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Archive for September, 2009

Wars and Rumors of Wars

by Meshawn Senior

In the previous article in this series entitled “For Many will Come in My Name,” we discussed how only one person could fulfill the qualifications for being the Savior of mankind, the Christ, the Messiah.  In this installment, we will examine Jesus’ statement in Matthew 24:6, which reads, “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for allthese things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”

Turn on any given news channel and you will hear of various disturbances and social unrest going on all around the globe.  Disagreements, strife, and turmoil are constants in today’s world.  Some people believe that the escalation of these occurrences in the past 100 years or so qualifies as the fulfillment of Matthew 24:6.

Let’s take a look at the most prominent of these events, specifically wars that have taken place since the beginning of the 20th century:

  • World War I (1914-1918) – Over 100 countries from virtually every continent were involved in this war. Some of these countries included Africa, the United States, England, France, Germany, Russia, Turkey, China, India, Australia, Brazil, and numerous others.  The death toll estimates from this war range from 9 million to 16 million.
  • World War II (1939-1945) – This was the largest and bloodiest war in history, with a death toll ranging from 62 million to 78 million.  It began when Germany launched a surprise attack on Poland.  This triggered a domino effect of Allied Powers (France, the Soviet Union, China, the United States, Australia, and Canada) fighting against the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan).  Eventually six other European countries joined the Axis Powers and up to 51 countries around the world aligned themselves with the Allied Powers.  The war was won by the “Allies” in 1945.
  • Vietnam War (1954-1975) – This was a war between the communist regime of North Vietnam and the anti-communist government of South Vietnam, which was aided by the United States.  The U.S. involvement was an effort to stop the spread of communism in this region.  Lasting more than 20 years, this war claimed the lives of over 52,000 U.S. soldiers and those of various allies.  More than 1.5 million Vietnamese died.
  • Gulf War (1990-1991)  This war commenced in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990 over an oil dispute.  After unsuccessful talks to persuade Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein, to peacefully withdraw from Kuwait, the United States and coalition forces launched Operation Desert Storm on January 18, 1991.  Iraq’s army eventually pulled out of Kuwait on February 28, 1991, mostly by desertion or surrender.  U.S. and coalition deaths were numbered at 380.  There are varying reports of how many Iraqi deaths occurred during this war.  Conservative estimates range from 20,000 to 35,000.  (en.wikipedia.org)
  • War in Afghanistan (2001-Present)  This war was in direct response to the terrorist attacks which occurred in the United States on September 11, 2001.  A few weeks after this particular attack, the U.S., along with a coalition of countries, launched Operation Enduring Freedom.  This military action involved the invasion of Afghanistan in an attempt to capture Al Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, as well as to find other Al Qaeda operatives.  Another stated goal was to disband the tyrannical Taliban government.  As of September 21, 2009, coalition casualties of this war include 1,407 deaths. (iCasualties.org)  Civilian casualties are estimated between 11,760 and 31,357. (en.wikipedia.org)
  • Iraq War (2003-Present)  This war, codenamed Operation Iraqi Freedom, began after the constant refusal of then President Saddam Hussein to hand over weapons of mass destruction.  Saddam was eventually captured and then executed for war crimes on December 30, 2006 .  As of September 21, 2009, coalition casualties of this war include 4,663 deaths. (iCasualties.org)  More than 110,600 Iraqis have been killed since the start of the war. (Associated Press -April 24, 2009)

Although the above events represent the most noticeable wars that have ensued over the last hundred years, there have been many other conflicts, including riots and terrorist attacks, which have taken the lives of countless numbers of people.  It is estimated that over 160 million people have died from war-related causes since the 20th century began.  And what makes this time period so unique is that the technological advances in weaponry now make it possible for all life on the planet to be destroyed.  This has never been a factor in previous wars throughout history.

We will continue to develop this topic in the next portion of the series, as well as discuss some of the effects that occur as a result of war.  This will be based on Matthew 24:7, which reads, For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences,and earthquakes in various places.”

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Next installment in the series:
If you have not read the previous installments in this series, they are listed below in chronological order:
  1. Are We Living in the End Times?
  2. Take Heed that No One Deceives You
  3. For Many will Come in My Name

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Here’s the final installment to the Javier Solana series.

Solana – Forerunner to the Antichrist?

By Meshawn Senior

In the previous installment, “Solana and the Middle East,” we discussed Javier Solana’s various influences in the affairs of the Middle East.  It was also mentioned that because of his fervent involvement in this region’s peace process, some people wonder if this very powerful European politician could possibly fit the description of the Antichrist spoken of in the Bible.

First of all, it should be noted that this article is in no way, shape, or form attempting to claim that Javier Solana is the Antichrist.  It is this writer’s opinion that no one besides God, Himself, knows who this particular person will be.  No human being will know for sure who he will be until certain prophetic events come to pass as mentioned in the book of Daniel and other books of the Bible.  These will be discussed in this article.

Secondly, there was a statement made in the previous article that needs to be clarified.  It was stated that the Antichrist was “spoken of in the prophetic book of Daniel.”  However, the actual term “Antichrist” is not mentioned in the book of Daniel, nor anywhere else in the Old Testament of scripture.  This is a New Testament term and Christians consider this person to be one and the same with the “king of fierce countenance” spoken of in the book of Daniel.

There was a book published in 2003 by the late Herb Peters entitled “Recommendation 666” which did a lot to fuel the current interest in Javier Solana.  We will refer to this book often in this last installment of the series.  Of note, Mr. Peters prefaced his book by stating, “I’m not claiming to know who the Antichrist is.  Although I do focus on an intriguing European leader, this doesn’t mean he is the Antichrist.  What I do believe, however, is that this new leader is doing many of the things the Bible tells us the Antichrist will do.  And, his powerful, new office within the European Union may soon belong to the Antichrist.”

So let’s begin by defining the word “Antichrist”.  Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines the term as:  1) one who denies or opposes Christ; specifically : a great antagonist expected to fill the world with wickedness but to be conquered forever by Christ at his second coming, and 2) a false Christ.

The New Testament describes an “antichrist” as anyone who “denies that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh” (II John 1:7) and also, anyone who denies “the Father and the Son” (I John 2:2).  This definition can include many who have lived throughout the ages.  However, there is one person who will come on the scene who will be a worldwide tyrant – one that will magnify himself above every god and will blaspheme the name of the one true God.  He will also require the people of the earth to worship him.  This person will be known as the Antichrist or the Anti-Messiah.

According to Daniel 9:27, this world dictator will “confirm the covenant with many for one week.”  In the original Hebrew, the word written for “one week” is “shabua” which means “seven.”  This can apply to a time period of seven days or seven years.  It is widely accepted that this particular passage is referring to seven years.

In the previous segment of this series, it was mentioned that Javier Solana developed the European Neighbourhood Policy which directly involves Israel, the Palestinians, and other Middle Eastern countries.  Although this policy was developed in 2004, it did not go into effect until January 1, 2007, and it is scheduled to last for a period of seven years.  Some believe that this is the “covenant with many” that Daniel the prophet spoke of.

Another item that raised the prophetic antennae of many theologians was the development of a certain legal document that gave Solana’s office as High Representative even more power.  This document is entitled Recommendation 666.  Here is a quote from Herb Peter’s book of the same title:

“Number 12 of the Recommendation suggested that the High Representative be given something extraordinary. In the event of an emergency, the High Representative has the authority to step in and take control of the EU’s new military machinery. One would think such powers would be reserved for the EU presidency.

As I thought about this, I realized the stage may now be set for the rise of the Antichrist. If a big enough crisis were to occur before the dangerous democratic deficit that now exists in the EU’s military wing is resolved, then the High Representative could step in and invoke his emergency powers given to him by Recommendation 666.”  (Recommendation 666, page 98)

So we see that Solana implemented the European Neighbourhood Policy for a period of seven years.  We also see that there was a document entitled Recommendation 666 that strengthened Solana’s already powerful position.  But what made Mr. Peters really take notice was the number of the document.  It is the infamous number “666” as mentioned in the book of Revelation in the following passage:  “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.” (Revelation 13:18)

Mr. Peters goes on to say, “Should Solana, or some future High Representative, ever step in and take power in such a manner – and create some kind of dictatorship – this person’s rise to power would be associated with the number 666.”

So does this mean that this particular document is a fulfillment of Revelation 13:18?  We shouldn’t be too quick to make that assumption.  This particular passage of scripture is highly obscure and we must be careful not to twist the meaning to fit our interpretation.  There have been numerous explanations for this verse and attempts to make it point to certain people throughout history.  However, only one can be correct.  The person who fits this cryptic description will be revealed at a time of God’s choosing.

The above are just a few of the reasons why certain theologians are keeping a close eye on Javier Solana as the possible Antichrist.  However, it is this writer’s opinion that the unveiling of this person will take place the middle of the “week of seven years,” referenced above.

Daniel 9:27 reads:  “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,…”  This is referring to the animal sacrifices that Israel will be performing in their newly built temple.  The Antichrist will put an end to these sacrifices at that time.  This is one of the ways the world will know who this person is.  This verse goes on to say, “and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate,…”

So, this person will also implement the “abomination of desolation” spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24:15, which says, “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:)”

In closing, let me assert that no one knows for sure if the European Neighbourhood Policy is the seven year covenant spoken of in Daniel 9:27.  And no one knows for sure what the “666” passage in Revelation 13:18 means, either.  Therefore, Solana remains one of many people who are speculated to be the Antichrist.

Of interest, Javier Solana announced his retirement on July 5, 2009, effective at the end of his term in October of this year.  This came as quite a surprise to many who have been following him over the years.  However, he stated that he would “keep his boots on.”  One can only imagine what this might mean.

This leads us to the obvious question:  “Who will be chosen to fill Solana’s position when he leaves?”  It will be very interesting to find out, to say the least.  We will all just have to keep our eyes and ears open and “stay tuned.”

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Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

The ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

                                                                      ~ Psalm 1 (King David)

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