It was July of 1983 when I awoke from a dream one night. I remember it as though it occurred yesterday. The dream came to me in two parts, yet it was one dream. In it, I first saw myself floating upward in the atmosphere. I was high enough in the sky that I could see the curvature of the earth. On the surface of the land and of the sea, I could see different-sized circles drawn as if with a compass. On the face of the earth, there was an enormous structure under construction, and although it was still only studwork and in skeleton form, I knew intuitively that it was a church. Around it stood other smaller churches in various stages of construction. In this part of my dream, I remember pronouncing numbers out loud—“one, five, seven,” and so forth. Then, as clear as day, a voice spoke to me and said, “No, it’s the number 19.” Immediately after, I found myself standing in a strip mall parking lot. It was night, and I was speaking with two couples—friends I knew years before. We were discussing end-time events. In the shadows of the background was another person. He was not involved with us in any way; he just stood there in the dark leaning up against one of the storefronts.
I cannot to this day tell you why, but as I awoke from my dream, I instinctively reached for a pad and pencil and began jotting down numbers. The one couple I spoke with counted as two individuals, so I wrote down the number 2. The other couple also counted as two, so I wrote down another 2. As the two couples stood together in front of me, they made four, so I put down a 4. I counted myself as number five and jotted down a 5. The person in the shadows was number 6. As I added up these numbers in the middle of the night, I thought, “How strange, 2 + 2 + 4 + 5 + 6 = 19.” It was not until later that day as I recounted the dream to someone that I was made aware of the fact that it just happened to be the nineteenth day of the month. From that day forward, that simple dream disturbed and intrigued me. For over two decades, I was certain that it signified something important.
Since my earliest days in the faith as a born-again Christian, I have had an interest in end-time Bible prophecy as it relates to God’s Church and our need to be spiritually prepared for the Lord’s return. While my knowledge of end-time Bible prophecy has grown substantially since then, only recently, comparatively speaking, have I become aware of just how far from being spiritually prepared for His return God’s people truly are, particularly here in the United States. Now, I am not a prophet. I am not a doomsday preacher, and this is not a doom and gloom message. What I am is someone who believes that what God allows us to experience and learn in life is seldom meant for us alone; many times it is meant for the benefit of others. One of the things that I have learned in my time studying and teaching God’s word is that overall the body of believers known as God’s Church, in all of its denominations, functions very much like our own physical bodies.
physically, our bodies have five senses. These senses are sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. God’s Church operates under a fivefold ministry—apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers (Ephesians 4:11–12). It turns out that the apostle helps the body of believers to see; he helps the body to see God’s plan, God’s purpose. The prophet helps the body to hear God’s word. The evangelist is the nose; he sniffs out the lost, if you will. The pastor is touched with the infirmities of his congregation and touches the needs of his flock. Do you see the analogy? The teacher, on the other hand, tastes; and it will be my objective in this book to help you taste God’s word. What I hope to share with you is what I have been learning for some time now. It has literally changed not only my understanding of God’s word but my life as well. What I hope to present to you is what I believe our Lord is doing in these dangerous, yet exciting, times in which we live. So I would like to ask you a question. How close to our Lord’s return do you think we are?
I hear a lot of people these days talking about the end-times, the end of the age, and the last days. It seems that many people have an interest in prophecy or end-time events. Some are simply curious while others are deeply and genuinely concerned. This awareness, though not always stemming from biblical insight, seems to be everywhere. It has even become a hot topic on entertainment television and in Hollywood these days as much of the content surrounding entertainment media appears to focus on apocalyptic or postapocalyptic events. We have watched TV programs like It Can Happen Tomorrow and movies like The Day After Tomorrow, which present scenarios we would really rather not have to think about and are thankful that, at least for the time being, are only Hollywood imagination. Yet I assume that if you are reading this book, it is because you have an interest in prophecy and, hopefully, not just any prophecy but more specifically, Bible prophecy. Moreover, if you are interested in Bible prophecy, it may be that you anticipate our Lord’s return. If this is the case, then no doubt you want to be ready. Hence, I imagine that at some point you have probably asked yourself, “Where exactly are we on God’s calendar of end-time events?” I mean, are we really living in the last days as so many people seem to think?
This will by no means be a comprehensive study on Bible prophecy or end-time events. We are not going to cover everything on the topic—in fact, far from it. However, it is my intention to give you a glimpse into what is going on in the world today and to share some things with you that you may have never heard before. It is my hope that, in the process, the Holy Spirit will burn in your hearts a sense of urgency as you come to realize the lateness of the hour, that He will enlighten you in such a way that you will never be the same, and that perhaps by the time you finish reading this book, you will see God’s word differently. It is also my prayer that you will be moved in a fresh new way to live holy and godly lives, according to the truth of Scripture, and for the glory of God our Savior.
In the midst of a crazy world “running helter-skelter to destruction with their fingers in their ears,” as Christian singer and song writer Don Francisco once put it, our God is calling His people to repentance in what I believe to be a revival of sorts. In Jeremiah 31:6, we read:
For there shall be a day
When the watchmen will cry on Mount Ephraim,
“Arise, and let us go up to Zion,
To the LORD our God.” (NKJV)
I suppose that if I had to liken the message of this book to anything, I might liken it to the cry of a watchman. The watchman’s job was to stand in the tower and scan the horizon for approaching danger. Consequently, I feel moved to join others who like me are sounding the alarm. It is time to wake up!
These are dangerous times in which we live, and it seems to me that many churches today, for one reason or another, do not address the subject of Bible prophecy much. Maybe their pastors view Bible prophecy as too negative or depressing. Perhaps they are consumed with dealing with the personal issues and difficulties of life that plague people in congregations everywhere. Perhaps these pastors do not want to risk being associated with some of the foolishness that has been propagated over time in the name of prophecy by some misguided individuals. I can understand that. Maybe they are afraid of it or feel they just do not know enough about it. Perhaps they do not see it as relevant or all that important. They may ask, “Why bother with prophecy? It’s all going to pan out in the end anyway. After all, it’s all in God’s hands. We can’t do anything to change it, right?” I suppose that is a fair question; so why bother with prophecy? After all, is it really all that important? Well, I certainly think it is for several reasons.
To begin with, it is said that close to 30 percent of the Bible is devoted to prophecy, but the truth is, all Scripture is prophetic. This fact alone should indicate the importance of what I believe has become a neglected subject in the American Christian Church. With that much of Scripture devoted to one topic, it seems to me that the Lord would want us to know something about it, don’t you think? Secondly, prophecy is unique to the Bible. It gives us God’s stamp of approval on the Old and New Testament Scriptures as opposed to any other so-called word of God. It is Bible prophecy and its fulfillment that proves the Bible to be God’s word. It is Bible prophecy that proves our God to be the one true God of the universe as only He knows the end from the beginning. Thirdly, Bible prophecy reveals our Lord’s purpose for mankind. By it we know what the future holds for those who believe as well as those who do not. Through Bible prophecy, we are assured of our destiny. Last, but not least, an understanding of Bible prophecy and an awareness of what is approaching on the horizon should motivate us to live godly lives. Why would the Lord give us all these prophecies and tell us to watch and be vigilant if it was not important for us to do so? Among other things, these prophecies also serve as warnings of how we should conduct ourselves so that we might be counted worthy to escape the things that are coming upon this earth and to stand among the righteous before the Son of God (Luke 21:36).
Therefore, in this book, we are going to discuss Bible prophecy, and in particular, prophecy as it might relate to America. Why America? Because it is our home, it is the land we love, and because it has a history that I believe is prophetic of our future. Can anyone truly deny that we live in deeply troubling times and that this is a dangerous world we live in? Many believe that we are living in the last days and are experiencing the birth pains our Lord spoke about in Matthew 24 and elsewhere. As the signs of the times become more prevalent and more and more people begin to see the handwriting on the wall, there seems to be one question at the forefront on people’s minds. It has been my experience over the years that one of the most often asked questions regarding end-time events is, “Where is America in Bible prophecy, and how do we fit into God’s end-time scenario?” Why does it seem that the strongest nation in the world today, the most blessed nation on earth, the most influential nation of our time, the one nation that has done the most to propagate the gospel throughout the earth, that nation seems conspicuously absent in Scripture? How is that possible? Or is it? That is my question to you today.
I suggest to you that not only is America in Bible prophecy but that it has an important role to play in these last days, whether for good or bad. I submit that although the name America is not specifically mentioned in Scripture, our nation has been there all along, and it is closely tied to Israel. Not only is America closely tied to Israel, but it is also joined to it in a way that may surprise you. I will also suggest that our God is calling His people to repentance. He is calling His people to holiness, to righteous living, and this means something very specific, according to God’s word. If, in the following pages, I can defend the premise that we are indeed living in the last days and can effectively establish the connection between America and Israel, I will have answered the question of where and how America fits into God’s end-time scenario. More specifically, I will have answered the question of where and how we, as Christians living in the United States of America at this particular juncture in history, fit into God’s end-time scenario. At that point, there will only be one question left to answer: what must we do to ensure that we are ready for our Lord’s return?
Some years back, I discovered that the word “church” is mentioned nineteen times in the first three chapters of the book of Revelation. After that, it is not mentioned again until chapter 19 of Revelation, after nineteen judgments have been pronounced on the earth. Recently, it occurred to me that we were barely two months into the nineteenth year after my dream when the events of September 11 took place in 2001. These events were allegedly perpetrated by nineteen hijackers and began the way my dream did, in the sky. Most recently, I discovered that the number 19 in dreams sometimes signifies unfruitfulness and is associated with judgment and repentance. I believe that the events of 9/11, though a distant memory for many of us by now, may have marked the beginning of God’s wake-up call to our nation, a wake-up call to what, in many ways, has become a spiritually deaf and unfruitful nation. On that note, some might question whether the subtitle of this book, A Nation at a Crossroads, is applicable any longer. They might argue that perhaps several years ago the analogy of a crossroads might have been more appropriate and that now it appears that America’s time has passed. Certainly, when one ponders the morally corrupt condition of our nation and considers the social degradation taking place at all levels of society, not only in our country but also around the world, it would seem that the United States is closer to a precipice than to any crossroads. Yet despite the many ways this may be true, when it comes to one’s spiritual condition, whether that of an individual or that of a nation, as long as there is an opportunity for repentance, there is hope with God. Although it may appear to many that there is little hope for our nation at this point in history, God’s purposes are never hindered. He is able to bring about revival even at this late hour if we can but find it in our hearts to humble ourselves before Him. In this regard, I believe that we are indeed still at a crossroads and that there is still room, however small, for us to repent, return, and follow Him. Then, should our Lord, in His infinite mercy and grace, grant his people a reprieve from the wickedness that seems to be engulfing the world and our nation, it will be provided as a window of opportunity intended to bring us to repentance.
Ultimately, the purpose of this book is to do much more than simply establish that we are living in the last days or determine what God is doing at this time. The reality is that this book attempts to explain what it all means to us, both corporately and individually, as believers in the Son of God, so that, first and foremost, we may know how to live our lives in light of His soon return. Thus, we will examine what I believe to be two major prophetic events or indicators marking the last days as foretold in Scripture—namely, the rise of Babylon and the restoration of Israel. In so doing, we will uncover where the Christian Church stands in relation to the two.
This book is divided into three parts. In part 1, we will take a brief look at the global situation as it stands today. Highlighting America’s role in its establishment, we will focus on the roots and motivation behind the forces pushing us toward a one-world government and their connection to ancient Babylon. In part 2, we will explore America’s connection to Israel, briefly probing both our historical and spiritual roots with a glimpse into their association with the conflict that has plagued Israel and her neighbors throughout their generations. Finally, in part 3, emphasizing the Hebrew roots of our faith and their importance to the New Testament believer, we will explore how the ancient connections to Babylon and Israel have shaped Church history and Christian theology. We will then scrutinize some of Christianity’s traditional doctrines and beliefs in light of God’s word to determine how they in turn have impacted our understanding of the Bible. We will examine all the above in light of Bible prophecy and for the hopeful purpose of inspiring repentance and establishing a precedent for holy living and a godly lifestyle as we seek to define what it truly means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ (Yeshua Ha’Mashiach) and as we strive to make ourselves ready for His return.