The Certainty of the Lord's Return The Biblical Evidence

Dr. David R. Reagan

Most people tend to think that Revelation 20 is the only passage in the Bible that speaks of a future reign of the Lord. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The purpose of this article is to provide an outline summary of the key passages in both the Old and New Testaments that speak of the Lord’s future reign.

A. Jesus is returning to reign on earth because the Old Testament prophets say so.

1) The Psalms

a) Psalm 2:6-9 — David says the Messiah will reign over "the very ends of the earth" from Mount Zion in Jerusalem.

b) Psalm 22:27-31 — David again affirms that the Messiah will be given dominion over "the ends of the earth" at the time when He "rules over the nations."

c) Psalm 47 — The sons of Korah rejoice over the day when the Lord will be "a great King over all the earth," and they state that this will take place when the Lord subdues the "nations under our feet."

d) Psalm 67 — An unidentified psalmist speaks prophetically of the time when the nations of the world will "be glad and sing for joy." This will be when the Lord comes to "judge the peoples with uprightness." At that time the Lord will "guide the nations on the earth" so that "all the ends of the earth may fear Him."

e) Psalm 89:19-29 — The psalmist, Ethan, speaks of the Davidic Covenant and proclaims that it will be fulfilled when God makes His "first-born the highest of the kings of the earth."

f) Psalm 110 — David says a time will come when God will make the enemies of the Messiah a footstool under His feet. This will occur when the Messiah stretches forth His "strong scepter from Zion." At that time He will "rule in the midst of His enemies," for . . . "He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath, He will judge among the nations."

g) Psalm 132:13-18 — An unnamed psalmist speaks of God’s fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant. He says this will occur at a time when "the horn of David" springs forth to reign from Zion. He says "His crown will shine," and He will make Zion His "resting place forever" for He will dwell there.

2) Isaiah

a) Isaiah 2:1-4 — Isaiah says that "in the last days" the Messiah will reign from Mount Zion in Jerusalem and the entire world will experience peace.

b) Isaiah 9:6-7 — The Messiah will rule from the throne of David, giving the world a government of peace, justice, and righteousness. (Note: The throne of David is not in Heaven. It is located in Jerusalem — see Psalm 122. Jesus is not now on the throne of David. He sits at the right hand of His Father on His Father’s throne — see Revelation 3:21.)

c) Isaiah 11:3b-9 — The Messiah will bring "righteousness and fairness" to the earth when He returns to "slay the wicked." At that time, the curse will be lifted and the plant and animal kingdoms will be restored to their original perfection.

d) Isaiah 24:21-23 — When the Messiah returns, He will punish Satan and his demonic hordes in the heavens and then will punish "the kings of the earth, on earth." He will then "reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem" for the purpose of manifesting His glory.

3) Jeremiah

a) Jeremiah 23:5 — "‘Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I shall raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.’" (Note: The term, "Branch," is a Messianic title.)

b) Jeremiah 33:6-18 — A day will come when the Lord will regather the dispersed of both Judah and Israel and will save a great remnant. At that time the Lord "will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth."

4) Ezekiel

a) Ezekiel 20:33-44 — The Lord says a day will come when He will regather the Jews to their land and will "enter into judgment" with them. He says that at that time "I shall be king over you." He then adds that "the whole house of Israel, all of them, will serve Me in the land."

b) Ezekiel 37:24-28 — The Lord says that He will dwell in the midst of Israel after a remnant of the Jews is regathered to the land and saved, and He promises that "David My servant shall be their prince forever."

c) Ezekiel 39:21-29 — The Lord says that following the battle of Armageddon (verses 17-20), "I will set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them."

d) Ezekiel 43:7 — While being given a tour of the future Millennial Temple, Ezekiel is told by the Lord: "Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet; where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever."

5) Daniel

Daniel 7:13-14,18,27 — Daniel says he was given a vision in which he saw the Messiah ("Son of Man") given dominion over all the earth by God the Father ("the Ancient of Days"). And then he adds in verses 18 and 27 that the kingdom is shared "with the saints of the Highest One," and they are allowed to exercise sovereignty with Him over "all the kingdoms under the whole heaven."

6) Hosea

Hosea 3:4-5 — The Jews will be set aside "for many days," but a time will come "in the last days" when they "will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king."

7) Joel

Joel 3:14-17,21 — Joel says that following the battle of Armageddon (verses 14-16), the Lord will dwell "in Zion, My holy mountain." He repeats this in verse 21. And in verse 17 He identifies Zion as the city of Jerusalem.

8) Micah

Micah 4:1-7 —Micah repeats in greater detail the prophecy contained in Isaiah 2. Like Isaiah, he says the Lord will make Jerusalem the capital of the world. The world will be flooded with peace and prosperity. All believing Jews will be regathered to Israel, and "the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion."

9) Zephaniah

Zephaniah 3:14-20 — This entire book is devoted to a description of the day the Lord will return to the earth in vengeance. The prophet says that at the end of that day, when the Lord’s enemies have been destroyed, the Jewish remnant will shout in triumphant joy because "the King of Israel, the Lord," will be in their midst.

10) Haggai

Haggai 2:20-23 — The Lord says that a day will come when He will "overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of the kingdoms of the nations." Then, using Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, as a type of the Messiah, the prophet adds: "‘On that day,’ declares the Lord of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, my servant,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares the Lord of hosts." The reference to the signet ring means the Father will grant His Son ruling authority.

11) Zechariah

a) Zechariah 2:10-13 — The Lord says that when He comes, He will "dwell in the midst" of the Jews, possessing Judah as "His portion in the holy land" and again choosing Jerusalem.

b) Zechariah 6:12-13 — When the Messiah ("the Branch") returns, He will build a temple and "rule on His throne," and the offices of priest and king will be combined in Him. Thus, "He will be a priest on His throne."

c) Zechariah 8:2-3 — The Lord promises that when He returns to Zion, He will "dwell in the midst of Jerusalem," and Jerusalem will be called "the city of Truth."

d) Zechariah 9:10 — The Messiah will bring peace to the nations and "His dominion will be from sea to sea."

e) Zechariah 14:1-9 — The Messiah will return to the Mount of Olives. The Mount will split in half when His foot touches it, and the Jewish remnant left alive in Jerusalem will flee the city and hide in the cleavage of the Mount. Verse 9 says that on that day, "the Lord will become king over all the earth."

B. Jesus is returning to reign over the earth because the New Testament prophets say so.

1) Peter

Acts 3:21 — In his sermon on the portico of Solomon, Peter says Jesus must remain in Heaven "until the period of the restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time." The period of restoration spoken of here will occur during the Millennium when the curse is partially lifted and nature is restored (Romans 8:18-23).

2) Paul

a) 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 — Paul says that when Jesus returns "dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel," He will also come for the purpose of being glorified before His saints. The return of Jesus to be glorified before His saints and all the nations of the world is one of the persistent themes of Old Testament prophecy (Isaiah 24:23, Isaiah 52:10,13, Isaiah 61:3, and Psalm 46:10).

b) 2 Timothy 2:12 — Paul says "if we endure, we shall also reign with Him."

3) John

a) Revelation 12:5 — John sees a vision in which a sun clothed woman (Israel) gives birth to a male child (Jesus) "who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron."

b) Revelation 19:15-16 — In his description of Jesus returning to earth, John says He bears the title, "King of kings and Lord of lords," and John says He will "rule the nations with a rod of iron."

c) Revelation 20:4,6 — John says that after the return of Jesus to the earth, He will reign with His saints ("those to whom judgment has been given") for a thousand years.

C. Jesus is returning to earth to reign because the Heavenly Host say so.

1) Gabriel

Luke 1:26-38 — When the archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary, he told her that she would bear a son named Jesus who would be called "the Son of the Most High." He then added three promises that are yet to be fulfilled: "the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end."

2) The Four Living Creatures and the 24 Elders

Revelation 5:9-10 — When John is raptured to Heaven and finds himself standing before the throne of God (Revelation 4), he hears "the four living creatures" (special angelic creatures called seraphim in Isaiah 6) and "the twenty-four elders" (probably representative of the redeemed) singing a song of praise to Jesus. In this song they say that Jesus is a Worthy Lamb who has made His redeemed a kingdom, "and they will reign upon the earth."

3) The Angels of God

Revelation 11:15 — Voices from Heaven make a proleptic proclamation in the midst of the Tribulation: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever." (Note: A proleptic statement is one that speaks of a future event as if it has already occurred. This is a common form of expression in prophecy because all future events are settled in the mind of God as if they had already happened in history.)

4) The Tribulation Martyrs

Revelation 15:3-4 — At the end of the Tribulation, right before the final pouring out of God’s wrath in the form of the bowl judgments, all the Tribulation martyrs who are in Heaven join together in singing "the song of Moses . . . and the song of the Lamb." In that song, they declare the Lamb (Jesus) to be the "King of the nations," and they proclaim that "all the nations will come and worship before Thee."

D. Jesus is returning to reign on the earth because Jesus said so.

1) Matthew 19:28 — Jesus said that during "the regeneration" (the same time as "the period of restoration" referred to by Peter in Acts 3:21), He will "sit on His glorious throne," and the Apostles will join Him in judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

2) Matthew 25:31 — Jesus said that when He returns in glory, "the Son of Man . . . will sit on His glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before Him" for judgment. The throne of Jesus is the throne of David which has always been located in only one place — in Jerusalem (see Isaiah 9:6-7 and Psalm 122).

3) Acts 1:3-6 — Luke says that Jesus spent 40 days teaching His disciples about the kingdom of God. Then, as He was ready to ascend into Heaven, one of the disciples asked, "Lord is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" The question indicates that Jesus taught a time would come when the kingdom would be restored to Israel. Jesus’ response to the question indicated the same thing. He did not rebuke the question. Rather, He simply said it was not for them to know the times and seasons when the kingdom would be restored to Israel.

4) Revelation 2:26-27 — Jesus says that He has a special reward for any "overcomer" who keeps His deeds until the end: "To him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron."

5) Revelation 3:21 — Jesus makes it clear that the overcomers will reign jointly with Him: "He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne." Again, the throne of Jesus is the throne of David (Luke 1:32 and Revelation 3:7). The throne of David is in Jerusalem, not in Heaven (Psalm 122). Jesus currently shares His Father’s throne. He is not sitting on His own throne and will not do so until He returns to this earth. Then He will allow the redeemed to share His throne with Him.

Living for Christ in the End Times A Challenge to Prepare for His Soon Return

Dr. David R. Reagan

The Bible clearly teaches that society will degenerate in the end times, becoming as evil as it was in the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37-39). The Apostle Paul, speaking as a prophet, says that society will descend into a black pit of immorality, violence, and paganism (2 Timothy 3:1-5). He asserts that men will be "lovers of self, lovers of money, and lovers of pleasure." People will be "boastful, arrogant, and unholy," and children will be "disobedient to parents."

Sounds like the evening news, doesn’t it? In short, we have arrived.

Signs of Coming Persecution

We should be deeply concerned over these developments, not only because we are witnessing the destruction of our beloved America, but because both Jesus and Paul prophesied that when these things occur, the Church will come under attack and individual Christians will be persecuted.

Jesus said that as lawlessness increases, "most people’s love will grow cold" (Matthew 24:12). He stated that in this hostile atmosphere, many professing Christians will "fall away" and will proceed to cooperate in the persecution of their former brothers and sisters in Christ (Matthew 24:10). Paul indicates the same thing when he says that people will be "haters of good" and that they will therefore be "brutal" and "reckless," reviling those who stand for righteousness (2 Timothy 3:2-4).

We are watching these prophecies come true today before our very eyes, both here in America and around the world. As our culture has secularized and paganized, Christianity, the Church, and Christians have come under increasing attack as "intolerant bigots." (See Dennis Pollock’s editorial on page 9.) The attacks are going to intensify, and it is going to become increasingly difficult for Christians to stand for righteousness. Jobs will be lost. Careers will be destroyed. Christians will even be sent to prison for speaking out against evils like homosexuality because such pronouncements will be labeled as "hate crimes."

What then are those of us who love Jesus to do as we face a rising wave of ridicule, harassment, and persecution for our faith? How shall we live for Christ in the end times? Let me suggest a few guidelines.

1) Order Your Priorities —

The starting point is to review your priorities and make certain that God is first in your life. Be honest with yourself. Don’t play games. Don’t kid yourself.

Most Christians have allowed their priorities to get very mixed up. Usually, job or career is number one, family is second, and God is third or even fourth behind an obsession with sports or something similar.

Ask yourself this question: If God were to give you the opportunity to make one request, what would it be? Would you ask for money? Power? Fame? Success?

Solomon asked for wisdom, but David asked for something ten thousand times more profound — he asked for intimacy with God (Psalm 27:4). And, because he put God first, he states in Psalm 27 that he did not fear life (verse 1) or death (verse 13). It is also the reason that he is remembered as "the man after God’s own heart" (Acts 13:22).

2) Stand on the Word —

The Bible says that the end times will be an age of deception (Matthew 24:24, 1 Timothy 4:1, and 2 Timothy 4: 3-4). In fulfillment of that prophecy, we are today being bombarded with false but alluring religious systems offered by the Christian cults, Eastern religions, and the New Age Movement.

Most professing Christians are sitting ducks for spiritual deception because the average Christian is not certain what he believes. And even when he is able to articulate a belief, he usually does not know why he believes it. The result is that a Jehovah’s Witness can turn the average Christian into a theological pretzel in two minutes flat.

Anyone can be deceived. If you are to guard yourself against deception, you must get into the Word and stay in it on a daily basis. Also, you must test everything by the Word (1 John 4:1). For Catholics this means discarding doctrines like purgatory that have no basis in the Word whatsoever. For Protestants it means being alert to the twisting of scriptures or the manipulation of verses out of context. On every doctrine, the Bible needs to be searched from Genesis to Revelation to see what is said about the particular topic.

3) Believe in the Power of God —

I am convinced that most professing Christians are deists. A deist is a person who believes in an impersonal god who never intervenes in human affairs. According to Deism, we are supposed to cope with our god-given reason, our talents, and the wisdom of the Scriptures. As far as the deist is concerned, at the end of the First Century, God retired, the supernatural ceased, and the age of miracles came to an end.

But the Hebrew Scriptures teach that God never changes (Malachi 3:6). And the New Testament specifically states that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, yes and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).

There is no way we can cope with the evil of end time society in our own strength. Anyone who tries to do so will be defeated. Our only hope is to turn to a God who is alive and well, who is still on the throne, who hears prayer and answers prayer, and who still performs miracles.

We must realize that the Bible teaches that we can limit God by our unbelief. This a great paradox. Think about it — although God is all-powerful (Luke 1: 37), we who are powerless in comparison can nonetheless limit His power by our unbelief (Mark 6:1-6). That’s because God is a gentleman. He does not force Himself upon us. If we want to try to cope on our own, He will let us. He responds when we reach out to Him in faith (James 1:6).

4) Persist in Prayer —

One of the greatest blessings God has given believers is supernatural communication. God cares for us personally (1 Peter 5:7), and He desires to communicate with us (James 4:8). Because He loves us, He earnestly desires our fellowship (John 4:23).

The tragedy is that most professing Christians seem to be inclined to turn to prayer as a last resort — only when all else has failed and the situation has become desperate. Some of this reluctance to seek God in prayer is due to pride, and thus the Scriptures continually exhort us to humble ourselves (1 Peter 5:6). Others fail to depend on prayer because of unbelief. They either think God doesn’t care, or else they think He is no longer active in history.

But the Bible says "we do not have because we do not ask" (James 4:2). How many blessings of God have you left on the table because you tried to handle your problems yourself? The Bible also says that "the prayers of a righteous man can accomplish much" (James 5:16). Do you interpret this to mean that the power of your prayers depends on your righteousness? That is not what it means. If you are truly born again, then you are a righteous person because you are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus (Isaiah 61:10).

5) Rely on the Holy Spirit —

Most professing Christians seem to be afraid of the Holy Spirit. This is usually due to a lack of knowledge concerning the Spirit. For example, there is a tendency to write off the Holy Spirit as some sort of impersonal force — like "The Force" in Star Wars.

We need to understand that the Holy Spirit is a person. He is the supernatural presence of God in the world today. He performs a dual role. For the unbeliever, He is God’s Evangelist. He is the one who works on human hearts to draw them to the Cross in repentance. No one is saved apart from the testimony of the Spirit (John 6:44 & 65).

With regard to the believer, the Holy Spirit is God’s indwelling presence to provide us with power and guidance. He is our Enabler. He is also God’s Potter, for one of His basic responsibilities is to daily shape believers more fully into the image of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).

One of the ironies of the Christian life is that we cannot serve God in our own power. Rather, the only way we can effectively serve the Lord is by relying on the power of His Holy Spirit who resides within us. It is possible to quench and grieve the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19 and Ephesians 4:30).

The Word calls on us to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). This can happen only if we are willing to release the Spirit to become the Lord of our lives. Most of us are content to let the Spirit be resident in our lives. He does not want to be simply a resident; He desires to be president.

Is that the case in your life? Is the Holy Spirit on the throne of your life? Or is He being treated as an unwelcome guest? There is no way you will be able to withstand the pressures of end time society without relying daily on the power of God’s Spirit.

6) Practice Tough Faith —

Faith comes easy when everything is going smoothly. When there is good health and prosperity, it is easy to praise the Lord. The test of faith comes when all the circumstances of life turn sour.

God has not promised believers a rose garden. We live in a fallen world. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. The wicked prosper. Justice seldom prevails.

It is easy for the righteous to grow discouraged. This calls for the practice of tough faith — the kind of faith that is not dependent on circumstances. It’s the kind of faith that hangs in there when the going gets tough because of a confident belief that "all things work together for good for those who love the Lord" (Romans 8:28).

God never promises that believers will be immune to suffering. What He does promise is that He will be there to walk through the trials with us. He promises to be beside us when we "pass through the waters" and "walk through the fire" (Isaiah 43:2). And He states that He will be there when we "walk through the valley of the shadow of death" (Psalm 23:4).

What is the quality of your faith? When life turns sour, do you turn to God, or do you question Him or even curse Him? One of the keys to hanging tough is to learn the promises of God’s Word (like Philippians 4:6-7, 11-13, and 19) and start claiming them in prayer when confronted with the challenges of life.

7) Keep an Eternal Perspective —

We are to be in the world but not of the world (John 17:11 & 16). That’s a difficult principle to follow. It constitutes a daily struggle.

It is so easy to get our eyes off the Lord and focus instead upon the world in which we live. The daily demands are so pressing. And one of the greatest of those demands is that we conform to the world — to the world’s language, dress, entertainment, and values.

That’s why we are constantly exhorted in Scripture to consider ourselves as "aliens, exiles, and strangers" who are just passing through this world (Hebrews 11:13 and 1 Peter 2:11). We are told to "set our minds on things above, not on the things that are on the earth" (Colossians 3:2). And we are warned to never fall in love with the world or grow comfortable with it (Romans 12:2 and 1 John 2:15-16). In fact, Jesus said we are to "hate our life in this world" (John 12:25), and His brother, James, said "friendship with the world is hostility toward God" (James 4:4).

What does it mean to hate the world? It means we are to hate the evil world system that prevails in society. We are to hate a system that glorifies violence and immorality and which depreciates the value of life.

As C. S. Lewis once put it, "We are to live like commandos behind the enemy lines, preparing the way for the coming of the Commander-in-Chief." In other words, we are to live yearning for the day when Jesus will burst from the heavens to bring peace, righteousness, and justice to the earth.

8) Look for Jesus —

This brings us to the final guideline I would like to emphasize regarding how to live for Jesus in the end times. The Bible tells us point blank that we are to live "looking for Jesus" (Titus 2: 13).

Most Christians are so caught up in the world that they live thinking about anything but the return of Jesus. This is a sad state of affairs because Jesus’ return is our "blessed hope" (Titus 2:13). And His return is imminent.

Another problem is that most Christians know so little about Bible prophecy that they cannot get excited about the Lord’s return. How can you get excited about an event you know nothing about? Ignorance produces apathy.

And apathy about the Lord’s return has tragic consequences. It robs us of an eternal perspective, and it destroys any sense of urgency about reaching lost souls. It also undermines a powerful motivator for holy living.

You see, when a person comes to truly believe that Jesus is returning and may return any moment, that person will be motivated to holiness and evangelism. Regarding holiness, the Apostle John put it this way: "We know that when He appears [the Rapture], we shall be like Him [glorified] . . . And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him, purifies himself, just as He is pure" (1 John 3:2-3). Regarding evangelism, Peter writes that the only reason Jesus has not yet returned is because "God does not wish that any should perish, but that all might come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).

A Spiritual Mirror

Paul provides us with a spiritual mirror for end time conduct. He says we are to "deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus" (Titus 2:12-13).

When you look into this mirror, what do you see? Are you walking in the center of God’s will? Have you ordered your priorities to put God first? Are you standing on the Word of God, testing everything by it? Do you believe in a personal, caring and all-powerful God who hears prayers and answers prayers, and who still performs miracles? Are you relying daily on the power of the Holy Spirit? Are you practicing tough faith, refusing to allow the calamities of life to overwhelm you? Are you keeping an eternal perspective, refusing to get comfortable with this world? And are you daily looking for Jesus? Is the Rapture in your heart? Is "Maranatha!" on your lips?

Europe In Bible Prophecy

Dr. David R. Reagan

The most important prophetic development of the 20th Century was the regathering of the Jewish people to their historic homeland in the Middle East, resulting in the creation of the state of Israel on May 14, 1948. The second most important development was the formation of a European confederation known as The European Union. Both of these momentous historical events point to the fact that we are living in the end times, right on the threshold of the Tribulation and the Lord’s return.

The Council of the Union is the chief legislative body. It is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, and consists of 87 representatives appointed by the member states. Some decisions require a unanimous vote; most require a “qualified majority” of 62 votes. The voting is weighted in relation to the size of the countries.

The Parliament of the Union consists of 626 members who are directly elected for five year terms. The Parliament is a parliament in name only. It is primarily a public forum whose members sit in blocs organized according to political views rather than nationalities. It has been growing in power in recent years. The Parliament holds its committee meetings at a facility in Brussels. Its plenary sessions are conducted at its elaborate new headquarters in Strasbourg, France. Although it has recently gained some “co-decision” power, its influence is felt primarily through its discussions and resolutions.

The Commission of the Union is the agency responsible for implementing legislation. It is the executive branch. There are 20 Commissioners — two each from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain, and one from each of the other member states. They are appointed for five year terms. The Commission President is the chief executive officer of The European Union. Romano Prodi of Italy currently holds this position.

The Court of Justice has its headquarters in Luxembourg. There are 15 justices, one from each member state, appointed for terms of six years. Judgements of the Court in the field of EU law are binding on all members states, their national courts, their companies, and their private citizens. The decisions override those of national courts.

The Central Bank is located in Frankfurt, Germany and is responsible for monetary policy and the new Euro currency which was introduced in January 1999 and which will replace the member states national currencies in 2002.

Revenue for the Union in 2000 came to $93.2 billion. The largest source of income was the 1.27% of Gross National Income that each member state is required to pay. In 2000 this levy pro­duced 47.8% of the Union’s revenue. The next highest source (36.4%) came from a 1% VAT tax (value-added-tax) on goods and services. The rest of the income came from an assortment of agricultural levies and custom duties.

Emergence of a Super-State

The European Union is poised for a major expansion. In March 1998 the EU opened talks on full membership with six countries — Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia. In October 1999 the Commission proposed talks with another six — Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, and Slovakia. When these countries are added, nearly all the people of Europe will be joined in a single Union by free and democratic consent for the first time in history.

The movement for European unity which was launched in 1950 by Robert Schuman and Jean Monet (see the side bar on page 3) has gradually evolved into a super-state. An official publication of the Union states: “The EU system is inherently evolutionary. It was designed to allow for the gradual development of European unification and has not yet achieved its final form.”1

Key Steps in the Development of the European Union

May 9, 1950

The Schuman Declaration

French Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman announces a plan conceived by French businessman Jean Monet to pool European coal and steel production under a common authority. The result was the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1951 consisting of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg.

March 25, 1957

The Treaty of Rome

The six ECSC member states agree to set up a common market called The European Economic Community (EEC) which went into effect in January 1958.

January 1, 1973

First Expansion of the Community

Three nations are added to the community — Denmark, Ireland, and Britain. Later additions include Greece (1981), Spain and Portugal (1986), and Austria, Finland, and Sweden (1995).

June 7-10, 1979

First Elections

Members of the European Parliament are directly elected for the first time. Previously the parliaments of the member nations had appointed the representatives.

February 7, 1992

Maastricht Treaty

This treaty transforms the EEC from a strictly economic union to one that is both economic and political, creating the European Union in 1993.

The European Union now manifests three of the most important characteristics of a state. It has a unified economic system, an integrated political structure, and a shared vision for the future. Prophecy teacher Jimmy DeYoung points out that it even has a common language — namely, English.2 Although many languages are spoken by the member nations and their representatives, almost all know English because the Internet has made it the common trade language.

What the Union officially lacks is a military force. But it is in the making. A military staff has been assembled, with a commander-in-chief, and it currently has at its disposal 60,000 front line troops on standby, with 400 assault aircraft and up to 80 warships.3 The British government refers to it as a “Rapid Reaction Force.” That is nothing but a euphemism for an army. It has been dubbed “Eurocorps” by the rest of Europe, and it is supposed to be ready for action in 2003. The British are down­playing this military arm of the Union because they want to continue their partnership with the United States in NATO. The French would like to see the Eurocorps replace NATO, as it probably will.

Relating the EU to Bible Prophecy

Kenneth Humphries

(Note: Kenneth Humphries is a Baptist pastor in Northern Ireland. He serves on the board of the Irish Baptist College and is chairman of the Prophetic Witness Movement International (Ireland). He can be contacted over the Internet at

An often asked question these days as I travel from place to place preaching the prophetic message is, “Does Europe really have a role in biblical prophecy?” The answer to this question is an emphatic, “Yes!” In fact, the role of a unified Europe in end time prophecy is much clearer in the Bible than the role of the world’s only current super power — the United States. The book of Daniel establishes with certainty that a unified Europe will rise in the end times out of the ashes of the old Roman Empire.

Throughout the centuries since Rome fell, many political leaders have dreamed of resurrecting the Roman Empire. Napoleon Bonaparte, Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, and Winston Churchill, for different reasons and with differing motives, all shared the vision of a United States of Europe. But that vision had to await God’s timing for its fulfillment. That timing came at the end of World War II.

Factors Contributing to Union

Most of Europe was completely devastated by the war. That devastation prompted various nations in Western Europe to put aside their age-old hatreds and jealousies in order to reach out to each other for mutual support and aid. The result was a series of economic unions which helped to spur the European economy.

The collapse of Communism throughout Eastern Europe in the late 1980's and the early 1990's removed the biggest remaining barrier to European union. Germany was reunited and all of Eastern Europe was liberated to seek its own destiny. That destiny has proved to be an expanding European union.

When the Treaty on European Union, signed in Maastricht (the Netherlands) on February 7, 1992, came into force on November 1, 1993, it gave European integration a whole new dimension. The European Community, which was essentially economic in aspiration and content, was transformed into a full-fledged political entity known as The European Union.

The European Attitude

The significance of this new political union in the European mind is well stated in an official publication of the European Union:

The building of a united Europe is undoubtedly one of the greatest historical undertakings of the 20th Century. It is a process grounded in the positive values with which our civilization identifies — the preservation of peace, economic and social progress, respect for the person, and the predominance of right over might . .

Six countries originally rallied to the concept of a united Europe, now there are fifteen, while more than ten others feel drawn towards that ideal and have applied to join the European Union.

The 20th Century bears tragic scars left by the rise and then the collapse of the totalitarian ideologies. As the third millennium dawns, the movement towards a voluntary union among Europe’s peoples is . . . clearly the only credible answer to the hazards and opportunities posed by the increasing globalization of the world economy.1
The foremost symbol of this new European confederation is the Euro, a common currency that all members of the European Union are supposed to start using in place of their national currencies on January 1, 2002. The announcement of an agreement on the Euro was greeted in some quarters with an enthusiasm that bordered on blasphemy. Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres raved: “As Peter was the rock on which the church was built, so the Euro is the rock on which the European Union will be built.”2

The Biblical Significance

The biblical significance of these momentous developments in Europe has been widely recognized by students of Bible prophecy. For example, commenting on the signs of the times that point to the Lord’s soon return, Dr. S. Franklin Logsdon wrote:

The present statehood of Israel is a powerful indication of the ending of the age. The Ecumenical Movement is another. Perhaps equal to either of these is the European Common Market with its many implications . . . it is an economic community, a breaking down of national barriers, a getting together on certain common bases. The whole idea is to reshape the face of Europe. This was attempted by Caesar, by Napoleon, and by Hitler, but their means to this end were not subtle or as work­able as those proposed by the Common Market. They used ammunition; today’s promoters use bread. And let it be said that the reshaping of the face of Europe approximates the kingdom to arise out of the old Roman Empire — the last Gentile power.3
Those words were written in 1973, long before the European Economic Community had evolved into the much stronger and more significant European Union of 1993.

The question is, can we find this newly emerging power bloc in Scripture? Yes, I believe we can. Chapters 2 and 7 of Daniel is where the European sign is revealed. We are told that the prophecies given to Daniel in these chapters relate to “the latter days” (2:28), “to what would take place in the future” (2:29). Daniel’s prophecies are based upon a dream which God gave to Nebuchadnezzar (2:31-35). Interpreting that dream, Daniel concluded that it revealed a succession of Gentile empires, beginning with the Babylonian Empire, followed by Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome (2:36-40).

The last Gentile world empire will be a confederation of nations (2:41-43) that will arise out of the old Roman Empire (7:7-8). And out of that confederation, the Antichrist will arise, using the revived Roman Empire as his base to conquer the world (7:8, 23-25). But this final Gentile empire will be short-lived, for it will be suddenly crushed by the return of the Messiah who will “set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed” (2:44).

The Practical Meaning

I believe that today, before our very eyes, we are witnessing the fulfillment of these ancient prophecies of Daniel. Europe has reunited into a revived Roman Empire that is expanding rapidly in size. As it grows, and as national identities are de-emphasized, it will most likely be divided into ten administrative areas, just as Daniel prophesied (2:42-44 and 7:7 — the ten toes of chapter 2 correspond to the ten horns of chapter 7).

What does all this mean for you and me? If what we are seeing on the European scene just now is indeed what God has prophesied — and I, for one, am without doubt it is so — then we are on the threshold of the Lord’s return. Are you ready for such an event? If not, then do you know what to do? There is only one way to get ready and that is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved! If you are saved, then pray for the salvation of your family members and your friends and neighbors. And then witness Jesus to them. Don’t let those you love and care about go to an awful Hell.

The New Unholy Roman Empire

Alan Franklin

(Note: Alan Franklin has been a journalist for 37 years. He currently serves as editor of a newspaper in southern England. Alan is a Bible prophecy teacher and expert on the cults. He can be contacted at

I have been a journalist since 1964, spending ten years as a chief reporter and the last 17 as the editor of a journal serving a quarter of a million readers in southeast England in the London area. As a Christian versed in prophecy I cannot help but see in the emerging European superstate the foundations of a one world government with a one world dictator at its head — the man whose Biblical names include “the Beast,” “the man of sin” and “the Antichrist.”

In fact, leaders in Europe are already calling for a strong leader, saying that committees do not work and they need more inspired leadership. German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer repeated his call for a European government in July, 2000, and said the European single currency — the Euro— was “the first step to a federation.” He added that he wanted a “powerful president.”1

Fischer said his aim was “noth­ing less than a European parliament and a European government, which really do exercise legal and executive pow­er,” to operate under his powerful president. More sinisterly, he welcomed the progress made in removing the “sovereign rights” of nations which he defined as control of currency and control of internal and external security.

In summary, Fischer said, “Political union is the challenge for this generation.”2

The Desire for a Superstate

I was invited to Brussels, where the European Parliament is situated, in my role as publisher of a business newspaper. I watched the vote taken as eleven countries abandoned their own currencies to form a united Eurozone with the euro replacing everything from the lira of Italy to the Irish pound. They were effectively voting for the abolition of the nation state, and it was astonishing to see with what little formality or protest countries like France and Germany gave up control of their financial and economic destiny to join in the project to create “a common European home,” as the founding fathers of the European Union put it. No mention was made of the crippling cost to nations of scrapping their currencies.

After the vote I went to lunch with six MEPS — Members of the European Parliament — of different political parties. We talked about the future and I said that, as they now had one parliament and one currency, they were in many senses effectively one country. They could not really disagree, as the EU has all the trappings of a state, even its own embryonic army — the planned 60,000 rapid-reaction Eurocorps. So I asked: “Have any of you thought about the next step?” They asked me what I meant. So I explained that, with one currency and one parliament, the next big step was to have one leader or one fuhrer, (one Antichrist!). After all, it was Hitler who was the last leader who tried to unify Europe under one Government with one currency.

The Desire for a Superman

That many in Europe have been thinking on these lines for years is shown in a chilling quote from Paul-Henri Spaak, former Belgian Prime Minister and President of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe nearly 50 years ago. He said : “We do not want another committee. We have too many already. What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all people, and to lift us out of the economic morass in which we are sinking. Send us such a man and, be he God or the devil, we will receive him.”3

More recently Jack Lang, then president of the French National Assembly’s foreign affairs committee, said that the EU “needs a single figure at the helm.” Attacking the inertia in European foreign policy, he said Europe needed a strong central government with a single “personality” in control.4 Students of Bible prophecy will have little doubt who this “personality” will be.

A Global Vision

The present format of the EU cannot last, and it was never intended that it should. Right from the beginning, the founders had grand, globalist ambitions. Addressing the European Policy Centre in September, 2000, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhof­stadt described the subterfuge adopted to set up the embryonic EU. “With the European Coal and Steel Community, the seeds were sown of the European Union of today. It was the initial impetus to the development of a community approach, step by step forging European integration by joining, and sometimes also by abolishing, national sovereignty into a joint approach.”5

Turning to the next great leap forward, Verhofstadt said: “It is of the utmost importance to keep in mind a global vision of the ultimate goal of European unification.” This is a good thing, he explained, be­cause “the European Union as it is now could never be the ultimate goal.” He said the pace of integration must never slacken lest, “in the worst case, countries will start to plead for the restoration of their former sovereignty.”6 Notice that national sovereignty — independence — is referred to in the past tense.

Underlying Values

Next came the real bombshell. The Belgian said that there must be values underpinning this vast undertaking — the largest coming together of countries in the history of the world. But whose values? His answer: “the values which resulted from the French Revolution.”7 So, the values of the brave new Europe are to be those of the country which gave us the guillotine, the reign of terror and the time of blood washing through the streets of France!

“The Portman Papers,” a quarterly newsletter keeping watch on developments in the superstate, says in its October 2000 edition: “Verhofstadt’s values come from this. Eight years before the French Revolution began in 1789 with the Declaration of The Rights of Man, the General Council of Freemasonry at Wilhelmsbad, convened by Adam Weishaupt, founder of the Illuminati, drew up the blueprint. Its evil spirit was epitomized in Maximilian Robespierre, whose technique of terror anticipated Stalin’s by 100 years.”8

The French Reign of Terror claimed over a million victims. Inmates of prisons were slaughtered. Human heads were counted up like scores on cards. The terror was justified in the name of “democracy.” Similarly the coming clampdown on free speech, religious freedom and free political parties by the “beast of Brussels” system is being justified by words like “anti-discrimination” and a “charter of rights.”

Other Influences

What is emerging in Europe is a new Holy European Empire, an attempt to resurrect the old Holy Roman Empire that existed under the Pope. This is becoming increasingly blatant. The Vatican is playing a major role in the creation of the new European Empire, and Catholic social values — so-called “Christian Socialism” — are at its heart. The present Pope has repeatedly called for religious unity in Europe. This means a united, Catholic Europe, which was consecrated to Mary by the Vatican in 1309.

When I visited Strasbourg, the French city near the German border which, with Brussels, co-hosts the European Parliament, I was introduced to the head of the house of Habsburg, Otto von Habsburg, a man whose family dominated Europe for centuries. Full of charm and intelligence, he said that instead of war, a great new Europe could be built on peaceful cooperation. His ideas go far beyond this, however. In his book, The Social Order of Tomorrow, he writes:

Now we do possess a European symbol which belongs to all nations equally. This is the crown of the Holy Roman Empire, which embodies the tradition of Charlemagne, the ruler of a united occident . . . the Crown represents not merely the sovereignty of the monarch, but also the ties between authority and the people. True, it is the monarch who is crowned, but in this sacred act he appears as the representative of the whole people. It should therefore be considered whether the European head of state, as the protector of European law and justice, should not also become the guardian of a symbol which, more than any other, represents the sovereignty of the European community.9

Dr. Habsburg wants to see Europe have an elected head of state — a man elected for life. This influence of both Charlemagne and the Habsburgs hangs heavily over the new federal Europe. The crown of Char­lemagne, the first person to attempt to revive the Roman Empire in 800 AD, is an inspiration to those who promote the breaking down of nation states, and a Charlemagne prize has been established for those who work hardest for European unity. One who did was ex-President Clinton, who in June 2000, was the first American president to receive the Charlemagne prize for his work in promoting European unity. He received the prize at the cathedral in Aachen, Germany, where the first Holy Roman Emperor lies buried. Clinton called for an enlargement of the EU to even take in Russia.

America and the EU

In a report in The Daily Telegraph, President Clin­ton said the European Union should have at least 30 member states, including all the nations of the Balkans, Turkey and possibly even Russia. He said that European peace and prosperity now depended on the EU setting its boundaries ever wider. The report stated that Mr. Clinton was determined to be viewed as “part of a family of statesmen associated with European integration.”10 He held private talks with Helmut Kohl, the former German Chancellor, in Berlin.

Although Mr. Kohl has been discredited by a party funding scandal inside the Christian Democrat Union party, he is still regarded as the most important force behind European integration in the past 30 years. It is easy to see how these two suspect “statesmen” have much in common, but it is difficult to see how the establishment of a major, often anti-American power block in Europe could be in America’s interests, and thus it is surprising that it has been American policy to push for greater unification of Europe.

Perhaps America’s fine new President is the man to see the folly of this.

Religious Symbols of the European Union

Alan Franklin

The Bible teaches that the Revived Roman Empire of the end times will be a creation of Satan, and out of it will come his representative, the Antichrist. The fact that the formation of the European Union has major spiritual implications is reflected in the religious symbols that the Union has adopted in the form of its flag, its anthem, its architecture, and its basic logo.

The Madonna

The European Union’s flag consists of 12 stars, inspired by the halo of 12 stars that appear around the Madonna in Catholic pictures of her. A former secretary general of the Council of Europe, Leon Marchal, affirmed that the stars are those of “the woman of the Apocalypse.” Enthusiastically he explained, “It’s wonderful that we have gotten back to the Introit of the new Mass of the Assumption. It’s the corona stellarum duodecim (the crown of the twelve stars) of the woman of the Apocalypse.”1 This is a reference to the woman in Revelation 12 who appears with a crown of 12 stars. Although this woman represents Israel, the Catholic Church has always claimed that she represents the virgin Mary, “the mother of God.”

The EU, which now has 15 member countries, has confirmed that the number of stars will always stay at 12, which indicates that the stars do not represent countries. I quote from a leaflet, “Building Europe Together,” which I was given on a visit to EU headquarters in Brussels: “The European flag (is) a shared flag, blue with 12 gold stars symbolizing completeness. The number will remain 12 no matter how many countries there are in the European Union.”2

The Anthem

The same document, issued to commemorate “Europe Day, May 9,” also touts Europe’s new com­mon anthem, “Ode To Joy,” the prelude to the last movement of Beethoven’s ninth symphony. The EU document states that although the anthem officially is the “Ode To Joy,” it really is an “ode to freedom — to a sense of community and to peace between the 15 countries which have decided to unite and to others which will freely decide to join them.”

In fact the “Ode To Joy” is not quite that innocent. The lyrics, by a man named Friedrich von Schiller, concern the entering of the shrine of a pagan goddess and the uniting of all men in brotherhood, by the power of magic.­3

The Tower of Babel

An amazing poster was issued by the European Union, showing the Tower of Babel and carrying the slogan: “Many tongues, one voice.” In case the point was lost, a crane in the background was shown rebuilding the tower. Above the Tower of Babel were shown the eurostars, but inverted, as in witchcraft, with the central points downwards.

The story of the rise and fall of Babylon told in Genesis chapter eleven should have been a warning to all men for all time. Nimrod and his followers tried to build a tower to reach the heavens, but it was the counterfeit building of a counterfeit religion.

Mystical Babylon is now being rebuilt in Europe, and those who would follow Nimrod have now succeeded in building a parliament building in Strasbourg, France, whose centerpiece is an enormous replica of the unfinished tower of Babel. Even the secular press could not miss the connection between the old and new towers of Babel. They labeled the new French structure “The Tower of Euro­babel.” This monumental building, full of labyrinthine corridors, is used only one week in four, because the rest of the time the EU Parliament meets in committees in Brussels. Every three weeks the whole caboodle shuffles between the two sites in a fleet of 200 trucks, at enormous expense. An MEP I know was there on the day Eurobabel opened and reported total chaos in the £300 million structure, commenting: “If they can’t run a building, should we trust them with a continent?”

Nigel Farage is a member of the European Parliament who belongs to the United Kingdom Independence Party, which is fighting to get Britain out of the superstate. He said in an article just after the opening day: “We realize we are not merely entering a building, but being allowed access to the temple of a bold new empire.”4

The Woman Riding a Beast

Another demonic biblical symbol that is being used in conjunction with the European Union is the one from Revelation 17 where a “great harlot” is depicted riding a beast. For some strange and unknown reason this symbol is being used to repre­sent the EU! For example, when Britain issued a stamp to commemorate the first European Parliament elections in 1979, the picture on the stamp depicted a woman riding a beast.

According to the Rev. Dr. Ian Paisley, a Northern Ireland Protestant minister and member of the European Parliament, the woman on a beast is now the official picture of the EU. He points out that the multi-million dollar new parliament building in Brussels, Belgium, contains a dome with a colossal painting, three times life size, of a woman riding a beast.

In Strasbourg, France, the rival parliamentary building (the one with the Tower of Babel) features a mural of a naked woman riding a beast. Likewise, the new Brussels headquarters of the Council of Europe contains a bronze statue of a woman riding a beast, and the beast is depicted riding on waves, just as in Revelation 17.

Scripture is being fulfilled before our eyes, for those with eyes to see.

Notes Related to the EU Articles


1) “The European Union: A Guide for Americans,” published by the Delegation of the European Commission in the United States, Washington, D.C., October 1999, p. 7. This is an excellent booklet, and it can be obtained free of charge by writing The Delegation of The Euro­pean Commission, 2300 M Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20037. Or, you can order it from the Delegation’s website at

2) Jimmy DeYoung, “Europe, NATO and the Antichrist,” Israel My Glory, March/April 2001, p. 19.

3) EU: Final World Empire, a video program by Alan Franklin and Tony Pearce produced by Hearthstone and distributed in the United States by Southwest Radio Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Relating the EU to Bible Prophecy

1) Pascal Fontaine, “Seven Key Days in the Making of Europe,” an article posted on the Internet website of Europa: The European Union On-Line, located at

2) Van Impe Intelligence Briefing, February, 1996, available on the Internet at

3) S. Franklin Logsdon, Profiles of Prophecy, (Michigan: Zondervan Publishers, 1973), p. 119.

The New Unholy Roman Empire

1) “German Foreign Minister floats idea of elected EU president,” The Financial Times, July 7, 2000. This article was a report on a speech by Joschka Fischer to the European Parliament’s constitutional affairs committee.

2) Ibid.

3) This is a frequently quoted remark attributed to Paul-Henri Spaak. However, its original source is uncertain.

4) The London Times, August 19, 1997, quoting a speech by Jack Lang which he gave in Paris.

5) Speech by Guy Verhofstadt at the European Policy Centre on September 21, 2000.

6) Ibid.

7) Ibid.

8) The Portman Papers, October 2000. This is a quarterly newsletter concerning developments within the EU.

9) Otto von Habsburg, The Social Order of Tomorrow, Newman Press, 1959.

10) “EU must embrace Russia, says Clinton,” by Toby Helm, The Daily Telegraph (of London), June 3, 2000, page 12.

Religious Symbols of the European Union

1) Remarks of Leon Marchal were reported by Dr. William Crampton, executive direc­tor of The Flag Institute in York, England. The remarks were made in 1973.

2) Building Europe Together, a pamphlet published by the European Union, Brussels, Belgium, 1997.

3) Adrian Hilton, The Principality and Power of Europe, Dorchester House Publications, England, 1997, second edition in 2000. A copy of Schiller’s mystical words for “Ode to Joy” can be found on the Internet at

4) Article by Nigel Farage in The Daily Mail (London), July 24, 1999.

How to Recognize a False Prophet

By David Reagan

False prophets are all over the landscape today, and they are a sign of the times pointing to the soon return of Jesus.

Jesus Himself warned of false prophets in the end times. His most detailed discourse on end time signs is recorded in Matthew 24. In that passage the very first sign He mentions is false prophets (Matthew 24:4-5), and it is the only sign He repeats (Matthew 24:11,24). His warning was blunt and plain spoken: "Many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many."

The Apostle Paul echoed the Lord's warning when he spoke to the elders of the church in Ephesus. Here's how he put it, as recorded in Acts 20:28-31 "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock... [for] I know that after my departure, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore, be on the alert."

Peter and John also warned against the danger of false prophets. Peter asserted that false prophets would "introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master" (2 Peter 2:1). John exhorted his brethren to "test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).

John proceeded to provide a test that should be given to prophets. He said they are to be asked to confess that "Jesus Christ has come in the flesh" and that He is from God (1 John 4:2). He went on to assert that anyone who refuses to confess that Jesus is from God has the "spirit of antichrist" (1 John 4:3).

The Old Testament test of a prophet is spelled out in Deuteronomy 18:22 — "When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously..."

This, of course, is an obvious test. But what if the prophecy is fulfilled? Does that guarantee that the prophet is speaking for God? Not necessarily. The reason is that a prophetic utterance might be fulfilled by coincidence or because of supernatural insight given to the prophet by Satan. So there must be other tests.

Additional Tests

1) Does the prophet speak in the name of a god other than the true God revealed in Scripture?
If a prophet speaks in the name of Allah or Baal or Vishnu, you can be assured that he is a false prophet.

"If a prophet... rises among you and gives you a sign or wonder, and the sign or wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known), and let us serve them,' you shall not listen to the words of the prophet...for the Lord your God is testing you." (Deuteronomy 13:1-3)

2) Does the prophet's message pass the test of Scripture?
If a prophet tells you that you can be saved by putting your faith in Mary, the mother of Jesus, you can be certain he is not a spokesman for God.

"But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:8)

3) Does the prophet's life manifest a commitment to holiness?
If a prophet lives a sinful life, his prophecies are to be doubted.

"Among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing; the committing of adultery and walking in falsehood... Therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets, 'Behold, I am going to feed them wormwood and make them drink poisonous water.'" (Jeremiah 23:14-15)

4) Does the prophet's teaching produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)?
If the prophet's followers are motivated to worldly living, the prophet does not speak for God.

"Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits... a good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit." (Matthew 7:15-16,18)

5) Does the prophet emphasize vain visions?
If the prophet focuses on personal visions with sensational insights (visits to Heaven or Hell, for example), his words are to be distrusted.

"Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by... taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind." (Colossians 2:18)

6) Does the prophet deliver only positive messages?
If the prophet never issues a call for repentance, he is to be suspect.

"Thus says the Lord of hosts, 'Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; they speak a vision of their own imagination, not from the mouth of the Lord. They keep saying to those who despise Me, 'The Lord has said, 'You will have peace...'' They say, 'Calamity will not come upon you.'" (Jeremiah 23:16-17)

7) Does the prophet appear to be greedy for monetary gain?
If the prophet operates in a manner that makes it appear that his greatest interest is money, he is to be avoided.

"From the least even to the greatest, everyone is greedy for gain; from the prophet even to the priest, everyone practices deceit. And they heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially, saying, "Peace, peace." But there is no peace." (Jeremiah 8:10-11)

8) Does the prophet focus on the exaltation of Jesus?
If a prophet tries to bring attention to himself or focuses on the Antichrist or the sensational, he is to be questioned.

"The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Revelation 19:10)

Over and over, the Word of God commands us to test all messages lest we be deceived and led astray. Paul urged the people of Berea to test everything he taught them, and they did so by "examining the Scriptures daily" to see whether what he was teaching was scriptural (Acts 17:10-11). Paul was an apostle! How much more so should we test everything we hear taught by the standard of the Word of God.

The tragedy is that most professing Christians today are incapable of testing anything because they are biblically ignorant. There is a famine of the Word in most churches today (Amos 8:11) as people are fed a diet of pop psychology and positive thinking.

What about you? Are you in the Word on a daily basis? Are you capable of testing doctrine by Scripture? If not, then you are a sitting duck for deception. "Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

The Earth in Prophecy Eternal Restoration or Fiery Finish?

by Dr. David R. Reagan

Did you know we are living on earth number three? Did you know the Bible reveals that there are two earths yet to come? Did you know the Bible teaches that the earth is eternal?

Earth I

The first earth was the one created in the beginning (Genesis 1:1). It was perfect in every respect (Genesis 1:31). But because of Man's sin, God placed a curse upon the earth (Genesis 3:17-19).

The Bible indicates that this curse radically altered the nature of God's original creation. Instead of Man exercising dominion over Nature, as originally planned (Genesis 1:26, 28), Nature rose up in conflict with Man, as poisonous plants, carnivorous animals and climatic cataclysms (like tornados) suddenly appeared.

Earth II

The curse radically altered the original earth, but Earth II was still quite different from the one we live on today. There is much Biblical evidence in both Genesis and Job that the second earth had a thick vapor canopy which shielded life from the ultraviolet radiation of the sun, producing the long life spans recorded in Genesis (see Genesis 2:5-6 and Job 38:8-11).

The whole earth was like a greenhouse with thick vegetation growing everywhere, even at the poles. There was also probably only one large land mass.

Once again the sinful rebellion of Mankind motivated God to change the nature of the earth (Genesis 6:11-13). The change agent this time was water. It appears that God caused the vapor canopy to collapse (Genesis 7:11). He also caused "fountains of the great deep" to break forth upon the surface of the earth (Genesis 7:11).

Earth III

Like the curse, the Flood radically altered the nature of the earth. It produced Earth III, the earth we now live on.

The earth tilted on its axis, forming the polar caps. The unified land mass was split apart, forming the continents as we now know them (which is why they fit together like a jigsaw puzzle — see Genesis 10:25). And the vapor canopy was so completely depleted that ultraviolet radiation began to reach the earth in unprecedented levels, resulting in greatly reduced life spans, first to 120 years and then to 70 years.

The Bible reveals that the current earth, Earth III, will be radically changed again at the Second Advent of Jesus. The change agents will be earthquakes on the earth and supernatural phenomena in the heavens.

The changes produced will so totally alter the earth and its atmosphere that Isaiah refers to "the new heavens and the new earth" which will exist during the reign of the Lord (Isaiah 65:17).

Earth IV

Earth IV — The millennial earth — will be very different from the present earth. The earthquakes that will produce it will be the most severe in history.

Every valley will be lifted, every mountain will be lowered, and every island will be moved (Revelation 6:12-14; 16:17-21). Jerusalem will be lifted up, and Mt. Zion will become the highest of all the mountains (Zechariah 14:10 and Micah 4:1).

The vapor canopy will likely be restored because life spans will be expanded to what they were at the beginning of time (Isaiah 65:20,22).

Further evidence that the vapor canopy will be restored is to be found in the fact that all the earth will become abundant once again with lush vegetation (Isaiah 30:23-26 and Amos 9:13-14). The Dead Sea will also become alive (Ezekiel 47:1-9).

Most important, the curse will be partially lifted, making it possible for Man to be reconciled to Nature and for Nature to be reconciled to itself. The wolf will dwell with the lamb because the wolf will no longer be carnivorous. The nursing child will play with the cobra because the cobra will no longer be poisonous (Isaiah 11:8).

Earth V

But Satan's last revolt at the end of the Millennium will leave the earth polluted and devastated (Revelation 20:7-9). Thus, at the end of the Lord's reign, God will take the Redeemed off the earth, place them in the New Jerusalem, and then cleanse the earth with fire (2 Peter 3:10-13).

In other words, God will superheat this earth in a fiery inferno and then reshape it like a hot ball of wax. The result will be the "new heavens and new earth" prophesied in Isaiah 66 and Revelation 21.

This will be Earth V, the perfected, eternal earth where the Redeemed will spend eternity in the New Jerusalem in the presence of God (Revelation 21:1-4). The curse will be completely lifted from this earth (Revelation 22:3).

Restoration in the Old Testament

God loves His creation, and He is determined to restore it to its original perfection.

This purpose of God was reflected in the rites of the Tabernacle of Moses. Each year when the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the sins of the nation, he would sprinkle blood on the Mercy Seat of the Ark — and also on the ground in front of the Ark (Leviticus 16:15).

The blood on the Mercy Seat pointed to the promise of God that one day He would send a Messiah who would shed His blood so that the mercy of God could cover the Law and make it possible for us to be reconciled to our Creator. The blood on the ground pointed to the promise of God that the sacrifice of the Messiah would also make it possible for the creation to be redeemed.

In the Old Testament, Isaiah 11 gives us a beautiful picture of the redeemed creation during the Millennium. We are told that the meat eating animals will cease to prey on each other and "will eat straw like the ox." The poisonous animals will also be transformed. They will cease to be dangerous (Isaiah 11:6-9; 35:9).

The plant kingdom will similarly be transformed back to its original perfection before the curse. The result will be incredible agricultural abundance:

"Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord,
"When the plowman will overtake the reaper
And the treader of grapes him who sows seed;
When the mountains will drip sweet wine . . ."
— Amos 9:13

The prophet Joel adds that "the threshing floors will be full of grain, and the vats will overflow with the new wine and oil" (Joel 2:24).

The implication of these passages is that Man will no longer have to strive against nature because weeds and poisonous plants will cease to exist and rainfall will be abundant.

In fact, Isaiah tells us that areas of wilderness will be transformed into glorious forests (Isaiah 35:2) and deserts will become "springs of water" (Isaiah 35:7).

Restoration in the New Testament

The promise of a redeemed and restored creation is reaffirmed in the New Testament. Peter referred to the promise in his second sermon at the Temple in Jerusalem. He told his audience that Jesus would remain in Heaven until the time comes for the "restoration of all things" (Acts 3:21).

Paul elaborates the theme in Romans 8:18-23. He declares that the whole creation is in "slavery to corruption" (verse 21). This is a reference to what physicists call the Second Law of Thermodynamics; namely, that all of creation is running down, moving from order to disorder — that all of creation is in bondage to decay.

Paul then pictures the creation as a pregnant woman waiting anxiously for the moment of delivery when the curse will be lifted and the creation will be redeemed. He says that will occur at "the revealing of the sons of God."

That is a reference to the resurrection of the saints, a point he makes clear in verse 23 when he says that the saints should yearn with nature for that same event because that is when each of us will receive "the redemption of our body."

The Eternal Earth

The Old Testament has little to say about the eternal earth which God will create at the end of the Millennium. Isaiah simply asserts that such an earth will be provided (Isaiah 66:22). Isaiah's only other reference to a "new earth," in Isaiah 65:17, is a reference to the renovated earth of the Millennium.

In Revelation 21 the apostle John gives us the most detailed look at what the new, eternal earth will be like. And yet, his description is tantalizingly vague. He makes a cryptic reference to the fact that there will no longer be any sea (Revelation 21:1). Beyond that, all he tells us is that God will make "all things new" (Revelation 21:5).

A Glorious Blessing

I think the reason the passages about the eternal earth tell us so little about the features of that earth is because they focus on one glorious fact that overshadows any concern with what the new earth will be like. That fact is that the Redeemed will live in the presence of Almighty God (Revelation 21 and 22). We will "serve Him" and we will "see His face" (Revelation 22:3-4). What the earth will be like pales in comparison to this revelation.