Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)
Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
What is the end of the age?
The Rapture refers to an event which will mark “the end of the age” (the Church Age)
The church age is outlined with Jesus’s message to the seven churches, using actual churches that were located in the region we now know as the country of Turkey:
Apostolic Age (33 to 100 AD) – Ephesus: From this church, those “who overcome are granted to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:1-7). Praised for not bearing those who are evil, testing those who say they are apostles and are not, and finding them to be liars; hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans; having persevered and possessing patience. Admonished to “do the first works” and to repent for having left their “first love”.
Age of Persecution (100 to 312 AD) – Smyrna: From this church, those who are faithful until death, will be given “the crown of life”. Those who overcome shall not be hurt by the second death. (Revelation 2:8-11). Praised for being “rich” while impoverished and in tribulation. Admonished not to fear the “synagogue of Satan”, nor fear a ten-day tribulation of being thrown into prison.
Imperial Church Age (312 to 600 AD) – Pergamon: From this church, those who overcome will be given the hidden manna to eat and a white stone with a secret name on it.” (Revelation 2:12-17). Praised for holding “fast to My name”, not denying “My faith” even in the days of Antipas, “My faithful martyr”. Admonished to repent for having held the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel; eating things sacrificed to idols, committing sexual immorality, and holding the “doctrine of the Nicolaitans”.
Age of the Papacy (600 to 1517 AD) – Thyatira: From this church, those who overcome until the end, will be given power over the nations in order to dash them to pieces with the rule of a rod of iron; they will also be given the “morning star”. (Revelation 2:18-29). Praised for their works, love, service, faith, and patience. Admonished to repent for allowing a “prophetess” to promote sexual immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols.
Reformation Age (1517 to 1700 AD) – Sardis: From this church, those who overcome will be clothed in white garments, and their names will not be blotted out from the Book of Life; their names will also be confessed before the Father and His angels. (Revelation 3:1-6). Admonished to be watchful and to strengthen since their works haven’t been perfect before God.
Missionary Age (1700 to 1900 AD) – Philadelphia: From this church, those who overcome will be made a pillar in the temple of God having the name of God, the name of the city of God, “New Jerusalem”, and the Son of God’s new name. (Revelation 3:7-13). Praised for having some strength, keeping “My word”, and having not denied “My name”. Admonished to hold fast what they have, that no one may take their crown.
Age of Apostasy (1900 AD – Terminus) – Laodicea: From this church, those who overcome will be granted the opportunity to sit with the Son of God on His throne. (Revelation 3:14-22). Admonished to be zealous and repent from being “lukewarm”; they are instructed to buy the “gold refined in the fire”, that they may be rich; to buy “white garments”, that they may be clothed, so that the shame of their nakedness would not be revealed; to anoint their eyes with eye salve, that they may see.
In previous messages we showed that now is the most promising “season” for the Lord to return to snatch away His bride. All of the signs are present to confirm that we are rapidly approaching the end of the church age and the beginning of the seven year Tribulation period.
As the Lord’s timeline for the rule of Man draws to a close, the key people for the Tribulation are being placed into their positions. Nations and their leaders are gaining more power, and are exerting their influence:
The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, turn your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him and say: This is what the Lord God says: Look, I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws, and bring you out with all your army, including horses and riders, who are all splendidly dressed, a huge company armed with shields and bucklers, all of them brandishing swords. Persia,Cush, and Put are with them, all of them with shields and helmets; Gomer with all its troops; and Beth-togarmah from the remotest parts of the north along with all its troops—many peoples are with you.
“Be prepared and get yourself ready, you and all your company who have been mobilized around you; you will be their guard. After a long time you will be summoned. In the last years you will enter a land that has been restored from war and regathered from many peoples to the mountains of Israel, which had long been a ruin. They were brought out from the peoples, and all of them now live securely. You, all of your troops, and many peoples with you will advance, coming like a thunderstorm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.
“This is what the Lord God says: On that day, thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will devise an evil plan. You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of open villages; I will come against a tranquil people who are living securely, all of them living without walls and without bars or gates— in order to seize spoil and carry off plunder, to turn your hand against ruins now inhabited and against a people gathered from the nations, who have been acquiring cattle and possessions and who live at the center of the world.’ Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its rulers will ask you, ‘Have you come to seize spoil? Have you assembled your hordes to carry off plunder, to make off with silver and gold, to take cattle and possessions, to seize great spoil?’ (Ezekiel 38:1-13)
They worshiped the dragon because he gave authority to the beast. And they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to wage war against him?”
A mouth was given to him to speak boasts and blasphemies. He was also given authority to act for 42 months. He began to speak blasphemies against God: to blaspheme His name and His dwelling—those who dwell in heaven. And he was permitted to wage war against the saints and to conquer them. He was also given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation. All those who live on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name was not written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered. (Revelation 13:4-8)
Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; he had two horns like a lamb, but he sounded like a dragon. He exercises all the authority of the first beast on his behalf and compels the earth and those who live on it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. He also performs great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in front of people. He deceives those who live on the earth because of the signs that he is permitted to perform on behalf of the beast, telling those who live on the earth to make an image of the beast who had the sword wound and yet lived. He was permitted to give a spirit to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast could both speak and cause whoever would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he requires everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark: the beast’s name or the number of his name.
Here is wisdom: The one who has understanding must calculate the number of the beast, because it is the number of a man. His number is 666. (Revelation 13:11-18)
When the dragon saw that he had been thrown to earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. The woman was given two wings of a great eagle, so that she could fly from the serpent’s presence to her place in the wilderness, where she was fed for a time, times, and half a time. (Revelation 12:13-14)
The sixth angel blew his trumpet. From the four horns of the gold altar that is before God, I heard a voice say to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels bound at the great river Euphrates.” So the four angels who were prepared for the hour, day, month, and year were released to kill a third of the human race. The number of mounted troops was 200 million; I heard their number. (Revelation 9:13-16)
The sixth poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the east. Then I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming from the dragon’s mouth, from the beast’s mouth, and from the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons performing signs, who travel to the kings of the whole world to assemble them for the battle of the great day of God, the Almighty.
“Look, I am coming like a thief. The one who is alert and remains clothed so that he may not go around naked and people see his shame is blessed.”
So they assembled them at the place called in Hebrew, Armagedon. (Revelation 16:12-16)
What are some of the signs of the end of the Church Age?
Russia and Iran confirm bid to expand military cooperation in memorandum of understanding / TASS, July 29, 2019
TEHRAN, July 29./TASS/. The General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces and the Russian Defense Ministry have signed a memorandum of understanding with an aim to expend bilateral ties, Iran’s Mehr news agency quoted Iranian Navy Commander Hossein Khanzadi as saying on Monday.
The top military said the document had been signed during his trip to Russia. “This is the first memorandum of understanding of this kind, and it may be considered as a turning point in relations of Tehran in Moscow along the defense trajectory,” Khanzadi said.
Russia and Iran may shortly hold a joint naval exercise in the area of the Strait of Hormuz, the Iranian navy commander told IRNA news agency earlier on Monday.
Today’s Climate Change Is Worse Than Anything Earth Has Experienced in the Past 2,000 Years / Live Science, July 25, 2019
The global climate is changing faster now than it has at any point in the past 2,000 years.
That’s the conclusion of a trio of papers published July 24 in the journals Nature and Nature Geoscience that examined the global climate over the past two millennia. The researchers showed that none of the past fluctuations — that is, not the Little Ice Age, the warm period known as the Medieval Climate Anomaly or any other famous shift — had the global reach that modern climate change is having. Past fluctuations tended to be localized, affecting primarily one region at a time. Modern climate change, by contrast, is messing with the entire world.
To develop a rigorous picture of global temperatures over the past 2,000 years, the researchers relied on nearly 700 records from the so-called PAGES 2k proxy temperature database. That database rounds up evidence from ice cores, trees, coral and other substances that change their appearance or chemical composition based on global temperatures. The researchers used those records to build a detailed map of climate fluctuations the world over. And none of them look like the consistent, persistent shifts we’re seeing today.
Bahrain hosts military conference amid Iran tensions / Al-Monitor, July 31, 2019
Bahrain hosted a conference on Gulf maritime security on Wednesday, after multiple attacks on shipping in the strategic Strait of Hormuz sent tensions soaring between Iran and the US.
The tiny Gulf monarchy, which hosts the US Fifth Fleet, said the meeting was held “to discuss the current regional situation and to strengthen cooperation”.
In a statement, it slammed “the repeated attacks and unacceptable practices of Iran and the terrorist groups linked to it”.
The US has joined Gulf allies in accusing Iran of being behind several mysterious attacks on tankers in recent months, which Iran denies.
Tensions escalated on July 19 when Iran impounded a British-flagged tanker with its 23 crew aboard as it passed through the Strait — the world’s busiest oil shipping lane.
Iranian authorities said the ship had collided with a fishing vessel then failed to respond to distress calls, as well as turning off its transponder.
Britain last week ordered its navy to escort UK-flagged ships in the Strait of Hormuz in response to Iranian soldiers seizing its tanker in the flashpoint entrance to the Gulf.
Why Aren’t Pastors Preaching on End-Times Prophecy? / Charisma, July 17, 2019
If our congregations do not get regular biblical instruction and inspiration about the last days and our Lord’s Second Coming, we and they are in danger of deception by the devil (Rev. 12:9), his demons (1 Tim. 4:1-2), or—eventually—his end-time agents, the Beast (the Antichrist, Man of Sin, Son of Destruction; 2 Thess. 2:3, 7-12; Rev. 13) and the false prophet (Rev. 16:13, 19:20).
Predictive prophecy concerning the last days seems to be a purposefully-neglected facet of ministry, for some pastors and Bible teachers. Instead of embracing and teaching the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27b), many modern expositors seem to strategically avoid end-times eschatology, all together.
As shepherds of the flock of God, whom the Holy Spirit has made accountable overseers, end-times study and teaching are critical (Acts 20:27-31). Pastors are admonished to faithfully “give attention to reading, exhortation, and doctrine” (1 Tim. 4:13). Avoiding the “hard to understand” parts (2 Pet. 3:15-16) is not an acceptable strategy for these end times.
Expert Warns of Possible Abuse of New Phoenix FBI Directive on Conspiracies / Phoenix New Times, August 2, 2019
The FBI has for the first time identified fringe conspiracy theories as a domestic terrorist threat, Yahoo News reported on Thursday.
An intelligence bulletin from the bureau’s Phoenix field office, dated May 30, 2019, has labeled “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists,” as a growing threat — it’s the first FBI report to ever do so.
Michael German, a former special agent with the FBI who specialized in domestic terrorism and covert operations, has serious concerns about the paper’s credibility and creating extremist categories based on ideological motivation. The danger of this Phoenix FBI report, he said, is that it targets ideas and creates avenues for monitoring them instead of targeting potential violence.
The white paper defines conspiracy theories as beliefs that “attempt to explain events or circumstances as the result of a group of actors working in secret to benefit themselves at the expense of others” and are “usually at odds with official or prevailing explanations of events.”
“This kind of reporting is quite dangerous because all it does is ramp up fear, and provides no solutions for what to do about it, ” he said. “The FBI analysts have access to every domestic terrorism case the FBI worked. They could actually do an analysis of the cases, and identify who are the people who are actually getting arrested that are part of these groups.”
But instead, the new report justifies mass surveillance, according to German.
‘Self-inflicted wound’: Donald Trump signs budget bill as experts warn he’s on track to add trillions to U.S. debt / USA TODAY, August 2, 2019
Trump Friday signed into law a budget bill hammered out with leaders of the Democratic-led House and the Republican-controlled Senate. It was a rare bipartisan agreement but some in the GOP were furious over the increase in spending.
The legislation will add an estimated $1.7 trillion to the national debt over the next decade, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
That’s not all: When other bills that Trump has signed are factored in, Trump’s total contribution to the national debt is projected to top $4.1 trillion, the budget watchdog group said.
“Our national debt is a self-inflicted wound,” said Maya MacGuineas, the group’s president. “It will take the kind of leadership that currently doesn’t exist in Washington to fix.”
The national debt already has grown at a fast clip and surpassed $22 trillion for the first time in February, a milestone that experts say is further proof the country is on an unsustainable financial path.
All of these developments taken separately are horrific enough, but when combined together can only show that the world is building and converging towards the end of the age. The Bible describes it like this:
” For My people are foolish,
They have not known Me.
They are silly children,
And they have no understanding.
They are wise to do evil,
But to do good they have no knowledge.”
I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void;
And the heavens, they had no light.
I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled,
And all the hills moved back and forth.
I beheld, and indeed there was no man,
And all the birds of the heavens had fled.
I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness,
And all its cities were broken down
At the presence of the LORD,
By His fierce anger.
For thus says the LORD:
” The whole land shall be desolate;
Yet I will not make a full end.
For this shall the earth mourn,
And the heavens above be black,
Because I have spoken.
I have purposed and will not relent,
Nor will I turn back from it.
So, what will happen to the Lord’s people? Here is what Jesus said:
“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-35)
The world problems are complicated, but the Lord’s solution is simple.
Jesus will come in the clouds with great power and glory to gather his believers into his Kingdom. Those who have already died in Christ will rise first. Then, the believers who are alive on the earth at the time of his coming will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.
Are you ready for the Lord? Know this truth:
Jesus was born of a virgin, was God incarnated into human flesh by the Holy Spirit, was sinless, walked on this earth for 33 years, and died on a cross for our sins. He arose from the dead on the third day, and then ascended to sit in heaven at the right hand of God the Father, where he is today.
- God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.
- All of us sin and our sin has separated us from God.
- Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for our sin. Through him we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our life.
- We must individually accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
If you are not sure that you are saved, you can accept Christ into your life right now, by praying:
“Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior.”