There is so much going on in the world today which is written about in the Bible. The evidence is clear; yet, it appears that many church going Christians are simply unaware of what time it is. They attend their regular church services on Sundays and possibly a midweek service then go on about their daily lives as though life will continue in the path that it has always gone. They do not realize that the way things have always gone is increasingly heading toward a culmination of Biblical prophesy of the end times. There are those who would say that the words of prophesy have been applicable for generations or even centuries. To some extent that is true, however, there are some distinct differences today than in other eras.
In Daniel 12:4 the Bible says that in the end time knowledge will increase. Not long ago I mentioned in another blog post that the rate of increase in knowledge is significantly on the rise. Prior to the 1900’s it is estimated that knowledge doubled every 100 years. In the early 1900’s it began to rise to a level of every 25 years. Now the rate of doubling in knowledge overall is every 12 months and decreasing at a rapid rate. It is expected that soon, however long soon is, the rate of doubling in knowledge will be every 12 hours. I think that increase in knowledge fits the prophesy of Daniel 12:4 quite well.
That same verse also says that people will be going to and fro, or running back and forth in my vernacular. Transportation has reached a level where we can travel around the globe in hours. Cars are everywhere and even the poorest in the United States have cars to drive about going to and fro from home to school, work, shopping, visiting friends and relatives and everywhere one wants to go. Roadways are widened as traffic volumes increase. We don’t walk to our destinations, and we hardly even ride bicycles anymore, we drive, or take a bus, train, or airplane. This advance in transportation certainly fits the ancient prophet’s description of people going to and fro.
Then there is what Jesus told his disciples when they asked what would be the sign of his return. Chapter 13 of Mark recounts Jesus’ words. He (Jesus) warned his disciples, and that means those of us who follow him today too, that we be not deceived. He said that many would come in his name and claim to be the Messiah and deceive many. He said there would be wars and rumors of wars, but the end would not be yet since these things have to take place. Nation will rise against nation, earthquakes in various places, famines are just the beginning birth pangs. We see much of this happening now. The turmoil around the globe, the phenomenal increase in the number of earthquakes, and so many other natural disasters happening around the world. Jesus told them that there would be persecutions, that the gospel would be preached to all the nations of the world, his followers would be jailed, relatives (brother, parent, child) would raise up against each other to put them to death, and that everyone would hate his followers because of his name. He talked of the great tribulation and said that unless the Father limited those days none would survive. But for the elect those days are limited.
Now I am aware that there are many who believe this term “the elect” just applies to the Israelites, or the Jews. I’m not convinced that is the case. Jesus was talking to his followers whom he would send out to spread the gospel. After his ascension he called another apostle, Saul of Tarsus whom he renamed Paul. This later chosen apostle was sent to the Gentiles. Jesus was warning his followers not just the Israelites. Because the Israelites or Jews rejected Christ the Gentiles were given salvation to make them jealous. It is a mercy to us who are not born of the genetic line of Israel (Jacob) that we are grafted in to the branch (Jesus). Paul, in his letter to the Romans goes into a long dissertation on this subject. He quotes Moses in Deuteronomy 32:21 when he says that he (God) will make Israel jealous by a people not a nation then quoting from Isaiah 65:1 he says: I (God) was found by those who were not looking for me and revealed myself to those who were not asking for me. I am convinced that those who follow Jesus whether Jew or Gentile are in fact God’s elect, Gentiles grafted in and many Jews are cut off. But there will be many who will be grafted back in when they come to know that the Jesus they rejected truly is the Messiah they have been anticipating and he’s already been here to be the sacrifice for the sins of all mankind.
Back to the times we are living in. Jesus was clear about not being deceived. He said it at the beginning and later in the same talk with his disciples. Already there have been groups of people who were deceived to their own demise. There have been in my lifetime a number of men who claimed to be the messiah. They had their followers, but, I think that those were just the beginning and that there will others, more convincing, yet to come. Eventually there will come one who claims to be messiah and will have supernatural powers to back up his claim. Don’t be fooled, the true Messiah will return in the clouds as he left and he’ll be coming as a conquering King as the Jews have thought all along. The very reason they did not accept Jesus as the Messiah in the first place. They expect Messiah to be a King to rule the world.
The persecutions that Jesus said are already happening in many places. We in the United States have no clue what real persecution is. We may be inconvenienced in some ways with limits on when and where we can share the gospel, but, the real persecution that is going on in, say, the Middle East where people are beheaded for their faith, or in other parts of the world where preachers are jailed and tortured, those people know persecution. The complacent here in America have no real perspective on true persecution.
Peter was an apostle to the Jewish believers in Jerusalem. He had this to say about the latter days.
Peter 3:3 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
First, be aware of this: Scoffers will come in the last days to scoff, living according to their own desires,
This is something that Christians encounter all the time. They are ridiculed and insulted for their faith. Peter was admonishing the believers to live holy lives because we do not know when Jesus will return. It will be like a thief in the night and we need to be prepared, spiritually, for his return. Whether we die before or are alive at the time his return does not matter, in either case, when the time comes for either death or his return it will be too late. The decision you’ve made at that point is the one that will determine your eternal fate.
In Acts we have more information on what to expect in the end times.
Acts 2:17 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
17 And it will be in the last days, says God,
that I will pour out My Spirit on all humanity;
then your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.
We see this happening more frequently all the time. Reports of visions are abundant on the internet and many of them are very similar in nature. There are also many who are prophesying and those too are frequently very similar. Nothing in that verse is said about old women, so I guess my dreams are just for me, unless ‘men’ really includes women. Still, there are many who are dreaming dreams and receiving words of knowledge about things to come. A prophet is simply a messenger of God, or as my daughter says, the mouthpiece of God.
In Matthew 7:15 we are warned against false prophets who come to us in sheep’s clothing but are really ravaging wolves. Then in verses 16-17 Jesus tells us, we will know them by their fruits. He simply asks: “Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?” A good tree will produce good fruit and a bad tree, bad fruit. We can see that, but, it takes time to see the fruit come to maturity. Later in Matthew 24:24 he reiterates that there will be false messiahs and false prophets performing signs and wonders. They will try to deceive even the elect if it is possible. Jesus plainly states for us to take note because he’s told us in advance. He was giving us a head’s up, so pay attention.
I do believe that those who are prophesying an eminent return of the Messiah are correct. When that will happen is only known by God the Father, not even the Son knew the timing of his return. He told us as much.
Matthew 24:36 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
No One Knows the Day or Hour
36 “Now concerning that day and hour no one knows—neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son—except the Father only.
There are many things that we need to be aware of in this world as the signs of the end times are at hand. The end is not yet because we are currently in what Christ called the birth pangs which are just the beginnings of troubles. I would admonish all to read Matthew chapters 24 and 25. Actually, I encourage you to read the entire Bible. Either straight through or following a daily reading plan. But if you don’t want to do that, then pick up a Bible and read the red letter parts where Jesus himself spoke. Reading the Word of God is something that will bless you and help you grow and understand what this relationship with our Creator is all about.
May Yahuah Elohiym our God and Yahusha Hamashiach our Savior, and the Ruach Haqadash the Holy Spirit of God bless you and keep you.