Not long ago, the Barna Group (a research organization that focuses on faith matters), conducted a poll concerning the End Times. 41% of those polled in the United States over the age of 18 believe we are living in the Biblical End Times. Perhaps the most fascinating number to me is that 47% of those described as families with young children at home, believe we are living in the Biblical End Times.
So a significant number of adults 20 to 40 years old believe we are living in the End Times. However, in conversations with people in this age group, I find most do not have even a general understanding of what the Bible teaches about the End Times. This disconnect is not the fault of these people in general, but in fact, the fault lies with our Seminaries and Bible Colleges, who for most of the past 60 years have all but ignored the teaching of Bible Prophecy. This has produced a generation of Pastors, Preachers, and Teachers who have little or no connection to the nearly 30 percent of the Bible which is Prophecy.
Prophetically the Bible clearly has much to say, and as we watch events unfolding in the world today, we can truly understand that we are living in the Last Days. Prophecy isn’t mysterious theology only for Bible Scholars to understand, God breathed it into the scriptures for everyone to know.
The point I wish to get across is this, that we, living in these days, need to be aware of the very fact that we are living in a time in which prophecy has been fulfilled, is being fulfilled, and will continue to be fulfilled. Understanding that, while End Times prophecy was sealed up for a time, it is now opened up and revealed for us to comprehend, and that we have the responsibility to share with our loved ones, friends and neighbors, what the Scriptures say regarding the Last Days. We must do this, so that they too can have the opportunity to spend eternity with Jesus Christ in heaven.
So how do we know that the sealed has been revealed?
In the book which bears his name, Daniel writes out much future prophecy concerning the End Times. As he interpreted the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar, prophecy was revealed which point us to the book of Revelation and the End Times. The great statue in the king’s dream, from the golden head to the feet of iron and clay, prophesied of the kingdoms which would rule over Israel right up to the End Times kingdom of the antichrist. In the Revelation of Jesus Christ, recorded by the apostle John, we begin to see the fulfillment of the prophecies in Daniel as well as the New Testament prophesies of Jesus and His apostles.
I want to pay attention particularly to Daniel 12:4-9 focusing on a few words here.
- The very fact that, first of all, the Lord tells Daniel to seal up the book. In effect, seal up the understanding of prophecy, and he told him to seal it up “until the time of the end”. Then Daniel asked a question, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?” Daniel was asking when will be the “time of the end”. And God told him “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” The point here is that God was telling Daniel to let it go, not to concern himself with it, and then he gave Daniel a partial explanation, “Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.”
In other words, in the End Times many will be redeemed, many will see the provision of God for man, but also, the wicked will still be wicked, will not see the salvation provided through the Messiah, will not understand the prophetic scriptures, but (and this is extremely important) “the wise shall understand”. Who are the wise?
Let’s look at a few passages of scripture from the New Testament.
- First, Matthew 13:10-11 Jesus has been teaching utilizing parables; And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.” And in Matthew 13:16-17 He tells them; “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”
Did you catch that? In verse 10 it says the “disciples came and said to Him”. So it is the disciples that are asking the question “Why do You speak to them in parables?”, And look again at how Jesus answers them. It has been “given to you” the disciples “to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven”.
So I believe we’re starting to get a picture of who the wise are in Daniel 12:10, but let’s look now at another passage. In this passage from the book of John, Jesus is telling His disciples that He will be leaving them very soon, but that He won’t be leaving them alone.
- Read John 14:12-17 and John 14:23-26 In these passages Jesus is promising them “the helper” who He calls “the spirit of truth” whom the world cannot see or know, but who “dwells with you and will be in you”. And then in verse 26 He identifies the helper as the “Holy Spirit”, and further says that “He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” So here again, Jesus is telling His disciples that the Holy Spirit will be their teacher so they can understand the wisdom that He has taught them.
Let’s look at another passage that will help us identify the “wise” in Daniel chapter 12.
- Look at 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 where the apostle Paul is teaching on wisdom. This passage spells it out for us. The Holy Spirit teaches the “things that have been freely given to us by God”, the wisdom of God, to “THOSE WHO LOVE HIM”. And it tells us that “he who is spiritual judges all things” again, “THOSE WHO LOVE HIM”. So, the “wise” are those of us who Love Jesus Christ and are His disciples.
Let us now look at what John recorded in the Revelation
- Revelation 22:10 And he said to me, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. Here in the last chapter of the last book of Scripture, the Angel is now telling John, not to seal up the book, not to seal up prophecy. Why? Because all prophecy has now been recorded, and “the time is at hand” when it will begin to be fulfilled.
We are living in the Last Days, the End Times are at hand, and that is evidenced by the instruction to the disciples by Jesus, and by the teachings of the Apostles. All of the apostles believed they were living in the last days, and all expected Christ to return in their lifetimes. The apostle Paul, in his Epistles, shared with his readers that they were living in the Last Days. In his epistles to the church at Thessalonica and his epistles to Timothy and Titus, Paul unveiled the Prophecy of the Rapture, and taught of the coming persecution of the church.
I want you to understand then, if the apostle Paul told his readers in his own time that they were living in the Last Days, how much closer do you think we are today? I believe the Lord will return for His church in my lifetime, but unlike Paul and the other apostles, we have the advantage of being able to look at the past 2000 years and see the fulfillment of much Bible prophecy, prophecies which continue to be fulfilled before our very eyes.
Jesus is Coming Soon!
Even So, Come.