Current Events

by Norbert Link

We begin with reports on the current turmoil in Germany and the ongoing downfall of Angela Merkel and her designated successor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK) who announced her resignation as head of the party and her refusal to run for Chancellorship. The search for a new candidate for Chancellorship is wide open, while the right-wing AfD party is gaining more and more support. Please view our new StandingWatch program, titled,  “Germany in BIG Turmoil.” 

We report on the beginning of the hostile transition period between Britain and Europe after Brexit; the interesting future of Ireland, and the attempts of France to lead Europe, which will fail.

In light of the rapid speed of the coronavirus, we address lessons from leprosy; the lack of preparation in Africa; China’s belated actions and subsequent radical measures; and potentially disastrous economic consequences for the USA.

In other news, we report on the brutal origin of Valentine’s Day; interesting developments within the Catholic Church and in Israel; as well as the lack of freedom of speech in England and Switzerland.

We conclude with reports on a most powerful winter storm in Europe which could be a preview of the political storm awaiting the continent.  

Throughout this section, we have underlined pertinent statements in the quoted articles, for the convenience and quick overview of the reader.

Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

A new Member Letter (February 2020) has been written and posted at our website and mailed to our subscribers. Pastor Brian Gale focuses on our need to make longsuffering a part of our everyday life—especially in light of our obedience to God.

Initial information about our 2020 Feast sites (US and Germany) is posted on our website along with contact information.

“Germany in BIG Turmoil,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

We are presently observing a huge political scandal in Germany with terrible prophetic consequences. Suddenly, the very survival of Germany’s “established” mainstream parties is in jeopardy, while political candidates are fighting for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s replacement. Europe is waiting for a new and more decisive German leadership. But do they know what they wish for?

“Wertvolles Wissen,” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Pastor Michael Link. Title in English: “Valuable Knowledge.”

“What do You Love?”, the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Kalon Mitchell, is now posted. Here is a summary:

All of us have things we love in this life. But what is it that we truly love? The Bible tells us that we are to have a love for the Truth. This Truth includes being mindful and careful of the choices we make. Peace will reside when we make the appropriate choices to truly love God in all of our ways.

“What Does the Bible Reveal about the Third Temple prior to Christ’s Return? Part 2,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

What will happen when the Jews begin to bring animal sacrifices on the Temple Mount and build the Third Temple there? Which nations and political leaders will support the Jews, and who will fight against them in a nuclear war? How do current events show what will happen soon? The continuation of last week’s sermon brings additional clarity.

The 2020 Church Conference will be conducted in Escondido, California. Arrival will be Wednesday, March 25, 2020, and departure is scheduled for Monday, March 30, 2020.

This Week in the News

Turmoil in Germany

MSNBC wrote on February 8 about the AfD’s role as kingmaker by supporting a FDP candidate in Thuringia:

“‘A pact with fascism,’ one headline screamed. Another gasped about ‘a coup.’ Protesters gathered spontaneously in major cities across the country, chanting anti-fascist slogans. Even the chancellor weighed in from afar during a visit to South Africa: ‘It was a bad day for democracy,’ she said darkly.

“Three years after the Alternative for Germany (AfD) became the first far-right party to enter Germany’s national parliament since World War II, the events underscored how the country’s beleaguered traditional parties are still struggling to deal with the new disruptive force… For many Germans, allowing the far right to be kingmakers conjures up dark memories… It did not help that Thuringia is precisely where, in the dying days of the Weimar Republic more than 90 years ago, the Nazis first won power locally, before going on to win nationally — with the help of conservative parties. This history echoed loudly across the country…

“The taboo of not collaborating with the AfD, while sacred, is at risk of crumbling in an increasingly fragmented political landscape. So far, no German state governor has been elected with support from the Alternative for Germany. But the Alternative for Germany has steadily broadened its presence in state legislatures. Especially in eastern states, it has in recent elections been among the top finishers.

“The events in Thuringia were all the more symbolic — and significant — because it is the fief of the AfD’s most notorious far-right leader, Björn Höcke… The photo of Mr. Höcke shaking hands with the victorious center-right candidate, Thomas Kemmerich, prompted particular outrage. ‘Handshake of shame’ the front page headline of the tabloid Bild read. The new governor ‘gets elected by neo-Nazi Höcke.’

“But even beyond Thuringia, enforcing a ban on cooperating with the AfD is proving to be tricky… Some fear it is only a question of time before it arrives on the federal level, where the AfD is the leading opposition party in the national parliament…

“The AfD, meanwhile, has enjoyed accusing mainstream parties of distorting democracy by ignoring the will of voters. For it, the week’s events served as a case in point.”

And that is very true. The more the mainstream and the social media and the mainstream, as well as left-wing, politicians rail against the AfD—even sabotaging and trying to circumvent and silence the declared will of the voters–the more the popularity of the party will increase, as voters are very dissatisfied with the perceived lack of accomplishment by their “established” parties.

As Bloomberg reported on February 8, “Merkel in an unusual step fired a government official from her party who had congratulated Kemmerich for his election. The official, Christian Hirte, is the federal government’s top liaison for the eastern German states and the CDU’s deputy leader in Thuringia.”

Merkel’s overreaction will harm her. Kemmerich announced on Saturday that he was quitting immediately after he had previously announced his immediate resignation, only to subsequently revoke it. Still, as premier, he is obligated to continue in a caretaker capacity until a successor takes up office.

This might require new state elections.

In fact, it might even require new federal elections very soon. Note the next articles.

Another Big Blow in Germany—AKK to Resign

Deutsche Welle wrote on February 10:

“Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer surprised fellow members of the Christian Democrats (CDU) on Monday by announcing that she would step down from her position as the head of the party and would not run for chancellor. She said the candidate for chancellor should also lead the party. Kramp-Karrenbauer intends to stay on as defense minister… She spoke of the need to create a strong CDU, saying that recent events in the eastern state of Thuringia had weakened the party…

“AKK, as she is commonly known, has struggled through a series of scandals that have sowed doubt about her ability to lead the country effectively…

“In 2018, Kramp-Karrenbauer had emerged victorious in the first grassroots contest for CDU leadership… winning against [Friedrich] Merz, who is currently vice president of the business council of the CDU, and Health Minister Jens Spahn… Members of an ultraconservative wing of the CDU came out in favor of Merz as party head. The parliamentary group leader of the Greens… responded to the news by warning the CDU against shifting to the right… AfD parliamentary group head Alexander Gauland… said the decision created an opportunity for the two parties to improve their relations. Kramp-Karrenbauer had ‘plunged the CDU into chaos with her policy of exclusion,’ Gauland said.”

Who Will Succeed Merkel?

The Local wrote on February 10:

“The race to succeed Angela Merkel as Germany’s chancellor became more unpredictable than ever Monday after her protegee Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer threw in the towel as leader of the centre-right party. Here’s a look at four possible candidates for the chancellery from Merkel’s CDU/CSU conservative bloc…

Friedrich Merz, 64, has never forgiven Merkel for driving him out as head of the party’s group of MPs in the Bundestag in 2002… He was narrowly beaten in the vote for party leader by Merkel’s preferred successor Kramp-Karrenbauer in December 2018, and has been waiting in the wings ever since…

“State premier of Germany’s most populous region North Rhine-Westphalia, 58-year-old Armin Laschet could emerge as the compromise candidate… He has won plaudits for his tough stance against criminal gangs in his state, while his liberal leanings make him acceptable to Merkel’s centre-left coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party (SPD)…

“At just 39 years old the youngest potential candidate, the ambitious [and openly gay] Health Minister Jens Spahn is seen by many as the ‘anti-Merkel’. Highly critical of Merkel’s decision to open the door to an influx of asylum seekers in 2015, he is liked by the CDU’s more right-wing faction. ‘Spahn would represent a new start,’ the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine daily said, seeing in him ‘a brave party leader’ and ‘potent’ possible chancellor…

“The 53-year-old leader of Merkel’s Bavarian CSU sister party [Markus Söder] is seen as having a more distant shot at the chancellery — and may not even want to throw his hat in the ring…”

The choice of AKK’s successor could be decisive for the survival of the CDU and the grand coalition. It could also open the door for closer cooperation between the CDU and the AfD. In addition, calls for Merkel’s resignation—even within her own party—are getting louder.

Bild Online asked the pointed question about Jens Spahn: “Would Germany be ready for a gay chancellor?“ Spahn already announced that he has always said that he is ready to accept “responsibility.” AKK stated that a new chancellor candidate would be recommended by her party (CDU) in the summer and confirmed in December. Whether the CDU has time to wait that long is questionable.

Is Merkel Destroying Her Party?

The conservative mass tabloid, Bild Online, wrote on February 10:

“The life-threatening crisis of the CDU is primarily due to one person who has just now clearly shown that she still sees herself as the party chairperson: Chancellor Angela Merkel (65). From South Africa, she told her party to ‘reverse’ the Thuringia election results.

“Angela Merkel created a pseudo-successor to herself – who was not supposed to shine brighter than her and who never had the power and influence to fix the damage that Chancellor Merkel has done within the CDU. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (57), on the other hand, lacked the power instinct necessary for quickly bringing problem cases… back under control. Under AKK, everybody could do what they want.

“Now the CDU is swinging suicidally between the Greens and the AfD, because Merkel as the party leader slept through, ignored, and gave away the two big issues of migration and climate. Instead of shaping the future, the major party CDU is trying to keep up with the Greens and the AfD – without winning back any of the voters it has lost.

“In the big cities, the Greens are about to become a major party. In Germany’s east, it’s the AfD. At the same time, the CDU is tumbling through the country without leadership. Chancellor Merkel is restricting herself to working on her own personal popularity. She is concerned with shaping her own image for the history books and leaves the party to fend for itself. She doesn’t even show up in the election campaigns, because she knows she is no longer wanted there.

“The AKK debacle has shown: With Angela Merkel in the chancellery, a new beginning for the CDU is not possible – even less so with candidates that are popular in the country, but despised by Merkel. As long as Merkel is governing, the CDU will not win over new voters. If this comes to pass, the political centre would – following the near-demise of the SPD – finally collapse.

“If the Chancellor does not realize this, her legacy could be that she ruined her own party and that, with the AfD and Greens, she created two new major parties. One will then look at the CDU as pitifully and nostalgically as one does today at the SPD.”

And this is exactly what might happen.

Waiting for German Leadership

The New York Times wrote on February 11:

“The resignation of the chancellor’s preferred replacement threatens to extend a lack of German leadership… ‘Germany is the elephant in the room,’ said Jan Techau, director of the German Marshall Fund’s office in Berlin. ‘Today Germany and its leadership in the security realm are once again foremost on everyone’s mind,’ he said. ‘Everyone is waiting for Germany.’…

“The uncertainty over who will succeed Ms. Merkel means that Germany will be… extending the sense of paralysis that is frustrating Germany’s allies in the European Union and Washington… even as China, Russia and President Trump’s America seem to circle Europe like predators on issues ranging from trade and competition to Ukraine and Huawei, the political leadership to translate this into policies that German voters support has been missing

“Who will lead Germany next is by no means clear, with general disappointment in the visible alternatives… ‘Germany is sleepwalking,’ Professor Enderlein said… ‘When Trump took office, we talked of Merkel as the leader of the West, but who would say that now?’ asked Anna Wieslander, a Swede and director for Northern Europe of the Atlantic Council… ‘We want Germany to lead, because it tries to unite Europeans while France is more disruptive, but Germany is not there.’”

Not yet, but a mighty powerful leader will arise, and then things will change dramatically. The comment about France is interesting. See the next article.

France to Lead Europe?

The Associated Press wrote on February 7:

“French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday advocated a more coordinated European Union defense strategy in which France, the bloc’s only post-Brexit nuclear power, and its arsenal would occupy a central role. Macron outlined France’s nuclear strategy… one week after Britain, Europe’s only other nuclear-armed state, officially exited the EU.

“The French leader said… he refused to sign any treaties at this time to further reduce the size of France’s nuclear arsenal and announced an increase in military spending. Macron also positioned himself as the driving force for a united EU, using France’s military clout to make his point… The central idea in the speech, however, was that of a boosted Europe-wide role for the French nuclear arsenal in a more coordinated European defense policy.

“Macron said… the strategy would prevent Europe ‘confining itself to a spectator role’ in an environment dominated by Russia, the United States and China… His remarks come at a time when NATO allies, who would ordinarily look to the United States for help in a nuclear standoff, worry about Washington’s retreat from the multilateral stage. This could create new tensions within NATO, where Macron ruffled feathers last year by saying the lack of U.S. leadership is causing the ‘brain death’ of the military alliance…

“Friday’s speech was part of Macron’s long-running push for a stronger European defense, as U.S. President Donald Trump has pulled away from European allies and admonished them to pay more for their own protection…”

France would love to play the leading role but ultimately, it will be Germany which will lead Europe.

Brexit Transition… the Fight Goes On

Bloomberg wrote on February 5:

“European authorities are hatching an offensive to weaken the Brexit-addled City of London. Officials in Berlin, Brussels and Paris are looking to amend the post-crisis financial rulebook known as MiFID II by walking away from concessions they made to the U.K. in the six years it took to complete the regulations.

“Policies governing research spending, record keeping and trading in stocks, derivatives and commodities are likely to be revised and could make Brexit tougher to negotiate for international banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. Changes would also be aimed at bolstering Deutsche Boerse AG’s dominance against the London Stock Exchange Group Plc in futures and other listed derivatives…

“London financial services firms’ access to the EU will depend on a process known as equivalence — under which Britain would have to prove to Brussels that its rules are at least as stringent as the bloc’s. The equivalence system that will govern finance gives the EU unilateral power to decide if British rules are tough enough to create a level playing field…

“Germany and France are already talking about reversing key parts of the finance law that were backed by the U.K. when it was a member of the EU…”

It will be an eventful transition period, with bad headlines topping each other.

Ireland on New Course?

Deutsche Welle wrote on February 8:

“Millions headed to vote in Ireland on Saturday, with an initial exit poll showing a virtual three-way tie for the major parties. The poll show a huge resurgence for the left-wing Sinn Fein party… Frustration with economic austerity and an ongoing housing crisis have fueled the rise of Sinn Fein, which is committed to the reunification of Ireland and is still sidelined by the political establishment for its links to the IRA…

“[Before the election,] both major parties [had refused] to work with them…”

But this may change. Note the next article.

The Guardian wrote on February 10:

“Sinn Féin has declared victory in Ireland’s general election and called for talks with other main parties to form a coalition government… Sinn Féin won 24.5% of the first-preference vote in Saturday’s election, almost doubling its share from 2016… Fine Gael slid to 20.9% and the main opposition party, Fianna Fáil, slipped to 22.2%… The Greens, independents and small leftwing parties accounted for the rest…

“The fragmented results will produce a hung parliament with no party close to 80 seats – the number for a majority and stable government in the 160-seat chamber, which includes a speaker…

“Sinn Féin said it wished to promote its defining issue – a united Ireland – in any future government. An exit poll found that 57% of people supported Sinn Féin’s desire to hold referendums on unity on both sides of the border in the next five years.”

Express wrote on February 9:

“A UNITED IRELAND would automatically rejoin the EU, unlike an Independent Scotland, whose ministers would have to go through a long ‘accession process’, one of Britain’s foremost constitutional experts told Express…”

It is entirely possible that the UK will fall apart, and that a united Ireland will rejoin Europe.

Lessons from Leprosy

NPR wrote on February 7:

“… past efforts to isolate disease show that such moves — as well-intentioned as they might be — don’t always go as planned…

“When the federal government sought to identify all the leprosy cases in the country in the early 1900s, it found only 278. But public health investigators told Congress there likely were many more in hiding out of fear… the assistant surgeon general announced that there were ‘1,200 lepers at large’ in the country… When Americans feared a potential leprosy pandemic in the late 1800s, people of Asian descent were also unjustly stigmatized…

“Throughout history, those believed to have leprosy, now called Hansen’s disease, were among the most reviled members of society, outcasts sometimes believed to be sinners who brought the illness upon themselves. Even today, the threat of leprosy is used to demonize immigrants and people living in homeless encampments as potential carriers of the disease — although there’s no evidence that’s true.

“About 200,000 people around the world are diagnosed each year with Hansen’s disease. Many of them still prefer not to make their diagnosis public for fear of how they’ll be treated by the rest of society…”

The Bible clearly advocates isolation and even quarantine for those who are suffering from a serious contagious disease—not because those who suffer from it are cursed and guilty of sin, but because of love for our fellow man. But in this world ruled by Satan, most don’t care about God’s laws. They may not reveal their sickness because of selfish reasons and lack of love for others, or because of fear of the abominable condemnations from their ignorant and self-righteous fellow men. And so, contagious diseases will spread.

Africa Unprepared for the Coronavirus

The Associated Press wrote on February 8:

“At a Chinese-run hospital in Zambia, some employees watched as people who recently returned from China showed up with coughs but were not placed in isolation. A doctor tending to those patients has stopped coming to work, and health workers have been ordered not to speak publicly about the new virus that has killed hundreds around the world.

“The virus that has spread through much of China has yet to be confirmed in Africa, but global health authorities are increasingly worried about the threat to the continent where an estimated 1 million Chinese now live, as some health workers on the ground warn they are not ready to handle an outbreak.

“Countries are racing to take precautions as hundreds of travelers arrive from China every day. Safeguards include stronger surveillance at ports of entry and improved quarantine and testing measures across Africa, home to 1.2 billion people and some of the world’s weakest systems for detecting and treating disease. But the effort has been complicated by a critical shortage of testing kits and numerous illnesses that display symptoms similar to the flu-like virus…

“Those growing worried include employees at the Sino-Zambia Friendship Hospital in the mining city of Kitwe in northern Zambia, near the Congo border. Chinese companies operate mines on the outskirts of the city of more than half a million people. One company is headquartered in Wuhan, the city at the center of the virus outbreak. Hundreds of workers traveled between Zambia and China in recent weeks…

“Several African nations such as Ghana, South Africa and Ethiopia have announced their precautions, including updates on negative test results for suspected cases and demonstrations of surveillance and quarantine capabilities. Ethiopian Airlines, however, faces questions by some in Africa about why it continues to operate more than 30 China flights a week while other African airlines have suspended theirs…”

The virus is spreading much faster than scientists had originally contemplated. It has been reported that even IF a vaccine was to be found NOW, it would ALREADY be too late. But we are told it might take up to eighteen months to find a vaccine. 

Newsmax wrote on February 13:

 “The total deaths in mainland China since the outbreak began in December stood at 1,367 (1,491 worldwide, according to Axios) with the total number of confirmed cases mounting to 52,526.” This brings the total to more than 60,000 worldwide. 

Axios wrote on February 13: “There are more than 500 cases in 27 other countries and territories.”

How China “Deals” with the Virus

The Washington Post wrote on February 6:

“The Chinese Communist Party has once again proved that authoritarianism is dangerous — not just for human rights but also for public health.

“Confronted with the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, the CCP has instinctively reverted to its familiar tool kit: It immediately staged a large-scale lockdown of people and information at the expense of the public good…

“All you need to do is look at the images and words of brave citizens in Wuhan who have responded by passing on firsthand information about the epidemic to their compatriots and the outside world. They are doing this at great risk to themselves. They know they potentially face reprisal for the heroic act of simply sharing the truth…”

China is an absolutely totalitarian country. It has been reported that those who are suspected of being infected are being violently dragged out of their homes, arrested, and transported into “isolation.”

Massive Death Toll Possible

The Guardian wrote on February 11:

“The coronavirus epidemic could spread to about two-thirds of the world’s population if it cannot be controlled, according to Hong Kong’s leading public health epidemiologist. His warning came after the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said recent cases of coronavirus patients who had never visited China could be the ‘tip of the iceberg.’…

“‘Sixty per cent of the world’s population is an awfully big number,’ Leung told the Guardian in London… the death toll would be massive…”

Man’s Unwillingness to Learn!

AFP wrote on February 12:

Bats, rats and snakes are still being sold at an Indonesian market known for its wildlife offerings, despite a government request to take them off the menu over fears of a link to the deadly coronavirus.

“Vendors at the Tomohon Extreme Meat market on Sulawesi island say business is booming and curious tourists keep arriving to check out exotic fare that enrages animal rights activists…

“A wildlife market in Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, is thought to be ground zero and there is suspicion it could have originated in bats… [Indonesia’s] grubby stalls feature a dizzying array of animals including giant snakes, rats impaled on sticks and charred dogs with their hair seared off by blowtorches — a gory scene described by some critics as ‘like walking through hell’.”

This is SICK and DISGUSTING. God calls it a terrible abomination!

The Unforeseen Consequences of the Coronavirus Outbreak

CCN wrote on February 10:

“… the coronavirus epidemic is one big threat that could cause the U.S. housing market bubble to burst at last

“The Chinese have already been pulling back their investments in the U.S. housing market as regulations have tightened in China to control the outflow of cash from the country. The trade war between the U.S. and China is another reason why their housing market investments have declined. But now, the coronavirus epidemic could deal yet another blow to Chinese investments in the U.S. housing market…

“The travel ban by President Trump on foreign nationals who have been to China in light of the coronavirus outbreak is going to further complicate things for anyone from that country looking to invest in the U.S. housing market. So, don’t be surprised to see a drop in home sales as the Chinese reportedly account for 20 percent of the foreign buyers who buy homes in the U.S.

“… the housing market inventory in the U.S. was down 13.6 percent in January. This was the largest annual decline seen in four years. What’s more, the report states that the listing volume of new properties was also down 10.6 percent year over year…

“As it turns out, homes in the U.S. are getting more and more expensive with each passing month. The median price of a home listed for sale went up by 3.4 percent in January to $299,995…

“At the same time, the pull-out by Chinese buyers on account of the coronavirus outbreak will be another headwind for the market… These two factors could… spark a potential crisis in the market.”

A collapse of the housing market in the USA is certain.

“US Navy Wants More Ships but Can’t Afford Them”

Defense News wrote on February 10:

“The US Navy’s fiscal year 2021 budget slashes 10 planned ships over the next five years…

“That would leave the Navy scrambling to add 50 ships to the battle force over five years starting in 2026, just as the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine enters serial production and is expected to eat as much as 40 percent of the Navy’s shipbuilding account.”

Crazy–Californians Compelled to Vote?

The Los Angeles Times reported on February 6:

“… a [Democratic] California lawmaker is pushing to require voters to cast a ballot in future elections. The proposal, introduced in the state Assembly on Tuesday, would be unprecedented and probably challenged in court should it ultimately become law. It would place the burden for determining the civil penalty and the ultimate punishment on the secretary of state, California’s chief elections officer…

“As many as 30 countries have compulsory voting laws on the books, including Australia, Belgium and Brazil… Assembly Bill 2070… would require every Californian who registers to vote to ‘cast a ballot, marked or unmarked in whole or in part, at every election held within the territory within which the person resides.’ AB 2070 has yet to be referred to a policy committee and is unlikely to be considered until the spring…

“Opponents… have said that mandatory voting could be in conflict with the right to free speech guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.”

What absolute utter nonsense… but it is dangerous as, again, the state wants to control the people and limit, if not abolish, their individual rights. Compelling people to serve on a jury would fall into this same category, and so would be the institution of a draft.

Pope Removes German Archbishop Georg Gänswein

LifeSiteNews wrote on February 5:

“Pope Benedict’s secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, has been put on administrative leave indefinitely by Pope Francis… Gänswein has been the private secretary of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger since 2003. He remained at his side after Ratzinger’s election to the papacy. Only a few months before Benedict resigned in 2013, he made Gänswein the Prefect of the Papal Household, as well as an archbishop.

“Since then, the German prelate has spent part of his day with the Pope emeritus, while fulfilling his duties as Prefect of the Papal Household during the remainder of his day. Die Tagespost speculates that the administrative leave is related to the rollout of the book From the Depths of Our Hearts on clerical celibacy by Cardinal Robert Sarah, to which Benedict XVI contributed… Vatican-based journalist Antonio Socci had claimed that Pope Francis was ‘furious’ over Benedict’s contribution to the book on celibacy, demanding he retract his name from the work.”

The liberal and conservative factions within the Catholic Church and the Vatican become more and more embittered adversaries. But it seems that for now, Francis who is sometimes very difficult to read, has bowed to conservative pressure. Note the next article.  

Francis: No Ordination of Married Men as Priests… for Now!

The Australian Associated Press wrote on February 12:

“Pope Francis, in one of the most significant decisions of his papacy, has dismissed a proposal to allow some married men to be ordained in the Amazon region to ease an acute scarcity of priests. The recommendation, put forward by Latin American bishops last year, alarmed conservatives in the deeply polarised 1.3 billion-member Roman Catholic Church, who feared it could lead to a change in the centuries-old commitment to celibacy among priests.

“Francis delivered his response in an Apostolic Exhortation on Wednesday, three months after the proposal passed by 128 votes to 41 at a contentious Vatican assembly, or synod, of Roman Catholic bishops. Apostolic Exhortations are used to instruct and encourage the Catholic faithful but do not define Church doctrine.

“Wednesday’s 32-page document did not even mention the proposal, which was for older married deacons who are proven leaders of remote Catholic communities and have stable families to be ordained as priests. Conservatives balked, fearing that even a circumscribed change would be a slippery slope leading to a married priesthood throughout the Church. They branded a pre-synod working document as heretical.

“In what some viewed as a strategically timed appeal to Francis not to approve the Amazon proposal, a book published last month by Church conservatives defended the tradition of priestly celibacy… Vatican officials said the pope completed the document on December 27, before the book controversy, and handed it in for translations. They said no changes were made after that.”

While conservatives may be pleased, liberals will not be.

Pope Pushes One-World Religion

Breaking Israel News wrote on February 11:

“Historically, the Vatican was no friend to the Jews but its new initiative aligns the Catholic Church with Islam in a one-world religion that may be the biggest threat ever to the Jewish People. A major event to advance the project will take place on the anniversary of the birth of the State of Israel…

“The date of the global educational summit is May 14, precisely 72 years after Israel proclaimed its independence. Rabbi Winston suggested that this could have a deeper meaning, indicating the inherent conflict between the Jewish People and universal religion… ‘Are they trying to get rid of the Jews and the Torah by creating one world religion? Anyone who wants a one-world order has to get rid of the Jews because all of human history has proven that the core of Torah Judaism doesn’t change, even, when necessary, and the cost of death…’”

The Bible prophesies an end-time worldwide persecution of the Jewish people.

The Brutal Origin of Valentine’s Day

The Sun wrote on February 12:

 “Valentine’s Day hasn’t always meant a cosy, candlelit dinner… The Roman festival of Lupercalia – one of the earliest instances the date became synonymous with ‘love’ – was launched to promote fertility in women, but its barbaric acts were distinctly un-romantic. … Here are the bloody beginnings of Valentine’s Day

 “The ancient pagan festival Lupercalia began in a dark, sacred cave as far back as the 6th century BC. A group of Roman priests would gather and strip naked before slaughtering a goat, as a representation of sexuality, and then a dog – for purification. Two of the priests would then have the animals’ blood smeared on their foreheads with the same knife used for the slaughters, before wiping it off with a piece of milk-soaked wool. Once the sacrifices were complete, things took an even darker turn.

“The priests, known as the Luperci – meaning ‘brothers of the wolf’ – would cut the animals’ skins into strips and dip them in the sacred blood. They’d then take to the streets, where women would be voluntarily lining up to get whipped by the pieces of hide… If you were struck by a Lupercus, one of the priests, it was considered that you would give birth to more children…

“Once the beatings were complete, a Love Island-style matchmaking ceremony would take place… All of the unmarried women would reportedly add their names to a large urn, before it was passed around any single Roman men – who would each pick out a name.

“The couples who were matched up would remain together throughout the festival… Some retellings suggest the new couples would be forced to have sex throughout the remainder of the festival and perhaps even beyond, as the man tried to give his woman a baby.

“Pope Gelasius made it a Christian holiday in the fifth century, historian Noel Lenski told NPR. ‘It was a little more of a drunken revel... That didn’t stop it from being a day of fertility and love.’

“The Roman festival has long been linked to February 14… as the day that birds mate, signifying love.”

For further information on Valentine’s Day, see our free booklet, “Man’s Holidays and God’s Holy Days.”

Lesbians and Gays in Leadership Positions of the Episcopal Church

The Associated Press wrote on February 8:

“The Michigan diocese of the Episcopal Church has its first female and openly lesbian bishop. [She] was ordained Saturday during a ceremony in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn… [Another woman] was the church’s first lesbian bishop in 2010 in Los Angeles…

“[Another woman] became its first female bishop when she was ordained in 1989 in Massachusetts. [A man] became the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop in 2004… ‘If you look at scripture, Jesus said absolutely nothing about homosexuality,’ [the lesbian bishop from Michigan] said…”

It seems one can try to justify everything, even though the Truth should be blatantly obvious.

Israel Prepared to Annex Parts of the West Bank

The Jerusalem Post wrote on February 8:

“Israel has begun preparing a precise map of the parts of the West Bank it will annex in accordance with the new US peace plan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Saturday… ‘It won’t take much time… Within a few weeks, it will happen.’…

“Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump presented his peace plan, by which the US will approve of Israel annexing some 30% of the West Bank, including all settlements and the Jordan Valley…

“Netanyahu remarked on the historic change of the Trump administration recognizing Israel’s right to Jerusalem and the West Bank – as opposed to the world, including previous administrations, which did not. ‘I’m happy that American policy changed under [Trump’s] courageous leadership, starting with [canceling] the Iran Deal, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, moving the US embassy, recognizing our sovereignty in the Golan and recognizing the legality of settlements in Judea and Samaria,’ he stated.”

Such action would result in an uproar in the Middle East.

Only Israel Approves of Trump’s Foreign Policies

Breaking Israel News wrote on February 9:

“Israel was the only one of 33 non-U.S. countries included in a new Pew Research Center survey where a majority of respondents expressed approval of U.S. President Donald Trump’s foreign policies.

“Some 55 percent of Israelis in the spring 2019 poll, released on Monday, expressed net approval of Trump’s international policies—meaning they approved of more policies than they disapproved of. The second non-U.S. country with the highest net approval was Poland at 34 percent, and Germany had the lowest net approval at 6 percent.”

America and Israel become more and more isolated from and rejected by the rest of the world.

No Freedom of Speech for the Truth in England

Daily Mail wrote on February 8:

“The preacher son of US evangelist Billy Graham is threatening to sue eight British arenas that cancelled his shows after protests from the LGBT community. Franklin Graham, 67, a vocal supporter of US President, Donald Trump, describes homosexuality as a ‘sin’ and is in favour of ‘gay conversion therapy’.

“The ACC Liverpool conference centre was the first to cancel one of his planned events saying last month that his views were ‘incompatible’ with their values and the Sheffield Arena followed soon after. Since then venues in Glasgow, Newcastle, Cardiff, Birmingham, Milton Keynes and London have all followed suit. But Graham… remains unrepentant on his ‘homophobic’ views and even claimed that the Queen would agree with him…

“He told Premier Christian News: ‘I believe the Bible teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s the Church of England’s position… This is what the Bible teaches and that’s what I believe.’… Graham… has previously described gay marriage as a ‘sin‘… Graham claimed the LGBT community were threatening free speech… ‘If a small group of people can force a cancellation of an event where thousands of Christians are participating, I think there is no question about the danger in the future to others.’”


No Freedom of Speech for the Truth in Switzerland

Deutsche Welle wrote on February 9:

“Switzerland has voted strongly in favor of banning discrimination against gay people… Sunday’s referendum decided on legislation that specifically outlawed hate speech and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation with jail terms of up to three years… However, the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) — the strongest party in parliament — opposed the law… The change was first passed by Swiss parliament in 2018, but it was forced to a referendum after critics said it would stifle free speech…

“SVP lawmaker Eric Bertinat told the Agence France-Presse news agency that he believed the law was ‘part of an LGBT plan to slowly move towards same-sex marriage and medically assisted reproduction’ for gay couples. Marc Frueh, head of the Federal Democratic Union of Switzerland (EDU), a small Christian party called it a ‘censorship law.’… Green, left-leaning and centrist parties support the law.”

The Associated Press wrote on February 9:

“Supporters said the addition is needed but that it would not stifle legitimate public debate as long as the views expressed don’t stray into fomenting hate or discrimination… Opponents argued that protections against denigration were already enshrined in Swiss law. The nationalist Swiss People’s Party, the biggest single party in parliament, opposed the change and said the backers must now show it was ‘not a pretext for handing down politically motivated verdicts and silencing unwelcome opinions and voices.’

“[Justice Minister Karin] Keller-Sutter said ‘freedom of expression remains guaranteed.’ She added that courts have been ‘restrained’ in their application of the existing law and ‘anyone who remains respectful need have no fear of being convicted.’”

However, the accuracy of the concerns of the SVP is only too clear.

Major Winter Storm Hits Europe

Deutsche Welle wrote on February 10:

“A major winter storm — named both Ciara and Sabine — has passed through large swaths of Europe, resulting in a number of deaths across the continent…

“Hurricane-force winds and heavy rains grounded flights, canceled trains and shut down operations at major ports across western Europe from Sunday… Gusts measuring over 170 kilometers (106 miles) per hour were reported in the Black Forest in southern Germany Monday morning… Germany issued its second-highest storm warning level for the entire southern half of the country. In parts of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, the highest-level warning, No. 4, has been issued.”

The Associated Press reported on February 11:

“Ferocious winds, with gusts over 200 kph (125 mph), lashed Corsica and whipped up a forest fire that flared overnight on the French Mediterranean island on Tuesday, after a storm with hurricane-force winds and heavy rains battered northern Europe for days, killing at least eight people and causing severe travel disruptions…

“Deaths due to the fierce storm were reported in Poland, Sweden, Britain, Slovenia, Germany and the Czech Republic… In northern Bavaria, where a gust of over 160 kph (100 mph) was recorded, the storm produced a record amount of electricity being fed into the German grid from wind turbines, equivalent to almost 44 nuclear power plants.

“The German Weather Service said strong winds would keep blasting much of the country on Tuesday but the brunt of the storm had moved to the southeast. In northeastern Germany, a new storm was expected to reach the Baltic coast… In England and Scotland, the Met Office national weather agency still had 85 flood warnings in force as torrential rains caused numerous rivers to overflow their banks.

“In the Czech Republic, more than 40,000 households remained without electricity Tuesday morning, down from some 300,000 on Monday afternoon. Around 20 train routes were still blocked because of fallen trees on the track…”

Deutsche Welle wrote on February 12:

“A swell caused by storm Sabine flooded Hamburg’s iconic fish market. Fish could now be swimming through the stalls where they are usually sold.”

This winter storm might also be viewed as a preview of the major political storm which will be hitting Europe very soon.

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer

These Current Events are compiled and commented on by Norbert Link. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of news articles from our readership. The publication of articles in this section is not to be viewed as an endorsement or approval as to contents or accuracy of the selected articles, but they are published for the purpose of pointing at worldwide developments in the light of biblical end-time prophecy and godly instruction. Our own comments are provided in italics.

Are We Remaining Just in Our Actions?

When Moses struck the rock at Meribah and caused water to flow, was he justified in the anger he felt towards the Israelites? One third of Moses’ life (see Exodus 7:7 and Deuteronomy 34:7) was spent leading the people of Israel to the Promised Land. In those 40 years he dealt with a rebellious people that struggled to place God before their own lusts and desires.

At one time, God even wanted to destroy those rebellious people immediately, “Then the LORD said to Moses: ‘How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they’” (Numbers 14:11-12).  But Moses interceded and quieted the anger of God, “Then the LORD said: ‘I have pardoned, according to your word; but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD—because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it’” (Numbers 14:20-23).

A generation died out and did not enter into those physical promises because of their rebellious attitude towards God. This punishment was severe to those who failed to follow after God.  And this same punishment was leveled against Moses for his anger.  “…and Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock. Moses said to them, ‘Listen now, you rebels; must we bring you water out of this rock?’ Then Moses raised his hand [in anger] and with his rod he struck the rock twice [instead of speaking to the rock as the Lord had commanded]. And the water poured out abundantly, and the congregation and their livestock drank [fresh water]. But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you have not believed (trusted) Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, you therefore shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them’” (Numbers 20:10-12, Amplified Bible 2015).

There are no exceptions made for rebellion against God, “For there is no partiality with God” (Romans 2:11).  Moses understood God (through God’s Holy Spirit), something the Israelites around him could not do.  But the same consequences for sin still applied to Moses, and he likewise did not enter into the Promised Land.

God guided and trained Moses his entire life in order to lead His people. He governed a nation with Pharaoh, tended sheep for Jethro, and lead God’s people out of captivity. But the years spent with a people that constantly drifted away from God undoubtedly had an impact on his attitude, at least in that moment at Meribah.  And one (seemingly) small act caused swift punishment from God.

Being surrounded by such ungodliness in our day can have that same effect on our attitudes.  Left unchecked, we can sin in a way that distances us from the Will of God (however valid our actions might seem to the world).  And one small act can cascade into a loss of eternal life.  Understanding and retaining the Will of God in all our actions is fundamental in each of us reaching the lasting promises of becoming part of God’s eternal Family.

Think Like God / Giving Up for Gain

On February 15, 2020, Dave Harris will present the sermonette, titled, “Think Like God,” and Robb Harris will present the sermon, titled, “Giving Up for Gain.”

The live services are available, over video and audio, at (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time; 8:30 pm Greenwich Mean Time; 9:30 pm Central European Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.

What will be the future relationship between major Middle Eastern Nations and Israel?

In our last Q&A, we answered the question whether there still will be a future king of the South. We explained that even though the prophecy in Daniel 11 regarding the king of the South has been fulfilled, the prophecy could be dual and find another end-time fulfillment in the near future, but if so, the king of the South would have to be Ethiopia which could be leading several Arab nations, including Egypt and Libya, against Europe.

In addition, we showed from Psalm 83 that other Middle Eastern nations, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan, will at first form a confederacy with Europe (under German leadership) against “Israel.”

The previous Q&A limited and confined our comments mainly to the friendly or hostile relationship of Middle Eastern nations with continental Europe. In this Q&A, we will address the relationship of Middle Eastern nations with “Israel.”

We have written at length about the following nations, mentioned herein, in previous Q&As and our free booklet, “Middle Eastern and African Nations in Bible Prophecy.”

In this Q&A, we will set forth in a condensed summary format the important conclusions which we came to, based on the Bible, pertaining to some major Middle Eastern nations in regard to their dealings with “Israel.” For an in-depth study, we recommend reviewing the above-mentioned booklet.

One of the most antagonistic countries against “Israel” will be TURKEY. It is identified in the Bible as “Edom” or “Esau.” The Bible and history show that the Turks are the modern descendants of ancient Esau or Edom, the twin brother of Jacob or Israel. As mentioned in the previous Q&A, modern Edom will be part of a confederacy with the modern Babylonian system of Europe under Assyria or Germany, together with Arab nations. This confederacy (literally, “cutting a covenant”) will be directed against “Israel”—the state of Israel, the Jews in general, and the modern descendants of the House of Israel which are mainly to be found in the USA and the United Kingdom, as well as other English-speaking nations such as Canada and Australia.

The Bible does not say that Edom will become part of the current EU, let alone the final configuration of ten European core nations or groups of nations. While Europe will be collaborating for a while with Turkey and other Arab nations, this does not mean that there will be full partnership and unification between them.

Turkey will continue to become an extremely hostile nation towards the Jews and the House of Israel, under a ruthless and dictatorial Turkish leadership.

After an initial collaboration between the EU and Turkey, things will drastically change.  Edom’s allies, and especially Assyria and the entire Babylonian system, will turn against Edom.

Obadiah 6-7 says that “ALL THE MEN IN YOUR CONFEDERACY” will turn against Turkey—this includes modern Assyria (Germany) and modern “Tyre” (the end-time European system). This means that Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the Palestinians, Western Iraq and perhaps Lebanon will also turn against Turkey. In Obadiah 8-9, God makes clear that this will happen “in that day”—after the Great Tribulation and during the Day of the LORD—and that God will inspire the former allies of Edom to act in this way.

Psalm 60:8 and Psalm 108:9 indicate as well a future defeat in war and captivity for the people of Edom (as well as Moab, i.e. modern Iraq). The modern Babylonian system under Assyria’s lead will conquer Edom (modern Turkey) and enslave it, after Edom (and Moab) had at first escaped the modern Assyrian “king of the North” (Daniel 11:41).

The Bible tells us that the reason for Turkey’s future destruction is its abominable conduct against “Israel.” We read in Ezekiel 35:1-15 that Turkey “had an ancient [or everlasting] hatred, and [has] shed the blood of the children of Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity… you have said, ‘These TWO NATIONS and these TWO COUNTRIES [referring to the Houses of Israel and Judah] shall be mine, and we will possess them…’”

Obadiah 1:10-15 confirms this by stating that “In the day that strangers carried captive his forces, When foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem—Even you were as one of them. But you should not have gazed on the day of your brother In the day of his captivity; Nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah In the day of their destruction; Nor should you have spoken proudly In the day of distress. You should not have entered the gate of My people In the day of their calamity. Indeed, you should not have gazed on their affliction In the day of their calamity Nor laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity. You should not have stood at the crossroads to cut off those among them who escaped; Nor should you have delivered up those among them who remained In the day of distress (Menge Bible: the Great Tribulation). For the day of the LORD upon all the nations is near; As you have done, it shall be done to you…”

Israel and Judah will have to go into slavery, and Edom will actively participate in this future war against Israel and Judah which will bring about the complete downfall of those two nations. Edom will possess at least parts of Israel’s and Judah’s territories. But then, God will use the modern Babylonian power bloc to punish Edom or modern Turkey severely due to Edom’s hatred and violence towards Israel and Judah.

Focusing on ETHIOPIA, we read in Nahum 3:9 that ETHIOPIA, as well as Egypt and Put (Libya; see below), will at first be modern Nineveh’s “strength” and helpers (that is, the modern Babylonian system under Assyrian or German leadership, ancient Nineveh being the capital of Assyria). They will help modern Nineveh to fight against Israel and Judah.

But we also read that this particular alliance will change and that the modern king of Babylon (Europe) will attack and conquer Egypt and Ethiopia (Ezekiel 30:1-9; 29:10; compare also Isaiah 18:1-6). Zephaniah 2:12 tells us specifically that “You Ethiopians also, you shall be slain by the sword.” We also read in Daniel 11:42-43 that the modern king of Assyria of the Babylonian system will be ruling over the Ethiopians.

We are specifically told in Isaiah 11:11 that at the time of Christ’s Return, the survivors of the modern descendants of the Houses of Israel and Judah will find themselves enslaved in countries such as Assyria (Germany), Egypt, Cush (Ethiopia), and Elam (Iran).

We don’t know when and exactly how the survivors of Israel and Judah will become captives in Ethiopia and in some of the other countries mentioned above. It could begin to happen when Ethiopia fights with Assyria against Israel, or later, when Assyria fights against Ethiopia and then transfers and settles some of its Israelite captives there.

We also read that some Ethiopians will become a part of an army, led by Russia and China and other Far Eastern nations, to invade the Promised Land. This will happen just after Christ’s Return to this earth; compare Ezekiel 38:5.

Regarding EGYPT, we read that Jews will be enslaved in Egypt just prior to Christ’s return. Isaiah 27:13 explains that when the great trumpet sounds “in that day”—designating the resurrection of the just from the dead in the end time–captives from the Houses of Israel and Judah will be released from slavery. We are also told that prior to their freedom, some will perish in the LAND of Assyria, and some will be outcasts in the LAND of Egypt.

Hosea 9:3 states that Ephraim (mainly the UK, but by extension including the USA, Canada and other English-speaking nations) shall return to Egypt and eat unclean things in Assyria. On the other hand, Hosea 11:5, 10-11 informs us that Ephraim shall not return to the LAND of Egypt; rather, it will go into the kind of “Egyptian” slavery which ancient Israel experienced when it was in Egyptian captivity. The modern king ruling over the modern House of Israel (including the UK and the USA) will be Assyria. Deuteronomy 28:68; 17:16 confirms as well that “Egyptian” slavery is decreed over both the Houses of Israel and Judah.

According to Isaiah 27:13, a part of the enslaved remnant will return from the LAND of Egypt. Since Ephraim will not be enslaved in the LAND of Egypt, it follows that those who will be enslaved in the LAND of Egypt will be mainly those from the House of Judah (the Jews). This fact is supported in Joel 3:19, which tells us that Egypt will become a desolation, because of their violence against the people of JUDAH or the Jews.

Zechariah 10:10-12 tells us as well that some (apparently referring to Judah) will be freed from slavery and brought back from the LAND of Egypt, while others (Ephraim) will be freed from Assyria.

Focusing on LIBYA, not much is stated regarding its end-time relationship with “Israel” prior to Christ’s Return.

As we mentioned in the last Q&A, Daniel 11 shows that the modern king of Assyria will turn against Egypt and the nations allied with her, including Ethiopia and Libya, and conquer, control or even enslave them. However, the Bible shows that after ten European nations or groups of nations under modern Assyria (“the Babylonian system”) will have subdued and conquered many nations, they themselves will be defeated in war by the modern Medes—Russians and Ukrainians.

We do not know whether the alliance of Ethiopia, Egypt and Libya, which is directed against Europe, will be friendly or unfriendly towards “Israel.” But we do know that shortly AFTER Christ’s Return, a mighty Far Eastern army (under Russian and Chinese leadership) will try to invade the modern Houses of Judah (the modern Jews) and of Israel (mainly the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, as well as some nations in North-Western Europe). By that time, all the Israelites and Jews, who will have survived the Great Tribulation, will have been brought back to live in the Promised Land.

In regard to the future attempt by that great Far Eastern army to invade and conquer the Promised Land, Ezekiel 38:5 states expressly that “Persia, Ethiopia and LIBYA are with them.” It is possible that this hatred against “Israel” already developed and existed prior to Christ’s Return.

In the end time, SYRIA or Aram will face utter destruction just prior to Christ’s Return. Scriptures like Isaiah 17:1-4; Jeremiah 49:23-27 and Amos 1:3-5 describe the destruction of Damascus (the capital of Syria) in vivid terms. If we look at prior historical events, we conclude that it is possible that Syria’s destruction will occur through the modern Babylonian system under the leadership of the modern “king” of Assyria. In ancient times, the king of Assyria, Tiglath-Pileser, destroyed Damascus and enslaved the Syrians. He fought the House of Israel [under King Pekah] and Syria [under King Rezin] at about the same time.

If history is our guide, then it would be interesting to contemplate the possibility that the destruction of Damascus and the overthrow of Syria could occur at approximately the same time when the modern “king” of Assyria will attack the modern House of Israel. Ironically, “Ephraim” will make a covenant with modern Assur (Hosea 12:1) and ask them for help as well (Compare Hosea 5:13, which states in the New American Bible and the Menge translation: “Ephraim went to Assyria, and Judah sent to the great king.”). At that time, the modern “king” of Assyria might just comply with both requests.

But he will not really rescue the Jews nor modern Ephraim (Hosea 7:11-12; 5:14-15). Even anciently, we read in 2 Chronicles 28:16-21 that Tiglath-Pileser, King of Assyria, did NOT really help Ahaz, King of Judah, even though he had pretended at first to help Israel against the Syrians. Rather, he “distressed” or “oppressed” him (verse 20). In fact, we read that the modern “king” of Assyria, leader of the revived Roman Empire, will ultimately engage in a decisive war against the modern Houses of Israel AND Judah.

Focusing on SAUDI ARABIA, we read in Psalm 83:6 that Ishmaelites—the kingdom of Saudi Arabia—as well as other Arabic tribes will enter into a covenant with Assyria or modern-day Germany against Israel.

When God intervenes in world affairs, He will begin to pour out His wrath and fury over all nations, by bringing the sword over them (Jeremiah 25:15-17), including Arabia and Tema, one of Ishmael’s sons (Jeremiah 25:23). This will happen during the Day of the LORD of God’s wrath (Jeremiah 25:33), which will begin approximately one year prior to Christ’s Return.

Isaiah 21:13-17 gives us another prophecy about Ishmael’s or Saudi Arabia’s destruction. We are not specifically told there who exactly will defeat the Arabs in war, but we note that in Old Testament times, the Assyrians did so, and most commentaries apply the prophecy of Isaiah to that occurrence. They overlook, however, that the prophecy is primarily for our times today. If the prophecy is dual, which it appears to be, then Assyria will again be the enemy defeating the Arabs in war, after they first had entered into an alliance with Assyria against Israel.

Finally, when focusing on Scriptures about IRAN, formerly known as Persia, we find that the modern-day Iranians are descendants of the ancient Elamites.

As we have seen, the Jewish people and the modern House of Israel will be conquered and enslaved by the final European revival of the ancient Roman Empire, under Assyrian or German leadership, called modern “Babylon” in Scripture. When Jesus Christ returns, He will free the survivors of that captivity and bring them into the Promised Land. Several Scriptures tell us that prior to Christ’s Return, survivors from Israel and Judah will be enslaved in Elam–Iran (Isaiah 11:11).

Isaiah 22:6 prophesies, in the context of the future enslavement of the inhabitants of the city of Jerusalem (compare verses 1-4): “Elam [Iran] bore the quiver With chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield.”

The timing is the Day of the LORD or “in that day” (verses 8, 12), when God has “removed the protection of Judah” (verse 8), since they looked to their armor or military, rather than to God (verses 8, 11). We note, from Ezekiel 27:10, that at one time, “Those from Persia [Iran], Lydia and Libya Were in [the mystical “Tyre’s” or the modern Babylon’s] army as men of war.” So it appears that Iranians will participate in the military attack of modern Babylon against the state of Israel.

It appears further that after their mutual attack on Jerusalem, modern Babylon—a confederacy of many nations–will turn against Iran and enslave the Iranian people (Jeremiah 49:35-39). Subsequently, the modern Iranians will be freed—apparently by the Medes or Russians, as both will together attack modern Babylon (Isaiah 21:2). A future alliance between Russia and Iran (which is already developing today) is not surprising, given the fact that these two powers were allied in the past, as the “Medo-Persian Empire.”

Russia’s and Iran’s hatred against the modern descendants of the ancient Houses of Israel and Judah will not easily disappear. After Christ’s Return, Iran or “Persia” will be a part of a great confederacy of hostile nations (Ezekiel 38:5), under Russian and Chinese leadership, in an attempt to invade the Promised Land which will then be occupied by the modern Houses of Israel and Judah.

From the foregoing, we can see that especially countries such as Turkey, Ethiopia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran will (continue to) play an important anti-Israeli role in the Middle East. The GOOD NEWS is, as our above-mentioned booklet points out, that survivors from ALL those nations will repent and turn to the true God of Israel, AFTER Christ’s Return.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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