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More Signs of the Times

Source: Art Sadlier, Sunday June 26th 2011

We are living in amazing times. We get the impression that the stage is being set for the last act in the drama of the ages. The age long warfare between Satan and God is approaching the climax.

In these stage-setting days there is much that we do not understand. However, there is also much that the Lord intends us to know. In Genesis 18:17 we catch a glimpse of the heart of God desiring to share with His own the things which He intends to do, “And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do." That sets the stage for the tremendous volume of prophetic revelation found in the Word of God.

I believe that the Lord indicated to Daniel that in the last days there would be an opening up of prophetic revelation. Daniel 12:9, “And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” This is further alluded to in Luke 21:28, “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." I believe Paul also expressed this idea in 1 Thessalonians 5:4, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." The writer to the Hebrews suggested the same idea, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25).

Having made the point, we also must be careful to limit our understanding to the Word of God as revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.

We have witnessed in our day many wide scale events that tell us we are living in the end times. Many of these events though not clearly detailed in scripture, do fit into the broader frame work of the prophetic revelation.

Let me list for you some of the amazing events that have transpired and are transpiring in our day.

We have seen the fall of the great imperialistic European empires which have stood in the way of the end time scenario. The scripture indicates that the nations that existed as contemporaries of Israel would be awakened in the last days along with Israel. Luke 21:29-30, “And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.”  The fig tree here is obviously representative of Israel. "All the trees," would represent those nations that were contemporary with Israel in past history.

In the last 60 years we have seen Israel and the nations around her awakened and returned to the world stage. A partial list would include Iran (Persia), Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya and Jordan (Amman), along with many others who awakened or gained their independence after the fall of the European colonial systems. This is surely a stage setting event.

The awakening and return of Israel is prophesied in Ezekiel 37:11-12, “Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel."

This is a powerful proof that the Bible is the Word of God and that God knows the end from the beginning. It also demonstrates that He desires to share with men that which He intends to do in the future.

There are some other major events that signify that the stage is being set for the end time events to unfold.

We are witnessing the rapidly unfolding collapse of the American empire. Though not evidently found in scripture, the American empire is arguably the most powerful empire in all of history. American economic and military power has utterly dominated the world scene for at least the last 60 years. America, like the colonial system before her, has stood in the way of the unfolding of end time prophecy. Like a stone under the wheel we are watching America being removed. We know that her removal is not unrelated to her recent betrayal of Israel nor to her moral and spiritual collapse.

In Europe we have been witnessing the revival of the Roman Empire. That revival has been a long and tortured process for the last 60 years. The scripture describes such a process. Today Europe is facing a financial crisis that will result in great power being concentrated in Brussels. That is setting the stage for the Antichrist to come on the scene and take control, “I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things." (Daniel 7:8).

Some have tended to write Europe off as not of sufficient power to become a world empire. Let me remind you that Germany is tied with China as the world’s leading exporter of goods, each exporting 1.2 trillion dollars per year. China has 1.2 billion people, Germany only has 87 million. Add to Germany the potential of all of the other European nations around her. Most importantly, God’s Word has foretold that Rome will rise to rule the world under Antichrist in the last 3 ½ years of the tribulation period. Daniel 9:26-27 identifies a Roman ruler as the coming Antichrist.

The rise of the kings of the east in the last days is foretold in scripture. This is being fulfilled in China, Japan, India and other far-east nations. Scripture foretells a roll for them at the close of the tribulation period.

In Ezekiel 38 a group of nations is named, nations which will come against Israel in the last days. Those very nations now are coming together in an alliance, an alliance which some of them are openly proclaiming is intended to annihilate Israel. God is speaking to us through the fulfilment of prophecy.

Another significant sign of the nearness of the coming of the Lord is found in the growing apostasy in the evangelical church. We have watched this apostasy growing for some years now, but today it is literally exploding. A great movement has sprung up in evangelicalism to unite with all in sight. This union of light with darkness will be the utter destruction of the Laodicean/Evangelical church.

We have seen the denial by leaders, such as Billy Graham, of the truth that Jesus is the only way of salvation. We have seen men like Rick Warren moving to unite with all the religions of the world to bring about world peace. The latest departure from the truth involves, what has been dubbed Chrislam, this is an effort to appease Islam by removing crosses from churches and placing the Koran alongside the Bible in churches and reading the Koran in services.

Apostasy is like a snowball going downhill, it starts very slowly at first and then picks up speed and becomes unstoppable.

Another last day’s sign is the explosion of the persecution of believers. It has been claimed that more believers have died for their faith in Christ in recent years than in all of the previous years of the church age. This is a lead-up to the slaughter of millions of tribulation saints in the soon coming tribulation period.

Yet another last day’s sign is the explosion of anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism has reared its ugly head down over the long centuries. We see the present anti-Semitism also as a lead-up to the greatest period of killing of Jews in all of history. Jesus described that time in Matthew 24:21, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."

We have a further description of this terrible time in Zechariah 13:8-9, “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God."

As we see the day approaching, let us who know the Lord walk with Him in white, so that we will not be ashamed before Him at His coming.