Matthew 24:3-15: "Signs of the Times...The End of The Age"
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?"
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 rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for 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.
"Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
The “character” of this “present age” can be described by the following glowing term: “flawed”. The flaws can be seen especially in the political arena. If I had to describe the political arena in two words, those 2 words that describe politics, more so, the political behavior of the world leaders of this day would be “deceptive, and “emotionally troubling”. Spanning the globe, moral degradation has exploded to the forefront of many societies virtually everywhere you look. Régime after regime, in the Middle East from Yemen to Jordan continue to fall to military coup after coup because of the anguish created by their economic collapses. Their economic state stay in flux and the oppressed people of these varying countries have grown tired of dictator like strangleholds put on them by their political leaders. Their countries political leaders continue to get richer and the public continue to get poorer and the people fell more oppressed.
Another glaring character flaw of this age is displayed in the many civil wars being fought and ever increasing provocations of more wars always on the horizon, not to mention the rampant spread of false “Messiahs” worldwide, even showing up in America and worldwide. While I can continue to give you example after example of other characteristic traits that can shed light on the real status of the present age, these events represent only a “microcosm” of the many dreadful and terrible conditions that will become even more prevalent as this world experiences the fulfillment of God’s “poured out wrath” upon this wicked generation as Jesus predicted in this passage of Scripture.
From a personal perspective, I’m inclined to believe many of the events we that are experiencing in these modern times are beginning to “partial” fulfill those “latter day predictions.” With each passing day, it is my belief we will continue to see more cataclysmic events unfold and take place. Jesus’ made these bold prophetic predictions, and shared all these “signs” with us in response of his being rejection by the Jews and the religious leaders of His day. This is to say when Jesus comes back the second time, God the Father’s wrath (vial and bowl judgments) would have already been poured out on the wicked people inhabiting the earth. The Prophet Isaiah was on to something!
In John 1:11, the Apostle John said “He came to his own and his own received him not”, but as many as did receive Him ,to them became the sons of God, even unto those who called upon His name”. Thus, these events, Jesus revealed to the disciples were to be just the beginning of many calamities that were to follow after his arrest, trial, conviction and crucifixion on the cross at Calvary. He said all these events would ultimately lead us into the end of the age. Look at what he says in Matthew 24:8: “These things must and will come to past that the end is here, but these are the beginning of greater times of sorrows". Jesus said the following additional events would occur. He said “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places”. Jesus categorized all of these upcoming events as the “beginning of sorrows.”
Taking a Look Back Historically:
As we take a historic look back at Bible prophecy, particularly since Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension back into Heaven, many of these prophetic events have already occurred. Some of the “calamities” have a “re-occurring” theme about them because just because they have already repeated themselves numerous times already. Some of the others calamities will continue to occur occasionally throughout our time in history (the present) as modern history progresses forward. Their” repetitiveness” in a lot of cases will be based upon the nature of the prophecy and the things or events God intend them to have an effect upon. The prophecies, pertaining to geological and climatic changes in the weather patterns and ground shifting of the earth will be continuous because the weather patterns are always in flux. Various weather conditions always trigger the possibility of continuing periodically, at least until Jesus comes back the second time.
Remember, Jesus said His second coming would be after the time of great calamities and fierce persecution of the Jews that will come from wicked nations who have always sought to annihilate and wipe the nation of Israel off the face of the earth. When the Jews see Jesus coming back through the clouds to rescue them, His chosen people, the Jews.
A “2-Fold” Bible Prophecy:
This prophecy, the one concerning His Second Coming talked about by Jesus constitutes a “2-fold bible prophecy “. First, it’s “2-fold” prophecy in the because this prophecy has been literally fulfilled once already. In Matthew Chapter 21:7-9, Jesus rode down the main street toward Jerusalem, on what we have come to know as “Palm Sunday”. In expressing euphoric jubilation, the people in Jerusalem lined the roadside as Jesus rode into the Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey. They laid their coats and palm branches along the road in front of him to the jubilant cry of “Hosanna to the Son of David” “Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord”.
The second time this prophecy will literally be fulfilled is after the rapture of the church has taken place and Israel has gone through the7-year Great Tribulation Period. It will be at the end of that tribulation period that Jesus comes back and set up the millennial kingdom where he will reign for 1000 years. According to the Bible, another jubilant group of Jews that survived this terrible period of judgment will make the same “proclamatic” cry to Jesus in realization that Jesus is the “same Messiah” their ancestors rejected when he was on earth in human form at his first coming..
At the present time, Jesus has not come back as of yet, but many of those things he mentioned in Matthew Chapter 24 are continuing to occur even in this present moment.
This Present Age
This “present age” according to dispensationalis is the” Dispensation of Grace”, or what we also call the “Church Age”. My personal belief is “Pre-Millennialial and “Pre-Tribulationist” in scope thus, I share a common belief with all of the pre-millennial/ pre-tribulationists the common belief that Jesus could come back during our lifetime at any time.
Leading up to Matthew 24, Jesus, having been recently rejected by the religious order after delivering a scathing assessment of the heart and mind of the Hebrews, the Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees according to Matthew 24: 1-2 has just walked out of the temple in Jerusalem for the last time. In Chapter 22, the Pharisees tried to trap him with a question about the legality of paying taxes to Caesar. The Sadducees tried to trap him with a question about what happens to a childless woman after the resurrection. The irony of the question was the Sadducees didn’t believe in life after death. And then the scribes tried to trap him with questions about the WORD: Master, what is the greatest commandment? They didn’t know they were questioning the WORD about the WORD!
In Matthew Chapter 23, Jesus in lamentation and disgust pronounced a series of “woes” upon all the religious leaders, such as the” Pharisees”, “Sadducees”, “Herodians”, “Zealots” and “teachers” of the Law. (Scribes) Having been completely rejected by the Jewish religious leaders and the Jews in general, Jesus declares: “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, “You shall not see me henceforth until you shall say “Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord”.
Little did they know that the temple, the chief ornament of Jerusalem the temple that they treasured so much would be destroyed in 70 A.D by Titus, a Roman General., some 38 years later, and the unbelieving Jews will be delivered into the hands of the Roman government. Then, the Emperor would ban them for worshipping there forever (so it seemed) causing the Jewish temple to be forsaken as a place of worship for a long time.
According to Lightfoot, a biblical scholar, who frequently writes in behalf of Barnes’ Note Biblical Commentary, (Lightfoot, 2006) Jesus basically said to the Pharisees and other religious leaders:”The day of your mercy has gone by. I have offered you protection and salvation, and you have rejected it. You are about to crucify me, and your temple to be destroyed. You, as a nation, will be given up to a long and dreadful period of suffering.(the Time of Jacob’s trouble) For your rejection of me, you will not see me again as a merciful Savior; I will not be offering you redemption any more, until you have experienced heavy and dreadful judgments. (for 7 years) These judgments must come upon you, and be borne by you, until you would be so glad to hail a deliverer, and say, “Blessed” is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Blessed be he that comes as the Messiah, to bring us deliverance”.
Reiterating, this prophecy has not fully been fulfilled as of yet as the rapture of the church has not occurred, nor has the Great Tribulation period begun, but the Bible says this event will occur when Jesus comes back the second time. Many other things have happened since that faithful Palm Sunday, and Jesus’ crucifixion. According to the Dispensational timeline, we are in the “gap” between the “69th and 70th week” of Daniel’s Biblical prophecy. According to Dr. Clarence A. Larkin, this is that interval of time that covers the “church age” and sits in the “valley” between the time of the Pentecost that occurred in Acts Chapter 2 and the rapture of the church according to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17.
Concerning the Jews
The Jews as a nation and as God’s chosen are presently in limbo (prophetically) during the church age.
The reason for this is they rejected Jesus as “Messiah”. But the day will come when the Jews, who have since been long cast out and rejected, will hail Jesus as the Messiah, and receive HIM when he returns to earth the second time. They will quickly discover that He is the same Jesus who their fathers killed and had crucified on the cross, rejected as the merciful Savior and their King. They cried: “We have no king but Caesar”! Dr. Arthur E. Bloomfield stated: “The end in Biblical prophecy means the goal, the time of the fulfillment of the prophecy”. He made the following statement in reference to Matthew 24 where the disciples asked Jesus about his second coming and the end of the age. Bloomfield reminds us that in Bible prophecy: “There is no such thing as the end of the world, in the sense that all thing cease to be”. This earth will go through a renovation on its surface but will not be annihilated as some theologians believe will occur.”
The “Spirit” of Truth versus The “Spirit” of Error
In Matthew 24:1-8, Jesus gives us the characteristic of the present age. The present age according to Dr. Clarence Larkin is an age filled with evil. He writes: “The fact that this age is filled with evil is seen in the character of its civilization. After over 1900 years of gospel preaching, the world is spiritually in a worse state, filled with more spiritual darkness in proportion to its light, than it was in the days of Christ. It appears to be headed toward some great crisis. The spirit of lawlessness is in the air, and despite all efforts to quench it, it is strangely becoming unmanageable and perverse and seems to be determined to break away from all authority and law”
Dr. Larkin based the condition of this present age on three “premises”:
“ First, (in my opinion) he rightly contends that there are two “opposing” spirits at work in the world in this current dispensation. (Dispensation of Grace) One is the Holy Spirit, who is actively engaged in gathering out from among the masses of people the “elect” body of the church. The other is called the “Spirit of Evil.” These two “opposing” spirits are constantly “locking horns” and engaged in a war that will continue until the end of the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ.
According to the Bible, they are called several things: the “Spirit which is of God” and the “Spirit of the World”; the Spirit of Truth” and the Spirit of” Error;” To the church, the Bible has this to say in regards to the state and status of her: “And you hath He quickened (by the Holy Spirit) who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in times past, you walked according to the “course” (age) of this world; according to the Prince and the Power of the air; the Spirit (Satan) (Evil Spirit) that now works in the “Children of Disobedience.”
Second, Larkin contended that this dispensation was also known as ”Man’s Day”. That is, this present day is the day of the “Glorification of Man.” It’s a literal truth that in the day in which we currently live, the majority of works and achievements done by man are both being glorified, praised and put on public display by man to the attitude of the “Virginia Slim’s” cigarette slogan: “You’ve come a long way baby”. This open act of “glorifying and praising” the works and accomplishments of man was birthed out of a worldly and “satanic” philosophy known as the “Gospel of Progress” It originated from Satan in the Garden of Eden when he rebutted God’s warning to Adam about eating from the tree of the “Knowledge of Good and Evil” by saying to Eve that “the day you eat a from this (forbidden) tree in the midst of the garden (tree of the Knowledge of “Good and Evil) your eyes would be opened and you would be as gods, knowing good and evil”.
Adam and Eve , in disobedience fell prey to this lying promise of becoming “as gods” and living life with “opened eyes” based on knowing good and evil. By eating the fruit in disobedience Adam caused the downfall of the whole human race because by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world and death came as a result of sin.(Romans 5:12) Sin didn’t just affect the relationship of man with God, The disobedient action of Adam and Eve caused “cataclysmic changes” to the plant and animal kingdom, the bird and aquatic kingdom, as well as to the climatic conditions on earth itself. Every since man was expulsed from the garden (for his own good so the plan of salvation could remain intact) under the evil influence of Satan, he has sought to become his own god throughout the centuries through the adoption of worldly philosophy and godless principles and following Satan’s diabolical plan and build a “magnificent civilization without the help of God and without God at its helm”.
Consideration for the Present Age
When we consider the events of this present age, we have to consider 2 things: First, we must consider this: When Jesus spoke these words to his disciples in Matthew 24, he was addressing the future of the Jewish nation to his disciples, after he had just been rejected by “His own” chosen people The Jews. Second, Jesus took this time to address the future of the world and the nations as well.
The reason for the second premise is as we well know today, according to Dr, Randall Price is “whatever happening in the present time as well as in the future to the Jews as a race and to the Nation of Israel as a whole adversely affects the rest of the world nations too”, especially the following “neighboring border nations: Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt.
These nations either surround the country geographically, or are in close proximity of Israel, and they have direct political ties or issues with the very existence of Israel as a nation. Many of these Islamic nations have been in conflict with Israel far as the Biblical “birth right” of the first born child of Isaac, as well as the land granted to them by God (Canaan) to exist as a nation. Then there are those nations ( China, Russia, the United States) who have either have political ties with Israel, or have a vested interests or political issues with those bordering Islamic nations, who have political issues with Israel, and other “mid power” nations such as Japan, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the United Kingdom whose politics are affected by Israel.. Another thing we must seriously consider is the importance of properly interpreting the daily and climatic occurrences of the modern day in light of what has been predicted by Jesus in Scripture. In Dr. Randall Price’s book “Jerusalem in Prophecy”, he quoted verbatim Dr. John F. Walvoord, former Chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary, touted as one of the foremost prophetic scholars on page 113 of his book concerning end time prophecy. In his book, Dr. Walvoord stated: ”Never before in history have all the factors been present for the fulfillment of prophecy relating to end-time religious trends and events. Only in our generation have the combined revival of Israel, the formation of a world church, the increasing power of the Muslim religion, the rise of the occult, and the worldwide spread of atheistic philosophy been present as a dramatic setting for the final fulfillment of prophecy. As far as the formation of a “world religion” is concerned, the quest for a one world government and a one world religious system has already begun and the Great Tribulation and the road to Armageddon is already well prepared and prophetically right around the corner. Sadly, many people who still reject Jesus as Messiah and who will be alive when these events occur well be members of the present generation”.
Dr. Randall Price brings up another dilemma sort of speak pertaining to the caution we must take in interpreting what constitutes valid events that line up with the “prophetic” word because in his assessment: “Many Christians who have not done an in depth study of Biblical history many times have misapplied events, especially those pertaining to the future of Israel and sent out false alarms to events, labeling them as “markers’ to fulfilled prophecy, only to find out that they did this erroneously upon further review.” Dr Price in his book gave several “litmus test” to follow to assure us of rightly discerning the events of today in lieu of prophetic Scripture.
Litmus Test: How to Rightly Discern and Interpret Current Events
- We are to interpret current events in light of the Bible, not the Bible in light of current events.
Dr. Price said this is necessary to avoid and discourage what is called “newspaper exegesis”, that is to interpret Bible prophecies based on stories that appear in our media resources. We are also to avoid extra Biblical writings such as Josephus and the Dead Sea Scrolls in interpreting the Bible also. These and current events may help us to understand the historic context of scripture, and how a prophecy may transpire, but we cannot allow current events to cause us to read “certain ideas” into the prophetic text.
- In the Bible, the fulfillment of prophetic events related to Israel will not take place until after the age of the church as concluded. This primarily concerns those prophecies pertaining to God’s land grants to Israel and their possession.
- Be sure that the Biblical text provides enough information to draw a correct correspondence to current events.
- Distinguish between the “last days of the church and the last days of Israel. (Note this: Just because the Bible uses the words “last days’ doesn’t mean that every time this usage is in reference to the same time period).
For the church, this term means refers to the present time and will conclude at the rapture. An “example” of this can be found in 1 John 2:18 concerning the “last hour”. This passage is in reference to Israel during the Tribulation period when they will meet antichrist, whereas it is equally as true that Jesus warned us that there are many antichrist in the world already, that being a reference to the fact that we ate in the age where the events that we are experiencing is preparing the way for the “Man of Sin”.
- Be sure that the prophetic interpretation of any current event does not imply “date setting.
We have already in the last 13 years since the beginning of the year 2000 experience at least 2 prophecies that turned out to be false: the Y2K dilemma and the Mayan prophecy concerning the year 2012.” (Mine).
Price wrote: “Since the last day prophecies of the Old Testament concern Israel and not the church, signs that point to the nearness of their conclusion cannot be used to calculate the events expected at the end of the church age”.
“Deception” and deceptive practices have been ongoing since the time of Jesus and in these current times dominate the news as deception is seen, from the corporations worldwide, religious and even the private sectors. The “children of disobedience” as Paul called them in Ephesians 2:2 are becoming more obstinate in their open rebellion towards Christianity and the Christian Church these days. In this present day, they are working (in futility) to make this earth a more comfortable habitation for man and forming a federation of religious bodies. With this religious body called the World Council of Churches comprised of not just churches, but Muslim mosques leaders and other religious factions as well, it is their ultimate desire not to have The Son of God (Jesus) to reign over them; it is their preference to have a godless or a hodgepodge religious society. They are unaware of the fact that this action on their part will help pave the way for Satan’s “Man of Sin”, the Antichrist to step forward and after the rapture takes place assume leadership in a chaotic situation.
Satan is very active in this present age. Revelation 12:9 lets us know that He (Satan) is the deceiver of this world. Satan has raised false hopes and causes man to pursue riches rather than the God of Righteousness. (Matthew 13:22) Satan does is by glorifying sin, and promoting a life filled with unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11). It’s because of Satan, this modern era has been deluged with strong delusions, lies, seduction, moral corruption, social degradation and because of other seducing spirits (demons) at his disposal, he’s the mastermind behind the illegal investment schemes known as “Ponzi” schemes that bilked many investors out of huge amounts of money and ruin the finances of many unsuspecting people. Several come to mind. For one, there was the “Enron Scandal. Recently as a few years ago, Bernard Madoff, the former non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange was found to be involved in a major Ponzi scheme, an illegal investment scheme that had a devastating effect on many retired workers of Enron Corporation back in October 200. Madoff, the now deceased former CEO of Enron bilked many of retired workers of their retirement funds through investing their pension fund in fraudulent investments which eventually led to the demise of the Enron Corporation. The sad end of the story was bitter sweet. It was sweet because the workers in a class action suit won their case, but bitter because the attorneys handling the defendant retirees winning their class action lawsuit got the bulk of the disputed money in legal and attorney’s fees. Allen Stanford, who eventually received a 110 year prison sentence for his part in a 7-billion dollar Ponzi scheme as he orchestrated his gigantic scheme in Houston, Texas.
Tragically, between the 1980’s to this present day, there has been at least 50 major investment schemes (Ponzi schemes) that promised prospective investors huge windfalls of money only to leave them penniless and the masterminds of these scheme filthy rich until these corporate criminals were eventually caught and convicted by the authorities.
On another economic front, we have seen recently increased political and economic activity from the 10 Euro-nation Federation (latter day Roman Empire) that’s currently comprised of 13 “federated” nations. (Daniel Chapters 7:7-8, 19-20-, 23-25). These nations came together because of the serious economic instability plaguing Europe for at least the last 35 years. At this present time, another monetary crisis that has several countries (Italy, Greece and Spain) on the verge of total economic collapse. The Union is working feverishly to help those member nations recover and regain a favorable financial status. The “Eurodollar”, the currency widely used in the European market is rapidly losing its monetary value, almost in proportion to the decline of the American dollar and the overall economies of all nations involved in the confederation are in serious trouble. The federation at this present time in Biblical history is attempting to “prop” up their member banks financing and doing other business with these troubled member nations in hopes to help them get back on the roads to economic recovery. But as this part of Biblical prophecy plays out to fruition, these nations
(10 toes according to Daniel 2:40-44) make up the resurgence of the new Roman Empire of the New World Order that has been steadily emerging, especially in Europe and spreading it’s political influence worldwide.
Concerning “False Christs”
Many “False Christs” have appeared in the 21st century through many false leaders influenced by Satan who claim to be the “messiah” the people have been waiting for. Even in the church, there has been rampant deception by Satan to steer the church toward a “state religion” and the propagation of the “Brotherhood of Man” using the banner slogan:” A New Thought…A New Mind.” In our life time, I have personally met members of an occult sect called the “Unification Church” or “Moonies” on the streets selling roses in support of this cultic church who were led by the Rev. Sun Yung Moon, a self- proclaimed messiah and business mogul of the Unification Church.(Source Huffington Post.com) who made the claim God sent him to finish what Jesus started. While in St. Croix, Virgin Islands back in the 1980’s, I met a young lady from Guiana who survived the massacre of a huge cult church following of the Rev. Jim Jones who threw down the bible in one of their services and openly claimed “You don’t need this book anymore! You got me and I’m the only “messiah”. When the authorities came to arrest Rev. Jim Jones, he instructed his cult following to take a poison as a sign of martyrdom rather than to live under the tyranny of what he deemed oppression from the outside. When many refused to do so, he ordered armed bodyguards to shoot in the congregation and kill everyone. There’s also another known cult leader, came along in the mid 1990’s name Yahweh Ben Yahweh (a.k.a. Hulon Mitchell), (Source: Yahweh benyahweh .com) who formed and became the leader of the “Yahweh” movement. Who can forget the Branch Davidian cult, that was led by David Koresh (Source: Denver Post.com) and many others who have since come and gone.
Wars and Rumors
Throughout this present day, there have been quite a few wars and even more rumors of wars. In recent years, the United States has been engaged in 2 Gulf Wars during the presidencies of both George H and George H.W. Bush. Even, under the current president Barack Obama, there was the Libyan conflict in which through covert operations, then Libya’s President and dictator Miramar Kaddafi was targeted and eventually killed by US navy seals. (Source: www.telegraph.co.uk) This covert operation had been in the planning stages for years, ever since it was proved that Kaddafi gave the order to shoot down an American passenger plane flying near Libyan airspace well over 20 years ago. (Sources Wikipedia.org.) There is currently the war going on in Afghanistan with the Pakistan regime, the restructuring of the government in Iraq, 2 occasions where there has been the government meltdown of Egypt and the dethroning of President Hosni Mubarak, and recently as Wednesday July 3rd, the dethroning of Muhammad Moresi who won election just one year ago and attempted to reinstitute Sharreah Law and the strictest form of Islam to the angry response of the Egyptians, many who were supporters of Moresi. (sourceBBC.com,/Uk/news) The current potential genocide war ongoing in the Syrian conflict between rebel factions and Syrian army and the loyalist to embattled President Hassad, (Source Wikipedia.com/wiki/basher) the ouster of the Prime Minister of Yemen (Source : www .telegraph. co.uk/ news) and other Arab nations government imploding within the last 3 years. In the midst of these wars and rumors, nations have risen against nations. For an example recently North Korea, who have been in an ongoing “cold war” threatened the sovereign nation of South Korea once again, as recently as in February of this year (2013) when tensions flared up at the border of the two countries. Weeks ago Kim Jung Yung President of North Korea placed his Army and Navy on “red alert”.(Source: Reuters) Since then and at present, the United Nations have since sent peace negotiators to force a summit conference in hopes to broker a peace treaty between these long going rival nations. In other places in the Near East there are rival political factions that have been responsible for the escalation of the conflicts and fighting in the Islamic world. These three primary groups: Hamas, Hezbollah, and al-Qaeda, all having issues with the United States and Israel respectively have taken full advantage of all the political unrest in the Middle East going on in Syria and Afghanistan as each push their personal agendas in their quest to reshape the political playing field not just in the Middle East, but worldwide as they carry out vicious terrorist attacks on each other and in other parts of the world including the United States.
Even though we have seen our share of wars and military conflicts across the Arab world, the United States have been involved in many of them directly and covertly, and there is so much talk of a new world order, what Jesus said is still true, the end has not come yet and we can expect wars on a grander scale than what happened to us on 911, or what is currently going on in Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Dr Warren Wiersbe wrote an exposition of the Gospel of Matthew writes: “Wars are not a sign of the end. There have always been wars in the world and there will always be until the very end. War of themselves do not announce the end of an age or the coming of the Lord”
Some of the great tragedies that are “offshoots” of any war are increased famines, and pestilences. Dr. Wiersbe in talking about famines in the same book also wrote: “War and famines go together”. Referencing Revelation 6:6, he goes on to explain how widespread famine and pestilences caused the economic infrastructure of many nations and countries to collapse causing the price of staple foods to soar to the extent that workers wages are sharply affected, to the point that “it will take a day’s wage just to pay the higher food prices” leveled on staple foods. The United States also at present is currently in a serious economic crisis. Case and point:
At present, we are in according to the congress’ assessment in “trillions” of dollars in debt and most of the debt we owe to foreign nations is being covered for us by China. It got so bad at one point that the major banks refused to help the private sector to recover, even after Congress bailed out Bank of America and other banks.. As we slowly recover from the current economic fiasco, we can’t sweep the truth under the rug that we came extremely close to suffering a total economic collapse. The truth is we are still not completely out of the woods economically. Other countries; Greece, and Spain, are still teetering economically as the euro-dollar has sharply dropped in value. This present day has seen its share of “pestilences”. Pestilences such as “Agent Orange” a chemical loaded inside bombs used in Vietnam poisoned many of our soldiers as well as the Viet Cong that fought in the Vietnam conflict. I’ve had several personal friends pass away over the last 15 years after succumbing to its effects and recently several co-workers on my current job were forced to retire early from its crippling affects. The death toll of many of our soldiers returning home from the Vietnam conflict has gone up because Agent Orange was in use. As the increase of chemical weapons are now being used in many of the Middle East conflicts, the death toll sharply goes up in those war conflicts. Another contributor to pestilences today is homicides when dead bodies lay out in the open or are dumped in the commitment of a heinous crime and decayed days, or weeks before someone finally located them and sanitize the crime scene. Not just in war, but we have had to deal with other pestilence outbreaks in the present day such as “Mad Cow” disease, cholera, Asian flu and Echoli disease .and mosquitoes carrying “Malaria” or deer ticks carrying Lyme disease.
The last thing that we can see occurring in the present day is devastating earthquakes. According to “Earthquakes Today” (Source: emsc-csem.org/Earthquakes) E.M.S.C. which is the acronym for the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre) reports that earthquakes “these days” are virtually an everyday occurrence. Within the last month worldwide, there have been at least 30 earthquakes reported that registered above 4.0 on the Ritcher Scale. Last month alone on June 16, 2013, 3 earthquakes occurred. One occurred in Crete, Greece of the magnitude of 5.8 on the Ritcher scale, one in Pueblo, Mexico that registered 6.1 and one in the Marquarie Island region that registered about 5.7.
In recent years, we have had earthquakes to occur in the middle of the ocean that cause huge tidal waves that have had devastating effects on islands and the mainland countries who are bordered by oceans and seas. The most recent one occurred in 2011 in the Pacific Ocean when a huge tidal wave triggered by an earthquake cause death and massive destruction in Sendai, Japan. According to many seismologist, earthquakes are rapidly increasing and are becoming more devastating and causing more massive deaths as these tremors increase in strength and register higher than 5.0 on the Ritcher Scale
Jesus said we would see these things occur in the latter days as we prepare for his second return on earth to set up the millennial kingdom here on earth. The church is preparing for the rapture according to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16, yet within the church you can see a great falling away from the true faith, but you also see a great revival as Jesus continues from heaven to intercede for the church as our Great High Priest. All of these things are occurring even in this present day but as Jesus said, the end is not yet.
Bloomfield, D. A. (1971). Armageddon "The Last Battle". Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany Fellowship Inc.
Larkin, D. C. (1920). Dispensational Truth. Glenside, Pennsylvania: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate Inc.
Larkin, D. C. (1929). The Book of Daniel. Glenside, Pennsylvania: Rev. Clarence A. Larkin Estate Inc.
Lightfoot, D. A. (2006). Barnes Note Commentary. Seattle,Washington: Biblesoft Electronic Media Inc.
Price, D. R. (1998). Jerusalem In Prophecy. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers.
Wiersbe, D. W. (1980). Matthew "Be Loyal". Wheaton, Illinois: Victor Books.
Dr. William Edward Boddie