The soon coming catastrophes
Listen Radio programs
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.
From slave labor in the sweatshops of Bangladesh, India, China, and the rest of the third world, to the exploitation of natural resources such as oil and gas in countries like Nigeria, to loss of life in the millions (not to the mention the maiming and other health problems) of innocent ‘collateral damage’ in the many wars that are ongoing in several parts of the world, the evils of mankind are all too well documented to be dismissed as propaganda or conspiracy. Powerful people (empowered by Satan) make conscious decisions, knowing full well the human cost of those decisions yet profit trumps compassion; greed trumps mercy, and the love of money rules rather than the love of God or even the love of man. Philanthropy (love of man) is an ideal not truly found in human hearts; even the so the so – called charitable organizations exist more for profit than for charity towards man. This series is not being written to document the diseased condition of the human soul, and the depths of Satan to which man sinks so that he becomes a beast and may no longer be even identified as mankind. The purpose of this series is to study the signs given by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to prepare His body for truly unprecedented and extremely perilous times, the likes of which this world has never seen. However, I would exhort readers to study the true nature of our world to understand the wickedness that lurks behind the seemingly beautiful façade. Jesus compared the Pharisees of His day to whitewashed sepulchres, beautiful on the outside but filled with rotting bodies and bones on the inside. This comparison is also applicable to the present day world; the stores filled with beautiful clothes, shiny automobiles in showrooms, and other worldly goods hide the diseased and rotting condition of the evil that lurks just beneath the surface. And no wonder! Given that the Bible identifies Satan as the ‘god of this world’, there is no reason for us to expect any real beauty or integrity in this world, comprised as it is of deceived and deceiving humans.
The word ‘World’ as defined in previous segments means ‘The System’. The System is comprised of all human activities that bond people in a group to serve common purposes. Therefore The System is not just monetary or economic; it also includes politics and religion. So the three main divisions that bond people together into a common group are as follows:
However all of these divisions are interconnected so that economics cannot be separated from politics, and in turn politics cannot be separated from religion. So the end of The System, or of this world, will mean an end of the Economic System as symbolized by the whore of Babylon (Rev. 17:5), the end of the Political System as symbolized by the beast that rises up out of the sea (Rev. 13:1), and the end of the Religious System as symbolized by the false prophet (Rev. 13:11). Once again it bears repeating that these divisions do overlap and each system incorporates ideologies of the other. Money (Economics) brings Power (Politics), and Power in turn demands Worship (Religion). This is the reason why the Beast, the False Prophet, and the Whore all are rich and powerful religious entities that are worshipped by almost all the people of the world. Money is the foundation of the System and as I wrote in part 4, the end of the world signifying the return of Christ Jesus begins with the end of the monetary economic system, which I believe we are witnessing today. Since it is money that brings power and worship, it is only appropriate that the end begins with the ending of the Economic System, and ends with its complete destruction so that the merchants of the earth weep and mourn because no man buys their merchandise any more. Revelation 18:11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more…
For the first time in history, since perhaps the day of Noah, the economies of the whole world have become inextricably interlocked. This is one of the main reasons why we can surmise that what we are witnessing in our generation is a fulfillment of prophecy. Since the end of the world means a complete and total destruction of the money based economic system, the system of buying – selling, and of merchandising and trading, it could only happen on a worldwide basis if the economies of the whole world were interlinked. How interlinked they have become is something the whole world has been finding out painfully over the past three years, and I believe the pain has only just begun. So it behooves us to keep a very close eye on the economic situation of the world, particularly in the US; if the US economy continues to deteriorate, it will lead to worldwide economic catastrophe. And since Geo – Politics is directly interlinked with Economics; such a catastrophe will certainly lead to political turmoil, both internal and between nations thus fulfilling Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 24:7 “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom”… So the very foundation of our world’s systems is Money, and when we think about it, the evidence of this fact is all around us. The whole world is engaged in some type of money earning activity, a job or a business because it is near impossible to survive in this world without money, except perhaps on a very primitive tribal level. Even Jesus in the days of His flesh made use of money for we are told that His ministry had a purse for their needs into which people contributed. Incidentally Judas the betrayer of Jesus was the treasurer of Jesus’ ministry, and betrayed Him for money because He loved money more than He loved His Lord and God. So before the foundation of the world system can be destroyed, the edifice that rests upon it must needs be chipped away. In my estimation, we are now witnessing the beginning of the stone by stone removal of the edifice of the world’s economy that will first of all bring us to the days of the mark of the beast, and finally to the days when the system will have been completely destroyed so that the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn because no man buys their merchandise any more.
In all my years of studying scripture, the book of Revelation in particular, I can only now say that what we are witnessing with the ongoing economic crisis is the beginning of the end. As noted in previous segments, Jesus prophesied that the events that must come to pass before His return, events that cause the world to end, would last no more than the lifespan of one generation, 40 years or less.
In making a comparison between the budding of a tree in the spring heralding summer to the events that will occur prior to the end of the world, Jesus taught that a period of time must pass between the first viewing of the signs to the time that the signs have actually been fulfilled. The first budding of the fig tree is only a sign that summer is near, yet a few more months must pass before summer actually arrives and the tree is filled with fruit. So too there will one particular generation that will begin to see ‘all these things’ come to pass, and that very same generation will also see ‘all these things’ or prophesied signs fulfilled. The word ‘Generation’ can also mean a family, a tribe, a nation, and a race but in context of the above scriptures, this word means the period of time that is accounted to be one generation in the Bible, and that time period is 40 years. Words such as ‘When’, ‘Near’, ‘Till’, ‘Fulfilled’ are clearly indicative of a passage of time in the above verses, not a family or race. And the parable that Jesus gave of the fig tree budding in the spring, and bearing fruit in the summer is also clearly indicative of a passage of time.
It is also very important to understand that all the signs Jesus Himself gave in the gospels, and the things that were shown to the apostle John, which he wrote in the book of Revelation, must occur over the lifespan of only one generation, no more, no less. It therefore stands to reason that none of the prophesied events concerning the end times have yet come to be fulfilled. Although much has happened over the course of history, especially in the realm of catastrophic destruction and warfare that people have equated with fulfillment of end times prophesies, that I believe is an erroneous interpretation. There is a difference between the judgment of God upon man and the fulfillment of prophecies of the end of the world. As any student of history understands, man’s evil never takes a break, it is constantly ongoing, therefore one part of the world or the other is always under the judgment of God, whether it be through drought, famine and other natural disasters or through warfare. The difference between these historical judgments, as for example that of the Canaanites, of even of the Israelites, or Europe in the Middle Ages, and the end of the world is that in the days of the last generation, God’s judgment will befall the entire planet at the same time resulting in unprecedented catastrophic destruction and loss of life on a scale never seen before, and all this will happen in a relatively short period of time. So although it is true that there have been judgments that resemble prophesied events of the end times, yet they are not a fulfillment of end time prophesies because ‘all these things’ must happen in quick succession over the lifespan of just one generation. The catastrophes that will surely overtake the world and befall our planet may be divided into the following categories:
1. GLOBAL ECONOMIC COLLAPSE / in its very early stages at present, will continue to impact more and more nations, and an ever increasing number of people leading to social unrest, famines and warfare.
2. HUMAN WARFARE / unlike all previous wars of men, the coming wars in the beginning stages of the end of the world, especially those on a global scale, will be of a ferocity and intensity never before seen in history. Therefore none of the previous wars may be viewed as fulfillment of end times prophesies.
3. WEATHER RELATED CATASTROPHES / Droughts and floods will devastate large areas of the planet resulting in famine and food shortages on a scale never witnessed in history. It will also result in displacement of people on an unprecedented scale; the flood disaster in Pakistan this summer is just a preview of what lies directly ahead. Super storms such as Category 6 – 7 hurricanes and typhoons will surely cause much destruction on coastal areas, and even far inland. Tornadoes, blizzards, extreme heat and cold, and other weather related disasters will become commonplace.
4. ANIMALS GONE WILD / there is a curious verse of scripture in the book of Revelation that speaks of a quarter of the earth’s population being killed in a short time by warfare, famine, natural disasters and BEASTS OF THE EARTH. Revelation 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. Because of extreme weather problems, the natural habitats of animals will be destroyed to a great extent, and therefore their natural sources of food will be exhausted. Thus it stands to reason that they will seek food wherever they can find it, and human beings will begin to look mighty tempting to them (for dinner, that is!)
5. NATURAL TERRESTRIAL DISASTERS / in the beginning stages of the end of the world, major earthquakes will be centre stage in the arena of natural disasters. Like the coming wars, these earthquakes will be of magnitudes greater than that of any previously recorded earthquakes, even powerful ones such as the one in Haiti earlier this year. Jesus spoke of tsunamis and other powerful disasters that will also wreak much destruction on the Earth and result in great loss of life.
6. COSMIC HEAVENLY DISASTERS / in later stages, the planet will be bombarded with projectiles from space that will result in contamination of sea and fresh waters, and also cause loss of life in the tens of millions if not more. Science will attempt to explain these impacts as a result of naturally occurring space debris, such as asteroids, but in fact these projectiles may not be natural objects at all. Even if they are, they will be intelligently directed; they will not be a result of random or so – called ‘natural’ events.
7. UNHUMAN / SUPERHUMAN WARFARE / Though most prophecy teachers dismiss the locusts out of the bottomless pit, and the horsemen of Revelation, chapter 9 as mere human beings, the Biblical description leaves little doubt that the ‘locusts’ are a species that are not human, nor of any known animal, they would appear to be alien. The ‘horsemen’ although identified as men overseen by evil angels; they too are not exactly human but are more like ‘supersoldiers’, genetically and technologically enhanced humans that have superhero like powers. The link is to an article I wrote earlier on the advances in the field of transhumanism, the field of study that blends man and machine.
In the next part to this series, I will tabulate the stages or phases in which the above listed catastrophes will impact the whole earth in increasing magnitude and intensity till the very end. By making a list of the signs, and of the events that will indicate a fulfillment of those signs, and by tabulating a sequence of events, we can create a timetable of the days of the last generation. As previously proven, I believe that ‘all these things’ must occur over the lifespan of one generation, a time period of no more than 40 years. In all likelihood, it will be less than 40 years since Jesus told us that the days would need to be cut short for the elect’s sake. In the days of His flesh, Jesus lived to be 33 years old, so I would speculate that the days of the last generation will be 33 years long. The Greeks also calculated one generation to be roughly 33½ years, so a period of time of this length for end time events to be fulfilled is reasonable. Please note that this is speculation on my part, and in no way do I present this view as dogma. This is the very purpose for which our LORD God gave us these signs in such detail, so that we can have a very accurate understanding of where we stand on the timetable of end times events. This is the whole purpose of prophecy so that we can ‘Watch and Pray’ so that the end does not come upon us unawares.
Some readers have disputed my teaching that ‘all these things’ that are written in the whole Bible regarding the last generation are yet to be fulfilled in the future, they contend that Jesus can come anytime since most of the prophecies have already been fulfilled. Some have also disputed my understanding that the purpose of the signs is for us to know and be aware of the exact time table of events, perhaps even the exact day of Jesus’ return to Earth. I would like to respond to these contentions in this segment of the series and hopefully prove that ‘all these things’ that comprise the end of the world events are yet in the future, and also that we should have a very good understanding of the times so that we do not expect Jesus’ return before the time, and also do not become complacent or disheartened thinking that He is never returning. Let’s turn once again to the following scripture:
The disciples did not ask Jesus for only the signs of the end of the world, they also asked Him for signs of His return to Earth (the Second Coming.) Let’s look at the following verses of scripture:
It goes without saying that Jesus has not yet returned with clouds as prophesied, therefore His return is yet in the future, this fact alone clearly proves that the end of the world is also in the future since it is intricately connected to the Second Coming of Jesus. Now let’s take a look at the following list of events regarding the end of the world that have yet to be fulfilled:
1. Revelation 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. / I do not believe at any time since the days of Noah has a ¼ of the earth’s population been killed by war, famine, natural disasters and the beasts of the earth in a relatively short period of time (I would estimate this will happen in less than seven years.)
2. Revelation 8:7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. / I have never read in history of any time that a third of all vegetation, and all green grass had been burnt up across the planet.
3. Revelation 8:8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; 9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. / Never in history since the days the apostle John wrote the book of Revelation has a third part of the sea been contaminated, nor a third part of the marine life in the sea died, nor have a third part of the ships at sea been destroyed by a single catastrophic event.
4. Revelation 8:10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; 11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. / Once again in the past 2000 years, never have the third part of fresh waters in the world been contaminated leading to an untold number of deaths.
Time would fail me here to write of the dozens of other events just in the book of Revelation that have not yet been fulfilled. For example:
1. The army of locusts tormenting men for five months (Revelation 9)
2. The army of (supersoldier horsemen) led by the demon Abbadon / Apollos killing a third of the human population (Revelation 9)
3. The two witnesses testifying for 3½ years in Jerusalem, then being killed, resurrected and translated to Heaven (Revelation 11)
4. The rise of the Beast and the false Prophet (Revelation 13)
5. The implementation of the mark of the Beast economic / mercantile system (Revelation 13)
6. The Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16)
7. The judgment of the whore of Babylon (Revelation 18)
9. The return of Jesus Christ (Revelation 19 – 20)
The above is a mere sampling of yet unfulfilled events and it is erroneous in my estimation to think that ‘all these things’ will happen in 7 years or less. As previously stated I fully expect that ‘all these things’ will indeed happen in quick succession over a period of roughly 3 decades but there is so much left to happen that it is unwise to think that Jesus’ return is imminent. Believers need to exercise much caution so that they are not caught unawares or they lose hope like the foolish virgins and let their lamps go out waiting for the return of their Lord. What do we learn from the parable of the wise and foolish virgins?
What we learn from the above scripture is that the bridegroom tarried, the wait was long, He did not come as quickly as they expected but the wise ones did not let their guard down, they did not give up hope because they knew that the wait could be long. The long wait actually wearied both the wise and the foolish virgins, so the events of the last generation will certainly take their toll, even on believers. Just like the prophet Jeremiah got drained, physically and spiritually, witnessing the destruction of Jerusalem, so too will believers be drained and worn out during the coming catastrophic times. But if we have been watching and praying, we will be mentally and spiritually prepared for a long test of endurance. Therefore even though the events may not last as long as we expect they will, it is better to view the coming of ‘all these things’ as a multi decade occurrence rather than happening over the course of a few short years. So a clear and accurate understanding of the timetable of the end is crucial to understanding the signs of the times so that we know exactly where we stand. I am personally convinced that ‘all these things’ are yet in the future but even if all of them are not, it is far safer for us to not expect the fulfillment of ‘all these things’ over a short period of time. If the events do take long, if the Bridegroom does tarry, our lamps will not go out because we will have prepared ourselves to stand and withstand for a long time.
In regards to the matter of the timing of Jesus’ return, it is supposed to be a complete mystery, and those who believe this to be the case base their interpretation on the following scripture:
Based on the above scripture, we have been taught that Jesus can appear any minute out of the blue sky because we are not supposed to know the day and hour of His return. In the days of His flesh, when Jesus uttered the above words, it would have been true that He Himself yet knew not the day or the hour when He would be returning. However the same is not true today, I am sure He knows exactly the day and the hour when He will return, and moreover, He will share that information with those who ‘watch and pray’. A careful study of the following scriptures reveals clearly that the information of the timing of the return of Jesus is not meant to be a mystery for believers, only for those who do not watch and pray.
That day will come stealthily, as a thief in the night upon unbelievers but not upon the chosen children of God who watch and pray. The apostle Paul admonished the Thessalonians, that THAT DAY should not overtake them as a thief in the night. When we consider this analogy carefully, what were both Jesus and Paul teaching the disciples? If someone is not looking, a thief can sneak in, and catch them unawares. But if someone is watching and knows when the thief will come, he will be ready for the thief and not be surprised by His coming. This is the whole purpose of watching and praying. If we do not expect to see Jesus till after He has arrived, what are we watching for? Therefore I believe that in the days immediately prior to the return of Christ, those who are watching and praying will know almost to the day when He will return. They may be tired, they may be worn out, but they will not be deceived. They will neither expect Him too soon nor lose hope if He tarries, and the wait is long.
To be continued…