2017 – looking back; 2018 – looking forward (2)

In my earlier post on the subject, I focused mostly on looking back and reflecting upon significant world events, in what turned out to be an extraordinarily momentous year (2017). Now I want to look forward to 2018 and reflect on what might happen. The challenge we face is that unless we have extraordinary wisdom and insight or special revelation from on high (both are possible of course) we cannot say for sure. Things happen we may not see coming. For example, one story that has just broken is of an uprising in Iran – and one cannot help remembering when there was another one nearly forty years ago that saw a Shah being replaced by an Ayatollah. In a similar vein and one of the many things we don’t hear about much in mainstream media is we are now seeing the resurgence of a revived Ottoman Empire (Turkey) seeking dominance in the powder keg which is the Middle East and in the Islamic world. There is a difference between predicting what might happen and suggesting what should happen and, while I will focus on the former, I need for balance sake consider the latter. I believe one great need of the hour is for more Children of Issachars.

As in my previous article on the subject, I am wondering where to begin given there are so many hotspots around the world and these are often related. But like last time I will begin with Brexit and Trump given these two unexpected “events” have particularly rocked my world and no doubt the world around me as the forces of globalism have for at least a season been held in check. It seems after 18 months we have managed only recently to negotiate one hurdle when it comes to doing a Brexit deal with the EU, with more to come, including all important trading arrangements. While my gut tells me we will get there in the end, i.e. withdraw from the EU and throw off some of the shackles holding us (and by us I mean the UK) down, it will be far from satisfactory as our leaders accede to EU demands which if they had gumption they would resist, for I don’t have great hope given who it is leading the country.  I have already reflected on the dearth of leaders and my own commitment to identify and encourage those who can / should lead. But I am open for shocks including a change in leadership of the ruling party and even another General Election, which is not a prospect I relish as the opposition is even worse even though they make what appears right noises about addressing poverty and tackling social injustice issues. Given “the right” is weak, I fear a resurgence in far right fortunes and foresee a filling of the gap that has been left by UKIP.

When it comes to Trump, Trump’s America and the effect he/they will have on the rest of the world, just as I found this to be more interesting than UK goings on in 2017, I suspect I will continue to do so in 2018. I feel like I am re-winding the gramophone when I go on about Trump having numerous faults yet overall good for America. For folk interested in my reasons, check out my “Donald J Trump – bad, mad or good?“, “Christians who love Trump” and “King Cyrus and President Trump” blog postings. In my recent “Trumpwatch” blog posts I have reflected on a Civil War looming in the US, and indeed may have already begun. An unholy alliance of anti-Trumpers led by elements of the Deep State are out to get him and because Trump has hit back e.g. his recent tax reform measures that significantly and importantly empowers the middle class, a booming economy and increase in confidence, beginning to do what he said regarding draining the swamp, plans to do so have been put on hold. I believe in 2018 they will continue their efforts and could succeed, but I also see more of success by Trump in draining the swamp and restoring America to greatness e.g. tackling pedophilia and corruption and America being taken seriously by the rest of the world and inspiring hope in the oppressed, and the powerful and rich elites that will do America down, e.g. exposing who are the real bad guys behind the Mueller investigation (witch hunt). This does not mean I give Trump a free pass and recognize he needs to be challenged and there are so many areas where honest debate is needed e.g. welfare, social justice, security (home and abroad), the environment, international affairs. The national pride and resistance to tyranny spirit that Trump epitomizes has and will translate globally and with it a shaking of the nations.

As I look across the world, I can see many hot spots in 2017 that will continue to be so in 2018. We were left on tenterhooks regarding North Korea and its nuclear threat. How will the US respond, what will North Korea do more to provoke retaliation and how will China who look upon North Korea as an ally to assist them in their attempts to stand up against the US and become dominant in the region were some of the big questions. I have little doubt these questions will continue to be asked in 2018 and can only hope and pray for a not catastrophic outcome. The other big confrontational worry is centred round Syria. One thing that has become clear is that the official narrative is misleading and disingenuous. Russia will no doubt continue to support the Assad regime whereas the US will want to see that regime replaced and if the neocons that are still influential in US government have their way they will use force if necessary. Both Trump and Putin can take credit for defeating Isis – Russia doing the defeating and the US making the way possible. One imagines there is a difference in view in the US power structure as to whether to continue that earlier goal or simply stand back and let events take their cause. One can imagine another false flag to escalate tensions. The Russia US quest for dominance will continue and one wonders, indeed hopes, Trump can do a deal with Putin.

While there are many other potential and actual trouble spots around the world, the focus must be on the Middle East and centred around Israel. The resurgence of Islam continues and while for a season some of the more radical and violent Islamic groups have been contained and decimated one wonders what next and how new players like Turkey will influence matters along with that of more militant Islamic groups in a number of Muslim majority countries. The issue of Immigration will continue to worry many and while the elites in the countries affected will continue to shut down those who cry out warnings of the threat of Islam, I doubt the evidence that is all too apparent on the matter can be dismissed all that easily, especially when backed by one Donald J Trump. Israel will continue to be a conundrum as far as this author is concerned. While I am pro-Israel and anti those who hate Israel, I am not convinced that emboldened Israel given Trump support will do justice toward non Jews in their land. Besides an uprising and potential shaking in Shia dominated Iran there has been a recent power struggle in Sunni dominated Saudi, both countries looking to and actually dominating in the Muslim world, which dominance is now being challenged by Turkey. I will continue to watch what happens with much interest and relate to what is prophesized in the Bible, which besides affirming God’s love for His chosen people talks of deals and double crossing and one final battle. Already some bizarre alliances are being formed, e.g. Russia, Iran and Syria pitted against the US, Saudi and Israel. Besides countries already mentioned, I am fully expecting developments that are not isolated from each other in Muslim majority countries like Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Egypt etc. Mainstream media has thus focused its attentions, but we cannot ignore Africa, Asia, South America and of course Europe, where there are all sorts of possibilities as to what might happen, likely to include much few have foreseen. Whatever happens, and I don’t presume to have special insights on the matter, I predict 2018 to be an even more extraordinary year than 2017 – and the unexpected!

This brings me to the subject of the Christian church and by that I mean true followers of Jesus. I get it that some elements get what I have to say and other elements do not. I both despair and hope, but mostly hope because Christ said He will build His Church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it, as try they evidently will. My despair is not so much the church is largely seen as irrelevant, but because of a lack of spirituality with the supposed leaders of the Church, who are too often sucked into a false narrative and adopting wrong doctrine. What has become increasingly evident over this past year is the world is controlled by a hidden hand and unseen forces and the battle is essentially a spiritual one. Distancing oneself from what is happening is not an option, although seeking better understanding and to make a difference is. While the temptation is to fear and despair, it is worth remembering God is still on His throne. The biggest need for the world is spiritual and despite their faults the Christians have the answers, or rather access to and favour from the one who does have the answers, if they remain faithful. For the Church is God’s instrument to bring in His Kingdom and I believe through further shaking and persecution (already evident world wide). Despite lukewarmness, schism and apostasy authentic Christianity will prevail over the counterfeit. As for me, if I were to adopt a New Year resolution, it will be to take seriously my calling as a Watchman on the wall, warning the people, praying with tears, and doing simple things that bring honour to the Lord I serve.

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