(Luke 17:26 – Genesis 6:11, 13)
The “days of Noe” is presented as a template to understand the time when Jesus (the “Son of man”) comes again (parousia). Both Matthew (24:36-41) and Luke (17:26-28) list human activities which suggest that life will be going on as “usual” close to His return. But – the Genesis record adds a vivid portrayal of an emotional God over wickedness. It even quotes His impassionate words of regret for creating man. Corruption was so egregious to Him that mankind, with the earth, would be destroyed. That echoes the desolation that is predicted to occur just preceding the Second Coming.
What behavior brought God to such a pronouncement?
- The wickedness of man was great (Genesis 6:5). The context is strongly the opposite of what God intended for His creation.
- Man’s imagination and thoughts were continually evil (Genesis 6:5).
- The earth was filled with violence (Genesis 6:11, 13).
Such a pronouncement suggests that mankind rebelled against a standard which they should have known. He describes their wickedness as corruption. He specifically addresses the issue of violence (hamas) twice as of pointed concern.
This antediluvian picture is God’s “personal account.” It describes His objections and divine reactions to man’s apostasy.
Focusing on Violence
History is replete with episodes of violence reaching back to Cain and Abel (a difficult event to fathom). There are horrendous Biblical records of carnage and war, mortal judgments on the Canaanites and the violence of Calvary to our Savior. The Crusades turned on a switch that began a long history of wars between “religious factions” as did, later, the two despicable Inquisitions. Of heinous repute was the power over life and death against religious opposition, claimed by men such as Pope Innocent III (1198–1216) in Per Venerabilem and Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) in Summa Theologica.
The motion picture industry made its debut in the 1890s. It wasn’t long until violence became part of its intrigue, added as “entertainment” value. A famous movie, “The Great Train Robbery,” filled with blazing guns, came out in 1903. The United States National Film Registry of the Library of Congress selected it in 2009 as a historic film because of its “cultural” and “aesthetic” value.
By the mid-1930s television made its entry into the public arena. It quickly became a “tool” for the entertainment and film industry, influencing minds, news and education in the privacy of one’s home. Concern regarding the moral impact of this form of communication quickly accelerated.
- In the early 1950s the medical community first raised concern about the deleterious effects on children of media violence.
- By 1972 the U.S. Surgeon General issued a major report on the negative impact violence in the media has on young people.
- The National Institute of Mental Health later issued a special review on “entertainment violence” on children’s mental health in 1982.
- Similar public warnings came out in Congressional hearings (2000), again, by the National Institute of Mental Health (2003) and by the Federal Communication Commission (2007). “Yet, the entertainment industry, the American public, politicians, and parents all have been reluctant to accept these findings and to take action. The debate should be over.”
Recent reviews implicated television, movies, music and video games as a cause for aggressive behavior and desensitization to violence. In 2006 psychologists at the Iowa State University showed that just 20 minutes of playing violent video games can cause college students “to become less physiologically aroused to real violence.”
Conflict, vice and murder remain major features of the movie industry.
- Recently, Ohio State University studied gun-based violence on PG13 and R films.
- In a review of 945 films made between 1950 and 2012, violent episodes rose steadily
(meaning a “physical act when the aggressor makes or attempts to make physical contact with the intension of causing injury or death.”)
The medical journal Pediatrics leveled deepening concern over the “parenteral guidance” ratings given by the film industry. Many benign ratings (made by the film industry) exposed children to violent characters, which in turn, exposed them to other high risk behaviors – such as bullying, racial discrimination, alcohol, smoking, intense sexual situations, crude language, and “soft” drug use.
Boston Globe’s film critic, Ty Buss, said in July, 2012, that “it may be time for a conversation about violence in entertainment.” He sensed its growing barbarism.
Culture of Death
Before WWII an uncanny “New World Moral Order” was envisioned by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a speech to Congress January 5, 1941. Its idealism was envisioned and formulated by Roosevelt and the Vatican, outlined in the book FDR, The Vatican, and the Roman Catholic Church in America. However, its idealism for peace could never be achieved and maintained without coercion and force!
Ever since Roe vs Wade in 1973, abortion “integrated itself,” for the majority of Americans, into a cultural “norm.” This became increasingly defended because of a major increase in permissive sex and pregnancies. Mandated sex education contributed to this by raising the level of “curiosity” and “desire” to exploit the possibilities. Concomitantly, entertainment’s burgeoning desire to become more explicit has led to a marked rise in unwanted pregnancies.
- Since 1973 53 million babies have been removed from pregnant mothers.
- The abortion drug RU 486 causes 1,000,000 miscarriages per year.
- Each day more than 3000 babies are aborted in the United States.
The silent horror of a life that is terminated has led to the blunting of the moral worth of life itself.
Ethnic Cleansing by Genocide
The systematic murder of an ethnic or religious group tarnishes history. A rational mind questions, “How could it be?” Intriguingly, this was not formally addressed by the United Nations until 1994 as an international problem. It was then declared a war crime.
History is replete with accounts of expulsion and extermination of segments of humanity. Of the deepest mystery has been, “Why in civilized times is such mass murder possible?” Most conclusions regress into excuses:
- Most persecution and genocide have occurred from people who develop a low value of human life.
- And – most by totalitarian religious societies.
Often when some catastrophe or experience, giving a sense of helplessness, comes into a
culture or society, bringing “disorganization,” a “scapegoat” group is identified as a “cause.” The catastrophe, it is then said, will “be eliminated” by persecuting or killing that group.,
Two recent centuries of conflicts which have embraced genocide:
- 1886–1908 Congo Free State – 8,000,000 died
- 1914 Armenian Genocide – approximately 1,000,000 died
- 1914–1918 First World War – 15,000,000 died; civilians estimated 13,000,000
- 1917–1922 Russian Civil War – 9,000,000 died
- 1924–1953 Soviet Union (Stalin’s Regime) – 20,000,000 died
- 1939-1945 Second World War (WWII) – 66,000,000 died
Holocaust – 5-6,000,000 died
- 1949-1975 People’s Republic of China (Mao Zedung) – 40,000,000 died
- 1964 Zanzibar Revolution – 4000+ Arabs killed
- 1982–1983 Guatemalan Civil War – 200,000 died, Mayan Indians
- 1971 Bangladesh – Liberation War – 3 million people killed; 200,000-400,000 woman were raped, then killed.
- 1972 Burundi Genocide of Hutus by the Tutsi Army
- 1955 on North Korea estimates several million have died of starvation. The government blocked delivery of food aid.
50-70,000 Christians are being either killed or put in concentration camps since 2012.
- 1968–1979 Equatorial Guinea’s President Francisco marias Mgema exterminated 80,000 people –
one third of his country.
- 1975–1999 East Timor was occupied by the Indonesian government.
18,600 people were killed and 84,200 “excess deaths” felt to be of starvation occurred.
- 1963 on West New Guinea/West Papua was controlled by Indonesia – 100,000+ Papuans have been killed.
- 1975 on The new Lao People’s Democratic Republic killed 100,000 Hmong people.
- 1977–1987 Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam led in the mass killings of an estimated 500,000 individuals
(which included 150,000 university students, intellectuals and politicians).
- 1988 Iraq used chemical weapons to try to exterminate the Kurdish population. 3,000-5,000 people were killed.
- 1950 on In Tibet it is estimated that 1.2 million people were killed in a genocide move to
wipe out their religion as part of the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
- 1988 Brazil – the Helmet Massacre of the Tikuna people occurred.
- 1998–2003 Democratic Republic of Congo – an attempt was made to eliminate the pigmy people
through killing and cannibalism.
- 1996-1997 Rwanda – the Tutsi people killed 800,000 Hutus.
- 1985–2008 Sri Lanka military conducted genocide against the Tamil people. Numbers murdered unclear.
- 1995 Srebrenica – the Serbian forces killed > 8,000 Bosnian Muslims.
Since 2011 the Syrian Civil War has been raging between President Bashar al-Assad and rebel groups. The United Nations has declared this to be a sectarian conflict (Assad’s Alawite and the Shia against Sunni rebels).
International groups have bolstered and supported both sides. On August 22, 2014, the U.N. human rights chief, Navi Pillay, said that 191,000 Syrians have died in this barbarous conflict – many from chemical weapons! Over 3,000,000 refugees emerged from this war in the past three years – many of them Christians.
World without Peace
Most frequently conflict among nations is war-focused with reporting of deaths, injuries, number of people displaced or economic costs. An excellent new approach to understanding conflict was filed this year by Vision of Humanity and the Institute for Economics and Peace.
- They answered the unique question: “How many countries around the world were at peace?”
- Of 162 countries extensively evaluated, only eleven were conflict-free.
They noted that since 2007 the world as a whole has been becoming incrementally less peaceful. This has mainly been due to a rise of terrorist activity.
- 500,000,000 people live in countries at risk for instability and conflict.
- In 2013 the Global Economic Impact of violence reached $9.8 trillion.
Local terrorist organizations rose in the late 1960s – organizations such as the Palestine
Liberation Organization (PLO), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PELP) and Abu Nidal Organization (ANO). While these resistance movements promoted acts of violence in the late ‘60s and ‘70s, they failed to achieve their objective of Islamic Arab nationalism and power.
- Radical groups began to emerge, such as The Muslim Brotherhood.
- Then a spark of Islamic pride was ignited through a sad, ill-conceived mandate from the United States.
The election of President Carter in 1976 brought a major emphasis on “human rights” into the international community. One of his targets for “forced reform” was the Shah of Iran, a staunch ally and major stabilizing force in the Middle East. It took only a few months for resistance elements to arise against his regime within Iran. 1978 saw the rise of violent protest in Tehran and the fall of the Shah with his escape from his home country in January, 1979.
- By February 1979 Ayatollah Khomeini returned from exile and began a violent dictatorship.
- Within weeks over 20,000 Iranian people had been executed. So much for the coercion of human rights!
This became a turning point in contemporary Islamic history. Radicalization of the Muslim world quickly followed, with the rise of Islamic Fundamentalist groups. By 1983 terrorism became an international problem, with the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon, killing 63. Then came the destruction of the U.S. barracks where 305 Americans were killed.
Modern man began to relapse into primitive savagery. The Bible talks about this time in the book of Daniel. It alludes to this warring “element” as the “king of the south.” There is something unique in that prophecy. That “element” at the end will specifically turn to hatred against Christians. Radical Islam has begun a cleansing of Christians, as we are seeing in Syria and especially Iraq. This is anticipated to get worse.
Penetrating “thinkers” are beginning to speak out. In a powerful New York Times op-ed piece, Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, recently asked: “Why is the world silent while Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East and Africa? He noted that the “barbarous slaughter of thousands upon thousands of Christians is met with relative indifference.”
Perhaps John Stonestreet had the answer. As the “Christian World” becomes more secularized, the liberal politicians and media are seeing Christians as the “Tea Party” or “those undesirables on the right.” “Those Christians” do not fit the liberal narrative, thus inaction. From the politics of “human rights” to “religious bigotry” there is a trending toward the triumph of evil. But – more than this is happening to the hearts of Americans and Europeans. Indifference to suffering and death has become a cultural norm by its own prejudicial laws. They reflect the waning impact of the Holy Spirit on man. The suicide of reason has quieted that still small voice.
We recall expositor White’s warning: “The inhumanity of man toward man is our greatest sin.” That “sin” has become epidemic.
“Satanic agencies have made the earth a stage for horrors which no language can describe…. The great conflict now being waged is not merely a strife of man against man. On one side stands the Prince of life, acting as man's substitute and surety; on the other, the prince of darkness, with the fallen angels under his command.”
“The Spirit of God is gradually but surely being withdrawn from the earth…. The agencies of evil are combining their forces, and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones.”
In the next issue we will explore in greater depth the horrors of that “king of the south” as we conclude Part 2 of the end-time sign of violence.
Brief List of “South” Terrorist Attacks on International Targets Since 1978:
They all involve Islam, echoing the Biblical predictions.
- 18 April 1983 – 1983 United States embassy bombing 63 killed, 120 wounded.
- 23 October 1983 – 1983 Beirut barracks bombing 305 killed, 75 wounded.
- 26 February 1993 – World Trade Center bombing, New York City. Six killed.
- 13 March 1993 – 1993 Bombay bombings. Mumbai, India. 250 dead, 700 injured.
- 28 July 1994 – Buenos Aires, Argentina. Vehicle suicide bombing attack against AMIA building, the local Jewish community representation. 85 dead, more than 300 injured.
- 24 December 1994 – Air France Flight 8969 hijacking in Algiers by three members of Armed Islamic Group of Algeria and another terrorist. Seven killed, including the hijackers.
- 25 June 1996 – Khobar Towers bombing, 20 killed, 372 wounded.
- 17 November 1997 – Luxor attack, six terrorists attack tourists at Egypts famous Luxor Ruins. 68 foreign tourists killed.
- 14 February 1998 – Bombing in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. 13 bombs explode within a 12 km radius. 46 killed and over 200 injured.
- 7 August 1998 – 1998 United States embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. 224 dead. 4000+ injured.
- 4 September 1999 – A series of bombing attacks in several cities of Russia, nearly 300 killed.
- 12 October 2000 – Attack on the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden.
- 11 September 2001 – Four planes hijacked and crashed into World Trade Center, The Pentagon and into a field in Shanksville by 19 hijackers. 2,977 killed and over 6,000
- 13 December 2001 – Suicide attack on Indian parliament in New Delhi by Pakistan-based Islamist terrorist organizations, Jaish-E-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Toiba. Aimed at eliminating the top leadership of India and causing anarchy in the country. 7 dead, 12 injured.
- 27 March 2002 – Suicide bomb attack on a Passover Seder in a Hotel in Netanya,
Israel. 30 dead, 133 injured.
- 30 March 2002 and 24 November 2002 – Attacks on the Hindu Raghunath temple,
India. Total 25 dead.
- 24 September 2002 – Machine gun attack on Hindu temple in Ahmedabad, India. 31 dead, 86 injured.
- 12 October 2002 – Bombing in Bali nightclub. 202 killed, 300 injured.
- 16 May 2003 – Casablanca Attacks – Four simultaneous attacks in Casablanca killing 33 civilians (mostly Moroccans) carried by Salafia Jihadia.
- 11 March 2004 – Multiple bombings on trains near Madrid, Spain. 191 killed, 1460
injured (alleged link to Al-Qaeda).
- 1 September 2004 – Beslan school hostage crisis, approximately 344 civilians including 186 children killed.
- 2 November 2004 – The murder of Theo van Gogh (film director) by Amsterdam-born
jihadist Mohammed Bouyeri.
- 5 July 2005 – Attack at the Hindu Ram temple at Ayodhya, India; one of the most holy sites of Hinduism. 6 dead.
- 7 July 2005 – Multiple bombings in London Underground. 53 killed by four suicide bombers. Nearly 700 injured.
- 23 July 2005 – Bomb attacks at Sharm el-Sheikh, an Egyptian resort city, at least 64 people killed.
- 29 October 2005 – 29 October 2005 Delhi bombings, India. Over 60 killed and over 180 injured in a series of three attacks in crowded markets and a bus, just 2 days before the Diwali festival.
- 9 November 2005 – 2005 Amman bombings. a series of coordinated suicide attacks on hotels in Amman, Jordan. Over 60 killed and 115 injured. Four attackers including a husband and wife team were involved.
- 7 March 2006 – 2006 Varanasi bombings, India. A series of attacks in the
Sankatmochan Hanuman temple and Cantonment Railway Station in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi. 28 killed and over 100 injured.
- 11 July 2006 – 11 July 2006 Mumbai train bombings, Mumbai, India; a series of seven bomb blasts that took place over a period of 11 minutes on the Suburban Railway in Mumbai. 209 killed and over 700 injured.
- 14 August 2007 – Qahtaniya bombings: Four suicide vehicle bombers massacred nearly 800 members of northern Iraq's Yazidi sect in the deadliest Iraq war's attack to date.
- 26 July 2008 – 2008 Ahmedabad bombings, India. Islamic terrorists detonate at least 21 explosive devices in the heart of this industrial capital, leaving at least 56 dead and 200 injured. A Muslim group calling itself the Indian Mujahideen claims responsibility. Indian authorities believe that extremists with ties to Pakistan and/or Bangladesh are likely responsible and are intent on inciting communal violence. Investigation by Indian police led to the eventual arrest of a number of terrorists suspected of carrying out the blasts, most of whom belong to a well-known terrorist group, the Students Islamic Movement of India.
- 13 September 2008 – Bombing series in Delhi, India. Pakistani extremist groups plant bombs at several places including India Gate, out of which the ones at Karol Bagh, Connaught Place and Greater Kailash explode leaving around 30 people dead and 130 injured, followed by another attack two weeks later at the congested Mehrauli area, leaving 3 people dead.
- 26 November 2008 – Muslim extremists kill at least 174 people and wound numerous others in a series of coordinated attacks on India's largest city and financial capital, Mumbai. The government of India blamed Pakistan based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba and stated that the terrorists killed/caught were citizens of Pakistan, a claim which the Pakistani government has refused. Ajmal Kasab, one of the terrorists, was caught alive.
- 25 October 2009. Baghdad, Iraq. During a terrorist attack, two bomber vehicles detonated in the Green Zone, killing at least 155 people and injuring 520.
- 28 October 2009 – Peshawar, Pakistan. A car bomb is detonated in a woman exclusive shopping district, and over 110 killed and over 200 injured.
- 3 December 2009 – Mogadishu, Somalia. A male suicide bomber disguised as a
woman detonates in a hotel meeting hall. The hotel was hosting a graduation ceremony for local medical students when the blast went off, killing four government ministers as well as other civilians.
- 1 January 2010 – Lakki Marwat, Pakistan. A suicide car bomber drove his explosive-laden vehicle into a volleyball pitch as people gathered to watch a match killing more than 100 people.
- 1 May 2010 - New York, New York, USA. Faisal Shahzad, an Islamic Pakistani
American who received U.S. citizenship in December 2009, attempted to detonate a car bomb in Times Square working with the Pakistani Taliban or Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.
- 13 May 2011 – Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed attacks on two mosques simultaneously belonging to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, killing nearly 100 and injuring many others.
- 13 July 2011 – Three bombs exploded at different locations in Mumbai, perpetrated by Indian Mujahideen.
- 11 September 2012 – 2012 Benghazi Attack On the evening of September 11, 2012,
Islamic militants attacked the American diplomatic mission at Benghazi, in Libya, killing U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and Sean Smith, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer.
- 15 April 2013 – Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev set off two pressure cooker bombs at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon and killed three people.
- 22 May 2013 – 2 Nigerian men attack and kill British Soldier, Lee Rigby in Woolwich, London, UK.
- 22 September 2013 – 61 civilians, 6 Kenyan soldiers, and 5 attackers die in the Westgate shopping mall attack.
- 1 March 2014 Kunming attack – Kunming, China. A group of knife-wielding Uyghur attackers stormed Kunming Railway Station, killing 29 civilians and wounding 143 people. 4 of the attackers were shot dead.
Is barbaric violence reaching a level of the “days of Noe”? The weight of evidence suggests that we have entered that generation of time.
Just before the Babylonian captivity, Ezekiel dramatized in graphic language the sins God emotionally reacts to. It was followed by divine justice to eliminate numerous “abominations,” especially violence:
"The land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence” (Ezekiel 7:23).
“Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger” (Ezekiel 8:17).
“And say unto the people of the land, Thus saith the Lord GOD of the inhabitants of
Jerusalem, and of the land of Israel; They shall eat their bread with carefulness, and drink their water with astonishment, that her land may be desolate from all that is therein, because of the violence of all them that dwell therein.” (Ezekiel 12:19).
The Christian world has become numb to the loss of life that plagues it. John the Revelator, noted that a world coalition will act with barbaric hatred against the saints (Revelation 17:12-14). Fascinating, isn’t it – we have “tiptoed” into the time of the end.
BUT – there are promises:
“Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise” (Isaiah 60:18).
Prophecy Research Initiative – non-profit 501(c)3 © 2014
EndTime Issues…, Number 169, September 4, 2014