Signs of the times

Atlanta Taiwanese Presbyterian Church English Ministry
Nov 5, 1995
Oliver Tseng

End times outline

Return of Jesus


Signs of the times

The next generation

Our preparation


Nobody knows when the last day will come

Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

We cannot say if Christ will return tomorrow or next year or 100 years from now.

But we can look at the signs of the times and anticipate the return of Christ

Luke 21:29-31 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.

Matthew 24:32-33 "Now learn from the fig-tree the lesson it teaches. As soon as its branches have now become soft and it is bursting into leaf, you all know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these signs, may be sure that He is near--at your very door.


End time prophecy

Ezekiel 38,39

Daniel 2,11

Matt 24

Mark 13

Luke 21

2 Peter 3

Revelation 13

Revelation 17

World wide scope

Matthew 24:37 and as the days of Noah -- so shall be also the presence of the Son of Man;

One common thing between the time of Noah and the end times is that things will affect the entire world. Not a whole lot of events in the Bible have such

Kings of the world

Revelation 16:14 for they are spirits of demons, doing signs -- which go forth unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world, to bring them together to the battle of that great day of God the Almighty; --Revelation 17:2 with whom the kings of the earth did commit whoredom; and made drunk from the wine of her whoredom were those inhabiting the earth;'Revelation 17:18 and the woman that thou didst see is the great city that is having reign over the kings of the land.'Revelation 18:9 and weep over her, and smite themselves for her, shall the kings of the earth, who with her did commit whoredom and did revel, when they may see the smoke of her burning,Revelation 19:19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, having been gathered together to make war with him who is sitting upon the horse, and with his army;

Beast ruler of all nations

Revelation 18:3 because of the wine of the wrath of her whoredom have all the nations drunk, and the kings of the earth with her did commit whoredom, and merchants of the earth from the power of her revel were made rich.

Revelation 13:7 and there was given to it to make war with the saints, and to overcome them, and there was given to it authority over every tribe, and tongue, and nation.

Only now do we have instant world wide communication

We read these passages now, and don’t think much about kings of the world, a person that has authority over all tribes, tongues, and nations, and having a worldwide currency.

But we don’t think much about it cause only now do we have instant communication. 100 years ago, it would take half a year to send a message across the United States. Before, it would have been impossible to imagine the world having such close communication.

Telephone, CNN, computers, teleconferencing, Internet makes it possible to know something right away.

And only now is it technically feasible for one single person to rule the entire world.

Universal currency

Revelation 13:16-17 And it maketh all, the small, and the great, and the rich, and the poor, and the freemen, and the servants, that it may give to them a mark upon their right hand or upon their foreheads, and that no one may be able to buy, or to sell, except he who is having the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

We’re no longer in the cash age and entered the credit card age. We no longer have to worry about people stealing money or losing it. We have the convenience of carrying just one card and spending as much as we want. We can go anywhere in the world and not worry about currency exchange.

It makes economic sense to go to the next step and have some sort of identification imprinted on the hand or head. That way we’ll never have to worry about losing the card or not carrying with us.

Changes among the nations

Restoration of Israel

Ezekiel 34:11-14 For thus said the Lord Jehovah: Lo, I -- even I, have required My flock, And I have sought it out. As a shepherd's searching of his drove, In the day of his being in the midst of his scattered flock, so I do seek My flock, And have delivered them out of all places, Whither they have been scattered, In a day of cloud and thick darkness. And brought them out from the peoples, And have gathered them from the lands, And brought them unto their own ground, And have fed them on mountains of Israel, By streams, and by all dwellings of the land. With good pasture I do feed them, And on mountains of the high place of Israel is their habitation, There do they lie down in a good habitation, And fat pastures they enjoy on mountains of Israel.

In 1948, Israel became a nation again. In 1949, was accepted into the United Nations.

Rise of Middle East

Throughout world history, the middle east has always played an important role. Even they only occupy 8% of the earth’s surface, they have had been a major player in world politics, finances, and religion.

In the past, it was a strategic gateway between all the nations of the world. In order to travel between Europe, Asia, and Africa, people had to go through the Middle East.

Now that we have planes and boats, we don’t need to travel through the Middle East. However, all our transportation relies on petroleum. And the Middle East has 2/3 of the entire world’s supply of oil.

When Iraq attacked Kuwait, why did all the nations of the world get involved? It was simply because oil was at stake. All the industrialized nations depend on the Middle East for oil.

Ever since 1948, practically all Israel’s neighbors have resented Israel moving into their neighborhood. And each would love to evict her out of her house. But Israel has got some pretty mean dogs to make sure that nobody bothers her. But the surrounding houses has also got some pretty mean dogs.

End time prophecy says that the final battle will be in the valley of Megiddo - Armaggeddon.

Revelation 16:14-16 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, [which] go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.


Fall of Communist countries

Who would’ve predicted 10 years ago about the fall of East Germany, Soviet Union, Albania, and other Communist countries in so short a period of time?


It seems like Russia is now out of the picture, but listen to the words of Dmitrii Manuilskii from the Lenin School of Political Warfare in 1931,

"War to the hilt between communism and capitalism is inevitable. Today, of course, we are not stsrong enough to attack. Our time will come in thirty or forty years. To win, we shall need the element of surprise. The Western world will need to be put to sleep. So we shall begin by lanuching the most spectacular peace movement on record. There shall be electryfying overtures and unheard of concessions. The capitalist countires, stupid and decadent, will rejoice to cooperate to their own destruction. They will leap at another chance to be friends. As soon as their gaurd is down, we shall smash them with our clenched fists."

Who was the receipient of the Nobel peace prize in 1990? Mikhail Gorbachev


Northern kings

Ezekiel 39:1-2 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:

Gog is an abbreviated form of Magog. Magog was the grandson of Noah who settled north of the Black Sea.

Meshach was founder of Moschi which become the root word for Moscow.

Tubal founded Tibereni when developed into Tobolsk, an acient Siberian center.

Revelation 20:8-9 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom [is] as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

Potential fall of United States

One thing interesting is that none of the prophecies of end times ever mentions the United States. Is it simply because none of the prophets ever knew about another land across the other side of the world? Or, is it because the US will not really play a role during the end times and just be a spectator? Or, could it be that the United States will fall, just like most communist countries have fallen?

Last night, several of us watched a video on the state of the governmental debt. At 1992, the national debt was 4 trillion dollars. Right now, we are borrowing money to pay just the interest payments on the debt. It’s like if I had to borrow money to pay for my credit card bill. It’s not a good thing to do. Especially not for a long period of time. And it’s expected that in a couple of years, simply the interest payment on our debt will become the majority of governmental expenditure. The Grace Commission report states that if nothing is done about the national debt, near the end of this century, the American economy will collapse. And, shockingly, nothing meaningful is being done about it. With our current trend, the American economic system will collapse in a couple of years.

Another theory is that so many Christians in America will be raptured that there will not be much of America left.

All the world evangelized

Matthew 24:14 And this Good News of the Kingdom shall be proclaimed throughout the whole world to set the evidence before all the Gentiles; and then the End will come.

Right now there is a Christian movement to evangelize the entire world by the year 2000.


There are a lot of different interpretations and speculations of what will happen. And some things might happen, some might not. But one attitude we should have is that the return of Christ is imminent no matter what the situation looks like.

Throughout church history, they have always thought they were in the end times.

1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand

Why doesn’t the Bible just clearly spell out what will happen at the end? Why did God allow us to have so many interpretations and guesses?

Actually, the Bible does clearly spell out some parts of it. It says the most important thing. That in the end, Jesus will win over the entire world and be King of kings.

Revelation 19:15-16 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on [his] vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

For additional info

There are many other signs of the times that we are in the end times. But there would be no way in the world to talk about all of them.

In our library, we have an interesting book, A Pictorial Guide to Bible Prophecy by Paul Lee Tan, that talks more about the signs of the times.


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