Originally written on October 28th, 2017. Updated for you here in 2019
There has been much discussion as of late on whether or not the United States is found in Bible prophecy. How does the world’s most powerful, Christian, and Israel-friendly nation not warrant a mention as a key player in the last days? If the US is in Bible prophecy, what role does she play? If she is not, then why not? What happens to her vast natural resources, advanced technology, military arsenal, and able-bodied citizens? Considering these questions, there are biblically sound, and astute teachers on both sides of the issue who either believe that the US is Mystery Babylon, or that we are not in the picture at all.
Those who are in the camp of us being Babylon (mystery or otherwise), seem to make good points for that case (see here). Probably the strongest reason why we could be is that the Jew’s are told to come out of her. As of 2017, the largest concentration of Jewish people outside of Israel is in the United States. While at the same time, there are practically no Jews in what was traditional Babylon (Iraq) thanks to the likes of Al Qaeda, ISIS, and other militant Islamic groups. So how could they come out of her (Babylon), if they are not in there to begin with?
Those in the camp who believe we are not in the prophetic picture at all (see here) also believe so for a variety of well-thought-out reasons. The most obvious reason for saying the US is not in Bible prophecy is that there is no explicit mention of any nation (in the geopolitical sense) that matches our description in the prophetic texts concerning the last days.
While a number of doomsday scenarios could pose an existential threat to the United States, none (in my opinion) threaten to so suddenly upend the traditional global order as would the Rapture of the Church. This particular threat to our current world order has been gravely underestimated in books like the “Left Behind” series and other popular eschatological material. Underestimated not because of the percentage of how many American’s are raptured up, but by what immediately follows.
Also keep in mind that it is not just the total number of Christian’s caught up in the United States that threatens her national sovereignty, but that we have Christian’s sprinkled throughout our social strata. For example, Egypt may see a decent percentage of its Coptic-Christian population raptured up, but they are sitting at the bottom of their social strata. Same with Russia and China. So while we may never truly know whether President Trump is a Christian or not, there is no doubt with Vice President Pence. The second most powerful man in the US would suddenly be removed in a blink of an eye.
And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. Luke 17:26-30
Speculation abounds as to what the percentage will be for those believers who are actually caught up. Some think as low as one percent while others think as high as twenty-five percent. The percentage then has become a sort of a measuring stick by which we could determine whether or not the US survives the Rapture event and goes on to play a major role in the 70th Week of Daniel. I tend to think around ten percent of the US population will be raptured, but even then that means around thirty million Americans (by current population standards) would instantaneously disappear. But regardless, the how is less important than the why in regards to our potential role in the Tribulation.
What is of utmost importance is realizing that once the Rapture does occur, the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit is also removed (2 Thess. 2:6-8).
This does not mean that the Holy Spirit disappears from the earth altogether. The Holy Spirit is omnipresent and cannot, not be everywhere. The Holy Spirit was on the earth prior to the day of Pentecost and He will be here after the Rapture event. What it means is that the mystery of iniquity (or lawlessness) that is active in the world today, is at the same time actively being hindered by God’s power through His people. We are salt and light to a world that will quickly be engulfed in darkness once the Rapture occurs. But after the Rapture, lawlessness will no longer be hindered. Lawlessness will go unchecked and the world will quickly move in one accord under the direction of Satan who will rapidly form that final world system.
Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” Luke 4:5-7
The idea that the world first experiences the Rapture then sees the unleashing of the four horsemen matches perfectly with what Paul is shown concerning the order of events. The man of sin cannot be revealed until we (the body of Christ) are removed. This is why we see John record the Revelation in the manner which he does (Rev. 1:19):
the vision-the things John has seen
the seven letters to the seven churches-the things which are in John’s day until now
the heavenly throne room and subsequent events-the things after this (after the churches)
Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. Revelation 6:1-2
The first horse out of the gate is the man of sin riding the white horse. He seemingly takes advantage of a crisis already in progress. How long the crisis lasts between the Rapture and his arrival is unknown. We know that the actual 70th Week does not start at the Rapture, but with a covenant that is signed between Israel and the nations (Dan. 9:27) which he will ultimately violate halfway through. As Bill Salus has already articulately alluded too, the removal of the restraint of lawlessness will seemingly force Israel’s hand into some type of peace/security treaty with the 10-nation/region confederacy (the revived Roman Empire). That treaty will be for seven-years, which at the midpoint, the rider on the white horse (the Antichrist) will violate. The man of sin will then become the son of perdition once Satan physically possesses him at the midway point.
At present, it is impossible for us to know who this man will be. We only know what the Bible says about him. However, his arrival likely comes at a point of great turmoil. So if the world’s agenda is currently being hindered by God the Holy Spirit through the body of Christ on the earth, what does our removal then signify?
A total lack of restraint.
Unchecked restraint will result in violence, bloodshed, crime, turmoil, and conflict, unlike anything the world has ever seen.
It will mean that the floodgates of hell are opened and there will be a short, super intense period of chaos immediately following the removal of the body of Christ (the Church) from the earth. This will force the power structures of the former world-order (pre-rapture) to realign themselves to a new post-rapture reality. The old saying is that nature abhors a vacuum, and will fill itself with anything to avoid a vacuum. If the church’s removal provides this vacuum, you can guarantee that something will fill that void. This is where I believe the spirit of antichrist becomes the strong delusion that sweeps over the world.
Logically what comes with turmoil and change, is conflict. If we look back at World War 1 or World War 2, we see that the geopolitical realities changed significantly before and after each of those events. After the Rapture will be no different. The world will be forced to realign itself. IF the US is not impacted at all by the Rapture, then the current power structure (or the world order) will not need to change. But we do see great change coming because the next horse unleashed is the rider on the red horse.
When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. Rev. 6:3-4
As I’ve stated in a previous brief’s, any belief system outside of true, orthodox Christianity, is from Satan. While the varying religions and worldviews may have different angles, forms of worship, terminology, agendas, etc., they are all varying corruptions of the truth. The reality then is that there is only one God, who is expressed in three Persons, who are all of the same divine essence, and being, co-equal in power, and willingly submitting to each other to eternally be in one accord, according to Scripture. Anything that deviates from that is from Satan.
In other words, Satan could have just as easily used Hinduism or Shintoism to violently rampage across the Middle East and Europe as he has with Islam. Any view that is not true biblical Christianity, is fiercely (when confronted) opposed to the truth because of what it reveals about its corrupted nature. Without the Holy Spirit to keep the world at bay, the world will tear itself apart trying to establish a new dominant religious position.
When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine. Rev. 6:5-6
When peace is taken from the earth, what naturally follows is economic disparity and starvation. Global war will violently disrupt the world’s economic structures and systems. Amazon will not be shipping. Air and sea travel will stop. The oil will not be shipped. The US dollar will crash, and it will drag all the rest of the world’s currencies down with it. However, the rich and powerful will still have the means to keep their wealth and sustenance, while the majority of the world’s populations will not. Following massive worldwide starvation, comes death and pestilence. Imagine Venezuela, globally.
When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. Rev. 6:7-8
The world population is currently at 7.5 billion people. While we can’t know the percentage of those taken up at the Rapture of the Church, we can know (roughly) how many perish during the first four Seal judgments. A fourth of that is around 1.875B people. This is an unprecedented number and aside from the Noahic flood, we really don’t have anything else that can really compare to the number that large perishing in such a short period of time. That number alone will force major geopolitical alignments that will bring about the final world system headed by the Antichrist.
I think that the biblically, reasonable answer to the question of whether the United States is in Bible prophecy is that we are, but not in the way we hoped or expected. Although I believe we are not Mystery Babylon, we will be essential to its creation.
Every gentile power that has ever risen to global prominence, has ultimately befriended and then betrayed the nation of Israel and/or the Jewish people. [The nations will have to answer for this as well (Matt. 25:31-46)]. So it stands to reason, that after the Rapture, the US will cease to look or be anything of like what it is today. I expect the US to become exceedingly hostile toward the Jews and Israel, much the same way Europe rapidly became in the early 20th century.
The Jews will have to flee the United States back to Israel just as they did Europe between WWI and WWII. This is because the antichrist spirit will feed that supernatural hatred to a people who have been given over to a strong delusion. Satan’s plan is to gather all the Jews into one place so to set a snare for destruction (Matt. 24:15-21, 2 Thess. 2:3-4). If Satan can destroy Israel and kill all the Jews, then God’s prophetic word would fail, thus nullifying God’s plan for Satan’s eternal damnation.
Likewise, if the US ceases to be the world superpower, some other nation(s) will have to rise up to fill void such as the revived Roman Empire. What’s left of the US will be incorporated into that final world system. Without the constraints of the Judeo-Christian constitution, the US will dissolve relatively quickly. Imagine all the left-wing democrat radicals running the show, and it’s not hard to see how quickly they will turn on Israel.
Side note: This leads me to believe that the Gog and Magog invasion (Ezekiel 38-39), will be after the Rapture. I cannot imagine any scenario where our current leadership abandons a close ally in her greatest time of need. However, after the Rapture, the US will not be in any position to come to anyone’s aid.
The antichrist and the false prophet simply do not have enough time left to build the world forces it needs to dominate the planet in only seven years. They will have to rely on taking from what’s already in existence (from the major world powers). This may be from the creation of some new AI architecture (think Skynet) or through the supernatural, as Satan’s forces will be unrestrained at that point. The antichrist will use either (or both) to impose his iron-fisted will over the entire planet. Granted, even that time will be very brief as the forces from the east will eventually rise up to challenge his (antichrist’s) authority (Rev. 16:12).
Unfortunately, the US will be amongst the nations who finally assemble at the Valley of Megiddo and try to challenge the physical return of Jesus to the earth (Zech. 12:3). The nation’s armies are quickly and effortlessly destroyed as Jesus brings His armies from heaven to watch Him single-handedly destroy the world’s system (Dan. 2:44-45). Unlike earthly empires and kingdoms, Jesus does not have any weaknesses. He is the infinite source of all wealth, all power, and does not rely on consensus to conduct His will, because He and the Father, and the Spirit are One in purpose. To this, Revelation 19:15-16 states-
Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
Even so, Maranatha!