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*World feels oil pressure and crisis

*Water shortage threat to mankind; 45 Trillion dollars needed to solve world's energy problems

*Survivalists gearing up for hard times ahead

*Unmarked helicopter patrols New York City from high above

*National fingerprint registry for U.S. citizens?

*Israel turns 60

*Airport-style scanners to be used on public streets

*Oil prices spark food riots in Egypt

*Iran's leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declares that Israel will be swept away

*Russia resurgent

*CIA director warns of Chinese military buildup

*CNN: More signs the world isn't ending [They're right!!]

*Oil=$200 Gas=$10?

*UN Secretary-General calls food price rise a global crisis; biofuels contributing to food shortages?; WSJ: Americans should stockpile food

*Oil Prices to double

*Americans hoard food, food rationing, limit rice buying, hungry Japan, era of cheap food ends

[June 8, 2008] - WORLD FEELS OIL PRESSURE AND CRISIS - In a May 31 article the British newspaper, The Independent, enumerated the problems the world is facing because of the oil crisis. (Shocked! How the oil crisis has hit the world) The article reports on the situations various segments of societies around the world are experiencing,

"British pensioners who cannot afford to heat their homes. European hauliers and fishermen whose livelihoods are under threat. Palestinians forced to fill up their cars with olive oil. Americans asked to go down to a four-day week."

The article gives some examples of the unrest that is occurring in every inhabited continent and some of the services that are being curtailed:

-Lorry drivers blockaded roads into London and in Wales to demand that a planned 2p rise in fuel tax be scrapped and that "essential users" should be granted a rebate
-Britain's Silverjet airline announced it had stopped flights after failing to get a $5m loan from Abu Dhabi-based investors, becoming the third London to New York business class-only carrier to run out of money
-Protests by French truckers and fishermen left several motorways blocked and ports paralysed
-Fishermen across Europe went on a one-day strike, blocking ports. The biggest demonstrations were in Spain and Portugal where 10,000 protesters converged on Madrid
-The Newcastle to Scandinavia ferry route is being cut by the Danish company DFDS Seaways
-Brazil, the world's largest ethanol producer, biofuels account for more than half of transport needs. But while biofuels have kept petrol prices down, food prices – particularly in Central American countries such as Mexico and Haiti – have shot up as vast tracts of arable land are switched from producing food to fuel
-Daily protests have erupted across Indonesia this week after the government removed subsidies on fuel
-Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific and Taiwan's China Airlines announced they were considering scaling back some long-haul routes whilst Korean Air said it would temporarily cut flights on 12 international routes
-African governments already under pressure from food protests, and in some cases such as Mozambique violent riots, have now to contend with a new problem
-Middle Eastern countries unlucky enough not to be sitting on lakes of black gold are facing growing resentment from their own populations over fuel prices
-Australia's Qantas airline announced this week that it was intending to slash hundreds of jobs, freeze executive pay and shut down some domestic rural routes

Since it is unlikely that oil prices will decrease in the long term, the world's oil problem will continue to exacerbate the civil and economic unrest that the countries of the world are currently experiencing. The New York Times' global edition, International Herald Tribune, has a June 8th article which reports the reductions in profits by many businesses as a result of the oil crisis. (Pressure from oil prices spreads) The reporter writes, "Airlines, package shippers and car owners are no longer the only ones being squeezed by the ever-mounting price of oil, which shot up almost $11 a barrel Friday, to a record $138.54. Companies that make hard goods using raw materials derived from oil, like tires, toiletries, plastic packaging and computer screens, are watching their costs skyrocket, and they find themselves forced into unpleasant choices: Should they raise prices, shift to less costly procedures, cut workers or all three?" Oil price hikes will continue to increase the cost of manufacturing commodities and the transportation of them.

On his June 9th program, Fox's Bill O'Reilly discussed the oil crisis in his Talking Points memo. (We Are All in Danger) He declares, "We now know that Israel will attack Iran if that country continues its nuke buildup. That kind of attack will put oil well over $200 a barrel. We also know that radical Islamists and aggressive socialists like Hugo Chavez are using oil money to create terror and havoc. It is also apparent that Iran will continue to cause trouble in the Persian Gulf region, with the goal of destabilizing Western economies." After suggesting a couple of solutions O'Reilly made the following statement, "Simply put, Americans must demand that Congress and the new president stop the nonsense, or there will be a world war over oil. That will happen and it will make Iraq look like a high school prom."

As I have stated on this web site, I believe America will decline from its superpower status militarily or economically or both. Such a reduction in strength will allow the invasion of Israel by a conglomeration of countries seeking to rid the Middle East of Israel forever. (Coming Invasion of Israel)

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[June 6, 2008] - WATER SHORTAGE THREAT TO MANKIND; 45 TRILLION DOLLARS NEEDED TO SOLVE WORLD'S ENERGY PROBLEMS - According to a panel of global experts "A catastrophic water shortage could prove an even bigger threat to mankind this century than soaring food prices and the relentless exhaustion of energy reserves." (Water crisis to be biggest world risk) The article declares, "Demand for water continues to escalate at unsustainable rates. At the risk of being alarmist, we see parallels with Malthusian economics. Globally, water consumption is doubling every 20 years. By 2025, it is estimated that about one third of the global population will not have access to adequate drinking water."

On a related front, a report from the Paris-based International Energy Agency envisions an "energy revolution" that would greatly reduce the world's dependence on fossil fuels while maintaining steady economic growth. This study determined that it would take 45 trillion dollars to meet the world's energy needs. ($45 trillion needed to combat warming) The article states, "A U.N.-network of scientists concluded last year that emissions have to be cut by at least half by 2050 to avoid an increase in world temperatures of between 3.6 and 4.2 degrees above pre-18th century levels. Scientists say temperature increases beyond that could trigger devastating effects, such as widespread loss of species, famines and droughts, and swamping of heavily populated coastal areas by rising oceans."

In September, ABC News is conducting a televised forum of scientists from around the world to discuss whether the human race can survive to the year 2100. (Scientists From Around the Globe Join ABC News in a Forum on Surviving the Century) The article asks, "Are we living in the last century of our civilization? Is it possible that all of our technology, knowledge and wealth cannot save us from ourselves? Could our society actually be heading towards collapse? According to many of the world's top scientists, the answer is yes, unless we take action now."

Even if there was no God it is hard to see how the earth can continue to support the human race since water, food, and energy sources are necessary to sustain human life. However there is a God who has a plan for the earth to survive albeit it a plan that will cause the world to go through labor pains before it becomes a paradise again. In talking about the end of this age Jesus said, "Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of the birth-pangs." (Matthew 24:4-8) The prophet Daniel spoke about this time that is coming upon the world, "1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book." (Daniel 12:1) Jesus stated the same thing when He said, "21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matthew 24:21-22) The angel revealing the future to Daniel went on to make an intriguing statement, "4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." (Daniel 12:4) It is believed by some that the phrase "to and fro" refers to the human race traveling around the world and that "knowledge shall be increased" is a reference to the technological advances of the human race. If so, it seems that traveling and technology have exacerbated the shortages that mankind is experiencing on a global scale. This in turn may lead to "the time of the end"

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[May 24, 2008] - SURVIVALISTS GEARING UP FOR HARD TIMES AHEAD - Some people (and at this stage I believe a relatively few) are preparing for hard economic times by stocking up on supplies, non-energy using devices, and guns because they believe the world is in dire straits. (Energy fears looming, new survivalists prepare) At this time these persons may be just a fringe group. The reporter writes, "Convinced the planet's oil supply is dwindling and the world's economies are heading for a crash, some people around the country are moving onto homesteads, learning to live off their land, conserving fuel and, in some cases, stocking up on guns they expect to use to defend themselves and their supplies from desperate crowds of people who didn't prepare." She goes on to write in her article, "Some members argue there will be no financial crash, but a slow slide into harder times. Some believe the federal government will respond to the loss of energy security with a clampdown on personal freedoms. Others simply don't trust that the government can maintain basic services in the face of an energy crisis." As a Christian I will observe the times as the Bible calls us to do. I am not a survivalist but plan on living my life according to the will of God and His word. It is interesting though that Jesus told the people in Israel to flee to the wilderness when the Antichrist enters into the rebuilt third Temple:

"15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before." (Matthew 24:15-25)

As Jesus and the prophet Daniel said (Daniel 12:1), the Tribulation Period is going to be unlike any other time in the history of the world. The best way to prepare for it or just for your own personal end-times is to receive salvation through the atoning sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. (What must I do to be saved?)

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[May 23, 2008] - UNMARKED HELICOPTER PATROLS NEW YORK CITY FROM HIGH ABOVE - A sophisticated surveillance helicopter flies over New York City monitoring the population below. (Unmarked chopper patrols NY city from high above) This is another example of the use of technology to fight crime. The article reports, "Police say the chopper's sweeps of landmarks and other potential targets are invaluable in helping guard against another terrorist attack, providing a see-but-avoid-being-seen advantage against bad guys." The helicopter has "an arsenal of sophisticated surveillance and tracking equipment powerful enough to read license plates—or scan pedestrians' faces—from high above the nation's largest metropolis." "'They don't even know we're here,' said crew chief John Diaz, speaking into a headset over the din of the aircraft's engine." A revealing statement in the article declares, "Kelly even envisions someday using futuristic "stationary airborne devices" similar to blimps to conduct reconnaissance and guard against chemical, biological and radiological threats." In other words governments are going to continue to increase their monitoring capabilities of their citizens.

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[May 23, 2008] - NATIONAL FINGERPRINT REGISTRY FOR U.S. CITIZENS? - A Senate bill proposing to bailout the home mortgage crisis included a plan to create a national fingerprint registry for U.S. citizens. (Housing bailout bill creates national fingerprint registry) It seems this was going to be done under the radar according to the article, "What's a little odd is the lack of public discussion about this new fingerprint database. No mention of it appears in the official summary of the revised Senate bill. No fingerprint database requirement is in the House version of the legislation approved earlier this month. No copy of the revised Senate legislation is posted on the Library of Congress' Thomas Web site, which would be the usual procedure." The purpose is to regulate those persons who handle housing loans. What's interesting is that earlier this year Britain debated whether or not to do away with their national fingerprint registry because of the costs involved. (U.K. May Axe National Fingerprint Registry) They have already stopped using iris scans for the same reason. This article states "If fingerprinting everyone is scrapped, it won't be the first casualty of the government's search for better identity verification methods." It's the last phrase of this statement that captures one's attention. The search by governments for a better identity verification method may one day lead to the infamous mark of the beast.

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[May 14, 2008] - ISRAEL TURNS 60 - The state of Israel turned 60 years old today (actually Israel celebrates Independence day on the Jewish date of 5 Iyar which is May 8 this year). (State of Israel turns 60) The modern state of Israel is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. In the Old Testament God declared that it is His decision when the Jews live in the promised land and when they don't. In Genesis God promised the land of Israel to Abraham and his descendants:

"1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. 4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. 6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. 7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him." (Genesis 12:1-7)

Later on, He tells Moses to warn the Israelites that if they obey Him they will be blessed in the land of Israel. However, if they disobey Him, He will remove them from the land:

"1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: 2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. 3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field...63 And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. 64 And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. 65 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind." (Deuteronomy 28:1-3,63-65)

Notice in this passage that it is the LORD who scatters the Jews from the land. Later in Israel's history, God removed the Jews from the land for their disobedience. He used the Babylonian Empire to perform His judgment. However, He tells them that He will return them to the land after seventy years:

"4 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon...10 For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." (Jeremiah 29:4,10-11)

Again, here God states that He is the one who caused the Jews to be carried away to Babylon and He will be the one to cause them to return to Israel. Jesus told the Jews that their Temple would be destroyed and their house left desolate. In 70 A.D. the Romans did destroy the Temple and in 135 A.D. they put down a Jewish uprising and dispersed the Jews throughout the Roman Empire. However, in the book of the prophet Amos God promised to bring the Jews back to the land forever:

"13 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. 14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. 15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God." (Amos 9:13-15)

God states that He is always watching Israel:

"11 But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven: 12 A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year." (Deuteronomy 11:11-12)

Since God emphasizes throughout His word that He is always interested in what is going on in the land of Israel and that He determines when the Jews live in the land, I have to believe that on May 14, 1948 God fulfilled His promise to bring the Jews back to the land forever. They were dispersed throughout the world for 1800 years yet they maintained their Jewish identity. One would have to be blind not to see the hand of God in the rebirth of the modern state of Israel. Happy Birthday Israel.

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[May 14, 2008] - AIRPORT-STYLE SCANNERS TO BE USED ON PUBLIC STREETS - In an effort to fight street crime the London police force is using scanners to search people. (Airport-style scanners on the streets) It is interesting that a lot of monitoring equipment is being developed and used in the name of fighting crime. Some people would agree that anything that would prevent crime would be a step in the right direction. The article reports, "Stop and search has been strongly criticised in the past but police say there is now more support for the action - provided it it is done with sensitivity." All good and well for now but one day a government will arise that will not be so sensitive to the desires of the public. The Bible indicates that the leader of this government will be able to monitor the consuming habits of the population. This evil leader will use whatever technology is available to maintain an iron fist over the people.

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[May 14, 2008] - OIL PRICES SPARK FOOD RIOTS IN EGYPT - As I have pointed out in other news stories, oil prices affect the costs of almost all commodities including food. In Egypt the price of bread is skyrocketing and leading to violence over the increasing costs of food staples. (OPEC Stands Silent While Oil Prices Spark Food Riots In Neighboring Egypt) The article states that ten people have been killed while waiting in bread lines. A three dollar bag of flour costs forty-five dollars on the black market. Thus far, OPEC nations have been unwilling to help out their Arab neighbor. The Bible predicts famines in the End-Times that will cause an upheaval in the global community. Out of this an evil world leader will arise seemingly having the answers to all the world's problems. With China and India's population growth and thereby oil consumption increases, it seems unlikely that the oil problem will go away in the long term. This means that the price of commodities will continue to increase and societal unrest will follow in its wake.

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[May 13, 2008] - IRAN'S LEADER MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD DECLARES THAT ISRAEL WILL BE SWEPT AWAY - In light of Israel's 60th anniversary, Iran's president made a decidedly anti-Israel statement. (Ahmadinejad: Israel to be 'swept away soon') His exact quote is, "This terrorist and criminal state is backed by foreign powers, but this regime would soon be swept away by the Palestinians." The Bible declares that actually it will be a coalition of countries including Iran that will attempt to sweep away Israel. They will be unsuccessful in this effort. You can read about this future attack here: (Coming Invasion of Israel) The Iranian president said last week that the anniversary feasts could not save this "rotten and stinking corpse." He is correct but the God of the universe can and will save Israel.

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[May 9, 2008] - RUSSIA RESURGENT - After an 18 year hiatus Russia displayed their military might in Red Square during a Victory Day celebration. (Russia puts tanks, missiles back in parade) The article reports, "Medvedev, his country's third post-Soviet president, hailed the rebuilding Russian military, saying it can 'give a reliable protection to the motherland. Our army and navy are getting stronger. Just as Russia itself, they are gaining strength,' he said. More than 100 combat vehicles, including intercontinental ballistic missile launchers, rolled across the cobblestone Red Square and strategic bombers and fighter jets roared overhead in the first such display in 18 years. Medvedev smiled frequently as he watched the parade, which the communist rulers of the Soviet Union made into an annual exercise in saber-rattling directed at the West. Russia's military spending increased eightfold to an annual $40 billion during Putin's eight-year tenure thanks to the nation's oil bonanza. Analysts, however, say the military suffers the same problems that dented its capabilities and prestige since the Soviet collapse."

It appears that the celebration over the collapse of the Soviet Union may have been premature. Indeed, the Bible declares that a country to the north of Israel will one day sweep down and invade Israel. This is referred to as the war of Gog and Magog in the book of the prophet Ezekiel:

"1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 2 And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: 3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. 4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. 5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. 6 And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD. 7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. 8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken. 9 And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years: 10 So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD. 11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog. 12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. 13 Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD." (Ezekiel 39:1-13)

The only countries to the north of Israel are Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and then the former Soviet Union. One day in the future, Russia and its Islamic satellite countries may invade Israel along with Iran and other surrounding countries. However, as the prophet Ezekiel wrote, God will destroy them.

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[May 8, 2008] - CIA DIRECTOR WARNS OF CHINESE MILITARY BUILDUP - CIA director said that China's military buildup and international behavior could lead to an adversarial relationship with the rest of the world. (CIA: China's military could get 'adversarial') The article reports, "China and India will affect strategic planning, he said. 'Competition for influence will characterize the relationships between China, India, Japan and other emerging powers,' Hayden said during a speech at Kansas State University. 'But China, a communist-led nuclear state that aspires to and will likely achieve great power status during this century, will be the focus of American attention in that region of the world.'"

I believe it is biblically significant that the director mentions India and Japan along with China as seeking a greater influence in the world. It seems that they are following an aggressive military policy which will one day lead them to involve themselves in a devastating worldwide war.

In the Book of Revelation God showed to His servant John what would take place at the end of the current age. He told him to write down the things he saw and heard. In Revelation 9 John saw the judgments of God falling on the earth. Each of these judgments were preceded by an angel blowing a trumpet. When he heard the sixth angel blowing his trumpet he saw and heard the event that was unleashed by this angel:

"14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. 16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. 17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. 18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. 19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt." (Revelation 9:14-19)

Later on John saw the final series of God's judgments on the world. These were initiated by angels pouring out vials or bowls of judgment upon the earth:

"12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty." (Revelation 16:12-14)

John heard the command for the angels in charge of the Euphrates River to go into action. As we see this action involves the drying up of this river. It would appear the reason for this is to allow a large army to pass through it uninhibited. John heard the number of soldiers in this army to be 200 million "horsemen". The description of the devastating capabilities of these horsemen can lead one to believe that what John saw was unfamiliar to his "First Century" eyes. It may very well be that he was seeing a modern mechanized army. This army will be led by the "kings of the east", those that live east of the Euphrates River. These kings could consist of China, India, Japan, and the other Asian countries. The combined population of these countries consists of billions of people which would be more than enough to field a military force of 200 million soldiers. It is interesting that at this time the Euphrates River is under the control of the United States military in Iraq. However I cannot say what, if any, role the U.S. would play in this area leading up to the "battle of that great day of God Almighty" or Armageddon as it is more popularly known.

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[May 2, 2008] - CNN: MORE SIGNS THE WORLD ISN'T ENDING [THEY'RE RIGHT!!] - A CNN article states that the economic signs aren't showing the U.S. in as dire straits as recent news would seem to indicate. (More signs the world isn't ending) The report says, "Yes, companies cut jobs again, we learned today, for the fourth straight month. In April, 20,000 jobs were lost, but economists on average expected a loss of 75,000 - some feared more than 100,000 cuts. What's more, the unemployment rate dipped from 5.1% to 5%. Most thought it would tick higher. We've had news like this all week. In short, the economy is in bad shape....but it's simply not as bad as a lot of people are making it out to be. On Wednesday, an initial reading of the economy in the first quarter showed that the economy grew - not by a lot, but at least it didn't decline as many feared."

This seems to be the first good news the U.S. economy has had in a while. I would hesitate to exhibit too much elation though. As long as oil prices continue to increase, every area of the economy will be affected. With the world's population increasing and thus countries' need for more oil increasing, it's hard to see how things won't get worse in the long term.

The headline of this article is what caught my eye. CNN is absolutely correct about one thing, the world is not ending. The Bible makes it clear that the world is going to face a time of horror unlike anything in its history. After that, Jesus Christ will return and establish His kingdom on earth for one-thousand years. Then God will create a new earth and heavens. So the world still has a long way to go.

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[April 28, 2008] - OIL=$200 GAS=$10? - According to a report in the New York Sun newspaper, gas prices could rise as high as 10 dollars a gallon the next few years. (Gasoline May Soon Cost a Sawbuck) The article states, "The forecasts calling for a jump to between $7 and $10 a gallon are based on the view that the price of crude is on its way to $200 in two to three years. Translating this price into dollars and cents at the gas pump, one of our forecasters, the chairman of Houston-based Dune Energy, Alan Gaines, sees gas rising to $7-$8 a gallon. The other, a commodities tracker at Weiss Research in Jupiter, Fla., Sean Brodrick, projects a range of $8 to $10 a gallon."

OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) says that oil could reach 200 dollars in the future. (Opec chief says oil could hit $200) This article reports that OPEC officials blame the rising costs on the U.S. economy and weak dollar. U.S. officials blame OPEC for cutting oil production.

If this scenario plays out, commodity prices will also have to increase. This of course would adversely affect consumers everywhere as the global economy would continue to spiral downward.

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[April 25, 2008] - UN SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOOD PRICE RISE A GLOBAL CRISIS; BIOFUELS CONTRIBUTING TO FOOD SHORTAGES?; WSJ: AMERICANS SHOULD STOCKPILE FOOD - The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, addressed the issue of the rising costs of food, "This steeply rising price of food — it has developed into a real global crisis," (UN secretary-general calls food price rise a global crisis) Another United Nations official noted that the UN food agency, World Food Program, needs 755 million dollars to help offset the rise in food prices. (UN food agency needs hundreds of millions for hungry)

On another front, it appears that biofuels (a solid, liquid, or gas fuel consisting of, or derived from recently dead biological material, most commonly plants. This distinguishes it from fossil fuel, which is derived from long dead biological material - Wikipedia) are contributing to food shortages around the world. (Food Crisis Starts Eclipsing Climate Change Worries) This article reports, "'One factor being blamed for the price hikes is the use of government subsidies to promote the use of corn for ethanol production. An estimated 30% of America’s corn crop now goes to fuel, not food...' A study by a Washington think tank, the International Food Policy Research Institute, indicated that between a quarter and a third of the recent hike in commodities prices is attributable to biofuels." The reporter mentions that some governments of the world could collapse if food prices don't recede.

A contributing writer for the Wall Street Journal, Brett Arends, suggests that Americans should start storing up food, "I don't want to alarm anybody, but maybe it's time for Americans to start stockpiling food." (Load Up the Pantry) The point of the article is that people should purchase non-perishable food items now before the prices increase and therefore lessens your money's current purchasing power.

I am not suggesting the hoarding of food by anyone. I used these news stories to illustrate the possibility that we will experience a global famine which biblical prophecy declares will occur in the End-Times. Whenever this prophetic famine occurs, I believe that the Antichrist will use it to rise to power. In the first news article listed above, there is an interesting statement made by the reporter that is unrelated to the food crisis. The Associated Press writer briefly mentioned the background story for the occasion of the UN Secretary-General's address: "He spoke to reporters at U.N. offices in Austria, where he was meeting with the nation's top leaders for talks on how the United Nations and European Union can forge closer ties." It is biblically possible (see Ch. 10 of my book 10 - Armageddon) that the Antichrist will come to prominence via the European Union. It may be that he will then consolidate his power through the United Nations.

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[April 24, 2008] - OIL PRICES TO DOUBLE BY 2012 - According to a Canadian study the price of oil is likely to rise to 150 dollars a barrel by 2010 and 225 dollars by 2012. (Oil prices to double by 2012: Canadian study) The article states, "'Despite the recent record jump in oil prices, oil prices will continue to rise steadily over the next five years, almost doubling from current levels.' The CIBC report also notes that while production increases are at a virtual standstill, global demand continues to grow...Although US oil consumption is likely to fall by over two million barrels a day over the next five years as pump prices rise, he says, more drivers on the road in Russia, China and India will surely pick up the slack in demand."

Since most commodities are transported by fuel-consuming vehicles, this will cause a significant increase in the cost of consumer products. This of course could lead to shortages of all types including food. One day, the world's need for oil may lead some countries to use aggressive means in order to obtain it. Whether this is the reason the armies of the world come together in the Middle East and eventually fight the battle of Armageddon is unclear at this time.

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[April 23, 2008] - AMERICANS HOARD FOOD, FOOD RATIONING, LIMIT RICE BUYING, HUNGRY JAPAN, ERA OF CHEAP FOOD ENDS - Worldwide food prices and shortages continue to increase. As a result of this, a Washington Times article states that some Americans have resorted to hoarding food: "Farmers and food executives appealed fruitlessly to federal officials yesterday for regulatory steps to limit speculative buying that is helping to drive food prices higher. Meanwhile, some Americans are stocking up on staples such as rice, flour and oil in anticipation of high prices and shortages spreading from overseas." (Americans hoard food as industry seeks regs)

The New York Sun newspaper is reporting that some retailers in America are limiting consumer purchases of some food staples: "Major retailers in New York, in areas of New England, and on the West Coast are limiting purchases of flour, rice, and cooking oil as demand outstrips supply. There are also anecdotal reports that some consumers are hoarding grain stocks." (Food Rationing Confronts Breadbasket of the World)

In San Francisco, at least one store is asking customers to limit their rice purchases. (Bay Area Shoppers Asked To Limit Rice Purchases)

Sam's Club and Costco are limiting sales of rice because of food shortage fears. (Sam's Club, Costco Limit Rice Purchases)

Across the Pacific, Japan's food problems are increasing. (Japan's hunger becomes a dire warning for other nations)

The British newspaper, The Times is reporting that high food prices are here to stay, "Families have been warned that the prices of basic foods will rise steeply again because of acute shortages in commodity markets. Experts told The Times yesterday that prices of rice, wheat and vegetable oil would rise further. They also forecast that high prices and shortages — which have caused riots in developing countries such as Bangladesh and Haiti — were here to stay, and that the days of cheap produce would not return. Food-price inflation has already pushed up a typical family’s weekly shopping bill by 15 per cent in a year." (Era of cheap food ends as prices surge)

The problems facing the world's food supply are not going away. According to the Bible, one day in the future there is going to be a global famine which may lead to the rise of the Antichrist.

"4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows." (Matthew 24:4-8)

"5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine." (Revelation 6:5-6)

In the first passage Jesus predicted famines in the end-times. In the second passage the equivalent to a day's wages will be necessary to pay for food staples at some point in the future. Out of this famine a global leader will arise and seem to have all of the answers to the world's problems including the economic woes of the people. Just such a scenario played out in the 1920s and 30s when Adolph Hitler used the people's suffering to rise to power. So too will the Antichrist.

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