Tipping Point Quick Hits (11.24.22)
Happy Thanksgiving, a critical moment for Iran, and the dying Euphrates River
Today is Thanksgiving and I hope you get to spend the day with the people you love.
As a result of the holiday, today’s Quick Hits (below) is just a little shorter than usual. But before you read, I want you to know how grateful I am for each of you who subscribe to Tipping Point. My team and I put hours of work into this site every week in order to educate you on the end times and what the Bible says. It means so much to us that you subscribe, participate in the comments, and tell others about this newsletter. Thank you for watching our videos and reading our posts!
We also love the community that has developed here. Every week, I see you responding to each other’s prayer requests and answering each other’s questions in the comments. Some of you have gotten to know each other outside the site and check in via texts and emails. Maybe you even met in person at the recent conference. I love that! I’m so grateful for this community and hope to see it continue to thrive and grow.
In fact, this is a good time to remind you that you can give gift subscriptions to Tipping Point. That’s a great way to introduce other readers to this community. If you know a friend or family member who is interested in the end times, current events or Bible prophecy, consider purchasing a subscription for them!
This kind of gift “gives back” to them all year long—or at least until the Rapture. It expands our community, and as the site grows it gives us the capacity to do more at Tipping Point while also benefiting XO Marriage, our marriage ministry.
I pray this holiday weekend is a blessing to you and that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for what God is doing through this Tipping Point community!
Protests in Iran Capture Global Attention
Just days after the Iranian team’s World Cup debut, during which players refused to sing their country’s national anthem, a United Nations official is describing the ongoing protests as a “critical” situation in the repressive country. Here’s how The Guardian describes the dangerous new phase of protests and unrest:
A nationwide uprising has convulsed the country since the death in September of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was allegedly beaten into a coma by the Islamic Republic’s “morality police” after they arrested her for wearing a headscarf they deemed inappropriate.
Since then, hundreds of people have been killed in a bloody crackdown on a popular revolt calling for an end to the decades-long authoritarian rule of the country’s top clerics.
Government attacks on rallies escalated at the weekend in predominantly Kurdish areas of Iran, with videos showing scenes reminiscent of a war zone.
One human rights group based in Norway posted footage of an armed convoy—including trucks with mounted machine guns—headed into the cities of Bukan and Mahabad. Some protestors warned that the Islamic Republic was using the protests as an excuse for further abuse toward Kurdish people.
The women-led protests are now in their third month, representing one of the boldest challenges to Iran’s hardline religious rule since the 1979 revolution. Tehran has shut down internet access in many areas and arrested thousands of people, threatening the death penalty for protestors. Protestor deaths have been reported in 25 of 31 provinces, including the deaths of children.
The protests are getting global attention in the World Cup in Qatar, which is the largest sporting event in the world. Iran has been placed in an opening group that includes the United States and England, attracting even more attention:
Many Iran fans in Doha wore T-shirts and waved signs with the mantra of the uprising—“Woman, Life, Freedom.” Others wore jerseys bearing the names of female protesters killed by Iranian security forces in recent weeks.
In the 22nd minute of the match—a reference to Amini’s age when she died—some fans chanted her name, though the refrain quickly faded out and was replaced by “Iran.”
Iran lost that first match 6-2, and Iranian media blamed the lost on the protests and political media.
The Islamic regime is being humiliated internationally right now. Could this “critical” moment on the world stage cause them to act out in aggression toward their own citizens, toward the Kurdish people, or even toward Israel?
It wouldn’t surprise me. Backed into a corner of its own making, Iran’s government is more unstable than ever, and that’s bad news for its neighbors.
River Flows Dwindling in Tigris-Euphrates Basin
In a video earlier this month, you may have heard Mark Hitchcock talking about the drying up of two major world rivers, the Nile and the Euphrates. A new report indicates that the decline of the Euphrates, due to a lack of rainfall and abnormally high temperatures, could impact as many as 60 million people in the coming months.
The 1700-mile-long Euphrates comes from headwaters in Turkey but flows through Syria and Iraq before reaching the Persian Gulf. Like the dwindling Colorado River in the southwest United States, the Euphrates is used to irrigate crops throughout the river basin. Turkey has built at least 19 dams on the Tigris and Euphrates and has several more in the works.
In Syria, the water level at the Tishrin Dam has dropped more than 15 feet and is nearing its “dead level,” at which point there’s not enough water for turbines to turn to produce electricity.
Iraq is already saying that its water supply no longer meets demand. Its farmers are talking about abandoning agriculture and selling their animals. Once displaced by war, they will be displaced again due to a lack of water.
A confidential report by Iran’s government, which was obtained and examined by the Associated Press, warns that “the water deficit would cause a 20 percent reduction in food production” by 2035. Another report by the World Bank gave a dire warning to Iraq:
“By 2050 a temperature increase of one degree Celsius and a precipitation decrease of 10 percent would cause a 20 percent reduction of available freshwater,” it said.
“Under these circumstances, nearly one-third of the irrigated land in Iraq will have no water.”
The loss of this international river could result in armed conflict between Iraq and Turkey, both of whom rely on the river to cultivate crops. Worse, neither country really trusts the other to do the right thing. It’s a recipe for international instability.
“We are terrified of conflict breaking out in central and southern Iraq over the water shortages,” said Issa Fayadh, an official at the Environment Ministry in Baghdad.
Some experts are even saying the Euphrates could go completely dry by 2040. As Mark Hitchcock made clear, this has a direct connection to Bible prophecy:
The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east.—Revelation 16:12
This refers to the sixth bowl judgment, which directly proceeds the battle of Armageddon. Whoever the “kings from the east” are, they will come from east of the Euphrates and will pour into Israel for the final battle.
The fact that this river—a significant one in Bible prophecy—is drying up should get our attention. It’s one more sign that the world may be getting closer to the end times and the Rapture of the Church.
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