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We are a Christian Fellowship meeting in North London with a strong interest in teaching the Bible and understanding our time in

the light of Bible prophecy

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The coming oil crisis


The Coming Oil Crisis and the Return of the Messiah


Two hundred years ago the fastest anyone could go on land anywhere in the

world was the speed of a horse. The fastest you could send a message

anywhere in the world was to give it to someone to carry it from A to B at

the speed of a horse. It was the same in the time of Genghis Khan, Julius

Caesar, Alexander the Great and back as far as we can look into history.


Today you can get to other side of the world by jet plane in just over a

day, you can speak by phone or communicate by email instantly with someone

thousands of miles away. Technology is advancing so fast that today’s most

advanced computers, mobile phones and a host of other gadgets will be out of

date within a few years, if not months.


Two hundred years ago as two thousand years ago the majority of people never

travelled far from the place they were born, and had little or no idea of

other cultures and ideas. Most white people living in Europe had never seen

a black person and most black people living in Africa had never seen a white person.


Today travel and communications mean that the world has become a global

village and people of all races share living space, ideas, entertainment,

sport, music and religion in a way our forefathers could never have imagined.


Two hundred years ago as two thousand years ago if you wanted to build, grow

food, go to war or travel, you needed the sweat of human labour with the

help of animals like the ox, the horse, the donkey and the camel to accomplish

these things.


Today the discovery of coal, oil, gas and nuclear power means that machines

will do the backbreaking jobs that our ancestors had to do by human sweat or

with the help of animals. Trains, cars and planes will transport us in hours

to places that previously it would have taken weeks, months or even years to

get to.


There is one major problem with all this. Our modern technological society

relies on the plentiful supply of energy to keep going. The most important

energy source  oil and gas  is located in large supplies only in a limited

number of places, many in the volatile Middle East.


On Wednesday 10th March 2004 BBC2 broadcast a programme called If the

Lights go out. It was a fictional documentary set in 2015 which featured a

scenario in which most of Western Europe had become dependent on imported

natural gas from Russia and Algeria for its energy supply. Terrorists blew

up the main gas pipeline near St Petersburg causing a shutdown of

electricity supply across Europe. The film showed what happened when lights

went out in London and stayed out for days - chaos, looting and terror.


At the end of May 2004 terrorist outrages in Saudi Arabia sent the price of

oil soaring. Newspapers reported the situation with a warning of worse to

come: The real fear is that Al Qaeda’s next step will be a direct strike on

the Saudi oil infrastructure of refineries, pipelines and pumping stations.

Intelligence experts said that a series of well coordinated attacks could

halt oil production for up to two years with devastating results for the

global economy. (Daily Mail 31/5/04).


Newsweek (28 June 2004) carried a report on a visit to Saudi Arabia by

Fareed Zakaria entitled Is Saudi Arabia doomed? His answer to this

question is not encouraging. A secret government poll showed that 49% of

the population supports Osama bin Laden’s ideas. … 25% of the Saudi GDP goes

towards the support of the royal family and its patronage networks. While

Saudi princes live in fantastic luxury, large parts of Riyadh are decaying,

and its per capita GDP is now half that of Israel’s; it ranks 70th in the

world after Slovakia and Bulgaria. If present trends continue  an exploding

population, a declining educational system, a rotting welfare state  Saudi

Arabia will be a poor country in 25 years. But with a rich royal family, if

it still exists.


One reason for the unpopularity of the Saudi Royal Family is the fact they

have permitted American troops to be stationed in Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden is

calling for a jihad to remove the US troops from Saudi soil and encouraging

his supporters to kill Americans: The ruling to kill the Americans and

their allies - civilians and military - is an individual duty for every

Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it. This

is in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem) and the holy

mosque (in Mecca) from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out

of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim.


The US administration hoped that Iraq, the next door country to Saudi Arabia

with some 11% of the worlds known oil resources, could help meet any

shortfall in supply for oil from Saudi Arabia after Saddam Hussein was

removed from power. These hopes have been dashed by the continuing violence

in that country and the possibility of civil war between radical Shiite

militias and the provisional government. Shiite militia have threatened to

sabotage production at the nations state-run Southern Oil Company, based in

Basra, causing pumping from the southern oilfields to stop. Exports from

Iraq’s northern oil fields have been closed because of attacks on the main

northern export pipeline from the Kirkuk fields.


Next door to Iraq is Iran, another oil rich nation, which has become

dangerously unstable as a result of the Islamic Revolutionary government.

Iran is supporting the Shiite uprising in Iraq and developing nuclear

technology with the help of Russia. It also possesses long-range missiles

capable of reaching Israel. Israel has announced its intention to destroy

the Iranian nuclear facility at Bushehr if Russia supplies Iran with rods

for enriching uranium. In response the Iranians have threatened severe

counter attacks if they should be attacked by Israel or the USA. In an

editorial, the July 6, 2004 edition of the Iranian government newspaper,

Kayhan stated: The entire Islamic Middle East is now a volatile and tangled

trap, and will be set off by the smallest bit of silliness - and will reap

many victims of the sinful adventurers... Indeed, the White Houses 80 years

of exclusive rule are likely to become 80 seconds of Hell that will burn to

ashes everything that has been built.


Russia’s involvement in Iran is one of a number of ways in which Russia is

regaining its influence in the Middle East. Russia has also become the world

s second largest oil producing nation, and some experts believe it could

overtake Saudi Arabia by 2009. Natural gas from Russia is now a vital

component in the energy supply of the European Union. Russia is seeking a

closer alliance with the European Union and is beginning to price its oil

and gas exports in euros instead of dollars. Oil is so central to the global

economy that this decision, if followed by the Arab oil producers, could

lead eventually to the euro replacing the dollar as the dominant world



Russia wants to export its oil to the Asian markets, but has a problem with

transportation. Sending supertankers around the Cape of Good Hope is

expensive, and the Suez Canal in Egypt is not an option; the Egyptian

authorities do not allow the really big tankers to sail through the Canal.

The Arab oil sellers, in particular Saudi Arabia, want to keep Russia out of

the Asian market and there is a growing rivalry between these two suppliers.

Russia has proposed a solution to this problem - to build a pipeline from

Ashkelon on the Mediterranean coast of Israel to Eilat on the Red Sea to

transport its oil from the Black Sea to Israel, then via this pipeline to

tankers in the Red Sea for its onward journey to markets in Asia.


If this happens it will bring Russia into play on both sides of the Arab

Israeli conflict, something which is of great interest from the point of

view of Bible prophecy. The prophet Ezekiel in chapters 38-39 saw a time

coming when a great power to the north of Israel will lead an army of allied

nations including Persia (Iran) against the restored Jewish nation in the

latter days of this age. There this army will be defeated by supernatural

divine action in the War of Gog and Magog. Could the motive for this war

have something to do with the oil wars which are already shaping up in the

world today?


Today the Middle East is the focal point of world attention because of three

factors: the vast oil reserves there, the Arab Israeli conflict and the rise

of radical Islam seeking dominance of the world. All of this ties up with

the Bibles revelation of world conditions in the last days of this age.

There are two cities which are central to the narrative of the Bible and

come to represent the spiritual conflict which is taking place in our

world  Babylon and Jerusalem.


Today we can see that these two places are again centre stage in world

events. The vast deposits of oil in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and Iran are

in the area of the ancient Babylonian Empire, which is also the heartland of

Islam. The Islamic world is incensed that the Jewish people are in control

of Israel and especially Jerusalem. Muslims ruled Jerusalem from 638 when

the city fell to Caliph Omar until 1917 when the British General Allenby

took the city (with the exception of the Crusader period from 1099 to 1187).

Although Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Koran and during the period of

the Ottoman Empire it was a neglected outpost, they believe that any city

which has once been Islamic must remain so until the end of days and so

Jerusalem must be returned to Islamic control as part of the Dar al Islam

(House of Islam).


The Hebrew prophets saw events taking place in the region of Jerusalem and

Babylon which have to do with the end of days. Zechariah 12.3 says And it

shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for

all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces,

though all nations of the earth be gathered against it. Today we see

Jerusalem the subject of more UN resolutions than any other place on earth

as all nations turn increasingly against Israel and the right of the Jewish

people to have this city as their capital.


In Isaiah 13 there is a prophecy about Babylon which has an end time

application with reference to the Day of the Lord when the stars, sun and

moon will not give their light and the Lord will punish the world for its

evil (verses 10-11). In this prophecy it speaks of an army being gathered

for battle from a far country. In the book of Jeremiah we also read that

a great nation and many kings shall be raised up from the ends of the earth

to do battle against Babylon (Jeremiah 50.41-2).


The armies of the alliance led by America have moved into the region of

ancient Babylon through the two Gulf Wars and the American troops stationed

in Saudi Arabia. The oil fields of the region are a vital resource for the

whole world and the industrialised nations are desperate to prevent them

being taken over by hostile forces which would then threaten their security

and prosperity.


Ancient Babylon today is the region dominated by the religion of Islam which

in its militant form hates the Capitalist system of the west and seeks its

destruction. Militant Islam is also at war with Russia because of the

Chechen conflict. It is no accident that the current War on Terror began

with Islamic terrorists mainly of Saudi origin destroying the twin towers of

the World Trade Centre in New York on September 11th 2001. This was actually

a prophetic sign of the much greater destruction which is to come.


In Revelation 18 Babylon becomes the title of the World Trade System based

on pride and defiance of God infecting all nations with the wine of the

wrath of her fornication (Revelation 18.3-4). This system comes to sudden

destruction being burned with fire:


She will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges

her. In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the

same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, I sit

as a queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow. Therefore her plagues

will come in one day  death and mourning and famine. And she will be

utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord who judges her. The kings

of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will

weep and lament for her when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at

a distance and saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty

city! For in one hour your judgement has come. And the merchants of the

earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise any

more. Revelation 18.8-11)


Today the region of ancient Babylon is the main source of oil, the commodity

on which the entire world trade system relies. After the first Gulf War, the

retreating Iraqi troops set fire to the Kuwaiti oil fields, sending plumes

of thick black smoke into the atmosphere. A greater environmental

catastrophe was only prevented by the prompt action of the engineers who put

the fires out. Imagine the scene if the Saudi and Kuwaiti oil fields went up

in smoke and there was no one to put the fires out. What would then happen

to the world trading system and all the multitude of goods which modern

technology has created? It would collapse and no one would buy and sell the

merchandise any more.


Such is the hatred that is driving the Islamist campaign that it does not

matter so much to them if their campaign harms their own people as long as

it brings down its enemies. Such is the fear of Islamist terrorism in the

world that more and more of our freedoms are being sacrificed in order to

contain this threat.


One thought with which to close this article. According to evolution, coal

and oil were produced by organic waste over millions of years. However it

has been shown in experiments conducted today that oil can be created in a

short time from waste products subjected to great pressure. The alternative

explanation to evolution is the creationist view which holds that Genesis

gives the true account of how we came to be here. According to this view oil

and coal were largely produced by the effect of the Genesis Flood (Genesis

6-9) when vast quantities of animal life and vegetation were trapped and

crushed under sediment deposited by the Flood.


This means that coal and oil are the result of the Flood which was an act of

Gods judgement on the wickedness of the world in Noah’s day. Jesus said the

conditions on the earth at the time of His second coming would be as in the

days of Noah (Luke 17.26-7). So the material which we have used to build up

our modern society is probably the product of the Flood, the first time God

moved in judgement against the whole world. How significant that this same

material will be the trigger which sets off the events described in the

Bible for the close of this age and the time of judgement coming on the

whole world in our time!


According to the Bibles prophecies of the last days of this age the return

of Jesus the Messiah will be preceded by a global calamity known as the

Great Tribulation. A world wide collapse of the economic system resulting

from oil wars in the Middle East could set off that time and bring the earth

to the brink of destruction only to be saved by the intervention of God in

the second coming of Jesus Christ (see Zechariah 14 and Revelation 19).


Bible prophecies show that following this time there will be a 1000 year

period when Jesus will rule on earth, bringing the long awaited true peace

and justice to the planet in a sustainable society based on obedience to God

s laws and care of the environment (Isaiah 2.1-4, 11-12, Revelation 20).

Believe in Jesus now and you will be there to enjoy the most wonderful time

the earth has ever seen.