Chuck Missler is a student of history. Not the expert-on-the-11th-century kind of history. The world he has studied began before Adam and Eve and it projects itself into the future.

Detailed research has convinced the businessman/Bible scholar of one thing: Given a chance to live at any moment in history, this is the moment he would choose."This is a vivid, live, tangible time. It rattles when you shake it," he said.

Missler was the special guest speaker Thursday for the Meta Tauta Society, a non-denominational Christian organization that has brought speakers like author Hal Lindsey to Utah. During a luncheon, Missler discussed "The Persian Gulf War - a Prophecy Update." That evening, he conducted a more in-depth discussion.

Missler is an interesting combination of shrewd businessman and dedicated minister. His resume is as complex as the ideas he presents. A naval academy graduate and Air Force officer, he has a masters degree in engineering and business and is a 20-year veteran of the computer industry. The former Ford Motor company executive and Washington lobbyist is a popular consultant to U.S. and foreign governments, a frequent guest on Christian television broadcasts and a radio host. And 6 million of his teaching tapes have been distributed in 35 countries worldwide.

"What should a Christian do as he watches world events unfold? I think he should get really excited. God is who He said He is. And the proof is unfolding before our very eyes. It quickens your pulse. Study history. Study the Bible. And don't trust Chuck Missler or anyone else," he said. "You are in a unique position to watch the parade as it unfolds."

Recent scientific discoveries have lead astrophysicists, particle physicists and molecular biologists to the conclusion that time, space, matter and energy all had a definite beginning point, just as the Bible taught, Missler said. And the scriptures also have information about the present and the future.

"With deeper study of the scripture, you begin to realize that God is in control," Missler said. "In confusing times, that is a comfort."

The Persian Gulf conflict has prompted great interest in prophecy. Some suggest it is the battle of Armageddon, spoken of in the Bible. Missler disagrees. Certain things have to happen first. Two cities are central biblical themes, from Genesis to Revelations: Jerusalem and Babylon. The Bible calls them the city of Christ and the city of Satan, respectively.

Prophetic events are occurring. Israel is rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem. Saddam Hussein has been recreating Babylon for 19 years and plans to complete it in 1992. According to prophecy, Missler said, the temple must be complete and Babylon must re-emerge as a major world center before any final "countdown" occurs.

"But I believe it's all going to happen within a generation. And if people are nervous about it, then they are not ready for the action."

Where the Persian Gulf conflict fits in is less clear, he said. "I don't think the Bible articulates about Iraq at this stage. It does not clearly describe this conflict. I see it as a precursor for later events."

In the future, he believes the Soviet Union will become involved "in an intrigue to deliver Israel to the Arabs." At some point, Israel's foreign friends will desert it and the tiny nation will stand alone. When it prevails, he said, Israel will know that God has delivered it, as he promised.

As events unfold, the United States is "noticeably absent." While the Bible seems to speak about Middle East countries, the Soviet Union and Europe, Missler describes the United States as "invisible."

"The U.S. is in serious economic trouble. I believe the '90s will show the U.S. eclipsed by Asia and Europe. We are the largest debtor nation. Our technology is no longer superior. We're not competitive. Our largest financial institution is only 28th in the world. Our federal spending is in serious trouble and our trade balance is even more worrisome."

"Whatever happens, this is a dynamic time. Think about recent events in Europe and around the world. This is definitely the most fascinating time to be alive."