Let’s recap what we have already learned
Just taking that text we find that we are living in the last days. There will be no other Western European nation to rise and take the place of the ten toes: England, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. (As we learned earlier, three were uprooted by the Catholic Church and are no longer a part of this message.)
The next time prophecy that brings us down to our day is Daniel 8:14 and 9:25-27. As we have learned earlier, these prophecies are one. They begin in 457 BC and are fulfilled in a continuum of successive dates down to our day: 457 BC, 408 BC, AD 27, AD 30 and AD 1844.
In verse four we find the first sign dealing more specifically with the end of Jerusalem. After Christ, many people arose and claimed to be THE “messiah”. However, the disciples had been warned. All true Christians gave them no heed. Today we would not be fooled by such a claim. We know that the Messiah has already come. However, if you rephrase that just a little bit, it will sound very familiar. “I have Christ living in me.” “I come in the Name of Christ.” “I am filled with the Holy Spirit.” “Our church is spirit filled.” “We speak with tongues.” “I am prophet so and so”. “Our church is the remnant”. “You must belong to our church”.
Sound familiar? Jesus said that these would “deceive many”. Matthew 24:5. Just because they claim to have the Holy Spirit, or claim to have Christ living in them or claim to come in the Name of Christ, doesn’t mean they work for Jesus. Watch out! We must take everything to the Bible and test the spirit that is claiming to have Christ. If the spirit teaches the teachings of Jesus: stop sinning, be perfect and keep the Ten Commandments to “get” eternal life, it is from God. If not, it is from the devil. 2 John 1:8-10.
The next is wars and rumors of wars, nation against nation. The interesting note about this prediction is that Jesus said don’t concern yourself about this part of the prediction. There will always be wars and conflicts, and those are everyday things and have nothing to do with the end of time. “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are NOT ALARMED. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.” Matthew 24:6.
So what do we look for? “Famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” Matthew 24:7,8. “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilence in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.” Luke 21:10. (This is happening today as never before in earth’s history. Are you reading the news? Look at terrorism.)
The reason they are falling on the world is because the world has rejected the truths of God. They will become more RELIGIOUS, but not Christian. The world will set up its own religious laws. Look at the acceptance of drugs and homosexuality. Soon the world will pass the Sunday law forcing all to follow the devil’s religion. Because of that, the Holy Spirit is being withdrawn (pushed away) from the world and is being poured out in greater power on the righteous who keep the Ten Commandments of God and His Seventh-day Sabbath.
- In verses 10 through 12 we find:
- Many will turn away from the faith
- Many will betray and hate each other
- Many false prophets appearing
- Many people being deceived
- Increase of wickedness
- Love of most growing cold
If Jerusalem had only a few righteous people in it, God would not have destroyed it by the armies of Babylon. But because at the time of the flood, Sodom, Egypt, Jerusalem in 605 BC, Jerusalem again in AD 70 and the world today, there are only a remnant of righteous, God must destroy the world and remake it. He cannot tolerate sin. The world has all together cast off the Law of God and it cannot be stopped.
“So when you see standing in the holy place the ‘abomination that causes desolation’, spoken of through the prophet Daniel – let the reader understand — … for then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now – never to be equaled again.” Matthew 24:15, 21.
What is supposed to be holy? The churches, our bodies and the Word of God along with the Ten Commandments are to be holy. What is happening today? The churches no longer teach the truth of the Word of God. They have mixed humanism, socialism and evolution into their teaching. No longer is the Word of God taught as the Rock we can stand on, but as a philosophy that we silly little humans can improve upon. The Ten Commandments are no longer taught as relevant to our lives. (At least not all of them.) “Saved by grace” (unconditional love) is taught instead of “Saved by obedience”. Homosexuality and ordained women are now accepted in the church. All an “abomination” unto the Lord.
The “distress of those days” that Jesus spoke about, referred specifically to the 1260 years that would be ruled by the Catholic Church. That time ended, as noted above, in 1798. Nevertheless, a parallel time of distress called the time of Jacob’s trouble is soon to burst upon us.
- There was a great earthquake
- The sun will be darkened
- The moon will not give its light (turn red)
- The stars will fall from the sky
“The Lisbon Earthquake of 1755. Portugal, Spain, and northern Morocco were subjected to three strong shocks in the forenoon of Nov. 1, 1755. Lisbon was near the northern end of a zone of great damage which extended south into Morocco. It was All Saints’ Day and, as many of the churches were destroyed, the loss of life was very heavy. In Lisbon, probably 20 percent or more of the population perished as a result of the earthquake or the great sea wave generated by it, and over half the houses were ruined. The shocks were felt over much of Europe affecting an area of at least 1,500,000 square miles.” Collier’s (Stay out of the churches!) “Almost, if not altogether alone, as the most mysterious and as yet unexplained phenomenon of its kind, in nature’s diversified range of events, during the last century, stands the Dark Day of May Nineteenth, 1780,—a most unaccountable darkening of the whole visible heavens and atmosphere in New England,—which brought intense alarm and distress to multitudes of minds, as well as dismay in the brute creation, the fowls fleeing, bewildered, to their roosts, and the birds to their nests, and the cattle returning to their stalls. Indeed, thousands of the good people of that day became fully convinced that the end of all things terrestrial had come; many gave up, for the time, their secular pursuits, and betook themselves to religious devotions.” “Our First Century” by R.M. Devens, published 1879 That night, when the darkness ended, the moon was darkened and looked blood red.
“Extensive and magnificent showers of shooting stars have been known to occur at various places in modern times; but the most universal and wonderful which has ever been recorded is that of the thirteenth of November, 1833, the whole firmament, over all the United States, being then, for hours, in fiery commotion! No celestial phenomenon has ever occurred in this country, since its first settlement, which was viewed with such intense admiration by one class in the community, or with so much dread and alarm by another… During the three hours of its continuance, the day of judgment was believed to be only waiting for sunrise… Impromptu meetings for prayer were held in many places.” “Our First Century” by R.M. Devens, published 1879
But you see, God didn’t say, build your own ark. He told them that they had to get into the one Noah was building. Even if it wasn’t pretty or luxurious. Even if you had to feed animals and shovel manure. It might be stinky and smelly, but it was the one that would save you. Why? Because God said so. It was the one with His protection. It took humility to get into it.
You may have had your ark sitting behind the house, just in case. And when the rain came, your family may have had time to jump in and close the door. But you didn’t survive because the flood was so great, the storm so intense, that even Satan feared for his life. Your ark, along with all the others, leaked, sank and were destroyed.
But you say, Jesus stated that we would not know the day nor the hour; that only the Father knows these things. You are correct. I don’t know the day or the hour. However, I will be able to tell you the year. You see, Jesus comes as a thief in the night, not to the righteous, but to the wicked.
“Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3.
Here we have stated very clearly that the day of the Lord comes on those who are saying, ‘Peace and safety.’ Look at the world around you. What do you hear? Everyone is talking about the peace and safety of the church. The peace and safety of being a Christian. The peace and safety of the government. How the new world order will bring peace and safety to this world. How we are all to get along and come together in unity and peace. How the government will control our economy and the stock market will never crash again. Right! Homeland Defense!
All of that is a waste of time. They are lost. They don’t know the times of destruction that are ahead of us. “But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.” “So then, let us not be like others, who are ASLEEP, but let us be alert and self-controlled.” 1 Thessalonians 5:4, 6.
The whole reason for Daniel, chapters 2, 7, 8, 9 and Revelation are to prepare us for the close of probation. If you are prepared you won’t be caught asleep nor be surprised by the thief. Revelation was given to “show His servants what must soon take place… what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” Revelation 1:1, 19, 3.
Time is not running out, it is out! “The time has come for judging the dead.” Revelation 11:18. We are living the last months of earth’s history. Are you ready for your probation to close? Are you ready to meet your Creator face to face? Have you lived up to His perfect, righteous Law of love? If not, are you ready to surrender your life to Him Who loves you and gave Himself for you?
As with Noah’s ark, so today. Many people are attempting to build their own “ark”. Many are trying to do it their way. Look at all these churches and buildings that are being built. But they won’t save you. Stop building churches!! No time for that. You will sink and burn with them. God’s way is not for beautiful buildings, but characters of perfection. Characters that represent the perfect, righteous, sinless life of Jesus. Stop trying to build your own “ark” and get on board the one that Jesus says to get into.