Judean hills

The Terminal Generation: Matthew 24: Dilemma

Hagee offers Ten Road Signs” which he believes confirms that we are living in the end of the age.   The second of those signs is taken from Zechariah 14:12-15, a text he believes speaks of the plague of nuclear warfare and/or chemical weapons.  This he calls the “Plague of the Middle East.” To understand the reasons for citing the Plague in the Middle East as a nuclear holocaust for those who fight against Jerusalem, we must take a look at the text. Let us consider, Are We in the last days, John Hagee – 10 Signs of the Terminal Generation?

“And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolved in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths.

It shall come to pass in that day that a great panic from the Lord will be among them. Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor, and raise his hand against his neighbor’s hand;
Judah also will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be gathered together: Gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance.
Such also shall be the plague on the horse and the mule, on the camel and the donkey, and on all cattle that will be in those camps. So shall this plague be.”

This is Hagee’s sugar-stick text for a nuclear age-ending battle against the nations who fight against Jerusalem.  He suggests everything from the Ebola virus to the “electric blanket” as a possible cause for this melting flesh.  He also suggests radiation from nuclear weapons. This idea came to him while watching a “docudrama” about Hiroshima of a reenactment of the bombing that ended World War II.

He recalls literally seeing flesh melting off the bones of the victims before their corpses hit the ground. In that instant he understood that Zechariah “could  have been describing nuclear warfare.” (John Hagee, Beginning of the End, pp. 88-89).

Hagees views of Zechariah 14:12, land him into trouble with his own interpretation. To make his case, he draws from Matthew 24. That is the Achilles heel of his entire prophetic scheme. He cites Matthew 24:17, to speak of the “ferocious and fast” military attack upon Israel.

What’s the problem here? Hagee literalizes the text and imposes nuclear warfare where none is mentioned. He took his cue from a TV docudrama rather than proving it from God’s word. He also wrote in Jerusalem Countdown, p. 40, “Every person who calls himself a prophet must be tested by Scripture. (See 1 Corinthians 14:29). Every revelation and every prophecy must be judged by the Word of God.”  Though he applied this test to the teaching of Muhammad, there should be no complaint that they should work on Hagee’s teaching as well. He certainly prophesies a lot.

Citing Matthew 24:17 as proof, his entire premise falls apart. He takes a text which describes the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem as proof of this nuclear explosion. In both Matthew and Luke, the warning concerning “move hastily and not return to the house to get clothing” is given in connection with Jerusalem’s fall to the Romans in the first century.

Note the Comparison Text in Luke 21:20-22:

But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. “For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

Hagee is correct in describing this as a surprise military attack. He is incorrect in assigning it to a modern day Zionist Israel versus the Roman invasion of the ancient nation of the Jews in the first century.

That Christ meant the Jerusalem of his day is evident from Luke 21:32.”Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place.”Thus, the events described took place before the generation then living passed. They are the terminal generation who lived in the last days of the Jewish age, the age which came to its end in 70 A.D.

Luke is parallel to Matthew 24:17. Both texts describe the same time and event. The latter text is also limited to the generation of the first century, per Matthew 24:34.“Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.”So, in both texts, we have a first century application per the words of Christ.

Secondly, Hagee acknowledges that Zechariah 14 parallels Matthew 24. This is a fatal admission to his view of imminent impending destruction for it means that  Zechariah’s prophecy is also fulfilled before the first century generation passed.
Compare Zechariah 14:7, the day that is known only to the Lord, with Matthew 24:36. Both describe the same “unknown day.” Both are in the context of the “coming day of the Lord, (Zechariah 14:1). In relation to that day, the plague of verses 12-15, is mentioned.

Reduced to a syllogism or logical argument we have the following.

All end times Bible prophecy is fulfilled in 70 A.D. when Rome destroyed Jerusalem, (Luke 21:20-22).
Zechariah 14:12, is end times Bible prophecy.
Therefore, Zechariah 14 was fulfilled in A.D. 70.

Not only did we not have nuclear warfare in the first century, we neither had TV or docudramas!  That means Hagee could never have conceived this idea if he had lived before the invention of the Television!  When we honor the time God’s word has placed on the fulfillment of prophecy, Hagee’s interpretation miserably and embarrassingly fails the test.

If his premise were true, nuclear warfare would have to have been developed in the first century. That would negate his first argument that knowledge has increased because he also cites that the Iran did not yet have nuclear warfare technology as late as the writing of his Jerusalem Countdown book in 2005. He prophesied Israel would preemptively strike Iran in lieu of the development of this technology about April 2006. To date, it has not occurred. That is another false prophecy of the “countdown man.”

Notice what happens when the idea of nuclear warfare is inserted into the equation of Bible prophecy.

Zechariah 14:12-15 was fulfilled in AD 70, per Matthew 24:17, (in the first century generation, Matthew 24:34)
Zechariah 14 speaks of the plague of dissolviing flesh due to nuclear attack. (per Hagee)
Therefore, Zechariah 14:12-15, was fulfilled in a nuclear attack which occurred in A.D. 70!!!

Did Rome have nuclear weapons when it destroyed Jerusalem? We all know better. But, that is the logic Hagee’s interpretations lead to when put to the test of scripture, versus TV docudramas!

John Hagee – 10 Signs of the Terminal Generation

In our next post we continue with sign number three. This sign is called the “rebirth of Israel,” which according to Christian Zionists, is the year 1948. We’ll examine the rebirth of Israel in the light of Scripture, not on the battlefield of modern military aggression.