Discourse. In the section titled the Olivet Discourse, we will analyze this more deeply. Sadly, many people, including this author, initially read the scriptures regarding the Olivet Discourse as though it related to only one generation, that is, the last days generation. However this is not the case and in so doing, causes not only confusion but the very distinct possibility to interpret the scriptures incorrectly. Actually, they refer to both the people living during Jesus’ generation and the last generation that will be alive during His second return. In this section, we will dissect the time differences so you can better understand the time relationships Jesus was referring to. However, let us investigate more pointedly the actual “signs of the times” that Jesus states will accompany that generation which will see His second coming.
False Christs and Antichrists
We have truly entered a time where more men today claim that they are the Christ than any other period in history. The earliest recorded incident of a man claiming to be Christ was a revolutionary by the name of Bar Kochba. As one of the leaders of a radical group in Israel known as the Zealots, he led a revolt against the Roman occupation of Israel in 132 A.D. After years of Roman occupation, many Jews were frustrated and anxiously awaiting for their Messiah-King to deliver them from the bondages of Roman occupation. They had rejected Jesus’ claims as Messiah and his admonition, “All who take up a sword shall perish by the sword.” This prophetic utterance of Jesus was fulfilled when they and Bar Kochba were utterly slaughtered by the Roman forces of Emperor Hadrian on 135 A.D. With the death of Bar Kochba also came death to the claim that he was the “Messiah”. The latest recognized “Messiah” by the Jews is a Rabbi by the name of Menachem Schneerson who recently died in Brooklyn, New York. Since then, the Jewish Encyclopedia lists 40 false Christs that have been believed upon by the Israelites to be thier Messiah. Obviously, they are not.
Besides the numerous false Jewish Christs, there have been thousands more from other religious groups such as from Hindu origin and other diverse religious cults. The operative definition of a false Christ does not necessarily mean an individual who claims that he is Christ. In fact, a false Christ is any individual or force that diminishes the redemptive power that Jesus Christ has provided mankind. In essence, a false Christ is actually a type of antichrist because the two designations are synonymous with each other. The Greek word “anti” means both “against” and “in place of”. Therefore, this designation not only refers to those who profess to be Jesus Christ (in place of) but also to those who detract or are against the deity of Christ (against). Essentially, the spiritual force of antichrist is to replace the real Christ with a false one, whether it be in a person or belief structure often referred to as a cult or “false” religion. A cult should not be confused with the identity of a group that deals with the occult. The occult specifically relies on the powers of Satan such as is found in witchcraft, soothsaying, voodoo, sorcery, etc.
A false religion forms a belief structure with an antichrist “philosophy” because it eliminates Christ as the only means to accepting the God of truth. In other words, false religions all claim that their belief structure leads individuals to thier “real god” when in fact they do not lead them to anything but deception in believing in "their" false god or gods. Therefore, not only should we be concerned about specific individuals who pervert the “Godhead” inherent in God, Jesus Christ and the Holy spirit, but also in “false” religions that achieve the same results and even more so. Therefore, the characteristics that define the spirit of anti-Christ are ... 1.) Denies the Son relationship to God the Father 2.) Denies the deity of Jesus Christ 3.) Denies Jesus Christ as Messiah, who is come and is to come again.
Religions that attempt to undermine the identity of Christ are both anti-Christian and anti-Christ. Individuals who do the same are specifically anti-Christ types. Therefore, even monotheistic religions such as Islam and Judaism are both anti-Christian and anti-Christ in their underlying constitution. At the same time, individuals such as Ron L. Hubbard (founder of Scientology), William Taze Smith (founder of Jehovah Witnesses), Joseph Smith (Mormonism), Mary Baker Eddy (founder of Christian scientists), Sun Myung Moon (founder of and head of Unification Church), Eisai and Dogen (founders of Zen Buddhism), Mirm All Muhammad (founder of Baha’i Faith), Mohammad (founder of Islam), Fox sisters (founder of Spiritism), Helena Blavatsky and Annie Besant (founders of Theosphy), Maharishi Yogi (founder of Transcedental Meditation, TM), Chaitanya (founder of Hare Krishna), Martin Cellarium (founder of Unitarianism), Christianius Rosenkreutz (founder of Rosicrucians)1 are but some of the many individuals that either believed they were Christ or were antichrist types in their attempt to promote a cultic and/or “false” religion. Sadly, many individuals who have advanced cultic and/or false religions, although not professing to be Christ, actually have been much more successful in attracting a following, possibly leading more people away from Christ then if they actually proclaimed to be Christ themselves.
One of the most powerful anti-Christ religions in operation is known as the New Age (religion). Next to Islam, it is the most devious and insidious religions in operation today. Considered an avant garde religion because of its popularity among the Hollywood “jet set”, its danger resides in the belief that all creation, including human beings, are or can become “god” during their life on earth. One of the most popular advocates of this belief structure is movie star Shirley MaClain, who has written numerous books and starred in movies promoting this belief system. New Age involves the use of soothing music that on the surface appears innocuous, spiritual guides that are in reality demonic forces disguised as angels of light, and powers derived from crystal, earth and cosmic sources. The principle power from all these sources come directly from Satan. The belief and modus operandi of this religion relies directly on the principle that had Eve duped by Satan, believing that, “You can be like God” (Genesis 3:5). Again, once a person is convinced that they can be like God, Satan has truly accomplished his goal. It is for this reason we have such a large number of people acting as false Christs, simply because they believe they are god or at least incarnations of Him. New Age philosophy has its foundations in human secularism, which promotes the belief that man has the power within himself (i.e. spirit) to accomplish any goal he sets before him. It is this belief that whatever man wills, he can do. Of course, there is some truth to this. A man with great willpower often can accomplish great feats which are not necessarily bad. But it can become an abomination to God when its sole focus and goal is meant to supersede Him and the spiritual laws He has put in effect as expressed in the Bible. This is exactly the same type of power-goal thinking that mankind tried to institute by the building of the Tower of Babel. It was an attempt by man to run the whole world without God as described in the Old Testament, found in Genesis 11: 1-9. During archeological excavations in 1876, a description of this tower was found on tablets in what is today modern Iraq. It told of a tower and city that had been under construction and indicates that the tower consisted of a grand court of 900 x 1,156 ft. and a smaller one of 450 ft. x 1,056 ft. The smaller court consisted of a platform with walls around it having four gates on each side. In the center stood the tower with many small shrines at the base dedicated to various gods. The tower was constructed in seven stages, decreasing in width as it went to the highest point of 300 ft. The top platform measured 60 ft. by 80 ft. and included a sanctuary dedicated to the god Bel-Merodach (also known as Marduk, the highest god of the Babylonian pantheon) and included signs of the Zodiac. This would indicate that the whole race not only had one language but also worshipped multiple gods of the heavens, as pagan religions are so often identified by.
(Note: Genesis 11: 7 specifically uses the word “Us” and is veritable proof that not only God the Father (i.e. Jehovah, Yawah, Elohim, etc.) came down, but that His Son and the Holy Spirit were also involved in confusing the language of the Babylonians thereby providing proof of the Trinity.
We have to understand that this project may have been planned and under construction for many years, so that all the people (“ Behold, they are as one”) of the known world at that time were aware of its objective. For that reason, the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth; and “they stopped building the city.” One ancient Babylonian tablet records, “The building of this illustrious tower offended the gods. In a night they (the builders) threw down what they had built. They (the gods) scattered them abroad and made strange their speech. Their progress was impeded. They wept hot tears for Babylon”.2 This historical -archeological record authenticates what the Bible says about this event. From the name of the tower, “Babel”, we derive the word “babble”. In this regard, God’s judgment of confusing the language of mankind and scattering them abroad was very effective. Meillet and Cohen report in “Languages of the World” that there are over 6,760 tongues and systems of writing in the world today.3 God had to bring an end to this dispensation of human government (for an explanation on God’s dispensations, read A Short History of Israel and the Dispensations as given in the link above on the right hand side) because mankind desired to supersede Him as evidenced by the building of a tower that would reach into the heavens. The last judgment that God pronounced over the whole world ending this dispensation took place during the time of Peleg, the great grandson of Shem. To seal and further inhibit the people from repeating such a common goal, the earth was divided into continents and islands as given in Genesis 10:24, ”...the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided...”. This would explain how the American Indians, South American Indians and Aboriginal Indians of Australia became a people among themselves.
In the same way, the New Age movement is an attempt by man to run the whole world without the one and only God because the individual believes he is "god". Most New Agers believe that with enough “convergent” energy properly channeled; new revolutions, evolutions and events can be “willed” to happen through their “godly” power. In fact, with enough “convergent” energy focused properly by enough New Age believers, they believe a new world leader can be brought forth whom they call Lord “Maitreya”. This leader of “The New World Order” (buzzword popularized by former President Bush) will be the god of forces as referred to by Daniel the prophet (Daniel 11:38). This truly will become the one world system that will in the end be headed up by the Antichrist, Mr. 666. Already, we are seeing the beginning of the New World Order taking shape as plans are now in effect to promote a global economy, political structure and religion. Politically, the men behind the “scenes” that belong to the Council of Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission and Bilderburg Society have brought forth a triumvirate global power base that is seen in North and South America by the National Association of Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The European sector is headed by the European Commission while the Far East is wrapped up at this time into the Pacific Rim Nations. These three regions now give meaning to the name “Trilateral”, meaning three sides. The three sides to the triangle also refer to the political, economic and religious elements involved in forming a society. Religiously, the World Council of Churches will opt to represent all mainline religions in the world. The World Council of Churches was founded in 1948 via the United Nations and seeks to bind any religion that does not openly profess Satanism. Article four of the organizations charter states, “the right not to believe in God is also a right that must be acknowledged and safeguarded”. Based on the notion of ecumenical unity, it is now composed of religions that include Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and others. No doubt the World Council of Churches will be embraced by the New World Order and vice versa. This will form the “harlot” church system envisioned in Revelation and will be the stepping stone in how the Antichrist will ultimately come to power by way of "blessings" bestowed by the World Council of Churches.
What You Need to Know About Islam
There are well over a billion men and women in the world who believe in the religion of Islam. Sadly, it is the largest religion in the world today, although thankfully not the fastest growing (which is Christianity). Not one government in the world is theistically (religiously) controlled with the exception of the Islamic states. Countries such as Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya, and others are ruled and strictly dominated by its teachings, practices and laws. Recently, countries such as Pakistan, Egypt, and Algeria have been experiencing severe turmoil as fundamental Islamic forces are attempting to convert their governments to Islamic control.
Our country is also seeing the influence of Islam in its towns, schools, businesses as never before. Today, the suburb of Hammertrak outside of Detroit has a majority of population designated as Islamic. Their city council has voted to allow for a public call to prayer, where as early as 4 AM one will hear the call to prayer (besides the four other calls/day) on a public speaker system. In America, there are over 1,400 mosques registered throughout our land. The term “Islam” means submission and the identity of a Moslem or Muslim (both mean the same) is “one who submits” to the teaching of Islam. Islam is the religion which came out of the revelations and teachings of Mohammed, a man of Arabic descent between 570-632 A.D. Mohammed was born in the city of Mecca in what is today Saudi Arabia and claimed to have received the revelation of Islam from the archangel Gabriel.
In Pre-Islamic days, the dominant religion in Arabia was Sabianism (Saab-eon-ism), a practice where heavenly entities such as the sun, moon, and other astronomical bodies were worshipped. The moon was viewed as a male god whereas the sun as female and their marriage together produced three goddesses called the The Daughters of Allah. Therefore, the origin of the term “Allah” relates to the moon and sun gods, not the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob which many believe. When an asteroid or meteor came to earth, the believers of Sabianism called this rock a moonstone, or Kaaba, and believed it to be sacred. Every Arabic tribe had its sacred magic stones that they believe protected the tribe. Mohammad’s particular tribe adopted a black stone which represented the moon god. Prior to Islam, the pagan rite of fasting began with the appearance of the crescent moon and was later adopted as the symbol of Islam, which can be seen on the top of every mosque. Not only that, the crescent moon is on every flag of an Islamic nation, which in fact, is the symbol of Allah – a moon god! Moreover, fasting (based on the lunar calendar) in the ninth month of Ramadan already pre-existed in the Arab culture before Mohammed was even born.
The particular black stone which Mohammad’s tribe adopted was called the Kaaba, and is located in Mecca, where it is believed the asteroid or meteorite originally landed. This black Kaaba stone became the religious center of all Arabia where approximately 360 idols evolved. One of those deities or Allahs was the god of the Quarish tribe, of which Mohammed was a member. When the Quarish tribe took control of Mecca, all the idols except Allah, the idol of their tribe, were destroyed.4
According to Muslim tradition, Mohammed was originally a camel driver until the age of 25 when he met a wealthy lady fifteen years his senior. For the next 15 years he ran the family fruit business in Mecca. When he was forty years old he began to receive revelations and went to pray in a cave system about three miles from Mecca. During one of his prayer times, supposedly the archangel Gabriel came to him. Interestingly, the Koran reports four different stories in what transpired during this event which produces a contradiction of facts. After meditating there, on and off for two years, he would go into epileptic fits, which were taken as divine revelation. These revelations were written down into what is known today as the Koran.
The people of Mecca did not think highly of this new Prophet and his revelations. They began to criticize and attack him, which led him to flee to Medina about 280 miles north of Mecca in 622 A.D. This is why Medina is considered the second most “holy site” in the Middle East. In the Middle East today. The time Mohammed fled to Medina starts the beginning of the Islamic calendar. Initially, he tried to get the Christians and Jews to follow him as “the prophet” but failed in this as well. Supposedly he began to receive more revelations, with the divine direction to begin looting and pillaging the caravans that would pass by. He was successful in obtaining a following in these endeavors where one day he received another revelation that he was told to kill and drive out all the Jews. It is reported that on one occasion he had 1,000 Jewish men rounded up and beheaded. It is for this event and many like it which followed, that Islam became known as the religion of the sword. This symbol is still used today, and is used as the insignia of the Shriners. In 629 A.D., Mohammed raised up an army of 10,000 men and conquered Mecca. By force, he imposed Islam on the rest of the Arabian tribes.5
In 628 A.D. Mohammed went forth to claim that Islam was the true fulfillment of both the New and Old Testaments, believing that Jews and Christians had distorted and perverted the real truth. Henceforth, his goal was to restore supposed true religion and praise to Allah throughout the world. In Islam, Mohammed and Jesus are viewed similarly, both being prophets. Yet, by rejecting Jesus as the Son of God, Mohammed believed he was rejecting idolatry, thereby neutralizing the force of Christianity as a mechanism that would have the Jews follow Jesus. When this failed, he became a persecutor of both of them, Christian and Jew alike.
Allah is considered the high “god” of Islam since the Hebrew and English translations for “God” apparently do not convey the real meaning of this deity to the Moslems. Allah, in the Islamic interpretation of God, is of such magnificence and magnitude that He is totally unapproachable by sinful man. He is so perfect and holy that Allah can only communicate with man through a progression of angels and prophets. He is not a god of grace, mercy or love, as the God of Christianity is expressed through Jesus Christ. For this reason, there is great contempt of Moslems against Christians and Jews, where forgiveness and mercy are considered weaknesses and revenge reigns supreme. Derek Prince reported that while he was in Pakistan, latrines were only cleaned by the few Christians that live there. This was to show the superiority of the Moslem faith and expressly debases Christians and places them on the lowest rungs of society. Islam expresses Allah as a god of judgment rather than a God of grace, mercy or love. A Moslem’s hope and desire is to be able to submit their will so he or she can hold back the judging arm of Allah. If done with a willingness unto death, the Moslem may inherit eternal life, without assurance, as expressed in an earthly paradise of gluttony and sexual gratification.6 On the other hand, accepting Jesus Christ as Savior is a lifetime and blessed assurance to eternal salvation. Only through Christ Jesus can God be approached in Christianity. This, of course, is the basis of Christianity, which relies on the love and grace of the Trinity to compel man to seek and accept the forgiveness of sins which Christ Jesus so dearly paid for on the Cross. It is this inexpressible, inexplicable and overwhelming love that those who experience near death experiences and believers in Christ sense, identified as “agape” love. In contrast, sin and salvation are reckoned in Islam in two ways: works and fate (kismet). Every Muslim who hopes to escape the judgment of Allah must fulfill the works of the Five Pillars of the Faith (Surah 10:109) as follows:
1.) Recitation of the Shahadah (“There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is the prophet of Allah”)
2.) Five daily prescribed prayers (Salat or Namaz) in Arabic. These prayers include the requirement of genuflection and prostration in the direction of the holy city of Mecca.
3.) Almsgiving (Zakat) which requires 1/40 of the Moslems income as charitable givings.
4.) Fasting (Saum or Ruzeh) during the entire month of Ramadan, when Moslems are supposed to fast from all food and drink from sunrise to sunset in atonement for their sins over their previous year. However, after sunset many Moslems feast both evening and morning before the next days sunrise.
5.) A pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca, the holy city at least once in a Moslem’s lifetime.7
The holy book of Islam is known as the Koran or Quran, which is Arabic for “the recitation”. It is obvious to see the name association with the Quran and the tribe that Mohammad came from, the Quarish tribe. The Koran is composed of 114 revelations, each composing one Surah or chapter. A Surah refers to the divisions within the Koran and roughly corresponds to our chapters in the Bible. Although great revelations where supposedly given to Mohammed through an archangel, ironically, Moslems believe in the Pentateuch which are the first five books of the Holy Bible, the Psalms and the Gospels as given by Jesus, called the Injil in Islam. This is a unique aspect of Islam that most people are not aware of. Two very important points are to be deduced from this. First, Mohammed embraced and essentially copied many of the writings of the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible into the Koran. Secondly, the Koran points to and accepts the existence of Jesus Christ. Therefore this becomes additional proof that confirms the historicity of Jesus. Not only that, three Surahs are named in reference to Him so that Jesus is spoken about in a total of 93 verses, more than any other person in the entire Quran! Incredibly, the coming of Mohammad as a prophet in Isalm is not even mentioned in the Quran. Yet, Jesus is found more often in the very bible of Islam, the Quran, than Mohammad is! What the Quran says about Jesus, both in number and position, actually places Him much higher than Muhammad himself!8 For your interest, here are a few verses taken from the Koran regarding Jesus Christ.....
Incredibly, Moslems have been introduced and are very learned about the birth, life, teachings, death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. This happened because about 600 years after the birth of Christ, a man by the name of Mohammed did accept Christ as a prophet but rejected Him as the Son of God. Yet, in total contradiction, Surah 3:45 as given above describes Jesus, the son of Mary, as the Messiah. As is common to all “antichrist” types, he pronounced himself as the most true prophet and invented another god whom he called “Allah” to supersede the only God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And a moon god at that! At the same time, he also stated that Moslems cannot accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God nor can they believe in the Trinity (Surah 4:171). Any time the Bible contradicts the Koran, it is the Bible that is wrong, although most of the Koran’s writings are taken from it. For this reason, a Christian can speak to a Moslem about Jesus, but as soon as you mention Him as the Son of God, you evoke intense and bitter opposition. On the Dome of the Rock, which sits on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, there are two inscriptions within the rotunda that read, “The Messiah, Jesus Son of Mary, is only an Apostle of God” and the other reads, “God is only one God, far be it from His Glory that He should need a son”, obviously a direct denial of Jesus being the Son of God.
Also important in Islamic literature is the Hadith, Arabic for the “collected traditions”. They are a listing of customs that provide direction and knowledge for the proper political and social structure of Islam within a society. We need to recognize that Islam is a total way of life and not a segregated one. Dr Arthur Arberry, head of Mid-Eastern Studies at Cambridge University states, “Islam is a peculiarly Arabian religion because Islam is a religion and culture, and as a religion and culture, they are one.” It imposes itself on its family affairs, dietary laws, clothing, religious rites and language.10
Caliph is an Arabic term referring to the main leaders of Islam whereas Ayatollah refers to a spiritual master or leader, at times reserved for a prophet as is the case with Ayatollah Khomeni. Of the over one billion Moslems worldwide, by far the greatest sect of Moslems are the Sunnis. Most Sunnis practice a moderate from of Islamic interpretation, although this would appear as a contradiction for the fact that Osama bin Laden is a Sunni Moslem. 90% of the Moslems in the Mideast are Sunnis. The next largest sect of Moslem is the Shia’ite (or Shiite). They are a more fundamental, fanatical and militant group than the Sunnis. 93% of Iranian Moslems are Shiites. This is the sect most responsible for the belief in Islam’s “Holy War” known as the Jihad and have formed such groups as the “Hezzbollah”, known as the Party of God, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. They believe that any individual who does not support or embrace the religion of Islam is an infidel and may be murdered because of it.11
One of the most striking observations about Islam is its belief and acceptance of significant portions of the Holy Bible. Mohammed teaches that the Pentateuch, Psalms and Gospels are to be followed and believed only when his revelations as given in the Koran do not supersede them. The Law as given to Moses in God’s Ten Commandments states man should not kill. Yet, it is readily observable that murder (to promote Islam) is avidly and widely practiced among the Moslems. This hypocritical position is the acid test that defies Islam and renders it a fraud. It makes no logical or appropriate sense that the God of Israel would prohibit murder as given to Moses and then in an about -face find another “more perfect and divine” individual like Mohammed and tell the world it is allowable. Put in another way, would you believe it is totally normal and acceptable to allow an individual to kill another person for believing in a religion other than Islam? Yet, this is a basic tenet of Islam, which views infidels as those who do not ascribe to Islamic ideology. The solution for those who do not eventually accept Islam is death. Although there are multiple Surahs that express this pointedly, included here are two that lay down the gauntlet to this order….
Islam teaches the world is divided into two. The Islamic “Dar e-Salaam” or "House of Islam" is the order of Islam for the world whereas “Dar e-Harb” or "House of War" into which all infidels fall. The basic premise of Islam is that there will never be peace for Islam until the entire “Dar e-Harb” falls to the “Dar e-Salaam”.
Former President G. W. Bush was wrong when he pronounced that Islam was not a religion of terror, but only those who practiced terrorism. It is the very basis of Islam that infidel nations and its population must bow to the edicts of its belief structure. How else can our nation be called the Great Satan and Israel, the little one? How else can one explain the atrocities committed by those of Islamic faith who have bombed the World Trade Center, used our national airlines as human missiles to kill and maim thousands, evoked the subway bombing in Madrid, martyred thousands upon thousands of Christians (most recently in Northern Nigeria and Sudan) and killed millions of Jews since its inception?
There is no doubt that a large number of Muslims, and I would venture to guess a majority, wish to live peaceably and have no desire for jihad. These Muslims do not practice the radical extremism of their faith and do wish to follow the he Koran that speak of peace, kindness, and righteous living (would apply only to those practice Islam). However, there is a minority of Muslims that maintain the fundamentalism of radical Islam. And it is this minority that the dangers of Islam are truly expressed. It has been estimated that 10% of Muslims maintain a radical view of their faith which could allow for them to carry out jihad. Just in America alone, there are approximately 600,000 – 700,000 Moslems living in this country. If we took 10% of this number, there would be around 60,000 – 70,000 who maintain that America is the “Great Satan” that must either bow to Allah or be slain in his holy name. If we took another 10% of this group, then we would have 6,000 – 7,000 who can be expected to act as an Islamic Fifth Column. A Fifth Column is a group of people, although residing in our country, who will act traitorously and subversively on behalf of the enemy. If we were to extrapolate this to the total of Muslims living in the world (around 1.3 billion), we would have 1.3 million who maintain a jihad world view and would readily volunteer their lives for a terrorist act on behalf of Allah. Estimates taken from another source stated that the estimates are double from those given here.12
Paul Williams, who has for the past seven years served as a consultant on international terrorism and organized crime for the FBI, has written a book entitled, Al Qaeda: Brotherhood of Terror. He states in his book that he believes there are Soviet made suitcase nukes in major cities in the US. For those who are not familiar with what a suitcase nuke is, allow me to provide a thumbnail sketch. Suitcase nukes are a leftover, deadly "commodity” from the former Soviet Union. They are compact and are about the size of a footlocker, hence the name “suitcase nuke”. The strength of these bombs is about equal to the ones dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.
So how does one acquire one of these extremely destructive bombs? According to Williams, suitcase nukes can be purchased on the black market from the former Soviet Union. Of course the one big drawback for the terrorist is that the detonation codes are not provided, which means that either they must find someone who can rewire the thing (something Al Qaeda had seen fit to do), or one forgets about the big mushroom cloud and instead goes for the dirty bomb.
Nuclear bombs have a shelf life of about six to seven years. While most of the suitcase nukes that have found their way to the black market are older than this, they still make for a great dirty bomb, which circumvents the need to find the detonation codes. A dirty bomb, when released, not only can kill those in the immediate area of the bomb but also “contaminates large urban areas with radiation levels that exceed EPA health and toxic material guides”. Think of one of these going off in downtown Los Angeles or at the New York Stock Exchange. It would be devastating. Imagine a coordinated attack on this country were a dozen or so of these dirty bombs are synchronized to go off together. Imagine the devastation that would occur: the lives that would be lost, the cities that would no longer be inhabitable.13
In his book, author Paul L. Williams quotes Yossef Bodansky, who headed the Congressional Task Force on Nonconventional Terrorism in Washington, DC, as saying: "there is no longer much doubt that bin Laden has finally succeeded in his quest for nuclear suicide bombs.” Additionally, the following is another viewpoint taken from the article "Al Qaeda's Hidden Arsenal and Sponsors: Interview with Hamid Mir” by Ryan Mauro, at www.WorldThreats.com.
R. Mauro: How many nuclear weapons do Al Qaeda possess?
H. Mir: As far as I know, they smuggled three suitcase nukes from Russia to Europe. They smuggled many kilos of enriched uranium inside America for their dirty bomb projects. They said in 1999 that they must have material for more than six dirty bombs in America. They tested at least one dirty bomb in the Kunar province of Afghanistan in 2000. They have planned an attack bigger than 9/11, even before 9/11 happened Osama bin Laden trained 42 fighters to destroy the American economy and military might. 19 were used on 9/11, 23 are still "sleeping" inside America waiting for a wake up call from bin Laden.
R. Mauro: If Al Qaeda has tactical suitcase nukes, not just "dirty bombs" why would they deploy them to Europe instead of the United States?
H. Mir: Actually, I lost track of the three suitcase nukes after they were smuggled into Italy. A tried my best to get more information about the spots but I am only one man. I only received one tip that Chechen members of Al Qaeda wanted to smuggle one bomb into London, one to Paris, and one into California, when some dispute developed with the Italian underworld over the method of payment. This was in the year 2000.
Hamid Mir truly has deep access inside Al Qaeda and the Taliban. He is best known as the last journalist to interview Osama bin Laden, and the only one to do so after the attacks of 9/11. He is currently the bureau chief of Islamabad for Geo TV and is writing a biography on Osama bin Laden. He has interviewed countless members of Al Qaeda and the Taliban in many countries over the years. .”
In an article about former CIA Director George Tenet’s new book, At the Center of the Storm, the article cites Tenet's belief that Al Qaeda already has operatives in the US. The article further states that, "Tenent’s worries about Al Qaeda's nuclear desires seem to corroborate with a new book by former FBI consultant Paul Williams, due out later this month (the book we earlier mentioned). .”
Lastly, an excerpt from an article found in the Washington Times states: “Al Qaeda sleeper cells are believed to be operating in 40 states, according to FBI and other federal authorities, awaiting orders and funding for a new attack in the United States.” Moreover, according to an another article from the Canada Free Press, “operatives of the Lebanese Islamic terrorist organization Hezbollah, the same group presently firing missiles into Israel and labeled as one of the most dangerous Islamic terrorist groups in the world, are believed “to be planning to activate sleeper cells located in New York and other larger cities inside the United States.”
This report (from the Canada Free Press) certainly seems to be confirmed by an article found in the Washington Times which states: “Al Qaeda sleeper cells are believed to be operating in 40 states, according to FBI and other federal authorities, awaiting orders and funding for a new attack in the United States.” 14
Below are seven phases the Islamic terror network plans to implement in hopes of establishing an Islamic caliphate. These phases are taken from a book written by Yassin Musharbash titled al-Zarqawi-al-Qaida’s Second Generation and was posted August 12, 2005 on the news site Spiegel Online International by journalist Fouad Hussein:
1)The First Phase: Known as “the awakening”, has already been carried out and was supposed to have lasted from 2000 to 2003, or more precisely from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington to the fall of Baghdad in 2003. The aim of the attacks of 9/11 was to provoke the US into declaring war on the Islamic world and thereby "awakening" Muslims. "The first phase was judged by the strategists in the masterminds behind Al Qaeda as very successful," writes Hussein. "The battlefield was opened up and the Americans and their allies became a closer and easier target." The terrorist network has also reported as being satisfied that its message can now be heard "everywhere". 2)The Second Phase: "Opening Eyes" is, according to Hussein's definition, the period that should last until 2006. Hussein says the terrorists hope to make the Western countries aware of the "Islamic community". Hussein believes this is a phase in which Al Qaeda wants an organization to develop into a movement. The network is banking on recruiting young men during this period. Iraq should become the center for all global operations, with an “army” set up there and bases established in other Arabic states. 3)The Third Phase: this is described as "Arising in Standing Up” and should last from 2007 to 2010. "There will be a focus on Syria" prophesies Hussein, based on what his sources told him. The fighting cadres are supposedly already prepared and some are in Iraq. Attacks on Turkey and - even more explosive - in Israel are predicted. Al Qaeda's masterminds hope that attacks on Israel will help the terrorist group become a recognized organization. The author also believes that countries neighboring Iraq, such as Jordan, or also in danger. 4)The Fourth Phase: between 2010 and 2013, Hussein writes that Al Qaeda will aim to bring about the collapse of the hated Arabic governments. The estimate is that "the creeping loss of the regime's power (apostate Arabic country) would lead to a steady growth and strength within Al Qaeda.” At the same time attacks will be carried out against oil suppliers and the US economy will be targeted using cyber-terrorism. 5)The Fifth Phase: this will be the point at which an Islamic state, or caliphate, can be declared. The plan is that by this time, between 2013 in 2016, Western influence in the Islamic world will be so reduced and Israel weakened so much, that resistance would not be feared. Al Qaeda hopes that by then the Islamic state will be able to bring about a "new world order" (emphasis by this author). 6)The Sixth Phase: Hussein believes that from 2016 onwards there will be a period of “total confrontation”. As soon as the caliphate has been declared the "Islamic Army", it will instigate the "fight between the believers and the nonbelievers" which has so often been predicted by Osama bin Laden. 7)The Seventh Phase: this final stage is described as "definitive victory". Hussein writes that in the terrorist's eyes, because the rest of the world will be so beaten down by the "1 -1/2 billion Muslims" the caliphate will succeed. This they say should be completed by 2020, although the war should last no longer than two years.15
Christ Jesus stated that either a tree will produce good fruit or it will produce bad fruit as spoken of in Matthew 7:17. It is obvious that the fruits of Islam are bound to destruction, evil and eventual death. Secondly, Jesus did not come to replace or reject the word of God which was given to Moses and the prophets which were to be fulfiled by Mohammed. Rather, Jesus came to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). Therefore, the word of God as given in the Old Testament is embraced, fulfilled and made more perfect by Christ Jesus. Most important, it is in Jesus Christ that the grace and love of God is made manifest unto us which Allah could never provide, as He is so defined. In this way, all of mankind can be reconciled to the perfect God of all heaven and earth simply by accepting His Son. Because His Son loved us so much, He took upon Himself the sins of every man, woman, and child and died on the Cross for all, including Mohammed. Because Jesus humbled Himself unto death for us all, God exalted Him on the day of His death. In this, He was resurrected to the right hand of the Father as the first fruits of all who would become the sons of God, forevermore. It is this reason His tomb was empty of the third day as He said it would be which even the Koran agrees with. Conversely, the tomb of Mohammed still contains his bones to this very day. In a way, you can hear the bones of Mohammed and all his followers crying out for the salvation that Jesus Christ so dearly paid for 600 years earlier. Yet, they will continue to cry in that place where there is no release from eternal torment, for Mohammed and all his followers have been assigned to that where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (defined by Jesus as Gehenna, or our modern translation: hell) because they have rejected the free gift of eternal life as offered by the only One who could ever give life, and this is Jesus Christ. What a tradgedy.
Final Goal of Islam Decreed
The intention and final goal for Islamic world domination was recently echoed by Sheikh Ahmad Bahr, acting Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Here is part of an excerpt taken from the internet section of the Jerusalem Post (Mideast.jpost.com) dated May 1, 2007 and titled “Top Hamas Official: Kill All Americans”
“…. Bahr continued and said that America will be annihilated, while Islam will remain. The Muslims "will be victorious, if you are believers. Oh' Muslims, I guarantee you that the power of Allah is greater than America, by whom many are blinded today. Some people are blinded by the power of America. We say to them that with the might of Allah, with the might of His Messenger (probably referring to the prophet Mohammad), and with the power of Allah, we are stronger than America and Israel."
The Hamas spokesperson concluded with a prayer, saying: "Oh' Allah, vanquish the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them all, down to the very last one. Oh' Allah, show them a day of darkness. Oh' Allah, who set down His Book, the mover of the clouds, who defeated the enemies of the Prophet, defeat the Jews and the Americans, and bring us victory over them.” 16
These are the "signs of the times" which speak of a need to be prepared as never before.
Wars and Rumors of Wars
More people have been killed in the last century than in the entire history of the world. The 20th century (1901-2000) has given us two major world wars where a total of about 141 million people have been killed. Since 1945, more than 450 wars have been fought in the past 65 years. Not a single day has passed without the waging of war somewhere in the world. Throughout human history there have been regional conflicts that tip the scales between war and peace so that for every single year of peace, there has been 13 years of war. Man’s ideals and hope have truly belied him in the vision and aspiration for peace. Instead of experiencing peace, man has in reality shaped a world enmeshed in hostility, ready for destruction. This is an incredible and sobering fact. For all of man’s goals and striving to produce a world that would see peace between nations, just the opposite has happened! But really, should this shock us? Does it shock us that Iraq decides to overrun Kuwait and call a Jihad against Israel in the conflict Desert Storm? What a contradiction as President Bush had only a year prior given Iraq the last 1 billion dollars to complete its militarization program. Should it surprise us that peace simply cannot exist in this world when we continue to approve over $800 billion defense budgets while at the same time sell the latest military equipment to the Arab countries, Israel, Europe - actually just about any country in the world that has the money or credit to purchase such goods? For example, the nuclear threat alone would allow man to kill the entire population of this earth 10 times over because of 8 nations possessing over 60,000 nuclear weapons. Amazingly, this does not even take into account the inclusion of conventional, chemical and biological weapons and their capacity to kill. For example, during the Cold War, the long-standing defense posture of America against Russia was identified as mutually assured destruction, best known by its acronym MAD. Today, we are led to believe a new era of friendship exists between the former Soviet Union known today as the Commonwealth of Independent States (C.I.S.) and America. Because of it the Distant Early Warning (DEW line) system is only operative forty hours a week, the Strategic Air Command (SAC) has been dismantled, and our long range nuclear warheads are no longer computer targeted. Being played up as an enlightened dente involving nuclear/military disarmament, it is in reality further from the truth. The nuclear proliferation of the former U.S.S.R. nuclear arsenal to other countries has ironically heightened the prospect of war, not decreased it. The fact of the matter is that no progress has been to realistically reduce the prospect of war. This conclusion was also reached by the symposium of nuclear and political scientists from MIT and Harvard. This is understandable since the combined former republics of the Soviet Union still have many more nuclear bombs than available targets. Worse yet, the potential for nuclear proliferation today is greater then ever before. Rumors and accusations abound as countries such as Iran, Syria, North Korea and Pakistan are clandestinely acquiring nuclear weapons and missiles from the former Soviet Republic and China. For the first time in history, the recent sales of Chinese armaments, including Silkworm missiles, to Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq is truly an indication that the “Kings of the East”, described in Revelation, are making their alliances for the day of Armageddon. At the same time, numerous prophets of God have warned about the hibernating Soviet bear. As America and the world perceives the hibernating bear as being docile and sickly, it ironically desires to feed her with economic, technological and political assistance. Proof of this is shown as Russia has recently had a remarkable run-up in their stock market, a consequence of investments being made into this emerging country as never before. Yet, in the appearance of congeniality and peace, this bear will wake up once again be strong, at least militarily. Paul states in his letter to the Thessalonians, ‘while they are saying, “Peace and safety!” (through the world news), then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.’ (Thessalonians 5:3). These are exactly the same pronouncements that are being made by world leaders this day as they claim we have past the era of the “Cold War” and because of it, are being led to peace and nuclear safety by way of a "New World Order". Sadly, we have not been adequately informed or have forgotten that over 6,000 disarmament negotiating sessions have been held since 1945 and yet not one treaty has been signed which has given our world a true and realistic chance for survival if a nuclear war would take place. At the same time reliable sources state Russia has increased its expenditures for military purposes by 30%!
A most incredible event recently occurred revealing the time of the end in which we live. In the book of Revelation, it reveals that a mighty army of 200 million will come from the east to take part in the Battle of Armageddon in order to fulfill Rev. 9:16. Today, this prophetic scripture is on its way to being fulfilled as a harsh program of birth control is being waged not only in China but India as well. In China, India and North Korea, a national program of birth control has been adopted that only allows one child per family. Chinese and Korean families are selectively aborting baby girls for boys so that presently, 9 boys are being born for every 1 girl. In India, the second most populated country in the world, and in lesser degrees Pakistan and Bangladesh, a class system exists that supports the birth of males over females, causing the abortion of baby girls in great numbers. Such a program will easily allow China alone to achieve a 125 million man army. Then, add the men from India, North Korea, Pakistan and Afghanistan capable for military service and it will be very easy to come up with over 200 million soldiers which will eventually proceed into the Middle East to take part in the Battle of Armageddon. This could never have happened a generation ago. Not only that, Rev. 16:12 describes that an angel will cause the Euphrates River to be made dry when this army desires to cross into Israel. For the first time in history, during operation Desert Storm, Turkey closed its dam system on the Euphrates River and dried it to 25% capacity. No doubt when the day of Armageddon approaches, Turkey can and will dry the entire Euphrates, just as it partially did during Operation Desert Storm.
At the same time, scholars and students of the Bible have always wondered how China and the countries from the east were going to be able to pass through the mountainous areas of the Himalayas which pass through Tibet and Afghanistan. Discounting the technology of air transport, recent information has elucidated that China has built major military roads, much like our interstate highways, going through Tibet and southern China, leading directly into the Middle East. Presently, they serve no commercial or public purpose. One can only ponder the real intent of such a highway system in light of bible prophecy.
Nations Against Nations
Never in the history of the world has mankind seen the maps of our globe changed as often as they have in the last century. Out of the Prussian and Ottoman Empires came the formation of the initial European countries as administered by the Versailles Treaty following to World War I. From this unstable blueprint evolved the evil empires of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and dictatorial Japan which led to World War II. After World War II, we saw the rearrangement of the European borders again. Finally, a little more than forty years later, the disintegration of the Soviet Union and realignment of Eastern Europe from the Warsaw Pact countries evolved. Even today, we find nations are again being torn apart as their peoples are being connected to their ancestral origins and identities. Who would ever have thought that in less than one generation we would see the entire Warsaw Pact disintegrate into its original constituent countries as established by the Versailles Treaty and then further disintegrate into its ethnic localities by way of bloodshed as that which took place in Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia? Jesus did. Who would have ever thought that the once almighty Soviet Union would today be a conglomeration of republics that in some instances fall within ancestral boundaries and others not? Again, Jesus did. Who would ever have thought that although our leaders are trying to proclaim peace and safety, we would see such conflicts taking place as; Armenia vs. Nagono-Karabakh (former USSR), Irish Protestants against Catholics in Ireland, Abkhazia against Georgia (former USSR), Iraqi Shiites against Iraqi Sunnis, Shiites and Sunnis against the Kurds, Hindus against Moslems in India, Arabs and Palestinians against Jews and Christians, Tamils against Sinhalese, and on and on? Jesus did.
The Greek word for nation as given in Matthew 24: 7 is ethnos, from which we get the word “ethnic”. Truly, Jesus foresaw that ethnic conflicts, racially-based violence and religious wars would reach unparalleled heights at the consummation of the age as he so prophesied in Matthew. In the last 50 years, there have been more national identities and borders replaced than changed by all the previous wars in history.4 Is it the desire of Jesus to see bloodshed come forth in the changing of national boundaries that include the restoration of Israel? Not whatsoever! We must realize this turmoil is the direct result of Satan working through fallen man. There can be no other explanation.
As the citizens of our nation have been insulated from the direct effects of large scale ethnic bloodshed, we should not be blind to evidence which points to pockets of similar conflict ready to explode throughout our land. A bill passed in Congress during the Bush administration, H1R4079, allows this country to declare a five year state of national emergency with ensuing police state protocol. I believe the leaders of our country are potentially preparing for a major domestic conflict never seen before. Also, the news-clip noted below was taken directly from USA Today (the newspaper) and brings George Orwell’s saga, 1984, vis-a-vis, the New World Order into reality. Now, with Homeland Security in place, individual privacy no longer exists and “Big Brother” has finally succeeded in making George Orwell’s fictional account, 1984, into a non-fictional account status. Here again, we see the New World Order is on its way to being fulfilled. Proof of this comes in very disturbing and embarrassing way as airport whole body scanners can now take pictures of our bodies as though we have no clothes on. And for those airports which have not received the whole body scanners, be prepared for "pat-downs" that explore the most "intimate" areas of our body. Truly, we need to ask ourselves what our country is becoming. I'm quite sure the Patriots of the Revolutionary War would have declared a dictatorship.
More recently, numerous triggers have come about to bring about a heightened level of security concerns that could precipitate the declaration of a national emergency with attendant police state conditions. In just one example, the U.S. Commissioner on National Security, Stephen Flynn, has faulted our government for not better informing the general public of the scope of a national disaster such as a bio-terrorism attack. It has been concluded that the scope of social chaos that could result from such an attack will be massive. This conclusion was reached by the Center for Strategic Studies and the John Hopkins Center for Civilian Bio-Defense Studies in a mock terror exercise code-named “Dark Winter”. Respondents of the “Dark Winter” exercise testified before Congress that they expect vaccine shortages, epidemic pathogen (by viruses or bacteria) dispersal, and emergency “containment” measures imposed on the population by the authorities, which is a proper way of describing police control.17
Famines, Pestilences, Earthquakes and Weather Disturbances
Again, this world has never seen a higher incidence of earthquakes, severe weather disturbances and famines as in the present time. It is common knowledge that records are being set yearly in all three areas, for rarely a week goes by without there being a report on another incident of famine, major weather disturbance and/or earthquake somewhere in the world. Most famines are weather and climate related. Yet we are seeing unprecedented global effects that could well be responsible for more permanent or continuous effects upon weather system. Purported global warming trends are supposedly being caused by such diverse factors as industrial pollution (causing a greenhouse effect because of increased carbon dioxide), atmospheric ozone depletion, volcanism as seen with Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Pinatabo (causing a greenhouse effect), indiscriminate slash and burn programs in native jungles, El Nino (Spanish word meaning the baby Christ) causing higher than normal water temperatures in the Pacific. Whether one, a number or all of these factors are contributing to the bizarre climatic changes we are seeing, never has the earth experienced such tumultuous weather. For example, the September 1993 issue of Life magazine asks the very question, “Why Has Nature Gone Mad?” In the issue, Life reported that the three most damaging climatic disasters occurred within one year; Hurricane Andrew, the Midwest floods and the blizzard of March 12, 1993 that the National Weather Service called the biggest storm of the century. Also, 1992 was a record year for tornadoes. And then the hottest year in the history of our nation was recorded in 1990, with 1991 being the second hottest!
Due to such weather and climate related extremes, recorded history indicates that the greatest and most devastating natural disasters have come upon earth in the last century. Well before 9/11, this term meant ground zero and was often used in reference to disasters both man-made and natural. For example, in an 18 hour period, from April 3 to April 4, 1974, thirteen states became ground zero to the largest number of tornadoes to ever develop from a single weather event. On April 3rd, meteorologists forecasted rain in the East and thunderstorms in the Midwest. However, 13 states – Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, N. Carolina, Virginia, W. Virginia and New York – would be hit with a barrage of tornadoes, 148 confirmed sightings in all, a number never equaled before or since from a single storm system. The death toll from this devastating system was 330 and more than 5,000 people were injured in the chaos.18
Taking another example, in 1970 the world’s deadliest cyclone hit eastern Pakistan. It was mistakenly called the “Bangladesh Cyclone” because of a fundraiser that had been held for the area by George Harrison titled “Benefit Concert for Bangledesh” (a year after the cyclone hit, Bangledesh received it’s independence from Pakistan). Although 167,000 people were killed after the initial onslaught, due to lack of appropriate relief efforts, an additional 333,000 deaths took place due to exposure, disease and starvation for a total loss of life of one-half million people.19
Due to the severe weather and climatic changes taking place, such influences are causing excessive drought conditions in one area and severe floods in another. This eventually leads to severe soil erosion (scientists claim North America began with an average 12 feet of topsoil during settlement and now only has an average of 2 inches left). This has led to projections that up to a billion people a year are now starving worldwide. This alone accounts for 1/6 of the entire population of the world. This number is beyond our means of reckoning and should leave all numb. Only four countries; America, Canada, Argentina and France are capable of both sustaining and exporting all the major foods in the world. If a major catastrophe were to hit any one or more of these countries, famine in unprecedented levels would rise throughout the world as not yet envisioned.
Most people who read this book will not be suffering from starvation much less hunger. Certainly, the vast majority of famine is attributable to third world nations, which also contain 80% of the world’s population. As we munch on our favorite food or snack, most of us will give this plight not much more than a remark as, “Gee, that’s too bad”. Mankind has truly reached the lowest levels of moral consciousness to allow nearly one billion people to starve yearly. Even our own country has seen an incredible rise in hunger. Our national governments should take most of the blame for this. The United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency reported in 1987 that world military expenditures went over 930 billion dollars (that’s almost 1 trillion dollars)! World hunger could be totally eradicated if only 1/10 of this amount ($100 billion dollars) were to be spent on agriculture, improvements and food distribution. Our country has been so blessed with abundance (grocery stores and restaurants on every block) that most of us have no comprehension of what is like to be hungry. Therefore, all have taken the case of world famine for granted and in a sense, we are all guilty of neglect. To see nearly 1/6 of the world’s population either starving or dying should be considered a tragedy beyond excuse. It is a disgrace to both humanity and God that with all the riches of this world, technological innovations have not yet eliminated the catastrophic condition of famine. It serves proof that the law of disorder is well at work as opposed to higher evolutionary processes, as creation science so pronounces. Evidence of this is elucidated when food production in Africa is a whooping 20% lower in 1993 than it was in 1970, even as Africa’s population has increased.20 In this respect, no other country experiences such severe famine as Ethiopia. In the 19th century, Ethopia had a drought once every 10 to 15 years. Now it has become one in every five years or less. One of the worst was the 1973 drought, where as many as 300,000 died. And then the 1984-1985 drought, the absolute worst, killed a million Ethiopians!21 The enormity of such a loss of life is hard to fathom. Events of this magnitude make it appear that we have entered the time of the Apocalpse. There are those who claim we have. Yet, as Jesus would tell us, “These are just the beginning of birth pains” (Matt 24: 8 – NIV).
21st century western civilization does not have an understanding as to what encompasses a severe pestilence. Since the bubonic plague scoured Europe during the Middle Ages, mankind has never experienced a similar catastrophe. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines pestilence as a contagious or infectious epidemic disease that is virulent and devastating. The bubonic plague killed over 25 million Europeans within a century, representing about 1/4 of the population at that time. Now, we are in the midst of the beginning stages of a pestilence never before seen in the history of the world. This pestilence is known as autoimmune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS. It was first reported in the early 80’s and has become the major health concern of the last thirty years. Although this pestilence began to surface mostly among homosexuals, intravenous drug users, hemophiliacs and in a very small percentage of cases, heterosexuals; the brunt of the pestilence will be seen in heterosexuals living in 3rd world countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) predicted that by the year 2000, a minimum of ¼ of the world’s population will acquire full blown AIDS in its active form. This prediction was made prior to the widespread use of anti-HIV drugs that have been fairly successful in causing near remission in a majority of cases. Had it not been for the success of these drugs, death would have been the predominant prognosis without treatment. Still, significant areas in Africa report numerous cases of AIDS, where millions of orphans are left without parents. Sub-Saharan Africa is more heavily affected by HIV and AIDS than any other region of the world. An estimated 22.4 million people are living with HIV in the region - around two thirds of the infected global total. In 2008 around 1.4 million people died from AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and 1.9 million people became infected with it. Since the beginning of the epidemic more than 14 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS.22 In the absence of massively expanded prevention, treatment and care efforts, it is expected that the AIDS death toll in sub-Saharan Africa will continue to rise, threatening to devastate whole communities (http://www.avert.org/hiv-aids-africa.htm). Because non-Christian Africans and Asians have an average of 25-100 different sexual partners yearly, the AIDS virus is being spread as never envisioned. It has been found that this same group carries an average of 5-6 sexually transmitted diseases out of 52 that are medically known to exist, of which AIDS is only one.
Based on an earlier World Health Organization (WHO) assessment that one-quarter of the population was expected to perish due to the pestilences of HIV and other assorted diseases still running rampant in less developed parts of the world, it was possible that the fulfillment of Revelation 6:7,8 could have occurred by the year 2000, as this secular organization predicted.
In my first writing of Signs of the Times back in 1995, I stated as follows, “Unless a miracle from God Almighty were to take place within this decade, this scripture will be fulfilled. Again, we are seeing the prophesied future of scripture being fulfilled in your very eyes this day.” It is obvious that the miracle from God has taken place, since we have not yet seen a quarter of the world’s population decimated by pestilence as even the World Health Organization predicted. This brings into reality the truth of God’s overwhelming mercy and long-suffering nature, as best described by David, who wrote in Psalm 103...”The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and full of faithful love. He will not always accuse or be angry forever. He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve or repaid us according to our offenses.” Again and again, His incredible and bountiful mercy triumphs judgment, even though as David said, we deserve it. However, His mercy can and will only last so long.
Relative to earthquakes, much has been spoken and written about these daily occurring incidents in newspapers, television newscasts and periodicals. One of the greatest excuses that the secular media and other “experts” have used to deny the biblical truth of Jesus’ prediction of an increase and severity of earthquakes before His second coming is that there have been more people in the world to report this phenomena. However, historic fact proves there has been a geometric growth of earthquakes beginning with the last 100 years. Before than, only one major catastrophic earthquake was reported every decade. Now, from 100 years ago until today, earthquakes have increased; 2, 4, 17, 26, 53, 76, 125 and more every decade, respectively. But, besides the increase in the number of earthquakes occurring every decade, their strength has increased as well. Earthquakes are measured by the Richter scale, which was developed in 1935 by Charles Richter of the California Institute of Technology. It registers earthquakes from micro (2.0 or lower) to massive (8.0 or higher). It is a logarithmic scale (very similar in nature to exponential increases), so that for the increase of every value of one whole number (7.0 to 8.0, for example), the strength will actually be 10 times greater. Because of the logarithmic basis of the scale, each whole number increase also corresponds to an increase of about 31.6 times the amount of energy released. Therefore, an earthquake with a Richter rating of 8.0 will be 10 times more powerful with 31.6 times more energy released than an earthquake reading 7.0. The largest earthquake ever recorded (as measured by the Richter Scale) was the Chilean earthquake of 1960, with a 9.5 Richter scale reading caused a phenomenon known as the free oscillation of the earth. Seismic waves traveled around the planet for days after the initial shock.23
However, one of the most devastating earthquakes to hit our planet was the Tangshan Earthquake in China. On July 12, 1976, in a hamlet outside Tangshan, an industrial city of a million people in the northeastern Chinese province of Hebei, a villager reported the smell of gas coming from a well. Later that month, gas was detected again on two successive days. Having monitered seismic activity in the area, forecasters at the Chinese Earthquake Bureau were convinced that an earthquake of a magnitude of at least 5.0 – and probably higher – would occur in or near the city between July 22 and August 5. Due to Chinese political suppression of information, authorities did not release the information to the public. This would prove lethal. On July 27, well water in another village near Tanshan repeatedly rose and fell. That night, residents of the city said they witnessed strange lights in the sky. Were they trying to tell the people what the scientists were not being allowed to tell? At about 3:42 AM, an earthquake rocked Tangshan between 7.5 to 8.5 on the Richter scale. It was followed 15 hours later by another deadly 7.1 aftershock and then a sequence of subsequent aftershocks all registering greater than 5.0. According to Chinese officials, the catastrophe left about a quarter of a million people dead, but outside sources set the toll as high as 750,000! Either way, the Tangshan earthquake is still considered to be the deadliest earthquake of the modern era.24
More recently, the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 can claim the largest loss of life within the last decade. Tsunamis are giant waves that reach heights of over 300 ft. or more, as reported with the massive Krakatau explosian that occurred in Indonesia in 1883. Tsunamis can be triggered by such things as a meteorite hitting the ocean (very rare), volcanic eruptions/explosians or underwater earthquakes. But the majority of tsunamis are by-products of earthquakes, such as occurred on Dec. 26, 2004. On this date, a 9.0 plus magnitude quake occurred 19 miles underneath the Pacific Ocean about 100 miles from the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The wave traveled fast from the epicenter. A tsunami can move at 670 mph (about as fast as a jet flies) in 30,000 foot deep water. By the time the Indian Ocean tsunami was over, it would claim the lives of between 230,000-300,000 souls, with 100,000 injured, some 50,000 missing and more than 1.5 million people displaced.25
On Tuesday, 1/12/2010, a catastrophic earthquake struck Haiti. Its magnitude was officially listed at 7.0 on the Moment Magnitude Scale (MMS). Its epicienter was 16 miles west of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. By January 24th, scientists had recorded some 53 aftershocks of magnitude 4.5 or greater. By mid-February, a staggering 3 million people had been affected, almost 250,000 dead had been identified, 300,000 injured, another quarter of a million buildings irreversibly damaged and countless homeless, living in tent cities without sanitation, running water, electricity or the necessary food and supplies. Sixteen days later, on 2/27/10 another super powerful earthquake struck near the coast of Chili. This one measured at 8.8 MMS. It was much more powerful that the Haiti earthquake. Like the earlier Richter Scale, the MMS is a logarithmic or exponential scale, and they correlate closely in the lower ranges. For example, a scale number of 8 would be ten times more powerful than a scale of 7. The Chili quake almost reached 9, which would make it 100x more powerful than the one in Haiti. The new MMS scale is said to be more accurate than the older Richter Scale measurement, especially in values greater than eight.26
As we ponder the “signs of the times”, there should be very little doubt that we are in the last days. There can be no doubt that the prophetic utterances of Jesus Christ are being fulfilled before our very eyes as earthquakes and killer storms are overwhelming our globe and generation at the highest levels ever. It is for this reason that many believe that the time of the end is near. Truly, there is so little time to procrastinate on accepting the truth of Jesus Christ. Yet, Jesus tells both His disciples on Mt. Olivet and us in Matt 24: 6........
I would liken the last days to the period of time when a woman becomes pregnant. For approximately nine months, a women feels and sees the evidence of her child in the womb. Although the child is not yet visible, she knows that the birth of her child is nigh at hand. Near the time of birth, besides showing her obvious fullness with child, she begins to feel the nearness of the birth due to the onset of birthpangs. There often are numerous false labor signs which would make it appear that she is ready to give birth within the day. Yet, we need to realize these “false” signs are not really false, but are real and serious warning signs that actual birth is truly at hand. This is exactly where I believe we are in regard to the coming of Messiah to earth. We need to believe that the beginning of birth pangs is it relates to the “signs of the times” are a true indication that the time of Jesus’ return is at hand, right at the door!
At some particular point in time, a time marker will occur which gives us an absolute indication to the time of Messiah’s arrival much like the breaking of water that heralds the true birth of a child (this breaking of water is the release of fluids from the breaking of the amniotic sac that encases the newborn). This absolute indication is an event that will usher in the seven year period of time called the Tribulation. This length of time is known because it is detailed in both the book of Daniel (which we will look at in the following chapter) and confirmed in the prophetic book of Revelation.