|Signs of the End of the Age|
|When Jesus' disciples asked him when he would return and what would be the the signs, he gave specific events which would signal his near return. He did this so that when we saw them happening, we would know that his return is near so as to be able to prepare ourselves - to be ready for our Lord and Master. The two famous chapters in the Bible where Jesus did this is Luke 21 and Matthew 24 (the same thing as remembered by two different people). Between these two chapters we are given these signs:|
Besides these given by Jesus, there are others given in various places in the Scriptures:
Now many of these were not unknown occurrences during His time on earth. The people of that time knew well what these these things were, just as we do today. But he said there would be an increase and a convergence of all of them before His return. So are we seeing this happen today? Lets consider each one.
Israel becomes a nation in 1948
This is one of the most important events in history. Almost all of the end-time prophecies, which were written in the Bible thousands of years ago, speak as if the Jewish nation of Israel is in existence. Of course we all know that Israel ceased to exist as a nation in A.D. 70 when the Romans drove the Jewish people out of Israel. They were scattered for the last time. But amazingly, in the nations they settled in, they kept their own culture and language for two thousand years. Even more amazing, their nation was reborn when they came flooding back to their land in 1947. Hundreds of years before Christ, God said through the prophet Ezekiel:
I will gather you from the peoples,
assemble you from the countries
where you have been scattered,
and I will give you the Land of Israel.Ezekiel 11:17
And Jeremiah also prophesied this event.
14 “However, the days are coming,” declares the LORD,
“when it will no longer be said, ‘As surely as the LORD lives,
who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ 15 but it will be said,
‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of
the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’
For I will restore them to the land I gave their ancestors.
Isaiah foretold this 700 years before Christ was born! In Isaiah 66:7-8, the prophet foreshadowed the re-birth of Israel, which happened "in one day." The woman giving birth before going into labour represent Israel.
Before a woman goes into labour, she gives birth.
Before she has labour pains, she delivers a child.Who has heard of such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
Can a country be born in one day?
Can a nation be born in a moment?
When Zion went into labour,
she also gave birth to her children.
This accurately describes what happened on May 14, 1948 - when the Jews declared independence for Israel as a united and sovereign nation for the first time in 2,900 years. During that same day, the United States issued a statement recognizing Israel's sovereignty. And, only hours beforehand, a United Nations mandate expired, ending British control of the land. During a 24-hour span of time, foreign control of the land of Israel had formally ceased, and Israel had declared its independence, and its independence was acknowledged by other nations. Modern Israel was literally was born in a single day. This has never happened before with any other nation and it will never happen again. Not only did it happen, but it was well prophesied that it would happen thousands of years beforehand! It is a miracle of God to show the world his Word - the Bible - can be relied upon and that the Jews are his people!
Rise of false prophets and false Messiah's
Well this is an easy one. How many false prophets have we seen rise up in the last 20 years? Just recently we had the "end of the world" Family Radio / Harold Camping false prophecy which was supposed to happen on May 21, 2011. We all knew that he was a false prophet as soon as he gave a specific date for "the end" because Jesus told us no man can know the day or the hour (but he told us we can know the "season" - that's why he gave us the signs).
Wars, rumours or wars and revolutions
We all know that we've always had wars here on planet Earth. The book of Revelation indicates there will be massive wars ongoing during the Tribulation period. But interestingly, in Luke Jesus used the words "wars and uprisings" or "wars and revolutions" or "wars and commotions", depending on the translation. As I watched the uprisings begin in Egypt and sweep across North Africa and the Middle Eastern Muslim nations, the Holy Spirit brought this scripture to my mind. For me, this is definite sign of the end. And we would expect middle Eastern upheaval to happen before the rise of the Antichrist.
Nation rising against nation and ethnic group against ethnic group
Who can forget the 1994 genocide in Rwanda when the Hutus massacred 800,000 Tutsis and pro-peace Hutus. Jesus said ethnic group would rise against ethnic group, and this is exactly what happened in Rwanda. Then there was the Bosnian and Kosovo wars. Again, ethnic groups killing each other. If you look around the world, the same story can be found everywhere, in such place like Burma and Russia. These racist massacres were certainly very large scale fulfilments of this prophecy, and unfortunately we all know that racism is rampant in the world. Racism is one of man's most grievous sins. God loves all races and Jesus died for everyone. So to be racist is to be against God and His Son.
Increase of lawlessness and wickedness
We are told that overall crime rates are around normal, in some places above average and in others below. But if you look at the big picture, some world-wide crime statistics are way up! Take for example drug related crime. Or have you heard about the human trafficking trade? Apparently this is the fastest growing illegal "business" in the world. Thousands of young woman and children being abducted and sold into the sex trade. Its horrible in every way, the most vile and wicked thing imaginable and yet its flourishing. And it fits perfectly with Jesus' description of "increase in wickedness". Pornography is another measure of the increase in wickedness. Physiologists and crime statistics tell us that pornography leads to violent sex crimes such as rape and murder, even serial murders. Convicted rapists tell of how they got started with seemingly innocent pornography. But its not innocent. The images are extremely powerful and for those with moral weaknesses, its a powerful catalyst for violence. And with the age of the Internet and smartphones, young people are being exposed to explicit pornography at a very young age. Its frightening to think about what effect it will have on some of these poor people and those around them who will be affected by their actions.
The rise of terrorism is another obvious measure of lawlessness and wickedness.
And what about the English riots? The British could not have imagined this would happen, so when it did they were completely surprised by the rampaging youths. As I watched the rioting, I was again reminded by the Holy Spirit about Jesus' words, "the increase of lawlessness".
World wide Increase of earthquakes, famines and pestilences (a deadly or virulent epidemic disease)
We have all seen the destruction wrought by the devastating earthquakes which struck Haiti, New Zealand, Chile and Japan in recent times. Is this destruction due to an increase in earthquakes or are these just random but "well placed" and normal? Consider this:
Famines are definitely on the increase. Secularists attribute this to global warming. I think we can agree that changing weather patterns cause crop failures. The most recent famine is on the Horn of Africa.
And that leaves pestilences. We are seeing new diseases like Bird Flu, SARS and the like. And deadly bacteria's which antibiotics cannot fight are springing up. So we have an increase in pestilences on the planet.
Increasing persecution of Christians
Because of the suppression of information by the major media organizations, most people don't know anything about the many persecutions of Christians around the world - that more Christians were martyred for being a Christian last century than the previous 19 centuries years combined. In many places today, its very dangerous to be a Christian, such as Nigeria, Indonesia, Myanmar to name a few. You only need to search the Web for Christian persecution and you'll find plenty of info. Barnabas Fund is a good place to learn more and to donate to help persecuted families and orphans of the persecuted church.
Wondrous signs (portents) in the sun, moon and stars
We have seen an incredible amount of UFO activity since WWII ended (maybe not coincidentally when Israel became a nation again). I expect that when the 7 year Tribulation period begins we will see some really amazing portents in the heavens.
The magnetic North Pole is moving towards Russia at the rate of 40 miles per year!
Roaring and tossing of the sea (e.g. tsunamis)
In recent years we have witnessed 2 devastating tsunamis, and a few smaller ones in Samoa and Sumatra. This fits with Jesus' words, but expect it to get a lot worse in the next few years.
Increase in knowledge
Daniel 12:4: "At the time of the end knowledge shall be greatly increased." In the past 100 years there has been a literal explosion in the increase of knowledge. The invention of electricity, automobiles, airplanes and computers have all taken place in our generation. The Hebrew word for “increase” (ra^ba^h) implies not only an addition of knowledge, but also a multiplication or a knowledge that is increasing exponentially. This is so much of an exact prophecy that knowledge is now presently doubling approximately every twenty-two months. Daniel uses the words “time of the end”. This increase in knowledge explosion has happened in the same century as the rebirth of Israel.
Departure from the faith and increase in demonic activity
Satanism and witchcraft is at an all time high and growing. Witchcraft is one of the main reasons why so much destruction will be coming upon various parts of the the Earth, especially in America.
"The Spirit says clearly that in later times some believers will desert the Christian faith. They will follow spirits that deceive, and they will believe the teachings of demons. These people will speak lies disguised as truth. Their consciences have been scarred as if branded by a red-hot iron.". 1 Timothy 4:1-2
Rise of false teachings such as evolution (2 Peter 3:3-7)
"A time will come when people will not listen to accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear. People will refuse to listen to the truth and turn to myths" (think Evolution myth). 2 Timothy 4:3-4
Signs, Wonders and Strange Events
Ghost Horseman caught on Mainstream news media camera during Egyptian uprising
Strange apparition over Temple Mount in Jerusalem
Now we are seeing strange phenomenon in the heavens. These YouTube videos show something very amazing. But not only is the phenomenon amazing in itself, but its where it took place which makes it doubly more so. These videos were taken from different locations by different people. It would require the film making resources of Hollywood to fake this.
Flocks of Birds falling from the sky around the World
As you're likely aware, there's been a bizarre spate of mass animal deaths reported around the world. First, it was the thousands of birds that fell from the sky in Arkansas on New Year's Eve. Some 100,000 fish also washed up on the shores of a river 100 miles away. Birds fell from the sky in Louisiana and Kentucky, too. Two million fish washed up dead in Chesapeake Bay. 50-100 jackdaws fell from the sky in Sweden. 100 tons of fish washed ashore in Brazil and 40,000 crabs were found dead in England. What could account for entire flocks of birds falling from the sky?
Millions of dead fish washing ashore around the World
Just as the list of large populations of dead birds suddenly occurring continues to grow, so does the list of dead fish populations. Do a Web search and you'll see many news reports with images like these.