guiding culture” in Germany has filled many debates since the refugee crisis, but few dare to say what Guttenberg has: that the refugees will have to accept the German culture, which is shaped by Christian, Jewish and Western values. Guttenberg said that every other country demands the same and Germany shouldn’t be different. The Trumpet 10-Sep-17

This is a matter that the AfD party have espoused and it hits a popular note with ordinary Germans. As a headline put it: The German Election Is a Christian Civil War

The Christian Democratic Party, was founded, as its name indicates, as a “Christian” party and its earlier leaders were Roman Catholic regular church goers, but now Ms. Merkel, the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, rarely attends Church. The tide, however, is turning, Germany may have to demonstrate her Christianity to please the voters.

Christian perspectives on the EU. Rethinking Europe

This was the heading to an interesting article in COMECE 07-Sep-17. The initials stand for the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community. The web site is a joint one with the Jesuit European Social Centre and carries some interesting articles. This one focused on the need for Europe to go back to its coots. This is a message that the present Pope has stressed during his pontificate, that Europe must rediscover its Christian roots so that it can avoid being slowly engulfed in a Muslim tide. This is the article:

With the participation of Pope Francis, COMECE is organizing a Dialogue Congress on the Future of the European Union in the Vatican at the end of October.

In the beginning was the idea: the unification of Europe. In 1923 Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi wrote his programmatic book “Pan-Europe”, in which he set out his proposal for a European federation of nation states stretching from Poland to Portugal. In 1940, during World War II, Jacques Maritain expounded his vision of a federalist Europe built upon the foundation of Christian principles.

In an article entitled Europe and the Federal Idea for The Commonweal Magazine (April 1940), he prophesied that: “A federalist Europe can only live through the spirit of Christianity. It is obvious that all great ideals can be betrayed; however, it is equally clear that the hope of this ideal is the only one that remains for us. And there are enough indications to be able to rightly claim that the hope is becoming reality despite all of the failures and miseries simply associated with human matters and, perhaps, also despite repeatedly having to start again from new.”

The former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who died last June, is also counted among the visionaries of a united Europe. In 2012 he wrote: “My vision for Europe was, and still is, the vision of the founding fathers of Europe. It is the vision of a united Europe, in other-words an ever-closer coexistence on our continent.”

During the memorial ceremony in his honour held at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Jean-Claude Juncker praised him as a true patriot not only of Germany but also of Europe. Former US President Bill Clinton declared that Kohl had wanted a world in which cooperation mattered more than conflict: “He wanted to create a world where nobody dominated over anybody else.” European Parliament President Antonio Tajani paid tribute: “Everywhere and at all times, he defended human dignity against walls, against iron curtains and against totalitarian regimes.”

This is the broad context for the Rome Congress, which COMECE, together with the Holy See, will be organising at the Vatican between 27 – 29 October 2017 to mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome. The theme is “(Re)thinking Europe – a Christian contribution to the future of the European Union.” 350 participants representing the Church, religious movements and the world of politics will reflect (anew) on the challenges currently facing the EU.

During a recent dialogue seminar between the churches and the European Commission focused on the White Paper on the future of the Europe and the way forward published in March 2017, the critical observation had been made that the given horizon – looking ahead to just 2025 – was far too short. After all, the founding fathers of European unity had created their forward-looking vision in terms of several decades.

An article entitled “Les labyrinthes du politique” (“The Labyrinths of Polices”), published in spring 2011 in the French cultural magazine “Esprit”, had advanced a similar argument. A distinction is drawn between two different temporalities in the world of politics: first, a short-term temporality that obeys the constant demand for urgency and the pressure of elections and the media. Second, there is a long-term temporality that addresses the major political problems of climate change, public debt, global inequality and demographic challenges. The author happens to be Emmanuel Macron, the current President of France.

Long-term temporality has always been preferred by the Church, thanks to her centuries-long history and political independence. Of course, people can ask what the many roundtable discussions and debating events on the future of Europe will ultimately be delivering in terms of “realpolitik”. The German cultural philosopher Georg Simmel (1858-1918) argued: “Nothing has ever happened in the world in the way exactly envisaged by prophets or great leaders. But if there had been no prophets or leaders, nothing would have happened at all.” The same is true for the history and future of the European Union.

In a recent interview Eugenio Scalfari, the 93-year-old La Repubblica journalist told the Pope:

“Europe must become a federal[i] state if it is to deal with the ongoing migrant crisis”, to which the Pope responded, “True, I have repeatedly raised this.”

Pope Francis then continued, “The countries [of Europe] will act if they recognise one truth: either Europe becomes a federal community or it will no longer count for anything in the world.” Catholic Herald 11-Jul-17

In a congratulatory telegram to Emmanuel Marcon on his election victory, the Pope asked him to remember France’s Christian roots. (Society of St Paul X 19-May-17). As French President, he is given the title of Canon of Honor of St. John Lateran, the cathedral church of Rome, which contains the cathedra, or ecclesiastical seat, of the Roman Pontiff (Pope). (Wikipedia accessed 20-Sep-17): We wait to see how rapidly Europe embraces its Christian roots. We saw in Russia just how quickly the situation can change. Europe seems to be ready for change. The very ubiquitous symbol of the EU, seen on its flag, European car number plates, building projects—the European flag—consisting of 12 golden stars on a blue background is a religious symbol. It draws on the Roman Church’s misapplication of the symbolism of Revelation 12 of a woman in heaven with 12 stars around her head, as a symbol for Mary, whom they claim is Queen of Heaven. As the alleged Queen of Europe her symbol has made a fitting symbol for the EU.

We wait patiently encouraged by the many signs that the day of our Lord’s return must be very near.

 

Words 5890

[i] A union of states under a central government.

 

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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.

 

Reflections on the UK Election Result in light of Bible Prophecy- Don Pearce

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The UK Elections 08-Jun-17

Don Pearce 12-Jun-17

A few comments about Thursday’s election and the humbling of Mrs May.

Background

If last year’s Brexit vote was described as a political earthquake, then what we are seeing are the aftershocks from that earthquake.

It may well claim another scalp. Following the Brexit vote in June 2016 and Mr David Cameron’s resignation as Prime Minister, there was a bloodbath with many political contenders for the job falling. Mrs May emerged as the unlikely winner without a vote needing to be taken. She set about preparing Britain for Brexit, and despite having been a Remainer (i.e. not in favour of leaving the EU). She picked up the mood of the country and carried the country in preparing Britain for the step the majority, albeit by only a small margin, had voted for – Brexit. She did a good job of this and in March 2017 a letter was handed to the EU announcing Britain was triggering Article 50, which was the concluding section of the Lisbon Treaty which set out what had to be done if a country wanted to exit the EU. There is a 2-year time slot allowed for all the negotiations. Having received the letter triggering Article 50, the EU then meet to work out an agreed strategy to deal with the situation. Having done this, the date was duly set for the commencement of these talks in earnest for June 19th, 2017.

With the main Opposition Party – the Labour Party – in apparent disarray with its controversial leader, Jeremy Corbyn, seemingly very unpopular within his own party, and Mrs May’s Conservative Party soaring in popularity in the opinion polls, Mrs May took the decision to call for a snap election in a bid to increase her majority in the House of Commons, the British Parliament. May had hoped to increase the Conservative’s majority to “strengthen [her] hand in the Brexit negotiations” (Guardian 02-May-17)

The call was unexpected as she had earlier ruled out such a step.

It now emerges that all was not well within the Cabinet, the inner circle of the highest Ministers who guide the policy of their leader. Two unelected advisors appear to have had a strong influence on Mrs May and many things were done which didn’t have cabinet approval. When these two advisors were in attendance at Cabinet meetings the atmosphere was described as “toxic”. The calling of the election and much of the Manifesto seemed to have been driven by advisors rather than the Ministers.

Whilst she was enjoying such success in the polls that didn’t matter too much. But certain items added to the Manifesto greatly backfired, and the Conservative Party came under attack for their apparent attack on pensioners and those suffering from dementia.  Polls showed a sharp drop in the support for her party.

On the other hand, the Labour Party played a strong hand to the younger generation especially those voting for the first time, with a pledge to abolish fees for attending University and also a pledge to re-instate free school meals for poorer families. With the use of electronic media and a series of low-budget short videos, this message was spread very effectively.

Despite the drop in ratings, Mrs May was expected to increase her small majority in Parliament.

Polling Day

The shock that followed the revealing of the results from exit polls which asked people who they had voted for, was palpable. Under UK legislation, this data cannot be released until after the polling booths closed at 10pm.

When the two main news channels released their findings at 10.01 that the prospect was that there would be no clear majority for Mrs May and that Britain was faced with a hung parliament, meaning no one party had complete control, there was disbelief, even in the Labour Party!

As the results trickled in throughout the night it was clear that the gamble of calling a snap election had spectacularly failed. The small majority that the Conservatives did have had been squandered, leaving the Conservatives short of the magic figure of needing 326 seats out of the 650 seats to ensure they just had a majority.

The final result was:

Conservatives: 317 seats

Labour: 262 seats

Scottish Nationalist Party: 35 seats

Liberal Democrats: 12

Democratic Unionist Party: 10 seats

Others: 14 seats

The number of seats needed is slightly complicated by the fact that the Northern Ireland Sinn Féin Party, do not send their elected MP’s to sit in Parliament as they refuse to give an oath of allegiance to the Queen. They won seven seats, so that the Conservatives have ended up just 5 seats short of what they need. Allowing for the one seat for the speaker of the House and three more for Deputy Speakers, who do not vote, this effectively leaves them 3 seats short.

As far as day to day running this is fine as not all MP’s turn up and the Opposition members are less likely to be present. It does matter in crucial items where a “3-line whip” is imposed and MP’s must attend.

The aftermath

Mrs May was greatly humbled and her cabinet made it clear that these two advisors had to go and that she would have to change her style and be inclusive of the experience and wishes of her Ministers.

Politics is a cruel career!

It would be surprising if she continued in the longer-term as leader. Although there were initial calls for her to stand aside, faced with Brexit talks commencing shortly, a more sombre mood now seems to wish for her to continue in the short-term as negotiations begin which will determine the future of Britain. May-be her work is done. She was the right person to follow up the Brexit vote and to trigger Article 50 letter. Maybe she is not the right person to thrash out an agreement with Europe, that is if an agreement can be made.

The Democratic Unionist Party. At the time of writing, negotiations are taking place to get the support of one of the smaller parties, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). This Northern Ireland Protestant party was set up by Ian Paisley in 1971, at the height of the “Troubles” with Catholic pitched against Protestant. The Republican Sinn Féin and the IRA wanted to join Northern Ireland back to Southern Ireland (Eire), whilst the DUP wanted to continue union with England. Ian Paisley led this party for 37 years and steering it in 2007 to a power-sharing deal with Sinn Féin. The current leader is Mrs Arlene Foster.

This strongly Protestant Party has similar views on Brexit and other issues to the Conservatives.  And it makes sense to form an alliance with them. It doesn’t seem as if they are seeking a coalition agreement as the Conservatives did with the Liberal Democrats in 2010 under David Cameron. They are looking for an agreement to support the Conservatives at crucial votes. In return for a promise of support there will be demands. What the DUP campaigned for is Brexit, but with a “soft” border between North and South Ireland. The Irish Republic is one of the (currently) 28 EU members. As part of the UK membership, Northern Ireland (NI), has had a seamless border with her southern neighbour.  They are anxious that this continues as much of the “exports” of the divided Ireland is between the two parts. Full border control would make life very difficult. The DUP has strong views on abortion and same-sex marriages. Both of which are not allowed in NI. Conservatives are anxious, sadly, that these matters are not imposed on the rest of the UK.

One can perhaps see the benefit of this cooperation. Ian Paisley was the Nick Farage of earlier days. (Mr Farage is the ex UKIP leader who as a former member of the European Parliament had many bruising battles with the EU). When the Pope (John Paul II) addressed the European Parliament in 1988, Ian Paisley stood up and denounced him as Anti-Christ and was bundled out of the building. He understood what the EU was really about, with its Roman Catholic foundations. May-be this is the way the angels are ensuring Britain’s break with Europe is deeper. At the moment, the UK still wants to have an influence in European affairs, and a continuation of its membership of the Custom’s Union, the existing electronic border customs system that allows easy transit of goods. The EU sees this as a great bargaining chip. They will want freedom of movement of people too. But this is what the Conservatives and the DUP don’t want. Both want to have immigration controllable rather than an inbuilt right. It may well end up as unbridgeable and so an agreement can’t be made. Britain will be forced to replace the European market with other markets. We know there is no shortage of countries that want to sign free trade agreements, but a “hard “Brexit will be economically quite costly and in the short-term very disruptive. Markets hate uncertainty.

Now the DUP are, according to articles in the Jerusalem Post and the Jewish News 10-Jun-17, very friendly to Israel and the Jews—as indeed Mrs May is.

Northern Ireland is the UK’s bible belt. Like the American south, Christian Zionism is a potent force amongst Ulster’s church-going Protestant community, the traditional heartland of DUP support. Jewish News 10-Jun-17

They have acted strongly in favour of Israel in past Parliamentary debates, despite their being fewer than 80 Jews in NI! They have been very active to stamp out anti-Semitism.

The Israelis were quite pleased at the thought of the DUP being involved in the running of Britain as they would be pressing for the UK to turn to Israel and, I would assume, the Middle East for new markets.

The Israelis also saw another advantage in the immediate fall out from this messy election result. The pound sterling fell about 2% in the aftermath of the vote. Many Israeli start-up companies eye Britain as a good market. Time-zone wise and physical distance give Britain advantages over the US. A weaker pound lowers their costs of doing business in Britain and increases the value of any future profits being taken out.

Uniting Britain. Another result of the redistribution of seats in the UK election is that it puts paid to the breakup of the Union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The DUP support Union and in Scotland the Scottish Nationalist Party, which campaigned on having a second referendum on Scotland breaking away in order to retain EU membership, suffered the loss of many seats. It is clear that the message of Ezekiel 38:13 concerning the Merchants of Tarshish, will be an apt one. The UK is a collection of trading countries. A recent article (Star Tribune 22-Feb-17) used the term merchants to describe the UK’s current activities in the Middle East!

EU frustration.  An article in the Guardian 12-Jun-17 indicates the frustration that the EU feels over Brexit negotiations.

In a sign of growing impatience with the shambolic state of the British side of the talks, senior EU sources said that if London insisted on talking about a free trade deal before the issues of its divorce bill, citizens rights and the border in Ireland were sufficiently resolved, it would be met with a blunt response.

“If they don’t accept the phased negotiations then we will take a year to draw up a new set of negotiating guidelines for Barnier,” one senior EU diplomat said, adding that the EU could not understand Britain’s continued claim that it would be able to discuss trade and the divorce terms in parallel.

The EU’s 27 leaders formally agreed to give Barnier a narrow set of tasks at a summit in April and they have no intention of rethinking the so-called phased approach when they meet May at a European summit on 22-23 June.

They want to set an example of Britain to deter other nations from following her example.

Conclusion

Although many of us thought that Britain having a stronger hand would be a good thing, perhaps we shall see that in God’s Foreknowledge this was a mistaken conclusion. It may need a weaker position to move things along the Divine pathways. Britain has to separate. Perhaps with DUP support it will result in a more independent Britain, less involved in a Roman Catholic Europe and adopting the Protestant thinking that powered Britain to great things in the past. We are humbled by the Divine power that sees not as man sees but to the furtherance of His Plan and Purpose.

The angels work behind the scenes, nudging people on paths they may not go of their own volition, but circumstances lead them that way.

All in God’s hands, how thankful we are that it is not left to man to decide. How sensible our historic stand not to take part in election voting! God indeed rules in the Kingdom of Men.

Like in so many issues it is not for us to say to God what we think ought to happen. God’s purpose reigns supreme. Leaders are as pawns in angelic hands. When they have fulfilled their role, then they are replaced.

Out Today Reflections on the UK Election Result in light of Bible Prophecy- Don Pearce

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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.

 

Out Today – Don Pearce’s Milestones Snippets

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2017-05-17 MS MAY 10-17

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For more information on the Christadelphians – Thisisyourbible

Read a variety of booklets on-line concerning various key Bible subjects.
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Bible Truth & Prophecy is a remarkable on-line tool for establishing just how far removed from the teachings of the Bible mainstream Christian teaching has become.

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.

 

Out Today – Don Pearce’s Milestones Snippets

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2017-02-23 MS FEB 17-23

2017-02-16 MS FEB 11-16

2017-02-28 MS FEB 24-28

 

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Bible Truth and Prophecy, – Welcome to our channel 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.
We are always keen to receive your feedback, you may leave comments in the comments area below or alternatively email us at Feedback@ChristadelphianVideo.org and we will get back to you with a reply as soon as we can.

For more information on the Christadelphians – Thisisyourbible

Read a variety of booklets on-line concerning various key Bible subjects.
Free Bible Booklets

Bible Truth & Prophecy is a remarkable on-line tool for establishing just how far removed from the teachings of the Bible mainstream Christian teaching has become.

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.

 

Out Today – Don Pearce’s Milestones Snippets

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2017-02- MS FEB 04-

 

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For more information on the Christadelphians – Thisisyourbible

Read a variety of booklets on-line concerning various key Bible subjects.
Free Bible Booklets

Bible Truth & Prophecy is a remarkable on-line tool for establishing just how far removed from the teachings of the Bible mainstream Christian teaching has become.

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.

 

Looking Back at Europe’s Last Big Overhaul ….Out Today – Don Pearce’s Milestones Snippets

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Looking Back at Europe’s Last Big Overhaul

The Maastricht Treaty — which fundamentally defined European integration as it is understood today — was signed Feb. 7, 1992, in the Dutch city of the same name. It entered into force Nov. 1, 1993, and to this day stands as the most profound overhaul of the Continental bloc since its creation in 1957.

The treaty established the European Union and its three pillars: a community component by which member states cede national prerogatives to supranational institutions and two intergovernmental components under which national governments retain authority but must make decisions unanimously. The community pillar focuses mostly, but not entirely, on economic questions, while the two intergovernmental pillars focus on foreign policy, justice and home affairs.

The treaty also laid the foundations for the eurozone and introduced economic requirements for membership in the currency area. European citizenship, which is held alongside national citizenship, was also instituted, bestowing its holders with the right to move, reside, and work freely anywhere in the European Union, as well as the right to vote and to run for EU and municipal office.

The Maastricht Treaty is a product of its time. The collapse of communism and Germany’s reunification forced European leaders to reform the Continent politically and economically. The eurozone, for example, was constructed to bind countries more closely together — particularly Germany and France — in a political, financial and monetary union to reduce the chances of another war in Western Europe. Meanwhile, refigured European institutions would rejuvenate the bloc and attract new members from the former Soviet periphery.

Yet many of the treaty’s premises have been called into question over the past decade. Countries in Southern Europe have critiqued fiscal requirements, arguing they stifle growth during economic crises. Euroskeptic groups want their countries to leave the eurozone altogether, while others want to limit the ability of EU citizens to live and work freely within the bloc. In addition, many governments and political forces want to weaken Brussels’ control and give back many decision-making powers to national governments. 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty, but it is also the year when many of the document’s principles will be challenged. Nationalist political forces are preparing for general elections across the European Union, vowing to reform, or even abolish, many of Europe’s institutions if they win.

 

Visit Don’s website here…. www.milestonesuk.org

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Bible Truth and Prophecy, – Welcome to our channel 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.
We are always keen to receive your feedback, you may leave comments in the comments area below or alternatively email us at Feedback@ChristadelphianVideo.org and we will get back to you with a reply as soon as we can.

For more information on the Christadelphians – Thisisyourbible

Read a variety of booklets on-line concerning various key Bible subjects.
Free Bible Booklets

Bible Truth & Prophecy is a remarkable on-line tool for establishing just how far removed from the teachings of the Bible mainstream Christian teaching has become.

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.

 

Out Today – Don Pearce’s Milestones Snippets

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In association with Bro Don Pearce (Rugby UK)  Keep up to date with Bro Don’s Snippets – Email Don at Snippets@MilestonesUK.org  Just put in the subject line ‘Snippets Request’ state if you would prefer word doc or pdf format. ( If not stated, both will be sent as samples so you can decide) It’s that easy!

Here is the latest Snippets…

2016-11-24-ms-nov-22-24

 

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Bible Truth and Prophecy, – Welcome to our channel 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.
We are always keen to receive your feedback, you may leave comments in the comments area below or alternatively email us at Feedback@ChristadelphianVideo.org and we will get back to you with a reply as soon as we can.

For more information on the Christadelphians – Thisisyourbible

Read a variety of booklets on-line concerning various key Bible subjects.
Free Bible Booklets

Bible Truth & Prophecy is a remarkable on-line tool for establishing just how far removed from the teachings of the Bible mainstream Christian teaching has become.

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.

 

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