OF THE END TIME
I was invited to participate as a contributing author by a highly respected ministry to a book about the Signs of the End Time. Eleven questions concerning Signs of the End Time Today were to be addressed. These are important issues at this point in history as never before. The relevance of these issues will become apparent as you read them, keeping in mind the rush of today’s events that have every appearance of actually fulfilling the “Signs of the End Time.”
The Good News behind all of this is that we are reminded that God never sleeps—He fulfills His Word.
"I am God, and there is no other... Declaring the end from the beginning ...Saying, 'My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure' ...Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it. (Isaiah 46:9-11)
The Better News is that the same God, in the same passage, says about you and I,
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! (see how Jesus applies this to you and I in John 10:3, “calls His sheep by name”)
The God who is so powerful as to bring all things in history to pass according to His preordained plan, is so loving of tiny little ol’ us as to call us by name and declare— You are Mine! Be reminded as you see the daily headlines fulfilling Bible prophecy that the same God is working for you—not against you (Rom. 8:31-32)— in every aspect of your life. Praise His Name in Jesus Christ!
Following are the Questions and the Biblical Answers I submitted...
Are we living in the season of the Lord’s return?
We are always living in the season of the Lord’s return because the Rapture is an imminent pre-Tribulation event.
Regarding the Lord’s return to the earth, Jesus taught that for believers the signs of His coming would be as clear as the weather signs. (Mat. 16:1-4; Lk 12: 54-56) He told us that when the signs begin to take place and when we see all of the signs, we are to know two things; our redemption is near and He is “at the door.” (Lk 21:28; Mat 24:33)
He said that the generation that sees all of the signs listed in His Olivet Discourse (Mat. 24) would see His second coming. We have not seen all of those signs (the Antichrist, the Abomination, etc.), but we are certainly seeing the beginning of them. Yes, we are living in the season of the Lord’s return—first the Rapture and then His return to the earth.
What do you consider to be
the single most important sign of the times?
Every major prophetic passage in the Bible presupposes Israel at the center of the end-time map, and the centerpiece of the Last Days. (Eze 38:8; Mat 24:15-21, etc) Israel is the hub. All of the other signs are the spokes. The End Time is the rim. The end time (the “rim”) cannot happen without the signs (the “spokes”). Yet the signs have no prophetic significance as signs apart from the existence of the key sign—Israel (the “hub”).
What do you consider to be the
second most important sign?
"COEXIST." That is a bumper sticker where each letter is formed in the symbol of one of the world’s major religions—Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, etc. Today it is on a million cars and says volumes about the spiritual mindset of our world. Let all the religions coexist in unity; no more exclusivity. That is the message of this emblem of today’s mindset.
Every major religion has this in common— they all foretell of the appearance of a messianic-like person ( a “Christ”) in the last days to save the world. The most likely rallying message of the Antichrist will be that he is the promised “Christ” in fulfillment of each of them, and the predicted unification into a one-world-religion (Rev 17, the “harlot”) will fall into place.
At that point all world religions will indeed "COEXIST."
In the process the Antichrist will need many deputy “Christs,” and the False Prophet (Rev 13) will need many deputy “prophets” to merge all of this together. Jesus raised this phenomenon up to the level of the second most important sign when He pointed to the rise of false Christs and false prophets as a predominant sign in the end-time world. (Mat 24: 5, 11, 24)
How do you interpret Matthew 24:32-35?
"Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.
Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away."
Prophetic interpreters line up on this passage in two categories. Some say the fig tree refers to the return of the Jews to the land of Israel in 1948. Others say that the budding of the leaves on the fig tree refers to the signs (all these things, v. 33) that Jesus listed in the first 28 verses of Matthew 24.. Two views. Both have merit.
But it is not an “either-or” proposition. It is a double reference prophecy. Both meanings are attached to the one prophecy.
For example, the last two verses of the Old Testament tell of the future coming of Elijah. Jesus said that this prophecy referred to John the Baptist. (Mat 11:13-14) But He said it also referred to Elijah the prophet who would appear in the last days. Both meanings are attached by our Lord to Malachi 4:5-6, and therefore both are true.(Mat 17:10-13)
In the same vein, the prophecy instructing the Jews to flee Jerusalem has a double reference. It refers to the time of the Abomination of Desolation in the middle of the Tribulation in Matthew 24:15-21, but it also refers to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD in Luke 21:20-24. (There is even a triple reference since it refers to the second coming of Christ in Luke 17:30-31)
In like manner, Matthew 24:32 refers to both Israel and the last day signs. Since Israel is the center of these signs, it is a perfect picture as the metaphorical fig tree with its budding leaves depicting all of the other signs.
The “generation that will not pass away” is the generation that sees all of the signs in place—not just the beginning of the signs. Though Jesus was speaking directly to His disciples when He gave this prophecy, as is often the case in prophetic Scripture, He was speaking to a future generation represented by the disciples (future believers, e.g., Deu 28:64-68; Mat 23:37-39).
How do you interpret Daniel 12:4?
"But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase." (Daniel 12:4
This passage refers to the speed of the unlocking of the prophetic truths contained in Daniel as this age draws to a close. This in itself is a significant prophecy. Knowledge of the meaning of end-time prophecies will skyrocket as true Bible-believers “run to and fro” sifting and sorting the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation and all of the other prophetic passages, making sense of them as the Holy Spirit unseals their deeper truths.
This passage must be read in the light of its own context (Daniel 12:4-10, see below) and in the light of the Biblical usage of the phrase “to and fro” in Amos 8:12 and Zechariah 4:10.
The phrase in both passages depicts a ‘busy searching’ back and forth. Amos uses it particularly as a searching through the Word of the Lord (albeit the apostate nation was looking in the wrong places).
Daniel, then, portrays exactly what is going on today among Bible believers—there is a Holy Spirit-driven zeal to carefully and meticulously sift and sort, correlate and clarify Bible prophecy (in light of today’s uniquely prophetic events) which in past generations has only revealed its shadows.
Jesus said that at the End Time people would understand the prophecies of Daniel
Daniel said that he “could not understand” the prophecies given him. It was explained to him by the angel that those prophecies “are concealed and sealed up until the end time.” (Dan. 12:8-9)
However, Jesus said there would be a generation that would “read and understand” the prophecies of Daniel. (Mat. 24:15)
How do you interpret Daniel 12:8-9?
As for me, I heard but could not understand; so I said, "My lord, what will be the outcome of these events?" And he said, "Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time. Daniel 12:8-9
This passage cannot be divorced from verses 4-7. Verse 4 refers to “knowledge.” Two angels supply “knowledge” in verses 6-7, but then, joining with the word “knowledge” is “understand” (3 times, v. 8, 10)—Daniel does not “understand” the “knowledge” expounded by the angels. Why? Because God has determined that even the words Daniel pens will be “concealed” (v. 9) and “sealed up” (v. 4, 9) until the end time. That presupposes that the prophecies will be “unsealed” at some point, which is exactly what Revelation 22:10 teaches will be the case as the time draws “near.”
Since not only the Rapture, but also the beginning of the end is always near (imminent), then “those with insight” (believers) will be enlightened to the mysteries of God’s prophetic truths, beyond the understanding of any previous generation, as the prophecies are unsealed in these last days.
Of course, when Jesus issued His command that in light of certain signs we are to know that His second coming is near (Mat. 24:32-33) His command presupposes that the prophecies would be unsealed to the generation that begins to see those signs (see first article at top of page). We (since the Jewish alyahs began in the days of Scofield, Larkin, etc) are children of that generation.
Is God speaking today through signs of nature?
Environmental catastrophes are on a parallel fast tract with the rest of the signs the Bible says will characterize the end-time world. These are not yet of the magnitude or velocity of the trumpet and bowl plagues predicted for the coming Tribulation. But they are assuredly the foreshadows of the approaching environmental meltdown seen in the pages of Revelation.
And as foreshadows, they point to the important fact that God works in predictable patterns. God is not predictable by finite man, but He is predictable to finite man if He wants to be. God’s pattern of environmental judgment has been made clear by Him because He chooses to make it clear for our own good.
Certain environmental catastrophes befell Egypt in the ten plagues of the Exodus. Then, through Amos, God gave forewarnings to backslidden Israel through a specific series of hardships, which included environmental disasters. (Amos 4:6-13)
To apostate Judah God forewarned of “My four severe judgments,” which included environmental “famine.” (Eze. 14:21)
In effect, God has revealed a pattern of environmental forewarnings in Scripture so that, when they come, we may, in fact, be warned!
Today America has made an “about-face” from its Judeo-Christian beginnings. As a result, the U.S. is experiencing pre-tribulational warnings through environmental chaos (as is the whole world). And meteorology is confounded by these “extreme weather events.”
But Moses, Ezekiel and Amos and the prophets warned of it. Environmental catastrophes are both a warning of impending judgment and a pre-sign of the end-time ultimate judgment of the Great Tribulation.
Naturalists and evolutionist, who dominate not only science but government, sociology, psychology, etc., call it “global warming,” and that is actually OK as far as it goes. It is like calling “fire and brimstone” on Sodom and Gomorrah an abundantly-warmed meteorite from space.
But the meteorite was not the cause. God sent it (if that is what it was). God uses nature, as the prophets quoted above tell us, to deliver warnings and judgments. So one may attribute today’s extreme weather events to “global warming,” but the Bible doesn’t stop there—God is sending it to warn a lost and apostate world that He means business.
What do you consider to be the most important technological development
from an end time prophetic viewpoint?
Digital-electronic systems. This technology is the basis of instant satellite-Internet global communications systems predicted in Revelation 11:8-12; it is the basis of the delivery and trigger mechanisms for nuclear-chemical weapons inferred in Ezekiel 39:6, Matthew 24:22, Revelation 6:3-4 and 11:18; and it is already sophisticated enough to serve as the basis for the universal pin number inscribed on the hand or forehead of the followers of the Antichrist in Revelation 13:16-18.
Is the development of the European Union a fulfillment of end time prophecy?
Yes. The European Union (EU) has gathered up and united the historic leftovers of the western Roman Empire. These EU-member nations trace their birth to the breakup of Rome in the west.
Daniel 2 predicts the reemergence of a final fourth kingdom just before the return of Christ. This fourth kingdom was and will be the Roman Empire, graphically depicted by Daniel as the two legs of a giant statue. Daniel, true to future history, foresaw the Roman Empire in both its eastern and western divisions, as symbolized by the two legs and feet.
Whereas the Western Leg has already begun its revival in the form of the EU, the Eastern Leg must be revived to complete the reappearance of the basic outlines of the Roman Empire in these last days. The Mediterranean Union appears to be a first step in that direction, with its close association with the EU.
Whatever the case, the prophecies don’t predict a revival of half of the Roman Empire—any more than they foresaw the rebirth of half of Israel in the last days. Just as the Jews had to return to the same geo-physical land with the same approximate boundaries as those of ancient Israel in order to be recognized as the prophesied Rebirth of Israel, the Roman Empire must reunite its parts within the same approximate geo-physical land and boundaries—east and west— for it to be recognized as the prophesied Revived Roman Empire. Just as both the southern and northern kingdoms of Israel must reoccupy their original boundaries as a single Kingdom at the end time (the 2 “sticks”, Eze. 37:37:15-23), so too must Daniel’s 4th kingdom be reunited in both the eastern and western divisions (the 2 “feet”, Dan. 2:40-43).
But how, one might ask, can it be possible for the Muslim-Mid East (eastern foot) to come together politically with the EU-Europeans (western foot)? Aren’t they political, religious and cultural opposites? The answer, of course, is that the unthinkable with man is thinkable with God—He says in Daniel 2:41-43 that “iron and clay” opposites will combine no matter what we may think. The western-”Christian/secular” EU will combine (though not adhere) with the eastern-Muslim Mid East, and then and only then will we recognize the revival of the original Roman Empire.
The EU is accomplishing that with astonishing historic and prophetic accuracy. Turkey and/or the Mediterranean Union is the bridge to link the west with the east and fulfill in recognizable form the Revived Roman Empire.
Are signs of the times unique to our day?
Everything that has been discussed on these pages is unique to our day. My great grandmother, and all of the generations before her, did not witness the rebirth of Israel, the umbrella of Internet linkage over our planet, the global threat of universal atomic destruction, the unification of the old Roman states, etc. She read about these things in the Bible as dimly-lit prophecies, but we are seeing them appear in newsprint in flaming reality!
What are the most important spiritual signs of the end times, both positive and negative in nature?
"...and upon her forehead a name was written, a mystery,
"BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS
AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." Revelation 17:5
The “harlot” religions that were first spread worldwide through the forced migration from Babel at the dawn of post-flood civilization are predicted to reunify at the end time. (Gen. 11) That is why Babylon is referred to as the “Mother of Harlots.” (Rev. 17:5) The Catholic Church, or “Romanism,” is not that “mother” of all false religions, as some might suppose. Even though a “super-harlot” of today, that religion is still a “daughter-harlot,” as are all of today’s major religions aside from Biblical Christianity (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, etc).
The “mother” will be manifested when the “daughters” are reunited where they began—Babylon. The tape of history will rewind back to the unified Babylon of Genesis 11, politically, religiously, economically, etc. Then the prophecies of Jesus regarding “many false christs” and “many false prophets”(Mat 24: 5, 11, 24) will find fulfillment from within the One-World “Mother of Harlots” religion.
The end-time ball is rolling toward the soon fulfillment of the one-world religion at this very time. Virtually every two or three months we hear of yet another consortium of false religions joining together into some kind of one-religion bond. This linkage of these various “daughter-harlots” will soon evolve into a single massive unification of world religion. That is the negative sign.
The positive sign is very simple.
At the end-time, from underneath the very shadows of these “daughter-harlots,” lost souls “from every nation, tribe, people and tongue” will become born again in the Name of Jesus Christ. (Rev. 7:9; Mat. 24:14)
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; Revelation 7:9