Thursday, July 16, 2009

50 Reasons Why We Are Living In The End Times: Part 4

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

I have personally been searching the Bible for years in an effort to identify all the signs that show we are living in the end times and soon return of Jesus Christ. 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. The following are the last three categories.


4) The Signs of World Politics

"You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars... for nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom..." (Matthew 24:6-7)

I taught international politics for 20 years before I entered the ministry full time, so this is an area that is particularly fascinating to me.

The Bible prophesies a very specific end time configuration of world politics. Israel is pictured as being re-established (Ezekiel 37:21-22) and surrounded by hostile Arab neighbors intent on its destruction (Ezekiel 35:1 - 36:7). This, of course has been the situation in the Middle East since the Israeli Declaration of Independence in May of 1948.

Daniel prophesied that the Roman Empire would be revived (Daniel 2:36-41), something many men — like Charlemagne, Napoleon, and Hitler — tried to do through force. But the prophecy had to await God's timing for its fulfillment, and that came after World War II, with the formation of the European Common Market that has since morphed into the superpower called the European Union.

The Bible pictures a great power located in the land of Magog in the "remote parts of the north." This nation will menace Israel in the end times and will ultimately lead an invasion of Israel together with specified allies, all of which are modern day Muslim states (Ezekiel 38:1 - 39:16). Russia with all its Muslim republics and its Muslim allies fits this description precisely.

All the nations of the world are prophesied to come together against Israel in the end times over the issue of the control of Jerusalem (Zech. 12:2-3) — a prophecy being fulfilled today.

The magnitude of warfare in the 20th Century is another fulfillment of end time prophecy related to world politics. The 20th Century was one of unparalleled war. Like birth pangs, the frequency and intensity of war increased exponentially. It is now estimated that more people died in wars during the 20th Century than in all the previous wars throughout all of recorded human history.


5) The Signs of Technology

"Men will faint from fear over the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken." (Luke 21:26)

The development of nuclear weapons seems to be foreshadowed by this prophecy in Luke 21 that speaks of people "fainting from fear" due to the "powers of the heavens being shaken." The incredible carnage of the Seal and Trumpet Judgments portrayed in chapters 6 and 8 in the book of Revelation indicates that the Antichrist will conquer the world through the use of nuclear weapons. We are told that one-third of the earth will be burned and that one-half of humanity will be killed. Further evidence that this is a nuclear holocaust is found in Revelation 16 where we are told that at the end of the Tribulation the survivors will be covered with sores that will not heal (Revelation 16:11).

As I pointed out earlier, there are many end time prophecies that simply cannot be understood apart from modern technological developments. Consider the prophecy in Revelation 11 about the two witnesses who will call the world to repentance during the first half of the Tribulation. When they are killed by the Antichrist, we are told that their bodies will lie in the streets of Jerusalem for three and a half days, and the whole world will look upon them (Revelation 11:9). How could anyone understand such a prophecy before the development of satellite television in the 1960's?

Likewise, how could the Antichrist control all buying and selling worldwide (Revelation 13) without the aid of computer technology? How could the False Prophet create the illusion of giving life to a statue (Revelation 13) without the technology of holograms, virtual reality, and robotics? How could an army of 200 million come out of the Far East (Revelation 9) before the population explosion that was produced by modern medical technology? How could the Gospel be proclaimed to all the world (Matthew 24) before the invention of motion pictures, radio, television, and the Internet? The list goes on and on.


6) The Signs of Israel

"And it shall come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it." (Zechariah 12:3)

The signs that relate to Israel are the most important of all because the Jews are God's prophetic time clock. What I mean by this is that the Scriptures will often tie a prophesied future event with something that will happen to the Jews. We are told to watch the Jews, and when the prophesied event concerning them occurs, we can be sure that the other prophesied event will also occur.

An example can be found in Luke 21:24 where Jesus prophesied that the Jews would be dispersed from Jerusalem and be led captive among the nations. But then He added that one day they would return to re-occupy Jerusalem, and when this happens, the end time events will occur that will lead to His return.

There are many prophecies concerning the Jews in the end times, many of which began to be fulfilled in the 20th Century, but there are four key ones. The first is their worldwide regathering in unbelief (Isaiah 11:11-12). In 1900 there were only 40,000 Jews in Palestine. By the end of World War II that number had risen to 800,000. Today, there are more than 5.7 million who have come from all over the world. Very soon there will be as many Jews in Israel as died in the Holocaust. The prophet Jeremiah says twice that when history is completed, the Jewish people will look back and conclude that their worldwide regathering was a greater miracle than their deliverance from Egyptian captivity (Jeremiah 16:14-15 and 23:7-8). We are truly living in momentous times!

The second key prophecy concerning the Jews is a natural consequence of their regathering. It is the re-establishment of their state which occurred on May 14, 1948 (Isaiah 66:7-8). The third key prophecy is the re-occupation of Jerusalem which occurred on June 7, 1967 during the miraculous Six Day War (Zechariah 8:4-8).

The fourth key prophecy is the one whose fulfillment we are witnessing today — the re-focusing of world politics upon the nation of Israel (Zechariah 12:2-3). All the nations of the world, including the United States, are coming against Israel over the issue of the control of the nation's capital — the city of Jerusalem. The Vatican wants the city put under its control. The United Nations wants it to be internationalized. The European Union is demanding it be divided between the Arabs and the Jews. The Arabs want all of it.


In Part 5, the final installment of this series, I'll list 50 Bible prophecies being fulfilled today that show we are living in the season of the Lord's return.

17 comments:

Billy said...

I was going to say that a pseudo-sign for me has been the increased desire as never before of Christians to want the Rapture to come and take us outta here.

But I guess that's only amoung those of us with at least a basic understanding of end times prophecy. Most Christians either don't know or don't care about the subject.

Truly sad.

Anonymous said...

I'm not so convinced of this statement: "most Christians either don't know or don't care" about prophecy. Certainly, I'm no expert on the matter, and I haven't polled the masses to find out. But my friends are seeing the evidence clearly--even among those who are not really into prophecy. As one said, "Seeing what's happening in the world, it's impossible not to connect it to prophecy."

I say this as a word of encouragement: Let's trust that our Heavenly Father can "wake up" His children. He speaks to those who are His, and in difficult times, I believe He will encourage them to "look up" for their redemption.

Laura

Billy said...

Laura,

That is great that your friends are tuned into to the end times.

But I was speaking, of course, about my known Christian friends and aquaintences and most don't know about prophecy and/or don't want to either.

I really think if you polled Christians at churches as they left services and gave them a quick prophecy quiz most wouldn't know much about the subject.

I hope I'm wrong and you're right. I would love to know if anyone out there has any info on the average Christian's knowledge of prophecy. If so, please let me know (thanks!).

Briefcase said...

I spent something like 15 years on a similar effort, and ended up with a time line of the prophesies. Then I decided to popularize them in the form of a novel that follows the prophesies as closely as I could come, while leaving out the stuff happening in Heaven, as people here on Earth won't be able to see that. The result is a free e-book, Walkabout: The History of a Brief Century. Enjoy!

Robert

Junbuggg said...

Billy, I have to say that I, sadly, think you are correct. I have discussed this with many people that I know or have come in to contact with, church goers or not, and if they know anything, it's not much. But what is truly dissappointing, is that the ones that are members of churches, are taken aback by it and almost feel insulted that "I" would profess to know anything about the future plans of God. To be fair though, there have been a "few" among those, church goers or not, that are aware of prophesy and believe as I do, that we are in the last days of time as we know it.

I have come to the sad conclusion that most people are just so busy with their lives, and "their" plans for the future, that they don't want to think about anything that might rock that boat of plans that have.

Buggg

son of thunder said...

Here's how I gauge the average Believers interest in prophecy.

1) Walk into your run-of-the-mill Christian bookstore and go to the prophecy section. Can't find it? It's usually really small and in the back. Now go to the "self-help" section. It's usually really big and takes up a lot of space at the front of the store.

2) Turn on Christian TV. Any channel. TBN, Daystar, TCT. Doesn't matter. What's on? Self-help nonsense. Where are the prophecy shows? They are few and far between. Aside from "The Hal Lindsey Report" and "Christ in Prophecy", there aren't many to choose from. Most shows are about "What can God do for me?"

We've been lulled into a stupor so deep we're not even looking for the Bridegroom anymore.

So-called men of god [the "little G" was on purpose] have spirituallized and trivialized Scripture to the point it's useless and empty. The Holy Word of God has been relegated to the "self-help" section of the bookstore.

These "teachers" need to remember that God will NOT be mocked.

Anonymous said...

Son Of Thunder,

When I first discovered my “local” Christian Book Shop (some 6 years ago) it had three shelves about five feet long of books on eschatology. They recently changed things around and now there is barely one shelf right at the bottom provided for prophecy. If you didn’t know it was there you’d never find it and that same shelf actually contains books by preterists and amillennialists. Pity.

RG

Anonymous said...

In fact, I've decided to e-mail them about it. Thanks for bringing it up, SOT!

RG

hartdawg said...

thunder, i'm afraid i have to agree with you. truly sad. you left out "bible prophecy revealed" with grant jeffrey and "manna-fest" with perry stone. and finally there is sensationalist jack van impe. i watch him for laughs. i love how he speaks out against seeker sensitive and the prosperity gospel but other than that... generally speaking people just think its not important.

hartdawg said...

what i discovered is there is 1/8 of the bottom shelf on prophecy, about the same on prayer and fasting, 1/10 of a shelf on repentance a whole shelf on gnostic (so-called lost gospels) and the rest on self-esteem or God wants you to be rich or self improvement books.

hartdawg said...

now that i vented on the last two comments here is what i originally wanted to ask: what scriptural proof do we have that the fig tree in matt 24 is isreal? tho i personally believe when isreal became a nation in 1948 that began the final generation i heard several cases to the contrary. 1,the word generation also means race and jesus was simply saying the jewish race would not die 2.the generation jesus was referring to was the destruction of the temple in his own generation 3.in lukes account he used trees in genral so hes not talking about isreal 4.jesus was saying the generation that saw the TRIBULATION would not pass. there are many other arguments and if i'm gonna tell someone jesus is returning in this generation i need to be certain so how can i be certain the fig tree in this context is the regathering of isreal? sorry for the long post but could someone help me with this?

son of thunder said...

Figs, symbolically, have always represented Israel. So when we see Israel bloom and become abundant then we know that summer is near. Figs come to ripeness in June through September: summer. So when the figs come to ripeness then the harvest is right around the corner.

But verse 33 of Matt 24 also says "when you see all these things...". The fig harvest, that is the salvation of the Israelite remnant, doesn't happen until the end of the Tribulation. He is speaking to the Jewish people in this passage.

Anonymous said...

Although some believers might be oblivious to prophecy these days, I still believe that God is responsible for moving those folks to learn more about it. And I state equivocally that He can and will do it. I just don't see a need to lament about this. God can be trusted to lead His children in this area. Yes, let's speak about prophecy to other believers (and nonbelievers, too), but let's trust the Lord to lead them. After all, I'm pretty sure He can be trusted!

Here's a good article by Jack Kelley about why Israel IS NOT the fig tree:
http://gracethrufaith.com/ikvot-hamashiach/why-the-rebirth-of-israel-is-an-end-times-sign/

Laura

hartdawg said...

laura, i seen many of these articles of why isreal is NOT the fig tree as well as why it is. i gotta say i'm just not convinced one way or the other. if i'm gonna tell someone jesus is coming in this generation i need to be certain.

Anonymous said...

Didnt the old test , talking about the mill. say that everyone in Israel will sit by thier own fig tree
Its the place in the mid east where these are most noted to grow

also Christ cursed the fig and it dried up as a figure or type of Israel not bearing fruit while God [Christ] was accualy with them

and that at the end times they will again bear fruit as now more than ever ,jewish people are coming to believe in these end times [being grafted back in]
I know [olive tree] type said by Paul one is secular or [national] and one is spiritual

Anonymous said...

concerning the fig tree
old test Joel 1/7 God refers to Israel as His fig tree and it being stripped bear. also in unbelief and without bearing fruit and cut off as a nation after second temple is destroyed they basically stopped being a nation untill 1948 when they began to show signs of life again

that was a major prophecy of what would happen to them 2000 yrs from Christ [40yrs after death] to 1948
Zech.3/10 Christ is likened to a vine and a branch and 6/12 the tree is a fig tree. He is [the ] branch they have been waiting for but rejected

Anonymous said...

also Jeremiah 24 chap the whole thing is the good and bad figs as a type of Israel directly said by God to Jerm. there are many scriptures that point to fig tree or figs likened to Israel, I dont know why some would come up with why there not its a direct contradiction of scripture