Coming World Crises --Part 13

Coming World Crises
Part 13

James Gunn

These are the notes of lectures given to the Men’s Bible Class which meets every two weeks during the winter at Central Gospel Hall, 25 Charles St. E., Toronto, Canada.

“Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” As a light shining in a dark place, during these lectures prophecy illuminated areas which to the human mind seem quite obscure:

The Future of the Ecumenical Movement.
The Return and the Judgment Seat of Christ.
The Future of the Nations.
Europe in Prophecy.
Who is Anti-Christ?
Russia Invades Israel!
Will the Church Go Through the Tribulation?
The Millennial Reign of Christ.
Climax of the Ages.

Will The Church Go Through The Tribulation


Before that glorious consummation for Israel other events must transpire. The seventy weeks are divided into three: seven weeks, sixty-two weeks and one week. The seven weeks of 49 years measures the time that it took to rebuild Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity. That period began with the command of the king Artaxerxes to Nehemiah (Neh. 2). The sixty-two weeks, or 434 years span the time from the completion of Jerusalem to the rejection and crucifixion of Christ. He came to His own, but His own received Him not (John 1:11).

The last week has not yet been fulfilled. Sixty-nine weeks are now history; the remaining week is prophecy. This final week begins with a covenant being made by the Head of the Revived Roman Empire with many of Daniel’s people, not all. In the middle of that week of years, he apparently changes the terms of the covenant and thus breaks the peace pact that he had formulated. He stops Jewish sacrifices, desecrates their holy place, and introduces idolatrous self-worship through an image of himself set up in the temple by the Anti-Christ. Both of these wicked persons will be the objects of veneration and worship by a deluded nation. For three and a half years this miserable abomination will be perpetrated.

The few who refused to enter into a covenant with the beast will certainly suffer. He, the seven-headed monster and the Anti-Christ the beast with a lamb-like appearance, will demonstrate fiendish cruelty towards God’s few faithful witnesses. Through the invasion of the nation by the King of the North, they will also suffer. He is the desolator who will inflict destruction and death upon the Holy Land. This he will do until what God has predetermined against him is accomplished.

In Matthew 24, in His sermon on the Mount of Olives, our Lord indentified the second half of Daniel’s seventieth week as the time of great and unparallelled tribulation (v. 21). The siege and destruction of Jerusalem under the Roman General Titus is only an illustration of a worse time to come upon poor Israel.

The Great Tribulation therefore comes in the last half of Daniel’s final week. The Church is not mentioned in the prophetical schedule at all; it was never revealed to Daniel. From the whole tenor of New Testament revelation, it occurs between the 69th and 70th of Daniel’s weeks.

Students of prophecy call this the great parenthesis. The whole of Church history from Pentecost to its close was a mystery involving other mysteries, not referred to in God’s plans for Israel.

From this study there is only one conclusion; the Church will not be affected by the Great Tribulation. She will be raptured by Christ to Heaven before the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy upon apostate Israel. The Great Tribulation is God’s punishment upon apostate Israel, and in this He involves the whole world because of its apostasy and atheism.

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The Armageddon

Frequently during World War I parallel was drawn between that global conflict and the Armageddon. Because of the many nations involved and the belief that the first world war would end all wars, many who did not understand the prophetic word thought that probably the biblical Armageddon had come. When World War II was being fought, there were a few who spoke of it as the Armageddon, but not many. The horrors of the first global war and the complete collapse of the League of Nations so disillusioned the public that few considered this second most extensive war as the last.

The general concept of the Armageddon is that of a war involving the whole world, a war that will stop wars for centuries, if not forever. In this idea there is considerable truth. In such thinking there is one error that must be corrected; the Armageddon is not a war, but a single battle in the whole “battle (campaign) of that great day of God Almighty” (Rev. 16:14).

Inasmuch as there are two different words translated into English by the word battle in Revelation 16:1416, we must understand two different ideas. In verse 14 the word “battle” should be rendered “campaign;” in verse 16 the word implies, as translated, a battle or a single combat.

In studying the details of this final battle, three stages of the satanic-human struggle against God and His chosen people must be taken into account: the campaign, the battle and the glorious victory.

The Campaign

The campaign of the great day of God Almighty extends probably through Daniel’s 70th week, and involves four world powers along with other smaller nations. In this campaign there are apparently several single battles. While one should not dogmatize in regard to the sequence of these battles, suggestions may be offered in the light of numerous passages of Scripture.

The Day of the Lord which is related to events upon earth begins when “the acceptable year of the Lord ends” (Isa. 61:1-2), and when the Man of Sin is manifested (2 Thess. 2:3-12). Notwithstanding, the full fury of the wrath of God will not be experienced until the last half of Daniel’s 70th week.

It should be understood that this campaign by God is divine punishment upon Israel and upon all the nations, God using one nation to punish another.

In the language of military men, the preliminary phase of the campaign seems to be a softening process for the Lord uses many different means to punish the wickedness of man. He uses wars, famines, plagues, natural convulsions, unpresidented catastrophes and direct divine interventions, all of which are symbolized for us in the Book of the Revelation (6-19). The dreadful intensity of that wrath of God may be seen in the breaking of the seven seals, the blowing of the seven trumpets and the pouring out of the seven bowls of wrath.

The Order of the Campaign

As already stated there is considerable difference of opinion among students of prophecy in regard to the actual sequence of events during the campaign. Four great future military forces of the world will be deployed: the King of the South, Egypt; the King of the North, Syria, supported by Gog, the Prince of Rosh, Russia; the beast with seven heads, Rome; and the Kings of the east an Asiatic confederacy. It will be necessary to investigate all four of these, and to study carefully their movements.

Probably the earliest military manoeuvre of the campaign of the great day of God Almighty will be one by the King of the South, and by means of this movement God will punish both Israel and Egypt.

The King of the South (Dan. 11:40): We must identify this ruling power and determine his attitude toward Israel. When the great horn of the he goat was broken (Dan. 8:8), four other horns came up in its place. These symbol-horns represent the history of Greece under Alexander the Great, and the division of his kingdom after his early death. His kingdom was divided into four sections and distributed among his four generals, men who had served under him in his campaigns. To the north of Palestine, Syrian territory was given to General Seleucus; and to the south, Egyptian territory was given to General Ptolemy. These two and the kings which succeeded them in their dynasties were respectively the King of the North and the King of the South. Ancient history of that period describes the frequent wars which were waged between these two powers. In prophecy the King of the North therefore symbolizes the ruling power of Syria, and the King of the South, the ruling power of Egypt.

In second place, we must also examine his attitude toward Israel. The early Pharaohs enslaved the descendants of Jacob (Ex. 1-12). In the years following the reigns of David and Solomon, Egypt penetrated twice into Palestine. In the fifth year of Rehoboam, Shishak King of Egypt attacked Jerusalem and carried away the treasures of the house of the Lord (1 Kings 14:25-26). Some years later Pharaoh-Nechol fought on Palestine soil, and he killed Josiah King of Judah on the battle field of Armageddon (2 Kings 23:29-30).

The hatred of Egypt toward the re-established nation of Israeli has been well publicized in recent years. It is difficult to forget the boast of Egypt’s former President Nasser before the six day war with Israeli; he purposed to completely destroy Israeli.

In third place: When the Anti-Christ as the wilful king will be ruling in Jerusalem in the times of the end, this ancient enemy of the Hebrew peoples will push at him (Dan. 11:36-40). The then King of the South stirred, even as Egypt is today, by the arrogance, wealth and prosperity of Israel, will attack the Holy Land, but his penetration will be limited and his success very small.

In last place: There is another who will have his eyes upon Israel’s importance at the end times, the King of the North, the Assyrian, and like a whirlwind he will descend upon Palestine, and penetrate also into Egypt. Palestine will suffer under his attack, but Egypt will also suffer, and suffer great losses. The King of the North will be successful, and the outcome of the clash between these two antagonists appears to be not only a military defeat for Egypt but also an economical tragedy. With its army overthrown, and its monetary reserves controlled by a foreign power, Egypt will not again rise to be a formidable enemy of Israel.

The King of the North (Dan. 11:40-45): This future individual has been identified earlier in these studies; he is the little horn to come forth from one of the four horns on the head of the post-Grecian goat (Dan. 8:24); he is the king of fierce countenance who will be supported by a power not his own (Dan. 8:24), probably Russia.

In second place: This anti-type of Antiochus Epiphanes, the future King of the North a cruel and wicked man, shall destroy the holy people, and as a desolator amaze many. He will also be a diplomat; “through his policy also shall cause craft to prosper.” He shall even stand up against the Prince of Princes. His arrogance and his defiance against God and His Anointed reaches in this act the climax of his evil plans.

In third place: A description of his treatment of Israel is given in Isaiah 10:5-8, “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of My wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither does his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few.”

In the former part of this study we reviewed his defeat of Egypt and the imposition of his power and authority upon that defeated rival.

(To be continued)