Many supposed signs or dates of the end have been proposed and they have all so far proven unreliable. Otherwise, the end should have already come upon us many times over. Nevertheless, there are reliable signs given in the Bible, even if most readers and teachers overlook or misunderstand them. One major sign of the end that Jesus spoke about will be unmissable, although to discuss it can be depressing. But if you dare, learn what the Book of Revelation says about this event that Jesus hinted at, a reliable end time sign that has to do with the most powerful nation on earth in the end times.
For most of my life I have been interested in prophecy and predictions. I wanted to know the future, if it were at all possible. With Bible prophecy and people claiming it was possible, it did not seem foolish to pursue this. I therefore sought out every imaginable source of prediction. I've looked into Nostrodamus, Edgar Cayce, the Mayan Calendar, Bible Codes, and many other sources.
With most of these, you soon notice that researchers invariably gravitate towards working out doomsday dates or years from these sources and systems. What could be better than to know the year of a terrible event far in advance? Pretty much nothing, so it is hard to blame them for trying.
Further, you may have noticed yourself that none of the doomsday dates from any of these sources has ever proven reliable or successful. Personally, I concluded long ago from this dismal track record that setting and watching date-based predictions is futile.
Don't Watch a Calendar, Watch For Events
Once I realized this, I was set free in a way to see things in the Bible differently. Instead of trying to figure out where in the Bible it had hidden the date or timing of end times events, I began to look for the unique signs it said would herald the end.
Ironically, it was only after I concluded this sign (not time) focus was the right approach that I noticed that Jesus had said exactly the same thing in the Parable of the Fig Tree. He said no man knows the day or hour but if you watch for specific events he had described in his Olivet Discourse, it would tell you the end was finally at hand. He said it worked just the same way as leaves on a tree tell you summer is at hand.
Jesus described several unprecedented events in his Olivet Discourse. In this article I will focus on one of them that is alluded to in this part:
Luke 21:9-10 (HCSB) — 9 When you hear of wars and rebellions, don’t be alarmed. Indeed, these things must take place first, but the end won’t come right away.” 10 Then He told them: “Nation will be raised up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
Matthew 24:6-8 (HCSB) 6 — You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, because these things must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these events are the beginning of birth pains.
Key Event: The Next World War
It takes a lot of time and care to work out what Jesus is trying to say above. For me it only came together after I understood major parts of Revelation first. But even without that, you can see that Jesus is talking about two different periods in this passage.
- The Long Period Before the End: This time has only wars and rumors of wars, but the end is not yet.
- The End Time or Beginning of Birth Pains/Sorrows: Instead of minor wars and rumors of them, there is something different called nation vs. nation, kingdom vs kingdom, or what sounds like a major world war. As I cover in another article, this world war must be associated with signs from heaven (that only Luke's parallel account mentions in Lk 21:11), earthquake and famine in all places at once. (In othe words, WWI and WWII do not qualify.)
For this article, I want to focus on the world war event of the beginning of the end and the other event that we will see must lead up to it.
Mystery Babylon the Great?
If you were to imagine a world war today, there is a short list of nations that would have to be in it with one at the top of nearly everyone's list. In what I believe is a parallel prophecy to Jesus' short treatment of this war in the Olivet Discourse, Revelation names this key nation and loser in the next world war:
Revelation 18:4 (HCSB) — 4 Then I heard another voice from heaven: Come out of her, My people, so that you will not share in her sins or receive any of her plagues. 8 For this reason her plagues will come in one day—death and grief and famine. She will be burned up with fire, because the Lord God who judges her is mighty.
After exhaustive research, I've concluded that this prophecy can only literally refer to the coming destruction of the United States of America. In Revelation 14, the fall of Babylon the Great is tied to the rise of the Beast. The fall is the second angel message (Rev 14:8). The Beast rising and enforcing his mark is the third angel message (Rev 14:9). Therefore if we watch for the Fall of America we will know that the Great Tribulation is coming next. When the Policeman of the World is gone, the lawless ones will be able to do as they wish. In other words, unlike with the first two world wars where America stepped in each time and turned the tide to change the outcome, this time America will be lost and the other side of the world war, the Beast power and the Ten Kings (Rev 17:16-17), will win. They then take over the world to initiate the mark of the beast and Great Tribulation very soon after.
Escaping America's Destruction
That bit of news is of course the buzzkill warned about earlier at the start. Most readers, particularly Americans like me, are not exactly delighted to learn that America's fiery end is spelled out in Bible prophecy. But the real downer is the doubt in the minds of Americans living there over whether they will be righteous enough, clever enough or even rich enough to take the advice given in the prophecy to leave before it happens and not take part in the destruction! What assurance do any of us we have that we can pull such an escape off for ourselves and even our families?
Thankfully, we know from the passage above that God clearly wants to save his people, his righteous servants, out of Babylon the Great before she falls, pretrib. He has to make it easy and clear for all to do it since not all are rich, alert, healthy and ready for a journey. His plan is to call out to them to move out of America and then to help them to do so. The parallel in Jeremiah confirms this with its description of “depart from the land” of Babylon (Jer 50:8).
If you have the heart to serve God, you do not have to fear missing this prophet's appearance. Nor do you have to fear being able to follow his instructions. When God led Israel out of Egypt, there were poor slaves who he made sure to enrich on the way out. He also performed miracles on their behalf. The Red Sea parted to let them escape and destroy their enemies. Their shoes never wore out. Bread fell from heaven and water came from the rock. He will do similar helps again for us modern slaves living paycheck to paycheck or limited in our travel by passports, papers and financial costs.
“Come Out of Her, My People” - Readers of All Time?
The question for us all is when do we obey the "command to depart?" Some think you do it as soon as you become aware of it by reading it. I used to be one of them.
When you think it through, the "obey upon reading it" idea does not work. Revelation was written around 17 centuries before America ever became a nation. People of that time had no way of obeying what they read let alone of understanding who it referred to.
When a prophecy is closed like that, many "best guess" interpretations arise. For example, to this day, people allegorize this passage to be about “coming out of false religion.” There has been false religion in Jesus' name to supposedly come out of since before Revelation was written.
However, that interpretation does not work for other reasons. The plain literal meaning of the passage indicates a physical place that both wicked and righteous people live in and physically move out of. The consequence of not coming out is to join the wicked in being burned with fire there. Of course, you cannot burn a religion with fire. Nor is a religion responsible for making merchants rich with goods (Rev 18:3). Only affluent industrial nations like America make traders rich. (If you are not convinced, read the 60 Reasons against any other interpretation but America).
“Come Out of Her, My People” - Listeners of Future Time!
So back to the command to leave America given in the present tense. Again, how can you be told to come out of a nation before it even exists? Obviously, you cannot.
However, we should step back and ask, “whose present is it” that the command given in? We've seen that the timing of whenever someone reads the passage does not work.
There is a better explanation: if we correct the time perspective of the command to America's future then we solve the problem, which is the actual context of the passage. When John heard the voice from heaven with the "come out" command, he was viewing a vision of wicked America right before judgment. This command to move out applies to that specific timeframe. John heard the instruction to leave in the timeframe of when there was just enough time to flee before the destruction.
Commands and Rumors in the Land To Leave
This means that Revelation 18's "come out of her" voice prophecy requires that that very instruction be given to all God's people alive at the time who need to leave America. If you doubt that, there is a parallel prophecy of this message going out before the violence and war happens:
Jeremiah 51:45 (HCSB) — Come out from among her, My people! Save your lives, each of you, from the LORD’s burning anger.
Jeremiah 51:46 (KJV) — And lest your heart faint, and ye fear for the rumour that shall be heard in the land; a rumour shall both come one year, and after that in another year shall come a rumour, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler.
Jeremiah confirms that we will have this "rumor" or "report" before the violence in the land comes. The action tied to the rumor is again to move out of the land or to save your life from God's judgment.
If these rumors and commands were not to come, how could any of us know when America will be destroyed? We couldn't.
As mentioned before, history shows that humans are terrible at intuiting the timing of prophetic events in the future. One thing is for sure, the enemy of America who will bring this about is not going to announce the attack ahead of time. No doubt it will be a surprise attack, perhaps a first strike of nuclear weapons (note: it definitely won't be an economic collapse).
Which Nation Destroys America?
Unfortunately, Revelation 18 does not identify the enemy nation. The rest of the parallel in Jeremiah 50-51 does give a clue. It indicates that the fatal attack will arrive from the direct north (Jer 50:3). The map below shows what nations would lie due north from America.
Running along this line you first see Canada and then Russia. Obviously Canada is not a nuclear power or an enemy. Russia both and in fact, the "usual suspect" when talking about WWIII. The shortest distance for Russia to send nuclear missiles at the US would be along this line, not from the east. A missile attack along this route would only require 30 minutes to destroy the entire US, as Putin once boasted, just as Revelation predicts (Rev 18:10, 17).
About That Voice From Heaven...
So how will this voice from heaven work from our perspective exactly? Will all the world hear this same voice from heaven John heard?
That is highly doubtful. Only on rare and special occasions do people hear voices from heaven. The only time heaven has spoken to the masses was when the nation of Israel was called into a covenant with God. Apart from that only the righteous and perhaps a few with them (Paul or Job with his friends) have heard from heaven.
Instead, the standard method God uses is to send a prophet with his words in his mouth. When God wanted Israel to prepare to leave Egypt, he did not yet opt to speak to them from heaven. He instead made Moses his prophet, speaking to him from the burning bush, and sent him with his word to Israel. And he did not send him empty-handed. He equipped him with supernatural signs of his authority. These included the staff that could turn into a serpent, his temporary-leprous-hand-from-inside-the-cloak trick, and turning waters to blood.
The Prophesied End Time Prophet
As with doomsday dates, the past is the best indicator of the future, especially with God who says he does not change. The precedents of his dealings and operations in the past tell us how he will operate again in the future under similar circumstances. The Book of Revelation gives us a great outline of future events but leaves many details unclear. This is one way the book has been sealed. It is up to us to fill in the details through understanding the lessons and precedents of the preceding 65 books in the Bible.
If God is going to get his people to know that they have to move, he will send a prophet to do so. We have not seen a prophet like this since the New Testament canon closed. Yet there is a prophecy of such a prophet coming in the end time. It is the prophecy of Elijah coming before the Day of the Lord (Mal 4:5-6).
Before Jesus' first coming, John the Baptist came and fulfilled this prophecy once. But this was very long before the Day of the LORD. 2000 years off, in fact. Also, John did not "restore all things" as Jesus said the next Elijah coming first would:
Matthew 17:11 — He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things.
Plainly, Jesus said there is another fulfillment of Elijah coming that better fits “before the Day of the LORD” who will "restore all things." If Jesus comes twice then it would make sense that his forerunner who prepares people for repentance would come twice, too. Each generation needs the repentance message.
(Not if you have doubts about this, see my article covering the several contradictory-seeming verses on John the Baptist vs the coming Elijah.)
John even denied being Elijah when asked. Either he lied or he was interpreting the question asked as indicating the Elijah who comes before the Messiah comes to reign, which is exactly what the Jews were expecting then. But John was the Elijah who comes 2000 years before at the First Coming. Perhaps for this reason he said he was the "voice of one calling in the wilderness" instead of Elijah as the angel Gabriel pronounced to his parents.
Calculating and watching dates by the calendar has never worked to predict or tell us about the end. Jesus focused on a few specific prerequisite events in prophecy that must be fulfilled before the global time of trouble is upon us. America's fall is (unfortunately) one of those events.
Given that God clearly wants to save "his people" out, a related end time event is the necessary sending of a prophet to lead them out just as he has done with his people in the past. This prophet will not be like the Christian prophets we are used to. He will come with power and authority like Elijah or Moses did to leave no doubt they were confirmed representatives of God.
The only question is whether you will have the faith at that time to comply with the radical command to pick up and move. But if you know in advance, why leave it to chance? Work to Increase your faith now. Read the Bible more and and walk according to it. When you see God working in your life as you follow him and make the sacrifices he requires, you will build a relationship of trust with him like Abraham demonstrated in his commanded sojourns. With this kind of faith, you will be more than ready when the day to move comes, and you will not be caught in America when she falls to fulfill that key and unmissable sign of the end that Jesus spoke of.
Update: If you want to know why America's fall can't happen while Donald Trump is US president, read why Jesus can't come back this year.