Sunday, March 24, 2013

God’s Judgment On America

God’s Judgment On America
Jim Bramlett

Is the United States of America mentioned in biblical prophecy? If we are, indeed, in the “last days” before Christ’s return, as the overwhelming evidence indicates, is it possible that the greatest Gentile power in history would have been overlooked, or is irrelevant? Or, are references hidden, as are many other prophecies, to be “unsealed” to seekers in the last days according to Daniel 12:4?
I believe there are passages that do not name but do infer America. Interestingly, these passages are compatible with current geopolitical developments, and also visions and other supernatural revelations reported by several believers over the years. The message is of severe judgment, and is ominous.

Judgment Already Decreed

First, a few words about our beloved country. This is hard for me to say about America. When World War II started, I was age 11. My father fought with the infantry in Europe; my uncle with the Air Corps in North Africa. I went to a top military prep school. Later, at a large university, I practically majored in Air Force ROTC, becoming the highest ranking cadet officer and Corps Commander. I devoted my career to the nation’s military service, retiring early — before I was eligible for promotion to full colonel — only because of a higher priority, a call into full-time Christian service. I laid that promotion at the cross. But now, even retired, as a regular officer the government has a claim on me as long as I live. I love my country. The flag can still give me goose bumps. I have always been extremely patriotic. I have researched and lectured on America’s Christian heritage. I know how God’s hand has been on America, starting with Columbus. Yet to God the nations are but a grain of sand, and as a nation America has rebelled against God, insulted Him, and declared Him “not wanted.” Some believe America will get away with it because God “needs” America to fulfill the Great Commission. He doesn’t. We won’t.

Many are praying for revival in America according to the promises of 2 Chronicles 7:14. God will surely honor the prayers. There will be revival, and there will be a great harvest, the greatest the world has ever known. However, based on the parallel of Jeremiah’s warning to Israel and God’s answer to him, the part of 2 Chronicles 7:14 about “heal their land” — as relates to the secular culture — will not be answered until Messiah returns. As with Israel in Jeremiah’s day, I believe judgment on America has already been decreed. God’s moth-like judgment (Hosea 5:12) is in progress, eating at us slowly, but His lion-like judgment (Hosea 5:14) will soon pounce, devouring us suddenly and completely.

Applicability of 2 Chronicles 7:14? Even though 2 Chronicles was not written for probably over a hundred years later, Jeremiah may have tried to implement the principles of it. As a priest, he was surely aware of the promise to Solomon several hundred years earlier, either from the oral tradition or written records. But three different times (three for divine emphasis), God said to Jeremiah, “Do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you” (7:16, NIV). Also see 11:14 and 14:11. In the latter, God says, “Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry….I will not accept them. Instead I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague.”
In another passage, God reiterates His willingness to show mercy and urges Israel to repent. “Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions” (18:11). But in His omniscience and foreknowledge, God then says, “But they will reply, ‘It’s no use. We will continue with our own plans; each of us will follow the stubbornness of his evil heart’” (v. 12). God knew what their reaction would be; thus, judgment was decreed beforehand. (And even Solomon, after God’s clear promises and warnings in 2 Chronicles 7, fell into sin, soon died and the kingdom was split.)

Why This Probably Applies to America

1. The End of the Gentile Age. The evidence is overwhelming that the “times of the Gentiles” referred to by Jesus (Luke 21:24) — the same as the age of the “Gentiles” referred to by James (Acts 15:14-16), and Paul (Romans 11:25) — is in the final seconds. We are in the final countdown to what God revealed to Daniel as “the appointed time.” It is no accident that America, the largest and most powerful Gentile nation, has been in a precipitous cultural decline in the last half of this century (as Israel, the fig tree, has blossomed) as measured by numerous statistical indicators. And our global cultural influence is taking the world with us, as we daily export worldwide our anti-God and perverted national values.
God’s prophetic plan and timetable will not be stopped, and it takes precedence over everything. For example, Israel is still in rebellion, largely a godless nation. But God promised to regather them in the last days. He has, in spite of themselves, and with no effort on their part to comply with 2 Chronicles 7:14, but simply because of His plan. “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone….Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct” (Ezekiel 37:22, 32). Israel does not deserve mercy, and a further chastening lies ahead. Yet God will honor His covenant with their fathers, which Paul strongly reminds us so that we will not be “ignorant” or “conceited” as saved Gentiles, wild branches grafted into the natural olive tree (Romans 11:24-25).

2. The Pervasiveness of Evil. As before the Flood, and with Sodom and Gomorrah, and with the idolatrous occupants of the Promised Land before Joshua entered, evil is now so deeply pervasive and entrenched that it must be purged by judgment. Such seems to be a clear message of the prophets and the New Testament writers. The world is rushing madly toward the prophesied Tribulation, “such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).

3. Veiled References to America. While America is not mentioned by name in prophecy, some Bible students believe there are indirect references. For example, some believe we are the last-days Babylon of Jeremiah 50 and 51 and elsewhere. The reason is that a number of the references seemingly do not apply to ancient Babylon, or even to a possibly restored Babylon in Iraq, and that America is now the world’s major military and financial power. For example, the “rich” Babylon Jeremiah describes lives “by many waters” (USA, not ancient Babylon; 51:13). “She made the whole earth drunk….they have now gone mad” (our drug/sex/rock culture via MTV and other media pervades the earth; 51:7). Our soldiers “have become like women” (homosexuals, women in combat; 51:30). She will be attacked by “arrows” (missiles; 50:9), from “the north” (direction of Russia; 50:3), with her judgment rising “as high as the clouds” (nuclear; 51:9). NASA’s space program is implied in 51:53 (KJV), with Babylon mounting “up to heaven.” Also, “They sinned against the LORD….the hope of their fathers” (USA, not ancient Babylon; 50:7). Economic Babylon of Revelation 18, the commercial capital of the world, may be New York (the Babylon of chapter 17 may be Rome because of the reference to the “seven hills” in v. 9). Chapter 18:4 mentions that in one day, and verse 10 says in one hour, she will be destroyed, with the world’s government and financial leaders weeping and mourning (18:9,15). A one-hour destruction of a great city is something possible only in the past 50 years, and probable only this decade with the proliferation of nuclear weapons, recently spreading on the black market from the former USSR to terrorist organizations, according to intelligence sources. Only God is holding back Islamic terrorists and other radicals from setting off a nuclear explosion in New York, Washington, D.C., Tel Aviv and elsewhere, until “the appointed time.”

In addition, a strong case can be made that America and the 1991 Gulf War are referred to in Daniel 8, with Iraq the ram, and America the goat which “came from the west, crossing the whole earth without touching the ground” (verse 5, NIV), seemingly our massive intercontinental air and sea lift. In verse 8, the goat is later “broken,” or destroyed. We know from verses 20-21 that Media, Persia and Greece were the first fulfillments, but from elsewhere, such as verse 17, we know that the vision, in a dual fulfillment, is for “the time of the end.” The above seems more plausible when the following is considered….

4. Soon Fulfillment of Ezekiel 38. Another possible reference to America, by conspicuous omission, is in Ezekiel 38 and what most scholars see as an invasion of Israel by Russia and a confederation of Muslim nations. The geopolitical preconditions for this are rapidly forming. There are reasons to believe this may occur in the very, very near future (perhaps at the beginning rather than the end of the Tribulation as some believe). For example, there has been a recent security agreement between Russia (Magog, 38:2) and the leading terrorist state, Iran (Persia, 38:5). Russia is supplying Iran with nuclear materials and, on the black market, with nuclear warheads. I have a reliable report of a recent briefing by NATO intelligence that a nuclear war in the Middle East is feared probable! America would surely be involved, perhaps as below:

If Israel is attacked according to Ezekiel 38, it is strange that there is no hint of help from its security partner, the powerful USA. Oddly, we do not seem to even be a factor. I believe it may be because, from a military standpoint, America has been neutralized and rendered powerless by a surprise nuclear attack by Russia (see below). This would surely give Russian military planners an assumed and enticing cakewalk to a Middle East takeover, ownership of the oil fields, new mineral resources and an expansion to the Persian Gulf, a stated goal of at least one Russian radical, Vladimir Zhirinovski, whose autobiography is prophetically titled The Last March South! While Zhirinovsky may never rise to power, this territorial ambition is undoubtedly shared by other radicals. Of course, we know from Ezekiel 39:1-6 that God Himself will defend Israel and destroy the invaders, to make His holy name known (v. 7). Again, the above still seems more plausible when the following is considered….

See Part 2 following….

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