Topical Issues seen from Biblical and Scientific Viewpoints
Here’s some topical issues up for discussion …
- What happens when Iran and her allies finally invade Israel?
- Will they ever stop radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant from polluting the Pacific?
- Is the European Union a good project, or a prelude to world dictatorship? And will Brexit happen?
- Who are the prominent personalities soon to appear on the world stage?
- How cyber-secure is the world economy?
- Is man-made (anthropogenic) CO2 really the cause of global warming?
- Why the recent interest in “blood moons”?
- Is Britain a “special nation” in some way?
- Why are Canadian Inuits (Eskimos) observing a change in the star locations?
- When does the world “go Jewish” so to speak?
- Why can’t politicians resolve the ownership of Jerusalem?
- If homo sapiens has been around for over 200,000 years, where are the billions and billions of people?
Dangerous World Situations
Jerusalem’s Earthquake Danger
The Jordan/Dead Sea Valley is part of a ‘continental transform’ – a tectonic plate boundary between the Arabian and African tectonic plates, link. Running SW-NE across this transform are ‘geologic folds’ formed when the two plates collide – as in the fold running close to the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives. Enlarge Map. See also The Dead Sea Fault.
The World Health Organization (WHO) therefore places the Jerusalem area at “high risk” from earthquake, link. Check out Jerusalem’s recent quakes. Experts expect a major earthquake soon, link. Will this be the major quake seen in Bible prophecy?
The Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley … reaching to Azal (Zechariah 14:4,5)
Iran’s threat to Israel
Iran has repeatedly said it wants to eliminate Israel, link:
You [Zionist regime] will not see 25 years from today [Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, Sept. 2015]
The Quran teaches that the Palestinians must liberate Israel in its entirety. Allah says (in the Quran): ‘And drive them out from wherever they have driven you out’. Removing the Jews from the land they occupied in 1948 is an immutable principle, because it appears in the Book of Allah. We have liberated Gaza, part of Palestine, but I am not prepared to accept just Gaza … Our position is: Palestine in its entirety, and not a grain of soil less. (The Quran says:) ‘Kill them wherever you may find them’ – Allah did not define the 1967 borders or the 1948 borders. We will fight them wherever we can – on the ground, underground, and if we have airplanes, we will fight them from the skies [ Mahmoud Al-Zahar, a co-founder of Hamas, and member of the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip, March 2017 ]
Iran’s destructive mission will probably involve Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah, link:
Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, come from the Islamic Republic of Iran [Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah, June 2016]
Iran has built up Hezbollah’s rocket arsenal on the Israeli-Lebanese border, and the IDF estimated this at 130,000 in 2018. Iran is also supplying precision missiles to Hezbollah.
Is Russia involved? Probably, yes. Russia’s strengthening economic and military ties with Iran supports the view that Russia could be the leader of the invasion, link. Russia and Iran both support Bashar al Assad’s regime in Syria and oppose Sunni jihadist movements such as ISIS. Russian military support for Iran comes via arms deals between the two countries, as in the supply of S-300 air defense systems, Sukhoi Su-30SM multi-role fighter jets and advanced Russian T-90 tanks, link.
Bible prophecy indicates that a Russian-led Islamic invasion of Israel from the north will indeed happen. The Islamic nations are drawn from those geographically close to Israel. Observation of current world events suggest that this invasion of Israel is imminent. Prophecy tells us what happens, link.
Can we trust Germany today?
Germany’s invasion of Poland started WW2, link, and Germany probably takes most of the responsibility for starting WW1 due to her ambitions for military and political prestige in the world, link. Can we trust Germany today, or does this nation still endanger world peace? This may seem a strange question given that Germany is seen as the powerhouse of Europe. But consider this:
- In 2010 German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle said Berlin supports the long term goal of creating a European army: “The long term goal is the establishment of a European army under full parliamentary control”. In 2019 Angela Merkel agreed with France in the call for the formation of a European army. Others observe that “a European army would (again) let Germany project power”, link. To this end, the European Defense Fund seeks to generate over €5 billion per year after 2020 to develop and procure new military technologies
- Will this European army lead the final world war against Israel?
- Germany’s Holocaust was one of the largest ever genocides and antisemitism in Germany is increasing, link
- Germany is once again seen as the most dominant force on the continent, imposing austerity on weaker states, link
- Germany’s coat of arms bears an eagle, a common sign of a predator nation
- Germany’s Pergamon Museum proudly exhibits the reconstructed Pergamon Altar and Babylon’s Ishtar Gate, both pagan monuments. Biblically, Pergamon was seen as “Satan’s throne” (Rev 2.13). So a building central to Satan’s throne now stands virtually complete in Berlin! This monument came from a city where man not God was worshiped
- Some Jewish Rabbis believe that every nation has a unique spiritual nature, and that Germany is closely related to Israel’s ancient enemy, “Amalek”, a ruthless enemy of Israel, link, link. Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, known as “Rashi” (1040-1105) link, explained that Germamia is a nation which, if unified, would cause the destruction of the world
Is the EU Bad News for the Nations?
Is the European Union (EU) a good project for mankind, or a dangerous development? Bible prophecy may have the answer. Daniel chapters 2 and 7 describe just four great secular/world empires that dominate (persecute) Israel in this age: the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman Empires (recall that the Romans destroyed the Jewish Temple in 70 AD). These empires are symbolized by a great image (Dan 2:31-33), and its legs of iron and feet of iron and clay symbolize the final empire, Rome. The Roman Empire (the legs) has long since gone – but then we read that the last empire is destroyed when Jesus returns to earth:
You watched while a stone (Christ) was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces (Dan 2:34)
So many argue that a ‘revived Roman Empire’ must emerge at the end of the age. In fact, research shows that the EU has many of the characteristics of such a Revived Roman Empire, link. And like historic Rome, this revived empire will dominate and cruelly crush all opposing nations (Dan 7:19-27). That must include Israel. And now that the EU is developing a European army, link, the EU could even head the prophesied last invasion of Israel (Armageddon).
Also, since this powerful end-time empire crushes all opposition, it is logical to conclude that Britain’s attempt at Brexit may never happen, or at least be short-lived.
Global pollution was predicted
Radioactive fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster spread across Europe as far as North Wales. Radioactive water from the Japanese Fukushima plant (destroyed March 2011) is still pouring into the Pacific Ocean, link. The oceans we fish are choked with plastic waste, link. The air we breath is polluted with carbon monoxide (CO) from industry and vehicles. Over 90 percent of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds WHO guideline limits, link. Other common forms of pollution are streams full of toxic chemicals from industrial processes, rivers overloaded with nutrients from farms, and trash blowing away from landfills.
Land mines are another source of global pollution, affecting over 50 countries, link. As of 2017 there were an estimated 110 million land mines in the ground, link, and at the present rate of progress it would take over 1000 years to eliminate them! And then of course there’s the claimed atmospheric pollution and resulting global warming caused by man-made CO2. Global pollution (and the climate crisis, whatever the cause) is foreseen in Bible prophecy:
The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants … Isaiah chapter 24 verse 5 (NASB)
Climate Change: Is it CO2?
Of all topical issues, this must be number one! Yes, the world climate seems to be changing. The mean global temperature has increased about 0.8°C since 1880, link, and the weather seems more erratic and extreme, link. Without exception the media follow the IPCC explanation: it’s caused by man-made (anthropogenic) CO2, link, link. But 96% of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere are from natural sources and only 4% is man-made, link. Put another way, man’s overall contribution to the greenhouse effect (GHE) is only about 0.3% whilst water vapour contributes about 95%, link.
Model Errors? Other scientific facts don’t tie-up either (like the dating of glacier retreat and sea level rise, link), leading to questions about the IPCC climate models. It is claimed that the models “grossly simplify the way climate works”, and use fake/incorrect physics and untrustworthy data, link, link, link. Not surprisingly, model predictions are significantly higher than observations, link, link, link. Also, observations of millions of years of data show that ocean temperature changes lead atmospheric CO2 changes – implying that CO2 does not have a causal relation with global warming, link. Put another way, some claim there is no clear correlation between CO2 rise and warming.
So is there a natural cause of climate change, as in the sun? Measurements of sunspot number (a measure of solar irradiance) against global sea surface temperature (SST) for the period 1860-1980 show strong correlation, link, link.
CO2 is not responsible for heating the earth, the cause is the activity of the sun [Professor Emeritus Giora Shaviv, professor of physics and the Swartzmann-Medvedi chair in Space Sciences at The Technion in Haifa]
Earth-axis Tilt Increase?
The world’s climate and weather (note there is a difference!) is very dependent upon the tilt of earth’s axis relative to the ecliptic. Currently the tilt is about 23.5 degrees and this tilt gives us our seasons. It is well-known that the earth “wobbles” (like a top) on this axis, link, and NASA claims that climate change is affecting the wobble, link.
What would happen if this tilt increased slightly, say to 24 degrees? We would get hotter summers and colder winters. More extreme weather. In fact, some Canadian Inuits have claimed an increased tilt has already been observed. They attributed their changing climate and changes in the location of the stars to a change in axis tilt, link. If this is true then, effectively, the Tropic of Cancer would have moved north!
NASA rebuffs the Inuit claims and argues that any tilt change is due to global warming rather than a cause of warming link. So has the axis tilt really changed, as claimed by the Inuits? Atmospheric science claims that what the Inuits are observing is probably a mirage, link. Global warming is giving air density changes that are resulting in atmospheric refraction (similar to the refraction of light in water). NASA claims there is no tilt change.
Axial tilt is easily measured by observing the sun shadow cast by a vertical stick at the summer and winter solstices. At astronomical noon on the Summer Solstice the shadow will be at its shortest length, and vice-versa. Simply divide the angle by two between the shortest and longest shadows to get the tilt. Since this measurement is so simple, the tilt was measured accurately thousands of years ago. And something strange happened around 2300 BC, link!
What does the Bible say about all this?
I will shake the heavens, and the earth will move out of her place (Isa 13:13)
The earth reels back and forth like a drunkard, and shall totter like a hut (Isa 24:20)
And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars … (Lk 21:25)
Who owns Jerusalem?
Jerusalem is perhaps the most contested city in the world, and the question ‘Who owns Jerusalem?’ is endlessly debated. UN GA Resolution 303 (Dec 1949) argued that Jerusalem should be administered by the United Nations as a “corpus separatum” (a separate body). Israel’s Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion sharply rejected the concept:
Jewish Jerusalem is an organic and inseparable part of the State of Israel … Israel could not even conceive that the United Nations would attempt to tear Jerusalem from the State of Israel [David Ben-Gurion, Dec 1949]
Today, although corpus separatum has never been officially relinquished, the international community (the UN, the US and the EU) leans to a two-state solution i.e. Jerusalem should be the capital of both Israel and Palestine, link, link. That said, in December 2017 the US recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel!
The Bible clarifies the confused political situation. Jerusalem is mentioned more than 600 times in the Hebrew Bible. Why? Is this because Jerusalem is special to the Jewish nation and the God of Israel? More thoughts at Resolving Jerusalem.
Coming Personalities on the World Stage
The good, the bad, and the ugly
In the near future the world will see the following personalities: A powerful secular, political world leader empowered by demonic forces (Rev 13:1). This despicable person probably emerges from Europe, link. He will be helped by a prominent but apostate ecclesiastical person (Rev 13:11), probably the pope (Rev 17). Contrary to current popular belief, John Wesley and many Protestant Reformers saw the pope as the Antichrist, link.
About the same time, an Israeli leader, probably a degenerate Jew, will make a Peace Treaty with the secular world leader (Dan 9:27). Although peace for Israel is urgently needed, this treaty turns out to be false i.e. deception! Moving on a few years, prophecy describes two people who are empowered by God to witness to the world (Rev:11). Not surprisingly, the world hates them. Finally we come to the most important personality of them all – Jesus/Yeshua. At the end of all these events, Jesus will return to rule the nations from Jerusalem (Zech 14:9).
Is Israel occupying “Palestinian Land”?
Israel is accused of building on “occupied land”, an accusation that could easily morph into war, link. But according to international lawyers, all of western Palestine, from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, including Gaza and all of Jerusalem remains legally open to Jewish settlement under the original British Mandate. They maintain that this right of settlement is protected by Article 80 of the UN Charter which recognizes the Trust (British Mandate) handed to it by the League of Nations, link. The Mandate also had built-in protection for the non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine, link:
…it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine
So what went wrong? Why the aggression? Why Palestinian refugees? Did it all start in 1947 when the Arabs rejected the UN two-state partition plan, link?
Two Topical Issues that threaten the World Economy:
Government Debt and Cyber attacks
Global debt is rapidly increasing, demanding ever higher interest payments from governments. “The world is facing the worst financial crisis since at least the 1930s – if not ever” [Governor of the Bank of England, 2012]. Sudden global financial meltdown (as in 2008) is hard to predict: “You will never foresee these things – the system is ultimately just too complicated for anybody to really understand” [Martin Wolf, Financial Times, London].
A second threat to world economic stability comes from international cyber terrorism. In fact, “Cyber security is the biggest threat to the world economy over the next decade” [2019 World Economic Forum (WEF)]. No wonder cyber-security is big business in Israel, link. Overall, about 200 Israeli companies now specialize in cyber-security and 25% of the world’s venture capital-funded cyber-security startups are Israeli, link.
Bible prophecy foresees it all; at the end of this age there will be total and sudden global financial meltdown:
Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city … in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste! (Revelation 18:10,17)
Time to invest in eternal security?
NASA tracks potentially hazardous astronomical objects called “near-Earth objects (NEOs)”. The majority of NEOs are asteroids. A Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA), link, link has the potential to make close approaches to the Earth and is large enough (over 140 meters diameter) to cause very significant damage in the event of impact. If one landed in the ocean it will generate a huge tsunami, link. In fact, the book of Revelation mentions what could be taken as an asteroid impact in the ocean:
And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea … and a third of the ships were destroyed (Rev 8.8,9)
Such a catastrophic event is one of God’s judgments upon a rebellious sinful world. But there is a way out! More…
In recent years there has been much interest in so-called “blood moons”. This phenomenon is caused by the scattering of red sunlight onto the moon as the earth passes between the sun and the moon (a lunar eclipse), link. Such events are entirely predictable, see NASA lunar eclipses. Even so, blood moons generate a sense of public awe, and for Jews their timing seems especially significant when they occur on a Jewish festival. For instance, during 2014-2105 four total lunar eclipses occurred as follows:
15-04-14 (Pesach), 08-10-14 (Sukkot 09-10-14), 04-04-15 (Pesach), 28-09-15 (Sukkot)
Note the near perfect correspondence of dates with Jewish festivals. In the past, such strange coincidences have been difficult times for Jews. A similar awesome scenario is prophesied at the end of this age, link:
I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire and columns of smoke. 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)
Why is earth’s population so small?
In 2019 earth’s population was nearly 8 billion. But, given the popular evolutionary timescale, surely there should be many many more?
Some claim that Homo sapiens appeared some 600,000 to 200,000 years ago. So isn’t it strange that after more than 200,000 years earth’s population was still only 8 billion? After all, it took only 215 years to increase earth’s population from 1 billion in 1804 to 8 billion in 2019! To explain the low population, some claim that a world-wide catastrophe may have occurred around 70,000 years ago, reducing the human population to maybe just 1,000 breeding pairs. Does this make sense?
Let’s do the maths on the ‘catastrophe’ theory. Starting with a population of No, after t years the population will have grown to N = No exp(rt), where r is the natural (non-immigration) percentage rate of population increase (r = birth rate – death rate). Typically, population growth rates are between 0.1% and 3% annually. For a conservative estimate we will take r = 0.1% and No = 1,000. Over a 70,000 year period we find N = 2.5 × 10 power 33. In words, earth’s population should now be some million, billion, billion, billion. It’s not of course. So either the population growth calculation is hopelessly wrong, or the theory of human evolution is suspect! On the other hand, taking the biblical data of just No = 8 people after the Flood (around 2,300 BC), we need a mean growth rate of r = 0.5% to achieve a world population of 7 billion in 2011.
Topical issues for Bible believers
Israel’s Future Borders
The current land disputes with Israel over the so-called “occupied territories” will be relatively short-lived. Bible prophecy points to a soon-coming age (the Millennium) when the people of Israel (Abraham’s descendants, the Jews) live at peace within the boundaries promised unconditionally to Abraham. Those boundaries span from the River Jordan in the east to the Mediterranean in the west, and embrace the disputed territories of the West Bank and Gaza.
We note two important points:
- the boundaries given to Moses as he was about to divide up Canaan for the twelve tribes (Numbers 34) correlate well with the Millennial boundaries given in Ezekiel 47
- Both these borders are very similar to Israel’s current legal borders under international law!
The Church view of Israel is Wrong!
Replacement theology holds that, since Israel was scattered among the nations for her repeated rejection of God’s way, then:
- the Christian church has replaced national Israel regarding the plan, purpose, and promises of God
- the Jewish people have no future, no hope, and no calling in the plan of God
- the Jewish people are no longer God’s chosen people and the Christian Church now makes up God’s chosen people
Although its not spelt out so succinctly, many institutionalized churches, and especially the Anglican Church, lean to this view of the nation, Israel. The World Council of Churches (WCC) supports numerous UN Resolutions against Israel’s so-called ‘land occupation’, and advocates peaceful protest such as a goods boycott (the BDS Campaign). It seems these churches are taking a politically correct line and avoid conflict with secular thinking.
But why then has Israel blossomed over the last 100 years in terms of immigration, agriculture, technology and world status? Why do these churches ignore Romans chapter 11, which refers to the end-time “oneness” of Gentile believers and a regenerate Jewish remnant, link?
The Mysterious Israel-Eden Connection
The land of Israel (ancient Canaan) appears to be unique. Detailed historical, geological and biblical studies indicate that the land of Israel could be associated with the biblical Eden described in Genesis. The name Eden means “delicate, delight, pleasure” – a pleasant place to be – a garden home. Geologically, Canaan appears to be part of the “Fertile Crescent” spanning from southern Iraq to Canaan. Abraham probably traveled the Crescent when he left the city of Ur.
Prophecy suggests that the nations will soon see a “modern Eden” in the center of Israel. This appears to occur during the coming Millennial age. During this time the land around Jerusalem reflects many of the characteristics of ancient Eden. For example, during this time God (in the form of the risen Jesus) walks with mankind on this earth, there is no hurt and no killing (the lion eats straw like the ox), there are beautiful trees and plants providing food for both man and animals, and around Zion there are “delightful” places in which to live (just like Eden). More …
When does the World “go Jewish”?
This may be a bit of an over-statement but it brings the point home. The world is headed for a future centered upon Jerusalem (not New York or Brussels). This Millennial age will be a blessed time of world peace, but with firm rule. We know this and much more from detailed Bible prophecies. For example:
- When Jesus (Hebrew: Yeshua, ישוע ) returns His feet will stand upon the Mount of Olives opposite Jerusalem. And from Jerusalem He will firmly rule as King over all the earth (Zech 14:9)
- Each year, gentile nations will go up to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) which occurs in September/October (Zech 14:16). Gentiles will acknowledge that God is with the Jews and simply want to go up to Jerusalem with them (Zech 8:23)
- The Feast of Tabernacles is one of a number of Jewish feasts that are “statutes for ever” and so go on into the Millennial age. Peoples who do not honour this feast will suffer drought as punishment (Zech 14:17)
- It seems even the Jewish Sabbath will be widely honoured and will replace the gentile Sunday, link
And it shall be from new moon to new moon and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all mankind will come to bow down before Me (Isa 66:23)
Is Britain a “special” Nation?
Some see Britain as “special” in that she is seen to have strong historical and biblical connections to the lost tribes of Israel. One of these tribes (Judah) was to hold the royal scepter pertaining to the royal throne of David. It is held until Christ sits on David’s throne as King over all the earth (Gen 49:10, Zech 14:9, Mat 19:28, Mat 25:31). But where is this scepter now, given that Christ has not yet returned?
Some claim that there is strong biblical, archaeological and historical evidence that associates the British Isles with the continuing throne of David. For example, why does the British Coat of Arms bear a “unicorn” – a mysterious animal referred to nine times in the Hebrew scriptures? Why for centuries did a mysterious stone (“Jacob’s pillow?”) reside under the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey, link. Why is it claimed that “Queen Victoria is of David”, link? And where is the “company of nations” as prophesied in Genesis 35:11 if its not the British Commonwealth? More….