From Punishment to Destiny

From Punishment to Destiny

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“How awful that day will be! None will be like it. It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it” (Jeremiah 30:7 Jeremiah 30:7Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
American King James Version×
, NIV).

Though the United States and Britain do not appear in the Bible’s prophecies of the end time under their present names, God hasn’t ignored these nations. He identifies them in prophecy according to their ancestry. Most people simply haven’t known where to look for them.

Throughout the long history of the lost 10 tribes of Israel, God has always known who and where they were. Just as He promised to their ancient forefathers, He has given the modern descendants of Joseph—primarily Britain and the United States—the family birthright and many of the earth’s choicest blessings. These nations have received a singular opportunity to provide leadership in the world at large. But what does the Bible say about their future? The answer is sobering.

Many Bible prophecies portray a repentant Israel at the return of Christ. Its descendants will turn to God and begin obeying His laws—but only after they have gone through crises worse in many ways than the catastrophes that befell the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

The descendants of Israel who repent and turn to God—described in prophecies as only a “remnant” of their previous population (Isaiah 11:11-16 Isaiah 11:11-16 11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. 13 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. 14 But they shall fly on the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand on Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them. 15 And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over with dry sandals. 16 And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.
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; Jeremiah 23:3 Jeremiah 23:3And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
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; Ezekiel 6:8 Ezekiel 6:8Yet will I leave a remnant, that you may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when you shall be scattered through the countries.
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)—will suffer enormously during the biblically prophesied time of “great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21 Matthew 24:21For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
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).

Only when they are humbled to the point of repenting of their sins will they be able to fulfill their God-ordained destiny of serving as a blessing to the nations. This wonderful future, however, will be preceded by the severest of trials. As Moses delivered the ancient Israelites from Egyptian slavery, Jesus Christ is coming to deliver modern Britain and America and the other Israelite-descended nations from an end-of-the-age subjugation by a modern religious and political system called “Babylon the great” (Revelation 17), centered in Europe.

This latter-day deliverance entails the fulfillment of some of the most astounding prophecies of the Bible: “ ‘Therefore behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that it shall no more be said, “The LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,” but, “The LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.” For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers’ ” (Jeremiah 16:14-15 Jeremiah 16:14-15 14 Therefore, behold, the days come, said the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD lives, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 15 But, The LORD lives, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands where he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave to their fathers.
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).

But why will these calamities come on the United States and Britain?

God’s expectations of Israel

In fulfillment of His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, God established Israel as a nation for the purpose of bringing blessings to other nations (Deuteronomy 9:5 Deuteronomy 9:5Not for your righteousness, or for the uprightness of your heart, do you go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD your God does drive them out from before you, and that he may perform the word which the LORD swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
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; Genesis 12:3 Genesis 12:3And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.
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). From their earliest days God expected the Israelites to be an example to the other nations around them of the divine blessings that would be poured out on all who worship and obey Him (Deuteronomy 4:6 Deuteronomy 4:6Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
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; Deuteronomy 14:2 Deuteronomy 14:2For you are an holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a peculiar people to himself, above all the nations that are on the earth.
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).

If the Israelites would fulfill their part of their covenant agreement with God, God said He would make Israel the premier nation of the world (Deuteronomy 26:19 Deuteronomy 26:19And to make you high above all nations which he has made, in praise, and in name, and in honor; and that you may be an holy people to the LORD your God, as he has spoken.
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; Deuteronomy 28:1-13 Deuteronomy 28:1-13 1 And it shall come to pass, if you shall listen diligently to the voice of the LORD your God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command you this day, that the LORD your God will set you on high above all nations of the earth: 2 And all these blessings shall come on you, and overtake you, if you shall listen to the voice of the LORD your God. 3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. 4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your cows, and the flocks of your sheep. 5 Blessed shall be your basket and your store. 6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. 7 The LORD shall cause your enemies that rise up against you to be smitten before your face: they shall come out against you one way, and flee before you seven ways. 8 The LORD shall command the blessing on you in your storehouses, and in all that you set your hand to; and he shall bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you. 9 The LORD shall establish you an holy people to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and walk in his ways. 10 And all people of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of you. 11 And the LORD shall make you plenteous in goods, in the fruit of your body, and in the fruit of your cattle, and in the fruit of your ground, in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you. 12 The LORD shall open to you his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain to your land in his season, and to bless all the work of your hand: and you shall lend to many nations, and you shall not borrow. 13 And the LORD shall make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall be above only, and you shall not be beneath; if that you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day, to observe and to do them:
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). But if the Israelites disobeyed they would suffer the consequences (Deuteronomy 28:15-68 Deuteronomy 28:15-68 15 But it shall come to pass, if you will not listen to the voice of the LORD your God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command you this day; that all these curses shall come on you, and overtake you: 16 Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field. 17 Cursed shall be your basket and your store. 18 Cursed shall be the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your land, the increase of your cows, and the flocks of your sheep. 19 Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. 20 The LORD shall send on you cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that you set your hand to for to do, until you be destroyed, and until you perish quickly; because of the wickedness of your doings, whereby you have forsaken me. 21 The LORD shall make the pestilence stick to you, until he have consumed you from off the land, where you go to possess it. 22 The LORD shall smite you with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue you until you perish. 23 And your heaven that is over your head shall be brass, and the earth that is under you shall be iron. 24 The LORD shall make the rain of your land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down on you, until you be destroyed. 25 The LORD shall cause you to be smitten before your enemies: you shall go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shall be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 And your carcass shall be meat to all fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away. 27 The LORD will smite you with the botch of Egypt, and with the tumors, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof you can not be healed. 28 The LORD shall smite you with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart: 29 And you shall grope at noonday, as the blind gropes in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways: and you shall be only oppressed and spoiled ever more, and no man shall save you. 30 You shall betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: you shall build an house, and you shall not dwell therein: you shall plant a vineyard, and shall not gather the grapes thereof. 31 Your ox shall be slain before your eyes, and you shall not eat thereof: your ass shall be violently taken away from before your face, and shall not be restored to you: your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you shall have none to rescue them. 32 Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, and your eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long; and there shall be no might in your hand. 33 The fruit of your land, and all your labors, shall a nation which you know not eat up; and you shall be only oppressed and crushed always: 34 So that you shall be mad for the sight of your eyes which you shall see. 35 The LORD shall smite you in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the top of your head. 36 The LORD shall bring you, and your king which you shall set over you, to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known; and there shall you serve other gods, wood and stone. 37 And you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations where the LORD shall lead you. 38 You shall carry much seed out into the field, and shall gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it. 39 You shall plant vineyards, and dress them, but shall neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them. 40 You shall have olive trees throughout all your coasts, but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil; for your olive shall cast his fruit. 41 You shall beget sons and daughters, but you shall not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity. 42 All your trees and fruit of your land shall the locust consume. 43 The stranger that is within you shall get up above you very high; and you shall come down very low. 44 He shall lend to you, and you shall not lend to him: he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail. 45 Moreover all these curses shall come on you, and shall pursue you, and overtake you, till you be destroyed; because you listened not to the voice of the LORD your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded you: 46 And they shall be on you for a sign and for a wonder, and on your seed for ever. 47 Because you served not the LORD your God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; 48 Therefore shall you serve your enemies which the LORD shall send against you, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron on your neck, until he have destroyed you. 49 The LORD shall bring a nation against you from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies; a nation whose tongue you shall not understand; 50 A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favor to the young: 51 And he shall eat the fruit of your cattle, and the fruit of your land, until you be destroyed: which also shall not leave you either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of your cows, or flocks of your sheep, until he have destroyed you. 52 And he shall besiege you in all your gates, until your high and fenced walls come down, wherein you trusted, throughout all your land: and he shall besiege you in all your gates throughout all your land, which the LORD your God has given you. 53 And you shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters, which the LORD your God has given you, in the siege, and in the narrow place, with which your enemies shall distress you: 54 So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave: 55 So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he has nothing left him in the siege, and in the narrow place, with which your enemies shall distress you in all your gates. 56 The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot on the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, 57 And toward her young one that comes out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and narrow place, with which your enemy shall distress you in your gates. 58 If you will not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; 59 Then the LORD will make your plagues wonderful, and the plagues of your seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance. 60 Moreover he will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt, which you were afraid of; and they shall stick to you. 61 Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring on you, until you be destroyed. 62 And you shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God. 63 And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nothing; and you shall be plucked from off the land where you go to possess it. 64 And the LORD shall scatter you among all people, from the one end of the earth even to the other; and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known, even wood and stone. 65 And among these nations shall you find no ease, neither shall the sole of your foot have rest: but the LORD shall give you there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: 66 And your life shall hang in doubt before you; and you shall fear day and night, and shall have none assurance of your life: 67 In the morning you shall say, Would God it were even! and at even you shall say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of your heart with which you shall fear, and for the sight of your eyes which you shall see. 68 And the LORD shall bring you into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spoke to you, You shall see it no more again: and there you shall be sold to your enemies for slaves and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you.
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). God told them other nations would take them captive (verses 25, 32-33, 36). Even their punishment was to be a lesson to other nations: “You shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword among all nations where the LORD will drive you” (verse 37).

The Israelites were supposed to be a model to other nations of the blessings of obedience and the penalties of disobedience to God’s instruction. Regardless of the choices they have made, both anciently and today, this is still the role God has given them. And He holds them responsible for the way they respond to that role.

Nearly 3,500 years ago God told Israel: “Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which the LORD your God has forbidden you. For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

“When you beget children and grandchildren and have grown old in the land, act corruptly and make a carved image in the form of anything, and do evil in the sight of the LORD your God to provoke Him to anger, I call heaven and earth to witness against you…And the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the LORD will drive you” (Deuteronomy 4:23-27 Deuteronomy 4:23-27 23 Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD your God has forbidden you. 24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. 25 When you shall beget children, and children’s children, and you shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the LORD your God, to provoke him to anger: 26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that you shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto you go over Jordan to possess it; you shall not prolong your days on it, but shall utterly be destroyed. 27 And the LORD shall scatter you among the nations, and you shall be left few in number among the heathen, where the LORD shall lead you.
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).

Israel’s descendants fail in their responsibilities

With the restoration of Joseph’s birthright promises to his descendants, Britain and the United States, the people of these nations have enjoyed unprecedented prosperity. Once again, like their forefathers, they have had the opportunity to be a “holy” people, an example of righteousness to other nations.

Britain had the opportunity to spread ethical, godly civilization to much of the world. At the height of their empire, the British people took the Bible into far-flung corners of the earth. Yet today religion is routinely ridiculed in Britain’s national news and entertainment media, and Christianity is foundering. Many church buildings have been shuttered and locked because people no longer attend. A large majority of the British people shows little or no interest in the teachings of the Bible.

Similarly, the United States was founded through leaders who for the most part held great respect for the Bible. Although officially favoring no single religion, the country soon became recognized as the leading Christian nation in the world. But in recent times a large portion of the nation has likewise ignored the teachings of the Bible. Paradoxically, the United States is one of the most prosperous nations of the world and one of the most immoral. It has one of the worst rates of crime and violence of all nations.

As in ancient Israel (Jeremiah 5:7-9 Jeremiah 5:7-9 7 How shall I pardon you for this? your children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses. 8 They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbor’s wife. 9 Shall I not visit for these things? said the LORD: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
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), immorality runs rampant in the United States and the nations that once formed the British Empire. The number of broken homes and fatherless households has continued to skyrocket even as national prosperity has increased. Illegitimacy, the abortions of millions of innocent babies and epidemics of sexually transmitted diseases are the hallmarks of a sleazy, if-it-feels-good-do-it morality.

Millions seek escape in alcohol and illegal drugs. Crude and violent entertainment dominates the airwaves. Filth passes for culture. Millions of people live in fear of becoming victims of crime or random violence. Many cities are cesspools of crime, gang violence, poverty, illiteracy and illegitimacy. Greed and materialism have become the national religion in countries that have long prided themselves on being “Christian” nations. As a result of these and other sins, many now view the United States and Britain, once respected throughout much of the world, with ill-disguised contempt.

Among the most serious sins of the ancient house of Israel were idolatry and Sabbath breaking, by which Israel abandoned any regular pattern of hearing and learning more about God’s Word.

Notice what God said through the prophet Ezekiel after Israel fell into captivity: “Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them. Yet the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not walk in My statutes; they despised My judgments, which, if a man does, he shall live by them; and they greatly defiled My Sabbaths…They despised My judgments and did not walk in My statutes, but profaned My Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols” (Ezekiel 20:12-16 Ezekiel 20:12-16 12 Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them. 13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury on them in the wilderness, to consume them. 14 But I worked for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out. 15 Yet also I lifted up my hand to them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands; 16 Because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols.
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).

As a result they began to believe that one religious belief or practice was no better than another—that they could change the rules of life as they pleased. Because of these beliefs and their sins, God allowed them to go into captivity.

The same is true today. Although many people observe religious holidays, these holidays generally have nothing to do with the worship of the true God but are rooted in ancient idolatry. In many ways the sins of people today are identical to those of ancient Israel. (To better understand the true origins of many of today’s most popular holidays, be sure to request your free copy of the booklet Holidays or Holy Days: Does It Matter Which Days We Keep? )

The words of the prophet Hosea are a chillingly accurate description of the United States and Britain: “Hear the word of the LORD, you children of Israel, for the LORD brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land: ‘There is no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land. By swearing and lying, killing and stealing and committing adultery, they break all restraint, with bloodshed upon bloodshed. Therefore the land will mourn…

“ ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…The more they increased, the more they sinned against Me…They set their heart on their iniquity…So I will punish them for their ways, and reward them for their deeds’ ” (Hosea 4:1-9 Hosea 4:1-9 1 Hear the word of the LORD, you children of Israel: for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. 2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood touches blood. 3 Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwells therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yes, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away. 4 Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for your people are as they that strive with the priest. 5 Therefore shall you fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with you in the night, and I will destroy your mother. 6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall be no priest to me: seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children. 7 As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame. 8 They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity. 9 And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings.
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). Just as God punished ancient Israel for its sins, He plans to punish its modern descendants for their persistent disobedience.

God remains the same

God does not change (Malachi 3:6 Malachi 3:6For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.
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). He responds consistently and impartially to human behavior. He blesses for obedience and punishes for disobedience. The modern descendants of Israel should not ignore His timeless warnings.

At the beginning of Israel’s history as a nation, God inspired Moses to write: “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known” (Deuteronomy 11:26-28 Deuteronomy 11:26-28 26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; 27 A blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: 28 And a curse, if you will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which you have not known.
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).

Likewise He explained His purpose and plan for Israel as a nation: “Also today the LORD has proclaimed you to be His special people…He will set you high above all nations which He has made, in praise, in name, and in honor, and that you may be a holy people to the LORD your God, just as He has spoken” (Deuteronomy 26:18-19 Deuteronomy 26:18-19 18 And the LORD has avouched you this day to be his peculiar people, as he has promised you, and that you should keep all his commandments; 19 And to make you high above all nations which he has made, in praise, and in name, and in honor; and that you may be an holy people to the LORD your God, as he has spoken.
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). These are exactly the blessings and opportunities He has given to Britain and America, the modern descendants of Joseph.

So what lies ahead for these nations? What punishment will they have to suffer for choosing the ways of sin while turning their backs on the opportunities that God has given them?

The time of Jacob’s trouble

The prophet Jeremiah spoke to the house of Judah in his day, the sixth century B.C., when Judah faced God’s chastening at the hands of the Babylonian Empire. But Jeremiah also prophesied to the house of Israel— which God had punished and sent into captivity more than a century before he was born. Jeremiah wrote of a time of national trouble that is yet ahead for the modern descendants of the lost 10 tribes of Israel.

Notice their condition when Christ returns: “ ‘For behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah…And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it’ ” (Jeremiah 30:3 Jeremiah 30:3For, see, the days come, said the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, said the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.
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).

Then Jeremiah describes why God will have to intervene and save modern Israelites. “ ‘Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it. For it shall come to pass in that day,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘that I will break his yoke from your neck, and will burst your bonds; foreigners shall no more enslave them’ ” (Jeremiah 30:7-8 Jeremiah 30:7-8 7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it. 8 For it shall come to pass in that day, said the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off your neck, and will burst your bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:
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). Notice that the “yoke” and “bonds” that enslave the descendants of Jacob are placed on them by “foreigners”—enemy nations.

It is out of this foreign domination and enslavement that Christ will deliver them at His second coming. This will be the time when King David and Christ’s 12 apostles—along with all the rest of God’s saints—will be resurrected to begin ruling with Christ over a restored Israel in the Kingdom of God (Ezekiel 37:24 Ezekiel 37:24And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.
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; Matthew 19:28 Matthew 19:28And Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you, That you which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, you also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
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).

Jeremiah, still speaking of the end time, continues: “ ‘But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up for them. Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,’ says the LORD, ‘nor be dismayed, O Israel; for behold, I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet, and no one shall make him afraid. For I am with you,’ says the LORD, ‘to save you; though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, yet I will not make a complete end of you’ ” (Jeremiah 30:9-11 Jeremiah 30:9-11 9 But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up to them. 10 Therefore fear you not, O my servant Jacob, said the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, see, I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid. 11 For I am with you, said the LORD, to save you: though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, yet I will not make a full end of you: but I will correct you in measure, and will not leave you altogether unpunished.
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).

The Bible gives most of the prophecies relating to this time of trouble in the context of how God plans to deliver the Israelites after He again punishes them. When Christ returns to begin the “restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21 Acts 3:21Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
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), the modern descendants of Jacob will again be in a state of captivity. This means that Jacob’s “time of trouble” in the last days, as Jeremiah predicted, will indeed be severe.

Unparalleled trouble—and deliverance

Daniel says: “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered…” (Daniel 12:1 Daniel 12:1And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
American King James Version×
).

Why will God allow this time of trouble? Through the prophet Zephaniah God speaks of His anger at the hardness of heart of the nations in the last days. He says: “I have decided to assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms and to pour out my wrath on them—all my fierce anger. The whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger” (Zephaniah 3:8 Zephaniah 3:8Therefore wait you on me, said the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour on them my indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.
American King James Version×
, NIV). He will spare no nation, no people.

Though all nations are to suffer His wrath, God explains explicitly why He will punish the Israelites at that time. During their time of national catastrophe those who refuse to listen to God’s warning and repent will perish. Only those who hear and heed God’s warning before and during this time of global vengeance will find mercy.

Notice Zephaniah’s words: “In that day… I will take away from your midst those who rejoice in your pride, and you shall no longer be haughty in My holy mountain. I will leave in your midst a meek and humble people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.

“The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness and speak no lies, nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth; for they shall feed their flocks and lie down, and no one shall make them afraid. Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The LORD has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall see disaster no more” (Zephaniah 3:11-15 Zephaniah 3:11-15 11 In that day shall you not be ashamed for all your doings, wherein you have transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the middle of you them that rejoice in your pride, and you shall no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. 12 I will also leave in the middle of you an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD. 13 The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid. 14 Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. 15 The LORD has taken away your judgments, he has cast out your enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the middle of you: you shall not see evil any more.
American King James Version×
).

The modern descendants of Israel will have to endure this terrible period of punishment and captivity for not repenting of their sins and taking seriously the role God has given them. Even the Jewish people in Jerusalem and the modern state of Israel will not escape this captivity and punishment that is to occur shortly before Christ returns:

“Behold, the day of the LORD is coming…For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem…Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle” (Zechariah 14:1-3 Zechariah 14:1-3 1 Behold, the day of the LORD comes, and your spoil shall be divided in the middle of you. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
American King James Version×
). The next few verses then describe the return of Christ, establishing that this captivity occurs at the time of the end.

Ezekiel’s warnings for us

Like Jeremiah, the priest Ezekiel prophesied long after the ancient kingdom of Israel had been crushed and its people taken away in the Assyrian captivity. King Nebuchadnezzar’s conquering Babylonian armies had forcibly removed from the land of Judah this young Jewish exile, Ezekiel, and thousands of his countrymen some 130 years after the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel.

Ezekiel’s mission and message could not have been for the ancient kingdom of Israel. That kingdom had long since vanished. God had already banished its people into a foreign land in the far reaches of the Assyrian Empire hundreds of miles from Ezekiel’s place of exile in Babylon. If God were using Ezekiel to warn the ancient kingdom of Israel, He was more than a century too late!

No doubt Ezekiel directed some of his message toward the nation of Judah, which at that time was going into captivity. But parts of His message were unmistakably directed to the “whole house of Israel”—all 12 tribes— and are applicable to the time of the end (Ezekiel 39:25 Ezekiel 39:25Therefore thus said the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name;
American King James Version×
; Ezekiel 45:6 Ezekiel 45:6And you shall appoint the possession of the city five thousand broad, and five and twenty thousand long, over against the oblation of the holy portion: it shall be for the whole house of Israel.
American King James Version×
).

What was God’s message for the “whole house of Israel” through the prophet Ezekiel? “Son of man, this is what the Sovereign LORD says to the land of Israel: The end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land. The end is now upon you and I will unleash my anger against you. I will judge you according to your conduct and repay you for all your detestable practices. I will not look on you with pity or spare you; I will surely repay you for your conduct and the detestable practices among you. Then you will know that I am the LORD

“When terror comes, they will seek peace, but there will be none… I will deal with them according to their conduct, and by their own standards I will judge them. Then they will know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 7:2-4 Ezekiel 7:2-4 2 Also, you son of man, thus said the Lord GOD to the land of Israel; An end, the end is come on the four corners of the land. 3 Now is the end come on you, and I will send my anger on you, and will judge you according to your ways, and will recompense on you all your abominations. 4 And my eye shall not spare you, neither will I have pity: but I will recompense your ways on you, and your abominations shall be in the middle of you: and you shall know that I am the LORD.
American King James Version×
, Ezekiel 7:25-27 Ezekiel 7:25-27 25 Destruction comes; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none. 26 Mischief shall come on mischief, and rumor shall be on rumor; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients. 27 The king shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed with desolation, and the hands of the people of the land shall be troubled: I will do to them after their way, and according to their deserts will I judge them; and they shall know that I am the LORD.
American King James Version×
, NIV).

The book of Ezekiel contains many similar warnings that apply to the modern descendants of all Israelites—both from the house of Israel and the house of Judah. God condemns the rampant immorality, corruption, greed, violence and oppression of the defenseless by the modern descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel. He abhors the fact that they have defiled themselves with false gods, despised His holy things and profaned His Sabbaths (Ezekiel 22:7-13 Ezekiel 22:7-13 7 In you have they set light by father and mother: in the middle of you have they dealt by oppression with the stranger: in you have they vexed the fatherless and the widow. 8 You have despised my holy things, and have profaned my sabbaths. 9 In you are men that carry tales to shed blood: and in you they eat on the mountains: in the middle of you they commit lewdness. 10 In you have they discovered their fathers’ nakedness: in you have they humbled her that was set apart for pollution. 11 And one has committed abomination with his neighbor’s wife; and another has lewdly defiled his daughter in law; and another in you has humbled his sister, his father’s daughter. 12 In you have they taken gifts to shed blood; you have taken usury and increase, and you have greedily gained of your neighbors by extortion, and have forgotten me, said the Lord GOD. 13 Behold, therefore I have smitten my hand at your dishonest gain which you have made, and at your blood which has been in the middle of you.
American King James Version×
).

Because of this moral degeneracy God also says: “I will scatter you among the nations, disperse you throughout the countries, and remove your filthiness completely from you. You shall defile yourself in the sight of the nations; then you shall know that I am the LORD (Ezekiel 22:15-16 Ezekiel 22:15-16 15 And I will scatter you among the heathen, and disperse you in the countries, and will consume your filthiness out of you. 16 And you shall take your inheritance in yourself in the sight of the heathen, and you shall know that I am the LORD.
American King James Version×
).

God promises that He will punish or spare each individual human being according to his attitude and conduct. He explains: “When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die because of it. But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is lawful and right, he shall live because of it…I will judge every one of you  according to his own ways” (Ezekiel 33:18-20 Ezekiel 33:18-20 18 When the righteous turns from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, he shall even die thereby. 19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby. 20 Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O you house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.
American King James Version×
).

National downfall and captivity

This devastating punishment will involve, as we see in these prophecies, the national downfall and captivity of the modern Israelites. Now let’s examine some other crises the United States and other British-descended peoples will face during that time.

Notice the national curses God included in His covenant with ancient Israel: “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God…that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: Cursed shall you be …” (Deuteronomy 28:15-16 Deuteronomy 28:15-16 15 But it shall come to pass, if you will not listen to the voice of the LORD your God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command you this day; that all these curses shall come on you, and overtake you: 16 Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field.
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).

These timeless curses for disobedience include crippling diseases and epidemics (Deuteronomy 28:21-62 Deuteronomy 28:21-62 21 The LORD shall make the pestilence stick to you, until he have consumed you from off the land, where you go to possess it. 22 The LORD shall smite you with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue you until you perish. 23 And your heaven that is over your head shall be brass, and the earth that is under you shall be iron. 24 The LORD shall make the rain of your land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down on you, until you be destroyed. 25 The LORD shall cause you to be smitten before your enemies: you shall go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shall be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 And your carcass shall be meat to all fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away. 27 The LORD will smite you with the botch of Egypt, and with the tumors, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof you can not be healed. 28 The LORD shall smite you with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart: 29 And you shall grope at noonday, as the blind gropes in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways: and you shall be only oppressed and spoiled ever more, and no man shall save you. 30 You shall betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: you shall build an house, and you shall not dwell therein: you shall plant a vineyard, and shall not gather the grapes thereof. 31 Your ox shall be slain before your eyes, and you shall not eat thereof: your ass shall be violently taken away from before your face, and shall not be restored to you: your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you shall have none to rescue them. 32 Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, and your eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long; and there shall be no might in your hand. 33 The fruit of your land, and all your labors, shall a nation which you know not eat up; and you shall be only oppressed and crushed always: 34 So that you shall be mad for the sight of your eyes which you shall see. 35 The LORD shall smite you in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the top of your head. 36 The LORD shall bring you, and your king which you shall set over you, to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known; and there shall you serve other gods, wood and stone. 37 And you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations where the LORD shall lead you. 38 You shall carry much seed out into the field, and shall gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it. 39 You shall plant vineyards, and dress them, but shall neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them. 40 You shall have olive trees throughout all your coasts, but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil; for your olive shall cast his fruit. 41 You shall beget sons and daughters, but you shall not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity. 42 All your trees and fruit of your land shall the locust consume. 43 The stranger that is within you shall get up above you very high; and you shall come down very low. 44 He shall lend to you, and you shall not lend to him: he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail. 45 Moreover all these curses shall come on you, and shall pursue you, and overtake you, till you be destroyed; because you listened not to the voice of the LORD your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded you: 46 And they shall be on you for a sign and for a wonder, and on your seed for ever. 47 Because you served not the LORD your God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; 48 Therefore shall you serve your enemies which the LORD shall send against you, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron on your neck, until he have destroyed you. 49 The LORD shall bring a nation against you from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies; a nation whose tongue you shall not understand; 50 A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favor to the young: 51 And he shall eat the fruit of your cattle, and the fruit of your land, until you be destroyed: which also shall not leave you either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of your cows, or flocks of your sheep, until he have destroyed you. 52 And he shall besiege you in all your gates, until your high and fenced walls come down, wherein you trusted, throughout all your land: and he shall besiege you in all your gates throughout all your land, which the LORD your God has given you. 53 And you shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters, which the LORD your God has given you, in the siege, and in the narrow place, with which your enemies shall distress you: 54 So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave: 55 So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he has nothing left him in the siege, and in the narrow place, with which your enemies shall distress you in all your gates. 56 The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot on the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, 57 And toward her young one that comes out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and narrow place, with which your enemy shall distress you in your gates. 58 If you will not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; 59 Then the LORD will make your plagues wonderful, and the plagues of your seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance. 60 Moreover he will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt, which you were afraid of; and they shall stick to you. 61 Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring on you, until you be destroyed. 62 And you shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God.
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); mental illnesses (verse 28); upset weather patterns leading to devastating droughts (verses 23-24) and insect infestations that destroy crops (verses 38-40, 42) and bring starvation (verses 53-57); and, finally, invasion and captivity (verses 32-33, 36, 41, 47-52, Deuteronomy 28:64-68 Deuteronomy 28:64-68 64 And the LORD shall scatter you among all people, from the one end of the earth even to the other; and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known, even wood and stone. 65 And among these nations shall you find no ease, neither shall the sole of your foot have rest: but the LORD shall give you there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: 66 And your life shall hang in doubt before you; and you shall fear day and night, and shall have none assurance of your life: 67 In the morning you shall say, Would God it were even! and at even you shall say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of your heart with which you shall fear, and for the sight of your eyes which you shall see. 68 And the LORD shall bring you into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spoke to you, You shall see it no more again: and there you shall be sold to your enemies for slaves and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you.
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).

Leviticus 26:14-39 Leviticus 26:14-39 14 But if you will not listen to me, and will not do all these commandments; 15 And if you shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that you will not do all my commandments, but that you break my covenant: 16 I also will do this to you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17 And I will set my face against you, and you shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and you shall flee when none pursues you. 18 And if you will not yet for all this listen to me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. 19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: 20 And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits. 21 And if you walk contrary to me, and will not listen to me; I will bring seven times more plagues on you according to your sins. 22 I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate. 23 And if you will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary to me; 24 Then will I also walk contrary to you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins. 25 And I will bring a sword on you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when you are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. 26 And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and you shall eat, and not be satisfied. 27 And if you will not for all this listen to me, but walk contrary to me; 28 Then I will walk contrary to you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. 29 And you shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall you eat. 30 And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcasses on the carcasses of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you. 31 And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries to desolation, and I will not smell the smell of your sweet odors. 32 And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. 33 And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. 34 Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lies desolate, and you be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. 35 As long as it lies desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when you dwelled on it. 36 And on them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursues. 37 And they shall fall one on another, as it were before a sword, when none pursues: and you shall have no power to stand before your enemies. 38 And you shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. 39 And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.
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describes similar consequences, while also noting that God will “break the pride of your power” such that “you will flee when no one pursues you” (verses 17, 19).

We seem already to be witnessing the fulfillment of this prophecy in our time. Perhaps even more remarkable than the British Empire’s rise to greatness was its rapid dismantling. From an empire on which the sun never set, Britain has lost possession after possession. Most of the nations that once formed the British Empire are now independent, no longer subject to British rule.

The United States, which emerged from World War II as the world’s preeminent military power, soon was fighting to a bloody stalemate in Korea and a humiliating defeat in Vietnam. Even in recent wars, such as those in Iraq, Kuwait, Bosnia and Serbia, in which America achieved its initial military aims, U.S. forces remained bogged down with costly peacekeeping obligations and no easy escape. Only in such overwhelmingly one-sided conflicts as in Grenada and Panama has the United States emerged as the clear-cut victor since its stalemate in the Korean War.

Even though the United States remains the world’s most powerful military power by a large margin, its advantage is greatly undermined by lack of political will and the commitment to decisively win its wars.

In another sign of their decline, Britain and the United States have lost many of the strategic sea gates they gained and maintained at great cost. In recent years they have surrendered such crucial strategic possessions as the Panama Canal and Hong Kong. No doubt this trend will continue.

“A time of great distress”

Other prophecies indicate that the turmoil prophesied to engulf the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the democracies of Northwest Europe will be only a prelude to a time of tumult and chaos unlike anything the world has seen.

Describing the terrible time just before His return, Jesus said: “It will be a time of great distress, such as there has never been before since the beginning of the world, and will never be again. If that time of troubles were not cut short, no living thing could survive; but for the sake of God’s chosen it will be cut short” (Matthew 24:21-22 Matthew 24:21-22 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
American King James Version×
, Revised English Bible).

Only in recent decades has humanity faced the terrifying prospect of human annihilation. We have enough nuclear weapons stockpiled to kill every man, woman and child many times over. Some nations—including terrorist states—have the means to lay waste entire countries with chemical or biological weapons. Many Bible prophecies serve as eerie reminders of the kind of carnage such weapons can cause.

How devastating will this time be? The book of Revelation describes a combination of supernatural and man-made catastrophes that will ravage the earth at the time of the end. In one great disaster alone fully one third of earth’s population— billions of people—will die (Revelation 9:15-18 Revelation 9:15-18 15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. 16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. 17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. 18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
American King James Version×
). Conditions will be so grim that “men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them” (Revelation 9:6 Revelation 9:6And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
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).

God does not enjoy punishing people. Through Ezekiel He says: “Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’” (Ezekiel 33:11 Ezekiel 33:11Say to them, As I live, said the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn you, turn you from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?
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).

Regrettably, this is the only way many people will ever be brought to repentance.

Israel restored to greatness

In spite of these great calamities, prophecy tells us that, after Jesus Christ’s return to earth to establish the Kingdom of God, the survivors of the tribes of Israel will experience even greater honor than they’ve previously known. God promises an unprecedented regathering of Israel.

“It shall come to pass in that day that the LORD shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left…He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth” (Isaiah 11:11-12 Isaiah 11:11-12 11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
American King James Version×
).

Those who return will be a transformed and humbled people. Speaking of when Israel would go into captivity, God said: “And there you will serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

“When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the LORD your God and obey His voice (for the LORD your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them” (Deuteronomy 4:28-31 Deuteronomy 4:28-31 28 And there you shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. 29 But if from there you shall seek the LORD your God, you shall find him, if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in tribulation, and all these things are come on you, even in the latter days, if you turn to the LORD your God, and shall be obedient to his voice; 31 (For the LORD your God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake you, neither destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which he swore to them.
American King James Version×
).

Notice that the time setting for this passage is “the latter days” (verse 30). God knows that when people turn from obedience to Him they usually must learn their lesson the hard way. Yet He is always willing to bless those who turn from their wicked ways.

Through the prophet Ezekiel, God says of this time: “… When the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own ways and deeds…So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds.

“… I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God” (Ezekiel 36:17-28 Ezekiel 36:17-28 17 Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelled in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman. 18 Why I poured my fury on them for the blood that they had shed on the land, and for their idols with which they had polluted it: 19 And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. 20 And when they entered to the heathen, where they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land. 21 But I had pity for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, where they went. 22 Therefore say to the house of Israel, thus said the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for my holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the heathen, where you went. 23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which you have profaned in the middle of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, said the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. 24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 Then will I sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them. 28 And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
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God never fulfilled this prophecy in ancient Israel or Judah, since He made His Spirit available only to a select few before He began the New Testament Church in A.D. 31, as recorded in Acts 2. These events are yet to take place. God promises that, when these people humble themselves and repent, He will make His Spirit available to them. No longer will they be rebellious and disobedient to their Maker. Led by that Spirit, they will willingly follow God, obeying His laws.

An Israel reunited

As end-time prophecies about Israel unfold, these people will come to understand God and His expectations of them in a way they have never known. The descendants of the lost 10 tribes of the northern kingdom will discover they are not gentiles, as so many mistakenly believe. As humbled people, they will turn from their evil ways and seek the true knowledge of God. The house of Israel and the house of Judah will unite again as one nation under Christ.

The prophecies of Ezekiel point to the dramatic reunion of those of “lost Israel” with their brothers from Judah. “As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: ‘For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.’ Then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.’ Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand…

“Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land…They shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again” ’” (Ezekiel 37:16-22 Ezekiel 37:16-22 16 Moreover, you son of man, take you one stick, and write on it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write on it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and for all the house of Israel his companions: 17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in your hand. 18 And when the children of your people shall speak to you, saying, Will you not show us what you mean by these? 19 Say to them, Thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in my hand. 20 And the sticks where on you write shall be in your hand before their eyes. 21 And say to them, Thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, where they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: 22 And I will make them one nation in the land on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.
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This unified nation will be comprised of both the Jewish people—the descendants of the ancient kingdom of Judah—and the descendants of the other 10 tribes.

After the end-time period of “Jacob’s trouble,” which will be God’s just and necessary correction of modern Israel, a repentant remnant will survive. Those of the so-called lost tribes of the northern kingdom, including the British and American people, will have repented of breaking the laws of the covenant, including God’s Sabbath and Holy Days. The Jews of the southern kingdom will have acknowledged Jesus as the true Messiah.

Finally, modern descendants of both kingdoms, for the first time in almost 3,000 years, will reunite as one nation.

God makes another astounding promise: “David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore” (Ezekiel 37:24-26 Ezekiel 37:24-26 24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. 25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelled; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the middle of them for ever more.
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At Jesus’ return, God will resurrect King David, whom He called “a man after My own heart” (Acts 13:22 Acts 13:22And when he had removed him, he raised up to them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.
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), to reign over the reunited kingdom. Along with many other faithful servants of God, he will be resurrected to eternal life (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
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; 1 Corinthians 15:52 1 Corinthians 15:52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
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). Also, as Jesus promised, the 12 apostles will rule over the individual tribes (Matthew 19:28 Matthew 19:28And Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you, That you which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, you also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
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; Luke 22:30 Luke 22:30That you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
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).

Now let’s consider the international role the restored, reunited Israel of the future will fulfill in God’s plan. Let’s see how the descendants of Jacob will be a godly example for all nations in the future Kingdom of God.

Israel’s future glory

Of the formation of this reunited nation God says: “… I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking.

“Behold, the days are coming that I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:3-6 Jeremiah 23:3-6 3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. 4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, said the LORD. 5 Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will raise to David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
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). This supreme ruler is Jesus Christ.

Under Jesus the resurrected saints—those former human beings who were part of the body of believers comprising His true Church—will faithfully serve as teachers of the citizens of restored Israel (compare Isaiah 30:19-21 Isaiah 30:19-21 19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: you shall weep no more: he will be very gracious to you at the voice of your cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer you. 20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not your teachers be removed into a corner any more, but your eyes shall see your teachers: 21 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk you in it, when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left.
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with Revelation 1:6 Revelation 1:6And has made us kings and priests to God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
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; Revelation 5:10 Revelation 5:10And have made us to our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
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; Revelation 20:4-6 Revelation 20:4-6 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark on their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
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When the Israelites turn to God in repentance and obedience, God will again shower physical blessings on them. Their land will become abundantly productive.

Describing this future prosperity Amos wrote: “ ‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it. I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them. I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them,’ says the LORD your God” (Amos 9:13-15 Amos 9:13-15 13 Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that sows seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. 14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. 15 And I will plant them on their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, said the LORD your God.
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This time will also herald unprecedented peace. “He [Jesus the Messiah] shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken” (Micah 4:3-4 Micah 4:3-4 3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken it.
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The prophets also reveal this will be a time of healing. Those who are lame will walk. Those with disease will be healed (Isaiah 35:5-6 Isaiah 35:5-6 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
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As other nations see Israel’s prosperity and relationship with God, they will inquire how they, too, can be blessed. They will soon learn that Israel’s prosperity comes because of its obedience to God. Then the gentile nations will seek to learn about the God of Israel. “… ‘In those days 10 men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you” ’” (Zechariah 8:23 Zechariah 8:23Thus said the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.
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The nations will begin to learn God’s ways with the help of a restored and obedient Israel. Jerusalem will become the world’s center for religious education. As the prophet Micah explained:

“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Micah 4:1-2 Micah 4:1-2 1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow to it. 2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
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Finally, Israel will at last really be the world’s model nation, exemplifying the blessings and way of life other nations will strive to emulate. God will teach the truth of His Sabbath—the sacred time to draw close to God on a weekly basis—to all people (Isaiah 66:23 Isaiah 66:23And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, said the LORD.
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God’s Holy Days—which outline His plan of salvation—will also be an important part of the worship of God in this future age. God even tells us that representatives of surrounding nations will come each year to Jerusalem to worship Him during the great fall feast.

“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain” (Zechariah 14:16-17 Zechariah 14:16-17 16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, that whoever will not come up of all the families of the earth to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even on them shall be no rain.
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).

The glory of the restored Israel will shine far greater than Israel’s golden age under Solomon or that of any other nation or kingdom the world has ever seen. It will all come about because Christ will be the Head of the nation. Through its Creator Israel will gain “fame and praise among all the peoples of the earth” (Zephaniah 3:20 Zephaniah 3:20At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, said the LORD.
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). Israel will finally become the example God intended her to be.

God has not forgotten—nor will He ever forget—His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The pages of history and prophecies yet to be fulfilled show God remaining true to every detail of His word.

Your part in God’s plan

Now we come to the most important question you will ponder: What will happen to you as these prophecies unfold?

We have covered much of the history of Israel in this book. We have seen how these people were divided into two nations, turned away from God and went into captivity. We have examined prophecies and historical evidence that point to Britain, the United States and the other British-descended peoples as the modern descendants of Joseph, the father of the Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. We have reviewed prophecies that reveal what will happen to these peoples before and after Jesus’ return. Every nation on earth will be affected by their fall and restoration.

You have a choice. You can dismiss this knowledge if you want. No one can force you to accept it. The story is so incredible that many people simply refuse to believe it. They choose to reason their way around it. But the stakes are high. Either God is true to His promises, or He isn’t. If He is, every promise and prediction He has made will come to pass—good and bad alike.

In deciding which course you will take, remember what God told the ancient Israelites after He explained the terms of the relationship they would have with Him: “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life …” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20 Deuteronomy 30:19-20 19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live: 20 That you may love the LORD your God, and that you may obey his voice, and that you may hold to him: for he is your life, and the length of your days: that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
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God also tells us He “now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world …” (Acts 17:30-31 Acts 17:30-31 30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men every where to repent: 31 Because he has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he has ordained; whereof he has given assurance to all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.
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). His warning applies equally to Israelites and non-Israelites alike. Yet, He promises protection from the coming storm to a group of those who do turn to Him in true repentance (Revelation 3:10 Revelation 3:10Because you have kept the word of my patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall come on all the world, to try them that dwell on the earth.
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; Revelation 12:13-17 Revelation 12:13-17 13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. 14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. 15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. 16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
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).

Jesus similarly tells us: “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36 Luke 21:36Watch you therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
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, NIV).

God does not leave us in the dark. He reveals to us what lies ahead for the United States, Britain and the British-descended peoples and for the rest of the world. As the Scriptures say: “Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7 Amos 3:7Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he reveals his secret to his servants the prophets.
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).

The authors and publishers of this book, in service to the Creator of all races and peoples, have shown what the future holds for many nations and people unless they repent (Jeremiah 18:7-8 Jeremiah 18:7-8 7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; 8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do to them.
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). Like the prophet Ezekiel, who was given the task of being a “watchman for the house of Israel” (Ezekiel 3:17-19 Ezekiel 3:17-19 17 Son of man, I have made you a watchman to the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to the wicked, You shall surely die; and you give him not warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand. 19 Yet if you warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
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; Ezekiel 33:1-7 Ezekiel 33:1-7 1 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them, When I bring the sword on a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: 3 If when he sees the sword come on the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; 4 Then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet, and takes not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be on his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be on him. But he that takes warning shall deliver his soul. 6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. 7 So you, O son of man, I have set you a watchman to the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.
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), we likewise urge you to accept and follow God’s instructions so you may also be blessed and protected by Him.

Your future depends upon your decision. May you have the wisdom and character to choose wisely!