1 “One day the Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus, demanding that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority. 2 He replied, “You know the saying, ‘Red sky at night means fair weather tomorrow; 3 red sky in the morning means foul weather all day.’ You know how to interpret the weather signs in the sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the signs of the times! 4 Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign, but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.” Then Jesus left them and went away.”–Matthew 16:1-3
In the context, the Pharisees and the Sadducees were testing Christ and demanding that He do a miracle in the atmosphere. In Jesus’ day, the rabbis taught that a demon could perform earthly miracles, but only God could work a miracle in the sky. They were saying, “Okay, so you fed five thousand, walked on water, and healed a leper. You might be a demon. Show us a sign from heaven.” Continuing with their line of reasoning, Christ said, “Speaking of the heavens, you can predict the heavenly signs, why not the signs of the times?” Daniel prophesied when Messiah would be on the scene (chapter 9), and this was fulfilled in Jesus’ triumphal entry. The Lord held them accountable to know that fulfilled prophecy. (Luke 19:44). Can’t you discern the signs of the times? Don’t you understand that prophecies in the Bible are coming true at this very time?
The sign of Jonah was an earthy sign that they were to repent on account of seeing Christ’s miracles and still choosing not to believe in Him! The sign of Jonah— being three days in the belly of a “giant sea creature” — was also a prediction of His resurrection. The resurrection was the ultimate proof that He was God in the flesh and that they ought to believe and place their trust in Him.
If the religious community of the day had been studying the Word of God, searching, and understanding the signs predicted and fulfilled, they would have known that this was the time for the Messiah to appear, and that the Messiah was with them.
So today it behooves us to be diligent to see, know, and understand the signs that are taking place and will take place based on the Word of God.
The Moken People
I first learned of the Moken people while reading Mark Batterson’s book Whisper. These Austronesian people are so intriguing because of their ability to read the signs of the sea. Some call them sea gypsies. (Look to Rebecca Lung, “Sea Gypsies Saw Signs in the Waves: How Moken People in Asia Save Themselves from a Deadly Tsunami,” CBS News, March 18, 2005).
At 7:59 AM, on December 26, 2004, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake—one of the largest ever recorded—ripped through an undersea fault in the Indian Ocean, propelling a massive column of water toward unsuspecting shores. The Boxing Day tsunami would be the deadliest in recorded history, taking a staggering 230,000+ lives in a matter of hours.
However, one people group, (The Mokens) living right in the path miraculously survived without a single casualty. Why? They were able to interpret the warning signs because of their knowledge of the ocean.
As the sea started to recede, many of the Moken knew what was about to happen. They recognized that the birds had stopped chirping, the cicadas (a large insect with long transparent wings, that make a high-pitched buzzing sound) had gone silent, the elephants were headed toward higher ground, (families with elephants moved to safety) and the dolphins were swimming farther out to sea. Many of the Moken people who lived on the coastline quickly moved to higher elevations. As the water receded prior to the massive incoming Tsunami, they noticed a small wave that they call a Laboon, or “the wave that eats people.” (Please look to “The Wave That Eats People—The value of Indigenous Knowledge for Disaster Risk Reduction. August 9, 2011).
As an aside, I believe there is much to learn from past indigenous and ancient people. I wrote an article about the profound knowledge that ancient people of the Bible had beginning with Adam and Eve’s descendants. The article is dated April 1, 2020, and the title is: “Were Ancient People as primitive and ignorant as we have been taught? Scroll down to page 4 to find it.
Also, I believe that the animals that eventually were on Noah’s Ark, would have sensed the massive worldwide magma movements, volcanic activity, and the subterranean earth upheavals, which would have released the massive subterranean waters that aided in the deluge of the world. They would have sought some type of safety. I believe it was relatively easy for Noah to select the seven clean and the two unclean animals (Genesis 7:1-16, verse 15, “the animals came to Noah” and put them on the ark. (Look to what I think is the best explanation of the worldwide flood from The Henry Morris Study Bible, chapters 6-8).
We took two of our grandsons to the Ark Encounter in Kentucky presented by Answers in Genesis. Please visit this awesome spectacle of a life size replica of the Ark as described in Genesis 6:15-17. Go to https://arkencounter.com/ , and https://creationmuseum.org/ for information. Rowen, our grandson, mentioned to me last week how informative that experience was for him. He still recalls some of the specifics of the ark and how Noah and his family survived and thrived on the ark. This is very rewarding for Linda and me to hear him make intelligent comments about the experience.
The Bible is replete with the presence of signs. Think about Pharaoh for a moment. He ignored ten devastating signs and we all know the outcome for the Egyptian charioteers. Ignoring or being unaware of such signals is ignoring the God who sometimes speaks through them. We ignore them at our own peril.
Instructive Signs in the Bible
• If Noah had ignored the forecast, he and his family would have died in the flood and human history as we know it would have ended. (Genesis 7:4)
• What if Joseph had disregarded Pharaoh’s dreams? Two nations would have been destroyed by starvation. (Genesis 41, 42)
• What if the prophet Agabus would not have predicated a coming famine upon the whole Roman world? The church believed Agabus and responded before it began and gave abundantly to supply the needs of the Christians in Jerusalem. (Acts 11:28-30)
• What about Daniel? If he had not interpreted the writing on the wall during the great banquet King Belshazzar gave, he would not have been elevated to the third highest ruler in the kingdom. (Daniel 5:22-30). It is not conclusive, but he probably taught the wisemen (Daniel 5:11,12) who eventually went looking for the star over Bethlehem.
• If the wise men hadn’t followed the star, they would not have discovered the Messiah.
I understand that signs are subject to interpretation, and there is a very fine line between reading them and reading into them. But I believe we can interpret and understand the signs in connection to instructions from Scripture with a little inquisitiveness and study.
The Study of Bible prophecy, (signs regarding the past and the future), is divided into three major areas: the nations (Gentiles), Israel, and the Church. Of the three, more detail is given concerning God’s future plans for His nation Israel than for the nations of the world, or the church.
A few years ago, we hung an Israeli flag on our house. A neighbor across the street asked me why I flew the flag. My answer was “because there are more predictive signs in the Bible pertaining to the land of Israel than any prophecies. If Israel is that important to God, it is important to me.” He responded by saying “I never knew that. I now see why you choose to fly the flag.” One of our grandson’s coaches, who happened to be Jewish, drove passed our home and saw the flag and his son commented, “Dad I didn’t know that Max’s grandpa was Jewish.” His father responded, “Son he is not Jewish, but he is probably the only person in West Linn to fly an Israeli flag.”☺
By the way, about a month later it was stolen in the night while hanging from our house☹
Mr. Robert Kraft the owner of the New England Patriots just donated 25 million dollars to fight antisemitism after the shooting and killing of three Christian Children and three adults in a Christian School by a transgender person in Nashville Tennessee. He said these types of crimes must be stopped. Please look to my article on my blog: wwwdaleebel.org dated June 16, 2022, and titled: Is there a Biblical Solution to Stop School Shootings? It is on page two. Just yesterday I was waiting in line at a store and explained to a gentleman what we can do to protect our children using the principles from Nehemiah.
God’s promises to Abraham and Israel are unconditional and guaranteed through various subsequent covenants. A definite pattern for Israel’s future history was predicated in Deuteronomy, before the Jews set even a foot in the Promised Land. Notice the powerful words below found in chapter four.
27 For the LORD will scatter you among the nations, where only a few of you will survive. 28 There, in a foreign land, you will worship idols made from wood and stone–gods that neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. 29 But from there you will search again for the LORD your God. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him. 30 “In the distant future, when you are suffering all these things [in tribulation, KJV], you will finally return to the LORD your God and listen to what he tells you. 31 For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors.” Deuteronomy 4:27-31 NLT
The Predicted Pattern from the Above Verses:
• They (Israel) would enter the land under Joshua, (Joshua 1:10-11) and they would eventually turn away from the Lord (Judges 2:10-11) and be expelled from the land and be scattered among the Gentile nations (Leviticus 26:33).
• From there the Lord would regather the Jewish people during the latter days in unbelief, (Jeremiah 31:8-10; Ezekiel 37:11-14), and they would pass through the Tribulation (a seven-year period of judgment upon the world and stubborn Israel for their disobedience). (Daniel 12:1 KJV; Matthew 24:21 KJV)
• After the period of judgement, they will recognize Christ as the Messiah and will turn back to Him in belief (Zechariah 13:9).
The predictions being fulfilled today with the immigrations of Jews to their homeland.
• We are witnessing massive immigrations (the Jewish word for immigration is Aliya) of the Jewish people to their homeland. However, there has not been a return of Jews in one great flood, but they are returning in numerous and various stages. If you are interested in these immigrations (Aliyas) and other fulfilled signs and prophecies, please refer to Roger Liebi’s book, “Are We Really Living In The Last Days?”
A past, present, and future sign that is virtually being ignored!
The passage from Jeremiah you will find below is simply staggering. And yet, very few evangelical pastors even know about this sign, let alone teach it. Most Jews, for that matter, are also unaware of these verses. While they celebrate the Seder during Passover, remembering the Exodus as their most pivotal event in their history, it is like they are blinded because of their unbelief to the present immigrations as fulfilled in this prophecy.
Read and marvel with me:
7 “So then, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when people will no longer say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ 8 but they will say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ Then they will live in their own land.”– Jeremiah 23:7-8 NIV
The Immigrations have been in phases.
“Bring back our captivity, O LORD, As the streams in the South [Negev].” – Psalm 126:4 If you take a look at a map of the streams of the Negev, they look like small finger-like tributaries. The immigrations of millions of the Jews back to their homeland have not happened all at once but in many phases like the spider-like tributaries of the Negev. Over the last 100 years we have seen Jews from Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Eastern Europe, Germany, and from Islamic countries from the Middle East, and North Africa like: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, and Iran, all migrating to their homeland.
FRIENDS, THIS HAS AND IS TAKING PLACE RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES!
The exhortation to one of the youngest churches in the New Testament, the church at Thessalonica, is sobering and motivational at the same time:
4 “But you aren’t in the dark about these things (the last days before the Lord returns), dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. 5 For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. 6 So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded.”– 1Thessalonians 5:4-6 NLT
I believe the major reason we are seeing the acceleration of the immigration of Jews into their homeland is because Israel in now its own country. Therefore, I call this the Super Sign!
#1 ISRAEL: THE SUPER SIGN. The founding of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948
“Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children.”– Isaiah 66:8
Please look to my past article titled: The Founding of the State of Israel, on my blog: www.daleebel.org Scroll to page 5 and it is dated May 17, 2019.
When people ask me about the present-day conditions and if I see signs of the end of the age being fulfilled, here is my response. I usually preface my comments by talking about indicators that I label as “Developing Signs” that mark the beginning stages, or signs that are in process of coming to fruition. Below are a few of these signs.
#2 The migratory patterns of millions of birds through Israel
A few statements of clarification about Ezekiel 38-39
Ezekiel 38:1-39:16 describes an invasion of Israel from the north and the subsequent destruction of the invading forces once they reach the area of the mountains of Israel. Russia is the major country to the North of Israel and, therefore, it seems that it is the country from the North referred to in Ezekiel.
There is a question as to when this invasion will take place. Without going into detail, I believe this invasion will take place sometime before the Tribulation. The Tribulation is a 7-year period of great trouble and suffering on the world. In God’s ultimate control and purposes of the Tribulation are three-fold:
#1 To make an End of Wickedness and Wicked Ones. (Isaiah 3:9)
#2 To bring about a worldwide Revival (Revelation 7:9-17)
#3 To break the power of stubborn Israel (Ezekiel 20:33-38)
It is illuminating to observe some of elements of this future invasion developing now:
4 “You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who [are] with you; I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and [to] the beasts of the field to be devoured.” – Ezekiel 39:4 NKJV
Today in Israel the migration of some 500 million birds fly through Israel every year. Israel is like a funnel for the birds flying from Eastern Europe and Western Asia on their way to Africa for warmer climates. (Look to Mass Bird Migrations Pose Unique Challenge for Israeli Air Force, YouTube Voice of America, November 30, 2021)
Because of the relatively narrow airspace for the birds, the Israeli air force has encountered numerous collisions with birds, sadly even killing three pilots. Yossi Leshem an Ornithologist from Tel Aviv University is aiding the research with the air force by studying the migratory patterns of the birds to determine the best times for military exercises to avoid any accidents.
I think it is intriguing that the Prophet Ezekiel tells of “birds and wild animals” (39:4) that will consume the dead after the battle, and at the present time there are millions of birds that migrate through Israel. Many of these birds are carnivores! It is like God is preparing their presence for a monumental feast.
#3 Massive Deception or Voluntary Apostasy
The Marxists during the 20th century in the East used violence to turn the masses from God and the Bible. The dominate theme of Marxism is the schism between the rich and the poor. The wealthy (Bourgeoisie) are the oppressors who are morally guilty and the oppressed are the victims consisting of the working glass (the proletariat). The solution for the Marxists was to overthrow the oppressive systems through revolution.
While Marxism was on the rise, something extraordinary happened at the same time in the free West: millions of people who earlier had made a Christian profession, turned away from God and His Word totally voluntarily! This has been especially so since the 1968 Cultural Revolution which, seen ideologically, constituted one of the profoundest decisive points in Western history. While before this time Christian values had been part of society’s general consensus, with Biblical ethics and a certain fear of God shaping daily life, this was thrown overboard in mass following the Neo-Marxist Revolution of 1968.
Neo-Marxism is expressed in liberation movements like, multiculturalism, feminism, political correctness, critical race theory, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+ and other social justice movements. Each of these apply Marxist forms of analysis to groups identified by race or gender, urging them to raise their consciousness and throw off the oppressors. Those who hold to Biblical values today, however, must often reckon with ridicule, ostracism, being “cancelled,” marginalized, labeled as ignorant, called racist, or demonized.
In 2020 and 2021 I wrote extensively about false ideologies of the Social Justice Movement. Please look to my blog.
Two superior books about the false ideologies of the Social Justice Movement are:
Fault Lines, by Voddie Baucham, and Why Social Justice is not Biblical Justice, by Scott David Allen.
3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for [that Day will not come] unless the falling away comes first, …” – 2 Thessalonians 2:3 NKJV
I believe the prediction in 2 Thessalonians, is a “developing sign” confirming the present day willful deception, and is predictive of a world-wide future apostasy prior to the return of Christ.
We see it right before our eyes.
The following passage in 2 Timothy can be included in this voluntary apostasy that is taking place today through the most recent waves of the deceitful ideologies of the Social Justice Movement, and Critical Race Theory.
“3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” – 2 Timothy 4:3-5 KJV
I am motivated by verse 5! We are to keep watching, stay steady when marginalized, always be evangelizing, therefore we will prove that our efforts are worthy of the Lord. OH MY!
#4 A Sign Heeded Averted Death
In 70 AD the Roman armies surrounded the city of Jerusalem ready to destroy all the inhabitants. However, the Jews who had believed Jesus Christ to be the Messiah knew that this situation conformed exactly to the prophecy (sign) in Luke 21, and they prepared themselves.
“And when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you will know that the time of its destruction has arrived. 21 Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. Those in Jerusalem must get out, and those out in the country should not return to the city. 22 For those will be days of God’s vengeance, and the prophetic words of the Scriptures will be fulfilled. 23 How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. For there will be disaster in the land and great anger against this people.” – Luke 21:20-23 NLT
Their belief and understanding of the above prophecy (sign) led to an exodus of the Messianic Jews from Jerusalem and Judea in view of the impending Roman invasion. They fled to the mountains which are primarily in the present day so-called, West Bank. In Pella, beyond the Jordan River, in the Decapolis region, they found safety from the horrible final phase of the Romans’ war against the Jew. There they were accepted and protected as freedom-loving citizens by King Agrippa II.
Paul had convinced Agrippa, in his speech in Acts 26, that Christians were not dangerous elements to the Roman State. Though his message offered redemption for King Agrippa, he rejected Paul’s offer of salvation and snappily responded, “Do you think in such a short time you can persuade me to be Christian?” – Acts 26:28 NIV. However, his good favor did mean the rescue of thousands of fleeing Jews who took the sign to heart!
To our knowledge there was not one Messianic Jew who died in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD! Belief in the Messiah Jesus Christ and His word in Luke 21 saved the lives of these Jewish Christians!
The text of the Luke account was written and published before the year 62AD. Jesus’ prophecy was obviously known by the Jewish Christians in Israel because they read, studied, understood, interpreted and acted accordingly! How cool is this?!!!
What we ought to be doing considering these present-day signs?
I think Acts 17:17 is so interesting! I underlined the portion that jumped out at me.
“17 He [Apostle Paul] went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and he spoke daily in the public square to all who happened to be there. – Acts 17:17 NLT
The Apostle wasn’t picky. I think many times we overthink it, waiting for the perfect circumstance, make value judgments as to who is mature enough, who is ready, and who is not. Many times, we place our spiritually uneducated paradigm on others when, in reality, we do not know as much as we think we do about their interest or receptivity. Simply cast out your nets and speak up, tell stories of God working, ask questions, and communicate truth that you have in your spiritual reserve. Give the Holy Spirit a chance to use the Word of God in you to bring about His results.
“11 It is the same with my Word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” – Isaiah 55:11 NLT
Because I speak up and communicate His Word and His words, I have discovered that people— professing Christians and non-Christians — are intrigued when I explain various signs. I do this as I go about my business in any given day, with anyone that I run into. Signs are not only for the biblically educated they are for everyone, especially non-believers!
Please allow me to describe only a few of my encounters.
The 2011 Tsunami in Japan
In 2011 a mega-thrust under water earthquake centered off the coast of Japan released a Tsunami reaching the Hawaiian Islands. Linda and I were on the Big Island and the place where we were staying evacuated a few hundred people to a “no wave zone” for safety. While waiting for the Tsunami to hit the islands, people expressed concern as we did. The water levels where we were washed away portions of restaurants, the 18th hole of the golf course, filled and washed away swimming pools and pools with exotic fish. It even rushed water into underwater coastal graves where ancient people of the big Island buried their dead. Several skeletons were flushed out of their final resting places. Kind of freaky to say the least.
• One gal commented to me, “I don’t know what is happening in our world. It is so frightening!” I responded to her by saying, “Gail, the Bible is very clear that as we move closer to the end of the World, and I believe the return of Christ, there will be catastrophic phenomenon that will take place in the geological world.” I then referenced Luke 21:11, 25. I said something like this: “Verse 25 specifically says that people will be in “anguish and perplexed by the tossing of the sea”. These physical occurrences will become more frequent and with greater intensity, but Linda and I have a quiet confidence in Christ.”
The Migration of Birds
• I was at a Memorial service last month and sitting around the table during the reception, I took the opportunity to communicate with a couple of people about the prophecy of the war that will take place between Israel and the Kingdom of the North found in Ezekiel. The people involved in the discussion were indifferent to prophecy and signs presented in the Bible. However, when I mentioned the fact that 500 million birds migrate through Israel and that the prophecy predicts the dead soldiers will be eaten “by every kind of winged bird,” (Ezekiel 39:17), they took notice and engaged in further inquisitive discussion. Ezekiel 39:4 says, “You shall fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your hordes and the peoples who are with you. I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.”
The Present-Day Trend of Deception
On a regular basis I clarify, identify, and explain, with all types of people, about the significant drift from Biblical Truth in our Christian organizations. I have wonderful conversations even with not-yet-Christians and receive positive inquisitive responses. At the present time, I can list 10-12 evangelical churches in the Portland area who have gone woke, two seminaries, two Bible Schools that support CRT, and three professing Christian organizations that have left orthodox Christianity. These apostate churches and organizations are present here in the State of Oregon and I am not even including the nation.
Of course, I rigorously celebrate the churches and organizations that are staying true to the Faith! I highly recommend people to leave these social justice churches and organizations and align themselves with people who are teaching the whole counsel of God.
Do you find it as intriguing, as I do, that the Lord Jesus Christ was very specific in identifying the good and not so good traits of the Churches in Revelation (Revelation 2-3)? I believe on the judgment day for believers (1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10) the church that I pastored for 30+ years will be evaluated by our Lord. Yikes!
Hey, Friends, please look for opportunities, and take those opportunities. Let’s not be so picky☺!
Increase your knowledge of signs in the Bible.
Here are four helpful resources:
Are We Really Living in the Last Days? By Roger Liebi
The Footsteps of the Messiah by Arnold Fruchtenbaum
Understanding Bible Prophecy for Yourself by Tim LaHaye
Bible Prophecy Answer Book by Ron Rhodes