The following is an article written for the December issue of Prophecy in the News Magazine. I am sharing here and hope that you will read it (it will take about 10 minutes), pray about the issues, consider the implications for you, your family, and friends, and share it as you feel led. It is carefully written to appeal to a broad audience.
This is a most strategic and relevant topic for this moment in our history. It should be taken seriously and be the subject of much prayer and discussion. The judgment of God, in my opinion, hangs over America right now the way the sword of the Angel of the Lord stood between heaven and earth, looming over Jerusalem. Will the sword be put in its sheath? Or will it cause massive death and destruction (70,000 were killed by the Angel of the Lord for David’s sin of ordering a census of his mighty men). (Read 1 Chronicles 21 for that story by clicking HERE.)
Trump cannot save America. Only Americans can save America. And we must change our lives, “clean up our act” so to speak, and seek the Lord. We must also find ways to communicate this requirement to everyone. America is at the crossroads. The next “911” will not be limited to the Twin Towers in NYC.
What will happen in 2017? Our fate – to a great extent – lies with us.
RESTORATION, REVIVAL, OR RECRIMINATIONS AND REVENGE: WHAT LIES AHEAD FOR AMERICA IN 2017?
What does the future hold? Does the new year bring good tidings and promise good will? Or is America destined to return to its downward spiral of immorality, greed, and corruption? Is the future bright or bleak?
For those who study Bible prophecy intensely, we have an inclination to expect the worst – and we are seldom disappointed. When something good happens and gives us a glimmer of hope, we are uneasy and wonder if we should allow this slight flicker of light to glow and grow in our hearts and minds. As the old aphorism first recorded in 1894 advises, “Once bitten, twice shy”. But I contend we should not be afraid at this moment; instead, we should not be afraid to have hope. Not false hope; but cautious hope.
I have become somewhat noteworthy in the prophetic community advancing the view that America is the daughter of Babylon. While there are those that combine love of country and love of God, I have warned against America’s obvious pressing toward globalism, our assertion of “American Exceptionalism”, and the arrogance of The Project for the New American Century.[i] This popular ideology has been the underlying philosophy of the so-called “Neo-cons”. It has led to some horrific foreign policy SNAFUs in the Middle East and increased tensions with Russia and China.[ii] In striving for hegemony globally, we have become the catalyst for global government and the “Beast system”. We have ignored our national sins of exploiting third-world nations and exporting our immorality through Hollywood and the pornography industry. We have championed abortion and gay rights. Many of our nation’s leaders have been engaged in pedophilia and drug-running to fund so-called “black ops”. In short, when I read the prophecies of Jeremiah 50 and 51, I identify only one candidate who fulfills these prophecies: The United States of America.
I still ardently affirm that America has committed grievous sins and that much of its wickedness remains unchanged. We have not repented. Most in our country aren’t aware of the horrific acts that some within our intelligence services committed over the past 50 years. (I exposed much of this in my books, Power Quest, Volumes 1 and 2. To a lesser extent, it was covered summarily in The Final Babylon).
However, America has always been a mixture of “saint and sinner”. It has done much good and even today continues to advance the gospel more than any nation. There is no shortage of good works. Many Americans make a great impact around the world. Teaching “Social Entrepreneurship” at the undergraduate level at a major university (“SE” deals with building businesses that make positive contributions to society), I am very much aware of some wonderful things our citizens do to help the poor and downtrodden around the globe as well as here at home (See Kiva.org as a perfect example).
There is no denying that the wheat and the tares grow together (Matthew 13:24-30). Jesus’ message asserted that it must necessarily be so. Jesus taught that we can’t remove the tares without uprooting the wheat. Only God’s angels can pluck the bad from the midst of the good without damaging the wheat destined for His barn: “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn’.” (verse 30) Until that time, the world – and our country – will see evil flourish despite righteousness which co-exists alongside one another.
Writing from Jerusalem for the New York Times on 9 November, 2016, Peter Baker summarized the possible geopolitical impact of Trump’s victory with these words:
Donald J. Trump’s stunning election victory on Tuesday night rippled way beyond the nation’s boundaries, upending an international order that prevailed for decades and raising profound questions about America’s place in the world.
For the first time since before World War II, Americans chose a president who promised to reverse the internationalism practiced by predecessors of both parties and to build walls both physical and metaphorical. Mr. Trump’s win foreshadowed an America more focused on its own affairs while leaving the world to take care of itself.
The outsider revolution that propelled him to power over the Washington establishment of both political parties also reflected a fundamental shift in international politics evidenced already this year by events like Britain’s referendum vote to leave the European Union. Mr. Trump’s success could fuel the populist, nativist, nationalist, closed-border movements already so evident in Europe and spreading to other parts of the world.[iii]
Note that even within this fair assessment, there remains a tinge of criticism that a nationalist agenda (“putting America first”) runs counter to a presumed mandate for America to lead “the free world”. Minding our own business will be seen by “mainstream media” (like the NY Times) as a vain act of self-indulgence. But the smart rationale for those of us who believe this stance promotes the proper agenda for 2017 is to assert “it’s high time America clean up its own act before it attempts to change others”. In effect, we need to remove the mote from our own eye before we attempt to remove the plank that resides elsewhere. (See Matthew 7:3-5) In other words, it’s time our arrogance took a rest.
Reactions from a number of my friends the day after the election contained a distinct sense of foreboding if not forewarning that a Trump victory did not really change anything. America still plods down a path to destruction. For instance,
- One cautioned that we should not be fooled into believing that the President-elect will catalyze true repentance and generate revival. Indeed, many prophesied a Trump victory would signify a modern-day Cyrus had arisen to aid the godly and revive the nation. Perhaps this is so.
- Another worried about what Paul prophesied in 1 Thessalonians 5:3, “For when they shall say, ‘Peace and safety’; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” No doubt, one day that will prove true.
- A third advises that God’s timing is not affected by the whims and will of humanity. His timing is not affected by what we do. Notwithstanding His promises of restoration to a repentant land, His providence always prevails.
- Another acquaintance demands recriminations against President Obama and Hillary Clinton for dealing cavalierly with classified information if not treacherously by hiding the corruption of the Clinton Foundation on Clinton’s private email server. Yes, if crimes were committed they should be exposed and not excused even if it is painful to go through this process.
From my vantage point, it is to be expected that those embittered by the policies of the last eight years want more than a modicum of reprisal against the promoters of what was perhaps a corrupt if not treasonous agenda. However, in plotting our way forward, we must be resolute that our actions should not be vengeful but measured. Getting the country on the right track takes priority over tracking down criminal behavior and seeing that justice is done. Many fear the future in the USA after Trump’s election for precisely this reason.
In reacting to the surprising verdict of the presidential election, I venture each of my friends provided a bit of wise counsel. However, in response I wonder if words of woe and predilections of pending doom are in fact apropos right now. Can those of us who believe in the priority of Bible prophecy – despite the fact we contend God’s judgment awaits an unrepentant world – still profess optimism that something better lies ahead for our nation? I think we can.
Perhaps the story of Nehemiah and the rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem would be instructive on this point.
I would make note at the outset of this history lesson that controversy exists concerning whether Nehemiah began rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls in 501 BC or 445 BC. I recommend William Struse’s book, Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy, which offers a compelling argument for the earlier dating based upon which King Artaxerxes issued the decree to rebuild. For our purposes here, the dating doesn’t matter. “Artaxerxes agreed to send Nehemiah to Jerusalem, appointed him as Civil Governor for 12 years, and authorized him to complete the rebuilding of the wall (and gates) of the city, a task that took him but 52 days to accomplish (Nehemiah 6:15)”. [iv] We don’t have the room in this article to recite the story with any detail. I highly recommend rereading the book of Nehemiah and think about its application to America today.
But we know Nehemiah’s rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem was key to the restoration of Judea. The story is a dramatic one. It has all the elements of a blockbuster Bible movie except it features no great miracle nor spicy romance between a Samson and Delilah or Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. It just concerns Nehemiah’s warrior masons who had to hold a spear in one hand and a stone mason’s tool in the other to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls.
Nehemiah’s enemy was named Sanballat. Sanballat was a true villain. He mocked Nehemiah’s efforts and thought of every trick he could to keep Nehemiah from rebuilding the walls.
With the help of friend Ben Baruch who did a bit of Hebrew sleuthing for me, we learn the name Sanballat in Hebrew is “Sin-Ball-ite” referencing (1) SIN (a name of a Mesopotamian god which so happens to correspond to our short English word for transgression); (2) BA’AL, the archenemy of the Hebrew LORD; and (3) “ITE” the plural suffix appended to a noun in Hebrew. The precise translation of the name is subject to interpretation, but “the gods who hate Yahweh” might convey its essence. The International Bible Encyclopedia provides this bit of detail:
Sanballat the Horonite was… a Moabite of Horonaim, a city of Moab mentioned in Isaiah 15:5; Jeremiah 48:2,5,34; Josephus, Ant, XIII, xxiii; XIV, ii. He is named along with Tobiah, the Ammonite slave (Nehemiah 4:1), and Geshem the Arabian (Nehemiah 6:1) as the leading opponent of the Jews at the time when Nehemiah undertook to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:10; 4:1; 6:1).[v]
The story of Nehemiah teaches us that restoring a nation begins by weeping over its ruins, meticulous planning, putting our hands to the task, and watching out for enemies with every stone we place. Even with the edict of a king sanctioning our efforts, being a favorite of that king, and having kingly provisions, we will still be opposed at every turn. Even if we seek to do work for the King of Heaven, our mission will be difficult.
The President-elect has his own personal demons and obviously lacks political and diplomatic skills. While I can’t profess that Trump is “anointed by God” (as was Cyrus) with a destiny to restore America, my conclusion is that we are foolish to forbid the possibility that America may experience some manner of revival. Be it a lengthy restoration or only a brief reprieve, like Nehemiah we should rebuild the walls of our nation as best we can in the days that remain before our Savior returns.
For once, I will be an optimist!
[i] The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) was a neoconservative think tank based in Washington, D.C. that focused on United States foreign policy. It was established as a non-profit educational organization in 1997, and founded by William Kristol and Robert Kagan. The PNAC’s stated goal was “to promote American global leadership.”. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century.
[ii] This likely includes the clandestine funding of ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Syria, the assassination of Muammar Gadhafi in Libya with the resulting chaos there, the overthrow of Mubarak in Egypt, and ignoring Saudi complicity in the 911 attacks, all of which have come to light during the 2016 Presidential campaign.
[iii] Baker, Peter. “Donald Trump’s Victory Promises to Upend the International Order”, New York Times. November 9, 2016.
[iv] Retrieved from http://www.biblicalarchaeologytruth.com/nehemiahs-wall.html. Students may wish to read an article I penned for my website on February 24,2016 reviewing Struse’s book. A short link to the article is http://wp.me/p2GCzi-B9.
[v] Retrieved from http://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/isbe/sanballat.html.
If you haven’t read Power Quest Book Two, or The Final Babylon, I strongly encourage you to do so. PQ Book Two in particular goes into great detail as to why America deserves to be judged. The Final Babylon lays out a detailed (and highly acclaimed) argument for why America IS in bible prophecy. I also encourage you to look at the PowerPoint slides on my web site to study the issue if you are a more “visual person”.
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