By Nathan Jones
What can we know about the signs of the end times?
On our television program Christ in Prophecy, we asked this question of Dr. Ron Rhodes, the founder and director of a ministry called Reasoning from the Scriptures, located in Frisco, Texas. His ministry specializes in defending Christianity against Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, the cults, world religions, and about any group that teaches false doctrine. He is a seminary professor and an excellent writer who has written more than 70 books! His latest one is titled, The 8 Great Debates of Bible Prophecy.
Ron Rhodes on the Signs of the End Times
I like to describe the signs of the end times as "God's intel in advance." God tells us what things are going to be like in the end times before Christ comes for us. In terms of the signs of the times, I like to talk about what I call the Convergence Factor. What I mean by that is that I don't just think there is one prophecy that is coming to pass in our day. I don't think that there is just two prophecies that are coming to pass in our day. I think that there are multiple prophecies in our day either coming to pass, or the stage is being set for them to come to pass, and they are all converging in our day for the first time ever.
For example, the thing that got it started was the rebirth of Israel back in 1948. That's the Super Sign which we see prophesied back in Ezekiel 36-37. Right after those chapters talks about Israel being reborn as a nation, the text goes on to say that following that event, the Jewish people would be streaming back to the Holy Land from every nation in the world. That's never happened before in human history. When Israel was in bondage to Babylon, the Jews streamed from Babylon only back into Israel. The Scriptures say that after Israel is born again in the last days that Jewish people from all over the world will continue to stream back to the Holy Land. That regathering has been happening decade by decade, year by year, ever since then.
The text goes on to say right there in Ezekiel that sometime after Israel is reborn as a nation there will be a military coalition that would emerge in the north. This military coalition will move against Israel. When you look at the nations that make up that coalition such as Iran, the Sudan, Libya, and all the nations that are up and around the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea such as Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and all those 'Stan Nations what that means is that these are Muslim nations in conjunction with Russia that are going to move against Israel.
Notice that pattern. Israel gets reborn as a nation. The Jews are streaming back to the Holy Land. Sometime after that, there's going to be this big invasion called Gog and Magog. The stage is being set in our own day for this big invasion! Russia already has an alliance with many of these Muslim nations. Islam didn't even exist back in Ezekiel's day. People might have wondered back then what do those nations have in common that would make them move against Israel? Well, today we know.
There's a number of signs other than Israel. For example, in the middle of the Tribulation according to Revelation 13, we understand that the Antichrist is going to wield economic control over the entire world. The only way that he could ever do that is if there was a cashless society. If our society was still based on cash, then people could still buy things with cash. The only way he'd be able to enforce a domination economically is if we had a cashless society. That is where we are headed right now. That is a sign of the times.
There are other signs related to technology, like for example in Revelation where it says that the Two Witnesses in Jerusalem are going to be killed. Their bodies are going to be left in the middle of the street and the whole world is going to look upon them. That video is going to go viral all over the Internet. Then, three days later, they are going to stand up and be taken up to Heaven.
All of these signs are converging in our day. There are other signs we could talk about, but the point is what the ancient prophets said thousands of years ago are coming to fruition in our day. You would have to be blind to ignore it!
We don't know the date or the hour of Jesus' return, for our Lord has told us that cannot be known. But, we can know that we are in the season of the Lord's return.
So, here's a warning for us. In Matthew 16, Jesus told the Jewish leaders they could see that a storm is coming by looking at the sky, but they couldn't even read the signs of the times and know that He is the Messiah. They should be able to recognize that He's the Messiah based on the Messianic prophecies. They'd missed the signs of the times.
That is a warning for each one of us. What you and I have to do is to understand what the signs of the times are. Then we need to watch to see if there are correlations between world events and biblical prophecies. If you do that, you come to understand that indeed we are in the season of the Lord's return.