Is the Antichrist a Muslim?

Is the Antichrist a Muslim? – By Britt Gillette –

http://www.raptureready.com/featured/gillette/bg67.html

 
This is one of the questions I’m asked most often – especially in recent years.
 
For centuries, the overwhelming majority of those who have studied bible prophecy have claimed the Antichrist will come from a revived Roman Empire headquartered in Western Europe. But recent events in the Middle East, such as the rise of ISIS, have led some people to question that claim. They say the Antichrist will be a Muslim headquartered in the Middle East. Could this be true? Let’s examine what the Bible says.
 
The Muslim Antichrist Belief
 
Those who believe the Muslim Antichrist vary in the reasons for their belief. But the two most common reasons I encounter are these:
 
1) Similarities between Islamic and Christian end time prophecies, and 
 
2) A belief the Bible says the Antichrist will come from the eastern rather than the western wing of the ancient Roman Empire.
 
So let’s take a look at these.
 
Islamic End Time Prophecies – The Koran does not contain end time prophecies, but the Hadith does. The Hadith is a collection of Muhammad’s teachings. Muslims generally believe these are valuable teachings, but not direct revelations from Allah. According to the Hadith, a ruler known as the Madhi will emerge in the last days. Muslims believe this man will rule the world for seven years and rid the earth of all evil prior to the Day of Judgment. What’s more, they say Jesus will return to earth and support the Madhi’s rule during this time.
 
Does any of this sound familiar? It should. After all, the Bible’s end time prophecies predict the rise of an Antichrist who will rule the earth for seven years just prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. And during the Tribulation, the Antichrist will be aided by a false prophet. When you study the texts side-by-side, it appears the Muslim Messiah and the Christian Antichrist are one and the same. At least, that’s the claim made by many believers in the Muslim Antichrist theory.
 
But there’s a big problem with this line of thinking. It gives the same divine authority to both the Bible and the Hadith, and that’s a big mistake. The Hadith is not divinely inspired. Its “prophecies” resemble the Bible’s because many of Muhammad’s ideas came from Judaism and Christianity – two of the major religions of his time.
 
Only the Bible has a flawless track record when it comes to fulfilled prophecy. The Hadith doesn’t. Therefore, I have no reason to believe the Hadith is divinely inspired. And if it’s not divinely inspired, why should I rely on it for insight into future fulfillment of bible prophecy?
 
The Eastern Wing of the Ancient Roman Empire – Much better arguments for a Muslim Antichrist are made by those who base their beliefs on the Bible-the Word of God. According to the Bible, the Antichrist will come from a revived version of the Roman Empire (Daniel 2, Revelation 17). Many supporters of the Muslim Antichrist theory believe the Bible says the Antichrist will come from a revived form of the eastern rather than the western wing of the ancient Roman Empire.
 
The eastern and western portions of the Roman Empire formed in A.D. 285. In that year, the Emperor Diocletian divided the empire into two parts – one governed in Rome (West) and the other governed in Constantinople (East). When Rome fell to invaders in A.D. 487, the power seat of the ancient Roman Empire shifted eastward to Constantinople (in modern day Turkey).
 
Many supporters of the Muslim Antichrist theory believe it’s this eastern portion of the Roman Empire that will re-emerge in the end times. They point to chapters 8 and 11 in the Book of Daniel, which foretell the rise of both the Antichrist and the tyrannical rule of the Assyrian king, Antiochus Epiphanes. Citing these passages, they make a case for an Antichrist of Assyrian descent.
 
What the Bible Says About the Antichrist
 
Despite these claims, here’s what the Bible says about the Antichrist:
 
1) He will sign a peace treaty with Israel – The Tribulation will begin when the Antichrist signs a peace treaty with Israel (Daniel 9:27). This will be a treaty placing the national security of Israel in the Antichrist’s hands. Is it realistic to think Israel will make such a pact with a Muslim leader?
 
2) He will proclaim himself to be God – The Bible says the Antichrist will enter the Temple in Jerusalem at the mid-point of the Tribulation and declare himself to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). He will demand worship. Such a claim would go against the teachings of the Koran, which says “there is no god but Allah” (Sura 9:129). While it’s possible the Antichrist will only identify with the Muslim faith and not be a strict adherent, it’s unlikely a true Muslim would claim to be God.
 
3) He will worship a god of fortresses – The Bible says the Antichrist “will worship a god of fortresses, a god unknown to his forefathers” (Daniel 11:38) This suggests the Antichrist will be an idolater who worships a new idol. Not Allah. Not Baal. But a god unknown to previous generations.
 
4) He will come from the Italian peninsula – The book of Daniel says the Antichrist will come from among the people who destroy the Temple. History clearly reveals who that was. In A.D. 70, Titus and the Roman legions marched into Jerusalem to put down a Jewish insurrection. In doing so, they destroyed the Temple and enslaved the Jewish people, taking them away in chains to the farthest corners of the empire.
 
This means the Antichrist will come from Rome. Supporters of the Muslim Antichrist theory reject this idea. They claim the Roman legions were composed of Syrians and local people who identify today as Muslims (Daniel 9:26). However, this just isn’t true. Titus and the legions he commanded were composed of Italians and Roman citizens acting under the full authority of Rome. Regardless, the seat of power that conquered Jerusalem was located in Rome, not Assyria. So the Bible is crystal clear in regard to where the Antichrist will come from. He will come from Rome.
 
Now, could he be a Roman citizen of Assyrian heritage? Possibly. But remember, the rule of the Assyrian king Antiochus Epiphanes (a forerunner of the Antichrist) is one of the reasons some believe the Antichrist will be of Assyrian descent. Yet Antiochus Epiphanes was Greek, not Assyrian. So if the idea of a Muslim Antichrist is built on the Daniel 11 description of Antiochus Epiphanes as an Assyrian, that claim is built on faulty ground.
 
What’s the Truth?
 
So with all these conflicting viewpoints, what’s the truth? The answer should be clear. The Bible is the truth. You can count on the Word of God and the fulfillment of all bible prophecy. What you can’t count on is any particular human interpretation of bible prophecy prior to its fulfillment.
 
To illustrate, let’s examine some past fulfilled prophecies. This will show just how difficult it can be to understand specific prophetic details ahead of time. 
 
Before the first coming of Jesus, some scriptural teachers claimed the Messiah would come from Bethlehem (John 7:42) while others said “no prophet comes from Galilee” (John 7:52). Of course, we know from hindsight, the Messiah came from Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), came out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1), and Galilee was filled with glory (Isaiah 9:1). Prior to Jesus of Nazareth, it was difficult to see how one man could fulfill all of these prophecies. Yet it happened – just as the Bible foretold.
 
Oftentimes, we show a tendency to read news headlines into the Bible rather than taking the Bible for what it says. The rise of Islam in recent years only increases the speculation of an Islamic Antichrist. But until he arrives on the world scene, no one can know for sure every characteristic of the Antichrist. Perhaps he will be an Italian Muslim from Syria. But perhaps not. We just don’t have enough information to know.
 
Nevertheless, we can be absolutely sure bible prophecy will be fulfilled to the last letter. In the meantime, a literal interpretation of scripture indicates the Antichrist will come from the Italian peninsula, not the Middle East. And the Bible’s statements that the Antichrist will establish a peace treaty with Israel (Daniel 9:27), proclaim himself to be God in the  Temple (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4), and worship a god of fortresses unknown to his forefathers (Daniel 11:38) strongly indicates the Antichrist will NOT be a Muslim. Any claim that he must be, rather than he might be, is not from the Bible, but from men.
 
Britt Gillette is author of the free ebook  Coming to Jesus: One Man’s Search for Truth and Life Purpose as well as  Signs of the Second Coming: 11 Reasons Jesus Will Return in Our Lifetime. He’s also the founder of  End Times Bible Prophecy.

 

Israel, Iran, and the End Times

Israel, Iran, and the End Times -By Britt Gillette – http://www.raptureready.com/featured/gillette/bg63.html

Israel and Iran have been in the news a lot lately. Currently, several nations are trying to strike a deal with Iran to curtail its nuclear ambitions. The question on the minds of many Bible prophecy students is what does the Bible say about this? Are Iran’s nuclear ambitions a sign of the end times? Maybe. Maybe not.

Rest assured that Iran itself does have a role in the future fulfillment of Bible prophecy (see Ezekiel 38 and 39). But no one can say for sure whether or not the current nuclear talks will play a significant role in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. What I can tell you is that this generation is already a witness to the fulfillment of numerous Bible prophecies, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s much publicized speech from earlier this week should make that crystal clear.

On Tuesday, March 3rd, the Israeli Prime Minister addressed the U.S. Congress, and while the media replayed several sound bites from the speech, one passage in particular resonated with me. Here it is:

We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home. And the soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage. For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves. This is why — this is why, as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.

Why do I find this passage so interesting? Because this simple paragraph reads like a collection of Bible verses. In fact, it reads like a collection of recently fulfilled and soon-to-be fulfilled Bible prophecies. Here are the key points that stood out:

1) “We are no longer scattered among the nations…” This is a direct fulfillment of God’s promise to bring the Jews back into the land of Israel. A promise made multiple times thousands of years ago through the prophets:

“Then they will know that I am the Lord their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind.” Ezekiel 39:28 (NLT)

“He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.” Isaiah 11:12 (NLT)

“However, the days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when it will no longer be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ but it will be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ For I will restore them to the land I gave their ancestors.” Jeremiah 16:14-15 (NLT)

“Then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes. He will have mercy on you and gather you back from all the nations where he has scattered you. Even though you are banished to the ends of the earth, the Lord your God will gather you from there and bring you back again. The Lord your God will return you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will possess that land again.” Deuteronomy 30:3-5 (NLT)

2) “We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home.” Note to Netanyahu: This should read “God restored our sovereignty in our ancient home.” Why? Because God made it clear thousands of years ago this was all a part of His plan:

“I will accept you as fragrant incense when I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will be proved holy through you in the sight of the nations. Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the land I had sworn with uplifted hand to give to your ancestors.” Ezekiel 20:41-42 (NLT)

“I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number.” Jeremiah 23:3 (NLT)

“I will bring you from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered – with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath.” Ezekiel 20:34 (NLT)

“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess'” Jeremiah 30:3 (NLT)

“Though I scatter them among the peoples, yet in distant lands they will remember me. They and their children will survive, and they will return.” Zechariah 10:9 (NLT)

“He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.” Isaiah 11:12 (NLT)

3) “The soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage.” God promised even the weakest soldier in modern day Israel will be like David:

“On that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David.” Zechariah 12:8 (NLT)

“Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid.” Jeremiah 30:10 (NLT)

4) “We, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves.” This is a big one. Israel barely cracks the Top 100 nations in terms of population, but its military consistently ranks among the most powerful on earth. Think this is the result of random chance? I don’t think so. Israel’s exceedingly great army was foretold over 2,000 years ago:

“On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume all the surrounding peoples right and left, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.” Zechariah 12:6 (NLT)

“They came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army.” Ezekiel 37:10 (NLT)

5) “Even if Israel has to stand alone…” According to God’s Word, the day will come when Israel will stand alone. The war prophesied in Ezekiel 38 and 39 portrays Israel as an isolated nation under attack, and only God comes to Israel’s aid. Furthermore, the prophet Zechariah foresees a day when “all the nations of the earth are gathered against her”:

“In 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 12:3 (NLT)

6) “Israel will stand.” Nevertheless, even though Israel will one day stand alone, Israel isn’t going away. Because God not only promised to bring His people back from their faraway lands of exile and firmly plant them in Israel, he promised they will never be uprooted again:

“And I will bring my people Israel back from exile. ‘They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,’ says the Lord your God.” Amos 9:14-15 (NLT)

Israel’s enemies should take note: “Israel will stand.” She isn’t going anywhere. Not because it has a great military or the support of the United States, but because the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob made a promise:

“I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.” 1 Kings 6:13 (NLT)

When the dark days of this age come to an end, God will make good on His promise, and He will come to live among the nations, and there will be no more war:

“‘Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem. Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.'” Zechariah 2:10-13 (NLT)

Whether or not the events of this week have any immediate prophetic significance, you can be sure that we’re living in the last days. Jesus, Moses, and the prophets pointed to the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel as one of the foremost signs of the Second Coming. Jesus Himself said the generation that witnesses the re-emergence of Israel will not pass away before He returns (Matthew 24:34).

So what’s the big lesson from this past week’s events? While we’re not yet in the seven-year period the Bible calls the “Tribulation,” we’re very close. Much closer than we’ve ever been.

Jesus is coming. Are you ready?

Britt Gillette is the author of Signs of the Second Coming: 11 Reasons Jesus Will Return in Our Lifetime and Coming to Jesus: One Man’s Search for Truth and Life Purpose. He’s also the founder of End Times Bible Prophecy.

The Number One Sign of the Second Coming

The Number One Sign of the Second Coming – by Britt Gillette – http://www.raptureready.com/featured/gillette/bg58.html

While on the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached Jesus and asked Him, “What are the signs of your coming and the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3). Jesus replied by giving them a list of signs and events to look for, such false prophets, earthquakes, wars, and desecration of the Temple. But Jesus said once they see one sign in particular, they should “look up” because redemption draws near. Fast forward almost two thousand years, and our generation is witness to the #1 sign Jesus said to look for. So what is it?

Convergence

That’s right. The #1 sign is not a single sign, but the convergence of all the signs Jesus, Moses, and the Old Testament prophets said to look for. Jesus said, “When you see all these things occur, look up. For your salvation is near!” (Luke 21:28). Note that Jesus didn’t say, “When you see one or two of these signs.” He said, “When you see all these signs.” In other words, the convergence of all the signs He spoke of are what we should be looking for.

The Converging Signs

“There’s a great deal to say in the Bible about the signs we’re to watch for and when these signs all converge at one place we can be sure that we’re close to the end of the age. And those signs, in my judgment, are converging now for the first time since Jesus made those predictions.” -Billy Graham, World Net Daily, 10/20/2013

Our generation is unique among all those before us because we see the convergence of the signs Jesus and the prophets said to look for. Here are just a few:

1) Israel – In A.D. 70, Roman soldiers put down a rebellion, sacked Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple, and carried the Jewish people to the farthest corners of the Empire to serve as slaves. They tried to eliminate every trace of the nation of Israel, even renaming the land Palestine in honor of Israel’s historical enemies, the Philistines. The Roman intent was to erase all memory of the nation of Israel forever.

But God had other plans. Thousands of years ago, He foretold the long exile of His people. And He promised to call them from “among the nations” (Ezekiel 39:28), from “the farthest corners of the earth” (Isaiah 11:12), and from “north, south, east, and west” (Psalm 107:3). He promised to welcome the Jewish people home from the lands where they were scattered (Ezekiel 20:34), and He promised to restore them to the land of Israel from distant lands (Jeremiah 30:2, 10). And this is exactly what He did. Every single person on earth is an eyewitness to the modern miracle of Israel. The prophets said that following this restoration, the Messiah will come and set up His everlasting Kingdom (Isaiah 35, Joel 3, Jeremiah 23, Micah 4). In other words, Israel’s existence today is a sign that the Second Coming is near.

For 1,878 years, Christians could not point to the sign of Israel. It didn’t exist. The Jews were not in the land. But today, they are.

2) Jerusalem – When the disciples asked Jesus to reveal the signs of His coming and the end of the age, He made a statement that’s one of the keys to understanding the timing of His return. He told the disciples this: Jerusalem “will be trampled by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles come to an end,” and then Jesus promised to return (Luke 21:24-28).

The trampling of Jerusalem by the Gentiles began with the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70 by Titus and the Roman legions. For centuries thereafter, Gentile kings and kingdoms exercised complete control over the Temple Mount and the Old City of Jerusalem. However, in June 1967, the Six Day War concluded with Israel in control of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount for the first time since A.D. 70. And according to Jesus, the Jewish repossession of Jerusalem will closely followed by His return.

For 1,897 years, Christians could not point to the sign of Israel or the Jewish people controlling Jerusalem. They didn’t. For those 1,897 years, numerous Gentile kingdoms ruled over Jerusalem. But today, Israel controls Jerusalem.

3) Travel & Knowledge – In the Book of Daniel, an angel told Daniel to keep the prophecies revealed to him a secret until a later date. But what later date? The angel said, “Until the end times, when travel and knowledge will increase” (Daniel 12:4). In other words, a significant increase in travel and knowledge will mark the end times and the time just prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Have we seen such an increase? I think the answer is obvious. For all of human history right up until the early 19th Century, the fastest mode of land-based transportation was a horse. Yet today, we can travel to the other side of the earth in a matter of hours. As for an increase in knowledge, think about how much information in on the Internet. In 1990, there was only one website. Six years later, the Internet featured more than one hundred thousand. And a decade later? One hundred million. Today, estimates place the number of websites at somewhere around six hundred million. And that number will be out of date before you read this.

4) The Gospel Preached – In answering His disciples, Jesus described many signs to look for. But among them, He said this: “And the Gospel will be preached throughout the entire world, so that every nation will hear it – and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).

Think we’re getting close to that day now? I do. The Bible is available in thousands of languages. Satellites broadcast Christian programming throughout the world, and every day, missionaries carry the gospel to people who have never heard it before. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting close.

But the gospel wasn’t always so widespread. Even after 1,500 years of Christianity, the message of Jesus was largely confined to the European continent. But today, the gospel is preached in every nation.

5) Global Government – According to the Bible, a global government will rule the world for the just before Jesus returns to establish His Millennial Kingdom. The Book of Revelation tells us this government will rule the world politically (Revelation 13:7), religiously (Revelation 13:8), and economically (Revelation 13:16-17).

The Bible also tells us this global government will rise from the ashes of the Roman Empire (Daniel 7:23; Revelation 17:11-13). This world empire will first appear as an alliance of ten kingdoms – some strong like iron and some weak like clay. These kingdoms will try to strengthen themselves by forming a union, but they will fail – just as iron and clay do not mix (Daniel 2:38-43).

Do we see anything like this today? Yes. We don’t see the ten nation alliance yet. But we do see the European Union, a loose confederation of European states – states that historically comprised much of the ancient Roman Empire. And just as Daniel foretold, the European Union consists of both weak and strong states.

Conclusion

By no means are these all the signs of the Second Coming. The Bible cites numerous signs and events we should look for, but recounting all of those signs in exhaustive detail is well beyond the scope of this article. Nevertheless, every one of the signs mentioned in this article is easy for the general public to recognize. They aren’t hidden signs. You don’t need a psychic, soothsayer, or prophet to interpret them. All you need is knowledge of the Bible and access to your daily news headlines.

The convergence of so many specific and detailed events – events Jesus told us to look for – should catch the attention of even the most hardened of skeptics. Why? Because these signs were noticeably absent for more than 1,800 years following the crucifixion. But today, we see them. For the first time ever, each of these signs is present. And all at the same time! Think that’s a coincidence? I don’t. It’s not a coincidence. And time will prove that it’s not. Jesus is coming. Now is the season of His return.

Britt Gillette is the author of: Signs of the Second Coming: 11 Reasons Jesus Will Return in Our Lifetime: http://www.amazon.com/Signs-Second-Coming-Reasons-Lifetime-ebook/dp/B00MKA156Q/

He’s also the founder of End Times Bible Prophecy: http://www.end-times-bible-prophecy.com

America in Bible Prophecy

America in Bible Prophecy

by Britt Gillette

Is America in bible prophecy?

This is one of the most common questions from contemporary students of bible prophecy, particularly those who live in the United States.

Bible prophecy reveals much about the end times, yet the United States seems conspicuously absent from the geopolitical picture foretold by the prophets.

Given the seeming nearness of Christ’s return, this is difficult for most people to understand.

After all, the United States is currently the most powerful and influential nation on earth. How then can it play no role in end time events?

Where Is America In Bible Prophecy?

The fact is neither America nor the United States are mentioned by name in bible prophecy.

When searching for America in bible prophecy, it’s important to understand that the Bible is a Middle Eastern book with an Israel-centric geographical perspective. Directions, for instance, are often given in relation to Jerusalem.

Furthermore, the fact that America as a nation was unknown to the prophets has no bearing on its absence in bible prophecy.

After all, the nation of Russia was also unknown to the prophets, yet Ezekiel 38-39 clearly identifies Russia (Gog) as a major end time player:

“Son of man, prophesy against Gog. Give him this message from the Sovereign Lord: I am your enemy, O Gog, ruler of the nations of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around and drive you toward the mountains of Israel, bringing you from the distant north.” Ezekiel 39:1-2 (NLT)

In addition, the Asian nations (also relatively unknown in John’s day) are clearly identified as major end time players in Revelation 16:

“Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great Euphrates River, and it dried up so that the kings from the east could march their armies toward the west without hindrance.” Revelation 16:12 (NLT)

Given the mention of most every other major nation in the contemporary world, why does the Bible remain silent regarding the United States?

According to some, the Bible may have something to say about America’s role in bible prophecy after all. So let’s look at what they have to say…

Is This America?

When searching for America in bible prophecy, several biblical passages are held up more often than others by proponents who see the United States in the Bible.

Below are some of the more regularly mentioned:

1) The Merchants of Tarshish and All Her Villages
One of the most commonly cited verses regarding America in bible prophecy can be found in the Book Ezekiel:

“Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages will say to you, ‘Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?'” Ezekiel 38:13 (KJV)

The verse references the Gog / Magog war against Israel, which is questioned beforehand by diplomats from many lands, including “the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages.”

According to proponents of this view, Tarshish is a reference to Great Britain and “all her villages” is a reference to the former British colonies of Canada, Australia, and the United States (among others).

This is certainly a creative interpretation of scripture and quite a stretch, especially in light of the fact that no consensus exists in regard to the identity of Tarshish.

Some biblical scholars claims that Tarshish is really a reference to Spain, while others say its India, Asia Minor, or coastal areas in the Mediterranean Sea.

Either way, no one can objectively point to this verse as the “smoking gun” which proves America is in bible prophecy.

2) Babylon
Another commonly cited reference regarding America in bible prophecy is Babylon. Here’s one passage often cited:

“One of the seven angels who had poured out the seven bowls came over and spoke to me. ‘Come with me,’ he said, ‘and I will show you the judgment that is going to come on the great prostitute, who rules over many waters. The kings of the world have committed adultery with her, and the people who belong to this world have been made drunk by the wine of her immorality.'” Revelation 17:1-2 (NLT)

The United States certainly rules over many waters, and our export of morally degenerate aspects of our media and culture have certainly not served the world well.

Nevertheless, taken in its proper context, Revelation 17 describes Mystery Babylon which is a biblical symbol for false religion, not the United States.

Babylon was the birthplace of false religion, and “the people who belong to this world have been made drunk by the wine of her immorality” by embracing false religion.

In Revelation 18, we encounter additional parallels:

“After all this I saw another angel come down from heaven with great authority, and the earth grew bright with his splendor. He gave a mighty shout: ‘Babylon is fallen – that great city is fallen! She has become a home for demons. She is a hideout for every foul spirit, a hideout for every foul vulture and every foul and dreadful animal. For all the nations have fallen because of the wine of her passionate immorality. The kings of the world have committed adultery with her. Because of her desires for extravagant luxury, the merchants of the world have grown rich.'” Revelation 18:1-3 (NLT)

Proponents of the Babylon is the United States theory point to the numerous parallels between the City described above and the United States of America.

But again, bible prophecy needs to be understood in its context, and not interpreted so as to agree with a predetermined viewpoint.

Revelation Chapter 18 does not describe the United States of America, but rather the Empire of the Antichrist and the actual realworld City of Babylon.

This is confirmed in the Book of Zechariah, when it’s revealed exactly where the epicenter of the end times false religion will geographically be located:

“Then the heavy lead cover was lifted off the basket, and there was a woman sitting inside it. The angel said, ‘The woman’s name is Wickedness,’ and he pushed her back into the basket and closed the heavy lid again. Then I looked up and saw two women flying toward us, gliding on the wind. They had wings like a stork, and they picked up the basket and flew into the sky. ‘Where are they taking the basket?’ I asked the angel. He replied, ‘To the land of Babylonia, where they will build a temple for the basket. And when the temple is ready, they will set the basket there on its pedestal.'” Zechariah 5:7-11 (NLT)

Some interpretations say “the plains of Shinar” or “the land of Shinar” instead of Babylonia. Nevertheless, Babylon is located on the plains of Shinar in modern day Iraq.

A close examination of the Babylon in Revelation confirms that Babylon is not a reference to America in bible prophecy.

3) A Great Eagle
Another commonly cited America in bible prophecy passage is also from the Book of Revelation:

“When the dragon realized that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But she was given two wings like those of a great eagle so she could fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness. There she would be cared for and protected from the dragon for a time, times, and half a time.” Revelation 12:13-14 (NLT)

Proponents who see the United States as the great eagle in Revelation 12 point to America’s prominent national symbol as evidence of its identity as the eagle.

But yet again, this passage needs to be interpreted in a biblical context.

The eagle is a clear reference to God, not the United States, as evidenced by the following verses:

“You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.” Exodus 19:4 (NLT)

and

“Like an eagle that rouses her chicks and hovers over her young, so he spread his wings to take them up and carried them safely on his pinions. The Lord alone guided them; they followed no foreign gods.” Deuteronomy 32:11-12 (NLT)

Yet again, in order to see America in bible prophecy, you’re required to engage in some creative and imaginative interpretations.

4) A Tall and Smooth People
The final America in bible prophecy verses we’ll look at are from Isaiah:

“Go, swift messengers! Take a message to a tall, smooth-skinned people, who are feared far and wide for their conquests and destruction, and whose land is divided by rivers.” Isaiah 18:2 (NLT)

and

“At that time the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will receive gifts from this land divided by rivers, from this tall, smooth-skinned people, who are feared far and wide for their conquests and destruction.” Isaiah 18:7 (NLT)

Some people claim these verses are a reference to the United States because America is “feared far and wide” and it’s divided by rivers (or even two oceans).

Yet, by simply reading verses one and two from Isaiah 18, we find that the nation referenced is not the United States:

“Listen, Ethiopia – land of fluttering sails that lies at the headwaters of the Nile, that sends ambassadors in swift boats down the river.” Isaiah 18:1-2 (NLT)

Cush, or Ethiopia, is the land of “tall, smooth-skinned people” referenced in Isaiah 18.

In short, the Bible makes no direct reference to the United States or America when it comes to the end times.

America’s Prophetic Role

In spite of the Bible’s silence in regard to the United States, America does have a profound role of prophetic significance in world affairs. While it may not be mentioned directly in end times bible prophecy, the United States has played a pivotal role in setting the stage for God’s worldwide end time drama.

Below is a list of three significant American contributions in setting the stage for the near-term fulfillment of end times bible prophecy:

1) American Support of Israel

The unrivaled prosperity and success of the United States is no coincidence.

Long ago, God made a promise to Abraham and his descendants:

“I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt.” Genesis 12:3 (NLT)

God promised to bless those who bless the Jews and curse those who curse them.

Since its Revolutionary foundation, the United States has been a safe haven for Jews relative to the other nations of the world. There are always exceptions, but for the most part, the United States has treated the Jewish people with kindness and acceptance, granting them full rights of citizenship.

In 1948, the United States fully supported the newly established nation of Israel, becoming its staunchest ally in the decades that followed.

American support during the Cold War as well as American military aid and assistance helped Israel thwart the existential threats posed by the Soviet Union and Israel’s hostile Arab neighbors.

In short, God used the United States as a mid-wife in the rebirth of Israel.

2) America and Global Evangelism

Since its inception, America has been a global leader in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The earliest settlers brought the Good News to the natives of North America, and in the centuries since, America has led the world in the international export of Christian evangelism.

The fruits of this global evangelism include countless missions, untold church plantings, the distribution of millions of bibles in hundreds of languages, and radio, satellite, and Internet ministries reaching all over the earth.

America’s role in preaching the gospel throughout the world can NOT be overstated, and according to Jesus Himself, the Good News must reach a global audience before He returns:

“And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14 (NLT)

3) America’s Role in Increasing Travel and Knowledge

According to the Book of Daniel, the end times will witness a marked increase in travel and knowledge:

“But you, Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end. Many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase.” Daniel 12:4 (NLT)

The fact that the world has already witnessed this dramatic increase in travel and knowledge is apparent even to the most casual observer.

For thousands of years, the horse remained the fastest mode of human transportation while the world’s most celebrated libraries contained at best thousands of scrolls.

Today, jets can travel faster than the speed of sound and handheld devices can store hundreds of times as much information as the Library at Alexandria, which is widely considered the greatest depository of knowledge in the ancient world.

America’s role in bringing about this explosion in travel and knowledge is unrivaled and indisputable.

The United States was the first nation to fully unleash the power of the free market, resulting in a burst of entrepreneurial creativity and innovation which enabled an exponential increase in technological development which spread throughout the world.

As a result, it’s hard to deny America’s signficance in setting the stage for Christ’s return.

America in the End Times

But America’s prophetically significant role in leading up to the end times doesn’t necessarily translate into a significant or even notable role during the seven year Tribulation.

In fact, the Bible doesn’t even mention the United States or America.

Why?

The Bible’s silence in regard to America seems to necessitate a notable decrease in its power and influence.

And given the lateness of the hour, it’s likely that America’s fall from power will be sudden and dramatic.

What could cause such a powerful and influential nation to suddenly fall from its perch?

Here are a few possible reasons for America’s absence in end times bible prophecy (Note that these are merely speculations and not predictions):

1) The Rapture
While only God can know a person’s heart, there’s a good probability that the United States will lose more citizens as a result of the rapture than any other nation in the world.

With more self-proclaimed born again Christians than everywhere else on earth, the rapture has the potential to destroy the United States in a moment’s notice.

Imagine millions of hard working Americans – homeowners, tax payers, leaders – simply disappearing.

Aside from the Hollywood images of crashing planes and cars, think of the implications. Businesses crushed as owners and employees disappear… Millions of consumers gone overnight… Millions of additional vacant homes added to an already bloated housing inventory…

From an economic standpoint, the rapture threatens to destroy the American economy, and America’s military might is built on the back of unprecedented military spending enabled by a robust economy.

2) Financial Collapse
Take an honest look under the hood of America’s debt-based economy, and you’ll realize it doesn’t necessarily take a major event like the rapture to spark a financial collapse.

By ignoring the biblical principles of financial stewardship, many Americans have set themselves and their nation on course toward bankruptcy.

Unless something dramatically changes, America’s national debt will exceed its total annual output within the next few years.

Meanwhile, several states are on the brink of bankruptcy, with most every other state and local government soon to follow.

But it’s not just America’s government which lives beyond its means. Our government is merely an extension of the behavior exhibited by its individual citizens.

Today’s average American today is burdened by a debt to disposable income ratio of 133%. That means the average American has already spent every dime of his or her disposable income, plus an additional 33%!

Is it really difficult to envision this debt-saddled house of cards suddenly collapsing?

If and when it does, America’s global power and influence will quickly disappear as well.

3) Defeat at the Hands of the Antichrist
The Book of Revelation reveals that the Antichrist and his kingdom will become so powerful that no one will be able to resist militarily:

“They worshiped the dragon for giving the beast such power, and they worshiped the beast. ‘Is there anyone as great as the beast?’ they exclaimed. ‘Who is able to fight against him?'” Revelation 13:4 (NLT)

Perhaps the absence of America in bible prophecy is due to the Antichrist conquering or annexing the United States into his revived Roman Empire.

4) Fading into Obscurity
Of course, it doesn’t necessarily require a major event such as the rapture, a financial meltdown, or loss of sovereignty for the United States to fall from its position as the world’s most powerful nation.

In addition to our massive debt, America is in a state of prolonged moral decay. We’ve pushed God out of our schools, public buildings, and public discourse… Broken families are now the norm… Our entertainment grows more and more degenerate with each passing year… And a record number of citizens are dependent on government, not a result of disability, but as a result of sloth and laziness.

We can’t rule out the possibility that the United States will simply fade into obscurity, surpassed by its rivals due to a combination of financial turmoil, moral decay, and societal breakdown.

The rapture would simply serve as the final nail in the coffin of America’s international dominance.

5) A Host of Other Reasons
The above scenarios offer just a few speculations regarding America’s absence in bible prophecy.

But in all likelihood, there’s a host of other reasons for the Bible’s silence that we have yet to understand or imagine.

Nevertheless, the sudden loss of America’s current role as the world’s lone superpower is not difficult to fathom, and it likely explains the Bible’s strange silence in regard to the world’s most powerful nation when it comes to end time matters.

Conclusion

As students of bible prophecy diligently search the scriptures, the question continually pops up…

Why isn’t America in bible prophecy?

In all likelihood, some of us will not know the answer in this life, but in hindsight, it will most likely be plain and obvious to the people of the Tribulation.

The need to see America in bible prophecy stems from a common mistake in the study of bible prophecy – trying to fit bible prophecy into the current headlines, rather than reading current headlines in the context of bible prophecy.

We can see the many signs of the end times, knowing the hour is late and His coming is near.

And with America still holding a position of strength and power in the world, it’s difficult to reconcile our belief that the end is near with the Bible’s silence regarding America’s role.

Nevertheless, we can be confident that bible prophecy will come to pass with 100% accuracy, and the United States will not be a significant player in end time events.