Light for the Last Days

Light for the Last Days – January 2020

The Technology Sign

Until relatively recently in human history, if you wanted to travel anywhere in the world, the fastest you could go was the speed of a horse.  If you wanted to send a message anywhere the fastest you could do it was to write it down and give it to someone to carry at the speed of a horse to its destination.  If you wanted to kill people in battle you had to do it one by one with sword, spear or arrow.  

Now we can travel right round the world in one day by plane and cross the average country in a few hours by car or train.  We can send messages instantly anywhere in the world using phones and computers and see what is happening instantly on television in distant countries.  We can kill thousands of people at the press of a button in one moment by missiles launched miles away from their target.  

Technology has made some spectacular advances in our time, many of which have brought great advances to people, giving us possessions, labour saving devices and comfort which previous generations could only have dreamed about.  Advanced medicine has given us better healthcare, giving those who benefit from it longer lives and recovery from diseases which would have shortened our lives in previous generations. Computers and the Internet have opened up an almost unlimited amount of information for us.  

The downside of our technology is the pollution of the environment, the divide between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ and its potential to create the means to enslave us in a technological tyranny or even to destroy the earth.

The Bible gives us some interesting insights into this subject.  According to Daniel 12.1-3 there will be a time of unique trouble on the earth at the end of the age:

‘At that time … there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time.’ 

Daniel 12.1-3

Daniel is then told:

“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” 

Daniel 12.4.

What does this mean?  One interpretation is that there would be a great expanse of time between Daniel giving this prophecy and its fulfilment.  During this time the knowledge of God would increase world wide.

An alternative explanation is that this is a specific sign of what will be happening on earth at the time of the end. There will be an increase in travel (people going ‘to and fro’) and knowledge brought about by the development of technology in the modern world.  

When Daniel wrote these words people usually lived and died in roughly the same place they were born in and few travelled far from home.  This was also the case for most people until recent times. Now people regularly travel large distances within countries and from country to country, for work and pleasure, trade and tourism.  The increase in people going ‘to and fro’ can be also be seen in migration from one country to another as people leave the countries they were born in to travel thousands of miles and settle in another country. This is changing the character of many countries, creating diverse societies which are multi-racial, multi-faith and multi-cultural.  

We can also say that one of the features of our time is an enormous advance in the use of technology, which is increasing exponentially year by year.  As people go ‘to and fro’ and knowledge increases with nations around the world developing technology, we see a new global system emerging. This needs to develop international institutions like the United Nations, the World Bank, the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund and so on.  Meetings of world leaders are needed to facilitate trade and keep the peace between nations. The G7, G20, the EU and other trading blocs of nations, the Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign Relations and the Bilderberg Conference are just some of the institutions bringing the world together.

‘1984’, ‘Brave New World’ or ‘666’?

The advent of computer technology and the Internet has created new ways of bringing nations together.  Information and knowledge are developing so fast that what was the latest piece of equipment a few years ago is already out of date.  Now they are developing quantum computers, able to do calculations, solve problems, get information at millions of times the rate of present computers. Google revealed that its quantum computer took just over three minutes to solve a complex problem that would have taken an ordinary computer 10,000 years. Quantum computers can carry out an almost limitless number of different calculations at the same time, simultaneously sending billions of pieces of information to thousands of different destinations.

Technology has developed new systems for the control of finance and people.  For some time now money has been able to pass from person to person and nation to nation electronically without any need for physical cash.  China has made enormous advances in this area, creating a system which is gradually eliminating cash and making all financial transactions electronic.  Most transactions are made by apps on mobile phones, which are also needed to access the Internet. The government is now monitoring mobile phone and Internet usage to pick up any comments critical of the regime and also use of certain phrases which they may consider incriminating.  One such phrase is ‘Almighty God’ showing how the system can be used to track Christians.  

The government has also brought in a requirement that mobile phone users submit facial scans in order to use them.  The scans are then fed into its security system, allowing people to be tracked wherever they go. 

The surveillance state. Camera's everywhere can pick out a face from the crowd.

China now has more than 170 million hi tech security cameras able to pick a single face out of a crowd, creating a mega-surveillance state, that reminds us of George Orwell’s novel of the future ‘1984’ –  ‘Big Brother is watching you.’  This is linked to a computerised biometric ID system able to monitor people’s movement and actions, and see whether they are behaving in the way the state wants them to behave.  Information about their personality, habits, opinions and contacts is fed into a system called the Credit Score. This can then be used to prevent people who have the wrong opinions (according to the ruling Communist Party) from being able to buy certain things and to be able to travel. This sounds like the first stages of the 666 system of Revelation 13 described later in this article.

China is exporting this technology around the world.  Huawei, a company controlled by the Chinese government, is the world’s leading telecom-equipment manufacturer and is fast becoming the world’s 5G provider. With speeds 2,000 times faster than existing 4G networks, 5G will permit near-universal connectivity to homes, vehicles, machines, robots, and everything plugged into the Internet of Things (IoT).  Whoever controls this will be in a position to control the world. 

Jamie Metzl gives another way this can be used in his book called ‘Hacking Darwin, Genetic engineering and the future of humanity’. He wrote: ‘Humanity is poised to take a huge leap forward, as a convergence of next-gen technologies combine to give us unprecedented power over our own biology as we learn how to interpret information discovered in our genetic make up through study of the human genome.  Add this to the huge leap forward that 5G connectivity and the Internet of Things will bring to our ability process massive amounts of information and we have a way in which humans can merge with machines and technology. This can provide enormous amounts of information about people’s health over the years, as wearable health analysis devices begin to stream back colossal piles of dynamic data about what’s going on in people’s bodies. The speed and power of quantum computing will prove invaluable in quickly crunching through these petabytes (10 power of 15 of digital data) of data. 

He says ‘The dawn of a new age of superhumans could nearly be upon us. Humanity will begin steering its own evolution for the first time in history … Humanity is poised to take a huge leap forward, as a convergence of next-generation technologies combine to give us unprecedented power over our own biology.  A new way of editing the code of life (the human genome) could correct 89% of the errors in DNA that cause disease.  The technology, called prime editing, has been described as a “genetic word processor” able to accurately re-write the genetic code.

Metzl proposes that this could be used in pre-selecting embryos for birth and in effect creating super humans.  He says: ‘Next – and soon, we’ll start seeing advanced embryo selection as a core part of any IVF treatment. Prospective parents will start having multiple specimens of their own biological embryos to choose from, each of which will have its genome fully sequenced so they’ll be able to choose between offspring with a growing amount of information.  

He says that as a result of this ‘new age of superhumans’ a lucky, selected, edited few will have extraordinary genetic potentials in a wide range of areas. ‘Humanity will begin steering its own evolution for the first time in history, with some predictable results and some we can’t see coming.’  This sounds like the ‘Brave New World’ of Aldous Huxley’s fantasy of the future written in 1931, in which humans are created in test tubes with the ‘alpha’ humans ruling over the lesser breeds. 

Already there are warnings of the dangers of such things.  Britt Gillette has written a book ‘Racing toward Armageddon – Why advanced technology signals the end times’ in which he proposes that the antichrist will use AI (Artificial Intelligence) to come to power.  He refers to the ‘transhumanist movement’, which is looking to link the body up to machines / computers. He writes, ‘Many people believe this will lead to the emergence of ‘post biological humans.’ These are people who are able to use technology to ‘upgrade’ their bodies, increasing their brain power and physical ability to exceed anything a person of today can imagine.  The end result? A human race with abilities far in excess of what we see today, they appear god-like.’ Interestingly in 2017 Russian President Putin said, ‘Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.’  Will the coming antichrist link into this kind of technology to dazzle humanity with his powers, as he takes his orders from the devil?

When humans start playing God, it is time for God to start winding up the present trajectory of human endeavour, before our fallen human race does something truly too horrific to remedy.  What could come out of this race of superhumans? A demonic entity indwelt by the power of antichrist? In the days of Noah the race of giants / Nephilim came into existence through demonic activity interfering with normal reproduction, one of the causes of the Flood being necessary to bring an end to that generation.

Advanced technology to fulfil biblical prophecy.

Interestingly there are things written in the book of Revelation which could use advanced technology to come to pass.  In Revelation 11 we read about the two witnesses who prophesy in Jerusalem and are killed by the Antichrist at the midpoint of the tribulation period.  The text says,

‘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.’

Revelation 11.9-10.

The implication is that people around the world will witness an event taking place in Jerusalem, which was previously dismissed as impossible for obvious reasons.  Now we can see events taking place around the world by television and connected media.

In Revelation 13 we have the famous 666 passage:

‘And he (the false prophet) deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.  He was granted power  to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.  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.’ 

Revelation 13.14-18.

The creation of an image which can talk would have been inconceivable to someone living at the time when John wrote the Revelation.  The Bible speaks of idols as works of men’s hands that

have mouths, but they do not speak; eyes they have, but they do not see.’ 

Psalm 115.4-6.

But in today’s world most people spend hours every day in front of an image that speaks – a TV screen, a computer screen or their mobile phones.  Modern technology is also creating the possibility of a hologram being created which can transport an image which can speak to different places. In 2014 Turkish leader Erdogan sent a giant hologram of himself to speak at a meeting in Izmir in Turkey.  Will Guyatt, Tech Correspondent for LBC Radio, said: “I’m pretty sure that in 30 years time we will be talking to holograms of friends and colleagues. These will appear from projectors, headsets or small devices and appear in front of us in our rooms.” Using such devices the Antichrist could speak directly to people all over the world appearing at the same time in many places.

When John wrote Revelation buying and selling was done by coins or barter and it was impossible to imagine any kind of system whereby you could use a number or a mark on a person’s body to do this.  Today it is not so hard to imagine. The technology now exists to put everyone on a database using biometric ID systems able to identify them. Cash is being replaced by credit cards or mobile phone apps which have a number unique to the person they belong to.   Many governments are issuing ID cards to the population to enable the bearer of the card to be identified correctly, especially in relation to financial transactions.  

Cards and phones have the disadvantage that they can be lost, stolen or broken.  One way round this is ‘wearable’ technology. Already RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags have been developed that can transmit identifying information by using a microchip inserted under the skin or a device tattooed onto the skin.  These could be used in financial transactions. We cannot say for certain that this is how the mark of the beast system will work, but it is remarkable that advanced technology is developing a means of buying and selling without cash through a number on a microchip.  If an antichrist government issued such an ID it could also withhold it from those it wished to suppress, thus preventing them from being able to buy and sell. This would bring in the kind of system prophesied in Revelation 13.

The man in the picture is paying for his rail ticket in
Sweden through an implanted microchip

The Tower of Babel and the intervention of God.

How far humanity will get with this remains to be seen.  This is one more reason why God intends to ‘cut short’ this generation with the events of the Great Tribulation and the Second Coming to the earth of Jesus Christ.  In Genesis 11 God prevented the Tower of Babel from being completed by scattering the human race and dividing their tongues so they could no longer act as one.

The Tower of Babel is a symbol of human beings creating a world in defiance of God to glorify themselves and their achievements.  God’s response is to say

‘Indeed the people are one and they have all one language and this is what they begin to do, now nothing they propose to do will be withheld from them.  Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the  Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.’

Genesis 11.1-9.

Today we see advanced technology making the people as one, able to communicate through a universal world computer system with its own language.  The phrase ‘Nothing they propose to do will be withheld from them’ speaks of the enormous ability of humanity to unlock the secrets of the universe and develop the kind of technology we have seen taking place in our time.  In the hands of sinful human beings such technology can be used for evil as well as good. At the Tower of Babel God moved in to prevent this from happening. Now we see our new Babel emerging as ‘knowledge increases’. Soon God will step in to bring an end to ‘Babylon the Great’ with the events of the Great Tribulation and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Revelation 18).  (Note Babel is the same word as Babylon in Hebrew).

This age will come to an end with Jesus returning a King of kings and Lord of lords, with all the power of God at His disposal to put right the mess which humans have made of the planet God gave us to look after.  Following His return there will be a wonderful clean up operation of the polluted earth and a return to a sustainable environmentally friendly society in which the Lord rules and the people are blessed with peace and abundance.

‘They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.’ 

Isaiah 11.9.  

‘And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be—“The Lord is one,” and His name one.’ 

Zechariah 14.9.  

‘Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Messiah / Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” 

Revelation 11.15.

The World in Trouble.

What should we tell them?

A spirit of unrest is sweeping the world causing protests and disorder from east to west.  Months of protests in Hong Kong have brought violent disorder to the prosperous trading hub between China and the West as demonstrators and police confront each other.  In South America protests have brought down the president in Bolivia, while Ecuador, Chile, Colombia and Haiti are experiencing citizen uprisings that are virtually unprecedented in recent history, ushering vast numbers of people into the streets.  The Middle East has again seen large scale protests against governments in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran.  

In Europe Barcelona has erupted in violent demonstrations over the issue of Catalan independence. France has been hit with another wave of strikes and demonstrations all over the country, while hundreds of thousands have protested against the Czech government in Prague.  There have been mass protests around the world about the environment, many involving school children with some of the biggest action on this front taking place in Britain.

The unrest is mainly driven by young people angry at the economic, social and ecological crisis they find themselves in.  They are protesting against governments which they see as corrupt or ignoring their concerns. The trigger point of many of these disturbances has been price rises and economic hardship.  Many economists are predicting a global financial crisis to hit the world in 2020, which would make the economic situation much worse and lead to more unrest. The other big issue which will not go away is the environment.  Scientists are warning that key tipping points that will lead to catastrophic climate change have already been reached as natural disasters increase on the earth (see Signs of the Times). 

Global unrest ties in with the conditions in the world prophesied in the Bible for the end of days.  For example Jeremiah 25.32 says

‘Disaster shall go forth from nation to nation and a great tempest is stirring from the ends of the earth.’ 

Jeremiah 25.32

In the Hebrew prophets there are a number of such passages which deal with the events leading up to the Day of the Lord, corresponding to New Testament prophecies about the days before the return of the Messiah Jesus.  Both agree that in the days before the Day of the Lord and the Second Coming of Messiah there will be an unprecedented time of trouble on the earth. For examples see Isaiah 24, Jeremiah 25.30-33, Ezekiel 38-9, Daniel 12.1-4, Joel 2-3, Zechariah 12-14.  In the New Testament Jesus said it would be

as in the days of Noah and Lot

Luke 17.22-30

These were days when catastrophic judgement hit the world. Jesus described a time of tribulation unlike any that has been before which would result in the end of life on earth if God did not cut it short (Matthew 24.21-22). 

This theme is taken up in Paul’s letters in 2 Thessalonians 2, 2 Timothy 3, in 2 Peter 3.  It is the subject of most of the Book of Revelation from chapter 6-19, beginning with the four horsemen of the apocalypse riding out to bring false peace, war, famine and death (chapter 6), going through the rise to power of the Beast or Antichrist (chapter 13) and reaching its climax in the last battle (Armageddon Revelation 16.12-16) and the physical return of the Lord Jesus to take up His reign on earth as King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19-20).

Why don’t most churches preach on this subject?

Apart from the message of the Gospel there is more space devoted to this subject in the Bible than almost any other.  You would think therefore that the message of the Lord’s return and its relevance to the days we live in would be going out from all the churches in the land.  In fact one of the most common comments I get from readers of this magazine, or people who attend meetings where I speak on this subject around the country is ‘We never hear anything about this in our church.’

Now the end begins is a similar ministry to Light for the Last Days based in the USA

Why is this?  There are a number of reasons.  Here are some of them.

  1. Many Christians today have only a very limited knowledge of the Bible, do not read most of it and do not believe the supernatural parts of it.  In particular what the Bible says about the beginning and the end (Genesis and Revelation) is not taught in churches or accepted as true or relevant.
  2. Some theologians teach that the passages we attribute to the last days before the second coming of Christ (in particular the Olivet Discourse, Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21), were fulfilled in the events of the fall of Jerusalem and the Temple and the dispersion of the Jewish people in AD70.  This is known as the Preterist view.
  3. Some churches are afraid that if they bring up this subject it will lead to division in the church, particularly over the timing of the event of 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17: ‘For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.’ Arguments over whether this event happens before, in the middle of, or at the end of the Great Tribulation period can become quite sharp. Pastors don’t want such arguments coming into their churches so avoid the subject altogether.
  4. Some prophecy teachers make false predictions concerning the timing of the Lord’s return or what is about to come.  When these fail to happen people become disillusioned and dismiss the whole idea of the Second Coming and the relevance of Bible prophecy.
  5. Much of the church has its own agenda on how to put the world right which leaves out the possibility of the return of Jesus Christ.

For the record Light for the Last Days does have a point of view on these issues.

  1. We believe the Bible is true from Genesis to Revelation.  God set the world in motion when He created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1.1) and He remains engaged in the world He created. He will intervene in the events of the last days and bring a total change to how the world is governed in the 1000 year reign of the Messiah Jesus on earth in the Millennium (Isaiah 2, Revelation 20) after which the world will end and God will create the new heavens and new earth (2 Peter 3.10-13, Revelation 21-2).
  2. We accept that some elements of the Olivet Discourse were fulfilled in AD 70. For example Luke 21.20-24 prophesies the Roman siege of Jerusalem, the fall of the Temple and the dispersion of the Jewish people into the nations.  This was a partial fulfilment of the prophecy but most of it has yet to be fulfilled in the events of the last days. Nothing like the physical return of the Lord Jesus Christ took place in AD 70 so prophecies like this must take place in the future, not 1950 years ago: ‘Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.’ Matthew 24.30.  See also Revelation 19.11-16.  
  3. We do believe the view that the rapture of the church will happen before the tribulation begins and is the ‘blessed hope’ of the church.  This means it could happen imminently at any time. At the same time we do not wish to quarrel or fall out with people who hold a post tribulation view but to work together to proclaim the message of the Gospel which alone can save us from the wrath to come.  
  4. We will never attempt to set a date for the return of the Lord, something He has told us not to do.  ‘But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.’  Matthew 24.36. However we do believe that current events are moving the world in the direction of the Lord’s return and therefore are relevant to our preaching of the Bible in today’s world.  

Number 5 on this list is a big issue.  We will look at two of the alternative views on how the church should respond to the present world situation.

1. Social Action to save the world.

Leading the charge on this programme is Pope Francis, who wants the church to save the world through political action.  On September 18th, he called for a supranational, legally constituted body to enforce United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and implement “climate change” policies. He wants this body to deal with “the great contemporary challenges of climate change, new slavery and peace.” The Pope has said that the world needs a different kind of economy, “one that cares for the environment and does not despoil it.” Reading between the lines the pope’s call is for nations to surrender their powers to a central authority, the UN, in order to deal with climate change, population control and refugees.  The pope says this should become a ‘legally constituted authority’ able to manage the affairs of member nations. In plain English this is a world government.  

He called on young people to be ‘protagonists of this transformation .. to cultivate together the dream of a new humanism that goes beyond religion to engage all people, whether or not they believe in God.’  He proposed, is “a common ‘covenant,’ a process of global change. One in which not only believers but all men and women of good will, beyond differences of creed and nationality, can participate, inspired by an ideal of fraternity attentive above all to the poor and excluded.”   Though the Pope is the head of an allegedly Christian church, he wants to change the world through a religion based on faith in humanity (humanism) not faith in God through Jesus Christ. He wants this to go beyond ‘differences of creed and nationality’, therefore Christians should not try to bring people of other faiths to believe the Gospel. 

This Pope has become increasingly aggressive in his efforts to foster unity among the various major religions of the world.  In November he held a much publicised meeting with Thailand’s supreme Buddhist patriarch Somdej Phra Maha Muneewong in front of a 150-year-old gold statue of Buddha.  The Pope removed his shoes as a sign of respect for the Buddhist temple.  He also brought a gift for the Buddhist patriarch. It was a copy of a document entitled “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” which the Pope and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the most important representative of Sunni Islam, both signed in Abu Dhabi last February.  

“Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” sounds like an innocent title, but it is actually a loose blueprint for uniting the various religions of the world. At one point in the document it specifically says that the fact that there is such a diversity of religions in the world has been “willed by God in His wisdom”.  In other words, this document is saying that God is pleased with all of the religions of the world and that they exist because it was His will for them to do so and that they all lead to God and heaven.

The Pope is on record as saying that ‘proselytism (evangelism) is the strongest poison against the ecumenical path.’ He has called ‘fundamentalists’ a ‘scourge’. By fundamentalists he means those Christians who believe in the historical accuracy of the Bible, including the Genesis account of Creation, the miracles of the Bible, the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, His atoning death for the sins of the world and bodily resurrection and the hope of His physical return at the second coming.  The Pope denies the need for the Gospel to be preached by saying that God’s love for the world means that people are already redeemed without having to commit their lives to the Lord Jesus by repenting and believing the Gospel: ‘We are all children of God redeemed through the blood of Christ … even the atheists. We all have a duty to do good.’ (Homily on May 22nd 2013 in the chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae.)  

Jesus told His disciples to go into all the world and preach the Gospel (Matthew 28.18-20) and that there is only one way of salvation through repentance and faith in Him.  ‘I am the way, the truth, the life and no one comes to the Father but by Me.’ John 14.6. In fact the pope is promoting the antichrist world religion prophesied in Revelation 17 and described as ‘Babylon the Great, mother of harlots and abominations on the earth.’ 

Not only the pope is promoting this, but much of the professing Protestant Church.  The bishops of the Church of England rarely if ever speak up for the Gospel or defend the authority of the Bible as the Word of God. Mostly they speak out on politically correct causes, campaigning for diversity issues, social equality and climate change.  They have no problem with the homosexual and transsexual agenda which is being imposed on our society, nor will they defend Christians who are in trouble for saying that this agenda goes against Bible teaching. They bend their message to the will of progressive liberals who deny biblical teaching on marriage, sexuality and what it means to be male or female.

A report into churches in the UK, Holy Alliances: Church-secular partnerships for social good has found that many churches in the UK are working with secular agencies to try to change society.  This means moving away from preaching a personal faith in Jesus Christ to a more community-based faith; from ‘preaching the good news’ and ‘saving souls’ to ‘the social gospel’ and ‘transforming communities’.”  The main barrier to this activity is what the report calls ‘coercive forms of faith-sharing’, in other words Christians who want to preach the Gospel.

There is nothing wrong with churches helping in social action programmes dealing with poverty, loneliness and asylum problems.  The problem is that these then become substitutes for evangelism into the community. This then reduces Christianity to a social work programme with no evangelism and no distinctive message of salvation to bring to the world.  In this kind of church, the idea that Jesus is going to return to save the world and that we need to repent and believe the Gospel to be ready for this event is totally rejected.

2. Signs and wonders, taking the world for Jesus.

Another reason why many churches reject our view of the second coming is the idea that the church is going to save the world before Jesus returns, through a great revival accompanied by signs and wonders done through apostles and prophets.  The New Apostolic Reformation teaches that we need a new reformation which will bring in the government of God on the earth. This movement believes that God has restored Apostles and Prophets to govern the church. These men and women claim to have God given authority, divine strategies and miraculous powers to advance God’s earthly kingdom so that Christ can return.  The return of Christ is seen as happening after they have turned the world back to God in what they call the ‘Dominion Mandate.’  They say that God gave Adam dominion over the earth, but he lost it to Satan and now it is our job to take it back.  When we have done this Jesus will return.  

They say the church must submit to modern day apostles and prophets whom God has appointed to advance his kingdom.  This will be done through ‘spiritual warfare’ and taking control of the world system in what they call the ‘Seven Mountain Mandate.’  Spiritual warfare involves identifying ‘territorial spirits’, demonic entities that rule over certain geographical areas and casting them out by prayer and fasting.  When that has been done, people who live in that region will respond to the Gospel and be freed from sinful strongholds, like witchcraft, lust and greed. The message preached will be with an emphasis on signs and wonders convincing people to believe, rather than calling sinners to repent and believe the Gospel.  This will pave the way for Christians to take over the world system by ‘Reclaiming the 7 mountains.’ These ‘mountains’ are identified as ‘business, government, family, religion, media, education, entertainment.’ When these centres of influence and power are in the hands of Christians then the world will be converted and after this Jesus can return.

This message contradicts what the Bible says in relation to the last days and what we can see taking place already in the world.  The ‘seven mountains’ they refer to (business, government, family, religion, media, education, entertainment) are mostly in the hands of antichrist forces already and these will increase their control over world affairs in the days before Jesus returns.  Most of the claims of signs and wonders made by those promoting this movement turn out to be false. In the book of Acts signs and wonders followed the preaching of the Gospel, which was a call to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In this movement signs and wonders are supposed to precede the Gospel message and cause people to turn to Christ.  

The idea that there is a new breed of apostles being raised up to create a new reformation for our day is also a delusion.  This leads to certain people being treated as little gods themselves with enormous power over their followers. Coupled with the phony health and wealth doctrine many of these people become enormously rich as they tell their followers that God will bless them if they give large sums of money to the church.  

According to the New Testament the Apostles were firstly the 12 disciples of Jesus who were eye witnesses of His earthly ministry and resurrection. Judas was replaced by Matthias according to Acts 1.15-26.  Paul was added, calling himself an ‘apostle untimely born’, after the risen Lord appeared to him on the Damascus road and appointed him to preach the Gospel (Acts 9, 1 Corinthians 9.1, 15.7-8). No more of these kind of Apostles can be added to the church for the obvious reason that no one today can witness the earthly ministry or the resurrected appearance of the Lord Jesus.  The other use of the word apostle, which means ‘sent one’, applies to those who went out with the Gospel message (Acts 14.4, Romans 16.7, 1 Corinthians 12.28, Ephesians 4.11). This can be used of a missionary sent out to preach the Gospel throughout the church age and does not imply any special status in the church.  

Those who believe this revival is coming generally reject the prophetic teaching that this age will end with the time of the great tribulation and the Antichrist in control of the world government.  They believe the church has to rule before Jesus returns not the powers of darkness. In answer to this we say, just look around you and see what is happening in the real world and you have to recognise the world is going towards antichrist not Jesus Christ. 

A future and a hope.

The one interpretation of scripture which gives us hope and a future in this present evil world is the message of the second coming of Christ.  The world today is like a sinking ship, with many holes letting the water in. The only hope for those on the ship is to get onto the lifeboat of salvation through repentance and faith in Jesus the Messiah.  It is already too late to save the ship, either by the social action of the Pope and those like him, or the revivalism of the New Apostolic Reformation.  

Today’s events are unprecedented.  We see Israel back in the land, threatened by her enemies with destruction, the status of Jerusalem an issue on the world stage, nations in uproar and confusion, social and environmental collapse all around us, a huge increase in technology and progress towards the antichrist system of Revelation 13.  We cannot stop the things prophesied in the Bible from happening, but w befoe can tell people how they can be saved from the judgement to come. Now is the time to repent and believe Gospel so that we can be ready for the coming of the Lord:

‘For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.’ 

1 Thessalonians 4.16-17.

‘For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.’ 

Matthew 24.21-22

‘Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.’ 

Luke 21.27-28.

The Prophecies of the Messiah.

The Bible is a unique book because it contains so many prophecies which have been fulfilled, as well as giving us information about the days to come. The fact that so many prophecies have already been fulfilled by events in the past is a sure sign that the future prophecies of the Bible will happen. These prophecies are not just vague predictions of events to come, but very specific in their nature.  The most important of them concern the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus / Yeshua ha Mashiach. 

We reproduce here a section from my Messiah Factor book, also available on our website http://messiahfactor.com.  This lists the prophecies in the Hebrew Bible which Jesus fulfilled at His first coming and those which He will fulfil at His Second Coming. There are many who dispute our interpretation of these prophecies and so I have given answers to some of these objections which you will find in the references to this website in this article.  If you do not have access to the Internet, contact us and we will send you a printed version of these articles.

Prophecies about the Messiah which have been already fulfilled.

Messiah to be born in Bethlehem:

Prophecy: ‘But as for you Bethlehem Ephratah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to me the one to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.’  Micah 5.2 (5.1 in the Jewish Bible).

Fulfilment: ‘Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king …. And when he (Herod) had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.  So they said to him, “In Bethlehem, for thus it is written by the prophet.”’  

See Matthew 2.1-6 and Luke 2.1-20.

For more details go to http://messiahfactor.com/the-birth-of-the-messiah 

Messiah to be born of a virgin:

Prophecy: ‘Therefore behold the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call His name Immanuel.’ Isaiah 7.14

Fulfilment: ‘Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. … An angel of the Lord appeared to him (Joseph) in a dream saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.  And she shall bring forth a son and you shall call His name Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew, meaning salvation) for He will save His people from their sins. So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”  Matthew 1.18-25

For answers to objections to the translation of Isaiah 7.14 as ‘virgin’ and issues concerning the virgin birth go to our article ‘Can we believe in the Virgin Birth? Can we believe in the virgin birth?

Messiah to be a Son who is also the Mighty God:

Prophecy: ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder and His name will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’  Isaiah 9.6

Fulfilment: ‘The Lord will come upon you (Mary) and the power of the Highest will overshadow you, therefore also that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.’ Luke 1.35.

For issues concerning the divinity of the Messiah go to our article http://messiahfactor.com/messiah-a-great-man-or-a-divine-person 

Messiah to preach the good news with a ministry of miracles:

Prophecy: ‘The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of prison to those who are bound.’  Isaiah 61.1

Fulfilment: ‘Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.’  Matthew 9.35.  See also Luke 4.16-21

Messiah to teach in parables:

Prophecy: ‘I will open my mouth in a parable.’  Psalm 78.2

Fulfilment: ‘All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; without a parable He did not speak to them.’  Matthew 13.34

Messiah to be a light to the Gentiles:

Prophecy: ‘I will also give you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be my salvation to the ends of the earth.’  Isaiah 49.6.  Note ‘my salvation’ in Hebrew is Yeshuati = my Yeshua / Jesus.  

Fulfilment: ‘My eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel.’  Luke 2.31-2.  See also Matthew 28.18-20 and Acts 13.47-8.

Messiah to enter Jerusalem on a donkey:

Prophecy: ‘Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion! Shout O daughter of Jerusalem!  Behold your king is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, a foal of a donkey.’  Zechariah 9.9

Fulfilment: ‘All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.’” … So they brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them and set Him on them.  And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road.’ Matthew 21.1-11

Messiah to be rejected and sacrificed:

Prophecy: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. … Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.’  Psalm 118.22, 27. 

Fulfilment: ‘Jesus began to show the disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and the chief priests and scribes and be killed and be raised the third day.’ Matthew 16.21 

Messiah to be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver:

Prophecy: ‘So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.  And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter” – that princely sum they set on me.  So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord for the potter.’  Zechariah 11.12-13

Fulfilment: ‘Then one of the twelve called Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?’  And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.’  Matthew 26.14-5.  See also Matthew 27.3-10.

For more information on Judas go to Betrayal of Jesus by Judas

Messiah to be forsaken by His disciples:

Prophecy: ‘Awake O sword against my shepherd, against the man who is my companion,’ says the Lord of hosts.  ‘Strike the Shepherd and the sheep will be scattered.’  Zechariah 13.7

Fulfilment: ‘Then they all forsook Him and fled.’  Mark 14.50

Messiah to be dumb before His accusers:

Prophecy: ‘He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth.’  Isaiah 53.7

Fulfilment: ‘And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing.’ Matthew 27.12

Messiah to be mocked:

Prophecy: ‘All those who see me ridicule me; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, “He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; let Him deliver Him since He delights in Him.”’  Psalm 22.7-8

Fulfilment: ‘Likewise the chief priests also mocking with the scribes and elders said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.  If He is the King of Israel let Him now come down from the cross and we will believe in Him.  He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now.”’  Matthew 27.41-43

Messiah to die by crucifixion:

Prophecy: ‘They pierced my hands and feet.’  Psalm 22.18.

‘They shall look on me whom they have pierced.’  Zechariah 12.10

Fulfilment: ‘And when they had taken Him to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him.’ Luke 23.33

For a study of Psalm 22 and this translation of verse 18 as ‘they pierced my hands and feet’ go to our article http://messiahfactor.com/psalm-22 

Messiah to bear the sin of the world.

Prophecy:  ‘All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.’  Isaiah 53.6.

Fulfilment:  ‘For Christ / Messiah also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit. 1 Peter 3.18.

Messiah to make intercession for His persecutors:

Prophecy: ‘He bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors.’ Isaiah 53.12

Fulfilment: ‘Then Jesus said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”’ Luke 23.34

Messiah’s bones not to be broken:

Prophecy: ‘He guards all His bones.  Not one of them is broken.’  Psalm 34.20.  See also Exodus 12.46, Numbers 9.22

Fulfilment: ‘But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead they did not break His legs.  … For these things were done that the scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.”’  John 19.33, 36

Messiah to be buried in a rich man’s tomb:

Prophecy: ‘And they made His grave with the wicked, but with the rich at His death.’  Isaiah 53.9

Fulfilment: ‘Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had become a disciple of Jesus.  This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.  Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him.  When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb and he departed.’  Matthew 27.57-60

For issues relating to Messiah’s suffering and its connection to Isaiah 53 go to our articles 

http://messiahfactor.com/the-suffering-servant-of-isaiah-53   http://messiahfactor.com/atonement-sacrifices-and-blood 
Crucifixion accounts

Messiah to rise again from the dead:

Prophecy: ‘For you will not leave my soul in Sheol (the place of the dead), nor will you allow your holy one to see corruption. You will show me the path of life.’ Psalm 69.10-11

‘For He was cut off from the land of the living. … When you make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days.’  Isaiah 53.8, 10

Fulfilment: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here but is risen!” Luke 24.5-6  

‘(Jesus)  presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.’  Acts 1.3

‘Christ / Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.’  1 Corinthians 15.3-4

For issues relating to the resurrection accounts in the New Testament go to http://messiahfactor.com/resurrection-accounts 

The message of salvation through Messiah to go into all the world:

Prophecy: ‘Look to me and be saved all you ends of the earth!  For I am God and there is no other. I have sworn by myself; the word has gone out in righteousness and shall not return, that to me every knee shall bow.’  Isaiah 45.22-3

Fulfilment:  And Jesus came and spoke to them saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo I am with you always even unto the end of the age.’  Matthew 28.18-20.

Conclusion concerning prophecies of the Messiah’s first coming.

Some Bible scholars suggest there are more than 300 prophetic Scriptures completed in the life of Jesus. Circumstances such as his birthplace, lineage, and method of execution were beyond His control and could not have been accidentally or deliberately fulfilled.

In the book ‘Science Speaks’, Peter Stoner and Robert Newman discuss the statistical improbability of one man, whether accidentally or deliberately, fulfilling just eight of the prophecies Jesus fulfilled. The chance of this happening, they say, is 1 in 1017. That is 1 in 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000.

Stoner gives an illustration that helps visualize the magnitude of such odds: ‘Suppose that we take 1017 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas (Texas is roughly the same area as France, over twice the size of the British Isles, including Ireland). They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up just one silver dollar and this must be the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote using their own wisdom.  The mathematical improbability of 300, or 44, or even just eight fulfilled prophesies of Jesus stands as evidence to his messiahship and to the inspiration of the Bible as the Word of God.

Prophecies of the second coming of Messiah

There are also Messianic prophecies which have not yet been fulfilled.  These are associated with the Second Coming of Jesus. Here are some of them.

A time of unparalleled trouble to precede the Day of the Lord:  

Old Testament prophecy. ‘At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that time.’  Daniel 12.1

New Testament parallel.  ‘For then there will be great tribulation such as has never been since the beginning of the world until this time, no nor ever shall be.’  Matthew 24.21

Focal point of this time of trouble to be Jerusalem:

Old Testament prophecy. ‘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 12.3

New Testament parallel.  ‘But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies then know that its desolation is near. … Jerusalem will be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.’  Luke 21.20-24

Nations to be gathered for the final battle:

Old Testament prophecy.  ‘Assemble and come all you nations, and gather together all around.  Cause your mighty ones to come down there, O Lord.  Let the nations be wakened and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat’ (Hebrew word means ‘The Lord judges’).  Joel 3.11-16

New Testament parallel.  ‘For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to battle of that great day of God Almighty. … And they gathered them together in the place called in Hebrew Armageddon.’  Revelation 16.14-16

Messiah to come in the clouds of heaven:

Old Testament prophecy.  ‘I was watching in the night visions, and behold one like the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven!’  Daniel 7.13

New Testament parallel.  ‘Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.’  Matthew 24.30

Messiah to be visible as one who has been pierced:

Old Testament prophecy.  ‘And I will pour on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on me whom they pierced and mourn for Him as one mourns for His only son and grieve for Him as one grieves for a first born.’  Zechariah 12.10

New Testament parallel.  ‘Behold He is coming with the clouds and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him.  And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.’  Revelation 1.7

The wicked to flee from the coming of the Lord:

Old Testament prophecy.  ‘In that day a man will cast away his idols … to go into the clefts of the rocks and into the crags of the rugged rocks from the terror of the Lord and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily.’  Isaiah 2.20-21

New Testament parallel.  ‘And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb.”’  Revelation 6.15-6

Messiah to come to the Mount of Olives:

Old Testament prophecy.  ‘Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations as He fights in the day of battle.  And His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives which faces Jerusalem on the east.’  Zechariah 14.2-3

New Testament parallel. ‘“Men of Galilee why do you stand gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”  Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount called Olivet (Mount of Olives).’  Acts 1.11-12

The Lord to establish righteousness and peace on the earth. 

Old Testament prophecy.  ‘Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people. They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore (Isaiah 2.2-4).’

New Testament parallel: ‘Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.  He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years … so that he should deceive the nations no more … Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Messiah and shall reign with Him a thousand years.’ Revelation 20.1-6 (extracts)

Israel to be saved and blessed of the Lord in the midst of the nations:

Old Testament prophecy.  ‘In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts shall bless saying, “Blessed is Egypt my people and Assyria the work of my hands and Israel my inheritance.’ Isaiah 19.24-25

New Testament parallel.  ‘And so all Israel will be saved as it is written: ‘The deliverer will come out of Zion and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.’  Romans 11.26-7, quoting Isaiah 59.20.

Following the Millennial reign of Messiah on earth, God to create new heavens and a new earth:

Old Testament prophecy.  ‘For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before me,’ says the Lord so shall your descendants and your name remain.’  Isaiah 66.22

New Testament parallel. ‘Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. … And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they will be His people.  God Himself will be with them and be their God.”’  Revelation 21.1-4 (extracts).

For more on this go to our booklet ‘Messiah, Israel and the end of days.’ http://messiahfactor.com/messiah-israel-and-the-end-of-days 

Conclusion.

Just as the first coming prophecies were literally fulfilled, so the Second Coming prophecies will be literally fulfilled.  At His Second Coming Jesus will judge the world in righteousness according to how we have responded to the message of His first coming.  Jesus / Yeshua is the Messiah who died for our sins at the cross and rose again to give eternal life to all who repent and believe the Gospel.  The same Jesus will come again, this time as the Reigning King with all the power of God at His disposal to put right the mess humans have made of the world He gave us to look after.  Now is the time to be ready for this coming event. Believe on the Lord Jesus the Messiah and you will be saved! Acts 16.31.

Tony Pearce

Tony Pearce

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