Sunday, November 9, 2008


Jesus said we would not know the day of His coming but we would recognize the "season" by the signs leading up to it. Like a jigsaw puzzle, it takes a long time to find where the first pieces go but as the puzzle gets closer and closer to completion, the pieces start to fit in faster. That's what we sense happening. The Lord's return is near!

Here is a transcript of a DVD listing 50 of those signs which have already been fulfilled.

by Dr. David R. Reagan,
Founder and Director, Lamb and Lion Ministries

"Signs of the Times" refers to Biblical prophecies predicting the "last days" or "end times" when Jesus Christ will come again.
     In the early '90s a pastor named Elbert Peake gave a message in which he said, "Sixty years ago when I began preaching, you had to scratch like a chicken to come up with two signs pointing to the return of Jesus Christ. There was not one single objective, measurable sign that Jesus Christ was coming soon. But I am no longer looking for signs. I am listening for a sound--the sound of a trumpet."
     Today there are a great number and variety of signs pointing to Christ's return. The first sign occurred on November 2, 1917. At the end of World War I the Ottoman Empire was carved up and Palestine (what is Israel and Jordan today) was given to Great Britain. On November 2, 1917, in the Balfour Declaration, the British government stated, "His Majesty views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." As a result of World War I, God prepared a land for His people, the Jews.
     F.B. Meyer, the leading evangelical pastor and evangelist of that time, immediately recognized the significance of the Balfour Declaration. He sent a letter to all the evangelical pastors in England, calling them to London for a meeting, saying, "The signs of the times point toward the close of the times of the Gentiles and the return of Jesus can be expected at any moment."
     Even before that meeting took place, the second sign occurred. On December 11, 1917, Gen. Allenby led the liberation of Jerusalem, taking the city without firing a shot. He had brought a biplane in a crate which he assembled to fly over Jerusalem, dropping leaflets demanding the surrender of Jerusalem in his own name.  The Arabs who occupied the city saw an airplane for the first time (which they thought was a bird) circling over their city, dropping leaflets that demanded their surrender to "Allenby" (in Arabic, literally, "the Son of God") and they panicked and ran away. Allenby chose to dismount from his white horse at the Jaffa Gate and walk into the city. Knowing the Bible, he declared, "There is only one General who is going to ride into this city on a white horse and that's the Lord Jesus Christ!" The Bible says that the Jews will be regathered from the ends of the earth, the north, south, east and west, and when they are in their own land, the Messiah will come.
     Since then, there have been 50 prophecies fulfilled that show we are living in the last days. There are so many and such a variety that I have grouped them into six categories:

1. Signs of Nature
    Luke chapter 21, verse 11 says in the last days there will be earthquakes, plagues, famines. We feel, "So what else is new?" But Matthew 24:8 points out that these are "birth pangs" and, like a mother's labor pains, they will increase in frequency and intensity. Between October '91 and November '04 the United States had 9 of the 10 largest natural disasters in its history, 3 of the 4 largest tornado swarms in U.S. history, as ranked by FEMA--and that was before Katrina!  

2. Signs of Society
    2 Timothy 3:1-5 says the last days will be just like the days right before the "days of Noah" and the flood. People will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy. Humanism will be the religion, people's god will be money and their lifestyle hedonism. The result is despair. That is what we see around us. We are sliding into abortion, homosexuality, gambling, alcoholism, drug abuse, same-sex marriage, domestic violence, child molestation, school shootings.

3. Spiritual Signs
    Negative signs: false Christs, cultic groups, skepticism,deception, occultism, heresy, apostasy, persecution. Jesus said three times to watch out for cults. Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses began in the 19th century. There was an explosion of cults in the 20th century. There are now over 1,200 cults in the U.S. alone, masquerading as Christian, quoting the Bible. David Koresh. Jim Jones. A man named Dr. Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda of Puerto Rico claims to be Jesus Christ. He has over 30 devotional centers and teaches that there is no devil, no sin. His gospel is "just enjoy life."
     Positive signs:
     --An outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Israel has "early rains" in the fall and "latter rains" in the spring. Spiritually, according to the Bible, the early rains were at Pentecost. The latter rains Joel 2 speaks of were to happen "when Israel is back in the land." It prophesies an outpouring of the Spirit in dreams and visions. One year after the Jews were back in the land, there was a visible manifestation of the Holy Spirit. In May 1949, Billy Graham began preaching the gospel in a circus tent in Los Angeles. Within one week, his face was on the cover of TIME, LOOK, etc. More people have now heard the gospel through Billy Graham's preaching than had heard it in all of history. Five billion have seen the Jesus film. The atmosphere of this planet is now saturated with the name of Jesus.
     Up until the beginning of the 20th century, all Christians--Catholics and Protestants--believed in cessationism, that when the last apostle died, the Holy Spirit went into retirement, the manifestation and gifts of the Spirit died out. But now we are seeing a new outpouring of the Spirit and every church believes the Holy Spirit is alive and well, indwelling believers and giving them spiritual gifts. First there were the Pentecostals, then the Charismatics and then the Third Wave when the Holy Spirit and his gifts were manifested in mainline churches.
     --Another positive sign is the revival of Davidic Praise Worship (started in Jerusalem in 1980).
     --The development of Messianic Judaism in 1967, immediately following the 6-day war. Young Jews are turning to Christ. Orthodox Jews know the prophecies of the Scriptures and are expecting their Messiah to come. They are not going to be surprised by the coming of the Messiah but they will be surprised by his identity. There is a refocusing of attention on Jerusalem and there will be a final war over the control of Jerusalem. In 1967 there was not one Messianic congregation (groups of Jews who believe Jesus is their Messiah/Christ) in Israel. Today there are more than 500 in the world, more than 40 in Israel alone. One and a half million Jews have come to Jesus since 1967.
     --Understanding of Bible prophecy in books like Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah. When the prophets wrote down the prophecies God gave them, some of them admitted that they didn't understand what they were writing. When they asked God to explain the prophecies to them, God told them, "These are not for you to understand. They are for the end times. When the time comes to understand them, the people of that day will understand."
     We are understanding prophecies now we've never understood--never could have understood--before. In 1909 the first Study Bible came out, the Schofield Study Bible. When Dr. Schofield wrote the notes about Ezekiel chapters 37, 38 and 39, he admitted, "I don't understand these passages. This says in the end times Russia will invade Israel." At that time Israel didn't exist and Russia was an Orthodox Christian nation. "But this will happen, because the Bible says so."
     In 1970 Hal Lindsey's book about prohecy, The Late, Great Planet Earth, became the #1 best-selling book (next to the Bible) and stayed #1 for ten years.

4. Signs of World Politics
    The Bible says there has to be a certain configuration of world politics in the end times. For the first time we see this pattern in place:
       --The threat of Islam, which will covet and try to take the land of Israel.
       --Re-establishment of the Roman Empire, as attempted by Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin. They never succeeded. It wasn't until a French businessman said, "There's no hope for an international empire unless we drop our national hatreds and replace them with an economic union, a common currency, a universal court"  that the configuration started to come together for a world government and world economy, in which the Anti-Christ will be revealed and Christ will return.
      --Threat of Eastern nations.

5. Signs of Technology
    These are signs no one ever understood before because technology didn't exist. But we understand them now, easily. For instance, one thing the Anti-Christ will do is kill God's two witnesses in Jerusalem (Revelation 11). The world will hate them and when they are killed, everyone will celebrate and exchange gifts. The bodies of the witnesses will lie 3-1/2 days on the streets of Jerusalem. Then the whole world will see God bring those two witnesses back to life and take them to heaven. How can the whole world see this? Since the 1960s, when satellites and TV were invented, it's easy to understand how.
     In September, '56, there were 17,500 students at the University of Texas--and only 5 of them were taking Russian. In January '58, 5000 students signed up for Russian. What had changed? Sputnik, in October '57. TV and satellite technology, nuclear weapons, computer technology, robotics enable us to understand the Bible.

6. Signs of Israel
    This sign is more important than all the rest. Israel is God's prophetic time clock. In the Olivet discourse there are four key prophecies:
         a. Israel will b regathered in unbelief, Isaiah 11:11-12. In 1900 there were 40,000 Jews in Israel. In 1945, there were 800,000. Today there are 6.1 million. There are now more Jews in Israel than in the U.S.
         b. The re-establishment of the state of Israel, Isaiah 66:7-8. The re-establishment of the nation of Israel is the cornerstone of end-time prophecy. The Bible says the state will be born before the birth pangs. How can that be? But it was. On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion declared the birth of the state of Israel. The next day, the labor pains began with the six-day war and they will continue until Christ returns.
         c. The re-occupation of Jerusalem, Zecharaiah 8:4-8. On June 7, 1967, the Jews re-occupied Jerusalem and Rabbi Shlomo Goren, holding a shofar and a Torah, said, "I proclaim to you the beginning of the Messianic Age."
         d. Re-focusing of world politics on Jerusalem, Zechariah 12:2-3. Jesus said, Watch Jerusalem. When the Jews re-occupy Jerusalem, I'm coming back!

50 Reasons Why We are Living in the End Times

1. Increasing instability of nature, Gospel of Luke, chapter  21, verse11
2. Increasing lawlessness and violence, Matthew 24:12
3. Increasing immorality, Matthew 24:37
4. Increasing materialism, 2 Timothy 3:2
5. Increasing hedonism, 2 Timothy 3:4
6. Increasing influence of humanism, 2 Timothy 3:2
7. Depraved entertainment, 2 Timothy 3:4
8. Calling evil good and good evil, 2 Timothy 3:3
9. Increasing use of drugs, 2 Timothy 3:3
10. Increasing blasphemy, 2 Timothy 3:2
11. Increasing paganism, 2 Timothy 3:1-4
12. Increasing despair, 2 Timothy 3:1
13. Increasing knowledge, Daniel 12:4
14. Increasing travel, Daniel 12:4
15. Signs in the heavens, Luke 21:11 and 25
16. Explosion of cults, Matthew 24:11
17. Proliferation of false Christs, Matthew 24:5
18. Increasing apostasy in the church, 2 Timothy 4:3-5
19. Increasing attacks on Jesus, Romans 1:18
20. Increasing attacks on Bible, Romans 1:18
21. Increasing persecution of Christians, Matthew 24:9
22. Increasing occultism, I Timothy 4:1
23.Wars and rumors of wars, Matthew 24:6
24. Weapons of mass destruction, Luke 21:26
25. Computer technology, Revelation 13:7
26. TV, Revelation 11:8-9
27. Satellite technology, Revelation 13:7
28. Virtual reality, Revelation 13:14-15
29. Medical technology, Revelation 9:16
30. Population explosion, Revelation 9:16
31. Unification of Europe, Daniel 2, 7
32. Far Eastern military powers
33. Movement toward world government
34. Regathering of the Jews, Isaiah 11:10-12

35. Re-establishment of the State of Israel, Isaiah 66:7-8
36. Reclamation of the land of Israel, Ezekiel 36:34-35
37. Revival of Biblical Hebrew, Zephaniah 3:6
38. Re-occupation of Jerusalem, Luke 21:24
39. Resurgence of Israeli military, Zechariah 12:6
40. Re-focusing of world politics on Jerusalem, Zechariah 12:3
41. Russian threat to Israel, Ezekiel 38 and 39
42. Arab threat to Israel, Ezekiel 35 and 36
43. Denial of Second Coming, 2 Peter 3:3-4
44. Denial of creation by God, Romans 1:18-22
45. Outpouring of Holy Spirit, Joel 2:28-29
46. Translation of Bible into many languages, Matthew 24:14
47. Preaching gospel worldwide, Matthew 24:14
48. Establishment of Messianic Judaism, Isaiah 40:3-5
49. Revival of Davidic worship, Amos 9:11
50. The understanding of Bible prophecy, Daniel 12:8-9

Saturday, November 8, 2008


NOTE: Tomorrow, November 9, is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Pray for American Christians, too, that when we become part of the Persecuted Church, we will be faithful, bold and filled with joy.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

A few weeks ago, a friend had me listen to a CD by Dr. David R. Reagan of Lamb and Lion Ministries, speaking on "50 Reasons Why We Are Living in the End Times." Ever since I attended Multnomah Bible College over 40 years ago, I have heard many people talk about our being in the last days but the evidence then never convinced me. This did.

Dr. Reagan organizes the Signs of the Times that point to the Lord's return into six categories: the signs of Nature, Society, Religion, World Politics, Technology, and Israel. The first of these signs was fulfilled by the birth of the state of Israel. Some of these signs were recorded by prophets who did not understand what they meant. But God told them, "The people to whom they happen will understand!" And sure enough, signs such as the ability of everyone in the world to see the death of the two witnesses in Jerusalem during the coming Tribulation are no mystery to us, living as we do in the era of satellite TV! You can order this CD for $12 at 50 Reasons.

I don't think it is coincidence that hard on the heels of that DVD, through two strangers and two friends on three different days, God put four books into my hands, all written by Christians who have suffered persecution, a subject I have feared and normally try to avoid. The books were Things We Couldn't Say by Diet Eman, The Man in the Fiery Furnace by Freddie Sun, Clay in the Potter's Hands by Dorothy Sun and The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun. Though I have many other books to read, I was drawn to read these first. Things We Couldn't Say is written by a woman who helped organize the Dutch underground in World War II. The other three are written by Chinese Christians who developed the underground house churches in China. These saints each suffered severe decades-long imprisonment, unrelenting hard labor and excruciating torture and deprivation under Mao Zedong throughout the so-called "cultural revolution," which was really a reign of terror and societal and cultural devastation.

I think the results of our recent election may mean we are on the cusp of the Great Tribulation and we Christians should prepare to go through it. God took each of the saints in these books through a time of tribulation; he did not remove them from it. If our pre-Tribulation theology is wrong (I'm "pre-Trib" but as Dr. David Hocking says, I can change my theology fast if the Tribulation starts and we're still here!) in a few years we may face real persecution for the first time. These books made me visualize what might lie in America's future under an Obama administration, even leading ultimately to a police state, with Christians and Jews having to go underground for their lives. I could see it! I could feel it!

I identify with C.S. Lewis, who wrote, in his Preface to The Problem of Pain, "I have never for one moment been in a state of mind to which even the imagination of serious pain was less than intolerable." It was, is, like standing on the high dive realizing it may be my turn now, my turn to be ridiculed, demeaned, accused, attacked, tortured. Over these past weeks I have found myself, in my daily prayers for the persecuted church around the world, starting to pray not just for them but for us: "Lord, make US faithful, give US boldness, keep US from betraying You or each other." I hope never to forget how that feels no matter what happens in this new administration. I hope to use whatever freedom remains to me to share Christ more boldly every single day.

I think the stage is set and everything is coming together for the appearance of the anti-Christ. President-elect Obama has the charisma, eloquence, agenda and profile consistent with someone who could become the anti-Christ. (Perhaps even the psychological profile.) I am not saying Obama is the anti-Christ but for the first time I can see clearly how someone like him will be exalted to a position of world-wide prominence--and Biblically, the time seems ripe. Obama is getting the uncritical respect, adoration and even worship of people around the globe. Front page headlines in major newspapers around the world greeted Obama's victory in our country as if it were their own. In his DVD on signs of the end times Dr. Reagan says all it would take to fulfill the Biblical prophecy of an international economic union would be for one man to replace the committee which now heads the European Union.

We all have friends who refused to see the disturbing facts about Obama's background, associations, beliefs and voting record, who insisted on voting for him regardless. They see him as bigger than life, almost divine. Don't these people seem bewitched? Have you read Frank Schaeffer's rave review of Obama? (If not, I can forward it to you.) He's the son of Francis Schaeffer who founded L'Abri and decades ago Franky led the Protestant pro-life movement. Now he's championing, idolizing a man who stands for abortion for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy and even beyond--but he's willing to ignore that in Obama! The devil certainly seems to have sown the prophesied "strong delusion" in millions of minds. Not only Black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan calls Obama the "Messiah." Many Americans do, too. Is Obama the Messiah? Even if Obama is not Muslim, if his ethnic heritage is derived from Abraham through Ishmael, he would be eligible to be the Muslims' expected Messiah, our anti-Christ. The Left Behind books could become contemporary reality sooner than we know.
     Stay alert. If intolerance for Biblical values keeps growing and more and more pressure is exerted on Christians and Jews to tolerate what the Bible does not tolerate, when every other faith unites and merges into one world religion and we still hold to Jesus as the only way to God, expect persecution. If Obama is able to end poverty and bring about peace with terrorists and nations militant to us, if he begins to perform miracle-like acts which bring him almost universal awe and reverence, brace for persecution. If he then turns against Israel and is invited to expand his power over other countries, bringing about one world government, persecution will follow! "For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps" and "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you. . ." (I Peter 2:21, 4:12). God has long delayed America's participation in the persecution many of the world's Christians are experiencing. I believe this delay is about to end.
     The four books I mentioned read like Richard Wurmbrand's experiences in Tortured for Christ but I have come away from reading each one not with a gloom and heaviness over the atrocities they suffered but with amazement and relief, knowing that Christians, just normal, weak, scared Christians like I feel myself to be, CAN endure to the end, staying faithful to the Lord and that He WILL be sufficient! If the worst comes to worst from our perspective, it will just be a way God can draw us closer to Him and to the rest of the Body, teaching us more about Himself. Suffering really can be a means of blessing and cause for joy! Look at how often the Bible connects suffering with joy! In the meantime, I am dedicating myself to appreciating the freedoms we still have (though being more aware we could lose them almost overnight!) and taking advantage of them to share Christ in every way I can.
     In the letter or two to follow, I hope to share practical suggestions, culled from survivors of and victors over persecution, on how to prepare for it, including what could make you more vulnerable, what to avoid. I also want to send examples of God's grace under persecution and how persecution can bring joy.

May we be lights in the coming darkness! May God sweep across this country with a mighty revival!