Chapter 12: Other Biblical Prophecy, Part II (Israel)

The progenitor of the Israelites was Abraham, meaning “father of a multitude” (Genesis 11:26-17:5, Exodus 2:24; 4:5) and his name is recorded about 130 times after this period until the end of Genesis.   He left the city life of Ur of the Chaldees (Genesis 15:5, Neh. 9:7) and went to Haran, before going to the land of Canaan including modern Israel.   Biblical chronology would place his birth about 2161 BC at Ur under the third dynasty, dated 2135-2035.   This would place Abraham’s birth certainly between 2161-2035 and justifies an approximation of at least 2160-2000 BC.   The name is found archaeologically in Mesopotamia in the second millennium BC, showing it was used then.

 

The Nuzu tablets, near modern Kirkuk ( Iraq) were excavated in 1925 and 1941 and yielded thousands of tablets illustrating Genesis accounts of that period concerning adoption, marriage laws, rights of the firstborn, and other customs.

 

Abraham’s son Isaac is likewise a major figure of Genesis accounts.   His name means “laughter” (mockery) (cf Gen. 17:17; 18:10-15; 21:6), confirming God’s promise to unbelieving parents.   There are many references in Genesis to Isaac, and God’s promise to Abraham was extended to him in Gen. 26:24, not through Ishmael, his son by Hagar, as claimed by Muslims.   Ishmael is the ancestor of Arabic peoples.   His offering by Abraham on Mount Moriah (present Temple Mount in Jerusalem) is seen as a Biblical illustration (type) of Christ’s offering of His life on Calvary as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of the world.

 

Israel’s son Jacob, meaning “heel-catcher” (Gen. 25:26), was renamed by God to be Israel (Gen. 32:28).   God calls Himself “the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:6; 4:5).   The Nuzu tablets mentioned above shed much light upon him archaeologically.   The family of Jacob is “the house of Jacob” (Exodus 19:3), “the seed of Jacob” (Isaiah 45:19), and “the sons of Jacob” (I Kings 18:31).   He was probably born about 2000 BC.   There are numerous other references to him in the Scriptures.   “Jacob’s well” (John 4:6) is still to be visited at Shechem or Sychar, near modern city of Nablus in Israel, and has the depth, history, and situation consistent with this report.   The author personally visited the well, drank water and was even permitted (then) to drop a small stone into it, verifying the words, “The well is deep.”   The name Jacob occurs in tablets of the 18th century BC from Chagar Bazor in Mesopotamia and a place name in the reign of Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III in the later 15th century BC.   Stewart, in his book The Exodus Mystery, dates Jacob’s entrance into Egypt at 1656 BC.

 

Israel’s King David is the ancestor of Messiah, “The son of David,” and is often mentioned in the New Testament.   Israel is represented in its flag and in other ways by “the star of David.”   The most prominent hotel in Jerusalem is the King David Hotel.   There is an extensive link between Biblical, extra-Biblical and current history with his name.   His family names are replete in the Old Testament.   Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, was called “the city of David” (Luke 2:4, 11).   The genealogies of Jesus in the New Testament trace His lineage to David (Matt. 1:6-7; Luke 3:31).   Jesus is “the Son of David” (Matt. 9:27; 15:22; 20:30; 21:9, 15; 22:42-45; Mark 10:47; Luke 18:38; John 7:42).

 

The famed seventy weeks prophecy of Daniel details the prophetic Word and is viewed as certain by conservative Biblical interpreters and challenged by critics who question even the historic validity of both.   It relates entirely to Israel, “Your people and Your holy city” (vs. 24).   How will the end come?   “To bring in everlasting righteousness.”   What was the prophetic date for the beginning?   “From the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem” (vs. 25).   This was issued by the Persian King Artaxerxes Longimanus (Ezra 7:11, 21, 23), commissioning Ezra to do this in the seventh year of the king’s reign (465-425 BC) or in 457 BC.

 

The beginning date is then broken into succeeding periods of 7 and 62 (totaling 69) until the time when Messiah will be cut off (slain).   The death date of Jesus is considered, however disputed its details are, April 7, AD 30, at the time of the Passover then.   The length of the prophecy (69 x 7) equals 483 years.   The time from Artaxerxes’ decree (457 BC) to the death of Jesus is approximately 486 years, a minor difference of 3 years which has been analyzed in connection with accession years of kings, chronological differences between calculating systems, etc.   Essentially, Jesus died at the end of Daniel’s 69th week.   The people of the prince that shall come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.   This was fulfilled by the Roman legions under Titus in 70 AD just as Jesus prophesied (Matt. 24:2; Mark 13:2; Luke 21:6).   There is an apparent interval of time between the 69th and 70th week (of 7 years).

 

This period of seven years is elsewhere aligned with “The Great Tribulation” (Matt. 24:21) although this should chiefly apply to the latter half.   It is divided into two parts of a covenant for “one week.”   In the middle of the week, he, the evil prince (antichrist or European ruler), will put a stop to the sacrifice” (in the rebuilt Temple) in connection with “the abomination of desolation” (desecration of its holy place with an image of the Beast).   The latter part (3½ years of 360 days by Jewish calculation or a “time, and times a half a time” (as 3½ years) (Rev. 12:14).   The first half is “the beginning of sorrows.”   The second half is properly “the Great Tribulation.”   At the end of the 69th week, Messiah will be “cut off.”   At the end of the 70th week, Messiah will come again (Matt. 24:30) after the terrors of the tribulation and end time events (Matt. 24:3-22).

 

The national restoration of Israel to God is a subject of numerous Old Testament prophecies.   The extent of future Israel will be from “the river of Egypt (the Nile) as far as the great river, Euphrates” (Gen. 15:18).   It will include Lebanon, all “the land of the Hittites,” “the land of Canaan” ( Israel itself), the Negev desert down to the Sinai Peninsula unto the Nile (Deut. 1:7; Joshua 1:31).   King Solomon ruled from the Euphrates to the border of Egypt (II Chron. 9:26), virtually the identical area.

 

Romans 11:1-2 tells us that God has not eternally rejected His earthly chosen people Israel, despite their historic spiritual unfaithfulness (verses 3-10).   Their transgressions made way for Him to turn to the Gentiles (verse 12) who were “grafted into” the root of Judaism as a wild olive tree into the rich root (verses 16-19).   A spiritual remnant of Israel will be grafted back into their own olive tree (verse 24) then “All Israel (its survivors from the Tribulation) will be saved” by the coming of the Deliverer, Messiah (verses 26-27).   Is this not clear enough?

 

The coming of the Day of the Lord, climaxed by the second coming of Messiah, will see Him set up His kingdom from “the cities of Egypt to the Euphrates” (Micah 7:12).   Few of even Orthodox or other Jews believe this.   Evangelical Bible believers accept this as God’s unfailing promise.

 

Europe and Revived Roman Empire of “The End Times”

 

The peoples of Europe have been involved for centuries in internal wars, involving Germanic tribes, Gaul or France, Spain and Italy.   These flourished from the time of the Roman Caesars through medieval times and the so-called “ Holy Roman Empire.”   This continued to the time of Napoleon, advancing French world claims.   World Wars I and II, under German efforts, sought control of Europe.   The coming together of these nations into a unified whole for the first time in history is a feature of the last half of the 20th century and the beginning of the present one.   This has developed into the European Union, which covers virtually all of the continent, including the British Isles.   This is the core of the coming revived Roman Empire.

 

The city of Rome was founded in 735 BC on seven hills.   It developed into a world empire, including France, Spain, Germany, Syria, peoples of the British Isles, the Balkans, and central Europe.   Eventually it stretched into what is now Turkey, as far as Egypt and portions of North Africa.   Through religious and state authority, it “reigned over the kings of the earth.”   It persecuted believers, both Jews and Christians, until the time of Constantine (4th century AD).

 

Its end time revival is seen in Rev. 13:1-10.   Here a great Beast (the Antichrist) arises out of the sea (the nations), having 10 horns (10 kingdoms) and seven heads with blasphemous names (against God).   He is empowered by a dragon (Satan).   Its appearance is like a leopard ( Greece and its swift armies under Alexander); a bear (Media-Persia, beginning with Cyrus); a lion ( Rome, energized by Julius Caesar) (Daniel 7:3-7).   The Beast’s empire will embrace features of the preceding world empires (Greek, Persian, and Roman).   He will persecute believers (Rev. 13:7).   He will be worshipped as God (Rev. 13:8), climaxed by the desecration of the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, the end time “abomination of desolation” (Matt. 24:15; Mark 13:14).

 

He will be destroyed by the coming of the Son of Man, Messiah (Daniel 2:11-14).   He will strike the Beast as a “stone made without hands” one mighty blow, not a process, to crush him (Daniel 1:34-35), as by a great smiting stone and become like a “great mountain which fills the whole earth” (Daniel 2:23, 45), meaning the establishment of the Messianic, theocratic kingdom of God on earth.   This is the divine end foretold in the prayer, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).

 

Russia , The Northern Confederation, Gog and Magog

 

Russia was formerly called Muscovy, hence the name of its capital, Moscow.   The name was derived from mescheck.   The Russian Empire was created by Muscovite princes, the first grand dukes of Moscow.   Russia derived its name from Rosh (Ezekiel 38:1; 39:2).   God is described as prince of Rosh, Meschech, and Tubal, and God said, “I am against you, O God.”   In Genesis 10:2, Gomer, Magog, Tubal, and Meshech are listed as sons of Japeth, one of Noah’s three sons from whom European nations take their descent.

 

Josephus says Magog called the Scythians by this name.   Our word Caucasian, describing people descended from this area (as contrasted with Asians or Africans), comes from Caucasus, meaning “God’s fort.”

 

Rosh refers to the inhabitants of Scythia, from which modern Russians derive their name.   Oriental writers called those who live by the River Araxes and Rosh was the Arabic name for that river.

 

Meshech and Tubal were inhabitants of the Moshic Mountains east of the Black Sea in Russia and were called Moschi.   Josephus says it was founded by Meshech and the Thobdites from Tubal.   These are identified with two great cities of present Russia, Moscow and Tobolsk.

 

Gomer (Genesis chapter 10) had three sons, all of them from Togarmah, north coast of the Black Sea.   The capital city of Gomeria, then Cimmeria, then Crimea “the land of Gomer” became new Germany.   As is associated with Askenaz, from which the term “Ashkenazic Jews” (European) is derived.

 

Togarmah and “all its bands” is identified with Armenia.   Tartar tribes called themselves Togarmah, all in south Russia, the north of Israel.   Dr. L. Sale Harrison in 1928 wrote a book on Russia, from which the above information was derived.

 

The applicable prophecies to “the end times” are found primarily in Ezekiel, chapters 36-39, and involve Russia, Europe, and Israel.   Features are:

 

1.       There will be a scattering of the Jewish people among the nations (Ezekiel 36:19, fulfilled).   Then there will be a re-gathering into Israel’s remnant, leading to their cleansing from sin, having “a new heart and new spirit” and there they shall prosper (Ezekiel 36:24-30, in process of fulfillment) (cf also Jeremiah 3:15-19).  

 

2.       There will be a national conversion of the believing remnant, a revival and spiritual resurrection, a joining of both Israel and Judah into one nation again, and then David will be king (Ezekiel 37:11-24, as yet unfulfilled, but in process toward the future).

 

3.       In the end times, the Russian Northern Confederation will attack Israel (Ezekiel 38:1-2) from “the remote parts of the north,” including Gomer, Togarmah, Persia (Iran), and Libya, all today arrayed against the Jews (Ezekiel 38:5-6).   They will come against Israel from the north (Ezekiel 38:15-16) in overwhelming power.   Why will they do this?   “To take a spoil” (vs. 12).   This would not be for oil, for Israel has none.   It has been suggested that it is because of vast mineral deposits (as in the Dead Sea).   More likely, it is for control of the most strategic area of the Middle East, which Russia has long wished to dominate.

 

4.       When this invading force of God comes upon Israel, God will destroy them (Ezekiel 38:18‑22; Ezekiel 39:1-8).   Israel will burn their weapons, bury their bodies in “the valley of Hamon-gog,” over a period of seven months (Ezekiel 39:9-16).   Prophecies are for “the latter days,” thus yet unfilled.   Joel 2:20 confirms the destruction of “the northern army.”   This is associated with the coming Day of the Lord with unprecedented warfare and desolation (Joel 2:1-4).

 

5.       Subsequent to this, the European nations of the revived Roman empire, which has slowly been coming together (see today in the growing European Union) will mobilize to take political and military control of the earth.   They will then invade Israel under the leadership of its dictator, called “the Beast” or Antichrist.   He will be stopped after this threat, even to Jerusalem by the coming of the Son of man, Messiah (Daniel 7:11-14).   This final battle in Israel (not elsewhere) is called Armageddon or “the hill of Megiddo,” still a site of tourist visits with unquestioned authenticity.

 

Fulfillment in the Atomic Age

 

The ushering in of the Atomic Age is a matter of 20th century history, especially the later half.   It is also a matter for end-time prophecy, as indicated in both the Old and New Testaments.   Who could have possibly foreseen these when the prophecies were written?

 

On January 29, 1948, a statement was issued by the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists headed by Dr. Albert Einstein, originator of the famed formula, E = mc2, called the theory of relativity, and Dr. Harold Urey of the University of Chicago.   It spoke of the “overwhelming threat presented to civilization by the atomic bomb.   We approach what may be called the last hour before midnight.”   This declaration followed the dropping of the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima, Japan, and the second over Nagasaki, terminating World War II.

 

The prophetic Biblical phrases, quoted in this section, were widely quoted by the chief science writer for the prestigious New York Times (W.L. Lawrence, 1946), by President Harry Truman in October 1945, before committees of the U.S. House and Senate in November 1945, and even by atheists like Professor M.C. Otto of the University of Wisconsin (1945) in his book, The Human Enterprise and With All Our Learning (1946).

 

The concept of atoms as particles of matter goes back to ancient Greek philosophers when only four original elements were recognized (water, air, fire, and earth).   Now the scientifically accepted list of elements is about 100, including uranium, a chief element in the making of an atomic explosion.   The development of this threat to world survival has brought about movements of supposed control.   These include world police, United Nations, confederacies, world education, and world religion (“we all worship the same God, so let’s work together”).   Is this true, workable, consistent with the Word of God?   It also suggests the reason for the rising up of an end-time world dictator.   This figure is termed “the Antichrist” in New Testament prophecy.   He will arise to promise “peace and safety,” make a soon-to-be-broken peace pact with Israel, and set up “the abomination of desolation” in the rebuilt Temple at Jerusalem.

 

All of these events are prophesied portions of “the end times” to be analyzed later.

 

Informational background and citations are taken from the book, The Atomic Age and the Word of God by Wilbur Smith, 1948, W.A. Wilde publisher.

 

The Atomic Bomb, The Atomic Age, Atomic Power

 

Old Testament Texts


Isaiah 13:9-13:   “Behold the day of the Lord cometh, direful (laden) with wrath and the fierceness of anger to render the earth desolate, and its sinners will he destroy out of it.   For the stars of the heavens (planetary and their constellations) shall not give forth their light; the sun shall be darkened in his going forth and the moon shall not shed abroad her light, and I will visit on the world its evil and the wicked their iniquity – therefore will I shake the heavens and the earth shall start quaking out of her place.   At the wrath of the Lord of hosts and on the day of His fierce anger.”   (Isaac Leesor translation, Hebrew Pub. Commercial (N.Y.).   In vs. 19, there is a reference comparing this to the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah (cf. Gen. 19:24))]

 

Although this is directed against historic Babylon (vs. 1), there is obviously a secondary, prophetic application to end-time events and the mysterious, future Babylon (Rev. 17:5-18; 18:2‑10, 16-20).   The events described in Isaiah 13 were not seen when Babylon was overthrown by the army of Cyrus (cf Daniel 5:1-30), King of Persia in 539 BC.   Babylon was later taken over by Alexander the Great and his successors.   This fulfillment remains for the end times.

 

Joel 2:30-31:   “I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth.   The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the Lord” (NASB).

 

Zephaniah 1:18:   “On the day of the Lord’s wrath, and all the earth will be devoured in the fire of His jealousy, for He will make a complete end, indeed a terrifying one, on all the inhabitants of the earth” (NASB).

 

Zephaniah 3:8:   “My decision is to gather nations – for all the earth shall be devoured” (NASB).

 

Ezekiel 32:7:   “When I extinguish you, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars.   I will cover the sun with a cloud and the moon shall not give its light” (NASB).

 

Ezekiel 20:47-48:   “Prophesy against the forest land of the Negev (desert in southern part of Israel).   Behold, I am about to kindle a fire in you – and the blazing flame will not be quenched and the whole surface, from south to north, will be burned by it” (NASB).

 

New Testament Texts

 

II Peter 3:2-11:   “Remember the words spoken before by the holy prophets – in the last days, mockers will come, saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’   It escapes their notice that by the Word of God the heavens existed long ago – the world at that time was destroyed with water but the present heavens and earth by His Word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly me.” (vs. 2-7).   “But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night in which the heavens will pass away with a roar.   And the elements will be destroyed with intense heat and the earth and its works will be burned up (vs. 10) – the coming of the day of God on account of which the heavens (atmospheric) will be destroyed by burning and the elements will melt with intense heat” (vs. 11-12) (NASB).

 

Colossians 1:17:   “By Him all things consist” (literally, “hold together”) (NASB).   The property which holds neutrons and protons circulating mysteriously is sometimes humorously called “nuclear stick-em.”   It is rather by God’s eternal Word alone.

 

Matthew 24:29:   “The stars shall fall from heaven (meteorites) and the powers of heaven (atmospheric) shall be shaken” (NASB).   The heavens include three aspects:   atmospheric, planetary, or galactic regions, and the third is Heaven, God’s dwelling place.

 

Revelation 8:8:   “A great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea and a third of the sea became blood.”

 

Revelation 9:18:   “A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone” (NASB).

 

Jude 7:   “Just as Sodom and Gomorrah, the punishment of eternal fire” (NASB).

 

End-time Prophecies

 

Without doubt the return of the Jews to the Holy Land and the establishment of Israel as a nation in 1948 is the keystone of end-time prophecy.   The prediction of their fall and rise began in the books of Moses and continued through the prophets and apostles of the New and Old Testaments.   After their 2000 years of being scattered, such an event would have seemed unlikely, even impossible.   They were to return in an unconverted state and then a spiritual remnant would emerge in the Old Testament.   “So all of Israel shall be saved” (Romans 11:26) is a remote possibility today to all who do not believe the Scriptures completely and literally.

 

We should also add the developing of a revived Roman Empire in Europe, detailed before.   The formation of Arab states in a bloc under the headship of Egypt (“King of the South”), opposing Israel, is also a fact today.   The third end-time world power, “The Kind of the North” ( Russia), is also evidently in place.   The remaining power, “The Kings of the East” (including China), is also consolidated.   These constitute the four world powers of end-time prophecy.  

 

End-time moral decline, disorder, and confusion will be a feature.   “Evil men will wax worse and worse” (II Timothy 3:13).   The world is not getting better morally or spiritually despite medical or technological advances (see above “the days of Noah”).   There will be an increase in knowledge, but not the knowledge of God or discernment of His will.   Then end time will display end-time unbelief.   “When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” asked Jesus (Luke 18:8).   Each of these developments is clearly evident today.  

 

Only the coming of the Lord will prevent total annihilation of all people on the earth (Matthew 24:22).   When Messiah returns, the enemies of God will all perish and God’s people will rejoice (Psalm 68:1-4) to see what astrologers failed to see (Isaiah 17:13-14).

 

The sequence outlined above is also given in Revelation 6:2-8 in the form of the figurative or symbolic four horsemen and their horses.   These are white, with Antichrist astride, opposing God’s people; red, taking peace from the earth; black, bringing famine; and finally death and hell in the pale horse.   These match the order already given, beginning with Antichrist’s manifestation (white horseman), then war (red horse), famine (black horse), and ending with death and hell (the pale horse).   The white horseman is not the Messiah who comes to defeat all enemies.   He is rather the Antichrist who is one of God’s judgments.   Those who identify the white horseman with Christ do so because of Revelation 19:11, but this does not recognize the grouping with terrible judgments described as inappropriate.

 

The sequence of end time judgments and events is outlined in Matthew 24 and began with the question, “What will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” (verse 3).   These are as follows:

 

1.        “Wars and rumors of war” (vs. 6).

2.        “There will be famines, pestilences, earthquakes in different places” (vs. 7).

3.        There will be widespread persecution and even betrayal of believers (vs. 9-10) (cf Rev. 19:6‑7).

4.        False prophets will abound and deceive many (vs. 11).

5.        Lawlessness will abound and the love of many will grow cold (vs. 12).

6.        The gospel will still be preached worldwide (vs. 14).

7.        “The abomination of desolation” will occur, when the Antichrist sets himself up as God in the rebuilt Temple at Jerusalem (vs. 15).

 

It has been said, “Have there not always been wars?”   It is true.   The question is whether end-time “wars and rumors of war” are any different than the past.   The answer to this is “yes.”   The 20th century has featured World Wars I and II, Asian wars (Korean and Vietnam), Middle Eastern wars (Iraq-Iran, Egyptian, and Arab states against Israel), the Gulf War, the USA-Iraq war, African internal wars and revolutions.   The scope is unprecedented and worldwide.   The threats of more wars are still on the horizon.

 

Have there not always been famines?   Often following wars?   Certainly.   However, there has been nothing in the past to exceed 20th century food shortages.   The United States has taken the lead in exporting huge quantities throughout the world from its own divinely provided surplus.   Starving millions were fed after each of the World Wars.   India, Africa, parts of Asia have been stricken with hunger.   Malnourished children, especially after conflicts and devastation, have abounded into the 21st century.   It has been phenomenal in scope.

 

What about pestilences or diseases?   Is this not a recurring problem?   Yes.   The question remains:   Will this become more severe in the end time, given the obvious medical progress during the past 100 years? It would seem so.   There has risen in this modern era a growing body of untreatable and unpreventable diseases.   These include AIDS, the “ebola virus,” and more recently, “SARS.”   They are often fatal.   The list seems to be growing and case numbers multiplying.

 

Earthquakes?   Have we not always had them?   Yes, but the growth in both frequency and severity during the past century has been notable.   They have been in widespread “diverse places” and increasingly violent.   They have wiped out many lives and caused much devastation in China, Turkey, and even the USA (1906 in San Francisco notably).   Tremors and shocks are increasing along many “fault lines” and even beneath the surface.   A common prediction now is that “the worst is yet to come.”

 

What about persecutions?   Has this not happened before?   Yes, but not to the growing, worldwide extent of today.   Communism and its national governments ferociously persecuted believers, promoted an anti-God atmosphere, and destroyed or suppressed Bibles.   The media often supports the disparaging of Bible-believers.   It supports evolutionary, anti-Creationism in repeated articles.   The academic rulers suppress any favorable references to the Bible, while promoting “naturalism” (no God involved).   There is a growing anti-God, anti-Christian tide in the climate of many nations, including the USA.   Believers have come under increasing criticism.

 

Does “lawlessness abound”?   It would be hard to deny the growth of the crime and drug problems today.   Many cities, especially large ones, are no longer safe.   More doors must be locked, alarm systems installed, and “neighborhood watches” installed against crime than was conceivable 100 years ago.   Prisons are overcrowded.   Police forces are stretched to the maximum.   Violent offenders often roam the streets after parole.   Parolees are in the millions.   Yes, it is worse and becoming more so.

 

Is the gospel being preached worldwide?   Yes.   The past century has witnessed the tremendous expansion of huge evangelistic campaigns such as by Billy Graham and others.   Radio and television broadcasts beam the message every hour.   The Bible has become the world’s most widely printed book in history, being distributed in whole or part in hundreds of languages.   Copies are available free through varied organizations.   Believers have responded to the Lord’s command to “preach the gospel to all creation,” recognizing that “He is not willing that any should perish” (II Peter 3:9).

 

The prophecies described above still omit many other major predictions.

 

End Time Prophecy Fulfillments

 

Egypt

 

The empire of Egypt (1570-1150 BC) is of greatest Scriptural interest.   It was the era of great splendor and grandeur.   Its Pharaohs include the pharaoh of the Israelite exodus, whether Amenhotep II (1450-1425), according to the Massoretic text, or Amenhotep IV (1456-1446) according to Stewart in The Exodus Ministry.   Liberal critics favor a later, unbiblical date in the 13th century BC.

 

Egyptian power continued until its defeat by Assyria and then Babylon (the Neo-chaldean Empire 605-539 BC) (14th century BC to 11th century).   From that point it declined although Israel vainly sought a protective alliance with what became “the weak reed” which would break (Ezekiel 29:6-7).

 

Many monuments and archaeological developments confirm the Scriptures.   Passages of Scripture cover the pharaohs, Hebrew people, varied wars involving Israel and other mideast nations.   They are rooted in secular as well as Biblical history.   Egypt’s first dynasties began in 2900 BC.   The chronology was confirmed in 290 BC by Manethos, according to the Massoretic text.   Discoveries in Egypt confirm the plagues of slavery, taskmasters and the building of pyramids, as well as the presence of enslaved Israelite laborers.  

 

Egypt was the first of five great world empires, succeeded by those of Babylonia, Media-Persia, Greece and Rome.   It was originally called Mizraim (Genesis 10:13) descended from Ham, one of Noah’s three sons (Genesis 10:6).   Today it includes the Sinai desert, which was taken by Israel after the Six Day War and then returned as part of a peace agreement, facilitated by the USA under President Jimmy Carter.   Sinai will again in the future be returned to Israel as part of the enlarged messianic kingdom (“Nile to the Euphrates”).

 

That such a kingdom would fall from a dominating world empire (ruling from 1600 to 1100 BC) to become “the lowest of kingdoms” would seem unbelievable.   Yet this is what Scripture predicted.   Ezekiel 39:14 says, “I will gather the Egyptians – and among the kingdoms, it shall be the lowest – and it shall no more rule over the nations” (JPS Leesor Jewish translation).   Who would know this before but God?

 

The end time role of Egypt, as head of an Arab-Muslim confederation, is seen in Daniel 9:5-6 “The king of the south [ Egypt] will become strong [temporarily].   It will come to the king of the north [ Russia] to make a settlement of difficulties.   She will be given up [defeated] with those who had strengthened her” (vs. 6) (JPS Leesor translation).   The ultimate conversion of Egypt is foreseen in Zechariah 10:11-12, “The sceptre of Egypt will depart and I will strengthen them in the Lord” (bring to conversion to Messiah) (JPS Leesor translation).   This is a country once used as a Biblical type of the world and called Sodom (Revelation 11:8).

 

Christendom

 

The meaning is the organized religious structures, denominations, and adherents, but excluding true believers who live within it.

 

The coming together of this system dates from the supposed conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine (4th century BC) after which pagan religions were phased out and “Christianity” became the state religion.   The vestiges of this system remain in European and related western nations, including the USA and British Commonwealth groups such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

 

The development from the time of Constantine was greatly enhanced by the influence of Augustine, a century later.   He reasoned that the system of state religion, begun under the first “Christian Emperor,” was the beginning of a glorious reign over the earth by the Christian church.   He spiritualized or allegorized the intra-Biblical millennial period (Revelation 20:2-17).   From this came the term amillennial, literally meaning “no millennium” in any literal sense.   This system still dominates Christian theology today in Orthodox, Catholic, and mainline Protestant denominations.   Those who disagree are called by critics “millennial cultists.”   Of course, believers in the grammatical, literal meaning of Scriptural language (including uses of figurative language) would be thus classified.

 

The end-time Biblical scene shows the final outcome of all will be total apostasy in Christendom.   The reasons for God’s permissive will to allow this is part of “the mystery of iniquity” (I Thessalonians 2:7) which is connected with the end-time apostasy from God’s revealed truth in the Bible.   “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it [the coming of the Lord] will not come unless the apostasy (apostasia) comes first.   This defection from the truth precedes the Lord’s second coming and its development a warning sign.

 

Is this happening today in Christendom? It is evident and widely noted that liberalism, modernism, post-modernism and other skeptical attacks on the truth of the Scriptures has permeated the teaching of academic circles and churches of today.   Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant mainline denominations are permeated by these trends and even dominated by them.   This has caused the wholesale exodus of Biblically loyal people from all these groups to form either independent churches or new denominations at least officially committed to return to the Biblical “faith of our fathers.”   The declining numbers of the older groups testify to this fact with its corresponding lack of dynamic spiritual life on attenders.   The decline is undeniable.

 

The apostate churches through their leaders have only increased their attacks on Bible believers.   They are mockingly called “fundamentalists” (the same term used for radical Muslim extremists).   They mock such believers and charge them with ignorance, bigotry (“our way is the only way”) and refuting claims for “pluralistic” understanding (“there are many ways to God”).   This is the core of what is called “ecumenical” thinking and fuels the development of “ One World Church,” which they earnestly desire.   This hostility will continue to grow into outright persecution.

 

The end-time scene pictures this apostate state of Christendom as “ Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and the abomination of the earth” (Revelation 17:5 NASB).   She has consorted with the kings of the earth (vs. 2).   She is guilty of persecuting the believers (vs. 6).   She will in the end consort with the Beast (the Antichrist who heads the European confederation of nations) (vs. 7-8).   The woman sits on seven hills (as does the city of Rome, known as the city of seven hills).   There are believers within this religious system for God says, “Come out of her, my people, that you may not participate in her sins” (Revelation 18:4).   The entire system will be destroyed at the second coming of Christ (Revelation 16:14; 19:17) along with the Antichrist.   What a prophecy!   It is developing into it final form already today.

 

Armageddon

 

This will be the site of the world’s last great war battle.   It is called from the name of its location, a city called Megiddo, still situated about 50 miles north of Jerusalem and 20 miles east of the Sea of Galilee.   The name Armageddon means “hill of Megiddo.”   Nearby is the plain of Esdrael which Napoleon described as an ideal battlefield and was a scene of several battles in history, some mentioned in the Old Testament.

 

The key passage is Revelation 16:13-17.   “Three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon [Satan] – go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather to the battle of the great day of God Almighty” (vs. 12-14).   “They gathered them from together to the place called in Hebrew Armageddon” (vs. 16).   This takes place in Israel (not Europe).   The leader of this great invading army is Antichrist or “the Beast.”   He and his armies will be annihilated at the second coming of Christ (Revelation 19:17-21).   Then the Beast and his evil associate and false prophet will be cast into the lake of fire.   Those who receive his mark will come under God’s judgment at this time (vs. 20).   This coincides with the climax of the Day of the Lord when the world will be punished for its wickedness (Isaiah 13:6-11, see also Joel 2:1-2).   The New Testament speaks of these events in Matthew 24:15-24 and clearly associates it with the end of the Great Tribulation.   The world will be given a final warning by the two witnesses, speaking with the power and accompanying signs of Moses and Elijah.   The response from God’s adversaries will be to kill them (Revelation 11:3-9).   Then God will raise them from the dead (vs. 11-12).

 

Antichrist

 

The word occurs four times in the New Testament (I John 2:18, 20; 4:3; II John 7).   It means “against Christ,” opposed to Him.   He is identified with “the scarlet Beast” with iron teeth, head of the Roman-European confederation (Revelation 17:3, 11; 19:19-20) and also “the little horn” who plucks up three of the other horns (nations) at the end time.   He has “the eyes of a man and mouth speaking great things.”   His confederation will “devour the whole earth” beyond the historic boundaries of the ancient Roman Empire.

 

He will be truly a world dictator.   He has been misidentified in the past with Napoleon of France, Benito Mussolini of Italy, and Hitler of Germany, none of whom matched the end-time supremacy of this man.   He will “make war against the saints” (persecute believers), apparently an apostate (either from Judaism or the Christian church).   He is one of those who “went out from us but are not of us” (I John 2:18-19).   He will sit in the Temple of God (to be rebuilt in Jerusalem), “showing that he is God” (II Thessalonians 2:14).   This is called “the abomination of desolation” (Matthew 24:14; Mark 13:6; Luke 21:8).   He will make a treaty with Israel guaranteeing its security but will break it in the middle of Daniel’s 70th week of the end-time tribulation (Daniel 7:27).   He will be destroyed at the Second Coming (II Thessalonians 2:6-8).

 

Since alphabetic letters were aligned with numbers according to a fixed system, the number 666 will correspond to his name.   On this basis many historic figures, not meeting the above Scriptural criteria, have also been misidentified with this dictator.

 

In addition to the central Antichrist, there are also “many antichrists” and “false Christs” who will arise in the end times (Matthew 24:5).

 

Days of Noah

 

“Days of Noah” describe the end-time daily life and neglect of God (Luke 17:26-30).   “It was in the days of Noah, so it shall be in the days of the Son of Man.   They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all” (26-27) “as it also was in the days of Lot.   They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.   Even so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed” [His second coming] (NKJV) (cf also I Peter 3:20, Genesis chapters 4, 5, 6).

 

The people were occupied with the usual, ordinary things of life.   What’s wrong with that? Nothing, unless it accompanies neglecting God, being “too busy” for Him, occupied with the things of time and sense, not the things of eternal value pertaining to Christ and His kingdom.   In this section, Jesus obviously condemned such living and it will immediately precede His second coming.

 

In all of this, the wheat and tares (weeds) grow together until the end-time harvest.   People, professing to be Christians, will call out, “Lord, Lord” (Luke 13:25).   Believers and unbelievers alike (the wheat and tares) may sit in church together, all claiming to be Christians, but only the few are saved (Luke 13:23-24).

 

The Temple Will Be Rebuilt

 

The end-time existence and defilement of the literal Temple in Jerusalem is clearly evident in II Thessalonians 2:3-4.   “The apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness [sin] will be revealed [the Antichrist], the son of perdition [destruction, eternal damnation]; who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god, so that he takes his seat in the Temple of God, displaying himself as being God” (Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14).

 

This desecration is called “the abomination of desolation” (Daniel 11:31; 12:11) and was not fulfilled in the end-time sense by Antiochus Ephiphanes who sacrificed a pig in the holy place.   This is discussed under this title.

 

Consult also Zechariah 6:12-15 for the rebuilt Temple of the Lord.

 

United States of America

 

Where does the USA fit in end-time development?   Since the nation did not come into existence until 1776, it is not mentioned in Scripture.   The Bible primarily deals with Israel and nations surrounding Israel.   Other civilizations are mentioned in their relationship to the Jewish people.   Any references, which might include the USA, especially with Europe, from which it derives, are debatable.   Nevertheless, the USA is the subject of much speculation, given its dominant world-power status.

 

One speculation involves identifying it with Babylon, whether mystical or literal.   Some think the ancient city will be rebuilt, although Scripture says it “will never again be inhabited” (Jeremiah 50:23-26, 39).   Babylon, in its mystical sense as “the Harlot,” is obviously ecclesiastical in nature.   God says, “Come out of her, my people, that you be not a partaker of her sins” (Revelation 18:4).

 

Some identify the USA as the “gigantic fiery mountain which falls into the sea” in the end times (Revelation 8:8).   Mountains are symbolically identified with powerful nations, as Babylon in Jeremiah 51:25.   The sea is often seen as a symbol of Restless Nation (Psalm 125:2-5; Isaiah 17:12-13; Ezekiel 26:3; Daniel 7:2-3; Revelation 13:1; 17:1-15).   The mountain rises above other mountains, indicating its predominance.   It falls in a catastrophic way.   If the USA is not a part of the final European confederation (revived Roman Empire), it might well fall before that Empire ends.   How it will end is mere speculation.

 

End of All the Kings from the East

 

The end time scenario says the following in Revelation 16:12, “The sixth angel poured out his bowl [of God’s judgment upon the earth] upon the great river, the Euphrates, and its water was dried up that the way might be prepared for the Kings from the East.”   Also in Revelation 9:13‑14 it says, “The sixth angel sounded and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altars [God’s throne in heaven] which is before God.   One saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, ‘Release the four angels who are found at the River Euphrates.’”   It will take place when the kings of the earth gather “for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty” (vs. 14) (Armageddon).   When the armies are released at the Euphrates (the boundary between Israel and the east – Genesis 15:18), 200 million men cross over (vs. 16).

 

China is the predominant power of the east with almost one fourth of the world’s population.   Its economic and trade power is increasing.   An army of 200 million would represent only a little more than the male population of all Asia.   Thus an army of this size is conceivable.

 

The Kings from the East represent four of the end-time confederations of competing nations.   The other three are the king of the North ( Russia), the Queen of the South ( Egypt and Arabic nations), and finally the European or revived Roman Empire group led by its world dictator, the Antichrist.   The collision of these powers will be in and around Israel, climaxed at Armageddon.   The sequence of these inter-power conflicts is uncertain.   What is certain is that the world is moving to this climax.   The present world system of alliances is exactly in line with end-time prophecies.

 

Testimonies of Great Men

 

Abraham Lincoln:   “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man.   All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this book.”

 

George Washington:  “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God or the Bible.”

 

Patrick Henry:   “The Bible us worth all other books which have ever been printed.”

 

Andrew Jackson:   “That book, sir, is the rock on what our republic rests.”

 

Queen Victoria:  “That book accounts for the supremacy of England.”

 

Charles Dickens:  “The New Testament is the very best that ever was or ever will be known in the world.”

 

Sir Isaac Newton:  “There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history.”

 

Immanuel Kant:  “The existence of the Bible, as a book for the people, is the greatest benefit which the human race has ever experienced.   Every attempt to belittle it is a crime against humanity.”

 

Theodore Roosevelt:  “If a man is not familiar with the Bible, he has suffered a loss which he better make all possible haste to correct.”

 

Napoleon:  “The Bible is no mere book, but a living creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it.”

 

Sir William Herschel:  “All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more strongly the truths contained in the sacred scriptures.”

 

Woodrow Wilson:  “When you have read the Bible, you will know it is the Word of God, because you will have found the key to your own heart, your own happiness, your own duty.”

 

William Gladstone, Prime Minister of Britain, called the Bible, “the impregnable rock of Holy Scripture.”

 

Accuracy of the Manuscripts

 

The manuscript evidence supporting the Bible’s accuracy is overwhelming.   There are over 5,400 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, over 10,000 of the Latin Vulgate, and at least 9,300 other early versions.   A total of 24,000 manuscripts or portions of the New Testament today.

 

Compared to other ancient writings, such as Homer’s Iliad or Caesar’s Gallic Wars, the Bible has more manuscript evidence than any ten pieces of ancient literature combined!   So conclusive is the evidence supporting this fact that one prominent scholar noted, “To be skeptical of the resultant text of the New Testament books is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested to bibliographically as the New Testament.”

 

“No archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference,” Dr.   Nelson Glueck, renowned Jewish archeologist.

 

“There can be no doubt that archaeology has confirmed the substantial history of the Old Testament,” Dr.   William Albright, foremost authority on Middle East archaeology.   He was said to be, “Not a friend of Christianity.”

 

By Winston Churchill:   “We must examine briefly the whole question of the miracles.   It is silly to waste time arguing whether God broke His own natural laws to save His Chosen People, or whether He merely made them work in a favorable manner.   At any rate, there is no doubt about one miracle.   This wandering tribe, in many respects indistinguishable from numberless nomadic communities, grasped and proclaimed an idea of which all the genius of Greece and all the power of Rome were incapable.   There was to be only one God, a universal God, a God of nations, a just God.

 

“We reject with scorn all those learned and labored myths that Moses was but a legendary figure upon whom the priesthood and the people hung their essential social, moral and religious ordinances.   We believe that the most scientific view, the most up-to-date and rationalistic conception, will find its fullest satisfaction in taking the Bible story literally and in identifying one of the greatest of human beings with the most decisive leaps forward ever discernible in the human story.

 

“We remain unmoved by the tomes of Professor Gradgrind and Dr. Dry as dust.   We may be sure that all these things happened just as they are set out according to Holy Writ.”

 

The chairman of the editorial board of the Encyclopedia Britannica, Mortimer J. Adler, asked why God merited the longest essay in The Great Books of the Western World series.   His reply was, “It is because more consequences for life follow from that one issue than from any other.”

 

Billy Graham said, “It’s either back to the Bible or back to the jungle.”

 

Luis Palau, world famous evangelist said, “…When I pursue the word, God, in my new book, I am speaking about the God of the Bible, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, who is described in Scripture as Holy and Righteous and Compassionate and True.”

 

Notable Quotes from Unbelievers

 

The Encyclopedia Britannica uses 20,000 words to describe Jesus, taking up more space than that devoted to Aristotle, Cicero, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed, and Napoleon combined.   How could any radical academic boldly say in a university classroom, “We don’t know if Jesus even existed.”   Yet He is One Whose birth divides all time, before Christ (BC) and after Christ (AD – anno domini “the year of our Lord”).

 

The French atheist philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, said, “It would have been a greater miracle to invent such a life as that of Christ than His actual existence is.”

 

Napoleon Bonaparte, who conquered Europe, said in his diary at the end of his life:   “With all my armies and generals, I haven’t been able to make one single continent subject to me in a single century.   And this Jesus conquers nations and cultures without the use of arms for centuries.”

 

H.G. Wells, renowned historian and atheist, was asked what person has the greatest influence on history.   He answered that if one were to judge the greatness of a man according to historical aspects, Jesus would be at the top of his list.

 

Ernest Renan, famed French philosopher and atheist, said, “Jesus is the most genial figure that ever lived in the historical field.   His brilliance is eternal and His government will never cease.   He is unique in every way and comparable with nothing and nobody.   Without Christ, history can not be understood.”

 

Historian Kenneth Scott Latourette said, “The more time passes, the more apparent it becomes that Jesus, measured by His influence on history, led the most momentous life that was ever lived on this planet.   And this influence seems to increase.”

 

Fredrich Nietzsche, called “the great philosopher of godlessness” wrote this at the age of 16 about Jesus, “I know that if I don’t find Him, I will find no answers to my life.”   He once said, “God is dead.”   His philosophical writings have long been acknowledged as highly influencing Adolf Hitler.   At the end of Nietzsche’s life, having rejected Jesus, he wrote, “Woe betide those who have no homeland.”

 

Fredrich Durrenmatt, Swiss dramatist, in his play, “The Physicist,” confessed, “When I no longer feared Him, my wisdom destroyed my riches.”

 

George Orwell, author of 1984, forecasting the future, said, “At 50, everyone has the face [fate?] he deserves.” These were the last words written in his notebook.

 

Dr. Mortimer Adler, renowned philosopher and author of the famed Great Books curriculum at the University of Chicago, is one of the foremost analytical thinkers of our time.   His works are published in full by Encyclopedia Britannica and including one compendium of all the great ideas of all history.   He lived until age 98.   He was a self-described pagan for most of his life until 1984 when he, although a Jew, converted to Christianity and was baptized.   He said, “My chief reason for choosing Christianity was because the mysteries were incomprehensible.   What’s the point of revelation if we could figure it out for ourselves?   I believe Christianity is the only logically consistent faith in the world.   There are elements in it that can only be described as a mystery.   These include the three great mysteries – the Trinity, the Incarnation and the Resurrection.”

 

Conversion of War Pilot Fuchido

 

On December 7, 1941, a Japanese naval force of 360 planes attacked the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor, beginning World War II in the Pacific.   The attack was led by Captain Mitsuo Fuchido, considered the nation’s top pilot.   His leading role in the attack was featured in an award-winning movie, Tora! Tora! Tora! (Tiger, Tiger, Tiger).   After the war’s end, he returned to his home in Osaka, being the only surviving officer of his attack team.

 

During the war, an American soldier named Jake DeShazer acted as bombardier on a plane with the famed Jimmy Doolittle squadron.   He completed a mission over Japan and then crashed when his plane ran out of gas trying to reach China.   He was captured, imprisoned for 50 months and treated cruelly by guards.   When driven near insanity, he came into possession of a Bible.   He studied it, received Jesus as Lord and Savior, and had his entire attitude towards his captors changed.   He resolved to return to Japan some day after the war and bring this life-changing message to the Japanese people.   At the end of the war, he was set free and came back to prepare to be a missionary.   He did this in 1948.   Fuchido and DeShazer met in 1950, after he read his testimony.   DeShazer’s dramatic conversion was printed in pamphlet form and widely distributed.   Fuchido bought the pamphlet, studied it, and found it hard to explain, given his own Buddhist heritage.   He also bought a Bible and he read the crucifixion account in Luke.   He studied the prayer of Jesus, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”   He felt he was one of those for whom Jesus prayed, knowing the many men he had killed in the name of patriotism.   He wrote, “At that moment I seemed to meet Jesus for the first time.   I understood the meaning of His death as Substitute for my wickedness.”   In prayer, “I requested Him to forgive my sins and change me from a bitter, disillusioned ex-pilot into a well-balanced Christian with a purpose for living.   On April 14, 1950, I became a new person in Christ.”   Headlines appeared in newspapers saying, “ Pearl Harbor hero converts to Christianity.”   As an evangelist, he traveled throughout Japan and the Orient, “introducing others to the One Who changed my life.”   He died in 1976 wishing to leave as a legacy to his people that God wanted peace, not destruction, and that His Son was the way of peace with God.