Dr. Gary Forbes, Editor, Last Days Worldwatch:
6th September 2003
keeping with Media Man Australia's tradition of tackling
any subject, we explore the world of a religion and
world events that effect us all.
considerable research, we secured this fascinating
interview with Dr. Gary Forbes.
was born in Newcastle, NSW and have lived there my
entire life. My father was a wharf-labourer and died
of tuberculosis at age 42. I was just 11 at the time.
My mother, 88 is still living in a Newcastle suburb.
married Joy in 1966, built a house at Cardiff in Newcastle,
where we still live today. We have three married children
- Chris, 35 (& Mathew); Mark, 34 (& Anita)
and Scott, 28 (& Lisa). My two sons are married
to two sisters!
& Mathew have given us three grand-children, Emma
8, Breanna 5, and Chloe 2. Mark & Anita have a
son, Dominic (0).
spent 23 years with the Hunter Water Corporation in
Newcastle, the latter part of which I worked directly
for the executive engineering staff. In 1986, I accepted
an appointment as Asia-South Pacific Director for
the Luis Palau Evangelistic Association. Over the
ensuing 6 years, I flew in and out of Australia every
6 weeks directing and overseeing major evangelistic
campaigns in major cities in Asia, the Pacific &
1990, I was appointed as Pastor of my local church,
Adamstown Community Church, where our family had been
attending for more than 20 years. This role involved
unprecedented exposure in the community in terms of
counselling, media work and growth of the church.
in 1999, I "retired" as Pastor and undertook
management consultancy work from home.
did you get your break in media?
May, 2000 I accepted an appointment at Newcastle's
Christian community radio station, Rhema FM 99.7 as
Station Manager. For several years prior to this,
I had been involved with Rhema FM's Board of Directors
and also did regular on-air announcing; fulfilling
a long life dream of one day being a "radio announcer".
addition, a spot programme called "Tips for Life"
was featured for 4 years on Newcastle's leading commercial
radio station KO-FM 102.9.
has varied during various stages of my life, but overall
I am vitally concerned with people - understanding
them; contributing to their welfare and well-being.
Living one day at a time is exciting and rewarding,
providing you continue to look outside of yourself
and beyond normal boundaries.
are your aims and objectives?
aims and objectives have always been to contribute
something worthwhile and lasting to our community
and to the world in general. It goes without saying
that a major part of my life includes my wife, married
children and grandchildren. Coupled with all that
is an intense faith in and commitment in God.
is the purpose of your website?
Last Days WorldWatch website was developed four years
ago for two reasons: firstly, because of my passionate
interest in the Jewish people - their past history,
present-day situation and future prospects - and in
the Middle East situation in general. Secondly, I
discovered that many people around the globe, both
religious and non-religious have a similar interest.
This is borne out by the number of hits on the website,
currently in excess of 280,000.
do you make a positive difference in people's lives?
by empathising with people who come into my life and
by calling on my many years of experience in counseling,
traveling and community work to help, encourage and
"lift the spirits" of those people.
a typical day for you?
broadcasting is demanding and as Station Manager,
I am on call 24/7. A typical weekday starts at 7am
with a short telephone conversation with my Brekky
Show announcer. I arrive at the office around 8.30am
and take 15 minutes to give a quick check of equipment
9am thru 10.30am a parade of staff and personnel come
through my office seeking clarification, instructions
and general approval for on-going production work.
During that time, telephone calls keep coming and
the influx of overnight emails hits my laptop.
and after lunch, there will be some pre-recorded interviews,
a check of on-air operations several times, more telephone
calls, planning and development for expansion, financing
and production of programmes.
cheques and authorising expenditure and salaries take
a short time of each day. Reviewing current financial
balances and income takes a regular priority.
5pm, most of the staff start to disappear, but closedown
procedures and re-checking operations continues by
a few staff members reporting directly to me. By 5.30pm,
leaving the on-air announcer in control, I leave for
6pm to 7pm, my wife and I will have dinner before
I take some time to update the Last Days WorldWatch
website, answer numerous emails and then relax around
calls will come from Security or station announcing
staff if a problem or situation develops and again,
time is spent sorting out some problems. Occasionally,
it may be necessary for me to return to the station
in an emergency.
is the answer to world peace?
has fairly well proven that mankind is unable to bring
about lasting world peace. As one war ends, another
is starting somewhere in the world. The Holocaust
of World War II brought cries of "never let this
happen again" - yet it has, over and over again!
of my own personal faith, I sincerely believe that
true world peace will never happen until Jesus Christ,
known in the Bible as the Prince of Peace, returns
to this earth as He promised and takes control.
world leaders will continue to do their best in bringing
about lasting peace, but it will evade them as always.
we in the end days?
true that people have been saying for generations
and in fact, many centuries now that "these are
the last days" and the "end of the world
as a Christian, I believe that since the crucifixion
of Jesus Christ 20 centuries ago, a time-line was
marked as being the beginning of the "last days".
Prophecies continue to be fulfilled giving clear indication
to that hypothesis.
of the primary indicators, are the events occurring
in the Middle East and hence my web site. Bible prophecy
says that in the "end times" of the "last
days", key factors would be seen to occur. Such
as Israel being recognised by the United Nations in
1948 as a country/state in its own right; the return
of Jews from all over the world to their homeland;
plans ready to rebuild the Jewish temple so sacrifices
can be recommenced; the threat of the Palestinians
and Arabs wanting to eliminate the Jewish nation and
take Jerusalem and Israel and making a Palestinian
state for themselves.
has God permitted so many religions?
God's original intention was for mankind to worship,
love and serve Him freely. Religion has been developed
and promulgated by the human race and now generally
represents an enormous departure from the Creator's
variances in practices, traditions, doctrines and
interpretations have, over the centuries, led to the
breaking away of groups by the thousands and the establishment
of new "religions"and groups, etc.
think the general rule is this: If you remove or replace
the Bible as the basis for right living, morality
and principles for life, you always find a breakdown
in society, community and eventually nations. The
fall of the Roman Empire is well documented under
5 major headings, which include the breakdown of the
family and immorality.
Uniting Church recently made a brave decision to permit
gay persons to be ordained as priests in their congregations
- a decision which has caused an expected major split
in that denomination. The decision is seen by many
as one that has been made without due regard to what
the Bible has to say on the matter.
when human decisions replace Divine principles, you're
going to end up with many "religions' and diverse
is the difference between a terrorist and a freedom
strange thing is that many terrorists probably think
in all conscience that they're freedom fighters. However,
that is not true in the purest sense.
think a terrorist is a fanatical activist, driven
by an over-powering sense of zeal and fixation on
accomplishing a feat, task or deed, no matter what
it takes, who is killed or hurt - even if it means
dying for the cause. My observations today are that
particularly in the Middle East, there is such a fanaticism
that appears to have been instilled into the minds
and hearts of the Palestinian people right from early
childhood. There is no shortage of young men and women
who are prepared to die for the cause. Even more frightening
is the fact that they are told and believe that they
are performing these actions for and with the approval
of 'Allah, their god.
the other hand, a freedom fighter is someone who passionately
believes in a good and proper cause of freeing their
country and their people from a tyrannous dictator;
from oppression; from selective and wholesale slaughter,
and so on. They are rarely acting solely in the name
of "God", and generally their intention
is to secure release and freedom for their people
at minimum cost in human life.
these definitions have become blurred in the Middle
East and we see a group of people determined to simply
wipe out a peace-loving nation and rid the earth of
them for all time. Their fanatical leaders fill their
minds with thoughts of suicide and promises of "going
straight to heaven where 72 vestal virgins await their
pleasure; and the promise that in due course their
family will follow them".
you think that George Bush is acting in God's will
or his own?
President George W. Bush is undoubtedly one of the
most powerful men in the world - if not THE most powerful.
He has tremendous power, might and force at his disposal.
He has shown in the past two years that the United
States is not a force to be reckoned with or intimidated.
events of September 11 have propelled this super-power
into a world police action that has left a trail through
America, Afghanistan, Iraq and other locations.
a personal Christian faith, I have no doubt that the
President spends considerable time in prayer, seeking
guidance from God. Yet, it is common knowledge that
while he is President, there are certain pre-determined
protocols that he must follow - no matter what. Congress,
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon all have their
place in this mystery, even though a final decision
generally rests with the President himself in key
the Bible says that a special blessing will be given
to individuals and nations who show mercy and protection
to God's own people, the Jews. Perhaps that alone
is one of the reasons that the United States still
holds so much power and sway in the Middle East chess-game.
They seek to help, protect and care for Israel, while
at the same time try to keep the balance. In this
regard, at least, George Bush would be aligned with
politics be mixed with religion? eg. "I am doing
this in God's name
is a difficult question, insofar as many leaders and
nations including the Palestinians for instance have
claimed that what they are doing is "in God's
name". Yet a level-headed and rational thinking
person clearly knows that the random and horrific
killing of innocent men, women and children is not
something that God would have had in mind or even
do think, however, that religious/Christian values
and principles can have a dramatic and stabilising
effect on a community, nation or country. English
law found its roots in Old Testament laws and regulations.
That same law has generally been extended around the
world to western countries.
and the running of a nation can be enhanced by utilising
right and good principles and rules of government,
however not to the detriment of its people, social
welfare and well-being.
danger today is where the church is trying to make
demands on the state or the state is trying to make
the church conform to standards which fly in the face
of Godly and Biblical principles.
example, for two centuries, Australia's churches have
cried aloud with one voice in declaring that homosexuality
is wrong in God's eyes. Notwithstanding that cry,
legislation continues to find its way through parliament
permitting lower-aged sex between same sex persons,
same sex marriages and so on. Now, two centuries later
in 2003, it is an arm of the church that is saying
homosexuality is OK. The government, politicians and
lawmakers are looking on with dismay and probably
wondering if the church is truly valid anymore.
you care to speculate on a total solution for the
conflict in Israel and surrounding nations?
leaders appear to be unable to solve a problem that
has existed for centuries, yet from a Biblical perspective,
I am persuaded that only the return of Jesus Christ
will bring about a total solution to the Middle East
problems. Some may feel that a religious solution
is outside the parameters of this problem and that
a major human effort will ultimately bring about an
answer. But clearly, every human attempt to find an
answer has failed. I'm convinced that only a super-human
intervention will bring about ultimate peace from
the person who is "the Prince of peace".
does a government find the right balance between freedom
of speech and censorship?
western countries are extremely liberal when it comes
to freedom of speech. And although libel cases are
on the increase, it is still true that a person may
express their opinion and make reasonable statements
without fear from government censure.
this doesn't always work, as may be indicated by the
current fluster over the gaoling of former Australia's
One Nation party leader, Pauline Hansen. Constantly
throughout her brief political career, she was almost
denied "freedom of speech" because her policies
or aspirations stirred up the mainstream parties of
Australian politics. Many individuals and parties
tried to censor her on many occasions.
and many third world countries do not enjoy such "freedom
of speech" and can be gaoled or even executed
for giving an opinion, offering a political comment
or speaking out against the country's leadership.
In such cases, there is no such thing as "freedom
freedom of the press in Australia.
media, in particular the press in Australia, enjoys
a high level of freedom when it comes to expressing
opinions or extrapolating news reports to the "enth"
degree. This reveals itself in the way in which the
press constantly broadens and speculates on new items
to the point of grandiose hype. Sometimes it's impossible
to distinguish between truth and fiction.
are your favourite websites?
of the news sites fall within my "favourite"
category, however I enjoy visiting the web sites of
radio stations and news reporting such as CNN, yahoo
do you inspire others?
looking for and encouraging the gifts and abilities
in others, rather than focusing on their faults. Maturity
and life-experiences has given me the ability to empathise
with others and I try to use that to good advantage.
would you like to be remembered for?
a husband who gave his best; as a father who loved,
adored and was proud of his children; as a grand-father
who idolised his grandchildren; and as a person who
lived out his life and faith in a way which spoke
to others. Perhaps also as a person who enjoyed life
and was thankful to have had an influence on the lives
of the many thousands of people who came across my
note: An amazing, insightful interview covering some
very "touchy" subjects. Gary in an authority
on religious and political matters, and his website
is a "must see".
Man Australia, Greg Tingle, interviews Olga Horak,
The new breed of politicians, by Greg Tingle