Thinking on a visit to my office from South Korea’s public broadcasting group (KBS) a number of years ago stimulated cogitations about the perilous times in which we find ourselves. Fears back then of what North Korea’s then President Kim Jong-il might do with nuclear weapons, should he be allowed to continue to develop them, was the obvious point of the visit. Particularly, the South Korean press, like the press worldwide, wanted to know what those who examine Bible prophecy had to say about what the future might portend.
There was good reason then, as there is now, to be concerned.
As it stands now, the nations in possession of nuclear weapons technology are the US, the UK, France, Israel, Russia, Pakistan, India, China, and now North Korea. Other nations are pursuing the acquisition of nukes, with Iran being in the lead in the drive to become nuclear powers.
More than 40 additional nations are involved in “peaceful” nuclear power projects that could be turned into weapons research and development, according to the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Many within the diplomatic community who deal with nuclear arms control issues believe the developing situation in the spread of nuclear technology presents a more dangerous condition than that of the Soviet and US arms race during the Cold War. This is because there were only two powers to be concerned about, and because the mutual destruction that was assured if nuclear conflict began was a deterrent to both sides, who had at the controls people who thought about such an eventuality. There are tyrants and madmen today who seem to exhibit no such thought processes. At least not a thought process governed by concern for the people they hold under their despotic thumbs.
So, the people of the Korean Broadcasting System came to visit to discuss the matters involved –those of Bible prophecy as it might relate to the current issues and events of their region and the world.
According to a network spokesman, “KBS was then drafting a special edition documentary film on religion and society. A part of the film was dedicated to religion and society in America.”
Like so many of the media who seek interviews with those of us who deal in matters of Bible prophecy, KBS developed an interest in talking with me after checking out the raptureready.com site, the website in which I’m partner with Todd Strandberg, its founder.
The Korean peninsula represents a threat to disrupt world peace. Not since the early 1950s have things in the region presented such potential for armed conflict. And, this time the threat is nuclear, thanks to Kim Jong-un, son and successor of Kim Jong-il, much more so than was the Korean conflict of that earlier time.
China is the key to war and peace, however, just as that massive nation was the key to war and peace in that earlier Korean “police action.” If China chooses to put its controlling thumb on the young dictator, things will settle there. It is my view, at this juncture, that this will happen. China is in rapid development as an economic world power, and even more importantly from their perspective, as a world nuclear armaments power. They aren’t likely to allow hostilities they can govern to go out of control while they seek to become so much more powerful among the nations of earth. They can exert exponentially greater hegemony at a later date once their power is consolidated in the Orient and is fully developed. The Chinese are quite patient–and make no mistake, they are building for a future effort at world domination.
God has forewarned of this force, which I’m convinced is China, once it reaches its maximum power. It will bring with it all of the Orient, which will by that time have come under its great influence, if not its total domination.
Bible prophecy says about that juggernaut that will invade toward Megiddo for the final battle of the war called Armageddon: “And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared” (Rev. 16:12).
“And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them” (Rev. 9:15-16).
It continues to amaze me that the secular media around the world expresses far greater interest in matters of Bible prophecy than does the clergy. And, I must say that most within evangelical Christian circles seem the least interested in these crucial times in which we live, and which might be the very end of the Church Age.
Again I come back to my and other’s contention that it is apathy within the Church body –as much as the nation Israel being at the center of world anxieties– that comprises the primary signal of exactly where this generation might stand on God’s prophetic timeline.
I have addressed this end-time signal a number of times over the years. I will include in what I write here past portions from news accounts, etc., I have used in those past writings. Because we are flooded these days by individuals and media scoffing about Christ’s return, and particularly about our position on the rapture, we must continue to present that scoffing for what it is–significantly a part of the overall deluge of prophesied last-days indicators.
The key prophecy, of course, is given in the following:
“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Pet. 3:3-4).
I once received an e-mail containing an article that, in my view, encapsulates some of this type of scoffing. The mocking coming from those who claim to be within the body of Jesus Christ makes it doubly troubling, because it leads to throwing fuel on the fires of rage against things of Christ–including prophecy yet future.
“’I am so frustrated by how so many so-called mainline Christians, clergy included, are caught up by dispensationalism,’ said the Rev. Robert Flowers, a local peace activist who also heads the Wesley Foundation, a United Methodist center just off the Baylor University campus.”
The article reported the reverend’s further castigation of those of us who believe as, he thinks, we believe. “’This view of a militant, violent sequence of events for the end times,’ he said, ‘has no problem with Jesus coming back in a blaze of glory, casting nonbelievers into hell with modern weaponry.’”
Rev Flowers believes that the Revelation and other apocalyptic writings in the Bible are just a reflection of the times John wrote it, in dire opposition to Rome, and to give some comfort to those under the oppressive thumb of their Roman masters. He scoffs at any literal interpretation of those passages involving God’s wrath, and says those of us who do believe in a literal interpretation are…well, I’ll let his own words from the article say it:
“’These people want to help usher in the so-called second coming of Jesus by any means necessary, even violent destruction via militarism,’ Flowers said” (excerpts taken from “Are we living in the final days? Local clergy weigh in,” Sunday, July 23, 2006, by Terri Jo Ryan, Tribune-Herald).
His is but one of many voices deriding, mocking, and scoffing at the pre-trib view of prophecy, the rapture, and Jesus’ literal return in the second advent to put an end to mankind’s sin-filled madness. From such diatribes, secular media constantly question me, as well as Dr. Tim LaHaye, Hal Lindsey, and many others, wondering over how we can wish for all-out war in the Middle East so that Christ will return.
Such is the furthest from the truth possible. We simply put forth what God’s Word says about these matters. For example, the strikes Israel must make in either defensive action, or in preemptive action must be reported, in light of Israel’s place in Bible prophecy. This doesn’t mean we relish the death and destruction. Such turmoil and unrest –such tragedy—is prophesied for Israel and its blood-vowed enemies the closer the age draws to Christ’s second advent.
The defensive and/or preemptive acts by Israel –to hit its enemies—is fact. Such acts, as time moves on, ratchets up in earnest the polarization of the international community against Israel –and perhaps the U.S. for its refusal –to this point—to twist Israel’s arm to accept an international community demand that Israel give in at every point in the effort to establish a Palestinian state on the tiny land area that makes up the present Jewish homeland. This is part, I feel, of the Mideast situation building toward Zechariah, chapters 12 and 14, predicting that Israel will become a “burdensome stone” to the whole world. They will become, ultimately, surrounded, and threatened by all the world.
We live on this planet, too. We have loved ones who would be affected by World War III, or Armageddon, the same as everyone else. We don’t want Armageddon. But, regardless, Armageddon is on the way. God’s Word says so, in very specific and horrific terms. Those opposed to the literal truth of God’s words on the coming apocalypse seem to want to stone the messengers. So, we must ask: Where does the violence really lie? With we who are trying to warn people of the wrath of God to come, or in those who want us off the planet, to shut us up?
That, incidentally, is exactly what will happen. Our critics will have wish fulfillment beyond their wildest imaginations. One day –perhaps very soon—Christians will indeed be removed. The rebellious earth-dwellers can then attempt to build their Utopia. They will even have a genius master architect to guide in constructing the one world order so fervently sought over recent decades. The final results will be catastrophic beyond any ever thought possible, according to Jesus, reflecting on the prophecy He gave Isaiah the prophet. Jesus said: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt. 24:21).
Scoffing is a prime signal of where we must be on God’s prophetic timeline. While we do not want global war, or regional war, or any other kind of war, we must proclaim that God’s Word says it is coming. We can do nothing to stop what God has plainly prophesied will occur. He is omniscient, and cannot lie.
Although we want peace, not war, we do look for His coming for us, first for all believers in the Rapture, then, at least seven years later, in the glorious appearing of Revelation 19:11. We do not shrink, therefore, from saying with the prophet John: “…Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20).
There is a sense even among those who hold little or no regard for Bible prophecy that troubling events in the Middle East could bring about the end of the world. Bible prophets, and we who adhere to a literal interpretation of the things they foretold, have been putting forth on world issues and events for years. Yet, genuine concern didn’t seem to raise its head until then Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad mentioned the 12th Imam, and his soon coming forward to bring about man’s final war.
It’s always been true that man would rather believe satanic lies than God’s truth. Adam and Eve believed Lucifer (as the serpent in the Garden of Eden) when the father of all lies told them that they would not surely die, like God said, if they ate of the forbidden fruit. Mankind has fallen for the lies ever since, preferring to accept any lie rather than the only truth there is –truth from the mind of the Creator of all things. Evolution, for example, has become the basis for knowledge in America and around the world. Despite the proof that everything we know about has to be created –it doesn’t just happen—the purveyors of evolution tell us that all we see around us just “happened” to happen. It all came from nothingness, and grew to be –well—all of this!
That’s an interesting thought, isn’t it? That the tree from which Adam and Eve ate was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Since that disobedient eating of that forbidden fruit (fruit involving knowledge), not only have human beings died, but the human race has fallen head over heels for the lie that all knowledge must begin from within the evolutional model. The father of lies knew what would be the results of his seduction from the very moment he first enticed Eve. His methods haven’t changed. People still grasp on to the seductive lies of Satan. They latch, with trepidation, onto the thought that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had the answer to the future, while God’s prophetic truth sort of just backs up what this Islamic Hitler-like dictator from Iran had to say from his version of the Koran.
The former Iranian fanatic dictator, like many followers of the satanic prophecy, believed the 12th Imam was the Mahdi, an Arabic word that generally references a messiah, or a guide. This messiah will, they believe, come from his occultation (unspecified place of abode) to show followers the right pathway, and to make Islam the only religion on earth. The former Iranian president, as do fanatic clerics of the region, held forth that it is desirable to bring on Armageddon and the end of the world, in order to bring the Twelfth Imam into the world.
It is feared by many Middle East observers that, like Ahmadinejad, his successor Islamist fanatics believe producing nuclear weapons, and using them once they are developed, is the reason they are placed by Allah at this time in history, in this volatile region. Israel, they proclaimed, must be destroyed at any cost, so that the 12th Imam can rearrange the present world order. So –it is transparent, to me at least—that the international community and UN appeasers believe Ahmadinejad and his equally fanatic successors must not be confronted; rather, Israel must give in at every point of Islamic aggression, or threatened aggression. If peace isn’t achieved –at any price – the world will end in nuclear Armageddon. The collective thought seems to be that resisting Iran could be the trigger point to World War III.
Such will apparently be the degree of appeasement when Iran (the area of ancient Persia) comes down with the Gog-Magog forces as prophesied by Ezekiel. The prophet foretold that the world, watching the attack on Israel, will issue a diplomatic protest note, with a Neville Chamberlain-like question: “Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?” (Ezek. 38:13).
The end of the world is on the minds of media and the appeasement-minded within the international community. To these world worry-warts, “fundamentalist, evangelical” Christians are in the same grouping with the fanatic Islamics, like those of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s ilk.
Satan wants the world to see true Christians as intermeshed with Islamists, much like the Hezbollah, Hamas, and other Islamic terrorist organizations want innocent women and children intermingled with their murderous members when the fighting starts. The devil attempts to counterfeit everything Almighty God does. He tries to make it seem that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his like, and those of us who believe Christ is coming back to destroy His enemies believe exactly the same thing. Lucifer wants the world to believe that we are fanatics who want to bring on Armageddon so the end of the world can hurry and get here. Our “religion” will then triumph.
Actually, Christians and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad-type Islamics are at opposite ends of the theological spectrum. We have the God of all creation, who sent His Son to die for mankind, that all people might live forever. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad believes in a god who wants his and other Muslim children, if it is expedient, to die for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s god, so that that god can enslave a planet. The Lord God Jehovah wants eternal life for mankind. Lucifer wants the end of the world, so all of God’s creation called man will be destroyed.
We can be sure of one thing. This world is in full control of the one who spoke it into existence. Here’s the truth: “Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Eph 3:21).
America has served as midwife and protector of the modern state of Israel since before that nation’s birth on May 14-15, 1948. This is, in my view, and in the views of a number of those who watch such things from a Bible prophecy perspective, a primary reason America was raised up in the first place. The physical protection of Israel in its modern incarnation, and the capability to disseminate the gospel, literally, throughout the whole world, make the United States a unique and particularly blessed national entity in the annals of history.
U.S. influence and power continue to keep the Islamic wolves at bay while they surround and circle the tiny nation, wanting to devour it, thus to be rid of it. But the Israeli “prey” isn’t an easy one. It is, in actuality, more powerful than any of its individual antagonistic neighbors. The nuclear option makes this so. It is, in effect, its own best protector in this late era of human history, with America –to this point, at least– an ally that has promised to jump in, if needed, thus adding great deterrence to any other entity attacking.
Its most aggressive enemy –in rhetoric, at least—is Iran, the large neighbor to its north that comprises much of the land mass that made up Persia in ancient days. That Israel needs to be ever aware of its protection, there can be no doubt. The daily headline news makes the necessity quite clear. The Obama Administration is pressuring Israel to lessen Israeli Defense Force (IDF) measures to guard against attack for the sake of peace initiatives.
“The administration is seeking a complete or partial IDF withdrawal from the Jordan Valley, where the border between Israel and Jordan lies at the eastern edge of Judea and Samaria, also called the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority has long sought control of the valley. However, Israel and Jordan are opposed to an IDF withdrawal, which they fear would enable the transit of terrorists and arms through Jordan into the West Bank. After a prominent retired Israeli general spoke out against IDF withdrawal from the Jordan Valley, Israeli media reported that the Obama administration’s head envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Martin Indyk, convened a meeting of Israeli security officials. He pressured them to drop their objections to the plan and make media appearances in support of it to help sell a skeptical Israeli public on the benefits of a reduction in security…” (Washington Free Beacon Staff, Obama pressuring Israel to withdraw from strategically vital Jordan Valley, December 26, 2013).
America seems a faithful ally to Israel. There is nothing in the history between the two nations to imply that that relationship would change. Even in the –in my view, with the wishy-washy—Carter and Clinton administrations, and with the sometimes extremely obtuse and politically correct U.S. State Department, the tie remained strong. Israel seems almost invulnerable from the standpoint of having the nuclear strength and resolve to protect its nationhood. The deterrence to such a future attack appears to be overwhelming to any potential enemy, or group of enemies. Such an attack would almost certainly initiate nuclear retaliation, to the extent needed to repulse the assault.
Yet the evidence is growing stronger daily that Israel has every reason to be concerned about its own defensive posture. Bible prophecy makes it clear that such an attack is on the horizon of the future. And prophecies involved make it equally clear there will be no nation –not even the United States–that will come to Israel’s defense.
We have gone over Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 many times, about the attack from the north called the war of Gog-Magog. The most relevant thought for our purposes in this commentary is that there will be no human protection for Israel, if we view the description literally –and we do. The U.S. –even Israel itself–will be incapable of protecting the Jewish State. God’s Word says about the leader called Gog who will lead the forces –including Persia (modern Iran)– that will storm toward Israel:
And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD (Ezek. 38: 22-23).
Israel has but one protector in the truest sense. He has been its protector from the very first promises He made to Abraham, then to Isaac and Jacob. When He defends them in this satanically inspired assault, many will no doubt be called to salvation and will recognize that God is Israel’s only security. He is the only security for you and me, as well!