What Are the Signs of the Times? :: By Gene Lawley

What Are the Signs of the Times?

When Jesus said, in Luke 21:28, “When these things begin to happen, look up, for your redemption draws near,” those “things” were events to be recognized as happenings that would point, in some manner, to His coming for the redemption of those who will have believed in Him. The next verse tells us of the blossoming of the fig tree as a signal of the restoration of Israel to its native homeland.

One hundred years ago this November 2, 2017, was the date of the Balfour Declaration that gave the land of Palestine as a homeland for the Jewish people. Thirty years later, in November 1947, marked the beginnings of action that resulted in the United Nations Security Council recognizing Israel as a nation among the nations on May 14, 1948. It was the fulfillment of ancient prophecies that were to come about in the latter days.

From that time forward we are told to “look up, for your redemption draws near.” Next May 14, 2018, will end seventy years of the new nation’s surprising survival—an impossibility unless one believes in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and that His Word is fixed and true.

During that seventy years we have seen that great, menacing Soviet Union, whose beginning also dates back to November 8, 1917, rise and fall into disarray with her back turned away from the Middle East. But only momentarily, it was so. Russia, identified in Ezekiel 38 as Gog of the far north, has awakened under the proud ruling of Vladimir Putin and quietly taken position near the borders of Israel, ready to plunder her bounty. Unity with Iran (Persia of old) and other neighbors of Israel, whose hate for her is spelled out in Psalm 83, makes them ready for that Ezekiel 38-39 war of the Gog-Magog prophecy.

A surprising turn of events caught the New World Order proponents off guard as they were well on their way to the destruction of the national sovereignty of the United States, that bastion of freedom and liberty in which so many of the world’s people long to become citizens (while, inside its borders, there are those who despise and hate its existence). Often quoted in these articles is that casual and solemn utterance, “The end of the Republic has never looked better” by President Barack Obama on April 30, 2016. [1]

But God had other end-time prophecy to be fulfilled before that foretold development of a one-world government could arise as the seventh head of that Beast of Revelation 13. Instead of a world of disarray and upheaval of nations, as the New World Order folks envision as a precedent to their takeover [2], Jesus told of a time of economic and social revival, in the midst of which He would return for those who belong to Him:

“And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot, they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

“In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.’

And they answered and said to Him, ‘Where, Lord?’

“So He said to them, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together” (Luke 17:26-37).

“Flesh and blood” is a label God has put on those who would attempt to interject human control into the workings of God’s plan and its timeframe. The plan is God’s that a New World Order will bring about that one-world government predicted in Revelation 13, and man is doing it. The globalists think they are in control, but it is not so; and this abrupt shattering of their immediate intentions has left them struggling with extreme hate and evil intentions to destroy this return to economic prosperity and national sovereignty in the United States, and also in other nations.

Are you aware of what that passage above, Luke 17:26-37, means? It means that Jesus, the Son of Man, could well be returning sometime during these days of a return to economic and financial well-being!

Are there other predicted issues and events that bear upon this period of “times and seasons?”

Another sign of approaching judgment of God and the return of Christ is told in Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians in chapter 2:

“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4).

Further, in verse 7, he writes this: “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work,” and calls that evil one described above as “the lawless one.” Paul further expands on this in his letter to Timothy, writing, “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13).

Without controversy it is evident that lawlessness now permeates the world. Truth and morality are turned upside down. Two major areas that are showing this are the subtle movement to make the alternative lifestyle acceptable, and likewise, that the principle of justice is redefined to allow evil to not be judged. God has spoken against that in Isaiah 5:20, saying, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

They are rioting in the streets and on campuses, destroying their own neighborhoods, and expressing extreme hatred toward President Trump, even though he is leading the effort to return America to the things they want. The depth of evil and moral depravity in political circles and in government activities is mind boggling. It appears as though the spirit of deception is already upon them. It will be easy for the Antichrist to gain their allegiance after Jesus comes for His own.

Another sign of the end-time that is on the horizon is going to be very visible. Many have said that Israel is God’s timepiece—keep your eyes on Israel  if you want to see what God is doing in regard to His “appointed time.”

While it has been 100 years since a designated homeland has been given to the Hebrew people, and almost 70 years since its nationhood has been established, Israel has had no peace and cannot rebuild her temple for their sacrificial offerings and religious activities. Daniel 9:27 predicts a coming confirmation of a covenant with many, notably including one whose heritage reaches back to the nation that destroyed their temple in A.D. 70, the Romans.

That covenant apparently allows the Jews to rebuild their temple, for there is none existing now. It does not say that the covenant is with or for Israel, but the result indicates that to be a fact. It is for seven years, but halfway through it that Roman descendent cancels the activities of the temple and sets himself up as the one to be worshiped.

The sign that this series of events will begin is told by the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Thessalonians in the context where he describes the Rapture of the true believers, His church, transforming those believers from mortal to immortal beings and taking them to heaven with Him. Following is that context which bridges chapters 4 and 5 of his letter:

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

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.

But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.

Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.

“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18, 5:1-11).

Apparently, when “they” exclaim “Peace and safety,” it is the point when the Lord Himself “will descend with a shout,” and the Day of the Lord begins with a flurry of events occurring.

Is that peace covenant about to be announced? It seems to have been on schedule for discussion every September since 2010. The Trump administration seems to offer greater possibility than previous attempts to bring an agreement forth. It will be an imposed covenant, so it appears, having a two-state arrangement of Israeli and Palestinian identities, but not in the best interest of Israel and apparently even contrary to God’s desire; thus the “sudden destruction” coming upon ‘them.’ And then, the “time of Jacob’s trouble” begins for its seven-year duration.

There are, then, these five major signs of the times:

  1. The countdown beginning with the return of Israel to its ancient homeland and being established as a nation among nations;
  2. Russia—Gog of the far north, as identified in Ezekiel 38—is in position in the Middle East to launch the Gog-Magog war of Ezekiel 38-39;
  3. The surprising upset of planned, political positioning to destroy the sovereignty of America and usher in a New World Order to establish a one-world government. The return to economic, social and financial health and rejection of globalism, as the Trump election created and revealed the prophecy of Jesus of that occurrence in Luke 17:26-37;
  4. The unabashed rise of lawlessness and rebellion against the rule of law and the application of justice without special favor, along with morality being publicly destroyed. It is the description of the “falling away” from the faith and rejection of lawfulness;
  5. The coming confirmation of a covenant that gives peace to Israel for seven years and launches that seven years of “the time of Jacob’s trouble” and judgment of earth dwellers. Believers in Christ will have been snatched out of the path of wrath in the Rapture of the saints.

All the while in the background of these events, there will be turmoil and tragedy in abundance and in increasing intensity: “Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven” (Luke 21:10-11).

Also Jesus said, “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:25-26). But even then, the great wrath of God is still ahead.

For believers in Christ, however, “God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,” as it says in the context above. And, as the Scriptures close out the Revelation, “Even so, Lord Jesus, come!”

End Notes:

[1] (Obama’s declaration)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0btF9AG2Ps

[2] (New World Order)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkNH1bVg3HA

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