Often, those who pay special attention to current events and how they fit into the prophecies of the Holy Scriptures, are thought to be out of balance–sometimes even leaning toward fringe areas. Yet, as time passes, prophecy is fulfilled one Biblical prediction at a time, and things earlier seen as on the fringe become recognized as surprisingly quite real.
Having watched world events now since I was a teenager, I am recognizing things in the Scriptures that describe the very times we are living in today. Not everyone is drawn to pay as much attention, however, and so reaction is mixed at best. In a recent article, I quoted Isaac Newton predicting this very thing would happen. Most people, even those in the Church, would rather ignore such things and just enjoy life. Sadly, in much of the world, the “good life” is not available. People who know nothing but the grueling struggle for survival are very anxious about the future and are desperately looking for answers. If we, the Church of Jesus Christ–who have been given the answers–don’t tell them what God has given us to tell them, we are sadly failing in our task and will be required to give answer for our spiritual laziness.
Although there were a number of forerunners in the late 19th century, like the famous British theologian G.H. Pember, real awareness of the lateness of the age did not come about until after the second world war. After the “war to end all wars” proved not to be the end of war with the Korean war being launched only a handful of years after the capitulation of the Axis powers, the greatest lust for military superiority in the history of mankind commenced in full force. This was in fact, what caused President Eisenhower to leave the nation with a warning of the danger of the military complex gaining more power than it should have. He had a great concern that the military complex would get so out of control that eventually it could not be stopped.
Now here we are, 68 years after Japan surrendered to the Allied forces in 1946. Our world is threatening to become embroiled in a war like none the human race has ever imagined. Instead of tens of millions being killed, this time it will be billions! There are of course those that think the United Nations will be able to put out all of the fires. Then there are a growing number who think some benevolent aliens are going to appear just prior to the world destroying itself by nuclear war. Then of course there are those who are so lost in the fog of their magic mushrooms–whether the political variety, vain religious imaginings, or even the organic type, that they don’t have a clue of the monstrous evil that is hovering over the human race today like a huge predator drone.
Will the U.N. be able to achieve world harmony and peace? Absolutely not! ls there an alien force coming from the “Federation of Star People” that is going to save man from himself? No! There may be an invasion of “aliens”, but they won’t be some imagined extraterrestrials that God created to inhabit the billions of star systems in our universe, but rather a combination of fallen angels, demons, and hybrid beings following the commands of the irreversibly corrupt and fallen Lucifer, along with the other two members of his unholy trinity, the Antichrist and the False Prophet.
Are we facing war today? Yes! Will WW3 begin tomorrow? No. But, the fuse has already been lit, and the Lord has instructed us to be aware of what is happening in our world today and how it fits into Divinely inspired Scripture. The contemporary world around us desperately wants to know what is going on and if there are really any answers–or any hope! Avoiding “prophecy” can’t be justified because it is too “controversial.” Of course it’s controversial! Jesus Himself was controversial–as are His teachings! All one has to do is look at John chapter 6 and notice that almost all of Jesus’ followers left Him after what He said to them. Yet, He didn’t try to justify His words nor did He attempt to draw the people back. I have heard it said that “If it is important, it will be controversial.” It seems to be true!.
The study of the book of Daniel, the book of Revelation, and many of the last days prophecies within the inspired words written by the Old Testament prophets, are subjects that many people have avoided since the days of the early church. Very few understood much of what had been written because the understanding of much of end time prophecy was reserved for the generation of people who would be on this earth at the second coming of the Messiah. We are that generation! I have shared part of this passage before but because it applies to today’s subject, please take a moment to read it again. Here is how the interchange with Daniel went in Daniel 12:
Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others, one on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank. One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?”
The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, “It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.”
I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?” He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, becausethe words are closed up andsealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand… As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance. (verses 5-13 NIV)
Not only are we the last generation of this age, but we’re approaching the end of the last generation. The signs of the nearing Apocalypse are unfolding right in front of us. Most of the world around us has no idea what is already on its way, and most of the Church is sunning itself under the false-sun of “feel good” theology. I find it interesting that it seems that more of the non-churched people are aware of the cliff that the world is hurtling towards than are the churched.
Recently the Lord woke me from sleep in the middle of the night and said something rather abrupt. He said: “ It is time to wrap things up!” The warnings are escalating and coming to God’s prophets and watchmen all over the world now. I have heard these warnings from the Lord in my spirit for decades, but particularly in the last few years.
The apocalyptic red horse and rider in Revelation 6 represents war. I went into considerable detail earlier in the “Suddenly” series to explain why I believe the four horses of the Apocalypse have been released and are circling the earth, preparing for their last stampede which will bring on the terrible Day of the Lord. I believe each one has been released in its own time as God has preordained it. I believe the fourth horse, The pale-green horse and rider made an appearance in Cairo, Egypt in Tahrir Square, right in front of the main news cameras of the world. It appeared in phantom form, but quite visible. I will go into detail about this occurrence later in the “Suddenly” series.
Below are some passages foretelling what we are experiencing today:
“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…All these things are the beginning of birth pains…” Matthew 24:6-7 (NIV)
“When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.” Then He said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…” Luke 21:9-10 (NIV)
“When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…” Mark 13:7-8 (NIV)
When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword. Revelation 6:3-4 (NIV)
In the first three passages we find Jesus foretelling future events, each passage told by a different person. John is the only writer of the Gospels in the New Testament that didn’t refer to the discourse concerning the end times. He however referred to the same events told about in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21, but in a different setting. John was given his apocalyptic vision while a prisoner of the Roman Empire, on the isle of Patmos. John compiled his vision into the 22 chapters of the “Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ”, which is the last book of the Bible.
We find in these passages warnings of what was still to come. It describes these things as ever-intensifying birth pains, but the “birth” still ahead. Today we are seeing these birth pangs intensifying at an alarming rate, including wars and rumors of wars. Mankind has had wars from the very beginning but what we are seeing today is unique to man’s history in a number of ways. What we are witnessing today is unique to any other time in history in many ways.
There is a phrase in Matthew 24:22 that gives us a clue as to the condition of the world at the time when the end is looming in front of it. Jesus said, “…except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved.” This means that war will become so total that the annihilation of all people would be the outcome if God did not intervene. According to what Scripture foretells, the war to end all wars (WW2) will prove just to be a forerunner to war so horrific that it is impossible for any human being to even imagine.
This is the first generation that has been able to totally annihilate the entire population of the earth. In fact, there are so many nuclear weapons on this earth today that, not only could the entire human species be wiped off of the face of the earth, but the earth itself could be all but destroyed. To give some idea of the immensity of the destruction mankind is now capable of, the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima in 1946 was a 21 kiloton explosion. The bomb dropped on Nagasaki was a 13 kiloton bomb. Both cities were burned to the ground, with 200,000 people being killed instantly. Many times more were injured, of course. The explosion of a 1 kiloton atomic bomb is the equivalent of one thousand tons of TNT being exploded. This means that the explosion in Hiroshima was the equivalent of 21,000 tons of TNT being detonated at one time, and the bomb dropped on Nagasaki being the equivalent of 13,000 tons of TNT exploded.
One would think that having that much raw power at one’s disposal, the nations would not develop worse weapons. Yet, this is not the case. History shows that within a few short years, nuclear bombs were developed that would dwarf these two devastating bombs dropped on Japan. The nuclear nations also learned the technology that would enable them to reduce the size and weight of these more advanced systems, making them much easier to deliver and also diversify their usage.
History tells us that during the height of the cold war, thousands of American and Soviet ballistic missiles were capable of delivering up to ten independently targeted warheads at a time, each one twenty times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb. The largest nuclear explosion in history was the 1961 Soviet “Tsar Bomba” test, which measured more than 50 “megatons. One “mega” ton bomb equals one million tons of TNT. To produce an explosion this large using dynamite, it would require 50 billion kilograms (over 110 billion pounds) of TNT. Expressed in volume, this would amount to 18 blocks of TNT each as large as the Empire State building.
The process of producing these weapons varies between using highly enriched uranium or plutonium. There is also a vast difference between the energy output of a bomb based on fission as opposed to fusion. The important point is that the process of producing nuclear weapons since 1945 has improved at least 100-fold. Thermonuclear bombs yield explosions in the megaton range, that is, orders of magnitude many times more powerful than the atomic bombs described above. Using the newer design principles, a “doomsday device” could be created that would dwarf even the Tsar Bomba mentioned earlier. Nuclear bombs such as these have the capability of affecting the rotation of the earth and doing immense amounts of damage. The real danger however posed by thermonuclear weapons is their ability to pack huge amounts of explosive power into small, lightweight packages that can be delivered by missiles. Our world today has weapons of mass destruction many times over what would be necessary to destroy all life on the planet, besides the damage that would be done geologically.
The word “overkill” was not used until the detonations in 1945. Today, we are capable of even greater overkill! Today’s hydrogen bombs are several thousand times more deadly and destructive than the primitive atomic bombs of the World War 2 age. Gene Williams, author of “Nuclear War, Nuclear Winter”, said just one hydrogen bomb is the equivalent of bundling up all the explosive power of FIVE World War 2s, and setting it off within one second!
One only needs to do a little research on today’s nuclear submarines and the arsenal they carry to get a sense of the killing capacity of modern weaponry. Today’s airforce jets, like the B2 Stealth bomber, make WW2 planes look like they were from the horse and buggy days. Wars will soon be fought employing robots and super soldiers, flesh and blood soldiers that have been augmented using computer chips, bionics, and other scientific mutation through transhumanism or singularity.
The wars Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24 and the other Scriptures above simply could not have been fulfilled at any time in history other than this generation. Humanity has never built or designed weapons that were not eventually used. The fallen nature has created nuclear missiles stored underground and under the sea in submarines, armor-piercing laser beams, biological (germ) and chemical warfare, nerve gas, neutron bombs designed to destroy people (not buildings), heat-seeking and radar guided missiles and laser guided smart bombs.
It is hardly a wonder, considering the weaponry at man’s disposal, that the second horseman of the Apocalypse has the power to take peace from the earth. The conflicts spoken of in Revelation 6 could not possibly just have to do with the wars we’ve seen to this point, no matter how terrible or disastrous they were. What is spoken of in connection with the final stampede of the red horse and rider of war, is something never before seen in the history of man. The second horseman carries “a greatsword”, meaning instead of millions being killed as they were in WW2, billions will be slaughtered this time!
As we discussed in earlier parts of the “Suddenly” series, the apocalyptic white horseman has been circling the earth for some time now and has been leading the nations astray, preparing them for the great delusion just ahead. The “Great Delusion” is spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12:
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the Day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. (NIV)
This passage tells us that this powerful delusion will be allowed because mankind refuses to recognize or acknowledge the truth. It also tells us that even though there has been an abundance of lies made available to the human race, and though the “spirit of antichrist” has been in the world for millennia, there is still a “Restrainer” keeping this Great Delusion from taking over…yet. The Restrainer is the power of the Holy Spirit working through the true Philadelphia Church, which is still represented upon the Earth. Once God pulls this Restrainer from off this planet, all hell will break loose literally, including war–war like man has never seen it. This does not mean that the Holy Spirit leaves the earth, but the true Church is removed.
What we see forming in our world today is what was foretold by the ancient prophets of the Old Testament. The prophet Daniel was shown a succession of world empires starting with the Babylonian Empire of his day. King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that perplexed him greatly. Of all the soothsayers, astrologers and pagan prophets, no one could interpret the king’s dream, much less tell him the dream to begin with as he was demanding. Daniel however was not only given the full content of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, but also the interpretation. The king’s dream was of a great statue with a head of gold, arms and chest of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, and legs of iron, with feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. God, through this strange dream, told this pagan king of the world empires still to come. The Babylonian Empire which started in 606 BC only lasted until 536 BC when the Medes and Persians took the kingdom from the Babylonians and expanded it. The Medes and Persians were defeated by Alexander the Great in 331 BC. Alexander and the Greeks were then in turn defeated by the Romans between 30-27 BC. The Roman Empire lasted longer than all of them in that the western half of the empire was not defeated, but rather collapsed in about 476 AD. The Eastern half of the empire however lasted about another 1,000 years when it became so weak that it was taken over by the Ottoman Turks in about 1453 AD.
Daniel himself had a disturbing dream which is recorded in Daniel 7. This was during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson Belshazzar and was also of the same future world empires. Daniel’s account reads like this:
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying on his bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.
“Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.
“The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it.
“And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’
“After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.
“After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast–terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.
“While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully.”
What Daniel and King Nebuchadnezzar saw were virtually the same future details but different symbols being used by God in these men’s dreams to show them what was ahead in the world’s future. Both told of the next four world empires, with the fourth, being very different from the rest and terrible to behold, which would eventually lead to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Daniel was also shown the last world ruler, the antichrist himself showing up on the world’s scene before Jesus’ return to reclaim the earth and set up His righteous millennial Kingdom.
The Apostle John also saw a scene much like what Daniel saw several centuries earlier. It is found in the Book of Revelation and reads like this in verses 2-8:
And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. Men worshipped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshipped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?”
The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast–all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.
Today we have the advantage of looking back at history and seeing how these prophecies have been unfolding for over 2-1/2 millennia since Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar had their respective dreams. The great empires shown to these men have for the most part come and gone, just as God said they would. What we are seeing today is a morphing of the last empire into the terrible form that the Apostle John saw in Revelation 13. We also are at the time in history when the antichrist will make his infamous entrance onto the world’s scene very soon. .
For those who are walking in intimacy with God, the times ahead should not cause any fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us:
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (or fear), but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
This scripture tells us that we must discipline ourselves not to have fear. Fear will come knocking on our door but we must not let it in. The closer we walk with our Master however, the easier this is to do!
The Suddenness of events having to do with the Apocalyptic Red Horse and Rider will be continued in Part 9.