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In the prologue of this book we considered some of the disasters that have befallen our world and some of which are hanging over our head like the sword of Damocles. I made the statement that they were the result of rejection of the Creator, rejection of His offer of Salvation and disobedience to Him and his written word.  Many of these disasters are directly stated in the Bible and others are implied. We can regard certain aspects of moral decay as sin, but in fact they are the result of a greater sin. The greater sin is rejection of God the Creator and salvation through Jesus, from which the inevitable outcome are the kinds of effect we are witnessing. They are evidence that God has rejected those who have rejected Him.

As with the analogy of the car that is never serviced, we have got away with this for thousands of years, but the indications are that this time is drawing to a close. I make this statement based on two observations. Firstly, the state of the world today as we read about it in newspapers and see on the television. However, most of the truth of what is really going on never appears in the main line media, which is heavily sanitised and biased. You need to search the Internet to find true and unbiased reporting and even then it is hard to know what is the actual truth, what is perception and opinion and what is filtered. Secondly, the prophetic statements made in the Bible concerning the End Times, that are being fulfilled right before our eyes. The media is simply confirming that the Word of God is true.

 

Romans Chapter 1 states ‘The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another….  Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.’ (Romans 1:18-24, 28-32. NIV)

 

This shows us that rejection of God leads to immorality and depravity, deserving of death. It would also seem that approval is just as bad as practicing such acts. We are seeing increasingly the approval and even legislation by governments permitting all kinds of dubious lifestyles, which are major contributors to the breakdown of society. When sin entered the world, not only the sinner, man, was affected, but all of creation suffered. And as the sin of man increases it has an increasing disastrous effect on the whole creation. ‘We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time’ (Romans 8:22)

 

Some of the outcomes are the direct result of man’s foolishness or lack of knowledge. Had we known about the effects of liberating certain gases into the atmosphere decades ago, we would have taken action, but now it is too late.

 

Deuteronomy 28:16-68 gives a terrible catalogue of misfortunes that will come upon the nation that turns away from God. It includes stillbirths, scorching by the sun, famines, oppression, confusion, robbery, madness, blindness, defeat, boils, tumours, every kind of disease and disaster.

 

It is not so much that God sends these disasters as that, in turning away from Him a nation exposes itself to all kinds of attack. When we refuse to come under His protection, we open the door to malicious forces bent on our destruction.

 

Our planet is protected from asteroids and other space debris by the huge gravitational forces of Mars and Jupiter. These large planets act as vacuum cleaners, sweeping up most of the particles flying through space before they get into our gravitational field. God designed the solar system for our protection and yet we take it for granted.

 

People often ask the question ‘Why can a God of love allow so much suffering? In fact the question should be the other way around ‘How can it be that there is so little suffering in such a hostile universe? With the number of forces that are at work to destroy us, from asteroids to viruses, it is amazing that Man has survived as long as he has. The reason is that God is constantly protecting us, but if we consistently and deliberately refuse His love and protection, we expose ourselves to danger. Unfortunately, when disaster strikes, the innocent as well as the guilty also suffer.

 

So without the covering of God’s protection, the future does look very bleak. Take a look at these examples of what we can expect to happen as described in the Bible:

 

‘The LORD will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. The LORD will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed’. (Deuteronomy 28:22-24)

‘The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry.’ (Psalm 18:7)

‘There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.’ (Luke 21:11).

‘All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shrivelled figs from the fig tree.’ (Isaiah 34:4)

‘Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' (Matthew 24:29)

 

As we discussed in the introduction to this book, we are experiencing these disturbances in nature already and they can only get worse: ozone layer depletion and greenhouse effect leading to global warming, extreme weather patterns with flooding and sea levels rising; asteroids colliding with Earth; earthquakes and famine.

 

‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.’ (Mark 13:8)

‘There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ (Luke 21:25-26)

 

We can expect an increase in wars, ethnic cleansing, terrorism and fear.

 

‘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. 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; 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.’ (Revelation 8:9-11)

 

So pollution of land, sea, rivers and air as well as a scarcity of fresh clean water is something to expect. Incidentally, the Russian word for wormwood is Chernobyl, which is the name of the town in which a nuclear reactor exploded in 1986 rendering the surrounding area uninhabitable for years.

 

‘The LORD will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess. The LORD will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. The LORD will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. The LORD will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind.’ (Deuteronomy 18:21,22,27,28)

 

By disobeying God we can expect an increase in incurable diseases and hostile organisms that do not respond to antibiotics as well as epidemics of infections like bird flu.

 

‘This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.’ (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

 

‘Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 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. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.’ (2 Peter 3:3-10)

 

We are already seeing the results of moral decay leading to breakdown of marriage and family. This leads to lack of discipline, increasing violent crime and lack of respect for life.

 

These things are happening right now and the deterioration is for all to see, but they will come to an end as the Lord will have to step in to take control.

 

The question is when will this happen?

Nobody knows that answer to that except God Himself. Why did it not happen a thousand years ago, and how do we know it will not be a thousand years in the future? As we have discussed, a thousand years is as a day to God.

 

However, many of the circumstances which are predicted in the end-times scenario could not have taken place a thousand or even a hundred years ago. For example the placement of the Jews in the land of Israel is key to the unfolding events and this did not occur until 1948. Some of the prophecies indicate sophisticated technology in warfare, communications and travel which only came about in the last century. So the elements are all in place and the stage is set for the end to begin.

 

Let us now attempt to summarise the key points of the future events as we have discussed them.

 

Despite all of us hoping and even praying to the contrary, the state of the world is going to continue to deteriorate over the coming years. Godlessness, immorality and lawlessness will increase and prevail. Famine, disease, warfare, terrorism and delinquency will be rife and will spiral out of control.

Many will become disillusioned. The love and faith even of many believers will grow cold. Islam will increase in its scope and effectiveness to the point of taking over governments. Christians and Jews will become persecuted minorities. Pressure to eliminate the state of Israel will increase.

Nations will begin to unite against common enemies like global warming, world-wide environmental catastrophes, famine and terrorism. The world will become ripe and prepared for a global government and dictatorship.

 

At some time in the imminent future, the existing population of genuine followers of Jesus will be transported from Earth into Heaven in an event called The Rapture. At this point there will be no true believers left on Earth.

 

After this a great politician will emerge who will negotiate a peace treaty between the Jews and the Arabs. This man, called the Anti-Christ will become more and more dominant, to the degree that he will be worshipped as if he were God himself. He will head up a single government that will rule the entire world, having total global control of all trade and commerce. People will be forced to receive a mark, possibly a computer chip or a badge of allegiance, on their forehead or right hand or arm, in order to trade. Anyone refusing the mark will suffer intolerable persecution. In particular, Jews for whom marking of the body is desecration and against their law, will be among those refusing the mark. Jews will become very unpopular and be herded into Israel. As persecution intensifies, the Jews will cry out to God and He will respond to their plight. He will open their eyes to recognise that the Messiah is Yeshua, the one they rejected. As a result of this, 12,000 Jews from each of the tribes will become evangelists and begin to convert the world; 144,000 of them, with great effect. (Revelation 7:4)  There will be a revival of faith in Jesus such as never seen before.

 

A great division will take place between those who align themselves with God and the Jews, and those who are aligned with the Anti-Christ. The nations will gather together against Israel with the purpose of finally eradicating the Jews and a great war will develop, centred on Israel in the plain of Megiddo – the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16). As the nations converge in warfare, Israel will be in danger of annihilation and they will have nowhere to turn for help. They will have been abandoned by all other nations. They will cry out to God, who will respond to them with support from the armies of Heaven. Jesus Christ heading up a vast spiritual army will come to Earth and conquer and subdue Israel’s enemies. There will be a terrible slaughter. It will take the Jews 7 months to clear up the dead after the war. (Ezekiel 39:12)

During the conflict the Anti-Christ will be killed. Afterwards Satan and his demonic hordes will be bound and thrown into an abyss for 1000 years. (Revelation 20:3)

Then Jesus will set up a Kingdom on Earth over which He will be King. He will choose people to reign with Him to form a worldwide government that will rule with total justice and goodness. There will be no sickness and people will live a very long time. Vicious enemies, even in the animal world will live at peace. The world will become the place God originally intended it to be for a full 1000 years, which we call the Millennium.

This was seen in a vision by John as expressed in the Revelation in which he says, ‘And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.’ (Revelation 20:4-6)

 

It is a mystery as to the identity of the people who will reign with Him. A possibility is that they will be people of His choosing from those who have already died or been raptured, but now returning to earth in ‘heavenly bodies’, just like Jesus did after the resurrection. John also saw resurrected souls of those that had been beheaded for their testimony. It is significant that Islam still uses this method of execution, which may be perpetrated during the Great Tribulation.

 

During the millennium there will be peace and harmony. Satan and the demonic forces will be bound up in the abyss, so that mankind will have the opportunity to live without satanic interference. The environment will be cleaned up overnight. Natural enemies of the animal world will lie down together without fear (Isaiah 11:6). People will live for hundreds of years in good health (Isaiah 65:20).

At the end of the millennium, the demonic hordes will be released from the abyss for a short period. It is not clear why this should be. It could be a final unleashing of judgement on the world as man, even without the influence of Satan will still have a tendency towards evil.  At the same time it would allow those who have previously opted out of making a decision to have to choose between God and Satan right at the end of time. John continues, ‘And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.’ (Revelation 20: 7-10)

 

Satan will gather together many nations, including Gog and Magog, which many believe to refer to the nations to the north of Israel. Together they will attack Israel and Jerusalem, which is the seat of the Messianic government. At this point, God himself intervenes, and finally puts an end to Satan and all of his followers casting them into the lake of fire forever. This battle is often confused with Armageddon, but my understanding is that Armageddon is a human war, whereas this final battle will be largely spiritual, with fire from heaven destroying the demonic hordes and their allies.

 

After this, the earth and indeed the physical universe will have completed their function. The Earth and everything in it will be burned up (2 Peter 3:10). The universe will be rolled up like a scroll (Isaiah 34:4). Then all of mankind will be judged: the living and the dead will stand before the judgement seat of Christ. Those that are still in rebellion will be consigned to hell and those that belong to Christ will be received into Heaven for all eternity.

 

Now some of this seems very unlikely and hard to take seriously. Many if not most people will regard this last set of events we have been discussing as figurative and symbolic. Conversely some may try to put physical interpretations on the spiritual: fire from heaven could refer to nuclear warheads. The total destruction of the earth and the universe is the ultimate end point of the law of entropy anyway. But is the heat death of the universe something that is millions of years away or are there just about 1000 years to go? The idea of the universe being rolled up like a scroll aligns with the idea of the 4 dimensions being rolled or folded into the 5th dimension. So whilst some of these events are expressed supernaturally, there is a sense in which they are destined to happen and the question is when rather than if.

However, when we consider the foundations of our beliefs, the creation, virgin birth, resurrection and the ascension, there is much that is beyond our normal experience. As we become aware of these other dimensions, beyond our own 3 dimensions, our imagination and belief are stretched to accept the miraculous and the supernatural by faith. Instead of scepticism and wariness, we become filled with excitement and anticipation, waiting by faith for the impossible to happen, like children open mouthed and wide-eyed at a pantomime.

 

These other dimensions are not millions of miles away; they are simply a warp or twist in the fabric of space and time right on our doorstep. God, Heaven and Angels are not light years away; God is right next to us when we reach out to Him. Also the spiritual kingdom with its principalities and demonic powers is right there in parallel to our earth. If God decides the time has come to put an end to our scepticism and unbelief by collapsing time and space and crossing the dimensional boundaries, that is His prerogative.

 

He has gone to extreme lengths to make it easy for us to engage with Him to show our true nature and where we stand regarding His covenants. Whether we will side with God Himself, with goodness and justice and love or whether we turn against him and align ourselves with the powers of darkness, is a decision we will all have to make in this lifetime. Once we pass that threshold of what we call death, there is no way back.

 

God has made a lot of promises in the Bible that were sealed by the shedding of blood. The cost of that covenantal relationship was the very lifeblood of Jesus, who is God manifested in human form, shed on mount Calvary. It does not come cheap. All of these covenants have been or are in the process of being fulfilled. Whilst there are a lot of scriptural foundations and arguments for the future events we have been discussing, it is not possible to prove them until after the events take place, so we either believe them by faith or not.

 

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