February 12, 2011

Egyptian Unrest and the Prophetic Scenario

Andy WoodsBy Dr. Andy Woods
Sugar Land Bible Church

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Recent unrest in Egypt has caused most analysts to conclude that it is just a matter of time before the recently vacated Mubarak government is replaced by a governance dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. While such international turmoil has little significance to the untrained eye, this transition is extremely important as far as the end-time prophetic scenario is concerned. In spite of its human rights violations, the Mubarak government has been a close ally of both the United States and Israel. In fact, it was previous Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat who brokered a peace treaty with Israel making the subsequent Mubarak Egypt government, along with Jordan, one of Israel's few friends in the hostile Middle East. However, with the advent of the Muslim Brotherhood’s dominance in Egypt, such an alliance will quickly be swept away much the same way our other alliances with Cuba and Iran were swept away when Castro replaced Batista in Cuba and the Ayatollah Khomeini replaced the Shah in Iran. In fact, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly expressed consternation regarding how little the United States has defended the Mubarak government in the midst of the present tumult.

Anti-Israel world sentiment has even received theological impetus from the growing number of evangelical Christian leaders who now espouse Replacement Theology, which is the specious view that all of Israel's unfulfilled promises have now been transferred to the church or the New Israel. Christians who fall under the spell of such teaching fail to attach any prophetic significance to the reborn state of Israel. Thus, the toppling of the Mubarak government fits a growing pattern where the entire world is against Israel. Yet, at least three reasons should cause Bible believing Christians not to be surprised by such a trend.

First, the Scripture predicts that in the last days, the entire world will oppose Israel. Zechariah 14:2 says,

"For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city" (italics added).
Christians often ask, "Where is the United States in Bible prophecy?" The answer is found in this verse which predicts that all nations (including the United States and Egypt) will oppose Israel.

Second, the Scripture predicts that the Israel's peace treaty with the Antichrist will launch the future seven-year Tribulation period (Dan 9:27). In order for Israel to have an incentive to reach out to the Antichrist for international protection, she must first be unable to depend upon her current treaties and alliances for security. Why reach out for another peace treaty if you are already a politically secure nation? Thus, as one former ally after another turns against Israel, the stage is progressively being set for a future day when Israel will be forced to enter into a political agreement with the Antichrist. Current destabilization in Egypt is furnishing yet another link in the chain of events eventually leading to Israel's desperate dependence upon the future Antichrist.

Third, there is a Satanic motive behind the international ambition to eliminate the state of Israel. God has promised to bless the world through the Jew (Gen 12:3b). There are three primary blessings that God has purposed to bring to the world through the Jew. Two blessings have already come and one remains to be realized. The two past blessings are the Scripture and the Messiah. Not only were all the books of both the Old and New Testaments (with the exception of Luke and Acts) written by Jews (Rom 3:1-2), but Jesus Himself was Jewish (John 4:22; Matt 1:1-17; Rom 9:4-5). The remaining blessing yet to come is the millennial kingdom. This kingdom will usher in perfect world conditions (Isa 11:6-9) and will also be headquartered through the Jewish nation in Jerusalem (Isa 2:2-3; Zech 14:16; Rev 20:9).

God's decision to bring these three blessings to the world through the Jew has given Satan a special animosity to the Jewish people. Worse yet, the third blessing that is yet to come (the kingdom) is what Satan hates most of all since it will be during this kingdom age that Satan will be bound (Rev 20:1-3) and then cast into the lake of fire at the kingdom's conclusion (Rev 20:10). In his darkened mind, Satan believes that he can prevent this third kingdom blessing from materializing by prematurely destroying the Jewish people and nation. What better way to prevent the kingdom blessing from coming then by snuffing out the instrument (the Jewish people) through which the kingdom blessing will ultimately manifest? Just as Satan tried to prevent the coming of the first two blessings in Old Testament times through numerous attempts to eradicate the Jewish messianic line (Rev 12:1-5), he now works in history to prevent the coming of the kingdom by prematurely destroying Israel (Rev 12:6-17). This spiritual reality explains Satan’s peculiar hatred for the woman (Rev 12:13, 17), who represents Israel (Rev 12:1; Gen 37:9-10).

It is indeed encouraging that God has not left us in darkness concerning the present international turmoil. His word points to a clear prophetic scenario that will manifest in the last days. While the unbeliever may look at world events as if they are out of control, the Scripture reminds us that our sovereign God is in control of history, which He is fitting into a distinct pattern that He revealed long ago. All of this is also a reminder that as the stage is being set for the coming Tribulation period, Christ’s coming for the church through the rapture is even nearer. Maranatha; Come quickly Lord Jesus!


Related Links
Israel's military caught unready for Sinai front. Tantawi is no friend - DEBKAfile
The Source of Anti-Semitism - SpiritandTruth.org (Andy Woods)
Replacement Theology (Part 1) - BPB (James Showers)
Top US Military Official to Visit Jordan, Israel - Voice of America
EGYPT: The gathering storm around Israel - Continental News
Jordan Muslim Brotherhood: Israel, U.S. main losers in Mubarak ouster - Ha'aretz

 


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