America looks to Obama as its Messiah
Russia turns the gas back on to Europe
Huge gas deposits are found of the coast of Israel.
Israel withdraws from Gaza
Welcome to another edition of the Bible in the News, this is Jonathan Bowen joining you. This week has been another very exciting week as we have seen the Bible in the news once again.
We begin with America where elation over the inauguration of Barak Hussein Obama has swept the nation, and much of the world. Over one million people assembled in Washington to witness the historic day, with the Toronto star reporting one billion more tuning in on radios and televisions. The Star reported Canada's representative at the ceremony, Citizenship Minister Jason Kenney, as stating:
“There was almost disbelief when it was finally done, people were crying, hugging each other. There was an authenticity to the moment you don't always see in political life."The coverage of the event painted Obama in an almost messianic role – leading the American people to the promised land. The world is gripped by the charisma of this man, comparing him to great men like Churchill and Roosevelt. These men were deemed to be great, by the world, because of what they did while in office, not because they made it to office. We have yet to see what Obama will do.
This we know,
“… the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.” (Daniel 4:17).Obama has been brought to this powerful office for a reason – that even he probably doesn’t see yet… and may never fully know, but the hand of God will reveal it in due time. We do know that the scriptures have a role for America to play, whether America likes it or not. As brother Thomas put it, “they will be compelled, by events soon to happen, to do what, under existing circumstances, heaven and earth combined could not move them to do.” (Eplis Israel)
We are also cautioned by the scriptures:
“Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever: Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners: The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous: The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down. The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 146:3-10)
America’s hopes are pinned on Obama, but he too is a man, and not the Messiah that this earth desperately needs.
Obama's Catholic Cabinate
We wait to see what policies Obama will adopt. His track record is relatively short at this point, but no single man makes up an administration in today’s day and age. He has chosen as his right hand Joseph Biden. This man does have a little history behind him. He was interviewed with his wife on the American TV show Oprah the day before the inauguration. His wife made a slip-up and the news media reported it. We were able to find the clip, (no we are not taken to watching Oprah).
“Joe had the choice to be Secretary of State or Vice President, and I said, “Joe…[much laughing] well, ok, he did.” At this point in time the audience was laughing because Joe Biden was trying to shush his wife for letting the cat out of the bag. Once all the laughter stopped, he explained:
“This is a partnership, he's president of the United States, but as I said to him when he asked me, I said, 'Barack, don't ask me unless the reason you're asking me is, you're asking me for my judgment. I get to be the last guy in the room before you make every important decision. You're president. Any decision you make, I will back.”
Being “the last guy in the room when any important decision is made” is a very influential position. He will have the president’s ear. As a Roman Catholic – we can be sure he will be representing Rome’s point of view on the issues of the day. Biden went on to say:
“He asked me, he said, I asked him what he expected of me? He said, “He wanted to have a confidant, and someone who wouldn’t be a yes man.” He was pretty sure about that last point.”
This will no doubt guide his policies with regard to Israel. Biden’s views on Israel are not hard to discover. As a United States Senator in the 1970’s he was involved in Egypt-Israeli peace treaty that came out of the Camp David Accords. These accords called for the removal of Israel from the West Bank.
As we watch Obama begin to layout his policies, Biden will also deserve some close watching.
As the week has unraveled we have been introduced to some other key players too. Hilary Clinton was sworn in as Secretary of State. In her speech Wednesday she said, "I believe with all my heart that this is a new era for America.” It will not be long before we begin to see the impact of this “new era”.
George Mitchelle was also appointed as the Middle East envoy. Mitchelle is another ardent Roman Catholic who was educated at Georgetown University, the first law school established in the United States by a Jesuit institution of higher learning. Mitchelle was the chairman of the Sharm el-Sheikh International Fact-Finding Committee on violence in the Middle East, 2000-2001. One of the final recommendation of this committee stated,
“The GOI should freeze all settlement activity, including the "natural growth" of existing settlements.” (p34). The Report also stated,
“The GOI should give careful consideration to whether settlements which are focal points for substantial friction are valuable bargaining chips for future negotiations or provocations likely to preclude the onset of productive talks.” Mitchelle negotiated the peace treaty in Northern Ireland, it will be interesting to watch what happens in the Middle East.
There is also, Leon Panetta, the new Director Designate of the CIA. Another Roman Catholic, he was educated at Santa Clara University, a Jesuit college in California.
So the critical roles of Vice President, Middle East Envoy and Director of the CIA – all prominent positions influencing foreign policy, are in the hands of Roman Catholics.
The Los Angeles Times reported,
“The White House was flooded with leaders' best wishes, including those of Pope Benedict XVI, who urged Obama to be "the promoter of peace and cooperation between nations."”
A telegram from the Vatican on January 20th stated the following,
“Under your leadership, may the American people continue to find in their impressive religious and political heritage the spiritual values and ethical principles needed to cooperate in the building of a truly just and free society, marked by respect for the dignity, equality and rights of each of its members, especially the poor, the outcast and those who have no voice.”
No doubt, the religious and spiritual values on the mind of the Pope are those of Catholicism, and his vision of justice would see the Palestinian cause brought to he forefront.
The pontiff has enough highly placed disciples in Obama’s administration to ensure that the blasphemous voice of the little horn “speaking great things” is heard loud and clear in Washington.
Our attention moves now to Russia, the Ukraine and Europe. Since the beginning of the year much of Eastern Europe has been without gas, during a bitter winter. This week gas supplies were restored to Poland, Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece and hundreds of thousands of other countries. Ukraine and Russia have been in a row over gas supplies for weeks.
The BBC News reported,
“This was Europe's worst energy crisis in years.
Slovakia declared a state of emergency and rationed gas supplies to industry. Hundreds of thousands of people in countries like Bulgaria, Bosnia and Moldova were left shivering in the middle of a particularly harsh winter.
The cause was not a war or a natural disaster, but a commercial dispute between two state-run companies: the Russian energy giant, Gazprom, and its Ukrainian counterpart, Naftogaz….
…the crisis has highlighted the EU's vulnerability, and Brussels is likely to focus strongly on diversifying its energy supplies.”
However, Europe is cautious not to poke the eye of the bear. European President, Barosso had the following to say,
“There is some lesson that we have to draw from this situation.” But he added: "Russia and Ukraine are important partners." “It is in our interest in keeping and developing our relations."
He said, "It was utterly unacceptable that European gas consumers were held hostage to this dispute between Russia and Ukraine…”
The Bible is clear on this subject. It has been mentioned before that Ezekiel 38:7 instructs Gog,
“Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto the, and be thou a guard unto them.”
The word for Guard here signifies to “hedge about” or “guard as one guards a prisoner”. The author of Elpis Israel, John Thomas, also wrote a book entitled Anatolia, Russia Triumphant, Europe Chained…” based on the understanding that Europe would be brought under the control of Russia. Thomas probably never envisioned Europe being held hostage by a commodity like natural gas, but the principle holds true. The economist depicted Europe as being chained by the gas pipelines from Russia.
The Bible clearly paints the picture of Europe being under Russia’s control. We have already seen the lengths that Russia is willing to go to in order to retain that control in Georgia. Is Ukraine being prepared for a similar stranglehold?
Huge deposits of Natural Gas are found of the coast of Israel. It just so happens that while Europe is looking for alternate supplies of natural gas, Israel has discovered large reserves off its coast.
The Jerusalem Post reported,
“A historic natural gas reservoir found offshore from Haifa is poised to meet Israel's natural gas demand for about 15 years and reduce the country's dependence on gas imports from Egypt and offshore from Gaza... Preliminary estimates indicate that the Tamar field might contain over 88 billion cubic meters of gas.”
“Delek Group's initial estimate of the value of the gas is $15.5 billion, based on a projected amount of 88 billion cubic meters. That's three times the size of the field that the Tethys Sea group - which also included Delek - found off the Ashkelon coast”The full extent of the find is yet to be discovered, but it could certainly alter the economic situation in the Middle East. Ezekiel 38 talks of an Israel which presents to Gog “a spoil and a prey,” a people who have “gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.” The merchants of Tarshish complain of an invasion to “take a prey? To carry away silver and gold, to take a way cattle and goods, to take a great spoil.” (v13).
Will this gas find provide an economic boost Israel’s economy to meet the description given? We wait to see.
Withdrawal From Gaza - Vatican Supplies Aid
Meanwhile, in the Gaza strip Israel has withdrawn this week. Hamas has been issued a temporary crushing blow. However, many nations are rushing to rebuild the Gaza strip, and leading by example is the Vatican. The Catholic News agency reported,
“The Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and Cyprus and the Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem, Archbishop Antonio Franco, visited the Gaza Strip this week to personally deliver the donation Pope Benedict XVI has made to the Catholic community of the region and to express the Pontiff’s spiritual closeness. In statements to the SIR news agency, the Nuncio urged every effort to be made to achieve a lasting peace. “The people are tired of the situation and of the uncertainty of tomorrow and they want peace.” He said. Likewise the Nuncio said, “He hopes the political efforts to achieve peace will focus on releaving the suffering of the people instead of on power struggles.”
Many nations will become drunk with the humanistic wine of Rome and join in the push to provide “humanitarian aid” which will be quickly translated into support for Hamas and Fatah, the terrorist groups in controlling the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza. Let us ensure we do not become drunken with this papal wine.
There is a great push to crush Israel’s settlements in the West Bank. This week’s Economist contained an article entitled, “Peace Now?” which stated,
“Mr Obama needs to make it clear, preferably before Israel’s election next month, that America will no longer countenance Israel’s colonisation of the West Bank. The Jewish settlements there should never have been built, and Israel has promised to freeze them. This has become a test. If Mr Obama cannot hold Israel to its promise, his chances of restoring America’s standing as the indispensable mediator in this conflict are nil. "
This is consistent with Jimmy Carter’s Camp David Accords, and almost all “peace initiatives” pushed on Israel since 1967. Carter wrote in his nauseating book “Palestine Peace Not Apartheid”,
“Compromise is necessary for both sides, with clear distinctions made between what their dreams and ideology dictate and what is pragmatically possible. Although some extremists disagree, most Israelis have learned that they cannot reconstruct the Kingdom of David, which includes the West Bank, Golan Heights, and parts of Lebanon and Jordan.” (page 15-16)
Well, we have news for President Carter, President Obama, and anybody else who desires to put an end to the restoration of the Kingdom of David which God is undertaking in the land, not only will God “bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem” (Joel 3:1) and plant them upon “the mountains of Israel, which have always been waste” (Ezekiel 38:8), but
“when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; he shall send Jesus Christ, [the one whose right it is] which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:19-21).
At this point in time the world will be brought into supplication and he shall be
“given… a dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:14). As for the all the nations who unite against Israel? The kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Rev 11:15).
Tune in next week, when, God willing, Paul Billington will bring exciting coverage direct from the Middle East – from the areas that will be part of the Kingdom of David that will be restored, on www.bibleinthenews.com