Monday, July 13, 2009

50 Reasons Why We Are Living In The End Times: Part 1

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

The Bible says we cannot know the time of the Lord's return (Matthew 25:13). But the Scriptures make it equally clear that we can know the season of the Lord's return (1 Thessalonians 5:2-6):

"You yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night... But you brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night or darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober."

This passage asserts that Jesus is coming like "a thief in the night." But then it proceeds to make it clear that this will be true only for the pagan world and not for believers. His return should be no surprise to those who know Him and His Word, for they have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to give them understanding of the nature of the times.

Furthermore, the Scriptures give us signs to watch for — signs that will signal that Jesus is ready to return. The writer of the Hebrew letter referred to these signs when he proclaimed that believers should encourage one another when they see the day of judgment drawing near (Hebrews 10:25-27). Jesus also referred to the end time signs in His Olivet Discourse, given during the last week of His life (Matthew 24 and Luke 21). Speaking of a whole series of signs which He had given to His disciples, He said, "When you see all these things, recognize that He [the Son of Man — that is, Jesus] is near, right at the door" (Matthew 24:33).


A Personal Experience

Every time I think of "Signs of the Times," I am reminded of a great man of God named Elbert Peak. I had the privilege of participating with him in a Bible prophecy conference held in Orlando, Florida in the early 1990's. Mr. Peak was about 80 years old at the time.

He had been assigned the topic, "The Signs of the Times." He began his presentation by observing, "Sixty years ago when I first started preaching, you had to scratch around like a chicken to find one sign of the Lord's soon return."

He paused for a moment, and then added, "But today there are so many signs I'm no longer looking for them. Instead, I'm listening for a sound — the sound of a trumpet!"


The First Sign

One hundred years ago in 1907 there was not one single, tangible, measurable sign that indicated we were living in the season of the Lord's return. The first to appear was the Balfour Declaration which was issued by the British government on November 2, 1917.

This Declaration was prompted by the fact that during World War I the Turks sided with the Germans. Thus, when Germany lost the war, so did the Turks, and the victorious Allies decided to divide up both the German and Turkish empires.

The Turkish territories, called the Ottoman Empire, contained the ancient homeland of the Jewish people — an area the Romans had named Palestine after the last Jewish revolt in 132-135 AD.

In 1917 Palestine included all of modern day Israel and Jordan. In the scheme the Allies concocted for dividing up the German and Turkish territories, Britain was allotted Palestine, and this is what prompted the Balfour Declaration. In that document, Lord Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary, declared that it was the intention of the British government to establish in Palestine "a national home for the Jewish people."

The leading Evangelical in England at the time was F. B. Meyer. He immediately recognized the prophetic significance of the Declaration, for he was well aware that the Scriptures prophesy that the Jewish people will be regathered to their homeland in unbelief right before the return of the Messiah (Isaiah 11:11-12).

Meyer sent out a letter to the Evangelical leaders of England asking them to gather in London in December to discuss the prophetic implications of the Balfour Declaration. In that letter, he stated, "The signs of the times point toward the close of the time of the Gentiles... and the return of Jesus can be expected any moment."

Before Meyer's meeting could be convened, another momentous event occurred. On December 11, 1917 General Edmund Allenby liberated the city of Jerusalem from 400 years of Turkish rule.

There is no doubt that these events in 1917 marked the beginning of the end times because they led to the worldwide regathering of the Jewish people to their homeland and the reestablishment of their state.


Since 1917

Since the time of the Balfour Declaration, we have witnessed throughout the 20th Century the appearance of sign after sign pointing to the Lord's soon return. There are so many of these signs today, in fact, that one would have to be either biblically illiterate or spiritually blind not to realize that we are living on borrowed time.

I have personally been searching the Bible for years in an effort to identify all the signs, and it has not been an easy task to get a hold on them. That's because there are so many of them, both in the Old and New Testaments.

I have found that the best way to deal with them is to put them in categories, and in doing that, I have come up with six categories of end time signs. We will explore these catetories beginning in Part 2 of this series.

11 comments:

SeanOsborne said...

To my understanding of these prophetic things Jesus told us in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:36) that "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven,[e] but My Father only." The other verses (Matthew 37-44) which follow this statement make it clear to me that the context of what Jesus was referring to was that of the Harpazo, the Rapture, of the Bride of Christ. This event occurs prior to Daniel's 70th Week.

The Second Coming, at the conclusion of Daniel's 70th Week, is detailed by both the prophets Daniel in the Book of Daniel and by John in the Revelation of Jesus Christ in such a way the exact numbers of days are cited in these prophetic texts.

The season is also clearly given in the parable of the fig tree in Matthew 24:32-35, and it speaks to a specific generation of men. The modern state of Israel is the fig tree and we are that generation.

son of thunder said...

I agree totally, SeanOsborne.

There is so much going on with prophetic significance, that unless you have all day every day to devote to keeping up with it there is no way you can. I tried.

The meager few hours a week I have to devote are not enough. I've had to narrow my scope down to a few things, and even that's tough.

Maybe I need to take more of the attitude Mr. Peak did.

Anonymous said...

One that I keep hearing kicked about is the gospel being preached in every nation. Some say it has already been done and some say it we are still not there yet. But that technology is here to get it done soon... anyone know how you know if this is been fulfilled or not?

C in Salem

hartdawg said...

sean, im in total agreement. sadly many people come up with these stupid charts (not all charts are bad, im refering to the ones way out there)place dates, name names and scare children. then ALL prophecy teachers and students are lumped into one category. i just heard the stereo-type in church last night. preacher said "the day of the Lord IS coming, but hes coming like a theif, could be tomorrow or it could be another 2,000yrs. noone knows so dont try and figure it out"

SeanOsborne said...

The Holy Spirit reveals The Word and it is not a disparate or differential Word, but one and the same Word. That Scripture reveals Scripture is another way of saying this because the Holy Spirit is the revealer of the Word to us. All of these things emanate from the same SOURCE, the Lord God YHWH. I cannot wait to read Dr. Reagan's Part II for this series.

Its ALL about JESUS !!! said...

David,

I came ACROSS your blog here today - as I received another shipment from your ministry.

Your prophecy studies are just "Out of this World". I really enjoy the DVD "50 Reasons We Are Living in the End Times".

I look forward to watching your "Fundamentals of Bible Prophecy" tonight in the DVD set of 2.

May GOD Bless You and yours in a Special Way! Maranatha, Maranatha, Marantha!!! Come LORD Jesus!

In His Love,

Terry Burton

Ed said...

C in Salem,
Yes, that's an important aspect (gospel being preached in all the world). I think the consensus I am most comfortable with is that we are not quite there yet. Having said that, when Jesus iss talking about the gospel being preached in the whole world, I believe it leaves open the possibility that that is a prerequisite for the second coming to occur, not for the tribulation to start.
Now since the whole world will see the 2 witnesses (Rev. 11) and 144,000 Jewish witnesses (Rev. 7) are sealed and running all over the world, we can know that the gospel will reach everyone before the second coming without a doubt.
So, if Jesus was saying it would be preached throughout the whole world before the second coming, we know that during the tribulation this will happen even if it hasn't prior.

Paul said...

I agree with Ed. Not only does the 144000 Jewish witnesses and the 2 witnesses proclaim Jesus during the tribulation, if that doesn't fulfill the requirement that the gospel be preached in all the world this does!

Rev 14:6-7
6 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth — to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people —
7 saying with a loud voice,"Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water."
NKJV

son of thunder said...

The Word has to reach every nation. The Greek word for nation is ethnos, from which we get the word "ethnic". So what the Word is saying is that the Word has to reach every ethnic group and every tribe in that group before Messiah will return.

I heard a few years ago that at the turn of the 20th century there were over 200 different groups yet to be reached. At the turn of the 21st century there were around 20 left.

As I've said before, I don't think the Rapture can occur until that last person in that last tribe has had opportunity to hear the Word of God. I could be wrong, and if I am I'll apologize to everyone when we get to Paradise.

I think that's one prophecy that many ignore: the whole world hearing the Gospel.

hartdawg said...

thunder, the context of the Gospel being preached is the tribulation. the one who quoted rev 14 with the angel proclaiming the gospel has it right on. so the gospel is preached during the tribulation, besides the gospel has now almost been preached everywhere. if i'm wrong then I'LL apologize. anyway you frieken slice it IT'S CLOSE!

Anonymous said...

Be certain that all your study of the prophecy of Jesus is not greater than your following and growing in the Jesus of the prophecy.

Do you have Ezekiel 36 memorized, but don't understand what it means to be washed (Titus 3:5) and growing in holiness? Pursue righteous, faith, love (2 Tim 2:22). Are you being sanctified? This is a life long process, not just a moment. Its not enough just to know of the Lord, but rather be known by Him (Gal 4:9).

Is your bible study consumed with Matt 24, Luke 21, Revelation, and Mark 13, yet you don't have Phil 4:13 hidden in your heart? You know 2 Peter 2 very well, yet have you considered with equal urgency (2 Peter 1:3-11). Outline this chapter, notice how the Kingdom of Heaven is supplied to you and compare it to your own life. Check yourself and see if you are in the faith (2 Cor 13:5).

Knowledge of the End Times, does not save you. Walking in the righteousness of Jesus Christ does. Becareful of latching onto theological viewpoints of the day because the scriptures are spiritually discerned (1 Cor 2:14). God has a way of suprising the unrighteous, even though they too have access to the Word. It's the righteousness that comes by faith and believing in God's word that reveals the truth. Not just the prophecy scriptures, more importantly those that deal with your daily walk in Christ.

Look at the absolute suprise of Jerusalem, the city of the Great King upon hearing of God's first arrival (Matt 2:3) It would not be unexpected and even predicted that the world will equally be caught unprepared, including the estableshed religous systems and those of study (all of them). Only the Magi knew the times correctly, yet everyone else had to receive a supernatural invitation and they still were only a precious few.

God Bless,