Authors note: The commentary today is taken in part from my conclusion to DISCERNERS: Analyzing Converging Prophetic Signs for the End of Days.
Our weekly column on the raptureready.com website is called “Nearing Midnight” because we discern that planet earth has almost reached the midnight hour of the Church Age, or Age of Grace.
Whereas the geopolitical humanist powers that be frame their view of human history’s closing minutes within their ”Doomsday Clock,” we observe these fleeting times before Christ’s call to the Church by placing the template of Bible prophecy over the converging of prophetic stage-setting.
The political scientists and other scientists can only guess at what will happen to the human race. Most all believe that humankind will meet its end from nuclear holocaust or by climate-change disasters.
We who give total credence to what God’s Word has to say about the consummation of the age can know for certain, through a detailed preview by God, Himself, how the end of all things will unfold. We don’t know precisely when the end will come. We can know, however, the general time when it will begin to manifest.
We can know for certain when the “midnight hour” of God’s prophetic timeline is approaching.
The Lord Jesus gave His family (born-again believers) explicit instruction about how and when to discern the nearing midnight hour.
And when you see all these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your head, for your redemption draws near. (Luke 21: 28)
Note that Jesus didn’t say to watch for when these things “come to pass.” He said “when these things begin to come to pass,” we are to “look up and lift up our heads, for our redemption is drawing near.” At that time, He will be on His way to rescue His Bride –the Church—from the carnage that is about to take place on earth.
The blackness of the midnight hour will descend following that rescue of the Church. At seven years into the Tribulation, complete evil will have engulfed the planet with satanic darkness. The first bright gleaming that pierces that most horrendous time of all of human history will then burst through the billowing storm clouds of Armageddon. Brilliant light will part the heavens, and Christ and His army will appear.
So, discerning the times in which we find ourselves is all-important to the believer. If it was not possible to discern the times, Jesus wouldn’t have told us: “What I say unto one, I say unto all. Watch” (Mark 13:37).
He promises in Revelation 3:10 that we are not appointed to God’s wrath, and will be kept out of the very hour of that wrath.
So, what are the things the Lord forewarned would be taking place–the things beginning to come to pass—that we see happening at this very moment? Exactly what are the things for which we are to look?
Remember, the whole Bible is the Word of God. And, Jesus is that Word (John 1: 1).
Every prophecy, whether it’s already accomplished or yet to come, is attributable to Him. God, the Holy Spirit, inspired the Old and New Testament prophets to give the prophecies. So, we don’t have to consider just what the Lord Jesus, Himself, said by way of prophecy to discern the times in which we live. We can and must consider every prophecy yet to be fulfilled, presented in the Bible by all Bible prophets, as part of our discernment process.
I am of the camp that believes we are seeing the stage being set for fulfillment of prophecy yet future rather than fulfillment itself. The one caveat concerns the nation Israel. My view is that Israel again being a nation after millennia of dispersion into all the world is fulfilled prophecy.
That said, however, everything we see happening around us at this very hour has prophetic significance. Some things are profoundly significant—for example, the coalition of nations forming to Israel’s north.
Russia (land of Magog), Iran (much of ancient Persia), and Turkey (the land of Togarmah) coming together in a coalescing alliance is a spectacular example of God’s foreknowledge of things to come. These, of course, are exactly the central actors prophetically scheduled to come against God’s chosen nation, Israel, according to Ezekiel 38 and 39.
It must be agreed that much of the stage-setting itself is likened to fulfilled prophecy in some ways. For example, the apostle Paul’s “perilous times” words, presented in 2 Timothy 3, offer a vivid snapshot of these spiritually darkening days. While prophecy yet future, for the most part, seems reserved for the Tribulation (Daniel’s seventieth week), developments in our nation and world today are becoming ever more like those given in God’s Word for that last seven years immediately preceding Christ’s Second Advent.
Luciferic darkening has so infected this generation in America and throughout the world that we who “watch” in order to discern the times are brought face to face with end-times insanity born of greatly increased rebellion against God. Other than the fact that Israel itself is what most discerners view as the most dramatic sign of where this generation stands on God’s prophetic timeline, there runs a deadly septicemia throughout humankind that marks this as a generation at the very end of its prophetic rope. The infection proves we are in the terminal stage of rebellion.
Paul explains very clearly that infection, satanically injected into humanity’s collective bloodstream.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1:18-32)
God condemns those who are caught in this evil, destructive quagmire of depravity. But Jesus gives us the way out of that soul-destroying quicksand:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24)