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On Observing the Times

Jesus looked directly and deeply into the eyes of the pious religionists and elitist-legalists (the Pharisees and Sadducees). His omniscient, penetrating, piercing, eyes saw into their very souls. These religious zealots and lawyers sought to disprove the claims by His followers that He was sent from God. They wanted Him to immediately perform a private miracle for them, thinking, no doubt, that He would fail, giving them fodder for their attacks against Him.

Jesus, in answer to their probing demands that He show them a sign to prove His commission from Heaven, said:

When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? (Matthew 16:2-3)

Thus begins the introduction to my latest book, Discerners: Analyzing Converging Prophetic Signs for the End of Days, to be released very soon. The Lord’s admonishment is one of the strongest given for those who are supposedly responsible for knowing what God’s Word, the Scripture, has to say about issues and events –about circumstances—of the times surrounding their lives.

The Pharisees, in particular, were supposed to know, in-depth, God’s Word to Jews. Yet, these not only didn’t recognize the fact that the Messiah was among them, they mocked Him and wanted to–and eventually did—kill Him.

Jesus had performed miracle after miracle. The signals were in every direction that He was who He was–the very Messiah for whom all of believing Israel longed.

Rather than embracing their future King, they mocked, harassed, and ultimately murdered Him, with the help of the Roman government.

They wanted a “sign” from Him, yet He had done wonders that everyone in Israel knew about except, seemingly, these Pharisees and Sadducees who confronted Him.

This man of Galilee represented a threat to their authority of being religionists and legalists who ran things. They couldn’t have their controlling apple cart turned upside down. Theirs was a very lucrative business, and they wanted no Messiah ruining their money-making enterprises.

Saul of Tarsus, of course, was, before his Damascus Road experience, one of the chief prosecutors/persecutors who sought to end the lives of those who followed Jesus–the one whom religionists and legalists considered an imposter, but whom His followers believed and claimed to be Israel’s Messiah.

We must wonder today about those, particularly among the so-called clergy—who cannot or will not discern the times. These totally ignore, or refuse to accept, God’s Word on things to come. They spiritualize or allegorize prophecy yet future concerning Christ’s soon return to put an end to this rebellious world system.

Would Jesus say the same to these today as he said of the religionists of that day?

“O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?”

The Bible consists of–as my friend, the late Chuck Missler, used to inform—about 27 percent prophecy. Of that, approximately 14 percent is yet to be fulfilled. Yet only a very few pastors in the pulpits will touch on the prophetic portions. If they do, they spiritualize it or allegorize it to such an extent that they give their congregations little indication that these are things to come, in a literal sense. They certainly don’t examine the prophetic portions about prophecies yet to be fulfilled, checking on and including issues and events of the times that are unfolding–times that even a modicum of examination and exploration would divulge are absolutely ripe with prophesied things on the very cusp of taking place.

Such things to come are bulging at the proverbial seams, trying to burst forth.

Looking at the political situation in America today, as well as at the moral comportment of so many, what discerner from a believer’s perspective can deny that evil men and seducers are growing worse and worse?

Seeing the battles, with the nation divided almost down the middle, who with a discerning spirit can deny that rebellion against the God of Heaven is raging, or that that same God, the Holy Spirit, is acting as never before as Restrainer against the evil that is ramping up moment by moment?

Who that has been given discernment by that same Holy Spirit can but recognize that worldwide hatred for Israel is coming to a head, just as the prophet Zechariah foretold?

All prophetic signs are in process of converging at this very moment during these strange and troubling, although exciting, times; they are exciting because it all means the Lord Jesus Christ must be about to call all believers into the clouds of glory to be with Himself.

The believer that Jesus Christ is who God’s Word says He is must be dedicated to observing these matters unfolding so near the time of His return to establish His righteous kingdom on this rebellious earth. It’s time for Christians to be discerners.

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15-17)


5 Comments

  1. Ed Wood says:

    Many years ago, I asked some people who had been to seminary about how much time these places spent in teaching about Bible Prophecy. Without exception, they said it was minimal, if at all. That means that some one-quarter of the Bible contains was omitted. (I wonder if they got a 1/4 rebate on their tuition? Probably not!)

    Of course, the situation is worse today because based on what I’ve seen coming out of these places, they aren’t taking the rest of the Bible seriously, either. I mean, how else can you explain the rampant apostasy of much of
    the modern church today?

    Paul hit the nail right on the head almost 2000 years ago about the course the church and its leaders would take in the Last Days:

    1 Timothy {4:1-2} Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter
    times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.

    Trouble is, since most “Sunday pew-warmers” today are never encouraged to read the Bible (or worse, believe it to be the ultimate authority) for themselves, they would never have encountered this passage.

    This is just another sign of these times of which all too many nominal Christians are ignorant, just as the religious leaders of Jesus’ era were.

    • Christy Benoist says:

      Yes & AMEN!! I am super grateful that the Lord blessed me with a Spirit filled Bible (& Biblical history) literate, Jesus adoring Pastor who taught THROUGH the Bible (over & over & over again). How VERY important!!! I wish all true Christians had that huge blessing & privilege! That’s the problem! It’s a terribly sad situation when true believers aren’t given a firm foundation and taught the Word of God in a systematic and Spirit filled manner. It’s so sad..if believers were fed properly and orderly they would easily discern THESE times and warn others.. as well as be ready. Thank the Dear LORD for Terry & other’s like minded (& like hearted). MARANATHA

  2. hawk2017 says:

    Amen.

  3. Scott says:

    Terry, you nailed it as usual. It is interesting that you are using that passage from Matt 16 (Luke 12) – I have been doing the same lately in efforts to get people to understand the importance of prophecy and the importance that Jesus placed on prophecy. Also, I think it is important to remember that in Luke’s version of the post-post-resurrection events – His two main experiences were explaining to the Two Men leaving for Emmaus and later, the apostles, Jesus went through all the prophecies that pertained to Him and explained that such misunderstanding (or not knowing it) is why they didn’t understand the events that had just taken place…Thanks for this commentary, it is much needed right now.

  4. Charles Ford says:

    The story within the story is this. The priests were of the wrong tribe and had no legitimacy. They also knew Jesus knew this and feared he would make this public to the throngs and end their rule and wealth making.

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