The following material was presented by Barry on May 2, 2015. It was filmed and the DVD resulting from that will be available by June 1. The information will be on our DVD page. The information is here for those who would prefer it this way. These pages were done using Barry's power point show as the basis, with some added historical materials and expanded Bible quotes. The DVD, however, contains many of Barry's extra explanations which are not included here.

We live in troubled times. People from a number of different faiths believe these are the end times. Among Christians, many have speculated that the Lord's return is close. As a result, there have been quite a few false prophecies in the last hundred years or so regarding the "end of the world." Before we can come to that conclusion, however, we need to examne the Scriptures as well as the world around us. We will do this in two parts. The first part will cover some of the basics and set the scene. The second part will look specifically at Daniel's prophecies and the rise of the Antichrist.

It has been stated that Christians throughout the Church Age, the last 2000 years, have expected Christ to return at any time. That statement is correct. But it must be pointed out that the times we live in now are radically different from anything that has gone on before. Christ's return could not happen until at least two key events had occurred, as explained below. There are many lesser signs that point to the timing of His return. That is what we will examine first.


Signs of Our Times

Part One

4 Technological signs of Christ's Return
3 Signs from the Egypt
3 Key signs from Israel
3 Signs from Islam
The Rapture
3 Wars that might happen before the Rapture
What about the United States?

Part Two

Comments and Questions

Comments on the Richardson/Ice Debate
Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel
Is the USA/America in the Bible?

The Midnight Cry of Matthew 25

4 Technological Signs relating to Christ’s Coming have been fulfilled.

First: Joel 2:30-31 states, "And I will show wonders in the heavens, and in the earth blood and fire and pillars of smoke. And the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and terrible Day of the Lord comes.” The great & terrible Day of the Lord is also known as the “Great Tribulation” in the New Testament. This is a period of 7 years just prior Christ’s Millennial reign.

Pillars of smoke? The Hebrew word translated "pillars" is "timmorah." It is used 21 times in the Old Testament. Only twice is the word translated as "pillars." The other 19 times it is translated as "palm tree." So there is to be "blood and fire and palm-trees of smoke." That is a very accurate picturing of the hydrogen bomb. The atomic bomb (on the left, below) is referred to as a mushroom cloud, not a pillar. But look at the hydrogen bomb, on the right below.

atom bomb hydrogen bomb

Second and Third: Daniel 12:1 & 4 in context of the Tribulation & Christ’s Return to Reign -- "And there will be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation unto that same time (the Great Tribulation) …But seal up your book until the time of the end when many will travel to and fro and knowledge will be increased.”

"Knowledge will be increased" -- Science has made giant strides since the beginning of the 20th century. With the advent of the internet and search engines, that knowledge is available to millions and not just a select few.

"Many will travel" -- before the 20th century, international travel was rare. With the advent of passenger jets, international travel is common. Before the automobile, a journey of thirty miles was a major undertaking. Now it can be done in half an hour.

Nahum 2:3-4 reads:“Chariots of flashing steel will rage in the streets. They will jostle one against another in the broad roads; they will run like the lightning; they will move with blazing torches…  In the day of His preparation to Come.”

How else could cars and trucks have been described at that time?


In the middle of describing the Lord’s Return, the prophet Isaiah (60:8) stops and asks: “Who are these that fly like a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?”



Fourth: Prophecies in Amos 9:2 and Obadiah 4 may imply space-craft just prior to the Tribulation.

Amos 9:2 -- "Though you climb up to the heavens, from there I will bring you down … says the Lord God, who touches the earth and it melts (in the Tribulation)."

Obadiah 4 -- "Though you exalt yourself and … set your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down (in the Tribulation), says the LORD."

international space station

The International Space Station, where astronauts spend months to years as inhabitants

Three Signs from Egypt

Isaiah 19 concerns prophecies about Egypt. They are not in chronological order as the first verse talks about the Lord's coming on a swift cloud -- the Shekinah Glory Cloud. This does not happen until Armageddon. But if we look at the other prophecies in this chapter, we will see things that have already happened.

In verse 17, we have the first sign: "And the land of Judah [Israel today] will bring terror to the Egyptians; everyone to whom Judah is mentioned will be terrified." Why? For over 3000 years, Egypt was a major power in the Middle East. Even after Israel was formed in 1948, Egypt was a formidable enemy of theirs. However, in 1967, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon decided that Israel must be "pushed into the sea" and destroyed. Israel was Jewish in a Muslim area of the world. The five nations surrounded Israel and attacked. Israel exploded out. In six days they defeated all five nations. Not only that, they gained Jerusalem back for the first time in 2000 years. The nations who had ganged up against Israel were shocked. Israel had become a terror. Egypt no longer was as secure as before. Israel had swept across the Sinai Peninsula, destroying all Egyptian facilities and was at the Suez canal and the door to Cairo. Israel chose to stop at that point, and Egypt was stunned.

Jews 1967

1967, The Jewish people finally have access to the Western Wall of the ancient Temple

“No words can describe the distress of Egyptians…together with a sense of humiliation at the defeat.” Al Ahram Weekly," 1967.

Israel, in fulfillment of prophecy, has remained a terror in the Middle East, the excuse for wars and massive armament buildups.

Verses 5-10 in Isaiah 19, describe the second sign, something that happened nine years later:

The waters will fail from the sea,
And the river will be wasted and dried up.
The rivers will turn foul;
The brooks of defense will be emptied and dried up;
The reeds and rushes will wither.
The papyrus reeds by the River, by the mouth of the River,
And everything sown by the River,
Will wither, be driven away, and be no more.
The fishermen also will mourn;
All those will lament who cast hooks into the River,
And they will languish who spread nets on the waters.
Moreover those who work in fine flax
And those who weave fine fabric will be ashamed;
And its foundations will be broken.
All who make wages [will be] troubled of soul.
[the word translated 'wages' means something that is accumulated, and is also used for sluices or dams]

All through history, until 1976, the Nile was a nourishing river. It flooded every year on schedule, leaving fresh deposits of soil on the nearby lands and refreshing both the Delta and hundreds of miles of the Mediterranean. This gave the Egyptians good farming and fishing as well as providing them with the reeds and other plants that not only harbored life, but could be harvested and used themselves. But in 1976, Egypt completed the Aswan High Dam where the First Cataract used to be. The Nile no longer flooded yearly. Enormous problems have resulted:

  1. The annual flushing of the Nile no longer occurs, and fresh soil is not deposited along the river banks. The old soil lies depleted of nutrients.
  2. No silt or nutrients enter the Mediterranean from the Nile.
  3. By the early 1980's, 49,000 fishermen and fish farmers were out of work.
  4. The lack of an influx of fresh water allowed algal blooms which killed off the reed and the flax, so those jobs were gone.
  5. Today the dam is silting up, and this is causing additional problems.

Aswan Dam

The Aswan High Dam

As if that weren't enough, Egypt and Ethiopia, in March 2015, finally agreed to a dam on the Blue Nile. The Blue Nile lies far south of the Nile and, with the White Nile, produce the waters that feed into the Nile itself. By damming the Blue Nile, the river beds and streams will indeed become wasted, dried up, and foul with the smell of rotting fish and plants. This is not only ecological insanity, but the exact fulfillment of prophecies given thousands of years ago when such a thing as the Nile drying up was inconceivable.

The third sign from Egypt that Christ's coming is close is given in Isaiah 19: 2-3, where it says that Egyptians will fight against each other. The events of the past few years bring this into focus. It is happening now.

Egypt riots

There were riots in Egypt after an Army coup ousted elected Islamist Prime Minister Morsi on July 3, 2013. Egypt split: half the population wanted Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood; half wanted freedom from the Islamic restrictions that the Muslim Brotherhood had set up. So the Army intervened. A new constitution was drawn up by the new President the Army had put in control, Al Sisi. As of this writing (May, 2015), although Morsi has been sentenced to death, both the United States and Turkey want Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood back in control. Since the time of President Clinton in the United States, almost all NATO members have had members of the Muslim Brotherhood in advisory capacities in their governments.

Egypt split1 Egypt split2

Isaiah 19:2 -- “I will set Egyptians against Egyptians; everyone will fight against his brother, and everyone against his neighbor, City against city … the spirit of Egypt will fail in its midst.” As of May, 2015, Morsi has been sentenced to death in Egypt. Although, through the millennia, Egypt has had a history of deposing leaders, and of one area pitted against another, this is the first time in its history all these signs have occurred together, and certainly the first time ever the Nile has been threatened with not just one, but two dams.

Three Key Signs from Israel

A Note to introduce next 3 signs: On several occasions in the Bible a warning period is given indicating the general time of an event.

1. Death of Methuselah showed Flood close. His name translates into "his death will bring it."

2. Genesis 15:13 prophesies that the Israelites will be captives and enslaved in another country for four hundred years. That is exactly what happened in Egypt. In Exodus 12:41, we read the Exodus occurred 430 years after they entered Egypt. (This means that for the first 30 years, while Joseph was in power, they were not enslaved. That happened after his death.)

3. Jeremiah 25:11 predicts seventy years of captivity in Babylon. That was exactly fulfilled to the year.

4. Jeremiah also prophesied that it would be seventy years from the destruction of the Temple to its rebuilding. (see Jeremiah 52:4, Ezekiel 24:1-2, and 2 Kings 25:1). Haggai records the beginning of the building of the Temple in 2:15-19.

5. Jesus warned those around Him that the Temple would be destroyed in their generation. It was less than forty years after his Crucifixion and Resurrection that Rome sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple. See Matthew 23:35 - 24:2.

6. Jesus also said that the generation that saw the signs of the beginning of the end would also see the end -- all of it would occur within one generation. Matthew 24:32-35.

The first five prophecies were fulfilled, exactly, right on schedule. Number 6 will be, also.

Two of the three key signs in Israel that the Lord's coming is close are given in Luke 21:22-24 -- For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. The "times of the Gentiles" is a reference to the Church Age. In 70 AD, Titus marched into Jerusalem and sacked the city, taking the Jews captive. They were dispersed around the Roman Empire. Jerusalem was not only trampled down and the Temple destroyed utterly, but the city grounds were plowed through with twelve inches of salt to prevent the city from ever rising again. However, in 1948, Israel was founded again and in 1967, they took back the city of Jerusalem. This marked the end of the times of the Gentiles. We are literally living on borrowed time. Our generation will see the conclusion of these matters.

As mentioned above, in June of 1967, five Arab nations gathered to attack Israel from all sides in what came to be known as the Six Day War. Israel literally exploded with armed resistance and in six days had defeated them all.

Israel 1967 war

Israeli soldiers captured the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, 7th June 1967. After 2000 years Israel won Jerusalem. The picture below is of the Israeli soldiers praying at the Temple's Western Wall.

western wall

This is the right timing Scripturally. Hosea 5:15 - 6:3 -- (God Speaking) “I will go and return to my place (Christ’s Ascension) until they (the Jews) acknowledge their offence (the Crucifixion). In their affliction, they will seek me earnestly.

(Jewish Response) “Come! Let us return to the Lord; He has smitten, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us, and on the third day He will raise us up and we will live in His sight. … For His coming forth will be as the morning, with the former and the latter rain.”

View that in context of 2 Peter 3:8 -- “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing. With the Lord, one (prophetic) day is as a thousand years,  and a thousand years is as one day.” Hosea is speaking prophetically. Two days are 2000 years, after which Israel would be revived. The third day is the Millennium of 1000 years with Christ reigning from Israel in Jerusalem. This shows we are living at the end of 2nd Day. So Christ’s Coming to reign (3rd Day) is very close.

If the restoration of Jerusalem to Jewish control ended the Times of the Gentiles, how soon is Christ’s Return? First clue is in Psalm 102:13-22:

You will arise and have mercy on Zion;
For the time to favor her,
Yes, the set time, has come.
For Your servants take pleasure in her stones,
And show favor to her dust.
So the nations shall fear the name of the Lord,
And all the kings of the earth Your glory.
 For the Lord shall build up Zion;
He shall appear in His glory.
He shall regard the prayer of the destitute,
And shall not despise their prayer.

This will be written for the generation to come [literally in the Hebrew, "for the generation last, or the last generation"],
That a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.
For He looked down from the height of His sanctuary;
From heaven the Lord viewed the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoner,
To release those appointed to death,
To declare the name of the Lord in Zion,
And His praise in Jerusalem,
When the peoples are gathered together,
And the kingdoms, to serve the Lord.

Jerusalem was recaptured by Israel in 1967. By 1977, it was the largest city in Israel and was declared the capital city in 1980. International negotiations will go on over Judea, Samaria, and the status of Jerusalem, in line with Zechariah 12:2-3. In 2015, the city boundaries have extended beyond those Jeremiah 31:38-40 says exist when the Messiah comes. Jerusalem/Zion has definitely been built up.

Did Jesus have this in mind Lu. 21:29-32? “Look at the Fig-Tree [Israel – Joel 1:7]… when they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. Likewise, when you see this happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near.” Israel put out her new shoots in 1948 with the first signs of life after a winter of 2000 years.

Isaiah 66:7-8 -- “Before she travailed, she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a male child. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she gave birth to her children.

Israel was born in one day, May 14, 1948.

Israel born

As soon as Israel was born, an Arab confederacy attacked. In what can only be a miracle from God, Israel won. What happened was almost funny. The Israelis had a large cannon on the Egyptian front. At the same time the cannon was fired, there was an enormous clap of thunder. To the Egyptians, the full sound was coming from the cannon and they ran. They then warned other nations around Israel about this incredible cannon Israel had. It was with the help of God that Israel was able to survive its birth. On March 8, 1949, Israel's first government was initiated. On July 5, 1950, the Law of Return for all Jews was passed. This law allowed Jews from anywhere in the world to immigrate to Israel and know they would be accepted.

Thus, God's fig tree -- Israel -- had put out her new shoots. Jesus went on to give a time-line: "…Assuredly I say unto you, this generation (which saw Israel return and Jerusalem restored) will not pass away until all be fulfilled." (Lu.21:32) We are living in that generation: both events happened in our lifetime – most will not die (pass away) until He comes.

The nation of Israel has been in the land since 1948, and Jerusalem has been under Jewish control  since 1967. These are the 2 of the 3 Key Signs in Israel that we are living in the last generation.

Exactly when will He come? We do NOT know exactly! We DO know it is in the lifetime of those who saw those events. The earliest event was 1948, when Israel was formed. Jerusalem was taken back in 1967. Psalm 90:10 states a lifetime is seventy to eighty years, with a maximum given by God in Genesis 6:3 of 120 years. But seventy to eighty years from 1948 brings us to the period between 2018 and 2028. Maybe tomorrow; probably within the next decade.

The third key sign regarding Israel may have to do with a very rare series of astronomical events. When the moon is entirely eclipsed by the sun, its 'form' often shows red in the sky. The term "blood moon" has been picked up to mean this event, but the term was first used historically a little over two thousand years ago with the death of Herod the Great. He was a murdering monster, killing anyone who he thought might have any claim to his throne, including his children, wife, and other members of his family. Shortly before his death, there was a full lunar eclipse. Just before that event he had ordered the slaughter of a number of Jewish rabbis. Hebrew history records the full lunar eclipse which happened the same night they were burned alive, but which was before Herod's death as a "moon red with the blood of the murdered rabbis." Because of this, the term "blood moon" came to be associated with the Jewish people historically.

Four lunar eclipses within a short time is not all that rare. Not common, but not terribly rare. What is rare is for no partial eclipses to occur between four full eclipses. What is even more rare is for the four eclipses to occur on Jewish feast days. This Lunar tetrad event on Jewish feast days will only occur once in this century, in 2014-2015. The tetrad event only occurred twice in the last century: in 1949 & 1950, then in 1967 & 1968. In each case, the 4 total Lunar eclipses occurred in succession on the Feasts of Passover and Tabernacles two years in a row. The dates were 13th April & 7th October, 1949 and 2nd April and 26th September 1950. The second tetrad occurred on 24th April  & 18th October, 1967; then 13th April  & 6th October, 1968. It is interesting that the first tetrad of Lunar eclipses in the 20th century occurred immediately after Israel became a nation on 14th May, 1948, and the second tetrad surrounded the return of the Old City of Jerusalem to Jewish control on 7th  June 1967.

The tetrad occurring in this century begins on Passover April 15th 2014, followed by Tabernacles October 8th 2014; then Passover April 4th 2015 and finally on Tabernacles 28th September 2015. The first Solar eclipse occurs on 1st Nisan (March 20th) 2015, and is total. The second is on Rosh Hashana (September 14th) 2015, and is partial. So there is a culmination of significant astronomical events in September 2015 with a partial Solar eclipse for Rosh Hashana just a few days before the key day of Atonement September 23rd, and followed a few days after by a total Lunar eclipse on the Feast Of Tabernacles.

We do not know the meaning for sure, but we do know there is no such thing as coincidence. There have been a number of "interpretations" of this series of events by different Christian leaders. They include:

•The Rapture or catching away of Christians
•Major war or similar event in the Mid-East
•Return of Elijah as prophesied in Malachi 4:5
•Rise of Antichrist and/or False Prophet
•Some event or proclamation about Jerusalem
•Some event related to Nuclear Negotiations with Iran and/or Israel’s response.

Whatever it is, we are at that moment in history now. There is another possibility regarding the meaning or import of this tetrad of blood moons. A third key event is happening right now:

Since 25th Feb. 2015 note these headlines:

* "U.S. could abandon Israel at the U.N." (CNN)
* "Washington threatens to abandon Israel at UN"   (The Times of London)
*  "The U.S.-Israel relationship is at 'the lowest   point  diplomats can recall’.”  (New York Times)
* “Due to irreversible US actions, Israel must learn to stand on its own.” (Wall Street Journ. 20 April 2015)

About 4000 years ago, when prophecies about Israel's future were being made, we read this in Numbers 23:9 -- "Israel will stand alone among the nations." Who would have thought this possible after the Holocaust and the world's support of the Jewish people in obtaining a land of their own? But it is happening now. This process, according to the Bible, will not end until the battle of Armageddon.

As a result of the 2015 Israeli election which USA cash failed to influence...

Max Boot in the Wall Street Journal of March 25, 2015 noted that

  • The United States government has threatened to withdraw support for Israel in the United Nations.
  • Despite opposition, the United states is still allowing Iran to produce nuclear weapons and missiles for use against Israel.
  • The United States has remained silent regarding Iran's power grab in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. This threatens Israel both directly and indirectly.
  • The United States declassified Israel's top-secret nuclear program without Israel's consent.
  • The United States is pressuring Israel to give up land it gained in 1967 and return to its indefensible pre-1967 borders.

Thus, for the first time in its 67 year life, the nation of Israel will not have the backing of a major world power. She is on her own, standing alone.

The prophetic implications of these actions:

Genesis 12:3 -- “I will bless those that bless you (Israel) and curse those that curse you; in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” God is speaking to Abraham regarding future generations that will come from him.

In Numbers 23, we read where Balaam is asked to curse the Israelites. Part of his answer is in verses 8-9 -"How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the Lord hath not defied? For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations."

This, effectively, means all the nations on earth will pay for our abandonment of Israel. Zechariah 12:3 reads, “I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all people. All who want to dispose of it will be cut in pieces.” The fact that Israel now stands alone is the third sign that the Tribulation is close.

On March 30, 2015, White House Correspondent Bill Koenig wrote: "The more the US Administration's actions affect or jeopardize Israel's security, the stronger the response will be from the God of Israel as evidenced in Scripture. This will have enormous implications for the USA."

Three Signs from Islam

1st Sign: The rise of Islamic terror; Christian martyrs and beheading are all prophesied

  • Daniel 11: 38 says that Antichrist will honor the god of “force, violence, arms, terrorism” (lit.) We see this now in Islamic groups like ISIS worldwide.
  • In the years since 700 AD, data show that Islamic Jihad has killed over 250 million including over 60 million Christians. Process has accelerated today.
  • Revelation 20:4 states that the Tribulation saints will be martyred by beheading. This is the Islamic method of killing and is prominent today with ISIS.

2nd Sign is explained by Joel C. Rosenberg, one-time advisor to Israeli PM Netanyahu. At the National Religious Broadcasters Convention, Feb 26, 2015, he stated,“The biggest threat now is not Radical Islam. It is ‘Apocalyptic Islam.’ Let me explain.” He went on to elaborate the following points:

  • "This term — ‘Apocalyptic Islam’ — is one that each of us needs to become familiar with and begin to teach others. Why? Because for the first time in all of human history, we have not just one but two nation states (one Shiite one Sunni) whose rulers are driven not by political ideology — or even mere religious theology — but by apocalyptic, genocidal End Times eschatology.
  • The Islamic Republic of Iran today is ruled by an apocalyptic, genocidal death cult.
  • So is the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL
  • The fact is that a deep and widespread belief exists within the Islamic world that we are living in the End of Days, and that the Islamic ‘Mahdi’ or ‘messiah’ is coming at any moment to bring Judgment Day and the end of all things.
  • In a world of 1.5 billion Muslims, more than half believe not only that the Mahdi is coming, but that his arrival is imminent. Furthermore they believe they will live to see his return. In Iraq 72% of Muslims believe this
  • What’s more, an enormous number of Muslims believe that Jesus is coming back to earth. In their eschatology, however, Jesus is not the Savior. He’s not the Son of God. He does not come to reign as King. Rather, Islamic End Times theology posits Jesus as the deputy, serving under the Mahdi, and forcing all people to convert to Islam or die.
  • In Iraq alone 64% of Muslims believe this."

That many Muslims hold these beliefs is emphasized by Turkish media icon Adnan Oktar, pictured below: Turkish TV host, with an audience of millions in Europe, Asia, Mid-East, and Russia.


This Turkish intellectual is teaching a media audience of millions that a great leader, the Mahdi, will emerge in Turkey who, with the help of mysterious Islamic spirit beings (djinn), will convince the world's Christians to become Muslim. He states that Islam also expects the return of Jesus, who they call "Isa." The Muslim Jesus will tell the world that he is not the son of God, nor was he crucified and resurrected from the dead. He returns to tell everyone that he does exist and he is, indeed, a Muslim. Oktar goes on to explain that the Mahdi will rule for seven years with the help of ‘Jesus’ & the djinn. He expresses the Islamic belief that the Mahdi and Jesus are likely already walking the earth. "We believe that the Mahdi has already appeared in Istanbul.” Oktar, a Sunni Muslim, said even prominent Shiite leaders in Iran have said they expect the Mahdi to appear in Istanbul (Turkey). Oktar claims a close relationship with Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. If that is true, then Oktar is guiding Erdoğan, one of Turkey's most powerful rulers in decades.

3rd Sign: the Mark of Beast -- our understanding, finally, of what it means. If we read Revelation 13:18 in original Greek, 666 is Chi Xi Zeta written Χξζ. Unlike English, this involves three separate signs, not a repeitition of a number three times. Walid Shoebat points out: when taken into Arabic, those 3 letters become the word “Bismillah”  or “In the name of Allah.” In Arabic, the symbol for Allah is the Greek Xi (left) while Moslem art incorporates Bismillah in it (right).

This suggests the Muslim Mahdi might be Antichrist; the Muslim Jesus may turn out to be false prophet; the djinn helping them may be Satanic demons; and the Mark of the Beast may be an Islamic symbol. If that is anywhere near correct, then the Tribulation must be close. Other signs tend to support this. But if that is so, the “Rapture” or catching away of true Believers (the ‘Translation’ of the Church) should happen even sooner. God seems to have promised that we’ll avoid the Tribulation.

This is hinted at in Zephaniah 2:1-315:51

Gather yourselves together, yes! gather together O nation not desired (Israel re-gathered from worldwide dispersion). Before the day pass like chaff & before Lord’s fierce anger comes upon you (the Tribulation), Seek the Lord, all you meek of earth, who uphold His ways. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger. (Kept safe from the Tribulation).”     

The Rapture

How does this occur? Paul describes the Rapture in 1 Cor. 15; 1 Thess. 4 -- here are the two quotes put together:

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 --  Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed --  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 -- For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Jesus' promise to us:

Luke 21:36 --  “Watch, therefore, and pray always, that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass (Tribulation) and stand before the Son of Man…”

Revelation 3:10 – “Because you have kept the word of my patience, I will keep you out away from the hour of trial (Ex Tes Horas) that will try them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.”

 So we are kept ‘out away from’ the Tribulation not "in" or "through" the Tribulation. The use of the word "ex" means "out." If Christians were to be kept in or through the Tribulation, the word would not be "ex" but "en." Noah was kept IN the hour, and we are to be kept OUT of it.

2 Thessalonians 2 also contains quite a bit of information here. Unfortunately, there is a traditional translation which is at odds with what the original Greek actually says. Here are the first four verses of that chapter:

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Paul states the context of his message first: the coming of the Lord AND our gathering together to Him. That is the Rapture. Paul is stating that no, it has not already happened. You were not 'left behind' as you might be fearing. He then goes on to state what will happen. He says that day will not come unless.....and here is the problem. The word in the Greek is apostasia. That word is used fifteen times in the New Testament and thirteen of those times it is translated as "departure." So is Paul talking about a departure from true faith or a departure to be with the Lord? The definite article "the" precedes it, so we need to look for a referent. What would "THE departure" refer to? Paul has already stated what he is talking about -- the coming of the Lord and our gathering together to Him. That is referent Paul is using. And he is stating specifically that the Antichrist, or the "man of sin" will not be revealed until, as he goes on to state in verse 7, "the one who now holds it [the secret power of lawlessness] back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way." There is only ONE who can hold back evil, and that is God Himself. Paul did not say "THOSE who hold back the power of lawlessness," which might refer to leaders or police or even Christians, but "the one." Again, the definite article "the." In John 14, Jesus promises His followers that He will not leave them as orphans. In Romans 8 Paul tells us that all who belong to Christ are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God. When He is taken out of the way so that the Antichrist can wreak havoc on the earth, we will not be left as orphans -- we will go also. That is what the Rapture is -- THE departure.

The Holy Spirit is the Restrainer. He came at Pentecost in a special way to start the Church Age. When He leaves, the true Christians go out with Him. And the fact is, there is nothing left to be fulfilled, biblically, before the Rapture. It could happen very soon. If it does not, what other events may we expect to occur?

Three wars that might happen before the Rapture. Biblically, 3 wars involving Israel occur in the Last Days before Armageddon. The first has already happened. The second and third may be two stages of one larger war.

1. The Psalm 83 war: Israel wins against Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq. Although many feel this may be the next big war in the Middle East, we think it has already happened. The six day war in 1967 was against those five nations, and Israel defeated them.

Psalm 83

Do not keep silent, O God!
Do not hold Your peace,
And do not be still, O God!
For behold, Your enemies make a tumult;
And those who hate You have lifted up their head.
They have taken crafty counsel against Your people,
And consulted together against Your sheltered ones.
They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”

For they have consulted together with one consent;
They form a confederacy against You:
The tents of Edom [southern Jordan]and the Ishmaelites [basically Syria];
Moab [central Jordan] and the Hagrites [Egyptians];
Gebal [lands on the East bank of the Jordan River, including Syria and Jordan], Ammon [northern Jordan], and Amalek [Arabs in the Gaza strip];
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre [Lebanon];
Assyria [Iraq]also has joined with them;
They have helped the children of Lot [Jordan]. Selah

Deal with them as with Midian,
As with Sisera,
As with Jabin at the Brook Kishon,
Who perished at En Dor,
Who became as refuse on the earth.
Make their nobles like Oreb and like Zeeb,
Yes, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
Who said, “Let us take for ourselves
The pastures of God for a possession.”

O my God, make them like the whirling dust,
Like the chaff before the wind!
As the fire burns the woods,
And as the flame sets the mountains on fire,
So pursue them with Your tempest,
And frighten them with Your storm.
Fill their faces with shame,
That they may seek Your name, O Lord.
Let them be confounded and dismayed forever;
Yes, let them be put to shame and perish,
That they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord,
Are the Most High over all the earth.

The Egyptian involvement shows when Psalm 83 War occurred. Because of the 1967 defeat, Egypt made peace with Israel. Israel then gave back Sinai. Egypt's current President, Gen. Al Sisi, is keeping the treaty. In June and July of 2014, Egypt assisted Israel in the 50 day war against Hamas in Gaza. Egypt has affirmed continued cooperation with Israel. The conclusion is that Egypt will not attack Israel any time soon. But she did attack Israel in 1967, in accordance with Psalm 83. The current peace treaty between Egypt and Israel shows the Psalm 83 war cannot occur now. The prophecy was fulfilled in 1967.

Numbers 2 and 3 have not happened yet. They may occur separately or they may be part of the same war in two phases, or stages. Many in Israel feel this last war will be the one in which God's miracle saves Israel and the world will know God has acted.

2. The Isaiah 17 war, which wipes out Syria's capital, Damascus.

3. The Ezekiel 38 war of Gog, Magog, and Iran

 The next war may well be the one in Isaiah 17 and the associated passages in Zechariah 9-11, Amos 1, Zephaniah 2, Obadiah. 

Isaiah 17

The burden against Damascus.

“Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city,
And it will be a ruinous heap.
The cities of Aroer are forsaken;
They will be for flocks
Which lie down, and no one will make them afraid.
The fortress also will cease from Ephraim,
The kingdom from Damascus,
And the remnant of Syria;
They will be as the glory of the children of Israel,”
Says the Lord of hosts.

“In that day it shall come to pass
That the glory of Jacob will wane,
And the fatness of his flesh grow lean.
It shall be as when the harvester gathers the grain,
And reaps the heads with his arm;
It shall be as he who gathers heads of grain
In the Valley of Rephaim.
Yet gleaning grapes will be left in it,
Like the shaking of an olive tree,
Two or three olives at the top of the uppermost bough,
Four or five in its most fruitful branches,”
Says the Lord God of Israel.

In that day a man will look to his Maker,
And his eyes will have respect for the Holy One of Israel.
He will not look to the altars,
The work of his hands;
He will not respect what his fingers have made,
Nor the wooden images nor the incense altars.

In that day his strong cities will be as a forsaken bough
And an uppermost branch,
Which they left because of the children of Israel;
And there will be desolation.
Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation,
And have not been mindful of the Rock of your stronghold,
Therefore you will plant pleasant plants
And set out foreign seedlings;
In the day you will make your plant to grow,
And in the morning you will make your seed to flourish;
But the harvest will be a heap of ruins
In the day of grief and desperate sorrow.

Woe to the multitude of many people
Who make a noise like the roar of the seas,
And to the rushing of nations
That make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!
The nations will rush like the rushing of many waters;
But God will rebuke them and they will flee far away,
And be chased like the chaff of the mountains before the wind,
Like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.
Then behold, at eventide, trouble!
And before the morning, he is no more.
This is the portion of those who plunder us,
And the lot of those who rob us.

Zechariah 9:1-7

The burden of the word of the Lord
Against the land of Hadrach,
And Damascus its resting place
(For the eyes of men
And all the tribes of Israel
Are on the Lord);
Also against Hamath, which borders on it,
And against Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise.

For Tyre built herself a tower,
Heaped up silver like the dust,
And gold like the mire of the streets.
Behold, the Lord will cast her out;
He will destroy her power in the sea,
And she will be devoured by fire.

Ashkelon shall see it and fear;
Gaza also shall be very sorrowful;
And Ekron, for He dried up her expectation.
The king shall perish from Gaza,
And Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.

“A mixed race shall settle in Ashdod,
And I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.
I will take away the blood from his mouth,
And the abominations from between his teeth.
But he who remains, even he shall be for our God,
And shall be like a leader in Judah,
And Ekron like a Jebusite.

Amos 1

The words of Amos, who was among the sheepbreeders[a] of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

And he said:

“The Lord roars from Zion,
And utters His voice from Jerusalem;
The pastures of the shepherds mourn,
And the top of Carmel withers.”

Thus says the Lord

“For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment,
Because they have threshed Gilead with implements of iron.
But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael,
Which shall devour the palaces of Ben-Hadad.
I will also break the gate bar of Damascus,
And cut off the inhabitant from the Valley of Aven,
And the one who holds the scepter from Beth Eden.
The people of Syria shall go captive to Kir,”
Says the Lord

NOTE: The first three transgressions of Damascus against Israel were in 1948 when she joined with others to attack the new nation; in 1967 in the Six Day War; and in 1973 when they took Israel by surprise in the Yom Kippur War. The fourth time will be when they attack in this last battle.

Thus says the Lord:

“For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment,
Because they took captive the whole captivity
To deliver them up to Edom.
But I will send a fire upon the wall of Gaza,
Which shall devour its palaces.
I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod,
And the one who holds the scepter from Ashkelon;
I will turn My hand against Ekron,
And the remnant of the Philistines shall perish,”
Says the Lord God.

Thus says the Lord:

“For three transgressions of Tyre, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment,
Because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom,
And did not remember the covenant of brotherhood.
 But I will send a fire upon the wall of Tyre,
Which shall devour its palaces.”

Thus says the Lord:

“For three transgressions of Edom, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment,
Because he pursued his brother with the sword,
And cast off all pity;
His anger tore perpetually,
And he kept his wrath forever.
 But I will send a fire upon Teman,
Which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.”

Thus says the Lord:

“For three transgressions of the people of Ammon, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment,
Because they ripped open the women with child in Gilead,
That they might enlarge their territory.
But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah,
And it shall devour its palaces,
Amid shouting in the day of battle,
And a tempest in the day of the whirlwind.
Their king shall go into captivity,
He and his princes together,”
Says the Lord.

Zephaniah 2:

Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together,
O undesirable nation,
Before the decree is issued,
Or the day passes like chaff,
Before the Lord’s fierce anger comes upon you,
Before the day of the Lord’s anger comes upon you!
Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth,
Who have upheld His justice.
Seek righteousness, seek humility.
It may be that you will be hidden
In the day of the Lord’s anger.

For Gaza shall be forsaken,
And Ashkelon desolate;
They shall drive out Ashdod at noonday,
And Ekron shall be uprooted.
Woe to the inhabitants of the seacoast,
The nation of the Cherethites!
The word of the Lord is against you,
O Canaan, land of the Philistines:
“I will destroy you;
So there shall be no inhabitant.”

The seacoast shall be pastures,
With shelters for shepherds and folds for flocks.
The coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah;
They shall feed their flocks there;
In the houses of Ashkelon they shall lie down at evening.
For the Lord their God will intervene for them,
And return their captives.

“I have heard the reproach of Moab,
And the insults of the people of Ammon,
With which they have reproached My people,
And made arrogant threats against their borders.
Therefore, as I live,”
Says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel,
“Surely Moab shall be like Sodom,
And the people of Ammon like Gomorrah—
Overrun with weeds and saltpits,
And a perpetual desolation.

[NOTE: The most ancient translation of the above two lines reads: And Damascus shall be left as a heap of the threshingfloor, and desolate forever]
The residue of My people shall plunder them,
And the remnant of My people shall possess them.”

 This they shall have for their pride,
Because they have reproached and made arrogant threats
Against the people of the Lord of hosts.
The Lord will be awesome to them,
For He will reduce to nothing all the gods of the earth;
People shall worship Him,
Each one from his place,
Indeed all the shores of the nations.

“You Ethiopians also,
You shall be slain by My sword.”

And He will stretch out His hand against the north,
Destroy Assyria,
And make Nineveh a desolation,
As dry as the wilderness.
The herds shall lie down in her midst,
Every beast of the nation.
Both the pelican and the bittern
Shall lodge on the capitals of her pillars;
Their voice shall sing in the windows;
Desolation shall be at the threshold;
For He will lay bare the cedar work.
This is the rejoicing city
That dwelt securely,
That said in her heart,
“I am it, and there is none besides me.”
How has she become a desolation,
A place for beasts to lie down!
Everyone who passes by her
Shall hiss and shake his fist.

Obadiah, in part

Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom...

 “Behold, I will make you small among the nations;
You shall be greatly despised.
The pride of your heart has deceived you,
You who dwell in the clefts of the rock,
Whose habitation is high;
You who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’
Though you ascend as high as the eagle,
And though you set your nest among the stars,
From there I will bring you down,” says the Lord....

“Oh, how Esau shall be searched out!
How his hidden treasures shall be sought after!
All the men in your confederacy
Shall force you to the border;
The men at peace with you
Shall deceive you and prevail against you.
Those who eat your bread shall lay a trap for you.
No one is aware of it.

“Will I not in that day,” says the Lord,
“Even destroy the wise men from Edom,
And understanding from the mountains of Esau?
Then your mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed,
To the end that everyone from the mountains of Esau
May be cut off by slaughter.

“For violence against your brother Jacob,
Shame shall cover you,
And you shall be cut off forever....

 “For the day of the Lord upon all the nations is near;
As you have done, it shall be done to you;
Your reprisal shall return upon your own head...

This war, that is prophesied in so many places, appears to have two stages.

Stage 1: In those passages quoted above, the Syrian capital of Damascus is wiped out. Syria is ruined, the east bank of the Jordan decimated and southern Lebanon conquered up to the Zahrani River. The Palestinian leadership in Gaza is destroyed. The reading of those passages indicates that Israel fights against the forces located in those areas.  Both ISIS & Iran have forces there. This battle has not happened yet: Damascus will be wiped out, never to be inhabited again. Damascus is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.


Israel seems left alone to deal with the threat (USA inaction?) Isaiah 17 says Israel wins out against the insurgents, but at a frightful cost. Israel comes back in twos and threes. It is "a harvest of grief and desperate sorrow." (Isaiah 17:6 & 11).


•Currently, the Palestinians claim Gaza & West Bank.


•Syria claims the Golan Heights.


•After the Isaiah 17 battle, Israel will possess all these areas (Obadiah 19, 20).


•In addition, it will possess southern Lebanon beyond Tyre, more of Syria and the East bank of the Jordan.


•Zechariah 10:10 says they “will settle there until no place is left for them.”

But that is not the end of Isaiah 17: There is a Stage 2 to the battle. After Israel’s initial “victory”, (Stage 1) she is at weakest moment militarily. A group of nations then attack Israel in reprisal (Stage 2). Isaiah 17:12-14, say that this international group comes "like a rolling thing before the whirlwind" to wipe out the Israeli remnant forever (Stage 2). But there is a miraculous intervention of God: "Behold, at evening tide there is trouble, but before the morning he is not. This is the lot of those that rob us and those that spoil us."

Zechariah 9:14 and Zephaniah 2:9 (in the ancient Alexandrian LXX ) both say of that event that the Lord appears over them and blows the trumpet. In both books, this happens in the context of the wipeout of Damascus. Since the only time in the New Testament we find God blowing the Trumpet (not the angels as in Revelation) is for the Rapture, this event might then be associated with this battle (the second stage of the war, if not a second war).

from Isaiah 17:12-14:

Woe to the many nations that rage—
they rage like the raging sea!
Woe to the peoples who roar—
they roar like the roaring of great waters!
 Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters,
when he rebukes them they flee far away,
driven before the wind like chaff on the hills,
like tumbleweed before a gale.
 In the evening, sudden terror!
Before the morning, they are gone!
This is the portion of those who loot us,
the lot of those who plunder us.


Question: How can Stage 2 happen so fast? Ezekiel 38 may provide the answer. This appears to be the same battle:

The word of the Lord came to me:  “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshek and Tubal; prophesy against him and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshek and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you.

 “‘Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.

“‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. You will say, “I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.” Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish [the most ancient text says "Chalcedon" -- the ancient name of Istanbul -- not "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?”’

“Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it? You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army. You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.

“‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: You are the one I spoke of in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel. At that time they prophesied for years that I would bring you against them. This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign Lord. In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground. I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign Lord. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. I will execute judgment on him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’

The main people involved in the Ezekiel 38 battle are “Rosh, prince of Meshech and Tubal.” (v. 1-3). Analysis shows that "Rosh" is the nation of the Russians. The tribal name of Tubal was the Toboloi. This is kept in the old eastern Russian capital of Tobolsk. Similarely, the tribal name Meshech is preserved in the name of the city Moscow, Russian's capital.

The other countries listed with Russia by Ezekiel are Iran (Persia), Put – ancient Persian tribe Phut, Ethiopia (Eastern) - Afghanistan, Pakistan, Togarmah – Turkomen tribes, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Khazakstan ("Stans” generally), and Gomer – Georgia and Abkhazia. Not involved: “Merchants of Chalcedon” who quizzed Russia why they came (Eze. 38:13 LXX). Chalcedon = old name for Istanbul, Turkey.

Ezekiel may be describing stage 2 of this coming war.

Let's look at Russia now.

1. Russia has a base in Crimea and now controls East Ukraine.  On October 11, 2014, Russia put tactical nuclear weapons in Crimea.  This is the only warm water port for Russian Navy. They have been after it for centuries.


2. On March 18, 2015, Russia annexed South Ossetia with its key Roki tunnel. This gives access through Caucasus for military and machines.


3. Admiral Gortney of NORAD stated on April 8, 2015 that Russia has increased its air assertiveness over all NATO borders. He said that Russian now has a "far more capable military than that of the quantitative, very large military that the Soviet Union had." ("The Hill," Wednesday, April 8, 2015)

Why would Russia become involved? Iran & Syria have long-standing military agreements with Russia. On March 6th, 2015, news casts said an Iranian General and 10,000 Iranian troops were massed in Syria just  6 miles from Israeli border. If Syrian & Iranian troops were wiped out by Israel, Russia would attack  Israel. It is therefore likely Ezekiel 38 may find its fulfillment in the battle that occurs in the second half of Isaiah 17 after the Israeli victory against Syria (& Iran).

The miraculous intervention of God in both Ezekiel 38 and Isaiah 17, and the appearance of God over the forces in Ezekiel 38 and His blowing the Trumpet over the forces in Zephaniah and Zechariah, all seem to point to this being the same event. If so, that is about the last moment the Rapture could occur.

What about the United States? Here is Isaiah 18:

Woe to the land shadowed with buzzing wings, [airplanes, jets?]
Which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia,
[reference to all of Africa, so referring to across the Atlantic?]
Which sends ambassadors by sea,
[the USA has ambassadors in almost every country of the world]
Even in vessels of reed on the waters, saying,
“Go, swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth of skin,
To a people terrible from their beginning onward,
A nation powerful and treading down,
Whose land the rivers divide.”

All inhabitants of the world and dwellers on the earth:
When he lifts up a banner on the mountains, you see it;
And when he blows a trumpet, you hear it.
For so the Lord said to me,
“I will take My rest,
And I will look from My dwelling place
Like clear heat in sunshine,
Like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”
For before the harvest, when the bud is perfect
And the sour grape is ripening in the flower,
He will both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks
And take away and cut down the branches.

They will be left together for the mountain birds of prey
And for the beasts of the earth;
The birds of prey will summer on them,
And all the beasts of the earth will winter on them.

In that time a present will be brought to the Lord of hosts
From a people tall and smooth of skin,
And from a people terrible from their beginning onward,
A nation powerful and treading down,
Whose land the rivers divide—
To the place of the name of the Lord of hosts,
To Mount Zion.

There are many who consider Isaiah 18 as referring to the United States of America, and it might well be. Rivers do divide it; until recently the majority of people were of northern European extraction, being tall and light-skinned. The Hebrew word translated "terrible" here primarily means "to fear, to revere, to frighten, to make afraid, to be dreaded, to be beheld in reverence." Once the United States gained independence from Great Britain, its power did increase rapidly and it won every war fought until after World War II. When the USA has entered a battle or a war, the world has certainly taken note.

But the United States has only been a nation for a little over 200 years -- not much time historically. So the references to this people being cut off before the harvest, "when the bud is perfect and the sour grape is ripening in the flower" might well be appropriate to it.

The prophecy about this people is that they will be destroyed as a nation. "They will be left together for the mountain birds of prey and for the beasts of the earth." However, there will be enough people there left after all is said and done to send a gift to the Lord when He reigns from Jerusalem.

If Isaiah 18 does refer to the United States of America, and if it is essentially destroyed as the Tribulation begins, then the USA cannot be "Babylon the Great" as some are fond of claiming.

There is something important to take note of: Turkey is not affected by the ISIS/ISIL problem. In fact, Turkey appears to be supporting them. Turkey is also absent from the lineup of those countries joining the Russian advance of Ezekiel 38. In that part of the war, the Russian and Iranian armies are destroyed. As we can see from Isaiah 18, the USA may also suffer greatly. If these players are eliminated, that leaves Muslim Turkey as the main Middle East and NATO power. Right now, Turkey has the second largest army in NATO, behind the USA.

If Turkey is the only one left, the Antichrist will come from there and the seven year covenant will be signed between Turkey and Israel. The Rapture will happen before that event.

Remember, Jesus said that these and similar events will herald His Coming at the Rapture.  He likened it to a woman about to give birth. That means there will be pain and struggling. All the signs are there that the birth (the Rapture) is about to happen, but the exact moment of delivery, although expected, will come as a surprise to all.

What about those left behind at the Rapture? They will go into the Great Tribulation, but the fact of the Rapture will serve as an enormous witness to all and many will repent and choose Christ. The Two Witnessess of Revelation will also be giving a powerful testimony that will cause many to turn to God. The effectiveness of these things, as well as, possibly the existence of the 144,000 Jewish people who are saved through the Tribulation, result in what is recorded in Revelation 7:9 -- “I saw a great multitude which no one could number of all nations which come out of the Great Tribulation and are washed in the blood of the Lamb.” Revelation tells us these will all have been martyred, however.

The Tribulation will only be seven years, but that will seem like eternity itself to those who have to endure it. At the end, however, comes the Battle of Armageddon when Christ Himself comes down to defeat all who are against Him. And that will begin the glorious thousand year reign on Earth, in this creation, of Jesus Christ.

Go to Part Two