What is ahead for Japan in the 21st Century?
Currently, we see a Japan that is world renowned as a manufacturer of quality goods of all kinds. This has led to a wealthier Japan, as well as a Japan that can better develop military weaponry if it so decides.
Prior to the complete formation of Babylon, Japan will receive the witness of the gospel message. Notice what the Bible records:
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14).
The "end" being discussed above is the end of this church age, as the time of tribulation begins (see vs. 21) then. What this means for the Japanese (and all other peoples) is that they will have had a witness just prior to the great tribulation. This witness will ultimately help them understand what really will be happening in the world and will set the stage for the ultimate conversion of nearly all the Japanese.
Japan is a wealthy country. Although it has had some economic stagnation, the Bible shows that after the re-emerging European empire finally forms, that this European empire will increase the prosperity to many nations (though it will destroy the USA and its English-speaking allies at the beginning of the tribulation).
Japan is likely to be one of the nations that will benefit from this European-driven prosperity. Currently, Japan is looking to the consumers of the European Union to possibly replace those in the United States as purchasers of its many manufactured goods.
Notice that the Bible says that all trading nations will have become wealthy trading with Babylon (the restored European Empire):
For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury (Revelation 18:3, NKJV throughout).
Thus, merchandising Japan, as one of the world's most successful manufacturing and trading nations, is prophesied to attain wealth from the coming restored European Empire.
Wyatt Ciesielka reported:
Japan is the world’s second largest economy, and it should be very sobering to hear that Japan’s new Prime Minister has been very clear that his party’s platform is to be “less subservient” to the US – including in economic policy.
In a recent New York Times op-ed piece Mr. Hatoyama “slammed US-style capitalism and discussed an end to the era of US unilateralism” (NPR.org, September 1, 2009). He desires to “move Japan closer to Asia” and is willing to do this at a cost to the current US-Japan relationship (The New York Times, September 9, 2009).
Unfortunately, a period of Japanese and Asian prosperity will coincide with the demise of the US and British-descended nations. Your Bible predicts that many nations; including the eastern powers, will initially become very wealthy trading with a restored European empire (the “Beast” of Revelation 18:3). However, Japan will then support – if not be a leader of – the eastern nations’ attack on the Beast (Daniel 11:40-45, Revelation 16:12). Japan is known as “the land of the rising sun,” and, interestingly, Revelation 16:12 can be translated as the kings of the east or the kings from the rising of the sun (Darby Translation). (Japan – and the United States and Great Britain in prophecy By Wyatt Ciesielka | LCG Commentary. Saturday, September 12, 2009)
Many Will Worship the Beast, But Some Will Be Called During the Reign of the Beast
Many in Japan do not now believe in any god, but this will change. According to Japan's Ambassador to the Vatican, Kagefumi Ueno, it appears to me that many in Japan are culturally somewhat ready to accept some version of an ecumenical form of Catholicism that will envelop pretty much the entire earth. Notice the following question and the answer:
Q: Has Catholicism contributed in any significant way to Japanese society?
Ueno: There are two aspects that should be pointed out.
First, in Japan the Catholic Church has established many universities, schools and other welfare facilities.
Many of the graduates from these institutions occupy important positions in a variety of social segments. For instance, at my ministry, the Japanese Foreign Ministry, there are a number of graduates from those schools.
Through these institutions many Japanese are to some extent familiar with Catholic virtues.
Nevertheless, I must add that somehow not many of those educated in Catholic institutions are baptized. Actually, those who are remain a very small proportion.
I believe there are two reasons why so few become Catholic.
First, let me remind you that majority of Japanese have a mentality to perceive or find "souls" in plants, animals, mountains, waterfalls, fountains, rocks and so on, like, say, ancient Celtic people.
This Japanese cosmology, typical of a polytheistic mentality, has a sharp contrast with the monotheistic vision of Christianity.
Second, against this background, it appears to me that Christians tend to adhere to absolute values.
For instance, when they talk about justice or evil, they mean absolute justice or evil -- a black-or-white approach.
In contrast with them, when Japanese talk about justice, they mean relative justice -- gray-zone approach.
Thus, there are some basic and fundamental philosophical differences between the two cosmologies, which, though vaguely, accounts for a relatively low proportion of Christians in Japan.
However, we should not overlook another side of the coin -- that many Japanese accept 70%-80% of the teachings of Catholicism.
For instance, they accept almost all of the Ten Commandments. There are a lot of common denominators between the two cosmologies.
I would say Christianity has had many positive effects on Japanese society.
(The Vatican: A Japanese Perspective Interview With Ambassador Kagefumi Ueno Zenit - August 23, 2007. source: http://www.zenit.org/article-20316?l=english)
Thus, even today, it appears that those in Japan may be close to accepting some additional teachings of Catholicism. Furthermore, I would contend that Roman Catholicism is polytheistic in that it allows prayers to "saints", Mary, and others (plus endorses idols). As far as black-or-white vs. gray, the Roman Catholics do accept a certain amount of "gray" (actually most who are Roman Catholic do not even themselves practice what the Roman church teaches). Thus, it does not seem too far fetched that once a miracle performing pope (probably an antipope) appears on the scene who will support the Beast (please see the article Europa and the Beast of Revelation) that the Japanese will accept even more from that church.
Many in Japan are Shino Buddhists nd look forward to a blissful time of peace. However, Buddhists should be wary of a coming “Ruler of the World” who will fight. For after he does, the Day of the Lord will produce cataclysms, then when Jesus returns, the REAL age of prosperity will come.
Notice the following Buddhist prediction:
Anagata-vamsa: The Maitreya (Pali: Metteya) is predicted to be the future Buddha in the scriptures of both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism. In both traditions some consider him as the future Messiah who will usher in the new age of bliss and consummation. (Cited in World Scripture, IRF, Paragon House Publishing, 1995, p. 786 per http://www.adishakti.org/prophecies/23_maitreya_the_three_mothers_has_incarnated_herself.htm 03/18/09)
A blissful age, that the Buddhists and others look forward to, will ultimately come. But hopefully the Buddhists will not accept a militaristic leader as the Buddha to come.
Notice the following from the Encyclopedia Britannica:
Buddhist literature contains predictions of a certain Buddha Maitreya, who will come as a kind of saviour-messiah to inaugurate a paradisaical age on earth. Gautama the Buddha himself, the 6th-century-bc founder of Buddhism, mentioned this prediction. (Ahlström, Gösta W. Prophecy in other religions » Prophetic movements and figures in the Eastern religions. Encyclopedia Brittanica Online. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/479082/prophecy/34075/Prophecy-in-other-religions viewed 03/18/09)
And while a savoir will come for the Buddhists and all others, the Bible show that this would be Jesus. So, any claiming to be the savoir prior to His return should be disbelieved by all Buddhists.
The Bible shows that when people in Japan and elsewhere see the Beast power they will marvel:
The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is (Revelation 17:8).
They will marvel because of the great wealth, because they did not think Europe would gain such prominence, and because its leadership will have performed various signs and wonders. Hopefully, those of you reading this article will not be among those who will be deceived.
Furthermore, notice the following Catholic prophecy:
American Catholic Prophecy (c. early 20th century): The yellow hordes of the Rising Sun and the middle kingdom will pour out their wrath on the people of the island kingdom which had gathered riches through trade (Dupont, Catholic Prophecies, p. 78).
Since the USA owes Japan (the "land of the rising sun") and China (the "middle kingdom") massive amounts of money, it may be since Australia and New Zealand will be allies of the USA and UK, that Europe will give Australia over to China and New Zealand over to Japan to help satisfy the USA/UK debt. Both China and Japan have longed for more land and the proximity of the island nations of Australia and New Zealand to the Asian powers seems to make this a likely scenario.
The Bible warns of a time when certain lands will be divided:
39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain (Daniel 11:39).
The "he" is the European King of the North. The strongest fortresses are possessed by the USA and its Anglo-descended allies.
Note the following:
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved (2 Thessalonians 2:3-10).
Because of these actions, people throughout the world, including in Japan will (to some degree) worship a false leader:
Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:1-9).
But this will not last. There are Catholic prophecies that hint that they believe that those in Asia that they consider now to be mainly pagan (which is how Rome would tend to view most of Japan) will become part of their ecumenical militaristic church at the end:
St. Bridget (14th century): Before Antichrist comes, the portals of Faith will be opened to great numbers of pagans (Birch, DA. Trial, Tribulation & Triumph: Before During and After Antichrist. Queenship Publishing Company, Goleta (CA), 1996, p. 449)
Cardinal La Roque (c. 18th century): A regeneration of Faith will appear in Asia (R. Gerald. The Prophets and Our Times. Nihil Obstat: L. Arvin. Imprimatur: Philip G. Scher, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno, November 15, 1941. Reprint 1974, TAN Books, Rockford (IL), p. 193)
Bl. Anna-Maria Taigi (19th century). After the three days of darkness, St. Peter and St. Paul, having come down from Heaven, will preach in the whole world and designate a new Pope. A great light will flash from their bodies and will settle upon the cardinal who is to become Pope. Christianity, then, will spread throughout the world. He is the Holy Pontiff, chosen by God to withstand the storm. At the end, he will have the gift of miracles, and his name shall be praised over the whole earth. (Dupont, p.45)
But the Church of Rome is no longer true as it long ago changed from the original Christian faith (for details, please see Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Genuine Church of God?). Furthermore, at the time of the end, even Catholic writers have warned that one that they call an "antipope" will lead a changed church calling itself "Catholic" that will be an ecumenical world religion that many all over the world will follow, but should not follow (see also Catholic Prophecies: Do They Mirror, Highlight, or Contradict Biblical Prophecies?).
In order to provide light to people, such as the Japanese, God will provide a strong witness to the entire world at that time:
A nd I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth... 7 Now when they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves (Revelation 11:3-4,7-9).
And although the above seems a little bleak, understand that people from many nations will have noticed the two witnesses. Furthermore, many will understand the message of those witnesses and many will be called of God then:
I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" (Revelation 7:9-10).
The Japanese will certainly be among those of "all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues" who will have responded. And more will respond after they are resurrected from the dead. Hence when you see the two witnesses rise up performing miracles and preaching against the future European Beast power, you should resist. More on the two witnesses can be found in the article Who Are The Two Witnesses?
The Japanese Will Be Among the First to Recognize the Falsehood of the Beast
Lest any have the misimpression that the Japanese are not a discerning people, it needs to be understood that they will be among the first to recognize the falsehood of the European power during this 42 month time.
Why do we in the Churches of God believe that?
Because there are certain verses in both the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation that appear to be discussing Asian peoples and the European Beast power.
Notice from the Book of Daniel:
"At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. 41 He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. 42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. 44 But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. 45 And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him (Daniel11:40-45).
Notice that the end time King of the North (the European Empire) will overwhelm the King of the South (a Moslem empire), but that those from the east and the north shall trouble the King of the North. This appears to be referring to China, Russia, Japan and other nations to the east and north of Europe. And notice that they will be used to help cause the King of the North to come to his end.
Japan seems to be unintentionally readying itself for this role. Notice that Japan now wants to work with China militarily:
Japan's new defense minister said that while the American alliance remains the core of security policy, he wants to improve ties between Chinese and Japanese armed forces as a means of dealing with China's military rise. (Dawson C. Japan Defense Chief Urges China Ties Wall Street Journal. September 13, 2011. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904265504576566301313995720.html)
Also notice what Dr. D. Winnail reported in Tomorrow's World magazine in 2004:
Japan is altering its constitution to permit Japanese forces to be deployed outside Japan.
This concept of Japan's involvement seems to be confirmed in the Book of Revelation. Notice the following:
13 Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates." 15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. 16 Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them (Revelation 9:13-16).
Only the Asians are capable of fielding a two hundred million man army. And while Japan would probably only contribute a relatively small portion of the troops, a lot of Japanese technology and equipment is likely to be used by this army. Thus, Revelation may also be discussing a Japanese role in the end-time prophecies.
Perhaps it should be mentioned that it appears that the Japanese likely descend from one of the sons of Gomer (see Japan, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 1: Any Witness?). It may be Ashkenaz or Togarmah or Tarshish of Asia.
Notice Ahkenaz is involved in some type of army against the Babylonians (which is apparently the final European Empire):
24 "And I will repay Babylon And all the inhabitants of Chaldea For all the evil they have done In Zion in your sight," says the LORD.
25 "Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain,Who destroys all the earth," says the LORD."And I will stretch out My hand against you,Roll you down from the rocks,And make you a burnt mountain. 26 They shall not take from you a stone for a corner Nor a stone for a foundation,But you shall be desolate forever," says the LORD.
27 Set up a banner in the land,Blow the trumpet among the nations!Prepare the nations against her,Call the kingdoms together against her:Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz. Appoint a general against her;Cause the horses to come up like the bristling locusts. (Jeremiah 51:24-27)
The Bible also shows that at some time, Togarmah will trade with the King of Tyre (Ezekiel 27:1-14, who may be the King of the North who will rule the Bablyonian European Empire).
Also notice the following:
Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared (Revelation 16:12).
The literal translation of "kings from the east" is "the kings of the sunrise". Here we see that the kings from the East are those that need to cross the Euphrates. What major nation is more "east" than Japan?
Japan is a country that most certainly should be considered to be one of the "the kings of the sunrise".
The Great Tribulation Will Affect Japan
Jesus warned about a future time of a great tribulation:
21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened (Matthew 24:21-22).
Since this great tribulation affects the whole world, it will affect the Japanese as well.
Furthermore, since Japan is an island nation, there are specific prophecies that will affect it more than non-island nations. Notice:
I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place (Revelation 6:12-14).
Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!" And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great (Revelation 16:17-21).
It should be pointed out that in Revelation 16, it also states the following:
Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory (Revelation 16:8-9).
Why is great heat of importance to those living on islands such as those in Japan?
Well, among other reasons, there is about enough water still in glaciers and the polar ice caps to raise the level of the oceans about 200-300 feet if they completely melted. And any plague that strikes the earth with scorching heat is going to accelerate the melting of these frozen bodies of water.
Additionally, the tsunami of December 26, 2004, triggered by an earthquake (9.-1 to 9.3 on the Richter scale), killed about 200,000 people in islands and coastal regions (Wikipedia).
Thus the idea that island peoples are even NOW vulnerable to earthquakes and ice melting IS NOT some far-fetched view.
Notice what Jesus said:
And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven... And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory (Luke 21:11, 25-27).
Essentially, the Bible shows that the earth will be scorched with heat, there will the greatest earthquake of all time that will level mountains, and that heavenly bodies will fall to the earth as well as apparently into the sea. And this will be followed by the sea and the waves roaring. And if most of the frozen waters have melted by then, the height of these roaring waves apparently will be enough to destroy most who live on islands.
According to the Bible, these prophesies are certain to come to pass (Revelation 22:6). And Japan will be affected.
An article of related interest may be Islands and Bible Prophecy.
Since the Asian nations like Japan are prophecied to be involved with Babylon and various wars, what about you?
Does this mean that you are doomed?
No. God does not require "group salvation". The Apostle Paul wrote:
...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling... (Philippians 2:12)
Thus, your personal relationship with God is not determined by what your fellow countrymen do.
Can, will, God help you during the coming tribulation?
Notice the prophecy for this latter time tribulation in the Hebrew scriptures:
29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the Lord your God and obey His voice 31 (for the Lord your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them. (Deuteronomy 4:29-31)
Thus, help from God during these hard times will be available to the truly sincere who really strive for it.
All Nations Will Be Affected By God's Punishments
Although there are specific prophecies that will affect island nations like Japan, all the world (including Japan) will be affected by prophesied events.
In Revelation 16, we see that God will issue punishment to nearly all of humanity after Babylon (the European Empire) falls:
17 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!" 18 And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. 19 Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. 20 Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great (Revelation 16:17-21).
God sent the punishments to get all men, including the Japanese, to repent, but they refused at first:
And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory (Revelation 16:9).
After all these battles and punishments, the tribulation will end. And Christ will return:
Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory (Matthew 24:29-30).
And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS (Revelation 19:16).
This will usher in a kingdom that will be established for 1,000 years:
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years (Revelation 20:4-6).
And people of many nations, including Japan, will be part of this kingdom. Notice:
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb (Revelation 7:9).
After the thousand years are over, there will be problems, and then all will be resurrected:
7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. 11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works (Revelation 20:7-13).
It is important to note that all remaining are judged at the second resurrection, but not all are condemned. However, prior to the second resurrection, apparently a Russian-led confederation will rebel and attempt to attack God's people (apparently in Jerusalem)--but they will not be successful. If Japan is ancient Togarmah, Tarshish of Asia, or a descendant of any of the sons of Gomer (like Ashkenaz), then many of the Japanese will ultimately participate in a battle on the side of the Russians (see also Russia: Its Origins and Prophesied Future):
2 "Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. 5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6 Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops--many people are with you.
7 "Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them. 8 After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. 9 You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you."
10'Thus says the Lord GOD: "On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: 11 You will say, 'I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates'-- 12 to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land. 13 Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, 'Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?' " '
14 "Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? 15 Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. 16 You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes." 17'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them?
18 "And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel," says the Lord GOD, "that My fury will show in My face. 19 For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: 'Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, 20 so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.' 21 "I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains," says the Lord GOD. "Every man's sword will be against his brother. 22 And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. 23 Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD." ' (Ezekiel 38:2-23).
The invaders will be destroyed, but will be raised in the second resurrection (Revelation 20:7-12).
When is Salvation Available?
The mainstream "Christian" view correctly teaches that there is salvation in no other than Jesus (Acts 4:10-12), as "there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (vs.12).
But what happens to the multitudes in Japan who have not even heard the name of Christ? And what happens to those born before Christ's earthly ministry? Recall that the Bible teaches that after Adam sinned, humankind was blocked from the tree of life as God had it guarded so that humans would not be able to access it on their own (Genesis 3:22-24).
Even the basic Protestant view is that unless one professes belief in Jesus prior to the first death, then salvation will be unavailable. It is perhaps because of the difference between this view and that of the Church of God, that Protestants tend to label Church of God groups as cults.
The Church of God teaches that God is only calling a relatively few during this age with the Day of Pentecost (also called the Day of Firstfruits, Numbers 28:26) partially explaining this. "Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures" (James 1:18).
Jesus and the Church of God teach, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him" (John 6:44). And that will be few at this time, "For many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 22:14), "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:14).
Protestants and Catholics tend to feel, correctly, that God uses ministers to preach (Romans 10:14). Yet, the message is not always clear. In Isaiah 6:9-11 God teaches,
"Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.' Make the heart of this people dull, And their ears heavy, And shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And return and be healed." Then I said, "Lord, how long?" And He answered: "Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant, The houses are without a man, The land is utterly desolate".
In other words, the bulk of the people are not to understand until after a time of great desolation.
Furthermore, the Bible reveals that God has prohibited idolaters to have proper understanding:
And the rest of it he makes into a god, His carved image. He falls down before it and worships it, Prays to it and says, "Deliver me, for you are my god!" They do not know nor understand; For He has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, And their hearts, so that they cannot understand (Isaiah 44:17-18).
They have no knowledge, Who carry the wood of their carved image, And pray to a god that cannot save (Isaiah 45:20).
Thus, is God going to condemn those who worship idols for what He has not let them understand?
Protestant and Catholic theology tends to say yes.
Those in the Church of God say no. The true God, the God that we in the genuine Church of God know, is a God of love (this is clearly taught in the Bible by one of Jesus' original disciples, the Apostle John in 1 John 4:8,16). Since God is truly a God of love, He does love the Japanese and does have a plan to offer them abdunance and eternal life forever in the kingdom of God.
Therefore, unless the idolater has committed the unpardonable sin (which is unlikely) they will be judged as other uncalled people are.
Hence, the billions throughout history in Asia and Africa (and elsewhere) are not condemned to suffer forever for following practices they really do not understand.
Those who were uncalled in this age (including most people and nearly all of the Japanese, including those that have long been dead) will be offered an opportunity for salvation.
And nearly all of them will accept it. The faithful in the genuine Church of God teach that God will ultimately give every individual an opportunity for salvation--and that nearly every individual will accept that opportunity. Years ago, the presiding evangelist of the Living Church of God has publicly stated, "it seem, the vast majority of human beings will ultimately be in God's family" (Meredith R.C. Last Great Day Sermon. Clearwater, Florida, 20051025).
This means that ultimately that nearly all the Japanese will be in the permanent kingdom of God. Notice some of the descriptions from the Book of Revelation:
Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:2-4).
Japan has been an important nation throughout history. In the 21st Century, its wealth is prophesied to increase. The Japanese will most likely be among the first to benefit from the coming European Empire, as well as be among those who see that it is not what it pretends to be.
God apparently plans to use Japan as part of a coalition of kings from the East (which apparently include the eastern and northern Russians) to put an end to the King of the North's military ambitions.
Just because the whole world (and not just the Japanese) will be deceived by the rising European Beast power, you do not have to be. Hopefully this article has given you some reasons to look at the world and your life and will motivate to come to God now on His terms. To learn more about what happened to Christianity, a good place to start may be The History of Early Christianity page. May God call you today and grant you the understanding so that you will "pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36).
Sadly, because most in Japan do not strive know the true God now, God will punish them as well as the other inhabitants on the Earth. And apparently many will also rebel at the close of the millennium, but will not succeed.
And afterwards, God intends to resurrect the Japanese and offer them salvation. A salvation that nearly all will accept as nearly all the Japanese who ever lived will be in the kingdom of God.
Thus the plan that God has for the Japanese and other peoples differs from that commonly taught by the majority of those who call themselves Christian. While in their mind, God will condemn the Japanese and others to suffering and torment forever, they err not truly knowing the scriptures or the power of God--because God is truly a God of love.
God's kingdom will be a place without fear or death or sorrow. It will be a glorious kingdom. And to be part of that is what is the prophesied future for nearly all of the Japanese.
Back to COGwriter home page
Thiel B. Ph.D. Japan, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 2. www.cogwriter.com (c) 2007/2009/2010/2012 0908
Articles of possibly related interest may include:
Japan, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 1: Any Witness? This is a draft of an in-process article about Japan.
Universal Salvation? There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis Do you believe what the Bible actually teaches on this?
Hope of Salvation: How the COGs differ from most Protestants How the COGs differ from mainstream Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a COG background.
Islands and Bible Prophecy What's ahead for islands? What does the Bible prophesy about them?
Is God's Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God's Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what 'pseudo-scientists' refuse to acknowledge.
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist?
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know?
The Bible: Fact or Fiction? This is a booklet written by Douglas Winnail that answers if the Bible is just a collection of myths and legends or the inspired word of God.