Revelation Watch II

HONG KONG—Swarms of desert locusts have devastated crops in East Africa, hit the Middle East and moved into South Asia. They’re breeding fast thanks to changes in global climate patterns that have brought about major cyclones and heavy rains, and they are feeding off human food supplies across continents.

So far, India has managed to prevent a swarm of biblical proportions from spilling over into Bangladesh, Burma, and then China—where the coronavirus has already paralyzed much of the country’s activity. But it’s not clear how long that line will hold.

A square mile of a swarm can be formed by up to 210 million locusts, which can eat as much food as 90,000 people in a day. In East Africa, the bugs have been tearing through maize, sorghum, cowpeas, as well as vegetation that cattle graze on.Eastern Africa has been hit the hardest by the xanthic bugs, with fields in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia ravaged by 360 billion locusts. Swarms can be city-sized, and one of the largest—located in Kenya—covers about 37 miles by 25 miles. It is so dense that it turns daylight to darkness for anyone caught within.

Alarmist headlines are proliferating, too, many of them drawing parallels with the plagues in scripture. “Bible coming to life?” asked the Jerusalem Post. The swarms appear in the Old Testament, most notably in Exodus as one of the plagues Moses calls down on Egypt, which also is referenced in the Quran. In the New Testament locusts are associated with Revelation 9:3, where they emerge in ferocious swarms that also have the sting of scorpions.

Allusions to the Apocalypse aside, the real life potential for disaster is huge.
Swarms of desert locusts are devastating crops and pastures in East Africa.

This is the situation as of 10th February.

Experts fear it could grow 400 times by June if left untreated.

Learn more via @CNN #DesertLocust #Locusts

6:53 PM - Feb 19, 2020 
Kenya hasn’t seen a swarm this size in seven decades, while Ethiopia and Somalia have managed to avoid these conditions for a quarter of a century. The governments of Kenya and Ethiopia have each dispatched several planes to dump pesticides from the air, which the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says is the only effective way to kill desert locusts. Farmers attempt to chase the bugs off, blasting the claxons on their motorbikes, or rigging contraptions that make loud, metallic noises when shaken. These methods have not made a dent in the locust population. There are simply too many of them.

The FAO calls locusts the “most dangerous migratory pest.” They are highly mobile, able to travel up to 90 miles a day if wind conditions are in their favor, and wreak havoc along the way. Female locusts can lay up to 300 eggs within their life span of three to five months. As many as 1,000 egg pods, each holding up to 80 eggs, can incubate underground within a square meter (10.7 square feet).

In the past, desert locusts have been a key factor that aggravated famines in Ethiopia. And in 1915, they stripped Ottoman-era Palestine of nearly all vegetation.

Nowadays, desert locusts are still hard to control, chiefly because they tend to breed and thrive in large swathes of remote land, making it difficult for authorities to tackle the problem before it emerges. The countries that are most severely affected also tend to have weaker infrastructure, making them slower to move the necessary supplies and information to parties that need them.

In the East African countries where locusts are swarming now, 20 million people already face food insecurity.

The bugs multiplied and some swarms went north to Egypt, threatening a nation where food insecurity is a massive concern, particularly outside of the capital and major cities. (Headline in British tabloid The Express: “‘We are in the last days’ Locust swarm approaching Egypt sparks Bible apocalypse fears.”)

But most swarms crossed the Red Sea and made their way to Western Asia, chewing through Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Iran in early January and laying more eggs along the way.

The Middle Eastern nations’ pest control operations failed to cull the locusts, so beds of eggs will hatch by mid-March, releasing new hungry bugs.

In the first two weeks of this year, fields in Pakistan and India came under attack too, the swarms intensifying day after day. In India’s Rajasthan and Gujarat—two states in the country’s northwestern quadrant that share borders with Pakistan—more than 380,000 hectares of farmland have been damaged. The season’s harvest of mustard, cumin, and wheat has been consumed by the swarm.

What makes the current surge of locusts stand out is not only their numbers and intensity, but also that they are active in the subcontinent during winter months. In the past, swarms typically would dissipate by October. Now it’s February, and they are still going strong.

The Indian government was quick to identify the locusts as a major problem, and dispatched experts to work with their counterparts from the FAO in the affected regions. They’re tracking the swarms and destroying beds of locust eggs to limit the bugs’ propagation. And the government has diverted $4.3 million as compensation for farmers who have lost their crops.

For now, the Himalayan range is acting as a natural barrier for China, insulating its southwestern border from the scourge that is in Pakistan. But the locusts could bank into Southeast Asia, flowing through Bangladesh and up into Burma, landing in China’s Yunnan province, hitting a country that is already locked down because of the coronavirus’ rapid spread.

As fears rise, the state-run media outlet Global Times has been offering ludicrous consolation to the public, claiming that the desert locusts are “eaten by ducks, fried for food,” and “not a threat to China.” And the international arm of state-run CCTV even released a bizarre video of “duck troops” amassing at the border. But the species of locust that is on the country’s doorstep emits phenylacetonitrile, a foul-smelling secretion that is meant to deter predators. Birds typically do not seek them out as a food source.

Spokespersons for China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs claim that there is a “very low risk” of locust plagues hitting China, but a researcher at the Beijing-headquartered Institute of Plant Protection of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences suggests more caution.

The agriculture expert, Zhang Zehua, said that Yunnan province (which borders Burma), Guangxi (an autonomous region east of Yunnan), and Sichuan province (north of Yunnan) could be affected in June or July if the plagues are not brought under control in neighboring countries.

Zhang may be right, at least according to India’s Ministry of Agriculture, which issued a notice saying that it expects 200,000 square kilometers (77,200 square miles) of farmland to be blanketed by locusts in June during the onset of monsoon season—when conditions are perfect for ravenous insects to breed.

For now, whether the summer may bring another catastrophe to China depends chiefly on Delhi and Karachi’s efforts to exterminate a storm of insects in a race against the seasons.


YouTube Video

Jonathan Cahn on America

Published on Jan 14, 2015

Is America experiencing the harbingers of doom? Find out with guest Jonathan Cahn on the show Christ in Prophecy.



More signs in sky point to coming collapse.

Posted By Leo Hohmann On 03/15/2015 @ 8:26 pm In Faith

The approaching solar eclipse on March 20, followed by another blood moon on Passover, brings warnings of judgment coming to an unrepentant nation that has turned its back on God, says the author of two New York Times-bestselling books on America’s place in an increasingly chaotic world.

Jonathan Cahn, author of “The Harbinger” and “The Mystery of the Shemitah,” says he will be watching and taking notes on the landmark Supreme Court decision expected this summer on same-sex marriage while also keeping an eye on ISIS and Israel in the Middle East.

Throw in a volatile U.S. stock market, and Cahn expects to be a busy man for the remainder of the Shemitah year, which reaches its halfway point at sundown on March 20. 

That also happens to be the day of a total solar eclipse.

The second half of the Shemitah and its ultimate climax on Sept. 13, which is Elul 29, the infamous “wipe-out day” on the Hebrew calendar, is dreaded by financial investors. This is the same day that brought the two biggest single-day stock market crashes in U.S. history to that point, Sept. 17, 2001 and Sept. 29, 2008. In the 2008 crash, the Dow fell 777.7 points on the news that the House of Representatives voted down a $700 billion bailout deal.

If you’re starting to get the idea that the Shemitah is all about the number seven, you wouldn’t be far off the mark.

Following 2001 and 2008, the next Shemitah year is 2015, which follows a seven-year cycle laid out for Moses in Exodus, then repeated in Leviticus. Every seventh year, the Israelites were instructed by God to celebrate a Sabbath year, letting the land rest from sowing and reaping and canceling out the debts of their countrymen. Everyone would start with a clean financial slate on Elul 29, the day of “release.” They would be blessed as long as they followed God’s commandments, but when they turned to false gods or followed their own pursuits independent of God, that’s when the blessings turned to judgments, often starting out light but turning more severe the longer the warning signs were ignored.

Cahn sees a similar phenomenon playing out in America. He traces the first signs of judgment to 1973, a Shemitah year, following the removal of prayer from public schools in the 1960s and then the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. That started a downhill spiral, with each judgment getting more pronounced, including the stock-market crashes of 1980 and 1987, followed by terror attacks and a market crash in September 2001, then another financial collapse seven years later in September 2008. The present Shemitah year started Sept. 25, 2014, and is now halfway to its climax in September 2015.

“You never want to put God in box. He doesn’t have to do anything, but the pattern has been, the last seven Shemitahs, there’s been a collapse every time. And then the last two have been exactly to the day, on this Elul 29 wipe-out day,” Cahn said. Elul 29 is the last day of the Hebrew month of Elul, which is followed by the month of Tishri. Elul 29 falls this year on Sunday, Sept. 13, which is the eve of the Feast of Trumpets, also known as Rosh Hashanah. “Tishri is the month that manifests the wipe-out,” Cahn said. “Throughout history, the greatest crashes have all been focused on Tishri.”

Ominous signs in the heavens?

The current Shemitah year is being watched even more closely by some because it coincides with a rare tetrad of four blood moons that all occur on biblical feast days, the next coming on April 4, which is Passover. The tetrad of blood moons has only occurred three other times in the last 500 years. On top of the four blood moons, there will be a total solar eclipse on March 20 and a partial solar eclipse on Sept. 13 or Elul 29.

WND Founder and CEO Joseph Farah interviews Jonathan Cahn at the 2015 NRB Convention:

There’s that day again, Elul 29, the very day that in biblical Israel all debts were canceled and all financial accounts wiped clean, ushering in the month of Tishri and the Feast of Trumpets. The trumpet is symbolic in scripture of coming judgment and for people to get their lives right with God, Cahn said. The solar eclipse, likewise, has often been associated with ominous warnings in scripture.

If you haven’t read “The Harbinger” or seen “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment” yet, now is the time to catch up on the groundbreaking spiritual detective work of Jonathan Cahn.

“One of the signs in the Bible of judgment can be a darkening of the sun,” Cahn said. “Well, on Elul 29 the sun will be darkened. A solar eclipse. I don’t want to be dogmatic, but the last time that happened was 1987; it ushered in black Monday, the worst percentage crash in Wall Street history. It also happened during the Great Depression. So it’s like a lot of convergence is going on at the same time.”

The prophet Joel connected solar eclipses and blood moons with the end times. In Joel 2:30-31, he prophesied: “And I shall show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.”

The Shemitah can also bring major turns in world events. In his book, “The Mystery of the Shemitah,” Cahn demonstrates how the rise and fall of empires have coincided with the seven-year cycle. Hitler’s Third Reich, Japan’s dynasty, the Ottoman Empire, the Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires all fell in accordance with the seven-year cycle of the Shemitah.

The day Nisan 1 marks the biblical new year on the Hebrew calendar, which is March 20, the same day as the solar eclipse and the exact center point of the Shemitah year. “I think it’s significant. Generally the pattern is the dramatic part comes at the end. However, there is often foreshadowing at the beginning,” Cahn said.

Watch the trailer as Jonathan Cahn puts in context the entire Shemitah concept in less than 2 minutes:

In the first week of the Shemitah in September 2014, Russia became the world’s No. 1 nuclear power, surpassing America. In the second week of the Shemitah, the American economic juggernaut that began in 1871, the year the U.S. became the greatest economic power on earth, came to an end. China surpassed the U.S. in gross domestic product.

What’s more, China last month announced plans for its currency to replace the dollar as the world’s global reserve currency.

Simon Black, an international investor and founder of Sovereign Man, reported recently that China had placed billboards near the international airport in Thailand advertising its currency. He wrote:

“When I arrived to Bangkok the other day, coming down the motorway from the airport I saw a huge billboard – and it floored me.
The billboard was from the Bank of China. It said: ‘RMB: New Choice; The World Currency’ 
Given that the Bank of China is more than 70% owned by the government of the People’s Republic of China, I find this very significant. It means that China is literally advertising its currency overseas, and it’s making sure that everyone landing at one of the world’s busiest airports sees it. They know that the future belongs to them and they’re flaunting it.”

“China took the crown,” Cahn told WND. “That’s something I’ve been warning about for a long time, that the crown would be passed from America to China. One of the things about the Shemitah, is it’s not only linked to the economy but also history and the rise and fall of nations. So, to see that is very ominous. What you’re watching with America, it has been blessed by God and now it’s driving God and His ways out. What’s going to happen to America?”

Another barometer is America’s relations with Israel. That relationship appears more strained than it has been in decades, as President Obama’s former campaign advisers are working in Israel to unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. When Netanyahu came to the U.S. to deliver a speech to Congress, he was snubbed by the president and more than 100 Democrats.

Cahn believes the law of “blessing and cursing” with regard to nations and their treatment of the Jewish people, according to Genesis 12:3, is still in effect. “Then you have America and Israel, another law of ancient times, and then you have the signs. I mean that was major, the end of the American age. We’re watching it happen,” he said. “So I believe it’s all coming. Whether it happens in the exact parameters or not, it’s coming.” 

Sinking into the abyss

Morally, America continues to sink into the abyss, he said.

A new Wall Street Journal and NBC News survey found that 59 percent of Americans support allowing same-sex marriage, nearly double the 30 percent support reported in 2004.

On the day the poll was reported, March 10, the media were rife with astonishment in how a nation’s public opinion could transform in such a short period of time on such a controversial subject.

Just last week, 379 companies filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage. The list of names on the brief reads like a Who’s Who of corporate America: Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Coca-Cola, the NFL, General Mills, Kimberly-Clark, J.P. Morgan-Chase, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo are among the hundreds of companies asking the high court to overturn a lower court’s ban on gay marriage in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

If the old saying is true that “the Supreme Court follows the election returns,” then there is a good chance that the high court will issue a sweeping same-sex marriage decree that requires all states to recognize same-gender unions.

Watch video interview in which Jonathan Cahn talks about the unraveling of the family as a great American institution.

The redefinition of marriage would be just another nail in the coffin, sealing the coming judgment of American, Cahn believes.

“That is major. I believed for years it was going to happen if we didn’t turn around. These are milestones of world history to begin with,” Cahn said. “But in another key Shemitah year was 1973. That year saw Roe v. Wade, the other kind of milestone. And within one month of Roe v. Wade, that Supreme Court decision with abortion, the financial realm collapsed. Led to a global recession. That same year, America lost its first war in modern history, or ever, in Vietnam. So these were watermark years. And now we have another Shemitah, with another Supreme Court ruling most likely in June; that is another kind of cataclysmic, moral, spiritual thing. What’s that going to do in the spiritual realm? Well, I believe it’s all coming together.”

Cahn said most people aren’t aware that the Shemitah is linked to end-time prophecy. “The last part of end-time prophecy we call the tribulation period. Well, how long is that? A seven-year cycle, linked to Daniel’s 70 sevens which is linked to the Shemitah,” he said. “And there’s one of the mysteries called the mystery of the seventh Shemitah.” The Bible instructs that every seventh Shemitah, or 49 years, there comes a sort of mega Shemitah that is followed by the “jubilee year,” Cahn said.

“This cycle is actually linked to restoration of land that you lost,” Cahn said. The 50-year cycles gives the exact time parameters of when the land of Israel was restored to the Jewish people in 1917 with the Balfour Declaration. Then 50 years later in 1967, Israel reclaimed East Jerusalem and the West Bank in the Six Day War.

“I’m not being dogmatic because it doesn’t have to continue, but if it did, where would it take us?” Cahn said. “It would take us to 2015. And then the year going after (2016) which in each period, after each cycle, has been a major war in the Middle East, gigantic, focused on Israel and a prophetic, major end-time event.”

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Muslims walk through Al-Azhar Mosque in the old city of Cairo, Dec. 2, 2011. (photo by REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

Azhar-Vatican ties witness major breakthrough after long hiatus

Egypt's Al-Azhar has recently resumed interfaith dialogue sessions in Cairo after being halted for nearly seven years, signaling a major shift in its ties with the Vatican that reached their lowest point in 2011. Under the theme of “The Role of Al-Azhar and the Vatican in Facing the Phenomena of Fanaticism, Extremism and Violence in the Name of Religion,” the seminar focused on further bolstering cooperation between the two prestigious entities in a bid to combat terrorism and religious extremism. It was attended by many scholars of Al-Azhar along with Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the head of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, who led the Vatican's high-level delegation.

SummaryPrint Al-Azhar and the Vatican have resumed talks that address the root causes of extremism, highlighting the means of combatting terrorism and religious extremism.
Author Amira Sayed Ahmed Posted March 17, 2017

The Al-Azhar Commission for Interreligious Dialogue with the Vatican was formed in 1998 with the main aim of enhancing understanding between the two faiths as well as fostering dialogue between the highest seat of Sunni Islam learning and the Holy See. Such a commission usually holds biannual meetings to discuss the root causes of extremism, highlighting the means of combining efforts to counter terrorism and correct the wrong notions. The commission, nevertheless, suspended its work in 2011, adhering to Al-Azhar's decision to cut off ties with the Vatican during the papacy of then-Pope Benedict XVI. The recent two-day seminar is considered the first after the seven-year standoff, marking a significant thaw in ties.

Speaking at the seminar, Abbas Shouman, the undersecretary of Al-Azhar, announced the resumption of talks and stated that the Arab region is grappling with "unprecedented religious extremism," calling for putting an end to such terrorist attacks to ensure that peace would prevail in the region. Shouman, meanwhile, expressed regret that the extremists misinterpret religious texts to justify their brutal acts that are being exploited by "some media outlets."

Tauran remarked that Islam is considered "the closest religion" to Christianity as an Abrahamic religion despite the great differences between the two faiths. Tauran's speech also underlined the paramount importance of the religious institutions' role in spreading the culture of accepting the other and combating extremism, as fanatics commit their heinous acts in the name of religion. Tauran, in a related context, lauded Al-Azhar's efforts to face fanatical thoughts in the Arab region.

Though this step is considered a milestone in the Azhar-Vatican ties, many questions surround the mechanisms and the efficacy of the interfaith dialogue. Kamal Zakher, a secular Coptic thinker and former politician, told Al-Monitor, "It is just a formal meeting — no more, no less. Such protocol meetings lack a clear agenda and, therefore, I doubt they will have tangible results. Al-Azhar should at first drastically renew its religious discourse before holding talks with others."

Al-Azhar and the Vatican, Zakher said, are completely different religious schools and that is why there should be specific mechanisms to reach the desired targets regardless of merely issuing useless recommendations. "However, such a step can be positively seen as an attempt by Al-Azhar to adopt a new approach in dealing with other religious entities,” he added.

On the other hand, Amna Nosseir, a top professor at Al-Azhar University, greatly hailed restoring ties with the Vatican, stressing that such dialogue sessions should not be underestimated. "As a professor of philosophy, I am fully aware that dialogue is the best way to reach a common ground between different cultures and religions. It is the language of all religions. … It is a mechanism in itself. These dialogue sessions pave the way for more cooperation in the future," Nosseir told Al-Monitor.

Actually, tensions between Al-Azhar and the Vatican had severely escalated during the reign of Benedict (2005-2013). In 2006, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mohamed Sayed Tantawi decided to freeze talks with the Vatican over the pope’s remarks in Germany that reportedly linked Islam to violence. Since then, the Azhar-Vatican ties remarkably soured. In 2008, Al-Azhar was poised to resume talks with the Vatican. In 2011, Al-Azhar decided to indefinitely halt talks since the former pope called for further protecting Christians in the Middle East in the aftermath of the terror attack on the Two Saints Church in Alexandria on New Year's Eve in 2010. Al-Azhar considered the pope's remarks an "unacceptable interference" in the country's internal affairs.

The strained ties started to improve when Pope Francis took office in 2013, particularly following President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's visit to the Vatican in 2014. It was a part of his first tour to Europe as Egypt's president. The tension was further eased in the wake of the historic visit by the grand imam of Al-Azhar to the Vatican, where he met Francis in May 2016. Following this visit, Al-Azhar has decided to renew its ties with the Vatican. February's interfaith dialogue seminar is considered the culmination of the smooth ties between the two sides.

In a recent interview with German daily Die Zeit, Francis stated that he considers a trip to Egypt in 2017. The anticipated visit would be a response to the invitation he received from Sisi in 2014. The first and only visit to Egypt by the Vatican's pope took place in 2000 by Pope John Paul II.

"Dialogue is essential, but it is not enough on its own. We do not want meetings between priests and Islamic scholars. Such meetings should address citizens in streets to uproot extremism. We may have different religions and, hence, we need dialogue. But, meanwhile, we all share humanity and this requires practical steps, not fake meetings," Gamal Asaad, a Coptic thinker and writer, told Al-Monitor.

Asaad said that Al-Azhar has already formed some committees and institutes to boost dialogue not only with the Vatican but also with Egypt's churches, referring to Al-Azhar's Beit el Aila (House of the Family), an entity that includes Muslim and Christian religious leaders and aims to promote cooperation between Al-Azhar and Egypt's churches. "Unfortunately, the effect of such entities could barely be noticed. I just want to know what the practical steps that Al-Azhar and the Vatican have decided to take are. We need real dialogue not superficial ones. Here I am addressing both Al-Azhar and the Egyptian churches."

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Revelation Watch
May 16th 2020 rev - 6