Signs of the Last Days or End Times and Tribulation says Work at Home Grandma
Look to the Heavens
Questions about the Last Days
About a month ago I wrote a hub about the Rapture and questions about what it really is and what it means. Since that time there has been so much happening in our world it gives me pause to think about the predictions in the Bible, the truth behind the tribulation days and if we are getting close or even living the moment.
My purpose is not to prove anything but to speculate based on events of our day and to let you the reader make that decision. These are things we must all decide for ourselves. I have attempted to show the prophecies by scripture and then discuss how these prophecies relate to us today. Knowledge is power and power gives us strength over our weaknesses whether they be a person, an addiction, or our own lack of faith.
What do you think?
Do you believe we are living in the end times?
God's Word Gives Us Answers
Where it all began
The Beginning Battle Lines
I will make of thee a great nation.
There is much in the Bible written about the end times and when these times will occur. It is not just the book of Revelation that deals with the end time prophecies but there are many books in the Old Testament along with words spoken by Jesus himself with regard to his return.
First of all we have to start with Jewish prophecy. What we are seeing in the world today actually began with Abraham the father of the Jewish nation.
Even though Abraham had been anointed by God as the father of a nation, he took it upon himself to ensure an heir instead of waiting for God’s timing. As his wife Sarah was barren, she convinced him to sleep with her maid servant ,Hagar. Abraham was 86 years old when Ishmael was born of that union. As using a maid servant as a surrogate was a pagan custom, it was frowned upon by God, thus thirteen years after the birth of Ishmael, he provided Sarah with a son Isaac. Unfortunately Hagar displayed ingenuous behavior when she believed her son Ishmael was Abraham’s only heir, thus when Isaac was born, Sarah convinced Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael out into the desert to survive alone.
Ishmael means "God hears," and God heard Hagar's prayers. He protected them in the desert and eventually Ishmael married an Egyptian woman and lived a long life to the age of 138. Ishmael had twelve sons and was the father of the Arab Nation that exists today. Isaac also had twin sons, Jacob and Esau. Although Esau was actually born minutes ahead of Jacob, he sold his birthright for food to eat. Jacob saw his opportunity and was blessed by Isaac . God changed Jacob’s name to Israel and he had twelve sons whose heritage became the twelve tribes of Israel.
Both Jacob and Ishmael had twelve sons but that mirror image is where the similarity stops. Israel is still hated by the Arab nations that encompass most of the Middle Eastern population and is alone in its battle to survive. God has blessed America for many years not only for its support of Israel but because we have maintained the evangelism of Christianity throughout the world. But America is not the reason Israel has survived for over 2000 years.
History has shown us that even though the Jewish people are God’s chosen race, they have consistently rebelled against his sovereign will even by crucifying their own messiah. Their constant disobedience has caused them unspeakable pain, bondage and death. They became a persecuted and enslaved people culminating in the genocide of six million Jews during the Holocaust of World War II. It was not until 1948 that Israel became the nation that we know today.
God punished Israel for their sin multiplying their judgment seven times. Using the Biblical calculations it brings their punishment end to approximately 1948.
What part does Israel play in the coming of Christ?
The First Sign
"Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, `Give them up!' and to the south, `Do not hold them back.' Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth....
Therefore behold, the days are coming declares the Lord, when they will no longer say, as the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt, but as the Lord lives, who brought up and led back the descendants of the household of Israel from the north land and from all the countries where I have driven them. Then they will live on their own soil.
The return of the Jews to their homeland and the establishment of the Jewish Nation in 1948 was the first step in prophecy that will lead to the chain of events culminating in the return of Christ.
When the Jews returned to their homeland, Christians were overjoyed thinking that Christ’s return was imminent, however, we know things happen in God’s timing and the event was only the beginning.
Isaiah's prophecy that the Jews would return "from the ends of the earth," has been proven true as Jews living as far east as China, as far west as the West Coast of the United States, as far north as Scandinavia, and as far south as South Africa, have moved to Israel. In the 1970's and 1980's and 1990’s there was a mass exodus of Russian Jews out of Communist Russia.
Israel Fights to Survive
The LORD shall go forth and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel, for I myself will help you," declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
Many battles would be fought to survive and are still being fought today. Israel has continued to remain victorious and maintain their foothold as a nation. The Old Testament Scriptures bear out these events.
Who can forget the many events such as the six day war of 1967 when one of the swiftest victories in history was won by Israel. In five days, Egyptian military might was shattered. Israel was again victorious in the Yom Kippur war of 1973 in spite of the most sophisticated weapons being supplied to its enemies by Russia.
Russia has in recent days emerged as a formidable opponent of freedom and has made no secret of its allegiance to the Arab nations that are against Israel.
Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him. I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords
Biblical prophecy states that a country to the north will gather all the nations of the middle east and converge against Israel in the last days. The victory will be given to Israel when God sends his wrath from heaven and destroys the assaulting armies. This is actually predicted to be a pre-tribulation event and not the actual Battle of Armageddon that some people believe it to be.
The Dome of the Rock Stands in Place of Jewish Temple
Other prophecy already fulfilled
Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and will make the land of Egypt *utterly waste and desolate,
We all know the story of Moses and how he brought his people out of their Egyptian captivity. Israel had maintained a treaty with Egypt when Sadat was their leader. That treaty was maintained until the overthrow of the Egyptian government just recently. Egypt is now aligning itself with Iran which is also predicted in prophecy. The United States maintained a hands off policy as the Muslim Brotherhood swept into Egypt over the cries of many religious and political leaders. Egypt is no longer the power they were in the past.
For then I will return to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent.
Prior to the return of the Jewish people to Israel Hebrew was a dead language. Now it is spoken throughout Israel.
Appearance of the Red Heifer
This is the statute of the law which the Lord has commanded, saying, "Speak to the sons of Israel that they bring you an unblemished red heifer in which is no defect and on which a yoke has never been placed. "You shall give it to Eleazar the priest, and it shall be brought outside the camp and be slaughtered in his presence.
In the last days animal sacrifices will be a part of the Jewish worship. A red heifer will be required to be used in the process of purification described in the book of Numbers. In the end times animal sacrifices again will take place as in ancient times. In May 1997 the first Red Heifer was born in 2000 years. Another red Heifer was born in Israel in March of 2002.
The Jewish race will grow and their barren land will bring forth fruit and bloom
I will increase the number of men and animals upon you, and they will be fruitful and become numerous. I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. . . that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.
The lack of available water, including rain, is one reason why Israel had been a desolate, unproductive land during much of the past 2000 years. When many Jews returned to Israel they built a modern irrigation system which has been fruitful in the amount of 200 million trees. Israel is a leading producer of agricultural products, exporting food to many countries and many of the country’s swamps have been converted into farmland. Even water from the Sea of Galilee has been channeled through portions of the deserts allowing them to bloom.
Rebuilding of the temple
Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.
The Jewish temple must be rebuilt before the prophecy regarding the tribulation can be fulfilled. As scripture tells us the Anti-Christ will set himself up as God in the Jewish temple.
Dome of the Rock, a Muslim shrine, now sits on the site that was previously the Jewish temple. Archeologists believe that the temple mount is actually 340 feet south of the Dome of the Rock site, putting the Dome of the Rock within the Court of the Gentiles. Could this be the reference in the above scripture?
There are many groups already working on preparations for the new temple with the blueprints already completed. Currently there is a group in Israel called the Temple Mount Faithful who have obtained most of the clothing, instruments and other equipment required for temple worship and are actively preparing for the laying of the third temple's cornerstone.
The New Land of Israel
What other events happening in the world today
It is very apparent that the Jewish nation is here to stay and it’s accomplishments are definitely a fulfillment of scripture, however, there are other things to consider that fall into the area of prophecy.
The Mark of the Beast:
And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.
Many people do not believe in the existence of the antichrist for various different reasons. Years ago we scoffed at the idea that people would have to walk around with the number 666 on their forehead or hand in order to buy or sell.
The first sign of numbering people came of course with the advent of the Social Security System. This is anything but foolproof given the huge amount of identity theft occurring in the world today.
The second prophetic event, according to Evangelical Christians, was the bar code system placed on food, clothing, etc. Today it is commonly used as a scanning method for determining prices of goods. Dollar amounts are fed into the computer by humans thus mistakes are often made and people are overcharged. As systems have become more and more automated this rarely occurs.
Computer technology has now developed to the point that our animals can be implanted with a computer chip placed discreetly under their skin which can be used to locate them if they are lost. It has been very commonly used for several years and has been extremely useful in reuniting an animal with its rightful owner..
Recently a family in Florida was the first to be implanted with such a chip which is made of silicon and called a VeriChip. It is actually a small radio transmitter about the size of a piece of rice that is inserted under the skin as is done in animals. It will transmit a unique number whenever it is placed within a few feet of a special receiver unit.
The health care industry now has all our records computerized so a trip to the emergency room reveals all our past visits, our medications, our doctors and ongoing health conditions. People are being softened to the idea of a mark or an implant as a means of maintaining security, or providing medical information. Just think how helpful it would be in finding a lost child, for instance. As attitudes change, fears subside, and people are convinced of the need for the chip. So you can see that the true mark of the beast will be easily introduced to an unsuspecting world by the antichrist. Now the idea of a number for each person doesn’t seem so far-fetched.
The United Nations, World Trade Organization, International Criminal Court, UN peacekeeping/police force, numerous UN NGO's, and other agencies are preliminary steps to the formation of a one world government laying the groundwork for a world leader such as the antichrist would be. The increasing terrorist threat and the Middle East could easily spur us on towards some sort the universal governing
Instant Communication Around the World
Revelation 11:3, 7-10
And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophecy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb.
The scripture that talks about witnessing people killed in the street half way across the world is a reality today. How many of us watched the beginning of the Iraq war on television. Television and the 24-hour news networks make it possible to view events around the world as they are happening.
Today we can find anyone just by using a cell phone with the newer technology and now Apple has come out with a watch that will gauge everything about us including blood pressure and temperature.
Along with the onslaught of technology comes the risk of our of privacy and then our freedom. We must pay due diligence to all of this to ensure that our freedom will not be comprised. If we put our heads in the sand, we may find ourselves stuck upside down forever.
Increase in Knowledge and Travel
But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.
Billy Graham was quoted as saying, "ninety percent of all the engineers and scientists who have ever lived are alive today." Air travel, space travel, DNA research and human cloning are all examples of the rapid increase in knowledge in our generation.
The European Union
Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces.
The nations of Europe since the Roman Empire dissolved have never adhered or formed one empire but continue as separate nations. It is interesting to note that Europe today has formed the European Union which has fifteen members and is preparing for an additional thirteen to be added.
Mother Nature Speaks
Our Changing World
Apostasy, Persecution, Godlessness
I Timothy 4:1-3
But the spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. By means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.
Churches today are becoming more and more ecumenical, embracing the New Age interfaith agenda, and denying Christ as the only way to salvation. They dwell on subjects such as social justice and marriage between a man and a woman is no longer sacred. In their zeal to accept those who choose an alternate lifestyle, they preach tolerance and compromise but forget about the real truth of salvation. It has been many years since I have heard a sermon about salvation, Christ’s return, or the existence of Satan-- even in churches that claim to be evangelical. What has happened to hell, fire and brimstone? Although that preaching was often over the top it did make us think about God’s kingdom.
But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of my name.
In America Christians still enjoy freedom to worship God without suffering much more than ridicule or discrimination at work and school. In many other countries such as China, North Korea, Russia, and many Muslim nations, Christian suffer persecution and death for their faith. With the formation of radical Islam, groups such as ISIS are killing Christians every day and more of this is sure to follow. A Muslim radical just beheaded a co-worker in Oklahoma in September 2014. How many other crimes related to radical Islam have been overlooked or labeled as work place violence? How soon before this persecution becomes real in America?
II Timothy 3:1-5,7
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of god; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
As we watch television and see the news reports of murders, rape, and corruption in our own country we know that this prophecy is being fulfilled in our generation. Politicians are filled with greed and corruption becoming so concerned for their welfare they ignore the crumbling of our nation. Huge debt hangs over the country and the government finds ways daily to control us and remove our freedom. Cities are filled with prostitution and crime. Entertainers and athletes are excused from the brutality of domestic violence and child abuse.
Reality television has taken over our minds in such a way that we enjoy seeing emotional and physical abuse being played out as entertainment. We are becoming numb to the sin surrounding our nation and being accepted by our children. Moral decline has followed with the removing of the Ten Commandments from our schools and Christian emblems of faith being removed from places they have stood for years. Sadly, even the most educated and influential people in our nation are lacking in real truth. Our trust has been lost for those who govern us.
A recent essay by Robert Ringer quoted a passage taken from the book The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey, “the greatest threat to America is not Islamic terrorists. Our greatest threat is our loss of virtues, and at the top of the list of decaying virtues is trust. Americans don’t trust religious leaders, they don’t trust schools, they don’t trust corporate chieftains, and, above all, they don’t trust politicians. And I hasten to add that all this distrust has been well earned.”
Wars, Famine, Plagues and Mother Nature
Matthew 24:7 "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.
The outbreak Ebola is nothing new as it has been around for years. This time, however, it has killed over 7,000 people and doesn’t appear to be contained in Africa. Just this past week we had our first undiagnosed Ebola victim enter the United States. If you listen to all the news reports you will hear that we have it under control and that our medical infrastructure is such that there is really nothing to worry about. Or is there?
Then we have the recent threat for our children right here in the United States. The Enterovirus attacks the respiratory system of a child eventually causing paralysis in some cases. Over 300 cases have been reported and four have died.
The wars over in the Middle East will never end until the day Christ returns. The Muslim Caliphate has been talked about for years and is currently in the news with ISIS proclaiming their intention of Muslim supremacy and one world government.
For many years we have watched the world fall into war, famines, droughts, floods, and plagues. One could always make the case that these things have existed throughout time. Yes, we have had them but nothing like the severity we are now experiencing. Is God giving us a wake-up call? I don’t know the answer to that but it does make you stop and think. In my lifetime I cannot recall a winter like 2013, or tsunamis and earthquakes happening more frequently and killing thousands. What about the horrendous tornados and hurricanes? The unusual weather patterns have set us back on our heels to ask -- where is God?
He’s here and he is still in control.
Jesus spoke in the New Testament about the end times and gave us hope we can hang onto.
Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place.
Jesus Christ's words, "Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place"
Jesus was referencing Israel and events surrounding the return to their homeland. Bible scholars have long believed that the generation born at the time of the establishment of Israel in 1948 is the generation that will see the return of Christ. Then again we must ask ourselves the question of what is a generation to God. Is it 40, 50, 70,or 120 years. We do not know the answer. God didn’t intend us to know the exact hour or time of his return but he did tell us to be ready.
The Truth, The Way and The Life
Reaching the World with the Message
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come."
Jesus commanded his disciples to go forth and teach all nations, making sure that the word was received by all. In 1949 Billy Graham began preaching the word of salvation and was chosen by God as his anointed messenger to the world. God placed his hand on Billy and he was able to preach the gospel bringing thousands of people into God’s kingdom. Billy has had an audience with every sitting President from Harry Truman to Barack Obama. Billy’s last message to the world was My Hope America, released on DVD and played around America and possibly worldwide between November 7–10, 2013.
Billy Graham was instrumental in my own conversion, but I will never forget my amazement at attending his crusades. His message was so plain anybody could have said the words. The words to repent of your sins and give your life to Christ were so simple yet people flocked by hundreds up to the front when Billy was finished preaching. It was the most astounding thing I have ever seen. Billy’s preaching changed the lives of over three million people during his ministry.
Today, Billy is still taking an active role in the world while preparing to go home to heaven. He will be 96 years old on November 7, 2014. Because of all the technology we have in the world today, it is without a doubt that all have heard the message and now all must make a choice.
I believe when Billy is taken to heaven, God’s true anointed messenger will be gone and the prophecy will be fulfilled.
Romans 10: 9-10
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
Jesus tells us even if we do not know the time or place we can trust that his promise is true. The clues today are so vivid that we can only think his return will be soon. We could very well be living in the last days but only God has the real answer.
It is never too late to put your faith in him. Don’t wait ---- close is not soon enough.
Reach Out To Jesus
What do you think about the blood moon
What is the blood moon and what are the superstitions behind it.