Commentary on world events that relate to Bible prophecy and on Rapture Ready issues world events.

Sept 13, 2010

The Wrath of Islam Narrowly Avoided

Last week, I witnessed one of the most insane spectacles of my life. The Rev. Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center proposed a plan to burn several copies of the Quran on September 11. He is the leader of a small Gainesville, Florida, church that espouses the belief that Islam is a satanic religion--and the book-burning was his way of making this fact known.

It's bizarre how much attention his little demonstration has received. From all the outrage, you would think Jones had planned to burn the Islamic equivalent of the Dead Sea scrolls. What should have been just a local news curiosity exploded into the level of an international hostage crisis. The FBI and the local authorities were actually planning an intervention to save 200 Korans from Jones’ Bic lighter.

In a world where just about anything goes, there are still two things you don't do: You don't use the "N" word and you don't do or say anything negative about the Islamic faith. A virtual who’s who of world leaders have condemned Jones’ action.

One of the first voices of dissent was Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. He said the burning could put the lives of American troops in danger and damage the war effort. He also warned that the Taliban would exploit the demonstration for propaganda purposes, drumming up anger toward the U.S.

New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly called the planned burning of Korans on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, "unwise" and "un-American."

The world's leading Sunni Muslim institution of learning, Al-Azhar University in Egypt, accused the church of stirring up hate and discrimination, and called on other American churches to speak out against it.

The Vatican condemned Jones, saying the burning was "an outrageous and grave gesture." The words, "No one burns the Koran," made up the headline in Tuesday's L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's newspaper.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has an amazing ability to find a Jewish connection to any news event, said the Koran burning was a Zionist plot.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton added her disapproval at a dinner in observance of Iftar, the breaking of the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

There are roughly 335,000 Christian congregations in the United States. Each one has the right to burn as many Korans as it so chooses. Islamic demonstrators burn the American or Israeli flags on daily basis, and nobody in the West gets bent out of shape.

I think Jones was terribly misguided in coming up with this stunt. He claimed that God told him to press forward, but when the media firestorm erupted, he quickly buckled to public pressure. Jones has violated the #1 rule at Rapture Ready: "Don't do anything that brings embarrassment to God's Holy Name."

The lesson from this incident is how cowardly we have become in our dealings with Islam. I’m sick of hearing all these talking heads on TV calling for inter-faith dialogue, and all the hand-wringing over “Islamophobia.” ABC news featured a poll that said a quarter of Americans (26 percent) admit to feelings of prejudice against Muslims. You don't ask people if they are to 'prejudiced' against something. Why didn’t ABC News ask, "What religion is most likely to kill you in a car bomb attack?"

The people of the Koran certainly don't bow to any other religion. I was watching a CNB news report about how Arabs in Jerusalem are endangering the Garden Tomb and the Face of the Skull with a massive wall they are in process of building. The Arab neighbors of these two Christian icons decided that they want to expand a cemetery, so they just started building a wall that would add several tons to the weight of the hillside containing them. The Islamic authority didn't even bother to get the proper building permits. They just launched the construction because they knew the Christian community was an easy pushover.

The anniversary of 9/11 has become something of a conundrum to the rational mind. We honor more than 3,000 victims of a tragedy that only has a general cause. This weekend, President Obama blamed hatred for the tragedy. The liberal media has turned Al Qaeda into something of faceless boogeyman.

At least one writer knows the true cause:

On 9/11, Al Qaeda did not act in the name of 19 people, or ten thousand or so followers. It acted in the name of Islam. And while anyone can claim to do anything in the name of Islam, Al Qaeda was not some random fringe group. Al Qaeda drew its ideological support from the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest Muslim political group in the world. It and its allies drew on financial support from the governments of some of the world’s largest and most influential Muslim countries in the world, including Pakistan , Saudi Arabia and the UAE. These are countries which compromise some 200 million Muslims. (http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/27439)

It is extremely frustrating to witness the world constantly kissing up to Islam. The Bible assures us that this evil religion will soon meet its doom. At some point, several key Islamic nations will join with Russia and suffer a spectacular military defeat as the attempt to attack Israel. The nations that survive the carnage of Ezekiel 38 and 39 will be crushed under the rule of the Antichrist.

-- Todd

End-Times Odds and Ends

Major prophetic ponderings deserve and get primary attention in the Nearing Midnight forum. That’s as it should be. Profound issues like Israel’s being pressured toward giving up land for peace, Russia, Iran, and now Turkey coming into alignment that looks to be the forerunner of the Ezekiel 38-39 Gog-Magog coalition that will storm southward toward the mountains of Israel are often front and center on the Rapture Ready radar.

Odds-and-ends issues and events, however, can--when analyzed collectively--present an end-times reality nearly as revealing of the denouement of the age during which we live as those more dramatic geopolitical dynamics. One particular area of such issues and events in development deserves a closer examination.

Three matters of concern in this regard, taken collectively, are 1) France’s president making increasingly strident attempts to effect monetary rearrangements globally; 2) Science and industry conjoining with government to produce instrumentality that can bring about electronic bondage; 3) Orwellian surveillance moving from fiction to fact.

Sarkozy’s Monetary Meddling President Nicolas Sarkozy of France has set a political course he apparently hopes will bolster his flagging popularity.

Reuters - President Nicolas Sarkozy has set an ambitious agenda of creating a new international monetary system and taming commodity speculation for France's presidency of the G20 global economic leadership forum from November…

It also has a domestic payoff for a president hoping to leverage his international statesmanship to revive his battered popularity, and neutralize a highly popular potential rival, ahead of a tough 2012 re-election campaign. (Paul Taylor, "Analysis: Sarkozy to Press Currencies Role for G20," Reuters, 9/6/10)

Perhaps the most intriguing element of Sarkozy’s monetary meddling, from the standpoint of prophetic implication, is that this leader is a mover and shaker within the European sphere of influence. He observably intends to lead the way in wresting a large degree of influence from the seven industrialized economies--the U.S., Japan, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Canada. By, in effect, diverting the fiscal hegemony wielded by those seven power brokers, he raises his stature among the wider agglomeration of twenty nation economies. It is more than interesting to consider that at the heart of his ideas for moving away from the dollar as the world’s reserve currency to a neutral economic unit is proposed computer currency–an International Monetary Fund SDR (Special Drawing Rights) system.

This doesn’t mean I believe Sarkozy will be Antichrist--please understand. But his wheeling and dealing gives an inkling of the kind of monetary/economic rearrangements developing now that will likely increase many times over. Such maneuverings will ultimately bring to power the beast regime outlined in Revelation 17:12-13.

France Strikes Again Following on the heels of Mr. Sarkozy’s attempts to manipulate all things monetary, technology founded in France seems to be at the leading edge of changes in the offing:

A French firm has designed a new interface which could increase the processing speed of contactless smart card technology.… However, faster transfer rates are needed to support more complex technologies such as contactless biometric data transfer and multimedia file downloads. CEA-Leti has been researching the new interface with 16 European companies and research organisations since 2003. The firms also aimed to develop a universal standard for all electronic identity and mobile transactions. (sQuid eMoney News, Rapture Ready News, 9/7/10) Again, it is fascinating to note that the political will and the technological acumen to control buying and selling on a global scale beat within the heart of Europe--out of which, we believe, will come the “prince” of Daniel 26-27.

Big Brother Watches My next book, The Departure, to be released this month, is a book of compilation. That is, a number of authors and I have written chapters on crucial prophetic topics. One such chapter by my friend Alan Franklin is about the almost inconceivable number of surveillance cameras in his country.

It is eerie to me that George Orwell, author of the famous novel, 1984, used London as the center of his fictional Big Brother surveillance society. Alan Franklin writes the following about the England of his own time.

If you want to be a film star, come to Britain. We’re all on camera. All you have to do is walk through any town or drive down any road and you are watched, filmed, and monitored. When my wife, Pat, and I tour America, we feel neglected because the roadside cameras are no longer ever-present—not yet.

As the world moves towards a “Big Brother” society beyond the nightmares of author George Orwell, who predicted a world in which the state watched everyone in his 1948 classic novel, 1984, it is like we are inmates of a high-tech prison. Big Brother really is watching us in Europe. The rest of the world is not far behind. (Alan Franklin, "Big Brother is Here," The Departure: God's Next Catastrophic Intervention into Earth's History, by Terry James [Defender, 2010])

Indeed, cameras are literally everywhere. Practically every cell phone has one. They are getting more and more sophisticated. Governments are on the cutting edge of video and other surveillance/tracking technologies. Computers are taking over.

It doesn’t take much stretching of the imagination to understand that the real Big Brother will be able to control all buying and selling–and everything else--as prophesied in Revelation 13:16-18.