Based on the lunar calendar, Islam started its 15th century on November 21 1979. The calendar was said dated back to the year 622AD, also known as the year of the begira (meaning flight), when Mohammed fled Mecca and escaped to Medina to avoid persecution and to spread the new faith. "Allah willing," one scholar told Aly Mahmoud of the Associated Press at the time, "it will be a century of Islamic reawakening and unity, of a rediscovery of our Islamic identity, after a century of painful servility and dissociation." It was noted in 1923, the Ottoman Empire ended a rule that had survived for 700 years. 

Sheik Abdullah Alayli made the observation, "Britain and France had been seen as a shining example which many Moslem countries, mainly Turkey, tried to emulate. By the middle of the century (the Gregorian calendar 20th century) Moslems witnessed the dismaying downfall of the British Empire and the French dominance. As we enter the 15th century, we realize that our divine creed, Islam, is the only hope left to us for survival." One Moslem professor who declined to be quoted by name told the press, "The oil war could well take on an undue religious tinge in the 15th century if our clergymen resort to beating the drums of jihad (holy war). In essence, Islam means submission to the will of Allah, cultivating peace among mankind."  

The TV series 'Dallas' entered its 2nd season in 1979-1980. On November 21 1980, some 82 million viewers were counted watching the 'Who Shot J.R.?' pop cultural phenomenon. At the time, 'Dallas' attracted the highest ratings of any program in TV history. Some 53.3% of all households (or roughly 41.4 million homes with TV sets) learnt the identity of the culprit. 'Dallas' attracted 76% share of the audience in its time slot. 'Who Shot J.R?' was the episode which made 'Dallas' TV's most popular show between Ronald Reagan's first term and the start of his second term in office. It was also the cliffhanger that taught the television industry about the power of the season ending finale. Allan Burns acknowledged, "We never dreamed of wrapping things up at the end of the season. The networks didn't like us doing that. I think the main reason was that they wanted to run or rerun the show's episodes in any way they wanted to. They couldn't do that if one episode led up to another." 

Francis Ford Coppola finished filming 'Apocalypse Now' in 1979. The original budget for 'Apocalypse Now' was $12 million. By the time the picture finished, it was reported 'Apocalypse Now', which Francis Ford Coppola started in 1975 had costed him $31.5 million to make. United Artists reportedly guaranteed to see the movie completed had put up $7 million. Another $7 million came from foreign distributors. Francis Ford Coppola reportedly used his estate as security to take out a loan of $17.5 million from Chase Manhattan, paying some $10 million to $14 million in interest. "There's 20% interest to pay on the original loan," Francis Ford Coppola clarified in 1980.

"Trying to pay it off is like an airplane going into a headwind," Francis recounted. "And I was stupid enough not to exclude my house. I took the risk. I own the copyright. I stepped into the marketing of 'Apocalypse Now' at the bleakest moment. I was editing the film. I was not indecisive, but I had no clear pattern. I was under pressure to show it to the exhibitors to get good bids. I showed a whole cut, a different version from the final film. They couldn’t make anything out of it . . . I had to make the movie work. So I took command of everything, of whether to show it and where to show it."

Francis believed 'Apocalypse Now' "could have taken place at any time, in any jungle where the civilized encounter the primitive. I have attempted to make a theatrical-film – myth dealing with the theme of moral ambiguity." 'Apocalypse Now' was shot in 2 versions: the 35 millimeter with Dolby sound and the 70 millimeter with quadriphonic sound. Francis made about 20-odd changes, "Obviously the ending is the most important part of any film. I kept experimenting with the ending because I knew, what I wanted the film to feel like at the end but my previews indicated that the audience was not feeling that. I had hoped to take the audience through an emotional experience than at the end give them some degree of relief and relaxation. This is what I feel this version (after showing at Cannes) does."

The Apocalypse was a biblical story that foretold the "end time" and the start of the "new Earth." Every generation interpreted doomsday using prophesied "signs" such as the appearance of false prophets, wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes, widespread corruption in government, a sharp decline in morals, the appearance of "two witnesses" who would persist in spreading God's word despite the turmoil, and the rise in the power of the Antichrist – or The Beast – whose number was 666. Jeanne Pugh of the 'St Petersburg Times' reported "The Book of Revelation said to have been written by a 2nd or 3rd generation Christian who had been exiled by Roman authorities to the island of Patmos during the persecutions of the late 1st century AD."

Back in Sunday School in May 1980, students learnt the Book of Revelation was "considered to be a collection of prophesies concerning the final outcome of history written in a kind of cryptic, symbolic code." Dr. Elisha Douglas mentioned, "Much time and effort has been expended in efforts to decipher this code. But it is apparent today that Revelation is not prophecy of the kind we find in the Old Testament, but is rather 'apocalypse'. This is a literary form designed to strengthen the faith and determination of people under persecution by reminding them in the most vivid fashion possible that God still rules the world and that eventually, with His help, they will emerge from their afflictions triumphant. The forces of evil which rule the world will be utterly destroyed, and the faithful will live eternally with God."

Dr Douglas observed, "In ancient times apocalypses appeared in connection with several different religious whenever persecution was threatening the faithful. In the Christian tradition, the Books of Daniel and I Enoch and other apocalypses in addition to Revelation. Revelation was probably written by an unknown author who signed himself 'John', during the last years of the Emperor Domitian, who died in 96AD. In the Christian writings of the 1st and 2nd centuries it was common for authors to assume prestigious names which would give added weight to their message.

"Revelation is a kind of encyclical addressed to the churches in 7 cities of Asia Minor. Christians here were coming under severe persecution because of their refusal to join other subjects of the Roman Empire in worshipping the Emperor Domitian as a God. The emperors of this period insisted on this worship as a means of legitimizing and consolidating their authority. Erecting a shrine to one more God of course presented no theological problem for people who were polytheists (people who believed there were more than one God). The Jews had resisted strongly from the beginning, however, and as a result had received exemption from emperor worship. Early in the Christian movement, when most Christians were Jewish, they likewise received this exemption. But by the time of Domitian's reign most were Gentiles (not Jewish), and were expected to conform to the rule governing the rest of the Gentile population. Obviously Christians could not remain loyal to their faith and worship a Roman Emperor. Domitian interpreted this refusal as virtual treason, and persecuted Christians accordingly."

"In our lesson today," Dr Douglas reminded students, "'John', repeating words spoken to him by Christ in a vision, sharply reproves the members of the church in Laodicea: 'I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. So, because you are lukewarm . . . I will spew you out of my mouth.' It appears that the Laodiceans were compromising on the matter of emperor worship. Many Christians did in fact abandon their faith under pressure. 'John' wanted to make it perfectly clear that no Christian could worship any being other than God. 'John' goes on to say that those who rely on wealth to solve their problems are 'wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.'

"He advises them, in Christ's words, 'to buy from me gold refined by fire that you may be rich, and white garments to clothe you . . . and salve to anoint your eyes that you may see.'" It was explained, "'God refined by fire' is the strength that comes from withstanding persecution. 'White garments' are those worn by martyrs. 'The salve to anoint your eyes' is a medication which will enable a person to see spiritual truth. 'John', still quoting Christ then assures his readers that those who keep the faith, no matter what the cost, will be amply rewarded in the afterlife. 'He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.'" As pointed out, "It is remarkable, to say the least, that so many Christians retained the purity of their faith under such difficult circumstances. And we, of course, are the beneficiaries of their suffering."

In the last lecture of his course on the Literary Power of the English Bible back in 1906, Professor Gardiner told students "the prophet of the Old Testament was at once preacher and statesman, reformer of religion, moralist, and poet. In the highest type, the prophets were farseeing statesmen: yet the 'sons of the prophets' were sometimes, so far as we can tell, not very different from the dervishes (members of a Moslem religious group known for their wild rituals) of today (in 1906). The record shows that many of the prophets had actual visions; and in all cases, their message came to them spontaneously: 'The hand of the Lord was upon me' is their own description of the way in which the revelation came. Through their messages the Jewish nation had its chief influence on the thought of the world."

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