Over the last several weeks Linda and I have been leading some of our groups of disciples in a study of Prophecy. Many people have asked my thoughts regarding signs that indicate we may be approaching the End-Times. We will explore 8 compelling reasons I believe we are in this article.
Firstly, however, we must remember that the study of future things is not meant to be only for so-called “older” or “more mature Christians.” In fact, in the book of 1 Thessalonians the Apostle Paul educates the new believers of Thessalonica about the Rapture of the Church (1 Thess. 4 :15-17) as well as the Second Coming of Christ (1 Thess. 5:2, 2 Thess. 2:1). Some people get extremely worked up about current events taking place in our world today. Others seem almost indifferent when it comes to future events and the soon appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ (See Revelation 1:1). I would suggest that all of us humbly research the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27) when considering these matters.
If you’re interested in the Book of Revelation, Brett Meador the teaching pastor at Athey Creek is doing a Friday Night Study in this marvelous book. Check it out. Athey has a new temporary location in Wilsonville just south of the Costco exit on 95th, which runs along the westside of the 205 towards Wilsonville.
Also, Joel Rosenberg is teaching November 10th & 11th at Crossroads Community Church in Vancouver.
So let’s jump in to 8 important facts which demonstrate the reality that fulfilled prophecy is being drastically accelerated in these latter days.
1. The State of Israel in 1948: The re-gathering of Israel back into its homeland is a fulfillment of Ezekiel 37. The dry bones are the nation of Israel (37:11&12) and the re-establishment of the Jewish State in 1948 was a huge step forward in the promise that the people of Israel would someday live in the Land prior to the Coming of their Messiah.
2. Russia: The Kingdom of the North: We know that a powerful kingdom just North of Israel will prove to be a central enemy of Israel in the last days. It seems that Russia is that country and we know that they have not decreased in power but continue to be a player in the build-up of arms for the Muslim countries that oppose Israel.
3. Economy: The economic connection and dependence of countries with each other seems to be a necessity if the Beast of Revelation 13 is to rule. The beast is most likely a unification of several countries that is lead by the charismatic Anti-Christ who demands that people cannot buy or sell without the mark of the beast (See Revelation 13:16,17).
4. Increase in Knowledge: The exponential increase in knowledge worldwide as predicted by Daniel. “But you Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge” (Daniel 12:4). One area of increased knowledge is the use of electronically transferred funds with coded identification numbers. When the Apostle John wrote Revelation 13 the technology to assign people a number in order to buy and sell would have been fanciful at best. With our increase in knowledge, the realities of many of future prophecies become more evident.
5. Struggle Between the Oppressor and the Oppressed: The heightened struggle between the rich and the poor could become more and more predominate as we move toward the tribulation period described in Daniel 9:20-27 and Revelation 4-19. If you listen carefully you will notice there is a rise in anti-colonialism, which is the struggle of oppressed people against their oppressors. As we move toward the future, our enemies view America as a dominant colonial power and oppressor. In fact, you will see this view become even more predominate from people in America. James 5:1-6 is illustrative of this conflict and I believe it is heightening every year across the world.
6. The Apostasy of the Church: Apostasy means, “a moving away from, or to depart from.” This Apostasy is clearly evident in the mainline denominations as they deny the authority of Scripture, and are adjusting or re-interpreting the Scripture to fit the culture. 1 Timothy 4:1,2; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; Acts 20:28-31, and Revelation 3:14-22 shed valuable light on the nature of how apostasy will increase in the future.
Apostasy starts with subtle and gradual erosion of spiritual leaders that are either afraid to teach the whole counsel of God, or do not believe the authority of the Bible. “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:3) We see this happening in evangelical churches, Christian educational institutions and even missionary organizations. Unsound doctrine is taught about the Trinity, prophecy, creation, the church, etc. and teachers avoid the more difficult subjects like abortion, divergent life-styles, six-days of Creation, prophecy, judgment of God, hell and many more. As churches increase in numerical size, (generally but not always), they desire to protect attendance and finances and therefore neglect teaching hard truths. They falsely believe that “seekers” will not be able to handle such teaching and therefore fail to address these crucial subjects.
7. Globalization: The desire and strategy for Globalism is increasing. There clearly is an emphasis on reducing nationalism and emphasizing the unity of the world. We can see this even in the American Church as little is said from our pulpits about the importance of the roots of our country and our participation in our civic duties.
It is also interesting to note that while there is a unification of governments in the end-times prophecies, their seems to be a predominate religion that influences the world and this religion becomes very assertive and aggressive demanding worship. If people do not give allegiance to the Anti-Christ they are beheaded for following Christ (Revelation 13:15; 20:4).
We do not know the specifics of this false religion but friends we must become educated about the religion of Islam. It is the fastest growing religion in the world and all of Israel’s enemies are Islamic! Europe is being overrun by the immigration of Muslims into their countries and, by in large, the “politically correct” and “doctrine of tolerance” is speeding up the goal of the Muslim’s for world dominance.
8. Massive Deception: Mass deception can take place as we have seen in past history as well as the present. In the end-times this deception leads thousands of people down the wrong path (See 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; 2 Timothy 3:13; Revelation 18:23; 19:20; 20:10). We know the roots of deception is the suppression of truth (Romans 1:18), which leads to further deception in every area of life: economically, spiritually, socially, politically, scientifically, and academically.
When I am asked, “why should we study prophecy?” I give two biblical answers:
1 John 3:2&3 “But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
1 Chronicles 12:32 “Men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do—.”
God is raising up a new generation of His followers that have their hearts in the present but their eyes fixed on the future. Will you be one of them?