‘But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come’ 2 Tm 3:1
Many, if not most, Christians believe that we are living in the ‘end times’ just preceding the return of Jesus Christ. The signs are too globally evident for any discerning Bible believer to overlook them or take them lightly. What are the most obvious of these ‘signs of the end times’ today?
Perhaps the most observable changes on the earth today are those related to the climate. Earth’s weather patterns – which have remained basically unchanged since the Flood of Noah’s time – have turned so ominous in recent times that obscure and even normally obdurate nations are giving their full attention to doing something to avert the consequences of climate change.
Personally, I am experiencing in my native land today a monsoon season gone awry. Ever since I can remember from childhood, until about three or four years ago, the monsoon was a very predictable event in the lives of the people of my country. Schools in the state where I live reopen for the new academic year on the first working day of June. As kids prepare to leave their homes on the first day, the skies too begin their preparation for the new season. And as the students leave their homes for school, the monsoon breaks heavily upon them. If it didn’t on school reopening day, then surely it fell on the kids the next day, but rarely beyond that.
Now the monsoon comes whenever it does and has no relation whatever to school reopening day. There may be sporadic rains one or two months before June and for a few months after that. Gone are the heavy downpours that used to last for hours at a stretch. Gone is the systematic annual flooding of the roads, stopping all traffic for several days, from the overflowing river nearby.
What’s happening to the climate in my native land is a minor inconvenience compared to what’s happening to weather patterns on a global scale. All governments now know that drastic steps have to be taken if they want to escape the worldwide calamities arising from the greenhouse effect.
The tsunami of 2004 December was probably the greatest flood, in terms of its global scope and of the lives it took, since the days of Noah. And that tsunami, in which over 225,000 people perished, was just a beginning.
It is not just the prophecy preachers who are predicting more tsunamis and other calamities around the world. Some time ago, a group of scientists researching the changing climate’s effects on geological hazards met at a conference on Climate Forcing of Geological and Geomorphological Hazards in London. The researchers predicted more frequent and violent earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and tsunamis as global warming affects the earth’s crust.
The researchers concluded that Mother Earth is so sensitive that ‘even slight changes in weather and climate can rip the planet’s crust apart, unleashing the furious might of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and landslides’. Even human attempts to stall global warming could trigger a catastrophic event, they say.
Perhaps the greatest geological hazards during climate change will be the result of melting ice sheets, the scientists warn. Apart from the risk that loose sediments exposed by melted ice could slip into the sea as tsunami-generating landslides, the removal of heavy ice could also trigger volcanic eruptions.
Jesus said that just preceding his second coming the seas and the waves will roar (tsunamis come with a terrifying roar) with such magnitude that people who witness them will faint.
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth Lk 21: 25-26
Earthquakes are increasing in frightening frequency. Look at this statistic from the US Geological Survey:
Number of earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 and greater:
1983 to 1900 – 38 years – 12
1901 to 1983 – 38 years – 53
1939 to 1976 – 38 years – 71
1976 to 2010 – 34 years – 167
2011 to 2016 – 6 years – 102
Since 1997 the frequency has increased tremendously. For example, between 1986 and 1996, a period of 11 years, there were just 15 earthquakes listed by USGS of magnitude 7.0 or greater. This is not markedly different from previous similar periods of 20th century, where an average of about 18 might be expected. But between 1997 and 2007, a period of only 11 years, there were 99 earthquakes with magnitude 7.0 or greater. This is more than a 6-fold increase on the previous similar period. And then from 2011 to 2016, there were 102 earthquakes in just 6 years, more than in the 11 years between 1997 and 2007! The increase is frighteningly exponential.
In his article, ‘The Century of Famine’ Peter Goodchild, says:
Without ample, free-flowing petroleum, it will not be possible to support a population of several billion for long. Famine caused by petroleum supply failure alone will result in about 2.5 billion above-normal deaths before the year 2050; lost and averted births will amount to roughly an equal number.
In terms of its effects on daily human life, the most significant aspect of fossil-fuel depletion will be the lack of food. ‘Peak oil’ is basically ‘peak food’. Modern agriculture is highly dependent on fossil fuels for fertilizers [one of the processes for manufacturing fertilizers involves combining natural gas with atmospheric nitrogen], pesticides, and the operation of machines for irrigation, harvesting, processing, and transportation. Without fossil fuels, modern methods of food production will disappear, and crop yields will be far less than at present. Crop yields are far lower in societies that do not have fossil fuels or modern machinery. We should therefore have no illusions that several billion humans can be fed by ‘organic gardening’ or anything else of that nature…Over the next few decades, therefore, there will be famine on a scale many times larger than ever before in human history…
The news of the coming famine might not be announced with sufficient clarity. Famines tend to be back-page news nowadays, perhaps for the very reason that they are too common to be worth mentioning. Although Ó Gráda speaks of ‘making famine history’, the reality is that between 70 and 80 million people died of famine in the twentieth century, far more than in any previous century.
In ‘Heat: How to Stop the Planet Burning’, George Monbiot writes:
Many parts of the world, for reasons which have little to do with climate change, are already beginning to lose their water. In When the Rivers Run Dry, Fred Pearce, who is New Scientist’s environment consultant, travels around the world trying to assess the state of our water resources. He finds that we survive today as a result of borrowing from the future.
The great famines predicted for the 1970s were averted by new varieties of rice, wheat and maize, whose development is known as the ‘green revolution’. They produce tremendous yields, but require plenty of water. This has been provided by irrigation, much of which uses underground reserves. Unfortunately, many of them are being exploited much faster than they are being replenished…
Roughly half the world’s population lives within 60 kilometers of the coast. Eight of the ten largest cities on earth have been built beside the sea. Many of them rely on underground lenses of freshwater, effectively floating, within the porous rocks, on saltwater which has soaked into the land from the sea. As the freshwater is sucked out, the saltwater rises and can start to contaminate the aquifer. This is already happening in hundreds of places. The worst case is the Gaza strip, which relies entirely on underground water which is now almost undrinkable. As the sea level rises as a result of climate change, salt pollution in coastal regions is likely to accelerate.
As these two effects of climate change – global drying and rising salt pollution – run up against the growing demand for water, and as irrigation systems run dry or become contaminated, the possibility arises of a permanent global food deficit. Even with a net food surplus, 800 million people are malnourished. Nothing I could write would begin to describe what a world in deficit – carrying 9 billion people – would look like.
For God’s people to have a glimpse of how horrific the coming famine would be, the Bible gives an example: It is so shocking and sickening I don’t wish to describe it here, but I urge you to read it in the following passages and plead with God to spare your nation from such a situation: 2 Kings 6:25-29; Deuteronomy 28:53-57; Leviticus 26:26,29
Israel sinned and received all these curses as a result, which had been prophesied. The nations that have the Bible but have cast God and His Word behind their backs will suffer even more than the ancient people of God who forsook him.
When the great droughts and ensuing famines happen and millions of people will be starving to death around the world, God promises to supply bread and keep alive those who look to him for protection during these evil days.
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Ps 33:18-19
First, a look at what the Bible says about the world scenario when pandemics sweep through every continent.
Let’s start with what is probably the most widespread pandemic in the world today: obesity and overweight. According to a WHO report, globally there are 1.6 billion overweight adults (age 15+), with at least 400 million being obese. WHO projects that 2015, approximately 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and more than 700 million will be obese.
While obesity itself may not be looked upon as a deadly disease, it is the diseases that obesity is directly responsible for that are the dangers. Anybody who is overweight stands at great risk of several chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke. WHO projects that diabetes deaths will increase by more than 50 percent worldwide in the next 10 years!. Another disease that overweight causes is cancer, especially of the uterus, breast, and colon. Children who are obese are at risk of premature death and disability in adulthood.
Overweight was once considered a symptom of an affluent society, not a problem encountered commonly in the poor and developing nations. That has changed and overweight and obesity are now dramatically on the rise in the low and middle-income countries.
An overlooked sign of the end times is the calories consumed by people worldwide. As the world heads towards the prophesied cataclysmic end, an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended will grow each year. People will continue to increasingly consume energy-dense foods that are high in fat and sugars but low in vitamin and other vital nutrients. Fast food will become faster and slow-cooked meals will become rarer. Keeping pace hand in hand with the consumption of junk food will be decreased physical activity and increased sedentary work. And so, far more overweight, far more increase in its related diseases and far more deaths in every country.
Animal-borne epidemics are already out of human control.
For centuries, humans have been afflicted with diseases that originate in animals. Many of the agents responsible for epidemics throughout human history have their origins in animals: tuberculosis, influenza, bubonic plague, food-borne illness, and AIDS. Episodes of animal-borne diseases, also referred to as zoonotic diseases or zoonoses, are increasing around the globe. Exotic sounding ailments, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), monkeypox, mad cow disease, Lyme disease, and chronic wasting disease(CWD), have been capturing global headlines. Some scientists expect the rise in zoonotic disease episodes to continue.’ healthyamericans.org
Even the most advanced nations are not equipped to prevent and control these diseases. In the US, for example, there is no coordinated effort or a single federal agency with the command and control responsibility for managing this growing health problem.
In India, I had a harrowing experience when H1N1, or swine flu, fear swept through the nation. I happened to be in an unfamiliar city for a few days during this time. Surgical masks were selling faster than hot chapattis as people frantically tried every means possible to protect themselves. While in the grip of this fear myself, I started getting the first symptoms of this deadly horror. But for this fear, I would have treated my symptom as those of a normal cold or a seasonal flu. But, no, public warning posters everywhere, urgent radio and tv announcements, daily newspaper coverage of new cases of swine flu, and the sight of masked people walking on the streets, send me as fast as a vehicle’s wheels could take me, to the nearest hospital that had advertised itself as swine flu detection center. They weren’t dealing with it anymore and directed me to another, where I met the same response. Finally, I landed in a government hospital and joined a large crowd of people in a similar situation as mine waiting outside the hall where the detection tests were being done. But it was already too late for us. The day’s visiting time was over, and we had to return the next day. But one frantic mother wasn’t giving up. She was pleading pathetically for the hospital staff to just treat one more case – her little child. I don’t know if the child was taken in, but I returned shocked at the inadequacy of a nation to deal with an emergency situation for a good percentage of its billions of citizens.
As for me, I was told that I had to fill in a long application form, submit corroborating documents with it, stand in queue of hours and then perhaps I might be lucky the next day to have the test taken. Now this was only for the test to see if I had contracted swine flu – not the treatment for swine flu, which did not exist. I decided that was better to risk out my symptoms than go through the futile efforts in getting some futile government attention. By God’s grace, my symptoms started receding soon, and a couple of days later, I was fleeing back to my native land. But in my mind, the vision of what’s going to happen in the sooncoming years in each city around the world was strongly etched by what I experienced in that city in India.
Humans who come in contact with infected animals risk contracting a zoonotic disease that the animal may be carrying. The opportunities for such contact are growing steadily. Human and farm animal populations are increasing around the world, and in some areas like Southeast Asia, this is bringing more humans and animals into close contact. People are moving into parts of the world where humans have never lived before, exposing themselves to unknown infectious agents.
Air travel and cargo ships allow an infectious person or animal to reach far-flung parts of the globe in less time than the incubation period of many pathogens. The monkeypox virus entered the US through imported Gambian giant rats sold in the nation’s under-regulated exotic pet trade. The rats infected pet prairie dogs which are kept as pets, which passed the virus along to humans. The outbreak sheds light on the lack of coordinated federal oversight to prevent future zoonotic disease outbreaks, as well as the confusing state and federal laws that govern exotic pet trade…The spread of infectious disease, not just human-to-human, but also animal-to-human, knows no boundaries.’ ‘Animal-Borne Epidemics Out of Control: Threatening the Nation’s Health’, published by Trust For America’s Health.
The Encyclopedia Britannica says that the Thirty Years’ War which ended in 1648 was “the most horrible military episode in western history prior to the 20th century”. Cautious estimates say that about 7 million died in the Thirty Years’ War. When we come to modern times we find that World War I (1914 to 1918) in just over 4 years killed approximately 20 million people. But only 21 years later World War II began (1939 to 1945), resulting in the loss of 62 million lives, triple the loss of World War I, while the monetary costs quadrupled from an estimated $340 billion to an estimated $4.5 trillion. There can be no question that there has been a great increase in the intensity of warfare.
It has been calculated by a former president of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences, aided by historians from England, Egypt, Germany, and India, that since 3600 BC, over 14,531 wars have been waged in which 3,640,000,000 people have been killed.
Since World War II there have been at least 12 limited wars in the world, 74 rebellions for independence, and 162 social revolutions, either political, economic, racial or religious.
From these figures it is easy to see that wars and revolts have greatly increased. For example, during the 5,500 plus years since 3600 BC, an average of about 657,000 people died as a result of war per year (including WW I and WW II). Whereas, if we average the 82 million deaths of WW I and WW II alone using the entire 100 years of the 20th Century we arrive at an average of 820,000 deaths per year from war. This is not counting the deaths from the over 260 other wars, rebellions and revolutions of the 20th Century.
Today at least 35 nations have nuclear weapons. The United States and Russia alone having a total of 12,000 strategic nuclear warheads and about 48,000 smaller tactical nuclear weapons. The combined total of both superpowers nuclear power equaling a total of about 1,350,000 Hiroshima size bombs! Many people are worried that nuclear warheads can reach any part of the globe within 30 minutes, and that the superpowers have stockpiled enough nuclear explosives to equal 300 pounds of TNT for every man, woman, and child on earth. ‘Are Wars Increasing?’- Real-World-News.org
Increase in knowledge and global traffic
The increase in knowledge and traffic in our modern age was predicted in Daniel 12:4.
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.
The incredibly dramatic increase in mankind’s fund of knowledge since the late 19th century onwards has been going hand in hand with the increase in global travel and transportation, and vice versa. That is, the more people travel, the more knowledge increases and is spread, and the more it increases the more people run to and fro to dissipate it.
Population increase is ‘exponential’. It does not increase in the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 order; it explodes in the 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 order. That word is even more applicable to the increase in knowledge today, especially technology, the progress of which has been defined by Moore’s Law (‘The number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years’). Futurists such as Ray Kurzweil believe that the exponential improvement described by Moore’s law will ultimately lead to a technological ‘singularity’: a period where progress in technology occurs almost instantly, the time when current global trends go wildly off the charts and technological changes ‘become so rapid that we cannot possibly envision its results’.
I urge God’s people everywhere to understand more about this sooncoming ‘singularity’ so they can be prepared for it.
We in this generation have already entered a new era. Levels of intelligence far greater than our own are evolving rapidly right today. Machines are increasingly exceeding us in the performance of more and more tasks, from guiding objects like missiles or satellites to assembling other machines. They are merging with us ever more intimately and are learning how to reconfigure our biology in new and significantly faster technological domains.
When the singularity happens – scientists expect it to happen between 2020 and 2040 – technology will have advanced beyond the human mind and it will be machines then, and not people, which will be the source of new inventions. At that point, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be responsible for creating new breakthroughs with minimal human input.
By the 2040s, when nonbiological intelligence will have soared past the capability of the human brain, machines will be a billion times more powerful than the 10^26 computations per second that all biological humanity represents. Artificial intelligence in certain computers is already more complex than a human brain and has surpassed the 20-petahertz threshold for potential intelligence. In 10 years, it will be everywhere. It’s already a short step to computer systems that make better decisions than corporate managers do, say scientists.
When the singularity happens, there will be radical transformation in the way people work and relate to each other. The sudden explosion in machine intelligence, along with the rapid innovation in gene research and nanotechnology, will result in a world where there is no distinction between the biological and the mechanical, or between physical and virtual reality.
Kurzweil says that by 2019 the current rate of technological progress will ultimately result in most routine jobs in the economy being automated via technologies such as robotics and specialized artificial intelligence and that this will cause significant unemployment, as well as a drastic decline in consumer demand and confidence, possibly precipitating a major global economic crisis.
At some point in the next decade, as machines become smarter than people, humans will get fitted with smart biochips, wearables, and other enhancements. What happens when people and machines converge into a mass-mind superintelligence?
The Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, which convenes the annual Singularity Summit to coordinate and educate scientists and other concerned individuals on the challenges facing humanity, asks these disturbing questions: ‘How will near-human and smarter-than-human AIs act towards humans? Why? Are their motivations dependent on our design?’
The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. Albert Einstein
Says scientist Damien Broderick: ‘We will live forever; or we will all perish most horribly; our minds will emigrate to cyberspace, and start the most ferocious overpopulation race ever seen on the planet; or our machines will transcend and take us with them, or leave us in some peaceful backwater where the meek shall inherit the Earth. Or something else, something far weirder and.unimaginable.’
And where do God and his prophecies come in this emerging world order? Surely Bible prophesies could not have overlooked the ‘Singularity’ – considered by secular minds to occur soon as the single greatest event in human development history. Begin to read the prophecies in the Bible in the light of the new understanding you have gained about this subject.
But more than any of the preceding signs of the end times, the most frightening is the change in human behavior.
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God 2 Tm 3:1-4 KJV
The Amplified Bible is more lucid:
But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane. [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good. [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.
The word ‘perilous’ is translated from the Greek word ‘khalepos’. This word is defined in the Bible Greek Lexicon as ‘fierce, hard to bear, dangerous, savage’. This is the same Greek word used to describe the demon-possessed man of the Gergesenes.
And when He arrived at the other side in the country of the Gadarenes, two men under the control of demons went to meet Him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce and savage that no one was able to pass that way. Mt 8:28 AMP
In the verse about perilous times, Paul was not referring to just wicked men, or people in some places but to mankind in general – ‘For men shall be lovers of their own selves…’. The average man’s life will be marked by increasing insensitivity to the needs and sufferings of others. The average godless man will be fierce and dangerous. Streets in every nation will be filled with people who are walking pressure bombs. You can never tell when they will explode at you.
People of God, you are living in fierce times which have already fallen on this world as never before in history. And the frightening truth is that this fierce times is getting more perilous day by day.
As the end draws near, you will hear of and see with your own eyes hate among men increasing. Men will be less and less tolerant of others. Brutal acts will increase in the intensity and scope of their brutality.
The most tragic aspect of the hate and violence of the end times will be in the family. Men and women will continue to marry in greater numbers, only to divorce soon in almost equal numbers. The hearts of the fathers will turn away from the hearts of the children. Natural paternal love will decrease. Children of ungodly families will grow increasingly abhorrent of their parents to the extent that many parents will die as a direct consequence of their children’s hate for them.
Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.’ Mt 10:21
All the prophesied endtime disasters and violence may bring a kind of warped thrill to some people today. But when the evil sweeps through the whole world in its strength, each day will be a day of depressing gloom. When it is day people will hope to find refuge in the night, when it is day, people will long for the safety of the day.
In the morning you shall say, “Oh, that it were evening!” And at evening you shall say, “Oh, that it were morning!” because of the fear which terrifies your heart, and because of the sight which your eyes see.’ Deu 28:67
While mankind as a whole will be experiencing great agonies during these times, there will be a group of people who have been prayerfully watching world events unfolding as prophesied in the Bible, and who have been seeking God’s protection constantly. These people will be considered ‘worthy’ to escape all the global terrors which are coming upon earth. And when the climatic end happens, this group of protected people will be whisked away from their residences, or wherever they are at that time, to a place of safety specially prepared for them by God. There they will be cared for supernaturally until the return of Christ, when he will cut short the evil days before it utterly destroys the whole world leaving absolutely no survivor. But ‘for the elects’ sake’, God the Father will send his Son for a swift and dramatic intervention to what’s happening on earth.
Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.’ Lk 21:36
Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past.’ Is 26:20
But the woman was supplied with the two wings of a giant eagle, so that she might fly from the presence of the serpent into the desert (wilderness), to the retreat where she is to be kept safe and fed for a time, and times, and half a time (three and one-half years, or 1,260 days).’ Rev 12:14 AMP
And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.’ Mt 24:22
The endtime signs are happening so quickly that I am almost certain I will live to see Christ descending with the clouds, and if not in my lifetime then surely the world cannot go on as it is now beyond my children’s days. Christ said no one can know the precise time – the day or the hour – of his coming. But he also said that the generation seeing these signs will not pass away until all that he had prophesied had taken place Mt 24:34
I have not covered all the signs of the end times here. Other signs that will occur on a global scale are religious deception and the rise of miracle-working false christs and prophets; the severe increase in the persecution of Christians around the world; the rebirth of the Holy Roman Empire as 10 united nations in Europe, with the Beast and the False Prophet as their political and spiritual leaders; the captivity and tribulation of the nations that God refers to as ‘Jacob’ – US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, and the Scandinavian countries; the increase in the world’s population of homosexuals, with some cities having more homosexuals than heterosexuals; the increase in women in political power; the building of the third temple in Jerusalem, and the world’s increasing focus on that city; and many other signs, each of which I will share in depth in my coming messages on this website.
Is there anything else in the world or in your personal life that is more vital and more urgent than to ensure the safety of your and your family’s protection in these fierce times?
Pray daily from today that you with your loved ones will be counted worthy of escaping all the global calamities that are coming soon. And as you pray, begin to examine your relationship with God. As you begin to sincerely seek God and his help in cleaning up your life, you will come to understand the prophecies in the Bible with increasing clarity and thrill. Read Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 to know what Christ himself said about the sooncoming world events. Read the whole book of Revelation, even if most of it sounds mysterious to you initially. As you earnestly study it, you will come to the point where you will find the book of Revelation the most exciting of all the books in the Bible. In fact, in no other book of the Bible has God pronounced a special blessing to those for reading and heeding what’s written in it.
The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place…Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. Rev 1:1,3 NIV
Today, even as you read this, God is calling you to be ready for ‘what must soon take place’. Today can be the real beginning point in your and your family’s lives of receiving God’s protection through the perilous times until Christ comes.
My prayer for you:
Lord God, bless this child of yours who is reading this message, whose heart is being moved by your Holy Spirit to seek you so he or she can be prepared by you for the return of your Son Jesus Christ. Begin to keep this blessed child and his or her family under your wings of protection until the perilous times are over. Amen.