The Time of the End Has Come
Christ first indicated that when we HEAR of wars and rumors of wars, that we should not be concerned because the "Time of the End" is not yet.
He then indicated that the generation that "SEES all these things" would not pass away until He had returned and the Kingdom had Come.
A biblical generation is about 40 years, however, a generation does not pass away until it dies. Therefore, the "Time of the End" will last less than the life span of the last generation which biblically is about 70 years, see Psalm 90:10.
Christ lists the signs of the Beginning.
For nation [ethnos] shall rise against nation, and kingdom [basileia] against kingdom: and there shall be famines [limos], and pestilences [loimos], and earthquakes [seismos], in divers places. All these are the beginning of birth pains (Matthew 24:7-8).
The Greek words which identify the beginning signs:
ethnos: G1484 - ethnic group, as in tribal or civil war
basileia:G932 - kingdom with a king or ruler, a nation
limos: G3042 - famine
loimos: G3061 - pestilence, plague or pandemic
seismos: G4578 - commotion, a shaking to and fro of air, land or sea.
air: a gale, hurricane, tornado, typhoon or cyclone.
land: an earthquake, volcanic eruptions.
water: a tsunami, tidal wave
Birth identifies the arrival of the Kingdom of God on earth. The beginning of birth pains are the early warning signs that the birth of the Kingdom is approaching. When the birth pains begin, the end of the age and the coming Kingdom of God will be near, right at the door. We first find this language about the birth of the Kingdom in the Old Testament. For example:
"Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son. Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children. Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?" says the LORD. "Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?" says your God. "Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her (Isaiah 66:7-10).
The beginning of birth pains have already started.
Beginning of birth pains:
- Nation against nation - ethnic group against ethnic group (Civil Wars)
The following is a list from Wikipedia of Civil Wars which are ongoing or ended in the past decade, as of 2006.
- Afghan Civil War, 1992-2001 - present
- Algerian Civil War, 1991-2002 - present
- Casamance Conflict, Senegal, 1990- present
- Colombian armed conflict, 1964- present
- Côte d'Ivoire Civil War, 1999-2000, 2002- present
- Darfur Conflict, Sudan, 2003- present
- Georgian Civil War, 1988- present
- Iraq Civil War, 2003 - present
- Kashmir Conflict, 1989- present
- Northern Irish civil war, 1969- present
- Somali Civil War, 1991- present
- Sri Lankan Civil War, 1983- present
- Ugandan Civil War, 1987- present
- Yemen Civil War, 2000- present
- Kingdom against kingdom - Country against Country
Ongoing Conflicts from Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ongoing_wars
- Great earthquakes in various places
7.9 India 01/26/01 killed 20,023
5.8 Afghanistan 03/25/02 killed 1,000
6.8 Algeria 05/21/03 killed 2,300
6.5 Iran 12/26/03 killed 31,000
9.2 Sri Lanka 12/26/04 killed 227,898
8.7 Indonesia 03/28/05 killed 1,000
7.6 Pakistan 10/08/05 killed 80,361
8.3 Java 05/26/06 killed 5,749
8.0 Peru 03/28/07 killed 514
7.9 China 05/12/08 killed 87,652
- Famines in various places5. Pestilences in various places
Ethiopia 2/27/07 current
Chad 1/30/07 current
Somalia 1/23/07 current
Kenya 1/19/07 current
Zimbabwe 8/15/07 current
Listing see - http://www.fews.net/
HIV/AIDS - http://www.npr.org/healthscience/aids2004/?sourceCode=gaw
WHO - Epidemic/Pandemic Alert - http://www.who.int/csr/don/en/index.html6. Fearful events
Hurricane Katrina New Orleans 08/29/05 Killed 1,100+
Hurricane Rita Texas / Louisiana 09/24/05 Killed 100 -7. Great signs from heaven
Again, Christ lists the signs of the Beginning.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of birth pains (Matthew 24:7-8).
We should realize that there is no way to put a start date on the "Time of the End" based on these signs that Christ said would mark the beginning. Therefore, Christ must be directing our attention to some other prophecy or prophecies for us to be able to know when the "Time of the End" begins.
We can be sure of this for two reasons:
1) Christ said, "Be on your guard. I have told you everything ahead of time." Mark 13:23
2) If we cannot establish a start date for the "Time of the End" many of Christ other warnings and instructions have no reference point. If Christ has told us everything, then He must have given us enough information to know when the "Time of the End" begins.
So, if these beginning signs are pointing us to another prophecy, where? The only other place in Scripture where we find wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes is in Revelation's Seven Seals.
To understand the Seals begin by reading: The First Four Seals of Revelation
Keeping watch! Richard H Perry