Weekly World Watch Andy Walton’s July 31 – August 6, 2016 “If the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.” (Ezekiel 33:6, New International Version) PRESS SPACE BAR TO CONTINUE To skip the introductory slides and go straight to this weeks developments click here.
What is a Weekly World Watch? The idea is simple. It is to look at current events and compare them to events spoken of in the Bible. . I hope to build up a picture of God’s hand working in the affairs of this world. God is bringing about a day when all nations will be gathered to Jerusalem to battle. At that time God will send His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, back to this earth. Jesus will then establish God’s kingdom on earth. This kingdom will last for ever. This is our hope and the reason we watch. The following six themes will appear repeatedly in WWW: • Israel: The continuing conflict in the Middle East and focus on Jerusalem. • Europe: Its developing union, both political and religious. • Russia: Its return to anti-Western ways as Bible prophecy’s “king of the north.” • The UK and the US: Bible prophecy’s “king of the south.” • Moral standards in decline and violence on the increase. • Increasing natural disasters: including earthquake, famine etc WWW presentations in PowerPoint can be ordered as audio/visual CDs by clicking here. Move your mouse to place the cursor on the blue link and click.
BIBLE QUOTE What is in a Weekly World Watch? Each WWW looks at a few key developments that have happened during the past week. It is in no way meant to be exhaustive – just a look at those events I saw as significant from a Biblical point of view. Every WWW event slide has the following format. To reveal each block of text just left click your mouse or press the space bar. You control when it appears. News Photo This is straight from a news report that caught my eye because it looked significant from a Biblical perspective, usually that of prophecy. HEADLINE The source of the headline and the date are included. This is the reporter’s description of the event. It is always a direct quotation from the news report and reflects the understanding of the reporter and editors. EVENT This is my comment on why the event is interesting to a Bible student. The intention of the WWW is to offer brief Biblical perspectives without going into detail. If more detail is desired, please e-mail me: (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please note that these are personal thoughts and the aim is purely to stimulate Bible study. COMMENT This is normally one verse which backs up why the event that has occurred is interesting from a Biblical perspective. Please read in its context. Unless stated otherwise, all quotes are from the King James Version.(Book, chapter, and verse)
This Week’s Developments July 31 – August 6, 2016 • Obama does not trust Russia over peace in Syria • Tensions between US, Turkey at a high point • Putin encourages Iran to join Russia-led alliance • Netanyahu: Israel's view on Iran deal is unchanged • Battle for Aleppo a pivotal moment • Olympics 2016 open in Rio de Janeiro To print any of the event slides that follow, click the picture on the upper right PRESS SPACE BAR TO CONTINUE
the royal power of Damascus will end. All that remains of Syria will share the fate of Israel’s departed glory,” declares the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “In that day Israel’s glory will grow dim; its robust body will waste away. Assad is still in power – but he will be removed at some point. Syria as a nation will fail completely. Damascus will cease to exist – and Israel will be drawn into the conflict. • Obama does not trust Russia over peace in Syria Daily Telegraph, August 5, 2016 President Barack Obama said on Thursday he does not trust Russia to cooperate militarily with the United States on ending or slowing the civil war in Syria but that the proposition must be tested to try to bring an end to the conflict. At a Pentagon news conference, Obama also criticised Russia for its continuing support of Syrian government attacks against opposition forces and its sieges of populated areas like Aleppo. He said Russian actions raise "very serious questions" about Moscow's commitment to pulling the situation "back from the brink.” His administration is exploring expanded military cooperation with Russia in Syria that could include intelligence sharing, a proposal that some American defence officials have publicly expressed deep concern about. Sceptics fear the Russians will take advantage of US intelligence sharing to further support the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who Obama has said has lost legitimacy to lead. EVENT The Syrian conflict has raged for 5 years. Over 400,000 people have been killed. There is still no solution and the battles continue to rage. Russia and America got drawn into Syria on opposites sides. America backing the rebels who want to overthrow Assad. Russia backing Assad who clearly wants to defeat the rebels. Then ISIS appeared on the scene and this complicated things even further. Both America and Russia want ISIS defeated. However, Russia and the US have continued to fight their own wars in Syria. But that is possibly about to change. Obama said this week that despite not trusting Putin he may have to do a deal with him over Syria. We don’t know if this will happen but we do know with Bible in hand that Syria will soon come to a complete end… COMMENT BIBLE QUOTE (Isaiah 17:3-4 NLT)
Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (37 – c. 100 AD) and the Christian theologians Jerome (c. 347 – 420 AD) and Isidore of Seville (c. 560 – 636 AD) regarded Togarmah as the father of the Phrygians. Phrygia is modern day Turkey! . • Tensions between US, Turkey at a high point New York Times, August 1, 2016 Tensions between the United States, its European allies and NATO member Turkey are at their highest point in recent history, prompting concerns about Turkey's continued position as a stalwart member of the alliance and partner of the West in maintaining regional security. In the aftermath of last month's failed coup, Turkey's widespread crackdown on the military, media, judiciary and educators have raised eyebrows if not drawn outright criticism from the West and human rights groups. Meanwhile, Turkish leaders have complained that its NATO allies, in particular the United States, have not forcefully enough condemned the coup attempt, which they say was a direct assault on democracy supported by a cleric who lives in exile in the United States. In a nod to Turkey's critical role, Gen. Joseph Dunford visited Turkey on Monday to reiterate U.S. condemnation of the coup and stress the high regard with which Washington views Ankara's partnership in the fight against ISIS and its value as a NATO ally. EVENT The Turkish government has blamed the coup on followers of a certain cleric. This cleric is in self-imposed exile in the United States. The US refuses to extradite him. On top of this western countries have said little about the plotters and the coup attempt and far more about how Turkey has dealt with the aftermath. Tens of thousands of the clerics suspected followers from positions as teachers, police, judges and soldiers have been rounded up. Putin is making the most of this and has invited the Turkish president to Russia next Tuesday. It is being billed as a key moment in Turkey restoring relations with Russia. This really does fit well into Bible prophecy. Turkey is mentioned in a list of nations that join Russia in invading Israel. Turkey is not onside with the US at this time. COMMENT BIBLE QUOTE (Ezekiel 38:6)
Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. Be thou [Gog/ Putin] prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. Putin encourages Iran to join Russia-led alliance RT, August 5, 2016 Russian President Vladimir Putin has praised the successful cooperation between Moscow and Tehran, and has expressed hope that a free trade zone can soon be established between Iran and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union. “Iran is Russia’s long-time partner. We believe that bilateral relations will benefit from the reduction of tensions around Iran following the comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear program,” Putin said in a major interview with Azerbaijani state news agency Azertac released on Friday. He added that Iranian leaders shared his approach. In some branches of the economy Russian-Iranian cooperation has already become strategic, Putin noted. This concerned first of all the nuclear energy sphere, with Russia completing and servicing the Bushehr power plant in Iran and reaching agreements on building eight more nuclear power units. The two states have managed to increase bilateral trade by 70 percent and bring it to $855 million in the first five months of 2016. EVENT When you stop and think about it, it really is amazing who Russia is allies with. Syria…Iran…China. Syria and Iran and sworn enemies of Israel. And yet Putin sees Iran as a partner. And Putin is doing all he can to defend Assad in Syria. Forget about the words – it is in a person’s actions that his true beliefs are made manifest. Putin may talk to Israel about cooperation with them but while he is busy befriending their enemies his words to Israel are clearly deceitful. The Bible says that Iran will join forces with Russia and invade Israel with the Gogian host. It also says that Gog (Russian leader ie Putin) will act as a guard to Iran. He will protect them in the sense of being a body guard to them. Creating this free trade zone with Iran is part of this development. COMMENT BIBLE QUOTE (Ezekiel 38:5-7)
A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease. • Netanyahu: Israel's view on Iran deal is unchanged Israel National News, August 5, 2016 EVENT Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reiterated on Friday that Israel rejects the Iran nuclear deal, a day after U.S. President Barack Obama said that the deal was a success and asserted that even Israel feels that way. "While Israel's view on the Iran deal remains unchanged... it firmly believes that Israel has no greater ally than the United States," said the statement released by Netanyahu's office. "Prime Minister Netanyahu looks forward to further strengthening the alliance between Israel and the United States with President Obama and with the next U.S. administration," it added. The statement did not use as sharp a language as an earlier statement released by the Defence Ministry which likened the Iran nuclear deal to the Munich Agreement, which allowed Nazi Germany to annex parts of then Czechoslovakia. COMMENT Obama is coming to the end of his time as president of America. He is therefore looking around for his legacy - things he has done that he can say - look at what I achieved. We are one year on from the signing of the nuclear deal between Iran and America (plus a few others). It was the US that really brokered this deal. It could not have happened without Obama’s support. On Thursday he praised the controversial deal, claiming its outcomes prove the agreement an “unmitigated success”. The Bible talks specifically about this deal and in fact it will end as an unmitigated disaster. In Isaiah 21 we read of a treacherous deal done with a treacherous dealer who deals treacherously! So who is the treacherous dealer? Where is he based? He is from Elam and Media. Which are ancient names for Iran. The next verses talk of sharp pains, anguish, fear and trembling at what comes next. Iran is the treacherous dealer. At some point Obama will realise the enormity of his error in this deal… BIBLE QUOTE (Isaiah 21:2)
Battle for Aleppo a pivotal moment Associated Press, August 3, 2016 EVENT For those who remain amid the government siege that began July 17, the battle for Aleppo is a pivotal point in the Syrian civil war. With thousands of years of written history, Aleppo has always held symbolic and political significance in the nation's civil war. The city emerged as a key battleground after rebels opposed to Assad seized parts of it in the summer of 2012. Since then, relentless fighting has laid waste to entire neighbourhoods, carving the city into rebel- and regime-held zones, killing tens of thousands of people and forcing tens of thousands more to flee. Six years into the nation's civil war, government forces aided by massive Russian air power are on the ascendancy again and have completely encircled the rebel fighters in Aleppo. Holed up in the city's eastern neighbourhoods, where they had hoped to set up an alternative opposition capital, the militants are making their last stand. One rebel fighter described a recent visit to the city. "It was like walking into Hiroshima. It is beyond destruction and far worse than what you see on TV," said Cpt. Abdul-Salam Abdul-Razzek, a spokesman for Nour el-Din Zinki, a relatively moderate rebel group fighting both the Syrian government and the Islamic State group. Deserted and bullet-riddled buildings and sand mounds serve as dividers between the city's government-held sectors in the west and south, and rebel-held eastern and northern neighbourhoods. There are still many people in Aleppo who are living in desperate situations. Hardly any food and death and destruction every single day. The Bible mentions Aleppo by its ancient name Arpad. It says that people will be living in fear in that city. They have heard news of their destruction. It is when Aleppo falls that Damascus will come to an end. The fall of Aleppo could be very significant COMMENT “The towns of Hamath and Arpad are struck with fear, for they have heard the news of their destruction. Their hearts are troubled like a wild sea in a raging storm. Damascus has become feeble, and all her people turn to flee.. BIBLE QUOTE (Jeremiah 49:23 NLT)
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, There is only one race we should concentrate on - the race to the kingdom – which we can all win if we run with patience and humbly follow our Lord… • Olympics 2016 open in Rio de Janeiro Times of Israel, July 25, 2016 EVENT Brazil unfurled a vast canvas celebrating its rain forest and the creative energy of its wildly diverse population in welcoming the world to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, all to the pounding beat of samba, bossa nova and funk. Brazil's interim President Michel Temer declared open the first Games ever in South America. But in a display of the deep political divisions plaguing Brazil, he was jeered by some in the crowd at the famed Maracana soccer stadium. In one of the world's most unequal societies, the spectacle celebrated the culture of the favelas, the slums that hang above the renowned beaches of Rio and ring the Maracana. Before the entry of 2,000 of the 11,000 athletes that will be competing in the Games, the ceremony gave way to a sober message about climate change and rampant deforestation of the Amazon. The Olympic games are one of the few times that almost all nations on earth come together. It is a show piece of man’s physical abilities. But it is also a demonstration of man’s spiritual inabilities. The Olympics are marred in corruption. With billions pumped into the games it is almost inevitable that corruption is present. Even some of the athletes are marred in corruption. Russia was accused of state sponsored doping of its athletes. To avoid upsetting Russia too much it was decided not to ban Russia from the games. Here’s something to think about…Russia in the past has used the Olympic games as cover for launching offensives into other territories. In 2008 Russia invaded Georgia while the Olympic games were being held. In 2014 in the winter games Russia invaded Crimea. Will Putin use these games to launch something? We watch to see. COMMENT BIBLE QUOTE (Hebrews 12:1)
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