All posts filed under: End times

Istanbul, Turkey Credit: Mehmet Aktugan/Flickr/Creative Commons

What’s happening in Turkey?

My family church, when I was a boy, was famous for talks about Bible prophecy. The pastor had giant charts the size of curtains, to explain what the Bible said about the future of the world. I remember that he could fill the church with his Sunday evening talks, and I vaguely remember pictures of animals with several heads, on those enormous sheets. This was before computers and projectors, and those wall-sized pictures were famous. Years later, as an adult, I met strangers in far away places who wanted to talk about those huge pictures. Our pastor was a good man, and his ideas were conservative. He just wanted us to know what the Bible said about the future of the world, and he made a sincere effort to teach us. I may have been the only kid in my school who knew about Gog and Magog in the land of the north. One thing I remember clearly from those talks was the advice to look north. From the Bible’s perspective, that means north from …

Credit: Timo Luege/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is the Spirit of Jezebel rearing its painted face again?

Evan Vickers, a Republican senator from Utah, was staying at a hotel in Washington, DC, when there was a knock on his door. When he opened it, he found a young woman standing in front of him. In an interview with KSTU-TV, Vickers told what happened next: “I opened the door and there was a young lady standing there and she said ‘Hi,’ and I said, ‘Hi,’ who are you?” And she said, ‘I’m your date.’ I said, ‘No, you’re not.’ She said, ‘Yes, I’m your date.’” The woman would not leave and insisted several times she was his date. When Vickers refused to go along with it, the young woman eventually walked to the elevator still claiming she was his date. Vickers returned to his room, locked the door, and called for an associate to accompany him.  It is uncertain what was going on but there is speculation that the woman was trying to entrap the senator. He warned other politicians to be careful. Several years ago a prominent pastor of a very large …

Volcanic column of smoke on Hawaii's Big Island taken May 7, 2018 Credit: macprohawaii/US Geological Survey/Flickr/Public Domain

A near asteroid hit and volcanic eruption on Hawaii: Apocalyptic shots across the bow?

During the 18th century, if a naval ship was unable to recognize an oncoming vessel it would fire a warning shot in the general direction of the ship. Under the law of the sea, the ship receiving the shot was expected to hoist its flag so it could be recognized and respond with a shot of its own. It was form of rudimentary communication between ships. With modern communications equipment, the shot across the bow has taken on a more ominous tone. When naval vessels, such as the coast guard, are pursuing another vessel, they will perform a shot across the bow typically in front of the ship telling it to stop. The shot demonstrates that the fleeing ship is within range, sighted and more importantly the pursuing ship is willing to go the next step if it does not come to heel. One has to ask if the world just received a shot across the bow. According to the Bible’s apocalyptic literature, the end times will be marked by massive asteroids slamming into the …

Credit: Maciej Ciupa/Flickr/Creative Commons

Trumpet sounds over Hawaii?

According to a report on PJ Media, people in Hawaii are hearing sounds in the heavens that for some sound a lot like trumpets. The latest video was recorded on April 4, 2018 (watch below). It is uncertain what the source of these mysterious sounds are. Some are offering natural explanations such as methane explosions or earthquakes deep underground. They could also be caused by tidal waves or shifting sand dunes or even atmospheric conditions. Others have offered up grinding of tectonic plates as a possible explanation, while some believe they may be a result of of yet unknown human activity. In recent years, there have been many videos posted on YouTube about trumpet-like sounds being heard around the world. You have to be careful when watching these videos because clearly some are hoaxes, spawned by those that are legitimate. One of the seemingly legitimate ones involved a video recorded in Terrace, British Columbia, Canada on August 29, 2013: In the end there are probably natural explanations for these sounds. But in the Book of …

The Muslim Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem Credit: Patrick McKay/Flickr/Creative Commons

Why did Israel’s Sanhedrin ask the Arab world to help build the third Jewish Temple?

Breaking Israel News recently reported on a letter written by Israel’s nascent Sanhedrin asking the Arab world to join in building the third Jewish temple in Jerusalem. The court sent its request in English, Hebrew and Arabic. The nascent Sanhedrin is a Jewish court made up of 71 elders. A similar court has historically provided spiritual and sometimes political guidance to Israel through out its history. It was the Sanhedrin that asked the Romans to crucify Christ. So why did they ask the Muslims for help? Certainly expediency is one of the reasons. Orthodox Jews believe that God wants them to rebuild the Temple. However, the Temple Mount is now controlled by the Jordanian government and under the current political arrangement, Orthodox Jews would probably need Jordan’s permission to build. It is traditionally believed that the Muslims built the Dome of the Rock on the location of the second Jewish Temple the Romans destroyed in 70 AD. I don’t think the Jews believe Muslims would be willing to destroy the Dome of the Rock, Islam’s …

North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada Credit: tungilik/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

How the 1948 North Battleford revival impacted the church

Canada has been home to two significant revivals in the past 100 years the more recent being the Toronto Blessing that started in January 1994 and a revival that hit North Battleford, Saskatchewan in 1948. The latter was a bit different from the other revivals that hit North America in the 20th century. The Azusa street revival that set the stage for the modern-day Pentecostal movement started in 1906 in Los Angeles. Both Toronto and Los Angeles were major urban centers of their day and as a result impacted significant numbers of people. But North Battleford was different. Located in an obscure province in Canada and at the time an equally obscure town in the northern part of that province. It was not easy place to visit. To get there you headed to the middle of nowhere. Once you get arrived, you then traveled 200 miles north. Nevertheless, it had a profound impact on modern charismatic Christianity. With this being the 70th anniversary of the revival, many prophetic voices believe something significant is going to …

Credit: Alan Levine/Flickr/Creative Commons

Who were the imprisoned spirits?

In what some consider to be one of the most puzzling passages in the Bible, the Apostle Peter talks about how between His death and resurrection, Jesus preached to the spirits that were imprisoned in the days of Noah. 18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, 20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. (1 Peter 3:18-20 NASV) It is a difficult passage to understand. Some believe it refers to Christ preaching to the souls of those who died during the Noahic flood. Certainly this is a plausible explanation. Others believe it refers to Noah preaching to the people while he …

Nagasaki, Japan located on Kyushu Island Credit: 663highland/Wikipedia

Fourth super volcano discovered off coast of Japan

There are three super volcanoes in the world. One is found underneath Yellowstone park in the United States, another near Mexico city and the third in Italy. But according to a report in the Dailymail, a fourth has been discovered off the coast of  Japan’s Kyushu Island and there are indications it’s active. Japan is made up of four main islands and Kyushu is the third largest and most southern of the four. It has a population of 12 million and perhaps its most famous city is Nagasaki that was hit with an atomic bomb in World War II. The volcano discovered off the island’s coast clearly falls into the “super” designation. Its dome is 10 kms wide (6.2 miles) and is 600 meter high (1,968 feet). They estimate the cauldron located beneath contains about 32 cubic km (7.68 cubic miles) of lava. According to the Kobe Ocean-Bottom Exploration Center (KOBEC), the group that made the discovery, a new dome is building in the crater of Kikai volcano that is about 19 kms (12 miles) …

Molchanka River turned blood red: Credit YouTube capture

Siberian River turns blood red, just one of many in recent years

It hasn’t reached Biblical proportions yet, but when the Russia’s Molchanka River recently turned blood-red over night citizens, media and even scientists were perplexed and a bit shocked. Many saw a Biblical connection with the plagues of Egypt when God caused the Nile to turn to blood as one of the judgements of God (Exodus 7: 14-24). But there are also three other Biblical references to waters turning blood-red found in the Book of Revelation and similar to what happened in Exodus are considered judgements of God. In his first mention, John says when an angel sounded a trumpet, he saw a large burning mountain crashing into the ocean and a third of the sea turned red: 8 The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, (Revelation 8:8 NASV) Most suspect a large burning mountain as a reference to a massive asteroid hitting the ocean. John also mentioned in the following verse that a third of the ships …

Roof of booths set up in Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles Credit: Yoninah/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Converging end times prophecies of Orthodox Jews and Christians

Breaking Israel News (BIN) has always been a source of interesting articles. Published by a group of Orthodox Jews, I find that they have much in common with Christians. They believe the Old Testament is the inspired Word of God and though they reject Jesus as the Messiah, they nevertheless are looking ahead to the coming Jewish Messiah. And while we look at events taking place on earth as a sign of Jesus second return, they interpret many of those same signs as evidence of the Jewish Messiah’s coming. Recently BIN published an article listing five Biblical prophecies fulfilled in 2017 that pointed to the soon arrival of the Jewish Messiah. In her article, Eliana Rudee the first one she discusses is: “Jerusalem as a place of assembly for non-Jews.” There were a number of Old Testament prophecies that spoke of the gentiles pouring into Israel at the end of the age. In her article, Rudee cites a verse out of Zechariah: 16 Then it will come about that any who are left of all the …

Chehura desert in Peru Credit: Alma Apatrida/Flickr/Creative Commons

A prophecy about lost treasure

A couple of decades ago, my wife and I were heading down to Peru to adopt our daughter. Just before we set out on our journey that would take a month and half to complete, we were at a small prayer meeting in our church when Brian, a man with a prophetic gifting, prayed and prophesied over us. He saw us taking a big colored doll down for our daughter. But then he gave me a word, which deeply concerned both my wife and I. He said I see you gathering your treasure, and then he held his hands out, spread his fingers and said it will slip away, pouring out between your fingers like sand. I asked Brian what he meant. He had no further revelation and simply told us what he saw. It was a disturbing word. Because we respected the man and his prophetic gift we were concerned that the adoption was going to fall apart. But we believed God had told us to go and decided to continue on our journey. …

Credit: Davide Simonelli/Flickr/Creative Commons

Angels among us?

If the Book of Revelation is any indication, as we move into the end times, there will be an increase in angelic activity. Throughout Revelation, we see whole chapters dedicated to angels bringing about the judgements of God (Revelation 7:1; 8:2). However they were not just bringing in judgment, the Apostle John also saw another angel preaching the Gospel in the mid-heaven: 6 And I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; (Revelation 14:6 NASV) I am not sure exactly what this means, but at the very least such angelic preaching would make people more responsive to the Gospel. But there is an interesting story on the Christian Broadcasting Network website of a young Jewish woman who became a Christian as a result of angelic activity. Alyce Merritt grew up in a strict Jewish home that rejected Christian beliefs. She didn’t even know that Jesus was a Jew thinking instead he was Catholic or …

Riyadh City, Saudia Arabia. Credit: B.alotaby/Wikipedia

NEOM: What is happening in the Middle East now?

Could you find the city of Neom on a map? It hasn’t been built yet, but it is a serious proposal. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a proposal to build a new super city in a remote place near the Red Sea. The cost is estimated at 400 billion and if it is built, it should be like a combination of Las Vegas and Hong Kong, in the Middle East. The proposal includes a bridge to Egypt and links to Jordan; and this is never mentioned in the literature, but it will be very close to Israel. RELATED: Saudi Arabia Just Announced Plans to Build a Mega City That Will Cost $500 Billion If you could stand on a boat at the north end of the Gulf of Aqaba, at the northern tip of the Red Sea, you could turn your head and see four countries; Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. All four countries converge at that location. Saudi Arabia has huge oil deposits about two thousand kilometres from Neom, on the eastern …

Moscow's Red Square Credit: viktor/Flickr

The 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution and the birthing of the first Communist state

I remember as a university student walking the halls crowded with tables of various communist groups peddling their wares. We had the Leninists, Maoists, Marxists and Stalinists. Each with their table full of booklets, leaflets and books promoting their particular brand of the ‘glorious’ revolution. Of course, communism in its various forms was birthed in the heart of German Karl Marx (1818–1883) who along with Friedrich Engels wrote The Communist Manifesto that became the staple for modern communism. November 7, 2017, marked the 100th anniversary of Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution that paved the way for the world’s first communist state. It was the first of many countries that would eventually fall to this evil philosophy. Ironically, the communist revolution that claimed to be the savior of the people resulted in the slaughter of over 100 million people world-wide. This was the estimate presented in book published by Harvard University Press, The Black Book of Communism. Published in 1997, its numbers are a bit outdated. The Black Book records there were 20 million killed during Stalin’s bloody …

Jews for Jesus office in Kentish Town, London, England Credit: Jim Linwood/Wikipedia

Poll: Jewish Millennials express an unusual interest in Christ

A survey of American Jewish Millennials, those born between 1984 and 1999, revealed a surprising acceptance of Jesus. The poll of 599 Jews aged 18 to 33, found that 48% of them celebrated Christmas, 33% said that God desires a personal relationship with people and 28% looked upon Jesus as a spiritual leader. However, what was perhaps most shocking is that 21% of them said Jesus was God incarnate. Essentially, over one in five believed Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. The poll conducted by Barna Group on behalf of Jews for Jesus further discovered that Jewish Millennials have a higher interest in spiritual matters than previous generations of Jews. Jews for Jesus is a Christian organization made up of Jews who have accepted Christ as the Messiah. Many Jewish scholars were completely caught off guard by this poll that Barna titled: Jewish Millennials: The Beliefs and Behaviors Shaping Young Jews in America. Stanford University Jewish Professor Ari Kelman said as part of the report: “These don’t look like the Jews I recognize. I was not …

A school in Madagascar Credit: lemurbaby/Wikipedia

‘Something different’ about this Bubonic plague says health official

It always concerns me when health experts use phrases like “something different” and “health officials couldn’t explain it.” These were the words expressed by a World Health Organization (WHO) official describing a recent outbreak of the Bubonic plague on the island nation of Madagascar. Located off the southeastern coast of Africa, it has a population of 25 million. Also referred to as the Black Death, the Bubonic plague gained its fame when it ravaged Europe during the 1300s and 1400s killing 75 million to 100 million people, decimating a third of the population. The outbreak on Madagascar was not so serious. It infected 1,300 people killing 125. But nevertheless it was over double the number who normally catch the plague on the island nation each year. The Bubonic plague is a very serious bacterial infection that results in death upwards of 60% of the time if untreated. Its symptoms include headache, fever, stomach pains and chills. But it’s best known for the painful swelling of the lymph nodes that can break open resulting in bleeding. …

Montreal student riot May 19, 2012 Credit: scottmontreal/Flickr

Are you ready for when “It Begins Nov 4?”

I am writing this a few days before the big day. It is always interesting to remember the time before it all happened. Apparently this is a time we will forget because big things will happen on November 4. Some radical groups, mostly in the U.S. have committed themselves to a violent uprising on one day. The promise is a threat to anyone who thinks differently than them. Some opponents think this promise is only bait, to make any opposers look bad and to get them arrested when they try to stop the uprising. “Take To The Streets And Public Squares in cities and towns across the country continuing day after day and night after night—not stopping—until our DEMAND is met” RELATED: November 4 the day it begins Are you ready? I don’t know what will actually happen, maybe some angry demonstrations, but I am not worried about the action, I am afraid of the reaction. The police know more about this than us, and they have been getting ready for weeks. My high school …

Artist rendering of ninth planet hovering on the outer edge of our solar system. The bright light in the centre portrays Neptune orbiting the sun Credit: ESO/Tom Ruen/Nagualdesign -- NASA

NASA discovers evidence of a ninth massive planet in our solar system

There have been some Christians and others predicting the end of the world through a collision between Earth and a mystery planet lurking in our solar system called Nibiru. In mid-September, Jason Meade who claims to be a Christian numerologist stated the countdown for this collision started on September 23, 2017. He certainly received his 15-minutes of fame with media around the world picking up his story. People have been talking about Nibiru since the 1990s and similarly predicting the world’s catastrophic end. I even stated in my post on Meade’s prediction that if this planet existed astronomers would have noticed it through its effects on the trajectory of other planets and celestial objects. I was a bit rash in my judgement because a couple of weeks later, October 4, 2017, NASA released a statement that it had found irrefutable evidence a ninth planet exits in our solar system. It even suggested that this mystery planet was ten times larger than earth. Coincidentally, those promoting Nibiru also state its massive. NASA claims that it has not been …

Column of smoke associated with volcanic erutpion on Iceland in 2010: Credit: Arni Frioriksson/Wikipedia

The prophet Joel warned of columns of smoke

In the prophet Joel’s vision of the end times, he saw columns of smoke towering into the sky. “I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke. 31 “The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. (Joel 2:30-31 NASV) Though some have interpreted this as a reference to catastrophic events being brought on by such things as earthquakes. Others are not so sure. They suggest the columns that Joel saw are more likely volcanic eruptions that are often characterized by large columns of smoke pouring into the sky. This resulting smoke can be so severe, it can even disrupt air traffic as the ash can damage jet engines. The 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland resulted in the cancellation of 95,000 air flights across Europe, stranding millions of people. Read more: Air travel disruption after the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption If the smoke is severe enough, it can also darken skies and this was noted …

Violence breaks out during Catalonia's vote for independence on October 1, 2017 Credit: Beverly Yuen Thompson/Flickr/Creative Commons

Prophetic marker: A spirit of violence?

As we study the Bible’s ancient account of Noah leading up to the flood we read that it was a wicked time. But there is one verse that sticks out: 11 Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. (Genesis 6:11 NASV) The earth was filled with violence. In fact, the Bible refers to the violence the permeated Noah’s day a couple of times. The Hebrew word for violence is ‘hamas’ and refers to violent acts and the same word is used to describe a mass murder recorded in the book of Judges when a brother murdered 70 of his siblings (Judges 9:24). For one to murder his brothers there must be a raging hatred. But ‘hamas’ encompasses all levels of violence words, intimidation and oppression. It was a violent world in Noah’s day. But the Bible adds one more key descriptor, it says the world was “full” of violence. The Hebrew word ‘timmale’ is not a complicated word. It means simply to “contain as much as …

Asteroid collision artist's representation Credit: NASA/Wikipedia

Oh no, not again — prediction made world will end September 23

Up to this week, I had never heard of Jason Meade. But over the last couple weeks he has certainly gotten his 15 minutes of fame when under the banner of a Christian numerologist he claimed that the countdown for the world’s end will start tomorrow — September 23, 2017. Several secular media outlets have picked up the story including Foxnews and the Washington Post. Unfortunately, when Meade’s prediction doesn’t come true tomorrow, it will be another stab in the back for Christians. I know Meade is wrong, because the Bible says he is wrong. Jesus speaking to his disciples about the end-times said: 36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. (Matthew 24:36 NASV) The Lord says very clearly that we will not know the day when Jesus will return. What does this mean? Well I could guess the day. I could pick a date out of a hat and predict Christ will return on say February 18, 2034 and …

Photo from Hurricane Harvey, August 30, 2017 Credit: John Chandler/Flickr/Creative Commons

US solar eclipse: Sign or coincidence? You decide

The total eclipse of the sun that cut a swath across the US on August 21, 2017 from Oregon to South Carolina has certainly garnered more than its share of attention in recent weeks with some wondering if it was a sign from God. The Bible often connects solar eclipses with end times events (Amos 8:9). In the book of Genesis, we are told that the heavens were created to be a sign to people. God would speak to us through solar events: 14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; (Genesis 1:14 NASV) However, eclipses are not an unusual phenomena. They happen regularly. However, the US has not seen a similar total eclipse fully crossing the country for 99 years. Are all eclipses a sign? Probably not. But to suggest none of them are is equally wrong. If this eclipse was God speaking to America, what has happened …

Qom, Iran where many of the youth are turning to Christ. Credit: Graeme Wood/Flickr/Creative Commons

Muslim cleric warns of explosive growth of Christianity among Iranian youth

Iranian Christian news agency, Mohabat News, confirmed what many are reporting that there has been an extraordinary number of Iranians coming to Christ. The agency, that monitors Iranian news, said the confirmation came in an unusual way. It reported that an Islamic cleric in the Iranian city of Qom publicly warned about the spread of Christianity in that city particularly among the youth. Qom is one of the most Islamic cities in Iran and if there are concerns about the growth of Christianity in that environment, then what is happening in  the rest of the nation? Ayatollah Alavi Boroujerdi, who works at an Islamic seminary in Qom, stated, “accurate reports indicate that the youth are becoming Christians in Qom and attending house churches.” It was even reported that the son of an Islamic cleric based in Qom became a Christian. According to Mohabat News, this is not the first time an Islamic cleric in Iran warned of Christianity’s growing influence in that country. A year earlier, another Ayatollah, Makarem Shirazi based in Mashhad, said that …

Ahvaz, Iran Credit: HOSSEIN MTP/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

129F (53.7C) — setting a heat record in Iran

I may have to eat my words, a quaint way of saying I was wrong. In a post a few months back, I was talking about some hot weather the earth experienced this past June, when locations in both the US and England were experiencing near record temperatures. I found it interesting because in the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John saw extreme heat as one of the judgments that God would pour in the earth in the end times: The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. 9 Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory. (Revelation 16:8-9 NASV) In my earlier post, Turning up the Heat, I noted that though it was extremely hot in these areas of the world in June, they were not temperatures records and because of that I stated: “I do not believe the …

Credit: Mikhail Noel/Flickr/Creative Commons

The white pebble

In his exhortation to the Church at Pergamum in the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John warns that they were dwelling in the place where Satan had his throne (Revelation 2:13), but urges them to overcome. But then the Apostle makes the odd statement that those who overcome will receive secret manna and a “white pebble” with a new name written on it. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’ (Revelation 2:17 NASV) Many of us are familiar with the story of God providing Israel manna in the wilderness and the “hidden manna” may describe the manna put inside the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 16:33–34). But what does the white stone refer too? There are many opinions on this. Some wonder if it refers to the semi …

Partial eclipse of the sun that took place on May 20, 2012 in Salt Lake City, Utah Credit: Thephatphilmz/Wikipedia

Total eclipse — sign or coincidence?

There is a total eclipse of the sun taking place tomorrow in the United States. It will touch down in Oregon around 10 am and make a 70-mile wide swash across America ending in South Carolina at around 2:50 PM. Some of the people living in 12 states will see the total eclipse with every US state witnessing a partial eclipses. We are living in very troubling times both in the US and around the world and many in America have wondered if this eclipse is a sign from God for the US. When God created the heaven and earth, we are told the stars in heaven would serve as signs: 14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; (Genesis 1:14 NASV) The Hebrew word translated sign  ‘o-tot’ is used a number of times in the Old Testament as an indicator. It described the mark God put on Cain …

Karachi, Pakistan Credit: Benny Lin/Flickr/Creative Commons

Marilyn Hickey, a Pakistani anomaly

As we read about Christians being persecuted in Muslim countries, a weird anomaly keeps popping up — American televangelist Marilyn Hickey. Aged 86, last November during a eight-day tour she preached the gospel in Karachi, Pakistan before crowds totaling nearly one million people. She did it freely with no resistance from the government or threats from Muslim extremists. According to reports she is known as the ‘mom of Pakistan” and for some reason has even been accepted by imams in the Muslim Pakistani community. The terrorists basically ignore her because she is an old woman. Officially known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, with 201 million people it is the sixth most populated country in the world. It was formed in 1947 as a home for Muslims living in India and nearly 95% of the country is Muslim. In its revised 1973 constitution, the country declared Islam its state religion and all laws must be in accordance with the Qur’an and Sunnah. At this point, the country has not implemented Sharia law, however polls indicate …

Credit: Vincent Van den Storme/Flickr/Creative Commons

Turning up the heat

The recent heat waves being experienced in the America Southwest and England may have an odd connection to a passage in the book of Revelation: 8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. 9 Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory. (Revelation 16:8-9 NASV) This past week Arizona experienced some very hot weather, but it did not break the 122 degree heat record set in that US state on June 26, 1990. Nevertheless for three consecutive days (June 19-21), Phoenix, Arizona broke or equaled heat records for their city with temperatures of 118F, 119F and 116F respectively. The high temperatures that reached into areas of California resulted in the National Weather Service issuing a warning about “heat-related illnesses.” In the United Kingdom, they are experiencing some of the hottest weather in 40 years. Heathrow reached 34.5C (94F) this past …

The plume from the 2010 eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Credit: Gunnlaugur por Briem/Flickr/Creative Commons

Beware columns of smoke

Last week was a bit worrying for those living in and around Yellowstone Park. Last Thursday, the area experienced a 4.4 earthquake. Earthquakes of that size can be felt, but rarely cause damage. But it wasn’t the earthquake that caused concern, rather it was the 295 other earthquakes that took place in that region during that seven-day period — 60 on Friday alone (June 16, 2017). We know Biblically that a rise in earth quakes will mark the end times, something that even Jesus referred to (Luke 21:11). Though many are downplaying the danger associated with these earthquakes, others are not so sure. They are not so concerned about the earthquakes, as smaller earthquakes can be beneficial releasing pressure and helping prevent a larger quake. But what is concerning is that a flurry of earthquakes could be sign of a bigger problem if they are occurring around a known volcano. It could be a warning of a looming volcanic eruption. As magma builds beneath the surface, the resulting pressure can often cause smaller earthquakes. This puts …

Coptic Christians were traveling to Saint Samuel the Confessors monsatery (above), when they were attacked by Muslim extremists. Credit: Roland Unger/Wikipedia

As in the Days of Noah — ISIS slaughters 28 Egyptian Coptic Christians?

On Friday, May 26, 2017, a group of Egyptian Coptic Christians were traveling by bus to pray at a monastery when they were attacked by Muslim extremists. Their destination was the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor located a hundred miles south of Cairo, Egypt. At least 28 were killed when the bus and an accompanying half ton truck were stopped by three SUVs containing upwards of ten ISIS militants. After storming the bus, the masked extremists demanded the people on board recite the Muslim profession of faith called the shahada: La ilaha illa Allah wa-Muhammad rasul Allah. English: There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah. When they were unable to do this, the heavily armed militants opened fire killing. In addition to the deaths, they wounded at least 22. TV images of the attack showed the bus riddled with bullet holes and its seats covered in blood. Coptic Christians make up about 10% of Egypt’s population of 94 million and over the last several years have been under …

The Euphrates River in the Mesopotamia valley home to Melchizedek and Balaam. Credit: United States Navy

The Spirit of Balaam, social media and the end of the age?

If the Book of Revelation is a vision of the end times, then the Apostle John’s message to the seven churches of Asia in the first three chapters is a prophetic snapshot of what the end-times church will face. In his letter to the church at Pergamum, John warns about the spirit of Balaam, suggesting it will be a rising force just before Christ’s return: 14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. (Revelation 2:14 NASV) Balaam was a prophet mentioned in the Book of Numbers and, using the vernacular from the 1960s, he was one “strange” cat. Balaam was from Petheor, in Amah near the Euphrates River, a country actually mentioned in Egyptian records. This puts Balaam in Mesopotamia where Abraham originated (Deuteronomy 23:3-6). But his unfamiliarity with Israel tells us he was a gentile. He may have been associated with …

credit: david/Flickr/Creative Commons

The last generation?

Jesus made a statement about the end times that for decades has puzzled those studying eschatology. In his discussion of the signs leading to His second coming,  Jesus said: 32 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; 33 so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. (Matthew 24:34 NASV) Most understood this to mean, that when the various end-time signs cited in this passage started to take place, Jesus’ return will occur within that generation. Because they consider the fig tree as symbolic of Israel, the 1948 restoration of Israel as a nation is a key end-times marker. So what was a generation? Many believed that a generation was 40 years and adding that to 1948 meant Jesus would return sometime before 1988. And during the lead up to that date, …

Ruins of temples used in Imperial cult worship in Laodicea, Turkey Credit: Richard Munden/Flickr/Creative Commons

Two types of Christians, only one hears a knock

I regularly receive a daily devotional from Open Doors, a Christian organization that stands with believers being persecuted around the world. In a recent newsletter, they quoted Iranian Christian leader, Luke Yagnazar, who now lives in the US.  Having come from a country where a person can be thrown in jail or even executed for believing in Jesus, Yagnazar talked about his faith struggle in the US. He said: “It is more difficult to be a Christian in the USA than in Iran. There you are either a Christian or not.” In Iran, your decision to become a Christian is not taken lightly. It is very black and white. But in Canada, the US and many other Western countries we have developed a second tier of Christianity. Colored gray, it easily infects us all, myself included. The Book of Revelation talks about this second tier using a slightly different analogy. Speaking to the church at Laodicea, the Apostle John writes: 15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you …

Sergels Square, Stockholm, Sweden Credit: Joakim Johansson/Flickr/Creative commons

A strange reason to celebrate?

Those with an eye on the end-times took note of the technological changes taking place at a small business center in Stockholm Sweden called Epicenter. Housing over 100 companies with an estimated 2,000 employees, Epicenter describes itself this way on its website: “Epicenter is Stockholm’s first digital House of Innovation at the heart of the city and Sweden’s digital landscape.” Though it is not mandatory, Epicenter offers to implant a rice-sized chip into the hands of employees of the various companies free of charge. Inserted into the flesh between the thumb and index finger, the chip serves multiple purposes. It can be used to open sealed doors and operate the printers that need to track usage. But the chip does more than that. Utilizing the same technology as credit cards it can also be used for purchases at the center’s food services. According to an article in the National Post, Epicenter first offered the chip in January 2015, and so far 150 of the 2,000 people working at the center have taken up the offer. …

View of the Dome of the Rock and Western Wall. Many believe the Muslim Dome of the Rock is built on the original site of the Jewish Temple destroyed in 70 AD. Credit: Boris G/Flickr/Creative Commons

Will God allow a third Jewish temple to be built?

Many orthodox Jews and Evangelical Christians are looking forward to the day when Jews build a third temple in Jerusalem, replacing the one destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD during the Bar Kokhba Jewish revolt. Both groups believe its construction would fulfill Biblical prophecy. And recent events in Jerusalem added to the excitement. According to Breaking Israel News (BIN), the Jewish Sanhedrin reenacted the Jewish Passover on Thursday, April 5, 2017 near the site of the original Jewish Temple. This was the fifteenth year that they held the Passover in Jerusalem that included building an altar and the actual sacrifice of a lamb using Jewish Priests. According to BIN, this year’s Passover was held closer to the Temple’s location than it had been in earlier years.  In order to accommodate a sacrifice this close to the Temple Mount, the Sanhedrin used the courts to get police protection. Jewish priests performed the sacrifice with instruments, utensils and clothing provided by the Temple Institute an organization dedicated to rebuilding the Jewish Temple. Attendance at the Passover …