Are We Coming to the End of the Age? – Part II

Are we coming to the End of the Age?  Are there scripture that predict actual events that are happening now?

end of the age

This is part 2 of a 3 part series asking the question “Are we coming to the end of the age.”  I believe we are and I believe the scriptures are full of clues that say we are nearing the end of the age and the season of Christ’s coming for His church and for His return to earth.

We talked in part I about how the creation of the Jewish state of Israel was a major sign and part of God’s prophetic time clock triggering us to be watchful of the Lord’s soon and eminent coming.  Now let’s discuss other signs.

Jesus said the signs would come like birth pains which mean they will come with more intensity and with less time between signs.  He also said we are to watch for Wars and Rumors of Wars, false Christs, signs in nature, society, world politics and signs regarding the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem.  Let’s begin our discussion with wars and rumors of wars.

Wars and Rumors of Wars – Are we coming to the end of the age

As Americans we tend to slough off the warning regarding wars and rumors of wars by saying there have always been wars and rumors of wars.  However, we must realize that Jesus was speaking to Jews living in Jerusalem. The context must be viewed from the vantage point of someone living in Israel.   That small adjustment in perspective changes everything.

Just across the border Israel has just witnessed up close what the world media calls the Arab Spring. The Arab spring followed closely the American campaigns to the east of Israel in Iraq and Afghanistan.  For the Israeli citizen, wars and rumors of war abound all around them.  Let’s take a look at the countries around Israel and those nearby to see if the intensity of wars and rumors of war are gaining momentum.

Countries with a Common Border with Israel

Egypt

Egypt has been in nine wars since the reestablishment of Israel in 1948.  Five of those wars were against Israel. Egypt has been in a huge turmoil since the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. This popular uprising ousted long time President Hosni Mubarak.  A new government was installed and the Islamist group The Muslim Brotherhood put their man Mohamed Morsi into power.

During what is known as the Egyptian Revolution of 2013 the Egyptian military ousted Morsi and the country now has a temporary president.  The country is considered unstable and the Sinai Peninsula continues to be characterized by terror and lawlessness and rumors of war abound.

Syria

Syria has been involved in nine wars since the founding of Israel in 1948.  Three of those wars were defeats against Israel.  Since 2011 Syria has been in the midst of a bloody civil war.  The Syrian Army is supported by Iranian backed terrorist organization Hezbollah and receives support from Russia.  The Rebels are supported by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the U.S.

Millions have fled the country and are refugees.  Over 120,000 deaths are reported and the war rages on. As the war ebbs back and forth, no one knows what this war may escalate to. Some speculate that if the Iranian backed Hezbollah win the war they will use that victory to turn the fight to the Golan Heights to attack Israel.  Others fear that if the Syrian Army begin to lose the war that they will try to extend the scope of the war by attacking Israel.

Wars and rumors of war exist.

Lebanon

Lebanon has been involved in five wars since the founding of Israel in 1948. Two of those wars were defeats against Israel.  Lebanon is currently controlled by Iranian backed Hezbollah and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).  Both are committed to the annihilation of the Jewish people.

Though there has not been an all out war since 2006, there have been regular occurrences of border incidents and skirmishes.  Rumor of war abound.

Jordan

Jordan has been involved in four wars since the founding of Israel in 1948.  Three of those wars were defeats against Israel. Jordan currently has what seems to be a good relationship with Israel.  This is in large part due to King Abdullah II.

Since Jordan has a large percentage of Palestinians that make up the country, many believe that at the Death of the King that Jordan will again become hostile toward Israel.  Rumors of war exist.

Nearby Countries

Iran

Iran is located just 600 miles from Jerusalem and has repeatedly proclaimed their intention to wipe Israel from the map.  It has been widely reported that Iran is actively developing a nuclear bomb. Israel has publicly said they will not allow this and a military strike seems eminent.

Rumors of war abound.

Iraq and Afghanistan 

Iraq is located less than 200 miles from Israel and all America knows of these wars that have filled our news ad nauseam for the past decade and a half.

Libya

Libya sits almost a thousand miles from Israel but borders Egypt that borders Israel. We all watched the drama unfold as Libyan rebels took over their country in 2011 and subsequently killed their former leader Momar Kaddafi.   The country is considered unstable and rumors abound.

Russia and Crimea

Crimea sits about 800 miles from Israel and has been prominent in the news for Russia’s power play to regain control by violence and the threat of more violence.  America and the world’s failure to act against Russia will do nothing but embolden Putin and Russia to seek greater and greater conquests.  Russia flexing her military muscle and her close ties with Iran cause many rumors of future military scenarios to flourish.

Signs of nature

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?”  Peter predicted this response of those who live in the last days in II Pet 2:3-4. As we noted earlier Jesus says these signs will be like “birth pangs” and that is, they will increase in frequency and intensity as the time draws near for His return. (Matt. 24:8)  That is exactly what is happening today.

According to the British charity Oxfam, the number of natural disasters around the world has increased by more than four times in the last 20 years. It found that the earth is currently experiencing approximately 500 natural disasters per year, compared with 120 per year in the early 1980s.  Oxfam has attributed the increasing disaster rate to global warming.

Barbara Stockings Oxfram’s director, said regarding the natural disasters as far back as 2006, “This is no freak year, It follows a pattern of more frequent, more erratic, more unpredictable and more extreme weather events that are affecting more people.”

Two of the top three tornado swarms on record have occurred since 2011.  Tsunamis are caused by earthquakes and of the top 10 tsunamis recorded over the past 500 years, two of them have occurred in the last 10 years.  Jesus said the nations would be distressed with the roaring of the seas (Luke 21). We only have to watch the news coverage regarding Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the Tsunamis in Indonesia and Japan to know the nations are in distress with the roaring of the seas.

I don’t know what is causing the frequency and intensity of natural calamities to increase, but I know the one who foretold them.  He says they are a signal and a warning of His soon coming.

Still many Christians doubt the signs mean anything and one of the reasons 21st century Christians give them 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). He called for the nation of Israel to repent by sending drought, wind storms, mildew, locusts, famine and pestilence (Amos 4). The prophet Haggai pointed to a drought as evidence that God was calling the people to get their priorities in order (Haggai 1). And of course who could forget all the supernatural plagues God brought on the Egyptians in Exodus.

The New Testament begins with a special light in the heavens marking the birth of the Messiah (Matt 2). On the day that Jesus was crucified, there was three hours of darkness and an earthquake (Matt 27). According to Revelations, 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 (Rev 16).

God has always spoken through signs of nature, and He continues to do so today.

 

Signs in Society

Society will be a mess during the last days according to the Apostle Paul (II Tim. 3).  See if you can see our society in his description of the last days.

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self,(selfish) lovers of money, (greedy) boastful (braggers), arrogant (full of themselves), revilers (insulting to others), disobedient to parents, ungrateful (entitled),  unholy (sacrilegious, profane, irreverent), unloving (cold), irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal (violent), haters of good, treacherous, betrayers (disloyal), reckless, conceited (narcissistic), lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness (church goers), although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these (II Tim 3).

 

The times will be just like in the days of Noah and as in the days of Noah, society will not pay attention to the warnings (Matt. 24: 36-39).

Paul says in that time the people turn away from God (are you one who has turned?) and do not acknowledge Him and that God would give them over to a depraved mind.  What is a depraved mind?  It is a sick and unhealthy mind. (Romans 1:28)

It is easy to get caught up in the mindset of your culture, and it can have a negative affect.  In the U.S. we live in a culture where 1-5 men and 1 in 4 women need medication to help them cope mentally with the challenges of life. Have you considered the remedy of the Lord?

We also live in a time when society will call good evil and evil good.  This was predicted of the end time by Isaiah (Isa. 5:20). I hear over and over people of my dad’s generation say that morally, they don’t even recognize the America of their youth.  And it is not just America that has this issue, it is a worldwide epidemic affecting us all.

Spiritual Signs

Many will come in my name Jesus said. (Matt. 24)  Currently there are fifteen people living today that claim to be the Christ and a few of them have large followings.

Technology Signs

Imagine the Apostle John living in 95 A.D. trying to understand a prophesy that required technology that didn’t exist. It would be mind blowing to see 2000 years into the future. Many of the early prophets predicted things that would require satellite and television technology, nuclear and nano technology, the internet, aeronautics, Bio technology and even robotics.  It was surprising they had enough vocabulary to even describe what they saw.

Knowledge and Travel Increase

The prophet Daniel predicted an increase in knowledge and travel.  God told Daniel that in the time of the end many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” Daniel 12:4

That would be one way to describe auto, train and jet travel.  The average number of miles traveled per year by the average American is 25,000.  Only a hundred years ago, the average was 500 miles.

An increase in knowledge would be one way to describe the internet and our ability to quickly access knowledge. Back in the 1980’s Buckminster Fuller created the “Knowledge Doubling Curve.” Until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century. By the end of World War II knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today things are not as simple and different types of knowledge have different rates of growth. . . . But on average human knowledge is doubling every 13 months. And that rate will increase exponentially. IBM theorizes it could someday become every 12 hours.

When I was a kid my parents bought encyclopedias with the idea they would be good for 30 years.  Now they would be out of date by the time they are printed.  In 1900 the newspaper was the main source of information.  Today 2.5 billion people are hooked into cable or satellite communication via the internet.

Average lifespan for the a person living in the United States in 1900 was 47 years old and 100 years later the average age is 77.  Of course this is due to great increases in medical knowledge today. A hundred and fifty years ago we didn’t know what a germ was.  Of the people who have lived to age 65 after the flood, 2/3 of them are still alive today.

Technology – Satellite and Television

Revelation 11 describes a scene that could only be accurate in the event of television and satellite technology.  The scene describes the killing of the two great witnesses in the streets of Jerusalem.  It says that for three days the whole world watches their bodies as they lay in the streets.  Of course this was impossible for 1900 years, but a T.V. remote click away today.

Military Technology

The increase in military technology is phenomenal. One nuclear sub has more fire power than all the bombs dropped during WWII on both sides. The wars described in Revelation certainly could not have been waged without today’s technology.

Bio Technology – and robotics

The work being done in Bio Technology and Robotics to most is quite scary. Mapping the human genome and cloning technology is at least on the verge of being able to create genetically enhanced human beings.

Some believe the wonders performed by the anti Christ will be the result of a genetically enhanced person along with other deceptive technologies. (See II Thess. 2:8-9)

Tattoo and laser chip technology

Revelation 13 says that all people will be forced to receive a mark on their right hands or foreheads to be able to buy or sell.  This number is called the mark of the beast.

The fact that Micro chip information can now be inserted in a tattoo makes this a technical reality.  This could easily be sold on the merits of protecting children from abduction and tracking dementia patients.  Practically, it would make keeping track of financial and medical information much simpler.

This article is getting a bit lengthy, so I will end for today, but the final Part 3 has the most interesting signs of all regarding Israel and Jerusalem.

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