The Second Coming – The Who, the When, the How


A friend gave me mp3 files of the Bible a while back, and I immediately copied them to my phone. Fortunately, my earpiece had been damaged for some time, so I had to listen to them on loudspeaker. The next day, I went over to a friend’s to use his internet connection, and the book of Revelation was playing – around about chapter eight – when I got into his room. My friend asked me several times if I wanted to start his morning on such a sour note. He then told me that he had a problem with the way the world is supposed to end. When I asked him to tell me how it would end, he gave me the usual answer:

• There will be rapture.

• Then there will be a seven year period in which the Antichrist will rule: the Great Tribulation.

• Then Jesus Christ will come again to take all who have not received the mark of the beast to Heaven. So what was his problem with it? Too spooky. The Second coming of Jesus Christ is the single most anticipated hope of all Christians. However, it is also one of the most controversial topics in Christianity today.

Most of the Christian world today shares my friend’s position. I have found from deep personal study that there is another explanation of the whole matter. I am going to ask you to study the Scriptures for truth, and trust no man’s position on anything just for his word. What we are going to do is examine the following:

• The generally held explanation, as rendered by my friend

The alternative view we shall call:

• The other explanation, which we shall see, and

• The Biblical explanation

Which is right?

When we have seen the Bible’s clear words on this, we will arrive at a conclusion on the very nature of Christ’s second coming. But why is it important anyway? I have heard some people say that all one needs to do is believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life, and not worry about the exact details of this teaching.

They say: “You just do what you need to do; believe in Christ, and live by the Spirit, and however He comes, whenever He comes, He’ll take you with Him.” Though I fully agree that believing in Christ is the only way by which we are justified, I find it strange to think that someone who is justified and lives by His Spirit will be ignorant of truth:

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak, and he will shew you things to come. John 16:13 KJV

The Holy Spirit of truth, Christ says, will guide us into ALL TRUTH. He will also show us THINGS TO COME. Anyone who lives by the Spirit of truth cannot live in ignorance. Another reason I will give is that Christ says it is important. In Matthew chapter twenty-four, Jesus gave a sermon on His Second coming when His disciples came and asked him to tell them how the world would end. Christ’s first remark was: …Take heed that no man deceive you. Matthew 24:4 KJV

How are we supposed to guard against deception on this topic if we ignore it altogether? It is definitely imperative that we know how our Lord will return, so that we are not caught in a lie. Indeed, in this one sermon, Christ warned His disciples against deception four times. So let us begin. It is always a roller-coaster ride, this topic, but when truth finally prevails, it is also always worth it. So fasten your seatbelt, grab a Bible, and let’s do this.

THE GENERALLY HELD EXPLANATION

The presently most popular rendition on How Christ will come again is that there will be a silent rapture of God’s faithful (the Church), after which there will be a period of seven years in which the Antichrist will rule the world. When this period begins, the world will have peace for three and a half years, after which there will be chaos and the great tribulation for the remaining three and a half years. Then Christ will come again and take with Him all those that have not received the deadly mark of the beast. The main pillars of this rendition are found in the following:

A. The Rapture does not occur at the visible second coming of Christ, but before it, and is a silent event in which Christians disappear. i.e.: there are two second comings.

B. Those who are not taken in the rapture will have a second chance to go to Heaven When Christ returns after seven years of Tribulation on Earth.

C. The Church of today will escape the Tribulation and will NOT have to face the Antichrist and the Mark of the beast. Let’s call these pillars A, B and C. We’ll start with pillar A.

Pillar A states that the rapture is a silent event in which Christians disappear. The main Bible text used to support this idea is 1 Thessalonians 4:17: Then we which are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 KJV

Now, the first point to answer here is: At which coming of the Lord? If indeed there are two second comings, at which one of these will the rapture or taking up occur? At the silent one, or at the visible one? This particular theory says, of-course, that it will happen at the silent rapture before tribulation. Let’s see what the Bible says.

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep, For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 KJV

It is useful to know that the Greek word Paul used in verse fifteen for “coming” is “Parousia.” You should remember this word; we’ll encounter it a lot more as we go on. Also, it will help if you check it up in a concordance so you are sure we are using it correctly. Note also that Paul says that at this coming of the Lord, there will be a shout, the voice of the archangel, and a trumpet! This is clearly not a silent event! I have heard, in defence of the silent rapture theory, that since Jesus says that His sheep hear His voice, and that He knows His sheep and His sheep know Him, only His sheep; those who are true and faithful Christians, will hear the shout, the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God. Let us put all of this into its complete context, before we make any statement on it.

One day in the winter, our Lord walked on Solomon’s porch in the temple, and the Jews came to him, in all their confusion and double-mindedness, saying: …How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they know me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. John 10:24-28 KJV

The Jews came to Jesus asking for a clear statement on whether or not He was the Messiah. Christ told them that indeed, He had already told them before. They came to Him not because He hadn’t already told them, but because they did not believe. His sheep heard the same, and believed. This is the difference ultimately between His sheep and the goats: those who believe and those who don’t. Here, Christ used “Hear my voice” to apply to believing in Him rather than hearing the trumpet blow on the final day. Remember when Christ was questioned by the Jewish rulers after His arrest? But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus said unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Matthew 26:63, 64 KJV

Christ was speaking to his crucifiers. The hypocritical leaders who sought to kill Him. They never believed His message, and finally killed Him. Even then, they did not repent after He resurrected. They persecuted His disciples, yet even they, Christ says, will see Him when He comes. No exceptions. Indeed, this is not the only way we know that all the world’s inhabitants will hear the trumpet and perceive His coming. We will see some more along the way.

Remember that one point pillar A raises is that the rapture will be silent; Christ’s coming will be secret. One verse used to support this view is 1 Thessalonians 5:2: For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord cometh as a thief in the night. 1 Thessalonians 5:2

Does this mean that as we do not see it when a thief comes in, we will not see it when the Lord comes down? Or does it mean that as we do not know when a thief will strike, we will equally be taken unawares when the Lord arrives? Thankfully, we don’t have only our common sense to answer that question with, we also have scriptural answers. For when they shall say Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 1 Thessalonians 5:3, 4 KJV

For as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Matthew 24:37-39 KJV

Can you see it now? Paul and our Lord Jesus both say that the second coming will happen suddenly, not silently. Christ says His coming will be as the flood came in Noah’s time. Did the flood in Noah’s time come silently? No, it came suddenly! Paul says when they shall say Peace and safety, sudden destruction will come. Not silent destruction. He said it would come as travail upon a woman with child. An expectant woman enters labour very suddenly, but very painfully.

So do we see the picture forming? Pillar A says the second coming will be silent and secret as a thief. Scripture says it will happen with a shout, the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God, and yeah, it will be sudden as the coming of a thief into your house. Still, pillar A says it will be an invisible coming, and that Christians will disappear. Jesus says different: Our Lord disagrees: For as the lighting cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so also shall the coming of the Son of man be. Matthew 24:27 KJV

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Matthew 24:29, 30 KJV

Christ says that His coming will be as visible as the lighting which spans the sky from the east to the west. He also says that all the tribes of the hearth will mourn, because they shall see Him coming in His Father’s glory. They will mourn because of their sins and imminent destruction. Now, if only God’s faithful could perceive this reappearing of our Lord as some suggest, why would anyone mourn? It is those who have remained in their sins, who will also perceive His coming (with great horror, I might add), who will mourn, and mourn indeed they shall. It should interest you to know that Jesus used the same Greek word “Parousia” to describe His ultra-glorious “coming” in Matthew chapter twenty-four.

The “Parousia” in 1 Thessalonians 4:15 which men say refers to a silent rapture, is the same “Parousia” which Paul says is loud with voices and a trumpet in the same verse, and is also the same “Parousia” which Christ also refers to as a loud, visible and glorious event in Matthew chapter twenty-four. Whom will you believe? Now, back to the question we asked in the beginning: Will we be caught up in the silent, invisible rapture, (which doesn’t look like it even exists anymore), or in the loud, visible and glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ described in Matthew chapter twenty-four?

Notice something beautifully conclusive: after describing in vivid detail His glorious and visible return in Matthew 24:29, 30, our Lord tells us something in the very next verse! And he shall send his angels with a great shout of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:31 KJV

Christ says that it is at this visible, loud and glorious coming of His that we, His elect, shall be caught up by His angels, to meet him in the air! A perfect fit with 1 Thessalonians! Note also that the trumpet spoken of by Paul in 1 Thessalonians also appears here in Matthew 24; perfect, perfect fit! How about the disappearing? Pillar one cites our being “taken up” as disappearing. No Biblical evidence suggests this, however. Indeed, there are Biblical accounts of people being taken up. Elijah was taken up into heaven, as Elisha saw him go. Jesus Christ Himself was taken up into Heaven, and the disciples saw Him go.

The sum of the whole matter: This is pillar A: The Rapture does not occur at the visible second coming of Christ, but before it, and is a silent event in which Christians disappear. i.e.: there are two second comings. This is the Bible’s conclusion: The Rapture, or taking up, will occur at the visible and glorious coming of Christ, not before it, and is a loud event with a great shout and the voice of the archangel, and the trumpet of God, in which Christians will be visibly carried up in the clouds to meet the Lord. So if all this happens at the visible coming of Jesus Christ, then what happens at the silent coming? There is no silent coming! The Bible says that when that loud trumpet blows, at which time we shall be caught up, it shall be the last trump – the very last! When the disciples came to Jesus asking about His second coming or “Parousia,” they inquired this: And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? Matthew 24:3 KJV

The Bible makes it plain to us that the coming or Parousia of the Lord will be the end of the world! Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all be asleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, AT THE LAST TRUMP: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 1 Corinthians 15: 51, 52 KJV

Paul gives another account here of the same one he gave in 1 Thessalonians. Here he makes it clear to the church in Corinth, as he did to the believers in Thessalonica, that that trump that shall sound shall be the LAST TRUMP.

There will be no other second coming after the elect are gathered to God when this trump sounds. So what will happen to those who are not taken? Like Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:3, “…sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” Remember Pillar B? Those who are not taken in the rapture will have a second chance to go to Heaven When Christ returns after seven years of Tribulation on Earth. That takes out pillar B as well. If it does take out pillar B, then what happens to the seven years of tribulation when the Antichrist rules?

Get ready for more beautiful things. Pillar B: The seven years.

Since we have shown the absence of any second chance for unbelieving people, all that’s left of pillar B is the seven years of tribulation. What does it mean, what does the Bible say about it? First, let’s consider the subject of tribulation. Tribulation refers to intense suffering due to affliction or persecution, or both. No one likes tribulation. Pillar B says that the world will go through the Great Tribulation in the time of the Antichrist.

The Great tribulation is the greatest tribulation the world will ever see, and will be in the future, in the Antichrist’s time. Indeed the Bible does not discount the theme of tribulation. The disciples went through tribulation, and history shows that Christians have gone through a lot of persecution down through the centuries. So what is wrong with pillar B? Pillar B says basically that this great tribulation will occur after the rapture. We have already seen that the rapture occurs at the last trump, the end of the world. It is therefore impossible that any seven year tribulation happens after the end of the world. This also means that the Church will have to go through whatever tribulation there is, before the Lord arrives.

Bible evidence shows us that the tribulation actually started in the time of the apostles, and will end with the coming of the Ancient of Days. We will see where the seven years come in, or rather come from, but first let’s convince ourselves of this scriptural evidence on tribulation, and the role of the Antichrist in it. Jesus, to His disciples: In the world ye shall have tribulation… John 16:33 KJV Paul, to the early Christians: “…we must through much tribulation enter the kingdom of God” Acts 14:22 KJV Paul, to the Church in Thessalonica: “…we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure.” 2 Thessalonians 1:4 KJV

John, on Patmos: “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ…” Revelation 1:9 KJV These verses and many more show us that the church of God does go through tribulation, and will not escape it by any means. I find this one very conclusive: Yea, and ALL that shall live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12 KJV

The operative word is ALL. ALL of God’s faithful. The whole church. Think about it. Does God love us any more than he loved the apostles and the early Christians? Certainly not, for He is no respecter of persons: Then Peter opened his mouth and said, Of a truth, I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. Acts 10:34, 35 KJV

All through history, Christians have been eaten by lions in the Coliseum, brutally murdered in inquisitions, and burned in the Dark Ages. All the disciples of Christ except John were cruelly murdered. God loves us all equally as them. How about the Antichrist? When does he rise? Does he come at the end of the world, or much earlier? The Bible says the Antichrist will come in the last days. The Bible also says the last days started in the days of the apostles, and that the Antichrist was already around then: Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist should come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us… 1 John, 2:18, 19 KJV

The Bible says that the Atichrists have been around since the time of the apostles. It also says that the Antichrists are not people from outside the church, but people who came from within the church. This tells us also that the Antichrist is not one person, as many believe today. So who are they? We’ll deal with that in another paper, but let’s finish this. And now the seven years. The verse used to suggest a seven year period of Antichrist rule is Daniel 9:27: And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined, shall be poured upon the desolate. Daniel 9: 27 KJV

The people who uphold pillar B assert that the person spoken of in this verse is the Antichrist of the last days, who shall sign a certain agreement with the people of Israel during the tribulation. They assert that during this time, the Jewish temple will be rebuilt and animal sacrifices will once again be made.

The agreement is referred to in a famous book called Left Behind as the seven-year protection agreement between the global community and Israel. They further assert that three and a half years after the signing of the agreement, halfway through the week, he will nullify the agreement and cause that the sacrifices should cease. Millions of Christians interpret Daniel 9:27 this way. Well, let’s see. To see who is spoken about in this verse, we should start reading from much earlier, when the subject is actually named: Chapter 24.

24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make a reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war, desolations are determined.

27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined, shall be poured upon the desolate. Daniel 9: 24-27 KJV

So who’s the subject of these verses, generally, at least? The Messiah! Jesus! He is the Messiah the Prince. Now you see, we can actually prove this, so there will be no doubt.

By these verses, the people of Israel should have known when their Saviour would come. Some did. The wise men who came to Jesus did, and we shall presently see how. Verse twenty-four gives us the whole summary of the accomplishments of Israel and the Messiah:

24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make a reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Verses twenty-five to twenty-seven give us the breakdown. But how do we interpret the times? Note that in Biblical prophecy, a prophetic day actually represents a literal year (Numbers 14:34, Ezekiel 4:6). Please check to make sure. Take no man’s word for anything, but rely on the scriptures. So in verse 24 the summary is that seventy weeks are determined, where: 70 weeks = 70 * 7 days (a week has seven days) = 490 prophetic days = 490 literal years. The breakdown follows in verses 25 to 27. Four hundred and ninety literal years were determined for Israel to finish the transgression and make and end of sins and to anoint the most Holy.

Starting from what time?

Verse 25, where the breakdown of the 490 years begins, has the answer:

25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. The commandment to build and to restore Jerusalem and the temple was given in the year 457BC. This is recorded history.

The commandment is rendered in Ezra 7:11-26. Again, please verify. From this time, unto Messiah the Prince were to be:

7 weeks = 7 * 7 prophetic days = 49 prophetic days = 49 literal yeas and 3 score = 3 * 20 weeks = 60 weeks = 420 prophetic days = 420 literal years and 2 weeks = 2 * 7 prophetic days = 14 literal years Totaling: 49 + 420 + 14 literal years = 483 literal years.

Notice that this is seven years short of the 490 years. That is, seven prophetic days and therefore, one prophetic week short, if you have understood the conversions. So 483 years after the order was given in 457BC, takes us to when? From 457BC, we count down toward AD. The 457 years end in 1AD. The remaining 26 years end in 27AD, the year Christ was baptized, precisely in the autumn, by John the Baptist. What happened after Christ’s baptism? 27And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined, shall be poured upon the desolate.

Remember, that one week, or seven years, remain after the 483 years to finish the 490 years wherein the transgression is to be finished. Verse twenty seven tells us that in the midst of this last week, he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. Three and a half years after his baptism, halfway through the final week or seven years, Christ was crucified in the spring of 31AD, bringing the daily sacrifice and oblation to an end.

This fulfilled the three and a half year period, in the midst or middle of the seven years. But now, three and a half years still remained for the nation of Israel to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to end the 490 years. The nation of Israel indeed finished its transgression against the Messiah of God by rejecting His message outright and persecuting His disciples. It all finally ended in 34AD: Stephen was stoned to death, and the persecution drove out the believers from Jerusalem. The nation’s rejection of Christ was sealed, and the transgression was finished, on the 490 year mark!

The covenant was confirmed. Just a little more math. We skipped verse 26 in our calculations because it is explanatory of the same times. Verse twenty – six tells us that Christ was to be crucified not for Himself, but for the lost, after threescore and two weeks after we are told in verse twenty – five that the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. So let’s see: 3 * 20 weeks = 60 weeks = 420 prophetic days = 420 literal years and 2 * 7 weeks = 14 prophetic days = 14 literal years Totaling: 420 + 14 literal years = 434 literal years.

The crucifixion of Christ came a few years after 434 years. When was the temple finally built? The Jews set off to build the temple three years after the command went out. We know that it took them forty – six years to complete it. Remember that when Jesus said He would raise the temple in three days, the Jews, thinking He referred to the temple asked Him: Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? John 2: 20 KJV

So the order goes out in 457BC.

There is a three year delay before work starts in 454BC. The building took forty – six years, finally ending in 408BC. From this time, 26And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war, desolations are determined.

Daniel 9: 26 KJV From 408BC, 434 years takes us to 27AD ( bear in mind that the 408 years end in 1AD, and the remaining 26 years take us to 27AD), when Christ was baptized; that is, the most Holy was anointed: Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. Luke 3: 21, 22 KJV

So the verse says that after 27AD, Messiah shall be cut off for us, and the people of a certain prince that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war, desolations are determined. Many hold that it could be this prince that is the Antichrist, who will destroy the newly rebuilt Jewish temple in the very last days.

This prince, however, was Titus, who captured the city of Jerusalem less than forty years after they sealed their rejection of the Messiah and finished the transgression. Titus’ army burned down the temple, and the Jews fled and were scattered all over the world in the violence that ensued. They still are today. Remember the words: and unto the end of the war, desolations, or abandonments, or desertions were indeed determined.

“It began in the year 66, stemming from Greek and Jewish religious tension.[1] It ended when legions under Titus besieged and destroyed Jerusalem, looted and burned Herod’s Temple (in the year 70) and Jewish strongholds (notably Gamla in 67 and Masada in 73), and enslaved or massacred a large part of the Jewish population. Titus Flavius, Vespasian’s son, led the final assault and siege of Jerusalem. During the infighting inside the city walls, a stockpiled supply of dry food was intentionally burned by Jewish leaders to induce the defenders to fight against the siege instead of negotiating peace; as a result many city dwellers and soldiers died of starvation during the siege.

Zealots under Eleazar ben Simon held the Temple, Sicarii led by Simon Bar Giora held the upper city. Titus eventually wiped out the last remnants of Jewish resistance. He was so determined that nearly three years after the destruction of Jerusalem he was still hunting down rebellious Jews, including a determined band that held the mountain fortress Masada. By the summer of 70, the Romans had breached the walls of Jerusalem, ransacking and burning nearly the entire city.

The Romans began by attacking the weakest spot which was the third wall. It was built shortly before the siege so it did not have as much time invested in its protection. They succeeded towards the end of May and shortly afterwards broke through the more important second wall. The Second Temple was destroyed on Tisha B’Av (July 29 or July 30), 70. Tacitus, a historian of the time, notes that those who were besieged in Jerusalem amounted to no fewer than six hundred thousand, that men and women alike and every age engaged in armed resistance, everyone who could pick up a weapon did, both sexes showed equal determination, preferring death to a life that involved expulsion from their country.

All three walls were destroyed and in turn so was the Temple. John of Giscala surrendered at Agrippa II’s fortress of Jotaphta and was sentenced to life imprisonment. The famous Arch of Titus still stands in Rome: it depicts Roman legionaries carrying off the Temple of Jerusalem’s treasuries, including the menorah.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Jewish-Roman_War

Christ Himself prophesied of His crucifixion and of the persecution f the apostles, and even made specific reference to the stoning of Stephen before it happened, at which time he said that the kingdom would be taken away from Israel and the Father’s presence from the temple:

37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as the hens gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Matthew 23: 37 – 39 KJV

The Jews had been God’s chosen people for a long time. Countless times, He tried to bring them back to Himself as they erred. Eventually, though, the Jewish nation became so stubborn, and refused to heed his words. They rejected His Word and killed him in AD31. Then they drove out His followers in AD34, sealing their rejection of His truth. The apostles turned to the Gentiles, and the chosen people were no more.

According to verse 27, the desolation or abandonment of the temple, and of the Jewish nation and its capital Jerusalem, will last until the consummation of all things, when the new heaven and the new earth shall be established once and for all. It is at this time that John’s vision shall be accomplished: And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21: 2 KJV

Whew! Some Biblical mathematics, huh? Maybe now I understand why God caused that Daniel should understand science (Daniel 1:4)! Alright, so do we see the whole picture? Daniel 9:27, the verse many claim refers to the Antichrist and his seven – year rule, was actually fulfilled by Jesus Christ two thousand years ago! There is really no seven – year Antichrist tribulation; the tribulation started in the days of the apostles and will continue unto its climax until the Ancient of Days returns!

Speaking of the Antichrist, Daniel says: I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. Daniel 7:21, 22 KJV

Also, we are told in 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-4 that the Antichrist will be revealed before the final trump, when the Lord returns once and for all: 1Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ at hand. 3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-3 KJV

Paul tells us plainly that Christ will not come (again, he uses the Greek word “Parousia”) until there is first a falling away; The Greek word for falling away is “apostasia” which in English is translated, “apostasy”, which means a renunciation of a belief or faith, or an abandoning of principles.

Also, Christ will not come before the Antichrist is revealed, silently or otherwise: He will be revealed before the second and final coming of our Lord! If the usage of the word Parousia isn’t enough to tell you that it is this coming in which the faithful shall be taken up into heaven and at which the world shall end, then verse 1 should convince you finally: 1Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him… The final coming of our Lord and our gathering together unto Him are the same event! Remember the Disciples’ question? …And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? Matthew 24:3 KJV. His coming is the end of the world. Of-course, we’ve seen this already. I just like to emphasize.

So what’s happened to pillar B? Pillar B: Those who are not taken in the rapture will have a second chance to go to Heaven When Christ returns after seven years of Tribulation on Earth. The Biblical conclusion: Those who are not taken in the rapture will not have a second chance to go to Heaven. Christ will not return again after any seven – year period of tribulation, because there is no such thing, and because only the Parousia, or second coming, at which both the rapture and the end of the world occur at a grand and visibly glorious reappearing of the Lord, is spoken of by the Bible.

Pillar C: The Church of today will escape the Tribulation and will NOT have to face the Antichrist and the Mark of the beast.

I think we can already see pillar C cracking up. The Bible is clear on this question as well. The Church is actually constantly urged to be on her guard, that she may mot be overtaken by the events of the end time. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:13 KJV We cannot stand in the evil day if we have already previously disappeared!

Again, some Christians argue that the church doesn’t appear after Revelation chapter four, and so cannot be on Earth while the tribulation goes on. Consider the advice Christ gives the church in chapter16: Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. Revelation 16:15 KJV

Right after this advice to us who must watch and keep our garments unto His second coming, what happens in John’s vision? And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Ar-ma-geddon. Revelation 16:16 KJV Also, But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved. Matthew 24: 13 KJV

Clearly, those who will be saved are the church, and they must endure to the end! No escaping the tribulation is mentioned, just advice on how to get through it! I will end this section with a verse we have already seen, for like I said, I find it quite conclusive on the matter: Yea, and ALL that shall live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 timothy 3:12 KJV

All of God’s children must face the tribulation that started in the days of old. True, it is to climax in the coming days, and very soon at that, and we who are alive and remain must stand in the evil day, and having done all, stand. We should not be afraid, though. Christ tells us that he is with us always: …and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen Matthew 28:20 KJV

Our Lord assures us that He will be with us even unto the end of time. No period before the end is excluded: not a day, not a month, not seven years. Always. It is only with Him that we can overcome the evil one, and He will be with us every step of the way.

SUMMARY

The Who: Jesus Christ will come again.

The When: No man knows the day or the hour save the Father, but we can discern the specific prophetic period within which it will occur, by Biblical direction: He’s left us all the clues.

The How: In the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, as visible as the lighting is from the eastern sky to the western sky, with a shout, and the voice of Michael the archangel, and the trump of God.

Bonus, The What: Get prepared. Believe in Christ Jesus for the remission of your sins. Pray to Him today, and let the Holy Spirit guide you in scripture.

References:

The Holy Bible, King James Version

The Left Behind Deception, Revealing Dangerous Errors About the Rapture and the Antichrist, Steve Wohlberg, 2001, Remnant Publications The Story of Daniel the Prophet, Stephen N. Haskell, 1977, Southern Publishing Association

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Ghana is Free Forever!! – At Least So I’m Told


Hello everybody! Been a while now. Things have happened. Big time. But alas, the state of affairs is such that I must reserve that for later. A much less invigorating subject is upon my mind this morning.

54 years of independence seems like such a wonderful thing, does it not? 54 solid years of self-rule, of the destiny of Ghanaians in the hands of Ghanaians. 54 years of rubbish! Yes, that’s what I said.

You see, I’m a pragmatist. People don’t know that. I’m accused of the highest and most practically incongruous forms of idealism, but I am a pragmatist. None of my ideas, however ideal they may appear to the conformist-to-the-status-quo mind, is truly idealistic. For example, I am doubtless that it should be possible for Adenta to enjoy a ten-year uninterrupted supply of water – uninterrupted by even a second! And some of you already think “Oh, how idealistic!”

But really? In my mind I have successfully made the abstraction between the ideal, which a pragmatist may pursue, obtain and sustain, and the idealistic, which the dreamer may enjoy upon his pillow or his lazy chair rocking by the beaches of Kokrobite. Most other people have not. I invite you to journey with me into the very netherland of that abstraction: into the realm in which, though not all is possible, all that is required, certainly is.

Forgive me if I have not hit the subject matter yet. I tend to appreciate the more philosophical introductions of my reading and follow glorious example with dilligence. But here we go.

You see, when Kwame Nkrumah said that we should be left to manage or mismanage our own affairs, he did not mean it, but it seems he was the only one who knew it! Sometimes we say things to get what we want. Nkrumah did not really believe for example, that it is a better situation to have intra-national genocide than colonial prosperity. He most certainly did not. And he didn’t prefer either a fifty year span of fourteen coups and attempted coups (as if we were chickens fighting over scanty grains on a sun-scorched floor) in a nation that had the world before it to impress. To say that he did is to call him a despot and a fool, neither of which assertion the history bears testimony to.

Everyone else has believed that corruption, as the means to enrich the real socially misfit among us, is the way to hasten business and lubricate bureaucracies. Everyone else has believed that the total absence of supervision in public institutions is the real hallmark of the freedom we fought to attain: No one breathing down our necks.

And some of us have believed that storming into the castle with guns and removing legitimate governments is a mature thing to do. You see, the best celebration of independence we can have, having behaved the way we have, and having abused the noble position of freedom, is to keep quiet on the 6th  of March, think each one of us upon our pillows, weep each one upon our knees and pray each one for God’s forgiveness. Ghana has been raped by laziness, greed, military stupidity and political mendacity.

But then all that said, some people think there’s still hope. I disagree, but I’m a man who can give a dreamer the benefit of my doubt, and see what happens. I hope I’m wrong, I really do, and I do more to help the situation than the people killing this nation with their noncommittance and selfishness.

My response? Not when we’re educated the way we are. Only a small fraction of Ghanaians will be found possessing the skills required in the 21st Century. Only a few of our politicians will  even string together a complete statement without desecrating the sanctity of grammar and wordage. When our teachers went on their single spine demonstrations and spoke into the cameras I wondered whether any of them was an English teacher. I should have said a prayer, in retrospect.

My response? Not when we have decided that we will hail Ghanaian ability and efficiency on the streets, in lecture halls, in the studios of radio stations and on the pages of poorly edited newspapers, but not in the offices of the ministries or the corridors of the seat of government. No, there it will be unanimous that the Ghanaian is useless, that he has no capacity for high end management, and that therefore our lighter skinned brothers and sisters are needed. Not when Chinese prisoners are flown in to build our stadia, and not when we spend a billion Cedis on tea and refreshments in order to change governments.

But my main beef, people, is with education. Think about it. Are you educated? How is your logic? How is your language? How much have you truly read, outside of handouts and photocopied political science volumes? Have you any Chinua Achebe in your head? Have you any Seneca? Any Confucius? Soyinka? Have you any Dalton? Newton? Hawking? Dawkins, for that matter? Paul? Mohammed? Have you any Euclid? Shakespeare?

How’s your history? What does Ghana mean? Who was Du Bois? Booker T Wahsington? Charles de Gaulle? How’s your math? Can you differentiate from benevloent dictatorship to outright tyranny?

But how’s your Facebook? Top notch, I’m sure. Your hiplife? You know all the latest tracks by heart! How’s your fashion?

Give me two hours, and I’ll be back.

I’m back. Had to go supervise a test. National service 🙂

So like I was saying, your nonessentials appear to be the most sharpened, the most developed and the most nurtured aspects of your life. Not that there’s anything wrong with arts and culture, but no nation is ever built on the unproductive pursuit of pleasures and enjoyable music, and 7 hours of Facebook chatting on office computers.

The nation needs top-notch skills and it needs them at work. It needs them developing groundbreaking software solutions, large and sustainable water supply systems, effecient and economical agricultural systems, environmentally friendly development paradigms, robust and confidence inspiring financial systems, innovative business solutions, stable reliable and accountable governance.

We need thinkers, people, and it saddens me to see our children in musical talent shows, our ladies in every pageant that can be named, organised and staged, our young men in morally repugnant music videos, and all the rest of us watching them and clapping our hands. And then next morning we call in on Joy FM or Peace or some other station and complain about the dissipating moral fabric of society.

It pains me to see the youth, whom apparently are the key to a much brighter future, engage in the stupidity of partisan polarisation in our institutions of higher learning (my foot), or sitting behind computers duping innocents abroad in concert supposedly with Mallams and juju men in the villages.

It pains me to see young, supposedly bright boys dance nude on the streets of universities because the women in the market are selling at exorbitant prices, and insulting the name of intellectualism by insisting on applying the attribute to themselves.

My friends, in this milieu of national rot, what pains me most of all is the fact that whenever, as rare as it is, we get a genuinely good example of how things ought to be, when in the passing of decades a process, a plan, a person, comes along with a positive revolution of thought and action, we greet them with our world renowned insults.

Ashesi College, par example, has introduced an above par educational model in Ghana. How many of these sixty, fifty, forty or thirty year – old Universities in Ghana have honour codes? How many of them have educated their students so well that even after one semester they can take examinations unsupervised but honestly? And yet how many people have lost personal, constitutionally granted freedoms because a public university is unable to ensure examination sanctity even with an army of invigilators?

But no. Our accreditation standards are too high to allow this kind of progress! We slap them with peremptory orders to conform to the rotten status quo, while the brightest and ‘bestest’ billionaires of the world fly in to have dinner with their students and find out how they succeed.

Well, this is how: they stopped being Ghanaian in the sense of our systemic laziness, trepidity and corruption. They suddenly became Ghanaian in the sense of a forward mindedness that we will do well to emulate.

My verdict, people, is that we have little, if any hope at all. Ghana is free for ever, but the thirst is horrible, much more the disease, and even worse the ignorance. I find the ignorance of graduates worse than that of the illiterate. I think that because of what is possible if the next generation will be educated anew, and what is impossible if they learn the rot that we call our present education.

May day! May day! Where’s the World Service???


I got home close to midnight yesterday (hard evening hour, I say, but that’s another story), and turned on my radio.

It’s locked on the BBC World Service, and I expected to join Julian Marshall or Miss Doucet in Newshour or Harriet Gilbert on the Strand, or something. But the World Service is down!
I’m not panicking, but I do hope that this most biased, nonobjective friend of mine has not left us.
The cuts announced should not affect Ghana, so I do hope they don’t.
I just thought to mention it. When it’s back up, I’ll tell you.

God is Love


There is a universal law that applies to every human being on the Earth. How often we’re tempted to think that the difference in culture and social customs around the world do not allow for such a law.

But can all men be singularly governed? And is there such a phenomenon as can bind the hearts of billions and unite the aspirations of a race to common ends?

I propose that there is. As utopian as we have been beguiled to think it is, and as incredulous a prospect, as bare a possibility, as it may be calculated to be, I offer that Love is the law not only of hope, but of nature itself.

To be continued.

Can’t Go to Space because of WHAT???!


Okay, so I think it’s immediately obvious that I’m quite peeved. I learned of the BBC Worldservice this morning that a US astronaut, Tim Kopra, who was due to fly into – of all places – space!, has lost his place on the Discovery space shuttle set to take off on the 24th of February.

What a tragedy, yeah? I mean, kids are born with telescopes in their hands these days, and the mantra is still “I want to be a astronaut” in every Kindergarten I know (besides those that are not situated within the United States :-)). We dream our places on board the shuttles of this world, and I admit without shame that I, yes, I, Agana Agana-Nsiire, hope, pray, dream, but more constructively, aim, to go up amid the stars some not to distant day.

So you can understand the grief I felt for Mr Kopra when I heard the news. But then the reason soon came: he fell off a bicycle and injured himself!

What?! Before I rant away, bear in mind that I am a Ghanaian. Many of us have never been outside Accra, let alone the Earth! And you, Mr Kopra, get the chance to go to SPACE! And you go biking one month before the trip!

A! Me, Like I go sit sofa top for the whole month. I no go girrop sef! Self preservation! This be amoral cosmic chastity!

Honestly, I bore. How? You go through all the training, the drills, get qualified, get named for the trip, go biking, and fall down and kill the dream! I bore.

This will not be the best post you’ll read, but charle, if you feel the pain I feel for this man, you may understand why I’m annoyed he’s caused me to have to feel it for him.

So I just thought I’d share my anger with you all. Don’t go biking a month before a space trip! Stay in your house! Jump at one spot every morning to keep in shape. Go to work in a comfortable car (If you can’t arrange a leave).

Whatever you do, make the trip!!! Don’t get left out avoidably.

Alright, I’ve made my point. But then before I leave you just a thought. And this may – actually – will be ethically problematic so do share your thoughts.

What if three days before you die, say you’re 98 years old and very sick, terminally. Doctors say this is it, and you’ve done your will and everything and the family’s accepted it and all’s set for you to go, and your liver is failing and you’ll be gone in under three days. Well what if we strapped you comfortably to your bed, put you on a shuttle, flew you out to space, and then released you in your bed with a week’s supply of food, water and air? Would you like that? Drift along at who knows what speed through the expanse of the unverse, through time, just gazing at stars you will never reach, seeing things and being places no human soul has been before? Then when you eventually died in the middle of your ecstasy, your lifeless body will float along to testify to whatever worlds there are out there of the existence of your race, and who knows, maybe even provide some DNA samples for some scientific analysis in worlds millions and trillions of light years away. Travel lifeless across space and time. What if?

Is it a cool idea, or am I just a sick minded fellow? Ah, I tell you unashamedly, If it could be conveniently arranged, I think I’d like that.

But speedy recovery to Mr Kropa, whatever his injuries are. Next time go to space.

La Cote d’Ivore: My Humble Opinion


I was invited last week to Radio Univers to discuss la Cote d’Ivoire. I gave my opinions, some of which have since changed, and shared my hope, which still abide my breast.

Laurent Gbagbo has recently appointed legal representation. He shose the lawyer who also represented former US President Bill Clinton. That was on the BBC today. The attorney expressed views that are consistent with my current views on the impass.

Do nations have constitutions? Yes, they do. Do they have bad ones? Certainly! In la Cote d’Ivoire, their constitution provides that a residual arm will declare and swear in the elected President.

That is a bad arrangement, yet the stakeholders went into the elections under those provisions. I appreciate that arrangements were made concerning certification of results that made for inclusiveness among all interested parties, both local and international. However, if all of these fall short of constitutional amendments, then the current constitutional procedures have to be respected before challenged.

But they must be challenged. We must ensure that the nation gets better electoral legislation. We must also ensure that we do not encourage a disregard for the constitution that may fuel future abuses of the legal regime by selfish politicians.

I believe that the opposition candidate My Ouatarra should be the President, but I recognise that presently, Mr Gbagbo is legally the President. He is not morally or democratically legitimate in any way, but his President is wholly legal.

Negotiations must begin on a note of respect; respect that acknowledges that he is the legal leader of the nation as provided for by the highest law of the land, and then progress can be made to install the legitimate Presided as provided for by the express will of the people.

A review, as Mr Gbagbo has called for, is necessary. We must verify that the Constitutional Court was wrong in its determination that some results needed to be annulled. We must also verify that no breaches of human rights lawas, local and international, have been made, and we must make arrangements to bring either case to redress.

My humble opinion.

We look on in hope, and watch in prayer.

A Truly New Year


2010: My year of big mistakes, difficult situations, rare life headaches, and hard truth. I’ve been more human this year that at any other time in my memory. Now, though not out of all its fixes, and perhaps because I’m still in them, I have an opportunity to change my future before it happens to me, and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

That’s what my Facebook status says right now (16:21pm). Why? because it’s true. I have been through (in all honesty, put myself through) a torrid year. I thank God for that. You see, I have never faced such multi-faceted consternation before, and I have survived. I’ve always thought that if I was ever led to feel suicidal, then I would have failed, even if I came out gloriously in the end. “Never let yourself to knocked down that minimum” is how you might put it. I never got there, so I succeeded.

I must look forward now. I must. And it will start with a few – yes – resolutions.

Hey, I don’t like the idea either, I’m just as sophisticated as you, you know: resolutions are unnecessary, resolutions are for all year round, resolutions are for the Christmas-crazy, resolutions are for little children, resolutions are girly (some have said, not me), and all that. I never do resolutions at the end of the year.

Okay I did. In 2008 I told myself I wanted to earn GHC 1000.00 at the close of 2010 all by myself. I did. A meagre ambition, but we start with the manageable, right? I also spent it all within that year. Don’t worry, it was worth it. I’m actually quite frugal.

So this year, my resolutions are necessary because I must become a different person. I have succeeded in cultivating formality, and politeness, and what might even be called chivalry (they say). I have succeeded in developing a hungry mind and the discipline to sustain arduous study, albeit by my own unconventional, yet highly profitable methods, and I have learned to rely on Divine Providence for the fruition of all of it.

But I am not yet a full person. I lack the human touch. I’m going to be brutally honest. I forget names, people altogether, I am dismissive of people I regard to be irrational or obstinately ignorant, and I immerse myself in too much that has to do with myself. I have also built great defences against what I perceive to be hormonal interruptions in the equilibrium of purpose and progress: emotions. I sleep well each night no matter what’s on my mind, and cannot be bothered past an hour by even the most heart-wrenching episodes of grief or pain (non-anatomical). The advantage has been a general, almost complete resolution of myself. Now I must step out of me and get to know you.

And everyone else, for that matter. I must grow. I need to become not only efficient at the task you assign me but reliable in the favours you ask me. I need to become not just forthcoming with the assistance you request but generous in offering my bounty to your aid. The department in need of the most change is my time. I love my time so mush and have used it to great personal, educational and professional advantage. Now I need to be able to spend an unscheduled two hours with someone just because they asked, without itching skin each passing minute.

It will not kill my productivity. Time rationing has become second nature, and I generally work fast, so those two hours won’t hurt.

So, my resolution, stands thus resolved: Open up, and let others in.

I intend to do this a number of ways, but I figure the best way to begin is to break my unspoken personal rules and CELEBRATE. You see, this means the company of people, or at least one other person. If I can go through celebrations without feeling the time fly by my skin like an inhesitant breeze, then’ I’m making progress.

So these holidays, God willing, will be different from any I have previously had. If you’re having a party, invite me. Given that you can adhere to a few organisational ground rules, I’ll pray for the strength and gaiety to attend. If you’re going on a trip and want a travelling companion, we’ll see. I’m making no promises.

I’m only informing the world, that for the first time in … ever, actually, my participation in the making of merriment has actually become a possibility.

Of course you must know that I’m not including the sinful pleasures of the flesh; discos, drugs, lasciviousness or any of that nonsense in the equation. I’m talking only to those good friends of mine who would have me at a wholesome Christian event, and wish I’d partake in the joy of the time. These know that I have already made some progress in this respect, and would be glad to hear that I have become open to further progress.

May the Lord keep us, and keep our feet from straying into the evil path, and may he replenish your time for reading my post, and may Heaven rejoice that we enter a new year growing ourselves, and becoming more able to win other human beings to Himself as a result.

A Week of Software Localisation


Alright so this week I sort of disappeared? I was at a workshop/training programme on software localisation. If you don’t know what that is, it’s how we get your computer to speak to you in your native language, in our case, African.

It was great, learned some very interesting things, and met some even more interesting, fun loving, fun to be with people.

For example, who knew that Nakupenda Malaika is actually meant to be a sad song? In Ghana, we’ve ignored the Swahili and enjoyed the melody to the point of ecstasy. In face on Saturday morning, a day after the final day of the workshop, there was a church band playing it outside my house; gay and glad all the way. We do that song in high tempo and massive drums, and all the while it was a sad song!

 

Okay, so I found a way to put Computer in Frafra, okay? I went with Metal Hare. Why? The hare is our version of Ananse, smart, and most people think computers are smart, and my people represent the mechanical or man-made as metallic (eg. bicycle – metal horse). So the metal hare is the computer. Let’s see how I push that through :-).

And I found out from Philibert that they have naming ceremonies for gorillas in Rwanda. State ceremonies with international press coverage, and national mourning for a dead gorilla, and plenty tourist money for ecotourism based on the gorilla. Excellent!

Useful information:

Bantu languages use prefixes

Exact translations can be bad (the cow will piss on you – you will be blessed)

Do not translate variables: $name

Accelerators can move sensibly in your translations

Amaric looks beautiful

Use resources: dictionaries, Bibles, manuals, peoople

Visit: This page for more info

A Violet Turaco Holiday!


Violet Turaco

Violet Turaco

Happy holiday to me! I’m not a holiday buff: I prefer to keep busy, but I do appreciate a good escape from routine and drudgery. Last Tuesday was good. A Muslim holiday here in Ghana, and instead of facebooking and assessing highly plagiarised essays all day at the department, I planned a birding outing with Kofi.

Then Franziska came and the team was complete. It was always meant to be a good holiday. Birding in the morning at the University of Ghana’s botanical gardens, looking for the African Grey Hornbill and its nests, and then a walk in the evening with what I might permissibly consider a new friend. Plus birding, of course. Turned down. Life goes on, and it did!

Okay, I’ll confess I also planned to finish an essay between, very against the spirit of holiday, but it didn’t happen so relax. Actually there was worse work to do eventually: Creating a Windows 7 USB startup drive and installing on a laptop, then recovering the grub menu Ubuntu put in the now invaded MBR, and then having to fix a non responsive mouse after reinstall. But it was fun!

Okay so the birding: we went in search for the African Grey Hornbill (right).

African Grey Hornbill

African Grey Hornbill

I got to campus at 6:30, despite my bluff to arrive before six. Franziska was waiting: German alacrity and organisation at its best, I’d say. Kofi was the tardiest, but we still began early. It took a while to register our first, but by the time we’d rounded up the garden, we’d counted a few. Noting perpendicular distances can be a tricky thing, but I’m sure we’ll mature.

Franziska took the liberty to familiarize herself with the feathered ones: green wood hoopoes, red-eyed doves, western grey plantain eaters, senegal parrots, and hey, we saw a Shikra! It just perched and stared, and boy did we stare back? But the icing on the sweet cake that morning was when our search for nests yielded nothing but a suggestion from yours truly to visit another area of the garden to conclude the search.

There, while we inspected trunks and branches and cranked our necks upward like cranes, there, in the canopy, there, above our heads, was the Violet Turaco!

I have only once before been told about this bird, in the Northern Region, while doing some bird research for the Ghana Wildlife Society. I never saw the bird, though. But here I was, I looked up, and something blackish and bigish suddenly went whish-whish in the tree, and I spotted it! It was great, and I thought I’d share it with you all.

P.S.

Like I said, we also saw a Shikra, and ID’ing it with the field guide was a special thing. Raptors riddle me sometime, so that was a good one.

Shikra

Shikra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credits

Shikra: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shikra

Violet Turaco: http://www.stuartelsom.co.uk/image_details.php?Cat=The%20Gambia%20-%20Georgetown%20to%20Farafeni%20~%20February%202008#GA08-VT01-02-08.JPG

African Grey Hornbill: http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org/birds/bucerotidae/tockus_nasutus.htm

Birds of Korle Lagoon – Ghana’s most filthy place (arguably)


I decided to look for birds at the Korle Lagoon some time back because I was surprised from time to time to see nice birds flying about the place. I have read reports on that coastal lagoon that paint bleak pictures. More than that, I live in teh Korle Bu area, where the lagoon is located.

When it rain, you don’t wan’t to be in the neighbourhood. The lagoon is fed its filth by a nearby slum: Sodom and Gomorrah, an area that governments have continually sworn and failed to evacuate. Until that happens, the stench goes on, and the beach line is covered with regurgitated plastic, glass and condos from the blackened sea.

I did not expect to find much, in truth, and really, I did not, but I certainly found more than I expected.

Among the great surprises: the common moorhen, spur-winged lapwings and a pied kingfisher. There were about thirty of the lapwings on the side of a stretch of land projecting into the lagoon like a bay, and while I went over to get better focus, I stepped in human…

Yeah, that’s what I went through to bring you this, so enjoy. Photo credits below.

Common Moorhen

Cattle Egret: a flock, numbering about a hundred, doing their thing

African Pied Wagtail: At least four of them, playing and wagging on the banks, and sitting on drifting plastic bottles in the water.

Ringed plovers: Twenty. Also taking jolly rides and

Laughing doves: of course

Pied Crow: double of course

Pied Kingfisher: I was shocked! Are there fish in that viscous, faeces filled water?

Spur-winged Plovers: Like I said, like forty. Was surprised to spot three at first, standing as majestically as they do, looking out into the great beyond…

Swallows: working on it.

Common Kestrel: A pair. Flew across quickly out of sight, so well, I could be wrong.

Pictures soon.