This section contains the following topics:
The first is the passive aspect of preparation. This involves knowing the facts about the nations, past and present, which allows us to fully appreciate what God is doing so that we don’t miss critical events that represent prophetic fulfillment. In this mode, we are not trying to decide who is wrong or right, but rather determining how God is bringing about the conclusion of this phase of human history.
The second reason for knowing about the
For example, we might have a predisposition that says war is bad and peace
is good. That is certainly the
conventional wisdom, with the exception that a nation has a right to defend
itself against an unjust aggressor.
However, we know that prophecy says that the antichrist’s peace covenant
There are many other such paradoxes. For example, we know the antichrist is going to have a world-wide system for buying and selling that depends on individuals taking an identifying mark in their forehead or right hand. So when we see technologies and laws being put in place that could facilitate this, do we ignore them or oppose them? If we oppose them, are we obstructing God’s ultimate plan?
In general, then, how do we prepare to have Godly judgment and take the
appropriate actions? The first step is
to be knowledgeable about the world situation, especially in the
First, however, let’s look at the past and current situation
Here is a very short overview of
the modern history of the
19th century – Jewish
Zionists immigrate to
1918 Ottoman Empire collapses, League of Nations puts Palestine under British Mandate, who gives conflicting promises of independence to Jews & Arabs, who develop nationalistic ambitions; Balfour Declaration of 1917 said Jewish National Home originally included Jordan, but in 1922 was divided to only include area west of Jordan River
1948 UN partition plan resulted in
1963 PLO, created by Arab League, represents
Palestinians to provoke Arab world to destroy
1967 Six-Day War gives Israel West Bank, Gaza Strip,
1968 Yasser Arafat, leader of Fatah terrorist group in the PLO, politically perceptive yet ruthless dictator, becomes chairman; transforms from pure terrorist to a political organization with perceived legitimate cause.
1987 PLO starts
Intifada terrorist tactics to force
1993 Oslo Peace Process signed by Israel and PLO; Palestine National Authority (PA) created as the legitimate governing entity of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, who receive autonomy in Jericho, Gaza, much of West Bank; but terrorism continues.
1994 Arafat becomes president of Palestinian
Authority, never renounces terrorist tactics.
2000 Intifada resumed after
2001 9/11 begins attempt by Arab Muslim radicals to force a final confrontation between East and West, fueled by arms race and weapons of mass destruction
2003 Road Map is US proposed plan for settlement of
conflict by 2005 with an independent Palestinian state and withdrawal from West
Bank, Gaza & East Jerusalem; to be monitored by US, UN, EU & Russia
(the international “quartet”); requires PA to stop terrorism & Israel to
withdraw from settlements occupied since 2001.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas shook
hands and pledged to fulfill the conditions of the Road Map. Invasion of
2004 Yasser Arafat dies, making way for more moderate leadership of the PA. Israeli – Egyptian relations improve.
Abbas elected president of PA. This
longtime henchman of Arafat seems more moderate and willing to work toward
negotiated settlements. Preparations
Many of the present Arab states
were created somewhat arbitrarily by the imperial powers after WWI. These states have regularly fought with
· Pan-Arabism, a desire for a unitary Arab state; this is a secular movement that uses Islam to pacify the religious crowds and unite all Arabs under one banner; it started with Arab defeat by Israel in 1948; Egypt’s Nasser was the initial proponent; Israel is seen as the main obstacle to this goal.
· Pan-Islamism, the desire to reconstitute the Islamic religious empire in spite of intrusion of western violation of doctrine and values.
· Nationalistic movements to create independent states, e.g., the Palestinians.
· Dictatorial & imperial designs of individual Arab leaders.
· Tribal & sectarian loyalties.
Arabs learned disinformation tactics from Nazis,
e.g., that there is a Palestinian “people” with a history and a culture; that
WWII refugees all absorbed into own lands,
except Palestinians, who are refused by Arab countries, except
· Labor party leans to socialist policies, often dovish land-for-peace. Held power from 1948 to 1977, when Menachem Begin of the Likud party became PM. Likud is conservative, nationalist, free-market, hawkish, less willing to make territorial compromises or negotiate for peace during times of violence.
· Peace in Islamic terms means no further opposition to Islamic domination
· Muslim leaders, as with other dictators, only understand strength. Concessions are a sign of weakness to be exploited. Peace will only come through strength.
· Wahhabism is radical sect of Islam founded in 18th century to reverse decline of Muslim empire by removing cultural pollution of Western influence and returning to golden age when Qur’an was interpreted literally. Death cult which promotes suicide bombers. Espoused by Al-Qaeda.
Ba’ath Party is a radical & militant Arab
nationalist political system wanting to eventually establish a Pan-Arab
Israeli Prime Ministers
· Shimon Peres, Labor party PM 1984-85, 1995. Dove among doves.
· Benyamin Netanyahu, Likud PM 1996-98, expert on terrorism, security hawk, mellowed while PM, but more hawkish than ever as foreign minister under Ariel Sharon
Ehud Barak, Labor PM 1999-2000, made large
concessions in 2000 at
· Ariel Sharon, Likud PM since 2001 “the Bulldozer”; blamed for inciting the Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000 with his visit to the Temple Mount; surprised hawks and doves by supporting the Road Map at the Aqaba Summit and building the Security Wall, both of which were originally supported by Labor and opposed by Likud.
In summary, the current
The following are notes from a discussion group in Spring, 2005
What Bible lands and cities are part of today’s
· What are the characteristics of the major people groups & sects?
o Kurds – non-Arab ethnic group, 15-20% of population; northern area; desire self- rule, bitter about Hussein’s mistreatment; control 50% of oil
o Sunnis – 20-27% of population, including most Kurds; bitter about losing power to other groups, tend to be more secular
o Shiites – 60% of population; bitter about Sunni domination; tends to represent the pure sect of Islam
· What is the source of the current terrorist resistance?
o Outside radicals see opportunity to humiliate Western powers
o Internal radicals see opportunity to create unrest & gain control
· What are the prospects for liberty and self-government?
o Deeply desired by most Iraqis
o Rejected as anti-Islam by most clerics & insurgents
o Compromises will be needed in constitution—not a likely outcome
o May see three separate states loosely federated: Kurds in north, Sunnis in central, and Shiites in south; could work together, but more likely will be against one another
· Genesis: cradle of civilization and false worship
· Isaiah 13
17-22 fulfilled by Medo-Persian conquest of
~ Kurds; Persians ~
o 4, 6-14 indicate end of age destruction by a distant country with devastating weapons that inflame and humble Babylon/Iraq
some say not completely fulfilled in Old Testament, indicating end times
· Jeremiah 50 & 51
o God’s people to flee (50:8; 51:6, 45)
o utter destruction from alliance of great nations (50:9)
o will be made uninhabitable with extensive weapons of destruction
§ arrows (50:9) – laser-guided munitions
§ never again inhabited(50:39 - depleted uranium armor-penetrating shells
§ roaring sea (50:42) – jet engines
o Other nations go mad due to wine (51:7) – oil
o Our response – don’t fear (51:46)
Revelation: judgment of
Modern Prophetic Words
· Reasons and cautions for starting the war
o Many saw great risk going to war prematurely
of demons – spirits of hate being sent to inflame the Islamic world; triggered
by US going into certain nations (one in particular, unnamed) in pursuit of
terrorists; could have grave consequences for
· Far fulfillment scenarios
o World will blame war disaster on selfishness of a nation (US) acting on it’s own; will result in cry for global solution
culture will rise to prominence in northern
· Messages for US
is using US to judge
o War on terrorism is not easily won; involves the entire world
o God warns US that plans were being made for terrorism in America even as we focused on the elections; costal and metropolitan areas are at risk; this is a warning, we need not have fear enter into our heart, but we need to discern when and where to go.
· Messages for Iraqi Christians
· From Cindy Jacobs’ group – Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders
So how do we use this historical
and current knowledge about the
There are several ways we can handle the knowledge part:
While there is nothing wrong with either of these approaches, great care must be taken to avoid making rash or inappropriate matches. Often an event that seems to fit a passage is a partial fulfillment, meant to sharpen our eyes and ears as we wait for the final version. An example is Hitler, who certainly exhibited aspects of the antichrist.
Following Christ’s example throughout the gospels, especially Luke , and other examples such as Peter in Acts , the Biblical way to correlate events with scripture is discernment through the prophetic office or gift. In addition to knowing the prophetic scriptures and being open to how they are to be fulfilled, this requires that one “follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy” (1 Cor 14:1). If one does not use this spirit-empowered gift in love, then it is very likely that an inappropriate application of prophetic scripture will be made. Note well—this means that merely applying logic to make such correlations, however precise and well-intentioned, is not adequate to determine whether it is in fact a true fulfillment, and is likely to lead at best to frustration, and at worst, deception. This is not to say that one should not make such correlations. But unless one is operating in the gift of prophecy, these analyses should be labeled as speculative scenarios.
Once we know by the gifts of the Spirit that a particular prophetic passage is related to past or current events, we then have a responsibility to take the appropriate actions.
An obvious example is not taking the mark of the beast. The action is clear in this case, but discerning who the beast is or what the mark consists of may not be trivial. If you believe that the beast and mark will be easily identified, then the “only” issue is having the courage and faith to refuse the mark, even if it means losing your own life or that of your friends and family. You might also want prepare to live as a fugitive, since you would not be able to earn money or spend it. Or you could believe, as some scriptures indicate, that God would supernaturally protect and provide for you during this time.
On the other hand, if you believe that the beast and the mark may not be so easily identifiable, or that the system to be used for taking the mark will be introduced earlier in a different context, then you may be unwilling to participate in broad schemes to standardize and computerize personal identification and commerce.
This last scenario raises a general issue regarding how to respond to events or proposals that may support in some way the ultimate agenda of antichrist in End Times. Here are some examples:
Should we categorically support the government
· Should we support national or world-wide identification schemes to reduce crime, terrorism, illegal immigration, etc.?
Is world peace, or at least peace in the
What should our attitude be toward other
religions, especially Islam, which fosters Arab aggression against
· Should Christians move to the country and stockpile food?
Of course, the ultimate answer is that each believer should be led by the Holy Spirit. A Christian diplomat working in a European or Arab country may be led differently than a working-class believer living in the rural South. However, there are some general guidelines that may help guide our behavior when we do not have specific direction from the Holy Spirit.
· Resist the devil (antichrist) and he will flee from you (James 4:7). Of course, this is preceded by “submit therefore to God.” We should always be in repentance and humble submission to God before discerning how the devil is trying to work in our lives. Even more so must the entire church be unified in repentance and submission to God and love for one another before we will have the power to resist the spirit of antichrist and perhaps antichrist himself. If we think that some system, religion, group, or event is preparing the way for antichrist, we had better be in unison with other spirit-filled believers and pray earnestly for discernment and wisdom as to how to respond. Most likely, God will lead us, as Jesus modeled, to pray, speak the Word, and go on the offensive to increase God’s kingdom. The most effective way to destroy the works of the devil is to do the works of God.
· Witness until the end; God delays the coming of Christ only to give all an opportunity to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
· The coming judgment of the world is a good and necessary thing, in spite of the trials and tribulations that even some Christians may have to endure. We should not be surprised or dismayed at the increasing frequency and severity of natural and supernatural events during the last days. Rather than praying against them, we should recognize God’s hand and pray that he will protect us, provide for us, and, if required, to allow us the great honor of sacrificing our lives as a testimony for him.
In summary, the key is to be alert and watch for the signs that are given in God’s Word. Then be so filled with the spirit of Christ that you immediately recognize not only the signs, but their importance and what your response should be.
· It just isn’t, and it may still be a powerful nation during End Times.
· It will be destroyed during the wars between nations.
· It will have lost influence through moral decay.
It will have been brought to its knees by the
Rapture; until then it is a defender of
It is mentioned under the label of
Scriptures that may shed light on
· Genesis 12:3 – America is blessed or cursed as we treat Israel; State Department policy is typically to evaluate our practical national interests, which often results in favoring Arab oil interests; contrasted to Bible-believing leaders who tend to favor Israel out of Scriptural convictions; broad support for Israel in America has waned since the 1975 Oil Embargo which followed the 1973 Yom Kippur war – most want cheap oil
Isaiah 18:2 – a tall, smooth-skinned people,
feared far and wide, who are aggressive, or enterprising; could be
Jeremiah 50-51 –
Ezekiel 38:10-13 –
Ezekiel 39:6 – fire on those who live in safety
in the coastlands; could refer to
Daniel 7:4 – the lion is interpreted to be
Zechariah 14:2-3 – Will gather all nations to
· Revelation 8:8 – Like a mountain ablaze thrown into the sea; could the mountain be America (see Jer 51:24-25); vs. 9 continues referring to destruction of 1/3 of the creatures and ships in the sea – note that America is about 1/3 of the world economy; brought to the level of the sea, i.e., the other nations
· Psalm 46:2 – we will not fear
Another possible scenario for
Islamic terrorism occurs in
· Fear of terrorism weakens the economy and further divides the American people politically and religiously
Strong, prepared Christians, in spite of an
antagonistic American government, will lead a revival and focus on prayer to
Note that this scenario combines the
apparently contradictory prophetic themes of God’s judgment on
Copyright 2005 by Clay Watts,