Signs of the Times: 10 Unmistakable Signs!

Dr. J. B. Hixson | Apr 26, 2017 | None

J. B. Hixson

Signs of the Times

SLBC, 4-30-17

I tell you, I am really honored to get to be here; I’ve known Andy for… I can’t really remember how long I’ve known him.  I started teaching at the College of Biblical Studies in 99, and was Dean of Faculty there and then he came right after I left; I left in late 05, and I started teaching at Grace Seminary but we have known each other through a mutual friend, Dr. Loken, I hired Dr. Loken at the college and then he recommended Andy and Andy got hired right after I left.  But Andy and I have gotten to be really close friends just through speaking at the same conferences, traveling in the same circles and I just think so highly of him.  I’ve got him on speed dial so whenever I have a biblical question or a theological question or I’m really not sure if I’m handling it correctly he’s my go-to guy and we love to just talk about the Word of God.  He’s also right now with another mutual friend, in fact, I’m pretty sure I introduced Andy to Bill, but Bill Perkins is a good friend of mine and Andy was still on this trip so we want to continue to keep them in our prayers, as Jim said.  And I’m just honored to get to be with you.

So I’ve got a lot of material to cover tonight.  My understanding is we go right up until about 8:00 and so after we finish at 8:00 I’m happy to stick around with anybody who would like to and we’ll field some questions and I love to just dialogue about any of the things that we’re talking about.  My wife, Wendy, is here, she’ll be out at our resource table, and I’ll say more about that at the end.  Our kids didn’t make it with us on this trip though they usually do.  We have six kids, four still at home and we’re on the road about 250 days a year and so they travel with us, but this trip that we’re on is our longest ever, it’s a two month trip.  So we kind of left them with grandma for part of it, then we’ll pick them up for part of it and we’re kind of doing it that way just to kind of break it up a little bit.  So I regret that you didn’t get to meet them, they’re really our pride and joy and we really hope that you get to meet them someday.

So take your Bibles and turn to Matthew 16, this is in the context of when the Pharisees and Sadducees, you read in the preceding verses, come to Jesus and they ask Him if He would show them a sign from heaven.  [2] “He answered and said to them, ‘When it is evening you say it will be fair weather: for the sky is red. [3] Hypocrites, you know how to discern the face of the sky; but you cannot discern the signs of the times.”

I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention, and I know I love Sugar Land Bible Church, by the way, I’ve had a chance to be here before, it’s been years, but you have a great reputation for being Bible scholars and I’m sure you have noticed that these days there are quite a few Bible teachers out there that are talking about the end times and talking about subjects like the rapture and the antichrist and the tribulation and the Second coming and the millennium and all of these kinds of things.

So what I want to do tonight is kind of walk us through what Jesus really meant when He talks about the signs of the times.  In context, in the first century of course he was talking about the Pharisees and the Sadducees and the first century Jewish leaders who had missed the signs of Christ’s first advent.  Now they shouldn’t have because it had been pretty clear in the Old Testament prophets that a virgin would conceive and bear a child and that that child would be born in Bethlehem and he would grow up to take the throne of his father David and rule and reign in perfect peace and justice over the long-awaited Messianic kingdom for Israel.  But nevertheless they missed it.  You have kind of wonder, I wonder how many virgins gave birth to a child in Bethlehem at that time that caused so much confusion for them.  But somehow they missed it and the question that I think is son my mind as I think about this topic is I wonder how many are going to miss it the second time around.

Now we know that according to Matthew chapters 24 and 25 that in the future tribulation period that generation of Jews that will be allied at the time of Christ’s Second coming, many of them will miss it, which is utterly amazing because Jesus gives incredibly detailed signs related to the Second coming.  But I think also many people today are not really prepared for the imminency of the rapture.  The imminency of the rapture is a foundational biblical truth as it relates to the end times.  The rapture is the next great prophetic event to which the world would look forward.  There are not prophecies that must be fulfilled before the rapture; the rapture is imminent, that means it could happen at any moment.  It could happen tonight.  How many of you would vote for it happening tonight.  Good, most of you.  It could have happened yesterday; it could have happened ten years ago, five hundred years ago, a thousand years ago.  It might not happen for a hundred years.  But I’m going to talk tonight about the distinction between prophecy and a sign of the times.

But let’s kind of back up just a little bit and give you a broad picture here.  There are three, generally speaking, approaches to studying Bible prophecy and Dr. Woods and I share the same perspective of a literal, grammatical, historical approach, a traditional dispensational approach to understanding Bible prophecy.  But you may have heard of the preterist view.  The Preterist approach suggests that everything happened, as far as Bible prophecy is concerned, by 70 A.D.  In other words, after 70 A.D. there are no Bible prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled.  Everything in the book of Revelation, for example, is simply recapitulating the present age of the church age; there’s no future prophecy in Revelation.  No future prophecy in the Old Testament because it was all fulfilled in the present church.  There’s no future prophecy in the New Testament because they don’t believe in a rapture.  So this is the preterist view.

And some Preterists even go so far as to suggest that Christ came back in  70 A.D.  I hope you were aware of that, you missed it apparently, but he came back, the Second coming occurred in 70 A.D.   You say well how could that possibly be because the signs that Jesus says will accompany His Second coming, such as lightening striking from the east to the west and incredible cosmic signs, an earthquake never before seen on planet earth, how could that be?  Well, they of course figuratively take all of those passages, they spiritualize them, allegorize them, and they suggest that the localized smoke and fire and stuff, that it was associated with Roman General Titus running into Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and burning the city, that that was the fulfillment of those prophecies.  So of course, when you handle Scripture that was you can make it be fulfilled any time you want.  But we reject the preterist view.

A second view is the historicist’s view.  An historicist would say that we’re essentially living inside the bubble of fulfillment today.  This is what many people might call sensationalist or date-setters.  And a lot of the places that I speak, in terms of a prophecy conference, I was just at the Mid America Prophecy Conference this weekend and one of the speakers comes from this perspective.  These are those who have a Bible in one hand and maybe a newspaper or a TV tuned to Fox News or CNN in the other, and then every time something happens geopolitically or in terms of world events or weather or earthquakes or things, THEN they look at the Scripture and try to find something that relates to that and so “this is that!”   In other words, they’re constantly getting out their calculators and trying to calculate the number of days between this and that and they’re looking at blood moons and [can’t understand word] and all kinds of things out of context, that really have no place for the serious student of Bible prophecy.

Now I want to be careful because I’m not in any way suggesting these people have bad motives or are charlatans or are just trying to get rich.  I think they love the Lord Jesus and they also love His Word, they just have a completely different hermeneutic in the way they connect the dots; I think it’s inconsistent and not the best way to handle the Word of God.  So we reject the historicist view as well.

The view that we espouse would be the futurist view… the futurist view suggests that God’s Word reveals for us certain prophecies that will be fulfilled in the future.  Indeed, one-third of the Bible is prophecy and half of that has yet to be fulfilled.  So there are a great deal of prophecies that are yet to come.  And so we come from a futurist perspective.  And I think that when you interpret the Bible with a consistent, literal, grammatical, historical hermeneutics you’ll always end up with a futurist view of Bible prophecy.

So let’s start out by kind of looking at an end times chart.  If you have a chance to stop by our table we have a new book of color 81/2 by 11 charts, over 70 color charts and this would be in the collection of charts.  But according to the Word of God we are living in the last days.  Now sometimes people, Bible end times prophecy enthusiasts use the phrase “end times” and “last days” interchangeably.  That’s not technically correct; as I’m going to show you the “last days” is the present age in which we live; the end times refers to the eschaton, everything starts with the rapture and goes forward.  So that’s the last days, the end times again begins with the rapture and goes all the way through the new heavens and the new earth.  It’s all of those unfulfilled prophecies that we read about in God’s Word.

So we are living in the last days and I can prove that to you with a few verses here.  First of all let’s look at Hebrews 1.  In Hebrews chapter the writer says, “God, who at various time and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers through the prophets, [2] has in these last days spoken to us by His Son whom He has appointed heir all things, through whom also who He made the world.”

So obviously this is talking about the present church age, that the greatest manifestation of God’s glory, of God in the flesh, was indeed the incarnation.  Christ Himself, the eternal Son of God, has put on human flesh and came to the earth.

Let’s look at another verse.  2 Peter 3, a very key verse for understanding why there’s such a disdain for Bible prophecy in the world today,  but Peter says, “Knowing this first, that scoffers will come in the last days,” and in the context here Peter is saying, he’s writing this second epistle, so that they, that’s the recipients, might be mindful of this very point.  It’s clearly not talking about some future last days, many years from then.  He’s talking about that generation, the ones who received he must be talking about the present age.

And then another one would be 2 Timothy 3, Paul’s last epistle that he wrote in 67 A.D.  He says, “Know this, that in the last days perilous times will come.”  Again Paul mentions “these people,” the ones who in context here, he goes on to talk about they were similar to those who resisted Moses, the way Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses.  They resist their teaching the way Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses.

Paul also contrasts “these people” (the pronoun there) with Timothy, because he goes on to say in verse 10, “but you” Timothy, in contrast to these.  So when he’s talking about the perilous times he’s talking about the present age.  He’s not talking about some time in the distant future, either in the end times or some people would say at the very end of the church age.  The problem with saying that Paul is predicting something here at the end of the church age, first of all is very ambiguous, how perilous is perilous and how is it more perilous than it was before and so forth.   But I think he’s talking about the entire church age and I think that’s pretty clear from the context.  So we are living in the last days.  One of our books, The Great Last Days Deception goes into more detail and kind of makes that point.

But one of the things that we have to understand before we can look at the top ten unmistakable signs that we may be in the last days of the last days is the difference between a sign and a fulfillment.  This is a key distinction for understanding why there are so many differences in interpretation among Bible prophecy experts; understanding the difference between a sign and a fulfilled prophecy determines whether you fall in to that sensationalist speculative date-setting camp or the more balanced rooted in the text camp of eschatology.

Let me give you a definition of sign; a sign is a world event that could be… COULD be setting the stage for the fulfillment of prophecy.  That’s a sign.  By contrast, a fulfilled prophecy is a direct prediction of a future event in Scripture that comes true.

Now let me chart it out for you this way: one of my professors at Dallas Seminary years ago was Dr. John Walvoord, I had him for a couple of classes and he would illustrate it verbally the way I’m going to chart it out for you here.  He would use this same illustration about Christmas and Thanksgiving.  So let me see if I can illustrate this for you.  If you look at a calendar or a timeline, you start out with January, and you go through the months of the year and you get all the way to October and along about the time you get to October you move into the holiday season, don’t you.  And that’s of course November and December.  Of course, in November you’ve got Thanksgiving; in December you’ve got Christmas.  But let’s say on the calendar we’re kind of right in sometime in this area here, where I’ve highlighted in yellow, and let’s say along about that time  you start seeing things like Christmas decorations and Christmas lights or maybe some Christmas sales and Christmas merchandise and Christmas music.

Now if you begin to see these things what does that point to?  Now this is the audience participation moment.  Now really put your thinking caps on here; what do Christmas decorations, Christmas lights, Christmas sales, Christmas merchandise and Christmas music point to?  [someone says Christmas]  Very good.  Christmas, right?  When you see those signs you begin to think Christmas is near.  But then it might occur to you as  you’re thinking about that in late October that wait a minute, if Christmas is near Thanksgiving must be even closer.  Right?  And when we think about a timeline of Biblical prophecy the rapture is the next event, if you will, and it’s a signless event.

So you might say it this way.  If the stage is being set for Christmas, Thanksgiving must be even closer.  Or to put it in terms of Bible prophecy, if the stage is being set for events like the tribulation, we see things that could be setting the stage for tribulation events or things that could be setting the stage for the unveiling of the antichrist.  Or if we see things that are happening on earth that could pave the way for the Second coming then we know the rapture must be even closer.

So the rapture, again, is a signless event, there is no sign that has to occur before the rapture.  Nobody can wake up today and say well, such and such didn’t happen so I know the rapture is not going to happen today.  No one can say until X, Y or Z happens the rapture won’t happen so I’ll just sit back and wait.  I got an e-mail after this last conference I was just at from someone who’s written a lengthy article suggesting that the rapture is going to happen in September of this year.  Now besides the fact that it’s unbiblical and a case can be made it’s unconvincing to someone who takes the Bible literally, it destroys imminency because let’s say for example that he was correct, just for the sake of argument.  Well then we can just sit back between now and say… just to be safe let’s say mid-August, in case he was off on his calculations, and we could just sit back and eat, drink, be merry, just kind of wait and then right before the appointed time that he’s figured out that nobody else has been able to figure out when the rapture is going to happen, we can say okay, I’m going to get my life cleaned up and be ready and meet the Lord in the air.  Right?

So the rapture is a signless event.  There are no signs that tell us when the rapture happens.  It’s going to happen in the twinkling of an eye.  Sunday morning in our worship service here at Sugar Land Bible Church I’m going to speak on one minute after the rapture.  I’m going to be giving you biblically seven things that will be true for those who are caught up to meet the Lord in the air one minute after the rapture.  And then I’m going to give you ten things that will be true for those that are left behind one minute after the rapture.  It’s going to be a pretty heavy message, the last part of it.  If you know anybody that doesn’t know the Lord that’s unsaved I would encourage you to bring them Sunday, we’re going to give the gospel and we’re going to remind them of what they’re going to be facing if the Lord comes back any day now, and He may very well be.

So if you look at the sensationalist approach to Bible prophecy usually they’ll say things like this on their order of events:  they’ll say, for example, oh, the Psalm 83 war, never mind that Psalm 83 is not a prophecy, there’s nothing in Psalm 83 that’s even remotely prophetic and  yet people have again looked at their newspaper, looked at world events and say this sounds kind of like that, this must be a prophecy and it must be happening now, and it’s going to happen before the rapture.  But this is their checklist; they’ll go to Ezekiel 37, the regathering of Israel.  They’ll go to the battle of God and Magog in Ezekiel 38.  And then at some point in their check list you find the rapture.  But this is a problem because once again that would be like putting Thanksgiving after Christmas.  The next great prophetic event is the rapture and it’s a signless event.

We’ve got in our eschatology textbook What Lies Ahead, A Biblical Overview of the End Times.  I’ve got an appendix, I’ve got several appendices at the back but one appendix it lists a sequential order of end times events.  Now let’s see if  you’ve been paying attention.  What do you think is number one on that list?  The rapture… Amen.  Now you might it interesting to see what else comes in line because there’s some room for disagreement, some things we can make our best guess at the precise order, we know the general order, we know it’s rapture and unveiling of the antichrist, the signing of the peace treaty, seven years of the great day of the Lord’s wrath and the time of Jacob’s trouble, the seal trumpet and bowl judgments, the two witnesses, the 144,000 Jewish missionaries, the abomination of desolation at the midpoint, the battle of Armageddon, the Second coming of Christ, the millennial reign of Christ, the rebuilt temple and ultimately the new heavens and the new earth.  And I skipped a few things in there for just the sake of brevity.

We know the general idea but there’s a lot of detail that’s got scholars kind of  love studying and we love to piece it together and I’d love for you to read it and see if, for example, see if Dr. Woods agrees with me and Jesus on it all, I’m not sure.  I’m pretty sure we see eye to eye but we’ll have to see.  I’m pretty sure that we do.  But a better approach to the checklist again would be to start with the rapture and then just to give you the first few that I think are going to happen, I think there’s going to be a western alliance based on Daniel 11 that I believe will be headed by the future anti­christ.  There’s going to be a northern alliance that’s going to come against Israel and try in the chaos that ensues after the rapture, we’ll talk about this Sunday morning, they’re going to try to take over the holy land which has always been a hot spot obviously.  Why?  Because it’s God’s land, it’s His land, He’s jealous for His land.  And I think that the western alliance is going to come in and come against the northern alliance.

Now we know from Ezekiel 38 and 39 that God supernaturally defeats the northern alliance but it’s my speculation, and it isn’t just that, I’m not going to die on this hill because the Scripture is silent on it, but it seems to make sense to me that the western alliance leader takes credit for the defeat of the northern alliance and he says hey, everybody, look at me, I solved the dilemma and I created peace and I protected Israel and I believe that catapults him to world fame; he signs the peace treaty, he becomes the antichrist and that’s what unveils him.  But this type of checklist, they’re reminded to the detail exactly right, certainly is in keeping with the biblical doctrine of imminency, which is indeed a biblical doctrine.  You can prove it biblically, we have a DVD on the imminency of the rapture that makes the case exegetically.

So if we go back to our chart all of these are prophetic events.  It starts with the rapture and then everything up until the new heavens and the new earth.  The question that we’re asking tonight is are we seeing any signs that could relate to these types of things because if we are then that could be, that must be indeed that the rapture is going to occur even sooner. So not to beat a dead horse but just to make it clear, is any times prophecy being fulfilled today.  I would say an emphatic no unless of course the rapture happened and we all missed it, sometime this afternoon which I’m pretty sure did not happen.

But if I were to say is the end times stage being set with various signs of the times?  Absolutely!   The question was, or the comment was the Bible says Jesus says when you see all these things look up, be watching for  your redemption draweth nigh.  But that’s talking to the tribulation generation about the Second coming.  So that has nothing to do with the rapture.  But still the point is still well made that the rapture is a signless event; there are no signs that point to the rapture but there are plenty of signs that point to end times types events.  Wendy and I, as you know, we travel a lot and this past year we were in the northeast and we took some time between speaking engagements to go to New  York City which we loved New York City, I actually grew up, second grade through eighth grade in that area, my dad worked in Manhattan and so it’s always fun to kind of go there.  And we went to a Broadway play and somehow my wife, who is a master at this, I don’t know how she does it but she finds, always finds unbelievable deals on tickets and everything else.  I guess you have to do that with six kids and a husband who likes to eat.

But anyway, she got us front row seats to a Broadway play.  We were literally on the front row, if I put my legs out in front of me they would touch the stage and when I sat down, you can probably tell this about me, that I’m not much of a theater going guy so I don’t know all the protocols and stuff, I sat down and I put my program, my playbill right there on the stage.  And the usher quickly came over and said get that off of there, get that off of there, because you know the actors and actresses are going to come right to the edge, they could slip off on it and trip on it.

So we’re sitting there before the play, the curtain is drawn and we were so close we could see the gap underneath the curtain; we could see shadows moving, if we listened we could hear props being slid across the stage, we could hear mumbling under people’s breath, we knew the stage was being set for the opening act but we had no idea when that curtain, precisely when that curtain was going to rise.  Well that’s the way it is today.  The rapture is the next great prophetic event; some day that curtain is going to rise, in “the twinkling of an eye” and we can look around us and we can say the stage is being set but we really don’t know when it’s going to happen.  It might be in our lifetime, I really tend to believe as I look at the world events around us that it cannot help but be very soon, but could it be a hundred  years from now?  It could be, we really don’t know the Lord’s timetable.

So we want to look at ten of those signs tonight and I’ll try to go through these as fast as I can because I want to talk about some of them in more detail than others.  So what are some signs that we’re seeing today that indicate we could very well be in the last of the last days.  Hang on, let me go through them and then if you … this is, by the way, this is not comprehensive, we could list fifty things probably.

So number 1, I think any survey of the prophetic landscape MUST start with the granting of statehood to Israel… the granting of statehood to Israel.  After all, Jesus said in Matthew 24 when He comes back that He will gather together His elect (that’s Israel) from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other, it’s a fulfillment of Deuteronomy 30 when the Bible says the Lord God will bring you back from captivity.  Isaiah the prophet says the same thing, “So shall it be in that day, the great trumpet will be blown and they will come who are about to perish in the land of Assyria, who are outcasts in the land of Egypt and you will all worship the Lord in the Holy Mount of Jerusalem.  So we see this regathering.

Ezekiel 37, which I believe is a Second coming promise, Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations wherever they have gone I will gather them from every side and bring them back into their own land.”  [Ezekiel 37:21]  So if they’re going to be regathered in the land it makes sense that there’s going to be a nation for them to be regathered into.  Right?  So absolutely when Israel became a nation in 1948 it certainly should get our attention and make us think hmmm, could we be getting closer, after all, these prophecies were just as true in the, say the 1400’s when there had not been an Israel on the Rand McNally Map for a thousand years or more, these prophesies were just as true but when we begin to see this type of a stage setting it really makes us think I wonder if we’re getting close.  And if we’re getting close to the Second coming, when they’re going to be regathered in their land, then we must be even closer to the rapture.

And where did it all begin?  Well, it goes back to the Abrahamic Covenant, when the Lord said to Abraham get out of  your country, from your family, from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.  This is the foundational covenant.  We have a whole chapter on this and the three subsequent unconditional covenants that come out of it.  I like to chart it this way:  you think of the Abrahamic Covenant as a foundational covenant, it dealt with a promise of land, a promise of seed, and a promise of blessing.  And of course you have the atoning work of Christ in the church age and then you have a period of blindness to Israel, Paul tells us is Romans 11:26-27 followed by the kingdom when the Deliverer comes out of Zion and ushers in the kingdom.  [Romans 11:26-27, “and so all Israel shall be saved: even as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer; He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:  [27] And this is my covenant unto them, When I shall take away their sins.”]

The land, seed and blessing aspect of that unconditional promise to Abraham were each amplified in three subsequent unconditional covenants: the land covenant or sometimes called the Palestinian Covenant, Genesis 15 and Deuteronomy 30, the Davidic Covenant amplifies the seed aspect, that there would be a descendant of David on his throne forever.  Now that’s not happened; Solomon did not stay on the throne.  And then the New Covenant amplifies the spiritual blessings.  And this whole covenant program essentially is the title deed to the land, that promises that Israel will be regathered into her land someday and Jesus Christ, the King of Kings will rule and reign in perfect peace and justice; all the governments will be upon His shoulder, it will be a one-world government, He’ll give the state of the world address on CNN every January I guess, and everybody will look to His for direction and it will be a time of incredible peace and prosperity, though eventually there will still be sin because those who enter the kingdom in their mortal bodies will have babies and those babies will be born dead in their trespasses and sins, Ephesians 2:1, and eventually by the end of the thousand years there’ll be an entire contingent of unbelievers.  [Ephesians 2:1, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,”]  They will work together with Satan when he’s released from prison for one final battle.

But Israel has to be brought back into the land.  Now what are the boundaries of this promise?  And if you compare all of the relevant Scriptures that kind of chart out based on land marks, Israel’s Promised Land, and  you follow Charles Fienberg’s conclusion it’s roughly 300,000 square miles.  Now if you look at the boundaries of the Promised Land you can kind of see what’s in pink up there, that’s what’s promised to them and I’m going to put kind of a crude recommendation or representation to present day Israel, I know it’s not exactly the scale so please don’t e-mail me and tell me I was half a centimeter off;  I’m not exact but roughly speaking that’s Israel today so you can see how we have not ever had a time when Israel has even remotely inhabited the Promised Land.  So one of two things is true; either God was wrong or this prophecy has a future fulfillment and I believe it has a future fulfillment.

If we think about, just in the last one hundred years or so, the rise of the modern Zionist movement, Theodor Herzl wrote the Jewish state in 1896 and convened the first Zionist world congress in 1897 in Basel Switzerland and he put forth the Uganda plan and he had a famous quote in an entry is his diary on September 3, 1897, and here’s what he wrote:  “At Basel, I founded the Jewish State. If I said this out loud today, I would be answered by universal laughter. Perhaps in five years, certainly in fifty, everyone will know it.”  When did he say that?  1897.  Now about fifty years later what happened?  May 14, 1948 Israel declared her independence and was granted statehood.

So clearly this is a setting of the stage, a sign of the times.  What other signs of the times do we see?  Well, let’s just look at current events, the Geopolitical scene.  As we survey the geopolitical landscape do we see the stage being set?  Well, the first thing we notice is a worldwide crisis of Islamic terrorism.  You know, the religion of the end times will be one where a false prophet deceives the whole world and causes the world to worship the antichrist by doing miracles, such as pulling fire down from the sky.  In order to set the stage for this there’s got to be some kind of global crisis; there’s got to be a global religious conflict so that the antichrist can arise and proclaim false peace and solve this crisis.

Now I believe that as bad as Islam is I do not believe it’s the end all enemy, the antichrist clearly is not going to be Islamic because Daniel tells us he will deny the gods of his fathers and have no religion.  I think the end times religion is going to be pluralism; how else is this future world leader going to be able to get every religion to cooperate and come together under one banner.  Only under a pluralistic banner is that possible.  So I believe he’s going to be a pluralist.  But if we go to Daniel 9 this future antichrist is going to confirm a covenant with many for one week of years, one seven year period.

Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5 that when they’re saying “peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes upon them.”  [1 Thessalonians 5:3, “When they are saying, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall in no wise escape.”]  Because remember, the antichrist is going to solve this world conflict and then sign the peace treaty and then even though the wrath of God and the wrath of Satan are simultaneously going to be poured out during the entire seven year tribulation, the first three and a half years of it are going to be a time of relative peace for Israel because they’re sort of under the banner and so forth.  But then when the antichrist sets himself up as God at the midpoint, both Daniel and Jesus talk about this, Jesus quotes Daniel by name in Matthew 24, then it’s literally going to be all hell breaking loose on earth and the Jews are going to be suffering the most intense persecution they have ever suffered.

So this geopolitical unrest, the geopolitical scene that we look at around us and this Islamic terrorism in particular, certainly you can see how it’s getting worse and worse and worse and it’s going to be paving the way for some world leader to come in and sort of solve the problem.  Here’s just a few snaps from the headlines types of pictures.  This members of the [can’t understand word] for example.  Islamic terrorism.  Another GEO political factor is the rise and fall of nation states.  Boy, I mean, you know, the textbook, the high school history textbook companies are having to keep the presses running, aren’t they, because every year it seems like there’s a new moving around of the pieces on the chess board and the Book of Revelation during the tribulation period, we know that all who dwell on the earth will worship him.  They’re going to come together.  The question is, you know, what nations will those be and things are getting so complex it’s hard to even get your hands around.

We’ve got world leaders even pronouncing nations differently; we’ve got nations that, you know, didn’t exist even ten years ago that exist now.  Take Syria, for example, it’s unbelievable what’s going on right there.  There’s no doubt that there’s so much tragedy and heartache but it’s also very complex geopolitically.  It’s not a simple good guys versus bad guys situation.  In terms of American involvement, first we fund the good guys that are now the bad guys but then they’re going to be the good guys again, then we give our arms to the enemy, then we stash the arms over there and leave them over there so the enemy can get it and we’re trying to figure out how to make sense out of it.  And I finally found a good website that explains all of the powers and pressures that are coming upon Syria and it really helped me out when I looked at it because it’s really made a lot of sense once I tried to figure it out.

But all kidding aside it is a tragedy and this is just a sign of the times… a sign of the times.  And it’s not just Syria, we have the same thing in Libya, the same thing in Russia and the Ukraine.  You know, in the global run up to World War III and the eventual unveiling of the antichrist this all fits perfectly within this current geopolitical scene.  Jesus talks about in the tribulation period there would be wars and rumors of wars so if there’s wars and rumors of wars today that could be a setting of the stage, couldn’t it?  Jesus said in the tribulation period nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom.  We see that happening today, certainly we dare to ask the question, could that be a sign of the times.

In Luke 21, Luke’s account of the Olivet Discourse, he’s talking here about a time at the end of the tribulation but we see this similar fear and sense of foreboding today.  I think it’s a sign of the times.  Zechariah, the prophet, talks about also during the tribulation period there would be great panic and people would raise their hand against their neighbor.  In Revelation chapter 6 at the beginning of the tribulation we see the unveiling of the antichrist.  This is the first horseman of the apocalypse, a rider on the white horse, he goes out conquering and to conquer.  And certainly, according to 1 John 2:18 the spirit of antichrist is already alive and well on the earth today.              [1 John 2:18, “Little children, it is the last hour: and as ye heard that antichrist cometh, even now have there arisen many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last hour.”]

But the book of Revelation comes full circle, it starts with an imposter on the white horse, the antichrist and it ends with the real deal, the one on the white horse is called “faithful and true,” Jesus Christ returning just as He said He would.  And we’ll be riding with Him, by the way, on white horses coming back to inaugurate the long-awaited kingdom.

I find it interesting that according to the biblical record there are only two times in human history when Satan himself, prince of demons, Satan is a fallen angel, a demon, he’s the prince of demons, we forget this sometimes and  you know, I’m sure Dr. Woods would say the same thing if you took his or my angelology, demonology, and Satanology class but Satan cannot be in more than one place at a time, he’s not omnipresent, he doesn’t know everything, he’s not omniscient, he’s not all powerful, he’s not omnipotent, so he relies son his legion of demons to help accomplish his task of trying to take over the world.

But according to biblical history there’s only two times when the moment was so perfect (from his perspective) to try to win this cosmic battle that he didn’t want to delegate, he didn’t want to leave anything to chance, so according to Luke 22 in conjunction with the first advent Satan Himself indwelt Judas to help see that Jesus was betrayed.  I think it’s Luke 22:6.  [Luke 22:6, “And he consented, and sought opportunity to deliver him unto them in the absence of the multitude.”]  And I believe according to Daniel chapter 8 and 2 Thessalonians 2 that in conjunction with the second advent of Christ he’s going to indwell the antichrist once again.  See, Satan has been trying to take over the world from the beginning, since he got kicked out of heaven.

This is the devil’s playground.  We talk about this in our DVD  The Great Last Days Deception.  And, you know, Satan, here he is trying to rule this world, he’s called the prince of the power of the air, the god of this age he’s called.  1 John 5 says the whole world is under the sway of the wicked one.  And when Christ burst onto the scene and became flesh Satan said now is my chance; He came to my backyard, He’s on my turf, I’m going to seize this moment.  And so he indwelt Judas to try to accomplish the victory and he thought he had when he crucified our Savior.  But of course three days later Christ rose from the dead, an event we just celebrated and no doubt Satan shrieked in horror.  But I believe he’s going to do the same thing the second time around and that’s what we read about in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2.  So the rise and fall of nation states.

What about the global economic crisis?  How could this possibly be a geopolitical sign that we are getting close to the rapture?  I mean, there’s so many things we could talk about, for example, Brexit, that was certainly an economic issue at its core.  Now we’ve got [sounds like: Shrexit], you know, Sweden trying to leave, right, and of course here in the great republic of Texas we have Texit, maybe that’s a good idea, I don’t really know.  But certainly there are all kinds of financial instabilities throughout the world.  And I realize the stock market currently is at an all-time high but give it a week, you know, every few weeks we see this volatility in the stock market.  And I like to remind people if you can’t touch it you don’t own it.  If you can’t touch it you  don’t own it!  So if your wealth and your portfolio is in little tiny unseen X’s and O’s on some server in somebody’s warehouse somewhere and you are so excited to wake up every day and log into your bank or investment accounts and see your worth, be prepared to lose it just like that, because if  you don’t touch it you don’t own it.

And this plays right into the hands, we are a ticking time bomb, it’s code blue for the U.S. economy.  And in order to embrace a future one-world economic system the current fractional banking system,  you know, with central banks and so forth, privately owned central banks, has to crash and burn.  And in the tribulation the antichrist is going to institute a satanically led global economic system where no one is able to buy or sell.  That’s the day of the mark of the beast, it’s going to be a cashless society.

In Revelation 18, talking about end times Babylon, it says the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.  [Revelation 18:3, “For by the wine of the wrath of her fornication all the nations are fallen; and the kings of the earth committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth waxed rich by the power of her wantonness.”]   Her plagues will come in one day, death and mourning and famine and all the things which are rich and splendid are gone from you, talking about end times Babylon.  [Revelation 18:8, “Therefore in one day shall her plagues come, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire; for strong is the Lord God who judged her.”]  We see the same type of volatility and vulnerability today; it certainly seems like it’s setting the stage.

What about the populist movement.  If you survey the geopolitical landscape we notice the [can’t understand word] movement that’s sweeping across the globe.  We certainly saw it in our own country with the latest election, change is coming.  One of the things I admire most about Dr. Woods and he and I were talking regularly during the whole last year before the election, was his stand, taking a stand against Trump.  And I know there’s good people on all sides of the issue so nothing personal if you are a Trump fan but I admired Andy because he and I took a lot of heat, and Dave Reagan too, for our stand against Trump.  But regardless of whether it was genuine organic or staged there was at face value a populous movement and it’s not just in America.  Civil wars are breaking out all over the Middle East.

And then the last one here that I just want to talk about and  you say boy, why would this rise to the level of a geopolitical sign?  Well, fraudulent elections, not just in America but throughout the world.  Now this isn’t some conspiracy theory, our own President has launched an investigation, of course you heard a lot about this in the weeks up to the election; since the inauguration you really haven’t seen much about it, but he tapped Mike Pence to lead the panel investigating it, he had all kinds of discussions of hacking and cyber security, and Putin, according to WikiLeaks was tied directly to it.  It was because of election fraud we have billboards like this.  Because of election fraud we have things like this, right.  My dad, by the way, is a mayor of a small town in Colorado and he got really involved in mayoral politics and gone to different Colorado councils of mayors and stuff and he joked one time, he said, now son, when I die be sure and bury me in Chicago so I can continue to do my civic duty and vote.  So I said okay, that’s what I’ll do.

But you know, anybody that knows even the slightest bit about technology knows you have to know how easy it is to hack… if you could hack into the NSA you can hack into these little electronic machines that dot the landscape on election day.  I promise you, especially since they’re all manufactured by foreign companies to begin with.  So it’s a real problem.  And this isn’t just, again, stuff of speculation and conspiracy, this is mainstream news.  I mean, this is a screen shot I took from Fox News where they were talking about cyber security.  This is James Comey testifying before Congress before the election about cyber security.  So it is a real problem.  And you think about it in terms of the end times, again Satan, I mean the antichrist, Satan’s not omnipotent and all-knowing and so forth, so the antichrist is going to be trying to rule the world, he’s going to need help and what better way to accomplish your globalist one-world government agenda than through technology means.  Right.

But I guess electronic voting does have its advantages, as this next lady found out so, I mean there are some advantages to electronic voting.  But voter fraud and electronic voting machines are no guarantee that things are going to go the way you want.  This next lady found out, poor thing, she can’t even win a rigged election.  So it is an issue.  And is that a sign of the times?  Absolutely.  I called it ten years ago when most states started adopting the electronic voting machines.  And even if you still use a ballot, a physical electronic ballot they’re counted electronically and those results go into some big server somewhere and we just all assume because of the incredible benevolence of our political leaders that it’s going to come out right.  Right!  If Fox news said it, it can’t possibly be wrong.  So whatever they declare is present is present.  If you’re interested in this there’s a great documentary called Hacking Democracy, or if you prefer to read a book there’s a great book called Black Box Voting.

So certainly all of this and much, much more paint a geopolitical scene that could easily be setting the stage for the end time.

What about the globalism surge… the globalism surge?  The Bible predicts that there will be a one-world government in the end times.  Dr. Woods has talked about this at conferences we’ve shared the same topic before and talked about it and compared notes.  You know, as you look at Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2 he talks about how there’s going to be this kingdom and you know, the statue in Daniel 2 that Nebuchadnezzar has, gold, silver, bronze, and iron and so forth, and this is talking about the future end times one world government.  It starts with the Babylonian Empire, the gold.  Then he says another kingdom will arise that’s in fear, well, that’s the Medo-Persian Empire, and then he says in Daniel 2 another, a third kingdom will come, a bronze, that’s Greece.  And then he says there’s a fourth kingdom, and by the way, there are only four kingdoms, not a fifth, the fourth kingdom, I mean the fifth one mentioned comes out of the fourth kingdom, the Revived Roman Empire, but the fourth kingdom is as strong as iron and that’s of course the Roman Empire.  And then Daniel goes on to say you saw the feet, partly of potter’s clay, partly of iron, and similarly that kingdom will be divided.  This is the fourth beast, this is from Daniel 7, same idea in the pictures of the beast there, the fourth kingdom of the earth.

So the Roman Empire will give rise to the Revived Roman Empire in the end times.  And notice that he says it will be a divided kingdom. Well, this makes sense because the first Roman Empire was divided, was it not, you had Constantinople in the East and you had Rome in the West and I believe the Revived Roman Empire will similarly be divided with five eastern nations and five western nations.  So a lot of times people will say is the antichrist going to be European, is he going to be an Arab, you know, it could be either one because they’re all going to be part of that ten nation confederacy.  I don’t know they’ll be.  If it happens, if the rapture happened today and this all comes about in the next seven years it could easily be France or Spain or whoever from the west, and it could be Assyria, whoever, I don’t know, from the east but it’s clearly going to be a divided… and it’ll be fragile, it’ll be fragile!

But someday… someday because it’s so fragile because it’s manmade the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, it’ll be a kingdom that shall stand forever.  He says you watched and in this vision Nebuchadnezzar saw a stone that was cut without hands, that’s Christ, without human origin, broken them into pieces, eternal in other words… eternal.

So this stone represents the final everlasting kingdom that’s going to come and shatter all of the other kingdoms to smithereens.  And Isaiah the prophet talked about this.  We read this verse at Christmas but we forget that it has Second coming, most of it, Isaiah 9:6-7, all but the first phrase is Second coming.  Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, that’s Bethlehem 2,000 years ago but the rest of it relates to the second coming, when the government will be upon His shoulder.  He goes on to say, “…of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.”   [Isaiah 9:6-7, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.  [7] There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore.  The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.”]

Zechariah put it this way, “The LORD shall be in that day king over all the earth.”  [Zechariah 14:9, “And Jehovah shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall Jehovah be one, and his name one.”]  King over all the earth!

In Revelation 19 we read about when Christ comes back and out of His mouth goes a sharp sword that with it He should what?  Strike the nations.  [Revelation 19:15, “And out of his mouth proceedeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God, the Almighty.”]  Why?  So He can rule them with a rod of iron.

Now let me ask you a question; is Christ ruling the nations today?  Is every nation subject to the authority and placing themselves under the authority of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?  By no means… by no means.  So we’re headed toward a one-world government  one way or the other.  And this globalism surge certainly makes us stop and think could we be getting close.  Satan will rule it first through the antichrist, for seven years, he’ll rule it for the antichrist for seven years.  We may be in a one-world government longer than that.  Have you ever stopped to think about that?  You know for years I grew up loving Bible prophecy, my grandfather was a Bible prophecy expert and so even long before I went to college and seminary I was into this stuff, and you know, I’ve always thought that the one-world government comes about with the antichrist, and it’s seven years and Christ comes back, takes the helm and it continues on in perpetuity, because the kingdom of course is not just a thousand years it’s an eternal kingdom, the first thousand years is on [can’t understand word].

But then it suddenly occurred to me the more I studied the Scripture there’s no Scripture that would preclude the one-world government from already being in place.  All it says is that the antichrist is going to take the helm of it.  In fact, many people would argue we’re in a De facto one world global system already.  So that’s just for what that’s worth.  But ultimately Christ is going to take the throne.  So clearly… clearly we see signs that we may be setting the stage for a one-world government and this is something that we talk about in our Illuminating the New World Order DVD and we give lots of examples of it but let me just mention a couple of quick quotes here.

This is from David Rockefeller who just died March 20th at the age of 101.  And in his memoirs he said: “Some people believe we’re part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as internationalist and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global, political and economic structure, one-world if you will.  Well, if that’s the charge I stand guilty and I’m proud of it.”  He goes on to say, “We are on the verge of a global transformation, all we need is the right major crisis and the nations of the world will accept the new world order.”  And then appearing before the trilateral commission, he said, “The world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government.” Watch this!  “The supranational sovereignty of an intellectually elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national [can’t understand word] practiced in past centuries.”  In other words, you dumb nations don’t know what you need or what you want, we need an elite group of intellectuals to rule the world.  Right.

Well, that’s right out of Scripture and right out of the great deception.  And we see this with things like Agenda 21 which has no morphed into Agenda 30 and we get into this and that in the DVD series Globalism [can’t understand words]   World Order.  Let me mention these next ones fairly fast.  Some of them more than… Gog and Magog Stage Setting, obviously I believe God and Magog is going to happen after the rapture and before the tribulation starts, in that gap of unspecified length of time, as I spelled out for you in my best guess.  Different scholars put it in different places; some  put in the first half of the tribulation, it’s not a hill to die on because Scripture doesn’t tell us when it’s going to happen except that it must happen after the rapture.  And by the way, it might interest you to know that if you read the Left Behind series which in that series it puts Gog and Magog before the rapture, but I know firsthand, I knew Tim LaHaye, I met him every year for several years at the Pre-trib conference, he did not personally believe that.  He believed that it would happen after the rapture before the tribulation, just like I do.  It was for rhetorical literary license that they put it before the rapture but he didn’t personally hold that view. That doesn’t make it right, Tim LaHaye could be wrong to, we might both be wrong.  I’m pretty sure I’m not wrong, if I thought I was wrong I wouldn’t hold that view.  But I could be wrong, it’s bound to happen eventually, right.  That was supposed to be tongue in cheek.

But whenever it’s going to happen, if it’s after the rapture or the first part of the tribulation, some even say the second part, if we see the stage setting well that’s kind of interesting, right.  It’s from Ezekiel 38, it says, “set your face against Gog,”  the name of the future ruler that would emerge in history, a reference to the future antichrist, Magog is that southern part of Russia.  [Ezekiel 38:2, “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,”]

But look at these nations here.  Persia, Ethiopia, Put, Gomer, Togarmah, Persia is Iran, Ethiopia is Sudan, Put refers to Libya, Gomer refers to Turkey, Togarmah—Syria.  Do you notice anything about those nations listed there along the bottom of the screen?   Sound familiar?  They should.  So they’re all in the news almost every day and this is the battle of Gog and Magog and after the rapture these nations are going to come against Israel.  So we see Russia and Iran getting pretty chummy these days.  Could this be a sign of the stage, this Gog and Magog [can’t understand word].  It sure could be.

What about the great Satanic deception?  Well, Paul tells us there’s going to be one; in fact, he tells us for the last 2,000 years things have been getting worse and worse with people deceiving and being deceived.   2 Timothy 3:13.  [2 Timothy 3:13, “But evil men and impostors shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”]

In 1 John 2:18 we know that the antichrist is coming but he says but now, even now many antichrist’s have come. [1 John 2:18, “Little children, it is the last hour: and as ye heard that antichrist cometh, even now have there arisen many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last hour.”] This is the age of deception and someday it’s going to reach new heights, when the antichrist takes over and he’s going to, with all power, signs and lying wonders, with all unrighteous deception deceive the world.  It’ll reach an unprecedented height in the tribulation.  That’s why Jesus’ Olivet Discourse, which is His extended answer to the question what will be the sign of Your Second Coming, tell us what’s going to happen in the years leading up to that, all about the Second Coming and Israel has nothing to with the church.  He begins the Olivet Discourse with these words; “Take heed that no one deceives you,” [Matthew 24:4] and He uses the word “deceive” and a caution against deception repeatedly throughout the Olivet Discourse.

He says “Many will come in My name saying I am the Christ and will deceive many,” [Mark 13:6]  Many false prophets will deceive many, He said it is going to be so great that it would deceive, if possible, even the elect.  [Mark 13:22, “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.”]  And this is the whole premise of our book, The Great Last Days Deception.  Adolf Hitler put it this way in Mein Kampf, this often misquoted as the bigger the lie the more it will be believed.  That’s a good summary statement of what he said, but what he actually said is “the principle which is quite true in itself is that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility.”   There’s no way they could get people to believe such a lie.

Really!  Have you been paying attention?  I mean, imagine in the 1400’s if somebody had kind of tapped you on the shoulder and said you’re not going to believe this but someday just about everybody on planet earth, someday everybody on planet earth is going to think that you and I evolved over 65,000,000 years from a wet rock and monkeys and gorillas are our ancestors.  You would have been laughed out of the room.  And yet today that’s common place.  The bigger the lie the easier it is to believe. Vladimir Lenin said “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”

And one of the ones that I have found to be true again and again and again and again and I want you to think about this, this is from that great theologian, Mark Twain, he said “it’s easier to fool people than to convince them they’ve been fooled.”  The great satanic deception.

Then we see the glaring spiritual apostasy… the glaring spiritual apostasy.  1 Timothy 4:1, in the latter times, just a synonym for the last days, some will depart from the faith, it’s going to be getting worse and worse and worse.  [1 Timothy 4:1, “But the Spirit saith expressly, that in later times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons,”]  And then he says the time will come during these last days when they will not endure sound doctrine but be turned aside to fables. [2 Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, [4] and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”]

It’s talking about in the church and you see this sort of departure… we live in what’s called the post-Christian era, you know, Newsweek called it The Decline and Fall of Christian America, Time got an article, What if There is No Hell, that’s the thing about apostasy, at first it appears minor, no big deal.  But before long you’ve completely departed from the standard of Orthodoxy and we see this in the church today getting worse and worse and worse.  You know, people, Christian people, at least church going people, are picking up books like Rob Bell, you know, that deny the existence of hell, or Leonard Sweet’s The Gospel According to Starbucks.  I had the chance to meet Leonard, I spoke at a conference where he was speaking (don’t hold that against me, I’ll speak anywhere that lets me preach the gospel).  But if you’ve read that book you know how heretical it is and I don’t use that word lightly.  But we live in a day when the Bible is rejected, sound doctrine is rejected; it’s a glaring spiritual apostasy.

And then the glorifying of sin.. the glorifying of sin, again, “But know this, that in the last days” as we said earlier, “perilous times shall come.”  It says people are going to be “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”  [2 Timothy 3:1-2, But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come. [2] For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, [3] unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,   [4] treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God:]

When you’ve got people like Lady Gaga or Beyoncé  taking the stage as the most watched event every year, where everybody is just.. and these are two of the most demonically influenced beings on planet earth today I believe, you talk about glorifying sin… there’s no shame any more… there’s no shame!  And then you’ve what I call the gender surrender movement…the gender surrender movement, I think again this is a very key attack, one of Satan’s final frontiers to attack.  In Genesis 1:27 we read, “God created man in His own image” and He created them “male and female.”   So the gender attack is an attack on the very image of God.  And that’s the reason you have, for example, in North Carolina public school teachings being taught in their in service before school started, that they’re no longer allowed to use the term boys and girls, that’s too offensive and it’s not gender inclusive.  That’s why Nebraska teachers were told the same thing, you have to use phrases like purple penguin, boys and girls is not inclusive of transgender.

That’s why the Department of Ed issued the gender bread diagram to all 50 states encouraging public schools from second grade on up to use this as a guide for how to deal with their students with gender, you’re supposed to talk to them about gender identity, do they feel womanness or manness, or gender expression, do they like to express themselves more feminally or masculinly?  What’s the biological sex, do you have femaleness of maleness?  Who are you sexually attracted to?  Who are you romantically attracted to?  You’re interested in more about the perils of the compulsory government mind control program we call public schools, I encourage you to pick up either Indoctrination or Escaping Common Core, I know the [can’t understand word] producer, one of them was the award winning Christian documentary of the year that came out and they’re outstanding… they’re outstanding.

But I’ve seen it, I’ve traveled, you know, all over, I’ve seen this whole gender neutral issue and if you think that, you know, Trump is going to be able to change that wait and see… wait and see.  It’ll be changed right after the wall goes up.  Government spying, you say well why would this make my top ten list?  Well, very important, again in order for Satan to accomplish his new world order agenda and take over the earth he’s going to need technological help, just like we said with the elections, he’s not omniscient so he’s going to need a mechanism to attract people.  Now he’s not confined by space so he can go, because he’s not always in bodily form, he can kind of shape ship and take on forms like we’ve talked about and we see that in Scripture.

You know, demons can indwell pigs or humans or whatever.  But he still can’t see it all at one time.  The world is a big place so he can send demons to different places to give a report, they can come right back and say here’s what’s going on in the western United States or whatever.  But if he was able to sort of have a prison planet where he could sort of see it all then he’s going to be able to do that.  Then it’ll be easier for him to do that.

You know, Daniel, chapter 7 says this future beast is going to be exceedingly dreadful and trample everyone down; he’s going to have a horn which had eyes that were greater than his fellows.  He’s going to be able to see all of these things so that he can devour the whole earth and trample it into pieces.

So we really are living in an age where everything is tracked, everything is watched.  Here’s some server farms that are owned by Facebook, and you know, here’s the Sandy, Utah Fusion Center, we had the chance to drive by and see it from the freeway off in the distance back in February and March when we were up in that part of the country speaking.  It can hold twelve  xabytes of data… 12 xabytes of data.  An xabyte is… I’m trying to remember now, how many thousands of gigabytes, I can’t remember the numbers, I don’t have them in front of me but it’s unbelievable.  Basically it’s enough data that it could store every word ever spoken from the beginning of time.  So you know,  just keep that in mind the next time you e-mail somebody.

But this is, you know, nothing new, it’s been in plain sight forever, this government spying concept.  You know, mainstream news, Fox News covering that drones are not just for tracking terror and more.

And then finally, growing scoffers… growing scoffers, 2 Peter 3, we come back to that, we started there.  Scoffers will come in these last days and what are they going to say?  “Where is the promise of His coming?”  The more people scoff at the end times, and I see it all over the place, when I tell people I speak on the end times it’s like why don’t you speak on something more relevant, I mean, nobody cares about that stuff anymore.  Right?  And that’s just being, you know, we’re being propagandized to think that.  So the millennials aren’t interested.  Why?  Because they’ve been taught by Hollywood that it’s all the stuff of lunacy, right?  You see little [can’t understand word] like this one here.  You know, this lady, I don’t want to brag or anything but this like the fifth end of the world I’ve survived, as if… you know, there’s never going to be an end of the world and everybody always says there’s going to be an end of the world and I don’t have to worry about it.  Right?

But even within the church you’ve got false teachers that are suggesting that the rapture is a hoax that needs to be debunked and it’s not true.  But remember the louder the scoffers the closer we must be getting to the end.  So in a way, as discouraging as it is, it’s also encouraging because it’s a fulfilment of that prediction.

So we’ve seen, you know, all of the signs and we return to what Jesus said, if we see these signs of the times happening could that mean that these end times events are right around the corner?  If so, then the rapture is even closer.  So we want to keep watching the stage, we don’t know when that curtain is going to rise.  It could be at any moment, but when it does rise it’s going to rise with the rapture and we’re going to meet the Lord in the air.  And I hope you’re ready… I hope you’re ready for that.  I would assume a Wednesday night crowd of a place like Sugar Land Bible Church, you probably all know the Lord but if you’re here tonight and you don’t know the Lord, or you don’t know that you know the Lord, come talk to me, or Jim, or one of the elders because the Bible says there’s only one way to be saved, it’s by grace through faith alone in Christ.  You can’t earn it, you can’t work for it, you can’t be good enough.  There’s “nothing in my hand, simply to the cross I cling,” you simply by faith receive the free gift paid for by the blood of Christ, God’s Son and our Savior who died in  your place and my place on the cross to pay a debt He didn’t owe because we owed a debt we could never pay. He rose again the third day defeating death, hell and the grave and He offers freely to all this gift of forgiveness and eternal life if you’ll simply receive it from Him.

So let me close, we’re out of time for tonight, I’ll close and dismiss and then if you want to stick around and ask some questions I’d love to engage in that.  But let me just mention a little bit about our ministry.  We’ve been around since 99, I started it when I was teaching fulltime at the College of Biblical Studies, and over the  years as it’s grown it finally became something that we wanted to just go all in with and so now this is our ministry.  It’s the only way we make a living, is by going throughout the country speaking at churches and conferences and we make the gospel central to all that we do, it’s declaring the  urgency and accuracy of the gospel message.  More and more these days we’re speaking on end time prophecy.  Sunday morning in worship hour I’m going to be speaking on one minute after the rapture.  We have a DVD of that presentation if you’re interested or if  you’re not going to be here, or if you want to pass it on after  you come Sunday if you want to pass it on to someone else you can pick that up.

Our brand new Not By Works book of theological charts, diagrams, and illustrations is out there, our eschatology textbook is out there. I already mentioned the globalism DVD set.  We also have the What Lies Ahead DVD set which is more just an end times overview, Daniel 2, Daniel 7, and the rapture.  I mentioned The Great Last Days deception book.  And I want to close with mentioning our Not By Works Grand Canyon Rim and Raft Trip.  How many of you have ever been to the Grand Canyon?  Great.  What did you think when that tour guide showed  you that spot exactly where creation rock was, where God created it, do you remember that?  Oh, he didn’t show you that?  Yeah, you’re not going to get that from a secular atheistic tour guide, National Parks Service guy, not that there’s not Christians there, but we’ve been a few times or a couple of times and we can’t wait to do this with a world renowned creation expert, Russ Miller, Creation, he leads these several times a summer, 15 times or so and he asked us to sponsor one of them and it’s going to be awesome to see where creation rock meets judgment.  The Grand Canyon, formed in three days as a result of the flood, and it is the death nail for Darwinian evolution.  We still have a few spots open.  This is not an outdoorsman rough and tumble hiking type trip.  This is for guys like me,  you know, it’s an air conditioned chartered busses, restaurants, hotels, a nice drift down still waters in the Grand Canyon, the Colorado River and then up walking around the rim. So it’s a great trip.  I’d love to have you go, June 15-18 if you’re interested.

Let me pray and then we will dismiss those of you that need to go and if you want to stick around I’ll be glad to answer questions.

Father, we do thank You for Your Word and for the… just the clarity that is there in Your Word about how You’re unfolding Your plan.   You are a faithful God, a trustworthy God; nothing ever surprises you.  We know You’re in full control, even though we look around and we begin to wonder, how long Lord, why Lord, when Lord, and Father we know that You’re in control.  And Father, we pray that you would be faithful and we would wake up every day and look up and think it could be today, and live our lives in a way that when you do return we’ll be confident before You at Your coming.  And so Father, we thank You for this time together, we love You and praise You, in Jesus name.  Amen.

Thank you guys, and I’ll take some questions now if anybody has any and I’m not in any hurry.