Revelation in our Generation?
Evidence from Prophecies Fulfilled in our Generation
by Grant R. Jeffrey (from his book "The Signature of God")
"Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, 'Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?'" (Matthew 24:3).
One of the greatest proofs that the Bible is inspired is the evidence of thousands of detailed prophecies that were fulfilled to the smallest particular throughout history. Centuries before the events occurred the ancient prophets foretold the rise and fall of empires and cities including Babylon, Tyre, and Nineveh. However, in the balance of this chapter I would like to examine several astonishing prophecies that were fulfilled in our lifetime that prove the Bible's inspiration and also point to the nearness of Christ's return.
For thousands of years men have studied the Bible's ancient prophecies and wondered if they would live to witness the return of Christ to redeem the earth. Many today are longing for the return of Jesus Christ. Naturally, skeptics remind us that past generations also looked for the Second Coming but never saw the promise fulfilled. Why should we believe our generation will witness the return of Christ when other generations were disappointed? Thirty years of study of Bible prophecies have convinced me of the overwhelming evidence that Christ will likely return in our lifetime. Jesus and the other prophets described numerous prophecies that would occur in the lifetime of those who would see Him return with their own eyes. Is ours the generation that will see Christ coming for His Church? The answer to this question will have profound implications for our life, our witnessing, and our priorities.
In this chapter we will examine numerous prophecies relating to the last days and the biblical passages where the original prophecies were announced over two thousand years ago. Each of these prophecies is a unique event that was never fulfilled in any other generation. By their very nature many of these predictions could not be fulfilled again in another generation. Our Lord Jesus Christ warned, "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draw near" (Luke 21:28). Let's examine in detail several of these fascinating predictions to illustrate the tremendous precision of biblical prophecies as proof that God inspired the writers of the Bible.
The Rebirth of Israel
The rebirth of Israel is one of the most extraordinary and unlikely of all the prophecies in the Bible. In an earlier portion of this book we examined the marvelous precision of the prophecy in which Ezekiel predicted that Israel would be reborn in the spring of 1948.
Jesus Christ foretold the rebirth of Israel in his famous prophecy of the "fig tree" budding that was recorded in Matthew's Gospel. Our Lord declared in Matthew 24:32-35: "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." No other ancient nation ever ceased to exist for a period of centuries and then returned to take its place on the stage of world history. "Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children" (Isaiah 66:8).
Most nations evolved gradually over the centuries, such as Egypt or France. In the time of the ancient prophecies, no one had ever witnessed a nation being created "in one day." Yet, in his prediction, Isaiah prophesied that Israel would come into existence in "one day." The prophecies of Isaiah and Ezekiel were fulfilled precisely as predicted on May 15, 1948.
Predictions About the Present Arab-Israeli Conflict
However, the prophecies surrounding the rebirth of Israel did not stop with the declaration of Israel's independence in 1948. Three thousand years ago God inspired King David to predict that the reborn nation of Israel would be immediately surrounded by enemies, including the Arab nations of Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria. "For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah" (Psalm 83:2-8). In this incredible prophecy, David described the modern states of the Middle East by naming the ancient nations that have now joined with Palestinians in their attempt to destroy the Jewish state in the last days.
The Miraculous Restoration of the Hebrew Language
The prophet Zephaniah had predicted something equally impossible as the rebirth of Israel. God predicted through His prophet Zephaniah that He would restore the ancient dead language of Hebrew as the living, spoken language of Israel. Hebrew ceased to be the common language of the Jews long before the life of Christ. "For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent" (Zephaniah 3:9). No other nation has ever lost its language and later recovered it. No one is speaking ancient Egyptian or Chaldee today. A Jewish scholar by the name of Eliazar ben Yehuda began working earlier in this century in Israel, in his attempt to revive the dead language of Hebrew with its original seven thousand words related to Temple worship as used by the priests. He invented thousands of new words for fountain pen, airplane, etc. Ultimately, Eliazar created modern Hebrew as the living language of five million Israelis. As the Jews began to return from seventy different nations to the Promised Land in 1948 after two thousand years of exile, the government and army began to unify these widely divergent peoples into a united people through teaching them the revived Hebrew language. The Jews of Israel will someday fulfill the prophecy of Zephaniah by calling "upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent."
The Return of the Ethiopian Jews to Israel
The prophet Zephaniah predicted another seemingly impossible prophecy when he declared that God would return the Ethiopian Jews to the land of Israel after they were separated from their Jewish brethren for almost three thousand years. In the days of King Solomon a group of Jews from each of the twelve tribes immigrated to Ethiopia with Prince Menelik, the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, as detailed in my book Armageddon. The prophet foretold their return to their homeland in the last days in these words, "From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering" (Zephaniah 3:10). Another prophet, Isaiah, also confirmed this prediction. "I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughter from the ends of the earth" (Isaiah 43:6). Isaiah predicted the miraculous return of the Jews from both Russia (the north) and from Ethiopia (the south). In the later part of the 1980s and especially in 1991 over eighty-five thousand black Jews returned home to Israel from Ethiopia in fulfillment of Zephaniah's ancient prophecy. Ezekiel 37:21 and numerous other prophecies foretold of the return of the exiles to the Holy Land.
The Astonishing Fertility of Israel
In addition to recovering their homeland, their lost language and their exiles, the prophet Isaiah predicted that Israel would become fertile again. "He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bus, and fill the face of the world with fruit" (Isaiah 27:6). The returning Jews have transformed the previously deserted and desolate land into the most agriculturally efficient land on earth according to the United Nations. Israel now supplies over 90 percent of the citrus fruit consumed by hundreds of millions in Europeans. Another prophecy connected with Israel's return was made by the prophet Joel who declared that the desert nation of Israel would experience tremendous increases of rain in the last days. "Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month" (Joel 2:23). As the rainfall increased dramatically by over 10 percent every decade for the last century the returning Jewish exiles planted over two hundred million trees and transformed the complete environment of the Promised Land. "And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes" (Isaiah 35:7).
Another curious prediction was found in Ezekiel 38 which claimed that Israel would dwell "without walls or gates" in the last days. In the ancient past even small villages as well as cities depended on the walls for defense against invading armies. Yet God inspired Ezekiel to record the following verse in his prophecy about the coming Russian-Arab invasion of Israel. "And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates" (Ezekiel 38:11). How could Ezekiel have known twenty-five centuries ago that the development of modern weapons such as bombs, airplanes and missiles, would have made walls and gates irrelevant for defensive purposes in the last days? Even army bases and Israel's settlements in the West Bank and Gaza have no walls today.
Israel's Plans to Rebuild the Temple
The Bible contains numerous prophecies that tell us that Israel will rebuild the Temple in the last days. The prophet Isaiah wrote, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it" (Isaiah 2:2). In the Book of Revelation (11:1,2) John tells us that the angel took him into the future to measure the Temple that will exist during the seven-year tribulation period. The apostle Paul confirms this in his prophecy about the Antichrist occupying the future Temple. "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God" (2 Thessalonians 2:3,4). The prophet Ezekiel described his vision of the future Temple with Levites and priests worshipping God: "And thou shalt give to the priests the Levites that be of the seed of Zadok, which approach unto me, to minister unto me, saith the Lord God, a young bullock for a sin offering" (Ezekiel 43:19).
The Oil of Anointing
One of the most unusual aspects of the ancient Tabernacle and Temple was the oil of anointing that was specially prepared with five specific ingredients to anoint the Temple and the High Priests. Moses described God's command to Israel: "And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. And thou shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony" (Exodus 30:25,26). One of the five ingredients needed to make the oil was afars'mon. However, the oil and its ingredients were lost, seemingly forever, when the Romans destroyed the Temple in A.D. 70 and burned the only two groves where afars'mon trees grew. Without this special ingredient, they could never obey God's command to anoint the rebuilt Temple.
In addition, the prophet Daniel foretold that, when the Messiah returns, He will be anointed with this oil of anointing. "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon they holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy" (Daniel 9:24). How could these prophecies be fulfilled when some of the key ingredients were lost forever. Incredibly, several years ago, archeologists in Israel found a clay flask buried near the Dead Sea caves filled with the ancient oil of anointing. Scientists confirmed that the oil is two thousand years old and is composed of the precise ingredients described in Exodus 30:25,26.
Vessels For the Future Temple Worship
Ezekiel foretold that the sacred vessels and linen robes will be prepared for use in the Temple in the Millennium. "They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge. And it shall come to pass, that when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them, while they minister in the gates of the inner court and within" (Ezekiel 44:16,17). It is significant that the Temple Institute in the Old City of Jerusalem has prepared over seventy-five of the objects, vessels, and linen priestly garments required for future Temple services. The yeshivas, or Jewish Bible colleges in Jerusalem have trained over five hundred young men from the tribe of Levi to correctly fulfill their future duties of Temple worship and sacrifice. The prophecies describe the resumption of the sacrifice of the Ashes of the Red Heifer to produce the waters of purification (Numbers 19) needed to cleanse the defiled Temple objects, the priests, and the stones on the Temple Mount. The prophet Ezekiel confirmed that the waters of purification will be used to cleanse the future Temple and the Jewish people. "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you" (Ezekiel 36:25).
The Revival of the Roman Empire
The Bible foretold the revival of the Roman Empire in the final generation when the Messiah will return to establish His eternal kingdom: "And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potter's clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall stand for ever" (Daniel 2:40-44). Other prophecies in Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 and 17 confirm the revival of the Roman Empire in the last days in the unique form of a ten-nation superstate. Following the devastation of two world wars the leadership of Europe came together after World War II to plan the creation of a confederate form of superstate bringing the major nations of Europe together for the first time since the days of Rome. In 1957, six countries signed the Treaty of Rome laying the foundation for the future United States of Europe. Henri Spaak, the former secretary-general of NATO admitted in a BBC documentary on the European Union that "we felt like Romans on that day....We were consciously re-creating the Roman Empire once more." Since then, the Maastricht Treaty consolidated the fifteen nations of the European Union into the world's first superstate. It is now an economic, political, and potentially, a military colossus that will dominate world events in the near future.
Rebuilding of Babylon
One of the most unusual of the Bible's prophecies reveals that the city of Babylon will be rebuilt and later destroyed by God at Armageddon by supernatural fire from heaven like Sodom and Gomorrah. The prophet Isaiah foretold this destruction as follows: "Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty......And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah" (Isaiah 13:6,19). In this remarkable prediction the prophet declared that Babylon will not only exist again but it will be destroyed on the Great Day of the Lord. As unlikely as it seems, the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein has spent over one billion dollars rebuilding the ancient city of Babylon an intends that it will become the center of their future renewed Babylonian Empire. Interestingly, the whole city of Babylon was built over an underground lake of asphalt and oil. God has already provided the fuel for its final destruction. In another prophecy, God foretold that the wicked city will burn forever. "For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up forever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it forever and ever" (Isaiah 34:8-10). Several years ago during the Gulf War we had a foretaste of this burning of Babylon when Saddam Hussein set hundreds of Kuwaiti oil wells on fire and covered the desert with smoke and fire.
One World Government
Over two thousand years ago the prophets Daniel and John described that there would be a global, world government led by the coming dictator, the Antichrist in the last days (Daniel 7:14). "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him" (Revelation 13:7,8). There has never been a world government during thousands of years of human history. However, as I outlined in my last book, Final Warning, the elite are moving behind the scenes to produce a world government as quickly as possible. The rising power of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and World Court are moving us quickly beyond the days of national sovereignty and individual nations.
The Bible describes terrible plagues and horrible sores occurring throughout the world's population in the Great Tribulation. The plagues that will destroy hundreds of millions in the last days may include the effects of biological and chemical weapons. Zechariah also described the terrible plagues at the Battle of Armageddon: "And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongues shall consume away in their mouth" (Zechariah 14:12).
"So I looked, and behold an ashy pale horse,......and its rider's name was Death, and Hades.....followed him closely; and they were given authority and power over a fourth part of the earth, to kill with the sword and with famine and with plague (pestilence, disease) and with wild beasts of the earth" (Revelation 6:8 [amplified version]). The prophecy of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse warned that a fourth of humanity will be killed by plague and pestilence symbolized by the fourth horseman during the Tribulation. How could this prophecy be fulfilled literally? Tragically, the AIDS epidemic throughout Africa, South America, and Asia is demonstrating how this prophecy may be fulfilled in our generation. The AIDS plague is now poised to destroy a large portion of mankind in the worst epidemic in history. Thus far it appears that no one has survived AIDS for more than twelve years. Jesus warned His disciples about plagues in the last days, "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilence, and earthquakes, in diverse places" (Matthew 24:7).
In North America and Europe the AIDS virus is still primarily infecting people within the homosexual community and those who share illegal drugs through needles. However, in the Third World huge numbers of heterosexuals in Africa, South America, and Asia are now infected with AIDS. Scientists have determined that unprotected promiscuous sexual activity between males and females facilitates the rapid transmission of the AIDS virus throughout the sexually active population in the Third World. The combination of high levels of promiscuity, an absence of sanitation, minimal AIDS education, and a lack of antibiotics or protection has produced an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. The only real solution to the AIDS crisis is to return to God's laws regarding a monogamous marriage relationship between a faithful husband and wife. This is the only true "safe sex" that exists in a world of promiscuous behavior and sexually transmitted disease. In the fall of 1991, the Central Intelligence Agency produced a report on the AIDS epidemic in Africa that was staggering in its conclusions. The evidence pointed to the greatest epidemic and loss of life in human history. The CIA report concluded that up to 75 percent of the population of Africa living in the area south of the Sahara Desert may become infected with AIDS over the next twelve years. This will mean the death by AIDS of over three hundred million people in Africa alone. We are now witnessing the greatest tragedy in history in the death of a whole continent. The mind can scarcely imagine death on this massive scale. The South African Medical Journal in July 1991, reported that a staggering 47 percent of black male and female blood donors tested positive for AIDS during 1989. The prognosis for Asia and parts of South America is tragically similar. One study showed that almost every soldier in the armies of several East African nations that could be tested were found to have been infected by the AIDS virus.
The apostle John described his vision of the horrible famine in the last days. "And I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand" (Revelation 6:5). The scales represent famine, and the prophet explains that a day's wages at this time will only buy enough wheat or barley to feed the workman, not his family. The United Nations claims that over thirty million in Africa are now at risk of dying from the most devastating famine in this century. Despite the great advances in food production and food storage techniques more people are starving today than at any other time in history. The UN estimates that one billion people are in danger of starvation while another billion people lack proper nutrition. North American food reserves (grain and corn) are at the lowest level in sixty years. Wheat reserves worldwide are at the lowest level in this century as our government sends its surplus food to Russia, Bosnia, and Africa. In light of the massive changes in the world weather patterns we may witness devastating famine in the future in countries that felt themselves immune to hunger.
The Rise in Major "Killer" Earthquakes
Jesus prophesied that the last generation of this age would witness the greatest earthquakes in history. Other prophets, including Ezekiel, Zechariah, Haggai, and John predicted awesome earthquakes that would precede Christ's return. Jesus said these earthquakes will occur in "diverse places" (strange places). Massive earthquakes are now occurring worldwide in "diverse places." Enormous forces are accumulating far beneath the massive tectonic plates supporting the continents. Scientists warn that the major earthquakes felt recently in California, Japan, and other parts of the Pacific Rim are only a foretaste of the coming "Big One," the most massive earthquake in human history. Major "killer" quakes (7.2 or greater on the Richter Scale) occurred only once per decade throughout history until our century. However, since A.D. 1900, the growth in major earthquakes has been relentless. From 1900 to 1949 it averaged three major earthquakes per decade. From 1949 the increase became awesome with 9 killer quakes in the 1950s; 13 in the 1960s; 56 in the 1970s and an amazing 74 major quakes in the 1980s. Finally, in the 1990s, at the present rate, we will experience 125 major killer quakes in this decade (Source: U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Report, Boulder, Colorado). The prophets warned that the planet will be shaken in the last days as never before. The judgment of God will finally unleash the greatest earthquake in history as part of a series of enormous earthquakes. "There were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth" (Revelation 16:18).
Preparations for the Mark of the Beast
The Book of Revelation describes the end of cash and the creation of a cashless society in the last days where the possession of a certain number, "666," will be essential to enable you to "buy or sell." This was an astonishing prophecy when John proclaimed it in the first century: "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six" (Revelation 13:16-18). However, we are already 95 percent cashless in America today. Studies reveal that less than 5 percent of the total money in our society exists as paper currency or coins. Revelation describes a time when the number 666 will be placed beneath the skin of the right hand or forehead. Recently, scientists developed a miniature computer chip the size of a dime. This tiny chip will hold as much information as contained in thirty complete sets of the Encyclopedia Britannica. This chip could also be configured in a shape the size of two grains of rice that could be injected beneath the skin. Your complete financial life records could be held by such a chip which could be read from a distance by electronic scanners. Business Week magazine reported on June 3, 1996, p.123, that MasterCard International is testing a "smart card" computer chip that includes information about your fingerprint and identity that can be embedded in a credit/debit card. Card scanners in stores and banks will scan your fingerprint and compare it to the information on the card to verify your identity. How could the apostle John have known that the future would hold such incredible technology unless God inspired him to write the words recorded in Revelation 13:16-18.
Worldwide Television Communication
Another incredible prophecy relating to our era is found in the Book of Revelation that describes worldwide television communications. The prophet John prophesied that in the future tribulation the Antichrist will kill two of God's witnesses who will stop the rain for three-and-a-half years. The prophet declared that the people living around the world will see their deaths and observe their bodies lying unburied for three-and-a-half days in Jerusalem. The whole world will hold a party, exchanging gifts in their relief that their tormentors are dead. Then these people will watch astonished as God resurrects His two witnesses to heaven (Revelation 11:9-10). How could the news that these men were killed travel instantaneously around the world in only three-and-a-half days in any other generation than today? Only seventy years ago it would have taken a week for the news to travel from Israel to Japan or New York. However, today CNN instantly transmits pictures and sound about any important event worldwide. Over a billion people around the world can simultaneously watch the Olympic events every four years. For the first time in history, this prophecy about the whole world watching an event in Jerusalem can be literally fulfilled in this last decade.
Gospel of the Kingdom Shall Be Preached in all the World
One of the most wonderful of the prophecies concerns the prediction of Jesus Christ that: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Matthew 24:14). The Bible has now been translated in more than 3,850 languages in every nation, tribe and dialect on this planet. Electronic communication transmits the message of hope in Jesus Christ through the air waves worldwide. According to researchers on evangelism, over eighty-five thousand people accept Jesus as their personal Savior every day. We have never witnessed such an explosion of the Gospel from the first days following the Feast of Pentecost in Jerusalem until today. There were only one million Christians in China in 1949 after a century of faithful missionary work. However, the Church in China has grown astronomically despite tremendous persecution and the killing of untold millions of believers in concentration camps. Today, the lowest estimates calculate that there are more than one hundred million true followers of Christ in communist China.
Knowledge and Travel Shall Increase in the Last Days
Twenty-five centuries ago the Book of Daniel predicted that there would be an explosion of knowledge and a huge increase in travel in the last days. Daniel wrote these words: "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (Daniel 12:4). Throughout thousands of years of history the level of knowledge only increased incrementally. In some generations the level of general knowledge actually decreased. Yet, in the last century and a half, there has been an explosion of knowledge beyond anything ever experienced in human history. There are more scientists alive today than have lived in all of the rest of history. Recently it was calculated that the total level of human knowledge is growing so quickly that it literally doubles every twenty-four months. This is staggering in light of Daniel's inspired prediction from the ancient past. In addition, Daniel stated that a characteristic of the last days would be an awesome increase in mobility as "many shall run to and fro." The speed of transportation has also exploded in the last century. Throughout history most people have never traveled faster than a galloping horse. Today men travel at over eighteen thousand miles an hour in the U.S. space shuttle Discovery. In addition, while most people in past centuries never traveled more than twenty miles from the place they were born, millions of people now travel the globe as part of their normal course of daily business or annual vacation.
Preparations for the Battle of Armageddon
Numerous prophecies deal with the climactic battle at the end of this age that will bring about the defeat of the Antichrist's armies and the ultimate victory of Jesus Christ to establish His kingdom on earth for a thousand years. The prophet John named the place of the final battle in this war between the Antichrist and the armies of the Kings of the East. "And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon" (Revelation 16:16). John also stated that the army of the eastern nations from the "kings of the east" would consist of an astonishing two hundred million soldiers. This statement was almost impossible in light of the fact that the population of the entire Roman Empire in the days of John was only two hundred million people. "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" (Revelation 9:15-16).
However, the population of the nations of Asia are growing so quickly that they could field an army in the next few years containing almost two hundred million soldiers. As a result of the cruel and evil One Child Policy, Chinese couples routinely abort any unborn baby that tests indicate will be female. They keep aborting fetuses until the tests reveal the woman has a male fetus. Then they allow the male child to be born. Numerous reports by human rights organizations reveal that China, India, and North Korea are involved in the selective abortion of female unborn infants. In addition, many in these nations kill young girls who are not wanted by their parents. As a result, the Toronto Star newspaper reported in 1995 that Chinese officials admitted that they have a staggering imbalance between boys and girls. This sexual imbalance will result in an excess of over seventy million young men in China by the year 2000 with no women for them to produce up to two hundred million excess young men of military age in the next decade. This situation could fulfill the prophecy of John about the two-hundred-million-man army from the East that will fight in the Battle of Armageddon.
A Military Highway Across Asia and the Drying Up of the Euphrates River
Another prophecy in Revelation declares that the Euphrates River will be dried up to allow this enormous army of two hundred million soldiers to cross from Asia to invade Israel: "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" (Revelation 16:12). Throughout history the Euphrates River has been an impenetrable military barrier between East and West. However, the government of Turkey recently constructed the huge Ataturk Dam that can now dam up the waters of the Euphrates for the first time in history. The prophet John foretold a future military highway across Asia that would allow this astonishing army to march toward the final battle in Israel. John describes the building of this highway in these words: "The way of the kings of the east might be prepared" (Revelation 16:12). The Chinese government has spent enormous sums and expanded the lives of hundreds of thousands of construction workers building a military super-highway across Asia heading directly toward Israel. This highway has no economic purpose and no foreigners are allowed anywhere near this road. The highway has been completed through the south of China, Tibet, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. This curious prophecy about "the way of the kings of the east" is being fulfilled in the 1990s setting the stage for the final battle of this age.
The Staggering Odds Against These Prophecies Being Fulfilled in Our Lifetime
In this chapter we have examined a number of significant prophecies fulfilled in our lifetime that point to the Lord's return in this generation. Almost two thousand years have passed from the time of Christ until our generation. At its simplest level we can ask: What are the odds that even ten of these specific prophecies would be fulfilled by chance during our lifetime? If these prophecies could not have occurred by random chance, then their fulfillment is proof that God inspired the writers of the Bible to correctly predict these future events! In the Bible there are several types of generations. One generation is defined a the length of life of the average person - seventy or eighty years. However, a generation of governing is usually defined as forty years, as indicated in the forty-year reigns of Gideon, King David, King Solomon, et cetera. During the last two thousand years since the days of Christ, there were fifty such forty-year generations. Therefore, the odds of are one chance in fifty that any one of these specific prophecies happened by chance in our generation rather than some other generation. Examine the prediction about the rebirth of Israel, as prophesied by Matthew 24:32, as an example. There was only one chance in fifty that Israel would become a nation in our lifetime, rather than in some other generation such as A.D. 350, or A.D. 1600.
According to the laws of combined probability the chance that two or more events will occur in a given time period is equal to the chance that one event will occur multiplied by the chance that the second event would occur. If the odds are fifty to one against Israel being reborn in our lifetime by chance and the odds are also fifty to one against the revival of the Roman Empire in our generation; then the combined probability is fifty times fifty which equals one chance in twenty-five hundred. To calculate the probability of these prophecies occurring by chance:
What are the Odds That These Prophecies Were Fulfilled by Chance?
There are 40 years to a generation
There are 50 generations from Christ till today.
The odds are 1 in 50 of any of these prophecies occurring in our lifetime.
The odds are: 1 event = 1x50
2 events = 50x50
3 events = 50x50(3 times)
4 events = 50x50(4 times)
5 events = 50x50(5 times)
6 events = 50x50(6 times)
7 events = 50x50(7 times)
8 events = 50x50(8 times)
9 events = 50x50(9 times)
10 events = 50x50(10 times) 1 in 50
1 in 2,500
1 in 125,000
1 in 6.25 million
1 in 312.5 million
1 in 15.6 billion
1 in 780 billion
1 in 39 trillion
1 in 1,950 trillion
1 in 97,500 trillion (or 97.5 quadrillion)
Obviously, the odds against even ten prophecies occurring by random chance alone in one generation are simply staggering. The above calculation suggests that there is only one chance in 97,500 Trillion (or 97.5 Quadrillion) that these particular predictions from the Bible could be fulfilled by chance in our lifetime. Another way of looking at this is that the chance that the prophets of the Bible correctly guessed these prophecies is also one chance in 97,500 Trillion. If we calculated the odds against all twenty of these prophecies occurring by chance, the numbers would be beyond our ability to comprehend. In other words, it is simply impossible that men alone could have written the Bible without the supernatural assistance and inspiration of God.
This analysis demonstrates the truly incredible odds against even ten specific prophecies being fulfilled by chance in our generation. The odds against only ten prophecies occurring by random chance was 50 x 50 x 50 x 50 x 50 x 50 x 50 x 50 x 50 x 50 = one chance in 97,500 Trillion! This number is so large that it is hard to conceive of it. However, to illustrate these incredible odds; consider this. The odds of 97,500 Trillion to one are equal to the estimated numbers of grains of sand that would fill our entire planet. Imagine that we were able to take a single grain of sand out of this staggering number of grains of sand and paint it blue. Then we blindfold you and let your search the planet for this buried grain of sand as long as you wish. Remember the entire globe consists of grains of sand and you would need to consider the possibility that the blue painted grain of sand was buried ten miles or, possibly, a thousand miles deep beneath the planet's surface. When you think you have found the right place, stop and pick up a random grain of sand. If you were lucky enough to pick up the only grain of sand painted blue by pure chance, you would have equaled the odds of one chance in 97,500 Trillion against even these ten prophecies being fulfilled by chance in our generation. Frankly, I don't think you would find that grain of sand. Likewise, it is simply impossible that these twenty prophecies were fulfilled by random chance.
The Scriptures teach that the final generation of this age will witness the fulfillment of a staggering number of prophecies pointing to the soon return of the promised Messiah. The evidence presented in this chapter also provides astonishing evidence that proves that only God could have inspired the writers of the Scriptures to accurately predict the startling number of predictions already fulfilled in our lifetime. The words of Jesus speak especially to our generation, "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near" (Luke 21:28).
Reference: Jeffrey, Grant R., "The Signature of God", Frontier Research Publications, Inc. (1996), p.184-201