Matt Hagee - The Domino Effect
Luke 21:28, Jesus says to his disciples, "Now when these things begin to happen". Say that with me. "Now when these things begin to happen". He's talking about a process, a chain reaction of events that are going to culminate with the rapture of the church, the Great Tribulation, and the return of Jesus Christ. Now there's a lot to unpack in just those three settings, the rapture, the tribulation, and the return. Today, we're not talking about those three as much as we are the things that begin to happen. It's a process. I'm going to utilize the illustration of lining up dominoes so we can see how quickly they could fall. But I want to take you quickly to a verse in Romans 8, where Paul is describing prophecy, not from a domino effect, but he's describing it from the process of pregnancy and how long the pregnancy process takes. He says, "The whole earth is groaning with birth pains".
Now when he's describing birth pains, what we recognize, and please, understand as the father of four, I only have experience from what I have seen. What I know about birth pains is this: once they begin, they only get more intense until the expected delivery happens. Now, birth pains are a part of pregnancy, but they're not all of pregnancy. When I came home and my wife told me that we were expecting a child, I realized that we had a nine-month process. And I didn't come home every afternoon and ask her, "Is the baby here"? I knew that there was some time between finding out we were expecting and the actual delivery.
Now, as we got closer, there were signs of the time. And the closer we got to the delivery date, I started to have more anticipation. If Kendal started to move uncomfortably, "What's the matter"? "I'm fine". And all of these were just signs. But then suddenly, she went, "Whoa"! And I went, "Hey"! And it really doesn't matter how miraculous modern medicine is: birth pains continue to increase in intensity until the expected one arrives. Well, what Paul was describing were the birth pains that began when the last days started. The last days started in acts 1 when the Holy Spirit showed up in the upper room. The prophet Joel tells us in Joel 2, the spirit of the Lord speaking through the prophet: he says, "And after these things, I will pour out my spirit on all flesh". It goes all the way through the 32nd verse. And the verse ends with, "And whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved".
Now what did Peter say on the day of Pentecost? Acts 2:16, "He has received the gift of the Holy Spirit". When he received the gift of the Holy Spirit, they went out into the streets of Jerusalem. And Peter stands up to preach, and he says, "This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel". And instead of saying, "Afterwards," Peter says, "In the last days". Say that with me. "In the last days". And he quotes everything that Joel said about the Lord pouring out his spirit and about whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
There's only two groups of people in this world: those who are saved and those who are lost. And the good news is, is whoever calls upon him shall be saved. But the point of this scriptural connection is to understand that the last days began 2,000 years ago. We are not waiting on the signs of the time. We are in the delivery room waiting on the expected arrival of Jesus Christ. So when did these dominoes start to line up? When did the world get in the delivery room waiting for the arrival of Jesus Christ? Our first domino that lines up happened on may 15, 1948. This is the day that the nation of Israel was reborn.
May 15, 1948, our first domino takes effect. Without question, it is the most important prophetic event that has taken place in modern time. The prophet Isaiah, in chapter 66, asks the question, "Who has heard of such a thing? Shall the earth give birth? Shall a nation be born in a day"? And the answer to that question is absolutely. On may the 15th, 1948, the earth gave birth and a nation was born in a day. And that nation is the land of Israel. My father and my grandfather were listening to the radio whenever an interruption came to the broadcast and the newscaster said, "The United Nations has today announced and formally recognized the state of Israel".
Now that sounds just like a statement made by a newscaster. But what it was, was a statement describing the providential events that worked a miracle in modern time. Don't ever forget this: the nation of Israel, the modern nation of Israel, is a miracle from the hand of God. People say, "Oh, I would believe in God if I could see a miracle". Look at Israel, and there it is. Just consider a few of the details. The book of Daniel says this: that, "It is God who exalts a king and it's God who removes a king". Well, who recognized Israel as a nation? Harry Truman, who was the vice president to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, found himself in office. How did that happen? You could look through history and say, "Well, these events took place". But I'm telling you, God wanted that man in that seat at that hour for that job. Why? Because Harry Truman only took 11 minutes to sign the declaration. Eleven minutes.
He didn't do it because the secretary of state thought it was a good idea. The secretary of state said, "If you do this, the world will go right back to war". He didn't do it because military minds encouraged him to stand with Israel, the ally. As a matter of fact, there wasn't an individual in the administration that thought it was a good idea. But when Harry Truman got the opportunity, it only took him 11 minutes to say, "Yes". Why? Because Harry Truman was the son of a Sunday school teacher who trained him up in his childhood to know the value and the importance of God's plan concerning the nation of Israel. How did Harry Truman get to the White House? Harry Truman got to the White House because the hand of God wanted him there on that day at that hour. The first domino is the nation of Israel.
The second domino is the reality of nuclear war. We hear a lot about nuclear war these days. Why? Because mankind has never created a weapon that it did not use. Zechariah, in the Bible, talks about nuclear war. Zechariah 14, he speaks about a plague. And the reason he uses the term "Plague" is because it's the only word that he can consider to describe what he sees. But the Lord gives him a vision of a plague that's coming and he describes a fire that is so intense that when the plague of fire hits a human being, their eyes are consumed in their sockets and their tongues are consumed in their mouth before their body can hit the ground.
Now that's in the Old Testament in the book of Zechariah. But what was God showing the prophet? Go watch the films that they took in the '50s when they were testing the h bombs out in New Mexico. What Zechariah describes in chapter 14 sounds like he had a front row seat on test day. No one understood what he was talking about until the United States used the first atom bomb whenever it ended World War II. August 15, 1945, emperor Hirohito announced his unconditional surrender. Why? Because there was a weapon that was utilized so intense that it consumed people before their bodies hit the ground. Zechariah was dead on.
The third domino is Jerusalem coming back into Israel's control. Now this didn't happen in 1948. This happened in 1967 during the six-day war. You want to see another hand of God moment in the life of mankind? Go study the events surrounding the six-day war and there is only one explanation: God did it. In 1948, Israel became a nation. But Israel did not have control of the City of Jerusalem. In the book of Luke, we read about the time of the gentiles, Luke 21:24. The disciples are asking Jesus about when the events of his second coming are going to happen. And he speaks about the time of the gentiles. He says, "Jerusalem will be trampled by the gentiles until the time of the gentiles is fulfilled".
In Matthew 24, he speaks to the disciples on the same topic, and he's standing in Jerusalem next to Solomon's Temple. And what he tells the disciples is, "Not one stone of this temple will remain on top of itself". He was speaking about what the conqueror Titus would do in 70 A.D. When he gave his Roman soldiers the command to tear down that temple until not one stone is remaining. So from 70 A.D. Until 1967, Jerusalem was in gentile hands. True, Jewish people lived in the city, but they didn't control the city. But then in 1967, IDF paratroopers were given the command to take the Temple Mount. And for the first time in centuries, Israel was now in control of the city of God.
Why is this biblically significant? Because Jesus Christ said, in Luke 21:32, that a generation shall not pass away from this time until these things take place. What he was saying was, whenever Jerusalem gets back into the control of the Jewish people, there starts the clock on a generation that will see the coming of Jesus Christ. Now a biblical generation, arguably predicated on what theologians tell you, is either 40 years or 50 years. Do the math. '67 is when the clock starts. Add 50 to 67 and that's 2017. Now people will immediately go, "Well see, your math's all wrong, preacher". No. We're living on borrowed time. Remember, we're not arguing about "The when". We're talking about "The what". And we don't have time to debate too much.
Let's talk about the next domino. It's communication and connection. We talked a little bit earlier about technology. But there's significant technology that plays a significant role in prophetic events. People ask all of the time when they read things in the Word of God, "How is that going to happen? How is there going to be a one-world currency? How is it going to be that you can be tracked everywhere that you go"? Really? How's it going to be that all of the world will see the two witnesses who are murdered in the streets of Jerusalem at the same time? I'm a sixth-generation pastor. And for the first time in my family's history, you can stand in the pulpit and preach without having to explain what will happen in the future. It's all in the past.
When my grandfather taught in the early '30s and '40s about Israel, he had to explain that there would someday be a state of Israel because it hadn't happened yet. When pastor taught in the early '60s, he had to explain that someday Jerusalem would come into the control of the Jewish people because it hadn't happened yet. The world didn't understand how everyone could see something all at the same time. But now with smartphones and technology, the entire world can see one event as it occurs. Technology, again, is not evil. But what you do with it can be.
The next domino is deception on a global scale. Jesus told the disciples, "Take heed that no man deceives you". And our world is consumed with deception. Consider how technology has played a role in the rapid spread of deception. Internet bloggers and media platforms use this technology not to broadcast truth and update you on the facts, but to bend the truth and create the narrative that fits their agenda. It's so rampant that now we have fact checkers who are checking the fact checkers who have been checked by the fact checkers and we're still being told they're wrong. And it's created a world where we don't know who to trust. We don't trust our political leaders. They give speeches and we say, "That's not true". We don't trust our medical professionals. They stand up and tell us to do something.
We say, "No". We don't trust our schools and our educators because we feel like our children are being force fed curriculum that's an indoctrination, not an education. Why is this a problem? It's a problem because the world is consumed with deception and it has affected the church of Jesus Christ. In the New Testament, we are described as the pillar of truth that keeps the world grounded. But we're no longer the pillar of truth. We're starting to adapt our truth so that we can make it palatable for the world. We're not called here to be palatable. We're not called to be accepted. We're not called to be the world's favorite. We are called to be salt and light. We are called to shine and to expose corruption. In a world that is filled with deception, church, let me tell you something.
There is no substitute for truth. And when it comes to truth, there is no other source other than the Word of God. Jesus said, "Thy word is truth". What sets people free? truth. This truth is the thing that sets you free from sickness and disease. This truth is what breaks the shackles of sin. This truth is what changes the addict into someone who has a testimony of victory. This truth is hope for the helpless. It is strength for the weary, and it is living water for the thirsting soul. I don't care what the educated professor on the university campus says. If he denies it, it's still true! The world can reject it but it's still true! The atheist may hate it, but it's still true! The court may ban it, but it's still true! The church may ignore it, but it is still true! "Thy word is truth"!
Consider another domino, famine and pestilence. Jesus gave this sign in Matthew 24:7. It was famine and pestilence. Now consider how deception is playing a role in famine and pestilence. We've often heard people say, "The world is running out of food," and that used to be a lie, because the United States created more food than the world could consume. The problem wasn't that we weren't growing enough food. The problem was is we started taking food and turning it into fuel. It's called ethanol. Corn was not made for your gas tank. It was made for popcorn and your cows. But that deception is just the beginning of what we call "Weaponizing the weather". It's a lie. It's a big green lie. And it's not a green new deal. The only thing green about that deal is the money that corrupt politicians are getting paid to support it.
There's another domino that we read in Matthew 24:7 where Jesus says that, "Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom". So what is the difference between a nation and a kingdom? They're two different groups here. And both are at play in the world that we live in today. First, let's talk about kingdoms. Kingdoms are areas of the world that have borders, that have rulers, and have rules. The United States would fall into the biblical definition of a kingdom. Why? We have borders, not that they're respected. We have rulers and we have rules. Jesus said, "Kingdom against kingdom and nation against nation". He wasn't repeating himself. He was talking about two different groups of people.
And what you see in "Nation against nation," the Greek word for nation is "Ethnos," which means people group. So I am an American citizen. Pero mi madre es pura Mexicana. But my mother is pure Mexican. What I was saying there is my kingdom is the United States of America, but my "Ethnos," my people group, is Mexican. Now what do we see in this generation? We see nation against nation, people group against people group. It's tearing down our cities. It's burning them up with riots. It's causing chaos in the streets and lawlessness that abounds. But it's nothing more than the continuation of the dominoes lining up and the birth pains continuing to increase.
Let's talk about the final birth pain, economic collapse. The world that we live in right now is economically hanging by a thread. And an economic collapse will occur. Now I'm not saying that the economic collapse is going to occur in the next few days or weeks. But what I am telling you is, is that the Bible says that the economic collapse is going to happen. Why? Because in Daniel 8:25, it describes the antichrist. And it says that the antichrist causes craft to prosper, which means he rescues the world from an economic collapse. Now in my childhood, I used to wonder, "Who on earth going to follow somebody that makes you tattoo 666 on the back of your hand or tattoo 666 across your forehead," because when I was a kid, that's how they said it. And I'm thinking, but technology, it's one of our dominoes, and deception, another one of our dominoes.
Think of how one world government with one world leader could use technology the size of a grain of rice to insert it in your hand. There's already people who are doing that for their medical records or for other things. How often do we see people walk up to the register and instead of paying cash at the cash register, they swipe their phone and the phone says, "You're good"? How does the antichrist use these things in order to rescue the world's economy? My grandparents were not the generation that would have followed that guy. Why? Because without the Mark, with the technology, without taking his direction, the Bible says, "You will not be able to buy or trade".
Well, grandma and grandpa had a garden and they had chickens. And they raised and ate whatever they wanted to. They had plenty of bullets and plenty of butter. But now we live in a world where people think food grows in the grocery store. And they've demonstrated that their appetite for affliction is such that when it comes, rather than face it, they run home and sit on a couch. There is going to come an event that is going to cause the world to economically implode. And when it does, one world leader is going to stand up and say, "If you take my Mark, you can go back to Starbucks". And there's going to be a generation that goes, "That's our guy. He's going to turn the wifi back on. We're saved".
Now, what domino causes that to happen? Is it a nuclear war? Is it a famine? Is it some type of global technological hack? I don't know. I want to offer you another option. This option would have staggering economic impact on a global scale. It would cause governments to collapse and be a crushing blow to every form of stability that you know. It would cause communist countries to collapse, socialist countries to collapse. It'll kill free market capitalism. This is called the rapture of the church. This is when the dead in Christ shall rise and we who are alive and remain shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Child of God, soon and very soon, the trump is going to sound and we are going to see king Jesus face to face. The stage is set. The dominoes are lined up. The angels are watching. All of creation is waiting. Lift up your heads and rejoice, for the redemption of the body of Christ draws nigh! Give the Lord a shout of praise in this house today!
There's only two kinds of people in this room today and there's only two kinds of people who are watching and joining us. Those who have already been counted worthy and are ready to stand before the Son of Man, who is Jesus Christ, our Savior. And those who have not been counted worthy and are not ready to stand. With every head bowed and every eye closed in this place, you're here today and you say, "Pastor, I'm not ready. I'm not ready to meet the Lord. I'm not right with Jesus Christ. I haven't invited him into my life. I haven't been counted worthy because I haven't confessed him as my Savior". I want you to raise your hand and repeat this prayer with me:
Lord Jesus Christ, today, I profess with my mouth and I believe in my heart that you are the Son of God: that your life has set me free. Your resurrection has paid the price for my sins. And today, I receive your salvation. Come into my life. Make me new. And let me be your child from this day forward. Thank you, Lord, for sending your Son. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for drawing me into this kingdom and never letting me go. In Jesus' name, I receive this gift of salvation. Amen and amen.