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End-Times Headlines

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Disclaimer: This page discusses news events which I believe may correspond to the End-Times prophecies that God declares in His word. Most of the prophecies speak of a horrible time that is coming upon the world. I take no pleasure in the misery and suffering of others. My reason for commenting on these issues is to show people that we may be living in the last days. This does not mean that I am happy people are going through hard times. God gave us these prophecies as warnings that one day He is going to judge the earth. His purpose in telling us these things ahead of time is so that we will draw close to Him and look to Him for comfort through His Son Jesus Christ. - "Comfort in Jesus Christ"

*Elections reveal fundamental problem for the Israelis concerning the Muslim extremists

*Doomsday machine to cause the end of the world?

*Will the GDrive lead to centralized information gathering by governments?

*European leaders call for a United Nations global economic body

*Oregon proposes satellite/GPS technology to track mileage used by its citizens

*World economic fears and the decline of the United States

*Countries want to restructure world's economic system

*Laying the Groundwork for a one-world religion?

*The Election of Barack Obama as President

*October Updates: Economic Crises, Antichrist, Russia and Israel

*Peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians in 2008?

*People of the Netherlands expect apocalypse in 2012

*Two AP writers suggest world is spinning out of control

*2008 Gay parade in Jerusalem

*ABC News: Apocalypse Now: Floods, Tornadoes, Locusts

[February 11, 2009] - ELECTIONS REVEAL FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM FOR THE ISRAELIS CONCERNING THE MUSLIM EXTREMISTS - Yesterday, Israelis citizens voted for a new government. (Consensus forming on Likud-led unity gov't with Kadima) The result was a close election between the conservative parties and their leader Binyamin Netanyahu and the centrist party Kadima and its leader Tzipi Livni. The Knesset elections resulted in a 65-55 edge for conservative members. This probably means that Netanyahu will emerge as the next prime minister of Israel. However, as the article points out, the end result might be a unity type of government with both parties being well represented. Though there are many factors that may have influenced the decision of individual Israelis to vote for one party ideology or the other, the overriding concern has to be peace and security. In the past the conservative Likud party has mainly opposed unilateral evacuations of the occupied territories which of course led to the status quo of conflict with the Muslim extremists. In 2005, former Likud leader Ariel Sharon departed from his party and formed a new centrist party called Kadima. Kadima supported the evacuation of Jewish citizens from the Gaza Strip and returning the governing of this area to the Arabs. In 2006, the Gaza Arabs elected a plurality of Hamas members to the Palestinian parliament. This led to the isolation of Hamas-led Gaza by Israel and International governments. In 2007, after a civil war between Hamas and Fatah, Hamas became the sole ruling power in the Gaza Strip. Since then Hamas has fired thousands of Qassam rockets into Israel. This escalated into a full scale invasion by Israel in late 2008 which killed many Palestinians. This scenario came about because of the unilateral withdrawal by Israel from Gaza. Thus, the concept of "land for peace" appears to be a failure. However, occupation which seems to be favored by the more conservative groups also proved to be a failure. Neither position has led to peace between Israel and the Arabs. This election showed that the Israeli electorate is unsure of which direction Israel should go in the future thus representatives from both sides of the issue were elected. The one clear result from this election seems to be that Israelis decided that the liberal wing of Israeli politics do not have the answers to deal with this decades-old conflict as is evidenced by their poor showing in this election. The truth is that no matter who runs the Israeli government the Muslim extremists will never accept the right of Israel to exist. They may make temporary truces and agreements with Israel but only with the goal of eventually returning Israel to Dar al-Islam (i.e. an Islamic-run government). See my article (Why There will never be peace in Israel until the Messiah returns)

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[January 28, 2009] - DOOMSDAY MACHINE TO CAUSE THE END OF THE WORLD? - Last year there was a "scare" over physicists who were planning to perform an experiment with atomic particles in the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. The question was whether such an experiment would lead to the creation of black holes and therefore possibly destroy the earth. It seems that this issue has returned, (Scientists Not So Sure 'Doomsday Machine' Won't Destroy World) This article has a facetious aspect to it and one that I agree with. If the world was going to end like this it would happen so quick that we wouldn't even know it happened. However, God laid out a plan for the End-Times and they don't include the complete destruction of the earth, at least not for a thousand years after He begins His plan. The exact order of these events may be open to interpretation but they will last just over seven years. A world leader will come on the scene and the world will worship him. During the next seven years trouble will come upon the earth, "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." (Jesus as quoted in Matthew 24:21-22) So take comfort in the fact that nothing globally catastrophic will happen unless it is part of God's plan.

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[January 25, 2009] - WILL THE GDRIVE LEAD TO CENTRALIZED INFORMATION GATHERING BY GOVERNMENTS? - Google is rumored to introduce a innovative technological service that could result in storing people's information in centralized data storage banks. It is called the GDrive or Google Drive. (Google plans to make PCs history) Home and business users would store their personal computer's information on Google's servers and be able to access it from any internet connection. As the article states, "Home and business users are increasingly turning to web-based services, usually free, ranging from email (such as Hotmail and Gmail) and digital photo storage (such as Flickr and Picasa) to more applications for documents and spreadsheets (such as Google Apps). The loss of a laptop or crash of a hard drive does not jeopardise the data because it is regularly saved in "the cloud" and can be accessed via the web from any machine. The GDrive would follow this logic to its conclusion by shifting the contents of a user's hard drive to the Google servers. The PC would be a simpler, cheaper device acting as a portal to the web, perhaps via an adaptation of Google's operating system for mobile phones, Android. Users would think of their computer as software rather than hardware." However, this could lead to governmental abuse as one expert points out,"It is this prospect that alarms critics of Google's ambitions. Peter Brown, executive director of the Free Software Foundation, a charity defending computer users' liberties, did not dispute the convenience offered, but said: 'It's a little bit like saying, 'we're in a dictatorship, the trains are running on time.' But does it matter to you that someone can see everything on your computer? Does it matter that Google can be subpoenaed at any time to hand over all your data to the American government?'" Whether or not this particular service occurs it reveals that the technology is available to concentrate the world's computer information in one place. This of course is relevant to biblical prophecy because one day a world government will implement an economic system that it will control. "16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." (Revelation 13:16-17)

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[January 8, 2009] - EUROPEAN LEADERS CALL FOR A UNITED NATIONS ECONOMIC BODY - At a European economic conference, France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair declared that the current global financial crisis needs a global solution. (Sarkozy, Merkel, Blair call for new capitalism) The article reports various points the leaders are making, "the crisis has shown that no country can go it alone on economic policy"; "In the 21st century, there it is no longer a single nation who can say what we should do or what we should think"; "the system cannot continue as it is and called for better-regulated financial markets". However, there was one very interesting and revealing statement in the article, "Merkel said the International Monetary Fund has not managed to regulate global capitalism, and she called for the creation of an economy body at the United Nations, similar to the Security Council, to judge government policy." This of course relates to what biblical prophecy students have declared would happen in the End-Times: There will be a one world government overseeing and controlling a global economy. Whether or not this call for the United Nations to create such a institution will take place remains to be see. What it does reveal is that when global financial crises occur as the bible declares they will near the end, the world will readily accept a governmental entity that will take control of the world's problems even if that means giving up nationalistic ideals.

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[December 27, 2008] - OREGON PROPOSES SATELLITE/GPS TECHNOLOGY TO TRACK MILEAGE USED BY ITS CITIZENS - The governor of Oregon is looking for ways to increase tax revenue for the state's transportation system. He wants to initiate this new source of funding during the 2009 Oregon legislative session. (Kulongoski to pursue mileage tax) It seems that Oregonians like the rest of America has been traveling less and consequently using less gas. This results in lower fuel tax revenues for the state. The governor's solution is to use satellites to track the mileage each citizen uses and tax them based on each mile they drive. The article points out there are some critics of this proposal who are afraid the government would use the technology to track the travel locations of drivers. As with all other technology, its use by benign governments would not seem to be a problem. However, one day the governments of the world will come under the control of a malignant force who will use technology to impose its will on the citizens of the world. (see Revelation ch.13)

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[November 20, 2008] - WORLD ECONOMIC FEARS AND THE DECLINE OF THE UNITED STATES - The economies of the world seem to be on the verge of collapse and it is causing fear around the world. (Fear stalks the world’s economies) According to this article, "Market analysts said panic had set in among traders. 'Markets are utterly unhinged,' said Bill O’Donnell, a strategist at UBS. 'One problem is that financial institutions are powerless to take the other side of panic trades.'" As I pointed out in other news items in this section, the Bible declares that in the last days there will be worldwide chaos leading to famines, pestilences, and worthless economies. The use of the word fear has a prophetic air, "25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:25-28) Jesus said in the last days men's hearts will fail them for fear and on earth there will be distress of nations. The Book of Revelation speaks of an earth-shaking economic collapse, "1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. 4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. 6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. 7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. 8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. 9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, 10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. 11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: 12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, 13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. 14 And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. 15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, 16 And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! 17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, 18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! 19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. 20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. 21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. 22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; 23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. 24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth." (Revelation 18:1-24) The historical Babylon is located in Iraq however John may be speaking of a metaphorical Babylon representing the evil in this world. In this instance it is the evil economic systems that have turned people from God and oppressed the people of the world. John is describing what he sees in at least the 21st century since this hasn't taken place yet. He says that he sees this collapse occur in one day and the world is devastated by it. They had put their trust in riches and now those riches are gone. Fear and distress will indeed be the appropriate responses.

More predictions of the decline and fall of America

Reuters reports that the National Intelligence Council foresees a decline in American power and influence. (UPDATE 2-US clout down, risks up by 2025 -intel outlook) The article states, "U.S. economic and political clout will decline over the next two decades and the world will be more dangerous, with food and water scarce and advanced weapons plentiful, U.S. spy agencies projected on Thursday." I believe that America has to become either economically or militarily impotent or both and therefore become unwilling or unable to protect Israel. (The Decline & Fall of America) The Bible prophesies of a war where countries surrounding Israel invade it to their own peril in the last days. (Coming Invasion of Israel) No non-Arabic country in the world would take on Israel as long as the powerful United States is protecting it. If the U.S. becomes impotent militarily then there is no more deterrent to those who would destroy Israel. The article further states, "'A world with multiple power centers has been less stable than one with a single or two rival superpowers, and there was a growing potential for conflict...Strategic rivalries are most likely to revolve around trade, investments and technological innovation and acquisition, but we cannot rule out a 19th century-like scenario of arms races, territorial expansion and military rivalries,' the report said." According to this assessment, a weakened America will lead to a more unstable world in which military alliances (like the one mentioned in Ezekiel) will be able to act upon their territorial expansion designs.

Professor Igor Panarin, a leading Russian political analyst, stated that the United States is headed for an economic collapse, confirming a prediction he made in 1998 when America's economy was strong. (RUSSIAN ANALYST PREDICTS DECLINE AND BREAKUP OF USA) The article reports him saying that the U.S. will break up into six sections: "Asked why he expected the U.S. to break up into separate parts, he said: 'A whole range of reasons. Firstly, the financial problems in the U.S. will get worse. Millions of citizens there have lost their savings. Prices and unemployment are on the rise. General Motors and Ford are on the verge of collapse, and this means that whole cities will be left without work. Governors are already insistently demanding money from the federal center. Dissatisfaction is growing, and at the moment it is only being held back by the elections and the hope that Obama can work miracles. But by spring, it will be clear that there are no miracles.'" When asked who would replace the U.S. as the economic power of the world he said, "Two countries could assume this role: China, with its vast reserves, and Russia, which could play the role of a regulator in Eurasia." According to biblical prophecy Russia is going to lead a coalition of countries against Israel (click on the link above "Coming Invasion of Israel"). China too may be the prophetic fulfillment of two passages in Revelation that describes a coalition of countries that invade the Middle East: "13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 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 [i.e. 200 million men]: 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 9:13-19) "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)

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[November 15, 2008] - COUNTRIES WANT TO RESTRUCTURE THE WORLD'S ECONOMIC SYSTEM - According to the Washington Post the Group of 20 nations (G20) agreed today to restructure the economic systems of the world over the next year. (World Leaders Agree to Sweeping Economic Plan) This agreement "would reshape international financial institutions and overhaul worldwide regulatory and accounting rules." The article goes on to state,"The communique said that over time the International Monetary Fund and other global institutions 'must be comprehensively reformed so that they can more adequately reflect changing economic weights in the world economy.'" The German chancellor Angela Merkel wants to establish a "world risk map" that would allow "global financial institutions to allow financial authorities to quickly identify future trouble spots." (Germany to advocate ‘world risk map’)

The Book of Revelation indicates that in the last days a unified world economic system will be in place under the reign of the Antichrist: "16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six." (Revelation 13:16-18) The beast or Antichrist will control this system and will allow only those who swear allegiance to him to participate in the buying and selling of commodities and services. With the digital age such a program is possible. It could be that this current financial agreement will consolidate the economies of the world and lay the groundwork for such a global financial system declared in Revelation 13. It is noteworthy that Adolph Hitler rose to power out of the horrible postwar economic chaos of the 1920s. He was a great orator and he used the Jews as a scapegoat for all of Germany's problems. The Germans readily accepted him as their leader and some treated him as a messianic figure.

Along a similar vein the Washington Post had an article on the Great Depression. (The Great Depression, Not So Far Away) This article explores the possibility of parallels between that time and the current economic crisis of the world. The Bible indicates that in the last days there will be severe economic times that leads to widespread famines. Jesus said "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 24:6-8) Economic hard times are also indicated in the Book of Revelation when it costs a day's wages to buy food: "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)

If nothing else the speed with which the world's financial crisis suggests that even if the End-Times are still a ways off it would take no time at all to repeat this scenario.

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[November 14, 2008] - LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR A ONE-WORLD RELIGION? - In the book of Revelation, John describes seeing a unified global religion on the earth in the last days. He says, "3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast [i.e. Antichrist]. 4 And they worshipped the dragon [i.e. the Devil; see Revelation 12:9] 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? 5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. 8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 9 If any man have an ear, let him hear...11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. 12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed." (Revelation 13:3-9,11-15) Those who reject the truth of Jesus Christ will worship the Devil and his pawn, the Antichrist. John also mentions a third personage he describes as a two-horned lamb that speaks like a dragon. The implication here is that this lamb is a religious leader who speaks the words of the Devil and not the truth of God. Revelation calls him as the "false prophet": "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 16:13-14) The three beings form a "satanic trinity" with the Devil being the leader. The False Prophet will use his powers to promote the Antichrist to the world. Those who reject the God of the Bible will willingly worship the Antichrist. The Antichrist will blame the followers of God for the world's problems (cf. Hitler and the Jews). They will follow after him and "make war" with the saints of God. As the second passage above declares, this unholy trinity will take the world's leaders and their followers to the battle of Armageddon where they will suffer complete destruction by Jesus Christ.

At this time it is hard to see how the disparate religions of the world could ever become unified. John states that these unholy men will have power and oratory skills that will cause the world to "wonder" after them. They will be able to persuade the world that they are representatives of the "true" power in the universe. There is one exception to this though. Most religions believe there are many ways to God. Christianity believes there is only one way to God because Jesus Christ said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." (John 14:6) This means that when the world religion spoken of in Revelation occurs orthodox Christianity will not be a part of it.

There is a call by some of the leaders in the technology field and Hollywood industry for "people worldwide to help craft a framework for harmony between all religions." (World asked to help craft online charter for religious harmony) The article quotes religious scholar Karen Armstrong, "The chief task of our time is to build a global society where people of all persuasions can live together in peace and harmony. If we do not achieve this, it seems unlikely that we will have a viable world to hand on to the next generation." Though their stated goal of peace and harmony is a noble one it will never be realized in the fallen world that we currently exist. It is indicative though that there are numerous people in the world who would love to see unity in religion. It will happen twice in the future. The first is the evil global religion mentioned above. The second time will be when Jesus Christ sets up His kingdom after Armageddon. Then the Bible says that the Arabs, Jews and Christians will all worship God together: "19 In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD. 20 And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and He shall send them a Saviour, and a great one, and He shall deliver them. 21 And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it. 22 And the LORD shall smite Egypt: He shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the LORD, and He shall be entreated of them, and shall heal them. 23 In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. 24 In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: 25 Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance." (Isaiah 19:19-25)

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[November 9, 2008] - THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA AS PRESIDENT - Someone recently asked me if Barack Obama would become a player in End-Times events. My overriding concern for whoever becomes President of the United States is what is God's will for this country. The Bible makes it clear that it is God who raises up rulers and causes them to fall: "20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: 21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding." (Daniel 2:20-21) With this in mind there are two things that stand out to me about 2008 election.

The first is the fact that people worldwide were so taken with an unknown quantity illustrates that people are looking for someone to solve their problems. This is indicative to me that one day the world will also be taken with a charismatic leader who will speak of peace and tell the people what they want to hear. With global communications through the Internet, Satellite TV, etc it will take no time at all for the Antichrist to come on the scene and rise to prominence.

The other issue concerns the future of America. The prophet Ezekiel declared that in the latter days there will be a war between the countries surrounding Israel (Russia, Iran formerly Persia etc) and Israel itself. I don't believe this war can occur as long as the United States is the protector of Israel. On my web site I wrote an article in 2007 about the fall of America. (The Decline & Fall of America) In this article I point out that I believe America has to become either economically or militarily impotent or both. As a result of this decline the U.S. will become either unwilling or unable to protect Israel. When this occurs the countries will feel that they have a free hand to attack Israel. Obama's intentions towards the state of Israel are unclear. He made conflicting statements concerning Jerusalem. It could be that his economic policies might further erode the economic power of America. If that does happen on his watch then I believe it would only be a matter of time before this prophetic war would take place. Russia has become more aggressive recently and of course Iran is trying to increase it military strength and making threatening statements towards Israel. It seems events were already set in motion before Barack Obama becomes President. The economy of America is in jeopardy and the military has been stretched numerically. Even if the issues recover to some extent it illustrates that a future fall of America's economy and possibly military can happen in a very short time. Only time will tell and it will only occur in God's timing.

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[October 12, 2008] - OCTOBER UPDATES: ECONOMIC CRISES, ANTICHRIST, RUSSIA AND ISRAEL - According to the September 25th Financial Times the United States will lose its superpower status. ("US ‘will lose financial superpower status’") If you read my article on this web site (The Decline & Fall of America) you will see that last year I stated that one day America had to become either economically or militarily impotent or both. The reason for this is because the Bible prophesies that one day a coalition of nations including Russia, Iran, and the surrounding countries will invade Israel. However, since the U.S. has been Israel's protector this invasion could not take place. If America does decline in power then sometime in the future this invasion can take place. Whether or not the current situation leads to such a scenario is not clear. What is obvious is that such an erosion of America's economy (and the world's) can take place very quickly.

The world's economy has suffered as a result of the interconnectedness of the global financial systems. Financial leaders from twenty countries are meeting in Washington D.C. in hopes of solving the current worldwide economic crisis. ("Bush, allies seek to calm jittery investors") The third judgment of the Tribulation Period (Revelation 6:5-6) speaks of a global economic meltdown that leads to hyper-inflation for food (e.g. a days wages for wheat. barley etc.) and other commodities. Jesus also spoke of famines in His End-Times discourse in Matthew 24:7. It is interesting that Adolph Hitler rose to power out of the economic chaos in Germany after World War I. It is very possible that a similar world leader will one day arise out of a global economic chaos. As I stated above, if this is not that time it is still revealing in how short a span of time economic catastrophe can occur because of the global nature of the world's financial systems. The one bright spot in all this is that oil has come down in price. However, I believe this is a temporary reprieve because demand for oil is increasing throughout the world. ("Energy Department: World demand to rise 50 percent in next 20 years")

Russia continues to assert their military strength after invading Georgia and making arms deals with Venezuela. Now they have test-fired long-range ballistic missiles. ("Russia test-fires ballistic missiles") Russian President Medvedev said, "This shows that our shield is in order. We will build up our armed capability, which means we will acquire new weaponry while also launching traditional ballistic missiles." In my article (The Coming Invasion of Israel) I discuss how Russia is supposed to be part of an invasion of Israel towards the last days that also includes Iran. According to an October 7th, 2008 Jerusalem Post article, Russia is going to increase its involvement in the Middle East. The article states that Israeli leader Ehud Olmert "urged the Russians to play a more active role in getting Teheran to cease uranium enrichment." One of the many pieces of the End-Times prophetic puzzle to keep an eye on!

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[June 23, 2008] - PEACE AGREEMENT BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIANS IN 2008? - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared that a temporary peace document will be signed by the Israelis and the Palestinians before 2008 is over. ('Olmert says peace document likely this year') Whether or not this becomes a reality the Bible indicates that some sort of covenant or agreement involving Israel is going to be reached at the beginning of the End-Times. The prophet Daniel spoke of a future leader whom Christians call the Antichrist. In chapter 9 of Daniel it states that a ruler or prince will confirm a covenant with many for one week of years or seven years which is called the Tribulation Period. Many believe this covenant will be a peace treaty of some kind. Daniel speaks of this ruler or Antichrist and what he will do during this period:

"24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." (Daniel 9:24-27)

That this covenant seems to be a peace treaty [which may include the rebuilding of the Third Temple (i.e. the holy place) since the Antichrist enters it and causes sacrifices to cease] is indicated in another passage in Daniel and in the writings of Paul:

"23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. 24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. 25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand." (Daniel 8:23-25)

It states here that this ruler will destroy many through his policy of peace. The apostle Paul in writing about the End-Times also mentions a false sense of peace in the world just prior to the apocalypse:

"1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thessalonians 5:1-9)

Paul declares that the world will finally think it has achieved peace (probably through the charismatic efforts of the Antichrist). That is when sudden destruction comes in the form of God's judgment upon a rebellious earth. Thus, anytime a peace agreement is discussed concerning Israel it is worth keeping an eye on developments that surround it. Notice in the last verse Paul wrote above he declared that the only way to avoid the judgment of God is to obtain salvation through Jesus Christ. If you want to read what it means to be saved you can go here (What must I do to be saved)

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[June 23, 2008] - PEOPLE OF THE NETHERLANDS EXPECT APOCALYPSE IN 2012 - Apocalyptic fever seems to have reached some Dutch citizens. (Many Dutch prepare for 2012 apocalypse) According to this article many people in the Netherlands think civilization is going to end in 2012. One basis for this belief stems from the Mayan calendar which seemingly predicts a major change in the earth will take place in that year. The problem is that neither the Mayans nor Nostradamus nor any other prophetic writings save for the Bible know when the apocalypse is going to take place. God says in His word, "9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure." (Isaiah 46:9-10) In talking about the end of this age Jesus stated, "4...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...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. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (Matthew 24:4-6,23-27) As 2012 approaches I believe many more people will be caught up in apocalyptic fever. Even though the Bible gives us signs to watch for in order to discern the impending End-Times only God knows the exact timing of all those events.

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[June 21, 2008] - TWO AP WRITERS SUGGEST WORLD IS SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL - Associated Press reporters Alan Fram and Eileen Putman wrote an article suggesting world events are spiraling out of control. (Everything seemingly is spinning out of control) They write, "Midwestern levees are bursting. Polar bears are adrift. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Home values are abysmal. Air fares, college tuition and health care border on unaffordable. Wars without end rage in Iraq, Afghanistan and against terrorism." Their observations are not limited to the United States as they say in the article, "Recent natural disasters around the world dwarf anything afflicting the U.S. Consider that more than 69,000 people died in the China earthquake, and that 78,000 were killed and 56,000 missing from the Myanmar cyclone." However they quote a historian as saying that the world has been through troubling times before yet survived. They conclude the article with, "Why the vulnerability? After all, this is the 21st century, not a more primitive past when little in life was assured. Surely people know how to fix problems now. Maybe. And maybe this is what the 21st century will be about — a great unraveling of some things long taken for granted."

The problem is that not all human suffering can be alleviated. Mankind cannot control devastating weather events. Warfare has always been a part of the human experience. Population growth will continue to exact demands on economies, natural resources, and the necessities for the sustentation of life. Eventually there are only two scenarios for the human race. They revolve around whether there is a God or there isn't a God. If God doesn't exist then humans are left to their own devices. Other species have become extinct for various reasons. There is nothing to prevent the extinction of the human race if we are at the mercy of violent weather patterns, limited natural resources, and the ability to destroy the world through technological means such as nuclear war. However, if there is a God then He alone has the power to preserve the earth and its inhabitants. The Bible declares that the world is going to go through horrific times in the future. This will be part of a final judgment by God on a rebellious humanity. This judgment would destroy the human race if God wanted it to but the Bible states that He will not destroy the earth's population. In speaking of the end of the current age Jesus 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 world will experience ecological, economical, and governmental upheavals in the future. The good news is that God is in control and those who live their lives for Him will be saved.

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[June 17, 2008] - 2008 GAY PARADE IN JERUSALEM - The annual gay parade is scheduled to occur on June 26, 2008 in Jerusalem. (J'lem gay parade set for next Thursday) The mayor of Jerusalem petitioned Israel's Supreme Court to stop the parade from taking place. (Israelis try to block Jerusalem gay parade) According to this article the mayor argued that "Jerusalem is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims who take seriously the commandments of the Bible, and therefore view the public flaunting of homosexuality to be an abomination."

When the disciples asked Jesus what would be the signs of the end of this age and His second coming He gave them several to look for. He used two biblical examples of what the time of the end would be like: "26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed." (Luke 17:26-30) Though it appears that Jesus' main point in using these two examples is to show that when He comes again people will not be looking for Him. They will be living their lives without the slightest interest in what God is doing. These two examples are of note on another level. God flooded the world because the human race had become so ungodly and wicked that He could tolerate it no more. Sodom and Gomorrah were flaunting their sexual immorality including homosexuality for all to see. They had no thought of the laws of God in their lives or their city. God rained down destruction on Sodom and His judgment was complete. Although human wickedness has always been a part of man's sinful nature it rose to new heights in the Twentieth Century. WWI, WWII, Hitler Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, communism, and fascism were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions of human beings. Terrorism is killing thousands of innocent humans in the Twentyfirst Century. Was this what is was like in Noah's day? Homosexuality is being flaunted in most major cities of the world. Governments are legitimizing it as an alternative lifestyle. Sodom and Gomorrah openly displayed their homosexuality in their streets. Is the "gay pride" movement analogous to the behavior in Sodom?

The world is sinking fast economically, governmentally, morally, and most importantly, spiritually. At what point will God no longer tolerate the world's blatant rebellion against Him?

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[June 12, 2008] - ABC NEWS: APOCALYPSE NOW: FLOODS, TORNADOES, LOCUSTS - ABC is promoting a September television special in which experts will discuss the survival of humanity. (Apocalypse Now: Floods, Tornadoes, Locusts) In times of severe trouble most people look to God for the answers to what they are experiencing. Is what the world going through currently of biblical significance or just a cyclical experience that humanity has endured throughout the ages? This article quotes both skeptics and believers. However, there is more to the biblical apocalypse than just ecological upheaval. Humanity itself is going to be judged. Along with cataclysmic disasters, evil world leaders will strive for ascendancy on the political and economic systems of the world. One in particular will succeed for a time. Eventually the other leaders will come against him in a final war. The difference between the disasters and human rulers of the past 1800 years and now is that Israel has become a nation again. Prophecies that could not have been fulfilled (e.g. such as the whole world being able to witness the same event or the Third Temple being rebuilt in Jerusalem) are now in play.

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[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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