[Note: Our guest contributor, Lee Brainard, is a self-taught expert in ancient Greek and Hebrew texts. He shares insights in “doctrine, discernment, and devotion” through his website at soothkeep.info. Lee demonstrates that treasures can be unearthed
through study and hard work and through a driving passion for the Word of God.]
When I was a babe in the Lord, I often nursed disappointment that I had not been born during one of the periods of revival, like the First Great Awakening or the Second Great Awakening — led by men like John Wesley and Charles Finney. But as my eyes were opened to prophetic truth, it dawned on me that I was privileged to live in the most exciting time since the days of Christ and His apostles — the end of the age. This generation shall witness the great falling away, the Rapture of the Church, the Tribulation, the coming of the Lord in glory, Armageddon, and the establishment of the Kingdom.
What an amazing time to be alive! What an incredible opportunity to earn battlefield glory. On every hand we see compromise, Laodiceanism, and apostasy. Don’t let this discourage you. Let it inflame your heart with zeal for the honor of God. Be strong in the Lord, put on the full armor of God, and stand for the truth of the Word of God against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-17). The battle is fierce. But the fiercer the battle, the greater the glory.
The Signs and Doubts
Sadly, many people seem oblivious to the hurricane of prophetic convergence that is blowing all around us. When confronted with the signs of the times, they manifest indifference if not open hostility. In their estimation, the prophetically awakened are unstable men and women who are living in a make-believe world. But who is guilty of living in a fantasy? Those who see end-times signs happening around them? Or those who close their eyes and deny their existence or validity?
And make no mistake, signs are multiplying all around us, including spiritual signs whose effects are quite apparent. This article will focus on those signs that pertain to the spiritual realm, both negative and positive.
Let’s start with some of the negative signs, that is, signs which are indicative of man’s end-times departure from the will and ways of God. Those listed here are by no means exhaustive, but they are certainly characteristic.
Last Days Scoffers
Second Peter 3:3 warns us that “scoffers will come in the last days.” This scoffing is characterized by a denial of catastrophism and defense of uniformitarianism (v.4), unbelief in the second coming in fiery judgment (vv. 4, 7, 10), unbelief in creation (v. 5), unbelief in the flood (v. 6), unbelief in God’s timetable (v. 8), and unbelief in the goodness of God (v. 9). This is definitely a prophecy with a time stamp. Until the rise of evolution and God-denying rationalism in modern times, such unbelief did not characterize most people.
Militant, Religious Atheism
In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 we read that the Antichrist will sit in the temple of God, declare himself god, and exalt himself above all that is called god or worshiped. In short, he will seek to exterminate all religion that does not glorify him. This will be universally enforced, as seen in Revelation 13:8 where we read that everyone on earth will worship him except those whose names are in the book of life. And this foul man will make war against the saints who resist his wicked demands and overcome them (Revelation 13:7). While this prophecy hasn’t been exhaustively fulfilled yet, we are certainly witnessing the rise of this atheistic juggernaut and the demise of Christendom.
In 2 Timothy 3:1-5 we read that in the last days Christendom will be dominated by “Christianity” that has the form of godliness but lacks the power thereof. Such “christians” will be lovers of themselves and will love pleasure rather than God. This sad state of affairs is already dominating the scene. The Protestant Churches long ago, by and large, became formalized and fossilized institutions. Now with the rise of the Laodicean spirit, the prosperity gospel, the emergent message, the NAR (“New Apostolic Reformation”) message, and a host of other virulent errors, too many Churches are succumbing to a tide of apostasy and heresy. They give lip service to biblical Christianity, but their heart is far from it.
In Luke 17:28-30 we read that the last days will be like the days of Lot. We know that Lot’s days were characterized by earthliness (v. 28) and sexual perversion (2 Peter 2:6; Jude 1:7). So, we know that these moral blemishes will characterize the last days. And the last days are here. Fifty years ago, such debauchery was largely a matter of the societal elite that was kept in the closet. In the past couple of decades, it has come to dominate educational, informational, financial, entertainment, and governmental institutions. Biblical morality is now the position of the moral minority. We are teetering on the brink of complete moral collapse.
First Timothy 4:1 informs us that in the latter times men will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of devils. Two lies that are specifically mentioned are forbidding to marry and forbidding to eat foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving. Decades ago, I warned my friends that we would see the new world order try to ban meat eating, animal husbandry, and dairy. This is exactly what we see going on. How did I foresee this? Because the devil hates every institution of God, and one of these institutions is a land flowing with milk and honey.
The Rise of Explanations for the Mass Disappearance Known as the Rapture
Beginning in the early 1800s, the concept of an imminent and Pre-Tribulation Rapture grew in popularity. The resurgence of anticipation and excitement that belief caused was scorned by many as ridiculous. Yet over the past decade the New Age elite have begun to prepare the world with ready explanations for the possible vanishing of Christians. The most common suggestions are alien abduction and the universe purging itself of all bad energy. This implies that fallen spirits behind the deep state and the world elite are fully aware of the truth of the Rapture, and they are brainwashing the world ahead of time.
Now there are several positive signs, too, which indicate that we are fast approaching the end of the age.
Increase in Knowledge
Daniel 12:4 informs us, “Seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” The prophetic Scriptures in general and Daniel in particular were mysterious for many centuries, lost in the swamp of allegorical interpretation. But beginning in the early 1800s, men began interpreting prophecy literally once again, which led to an explosion of prophetic light. They reintroduced a clear distinction between Israel and the Church, a future seventieth week, a literal Tribulation, a literal Millennium, and a Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church. Based on God’s Word, they also predicted the return of the nation of Israel. The understanding of prophetic matters continues to increase, with greater discernment in areas like the new covenant, the Nephilim, the Antichrist, Ezekiel 38-39, and Psalm 83. This understanding of the prophetic Scriptures indicates that we are nearing the time of the end.
Spread of the Gospel
We read in Matthew 24:14, “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” The Church is nearing the completion of this monumental task. This suggests that we are nearing the end of the age. But the Church doesn’t have to finish the job before the rapture. The Tribulation saints will take up the torch after the Rapture of the Church, and they will finish the job. Every tongue, tribe, and nation will hear the Gospel in the language of their heart.
During Christ’s earthly ministry, He introduced instruction that became central to the message of the Church Age. It was necessary to lay the foundation before the Church was raised. In a similar fashion, at the tail end of the Church Age, we have witnessed the rise of Messianic Judaism, which is a precursor to the God-ordained form of worship and service that shall prevail in the Tribulation. People hungering for Truth immediately after the Rapture will treasure the books, websites, videos, and literature born-again followers of the Messiah leave behind. The light we offer today will shine bright in the darkness of the Tribulation.
Everywhere we look, we see signs that the end of the age is just over the horizon. While these signs don’t speak directly to the Rapture of the Church, that is, they don’t point to a date or even a definite year, they do imply that we should be looking for the imminent Rapture of the Church. May we all take our eyes off the passing vanities of this world and place them on the glories that shall be revealed to us when Jesus comes for His own.