In the first few parts of this series we’ve been taking a rather scatter-gun approach to the thing. It’s time to get a little more systematic. All of history can be viewed as an ages-long struggle between, on the one hand Satan and his deceived human following opposing the forces of the God of the Universe. The Rebels have their plans and from time to time they reveal some aspects to us. So we’ll start by laying out the Human Template of just where all of this is planned to go. In fact there are several somehwat competing scenarios. After all, Satan is the author of chaos.
Chaos is the key! We can just list the areas: Ebola, Iraq, Iran and it’s nuclear ambitions, the War on Christians, Gay Marriage and the Assault on Biblical Truth, Abortion, an Economy on the brink of collapse, ISIS, Terror, tensions between China and Japan, China and Taiwan, and most importantly the situation in Israel, God’s Chosen and Promised Land….and the list goes on. Now the Bible has many specific prophecies relating to some of these very critical areas. But we don’t even need Biblical prophecy to see the danger we face. There are at least three major crisis areas at which war could erupt any time. Those areas are; The Middle East, (focused on Iran, Iraq & Israel), The Korean Peninsula, and China-Taiwan. Any of these could quickly spread, bringing in more nations and eventually lead to World War. So let’s start by looking a some of man’s templates for just how thinks will work out.
Introducing the faux prophetic templates of the false prophets! There are several variations. Jesus said, “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many”. (Mt 24:11) Here are some of those deceptive scenarios.
- The New Age / Eastern Religious Scenario – Followers of New Age and Eastern philosophies believe that we are on the verge of a New Age that will be heralded by the appearance of the Lord Maitreya , – the “Christ consciousness” that will appear to lead mankind to a new level of existence. Lord Maitreya will appear in the near future, coming at a time of chaos and unify mankind religiously and politically. Wars and economic collapse are just part of the necessary birthing process for this New Christ, the One World Government and One World Religion.
- The Islamic Scenario – The Mahdi is coming. Again, he will arise at a time of global chaos, – first to unite the Muslim world and then to unite the world with the sword. He will lead victorious armies that will conquer Jerusalem, while ruling the entire globe and hunting down and killing Jews and Christians. The present world situation is preparation for his imminent return.
- The New World Order Scenario – New Age author Peter Lemesurier laid out this plan for us in his 1981 best-seller, The Armageddon Script. He tells us that the New Age Christ will be humanly produced, – using the fake fulfillment of Messianic prophecies to convince the Jewish authorities of his authenticity. According to the revealed plan of the New World Order types, this New Messiah will rebuild the Jewish Temple and fulfill Daniel’s prophecy by remaining and ruling from Israel for 7 years. It comes with a promise to bring peace and a human savior as the entire world is to be united in an eventual One World Government. [That is precisely Satan’s plan. But I get ahead of myself.] Suffice it to say that the blueprint laid out by Mr Lemesurier is one of man-created chaos. It calls for three-separate wars merging into one giant global conflict. It adds in, – and I’m not making this up, – UFO / Alien contact, earthquakes, terrorism involving the uses of weapons of mass destruction and a crashing global economy. What’s the point? Well the point is that this will set the conditions for the rise of the universal strong man that will come to power offering peace and solutions to all the world’s problems. He is to, – and get this, – present himself as Jewish Messiah, Jesus, the Mahdi and Buddha all rolled into one. He will display supernatural power. [Didn’t I read something about that in the Bible?] Are you starting to see a trend here? But all of this is just ‘man’s take’ on things. God chimes in with His own through the Bible – and it has a perfect record of being right.
The Three Part Prophetic Template
“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” (Matthew 24:32-35)
Prophecy, as laid out in the Bible alone, is the key to unlocking both the direction and meaning of world events. So we begin to explore the ramifications of those prophecies by examining the outline of coming events that they provide. Now some scoff believing that no ancient book can predict the future. At this time I offer just two lines of thought in its defense. Just look at the unblemished record of Biblical prophecy already fulfilled. Take for instance the over one-hundred prophecies concerning Christ’s first coming. Grant Jeffrey writing in Jesus: The Great Debate, figured the probability of anyone fulfilling just 17 of those prophecies at one chance in 480 billion x 1billion x 1 trillion.[i] With that in mind, let’s begin to explore God’s Prophetic Template.
In evaluating the days in which we live I’ve found it helpful to divide God’s word into three categories; – Prophecies Fulfilled, Prophecies in Process and Signs of the Age. We’ll look first at those passages in Scripture that have been substantially fulfilled already.
- The Jews Re-Gathered – There are many prophetic passages that apply, but perhaps one of the foremost and signal prophecies given for the beginning of the End of the Age is Isaiah 11:11-12. It reads: “In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people…he will assemble the scattered peoples of Judah from the four quarters of the earth”. The first time God called His people back was after the Babylonian captivity, so that Israel could receive her Messiah at his first coming. This second re-gathering signals the near end of history; – so that Israel will be in the Land to receive the Messiah who is to return in Glory and power. The Jewish return began with the Zionist movement of the late 19th century. It was hurried along by Hitler’s attempt to destroy the race during WWII and it continues to this day. The Jews survived as a nation for over 1,800 years without a homeland, – just as God promised. In Leviticus 26:33 God had warned Israel that He would “scatter you among the nations”. Through Isaiah He promised them that He would again call them to the Land. “I will bring your descendants from the east, And gather you from the west; I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’” (Isaiah 43:5-6) That promise is echoed over and over again by the prophets. And through Ezekiel he confirmed the permanence of the call. “They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever” (Ezekiel 37:21, 25) Following: Some specific sub-prophecies.
- A Language Restored – Hebrew was a language as dead as ancient Chaldean. Yet God had promised to restore it. “For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, That they all may call on the name of the LORD” (Zephaniah 3:9) He gave one determined scholar the vision of restoring the language for Temple worship. Today it is a vibrant spoken tongue.
- A Land Again Fertile – For 18 centuries, – after the Romans got through with it, – Israel was a desert wasteland. In one example, Isaiah 27:6 promised “Israel shall blossom and bud, And fill the face of the world with fruit.” Tiny Israel now supplies Europe with 90% of its citrus fruits.
- Increased Rainfall – As written in Joel 2:23 God promised that when Israel returned from its exile, He would cause “the rain to come down for you”. And it has!
- Return of the Ethiopian Jews – Zephaniah 3:10 promised: “From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My worshipers, The daughter of My dispersed ones, Shall bring My offering”. Beginning in the 1980’s Israel organized airlifts to bring the Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
- Israel Reborn In A Day – Israel’s reestablishment as a nation on May 14, 1948 shook up the world, and reoriented much of the Church’s view of prophecy. It was literal indeed! And it was all about Israel. Isaiah 66:8 predicted that miraculous birth. “Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once?”
- Israel’s First War – Psalm 83:2-8 lays out Israel’s first war when they became a nation again in 1948. It even specifically names their modern enemies, – Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, etc, – using their ancient historical names. Psalm 83 is likely to have its final fulfillment as the momentum of the End Days takes hold and moves the world toward the seven year Tribulation.
- Jerusalem Is Jewish Again – When the IDF, – The Israeli Defense Force, – took Jerusalem during the ’67 War, it was a fulfillment of Christ’s own words. In Luke 21, Christ warned of the impending destruction of Jerusalem by Roman armies which occurred in AD 70. The early Christians took His warning to heart and left the city as the Roman legions were gathering. Despite the fact that about 1.1million Jews were slaughtered during the capture of Jerusalem, – not one Christian is recorded to have lost their lives in the siege.[ii] Jesus went on to describe the ensuing scattering of the Jews throughout the world and that Jerusalem would remain in the hands of Israel’s enemies “trampled by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled”. (Luke 21:24) Then Jesus goes on to tie that end of the Gentile Era to accelerating birth pangs that will signal the End of the Age. “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.” (Luke 21:29-31) Now a little speculation here! Psalm 90:10 gives 70 years as the length of a generation. And we are told in Luke 21:32, “this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place”. Today we find ourselves over 40 years into the window of this generation that saw the recapture of Jerusalem.[iii]
The rebirth of the Jewish State is often referred to by prophecy scholars as the ‘Super Sign’ that signals that Christ’s return is near at hand. God has called His people back into the Land, – just as He said, – and established them there as a nation, – just as He said. Further He promised in Amos 9:15: “I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the LORD your God”. As God has fulfilled His promises to restore Israel, so the Enemy is preparing the world for his ultimate rebellion. It will all be played out during the Tribulation. That’s the next area we will look at in our Prophetic Template.
[i] Grant R Jeffrey, Jesus: The Great Debate, pg 229-239, 1999
[ii] Chuck Missler, Prophecy Conference 2006, Q&A Session
[iii] For the material on this subject, I consulted Jack Kelly’s Seven Major Signs of the Second Coming, December 30. Mr Kelly argues that the window for prophetic fulfillment is obtained by adding 70 years to either the 1948 or 1967 dates. He therefore sees the earliest possible fulfillment of all End Times prophecies as 2018. That would mean the Rapture could come no earlier than 2011. In my humble reasoning, – fulfillment could occur any time during the life span of that generation. That would preserve the doctrine of imminence as applied to the Rapture of the Church.