1. Where is the Rapture in all of this? There is a big debate in the Body as to whether or not there is going to be a rapture. That will be another whole article. However, if there is going to be a rapture, it will probably occur at one of three possible points:
a. Right before the beginning of the 7 year Tribulation.
b. Right before the midpoint of the Tribulation at the three and half year mark where the Antichrist seats himself in the Temple and proclaims himself to be God and starts the persecution of Jew and Christians.
c. Or right before the battle of Armageddon.
I will be doing a separate article specifically on the possibility of a Rapture. I personally believe that there will be a rapture of Godís saints - and that it will occur sometime BEFORE the start of the 7 year Great Tribulation.
2. Where is the United States in all of this? People who study Bible Prophecy are having a hard time finding where we fit into all the above events. There is one very interesting verse that might give us a clue.
This verse says that once the last part of the Tribulation starts with the persecution of the Jews, that Israel was given "two wings of a great eagle" to fly into where nourishment and protection was given to her. Some people think that it might be referring to the United States since our national symbol is that of an eagle. Others feel that the eagle refers directly to God Himself, and God will arrange for some type of protection for the one-third of the Jews who will not be killed by the Antichrist.
I cannot find any other verses at this time that would answer the above question. I feel it could almost go either way. I think there is a good chance it might be referring to America since we do have a good relationship with Israel at this time. If it is us, then that would mean we do not become part of the 10 nation confederacy that the Antichrist will rule from. We would continue to hold our "superpower" status and would stay "isolated" out of all these events.
However, the other possibility is that once God raptures all of the Christians out of America - that we will lose our superpower status and will cease to have any bearing or influence on future world events. Once Americaís power has been completely taken off of the world scene - this will then free the Antichrist to be able take center stage as ruler over a 10 nation European confederacy.
Of these 2 possibilities - I would say the second scenario may be the most plausible and logical. And that may explain why America does not seem to be mentioned anywhere in the Bible in reference to end time events.
Our country has been truly founded on God and Jesus. Once all the real Christians have been taken up to heaven in this rapture - our country could literally fall apart overnight, since Godís hand operating through all of His people will no longer be in control of things. Our country may end up going down as a history lesson on what will happen to a country that has been founded on God and true Christian principles and then those Christians are taken out of the equation.
The only reason we are the worldís only superpower at this time is due to the anointing that God Himself has placed on this country as a result of our initial Christian foundations that were established with Him. It only has been the power of God operating on this country that has made us the superpower we are today. Once Godís people are taken out of this big picture - I believe this country will literally "fall apart" overnight, and the Antichrist and his 10 nation European confederacy will move in very quickly to take our place as the worldís only true superpower.
This also may explain how the Antichrist will literally be able to take control of the entire world in such a short period of time. With America being left completely powerless with the loss of so many Christians and no other countries big enough or powerful enough to take our place - the Antichrist, with his 10 nation European confederacy, will be the next in line to have the muscle, technology and ability to replace us as the next world superpower.
Now here is the verse about Israel being given protection under the two wings of a great eagle:
"But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent." (Revelations 12:14)
You definitely know that verse is talking about the last half of the Tribulation because it uses the words "time and times and half a time." That is the same phrase used by Daniel in his prophecy and it has already been determined that it equals three and half years!!!
3. One last point to mention on all of the above. Why would God allow such bloodshed and persecution to come onto His own chosen people - the Jewish people? First they go through horrible persecution after they are dispersed out of Rome in 70 AD. Then they go through the German holocaust where 6 million of their own are killed by Hitler. And now they are going to have two thirds of their own killed in the coming holocaust with the Antichrist.
Here is the verse that specifically tells us why God has allowed so much persecution to fall upon these people throughout the ages:
"The Gentiles shall know that the House of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they were unfaithful to Me; therefore I hid My face from them. I give them into the hand of their enemies and they all fell by the sword. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I have dealt with them, and hidden My face from them." (Ezekiel 39:23-24)
The Bible also says that the Jewish people will go into extreme mourning when they see Jesus come back for the 2nd time. They will see the nail scars in his hands and feet and will realize that Jesus was their true Messiah and they were the ones that killed Him the first time around. However, God, in His incredible mercy, will take them back and re-establish His pact with them and they will continue to be His "chosen people."
God said in the Old Testament that He would not forsake the Covenant that He made with their earlier forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and that He would bring them back to their homeland in the latter days. And once the Great Tribulation has fully ended, they would never ever be uprooted again, nor would they ever suffer any more persecution.
THE JEWISH PEOPLE WILL SERVE AS A FINAL TESTAMENT TO ALL OF US REGARDING THE CONSEQUENCES OF FORSAKING AND GOING AGAINST GOD THE FATHER. THERE IS NO MIDDLE ROAD ON EACH MANíS CHOICE AS TO WHO THEY SHOULD SERVE. YOU EITHER CHOOSE GOD AND JESUS AND LIVE THE WAY THEY WANT YOU TO LIVE OR YOU CHOOSE YOUR OWN WAY OR THE WAY OF THE "DARK SIDE" AND DIE!
The sad thing about all of this is that God will never force Himself on you to choose Him and His ways. He will make sure that the knowledge is given to each and every person - but it is up to each person to make their own individual choice on the matter. There will only be maximum life or maximum death for each individual when it is all finally said and done.
The above commentary on end time events literally tells us that everyone is either going to end up in the New Heaven and New Earth or in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone with the Devil, all of his demons, the Antichrist and False Prophet - where everyone will be tormented in this horrible place forever and ever!
There is no middle or neutral ground! It's all or nothing. Jesus Himself says in the New Testament that those that are not with Him are against Him. There is no middle ground for people to go into if they donít want God or hell. If you donít want God and accept what He has to offer to you through the death of His Son, then you will eventually end up in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone.
That is the cold hard reality of what the Big Picture is really all about. The sad thing about all of this, is that an awful lot of people are going to end up making the wrong choice on the most important decision of their entire lives, and not even God Himself will interfere with each personís own personal choice on this matter.
For those of you who donít know much about end time events, you may want to print this article out and keep it on the shelf in the event that all of this occurs in our lifetime. The first 8 parts of this series is a broad overview of all the major events and the order in which they will occur. I just wanted to stay with the big main events. There is a lot more to all of this, which will come in our remaining 14 articles.
Article written by Michael Bradley of Bible Knowledge Ministries. Their website is a resource of Bible articles, commentary and teaching. They currently have over 100 Bible articles. All free of charge.
If you do not want to wait for the next article, you can go to our end times section of our website for all 15 articles regarding the 2nd Coming of Jesus.
Copyright © 2005 by Michael Bradley. All Rights Reserved.
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