Mike Pompeo told an audience in Cairo that “he had come to the region as ‘as an evangelical Christian.” That’s OK. Glad to hear it. But then there’s this:
In his speech at the American University in Cairo, Pompeo said that in his state department office: “I keep a Bible open on my desk to remind me of God and his word, and the truth.”
Again, good for him.
Here’s the disturbing part:
Just as he did in Cairo, Pompeo called on the congregation of a Kansan megachurch three years ago to join a fight of good against evil.
“We will continue to fight these battles,” the then congressman said at the Summit church in Wichita. “It is a never-ending struggle … until the rapture. Be part of it. Be in the fight.”
For Pompeo’s audience, the rapture invoked an apocalyptical Christian vision of the future, a final battle between good and evil, and the second coming of Jesus Christ, when the faithful will ascend to heaven and the rest will go to hell.
For many US evangelical Christians, one of the key preconditions for such a moment is the gathering of the world’s Jews in a greater Israel between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. It is a belief, known as premillenial dispensationalism or Christian Zionism – and it has very real potential consequences for US foreign policy. (The Guardian)
Dispensational premillennialism has had an unnatural hold on millions of Christians. War is inevitable. Peace is impossible, and any signs of peace are fake news. The Middle East is a prophetic powder keg ready to explode but not before Jesus removes His church from the earth in something called the “rapture.”
Swords are rattling again in the Strait of Hormuz seemingly about oil, but some see it as a prelude to some end-time event.
This prophecy was written 2,500 years ago—and it describes the present situation in the Persian Gulf perfectly! Daniel 11:40 says that the “king of the north” will react, and eventually with overpowering force! We are beginning to get a glimpse of how this will happen. On Monday, Europe got tougher with Iran than it ever has. Based on Daniel’s prophecy, expect Europe to get even tougher and more confrontational toward Iran!
Keep watching the Strait of Hormuz. And remember, the tension between Iran and Europe is more than geopolitics—it’s an insight into Daniel 11:40!
Does Pres. Trump believe this end-time view? I doubt it. But some of his closest advisors do. “I doubt that President Trump could explain dispensational pre-millennialism,” Diana Butler Basswrites. “I doubt he knows the term. But his evangelical supporters know it. Some of his advisers are probably whispering these prophecies in his ears.” They include prominent religious leaders like Robert Jeffress and John Hagee. “Hagee, a televangelist and founder of Christians United for Israel (Cufi), … once said that Hitler and the Holocaust were part of God’s plan to get Jews back to Israel, to pave the way for the Rapture.”
Let’s not forget that Ronald Reagan believed something similar:
In the 38th chapter of Ezekiel, it says that the land of Israel will come under attack by the armies of the ungodly nations, and it says that Libya will be among them. Do you understand the significance of that? Libya has now gone Communist, and that’s a sign that the day of Armageddon isn’t far off. Biblical scholars have been saying for generations that Gog must be Russia. What other powerful nation is to the north of Israel? None. But it didn’t seem to make sense before the Russian revolution, when Russia was a Christian country. Now it does, now that Russia has become communistic and atheistic, now that Russia has set itself against God. Now it fits the description of Gog perfectly…. For the first time ever, everything is in place for the battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ. It can’t be too long now. Ezekiel says that fire and brimstone will be rained upon the enemies of God’s people. That must mean that they will be destroyed by nuclear weapons.”1
Ron Rhodes begins his book Northern Storm Rising: Russia, Iran, and the Emerging End-Times Military Coalition Against Israel with Reagan giving a similar speech at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas: “Reagan was a big fan of the biblical prophet Ezekiel. In fact, Ezekiel was Reagan’s favorite book of prophecy. Like many other Christians, Reagan believed that the fierce Old Testament prophet foretold that God would one day gather the children of Israel who were scattered among heathen nations back to the promised land. He also believed, based on his reading of Ezekiel 38 and 39, that atheistic Russia—along with various Arab nations of the Middle East—would one day lead an invasion into Israel from the north and that God would intervene and utterly destroy this military coalition. He understood that not everything had fallen precisely into place, but he nevertheless believed the stage was being set for the fulfillment of end-time prophecies. Reagan believed he might even witness the second coming of Jesus Christ in his own lifetime”2.
In 1981, Hal Lindsey wrote, “Today, the Soviets are without question the strongest power on the face of the earth.”3Compare this with what he wrote in 1994: “We see Russia as no longer a world threat, but a regional power with a world-class military—exactly what Ezekiel 38 and 39 predicted it would be.”4
You see, no matter what happens – peace or war – a destructive end-time scenario is inevitable. It’s all in the Bible, except that it isn’t.
The New Testament doesn’t say anything about the Middle East being an end-time destructive force. Nothing is said about Israel returning to their land. Yes, the Old Testament predicts that the Jews would return to their land, and they did. That’s what the books of Ezra and Nehemiah are all about.
Ezekiel 38 and 39 are not about modern-day Russia, as I’ve pointed out in my book The Gog and Magog End-Time Alliance. That alliance was long ago. The battle, fought on horseback with bows and arrows and clubs, nearly destroyed Israel except for God’s intervention.
While people like Pompeo see such a war as inevitable in order to bring in the Millennium, God-hating warmongers see war as a way to make money. There’s big money in the build-up to war and its aftermath. The military industrial complex is real and is itching for a fight.
The dispensationalists see nothing but war and destruction as part of our future. Of course, they tell us not to worry because God will “rapture” His church so they don’t have to go through the Great Tribulation, a tribulation that will ensnare the Jews resulting in another holocaust when two-thirds of the Jews living in Israel will be slaughtered and billions more will be killed around the world.
Dispensationalism is unbiblical and can be dangerous. Iran has a growing Christian population. We should be nurturing it while doing whatever we can to avert another bloody and senseless war.
From an address that Ronald Reagan gave at a dinner with California legislators in 1971. A shorter version of this address is found in Paul Boyer, When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern Culture (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1992), 162.(↩)