End-Time Events According to the Bible – Program 1

By: Dave Hunt, Hal Lindsey and Dr. David Breese; ©1992
Why should Christians become familiar with the prophecies in the Bible? What does the Bible say about when Jesus will come again?


Why is Bible Prophecy Important?


The eyes of all Americans as well as the world are focused on President-Elect Bill Clinton’s plans for change. Time magazine states: “With all that is at stake and with all the hope that America has invested in him, Clinton can scarcely afford to prove unequal to his task.” If Clinton fails and has a one-term presidency, it would suggest to many that government cannot cope with our problems and that the American economy is sliding toward certain decline. Meanwhile, one Congressman has said, “The world will not stop just because we have a new president.” Boris Yeltsin heads toward a possible overthrow by hardliners frustrated with his rule. North Korea is suspected of developing a nuclear weapons capability. And China’s arms buildup is causing concern in the rest of Asia. The German defense minister has warned America not to forget the turmoil in the former Soviet republics, three of which still have nuclear weapons on their soil. And now that Baker and Bush are gone, what will happen to the Middle East peace talks?

Where are all of these world events leading? Do they parallel the prophetic picture of history outlined in the Bible? My three guests today are all best-selling authors and internationally known Bible scholars. They are Hal Lindsey, Dr. David Breese and Dave Hunt. We invite you to join us.

Dr. John Ankerberg: Welcome. We’re coming to you from beautiful Kansas City. And tonight our guests are Dr. David Breese, Hal Lindsey and Dave Hunt. We’re talking about biblical prophecy and current world events. And Dr. Breese, I’m going to come to you first. There’s a lot of skepticism about religion in general but when you come down to Christianity and Christians talk about biblical prophecy, they say, “Hey, you know, I’m tired of hearing that.” Why is biblical prophecy very important? What does God have to say about it? And then comment on a doctrine that we hear very little about today, and that’s the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Explain that for our television audience that might not know what that is.
Dr. David Breese: Well, first of all, John, thank you for the opportunity of being back with you, and it’s great also to be here in Kansas City.
And of course, the question is a fair one. Indeed, the Bible says, “There shall come in the last days scoffers walking after their own lusts and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming, for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they did from the beginning until now.’” [2 Pet. 3:3-4]
In other words, the doctrine of the uniformity of nature, that nature is the solid thing and we are the passing observers, that would obtain, the Bible says, as we move toward the end of the age. So that an understandable cynicism about, “We’ve heard of prophecy. We’ve seen, perhaps, not all of it fulfilled.” That, of course, can be explained on the part of people.
Let’s emphasize the fact that God very, very clearly emphasizes the immense value of the prophetic Word. For instance, back in the writing of the prophet Isaiah, this is God Himself speaking, and He says, “To whom will you liken Me and make Me equal and compare Me that we may be alike?” He then says, “Remember the former things of old for I am God and there is none else. I am God and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel will stand and I will do all my pleasure.’” [Isa. 46:5, 9-10]
We must see history as a continuum over which God provides and God presides. He sees the end from the beginning, and so prophecy is in a sense history written in advance. And when we think about it, the final test of ultimate truth is that ultimate truth can tell us what the future will bring to pass. Temporary science does experiments but, of course, it has to prove them by trial and error. Not so the Word of God. So God tells us about the future, and thank God we have, therefore, Peter’s declaration that “we have a more sure word of prophecy unto which you do well to take heed as to a light that shines in a dark place until the day dawn and the day star arise in your hearts.” [2 Pet. 1:19]
It might be worth mentioning that Peter really says three things to us. He says that as we move toward the end of the age, the world will get darker; therefore, the promise of Social Darwinism is not true. He tells us that we have a light in the midst of that darkness which is the Word of God and particularly, the prophetic Word. But then He says, “The day will dawn and the day star arise in your hearts,” alluding to the return of Jesus Christ which you have mentioned. Now, the great and marvelous gravamen of prophecy is the promise of the return of Christ. That promise implies that the world is not going to go on forever; whatever may be your human condition, it is temporary, but God will one day intervene in history.
John saw that very thing. In Revelation 19 he said, “I saw heaven open and there rode forth One upon a white horse,” and an army from heaven came with Him. And that rider on the white horse and the army that is with Him become the masters of the world and from there on out the rulers of the universe.
So the, what shall we say, “generic” promise of the prophetic Word is that the glorious return of Jesus Christ will right every wrong, answer every question, prove what we should believe now – but we need to believe it more thoroughly – and that is that God presides above history and He will not finally allow His will to be thwarted. He’s coming back and I can announce to this crowd tonight, He might be coming very soon. We’ll talk, I’m sure, ere this program is done, about the rapture and many other things, but every one of us should be looking up for a redemption that draws nigh – and that’s because the Bible says so.
Ankerberg: Hal Lindsey, what are some other verses that tell us pointblank that Jesus is coming again and then I’ve got another question for you.
Hal Lindsey: Well, let’s first just put it this way. Scholars have counted the number of verses in the New Testament that in some way refer to the Second Coming. They found that one out of every 25 verses in the New Testament relates to the Second Coming.
When Jesus, in His last great message – it was a prophetic message – He outlined all of the signs that would precede His coming, He stepped back and He gave a command. He said, “Now, learn the parable of the fig tree. When its limbs first become tender and put forth leaves, you know that summer is near.” [Luke 21:29-30] In other words, we can know the general time of summer when the first leaves appear on the fig tree. I don’t know the exact day that summer’s coming, but you know it’s near.
And then He applies it in Matthew 24:33. He says, “Even so, when you see all these things,” referring to all the predicted signs He had just given that would immediately precede His coming, He said, “When you see all these things [the prophetic signs] recognize.” Now, in the original Greek that’s in the imperative mood which means it is a command. He said, “Recognize I am at the door.” And He, of course, was saying that He is ready to return.
And then He gives the ultimate punch line of that teaching in verse 34. He says, “Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things are fulfilled.” Now, in context, the generation has to be the one that sees all the signs. And I believe that when the Lord and Savior says that we’re to recognize this, no one has the right to say it’s unimportant.
Dave Hunt: John, if I could just go back for a second, I think the audience here and watching on television needs to take this very seriously. God has said that He is the God of prophecy. We’re not coming up with some philosophical proof for the existence of God but that He foretells the future. Now, you will not find prophecy in the Hindu Vedas, the Mahabbarata, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana. You won’t find it in the Qur’an. You won’t find it in the Book of Mormon. You will not find it in the writings of Mary Baker Eddy. You will find it only in this book, the Bible. And what God says comes to pass, and I’m sure we’re going to get into some of these things. And this is the identifying characteristic of this God, His proof to the world. And we’re going to talk about some of these proofs in the prophecies.
Now, we better take very seriously a man who rose from the dead. Buddha’s tomb is occupied. Muhammad’s is occupied. Jesus left an empty tomb. And He said, “I’m coming back.” We better take Him seriously.
Now, you asked about some of the signs. I mean, there are a lot of them, but one of them, for example, He said a day was coming when a great tribulation would come upon this earth, and it would be so horrible, that unless He intervened to stop the destruction, no flesh would survive.
Now, sometimes people say, “Every generation thought theirs was the last generation.” Listen, I can give you a lot of prophecies that made no sense until our generation and that’s one of them. You don’t wipe out all life on planet Earth with bows and arrows and swords and spears, not even with commercial weapons of World War II for example. Our generation is the first one for which that prophecy makes sense. We have the weapons to wipe out all life on planet Earth and turn it into a sterile bit of dust floating through space with not even a cockroach. And we are the generation for which that makes sense for the first time.
Ankerberg: Alright, I want to ask this: What does Jesus say, what cataclysmic world events did Jesus describe in His preaching and His teaching that are in the Bible that would indicate to you that maybe our listeners, our viewers right now, may be the very generation that will be alive when Jesus comes back to earth? Dave?
Breese: John, I would mention what Jesus said in Matthew 24, where He said “the beginning of sorrows” will have five characteristics. There will be nation shall rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom, famine, pestilence, earthquake. [Matt. 24:7]
The word “nation,” by the way, is the word ethnos, and that implies racial warfare, ethnic peoples fighting against one another.
And then “kingdom against kingdom.” A kingdom is a political entity. Wars will be multiplied across the world. Look at what’s going on today. We have perhaps 40 wars at a given time.
And then famine, now, in desperate condition; even as we talk in Central Africa a thousand children a day are dying from malnutrition there now.
And then pestilence. We have the AIDS epidemic that has taken the lives of so many. As of 2007, more than 25 million have died worldwide as a result of AIDS. [1]
But finally, there will be earthquakes. I was in my first earthquake a short time ago, and believe me, that’s an interesting experience that you wouldn’t want to trade but you wouldn’t want to repeat.
Well, these are multiplying with deadly frequency across the world today, so I would submit that this period of time called “the beginning of sorrows” is the bridge that takes us out of the church age and into the tribulation. Five characteristics going strong today. We should certainly watch for them.
Ankerberg: Yeah. Harvard that actually put on the conference in Amsterdam concerning worldwide HIV infection sent me an article and said that in their opinion the HIV infected people in the world by the year 2000 is going to be somewhere between 30 million to 120 million people in the world will be HIV infected.
Talking about earthquakes, you’ve got a guy that lives out there with earthquakes: Hal Lindsey. And Hal, answer the question, do you think this is the generation that’s going to actually see Jesus Christ physically come back to this world?
Lindsey: Definitely.
Ankerberg: Why?
Lindsey: I believe many watching this program will be alive when it happens. There are many reasons. This is, you know, we’ve all been challenged, those of us who write about this, “Why do you think this is the unique generation? After all, there’s been all kinds of people who predict it.” I believe the uniqueness is the fact that all of the prophetic scenario that was outlined that would come just before the return of Christ is now present. That’s the first time in history that all of the various signs have come together simultaneously. Other generations have seen a few come together, but not all of them.
But the key to it all, as far as I’m concerned, is Israel. Way back in the time of Moses when he was the first writing prophet and in Deuteronomy 28, he predicted that Israel would twice be destroyed as a nation and twice they would return. The first time was in roughly 603 BC when the Babylonians destroyed Israel. The Syrians had already destroyed the northern kingdom; the Babylonians destroyed the southern kingdom, what was left. And then, they were returned, as was predicted, 70 years later. And they were in the land again until the time of Jesus and then when they rejected Jesus as the Messiah, He predicted Himself that the temple would be destroyed and that land would be destroyed again, the nation. 70 AD the Romans under Titus destroyed Israel again. This was their second dispersion, just as Moses had predicted.
But now, we see the ending of that second destruction and dispersion beginning May 14, 1948. Against impossible odds, prophecies like in Ezekiel 36 show that the people have been returned physically. But the prophet predicted a two-stage development in the return of Israel. First, they would be restored as a nation physically in very troubled times; and then later, they will be restored spiritually. And that’s coming. But I believe the fact that Israel is now present in the land, the fact, as the prophets said, they would become the focal point of world tension, that this is a clear indication that we are in that last generation.
By the way, you can search the prophets from Genesis to Revelation and you will not find anything that says that Israel would ever be scattered again. They have returned, May 14, 1948. Though they will go through perilous times, they will never be destroyed again. As a matter of fact, many of the prophets said once they are returned they will go through trouble but they will never be scattered again. And so I believe that that was the key. Now we see the whole scenario fitting around that.
Ankerberg: Dave Hunt, take us into some other things that Jesus said that apply only to our day that couldn’t have applied to another day.
Hunt: John, as I did the last time, I want to go back again just a minute. I’m just kind of a contrary guy up here, you know. I want to just carry on from where Hal was. Let’s just go back over it: 2500 years since the Babylonian captivity, these people have been scattered throughout the world, yet they remain an identifiable ethnic national group. Incredible! Couldn’t happen. Not only that, after 2500 years, 1900 years since the Diaspora in AD 70, back in their land. Never happened before. It’s incredible! You can’t be an atheist. God said it would happen.
But more than that, Zechariah 12, “I’m going to make Jerusalem a cup of trembling.” [Zech. 12:2] The whole world is going to be looking at Jerusalem in fear and trembling of what’s going to happen there. And everybody knows that World War III is going to break out over the Middle East. That’s why we’ve got a peace process going on. You know, if we had a prophet stand up in our midst today and he said, “Thus saith the Lord, ‘Behold, I make Kansas City, Missouri a cup of trembling. All the nations of the world will gather against it.” I mean, that guy’s got holes in his head. Lock him up in the loony bin! But when the prophet Zechariah said that about Jerusalem 2500 years ago, it was in ruins. It was surrounded by desert and swampland and to make that statement and it to come true. You can’t be an atheist! I mean, that proves who God is.
Now, let me just take one other in response to what you’ve asked. The Antichrist. What’s the Antichrist going to do? He’s going to unite the whole world politically, religiously, and economically. You couldn’t do that 50 years ago. You certainly couldn’t do it 1900 years ago when the prophecy was made. You can’t buy or sell without his mark. Nobody had the capability of controlling all banking and commerce. We’ve got it today. You know we’re heading for a “smart card.” You know ultimately we’re going to have a computer chip, however it works out. Our generation is the first one with the communications satellites. They can look over your shoulder and read a newspaper you’re looking at in your backyard. We have the capability to control all banking, all commerce, all life, where you go, what you do on planet Earth for the first time in the history of the world. And that’s exactly what the Bible said would happen.
Ankerberg: Dr. Breese, to the fellow that’s listening, what difference does it make? What should he do with this information?
Breese: I think that at this time we need to be reminded of the words of Christ – and I say “Amen” to all that we’ve heard today. Jesus, when He delineated these things said, “And when you see these things begin [not end but begin] to come to pass, then lift up your heads and look up because your redemption draws nigh.” [Luke 21:28]
I would have two recommendations for anyone listening. One is, be sure that you know Christ. He’s the Lord of history. And to miss knowing Him means that one is lost forever. And also I would say to every Christian, no better time than this time to commit your life to Christ, because this great curiosity about the time of the end is growing in the world, which makes for remarkable spiritual opportunity. That will belong to anyone who commits himself to the Savior especially in these days.
Ankerberg: In light of what you guys have been talking about, let’s next week turn to the nation of Israel and see what God has to say. Five hundred and eighty-six years before Christ, Ezekiel the prophet wrote these words that God gave him: “This is what the sovereign Lord says, ‘I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land.’” [Ezek. 3:21-22]
That has taken place; they are there now, and yet, in June 22, 1992 Newsweek said, “While the United States has agreed to preach restraint, at the same time they are shipping $13 billion worth of weapons to the troubled region since the end of the Gulf War.” One fellow said the diplomats may be talking peace, but the generals are preparing for war. CIA director Robert Gates has warned, “The Middle East remains dangerously unstable. The CIA has concluded that Syria and Iran could have nuclear, chemical and biological weapons within ten years” and that “many countries in the region will have the rockets, the planes to deliver weapons of mass destruction.”
Interesting, isn’t it? We’re going to talk about that next week and I hope that you’ll join us.


  1. [Worldwide AIDS and HIV Statistics, http://www.avert.org/worldstats.htm. Accessed 6/09]

Read Part 2

Leave a Comment