Geopolitics and Bible Prophecy

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Posted 4/27/13 at 9:57 PM | Jeremy Stevens

President Obama and Syria's New Red Line

President Obama recently fell into a classic trap, similar to one many teachers and parents find themselves when dealing with unruly children – the red line. It’s a common mistake that children love to take advantage of. Well-meaning parents and teachers create a situation where their authority can be undermined quickly. Being a teacher myself, I have often found that when telling a student what not to do, the hormone-ravaged teenage delinquent student does exactly that.

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad is not unlike a hormone-ravaged teenage delinquent in this regard. Little Bashar has wreaked havoc in his classroom so the teacher has given him a last warning. “Bashar, if you throw one more pencil you will get suspended.”

Regardless of whether the teacher has the ability to act is irrelevant at that point. All Bashar can think about is embarrassing the teacher and impressing his friends, so he launches another pencil at the back of poor little Sally’s head. The red line has been crossed, and now the teacher must act lest he or she loses control of the entire classroom for the year. Chaos will spill into the hallway. FULL POST

Posted 2/9/13 at 5:08 PM | Jeremy Stevens

Famine and Depravity in the End Times

The average American cannot understand the terror of famine. God has blessed America with an abundance of food. Other natural disasters wreck havoc in the United States, but famines are rare in North America. The occasional draught can threaten the breadbasket of the world, but a draught on the Great Plains doesn’t mean the end of the American food supply – we still have the fertile soil of the Midwest, the farming valleys of the West coast, and a thriving fishing industry along our coasts.

The United States has become the breadbasket of the world. Our foodstuffs are transported across the country and to the distant corners of the world. Even the poorest Americans have access to basic food. Yes, I know there is always the exception. Someone doesn't have access to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. He or she may be suffering from an addiction or mental disorder and simply cannot get to help. These are the exception to the rule.

Take food stamps for instance. Designed to help the poorest Americans purchase basic food and supplies, food stamps have also been used to purchase cigarettes, alcohol, and lottery tickets. The food stamp program is flawed, but on the bright side, it looks like most people have enough food if even welfare recipients are buying these excess items -- at least in this country. FULL POST

Posted 1/31/13 at 1:52 PM | Jeremy Stevens

Israel Attacks Syria, While Syria's Allies Condemn

Israel has finally done something the United States was afraid to do -- get involved in Syria. Despite the deaths of 60,000 people, a cache of chemical weapons, and the presence of militant terrorist groups in Syria, the United States has chosen not to get involved. If radical Islamists take over Syria it will not threaten America's national security. Israel does not have this luxury. All it takes is one Syrian chemical weapons attack on Tel Aviv to bring Israel to its knees.

Photograph: Jim Hollander/EPA
Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu is believed to be in talks over a possible response to the movement of chemical weapons.

As Syria continues its downward spiral, the question of Syria's chemical weapons security grows. Syria boasts one of the world’s largest stockpiles of chemical weapons, and with Assad losing his grip on the country, many fear these weapons will find their way to Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, or other terrorist groups. FULL POST

Posted 1/21/13 at 7:41 PM | Jeremy Stevens

Revenge of the Kurds: Kurdistan's Future in Bible Prophecy

The Kurds have often been overlooked throughout history. As close relatives to Iranians, they often live in the shadow of their neighboring cousins. Every sibling with brothers or sisters experiences the irksome episode of being outshined by a smarter or more athletic sibling. On a national scale the Kurds have experienced this at the hands of their Middle Eastern neighbors almost as much as George Obama and Larry Jordan. Who? Exactly.

The Kurds’ ancient ancestors (known as the Medes) were eclipsed by the neighboring Persian Empire. During the conquests of Islam the Kurds were overpowered by more numerous Arab and Turkish dynasties. The Kurds experienced a golden age during the Middle Ages but their glory was dashed by a Mongol invasion followed by centuries of Turkish and Persian rule.

There was a glimmer of hope after WWI that the Kurds might gain a homeland out of the wreck of the Ottoman Empire. These hopes were dashed as most of Kurdistan was grouped in with the independent Arab state of Iraq in the 1920’s.

Their oppression reached new levels under the Iraqi Arabs, most notably Saddam Hussein. Uprisings and persecutions, including mass killings of Kurds, marked the Kurdish experience under the Iraqi Baathist Party. After the intervention of the United States in 2003, the Kurds have experienced a stronger semblance of self-rule in the mountainous region of northern Iraq. It’s far from official. FULL POST

Posted 1/8/13 at 2:13 PM | Jeremy Stevens

Trouble Heading Israel's Way

It seems that Israel has become the Miami Heat or the New England Patriots of the world – you either love them or hate them. My apologies for equating a nation of seven million souls to the most loathed teams of professional American sports, but hear me out.

No matter where you live in America (outside of Boston and Miami), mentioning the Miami Heat or New England Patriots will spark a conversation that usually starts with, “man those guys are good, but I really hate them.” The overwhelming majority of folks outside of New England and South Florida don’t enjoy watching these teams remain successful. If Lebron James and Tom Brady weren’t so good at destroying my favorite teams I might tolerate watching their success. I admire and loathe them simultaneously.

The same divergent attitudes can be seen toward Israel. The Arab states resent them. The Iranian regime hates them with a passion, and the remaining Muslim nations (over 2 billion people) have little love for the Jewish state. Europeans look at them as an impediment to their own relations with the Arabs. In the past decade a very vocal minority in the United States (particularly from the political Left but not always so) state their distaste for the Jewish democracy. FULL POST

Posted 12/30/12 at 7:29 PM | Jeremy Stevens

Does Bible Prophecy Matter?

For a great many people, Bible prophecy is a complete bore, something to be studied by seminary students, their professors, and strange characters on Internet blogs. Sadly, many Christians feel that Bible prophecy holds little relevance in their daily walk with Christ.

I get it. God created all of us with different desires and interests. When someone begins discussing the intricacies of quilting or the latest art rave my eyes glaze over as I start thinking of something else we could possibly talk about. Basketball, the weather, anything but art (no offense).

For others, Bible prophecy is a fascinating example of God’s complete omnipotence over this world. God prophesied the destruction of mighty kingdoms in the book of Daniel. God used prophecies to warn the Jewish people of impending destruction at the hands of the Romans. He also provided readers with prophecies regarding the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

In a recent radio interview with Christian Canadian radio host Drew Marshall (nice guy and witty too). I was asked some questions about the basics of Bible prophecy:

What do ancient Bible prophecies have to do with one's Christian life?

How can we know the Bible’s prophetic passages are going to occur in a literal, historical fashion? FULL POST

Posted 12/19/12 at 2:04 PM | Jeremy Stevens

Are We Approaching the End Times?

After the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting it sure feels like the end is right around the corner. We are no strangers to school shootings. These tragic events have plagued us for the past twenty years, but this is something else entirely. The targeting of such young children reaches a satanic level not seen before in American society.

Was this school shooting simply another example of our depravity? We live in a fallen world that won’t be restored until Christ returns. If you’re wondering why so many tragedies seem to occur on a regular basis, join the club. School shootings, killer natural disasters, warfare, and economic strife give the appearance of a world hurling towards imminent collapse.

We ask ourselves, when will Christ come back and put an end to senseless violence?

We aren’t the first society to ask this age-old question. The apostles of the early church looked daily for His return. As Rome collapsed in the 5th century AD, Christians thought it was the end of the world. The Black Plague, Hundred Years War, and Church upheaval of the late middle ages gave many cause to ask the same question – “ Lord, are you coming back before it’s too late or what?” FULL POST

Posted 12/11/12 at 1:45 PM | Jeremy Stevens

Will the Real Babylon Please Stand Up?

As we approach the famous Mayan doomsday the world has become more attuned to its demise. Earth-shattering meteors, environmental disasters, zombie apocalypses, and even a revival of the 1990’s boy-band era have disturbed the sleep of many end-time worriers.

The re-establishment of Israel, the rise of world war, and the chaos in the Middle East have piqued the interest of Christians awaiting the second coming of Christ. With this newfound interest, many readers have come across prophecies about an ancient city – Babylon.

Born out of the cradle of civilization, the Babylonians were an ancient superpower that slaughtered the Jews and sent them into a seventy-year captivity. The Babylonians lost their superpower status 2,500 years ago, but their legacy lives on even to this day.

In the future, the city of Babylon will rise again to become a terrible oppressor of God’s people during the Tribulation. Babylon will lead a false religious system that will target multitudes of Christians. The antichrist will conquer Babylon, making it his own world capitol for the remaining portion of the Tribulation.

The Bible prophesies that God will destroy Babylon once and for all at the end of the Tribulation. Unfortunately, that is where much of the agreement in Christian circles ends. Who is this future superpower that is destined to cause so much destruction? FULL POST

Posted 12/4/12 at 1:36 PM | Jeremy Stevens

Syria's Prophetic Future Amidst the Chaos

Syrian President Bashar al Assad is a bad man. Yet like most bad men in the Middle East he’s managed to keep his country in line through a system of fear and tyranny. It’s hardly surprising considering his political baggage. He comes from the same socialist Ba’ath party that spawned Saddam Hussein.

Photograph: AP
Bashar al-Assad's interview with Russia Today seems intended as a signal to a re-elected Barack Obama that the Syrian president does not plan to change tack.

Using many of Saddam’s old tricks, Assad has kept a tight leash on the military and took the war to his own civilians in rebellious areas. More than 27,000 Syrians have died in the fighting since 2011.

Assad has survived as Syria’s dictator since 1971. Despite international pressure and the fact that he is losing his war against rebel groups, he has no plans of stepping down. His most recent escapades include plans of using chemical weapons against his own people. Some have taken this measure to mean that Assad is “frightened and cornered” ready to commit murder-suicide should he be taken out of office. FULL POST

Posted 11/26/12 at 2:53 PM | Jeremy Stevens

The Failing Turkish-Israeli Relationship and Ezekiel 38

According to a recent study, Recep Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey, is now the world’s second most influential Muslim, ranking just below the king of Saudi Arabia.

During his time as Prime Minister, Turkey has become the leading Islamic power in the world once again. It’s military rivals even the strongest nations in Europe and its economy is one of the world’s most dynamic, ranking 16th in the world’s strongest economies.

One of the Islamic world’s few secular states, the Democratic Republic of Turkey is seen as a shining example of the moderate Muslim nation. So how did this influential leader of Turkey respond to the Hamas rocket attacks against Israeli civilians? Without batting an eye, he walked right up to the podium and asserted, “Israel is a terrorist state.”

Hamas shoots thousands of rockets into busy civilian Israeli areas.

Hamas stores their rocket launchers and military hardware near Gaza’s schools and hospitals – sometimes inside of them for use as human shields. FULL POST

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