Discerning the Signs of the Times!

Commentary By:  Gordon King

Signs, they are all around us.  Each day we see signs for one thing or another, signs for business in order to sell a service or product, signs of the weather, signs for transportation, and signs telling us where we are and where we are headed.

The bible also gives us signs to watch for, signs for the soon return of Christ for His bride, and signs of His second coming!

As we travel down the highway in our car we see so many signs that we cannot take them all in.  We see billboards with advertisements selling both goods and services, we see signs cautioning us of what lies ahead, signs telling us of just how fast we should drive, signs of where we are and where we are headed to.  We also see signs of historical sites, of places to eat and of places to refuel our vehicle.

Even if we don’t leave our home we still see many signs if we turn on the television.  Once again, signs selling goods and services, signs leading us to believe one thing or another, signs of the news and the weather, and signs telling us what show is coming on in the near future.

Jesus Christ and His apostles gave us signs to watch for, many signs, signs which are happening now, so many in fact that they are hard to keep up with!  These signs are telling us of what is soon coming, of what we should be doing, and even where we are headed.  Signs in the heavens, the moon and the stars, signs of wars and rumors of wars, signs of natural disasters, deception, persecution, of the increased evil and wickedness of society and man in general, these are all signs of the times!

There are signs that are easily seen and discerned.  However, there are also signs which are not so easily seen or discerned.  Signs of the weather are not written with words, yet they can be easily seen with the eye and with changing temperatures.  A sign that our job may not be so secure can be seen by layoffs in our chosen profession.  Signs of coming illness can be seen by not feeling so well, perhaps headaches and sore throats.  Signs that our children may be headed down the wrong road can be seen by dropping grades in school, changes in attitude, and/or interests in things which may not be considered as good.

We may also have signs that lead us to believe that our spouse may be cheating on us, perhaps they don’t seem interested in things which they used to enjoy, maybe they don’t spend as much time with us, or they stay out later than they used to, all signs that something other than life as usual may be in play.

My point is that there are signs which are easily seen and others which are not, many are signs of change, signs that what we are now experiencing is about to change in one way or another.

Signs told to us in scripture are given to us so that we may know what is coming, so that we can prepare and be ready.  They are signs that changes are coming soon, that we are in the season, that what was foretold thousands of years ago will happen!  They are signs that something unusual is in play, that life changing events are taking place in preparation for the coming of our Lord and Savior.

We cannot say without a doubt that we know when these things will occur yet we know that they will.  And isn’t this so with the bible also?  We know about changes which are coming, we have been given the signs to watch for, yet we don’t always know when they will take place!

This brings up the signs which many believers say will trigger the rapture of the church.  I am speaking about the Revelation 12 sign in the stars which some have said signifies the rapture of the church happening on September 23, 2017.  Well my friends as I have stated in the past, we cannot set dates!  September 23, 2017 is now gone and we are still here, at least I am, and I know that I am a saved, born-again child of God Almighty!  This should be a warning to all believers that we cannot nor should we set dates for the coming of the Lord, either at the rapture or His actual second coming after the Tribulation period!  We can know the season, that we are close, but we will not know the day or the hour.  And even though we may be able to count down to the second coming of Christ after the Tribulation period has begun, I don’t believe that we could count down to the exact day, we could always be off by a day or two.

Unfortunately there are some people who place their faith in dates, they place their faith in what others have told them about when bible prophecies will happen (the rapture of the church).  This will in fact cause many to lose faith, to turn away from God, many to disbelieve and walk away rather than to God!

It’s a good thing to be excited about the rapture of the church, to be waiting eagerly for His return for us, however, we should never say that we know the day or the hour.  This gives non-believers fuel for the fire, as many will in turn use these things as proof that the bible is not true, that the words given to us by our Lord are nothing more than fables and fairy tales, even though Jesus Christ Himself told us that no one knows the day or the hour, not even Him but our Father in heaven!

We are not only told to watch for the signs of the end times, but are commanded by Jesus Christ to do so!  We are to watch and be ready at all times!  If we open our eyes to the truth then we can see the signs, if we stay close to God then we can discern the signs.  When we discern the signs we are able to differentiate between signs that tell us the times we are living in from signs that don’t.  And when we can put the prophetic pieces of the puzzle together then it all makes much more sense to us.

The signs are all around us if we just look!  We are in the season of our Lord’s return, when will it happen?  I don’t know, no one does!  However, I do believe that it is soon.  Could it be this year, perhaps, or maybe the next, or the next, or who knows when.  But the bible does tell us in the parable of the fig tree that this generation will by no means pass away until all of these things take place.

Matthew 24:34

Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.

I am not here to argue about whether or not the fig tree represents the nation of Israel, which I believe that it does, nor if Jesus meant that this parable is speaking about the rebirth of Israel as a nation, which I do believe also, but to say that the generation which sees these things take place will not pass away until they do take place.  In other words, the generation which sees Israel reborn as a nation (among other things) will not pass away until Jesus comes to take us home and/or His second coming!  So what is a biblical generation in the last days?  Does Jesus mean the rapture of the church or His second coming?  Is it actually the generation alive during the rebirth of Israel as a nation or a generation in length of time from that event?

I don’t have all of the answers my friends, but I can say that the rebirth of Israel as a nation is a pivotal event and does signify the beginning of this end time period.  I also know that this happened in 1948, over 69 years ago.  I have heard that a generation is 70 years however I cannot confirm this. As far as this parable referring to either the rapture of the church or the second coming of Christ, does it really matter?!  I believe that one will precede the other in a relatively short period of time, either way it is the season and this is what truly matters!  The rapture of the church could happen at any time, we have no other prophetic events which must take place for this to happen.  On the other hand there are many, many bible prophecies which must take place prior to the second coming of Christ, events which are specifically laid out in detail in scripture.  Once all of these events take place then we know that the second coming of Jesus Christ is imminent.

And if the rapture of the church is preceded in a short period of time before the second coming of Christ, then we know by all of the signs given to us in scripture that we are living in the season!  We know of wars and rumors of wars which are now taking place, earthquakes in various places, natural disasters, deception at an all time high, increased persecution, society on a downward spiral, pestilence and famine, all now occurring with increased intensity and frequency as a woman giving birth, which I believe are signs that will take place before the rapture of the church.  We also know of wars which will happen, specifically the Ezekiel 38 war, and perhaps the Psalm 83 war, we know that the Antichrist will confirm a covenant with Israel, we know about the Mark of the Beast, the Abomination of Desolation, we also know of the wrath of God upon the world and the saved remnant of Jews during the Tribulation period, all of which must take place before Christ’s second coming.

I have listened to and watched many Christian programs where people ask the question: “Do all of these natural disasters mean that this is the end of the world?”  First of all it is not the “end of the world”, these prophecies represent the end of an “age”, the church age.  They signify the season of Christ’s return not the end of the world.  Second, the earth will in fact see its end, it shall be burned up along with the heavens and all that it contains, but this will not happen until after the one thousand-year rule and reign of Jesus Christ upon the earth.  Then He shall create a new heaven and a new earth, no more remnants of sin, no more evil and wickedness!

Do not be led astray by the signs of the times, do not be fooled into believing that specific biblical prophecies will occur on a specific date!  Watch and discern the times through the Holy Spirit.  Pray for wisdom and understanding.  Seek the good Lord in all that you do, keep the faith, and know that God loves you!

God bless my friends!  Maranatha!

9 thoughts on “Discerning the Signs of the Times!

  1. Thank you for these wise words. It is true and so many will be disappointed because the dates set come and go and nothing appears to have happened and just add fuel to the fire of mockers and scoffers but I do believe that even though Sept 23 was not the Rapture date the Sign in the Heaven on that date was a significant one and so I am watching and waiting now to see what is revealed.

    God bless!

  2. Thanks for your comment Christine!

    And you are welcome my friend! Many will take the predictions of the rapture of the church not happening on September 23 as fuel against the bible, fuel against God Himself! They will turn it into lies and deceptions, and this is the saddest thing of all that many will turn from their faith, many more will turn from seeking God Almighty as their Lord and Savior.

    As believers in Jesus Christ we must discern the spirits and the signs, we must be able to see what God is telling us with wisdom and understanding. We are not to set dates for the coming of our Lord, but we are to know the season, we are commanded to know the season by Jesus Himself! Ours is to seek God in all things, to have faith in His words and promises, to perform His will on earth as it is in Heaven. We are to become more Christ like, to put on Christ, to live for Him and not for ourselves, to take up our cross daily and follow Jesus.

    Watching and waiting for His return is what He expects of us, He is giving us signs, signs of the closeness of His return yet not the date. And why is it that so many believers try to set the date? Why do they do the very thing that Christ told us not to do?! For not even Christ Himself knows the date, only our Father in Heaven.

    The humanity in us causes us to do things that we ought not, it is the flesh which makes us sin, to do the things that we wrestle with on a daily basis. It is a disease of the flesh, the flesh corrupted by sin which we must battle against each day. And then there are the lies and deceptions from the evil one, leading us in the wrong direction, twisting the truth.

    We must all repent of our sins and seek the Lord. We must stop and think with godly wisdom and understanding before we make unwise decisions, before we make any decisions!

    Time is speeding up, not only for the elderly but for every one. The fulfillment of Bible prophecy is unfolding faster than we can blink an eye, we must be awake and aware of everything around us. We shall see many more signs before the second coming of Christ, yet I cannot say that about the rapture of the church, for it could be today or tomorrow. Like you I am eagerly awaiting the coming of our Lord to take us home, to give us a new body, an immortal body, incorruptible, and to forever be with the Lord! Amen.

    God bless! Maranatha!

  3. Hi Gordon,

    If unbelievers take an opportunity to mock believers date setting for the rapture, they have bigger issues to deal with than that. Their mocking would prove that they reject Christ and all His promises for the future of the believer. So what if a believer has a strong inclination towards the rapture happening on a certain date, I don’t think either believer nor non-believer should mock them. In my lifetime Christian believers have been setting dates for the rapture / the end of time / Christ’s return all the time. So What!!!! The people who have been scoffing and mocking all these 50 years, Where are they????? The Christian is still headed to heaven and the mocker is still headed to hell.
    By the way Matthew 25:13 which says “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” This verse nor the context before it has absolutely nothing to do with the “rapture of the church” Hardly no commentators equate this verse with the rapture. IT IS THE COMING OF THE LORD THAT NO MAN KNOWS THE DAY NOR THE HOUR, NOT THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH.

    Sincerely, Maranatha, Ethin

  4. Thanks for your comment Ethin!

    I agree that mockers will continue to mock as they have for years. And I am not speaking about believers who merely have an inclination of when the rapture might happen, but of those who actually set dates, two very different things. Of course we should all be watching and waiting eagerly for the Lord to take us home, but we shouldn’t state as a matter of fact the date.

    Like I stated in the post, no one knows the day or the hour of the rapture or Christ’s second coming. However, those believers who remain on earth during the Tribulation period will have a much better idea of when the Lord is returning for specific prophecies must take place immediately preceding this event (i.e., the Abomination of Desolation, the Mark of the Beast, and Armageddon). The rapture of the church could happen at any time, nothing needs to occur prior, at a time no one knows, like a thief in the night, none of us know when the rapture will take place just as Jesus stated. I haven’t read anywhere in scripture that tells us the day or the hour of the rapture of the church or for that matter Christ’s second coming.

    And although we are never told the date we should know the season, Jesus commanded us to know the season.

    As I also stated in the post, I am not writing to argue, not all of us will agree on the same things, but we should agree that the only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ. This is the most important thing of all!

    God bless! Maranatha!

  5. I can definitely state there is a danger of setting dates for the second coming, generally those who have done this have failed in their predictions. I can also suggest that there are legitimate time prophecies in Scripture, and I’ve produced one such example below. However you may interpret the text, it is in fact predicting that an event will be one thousand two hundred and threescore days in length. I can state with a certainty that none of the legitimate Bible time prophecies ever point to the second coming, as we have already been told by Christ that no man will know the day or the hour. When attempting to calculate and interpret them, that is something that should always be kept in mind. I think it is important to have an awareness and proper interpretation of these legitimate time prophecies in Scripture, because when some one tries to set dates off of something as baseless as the first verse of Revelation 12, they allow you to see right through it.

    “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:” – Revelation 12:1

    “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” – Revelation 12:6

    The first verse of Revelation, which mentions a woman in heaven, says nothing that even remotely brings it close to a time prophecy. If we were to expect it to be such it would say, “unto x-amount of days then such and such will happen.” But this is ultimately why somebody’s style of Bible Study has been ineffective. Rather than allowing Scripture to interpret itself and searching for answers somewhere elsewhere else in the Bible before drawing conclusions, they’ve essentially read something into the Bible which isn’t there. This is what one might call “Eisegesis.”

    There is nothing in Revelation 12:1 that even remotely mentions the rapture of the Church. Granted, one can legitimately come to the conclusion that the term “woman” represents a church in Bible prophecy if we compare with Jeremiah 6:2 for example. However if we’re to believe this is to rapture, why is the church not mentioned as being “caught up”? Where is the Church mentioned as being “taken”? What is up with the sun, moon, and stars? A lot was obviously being read into the text. Not mention Revelation 12:1 in no way looks like a time prophecy at all. This makes me feel like a future post of mine should be a commentary on Revelation 12.

  6. Thanks for your comment eleventhhourworker6!

    Parts of the book of Revelation are not in chronological order, meaning that they are not necessarily in chronological order but used to give definition and explanation of something. I do believe that chapter 12 in the book of Revelation is such, it explains the birth of Israel, the birth of the Messiah through Israel, and the persecution of Israel by Satan.

    I do not believe that this represents the rapture of the church. I believe that Revelation 4, when the apostle John was told to “Come up here” and was immediately in the Spirit, represents the rapture of the church, many may disagree with me, but this is what I believe. This is one of the reasons that I believe the rapture of the church is “Pre-Tribulation”, as the church is not mentioned one time in this book again until chapter 19.

    God bless! Maranatha!

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