“So, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.
Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” (Matt 24:33)
OK, I confess. Mea culpa. Yes, I have been saying this in as many ways as I know how to say it, over the course of several years. (Sorry, not sorry… 😉 After all, Noah said it for more than a century! That didn’t make him wrong, now did it?)
But here it is collected in one place–the top four highlights as to why I’m so sure the apocalyptic last days the Bible warns us of are very imminent.
I think I won’t get much debate on this from people who believe the Bible is to be taken at its word. The idea that the Lord will regather the Jewish people to their land in the Last Days is all over the Bible. In the Parable of the Fig Tree (Matthew 24:32-35, Luke 21:29-33), Yeshua made this regathering the “super sign.” He uses the fig tree as an object lesson for how it’s important to know the signs of the times. It’s clear from the context—especially from a debate He had with the Pharisees earlier that very day, after which the Pharisees “understood that He was speaking about them” (Matt 21:18-45)—that the fig tree is a symbol of the nation of Israel.
Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. (Matt 24:32-34)
So… when you see the fig tree reborn…
How long is a generation? Eighty years? Ninety? And are we counting from 1948 (70 years ago), when Israel was established by the U.N., or 1967 (50 years ago), when the Israelis won back Jerusalem? The answers to these questions aren’t clear, but any way you do the math…
The clock is ticking. Time is short.
Israel back in the land is Clue #1. “He is near, right at the door.”
On the subject of the validity of Biblical prophecy. Did you know that, from the prophecies of Daniel and Ezekiel written around 600 B.C., you can work out May 14, 1948 to the day? The ancient prophets predicted the exact date the nation of Israel was restored. (Daniel 4; Ezekiel 4:4-6; Go here for the full walk-through.) In fact, modern Israel is a dramatic fulfillment of scores of prophecies. There’s a fascinating list here,
In Matthew 24, Yeshua listed the following as “the beginning of birth pangs:
In his parallel passage, Luke adds
So epic disasters will mark the transition at the end of our age.
Here’s food for thought. Isn’t it interesting that, during the exact weekend we had a starry virgin giving birth up in the heavens (See sign #4, below), a hurricane coincidentally named Maria ruptured a huge dam on the ground?
A picture of water breaking if there ever was one. Odd, yes?
Did you know that the laboring woman motif is used dozens of times in the Bible, and is almost always linked to the last days or the outpouring of God’s judgment?
We’ve been seeing those “birth pangs” for decades, but in the past year, do you have a feeling they’ve intensified? If so, you’re not alone. While we’ve been thoroughly distracted by our own difficulties with Covid-19, this article documents how large areas of the world are currently experiencing plagues of Exodus proportions, including:
We even have an upcoming candidate for the “mark of the Beast” (see this).
Many out there may accept that global warming accounts for the vicious storms we’ve experienced during the past few years. But what about the increasing earthquakes and volcanic activity? Are we to believe that a degree Celsius of surface warming accounts for that too?
Think of all the passages that couple “smoke” or “thick darkness” with the wrath of the Lord:
Psalm 18:7-9, Psalm 68:2, Psalm 97:2-5, Psalm 144:5, Is 9:18-19, Is 30:27, Is 51:6, Joel 2:2, 2:30, Zeph 1:15, Acts 2:19.
I’m sure that’s not a complete list!
For me, it begs a question. Could we be watching the Lord set something up? Is all this visible tectonic activity one final warning, one last plea for us to sit up and pay heed?
The handwriting on the wall, if you will?
For the day of the Lord is coming;
Surely it is near,
A day of darkness and gloom,
A day of clouds and thick darkness. (Joel 2:1-2)
Ezekiel 38 tells us that in the last days, a coalition will come against Israel. While there is debate about the exact location of Rosh and Magog–many scholars believe this refers to modern-day Russia, while others believe it’s Turkey–there’s no debate that Turkey (Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, Beth Togarmah) and Iran (Persia) are included in the coalition, along with Sudan (Kush) and Libya (Put).
We may be seeing the Ezekiel 38 lineup forming…
Many students of prophecy have flagged the significance of the fact that former foes Russia, Turkey and Iran seem to be aligning around overlapping interests in Syria.
On 11/22/17, three of these five powers met. That picture evolved further on the next day, when Sudanese President al-Bashir traveled to the southern Russian city of Sochi to meet with Putin to discuss “nuclear power cooperation.” Al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide and war crimes in Darfur, requested “protection from the U.S. aggressive actions.” (Muslim logic, anyone? :-/ )
Have four of five pieces in the Ezekiel 38 prophetic puzzle fallen into place? And is the inclusion of Syria in the picture a preliminary to the fulfillment of Isaiah 17:1, which says that Damascus will be reduced to “a ruinous heap?”
You’ll no doubt recall that in December 2017, the U.S. vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that called for the withdrawal of Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. A few days later, the U.N. General Assembly approved a harsh resolution condemning the U.S. move. This wasn’t a surprise, but what was a surprise was the vote tallies: 14:1 and 128:9. On the Security Council, only the U.S. supported Israel and Jerusalem.
Brothers and sisters, we live in a day when prophecies are leaping off the Bible’s pages and into the headlines…
“Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around…. It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.” (Zech 12:2-3)
Ezekiel also says a group of nations will express concern.
“…the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder?…’ ” (Ezek 38:13)
While, again, there is not complete agreement on the modern identities of these nations, many scholars believe ancient Tarshish included southwest Britain, where tin has been mined since ancient times. If so, the young lions would be Britain’s colonial offshoots… E.g., the U.S.!
Exactly how the Ezekiel 38 war will align with other aspects of end-times prophecy (e.g., the Battle of Armageddon—Rev 16:16) is a matter of debate among scholars. We may well be on the brink of finding out.
“I am God, and there is none like me.
At the beginning I announce the end,
proclaim in advance things not yet done;
and I say that my plan will hold….” Is 46:10
I posted quite a bit on the Revelation 12 Sign, and YES, I’m still a believer. I never stated that it necessarily meant the Rapture would happen at that time. But it seems clear to me God queued the Sign up at Creation, exactly as foretold in Revelation, for our generation. It’s just too big a coincidence otherwise.
My personal belief is that it’s another warning we’ve reached the end of the time period the Bible calls the “age of the Gentiles.” Micah 5:3-5 speaks to this, as explained very well here.
Revelation 12 Sign 9/23/17
Roman woman on childbirth couch. Was Virgo designed to convey this exact image?
My husband’s analogy has always been that the Revelation 12 Sign was meant to serve as a sort of highway sign: Last Exit Before the Cliff. The cliff doesn’t show up immediately, but it’s not far away. I believe recent events are bearing out his view .
We also had the 2014/15 Blood Moon tetrad—no, the rapture didn’t happen then either, but during the time period between the first lunar eclipse and the fourth, ISIS rose and the Syrian civil war began and the world became a whole lot bloodier for all of us. The Muslim diaspora that resulted has changed the face of Europe.
…In 2015, when a million and a half people crossed over the Mediterranean,… it had a dramatic impact on many European cities. Like Malmö, which became unrecognizable in many ways…
– Nigel Farage
I think it will be unmistakable in hindsight that the Blood Moon period represented a prophetic turning point.
(When the Star of Bethlehem lit the night sky, how many people understood its precise significance? A few dozen, perhaps? Yet it marked one of history’s most profound events!)
Check out what Luke 21 says. Yeshua speaking!
And they [the Jewish people] will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. (Luke 21:24-28)
The first verse gives you the eviction of the Jews under Hadrian in ~135 A.D., and the 1800-year Jewish diaspora, in a single sweeping sentence! Then the context jumps to the end of the Age of the Gentiles (Church Age). Yeshua says here that the following will mark the end of the Age of the Gentiles.
One more heavenly happening that I feel is noteworthy: the “Great American Eclipse” that cut a swath across the U.S. in August, 2017. Yes, solar eclipses happen regularly, but this one was seen by an estimated 220 million people—perhaps the largest audience for a total eclipse ever. And the timing, falling on the Hebrew calendar on Elul 1–the first day of that year’s Forty Days of Repentance–and in dramatic proximity to the Revelation 12 Sign, seemed to me to underscore its importance. The way both events lined up so nicely with the prophetic Fall Feasts of the Lord that year seemed to indicate we’ve entered a period that isn’t “business as usual.”
Amazing photo compilation from the 2017 eclipse (!!) by Bryan Goff on Unsplash. Photos taken in Oregon.
That eclipse will be followed by two more American eclipses: an annular eclipse on October 14, 2023, and another total eclipse on April 8, 2024. On the Hebrew calendar, that total eclipse will fall the first day of the seventh year following 2017’s “Great American Eclipse,” cutting a swath in the opposite direction. This will complete two dramatic X patterns: one across Texas and another across our nation.
Hmm. Dual X’s crossing what is arguably the leading Gentile nation, and, at least during the Trump administration, Israel’s greatest Gentile ally… Plus, I’d say that more than resembling our X, the pattern that crosses through Kentucky looks like the ancient Hebrew tof.
The final letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Another confirmation that the “age of the Gentiles” is drawing to a close? Or… you could also read the pattern as an A, for the kickoff of something new! Here is A’s ancient Hebrew counterpart, aleph:
I don’t claim any special prophetic gift and I’m not going to dignify this one by calling it a “sign.” But now and then the Lord speaks to me in a particularly pointed way. I fasted and prayed through most of Yom Kippur 2017. That night I had a vivid dream. I’ll spare you the details, but the dream ended with a poignant image of a door irrevocably closing—and me playing the part of the foolish virgin, trapped on the wrong side (Matt 25:1-13). Knowing I’d blown it because I wasn’t ready and there was no way I could make it right.
I don’t expect a dream I believe the Lord gave me to convince you. But trust me, I wouldn’t wish that feeling on anyone. Can you picture how happy I was to wake up? I know now how Scrooge felt after his sobering encounter with The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. When he woke up and realized the dream had passed and redemption was still an option.
Does any of this mean the Rapture (or the apocalypse) will happen this week? This month? This year? No, God is not constrained to doing anything I imagine. He is the One “able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph 3:20). But for me, it continues to build a picture that says “soon and very soon.”
Brothers and sisters, don’t get caught on the wrong side of that door…
Rev 19 army image in banner: David Miles, used by gracious permission
Torah scroll image in banner: Lawrie Cate, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
If you’ve never opened God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus (Rom 3:23, 6:23), please please please be persuaded to do it now! It’s simple. Just tell God from your heart that you admit you’re a sinner that needs a Savior (“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom 3:23) that you’re done running your own life, and that you’re ready to make Jesus Lord of your life.
If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” (Rom 10:9-11)
The decision that saves you is that simple!
Simple… But no one said living it out will be easy. Especially now.
Click on the image for an informal trailer, or….
Dave made aviation history in WWII’s daring Doolittle Raid. Now he’s a downed pilot on the run.
Miyako made a vow to bury a knife in him. That vow could cost them both their lives.
Winner, Cascade Award
Finalist, Christy and Carol Awards
Inspired by Actual Events
“A taut, crisp debut achievement that colorfully evokes the Pacific theater of WWII. Start this one forewarned: it’s a stay-up-all-night read.” –Jerry B. Jenkins, 21-time New York Times bestselling author
China, 1942. Desperate and fleeing a brutal enemy, U.S. airman Dave Delham loses all hope he’ll live to see home again. If he manages to survive this mission–somehow–he swears he’ll answer God’s call on his life.
Japan, 1948. In a world where honor means everything, what would you risk to salvage yours? The war has reduced Miyako Matsuura to a street-hardened prostitute, forced to sell herself out–body and soul–to survive. But when the pilot whose bomb stole her little brother’s life returns to Japan, she sees her one chance to salvage everything. That quest drives her like the point of a dagger.
Two competing vows. Two war-damaged people racing along a deadly collision course. Can their tragic histories be redeemed?
If you like pulse-pounding tales of redemption that brim with deeply drawn characters and taut suspense, you’ll love Linda Thompson’s powerful debut novel. Immerse yourself in this award-winning story of courage and redemption today!