For the introduction to this series see: A Pillar or A Wind
There are many prophetic scriptures regarding end times that were so difficult to understand they hardly even seemed possible. But recently, many of these obscure passages have come into sharp focus.
I’d just like to present a few that have been of particular interest to me, ones that show how when a prophecy is fulfilled it becomes very 'normal'.
Two End Time Prophets
Revelation speaks of two end time prophets. I’m not about to predict who they could be. At the end of their ministry, they are killed by the antichrist and their dead bodies left lying the street. Look at what Revelation then reveals about a key detail concerning the times in which they will live …..
Rev 11:9,10 "Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves."
I used to read that verse years ago and think.. how can that be possible? How can the whole world see their bodies in a street in Jerusalem? Even if by some miraculous means of transport the whole world could gather in one spot… the crowd would be so thick and so deep that only a few standing in front would be able to actually view the bodies.
But read with today’s live media technology in mind, no-one would even wonder at this verse. Of course the whole world would see them – we take live coverage of world events for granted !! Who doesn’t have a television – even the poorest people in third world nations have TVs and now Internet access is possible from hand held iPods.
The bible end time scenario also speaks of horrific plagues .
I remember not so many years ago these bible prophecies were scoffed at. Since medical science had developed anti-biotics scientists insisted there would never again be another plague. And yet now we are told because of the super bugs it is not a matter of IF but WHEN a world wide pandemic strikes.
There is an interesting description of a plague in Zec. 14:12 “And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet …”
Hmmmm…. Couldn’t be Necrotizing fasciitis - flesh-eating disease….. could it ??
Rev 16:9 “And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.”
Rev 9:20 "And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not.."
I remember as a child reading about the horrors of plagues and disasters that would come upon the world in end times and I read that men refused to repent! I marvelled at that, thinking .. “How could they NOT?” Always down through history, man recognized that natural disasters were a judgment from God….and they feared and repented. Have you noticed how lately if anyone dares to say that ANYTHING could be a judgment from God they are very quickly condemned – even by Christians? “Mother Nature” is blamed for natural disasters now, and she demands no repentance.
Cars have only a comparatively recent history … The Model T Ford made its debut in 1908 – a mere hundred years ago.
Imagine that you lived thousands of years ago where the fastest mode of travel was a chariot drawn by horses. God shows you a vision of what the world will be like in the end times and you see a multi-laned freeway at night. Since descriptive words like cars…headlights….freeways… traffic…are not in your vocabulary, how would you describe what you saw ?? How about Nahum’s attempt here…. “The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall jostle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings.“ (Nah.2:4)
Knowledge and Travel
God told Daniel two things that would mark the end times.
Dan 12:4 “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”
Run to and fro ? With modern travel , people are able to fly almost instantly anywhere in the world….and so they do ! To and fro -- back and forth!
Have you read the lastest statistics on knowledge increasing ? We now have knowledge increasing at such a rate that men no longer have time to assimilate information into wisdom.
I found this quote on the internet,
“The question to consider is, "How quickly does what we know change?" What would happen if we assumed that all of the scientific knowledge that mankind had accumulated by the year One AD equaled one unit of information. "How long did it take that one unit of knowledge to double?" This research was actually done and the answer was 1500 years or until the sixteenth century. The next doubling of knowledge from two to four units of information took only 250 years or until 1750 AD. By 1900, one hundred and fifty years later, knowledge had doubled again to 8 units. The speed at which information doubles was getting faster and faster. The doubling speed has now reached every 1-2 years”. http://lessons4living.com/speed.htm.
I have read reports that prove that our fast pace of living and overload of information is very stressful. Stress is the leading cause of heart attacks and medical science defines stress as a form of fear.
Look at this end time prophecy…. “Men’s hearts failing them for fear.” (Luk 21:26)
One World System - Computers?
How quickly we have taken computers for granted. But do you realize that in as little as 12 years the internet has completely changed our world? I remember when my oldest granddaughter was born, I was just beginning to hear the words 'internet highway'. Stop and think how drastically that one discovery has changed how we do life, and how it has interconnected our world with no boundaries or borders into one Global Village.
Has it helped to create an environment that facilitates a one man world dominance? I think more so than any other one thing.
I mention the things listed above to show you how 'normal' end time prophecies are... prophecy fulfilled loses its power to terrify by strange misunderstood images.
I'm not suggesting that the end times will not be hard, or that we will not need to be strong in the face of serious presecution.
Times are already hard and persecution very real in many parts of our world. People are dying for their faith! We are now facing a global financial crisis.....will man find a way to solve it? or is it a piece of the final end scenario that allows the 'antichrist' to stand up declaring he has the answers the world is desperately looking for.
Recent changes in our world have brought about conditions that fulfull prophecies that could not - until our lifetime - have been fulfilled! I believe that we are very close to Jesus coming back. He says that when we see these things happening to look up and take heart... our deliverance is coming!
Luk 21:28 "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."
** next post - promises Jesus makes to those who live in end times.