Signs of the End of the Age

Our God is sovereign over history and eternity, as the Psalmist declares:

The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.  But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever; the purposes of his heart through all generations (Ps 33:11).

This blog looks at some signs that indicate that the plans of the Lord are standing firm.  They also illustrate where we are on God’s calendar.

Signs in our nation

We live in an anti-Christian culture in our Postmodern world.  Alice Bailey’s demonic plan (see the blog: ‘Legacy of the Sixties’ for more on this) has been successful in turning the UK against Judaeo-Christian values.  Satan knows his time is short and he’s doing his utmost to remove the Holy Spirit from the earth.  Paul’s word to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 seems remarkably contemporary:

But mark this: there will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power (2 Tim 3:1-5).

There’s plenty of evidence for this today.  Moving outside God’s natural, spiritual and moral laws is a recipe for disaster. 

Signs in the Church

While our nation has turned its back on God, the Church has largely been asleep, or has compromised in order to stay ‘culturally relevant’.  The last point on Alice Bailey’s Plan (the State and the Church endorsing the other nine points) is being realised; the institutional Church is already almost indistinguishable from the culture, and some in the evangelical wing of the Church have also imbibed her agenda.

Sadly, we’re warned that in the Last Days there will be a great falling away from the faith, and even some of the ‘elect’ will be deceived (Matthew24:24).  We all need to stay in close fellowship with the Holy Spirit and with other true believers in order to avoid deception.  

When the False Prophet and the Antichrist make their appearance, we’re told they’ll do miraculous signs, which will cause the peoples of the earth to believe in them (Revelation 13).  If we’re to avoid falling into the trap, we must hold fast to the truth.  Whilst genuine miraculous signs of the presence of God’s Kingdom accompany the preaching of the true Gospel, miraculous signs on their own are not a guarantee that they’re from God, and we need to be discerning.

Signs in the world

Jesus mentioned wars and rumours of wars (Matthew 24:6) nation rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  That is true today.  More specifically, the prophets warned that Israel would be surrounded on all sides by her enemies (Zechariah 12:3).  That’s exactly the situation we see today.

Signs in the earth

The increase in natural disasters is another sign Jesus specifically mentioned (Mark 13:8).  Most experts agree that earthquakes have steadily become more frequent in recent years.  They are now an everyday occurrence, averaging in excess of three earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.0 or higher somewhere in the world every day.  Some services are now routinely tracking volcanic eruptions as well, noting that their frequency is also increasing. 

We haven’t seen anything yet, compared with what’s to come.  Think of the havoc the Icelandic volcano caused to air travel.  That was just a blip – yet thousands of people had their lives disrupted by it.  Think of the floods, forest fires, crop failures, hurricanes and storms, let alone tsunamis.  If these increased to a truly global level, no one would be left unscathed.

Signs in the Middle East

Today the leaders of the world are resolutely determined to see Jerusalem divided with the Palestinians.  Just a few weeks ago a UN Security Council measure that would have required Israel to make East Jerusalem the capital of a Palestinian state came within one vote of passing.  Hamas and ISIS are declaring that the time has come to ‘liberate Jerusalem’.  US leaders refer to East Jerusalem as ‘occupied territory’.  But Zechariah prophesied this about Jerusalem at the end of the age:

I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling.  Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem.  On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations.  All who try to move it will injure themselves (Zech 12:2-3).

Certainly the single issue that has generated more hatred towards Israel in general than anything else recently is not just the issue of Jerusalem, but the wider issue of a Palestinian state.  In 2014 the demand for Israel to at least retreat behind pre-1967 borders reached fever pitch again.  Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS and other related groups are blatantly calling for Israel to be wiped off the face of the Earth.

Yet it seems it will be only a matter of time before the Two State Solution is set in concrete.  Certainly the media has convinced the public that it’s the only just and rational way forward.  That is to ignore the spiritual dynamics however.  Such a move is shunting history as we know it to its inevitable conclusion.  The prophet Joel says this:

I will enter into judgement against (the nations) concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land (Joel 3:2)

So forcing Israel to divide up her land is bringing God’s judgement on the nations – and we’re all guilty.  The rise in anti-Semitism taking place right now, to a level not seen since World War 2, is a sign to us that the prophet Joel’s scenario is rapidly taking place before our eyes.  Melanie Phillips, a secular Jew and columnist in The Times, says this:

Britain and Europe have failed to grasp that the fate of the Jews . . . is inextricably bound up with the fate of the West.  The West is ignoring the key lesson of the holocaust; that anti-Semitism is not some marginal horror affecting a tiny minority, but a psychic derangement that undermines civilisation.

She’s right, but it’s not just the West whose fate is at stake; it’s the world!

Future signs

As the End draws near, we can be sure that the Bride of Christ will come under increasing persecution.  This will be Satan’s last ditch attempt to remove the Holy Spirit from the earth, and Jesus tells us that he would be successful if God didn’t intervene (Matt 24:22).

Meantime, while the demonic plan penned by Alice Bailey and others in the first half of the 20th century is still in operation, lawlessness is bound to increase.  Finally, the ‘Man of Lawlessness’ will appear.  Paul talks about this in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 and it describes the nature of the Antichrist. 

Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day (the coming of the Lord) will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed.

The Antichrist will at first, however, appear as a benevolent figure.  People will be desperate to embrace a world leader who can bring order out of the chaos (Rev 13:3).   The vast majority of people will be taken in by him, even Christians.  During the short period of time when there is peace in the Middle East as well as the rest of the world, the Jews will be granted permission to rebuild the Temple – another End Time sign.  (That the Temple is rebuilt is inferred in references to the Abomination of Desolation in Matthew 24:15 and Rev 11:1-2 where the Gentiles trample the outer court of the Temple during the final years before Jesus’ return.)  However, the Antichrist will renege on his promises to Israel, he’ll show himself in his true colours and the worst days of all history will be upon us.  (See Daniel chapters 7-12.)

Unless we know what to expect and are fully convinced that God is in control we could easily become offended at God.  We really need to understand the times as the Men of Issachar did (1 Chron 12:32) so we have total confidence in the Lord who holds history in his hands.  God knows what he’s doing, he’s warned us beforehand, and it’s all part of the birth pangs leading up to Jesus’ return to meet his Bride.

Signs in the land

There are some incredibly important positive signs too, so let’s turn our attention to Israel.  During the first half of the 20th century, while Alice Bailey’s demonic plan was being downloaded and documented, the Zionist movement became established and the Jewish people, largely because of persecution in Russia and elsewhere, began to settle in Palestine.  A fresh wind of God’s Spirit was beginning to blow! 

Then, while the world was recovering in the aftermath of World War 2, plans held good for the establishment of the nation of Israel.  The demonic plan was in place, waiting for its moment, but God put a sign in the earth of far greater significance.  14 May 1948 – the day Israel became a nation - was a declaration that God is King over all the earth, and that he keeps his promises.  After nearly 2000 years, the Jewish people at last had a homeland.

We couldn’t possibly overestimate how much of a major blow this was to Satan.  God was calling time on the enemy’s schemes.  The prophet Ezekiel said this:

I will gather (the Israelites) from all around and bring them back into their own land (Ezekiel 27:21)

Then, just as the Sixties were sowing the seeds of future anarchy and chaos, in 1967, the very year when Satan launched his attack on the baby in the womb, the Six Day War broke out, and Jerusalem was completely miraculously returned to the Jewish people!  This was another incredible sign in the land, and a confirmation that God’s purposes are right on track, and enough to make Satan ‘quake in his boots’.  Jesus prophesied that the reunification of Jerusalem as a Jewish city would be a sign that Gentile influence over the Promised Land, and indeed the world, was coming to an end (Luke 21:24).

Signs in the heavens

There were signs in the heavens at Jesus’ first advent, so it’s not surprising that there are signs in the heavens heralding his second advent.  An unusual phenomenon known as a tetrad (or four) blood red moons separated by a solar eclipse occurred in the pivotal years in Israel’s recent history – around 1948 and 1967.  The moon appears red in colour during a total lunar eclipse and in the years in question, four total lunar eclipses occurred, coinciding exactly with the Jewish feasts of Passover and Tabernacles in two consecutive years.  This phenomenon has only occurred on these Jewish feasts nine times in the last 2000 years.  The increase in their occurrence in the last few decades signifies that God is alerting us to important events on his calendar.

For Gentiles who take no notice of the Jewish feasts, the signs were unnoticed.  But Peter on the day of Pentecost quoted the prophet Joel when he said that there would be signs in the heavens and the moon would be turned to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord (Acts 2:19,20).  Interestingly, the ninth occurrence of this phenomenon is in the years 2014 and 2015.

Signs for believers

The death of Alice Bailey and the birth of the state of Israel also coincided with the time when the communist revolution in China forced the Chinese Church underground.  No-one in the West knew how the Church in China fared – only that the Christians were facing persecution.  Fifty years later we discovered that it had mushroomed to around 150 million believers in that time, and it’s still growing at a rate of millions per year.  The Kingdom of God is forcefully advancing and no plan of Satan’s will stop it.  We should expect that there will be a parallel between global persecution of Christians and the harvest into the Kingdom.

Then when the Sixties were in full swing, drawing droves of young people into new forms of Eastern and pagan spirituality, in California the Jesus Movement broke out.  It attracted millions of young people including Jewish young people, who found a vibrant and enduring faith in Jesus Christ.  Jewish people discovering Jesus as their Messiah is another End Time sign (Romans 11:25,26).  Messianic communities of faith began to spring up, and are still growing in number.  Many Gentile Christians today are discovering the Jewish roots of their faith, and fresh revelation will doubtless come as a result.

The Jesus Movement was not the only revival, of course.  In 1967, as ungodly legislation was set in concrete and setting the course ahead, the Charismatic Movement broke out across the world – arguably the most far-reaching spiritual revival in history, affecting Christians right across the globe to some degree or another.  God poured out his Spirit in a new way, not just for then, but in order to equip his Bride for these days. 

These revivals alone are enough to assure us that God is outworking his purposes.  He’s coming soon for his beautiful Bride and in the meantime his Kingdom is advancing.    Then, of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.  He will reign on David’s throne and over his Kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever (Isaiah 9:6).                                         



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