Richard Ritenbaugh, examining the impact of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman on world events and prophecy, states that this 22-year-old prince continues to make massive reforms in Saudi Arabia. These reforms include crackdowns on the hard-liner Muslim fundamentalists (hoping to end long-held taboos prohibiting women from driving cars, patriarchal guardianship lows and extremist interpretations of the Coran), attempts to move toward a more moderate, secular flavor of Islam and the development of banking and accounting policies favorable to garnering foreign investment. He believes the lure of Jihad can be defused by allowing entertainment, preventing young people from becoming bored. The prince is disenchanted by the loss of the work-ethic caused by the adoption of socialist policies and wants to eliminate the prevailing entitlement mentality currently plaguing the nation. Prince Mohammed has given the fundamentalist, cleric-influenced regime an intense severe punch in the solar plexus, but historically these solidly entrenched curmudgeons have counterpunched with fury when backed into the corner. We most certainly live in exciting times!
For many years, the church of God has preached that church members should keep their eyes on the Middle East. As tensions heat up there, a figure who deserves attention is the current crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman Al-Saud, who, while only 32 years old and not yet king, has already begun to move his kingdom toward more stable and moderate political, cultural, and religious positions.
Germany is in a bind. It is an industrial powerhouse, the richest economy in Europe, but it must prop up several poor-performing economies throughout the rest of the European Union. Berlin cannot continue this practice lest they drag it down with them. David Grabbe warns that Germany's decisions on these matters could have far-reaching consequences for Europe and the rest of the world.
An entire region of the world—cutting a swath across North Africa and through the Middle East to the Arabian Sea—is aflame with protest and revolution. David Grabbe analyzes the unrest throughout the Arab world, concluding that, while the geopolitics of the area have not substantially changed, Iran may benefit the most from the ongoing turmoil.
One of the greatest honors a man can achieve is to be called 'father of his country.' Esau was prophesied to be the father of a nation, Edom, and as Richard Ritenbaugh details, the Bible gives us plenty of clues about the character of his descendants.
Most Westerners tend to simplify their perception of the situation in the Middle East by using dichotomies: Israel vs. Arabs, Jew vs. Muslim, Western vs. Islamic, etc. However, as David Grabbe explains, it is not that simple, particularly on the Muslim side, where multiple factions exist.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting upon escalating energy prices, urges caution and self-control in spending and taking on debt. If the supply of oil should be drastically cut, all vital services would shut down, and our quality of life would deteriorate. In 1971, the U.S. reached the state of "peak oil" (when supply could no longer keep up with demand), forcing it to become increasingly oil-dependent. As the world industrializes, the demand for oil will quickly outstrip the total available supply (possibly to occur in November 2005). The rising cost of this dwindling resource presages the destruction of Babylon, the hub of the world's economy (Revelation 18:8-20) Christians need to exercise diligence to "know the state of our flocks," acquiring economic stability by submitting to God's counsel, sacrificing now before outside forces usurp our economic substance. Responsible economists admonish us to 1) avoid new debt and 2) get liquid (save). We cannot afford to do nothing.
Following the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse is the Fifth Seal, depicting souls under the altar crying out to God for vengeance. Richard Ritenbaugh goes into the details of this prophecy of persecution and martyrdom of the saints.