Tunisia: The Truth Knowledge And The History Of

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CIA FACT BOOK)

 

Tunisia

Introduction Rivalry between French and Italian interests in Tunisia culminated in a French invasion in 1881 and the creation of a protectorate. Agitation for independence in the decades following World War I was finally successful in getting the French to recognize Tunisia as an independent state in 1956. The country’s first president, Habib BOURGUIBA, established a strict one-party state. He dominated the country for 31 years, repressing Islamic fundamentalism and establishing rights for women unmatched by any other Arab nation. In November 1987, BOURGUIBA was removed from office and replaced by Zine el Abidine BEN ALI in a bloodless coup. BEN ALI is currently serving his fourth consecutive five-year term as president; the next elections are scheduled for October 2009. Tunisia has long taken a moderate, non-aligned stance in its foreign relations. Domestically, it has sought to defuse rising pressure for a more open political society.
History At the beginning of recorded history, Tunisia was inhabited by Berber tribes. Its coast was settled by Phoenicians starting as early as the 10th century BC. The city of Carthage was founded in the 9th century B.C. by settlers from Tyre, now in modern day Lebanon. Legend says that Dido founded the city in 814 B.C., as retold in by the Greek writer Timaeus of Tauromenium. The settlers of Carthage brought their culture and religion from the Phoenicians and other Canaanites.

After a series of wars with Greek city-states of Sicily in the 5th century BC, Carthage rose to power and eventually became the dominant civilization in the Western Mediterranean. The people of Carthage worshipped a pantheon of Middle Eastern gods including Baal and Tanit. Tanit’s symbol, a simple female figure with extended arms and long dress, is a popular icon found in ancient sites. The founders of Carthage also established a Tophet which was altered in Roman times.

Though the Romans referred to the new empire growing in the city of Carthage as Punic or Phoenician, the empire built around Carthage was an independent political entity from the other Phoenician settlements in the Western Mediterranean.

A Carthaginian invasion of Italy led by Hannibal during the Second Punic War, one of a series of wars with Rome, nearly crippled the rise of the Roman Empire. Carthage was eventually conquered by Rome in the 2nd century BC, a turning point which led to ancient Mediterranean civilization having been influenced mainly by European instead of African cultures. After the Roman conquest, the region became one of the granaries of Rome, and was Latinized and Christianized. It was conquered by the Vandals in the 5th century AD and reconquered by the commander Belisarius in the 6th century during the rule of Byzantine emperor Justinian.

In the 7th century the region was conquered by Arab Muslims, who founded the city of Kairouan which became the first city of Islam in North Africa. Tunisia flourished under Arab rule. Extensive irrigation installations were constructed to supply towns with water and promote agriculture (especially olive production). This prosperity permitted luxurious court life and was marked by the construction of new Palace cities such as al-Abassiya (809) and Raqadda (877). Successive Muslim dynasties ruled Tunisia (Ifriqiya at the time) with occasional instabilities caused mainly by Berber rebellions[citation needed]; of these reigns we can cite the Aghlabids (800-900) and Fatimids (909-972). After conquering Cairo, Fatimids abandoned North Africa to the local Zirids (Tunisia and parts of Eastern Algeria, 972-1148) and Hammadid (Central and eastern Algeria, 1015-1152). North Africa was submerged by their quarrels; political instability was connected to the decline of Tunisian trade and agriculture. In addition the invasion of Tunisia by Banu Hilal, a warlike Arab Bedouin tribes encouraged by Fatimids of Egypt to seize North Africa, sent the region’s urban and economic life into further decline. The Arab historian Ibn Khaldun wrote that the lands ravaged by Banu Hilal invaders had become completely arid desert.

The coasts were held briefly by the Normans of Sicily in the 12th century and the following Arab reconquest made the last Christians in Tunisia disappear. In 1159, Tunisia was conquered by the Almohad caliphs. They were succeeded by the Berber Hafsids (c.1230 – 1574), under whom Tunisia prospered. In the late 16th century the coast became a pirate stronghold (see: Barbary States). In the last years of the Hafsids, Spain seized many of the coastal cities, but these were recovered by the Ottoman Empire. Under its Turkish governors, the Beys, Tunisia attained virtual independence. The Hussein dynasty of Beys, established in 1705, lasted until 1957. From 1881 – 1956 the country was under French colonization. European settlements in the country were actively encouraged; the number of French colonists grew from 34,000 in 1906 to 144,000 in 1945. In 1910 there were 105,000 Italians in Tunisia.

World War II

In 1942 – 1943 Tunisia was the scene of the first major operations by the Allied Forces (the British Empire and the United States) against the Axis Powers (Italy and Germany) during World War II. The main body of the British army, advancing from their victory in Battle of el-Alamein under the command of British Field Marshal Montgomery, pushed into Tunisia from the south. The US and other allies, following their invasions of Algeria and Morocco in Operation Torch, invaded from the west.

General Rommel, commander of the Axis forces in North Africa, had hoped to inflict a similar defeat on the allies in Tunisia as German forces did in the Battle of France in 1940. Before the battle for El-alemin, the allied forces had been forced to retreat toward Egypt. As such the battle for Tunisia was a major test for the allies. They figured out that in order to defeat Axis forces they would have to coordinate their actions and quickly recover from the inevitable setbacks the German-Italian forces would inflict.

On February 19, 1943, General Rommel launched an attack on the American forces in the Kasserine Pass region of Western Tunisia, hoping to inflict the kind of demoralizing and alliance-shattering defeat the Germans had dealt to Poland and France. The initial results were a disaster for the United States; the area around the Kasserine Pass is the site of many US war graves from that time.

However, the American forces were ultimately able to reverse their retreat. Having known a critical strategy in tank warfare, the Allies broke through the Mareth line on March 20, 1943. The allies subsequently linked up on April 8 and on May 2, 1943 the German-Italian Army in Tunisia surrendered. Thus, the United States, United Kingdom, Free French, and Polish (as well as other forces) were able to win a major battle as an allied army.

The battle, though often overshadowed by Stalingrad, represented a major allied victory of World War II largely because it forged the Alliance which would one day liberate Western Europe.

Geography Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Libya
Geographic coordinates: 34 00 N, 9 00 E
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 163,610 sq km
land: 155,360 sq km
water: 8,250 sq km
Area – comparative: slightly larger than Georgia
Land boundaries: total: 1,424 km
border countries: Algeria 965 km, Libya 459 km
Coastline: 1,148 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 12 nm
Climate: temperate in north with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers; desert in south
Terrain: mountains in north; hot, dry central plain; semiarid south merges into the Sahara
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Shatt al Gharsah -17 m
highest point: Jebel ech Chambi 1,544 m
Natural resources: petroleum, phosphates, iron ore, lead, zinc, salt
Land use: arable land: 17.05%
permanent crops: 13.08%
other: 69.87% (2005)
Irrigated land: 3,940 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 4.6 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 2.64 cu km/yr (14%/4%/82%)
per capita: 261 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards: NA
Environment – current issues: toxic and hazardous waste disposal is ineffective and poses health risks; water pollution from raw sewage; limited natural fresh water resources; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
Environment – international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Geography – note: strategic location in central Mediterranean; Malta and Tunisia are discussing the commercial exploitation of the continental shelf between their countries, particularly for oil exploration
Religion The constitution declares Islam as the official state religion and requires the President to be Muslim. Tunisia also enjoys a significant degree of religious freedom, a right enshrined and protected in its constitution which guarantees the freedom to practice one’s religion. The country has a culture that encourages acceptance of other religions; religious freedom is widely practiced and the government is tolerant of religious freedom as long as it does not threaten national unity. Individual Tunisians are also tolerant of religious freedom and generally do not inquire about a person’s personal beliefs.

The majority of Tunisia’s population (98%) are Muslims, while 1% follow Christianity and the rest adhere to Judaism or other religions. However, there are no reliable data on the number of practicing Muslims. Some reports stipulate that atheists form the second largest group in the country (making it probably on top of any other North African country).

Tunisia has a sizable Christian community of around 25,000 adherents; mainly Catholics (20,000) and to a lesser degree Protestants. Judaism is the country’s third largest religion with 1,500 members. One-third of the Jewish population lives in and around the capital. The remainder lives on the island of Djerba, where the Jewish community dates back 2,500 years.

Djerba, an island in the Gulf of Gabès, is home to El Ghriba synagogue, which is one of the oldest synagogues in the world. Many Jews consider it a pilgrimage site with celebrations taking place there once every year.

Tunisia is one of the very few North African countries where synagogues and churches are open to worshipers.

People Population: 10,383,577 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 23.2% (male 1,246,105/female 1,167,379)
15-64 years: 69.7% (male 3,638,062/female 3,595,254)
65 years and over: 7.1% (male 345,590/female 391,187) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 28.8 years
male: 28.2 years
female: 29.3 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.989% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 15.5 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 5.17 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.44 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 23.43 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 25.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 20.98 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 75.56 years
male: 73.79 years
female: 77.46 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.73 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 1,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: fewer than 200 (2003 est.)
Nationality: noun: Tunisian(s)
adjective: Tunisian
Ethnic groups: Arab 98%, European 1%, Jewish and other 1%
Religions: Muslim 98%, Christian 1%, Jewish and other 1%
Languages: Arabic (official and one of the languages of commerce), French (commerce)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 74.3%
male: 83.4%
female: 65.3% (2004 census)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 14 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2006)
Education expenditures: 7.3% of GDP (2005)
Government Country name: conventional long form: Tunisian Republic
conventional short form: Tunisia
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah at Tunisiyah
local short form: Tunis
Government type: republic
Capital: name: Tunis
geographic coordinates: 36 48 N, 10 11 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions: 24 governorates; Ariana (Aryanah), Beja (Bajah), Ben Arous (Bin ‘Arus), Bizerte (Banzart), Gabes (Qabis), Gafsa (Qafsah), Jendouba (Jundubah), Kairouan (Al Qayrawan), Kasserine (Al Qasrayn), Kebili (Qibili), Kef (Al Kaf), Mahdia (Al Mahdiyah), Manouba (Manubah), Medenine (Madanin), Monastir (Al Munastir), Nabeul (Nabul), Sfax (Safaqis), Sidi Bou Zid (Sidi Bu Zayd), Siliana (Silyanah), Sousse (Susah), Tataouine (Tatawin), Tozeur (Tawzar), Tunis, Zaghouan (Zaghwan)
Independence: 20 March 1956 (from France)
National holiday: Independence Day, 20 March (1956); also the anniversary of BEN ALI’s assumption of the presidency, 7 November (1987)
Constitution: 1 June 1959; amended 1988, 2002
Legal system: based on French civil law system and Islamic law; some judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court in joint session; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal except for active government security forces (including the police and the military), people with mental disabilities, people who have served more than three months in prison (criminal cases only), and people given a suspended sentence of more than six months
Executive branch: chief of state: President Zine el Abidine BEN ALI (since 7 November 1987)
head of government: Prime Minister Mohamed GHANNOUCHI (since 17 November 1999)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (no term limits); election last held on 24 October 2004 (next to be held in October 2009); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: President Zine El Abidine BEN ALI reelected for a fourth term; percent of vote – Zine El Abidine BEN ALI 94.5%, Mohamed BOUCHIHA 3.8%, Mohamed Ali HALOUANI 1%
Legislative branch: bicameral system consists of the Chamber of Deputies or Majlis al-Nuwaab (189 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the Chamber of Advisors (126 seats; 85 members elected by municipal counselors, deputies, mayors, and professional associations and trade unions; 41 members are presidential appointees; members serve six-year terms)
elections: Chamber of Deputies – last held on 24 October 2004 (next to be held in October 2009); Chamber of Advisors – last held on 3 July 2005 (next to be held in July 2011)
election results: Chamber of Deputies – percent of vote by party – NA; seats by party – RCD 152, MDS 14, PUP 11, UDU 7, Al-Tajdid 3, PSL 2; Chamber of Advisors – percent of vote by party – NA; seats by party – RCD 71 (14 trade union seats vacant (due to boycott))
Judicial branch: Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation
Political parties and leaders: Al-Tajdid Movement [Ahmed IBRAHIM]; Constitutional Democratic Rally Party (Rassemblement Constitutionnel Democratique) or RCD (official ruling party) [President Zine El Abidine BEN ALI]; Democratic Forum for Labor and Liberties or FDTL [Mustapha Ben JAFAAR]; Green Party for Progress or PVP [Mongi KHAMASSI]; Liberal Social Party or PSL [Mondher THABET]; Movement of Socialist Democrats or MDS [Ismail BOULAHYA]; Popular Unity Party or PUP [Mohamed BOUCHIHA]; Progressive Democratic Party [Maya JERIBI]; Unionist Democratic Union or UDU [Ahmed INOUBLI]; note – the Islamist party, Al Nahda (Renaissance), is outlawed
Political pressure groups and leaders: 18 October Group [collective leadership]; Tunisian League for Human Rights or LTDH [Mokhtar TRIFI]
International organization participation: ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, AU, BSEC (observer), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS, MIGA, MONUC, NAM, OAPEC (suspended), OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d’Affaires Tarek Ben YOUSSEF
chancery: 1515 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005
telephone: [1] (202) 862-1850
FAX: [1] (202) 862-1858
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Robert F. GODEC
embassy: Zone Nord-Est des Berges du Lac Nord de Tunis 1053
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [216] 71 107-000
FAX: [216] 71 963-263
Flag description: red with a white disk in the center bearing a red crescent nearly encircling a red five-pointed star; the crescent and star are traditional symbols of Islam
Culture The Culture of Tunisia is a product of more than three thousand years of history and an important multi-ethnic influx. Ancient Tunisia was a major civilization crossing through history; different cultures, civilizations and multiple successive dynasties contributed to the culture of the country over centuries with a varying degrees of influence. Among these cultures were the Panic, Roman, Jewish, Christian, Arab, Islamic, Turkish, and French, in addition to native Berbers. This unique mixture of cultures made Tunisia, with its strategic geographical location in the Mediterranean, the core of some great civilizations of Mare Nostrum.

The history of Tunisia reveals this rich past where different successive Mediterranean cultures had a strong presence. After the Carthaginian Empire, the Roman Empire came and left a lasting effect on the land with various monuments and cities such the El-Jem Amphitheater and the archaeological site of the ancient city of Carthage, which is classified as a world heritage site. El Jem is just one of seven world heritage sites found in Tunisia.

After a few centuries of the presence of Christianity, represented by the Church of Africa, the Arab Islamic conquest transformed the whole country and founded a new city called Al-Qayrawan, Al-Qayrawan is a renowned center for religious and intellectual pursuits.

With the annexation of Tunisia by the Ottoman Empire, the center of power shifted from Tunis to Istanbul. This shift in power allowed the local government of the new Ottoman Province to gain more independence, which was maintained until the institution of the French Protectorate (which was later seen as occupation). The protectorate introduced elements of Western – French – culture.

The important elements of Tunisian culture are diverse and represent a unique, mixed heritage. This heritage can be experienced first-hand in: museums, the contrast and diversity of city architecture, cuisine, music, literature, cinema, religion, the arts, and sports.

Economy Economy – overview: Tunisia has a diverse economy, with important agricultural, mining, tourism, and manufacturing sectors. Governmental control of economic affairs while still heavy has gradually lessened over the past decade with increasing privatization, simplification of the tax structure, and a prudent approach to debt. Progressive social policies also have helped raise living conditions in Tunisia relative to the region. Real growth, which averaged almost 5% over the past decade, declined to 4.7% in 2008 and probably will decline further in 2009 because of economic contraction and slowing of import demand in Europe – Tunisia’s largest export market. However, development of non-textile manufacturing, a recovery in agricultural production, and strong growth in the services sector somewhat mitigated the economic effect of slowing exports. Tunisia will need to reach even higher growth levels to create sufficient employment opportunities for an already large number of unemployed as well as the growing population of university graduates. The challenges ahead include: privatizing industry, liberalizing the investment code to increase foreign investment, improving government efficiency, reducing the trade deficit, and reducing socioeconomic disparities in the impoverished south and west.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $83.4 billion (2008 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $41.77 billion (2008 est.)
GDP – real growth rate: 4.7% (2008 est.)
GDP – per capita (PPP): $8,000 (2008 est.)
GDP – composition by sector: agriculture: 10.8%
industry: 28.3%
services: 61% (2008 est.)
Labor force: 3.676 million (2008 est.)
Labor force – by occupation: agriculture: 55%
industry: 23%
services: 22% (1995 est.)
Unemployment rate: 14% (2008 est.)
Population below poverty line: 7.4% (2005 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 31.5% (2000)
Distribution of family income – Gini index: 40 (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 24.4% of GDP (2008 est.)
Budget: revenues: $9.652 billion
expenditures: $11.03 billion (2008 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Public debt: 53.1% of GDP (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5% (2008 est.)
Stock of money: $9.491 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money: $13.56 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit: $25.23 billion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $5.355 billion (31 December 2007)
Agriculture – products: olives, olive oil, grain, tomatoes, citrus fruit, sugar beets, dates, almonds; beef, dairy products
Industries: petroleum, mining (particularly phosphate and iron ore), tourism, textiles, footwear, agribusiness, beverages
Electricity – production: 12.65 billion kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity – consumption: 10.75 billion kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity – exports: 135 million kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity – imports: 0 kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity – production by source: fossil fuel: 99.5%
hydro: 0.5%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Oil – production: 86,210 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil – consumption: 91,110 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil – exports: 73,790 bbl/day (2005)
Oil – imports: 89,130 bbl/day (2005)
Oil – proved reserves: 400 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)
Natural gas – production: 2.55 billion cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas – consumption: 3.85 billion cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas – exports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas – imports: 0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas – proved reserves: 65.13 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)
Current account balance: -$993 million (2008 est.)
Exports: $19.7 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)
Exports – commodities: clothing, semi-finished goods and textiles, agricultural products, mechanical goods, phosphates and chemicals, hydrocarbons, electrical equipment
Exports – partners: France 31.3%, Italy 21%, Germany 8.5%, Spain 5.5%, Libya 5.5% (2007)
Imports: $23 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)
Imports – commodities: textiles, machinery and equipment, hydrocarbons, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports – partners: France 23.8%, Italy 21.9%, Germany 9.7%, Spain 5%, Libya 4.4% (2007)
Economic aid – recipient: $376.5 million (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $8.875 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Debt – external: $19.33 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment – at home: $28.51 billion (2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment – abroad: $130 million (2008 est.)
Currency (code): Tunisian dinar (TND)
Currency code: TND
Exchange rates: Tunisian dinars (TND) per US dollar – 1.211 (2008 est.), 1.2776 (2007), 1.331 (2006), 1.2974 (2005), 1.2455 (2004)
Communications Telephones – main lines in use: 1.273 million (2007)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 7.842 million (2007)
Telephone system: general assessment: above the African average and continuing to be upgraded; key centers are Sfax, Sousse, Bizerte, and Tunis; Internet access available
domestic: in an effort jumpstart expansion of the fixed-line network, the government has awarded a concession to build and operate a VSAT network with international connectivity; competition between the two mobile-cellular service providers has resulted in lower activation and usage charges and a strong surge in subscribership; expansion of mobile-cellular services to include multimedia messaging and e-mail and Internet to mobile phone services also leading to a surge in subscribership; overall fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is about 90 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code – 216; a landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-4 submarine cable system that provides links to Europe, Middle East, and Asia; satellite earth stations – 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Arabsat; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Algeria and Libya; participant in Medarabtel; 2 international gateway digital switches
Radio broadcast stations: AM 7, FM 38, shortwave 2 (2007)
Radios: 2.06 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 26 (plus 76 repeaters) (1995)
Televisions: 920,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .tn
Internet hosts: 376 (2008)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)
Internet users: 1.722 million (2007)
Transportation Airports: 30 (2007)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 14
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2007)
Airports – with unpaved runways: total: 16
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 7 (2007)
Pipelines: gas 2,665 km; oil 1,235 km; refined products 353 km (2007)
Railways: total: 2,153 km
standard gauge: 471 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 1,674 km 1.000-m gauge (65 km electrified)
dual gauge: 8 km 1.435 m and 1.000-m gauges (three rails) (2006)
Roadways: total: 19,232 km
paved: 12,655 km (includes 262 km of expressways)
unpaved: 6,577 km (2004)
Merchant marine: total: 7
by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 1, chemical tanker 1, passenger/cargo 4
registered in other countries: 1 (Panama 1) (2008)
Ports and terminals: Bizerte, Gabes, La Goulette, Rades, Sfax, Skhira
Military Military branches: Army, Navy, Republic of Tunisia Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Jamahiriyah At’tunisia) (2008)
Military service age and obligation: 20 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation – 12 months; 18 years of age for voluntary military service (2007)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 2,992,249
females age 16-49: 2,912,819 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 2,539,962
females age 16-49: 2,465,295 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 101,794
female: 95,198 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures: 1.4% of GDP (2006)
Transnational Issues Disputes – international: none

Who Are The Two Prophets Of The Book Of Revelation?

Who Are The Two Prophets Of The Book Of Revelation?

In the last book of the Christian Bible, the book of Revelation in the 11th chapter in verses 3 through 12 we are told of two Prophets that God will send to the Earth during the first half of the “great tribulation”. This will be during the time between the sounding of the sixth and of the seven trumpets that will be sounded from Heaven. These two men will be here on Earth just outside of Jerusalem for 42 months and they will be hated by the people because of the torments they put upon the Earth. After the 42 months the Devil will kill them and their bodies will lay in the street for three and a half days and the people will rejoice because of their deaths. But after the three and a half days God will raise them up upon their feet in front of their enemies and call them back up to Heaven, shortly after there will be a great earthquake and ten percent of the city shall fall and thousands will die from it. Today I am going to speak with you about who these two Prophets are, and where they came from.

 

Throughout both the New and the Old Testaments all but two people died while here on the Earth. Most people can tell you about one of them, the Prophet Elijah, but do not know of the other. By the way, the name Elijah in Hebrew means “Yahweh is God”. The story of Elijah being called up to Heaven is found in the book of 2nd Kings verses 1-15, this would be in the 6th century BC., the actual verse is #11. In case a few of you are wondering, no Elijah wasn’t God. In a lot of nations and cultures people are given names that actually have a meaning, a definition, unlike white folks names here in America that have no meaning behind them.

 

The other man who did not die while he was upon the Earth was named Enoch, he was five generation from Adam. You can find the story of Enoch in Genesis, the first book of the Bible in the 5th chapter. Enoch lived for 65 years and then his wife gave birth to a son named Methuselah who lived longer than any recorded human, 969 years. After the birth of Methuselah Enoch lived another 300 years. In Genesis 5:24 the passage says “Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.) In the New Testament book of Luke 3:37 we are told that Methuselah was an ancestor to Christ so obviously Enoch was also. If you are wondering when in history theses events happened remember the 969 years that Methuselah lived? Noah time on Earth was after this time period.. The terms used in Genesis 6:9 are like the words spoken about Enoch in 5:24,”… Noah was a just man and perfect in his generation, and Noah walked with God.” The difference here is that Noah was not taken by God, Noah continued to live and had three sons that went with him when he built the Ark. Enoch is easy to forget about because his life was so long ago and not all that much is written about him unlike the Prophet Elijah over 4000 years later.

 

Throughout all of recorded time of the human race all but these two people have died. Even Jesus Himself had to die while He was here in human form. Almost all of the recorded Prophets of the Old Testament were murdered as Jesus was, yet even the few who did not get murdered, except for these two, they all still died, even Moses the “friend of God, died. In the New Testament all of the Apostles except for the Apostle John were murdered, yet even John did die. John wrote the book of Revelation while on the Roman prison island of Patmos in the years of 95-96 AD. This was apx 30 yrs after the Romans executed the Apostles Paul (AD 64) and Peter (AD 68) just outside of Rome. John, Moses, and all the other devout followers of God had to suffer death, except for these two Old Testament men, Enoch and Elijah. In Revelation chapter 11 verse’s 3 and 4 it reads, (God speaking) ” And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy (preach) a thousand two hundred and three score day, (3 1/2 yrs) clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the Earth”. They came from God and they will go back to God. Could I be wrong about these two men being Elijah and Enoch? Does the Bible anywhere spell it out in plain Greek or Hebrew that it is these two? No, it doesn’t. Could I possibly be wrong about it being these two, it’s possible, but from all the information given to us in the Bible there is nothing else that comes close to making any sense. The Lord has made it very plain that He does not want His followers to be ignorant or uninformed. We are told plainly that He wants us to study the Scriptures daily so that we will know what they say.

 

Before I put these posts in that I write I spend a lot of time in prayer, praying for His guidance through His Spirit which indwells His believers/followers. I have spent a little over 50 years studying the Scriptures and I know that every time I read through them my eyes are opened to more knowledge from them. Did God Himself talk to me and tell me in a “voice” that these are the two Prophets of Revelation? No, but I have told you now what He has told me, and all of us, through His Scriptures. Will this one piece of information save anyone’s Soul? No, but if it will get anyone to dig into the Scriptures to try to prove me incorrect, then I have accomplished my goal. The goal of getting more folks to think and to open their Bible for the purpose of learning of God’s Word and of God’s love for us all.

 

 

Your Truth: My Truth; God’s Truth; Are They All The Same Thing?

Your Truth: My Truth; God’s Truth; Are They All The Same Thing?

Truth, is it really different, is truth determined by the eye that beheld it? Does the eye’s lie to our brains some times? Could it be that five people standing together witness an event that happen thirty feet directly in front of them have five different versions of what happened when asked? Or, do our brains all see and know exactly what just happened but, always a ‘but’ isn’t there, our inner person, our inner Soul starts to do a ‘Bill O’ Riley’ spin?  Seeking the most ‘advantageous’ ‘version’ of the truth for our own personal gain? Even if there is only two people who see something happen, you and I, side by side at the same time, will we really have different versions of what we say ‘the truth is’? Would it matter if we were from different Country’s, cultures, colors, or Faiths as to what we would say we had just seen? Do our own brains, eyes, lie to our inner Soul? (Science has proven this last one to be a definite yes). It is nice that God ponders the hearts of each of us when He is considering our reasons why we did each thing we have done during our lives.

 

When I looked the word truth up in the dictionary it said: The true and actual state of a matter<But who’s truth, whose version of it? In the dictionary under the word truth when you go into the idioms what it says about truth: in reality, in fact, actually. When I looked up truth in the index of my Bible it said: that which agrees with final reality. In the index of my Bible just under the word truth is the term ‘Alpha and Omega’, by definition, are the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet. Also, the term Alpha and Omega is used expressively of God the Father and God The Son in Revelation 1:8,17,18. (Jesus speaking) #8: ” I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty”. #17&18: “Fear not: I am the first and the last: I am He that lives, yet was dead: and behold, I am alive for evermore, A-men; and I have the keys to Hell and to death”.

 

Folks, to me being that God is the first and the last, the creator and the finisher of all things that are, I am going to go with His version of what truth is. I think that His opinion (God’s) is of more value than my own opinion and friends, God’s version of what truth is, is more important than any of your versions either. There is only one real truth and that is the version of THE Creator. So when we are telling the truth to our spouse, our children, our boss, whose version is that truth? Is it one with a little flavoring added, you know, to spice the dull up a little bit? When we say ‘we are telling the truth’ are we, really? This post is for the purpose of conversation and for getting us folks to broaden our avenues of thought which is what most of my post are about. I hope you have a great day, stay safe, God bless.

(Theology) Everything Can Be A God

EVERYTHING CAN BE A GOD

 

In your mind, in your opinion, is Jesus Christ ‘a God’? Outside of Christianity the prevailing answer to that question, is no, He is not. For the first three to four hundred years after the death of Jesus even the Churches heavily debated that question. Within the other two Palestine major religions, Judaism and Islam, Jesus is usually referred to as a ‘misguided’ Prophet. Even though Jesus was born and raised as a Jew His own people, then and now, do not believe that He was/is the Christ, the Messiah, the Promised One. For the purpose of trying to make a point in this commentary today I am going to ask you a question that will seem quite odd to most of you, please bare with me as you will understand more clearly as the article continues. The question is, if I carve a piece of wood to make it look like a human and then I decide to call this piece of wood Jesus Christ, is it really Jesus Christ? Hopefully all of you would say, well of course not, wouldn’t you? If I see a beautiful waterfall or a beautiful rock formation and I say look, this is Jesus Christ, does it make either of them really be Jesus Christ? I sure hope you said no. If I decided to start-up a new Church and I tell everyone that I am Jesus Christ, even if I believed it my self, would that make it be so?

 

Throughout the Bible there are a few different names for God and when you get into not just the different English translations but into various language translations such as Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin, German and so on, you will find many names for God the Father and for God the Son. For the English speakers who wish to get uppity you need to understand that in the original Hebrew and Greek there was no letter ‘J’. That means there is no such word as Jehovah or Jesus in the original Scriptures . In the Hebrew the name for ‘the Father’ is Yahweh and the name for ‘the Son’ is Yeshiva. Only after these names were ‘washed’ through several other languages did we come up with the English names of Jehovah and Jesus.

 

If you are a person who is a believer in Buddhism and you are holding a carving of ‘the Buddha’ in your hand and you say that this is Buddha my God, does it make it so? If you are a believer of Hinduism and you are holding one of the many different Hindu Gods in your hand and you say this is a Hindu God, does it make it so? If you are a Christian and you bow down to and worship some statue, is that statue really God? If not, then why are you bowing down to it? If you use a non-English name for Jesus, say Russian, it is Иисус. 

 

What I am getting at is we humans have many names for what we call God and in many religions they have many Deity’s (Gods). I know that many of my ancestors came from Norway so I am quite sure that in the early times of my ‘family tree’ I had relatives who bowed down to the Viking Gods. So with that in thought if Odin was their main God and they made a carving and said this is Odin and bowed down to it, was it really Odin? The Ancient Egyptians worshiped the ‘Gods of the underworld’, folks were they really Gods? We are told in Old Testament and New that mankind has bowed down to dumb rocks and pieces of wood and most of them were nothing but dumb rocks and pieces of wood that could do nothing, but some of them were Demons. If you are worshiping ‘Gods’ of the ‘underworld’ you need to get a grip on reality.

 

Within the Old Testament one of the earliest names for God is ‘Elohim’, by my understanding I have been told from a couple of trusted sources that in the ancient Arabic language for Elohim is the name Allah. So technically then the name Allah is one of the names for God, just not an English name. Now the climax of this article, just because you or I decide to use the name Allah for God, does that automatically mean that because we call something ‘God’ or ‘Allah’ does that make that object really be God? Even Jesus said that because Satan and His Angels used to be Angels of Light that they can portray themselves as Angels of Light to this day. Jesus told us that Satan and His Angels are such good liars/deceivers that they will be able to even deceive some of the Saints.

 

I know that I have many readers who are believers in the Islamic faith and I also know that many get very upset if anyone says that they are not worshiping the one true God, Allah. Folks, this is quite understandable, Christians don’t like to be told that we aren’t really worshiping God, just as folks who believe in other religions feel the same way. What I am saying to our Islamic brothers and sisters isn’t that the name Allah isn’t a name for God, what I am saying is that the Deity that they are worshiping isn’t really God (Allah), that they have been deceived. The believers of Islam do not believe that the ‘people of the Book’ (Jews and Christians) are worshiping the one true God but when those same table are turned and we or anyone else says the same to them you end up with the ‘Islamic Terrorism’ that the world sees today. In the name of God, Jehovah, Jesus, Yahweh, Elohim, Allah, Buddha or any Hindu God, no one spills the blood of anyone. To do so is simply murder, no one is allowed to be an aggressor toward another. If ‘our God’ and His Scriptures are telling its followers to commit violence, then that Deity is not God, that Deity is a Devil! The reason the title says ‘everything can be a God’ is simple, if you or I worship it, no matter what ‘it’ is, diamonds, gold, money, whatever, we have made this item our ‘God’.

 

Yahushua is the true name of the Messiah: Not Jesus

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Yahushua is the true name of the Messiah

***** Note that Joshua = Yoshua or Yahushua because there is no “J” sound in Hebrew. The “J” with its “J” sound didn’t come into the English language until about 500 years ago. In fact, the “J” isn’t even found in the original 1611 King James version. (proof)

The purpose of this study is to demonstrate that the Messiah’s name never was “Jesus” and that the name “Jesus” is actually an invention of man.

 In the King James Version of the scriptures, we find an interesting problem in its translation:

Acts 7:44(KJV) Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen. 45 Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David;

Isn’t this scripture referring to Joshua, son of Nun rather than the Savior? Yes. Here is another instance…

Hebr 4:7 (KJV) Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. 8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

Again, the context reveals that this scripture is referring to Joshua, the son of Nun and not the Messiah. All other translations put “Joshua” here. Why then is it translated ‘Jesus’? The answer lies in the Greek/Latin corruption of the Messiah’s original Hebrew name. Originally, the name of the Messiah was , pronounced Yahushua. This is the Messiah’s original name. When the Gentiles tried to transliterate His name into Greek, they came up with ihsoun or “Iesous”. But originally, this word was from #3091 in the Hebrew which is . When Iesous was transliterated into Latin, it became “Iesus”, which was then carried over into English it became our modern day “Jesus” when the letter “J” developed. 

Therefore, the reason the King James Version has “Jesus” in those two verses is because the Messiah’s name is actually the same name as Joshua, Son of Nun… correctly pronounced “Yahushua”. It is quite evident that the modern form “Jesus” doesn’t even remotely resemble the original name that the disciples were praying in, baptizing in and receiving so much criticism for preaching in. This is fact. Do some research and see for yourself.

Secular References

Encyclopedia Americana:

“Jesus Christ— …Although Matthew (1:21) interprets the name originally Joshua, that is, ‘Yahweh is Salvation,’ and finds it especially appropriate for Jesus of Nazareth, it was a common one at that time.” (Vol.16, p. 41)

Encyclopedia Britannica (15th ed.)

“Jesus Christ—…The same is true of the name Jesus. In the Septuagint it is the customary Greek form for the common Hebrew name Joshua;” (Vol. 10 p.149)

Religious Scholars

Barnes’ notes: (Note on Matt. 1:21)

“His name is Jesus: The name Jesus is the same as Saviour. It is derived from the verb signifying to save. In Hebrew it is the same as Joshua. In two places [Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8] in the New Testament it is used where is means Joshua, the leader of the Jews into Canaan, and in our translation the name Joshua should have been retained.”

Word studies in the New Testament, by Marvin R. Vincent—

“Jesus. The Greek form of a Hebrew name, which had been borne by two illustrious individuals in former periods of the Jewish History — Joshua, the successor of Moses, and Jeshua, the high priest, who with Zerubbabel took so active a part in the re-establishment of the civil and religious polity of the Jews in their return from Babylon. Its original and full form is Jehoshua, becoming by contraction Joshua or Jeshua.”

The Acts of the Apostles, by Jackson and Lake

“Jesus— This is the regular Greek translation of the Hebrew Joshua.”

Smith’s Bible Dictionary:

“Jesus Christ —- The name Jesus means Savior, and was a common name, derived from the ancient Hebrew Jehoshua.”

A dictionary of the Bible, by James Hastings

“Jesus — The Greek form of the name Joshua or Jeshua. Jeshua —- Yahweh is Salvation or Yahweh is opulence.”

Alford’s Greek New Testament, An Exegetical and Critical Commentary:

“Jesus — The same name as Joshua, the former deliverer of Israel.”

Encyclopedic Dictionary of Religion:

“Jesus (The Name) — Matthew’s gospel explains it as symbolic of His mission, ‘For he will save His people from their sins.’ This agrees with the popular meaning as ‘Yahweh saves…’ ” p.1886

Catholic Encyclopedia:

“The Sacred Name —- The word Jesus is the Latin form of the Greek “Iesous” which in turn is the transliteration of the Hebrew Jeshua, or Joshua, or again Jehoshua, meaning ‘Jehovah is Salvation’ ” Vol. 8, p. 374

Interpreter’s Bible: (Note on Matt. 1:21)

“Jesus: for He shall save: The play on words (Yeshua, Jesus; yoshia, shall save) is possible in Hebrew but not in Aramaic. The name Joshua means “Yahweh is salvation”

Matthew Henry’s Commentary

(on Matthew 1:21)

“Jesus is the same name with Joshua, the termination only being changed, for the sake of conforming it to the greek.”

Conclusion

It can be concluded then, that “Jesus” was not the Messiah’s name when He walked the earth. That is the purpose of this study. For information on why we should use the Messiah’s original name, click here. 

Amman city, the capital of the Jordanian kingdom

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Amman city, the capital of the Jordanian kingdom

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Amman city, the capital of the Jordanian kingdom. Since 1947, when it counted 90,000 inhabitants, has experienced a very strong increase of population, especially for the massive influx of refugees occurred after the establishment of the State of Israel after the war of June 1967.Israel 360

It is the highest industrial and commercial center of the country, with textile and food processing plants, cement factories, tobacco factories. In recent years there has been a discreet tourist movement. Road junction communications, achieved by the railway from Damascus who Proceed to the South, up to Ras an-Naqb. In the surrounding region, phosphate extraction. Already the Ammonite capital as of Rabbath Ammon, in the first half of the 3rd century. B.C. Philadelphia was named in honor of Ptolemy II Philadelphus. Aggregated under Rome to the province of Arabia, it was conquered by the Arabs in 635 and resumed the name of Amman, becoming one of the richest caravan cities, thanks to its location on the road linking Damascus, Bostra and Elat to the Red Sea.Rome 360

The acropolis of the ancient city has a complicated underground facility for water. They remain remains of walls and a temple dedicated to Hercules. In the lower town are the ruins of a theater of 6000 seat capacity, an Odeon, and a nymph. Nearby you were found many Roman tombs.

The Greek and Roman archaeological remains are added elements of Byzantine civilization and Islam.

Because of several earthquakes and natural disasters Amman remained nothing more than a small village with attached a ruin until the year 1887 when the government came to the Circassians, who decided to build a railway line between Damascus and Medina and the passer Amman to facilitate the residents of their territories the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

Amman is located in a hilly area of northwest of the Jordan and is located at an altitude of 1,029 m above sea level and 773 meters. The city was built on seven hills, but today covers an area of nineteen hills that are called Jabal or mountain. Many of the districts of Amman take their name from the seven hills features.

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Revelation Chapter #9

 

Before we jump into chapter #9 I would like us to remember the last verse of chapter #8 and it’s warnings to us humans. “And I beheld and heard an Angel flying in the midst of Heaven, saying with a loud voice, woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of the Earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three Angels, which are yet to sound.” Remember, these events are during the Tribulation period (7 years), the Rapture will have already happened. Actually these last three Trumpets will occur during the back half (last 3 1/2 years) of the Tribulation period. So, if you are a person who is alive at the at the time of the Rapture (second coming of Christ) and you are a faithful follower of Jesus (Yeshua) you will not be here on Earth to have to face the horrors, you will be in Heaven. Folks, please take a moment to read in the book of Daniel 9:24 to help you with your understanding of the events for these times will be terrible times for anyone to be alive and have to try to live through.

 

This chapter has 21 verses and the 5th and the 6th Trumpets will be brought to your understanding as we read through them, Lord willing.

“And the 5th Trumpet sounded and I saw a star fall from Heaven onto the Earth:and to him was given the key to the bottomless pit (Hell).”

“And he opened the bottomless pit and there arose smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a large furnace; and the Sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.”

“And there came out of the smoke locust upon the Earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the Earth have power.”

“And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the Earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree; but to only hurt those men which do not have the seal of God in their foreheads.”

“And it was given to the locust that they should not kill the men, but that the men should be tormented by their stings for five months. And their torment will be like unto the torment of a scorpion when he strikes a man.”

“In those days men shall seek death and shall not find it. They shall desire to die but death shall flee from them.”

“The shape of the scorpions were like unto horses prepared for battle. And on their heads were crowns like unto gold and their faces were as the faces of men.”

“They had hair like unto the hair of women and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.”

“They had breastplates as it were the breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.”

“They had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails and their power was to hurt men for five months.”

“They had a king over them, which was the Angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon. But in the Greek tongue his name is Apollyon (Destroyer).”

“One woe is past, but behold, there comes two more woes hereafter.”

“And the 6th Angel sounded and I heard a voice from the four horns of the Golden Altar which is before God.”

“Saying to the 6th Angel which had the Trumpet, loose the four Angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.”

“And the four Angels were freed, which were prepared for an hour and a day and a month and a year for they were to slay one-third of all mankind.”

“And the number of the Army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousands: and I heard the number of them.”

“And thus I saw the horses in the vision and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire and of Jacinth and Brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and Brimstone.”

“By these three was one-third of all men killed, by the fire and by the smoke and by the Brimstone which came out of their mouths.”

“For their power was in their mouths and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents and they had heads and with them they do hurt men.”

“And the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the works of their hands. In that they should not worship Devils or idols of gold and silver and brass of stone and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk.”

“Neither did they repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”

 

In case you were wondering about ‘the Star’ that is spoken of in verse one this ‘Star’ without any doubt, is Satan, the Devil himself. In case you are doubting me or simply don’t believe me, I have a few proofs I would like you to read, they will help you to understand, to see better. These Scripture passages are:

Revelation 12: 7-9

2 Corinthians 11: 14

Luke 10: 18

And lastly: Isaiah  14: 12

 

In verse two it is pretty obvious that the ‘Pit’ is Hell and He which rules Hell is Satan. If you have knowledge of what Locusts do you will notice that the ones spoken of here in verse three will do the exact opposite of normal locusts. Normal locusts pretty much eat up anything that is green like grass and the trees but they leave humans alone. These locusts leave the Earth alone but attack the humans. Verse six say a lot about this event on mankind. “And in those days men shall seek death and shall not find it and they shall desire to die and death shall flee from them.” If you are not understanding the fourth verse please go to the first book in the Bible, Genesis 4: 15 in regards of Adam and Eves son Cain, this should help you to understand better.

 

Concerning verse 13 this is where we come to the Angel and the 6th Trumpet. This is where Jesus orders this Angel to free the four imprisoned Angels from the river Euphrates. At this time Jesus has broken the 7th of the 7 Seals. Next the people who are still alive will have to face the 7 ‘Personalities’ then the 7 ‘Bowls of Rath’. This area that is being spoken of is in modern-day Iraq. Most people in the wired world know of the wars, hate, and murdering that has been going on in this area in our lifetimes. The Garden of Eden was in extreme north-west Iran very close to the border with Iraq, and the ‘Tower of Babel’ is in western Iraq. For those of you who are paying any attention to what is going on in the world it should be of no surprise that so much more evil is yet to sprout up out of this region of the world.

 

In the time of the ‘Great Tribulation’ a third of all of mankind will be killed, I would like you to think about that for a moment. The population of the Earth today is supposed to be 7.4 billion people. So, a third of this population would be almost 2.5 billion people, shortly before this one-fourth of the world’s population had already been killed. So, let’s do a little bit of math, 1/4 of 7.4 billion is 1.85 billion people dead so that leaves 5.550 billion, now divide this by one-third which equals almost another 1.85 billion people. So if these two events were to happen today that would equal 3,7 billion dead people out of 7.4 billion, so that would mean that half of the total population of Earth would be wiped out. Folks, we humans are facing some very dark times. We are told in verses twenty and twenty-one that the humans that are still alive after these first two plagues still have a cold heart and no intelligence as they will refuse to repent and to turn their lives over to God, how sad, how stupid.

Revelation Chapter #4

 

Revelation Chapter #4

Chapter #4 only has 11 verses in it. These 11 verses break down into three different sections, or categories. Verses one through three is about the Throne of God in Heaven. Verses four and five are about the 24 Elders that are around the Throne of God. Then verses six through eleven are about the four Creatures that are at the Throne of God. Remember, the person that is writing this material to us is the Apostle John the things he is being shown are via an Angel of God. I have been debating whether to type out these eleven verses or to just explain their meanings to folks but I have decided to type them out for you because I realize that there are some people who may be reading this who do not have access to a Bible, I realize that there are some places here on this planet where it is actually dangerous to be in possession of a Bible so for these reasons I will take the time to type these 11 verses out.

Starting with 4:1 “After this I looked and beheld a door opened in Heaven. And the first voice which I heard was as if it were a trumpet talking with me, which said, come up here and I will show you things which will be in the future.” “Then immediately I was in the Spirit and beheld a Throne which was set in Heaven and one sat on the Throne.” “He that sat on the Throne was like looking upon a jasper and a sardine stone. And there was a rainbow round about the Throne, the color was like looking onto and emerald.”

“Round about the Throne were four and twenty seats. Upon the seats I saw 24 Elders sitting. They were clothed in white raiment and upon their heads were crowns of gold.”

“Then out of the Throne proceeded lightning and thundering and voices. There were seven lamps of fire burning before the Throne, which are the Seven Spirits of God.”

“Before the Throne there was a sea of glass which was like unto crystal. In the midst of the Throne and round about the Throne were four Beasts full of eyes in front and behind.”

“The first Beast was like a Lion, the second Beast was like a Calf, the third Beast had the face of a Man, the fourth Beast was like a flying Eagle.”

“Each of the four Beasts had six wings about him, each of them were full of eyes within and they did not rest day of night. And they were saying Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, which is, and is to come.”

“And then the Beasts gave glory and honor and thanks to Him that sat on the Throne, who lives for ever and ever and ever.”

“And then the 24 Elders fell down before Him that sat on the Throne and worshiped Him that lives forever and ever, and they cast down their crowns before the Throne, saying thou art worthy O Lord to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and for Your pleasure they are and were created.”

Well folks, that is the 11 verses, now I will do my best to explain a few things within those verses to hopefully make them easier for some folks to understand. What John was shown was an actual open door into Heaven unlike with Jacob when he witnessed a stairway to Heaven (Bethel). Now Jacob did not go up to Heaven yet John was called up to Heaven. But notice, John was called up ‘in the Spirit’, the reason is simple, there is no flesh in Heaven, God, His Angels and all who are in Heaven are Spirits, flesh is unclean and will never be allowed in Heaven.

The Book of Revelation was written in the Greek language, in verse number one it starts off with the words ‘after this’, in the Greek it is written “meta tauta” this is written at the beginning of the verse and at the end of this verse. The meta tauta that John was speaking of was ‘after the Rapture’. The Rapture is the event where Christ comes back to Earth with His Angels. At that time the dead in Christ will rise first then those who are still alive that are and have remained faithful to Him will depart this Earth in the twinkling (blink) of the eye to be with Jesus. In the English Bible you will not find the word ‘rapture’, but then again, the Bible was not written in the English language 1,900 or so odd years ago, it was written in the Greek language. Disclaimer here, the New Testament was written in Greek, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. Now back to the Greek, instead of the word rapture the Greek word was Harpazo which defines as  “caught up, raptured, or snatched up.” Well folks, I hope that this chapter was easy enough for everyone to understand, if you have any questions, go ahead and ask them. I will always do my best to answer them as simplistically as possible. I hope that everyone was able to have a good and a safe Christmas and for our Jewish friends I hope you had a great Hanukkah, good night, God bless.

Understanding The Biblical Book Of Revelation

 

The Book Of Revelation

Just as the first Book of the Bible (Genesis) is the book of the beginning of all things, the Book of Revelation (the last Book of the Bible) is a book about the end of all things. A term I have personally used quite a bit when explaining Biblical things about this “End” of all things here in Revelation is that what is being described is “the end of this current system” that we all live in. What we are shown in the Book of Revelation is the ‘fulfillment’ of God’s plan for you and I, us humans. Throughout the Bible, Old Testament and the New, there are many Books with Prophecies written within them. For me personally my favorite books of Prophecies that I really  like are the Books of the Prophets Isaiah, Daniel and Samuel in the Old Testament and the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. In case you have wondered about it, the title Revelation means “the unveiling or disclosure.” This Book was written by the Apostle John, the last of Christ’s Apostles and the only one that was not murdered for his teachings about Jesus. When this Book was written John was on the eastern Mediterranean island of Patmos, a rocky little island that the Romans sent nonviolent prisoners to, basically exiling these people there. The reason that this old man had been exiled there was because he would not quit preaching about Jesus. The New Testament was written in the Greek language and in the Greek the title of this Book is Apokalypis, the English translation is Apocalypse.

Revelation centers around many visions and symbols of God’s resurrected ‘Christ.’ Among the issues that are being explained to us is that only Christ has the authority to judge those who have lived upon the Earth and no one else. We are also shown that only He, through His righteousness  has the authority to remake the Earth and to Rule it for ever more. In chapter number one it is made plain to both the Apostle John and to us that it is the Lord that is giving these signs and wonders and information to John for all of us. In Chapter one verse number one it is stated that this Book is the Revelation of Jesus Christ and this is fitting being this Book came from Him and centers on Him. The Book begins with a vision of His Wisdom, His Glory, and of His Power. In chapters 2 and 3 this Book, this Letter, to us shows us that He and He alone has authority over all of the Church. For those of you whom do not know this, “The Church” is “The Bride” of Christ that He will be coming back from Heaven to Claim. In chapter one Jesus “calls out”  the names of seven of the larger Churches in Asia minor which is in current day Turkey. They are listed in a clockwise order as it was customary for important letters to be sent from one Congregation to the next, to the next in such a clockwise pattern. In Chapters number 2 and 3 The Lord spells out His issues with each one of these Congregations, He points out things that they are doing wrong and that they need to correct or they will be destroyed. This circular message is to the Congregations of God then, and to all of us now. The Lord is spelling out flaws in the Congregations that must be stopped.

When we get to chapter #5 Jesus is shown as the Lamb of God that was slain and is now alive and is worthy to open the ‘Book of Judgement.’ In chapters 6-18 we are shown how The Lord will pour out His Wrath upon the whole Earth for the sins that have filled the Earth. Chapters 19-20 explains to us that Jesus The Christ will return to the Earth in His Power and His Glory to judge His enemies and that He will destroy and condemn them. In the last two chapters #21 & 22, The Lord spells it out that He will come down from Heaven and Reign forever from the “New Jerusalem” which will come down to Earth from Heaven. This “New Jerusalem” will be located where the current day Jerusalem sits. In case you are wondering, when this is done there will be no current day Jerusalem, as Jesus told His Apostles in the 22nd chapter of Matthew, “there will not be one stone here left upon another.” Remember the surface of the Earth is going to be cleansed “melted” with a fervent heat, all the works of man, will be no more.

In this Book it is very obvious that it was written with a flavor of the conflict between the first century Church and the Roman government power of the time. It is also obvious that in the bulk of the Book/Letter, in chapters 4 through 22, that it is a Holy Spirit Inspired look into the events that will come before the Second Advent of Christ. This “Tribulation Period” spoken of is two sets of 42 months, or 84 months total which equals to 7 years. I plan on writing an article on all 22 chapters individually, this is why I have not gotten into more details about the different information contained within each chapter. This article today is meant as an overview if you will of the things I intend to spell out in the upcoming letters to you. For now I am going to close with a quote from Chapter 21 verses 3 & 4. “And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, Behold the Tabernacle of God is with men, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them, and be their God”.—“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be anymore pain: for the former things are passed away.”

Common Myths Concerning Islam

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘CREEPING SHARIA’S’ WEBSITE)

Common Myths Concerning Islam

A Muslim professor discusses “moderate Muslims.”

His definition of this term should be read very carefully. Also notice that he includes the head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe, Tariq Ramadan, as one of this group.

China has its problems with jihad. And then there were the bus bombings.

A Muslim doctor on how to take over an American hospital and make it a Muslim one.

Dhimmitude at the Washington Post.

Debating About Islam

Once you know something about Islam and try to talk to others, you may find yourself in a debate. Here are some of the “standards”.

CAN YOU READ ARABIC?
Everyone from Muslims to atheists uses this. The implication is that Arabic is a unique language that can’t be translated and therefore, how could you know what you are talking about? First, the Koran claims to be a universal message for all humanity for all times. If the message is universal, then it must be able to be understood by all. If the message cannot be understood by everybody, then by definition it is not universal. So, which is it?

Another thing to consider is that over half of the Koran is about Kafirs and politics. Do you really think that a political message about a Kafir cannot be understood by the Kafir? If so, what is that message that cannot be understood?

It must be made clear which Arabic is being spoken about. The Arabic of the Koran is classical Arabic which is about as similar to modern Arabic as the English of Chaucer and Beowulf is similar to modern English. Said in another way, not even a modern Arab can read classical Arabic. It is estimated that fewer than a thousand scholars who read classical Arabic can compose a paragraph on a random topic.

And what about the nearly billion Muslims who don’t even understand modern Arabic? If it is necessary to understand classical Arabic to understand what the Koran is about, then how can those billion non-Arabic-speaking Muslims understand the Koran? And if they cannot understand the Koran how can they be Muslims?

Ask the person who presents the argument if they have any opinions about the doctrine of Christianity. Then ask them if they read Hebrew, Aramaic or Biblical Greek? If they do not read those languages how can they form an opinion about something they have to read in translation? Of course they can read it and form an opinion, the same way we can read and understand the Koran.

A secondary question is why would anyone want to believe that the Koran couldn’t be understood? What is the purpose of believing that out of all the books in the world, why would there be one that cannot be translated?

The Koran is only 18% of the total doctrine. Would the questioner believe that the other 82% of the doctrine not be understood as well?

WELL, THE CHRISTIANS DID...
This response usually comes after some grim facts are given about Islam. This is probably the most common response from non-Christians. The best response is to ask if they have a reason that they don’t want to talk about Islam, since they want to change the subject. The average person knows next to nothing about Islam and sometimes this gambit is merely a way to steer the conversation into a familiar ground.

They are just trying to prove that Islam is not any worse than Christianity. At this point, welcome the chance to compare the two. Choose the ground of comparison. The best place to start is the founders. Compare Mohammed to Christ. The other good comparison is in ethics. Compare Islam’s dualistic ethics to unitary Golden Rule ethics.

Another version of this is that the person will compare some failed Christian to a “good” Muslim they know at work. It is fairly useless to do personal comparisons. How do you choose which Muslim out of 1.5 billion Muslims and which Christian do you choose out of a couple billion Christians?

A variation on the “Well, the Christians did …” is “What about the Crusades”? This is the time to say you welcome a comparison of the Crusades to jihad. Start with the question of why the Crusades were needed. Islāmic jihad caused the invasion of the Middle East. The Crusades were a response to a cry for help by the tortured and oppressed Christians in their native land. Did the Christians do some very wrong things? Yes, but notice that the Crusades have been over nearly a thousand years. Jihad is active today. And while we are at it, why do academic libraries have many books on the Crusades, which lasted only 200 years, and so few on jihad, which has lasted 1400 years? The West has analyzed the Crusades forever and has never analyzed jihad.

I KNOW THIS MUSLIM AND HE SAYS…
Why is the Muslim your friend knows the only Muslim out of 1.5 billion that makes him the expert on Islam? Remember, the average Muslim knows very little about the doctrine of Islam. Why? Because, historically the imams have acted as the high priests of Islam and they have never made the doctrine simple to understand. That is one way they keep their prestige and power.

But once you know something about the doctrine, you can say that you know also know a Muslim, and his name is Mohammed, and what you say comes from the Sunna. In short, your Muslim, Mohammed, can beat your friend’s Muslim on any issue of doctrine. If the Muslim your friend knows says something about Islam that agrees with Mohammed, then it is right. If what he says contradicts Mohammed, then he is wrong. So this Muslim your friend knows is either wrong or redundant, but never more right than Mohammed.

I KNOW THIS MUSLIM AND HE IS A NICE MAN
Probably so. What does that prove about Islam? He may follow the Golden Rule and not Islam. That is, he may be a poor Muslim and a good person.

Now is the time to explain about the Islam of Mecca and the Islam of Medina and which one is the more powerful. It is also time to explain about dualism and how Islam always has two faces.

Stay with doctrine and history of Islam, never get personal and talk about an individual Muslim. Actually, there is one way to talk about any Muslim, show how what they do and say follows the doctrine.

Besides, you know this Muslim and his name is Mohammed. Don’t talk about “Muslims,” talk about Mohammed.

THAT IS NOT THE REAL ISLAM
If you are quoting the Koran or the Sunna, then it is the real Islam, by definition. The Koran and the Sunna are Islam, the real Islam. All other Islam, such as is found in the media, is the false Islam. There is only one real Islam, the doctrine of Islam.

THEY DON’T REALLY BELIEVE THAT
This comes after you have revealed some horrific part of the doctrine. What do Muslims call themselves? The believers. What do they believe? The Koran and the Sunna. They say that is what they believe. Really believe.

I KNOW THIS MUSLIM AND HE IS NOT VIOLENT
This is a restating of, “I know this Muslim and he is good man.” He may be a poor Muslim and a good man who follows the Golden Rule.

But, the statement shows that there is no understanding of the duality of Islam. The Koran has both violence and tolerance against the Kafirs. Today in America the power of Islam is just getting started, so Islam is still weak. When Mohammed was weak in Mecca, he did not kill anybody. Islam is still in the first phase of jihad here.

But the Koran says that one Muslim can beat two Kafirs. It also says that Islam must be the dominant political system. So when Muslims reach a third of the population (that makes it 2 to 1), they will be in the full stage of Medina and violence becomes a standard operation. But even then, we know from the Sira, that many Muslims just don’t have the stomach for the violence. The Sira shows that Muslims can support jihad many ways, besides personal violence. The “peaceful” Muslim you know is commanded to give money to Islāmic charities and the charities give the money to the actual fighters.

WHAT ABOUT THE VIOLENCE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT?
Look at the violence in the Old Testament. It has two qualities—local and temporary. None of the violence is commanded to be global and eternal. In each case the violence is directed in a political struggle and when it was over it was over.

The violence in the Trilogy is for all Muslims, in all places and for all time. Jihad is to stop only when every kaffir submits. Look at Mohammed, the perfect example. He was involved with violence until the day he died. And on his deathbed he directed eternal violence against the Kafirs when he said in his last breath: “Let there be neither Christian or Jew left in Arabia.”

IF ISLAM IS SO VIOLENT, HOW CAN IT BE SO SUCCESSFUL?
The Sira records that when Islam committed violence, it attracted new followers. As Osama bin Laden says: “People like a winning horse.” After 9/11 in the US, new followers joined Islam. Communism was a political system that preached, promised and delivered violence and it attracted many people. Many people love violence. Have you never paid any attention to Hollywood? Violence is piled upon violence and people line up to see it.

Islam is growing rapidly. but most of the growth can be attributed to high birth rates, not conversion. Islam’s growth in Kafir countries is due to immigration, not conversion.

Dina Al-Mahdy

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