Recently I talked with two pastors, both graduates of American seminaries. They are both dedicated men, who have come out of their own culture to work in Jordan with the local and expatriate people.
Question: Bruce, we see some of your writings on Bible prophecy and end times events. Explain to us what you think is going to happen.
Bruce McKerras: There are five prophecies that specify the Negev desert as the site of a terrible event that will cause destruction over virtually the entire Middle East (1)
Nothing to match it has occurred in the past, and seeing the current political situation, we can now see how this may take place. Iran will attept to deliver a nuclear weapon to destroy Israel’s nuclear plant at Dimona, in the Negev. (2) Israel will immediately retaliate and destroy most of its neighbours, including Iran. (3) But, the land of Israel, too will be destroyed and its current inhabitants killed or displaced. (4)
The Lord will use this event to carry out His judgement against the nations, including Judah. (5) It will be the Day, mentioned many times in the Bible, as the Lord’s Day of vengeance and wrath, (6) and is also the Sixth Seal judgement. (7)
After a period of time, perhaps 1 or 2 years, the Lord will call His people, righteous Israel, to gather and enter the Land of Greater Israel, where He will bless them with prosperity and peace. (8) They will rebuild the Temple and send out 144,000 missionaries to preach the coming Kingdom of God. (9)
Later, a Northern confederation of nations will be motivated to attack Israel; But the Lord will totally destroy them. (10)
After this, the world leaders will decide to form a one world government, which will soon be taken over by a powerful and charismatic dictator. He will sign a seven year peace and security agreement with Israel, but after 3½ years, he will break his promise and invade Israel. This will begin the Tribulation (11) and after another 3½ years, the Lord Jesus will return and commence His Millennium reign. (12)
Pastors reply: Yes, we live in a dark and fallen world. Jesus came because of this sin. He believed in a Day of judgement for this evil world. When Jesus went to the Cross, He said ‘Now is the judgement for this world”. John 12:31 He understood the Cross to be the Day of Judgement. Note that the sky was darkened and the earth shaken then.
This is the basis for the substitutionary death of Christ and this is how the Old Testament prophecies have been fulfilled by Him. The whole point of Jesus coming to the earth was to take God’s wrath upon the Cross. The Cross and the hope of our resurrection is what the Christian faith is all about.
Bruce McKerras: I think that it’s sad that you don’t consider prophecy as worthy of study. In 2 Peter 1:19, he says that we do well to attend to the prophets, and in Rev 1:3 a blessing is given to those who ‘take to heart’ what is written there.
Final fulfilment of God’s judgement must still wait the end times, as Paul says in Hebrews 10:27 and Peter in 2 Peter 3:10.
References; (1) Eze 20:46, Eze 21:4, Isa 9:18-19, Jer 13:19-21, Jer 21:14. (2) Isa 21:2, Isa 22:6.
(3) Judah- Zech 13:8-9, Iran- Jer 49:34-39, Syria- Isa 17:1-4, Palestinians- Eze 25:15-17, Arabia- Jer 49:28-39, Jordan- Eze 25:1-11 & Amos 1:13-15, Egypt- Isa 19:1-15. (4) Jer 12:14 (5) Obadiah 12-16, Zeph 1:4-6, Jer 8:5-12. (6) Isa 63:1-6, Isa 33:10-12, Jer 30:23-24, Malachi 4:1, Zech 9:13-15. (7) Rev 6: 12-17. (8) Eze 36:8, Jer 32:37-43, Isa 14:1, Psalm 69:36, Isa 11:11-12. (9) Rev 7:3-8, Rev 14:1-7, Isa 66:19. (10) Eze chapters 38 &39, Joel 2:20. (11) Dan 12:1, Matt 24:21-22, Rev 13:5. (12) Rev 20:4-6