Sunday, January 29, 2006

A LOOK BACK AT PROPHECY FOR 2005

2005 In Review
The Year In Prophecy
By Ron Graff
Prophecy Central
Solid Ground Brethren In Christ Church
This material is copyrighted, but may be reproduced, only if it is given in its entirety.
Documentation, Scriptural references and illustrations may be found in the various sections of Prophecy
Central, “A World of Information About Bible Prophecy.”
www.Bible-prophecy.com
Scripture quotations are from the New International Version.
Introduction
The year 2005 has helped us see the obvious possibilities of fulfilled prophecy all
around us. During the last couple of weeks of the year, we couldn’t help noticing the
common theme of the tabloid magazines: “The end of the world is near!” Even the
History channel on cable TV called their last week of programming, “Armageddon
Week,” featuring documentaries on tsunamis, Hurricane Katrina, and other natural
disasters, plus special features about “Antichrist” and “Nostradamus.”
Our review this year begins with Jesus’ own outline of future events. It is given
as a guide to Bible prophecy, to help us determine what current events might be
fulfillments of divine predictions. The second part of the review recounts some of the
major developments of the year.
Part One: Outline of the Future
Jesus’ major message on the future is found in Matthew chapters 24 and 25 and Luke
chapter 21. According to His teaching, there are four phases of history still ahead of us:
1 - The Beginning of Birth Pains – Matthew 24:4-8; Luke 21:8-11
Whole books have been written about each of these periods of time. To express it very
simply, The Beginning of Birth Pains is the time from the rebirth of Israel until the start
of The Tribulation. Most popular prophecy scholars believe that the Rapture of the
Church – the time when Christ returns for the Church – will take place just before the
Tribulation. This can be shown in many ways, but especially by the fact that, in the Book
of Revelation, where “church” is mentioned repeatedly in the first three chapters, it is not
found at all in chapters 4 through 20, which encompasses the entire period of judgment.
This time is representative of our current age. Among other things, it includes “Wars and
Rumors of Wars,” “Earthquakes,” “Famines,” “False Christs,” “Pestilences,” and
“Terrors from the Heavens.” In all of these cases there is an increase in the frequency,
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magnitude, and/or significance of the events that will continue to escalate during the
Tribulation.
2 - The Tribulation – Matthew 24:9-14; Luke 21:12-19
The Tribulation is the first part of a seven-year period of time marked by a peace treaty
for Israel, brokered by Antichrist, the evil world leader who will emerge in the last days.
He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he
will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up
an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on
him. Daniel 9:27
This peace treaty may well be the result of a great war against Israel, described in the
Book of Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39. And that war, apparently led by Russia and her
allies, including much of the Muslim world, will take place during a period of false
peace.
After many days you[Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal] will be called to arms.
In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people
were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been
desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in
safety. Ezekiel 38:8
The Apostle Paul also alludes to this time. When people say, "Peace and safety,”
destruction will come on them suddenly (1 Thessalonians 5:3). Israel has not been at
peace with most of its neighbors since the day it became a nation in 1948. The current
escalation of hostilities with the Palestinians in the land is cause for great efforts to bring
about peace there. When it does finally come, it could set the stage for this great war. It
is also called the War of Gog and Magog, and is very different from the Battle of
Armageddon at the end of the Tribulation. It is most likely the same as the war of the
Second Seal, at the beginning of the Tribulation (Revelation 6:3-4). This would all fit,
because Antichrist will be on the scene by then, having been introduced by the First Seal
(Revelation 6:1-2) as a rider on a white horse.
The word “tribulation” is the Greek word thlipsis, found in Matthew 24: 9. It is
translated “to be persecuted” in the New International Version. The church will be gone,
but the many new believers in Christ will be persecuted and driven underground because
of their unpopular belief. There will be a One-World Religion, including false Christians,
who never gave their lives to Christ, but these new Christians will not associate with the
universal religion or its false beliefs.
3 - The Great Tribulation – Matthew 24:15-28; Luke 21:20-27
The Great Tribulation is the second half of these seven years, which Jesus said starts with
“the Abomination of Desolation,” He characterized it as “great distress [thlipsis/
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tribulation], unequaled from the beginning of the world until now-and never to be
equaled again.” This is the time when Antichrist will declare himself to be god, will set
up an apparently living image of himself in the Temple, and institute the “Mark of the
Beast” world economic dictatorship. Revelation 13 gives details of his activities during
this time. At that point there will be a virtual One-World Government. This period is
brought to an end by the glorious return of Christ – His second coming. He will destroy
Antichrist’s forces at the Battle of Armageddon, which is described in Revelation 19:11-
21.
4 - After the Tribulation – Matthew 24:29-31; Luke 21:28
When Christ returns, it will be as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16).
He will set up a righteous kingdom for one thousand years (Revelation 20:1-8), and after
that, He will preside over the final judgments (Revelation 20:9-15), then usher in “a new
heaven and a new earth.” (Revelation 21:1 and the rest of chapters 21 and 22).
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Part Two: Prophecy-Related Developments of 2005
Wars and Rumors of War
As it has been for many years, there are many wars (more than 30 this year) raging in the
world. Most of them are civil wars, and some are exceedingly brutal, with the objective
of genocide, but the global news media largely ignores them. The more obvious wars are
the world-wide War On Terrorism - including The Iraq War, The Israeli/Palestinian
Conflict, the new and growing Cold War over Weapons of Mass Destruction, and, of
greatest interest, the looming conflict with Iran over development of nuclear weapons.
The War on Terrorism
Terrorism is still very much with us, and is a global threat. It only takes an occasional
sneak attack somewhere in the world to make people everywhere nervous about their
own future. Terrorism is a perfect example for the Biblical expression “Rumors of War.”
Osama bin Laden has still not been found, and his chief operative in Iraq, Musab al-
Zarqawi, has also eluded capture.
Nearly simultaneous bombings in London’s subways in June resulted in over 50 deaths
and more than 700 injuries. The attacks were conducted by British Muslims with origins
in Pakistan. It was the first time that suicide bombers carried out attacks in Western
Europe.
In November, unrest among poor Muslims in Paris suburbs led to many consecutive
nights of rioting and looting.
The trial of Saddam Hussein is not going well, due to the inexperienced new justice
system in Iraq.
Palestinians claimed “victory” when Israel accomplished their unilateral withdrawal from
the Gaza strip, and now that area is a hotbed of terrorist activism, with Hamas and al
Qaida gaining the upper hand over the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas, the
weak successor to Yasser Arafat.
The Iraq War
Depending on who is reporting the news, there is great progress toward democracy and
stability in Iraq, or there is a gradual decline in the will to stand against the insurgents
there. President Bush speaks forcefully about the need to finish the task, but there are
growing numbers of anti-war protestors here in America, spurred on by liberal politicians
who wish to discredit the Bush administration. Failure to accomplish a transition to a
free and democratic Iraq would give terrorism a tremendous advantage.
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The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict
It has been a tumultuous year in Israel. The whole world wants to see peace in The Holy
Land, since the situation there is closely related to the War on Terrorism and the
ambitions of militant Islamists everywhere. A long succession of attempted peace
treaties have all failed, including “The Road Map,” brokered by The U.S., Russia, the
U.N. and the E.U. Consequently, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has led his fragile
government to a unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank.
They have built a great security fence between the territories, and have left the
Palestinians to their own control.
This has led to a take-over of the Palestinian territories by militant extremists, and has
divided the people of Israel itself. Many Israelis accept the withdrawal as a necessary
evil since there seems to be no other way to keep suicide bombers from entering their
cities.
Others object to the withdrawal because it displaces Jewish settlers, and because it gives
opportunity for the militants in the Palestinian areas to flourish. This has resulted in great
civil unrest, and the dissolution of their government, the Knesset. The government is
being rebuilt at this time, but Ariel Sharon has suffered a major stroke, and may not even
survive. All of this has left the country in a weakened state.
Meanwhile, the United States is pressing more than ever to bring about the emergence of
Palestine as a separate state. And the European Union may be in a position to replace the
United States as the chief broker of peace in the Middle East because of America’s past
support of Israel and the growing rift between the U.S. and the Islamic world over the
War in Iraq.
Sir Jonathan Sacks, the U.K.’s Chief Rabbi says that there is a growing tsunami of anti-
Semitism sweeping the globe, because people everywhere, weary of the threat of
terrorism, blame the nation of Israel for their problems.
At the end of the year, movie giant Steven Spielberg, who is Jewish, released the film,
“Munich,” which supposedly was his secret masterpiece. According to some reviews of
the movie, even Spielberg seems to doubt the validity of the Jewish state.
The solution to this world-class enigma is still the acceptance of a brokered peace treaty
between Israel and the Palestinians. Such a treaty will have to grant more Israeli
territory, and some concessions about Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. When such a
proposal is adopted it will lead only to a temporary peace there. As noted in part one of
this report, The Bible teaches that when people say, "Peace and safety,” destruction will
come on them suddenly. (1 Thessalonians 5:3)
Once that happens, prophecy watchers will turn their attention to the possibility of the
great war of Ezekiel 38 and 39 described in the discussion of Russia that follows.
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The New Cold War
Russia has reinvigorated the New Cold War with the successful test of their "hypersonic
flying vehicle" a ballistic missile that is able to maneuver between space and the earth's
atmosphere, changing course as it goes. This missile would be able to penetrate any
missile defense system that the U.S. plans to build.
China, still a Communist nation, is experiencing incredible economic growth. They are
also exerting their military muscle, accelerating the modernization of their military
because they expect to have a conflict with the United States over Taiwan in the not-sodistant
future. Janes’ Military Intelligence says that the U.S. is vulnerable to an
Electromagnetic Pulse Attack (EMP) delivered by China or other nations, in which a
nuclear device would be exploded at high attitude, knocking out electrical power systems
and all kinds of electronic devices. Such an attack would bring communications and
transportation to a halt.
Iran preparing for nuclear war against Israel:
Possibly Ezekiel’s war of Gog and Magog
The most striking prophecy fulfilled in our generation is the rebirth of the nation of Israel
in 1948. This had been predicted in great detail in Ezekiel, chapters 36 and 37. Israel is
symbolized by the fig tree in Jesus’ great message on the Mt. of Olives.
Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves
come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you
know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will
certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will
pass away, but my words will never pass away. Matthew 24:32-35
Ezekiel 38 and 39 continues the story of the future. It is extremely credible because of
the detailed fulfillment of the previous two chapters in our generation. It predicts that a
great northern power, Gog, will lead a war against Israel. For decades prophecy students
have identified Russia as the most likely leader of this attack. The names of Gog’s allies
in those chapters may be identified by the migration of Noah’s family members after the
Flood (Genesis 10). Those allies include nations that are close to Russia today, and key
Islamic nations, including Iran (Persia). The nature of the war is described in terms that
would best fit a nuclear exchange.
Recent events in Iran bring this war into serious consideration. For a couple of years,
Iran has been building a light-water nuclear reactor at Busheir, with great assistance from
Russia. Israel, The United States, The United Nations, and the European Union have all
strongly objected because of the likelihood that Iran intends to develop nuclear weapons.
Iran supposedly halted their work for many months this year, but has now made it clear
that they will continue to pursue their program. The recent election of Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad as Iran’s President has made matters worse. His extremist views and
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inflammatory rhetoric have put the world on guard. He supports the common Iranian
desire to “Wipe Israel off the map.” Both the U.S. and Israel have made strong
statements that Iran must not be allowed to reach the point where it can produce nuclear
weapons, and that point may only be a few months away now. Janes Intelligence Digest
predicts that there is a growing likelihood of a preemptive strike against Iran in 2006 by
the U.S., Israel, or both.
In response, Iran says any attack against them would prove disastrous to Israel because
their country is close to Iran, and it is small. Some analysts have said that the detonation
of just two nuclear weapons would destroy Israel.
When this future war takes place, God will intervene, making it short and disastrous for
Israel’s enemies (Ezekiel 38:17-23). This war is probably the same as the one described
by the opening of the second seal in Revelation 6. It could be the event that leads to a
negotiated seven-year peace treaty between Antichrist and Israel. The Tribulation period
will take place during these seven years.
The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end
will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been
decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.'
-- Daniel 9:26-27 (NIV)
Disasters – Weather, Earthquakes, Threat of Asteroids
Because of extreme natural disasters, even non-believers have been asking the question,
“Is God angry with us?” The great magnitude 9.15 earthquake and tsunami that struck
Indonesia in the last week of 2004, was responsible for unprecedented destruction.
Generating waves as high as 90 feet, whole villages were washed away. The death toll
rose steadily in the early weeks of 2005, well past the 200,000 mark. The effects of the
event were felt all over the Earth, and people in 11 nations were killed.
A record-breaking hurricane season pounded the United States, and Hurricane Katrina
caused unthinkable damage to the entire city of New Orleans, much of which was
suddenly flooded by broken levees. It was our nation’s greatest natural disaster.
Later in the year there was another major earthquake, this time near the Pakistan/
Kashmir border. The earthquake, measuring 7.6 magnitude killed more than 87,000
people and left about 4 million people homeless at the start of the bitter winter season.
Actually, overall earthquake activity was down a little in 2005. Some believe seismic
activity is on the rise, while others show that it is fairly static. In any case, these very
large quakes demonstrate the validity of the Scriptural prophecy about a very great
earthquake. According to Revelation 6:14; 16:18-20, this intense earthquake will occur
as part of the Battle of Armageddon at the end of the Tribulation period. During this
upheaval every mountain will be shaken down and every island will sink.
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There is growing concern about the possibility that an asteroid could impact the Earth
with disastrous results. In recent years there have been incredible discoveries about our
solar system. We have many previously-unknown planet-like objects and thousands of
Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs). It is likely that some of these asteroids will eventually
collide with the Earth. Toward the end of the year, NASA scientists, who have been
monitoring one of these objects, which they have named Apophis, said that there was a 1
in 37 chance that this 400-meter asteroid will impact the earth in 2029. Such an event
would cause a global catastrophe. They are asking governments to make plans now to
change the orbit of the asteroid.
These disasters serve to remind us that all of these events will be much worse during the
Tribulation period. Earthquakes, storms, and collisions by asteroids are all predicted for
these last days.
Other Developments
Preparing for the Mark of the Beast
In Daniel 12:4 we read that in the last days knowledge will increase, and people will run
back and forth. This is undoubtedly a reference to the information explosion and the use
of the Internet in our generation. The technology that makes this knowledge possible
may also be used to link buyers and sellers everywhere, all over the world in electronic
commerce. This will make it possible for the prediction about Antichrist’s dictatorial
control of world commerce. According to Revelation 13:16-18, in the middle of the
Tribulation period, he will require everyone to receive his mark in their right hand or
forehead. Anyone who refuses will not be permitted to buy or sell. Today’s
supercomputers, Internet, satellites, wireless technologies, smart cards, and radiofrequency
identification tags (RFID) make it possible to track every individual, and exert
control over who is permitted to buy and sell. RFIDs may be printed on paper, embedded
in credit cards, or even implanted in people. VeriChip is a RFID capsule that is injected
into humans. Last March the VeriChip company received the prestigious “Well-Tech
Award” for helping medical patients by conveying vital personal information and recent
medical history.
Security compromises
Because of the need for added security in this age of terrorism, people are much more
willing to use these identification devices. They will give up some level of personal
privacy for the additional security and convenience they receive in the process. People
are also more willing to allow laws, like our Patriot Act, that could be used to spy on
them in order to insure that there is greater information about terrorists in our midst.
Continued Expansion of the European Union and its influence
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The European Union continues to be the prime contender for Daniel’s ancient prophecies
about a final world government before the establishment of Messiah’s reign on Earth
(Daniel 2:36-45; 9:24-27).
According to Daniel’s prophecies, The Antichrist will come from a final form of the old
Roman Empire, one that is partly iron, like the old empire, and partly clay. As The
European Union rises to challenge the U.S. for world dominance, it fits this picture
perfectly.
Plagues/Avian Bird Flu
Plagues, mentioned by Jesus as one of the signs of this age, become a major cause of
death during the Tribulation.
When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature
say, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named
Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a
fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the
earth.
- Revelation 6:7-8 (NIV)
Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt said the likelihood of a flu
pandemic in the future is "very high." The Avian Bird Flu, which has killed millions of
birds in Asia, is not yet transmitted from human to human, but there is serious concern
that the virus could mutate and become capable of spreading among humans. The World
Health Organization (WHO) says that if this strain crosses over and becomes transferable
from human to human. It could claim the lives of 2 to 7 million people.
American Apostasy and Revival
This has been a year of attacks by the ACLU against the use of the word “God” in the
Pledge of Allegiance and on our coins. Apostasy, or the “falling away” of the Church (1
Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:1-9) is still a problem, but there are also encouraging signs
for believers.
World missions are growing rapidly, with thousands of people coming to know Christ
every day, especially in emerging countries where Christianity has not been strong in the
past. In addition, there is good reason to believe that there is a kind of revival brewing
here in the United States. The recent success of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the
Wardrobe, with its strong Christian content, is a good sign that there is still plenty of
interest in spiritual things. Toward the end of the year we experienced “Holiday Wars,”
with stores dropping the word “Christmas,” even for their trees. Christians reacted
strongly against this further secularization of Christmas, and most stores changed their
advertising to win back offended customers.
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The confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts and the upcoming confirmation hearings
for Judge Samuel Alito for the other opening on the Supreme Court are encouragements
to Bible-believing Christians who would like to see a stop to so-called “legislation from
the bench,” as in the case of Roe versus Wade, where the courts basically established new
law by their decision instead of interpreting existing law.
Sometimes people ask why God would send revival in the last days. The Bible shows that
He always gave believers a chance to repent, and he often allowed the worst of pagans
that opportunity to repent as well, such as the story of Nineveh in Jonah’s time.
Jesus taught that even during the Tribulation period the Gospel will be given to all
nations before the end comes (Matthew 24:11-14). There will be both extremes at the
end, but as the darkness becomes more intense, the light will seem all the brighter.
CONCLUSION
In all, it was another eventful year, bringing us one step closer to that glorious day when
Jesus Christ will return for His own (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Let us continue to live
holy and godly lives as we look forward to His coming! (1 Peter 3:11-12).

Saturday, January 28, 2006

IRAN'S BATTLE PLAN

Iran's Top Secret 5-Point Battle Plan For War Against The West



MND Columnist and 2002 national Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting on the war on terror "Gunny" Bob Newman Reveals Iran's Top Secret 5-Point Battle Plan For War Against America, Europe and Israel



Last night on the "Gunny Bob Show," MND columnist "Gunny Bob" Newman revealed the terrorist government of Iran's top secret war plan, should push come to shove with the United States, certain European countries and Israel.



The plan, which was drawn up primarily by the Revolutionary Guards and approved by Iran's delusional president, consists of 5 main strategies:



(1) The removal of Iranian funds (already begun) from all foreign banks where those funds could be seized as a result of sanctions and war;



(2) The destruction of oil facilities in Gulf states hosting US forces or otherwise friendly to the US, and the mining of the Persian Gulf, in order to drive oil prices above $100/barrel and adversely effect financial markets;



(3) The weakening of US and European national resolve to win a war against Iran by causing massive US and European casualties requiring deployment of reinforcing forces, attacking into Iraq and the Gulf waters with conventional forces and weapons (such as ballistic missiles), the possible use of chemical and biological weapons on the Iraqi battlefield, and a massive increase in the number and level of terrorist attacks within Iraq (for which Irans Revolutionary Guards have been laying the groundwork since the spring of 2003);



(4) The use of "Fifth Column" forces against US, European and Israeli targets, with the forces consisting of terrorist cells from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, with which Iranian President Ahmadinejad met on 20 January 2006 in Syria, and;



(5) The attacking of Israel with ballistic missiles, possibly with the aid of Syria, with the intent of causing great damage to Tel Aviv, Haifa and other major Israeli cities, and the destruction of Israels nuclear weapons facility at Dimona, which the Iranians hope will spread radiation across a wide area.



The Gunny points out that Irans plan are "clever, very asymmetric and 100% outside of the proverbial box. It is especially interesting to note that it has the approval of President Ahmadinejad, who is believed to be quite delusional and perhaps clinically insane, according to certain psychological profiles I have read. A fanatical lunatic with nuclear arms who truly believes in the apocalypse and the near-term rising of a 10th Century Muslim messiah from the bottom of an Iranian well definitely bodes ill for a great many people."

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

AMERICA-ONE NATION UNDER GOD?

IF NOT AMERICA, THEN WHO?
Understanding who THE PLAYERS ARE is essential if you are to come to any understanding of THE TRUTH OF BIBLE PROPHECY, and why world events are happening as they are. Remember that Jesus warned us that DECEPTION was the KEY TO THE RISE OF ANTICHRIST. That means HE COMES TO POWER IN A PLACE NOT RECOGNIZED, AT A TIME NOT RECOGNIZED, and IN A MANNER NOT RECOGNIZED even by the vast majority of God's people, let alone the world at large. The prophetic world today is in a DEEP DELUSION, and they are looking in the WRONG AREA for the rise of the antichrist forces and LUCIFER.
We begin with an understanding of THE ACTUAL PARAMETERS that God laid down to IDENTIFY THE CHIEF PLAYER OF THE END TIMES - BABYLON THE GREAT, THAT MIGHTY END TIME NATION THAT THINKS ITS LIFE IS ETERNAL, AND WILL NEVER SEE SORROW.
WHAT THE PROPHETS SAID ABOUT BABYLON
1. Babylon would be an END TIME GREAT NATION (Rev 17,18; Isa 13:6).
2. Babylon would have a huge seaport city within its borders (Rev 18:17).
3. The Great City Babylon is the home of a world government attempt (Rev 17:18).
4. The Great City Babylon would be the economic nerve center of the world (Rev 18:3).
5. Babylon would be the center of a one world Luciferian religious movement (Jer 51:44).
6. Babylon would be the center for the move to a global economic order (Rev 13:16).
BABYLON THE NATION
1. Babylon would be the youngest and greatest of the end time nations (Jer 50:12).
2. Babylon would the QUEEN AMONG THE NATIONS (Isa 47:5,7; Rev 18:7).
3. Babylon would be the most powerful nation in the world (Isa 47, Jer 50, 51, Rev 18).
4. Babylon would be the HAMMER OF THE WHOLE EARTH (Jer 50:23; Rev 18:23).
5. Babylon is called a lady, and has the symbol of the Lady (Isa 47:7-9).
6. Babylon would be the praise of the WHOLE EARTH (Jer 51:41).
7. Babylon is center of world trade (Jer 51:44; Rev 17:18; 18:19).
8. Babylon would grow to be the richest nation in the world (Rev 18:3, 7, 19, 23).
9. All nations that traded with Babylon would grow rich (Rev 18:3).
10. The merchants of Babylon were the GREAT MEN OF THE EARTH (Rev 18:23).
11. Babylon is a huge nation, with lands, cities, and great wealth (implied throughout).
12. Babylon is nation "peeled", or timbered, a land of open fields (Isa 18:2).
13. Babylon is land quartered by mighty rivers (Isa 18:2).
14. Babylon is a land that is measured out, and populated throughout (Isa 18:2).
15. Babylon destroys her own land, with pollution and waste (Isa 14:20, 18:2, 7).
16. Babylon is a land rich in mineral wealth (Jer 51:13).
17. Babylon is a the leading agricultural nation of the world (Jer 50, 51; Rev 18).
18. Babylon is the leading exporting nation in the world (Jer 51:13; Rev 18).
19. Babylon is the leading importing nation of the entire world.(Jer 50, 51; Rev 18).
20. Babylon is a nation filled with warehouses and granaries (Jer 50:26).
21. Babylon is the leading INDUSTRIAL NATION OF THE WORLD (Isa 13, 47, Jer 50, 51; Rev 18).
22. Babylon is noted for her horses (Jer 50:37).
23. Babylon is noted for her cattle, sheep and other livestock (Jer 50:26, 27; Rev 18:13).
24. Babylon is noted for her fine flour and mill operations (Rev 18:13).
25. Babylon is a nation of farmers and harvests huge crops (Jer 50:16, 26, 27).
26. Babylon is a huge exporter of MUSIC (Rev 18:22).
27. Babylon's musicians are known around the world (Rev 18:22)
28. Babylon has a huge aviation program (Isa 14:13-14; Jer 51:53; Hab 1:6-10).
29. Babylon's skies are filled with the whisper of aircraft wings (Isa 18:1; Jer 51:53).
30. Babylon has a huge space industry, has "mounted up to the heavens" (Jer 51:53).
31. Babylon fortifies her skies with a huge military aviation program (Jer 51:53).
32. Babylon is portrayed as a leading in high tech weapons and abilities (Jer 51:53; Hab 1:6-10; implied throughout).
33. Babylon is a nation filled with warm water seaports (Rev 18:17-19).
34. Babylon is a coastal nation and sits upon MANY WATERS (Jer 51:13).
35. Babylon trades with all who have ships in the sea year round (Rev 18:17-18).
36. Babylon is nation filled with a "mingled" people (Jer 50:37).
37. Babylon is a SINGULAR NATION founded upon OUT OF MANY, ONE (Isa 13, 47, Jer 50, 51, Hab 1).
38. Babylon is a REPUBLIC or a DEMOCRACY, it is ruled by many counsels (Isa 47:13).
39. Babylon's governmental system breaks down (Isa 47:13).
40. Babylon is bogged down with deliberations and cannot govern properly (Isa 47:13).
41. Babylon's leaders use astrology, seers and mystics for guidance (Isa 47:13; Rev 18:2).
42. Babylon labored in the occult from her very inception (Isa 47:12).
43. Babylon falls to the occult just before her end by nuclear fire (Rev 18:2)
44. Babylon was born as a CHRISTIAN NATION (Jer 50:12).
45. Babylon turns upon its heritage and destroys it all in the end (Jer 50:11).
46. Babylon's Christian leaders lead their flock astray in prophecy and salvation (Jer 50:6; implied Rev 18:2).
47. Babylon's Christian leaders are "strangers" in the Lord Houses of Worship (Jer 51:51).
48. The people of Babylon are deep into astrology and spiritism (Isa 47:12; Rev 18:2).
49. Babylon becomes the home of all antichrist religions in the world (Rev 18:2).
50. Babylon is a nation of religious confusion (Isa 47:12-13).
51. Babylon turns upon its own people and imprisons and slays them by millions (Jer 50:7,33; 51:35; 39; Dan 7:25; Rev 13:7; 17:6; 18:24).
52. Babylon sets up detention centers for Jews and Christians and rounds them up for extermination (Jer 50:7, 33; 51:35, 49; Rev 17:6; 18:24).
53. Babylon has a mother nation that remains in existence from her birth to death (Jer 50: 12).
54. The mother of Babylon has the symbol of the LION (Dan7:4; Eze 38:13; Jer 51:38; Psalms 17:12).
55. The mother of Babylon will rule over her daughter her entire life (Dan 7:4; Jer 50:12).
56. The mother of Babylon will be a state of major decline as the end nears (Jer 50:12).
57. Babylon is considered to be a lion's whelp (Eze 38:13; Jer 51:38).
58. Babylon will have the symbol of the EAGLE and builds her nest in the stars (Dan 7:4 EAGLE WINGS; Isa 14:13-14; Jer 51:53).
59. Babylon turns totally antichrist and is the leading antichrist power at the end (Rev 18:2; Isa 14:4-6).
60. THE KING OF BABYLON is called LUCIFER, the ANTICHRIST (Isa 14:4-6).
61. The King of Babylon will rule from THE GREAT CITY BABYLON (Isa 14:4-6; Rev 17: 18).
62. A world government entity will rise up to rule the world from BABYLON THE CITY (Isa 14; Hab 2, Rev 13, 17, 18).
63. This world entity will be a diverse entity, different than all other ruling bodies of the world (Dan 7:7, 23).
64. This entity will be a TREATY POWER ENTITY (Dan 7:7, 23 DIVERSE).
65. This entity will rise up and use the military power of Babylon the nation to RULE THE WORLD (Isa 14:4-6; Hab 1 & 2, Rev 13, 17).
66. Babylon is a huge producer and exporter of automobiles (Jer 50:37; Rev 18:13).
67. Babylon is a nation of CRAFTSMEN, experts in their trade (Jer 50, 51, Rev 18:22).
68. Babylon is noted for her jewelry of gold and silver (Rev 18:22).
69. Babylon is a huge importer and exporter of spices (Rev 18:13).
70. Babylon is a huge exporter of fine marble products (Rev 18:22).
71. Babylon is noted for her iron and steel production (Rev 18:12).
72. Babylon has huge corporations that have bases around the world (Rev 18:23, implied throughout)
73. Babylon is a nation of higher education and learning (Isa 47:10, implied throughout).
74. Babylon is a nation with a GREAT VOICE in world affairs (Jer 51:55)
75. Babylon is a VIRGIN NATION, untouched by major war (Isa 47:1)./
76. Babylon has a vast military machine (Jer 50:36; 51:30; Hab 1 & 2, Rev 13:4).
77. Babylon will be instrumental in the setting up of Israel in the Middle East, and is the home of God's people (Jer 50:47; 51:45).
78. Babylon will have a major enemy to her north (Jer 50:3, 9, 41). -Russia-
The most accurate map in the world! Most maps distort the sizes greatly (Especially making Europe and the USA look much bigger by comparison). By Buckminster Fuller We are not an East-West world. We are a NORTH-SOUTH ISLAND!!! -Thank you Stephanie Relfe www.relfe.com -
79. Babylon's enemy will lie on the opposite side of the world, over the poles (Isa 13:5)
80. The enemy of Babylon will be a FEDERAL OF NATIONS (Jer 50:9).
81. The enemy of Babylon will be largely Moslem in make-up (Jer 50:17; Rev 17:16; Psalms 83:5-12). -half of Russia’s military is Moslem in belief-
82. The enemy of Babylon will have nuclear missiles capable of reaching Babylon (Jer 50:9, 14,; Rev 18:8, 18). http://www.joelskousen.com/ & http://www.jrnyquist.com/
83. The enemy of Babylon will be noted for her cruelty (Isa 13, 14, Jer 50, 51, Rev 17, 18).
84. The enemy of Babylon will also have a huge aviation military machine (Jer 50:9, 14, Rev 18:8, 18 implied throughout).
85. The enemy of Babylon will come into Babylon unnoticed (Isa 47:11, Jer 50:24; 51:2, 14). - see www.americasoldout.com and www.infolords.com -
86. Babylon will be filled with her enemies brought in under the guise of peace (Dan 11:21). (United Nations Partnership for Peace and Project Harmony Programs, see Alex Jones Police State Videos www.infowars.com )
87. Babylon will have all of her borders cut off, and there will be no way of escape (Jer 50:28; 51:32). -American’s will be restricted from all travel during CODE RED emergency or Martial Law and U.N. Occupation via foreign troops and Presidential Executive Order -
88. Babylon will be destroyed by nuclear fire (Implied throughout)
89. Babylon is land vast land with huge cities, towns and villages throughout (Implied throughout).
90. Babylon will have been a huge missionary nation for Jesus Christ (Jer 50:11; 51:7).
91. Babylon would be a home to multitudes of Jews who leave (Jer 50:4-6, 8; 51:6, 45)
92. The people of Babylon would not know their true identity (Jer 50:6, implied throughout).
93. The people of Babylon would think they are God's elect and eternal (Isa 47:7-8, Rev 18:7).
94. The people of Babylon would enjoy the highest standard of living in the world (Rev 18:7).
95. The people of Babylon would grow mad upon their idols (Jer 50:2, 38; Hab 2:18).
96. The people of Babylon would go into deep sins of all kinds (Rev 18:5).
97. The nation Babylon dwells carelessly before the Lord (Isa 47:8).
98. Babylon becomes proud, haughty, and does not consider her end (Isa 47:7-8).
99. Babylon deals in the occult, in sorceries and drugs (Isa 47:9, 12; Rev 18:23)
These are but a few of the many parameters listed to help us identify this last great nation that the Lord calls BABYLON THE GREAT. America does now, or is in the process of fulfilling each and every one of them. No other nation upon the face of the earth can fulfill these parameters. AMERICA IS BABYLON THE GREAT. There would likewise be a series of SIGNS that would would begin to emerge that would give BIRTH TO, and WATCH THE RISE OF, as well as THE FALL OF AMERICA-BABYLON.

SIGN NUMBER ONE

WORLD WARS WITH RACIAL, RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL POLARIZATION
Jesus predicted through his prophets that there would be world wars, which He called THE BEGINNING OF SORROWS, for they would lead to the establishment of the State of Israel in the Middle East. The BIRTH OF POLITICAL ZIONIST ISRAEL WAS THE SIGN OF THE BEGINNING OF THE END (THE FIG TREE PARABLE).
WORLD WAR 1
• Installation of an Illuminati Government in Russia - Communism begins
• The International Banker's Federal Reserve System is installed in America
• General Allenby takes Jerusalem of the 24th of Chislev, 1917 (Haggai 2:18), and God's Clock begins a countdown of 80 YEARS, PLUS AN UNKNOWN PERIOD OF TIME CALLED "SOON".(Psalms 90:10).
• The Balfour Declaration is issued - Jewish in gathering to Palestine begins
• The age of aviation begins in earnest
• The RICH MEN begin their calls for a One World Government with the LEAGUE OF NATIONS.
• World War One was indeed the Beginning of Sorrows, for every major system that leads to the antichrist is founded during this period of time.

WORLD WAR II AND BEYOND
• Russia's Stalin given half the world at Yalta/WASAW PACT vs. NATO
• Russia to be brought up to full parity with the West
• Stockpiles of Military Supplies sent to both Korea and Viet Nam for future wars by hidden rulers.
• Mandate for the Division of Palestine - 1947
• Israel reborn and becomes a Nation on May 14, 1948.
• International Bankers gain a stranglehold on U.S. economy
• Council on Foreign Relations forms the United Nations
• Korean War - First major U.N. Police Action - U.S. Military serves under Communist rulers for first time
• America becomes chief mover in supporting U.N. WORLD GOVERNMENT.
• State Department issues "Freedom from War" & "Blueprint for the Peace Race", the plan to scrap the U.S. Constitution & place America under United Nations control, via gradual disarmament and the rise of a UN POLICE FORCE.
• Public Law 87-297 is passed, United States to go under the United Nations by act of law
• Global Police Map issued showing alien troops policing all Americans
• Report From Iron Mountain issued - the HOAX Report with the agenda for antichrist forces to divert the attention of the American people with FAKE ALTERNATIVES TO WAR for SOCIAL CONTROL.
• Local, City, State police forces begin to merge under the recomendation of the LEAA, FORERUNNER OF FULL FEDERALIZATION in preparation for the coming POLICE STATE.
• LEAA calls for complete disarming of ALL AMERICANS. NO GUNS WHATEVER IN THE HANDS OF AMERICAN CITIZENS.
• FEMA IS FORMED, EXECUTIVE ORDERS FOR COMPLETE MARTIAL LAW TAKE-OVER OF THE UNITED STATES ISSUED BY PRESIDENT NIXON, under the guize of "EMERGENCIES". The word "emergency" is not in the Constitution, but is in all COMMUNIST/SOCIALIST and ILLUMINIST CHARTERS/CONSTITUTIONS so they can suspend all RIGHTS which are merely "previliges" granted by the GOVERNMENT.
• LEAA becomes FEMA and the United States is divided up into TEN FEDERAL REGIONS, per U.N. Directives under Article 52 & 55 in preparation for U.N. Take-over of America UNDER A VERY SLOW GRADUAL PROCESS.
• FEMA works on major Martial law "practice operations for martial law takeover"
• REX-84 calls for the construction of Detention Centers and Concentration Camps all across America
• National Guard Units travel to California to practice Civilian Arrest, Transport and Detention concepts in preparation for U.N. take-over, under Operation Garden Plot and Cable Splicer
• Desert Storm - President George Bush calls for a NEW WORLD ORDER, issues EXECUTIVE ORDERS FOR UN TROOPS TO TRAIN UPON U.S. SOIL.
• United Nations Secretary General calls for U.N. STANDING ARMY
• Phase One of transfer to United Nations completed, and United States begins PHASE DOWN OF MILITARY, TRANSFERS SOME BASES TO UNITED NATIONS and GERMANY, per FREEDOM FROM WAR REQUIREMENTS.
• President George Bush signs Executive Order allowing U.N. Forces to train within America for the purpose of PEACE KEEPING, one of the major items in the AGENDA FROM IRON MOUNTAIN.
• Federalization of Police Forces begin - to be called the MJTF POLICE, with calls to MERGE POLICE DPEARTMENTS and SHERIFF DEPARTMENTS.
• United Nations takes over a number of U.S. PARKS as U.N. PRESERVES, as part of global land grab under ECO-SCAM, THE RIO AGENDA 21 PROGRAM.
• Calls for U.N. TO COME TO FULL POWER MADE BY POLITICAL, BUSINESS AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS ALL OVER THE WORLD, AS PER PSALM 2 AND REVELATION 17 & 18.
• Crisis Management/Gradualism refined in Ecological RIO SUMMIT & TREATIES, GUN CONTROL AND CRIME CONTROL ACTS, and the advancement of TERRORIST LAWS, with the definition of "criminal activity" broadened to allow future arrest for politcally "incorrect" thought and speech.
• Bilderberger meeting in Europe - Elite issue command to GET ALL THE GUNS FROM AMERICANS, FULLY DISARM THEM UNDER ANY PRETENSE WHATSOEVER
• RANDY WEAVER INCIDENT IN IDAHO, TO TEST AMERICAN RESOLVE, and to begin the pocess of "conditioning" the American people that fundalmentalist Christians are DANGEROUS, and to begin the process of DEMONIZATION OF ALL CHRISTIANS, CONSTITUTIONALISTS, AND THE RIGHT WING.
• BRANCH DAVIDIAN MASSACRE IN WACO, TEXAS, AGAIN TO TEST RESOLVE, and to "pay back" David Koresh for taking the name "Koresh" and for computer hacking into the plans of the elite.
• THE ASSAULT UPON THE CONSTITUTION BEGINS IN EARNEST WITH BRADY BILL, AND ALL TYPES OF "GUN CONTROL" and CRIME CONTROL and TERRORIST MEASURES
• TROOPS SEEN ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES IN MANEUVERS OF IN TRAVELING, WEARING BLACK UNIFORMS WITH NO MARKINGS
• BLACK HELICOPTERS WITH NO MARKINGS APPEAR ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES, TO INSTILL FEAR AND CONFUSION IN POPULATION FLY AT ILLEGAL LEVELS, SOME MAKING MENACING MANEUVERS TOWARDS CIVILIANS AND HOMES. The process will continue until all black budget operations and weapons are complete and ready, at which time a TRIGGER EVENT, a HIGH PROFILE "TERRORIST ATTACK" will be launched to bring America under A MARTIAL LAW SYSTEM, so that the LONG AWAITED "KILLING OF THE CHRISTIANS" can begin.

WORLD WAR THREE
• Will involve Syria and Israel, and will spread rapidly to world
• Will be nuclear and very short
• World at large will think it is Armageddon
• False Messiah will arrive with all lying signs and wonders and bring War to close, will enforce PLO/Israeli agreement and Jerusalem Covenant
• World will enter into the SEVEN YEAR Tribulation Period
• Zionist Israel will win this war, but be badly hurt
• America will take some nuclear hits, be badly hurt
• America will undergo transformation into Fascist Police State
• America will go under the United Nations occult forces
• American citizens who were targeted for extermination will be rounded up
• American citizens will embrace the lie of Lucifer and embrace a strong delusion
• America will begin rapid decline as she is raped and pillaged by U.N. Forces
• Occult U.N. will move to Jerusalem just before the middle of the Tribulation.
ISRAEL - RADIAL AXIS OF ALL HISTORY
According to Jesus Christ, the rebirth of apostate, political Zionist Israel in the Middle East was the KEY SIGN THAT THE RETURN WAS NEAR. God will use Israel to DESTROY ALL GENTILE POWERS OF THE WORLD, INCLUDING BABYLON AMERICA. ISRAEL IS THE ONE SIGN that all previous generations did not have that is necessary for the TRUE COUNTDOWN OF THE CLOCK.
• Israel's foundation would be laid on the 24th Day of Chislev - it was December 9, 1917
• Israel would begin a SLOW IN GATHERING AND BUY THE LAND FROM THE ARABS - They did.
• Israel would be reborn in apostasy, in unbelief, a political work - She was
• Israel would be reborn in 1948 (The Kabbala) - She was
• Israel would retake Jerusalem in 1967 (The Kabbala) She did
• Israel would have the National Symbol of the FIG TREE - she does
• Israel would return to her ancient language, Hebrew - she has
• Israel would return to her ancient money, the Shekel - she has
• Israel would become a world leader in fruit production - she has
• Israel's deserts would bloom as the rose - they have
• The rainfall would stop at Israel's borders - they have
• Israel would enlarge her boarders with every war - she has
• One Israeli solder would put a 100 Arabs to flight - they have
• Jerusalem will be defended by aircraft - she has been
• High speed automobiles would crowd the streets of Jerusalem - they do
• Israel would have one of the finest fighting forces in the world - they do
• Israel would be the world's center of trouble - she is.
• Jerusalem would be the chief area of controversy in the world of nations - it is
• Any nation that attacked Israel would lose - they have
• The hand of God is over Israel to protect her until the end - it has been
• Arab nations around her would declare a HOLY WAR - they have
• Israel would enter into a "covenant" with a terrorist - she did
• Israel will have a major enemy that lies to her NORTH - Syria and Russia
• Russia and her Federation will prepare to make war while they speak peace - they are
• The Arab nations around Israel would align themselves with Russia - they have
• The Levitcial Priesthood of Israel would be revived - it has been
• The Ashes of the Red Heifer would be found - The claim is they have been
• The Tabernacle of David will be found - Experts are close to it
• The Ark of the Covenant will be found - Experts claim Israel knows where it is
• The "purple dye" for Priestly robes that is made from a special snail is being made once again. The snails, gone for centuries, has now returned
• Israel will fight FIVE MAJOR WARS ON HER LAND - ONE TO GO
• Israel will go up to the Temple Mount for Worship - It is part of the covenant being worked out right now, with the Vatican deeply involved
• Israel's next major war will be with Syria or a Syrian/Russian/Moslem coalition. She will emerge victorious, and establish full temple worship with sacrificial worship
• Israel will have an 80+ year life span - at which time she shall be terminated
Every prophetic utterance concerning Israel by the Old and New testament prophets has been fulfilled with 100% accuracy, at the EXACT TIME REQUIRED. What are the odds of that? The odds are TRILLIONS UPON TRILLIONS TO ONE. GOD KNOWS THE FUTURE AS WE KNOW THE PAST. Yet millions of Americans discount the Scriptures and run after FALSE PROPHETS, such as Nostradamous, Edgar Cayce and a host of others. BEWARE, THE RETURN IS NEAR, EVEN AT THE DOOR. * End of Stewart C. Best’s researched and outlined 99 Parameter’s of WHO the prophet’s and God’s Word say Mystery Babylon is. http://www.sherryshriner.com/sherry/america-babylon.htm

www.truinsight.com

http://americathebabylon.com/

http://www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/hardtruth/america_babylon.htm

http://www.prisonplanet.com/020904presidentquizzed.html

http://www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/chapter3/index.htm

http://archives.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/08/01/bush.7_31.a.tm/

--
Posted by Spiritualwarrior to ARE WE LIVING IN THE END TIMES at 1/25/2006 07:33:50 AM

Monday, January 23, 2006

PROPHECY UPDATE-JAN 2006

ISRAEL UPDATE JANUARY NEWS REVIEW – David Dolan



Greetings from Jerusalem,



Below is my news review and analysis report covering the dramatic events that have shook Israel so far in January. Due to the sudden ascension of former Jerusalem mayor Ehud Olmert to the prime minister’s chair earlier this month, I detail his background as well as look at how he is projected to fare in Israel’s March 28th national elections, and also what he might do while in power. I examine how this week’s Palestinian legislative elections and spiraling tensions with Iran might affect the Israeli elections as! well.



On another related topic, many of you like me have apparently received a plethora of reports in recent weeks of a pending massive terror attack in America. Some specify today as the target date, while all ask for prayer about this disturbing matter. Some of the reports are based on actual security information, and others are “words of knowledge” or “prophecies” attributed to various Christian leaders. The most interesting to me was a report of a dream early this month, attributed to author and former White House official Charles Colson—which included major terror attacks upon America and Israel, and the overthrow of various regional Arab governments by Muslim fundamentalists. Disturbing indeed!



Since I have been asked by quite a few Israel Update subscribers in recent weeks what I think of these reports, I want to address them briefly here. Like many others, I have been warning that additional Al Qaida terror attacks all almost inevitable at some point. The real questions are where, when, and how big and “successful” the assaults might be. World Net Daily and other web sites have carried background reports on this matter for some months, some quoting well-placed sources as warning that Muslim terrorists have succeeded in smuggling some nuclear materials into the United States via Mexico.



While definitely expecting more attacks at some point, and probably severe enough ones that they alter the course of history and usher in the biblically prophesied End of Days, I am extremely wary of published reports that include precise projected dates disclosed through private revelations. As Jerusalem author and Bible scholar Lance Lambert pointed out at a conference I attended here in Jerusalem last evening, such date-setting regarding various topics in the past has usually proved incorrect, and is probably a demonic tool apparently designed to discredit the name of Christians and Christianity, especially with young people seeking spiritual truth.



So while we should all pray about the ominous threats around us—which are obvious enough even without such “words,” especially in light of Osama Bin Laden’s latest tape vowing to launch more destructive attacks upon America—we must be very careful in my estimation to stay within biblical boundaries and not publish dates or supposedly “exact” details in advance. Human emotions, wishes and private interpretations can so easily get in the way. I hope this helps answer some of the queries I’ve gotten. I do agree that 2006 is likely to be a dramatic year, but that is also not difficult to project given all the upheaval of last year, which began with the aftershocks of the massive Asian tsunami and included the Gaza withdrawal and Katrina disaster. That this year began with Ariel Sharon’s severe stroke is probably not a sign of calm seas ahead!



HISTORICAL HOURS - By David Dolan



The Israeli political world was turned upside down in a matter of seconds in early January when Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a massive stroke while being rushed by ambulance to Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital. His immediate complete incapacitation freshened painful Israeli memories of the similarly sudden exit ten years before of another popular, controversial premier, Yitzhak Rabin—felled by an assassin’s bullet in Tel Aviv.

The historic parallels do not end there. As was precisely the case with Rabin one decade ago, Sharon’s debilitating stroke came after a major Israeli withdrawal, from the Gaza Strip. In both instances, this was being followed up by controversial government plans to implement further land handovers to the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria.



In late 1995, the planned Israeli pullouts were centered on six Arab towns located there, including from a portion of Judaism’s second holiest site, Hebron. While negotiations stalled over the town where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were buried, the other withdrawals were subsequently implemented by Rabin’s successor, Shimon Peres. In late 2005, Sharon was planning to evacuate another small portion of Israeli-held Hebron, along with unspecified Jewish settlements in outlying parts of Israel’s biblical heartland. Now, it seems those highly cont! ested evictions will be carried out by Sharon’s formal successor, Ehud Olmert, with strong support from his apparent new deputy, Shimon Peres.



Yet another strange similarity was the fact that the Palestinians were scheduled to hold their first ever national elections when PM Rabin was shot dead. They were in the final stages of planning their long overdue second parliamentary election when PM Sharon was struck down with a severe hemorrhagic stroke. One glaring difference this time is evident: While the first election brought the expected stamp of voter approval for PLO chairman Yasser Arafat and his Fatah political movement, the second ballot could bring the fundamentalist Hamas Islamic movement to power. If Hamas actually triumphs, or even makes an expected strong showing, the political earthquake that shook the region with Sharon’s sudden downfall may be relatively mild compared to the major aftershocks that would undoubtedly follow such an outcome. At the very least, a substantial Hamas showing would signal another major step forward for the Islamic fundamentalist upsurge that began with the 1979 Iranian revolution.



EHUD OLMERT ON TOP



Born just weeks after American atom bombs ended World War II in mid-1945, sixty year old Ehud Olmert’s overnight elevation to the pinnacle of Israeli power was preceded by many years of careful political calculation. Widely regarded as a shrewd, if not always totally above board, attorney and politician, Olmert began his long climb to the Prime Minister’s chair in 1973 when he became the youngest person ever elected to the Knesset at just 27 years of age. One of several ‘Likud party princes’ whose fathers had played significant right-wing roles during Israel’s initial decades, his fortunes rose further when Menachem Begin became the country’s first Likud premier four years later. Even then, Olmert only weakly disguised his ultimate ambitio! n to rule the country himself one day.



The Hebrew University graduate sat on various Knesset committees and held several cabinet positions in the 1980s and early 90s. Although he had served as an officer in an elite Golani brigade, Olmert’s actual military experience was quite limited, given that he mainly acted as a reporter for the army’s Bamahaneh (‘In the Camp’) magazine. Still, with Begin’s influential backing, Olmert managed to secure a seat on the Knesset’s prestigious Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee. He was helped in this venture by his academic brother, Yossi, a well-known Israeli expert on Lebanon.



The rising Likud star was appointed by Begin’s successor, Yitzhak Shamir, as a minister without portfolio responsible for minority affairs in 1988. This came in the wake of the election that year which brought his main Likud ‘young guard’ rival, Binyamin Netanyahu, into the Knesset for the first time following a successful stint as Israel’s UN ambassador in New York. In 1990 Olmert was handed a higher cabinet assignment when Shamir appointed him Health Minister—which many saw as ironic given his well publicised propensity to smoke fat cigars whenever possible (but at least he is also known as an exercise enthusiast, unlike his portly predecessor).



When Yitzhak Rabin ousted Shamir in the 1992 elections, Olmert wisely decided it was time to temporarily exit the national political stage. He realized the decade’s headlines were destined to be dominated by the Labour party’s warm embrace of the American-sponsored ‘land for peace’ process, launched by George Bush Senior at an international Mideast conference in late 1991. Instead of fighting that process with Likud cohorts from the Knesset’s back benches, he would attempt to gain an influential national, and even international, voice as mayor of the Jewish people’s holiest city on earth, Jerusalem. He defeated aging mayor Teddy Kolleck in the ! 1993 municipal election, spending the rest of the decade championing the continued unification of Jerusalem under Israel’s rock solid rule.



COMFORT IN ZION



Hoping to reenter the Knesset and assume a leading national government role, Olmert managed to soften his hard-line political image soon after the new millennium got underway. He suddenly found himself rushing to the sites of a series of heinous Palestinian terror attacks in many parts of the capital city. Unless he was away on one of his frequent foreign speaking tours—which were heavily castigated by his local opponents—Mayor Olmert faithfully arrived at the ugly scene on every sad occasion, night or day. He would later visit wounded victims in hospital, and attend the funerals of those who did not survive the atrocities—offering televised comfort to the multiplying mourners in Zion.



Ehud Olmert had actually attempted to re-ascend the national political stage soon after Netanyahu lost the 1999 national election to Labour’s Ehud Barak. But he lost the internal party leadership battle to Likud founder and veteran warhorse, Ariel Sharon. This was partially due to spreading Likud suspicions that Olmert had adopted at least some of the left-wing political views known to be held by his wife, along with some of their four offspring. The mayor would bide his time, sitting comfortably in his new Jerusalem municipality building’s stupendous office with its magnificent view of the nearby walled Old City, waiting to see if the much maligned former general would succeed in returning the Likud to power. If he failed to do so, as most pundit! s expected in pre-Al Aksa uprising days, Olmert would get another opportunity to possibly rule the Likud roost.



When Ariel Sharon was swept into power amid widespread Palestinian rioting in early 2001, Olmert realized that a new Likud era was beginning. If he wanted to eventually have a realistic shot at the Prime Minister’s chair, he would have to swallow hard and ally himself with the perceived ‘ultra-right-wing’ Sharon.



In 2002 Olmert announced that he would not seek reelection for mayor in a municipal ballot scheduled for 2003, but would instead seek a place on the Likud’s Knesset list. Facing constant rumblings from former PM Netanyahu and his allies, Sharon realized he needed a faithful Likud subordinate in his cabinet. So he proffered a strong endorsement of Olmert, despite the fact that they had suffered strained relations in the past. Even with such powerful backing, Olmert barely made it onto the list, being extremely disliked by many party kingmakers. Still, he is now well positioned to win the ultimate prize—becoming Israel’s next elected Prime Minister—even if to finally achieve this lo! ngtime goal he had to abandon the very Likud party that had nurtured his rise to power.



All now know that Ariel Sharon turned out not to be the extreme ultra-nationalistic leader that Israeli and international pundits had generally anticipated. Instead, he surprised nearly everyone by becoming a centrist successor to Rabin, Peres and Barak; handing over more disputed territory to the Palestinians while removing some Jewish settlers from their cherished homes. Many analysts point to substantial evidence that it was largely Ehud Olmert, the first Likud politician to publicly call for a unilateral Gaza withdrawal, who played the pivotal role in Sharon’s unexpected political transformation.



HOW LONG WILL OLMERT GOVERN?



In the stricken premier’s significant wake, two major questions now dominate the spinning Israeli political scene: How long will Ehud Olmert serve as Israel’s Premier, and what will he do while in power?



All opinion polls taken in the hours and days after Sharon suffered his massive stroke forecast that his new Kadima party would crush its Likud and Labour rivals even without the comatose PM at the helm. But Labour and Likud analysts think that much of this projected support was a mere sympathy reaction to Sharon’s dire condition, and therefore not a true reflection of how people will actually vote on March 28th. Evidence that this might indeed be the case mounted as the month wore on, with later surveys showing a small but steady erosion in Kadima’s support amid a significant rise in Labour’s projected fortunes, along with a less substantial upturn for the Likud party.



Possibly indicating a further deterioration in Kadima’s currently anticipated landslide victory, various polls all found that at least six out of every ten Israeli voters chose someone other than new Kadima leader Ehud Olmert as their first choice for premier. Over 20% picked Netanyahu, mostly citing his substantial governmental and military experience. A paltry 10% to 12% named new Labour party leader Yitzhak Peretz as their first choice for premier. This is not surprising given that the fiery socialist has absolutely no national governing experience (as was also the case with Labour’s trounced 2003 candidate, Amran Mitzna), and seems to have little clue what he might do to revive the shattered O! slo peace process. To the further chagrin of many party members, the same polls show that Shimon Peres would have secured around 10 additional Knesset seats for Labour, mostly at Kadima’s expense, if he had not been ousted as party leader last November.



Despite his relative personal unpopularity, most political pundits believe that Ehud Olmert will easily emerge as Israel’ next elected Prime Minister. This is because a substantial number of Israeli voters indicate they see no other viable way forward but the ‘middle ground’ that Kadima has staked for itself, including grudging support for a Palestinian state while maintaining Israeli security supremacy and vigilance, bolstered by physical separation from the Palestinians wherever possible.



WHAT WILL OLMERT DO?



The second question preoccupying the political establishment in the wake of Ariel Sharon’s severe stroke is seemingly much easier to answer: Ehud Olmert plans to implement Sharon’s political programme as much as possible. This was made clear in the first cabinet meeting the Acting Premier chaired just four days after the veteran PM was incapacitated. Olmert bluntly told his somber cabinet colleagues that he would “carry out the wishes of Ariel Sharon.”



So the more pertinent question is this: What were Sharon’s wishes and goals, and can they actually be implemented by anyone other than the ‘bulldozer’ himself?



Although it is probable that he held some in-depth discussions with his chief cabinet deputy, the truth is that the stricken premier kept his cards close to his extensive chest. While promising to virtually fulfill a messianic role by ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and drawing permanent borders for his small country, Sharon revealed little if any details to the public as to how these lofty goals might be achieved. It was apparent that such a process involved additional Israeli military and civilian withdrawals from Judea and Samaria, but exactly from where and when was anybody’s guess. Sharon’s endorsement of the American-initiated Road Map peace plan has already been echoed by Olmert, who has also repeated Sharon’s insistence that Palestinian leaders must keep their side of the bargain by disarming and dismantling terror groups before formal peace negotiations can be resumed.



Most pundits assume that while Sharon shared at least some of whatever actual plans he had with Olmert, he probably spoke far more freely with his longtime friend and former political nemesis, Shimon Peres. So the new Kadima leader may actually need to rely upon his new Number Two—and trust that Peres is not putting words in Sharon’s stilled mouth—if he wants to faithfully implement the unconscious Prime Minister’s wishes.



This apparent reality has left many Likud strategists hoping that, given previously proven widespread public distrust for Peres, many projected Kadima voters will return to their usual Likud home on election day. Still, they realize that many others will stay put in the new centrist party, partly because they anticipate that Netanyahu will not be able to govern without the support of several small right-wing and religious parties. Such a Likud-led coalition mix has often been tried before, and usually falls apart rather quickly due to exorbitant financial demands from the Orthodox parties, and/or because of the maximalist political positions maintained by far-right parties. Both basically seem to be looking for Messiah’s perfect rule—a role that n! o Likud leader can fulfill.



THE PALESTINIAN EFFECT



One other significant question remains unanswered as Israel prepares to choose a new leader: What effect might the Palestinian elections, and subsequent Palestinian actions, have on the March 28th Israeli ballot? Most analysts agree that the expected strong Hamas showing will bolster the voting public’s growing sense that no final peace accord is ever achievable with their recalcitrant Palestinian adversaries. But whether a majority will then buy Kadima’s main argument—that further unilateral action is necessary to cut off whatever territory cannot be easily maintained, while hanging tough on Israel’s overall defence needs—or whether they will accept Netanyahu’s contention that one-sided land pullouts! are too risky to take, especially around Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, is not clear.



Analysts say the answer may lie in what actually takes place on the ground between now and March 28th. If more Palestinian rockets are launched at Israeli targets from Samaria (as has now been confirmed to have occurred at least once in December, and maybe up to six times), this may well strengthen the Likud’s hand. They add that a plethora of Palestinian terror attacks like the one that left over 20 Israeli civilians wounded in Tel Aviv on January 19th may do the same. A large-scale Hizbullah attack in the north, probably ordered by Iran and Syria (whose despotic Presidents met together in Damascus the same day as the Tel Aviv attack), could similarly spark a voter shift to Netan! yahu’s column. Indeed, this is exactly what took place in 1996, when initial opinion polls projecting an easy Peres win over Netanyahu were eclipsed by a spate of Hamas bus bombings and Hizbullah rocket assaults during the campaign.



Another increasingly important election issue is the question of who can most effectively deal with the growing threat from Iran. Both Acting PM Olmert and Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz strongly denounced Tehran’s early January decision to defy international opinion and resume Iran’s nuclear enrichment programme, which experts say could lead to the creation of nuclear weapons. During a January 16th news conference, Olmert alluded to possible Israeli military action to halt the programme: "Under no circumstances, and at no point, can Israel allow anyone with these kinds of malicious designs against us, to control weapons of mass! destruction that can threaten our existence." Iranian officials hit back hard one week later, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi warning “Israel knows quite well that any military action will produce severe consequences” for the small Jewish State.



With most Israeli security experts and politicians saying that both the grave Iranian and Hizbullah threats must be dealt with rather sooner than later, it seems realistic to forecast that Israel’s next premier will need extra divine wisdom and insight to adequately deal with his heavy responsibilities. May all who stand with Zion in these difficult days intercede like never before for such gifts to be granted from the Heavenly Throne! “‘For I will restore you to health, and I will heal you of your wounds,’ declares the Lord. ‘Because they have called you an outcast, saying: “It is Zion; no one cares for her.”â€! ™â€ (Jeremiah 30:17).

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Where prophecy and policy converge - By Paul Boyer - Star-Telegram



There he goes again! No sooner did Pat Robertson apologize for advocating the assassination of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez than he stirred fresh controversy by suggesting on his popular show The 700 Club show that Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine punishment for "dividing God's land" by withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and hinting at a partial pullback from the West Bank.



Despite the outpouring of condemnation, Robertson was simply expressing in a particularly bald form a viewpoint shared by many Americans. On the basis of their understanding of Bible prophecy, many agree that God established Israel's future boundaries millennia ago and that anyone who meddles with these boundaries risks the wrath of the Almighty.



Many also are convinced that the Bible foretells regime change in Iraq; that the United Nations is a forerunner of a satanic world order; and, indeed, that key themes in the Bush administration's foreign policy are not simply actions in the national interest but are directly linked to an unfolding sequence of end-time events.



Millions of Americans -- upward of 40 percent, according to some polls -- believe that the Bible outlines a specific sequence of end-time events. According to the most popular prophetic system -- premillennial dispensationalism, formulated by the 19th-century British churchman John Darby -- a series of last-day signs will signal the approaching end. These include wars, natural disasters, rampant wickedness, the rise of a world political and economic order, and the return of the Jews to the land promised by God to Abraham.



In Darby's system, the present "dispensation" will end with the Rapture, when true believers will join Christ in the air. Next comes the Tribulation, when a satanic figure, the Antichrist, will arise in Europe and impose a global tyranny under the dread sign "666," mentioned in Revelation.



After seven years, Christ and the saints will return to vanquish the Antichrist and his armies at Har-Megiddo (the biblical "Armageddon"), an ancient battle site near Haifa. From a restored temple in Jerusalem, Christ then will inaugurate a thousand-year reign of peace and justice -- the Millennium.



Darby's scenario, cobbled together from various freely interpreted biblical passages, was popularized in America by Cyrus Scofield, whose 1909 reference Bible became a bestseller.



Spreading the premillennial word



In our day, dispensationalism has been promulgated by radio evangelists; fundamentalist and Pentecostal pastors and megachurch ministers; televangelists such as Jerry Falwell, Jack Van Impe, and John Hagee of San Antonio's Cornerstone Church; and paperback popularizers such as Hal Lindsey and the dynamic duo of the Left Behind books, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.



Lindsey's The Late Great Planet Earth (1970), a slangy update of Darby's teachings, became the nonfiction bestseller of the 1970s. The 14-novel Left Behind series, a fictional treatment of dispensationalism, have sold more than 60 million copies.



During the Cold War, Lindsey and other prophecy gurus focused on the Soviet Union, citing a passage in Ezekiel which they interpreted as foretelling the destruction of Russia. Today's popularizers, while keeping an eye on Russia, spotlight the Middle East and the rise of a New World Order led by the United Nations and other international bodies; global media conglomerates; and multinational corporations, trading alliances, and financial institutions. This interlocking system, they preach, is laying the groundwork for the Antichrist's dictatorship.



Pat Robertson's New World Order (1992) sees history as a great conspiracy, from the Illuminati and the Masons to the United Nations and the Trilateral Commission. In both the Left Behind series and Lindsey's 1996 prophecy novel Blood Moon, the U.N. secretary-general emerges as the Antichrist. ("I've opposed the United Nations for fifty years," boasts LaHaye, a veteran activist on the religious right.)



The popularizers view Israel's founding in 1948 and its recapture of Jerusalem's Old City in 1967 as key end-times signs. They also see the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, and a future rebuilding of the Jerusalem temple on a site sacred to Muslims, as steps in God's unfolding plan.



Hard-line expansionists in Israel welcome this support. When Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu visited the United States in 1998, he called first on Falwell and only then met with President Clinton. (Dispensationalist dogma also foretells the mass slaughter of Jews by the Antichrist and the conversion of the surviving remnant to Christianity, but today's popularizers downplay these themes.)



On the basis of these beliefs, dispensationalists denounce any proposals for shared governance of Jerusalem.



As Hagee writes in Final Dawn Over Jerusalem (1998): "Christians and Jews, let us stand united and indivisible on this issue: There can be no compromise regarding the city of Jerusalem. ... We are racing toward the end of time, and Israel lies in the eye of the storm. ... Israel is the only nation created by a sovereign act of God, and He has sworn by His holiness to defend Jerusalem, His Holy City."



They also oppose any Jewish withdrawal from the West Bank or Gaza because these areas lie well within God's grant to Abraham, recorded in Genesis, of all the land from "the river of Egypt" to the Euphrates.



The Bush administration's so-called road map for peace of 2003, involving a partial Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories, dismayed prophecy believers.



Michael Evans, author of the bestselling Beyond Iraq (2003), declared: "The only road map for peace is the Bible. ... God gave [the Jews] that land and forbade them to sell it." Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a prophecy believer then at the peak of his power, flew to Israel to denounce the road map.



Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's 2005 withdrawal from Gaza further rattled the prophecy writers. Evans declared himself "appalled" both by Sharon's action and by the Israeli leader's failure to cultivate Christian prophecy believers: "Taking this group for granted is a huge mistake," he warned.



The Islamic factor



In the dispensationalist scenario, the Islamic world is allied against God and faces annihilation in the last days.



This is actually an ancient theme in Christian thought. Medieval prophecy expounders saw Islam as a demonic force whose doom is foretold in scripture. As Richard the Lionhearted prepared for the Third Crusade in 1190, the famed Cistercian monk and prophecy interpreter Joachim of Fiore assured him that his cause was just because the Muslim ruler Saladin, who held Jerusalem, was the Antichrist. Later interpreters cast the Ottoman Empire in the Antichrist role.



This theme faded after 1920 in the wake of the Ottoman collapse and the rise of the Soviet Union, but it surged back in the later 20th century, as prophecy popularizers demonized Islam as irredeemably evil and destined for destruction.



"When all the Jews return ... in ... fulfillment of the prophecies ..., Arab power will be destroyed," wrote Arthur Bloomfield in Before the Last Battle (1971). "God says he will lay the land of the Arabs waste and it will be desolate."



In Lindsey's novel Blood Moon, Israel, in retaliation for a thwarted nuclear attack by an Arab extremist, launches a massive thermonuclear assault on the entire Arab world. Genocide, in short, becomes the ultimate means of prophetic fulfillment.



Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait led to much speculation about Saddam Hussein's prophetic significance. In full-page newspaper ads, the organization Jews for Jesus declared that Saddam "represent[s] the spirit of Antichrist about which the Bible warns us."



Attention focused especially on Saddam's grandiose plan to rebuild Babylon, the fabled city on the Euphrates. Babylon owed its splendor to King Nebuchadnezzar, the same ruler who destroyed Jerusalem in 586 B.C. and, according to the Book of Daniel, suffered God's punishment for his arrogance. Revelation 17 portrays Babylon as the embodiment of evil, "a great whore ... with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication," and foretells its fiery annihilation.



Since Babylon can hardly be destroyed unless it exists, Saddam's rebuilding project fell into place as an essential step toward this prophetic fulfillment.



In The Rise of Babylon: Sign of the End Times (1991), Charles Dyer of Dallas Theological Seminary saw Saddam's restoration of Babylon as "thrilling proof that the Bible prophecies are infallible."



"When Babylon is ultimately destroyed," Dyer declared, "Israel will finally be at peace and dwell in safety." This theme flowed naturally into generalized musings about Saddam's overthrow. The cover illustration of Dyer's book juxtaposes Saddam and Nebuchadnezzar.



In the Left Behind series, the Antichrist, Nicolae Carpathia, moves the United Nations to a rebuilt Babylon, laying the groundwork for the simultaneous destruction of both the sinister organization that is softening us up for the Antichrist and the city that for dispensationalists represents absolute evil and defiance of God.



The anti-Islamic rhetoric exploded after 9-11. Franklin Graham, Billy Graham's son, denounced Islam as "a very evil and very wicked religion." Evans, in Beyond Iraq, called it "a religion conceived in the pit of hell."



Lt. Gen. William Boykin, a top Pentagon official, delivered sermons in fundamentalist churches portraying Washington's post 9-11 military actions as a religious war. For Boykin, America is battling "a spiritual enemy ... called Satan" whose forces will be defeated only "if we come against them in the name of Jesus."



The U.S. invasion of Iraq, projected in 2002 and launched early in 2003, made perfect sense in terms of prophecy believers' reading of Scripture. Lindsey's Web site featured a cartoon of a military aircraft emblazoned with a U.S. flag and a Star of David and carrying a missile targeting "Saddam." The caption quoted the Hebrew prophet Zechariah: "In that day I will seek to destroy all nations that come against Israel."



In a November 2002 sermon simulcast to 127 TV stations and 82 radio stations via the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Hagee called the coming Iraq war "the gateway to the Apocalypse" and a sure sign of the Second Coming. The "birth pains of sorrow" were beginning, he said, but after this period of tribulation would come "a thousand years of peace in the millennial reign." As the service ended, DeLay declared: "Ladies and gentlemen, what has been spoken here tonight is the truth from God."



Although Saddam's capture undermined his Antichrist credentials, interest in Iraq's apocalyptic significance remains intense in prophecy circles.



God and government



To be sure, some administration policies trouble prophecy believers. The expansion of Washington's surveillance powers after 9-11 struck some as another step toward the Antichrist's global dictatorship. On balance, however, prophecy believers generally see the administration's policies, from its scorn for the United Nations to the overthrow of Saddam, as placing America on God's side in the end-time apocalyptic faceoff.



President Bush views his career as divinely ordained. As he told the Southern Baptist leader Richard Land as early as 1995: "I believe that God wants me to be President." Boykin fervently agrees: "Bush is in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this."



With his sense of divine mission, Bush has repeatedly cast his foreign policy in apocalyptic terms. As he told Congress three days after 9-11, his goal was "to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil." In June 2002, he proclaimed: "We are in a conflict between good and evil, and America ... will lead the world in opposing [evil]." The description in Revelation of Jesus Christ, returning on a white horse to vanquish his foes, seems equally apt for Bush: "[I]n righteousness he doth judge and make war."



The apocalyptic mind-set breeds triumphalist and, ultimately, deeply hubristic thinking. On one side are the evildoers -- whether Russia, Islam, the New World Order or all of the above. On the other side gather the righteous who, led by Christ, will soon annihilate their foes.



Ironically, the prophecy beliefs embraced by millions of Americans find their parallel among some Muslim fundamentalists who foresee the return to Earth of the "hidden imam," or Mahdi, who will bring a reign of peace and justice -- but only after a terrible final conflict. The Mahdi's return dominates the imagination of Iran's fire-breathing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his followers.



In the world of apocalyptic belief, the two sides gradually become mirror images.



Since time immemorial, people have found the events of their own day foretold in Bible's prophecy. In 1756, the Rev. Jonathan Mayhew of Boston declared: "There has probably been no age ... of the world wherein events have more nearly corresponded to prophetic description than the present."



Mayhew's successors 250 years later similarly find today's world foreshadowed in the prophecies, and they shape their politics accordingly.



Anyone concerned about American public life at the outset of the 21st century would do well to pay close attention to the prophetic scenario embraced by millions. For these believers, America faces not just shadowy terrorists but nothing less than the advance guard of Antichrist himself.

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Thursday, January 19, 2006


WILL THE FOUR HORSEMEN RIDE SOON? Posted by Picasa

AWAITING THE COMING APOCALYPSE

Awaiting the Coming Apocalypse - Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor – www.omegaletter.com



In November, Iranian president Ahmed Ahmadinejad startled the world when he announced that felt 'the hand of Allah' entrancing world leaders as he delivered a speech to the UN General Assembly last September.



According to Ahmadinejad, during his UN address, he suddenly felt himself surrounded by light. It wasn't the stage lighting, he said -- it was light from heaven. Ahmadinejad related his otherworldly experience in a videotaped meeting with a prominent ayatollah in Tehran.



(A transcript of his comments and sections of the videotape wound up on a hardline, pro-regime internet site, baztab.com.)



According to the transcript, Ahmadinejad said a member of his entourage at the UN meeting first told him of the light. "When you began with the words 'In the name of God', I saw a light coming, surrounding you and protecting you to the end (of the speech)," the member said.



Ahmadinejad confirmed sensing a similar presence. "I felt it myself, too, that suddenly the atmosphere changed and for 27-28 minutes the leaders could not blink ... They had their eyes and ears open for the message from the Islamic Republic," he told Ayatollah Javadi-Amoli.



Ahmadinejad's "vision" at the UN could be dismissed as political posturing if it weren't for a string of similar statements and actions that suggest he believes he is destined to bring about the "End Times" -- the end of the world -- by paving the way for the return of the Shia Muslim messiah.



In a November 16 speech in Tehran to senior clerics who had come from all over Iran to hear him, the new President said the main mission of his Government was to "pave the path for the glorious reappearance of Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance)".



The mystical 12th Imam of Shia Islam disappeared as a child in 941AD, and Shia Muslims have awaited his reappearance ever since, believing that when he returns, he will reign on earth for seven years, before bringing about the Last Judgment and the end of the world.



In order to prepare for the Mahdi, Ahmadinejad said, "Iran should turn into a mighty, advanced, and model Islamic society". Iranians should "refrain from leaning toward any Western school of thought" and abstain from "luxurious lives" and other excesses.



Scared yet? It gets worse. Ahmadinejad is rumored to have ordered his cabinet to sign a loyalty pact with the 12th Imam and throw it down a well near the holy city of Qom, (where they believe the imam is hiding).



In a December article called "Waiting for the Rapture in Iran," the Christian Science Monitor's Scott Peterson wrote that Ahmadinejad has earmarked $17 million for the Jamkaran mosque, supposedly built on the Mahdi's orders.



"Officials deny rumors," Peterson said, that when Ahmadinejad was mayor of Tehran, he "secretly tasked the city council... to prepare a suitable route for the Mahdi's return."



That the leader of Iran believes that these are the last days is one thing -- for him to base national nuclear policy on that belief is another. Ahmadinejad not only believes the 12 Iman's appearance is imminent; he believes that it is his mission to bring about the apocalypse in order to force his early return.



Most pagan religions share a vision of a coming apocalypse with Christianity. The Buddhists are awaiting the appearance of the 'Lord' Matreya.



The Hindus await the 'natural ending of the world' during the 'Kali' Age. Note the similarities between the Hindu description of the Kali Age and the Apostle Paul's description of end-times society.



"All kings occupying the earth in the Kali Age will be wanting in tranquillity, strong in anger, taking pleasure at all times in lying and dishonesty, inflicting death on women, children, and cows, prone to take the paltry possessions of others, with character that is mostly vial, rising to power and soon falling. They will be short-lived, ambitious, of little virtue, and greedy. People will follow the customs of others and be adulterated with them; peculiar, undisciplined barbarians will be vigorously supported by rulers. Because they go on living with perversion, they will be ruined." - Upanishad



"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." (2nd Timothy 3:1-5)



In Israel, Jews are preparing for the coming of the Jewish Messiah. Secular Israelis call it 'Messianic fever' but the so-called 'fever' is mainstream enough for Israel to reconsititute its Sanhedrin after a 1600-year absence. (Only the Sanhedrin can officially announce the Messiah's return)



The 'end of the world' is a recurring them throughout the world's religions, including Baha'i, the New Age, Omega, 2012 Unlimited, Hale-Bopp, the Raelians, and so on.



In addition, there are secular think-tanks like the "Millennium Institute" which claims to take a 'holistic' approach to the coming apocalypse. The Millennium Institute is an NGO, or "non-governmental organization" with Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.



Among the MI's clients are; General Motors Corporation, Action Aid, World Bank, UN Development Program, The Carter Center, developing country governments, and so on.



Visions of the apocalypse are also becoming part of American pop culture. ABC has two new end-of-the-world-themed programs for this season. On the CBS docket, the post-apocalyptic programs are called “Four Horsemen” (a plague drama) and “Jerico” (life in a small town after America is destroyed).



Hollyweird is also concerned about the end. Consider some of the following movies: The Matrix, End of Days, Dark City, Armageddon, Deep Impact, the Postman, Contact, The Fifth Element, Jerusalem, The Stand, The Day After . . . it is a long list. These are just a few.



The expectation of a coming apocalypse is deeply ingrained in the human psyche; it isn't merely religious, although most religions have some expectation of it. It isn't merely cultural, although most cultures are looking for some kind of world-ending cataclysm.



It isn't merely scientific, although most scientists agree that the world faces existential threats from pollution, global warming, an expanding or contracting universe, solar flares, meteor strikes and the like.



More importantly, it is unique to this generation. Previous generations, particularly in the religious world, expected the world to end 'someday'.



In this generation, it seems everybody is looking for some kind of messiah, whether it is Jesus, the 12th iman, Matreya, the Jewish Messiah, the Kali Age, or Arnold Schwartzeneggar doing direct combat with the antichrist, or Hollyweird's obsession with 666.



In Romans 1, the Apostle Paul writes of a universal "God-conscience" shared by all humanity.



"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:" (Romans 1:18-20)



The point is this. All humanity, whether it wants to admit it or not, knows instinctively that God exists. They know instinctively of sin and righteousness, and they know instinctively than mankind has fallen short of God's righteousness.



That gives rise to the instinctive knowledge of Divine accountability -- even the lost recognize a world as sin-sick as this one cannot evade judgment much longer -- even as they deny the existence of the One to whom they know mankind is accountable.



"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things." (Romans 1:22-23)



The whole world knows that Jesus is coming, whether or not they want to admit His identity to themselves. The recognition of a Divine standard of righteousness is universal, as is the universal recognition of mankind's inability to attain it.



Not only that, but the whole world also recognizes that He is coming soon.



"And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?"



This was a fairly direct and specific question, and Jesus' reply was equally direct and specific. He outlined the events that would identify the generation of the end, but notice the very FIRST thing He said in reply:



"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My Name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." (Matthew 24:3-5)



The Lord IS coming. He is coming soon. The Bible says so.



So do the newspapers.

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AIT

THE ANTICHRIST-HAVE YOU SEEN HIM?

Ever since the Old Testament first spoke of him, Christians and Jews have been looking for the advent of the Antichrist. Daniel described him as the most evil man who ever will live. He will charm the Jews into submission then turn against them. This "man of sin" will briefly become the most powerful man on earth.

Many Christians have tried to name the Antichrist from among the men of their day. Some have made good assumptions, while others were very much off base in their observations. Of course, no one has been able to name the true Antichrist. Listed below are several world figures that have been tagged as the Antichrist. Most of these men are dead and presumably off the hook, but a number of them are still active on the world stage.


Antiochus Epiphanes He was one of only a few pre-Christ candidates and is described by scholars as being a type of Antichrist. Epiphanes was predicted by Daniel the prophet, and he fulfilled many of the prophecies that the real Antichrist will repeat.

Roman Emperor Nero He was one of the first and one of the greatest persons to fit the role of Antichrist. He put many Christians to death, and even killed members of his own family. Nero's actions actually helped the Church to multiply faster. When he learned the Roman Senate was plotting against him, he died by poisoning himself.

The Pope Just about every pope has been given the title of Antichrist. The pontiff is a favorite among evangelicals. During the Middle Ages, when the power of the pope was more pronounced, the title was more plausible. Today, the political power of the Pope has long since waned. It's more likely the pope would play the role of the False Prophet.

Charlemagne He lived from 742-814 AD and controlled much of Central Europe. Charlemagne put himself into the shoes of the Antichrist by trying to rebuild the Roman Empire, a task that only the real Antichrist will accomplish. He died before achieving his goal.

Napoleon The self-crowned French Emperor was not particularly a depraved man: He did not persecute the Church, and he lacked a number of the qualities needed for the role. His downfall was that he loved war too much. Napoleon, like Charlemagne, worked at reviving the Roman Empire.

Aleister CrowleyHe was a male witch who lived in England from 1875 to 1947, and who was so evil that his nicknames were “the Beast” and “666.” A number of rock and roll groups such as The Beatles, The Doors and Ozzy Osbourne featured references to him on their albums.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt The numerical value of FDR's name was reported to add up to 666. Because of the Great Depression, FDR was the most autocratic US President of the 20th century. Roosevelt was in office for 12 years.

Benito Mussolini Because Mussolini became the dictator of Italy, the original capital of the Roman Empire, he was the subject of a great deal of commentary during his rule from 1922 to 1943. His extreme arrogance fit the role of Antichrist, but his military capabilities were laughable. Italy needed help from Germany all throughout World War II.

Adolf Hitler Most people would describe this man as the most villainous man who ever lived. He remains a demonic forewarning of what the real Antichrist will be like.

Joseph Stalin This Russian dictator is believed to be the greatest mass murderer of all time, having killed 30 million people. Most of history's tyrants killed foreigners; Stalin specialized in killing his own citizens.

Francisco Franco He was the dictator of Spain from 1936 until his death in 1975. Franco was called the Antichrist not because of his actions, but more because of a genealogical connection. Upon his death, the dubious honor of being called the Antichrist passed to Prince Juan Carlos.

John F. Kennedy As the nation's first Roman Catholic President, John F. Kennedy was believed to do the pope's bidding. At the 1956 Democratic convention, he received 666 votes. When Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas, several people waited for this deadly wound to heal. It never happened.

Henry Kissinger Because of Mr. Kissinger's activity in the Middle East, he was labeled the Antichrist. I've always thought his raspy voice would be the first thing to disqualify him.

King Juan Carlos of Spain The late prophecy teacher Charles Taylor was a big proponent of the idea that Juan Carlos is the Antichrist because of his bloodline and because he's the king of the tenth nation to join the European Union.

Ayatollah Khomeini One of the grumpiest men to ever live, he bedeviled the US for a number of years.

Ronald Wilson Reagan Say it isn't so, Ron. During the ‘80s when he was President, there was talk going around about the fact that he had six letters in all three of his names.

Mikhail Gorbachev The first Russian leader to support the rights of the people has been and remains a candidate for the job of Antichrist. Until Gorby dies, prophecy watchers will keep an eye on him. I guess being born with that mark on his head was too obvious for some.

Maitreya A camera-shy New Age personage, who is said to be on this earth somewhere, is waiting for his opportunity to save the world.

Sun Myung Moon This leader of the Unification Church openly claims to be the Messiah. Moon recently was sent to jail for tax evasion. Jesus, by having a tax collector on His staff, didn't suffer from tax problems. You pick which one was the smarter Messiah.

PLO leader Yassir Arafat When Arafat signed the peace treaty with Israel in 1993, some thought that he was bringing to pass the prophecy regarding the Antichrist signing a seven-year peace treaty with Israel. In order for this to be the case, we would be well into the tribulation period.

Louis Farrakhan Farrakhan has worked hard to earn the title of Antichrist: He has met with every Islamic dictator there is, and he's called the Jewish faith "a gutter religion." Farrakhan has said that Jesus was "just a prophet" and that he, Louis Farrakhan, is the true Jesus.

Karl Hapsburg JJust like Juan Carlos, Karl Hapsburg has a good shot at being the Antichrist simply because of who he is. His family holds the title of ruler over Jerusalem. The Hapsburg family also reigned over the Holy Roman Empire at one time. The European Union will be a revival of the Roman Empire.

William Jefferson Clinton A number of folks have e-mailed me saying, "Clinton is Satan's pet." I came across information posted in newsgroups and websites that add up William Jefferson Clinton numerologically to total 666.

Sam Donaldson of ABC News So many people have submitted Donaldson's name that I finally decided to add him to the list. By including Sam, I hope I don't cause any jealousy at ABC News.

Barney the Dinosaur Because John, the writer of Revelation, would never have known what a dinosaur looked like, it's logical to assume he would have identified any vision of Barney as one of a dragon. Taking this into consideration, you might find the following Scriptures quite revealing: Revelation 12:3, "And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon…,"
Revelation 13:4, "And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?"
Revelation 20:2, "And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years."

Bill Gates If the beast needs to be computer literate and financially well-off, then Bill Gates is a good candidate.

Prince Charles of Wales I'm told that “old big ears” Prince Charles could be the beast. Charles has had the familiar numerology claims made about him--ones that equate his name with 666. Further, he is believed to have ancestral links to the Roman Empire. It was also reported to me that he's a vegetarian, which could explain why the Antichrist will stop the daily animal sacrifices in the Jewish Temple.

Jacques Chirac French President Jacques Chirac has been involved in a flurry of diplomatic activity. His high profile has caught the attention of several prophecy watchers.


I have some observations of my own to make about the Antichrist. First of all, I have no idea who he is. When you examine history, people who become well known on the world stage often have been largely unknown before they became famous. Hitler was a good example. Before he ruled much of Europe, at one low point, he was living in a flophouse. If you had walked by him, you never would have guessed he would someday threaten to take over the world. When the time for the Antichrist comes, he will achieve great power, but right now he could be out pumping gas at some service station.

In recent years, the word “Antichrist” has lost much of its meaning. In the past, calling someone “Antichrist” was on the same level as cursing. Now, attaching that name to someone or something brings up mythological connections. The same thing applies to calling someone a devil. Examples like Barney the Dinosaur or Bill Gates only blur the real meaning of the name of Antichrist. Someday, he will rise to power and destroy more human beings than anyone who has ever lived.

We should take care not to focus too much on the Antichrist. Our hope lies in the true Christ. Any news about the "man of sin" should only prepare us for the Man of Salvation. As a pre-Tribulationist, I personally have no plans to meet this "son of perdition." Only those who have not repented of their sins and are not living pure lives should expect to meet him personally, or more likely, see him on Larry King.