Sunday 2 June 2019

How Soon Is Now? Chapter 2: Amsterdam

Photo NOAA

The book is a rough draft at the moment, I don't have a publisher, I am serialising the novel on The Big Wobble, looking for constructive criticism, maybe if the book is good enough it will land on a publishers desk!

How Soon Is Now? Chapter 2: Amsterdam



Stuck on the end of this ball and chain
And I'm on my way back down again
Stood on a bridge, tied to a noose
Sick to the stomach
You can say what you mean
But it won't change a thing
I'm sick of the secrets

Stood on the edge
Tied to a noose
And you came along
And you cut me loose

You came along
And you cut me loose
You came along
And you cut me loose

My meeting with the Historian and Theologist, Dr. van Velsen from the University of Amsterdam was at 1: pm, it was just after noon as I walked into the main foyer of Amsterdam Centraal Station, crowds of people were milling around or looking at the big screen for train arrivals and departures,
other people sat around on their luggage drinking tea or coffee or checking their telephone, Amsterdam attracted lots of backpackers.
A white fixed robot was serving coffee to customers in a small cafe.
To my left was another giant screen, this one showing a meadow on a beautiful summer's day in a Dutch field, the screen picture was in super HD, butterflies were busy landing on flowers, shafts of sunlight hit the flower petals, and a wonderful blue sky filled the background, a ladybird sunbathed on a flower stem, a woman's voice in a sexy soft tone was announcing "feel the silence!" suddenly and very unexpectedly a hologram of a train jumped out of the screen heading directly for me, for a split second I thought the train would hit me, then, I realised, I had just become the latest victim of an NS (Dutch Train Service) drive to promote their new national Hydrogen fuel cell train system due to come into service in 2026.
A young woman watched as I recovered my composure and giggled at me. In the corner, I noticed 4 guys on a bench sitting motionless and staring into space, one guy had a wet patch on his pants, he had peed his pants, another guy was covered in vomit, they were passed out, zombified from the new drug craze Agent Beelzebub which was endemic in the West.
I stepped outside onto Stationsplein in the centre of Amsterdam, it was incredibly hot, the red digital temperature gauge on the Centraal Station facade showed 37 deg C and that was in the shade. Another giant screen on the Station facade showed the picture of a young girl who had gone missing, her name and details of her last known whereabouts rolled horizontally in bright letters underneath the girls face.
 I walked over the bridge directly in front of Centraal Station, to the left and right of me boat cruisers waited for customers to take boat trips along Amsterdam's many canals. In front of me was another hologram, a Dutch woman, in traditional dress and wooden clogs, carrying a basket of red tulips inviting people to visit the Vincent van Gough museum. As I crossed the bridge the numbers of tourists resembled a football crowd milling around the stadium before a game. Hundreds of people, some walking, many just standing, some sitting on the floor or on monuments, others eating hot-dogs or burgers, young lovers holding hands or kissing, the scene was relaxed. Bicycles were parked everywhere.
Amsterdam's famous electric trams rumbled along through the crowd, the clang-clang-clang of the trams bell could be heard, warning people to move away from the tram. On the side of the tram, an electronic image of the young missing girl and her details reminded people to stay vigilant. Car horns honked and in the sky, numerous drones watched on. Amsterdam had an atmosphere like no other city. I entered the Damrak, the main street and headed for Amsterdam's Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in the Dam Square, straight ahead, although it was difficult making headway against the waves of tourists.

I arrived at the bar of Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky 15 minutes early, I sat at the bar and ordered a glass of red wine, a TV on the wall was showing distressing scenes of a massive tsunami hitting the coastline of Bali in Indonesia. The incredibly powerful magnitude 9.1 had struck earlier this morning. The red news bar, under the live report, was claiming the tsunami had probably killed thousands including many tourists but true numbers were at this moment difficult to predict because of loss of power to the area.
As I watched the devastating news, someone behind called, "Hey Gary Cooper!"
I turned around startled, standing before me was Maggie, the girl I had bumped into on the beach a couple of days earlier.
" Maggie, hi what brings you here?"
"I'm here to meet Mr Cooper Watson whom I have an appointment to discuss climate change with, I'm guessing it's you!"
"Haha, you guessed right," I said, " I have to own up, I expected  Dr. van Velsen to be a man," I said.
"Yeah, I bet you did, are a sexist Mr Watson?" Maggie laughed jokingly.
We both laughed, "can I get you a drink?" I asked.
"You bet, I'll have what you're having," I ordered a red wine for Maggie.
"This is just wonderful,"  she said, "what a coincidence."
"Yes, it is," I agreed.
We both stood there staring at each other again awkwardly.
Ha, we are doing it again," said Maggie blushing.
"Someone turned the switch off," I said laughing and blushing at the same time.

She glanced at the TV and the Bali earthquake report and turned toward me, she became melancholic, "it's this kind of thing I wanted to discuss with you, Cooper, I can call you Cooper, " Maggie asked?
"Sure," I replied.
"Yes, I understand, the increasing number of high magnitude earthquakes," I replied.
"But this quake and tsunami in Bali will be a terrible disaster, the tsunami we are watching and the aftermath of that quake will change the lives of thousands of families forever Maggie!" I said.
She looked sad. I noticed once again how beautiful she was, I noticed her stunning green eyes and her small elegantly formed nose, her full lips and a strong chin, beautiful shoulder-length blond hair, she was slender but not slight in any way. I was staring again.

You told me you were a writer, what are you writing," I asked.
Maggie asked me if I was familiar with the Bible, I said I was interested in prophecy.
She went on, "great to hear Cooper, I'm writing a book, trying to link end-time prophecy to the here and now, just where are we today in the great end-time prophecy time-line and just how far away is Armageddon, it's deep, deep digging, researching but I love it and I maybe even on to something, although I do believe what Jesus said in Matthew 24, no man knows the date of the end of days, only God himself" she said excitedly.
"Sounds exciting," I said and ordered two more glasses of wine.
"What I would like from you today Cooper is your take on just how much more of these disasters can our vulnerable planet take?"
"The floods, the wildfires, the droughts, heatwaves, cold waves, major quakes the increasing hurricanes and typhoons and mankind's thirst for wars, how long can we go on," asked, Maggie?
She went on, "how long do you think the planet has left as a viable place for mankind to call home, how long before we cross the tipping point, she said?"
"That's a good question," I answered.
"If I was to be brutally honest with you Maggie I would say we have crossed that tipping point, many scientists believe the tipping point was five years ago in 2020, maybe even earlier," I said
"Some experts are beginning to think this planet could be finished as a place for us to live as early as 2050," I said solemnly.
I went on, "Albert Einstein once famously said, quote, "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the Earth, man would only have four years of life left," I said.
"We have known about dying bees for years Maggie but you will be shocked to know, mass extinction of the bees is just the very tip of the iceberg!
I went on, "since the 1970s, there has been an 80% decrease in insects across the planet, Moths, hoverflies, wasps, beetles and many other groups, they are now sparse where once they were abundant."
"Sadly, Maggie, it's not just insects in danger of extinction,'' I added.
 "As our population here on Earth approaches 8 billion people, a report by The Living Planet Index and researchers from WWF and the Zoological Society of London claimed by 2020 more than two thirds of all wild animals who once lived on the world had died, it's now 2025, we have passed the tipping point years ago Maggie, there is not enough food for everyone, and all species are in trouble from mankind to beetles along with crops and agriculture, "I said.
I went on, "the world's primates face an "extinction crisis" with more than 75% of species now threatened with extinction, and there is also the unprecedented death of billions of tons of marine life around the world’s oceans and waterways!"
"Add to that the loss of crops from drought, floods, heatwaves, cold waves and wildfires and disease and we have to ask ourselves a question?" "How on earth will we possibly feed 8 billion people, when everything is dead, we can't?"
Maggie looked up, "wow, Cooper you're the glass-half-empty type if ever there was one," she winced and bit her lip, "I knew it was bad but..."
"The problem is Maggie, we hear little bits of information on the news, bad weather here, an earthquake there, a drought there and flooding here but it's not until you take a step back and look at the whole wide picture, only then can one realise just how bad it is out there, it's catastrophic," I said.
"And all we hear on the news is, should boys be able to wear skirts for school and other gender issues, " "or should people be able to legally reduce their age to give them a better chance on dating sites!" she said laughing.
"Don't forget the vegetable rights movement," I said.
We both started giggling.
We carried on talking for a long while, much longer than the half-hour I had agreed, we both had chemistry and I felt at ease and not intimidated by her beauty.
When our interview finally ended I asked Maggie, "is there anything else I can help you with, Maggie?"
"No, but I'm finished for the day, shall we stay here for more drinks," asked Maggie?"
"Yes, I would like that very much," I said.
After a few glasses of red wine, we realised we had been talking without coming up for air, it was now dark, I asked the barmen to book us a cab.
The cab arrived, it was a driverless taxi, we both sat in the back.
"There is a wonderful small Indonesian restaurant on the Oudekerksplein just before the red-light-district, in the centre of Amsterdam," I told Maggie.
She looked at me with her astonishing eyes.
"Cooper, are you asking me out on a date?"
"I can't remember the name but it's the only restaurant on the street, I would love to take you to dinner on Friday at 8: pm?" I asked.
"Cooper, I would just love to have dinner with you," she smiled.
We arrived at Maggie's house in Amsterdam, we kissed each other three times on the cheek, in the Dutch tradition and then she was gone.
I sat there in the back of the cab wondering what kind of hurricane had just rolled into my life.

I arrived back at my apartment in the evening, I asked the house-port to turn on the TV for news of the massive quake in Indonesia and subsequent tsunami. The story was being covered on all the big news senders, I asked the house-port to switch to the BBC, the most reliable news station in the world if you could see through their left-wing, socialist ideals. It was now night time in Indonesia but video's and photo's from earlier in the day showed the devastation the quake and tsunami had caused. The tsunami had sent a 4-metre wall of sea water crashing into the southern coastal area of Bali's biggest city Denpasar, destroying many exclusive beach resorts and killing hundreds of tourists and Indonesians alike. Further tsunamis hit Lombok Tengah, Java Island and West Nusa Tenggara with the same results. A smaller tsunami had hit northwestern Australia later in the day.
Just hours after the massive quake and tsunami, Bali's Mount Agung erupted, hurling lava and ash kilometres into the air and prompting panicked residents to flee their homes.

I opened up a bottle of red wine and went outside to sit on the balcony, it was still very warm outside.
I looked at all the people heading back to their cars and busses as the restaurants and bars emptied.

I awoke early, Maggie was the first thought in my head when I awoke, I made some coffee, grabbed my laptop and went outside to the balcony, another clear blue sky, I stopped and wondered when was the last time it had rained? Nearly a month I thought, at least.

I asked the house-port to read out my emails, the Bali quake and tsunami, 7,000 were known to be dead but many people were still missing. In the northeast of the island, 100.000 people had been evacuated from the erupting Mount Agung but a  further 75,000 tourists were stranded after flights were cancelled from the ash cloud. Most of the power to the island had been lost leaving rescue efforts performing at a snail's pace.

This morning I received mail from my friend in Alaska, Bill Laughing Bear, who was keeping an eye on radiation levels of fish he himself had monitored off the coastal waters of Alaska since 2012 a year after the Fukushima disaster, Cesium-134, called the so-called fingerprint of Fukushima was being recorded in fish all along the Pacific West Coast of North America, from Alaska to Mexico. A new much-appreciated update regarding radiation levels from Fukushima affecting fish along the coast of Alaska had landed in my laptop from a very busy Bill.
According to Bill, who was doing spot checks on fish in the area, was once again claiming "radiation levels in the fish are well up from last years readings."
The email read.
Dear Cooper and Reader’s of the Eleven: 59:,

Just a quick update, as I have been running hard 7 days a week recently. I’m way behind since Alaska has two seasons: Winter and “gotta’ get it done NOW!” season.

I have been doing spot checks on salmon. They are all reading warm for radiation, up from last years’ readings. The halibut has the same problem. I have been given access to a “fish wheel” (A fish wheel, also known as a salmon wheel, it's a device situated in rivers for catching fish which looks and operates like a watermill. However, in addition to paddles, a fish wheel is outfitted with wire baskets designed to catch and carry fish from the water and into a nearby holding tank).

I and my dogs will not be eating any kinds of seafood. I’d like to add a new player into this radiation game and that is looking at tuna. I won’t state the brand name, in order to prevent any backlash, nor will I reveal the locations of where I do my testing of salmon and halibut. I will say that the tuna I have tested is a product of Thailand and is reading very warm for radiation. My sense is that there may be a direct link between Fukushima and the contaminated tuna. More on this topic will be coming.

Again, I caution those reading this: if the halibut who is a bottom feeder is testing radioactive, then clams, oysters, crab, prawns and shrimp will be radioactive as well. I discourage eating any of it.

This from Alaska!

Bill Laughing-Bear
I updated the blog with the latest news from Bali and added Bill's email from Alaska.

I had arranged for a taxi to pick me up at 7: pm and take me to Amsterdam for the meal with Maggie, I didn't want to be on the train system in the evening especially in the Amsterdam area, social unrest had escalated between Muslim factions, Morrocan, Syrian Iraqi and Afghan gangs were clashing with far-right white Europeans in all major cities across Holland and Amsterdam was one of the most hostile, as the terror attack on the mosque earlier in the week had proved. The European Union was struggling, the UK had pulled out of the EU back in 2019, with other countries now wanting to follow suit. A growing number of Muslim groups which, due to the refugee crisis and the EU's soft immigration policy had led to growing numbers of Muslims living in European cities who were now voting for Conservative Muslim leaders which, in turn, was feeding an uprising by the far right all over Europe. The irony and the folly of a socialist European Union had back-fired on them and now both the Conservative Muslim contingent and the Right-Wing movements were blaming the soft underbelly of socialism for the unrest.

The taxi arrived on time, I stepped inside and sat down. A computerised woman's voice asked my destination, I said "Oudekerksplein, Amsterdam."
"Please repeat your destination," she asked.
Oh great I thought, she doesn't understand my English dialect, I spoke the destination much slower.
The voice then asked me to place my credit card toward the onboard computer, an electronic beep confirmed my payment and the voice said: "thank you." The car pulled away and the windows darkened, the electric car was virtually silent but I still could not get used to driverless taxi's.
A flat-screen TV flickered to life, I settled back and watched the news.

I was nervous and very excited and a good ten minutes early, a burst of Indonesian odours hit my nasal senses as I entered the restaurant, the smell was intoxicating. A waiter approached me, luckily I had booked a table because the restaurant was full, I told him my name and he showed me to my table. Maggie arrived 5 minutes later looking gorgeous in a cotton print dress and heels, I told her she looked great and kissed her cheek.
"Hello Sir, how are you doing?" she asked.
"Well, I'm fine thanks," I replied,
We chewed the fat, swapping small talk, as we looked at the menu, I ordered Maggie and me two draught beers. After a while, we both decided on an Indonesian rice table for two.
An Indonesian rice table is a way of tasting many different Indonesian dishes in one sitting. The small dishes are laid out on table warmers called "rechauds." and they keep the food warm so we could take the time to savour each dish and enjoy the variety of rich flavours of the spread.
I wanted to ask Maggie to explain to me something she had said yesterday at the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky.
"You are writing a book about Bile Prophecy, please tell me more," I asked.
Her bright beautiful sparkling eyes looked at me and smiled.
The waiter brought us our food.
"Hmm, this looks delicious," she replied.
"You told me you were familiar with the Bible yesterday, well you will probably know about the story of the four horsemen?" She said.
"Yes," I replied.
"Well, I have always been fascinated by the four distinctive riders on different-coloured horses, mentioned in Revelation, 6 and if or when they had been released, and just how close are we to the return of Jesus," she said."
"Armageddon," I said.
"And if the devil was THROWN down to Earth, mentioned in Revelation twelve, surely he wouldn't have come here unannounced would he," asked Maggie?
"Which got me thinking."
" Could the mysterious Tunguska event have been the day the devil was thrown down to Earth?"
Maggie went on, "surely, if the devil was thrown down to Earth after a war in heaven, as is claimed in Revelation, 12:9, well, there must be evidence here on Earth, the devil would hardly come here like a thief in the night, if he was thrown down here, surely, he must have caused some fireworks wouldn't you think?
"Sounds logical to me," I added.
"And, Cooper, more importantly, does the devil's arrival here on Earth and the release of the four horsemen match up with a prophecy of Daniel? She said.
"What is Daniels prophecy," I asked?
"Daniel, reveals information that would make it possible to pinpoint the time when Jesus would begin His kingdom in heaven, now, if we can match all these events together, we would know just where we are in the history of Christianity and how close we really are to the return of Jesus," said Maggie.
"So is there a link to the arrival of the devil, the release of the four horsemen and Daniel's seven times prophecy to within a year or two?"
"I think there is, Cooper, let me explain," announced Maggie.
"On 30 June 1908, at around 07:17 local time, Evenki natives and Russian settlers in the hills north-west of Lake Baikal south-east Siberia, observed a column of bluish light, which according to witness reports was brighter than the Sun, the bright light was moving across the sky very fast."
Maggie went on, "About ten minutes later, a massive flash with a massive explosion was followed by a sound similar to artillery fire, (why would it take ten minutes for a comet or meteor to reach the ground, especially as witness reports claimed it was moving very fast), the sounds were accompanied by a shock wave that knocked people off their feet and broke windows hundreds of kilometres away."
"The explosion registered at seismic stations across Eurasia and airwaves from the blast was detected in Germany, Denmark, Croatia, the UK, and as far away as Jakarta and Washington, D.C., it is estimated that, in some places, the resulting shock wave was equivalent to an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter magnitude scale," explained Maggie.
 "Over the next few days, night skies in Asia and Europe were aglow, with contemporaneous reports of photographs being successfully taken at midnight in both Sweden and Scotland."
"Incredible," I said, visibly impressed.
"Hundreds of eyewitnesses speak of fire and columns of smoke, which are similar to how Jehovah guided His people out of Egypt as told in Exodus, other witnesses claim two columns of fire emanated from near the Tunguska Body after it approached the ground, the two columns of clouds and smoke gave off rainbow-like bands of light, remarkably similar to the description of an angelic manifestation mentioned in the bible, in A Revelation To John, 10:1.," said Maggie.
"Other witnesses claim they saw a ufo or a cylindrical object similar to the one mentioned in the Bible story of Ezekial, if this Tunguska event was the all-powerful fallen angel, the Devil, it would need a mighty angel to throw him down, Michael maybe?"
"Yes, I agree," I said.
"The explosion over the sparsely populated Eastern Siberian Taiga flattened 2,000 square kilometres (770 square miles) of the forest, yet the enormous blast, thought to be the biggest ever on our planet caused no known human casualties."
Maggie carried on, "the explosion was generally attributed to an air burst of a meteor (which somehow took ten minutes to reach Earth), it is classified as an impact event, even though no impact crater has ever been found; the object is thought to have disintegrated at an altitude of 5 to 10 kilometres (3 to 6 miles) high, rather than hitting the surface of the Earth."
"The Tunguska event is the largest impact event on Earth in recorded history"
"I must stress, linking the Tunguska event to the devil is, a theory of mine," admitted Maggie.
"Fascinating," I said and ordered another couple of beers.
"Which brings us to, The Four Horses Of The Apocalypse," said Maggie, excited.
We both took another mouthful of delicious Indonesian food.
"This food is delicious," I smiled, Maggie agreed.
"Now, the four horses of the apocalypse, we know from the Bible, in Revelation 6:1-8, Jesus opens one of the seven seals releasing four horsemen, three of whom bring destruction to the whole world, the first horse is white and its rider is a glorious, newly crowned king, this is King Jesus ruling his new kingdom in heaven, which I will explain later," explained Maggie.
"Behind Him comes a horse the colour of fire, the red horse bearing a rider who is to take peace away from all the earth, another follows, a third horse, black as night, carrying a rider who holds aloft a pair of scales he is the one who will bring famine to the world, the fourth horse is a sickly pale colour, a harbinger of disease and other lethal threats, ridden by Death itself," explained Maggie.
"Now, people with a Bible understanding agree, this is quite clear and easy to understand but, when is this suppose to happen, it doesn't say when in the Bible does it, Jesus merely tells Christians to stay awake and be observant and He gives a few clues to watch out for."
"So for my theory to become believable, the four horsemen would have to be released sometime after 1908, after the Tunguska event," said Maggie.
"Yes," I agreed, we both had a sip of beer and another mouthful of food.
Maggie went on, "ok, we know the red rider represents warfare, for the first time ever in world history, peace was taken away, from not just a few nations but globally, in 1914, for the first time in history, a global war erupted, a war on such a bloody scale, the like of which had never before occurred in human history."
"A war which saw millions of young men cut down by man-made machines and chemicals, it was closely followed by a second world war, which was even more destructive than WWI, some estimates place the total number of deaths due to wars and armed conflicts since 1914 at more than 200 million, while since 1945, the world has held its breath as billions of people fear WWIII," explained Maggie.
"So true," I said.
"This food is incredible," said Maggie.
She carried on, "the third rider, the black horse, the black horse represents famine, we can conclude here a picture of food rationing so severe during the two world wars millions died of starvation, during the second world war the Dutch people were so hungry they resorted to eating tulips, Germans and Russians along the eastern front died in their millions due to starvation."
"The British people suffered food rationing well into the 1950s as a result of WWII," said Maggie.
"Since 1914, it is thought about 100 million people have died due to famines during the 20th and 21st century, one authority estimated that more than one billion people, nearly one-eighth of the world population were chronically undernourished in 2012-2025."
"As climate change increases, droughts, flooding, heatwaves are destroying crops on a record scale, killing cattle and fish by the million which is now affecting us all," explained Maggie.
"I am absolutely stuffed, I couldn't eat another thing, "claimed Maggie.
I laughed and put my hand on Maggies, we both visibly became flushed, "carry on," I said.
Maggie composed herself, "the pale horse represents death due to plague and other and other pestilences, as the end of WWI approached, the Spanish flu killed tens of millions, it is thought as many as 500 million people were infected, one-third of the entire world population then and it's thought 100 million died, more than twice the amount who died during the fighting in WWI!"
"However, the Spanish flu was just the beginning, experts estimate that hundreds of millions died of smallpox during the 20th century, to this day, the lives of millions are cut short by AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and cancer, despite intensive medical research," explained Maggie.
"At the moment, hundreds of thousands of people are dying from super-bugs, antibiotic-resistant bacteria due to the overuse of antibiotics."
I ordered coffee.
"Death has exploded around the planet since 1914, whether due to war, famine, or plague, but there is an indication in Bible chronology indicating God’s Kingdom was established in heaven in 1914, this is shown by a prophecy recorded in chapter 4 of the book of Daniel."
"God's Kingdom is what we all pray for in the Lords Prayer, God’s heavenly government will replace all other governments here on Earth," said Maggie.
"More than 2,500 years ago God was so disgusted with the behaviour of his chosen people the Jews, he decided to punish them after he had warned them many many times about their bad and immoral behaviour, because of the Israelites’ disobedience, God allowed them to be conquered by the Babylonians, way back in 607 B.C.E."
Maggie went on, "I must explain, the actual date of 607 B.C.E. is a conflicting date, The Royal Canon of Claudius Ptolemy, a second-century C.E. astronomer, claims the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem in 587 B.C.E."
"However, a Christopher Walker of the British Museum claims that Ptolemy’s canon was, quote, “an artificial scheme designed to provide astronomers with a consistent chronology” and was “not to provide historians with a precise record of the accession and death of kings, meaning, Ptolemy's 587 B.C.E. was most possibly inaccurate," suggested Maggie.
Maggie looked at me excitedly, "from that time on, no more kings represented Jehovah in Jerusalem, 607 B.C.E. marked the beginning of what the Bible claims as the seven times or the period when God’s rulership would be interrupted."
"At the end of His proclaimed seven times, God would install a new ruler to represent Him, this time, someone in heaven, that’s when the other prophecies we read about in Daniel would be fulfilled."
Maggie carried on, "we know the seven times started in 607 BC but the big question now is: When will, or when did the seven times end?"
"If we can answer that question, we will know when the new, God’s Kingdom will begin in Heaven."
"During his earthly ministry, Jesus indicated that the seven times had not yet ended, so they must be a very long period of time, the seven times started hundreds of years before Jesus came to earth in 607 B.C.E, and they continued until sometime after he returned to heaven," said Maggie. "Scholars of the Bible have examined this and other prophecies very carefully and come to the conclusion that the seven times would end in the year 1914 and major world events since then confirm that 1914, as I explained earlier, was indeed the year that God’s Kingdom began ruling in heaven."
 "It was the year when this world entered its last days or the time of the end, as we know there are many more clues, Matthew 24, and Luke 21 both highlight the end-times, Jesus's disciples asked Him when will we know the conclusion of this system of things?"
Maggie took a sip of coffee, "Jesus replied, in Matthew 24:6, quote, you are going to hear of wars and reports of wars, see that you are not alarmed, for these things must take place, but the end is not yet, Jesus continued, for nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another."
"In 1914, 7 quakes of M6 or higher were recorded, a hundred years later in 2014, 155 were recorded and they are still rising,  all these events are the beginning of pangs of distress."
"Are you not too tired," I asked Maggie.
"No, I do this for a living, remember," she said smiling.
"So how did Bible scholars come to believe that the seven times would end in the year 1914," asked Maggie?
"In Chapter 4 of Daniel: King Nebuchadnezzar the mighty king of Babylon had a disturbing dream about a giant tree, Daniel was asked by the King to explain the dream, Daniel concluded the great tree represented King Nebuchadnezzar himself."
"The gigantic tree was figuratively ‘chopped down in the dream by God himself but God did not kill the tree, so,  the dream's meaning was this, Nebuchadnezzar reign would be cut short for seven years, months later, King Nebuchadnezzar temporarily lost his sanity and kingship for a period of seven years, which can be found in Daniel 4:25," explained Maggie.
"When God restored his sanity, seven years later, Nebuchadnezzar regained his throne allowing God's prophecy to come true, but as in many Bible prophecies, the dream had a double meaning, what does the tree of Daniel chapter 4 represent," asked Maggie?
"In the Bible, trees sometimes represent rulership, in the greater fulfilment of the Daniel chapter 4 prophecy, the immense tree in Nebuchadnezzar's dream symbolizes God’s rulership too, so what could the tree being chopped down mean?"
"The chopping down of the tree represented an interruption in Nebuchadnezzar’s kingship, which was later restored by God after 7 times, but, the 7 times is also represented as an interruption in God’s rulership here on Earth," explained Maggie.
"When Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem, which God allowed as a punishment to the Jews for their terrible behaviour, the kings of Israel at that time were actually representatives of God himself, the seven times represent the period during which God allowed the Gentile nations to rule over the earth without interference from God Himself."
"So the “seven times” which God allowed without interference from Him began in October 607 B.C.E., when, according to Bible chronology, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians.
"How long are the seven times," I asked?
"The “seven times” of Jehovah's absence could not  merely be seen as the seven years as is the case in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, no, Jesus indicated the answer when he said that “Jerusalem, God's earthly throne, would be trampled on by the nations until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled, which can be found in Luke 21:24," answered Maggie.
"The appointed times of the nations, which began in 607 B.C.E.,  were still underway even when Jesus was on earth and many many years after that too, as ever we can find the answer in the Bible to help us to determine the length of those prophetic, seven times."
I'm nearly done," said Maggie smiling, "in Revelation 12:6, a woman is fed and protected for a time, times and a half of a time which was termed to be 1,260 days, the woman represents Old Testament Israel and New Testament Christians who God had dressed in honour and splendour (Ezekiel 16)."
"Applying the prophetic rule “a day for a year,” the 1,260 days would, therefore, represent 1,260 years, now back to Revelation 6: 14., but the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman so that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is to be fed for a time and times and half a time away from the face of the serpent, time times and half a time is half of 7 times."
"Time is 360 days = 360 years, times are 720 days = 720 years and half a time are 180 days = 180 years, add them together = 1260 years, so if 3.1/2 times is 1260 years, the 7 times must be 2,520 years. Therefore, the “seven times, mentioned in Daniel 4” which would then be 2,520 years, from 607 B.C.E would end in 1914., Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6.," explained Maggie.
"An easy cross-reference is adding 606 years BC and 1,914 years AD, we get 2,520 years, if we take 2,520 away from 1914 we arrive at the year 606 B.C.E. The Common Era started at year 1, not year zero so the actual year is 607, B.C.E."
She went on, "Nebuchadnezzar had another dream and once again Daniel was summoned to explain the dream to the King, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of an enormous statue with a head of gold, the statue's chest and arms were made of silver, it's stomach and thighs were made of copper, its legs were of iron and its feet were mixed with iron and clay."
"God cut a huge stone from a mountain, which he threw and it struck the feet of the statue. crushing the statue into powder, which blew away in the wind, and the stone became a large mountain filling the earth," claimed Maggie.
"Daniel then explained the dream to King Nebuchadnezzar, quote, your kingdom is the head of gold, the silver chest and arms is a kingdom that will come after you and rule the world, then there will be another nation, one like copper, which will rule over the whole earth, the next kingdom will be strong like iron and will rule the world,  finally, there will be a divided kingdom with some parts strong like iron and some parts weak like clay."
"The stone that becomes a mountain is God’s Kingdom and will crush all these kingdoms and will last forever."
Maggie went on, "Nebuchadnezzar's rule was the golden head of the statue which was followed by silver chest and arms, this was Cyrus, King of the Medio Persian Empire, the copper stomach and thighs was the empire of Alexander the great, the legs of iron was the Roman Empire, the final empire would rise from a kingdom captured by the Romans and that was the British Empire, the biggest empire ever, one in four people were under British rule at the turn of the 20th century."
"But by 1914 the British Empire was strained, nations under the rule of Britain were fighting for independence and by WWII it was almost gone, although many scholars believe the empire is still represented today by an Anglo American Empire."
"So we are down to iron feet mixed with clay and teetering on the brink and waiting for God's huge stone to smash the fragile statue ending this lousy system of things," smiled Maggie.
"More importantly does the devil's arrival and the release of the four horsemen match up with the prophecy of Daniel who reveals information that would make it possible to pinpoint the time when Jesus would begin His kingdom in heaven, if I could match all these three up, I would know just where we are in the history of the world and how close we really are to the return of Jesus, and I think I just might have linked the arrival of the devil, the release of the four horsemen connecting to Danial's prophecy of 7 times."
Maggie blew out a huge sigh of relief, "that was a lot of explaining, I'm drained she said!
"That was so interesting Maggie, how can you remember all that info, all the figures," I asked?
"Years of studying," she said.
She stopped, she looked at me and said, "I'm not finished but that's more than enough information for you at one sitting, "she said.
"We can carry on another time," she said.
We both looked up, the restaurant had emptied, we looked at each other and started laughing.
I said, "Thank you, Maggie."
I paid the tab and thanked the waiter.
Maggie, I could see was exhausted.
We walked outside, it was dark, in the sky a space billboard was advertising Burger King and another was advertising Coca Cola.
The same taxi picked us up outside the restaurant, it dropped Maggie at home and drove me back to my apartment on the coast, I arrived back home just before midnight, I was drained.
I sat on the balcony, a warm breeze washed over me gentle waves lapped on to the beach, I could see millions of stars in the cloudless night, below people still mulled around on the Boulevard and I could hear laughter coming from a bar down the street, in the distance, I could hear a dog barking.

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