Chapter 7

THE NEARNESS OF JESUS’ RETURN

This chapter presents some of the most convincing evidence that the Bible is really what it claims to be: God’s instruction book for us as we live out our part in this drama of earth. The prophecies presented here have come to pass down through the ages, and everyone who has read even a little history will know that these events have happened exactly as the Lord so long ago said they would.

God gives us plenty of warning about the future and shows us the details of major events before they happen. He does this not only to let us know where we stand in the stream of time, but also, as He tells us in Isaiah 48:3-5, to help us to overcome our stubborn unbelief. “I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee.”

As we consider the prophecies of this chapter, we cannot help but come to the realization that the end of the earth as we know it is very near. No one knows exactly when this will be, but Jesus admonishes us to know approximately when the end will come. In order to confuse the issue, Satan has been busy during the last hundred years or so announcing, through his prophets, specific dates for the time of the end. Since his predictions have repeatedly proved to be false, the people of the world understandably now hold prophecies and predictions up to ridicule. Thus he has effectively discredited true Bible prophecy, and most people reject the truth even when it is presented to them from the pages of Scripture.

In this chapter we will consider some of the Biblical prophecies which deal with events of modern times. Many of these prophecies have been fulfilled in our lifetime and are indeed being fulfilled today, but most of the people of the world know nothing about them.

In the second chapter of Daniel we find the great outline prophecy of the ages, which describes historical events beginning with the Babylonian Empire in the seventh century B.C. and ending with the return of Jesus Christ in the very near future. An outline, of course, is a list of important points. Public speakers use outlines as a memory aid, and as they speak they fill in the details. Likewise, this outline prophecy of Daniel lists important historical events, the details of which are filled in by other prophecies in the Bible.

Daniel 2 begins with events associated with a dream God gave Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar had subjugated the Jewish nation and had taken many prisoners, one of whom was Daniel. Daniel was at this time a young man of great promise and ability. After being educated in the Babylonian schools, he became one of the highly respected members of the Babylonian court.

The king was greatly troubled by his dream; yet he could not remember it when he awoke, as Daniel 2 relates: “And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him. Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream. Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation. The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill. But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof. They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it. The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me. But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof. The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh. For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.”

Daniel was sought because he, by reason of his education, was considered one of the wise men. Continuing with verse 14, “Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king’s guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon: He answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation. Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions.” These companions of Daniel were three young Hebrew boys who had been taken captive with him. The four young men promptly prayed for “mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.”

God showed the dream and its explanation to Daniel, who promptly thanked the Lord with the prayer which begins in verse 20. “Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.”

Armed with the knowledge which the king desired, Daniel made arrangements to see the king to explain his dream and its meaning. Verse 24: “Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation. Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation. The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar (a Babylonian name given to Daniel upon his arrival at Babylon), Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?”

Daniel then derided the wise men for not being able to tell the king what he wanted to know. Verse 27: “Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these.” Here we see that the dream was a prophecy from God of what was to take place in the latter days. The king’s dream is actually a continuous outline of history down to the time when Jesus returns.

Daniel’s description of the king’s dream begins in verse 29: “As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart. Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, and his breast and arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.”

This is the dream which, understandably, had troubled the king. He had seen an enormous image towering over him. What did it mean? Remember, verses 28 and 29 told us that this is a prophecy of what should come to pass hereafter,” extending down to the “latter days.”

Daniel proceeded to give the king the interpretation of his strange dream. Verse 36 says: “This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.” King Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon are represented by the golden head of the giant image.

Verses 39, 40: “And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.”

The breast and arms of silver represent the next kingdom to take over after the fall of Babylon; the belly and thighs of brass represent the third kingdom to appear on the stage of history. The fourth kingdom is not only powerful, but also cruel and brutal, as indicated in verse 40.

The Bible gives us all the information we need to determine the identity of these four kingdoms. We can, moreover, turn to secular history for confirmation, for both secular history and archeology completely verify Bible prophecy.

In order to determine the identity of the kingdom which followed Babylon, consider the events of Daniel, chapter five Belshazzar was the king of Babylon at that time. (Many confuse the name of this king with the Babylonian name given to Daniel, which was Belteshazzar; the king’s name has no “t” in it.)

Verses 1-4: “Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.” These were the holy instruments of the temple of God in Jerusalem. They were not to be defiled as the king was about to do. “Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.” Not only did the king and his assembly defile the holy vessels, but with them they praised all their idol gods made of common materials by men’s hands, all in defiance of the God of heaven.

Verses 5, 6: “In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.” Imagine how the king and his guests must have felt to see that mysterious hand write those letters in brilliant, flaming, white-hot fire on the plaster of the wall opposite the king. The next verse tells us what effect the hand with its letters of fire had upon the king. “The king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.” The king’s knees knocked together as he reacted to this awesome event with a fear that cut him to his heart.

Verses 7-9: “The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. Then came in all the king’s wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof. Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied.” The king had a premonition that his hour had come, and he was becoming more and more anxious to find out what the letters of fire meant.

Verses 10-16: “Now the queen, by reason of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed: There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers; Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation. Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewery? I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee. And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not shew the interpretation of the thing: And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.”

As Daniel was listening to the king, the letters of fire on the far wall were as brilliant as when the hand had first written them. The words continued to burn brightly on the wall, and into the consciences of all.

Verses 17-31: “Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation. O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour: And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will. And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified: Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written. And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES (Peres is a form of the word, upharsin. Peres is singular; upharsin is plural.); Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.”

“Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” Those words of final judgment struck terror in the king’s heart. His hour had come. He died in rebellion against God, and in 539 BC the kingdom of Medo-Persia succeeded Babylon on the stage of history, precisely as Nebuchadnezzar’s dream had foretold. That this was a dual power is indicated by the two arms of silver. Thus, the first kingdom, Babylon, the kingdom of gold, was succeeded by the kingdom of silver, Medo-Persia.

In order to discover the identity of the next kingdom, the kingdom of brass, consider Daniel 11:2. “And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer then they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.” In this war with Greece, the Medo-Persians were defeated, and in 331 BC the Grecian Empire under Alexander the Great became the third kingdom, the kingdom of brass, of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.

The identity of the fourth kingdom can be found in Luke 2: 1. This was the power which ruled the world during Christ’s sojourn on earth. “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” Caesar Augustus was one of the Emperors of the Roman Empire, the fourth kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, the kingdom of iron. The Roman Empire gained prominence about the year 168 B.C.

Let us now return to the prophecy of Daniel 2 and consider what happened after the Roman Empire disintegrated, about the year 476 A.D. Verse 41: “And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.”

Here we see that there will not be a fifth world empire, no matter how much effort mankind puts forth to bring it about. Many have tried to weld an empire together, but to no avail. Kings and rulers have tried war. They have tried giving their daughters in marriage to kings of other nations in order to build a bond between them, just as verse 43 predicted — “They shall mingle themselves with the seed of men.” None of their efforts succeeded. Today men are trying conspiracy and subversion to beguile the nations of earth to surrender their sovereignty under a one-world government, but the nations will remain divided until the return of the Lord.

From this prophecy we can also deduce that neither the communists nor the United Nations will ever be able to gain the whole world and rule everyone. Today there is a massive effort to weld the nations of earth together under the United Nations, but all this will fail. All the United Nations will do is to bring on the worst time of trouble the world has ever seen, spoken about in Daniel 12:1. “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” There will never be another world empire until Christ sets up His kingdom.

The ten toes of the image represent the nations of modern Europe today. These are the residue of the breakup of the Roman Empire, and prophecy says, “they shall not cleave one to another.” No amount of political intrigue can unite these nations and hold them together in another empire. The men who today are using all their wealth, power, influence, and authority to try to join the nations of the world together are simply wasting their time. Neither the United Nations, nor the European Union, nor war, nor money, nor conspiracy, nor subversion, nor anything else will be able to accomplish what Bible prophecy says will not happen.

It is interesting to note that God uses the most precious metal, gold, to represent Babylon. The next kingdom is represented by silver, still a precious metal but of lesser value than gold. The brass and the iron continue the descending value trend of the metals. And, finally, to represent our time, God has chosen to use clay, a most ignoble substance, mixed with the iron. Why does God choose to represent our day as clay, the basest of substances, and the earliest kingdom of the prophecy by gold? Many think it should have been the other way around; but contrary to what we would like to believe, man is not getting better — he is getting very much worse.

Verses 44 and 45 tell us that in the days of these nations of modern Europe, the Lord Jesus will return to this earth to gather His people, and to put an end to the intrigues and politics of man forever. “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.”

According to this prophecy, which has been precisely accurate so far, Christ will come back to earth in the days of the modern nations of Europe. This prophecy of the image in King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream is a time chart of history beginning in 605 B.C. with Babylon, the head of gold, and ending with the coming of the Lord in the very near future. We can readily see that most of the events of this prophecy have already transpired, and that they have happened precisely as the Bible said they would. All that is left is for Christ to come and initiate the events which occur at the beginning of the millennium. In view of the accuracy of the events foretold by the giant image, how foolish for mankind to scoff at Biblical truth! How foolish for people to continue to disregard the law of God! Soon the words “Thou art weighed in the balances and art found wanting” will burn in their consciences as did these words of fire on King Belshazzar’s palace wall.

Today we are at the twilight of earth’s history. The curtain is about to fall on the final scenes of this drama of the ages being played out here in the theater of the universe.

Besides the prophecy of Daniel, chapter 2, which we have just studied, there are many other verses and prophecies in the Bible which point to the Lord’s soon return. Jesus’ disciples themselves wondered about the end of the world, and, as described in Matthew 24:3-8,11-13, they asked the Lord about it. “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Jesus warns us in these verses not to be deceived when many come and claim to be Christ. Today there are several people who make this claim. These are, with one exception, leaders of bizarre cults. We have seen in chapter five that Satan himself will counterfeit the Lord’s return with such brilliance and glory that nearly all the people of earth will be deceived and will bow down and worship him.

Verses 6,7: “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” Christ tells us that there will be wars and rumors of wars. For the past several decades the world has had almost continual war and terrorism. Tensions among nations and among races driven by powerful Satanic forces continue to mount as the world moves farther and farther from the peaceful ideal most people desire.

Continuing in verse 7: “And there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers (different) places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” For some time now, earthquakes have been increasing in frequency until today it seems as if a massive, destructive earthquake occurs almost every month. The following chart, compiled by the British Association for the Advancement of Science, shows the frequency of major earthquakes from the first century to modern times.

FREQUENCY OF MAJOR EARTHQUAKES

 CENTURY

 NUMBER
   
 First  15
 Second  11
 Third  18
 Fourth  14
 Fifth  15
 Sixth  13
 Seventh  17
 Eighth  35
 Ninth  59
 Tenth  32
 Eleventh  53
 Twelfth  84
 Thirteenth  115
 Fourteenth  137
 Fifteenth  174
 Sixteenth  253
 Seventeenth  378
 Eighteenth  640
 Nineteenth  2119

Verses 11-13: “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Today, there are at least twenty-four persons who claim to be prophets. Are these the false prophets Jesus warns us about? One of the Biblical tests of a true prophet of God is that the prophet must be 100% accurate. A true prophet of God is not permitted even one false prophecy, for if the message of the prophet came from God, how could it be in error? Needless to say, of the prophets of the world today not one has a perfect record; they all make errors, and are, therefore, not prophets of God. These false prophets are a sign of the end; they do, indeed, deceive many.

Christ also tells us here that iniquity shall abound. Iniquity, of course, is another word for sin or wickedness. We have seen crime of all kinds increase alarmingly in recent years. As Jesus predicted, many have fallen away from the Biblical standard, influenced by the vast majority, who pay no heed to the laws of God. Group psychological pressure is a very persuasive tactic used by Satan to draw people away from the truth. Christ says in this text that in the last days this group pressure will be the reason many will ignore the law of God and pursue their own selfish desires. When most of the people do things which are wrong, others accept these acts as normal, and they do them too with a relatively clear conscience. Most people follow the crowd. They assume that whatever the majority does must be right, but because of Satan’s deceptions the majority cannot be relied upon to choose the correct way. Often, when someone wants to break away from the group and quit doing things which are wrong, he is ridiculed and embarrassed. In most cases the dissenter is unable to withstand ridicule and thus ends up conforming to the group.

Television programs and computer games are influencing the people of the world toward violence and toward a complete disregard of the Ten Commandments.

Jesus continues in Matthew 24:36, saying that no one knows exactly when He will return: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” But in Matthew 24:32,33 He makes it clear that we have a duty to know approximately when He will return. “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” Just as when we see the new leaves begin to form on the trees in the spring we know that summer is near, when we see all the events which the Bible tells us will occur in the last days, we should know that Christ’s return to this earth is imminent. The wicked will not be aware of these signs of the end. For them the day of the Lord will come unexpectedly and will take them by surprise, as we see in 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4: “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” A thief, of course, comes unexpectedly.

One of the prophecies which is being fulfilled right now, in our time, is found in James 5:1-6. “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. (Sabaoth means hosts; thus: Lord of Hosts.) Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.”

These verses are addressed to the rich men of the earth. They are not speaking to people with a few thousand dollars in the bank but to those with perhaps many billions of dollars. Wealth of this magnitude was not achieved honestly, for as verse 4 indicates, these people have withheld the workers’ wages by fraud. They have acquired their wealth by dishonest means, and verse 3 tells us that their riches shall be a witness against them. That these verses are referring to the rich men of our day is indicated by the words “for the last days” in verse 3. Eventually, just before the end, the people of the world will finally discover how these rich men have been defrauding them. They will finally understand the details of the methods and operations of these rich men. The people will be furious and will demand that these rich be brought to task for their deeds. The gold and silver of the rich will, indeed, be cankered; it will be used as evidence against them, as the text predicts.

How have these rich withheld the wages of laborers by fraud? The following scenario will illustrate, in simple form, one of the means the rich use for withholding the wages of the people in order to increase vastly their wealth and power. This scenario is an approximation, for many of the details which exist to confuse the masses have been left out in the interest of simplicity, but the general mechanism behind the operation is retained. The details which have been left out are the policies and procedures the rich have had instituted in order to make their overall operation seem so complicated that the average man has difficulty understanding it. With the smoke screen of these policies and procedures removed, their operation is quite simple. Our setting is the United States; but the same situation is found in many other nations throughout the world, for the same conspiracy operates in nearly all countries today.

It is necessary to understand that the Federal Reserve Bank, which figures prominently in this scenario, is not owned by the United States government as many believe. The central bank, the Federal Reserve Bank, is a private bank, owned by some of the richest and most powerful people in the world, the same people referred to in the prophecy. This bank has nothing to do with the government other than the connection which allows the operation described below. The Federal Reserve Bank has a total, government-enforced monopoly in money. Before we had the central bank, each individual bank competed with other banks; the customers, the consumers, got the best deal. Not any more.

We all know that today the United States government borrows money and operates under astronomical debt. Why is this? Common sense dictates that a policy of such enormous debt will sooner or later destroy the organization which practices it, for the interest on its debt must increase beyond its income, making payoff impossible.

Now to our scenario. Here, roughly, is how the operation proceeds. Suppose the United States government wants to borrow a billion dollars. The government issues a bond for this amount, much as a water company does when it wants to raise money for a new pipeline or a new dam. The government delivers this bond for the billion dollars to the Federal Reserve Bank. The Federal Reserve Bank takes the bond and writes an order to the Department of Printing and Engraving to print the billion dollars’ worth of bills. After about two weeks or so, when the bills are printed, the Department of Printing and Engraving ships the bills to the Federal Reserve Bank, which then writes a check for about two thousand dollars to pay for printing the billion dollars’ worth of bills. The Federal Reserve Bank then takes the billion dollars and lends the billion dollars to the United States government, and the people of the country pay interest at an exorbitant rate each year on this money which came out of nothing. The owners of the Federal Reserve Bank put up nothing for this money.

We see, therefore, that when the United States government goes into debt one dollar, a dollar plus the interest goes into the pockets of the owners of the Federal Reserve Bank. This is the largest, the most colossal theft ever perpetrated in the history of mankind, and it is so slick, so subtle, and so obfuscated by propaganda from the news media that the victims are not even aware of what is happening! And how is the principal and interest paid on this “debt“? Wages are withheld, “kept back by fraud,” from the paychecks of the workers, exactly as this amazingly accurate prophecy of James 5:4 indicates.

The Constitution of the United States gives to Congress the power to coin money. If the U. S. Congress coined its own money as the Constitution directs, it would not have to pay the thousands of millions of dollars of interest that it now pays each year to the bankers for the national debt, for money that came out of nothing. Incidentally, according to the Communist Manifesto the personal graduated income tax and the central bank are two of the ten steps required in order for a country to be subverted by the communists.

Since the people who own the Federal Reserve Bank are the same people who totally control the United States government from behind the scenes, you can perhaps understand one of the reasons they want the country to go so astronomically into debt. You can perhaps understand one of the reasons for the wars they get the United States into. You can perhaps understand one of the reasons for all the foreign aid programs, welfare programs, and all the other unconstitutional programs designed to spend the United States into bankruptcy. These people have amassed fortunes of hundreds of billions of dollars using the Federal Reserve operation and other schemes equally underhanded. They have enough money to buy and sell virtually anybody they want. They have enough money to buy and sell virtually any government they want. These people are without a doubt the most powerful in the world.

Our economy would be many times stronger and we would not be on the verge of losing our freedoms as we are today if the Federal Reserve Bank did not exist; for without the central bank, the rich would not have the virtually unlimited wealth which they today enjoy and use to compromise the politicians, reporters, and academicians so necessary to their present operation.

The prophecy of James 5:6 tells us that these rich condemn and kill the just. How is this accomplished? One way is by the phony wars these people arrange for the nations of the world. The Vietnam and Korean Wars are probably the best examples, for many of us realized these were phony because the United States government supplied both sides of these wars through the many and varied foreign aid programs to communist nations and placed so many restrictions on the U. S. military that they could not win. The brilliant strategist and general, Douglas MacArthur, was fired for wanting to win the Korean War; remember? Finally the United States government gave the communist enemy in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos everything it wanted across a negotiating table, after the deaths of over 50,000 American soldiers. The surrender of the United States then resulted in the deaths of several million natives of the area by the most brutal and inhuman means that the communist butchers, who wanted to eliminate all opposition to their oppressive regimes, could devise. Virtually every war of this century was pre-arranged for the world by these rich for their own benefit. Thousands upon thousands of men were killed in these personal wars of the rich.

No wonder Jesus said in Matthew 19:24 that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Nevertheless, the rich can also be saved to enjoy a beautiful life in God’s new earth if they, like anyone else, will repent of their sins, accept Christ, and follow Him as the Bible specifies.

The people of the world, however, will soon discover and understand this conspiracy of the rich. Second Timothy 3:9 says: “But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men.”

Another amazing prophecy which indicates that we are near the time of the end of the world as we know it is found in Daniel 12:4. “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” The increase in man’s knowledge in these last days, the time of the end, has been no less than astounding, and the sophisticated computers and machinery which this knowledge has produced has made it possible for people to travel large distances with ease. Giant airliners and automobiles on modern freeways accommodate people by the millions as they run to and fro. It seems that in the larger cities the heavy traffic never ceases. When a modern jumbo jetliner arrives at a terminal it disgorges a veritable crowd of people as another crowd waits to board to go somewhere else. The angel speaking to Daniel saw our time clearly and gave these two very obvious signs of the end so that we all might realize that time is, indeed, running out. Incidentally, the fact that Daniel’s book is no longer sealed, so that we now understand it, is another sign that we are living in the time of the end.

Knowledge has been increased today beyond the wildest imaginings of people of only a few years ago, and technology continues to increase exponentially, from complex computers to machines capable of traveling to the moon and other planets.

Incidentally, you will remember that the name of the first moon lander was Eagle, and that the words which were transmitted to earth by the astronaut when the lander touched the moon’s surface were, “The Eagle has landed.” Now consider the interesting prophecy of Obadiah 1:4. “Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.”

The close-up photographs of the planets man has been able to take from unmanned space vehicles are sharper and clearer than many snapshots taken on earth. Unfortunately, however, many people use much of this tremendously increased knowledge and the resulting technology to aid them in their wholesale violation of God’s commandments.

Not only has our technical knowledge been greatly increased in these last days; our knowledge of the Scriptures has also increased dramatically over the past century, so that today we understand more of the Bible than at any time in history.

Nahum 2:4 gives us another amazing prophecy of the last days, which perfectly describes a part of our world today. “The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall jostle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings.” From the mention in verse 3 of the Lord’s preparation, we know this text refers to the last days. The chariots of verse 4 are the cars of today, which indeed do rage in the streets. In the course of a day’s time there are many accidents throughout the world, especially in the large cities, as the cars jostle one another in the broadways. Nahum never saw a modern automobile, but in vision he was shown one of our modern freeways at night. He, of course, had never before seen headlights or taillights. He knew they were not torches, but they gave off a brilliant light and since he was at a loss as to how to describe them, he said that they seemed like torches. He was amazed at the speed of the “chariots” and described them as running like lightning. Sometimes, in other language versions of the Bible, the word “chariots” is rendered “cars.” This is true, for instance, in the Spanish Bible: “chariots” is translated carros — cars.

Nahum 2:3 could be a reference to modern military equipment. “The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken.” The chariots with flaming torches could refer to the modern battle tank with its powerful flame-throwers and to modern rockets and other weapons.

Jesus tells us in Luke 21:11 that there will be great signs in heaven to mark the course of time to the end. “And great earthquakes shall be in divers (different) places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.”

Revelation 6:12,13 tells us what these great signs in heaven are. “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.”

Have these signs occurred as yet? Many believe that they have not and look for them far in the future; these people are mistaken, for the signs have indeed occurred in precisely the order listed in these verses. The most intense earthquake ever recorded occurred on Sunday, November 1, 1755, having its epicenter near Lisbon, Portugal. This earthquake was so extensive that it was felt thousands of miles away in North America, in Africa, and in Asia Minor. Estimates of the loss of life during this catastrophe have been placed as high as ninety thousand. The Encyclopedia Britannica reports that “The main shock lasted six to seven minutes, an unusually long duration. Within six minutes at least 30,000 people were killed, all large public buildings and 12,000 dwellings were demolished.”

The next event referred to in this prophecy is the dark day. This occurred on May 19, 1780. That morning the sun rose in a clear sky, but shortly an eerie darkness covered the sky so that by about noon the sun was completely obscured, and the day became as dark as midnight. Toward evening, the sun again became visible through the blackness and produced an eerie light. That night when the full moon arose it did not give its light but was as if it were a drop of blood in the sky. Scientists have never been able to explain the cause of this dark day or the blood-red moon. Joel 2:31 says, “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.”

Finally, on November 13, 1833, the last of these three great signs occurred; the stars literally fell from heaven. This was the date of the most dramatic, the most intense meteor shower ever recorded. So many meteors were visible at one time that they were described as being as thick as rain drops in a storm. So many thousands were visible at one time that they lit up the night sky to the extent that one could actually read standard sized print. Astronomer Denison Olmsted described the event in The American Journal of Science and Arts the following year: “The reader may imagine a constant succession of fire balls, resembling sky rockets, radiating in all directions from a point in the heavens, a few degrees south-east of the zenith, and following the arch of the sky towards the horizon. . . . The balls, as they traveled down the vault, usually left after them a vivid streak of light, and just before they disappeared, exploded, or suddenly resolved themselves into smoke. The spectator was presented with meteors of various sizes and degrees of splendor: some were mere points, but others were larger and brighter than Jupiter or Venus; and one, seen by a credible witness before the writer was called, was judged to be nearly as large as the moon. The flashes of light although less intense than lightning, were so bright as to awaken people in their beds. One ball that shot off in the north-west direction, and exploded a little northward of the star Capella, left, just behind the place of explosion, a phosphorescent train of peculiar beauty.”

Matthew 24:29,30 tells us very plainly that these signs in the heavens will occur shortly before the return of the Lord. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” The tribulation spoken of in this text was the terrible persecution of Christians which took place during the Dark Ages. Almost immediately upon the cessation of the persecution, the Lisbon earthquake occurred, ushering in these great signs of the end, exactly as Jesus prophesied.

God told us that He would put these signs in the heavens and the earth as landmarks in the march of prophetic time down through the ages in order to identify the time of the end. These events were dramatic and awe-inspiring, and men could not help but recognize their significance. As a result, many thousands turned to the Word of God with an interest as keen as that of believers during the time of the apostles.

Consider next a prophetic text which describes the condition of the people of the world just before Christ’s return, and compare it with what we see in society today. Second Timothy 3:1-5 says, “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.”

What an amazingly accurate prophecy! One would be hard-pressed to describe more accurately the general condition of the people of the world today. We see here that men are lovers of themselves only, having very little regard for the well-being of others. In fact, society today has degenerated to the point where, as has happened many times, a woman can be attacked on a busy street in broad daylight, and no one comes to her aid.

The argument is sometimes heard that people have always been this way. Those who claim this are, in reality, ignorant of history, for as time progresses, the stature and character of the human being continue to become more base. Remember that the prophecy of Daniel, chapter two, shows that mankind is getting worse instead of better, with the more noble metal, gold, representing the earlier civilization, and clay representing our time today.

People today are covetous, as the text indicates. Their thoughts are continually of themselves and how to get ahead in the world, how to get more money, how to get a better car or a larger house. People today use any means, no matter how immoral, to accomplish their purposes. They use others to their own advantage in their mad frenzy to get to the top or to find pleasure and to have fun.

The next characteristic of men in the last days mentioned in this text is that they are boasters. We can see this throughout society, as people are very anxious for others to know of the great things they have done; but God tells us in Proverbs 27:2 to “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.”

Are people proud today? They strut around, feeling superior to those who have less. They are proud of their new cars, their fine homes, and especially their educations, for today in our humanistic society “education” has been made a god.

Blasphemers are mentioned next, and today it seems as if many are unable to get through even one sentence without taking the name of the Lord in vain. Their speech has been given over to utter abandon as their foul phrases mock the very principles of truth and decency.

Are children disobedient to parents today, as the prophecy indicates? In the government schools, there is a distinct effort made to alienate the youth from their parents and to lower the standards of morality. Children today are taught that their parents are of the old-fashioned generation and are far behind the liberality and knowledge of modern times. As a result, the youth seem to have many ways to show their rebellion and contempt for their parents and for the traditional values of the past.

Are people unthankful today as this prophecy indicates? Indeed, they are. The Bible tells us in Deuteronomy 8:18, “But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth.” How many remember to thank God for the many blessings and advantages He has given them? Most people today are totally unthankful and unholy, without ever a thought of God except to blaspheme His name.

Verse 3 mentions that in the last days men will be without natural affection. This refers not only to the alienation of children from parents but also to the homosexuality abounding in our world; those who practice this sin even demand respectability. This sin is just one more of the many signs that the end of the earth is very near.

Trucebreakers are mentioned next. In our present world, the politicians of various nations sit around conference tables working out agreements, very few of which are honored. Of twenty-five summit agreements between the United States and Russia, the communists dishonored twenty-four6 And during the last few years even the United States has been breaking treaties. Virtually every one of these treaties made with the communists is harmful to the United States. Why then does the United States continue to make treaties and agreements with the communists? Because of the traitors, mentioned in verse 4, who have virtually total control of the U. S. government.

“Incontinent” means without self control. In these last days, the people of earth are indeed without self control; they have thrown off all restraints and cater to every appetite and desire.

That men are fierce is evident from the cruelty and brutality so prevalent in the world today. Since the United States surrendered to the communists in Vietnam, the communists have slaughtered over two million human beings in that area. The communists built the Berlin wall to keep from losing more of their people to the west; When people tried to escape from the horrors of communism they were machine-gunned in the back or blown to bits in the mine fields near the wall. Just because the wall has been torn down does not mean people are improving. The wall was torn down to facilitate setting up the New World Order, the one-world government.

Several years ago during the Red Guard calamity in Red China, the human carnage was so severe that the many bodies floating down the Yangtze River were a grim reminder of the total, merciless brutality men are capable of when they deny God and His commandments.

Verse 4 mentions traitors as one of the important signs that the end is near. Why would a country supply its enemy with all kinds of aid and materiel? Why does the United States give aid in the forms of money, food, machinery, highly sophisticated computers and technology, factories, nuclear reactors, and scientific and industrial instruments to an enemy who has vowed to “bury it,” as it has done for the communist menace in the world today? Why does the U. S. government continually propagandize its people through the mass media and the schools that the communists are actually pretty good fellows and not really our enemy any longer? Why did the United States disband all the committees in Congress whose duty it was to protect the country from internal subversion and treason? Why has the United States agreed to treaties with its enemies which greatly reduce its military strength to below that which it allows the communist enemy to have? Why has the United States unilaterally disarmed itself? Why did the United States give its Panama Canal to the communist government of Panama, and in addition pay them billions of dollars to take it? Why does the government place young girls in combat units to weaken greatly the armed forces and undermine further the morality of American youth? Why, unless traitors have taken over control of the United States government? God tells us that these traitors in government and the disastrous effects they are having in the world are very important signs of the final days of earth.

“Heady” means stubborn and headstrong. “Highminded” means conceited. These characteristics of men are widespread throughout the world today.

“Lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” In these last days it seems as if people work very hard at having pleasure. All week they think about and plan what they will do on the weekend to have fun. They spend vast sums of money on their selfish pleasures, going deeply into debt. They ignore God and His business, which is by far more important than the inanities people become involved in. But God said this would happen in the last days.

Verse 5 tells us that in these last days people will have a form of godliness, but their godliness will not be from the great Creator God of heaven. Today there are some 500 different religions in the world, each teaching a different message. The religious world today is in total confusion; all the denominations have a form of godliness and claim to be teaching the truth. God advises us to turn away from churches which do not teach obedience to His Ten Commandments and which do not have the truth of the Bible.

Second Timothy 4:3,4 is another text which predicts the religious confusion we have in the world today. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” Because the people have itching ears, that is, they want to listen to teachers who will tell them what they want to hear instead of the truth, they reject the true Bible doctrine and are turned unto lies. Since these 500 different religions disagree among themselves, logically all but one must be wrong. “Not enduring sound doctrine,” they are “turned unto fables“; most of these churches even claim that it is not necessary to obey the law of God any longer!

Many churches today, in an effort to make their ideas of the Bible agree with modern “science,” teach something called “Christian evolution.” How many books, magazines, and newspapers refer over and over again to the many millions of years during which mankind was “evolving?” Schools teach evolution to explain the origin of life, but God calls it and other erroneous scientific theories vain babblings and false science in 1 Timothy 6:20. “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called.”

Continuing with 2 Timothy 3:7, we see that in the last days men will be, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Today this prophecy is being fulfilled perfectly, for as men strive to gain higher educations and advanced degrees they fill their minds with so much of the propaganda and deceptions of this world that by the time they obtain their degrees they are unable even to recognize the truth when they encounter it. Most people, as they go through school and college, rarely question whether the material they are being taught is true or not. They rarely question whether their textbooks contain facts or propaganda. Most just accept without question the material presented. In fact, college students are often under so much pressure they do not have time to consider whether what they are learning is true or not. The gullibility of students who accept blindly everything presented brings to mind Proverbs 14:15. “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.” Schools and colleges are, in fact, being used in these last days to change completely the character of American society. God tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:19, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” People who go to school for many years think they are gaining wisdom and knowledge, but they are actually being led away from the truth, as this verse indicates.

Finally in 2 Timothy 3:13 we see that trouble and strife will continue to increase until the end. “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” Today it seems that men would rather lie than be truthful with one another, as they deceive and are in turn deceived. Even leaders of nations lie to their people with impunity.

In Matthew 24:37-39 Christ says that the people of the world just before He returns will be the same as they were before the flood of Noah’s time: “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” The eating and drinking mentioned here is a reference to gluttony. In the prosperous nations today virtually everyone is overweight. The marriage and giving in marriage is a reference to the sexual promiscuity we see throughout society today. In the Bible, the marriage ceremony was the sexual act itself, as shown in Genesis 24:67 “And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife;” After the first relationship, to have sex with another person is adultery.

Before the flood, people were going about their daily business of doing whatever they wanted without ever giving thought to the warnings of Noah. Likewise, most of the people in these last days do their own things without giving a thought to the Ten Commandments or the many warnings given about the end-time conditions and the events soon to take place.

Just how was it in Noah’s day? Genesis 6:5 says, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” The evil in the world today rivals the evil of Noah’s time. Verses 11 and 12 declare that “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” As was discussed previously, in many parts of the world today the most inhuman forms of violence and torture abound. Today, as in Noah’s day, the earth is indeed filled with violence, and evil men corrupt their way upon the earth to the extent that those who practice the most disgusting perversions demand that society recognize them as normal.

In Luke 17:28-30, Christ also tells us that as people were in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, so they will be in the last days. “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” The people of that time were going about their daily lives, not giving a thought to their moral condition or what was about to happen, exactly as the people of today ignore God’s law.

Consider what was going on in Sodom. Jude 7 says, “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” These conditions are very similar to the conditions of our day. Adultery and fornication are so prevalent in society today that they are accepted as normal. The “strange flesh” of the verse is a reference to homosexuality, which is not only prevalent today, but is boasted of by many who practice it.

A further description of the conditions in Sodom is given in Genesis 19:1-13,24,25. “And there came two angels to Sodom at even (evening); and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.

“But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.”

Though Lot was wrong to offer his daughters to the men of Sodom in order to protect his visitors from the homosexuals of the city, he did so because of the hallowed custom that a host must protect his house guests by any means available. That he did this in direct disobedience to the law of God is an indication of the dullness of his moral sense as a result of his having lived among the homosexuals and the other supremely wicked people of the city.

Continuing with verse 9, “And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door. And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it. Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.”

Homosexuality abounded in the days of Lot, just as it does in our day. Jude 7, you will remember, told us that Sodom and Gomorrha were set forth as examples for us. Needless to say, these examples are totally ignored today as men and women seek to practice a perversion which the Lord finds abominable. Leviticus 18:22 says, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” And Leviticus 20:13 says, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” These conditions in society today are a sure sign that the end is very near.

Another sign of the last days is the preaching of the gospel in all the world. Jesus says in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Missionaries have roamed this entire globe preaching the Gospel of Christ’s kingdom. The Gospel, in fact, is being preached even in places where one would not expect it to be. Recently a report was carried out of Red China by one of the people who managed to escape. This report told of a minister who had two Bibles. When the police came to confiscate all the Bibles in the area, the minister kept one at the risk of his life. If he is caught he will suffer a most brutal death, for the communists, in order to terrorize the people into obedience, make examples of those who disobey. This minister has a large congregation which meets secretly to copy pages from his old, worn out Bible so that they may have the privilege of reading a few precious pages of Scripture. This Gospel of the kingdom has indeed been preached in all the world. The end is very near.

The fact that there will be scoffers in the last days who pursue their own pleasures is shown in 2 Peter 3:3-5. “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water.” Notice that these people are willingly ignorant of these things. As these verses say, they have chosen ignorance as they go about their business, assuming that the earth will continue for a long time yet. Often one reads “predictions” by scholars and scientists about conditions fifty, or a hundred, or five hundred years from now.

Joel 3:9-11 describes the United Nations today. “Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about.” Assemble yourselves, let the weak say I am strong. In the assembly of the United Nations today the weak nations, some so tiny they can scarcely be called nations, act as if they are strong and mighty, having as much a vote in the General Assembly as the United States. The weak indeed do say, “I am strong.” Notice that this assembly is referred to as being heathen. The United Nations was organized by the communists and is run by communists, who profess atheism. What is interesting here is that immediately following these events, verse 13 describes the end of the world and the return of the Lord. “Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.” Even the United Nations today is a sign of the end.

Finally, the New World Order menace is described in Jeremiah 25:32. “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.” Evil shall spread from one nation to another like a horrible cancer. This evil is communism under its new name, the New World Order. Communism was founded in Bavaria, Germany, on May Day, May 1, 1776. From there it spread to Russia, where it gained a base of operation, and has since spread its hideous tentacles throughout the entire world, just as this verse predicted. When the news media tells you that Communism has collapsed it is a lie. Red China is going strong and is producing the missiles and atomic weapons needed to wage global warfare, using technology given to them by the United States. The people in charge of the countries that “were” Communist are still Communists. Notice that the very next verse describes the destruction of the world at the return of Christ. “And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.” The presence of the communist menace in the world today and its facade the New World Order is another of the many signs that the end is very near.

Christ said, “When ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.” (Mark 13:29).

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