Matt Hagee on how governments, technologies and world events are ushering in the terminal generation
By Kyle Patterson
Pastor and author Matt Hagee believes that the Bible can inform our understanding of various dramatic events taking place around the world, including Russia’s schemes against the U.S. and recent violence in Europe.
In his new book, Your Guide to the Apocalypse: What You Should Know Before the World Comes to an End (WaterBrook, August 15, 2017), Hagee explores the signs at home and internationally that indicate biblically prophesied events are taking shape.
We caught up with him for a recent interview on the book and how the Bible can inform us in the times we are living in today.
In your new book Your Guide to the Apocalypse: What You Should Know Before the World Comes to an End, you discuss why the U.S. is struggling to recover its once-dominant position in the world. Why is the U.S. struggling?
Yes, that is true. I think America is exceptional because we’ve been guided by our moral compass. Since our founding the Word of God has been the bedrock of our nation’s political philosophy. If and when we stray from that we lose our exceptionalism, and become just another nation (at best). The American ability to be an economic engine and a forward looking force for good in the world stems from our deep connection to the Word of God. While there may be many strategies that could be considered to strengthen America and its position in the world; unless we individually take personal responsibility for our own behavior and return to our moral and Scriptural foundations no progress will be made.
You say that what's happening is already spelled out in the Bible, can you explain?
When the Bible was written it was 98% prophecy and 2% history now the reverse is true. With 98% of Scripture being historical fact the 2% that remains should not be debated but more clearly defined and prepared for. For example, 2,500 years before Israel was declared a nation by the U.N. in 1948 the prophet Isaiah asked the question, “Can a nation be born in a day?” and the prophet Ezekiel spoke of dry and scattered bones being reunited and coming back to life as a representation of the whole house of Israel. Both of these men were exactly right thousands of years before it happened in modern time.
The things that we are seeing on the headlines of our newspapers concerning the economy, the culture, and the geopolitical power struggle have all been addressed in God’s Word and will come to pass as defined by Scripture. You cannot change it, but you can understand it and be prepared for what’s about to occur.
In your book you talk about the power struggle in the world is about control? What type of control are nations battling for?
Nations have been seeking to dominate each other since the beginning of time. They seek to gain greater economic strength, spread ideology, and in some cases prove their exceptionalism through sheer dominance and might. America, and our democratic allies, approach world affairs differently. We are not solely self-interested and we do not seek to shape the world to prove our own dominance, rather we seek to impact world events in such a way as to make the world a better, safer place for all people. We seek to be our brother’s keeper. Since WWII the global community has considered the United States a leader, it has requested our assistance in addressing its greatest challenges and we have always been willing to answer the call. When you are a leader, you are also a target. Those who oppose the liberties and freedoms that we celebrate in America are doing all they can from within our nation and outside our nation to gain control and demonstrate global dominance.
Why is Russia involved in the Middle East?
The Middle East is geo-politically significant both for its natural resources and because Jerusalem is the physical center of our spiritual world. Russian foreign policy is purely guided by self-interest. Morality does not come into play. That is why, for example, they support Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad – Russia has an important naval base in Syria. Russia will do whatever they can do expand their sphere of influence, including become increasingly involved in the Middle East. And from a broader perspective it’s important to mention that like many strongmen before him, Putin needs an enemy on which to blame his people’s ills. And Putin uses the US and Western nations for that scapegoat. Russia’s desire to return to its former glory is hindered by a weak economy. The only way for that economy to experience the rapid and dynamic growth it needs is for the price of oil to go up. The Russian agenda in the Middle East is driven by a desire to dominate the oil market and hold European nations hostage in a natural resources crisis. With Russia in control of so much oil and Europe in need, the Russians will be able to dictate what the price per barrel will be and have the ability to economically soar.
What does the Bible tell us about modern issues such as identity theft, the price of oil and an obsession with the environment?
Concerning the last global dictator before the return of Jesus Christ, Revelation calls him the Beast, Daniel describes his behavior as “causing craft to prosper.” This means that he will come to world power and influence by rescuing a crashing economy. One of the factors that is currently causing concern in our culture and economy is identity theft. This has been created by a rapid acceleration of technology and accessibility to information that was once safe and sound in a filing cabinet. Based on the amount of people currently being affected by such things as fraudulent charges on their credit cards, fake bank accounts in their name, and other damaging effects on their personal finances this will be one of the problems that the Biblical “mark of the beast” will solve.
The Bible has much to say about how deception will be rampant during the last days. One of the areas where we see a tremendous amount of misleading information is the environment. In the United States the environment and the regulations that are intended to protect it have become handcuffs on industries that otherwise would enable the American economy to grow and be more self-sustaining and independent rather than indebted and globally dependent. There is a lot of discussion and debate on an ongoing basis about whether or not these economic policies do more harm than good. One thing is for certain, regardless of whether or not they have helped or harmed the environment, the only thing that is truly green about green energy is the amount of money it costs to sustain it. The Bible discussed this in Matthew chapter 24 when Jesus said, “Let no man deceive you” and in Romans 1, when Paul said that there would be a generation that would worship the created rather than the Creator. That generation is in the world today.
How is America’s treatment of other nations connected to the coming apocalypse?
I do not make predictions about the end of days. Rather, I would simply say that how America treats Israel, and how much we allow the Word of God into our lives – both as individuals and as a nation – will have a direct impact on our favor with the Lord. We are told to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8); Americans and America should heed that mandate.
How does Donald Trump’s presidency influence world economics?
Of course. Every President leaves their mark on the domestic and world economies. With Pres. Trump’s background in business, I know many of us are hopeful that his Administration’s policies will have a positive impact on the US and the world. But the economy is like a giant ship – it takes time to turn, and even more time for one to truly see and feel the effects of any change in direction. Pres. Trump has not been an office long enough for us to know if our hopes for a better more prosperous future will be realized, but I think the initial signs are good and I am optimistic.