The world has been thrown into turmoil since 9/11. The Bible tells us that there is coming a time of trouble on this world, and that it is going to occur at the time of the end.
I want to deal today with a subject revolving around world news. And I think this is something that we are all focusing on, especially considering what has been going on this last week. A lot has happened since 9/11. You don't even have to say the year. All of us know what 9/11 refers to. The world has been thrown into turmoil. When you look at the effects of the terrorists attack on the United States and upon New York City, the state, Europe and the rest of the world, you see that it has had a profound effect. When you look at simply the economy, it has helped to cripple the economy of the United States and also the world's economy. It is estimated that in New York City alone, for 2002, the loses, we are not talking about the Trade Center itself, but just in the loses of income, taxes and so on, is 1.6 billon dollars. The lose in the state of New York is a correspondent 1.6 billion. It is estimated that for this coming year, 2003, that New York City, New York State, will lose over 5.8 billion dollars in income. That is a tremendous blow when you begin to think about that. And you begin to think that a handful of terrorists were able to pull this off.
Quoting from an article says, "The extent to which jobs have been lost to date, are permanently lost, is certainly unknown." You think about all of the jobs of the thousands of people who worked in the Trade Center. And those companies, many of them, have decided that they are going to go elsewhere. They are going to decentralize. They are not going to stay in New York. They are going to pull out of that state. They are going to go to some other area. You find that it had a tremendous impact on the airline industry, and we are all familiar with that.
"The September 11, terrorist attack will cost the national economy, one estimate, an astonishing 639 billion dollars." That just numbs the mind. Over two million jobs lost. Now when you think about that, you begin to think about the impact it has on the country, also realize the impact it could have on God's church because God's people are not immune to loosing their jobs. Not immune to some of these events. "It is estimated that the destruction or the cost of destruction from this, will be the greatest destruction and cost ever paid out. Three times the amount of money that hurricane Andrew, which was the most costly US disaster prior to this." So it shows you a little bit about the impact. And it has had not only an impact on this country, but also worldwide on many leading nations.
In 2 Tim 3: 1, talking about the end time that you and I are living in. 2 Timothy 3:1 2 Timothy 3:1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
American King James Version×But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
When you look the word up for perilous, perilous times means stressful times. And if we are not living under stressful times, I don't know what stressful times are. We are living in an age and a time when the average person is being subjected to stress much greater than anything that he has ever experienced before. You could just ask the average citizen in the United States since 9/11, have you been stressed? Do you fear for you life? Are you afraid of terrorist attacks? What about your job? What about the economy? Do you worry about your family? Do you worry about your children? These are all concerns that people are faced with.
I think the recent sniper attack in Washington D.C. area showed how vulnerable we are truly as a nation. You think about the whole Washington D.C. area was terrorized by two terrorists, by two snipers, John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo. A recent article by a columnist, Ann Colter mentioned in her article that Islam is one of the religions today that the news media seems to respect. She was sort of taking a look at what was going on and how that with this sniper attack, very few people, very few networks, have mentioned about the connection between the John Muhammad and Islam. And yet there is a very definite connection. And she was just making the point when you look at the liberal press today in this country you see that they put down religion. They make fun of Evangelists. They ridicule the Christian religion. And yet in many cases they do whatever they can to make everyone consider that Islam is a religion of peace.
To summarize what she says here, it says, "That after all the speculation about the sniper terrorizing Maryland and Virginia at last we have some cold hard facts. He is a Muslim. He converted to Islam seventeen years ago. He changed his name to John Muhammad. He belonged at one time to Louis Farrakhan's nation of Islam. He cheered the terrorists attacks of September 11. He registered the get-away vehicle with the DMV on the anniversary of September 11, writing down the time of registration as 8:52 AM to coincide with the attacks."
It says, "To review recent events last year nineteen Muslims slaughtered thousands of Americans on US soil. Since then one Muslim has tried to blow up the US commercial jet with the shoe bomb. Another Muslim shot up Los Angeles airport. The religions of peace has been active abroad, decapitating an American journalist, blowing up a French tanker. In the last few weeks alone Muslims have bombed the nightclub in Bali, and were narrowly prevented from slaughtering hundreds of theater goers in Moscow."
The thrust of her article was to show that there is a violent element here. Some say it is just among the extremists. But anyway, you find that Islam is portrayed as a religion of peace, yet you find constantly violence being perpetrated against humans; anyone who might stand in the way of their objective.
Recently, you may have read this, a high-ranking cleric, Muslim cleric, demanded the death of three American clergy. And he said that because of some statements that they made, that they ought to be put to death. Let me read this to you.
It says, "A high ranking Iranian Muslim cleric has called for the death of three Christian leaders for insulting the prophet Mohammed."
I could ask you to guess who these religious leaders are. You would probably guess who a couple of them are very quickly.
"He called for the killing of the Baptist preacher Gerry Farwell, Evangelist Franklin Graham, and Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson."
He said, get rid of all of them. It goes on to say, "Meanwhile, according to the Washington Post, experts believe a recent series of disparaging remarks about Islam by Farwell, Graham, and Robertson have sparked riots in India, helped religious parties win elections in Pakistan, and undermine public sympathy in Islamic countries for the US war on terrorism."
So, what this article goes on to state is that anytime any type of derogatory statement is made in this country against Islam, Mohammed, or anything to do with it, this is proclaimed broadly across the Arab world. And as a result, the US is very well, or too often, depicted in a very bad light.
Let me ask you a question about the recent sniper attacks. What if this were a trial run to see the impact that snipers could afflict upon a community? What if this was only a test? Recent articles have indicated that, from US intelligence, that they feel a number of explosions, a number of things have been happening oversees, have actually been trial runs where they have been testing the amount of explosives, the timing, setting, and all of this to see if later on they could pull something off a little bigger.
Stop and think about what happened in Washington D.C. It shut public schools down. Because once a sniper attacked a child, the schools stopped. One morning it shut down all the freeways during the rush hour traffic. And there was a horrible back up of traffic all over Washington DC. What impact did it have upon the economy, the psyche, the emotions, the activities, of such a large area? I think we all know. We saw the pictures, we saw the interviews that people were greatly disturbed. People started staying home. We are not going out. What does this do to restaurants, to shopping malls, to this type of thing when you begin to think about it?
This may not have been directly orchestrated by Al Qaeda, but Al Qaeda operatives have been told to go do their own things individually. To do what they can to inflict pain, suffering, and fear within the United States. Their objective is to have us fearful so that we will pull back.
Let me tell you what it did do. It very well could have planted the idea of doing the same thing into their collective conscience if they had not thought of it prior to this. Stop and think of the havoc that would occur if ten cities in the United States were under siege from snipers simultaneously, and hundreds of Americans were being killed by snipers. What if a couple of snipers were loose in Las Angeles or Chicago, in Miami, Cincinnati, to bring it a little closer to home? All a sniper would have to do is to start shooting kids at schools, and again, all public schools shut down. All there would have to be is a drive by shooting at an airport, followed up the next day by another drive by shooting at an airport, and all at once that airport stops operating. And what if this occurred at multiple airports? And then the warning message somehow is gotten out, we are going to attack your airports. All at once the airline industry grinds to a halt. And how long would it take to begin to bankrupt the airline industry? It would certainly create an atmosphere of fear and terror within this country.
I want you to notice back in Daniel 12. The Bible tells us that there is coming a time of trouble on this world, and that it is going to occur at the time of the end.
Daniel 12:1 Daniel 12:1And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
American King James Version×"At that time And what time are we referring to? Verse 40 tells you. Go back to 11:40. "At the time of the end ...
This whole setting through here is set at the time of the end. Brethren, this is the age that we live in. We live at the time of the end. We live at the time a man's rule over man on the earth.
Daniel 12:1 Daniel 12:1And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
American King James Version×"At that time Michael shall stand up,
The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;
And there shall be a time of trouble,
Such as never was since there was a nation,
Even to that time.
And at that time your people shall be delivered,
Every one who is found written in the book.
And then he goes on to talk about the time of the resurrection.
So you will find there is going to come at the end time a time of trouble such has never been since man organized himself into nations; since the time of the tower of Babel.
Brethren, what we need to realize is this time of trouble is also specifically, the Bible says, against certain people. Look at Jeremiah 30:4 Jeremiah 30:4And these are the words that the LORD spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah.
American King James Version×. We know this time of trouble is actually describing as the events as they are unfolded in the book of Revelation. The seals, the trumpets, the last plagues that are described there, but there is a beginning to this time of trouble. There is a time when it begins. When it kicks off so to speak. And then as time goes along, it begins to accelerate.
Jeremiah 30:4-7 Jeremiah 30:4-7  And these are the words that the LORD spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah.
 For thus said the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.
 Ask you now, and see whether a man does travail with child? why do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?
 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
American King James Version×Now these are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah. Both of them.  "For thus says the Lord:
'We have heard a voice of trembling,
Of fear, and not of peace.
 Ask now, and see,
Whether a man is ever in labor with child?
So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins
Like a woman in labor,
And all faces turned pale?
 Alas! For that day is great,
So that none is like it; This is describing the same event we find back in Daniel 12. There cannot be two times in the history of mankind that are unparalleled in their intensity. So it says, none is like it.
And it is the time of Jacob's trouble, Notice, it is a time that the descendants of Jacob are going to be troubled.
But he shall be saved out of it. Now it doesn't say he won't go into it. But he will be saved out of it.
So you find here in the future that there is going to be a time of trouble upon Jacob and especially upon the descendents of Joseph, Manasseh, and Ephraim. And I think that we are beginning to see that time of trouble as it begins to unfold before us.
We read the Bible, we look back on prophecies that have occurred, and you see that God predicted, as an example, that there would be four major world ruling empires. W read the book of Daniel, Daniel 2, 7, 8, and we find some of these events described and we know that what God has said will come to pass. And if you had been living back at that time, in the time of Daniel, and Daniel had mentioned some of the visions that God had given to him and you began to see maybe some of the events unfolding before your eyes, you wouldn't know if this is exactly what God was referring to or not.
Well brethren I think we are living in a time when we are seeing prophecy developing before us, as Mr. Armstrong used to say. We are seeing Europe coming together .We are seeing a rise of terrorism and a time of trouble that is without precedent that is coming upon the sons of Jacob and especially Ephraim and Manasseh.
Notice how Christ explained it in Matthew 24, beginning with verse 7. He describes the time of trouble at the end. Let's back up to verse 6.
Matthew 24:6-7 Matthew 24:6-7  And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
American King James Version×And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; Christ says, for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. It is not yet here.  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
So we find that these events are going to take place. So we live in a time where have seen wars, rumors of wars around the world. But again, notice verse 8.
A time when you see things beginning and it grows in intensity, obviously, as the book of Revelation describes.
I think this is describing sorrow that is going to come upon the whole world, and especially upon Israel, both physical Israel and spiritual Israel. It just so happens that we are living here in physical Israel, but we are also spiritual Israelites. So a double barreled whammy, if you want to put it that way. Satan hates God's church. He hates the fact that we have been called by God and one day we are going to rule over him. We will be in the family of God; something that was never offered him. He hates the work that we are doing. The fact that we are proclaiming the good news of Christ's return to remove him and his demons from positions of power, and to establish God's kingdom on this earth. And he also hates Israel, because it is in Israel, the nation of Israel, that the work of God is being done. And so his hatred is against the peoples of Israel, both physical and spiritual.
But notice verse 9. Matthew 24:9 Matthew 24:9Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
American King James Version×Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake.
So here you find, obviously talking about the church, the church will be hated of all nations but I think indirectly this refers also to Israel, that again, the descendents of Israel will be hated. And then it goes on to say;
Matthew 24:10-13 Matthew 24:10-13  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
 But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.
American King James Version×And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.  Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.  And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.  But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
So the call to us is that we have to endure to the end during this time. Verse 21 describes this as the time leading up to the great tribulation. See, all of these events lead up to a time when it says here;
Matthew 24:21-22 Matthew 24:21-22  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
American King James Version×For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.  And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; The implication is, saved alive. but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened.
So what you find, the great tribulation described here is the same thing that describes about Jeremiah 30 the time of Jacob's trouble, Daniel 12 a time of trouble at the end time. So brethren, we are living in that time, the time of the beginning of sorrows that is going to come on this earth and will ultimately lead to the return of Christ to the earth.
I want you to stop and think about some of the chilling possibilities of terrorism, and that this is a new type of warfare that we are not accustomed to. Remember when this country first started and we had, let's say, the war for independence going on, you might remember the British fought in a certain way. In war it was always an honorable thing to line everybody up, you dressed them up, beat on drums, you walked towards each other, you shot at each other, and the last man standing won.
Well, the American's learned from the Indians you don't fight that way. You hide behind a tree. You shot. You run. And you ambush. And a small handful of men were able to defeat a much superior war machine. Well the same thing is true today. Here we have all of the military might of the United States, and yet a handful of men fighting in a way that we are not accustomed to. A way that, you would say that they are cowards in the way that they are fighting. And yet it is an extremely effective method of trying to bring our nation down.
Just look at some of the headlines that have been going on this past week. Let me just quickly read some of it.
FBI Warns of the Risk of Al Qaeda Attack. "Two days after intelligence experts said an audiotape indicated terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden was still alive. The FBI has warned that Al Qaeda is likely to attempt a spectacular attack intending to inflict large scale casualties and to damage U.S. economy."
You see, these are their objectives. Kill as many people as possible, and disrupt the economy.
It says, "Sources suggest Al Qaeda may favor spectacular attacks that meet several criteria; high symbolic value."
What about the Statue of Liberty? Something that has a high symbolic value.
"Mass casualty. Severe damage to the US economy and maximum psychological trauma. The highest priority targets remain within aviation, petroleum, nuclear sector, as well as significant national landmarks. In recent weeks the FBI has issued warnings about possible attack on US railways and on the energy industry."
And then you might remember also, "Wednesday, the FBI authorities in Houston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, told them to be aware of threats on hospitals."
You begin to look around our nation, you see our hospitals, our rail systems; you go to Houston, some of the areas you see all of these huge tanks filled with oil and all you need to do is set a couple of explosions off and all at once you have a horrible catastrophe taking place.
So it say, "The recent night club bombings in Bali, Indonesia, the assault on marines in Kuwait, the attack on the French tanker new Yemen, as well as US strike on a car carrying suspected terrorist also in Yemen, are described by law enforcement officials as actions that point to an increased threat activity."
And so, they are talking openly about this taking place. Another headline this week. US Braces for Execution Reprisal. "The State Department braced Friday for reprisals around the world after a Pakistanian man who killed two CIA employees in 1993 was executed."
So now they are concerned about this taking place. Also, something you may not have seen, another headline; Europeans Warn of Terrorist Attack. Now the European's are worried. "Normally circumspect European Intelligence and Law Enforcement officials have issued a wave of stark warnings in the last two weeks in an echo of US fears that another terrorist attack may be on the way, including the possibility that Al Qaeda could employ chemical or other weapons of mass destruction against European targets."
You might say that Europe is a little more vulnerable in the sense that they are closer to the action, closer to the Mid East, closer to some of the other Muslim nations.
It says, "The release Tuesday of a tape recorded statement attributed to Osama bin Laden", and they feel pretty conclusive that he is still alive now, 'threatened Britain, France, Italy, Germany, as well as Canada and Australia, has compounded the sense of urgency in all of this."
The British Home Office issued a statement that "Al Qaeda could employ a dirty bomb or launch a poison gas attack." It says, 'Today's breed of terrorists is looking for even more dramatic and drastic effects."
He is looking to be able to pull something off that creates a lot of attention.
"All Intelligent experts are agreed that Al Qaeda is preparing a major terrorist operation, simultaneous attacks that would not target the United States alone, but several countries at the same time."
Now what if they are able to pull this off? What if Germany and France, or Italy, or Britain and the United States all at once were hit? What kind of chaos would that do?
It has recently been reported that four countries have the smallpox virus. And that Iraq is one of them. So what we are concerned about is somebody sneaking into this country, it wouldn't take much, a little vile, containing the smallpox virus, putting it in some type of solution, rent an airplane, fly over a city and spray the city. Fly over the Super bowl. Spray the Super Bowl. Fly over any big event that is taking place. Drop it into the water supply, and all at once you have a whole city or a whole region that becomes affected by this.
There was a recent movie, I don't know how many of you saw it. Norma and I saw this I think before the Feast. It was called The Peacemaker. And the movie was about ten warheads being stolen in the environment of the old Soviet Union, and the attempt to ship them out of the country. The American's intervened. George Cloney I think it was came to the rescue. And they captured nine of the warheads, but one warhead was backpacked out of the country. It was smuggled through Eastern Europe, and entered into the United States in the diplomatic pouch, which are not searched. The terrorists came within seconds of detonating the bomb in New York City. And the objective was to blow the United Nations up and do as much destruction in New York City as possible. If you saw the movie you will know that the bomb was blown up. It did not activate the atomic detonator.
Now the lesson of this movie was really driven home to me. I had seen the movie. Went to the Feast of Tabernacles in South Africa, and while there there was an article that appeared in the paper the stating the possibility of over 220 nuclear devices not accounted for in the Ukraine. They are counting all of these devices, where they are stored, how many there are supposed to be. There are supposed to be over a couple of thousand of these, and 220 of them they said were missing.
Now the question was, are they missing or was it just bad paper work in counting? The story went on to say, we think they are there, but, we don't know. Now I have never heard anything more about that. What if there is only one missing? It only takes one. It doesn't take 200.
This past week there was another article that appeared in the paper. The headline said, Soviets Say Nuclear Material Missing "The head of Russian's Nuclear Regulatory Agency says small amounts of weapons and nuclear material has disappeared from the country's atomic facilities."
Where is it? Who has it? One of the officials said that, " He did not give further details on when the losses were discovered or how much material might have gone. The International Atomic Energy Agency listed two know thefts of uranium. One in 1994, the other in 1995. In both cases the uranium was seized by the Russians. The agency also listed the 1994 seizure in Germany of 400 grams of plutonium brought in from Moscow."
It just takes one slipup for a terrorist's organization, and you have to realize that bin Laden or many of these individuals have billions of dollars, multiple hundreds of millions, we will put it that way, and they are willing to spend it to be able to buy a device like this. And they would not, for a second, stop and think about blowing it up in New York City or some other area.
So brethren, this is the time that we live in. Let's go back to the book of Deut. 28. If you remember Deut. 28 is the blessing and cursing chapter. It shows what happens if we obey God, how He blesses us. What happens if we disobey Him, the curses that would descend upon us as a people.
Deut. 28:43 And God says there is going to come a time that The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower.
Those who are not Israelites would rise up higher. Part of this could be what we are seeing taking place around us.
Deut. 28:52 They shall besiege you at all your gates until your high and fortified walls, in which you trust, come down throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you at all your gates throughout all your land which the Lord your God has given you.
We normally just think of that as besieging military armies coming in destroying walls and taking over a city. But what if our cities become besieged by terrorist prior to those type of attacks taking place? It certainly is a possibility.
Now while all of this is going on within our country, and Europe is on alert, the world's attention has also be focused on Iraq. You remember on November the 8th, the United Security Council approved a new Iraq resolution that would allow inspectors to come into the country. And as President Bush said that Saddam Hussein now faces the final test. We have the resolution; the inspectors are going to go in.
It says, "The President who has already won backing from the US Congress for military action, said that Saddam must immediately comply with the new resolution otherwise he will face the severest consequences."
"And Tony Blair in Britain," again we have Ephraim and Manasseh standing together, "was equally blunt. He warned that, If Iraq defiled the United Nations, we will disarm you by force:"
I was listening to the news prior to coming over. And they are already saying that Iraq has not complied with what they said they would do. Will this be an excuse? In other words, will we as a nation look upon any of these things as an excuse to be able to go to war against them?
It is interesting this week that the Iraq Parliament voted against the UN resolution that Sadam Hussian approved. And when you stop and think about it, it was nothing but a political ploy on his behalf. It makes Saddam look good. It make him look like a moderate. It makes all of these other fellows look like hard- liners. And so therefore, it looks like, well I am willing to help. I am willing to do whatever I can. And it is nothing but a political ploy.
It is almost an impossible task for the inspectors to go into Iraq and to find biological weapons, to find things of this nature. Let me describe how difficult it would be. It is like filing this room with hay and putting a needle in it and asking you to go find it. How difficult would it be to find a needle in a haystack?
Well there was an editorial here this past week that I think helps illustrate how difficult this would be. It says, "Here is the difficulty that the inspectors have in a nutshell. Try looking for a few test tubes in a country larger than California." Just a couple test tubes. " Or something the size of a washing machine that clever people are determined to hide. That is about the size of a centrifuge that could produce enough enriched uranium to create a nuclear weapon. As former inspector David Kay said, 'Sodom will always defeat a UN type of inspection, made up of a 100 to 300 people in the country as large as Iraq.' "
There is no way to even search every building. No way you can search all of their palaces. No way you can go into every nook and cranny.
"Past inspections have shown that unless someone from the inside gives you inside information, the chances of finding any or all of the toxic type of material is limited. You might remember after four years of combing the country, Sadam's son-in-law defected and provided information that there were over thirty thousand liters of one of the deadliest toxins known in the country, and where it was located. But the inspectors had not found it."
Again, it is like hunting for a needle in a haystack.
Our invading Iraq could eventually turn the whole Arab community against the United States in Israel. The US and Israel stand together and fall together. We are looked upon as the backers of Israel. We are linked together in the minds of most Arabs. And this is a ploy that could eventually backfire on the United States. I mean, I think we all stand up, we are glad to have a President who has enough grit to stand up and do something. And yet, in the long run, it could be something that might backfire on us.
Let's analyze the scripture that we haven't referred to much in recent years, but certainly does impact what will eventually happen to the children of Israel, and Joseph, and to the descendents of Judah.
Leviticus 26:3-5 Leviticus 26:3-5  If you walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
 And your threshing shall reach to the vintage, and the vintage shall reach to the sowing time: and you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
American King James Version× 'If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them,  then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.  Your threshing shall last till the time of vintage, and the vintage shall last till the time of sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
So what you find is that God has promised to bless the descendents of Abraham with great economic blessings and military might. And we know that today we are the recipients of those blessings, those promises that God gave to Abraham. Those continued blessings, though, in other words if the blessings are going to continue on our people, are hinged on national obedience to God's law. National obedience to the law of God. Notice in verse 6 what God promises if we obey Him.
Leviticus 26:6 Leviticus 26:6And I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.
American King James Version×I will give peace in the land, Do we have peace in the land? and you shall lie down, and none will make you afraid; Did people lie down in Washington DC and not be afraid? What about just crime that takes place in this country; the many cities, the many parts of this country where people go to bed and they lock themselves in the house. The criminal element roams the streets and they have to be locked within. Well, God promises that we could go about our normal lives and not worry, that nothing would make us afraid if we obeyed Him because He would be there to protect us, to look after us. And it goes on to say, I will rid the land of evil beasts, and the sword will not go through your land.
So we wouldn't have to worry about warfare. As I said, terrorism is a different type of warfare. But believe me, it is warfare. And God said if we obey we wouldn't have to worry. And yet we realize today that our nation is not obeying God. Notice verse 7.
Leviticus 26:7-8 Leviticus 26:7-8  And you shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
 And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
American King James Version×You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you.
 Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; That we would be able to with a small handful, to rout the enemies that we would be confronted with. And today we have to admit that the United States is the dominant military power on the face of the earth. But yet we have seen a couple of snipers and some terrorists who have caused panic and fear among all of us. Tens of thousands of people. Now in verse 9-13 God promises to favor His people, to look after the peoples of Israel, or any nation who will obey Him. It is not just limited to Israel, but to any nation that is willing to obey God. But verse 14 says;
Leviticus 26:14-16 Leviticus 26:14-16  But if you will not listen to me, and will not do all these commandments;
 And if you shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that you will not do all my commandments, but that you break my covenant:
 I also will do this to you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
American King James Version×'But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments,  and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant,  I also will do this to you: So what does God say will happen if our people will not keep His commandment? I will even appoint terror over you, Instead of terror being struck into the hearts of our enemies, we would have terror, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17 I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you,...
So brethren, I think we need to realize that there are many who hate the United States. Now when you travel around the world you being to realize that the United States is not beloved, but is hated by many nations, is envied by many nations. It is looked down upon by others. And it says that those who hate us will reign over us. And it goes on to say; and you will flee when no one pursues you.
So I think that can also describe, not that it is just limited to that, but what goes on when there are terrorists or snipers.
Why is the US hated and despised by so many Arabs? And even by many in Europe? There was an interesting series of articles that came out back in the spring of the year in the Weekly Standard that addressed the topic and I think gave some insight into this. One of the articles was written by David Brooks. The article addresses Islamic extremists and the attitude that many in Europe have towards the United States. And what it does it ties again Israel and the US together.
It says, "The Israelis are driven by passionate Zionism to build their homeland and make it rich and powerful. Americans are driven by our Puritan sense of calling; the deeply held belief that we Americans have a special mission to spread our way of life around the world. And it is precisely this heroic element of ordinary life that Europeans lack and distrust, and also that the Arab's do." It says, "When they look," talking about the Europeans, "at us with incomprehension when our leaders declared a global assault on terror and evil. They see us as a mindless Rambo, a Mike Tyson with rippling and with no brain. Whereas the Islamic see us as a decadent slut. The Europeans see us as a gun slinging cowboy."
So they have different views of us, but they have similar hatreds.
"Why do the Europeans and Arab's each in their own way hate America and Israel.?" Well that is the title of another article. And I thought this particular article was quit incisive in that it put its finger on several reasons why that maybe some of us have not thought of it.
"In much of the world's eyes two people, the American and the Jews, have emerged as the great exemplars of undeserved success."
Now what we have to realize is that because of the great success that the United States has had, people look at us and say you don't deserve that. How could these people, these mediocre people with a lack of culture, lack of background; I mean here Europe has been here for centuries and here we have this upstart, these cowboys that come along. How could they be so successful, so dominate, so powerful in the world today? And it comes down to envy and it comes down to jealousy. They look upon us as being vulgar, corrupter or morals, corrupters of culture and having idolatrous values.
Now I wouldn't argue about some of those points because a lot of those points are certainly true. But what they don't understand, and brethren what our own people don't understand, is where have these blessings come from? Why have we been blessed? It is not because of our greatness, because of who we are. It is because of a promise to Abraham, and to Isaac, and Jacob. Of what God would do in the end time and how He would bless the descendents of Israel.
It says, "Today many burn with a sense of unjust inferiority. They experience the same humiliation because there is nothing they can do to thwart the growing might of their enemies.
They look on us as their enemies and there is nothing they can do." The US is looked on as like a big train coming down the track and what can you do to stop it? Well, "...there is nothing they can do. They rage and they rage." And it says, "Today, the way to stop it, many think, is by terrorists and suicide bombing."
And it talks about bourgeoisophobia, the phobia termed for a hatred of success.
"It is a hatred held by people who feel that they are spiritually superior, but find themselves economically, politically, and socially, outranked."
So economically, politically, and socially, the US is predominant.
It says, "In the 20th century the Americans' aggressive commercialism was symbolized by the unstoppable spread of jeans, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Disney, and Microsoft."
We spread that around the world. And I might mention our music as well.
"America, in the bourgeoisophobes' eyes, is the land of Bart Simpson, boy bands, boob jobs, and "Baywatch." The land of money and guns. Of insincere smiles and love handles." Now they are beginning to get personal. "So by the time Osama bin Laden came along, hatred of America was well rehearsed, a finished product just waiting for him to pick it up. In 1998 bin Laden declared war on 'the crusader-Jewish alliance, led by the United States and Israel.' He added, 'Since I was a boy I have been at war with and harboring hatred towards the Americans.' He was only echoing Toynbee, who 30 years earlier said, 'The United States and Israel must be today the two most dangerous of the 125 sovereign states among which the land surface of this planet is at present partitioned.'"
And so that was his view. Notice the traits that enrage especially the Arabs. It says, "These are the traits that enrage al Qaeda and other Third World anti-Americans and anti-Westerners. First, they hate the city."
In other words big cities, commercial cities.
"Cities stand for commerce, mixed populations, artistic freedom, and sexual license. Second, they hate the mass media: advertising, television, pop music, and videos. Third, they hate science and technology--the progress of technical reason, mechanical efficiency, and material know-how."
In other words, their kids can have computers sitting on their desk and they see what the rest of the world is like. They don't want that, because they don't want their children exposed to that.
"Fourth, they hate prudence, the desire to live safely rather than court death and heroically flirt with violence."
In other words, if you are going to be macho, you are going to be violent.
"Fifth, they hate liberty, the freedom extended even to mediocre people. Sixth, they despise the emancipation of women."
And when they look at our culture, when they look at us, this is exactly what they see. And so each in its own way, you'll despise us.
Now let's notice here again in Leviticus 26:18 Leviticus 26:18And if you will not yet for all this listen to me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.
American King James Version×what God says will eventually happen to our peoples if we do not obey His laws, and if we disobey, if we don't repent and seek Him.
Leviticus 26:18-19 Leviticus 26:18-19  And if you will not yet for all this listen to me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.
 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:
American King James Version×'And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.  I will break the pride of your power; So God says that He will break the pride of our power.
The terrorist want to destroy our economic success and power. Our economic power might be undermined in many different ways. They also hope to show the world that the United States is vulnerable. That is what 9-11 did. We never thought anything like this could ever happen to us. To our country. So they have shown that we are vulnerable.
What is happening is a religious and a cultural war that is taking place. I have an article here, and I may have read this before, I am not sure, but let me read it because I don't know of anything that summarizes better what is going on than this.
"The Arabs at the core of their cultural identity are deeply religious family oriented." It says, "Nowhere in the world is the sense of honor more deeply engrained into the young people and a sense of family responsibility engrained into young woman than is Islamic communities. Marriage and children are regarded as an expression of God's destiny. Every little girl fully expects to become a wife and mother. It is a priority. America and the Arab nations are on a cultural collision."
This is one reason, the title of this article is Why Arabs Hate Americans, and the reason is, our culture and everything America stands for is the antithesis of what they believe in.
"America and the Arab nations are on a cultural collision course. The first sign of serious friction began to appear when female American troops served in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War. Arab men were appalled at the sight of armed females giving orders, telling men what to do. This was the highest possible dishonor. They remember this to this day. Female troops, however, are only the tip of the iceberg. Modern American ideology is described by many as left wing liberal democracy. This term is supposed to indicate compassion and fairness. To many people, however, especially Arabs, it represents Communism and Satanism. Why do they feel this way? Simply Arabs intellectuals, the Muslim clerics examine the American social and political system in order to gage the effect that it has had on American children."
What effect does our way of life in this country having upon the populous, especially the younger generation?
"The effect has clearly been a disaster." From their viewpoint. "American children are emotionally devastated. The Arabs know that with the improvement of technology, such as cell phones and the Internet, American feminists and social school of thought will begin to influence their own children as well. As parents, they have asked the question do we want our children to become Americanized? And the answer is no. The reason given offers important clues as to why the true nature of the conflict is never discussed on television" In this country it is talking about.
"The mainstream media has invested heavily in the left as a result of pressures from feminists, homosexuals, and the socialist. To discuss true Arab motives would require acknowledging that our globalized left liberal agenda is failing and eventually will result in the collapse of the United States. The America media and the American government are simply not ready for that kind of honesty. Ultimately this war must be viewed as a social conflict."
And so this is one of the main reasons why we see this taking place. Brethren, we need to realize that we are living in dangerous times. You know, we may be entering, as I mentioned earlier, the time of Jacob's trouble. But it seems like we can only see one enemy at a time. We have become so focused on Iraq terrorism that we are not watching Europe at this time. There is a very fine article in the latest World News and Prophecy by Melvin Rhodes that focuses on this issue about the growing separation and philosophy and approach between Europe and also United States. They have been very highly critical of our foreign policy. Trade disputes are heating up. They feel that the US is environmentally irresponsible. They chaff over our military might and our economic might. And they are envious of our dominance in the world. And so therefore they want to do something. But right now, they are not capable of doing anything. There is an article that came out this week talking about The New Sick Man of Europe. And whether you realize it or not, Germany is being described as the sick man of Europe because of all the problems that they are having.
"European economy will only grow one percent". This is the estimate from the year 2002. "The United States economy is expected to grow a little over two percent. Japan will decline by one percent."
So even though we are having troubles and difficulties in this country, Europe, in fact is worse off. Japan is certainly the same way. What this will do will eventually lead to the need for a strong leader in Europe. And Europe, let's say galvanizing around not only a strong leader, but a strong religious leader.
Let's go back to Revelation 17. In know we are all familiar with this particular scripture. Revelation 17 we find that at the time of the end, beginning here in verse 12.
Revelation 17:12 Revelation 17:12And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
American King James Version×The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.
The beast is a political leader who will bring, galvanize, help to pull, this union together.
Revelation 17:13 Revelation 17:13These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength to the beast.
American King James Version×These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.
And he will use their power to begin to try to control the earth. At the end time when Jesus comes back, brethren, the nations of Israel, and Ephraim and Manasseh are no longer here, they are not the dominant forces on the earth. The earth will be divided between east and west. One under the direction of Europe, what we have always referred to as the Bible talks about the beast power, the United States of Europe as it rises up. And eventually Europe and the Arabs, Arab world, also come into conflict. They will come into conflict if Terrorist attack them, but eventually there will be an all out war that will take place
In Daniel 11:40 Daniel 11:40And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
American King James Version×I want you to notice the time of the end again.
Daniel 11:40 Daniel 11:40And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
American King James Version×"At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, What will bring Europe into conflict with the Arab world? Well here it says king of the South will attack the king of the North. The King James Version translates this; ..will push at him
The word "attack or push: in the Hebrew means literally to butt with horns. It is like butting something, you are coming up against him. Or figuratively; to war against. So there is also going to come a time in the future that Europe and the Arab world will come into conflict. Why? Could it be over oil? Europe is more dependent upon Mid Eastern oil than the US is.
There is another possibility. I had not thought about this, but I copied an interesting article from the Catholic World News page about past threats against the life of the Pope. Have you ever asked yourself the question what would happen to Europe if the Pope were assassinated? There was an attempt on his life and was almost successful where he could have been assonated. Recently there was a news release, and this is from November 11, that said that in 1999 there was a planned attack against the Pope that was being planned in Mailia, the Philippines. The Vatican came out and said that was not true as far as they know, because the Pope never intended to go to the Philippines in 1999.
But, they did say, "The Vatican officials pointed out however there had been credible threats of assignation plot against the Pope in 1995 when he visited the Philippines on the World Youth Day. The officials acknowledge that US intelligence agents warned of an al Qaeda plan directed by Osama bin Laden prompting high security precautions."
"Nor was this the only time when papal travel plans were affected by security concerns.
In 1994 the Pope was forced to shelve his plans to visit Sarajevo, in Bosnia; at the time the Vatican explained the trip was scuttled 'for reasons of security'."
Another plan, they found out, where there was a possible attempt to assassinate the Pope. What would this do to Europe? What would it do help to galvanize them together? I have no idea if something like this would be successful. I am just throwing out what the possibilities might be.
You see, sometime we think it could happen this way. And yet, God can work prophecy in hundreds of different ways. Situations could occur that we would not even begin to think about.
I think we all realize brethren, that we need to be praying that God's kingdom would come. That God would set up His kingdom on this earth. Because as we approach the time of the end, we must trust in God for our protection, for our safety, we have got to look to Him. It won't help to have bunkers. That is not going to save us. It won't help to stock pile all kinds of food stuff, as all of us will remember at one time in the history of the church, people doing that.
Notice Psalm 91. A Psalm that was written for the time of trouble when God's people are faced with that time of trouble. And our nation is going to be faced with the time of trouble here in the future. And we find here that God says that we need to look to Him; trust in Him.
Psalms 91:1-7 Psalms 91:1-7  He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
 Surely he shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
 He shall cover you with his feathers, and under his wings shall you trust: his truth shall be your shield and buckler.
 You shall not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flies by day;
 Nor for the pestilence that walks in darkness; nor for the destruction that wastes at noonday.
 A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.
American King James Version×
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
 I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust."
 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
 A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Verse 11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.
And then it ends up into talking about Christ.
Brethren, what we find is God's church has always looked to God for our safety and our protection. And I think in the future, the Psalmist here deals with God's protection and help in the time of trouble. This world has no hope. It doesn't have the hope that we do, brethren. We look forward to a time past the present distress when God will eventually deliver the remnant of Jacob of trouble and establish His kingdom on this earth. Let's finish one final scripture in Jer. 30. I read earlier verse 7 where it talks about the time of Jacob's trouble. The last sentence says;
Jeremiah 30:7-9 Jeremiah 30:7-9  Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
 For it shall come to pass in that day, said the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off your neck, and will burst your bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:
 But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up to them.
American King James Version×
... But he shall be saved out of it.
 'For it shall come to pass in that day,'
Says the Lord of hosts,
'That I will break his yoke from your neck,
And will burst your bonds;
Foreigners shall no more enslave them.
 But they shall serve the Lord their God,
And David their king,
Whom I will raise up for them.
So there is coming a time that even though Israel may go into national captivity because of their sins and way of life in disobeying and breaking the covenant and not honoring God because of the blessings that He has given to them, that God says, okay, I will break the yoke of your captors from off of your neck. I will bring you back out of captivity. I will raise up David and he will be your king.
Jeremiah 30:10 Jeremiah 30:10Therefore fear you not, O my servant Jacob, said the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, see, I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.
American King James Version×
'Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,' says the Lord,
'Nor be dismayed, O Israel;
For behold, I will save you from afar,
And your seed from the land of their captivity.
Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet,
And no one shall make him afraid.
Brethren, we all look forward to the time when God will fulfill that promise. Prior to that there is going to be a time of trouble. But ultimately Christ will be here on this earth and He will extend salvation to all mankind.