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Bible Facts End Times

Bankrupted

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name (Revelation 13:16-17).

Three historical time markers are helpful in understanding the significance of this prophecy.  The first one is 2000 years ago when it was written by the apostle John.  The context of the passage is an action that will be taken on behalf of the person of the antichrist in the last days.  In particular, John was writing about a seven year period of time foretold first by ancient Jewish prophets of the Old Testament and then expanded upon by the Apostles.  Commonly called The Tribulation, it is a description of what the Bible teaches of world events immediately after the present Church Age is completed.

Along with many other details, John saw a total control exercised over all financial transactions.  Only by submission to the antichrist (“beast”) will anyone buy or sell.  This is what it says.  In the history and broad scope of Bible prophecy study, many have tried to explain it away, interpret it away, or simply ignore it.  How could such a thing as John wrote happen?  Yet, that is what is says, as part of a prophecy of the last days.

That was 2000 years ago.  This week I have been reading a book written by a Christian Bible teacher 100 years ago.  The writer, Clarence Larkin commented on this very passage.  In a reference to the mark of the beast (that he called the “BRAND OF HELL”), he offered this insight.  “This is what the world is fast coming to.  The time is not far distant when the ‘Trusts’ and ‘Combinations of Capital’ will be merged in to a ‘FEDERATION OF TRUSTS,’ … at the head of which will be THE ANTICHRIST, and the producer and consumer will be powerless.” (Capitals his)

He believed John’s prophecy would be literally fulfilled and saw the time approaching.  He viewed the financial institutions of his own time as being possible instruments that could be used to facilitate this total control of money transactions by the state.

Now consider the present.  We have seen technological advances such as implanting electronic chips in the human hand.  It does not take a great leap of imagination to see how this could be used to implement the program of the beast of Revelation.  We have also seen the sudden and wanton freezing of funds belonging to freedom protesters.  Not only can they not do transactions; they have lost all access to what belongs to them.  They have been mugged by political figures for political reasons, and the financial institutions we call “trusts” have themselves betrayed them.

There is a fourth time frame also to consider, the time of the full and literal fulfillment of John’s prophecy of total commerce takeover, as well as the other horrors of the Tribulation.  Read the Revelation to get a proper sense of the time that surely cannot be far away.  There are two reasons to personally accept Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for sins now.  The first reason is to escape the horror of the Tribulation Period that current events suggest is at hand.  The second reason is the eternal punishment of the Lake of Fire the Bible warns of for all who die without forgiveness of sins.  Being there with no exit for all eternity is horror beyond comprehension and beyond words.  One Person alone can secure us, Jesus Christ.

By Ian Kurylyk

Categories
Bible Facts End Times

Perilous Times 1.

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come (II Timothy 3:1).

The Bible speaks of benefits that will accrue to a people even in this world when Christian principles are embraced by society and by government.  It also warns of the societal ruin that will follow as nations turn from the righteous ways of God.  The context of II Timothy is the great departure from the truths of the Word of God that is foretold to take place in the professing Christian  world.

This means that the “last days” spoken of in this passage are the declining days of the present Church Age.  It is a prophecy being fulfilled in the present time.  Now is the day of perilous times.  The apostle said the times shall come; we can say they have come.

The passage goes on to declare the spiritual, moral, and societal conditions that underlie the peril and that give it its character.  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 (II Timothy 3:2-5).

This is a list of departures from Bible values and commands.  This is what has got our country to the place it is today.  There is an inherent hedge of protection in obeying God’s laws and there is the preserving hand of God where He is honoured.  No amount of human ingenuity can overturn this essential law of blessing.  Sin is the root of peril.

The first evil of last days society is self-love.  The two tables of the Law command us to love God supremely and to love others as ourselves.  The entrance of sin in the Garden of Eden corrupted the natural heart of man to a takeover by the self-life and self-love.  We all know intuitively that living for self and being in love with self is ugly and reprehensible.  Attach the “self-prefix” to almost any word and it becomes a slur.  Yet in these last days, the message of our world is to live a life devoted to self with a promise of fulfillment and happiness – that never comes.

This emerging societal norm parallels the rejection of the Bible and has left us with the perils of our times.  Every strata of human behaviour has forgotten that being in love with self is depravity and we have been exposed to dangers from the very institutions and people we once could trust to do us good.

The second heart-failure of our times is covetousness, or the love of money.  Once there were patriots, family members, community leaders, and church leaders we could turn to for help with a confidence that they would act for our best interests.  Now money rules.  The average person goes through life making every decision according to what seems to offer the best bottom line.  This goes far beyond just good business sense in its place to a craven lust and enslavement to the dollar bill.

The answer to these heart problems is a re-creation work by God, the new birth.  This is offered through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He is still willing to forgive sins and make you God’s child if you are willing to face up to these problems at the personal level and accept Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross as payment for your sins.  He is risen from the dead and gives eternal life to those who believe in Him as a free gift, without any contribution of works or merit on your part.  The problems of the world today can only be solved one person at a time.

By Ian Kurylyk