The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

Dr. Armageddon and the Future of Israel

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John Hagee’s “Christians United for Israel” held its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., last month (July 2007). Supporters of CUFI are looking forward to Armageddon. Of course, they believe they won’t be around to experience it. God will finally fulfill his covenant promises to Israel, but not until He wipes out millions of Jews and billions of others around the world in one final judgment. No wonder an increasing number of people fear “Dr. Armageddon” and his millions of followers. Could their political clout push us toward an all-out Mideast war? There are Jews who support Hagee and CUFI, but I bet they don’t know the whole story.

John Walvoord writes that these supposed future judgments will be “without parallel in the history of the world. According to Revelation 6:7 the judgments attending the opening of the fourth seal involve the death with sword, famine, and wild beasts of one fourth of the world’s population. If this were applied to the present world population now approaching three billion, it would mean that 750,000,000 people would perish, more than the total population of North America, Central America, and South America combined.”[1]

Hal Lindsey supports Walvoord’s position, affirming that during the “great tribulation” there will be “death on a massive scale. It staggers the imagination to realize that one-fourth of the world’s population will be destroyed within a matter of days. According to projected census figures this will amount to nearly one billion people!”[2] Of course, with the latest census figures (6.6 billion), with the dispensational view in mind, about 1.65 billion people will die. Not only does the world come in for a beating under the dispensational hermeneutic, but Israel is specifically hit hard. Walvoord, with his view of a future post-rapture “great tribulation,” must claim that a large number of Jews living in Israel will be slaughtered. He writes:

The purge of Israel in their time of trouble is described by Zechariah in these words: “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith Jehovah, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third Part 1nto the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried” (Zechariah 13:8, 9). According to Zechariah’s prophecy, two thirds of the children of Israel in the land will perish, but the one third that are left will be refined and be awaiting the deliverance of God at the second coming of Christ which is described in the next chapter of Zechariah.[3]

Israel’s present population is around 7 million. If two-thirds of the Jews living in Israel at the time of the “great tribulation” are to die, this will mean the death of more than 4.5 million! In addition, there is continued immigration from the former Soviet Union supported by Christian organizations like “On Wings of Eagles.” Financial support is raised by Christians to fund Jewish settlements in the occupied territories. “‘This is a biblical issue,’ says Theodore T. Beckett, a Colorado developer who founded the Christian-sponsored, adopt-a-settlement program. ‘The Bible says in the last days the Jews will be restored to the nation of Israel.’“[4] For every three people who enter, two of them will be killed during the dispensational version of the “great tribulation.” Why aren’t today’s dispensationalists warning Jews about this coming holocaust by encouraging them to leave Israel until the conflagration is over? Instead, we find dispensationalists supporting and encouraging the relocation of Jews to the land of Israel. For what? A future holocaust?

Israel was warned by Jesus to “flee to the mountains” (Matt. 24:16). The New Testament is filled with warnings about the coming A.D. 70 holocaust with no encouragement to take up residence in Jerusalem. In fact, there was a mass exodus from the city by those who understood the world-wide implications of the gospel message and the approaching destruction of what was the center of Jewish worship at the time (John 4:21–24).

Preterists believe that the events described in Matthew 24:1–34 were fulfilled in the events leading up to and including the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. “The guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom [they] murdered between the temple and the altar” (Matt. 23:35) fell upon the generation of Jews who “did not recognize the time of [their] visitation” (Luke 19:44) and crucified “the Lord of glory” (1 Cor. 2:8). How do we know this? Because Jesus told us: “Truly I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation” (Matt. 23:36 and 24:34). No future generation of Jews is meant here. Hagee and his supporters are wrong and dangerous.

Footnotes:
[1]
John F. Walvoord, Israel in Prophecy (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan/Academie, [1962] 1988) 108.
[2]Hal Lindsey, There’s a New World Coming (New York: Bantam Books, [1973] 1984), 90. Emphasis in original.
[3]Walvoord, Israel in Prophecy, 108. Emphasis added.
[4]
Ann LoLordo, “Evangelical Christians Come to Jews’ Aid,” Atlanta Constitution (August 8, 1997), A8.

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