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the U.N. organization, it may not consist of forces wearing the blue helmets common to international peacekeeping operations. It could be a military force mobilized by a coalition of willing states, acting on a mandate from the Security Council, such as the one the United States had hoped to assemble to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, or similar to the U.S.-led United Nations force used in the Korean conflict of the 1950's.

We chose to use the title "Blue Helmets to Jerusalem" as a metaphor indicating that the foretold military action will be made up of an international force representing the nations of the world, as Zechariah's prophecy indicates—a force of "united nations" in the generic sense, whether or not it turns out to be an official military action under the auspices of the "United Nations" organization as we know it today.

In any case, the purpose of this book is not to speculate on the exact nature of such an attack, nor how it will be organized politically. Rather, my aim in writing is to call attention to the fact that Jerusalem has become a problem for the whole world, as Zechariah foretold, and that political moves are afoot among the nations and specifically within the framework of the United Nations organization, to impose the will of the world in a final solution for the status of Jerusalem.

Although some may see that as a terrifying prospect, the Bible offers reason for hope. As detailed in the other chapters of this book, the Hebrew prophets speak of a time of world peace to follow this international attack on Jerusalem. The New Testament speaks of the Jewish Messiah Jesus Christ ruling in peace "for a thousand years" following his victory in that battle. (Rev. 20:4) Jesus' words recorded in Matthew chapter 24, Mark chapter 13 and Luke chapter 21 tell us the signs to look for, and Jesus concluded, "When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near... when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near." (Luke 21:28-31 NIV)

Chapter 16 Why Now? Precedents

Besides recent events that have turned the status of Jerusalem into a problem for the whole world, in apparent fulfillment of Zechariah's prophecy, are there any other reasons to believe that the Bible's end times scenario is about to play out?

Yes. There are numerous other indicators that fit together, like the pieces of a puzzle, to point to God's coming intervention in the affairs of mankind.

Those who know God realize that he does not change. So, he must feel the same way about the same sorts of provocations that prompted him to act in the past. Looking at his past interventions should give us clues as to the timing of the coming apocalypse.

Consider, for example, the flood of Noah's day and the fiery destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. God took drastic action in both cases to put an end to rampant sexual immorality and violence. He did so by sending a global deluge to destroy the corrupt world of Noah's contemporaries, and he did so again on a local scale when homosexuality was being practiced openly in those notorious cities. As the apostle Peter wrote, "...God...did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly." (2 Peter 2:4-6 NKJV)

God has not changed. He still feels the same way about the sexual misconduct that he put a stop to by those acts of destruction. "God reduced the entire cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes, when he sentenced them to destruction as a fearful example to those who wanted to live in defiance of his laws. ... Sodom and Gomorrah...who, in the same way as these men today, gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion..." (2 Peter 2:6, Jude 7 Phillips) If he came down from heaven back then to put a stop to the

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