Arlen L. Chitwood
Destruction of Gentile World Power
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. (Hebrews 11:30)
The historical account of the destruction of Jericho in Joshua chapter six occurred after Israel’s deliverance from Egypt and the nation’s entrance into the land but before the actual conquest of the land and the establishment of the nation in the land within a theocracy.
“Jericho” appears to have been the principal stronghold of power for the Canaanite civilization of that day. And the destruction of Jericho, in its type-antitype arrangement, foreshadows the destruction of Gentile world power after Israel’s deliverance from a worldwide dispersion and the nation’s entrance into the land but before the actual establishment of the nation in the land within a theocracy.
(At the time of the completion of the building of the tabernacle at Mount Sinai, when the Glory indwelt the Holy of Holies — one year from the date of the Exodus under Moses — a theocracy came into existence in the camp of Israel [Exodus 40:17, 30-38]. At Sinai, the Jewish people had previously received the Law [the Magna Charta for the kingdom, the rules and regulations governing the people of God within the theocracy].
And, with the existence of the theocracy, everything was now in readiness. The people could now travel to the land, enter the land, and realize their calling as God’s firstborn son within that land. Thus, at the beginning of the second year, the march was from Sinai directly to the borders of the land at Kadesh-Barnea.
This theocracy had existed in the camp of Israel for thirty-nine years prior to Joshua leading the second generation across the Jordan [about six months transpired on the march from Sinai to Kadesh-Barnea and an additional thirty-eight and one-half years during the wilderness wandering]. But this theocracy, throughout these thirty-nine years, had existed outside the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It was under Joshua’s leadership that, for the first time, the theocracy existed in the land itself.)
Moses, JOSHUA, Christ
Prior to Israel’s deliverance from Egypt during Moses’ day, the people of God were brought to the place of complete helplessness under the reign of an Assyrian Pharaoh. They had been relegated to the position of slaves and had nowhere to turn but to the God of their fathers.
The Israelites in Egypt, under bondage to the Assyrian Pharaoh,
. . . groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage.
So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them. (Exodus 2:23-25)
Moses at this time was on the far side of the desert tending sheep. He had previously appeared to Israel as their deliverer, but had been rejected. As the rejected deliverer Moses remained in the far country, removed from the camp of Israel, until the Israelites, in their bondage, were forced to cry out to God for deliverance.
It was then that God appeared to Moses and commissioned him to return to the land of Egypt to deliver the children of Israel. And upon his return, Moses was accepted by the people and became the great deliverer of the nation.
This overall depiction of events foreshadows past, present, and future events relative to Christ, the nation of Israel, and Christians. Christ appeared to Israel in time past and was rejected by the nation. During the present time, He is in the far country (heaven) caring for the sheep (Christians). He is the Great Shepherd portrayed in the twenty-third Psalm. And He must now remain in the far country, removed from the camp of Israel, until the Israelites, in their affliction, are forced to cry out to God for deliverance (Deuteronomy 30:1-3; Hosea 5:15-6:2).
This will occur under the reign of the future Assyrian (Antichrist [Isaiah 10:5, 12, 24-27; Micah 5:5, 6]) who will bear rule over the entire earth, typified by the Assyrian bearing rule over all of Egypt during Moses’ day. When the Jewish people, under this man’s reign, cry out to the God of their fathers, God will then send His Son back to the land of Judaea to deliver His people, exactly as He sent Moses back to deliver his people in the type.
Upon Christ’s return He will be accepted by Israel and become the nation’s Great Deliverer from a worldwide dispersion, exactly as seen in Moses’ return to and deliverance of his people from Egypt.
All will be exactly as it has been set forth in the type. It must be, for the antitype must follow the type in exact detail.
Pharaoh and his armed forces were overthrown in the Red Sea following the Exodus from Egypt. Since “Egypt” is a type of the world, the antitype of this destruction cannot occur until the Israelites have been delivered from that which is typified by their deliverance from Egypt, i.e., a deliverance from a worldwide dispersion.
In this respect, the destruction of Pharaoh and his armed forces in the Red Sea can only foreshadow the same event as the destruction of Jericho upon the Israelites entrance into the land — the destruction of Gentile world power at the end of the present age, following Israel’s deliverance from the nations of the world.
The One who is greater than Moses will lead the Israelites out from a worldwide dispersion, and the One who is greater than Joshua will lead the Israelites into the land of Canaan. Both foreshadow different facets of the same event. And this future deliverance of the Jewish people will then be followed by the destruction of Gentile power, as in the days of both Moses and Joshua.
Victory through Faith
According to Hebrews 11:30, “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down . . . .” The Israelites under Joshua had received certain instructions from the Lord concerning the conquest and destruction of Jericho (Joshua 6:1ff). The Israelites acted upon God’s promise to Joshua that the city had been given into his hand, and the Israelites under Joshua followed God’s instructions concerning the conquest and destruction of Jericho.
The Israelites simply believed God’s promise and followed His instructions. That is to say, the Israelites moved against Jericho “by faith [they believed God and acted accordingly],” and “the walls of Jericho fell down,” allowing them to march in and take the city.
God had instructed the Israelites to march around the city of Jericho once a day for six days. Then, on the seventh day they were to march around the city seven times. Seven trumpets of rams’ horns were to be blown following the last march around the city, and the people were then to shout, for at that time the Lord would fulfill His promise and deliver the city over to Joshua and his people.
The numbers “six” and “seven” are of marked significance in this account, as are numbers any other place in Scripture. “Six” is man’s number, and “seven” is God’s number. Man has been allotted six days, six thousand years (2 Peter 3:8; cf. Exodus 31:12-17); but the seventh day, the seventh one-thousand-year period, belongs to the Lord (Genesis 2:1-3; Hebrews 4:4-9). Six days, six thousand years, will run their course; and at the conclusion of six days, on the seventh day, the antitype of the destruction of Jericho will occur.
Jericho was marked for destruction at the very beginning, and each day the Israelites marched around the city moved the impending destruction one day closer. We are now living very near the end of the sixth day, with the seventh day in the immediate future, with the present world system having been marked for destruction from the very beginning.
The present world system has been marked for destruction from day one in the septenary structure covering the complete 6,000 years of Man’s Day in Genesis chapter one. And this system is, as it were, presently existing at a point very near the end of the terminal march around the city. The judgments of the Tribulation, occurring at the end of the sixth day, are as distant hoof beats growing closer and closer with each passing day (cf. Revelation 6:1-8); and the destruction of this present world system will occur at the beginning of the seventh day, following the return of Israel’s Messiah.
The world system, in this respect, has been in its death throes throughout the six days (a situation to be intensified during the Tribulation); and the destruction of this system — which at the end of Man’s Day will find itself openly allied against both Israel and Israel’s Messiah — will occur in a sudden, swift, and complete manner.
This destruction will occur in the same manner and will be viewed in the same way as seen in Revelation 18:20, 21, verses that depict an end to Israel’s harlotry in that same coming day. And since these verses use a metaphor for Israel — Babylon — which in a literal sense would refer to the kingdom of the future Assyrian, the final form of Daniel’s image, which is Babylonian in its entirety, the verses could aptly be used in a secondary respect to describe the end of his kingdom as well:
Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!
Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea [the place of death], saying, “Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore.”
Israel’s Position Among the Nations
The day is near at hand when “the kingdom of the world” will become “the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ” (Revelation 11:15, ASV). For 2,600 years the kingdom has belonged to the Gentile nations of the earth, with Satan and his angels ruling from the heavens through the nations (Daniel 10:12-20).
Satan is the “god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4). He is the present ruler over the “kingdoms of the world” (Luke 4:5, 6). And throughout history — especially the history of Israel — Satan has used Gentile nations within his kingdom in his efforts to thwart the plans and purposes of God.
Since the inception of the nation of Israel, God’s dealings with the remainder of mankind have revolved around this nation. Israel is the “apple [lit., ‘pupil’]” of God’s eye (Zechariah 2:8). God looks upon the Gentile nations of the world through the nation of Israel. Israel has been placed “in the midst of the nations” (Ezekiel 5:5; 38:12), and the Gentile nations occupy their appointed place in the sphere of human activity within the “boundaries of their habitation,” “according to the number of the children of Israel” (Deuteronomy 32:8; Acts 17:26).
God announced Israel’s status relative to the Gentile nations at the time Israel was brought into existence. “Israel” was God’s firstborn son, not Egypt; and Moses was instructed to announce Israel’s God-ordained position to the Assyrian Pharaoh in Egypt (Exodus 4:22, 23). By this announcement, the Pharaoh of Egypt would know that national supremacy was about to pass from Egypt to Israel — from the center of Gentile power to a nation of slaves.
(With “Egypt” seen in Scripture as a type of the world, a type of all the Gentile nations, Israel’s position in relation to all the other nations was set, in an unchangeable manner, at the time of the inception of the nation. Israel, in relation to all the Gentile nations of the earth, was declared by God to be His firstborn son.)
The word of God remains in force throughout both time and eternity. Consequently, Israel’s standing as God’s firstborn son can never be changed. Israel remains God’s firstborn son today, possessing the full rights of the firstborn, and must retain this position forever. Israel, as firstborn, must “possess the gate of their enemies” (Genesis 22:17).
Note that both the heavenly and the earthly seed of Abraham are in view in Genesis 22:17.
The future destiny of Israel (the earthly seed of Abraham) and the future destiny of the Church (the heavenly seed of Abraham) are inseparably linked. The Church, following adoption into sonship, must, as Israel, also “possess the gate of their enemies.”
The “gate” has to do with the key point in the conquest of a city or realm. “Possessing the gate” of a city or realm is equivalent to possessing governmental control over that city or realm.
The possession in store for the “Church” is over an earthly realm (the Gentile nations), ruled from a heavenly realm (the realm from where Satan and his angels presently rule through the Gentile nations). Satan and his angels are presently in control, but they are to one day be put down (cf. Ephesians 6:11ff; Hebrews 3:1; Revelation 12:7-12).
The possession in store for “Israel” is over an earthly realm (the Gentile nations as well), ruled from an earthly realm (the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). The Gentile nations under Satan are presently in control, but, as previously seen, that is about to end (cf. Psalm 2:1ff; Isaiah 14:1, 2; 24:21-23). Both the Church and Israel will occupy positions of national supremacy in the coming age — one from a heavenly realm, the other from an earthly realm, though both over the Gentile nations of the earth.
Following the Exodus from Egypt, the establishment of the old covenant, the erection of the tabernacle, and the Glory of the Lord filling the tabernacle, the nation of Israel occupied the position of national supremacy within a theocratic kingdom. This kingdom existed in Old Testament history for over eight hundred years; but, because of disobedience, Israel failed to attain the heights required by her God-appointed position.
The old covenant was conditional (Exodus 19:5, 6; Leviticus 26:1ff; Deuteronomy 28:1ff). And because of the nation’s failure to keep this covenant, the kingdom was eventually taken from Israel. God allowed Israel to be taken into captivity by the Gentiles, the Glory departed the temple in Jerusalem, and the Times of the Gentiles began.
Now Israel must await the completion of the Times of the Gentiles, the subsequent restoration of the nation and the Glory, and the establishment of the new covenant before the nation can realize the fulfillment of God’s promise in Genesis 22:17. The new covenant, unlike the old, will be placed in the Jewish people’s “inward parts [KJV],” and written “on their hearts” (Jeremiah 31:31ff).
Ensuing events in the world during nearly 3,500 years of human history following Moses’ announcement to the Assyrian Pharaoh in Egypt have brought us almost full circle. Today we are living at a time immediately before the Tribulation, the restoration of Israel, and the destruction of Gentile world power. The same announcement which Moses delivered to the Assyrian Pharaoh in Egypt will be delivered to the future Assyrian (Antichrist) by the One whom Moses foreshadowed, the Lord Jesus Christ. And the destruction of Gentile power — as in the book of Exodus, and its counterpart in the book of Joshua — will follow.
In the interim, from the announcement during Moses’ day until the announcement during the days of the coming of the Son of Man, a main thrust of Satan’s attack is centered on the nation of Israel. In the light of that which Scripture reveals about Israel, the reason for this attack is easy to understand: the destruction of Israel would mean the continuance of Gentile world power under Satan.
(In the preceding respect, note the late Gamal Abdel Nasser’s statement broadcast over Radio Cairo for all the world to hear on May 28, 1967 [anticipating war with Israel, which began June 5], along with similar statements of like-minded individuals today [e.g., the PLO, or the president of Iran], and you can better understand the entire, explosive Middle East situation: “Our basic aim is the destruction of Israel.”
But note God’s promise to Israel:
No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me, Says the LORD. [Isaiah 54:17]
Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for a light by day, the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, who disturbs the sea, and its waves roar (The LORD of hosts is His name):
“If those ordinances depart from before Me, says the LORD, then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever.”
Thus says the LORD: “If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says the LORD.” [Jeremiah 31:35-37; cf. Jeremiah 33:20-26].)
Within this same framework of thought concerning Israel’s position and Satan’s attack, one will also find that Satan moves with equal enmity against the Lord Jesus Christ and against the Church. The reason is obvious. Satan, the incumbent ruler residing in the heavens and holding power over the nations, has disqualified himself and is to relinquish his position to the One who has shown Himself fully qualified, the Lord Jesus Christ.
And the angels of Satan, the incumbent rulers who reside in heavenly places and hold power over the nations under Satan, likewise, have disqualified themselves and are to relinquish their positions to Christians who aspire to and qualify for these positions.
The Lord Jesus Christ is today seated at the right hand of His Father, removed from the sphere of Satan’s dominion. Thus, Satan’s attack on Christ must come through the Church or through Israel. But once the Church has been removed, preceding the Tribulation, the center of Satan’s attack on earth will, of necessity, be directed toward Israel alone. Satan will know that his time is short, and for seven years — especially following his being cast out of the heavens in the midst of this time — he will launch his final and most intense onslaught against Israel (Revelation 12:7-17).
Israel Is My Son…
“Sonship, ‘as the firstborn,’ already implies the rulership . . . Adam was ‘the Son of God,’ having dominion accorded to him, which he forfeited . . . The ‘Sons of God’ to be truly such must be restored back to their forfeited dominion.”
— George N. H. Peters
After the removal of the Church and the establishment of a seven-year covenant with Israel by the man of sin, there will be a time of trouble on this earth such as has not existed “since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” And this time of trouble will be of such a nature that “unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved” (Matthew 24:21, 22).
This is what lies in the immediate future, just ahead, for “the enlightened world” at the beginning of the twenty-first century. And this period of time, the Tribulation, lasting seven years, will be marked centrally by Satan’s final and most intense efforts to destroy the nation of Israel. This will be Satan’s final onslaught against Israel, which will bring anti-Semitism to its most intense state in history, immediately before it is brought to an end.
Note a short history of anti-Semitism under Satan, from its beginning to modern times.
The Amalekites were the first of the Gentile nations to war against Israel following the birth of the Israeli nation and the Exodus from Egypt (Exodus 17:8; Numbers 24:20). Because of this move by the Amalekites, God pronounced a terminal judgment upon this nation:
. . . I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. (Exodus 17:14b)
The Israelites became the appointed executioners of the Amalekites (Deuteronomy 25:17-19), but because of repeated failures to carry out the Lord’s command completely, the Amalekites remained in existence as the bitter enemies of the Israelites for over seven hundred years beyond the Exodus (cf. 1 Samuel 15:2, 3, 7-9; 2 Samuel 1:6-10).
The sentence pronounced upon the Amalekites in Exodus 17:14 was not carried out in its completeness until the days of Hezekiah (1 Chronicles 4:39-43), and from that point in history the Amalekites ceased to exist. Although the Amalekites figured prominently in Old Testament history, dating all the way back to the days of Abraham (Genesis 14:7), archaeologists today have failed to unearth a single trace of this nation’s existence. The Amalekites have been “utterly put out of remembrance [KJV],” just as God promised. They exist on the pages of Scripture alone.
There is a law of “first mention” in Scriptural interpretation that states that the first time a subject is mentioned, the subject remains unchanged throughout Scripture. Exodus chapter seventeen presents the first mention following the Exodus of Satan’s move against Israel, along with God’s attitude toward this move. Thus, the pattern is set in this chapter for Satan’s strategy in his efforts to destroy Israel through the use of Gentile national powers, and the pattern is also set (based on previously revealed principles) concerning God’s attitude toward a Gentile nation that would allow itself to be so used.
The basic principles governing God’s attitude toward and treatment of individuals or nations participating in anti-Semitism were established during the days of Abraham (Genesis 12:3), and these principles, as the principles governing the law of first mention in Exodus chapter seventeen, remain unchanged throughout Scripture.
Every nation that has lifted its hand against Israel throughout history has either suffered destruction or awaits destruction.
The Assyrians, like the Amalekites, were wiped out of existence for allowing themselves to be used by Satan against Israel. No trace of this once mighty nation remains today.
Other nations throughout history that succumbed to the same manner of satanic leadership have also suffered destruction, but have been allowed to continue their national existence as base powers. Not a single nation has escaped the edge of the sword, though for some today, judgment is pending.
Biblical principles governing Israel and her relationship to the Gentile nations have been established, and God must act in accordance with these principles set forth in His Word.
During modern times the world has witnessed anew one of the worst atrocities ever perpetrated upon the Jewish people by a Gentile nation. The only thing that will explain the actions of the Third Reich under Hitler, during particularly the years 1939-1945, is that which Scripture reveals concerning Satan’s attitude toward and method of attack against God’s firstborn son, Israel.
The leaders of the Third Reich allowed themselves to be used by Satan in his ceaseless efforts to destroy Israel. The result of this effort at the end of twelve years (1933-1945) was the death of six million Jews, the death of millions of others in slave labor or death camps, the death of six and one-half million Germans (both military and civilian), and the German nation itself left in ruins.
Germany, by no means though, has been the last of the nations to raise its hand against Israel and suffer destruction, for Satan remains very active in the affairs of man within his kingdom. Consequently, anti-Semitic nations presently exist — nations awaiting destruction (e.g., Iran and others today, along with Gentile nations worldwide which will turn against Israel during the Tribulation and appear at the battle of Armageddon).
(There is an irony seen in anti-Semitism. Israel was brought into existence to be the channel through which God would bless all of the Gentile nations [Genesis 12:1-3]. And the practice of anti-Semitism by any nation is simply an attempt by that nation to separate itself from God’s blessings.)
2) Armageddon (Isaiah 63:1-6; Ezekiel 38, 39; Joel 3:2-16; Revelation 14:14-20; 19:17-21)
The battle of Armageddon has to do with Satan’s final attempt to prevent Israel’s Messiah from exercising the dominion that he himself presently possesses, and to prevent the nation of Israel from occupying the supremacy that Gentile nations have occupied for the past 2,600 years. This final and climactic battle will be the outgrowth of all Satan’s efforts to destroy Israel by and through the man of sin during the Tribulation.
Satan’s final effort, climaxing in Armageddon, is foreshadowed in Psalm 83:1-8 by a ten-kingdom confederation of nations moving against Israel. Their avowed purpose in this Psalm echoes Satan’s unchanging approach throughout history:
. . . Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more. (v. 4b)
The thought goes all the way back to the death of the firstborn in Egypt (Exodus 4:23; 12:1ff), and God’s subsequent announced destruction of the Amalekites in the wilderness (Exodus 17:14). The expressions “My son [God’s son], My firstborn” and “your son [Pharaoh’s son], your firstborn” in Exodus 4:22, 23 refer to both personal and national entities, with “sonship” having to do with rulership.
Egypt was the ruling nation under Satan, and Israel was about to become the ruling nation under God. God destroyed Satan’s firstborn (Egypt); and, following the Red Sea passage, when Amalek came against Israel on the march to Mount Sinai, God announced that He would “utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”
Armageddon will be Satan’s final, climactic attempt to reverse the God-decreed death of his firstborn (the future world kingdom under the Assyrian, typified by the Egyptian kingdom under the past Assyrian). And he will vainly seek to accomplish this task by destroying God’s firstborn (Israel), “that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.”
(Note that “sonship” is also involved with the leaders of the two opposing forces, for the leader of the Gentile nations will be Satan’s son [Genesis 3:15], the false Messiah, while the Protector of Israel will be God’s Son, the true Messiah.)
Christ will return at the end of the Tribulation, Old Testament saints will be raised from the dead, and the “whole house of Israel [both those who are living and those who are raised from the dead]” will be restored to the land of Israel. It will be then — prior to the actual ushering in of the Messianic Era — that the kings of the earth under the leadership of “the beast” will move against the “King of kings and Lord of lords” in Jerusalem (cf. Joel 3:16; Revelation 19:19).
Just as Satan has used various Gentile nations throughout Man’s Day, vainly seeking to accomplish his God-dishonoring purpose, he will use all the Gentile nations of the world in his last great attempt to effect his plans and purposes immediately preceding his dethronement.
The “beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies,” will be “gathered together to make war against Him [Christ] . . . and against His army” (Revelation 19:19). Although Christ will possess an accompanying army (composed of angels [cf. 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:7; Jude 14; Deuteronomy 33:2]), He will enter the battle alone. It was alone that He suffered, bled, and died; and it will be alone that He treads His enemies under His feet (Isaiah 63:1-6).
At the first coming of Christ, immediately before His crucifixion, Roman soldiers led Him to the governor’s palace, stripped Him of His garments, arrayed Him in a scarlet robe, and placed a crown of thorns on His head and a reed (symbolizing the scepter of governmental power) in His right hand. This was done in order to openly ridicule the “King of the Jews,” whom the Jewish people had rejected, subsequently claiming allegiance to Caesar (John 19:1-15).
The Romans (the center of Gentile power in that day) had subjugated God’s son, Israel; and soldiers from this same Gentile nation were ridiculing God’s Son, Jesus.
. . . they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head.
(Matthew 27:29b, 30)
“This same Jesus” is the One who will tread the winepress alone. He appeared on earth the first time as “the Lamb of God,” but He will reappear as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” (cf. John 1:29; Revelation 5:5). He was mocked in the governor’s palace and smitten upon His head with the scepter. But in that coming day, when He reappears, He will break the scepter held by the Gentiles, executing “judgment” resulting in “victory” (cf. Matthew 12:20; Isaiah 42:1-3). That will be the day when the Seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15 crushes the head of the Serpent, the head of Satan.
The same scenes that witnessed Christ’s sufferings and humiliation will one day witness His glory and exaltation. Satan’s final attempt to prevent the transfer of power — his own (exhibited through the beast in that day), his angels, and the Gentile nations, which will be transferred to Christ, the Church, and Israel respectively — will, as in all previous attempts, be quelled.
The beast and false prophet will be taken and cast alive into the lake of fire, becoming its first occupants. The kings of the earth, along with their armies, will then be slain in the plain of Megiddo; and Satan (along with his angels) will be bound in the abyss.
Following the battle of Armageddon, God’s Sons will then exercise their rightful positions of authority and power on and over the earth.
God’s son, Israel, will be the supreme nation on earth, holding the scepter previously held by the Gentile nations.
God’s son, the Church, will exercise supremacy over the nations from the heavens, holding the scepter previously held by angels ruling under Satan.
And God’s Son, Jesus, will exercise supremacy over all things, holding the scepter (and far more) previously held by Satan.
Thus will the present age end and the new age begin. “What a termination!” “What a climax!” “What a new beginning!”