GOVERNMENTAL PERSECUTION OF WHITE FARMERS IN ZIMBABWE
As Yahoo! News reported on August 15, Zimbabwean police have summoned six white farmers to appear in court on Friday to face charges for defying a government eviction order by President Robert Mugabe. The order gave the 2,900 white farmers an August 8 deadline to hand over their farms to landless blacks. Nearly 60% of the farmers are expected to defy the order. Again, we see, as prophesied for these end times, the decreasing influence of the descendants of Ephraim in that part of the world.
RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION IN THE UNITED STATES?
As the Associated Press reported on August 14, a federal judge has struck down a religious exemption to a state statute of Arkansas, requiring vaccinations before children can attend public school. The judge ruled that the exemption, which was only granted to members of “recognized churches,” violates the establishment and free association clauses of the First Amendment. The suit came about, as a student, who is not a member of a “recognized” religious group, believed that vaccinations are “against the will of her God.” The unfortunate and undesirable present result of this ruling is, however, that, unless the ruling is overturned, no religious exemption exists at all, and that all students will now have to be vaccinated in Arkansas.
NUCLEAR WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST?
WorldTribune.com reported on August 12 that Israel has determined that Iraq is preparing a missile strike that could be launched at any time. Israeli officials said that the government has prepared a series of plans to defend against and retaliate for any Iraqi missile attack. They said the plans were endorsed by the United States. Bild Online reported on August 15, that the Israeli newspaper Haaretz stated that Israel would be willing to use nuclear weapons against Iraq in case of an attack with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. The report stated that in this case, Iraq could be wiped out from the map.
FLOOD WATERS IN EUROPE AND ASIA–WARNING FROM GOD?
Torrential rain has wreaked havoc across Central and Eastern Europe in the past week, causing floods across Russia, Romania, Austria and Germany that have killed more than 80 people.
As Yahoo! News reported on August 15th, Dresden, Germany, suffered its worst flooding in more than a century. About 3000 residents have been evacuated. Tens of thousands more Germans were moved from other towns along the Elbe and Mulde rivers. A second wave of water from the Czech Republic is expected to hit soon. Further evacuations are going to be needed. The Elbe is expected to reach a level of 27 feet by Thursday night, its highest since March 31, 1845. German officials estimated damage would cost billions of euros.
Other areas, which were hit hard by the flood in Europe, were regions in Bavaria and Prague, the Czech capital, and the entire Czech Republic. Authorities there moved more than 20,000 people to escape “the worst floods since records began over a century ago.” According to Der Spiegel of August 14, the flood, destroying parts of Prague, occurred exactly 660 years after a devastating flood during August of 1342, which became known as the “flood of the century.” A Czech chemicals factory leaked poisonous chlorine gas after flood waters damaged the building.
Austria, too, was hit hard. 10,000 homes are thought to have been left uninhabitable “by floods that have been described as the country’s worst disaster since World War II.”
Yahoo! News also reported on August 14th “hundreds more have died in seasonal floods in South Asia and Iran. The chaos has been blamed by some on changes to the global climate wrought by man-made pollution.” Der Spiegel asked on August 14 whether this present chaos is only “a foretaste” of worse things to come.
Almost 900 people died so far in Asia because of floods. Nearly 1 Million people in 200 villages have lost their homes or went to higher ground to escape flooding from six major rivers in India. The floods, caused by 2 months of torrential monsoon rains, are described as the worst in three decades.
Is God in the process of giving a warning to this world, that worse things ARE going to occur, unless man repents? Notice Christ’s warning in Luke 21: 25-26, “And there will be… on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and expectation of those things which are coming on the earth…”
An article from The Associated Press reports on this month’s Earth Summit–a United Nations event in which more than 100 world leaders will participate.
What they will deal with is “…a planet in peril.”
Quoting from the article: “According to its findings (U.N. report), forests are being destroyed, drought is becoming more intense, sea levels are rising, agricultural production can’t keep up with the demand for food, many plant and animal species are at risk of extinction and air and water pollution are killing millions of people.” (Source: as reported in The Coloradoan, 8/14/02.)
These planet wide concerns echo the biblical warnings of an earth on the brink of chaos such as forewarned by Jesus Christ in Matthew 24. Further examples of a rapidly changing global existence are highlighted by the West Nile virus that is sweeping across the U.S. First detected in New York City in 1999, this disease is carried to new locations by birds, then through mosquitoes the virus is passed to people or horses. It is estimated that nearly 40 percent of horses infected with this disease will die! There is, however, a vaccine that may prove partially effective for horses. Stringent warnings for people concerning avoidance of mosquito bites are now the only real preventive action to be taken. The West Nile virus tends to make people sick while some, such as the elderly or infirm, are at much greater risk.
Sobered by the reality of drought, state and local officials are making bleak plans for next year’s water supply in the Western U.S. Many are already predicting that watering of lawns–along with other severe restrictions–may be totally forbidden. Others are scrambling to implement the new reality of life in a period of sustained and deepening drought.
A national perspective on the drought was issued this week: “Persistent and worsening drought has spread to nearly half the contiguous United States, the government reported Wednesday. The National Climatic Data Center said that, as of the end of July, 49 percent of the 48 contiguous states were affected by moderate to extreme drought.” (The Coloradoan, August 15, 2002)