Spiritual Signs – Positive
I told you the negative signs are very negative, but oh, thank God for the positive ones! The positive spiritual signs are absolutely magnificent. One of them is found in Matthew 24 where Jesus says, “The Gospel will be preached to the whole world and then the end will come.”
That began in the 20th Century. In the past 100 years, through the use of modern technology, we have preached the Gospel to the whole world. Through the use of satellite television; through the use of computers translating the Bible into many, many different languages; through the use of radio and short wave radio; through the use of motion pictures and television; and on and on it goes.
Understanding Bible Prophecy
Another positive spiritual sign is the understanding of Bible prophecy. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this, but a lot of times when God would give prophecies to Old Testament prophets, particularly prophecies about the end times, they would react by saying, “Lord, I don’t understand this prophecy.” The Lord would usually respond by saying, “Cool it! It’s not for you to understand. It will be understood when the time comes for it to be fulfilled.”
Take, for example, Daniel 12. In this chapter, you’ll find Daniel complaining twice to the Lord that he does not understand the end time prophecies given to him. The Lord tells him to forget about it because, as the Lord puts it, “These words are concealed and sealed up until the end time.” So, the fresh understanding of end-time prophecy which has come in the last 50 years through books like The Late Great Planet Earth is a sign of the times.
A lot of the understanding has come through the development of world events. For example, end time prophecy focuses on the nation of Israel. Well, before 1948 it was difficult to understand those prophecies since Israel did not exist and had little prospect of ever existing again. Or, consider the prophecy in Revelation 9 that an army of 200 million will march across Asia to Israel in the end times. When that prophecy was written, there were not even 200 million people on planet earth. Today, one nation, China, can send such an army.
Developments in modern technology have also helped us to better understand Bible prophecy. You see, the Bible has many prophecies that depend for their fulfillment upon modern inventions such as computers, lasers, robotics, nuclear power. For example, the Bible says that in the end times during the first 3½ years of the Tribulation, there will be two great witnesses of God in Jerusalem who will preach the Gospel and perform mighty miracles.
In Revelation 11 it says the Antichrist will kill both of these men, and their bodies will lie in the streets of Jerusalem for three days. It further states that the whole world will look upon those bodies and will witness their sudden resurrection and rapture to Heaven.
Now, how can the whole world look upon two bodies lying in the streets of Jerusalem? Before the 1960s, nobody could figure that out. Now, it’s very simple. We don’t even have to stop and think about it. All you have to do is just point a television camera at them and zap the signal up to a satellite, and the whole world is able to watch. It’s amazing how so much of end-time prophecy is being understood for the very first time.
In 1970 Hal Lindsey’s book, The Late Great Planet Earth, became the number one best selling book in the world and remained the best seller for ten consecutive years, as certified by The New York Times. Was that because he was given some sort of special illumination? Well, yes, I’m sure the Holy Spirit illuminated his heart, his mind, and his eyes and helped him to understand. But, a lot of his insights were just based upon the development of technology and the development of world events. These enabled him to explain things that were never explainable before.
Outpouring of the Holy Spirit
So, the positive spiritual signs are the preaching of the Gospel all over the world and the understanding of Bible prophecy. And there’s a third one, and oh, what a glorious one it is! I wish I could spend the rest of our time just talking about this third wonderful spiritual sign. It is the pouring out of God’s Holy Spirit.
You see, the Bible prophesies that in the end times there is going to be a second pouring out of God’s Holy Spirit. Read Joel 2. It talks about the “early rain” and the “latter rain.” The early rain was at Pentecost. That’s why Peter quoted Joel 2 in his Pentecost sermon.
But, if you go back to Joel 2 and read the passage carefully, you will see that Pentecost was a partial fulfillment of the prophecy because it talks about a second rain, a second pouring out of the Holy Spirit. The passage says that this second outpouring of the Spirit will occur after the reestablishment of the nation of Israel in the end times. We have been witnessing and experiencing that end time pouring out of the Spirit ever since 1948 when the Jews were re-established in the land of Israel.
The Holy Spirit is being poured out today in an unprecedented way since the First Century. Because Satan is attacking individual Christians and churches as never before, we need a special anointing of the power of the Holy Spirit to stand against Satan. So, God’s Holy Spirit is being poured out. And that is a sign of the soon return of Jesus.
Signs of Technology
Okay, so we have the signs of nature, the signs of society, and the spiritual signs. There’s also the signs of technology. Now I’ve already covered these or mentioned them to some extent so I won’t spend a lot of time on them.
Regarding technology, I want to remind you that Jesus said all the end time signs would be like birth pains, meaning they would increase in frequency and intensity the closer we get to the time of His return.
In the field of technology, this is reflected in what is called the Exponential Curve. All of life, and especially technology, began to experience an exponential growth curve in the 20th century. An exponential curve occurs when the growth of something becomes so rapid that a graph of its growth shows a line going straight up, as in this graph of our nation’s national debt.
A biblical example of what I’m talking about is to be found in Daniel 12 where it says there’s going to be an explosion of knowledge and an increase in the rapidity of transportation in the end times. These two things began to happen in the 20th century. Both knowledge and transportation have increased exponentially over the past 100 years.
Today, the exponential curve is everywhere around us. Encyclopedias are no longer published because they are out of date the moment they come off the press. Three-fourths of all the scientists who have ever lived are alive right now. Two-thirds of all the medicines that have ever been developed have been developed since the end of World War II. We entered the 20th century still relying on the horse as our basic mode of transportation. Today, we have autos, and bullet trains, and planes, and rocket ships.
The Bible says that in the end times, when the Antichrist sets up the world kingdom, he is going to keep tabs on everybody. Everyone will have the Mark of the Beast in order to buy and sell. How can that be? How can it be accomplished apart from cameras and computers? The Bible says that the false prophet will make an image of the Antichrist, and people will worship the image because it will appear to be alive. How can that be apart from robotics or holograms?
Modern technology and the inventions it has produced are a sign of the soon return of Jesus.
In the eighth part of this series proving the fact that we are now living in the season of the Lord’s return, I will present as proof further signs of the end times.