Kenneth Boa, president of Reflections Ministries in Atlanta and the author of several books including Conformed to His Image, recently spoke to The Christian Post about his experience in Egypt, and his thoughts on the civil unrest and the signs of the end times.
CP: I understand you were in Egypt recently during this uprising. Tell us about that.
Boa: My wife and I were on a Nile River Cruise and were flown back to Cairo the night of Monday, January 31st. The uprising began January 25th, so it was a bit dicey. We arrived after the curfew and our bus had to go through several checkpoints with armed guards and vigilante groups. We managed to get to our hotel that night and were able to fly out the next day only because Viking River Cruises chartered a plane for its guests. We knew that many people were praying for us and, supernaturally, neither my wife nor I had any sense of anxiety.
CP: What are your thoughts on how Egypt relates to biblical prophecy?
Boa: I want to be careful not to engage in newspaper exegesis – you know, this is what the newspaper says and here is what the Bible says. There are many surprises. But, having said that, I believe Egypt is important in the purposes and plans of God.
I'm struck with Egypt's connection with Israel. When Abraham, who was then Abram, went to Egypt in Genesis 12, he more than likely saw the Pyramids on the plateau of Giza that you and I can see today. The Great Pyramid of Cheops with its 2.3 million blocks of stone, each weighing about 2.5 tons, had already been there for 500 years. An incredible achievement.
Joseph would go up to Egypt, and as you know, find favor with a pharaoh there. Then the oppression that took place for 400 years until Moses was raised up. Under Moses, Egypt was used by God as a mother who gave birth to a nation; it was the womb in which 70 children of Israel went in, and after 400 years of gestation, some 2.5 million departed. And they were birthed through water and blood (the Exodus and the Passover). Very interesting imagery there – birth through the parting of the waters of the Red Sea.
Our Lord Jesus went to Egypt. Matthew, in his gospel, quotes Hosea 11:1, "Out of Egypt I have called my son," and applies it in a messianic way. So there's a very direct, very rich connection between these nations.
CP: What are your thoughts on the uprising taking place in Egypt right now?
Boa: There is tremendous uncertainty as to what this revolution will bring about; whether Mubarak will step down is still a question. We don't know what is going to happen with the Muslim Brotherhood. But they are very clearly, by their own admission, desirous of the destruction of Israel. They talk about it in no uncertain terms, hostility towards Israel.
CP: How do you see things playing out in the future?
Boa: I believe that we are privileged to be living in a time when we are beginning to see the consummation of all things.
There are a number of signs of the end times that I believe could not have been described as such until the last few decades. Things are working together, giving us a greater sense of the imminence of Christ's return. And so I see these things being prepared. And I see that we're part of this larger process.
For example, Ezekiel 38 describes how there will be an invasion of Israel from the North and South and East and West and how these nations will conspire against Israel. But it also describes very clearly that there will be a supernatural deliverance of Israel.
What I believe is being described here, is actually an invasion by these various Islamic states surrounding Israel. For example, Gomer, Magog, Meshech and Tubal – the lands named in Ezekiel – all correspond to various states that are part of the Commonwealth of Independent States (the CIS) and are Muslim in ideology. The land of Put is now Libya, Cush is Sudan, and Persia, as we know, is now Iran. If you looked on a map, you would see this convergence from North and South and East and West.
CP: But what about the argument that most those who practice Islam are peaceful in nature?
Boa: Yes, in my view, it's only a minority of Muslims who practice militant Islam but those who do have a disproportionate impact in terms of their ideological power and commitment. And modern militant Islam believes that Islam eventually will be ascendant and Israel will be defeated.
So I really see an Islamic invasion that is driven by the modern militant Islamic ideology that didn't exist at the time of Ezekiel. Islam is a "Johnny-come-lately," religion, dating from the 7th century.
But if we see and know what those nations described in Ezekiel are now, and I believe we do, we can see Scripturally how there would be a basis for the enmity and the hostility that would ultimately lead to this attempted destruction of Israel – whom, as you know, are a people who have often been the victims of extermination attempts.
CP: How do you see this ending?
Boa: I think there will be a future signed peace covenant, as Daniel 9:27 describes, in the Middle East that will be negotiated to last for seven years, but will be broken in the middle. This agreement will be between with the false messiah, called the Prince in Daniel and the Antichrist by John. And my suspicion is that this invasion of Israel will occur just before that. There will be an illusion of peace and security. There will be a picture of people saying, "peace and safety," as I Thessalonians 5:3 says, when suddenly these things will take place.
The tribulation period begins only when Israel signs this covenant with this future false messiah.
Eventually there will be a final regathering in Israel that Ezekiel 39 describes when the true Messiah comes. And what's interesting about that is that the Scriptures predict a future peace between the Arab nations and Israel – that Egypt will be at peace with both her ancient enemies, Assyria and Israel, as Isaiah 19 prophecies. But that will be brought about in Messiah's kingdom, not the false messiah's.
I want to be careful. I don't want to say the events we see now are going to bring about that larger event, but I am seeing patterns that are consistent with what I read in Ezekiel. I strongly suspect that there is going to be increasing hostility and unification that will ultimately lead to enough of a critical mass that this invasion of Israel by the surrounding Islamic nations will take place.
We are seeing signs that things are being prepared. And then, the nations will see Jesus reigning in Jerusalem on the throne of David in glory and in beauty and in honor. And that which we truly aspire to and long for and desire that transcends our present imagination will become reality. And even the most painful experiences that occur to us in this life will be as nothing in comparison to the glory that He will reveal.
Boa writes a free monthly teaching letter called Reflections, and his website KenBoa.org has numerous free resources.