Brothers And Sisters In Christ Ministries


Reverend Steven A. Knotts

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End of Times Review:

March 14, 2008

Since the beginning of time (recorded history, that is), and probably even before, man has continually looked for the “end of times” and predicted the “end of the earth”.  And, not without good reason, I guess.  I myself, I must confess, am looking forward to the end of times as well.  Despite that when everything is going great and it’s truly “heaven on earth”, nothing could be compared to the promise of true paradise…an end of all suffering, disease, hunger, worry, woe, trials, and tribulations with only an eternity of bliss laying ahead.

At any rate, man has incessantly looked to his surroundings and events and tried to reconcile these with the certain “signs” predicted by the Bible – particularly those foretold in the Book of Revelation written by “John the Revealer” while in exile on the isle of Patmos circa 95-96 AD, though some argue for an earlier date of 68-69 AD or with those signs and omens predicted by the prophets of old, e.g. Daniel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, etc.

  

I guess one of the most accurate accountings are those so graphically and eloquently depicted by Dr. Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins in their “Left Behind” series which chronicles their fictional characters’ exploits and travails beginning with the Rapture of the Church and continuing through the tribulation and great tribulation culminating in the coming of Christ and His 1,000 year reign on earth.  These are absolutely fascinating and brilliant books.  They are not only highly entertaining but more importantly – highly informative – particularly to those who are not well-schooled in religion.  Although there are some slight journalistic liberties taken, they appear at first blush, to fairly faithfully follow the chronology outlined in Revelations.  And, yes, I’ll have to admit, while I’d certainly rather be one of the “raptured” souls, I think I’d certainly be willing to live through the openings of the 7 seals, and the seven thunders and seven vials of the tribulation and great tribulation to witness these events.

The question is…just WHEN is this going to occur?  As mentioned, man has been predicting the end of times since the practically the beginning of time.  And NO one, not even Jesus Christ knows when this may happen. 


As Jesus spoke in Matthew 24, regarding his disciples questioning regarding when this might occur…
[1] Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. [2] But he answered them, "You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down." [3] As he sat on the Mount of Olives
, the disciples came to him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?" [4] And Jesus answered them, "Take heed that no one leads you astray. [5] For many will come in my name, saying, `I am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray. [6] And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. [7] For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: [8] all this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs. [9] "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. [10] And then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another. [11] And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. [12] And because wickedness is multiplied, most men's love will grow cold. [13] But he who endures to the end will be saved. [14] And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come. [15] "So when you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), [16] then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; [17] let him who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house; [18] and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his mantle. [19] And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! [20] Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath. [21] For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. [22] And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. [23] Then if any one says to you, `Lo, here is the Christ!' or `There he is!' do not believe it. [24] For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. [25] Lo, I have told you beforehand. [26] So, if they say to you, `Lo, he is in the wilderness,' do not go out; if they say, `Lo, he is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. [27] For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man. [28] Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together. [29] "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; [30] then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; [31] and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. [32] "From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you now that summer is near. [33] So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. [34] Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place. [35] Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. [36] "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. [37] As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. [38] For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, [39] and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. [40] Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. [41] Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left. [42] Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. [43] But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. [44] Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect. [45] "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? [46] Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. [47] Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. [48] But if that wicked servant says to himself, `My master is delayed,' [49] and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eats and drinks with the drunken, [50] the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, [51] and will punish him, and put him with the hypocrites; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.

God has his own time-table.  “Time” means nothing to our Father in Heaven – He is without beginning and without end.  A “day” to God is a thousand years and a thousand years is but a day.

As written in II Peter 3: 
[1] This is now the second letter that I have written to you, beloved, and in both of them I have aroused your sincere mind by way of reminder; [2] that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles.  [3] First of all you must understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own passions [4] and saying, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation."  [5] They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago, and an earth formed out of water and by means of water, [6] through which the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.  [7] But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist have been stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.  [8] But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  [9] The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.  [10] But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up.  [11] Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, [12] waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be kindled and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire!  [13] But according to his promise we wait for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.  [14] Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.

It does appear, when one considers the “wars and rumors of wars” and some of the other “signs” of impending doom – that we may indeed be accelerating toward this end-time.  While there have always been great natural disasters, earth quakes, floods, famine, disease, pestilence, and wars, there does appear to be many many many more happening more and more frequently.  But, is this really the case?  Or, has modern communications simply made their existence much more quickly known to a greater portion of the population?

 

There are quite a few current predictions regarding the end of times – for instance, the Mayan calendar simply ends in the year 2012.  Several other quite vocal evangelistic personalities also claim that the 7 seals have ALREADY been opened and we have been in the “tribulation” and are rapidly entering the Great Tribulation and for those of you who are familiar with the events foretold know that the Tribulation is broken into two distinct parts – each roughly 3 ½ years in length.  At the end of the Great Tribulation, the Son of God will arrive, the battle of Armageddon will take place and the first judgment will take place, and Christ, after having the Archangel Michael bind Satan and throw him into the pit, will reign on Earth for a 1,000 years at the end of which time the second and final judgment will occur.

A couple of other informative – although unproven articles – dealing with the end of the Mayan calendar and the “end of time” as we know it, is to occur during the winter solstice of 2012 (i.e. 12/21/12) can be found at:

http://survive2012.com/why_2012_maya.php

http://www.disastercountdown.com/event/mayan/ 
 

http://www.levity.com/eschaton/Why2012.html


Also, Mr. Ronald Weinland, leader of the Church of God has authored two very informative books regarding the end times.  In the first of one of his two major publications, “The Prophesied End-Time”, Mr. Weinland states that the 7 seals have already been opened – beginning in 2004.  He further goes on to explain in his later book, “2008 – God’s Final Witness” that the Great Tribulation will begin before the end of this very year!  The more severe events (the seven thunders, seven vials, etc.) will occur during this next 3 year period.  Mr. Weinland further asserts that HE is one of the two “final witnesses” foretold in the book of Revelation.  This will remain to be seen – if he is indeed, one of the two final witnesses who will preach and prophesize outside the temple in Jerusalem and after an “untouchable” period will be executed and their body left in the streets only to be resurrected in full view of the world after 3 days.


Mr. Weinland’s theory can be read for free on-line or downloaded from the following website: 
http://the-end.com/  I would have to say that the only thing that really detracts from Mr. Weinland’s assertions are his somewhat mild-moderate anti-catholic cant toward the end of his first book and an almost obsessive focus on a non-Sunday Sabbath as well as when he claims the actual crucifixion and resurrection of Christ took place.  I personally feel that this lessens the impact of the lesson which he is attempting to impart.  Otherwise, his observations/predictions are quite astute.  And, again, I do not know if he IS one of the final two witnesses – I have no real opinion one way or the other.  I guess we will have to wait until a little later in 2008 to see if World-War III starts and if he truly goes to Jerusalem.

The important thing to remember is to live each day as though it might be your last – it could very well be!  Remain alert!  Eagerly await His coming, keep His commandments, and do His bidding always.  As mentioned elsewhere on this site, the 4 W's...wait, watch, worship, and work.  Always remember, we are the “body” of Christ – we are his hands and feet.


Keep God and Christ number one in your life – witness for Christ, shout and share the good news!

Have Blessed Day!

Yours in Christ, 

Pastor Steve 


 

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