How dangerous is Trump? Ask the Kurds

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE LOS ANGLES TIMES)

 

Newsletter: How dangerous is Trump? Ask the Kurds

President Trump speaks to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the opening ceremony of the NATO summit in Brussels on July 11, 2018.

President Trump speaks to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the opening ceremony of the NATO summit in Brussels on July 11, 2018.
(Geoffroy van der Hasselt / AFP/Getty Images)

Good morning. I’m Paul Thornton, and it is Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. Beginning on a positive note, we should celebrate the fact that the Dodgers will avoid losing three World Series in a row. Let’s take a look back at the week in Opinion.

Last Friday, the Kurds in northern Syria went to bed after yet another day existing precariously between warring factions that would brutalize them were it not for the skeletal presence of U.S. forces. On Monday, the Kurds faced a military incursion from Turkish forces and a renewed threat from Islamic State made possible by a sudden American withdrawal. What happened?

This is one of those rare cases in which a president like Donald Trump can have immediate, deadly and long-lasting consequences, thanks to both the vast powers vested in the position of commander in chief and the malignant incompetence of the person holding it.

President Trump deserves blame for mishandling a number of issues, but a problem like the trade war with China was preceded by a generation of economic duplicitousness by Beijing. Trump’s sudden withdrawal from parts of northern Syria, however, has all the fingerprints of his particular unfitness for the job: his impulsiveness, his purely transactional approach to foreign policy (remember, they “didn’t help us with Normandy”), his affinity for autocrats like Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his supreme confidence in his own “great and unmatched wisdom.”

This is what happens when we let Trump be Trump — or as the L.A. Times Editorial Board put it in a scathing piece: “This episode is a reminder that, whether or not Congress concludes that Trump committed ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ deserving of impeachment, he is operatically incompetent in discharging the duties of the presidency.”

Trump will only get more Trumpy. Virginia Heffernan writes that the the unconstitutional refusal by the president’s counsel to cooperate in the House impeachment inquiry is bad enough, but it pales in comparison to what Trump himself is doing: “To see a panicky president endanger our national security while he showers Erdogan and Putin with gifts is to see a leader over the edge. He has no intention of even pausing his traitorous crime spree on the way to impeachment.” L.A. Times

It’s (probably) safe to eat red meat again, but not because of some recent breakthrough in raising livestock. In fact, the food’s stayed the same, but the way some scientists are looking at the evidence has changed. Nina Teicholz writes that the latest flip-flop on red meat — clarification that, in fact, eating it has not been shown to be associated with a higher heart disease or cancer risk — uses the best science in place of scientists’ best guesses. L.A. Times

Want someone to blame for blackouts? Look in the mirror. Besieged utility Pacific Gas and Electric is getting plenty of deserved flak for its preemptive power outages in Northern California during high winds. But wind-driven wildfires sparked by malfunctioning electrical lines would be killing fewer people and destroying less property if so many Californians weren’t living in high-risk areas. L.A. Times

Trump is creating the worst constitutional crisis in 150 years. The term “constitutional crisis” gets thrown around too often, and it really does not have any legal significance. It is used properly to describe a breakdown in the constitutional order, something that has happened only a few times in U.S. history, most significantly before the Civil War. And Trump, by refusing to recognize the House’s sole power of impeachment as afforded in the Constitution instead of simply making his case to the American people, has touched off that kind of crisis. L.A. Times

Everyone made money off her athleticism  except the athlete. UCLA’s Katelyn Ohashi is one of the most celebrated college gymnasts ever; clips of her perfect-10 floor routine have gone viral. Problem is, the only participant in her fame who didn’t make any money from it was Ohashi. She explains why she believes that’s wrong, and why she supports California’s new law that will allow students to be compensated for their athleticism. New York Times

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Car Bomb Goes Off Near ISIS Prison in Northeastern Syria

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Car Bomb Goes Off Near ISIS Prison in Northeastern Syria

Saturday, 12 October, 2019 – 11:45
A car bomb went off near a prison holding ISIS extremists in northeastern Syria. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
A car bomb went off Saturday near a prison holding ISIS extremists in northeastern Syria, where Turkey is pursuing an offensive, a war monitor and a Kurdish official reported, according to the German news agency (dpa).

The bombing took place outside the central prison in the district of Ghuwaran, in the northeastern city of al-Hasakeh, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights added.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) rushed military reinforcements to the prison to prevent ISIS detainees from escaping, the watchdog added. No casualties were reported.

SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali blamed ISIS for the attack.

The reported bombing comes a day after at least three civilians were killed in a car bombing claimed by ISIS in the city of Qamishli, in northeastern Syria.

On Wednesday, Turkey started an incursion into northeastern Syria, saying it is targeting ISIS extremists and Kurdish militias, whom Ankara considers to be linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) waging an insurgency within the country.

Syrian Kurdish authorities are already struggling to guard ISIS fighters captured during the long US-backed campaign against the extremists and to keep a lid on ISIS supporters and family members thronging displacement camps.

Their hold will suffer even more as they fight Turkey.

The White House has said Turkey will take over responsibility for the thousands of imprisoned fighters. But it is not clear how that will happen.

Kurdish authorities run more than two dozen detention facilities, scattered around northeastern Syria, holding about 10,000 ISIS fighters. Among the detainees are some 2,000 foreigners, including about 800 Europeans.

Most of the facilities are unidentified and unmarked, some of them set up in abandoned or re-purposed buildings; others are mobile “pop-up prisons.” Some are reportedly close to the border, which may make them vulnerable to being hit in clashes or bombardment.

Guarding those facilities has long been a strain on the SDF as it juggles multiple tasks in the volatile area.

Despite its territorial defeat, ISIS has maintained an insurgency in Iraq and Syria, carrying out suicide bombings, assassinations and ambushes. Some reports suggest 14,000 to 18,000 ISIS members remain in Syria and Iraq, including 3,000 foreigners, but a recent report by the inspector general of the Department of Defense said figures from experts greatly vary.

ISIS militants have carried out 80 to 90 attacks in Kurdish-held areas of Syria. In August alone, ISIS militants claimed 78 attacks, according to the Rojava Information Center, including the assassination of Kurdish fighters and explosive devices planted near patrols.

The group has also been reviving financial networks through extortion, “taxing” the local population or collecting ransoms from kidnapping.

U.S. and Kurdish soldiers: Side by side just days ago, battling ISIS, now the Kurds are under attack

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF USA TODAY)
(IS TRUMP GUILTY OF TREASON AND MASS MURDER FOR DOING EXACTLY WHAT PUTIN AND IRAN WANTED, GENOCIDE OF THE KURDISH PEOPLE?)(OPED: OLDPOET56)

U.S. and Kurdish soldiers: Side by side just days ago, battling ISIS, now the Kurd’s are under attack

CLOSE

Turkey launched airstrikes, fired artillery aimed at crushing Kurdish fighters in northern Syria on Wednesday after U.S. troops pulled back from the area, paving the way for an assault on forces that have long been allied with the United States. (Oct. 9) AP, AP

LINKEDIN COMMENT MORE

WASHINGTON – Two days before President Trump announced that he would pull U.S. military back from the border zone in Syria, Americans and their Kurdish allies had removed senior ISIS fighters from the battlefield, according to a U.S. official who was not authorized to speak publicly.

The capture of the two fighters occurred as part of daily regular commando raids U.S. forces had been running with Kurdish soldiers, the official said.

Trump’s abandonment of Kurdish allies fighting ISIS has shocked members of the U.S. military and left it scrambling to protect American forces in Syria – and to look on as those they worked with side by side only a few days ago are now under attack as Turkey’s military continues to step up assaults on the region.

Thursday marked the second day of Turkey’s assault on Kurdish forces in the region. Turkey launched the assault because it views a Kurdish militia that dominates the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, as a terrorist group.

Earlier this week, Trump said he was delivering on a campaign promise to remove U.S. troops from “ridiculous endless wars.” Trump also defended his decision on Wednesday to end U.S. support for the Kurds, saying they had failed to fight with Americans in World War II.

Donald Trump is defending his decision to withdraw US troops from Kurd-held areas in northern Syria. A move that led to Turkey launching a military operation on Wednesday. Trump says he “campaigned on ending the endless wars.” (Oct. 9) AP, AP

Casualties reported: Turkish strikes hit civilians as Syria offensive intensifies

The Pentagon has issued few statements since Trump’s decision, blaming Turkey for acting unilaterally and calling for a “safe zone” to be established in northeastern Syria.

‘None of our allies can trust us’

The Kurds formed the backbone of the counter-ISIS ground force, backed by the U.S.-led air war, that has retaken virtually all the land seized by Islamic State fighters since 2014. The Kurds have lost 11,000 troops in the fighting and have seen another 20,000 wounded. Their bloodshed and support has led to a kinship understood by many U.S. troops who view the U.S. withdrawal of support as a betrayal of a dedicated ally, the official said.

Who are the Kurds?: A Middle Eastern people with ‘no friends but the mountains’

“None of our allies can trust us anymore,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, the Connecticut Democrat and member of the Armed Services Committee, said in an interview. “The biggest loss here apart from the slaughter of innocent and loyal fighters on our side is the shattering of trust. The loss of our word as a bond. No one can rely on the United States if we abandon our fiercest most loyal allies who have literally shed blood for us.”

Trump’s decision has led to ad hoc measures to protect U.S. troops and attempts to mitigate losses to ISIS, the official said. Among them:

  • A hotline established with Turkey to notify U.S. commanders of areas where bombs will be dropped to ensure American troops are out of harm’s way.
  • The movement of 50 U.S. troops from the area contested by Turkey and the Kurds to two American outposts in Syria. Drones are being flown over the area to protect U.S. forces.
  • Kurds continue to guard about 30 prison camps holding about 10,000 ISIS detainees. About 2,000 of those prisoners are foreign fighters from 50 countries, from China to Canada.

U.S. forces are safe, the official said, and the 50 troops relocated to outposts represent a fraction of the 1,000 remaining in Syria.

‘A reckless gamble’: Four reasons critics decry Trump’s ‘impulsive’ Syria withdrawal

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Deaths in Syria, but may be inflated

Turkey launched the assault because it regards a Kurdish militia within the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, as a terrorist group. About 30,000 Kurdish fighters and civilians have been displaced by Turkey’s offensive.

Turkey is expected to turn over the fighting to local forces it backs, the official said. A second U.S. official said Turkey, a NATO ally, has been cut off from receiving U.S. intelligence on the region.

The Syrian Observatory for Human rights estimates that 16 SDF fighters have been killed and dozens wounded. Erdogan has said “109 terrorists” have been killed. The U.S. official cautioned that both sides may be exaggerating losses or gains for propaganda purposes.

LINKEDIN COMMENT MORE

Russia Mediates Between Syria, Turkey on Border Region

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Russia Mediates Between Syria, Turkey on Border Region

Thursday, 3 October, 2019 – 11:15
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (photo credit: AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Moscow – Raed Jabr
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow is working to reach an agreement between Syria and Turkey on the border arrangements.

Speaking at the Valdai Forum for Strategic Dialogue in Sochi, Lavrov asserted that Russia wants to keep the border issue active between Syria and Turkey, believing the parties may reach an agreement.

Moscow has avoided declaring a clear objection to Ankara’s plans to establish a safe zone along the border, saying it understands the legitimate demands to maintain Turkey’s security, however, it is necessary to open dialogue with the Syrian government.

The United States did not want Turkey to cooperate directly with the Syrian Arab Republic, Lavrov told the forum. He added that Washington wanted to control this issue as well as that of the border, and during the negotiations, it allowed Ankara to form a coalition of some military policemen and observers.

The Minister believes that reaching a deal will be good, but noted that it must be based on full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria.

Lavrov added that the US does not respect Syria’s territorial integrity, nor does it take into account Turkey’s legitimate concerns about border security.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long warned that he cannot wait forever without solving the issue, so if there is no agreement with the US according to these principles within a few weeks, he has the right to solve this problem without them, said Lavrov.

Despite his strong criticism of Washington, Lavrov spoke of what he described as a glimpse of “sound thinking” that emerged during talks with US and Western officials.

Lavrov expressed Moscow’s hope that the United Nations will be impartial in its assistance to the Constitutional Commission, noting that the work that awaits everyone in the future is “much harder” than before.

He stressed that the Astana trio, meaning Russia, Turkey, and Iran, will not stand idly by and will do its utmost to prevent any outside interference in the negotiations between the Syrians.

Lavrov touched on Russia’s desire to maintain its military presence in Syria at the Hmeimim Air Base and Tartus naval base, pointing out that this presence comes with the approval of the legitimate government, which is a member state of the UN.

Russia intends to use this presence to support security and peace in this country and region only, without trying to impose its will on anyone, he concluded.

Turkish Govt Shocks Citizens with Electricity Prices

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Turkish Govt Shocks Citizens with Electricity Prices

Wednesday, 2 October, 2019 – 10:30
A worker performs checks at Turkey’s Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, which is run by state-owned Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS), some 70 km (43.5 miles) from Adana, Turkey, February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Umit Bektas/File Photo
Ankara – Saeed Abdelrazek
A new increase in electricity prices in Turkey for the second consecutive time in three months has enraged citizens.

The Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK) announced Tuesday raising consumer electricity prices by 14.9 percent, knowing that the prices witnessed an equal raise in July.

After the new increase, users would pay starting October TRY71.22 (around USD14) for 100 kilowatt-hours. EPDK said, in a statement, that a key factor for increasing prices was the Electricity Distribution Co. changing its wholesale prices with the unit-cost of electricity inching up to 35 kurus.

The new move caused a withering criticism of the government on social media, with citizens expressing anger expressed anger at the power price rises which would increase burdens on Turkish households.

Earlier, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development issued a report pointing out that the electricity prices in Turkey rose by 307 percent since 2003, when the government of Justice and Development Party became in charge under Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Last August, the government imposed a new increase in natural gas prices for the fourth time in less than one year by 15 percent for houses and 14 percent for industrial usage.

Economists criticized the new roadmap to implement the economic program, adding that the three goals announced by Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak are “unrealistic”.

Albayrak laid out on Monday Turkey’s targets in the New Economic Program (NEP) covering the 2020-2022 period. He stated that they trimmed the inflation forecast for the end of this year to 12 percent, from the current year’s predictions of 15.1 percent, and to 8.5 percent for 2020, 6 percent in 2021 and 4.9 percent in 2022.

“Growth in 2019 will be 0.5 percent…After closing 2019 with an unemployment rate of 12.9 percent, we aim to reduce the figure to 11.8 percent next year, 10.6 percent in 2021 and 9.8 percent in 2022,” the minister said.

Economist Ugur Gurses commented on Albayrak’s roadmap, saying that he presented it to persuade his father-in-law (Erdogan) and not the people. The official target of growth is 5 percent by 2022 but the presented target for inflation is 12 percent for 2019, 8.5 percent, 6 percent and 4.9 percent for the three coming years respectively.

Former Turkish Central Bank Governor Durmus Yilmaz said that the budget deficit estimates in 2020-2022 of 2.9, 2.5, and 1.5 percent are based on taxes collection, which in their turn will be provided by an anticipated growth of 5 percent in the coming three years.

Saudi: With Little Progress on ‘Safe Zone,’ Erdogan Says Turkey to Act Alone in Syria

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

With Little Progress on ‘Safe Zone,’ Erdogan Says Turkey to Act Alone in N. Syria

Tuesday, 1 October, 2019 – 11:30
FILE PHOTO: An internally displaced woman sits outside a tent in Idlib province, Syria July 30, 2018. REUTERS/ Khalil Ashawi/File Photo
Asharq Al-Awsat
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Tuesday that his country had no choice but to act alone in northern Syria after a deadline to jointly establish a “safe zone” with the United States in the area by the end of September passed.

“We have not achieved any of the results we desired in the east of the Euphrates. Turkey cannot lose even a single day on this issue. There is no other choice but to act on our own,” Erdogan said at the parliament’s opening ceremony in Ankara.

“We plan to settle two million people in the safe zones we will establish. We calculated the costs and we will carry out efforts to improve. We will start taking steps as soon as the region is saved from the invasion of terror,” he said.

Erdogan told the United Nations last week he wanted to set up the zone along 480 km of border and reaching 30 km inside Syria. Under the Turkish plan, up to 2 million Syrian refugees would be settled in the safe zone, with international support.

If implemented, the project could halve the number of Syrian refugees sheltering in Turkey from Syria’s eight-year conflict, and drive the Syrian Kurdish YPG – which Ankara says is a terrorist group threatening its security – from the border, Reuters said.

While diplomats, analysts and Turkey’s main opposition say Ankara would be unwilling to anger Washington with a military incursion as the allies try to repair strained ties, Erdogan’s comments on Tuesday marked the clearest indication of an offensive in the region.

He added that Turkey aimed to host an “international donors meeting” to get funding for its plans in the area, which he said would stretch from the Euphrates river in Syria east to the Iraqi border.

Erdogan has repeatedly called on Turkey’s allies to provide financial support for the plans, including in his speech at the United Nations last month. But Ankara is unlikely to receive a response for any plan that settles people hundreds of kilometers from their homes and alters the demographics of northeast Syria.

The United States agreed to the safe zone as a way to protect its Kurdish allies in Syria and address Turkish concerns about the border, after President Donald Trump announced plans last year to abruptly withdraw 2,000 US special forces troops that helped Kurdish fighters battle ISIS.

But the US troops have yet to leave and Washington and Ankara have so far failed to agree on details. Turkey has accused the United States of dragging its feet and warned that it would take matters into its own hands.

Turkey has already launched two military incursions into northern Syria in the last three years and has stationed troops into the opposition-held Idlib region. It says preparations for another operation are complete.

Turkey: Erdogan Vows to Continue Buying Oil, Gas from Iran

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Erdogan Vows to Continue Buying Oil, Gas from Iran

Friday, 27 September, 2019 – 11:00
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City, New York, US, September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Asharq Al-Awsat
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed Ankara would continue to purchase oil and natural gas from Iran despite US sanctions.

“It is impossible for us to cancel relations with Iran with regards to oil and natural gas. We will continue to buy our natural gas from there,” Erdogan told Turkish reporters before leaving New York where he was attending the UN General Assembly.

Despite this vow, Erdogan admitted Turkey faced difficulty in purchasing oil since the private sector “pulled back because of US threats”, NTV broadcaster reported.

“But on this issue especially and many other issues, we will continue our relations with Iran,” he promised, adding that Ankara still sought to increase trade volume with Tehran.

The United States reimposed sanctions on Iran after pulling out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, and says it aims to reduce Tehran’s energy sales to zero.

Erdogan previously criticized the sanctions, insisting that they achieved nothing.

NTV also quoted the Turkish president as saying that preparations by Ankara and Washington on a safe zone for refugees in northeastern Syria are on schedule.

“The schedule is moving along, all our preparations along the border are also complete.”

“Upon returning (to Turkey), we will hold evaluations … on what sort of steps to take and implement them … because Turkey is not a country that can be stalled,” he said.

Turkey and the US started joint land and air patrols along part of Syria’s border with Turkey. Ankara wants Washington to clear the Syrian Kurdish YPG from a 480-km-long border area, and Erdogan warned that Turkey would act unilaterally if the group was not removed.

Egypt Calls for Holding Erdogan Accountable over Terrorism, Targeting of Kurds

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

(It is past time that this mass murderer (Erdogan) is removed from breathing free air and replaced with a real Leader who will allow the people of Turkey to live in freedom and peace with their neighbors like the Kurdish people.)(oped: oldpoet56))

Egypt Calls for Holding Erdogan Accountable over Terrorism, Targeting of Kurds

Thursday, 26 September, 2019 – 11:45
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara April 29, 2014. REUTERS/Umit Bektas
Cairo – Mohamed Nabil Helmy
In a sharp statement, Cairo made several accusations against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, urging the international community to “hold him accountable” for what the Egyptian Foreign Ministry called “all of his crimes”.

The statement, released on Wednesday by Egypt’s foreign ministry spokesman, Ahmed Hafez, said that Erdogan was supporting terrorism, arming extremists and deliberately targeting the Kurds.

It also listed human rights violations in Turkey under Erdogan’s leadership, including thousands held as political prisoners, the suspicious deaths of dozens of detainees due to torture or inhuman prison conditions, and the closure of thousands of universities and educational institutions.

Hafez said that Erdogan “claimed to defend the values of justice in his speech, but at the core showed feelings of hatred and spite toward Egypt and its people who have nothing but appreciation for the people of Turkey.”

His remarks came in response to Erdogan’s speech during the UN General Assembly meetings, in which he raised doubts on Mohammed Morsi’s death in court last June.

Cairo and Ankara have reduced their diplomatic relations since 2013 because of the Turkish president’s position against the June 30 Revolution that toppled the rule of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, after widespread public protests against his continued rule. In the wake of a number of statements that Egypt considered “hostile”, Cairo decided to withdraw its ambassador from Ankara and expel the Turkish ambassador.

Hafez emphasized that Erdogan’s statements were a “desperate attempt to steer attention away from his deteriorating regime and the successive losses he is suffering.

Revelation Chapter #2

Revelation Chapter #2

 

Chapter #2 is about the Church on the Earth. The Church is the bought and paid for Bride of Christ. In the first 3 chapters of this Book the Church is mentioned 19 times. Yet from chapter 4 through chapter 20 it is not mentioned at all. The logical question at this point would be, why not. The Book of Revelation is about what was, what is, and what will be. So, chapters 2 and 3 are mostly focused on the now. You will see that after chapter 3 the Church leaves the Earth. This is the answer to why the Church is not spoken of in chapters 4-20. These chapters cover what will yet be, what will happen.

 

When Jesus addressed these 7 Churches in Asia Minor He had a three fold message for them. His 7 messages to these 7 Churches of the late first century were direct in their meaning. By the way, the ruins of these 7 Churches still exist today if you ever feel like taking yourself a modern day vacation to the area to visit them. In John’s writing it is also obvious that he knew these Churches personally as well as there local traditions and conditions and that they knew him. Each message to each of the Churches was also a composite picture of the individual Church. All Churches are made up of individual people and they, like people, will tend to have their own personalities about them. An example would be the Church in Philadelphia and it is easy to see within our own mind and heart that the Lord addresses each Church on these matters. You see, every Church then and now must be uniform in that Jesus Christ is The Head of The Church. We must all walk our lives individually by the examples that Jesus lived and spelled out for us, as the Churches that we attend must also do. The Church is the Body of Christ, Jesus is the Head of The Church, it is not the other way around. Chronologically a panoramic history of the Church is given within these 7 Church addresses beginning from the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem. If you will notice there are 7 periods of Church history written within these 7 addresses.

 

Ephesus represents the Apostolic Church and Laodicea represents the Apostate Church. The prophetic pictures John paint for us within these two addresses to these two Churches have for the most part been fulfilled. Partially this is what help in making these early chapters so interesting. John painted a well defined format that The Lord used in each of the letters to these 7 Churches. If you can remember from Chapter #1 there was some features from the Glorified Lord that was emphasized in the address to each Church, a particular thing that was emphasized for its own reason.

 

The Lord starts off His address to each Church with “I know your works.”  Then in most cases The Lord salutes each Church with a Commendation and then a Condemnation. But, in the cases of the Churches in Smyrna and Philadelphia He gave no condemnation. The reasons for this are simple, Smyrna was a martyr Church and Philadelphia was a missionary Church that was effectively getting out His Word. But it is also very noteworthy to notice that the Church in Laodicea received no commendation. This is because it was an apostate Church, a Church that had fallen away from the teachings of God in which it had been founded upon. Each of the 7 letters to the 7 Churches ends with the following warning, “he that has an ear let him hear what The Spirit says.” If you were wondering why these particular 7 Churches were chosen out of the hundreds that existed at that time, their location is something to consider. This area is where modern day Turkey and Greece are located. This area had a lot of importance within the Roman Empire as it is and was where the East meets the West, this is so in the case of trade, cultures and religion.

 

In chapter #2 you will find The Lords words to the first 4 Churches. In verses (1-7) to Ephesus. In verses (8-11) to Smyrna. In verses (12-17) to Pergamos. Then finally in verses (18-29) to the Church in Thyatira. The letters to the other three Churches you will find in chapter #3, these Churches are Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. Now, if you would please consider the words The Lord had to say to these first four Churches. “Unto the Angel of the Church of Ephesus write these things which The Lord Himself has to say to them.” “I know your works and your labor and your patience. How you can not tolerate them which are evil. And how you have tried them which say they are Apostles and are not, and you have found them to be liars.  Also how you have borne burdens and have been persistent and for My Names sake have labored and have not become weak. Never the less I have something against you, because you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you are fallen and repent and practice your first works, or else I will come unto you quickly and will remove your Candlestick our of it’s place, unless you repent.” “But there is one thing that you hate. That is the deeds of make believe Christians, which I also hate. He that has an ear let him hear what The Spirit is saying unto the Churches. To him that overcomes this world I will give to eat of the Tree of Life which is in the midst of the presence of God.” You see my friends, there is such a thing as falling away from The Truth of God and there is no such thing as once saved always saved.

 

Now the message from Jesus to the Church at Smyrna. ” To the Angel of the Church in Smyrna write; these things The Lord has to say to you, He which is the first and the last, which was dead and is alive.” “I know your works and your tribulation (times of great affliction) and your poverty (but you are rich). I know the blasphemy of those which say they are Jews and are not, but are of the Synagogue of Satan, fear none of those things which you shall suffer. Behold, the Devil will cast some of you into prison that you may be tested and you shall have tribulation. But if you are faithful unto death I will give you a Crown of Life. He that has an ear to hear, let him hear what The Spirit says unto the Churches. He that overcomes shall not be hurt of the Second Death.” (Second death means the permanent separation from God). Again my friends, The Lord says very plainly that we must remain faithful until our death. These Churches that do not teach this are not teaching God’s Word.

 

Now lets read the letter to the Church at Pergamos. “To the Angel of the Church in Pergamos write these things say’s He which has the sharp sword with two edges. I know your works and where you live. I even know where Satan’s Seat is. I know that you fold fast to My Name. And that you have not abandoned My Faith. Even in those days when Antipas was My faithful martyr who was slain among you where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you because among you there are those that hold to the doctrine of Balaam who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel. To eat things which had been sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication. You also have among you those that follow the teachings of make believe Christians which is something I hate. Repent, or else I will come unto you quickly and will fight against you with the sword of My mouth. He that has an ear let him hear what The Spirit has to say to the Churches. To him that overcomes this world I will give them to eat of the hidden manna and will give them a White Stone. And in the Stone a new name written which no man will recognize except for he that receives it.” My friends, the same thing again and again, we must remain faithful through the time of our own death. Also, that it does matter very much what the Churches are teaching to their flock. Also, it is the duty of the Body of the Church to know what the Truth is by studying God’s Word daily. It is the duty of the Body of the Church to always insist that the Church Leadership is teaching God’s Word.

 

Now for the last of the 4 Churches of chapter #2, Thyatira. “Unto the Angel of the Church in Thyatira write, these things saith the Son of God who has His Eyes like unto a flame of fire and His Feet are like fine brass. I know your works and charity and service and faith and your patience. But I still have a few things against you because you allow that woman Jezebel which calls herself a Prophetess to teach and to mislead My Servants to commit fornication and to eat things that have been sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent of her fornication but she did not repent. Behold I will cast her into a bed and those that promote pagan religious ideas with her into great troubles, unless they repent of these deeds. I will kill her offspring with death and all the Churches shall realize that I am He which Judges the wills and the hearts. And I will give unto everyone of you according to your works. But to you I say and unto the rest in Thyatira and for those who do not practice pagan doctrine and have not experienced the depths of Satan as they speak; I will put upon you no other burden. But the faith and the doctrine which you already have, hold firmly until I come. He that overcomes and maintains My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations. He that has an ear let him hear what The Spirit saith unto the Churches.” Friends, as you can easily see The Lord Jesus does have many things to say to the Churches then and to the Churches now, just as He has a lot to say to the individual person then and to you and I today.

Saudi’s: Erdogan Threatens to Open Gates for Syria Refugees to Go West

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Erdogan Threatens to Open Gates for Syria Refugees to Go West

Thursday, 5 September, 2019 – 10:15
FILE PHOTO: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during the new judicial year’s opening ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, September 2, 2019. Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS
Asharq Al-Awsat
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to allow Syrian refugees to leave Turkey for Western countries unless the safe zone inside Syria is established soon.

Erdogan made the threat in a speech to his ruling party officials on Thursday. He also said Turkey was determined to create the safe zone and would do it alone if there’s no deal with the US by the end of the month.

He said Turkey aims to resettle about 1 million out of the 3.65 million Syrian refugees in the safe zone.

Ankara controls parts of north Syria where it says 350,000 Syrians have already returned.

Erdogan said: “We will be forced to open the gates. We cannot be forced to handle the burden alone.”

He also added that Turkey “did not receive the support needed from the world” to help it cope with Syrian refugees.

Under a deal agreed between the EU and Turkey in March 2016, Ankara agreed to stem the flow of migrants into Europe in return for billions of euros in aid.

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