You need to be prepared. You need to know why — and when — and where — the next nuclear holocaust will strike, and how to escape. This article makes plain why God allows war — and the provision He makes for those who seek His protection!
SCORES of thousands were caught unprepared in Hiroshima and Nagasaki when two atomic bombs plummeted out of the sky and cremated two Japanese cities in 1945. Millions of Jews and other nationalities perished under Hitler's reign of terror. Most could have escaped — but they didn't. Why? Because they were unprepared — unprepared to believe in the reality of war — unprepared to believe what others could see happening all around them.
No Place to Hide?
Military men know what the next war will be like. They live with the realities of the nuclear age. At their finger tips are the buttons which could annihilate half Earth's population in a matter of minutes — and make the entire planet unfit for human habitation for 100 years! They frankly confess they know of no place to hide. Think of it! No human hideaway to which man can flee on his own. But is there really no hope of escape? These men — aware of the realities of military science — are TOTALLY UNAWARE OF THE GREATEST REALITY OF ALL — GOD! Isn't it time we sought to discover Him — to find out what He has to reveal about the way to peace, about the frightening events of these next few years before we have universal peace? Isn't it time we looked into His revealed knowledge — the Holy Bible — to find out why we have wars, and how we can escape utter human extinction — and live in a world of peace at last!
It Is Time We Knew
Scientists now admit the world is madly racing on to the catastrophic climax of 6000 years of misguided human civilization! It is time we awakened to these frightening events. Your future — your very life — is at stake. It is time we recognized that civilization hasn't much time left, unless a supernatural God in Heaven intervenes on earth to stop madmen from destroying all life on earth in their crazed dreams for world conquest. There is a reason why this world is in chaos — with nations leaping like wild animals at each other's throats. But almost no one seems to understand. It is time we looked to the source of all knowledge and found out the Plan being worked out here below. It is time we looked to the Revelation of God to man — the Bible. The cause of chaotic world conditions is made plain in Jesus' startling prophecy about the "TIMES of the GENTILES."
Jesus' Amazing Prophecy
Let's notice Jesus' prophecy of the "times of the Gentiles" in Luke 21:24. Jesus told His disciples that "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." This prophecy is not speaking of a period of peace, but of war. It is a message for our day — a time when the Gentiles are conquering and destroying, when they are ruling themselves contrary to the way of God who is Creator and RULER. Remember that one of the keys to understanding this prophecy and all prophecy is DUALITY. There is always a forerunner which is a type of ANOTHER FINAL GREAT FULFILLMENT. Jesus was speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem which climaxed in 70 A.D. Exactly what did Jesus mean by the "times of the Gentiles?" When did they begin? How long will they last? When do they end?
Common Teachings in Error
It is the common assumption that the times of the Gentiles are a period of blessing on the nations. It is argued that since God took away the blessing of being great and dominant nations from Israel and Judah and since the Gentiles for centuries have been dominant nations, that human rule is a blessing bestowed upon the Gentiles. Nothing could be further from the truth! Then again, many claim that the times of the Gentiles are synonymous with the times of Judah's punishment, that the Gentile times have already ended — some say in 1914, others say in 1917 or 1936. Some even think that it might end this year. But all these supposed dates for the ending of the times of the Gentiles are mere guesses! The truth is that almost no one really knows what the times of the Gentiles are. And yet without an understanding of the meaning of this prophetic period, you can not grasp the real significance of present-day world-shaking events or understand what's going to happen in the next twenty-five years, let's not assume, let's study the Bible itself to see what these times really are.
Times of Israel's Punishment a Key to Understanding
Israel [not to be confused with the modern nation of Israel which is descended from the tribe of Judah] was promised great national blessings, including national greatness if they would obey God. But God also promised that if they obstinately refused to obey Him, if they refused to follow His laws and let Him rule their lives, then He would punish them for a period called seven times (Lev. 26). The Bible itself defines this period of seven times for us. If you turn to Revelation the twelfth chapter, and compare verses 6 and 14, you will see that the word "time" in prophecy simply means a year. Hence seven "times" would be "seven years," each containing twelve 30-day months — or a total of 2520 days (7x12x30). Now let's notice another key. In Numbers 14:34, God said Israel would bear their iniquities in the wilderness after the number of days they searched Canaan, forty days, each day for a year. Then seven times or 2520 prophetic days would equal 2520 literal years! This period of seven times or 2520 years punishment did come upon Israel because they went their own ways and would not submit to the rule of God. Israel went into captivity after a three-year siege from 721-718 B.C. and did not become a great people again until their times of punishment ceased, A.D. 1800 to 1803. At that time the descendants of the ancient House of Israel — especially America and Britain — began to rise to such wealth and power as the world has never enjoyed before — all because of the promises made to Abraham. You can absolutely prove this "seven times" prophecy refers primarily to our English-speaking peoples, by writing for your free copy of our book The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy. Also Palestine, after a punishment against the House of Judah, that began about 604 B.C., was taken from the Gentile Turks in 1917 — exactly 2520 years later, when it came under the control of Great Britain, and finally the Jews. The seven times of Israel's punishment was a period of great privation and suffering, of slavery and war because they would not submit their wills and their ways to God, because they would not allow Him to rule their lives by His perfect laws, which could have brought them peace and prosperity and dominion.
The Original Prophecy Found in Daniel
Now that we understand the seven times punishment on Israel, let's understand the meaning of the times of the Gentiles. The original prophecy to which Jesus had reference is found in the fourth chapter of Daniel. Jesus understood that this prophetic vision of the great tree had reference to the times of the Gentiles as well as to Nebuchadnezzar's literal punishment. Notice Daniel 4:17. This striking vision was not only to teach Nebuchadnezzar that God rules, but it is also "to the intent that THE LIVING may know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the basest of men." So the Bible itself interprets this prophecy to have reference not only to the king of Babylon in that day, but also to teach the living — yes, all of the nations today — that God is Supreme Ruler. Now notice verses 20 and 22 of Daniel 4. The great tree represented the king. And what was to happen to him? "Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given him; and let seven times pass over him" (verse 16). The king was to lose his understanding — to be cursed with insanity — he was to act and think like a wild ravenous beast, until he learned that the Creator rules over the affairs of men, till he learned that the only way to peace and security is through submission to the rule and laws of God, instead of yielding to lust and human pride. The world and its leaders have not yet learned this needed lesson. The nations today still devour one another in war like wild beasts as they struggle to gain world conquest.
The King Represents the Kingdom
Most of the misunderstanding about this important prophecy results from not realizing that the seven times or years that passed over King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon were an example of the seven prophetic times of punishment upon the Gentile Babylonish system. Turn to Daniel 2, verses 38 and 39, where this is clearly explained. The king saw a great image composed of different metals and clay. The head of this image represented the kingdom of Babylon. Daniel tells King Nebuchadnezzar, "Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another kingdom...." The divisions of the great image represented various kingdoms of the Babylonish system down to our day. Yet Daniel designated the first kingdom by its supreme dictatorial king. Nebuchadnezzar. The king, then, represented the kingdom of Babylon, because he had absolute power. Also by comparing Daniel 7:17, 23 you will see that king and kingdom are used synonymously. This prophecy is a living message for all time — down to the twentieth century! One of the punishments on the king was that his heart should be changed "from man's, and let a wild animal's heart be given him." What does this punishment mean?
Why Punished Seven Years?
God was dealing with the Gentiles in Daniel's day. The Gentile king Nebuchadnezzar had been sinning — living contrary to God's law. He had been taking his people on the road to world conquest and the enslavement of other nations and peoples. He had been traveling the way of war, not of peace. God had sent His warning. The king did not heed. So God punished King Nebuchadnezzar seven years (569 to 562 B.C.) by cursing him with madness — till he acted and thought like a beast of the forest! No punishment like that had ever come on any king before! No ruler had ever been so cursed! After these seven years Nebuchadnezzar's mind returned to sanity. He now repented, admitted that his ways were wrong, and actually wrote a great public document admitting before all nations what had happened to him and to his people! After those seven years of punishment, the kingdom of Babylon was given the heart of a man. The leaders began to think in ways of peace instead of war. Notice Daniel 7:4. The kingdom of Chaldea (or Babylon) — here symbolized by a ferocious lion — stood "upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given it." Notice the parallel. King Nebuchadnezzar, because of his sins, was punished seven literal years. At the end of that time he regained his sanity and began for the first time in his life to repent and to give up the ways of war for the way of peace. He was given the heart of a man, began to reason as a man and to see things clearly for the first time in his life. Now he saw himself as he really was — nothing but a rapacious wild animal. He saw his world conquests as bestial slaughter. But just as the king had a change of heart so did the Chaldean kingdom. It, too, stood on its feet like a man! The kingdom ceased to arrack, conquer and destroy other nations. But — though Nebuchadnezzar personally repented — the nation did not continue to recognize God or His way. It gave itself up to licentiousness. The people and their leaders continued to live in sin. At the end of seventy years of Chaldean world rule God intervened. He sent a terrible punishment upon Babylon and its King Belshazzar. The Bible and ancient secular historians tell the frightful story of the fall of Babylon. They reveal a vivid picture of the terrible slaughter that the Medes and Persians under Cyrus imposed on Babylon in the night of the feast during which Belshazzar the King was slain (Daniel 5:24-30). The facts, exactly in order as they occurred, are preserved in the writings of Xenophon. Xenophon, the Greek historian who wrote the Cyropaedia in the fourth century before Christ, says that "when Cyrus reached Babylon" 539 B.C. he dug channels for the dispersal of the water in the river Euphrates which ran under the gates of Babylon. Then he and THE MEDO-PERSIAN ARMY SECRETLY ENTERED THE RIVER BED, climbed stealthily through the gates along the river and rushed to the palace "when he heard chat there was a festival in Babylon, in which all the Babylonians drank and revelled the whole night." It was the night of the new moon of the seventh month of the Babylonian year. Upon reaching the palace where Belshazzar had seen the handwriting on the wall, they "burst in, and, pursuing those who fled, and dealing blows amongst them, came up to the king, and found him in a standing posture with his sword drawn. [They] mastered him." So Belshazzar the King in Babylon — was killed that night exactly as Daniel said. God is no respecter of persons. As He punished Israel and Judah for seven prophetic "times" — 2520 years — so would be the punishment of the Gentiles! God began to punish King Nebuchadnezzar for seven literal years. The king repented, but the nation did not. For that sin, God continued the punishment on the Gentiles, beginning with the fall of Babylon, for 2520 years. Their rulers have ever since had the minds of wild animals — seeking to attack, conquer, destroy other nations! That time of punishment is about up! But in the meantime the Gentile rulers with the minds of wild beasts have come into possession of the atomic and hydrogen bombs, nerve gases and bacteriological weapons by which they plan to conquer all humanity! God must intervene before it is too late!
Punished for 2520 Years
King Nebuchadnezzar, because of his continued stubborn refusal to submit to the rule of God — the only way that would have brought him peace of mind and satisfaction — was punished seven years by having his mind changed to chat of a wild animal — until he learned that God ruled. He was dethroned and lived among the wild beasts. In like manner, the Chaldean Empire, typified by its king, was defeated and its dominion was taken away. Just as Nebuchadnezzar lived seven years like a wild beast, so the Babylonish system has been cursed for seven prophetic times — 2520 years — with leaders having the minds of wild beasts. The Persians, Greeks, Romans-Europeans even to the days of Hitler and Mussolini — have all been cursed with leaders who think and act like wild animals, leaders who glory in war and conquest. Not one of the beasts, which followed the Chaldean Empire as described in Daniel 7, was given a man's heart. They all were like ferocious wild animals — conquering. pillaging, destroying one another by intrigue, alliances and war. But this is not all. Consider! Nebuchadnezzar was forced to live AMONG THE WILD BEASTS just as the successor nations of the Babylonish system have had to fight and struggle constantly against other Gentile nations WHO ARE ALSO CURSED WITH THE SAME MIND THE SAME DESIRES TO CONQUER AND RULE THE WORLD. That is why Hitler and Mussolini struggled against Russia. And that is why Russia today is plotting to rule the world by intrigue and stealth and lying and deception. The leaders of the Communist world think and act like cunning wild beasts. The ancient Chaldean Empire would not submit to GOD'S RULE and ways but wanted to rule its own way — the greatest curse that could happen to any nation. As a punishment God has allowed even to this very day the Gentile nations to rule themselves until they learn that only His ways are right and that He rules in the kingdoms of men. Self-rule is a dire punishment! Just as Nebuchadnezzar finally regained his right mind and acknowledged God's authority, so the Gentile nations when their punishment is over, will soon come up to the kingdom of God and ask to learn of His ways (Micah 4:1-3) so that they also may become begotten and finally born into His kingdom as members of the ruling family of God. What GOOD NEWS there is ahead!
Amazing Prophecy for Today!
Notice how present-day events are explained by this prophecy. All nations have been made drunk with the false teachings of the Babylonish system that has gripped this world for thousands of years until this world has become so confused and divided that people don't know which way to turn (Rev. 18:3). Russia and China are seeking to conquer and rule the world. Millions in Asia are turning to Communism as their last desperate hope. This terrible predicament that confronts the nations today, as well as what is SOON going to happen, is made clear in this prophecy of the times of the Gentiles. The seven times of the Gentiles are a curse upon them just as the seven times of Israel's punishments were a curse. This curse upon the Gentiles did not begin with the fall of Judah, but years later. It was after the fall of Judah that God, through Daniel, first began to deal with the Chaldean Empire. Yes, these times are very close to completion, very close to the second coming of Jesus Christ to rule the nations and to teach them the ways of peace. But many catastrophic world events are going to happen between now and the time that this frightful punishment upon the Gentile nations is finished! These terrifying world-shaking events will take place in this very last generation that is destined to live in two worlds! Remember what Jesus said in Luke 21:24? That Jerusalem would be trodden down of the Gentiles until the completion of the times of the Gentiles! Consider the fulfillment of this prophecy. The prophesied "times of the Gentiles" are not yet completed. Let's understand why. JERUSALEM is at the crossroads of the world! Many nations have fought for its control and trodden it underfoot. Canaanites, Amorites, Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Syrians, Romans, Crusaders, Turks. When Christ foretold Jerusalem's future, it was populated mainly by Jews. Only 39 years after that time, the Romans invaded the city, slaughtered many thousands of its inhabitants or sold them into slavery, burned the temple, and leveled most of the city to the ground. About 135 A.D. the Jews of Palestine again revolted against the Romans. This time the Romans barred them from Jerusalem (which was then called Aelia Capitolina). The city became predominantly GENTILE populated and has remained so every century since! When the Jews in Palestine became a nation in 1948, they did NOT occupy the old city of Jerusalem. Instead, they occupied only the NEW city of Jerusalem — a city recently founded, in 1860, on an entirely different site next to the original site of ancient Jerusalem. OLD Jerusalem on the original site was, and still is today, populated by GENTILES — not Jews or any of the tribes of Israel! Even though the Jews now have political control over OLD Jerusalem, they have not driven the Arab population out of the city. They have allowed Arabs to remain on all the newly conquered territories. All the Jews have, at the moment, is an uneasy political control over the old city. The prophesied "times of the Gentiles" have not yet ended! Gentiles still tread the streets of Old Jerusalem. When will the "times of the Gentiles" end? Zechariah 14 clearly shows that the Messiah will come and deliver Jerusalem out of the hands of the Gentiles. This will put an end to the "times of the Gentiles." Notice what the ancient prophet Joel says about that time: "So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain; then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers [warring Gentile nations] pass through her any more. "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim. Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the Lord dwelleth in Zion" (Joel 3:17-21).
A Way of Escape
But in this end-time of turmoil there is a place of safety — if you heed — until Christ does bring us peace. It's a vital part of the Gospel of the soon-coming Kingdom of God! Jesus said, "Except those days should be SHORTENED, there should no flesh be saved!" (Mat. 24:22.) But He went on to say that God would supernaturally cut short the days, for the sake of the ELECT! That is our only real hope for survival! The intervention of God! Jesus Christ promised protection to His own elect! He PROMISED they would survive the prophesied holocaust to strike this unsuspecting world!
WHO are the Elect?
He said, "FEAR NOT, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32). He promised that somewhere on this earth, right now, there would be His own WORK! That work would be faithfully performed, He promised, by His own true followers, who KNOW HIS VOICE, who would be preaching, NOT some man-made "gospel" of grace, faith, hope or love, but "the Gospel of the Kingdom" as a WITNESS to the WHOLE WORLD! They would be preaching it, chapter-by-chapter, verse-by-verse, word-by-word, just exactly as it really IS, not as they might interpret it to be, or any man, woman, or organization of men or women would like to have it preached! You NEED TO FIND WHERE THAT WORK IS BEING CARRIED ON! Why? Because it is only those who having a part in that Work who have an absolute guarantee of safety! (If you want to know where that Work is and how you can become a part of it, send for your free subscription to TOMORROW'S WORLD, a magazine of Biblical understanding published by the Graduate School of Theology of Ambassador College.) The very elect are chose who are the called and chosen, who have truly REPENTED of their own carnal ways, and have accepted the Holy ways of God! They are the ones who have been made members of the very BODY of Jesus Christ (I Cor. 12:13) performing HIS WORK! Jesus speaks of these faithful ones, in the Book of Revelation. "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia [the prophesied end-time Church of God, doing the work of God] write:... 'I know thy works, behold, I have set before thee an open door'" (Rev. 3:7-8). The Apostle Paul spoke of a door flung open before him to PREACH THE GOSPEL (II Cor. 2:12). Remember, Jesus promised, "This Gospel of the Kingdom SHALL be preached in all the world..." (Mat. 24:14), and promised to make a way for that message of hope and good news to go — by flinging open the massive DOORS of radio, the printing press, television, and personal evangelism. He promised those doors would remain open. ".... And no man can shut it, for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my Word, and hast not denied my name" (Rev. 3:8). Yes, the very elect would NEVER become corrupted by false doctrines, or be muzzled by boards of men — it would not deny the name of Jesus Christ, or His true doctrine! Later, Jesus gave the exhilarating GOOD NEWS to those faithful ones who put the WORK of God far above their own personal considerations. He said "Because thou hast KEPT the word of my patience, I ALSO WILL KEEP THEE FROM THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION [TRIBULATION] WHICH SHALL COME UPON ALL THE WORLD, TO TRY THEM THAT DWELL ON THE EARTH!" (Rev. 3:10). Yes, Jesus promised SAFETY. He promises supernatural PROTECTION to His own elect.
On the Wings of an Eagle
God brought the ancient Israelites out of Egypt on symbolic "eagles' wings (Ex. 19:4)." This symbolizes the loving care and protection of God for His own children. Notice, now, an amazing prophecy. It is about the same Church of God addressed in the promise of protection we have just read in Revelation 3. "And to the woman [the Church] were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. from the face of the serpent" (Rev. 12:14). In this end-time prophecy, John writes of the last, end-time REMNANT Church which is to ESCAPE the terrible WAR and tribulation that will soon strike our heedless people, They are, just as the ancient Israelites, carried to a place of SAFETY... in the "wilderness" by the supernatural power of Almighty God, their Banner, their Shield, their Protector! To those who will truly repent of wanting their own way, and who will come to God through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice, He promises spiritual, supernatural, MIRACULOUS shelter! If you are one who desires to obey God — and who really wants God's protection — then here is GOOD NEWS! We have three articles available for your personal study: "What Is a Real Christian?" "What Is Real Repentance?" "Why Does God Hide Himself?" They are sent free as a service in the public interest.