When Jesus said, “When these things begin to happen, look up, for your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28), He opened our eyes to the beginning of the end-times countdown. And, it began with the restoration of the land of Israel to the Jews on May 14, 1948. Since that date we have seen a proliferation of those descriptive events—increasing earthquakes in different places, pestilences, wars and rumors of wars, murders and atrocities abounding. Just as the apostle Paul noted, “Evil men will become worse and worse” (2 Timothy 3:13). It appears that resistance to evil is decreasing around the world, giving credence to the biblical claim that there will be a “falling away” (2 Thessalonians 2:3) that cannot be denied.
The context of that same passage goes on to say that the resistance to evil will be totally removed at some point, apparently when evil is at the point of overwhelming that resistance. As Jesus tells us in Luke 17:26 and following, “As it was in the days of Noah” and “As it was in the days of Lot, so it will be in the day of the coming of the Son of Man.” What was it like then?
Genesis 6:5 describes the content and intentions of the hearts of mankind in those days:
“Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually,“ as considering the people of Noah’s era.
It was not any different in Lot’s time, either, for the whole city of Sodom showed up at Lot’s door with the intention of doing evil with the visiting angels inside (Genesis 19). Apparently Lot had something of a resisting testimony, for they did not demand his surrender, but only those whom they did not know. Their threats to Lot were clearly personal, however.
In both sets of circumstances life was going on as usual—activities that we see every day in our time, but threaded with the same increasing degradation of morality and evilness. As soon as the righteous ones were out of the path of judgment, it came suddenly and heavily upon them all.
Meanwhile, that beast of seven heads and ten horns that John writes of in Revelation 13:1 has been busy behind the scenes, being guided and energized by that great red dragon, described in Revelation 12 as having seven heads and ten horns. His physical likeness is the same as the beast, you will note. And, he is named for who he is, the devil. It was this one who could offer kingdoms to Jesus if only He would bow down and worship him (Matthew 4:8-10). Thus, he owned or controlled the kingdoms represented by the beast.
Daniel writes of a four-headed beast ahead of him, but two preceded him, so that John writes of six heads, including the one he lived under, and a seventh that would rise up in the future to rule the world. This seventh head will come into existence when all sovereign states are folded into a “one world order.” Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State in the administration of US President Richard Nixon, said openly upon the election of Barack Obama as the US president in 2008 that Obama had been primed to lead us into a “New World Order.”
One can understand the reason for the political and economic condition of the United States of America with that kind of purpose as a backdrop for the national events of our time—economic decline, extremely risen national debt, declining military strength, and seemingly lack of high level political and governmental intent to change the direction the nation is being led.
Deep complicity within government and corporation leadership seems to thwart attempts to make meaningful changes in direction for the country. It seems the great red dragon has the nation clutched in a stranglehold with a downhill pull! The fact that the body of true believers in Christ remains on the earth keeps the dragon at bay but Revelation 12 tells us he is “raging mad because he knows his time is short.” Also, the fact that God reveals these things to us ahead of time tells us that He is sovereign, He is in control, and at the appointed time, He will show up, take His beloved ones out of the area of danger, and then, “Sudden destruction will fall” just as it did in the times of Noah and Lot.
How is it shaping up? The seventh head of that beast is coming together, possibly the second beast–the one who rises up out of the land, having two horns and looks like a lamb—is in place, and given Kissinger’s declaration, the man of sin may well be likewise in place. Consider this: Who will be the “last man standing” when the Rapture occurs, to whom the world will have been primed to look to for world problems? Whether this supposition is correct or not, it is uncanny how one who has no governing experience, no known credentials whatsoever, and no currently redeeming answers for the true problems of this nation, can be held in such high regard and esteem, even to proclaiming him the “Messiah.”
An example of this hope and expectation is the number of times he has been on the cover of major news magazines and the fact that he won the Nobel Peace Prize before he had ever made peace anywhere! (Could that be a foreshadow of a coming confirmation of a covenant of peace? Daniel 9:27.)
The new Secretary of State, John Kerry, is currently busy as he can be with the purpose of bringing peace to the Middle East by getting Israelis and Palestinians to the bargaining table.
Will this end in peace, or will it take an explosion of warfare in the region, such as described in Psalm 83, to wilt the aggressive intentions of Israel’s neighbors and give them, Israel, cause to exclaim, “Peace and safety!”
We are at the end of summer and could likely see conclusive developments in this fashion. One must note that the context in which that “peace” statement is made is this: “But concerning the
times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you, for you, yourselves, know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say,
‘Peace and safety!’ Then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3).
This coming of the Son of Man is the time when He calls His church out of the way of judgment, the “sudden destruction” that is initiated when millions of people disappear and the world is in immediate chaos. This will precipitate economic disaster, demanding a one world order, for no other solution will be sufficient. The signing of the peace covenant for seven years
(Daniel 9:27), then introduces the Tribulation, the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7).
These are coming events, looming on the horizon. (A subsequent article will consider the events coming together and leading into the first half of the seven years of tribulation.)