By Terry James
One thing that comes to mind in these contemporary times regarding the United States is its magnetic attraction to peoples around the world. This nation might be likened to the Planet Jupiter. It is huge in most of the ways human beings see as alluring, giving it the greatest gravity–materially speaking—of any nation state to grace earth’s surface. God has indeed blessed America "from sea to shining sea."
While all other nations orbit this one, realization about the liberty that is synonymous with the U.S. to worship, move about, work, play, or even just be slovenly doesn’t escape even those kept from knowing much about things going on around the rest of the planet. Indeed, America’s gravity dynamically draws all peoples toward its irresistible opulence. With the exception of a very few people, no one makes noises about leaving this nation to live elsewhere. Billions look in America’s direction as the shining light on the hill, as President Ronald Reagan once called it.
Even the defectors who sought to dodge the draft during the Vietnam era have since done all they could to come back to the nation they deserted. The Hollywood types–like Barbra Streisand, for example—who periodically threaten to leave America because they don’t get their way, politically, decide to stay when it comes down to the moment of leaving or staying. In southern parlance, they know on which side their bread is buttered.
Perhaps to get right to the heart of what has made America the center of the universe of nations, and to try to determine its status so far as involvement in Bible prophecy might be concerned, I would like to consider a well known historical observation by a man outside this country--a Frenchman, no less!
French social philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville, while touring the United States in the 1800s said about America: “America is great because America is good. If she ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.” De Tocqueville no doubt was speaking of how he viewed cultural and societal good. But, upon observing the nation’s Christian church foundation he encountered, he must have based his conclusion on the fact that America’s goodness in the societal sense was a result of Christianity running throughout the country’s cultural fiber. What he likely didn’t understand was what that “goodness” really means in God’s economy.
God’s Word speaks of this “good”: “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God” (Mar. 10:18).
Jesus was not saying to the man who fell on his knees before the Lord that He, Jesus, was not “good,” but the Lord was acclaiming that God, alone, is the only good. Jesus was–and is--the only “good” flesh-and-blood person to ever walk the earth’s surface following the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. That is because Jesus IS God.
Christianity is the God-sent only belief system through which any people–individually or collectively--can ever be considered “good” in God’s holy, omniscient eyes. Belief in Jesus Christ for salvation is the ONLY way to reconciliation with God, which redeems lost man from sin. Christianity is the belief that says Jesus, alone, was the lamb that takes away the sins of the world. All other belief systems we call religions constitute the broad way to eternal destruction apart from God and heaven.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).
Jesus said this: “…I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the father, but by me” (John 14:6).
A Prophetic Nation
So, it is through His Son, Jesus Christ, the second member of the triune godhead, that God the Father recognizes “good.” The Christian roots of this nation called America gives this country claim to the only “good” that is found therein. America has been blessed only because of its “goodness.” Let’s have a look at this seemingly elitest declaration.
President George Washington said in his farewell address, "Reason and experience both forbid us that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." John Adams, America's second president, said, "The United States Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."
We have only to look at what is inscribed upon the edifice that houses the U.S. Supreme Court, and what is etched in the surfaces of walls that frame other government buildings, to understand what is the “religion” to which Washington and Adams referred as being the basis for America’s “morality”. The Ten Commandments that flow from the mind of God so influenced the founding fathers of America that they saw His directions for godly living as inseparable from their own governance.
Here is what Jesus, the Son of God, said: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill” (Matt. 5:17).
Jesus, the founder of God’s only outreach to mankind with the offer of redemption through Christ’s shed blood on the cross at Calvary, fulfilled the Ten Commandments, that Mosaic Law that is everywhere one looks in Washington, D.C., and in capitals around America. This, despite incessant attempts by those who would destroy all vestiges of our Christian heritage.
The question we who teach, preach, and write about Bible prophecy get practically every time there is a forum for Q & A, is something like: “What about America –is it in Bible prophecy?”
The answer that must be given, if we are to be absolutely faithful to truth found in God’s Word is: No, America isn’t mentioned by name in Bible prophecy. But, it is always appropriate to follow up with: However, America is certainly in prophecy in the sense of being among the nations foretold to influence the course of human history while the end of the age approaches and the tribulation looms on the prophetic horizon. We can say that, because here we are, right in the mix of things moving the world toward the climax of human history.
America, A Golden Cup
Again, is the name “America” given anywhere in Scripture? Of course not. But, the influence this nation has exerted since coming to its full bloom as earth’s greatest superpower in history makes it a prophetic nation. The Creator of all things continues to use America in His mighty hand to accomplish two very distinctive, supernatural purposes. As a matter of fact, the United States, in my view, has an overwhelming presence in Bible prophecy. Its place is at the very heart of the end times things that we observe developing –matters we see unfolding in daily, even hourly, news reports. In this sense, I am of the conviction that God is speaking of America –in type, if not by name, when His Word tells us the following:
“Babylon [hath been] a golden cup in the LORD'S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad” (Jer. 51:7).
Certainly, the United States of America has been a “golden cup” in the Lord’s hand. No other nation of modern vintage can come close to claiming that achievement. Some nations of Europe were formative in bringing forth Christianity into the world, thus shedding a degree of Gospel light into a world of sin-darkness. But, it is America that, despite its great shortcomings, and more recent degeneration, that has been a shining beacon, reflecting from that golden cup in God’s hand.
Being the first nation in spreading to the whole world the Gospel message –that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross makes possible the only way to redemption for lost mankind—is a feat no other country can claim. This, ultimately, has been done not by the offices, or under the auspices of American ingenuity, but by the omniscience and the omnipotence of the One holding the “golden cup.” It is God’s grace and mercy that has put America as a beacon of God’s light upon that mountain of Gospel dissemination. God’s providence gave this nation the industrial and technological genius –a fact that is denied, or that is so taken for granted today.
America and Babylon
Tragically, the United States, like every other nation of this generation, is the hybrid offspring of the Babylonian system, which God’s prophetic Word has traced from the times of Nimrod on the Plains of Shinar and the Tower of Babel (read Genesis 11). America, which has spread the Gospel message to the entire world, will, sadly, be in one form or another part of the agglomerate beast system mentioned in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel Chapter 2 –the 10 toes on the feet of the multi-metallic man-image. This nation will, in a grotesquely metamorphosed form, become a constituent part of the nondescript beast of Daniel 2, which is prophesied to appear during the tribulation era–as presented in Revelation Chapter 13, as it raises from the sea.
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy” (Rev. 13:1).
This world Babylonian hybrid that represents –in the final analysis—total, luciferian rebellion to Jesus Christ, who fulfilled God’s prescription for living righteously, will do all within its Satan-derived power, to destroy all that God holds dear to His heart.
Israel, America’s Saving Grace
This brings us to America’s second reason for existence --toward the purpose of accomplishing God’s great prophetic plan. In my view, this use of the phenomenally powerful American nation is among the most profound indicators we can find that America, indeed, is in prophecy. And, I believe that America’s being in prophecy includes God’s using it to be mid-wife in Israel’s modern birth into the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob those thousands of years ago.
It was President Harry S. Truman–who said he had read the Bible through a number of times—who insisted, despite many voices of opposition, that the embryo country still in the womb of the Holy Land, Israel, come to birth on May 14, 1948. America stood by Israel’s struggle to get to its feet, and through the battles it fought against its attacking, hate-filled enemy neighbors.
God’s hand was at work in unseen ways, it becomes obvious to a careful look at unfolding times leading up to Truman’s assuming the presidency following Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death in 1945.
Truman had, as mentioned above, read God’s Word through a number of times. He told those around him that the Jews had promises from God to the land. He apparently believed that America must bless Israel, not curse that people. Historians would say that coincidentally, perhaps even ironically (but I am convinced that the word should be "providentially"), Truman had a Jewish friend–Edward Jacobson--with whom he had co-owned a haberdashery. His partner convinced Truman early on of that nation’s prophetic destiny.
Although Israel now has its own nuclear arsenal, it is America–in human terms—that has provided the most strength, militarily, which discourages overwhelming assaults against the Jewish state. But, looking beyond the physical earthly protection for Israel, it is the Lord of heaven that provides the ultimate hedge of protection.
God has proved in war after war throughout Israel’s earlier and latter incarnations that He keeps His promises to protect them from absolute destruction, despite their many Diasporas and their tribulations as captive and/or outcast people. He uses human military to accomplish this promise that the Jew will always be His chosen people. But, many strange reports have come out of some of those battles, proclaiming supernatural activity having turned the tide. Reports of battles during Israel’s rebirth as a nation in 1948, as an established nation in 1956, 1967, and 1973, brought such reports. And, at a spiritual warfare level in the sense of Ephesians 6: 12, there continue to be conflicts unseen by human eyes.
Israel’s nuclear capability and America’s stupendous military and technological might are strong defensive ingredients for modern Israel’s protection. But, while surrounded by forces of overwhelming numbers whose satanic rage cannot be stemmed, it is a most unconventional army that is Israel’s greatest ally. It is this ally contingent that holds the joint Israeli-American defensive coalition in place, in my view –and, I believe—in God’s prophetic plan. It is a spiritual force that is Israel’s closest friend. Christians, particularly those in America, make up the spiritual army that supports Israel’s right to exist as does no other group on earth.
I must qualify that statement, because today there are so many divergent claims to the name of Christ –differing views about what it means to be “a Christian.” The definition I use here is one who has been “born again” (John 3: 3). This means that a person has been born into the family of God, for all eternity. The only way for this to happen is for an individual to accept Christ’s sacrifice on the cross at Calvary–His shed blood—to pay for the individual’s sin, which separates the individual from God. Those who are “born again” make up this army of defenders of Israel’s right to exist in its ancient homeland. This army doesn’t bear physical arms, or fight, literally on the bloody fields of battles surrounding Israel. This army fights with prayer for the peace of Jerusalem, and does spiritual battle for Israel, God’s chosen people, while that Jewish state moves in blind unrepentance, toward its ultimate great destiny–to be the head of all nations during the Millennium, Christ’s 1000-year reign on Planet Earth.
America Plunges While the Church Arises
America, the golden cup in the Lord’s hand for more than two centuries –having disseminated the Gospel to the world, and having been the mid-wife of Israel’s birth into modern times, then its protector—is not mentioned in Bible prophecy, by name. Supposedly lesser nations of history are mentioned. For example, Persia (present-day Iran), Syria, and others, upon delving into etymological studies of ancient days juxtaposed against the geographical locations of current national entities. Russia, for example, fits into the region known in ancient times as the region called “Rosh.” But this once shining city on the hill called America is nowhere to be found as the very end of days unfold.
So, what happens to the United States of America?
We have looked at my view–which I believe is the biblical view—that God’s people, the Christians of these end times, are Israel’s most fervent friends. But, again I must write a word of qualification. Not all of the born again hold to the position that Israel is God’s chosen nation as given in the Old Testament. Most Christians today (again talking about born-again members of God’s family) don’t even think in terms of Israel and its prophetic destiny one way or the other. This is because these Christians aren’t taught about the truth of these matters by their pastors and teachers. Also, they don’t do enough study on their own to open their spiritual minds on these things, so God the Holy Spirit can instruct them regarding Israel and prophecy yet future. They are ignorant of these things. Many are willfully ignorant.
So, it is a relatively small group who observe prophetic matters as outlined in God’s Word. Nonetheless, all Christians –every single individual who is a member of God’s eternal family—will go to be with Jesus Christ when He shouts: “Come up here” (Rev. 4:1). All of Israel’s most fervent supporters –that Jewish nation’s staunchest allies—will instantly be gone from the planet. I believe it is at this moment on God’s prophetic time line that America’s time as a viable nation will begin a precipitous plunge. It will recede into the depths of history past, so far as its grandiosity is concerned.
Much of the stable, tax-paying base will be removed in that stupefying moment. Its worker-base will be so severely disrupted that it won’t come close to resembling the economic powerhouse it was the moment before the rapture. This, because America has, it is quite safe to presume—the highest percentage of Christians of any nation of significant population.
The politicians and powers that be within governmental and business bureaucracies will flail wildly, trying to bring their turfdoms back into some semblance of order. It will be a task that will be impossible without the most extreme, draconian measures. Ultimately, I’m convinced, these political and governmental powers will readily agree to come under the auspices of the much more stable European Union. The EU–the member nations of which have long-since doused the Gospel light, thus its populations not as severely affected as that of the U.S.-- will grow to immense size and power within perhaps only a few days.
Israel Following Rapture
Israel will suddenly find itself without its staunchest lobby-base with the American government. The U.S. leadership will, itself, find itself so tied up in the staggering problems of trying to regain economic and societal equilibrium that urgent pleas from Israeli leaders will likely go unheeded.
The Islamic world will have lost in the rapture its small children and babies in the wombs of mothers within the Middle Eastern world. But Islamic armies of young, fanatic militants will be untouched by the catastrophe that has caused the disappearance of many millions of people. These, under their enraged leadership, will almost certainly fervently look at Israel to vent their frustrations. Likely the true Islamic fundamentalist fanatics will see what has happened as Allah’s preparing to bring on the end of the world.
Perhaps this is the “hook” in the “jaws,” which Ezekiel the prophet foretold God promises to implement at this time. There will be no one –including America—to offer to defend Israel. It is at this time that the great, supernaturally persuasive world leader who will one day in the future be known as “the beast” –Antichrist—will come forward from the swiftly reforming western alliance. He will propose to all of the antagonists of the forces poised for war a peace covenant they won’t be able to refuse.
Without genuine repentance of her people, America’s time as the apex nation of history will end. She will lose her golden glow. Her former glory will turn black with soot from the fire of judgment and wrath that will be the fate of all who come against Jesus Christ –the God of all creation.
America’s place in prophecy, without repentance before God, is seen in the Babylonian system of rebellion, as represented by the description of the destruction of its chief city.
“Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her” (Rev. 18:8).