Christian Home Bible Course

Lesson 3   


Q   What is the BIBLE?

A   The BIBLE is a unique book because


   One day Jesus was teaching His disciples while they were up on the Mount of Olives.   The subject was prophecy.   Jesus "wrote the Book" on prophecy, therefore the disciples had the Expert in their presence. Realizing the tremendous opportunity they had before them, they asked the question of all questions:

"...what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" MATTHEW 24:3

   Mankind has been asking this question for thousands of years.   Many have tried to guess when the world will end.   Some have even set dates.   These dates have all come and gone, yet the world continues. Perhaps the disciples wanted Jesus to set a date, but His answer simply was:

"...of that day and hour knoweth no man,
no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."
  MATTHEW 24:36

   No one but God knows when the world, as we know it, will end.   Nevertheless, the BIBLE describes certain "signs" that should be noticeable in the very last days.   These "signs" will show that the end is near.   Now in all fairness, previous generations have seen many of these "signs" since the resurrection of Christ.   In fact, each generation has thought that the end of the world would take place in their life time.   However, many startling events have taken place in the last fifty years, and especially the last fifteen years, which may have great prophetic significance.   The daily newspaper seems to read like certain portions of the BIBLE.   Many things are taking place before our eyes that were foretold more than 2000 years ago.   If we look at God's past track record of accurately predicting the future, then we are wise to consider the "signs" He gives us, in the BIBLE, about future events yet to happen.
   We will examine these "signs" and how they relate to current events . . .



THE SETTING - a hospital room where a man named John is recovering from a mild heart attack . . .

O.K., John, now remember, you have to take care of your heart.   Don't do anything that might get you excited.
Sure Doc, I understand.   Don't worry, I'm cool as a cucumber.
Good!   I'll be back later.   By the way, you have a visitor waiting outside.   Remember--stay calm!

As the doctor leaves, John's visitor enters the room tripping over a power cord; almost sending the EKG machine crashing to the floor.   John just rolls his eyes in disbelief.

Hi John, how are you feeling?
    O.K., but I think I'm going to get a headache any moment now.
Really?   I thought your problem was with your heart?
    It is, I meant . . . never mind!   Look I'm supposed to be relaxing so try not to get me excited.
Oh, O.K.   Hey you want to watch some T.V.!   60 Minutes has this thing on about people whose hearts have suddenly exploded, and doctors can't figure out . . .
Hey, hey, calm down.   Remember what the doctor said.   How about if I read to you?   60 Minutes had this thing once about a guy who was in a coma and his friend read to him and . . .
    I'm not in a coma!
Well, can I read to you anyway?   I just picked up the newspaper out in the lobby.
    Whatever, just try not to get me excited.
All right, here's something . . . Ebola Virus Latest Pestilence to Hit the World.   John, what's a pestilence?
    You should know, it starts with the word PEST!
    Never mind . . . read something else.
How about this one? . . . Famine Grips Ethiopia; Millions Face Starvation.
    NO!   Find something else!
Here's another one . . . California Still Expecting the Big One.   Wow!   That means a monster quake could hit any second and California could end up in the ocean.
    YOU IDIOT?   That means us - we're in California, remember?!

Here's an interesting one . . . Cold War Ends but Missiles Still Aimed at United States.   Hey wouldn't it be something if we looked outside the window and saw a mushroom cloud and . . .
John, John, calm down.   Relax.
How about if I read from this BIBLE on the table instead.
    That's better, read something Jesus said.   He always talked about positive things.
Here's something in red.   Luke 21:10 says: "Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences..."
    Hey wiseguy!   Knock it off!   I told you to stop reading the newspaper.
I'm not, I was reading from the BIBLE, honest!
    But it sounds like today's newspaper!
HEY, YOU'RE RIGHT!   In fact, here's something in Luke 21:26 that sounds like YOU!:

"Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things
which are coming on the earth"
. . .


"And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?   And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.   For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.   And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye 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."   MATTHEW 24:3-7

   When asked about the end of the world, Jesus Christ gave His disciples some "signs" to look for. While few of these "signs" are new or unique to the last days, Jesus Christ says something interesting after He mentions them. . . .

"All these are the beginning of sorrows."   MATTHEW 24:8

   The word sorrow is translated from the Greek word "odin" (o-deen’).   It means a pang or throe.   It is used to describe the pangs or pains that a woman experiences while she travails in childbirth.   Perhaps Jesus was implying that the "signs" he described would occur, much like birth pains, at GREATER FREQUENCY AND INTENSITY during the last days.   When we look at history, we notice that there is truth to Jesus' analogy.

   Earthquakes for example, have been occurring more frequently:
From 526 A.D. to 1896 A.D. (1370 year period) 21 major earthquakes are recorded.
From 1906 to 1983 (77-year period) 52 major earthquakes are recorded.
From June 1983 to May 1984 (11-month period) 41 major earthquakes are recorded.

   On May 31, 1935, the most devastating earthquake in all of history up to that point took place in West Pakistan, but that record has been surpassed several times since.   Also, reports of several earthquakes taking place SIMULTANEOUSLY in different locations all over the world have increased.
More earthquakes have occurred in this century than any other.   The millions who have died because of them could very well exceed all deaths in previous centuries COMBINED.   Seismologists currently show a pattern of earthquakes increasing in INTENSITY AND FREQUENCY, especially since 1975.   Each decade outdoes the previous decade.
   Just as birth pains occur at shorter and shorter intervals, earthquakes have been following a similar pattern.   Fresh in everyone's minds are the recent devastating earthquakes in Japan, India, Mexico City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.   Earthquakes worldwide have especially increased in the past ten years.
   According to the BIBLE, the final earthquake will take place on the Mount of Olives near Jerusalem when Jesus Christ returns:

"And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem
on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward
the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the
mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south."

A few years ago, a large hotel chain sent a crew of engineers, geologists and seismologists to Jerusalem.   They were to explore the possibility of building a hotel atop the Mount of Olives.   After conducting tests the crew concluded that they could not build a hotel due to a large geological fault running from east to west directly under the Mount of Olives.


   Famine has also been following a trend of greater intensity.

   As the world's deserts increase in size and the available top soil erodes, land on which to grow food decreases.   Add to this the ever increasing population and you have a greater possibility of famine occurring in more places.   Nearly 6 billion people are in the world (almost the sum of all people since the beginning of time combined).   The Earth's population currently doubles every thirty-six years.   In the next ten years it is possible that more than one billion people will starve to death.   Much of this is due to drought, flooding or very unusual recent weather patterns worldwide

   Pestilence is another sign that Jesus mentioned to His disciples.   Webster's Dictionary offers the following definition:

pes·ti·lence \'pes-te-len(t)s\ n   1: a contagious or infectious epi-
 demic disease that is virulent and devastating;

   The word virulent brings to mind the AIDS virus that in recent years has been the cause of many deaths.   Mankind has always had to deal with viruses, but as time goes on he finds himself dealing with more of them.

"The AIDS epidemic will produce an enormous and frightening effect on world health that public health officials may be relatively powerless to contain."
    -Dr. William Haseltine
    AIDS Research, Harvard Medical School

"The AIDS virus shows every sign of being just as deadly as the plague during the Middle Ages.   We are on a crash course with reality . . . . The alarm must be sounded, loudly and persuasively.   If it is not, the conclusion is inescapable: millions may die."
    -Dr. J.I. Slaff
    The AIDS Epidemic

"Infection with the AIDS virus is potentially lethal to all men, women and children irrespective of lifestyle or sexual activity."
    -Dr. John Seale
    Eminent British venereologist

"This system is very potent in permitting viruses to reproduce at a ferocious rate.   It's one reason this is such a devastating disease.   It's one of the reasons this virus can be transmitted so easily from person to person."
    -Dr. William Haseltine, AIDS researcher
    The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    Harvard University


Collecting of data began June, 1981.   Reporting began on June 15, 1982.

Basic data from Aids Weekly Surveillance Report--United States, Center for Disease Control.

Dr. James Curran of the Centers for Disease Control notes:

   ". . . in many areas, the number of persons infected with the AIDS virus is at least ONE HUNDRED TIMES GREATER than reported cases of AIDS."


   Jesus also told His disciples:

"And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these
things must come to pass, but the end is not yet."
  MATTHEW 24:6

   Wars have been on the increase.   Before 1945 the world had suffered through thirteen years of war for each peaceful year.   However, since 1945 more than three hundred wars have been fought.   In fact, The War Atlas (a military study), records that since 1945 not one day has passed without some sort of war or conflict somewhere in the world. . . .

"All these are the beginning of sorrows."   MATTHEW 24:8

   Currently the world (through U.N. effort) is doing everything possible to snuff out any semblance of war whenever it begins to flare up.   According to God and the BIBLE, the "navel of the earth" is the Middle East, and presently the buzzword there is "Peace[.]"   Everything possible is being done to bring peace between the Jews and the Arab World (including the PLO), and it is beginning to look like progress is being made:

"...the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.   For when they shall say, Peace and
; then sudden destruction cometh upon them..."

   The Rumors of War and the need for preparedness it produces has changed the monetary priorities of many nations.   The words of President Eisenhower, reported in the New York Times on April 17, 1953, still challenge us over a quarter century later:

    "A life of perpetual fear and tension, a burden of arms draining the wealth and the labor of all peoples; a wasting of strength that defies the American system or the Soviet system or any happiness for the people of this earth.   Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
This world in arms is not spending money alone.   It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.   We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.   We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than eight thousand people . . .   This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense.   Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity, hanging from a cross of iron."

   In the final surrender ceremonies of World War II, General Douglas MacArthur summed up the lessons of this horrendous war that claimed more than sixty million lives.   His words still stand as a warning to our generation:

"We have had our last chance.   If we do not now devise some greater and more equitable system, ARMAGEDDON WILL BE AT THE DOOR.   The problem is basically theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character.   It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh."

   The Battle of Armageddon will be the world's final war according to the BIBLE.   For more about Armageddon see: Revelation 14:14-20; 16:16; 19:17-21.


   General MacArthur knew the importance of dealing with our earthly problems in a spiritual way.   As things worsen, people try to seek out a spiritual solution, which makes them ripe for deception.   Jesus warned that in the last days the number of . . .

   False spiritual leaders would increase.

"And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many."   MATTHEW 24:11

   Many cults have sprung up since Jesus said those words.   In fact, most have been started in this last century alone.   Currently most countries have scores of obscure cultic groups carrying on various practices: shaving their heads; wearing white robes; playing with poisonous snakes; stockpiling weapons; selling flowers in airports; making nerve gas; etc.   Among all the self-proclaimed gods, gurus, swamis, false prophets and phony TV evangelists, it is possible to join the "Cult of the Month" club, and never exhaust the possibilities!

"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.   For many shall
come in my name, saying, I am Christ
; and shall deceive many."
  MATTHEW 24:4-5

   A great surge in recent years of men claiming to be Jesus Christ, or a god, or God Himself has occurred.   One such example of a church claiming to be Christian and having a leader claiming to be Christ is the Branch Davidians and their former leader David Koresh.   Yet Jesus said:

"Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.   For there shall
arise false Christs
, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it
were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.   Behold, I have told you before.
Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth:
behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not."
  MATTHEW 24:23-26

   A stressful, hectic lifestyle will also be the norm in the last days.   According to the BIBLE, the climate when Jesus Christ returns will be one of . . .

"Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which
are coming on the earth:"
LUKE 21:26

   Is the present trend in heart attacks a "sign" of the last days?   Presently heart disease ranks as the number one killer, especially in MEN.   Nothing else is even close.   It is responsible for more than 42% of all deaths in America, and nearly twice as high as the number two killer, cancer.   Nearly one fourth of all Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease, costing more than $137 billion in medical costs every year.   This trend has increased noticeably since the 1970's and especially within the last 100 years.
   Psychologists claim that the number one problem they must deal with is FEAR, in one form or another.   Stress and heart attacks go hand in hand, and are both indicators of the fast paced hectic days in which we live.   The BIBLE says that in . . .

"...the time of the end: many shall run to and fro," DANIEL 12:4

   This simply means that busy schedules will require people to be constantly "on-the-go" (sound familiar?).   Only a century ago, it was common for people to be born, live and die while never leaving the county.   People would either walk or use a horse to get to their destination just one hundred years ago (in the peaceful days of "Little House on the Prairie").   It had been that way for the five-thousand years before as well.   Today zooming through the air at 500 MPH is common.   It is now possible to eat


breakfast in New York, lunch in Denver and supper in Los Angeles.   The six lane interstate highways and cloverleafs also bring real meaning to the Biblical expression "to and fro," not to mention our hectic lifestyles.   This has all come about in only the past one hundred years, and has been due largely to the advancement in technology and inventions.   The BIBLE also mentions that in . . .

"the time of the end...knowledge shall be increased" DANIEL 12:4

   It is hard to believe that less than one hundred years ago we cooked with firewood and read by candlelight.   It had been that way the previous five-thousand years.   Have you noticed that every new invention is designed to make life easier, but consequently makes the pace of life much faster?   The result of having conveniences that help us to accomplish more at a faster pace has caused us to try to "cram more things" into our already busy schedules.   Now you know where the stress comes from!
   The technological advances in even the past fifteen years have been staggering!   The BIBLE says in the last days "knowledge shall be increased."   We are currently living in what is called the "information age."

Side note:
A study was done a few years ago to measure technological advancement since the beginning of time comparing it to height.   For example, if you were to measure all the technological advancement (inventions) since the beginning of time until the year 1800, it would be one inch high.   The measure of inventions and advancement of technology between the years of 1800 and 1900 would also be one inch high.   But if you were to measure the "increase of knowledge," inventions and technological advancement since 1900 up to now . . .

  Part of that advancement has been satellite transmission (along with computers).
Today watching live minute-by-minute news stories unfold from all around the world simultaneously is possible.   This is interesting in light of what the BIBLE said about the last days nearly 2000 years ago.

"And their dead bodies shall lie in the street [of Jerusalem]...And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations [people all over the world] shall see their dead bodies..." REVELATION 11:8-9


This prophecy speaks of two preachers who are killed during the last days; their bodies left to lie in the street.   For years BIBLE scholars were baffled on how people from all over the world could simultaneously view their bodies, until the development of SATELLITE TRANSMISSION.
   Other prophecies baffled students of the BIBLE years ago concerning the last days.   Perhaps the "increase of knowledge" in nuclear potential may have something to do with these following last day prophecies:

"the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a
great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are
therein shall be burned up...all these things shall be dissolved...
unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved,
and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?"
II PETER 3:10-12

"Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away
in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth."

   Currently enough nuclear warheads exist to either blow a hole clear through the Earth's seventy-five mile crust or destroy the world several times over.   It is no wonder that as "knowledge shall be increased" (Daniel 12:4) "men's hearts will fail them for fear" (Luke 21:26).

"But as the days of [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in
marriage, until the day that [Noah] entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took
them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
  MATTHEW 24:37-39

   Society is also experiencing "birth pains" and, as time goes on, immorality and sinful behavior become the norm.   Jesus indicated how bad it would get by equating the last days with those of Noah.
In Noah's day, the sinful behavior that brought God's wrath and resulted in a worldwide flood was displayed by the entire population (except Noah and his family):

"And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt;
for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth."
  GENESIS 6:12

   It had gotten so bad that God had to virtually wipe out mankind and start all over with Noah.

"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every
imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually
  • One out of four Americans is a victim of crime annually.
  • Crime costs US citizens a total of $300 billion annually (nearly 30% of the whole US budget).
  • Between 1962 and 1993 the number of violent crimes increased 660 percent!
  •    The degree of crime and wickedness in a given society is an indication of what people are contemplating in their minds.   It also reveals the condition of their hearts.   In the days of Noah the result of all their evil thoughts was corruption and violence:

    Federal Prosecutions of Public Corruption
    Violent Crime: Number Of Offenses

    Basic data from Statistical Abstracts of the United States.
  • Groupings represent average rate per year over the two-year period.

    Basic data from Statistical Abstracts of the United States, and the Department of Commerce, Census Bureau.
  • "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence."   GENESIS 6:11

       Today we see much corruption and violence around us.   Political corruption only seems to worsen with time.   Crime continues to increase with no end in sight.   Society is desperately seeking a solution to all these problems.   People are constantly wondering where it will all end.


    The days of Noah were dangerous, hard to bear, troublesome, harsh, fierce, and even savage.   All these descriptions can be summed up in one word - PERILOUS.   Which is just what the BIBLE uses to describe the last days:

    "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.   For men shall be lovers of
    their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
    Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are
    good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
    Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."
      II TIMOTHY 3:1-5

       Nineteen descriptions are used to portray the conditions during the last days.   Read the following list and see if these descriptions sound familiar.

      1) "lovers of their own selves" - selfish; self-centered; unconcerned about others.
      2) "covetous" - desires material things; greedy; driven to possess more things.
      3) "boasters" - swaggerers; blow their own horns; talk about themselves.
      4) "proud" - considering themselves above others; haughty; refuse to admit when wrong.
      5) "blasphemers" - slanderous; swearing; reviling; foul-mouthed; dirty jokes.
      6) "disobedient to parents" - disrespectful toward elders; headstrong; hard to control.
      7) "unthankful" - ungrateful; take things for granted; think the "world owes me a living".
      8) "unholy" - no interest or desire to keep separated from sin.
      9) "Without natural affection" - showing more affection toward materialistic things, animals, etc.
    10) "trucebreakers" - will promise anything but will not honor commitments; breaks promises.
    11) "false accusers" - slanders; destroys the character of others.
    12) "incontinent" - no self-control; no self- discipline; no self-restraint.
    13) "fierce" - savage; cruel; wild; impetuous.
    14) "despisers of those that are good" - those who mock or have contempt for good people.
    15) "Traitors" - no convictions; changes sides for personal advantage or gain.
    16) "heady" - reckless; headstrong; stubborn.
    17) "highminded" - full of self; proud; puffed up; worship intellect.
    18) "lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God" - sensual; pleasure seeking; self-gratification is their god; not willing to submit to God; please themselves rather than God.
    19) "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof" - being religious on weekends, but living like the devil the rest of the week; having an outward religious display but experiencing no real life-changing power from God.   The BIBLE teaches no one to be religious, but to have a personal relationship with God.

       No doubt Noah saw many in his day displaying the previous nineteen attitudes, so many in fact that God had to end it all.   Noah must have also felt alone among the enormous cold heartedness present then.   The BIBLE clearly teaches that those conditions will repeat themselves during the last days:

    "And because iniquity [sin] shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."   MATTHEW 24:12

       Jesus Christ said that in the last days sin would be so common and accepted that people would become callous.   We see this today as people are becoming more selfish, insensitive and unloving toward one another.   It only continues to worsen as sinful behavior becomes the norm.


       ANOTHER attitude of Noah's day was apathy.   In spite of decades (Genesis 6:3) of Noah warning those around him of the judgment to come, no one else came on board with him and his family!
    Some, perhaps, thought he was crazy for claiming that a flood was on its way.   The BIBLE predicts a similar attitude will be present during the last days:

    "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own
    lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep
    all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."
      II PETER 3:3-4

       Many today ridicule the idea that Jesus is coming back and that the world will end in God's judgment.
    In Noah's day they did not take heed to the warning, but judgment came anyway:

    "Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:" II PETER 3:6

    Side note:
    Many scientists agree that the world was flooded by water 4500 years ago (the time of Noah).   Native Armenians have reported many sightings of the ark atop Mt. Ararat over the centuries.   In 1955 French mountain climber Fernard Navarra sighted a "black wooden barge (ship)" entombed within an icy glacier.   After climbing down a 35-foot crevasse within the ice, he came upon the huge object that he estimated to be at least 50 tons of timber.   He brought back a piece of the rock hard wood (no
    trees are within 150 miles of Mt. Ararat) and had it tested for Carbon-14 dating.   Incidently, Navarra did not reveal where the wood came from, yet the reports returned indicating the timber was possibly 4500 years old!

       How frustrating it must have been for Noah to have his warnings "fall on deaf ears."   Those around him simply did not want to change their evil ways.   The BIBLE predicts that in the last days a similar attitude will prevail:

    "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts
    shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears
    from the truth
    , and shall be turned unto fables."
      II TIMOTHY 4:3-4

       Many today have "itching ears" that are not willing to hear and apply what the BIBLE teaches.   Many religious leaders have compromised Biblical truths and instead teach whatever is more appealing and less challenging.   Some who claim they are teaching BIBLE truths are actually teaching manmade doctrine, traditions and anything else that will conform more to man's will and desires, than to God's.
       The result of all this compromising of God's Word has been an ever increasing amount of "spiritual starvation."   This in turn, has caused more people to sense a spiritual emptiness in their lives.   They seek for things to fill the void: drugs, alcohol, reveling, pornography, the pursuit of wealth and fame, and so on.   In the mean time the world becomes a more confusing and fearful place in which to live.   All this reaches a climax at the return of Jesus Christ Himself.

    "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress
    of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear,
    and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth...And then shall they see the Son
    of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory."
      LUKE 21:25-27

       The problems facing our world only seem to worsen with no relief in sight . . .

    "All these are the beginning of sorrows."   MATTHEW 24:8


       AS the world spins out of control, mankind tries desperately to find a solution to all the madness.
    Peace is what man wants and he wants it - NOW!   Many have tried to come up with a formula for world peace.   One person in particular, philosopher Mortimer J. Adler of the Aspen Institute, wrote an article entitled "World Peace in Truth."   In that article he stated that:

    1) World Peace is impossible without World Government.
    2) World Government is impossible without a sense of World Community.
    3) World Community will be impossible to create without a unity of the truth.

    According to Mr. Adler, "a great epoch in the history of mankind lies ahead of us.   It will not begin until there is a universal acknowledgment of the UNITY OF THE TRUTH IN ALL AREAS OF CULTURE . . . for only then will ALL MEN BE ABLE TO LIVE TOGETHER PEACEFULLY IN A WORLD COMMUNITY UNDER WORLD GOVERNMENT.   Only then will world civilization and world history begin."

       In essence Mr. Adler is saying that what mankind needs to obtain peace is . . .


       All three of these elements make up what many today are calling the NEW WORLD ORDER.   This term has been used to prop up all sorts of conspiracy theories (that is not our intention here).
    However, it is hard to deny the fact that the world is moving toward a one world system, some feel this is exactly what the world needs:

    "For all the contradictions of the present-day world, for all the diversity of social and political systems in it, and for all the different choices made by the nations in different times, THIS WORLD IS NEVERTHELESS ONE WHOLE.   We are all passengers aboard one ship, the Earth, and we must not allow it to be wrecked.   THERE WILL BE NO SECOND NOAH'S ARK. . . Today in the face of a still worse danger, states belonging to different social systems can and MUST COOPERATE WITH ONE ANOTHER IN THE NAME OF PEACE."

    Mikhail Gorbachev in Perestrokia

       Now, while the BIBLE does not mention the term "New World Order"; it does suggest that a one world system will be in existence during the last days, right before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
    The BIBLE describes a world ruler who will be in control of the one world system.   This person is known as the "beast."   He is more commonly known as the ANTICHRIST.

       THE ANTICHRIST is described in the BIBLE as having the following traits:

                  He will be a great orator.       REVELATION 13:4-5
                  He will be a clever politician.  DANIEL 8:25
                  He will be a military genius.    REVELATION 6:2; 13:2
                  He will be a master of deceit.   II THESSALONIANS 2:9-10

       He will use his abilities to gain control of the future one world system.   The BIBLE predicts that he will arrange a seven- year treaty between Israel and their enemies resulting in three and one half years of peace in the Middle East (Daniel 9:27).


       The Book of Revelation (the last book written in the BIBLE) specifically deals with how the world will end.   In it, we find the description of what the ANTICHRIST will control:

    He will control a one world government.

    "...and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations."   REVELATION 13:7

    He will be worshipped by a one world religion.

    "And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast:
    and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
    And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him..."
    REVELATION 13:3-4,8

    He will control a one world economy.

    "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 13:16-17

  • Is the world presently looking for such a leader?
    • In Belgium (the headquarters of the European Community Office), statesman P.H. Spaak stood up and said:

                 "The truth is, that the method of international committees has failed.   WHAT WE NEED IS A PERSON, someone of the highest order, of great experience, of great authority, of wide influence, of great energy; either a civilian or a MILITARY MAN, no matter what his nationality."
    • Historian Arnold Toynbee claims that:

                 "By forcing on mankind more and more lethal weapons, and at the same time making the world more and more interdependent economically, technology has brought mankind to such a degree of distress that WE ARE RIPE FOR THE DEIFYING OF ANY NEW CAESAR who might succeed in giving the WORLD UNITY AND PEACE."
    • The onetime leader and founder of the Club of Rome, Aurelio Peccei claimed that:

                 "A charismatic LEADER . . . POLITICAL OR RELIGIOUS . . . (will) be THE WORLD'S only SALVATION from the social and economic upheavals that threaten to destroy the civilization."
    • P.H. Spaak, who was also the former Secretary General of N.A.T.O. claimed as early as 1957:
  •    "We do not want another committee; we have too many already.   What we want is A MAN of
    sufficient stature TO HOLD THE ALLEGIANCE OF ALL PEOPLE and to lift us out of the economic
    morass into which we are sinking.   SEND US SUCH A MAN, AND BE HE GOD OR DEVIL, we will receive him."


       The BIBLE'S prediction of a one world system and its leader could be occurring right before our eyes.
    In the last few years, some very unusual and very unexpected events began occurring around the globe.
    In November 1989, the Berlin wall came crashing down, and the once mighty Soviet Empire collapsed.
    The world, as we know it, has begun to take a new form.   Trade barriers are quickly being dissolved with the likes of NAFTA, GATT and other treaties.   The information super highway makes it possible to exchange information between any two persons in the world instantly.   The world is heading toward a one world system, and when it arrives the ANTICHRIST will be its leader:

    "...and all the world wondered [followed] after the beast."   REVELATION 13:3

    "...and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations."   REVELATION 13:7

       SOME may wonder how all the major religions of the world could possibly worship the same man. However, several major religions are each anticipating the appearance of a godlike spiritual leader.   For example:

    The Buddhists are looking for the fifth Buddha.
    The Moslems are looking for the Iman Mahdi.
    The Hindus are looking for the incarnation of Krishna.
    The New Agers are looking for the "The Christ" Maitreya.

       Finally, the Jews are still looking for their long awaited Messiah.   Jesus Christ predicted that they would reject Him as Messiah (Lesson 2) and accept someone else:

    "I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall
    come in his own name, him ye will receive."
      JOHN 5:43

    The BIBLE predicts that the ANTICHRIST, who is described as a master deceiver . . .

    "...exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the
    temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."

    "...whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders" II THESSALONIANS 2:9

    "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him" REVELATION 13:8


    AS previously mentioned the Antichrist will also preside over a one world economy. Certain world events are taking place that could make that a reality.   In the Book of Revelation, John the Apostle describes the following verse:

    "And I stood...and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns,
    and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy."
      REVELATION 13:1

       This vision of a beast (The Antichrist) with ten horns puzzled John.   However, later the vision's meaning is explained to him:

    "And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet;
    but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.   These have one mind,
    and shall give their power and strength unto the beast."
      REVELATION 17:12-13

       This vision is prophetic.   It reveals ten kings "which have received no kingdom as yet[,]" implying that their kingdoms will come in the future.   These TEN KINGDOMS will eventually have "one mind," meaning that they will agree and act as one.

  • Is there anything today resembling this prophecy?

       The answer can be found by picking up "today's newspaper":

          Brussels, Belgium (AP)

       In a move lauded as a breakthrough in the European Union's drive for unity, border controls between seven EU nations are being abolished today.   Travelers will be able to keep their passports in their pockets when moving from any one of the seven -- France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands -- to another.   Greece, Italy and Austria are expected to join them in June.   But the move comes five years after it was originally scheduled, and it's on a much smaller scale: several EU members are unready or unwilling to join borderless Europe.   Britain, ever the halfhearted EU member, has vowed to stay out.

    (This article appeared in the Fargo Forum on March 26, 1995.)

       For many years BIBLE students everywhere have been keeping an eye on Europe's desire to unify as a possible fulfillment of Revelation 17:12-13.   These unified countries would be known as the EUROPEAN COMMON MARKET.   The combined resources of these ten nations could make Europe an economic super power: providing a platform for the Antichrist to seize power and make his appearance on the world scene.

    "These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast."   REVELATION 17:13

       The European Common Market (sometimes called the European Economic Community or EEC) has also been contemplating the creation of a common currency used by all its member nations.   Some have even thought of going beyond a common currency and instead creating a CASHLESS system.   Such a system would involve making all monetary transactions electronically using phone lines and computers.

  • 14

  • Does the technology exist today to set up a cashless system?

       Newsweek magazine says yes!   In a July 31, 1989 article (p. 54) they stated that smart cards . . .

    ". . . may make the old science fiction notion of a cashless society real."

    A cashless system would have many advantages, including:

    (+) The virtual elimination of the selling of illegal drugs.   Drug dealers would have every transaction
        monitored by computers.

    (+) An elimination of tax evasion.   The IRS would monitor every transaction.   Cash payments "under
        the table"
    would no longer be possible.

    (+) A reduction in crime.   Money laundering and embezzling would be virtually impossible.   The Mafia,
        Black Market and bank robberies would be a thing of the past.   Fewer muggings would take place
        since no one would be carrying cash.   The American Bar Magazine quoted Attorney T. Speiser as
    "if cash became obsolete, crime would be virtually eliminated."

       Yet even a cashless system using smart cards would not be foolproof since the cards could still be lost or stolen.   However, a smart leader like the Antichrist would have no problem coming up with a solution for lost or stolen smart cards.   He could simply have everyone tattoo a number somewhere on their body, which is exactly what the BIBLE predicts the Antichrist will do!

    "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
    , or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
      REVELATION 13:16-17

  • Would using a "mark" be a far- fetched idea?

       The European community does not think so.   Standardization News, February 1990, reported that the European community is considering using an identification mark.   Page 30 of the report reads:

    ". . . one cannot market or sell a product unless it has the EC mark"

       In fact, the United States economy has already been using a "mark" to buy and sell for several years.
    While no one has had it tattooed on their hands or foreheads (YET!), it appears on all sorts of products.
    This "mark" is the familiar - UPC SYMBOL.

  • 15

  • Could the UPC SYMBOL be a forerunner to the "Mark of the Beast"?

       Let's compare the UPC symbol with Revelation 13:16-18 and see if any similarities exist.

    "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.
    Here is wisdom.   Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast:
    for it is the number of a man;
    and his number is Six hundred threescore and six
    [666]."   REVELATION 13:16-18

       Revelation 13:16-18 refers to a "mark" representing the number 666.   The "mark" is used to "buy and sell."   In the past some have imagined that everyone would have a 666 tattooed on their hand or foreheads.   They would simply show it to a cashier before paying with checks, credit cards or cash.
    However, considering the fact that the world is moving toward computerized transactions, it is possible the "mark" could be something that can be read directly into a computer. . . .

  • Which brings us to the UPC symbol.

       To the Apostle John, back in the first century, the UPC symbol would look like a "mark[.]"   The UPC symbol is already used in many applications involving the buying and selling of merchandise.   It is designed to be scanned into a computer as part of a computerized transaction system.   Here is another interesting thing about the UPC symbol:

  • 666 is designed into the symbol!

        The UPC symbol stands for universal product code.   It is a label commonly found on consumer products.   Various designs are used for the UPC label.
    A common one is shown to the right.   This design consists of several vertical lines of varied widths used to represent numbers.   The lines are made to be read optically into a computer by a laser based scanning device.   We have all seen these devices at supermarkets.   The lines are broken into two halves with each half containing a 5-number code used to identify the product and its manufacturer.   As the computer scans the label, it has to identify where the label starts, where the two halves divide and where the label ends.   Therefore, this design has two longer thin lines at the beginning, the middle and the end of the label.   THESE THREE SETS OF LINES DO NOT DIRECTLY REGISTER NUMBERS.   However, they are the same two longer thin lines used to represent the number 6 in the second half of the label.   Now we are NOT saying that the UPC label is the "mark of the beast."   We are simply pointing out that the technology exists to fulfill Revelation 13:16-18.   Each UPC label of this design can represent a distinct and individual number while also incorporating 666 as part of its design.   With a UPC symbol laser-tattooed on a hand or forehead, a person could be scanned upon making a purchase.   The prices of the items would be eletronically withdrawn from their account.

    Therefore the person would be buying and selling using a "mark" containing 666.

  • 16

       To some people, it may seem far fetched that we could ever have a "mark" tattooed on our hand or forehead (for the double amputee).   However, the technology is already available to make tattoos that appear only under ultraviolet light, or to implant a tiny computer chip under the skin that would contain all the information of a UPC symbol and much more.

    PROPHETICALLY RIGHT ON!   "mark" in forehead.
    A very reputable company placed this ad in Advertising Age Tabloid, October 20, 1980.

    Cats, dogs may get
    microchip IDs

    Associated Press

    Wheaton, Ill.
    The head of Du Page County's Ani-
    mal Control Department wants every
    dog or cat to have a chip in its

    Daniel Boyle said he would ask the
    County Board to approve an ordi-
    nance requiring that microchip IDs
    be implanted in all animals that bite
    someone and all pets reclaimed or
    adopted from the county's animal

    shelter.   Boyle said he also would try
    to persuade pet owners and veteri-
    narians to voluntarily implant the
    chips in all dogs and cats to help
    identify them.

    If approved, the county would regis-
    ter the ID numbers of all the micro-
    chipped pets.

    The microchip, about the size of a
    grain of rice, is injected via a syringe
    into the shoulder or hip of a dog or
    cat.   The number on the microchip
    can be read by a hand-held scanner.
    Boyle said a microchip injection
    would cost $20 to $25.

    THROUGHOUT this lesson we have compared certain "end times" prophecies with world events taking place around us.   Are we in the last days?   Global trends seem to suggest that we are, and fast approaching what Jesus described as . . .

    "...great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world[.]"   MATTHEW 24:21

       This period of tribulation WILL come.   The BIBLE says as in the days of Noah, when God judged the whole world; the human race will again be judged and . . .

    "...drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without
    mixture into the cup of his indignation..."
    REVELATION 14:10

    This world is following in the footsteps of Noah's wicked generation.   If God were to forsake His judgment on a generation just as wicked, He would surely owe Noah an apology.

    "...for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."   MATTHEW 24:44



    (Some information used in this lesson was derived from the following books)

  • Special Report: Blueprint for Building the New World Order The Omega Letter, Pub.
  • The AIDS Cover-Up?   The Real and Alarming Facts About AIDS by Gene Antonio, Ignatius Press Pub.
  • Armageddon: Appointment with Destiny by G.R. Jeffrey, Frontier Research Pub.
  • Earthquakes and the End of the Age by Dr. Julian Pope.
  • Jesus is Coming by Terry Watkins.
  • A Grim Future an article by Ronald Williams.
  • The New Money System by Mary Stewart with PHD Ministries, Inc.
  • Still Number One an article from American Heart Association 1995.
  • Noah's Ark, Pitched and Parked by Nathan M. Meyer, BMH Books Pub.
  • Willmington's Book of Bible Lists by H.L. Willmington, Tyndale House, Pub.
  • Holy Bible   King James Version.

    «««««««««« A Sneak Preview ««««««««««««

       Since the end of the world coincides with the return of Jesus Christ, it is only fitting that we study
    "The Son of man" Himself - Jesus Christ.   Every one of the sixty-six books of the BIBLE refers to Jesus Christ in some way.   He is the central theme of the entire BIBLE.
       In our next lesson we will take an in-depth look into the greatest life ever lived, by the greatest person ever to walk the earth.   We will see if the BIBLE answers things concerning Jesus Christ such as:

    * Was He actually virgin born?
    * Did He appear in the Old Testament before His birth in Bethlehem?
    * Was He really God in the flesh?
    * Was He the Creator of the Universe?
    * What did He look like?
    * Was He all knowing and all powerful?
    * Did He know that He was born to die?
    * Did He always exist in eternity?

    And more . . .


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