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Plagues, Pandemics and Prophecy

Understanding The Times / Jan Markell
The Truth Network Radio
July 2, 2021 8:00 am

Plagues, Pandemics and Prophecy

Understanding The Times / Jan Markell

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July 2, 2021 8:00 am

Jan Markell talks to Dr. Mark Hitchcock for the hour. Is Corona a foretaste of Tribulation plagues and pestilence? Then they discuss America in prophecy. Could she be Babylon, the young lions of Ezekiel, or the land the river divides? Are her best days behind her? They conclude that the Rapture will be America’s devastating blow. We carry Hitchcock’s book found in our online store.

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Is the coronavirus a game changer? Today, we talk to a pastor whose new book suggests that the coronavirus reveals the greater groaning of a last-day society. Dr. Mark Hitchcock is a ministry friend. He pastors Faith Bible Church in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Here is today's program. Is this pandemic that we're in right now a sign of the rapture? Of course not. There aren't any signs for the rapture, so it can be a sign of the rapture. The rapture is a signless, eminent event. So, is this a sign of the second coming of Christ?

I cannot say with any sense of certainty that it is, but neither can I say with any sense of certainty that it is not. It could be the early evidence of number three on Jesus' list, the coming of pestilence. Did you see that?

I put it in red. As I mentioned earlier, some of the tribulation signs can spill over into the final years before the rapture. Jesus refers to what will happen at the end of the age as a pestilence. He says there's gonna be a pestilence. Men and women, that's what we've got right now. We've got a pestilence.

The word pestilence in the Miriam Dictionary is defined as a contagion or infectious epidemic that is virulent and devastating. That's a pretty good description of what's going on right now. Welcome to the program, the voice of Dr. David Cherimiah, talking a little bit about one of the themes of programming today, and what a year this has been. Just a little over half into it now, and we were invaded by an invisible enemy, a virus, and, well, quite frankly, turned the world upside down. It introduced new terms to us, like social distancing, and the disease killed tens of thousands and infected several million.

It's ongoing. Life as we have known it has been altered for sure. Church as we knew it was stopped for a season, and still, church isn't what we knew.

Pastures, including my guest today, preach to empty auditoriums, but to ever-growing virtual audiences. And the disease has crashed economies, strained healthcare systems. Global travel has been slowed, and in some cases, shut down, at least in the early phase. It has disrupted modern society, like almost nothing we have known. We thought we could move on only to learn that it was going to surge again, and maybe, just maybe, life as we knew it will never come back. Conferences, including my Understanding the Times conference, were canceled because of uncertainty, and speaking personally here, we just could not plan and prepare four months only to have our very shut down obsessed Minnesota governor close down everyone for who knows how long, 48 hours before our annual event here in Minnesota. My guest today, Dr. Mark Hitchcock, says, quote, disease and disasters are groans of a sin-weary world, and the groans are getting deeper and longer.

I've worked with Mark Hitchcock now for many years, and when I saw that, he had a new book talking about this scenario called Corona Crisis, Plagues, Pandemics, and the Coming Apocalypse. I asked him to get a programming date on his calendar, so he joins me today. He's pastor of Faith Bible Church in Edmond, Oklahoma.

He's spoken at numerous Understanding the Times conferences here in the Twin Cities. Welcome, Mark Hitchcock, back to the program. Thanks for having me again.

It's always wonderful to be with you. You state, citing a poll, Mark, that over 44% of poll respondents state they think that this Corona Crisis is a wake-up call for us to turn back to faith in God, that it could be signs of coming judgment or both, and then, as you quote someone who has stated this, this isn't the end of the world, but I think we can see it from here. Going back to your poll, signs of the coming judgment, call to turn back to faith in God.

Are you talking to people who sound like that? Yes, there's people, I think, everywhere that feel that way. People look at this and think, man, this is a major wake-up call, and I think a lot of pastors would say that while their services may have to have been online, that numbers have been way up. Last Easter, I think the numbers were just staggering for many people, the number of people that were seeking truth. So I think certainly it's a wake-up call. I think a lot of people believe it's a sign of the times as well. I think even people that don't know anything about the Bible have this sense that the world's getting their closing time. That's almost half the people in America in that poll, and the poll also, 29% believe that with this crisis that we're living in the end times, or the last day.

I think that's probably a pretty accurate poll of where people are, of kind of the pulse of what's happening in our country today. And I've still gotten emails. I got one right before our programming today stating their church still will not visit the topic of eschatology, et cetera. That's not our topic today, but all I'm saying is, you're saying folks are asking more questions and are even more intrigued, and I'm saying most pulpits remain pretty quiet to the topic.

At least that's the email response that I'm getting. Mark, we know that these kinds of plagues happen big time in the tribulation. We're in the church age right now, and there are several biblical references to plagues. Again, I said during that seven-year time Jacob's trouble, but not so much of a reference to these kinds of plagues in the church age. Yeah, that's right.

That's the way I would see this. You know, there's differences of opinion, obviously that prophecy teachers have. When Jesus in Matthew 24 gave his great sermon about two days before he died, it's often called the mini apocalypse.

It's kind of a Reader's Digest version of the book of Revelation. And Jesus gave signs of his coming. He said that there would be false messiahs, there'd be wars and rumors of wars, nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom. Then he said in various places there'd be famines, be earthquakes, pestilence in various places. And when you look at that passage in Matthew 24, a lot of people look at that, and Jesus goes on, by the way, and says, these are birth pains.

These are the birth pains of his coming. A lot of people look at that and they apply that to today, to this time we live in the church age. And they look at these signs of false messiahs and wars and pestilence and earthquakes and all of that.

When you go to Revelation chapter six, which I think most people put in the tribulation period, if they believe in a future view of Revelation. Well, when you look at that, the first four of these seal judgments, these seals that are opened are these four horsemen of the apocalypse. And they parallel what Jesus said in Matthew 24. You have a rider on a white horse, that's these false messiahs. You have a rider on a red horse, which is the wars and the rumors of wars. You have a rider on a black horse, which is clearly in that context, famine, that Jesus spoke of. Then you have the rider on the pale horse, this fourth rider, and he says, a fourth of the earth will die from sword, famine. And then it says pestilence, or pledge in the wild beast of the earth.

And I think that corresponds to what Jesus says there about pledge and pestilence. So I believe that Matthew 24, these birth pains is speaking about what's gonna happen in the future during the time of the tribulation period. So those are the birth pains that will be intensifying and getting closer together as the second coming of Jesus comes. Now, one rider that I read, that I really liked this analogy, he said what we're seeing today, though, may be kind of like the Braxton Hicks contractions. Those are kind of the premature contractions before the real contractions begin. I think what we see today is a foreshadow, a foreshock, a precursor to what's coming, but I don't see what's happening today as the fulfillment of Matthew 24 and Revelation 6.

And I played that little clip of David Jeremiah. And the point he was making is some of the activities of the tribulation are casting a shadow on the church age. They're fulfilled in the tribulation, not the church age. We're seeing signs.

That's right. This is the precursor. The precursor. The foreshocks, yes, of that. You know, like in Revelation chapter six, where it says that a fourth of the world is gonna die from pestilence. And then right after that, it says in the wild beast of the earth. Now there's different views on what that means, but the fact that pestilence is mentioned right there with these wild beasts carries this idea to me that it could be pestilence and diseases that come from wild beasts or animals.

That's what we see today happening. Three out of every four of the new infectious diseases in the world today are from animals. They're called zoonotic disease or spillover diseases that come from animals to humans.

What we're seeing today seems to be the setup or the beginning or the precursor to that. There've been 30 new infectious diseases in the last 30 years. Even now there's a new coronavirus here and I've been reading recently there's a new swine flu that they think may be coming out of China.

It just seems like these things are accelerating and building even as we speak. And you state in 40 years, we've had a succession of lots of things, HIV, SARS, swine flu. Swine flu goes back to 09 and 10 where millions were affected. You got MERS, you got Ebola, now COVID-19. Now they're talking about another, as you say, swine flu hitting us. I'm going to read from your book and folks we are carrying Dr. Mark Hitchcock's book, "'Corona Crisis' Plagues Pandemics and the Coming Apocalypse."

You say on page 17, people everywhere sense it, it's palpable. The signs are multiplying, they're lining up. Global events are tilting and trending toward the end of days. Turmoil in the Middle East, the rise of Russia and Iran, the threat of nuclear proliferation, globalism, natural disasters, and now the surging coronavirus pandemic and panic. But we've got multiple other kinds of illnesses and plagues and pestilence in the last really 40 years.

Mark, we can go back to 1918. My goodness, the pandemic we had back in 1918 to 1920 makes what we're going through now really almost a Sunday school picnic. That affected millions, killed millions.

The world was changed in 1918 to 1920. That's right, I mean, maybe 50 million people died, it's believed, during that period of time. Obviously that was a devastating plague that happened. That was the first plague, the main plague of the 20th century.

Today we're in the 21st century, we've already had our first plague about 100 years later again during this period of time. This plague that we see today that's happening, what it's done though, I think, in kind of setting the stage and using that term is we have a much more global world today than we had at that point in time. And we see the move towards globalism really in all of this.

Immediately Gordon Brown, a former prime minister of the UK was calling for some global body to come in to kind of run, hurt over what was taking place. We see all this track and trace technology. We see contact tracing, all the technology we have today that people are promoting now to obviously protect people. I think a lot of people probably have good motives in it, but ultimately all of these things are pointing toward this kind of global world. I think what we see today was something like COVID-19. It's not that it's killed more people than any plague, but I think it's the things that it's triggering and the things that it's leading to that are signals to me of a stage setting, a further setting of what's coming in the future.

First I wanna give a quote of yours, then I think I'll play another clip here. You say this, coronavirus is a global game changer that could be a kind of a prophetic shift of gears with all its eventual fallout. And then you say, I'm still quoting you, COVID is happening at the same time other storm clouds are gathering on the horizon. Crises on every front are converging and quickening.

From scripture we see that God warns before he judges. COVID-19 could be an early warning that something bigger is coming. It's a wake-up call for a sleeping world.

And we need to open our eyes and to look up. And then you brought up something just a minute ago because you suggested that one of the things being affected is globalism. It's like you're looking at my notes, I know you're not, this is radio, but you cited Gordon Brown and he and many others have said the solution to a crisis is one world government, is globalism. Market never fails because they never let a crisis go to waste.

The globalists. No, that's right and I think it was President Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel who famously said a few years ago, never let a good crisis go to waste. To be fair, that's really all politicians in many ways to seize upon things. These types of things have happened that sweep the globe and are certainly tragic, but they're seized upon by globalists and by others to try to hijack these things than to make them into what they want the end result to be. And that's exactly what we see happening here with this. You know, people immediately jumping on all kinds of global bodies to come and take over these situations, track and trace, contact tracing, all of this kind of stuff to know where people are.

The technology obviously exists to know where people are and again, I don't think any of this is the mark of the beast, we're not in the tribulation yet, but this is the kind of stuff, if someone's gonna control the world economically and politically, this is the kind of stuff they're gonna have to have to make that happen. By the way, folks, if you just joined me, you're listening to Understanding The Times Radio, I'm Jan Markell. I have on the line from Edmond, Oklahoma, Dr. Mark Hitchcock, because we're carrying his newest book, The Corona Crisis Plagues Pandemics and the Coming Apocalypse. And you can find that in my store, you can give my office a call.

You can find it at our website, I'm going to play a quick clip here of David Jeremiah, because Mark, I wanna go back to the timing and we opened kind of saying that the coronavirus is not necessarily a sign of the rapture, it more likely would be a sign of the second coming. And here, Dr. Jeremiah gives such a clear illustration of how we can perceive the timing of all of this. If all these signs are not signs about the rapture and after the rapture, I'm gonna be in heaven, why should I be concerned about the signs at all? Why should I care whether there's any sign about an event that I am not gonna be worried about, because I'm gonna be in heaven? Well, the broad answer to that question is this, future events cast their shadows before them. The best answer is that. These things that are gonna be happening in the tribulation periods that signal the second advent of Christ, some of them are probably going to be going on in Cypriot form long before the rapture takes place.

They're gonna spill over back into the world in which you and I live. When you have a sign for the second advent, in an essence, it's almost like a subtle sign for the rapture. Here's the best illustration I've ever heard to help us understand that. Dr. John Wahlberg used to share this illustration of how signs relate to the rapture and the second coming.

Here's what he said. There are all kinds of signs for Christmas. There are lights everywhere, decorations, Christmas trees, music, even Santa in the mall. But Thanksgiving can sneak up on you. There are no signs for Thanksgiving. Dr. Wahlberg noted that the second coming of Christ is like Christmas. It will be preceded by many specific signs that Scripture outlines. The rapture, however, is like Thanksgiving. There are no specific signs for its coming, yet it's fall and you begin to see the signs of Christmas everywhere, you realize Thanksgiving is somewhere around the corner too. Thanksgiving must be very near.

The signs of Christmas seem to be appearing all around us today, do they not? The coming of Christ to rapture his church couldn't be very far away. Mark, one thing I learned in your book, I learned a lot of things, but the thing that had gotten by me is you bring out there's even a plague that is a part of Gog Magog, the war of Ezekiel 38, 39.

I had missed that, but you're right, there is. There is a reference to plagues or pestilence in Ezekiel chapter 38 in reference to a group of nations that will come down into Israel in the last days during the tribulation period, and they're living under this covenant with the Antichrist. In chapter 38, or near the end of the chapter, it highlights the various things God is going to use to destroy this invading army. There's going to be infighting, there's going to be fire from heaven, but one of the things that's mentioned now is plagues, that God is going to inflict these invading armies with to destroy them and wipe them out. That's another mention of plagues in the end times that God is going to use to specifically judge those who are his enemies in the end times. Well then, do you think that war could be an extended war, say for weeks or months, if we're talking about time enough for a plague to set in, or do you think that's going to be a quick 24-hour war? It could be either, obviously God can send a plague that's kind of immediately deadly that doesn't take very long to take effect.

It seems like the destruction there in this chapter is fairly rapid because the other things, you'll fire from heaven and the infighting of the armies, obviously the infighting of the armies will take a little bit of time. These could be things, God just rains down, it seems like it's just a terrible plague and disease, it mentions with pestilence and blood all entered into judgment with him, speaking of there. So it seems like something that God may bring very quickly upon them. And yeah, the book of Zechariah kind of mentions the same kind of thing in conjunction with the second coming of Jesus as well, a terrible plague that God's going to send upon those who are gathered in Armageddon. You mention in the book, Corona Crisis, it's on page 37, you say the Lord graciously warns before he judges. So that's a whole nother topic here as it concerns Corona Crisis, is it a judgment? Here's the thing, this isn't an American dilemma, this is a world dilemma. It hit just short of 200 countries.

No, that's right. It's in almost every country of the world now. And then we think about God's judgment with plagues like this. We know that in the past in the Bible, and I give a lot of illustrations in the book of how God used plagues to judge people in the past.

So we know that God has done that. But we also know that really just sickness in general is due to man's sin. There wouldn't be any sickness if there weren't sin. We live in a groaning world because of sin. All sickness in the world and all disease ultimately comes from sin. But what we're talking about is, is this specific plague or pestilence a direct judgment from God?

And really there's no way for us to know that. Again, there are places in the Bible in the past where it says this was a plague from God. There are instances in the future that we've been talking about in Matthew 24 and Ezekiel 38 and Revelation 6 where it says some future pestilence or plague will be the judgment of God. But when it comes to coronavirus today, the Bible doesn't tell us. So I've kind of got a maxim I go by, when God's silent, we need to be silent. And when God speaks, we speak. And so since God hasn't told us directly, we can't say for sure, oh, this is a direct judgment from God. But I think at a minimum, we can at least say, certainly this appears to be a wake up call that God is affording humanity an opportunity to turn to him and to realize how fragile and how fleeting this life really is.

I think it's that at least. And again, I think that there have been a lot of people who have used this wake up call to turn to the Lord and to turn to scriptures and begin to discover what's going on in our world and what life is all about. And that's a good thing that I think has happened in many quarters.

We're obviously very sad for the loss of life that's taken place, but God can use even those things ultimately for good to turn people to himself. Yeah, and I've talked to some folks who've had this and my goodness, this is not a picnic. As we're recording, Mark, here we're into July. And honestly, I think, I don't know if I set this interview up four, five, six weeks ago, and I kind of thought things would be pretty much blown over or at least a whole lot better. And here we find this thing isn't going away quickly.

No, in fact, the people have said, well, this is a second wave, but most experts are saying, no, this is still the first wave that we're in. This is getting off the subject course of scripture. But the problem with this is you can't keep people locked up forever, the economy dies. There's all kinds of other social problems that come about as a result of it. But then when people are out, then it's going to spread.

So it's put us on the horns of a dilemma. It's not going away. And I heard someone say the other day, almost everyone may end up getting it. There's all kinds of theories there. It gets frustrating, all of us, we listen to different experts and what they say. Someone was saying this, maybe almost everyone gets it.

A lot of people are asymptomatic and all kinds of things. It's not over. And of course, we're talking about how many people have died up to this point, but it could obviously become much, much greater than it is. And every day in my prayers, I pray that God will help this thing to abate and to lessen and at least to become less severe than it is to mutate into a milder form. I think we all ought to be praying for that. It's up to God. He's in sovereignty and control of it. And as he allows it to do whatever he chooses to do, we need to just be here responding to that in a way where we can bring honor and glory to him in the midst of whatever happens.

True. And we could get into vaccines and we're not, but that's another can of worms because that's going to present as many problems as any solution. Folks, we are carrying Mark's new book, Corona Crisis Plagues Pandemics and the Coming Apocalypse. It's in my store. You'll find it in my print and e-newsletters.

If you'll sign up for those online, or give my office a call and we'll get a book out to you within a very short period of time. Mark, I'm just going to transition a little bit. We're not leaving this topic. As I'm transitioning, we'll still be touching on Corona, but I watched a message of yours online. It happened to be called America in Prophecy. It was excellent about an hour that you had given in another church. I want to talk about that for just a few minutes because I think my audience has a distinct interest in just how does America fit into the end time scenario.

Now we see America being so terribly harmed economically in other ways by Corona. In listening to your message, obviously we're not in there directly. And let's just touch on a few of the options of where we might be if we were to be in there in a symbolic manner. You first of all state that we're not the 10 lost tribes of Israel, that would be British Israelism. And besides those 10 lost tribes aren't lost, but then you raise Isaiah 18 and that's the land divided by a great river and state we are not the land divided by the great river in Isaiah 18.

Give us a second on that, that's excellent. Yes, in the context of this passage, there's prophecies in here about Damascus and the following prophecies about Egypt. It's right in between there, this unnamed nation.

Most of the scholars I've been able to study that I really trust think this is probably the kingdom of Kush, which was the nation to the south of ancient Egypt, which is modern day Sudan. If you read the passage in its context, I don't think that it has any reference whatever to America because I think if God were trying to let us know that America, which obviously is the greatest political economic power ever to exist, God would do it in a much clearer way than some veiled reference like this that is kind of cryptic and very difficult to understand. I just think God would make it a lot clearer if he were really wanting us to know that America were in Bible prophecy.

And I would agree with that. Then you indicate how about the eagle's wings of Daniel seven, no, that's not America. And then the young lions of Tarshish and that would be Ezekiel 38. That's intriguing because they're somebody's objecting to the battle that's going on, Gog Magog. If that were America, I don't think it is, but it could be.

We'd have to have a very pro-Israel president, certainly not a leftist in office who's not gonna care. Give me your thoughts on the young lions. Yes, some translations say the merchants are the young lions, but it's the nations that come out of Tarshish. Of course, that then requires defining where was Tarshish. There was a Phoenician colony in Spain, ancient Spain that was Tarshish. Some people try to identify Tarshish as Great Britain. Of course, if it's Great Britain and nations that came out of Great Britain, one of those obviously would be the United States. If it's Spain, it would seem to include more European countries, although people would say, well, a lot of countries came out of Spain as well, obviously down in South and Central America. And of course, America herself was discovered by Columbus.

So it requires you to go back and take several steps. And the thing about different interpretations like that always are, if you're wrong in one place and all the conclusions you're basing on that wrong conclusion are also wrong. I think if you wanted to find America somewhere in the Bible and some symbolic reference, probably Ezekiel 38, verse 13, the young lions of Tarshish would be the best candidate. But to me, it's still just too tenuous to make an identification there with the United States. All we're doing, if that's us, would be protesting this invasion of Israel.

I think we'd have to have a pro-Israel president to get involved in any degree, perhaps a Donald Trump-type president, but we'll see. And then you bring up another, and I'm gonna discuss this on the other side of my break, but then you bring up an issue as it concerns, could this be where we find America? Could we be Babylon, Revelation 17 and 18? And I wanna spend just a moment on that because I get so many emails saying, of course this is where America is, where Babylon found in Revelation 17 and 18. Well, Dr. Mark Hitchcock doesn't quite think so. I'm pretty skeptical on that myself, and we will discuss it.

I need to take a break right now. I'm gonna come back in a couple of minutes and we're gonna pick up on this topic, so don't go away. We always like to hear from our listening audience and also how you listen. If you are listening on one of our 900 radio stations, let us know which one, or let us know if you are listening to one of our online options. Contact us through our website, That's You can call us, Central Time, at 763-559-4444, that's 763-559-4444. You get our mail when you write to Olive Tree Ministries in Jan Markell, Box 1452, Maple Grove, Minnesota, 55311.

That's Box 1452, Maple Grove, Minnesota, 55311. We hope you're taking advantage of all that Olive Tree Ministries has to offer online and in print. Visit our online store with two dozen cutting edge products to help you become watchmen on the wall. Find that at

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Sign up online or call our office, Central Time. We will be joining Pastor Jack Hibbs at his Fall Prophecy Conference on September 11th. Find that information on our conference page at That's This event will be live streamed on September 11th. Speakers include Pastor Jack Hibbs, Amir Sarfati, Jan Markell, and Pastor Barry Stagner. Consult with Calvary Chapel, Chino Hills, California for all details. Don't unplug, stay up to date with news and information that will make you a part of today's Watchmen on the Wall. It's not a sign that God is going to judge you.

When those things are happening, it's a sign that you're already being judged. We're certainly seeing all of that here as a sign of God's abandonment, wrath on our country, and God help us if that's true. We have appreciated partnering with Dr. Mark Hitchcock for over a decade. He is a trusted theologian and part-time faculty member at Dallas Theological Seminary. We carry his book in our online store, but you can find three dozen cutting edge products at That's

Here are Dr. Hitchcock and Jan Markell to wrap up today's program. When we look back and we see America's distinguished past, we look around, we see kind of a distressing present, and when we look ahead, many people see a dark future. So we can't help but wonder as Christians, where is America headed? What does the future hold for this great country? And this has caused many people to wonder if America is mentioned in the Bible. Does the Bible have anything to say about America's future?

Is there any sure word in the Bible about the United States? And welcome back. And I'm spending the hour with Dr. Mark Hitchcock, pastor of Faith Bible Church in Edmond, Oklahoma. Been on here with me probably a dozen times and been to half a dozen, at least, of my fall conferences here in Minneapolis St. Paul. 2020 had to be canceled because of one of the topics we're dealing with this hour, the corona crisis. Mark has a new book called Corona Crisis, Plagues, Pandemics, and the Coming Apocalypse. We offer this in our print newsletter, our e-newsletter. Sign up online, won't you, or call us central time. When you do send a financial gift, would you always tell us how you're listening to Understanding the Times Radio?

Is it on one of our 900 stations or are you listening electronically, or are you listening on YouTube, on his channel, or how do you listen to the program? That helps us process things here in the office. I've got a half of a program left and I wanna continue talking about this intriguing topic. We've been talking about the corona crisis that kind of morphed into a discussion on America and where is America in Bible prophecy. And honestly, before we even proceed with our discussion, and I said, I teased back in part one, I wanna come back and talk about could we be Babylon, Revelation 17 and 18.

And before I do that, I wanna play another clip. And here, Mark brings out a fascinating historical piece of information about America in her early days, going back to the very early days, certainly President Washington, and the monument in Washington, DC that many of you have seen. In his book, What in the World is Going On, David Jeremiah begins one of his chapters with these words. He says, every day when the sun rises over Washington, DC, its first rays fall on the eastern side of the city's tallest structure, the 555-foot Washington Monument. The first part of that monument to reflect the rising sun is the eastern side of its aluminum capstone where these words are inscribed, Laus Deo, Latin for praise be to God. This compact prayer of praise visible to the eyes of heaven alone is tacit recognition of the nation's unique acknowledgement of the place of God in its founding and its continuance. Now, I love that, the very first rays of the sun that hit our nation's capital fall on the words, praise be to God. And I love that about this country. From the very beginning, God has been recognized and feared and sought and honored in this nation, probably to an unparalleled degree in any other nation. Now, certainly this great nation is flawed as all nations are, but it's been uniquely favored by God and I think of that, there is no doubt. God's good hand of providence has rested on this nation from its inception, bringing promotion and prosperity and progress to our nation. We all love this country deeply and we cherish the rich and godly heritage in the past that God has given to us.

We're the beneficiaries of a great legacy. But what a contrast when we look from the past to the present. Just listen to the news or read the paper or surf the internet, listen to our politicians today. It's ironic to me, it's tragically ironic that the nation whose first light that falls on its capital fall on the words, praise be to God is actively pushing God now out of the national discourse.

Praise be to God is the farthest thing from most people's minds in our nation today. We're witnessing a seismic shift in our country, really on every front, a downward spiral, morally, politically, theologically with increasing division and despair in our nation. As one man I read recently said it succinctly, America is losing her soul. And there seems to be a collective sense that the things are headed in the wrong direction, that something ominous is on the horizon.

Mark Hitchcock, you gave that message about a year ago or so. You had no idea. Well, when I'm playing it here in July, our country is being ripped apart at the seams.

It's hard to turn a news broadcast on. Our history is being erased and they're trying to establish a new country rooted in Marxism. Did you ever think you'd see the day?

Well, I never thought I would. And just listening to those words from that sermon I preached too, think about tearing down of monuments. I mean, it's the Washington Monument. That's right.

It has those words, you know, praise be to God upon it. And again, I said earlier, the people that found that our country were flawed, just like we are. It's a flawed country, but it's the greatest country that's ever existed. And people from all over the world want to come here.

I never thought I would live to see the kinds of things that are happening now in our country. And it's sad, but we always have to remember, too, all of the time, heaven has an occupied throne and we don't want to despair. It's Christ in you, the hope of glory. And that's ultimately our hope. And we want to be salt and light while we're here, do what we can.

Certainly, it is discouraging and disheartening what we see today. But each one of us, we have to use the gifts and abilities God's given us. We have to occupy till Christ comes, be doing business for him. So whatever way we can do that, that's what we need to be doing at this time. What we were doing ending part one of the program was looking a little bit at America in prophecy. And I want to continue to do that.

I just want to throw in that little insert because, again, it's so tough to see what's going on. Indicated that I want to ask you about could we be Babylon, Revelation 17 and 18. There we read that Babylon, well, full of immorality. Babylon is definitely a superpower. Babylon is wealthy.

It helps other nations become rich. Babylon is destroyed in one hour and the world watches the smoke of her burning, similar to a 9-11. You and I don't feel that that's America.

Why don't you talk to us as to why you don't feel that is America? Well, early on in chapter 17 when Babylon's identified here, by the way, let me just say this. When you study the book of Revelation, there are 404 verses in the book of Revelation. 44 verses in the book are about Babylon. So 11% of the book of Revelation is about Babylon. A lot of people don't realize that. It's probably the most discussed topic.

Whatever it is, it's important. In chapter 17, verse 5, speaking of Babylon, it's pictured here as this woman, this harlot. Says upon her forehead, a name was written, a mystery, Babylon the Great. Now, a lot of the old translation says, behold was written, mystery Babylon. But it's not mystery Babylon. It's saying, a mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and the abominations of the earth. Now, what this is saying here, I believe, is whatever Babylon is, and we know that Babylon's a city. So it's not really a nation. Because down in chapter 17, verse 18, it says the woman is the great city that reigns over the kings of the earth. So a lot of people will say, well, then it's New York City, you know, if it has to be a city.

So it's not a nation, it's a city. And it says that this city was the mother of harlots and the abominations of the earth. So Babylon, whatever it is, was the mother or the source of all the abominations and idolatries on the earth. So it's the source of all the idolatry and the abominations. And really, the only city that fits that is literal Babylon. Literal Babylon, yeah. If you go back to Revelation chapters 10 and 11, after the flood, people gather at Babel under Nimrod. They build this great tower to the heavens and gather there in collective rebellion against God. And then from there, people's languages are confounded.

They're scattered all over the earth. And in that way, I think Babylon then became the mother of all the harlotries and all the abominations of the earth. And so that's why I take this to be a literal reference to the city of Babylon. Back in Genesis 10 and 11 at the beginning of the Bible, you have a literal Babylon. It's like everything's coming full circle.

And back there, it was under one man named Nimrod. It's going to be under one person in the Antichrist. Everything's coming full circle in the end times.

Back to Babylon. Something is going to happen to America. And that's kind of what we're trying to consider here. As we've already referred, the progressive movement is gaining strength here right now. And their goal is to weaken this country, in fact, even bring her down if they have to, because they feel we don't deserve any power and our history is embarrassing, et cetera. I mean, we don't feel that way.

The leftist seems to feel that way. You bring out some other things that could harm us and even take us down. We could have an economic implosion as we speak, thanks to corona, thanks to some other kind of turmoil in the land. We're trillions of dollars in debt. We have a debt bomb. Debt causes a nation to die, quite frankly. You bring out another point, that we could have a massive terror attack. Or as I think it might be Bill Koenig, who suggested, what if we had 20 terror attacks simultaneously across the country? Would that bring the country down? Well, it certainly would weaken it beyond our imagination.

And then you bring out another option. We could have a moral departure, which we have. And that brings on, then, the judgment of God, a Romans 1 scenario. And Mark, I think we have Romans 1 going on in America right now. There's no doubt about that. And that's a sobering chapter.

Yes. It speaks of God's abandonment wrath. We read about God's wrath in the Bible.

Certainly, that's no one's favorite topic to think about. But it's certainly present in scripture. There's direct wrath, like what God did with Sodom and Gomorrah. There's eschatological wrath in the day of the Lord and the future that's going to come. There's eternal wrath in hell. But there's also this aspect of God's wrath people forget about called his abandonment wrath, where when people go to a certain extent and sin, God abandons them and just turns them over to their sin. And that's what you have in Romans 1, where three times it says, and God gave them over, God gave them up to their sin. And it starts out there in that passage with really a turning away from God, then a sexual revolution, then a homosexual revolution, and then basically people just applauding and celebrating the sin of others. And it says when that's happening, it says it's not a sign that God is going to judge you.

When those things are happening, it's a sign that you're already being judged. We're certainly seeing all of that here as a sign of God's abandonment wrath on our country. And God help us if that's true. You bring out the point that there seemed to be a turning point, if I could use that word, in June of 2015 that opened the door to Pandora's box. And that was the same-sex marriage ruling.

The White House then lit up in colors of the gay rainbow. Many of us could hardly look at that site mark back in June of 2015. Is that not perhaps a turning point? Well, it is, because in Romans chapter 1, when you get down to the end, it's that people not only do these things, but it says they applaud or they celebrate basically those who do them. And several really well-known Greek scholars from years ago that weren't even dealing with what we're dealing with now have actually written in there that that's actually worse than committing the act itself. You've reached the bottom level, the bottom rung, where it's not only being the actions being taken, but it's being applauded.

And in our culture today, it's not even so much that we have to accept this, but you actually, if you don't applaud it, then you're considered to be someone who hates people or homophobic or whatever. And so really, we see the Romans 1 track. Our nation tragically is right on track with that. A lot of the unrest and these other things we're seeing could certainly be the consequences of turning away from God. A man said years ago, when a man loses God, he loses himself. And I think the same thing can be said of a nation. When a nation loses God, it loses itself.

It loses its soul. That's what we're seeing happen in our country. And most of us don't have the power to go change all of that.

But what we can do is do what we can do in our own lives, our own families, our own ministries, our churches, to try to do what we can to stem the tide. And I want to go there in just a moment. And I want to get here, too. I think the most important point of your message, and folks, I'm playing off a message. You can find it on YouTube if you just type in Mark's name and put in America in Prophecy. Excellent hour-long message that he gave. I'm combining that with summarizing, and we did that briefly, one of his newest books, Corona Crisis, Plagues, Pandemics, and the Coming Apocalypse. And that's in my online store at

You can give my office a call or, as I said, get on our newsletter list. But then, as I was studying and preparing on Corona Crisis, I came across Mark's message on America in Prophecy. Well, does this Corona Crisis tie into America in Prophecy? My goodness, America's being weakened. So when I scheduled this interview, I thought we'd be talking only about Corona Crisis.

Well, little did I know that it was leading into all these other issues. Therefore, I am, as I know my audience, interested in where does America fit in Bible prophecy. Now, Mark, you come to a final conclusion. America might be neutralized in what's known as the rapture of the church. I'm going to play a quick clip here, and it summarizes how the rapture could really be the delightful issue that's going to be glorious for the church, but not so glorious for America and the rest of the world.

There's a fourth scenario or event, one that's actually mentioned in the Bible, that I believe best explains the scriptural silence about America in the end times. And that event is the rapture of the church. One of these days, in a moment in the twinkling of an eye, the Lord Jesus is going to return to the heavens. All those believers who are on the earth who are alive are going to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. The dead in Christ will rise, that is their bodies, and be rejoined with their perfected spirits that are with the Lord. Those of us who are alive and remain will be caught up together with Him in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. We're going to receive an immortal, imperishable, incorruptible body and a perfected spirit in a moment of time. When that happens, if the numbers that are out there of about 8% of the people in America are evangelical Christians, believe that salvation is by God's grace alone through faith alone and Jesus Christ alone, that's about 30 million people that will disappear in a moment in the twinkling of an eye. You say, well, a lot of other nations will lose people as well, but if you go to the Middle East and to Europe, I mean, in most of those places, it's less than 1% of the people would say that they believe that salvation is through faith alone and Jesus Christ alone. It's going to wreck this nation.

The salt and light will be gone in a moment in the twinkling of an eye. There'll be gaping voids left in every strata of society. Jeff Kinley, who's written a book called The End of America, describes it really vividly. He says, not a single believer will be left on American soil.

Imagine that for a moment. With our country's soul now removed, she'll become a zombie-like nation wandering aimlessly toward her ultimate inevitable demise. In this miraculous moment, the complete departure of Christians is not the only thing that will change. Everything will be altered following that split-second departure.

Governments, states, communities, militaries, schools, churches, colleges, hospitals, universities, families, marriages, natural infrastructures, everything. There won't be a single pocket of society that remains unaffected, as for all practical purposes, God will have left the building. He says, with anarchy and chaos reigning, America will be paralyzed and officially no longer a major player in world affairs. Like a heavy blanket, darkness falls on the entire nation.

That is a scenario that is imminent. And by the way, if you just join me, you're listening to Understanding the Times Radio, and I have on the line from Edmond, Oklahoma, Pastor Mark Hitchcock, Faith Bible Church, Edmond, Oklahoma. Mark Hitchcock, your best website is, am I right? That's right, yes.

You can learn a lot more at Your message is powerful, but let me ask you this, then do we just morph in to some sort of a Western Confederacy ruled by the Antichrist after the rapture? The church is gone. That seems to me like the most likely scenario. I mean, that's where with America, that's our history. That's kind of our origins. We know the Antichrist is gonna come and begin to come to power on this platform of peace. And hopefully at the middle of the tribulation, he's gonna take over the world.

So all nations at that time will be under his control. Yeah, early on, I mean, that would seem to me like the safe harbor, the place of refuge that America will go after the rapture in the wake of the rapture. The other thing too, I was talking about the rapture kind of being the trigger, but also the rapture could happen kind of in fatal combination with a lot of those other things we mentioned, terrorism and even civil war and the unrest, economic implosion and all of those other things. So you take all of those things in combination, and then you add in an event like the rapture that'll be the greatest event in human history since the flood. That would pretty much render America a second rate or a third rate nation at that time. We'd be seeking refuge with some other alliance of nations. You feel strongly that the Antichrist will not come from America, which immediately rules out a bunch of people, probably come out of Europe. I think I would agree with you. And of course, I don't even wanna speculate, but let's leave it at you feel the Antichrist will come out of Western Europe.

Yes, that's right. I think he's gonna come out of a reunited Roman Empire. I mean, the old empire did include part of North Africa and the Western part of Asia, but from the confines of the old Roman Empire, that's where I believe he'll rise from. Some of my listeners are sitting thinking, this is overwhelming. You know, what can I really do to have an influence? And I think we should talk about that for at least a moment or two here. You actually go into that in this message you've given and you say, don't be absorbed into the wicked culture and let's shine our light in the darkness. The simplest thing we can do is be salt and light and try to delay the decay while we're here.

That's right. Most of us don't have any kind of international or even national or even a lot of local influence with politicians or others. The most powerful thing we can do is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and to live the gospel in whatever context God has placed us in. One of the most important things in our country are strong churches, strong local churches where the gospel is proclaimed, where the gospel is practiced.

We can all do that. I pastor a church, people can be leaders in churches, they can serve there. It's the church that Jesus Christ promised that he would build on earth and that the gates of Hades would not prevail against. And so we can do what we can do daily in the various places where God has put us to tell people about Christ, to tell them that there's a virus a lot worse than the coronavirus. There's a virus that's infected all of us in our soul, which is sin, and Jesus came and bore it for us. And that we can trust in him and have that virus cured in our heart and life. So that's the ultimate answer really for us is to proclaim and to practice and to live out the wonderful gospel message of Jesus Christ as we await the coming of our bridegroom. That's our calling. Let me just read you an email, Mark Hitchcock.

I just got it a day ago. It's from Nancy in Westerville, Ohio. That's the only identification I'm gonna give since I didn't ask her permission and I'm gonna read it, but keep it fairly anonymous. And she says, she and her husband listened to the Michelle Bachman programming here recently. And she goes on to say, "'I can't tell you how troubled this makes us feel.'" She says, "'We are 82 and we have never in our lifetime seen anything like this.'" That mark means the turmoil in America right now.

That's the context. And then she goes on, she says, "'But why aren't churches across this nation having prayer conference calls or Zoom meetings with their people so we can pray and repent as a nation? Why is the church silent?

Thank you for informing us.'" I'll leave it there. I think she raises a good point. I mean, America is in turmoil.

Certainly, I don't recall anything recently quite as tumultuous as America right now. How about if the church were to come together for some prayer and repentance and why the overwhelming silence in the church? You as a pastor have any comment on Nancy's email? Well, it's a very good one, very thoughtful comment from someone who's a mature believer.

Obviously at her age and she's seen things. That's a great thought. I've talked with a lot of my friends who are pastors, very large churches.

We've talked about different things. I actually met with some pastors yesterday and we talked about some things that we can do, but I think praying, that's the most important thing. I think a lot of us are praying individually. My wife and I pray regularly for our country. But I think something on a larger scale, maybe churches calling for a day of prayer just for our country and for our nation would be a great thing. I think to accomplish something like that, you probably need someone who's of a kind of a national status that people know who they are, like a Franklin Graham or someone like that. If I were to call for that, a lot of people don't know me.

I think that's a good thing. I mean, I know some guys who know some of those people. I might suggest that, you know Jack Hibbs well.

I know Greg Laurie well, Jack Graham down in Dallas at Preston Wood Bountess. That's a very good thought. I mean, I might talk to some of those men who have more influence than I do in some of those ways to do that. So that's a great thought. I appreciate you sharing that.

It's given me something to think about here today. And then you cite some keys to blessing Mark. And you say the first key to blessing of course, is that the nation, our nation support Israel, Genesis 12,3. And this is one of the reasons why America is a blessed nation without a doubt. And then you say, pray for our nation and for those in authority and practice godliness and don't contribute to the corruption that we see going on.

I don't think too many of my listeners are but you never know. And sometimes we have unbelievers who literally stumble across the program in their car, can't believe what they're hearing and often are in disagreement. But nonetheless, let's not be a part of some of the godlessness that we're seeing happen.

Well, that's right. The Bible says righteousness exalts a nation's sin as a disgrace to any people. And we often decry the unrighteousness that we see happening in our country, the wickedness, the evil that's happening. But at the same time, we excuse the unrighteousness and the wickedness in our own lives.

It's one thing to decry what's happening out there in the culture and speak against that. I think of Isaiah there in the first six chapters, he's going along saying, woe, woe to the nation of Israel, woe. But then you get to chapter six and he sees the Lord high and lifted up and he says, woe is me. And I think we have to start with ourselves and make sure that we're living a life of obedience. We're never gonna be perfect, but living a life of obedience. So we do send a life of repentance in our families and our communities. That's where it begins with each one of us to do that. And hopefully then that will ripple out into our churches and our communities and other places, because that's ultimately what each one of us individually can do. Well, again, folks, the book which we carry and I've read it cover to cover because I was able to read it in about two hours. It's very informative and very helpful. If you're wondering how on earth does this Corona crisis have anything to do with things that are talked about in the Bible?

Probably so, Corona crisis, plagues, pandemics and the coming apocalypse by my guest for the hour, Dr. Mark Hitchcock. You can find him at Faith Bible Church in Edmond, Oklahoma. You can learn more at You can find the book at Olive Tree Views, views as in viewpoint,

You can give my office a call, probably best Monday through Friday, and we'll get a book out to you real quickly. Again, I've read it cover to cover and yeah, what's going on with Corona crisis. At least it's gonna play out eventually, whether or not that's mainly the tribulation probably, but we've got, as we open with a couple of clips, we've got the tribulation casting a huge shadow on the church age as I speak.

Let me go out of the program just because I'm so out of time. Everyone listening loves and appreciates our wonderful country here in America. It's a shining city on a hill, as President Reagan called it. And let's remember that our true home is heaven and that is much more than a shining city on a hill. It's our eternal home that awaits all who name the name of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

It represents perfection, no pestilence, no separation, no death, no tears. It is out of this world. And I wanna say to you, please don't miss it for the world. And I wanna thank you for listening. And we'll talk to you next week.

We are in an age of fake news and false teaching. And thank you for trusting this radio outreach and for supporting it for 20 years. You can listen electronically if you miss a radio program, access Understanding the Times Radio on our YouTube channel under Jan Markell at at our website, And at, you can call us central time at 763-559-4444. That's 763-559-4444. We get our mail when you write to Olive Tree Ministries in Jan Markell, Box 1452, Maple Grove, Minnesota, 55311. That's Box 145311. Maple Grove, Minnesota, 55311.

All gifts are tax deductible. Consult our website and how to text to give. Join us next week as we remind you that everything is falling into place. Join us next week as we remind you that everything is falling into place.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-25 07:36:34 / 2023-09-25 08:01:53 / 25

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