Matthew 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
We at Truth Ablaze believe that those of us alive today are indeed that fig tree generation that will see all things fulfilled, beginning with the rapture of the church. Yes, I know that many honest and sincere Christians through the ages have thought that they would be the generation that would see the coming of the LORD. So what makes this time any different you might ask? Well, there are reasons too numerous to list here, but let’s look at just a few. The bible tells us some signs or indicators that will clue us in as to the end of the church age. Let’s look at a few:
There will be signs of moral decay and a rise in humanism and self-worship:
II Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth
Jesus said that the days just before the coming of the LORD would be characterized by violence and evil thoughts, just as the days before Noah’s flood.
Genesis 6:11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 6:12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. 6:13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Apostacy and false teachers
False teaching in the church and lukewarm Christianity are very clear indicators as well. Ironically, at a time when the church should be more on-fire for God than ever before, it is more backslidden and worldy than ever before. Here is what the Word says concerning the matter.
I Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils
Notice that devils/demons have doctrines. And through the voice of blind shepherds and false teachers, their teaching is able to permeate and corrupt even good churches. Remember the scriptures state that “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”
II Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
There’s nothing worse than a preacher that loves the praise of men more than the praise of God. One thing that jumps out at me is that there is no lack of “religion”, (notice they are flocking to hear sermons) but that the people have no desire to hear true gospel preaching.
Jesus warned of deception at the end of the age as well. As a matter of fact, when He was asked about the signs of His return and coming kingdom, that was one of the first things He addressed.
Matthew 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Scoffers and mockers
One of the favorite tools of the enemy in the last days, is to make people doubt that the return of Christ will happen in their lifetime.
II Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation
Jesus said that it is an evil servant that puts the coming of the Lord out of their minds and relegates it to some future day far far away.
Matthew 24:48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
The prophet Amos, also speaks of similar words in the holy scriptures.
Amos 6:1 Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came! 6:2 Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath the great: then go down to Gath of the Philistines: be they better than these kingdoms? or their border greater than your border? 6:3 Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near
Wars and rumors of wars, distress of nations, and chaotic weather events
Nations and nationalities are gathering together for war. Within the last 100 years, we have had two “world wars” and are on the verge of the third.
Matthew 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places
The last part of the above verses also speak of famines, pestilences (deadly diseases for which there are no cures), and natural disasters (earthquakes and floods-see the verses below in Luke). As a noted prophecy teacher Dr. David Reagan (of Lamb and Lion ministries) has stated, weather related signs are among those that are least respected among prophecy students and the world in general. Of course, the line of thinking is that there have always been natural disasters so they are not an accurate barometer of prophetic trends. Dr. Reagan points out correctly however, that Jesus gave us a clue in Matthew 24:7
Matthew 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 24:8All these are the beginning of sorrows
Now in order to really understand this passage, it is helpful to know a little something of the original languages the scriptures were written in. The term “beginning of sorrows” in verse 8 above, can also be rendered as something similar to “birth pangs.” In other words, as we see rapid fulfillment of these events, and acceleration in frequency, we can know that the time is near. Just as a woman with child, as the time for delivery comes closer-the contractions become less far apart, and greater in intensity, until eventually the child is brought forth. So we too, as we see these earthquakes, hurricanes, natural disasters, and world perplexities increase in frequency and magnitude-we can see the coming of the LORD quickly approaching.
Again, to paraphrase Dr. Reagan’s sentiments about the weather related signs; Many people scoff at the notion that the LORD uses natural events (like weather) to warn of impending spiritual calamity. And yet the scriptures are full of such examples such as the flood of Noah’s day and the weather judgements on Israel prophesied by Amos. Dr. Reagan also cites the supernatural star in the sky at the day of Christ’s birth, and the earthquake and darkness at the time of His crucifixion.
Luke 21:25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 21:26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken
As we approach an age where terms like “weapons of mass destruction” are commonplace, then it is evident that fear has gripped our society. We live in an age where there are now “terror alerts” issued in our own country. It is not only the traditional superpowers that have access to these deadly weapons, but now even the radical third-world groups have access to these. If ever there was a time to trust completely in the LORD and live for Him…..it is now!
The nation of Israel is one of the keys to understanding the signs of the times
In 1948, Israel became a nation again after being dispersed among the nations after the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A.D. This is important, because the bible demands that there be a state of Israel with Jerusalem as its capital in the end times. Let’s look at just a few scriptures that show that Israel would indeed be gathered together again and brought into their covenant land.
Isaiah 11:12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
Isaiah 66:8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children
Not only does the bible predict that the Jews would come back to the land, but that it would flourish and blossom.
Isaiah 35:1 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. 35:2 It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.
Ezekiel 36:33 Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. 36:34 And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. 36:35 And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.
Psalm 102:16 When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.
Jerusalem is the major focus of all biblical prophecy. It is interesting that literally the whole world is concerned with the dispute over this ancient land. The bible foretold that in the last days all nations would become involved with this little corner of the world that is the “city of the great King.”
Zechariah . 12:2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. 12:3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
We would do well to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and to continue to be a friend to Israel. The Lord has promised to bless those that bless Israel, and curse those that curse them. It seems that the whole world has taken upon themselves the “burden” of dividing up the Lord’s land. This will have devastating consequences.
Joel 3:1 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, 3:2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land
Jesus foretold that Jerusalem would indeed be inhabited by the Jewish people in the last days, and that the nations of the earth would gather themselves there for the time of trouble.
Luke 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
Yet another sign that is often overlooked is that of technological advances
The prophet Daniel foretold that in the last days that man’s technology would be greatly exponentially advanced compared to the generations preceding it.
Daniel 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
I think this scripture speaks for itself, but just think about the technology that has occured just in the last 100 years. We can now travel all around the world (even into space), we can converse with anyone around the globe (via phone or internet), and medicine has advanced by leaps and bounds. Several prophecies (especially in Revelation) which before now were unable to be understood can now be clearly understood. For example, the two witnesses of Revelation will be killed while the whole world watches in awe. Prior to sattelite technology, this was a mystery as to how it could be. But now, we know that within a few minutes time-we can be aware of breaking news in almost any part of the world-and not only that, but there are cameras there for us to watch!
The advanced technological weaponry now available to the armies of the world makes it possible for the devastating loss of life prophesied in the word of God also. Some estimate that almost two-thirds of the earth’s population will be extinguished during the tribulation period. Jesus even stated that “except those days should be shortened, no flesh should be saved.”
What does all this mean to me you might ask?
Well, I will address this message to believer and unbeliever alike. This is no time to be slumbering or sleeping. This is not a time to be living according to our own heart’s lusts. The world is about to enter a time period unlike any other. For those who are walking closely with the LORD, there is nothing to fear. I firmly believe the true church will be removed prior to the terrible tribulation period. I know there are some who would teach and preach that every one who has ever prayed a “sinner’s prayer” will be raptured prior to the tribulation. I do not have a monopoly on the truth, but from what I can earnestly gather, only those who are living for the LORD and walking uprightly before Him , living a spirit-filled life will be taken up before the tribulation. There are many who would disagree with me, but as for me and my house, we’re going to be safe rather than sorry. This is not some trivial matter to be gambling with, we are talking about eternity-folks, that means forever!
I don’t have a formula or a prayer for you to repeat, but my message is simple. Jesus is coming soon and it is time to repent or perish. If you have questions about salvation, please click on the link below titled “salvation.” It is my sincere desire and prayer that no one who reads this message will be left behind.
******If for some reason you are reading this, and you have missed the rapture, my prayer goes out to you now. There is most assuredly a person on the scene who claims to have all the answers to the world’s problems. Before long, he will kill all those who oppose his plan and all professing Christians will be sought out for destruction. I know this is very difficult, but you must be faithful unto death. If you have access to a bible, I want you to remember what Jesus said to the church at Smyrna in the book of Revelation.
Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death
. There is hope beyond this life, and “he that endureth until the end shall be saved.” I know this may seem like an impossible task, but it would be better to lose your life in this world and gain eternal life, than to survive just a little while and lose your eternal soul.*****************