World leaders and scientists are frightened by the prospects of the future. They warn that man now possesses the means of committing cosmoside! They realize something totally unforeseen must soon occur to stop the present trend of world events – or man will finally destroy himself!
- In 1961 the late President John F. Kennedy warned a hushed United Nations Assembly, “Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind."
“Today,” he said, “every inhabitant of this planet must contemplate the day when this planet may no longer be habitable…. The mere existence of modern weapons-10 million times more powerful than any that the world has ever seen, and only minutes away from any target on earth- is a source of horror."…
“Together,” said President Kennedy grimly, “we shall save our planet- or together we shall perish in its flames”
What President Kennedy told the United Nations carries even more significance in the 21st Century. Today, the estimated number of stockpiled nuclear weapons are already enough to destroy the world population many times over!
Many other world-renowned leaders and scientists speak fearfully of the end of the world -the end of human civilization!
Take a look at “MIRVs,” which stands for “Multiple Independently Targeted Reentry Vehicles.” Instead of one missile carrying one warhead, Russian and American have developed and deployed missiles which carry many warheads. One such MIRV can do the same job as could 10-14 missiles previously. With MIRVs alone, the U. S. is capable of destroying Russia many times over! And, of course, Russian MIRVs could similarly “overkill” the United States of America!
The arms race is also spreading to outer space. Russia and China are capable of destroying U.S. early warning systems. They are also capable of delivering warheads to pre-selected targets. Politicians and military experts generally agree that whoever gains military control of space can rule the world. What will come next? The record of history proves that every weapon man has ever developed was eventually used!
Chemical and Biological Warfare
Though the subject has been given little publicity, some nations are now producing new super-weapons which may be even deadlier than nuclear bombs! Fifteen nations, including the U. S. and Russia already have a chemical and biological warfare potential.
Weapons of a chemical or biological nature are far less expensive to produce than complicated nuclear weapons. Any country with a good size brewery could manufacture germs about as easily as beer! But a huge question mark hangs over the advisability of using biological weapons on an enemy nation. Even the best-informed scientists are afraid the after effects of an all out biological war might backfire! Epidemics could spread around the world.
Only one thing is certain. No one can predict what actually would happen, because such biological weapons have never been adequately tested- until they are actually used on the battlefield! Britain tested biological weapons as early as 1941, when there was widespread fear that the Axis Powers might use germ warfare. In one test, Gruinard, a remote island off the northwest coast of Scotland, was sprayed with anthrax bacteria. The targets were sheep, which soon became infected and died. But the anthrax bacteria were so durable that the isle is still unsafe for people today! It is expected to remain that way for at least another 100 years!
There are Other Ways
Human life can only be sustained by air, water and food. But today man is polluting and poisoning all three of these necessities. Air pollution is now recognized as a growing international menace- one which not only threatens the health of man, but seriously affects the continued existence of all life.
Water pollution is another massive threat. Most of our rivers and lakes are so seriously polluted that supplies of drinkable water in many places have reached a crisis stage! Now, increasingly, it is being found that pollution is also seeping into our underground water supplies. A study by the U. S. Public Health Service indicates that millions of people in the United States are drinking water that is unfit for human consumption!
Man is infamous for having depleted and ruined the soil out of which his food must grow. More recently, he has vastly speeded up the process by using artificial fertilizers which actually defeat their very purpose by locking up other soil elements, thereby robbing vegetables, grains and fruits grown in such soils of the life-sustaining minerals and vitamins necessary for good health. We also use poisonous insecticides which not only exterminate more helpful forms of life in the soil and air than harmful, but also enter the ecological web of life and threaten the extinction of higher species of life. We are all potentially in danger!
Add to these urgent problems the worldwide revolution in the weather, droughts, floods and earthquakes and epidemics of disease. And if all these fast-accelerating evils do not destroy humanity soon, the experts say the effects of the population explosion will! The numbers are still increasing at the same time fewer and fewer nations are self-sufficient in food production. Just six countries are the major food exporters to the rest of the world community. If one or more of these exporter countries should experience serious shortfalls in food production due to bad weather or other unforeseen factors over several years, millions will go hungry and vast numbers will starve to death!
The earth’s population now numbers more than 7 billion people! How will they be fed? Hungry people are restless people. And starving people seldom just sit down and quietly die. They riot, revolt, pillage and murder in order to get food! The 2011 unrest in Egypt and other nations of the Middle East was a result of rocketing wheat prices over several years. Massive food shortages may spark future food wars, which could engulf the entire world in struggles for survival!
What is Needed
An accurate appraisal of man’s only hope for survival appeared in a leading U. S. news magazine. This appraisal indicated that among government officials the prevailing view is gaining acceptance that tensions and world problems are fast becoming too deep-seated to be solved, except “by a strong hand from someplace.”
That strong hand is coming- but from a source most people least expect! The Prophet Isaiah reveals that source in the Bible: “Behold, the Lord God will come with a strong hand…” (Isa. 40:10). The Bible shows there IS HOPE for mankind! God will SAVE us from ourselves and establish the Government of God on earth! He will not allow the misguided scientific genius of man to destroy all life from this planet!
This was Predicted Centuries Ago
The sad state of our world was predicted and written in advance. Over 1900 years ago, the greatest newscaster the world has ever known foretold today’s chaotic world conditions! He foresaw today’s scientific discoveries and technological advancements. And He foresaw the outcome of it all.
He knew that men would produce the destructive forces that now threaten cosmocide! This famous newscaster warned: “And except that ‘the Lord’ had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved [alive]” (Mark 13:20).
Prophecy Is for us, TODAY!
But some will still object, “There have always been ‘prophets of doom.’ People thought the world was coming to an end in the Middle Ages when the black death struck Europe.” These skeptics simply do not understand God’s timetable of prophecy. The end of man’s rule must, and will, come as God has scheduled it. Though some had thought otherwise, the end of man’s rule was not due in the Middle Ages.
We need to understand that every prophecy has a definite time setting- usually not in the prophet’s own day. Most prophecies of the Bible are yet to be fulfilled, and are for our time- TODAY.
There will be Scoffers in the Last Days
Our day is the day of so-called “Christian Atheism” when even theologians scoff at the idea of God’s existence and the prophesied intervention of Jesus Christ. Notice the Bible predicts a time when many will criticize God’s prophecies!
1. What did the Apostle Peter say would signal the “last days of man’s rule”? II Pet. 3:3-4.
2. Does God address a rebuke against such skepticism, especially to Israel? Ezek. 12:21-23.
COMMENT: Surprising as it may seem, this prophecy and the entire book of Ezekiel were written primarily for our day! When this book was written, the nation of Israel (not to be confused with the modern nation of Israel) had already fallen and been taken into captivity- from which she never returned- a full 120 years before.
History reveals that the ten-tribed nation of Israel (the northern kingdom) was taken captive by the Assyrians in 721-718 B.C. However, by the time God spoke this prophecy to Ezekiel, about 600 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was attacking the Southern kingdom of Judah. Ezekiel was already in a Babylonian slave camp (Ezek. 1:1), far from the regions where Israel had been carried by Assyria so long before. He was even farther from where some Israelites had subsequently migrated. (See The United States and British in Prophecy on Page 1 of the America and Britains Future Free Library, which explains where they went, and who ancient Israel’s descendants really are today.)
God gave Ezekiel a message to be delivered to Israel, A MESSAGE ABOUT A FUTURE CAPTIVITY. Yet Israel had already gone into its first and only captivity 120 long years before! Ezekiel’s captors would not allow him to go to Israel to deliver that message. God knew he would not be able to go before He gave him the prophecy. So, plainly, God did not expect the message to be delivered then and there.
But Ezekiel wrote the message so it would be preserved. And it is today in the hands of the people to whom it was sent- American and British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealanders and the nations of Western and North Western Europe- at precisely the time when God intended that they receive it!
5. Before God sends major punishment upon a nation, does He always first reveal it to His servants? Amos 3:6-7.
6. Hosea 5:9 calls the end time the “day of rebuke.” Do verses 8 and 9 indicate an end-time WARNING to the MODERN NATIONS of Israel? Which are America and the British nations. Compare these verses with Hosea 7:12.
7. For what age was Isaiah’s prophecy primarily put in writing? Isa. 30:8. What does God say will be the character of people in “the time to come”? Verses 9-11. Then will their punishment come suddenly, though obvious signs had previously been visible? Verse 13.
8. Is one of the signs the world’s tendency to ignore and deny the peril? I Thes. 5:3.
Prophecy Has NOT Failed!
Let’s understand once and for all that prophecy has not failed. We need to realize that every prophecy has a definite time setting, a time usually not in the prophet’s own day. One full third of the Bible is prophecy- and about 90% of all that prophecy still pertains to this prophesied “end of man’s rule.” With this in mind, let’s notice certain KEY prophecies:
1. Was Joel’s prophecy for his own day, or for the distant future? Joel 1:2-3, 15. What is the “day of the Lord”? Is it the time when God intervenes in world affairs? Joel 3:1-2, 11-14. When will this period of time occur- after great signs in the heavens? Verses 15-16. Is this plainly speaking of the time Christ will return? Matt. 24:29-31.
COMMENT: The “day of the Lord” is mentioned in many prophecies of the Bible. It always refers to the time when God will intervene in world affairs, culminating in the return of Jesus Christ to this earth.
3. Will all of the prophecies regarding the day of the Lord be fulfilled? Rev. 10:5-7.
4. Will any of the God-given prophecies FAIL to come to pass? Isa. 55:11. Will the warning message given to the people by God’s servants be fulfilled? Ezek. 33:30-33. Is it a pleasant message? Verses 25-29.
COMMENT: Most people today are tired of hearing “bad news.” Nevertheless, God’s prophecies include BAD NEWS for all those who rebel against Him and trample on His laws! But they also include much GOOD NEWS on beyond the prophesied time of world trouble and chaos (Isa. 2:1-4; Micah 4:1-4). Many of the prophecies foretell a time of peace, of happiness, of restoration, of great prosperity and physical wealth for the entire world. We’ll learn more about this Good News.
The FIRST Thing Christ Foretold
1. What was the first warning sign Jesus Christ gave His disciples when they asked Him about the time of His second coming? Matt. 24:3-4. Did He foretell that many deceivers would arise to deceive many people? Verses 5, 11, 24. Are they the ministers of the deceiver himself? II Cor. 11:13-15. Is the whole world deceived as a result of their activities? Rev. 12:9.
2. But would the TRUTH of God also be proclaimed with power AROUND THE WORLD before the second coming of Christ? Matt. 24:14.
COMMENT: God will not leave the world without a warning witness. Today, His servants are proclaiming His truth via the media- radio, television, print, and the internet.
3. In the meantime, would the deceivers become extremely active? II Tim. 3:13. Would men have only a “form” – an outward show – of godliness? Verse 5. Wasn’t Paul clearly speaking of these “days”- our age? Verse 1.
4. Did Jesus predict that some of the false teachers would even claim He has already returned? Matt. 24:23-26.
When Will Christ Return?
Perhaps you have heard preachers declare: “The Lord may come tonight. “But, is it true the second coming of Jesus Christ could occur at any minute? What did He Himself say? He warned: “Take heed that you be not deceived”!
1. What is one of the deceits the false ministers would preach? Luke 21:8. Notice the words “the time draws near.”
COMMENT: According to the original Greek in which the New Testament was written, the false message of those pretending to be the ministers of Christ is: “The time has come near,” or “The time is at hand” r.s.v. In other words, “The Lord may come tonight.” Could Christ return at any moment?
The Bible teaches that there is a definite sequence of events which must occur first! Study carefully all of Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. These chapters clearly reveal that there is a time-table of prophecy- that certain definite events must occur before Christ returns!
2. Did Christ explain clearly that certain events would take place before the end of man’s rule on earth? Luke 21:9-11.
COMMENT: Notice that the King James English of 1611 is not at all clear in verse 9. Instead of “by and by,” the original Greek phrase is better translated “immediately.” Parallel accounts in Matthew 24:6 and Mark 13:7 correctly answer “the end is not yet.”
3. But once the terrible events Jesus enumerated in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 finally begin to occur, will they all be completed in the lifetime of one generation? Matt. 24:34; Mark 13:30; Luke 21:32.
The “Signs of the Times”
Jesus told the religious leaders of His day that the “signs” accompanying His ministry should have been proof enough that He was prophesied. The Old Testament prophecies, with which they were thoroughly familiar, had predicted the time and manner of His appearance! Yet they refused to believe Him!
COMMENT: The religious leaders of Christ’s day didn’t understand the “signs of the times.” Yet they had been taught the Messiah was to come, for that very message was repeated in nearly every book of the Old Testament. In verse 3, Jesus showed them they could understand- if they really wanted to!
Might it be Signs of OUR Times
1.As Jesus explained to His disciples the exact SEQUENCE OF EVENTS that would precede His intervention Matt. 24:3-41, what did He say would occur in the end time besides the coming of many false prophets? Matt. 24:6-7.
COMMENT: World War I commenced in 1914. Ever since, nation has continued to rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. Just since World War II alone, there have been hundreds of armed conflicts around the world! We are now merely in a lull between rounds two and three of World War!
2. Is famine one of the major signs indicating that Christ’s intervention in world affairs is very near? Matt. 24:7.
The “Four Horsemen” in Revelation
COMMENT: These four horses and horsemen represent the four major world conditions Jesus said would exist at the end of this age- all increasing in severity and overlapping in their effects on the entire world!
The white horse represents the increasing number of false ministers preaching a false Christ and false ways to worship God. The red horse pictures the increasing ravages of wars. The black horse- increasing famine. And the pale horse- diseases.
2. What tremendous toll of life will be taken by these “four horsemen”? Rev. 6:8.
COMMENT: Just imagine, if you can, one fourth of mankind dying during a period described as only the beginning of sorrows! God knew that man, left to his own devices, would ultimately destroy all life- unless something totally unforeseen occurred to stop it. That is why He has promised to intervene in world affairs. Jesus Christ is coming soon to rescue this world from total destruction!
The Abomination of Desolation
1. What was another sign Jesus gave to indicate when “the end of man’s rule” was near? Matt. 24:14-16.
2. Did He identify the “abomination of desolation” as the one which was spoken of by the Prophet Daniel? Verse 15.
COMMENT: Notice that this is something which occurs where sacrifices are being made.
4. Where else does Daniel mention an “abomination of desolation”? Dan. 11:31.
COMMENT: Verse 31 was once fulfilled when Jerusalem was conquered and the Temple of God was desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Syria, in 168 B.C. (See Rawlinson’s A Manual of Ancient History.)
COMMENT: Then at least a part of Daniel 11 must also be DUAL! We find the chapter concludes with the “time of the end” (verse 40)--leading up to the first resurrection (chapter 12:2). (In the original text, there is no chapter break between Daniel 11 and 12.)But what is the abomination of desolation prophesied for the time of the end of man’s rule?
Putting Bible prophecy and historical fulfillment together, we can tell what this abomination of desolation will be. Historically, the abomination of desolation occurred when Antiochus Epiphanes moved against Jerusalem with his armies. The latter-day fulfillment occurs when invading armies are again set against Jerusalem (Luke 21:20). These armed forces will then attack the city (verse 24), stopping whatever daily sacrifice may be instituted by the Israelis.
COMMENT: Like the previous setting up of an unclean offering in the temple at Jerusalem- the head of the Great False Church will move his headquarters from Rome to Jerusalem and will dominate the worship in the temple area claiming HE IS GOD? 2nd Thes 2:4,8.
COMMENT: Some have wondered if Jerusalem’s destruction by the Roman armies in 70 A.D. was the fulfillment of this prophecy. The presence of Roman armies in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. was only a type of what is to occur in the near future! The Roman legions which conquered Jerusalem then, were only a type of MODERN legions which will soon again surge through the area, taking control of Middle East oil and occupying the state of Israel. This will be achieved by a combined FORCE OF 10 NATIONS (Rev.17:12-14) Part of today’s EUROPEAN UNION.
THEY WILL ALSO USE NUCLEAR or other modern WEAPONS TO DESTROY AMERICAN AND BRITISH CITIES! See ‘The United States And Britain in Prophecy’ and the extensive ‘America And Britain in Prophecy‘ on Page1of the America And Britain’s Future Free Library.
A.D. 70 was not “the end of man’s rule”! The “day of the Lord” did not arrive then!
8. Will half of Jerusalem’s population eventually be carried away and the whole city looted? Zech. 14:2.
9. Will this FUTURE military action in the Middle East threaten to engulf the whole world? Matt. 24:21-22. Will this time of “great tribulation” that ensues- this time of unequaled strife and bloodshed involving weapons of modern warfare- threaten to utterly extinguish all life on earth? Verse 22.
COMMENT: This is the very time God must intervene. Never before in man’s history have we been able to destroy all life on this planet. These prophecies can only refer to this later time and the immediate future!
World’s Population being reduced
COMMENT: Horrible as it sounds, the millions who died in World War II will be as nothing compared to the enormous decimation of human life just ahead! Roughly one-third of the human race will die in this war. And remember, this death toll is in addition to the number of others who will die of famine and disease!
3. In summary, what does Isaiah prophesy concerning the earth’s population when the Massiah comes? Isa. 24:1, 3. Why? Verses 5-6. What is the number of the people still alive compared to? Verse 13; Isa. 17:4-6.
1. Will His coming catch most people unawares- their minds completely occupied with their own problems, fears and pleasures- even in the midst of the most terrible times the world has ever known? Matt. 24:37-39.
2. Does He warn us to take heed and carefully watch for the signs of His return? Luke 21:34-36.
COMMENT: He plainly shows us that we must watch world events in order to escape the trouble mankind is bringing upon itself.
3. Will the events – the “signs” – preceding God’s intervention be difficult to discern? Or will they be as obvious to those who are watching as the changing of the seasons? Compare Luke. 21:29-31 with Matt. 24:32-33.
COMMENT: Are you watching carefully the step-by-step fulfillment of Bible prophecy on the world scene and taking warning from these words? God promises to protect those who do.
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