With growing numbers of people concerned about the end times, frontier mission strategist David Taylor (a pseudonym) offers an in-depth look at history, current events, and biblical prophecies that together point to 21 specific signs that should occur before the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Taylor, who spent 10 years working with Muslims in the Philippines, spoke to The Christian Post this week about his new book entitled 21 Signs of His Coming.
The following are excerpts from the interview.
CP: Why do you say there can never be peace in the Middle East?
Taylor: I think what a lot of people don't understand about the Middle East situation is that from the Middle Eastern perspective – these are the non-Jewish perspectives – they are never going to give up until their dreams for the Middle East are realized. And so the whole idea of creating a settlement between Jews and Arabs, while it seems like a good idea to us in the West, the Arab mentality is that you take as much as you can get and you don't fully disclose your intention. This is something that has been in Islam from the very beginning.
We also know from the Bible that there will not be peace in the Middle East, so you add these two things together and you can see very clearly that there will never be a lasting peace in the Middle East.
CP: Are you against the two-state solution to the Israel and Palestinian problem then?
Taylor: I'm not against it. I am not against people working for peace and the Bible says we are to pray for peace in Jerusalem. This is one of the ironies of Biblical Christian eschatology because even though we know the outcome, for example, that evil will prevail up until the end, we are to fight evil and we are to resist all forms of darkness. We are to resist all things Satan is doing up until the end even though we know we are not going to win. This is one of the paradoxes we find in the scripture.
But nonetheless we know that the Bible says ultimately the court will sit in heaven and the verdict will be given in our favor. I think part of the reason for that is because we have been faithful in the struggle. So we are to work for peace. We are to be champions of peace. We are not to be fatalist in the sense of saying, "Oh you know evil is going to have its way so let it do what it wants." No, we are to fight against it and oppose it and ultimately we will prevail when Christ returns. But until He returns we will never hope to see peace in the Middle East or a resolution to many problems in the world. They are only going to get worse.
You know, for example, the Bible says the environment will be completely devastated in the end times. But at the same time we are to be caretakers of creation. We are to be that prophetic voice that speaks out against these things even though we know that the Bible says the environment will be completely destroyed. We resist those things. We fight against them and ultimately when Christ comes we will see a restoration of creation.
CP: In the book you talk about the "abomination." What is the Muslim and Christian claim to this and how is this connected to World War III?
Taylor: In fact, Jesus mentions this and it's mentioned very prominently in [the Book] of Daniel about the abomination that causes the desolation it's called. The reason why it is an abomination is because it is something that has to relate to the Temple Mount, to that sacred place. It causes desolation because when this abomination is removed or destroyed in order to make way for the Jewish preparation to rebuild the temple, the entire world goes berserk.
And so you bring that up to modern day times and what you find there on the Temple Mount is the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque, which is the third holiest site in Islam. This is something that is all over the news in the Middle East. You will find cartoon being published all over the place in newspapers and magazines in the Middle East depicting what the Jews are trying to do to destroy the Dome of the Rock through their archaeological tunneling and digging around this area. And of course there is the ever-present fear that some Jewish radical is going to destroy the Dome of the Rock. So this is kind of a ticking time bomb. It is something that is waiting to happen. If this site is ever destroyed then the whole Muslim world will be up in arms.
The significance for Christians is that the Dome of the Rock is over this giant rock that was a Christian pilgrimage site for many centuries. The Dome of the Rock itself was a Christian shrine. There was a Christian building there over that rock and it was one of the most popular tourist destinations for pilgrims going to Jerusalem. So when Muslims conquered Jerusalem, they promised in the terms of surrender that they would not turn any of the Christian buildings into Muslim buildings and mosques, but with two buildings they violated that and those were the two buildings on the Temple Mount.
The one Christian church they turned into the Al-Aqsa mosque and the other, which is really like a shrine, they turned into the Dome of the Rock. In fact, the Dome of the Rock is not a mosque but a shrine. The idea behind it was to basically proclaim the supremacy of Islam over Christianity.
Christian pilgrims, however rightly or wrongly, believed that on the rock the footprint of Jesus was imprinted there. They believed that this was where Jesus stood on trial before Pilate. It was there they believed his footprint was engraved on the rock. Now when Muslim conquered this, they claimed those footprints were Mohammed's footprints. So they took all these Christian ideas that were there at the time in the 7th century and they converted them into their own tradition in order to erase from the minds of the Christians in the Middle East any memories of Christianity or things like this. They knew this was a popular pilgrimage site so they wanted to convert all of this attention to this site. They wanted to use it for evangelistic purposes for Islam.
CP: One of the end-time predictions that you discuss in the book is the entire world being united into one global government and economy. Briefly, what could this possibly look like?
Taylor: Obviously, the integration of the world's economy is something that is happening at a very rapid pace in our generation. Ever since World War II with the Bretton Woods agreement, basically the entire economy of the world became centered around the U.S. dollar.
So systems were set into place to track capital flow between countries and this is very important because the whole world economy now is going in the direction of electronic money. In order to track who has what money and who has what reserve there has to be a global centralize authority that does that. And as the world economy becomes more complex and more developed, we will see a call for a world currency.
The Chinese government is already calling for this because they are recognizing that attaching a world currency to a country like the United States is a very dangerous thing because the whole world is dependent on this one country and the stability of its economy. So because of the last year and a half of very unstable economic conditions in the United States, the rest of the world is starting to rethink the Bretton Woods system. The Chinese government is leading the call for this, calling for a new world currency for trade.
Once you have that, you have to think who is in charge of this? Who will control this? And really when you look throughout history, all political developments have been driven by economic factors. You look at the European Union. Why did this happen? Well it happened because these European countries needed to come together in order to compete on a global stage economically. So what is driving the political union in European is the economic union that preceded it. So you can begin to draw this trajectory to what the Bible is saying is going to happen. The one world government that is going to be formed is in every way going to come about through economic factors involved.
CP: What is the Beast? What modern form could it take?
Taylor: The Book of Revelations talks about the beast in two ways. The first is the revived Roman Empire, but it is not just the revived Roman Empire it is an entity that extends beyond the ancient Roman Empire to include parts of the Middle East. This is something that is very intriguing because there is a growing alliance between Europe and the Middle East.
One of the scholars to look at is this lady name Bat Y'eor. She has written a book called Eurabia that describes this growing alliance. It is fueled by two things: a shared anti-Americanism and shared anti-Israelism, these are bringing these two entities together.
Another interesting thing is that Islam is growing in Europe just through biological growth. Because Europeans, generally speaking, have a low to negative birth rate and Muslims have very large families, the result of this is probably by the year 2050 or 2060 Islam will make up the majority of many Western European countries. Especially in regards to young people this will happen before 2050. Young people in Europe will be made up of mostly Muslims, which means the future armies of Europe, the future economy of Europe is going to be run by Muslims. So over time you are going to see an increase alliance between Islam and Europe.
This will of course have huge implications to the entire world because, for example, NATO will fall into the hands of Muslims. All that economic power in Europe will fall into the hands of Muslims. And of course these Muslims have no great love for Israel and the Bible tells us that Israel will be at the center of world history in the end times. It also tells us there are these two entities; there are two world powers in the end times that are vying for control. One is called Babylon and one is called the Beast. Scripture says the Beast hates Babylon and there is hatred in its heart against this entity and it wants to destroy it. In one hour Babylon is destroyed. So this is something that is very, very interesting because NATO is a fully capable nuclear military power and eventually it will be the military arm of the European Union. All those nuclear weapons will fall under the hands of Muslims.
Secondly, the Beast refers to the political ruler that will rule over this giant political entity that is called the Beast. So it refers to those two things in the Book of Revelations.
There are two world leaders mentioned in the Book of Revelations, one is called the Beast and the other the False Prophet. The False Prophet is a religious leader and the Beast is a political leader.
CP: You write that in the end times it is all about worship, either you worship God or the Beast. You talked about Hitler in terms of his followers worshipping him. Could you explain this in terms of worshipping the Beast?
Taylor: This is very important because many people think worship is what we do on Sunday when we sing songs. But in the Bible it is much broader than that. Worship is anything we do with our bodies that either glorifies God or glorifies something else, which is false worship if it's not glorifying God.
And so you look at Hitler and he basically created a state religion. This has happened many times throughout history where people basically begin to worship their leader. It is a kind of deification of their leader without saying so in the modern day. In the past, they did deify them. In today terms, you look at those rallies Hitler had and people were in awe of him, saluting him with the Nazi salute. This is the kind of worship that the Bible is talking about. It is a glorification of man. It basically is honoring our civil and state leaders above God so what they say is more important than what God and the Bible says. This is what is going to happen in the end times with the coming of world leaders.
CP: What form could the modern mark come in?
Taylor: The charagma in Greek refers to an identification system. It was a way of basically IDing slaves in the Roman Empire and it was something physical that was done to you that altered your body. So you look at today's modern forms of ID, obviously, if you think about the technology that exists today, what would a modern form of ID look like that actually is something that is done to your body? A microchip is obviously the most likely candidate, or a modern-day ID system.
It is the perfect technological system for storing information about you or capturing your movements, these kinds of things.
Everything is really in place for something like the Mark of the Beast where you can't buy or sell unless you have it. Everything is in place for that to happen even today.
CP: There is a remarkable key code system out there where if you type in numbers you get words. People have typed in important numbers in the Bible and the code has produced surprising results. What kind of words does the key produce when we type in 444, how about 330 and finally 666? What do you make of this? Do you believe in this?
Taylor: Well, you know the Book of Revelations talks about calculating the number of the Beast. For centuries scholars have been figuring out how you do that. What this is referring to is an ancient practice that the Jews as well as other cultures in the Middle East used. The Jews called it Gematria and this is basically a way of encrypting information. It is kind of an ancient encryption system. They would assign numerical values to letters and then they would add those up to get numbers.
So recently, one of the most amazing Gematria systems to emerge is a six base system which assigns the value of 6 to A and multiples of 6 all the way to Z. A=6, B=12, C=18. When you put in words like cross, gospel, Y'shua, messiah into this calculating system, these kinds of words all add up to 444.
When you put in other words that relate to the end times it is very interesting. You get a whole other set of numbers that add up 666. For example, when you put in the word computer, Internet, SS number, and Mark of the Beast and these kinds of numbers these all add up to 666.
So it seems that this Gematria key has a way of authenticating itself because it confirms the truth of the Gospel. The probability of these related words all adding up to the same number is just astronomical. It is off the charts statistically speaking. This may very well be the Gematria key we are looking for that will help us to understand what the whole system will be in the end times that will make up the Beast and what he will be up to. So when you put the number into 666 it really begins to paint a picture of what we should be looking for, the technology the Beast will be using in order to implement his plan for the world.
CP: What is the numerical significance of the 21st century?
Taylor: Well, if you look at it in terms of biblical history it is very significant because the number 7 in the Bible has to do with perfection or completion. In biblical history we had 6 millenniums pass and the 21st century marks the seventh millennium. So it is very intriguing that we are seeing all these prophesies in the Bible come together and we are seeing the beginning of many millennial prophecies from the Book of Isaiah. We are seeing developments take place that are leading towards the fulfillment of these prophecies and all these are taking place as we enter into the seventh millennium of biblical history.
CP: What do you think the Scripture says about the second coming? How is it usually misunderstood and how do you think it will occur?
Taylor: Well, of course there are so many views on the end times. There are almost as many views as there are Christians. But I think the most important thing to keep in mind about the end times is that Jesus says that when you see these things happening do not be alarmed. Jesus said, "I told you about these things in advance in order to prepare you." So we are supposed to study the end times. We are supposed to think about it.
Some people think it is too controversial because there are so many different views so let's not study it at all. But so much of the Bible is devoted to this subject and the reason is because God wants us to be prepared. He wants us to know that even in the darkest hour of human history we can trust in Him. We can understand and know that these things are destined to happen. That God is allowing these things to happen and in the midst of that He will be with you.
Most importantly, He says to His disciples, this is in Matthew 24, "When you see these things happening, don't be alarmed. Don't be distracted. You have a priority." He gives you that priority in Matthew 24:14 when he says, "This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nation and then the end will come." So he says, "Look, don't worry about all these things taking place. You focus on your priority which is getting the Gospel out to all nations - every nation, tribe, people, language on earth. That is your job. That is your assignment in the end times. You do that and then the end will come. And then I will return. And so you focus on your priority."
We can't control these things that are taking place. We can't stop them. The one thing we know we can succeed in and we definitely can do in spite of all these things that are happening is we will succeed in fulfilling the Great Commission, bringing the Gospel to the ends of the earth so that every single person when Jesus comes back will have access to the Gospel.
This is an exciting thing taking place in our generation. More people have heard and responded to the Gospel in just the last hundred years than all previous centuries combined. So to me, these are the most exciting times to be alive.
The end times is not supposed to be something that we are afraid of. It is not something we are supposed to go into monastic communities or go hide out somewhere. We are supposed to be out there engaging the community and fulfilling the Great Commission and crossing that finish line. That finish line, that race that was started 4,000 years ago when God promised Abraham – and this was the first major prophecy in the Bible – all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. You better believe that Abraham is getting pretty excited right now, because we are about to cross that finish line. We are so close to reaching every nation, tribe and tongue and people in our generation with the Gospel.
CP: Is there anything you want to add?
Taylor: Well, you know as I was saying these are great times to be alive as Christians. We really need to focus in and understand why it is important and relevant to understand the age in which we are living in.
Jesus told the parable of the ten virgins. The ten virgins all understand that they are living in the end times so to speak. They knew that the bridegroom was coming, but five of them were getting ready and five of them were not. The five of them getting ready was described as basically storing up enough oil. We know that oil represents the Holy Spirit in the Bible. So the message I believe Jesus is giving in this generation is you need to do whatever it takes to stay close to me, to stay close to Jesus. You need to be filling up with the Holy Spirit. You need to be investing your time in the Word and in prayer and in spiritual discipline. We need to be faithfully working in the harvest field because Jesus said the night is coming when no man can work, therefore work while it is still day.
If you think about it from an eternal perspective, you realize there will never be a time like we are living today for the rest of eternity. We will never have an opportunity like we have now to be involved in something like fulfilling the Great Commission. We can only do that right now.
So in terms of how we should use our time in this generation knowing that we are living in the end times, Peter said because the end is coming therefore devote yourself to these things, devote yourself to prayer.
So this is one of the things that I am doing personally and what I would like to challenge more and more people to do is to begin to spend more time in prayer with God and His word. The deception that will be coming in the world will be great and only those people that are prayerful, only those people that know the Word of God are going to be effective in the end times. So that is the challenge for us today.