What did Jesus say would be the signs of the times? Are they occurring today?
In Matthew 24 Jesus and the disciples were talking about the Temple, and Jesus said that not one stone would be left upon another, of the complex. Their immediate response was “when shall these things be?”
His response to their question was to give them signs of the end times. He did not state that the Temple would be destroyed some 2,000 years before the end. In fact Jesus implies that the statement, about one block not being upon another, is actually an event of the End Times. There is one wall of the old Temple complex still standing, and I think its destruction will likely occur soon, during one of the late Church-age wars.
Jesus’ next statement was “Take heed that no man deceive you”, strongly implying that deception would be characteristic of the End Times. Just to emphasize this idea, He repeats it again in verse 11 “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”
So, one of the characteristics of the End Times is a proliferation of false teachers. They are everywhere. Paul also says the same thing:
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Acts 20:29
For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. Mark 13:22
There is one problem with this idea, and it can be found in the book of Daniel, where the angel said to him;
And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Daniel 12:9
So, we have a situation where there is a proliferation of false teachers, at the same time as there is an unsealing of the words of the book of Daniel. How are we to know if what is being said about this book is true, or is another in the series of false End Times teachings?
I can hear someone say; “What about you, Daniel Knezacek? How are we to know if the things you have said about the book of Daniel are true or not?”
I’m glad you asked.
The bible gives us guidelines to use to determine if a teacher is true or false. Some judge teachers by their Christian traditions. If what they say is not traditional then they are judged as a false teacher. Jesus, on the other hand, had this to say about traditions;
Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. Mark 7:13 (See also Matthew 15:2-6)
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Colossians 2:8
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; I Peter 1:18
No. Just as Jewish tradition, in Jesus’ day, had been corrupted by man-made traditions, so too has Christian teaching been corrupted by man-made traditions. I am not only referring to traditions held by liberal Christians, but also to many held by Christian fundamentalists. “lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
There is a standard that is unchanging, that you and I can go to to determine whether what we are being told is the truth, or not. That standard is the Word of God.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: II Timothy 3:16
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. II Peter 1:21
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. John 5:39
(The Bereans) were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Acts 17:11
“… the scripture cannot be broken;” John 10:35
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4
The Scribes and Pharisees often came to Jesus and challenged Him with one verse or another. What they were doing was taking Scripture out of context. You can make Scripture say many things if you take it out of context. The Antichrist will actually use Scripture to validate his claim to be the messiah, or Christ! He will do this by taking it out of context!
The only way to be sure that your understanding is correct is to read the whole bible, from Genesis to Revelation! Compare Scripture with Scripture. There is no short-cut to spiritual knowledge.
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. I Corinthians 2:13 (The bible is the only spiritual book)
The only way to be sure that I am not teaching you something false, in the pages of The Spirit of Prophecy, is to check out the Scriptures. I have tried to make this easier for you by providing a table of Scriptures used, as well as by referencing every quote throughout the book.
I have begun the book with a challenge to the reader: If you think that what I am saying is incorrect, you are free to prove me wrong by the Scriptures. If someone can do that, I will either change the book, or withdraw it from publication. A couple of people have said that they think I am wrong, but both have failed to provide scriptural proof of their contentions. Just because what I am saying is not traditional does not make me wrong.
I’m still waiting…