9/11 and End Time Prophecy

a Biblical Perspective of the September 11 Terrorism

The following is adapted from a message given by Bill Rudge five days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It has proven to be amazingly accurate

On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by terrorists. Two hijacked planes hit the World Trade Center towers minutes apart. A third hijacked plane struck the Pentagon, and the fourth was a foiled attempt which went down in Western Pennsylvania. As the destruction and devastation of the diabolical plans of these terrorists (which before 9/11 many thought could only happen in other nations), no one knew what was going to happen next. There was great uncertainty where they would strike next and what targets had been planned.

Shortly after the attacks that Tuesday morning I told my staff, “You have witnessed another Pearl Harbor – only worse. This day will go down in infamy. America and the world will never be the same.”

We had numerous e-mails, calls, and drop-ins from people thinking the end of the world had come. I assured them the end of the world had not come. There is much prophetic scripture to be fulfilled, but everyone now began to see the potential for the fulfillment of Revelation.

A year before the 9/11 terrorist attacks I spoke at an Arab center in California. An Egyptian man, who is a Christian and chief Arabic instructor for the U.S. military, shared with me his great concern over the growing threat of Islam in America. He was troubled by their desire to change our nation politically from the inside and the growing threat of terrorist attacks against America. His words have proven to be amazingly accurate. The Muslim extremists have one goal: the destruction of Israel and America.

While in Jerusalem I asked some Palestinian Muslims what it would take to have peace with Israel: If Israel gives back the Gaza Strip? How about the West Bank or Golan Heights? Since there were no television cameras or recording devices operating, they gave me an honest answer: There will never be peace until we push Israel into the Mediterranean Sea.

Close Encounters

Before we continue with this 9/11 article, I want to share a few illustrations to give you a glimpse of the mind-set and turmoil in the Middle East.

In February 1987 while flying on a Jordanian airline, I looked at a map of the Middle East. Israel was conspicuously missing. During that trip my family experienced the trauma of nearly being hijacked in an Arab country – all because we had Israeli stamps in our passports. Can you imagine the emotional distress of being in a foreign land where they do not speak your language, have a completely different culture and mind-set, and could care less whether you live or die? (Read my Strength through Weakness booklet for a more detailed account of this harrowing ordeal in 1987.)

While speaking to the U.S. military in October of 1990, shortly before many troops were deployed for Desert Storm, I also had an opportunity to speak in a large West German house-church. As well as American GI’s and people from East Germany, Russia, Poland, and Romania, there also was a man from Egypt. Following my message this Egyptian man told me his story. When he became a Christian, his Muslim family threw him off a train in an attempt to kill him, which resulted in the loss of his arm. This man, who had paid a tremendous price for giving his life to Christ, was requesting prayer that he may know and serve Jesus even more.

In February 1998 I returned to Jordan and the Middle East. A Muslim friend of mine from Jordan met me in Amman and gave me a personal tour. I was treated wonderfully by everyone we met – a stark contrast to the frightening episode in Jordan in 1987.

In Jerusalem I spoke at Sar Shalom to Messianic believers from various countries, and at Calvary Chapel of Jerusalem to predominantly Russian Jewish believers. In Jerusalem they were passing out gas masks to Israeli citizens because of the threat of Iraq’s retaliation against Israel with chemical warfare if the U.S. attacked Iraq.

Before I headed to Egypt, Karen sent the following e-mail from the U.S. to me in Jerusalem on February 15, 1998: “We have been hearing about pro-Iraqi and anti-American demonstrations in Egypt. Have you heard anything? They are going on in Jordan too.”

Tourists were recently killed in Egypt and there was a threat of a U.S. strike against Iraq so few Americans would go to Egypt at that time. Nevertheless, I was scheduled to speak at two youth rallies in Cairo and was not about to cancel. (Dan Nasr helped coordinate my speaking engagements in Egypt. His brother was a general in the Egyptian army and was on the same platform when Anwar Sadat was assassinated.)

Our five-hour caravan ride through the Egyptian desert and across the Suez Canal consisted of three buses (only nine people on our bus) and a military vehicle with four armed guards in front and one at the end, as well as an armed guard on each bus. During most of the trip to Cairo the caravan traveled at 75 mph with the vehicles often only inches away so no one could cut in on us. When we stopped for gas in the Sinai Peninsula, the buses and military vehicles formed a pyramid barrier around us with armed guards standing in position between the gaps for protection from potential terrorists. It resembled a wagon train encircled in preparation for an Indian attack.

In spite of the threat of a U.S. strike against Iraq, the people in Egypt, Israel, and Jordan were friendly. In fact, most acknowledged appreciation for our coming to the Middle East in the midst of such dangerous tensions.

On December 25, 1998, three days before my son BJ and I left for Turkey, Osama bin Laden issued a decree stating that Muslims should attack every American in any way they could. He considered every American who pays taxes his enemy.

Then, while we were in Turkey on January 5, 1999, Saddam Hussein called for a Jihad (holy war) against every foreigner on Muslim and Arab soil. Both of these men are gone but their ideology remains.

Slim, a young man in Turkey, approached BJ and me at night (just as Nicodemus came to Jesus) — in fear of the Muslims as Nicodemus was of the Jews. His father was a retired ambassador for Turkey. He told us he would not be a Muslim if he was not forced to be one. He asked us if we had any evidence for our faith. He listened enthralled, but nervous, periodically looking to see if anyone was listening and possibly understanding the English we were speaking. After two hours of sharing evidence for the Bible and Jesus Christ and answering his many questions, I told him the Lord had a purpose for his life and could use him to impact his country like the apostle Paul had done in this region almost 2,000 years earlier. I shared with Slim it would probably cost him his life, but the peace, joy, and eternal life he would gain through Christ would make it worth the cost. From the U.S. we sent him books to help him grow in his relationship with Jesus Christ.

In January 2002, I was speaking at an international pastors’ conference in Jerusalem, and to a Messianic congregation (“right down the road from where all the bombs go off” according to Rabbi Paul Bianchini). The first female suicide bomber blew herself up on the exact spot we were standing 23 hours earlier. One man was killed and 115 people were injured.

In July of 2002 my wife traveled with me as I ministered in the Netherlands and England. In London I spoke at the Iranian center before the World Soccer Cup. I was told not to mention Israel or that I was American. The response to my message on Overcoming Giants and God’s Boot Camp was excellent from both Christians and Muslims. An elated Jordanian General visiting London came to the front and hugged me – an incredible healing from any lingering anger and nightmarish dreams I had from the near-hijacking in Jordan in 1987.

A young lawyer at the Iranian center told me he had been imprisoned and tortured in Iran because he mentioned that maybe God is a God of love. He was eventually released and received a visa to Japan. While in Japan a little old missionary woman gave him a tract. As he read it he realized the God of love he thought about while in Iran, really did exist. He gave his life to Jesus and is now a powerful witness to the Muslims. He said if Iranians had a choice, most of them would become Christians.

During one of several speaking engagements at the Christian Arab Center in California, the pastor introduced me to a man who had been Saddam Hussein’s English interpreter during the first Iraqi war (Desert Storm). Because the U.S. was striking so effectively, Saddam thought he was a traitor and giving the U.S. military secrets. He assured me that never happened. He said they began to beat and torture him. When asked by the guards why he was smiling when they beat him, he replied, “I am a Christian and my Bible says, ‘Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.’” After being released from prison, he obtained a visa to Jordan and eventually came to America.

I shared these few illustrations to give you a glimpse of the mind-set and turmoil in the Middle East. Now let’s continue with our topic of 9/11.

Strength and Unity

I remember when I was in Haiti speaking and ministering in January 1991, I could only hear news by shortwave radio at the mission compound for thirty minutes in the evening. One night I heard that the U.S. had attacked Iraq. My country was at war and I was in a foreign land. Myself and everyone with me wanted to get home to America to stand with our country. That was the collective attitude of our nation right after 9/11.

Immediately after the terrorist attacks I told my staff and family that three things will come out of this. First, it will unite America and make her stronger (at least temporarily). Second, it will bring many to repentance. Third, it will accelerate us toward a new world order and a one-world government.

America was becoming soft as a nation. Like the Romans who were being entertained by all the violence in the Colosseum, we are being entertained by all the violence and filth in the media. We became weak and undisciplined – sitting around watching television and eating our junk food while nations like China train and discipline. Many Christians had left their First Love and lost their closeness, hunger, and desire for the Lord and His Word.

In an effort to bring America to her knees, the terrorists only made us stand stronger. In an effort to weaken us, they made us far more powerful. They never dreamed their wicked scheme would unite our country and the world the way it did. But the unity in America has dissipated and our strength is visibly waning.

Do Not Rejoice

Sure, Americans cheered their country to victory after 9/11, but we were not cheering for innocent civilians to be killed. My heart grieved for the Iraqi people. There is a different kind of hostility and revenge that we as Americans and believers in Jesus Christ should have than those who plot and cheer for the death and destruction of men, women, and children.

Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn His wrath away from him. Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out (Proverbs 24:17-20).

Most of the Arabic people I have met from Turkey, Jordan, Palestinian Territory, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and other Middle Eastern and Islamic countries, were gracious and kind. I have several Arabic friends who are believers in Jesus Christ, and I also have some Muslim friends. But the extremists who are dictating this movement of terror, and the masses cheering them on to maim and kill Americans and Israelis do not understand the implications and diabolical nature of what they are doing.

Obadiah warns about those who cheer and rejoice when tragedy comes:

“In that day,” declares the LORD, “will I not destroy the wise men of Edom...because of the violence against your brother Jacob... You should not look down on your brother in the day of his misfortune, nor rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction, nor boast so much in the day of their trouble. You should not march through the gates of my people in the day of their disaster, nor look down on them in their calamity in the day of their disaster, nor seize their wealth in the day of their disaster. You should not wait at the crossroads to cut down those among them who escaped, nor hand over their survivors in the day of their trouble. The day of the LORD is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.” (Obadiah 8 - 15).

Even after they watched on television as our nation grieved – being in our midst and seeing our people cry, families broken, and children devastated – they had no remorse. They tried to enter more planes with their knives and cutters to do who knows what, but were apprehended and their plans thwarted.

Terrorists have infiltrated our country. They have strategies and plans that are incomprehensible. All across our nation, we need to pray for God’s protection and intervention.

An e-mail we received from a friend in the Netherlands on Friday, September 14, 2001 is symbolic of what was happening across Europe. She wrote, “Today every one in Holland had a three-minute silence at noon.  People pulled over to the side of highways, traffic stopped, work stopped, public transportation stopped, everything and everyone stopped for three minutes. They showed it on the news.  From all parts of Holland and throughout Europe, there was a deadly silence that was really touching. Everywhere the flags are halfway down, like our country is in massive mourning and church services are being held everywhere. Everyone here is sympathetic.”

Genuine Repentance?

On Tuesday night (September 11, 2001), virtually no one was watching filth on television, going to strip clubs, reading pornography or attending the local atheist convention. People were in their homes and places of worship praying to God for help, comfort, and protection, and seeking understanding for the events that had unfolded earlier that day.

People all across America were remorseful. I hoped that spirit of repentance would be long lasting. For many it was a genuine repentance and their hearts were truly turned back to the LORD. However, I knew that most people would return to their former lifestyles. Today, we see a nation and world given over to unrepentant behavior foretold in Revelation – sexual immorality, violence, sorcery, idolatry, thefts, and lies.

I returned to New York City from ministering on the island of Trinidad (in the West Indies) exactly one week before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. When I had been speaking in Trinidad 12 years earlier (1989), I saw that the people in the villages were very plain, uninfluenced by the secular media. But when I was there in September of 2001, it had changed drastically. I went to a large shopping mall and was amazed to see hundreds of young people with body piercings and tattoos – dressed like prostitutes and gang members. I asked my host, “Was this here before? Did I miss it?” I was told it only came in the last five years, because now they have cable TV. America’s movies and music completely changed a whole generation of youth in Trinidad.

As individuals and as a nation, America must truly repent and turn from the filth and corruption the media is spewing on us and our young people. We need to stand strong as Americans and call our nation out of all the immorality, atheism, occultism, and paganism that has infiltrated it, and back to its biblical foundation.

America is still the greatest nation in the world and I am glad to be an American. However, I am even more grateful for God’s gift of salvation. My ultimate allegiance is to Jesus Christ and His Word. When America diverts from God’s Word, Christians must stand for righteousness and truth.

Forever Changed

On one day America and our world forever changed. It will never be the same. We will see increased surveillance, increased monitoring, increased control, and increased police and military presence. When I have traveled in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, the military is highly visible, with their machine guns in hand. We will begin to see that in America. Many of our freedoms have been taken away. But I pray that we still remain the most free and the greatest nation on this planet.

However, terrorism will eventually be stopped. Revelation indicates a time is coming when no one can wage war against the Beast (Antichrist). One day, a world government will be in such control that no one on this planet will be able to resist its power and might.

America has been a catalyst to unite Europe and the nations of the world. Nevertheless, it appears that in the not too distant future, a weakened America will be brought to her knees. Will terrorism, nuclear attack, invasion, moral corruption, economic collapse, internal chaos, natural disasters, or something else devastate the U.S.? Only God knows! But none of these would have ever been possible scenarios if we had not lost the blessing and protection of God because in every way possible He has been pushed out of and removed from this nation. So we need to fervently pray for this nation and its leaders.

We need a genuine spirit of repentance across America and turning our hearts back to the LORD – before it is too late!

We have lost many freedoms in America since the September 11 terrorist attack. The day and age of privacy has come to an end. Being anonymous anymore is almost impossible. We have seen increased security at airports, sporting events, concerts, schools, malls, government buildings, and public events. Surveillance cameras abound and even scanners that see through clothing.

While advanced technology for identification and surveillance appears to be a necessary fact of life in this increasingly violent and information-oriented world, soon virtually every person on this planet will be monitored – and eventually controlled. More sophisticated methods of identification and compiling background information on every single human being on this planet are being developed.

The Coming Global Society

It is clearly visible a scenario is unfolding to create  a global system of political power, economic control, military might, and religious unity. Just as Revelation predicted, we are rapidly moving toward a one-world government, a one-world monetary system, and a one-world religion.

A leader will arrive on the world scene who will come in the guise of peace and unity – supposedly able to solve the world’s dilemmas. The book of Revelation identifies this person as the Antichrist who will take the reins of the world through deception and intrigue to ultimately lead humankind in a unified rebellion against the God of the Bible.

The Antichrist’s cohort, identified as the False Prophet, will be as the Bible indicates, a lamb on the surface, but a dragon underneath. He will be instrumental in uniting the world’s religions into an ecumenical movement under a banner of pseudo love – falsely proclaiming everyone serves the same God. There will be tolerance and acceptance for all religions – except one, biblical Christianity. Already there is a growing movement of globalism and religious unity – but a growing intolerance for biblical Christianity. The current hostility against the terrorists will one day be redirected against biblical Christians who have the audacity to believe Jesus is the only way of salvation and who propagate supposed hate crimes from God’s Word, the Bible.

The Antichrist and the False Prophet will attempt to attain what Satan’s goal has been from the foundation of the earth — to obtain control over and receive worship from every human being on this planet. “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast [the Antichrist] — all whose names have not been written in the Book of Life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).

Discernment Needed

The masses of the world will believe the Antichrist to be humanity’s savior, uniting the world for the common good. However, those who know the Lord and His Word, will discern his evil intent.

If you do not know God’s Word, you will have no reliable point of reference from which to evaluate end time events. You will be utterly confused and not know who or what is really of God.

In today’s changing and chaotic world, people turn to the Bible to make sense of confusing and difficult times. It is the people who know their God and His Word who have discernment, insight, understanding, and the answers to life and eternity. They will be empowered by God’s Spirit to boldly share their testimony of Jesus and accurately proclaim the truth of Scripture.

Revelation 18:7–10 states: “... In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn.’ Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her. When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: ‘Woe! Woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour your doom has come!’ ”

I’m not saying that New York is “Mystery Babylon.” But what happened in New York is a microcosm and a glimpse of the macrocosm of what Revelation 18 says about Mystery Babylon when it’s finally destroyed at the end of the seven-year tribulation period.

What happened in New York City is a microcosm and glimpse of the macrocosm of what the book of Revelation describes concerning the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments that will be meted out upon a rebellious world. No wonder Luke 21:26 says, “Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world.” But Daniel didn’t panic when the decree went out that if he continued praying to the God of the Bible, he would be thrown into a lion’s den. Daniel kept praying three times a day with his windows open towards Jerusalem. He did not panic because he knew his God.

The year prior to 9/11 (until the present), I have not had television in my home. I have sought the Lord with all my heart and as end time events continue to unfold, it has not caused me fear – grief for my nation and the world – but not fear.

God is bringing His people to their knees to pray and seek Him. And then empowering us to stand in His courage and strength. 

Daniel had been praying and fasting, seeking God for the end time revelation. This is what was spoken to him: “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined. But the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise and know their God, will understand.” (Daniel 12:9, 10).

The Terrorists Know Three Things

Where are the 9/11 terrorists who hijacked those planes? They are not in paradise as they were led to believe. They know more about eternity than any of us here.

They know three things right now. First, they know the Bible is true and that every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is LORD. Second, they did not receive 70 virgins for acts of terror but instead, they are the ones now terrorized. Third, the terrorists know that at the end of the Millennium they will stand before the Great White Throne Judgment of God, the Creator, to receive their eternal sentence. Because their names are not written in the Book of Life, they will be cast into the lake of fire forever.

Where Would You Be and What Was Important to You on that Day?

Where would you be if you were on one of those hijacked planes, or if you had been in the World Trade Center or the Pentagon? Where would you be right now? Think about it. Nothing else matters more. We are talking about eternity.

In this life you may have seventy years of having a good time, partying with your friends, watching filthy movies – living a self-centered, pleasure-oriented  lifestyle. But we are talking about eternity. Where would you be right now if that unexpected disaster took your life as it did to so many people who were thrown into eternity wondering how they got there – thinking they were going to work like any other day?

Everyone dies – some sooner than others. Most people die unexpectedly – with little or no time to prepare for eternity. That is why you want to live each day as if it were your last – one day it will be.

What was important to you on Tuesday, September 11, 2001? Probably not all your materialism or lusts of the flesh. Reflect on what was important to you that Tuesday – your faith, family... That is what needs to be the priority for the rest of your life.

Take a few moments to reflect and ask yourself, “Where would I be if I were one of those fatalities?” Then ask yourself, “What was really important to me that Tuesday?” Now begin to prioritize your time, resources, and activities to reflect what should be the priorities of your life. Make each day you live centered around the Lord and His Word. What was important to you that Tuesday needs to be the priority for the rest of your life.

Let’s Pray

In closing, let me pray with you –

Lord Jesus, I ask that Your Spirit would move in a way that words could never accomplish. Challenge each person reading this to turn his or her heart toward You. Cause them to renew their first love – their desire, commitment, and passion for You. Right now, cause each one to evaluate where they would be if they were dead. Seal in each person’s mind – in a way that they can never erase from their memory – what was important in their life on Tuesday, September 11. Make the focus for the rest of their lives to be on priorities with eternal significance. And if anyone reading this article would not be with You for eternity, help them right now to sincerely pray:

Lord Jesus, please forgive me. I believe you died and rose again. I give my life to You. Please write my name in the Book of Life. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. Please help me to live for You the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

God Is in Control

This world is not spiraling out of control to its futile demise. God is in control and is working behind the scenes to fulfill His purpose for the ages. We must look at unfolding global events from God’s perspective. 

As Jesus’ promised return draws near, God’s Spirit is drawing many to salvation. There is also a growing spirit of apostasy accelerating across our land and world like a jumbo jet preparing for liftoff.

Virtually everything that has to do with the Bible is being ridiculed and pushed out of our society – and many churches. Almost anything contrary to God’s nature and Scripture is being welcomed in and embraced. Instead of learning what pleases the Lord, today’s generation dishonors Him and flaunts every imaginable behavior that is disgraceful in His eyes. Idolatrous and immoral practices are becoming the norm – not merely acceptable but actually celebrated.

In His desire for all to come to repentance, God is giving us increasing and intensifying signs of impending judgment. Just open your eyes and you will see all around you signs which are indicating that cataclysmic events are coming unless we repent and return to Him with all our hearts.

These birth pains of judgment, on a world that denies its Creator, blasphemes His name, distorts His truth, perverts His ways, disobeys His commandments, rebels against His standards, opposes His Word, and persecutes His followers, will increase and intensify until the birth of His Kingdom of righteousness, truth, peace, and joy.

When Jesus returns, everything responsible for death, disease, deception, disaster, heartache, pain, and suffering will be eliminated forever. Only Jesus Christ has the key to open the door to God’s eternal Kingdom. Putting your trust in Him guarantees that your future is eternally secure.