Is Time Almost Up?  How Can Anyone Know?


No one knows how much sand is in the hourglass, but eventually it, like time, will run out

One of the more common questions related to the Bible is the subject of the end times, or when will be the end of the world according to the Bible? (the study of which is also known more formally as Eschatology). While the Bible does make it clear that no one can know the day or the hour of the end of time, because Jesus plainly stated in Matthew 24:36, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”  and in Mark 13:32, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”, there are quite a few signs described in the Bible whereby we can at least discern that the end of the world could be very near, and what we could expect leading up to that point and beyond.  But where does the Bible provide such information regarding the end of time?

Timing Indicators: The “Little Season”

Anyone who is a student of the Bible should know that Jesus Christ bound the devil when Jesus died on the cross and had fully paid for the sins of God’s elect as proven by His resurrection. Jesus, when speaking of the kingdom of the devil, in Matthew 12:29, told the Pharisees, “Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.” With the devil bound, the gospel would be preached to all the nations of the world and the church would be built over the figurative 1000 years (not literal) of the New Testament era.  However, it did not mean that sin would stop, because man by nature remains sinful in this mortal life.  Moreover, Jesus said, “…I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” God would plunder the prison house of the devil and set the captives free…the believers, the elect, who God chose from before the foundations of the world.  For more on how Jesus led “Captivity Captive”, please see: the Judges Chapter 5 section of this study: https://bereansearching.com/2009/09/19/the-battle-of-armageddon-the-earthly-version-already-happened/ Moreover, even in that bound state, the devil has had a continuous influence during that period, given that we are told in Ephesians 6:11-13. “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Specifically, in Revelation Chapter 20, we also read, “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.”  We can both see and learn that must be a part of God’s Magnificent Salvation Plan that He would let the devil loose for “a little season.” This raises a number of questions…Why? When? How Long? And What then?

Why?

This is perhaps the most difficult question to answer, but the Bible does offer the following as a basis for deriving an explanation.  However, in Romans 1, 18-25 we are warned, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”

Historical precedents

Jesus warned in Luke 17, 26-29, regarding the examples of the days of Noah before the Flood and the days of Lot before Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

In Jude 5-21, we read, “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

In 1 Corinthians 10 we read where Paul was warning the Church of Jesus Christ concerning how National Israel, while wandering in the wilderness, became apostate after escaping the bondage of Egypt and were subsequently severely punished by God, “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” So then, National Israel was a type or allegorical example to the Corporate Christian Church to instruct and admonish us not to become apostate (through and idolatry and spiritual fornication). The New Testament Church (upon whom the ends of the world would come) replaced the Old Testament Church (National Israel), but yet could still be subject to the same issues, temptations, and lusts, and therefore potentially subject to the same judgments and punishments from God. For more on how the Christian Church replaced National Israel, please see the commentary on Esther, who replaced Vashti as the Queen of Persia: https://bereansearching.com/2009/09/19/an-exposition-of-the-book-of-esther/

Signs of the Times

God makes it very clear that mankind (every man and woman) is composed entirely of only sinners by nature arising from the fall of Adam. We also know that if mankind is not restrained, through law enforcement, then the likelihood is that crime would increase. God makes it clear in the following passages that there must be the threat of punishment being applied when a law is broken or things will get worse. 

We know the following from Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”  Of course we know that God knows it hence God warns in Ecclesiastes 8:11 we read, “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” And regarding the law enforcers, we read in Romans 13:3&4, “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”  Policeman are armed to provide for a peaceful way of life for society which otherwise would only bring increasing crime, anarchy, mayhem, and death.  And the Bible states that unregenerate mankind, due to the original sin, by nature actually do love death. In Proverbs 8:36, God says, “But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.”

So what do we see today?  Do we see churches preaching the Word of God unto salvation through payment of sins by Jesus Christ? Do we see the churches taking a firm stand against the sins that are clearly enumerated in the Bible, or rather preaching that which is accommodating to the culture and whims of the world today?  What do you hear of Romans 1? Or of the ordinances for the roles of men and women in the church according to 1 Timothy?  If we see the churches under the umbrella of Christianity going apostate, should we really be at all surprised if we see God’s Hand of Judgment being brought to bear against those churches? Moreover, if the churches have gone apostate, so too is the society in which it is found. The church is ordained to be the vessel by which the Holy Word of God is preached, and if that church goes apostate, then the candle of Light will go out, and the society will be cast into darkness.  

What do we see in our world today?  Do we see respect for the law and order as set forth by God in the Bible?  Or do we see mankind making up its own laws, and doing that which is right in its own eyes. Psalm 36, 1-4 says, “The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eye. For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good. He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.” Criminals are freed and law enforcement officers are vilified and condemned.  

Isaiah 59:4, “None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.”

Jeremiah 9:3, “And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord.”

Jeremiah 9:5, “And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.”

In John, 8:44, we read where Jesus was speaking to the leaders of National Israel, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” So if we are hearing more lies today, what is the source?  It would certainly seem that the devil has been loosed.

In 2 Timothy Chapter 3, verses 1-7, we read, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Finally, 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, verses 1-12, offers us some key insights concerning the loosing of the devil and the time it represents.   “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth (constrain) will let (constrain)until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness”

So it may well be that we are seeing the loosing of the devil in our world today as a judgment against the corporate church for its apostasy (Romans Chapter 1 sheds some light here) and therefore is a judgment upon our country along with the entire world for turning away from the Almighty Creator God.  It would represent the penultimate judgment before the Final Judgment at Jesus’s Triumphant Return on Judgment Day. Again, please see: https://bereansearching.com/2009/09/19/the-battle-of-armageddon-the-earthly-version-already-happened/

When?

In Matthew 24, beginning at verse 3, we read, “And as he (Jesus) sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers placesAll these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall aboundthe love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Please also see the similar descriptions provided in Mark Chapter 7. 

In Luke 21:7-33, similar information is presented where we read, “And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls. And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” (NOTE: Historically this happened in 70 A.D. to National Israel, and may point to what could happen spiritually to the spiritual Israel (the Christian church) in our day.)

“Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.”(BTW: the fig tree has been described by others as a symbolic reference to National Israel which became a nation among nations again after nearly two millennia. And given that it became an official nation again in 1948, or 73 years ago, it could be viewed as being within a “generation” that encompasses our day. However, this is not to say that “this generation” could not also be a reference to this whole era of man leading up to Judgment Day, because Jesus said in Luke 11:29, “And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.”)

When we read further down in Matthew 24, beginning at verse 29, we learn the following, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other”

How Long? God will cut the time short

While the length of time of the little season is not specified, Jesus gives us the assurance in Matthew 24:22, that the world will not be completely destroyed and that not everyone would die before Judgment Day (via nuclear war, pandemics (pestilences), earthquakes, famines, climate change, or whatever) because: “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” And it is repeated in Mark 13:20, “And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.”  This is also consistent with Apostle Paul’s Holy Spirit inspired statement in 1 Corinthians 15:51-53, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep (die), but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

What then?

And From 2 Peter Chapter 3 (please see the whole Chapter) we find that at Jesus’s coming, which will herald the Final Judgment Day, the elements shall melt with fervent heat and that there will be an entirely new creation… Verses 10-13, “But the day of the Lord (Judgment Day) will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” Peter was aware of what God said by the prophet Isaiah, in Isaiah 65:17 “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” and Isaiah 66:22, “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.”

What Should We Do Now?

Things certainly do not appear to be improving in the world, and for the most part, the world seems to have gone absolutely insane for reasons that are not obvious to any objective observer.  That is because the root cause is spiritual and not readily apparent to those who are trying to explain and or justify current events from a carnal perspective. The Bible offers us the very clear explanation, and predicts exactly what we are seeing in the world today, and what will be the final outcome.  In 2 Thessalonians 1:7-12 we are told, “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Conclusion

Anyone is free to choose to either listen to or ignore the truth as found in the Bible. One way or another we will all have to come to the realization that all of creation and time and space is finite and will end at some point…and for any one individual that end will come at the point of physical death. But there is still the Judgment Day to come for sin!  However, there is still the hope and joy of knowing that we can have peace with God through Jesus Christ (alone) as our sin bearer and punished substitute if we only cry out to God for mercy in Jesus’s Name before it is too late.  In order to stand in the presence of God, and to enter into the Temple of God not built with hands, we must be clothed in the robes of Jesus Christ’s Righteousness.

For the Believer, according to 2 Corinthians 5, 1-11, “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.”

Jesus warned of the coming Judgment Day and said the following in Luke 21. 34-36, “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”

Comfort for the Believer in the End Times

Despite the increasingly tribulous times that we now find ourselves living in, there remains the exquisite hope and comfort for all Believers. Romans, chapter 8, the entire chapter sums it all up. In this latter portion, verses 26-39, we read “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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