In my daily Bible reading today I read a passage in Isaiah 30 in which God expressed His complaints against His people to His prophet Isaiah, dictating a message for him to pass on to them. He said they were a people…
“Who say to the seers, ‘Do not see,’ and to the prophets, ‘Do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. Get out of the way, turn aside from the path…’” Isaiah 30:10-11a
God viewed His people at the time as self-centered, self-satisfied, and rejecting the inconvenience of hearing difficult things. They had become so jaded they would rather hear a distortion of any truth that might offend or upset them. They wanted only to hear “smooth” words from the prophet–things that would make them feel safe, secure, and happy. The word for “smooth” in the Hebrew is the feminine form of the word “chelqah.”
One of the trends in our modern 21st century society is the aversion to hearing anything contrary to one’s own opinion or world view. In many of our colleges and universities, safe spaces were created for those who felt they needed to “escape” so they wouldn’t have to hear anything upsetting to them. This may bring a chuckle to most us, but it is a symptom of a much greater phenomenon. Our higher education administrators are sending graduates out into the world—some of them having no ability whatsoever to deal with the reality of the real world.
What is happening in our schools and higher learning centers is one thing but is not the subject of this writing. I wonder, however, how guilty we might be of being over-protective of people in our churches? Statistics tell us that a high percentage of churches avoid “difficult” subjects. We are afraid of upsetting our parishioners and so leadership would rather avoid controversial issues. Problem is, the entire Bible is controversial!
If I haven’t lost you yet, here is where I am going with all this…
We live in a generation like none before us, nor will any generation after us experience what is unfolding right before our eyes. As we study the Bible on the subject, we find that our generation is so unique that it will culminate with nothing less than the literal second coming of the Messiah, Himself! Yet, it is a subject that is hardly touched in our western churches today. Any subject matter having to do with ‘end times events’ are deemed taboo. This is however an insult to the very God we claim to serve, praise, and worship. We are not teaching a “full gospel”. Our emphasis instead is on things we have deemed more important, or are less upsetting, certainly more smooth… ‘safe, secure, and happy.’
Jesus was quite critical of the religious leaders of His day. No one could mistake what He was saying in Matthew 16:2-3:
…“When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘it will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.”
I could not locate the source of the quote, but it has been said that “Americans have a great need to not want to know…” Let that percolate for a minute or two… We live in a materialistic society and have more available entertainment and distractions from real life than any other society in history. We have our sports events and parties. We are addicted to whatever form of entertainment it takes to fill our time with things that make us ‘feel good.’ That in itself is not wrong, but when it clouds our thinking and world-view to the point where we miss the warnings God has provided us with which to recognize the times we are in, then we have a serious problem.
Most people in secular society know that today’s world is in trouble—serious trouble. Most in our churches however, are oblivious. I often hear people say they avoid watching the news because it is too upsetting and takes them out of their ‘happy place.’ Yet, God intends for us to be well aware of the times we are in. A good example of this is found in 1 Thessalonians 5. Note the words “we”, “they”, “them”, “you”, “others” and “us” in the passage. These words have all been underlined in the passage below for emphasis.
1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 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. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 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. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Who is it that is caught off guard? They are. Who is it that is not caught sleeping but rather watching? We are. Who is it that lives a life that is sober and aware? We do. Who is it that talks about ‘peace and safety’ but is caught by sudden destruction? They are. Who is it that knows that the Day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night? We do. Who is it that is caught by sudden destruction? They are. Who is it that is not appointed to God’s wrath? Us. Who is it that is comforting each other with these words? We are. How is it that there is such an obvious distinction? Because the people of God are meant to know what the Bible has to say about prophecy and believe God for what He says.
Because of an excellent view I have from the front porch of my home, I am able to sit and admire the beautiful Cascade mountains. Because of the climate in the high desert of Central Oregon, I am able to admire this spectacular view most days of the year. As I look out, seeing these picturesque mountains, the green grass in my yard, the flowers, shrubs, and other things that I enjoy, it is hard to imagine that this blue planet I live on, has already begun a roller-coaster ride that will soon bring it to great destruction. Yes, I did say, it has already begun. That is one of the inconvenient truths needing to be brought to the attention of those who might not be aware.
The birth pangs or ‘beginning of sorrows’ Jesus spoke of have indeed already begun. Actually, this began a little over 120 years ago, right at the end of the 19th century. This is when many preachers and evangelists were noticing a major shift in our world. They warned of an encroaching apostasy they saw coming in the Church. At the same time, scientists were noticing changes in the delicate balance that had always kept our planet able to support life—whether human, animal, fish, or fowl. Astronomers also noted changes in the cosmos they had not seen before. Incidentally, it was also in the last decade of the 18th century that Theodor Herzl organized the first Zionist Congress which met in Basil, Switzerland on August 31, 1897. They discussed how to begin the legal process of bringing Jews, who at the time were scattered all over the known world, back to Palestine and regain status in their ancient homeland.
A well known symbol of the Jewish nation has always been the fig tree. In referring to the time of the end of the age when Israel was to return to its ancient land and become a nation once again, Jesus had this to say:
32 Now learn this parable of the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. Matthew 24:32-35
In Matthew 24 Jesus gives an explanation of events which are to culminate at the end of the age. It was in answer to the disciples’ question about how to know when ‘these things’ will happen and what to expect. Earlier in the chapter, Jesus presented many signs to watch for that would begin to unfold as that time nears. These things Jesus mentioned, along with what had been foretold by the Old Testament prophets, are now happening before our very eyes. It is our God-given responsibility and task to recognize them for what they really are.
Many have been lulled to sleep thinking that the world is just experiencing another of the endless cycles mankind has gone through since the beginning. The problem is that all things do not continue as they have for perpetuity. The story of Noah and the worldwide flood recorded in Genesis 6-8 is a good example. When Noah’s great-grandfather began to preach about a great judgment of God that was coming upon a wicked world, no one believed him. The warning message continued right on through Methuselah’s life and during the 120 years the ark was being constructed. Noah’s message was received as only the ramblings of a crazy old fool. Who had ever heard of a worldwide cataclysm? What was rain? Something had to be seriously wrong with this fanatic who was building this huge monstrosity of a ship—like none ever seen before—and on dry land? Up until that time, the planet’s ecosystem had been more like a terrarium and had been watered by a mist coming out of the ground—not rain from the sky!
Yet, what God had said really did happen…as it always has, and always will. Today we have the Bible, our Sovereign God’s words in print, absolutely filled with warnings and all the information needed to show that we are at the end of the age. Yet, the world continues racing blindly into oblivion—a period of time that Jesus Himself said will be the worst ever in the history of mankind, and there will never be anything like it again. This includes the time of Noah’s flood!
In the next few sentences, I will present a very brief glimpse at what is unfolding in our world. As I write these words, the forces that keep our planet safe for mankind are changing, in fact, they are failing, and the speed at which they are failing is increasing far beyond what is yet visible. The very core of the earth is heating up and becoming unstable. There has been a dramatic increase of cosmic radiation inundating the earth in the last few years. This radiation contains exotic particles that are poisonous to our world. Scientist have also recorded that the particles building up in the atmosphere are getting bigger and heavier by the day. This radiation, most of which eventually goes into the core of the earth via the north and south poles is causing the dynamo at the core of the earth to become overcharged, just as a lithium battery can be overcharged.
As the magma overheats, it puts vast pressure underneath earth’s subterranean oceans of water. These oceans by the way, have much greater volume than the oceans above the surface. This pressure is being evidenced by increasing superheated columns of steam shooting straight up through the ocean floor and on above the surface, often in direct view of fishing boats. The floors of our oceans are heating up from the bottom up. This is causing multiplied billions of fish and other sea creatures to die, many of them having been cooked before floating to the surface.
The earth’s tectonic plates are becoming destabilized and both earthquakes and the number of active volcanos are multiplying. Whereas the average number of active volcanoes a few decades ago was only 4-5 per year, we now have ten times that many every single day of the year! Scientists are aware of a number of locations around the globe where there is great instability under the crust of the earth. One of these locations is under Italy, another underneath Chili, and a third under Iceland. The instability under Iceland is connected to an enormous and ever widening and lengthening crack in the ocean floor in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is already several thousand miles long and has liquid nickel pouring up from inside the earth. That has to be coming from the core. These three trouble spots are among several more being watched, but, each one is capable of bringing about a global destabilization event.
Skeptics may say that these dangers have always been there, so why the concern today? There are many reasons but one very important one is that Jesus predicted that these very things would usher in the Great Apocalypse. The Apocalypse we’re talking about it the one the Apostle John had the vision of recorded in the last book of the New Testament, the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. The Bible makes it clear that we are at the door.
So, what about all this global warming talk? What was once called global warming now has a new name, ‘climate change‘, and indeed, we are now seeing not just climate change but increasing climate chaos all around the globe. It is laughable to say that mankind is the source of the climate change we are witnessing. Statistics tell us that when a rather small volcano like Mt. St. Helens exploded in 1980, it expelled more smoke, ash, and debris into the atmosphere in one day than all of man’s industries around the entire world was able to produce in an entire calendar year! Amazing, isn[t it? Incidentally, scientists are telling us that the entire Solar System is heating up, not just planet Earth. I find it interesting that with all the space probes sent to gather information about the outer planets, not one has spied even a single one of our SUVs on Saturn or Neptune!
For the sake of brevity, I won’t take time in this writing to detail the additional changes in the cosmos which are about to have an enormous effect on the earth. Suffice it to say that scientists and astronomers, whether they work for NASA, the European Space Agency, the Vatican, or any one of the many other many agencies dealing with the cosmos, are seeing things in the part of the Milky Way that our Solar System is hurtling through that turns their blood cold! What leaves them sleepless at night is that they know of enormous dangers heading directly toward our Solar System, and of course, our Earth. They know that what is coming cannot be mitigated but neither are they allowed to discuss any of these things publicly. And…our Solar System has already entered the outskirts of some of the incoming dangers.
The few facts listed above describing troubling times at our door are hardly the tip of the iceberg. I have many more details in my files but they will be addressed at another time, real soon. So, what does all this mean? It tells us that we truly are on the threshold of the end of the age. Jesus gave us ample warnings, as did God’s prophets throughout the millennia. Most in the world around us are not able to put the pieces of the puzzle together, but, true believers certainly should have some knowledge of these things. We, the followers of Jesus—of all people—should believe Him and everything He had to say—especially the things that concern our generation. We need to be able to give answers to those in the perplexed world around us. But how can we unless someone tells us? The hour is extremely late and it is time to pay attention to Bible prophecy before time has run out! Prophecy was included in God’s Word so that we would know what is coming, and why! It is high time to dig into our Bibles in earnest and prepare for very different, and possibly difficult days ahead. The time left is much shorter than you might think!
Remember what the passage in 1 Thessalonians above tells us. The true followers of Jesus are not caught off guard. It also tells us that because we have the helmet of Salvation, we will not experience the wrath of God on a wicked Christ-rejecting world. In verse 11 of the same passage, the Apostle Paul said to comfort one another with these words! So, for as long as we are still here, we must make the most of what little time we have left until we hear that great Trumpet and the voice of God calling us out of of the way of the judgment that is coming, and HOME.
Forever in His Service,