Anyone who tries to interpret the signs of the times realizes that over time, conclusions change. As an example, in the early to mid-1990s, I was suggesting to people that it was computers that would allow the world to view the events being played out on the streets of Jerusalem in the time of the two witnesses (Revelation chapter 11). I used to say all is in place because we have computers.
However, what we were overlooking was the fact that much of the general population did not have computers and that they needed electricity to work. The concept was correct that it would be the mass media of computers, BUT we did not know that computerization would be in miniature form with towers to service that – enter the cell/mobile phone! It does not require electricity as such for the operation. Phones are in every nook and cranny.
Now, as we study the world, some very ominous signs are there that were not there just 4 or 5 years ago. All that will compel us to refine our views. It is a fool who sets dates and claims he or she has it all worked out. The Lord addressed this in Matthew 16:2-3; “But He answered and said to them, ‘When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky but cannot discern the signs of the times?”
The nation was reprimanded for being able to interpret the weather but not being able to recognize and understand what was happening around them. May the Lord not allow us to fall into the same trap. I wish to look at a few things that are red lights to me, though it may not be so for others.
THE MATTER OF COMPULSION
I am currently considering in a Bible study I take, the letter to Thyatira and its ramifications, and its application to the particular period of Church History it represents. This was an interesting city. The trade guilds were stronger here than in any other place, and it was mandatory for workers to belong to a trade guild in order to keep working.
They are exactly the same as many of our modern trade unions. Thyatira had so many trade guilds because it was associated with the making of idols.
All the smiths – silver, gold, copper, etc., and linen, clay, fabric workers, etc., were there.
How did that affect the Christian? Well, he had to belong to the guild, or he was denied his right to work. The thing is that each guild had its own tutelary god or goddess, each member had to sacrifice to it before the guild meeting started, and it was compulsory for all members to attend. When business was concluded, they feasted and then had a general sexual orgy with anything goes.
Where did that leave the Christian? Either he went along with it or refused to participate in it. Refusal meant he forfeited his ability to buy and sell and to eat to live. These were very hard times. Some got around the problem by going to the guild meetings but saying to themselves, “This is all an outward thing, and it won’t matter if I am there because my soul is spiritual and belongs to God. Apparently, this was one of the major doctrines of the Nicolaitans, whom God condemns in the Thyatiran letter. They were able to divorce body and spirit. ‘My body is sinful, so it won’t matter what things I do with it, as long as I keep my soul and spirit for God.’
Just today, I heard the Premier of the State of Victoria (Australia) in an interview say, “Well, those who are not double vaccinated will be denied their rights to things.” That man is a Marxist who hates Christians and is taking separate action against them anyway. It is most deplorable that compulsion is being determined on the people in a similar way to what we had in Thyatira. It is not just Australia where this is proposed. The world is seeing this type of action, which will be the same type as what will operate in the Tribulation with the mark of the beast.
Just 2 years ago, we could not have perceived what was coming. It is forced allegiance or loss of rights.
What does that say about the Rapture? I think the only sensible conclusion we can arrive at is that the Rapture must be so close, and the Lord is letting us dimly see how it might work and that the concept is actually real. The mark of the beast is coming very soon but not before the Rapture.
Since 2012 when that most wicked man took the position of the President of the CCP, Xi has expanded the military capability of China at an explosive rate while the USA under Obama downgraded the defense capability of the USA. Xi is a warmonger. We saw what he did to Hong Kong. Right now, the People’s Liberation Army of China is in full training for an invasion of Taiwan. In China itself, they have built a massive replica of parts of Taiwan’s capital and Parliament and are practicing ways to assault it. Xi is so satanically minded that death and murder mean nothing to him.
The invasion of Taiwan is inevitable with all the signs there. Communist soldiers are being trained in the use of quick transport across the Taiwan Strait. The once peaceful reefs in the South China Sea in international waters have been made into military bases, staging posts. The military strategists from the USA, Australia and India all say the conquest of Taiwan is the launching pad to take over Japan, and then the way to the United States is open to them. Make no mistake; Xi is a dangerous and evil man. How misguided for Biden to say he trusts Xi to keep his word.
What can’t be missed is, today (14 Oct 2021), Russia has come out in support of China taking over Taiwan. Xi speaks of “peaceful integration,” but the man is a liar, as is Satan, his master. Do not be mistaken; the situation is very serious. Xi has threatened to drop a nuclear bomb on Australia. He would love Australia, too, as it has the world’s biggest coal supply (the world’s best quality), iron ore, and so much uranium and lots of space.
I will not say more on China but want to make this conclusion. This, to me, is worrying. There are a lot of Christians in Taiwan who will suffer if a war happens. The whole of SE Asia could be affected. The big question is, “What might the USA do?” We know what Trump would have done, but Biden and Milley?? China is itching for a war because it knows it is superior to the US in military hardware and has over 2 million soldiers.
I don’t want to see a war in any way and am very conscious of the wording of the second seal that is broken; Revelation 6:3-4, “When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, ‘Come,’ and another, a red horse, went out, and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men should slay one another, and a great sword was given to him.”
This red horse comes after the white one, which is to be the appearing of the world leader (Antichrist, if you like). I believe the transition between these two horses is very short. Looking at the wording of those verses, we see, “to take peace from the earth” and “a great sword was given to him.” That means there will be wars over the whole earth, and they will be severe because the sword the rider on the red horse has is a “great sword.” In this matter, the Lord Jesus described it this way when speaking to those who will be in the Tribulation time (His Jewish saints): Matthew 24:6-7, “You will be hearing of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not frightened for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end, for nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.”
The world today is hearing of wars and rumours of war. The stage is set for massive conflict because the armoury of the world is almost beyond comprehension. I have looked at some good internet sites that give a breakdown of military strength of the nations. We are not in the Tribulation, so the rumours of wars we hear today is NOT the Tribulation reference, but again, God is allowing us a glance of what could be just over the horizon.
That does not mean there will not be a war in our time, but I am trusting it won’t happen and that the Rapture is just so close, as everything in this matter is in place.
The Tribulation will be under the control of the world leader, who is described as the man of lawlessness. The Lord, in the Olivet Discourse, speaking about the Tribulation leading to His Second Coming, said this: Matthew 24:12, “And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold….” Lawlessness will be increased in that time, but it must always have a base and origin. The origin of lawlessness is right back at the dawn of human creation in the fall, but the base of lawlessness is here today. We are in lawless times, and it grows worse. In western governments, there is rebellion and unlawful behavior from BLM, mass protest from radicals who lost the election to Trump in 2016, Extinction Rebellion, Culture wars, Climate Change activists, Environmental thugs, among others. Militancy is definitely on the rise.
The Tribulation is not going to begin with a peaceful society. Society will have already become lawless, arrogant and violent.
When we again consider the items in the last days of the Church-age prophecy Paul wrote, we can appreciate how lawlessness works through the descriptions given. I have underlined those aspects that form the culture around lawlessness and rebellion. 2Timothy 3:1-4, “Realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come, for men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”
There is an aspect that concerns me. I am not going to speak for the USA, but I can for Australia. During Covid about one month ago, the police have taken repressive powers to themselves. In a recent protest in Melbourne against the constant lockdowns by workers who are not allowed to work (it is the worst and longest in the world), police attacked the crowd with assault rifles, firing things worse than rubber bullets, and a whole lot more I won’t mention. It was terrifying – Australia’s Tiananmen Square.
Police persecute the public and have issued so many fines, sometimes for next to nothing. It has become Australia-wide. When you have lawlessness from those who are supposed to protect us against criminal lawlessness, it is very alarming.
This movement, rather mania, began with global warming, but when facts disputed that, the concept was changed to “climate change,” a very nebulous term. This crusade was promoted by the radical arms of the Environmental Movement and Greens and Marxist socialists. Now it has become mainstream, a religious fervor that has overtaken the world.
Europe and the USA have threatened Australia that unless it gets rid of the only few coal power stations it has (less than 1% of world emissions), then it will be cut off from the world.
I don’t believe in global warming, as I read credible scientists who totally dispute the idea, but they are silenced. Nevertheless, if you do accept that idea, then explain why the Vikings farmed their reindeer in Greenland 1,000 years when it was several degrees warmer than today, and they did not have coal power stations. All scientists admit to climate cycles – warming and cooling – so why this maniac zeal today?
Well, you see, it is a vehicle. This is the means of rounding up all nations into the control of the powerbrokers of the United Nations, a world conformity that we know is a socialist one. What Christians must understand is where this movement is heading. Firstly, it will paralyze the world with a lack of reliable power and therefore bring in chaos. Secondly, it will move developed nations into debt. Thirdly, it will encase the world in a great delusion and bring them into ensnarement. Fourthly, by chasing after the wind (no pun), it will dismiss conservative voices and promote anti-Christian action because there can be no two religions in their way of thinking. Climate change must be the monotheistic god!
Lies are everywhere. I give this as an example: The Bureau of Meteorology, Australia, very fanatical about climate change, a year or two ago, decided to dismiss all records before 1930. The reason for this is to say, “This is the hottest day on record,” and other such deceptions. However, note the following:
** The worst cyclone ever recorded was in 1899 (that is a typhoon or hurricane), called Cyclone Mahina, when 300 people were killed, and there was a tidal surge of over 8 meters. That now won’t count in records.
** The worst drought in Australia’s history was the Federation drought in the late 1890s to 1904. The whole of the eastern half of Australia was in an unbelievable drought. Most creeks and rivers dried up. Nothing like it has happened since. Now that won’t count in records.
** The worst flood in Australia’s history was in Brisbane in 1893. It was called The Black February Flood when Brisbane had 914 mm of rain in 24 hours (that’s around 39 inches). That now won’t count in records.
** The worst bushfires in Australia’s history were in the past. Black Thursday of 1851 was about the worst, but there were many.
Now, if there is a bushfire somewhere, they all scream climate change.
One obvious and disturbing point has emerged in all of this. There is a mindset among climate activist people that believes in the status quo.
In other words, everything continues on an even keel, and if something happens that upsets that balance, then it is caused by climate change. Therefore, every time there is a bush/brushfire, or a hurricane or a flood, or a higher temperature, or a volcano (and some even claim earthquakes), then it is all climate change! Funny how you don’t hear from them when there are record low temperatures.
These climate change fanatics are the kings of lying deception. The deluded are deluding the deluded. Take that girl from Sweden with her chaotic reasoning. National Geographic is filling every issue with climate change hysteria. Christians must stand back from this movement, as it is not Christian and very dangerous.
The world is being rounded up into one, whether you like it or not. Christians are not of the world.
The socialist left is taking action to shut down Australia’s coal mines and force the country into windmills and solar panels.
They want to end cars running on what they call “fossil fuels” and force people into electric cars. In recent days, the price of oil has boomed in the world because oil is in short supply. There are energy problems and shortages in Britain, China, the US, and so many other places. That means electricity and power. Petrol prices in some parts of Australia are nearing $2 a liter. That is about $9 a gallon for you Americans.
What does an energy crisis mean? It means shortages that fuel people’s frustrations.
It leads to violence. The cost of living and inflation multiply. The poorer end of society moves into times of hardship and poverty. It helps fuel lawlessness. It drives the cost of electricity way up. People begin to lose their jobs, and the already inflated welfare system becomes even more bloated.
All this will add unrest to the last days and will create the fertile ground for the acceptance of the world leader when he is revealed on the white horse.
The last days see wicked men proceed from bad to worse. All our Christian foundations are being overturned and replaced by evil legislation.
It is alarming, but we must not be alarmed. Remember, the Lord has told us all these things will happen and will only get worse and more severe. It is hard not to focus on the terrible state of the world as I have done in this article, but we are to recognize it for what it is. We don’t accept it, but we must understand the direction it is going in.
What a dreadful thing it would be if all we have to look forward to is a terrible time of God’s wrath in the most horrifying times of earth’s history. Praise the Lord Jesus Christ that He promised us that we are going to be delivered from the coming wrath (the Tribulation). He told us we are not appointed (destined) to wrath. The Christian and wrath (judgment of God) will not have an appointment! Our appointment is a meeting in the sky.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus. I will close with a poem written last month that has thrilled me in the writing of it, and I hope it will thrill you too. God bless us all.
TO BE ABSENT FROM THE BODY
To be absent from the body,
To be present with the Lord;
To be robed in linen garments
With eternal life unflawed.
I will be then in His presence,
Where the saints of God will shine,
And that blessed sinless pleasure –
O, that joy will then be mine.
Heaven’s call will soon come to us
With utter joy and gladness.
To victory’s voice we will rise,
And leave this world of sadness.
In an instant changed forever,
In the power of His might,
And the glories then of heaven
Will be wondrous in our sight.
It was grace that sought and saved us;
Nothing of it we deserved;
But wonders, grace has granted us
That in heaven are reserved.
We will see our splendid Saviour,
Gathered with His ransomed throng.
Their faces shine with radiance,
As they praise their Lord in song.
To be absent from the body,
To be present with the Lord,
And we long for that appearing,
As we rise to our reward.
The Lord descends and changes us
In the twinkling of an eye.
Before us His perfection shines,
And faultless, we’ll never die.
(21 September 2021; R E Ferguson; Metre = 8-7 throughout)
This poem is copyrighted, and authorship is to be declared. I give permission for it to be used in Christian ministry with proper acknowledgment.