Living in Biblical Times By Pete Garcia The earth and its inhabitants are busy. They…
America in Bible Prophecy
By: Pete Garcia
A growing view that has sprung up over the last few decades, is that the Church must endure some portion of the time period commonly referred to as “the Tribulation”. Of course, if one believed that the Church must go through part or half of the Tribulation, several other questions and assumptions are then projected as potentialities. One of those questions, is whether or not the United States plays a role in those final seven years.
America in Bible Prophecy
If America enters into the final seven years, one has to take into account the numerous scriptures that speak to a final, one world system headed by a man known as “The Anti-Christ”. If the United States is a last day’s player, what role would she take? Would she be leading the one-world system, or would she just be minor player in it. Instead of me projecting my own opinion about the subject, let’s just look at what Scripture has to say on it. So let’s start at the beginning:
24 “Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy.
25 “Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.
26 “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.”
Beginning back in the 5th century B.C., Daniel was given a prophecy concerning the final run down for the remaining 490 years of Jewish history. In it, 483 years see their completion from start to finish, with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (vs. 25-26). Then the vision describes a ‘prince who is to come’ who comes out of the people who destroyed the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary (Jewish Temple). We know historically, that this was the Romans under the direction of General Titus Vespasian and the fifth, twelfth, and fifteenth legions during the First Roman-Jewish War from AD67-70.
So given what Daniel was told, we know that the ‘prince who is to come’, comes specifically out of the Roman Empire. We know that the Roman Empire stretched as far north as Great Britain, and included all the nations which lined the Mediterranean Sea and most of Western Europe. Assuming that verse 27 speaks to a peace treaty that has not yet been fulfilled, it must mean that this final week (seven years) has yet to occur. We know that historically, there has not been a man who has arisen since AD70, which meets the criteria that could be seen as ‘The Antichrist’, since he ushers or authors a seven year peace deal with ‘the many’, and controls the entire world both politically, economically, and militarily. A part of the passage that often gets overlooked, is at the end of verse 26.
The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
We must remember, going back to verse 24, that this entire 70 weeks prophecy, pertains specifically to Jerusalem and to the Jewish people. The Roman siege in AD70 was like a flood, which washed away the Jewishness from the land of Israel for almost 2,000 years, and in particular, Judaea. There was a later revolt (Bar Kokhba) in AD135, but this one was by far the most devastating one. Furthermore, it ushered in a 1,900 Diaspora of desolation and misery for the Jewish people. There wasn’t anywhere that the Jews could go to, without eventually being persecuted and chased out of the country they were in. But unlike other peoples, the Jews for the most part, did not fully assimilate into their surrounding cultures. They maintained their ethnic identities more often than not, to their own peril.
Seemingly, for almost two millennia, it had been one disaster after another, finally culminating in the NAZI Final Solution in the nineteen thirties and forties, in which six million Jews were exterminated. So the phrase ‘desolations are determined’, certainly takes on a new light. With hindsight being 20/20, we can now see that this portion of Daniel’s 70 Weeks, also had to come to pass. But an interesting event occurred beginning in the 17th century. A new nation was forming on the opposite side of the world. She would serve as a beacon of hope, and of safety for all who could make it to her shores. Her distance from and seemingly endless boundaries, were alluring to all who wanted to make a new start and chart a new path, from the tired and corrupt cultures of old Europe. This time, even Jewish men like Haym Saloman, could find a significant role to play in the building of this great country.
And so, for the better part of two centuries, the Jews found a safe haven here in the United States. In Europe, a Zionist movement had begun back in the 1890’s and Jews began to return, albeit in small numbers. World War I wrenched the Holy Lands from the Ottoman Turks, but it wouldn’t be until the end of World War II, that Jewish Aliyah would begin in earnest. The promise of their ancient homeland began to pull Jews from all over the world. And in fulfillment of numerous other Old Testament passages, the Jewish nation was again, born on a single day on May 14th, 1948. The first nation to recognize her, was her old benefactor, the United States…who also happened to be the lone superpower to survive fully in tact after World War II.
So for the last 67 years, the United States has supported her diplomatically, economically, and militarily. The U.S. has still served as a shelter for her people as well. But as we approach the seventieth year, events are already in play, which seem to point to changes in things to come. It would seem, that the United States, has ran her course in usefulness, in regards to God’s prophetic calendar. Consider these four truths:
-The US has incurred an insurmountable debt problem
-The US is losing political credibility at pace faster than she can recoup from
-The US political system has become irreconcilably polarized
-The US lost her will to remain united, due to the growing divide in cultures within her
Not only has the US began to turn on the nation of Israel, but has become (and is becoming) increasingly hostile to biblical Christianity. The only problem, is that a significant portion of the US considers themselves to be Christian. This author believes, that we are quickly approaching or have already arrived at that point in time, referred to as ‘the fullness of times’, in which God’s timetable aligns perfectly, with the reality on the ground. Before Christ came, the geo-political stage had to be set.
In the first century; in the twenty-first century
-Pax Romana (Roman Peace) was in effect throughout the world then
-Pax Americana-America’s role as the world’s peacekeeper for the last 67 years, enforcing peace either by force, or through economic or political treaties
-Koine Greek (a precise language) was utilized everywhere in the Roman Empire
-English is the world’s most recognizable and official language used globally
-Roman roads connected the Empire, this enabled the Gospel to be spread throughout the known world then
-The world is connected through incredible advancements in travel and technology, than it’s ever been. The internet has made the Gospel more accessible to more parts of the world, than it ever has
-Jew’s still had their temple and land
-For the first time in almost two millennia, the Jews are back in their ancient homeland, they have reclaimed Jerusalem, and are inching their way to rebuilding their Temple
The list could go on in the ways that show striking similarity between then and now, but the point is, that whatever global stage setting needed to happen, has. Although the Scriptures point to numerous nations who play varying roles in the last days, it does not describe in any form or fashion, a major Christian world player in the West. In fact, by the end of the Tribulation, the nations of the world began to come against tiny Israel. (Zechariah 14) This author believes we have been actually living out Zechariah 12:1-3 in part, for the last two decades. The world has ramped up its efforts in an attempt to try to divide her, and push the Jews out of Jerusalem. Even her old benefactor, the United States, has refused thus far, to recognize Jerusalem as her capital.
If the US isn’t mentioned in type, or by name in Scripture, that means the remaining piece of the stage that has to be, before the curtains rise, isn’t adding something to the stage, but removing it from it. In order for the world to come under one man’s system and leadership, which begins to happen in the First Seal, of the first set of Judgments that are initiated by Jesus (Rev. 6:1-2), the US has to fall.
What that fall looks like, is still largely unknown to us. Everyone assumed in the 1990’s that the only way the Soviet Union would collapse, would be in an all-out war between us and them. And then they collapsed economically. The same could be said for us, in that everyone assumes it will be an economic collapse…but then it could be a massive natural disaster, or war, or terrorist attack. There is even one more way that would put the nail in the coffin of US supremacy, overnight…the Rapture of the Church. Why? Because God loves to use the ridiculously impossible. So let us recap what we know thus far:
1. The Bible recognizes a ‘fullness of time’, in which all the pieces of the puzzle are perfectly aligned to fit into God’s purpose and plan. The Seventy Weeks encapsulate this idea in totality.
2. The Bible describes a future ruler, coming out of the geographical boundaries of the old Roman Empire. He could be Islamic or European, or both.
3. The determined desolations for both the Jews and Jerusalem, has played out in part, until their rebirth and recapture of Jerusalem. They have become the ‘burdensome stone’.
4. The world is poised to accept global leadership, but the US (due to her Constitution and reluctance to relinquish authority) is holding this process up.
5. The Church, is the Body of Christ. (Acts 8:1-3; Acts 9:3-4; Romans 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:27)
6. Christ initiates the final 70th week (the Tribulation), by opening the Seal Judgments, of which, the first released is the Antichrist. (Rev. 5:1-7; 6:1-2)
7. Christ is not going to pour out His Wrath, upon His own Body, who is the Church. Thus He MUST remove them (the Church) from the earth, PRIOR to this. (1 Thess 1:10, 5:9; 2 Thess. 2:1-4, 7-8; Rev. 3:10)
8. Although the curtains are about to go up, and the stage is almost set, one event remains, which sets in motion, everything else. This is the Rapture.
The Rapture, removes a portion of the global population to heaven and to be with Christ forever. This has varying impacts, depending on where it is and what the influence of Christianity was on said nation. Obviously, it would have a greater impact here in the US, than say Saudi Arabia or Iran. That said, even the removal of 10% of the US population, (or 30 million people) would easily cause the infrastructure of our nation to succumb overnight. The US would not be able to absorb that significant of a loss either financially, or economically, which probably explains the sudden interest of the government in purchasing millions of rounds of ammunition, body bags, establishing FEMA camps, etc.
This author realizes that there are numerous positions on the Rapture of the Church and the Tribulation. But 2 Thessalonians 2, lays out perfectly, that the Church must be removed (apostasia) prior to the unveiling of the Antichrist (man of lawlessness). Seeing as one could use the word ‘apostasia’ either as a noun, or as a verb, one has to keep in context, which is more fitting. Since apostasy has been present around and in the church since the first century, which specific apostasy movement would best describe the events surrounding the Antichrist’s unveiling? Chrislam? Emergent Church? Word/Faith Movement? Mormonism? Gnosticism? Paganism? They are all equally damning. If I may recommend an excellent summation here, that goes deep into the weeds on explaining why apostasia, means not a falling away, but an actual departure, fitting with the Rapture of the Church. If this be true, then the US will not play a significant role in end-times events. If she is here at all, her resources, military might, and technology may be accosted, but only so much as it aids that final ruler’s needs.
Like the once-mighty Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans, all of which sheltered the Jews under their wings for a moment in time, it would seem that the United States has come to the end of her usefulness, in regards to God’s timeline.
Even So, Maranatha!