Category Archives: Understanding the Times

What in the World is Happening

Earth on fire with shadowFor thus says The LORD GOD,
How much more when I send My four severe judgments against Jerusalem
Sword, famine, wild beasts, and plague to cut off man and beast from it!
Ezekiel 14:21

Because so many things are simultaneously happening worldwide, many are asking “what in the world is happening?” Before we explain what is happening, let’s look at some of those global events occurring, even now:

  1. False Christs – those who deny JESUS, while claiming to be the one anointed by GOD and empowered by HIS SPIRIT (Mat 24:4-5, Mrk 13:6, Luk 21:8, Rev 6:1-2):
    • Founder or the one claiming to be the anointed one: Baha’i-Mirza Hoseyn ‘Ali Nuri; Buddhism-Gautama; Cao Dai-Ngo Van Chieu; Christian Science-Mary Baker; Confucianism-Confucius; Islam– Muhammad; Jainism-Mahavira; Jehovah’s Witness-Charles Taze Russell; Mormons-Joseph Smith; Prosperity Gospel-Essek William Kenyon; Scientology-Lafayette Ronald Hubbard; Sikhism-Guru Nanak; Taoism-Laozi; Unitarian-Faustus Socinus/John Biddle/William Ellery Channing; Word of Faith Movement-Kenneth Hagin Sr.
    • No Founder identified, but prevalent throughout the world: Hindu; Korean Shamanism; Japanese Shintoism; Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines originating from Hindu
  2. Nation against Nation (Mat 24: 6-7, Rev 6:3-4):
    • Belarusian citizens protest against a corrupt election which put President Alexander Lukashenko back in office
    • Black lives matter protests around the globe against racism, social injustice, and police brutality
    • Bulgaria citizens protests to remove Chief Public Prosecutor, Ivan Geshev from office
    • Hong Kong youth protests against government’s plan to allow extradition to mainland China
    • Nigerian protests against government and police brutality
    • Thailand pro-democracy protestors demand reform of the Thai monarchy
  3. Wars (Mat 24:6-7, Rev 6: 3-4):
    • Currently there are ten official global wars being fought (Syrian civil war, Libya civil war, Yemini civil war, South Sudan civil war, Afghanistan war, Mexican drug war, Somali civil war, Darfur war, India-Pakistan war, Philippine drug war), and eight active military conflicts (Kurdish-Turkish conflict, Ukraine conflict, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Taliban attacks, Iraq political instability, Nigerian conflict, Boko Haram insurgency, Sinai insurgency, South Kordofan conflict). These wars and conflicts involve sixty-nine countries, with 843 militia groups are involved in those wars and conflicts. The militia groups include terrorists, guerrillas, separatists, and anarchic groups.
  4. Famine (Mat 24:7, Rev 6:5-6):
    • 553 million people experiencing severe food shortages in Asian and Pacific regions
    • 227 million people experiencing severe food shortages in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America
    • 47 million people experiencing severe food shortages in the Caribbean and Puerto Rico
    • 15 million people experiencing severe food shortages in the United States
  5. Pestilence and Plagues (Mat 24:4-5, Rev 6:7-8):
    • Covid-19 pandemic: Pestilence that led to global, social, and economic disruption; mass cancellations and postponements of events; globally closed borders, and locked down provinces, states, cities, villages, and national parks; Mt. Everest closed to climbers; the U.S. is in the largest economic recession since the Great Depression.
    • More than 1 million new sexually transmitted infections diagnosed every day worldwide. Combined cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia, have risen to unprecedented numbers. HIV, and genital herpes, have experienced a sharp increase in Pakistan, and the Philippines. Many once controlled sexually transmitted infections, have begun to rise around the world, due to the scientific impact response for covid-19.
    • Global resurgence of cholera, measles, typhoid fever, Ebola, and diphtheria, also due to the scientific impact response for covid-19.
    • Plague of locust: locust swarms (tens of billions of them reported to be 37 miles long and 25 miles wide in Africa (Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia), Middle East (Yemen, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Iran), India, Pakistan, China
    • Plague of mosquito clouds: massive mosquito swarms kill cows, horses, deer, and other livestock after Hurricane Laura made landfall in southeastern Louisiana.  
  6. Christians persecuted and killed (Mat 24:9, Rev 6:9-11):
    • As of January 2020, 310 million Christians globally are suffering high to severe levels of persecution
    • Every month, 309 Christians are imprisoned unjustly
    • Every week, 182 Churches or Christian buildings are attacked
    • Every day, 8 Christians worldwide are killed because of their faith
  7. Extreme weather events (Luk 21:25, Rev 6:7-6th seal great earthquake):
    • Epic flash flooding around the globe (the Yangtze River in China affected 13 million acres of cropland,
    • Cyclone Amphan (the most destructive cyclone in India’s history), ravages India and Bangladesh
    • “Once in a decade” storm batters 1900 miles of the Western Australian Coast
    • 45% of the United States currently in drought
    • back-to-back hurricanes on the US East Coast
  8. Unprecedented forest fires, raging around the world (Rev 8:7-1st trumpet 1/3 earth on fire):
    • Australia Bush fires, tens of millions of acres and 1 billion animals killed
    • US West Coast fires, more than five million acres had burned as of 9/10/20
    • Brazilian Amazon, Bolivia, Canada, Thailand, Ukraine, Russia, Indonesia, sub-Saharan Africa

Why are all these events happening? These events are happening because of the sin of man, and the response of our holy GOD to that sin. All these events, can be best described in a single word “Judgment.”

What is Judgment?  Judgment can be defined as:

  1. the ability or process of forming an opinion; coming to a conclusion; making a decision
  2. divine punishment inflicted through misfortune or calamity

In this study, we will be looking at the second definition of judgment, per Ezekiel 14:21. The English word “judgment” is transliterated from the Hebrew word “sh­ephet” (OT:8201), and means infliction (to inflict something unpleasant or painful on someone or something).

When does GOD inflict Judgment? Our Beloved LORD GOD inflicts judgment on the wicked (Psa 11:6, Mal 3:5, Jhn 5:29, Jhn 12:31, Heb 10:26-27), on a person, a people, a nation who mistreat or persecute HIS people (Exd 3:16-22, Exd 6:6, Act 11:28, Act 18:1-2), and on HIS people, who refuse to repent of, or turn from:

  • Idolatry: the setting up of idols in one’s heart; extreme admiration and love for anything or anyone, more than GOD (Eze 14:1-8, Eze 20:16, Eze 11:21)
  • The practice of abominations/detestable sins: a lifestyle of idol worship, immorality, perversity, lying, dishonesty, deceitfulness, arrogance, hating, killing, scheming, conniving, causing division, quick to do evil (Eze 14:6, Pro 3:32, Pro 6:16-19, 2 Tim 3:1-5)
  • Backsliding: continually returning to sin (Jer 8:5, Hos 11:7), going backward and not forward (Jer 7:23-24, Jer 15:6), habitually giving in to temptation (Ecc 2:10, Php 3:19), always going astray (Heb 3:10).
  • Apostasy: a willful decision to abandon the faith (Isa 1:4, 2 Ths 2:3, 1 Tim 4:1); reject The WORD as truth (Pro 4:2, Jer 6:19, Jhn 12:48, 2 Ths 2:10-11); defect or shrink back from GOD (Isa 31:6, Heb 10:38-39); forsake The LORD (1 Kin 9:6-9, Isa 1:28, Jer 17:13); revolt against GOD (Isa 1:2, Isa 30:9, Isa 65:2-4); withdraw from JESUS (Heb 6:4-6) and HIS teachings (Jhn 6:60-69); turn away from GOD and HIS WORD (1 Kin 14:7-9, 2 Tim 4:3-4).

What Judgments has GOD inflicted? Our Beloved LORD GOD visited HIS judgments on:

  • Egypt with ten dreadful plagues, when Pharaoh refused to let HIS people go (Exd 7:4)
  • Judah and Israel with war, because of constant Idolatry (Kings and Chronicles)
  • Israel and the house of Saul with physical famine, for Israel’s idolatry (1 Kin chptrs 17-18, 2 Kin 6:24-30, Hag 1:7-11), and king Saul trying to break the Gibeonite covenant (Jos 9:3-20, 2 Sam 21:1-2)
  • Israel with spiritual famine, for their idolatry (Amo 8:11-14, Mic 3:5-7)
  • The rebellious Israelites with pestilence, during their wilderness journey (Num 11:1-34, Num 14:36-38, Num 16:41-50, 1 Chr 21:1-27)

What Judgments will GOD inflict? Our Precious JESUS CHRIST spoke of  the opening of the seal Judgments, which are birth pangs or the beginning of GOD’s judgments against rampant sin (Mat 24:4-9, Rev 6:1-17, Rev 8:1). GOD’s judgments will get more severe with the trumpet Judgments (Rev 8:2-13, Rev 9:1-21, Rev 11:15-19), until HIS wrath is poured out in the bowl Judgments (Rev 15:1-8, Rev 16:1-21).

Is GOD inflicting Judgment now? Yes, HIS judgments are reflected in the eight different events listed in the opening of this study. And these judgments are will get more and more severe until the heavens, earth, and all its inhabitants are destroyed (2 Pet 3:10-13). The earth is currently experiencing four severe judgments, war; famine; wild beasts; pestilence (Eze14:21). These four judgments will climax with the complete opening of the Fourth seal, the judgment of Death. Today it is still a birth pang, but when Death, the rider on the sickly pale horse (Rev 6:8), is  released without restraint (Rev 1:18); He and Hades will travel together, and 25% of the world’s population will be killed. Death will claim the bodies, Hades will claim the souls.

The following is a chart of actual 2019 deaths globally:

2019 global deaths chart

If the Sixth seal of Judgment had been fully opened 25% of the 2019 Global population or 1.8 billion would have died (7.6 billion*25% = 1,894,282,600).

How should you be living in these times? As a faithful child of GOD. You have been warned that all these things are happening because of sin; and knowing from Scripture that the heavens and earth will be destroyed by fire (2 Peter 3:11); should you not be living a obedient life, faithful, holy in conduct, and godliness (2 Peter 3:11).

Is HE rebuking you because you fear him?
Is this why HE enters into judgment with you?
Isn’t it because your wickedness is great?
Aren’t your iniquities endless?
Job 22:4-5 (Complete Jewish BIBLE translation)

Before I was afflicted, I went astray
But now I keep YOUR WORD
Psalm 119:67

Discerning the Times – Introduction

Discerning the Times

The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing JESUS, they asked HIM to show them a sign from heaven.
But HE replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘it will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’
“And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’
Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?
“An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.”
And HE left them and went away.
Matthew 16:1-4

In this passage of Scripture we saw religious leaders wanting JESUS to prove that HE was indeed the Messiah sent by GOD, by providing a miracle from heaven (such as when fire came down from heaven to the earth, proving Elijah was the prophet sent by The true GOD in 1 Kings 18:36-39).

Our Beloved LORD JESUS WHO had already performed many miracles up to this point, had provided sufficient proofs that HE was WHO HE claimed to be. Yet these religious leaders still did not believe in HIM. Knowing that sufficient proof of truth would never be accepted by hardened, unbelieving hearts HE simply stated “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” This statement to the unbelieving religious leaders was expounded upon in Matthew 12:39-41:

But HE answered and said to them,
“An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER
So will The SON of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth
“The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it
because they repented at the preaching of Jonah
and behold, something greater than Jonah is here

So do believers need to discern (understand or recognize) the signs of the times? Yes for many reasons, but we will only give you four:

1.  So that we are not caught off-guard; unprepared; asleep (Mrk 13:36, Rom 13:11).
We have been continually commanded to “be on the alert” (Mat 24:42-44, Mat 25:1-13, Mrk 13:32-36, Luk 12:35-40, 1 Ths 5:1-6). To be on the alert means to be watchful; extremely aware of what is going on with our surroundings.

“What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!'”
Mark 13:37

We have been commanded to keep a careful watch over ourselves, our hearts and our lives (Pro 4:20-27, Eph 5:15-18), so that the worries of this life, the everyday events in this life, the pleasures of this life, and the deceitfulness of wealth in this life cause us to be as unexpectant and unprepared for HIS return as unbelievers (Luk 21:34-36, Mat 24:36-39, Luk 17:26-30).

2. So that we have knowledge of what we should do (Hos 4:6).
We should be like the sons of Issachar (1 Chr 12:32), we should understand the times we are living in, and have knowledge of what GOD’s people should do, as demonstrated by the following Scriptures:

“By smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant
But the people who know their GOD will display strength and take action.
Daniel 11:32

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations
Baptizing them in the name of The FATHER and The SON and The Holy SPIRIT
Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you
And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19-20

And HE said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation”
Mark 16:15

Preach the word
Be ready in season and out of season
Reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction
2 Tim 4:2

But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
2 Timothy 4:5

Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way,
What sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness
2 Peter 3:11

3. So that we are able to give understanding to others what is going on (Dan 11:33).
Our Beloved LORD GOD is a friend to those who love and obey HIM (Pro 18:24, Jhn 15:14-15, Jam 2:23). HE makes known to HIS friends:
    • HIS Will (Rom 12:2, Col 1:9-10, 1 Ths 4:3-8)
    • HIS Ways (Psa 25:8-9, Psa 32:8, Psa 119:3)
    • HIS Heart (Jer 31:3, 1 Tim 2:3-4, 2 Pet 3:9)
    • HIS Plans (Gen 6:13, Gen 18:17-33, 1 Sam 3:11-14, Psa 33:11, Amo 3:7)
So that we may know and understand HIM (Jer 9:24, Exd 33:13↔Psa 103:7, Gal 6:14).

As friends of GOD, we are also called to be HIS faithful servants and messengers; making HIS WORD known to others for their salvation (Mrk 16:15-16, Rom 10:13-18), for their growth by gaining understanding (Ezr 8:1-8, Mat 28:19-20), for their welfare concerning the consequences of sin (Jer 23:22, Jer 35:15, Jam 5:19-20), and for their knowledge of various events and circumstances (Mrk 13:23, Jhn 15:18-19, 1 Ths 3:4, 1 Pet 4:12-19).

Will we be able to give understanding to everyone? No, the wicked will not understand (Dan 12:10). They will not hear The WORDS of JESUS CHRIST (Jhn 8:43-47) because they refuse to listen (Isa 30:10, 1 Jhn 4:5-6), they reject the truth (2 Ths 2:10-12, 2 Tim 4:3-4) and mock those who bring it (2 Pet 3:3-4, Jud 1:18-19).

4. So that we are not frightened but recognize the events that lead to our redemption (Mat 24:6, Mat 24:32-33, Luk 21:9).
HE has told us everything in advance (Mrk 13:23), so while men who do not know HIM or HIS plans are fainting from fear of what appears to be happening (Luk 21:26), we should be expectantly looking for HIS return (Luk 12:35-40, Luk 21:29-36).

“Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.
Mark 13:33