- Pastor Tom Cunningham
HOW DO WE KNOW WHEN THE END WILL COME?
Throughout the ages and even in recent history many attempts have been made to “date” the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ and Judgment Day! A false prophet farmer by the name of William Miller believed that everybody else had Daniel Chapter 8 all wrong but he figured it out though, through “secret meanings from the texts” (always be suspicious of people looking for secret meanings and hidden truth; there is enough blatant truth in the Word of God to slap you in the face! Just saying…). He estimated Christ’s immanent return in March of 1843. Many followers amassed at this “close of history” only to be disappointed when Jesus failed to make an appearance. One follower “discovered” William’s math was wrong and “updated” the prophesy to October 22, 1844. Again, He didn’t show.
Ellen G. White formed her religious movement, “The Seventh Day Adventists” on the premise that Christ had actually made an invisible return in 1844 (convenient) and was simply waiting to show Himself. Another follower of the 1844 movement was Charles Taze Russell, founder of what is now known as the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” and the “Watchtower Bible and Tract Society”. He refused to give up and has updated the prophetic dates several times; Beginning in 1914 and when Jesus failed to return (not to detour him from getting it right), he changed that date to 1925, then 1941, and yet again to 1975.
Then there was the “88 Reasons Jesus will return in 1988”. And now, of course the most recent embarrassing prophetic fiasco is the latest from Harold Camping. His first date failed to provoke a return in May of this year, but (wait for it) his math was wrong — and so now it’s on again, set for October of 2011. Amazingly, however, false prophets continue to propagate this madness over and over again, even though Scripture clearly teaches that it is not possible to know the date! Not possible!
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage (living their normal lives, doing everyday things), until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.” Matthew 24:36-42
So, here we are, as a Christian community, confused and discredited even though we had nothing personal to do with the prophetic dating — we are lumped in with the lunatics. So, is it possible to know when the end will come? Actually, yes. The era can be predicted, if not the date. There are two tell-tale signs that will open up Daniel’s “book of prophesy” that were not possible in 1843, 1844, 1914 and so on, but are possible now! The scripture message is clear in the book of Daniel that his prophesy of the “seventy weeks” would be sealed until the time of the end and then, when 2 things happen in astonishing fashion, the “book” will be unsealed…
Daniel 12:4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro [world travel will increase dramatically], and knowledge shall increase.”
Daniel the prophet received some of the most sweeping prophecies found in the Word of God. Prophecies that take us from the days of the Babylonian captivity (in which Daniel was part of) to the very end of this current age… It is fascinating to see how God instructed Daniel, after giving him these most remarkable prophecies, to “shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end”. Then God gives Daniel two ‘signs’ that would help us identify “the time of the end…”
What are these two signs?
1. Many will run to and fro [on the earth]. 2. Knowledge will increase (multiply in an astonishing fashion).
Many theologians throughout the ages have gotten this scripture wrong because they lacked the insight brought on by modern technology and the times as they are currently. I believe the book has been unsealed and we are able to discern the meaning of the words and now is the time of the last days…
1. The existing ability to travel from one place to another (to and fro on the earth) is unlike anything ever seen before in history. From the time Daniel wrote this book until the turn of the 20th century, the speed man could travel remained fairly constant … limited to the speed of foot, horse [animal] and boat. Now man can fly from New York to Paris in 2 hours, even faster if you take into account military jet technology. I can be in Africa tomorrow; Greece [and the Mediterranean] today and back home in the morning… The world has become accessible, thus a global community has been born and is expanding. Never before in the history of mankind was it possible for this ‘sign’ to have been fulfilled as it is today.
2. And knowledge would increase at a rate … and to a point … unlike any time in history. The internet has changed the way we think about globalism. It is possible to have regular daily communication with friends from Missouri to China. The sum total of man’s knowledge is now doubling at an alarming rate — from cooking by fire to nuclear technology and beyond in literally one generation. Mankind has learned MORE in the 65 years since World War II then in the accumulation of all previous human history combined! Knowledge is increasing at a supernatural rate, now, and only now has this been fulfilled.
In Matthew 24, Jesus wanted us to know the signs of the times so that we would take serious His sober teachings on righteousness — and follow HIM. This is not “for information only” — this is a warning, the time of the end is now, our understanding has been unsealed. The signs have arrived and today’s news is a real-time “end of days” biblical parallel. The final time clock is set to begin counting down…
The good news? It hasn’t happened yet … so you still have time! If you are reading this then you can still receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Do it now.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20