Apostolic End Time Truths

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Rise and Fall of the Antichrist - Is he alive today?

The Rise and Fall of the Antichrist - Is he alive today? — And other questions.

- by Dr. David R. Reagan


The Bible teaches that in the end times, right before the return of Jesus, the greatest political leader in the history of Mankind will emerge from Europe. After taking over that area by diplomatic cunning and deceit, he will launch a military campaign that will result in his acquiring "authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation" (Revelation 13:7). His empire will be the most extensive in all of history, encompassing the entire world, and his rule will be the most demonic the world has ever experienced.

He will begin his rise to power as a dynamic, charismatic, insightful, visionary leader who will astound the world with the cleverness of his solutions to world problems. He will appear to be the savior of the world. But as he consolidates his power, his true nature will be revealed. He will emerge as a Satan possessed and empowered person who hates God and is determined to annihilate both Christianity and Judaism. For this reason, he is identified in scripture as the Antichrist (1 John 2:18), for he will stand against God and His anointed one, Jesus Christ.

His Origin

Where will this sinister person come from? Some have speculated that he will come out of Syria since one of his prophetic types in history — Antiochus Epiphanes (215-164 BC) — was a Syrian tyrant. But Antiochus was actually of Greek heritage. Could he therefore be a Greek? It is not likely.

It is much more likely that he will rise out of the heartland of the old Roman Empire and that he will be of Italian descent. This conclusion is based upon a statement in Daniel 9:26. In that passage the Antichrist is referred to as "the prince who is to come," and he is identified as being from the people who "will destroy the city and the sanctuary."

We know from history that both Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple were destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. Therefore, according to Daniel, the Antichrist must be of Roman heritage.

Will he be a Jew? Many assume he will be because Jesus said, "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another shall come in his own name, you will receive him" (John 5:43). Based on this statement, people ask, "How could the Jews possibly receive a Gentile as their Messiah?"

But the Bible does not teach that the Jews will receive the Antichrist as their Messiah. It teaches they will accept him as a great political leader and diplomat and that they will put their trust in him as the guarantor of peace in the Middle East.

But the moment he reveals himself as the Antichrist by desecrating the Jew's rebuilt Temple and blaspheming God, the Jewish people will revolt. They will reject him as Messiah, and he will respond in fury by attempting to annihilate them.

The Antichrist does not have to be a Jew. And, in fact, the Bible makes it clear that he will be a Gentile. In Revelation 13:1 he is portrayed as a "beast coming up out of the sea." The sea is used consistently throughout the prophetic scriptures as a symbol of the Gentile nations (Daniel 7:3; Luke 21:25; and Revelation 17:1).

By contrast, the Antichrist's right hand man, the False Prophet, who will serve as his religious leader, will be a Jew. This is revealed in Revelation 13:11 where it says that John saw "another beast coming up out of the earth [literally, the land]." Just as the sea is used symbolically in prophecy to refer to the Gentile nations, the land (or earth) is used to refer to Israel. This does not mean the False Prophet will be an Orthodox Jew. It only means that he will be of Jewish heritage. Religiously, he will be an apostate Jew who will head up the One World Religion of the Antichrist.

There is one other issue concerning the origin of the Antichrist that we need to consider. Many argue that he will be a person resurrected from the dead — most likely Nero or Judas Iscariot. This assumption is based on a statement in Revelation 13:1-3 where John describes the Antichrist as a beast with seven heads. He then makes the observation that one of his heads appeared "as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed." He comments that "the whole earth was amazed" by this and therefore "followed after the beast" (Revelation 13:3).

The problem with this interpretation is that "the fatal wound" referred to in the passage has nothing to do with the person of the Antichrist. The seven heads represent seven Gentile empires — namely, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and the final empire of the Antichrist. The head with the fatal wound that has been healed is the Roman Empire. We know this from the book of Daniel where it is prophesied that the Roman Empire will be the last of the Gentile empires until the end times when the empire of the Antichrist will emerge from a reunited Europe — that is, from a revival of the old Roman Empire (Daniel 2:31-45 and 7:1-8, 24-28).

The prophecies of Daniel have proved to be absolutely accurate. The Roman Empire was the last of the Gentile empires. It disintegrated into the nation-state system that has prevailed to this day. There have been numerous military attempts to resurrect the Roman Empire, most notably by Napoleon and Hitler. Today, the core of the Empire is coalescing before our eyes through diplomatic means, producing a united Europe that will serve as the base for the rise of the Antichrist.

Another passage that is used to justify the idea of the Antichrist being a resurrected person is Zechariah 11:17 — "Woe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock! A sword will be on his arm and on his right eye! His arm will be totally withered, and his right eye will be blind."

It is argued that this passage indicates that the Antichrist will be a person who has suffered a fatal wound. Now, there is no doubt this passage refers to the Antichrist, but I believe it is talking about his fate rather than his origin. Using symbolic language, it seems to me the prophet is saying that divine judgment (the sword) will fall upon the Antichrist's power (his arm) and his intelligence (his eye), and that he will suffer complete defeat (the withering of his arm and the blinding of his eye).

The idea that the Antichrist will be a resurrected person raises a serious theological problem concerning the power of Satan. The Scriptures make it clear that the Antichrist will be Satan's man, empowered by him and possessed by him. But there is no indication in Scripture that Satan has the power to give life to anyone. Satan is not omnipotent. Jesus is the one who has "the keys to death and Hades" (Revelation 1:18).

One of the most commonly asked questions is whether or not the Antichrist is alive today. I believe he is, and I believe so for two reasons. First, I believe the Scriptures teach that the generation that sees the re-establishment of Israel (May 14, 1948) will live to see all the end time prophecies fulfilled (Matthew 24: 32-34). Second, I believe the signs of the times clearly indicate that we are standing on the threshold of the Tribulation, the most important of those signs being the regathering of the Jews to their land (Isaiah 11:10-12) and their re-occupation of the city of Jerusalem (Luke 21:24).

If the Antichrist is alive today, does he know who he is? I think not. I don't think he has the foggiest idea of the role that Satan has in mind for him. He will not become the Antichrist until Satan possesses him and empowers him to deceive Europe and the Jews. His full revelation will not occur until he enters the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem in the middle of the Tribulation and declares himself to be god.

But we are getting ahead of our story. Let's consider his character before we take a look at his career.

His Character

The Bible is very specific about the character of the Antichrist, and the picture it paints is a disgusting one. The most detailed information can be found in the book of Daniel.

Over and over emphasis is given to the Antichrist's mouth. He will boast non-stop about himself (Daniel 7:8). He will "speak monstrous things against the God of gods" (Daniel 11:36). He will be "given a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies" (Revelation 13:5). First and foremost, he is going to be a braggart and a blasphemer.

He will be strong willed and reckless in his determination to have his way. He will show contempt for human traditions and will, of course, change even the calendar so that it will no longer be related to the birth of Jesus (Daniel 7:25).

Another point that is emphasized repeatedly is that the Antichrist will be possessed by Satan, just as Judas was (Luke 22:3). Daniel says his power will be mighty, "but not by his own power" (Daniel 8:24). Paul says his coming will be "in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders" (2 Thessalonians 2:9). John says that Satan will give his power and authority to the Antichrist (Revelation 13: 2).

Because he will be demonized, he will be a man who cannot be trusted. Psalm 52:2 says he will be a "worker of deceit." Psalm 55:21 says his speech will be "smoother than butter" but his heart will be filled with war. Psalm 5:6 calls him "a man of bloodshed and deceit." In Psalm 43:1 he is referred to as a "deceitful and unjust man."

Daniel indicates that he will be a sexual pervert, most likely a homosexual. As Daniel puts it, the Antichrist will show no regard "for the desire of women" (Daniel 11:37).

The overall picture is that of an ego-maniac who abhors God and exploits people for his own purposes. He is deceptive and ruthless. He is a man devoid of integrity. This is probably the reason that when Jesus returns, John characterizes Him as the "Faithful and True" One (Revelation 19:11), in contrast to the Antichrist who has been both unfaithful and untrue.

The lack of character that will be displayed by the Antichrist is perhaps best summed up in some of the names given to him in the Scriptures:

The Beast (Revelation 13:1)
The Man of Lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
The Son of Destruction (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
The Despicable Person (Daniel 11:21)
The Willful King (Daniel 11:36)
The Worthless Shepherd (Zechariah 11:17)
The Insolent King (Daniel 8:23)
The Abomination (Matthew 24:15)

His Career

The Rapture of the Church is the event that will launch the career of the Antichrist. This is revealed in 2 Thessalonians 2 where Paul states that the Antichrist cannot be revealed until "he who now restrains" him is "taken out of the way" (verse 7). The restrainer of evil in the world today is obviously the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit performs that task by working through the Church.

It is the Church that will be "taken out of the way," not the Holy Spirit. We know this for certain because the book of Revelation teaches that a great multitude will be saved during the Tribulation (Revelation 7:9-14), and no one can be saved apart from the witness of the Spirit (John 6:44, John 15:26, and 1 John 5:7). The Spirit will remain in the world, but the agency the Spirit currently works through to restrain evil, the Church, will be removed.

The Rapture itself is likely to be the event that will catapult the Antichrist to power. This is because the Rapture will produce international chaos and panic. The Antichrist, energized by Satan (Daniel 8:24), will seem to have all the answers to the world's problems. He will take over the European Union through skillful intrigue (Daniel 8:23) and will establish his headquarters in Rome (Revelation 17:3,9,18).

The seven year time period of the Tribulation will actually begin when the Antichrist negotiates a treaty that will bring true peace to the Middle East, enabling the Jews to rebuild their Temple (Daniel 9:27). With his European base consolidated and peace achieved in the Middle East, he will set forth to subdue the whole world.

One of the myths about the Antichrist that has developed in modern day interpretation is that the whole world will become so enamored with him that all the nations will surrender their sovereignty to him voluntarily. The Bible does not teach this. It is also contrary to common sense. Africa and Asia and Latin America have not spent a century casting off European colonialism in order to suddenly turn around and receive a European dictator with open arms.

The world will resist him, and the result will be a Third World War in which he "will destroy to an extraordinary degree" (Daniel 8:24). This war will initially result in the death of one-fourth of humanity, or 1.5 billion people in today's terms (Revelation 6:2-8). As the Tribulation approaches its mid-point, this war will escalate into a nuclear holocaust that will result in the deaths of an additional one-third of those still alive — another 1.5 billion (Revelation 8 and 9).

It will be a empty victory because in the process of his conquest, one-third of the earth will be destroyed and half its population will be killed. He will then consolidate his "victory" by instituting a one-world economy and a one-world religion.

The key to his economic control will be a mark that each person will have to bear on their right hand or on their forehead (Revelation 13:16-18). No one will be able to buy or sell unless they have this mark. The mark will consist of "either the name of the beast or the number of his name" (Revelation 13:18).

His religious control will be exercised by a false prophet who will head up his pagan religious system (Revelation 13: 11-15). He will force all of humanity to worship the Antichrist. He will be a deceiver who will astound people with "great signs" that appear miraculous in nature. In order to consolidate this Satanic religious system, the Antichrist will launch a great persecution of all those who have placed their faith in the true God since the Rapture of the Church (Revelation 12:13-17). The result will be a mass slaughter of believers (Revelation 7:9-14).

This means that by the mid-point of the Tribulation, the Antichrist will have killed more than half of humanity (1.5 billion in the seal judgments, 1.5 billion in the trumpet judgments, and an undetermined multitude of saints.) It is no wonder that he is referred to in Scripture as "the man of lawlessness" and "the son of destruction" (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

Nor will all this slaughter satisfy his blood thirst. About the time that the Antichrist has consolidated his world empire, Satan will be cast from Heaven and will come to earth in "great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time" (Revelation 12:12). At that point he will possess the Antichrist, even as he possessed Judas (Luke 22:3).

When the Antichrist becomes Satan incarnate, he will become a megalomaniacal tyrant obsessed with two things: himself and the Jewish people.

He will suddenly march into the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, stop the sacrifices, blaspheme God, and declare himself to be the one and only true god (Daniel 9:27 and 2 Thessalonians 2:4). And when the Jews reject this horrible blasphemy, he will turn on them and seek to annihilate them. This will be his all-consuming passion during the second half of the Tribulation. That's why Jesus told the Jews that this period of time would be the "great tribulation" (Matthew 24:21) — not because it would be worse than the first half, but because the wrath would be focused upon them as a nation and a people.

Satan has an insane hatred for the Jews. He hates them because they gave the world the Scriptures. He hates them because God sent the Messiah through them. And he hates them because God has promised that He will bring a great remnant of them to salvation in their Messiah. He wants to destroy them so that God cannot keep that promise.

During the second half of the Tribulation, he will almost succeed in accomplishing this goal. We are told in Zechariah 13:8-9 that two-thirds of the Jewish people will die during this holocaust (another 9.3 million people).

His Fate

The Bible indicates that as the Antichrist becomes obsessed with the Jews, he loses interest in his worldwide empire, and segments of that empire begin to revolt. The core of the revolt is centered in the Asian nations who raise an army of 200 million and send it marching across Asia toward Israel where they hope to engage the Antichrist in a decisive battle for their freedom.

Daniel says that while the Antichrist and his armies are rampaging around the Middle East, looting the nations and killing the Jews, the Antichrist suddenly hears "rumors" that "disturb him" (Daniel 11:40-44). He evidently hears about the great Asian army coming to challenge him. He responds by consolidating his forces "between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain" (Daniel 11: 45). This is the same area that is referred to in Revelation as the Valley of Armageddon.

We are told that the Euphrates River dries up at this time and the great Asian army crosses to engage the Antichrist and his armies in battle (Revelation 16:12). As they fight, the Lord Jesus Christ breaks from the heavens, returns to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, and speaks a supernatural word that causes all the armies to drop dead in their tracks. "Their eyes rot in their sockets and their tongues rot in their mouths" (Zechariah 14:12), and the valley is filled with blood up to the horses' bridles for a distance of two hundred miles (Revelation 14:20).

Paul says the Antichrist will be slain by "the breath of the Lord" (2 Thessalonians 2:8). John says the Lord will make war against the Antichrist "with the sword of His mouth" (Revelation 2:16). Daniel says the Antichrist's "dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever" (Daniel 17:26). Daniel also says that the Antichrist will be thrown into "the burning fire" (Daniel 7:11).

John confirms the fate of the Antichrist in Revelation when he says that both the Antichrist and the False Prophet will be thrown into "the lake of fire which burns with brimstone" (Revelation 19:20) where "they will be tormented day and night forever and ever" (Revelation 20:10). This means that the Antichrist and the False Prophet will be the first occupants of Hell. (Satan will not be confined there until the end of the Millennium — Revelation 20:10).

Our Hope

The good news for believers is that we will not have to experience the horror of the Antichrist. We are never told to watch for the Antichrist; rather, we are told to look for Jesus Christ. In 1 Thessalonians 1:10 we are assured that we who are believers are waiting for Jesus to return to "deliver us from the wrath to come." That is a glorious promise. That's why Paul calls the Rapture our "blessed hope" (Titus 2:13), and its also the reason that he tells us to "comfort one another" with the promise of the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:18).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Necessity of an Interval between the Rapture and the 2nd Coming

Necessity of an Interval between the Rapture and the 2nd Coming - by: Thomas Ice

Building upon the article "The Rapture & The Second Coming: An Important Distinction" in our previous issue of Pre-Trib Perspectives, we now will see that a gap of time is needed between the rapture and the second coming in order to facilitate certain events spoken of in the Bible. Such a needed time interval provides strong support for pretribulationism.


Numerous items in the New Testament can easily be harmonized by a pre-trib time gap of at least seven years, while other views, especially postribulationists, are forced to postulate scenarios that would not realistically allow for normal passage of time. The following events are best temporally harmonized with an interval of time as put forth by pretribulationism.1


2 Corinthians 5:10 teaches that all believers of this age must appear before the judgment seat of Christ in heaven. This event, often known as the "bema judgment" (see also Rom. 14:10; 1 Cor. 3:10-15; 4:2-5) from the Greek word bema, is an event never mentioned in the detailed accounts connected with the second coming of Christ to the earth. Instead, the second coming brings with it God's judgment of unbelievers, usually expressed by some form of the Greek word krinĂ´. Thus, it can be established from the biblical text that the bema-judgment applies only to church age believers, while the krinĂ´-judgment is for unbelievers.

The Bible indicates that each individual within the Body of Christ will appear before the bema in association with Christ's return for the church (i.e., at the pretrib rapture). Dr. Robert Gromacki notes:

the judgment will occur immediately after the coming of Christ for believers. . . . Earlier, Paul wrote: "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come . . . (I Cor. 4:5). Thus, this is not an ongoing judgment that each Christian experiences on earth or right after death. It is a once-for-all event that occurs right after the appearing of Christ (I Thess. 4:13-18).2

Since the normal transaction of such an evaluation would require some passage of time, the pre-trib gap of seven years nicely accounts for such a requirement.


In conjunction with the bema judgment, Revelation 19:7-10 pictures the church as a bride who has been made ready for marriage (with "fine linen," which represents "the righteous acts of the saints") to her groom (Christ). The bride has already been clothed in preparation for her return at the second coming with Christ to the earth (Rev. 19:11-18). It follows that the church would already have to be complete and in heaven (because of the pre-trib rapture) in order to have been prepared in the way that Revelation 19 describes. This requires an interval of time which pretribulationism handles well.

Apparently the bride's preparation and the bema judgment are different illustrations of the same event. The bema focuses on the process of judgment, while the bride pictures the results. Dr. Ed Hindson explains:

Whatever view one holds in regard to our Lord's return, one thing is clear in prophetic Scripture, the marriage occurs in heaven (Rev. 19:7-9) before the triumphal return of Christ with His redeemed church at His side (Rev. 19:11-16).

Non-pretribulationists are at a virtual loss to explain how the church got to heaven prior to returning with Christ at the battle of Armageddon. At best, some suggest they are "caught up" after the Tribulation only to return immediately with the Lord. This arrangement, however, leaves little or no time for the wedding!3


The 24 elders of Revelation 4:1-5:14 are best understood as representative of the church. Dr. Charles Ryrie explains:

In the New Testament, elders as the highest officials in the church do represent the whole church (cf. Acts 15:6; 20:28), and in the Old Testament, twenty-four elders were appointed by King David to represent the entire Levitical priesthood (I Chron. 24). When those twenty-four elders met together in the temple precincts in Jerusalem, the entire priestly house was represented. Thus it seems more likely that the elders represent redeemed human beings, . . . the church is included and is thus in heaven before the tribulation begins.4

If these elders refer to the church, then it would mean at least two things: 1) It would necessitate the rapture and reward of the church before the tribulation and would require a chronological gap for them to perform their heavenly duties during the seven-year tribulation. 2) It would also show that the completed church was already in heaven before events of the tribulation begin.


It would be impossible for the judgment of the Gentiles to take place after the second coming if the rapture and second coming are not separated by a gap of time. How would both saved and unsaved, still in their natural bodies, be separated in judgment if all living believers are translated at the second coming? This would be impossible if the translation takes place at the second coming, but it is solved through a pretribulational gap.

Dr. John F. Walvoord points out that if "the translation took place in connection with the second coming to the earth, there would be no need of separating the sheep from the goats at a subsequent judgment, but the separation would have taken place in the very act of the translation of the believers before Christ actually sets up His throne on earth (Matt. 25:31)."5 Once again, such a "problem" is solved by taking a pretrib position with its gap of at least seven years.


At the second coming, non-martyred Believers who come to faith in Christ during the tribulation are not translated, but carry on ordinary occupations such as farming, building houses, and the bearing of children (Isa. 65:20-25) during the subsequent millennium. This would be impossible if all saints were translated at the second coming to the earth, as posttribulationists teach. Because pretribulationists have at least a seven-year interval between the removal of the church at the rapture and the return of Christ to the earth, this is not a problem because millions of people will be saved during the interval and thus be available to populate the millennium in their natural bodies in order to fulfill Scripture.

Dr. Steven McAvoy concludes:

The fact that the judgment of the nations occurs before the millennium and thus provides for the population of the millennial earth, constitutes a strong argument for pretribulationism. For a posttribulational rapture would leave no sheep for this judgment. If pretribulationalists are correct in placing this judgment before the millennium then posttribulationalism suffers a serious blow.6


A time interval is needed so that God's program for the church, a time when Jew and Gentile are united in one body (cf. Eph. 2-3), will not become commingled in any way with His unfinished and future plan for Israel during the tribulation. Dr. Renald Showers notes:

All other views of the Rapture have the church going through at least part of the 70th week, meaning that all other views mix God's 70-weeks program for Israel and Jerusalem together with His program for the church.7

A gap of time is needed after God completes His program with the church, so that He may conclude His plans for Israel. Only with an interval of seven years, as postulated by pretribulationists, can God's program be harmonized in a non-conflicting manner.


The pretribulational rapture of the church not only fulfills a biblical need to see a distinction between the translation of church-age saints at the rapture, before the second coming, but it also handles without difficulty the necessity of a time-gap, which harmonizes a number of future biblical events. This requirement of a seven-year gap of time adds support to the likelihood that pretribulationism best reflects the biblical point of view.


1 Many of the points in this article are taken from John F. Walvoord, The Rapture Question: Revised and Enlarged Edition (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1979), pp. 274-75.
2 Robert G. Gromacki, Stand Firm in the Faith: An Exposition of II Corinthians (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1978),pp. 84-85.
3 Edward E. Hindson, "The Rapture and the Return: Two Aspects of Christ's Coming" in Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy, eds, When the Trumpet Sounds (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1995), p. 156.
4 Charles C. Ryrie, Revelation (Chicago: Moody Press, 1968), pp. 35-36.
5 Walvoord, The Rapture Question, p. 274.
6 Steven L. McAvoy, "A Critique of Robert Gundry's Posttribulationalism" (Th.D. dissertation, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1986), p. 203.
7 Renald Showers, Maranatha Our Lord, Come! A Definitive Study of the Rapture of the Church (Bellmawr, N.J.: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc., 1995), p. 243. ?

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Accelerator Signs

The Accelerator Signs of the End Time
By Abraham Israel

The end time scenario is uniquely custom designed by God to convey a clear message of warning, because God has always desired that nobody should mistakenly miss the implication of the future Judgment that is coming upon the earth for its wickedness. In the Bible, the end times signs are uniquely described by part upon part in which the intensity of the sorrows of each part’s devastation will increase upon mankind (Matt 24:8, 20-21). In other words it will be more like a pain of birth pangs that will keep on increasing until it ends at the climax. Jesus described a particular period of time after the rapture of the Church in which “there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matt 24:21). This is the climax of the whole end time signs from God, which will end with never before seen or heard judgment of God on earth. This is the only one tribulation wrath of God described in the end time. There is no scriptural basis for a greater and lesser tribulation as people wrongly believe these days. This is the reason Jesus called this unprecedented tribulation wrath of God as the ‘great tribulation’ (Matt 24:21). All the preceding signs are like wake-up call for mankind to avoid this one great tribulation which will start after the event of the ‘abomination of desolation’ (Matt 24:15-22). The intensity of each signs will increase in greater dimensions till the great tribulation ends.

There are a lot of end time signs of acceleration which points to us that we are nearing this time of ‘great tribulation’ wrath of God in our 21st century generation.

1) Earth’s Population explosion

Statisticians of world population growth tell us that earth’s population at the time of Christ was about 250 million. It took over eighteen hundred years, or until about the year 1850, for the total population to reach one billion. Eighty years later, approximately 1930, world population rose to two billion. By about 1960 [i.e. only thirty years later] the world population climbed to three billions. Four billions was reached about 1975. By the end of 1986 we pass the five billion mark and the Six billion mark was reached about 1999. [Note: World population did not reach one billion until 1804. It took 123 years to reach 2 billion in 1927, 33 years to reach 3 billion in 1960, 14 years to reach 4 billion in 1974 and 13 years to reach 5 billion in 1987. It has taken just 12 years for the world to add this most recent sixth billion people. This is the shortest period of time in world history for a billion people to be added - (UNO data).]

World population is projected to cross the 7 billion mark in 2013. It is really breath-taking to see the population of the world explode in the last fifty years. This has not happened since men were created in this planet earth. How did this happen. Is it because of the latest invention of medicines that this was achieved? Of course God has released wisdom in man particularly before the end for the fulfillment of all His end time scenarios, but really because of God’s preordained end time purposes to be fulfilled this population explosion is happening now. It is God’s specific command of blessing which multiplies and fills the earth with people (Gen 1:28). That means someone may ask the question, Does this population explosion has to do anything with the end time scenario that God has foretold in the Bible? The answer is yes. In the Book of Revelation God has spoken and appointed a time for a 200 million combined army of the kings of the east [i.e. nation of India, China, etc] to march through the Euphrates river to fight the battle of Armageddon against Christ and His saints from heaven because God will make the river get dried up during that period of time (Rev 16:12-16). Apostle John wrote about this huge army in Revelation 9:15-16, 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.” and also in Revelation 16:12 he wrote about them saying, “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.” At that time when John the Apostle has written this revelatory prophetic information, the world’s population itself was only 250 million. For most people who must have read these prophecies in the first century must have looked at it more like a fiction story? But see how it is exactly fulfilled in our generation after nearly 2000 years had passed.

The combined population of both the country of China and India which is described as the kings of the east, together today holds more than one third of the whole world’s population. Is it by chance? By no means, it exists because God has claimed that He had prepared this end time event “for the hour and day and month and year” (v 15), so that nothing at the time of the end happens by chance. The end time scenario is perfectly controlled and planned by God. Always remember to say to yourself in such a distressing times like ours,” My God is in control of everything that is happening around me in the world.” As we move into the 21st century, India and China — the two most populous nations on earth —are both moving in to a category of the rising powers of the east. Both are economically competing each other in various ways and are economically moving in to a kingly zone of newfound riches. Half a century and before that time in the past, both these countries were in a very backward state compared to the western nations which were the only back bones of the world’s thriving economy and very technologically advanced ahead of these eastern nations. But now these eastern nations are building a very huge army of millions and equipping itself with all the latest advanced technology weapons because of a booming economy. How is it possible for these eastern nations to come up suddenly as the rising powers of the world? It is because God has planned this two hundred million combined army from the east which has been a sort of fiction in the past is possible now because I believe the time is up for the end time scenario to be orchestrated by God’s sovereign plan! Why they are economically booming? It is because in the end time scenario God has called these nations as the “kings from the east” (Isaiah 41:4). God calls each generation uniquely and designs it for His eternal purposes to be fulfilled. Praise the Lord!

2) Increasing knowledge

The knowledge of people around the world is increasing phenomenally day by day in an unprecedented way. Today’s latest technology is becoming obsolete by the same time tomorrow because someone is coming with a better technology within this period of time. The internet which was unknown to most countries of the world before just a decade and a half are today connected to the amazing world of web information technology. Almost all nations are amazingly increasing their usage of internet like never before. The whole world is connected together at just a touch of a button and cell phones are becoming more as an all in one web connected gizmos. The memory storage of these devises has increased in an unimaginable way in the past few years and thus the cost has come down and the usage is becoming universal. It is becoming affordable even to the least paid people in the most economically backward nations of the world. If we ask ourselves the question, why has these information technologies which have not been available to people from the beginning of creation [approx for the last 6000 years], are only available now in our technology minded generation? Has not man thought about interconnecting the world through silicon technologies all these centuries? Why just hardly the last two decades only? The answer is because God is the one who gives man the knowledge to get breakthrough’s in his life, He has released the knowledge only now in the end time for His purposes to be fulfilled (Isaiah 28:23-29). This purpose of God has been foretold thousands of years ago in the Book of Daniel 12th chapter 4th verse which says, “… [at] the end; knowledge [i.e. information] shall increase.” In today’s language we call this knowledge as information. Knowledge is nothing but collection of information. Thus arriving at the conclusion that the Information Technology we use today has been foretold nearly two and half millennium before itself. Very soon when Antichrist will arrive in the world stage, he will make all the people of the earth to register their biodata in a centrally connected computer network from which he will have all the information of all the people of the world and their back ground at his finger tip. He will forcefully make people to enroll themselves by receiving a silicon seal as a tattoo on their right hand or on their forehead which will identify them as a loyal worshipper of Satan and his son Antichrist where ever they may be in the world, in order for them to buy, live and trade to survive because of a one world government which will be established by him (Rev 13:16-17).

The other most important medium through which people are updated with knowledge is through television. In today world, the whole world is connected through television. If anything happens on one part of the world, in the next few seconds it is televised in the global and regional news channels live through satellite technology. One of the important end time technology intertwined verses that Jesus spoke in the end time context is in Matthew 24:15-19, 15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!” Here in the preceding verses we see that Jesus was speaking to a variety of audiences. Jesus’ warning to the people involves seeing ‘abomination of desolation’ standing in the holy place, which will happen inside the temple which will allow only the priest to stand in the holy place. This abomination is Antichrist entering the temple and trying to take over its independent worship of offering and sacrifices which will be unhindered in the first three and half years of his peace covenant with the nation of Israel. My question is how can people see this ‘abomination of desolation’ happening inside the temple from all over Judea, from the housetop, from the field, pregnant and nursing mothers who may be in the hospitals and in their homes all at the same time unless they have all in one hand-held mobile television in their hand? Already internet is getting integrated with television because of increased bandwidth that is available day by day. Most television programs are already streamed through internet itself and are as good as seeing through television. The bottom-line is that the whole world will be connected through a major network and mostly all people will be hooked to television from their pockets at that time of ‘abomination of desolation’. So only the warning that Jesus gave his readers can be valid only with the present end time technology only. Jesus foresaw our time though his prophetic foresight and have spoken to our end time generation. This technology will play an important role for the people of God to escape to the mountains of Judea to get raptured at that time or else they will face death at the hands of Antichrist just before the rapture takes place. It will help others to be ready through watching and prayer to get raptured. This kind of technology is also a part of the fulfillment of the prophecy which says about ‘increase in knowledge’ at the end time. Praise the Lord!

3) Increase in violence

Violence is increasing all around the world due to lack of love in the heart of human beings. Two thousand years ago itself Jesus exactly predicted an upsurge of violence during the end time by saying “And because lawlessness [i.e. violent, insane and aggressive behavior] will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” (Matt 24:12). Because of urbanization the community life are totally becoming nonexistent in our days. The process of leaving the country side to live in the cities due to lack of opportunities to prosper economically is a part of God’s end time agenda for the propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ (v14). But these things are being used by Satan to accelerate his end time catastrophic agenda for mankind because the love of mankind is growing cold. Where there is no love, there is no opportunity for God to intervene, dwell and bless (1 John 4:12). Children are the closest replicas of the kingdom of God (Matt 18:2-5; 19:14; Luke 18:16-17). Children don't naturally kill; they learn it from violence in the home and most pervasively, from violence as entertainment in television, movies, and interactive video games (Prov 22:6). The technological invention of the end time which has been released by the wisdom of God through man has been effectively used by Satan for the destruction of mankind which is his eternal desire. Murder rate are increasing in the cities rapidly with a vertical surge. If not for imprisonment and availability of medical technology it would have been still worse. Most murders are left unsolved and closed because of the magnitude of the work which is very much higher than the available infrastructure and man power in populated countries of the world.

The media plays an important part in the life of the children in our end time generation. Most of them when they come to home, the entertainment they prefer is viewing television rather than physical extra-curricular activities. Children are always amused by what they see and they are sight-driven. Without parental oversight because of their extended city based work timing, the children end up watching all kinds of violent and immoral things. Because what they see gets recorded in their mind, and what they think will be based on what is stored in their mind (Prov 4:23; Mark 7:20-23). This is the reason for their aggressive behavior. There are also many more factors involved, and none should be discounted: for example, the prevalence of guns in our society. But violence is rising in many nations with draconian gun laws. And though we should never downplay child abuse, poverty, or racism, there is only one new variable present in each of these countries, bearing the exact same fruit: media violence presented as entertainment for children. Let us learn and also teach our children to love God and others by being an example before their eyes in this end time generation. We cannot love anyone without the person of love emanating His unconditional love through us. God pours out His love in to our hearts when we maintain a consistent daily relationship with Him through His Holy Spirit (Rom 5:1-5). Praise the Lord!

4) Increase in transportation

The increase in transportation is a sure sign of the end times. The Bible says, [At]… the time of the end; many shall run to and fro [i.e. travelling will increase].” (Dan 12:4). Ships on sea and horses, donkeys, bullock carts on road and camels on deserts were the primary means of transportation since the olden times. Only in the last two to three centuries new inventions such as trains, planes and cars have played a tremendous role in increasing the appetite of humankind to travel around the world. Trades between countries have increased in leaps and bounds because of increased transportation with in a limited period of time. Why such fast transportation have never struck man’s mind to invent it for all these millenniums except for a couple of centuries before? God gives the answer by saying, 3I have declared the former things from the beginning; they went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to hear it. Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass. 4 Because I knew that you were obstinate, and your neck was an iron sinew, and your brow bronze, 5 Even from the beginning I have declared it to you; Before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you, Lest you should say, ‘My idol has done them, and my carved image and my molded image have commanded them.’ 6 “ You have heard; See all this. And will you not declare it? I have made you hear new things from this time, even hidden things, and you did not know them. 7 They are created now and not from the beginning; and before this day you have not heard them, lest you should say, ‘Of course I knew them.’ ” (Isaiah 48:3-7).

We see from the preceding verse that the reason God had declared these end time happenings from the beginning [i.e. from the time of Daniel the prophet nearly 2600 years ago itself] is because mankind may not say that these inventions have come because of their own effort apart from God’s wisdom. This is the reason the latest creations of mankind may be new to humanity but not to the God who has planned these things since the beginning of time. Man always idolizes his own effort and always substitutes an inanimate thing to substitute the giver of all good things, who is God Himself. This is because of the fallen nature of man (Is 48:8). But for the sake of God’s own glory He does all these things declaring it from the beginning of time, so that man may hear and understand His awesomeness (Is 48:11). One of the reasons God is giving man the wisdom and knowledge in the end times is for man to recognize the Giver and the Creator in much more intimate way and give Him back all the glory He deserves. It is God who has given man the idea two centuries before to invent fast transportation for efficiently using it in the end times so that all humanity may be blessed through the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “….How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Rom 10:15). In those days the preachers used to walk with their beautiful feet. It took days and months to reach a neighboring country or to cross a continent, but in our end times it hardly takes a day or two. In our end times the preacher of the gospel of peace is carried by airplanes, buses, cars, trains and boats so that his opportunity to reach out to the people of the world is more than ever before! Praise the Lord! Glory to God!

5) Rapid disintegration of society

Apostle Paul by divine inspiration spoke describing a particular generation of the last days in which he said, 1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times [i.e. extremely stressful and dangerous times] will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Tim 3:1-5). Exactly as he had prophesied all these character traits are together seen in this end time generation like never before. Truly these days are fierce, dangerous and troublesome. In today’s world the billboards on the road says slogans like, ‘You deserve the best, you are the master of your own life, etc…’ which makes people more inclined to become lovers of themselves, destroys love and instills selfish survival at any cost. The end result of these above false concepts propagated usually results in lawlessness, loveless acts of selfishness and rebellion in the society which hates other people’s opinion even when it is good. As a result there comes an ‘I know everything’ attitude of rebellion which destroys order in the society, families, work place and worshipping communities.

People are more boastful than ever to show forth and tell the world of their own achievements. Many have an ingrained thinking pattern of projecting only themselves and not at all recognize or appreciate other’s achievements (3 John 9-10). These are the end time attributes of fleshly people which should always be discouraged inside the Church. These people when they are unchecked will one day start to blaspheme when they are suddenly corrected. Blaspheme means ‘something which someone says or would do that shows they do not respect God or a religion’. These people will not respect authority of the elders in the Church. These characters should be dealt according to the way Jesus told the leadership to deal with (Matt 18:15-17). These people will become traitors and deceivers, and will not be loyal to the ‘doctrine of Christ’ finally (2 John 6-7, 9). These people will start to teach false demonic doctrines among brethren and will try to over throw the faith of some (2 Tim 2:18; 1 Tim 4:1-3; Col 2:18). If they do not change their ways and repent of their bad deeds, do not continue to fellowship with them (1 Tim 1:19-20; 2 Tim 4:10, 2:17-18). These people will hate to receive the true men of God because they will convict them of their sinfulness and thus they will form a faction (1 John 2:19). Be careful saints! These are the very traits of the spirit of Antichrist strongly influencing a person.

The other characteristics of end time spirit influence is being haughty and head strong. These types of people will think themselves as better than others and will always do what they want to do without listening to others. When corrected they will mock the one who will try to correct them for their own good. They will always display an unfriendly attitude towards unity and team work. Never ever even entertain such thoughts which are completely evil. These are evil of the end time that is taking the minds of people. The Bible says “...be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves. Do not be only interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.” [NCV] (Phil 2:3-4). Cultivate true humility in your life, which is not thinking less of yourself, but it is thinking of yourself less. In other words you are thinking of others more highly whether they seem in the natural or not. It is a decision which will give you a safe landing on the ground when each time you are used of God to fly higher and higher by the grace of God.

In our end times more people are driven by money and love of money than in any other times in the past. So only when the stock crashes, we can only see gloomy news of distressed people committing suicides and also many times killing their families and dying brazenly. All the time they talk of money, think of money and will die for acquiring more of it. The end time root cause of all evil will be the love of money (1 Tim 6:10). Nations will be driven by money and will be more concerned about their economic health rather than their moral health of the nation, thus paving way for the one world economy and one world government of Antichrist (Rev 13:3, 17).

There is an intersection between mental health, mental distress and society. If the society disintegrates, the people who live in it will be affected by it, so only Apostle Peter wrote in 2 Peter 2:7 that the “…righteous Lot, ...was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked. In other words: A good man was vexed and afflicted by the conduct of all the wicked people around him who were practicing a wrong destructive pattern of life style as the only acceptable lifestyle of the society. We are exactly living in such a time as lot (Luke 17:28), where the people in the society are like the ones “…who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20). These are the kind of people who are despisers of the good. They can’t handle someone being good and honest; they will start to blaspheme them openly. Living in such a society will need the strength of God to survive and be pure, resisting the oppression of evil in Jesus name. This type of senselessness to good moral things will be the main cause of the disintegration of the society in our generation. Because the people will be “lovers of pleasure more than God”, they will be motivated by whatever will amuse them no matter whether it is good or bad. This will be the kind of society that can be termed as ripe for the disastrous judgment of God. Wake up saints, do not be partakers with the wicked societal norms, but rather be ready for the rapture to take place any moment. Watch and pray!

We can see also the brutality in the name of religion in all parts of the world. Killing people and massacring communities of godly people who profess faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ! Terrorism that is causing shivers in the spine of the world leaders who are trying their best to curb this virus of violence without real success. These are spirit influence of hate that is disseminated through various hate mongering ideologies of religious people. Truly we are in the end time! These are the times of the end which Jesus described in Matt 24:9-10 saying, 9 “Then they [i.e. national leaders] will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.” But never forget to encourage yourself and by God’s strength endure to the end by being a living witness of the gospel of the kingdom and get saved through rapture from the tribulation wrath of God which will come upon the whole world for its wickedness (Matt 24:13-14).

All these character traits of the people of the end time are based on pride of man which God hates (1 Pet 5:5). Because of such prideful heart the end time generation will become blinded to eternal things and thus people who deceive and lie will be the entertainers of the end time generation (Matt 24:24). The Lord has clearly expressed things that he hates in Prov 6:16-19 which says, 16 These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.” In our end time generation all these things expressed above will be spearheaded by the spirit of Antichrist which has one aim, to unleash lawlessness in the society so that man’s mind can be deceived to such an extent where he will accept lawlessness as a normal lifestyle of living (1 John 4:3). When lawlessness is accepted by man as a standard, God has very little space to reside in man to guide him in His goodness (1 John 4:12; 3:4-9). When God gets no space in the heart of humans, the love of God will grow cold and will begin to fade away completely (Matt 24:12). The devil can only control mankind as much as man gives him permission by accepting the thoughts of Satan without resisting it (1 Peter 5:9).

John the Apostle described this spirit of the Antichrist to be active in the world even before two thousand years ago but foretold that its presence will be completely well-established in human mind set particularly at the end times. This is a specific spirit with a specific character who aim is to enthrone Satan as the god of this world physically and to make people worship Satan as lord of their lives. Under the spirit of Antichrist there are a lot of other spirits that are operating to fulfill this above sole purpose (1 John 4:3). Many false prophets of the end time will be operating under the influence of this particular brand of spirits (1 John 4:1). Testing the spirits whether it is of God or Satan is very important during these end times (1 John 4:1-6).

The other important area in which Satan is causing devastation in the lives of humans is by breaking the family unit which is the fabric that holds the society. The marriages are not ‘holy matrimony’ any more. It is becoming unholy and perverse because the gay marriages are legally happening around the world and divorce rate is increasing in all nations around the world mostly because of breaking the promise to practice sex with in the boundary of marriage. Many feel that the easiest way to indulge oneself to fulfill fleshly lust and polygamy is through a routine divorce schedule. In many instances infidelity, involvement in unrestrained pornography, unforgiveness, extra-marital friendship which increases unloving and unthankful attitude of grudge toward one’s spouse are some of the major causes of break up in the constitution of marriage around the world. Many people after getting involved in to such lifestyles without self-control, later they are unable to come out of such bondages in our end time generation. God hates divorce (Mal 2:16), because it destroys the soul of humankind along with the indescribable suffering brought to the children of the next generation (Matt 19:9; Prov 6:32; 2:16-17). When a child is affected by the divorce of their parents, it will grow up with a spirit of rebellion and will get hurt inside the heart. Naturally the child will become disobedient to parents and may even hate God for allowing such things in his life. More than ever the Church needs to love these people and show them that God desires them to come out of such rut and rottenness. And He will bring them out of it if only they will follow and accept the love of Christ! Saints wake up for the glory of the Lord has rises upon you!!! Be the light of the world!

More than ever people are indulging in slander, even within the Church. Slander means a false spoken statement about someone which damages their reputation, or the making of such a statement. More pastors are leaving their ministry and are trying to find a job to sustain themselves because of slander. Saints beware! These are the strategies of the devil to bring division among brethren and thus make the Church powerless, ineffective and deny it the blessing of God which comes only with unity (Ps 133; Acts 2:42-43). Slander, gossip, backbiting, faction, envy, strife are the root causes for division in the Church of God (1 Cor 3:1-4). These are promoted by demonic agencies from hell directly (James 3:14-16). If you are involved in any such activities, immediately humble yourself and repent! And start to support the Church leaders and submit to them whom God has kept over you. You are accountable to God for every idle [i.e. useless, unwanted and unnecessary] word that you speak, so ask the Lord to give to self-control to speak the right words to people and thus build the kingdom of God (Matt 12:36-27). It is all happening because we are in the end times! So stay away from it and instead make peace as the sons of God (Matt 5:9).

6) Signs in general to be like birth pangs, that is, increasing in frequency and intensity

All the described signs of the end times which are described above will steeply increase till the great tribulation starts in which all these signs will reach its zenith. These signs are not given in the Bible to make us fearful, instead to make us confident that our God is in control of all these uncertain times. These signs can be symbolized more as like birth pangs. Once it starts, it will end only at the pointed finish line. Until it reaches the finish line, each time it will keep on increasing in greater intensity after a period of time. The end time sorrows will be exactly like the mentioned birth pangs (Mark 13:8). Jesus described these various periods of time using different phrases. The following are some of it, “all these things must come to pass, the end is not yet”(Matt 24:6), “All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matt 24:8), “ 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. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” (Matt 24:21-22). This tribulation is planned by God not for the righteous people, but for the wicked. So only as the Bible says, “The righteous is delivered from trouble [i.e. great tribulation], and it comes to the wicked instead.” (Prov 11:8). The righteous people of God will be raptured to heaven in their brand new resurrected spiritual body and then all the wrath of God will come upon the wicked people who will be corrupting and destroying the planet earth.

Jesus has also described roller-coaster changes in the temperature of the globe that will occur at the end before the tribulation will start. The world is calling this climatic change as ‘global warming’ which is occurring due to pollution and is preventable. Of course up to a certain extent this is true. The pollution which has been caused by the 21st century factors such as invention of cars, aero planes, high powered motorized ships, population explosion, industrial wastes are only a part of the reason. But the real reason is God is causing “…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 the heavens will be shaken.” (Luke 21:25-26). In the preceding verses we see an inter-connection between signs in the sun, the distress of nations and the sea and the waves roaring. This clearly gives us an idea that the scientific sign that can be traced in sun is the increase in temperature due to the rising heat emitted from the sun. Man made global warming has been a global debate which has made people say is the reason behind the Arctic melt down. But the real reason is God controls the thermostat of the sun. This can be seen in Rev 16:8-9, 8 Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. 9 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.” God will literally do this during the great tribulation of the end time to break such false theories of man-made global warming which people misleadingly say are preventable by manmade resolution. This is the true ‘inconvenient truth’ that people deny. The change in the temperature of the sun is causing global climatic changes and spiking increase in the sea level. This dramatic roller-coaster change in temperature around the globe is causing many storms, hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes, floods, etc consistently around the globe. The intensity and regularity is increasing day by day. This is also one of the important sign of acceleration of the end times.

When these birth pangs will start to increase Jesus gave indication that a severe persecution will arise against the preaching of the gospel, but Jesus said that a apostolic company will arise who will stand before kings and rulers boldly to declare it in the mighty end time power of God (Mark 13:9-11). The calling of these apostles will be just like the calling of Apostle Paul who stood before the kings and rulers in the first century and preached the Gospel with His mighty power of the Spirit of God (Acts 9:15-16; Romans 15:18-20). Thus Jesus exhorted this end time apostolic generation to watch out for signs such as, 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows [i.e. birth pangs]. 9 But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.” (Mark 13:8 -10). The preceding verses shows that God Himself will be waiting during the end times for the apostolic company to declare the gospel message fully to the world that will be at the brink of Judgment. Just like Noah preached the message of righteousness before the judgment of God came to the people of the whole world, so will be the apostolic company at the end time (Mark 13:11-13; Heb 11:7; Luke 17:26).

During these end time people will be lovers of themselves [i.e. humanistic], lovers of money [i.e. materialistic] and lovers of pleasure [i.e. hedonistic] rather than lovers of God (2 Tim 3:2, 4). People will be more involved with their business strategies to increase their business and to build more new engineering marvels. Jesus described the exact activities of this particular generation by comparing with Noah’s and Lot’s generation before God’s judgment came upon those generations and destroyed them completely. Jesus said, 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives [i.e. Note the plurality of the language], they were given in marriage … [i.e. during Noah’s generation] 28 …They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; [i.e. during Lot’s generation]” (Luke 17:27-28). The preceding verses shows that people of the end times will be more concerned about their day to day activities more than their eternal destinies. They will be more involved in trading earthly goods and storing earthly goods rather than store eternal treasures in heaven (Matt 6:19-33; 19:21; Luke 12:13-21). This is why these people are called as “inhabitants of the earth [i.e. earth dwellers] in Rev 12:12. In other words these people will be more concerned about their earthly existence than their eternal existence. As these day to day concerns and involvement in these activities will increase, proportionately the sorrows that will come like birth pangs will also increase.

Watch out saints and persevere to the end in which Christ will come to meet all the saints and the bride of Christ will be raptured to the wedding of the Lamb (Mark 13:13; 1 Thess 4:14-18; Rev 19:7, 9). There will be great rejoicing. Don’t miss the wedding by being caught up in your day to day activities (Matt 22:1-14). Praise the Lord God for the rapture and comfort one another with the message of rapture during the tough times of persecution you will face while declaring the Gospel in our end time generation (1 Thess 4:18). Persevere, for we must finish our race to perfection. So keep on and keep’ in ongoing! Great destiny ahead!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Are we living on borrowed time?

We are living on borrowed time

by Dr. David R. Reagan 


Many people believe there is nothing that can be known about the timing of the Lord's return because Jesus said He would return like a "thief in the night" (Matthew 24:42-44).

But Paul makes it clear in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 that Jesus' statement does not apply to believers: "But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief..." He then proceeds to explain why: "for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober." Paul is referring, of course, to the light of the Holy Spirit who indwells all true believers and who can enlighten us through our study of Scripture to know the season of the Lord's return (1 John 2:27).

God's Attitude

As a matter of fact, God is obligated by His character to warn the world of the imminent return of His Son. The reason is that Jesus is returning in great wrath to "judge and wage war" (Revelation 19:11), and God never pours out His wrath without warning.

God does not wish that any should perish, but that all should be brought to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Therefore, God always warns before He executes His wrath. He warned the world through Noah for 120 years. He warned Sodom and Gomorrah through Abraham. He sent Jonah to warn the pagan city of Ninevah, and He sent Nahum to the same city 150 years later.

Likewise, God is warning the world today that His Son is about to return. He is calling the world to repentance. The message of the hour to unbelievers can be summed up in these words: "Flee from the wrath that is to come by fleeing into the loving arms of Jesus now." Jesus came the first time as an expression of God's love; He came to die for the sins of Mankind. But when He returns, He will come in vengeance to pour out the wrath of God on those who have rejected God's love and grace.

The soon return of Jesus also carries with it a message for believers. Lukewarm Christians and carnal Christians are being called to commit their lives to holiness: "The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts" (Romans 13:12-14).

God's Method of Warning

God is alerting believers of the soon return of His Son through what are called "signs of the times." These are prophecies concerning world events that we are told to watch for, prophecies that will identify the season of the Lord's return.

The Bible is full of these signs. There are about 500 prophecies in the Old Testament that relate to the Second Coming of the Messiah. In the New Testament, one out of every 25 verses is concerned with the return of Jesus.

In fact, there are so many signs that it is difficult to grasp all of them. The best way I have found to do this is to put them in categories:

1) The Signs of Nature — We are told to watch for earthquakes, famine, pestilence, and signs in the heavens (see Matthew 24:7 and Luke 21:11).

This is the least respected category of signs for several reasons. For one thing, many people simply shrug their shoulders and say, "There have always been natural calamities, so what else is new?" Note that Jesus says these signs will be like "birth pangs" (Matthew 24:8) — that is, they will increase in frequency and intensity as the time draws near for His return. In other words, there will be more intense earthquakes and more frequent ones. That is exactly what is happening today.

Another reason these signs are given little respect is because most Christians are so rationalistic that they do not really believe in the supernatural, and they therefore find it difficult to believe that God speaks to the world through signs of nature. Yet, the Bible teaches this principle from start to finish.

God dealt with the world's sin through a great flood in the days of Noah (Genesis 6). He called the nation of Judah to repentance through a terrible locust invasion (Joel 1). In like manner, He called for the nation of Israel to repent by sending drought, wind storms, mildew, locusts, famine and pestilence (Amos 4:6-10). The prophet Haggai pointed to a drought as evidence that God was calling the people to get their priorities in order (Haggai 1:10-11).

The New Testament begins with a special light in the heavens marking the birth of the Messiah (Matthew 2:2). On the day that Jesus was crucified, there was three hours of darkness and an earthquake (Matthew 27:45-51). And when Jesus returns, the earth will experience the greatest earthquake in its history as every mountain is lowered, every valley is raised, and every island is moved (Revelation 16:17-21).

God has always spoken through signs of nature, and He continues to do so today. We had better pay close attention to them.

2) The Signs of Society — Jesus said that society will become increasingly lawless and immoral as the time approaches for His return. In fact, He said it would become as evil as it was in the days of Noah (Matthew 24:12,37-39).

Paul paints a chilling picture of end time society in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. He says it will be characterized by three loves — the love of self (Humanism), the love of money (Materialism), and the love of pleasure (Hedonism). He then points out that the payoff of this carnal lifestyle will be what the philosophers call Nihilism — that is, a society wallowing in despair. Men's minds will become depraved (Romans 1:28), and people will call evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20).

We are seeing these prophecies fulfilled before our eyes today as we watch our society reject its Christian heritage and descend into a hellish pit of lawlessness, immorality, and despair. Even worse, we are exporting our nihilism around the world through our immoral and violent movies and television programs.

3) The Spiritual Signs — There are both positive and negative spiritual signs that we are to watch for. The negative ones include the appearance of false christs and their cults (Matthew 24:5,11,24), the apostasy of the professing church (2 Thessalonians 2:3), an outbreak of Satanism (1 Timothy 4:1), and the persecution of faithful Christians (Matthew 24:9).

These negative spiritual signs began to appear in the mid-19th Century when Christian cults started forming. First came the Mormons, then the Jehovah's Witnesses, and then a great variety of spiritualist groups like the Church of Christ Scientists and the Unity Church.

The apostasy of the mainline Christian denominations began in the 1920's when the German school of higher criticism invaded American seminaries and undermined the authority of the Scriptures, teaching that the Bible is Man's search for God rather than God's revelation to Man.

During the 1960's Satanism exploded on the American scene and has since been exported worldwide through American movies, books, and television programs. Dabbling in the occult has become commonplace in the form of astrology, numerology, crystal gazing, transcendental meditation, and channeling. The whole trend has consummated in the appearance of the New Age Movement with its teaching that Man is God.

As society has secularized, true Christianity has come under increasing attack. Judeo-Christian values, once the foundation of Western Civilization, are now openly mocked, and those who still adhere to them are castigated as "intolerant fundamentalists" by the media.

The positive spiritual signs include the proclamation of the Gospel to the whole world (Matthew 24:14), a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28-32), and spiritual illumination to understand prophecies that have been "sealed up" until the end times (Daniel 12:4,9).

As with the negative signs, we are seeing these positive signs fulfilled in our day and time. Through the use of modern technology, the Gospel has been proclaimed throughout the world in this Century, and the Bible has been translated into all major languages.

The great end time pouring out of the Holy Spirit that was prophesied by the prophet Joel has also begun. Joel called it "the latter rain" (Joel 2:23), and he said it would occur after the Jews had returned to their land. The state of Israel was re-established in 1948. In 1949 God anointed two ministries that would have a worldwide impact — the ministries of Billy Graham and Oral Roberts. Then, in the 60's, came the Charismatic Movement which prompted renewal in worship and gave emphasis to the continuing validity of the gifts of the Spirit.

The acceleration in the understanding of Bible prophecy began in 1970 with the publication of Hal Lindsey's book, The Late Great Planet Earth. It seemed to open up to popular understanding many prophecies that had been "sealed up" until the end times (Daniel 12:4, 9). Remarkably, it became the number one best seller in the world — with the sole exception of the Bible — for the next ten years!

4) The Signs of Technology — The book of Daniel says that there will be an explosion of knowledge in the end times and that people will move about quickly (Daniel 12:4). There are many Bible prophecies that cannot be understood apart from modern technology. For example, how can the whole world look upon two bodies lying in the streets of Jerusalem (Revelation 11:8-9)? Modern television satellite technology makes it easy. How can the False Prophet build an image of the Anti-Christ that appears to be alive (Revelation 13:15)? The answer, of course, is the science of robotics. How can the False Prophet require all people on earth to take the mark of the Anti-Christ in order to buy and sell (Revelation 13:16-17)? It would not be possible apart from computers and lasers.

Jesus said that the Tribulation will be so terrible that all life on earth would cease to exist if He did not cut the period short (Matthew 24:21-22). How could all life be threatened prior to the advent of nuclear weapons? Another reference to nuclear power is likely contained in Luke's statement that men in the end times will "faint from fear" because "the powers of the heavens will be shaken" (Luke 21:26). That certainly sounds like a reference to the splitting of the atom.

5) The Signs of World Politics — The Bible prophesies that there will be a certain pattern of world politics that will characterize the end time geopolitical map.

The focus will be the re-established state of Israel (Zechariah 12:2-3). It will be besieged by a menacing nation from the "remote parts of the north," the nation of "Rosh" — or modern day Russia (Ezekiel 38:2,6). There will also be a threatening nation to the East that will be capable of sending an army of 200 million — namely, China (Revelation 9:13-16 and Revelation 16:12-13). A third source of danger to Israel will be the Arab nations that immediately surround it. They will covet the land and will try to take it from the Jews (Ezekiel 35:10 and 36:2).

Another key player on the world political scene in the end times will be a coalition of European nations that will form a confederation centered in the area of the old Roman empire (Daniel 2:41-44, Daniel 7:7,23-24, and Revelation 17:12-13). This confederation will serve as the political base for the rise of the Anti-Christ and the creation of his worldwide kingdom (Daniel 7:8).

Other international political signs include wars and rumors of wars (Matthew 24:6), civil wars (Matthew 24:7), and general international terrorism and lawlessness (Matthew 24:12).

6) The Signs of Israel — The signs related to the state of Israel are prolific and very important.

The most frequently repeated prophecy in the Old Testament is the prediction that the Jewish people will be regathered from the "four corners of the earth" in the end times (Isaiah 11:10-12). The Bible states that a consequence of this regathering will be the re-establishment of the state of Israel (Isaiah 66:7-8). The Scriptures say that once the Jews are back in their land, the land itself will experience a miracle of reclamation (Isaiah 35). The desert will bloom and people will exclaim, "This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden" (Ezekiel 36:35).

Another end time miracle will be the revival of the Hebrew language (Zephaniah 3:9). Most people are not aware of the fact that when the Jews were dispersed from their land in 70 A.D., they ceased to speak the Hebrew language. The Jews who settled in Europe developed a new language called Yiddish — a combination of German and Hebrew. The Jews who migrated to the Mediterranean basin created a language called Ladino — a combination of Hebrew and Spanish.

Other significant signs of Israel that we are told to watch for in the end times include the re-occupation of Jerusalem (Luke 21:24), the resurgence of Israeli military strength (Zechariah 12:6), and the re-focusing of world politics on Israel (Zechariah 12:3).

All these signs have been fulfilled in this century. The nation has been re-established, the land has been reclaimed, the ancient language has been revived, the Jews are back in Jerusalem, and Israel is the focal point of world politics.

Jesus says in Luke 21:28 that when these signs begin to happen, we should "straighten up and lift up our heads" because "our redemption is drawing near."

The Key Signs

The most important signs are the ones that relate to Israel because God uses the Jews throughout the Scriptures as His prophetic time clock. By this I mean that very often when the Lord is revealing an important event that will take place in the future, He will point to the Jewish people and state that when a certain thing happens to them, the important event will also occur.

A good example of this principle can be found in Daniel 9 in the famous "Seventy Weeks of Years" prophecy. The prophet tells us to watch for a decree to be issued that will authorize the rebuilding of Jerusalem. He then says that the Messiah will come sixty-nine weeks of years (483 years) after that decree is issued to the Jewish people.

There are two key prophecies which relate the return of Jesus to events that have occurred in Jewish history since 1948. These two events clearly established the period in which we are now living as the season of the Lord's return.

The State of Israel

The first is the re-establishment of the state of Israel which occurred on May 14, 1948. Jesus singled out this event as the one that would signal His soon return.

His prophecy is contained in the fig tree parable (Matthew 24:32-35) which He presented in His Olivet Discourse. The day before He delivered this speech, He had put a curse on a barren fig tree, causing it to wither (Matthew 21:28-29). This was a symbolic prophecy that God would soon pour out His wrath upon the Jewish people because of their spiritual barrenness in rejecting His Son.

The next day Jesus reminded His disciples of the fig tree. He said to watch for it to bloom again. In other words, He said watch for the rebirth of Israel. He indicated that when the fig tree blooms again, He would be at the gates of Heaven, ready to return (Matthew 24:33).

Equally significant, He added an interesting observation: "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place" (Matthew 24:34). What generation? The generation that sees the fig tree blossom.

We are that generation. The fig tree has blossomed. Jesus is at the gates.

The City of Jerusalem

The second key event was prophesied by Jesus in the same speech, as recorded by Luke: "[The Jews] will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke 21:24).

The first half of this prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D., forty years after Jesus spoke the words. In that year the Romans under Titus conquered Jerusalem and dispersed the Jews among the nations. Jerusalem remained under Gentile occupation for 1,897 years — until June 7, 1967, when Israel won the city back during the Six Day War.

The Jewish re-occupation of the city of Jerusalem is proof positive that we are living in the season of the Lord's return. Jesus said it would mark the end of the Gentile Age.

A Call to Action

There is no way to escape the conclusion that we are living on borrowed time. The signs of the times are upon us, and they are shouting for our attention.

Are you ready? If Jesus were to return today, would He be your "Blessed Hope" (Titus 2:11-14) or would He be your "Holy Terror" (Revelation 6:12-17)? If you have never received Him as your Lord and Savior, now is the time to act. Repent of your sins, and call upon the name of the Lord that you might be saved (Acts 2:14-39).

And if you are a Christian, are you living as if Jesus might return any minute? Have you committed your life to holiness? Are you praying for the lost and witnessing the Lord when you have an opportunity?

Are you yearning for the Lord's return? Can you say with Paul that you are a candidate for a "crown of righteousness" because you have lived your life "in the love of His appearing" (2 Timothy 4:7-8)?