Sunday, October 31, 2004

AP - WHO Calls Summit to Address Flu Pandemic
According to this AP report, "The World Health Organization has called an unprecedented summit meeting next week of flu vaccine makers and nations to expand plans for dealing with the growing threat of a flu pandemic." :: Submitted for your Pestilence (Luke 21:11) files.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Jerusalem Post - Israel won't allow Arafat burial on Mount
As Arafat clings to life, his followers face an uncertain future and Israel is left to plan for the chaos that is sure to follow his death. It has been rumored for some time that his followers are planning to bury him at the mosque located on the Temple Mount. Israel will not allow this. Riots will ensue, possibly very violent riots. There are those who doubt that another Jewish temple will be built on the holy site or that the area has any prophetic significance, having spiritualized away all those scriptures that suggest (Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15 & 2 Thessalonians 2:4) otherwise. However, I'm confident that events in the near future will demonstrate that the Temple Mount remains a focal point for spiritual and physical battles and that the prophetic importance of the site will be evident to all.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

AP - Disaster Toll Tripled in 2003 Amid Quakes, Heatwave
The prophecy in Luke 21:11 that there will be fearsome events is an interesting prophecy. It doesn't really say what events will happen, it just says there will be fearsome events. So what is the purpose or role of fearsome events that they should be important from a Bible prophecy perspective? Fearsome events like natural disasters shake people out of thier complacency, they cause people to take a hard look at life and what is important. A disaster can be a wake-up call, a chance to get real with God. The good news is that you don't have to survive an earthquake or a hurricane to do that, you can do it right now. Why wait?

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

AP - Earth to See Total Eclipse of the Moon
This AP report is interesting, though I'm not sure I would say it was extremely relevant in terms of the Signs in the Moon (Luke 21:25) prophecy. What are signs in the moon? That is a good question and I'm not sure there is a good answer for that at this time. I've always thought that the Signs in the Moon represented a future discoloration of the moon caused by cataclysmic events on Earth. We already know that volcanic ash in the atmosphere can contribute to the red moon phenomenon, even smoke from forest fires can do that, to say nothing of the standard pollution or light reflection that causes the phenomenon in its most standard form. At this stage, we can only speculate what a global war with modern weapons would do to the atmosphere and our view of the moon, or if nuclear winter would cause the moon to disappear from view all together. All we can do is take encouragement from the fact that those things have not happened and keep watching the heavens for those signs in the moon, sun and stars.

Monday, October 18, 2004

AP - Europe May Start Digital Fingerprinting
One of the more interesting aspects of the Mark of the Beast prophecy of Rev 13:16-18 is the idea that any government could require something so drastic and get away with it. Yet today we accept the idea that governments routinely require certain forms of identification for access to borders, facilities and services. In the past, identification took the form of paper, as in, "your papers, please." Now it is starting to take the form of biometric data, identity verification keyed specifically to your body, either your fingerprint, your eyes, or your face. It's really not that much of a leap to say that the next stage of identity verification would be something artificial placed on or in your body.

Saturday, October 16, 2004 | 10/16/2004 | Ramadan begins in peace with 90,000 at sacred siteThus, the much-feared collapse of the Temple Mount did not happen after all. Apprently the Waqf agreed at the last minute to cordon off the weakest areas of the site.

Many commentators will no doubt make much of the "compromise" that the Israeli Police and the Waqf managed to reach this week. But some day, something drastic will happen to the Temple Mount site. When it does, the talk will be, not of peace, but of war.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

From our Holy Land friends at Arutz-7 comes this bombshell: Sanhedrin Launched In Tiberias. Here is a key excerpt:
Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, who heads the Temple institute in Jerusalem, is one of the participating rabbis. He told Arutz-7 today, "Whether this will be the actual Sanhedrin that we await, is a question of time - just like the establishment of the State; we rejoiced in it, but we are still awaiting something much more ideal. It's a process. Today's ceremony is really the continuation of the renewal of the Ordination process in Israel, which we marked several months ago. Our Talmudic Sages describe the ten stages of exile of the Sanhedrin from Jerusalem to other locations, until it ended in Tiberias - and this is the place where it was foretold that it would be renewed, and from here it will be relocated to Jerusalem."
Prophecy students, this is awesome. The last time we ever heard of the Sanhedrin, apart from the 1600-year-old attempt to restart it, was during the Roman era, and specifically during the Principate of Nero, and more specifically at the trial of Paul of Tarsus [Acts 23]. There, you'll remember, the Sanhedrin split down the middle between Pharisees and Sadducees over the question of the Resurrection from the Dead. The controversy was so violent then that the Roman garrison commander, Tribune Lucius Claudius (rendered "Claudius Lysias" by Saint Luke), had to hustle Paul away and, in the end, send him to Caesaria, which had become the seat of Roman authority after Pilate's disastrous procuratorship during the Principate of Tiberius.

Interestingly, the Sanhedrin tried to convene 1600 years ago, but failed for lack of support. Now it's coming back.

Who says that the Temple will not be rebuilt? [Revelation 11:1-2ff]. Watch closely--and also keep watching for the next few hours. If you hear of a collapse of the Temple Mount during the start of Ramadan, look out.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

AP My Way News - FDA Approves Use of Chip in Patients
This is an important development for a technology many prophecy students have been following for some time: the implantable biochip. When the VeriChip was first approved for human use it was not approved for medical use, and that has now changed. This is an exciting step forward for the commercial applications available to the company that makes it and it makes the implanted chip that much more attractive as a potential fulfillment of Rev 13:16-18. I'm not saying that the mark of the beast will be a chip, it is just one of many possible fulfillments of that prophecy, and a technology that we should watch closely.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

From the Associated Press: Oil Prices Hit $53 a Barrel Then Retreats. True enough, this sort of thing is as old as the economy of man, as once-plentiful commodities grow scarce. The usual solution is that man finds something else to use instead.

But in this case the supply of the commodity involved, which is petroleum, is under the control of the same people who hate the people of Israel worst of all. Even before Western man finds another source of energy, war may come--and with it, the perfect excuse that the Beast from the Sea [Revelation 13] needs.

Get ready for the Black Horse of the Apocalypse [Revelation 6:5-6] and eventually for Armageddon [Revelation 16].
TerraDaily has this, through Agence France-Presse: Strongest typhoon in decade set to strike Tokyo. Here's the gist:
Typhoon Ma-on, packing winds of up to 162 kilometres (100 miles), slammed into the central Japan prefecture of Shizuoka around 4:00 pm (0700 GMT) and was on course to hit the capital, the Meteorological Agency warned.

A 74-year-old newspaper deliveryman went missing in the town of Onjuku in Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo, local police said.

"He is feared to have been washed away in a swollen river," a police official said, adding his motorbike had been found turning over on its side near the river.

A gust of 243.4 kilometres (151 miles) per hour was recorded at a Shizuoka cape of Irozaki, some 150 kilometres (93 miles) south of Tokyo.

More than 3,800 households in central and eastern Japan were ordered or recommended to evacuate, public network Japan Broadcasting Corp (NHK) said.

"Shinkansen" bullet trains ground to a halt in central and eastern Japan, affecting tens of thousands of passengers. Train station officials with loudspeakers were seen urging holidaymakers to cancel their schedules.

Express roads were partially closed while nearly 200 domestic and international flights were cancelled.

As you can see, a great storm like that can have effects far beyond its immediate center. This is a mere taste of the sort of disasters (which is actually ancient Greek for "evil stars") that await us as prophecy gallops toward fulfillment.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Pat Robertson interviews General Benny Ganz, aka Israel's Watchman on the Northern Front. Specifically, Ganz is the commander-in-chief in the northern theater for the Israel Defense Forces. All prophecy students should watch this area--because it is a likely route for Ezekiel's War [chh. 38-39].
A judge--a JUDGE!--has just told two parents that a "severely ill baby ought to be allowed to die". I don't know what outrages me more--that a team of doctors would actually argue in favor of a "do-not-resuscitate" order against the wishes of the parents, or that a judge would accede to it. But I've met cold-hearted doctors before, one of whom once told me with a straight face that even a patient willing to pay for a quadruple coronary artery bypass operation ought never be allowed to receive it if he's beyond a certain age. Did I just say, below, that life was now becoming cheap, and that murder was rapidly becoming the order of the day?
Steven J. Ertelt over at has this needed perspective on a recent US Presidential campaign ad: New Michael J. Fox Stem Cell Research Ad for John Kerry Distorts Science. You'd think that after several reputable scientists already dismissed the idea that Alzheimer's Disease would ever lend itself to therapy with embryonic stem cells, even a dishonest politician like John F. Kerry would stop beating that dead horse--or donkey, as the case may be. (And as Steve points out, even Ronald P. Reagan--who, BTW, is not a "junior"--admits that.) But no-o-o-o! (or as the Greeks used to say, me genoito.)

Of course, this is bigger even than the selection of the next President of the USA, as big as that might seem today. As all of us good prophecy students know, a time will come when even a Presidential election will look like a summary relief-of-command aboard the Titanic. No, this stem-cell debate is about regarding human life so cheap that people will think nothing of killing one person to benefit another. In other words, murder, as John the Revelator [ch. 9:22] says in detail, will become the order of the day.

The follow-up from the Aussie Anglicans' compromise on women in the clergy continues to amaze. The Anglicans' oppressed majority, indeed! I don't suppose it would help to remind Dr. Muriel Porter that Paul said in his first letter to Timothy that he did not allow a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man [ch. 2:12].

In case you're wondering what this has to do with prophecy, I remind you that the Tribulation to come will be a period of flat-out rebellion against all of God's standards, including God's plain teaching on the roles of men and women. Watch Muriel Porter closely, dear readers--her name might appear on the report of some Ecumenical Conclave of Peace and Unity or some such thing, right next to that of the eventual False Prophet [Revelation 13].

Well, the Anglican Church in Australia redeemed itself today: Anglicans close the door on gay reforms. Their opponents are already howling about "intolerance" and so on, but all I see is that the Aussies haven't totally gone overboard on the subject of secular culture--yet. This situation bears further watching, in light of this prediction from Revelation: "Neither repented they of their murders, their [abuse of drugs], their sexual immoralities, or their thefts." [Revelation 9:22] is a jet-setting liberal site where discretion and discernment ought to be the order of the day. Among other things, they seem to accuse George W. Bush of engineering the Manhattan Incident. But every now and again they serve up a piece of good prophetic news, in spite of themselves. Today's article is one example: Microchip Implantation of Club Going Trendies Expands to More Nations Shades of the mark of the Beast [Revelation 13:16-18]! These clubs are using the chips to stop gate crashers--but a time will come when a world-ruling dictator will use chips like these to stop people from "crashing" a grocery-store checkout counter. Somehow I'm not dead sure that these "trendies" have that use of the chip in mind....
As a follow-up to the last post, the CDC has some more practical advice here about infection-control methods designed to stop the flu in your travels or your workplace.
From the Associated Press comes the straight skinny on the loss of half our supply of vaccines against influenza: Adults, Kids Urged to Skip Flu Shot.

The article says that "Health care workers can't legally bar insistent, lower-risk patients from getting shots but will try to persuade them to do otherwise." But when yours truly tried (in Essex County, NJ) to get in line for a flu shot, he was practically thrown out of line and even threatened with arrest, fine, imprisonment, or a combination of the three if he attempted to get a shot by any form of subterfuge.

Of course, this looks forward to a day when something far more dire than influenza will kill one-fourth of the people then inhabiting the planet [Revelation 6:7-8]. As a practical matter, all I can suggest is to carry a canister of pre-treated hand wipes with you when you travel, and talk to your employers or supervisors about some simple, common-sense infection-control policies. The specific recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control can be found here.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

CBN News has this very alarming article: A Contentious Battle for the Temple Mount's Survival. Here's the most salient thing that Pat Robertson says:
I am here in Jerusalem, and yesterday I was on the Temple Mount, and went over extensively what is being done there. You cannot believe what the Muslims have done in violation of a treaty. They have carved underneath the floor of the land adjoining the al-Aqsa mosque, a mosque that will hold 10,000 people -- huge steps leading down to it. And in the process, they have excavated enough fill material to imperil the wall structure. The wall is bulging out, and the people of Israel are warning that during Ramadan, if thousands and thousands of people come in there, that the entire structure could collapse. It is very serious.
And this:
I am simply appalled at the desecration of holy sites that are holy to Jews and Christians. What is happening a cultural Intifada, an attempt to erase all knowledge that the Jews were in the holy land, and to try to make believe that they had no right to be here at all. There is a desecration of the tomb of Joseph, and the tombs of Abraham and Sarah, etc. The whole situation is terribly fragile.
And in the process, the Muslims have so weakened the foundation of their own property that it might collapse under their own feet next week.

Prophecy students will remember that Daniel and John the Revelator, among other prophets, make repeated references to various events taking place inside a physical Temple. Of course, no Temple exists right now. But if the Al-Aqsa mosque collapses, two things will happen:

  1. Anti-Semitic riots will break out in Jerusalem, in all Arab quarters in Israel, and possibly in all Arab lands.
  2. The collapse will be one necessary step in paving the way for the rebuilding of an actual Jewish Temple--but probably under the administration, or at least the "protection", of the Beast from the Sea [Revelation 13].
From the Sydney Morning Herald comes this gem: Assistant bishop role for women. Oh, great--another attempt to find a loophole in the Bible to compromise with popular culture. That never works, of course--the secular culture continues to invade and trash the Bible in other ways. But God predicted this, did He not? It's the Church in Laodicea all over again.
From Ha'aretz comes the latest on Israel and our relationship to it: Robertson: If Bush 'touches' Jerusalem, we'll form 3rd party. I'm not sure that even Pat Robertson knows whether evangelical Christians really feel that way, but it would make sense. Indeed, the prophet Zechariah said specifically that Israel, and specifically Jerusalem, would be a stumblingblock to the nations. Frankly, Israel might become a stumblingblock to this nation as well, and that might explain why America bears no mention either in Revelation or in any other prophetic book of the Bible.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Newsday, NY - Graham Said to Plan Crusade in New York
One of the greatest living preachers is planning another (and perhaps last) crusade to share the Good News of salvation through Jesus. Submitted for your files on the spread of the Gospel (Matthew 24:14).
My Way News AP - U.S. Flu Vaccine Supply Cut in Half
According to this report, "Americans' supply of flu vaccine was abruptly cut in half Tuesday, prompting the government to ask most healthy adults to delay or skip flu shots so that the elderly and others most at risk from influenza can get scarce supplies." At this point, the only thing we can do is pray that this is not a bad flu season. Submitted for your Pestilence (Luke 21:11) files.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Reuters - Defying Army Offensive, Hamas Rockets Hit Israel
Reuters reports,"Palestinian militants fired rockets into an Israeli border town on Monday despite Israel's vow to stop such attacks from the Gaza Strip with a massive military offensive that has killed 64 Palestinians." Also today, Arab states went to the UN to depict the Palestinians as the victim of Israeli aggression. I think we are all wise to the game they are playing. Submitted for your files on the Battle for Jerusalem (Ezekiel 38:8; Zechariah 12; Luke 21:20).

Sunday, October 03, 2004

My Way News - U.S., Iraqi Forces Take Charge in Samarra
AP reports, "Iraqi security forces patrolled the streets, and U.S. troops went door to door searching for weapons and fighters Sunday after the military claimed success in wresting control of Samarra from Sunni insurgents in fierce fighting." :: A War (Matthew 24:6) update for you.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Yahoo! News AP - Mount St. Helens Erupts After 18 Years
A series of earthquakes preceded the latest eruption of Mt. St. Helens and apparently more eruptions are on the way. Geologic activity and earthquakes are something BP enthusiasts watch, mostly as a low-level sign (Matthew 24:7), but there are major Earth changes in store for much later, towards the end of this age (Rev 16:18).