IN my prior columns, part 1 and part 2, I outlined possible present-day scenarios relating to Israel, countries around Israel, Gog, of the land of Magog, Babylon the Great, the Beast, and the Rapture according to prophecy in the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Zechariah, Matthew, Mark, Luke and Revelation.
I add the following for consideration as to the ‘End Times.’
Currently, Israel does not appear to correspond with prophecy according to Ezekiel 38. Depending on who does the surveys, the United States has approximately 5 ½ to 6 ½ million Jews. In 2010, Israel had slightly less than 6 million Jews which is equal to or less than the Jewish population in United States (USA). As a result, prophecy in Ezekiel chapter 36:10 “…yes, all of Israel”, and the “vast army” in Ezekiel 37:10 have not been fulfilled. Consequently, if all the Israelites worldwide were to return the population in Israel might triple.
Nor, is there any indication that the ‘shepherds’ that have ruled selfishly and corruptly in Israel have been removed (Ezekiel 34:10). And, if Ezekiel is not prophesying about Jesus Christ, nor has a leader like God’s ‘servant David’ replaced the ‘shepherds’ (Ezekiel 34:17-23, Ezekiel 37:24-25), or that the Lord has sanctified His name to all the ‘heathen’ through Israel (Ezekiel 36:23), or that the Lord has put a ‘new spirit’ in all Israelites to keep His ‘statues’ and ‘judgments’ (Ezekiel 36:25-27).
Neither, is Israel safe as described in Ezekiel 38:8 and 38:14 “…when my people of Israel dwelleth safely” nor in Ezekiel 36:15 “…no longer will I make you hear the taunts of the nations, and no longer will you suffer the scorn…” Instead, Israel suffers constant threats, condemnations, pressure to give up land, horrendous attacks and their right to exist.
Although, Christians, and enemies of Israel should take exceptional note that in the latter days when Jesus Christ returns He will avenge the treatment of Israel, the Israelites, His sheep, and His elect (Zachariah 14:3-21, Revelation 20:8-9). No other nations or people will receive the Lord’s shelter, only great wrath (Zachariah 14:12, Revelation 19:15-16).
Concerning the attack on USA if she is Babylon the Great. According to military statistics on battle equipped, sizable forces and readiness, the only nation who could take on USA now is China but most scholars don’t believe China is Gog.
Therefore, if Russia and her allies do attack the USA and Israel it will most likely occur later as Russia is in the process of rebuilding.
Also, USA has large air, ground and naval contingents in the region as well as one of the most comprehensive US Government Missions in the world based in Israel. High-ranking US individuals go in and out of Israel continually, and the US military participates in war games in and around Israel.
Except, people might think that the current US Administration is inexperienced, unpredictable and unproductive in foreign affairs and USA would accomplish nothing, confuse or even complicate things (like in Iran, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen etc.) if Russia attacks Israel now. But, the current US Congress and military is experienced and aggressive in international affairs. Besides, the powerful Jewish lobby, pro-Israel Americans and Christians would not idly stand by.
Meantime, barring any unseen internal protests and civil war the Russian leaders will continue to consolidate power. They will also look for collaborators inside USA to degrade USA’s nuclear arsenal and defense systems. In addition, Russia is seeking to replace a vital part of combat, the AK-47, and will need to plan coordination of the enormous ground forces necessary to overrun Israel. Russian leadership will move against USA and Israel when they are certain of high success and low retaliation. This will take careful preparation to streamline, train and implement the newly purchased (reported in February 2011), $650 billion equipment of ballistic missiles, warplanes, ships, submarines, carriers, and helicopters scheduled to be completed by 2020.
Thus, if Christians in the United States believe USA could be Babylon the Great they might prayerfully consider going back to their country of origin (Revelation 18:4, Jeremiah 51:9) or attempt to change USA’s self-destructive path similar to what King Hezekiah and King Josiah did for the kingdom of Judah (2 Kings 18-19, 2 Kings 22:11-23:25).
Now, let’s look closely at the highly contested timing of the Rapture. There is evidence that many in the early Christian churches, including disciples and apostles believed Jesus Christ would return in their lifetime. There is also evidence that predictions of the ‘Latter Days’ repeatedly occurred at every passing millennium, century, pestilence, persecution, natural disaster, monetary catastrophe, major conflict, and particularly after changes of country leadership or party.
And, if you carefully compare our present-day problems to the continual wars, barbarism, pestilence, famines, poverty, and epic natural disasters recorded in the Bible and in classic historical annals I think we would be hard pressed to say the present day is worse.
Nevertheless, the chaos in North Africa and the Middle East, the deaths sustained in the 2004 Indian Ocean disaster, and the recent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accidents in Japan would be a strong indication that we may be entering the end times.
However, despite being taught in my own denomination that Christians will be raptured before the Great Tribulation, I cannot find any confirmation in scripture to that effect. Rather, overwhelming verses to the contrary in addition to what Jesus Christ said while He was on earth.
When asked by His disciples in Luke 21:7, Mark 13:3-4 and Matthew 24:3, “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus Christ did not respond with don’t be concerned nothing bad will happen to you, you won’t be here.
Quite the opposite! Jesus replied that we can expect satanic paranormal deceit, supernatural activity, severe persecution, death, wars, earthquakes, pestilence, fearful events, and signs in the heavens (Matthew 24:3-51, Mark 13:3-37 and Luke 21:7-36).
In regards to the future, military intelligence is not precise, research can be flawed, interpretations of prophecy can be misunderstood, and I certainly do not claim to be clairvoyant so Christians should be ready for any development in relation to Christ’s return (Revelation 16:15).
Don Davis has over 20 years experience in analytic research particularly regarding Israeli, Middle Eastern culture, behavior and historical patterns. Don is based in Israel, from where he monitors and evaluates worldwide information on finance, technologies, industries, and the military/political environment for a US consulting company.