Surprising Events for the Near Future
By Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., 1992
A religious and political revolution has just begun though most people are completely unaware of it. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, a new historical environment has emerged in the world. What will happen in the next ten, twenty and thirty years? What occurs will affect every single person on this planet. We can know in advance some of the events that are prophesied to happen. For a glimpse into future world affairs, read this Prophetic Report. It will provide an outline of what is to happen in a basic sequential order. This world is headed for some major changes in religious and political affairs. Are you ready for them?
For the month of January, 1992 I offered to all on the A.S.K. mailing list a cassette tape lecture titled: "Prophetic Events for the Next Ten Years.’ In that lecture and in the written Prophetic Report for that month, I concentrated only on one aspect of prophetic truth -- what will happen to the nation of Israel. The reason I did so is because Israel represents the standard nation for prophetic events which will involve all nations in the generation just prior to the Second Advent of Christ. I showed that the Jews now returning from what was the Soviet Union and other northern European and Asian countries are those of Ephraim in Zechariah 11 who mixed in with numerous European and Asian racial groups. They are called Ashkenazi Jews. The Jews, however, in or around Canaan over the past centuries (or who came to Israel primarily from North Africa, Arabia and other Arab lands) are the Jews who mixed with Arabic and other nationalities. They are the second division of the Jews today known as Judah and represent the "oriental" or Sephardic division of the Jews. There are also other minor subdivisions of the people of Israel.
These Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews and the minor subdivisions represent in prophecy the "old covenant" people of God, or if they accept Jesus as the Messiah, they are the "new covenant" people of God, I have shown in previous lectures and written publications that the prophecies about "Israel" today have nothing to do with racial types of people. The prophecies in almost all occasions concern themselves with geographical lands and socially or religiously united groups which combine themselves together to form a nation, a religion or a separate social group. Indeed, though the Ethiopian Jews who have recently immigrated to Israel have so long been isolated from ancient racial Israelites and have integrated completely with the native racial types in Ethiopia, they are as much "Jews" or "Israelites" in prophecy as are the Ashkenazi or the Sephardic Jews. Anyone who seriously studies the matter of "races in history" and who applies the scientific rules for distinguishing "races" will understand what I am stating is true. Blood-lines have little or nothing to do with the fulfillment of most prophecies today, with the possible exception of those racial factors which determine who are of David or Aaron.
But certainly, if one hopes to understand prophetic matters for the near future, it must be realized that the nation of Israel is the standard nation to watch in prophetic interpretation. This is what I showed in my January lecture. And most importantly, the fact of racial mixtures among the generality of Jews is of no consequence in prophecies about Israel.
Let us now look at some of the prophetic events which will occur in the not too distant future. There are several events that are destined to occur to Israel and its people in the generation just before the Messiah (Christ Jesus) appears in glory. These points are important because what happens in Israel will ripple outward to affect all nations on earth in fast succession and in a concurrent wave-like fashion. Because we have today such quick communications and also an ease of travel, the world is getting smaller and smaller every year. What happens in the Middle East will be like events occurring in our back yard even though we may be thousands of miles away.
Before we begin this prophetic survey, it is necessary for me to point out that I am no prophet. My main profession in which I have been trained over the years is that of a historian who concentrates primarily on explaining events of the past. But I can also read what the prophecies of the Bible say would occur in the generation just before the emergence of the Kingdom of God on earth. I can also confidently state that the prophecies I will refer to in this Report have never happened in past history.
What I will do is to refer to some major prophecies and then attempt to project these prophecies into a future scenario which is on the horizon to us. Like Henry Kissinger and other political analysts who try to prognosticate what the future holds based on current political and economic events, I will do the same thing but with the advantage of having the biblical prophecies in front of me to lead the way. This gives all of us some trump cards in understanding the future. You and I have the advantage of believing and accepting that God is in charge of all earthly affairs. James said: "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world" (Acts 15:18). God is in charge of all affairs in this world and he has revealed his will in the prophecies of the Bible.
I cannot, of course, guarantee that every projection that I will illustrate will occur precisely in the manner I am stating. Prophetic knowledge is revealed to mankind in a progressive manner (Daniel 12:4,9) and we have not reached a full understanding of it yet. Indeed, let us be warned of one thing. The most difficult factor in projecting future events is our lack of understanding the exact chronology during which these prophecies will take place. This is the major warning that Christ gave to his servants (Matthew 24:42-46), and we should all be aware of it. Being sure of the chronology of events is where the main problem lies in comprehending all prophecies.
Let me give you an example. Whereas it looks highly likely that the Bible prophesies a 6000 year period from the creation of Adam to the beginning of the Millennium, there is no prophecy in Scripture that precisely defines this as absolutely certain. You have to apply various biblical teachings scattered in the Old and New Testaments with early Christian opinions found outside the Bible to prove this point in a precise way. And though the 6000 year ‘plan’ looks highly probable to me and I have used it as a guideline for prognosticating future events, one should not be utterly dogmatic in applying it. Remember, the teachings of the Holy Bible are the standard, not the teachings of the early Christian people about what they feel the Bible teaches though what the early Christians believed may be absolutely correct. Remember the central teaching of Christ himself about the end-time events. He said that many people will state in the end-time generation: "My Lord delays his coming" (Matthew 24:48).
With this cautionary approach of our Elder Brother in mind, let us look at some of the prophecies and some historical projections for the next ten, twenty and thirty years. We will find that this world is in for some major political and religious upheavals. The events that inspire these important developments will center on nations in the Middle East and particularly on Israel and the city of Jerusalem. Anyone who looks first at events in Europe and the United States are making big mistakes.
Projection Number One: In the generation just before the Second Advent of Christ, a great number of Jews will convert to a belief in Jesus as being their Messiah and they will begin to weep and mourn over him (Zechariah 12:10-14). Many Jews will become ardent Christians, but they will not adopt the Gentile form of Christianity which has been with us since the time of Constantine in the fourth century. Our Gentile type of Christianity, for all practical purposes, is simply baptized paganism. The western world is saddled with numerous doctrines of heathen origin that now are graced with Christian names and that even sound "Christian-like" on the surface. We also have substituted pagan gods for Christ, for the apostles and for other early Christians which are as false as a three dollar bill.
The Jews in the next few years will NOT accept this kind of "Christianity" which they are wise enough to know is baptized paganism. They will not submit to such nonsense because we are told by Zechariah that the Jewish Christianity just on the horizon to us will be free of pagan idols and other forms of idolatry while our present, Gentile Christianity is brim full with idolatrous images and false pictures of "Jesus" that are not only in our homes but even in our churches. The Jews will have none of this ridiculous and nonsensical teaching that our Gentile ancestors took up since the time of Constantine. The Jews in the next few years will return to the first century type of Christianity that was free of outward idolatries.
One of the main reasons why I have recently been concentrating on the denigration of idolatrous beliefs and pagan images for Jesus is because we have the plain prophecy in Zechariah 12 that God will send a spirit of grace and supplication to the inhabitants of the Land of Canaan and the names of the idols and even the evil spirits will be jettisoned from the land (12:10; 13:2). A major part of the restoration of the truth which will occur in the end-time generation involves the world changing its attitude toward the false teachings and images of the pagans being used to teach Christian doctrines and to describe Christian personalities. Let’s be honest with ourselves and realize that the Jews will not accept the "Jesus" that the Gentile churches have been erroneously teaching since the time of Constantine. They will enjoin a return to the real Christ Jesus of the New Testament. They will then begin to throw out of Israel the prevailing heathenism that is now in our Christian organizations. This brings us to projection two.
Projection Number Two: When all the names of the idols of the heathen will be destroyed in the land of Israel in the near future (Zechariah 13:2), the prophecy then states explicitly that the religious leaders of the various Christian, Jewish and Islamic denominations in the land of Israel will begin to be held in such contempt (because of their false teachings they have given to the world over the centuries). Theologians, priests, preachers, ministers, evangelists, and many Rabbis of the Jews and numerous Imams of the Muslims, will then deny that they ever were religious leaders (Zechariah 13:1-5). There is going to be a major shake-up in traditional religious beliefs. It will include all religions on earth. A prophecy in the Book of Joel explains how this will happen.
Projection Number Three: Something will occur in nature that will cause all people on earth to look again at the Bible with real respect and honor. It will be an event which takes place in the nation of Israel. It will show that the real "Israel of prophecy" IS NOT simply the people who comprise the Christian Church [ekklesia], nor are they the people of the United States and Britain as some claim. This prophetic event will allow all people to see that the Israel of prophecy is the nation of Israel in the Middle East.
What is that major prophecy? The Book of Joel states that just before the coming Day of the Lord (the final end-time events), God will bring forth out of the north in a miraculous way a swarm of locusts, caterpillars, cankerworms and the palmerworms that will devastate the land of Israel (2:25) -- not the United States. The whole of the first chapter mentions this disastrous event. Whereas the land of Israel will look like the Garden of Eden before the locust swarms occur, the land will look like a desolate wilderness afterward (2:3).
All people on earth will be knowledgeable of this terrible event and they will admit that it will be a judgment on the nation of Israel. But immediately on the heels of this devastation, the very next year will see Israel back in prosperity (by the hand of God). The rest of the world will stand back in envy at the blessings God will then bestow on the nation and the people. Why? Because the people of Israel will then repent of their ways and God will bless them as never before (Joel 2:15-27). The nation of Israel will then turn in great numbers to a belief in Jesus Christ as their Messiah (the one whom they pierced) and they will throw the names of the idols out of the land.
When this return to a non-idolatrous Christianity happens in Israel and Jerusalem among the Jews and others, the news of it will cause people of the world to know that the prophecy of Joel has been fulfilled on Israel and they will then begin to see the rest of the prophecies of Joel also commencing. There will then be cosmic and seismic disturbances with calamitous and traumatic incidents (Joel 2:28-32).
The Jewish authorities in Israel at that time will have prepared such excellent arguments on getting rid of idolatry out of the land of Israel that people in the rest of the world will seriously begin to ask that the same thing be done in their lands. We at A.S.K. are even helping to set the ground work for this riddance of idolatry by showing that the "Jesus" that Christians have displayed in their churches, homes, Sunday School and Sabbath School books, and even in their Bibles, is nothing more than the pagan god Zeus usually shown in his Serapis or Egyptian grooming style. People will find out that Sunday as a day of rest instead of the biblical Sabbath, Christmas, Easter, Halloween, St. Valentine’s Day and many other holidays that Christian sects have adopted for the past 1600 years are nothing more than pagan idolatrous celebrations, and a revolt will develop in the world against such nonsense.
Projection Number Four: When the realization of this idolatrous paganism within our Christian churches begins to be known by the laity in the world, there will be a mass revulsion to such idols, images, pictures and heathen doctrines, and people will look to the Jewish Christians in Israel for guidance on what to do. Note what two prophecies state will occur in the years just ahead of us:
Thus says the Lord of hosts. In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, we will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you (Zechariah 8:23).
"O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the gentiles shall come unto you from the end of the earth, and shall say, surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is not profit. Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods? Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them [the Gentiles] to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is the Lord [YHWH]."
The world will begin to witness a revolutionary change in the beliefs and attitudes of people over the earth. A return to early New Testament Christianity will occur -- the kind that existed among the Jews before Christ revealed what he called "The Mystery" to the apostle Paul about A.D.63 (Ephesians 3). The Christianity that will prevail will be a Christianity with Mosaic rituals and customs dominating. Many people throughout the Christian world will then begin to keep the Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset and the Holy Days of Moses along with the Jewish Christians. They will take up the food laws of Moses and accept many of the customs and teachings that God first gave to the Israelites at Mount Sinai. Sunday, Easter, Christmas, etc. will begin to go by the wayside.
This means that the major mainline churches within Christendom today will change their doctrines and outward appearance in a dramatic way. If our understanding of prophetic chronology is anywhere near correct, this revolution should begin within ten to fifteen years. This change should start even before the traumatic events prophesied in the Book of Joel mentioned above. Indeed, the trend back to biblical teachings will commence within the next decade and a half. And when the prophecies of Joel really begin in full force, the people of the world will know that God is intervening in world affairs.
In the coming years, the Roman Catholic Church, the Greek Orthodox Churches, and also most protestant groups will be completely overhauled to such an extent that one would not recognize them when the modern "Iconoclastic Revolution" is complete ("iconoclastic" means the destruction of icons, idols, images, pictures and even doctrines in the churches). Modern people in the world are soon going to start realizing that what the world has been taught as Christianity since the time of Constantine is nothing more than baptized paganism. One of the central teachings of the Bible that will be restored in the generation just ahead of us is that Christian idolatry is wrong.
Many of the priests, preachers, ministers, evangelists in the various Christian denominations when the prophecies of Joel start to take place will be looked on with disdain by the religious leaders will begin to say: "I am no ecclesiastical man. I am simply a rancher, for man has taught me to keep cattle from my youth" (Zechariah 13:5 paraphrased). They will be ashamed to tell people in the world that they ever were a preacher or priest. People will begin to be angry with them because they didn’t tell them the truth about pagan teachings in modern day Christianity when they were in authority. The ministers will then have no answer to give them. That this will occur is certain because the word of God says this will happen in Israel, and the same thing will ripple outward from Israel to engulf all Christians in the world. Paganism in Christianity is going to be replaced with a "Mosaic Christianity," while only a minority will fully understand "the Mystery’ that the apostle Paul finally taught.
Projection Number Five: With all these prophetic events in mind, let us focus on what is just on the horizon to us now. The present political systems that we see in the world will head into a period of disintegration. With the Cold War ended, many of the developed nations of the west will begin to look inward and begin to concentrate on internal domestic problems. It is common for nations while they are emerging, developing and expanding their power and influence to be united in a reasonable manner. Even when they have developed into full nationhood with nothing else to conquer or to expand into they are still able to be relatively united if there is an external danger like the Soviet Union was to the United States and western Europe for the forty years since World War Two. But when a relative peace occurs on all sides and there is nowhere to expand, people usually turn inward and begin to fight with one another. This especially applies to those of different races, cultures, languages, etc. who live within one political system.
This is beginning to happen now in many areas of the world. Look at Canada. The province of Quebec no longer wants to be with a united Canada. Even Scotland is thinking of independence from the United Kingdom. What were the nations of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia are now breaking up. And as far as western Europe is concerned, the twelve nations "Quebecs" in their midst. In no way will Europe be able to unite like the United States in the foreseeable future. They will turn inward and start fighting with one another, unless some external threat to Europe emerges that will cause them to unite in spite of themselves.
Some have thought that the Pope will play a major role in getting Europe truly to unite under the banner of Roman Catholicism. This will not happen. The fact is, Roman Catholicism will undergo such a transformation in beliefs in the coming "Iconoclastic Controversy" that the Pope or what is left of the papacy will have little influence in Europe for the years during and shortly after the iconoclasm sets in.
The United States (with the rest of the world) could even now see some of the most prosperous times if people stop the destructive forces that begin to occur when "peace" is on all fronts and people no longer have goals to fulfill. If the United States (and other nations) begin a type of crusade to clean up the environment, to rebuild our roads and bridges, to mend social injustices and have an expansive and prosperous attitude of mind, the next two decades could be times of great creativity and prosperity. In other words, if people will take advantage of the "peace" that will become available for the next few years, and realize that the revolution that is starting is for the common good of all people, there could be a real prosperity for all.
I cannot state dogmatically that this will occur because some weak people of influence may turn pessimistic concerning the future and lose heart. But I do know that God will see to it that His restored truth will be made known to the whole world and it appears to me that those who wish to proclaim it must have a reasonable prosperity to perform it. I believe that God will prosper those who have their hearts in His work, just as He states He will turn the catastrophe of the locust plague on Israel into profound prosperity in very quick order. The destruction of the names of the idols and of idolatrous practices out of our churches would no doubt favor well with God since He prophesies such an iconoclasm is soon going to occur when He sends His Spirit of grace on the people in the Land of Israel (Zechariah 12:10).
Projection Number Six: What will cause the world to start destroying their idols and false pictures of Christ? As just stated, Zechariah 12:10 says that God will send a spirit of grace and supplication upon the people of the Land of Israel (this includes both Jews and Arabs of all political and religious persuasions). The catalyst around which the change will take place is the beginning of the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecies as mentioned earlier. People will then destroy the idols and false prophets out of the land. God also says he will cause the "unclean spirits" to leave the land of Israel (Zechariah 13:2.) Along with this spiritual thrust by God himself, Joel chapter two speaks of this time. The earth shall quake, the heavens will tremble, the moon and stars will be clouded over with dense smoke and dust (Joel 2:10). And then God says: "I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars [columns] of smoke" (verse 30). This will all occur before the actual Day of the Lord commences (verse 31).
It is interesting that the last "Iconoclastic Controversy" which lasted in Christendom from A.D.726 to 843 began with the Muslims chiding the Christians in the eastern part of the Roman Empire about their idolatry and condemning them for it. And then, in A.D.726, a gigantic and awesome volcanic eruption took place in the Aegean Sea east of Greece in the exact region where a previous eruption devastated Santorini which caused the Mycenaean civilization to end some fifteen hundred years before Christ. The people in the eastern part of Europe and nearer Asia began to think God was punishing them for their idolatry and rulers in the Byzantine Empire started immediately to throw out their idols and images of Christ and other saints.
The same thing is prophesied to occur just before the Day of the Lord. It would not surprise me to see the Dead Sea once again explode with its previous volcanic eruptions that gave it the name ‘‘The Lake of the Fire’’ which is mentioned in the Book of Revelation. And it may be that the very region of Santorini near the island of Thera in the Aegean Sea may again erupt in a violent manner to cause both Christians, Jews and Muslims to begin to mend their ways. When God begins to involve himself in seismic disturbances of the kind that are prophesied in Joel and other prophecies, people will begin to throw out their idols.
Projection Number Seven: After the world destroys their idols and false images, people will then want to unite together in a type of "Christian Empire" that will comprise all peoples on earth. World government from Jerusalem based upon the Mosaic laws will then be what people will desire. And at this time, people will begin to want a new temple of God to be built in Jerusalem. The Book of Daniel as well as the Book of Revelation show quite plainly that there will be a new temple in Jerusalem.
As a matter of fact, if one will read the prophecies of Isaiah, especially beginning with 4 1:25 and all the way through numerous verses to and including 44:28, we find that out of the east (out of the modern country of Iran) will come a person called "Cyrus," a new "Cyrus," not the one who lived some 500 years before the birth of Christ. He will help the Jewish people and other Gentiles build this new temple.
This temple will be different in one way from the previous tabernacle or the temples that existed in the times of Solomon, Zerubbabel or Herod. Most nations of the world will then be in a relative harmony with one another. They will cooperate with one another in erecting this new temple to God. In a peaceful way, the Dome of the Rock will be replaced with the full cooperation of the Muslims. The outer courts will even be built to allow all the nations of the world to enter (Revelation 11:1,2). Only the inner courts will be reserved for the priests.
But after three and a half years, a man will come on the scene who will proclaim himself the Messiah and deceive people into worshiping him. The apostle Paul mentioned that this man will sit himself in this new temple of God (II Thessalonians 2:3,4). He is called the Antichrist and he will rule the earth from Jerusalem for three and a half years. It is after the rule of the Antichrist that the plagues of God and His wrath will emerge on the scene mentioned in the Book of Revelation. After that, the real Jesus Christ will return to set up his kingdom which will last for a thousand years on earth. It is only then that real peace will finally come to all mankind.
Ernest L. Martin
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