By the time we end this series of twelve lessons—eight containing God’s revelation recipe for revival and now a four lesson course on Christ’s Return— you will know the signs of the times and the behavior God expects of us in these critical days. Then those who love and obey Him will reign with Christ forever in the “…new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13).
In our last study, we viewed three signals that the Scriptures indicate will precede Christ’s Second Coming to the earth. These signposts were:
- THE REBIRTH OF the nation of ISRAEL
- JERUSALEM is AGAIN THE CAPITAL OF ISRAEL
- THE mocking of biblical MORALITY
In Part 2, we will now look at three more specific prophetic signs of the times that we learn from the Scriptures. I suggest you review the last lesson in full so that you can grasp the larger picture as we move on.
Signpost # 4—Massive FAMINES, VIOLENCE, WARS AND PLAGUES
During the “Age of Enlightenment”, so-called brilliant men and women said that by the year 2000 the world would see the end of famines, violence, wars and disease. Technology would triumph. The “God is dead!” or “Technology has made God irrelevant!” theories were soon off to the races. But human genius has hit a wall. It cannot change the hearts of men and thus can only take us to the wrong places at a higher rate of speed. Once again, Jesus’ words are for the wise—and those seeking to be wise by humbling themselves, confessing their sins, and trusting in the living Savior of men.
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24:6-8)
Signpost # 5—Exponential INCREASE IN KILLER EARTHQUAKES
God has blessed man with incredible genius. We stand in awe as we watch men and women in a room full of computers and high-tech instruments guiding and landing spacecraft on distant planets. At that moment, we appear invincible. But then a mammoth tornado comes—or a terrifying hurricane—or rains that flood whole regions and never listen to our shouts to “Stop!”—or the shake that removes from under our feet any confidence or pride we carry, and leaves us numb with hardly enough breath to even utter the paralyzing word “EARTHQUAKE!”. And man is helpless in the face of it all!
Once again, the Creator of this planet, Jesus Christ, said even the earthquakes would still be here—and terrible—to announce His return and the end of man’s futile and godless attempt to direct his own ways.
“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 21:11
Signal # 6—EZEKIEL’S VISION OF A LAST DAY’S INVASION OF ISRAEL
Skeptics once laughed at the possibility of Israel being invaded from the north in the last days. They did not believe there would even be an Israel after the destruction of Jerusalem and Israel by the Romans in 70 AD.
Only the believer in the Word of God could hold to the truth of the Ezekiel vision in chapters 38 and 39 of the prophet’s book. Israel would indeed be resurrected as a nation (Ezekiel 37) and a great attempt to annihilate the nation of Israel and the Jewish people would follow in the “latter days”. Christians argue about the identity of “Gog”, “Magog”, “Meshech” and “Tubal”—but all agree they have one purpose—to conquer Israel and reap the spoils.
Only recently, there was a giant “Soviet Union” to Israel’s north who armed Israel’s enemies in wars fought by Arab leaders to erase Israel from the map. Soviet leaders vowed never to release millions of Jews held against their wills in the vast Soviet Empire. Of course, God heard the Communist leaders say, “As long as there is a Soviet Union, no Jews will leave”. It appears that the sovereign God of history answered, “Then there will be no Soviet Union. Let my people go!”
Millions of Jews left Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union—great numbers going to Israel. Most of the new countries now out of the Soviet orbit are Islamic. I am not predicting “who” or “when”. But watch the Mideast as the pot is already beginning to boil. An invasion will take place and the nations—and Israel—will see visibly the awesome hand of God. Armies will be destroyed and strong men will tremble. Israel will be delivered—and their rebellion against God will be broken forever. Study carefully chapters 38 and 39 of Ezekiel. And keep your spiritual eyes open even while you share the love of God with Jew, Arab and all.
“Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you… You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.” (Ezekiel 38:14,15a,16).
“So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore. Then the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day forward.” (Ezekiel 39:7,22)
TO BE CONTINUE