Are We Living at the End of Time

Scroll I of II

In the Bible, the end of time is sometimes referred to as the day of the Lord. Believe it or not, there are people who have a morbid fascination for the day of the Lord. Do not allow yourself to become jaded. The coming of the kingdom of God is what we should anticipate, not the day of the Lord.

Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it? Amos 5:18-20

The day of the Lord is bad news. The gospel of the kingdom of God is good news. The good news is that after the day of the Lord we have Isaiah 65:17-25 as our hope.

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.

This is the “good news” or gospel of the kingdom of God. The Lord Jesus Christ is the door through which we enter that kingdom. Having established our proper goal, we will proceed to examine the question. Many of you are instinctively aware that we are living in the end times. But others will protest, “People have been predicting the end of the world since the beginning of the world. How do you know?” By saying this, they are the first proof that we are living at the end of time.

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. II Peter 3:3-4

It is true! People have predicted the end many times throughout history. One notable prediction of the end came about five thousand years ago. It occurred with a flood! Jesus’ disciples thought the end would come in their lifetime. People have predicted the end would come at the end of each century. Another century mark has come and gone and the end of a millennium. The end was predicted with World War I, the great depression, and World War II. It was expected all through the cold war with its threat of nuclear annihilation; a threat that still looms possible. The end did not come then, why should now be any different?

The world of the twenty-first century is a bustling place. We each hurry around in our personal vehicles as we rush to accomplish our daily business. Bullet trains and jumbo jets transport masses of people to any destination on the planet in a matter of minutes or hours. Cargo ships, planes, trains, and semis move the worlds goods on a never ending river of commerce. We now have satellite television with hundreds of channels available, instant telephone communication around the globe, and worldwide Internet access through personal computers, all at the touch of a button. This is the information age! We have amassed more knowledge than we have the foresight to safely use. All of this is summed up in one short prophetic passage.

At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. But thou, 0 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.
Daniel 12:1-4

Best-selling author, John Naisbitt, predicts the direction of the world’s economy. In his book, Global Paradox, he shows that two industries power the global economy: telecommunications, and travel and tourism. Travel would include daily commuting. The consumption of oil makes travel and tourism the world’s largest industry. Telecommunications includes: telephone and wireless telephone, television, satellites, computers and computer networks — with their almost unlimited banks of information and related technologies.

Mr. Naisbitt’s book is not a harbinger of doom. On the contrary, it is an optimistic interpretation of the way these two industries are bringing the nations of the world closer together. Mr. Naisbitt is too optimistic about our short term future. At the end of time, two industries direct the fate of the world’s economy:

travel — “many shall run to and fro”, and

information — “and knowledge shall be increased .”

Economy is simply the management, or government, of money and resources. To a government, its people are its greatest resource. Probably the best known and most dreaded prophesy in the Bible, has to do with economy.

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. Revelation 13:16-18

We have been flirting with this system for more than a generation now. Consider your social security number; “what would you be able to do without it?” The only way around it is to somehow work for cash without reporting it to the government. But what if there was no cash?

In the business section of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, January 21, 1996, was an article entitled “Cashless Society?” According to the article, the Federal Reserve Bank is beginning a push to an electronic payment system - debiting and crediting accounts directly by computer. A smart card, containing a computer chip, identifies the consumer. It would be a very small step from a computer chip implanted in a smart card to one implanted in your right hand or forehead.

Veterinarians are now injecting pets with glass capsules containing a micro-chip. The chip contains information about the animal and its owner. It is being done on a volunteer basis to newborn babies, promoted as a way of identifying missing children. By replacing the armband, it will reduce hospital mix-ups. This is not the mark of the beast. It will become the mark of the beast.

Assuming that you believe the Bible, it is not a slight transgression to accept the mark of the beast. We see in Revelation 14:9- 12,

…, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith in Jesus.

The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke record a private conversation between Jesus and some of His disciples. After a visit to the temple in Jerusalem, in which Jesus derided the scribes and Pharisees of the Jewish religion for their hypocrisy, Matthew 24:1-3 tells us,

And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them. See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us. when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming. and of the end of the world?


 

And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And when ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be: but the end shall not be yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows. But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them. And the gospel must first be published among all nations. Mark 13:5-10

Let us consider Mark 13:5-6. Jesus said “Many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ: and shall deceive many.” He was not referring to impostors of Himself He was referring to people who are teaching in Jesus’ name saying that He is Christ, but who are teaching lies. The meaning of this is made clear in Matthew. Jesus said during the sermon on the mount,
 

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day [judgment day], Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock [Jesus]: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock [Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God(Matthew 16:13-18 )]. And every one that heareth these savings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. Matthew 7:15-27

Why do you suppose there are so many vastly differing versions of the “Christian religion?” We call them denominations. Jesus said they would precede the end. He also said there would be wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilence, and earthquakes. But He said not to panic over these things, “the end is not yet.”

When people think of the end, the book of Revelation probably first comes to mind. Its ominous and mysterious judgments upon the world are dreadful. In the original Greek language, Revelation is apokalupsis, from which we get apocalypse. Apocalypse simply means to reveal , disclose, or enlighten. Most of the information in Revelation is found in other parts of the Bible. In Revelation, however, Christ took that information and put it in sequence to reveal what, till then, was not made perfectly clear.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ. which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass: and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all the things that he saw. Revelation 1:1-2

The Revelation is divided into three sets of seven judgments. The first seven are called seals. John describes these in Revelation 5:1,

And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

The book was a scroll, a sheet of papyrus or leather rolled up and sealed with wax or clay. In this case, the scroll was written on and sealed seven times successively as it was rolled together.

And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. Revelation 5:2-5

Jesus “prevailed to open the book.” He prevailed by overcoming the world and dying on the cross.

And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having everyone of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. Revelation 5:8-10

Scroll II