The Signs of the Times – part 12
Originally posted, Nov. 28, 2011.
Quotes of the day:
“We seem to have entered the last days of the euro as we currently know it. That doesn’t make a break-up very likely, but it does mean some extraordinary things will almost certainly need to happen – probably by mid-January – to prevent the progressive closure of all the euro zone sovereign bond markets, potentially accompanied by escalating runs on even the strongest banks.” Credit Suisse’s Fixed Income Research Unit.
“Time is running out fast. I think we have maybe a few months — it could be weeks, it could be days — before there is a material risk of a fundamentally unnecessary default by a country like Spain or Italy which would be a financial catastrophe dragging the European banking system and North America with it.” William Buiter, chief economist at Citigroup..
We have not seen a military operation telegraphed quite like this since “Operation Desert Storm…” George Ure, quoting a military source. http://www.urbansurvival.com/blog/?p=4499
“…the need for a decent-sized war has almost never been greater…” George Ure.
“Depart immediately while commercial transportation is still available.” Message from American Embassy in Damascus to US citizens in Syria. CBS News, Nov. 23, 2011.
Normally all economic and political commentators talk up the economy, and express nothing but supreme confidence in the present and future prospects of the economic system. They talk confidence because the Babylonian economic system has no other foundation than confidence itself. When people start losing confidence the system begins to crumble – and there is no safety net – there is no real foundation to the system. All the king’s men can do, is to try and talk up a good story and try to restore confidence. Unfortunately, even the king’s men now realize that the Titanic has already hit the iceberg and she is slowly sinking. Of course as the Titanic slowly sank, the band kept playing to try and keep those who were about to go under calm – and to restore an illusion of confidence. Those who refused to listen to the music headed for the lifeboats. One such lifeboat escapee and former kings “man” is Ann Barnhardt, of Barnhardt Capital Management – she is rapidly rowing as far away from the Titanic that she can. She has taken the extraordinary step of closing down her brokerage company, not because she has gone bankrupt, but in order to prevent losses to her clients, in what she says is a system that “is no longer functioning with integrity and is suicidality risk laden.”
Desperate times breed desperate measures – and economic chaos invariably breeds attempts at military solutions. The obvious choice for a military confrontation is the Middle East (and surrounding area). Preparations for war include the following:
- America has moved the H.W.Bush Aircraft Carrier Strike Group (normally parked off the Iranian coast to protect the straits of Hormuz), into the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Syria.
- Russia has moved six warships to their Syrian naval base of Tartus. According to a Nov. 24 report in the London-based Arabic language Al Quds-Al Arabi, the ships were carrying the Russian S-300 air defence system and Russian personal to install and operate it.
- On Nov 12, the Arab League suspended Syria from membership and imposed sanctions against it (completing its isolation in the Arab world).
- American citizens have been told to leave Syria immediately. And Turkey has told its citizens not to travel through Syria, on their way home from religious festivals in Mecca.
- On Nov. 2, Israel tested a ballistic missile. Although the type of missile was not revealed, the informed speculation is that it was a Jericho 3, capable of carrying nuclear warheads. This was a clear case of “sabre rattling” at Iran. The test was successful.
- Iran has been blamed for the murder of a Saudi Arabian diplomat in Pakistan, and the attempted assassination of the Saudi Arabian ambassador in the United States. [This means that Saudi Arabia will turn a blind eye when Israeli warplanes fly across its territory to attack Iran].
- On Oct 13, a mystery explosion on an Iranian army base killed 17 military personal, including Brigadier General Hassan Moqaddam (Iran’s air defense expert).
- On Nov. 24, the Guardian (British Newspaper) reported that Iran had arrested 12 CIA agents. Reports from Lebanon claim that similar CIA/Mossed arrests were made there, by the Iranian backed para-military organization Hezbollah.
- America has moved warships into the Black Sea, supposedly to intercept missiles from Iran – but the location also enables interception of Russian missiles.
- America is vigorously building a missile defence system in Eastern Europe, once again supposedly to intercept missiles from Iran – but really aimed at containing Russia. Russia has become extremely agitated.
- On Oct. 23, the Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, in a televised broadcast to the nation, said that talks on nuclear disarmament with the US had broken down. As a consequence Russia would put its own nuclear arms on combat alert and it would target the system being built in Eastern Europe.
- America is continuing its policy of containing China by announcing the building of a new military base in Northern Australia.
Unfortunately, there are relatively unknown forces at work that make this apocalyptic scenario in the Middle East even more volatile, and gives it an inescapable, other worldly, aura of inevitability. What needs to be recognized, is that all of the major players involved are under the delusions that they are all fulfilling their own version of divine destiny – they are all eager for confrontation, fortified by the “God is on our side” syndrome. They are all convinced that they are all part of prophetic fulfilment – therefore they must prepare and press ahead in the sure knowledge that this will result in a devastating war, because war is prophesied and therefore it must be God’s will – and what an honour it is to be a part of fulfilling God’s will – and how exciting it is to see the fulfilment of prophecy in one’s own lifetime.
For example, the Iranians, being Shia Muslims, believe that an apocalypse must occur to usher in the reappearance of Imam al-Mahdi (the Guided One). There are different views within Mohammadism about Al-Mahdi. He is either the Messiah or he is the herald of the Messiah (a type of John the Baptist). And he is either Jesus or he is the herald, who announces the arrival of Jesus (Yes! Many Muslims are expecting the return of Jesus). All of this occurs during a time of trouble and results in the worldwide triumph of Islam. So the Iranians, being enthusiastic exponents of their version of Islam are not averse to a major war in the Middle East – they see it as an inevitable part of the triumph of their revolution.
Christianity has its own version of the same story. When the early Protestants called the Pope the antichrist, the Jesuits (The Society of Jesus – a Catholic order) where given the job of diverting attention away from the Pope. They came up with two ideas. The antichrist has already come and gone – therefore he cannot be the Pope (and their chosen candidate for this particular honour was the Roman Emperor Nero – you might remember he persecuted the Christians). Or if you don’t like that explanation, try this one: the antichrist has not yet come – he is yet future – therefore once again he cannot be the Pope (and the candidate for this honour is generally thought to be a Jew from the Middle East). This second antichrist diversion has spread like a virus throughout Christianity – it is especially virulent in the United States of America. Of course, just like the Islamists, the appearance of the antichrist can only take place during or after a time of tribulation. But the “true believers” need not worry because they will be raptured away to heaven. So only the ungodly will suffer during WWIII – but not to worry, this is all necessary because the war and tribulation is necessary to convince the ungodly that they need to turn to God, and they too will have a chance to be “saved.” So, the coming war is “good” and “necessary” and is part of “God’s will” – and Jesus can only come after the apocalypse – so we may as well have it now rather than later. This has been the steady religious diet for Americans (and many others) for decades. And you don’t have to go to church or watch the TV evangelists to get this fast food – you just need to go to your book store or DVD outlet and purchase the Left Behind series and other such similar propaganda.
So, just like the Iranians, religious Americans, anxious for the end of the world and the appearance of Jesus, are also not averse to a war in the Middle East – they see it as an inevitable event for the realization of their hopes.
And believe it or not the Jews have messianic expectations along the same lines. According to the Israel National News there is a piece of rabbinic literature known as the Yalkot Shimoni, and according to the Yalkot Shimoni, before the Jewish Messiah can come back the following scenario must take place: “In the year which the Messiah-king appears, all the nations of the world are provoking each other. The King of Persia (ancient name for Iran) provokes an Arab king and the Arab king turns to Aram (ancient name for Syria) for advice.” [These rabbinical opinions are based on prophecies found in the Book of Isaiah].
So, the Jews are also expecting the fulfilment of their expectations, but only after the apocalypse. The point is that there is little incentive for restraint or willingness to compromise for the sake of peace. All the protagonists are like eager punters who have been slipped “guaranteed inside information” from an “impeccable source” – all they have to do is throw the dice and they are certain winners. Tragically, we will all suffer.
It is a shame they don’t give attention to other prophecies readily available to all. There is a woman called “Mystery Babylon” in the Bible and she has a cup from which all nations drink. And after imbibing of her intoxicating brew the people of the nation’s become “spiritually drunk” – which means they can’t think straight. This is not God’s fault. God allows it to happen because the people have no respect for the Truth and they have no desire to know it – “And for this reason God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” 2 Thess. 2:11,12. We all need to decide whether we will seek the Truth – and be made free – or whether we will keep drinking out of the Babylonian cup.
God bless, Bruce Telfer.
Extra Note: all major religions, such as the Hindus, the Buddhists and the New Age Movement have similar beliefs about a messianic figure (often called the Maitreya) that will come – and he can only come during or after some sort of apocalypse.