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Friday, October 29, 2010

Is this the end of the world? Part 5C

Countdown to the last generation
In this segment of ‘Is this the end of the world?’ series of articles I would like to reiterate and expound upon the understanding that the end of the world does not mean the end of the planet but rather the end of the system that governs life upon the planet. Granted it will bring much destruction to the planet and will result in loss of human and animal life on an unprecedented scale but the planet Earth will outlast the end of the present world. Many people have contested my views that we cannot be aware of when the end will come based on scriptures such as the following one from the book of the apostle Matthew.
·          Matthew 24:36  But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

If we are not supposed to know the times and understand when the end will come, then it seems rather pointless that so much of the Bible is prophetic and gives us a great amount of detail regarding the events that will precede the end of the world which will culminate with the return of the Lord of lords and King of kings, Jesus Christ to Earth. The whole point of prophecy and of giving of signs is to show believers that which is to come. So that when the prophesied events do come to pass, we ought to know what comes next before it actually happens. Jesus Himself said that when we see ‘all these things’ we should know that His coming is near, even at the doors (Luke 21:28, Matthew 24:38).
So when His coming is that close as revealed by the signs, how can anyone claim that it is impossible to know when He will return? While we may not know the exact day and hour of His return, yet we should be very cognizant of the signs that He gave us that would precede His coming so that we can say with confidence that His coming is only a matter of years, and then a matter of months. I believe that when the time of His Second Coming draws closer, we may even know the exact day and hour. If that information was not yet revealed when Jesus was on Earth in the flesh, does not mean that the information has not now been made known by the Father to the Son, and in turn the Son will make it known to His disciples who wait for Him. After all Elijah knew the exact day and hour He was going to be taken up to Heaven, it did not take Him by surprise. It wasn’t as if He was going His merry way one day and all of a sudden the chariot of fire appeared and caught Him up to Heaven. So it is highly unlikely that real believers will be caught unawares regarding Jesus’ return. When the children of Israel were led out of Egypt by Moses, they knew the exact time and hour when they would be departing, when the flood of Noah was to come it did not catch Noah by surprise, just those who did not believe. Similarly those of us who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and await His return having their feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace will likewise be rewarded with the foreknowledge of the time of their Lord’s return; they will not even need to keep it a secret, for those who do not believe will continue with their lives as usual, and they are the ones that will be taken by surprise.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Is this the end of the world? / Part 5 b

Dear Readers:
I want to update you for the lack of new posting these past few days. My elderly father is in serious condition in hospital which has necessitated me travelling away from home for a few days now. This situation has prevented me from writing but I hope to have the next segment of ‘Is this the end of the world’ series up shortly. In the meantime I have the following links are to two shows I recorded on the subject last week. I have also included a brief synopsis of the chronology of the end times events that I will detail in subsequent parts to this series.
·         TKSCM: The Last Days Part 1
In previous segments of this series it was concluded that prophecy of yet future events forms a major part of the Bible. Beginning in the OT and continuing in the NT, and culminating with the book of Revelation, the Bible provides an incredible amount of detail in regards to end of the world and the events that must come to pass as the world begins to end, and finally comes to an end with the return of the King of kings, and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ, to set up His everlasting Kingdom upon Earth. As explained in preceding parts of the series, the events of the end will last some period of time, possibly as long as forty years. Any event that lasts forty years or thereabouts must by necessity occur in stages. Even the wanderings of the Israelites in the desert for forty years was not a continuous trek but was divided into clearly demarcated stages in which certain significant events occurred that propelled them towards the end, which in their case was the possession of the Promised Land. So too will the events of the end of the world transpire in stages over a period of time. Based on the book of Revelation, and supported by the gospel of Matthew, chapter 24, the end times events may be divided into three main categories with many significant events transpiring as a sub – category or within the time frame of the three main categories.
Before listing these categories and expounding upon them in detail, I want to clarify what I mean by terms such as ‘End of the World events’, ‘Last Days events’, ‘Day of the LORD’ events, and other such terms that signify the end of this world and the present age. As proven in part 5 and in previous segments, the events that are prophesied to occur that will signal the end of the world will transpire over the course of the lifespan of one generation. This is a time period that would be a maximum of 40 years, but in all likelihood will be shortened by a few years or else all life would perish on Earth. So the prophesies of the end of the world refer to the events that will transpire over the lifespan of just one generation which in this series will be termed ‘the last generation’. As proven in previous parts to the series the end of the age, and of the present world, will occur in stages that may last up to 40 years altogether. Based on Matthew 24 and the book of Revelation the end will transpire over three distinct stages or phases. The following is a brief summary of these stages and what transpires in them; I will fill in the details in the next segment.
STAGE 1 – THE ‘NATURAL’ STAGE / The ‘beginning of sorrows’
 I have termed the first stage the ‘NATURAL STAGE’ since the events that will transpire in this stage will be of a nature that is not extraordinary or something that has not been witnessed on Earth in the past.  Wars, famines, pandemics and earthquakes have been seen on Earth for thousands of years and the destruction that will be wrought in this stage is of the natural variety, not supernatural or cosmic.
Before the beginningwars, rumors of wars – people screaming ‘this is the end’, this is the end but Jesus said for us to not be deceived; the end is not yet. Matthew 24:4-6 I believe we are currently living in these days which precede the beginning of the days of the last generation.
The beginning of sorrowsWars, famines, pandemics and great earthquakes will cause much destruction and loss of life – this is the phase of the opening of the first four seals in the sixth chapter of the book of Revelation. This phase may last up to seven years and will result in the loss of human life of as much as a ¼ of the earth’s present population.
Short pause after the opening of the fourth seal when all four of the horsemen of the Apocalypse will have ridden and have wrought much destruction on a planetary scale. The destruction and loss of life will not necessarily be spread uniformly across the globe but some parts may be inflicted with much more severe destruction than others.
Enduring to the endJudgment of the house of God by afflictions, persecutions, imprisonments, even death. This phase which is included in the first stage is timed between the opening of the fourth and sixth seal in chapter 6 of the book of Revelation. It will result in a great multitude of believers being martyred for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
I will detail the expected events of stage 1 that I believe will begin very shortly, and the stages to follow in the next post.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Is this the end of the world? / Part 5

The soon coming catastrophes

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In previous segments of this series the following conclusions were drawn based on the teachings of Jesus in the gospels, and on the other prophetic portions of the Bible, the book of Revelation in particular. 
1.       THE WORLD IS GOING TO END / The disciples took for granted the fact that the world was going to end, what they inquired from Jesus was to clarify the following points regarding the end of the world:
2.       THE TIMING / ‘When shall these things be’ was the question that was posed to Jesus? In response to that question Jesus gave a whole series of signs that will be listed and detailed throughout this series.
3.       THE SIGNS OF THE END / The signs that the disciples desired of Jesus were meant first of all to show us that the return of Jesus was near, which in turn would indicate that the end of the world was also near.
In part 4 of this series I detailed some of the reasons why the world must end; this world will end as a result of judgment from God. Many people find it strange that God would want to judge the world because they claim that human beings are basically good. In a world whose god is Satan, it is not surprising that people think this way because they are conditioned to think that black is white, and white is black. So they excuse sin (error, falsehood, wrongdoing) unless society as a whole condemns it, and there is not much that is condemned by society these days since  ‘Anything Goes’ seems to be the motto of this world. The Bible teaches that ‘A little leaven leavens the whole lump’; so man has progressed steadily from excusing little sins, little evil deeds so that by now almost the whole lump is leavened. Therefore sin and evil are not viewed as such by humanity in general. However the wickedness of man is great in this earth, and God’s tolerance, His patience, has been pushed well beyond the limits of any man. Murder for profit is the motto of the corporatist world that has evolved into a body and soul destroying, finely tuned machine that kills without mercy. There is no doubt in my mind that more people die unnatural deaths in this world than those who live long and healthy lives. The average life expectancy of people in this world is estimated to be 65 years which I believe is on the high side, the worldwide average is probably closer to 60 years. This average in developed countries is around 80 but declines to the lower end of the scale to less than 40 in some African countries. The reason I make mention of these statistics is that there is a direct correlation between politico – economic policies and suffering in this world.