8.1. The signs of the times:
In the 1970’s, during the Charismatic renewal there was a great emphasis on the Second Coming of Jesus. There were songs like: The King is coming by George Beverly Shea, ‘I wish we had all been ready’ by Larry Norman, and many others. Even many young people did not want to get married because they were expecting Jesus to return at any moment. Some Christian groups even had bought special end time farms where Christians could survive during the Great Tribulation. At that time, the book, The Late Great Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsay was a great hit among Christian circles.
However, this emphasis on the Second Coming of Christ began to fade for the next twenty years or so. In the 1990’s there was a new resurgence of teachings on the Second Coming and the end of the age. Many were expecting Jesus to return before the year 2000. There were even new missionary incentives to reach the world by year 2000. Many feared the Y2 effect on computers that would take place at the transition to the new millennium and cause a world-wide financial collapse. However, nothing happened, and the urgency of Jesus’ Second Coming waned. The pressure was off and many thought that it would still be many years before Jesus would come again.
However, this has all changed since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic in 2020. Suddenly, many became aware that the return of Jesus and the end of the age is much sooner that we think. For the first time, there are word events pointing to the return of Jesus that has never happened before. What we are experiencing today is not a false alarm like in the 70’s and 90’s, but we are now really living in the last of the last days.
Jesus said to the Pharisees in Matthew 16:3, “Hypocrites, you can discern the face of the weather, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.” Although we are not able to know the day or the hour of the return of Jesus, God expects us to discern the signs of the times. In this study we will look at world events in the light of what the Bible says and that which God’s prophets have spoken about the end times. Let us look at what Jesus said:
In Matthew 24:3 we read: “Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
In verses 4-8 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for [a]all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Let us now compare world events with what Jesus said: Firstly He said, “… many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”
There have been many who have come, claiming to be Christ in the past number of years. For example, there is a commune of people living in Eastern Russia, following a white robed leader who claims to be Jesus. We have similar instances of this in South America and in Australia. However, let us focus on the second answer that Jesus gave: “And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars.”
There has been a huge increase of armed conflicts all over the world. In Africa, there has been a re-emergence of ISIS in Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda, and in the Congo. There are ongoing conflicts in Somalia, Nigeria, Libya and in Ethiopia. There are conflicts in Asia and Central Asia, in Afghanistan, India and in Pakistan. There are wars in the Middle East, in Syria, Iraq, and in the Yemen. There are also a number of armed conflicts taking place right now in South America.
When it comes to rumours of wars, there are a number of counties that are on the brink of war. China is about to invade Taiwan and threatening to invade Japan, Russia has invaded Ukraine, Turkey and Azerbaijan want to invade Armenia and Iran is about to invade Israel. There is a new threat of war between Israel and Hezbollah. With the fall of Afghanistan, the world faces a new threat from Islamic terrorists. Tension is also building up between Russia and the USA. North Korea is testing more missiles. These wars could have have a catastrophic effect on the whole world.. If any of these wars break out it will have a catastrophic effect on the whole world. For example, if a war broke out between Israel and Iran it would affect 40 percent of the oil supply in the world. It would cause oil prices to sky rocket and probably paralyze all forms of travel.
From 2017 to 2020 there was an average of 10 earthquakes larger than 7.0 and 1 earthquake larger than 8.0 on the Righter scale. So far in 2021 there have been 15 earthquakes larger than 7.0 and 3 earthquakes larger than 8.0 on the Richter scale. So there seems to be a steady rise in the number of large earthquakes in the world. The worldwide famine is getting worse, with an estimate of 2 billion people that do not have enough food to eat.
Let us look at a scripture in Joel 2:28 we read: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And in verses 30 and 31 we read, “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD comes.”
One of the signs that prove that we are living in the last days is a great fresh outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit on the church. This is happening all over the world. Another sign is found in verse 30, “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.” This speaks about volcanic activity. In the last few months there have been some major new volcanoes that have erupted in Iceland, in La Palma, near Spain, in Mexico, in the Philippines, Indonesia, China and the latest was a very large volcano near the Island of Tonga. What is interesting is that the following verse, verse 32 says, “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” In the midst of all these possible disasters, we can expect one of the greatest harvest of souls in the history of the church. There will be such an ease in which people will respond to the gospel of Jesus!
We read in Thessalonians 2:3: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” It says in this chapter, that Jesus will not come until there is a great falling away and the revealing of the Antichrist. Although the Antichrist has not been revealed, there has been a great falling away in the world. For example, in the USA, 45 percent of people that used to go to church before the Covid pandemic no longer go to church. This is a similar statistic all over the world. Fewer people attend church today than two years ago. In a recent survey in America, they found out that fewer and fewer of the younger generation believe in God. Many lukewarm or dead churches have closed their doors for good, since the Covid pandemic.
Other events that indicate that we are in the last days:
The formation of the state of Israel: This is the clearest indication that we are living in the last days. The moment that Israel was declared to be a nation in 1947, God’s prophetic end time clock began ticking.
The construction of the Temple in Jerusalem: The Bible says that in the last days there will be a temple in Jerusalem, called the Third Temple. If this temple is built, it would be the temple that the Antichrist will defile in the middle of the Great Tribulation period. Today, they already have all the materials and the furniture for the building of this temple. There has been a debate in the United Nations challenging Israel’s claim to the Temple Mount.
The asteroid Apophis: This huge asteroid was discovered in 2004 and many top scientists agree that this asteroid will strike the earth on Friday 13th, 2029 near the Gulf of Mexico. Since the discovery of this asteroid, the mass media and NASA, have tried to cover this up saying that this asteroid will just miss the earth and may knock out some of the communication satellites. If this asteroid would hit the earth, they have estimated that the explosion that will be caused by this impact will be more than 30 000 times stronger than a nuclear bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. The impact of this asteroid would possibly crack the crust of the earth and result in huge volcanic activity. It will have a catastrophic effect and kill a large percentage of the earth’s population. This asteroid could be the same as the star or asteroid called “Wormwood,” mentioned in Revelations 8:13.
Agenda of the World Economic forum: This is a group of the world’s richest people that control most of the finances in the world. This forum is also known as the Davos group, who meet annually in the town Davos, located in Switzerland. In 2021, they made their goals clear in what they called the “Great Reset.” They want to have a one world currency and government by the year 2025 and that by 2030, all property will be owned by this one world government. Their message to the inhabitants of the earth is, “You will be happy and own nothing!” Yuval Noah Harari, one of the prominent leaders in the WEF is speaking about putting surveillance under the skin of every citizen in order to track them. This could be a prelude to the mark of the beast.
The agenda of Turkey: President Erdogan of Turkey has made his intentions clear. He has a goal to establish a Muslim Caliphate and re-establish the Ottoman Empire. He wants to start this initiative in 2023-2024. In order to do so, Turkey will have to subdue many nations in the Middle East. In July 2019, Erdogan turned the famous Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul, into a mosque. At the ceremony to commemorate this event, Erdogan said his next goal is to occupy the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It is possible that caliph of this new caliphate will be the Antichrist!
The agenda of China: The Chinese Communist Party in China has a goal of world domination. They have already taken over many countries through economic subversion, for example Sri Lanka and a number of African Countries. They have recently become more and more aggressive and have threatened to invade Taiwan and other South East Asian countries. They are also presently at war with India in a land dispute. They have also recently, flown a hypersonic missile over the USA to show off their military capabilities. The 200 million army; mentioned in Revelations 9:16, could come from China.
War against Israel: Turkey, Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah are preparing to attack and destroy Israel. Iran is presently developing a nuclear bomb to destroy Israel. Much of this is prophesied in Ezekiel chapter 38 and could eventual lead to the battle of Armageddon.
The forming of a one world religion: In September, 2021, the Pope met with representatives from all the major religions of the world in Holland to set up a one world religion. This could be setting the stage for the False Prophet who causes the whole earth to worship the Antichrist.
The coming together of radical Islam and Communism: This is a phenomenon that is taking pace right now. North Korea is coming into an alliance with Iran and could possible provide Iran with the nuclear capability to attack Israel. China is forming an alliance with the Taliban in Afghanistan. China has already been given the Bagram airport as a base to launch attacks on their enemies. The Taliban will give China access to their vast mineral resources. In return China is helping the Taliban assemble and use the vast amount of weaponry left behind by the Americans. The person called the Antichrist could possibly be a combination of a radical Muslim and an ardent Marxist.
Events that could shortly take place:
Firstly, the collapse of the USD and all global currencies: The debt in the USA will soon surpass 30 trillion USD. The combined debt in the world is more than 300 trillion dollars. This is totally unsustainable and could be setting the stage for a one world currency. This in turn will set the stage for a New World Order, which will be ruled by the Antichrist. In this New World Order, there will be no cash and all finance will be electronically controlled.
Secondly: Worldwide food shortages: This could be caused by the recent crazy weather conditions and the migrant crisis that is taking place in many countries. Another cause of world-wide famine could be as a result of the false narrative of climate change. By phasing out fossil fuels, farmers throughout the world will not be able to produce enough food to feed the population of the word. A worldwide famine could set the stage for the Mark of the Beast, where people will not be able to buy or sell without this mark.
Thirdly: The Islamic takeover of Europe: There are many European countries that have a large Islamic population. Islam is taking over these countries by stealth by producing many children. An Islamic uprising and takeover of many European countries is very possible. Many European countries already have an anti Christian and a pro Muslim sentiment.
Fourthly: The collapse of the USA. The Bible says that a “house divided, cannot stand.” The division and hatred between the left and the right, the Republicans and Democrats is at an all time high. America could be on the brink of a new civil war. Furthermore, the Democratic controlled government seems to be purposely trying to destroy the country with their liberal policies so that the USA will be forced to become part of the global New World Order.
Fifthly: A global spiritual awakening and revival: There are signs that this awakening has already started in the USA, Iran and in many of the former Soviet Union countries. Many believe that this awakening will be greater than all the revivals in the past put together.
Some of the prophecies concerning the end times:
Destruction of the USA: George Washington had a vision in which he saw America destroyed and many towns burning with fire. David Wilkerson saw a thousand fires in New York as a result of a nuclear explosion. Lester Sumerall and others saw many cities burning with fire in the USA. Kennith Hagin saw buildings collapsing in many cities in America and that America will be taken over by communism. He also saw a great revival coming to America.
Daisy Osborne, the wife of the late T L Osborne had a death bed vision. In this vision she saw great destruction in America. She said that earthquakes would be so severe that they would even change the shape of the USA and cause the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans to meet. She saw Christians fleeing out of the cities, coming together in groups from all different churches. She said that the faith of these believers was strong as they were waiting for the coming of Jesus with glory and great power. The late Henry Gruwer, who had ministered with Heidi Baker had a vision in which he saw Russian submarines attack and destroy six American coastal cities. These submarines would also attack and destroy parts of England. Dimitri Duduman from Russia saw the destruction of many cities in the USA.
The prophecies of Samuel Doctorian: In 1998, Samuel Doctorian, a well known preacher of Armenian descent, was on the Island of Patmos, praying and seeking God, when he had a visitation from 5 huge angels. Each of these angels, who represented a continent of the world, told him what would happen in the end times. What they said to him is summarized as follows:
Asia and Australia: There will be great floods and earthquakes, strong winds and economic collapse all over this region. There will be terrible starvation in Asia and China. Australia will be hit by a terrible earthquake and some of its land mass will be under water. At the same time, many will turn to the Lord and there would be a great revival in Australia and Asia.
The Middle East, Turkey, Armenia, Israel and Iran: There will be a great revival in Israel. Many of these countries will also be covered in bloodshed. There will also be many nuclear explosions and great devastation. There will also be a shortage of water in many of these countries. The problems in the Middle East will be so great, that they will cause the collapse of the United Nations. However, the angel also told him that God will protect and provide for His church and there will be a great revival.
Europe: There will be great earthquakes and floods in many European cities. The Eiffel Tower will collapse in Paris and London will be destroyed. There will be terrible floods in Scandinavia and a great earthquake in Switzerland. There will be wide spread famine in Spain and Portugal. However, God will use these calamities to purify His church in Europe.
Africa: There will be great bloodshed in Africa. There will be great floods and earthquakes all over Africa, especially in Central Africa. Some parts of Africa will experience droughts and the Nile river will completely dry up. However, God will also reward His faithful followers in Africa and there would be a great revival.
North and South America: The angel said that God was very angry with the USA because of injustice, sin and the killing of innocent babies. There will be great floods and earthquakes. Many buildings will collapse in many of the cities. The earthquakes will be so severe that the very landmass and shape of the USA will change, to the extent that the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans would meet. However, there would also be a great revival.
The vision of Hudson Taylor: At the end of the previous century, Hudson Taylor, the famous missionary from China was preaching in Perth, Scotland. While preaching, he had a vision of the first and second world wars. He then saw a great awakening coming to Russia. He said that this awakening would spread into Europe and into the Muslim states in the south. He then said that this awakening would culminate in the return of Jesus. Rick Joyner, a well known prophet from the USA had the same vision.
Prophecies of the Essenes: The Essenes were a group of Jewish prophets who existed long before Christ. In 1946 their prophecies were discovered in the Dead Sea Scrolls and were amazingly accurate. In about 200 BC, they prophesied about the coming Messiah. They said that a king called Herod would be the king of Israel at His birth and that the Messiah would die in 32 AD. They also spoke of a man from Tarshish who would be used to spread the message of grace to the world. They predicted the rise of Islam within the first millennium. The said that a group called Hamas would oppress the Jews in the end times. They also prophesied about the end times and that the Great Tribulation would begin in the year 2025.
Finally: Jesus said in Luke 21:28: “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” It is important that we do not lose our hope, but that we will see things from an eternal perspective. We will soon be with Jesus and that He will soon establish His Kingdom on the earth. In Titus 2:13 we read, “…looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Amen