SIGNS OF THE END TIMES What does the Bible say?
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
There are four significant signs that show us where we are today in relation to the end times and our Lord’s soon return: The Condition of our Planet, the World, Israel, and the Church.
SIGN #1 - THE SICK CONDITION OF OUR PLANET
Mankind is groaning under the terrible weight of sin and condemnation. Satan - the enemy of God and man - has bound the human race with shackles of rebellion, unbelief, fear, torment, lust, greed, hatred and perversion! It was Adam’s acquiescence to the Evil One’s lying temptation that brought sickness and death (spiritual and physical) upon the human race.
The Bible states: “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope.
“Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now."
“And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit (that is to say), the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:19-23)
People everywhere are waiting for the ‘Manifestation of the sons of God'. What does that mean? Seven billion people are looking for an escape from the emptiness, fear, torment, sickness and bondage in which they live.
THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR US!
The entire world is waiting for us, God's children, to be so filled with the Holy Spirit that we can free them from the tyranny and lies of the Devil and his emissaries!
Don’t believe for a moment, that the millions lost in sin and bound by evil spirits of occultism, superstition, false religion, satanic oppression and sexual perversion are happy in that state! No one enjoys being in slavery to witchcraft, fear, torment and evil spirits.
Some are sufficiently deceived to live in a fool’s paradise having convinced themselves that everything is A-Okay, but the opposite is true. If everything is all right, why do so many rock musicians die of drug overdoses and commit suicide? Why do many Hollywood stars die of alcoholism, suicide and drug overdoses? And why do wealthy, successful people - who seem to have everything going for them - take their own lives?
The Bible says, “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, bringing forth mire and dirt. There is no peace saith my God to the wicked”. (Isaiah 57:20-21)
Our enemy is not flesh and blood, but Satan himself and all his demons that tempt, deceive, coerce, inhibit, afflict, torment, steal and kill! Our battle is with the devil - not with human beings, however he does use people to do his bidding! The devil must have his emissaries and ministers, to do his evil work.
And what of the Hindu extremists constantly fighting the Muslims in India and the Seiks battling the Hindus?
And if the pagan are so happy in their religious life, why are there so many ‘holy jihads’? Two examples: Muslim Iran against Muslim Iraq in a seven year war that saw one million men die, and at present Islamic extremists terrorizing and butchering hundreds of their own people in Algeria?
They do not know God and have not been changed by His mighty power. Anyone who has been converted to Christ, being born again by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, would certainly not be waging ‘holy wars’ against their fellowmen. The only warfare that we are commanded to fight is the ‘Good Fight of Faith’"
HOW DO WE FIGHT THE DEVIL?
The Bible says, “Satan, your adversary, goeth about like a roaring lion, seeking who he may devour, whom resist in the faith...” (1 Peter 5:9) We resist him by serving Jesus to the best of our ability; by living a holy and righteous life, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, healing the sick and casting our devils!
The Scripture says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
In mankind's search for more land to conquer, new technologies to improve our living standards, and the pursuit or more wealth, man has engaged in wars, enslavement, violence and pollution which has raped our environment, land, water and air.
Our Planet is groaning under the terrible weight of the awful harvest of mankind’s sins of rebellion, greed, hatred, violence and slavery!
In the beginning, after the fall of our first parents, the entire human race was plunged into sin, fear, sickness and death! God immediately placed a curse upon the earth: “And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast harkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life”. (Genesis 3:17)
CURSE OF SOCIALISM / COMMUNISM!
The earth is struggling to stay alive and is groaning under this burden! The ‘second law of thermodynamics’ began after the fall and continues today with aging, deterioration and decay.
Only the return of Jesus Christ will salvage the earth. Mankind will not be allowed to destroy the earth, but will be punished for defiling and polluting it, as is prophesied in the last book of the Bible.
THE BIBLE SAYS, “And the nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and great; And shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” (Revelation 11:18)
God will have the last word and will judge polluters! If you want a good example of this, look at the former Soviet Union which polluted the land, sea and air and after raping the environment, ended up totally bankrupt.
Personally, I experienced that when I preached there in ca. 1989-1995. In certain cities in the Ukraine, your white shirt would be grey by evening, the river did not freeze because of raw sewage from their factories, the air was darkened from smoke stacks belching out pollution and the life expectancy for a man was 53 years!
JESUS CHRIST MUST RETURN TO SAVE US!
Jesus must return to save us from our own destruction, so that we can live on this earth for 1,000 years of peace and prosperity!
Believers in Jesus Christ are waiting for the moment when we can be free from the limitations of our weak, carnal flesh and to be glorified to forever be in Heaven with Jesus Christ and all the redeemed from all ages! We will then receive a Resurrected body without the limitations we have now!
St. Paul stated, “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruit of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit (that is to say), the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:23)
Eternity will be a joyful time of peace and glory as we live eternally in Heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ and all the redeemed from every nation, tongue and people of all ages!
“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready."
“And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” (Revelation 19:6-9)
SIGN #2 - THE SICK CONDITION OF OUR WORLD
The Bible says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:15-17)
These are Satan’s three knockout-punches which he uses to tempt the “children of men”, namely: the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.
Satan used these three temptations on Eve with great success. “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food (lust of the flesh), and that it was pleasant to the eyes (lust of th eyes), and a tree to be desired to make one wise (the pride of life), she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Gen. 3:6)
King David fell under this temptation also: He saw a beautiful woman taking a bath in the privacy of her garden (the lust of the eyes). He desired her and sent for her, committing adultery (the lust of the flesh).
JESUS DEFEATED SATAN TOTALLY!
It was a different story when Satan used his time-tested strategy on our Lord Jesus Christ. He withstood the temptation and defeated the devil each time he came with a new “trick up his sleeve".
After Jesus had fasted 40 days, Satan said to Him: “Command that these stones be made bread.” (the lust of the flesh) Jesus answered, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
The devil tried again: “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. (the pride of life) Jesus answered, “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”
Finally, Satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time and said: “All these things will I give thee (pride of life), if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” WHAT A DESPICABLE, ARROGANT, EGOTIST SATAN IS!
Jesus rebuffed him immediately with the Word of God saying, “Get thee hence, Satan (enemy): for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” (Matt. 4:1-11)
SATAN HAD TO LEAVE HIM!
The Bible affirms that Satan is “the god of this world” and “the spirit which now worketh in the children of the disobedience”. (John 12:31; Ephesians 2:2) He is the world’s greatest liar and the father of lies and a murderer extra-ordinaire (John 8:44))
The whole world lies in the lap of the wicked one (1 John 5:19) and he “goeth about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). We however, can “resist him in the faith and he will flee from us”. (1 Peter 5:9; James 4:7)
The Bible records that Demos was swayed by the bright lights of Thessalonica and forsook Paul, “having loved this present world” (2 Timothy 4:10). And St. John commends the young men in the Church for overcoming the wicked one! (1 John 2:13)
ST. PAUL WARNED OF THE TOTAL DETERIORATION OF MORALITY, DECENCY AND FAIRNESS IN THE LAST DAYS!
Decadence and perversion will rule just prior to our Lord's return, stated the Apostle. As we read the prophecy, we feel saddened by the resemblance of our present age to the prophetic word of God.
PERILOUS TIMES SHALL COME!
“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)
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” (1 Timothy 4:1). “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” (Ephesians 5:11-12)
“Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:” (Philippians 3:17-20)
Interjected among the reports of hypocrisy, backsliding and gross moral evils, St. Paul interjects the Blessed Hope of the Return of Jesus Christ.
“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ."
Our thoughts, actions, prayers, plans, goals and complete agenda here, is tied to Heaven’s plans, purposes and desires. We belong to His heavenly kingdom and labour first and foremost for Christ. Why is this so important? Only our Blessed Jesus Christ has the mandate, power and desire to straighten out this wicked world. Therefore we wait for Him to come.Next - VIOLENCE: A SIGN OF THE END TIMES AND SOON RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST