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Let me begin by saying that there are some very obvious events in our time that lead me (and many others) to believe that the appearing of Jesus Christ to take His people out of this world (a.k.a "the Rapture") will occur in this generation. I am not setting a date. I am simply observing the times and the seasons that surround me.
In Matthew 24, Jesus gave some very specific information concerning the things that would be evident prior to His Second Coming. He then said that,
when we see all these things, we can be certain that His coming is near, even at the doors. He also said that this generation will not pass away until all these things are fulfilled." (Matthew 24:33+34)
Which generation? The generation that sees "all these things".
Ok, so we may not know the exact day or hour of His Second Coming. (Matthew 24:36) And we may not know the exact day or hour of the Rapture either, (which will happen about 7 years before His Second Coming) but we can know what season we are in as surely as we know that spring is near when we see buds on the trees. (Luke 21:29-31) Actually by the context of this subject matter, Jesus was (and is) expecting the generation he was speaking about to be aware, to be watching and to be ready. In Matthew 16:3, Jesus had a pretty hot rebuke for those who were demanding of Him to show them a sign, and yet, they were not discerning the obvious signs which were right before their eyes. The signs of that time were evident to alert that generation of the coming of their Messiah just like the signs that are evident today are alerting our generation to His Second Coming and, even more, to the Rapture which, as I said before, will occur approximately 7 years before the Second Coming.
It cannot be stressed enough that the Rapture and the Second Coming are two different events and not one and the same. The Rapture is referred to in 2Thessalonians 2: 1 as the gathering together. It's also called: "the catching away" (1Thessalonians 4:17), which, by the way, is the word that the term "Rapture" comes from in the Latin translation. The gathering together is when Jesus comes FOR His people (Jew and Gentile believers) to take them out of this world before the judgment on this world begins. Then comes the Great Day of Wrath, (a.k.a. the time of Jacob's trouble), which will last for about 7 years. (Daniel 9:27) At the end of this period, Jesus will come back WITH the called, chosen and faithful from amongst His people (Revelation 17:14) to put down all rebellion against the Most High and set up His righteous kingdom on earth for 1000 years. (And, just to make a point... since He will come back with us, he must have brought us up there prior to this.)
OK back to the end signs. First I want to say that those of us who will be taken out before the Great Tribulation will not see all these things Jesus spoke about in Matthew 24 in their fullness since we will be evacuated 7 years early, but we will see them in their developing stage. The fullness of these signs will occur AFTER the Lord comes for His church, which is His body (Ephesians 1:22 and 23). The message for centuries has been: "Flee from the Wrath to come" and those who have accepted God's gracious pardon through their faith in Jesus Christ will be delivered from the Wrath (judgment) that is Coming. (Romans 5:9 and 1Thessalonians 1:10)
I thought that I would list some of the things that we have been watching develop in our time.
1. One-World Government
2. The Reunification of Europe
3. Technology in the form of the implantable computer chip
4. Cashless Society
5. The rebirth of the state of Israel in 1948
6. Satellite surveillance
7. Satellite media
8. Rise of the occults
9. Rise of paganism and it’s growing animosity toward Christians and Christ
10. The UFO phenomenon
11. The basic condition of mankind
1. One-World Government
Over the recent years, there has been a change in the way the world does business. Countries are, in our time, linked economically like never before. Ideology, religion, tradition, culture, nationality and individual politics have all taken a back seat to trade. In many instances; disputes are settled through the use of economic sanctions, embargoes (trade barriers) and money under the table. The fact is very telling. In Revelation 13, it describes a leader who is coming that will bring the whole world under his reign of tyranny. He will control and manipulate the masses through deception, sorcery, and economics.
Revelation 13:16 and 17
2. The Reunification of Europe
Over the centuries many have desired to reunify Europe through conquest but have failed. Frederick Barbarossa, Charlemagne, Napoleon, and Hitler to name a few. They may have had the will and the determination but one thing they did not have in their favor was timing. In our day, we have been seeing a successful reunification of Europe developing right before our eyes and this has been done without one bullet being fired. Instead of a war for conquest being fought, on the contrary, countries have been literally "banging down their door" to become a part of it. As of October, 2002, ten more countries have been approved for acceptance in 2004 which will bring the number of nations in the EU to 25. Eventually this Empire will swallow up the entire world. (Daniel 7:23)
In Daniel chapter 2 it tells of a dream that King Nebuchadnezzar had of an image which represented the kingdoms that will rule over the (known) earth and particularly Israel, mentioned in succession right up to the end of this man-ruled secular system.
The head of the image (as he was told by Daniel) represented Nebuchadnezzar who was the King of Babylon (the Chaldean empire).
The breast and arms of silver: the empire that would follow which was the Medes and Persians.
The belly and thighs of brass: the next great kingdom of the Grecian empire.
The legs of iron: the Roman empire.
The feet of iron mixed with clay, having ten toes, represents the final kingdom; the revived Roman empire divided into ten parts, but it will be a weak alliance and will not hold together, even as iron and clay do not mix together. This will be the final kingdom which will be destroyed by Christ at His Second Coming. (Revelation 19:11-21)
And this is the kingdom, the revived Roman Empire, that has been developing since the Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957, which established the European Economic Community (EEC) later to evolve into the European Union (EU). Belgian politician Paul-Henri Spaak was one of the "founding fathers" of the modern effort to unite Europe. Commenting on how it felt to sign the Treaty of Rome in 1957, he observed, "we felt like Romans on that day… We were consciously recreating the Roman Empire once more"
3. Technology and particularly the implantable computer micro-chip.
In the beginning of 2002 the FDA approved the use of the implantable micro-chip in humans. For many years, micro-chips were used in animals to store information such as address and medical needs. On face value, this technology could be very useful and helpful. The problem will be in who's hands it will ultimately end up. The amount of information that can be stored on one micro-chip is mind boggling. Things like credit card and financial information, criminal records, motor vehicle information, medical information, not to mention it's use in surveillance which I will get to in point 6. Could this technology be what is described as the "mark of the beast"?
In Revelation 13 there is a reference to a "mark" that all of mankind will be forced to receive, that is if they want to buy or sell in the one world economy that is coming. This mark will initially make the recipient the property of the one world ruler that is coming also known as the anti-christ (or pseudo-christ) but ultimately the property of the devil since it will be irreversible and eternal. For those who understand the concept of salvation; when one accepts Jesus as their Messiah, their Savior, they are saved...sealed until the day of redemption. Similarly, when one receives the mark of the beast, it too is a sealing. Those who receive this mark will be eternally doomed. Again, a very important note, this will occur AFTER the Rapture.
P.S. To update, in October 2004, the FDA went a step further and approved the implantable micro-chip for use in storing medical information in humans. And here is something I found quite chilling... a month later, in November 04, I happened to be "channel surfing" and came upon a magazine show they run at 3am in New York. Whenever I tune this show in, they would have guests cooking the latest lowfat recipe, gardeners showing how to plant a perfect garden, fashion designers showing their latest creations...things of that nature. But this night they had as a guest; the vice president of one of the biggest micro chip producers. This company was given the OK by the FDA in October 04 to market the chip and they were doing just that!. She (the V.P.) was introducing to the viewing public the many "benefits" of the implantable micro chip as well as showing the viewers just how easily the micro chip can be implanted into them. They brought footage of a man laying down on his side on a doctor's gurney and they were standing over him with the needle used to inject the micro chip into the arm. Things are moving very quickly.
4. Cashless Society
Credit cards, (which came on the scene in the 1950s) ATM/Debit cards, Easy Pass etc. are all the beginnings of the cashless society that is coming. All these can be used as a means of tracing and keeping track of when, what, where and by whom a transaction is being made. Even more amazing, in Barcelona, Spain, the Baja Beach Club has created a V.I.P area. People who want access have an implantable computer chip inserted in them and with it, gain entry to the V.I.P area for free and pay for their goods. They are identified by this chip, their credit balance is made known and doors open for them!
5. The Rebirth of the State of Israel
Around 66 A.D. Israel revolted against Roman rule. This resulted in the destruction of their Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and the relinquishing of any authority the Jews previously had under Roman rule. Since that time they ceased to be a sovereign nation in the land of Israel and were further scattered over the entire world. In May, 1948 a nation called Israel was established.
There are end time prophecies that have not yet been fulfilled concerning the land of Israel and the children of Israel. In order for these prophecies to be fulfilled, there has to be an Israel. From 70 A.D. to 1948 there was not.
In addition, the Sanhedrin, the highest tribunal of the Jewish state and religion, was re-inaugurated (October 2004) by a group of rabbis in Tiberias after 1,600 years of absence. According to Jewish sources, last notice of the Sanhedrin dates around 425 A.D. After that, it ceased to exist. The Jewish anticipation for the arrival of the Messiah includes the reconstitution of this body of sages. And on Feb. 9, 2005, the religious sages began to consider the rebuilding of the Temple.
6. Satellite Surveillance.
I am sure that many of you have heard of the ability of today's satellite systems being so sophisticated, that they can pick up the numbers of a car license plate from way up yonder. Now add on to this technology the implantable micro chip. One of the big sells for this micro chip has been to wealthy business men. Since the micro-chip can be tracked by satellite so efficiently, for their safety, they get this chip implanted in their bodies so that they can be located in case they were kidnapped. Since the very strong possibility exists that this chip will be used as the infamous "mark of the beast" it is here today and already being used.
7. Satellite Media
I believe it was in 1970 that I saw the first world-wide television broadcast transmitted by satellite. It was the Beatles singing "All You Need is Love". It was so exciting because I knew that the whole world (at least those who had access to a television) was seeing what I was seeing at the exact same time.
There is an awful account in Revelation 11 of two of God's faithful witnesses being killed by the anti-christ and the whole world viewing their dead bodies lying in the street for 3 ½ days. At what time in history could this have ever been done except at this present time?
8. The Rise of the Occults.
In Revelation 9:20 and 21 it says "the rest of mankind" refused to repent and would not give up their sorceries (also translated magic and witchcraft), and their worshipping of devils. How does it get to that degree? The resurgence of spiritualism with it's psychic readings, hypnosis, and channeling (just to name a few) has received mainstream acceptance in the very recent years.
9. Rise of paganism and it's growing animosity toward Christians and Christ.
Also, in very recent years, there has been a rise in paganism. It is once again becoming a mainstream religion and is playing a major part in the development of the One World religion that is coming, which will, as far as I understand, be headed up by the false prophet mentioned in Revelation, chapter 13. Many, in celebrating their pre- "Christian" roots, have unearthed old forms of worship that have been condemned by the teaching of the Holy Spirit and will bring only destruction to those who practice them. I put "Christian" in quotation marks because true Christianity is not the oppressive religion that has borne (or should I say: stolen) the name for use in conquest. In some cases, it is because of this false religion with it's oppressive rule, and the trail of dead bodies it has left in it's wake, that there is much animosity towards the true Christians and towards Christ.
10. The UFO phenomenon
Picture this: millions, if not billions of people disappearing from the face of the earth in a twinkling of an eye (1Thessalonians 4:16-18 and 1Corinthians 15:51-54) at the Rapture. How will this be explained? "Aliens came from outer space and took them all away." Crazy huh? Previously this view would have been perceived as completely insane and worthy to be disregarded. Yet, oddly enough, today it would be accepted by otherwise rational people. Why? Because over the past 50 years what was once considered science fiction and a source of entertainment has developed into a belief system. Don't you find it interesting that something that a person may have been psychiatrically evaluated for in the past could now be accepted by a mainstream population as a plausible explanation for the Rapture? Very efficient programming all in preparation.
11. The basic condition of mankind
Hey, read it for yourself. Sound familiar?
"Be certain of this, that in the last days perilous (troublesome and dangerous) times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, money-lovers, braggarts, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural feeling, unyielding, slanderers, without self-control, savage, haters of good, betrayers, reckless, puffed up(proud), lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying the power of it; turn away from these." (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
(To add a personal note to this, I grew up in the Bronx in the 50s. We lived in an apartment building. The kids would play carefree in the hallways. There were screen doors on the outside of the apartment doors and we used to keep the apartment door open with just an unlocked screen door closed as did many others in the building. It's a far cry from those days. The hinges for the screen doors are still on the door frames in many of the old buildings as a reminder of how much and how quickly things have changed.)
So, to summarize, when does "this generation which sees all these things" begin? I cannot answer that in absoluteness. Many developments occurred in the late 40s and early 50s such as the United Nations, the European Economic Community, Israel becoming a state, credit card introduction, space exploration, the invention of the first computer, the television media and the youth culture. I mention the youth culture because, for one thing, in 2 Timothy 3:2 it mentions "disobedient to parents" as a "last days" sign. I have to honestly ask myself: what parent throughout the ages did not have that complaint? But in the 1950s, the youth culture really began to develop with it's resulting "generation gap". (remember the: "Trust no one over 30" motto?) Disobedience to parents was almost expected if you wanted to fit in. Another thing that afflicted the youth of that time (and unfortunately continues today) was drug abusewhich opened the door to the occults as many of us saw in the 60's. Various forms of the occult have resurfaced in modern times and have gained mainstream acceptance.
Are all of these things converging at once just a coincidence??
I just came back to read this in 2015. I wrote this article in the mid 90s as a result of my own observations over the years. When I got my first computer in 2001, I scanned it to put it up on the internet. I did make further edits as some information presented itself. I think my last edit was in 2005. It is now 10 years later and, when I look at what this subject matter has ballooned into over the internet, and particularly at Youtube, with it's manic-spirited approach, it's long line of false predictions and it's jumping at just about every current event as being "a sign", I almost wanted to pull this article. But, after reading it again, I stand by what is here.