Biblical Astronomy

November 1997

Editor - Robert Scott Wadsworth <> P.O. Box 5772, Oregon City, OR 97045-8272

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Many earthquakes shook areas around the world in the month of November. Though some were moderate tremors, they were quakes nonetheless. The following are from reports from the web sight "Weekend News Today". The news sources are the New York Times and Nando Times.

Wed. Nov 5, 1997 -- Two moderate earthquakes within minutes shook Athens on Wednesday but there were no reports of injuries or damage, the Athens Seismological Institute said. A spokesman said the first tremor measured 4.6 on the open-ended Richter scale and the second, two minutes later, was less strong, Reuter reported. Two tremors rippled across the Greek capital on Tuesday at about the same time. The first and strongest was 4.3 on the Richter and had its epicenter 19 miles west of Athens.

Thu. Nov 6, 1997 -- Children in Athens practiced emergency drills Thursday after five moderate to strong earthquakes shook the nation, AP reported. Other moderate quakes were reported Thursday in Iran, Italy and Romania.

In Greece, members of the Organization for Earthquake Preparedness toured schools and told children and teachers what to do if a major quake strikes the area. The first quake Wednesday, with a preliminary magnitude of 4.6, was felt strongly in the capital and was followed by two smaller tremors a few minutes later, the Geodynamic Institute reported. Less than two hours later, a quake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.2 struck the island of Crete. Another quake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.4 was felt later Wednesday in much of western Greece and Athens.

Iranian radio reported that a 4.4 magnitude earthquake hit the town of Varamin, 30 miles southeast of Tehran, on Thursday and was felt in the southern part of the capital.

An earthquake with the magnitude of 4 rattled the northeastern part of Romania on Thursday, the official news agency Rompres reported.

And an earthquake of magnitude 3.7 shook Rome early Thursday, causing some panic but no injuries or damage.

Sat. Nov 8, 1997 -- One of the most powerful earthquakes to hit China in recent years struck the mountainous Tibet region Saturday, but the remote area reported no deaths or injuries, Reuter reported. Geologists in the United States and Japan both put the quake at 7.9, saying it was believed to be the largest instrumentally recorded in the area.

Sun. Nov 9, 1997 -- Two earthquakes shook central Italy on Sunday, further damaging the area's medieval churches and bell towers -- reportedly including the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, AP reported. The earthquakes of magnitude 3.7 and 4.4 also triggered panic among the approximately 40,000 people left homeless by another quake more than a month ago. Sunday's quakes were part of a series of aftershocks that hit Umbria after the large one in September, which killed 11 people and caused widespread damage.

Mon. Nov 10, 1997 -- An earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale struck China's mountainous Tibet Region, Reuter reported. The tremor struck an area about 250 miles northwest of the Tibetan capital of Lhasa at 8:24 a.m., on Sunday, hours after one of the most powerful quakes in years hit the region, said the official with the Tibet Seismological Bureau.

Tue. Nov 11, 1997 -- An Earthquake of magnitude 5.4 jolted with epicenter located 99.84 miles southeast of Kaohsiung, the largest city in the southern part of Taiwan at 7:09 a.m. EST, AFP reported. No casualties or damage were reported. Seismologists have warned that killer quakes are possible in southern Taiwan as a relatively calm 30-year cycle has come to an end.

Fri. Nov 14, 1997 -- An earthquake of magnitude 5.5 jolted the Kunlun Mountains that straddle Tibet and Xinjiang early Friday. This was most likely an aftershock from the large quake that hit near that area on November 8.

Sat. Nov 15, 1997 -- An earthquake of magnitude 5.3 struck in the Kunlun Mountains. This was most likely another aftershock.

Tue. Nov 18, 1997 -- A strong earthquake of magnitude 6.4 rocked the Greek capital on Tuesday but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, Reuter reported. The tremor was felt in Athens, where furniture shook and doors swung on their hinges.

Fri. Nov 21, 1997 -- An earthquake of magnitude 6.0 shook India and Bangledesh border region Friday. According to Reuter, at least three people were killed in the southeastern Bangledesh city of Chittagong when a six-story building collapsed. Police said fire service people retrieved the bodies and were searching through the rubble for more dead or survivors. No further details were available.

Sat. Nov 22, 1997 -- Three moderate earthquakes rattled this ski resort town Saturday as the latest seismic activity to hit the region caused an average of 50 quakes an hour but no damage or injuries, AP reported. Twenty of the temblors had a 3.0-magnitude or above. The three strongest ranged from a magnitude of 4.5 to 4.8, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The two earlier ones were concentrated about three miles east-southeast of Mammoth Lakes, which is 215 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The third tremor was centered two miles southeast of Mammoth Lakes, the report said.

Sun. Nov 23, 1997 -- An earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale rocked central Japan Sunday morning, AP reported citing the Hong Kong Observatory.

Tue. Nov 25, 1997 -- A strong earthquake registering 6.8 on the Richter scale has struck Indonesia's Minahassa peninsula, UPI reported quoting the U.S. geological survey. The USGS said the quake hit the island of Sulawasi. The epicenter was about 170 miles west of the city of Mando. The quake damaged at least 90 buildings, including houses, mosques and offices in two districts, Reuters reported.

Thur. Nov. 27, 1997 -- A mild earthquake shook buildings in the Georgian capital Tbilisi on Thursday and was felt 150 miles to the south in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, Reuter reported.

Sat. Nov. 29, 1997 -- A strong earthquake of a magnitude 6.3 hit a sparsely populated region in the Andes mountains near Peru's border with Bolivia Friday at 5:53 p.m., but there were no immediate reports of injury or damage, AP reported. The epicenter was about 500 miles southeast of Lima, the capital.


Whether this latest crises with Iraq will turn into an armed conflict in the very near future remains to be seen. Though there is much concern over Iraq's production of weapons of mass destruction. The following is an excerpt from a report written by John Diamond, Associated Press Writer; released on November 11, 1997.

EXPERTS: SADDAM HAS DEADLY WEAPONS - "Despite intense international scrutiny, Saddam Hussein has kept Iraq on a course to developing a formidable arsenal of Chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, U.S. and international weapons experts say.

The full array of killer chemical and biological weapons -- anthrax, VX nerve gas, aflatoxin, sarin and mustard gas, among others -- could be produced and "weaponized" in secret, all within a matter of weeks or months, according to U.S. and international intelligence reports.

There are no massive stockpiles -- Iraq doesn't need them, the experts say. It already has the key ingredient: the expertise needed to manufacture these weapons.

That some of these weapons may be intended for possible conflict with neighboring Iran should not slow the international effort to resume U.N. Special Commission inspections in Iraq, says Anthony Cordesman, a Mideast analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.

"Only effective UNSCOM operations can deter Iraq from rapidly rebuilding its wartime capabilities," Cordesman wrote in a recent study, adding that a newly re-armed Saddam would spark "a new arms race that is certain to lead Iran to reply in kind and present major new problems for U.S. forces in the region.

Through illegal imports and clandestine research programs, Iraq has improved its chemical and biological weapons technology and has the know-how -- though not the critical fissile material -- to assemble a workable nuclear weapon, U.N. inspectors found.

Equally important, Iraq also may retain some ability to deliver these weapons. Inspectors working for the United Nations say they have accounted for all but two of Iraq's Scud missiles. U.S. intelligence officials are not sure; they say Iraq may be able to attack distant targets through a small, hidden cache of medium and long range missiles.

All these elements of Iraq's weapons programs are underscored in separate reports and briefings by U.S. intelligence officials, outside experts on the Mideast, the U.N. Special Commission that conducted the on-site inspections in Iraq -- and now the latest entry, a new report by the British Foreign Office.

The British report, disclosed to news media Tuesday, confirms U.S. intelligence assertions that Iraq may have hidden "a handful" of largely complete missiles along with chemical and biological weapons."

"In a crises these could be available for use within a matter of weeks, or perhaps even days," the report said. "Provided it still has key components -- and that is unclear -- Iraq could within a few months build, with little risk of detection, missiles capable of hitting Israel and key targets in Saudi Arabia."

Those targets could include major U.S. military installations, such as air bases that serve the allied mission over southern and northern Iraq that have been going on since the end of the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

A particular area of concern is Iraq's efforts at developing VX, a highly lethal nerve agent known to linger in the atmosphere and pose a hazard long after the more common nerve gas sarin would have dissipated.

"The Commission recently obtained sufficient evidence that Iraq had indeed succeeded in acquiring VX production capabilities, "UNSCOM reported. "Given that prior to 1995 Iraq completely denied the production of VX and attempted to eliminate all traces of such activities in order to conceal them from the Commission, this area clearly requires further verification efforts."

Based on U.N. and U.S. reports, the key ingredients of Iraq's weapons-of-mass- destruction capability may include:

-- At least two Scud missiles that remain unaccounted for after U.N. inspections, analysis of Gulf War records and Iraqi claims what it has destroyed on its own.

-- Equipment to manufacture missile airframes and warheads.

-- 130 tons of chemical warfare agents that Iraq claims to have destroyed but for which no supporting documentary evidence has been supplied.

-- 16,038 chemical munitions Iraq claims to have discarded without documentary evidence.

-- 57 tons of unaccounted for material that could be used to manufacture VX nerve gas."

The following report is from the International Christian Embassy, Jerusalem, November 12, 1997.

Palestinians to Saddam: Rocket Israel; IDF Preparing for Non-Conventional Attack - "Hundreds of Palestinians in the Arafat Authority areas held pro-Iraq demonstrations on Tuesday, carrying signs stating "We, the Palistinians support Hussein", burning Israeli and American flags, and calling on Saddam to bomb Tel-Aviv. Hundreds of demonstrators waved Iraqi flags and pictures of Saddam. Speakers attacked America and called on the Arab states to side with Bagdad. Hamas leader Abdul Haziz Rantisi also called on Arab and Muslim states to rally around Iraq.

Unlike during the Gulf War, Arafat has made no public statements supporting Saddam Hussein.

As tension seesaws between the United Nations and Iraq, news reports are circulating about IDF preparations underway for the possibility of an Iraqi non-conventional aerial attack.

The units responsible for warding off attacks from the air are reportedly on the alert for a drone aircraft that might try to enter Israel's airspace carrying non-conventional weaponry.

On Sunday, the London TIMES reported that Iraq is developing a secret project - the "Weapon of the Day of Judgement" - which entails dispatching a pilot-less aircraft to spray chemical or biological agents over Israel. The unit is operated by long-distance remote control, would take an estimated two hours to cover the 540 mile flight to Israel, and can fly at very low altitudes, possibly avoiding Israeli radar."

The following is another article by the International Christian Embassy, Jerusalem, November 18, 1997.

IRAN SOON TO HAVE NUCLEAR BOMB - "Iran is just four months away from complete nuclear capability, according to a report in Britain's highly-regarded JANE'S INTELLIGENCE REVIEW (quoted in MA'ARIV at the weekend).

Unless Western countries immediately act to block the transfer of highly-enriched uranium to Iran, Tehran will be capable of implementing their "atomic revolution" in the very near future, JANE'S warns.

The report also says that, in the early 1990's, Iraq was on the verge of developing its first nuclear weapon, but was set back by its defeat in the Gulf War.

Addressing British MPs in Westminster last week, PM Binyamin Netanyahu warned that the threat posed to the region, to Europe and to the world by Iran was at least as serious as that posed by Iraq."


The following is an excerpt from a report prepared by the Prime Minister's Office, Israel.

"On taking control over Bethlehem in December 1995, the Palestinian Authority changed the rules for Christians. The Church of the Nativity and other sites of central importance to Christianity came under Palistinian Authority control, giving Yasser Arafat leverage over the heads of the Christian communities. Since then, the local Christian leadership has toed the line of the Palestinian Authority.

The Latin patriarch, Greek Archbishop, Anglican bishop and Lutheran bishop are all Palestinian Arabs. They have become effective propaganda mouthpieces throughout the Christian world.

An example of Arafat's attitude toward Christians was his decision to unilaterally turn the Greek Orthodox monastery near the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem into his domicile during his periodic visits to the city. This was done without prior consent of the church.

On the social and religious level, the Christians remaining in Palestinian Authority controlled areas are subjected to relentless persecution. Christian cemeteries have been destroyed, monasteries have had their telephone lines cut, and there have been break-ins to convents. Nuns are afraid to report such incidents.

In August 1997, Palestinian policemen in Beit Sahur opened fire on a crowd of Christian Arabs, wounding six. The Palestinian Authority is attempting to cover up the incident and has warned against publicizing the story. The local commander of the Palestinian police instructed journalists not to report on the incident.

Palestinian security forces have targeted and intimidated Christian leaders and Palestinian converts to Christianity. Recent incidents of persecution of Christians include the following: In late June 1997, a Palestinian convert to Christianity in northern West Bank was arrested by agents of the Palistinian Authority's Preventive Security Service. He had been regularly attending church and prayer meetings and was distributing Bibles. The Palestinian Authority ordered his arrest. He is still being held in a Palestinian prison and has been subjected to physical torture and interrogations. * The pastor of a church in Ram'Allah was recently warned by Palestinian Authority security agents that they were monitoring his evangelistic activities in the area and wanted him to come in for questioning for spreading Christianity. * A Palestinian convert to Christianity living in a village near Nablus was recently arrested by the Palestinian police. A Moslim preacher was brought in by the police, and he attempted to convince the convert to return to Islam. When the convert refused, he was brought before a Palestinian court and sentenced to prison for insulting the religious leader. He is currently being held in a prison cell with more than 30 people, most serving life sentences for murder. * A Palestinian convert to Christianity in Ram'Allah was recently visited by Palestinian policemen at his home and warned that if he continued to preach Christianity, he would be arrested and charged with being an Israeli spy.

As a result of unceasing persecution, the Christians are forced to behave like any oppressed minority which aims to survive. Christians in Palistinian Authority-controlled areas have taken to praying in secret. The wisdom of survival compels them to assess "the balance of fear", according to which they have nothing to fear from Israel but face an existential threat from the Palestinian Authority and their Muslim neighbors. They act accordingly: they seek to "find favour" through unending praise and adulation for the Muslim ruler together with public denunciations of the "Zionist entity."


In the sign Libra there lies the constellation Corona (the crown). It sits above the constellation serpens which is the serpent that the seed of the woman (Ophiuchus) is shown struggling with. The serpent is seen trying to steal the crown. In Figure 4, the serpent's tongue is shown just below the crown. It was by the serpent's tongue that Eve was deceived. Because of Adam's transgression, he lost the crown. But by God's wondrous plan of salvation, the crown was won back again by the last Adam, Jesus Christ. When the Devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus answered back with the Word of God (It is written). The Devil failed to deceive Jesus Christ with his tongue. After that incident, Jesus Christ continued to obey God even unto death, thereby he was given the Crown of Righteousness and Glory and Honour (Hebrews 2:7-9).

There are also crowns laid up in Heaven for the faithful in Christ.

I Corinthians 9:25 - And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

II Timothy 4:7-8 - I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

James 1:12 - Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

I Peter 5:4 - And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. See also verses 2 and 3 for instructions on how to receive the crown.