Several years ago, my husband, Michael, and I took a memorable trip to Germany. One of the quaint towns we toured and even stayed in for a night was Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It has been well-preserved since the 12th century and is known for its medieval architecture. The town is surrounded by a high wall with a defensive tower:
One of the highlights of our visit was touring the town with the Night Watchman after dark. Centuries ago, while everyone slept, the job of the Night Watchman was to make rounds lighting lamps and checking for fires, a grave threat to towns like this. It was considered a lowly occupation back then (barely above a gravedigger or executioner) but of extreme importance.
As he led us around cloaked in his black cape carrying a lantern and hellebarde, a deadly medieval weapon once used for protection, he told us many intriguing stories and even a few jokes while sharing the incredible history of the town. Anything you wanted to know about Rothenburg, the Night Watchman could tell you in great detail. He knew everything there was to know about it after years of research and study. That night, the Middle Ages came to life for us!
Did you know if you are a follower of Christ, you are also to be a watchman? God gave you the best weapon and brightest light, His Word, to help you be discerning as you are expected to be, protecting you as you fight the ongoing and ever-increasing spiritual battles you face today. Also called the sword of the spirit, this weapon can only be sharpened and ready for battle by reading it regularly.
Everything you need is written in God’s Word so you are not taken by surprise as this world becomes even darker. When you open your Bible and read about the things Jesus prophesied 2000 years ago, you’ll notice the events we are seeing today have all been predicted to happen in the last days as it gets closer to Jesus’ return. The watchmen who keep up with world news as it relates to Bible prophecy know that the world we are living in is not going to get better. In fact, it will actually get much worse.
Signs of the End of the Age
As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Matthew 24:3
Jesus responded to His disciples with specific signs for those in the last generation to look for so we can be alert to the nearness of His coming:
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. Matthew 24:6-8
As the birth pains of a woman in labor escalate, they increase in both frequency and intensity. Jesus used this illustration to describe the signs leading up to the last days. It is evident that these signs are all around us today, converging and increasing rapidly in frequency and intensity. They are all just a foreshadowing of the birth of what is to come on a much greater scale in the very last days during the seven-year Tribulation when God’s judgment will be poured out on a world that has defiantly turned their back on Him.
These warning signs we are seeing now are a major wake-up call from God to repent of our sin and get our lives right with Him while we still have time. He is seeking our attention, so it is foolish to ignore Him and continue to live in rebellion. The end is not yet, but it is coming soon.
Wars and Rumors of Wars
There are many international hostilities occurring right now between several countries that could spark a war at any moment. They are in the news every day. A few of these we hear about include China and America, China and India, N. and S. Korea, Egypt and Turkey, and Iran/Turkey and Israel.
Nation Against Nation
The Greek word for nation is ethnos meaning “ethnicity.” Right now, we are witnessing ethnicity against ethnicity in full force with violent people filled with hate as they are protesting, rioting, and looting. And there seems to be no end in sight.
In recent weeks, locust swarms of biblical proportion have decimated crops all over Africa, India, Pakistan, Asia, and South America. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN has called the situation “extremely alarming.”
The UN warned of an unprecedented threat to food security in places where millions face hunger. Desert locusts can travel up to 95 miles a day and a swarm of one square kilometer can devour as much food as 35,000 people in a single day. With the number of people in a food crisis recorded at 135 million and growing, it is the highest it’s been since the start of the World Food Programme’s Global Report on Food Crises.
According to the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS), there has been a marked increase in the number of earthquakes in recent years with a magnitude of 8.0 or greater. An ongoing earthquake swarm in Iceland has now reached over 13,000 quakes since it began on June 19th of this year – the biggest seismic unrest in over 40 years.
There have also been many reports of severe weather including unprecedented rainfall in several countries resulting in flooding that has taken many lives and caused major destruction. The research team at Colorado State University is forecasting 20 named storms for this hurricane season, the most since 2005.
In Luke 21:11, Jesus also mentions pestilence in the last days…
There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
Merriam-Webster defines pestilence as “a contagious or infectious epidemic disease that is virulent and devastating.” The whole world has been greatly impacted in every way by the effects of the coronavirus pestilence – the pandemic of 2020 and its world-wide lockdown. There have been many casualties. Cases continue to climb, even doubling in the past six weeks with over 12 million now reported worldwide. Some countries may have to return to “total lockdown,” according to the World Health Organization.
This crisis is clearly setting the stage for the last seven years, the Great Tribulation, prophesied in Revelation. Get ready to see much more government control (increased tracking of people) during the rise of global governance as well as the rise of a global cashless cryptocurrency system. The technology to implement this system already exists.
Microsoft President Brad Smith stated, “The pandemic has clearly accelerated the adoption of digital technologies.”
The Bible warns us it is coming, ready or not, and will be enforced by the One World Global Leader, the Antichrist:
It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. Revelation 13:16-17
Jesus talked about another sign – the sign of an increase in lawlessness during the last days:
And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. Matthew 24:12:
Lawlessness is rampant today. Violent crime is surging dramatically in major cities all over the U.S. While defunding, demoralizing, and dismantling the police, shootings and murders are now sky-high, destabilizing our nation even more. Prisoners who haven’t yet finished their time are being released in droves with 8,000 more scheduled to be released next month in California “to curb the spread of coronavirus.” Angry mobs rioting, looting, burning, and toppling historical statues are not being stopped. In fact, they are being encouraged.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20
This lawlessness will only increase as the world gets ready for “the man of lawlessness” (the Antichrist) to come onto the stage. He will feel right at home when he arrives as the leader for a New World Order already in the works.
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 2 Thessalonians 2:7
If you think the times we are living in now are terrible, these will seem very mild compared to how it will be after the Restrainer is taken out of the way. The Restrainer is the Holy Spirit who lives within all those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as their Savior. When Jesus comes to take His followers Home in the Rapture, that restraint is going to be lifted. Lawlessness will increase exponentially!
Now for the Good News
After warning of all of these signs, thankfully Jesus did not just leave it at that. He had encouraging words for his disciples and for us. In Matthew 24, remember Jesus said, “See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.”
He gave us these signs, not to scare us but to prepare us for His coming and to give us hope. If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you do not have to worry about enduring God’s wrath in the final days of this world. Although many have and will most likely go through even more tribulation, we can be at peace knowing if we belong to Jesus, we will not have to be a part of His wrath that will be poured out during the Great Tribulation, the final seven years as described all throughout the book of Revelation.
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:9
The Rapture, Our Blessed Hope
What is the Rapture? The Greek word for rapture is harpazo which means “to snatch out or away.” For followers of Christ, the harpazo is our Blessed Hope in this dark world when Jesus will come to take us Home with Him in glory before the Great Tribulation and His Second Coming.
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. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
“And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.” Revelation 22:7
The Greek word for quickly is tacheós. It’s where we get our word tachometer, a measurer of the rate of revolutions. As things continue to “rev up” with frequency and intensity, this is a sign that Jesus’ appointed time is coming very soon and we are to be ready.
“So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return. Matthew 25:13
Jesus’ return is imminent meaning “fast approaching.” There is nothing more in biblical prophecy that must happen before Jesus comes again. He could appear at any moment! The command to “keep watch” implies imminence.
As these days we are living in grow darker still, Jesus offers us these comforting words of hope:
“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:28
The Signs are All Around Us
Jesus accused the religious leaders, the Pharisees and Sadducees, of being better at predicting the weather than they were at recognizing the signs of His coming even though all the signs were clearly shown in their Scriptures:
The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.” Matthew 16:1-3
The same can be said of many of our Christian leaders today. We have all of the signs written for us in Scripture, yet many won’t teach biblical prophecy even as the beginning of birth pains are revving up, accelerating in unbelievable frequency and intensity. The signs are clear. Jesus is coming soon! This is a window of opportunity we have to share the Good News of salvation, especially with those who haven’t heard.
Be a Watchman
If you are reading God’s Word regularly and keeping up with world news, you will be able to easily see how prophecy is unfolding today. There are several watchmen I love to listen to each week who teach biblical prophecy as it relates to the world news. I have learned so much from them and have become a much better watchman (watchwoman) through their godly insight.
Here are the links to the websites of a few of my favorites for their weekly biblical prophecy updates:
Rock Harbor Church: Brandon Holthaus – https://rockharborchurch.net
Calvary Chapel: JD Farag – https://calvarychapelkaneohe.com/prophecy-updates/
Middle East Update: Amir Tsarfati – https://beholdisrael.org
I have also found a few excellent watchman websites I read each day that include the latest world news articles and headlines as it relates to biblical prophecy:
Prophecy News Watch: https://www.prophecynewswatch.com
Now the End Begins: https://www.nowtheendbegins.com
Rapture Ready: https://www.raptureready.com/category/rapture-ready-news/
Olive Tree Views: https://olivetreeviews.org/news/headlines/
God’s Word reminds us to be awake to the signs so we can keep watch and be ready for Jesus’ coming, living in a way that is pleasing and honoring to Him.
“Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.” Mark 13:35-36
Everything feels chaotic, out of sync, very strange, and so unpredictable at the moment. But know that things are not falling apart. Rather, things are falling into place just as Jesus predicted. There is no better time than right now to make the decision to give your life to Jesus and accept Him as your Savior while there is still time, before His return.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Isaiah 55:6
These are exciting times we are living in, not to be feared. If you are still on earth, God has important work for you to do for His kingdom. Be encouraging with your words, giving hope to all those with whom God brings across your path. Pray hard for those in your life who do not know Jesus. Share His love and the Good News with them, shining like a bright light in this dark world.
The clock is ticking. The time we have left here is short, so be a vigilant watchman. The signs are all around you!
*Rothenburg – photo credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Weners
Kimberly Moore is a vintage costume jewelry expert, blogger, speaker, and author of Beauty in a Life Repurposed. To learn more, visit her website at kingdomsparkle.com.
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