Thursday, May 15, 2014
1. Where is the United States in Bible Prophecy? One of the most common questions regarding Bible prophecy is where is the United States in scripture? Many nations of the world are not mentioned in scripture, however it is hard to understand how the world's most powerful nation would not be. At least not in a way that we recognize it clearly. There are many theories and ideas as to why this is but here are three of the most common: The United States is no longer relevant The United States is destroyed The United States is no longer its own country - but part of a larger union of nations - possibly controlled by the Antichrist. All of these responses are based on speculation. We simply do not know the answer but it is very possible there may be some symbolism that the United States may fit into. We must simply watch and wait to see what God's plan for America is. To that effect we monitor what impact terrorism and war might have on the United States as well any other factors that could contribute to its decline or change on the world stage. America is also Israel's closest ally. God promises to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel (Genesis 12:3). America's relationship with Israel will be closely watched. 2. Israel - God's Timepiece It has been said if you want to know what time it is on God's calendar - keep an eye on Israel for it is God's timepiece. The scriptures relating to Israel's prophetic role in the end times are too numerous to follow, but we will monitor some of the most important ones. Perhaps one of the most important is Daniel 9:27: "He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him." The book of Daniel reveals that one final period of 7 years has been reserved for God's plan to be completed. This period of 7 years is described in the book of Revelation and climaxes with Armageddon. However when does this period of 7 years start? Daniel 9:27 reveals that "He" referring to the Antichrist, will confirm a 7 year treaty. It is this confirming of a treaty with Israel and many nations for 7 years that starts the final countdown. You will also notice a clear reference to this "he" (Antichrist) putting an end to sacrifice and setting up an abomination in the temple. This would seem to indicate that the Jewish temple must be rebuilt to be part of the end time scenario. With the understanding above we will be monitoring closely the various agreements and peace treaties that Israel is involved in with particular emphasis on the Road Map To Peace. There is a particular emphasis by all major world players to bring Israel and the Palestinians, not to mention the entire Arab world into a final peace agreement. "Final Status" talks is now the buzz word and we will be watching closely where this leads - possibly even to a rebuilt Jewish Temple. However despite the move for peace talks, all parties in the Middle East continue to prepare for war. We will be watching movements within Israel and her neighbors for potential conflict. One of the most contentious issues for all parties in the Middle East is the final status of Jerusalem. Zechariah says the following in this regards: Zechariah 12:2-3: "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves". Zechariah reveals that Jerusalem, the capital of Israel will become a problem for all nations. Eventually all the nations of the world will gather against her. The voting of the UN, recent polls in Europe and the comments of leaders in Islamic countries all indicate we are heading towards a new global anti-Semitism. This will climax in the world marching on Israel. 3. A Revived Roman Empire Daniel, Chapter 2, presents the dream of Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar, which provides the basis for our understanding for history’s final system of government. Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar's dream which reveals that the fifth and final world empire would have some association with or be an extension of the fourth empire - Rome. Passages in Daniel 7:7-8 and Revelation 13:1 describe a beast with ten horns. The prophets Daniel and John apparently saw the same beast in their visions, the beast symbolizing ten heads or ten kingdoms. It is this number of 10 that we want to keep a close eye on. We will monitor the development of the world's newest superpower emerging from Europe and the region of the former Roman Empire which includes not only Europe but much of North Africa and the Middle East. The EU would seem to be a leading candidate for the final world empire - but the number 10 will have to somehow be reconciled. Issues surrounding the EU constitution and the EU/Mediterranean partnership agreement will be watched for possible relevance to Daniel's prophecies as well as the development of other nation alliances in this region that may equal the magic number of 10. It is from this final world Empire that the man we call the Antichrist emerges. He is alluded to in scripture as the Assyrian and may have a Muslim/Middle Eastern connection that many have overlooked.