Five Prophecies to Watch
Prophecy One: America’s Death Knell
Knowing the identity of nations is the key to understanding end-time prophecy. (You can have this key by requesting a free copy of Herbert Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.) Old Testament prophecies, for example, spring to life when we understand that the term Israel is referring to modern-day America and the British Commonwealth.
The entire chapter of Ezekiel 33 is a tragic prophecy about Israel’s downfall. In verse 11, God laments the destruction of these people, saying “turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”
The Prophet Hosea saw a similar fate for the United States and Britain (Ephraim). “And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity; Judah also shall fall with them” (Hosea 5:5). The Prophet Jeremiah also spoke of a time of unprecedented trouble in Jacob (also Israel, or the United States). “Alas! for that day is great,” he wrote, “so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble …” (Jeremiah 30:7).
According to each of these prophecies, we know it is the end time when the United States is stripped of its power and global supremacy and is overrun by its enemies. President Obama’s speech in Cairo was a sure warning that we now live in that time!
As one commentator noted in the London Times, he became the first Western leader since Napoleon to address Islam as a single bloc, thus legitimizing the Islamic extremist view that the world should be divided along religious lines. In his 54-minute, 6,000-word address, not once did the president use the word terrorism. His administration has carefully avoided using the term war on terror—opting instead for the obscurely worded “overseas contingency operation.” His repeated attempts to extend an olive branch to Iran and the rest of the Islamic world send an unmistakably clear signal to America’s enemies: The terrorists are winning. And they know it.
Jeffrey Kuhner, president of the Edmund Burke Institute, wrote about the global significance of the Cairo speech. “It will be remembered as the pivotal moment in history when the United States ceased to be a superpower,” he wrote. “Sapped of its self-confidence and sense of grandiose destiny, America chose the policy of appeasement over confrontation, lies over truth, illusion over reality” (Washington Times, June 13, emphasis mine throughout).
America’s position in the world, ideologically, morally, economically and geopolitically—especially in relation to radical Islam—has been declining for years. Obama’s capitulation in Cairo was a very public sign that America lacks the moral clarity to discern good and evil and the mental willpower to stand up against tyranny.
America’s enemies recognize weakness when they see it. The president’s overtures in Cairo, as sincere as they might be, will not result in better U.S.-Islamic relations, nor bring the people of the world together in peace. Instead, for all of his trouble, as Asia Times opined, the president will get “more megalomania from Iran, more triumphalism from the Palestinians, and less control over Iraq and Afghanistan. … It is hard to imagine any consequence except a steep diminution of American influence” (June 2).
Prophecy Two: The Rise of the King of the South
The rise of Iran and radical Islam and its inevitable clash with a German-led European superpower is the keynote prophecy of Gerald Flurry and the Trumpet. The prophecy is found in Daniel 11:40: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.”
The Islamic Republic of Iran is the head of the international network of Islamic terrorism—the biblically prophesied “king of the south.” This radical network, as the scripture says, practices a “pushy,” or combative, foreign policy. Is there a better way to describe Iran?
Iran is gunning for the destruction of the Jewish state. It feeds Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank, Palestinian terrorist groups inside Israel, and Hezbollah in Lebanon. It has complicated American efforts in Iraq and is meddling in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Its nuclear weapons program is advancing rapidly, and it has been connected to the nuclear programs of both Syria and North Korea. Iran is the number-one threat to peace in Israel and the Middle East—in many ways, even worldwide.
President Obama ignored this reality in his Cairo declaration. Rather than criticize Tehran’s belligerent foreign policy, Obama guaranteed its perpetuation by signaling that America is prepared to embrace Iran as it is. On the nuclear issue, for example, Obama declared that Iran has the right to develop nuclear power. Meanwhile, he remains naively committed to seeking a “world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons.”
Then there’s Egypt. Verse 42 of Daniel 11 makes clear that Egypt will be aligned with Iran and the king of the south. This is why the Trumpet has said for years that a radical shift will soon occur within Egyptian politics, as Mubarak (an ally to the West) gives way to a radical Islamic government in Cairo that will ally itself to Tehran.
Included in the audience at Cairo were members of the Muslim Brotherhood (mb), a radical Islamist group with terrorist roots and the primary political opposition to President Mubarak. The Egyptian daily Al-Masri al-Youm reported June 4 that Obama met with mb officials in Washington earlier this year. Certainly, Washington’s overtures toward the Brotherhood will not help Egypt’s president, who himself didn’t attend the June 4 speech.
The Palestinians also have good reason to celebrate Obama’s historic Muslim address. As we have often pointed out, the prophesied clash between the European king of the north and the Iran-led king of the south will primarily revolve around Jerusalem. With President Obama telling the Islamic world that America “does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements” and that it’s “time for these settlements to stop,” it’s no wonder Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who turned down a generous Israeli offer for Palestinian statehood last year, is in no rush to meet with Israel’s new government. He is content to sit back and watch Obama and Netanyahu duke it out.
The Bible reveals that neither America nor Israel will confront this prophesied king of the south. That task will be left to the king of the north, a German-led, Catholic-inspired European superpower (to learn more, request Germany and the Holy Roman Empire).
By condoning Tehran’s actions in his Cairo speech, Obama emboldens Iran’s “pushy” foreign policy, making the spectacular clash prophesied in Daniel 11:40 inevitable.
Prophecy Three: Breaking the Brotherhood
Biblical history testifies to the familial relationship between Manasseh (America) and Judah (the Jewish people)—which explains the historic bond between these nations. Yet Bible prophecy says that in the end time this historic brotherhood would be severed. In Zechariah 11:14, God said He would “break the brotherhood between Judah [modern-day Israel] and Israel [primarily the United States and Britain].”
In his Cairo speech, President Obama said the historic bond between the U.S. and Israel was based on Jewish aspirations for a homeland that were “rooted” in the tragedy of the Holocaust. He was wrong. In fact, Jewish aspirations for statehood not only predate the Adolf Hitler era, they predate the Zionist movement. Their history in the territory on which their country is built goes back to biblical times (article, page 6).
Palestinians have reinvented this history, claiming the Jews are without legal or historic right to their homeland and that modern-day Israel exists only because of Europe’s guilt after the Holocaust. In Cairo, President Obama legitimized this bit of Arab propaganda.
Nine years ago, President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians 94 percent of the West Bank, all of East Jerusalem, and unrestricted control of the Temple Mount. In swift response, Nobel Prize winner Yasser Arafat unleashed a bloody five-year campaign of rockets, sniper fire and suicide bombings aimed primarily at civilians that killed more than 1,000 Jews.
Last year, lame duck Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered the Palestinians 93 percent of the West Bank and other perks that amounted to even more land than what was on offer in 2000, even after a decade of natural growth in Israeli settlements. Nevertheless, Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman called the Israeli proposal a “waste of time” and said it demonstrated a “lack of seriousness” on Israel’s part.
Clearly, it’s not settlement activity that is obstructing the process for peace. All the same, during his Cairo speech, President Obama called on Israel to freeze even the natural growth of its existing settlements in the West Bank, without issuing a single demand to the Palestinian Authority.
Why would the United States now elevate the marginal issue of settlement growth to the top of its Middle East agenda? Because Washington wanted to create a crisis with Israel, as Stratfor noted on June 8. In doing so, Obama wins no matter what Israel’s response might be. If Netanyahu gives in, the U.S. will have imposed its will on Israel. And if Netanyahu doesn’t give in (far more likely, considering prophecy), Obama can drive a wedge between the U.S. and Israel and then “use that split as a lever with Islamic states,” Stratfor noted.
President Obama went to Cairo in search of a “new beginning” in the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world. By doing so, the U.S. effectively ended its brotherly and strategically critical alliance with Israel. That “unbreakable” bond between America and Israel, the president’s assurances notwithstanding, is now broken. Israel knows it has been abandoned by the United States.
Prophecy Four: Israel Appeals to Germany for Help
A related end-time prophecy is found in Hosea 5:13: “When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound.”
The Hosea 5:13 wound is the misnamed “peace” process (request a free copy of Jerusalem in Prophecy for an explanation). Since kicking off its land-for-peace strategy in Oslo in 1993, Israel has only suffered greater violence and death. The voids it has left by pulling out of southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip have been filled by Iran’s most lethal proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas. At least 1,500 Israeli citizens have been murdered by terrorists during this time. And with Hezbollah and Hamas furiously amassing a much deadlier arsenal, the body count will inevitably rise.
Still, President Obama is applying massive pressure on Israel to freeze all settlement growth and to cede more land to the Palestinians and Syrians.
This is why in Hosea, God says that Judah, after being mortally wounded by the peace process, will seek help from Assyria (Germany), rather than the United States. This prophecy provides further proof of America’s growing irrelevance in the world, particularly to its former ally Israel. Bereft of other options, the Jews will seek help from the very power that perpetrated the greatest crime against them in modern times.
The Jewish state’s incurable wound will soon result in Israel’s desperate turn to the German-led European Union for help—a move that will trigger the beginning of the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21-22).
But before that, half of Jerusalem will be taken by force.
Prophecy Five: Jerusalem Split Down the Middle
Zechariah 14:2 tells us, “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.”
According to this prophecy, a Hamas-dominated Palestinian insurgence, backed by Iran, will take half of Jerusalem by force shortly before the Messiah sets foot on the Mount of Olives (verse 4). Thus, we can deduce that Israel will not cave in to pressure from Washington and give away what little land it has left. As the U.S.- Israeli alliance has suffered, so too has America’s ability to dictate terms to Israel.
In his Cairo speech, President Obama increased expectations among Arabs that Jerusalem would be theirs. Meanwhile, a growing number of Israelis have lost faith in the land-for-peace strategy.
For the past decade, at times it appeared as if Israel would willingly give up East Jerusalem at the negotiating table. In December of 2005, a poll published by Yedioth Ahronoth found that about half of Israelis supported the idea of giving up parts of Arab East Jerusalem if it would solidify a peace deal with the Palestinians. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel would someday have to give up its dream of an eternally united Jerusalem under Jewish sovereignty, and rumors circulated that his government was devising a plan to divide the city.
Compare that with where we suddenly are today. The conservative Benjamin Netanyahu is Israel’s prime minister again. In his much-anticipated response to President Obama’s Cairo speech, Netanyahu left the door cracked open for the development of a Palestinian state, but only if that state is demilitarized and its leaders recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people. Netanyahu added, “Israel needs defensible borders and Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel ….”
As our regular readers know, we have been expecting this harder-line stance to emerge in Israel. With Israel’s new government unwilling to compromise on Jerusalem, and expectations growing among Arabs that a sovereign state is in sight, the stage is now set for Zechariah 14:2 to be fulfilled.