Juxtaposition By Pete Garcia Juxtaposition: the fact of two things being seen or placed close…
Signs of the Times
By: Pete Garcia
1. One Language
To me, this is aside from Israel being back in her land, the second strongest reason to believe that we are truly living in the last days. It takes me back to the days of the Tower of Babel, when God looking down at what man was doing, noted: And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Gen 11:6
There really is one universal language, and that is English. The reason for this is, the last two world superpowers (Great Britain and the United States) both are English speaking countries, and between the two of us, have dominated the world economically and politically for the better part of 400 years. It was said of Great Britain, that the ‘sun never set on her empire’. The same could be said of the US, as we have bases and territories all over the world. (Although we don’t care for the word ’empire’)
But there is not a country in the world that doesn’t use English as either mean’s to do business, or to operate politically. It is taught everywhere, and it is the standard language for Science, Economics, and Finances.
2. The Rise of Technology:
Truly there has never been a day like today. We live and exist at a time that was considered by many of our predecessors only a generation ago, to be that of science fiction. For most of man’s history on earth, he or she was limited to not only the speed of horse, but was confined to the ground, and at the mercy of the winds when out at sea. And it seems that with each new day, some invention or process is perfected just a little bit more. If one area in technology plateaus, another will go screaming past it, pulling up surrounding and interlinked technologies that have caused our knowledge and understanding of how the universe works, leap frog past each other to where the new normal constantly changing. Think of your laptop or cell phone from just a few years ago, and how much technology has moved on since then.
Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies’ three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. Rev 11:9-10
There has never been a time in man’s short history on earth, where the technology allowed the entire world to see a singular event at the same time as it has today. Only 30 years ago, this technology was in its infancy, but today, events are routinely streamed-live from one part of the world to anywhere else with relative ease. The invention of satellite television, the internet, and global communications make this possible.
Global Financial Networks
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or] the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. Rev 13:16-18
There has also never been a time in man’s history when a ruler has been able to 100% control, all the buying and selling that goes on within their nation or kingdom…even in a small one. What we’ve seen in the United States alone over the past century is the consolidation of power and control over the economic, entertainment, medical and information sectors of our society. This is done primarily through monetary technological advances that force everyone to participate either directly or indirectly through taxation and financial legislation. How can one man control ALL the buying and selling? By controlling the system itself. Microchip RFID tags or electronic tattoos provide the mechanism necessary that is both convenient and capable of forcing everyone to use this in order to buy or sell.
Unfortunately, many people have become desensitized to the rapid technological breakthroughs through entertainment so nothing seems shocking or surprising any longer. Rapid advancements in bio-metrics, tracking and surveillance, and pre-crime technologies will make any future attempt to ‘fight the system’ virtually useless. I do not think we have seen the ‘beast’s’ system as of yet, but I do believe we are quickly heading down this road. Certainly, the technology is there to do this, but there is something (or someone) preventing this from happening as of yet.
3. Rise of the Scoffers:
…knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to 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 creation…” 2 Peter 3:3-9
Another sign that points to the nearness of Christ return, is the scoffing itself. There are two types of scoffing; from within Christendom, and from without. To the unbelieving skeptic, who already mocks anything Christian whether it is the Virgin birth or the Creation account, the return of Christ is also as ridiculous. Scoffing non-believing skeptics reject the Creation account, so I don’t think Peter is referencing them here.
The scoffing that comes from within Christianity itself largely falls into two camps; Amillennialism and Post-Millennialism. Amillennialism denies a future literal thousand year reign of Christ on the earth, by spiritualizing it and making it so that Christ is already presently reigning from Heaven. Amillennialism became popularized by three key issues:
1. Israel had ceased to be a nation in AD70
2. The departure from a literal interpretation of Scriptures
3. The legalization of Christianity by Constantine, and the Christianity becoming the state-sanctioned religion.
So although it began as an eschatological view as early as the 3rd century, Augustine was largely responsible for codifying it in the 4th and 5th. Pre-Millennialism had been the predominant eschatological view for the Early Church up until the 4th Century, but it posed a huge problem for a state sanctioned church, primarily because it’s main tenet was that Christ would return and set up His own kingdom that would crush all the others [Daniel 2:44-45]. This for obvious reasons wouldn’t sit well with the Romans, the Byzantines, or the Vatican. Post-Millennialism presents the church as the kingdom that will work to bring the world to a point of Christ-likeness (and their definition to this keeps changing) to where the conditions are such that Christ CAN return. You’d think that if Christ was going to return, and He would have done it already when the “church” dominated the earth, He would have came during the Holy Roman Empire era or during the Reformation when denominational Christianity spread around the civilized world. But He didn’t, and with the world getting worse by the day, this fact seemingly invalidates this view as scriptural.
Again as many as tried to discredit Dispensationalism, the Pre-Trib and Pre-Mill view because of their recency in coming back to the forefront of Christian thought, it is only with this renewed interest would their come scoffing, as nobody was mocking the return of Christ when no one was expecting the return of Christ. And with false prophets and date setters: The Great Disappointment, 1988, Harold Camping, etc., mocking has increased and cast a negative light on His return. Amillennialist and Post-Millennialist don’t mock Christ returning so much as they do those who believe Christ is returning soon, and they attempt to shut the message and preaching of it down in pulpits across America (and the world).
I think for their times, Amillennialism and Post-Millennialism tried to answer the difficult eschatological questions that prophetic passages bring up without the benefit of modern technology. Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and even up through the 20th century, people didn’t know how the world would change, or how quickly it would happen. How could they have known what the Internet was, or what digital currency is, or satellite television, etc? But considering what we know now, and with Israel back in her land, there is no excuse to continue to cling to these archaic and invalid eschatological views.
Normalcy Bias/Silent Treatment
Two things that go alongside with the scoffers, is the attempt to explain away the signs as if they were anomalies, and that things will get back to normal (the way they’ve always been?!) after said event happens. The other issue, is the stone walling and silent treatment that this entire topic (When will Christ return) gets from pulpits to pundits. If you believe that Jesus Christ is literally returning for His Church, and that a Tribulation period is going to occur, that an Antichrist will rise up, and that Christ will come again to rule and reign, you don’t get the microphone. If you do get the microphone, it is brief, and the reporter/pastor/journalist/whoever, is quick to write you off as a loon and “the views and opinions of this person does not reflect this company or any of our sponsor’s”.
This is the ‘antichrist spirit’ that has permeated popular culture, media, academia, and even the churches. It is so pervasive these days, that when books like “Left Behind” become huge bestsellers, the leadership are left scratching their heads like “what happened”. Then they come out and double down their efforts to ridicule and mock those who believe those views.
4. Geo-Political Alignment: Daniel 2:40-44, 7:7-8; Rev 13:1
In the multi-metallic statue that Nebuchadnezzar dreams about, Daniel explains that these were literal kingdoms that would follow Babylon. Daniel explains that He (Neb) was the head of Gold, and would be followed by the Persians (Silver), Grecians (Bronze), and Romans (Iron) as history has borne out. The last of these was the Romans, who we know historically, were never conquered, but disintegrated due to economic and moral incompetency. But first it split into east and western divisions.
The eastern leg continued on for almost another 1,000 years as the Byzantine Empire, and the western morphed into the Holy Roman Empire headquartered out of Rome and controlled the kingdoms in Europe via royal fiat by the Papacy through the 15th century. This then turned into competing European powers rising up and ruling briefly: the Portuguese and Spanish, the French, the British, and then Austria-Hungary, Germany, and power then moved west toward America after WWII.
The reunified Roman Empire began in earnest with:
-1946: Winston Churchill calling for a “United States of Europe”
-1948: Treaty of Brussels: Provided a mutual defense clause, Western Union Defense Org.
-1949: Council of Europe, NATO created
-1951: Treaty of Paris- Created the European Coal and Steel Community.
-1957: Treaty of Rome- Established the European Economic Community
-1958: Benelux Treaty
-1965: Merger Treaty
-1986: Single Treaty Act
-1992: Maastricht Treaty- Established the European Union
-1997: Treaty of Amsterdam- Made appropriate changes to the Maastricht Treaty
-1999: The Euro was launched
-2002: Euro notes and coins were put into circulation
Throughout the 65 year history, nations were added going from 4 original members, to currently 28 member states. The concept of the EU was officially birthed at the same time that Israel became a nation again after 1,878 years being in Diaspora. Coincidence?
According to Daniel 9:26, as stated….
…And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary….
We know historically, and I don’t think there is any dispute that it was the Roman legions under General Titus who destroyed Jerusalem in 70AD before becoming Emperor. What Dan. 9:26 clearly states, is that a prince would come out of the people who destroyed the city and the sanctuary. This is the man who is mentioned in verse 27 as conducting the peace treaty.
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
but in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
even until the consummation, which is determined,
is poured out on the desolate.”
Remember, neither Titus, Domitian nor all the way up through Hadrian confirmed any covenant with the Jews that involved stopping sacrifices and offerings. The temple was already destroyed after Titus, so there was no temple to conduct sacrifices anyway. And thus it has been that way from then today. Neither has there been any temple in which an ‘abomination’ (as done by Antiochus Epiphanes) could be done. There was no temple, thus no Holy of Holies to blaspheme.
After mentioning that the temple would be destroyed (Matt 23:37-24:2), Jesus stated that at the ‘end of the age’, one would come who would commit the Abomination of Desolation (Matt 24:15), in which Jesus refers back to this passage in Daniel 9:26-27. Since we know the world didn’t end in 70AD, and even now, there is a nation of Israel again, the prospect for a future temple still lies within the realm of possibility. No one can rule out that possibility, unless they can see into the future.
As it was with the early church and the Dark Ages, prophecy suffered not for lack of interest, but for lack of understanding, because Israel was not back in her land. So much of prophecy ties into Israel, that without her physically back in the table of nations, it was impossible for Christian’s to know when we were. Both 1948 and 1967 are mile markers on God’s prophetic calendar.
a. First to their prophesied Diaspora: Deut 4:25-31, 30:1-6; Matt. 23:37-24:2; Luke 21:24
b. To their second and final regathering: Isaiah 11:11; Ezekiel 36-37; Amos 9:15; Luke 21:24
c. To their regathering in unbelief: Ezekiel 37:11
d. What brings them back to wanting a covenant relationship with God: Ezekiel 38:18-23
d. To the rebuilding of the third temple: Ezekiel 40-48; Matt. 24:15, 2 Thess 2:4; Rev 11:1-2
Israel and Jerusalem as the focus of the World
“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. Zechariah 12:2-3
And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Luke 21:24 If Israel were not to fulfill the prophetic passages of the Bible, then there wouldn’t even be an Israel to point to at a map. But now, the world powers are desperately attempting to do what no leader in the last 65 years has done, and that is to divide Israel. Unmistakable is the intense, laser like focus the leaders from the world’s greatest nations have on trying to institute a Middle East Peace Plan. The US, the EU, Russia, Saudi Arabia and others have all been working openly and secretly since the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords to find a win-win solution for both Israel and the PLO/Hamas. It is either lunacy, or intentional to think that by dividing up a country the size of Delaware between the Israelis and those who have sworn to destroy them, will bring peace. Either way, it is demonic in nature, and these leaders are so desperate to divide Israel, that they will stop at nothing in their attempts to force Israel to bend to their collective will on dividing Jerusalem.
What other nation in the world has ever been asked to divide her capital, and share it with a political entity who has it in their charter to destroy them? Would Seoul, South Korea share a capital with Pyongyang, North Korea? Would Russia share Washington, D.C. with the US? It makes zero sense, but here it is being presented to Israel as the ONLY way to solve all of the Middle East’s problems.
6. Increase in intensity and frequency of natural disasters.
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Matt. 24:7-8
And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. Luke 21:11
Omar Baddour, chief of data management applications division at The World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, has this to say:
Each year we have extreme weather, but it’s unusual to have so many extreme events around the world at once. Such events are increasing in intensity as well as frequency, a sign that climate change is not just about rising temperatures, but also about intense, unpleasant, anomalous weather of all kinds.
More wars and deaths from wars happened between 1900 and 2000 than in the previous 20 centuries before it, with estimates ranging from 150 to 200 million killed. Natural disasters likewise have increasingly become more catastrophic due to the population density in many places around the world, as well as the severity of earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and floods. With the weather in the past 10 years alone, breaking many 100-500 year records for either extreme heat or extreme cold all around the world. One need only monitor the Extinction Protocol to get a glimpse of all the under-reported weather and geothermal activity around the world that goes unnoticed by most to see things are speeding up.
7. The Apostasia
The use of the word “apostasia” by the Apostle Paul in 2 Thess 2:3 has always intrigued me. In the first seven English translations of the Bible leading up to the 1611 KJV, the word apostasia meant departure. But from the KJV onward, it was changed to falling away. (See here for more information on this).
What I find interesting, is that either view is accurate: apostasy or a physical departure such as in the Rapture. We see the apostasy in the lukewarm church of Laodicea, and we see the impending signs of the tribulation all around us, and we recognize the season that our departure is close at hand.
In times past, many saw apostasy, but the season seemed far away. The 18th and 19th centuries were ripe with heretical movements: Jehovah Witness, Mormons, Christian Science, Unitarians, etc. and yet many things were not seen; like Israel back in her land, advanced technology, and a unified Europe.
Orthodox Christianity survived and denominationalism thrived in a resurgent America following WWII. But our prosperity led to our affluence, which led to pride, which led to spiritual apathy and our lapse into CINO-ism (Christian in Name Only). Soon we had prosperity gospel filling our airwaves, churches turned seeker sensitive and seeker friendly, catering the message as not to offend the audience. Churches turned aside from the Gospel of the Blood, to watered down messages about a “better life now”. Prophecy was all but abandoned in mainstream Churches and when they did teach it, Amillennialism, Preterism, and Post Millennialism became stylish again.
There are more Christian denominations today, than there were at any point in Christianity’s history. It comes in part as true Christian’s departed from Catholicism to form like-minded groups who wanted to return to the Bible as Sola Scriptura, and later it came from true Christians leaving the Denominations to get back to Sola Scriptura. This is not even counting all the pseudo-Christian groups that border between apostasy and heresy.
As the prophetic word went silent in the pulpits, it found a hungry audience on the World Wide Web. Thus the congregations went into the digital underground. But even now, the author of confusion (Satan) is flooding the web with so many false teachings that it truly is a miracle when a man or woman finds a decent teaching not marred by one heresy or another.
Apostasy is more rampant today, than it ever has in the history of the Church. Accompanying that is a technology-race leap frogging into the future at a pace unheard of in the history of mankind. Accompanying that is a Geo-political alignment of biblical proportions. Accompanying that is a thriving nation of Israel, surrounded by hostile nations, and all while the great gentile powers are quivering at the thought of another Middle East war and will trade anything, for some peace and security.
8. The Days of Noah: Genesis 6; Luke 17
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5
And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Luke 17:26-27
The time-frame from Adam’s day until Noah was around 1,600 years, according to the genealogies found in Genesis 5. Due to man’s genetic superiority and their extended lives, the population of the pre-flood world then had exploded. It is estimated that the world’s population then was in the billions. Noah’s day was marked by several prominent signs; supernatural deviance, great violence, wickedness, and apathy.
We’ve seen that within our last century, the world’s population went from around 2 billion in 1900, to 7 billion in 2013. It’s hard to imagine a more decadent and dangerous time to be alive, than it is today. The 20th century alone has seen more death, famine, and disease, than the previous 20 centuries before it, combined…and the 21st century isn’t starting off any better.
Today’s technology has greatly expedited the ability for man to kill with greater ease and disconnect than any previous generation. Man is again attempting to play God through Eugenics, genetic engineering, and trans-humanism in an attempt to restore ourselves back to that age when life spans were not in the decades, but in the centuries. And I believe that if God doesn’t intervene soon, we could very well achieve it. (Gen 11:6)
9. The Days of Lot: Genesis 19:1-4; Jeremiah 23:14; Ezekiel 16:48-50
Most would associate the perverse sin of homosexuality as the judgment for Sodom and Gomorrah. It wasn’t homosexuality as much as it was their particular society’s acceptance of it as normal, which doomed them. Yet, it wasn’t only the normalization of homosexuality that brought fire and brimstone down upon their heads. Ezekiel also records that God accused them of other sins as well:
…this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.
I can think of no other nation on earth at any time, which has been more blessed than the United States in terms of freedom, natural and commercial wealth, and biblical literacy. Granted, Israel experienced this kind of peace and prosperity under Kings’ David and Solomon, but no nation in recent history has had it as good as we’ve had it. Even our middle class citizens live a far more comfortable life, than even kings and queens of yesteryear.
Life has not always been easy here, but for the better part of 65 years, the US has been the world’s lone true super-power. We once led the world in spreading the Gospel, now we lead the world in spreading pornography and violence. Now days, we export our paganized music, movies, and books and corrupt mankind all for the sake of the ‘almighty dollar’. We went from being that ‘shining city on the hill’, to a broken down palace that has a corrupting influence for all the nations. We are two-faced in our political leanings; we betray our allies and give sanctuary to our enemies. At present, we hold the world hostage economically over our currency.
We as a nation are on the very cusp, if not past that point of no return, in terms of the acceptance and normalization of not only homosexuality, but of divorce, of adultery, of abortion, of promiscuity, and of adultery. It would be disingenuous of me to say that Christians today aren’t included in the collective guilt of the nation, and that they didn’t commit any of these sins, because we have. My guilt is included in the collective. But for myself, and many others, who have traded our own righteousness for Christ’s, and we repented and turned away from those things that cause shame and reproof to be piled upon our national heads, we now are witnesses to the cultural collapse, of the world’s once greatest Christian nation.
Hedonism and Carnality
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 2 Tim 3:1-5
With the rise of technology, came the amount of free time people would have. If you don’t have to make milk, but can simply go to the nearest corner store and pick up a gallon, you’ve just saved yourself hours of work. Just think about all the things the benefit of technology has brought, and think about how much time you would have to spend just getting from point A to point B. With all that extra free time, man began finding ways to entertain themselves.
It was only a short step onto the slippery slope that man’s imagination began to run amok. Once the internet came about, it was a slippery slope on steroids. Much of this tie in with the Days of Noah and Lot, but our love of pleasure became a reality in the latter half of the 20th century. Prior generations were much too busy working to stay alive, to care about football and Xbox. We all benefit from technology, and I admit that I am spoiled in liking to have ice to be able to go into my drink, or being able to microwave something rather than heating it up with a stove, but as they say, “idle hands are the devils workshop”.
10. The Times of Signs
In the past 50-100 years, we’ve had events happen that one could point to and say, this is prophetically significant, or that was. And the old argument is that “people have been saying that Jesus was returning for hundreds of years and He still hasn’t come!” Well, that is true, and Christ could have returned before, but two points from Scriptures to consider: first of which, is that Jesus scolded the Pharisees for not recognizing the time of their visitation (Matt 16:1-4), secondly, Paul tells us that we will not be in darkness concerning the signs surrounding His coming, and that we would ‘recognize the season’ (1 Thess 5:1-5). If one would look at pop culture over the last 20-30 years, you’d see a marked increase in the ‘apocalyptic’ genre exploding in books, television, and movies. If the secular world is starting to catch on, then you better believe that we as the Church should be.
Prophetically Significant Events (PSE) in the past was usually just singular, stand alone events, but today they’re coming hard and fast with no sign of letting up. In fact, there are so many things happening that it is actually very wearisome to try and keep up with. This list could have easily been fifty things and as soon as it was published, something new would come out and it changes the entire dynamic of the list in question. All these signs are happening simultaneously, in conjunction with the frequency and intensity, point toward a boiling point that will soon come to a head. Like tectonic plates that are constantly pushing against each other, rumbling and shaking the surface of the earth above it…pressure builds and builds. The longer the tension the more intense the release will be once begun. The same thing applies geo-politically, and socially, in that as with nature, we see this build up of tension and strain cannot be sustained indefinitely. Pressure can’t just keep ramping up endlessly without some form of release. That release I believe will be the Rapture of the Church.
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Romans 8:9-22
Truly, the season is upon us for our soon departure.