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Sign Language
Prophecy - Signs
Monday, January 23, 2012
Pete Garcia

Thinking in generational terms, we alive today are unique in that not only have we lived through the turn of the century, but the turn of the millennia.  The last time that happened, think of where the world was.

In the 10th century, Roman Catholicism dominated life in the Western Hemisphere.  The Byzantine ruled in the east, competing against the Abbasid Caliphate for control.  Israel had not been a nation for more than 900 years and the world was limited to the speed of a horse.  It was high times in the Dark Ages.  It would be another 400-500 years before men began to break away from the iron-clad grip the Roman Catholic system had over the Christian world.

But today, Israel stands as a sign to the world as a sovereign, unified nation.  Not since King Solomon (10th century BC) had a free, unified Israel existed.  From the Babylonian invasion (605-586 BC) on forward, Israel/Judaea, had been under the thumb of one successive Gentile oppressor after another.  First it was the Babylonians, then the Persian, the Greeks, and finally the Romans.  And again, ever since their national rebirth in 1948, the Gentile world courtesy of the UN, EU, Arab States, and US have been actively seeking to dismantle and dissect the tiny nation-state in order to remove its very existence from the annals of history.

How often we quickly criticize those who lived during Jesus' day for not recognizing Him as the Son of God.  But they had only the Old Testament, and as Peter alluded too, the prophets themselves often didn't know or understand fully the things they were putting to scripture.

"Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow." (1 Peter 1:10-11 NKJV)

Today, we have the complete New Testament that shows the historical types, symbolism, and the fulfilled prophetic promises that were revealed by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We have 20 centuries of hindsight to look back upon and see what Christ said would happen, has.  We have the technological means to verify the historical claims of the Bible and see that they are valid.  Most importantly, we have the Holy Spirit who draws men and women to Christ, guides them into all truth, and testifies to the life-changing ability that God renders in the life of a person who willingly comes to Christ.  How much more responsible are we today for knowing the truth, then those who lived even in Christ's day?

And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

"He answered and said to them, Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.  For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.  Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled. . ." (Matthew 13:11-14 NKJV)

Often the question is asked, if there is a God, and He is all good, why does He allow bad things to happen in this world?  The answer is not very flattering, considering the wealth of knowledge we have at our fingertips.  Since we have the abundance of proofs that prove the Bible is true, that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation, God does not need to speak to us in parable, but in an even more basic language to make His points clear.

The attacks on September 11th, the 2004 Indonesian Tsunami, 2005 Hurricane Katrina, economic collapse of 2008, 2010 Haitian earthquake, 2011 Japanese Tsunami and countless other natural and man-made disasters serve as a decreasing measure of God's patience trying to get mankind's attention.  Since people today in the 'civilized world' are no longer interested in the written Word, nor paying attention to the men and women faithfully spreading the Gospel, God will use whatever method He has to wake people up.

And these Signs are the language, increasing in severity and intensity.  These events have a two-fold effect on those living through them though:  either they will realize the hopeless, helpless predicament they are in and turn to God, or like Pharaoh, they harden their hearts even further against Him.  This world is being forced into making a decision as our time draws to a close by knocking down that proverbial fence people love to ride. 

There appears to be a paradox of sorts when speaking about end-times events.  We have Jesus saying it will be like the days of Noah and Lot, and that life will be moving along swimmingly when sudden destruction comes upon the earth.  On the other hand, it will be perilous times, and signs will be increasingly apparent.  I think in dealing with these, there are two basic groups of people.  Speaking specifically to the world system, there are those in the high places who know and they are fearful of what is coming.  Then there are those who aren't in the know (general public) and are apathetic.  For them, life will just go on as it always has.

But for those in the know, they are actively trying to curtail their dark future by enacting the very things  they think solves the crisis, but only leads them directly into it.  Both groups it seems, fulfill Biblical prophecies as it pertains to the events leading up to the Day of the Lord.

The apathetic:

"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 3:3-4 NKJV)

The fearful:

“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken." (Luke 21:25-26 NASB)

There are so many things pointing to the soon return of Christ, it can in truth, be a bit overwhelming.  Many have tuned-out as 'Middle East' fatigue sets in as they watch and wait on the constant build-up of pressure there.  The EU and US as of late, are continually on the verge of collapse, yet they don't.  The increase of natural calamities are taxing every system man has to deal with them to the point of financial exhaustion.  It seemingly takes more and more to impress a world that has seen so much destruction already.  There is a growing sense of trepidation for what is potentially coming our way, by a growing population on this earth.  They can sense something, but since most are not Christian or prophetically inclined, they point to the Mayans or aliens as to the reason these things may happen.  In truth, any explanation outside of the Bible seems reasonable to them.

So many things are happening simultaneously, that it is really hard to keep a grasp on what they all mean.  But for that small remnant around the world, who see these as evidential proofs of our soon returning Savior, we remain hopeful in these bittersweet, dark days.

"And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1:19-21 NKJV)

About Pete Garcia

Last week: Who Dares, Wins



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