Pearl Harbor has gone down as one of the most catastrophic surprise attacks in human history. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on that fateful December day, the U.S. forces were so unprepared for what transpired that when the Japanese were done, 18 Navy vessels were sunk, 323 aircraft were damaged or destroyed, 2,390 people dead and 1,178 wounded. The greatest tragedy was that thousands of lives were needlessly lost because they were not forewarned.
Husband E. Kimmel, the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet and Army Lieutenant General Walter C. Short were relieved of command and held responsible. Many would point their fingers at Washington and books would be written seeking to document that the United States government was aware of the attack but failed to warn the Army and Navy.
However, there is another surprise attack on its way. This attack will not be Japan surprising America, but the forces of Satan surprising the church. We have been forewarned in God’s Holy Word so that we need not experience a spiritual Pearl Harbor. While the Japanese surprise attack on Pearly Harbor lasted two hours, Satan’s surprise attack on the church will last for 42 months.
There are striking and undeniable parallels between the attacks on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and New York City on September 11, 2001. 60 years after Pearl Harbor the U.S. suffered another attack on American soil which resulted in the death of nearly 3,000 people!
When considering some of the eerie parallels between the carnage of Pearl Harbor and the devastation of September 11, I could not help but notice similar parallels between Pearl Harbor, September 11 and what will likely be the fallout from the unbiblical Pre-Trib rapture theory when the Antichrist arises!
Prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, there was ample intelligence, on several levels, signifying that the Japanese were ready to attack. These warnings were either ignored or not properly discerned.
A week before the attack on Pearl Harbor took place, U.S. intelligence lost track of Japanese aircraft carriers and failed to locate them until it was too late. Add to this the fact that Pearl Harbor victims were unprepared because army radar operators failed to share their knowledge with commanders at Pearl Harbor that that they saw incoming Japanese kamikaze planes. In a similar way, terrorists warned for several years that they would murder thousands of people on American soil years before 9/11. Nevertheless, many in the Intelligence community failed to take heed to such warnings.
Even though Jesus has clearly given the church marching orders and prepared us for the coming great tribulation period, many spiritual leaders are failing to warn the church, even though the storm clouds are amassing before our very eyes.
Similarly, those who believe that the book of Revelation is already fulfilled (Preterists), and those who believe the church will be whisked away before the Antichrist emerges in a pre-trib rapture, both have withheld the biblical intelligence and pertinent eschatological revelation provided by Jesus regarding enduring the tribulation period in both the Olivet Discourse and the Book of Revelation.
Jesus clearly warned the apostles of the early church what would befall her when Antichrist arises. He further warned that she had best be ready for His return. Jesus warned that the church would be ill prepared and that “many” would “fall away” and that He was warning us in “advance”:
“Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved … Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains … For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance.” (Matthew 24:9-13, 15-16, 24-25)
Many military analysts have stated that though the intelligence was there to see that both Pearl Harbor and 9/11 were on their way, it has been said that it was hard to “connect the dots.” Though this is not the case with regard to Jesus’ teaching about the end times. While the finer points of prophecy can be demanding, Jesus’ straight forward teaching – which was understood by the consensus of the early church fathers on the issue – is that the church would not only face Antichrist but that Jesus’ words were specifically intended to help the church endure the tribulation period.
Jesus has given the church far more time than the U.S. had to prepare for both Pearl Harbor and 9/11. We have been sitting on His warnings for nearly 2,000 years. Yet, tragically, most of the church has ignored His warnings. Sadly, the church has been clearly warned by the Lord Jesus Christ as to what is coming upon Christians in the tribulation, yet those who are responsible for warning the church about the coming tribulation have been AWOL when it comes to warning the church of its greatest test! The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor at 7:00 a.m. while American defenses were resting. The church is asleep and many of her leaders have been derelict of duty!
Another sad parallel between Pearl Harbor, 9/11 and the coming tribulation period, besides not being ready for a sneak attack, is that the U.S. underestimated her enemies and thought the enemy was incapable of launching such a deadly attack on American soil. This was the case with both the Japanese and the 9/11 terrorists.
Despite the fact that Osama Bin Laden had publicly announced that he would attack the U.S. on her own soil, many in the Intelligence community failed to take his threats seriously and believed that he lacked the ability to launch a significant attack. Especially one that would result in the death of nearly 3,000 victims and threaten the entire U.S. economy!
Is the church today ready to endure the tribulation period should it begin shortly? Marvin Rosenthal gave a similar warning several years ago:
“[H]aving been taught and convinced of an imminent pretribulation Rapture, the consequences will be calamitous. The church will enter that period unprepared, spiritually naked, vulnerable, and ripe for the Antichrist’s deception. The psychological implications will be disastrous. A questioning of the trustworthiness of the Word of God will naturally follow. It will be a spiritual catastrophe—a Pearl Harbor of incalculable proportions—a satanically planned sneak attack…It is impossible to effectively train an army for major battle if the soldiers are told they will never have to participate. Reservist who see little likelihood that they will ever see combat will never prepare like those knowing they may soon be sent to the front lines.” (Marvin Rosenthal, The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church, Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville, 1990, p. 281-282).
The church today also thinks the enemy is incapable of deceiving many and pretends to be impervious to deception. However, we are warned in Holy Scripture to be prepared for trials and that we are to be sober and alert so we are not devoured by the enemy of our souls:
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you … Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” (1 Peter 4:12; 5:8-10)
As the church, we are to be prepared to stand against the enemy on the evil day, yet many Christians have been deceived into believing that we will be whisked away from the earth just before the very evil day that Jesus so earnestly prepared the church to be ready to endure:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” (Ephesians 6:10-13)
The Book of Revelation warns that the Antichrist will “make war with the saints” (Revelation 13:5). Jesus identifies the “saints” in Revelation with His “bride,” the church (Revelation 19:7-9).
In the end, the U.S. was galvanized after both Pearl Harbor and 9/11. They defeated the Nazi’s and the Japanese in WWII, and with enough resolve will do the same with Islamic terrorism on U.S. soil.
Despite many prophesied spiritual causalities (Matthew 24:9-13; 2 Thessalonians 2:2-4), in the end the church will have victory over the Antichrist and Satan will not prevail against the her (Matthew 16:18). This victory is grounded in the blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which will avail for those who keep the word of their testimony and remain faithful until death:
“Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Revelation 2:9-10)
“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.” (Revelation 12:11)
“Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.” (Revelation 12:17)
“Whoever has ears, let them hear. “If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed[c] with the sword, with the sword they will be killed.”[d] This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people.” (Revelation 13:9-10)
“A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.” (Revelation 14:9-12)
May the Lord give us the grace and power of His Spirit t be the watchmen He has commanded us to be in these last days, for the sake of the church and our families:
“By smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action. Those who have insight among the people will give understanding to the many; yet they will fall by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plunder for many days. Now when they fall they will be granted a little help, and many will join with them in hypocrisy. Some of those who have insight will fall, in order to refine, purge and make them pure until the end time; because it is still to come at the appointed time.” (Daniel 11:32-35)
What a glorious resurrection awaits those who hold to the faith and shine the light of Jesus in the end of days:
“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever … Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.” (Daniel 12:2-3, 10)
My dad, who just turned 90 this year, was heading to the Philippines as an army paratrooper just before the U.S. dropped atom bombs on the Japanese. Adm. Mike Mullen, chief of naval operations, stated that the Japanese were poised to take much more than they had.
“Things were tough. Our fleet had taken a devastating blow. Japanese troops occupied Korea, China and would soon take over the Malaysian peninsula, Singapore and the Philippines.” (Source)
Jesus warned that if He failed to return at the end of the tribulation period no life would be saved, but for our sake, He will keep His Word:
“Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short … But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.” (Matthew 24:22, 29-31)
In light of His Coming and of His coming Kingdom, may we be faithful to Him and to all those He has called us to minister to by His glorious grace! Even so come Lord Jesus!