estiny Bulletin   

The War Against Terrorism

By Dave Breese

Events in the world of our time have become most chaotic. In stunned silence, we watched the eerily smoking visage of New York as the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center first burned and then, one after the other, came crashing down. It felt as though we were watching an apocalyptic movie, complete with expensive special effects. But these were no special effects—they were tragically real.

Terrorism had hit the shores of America with a vengeance! As we observed the carnage, we grieved along with the families of those who had been lost and worried along with those who were uncertain as to the safety of their loved ones.

As we write, the specter of war looms like a ghastly apparition on the horizon. Undoubtedly, by the time this reaches you, some action will have been taken. President Bush, who it is reported was one of the targets of the terrorist attack, has declared this to be a war against terrorism—a war which he promises we shall win.

Will America win the war against terrorism? What does the Bible say about terrorism and the end-times? Will this be the beginning of the prophetic wars? Interestingly enough, some terrorist groups in the past had identified New York as their target of choice in “the Islamic Holy War” against the Jews and their American supporters. Libya had, on several occasions, voiced its desire to send a nuclear-tipped missile into the heart of New York City.

Of course, the Jihad (holy war) that has been launched against the U.S. has strong proponents in many nations besides Libya. In fact, we are beginning to get a picture of perhaps hundreds of terrorist cells that are operating in and from our own beloved country. It will be interesting beyond description to see how it all develops from this point forward.

Due to the rapidly unfolding events of our time, we cannot begin to give an up-to-date report on such a quickly changing scenario. Rather, we want to investigate what it all means in light of Bible Prophecy.

Jesus told us that before the Tribulation breaks in full force upon the earth, there will be a time called “the beginning of sorrows.” He said, “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matt. 24:7-8). The beginning of sorrows is the time of escalating turmoil that will close out the Church Age and foreshadow the coming of the Tribulation period.

We believe “the beginning of sorrows” is now upon us and will continue to expand until the Rapture of the Church ends the Church Age and takes the world into the Tribulation.

Will there be more terrorist strikes like the ones in New York and Washington, D.C.? In our opinion, that is a certainty—not only from a commonsense, current-events perspective, but also from the prophetic perspective. For the rabid hatred of antithetical religious groups will not be mollified by sweet diplomatic communion or even by decisive military response. In the end, war is not simply the product of conflicting needs and desires. War is the product of sin: “There is no peace, says the Lord, to the wicked,” (Isaiah 48:22). As long as unregenerate man pursues his own ungodly desires, war and strife will be the outcome. Don’t resent it; that’s just the way it is! We live in a sinful world that is deteriorating, digging itself deeper and deeper into insurmountable problems of its own making. The only solution will be the return of the King—Jesus Christ—to establish His kingdom of peace and prosperity for all the world!

But what about us? Are we in danger? That, physically speaking, is a definite possibility. However, spiritually speaking, Christians have nothing to fear. Our Lord told us, “Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me … I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also … Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:1-3,27).

If what we are seeing is indeed an escalation of sorrow in “the beginning of sorrows,” then we, as Christians, have much to be excited about! The world has been forever changed by the terrorism that has struck America. Many of our freedoms will likely be surrendered to stronger, more militant government, in the quest for peace and safety. But the Bible says, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief” (I Thess. 5:2-4).

We suggest that you watch closely as government attempts to deal with this tragedy, and look for signs that the world is moving towards global security under the aegis of a new, more centralized, more powerful form of government. In the end, this all can only lead to the rise of Antichrist and the Rapture of the Church.

Searching For Clues
“Peace and Safety” which America so long has taken for granted has been suddenly ripped from our grasp, transformed into an elusive prize that somehow must be recaptured! If we find that people are willing to sacrifice everything to get their “Peace and Safety” back, it could be a sign that America is ready to accept the rule of the Antichrist!

“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thess. 5:3).

One of the keys to understanding the forces that will drive the world into the Tribulation and precipitate the invasion of Israel will be the volatile condition of the Fundamentalist Islamic crusade. Many of the nations which will ally themselves with Russia at that time will be strongly Islamic. This is more than interesting, in light of the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed his deep concern over the growing influence of radical Islamic Fundamentalism in his country and in those around him.

We do know that Russia already has defense treaties with several Islamic nations to her south. Especially interesting is Russia’s relationship with Iran (referred to as Persia in Ezekiel’s prophecy). As you know, Iran is directly adjacent to Afghanistan—the location of Osama bin Laden’s infamous terrorist training camps. We suggest that you watch closely as things develop and the war progresses in Afghanistan.

Will something develop there that will galvanize Islamic powers in opposition to the United States? Will Israel become involved militarily, drawing response by Saddam Hussein and Iraq? The dynamics of war in the coming days will most likely lead to many changes, many new alliances, and many desperate acts. Watch for any development that could force Russia to enter the Holy Land, perhaps even reluctantly, in defense of her Islamic comrades. Ezekiel described the end-time situation: “And I will turn you back, and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you forth” (Ezekiel 38:4). Developments of that nature could be an indication that these are more than just unrelated incidents. And if such trends do become apparent, we should be very thoughtful and perhaps especially excited about the soon return of Jesus Christ.

The American Imperative
Many inspiring words have been uttered in the wake of the World Trade Center’s destruction. American Muslim leaders condemned the cowardly use of violence against innocent civilians, insisting that terrorism is not in keeping with the teachings of Islam. Liberal Christian theologians responded with high-sounding platitudes and poetry, calling for patience and forgiveness. Evangelicals expressed their grief by calling the nation to prayer and to renewed faith in Jesus Christ.

The truth is, our nation has drifted far from its Christian roots over the last few decades. And we have said many times that unless America experiences revival soon, the days of the marvelous blessing and protection of God for the United States may soon be over.

The Sunday after the destruction of the World Trade Center, churches across the nation were filled with tearful, humbled Americans. We believe this to be one of the most crucial times of ministry we have ever faced. Hearts are broken and open to the message of the Gospel. People are hungry to hear what the Prophetic Word has to say about their future. Now is the time for us to call the people of America to revival. It could be our last chance.

The message that the Prophet Jonah was to take to Nineveh was one of judgment. But the lesson of his book was really that of the grace of God. When Jonah told Nineveh to repent and turn from its wicked ways, the people of Nineveh did so—all the way from the king down to the servants. As a result, God spared that great city for approximately 85 years, proving that the first will of God is not judgment, but revival.

Assurance of Salvation
One of the great lessons of Scripture is that we are never past hope! As long as there is life, there remains hope. That is true on the national level, as well as on the personal level.

A further note needs to be sounded. Let me voice a concern for many Christians, especially those who may be elderly, who do not have the assurance of salvation. We have received more calls, more letters, and have been involved in more personal conversations than ever with individuals who say, “Yes, I received Christ when I was young, but I am not sure that my life has measured up to the perfect will of God. I wish that I could live my life over again and do it right. Then I would be sure that I am going to heaven.” This attitude comes upon many who feel they have failed the Lord in one respect or another. A lack of assurance is also quite characteristic of older friends who are in the midst of declining physical strength and yet possess real spiritual sensitivity. The assurance of salvation is, tragically, the great missing component in the Church of our time. Sadly, much preaching from our pulpits also steals the assurance of salvation rather than imparting confidence to the people of God.

Why do some lack assurance? It is because they have not properly understood the basis of salvation in the first place. We must never forget that we are saved by grace, not by works. The Scripture clearly says, “He that believes on Him is not condemned” (John 3:18). We are therefore, not saved because we have worked hard, labored long, lived perfect lives or never made a mistake. We are saved by the grace of God by virtue of the blood of Jesus Christ. God saves us, not because of our works, but because of His own purpose and grace. Again, it is grace which is the sole basis of our salvation.

For any contribution, we are happy to send you a copy of the booklet “Can America Survive the Prophetic Wars.”