The above quotation from Ecclesiastes 9:3, sums up the prevailing mood of the people of the world today. From Seattle to Melbourne to Prague to Israel and Gaza, and to Copenhagen, there have been riots demonstrations and protests. Powerless to prevent the mob rule overcoming the rule of law, the authorities can only stand by and watch any laws being ignored by the mobs. These riots are a symptom of a very unhappy world, where many feel that the present world leaders and power brokers are unable to deliver real answers that they are looking for. With trouble on every hand, and on the increase through the corrupt hearts of men, the need for the intervention of our Father by sending the Lord Jesus Christ is becoming a daily necessity.

Riots and Demonstrations at Home and Abroad

In scenes reminiscent of the massive rallies against the Vietnam War, the streets of Melbourne were filled with chanting demonstrators clashing violent­ly with police. The occasion was the meeting of the World Economic Forum. Major business leaders, politicians and leading economists from around the world had come to discuss solutions to the pressing economic problems troubling the world. Following hard on the heels of the ugly scenes in Seattle and Melbourne, Prague, location of the combined World Bank and International Monetary Fund meeting, was the next target of protesters. The serenity of the Czech Republic’s capital was replaced by mob violence of a scale not seen since the overthrow of Communism in 1968, as police were attacked and buildings smashed.

However behind the violence are serious issues concerning the ability of the current mechanisms utilised by the major developed countries to create economic independence for the developing and un­derdeveloped nations, which today comprise almost 80% of the world’s population. But the protesters are not the only group to hold the view that the process of globalisation was failing to create a more equitable society. The International Herald Tribune (October 2) carried a report that George Soros, who has made billions speculating in financial markets, used the Prague meeting to denounce “the excesses of the new global economy”. With remarkable can­dour he said, “It is our enlightened self-interest to make sure that the losers in this global system—and right now there are billions of them—get a chance to participate”.

And Mr Soros was not alone. Robert Hormats, vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International (a respected worldwide financial organisation) ob­served that the Asian countries believed that “free investment flows have meant that the little guy got nailed to the floor while the wealthy were able to sock most of their money away in Geneva. And pretty much they’re right”.

Another interesting comment came from Mark Malloch Brown, head of the UN Development Program. He said that “the steamroller of economic globalism is not matched by the development of a global politics that can respond to it”. And another by Colin Hines, a well known European author on globalisation, writing in the London Guardian (Oc­tober 6), who predicted that globalisation advocates will use their role to “make it kinder and gentler”.

Both of these comments confirm the need for a consistent beneficent ruler as the only answer to the world’s problems. How can man separate his insatiable appetite for the accumulation of wealth and the need to really consider the needs of those less fortunate? Whilst there are individuals who have achieved this on a personal level, at a national and international level there is little prospect of the developing and especially the under developed na­tions improving their lot through competing in an open market with the more sophisticated developed economies. What makes the current developments of great interest to us as ‘Watchmen’, is that today’s leaders who engineered the global open market new economy now realise that they have created a greater and more serious problem along the way to lining their own pockets. It is only when the Lord Jesus returns that the discrepancies between poor and rich will be addressed, and it is only a matter of a short time before he will do so. For then he will come and “deliver the needy (and) the poor also” (Psa 72:12–13).

The Non Peace Negotiations

The eruption of violence on the streets of Jerusa­lem and other Israeli cities has been brewing for some time, since Yasser Arafat in early September deferred his intention to proclaim the Palestinian na­tion and declared that Jewish people have never had any connection to Israel. In an analysis published in USA Today (October 4) it showed that Arafat had returned to the old PLO claim that Israel is a nation created on the basis of a fabricated history.

Why would he make such a claim? It is reported that at the latest Camp David Summit, Israeli PM, Ehud Barak, offered Palestinians sovereignty over major portions of Jerusalem and even offered to have the UN Security Council assume control over the Temple Mount. These concessions were rejected by Arafat, even though they are the most significant ever offered to the Arab leader and could conceiv­ably have been a major turning point in relations between Palestinian and Jew.

By rejecting the claims of Israel over the city and rejecting the offer of the Israeli PM, Arafat is trying to assume a win-win situation. His trademark vacillation over the nationhood of the Palestinians needed a distraction which had national pride as its base. If Israel were to reassert their claim to the city the PLO would immediately start an uprising claiming Israel as the aggressor. If they did not, then he would have the opportunity to establish his defacto control over Jerusalem.

The fact of the matter is that Barak (what a shadow of his namesake he is), has not the right to trade the ownership of Jerusalem. Aside from the concessions he was prepared to make going far beyond the mandate he has from the Jewish people, it is God’s right. The city of Jerusalem is that which He uses to demonstrate His intentions with His people, both natural and spiritual. It is through the tidings emanating from Zion and Jerusalem that the world will hear of the redemption that our Lord will bring for all people (Isa 40:8–9;52:9–10). Soon the bargaining over the city will end and the Lord will establish his Throne on Zion and Righteousness will shine forth from Jerusalem (Jer 33:16; Zech 8:8).

Changing the Guard in Yugoslavia

For months the media (eg Time September 4 and September 18) have been speculating about war rearing its ugly head in Montenegro, which joins Yugoslavia on its south-western border. The ten­sion began to mount as the lead up to the Yugoslav elections and would have been a way that Slobodan Milosevic could have ensured that he held on to power should the polls fail to go his way entirely.

We now know that Milosevic lost the elections and subsequently was overthrown by a people’s revolt, bringing to an end the terrible regime that he headed.

What became an interesting sidelight to the whole affair was the intense role that Russia played in joining the chorus of mainly Western nations in telling the fatally wounded President he had to go, and that power should be transferred to the democratically elected Vojislav Kostunica, whilst meeting the fallen dictator at his home outside Belgrade (The Melbourne Sunday Age October 8). Russia was the only foreign power to send its Foreign Minister to the trouble spot. In The Lamp­stand April—May 1999 the historical interest in the region by Russia since the 1700s was outlined. Clearly Russia wishes to continue to use its influ­ence to ensure that as Yugoslavia leans towards the EU it remains in her sphere of influence. The control, or at the very least strong influence over the Balkans, has always been high on Russia’s foreign policy agenda.

Writing of the negotiations between the Turks and the Russians in 1826, Sir Archibald Alison in History of Europe (Vol 3 p33) demonstrates how that Russia was a power to be reckoned with. This is illustrated in the demands the Czar presented to the Turks which, when accepted, seriously dimin­ished Ottoman power in the Balkan region. It is interesting to note that Sir Archibald states in the same work (Vol 1 p3) that all the military accom­plishments of the Czar and his generals were part of “the great designs of Providence…working out their accomplishment” predicting that, amongst other things, “Turkey will yield, Persia be overrun by the Muscovite battalions; the original birthplace of our religion will be rescued by their devotion…” Whilst the general idea that all the events to which he makes reference are in the hands of the Father, and some of the predictions are consistent with prophecy, we turn to Bro Thomas who correctly fits the exploits of two of the Czar’s generals in the Balkan region, to the drying up of the Euphrates power (Eureka Vol 3 p549).

Russia needs to maintain its presence and influ­ence throughout the region if it wishes to be con­sidered a truly regional player like the other major nations. Look at the way that it is using its influ­ence to maintain its military presence in Georgia, Moldova, and the Ukraine, by threatening to make it more difficult for their citizens to cross the border to work in Russian factories and to build pipelines using alternative routes, reducing their revenue on oil and gas that passes through their territory (The Economist September 30).

As it was essential for Russia in the mid 1800s to control this region, so it is today, and Russia has devoted considerable effort down through history to ensure that it always has a strategic position in the Balkans, whether it means supporting the West or despots like Milosevic. It is a great reassurance to us in this age that the Word of God can be seen to be a consistent source of detailed history unfolding before our very eyes.

Denmark Votes Down the Euro

The establishment of a common currency across Europe, together with a single system of Govern­ment and eventually the establishment of a truly single armed force across the Continent, are the three key linchpins of that Confederated Europe (Elpis Israel p436) which we have been looking for and can clearly see coming to pass. We have seen the establishment of the Euro as the EU’s common currency, and that it will replace most member nations’ currencies by 2002. There has been a European Parliament and European Court of Justice for a number of years, both of which are very powerful in being able to challenge the laws established by member nations. The gradual Euro­peanisation of NATO, through the marginalisation and eventual exclusion of UK and USA from that force will see the right conditions for a unified military across Europe.

The vision of the EU advocates is for a “federal United Sates of Europe, a power that France sees balancing American ‘hegemony’” (Herald Inter­national Tribune October 2). However, the recent referendum in Denmark, where the people narrowly decided against the adoption of the Euro as their standard unit of currency, does not bode well for the forthcoming UK referendum on the same subject.

We would expect to see the proposition to adopt the Euro in Britain to be defeated, simply because we expect the UK, together with the other English speaking former Commonwealth countries, to ulti­mately be excluded from the EU in its final politico/economic/militaristic incarnation, as portrayed in Elpis Israel.

Part of the problem is the weakness of the Euro and the relative strength of internal currencies. However the problem runs much deeper. To address the performance of the currency requires “coherent fiscal policies that a single government provides, so pressure exists for more political integration” (Herald International Tribune October 2). This is particularly challenging given the rise in national­ ism that the Danes and British are exhibiting. The trend was in evidence in the resolutions adopted at the recent UK Conservative Party Conference. (Herald International Tribune October 5) There the Tories promised “to curb the transfer of national powers to the EU” and suggesting that only on single market and core areas should there be con­sistency across Europe. Ultimately this position will see the UK leave the EU or at the very least become less a player in the common market.

Summary

The events described in the above paragraphs have taken place over basically a four week period. The interval between events that have some relation to the prophetic Word is becoming shorter and shorter. Surely God’s glorious purpose will be fulfilled in our lifetime! Let us then not become complacent, but be ever watchful as the day of the Lord ap­proaches