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Prophecy Conference

 


Prophetic Trends We Monitor 

1. Where is the United States in Prophecy?
2. Israel - God's Timepiece
3. A Revived Roman Empire?
4. The Gog/Magog War
5. Apostate Christianity
6. The Rise of Islam
7. Increase in Knowledge/New Technologies
8. Christian Worldviews/Issues
9. Other World Events To Watch

 

1. Where is the United States in Bible Prophecy?

One of the most common questions regarding Bible prophecy is where is the United States in scripture?   Many nations of the world are not mentioned in scripture, however it is hard to understand how the world's most powerful nation would not be.  At least not in a way that we recognize it clearly.

There are many theories and ideas as to why this is but here are three of the most common:

  • The United States is no longer relevant
  • The United States is destroyed
  • The United States is no longer its own country - but part of a larger union of nations - possibly controlled by the Antichrist.

All of these responses are based on speculation.  We simply do not know the answer but it is very possible there may be some symbolism that the United States may fit into.  We must simply watch and wait to see what God's plan for America is.

To that effect we monitor what impact terrorism and war might have on the United States as well any other factors that could contribute to its decline or change on the world stage.

America is also Israel's closest ally.  God promises to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel (Genesis 12:3).  America's relationship with Israel will be closely watched.

2. Israel - God's Timepiece

It has been said if you want to know what time it is on God's calendar - keep an eye on Israel for it is God's timepiece. The scriptures relating to Israel's prophetic role in the end times are too numerous to follow, but we will monitor some of the most important ones.

Perhaps one of the most important is Daniel 9:27:

"He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.'  In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him."

The book of Daniel reveals that one final period of 7 years has been reserved for God's plan to be completed.  This period of 7 years is described in the book of Revelation and climaxes with Armageddon.  However when does this period of 7 years start?  Daniel 9:27 reveals that "He" referring to the Antichrist, will confirm a 7 year treaty.  It is this confirming of  a treaty with Israel and many nations for 7 years that starts the final countdown.

You will also notice a clear reference to this "he" (Antichrist) putting an end to sacrifice and setting up an abomination in the temple.  This would seem to indicate that the Jewish temple must be rebuilt to be part of the end time scenario.

With the understanding above we will be monitoring closely the various agreements and peace treaties that Israel is involved in with particular emphasis on the Road Map To Peace.  There is a particular emphasis by all major world players to bring Israel and the Palestinians, not to mention the entire Arab world into a final peace agreement.  "Final Status" talks is now the buzz word and we will be watching closely where this leads - possibly even to a rebuilt Jewish Temple.  However despite the move for peace talks, all parties in the Middle East continue to prepare for war.  We will be watching movements within Israel and her neighbors for potential conflict.

One of the most contentious issues for all parties in the Middle East is the final status of Jerusalem.  Zechariah says the following in this regards:

Zechariah 12:2-3: "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem.  On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves".

Zechariah reveals that Jerusalem, the capital of Israel will become a problem for all nations. Eventually all the nations of the world will gather against her.  The voting of the UN, recent polls in Europe and the comments of leaders in Islamic countries all indicate we are heading towards a new global anti-Semitism.  This will climax in the world marching on Israel.

3. A Revived Roman Empire

Daniel, Chapter 2, presents the dream of Babylonís King Nebuchadnezzar, which provides the basis for our understanding  for historyís final system of government.   Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar's dream which reveals that the fifth and final world empire would have some association with or be an extension of the fourth empire - Rome. Passages in Daniel 7:7-8 and Revelation 13:1  describe a beast with ten horns. The prophets Daniel and John apparently saw the same beast in their visions, the beast symbolizing ten heads or ten kingdoms.  It is this number of 10 that we want to keep a close eye on. 

We will monitor the development of the world's newest superpower emerging from Europe and the region of the former Roman Empire which includes not only Europe but much of North Africa and the Middle East.  The EU would seem to be a leading candidate for the final world empire - but the number 10 will have to somehow be reconciled. Issues surrounding the EU constitution and the EU/Mediterranean partnership agreement will be watched for possible relevance to Daniel's prophecies as well as the development of other nation alliances in this region that may equal the magic number of 10.

It is from this final world Empire that the man we call the Antichrist emerges.  He is alluded to in scripture as the Assyrian and may have a Muslim/Middle Eastern connection that many have overlooked.

4. The Gog/Magog War

Ezekiel 37-39 describes a time when Israel has been restored to her land but will then face an invasion force from a country in the north and her allies after God puts hooks in their jaws. Those countries are listed by names we don't recognize today but many scholars believe they have identified where those people groups were once from. The following are the most common interpretations for those countries:

MAGOG is believed to be modern-day Russia and should also include Kazakhstan (the area north of the Caspian Sea). 

MESHECH can include the southern part of Russia by the Black Sea, as well as Georgia and Armenia. Some believe Turkey could also be included.

TUBAL is a part of Russia between the Black and Caspian seas. It also includes the Ukraine and Kazakhstan and possibly Georgia and Azerbaijan.

PERSIA is modern-day Iran. 

ETHIOPIA (or Cush). Some consider that other surrounding areas, such as the Sudan or Eritrea, could also be included.

AND LIBYA (or Phut).

GOMER may include the Ukraine. Some believe it may also include the area SE of the Black Sea, such as Georgia. Some believe this may also be a reference to Germany.

THE HOUSE OF TOGARMAH OF THE (far or remote parts of the) NORTH QUARTERS may include Armenia. Many believe this will also include Turkey,

AND MANY PEOPLE (or nations) WITH THEE. This may indicate that there will be yet other nations allied with Russia that are unlisted. It may be noted that Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan are not mentioned.

Russia is no longer the superpower it once was and while it may be hard to see such a scenario happening today, it is no more difficult for God to accomplish than He did the recreation of Israel as a nation in 1948.

Ezekiel 39 would also seem to indicate the use of nuclear weapons in this conflict as specific instructions are given on burying the dead, including specialists who do this.

We will continue to monitor Russia's relations with Israel. Iran, one of the nations mentioned is also important to keep an eye on in light of its mutual assistance treaty with Russia. Israel has threatened to attack Iran if it continues with is nuclear program - this very well could be the hook in the jaws that draws Russia down. Another nation to keep an eye on is Turkey as it is currently Israel's ally but relations have deteriorated greatly as of late. If Turkey is to be involved in this invasion it would be a great dupe on Israel or things could change quickly in this Muslim country. The nuclear arms race in the Middle East continues and could play a factor in this conflict.

5. Apostate Christianity

We are told in Revelation 3 of the 7 Churches. The last church or church age is symbolized by the Church of Laodicea. Laodicea means "the rights of the people." Thus, this was a church governed by the will of the people, rather than the will of God. This is the church age from which the Antichrist and the False Prophet will emerge. It is the church age Paul talked about that would not endure sound doctrine, but would gather around them teachers that would say what their itching ears wanted and desired to hear (2 Tim 4:3). This church is described as lukewarm, indifferent, not concerned with right and wrong, or with good and evil. They take a neutral position: one of "live and let live; donít rock the boat; and donít cause waves." They are trying to serve two mastersóGod and self (or the world).

We will continue to monitor the church's faithfulness to the teaching of the Word of God, realizing that the church of the last days will be marked by apostasy and a falling away. This does not mean that God is not moving and doing great things - but can we also identify the wolves in sheep's clothing? "For false Christ's and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the very elect". (Mark 13:22).

6. The Rise of Islam

Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in the world.  Demographics studies indicate that it could soon become the dominant religion in many European countries.  Very few Christians understand Islam and it's impact on the people and societies that it governs.  

Sharia law does not permit a Muslim to leave the faith and to do so means stiff penalties, jail time and even death in countries such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.  Radical Islam's hatred of Israel and the West will be monitored as well as it's potential role in Bible Prophecy, especially the desire by many Muslims to see the reestablishment of an Islamic Empire or Caliphate.  What role will Islam play beyond the traditional Ezekiel 38 scenario?  Will it be connected to a Revived Roman Empire or the EU?  Will the Antichrist be a Muslim?

We will be monitoring Islam's rise in terms of both military, political and demographic power.  Islam's  impact on Christians and efforts to witness to Muslims will also be covered.

7. Increase in Knowledge/New Technologies

Studies have suggested that the amount of human knowledge is doubling every 8 years. Some of the technologies that are emerging will no doubt have a role to play in Bible Prophecy.

Revelation 13 describes a mark, in the right hand or forehead that will act as not only a form of allegiance or worship, but enable people to buy or sell items - in fact you can't conduct commerce without it. When you hear comments by the head of MasterCard that microchip implants under the skin could be used for commerce - you can't help but see the path we are on.  The recent approval of the FDA for implants under the skin for medical purposes will no doubt play a role in this emerging trend.  The increase of RFID technology also presents some amazing possibilities in terms of  commerce and tracking technology.

Revelation 13 also mentions the ability of an image of the Antichrist - to somehow come to life and speak. With cloning and other advanced computer technologies it seems there is nothing man can't do.

We will continue to monitor new technologies and their impact on prophecy.

8. Christian Worldview/Issues

We will monitor events from around the world of interest to Christians. Church trends, social issues such as abortion and homosexuality, Christian persecution, Christian entertainment and culture are just a sample of some of these topics.

9. Other World Events To Watch

We will monitor world events that may not on the surface have a direct relationship to Bible prophecy but are important to keep an eye on.  Examples include the the rise of Islamic influence in the world, China's emergence as a superpower and her conflict with Taiwan, natural disasters, signs in the heavens, emerging diseases such as H1N1 and other globally impacting issues will be watched.