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Chapter 55

The Third World War?

 

Approximately at 8:45 a.m., September 11, 2001 American Airlines flight #11 from Boston, scheduled to land in Los Angeles with 92 passengers and crew, and carrying 30 tons of jet fuel, was deliberately aimed at the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York.

That impact caused violent destruction between the 96th and 103rd floors of the 110-story tower. The destruction of the floors above the site of impact could have been anticipated even by those with little or no engineering knowledge, but that virtually the entire tower collapsed an hour and three quarters after the crash came as a surprise to laypeople. At 9:03 a.m. on the same day United Airlines flight #175, carrying 65 people on board, also en route to Los Angeles from Boston, was deliberately flown into the south tower of the World Trade Center between the 80th and 91st floors. The tower collapsed at 10:29 a.m.

The collapse resulted when the fireballs generated heat beyond 1000 degrees Celsius. Such heat approached the melting point of steel, causing both towers to collapse upon themselves. Two other planes hijacked by terrorists were on similar missions. American Airlines flight #77 hit the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. after diverting from its planned flight path from Washington Dulles to Los Angeles. United Airlines flight #93 traveling from Newark to San Francisco crashed in Pennsylvania after an apparent failed attempt to disarm the terrorists. All 64 on board the American Airlines plane and 45 on the United Airlines plane perished.

That unprecedented terrorist attack shook far more than the buildings targeted. The shock waves extended throughout America and beyond, to shake the entire world. The coordinated attacks upon both towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington D.C., together with a fourth planned attack on an unknown target, which ended in the crash of United flight #93 from Newark in rural Pennsylvania, were an augury of worldwide preparation for war, economic ruin, unprecedented security measures, massive grief, growing fear, and doubt that this world would ever be the same again.

These evil terrorist attacks were carefully planned and orchestrated. There is little doubt that neither the suicidal terrorists nor the masterminds behind them envisaged the wider implications of their action. If "success" is the correct word, then we suspect that these killers achieved "success" far beyond their expectations.

The dedicated student of Scripture will not rush into judgment as to the end-time implications of these terrorist attacks. For the authors, writing this chapter two weeks after the event, it is quite impossible to present a thorough historical perspective. Further, we possess no prophetic gift, and thus the full consequences and implications of this tragic event remain beyond our scope. Nevertheless, such defects of knowledge do not prevent some considered conclusions being drawn. In this effort Scripture can assist.

With certainty we can know that those 75 minutes of terrorism will be recited over and over again. They will stain the pages of history books as long as earth lasts. They will repeatedly be analyzed in magazine articles. Such articles will be read avidly, even by generations yet unborn, should God extend the period of probation for this old earth. Book after book will be written on the subject. Television and radio programs will capture huge viewing and listening audiences, even among those who proclaim that they hated the study of history at school. This event was of the greatest historical importance.

Our hearts go out to the bereaved. Many families have been shattered by this vile act. No doubt many good people died, for evil does not discriminate. We have seen heartache of massive proportions.

In this work we have sought to place historical events in the context of Bible prophecy. We make some tentative comments relevant to this objective in respect of the events of September 11, 2001 and the few days which have ensued.

Media reports around the world have echoed and re-echoed. Armageddon-type language has freely punctuated newspaper headlines. We refer to the coverage in our homeland, Australia.

The Weekend Australian newspaper, one of our homeland’s most respected, in its September 22 edition included no less than 31 articles related to the events of September 11, 2001. This was typical of the coverage of this terrorist attack by news media in the nation. Not only the United States but the whole world was consumed with this event and the issues which it generated.

What is chilling is the rapidity with which the United States has been able to form a worldwide coalition of nations against a foe—terrorism—which is as elusive as it is terrifying. Usually such decisions require careful governmental analysis and discussion, considerations of popular sentiment, national interests, economic impact, diplomatic issues, national consequences, and a plethora of matters impacting the welfare and interests of the nation.

Ignoring such a careful, wise, considered approach to decision-making, nation after nation has rallied behind the American banner in its call for a prolonged war on terrorism, a war declared so rapidly that it cannot be doubted that American decision makers possessed minimal information upon which to develop that course which would best serve its aim to defeat terrorism.

The Melbourne Herald Sun reported in its September 15, 2001 edition that in the—

US and NATO [an organization of 19 nations] military planners make ready for what US President George Bush calls the first war of the 21st century.

Australia was among a great number of nations which offered military or other forms of assistance. On September 21, Lord George Robertson, the Secretary General of NATO, stated that all the other eighteen nations of the NATO alliance supported the United States. (The Australian, September 22, 2001.)

It is probable that, apart from a few history buffs in the Bush administration, knowledge of the Afghan nation’s centuries-old ability to repel armed attacks was scant.

Understandably, many in the West associate Islamic people with Arabs. But, the overwhelming number of adherents to the faith of Islam are not Arabs. Indeed, most Muslims live in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and other Asian countries such as Malaysia and Philippines as well as in Western and Eastern Africa. Westerners recall the Six-Day War of 1967 when Israel defeated a coalition of Arab nations in that many days. It may be thought, What resistance then, can this relatively small nation of Afghanistan, with its population of 25-plus million, mount against the might of the United States, NATO and the rest of the world? History testifies that the short answer is: "Considerable."

Afghans are not Arabs! They are men and women of mixed ethnic origins, raised in a daunting landscape. They are courageous, fierce defenders of their sovereignty, and well grounded in bearing hardship. Two-thirds of the nation consists of 39 per cent Pathans (Pushtun) of Iranian origin, 25 per cent Tajiks and 6 per cent Uzbeks. These latter two races are named from the nations to Afghanistan’s north, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, both formerly republics of the Soviet Union. The remaining Afghans are spread among other races, chiefly the Hazaras (Mongols, 19 per cent). The Tajiks are related to Iranians and the Uzbeks to the Turks.

In recent times the Afghans have repulsed Iranian invasions backed by Russia in 1837. Then in the First Afghan War (1838—1842) the British were decimated by sickness, hardship and persistent guerrilla attacks—a form of encounter in which the Afghans excel. The British did not learn their lesson, for in 1878 they launched the Second Afghan War, the consequences of which were no less dire.

In recent times the Soviet Union attacked Afghanistan (1979—1989); they left, utterly defeated. Reported in the Brisbane Sunday Mail, September 23, 2001, Colonel Uri Malishev, a Soviet military commander during the Soviet-Afghan War stated that, "the enemy and the unforgiving landscape made it an impossible battlefield." Malishev concluded that "The Afghans are an enemy that you rarely see and have little hope of beating. No invading force has ever tamed Afghanistan."

The question is, Can the military might of the rest of the world quell the fierce spirit of this warrior nation?

This threat of war focused on Afghanistan many days before that country claimed, on September 30, 2001 to have taken bin Ladin into protective custody. (Melbourne Age, October 1, 2001) It was also declared, and preparation for military conflict made, before evidence of bin Ladin’s complicity was established. Words such as suspicion and chief suspect were freely used. Certainly bin Ladin made no confession of guilt. In fact, he sent a denial to Pakistan. (Australian, September 16, 2001) While the word of a terrorist is unreliable, nevertheless, in this case, his guilt cannot be established on the basis of his own admission.

It is remarkable that Americans have so soon forgotten the lesson of Vietnam. Polls suggest that more than 70 per cent have expressed support for war. (Sydney Daily Telegraph, September 19, 2001) Congress supported the president with but one dissenting vote, that of a California congresswoman. In outlining his plans before the joint sitting of Congress, President Bush received an incredible twenty-four standing ovations. (Weekend Australian, September 22, 2001) Such bipartisan support will embolden his administration in their plans.

Americans would do well to consider the words of a Russian veteran of the Soviet-Afghan War: "Americans would think Vietnam was a picnic compared with what they would face on the ground in Afghanistan." (Ibid.) He could well be correct.

Russell visited Saigon and Long Bin a few weeks after the Tet offensive in 1968. He toured the American base in Saigon. Never had he seen such military armaments. He even sat in General Westmoreland’s helicopter. But all that equipment was no match for determined Vietnamese guerrillas who were seldom seen, but who effectively slaughtered more than 50,000 of the young manhood of America.

To measure the near impossibility of stamping out terrorism by military means, simply look at Israel—a nation occupying territory 3.5 per cent of the area of Afghanistan. The United States leaders are no doubt now measuring the lack of success of a first-class army such as Israel’s in an arena of relatively easy terrain. In its efforts to prevent acts of suicide terrorism, it has failed. Would the United States and its allies succeed in far more daunting circumstances? Israel easily prevailed in a set war in 1967, but it is almost impotent to stem the tide of suicide terrorism.

Even more instructive is the war waged against terrorism by the British army—a first-class force—and the British police force in Northern Ireland. This territory is relatively small, about 2 per cent of the size of that covered by Afghanistan. It is a part of British sovereign territory, its terrain is relatively easy to encompass, and the IRA do not make a practice of the use of suicide terrorism. Yet after three decades the British have still to win the war against the terrorists. Similar comments could be offered concerning Spain and its Basque terrorists. America and the rest of the world must learn the lessons available in the histories of other nations.

We believe that every effort should be made to counter the vile terrorism which is now part and parcel of this world. But it makes little sense to shed the life-blood of the youth of America and its allies, and that of innocent citizens of Afghanistan, with little hope of success. The US administration was fearing retaliatory terrorist strikes (Melbourne Herald-Sun, October 1, 2001) before a shot had been fired in this war. Such a course will almost certainly be judged by some as degrading the United States and its supporters to the status of the terrorist nations. Already slogans are appearing in many lands, "Americans leaders in world terrorism."

This perception could not have been lessened by the statement of the US Secretary of State, General Colin Powell. He declared that "everything including the ban on killing foreign leaders would be reviewed." (Australian, September 18, 2001) In this thought there were bipartisan cries in Congress. "We must have the authority to assassinate people before they can assassinate us," said Senator Graham [Democrat, Florida]. (Australian, September 18, 2001) In this call Senator Graham was joined by Republican Senator Richard Shelby.

President Bush’s words to the other nations of the world, "Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists," brooks no neutrality. Does the United States have such a worldwide right to make this implied demand, having warned non-compliant nations of the consequences, should they be judged terrorist by the United States and its allies? Is there no place for conscientious neutrality? Such nations who eschew a potentially futile and bloody war may be in a position to achieve far more in curbing the rise of terrorism than the belligerents.

We stated that it is a chilling fact that the great majority of the world’s nations, Islamic and non-Islamic, have rushed, we would suggest, with indecent haste to the American call to arms. Ill-considered commitments have been made.

We stand amazed that nations such as China, Libya, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and vast numbers of the world’s sovereign states have supported America’s cause. This includes the four most populous nations of the world—China, India, the United States and Indonesia. In these four nations reside almost 50 per cent of the citizens of the world. Indonesia is the largest Islamic nation upon earth. Should this war erupt, it will truly be a world war, exceeding both the First and the Second World Wars in the numbers of national participants. It could rightly be designated the Third World War, for every continent would be a participant in one manner or another.

General Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, did state on the day following the terrorist attacks that "the administration intended a campaign of military action—rather than short-term retaliation—against the terrorists and their perpetrators." (Australian, Sepbember 13, 2001) Speaking on September 16, President Bush stated, "We’re at war. There’s been a war declared. . . ." He urged his troops and the nation to be prepared for a long and difficult fight. "You will be asked for your patience for the conflict will not be short . . . the course of victory may be long." (Ibid., September 17, 2001) Fortunately, as the shock of the terrorist strikes slowly abated, the administrators saw the fuller picture and the rhetoric became more realistic.

Could it be that Revelation 13 is on the verge of fulfillment? We have shown in this book that the Bible plainly sets forth that the two great powers at the end of time, the Vatican and the United States, will lead the nations of the world—Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan not excepted—into enforcing a universal death decree. This death decree will be aimed not against terrorists, but against humble followers of Scripture who desire to worship God in the beauty of holiness on His holy seventh-day Sabbath. This fact bears the credentials of Scripture.

We dare not predict whether Revelation 13 is on the verge of fulfillment. There is a sound reason—we do not know! But it is now demonstrated that it has been a simple matter, when economic ruin and massive loss of life threatened, for America to command the support of the weaker nations of the earth; nations of all religious persuasions; some nations it formerly saw as its deadly enemies.

While Pope John Paul II has been uncharacteristically silent, there are no grounds to conclude that he has not been consulted and his approval sought every step of the way. This was seen confirmed in a statement made by a senior Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls:

It is certain that, if someone has done great harm to society, and there is a danger that if he remains free he may be able to do it again, you have the right to apply self-defense for the society which you lead, even though the means you may choose may be aggressive." —Washington Post, September 25, 2001.

The Brisbane Courier Mail, September 24, 2001 headlined an article setting forth the Pope’s move at this time to form a worldwide coalition of the religions of the world. Such a move will merit close attention in view of divine prophecy. And yet, in this time of peril, to what source are people looking for prophetic guidance? The Sydney Sunday Telegraph, September 16, 2001 reported that one of the most searched-for words on the Internet since the disaster was "Nostradamus." How tragic!

But scriptural prophecy is to be examined. We have shown that one nineteenth century woman, Ellen Harmon-White, by searching the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, outlined with great accuracy the events now taking place in the religio-political arena. We are, in general, quite skeptical of the myriad claims predicting future events from a study of the Bible, but her uncannily accurate conclusions have been so remarkably confirmed in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries that they have attracted our interest.

Thus we searched, in retrospect, in order to determine if Ellen Harmon-White could possibly have concluded any event even vaguely approaching that of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. To our astonishment, we discovered a statement which she wrote in 1904, eleven years prior to her death in 1915. The first New York skyscraper had been built in 1887. It was considered such a marvel that it was termed, The Tower. That building was ten stories high. By 1904 a building of over twenty stories was erected in that city. It was not until 1931 that the Empire State building was erected and we truly entered the era of skyscrapers.

We quote from Ellen Harmon-White’s 1909 work, Testimonies to the Church, Volume 9, pages 12, 13.

On one occasion, when in New York City, I was in the night season called upon to behold buildings rising story after story toward heaven. These buildings were warranted to be fireproof, and they were erected to glorify their owners and builders. Higher and still higher these buildings rose, and in them the most costly material was used. . . .

As these lofty buildings went up, the owners rejoiced with ambitious pride that they had money to use in gratifying self. . . . The time is coming when in their fraud and insolence men will reach a point that the Lord will not permit them to pass, and they will learn that there is a limit to the forbearance of Jehovah.

The scene which next passed before me was an alarm of fire. Men looked at the lofty and supposedly fireproof buildings and said: "They are perfectly safe." But these buildings are consumed as if made of pitch. The fire engines could do nothing to stay the destruction. The firemen were unable to operate the engines. . . .

No earthly power can stay the hand of God. No material can be used in the erection of buildings that will preserve them from destruction when God’s appointed time comes to send retribution on men for their disregard of His law and for their selfish ambition.

We note the emphasis on the claims that the buildings destroyed were "warranted to be fireproof" and it was claimed that "they are perfectly safe." After both these claims were shown to be false, engineering experts appeared on television screens, stating that the World Trade Center was constructed in such a manner specifically to be able to withstand an accidental aircraft crash into the body of the building. It was also stated that the building was made to the highest standard of fireproofing. These facts add weight to the accuracy of this remarkable prediction.

In the quoted passage we see some positive measures, unrelated to war and bloodshed, which can be taken in the war against terrorism; for surely no war, no assassination of political leaders as mooted, no schemes of man can stay this terrorist plague. God, and God alone, can protect us. Until this principle is understood, the measures that man takes may only worsen terrorism. President Bush in speaking to Congress stood beneath an engraven promise in the House of Representatives—"In God We Trust." However, while resorting to biblical concepts such as "Be ready" and "The hour is coming," the President promoted material solutions, not divine ones. Therein lies terrible danger for the future.

The question being asked by many is, Why did God permit these terrorist acts? The better question would have been, Why has something like this not happened decades ago? The answer is, God’s protecting mercy.

Once more Ellen Harmon-White is helpful in providing understanding. She had also carefully studied the prophecies of the end-time presented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. We present her work not to uplift her, but to demonstrate how human beings who seek God can discern the meaning of the Bible, God’s sure Word. We again quote from her remarkable 1884 book, Spirit of Prophecy, Volume 4, p. 407.

Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls. He has studied the secrets of the laboratories of nature, and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows. When he was suffered to afflict Job, how quickly flocks and herds, servants, houses, children, were swept away, one trouble succeeding another as in a moment. It is God that shields His creatures, and hedges them in from the power of the destroyer.

America’s sole answer to calamity is in true dedication to the One who alone can, and has, protected us.

Another question is proper. Why did not the terrorists use germ or chemical terrorism? This potential source of devastation has been mentioned in newspapers worldwide. There is only one rational answer: God in His mighty love and great mercy has held back this terrible source of destruction. The more than 6000 in New York so cruelly deprived of life would have been multiplied manyfold had such methods been employed. Authorities have seen how easily crop-duster aircraft could have been harnessed for such a purpose. They have already verified that terrorists were working on such a plan. For a period the US grounded all such aircraft. Investigators have seen that a considerable number of likely terrorists were seeking licenses to drive trucks containing hazardous materials such as could be used in chemical warfare against major cities.

God in His goodness has provided us with mercy. God has His angels holding back the worst of these winds of strife until His saints are sealed. The apostle John revealed this protection.

And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads." (Revelation 7:1—3)

But avarice, immorality, hate and frivolity reign in most large cities around the world. God, now merciful, will not always forbear. In speaking of a time future to her own, Ellen Harmon-White wrote:

. . . he [Satan] will bring disease and disaster until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. . . . He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon the inhabitants of the world." (Spirit of Prophecy, Volume 4, pp. 407, 408)

Far from creating fear in their hearts, our desire is to lead our readers to have faith in Jesus and to have the faith of Jesus. (Revelation 14:12.) The prophecy just quoted could well foretell the use of biological warfare against the great cities; yet God has promised protection to all those who have fully surrendered to Him.

The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. (Psalm 34:7)

He that dwelleth 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 thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. (Psalm 91:1—7)

It is worth our consideration that Ellen Harmon-White, in the context of Revelation 13, perceptively asserted that these tragic disasters and terrorist acts will not turn the great majority of the citizens of the world to Christ, but rather will lead them to an unconverted Christianity. There is no man, no woman so deceived, so cruel as the individual who turns zealously to religion without asking God to transform his wicked heart. The terrorists of September 11, 2001 were full evidence of this dictum. They were moved by religious zeal, even to the point of being prepared to lay down their lives for their cause. But their acts demonstrated that they did not cherish the love of God in their hearts.

Christians fare no better than the followers of Islam if they possess a religious zeal without a humble yielding of their lives to God. The Bible must be the guide-book to teach us that Christ alone can purify our characters. It teaches us that those who seek virtuous characters will be motivated by the love of God and Christ, who alone have cared for us and demonstrated infinite love in the plan of salvation. It is the Holy Spirit who provides power to seek and live such a life. Christ underlined true love for Him.

If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)

Today even most Christians eschew this directive. Many claim that the Ten Commandments were destroyed at Christ’s death. Others categorically state that the commandments cannot be obeyed. If this is correct, then we implicitly charge Christ with mocking us in His charge to keep His commandments, and we deny His promised power.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24)

Either God has such power and is able, or He does not possess such power and is impotent to provide mankind with strength to fulfill His commands. Further, to deny this offered power is to imply that God is a liar. Such is a matter of great peril to our eternal lives.

The large majority of professed Christians do not obey the fourth commandment, which will become a major issue at the end of time. (See chapters entitled "The Mark of the Beast" and "The Seal of God.")

Let us quote once more from this book which has proven to be so helpful to us as we authored this manuscript.

And then the great deceiver will persuade men that those who serve God are causing these evils. The class that have provoked the displeasure of Heaven will charge all their troubles upon the faithful few whom the Lord has sent to them with messages of warning and reproof. It will be declared that the nation is offending God by the violation of the Sunday-Sabbath, that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced, and that those who present the claims of the fourth commandment, thus destroying reverence for Sunday, are troublers of the nation, preventing its restoration to divine favor and temporal prosperity. Thus the accusation urged of old against the servant of God will be repeated, and on grounds equally well established. "And it came to pass when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel, but thou and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim." [I Kings 18:17,18] As the wrath of the people shall be excited by false charges, they will pursue a course toward God’s ambassadors very similar to that which apostate Israel pursued toward Elijah. -Spirit of Prophecy, Volume 4, p. 408.

Calls for prayer have been made all over the United States and beyond. The President has called for prayer as have the Congress, state governors, city mayors, the media and the churches. But such calls are futile unless we possess purity of heart.

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." (Psalm 66:18)

Not only futile, such prayers will lead to dire persecution of the righteous.

"And he [the second beast of Revelation 13—the United States, see the chapter entitled "The Second Beast of Revelation 13"] had power to give life unto the image of the beast [the first beast of Revelation 13—the Papacy, see the chapter entitled "The First Beast of Revelation 13"], that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." Revelation 13:15—17

Here the universal death decrees and economic boycott are prophesied.

Finally, let us learn from recent history. In the 1920s and early 1930s, Germany experienced ruinous economic inflation; a mere postage stamp of the era cost 20 billion marks. In this crisis the middle class lost their affluence. One man promised to reverse the national financial ruin at the price of the revocation of liberty. His name was Adolph Hitler. Many Germans willingly paid that price, and millions of innocent men, women and children lost liberty and life.

Today around the world there are again cries for restoration of a departed prosperity. Some are crying that they know they may have to forfeit some of their liberties in order to restore security and earthly comforts.

Americans are determined to try [to win the war against terrorism] if it means sacrifice and loss of civil liberties. (Melbourne Age, September 19, 2001)

Perilous are such concessions! Liberty must be prized as an inalienable right accorded us by God. To forfeit it is to ruin all the very best in our world.

Unless these calls are withdrawn and the citizens of the world prize liberty as they ought, we will be plotting the course for the fulfillment of Revelation 13.

Already, as we have seen, there is a thirst for vengeance, a desire for blood under the guise of "infinite justice." We would do well to examine the words of the prophet Isaiah:

Justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Isaiah 59:14

God may view our cities as pits of injustice. We would do well to commence our efforts for "infinite justice" among the poor and helpless. "Operation Infinite Justice" was the name initially chosen for the war against terrorism; later this war was designated "Operation Enduring Freedom." The alteration was made because the term Infinite Freedom offended Islamic people who rightly believe that infinite justice is provided only by God.

The vast majority of those who will suffer under the biblically-prophesied death decree will be men, women and children totally innocent of any act of terrorism. Already the President of the United States has issued an ultimatum, not to American institutions alone, but to the financial institutions of the world, that America will enforce sanctions against any that undertake transactions of which the United Sates does not approve. (Melbourne Age newspaper, September 27, 2001)

The Bush administration made a list of terrorists and terrorist organizations whom they proscribed. The groups were located in various nations—Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan. Terrorists such as the Roman Catholic Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the Hindu Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka received no mention, possibly because they were perceived as no threat to the United States.

Yet the United States surely would have taken a more noble stand if it had included the IRA which has tremendous financial support from Irish Americans, especially in the northeastern states. If it is good for other countries to crack down on financial sources of terrorism which attacks America, the US would do well to dry up the source of income from its own country in a sincere effort to quell terrorism in Britain also.

While President Bush’s clamp-down on terrorist finances is not a fulfillment of the worldwide economic boycott upon faithful followers of Christ as foretold in Revelation 13:17 quoted earlier, it does demonstrate America’s will and authority to implement such economic boycotts against those of its choosing. The Papacy has chosen its ally well!

In order for Revelation 13 to be fulfilled, America and the other nations of the world must be prepared to trample upon the inalienable rights of civil and religious liberties.

In the current crisis American citizens have demonstrated an alarming preparedness to yield some of their liberties in the face of challenges to their personal security and prosperity. The Australian (September 18, 2001) reported that "Attorney-General John Ashcroft said the Justice Department would ask Congress for greater power to detain non-US citizens [and] wire-tap telephone calls."

The WorldNetDaily (September 27, 2001) reported:

"With Congress hotly debating whether to grant sweeping police powers to federal law enforcement agencies in the name of combating terrorism, two attorneys who have studied presidential directives in depth are concerned that civil liberties will take a beating from the executive branch as well as the legislative—and no one would realize it until it was too late.

On September 14 President Bush, responding to the terrorist attacks upon the World Trade Center and the Pentagon three days earlier, issued a proclamation declaring a state of national emergency and reinforced it the same day with an executive order (EO 13223) calling the Ready Reserves of the Armed Forces to active duty.

For constitutional attorney William J. Olson, alarm bells started ringing.

"This is just the beginning," he told WorldNetDaily. "I am certain that the proclamation and executive order by the president are the first of a series of executive orders that are likely to be issued as the administration identifies the powers it wants to invoke."

What is even more serious appears to be the growing acquiescence of America and its western allies to accept encroachments upon their liberties as necessary to national survival. Too often we are hearing the false dictum—we can have liberty without security or we can yield some of our liberties and have security.

Nations must seek security while maintaining the liberties of their citizens. Neither aim should be abrogated. As Attorney James Standish, Director of Legislative Affairs at the World Headquarters of Seventh-day Adventists stated,

"While calling for the protection of religious freedom and understanding of minority religious groups during America’s terrorist crisis . . . in past conflicts, civil liberties in the United States have sometimes been suspended."

He cited the decision to intern Japanese Americans during World War II. (Adventist News Network, September 25, 2001) Australia interned newly arrived Italian immigrants during the same period.

What the terrorist crisis has demonstrated is that three essential conditions necessary for the fulfillment of Revelation 13:15—17 have been in place during this current crisis:

1. A willingness to deprive citizens of some of their civil and religious liberties.

2. An ability of the United States to marshal worldwide support, cutting through religious divides, for its policy against those it deems to be responsible for disasters causing loss of both lives and economic prosperity. Only thus will its death decree (Revelation 13:15) become universal (all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond—Revelation 13:16).

3. A worldwide economic boycott (no man might buy or sell—Revelation 13:17) can only be implemented when other nations comply with America’s wishes to deprive its enemies of the means to buy and sell.

In the current crisis, the United States has demonstrated its capacity to meet these conditions.

We again emphasize that the current crisis is not the final crisis contemplated in Revelation 13. But we do see that America is well positioned to fulfill the role which God has foretold. The final events of this world’s history culminating in Christ’s Second Coming are imminent.

May our God provide wisdom to national leaders and to each citizen of the nations. What the immediate future holds may be uncertain, but the ultimate outcome is determined, for God revealed these events for our guidance. May we, each one, in serving Christ full-heartedly, make no move which will imperil the liberties and rights of ourselves and others. Let us fully yield our lives to Christ.

Most of all, may we meet in heaven, for God’s grace is more than sufficient for the coming crisis. Let us be found among God’s saints, remembering that—

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Revelation 14:12)

We commenced this book mentioning three very different individuals of three separate eras, born in three separate continents and contributing to our understanding of last day events in three different ways. We have concluded as we began. In this march toward a Third World War, one of a very different nature from the First and Second, all three—the Apostle John, Ellen Harmon-White and Pope John Paul II—play a part. The Apostle John prophesied of these times, Ellen Harmon-White, studying John’s prophecies, correctly evaluated them for our day and Pope John Paul II is playing a major role, albeit discreetly, in their fulfillment.

 


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