Signs of the Last Days/Program 1

By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung; ©2011
In Matthew 24, the disciples of Jesus asked him what would be the signs of the end. His response offers surprising insights, because much of what Jesus mentioned seems to be taking place in our world today. Dr. Jimmy DeYoung joins Dr. John Ankerberg discuss current events in light of biblical prophecy.

Contents

Contents

Introduction

Announcer: Today on the John Ankerberg Show: are we seeing an increase in natural disasters, earthquakes, famines and wars?
  • In 1994 an Asian tsunami killed 230,000 people in 11 countries.
  • In 1958 a giant wave 1,720 feet high, 470 feet taller than the Empire State Building, struck Lituya Bay, Alaska, causing absolute destruction.
  • In January 2010, a massive earthquake leveled Haiti and killed over 200,000 people, while in March, 2011, one of the five most powerful earthquakes ever recorded hit Japan, creating a 30 foot tsunami that killed more than 20,000 people.
  • In the first seven months here in the U.S. we have seen 1,621 devastating tornadoes.
  • In Russia, the Ukraine, Argentina, and the southeastern part of the U.S., they are all experiencing severe draught, and have contributed to surging food prices and a new outbreak of famine in the world. According to the United Nations, over 970 million people go to bed hungry every night.
  • Further, in the Middle East, 18 different countries are experiencing revolution, bloodshed, and war.
Do the natural disasters and wars we see today foreshadow Christ’s return? Will these events get any worse?
My guest today is journalist and prophecy scholar, Dr. Jimmy DeYoung. Join us for this special edition of the John Ankerberg Show.

Dr. John Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. You know, today, we’ve got 184 countries that our program is being seen in, and over a billion people have the potential of seeing this broadcast. And one of things that we all have in common is we are watching the natural disasters that are taking place in our world. And we’re kind of in awe of these things. Today we had a Newsweek article that came out and it said, “We’ve got tsunamis, earthquakes, nuclear meltdowns; we’ve got revolutions; we’ve got economies on the brink.” And then it asks the question, “What’s next?”
And we’re doing a series of programs on the “Signs of the Last Days,” talking about natural disasters, earthquakes, famines and wars. What does the Bible have to say about where things are going?
And my guest today is a favorite on our program, Dr. Jimmy DeYoung. He’s been a journalist who’s lived in Israel since 1991. He has interviewed every prime minister that has been there since that time; Palestinian leaders, the religious leaders. He knows his Bible backwards and forwards. And today I’m going to ask him to comment on some of these things that are in connection with the events we’re seeing in our world today, but also what Scripture says—where we’re going in the future.
And, Jimmy, I’d like to start off with the question that was asked Jesus on the Mount of Olives in Matthew 24. As he was sitting there, the disciples came to him privately and said, hey, “‘Tell us, when shall these things be? What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?’ And Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, “I am Christ;” and shall deceive many.’” So, he says, watch out for deception. “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines and pestilences, and earthquakes, in various places. All these are,” and he called it, “the beginning of sorrows.”
Now, I’d like you to explain what he’s talking about there. And then I find it very interesting, and most people don’t realize that in Revelation 6, the very same signs are given again for the beginning part of the tribulation. Take us through these signs and places so folks can understand, where do these events take place in relationship to the rapture; the tribulation; the second coming?
Dr. Jimmy DeYoung: John, Matthew 24 is what is referred to as the Olivet Discourse. It was Monday afternoon of Passion Week when Jesus Christ left the temple mount, crossed the Kidron Valley, went to the Mount of Olives. And there his disciples then did ask him, “Give us some signs.” Let me remind everybody, we’re not talking about the rapture of the Church at that time when Jesus Christ is giving this profound prophetic message. We’re talking about his second coming. Our columns here, that we’ve used in the past, when we went “Step-by-Step through Revelation.” The column to your left there on the screen would be the rapture of the Church; the period of seven years between the rapture and the next event, the return of Jesus Christ; the 1,000 year millennial kingdom; and then the great white throne judgment.
What Jesus is focusing on is what is going to happen during that seven year period of time leading up to the second coming of Jesus Christ. And he gave those signs: deception, wars, and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes. All these signs are the beginning of birth pangs for a mother. Remember, when a mother starts to go into labor, she starts to feel some preliminary signs before she will deliver the child. And these are basically preliminary signs before the second coming of Christ.
Now, what Jesus is talking about in Matthew 24 happens soon after the rapture of the Church, early on in the seven-year tribulation period. You mentioned the book of Revelation, chapter 6. What is so significant to me about this message in Matthew 24 is John. John the Revelator, who would write the book of Revelation, was in that same group of disciples asking him there on the Mount of Olives, “Give us some signs.” When he writes the book of Revelation—and we’re talking probably about 65 years later in 95 AD, while he’s a prisoner on the Isle of Patmos—in chapter 6, he’s explaining the first set of seven judgments. There will be seven trumpet judgments; seven vial judgments, that’s the last half of the tribulation period; but these seven seal judgments take place in the beginning. Chapter 6, verses 1 and 2: a man on a white horse; and that man has a crown on his head, a bow in his hand. Well, that’s depicting the Antichrist who will come. And when you return back to the message in Matthew 24, in verse 4 Jesus says deception; false messiahs; false prophets; false teachers; in verse 5, deception; in verse 11 of Matthew 24, deception; in verse 24 he said almost the very elect, those who will be believers in the tribulation period, will be deceived through signs, wonders and miracles. So, deception, the first one.
We move along to the wars and rumors of wars. Back in Revelation 6:3-4, it’s a man on a red horse. He goes forth with a sword in his hand to take peace from the earth. That has to be the judgment of war. It’s the war talked about in Ezekiel 38, Daniel 11, and Psalm 83.
We come then to famines. There’s a man on a black horse, has a balance in his hand—a measure of wheat for a penny, three measures of barley for a penny. We’re talking about famine; we’re talking, actually, in that passage, about the cost of food being so high, it would take a day’s wages to buy enough bread to feed a family of four simply for that one day. And as we look across the world, the rise of the cost of food is unbelievable and the food supply is not there, even to feed.
Of course, this is all going to result in death, which would be the fourth seal: pestilence, in the message that Jesus gave on the Mount of Olives. That’s verse 7 and 8. And early on in the tribulation period, this is when this is happening. There’s going to be a judgment that will be pronounced on all of those that have come to know Christ in the tribulation period. It will be time of great martyrdom of those who are believers. Followed then, verse 12, chapter 6, signs in the heavenlies: the sun seems to be going out, the moon turns to a red color. And earthquakes; a great earthquake, chapter 6, verse 12 talks about, will happen at that time. So, see these are some of the indications of what’s going to happen in the end time. We’re seeing it unfold on our earth today, as we observe what’s happening in our world.
Ankerberg: Yeah. Let’s talk a little bit more about those six signs and the six seals, alright. First, I find it interesting that Jesus starts off by talking about deception. I mean, he is really strong, Jimmy, in saying, you know, take heed, don’t let anybody deceive you; which causes me to think there’s going to be somebody that really does mislead people, deceive them. And you’re talking about the Antichrist. Talk a little bit more about this deception that he’s going to give. Because the world is looking for a person that can lead them; put money in their bank account; take care of the Middle East crisis; do all kinds of things. If that person came along and talked nice, a lot of people would follow that person.
DeYoung: There is going to be a political personality who will come to power, energized by Satan, given his seat of authority, his power. Book of Revelation chapter 13, most detailed passage on the Antichrist, says that’s the case. Over in Daniel 11, it talks about him “loving the god of forces.” This means he’ll be a military genius. And you’re right; he’s going to cause everybody to worship him. So much so, they’ll have to have a mark in their forehead to be able to buy or sell. This is all this personality of the Antichrist. And when we say Antichrist, to the world at that time he’s not going to be the Antichrist, he’s going to be the “coming Messiah” that everybody’s talked about, even the Jewish people. And that’s why Jesus said to the Jews, there on the Mount of Olives, deception, that’s the number one sign for what I am going to allow to happen before I come back to the earth.
Ankerberg: I also find it interesting that Jesus pointed out there would be pestilences. And that word means stuff like the plague that could go across the world. And from time to time in the news we hear that there could be a worldwide epidemic of flu, or it could be the plague, or it could be other things—Ebola—that they’re really scared about. And Jesus actually pinpoints it, said that’s going to be taking place in various places during this time of the tribulation. But we also see signs of that kind of being foreshadowed right now, of what’s coming.
DeYoung: Of course, it is the case that today we do see some of these diseases. Pandemic disease, that would be another good definition for pestilence, that old King James Bible word, that we need to understand. But it also results in death. And when you have a major earthquake—we’ve had a number of earthquakes over the last couple of years; some major earthquakes—the latest, that one there in Japan, where the most powerful earthquake to ever hit that little island caused a tsunami running 500 miles an hour, 30 feet in the air, and killing many, many people. The result, of course: disease in those areas where these people try to sustain life, those that were able to survive.
Ankerberg: I also find it interesting that right now, our world is talking about a world shortage of food, so that there are over a billion people that are earning less than $2 a day. And as food prices go up, it’s impossible for them to feed their families. The Bible talks about famine coming upon the world in the last days.
DeYoung: It’s very interesting to me to have had the opportunity to watch the cable networks, the news networks, reporting during these revolutions throughout the entire Middle East. They continue to say these people are sustaining life on $2 a day; the number that you just mentioned. But, in fact, they were starving to death. When you go to the Middle East, when you go to Northern Africa, when you go out to Southern Africa, all across that continent of the world, people are not able to get food. In, for example, Ethiopia—one of those nations mentioned in that alignment of nations there in the second seal judgment, one of the comments that Jesus made on the Mount of Olives—those people are starving to death, the greatest famine that’s ever hit that part of the world. They tell us, the World Health Organization, that about half of the earth’s population will go to bed tonight not having a full stomach. This is an indicator we’re quickly moving towards that time. And, as you mentioned, the price of food keeping people from being able even to sustain their life by purchasing food.
Ankerberg: Yeah. We’re talking, folks, about the signs of the end times, that Jesus and the prophets actually gave to us—what’s up ahead. And we are tying it to the events that we’re seeing, because they are leading into these things. And one of the things we want to talk about, and we’ll talk about it after the break, is wars and rumors of wars. We’ve all seen what’s been happening in the nations across the northern part of Africa, and around the Middle East. We’ve got rebellion and revolution and bloodshed. And, of course, we all know about Egypt, and we all know about Libya. And I want to touch on these as being signs of the end times in relationship to what the Bible says is coming in Egypt and in Libya, alright. You’ve got some fabulous information on this, folks. Stay tuned, be right back and we’ll give it to you.

Ankerberg: Alright, we’re back. We’re talking with my guest, Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, who’s been a journalist, who’s lived in Israel since 1991. And he’s a prophecy scholar. And, folks, we’re talking about the signs of the end times—what the Bible has to say. And we’re talking about the famines and earthquakes, pestilence. We’re talking about the wars and rumors of wars.
And about this area of wars and rumors of war, Jimmy, obviously, we all watched the revolution in Egypt; and we’ve watched what’s been happening in Libya; and we’re watching what’s happening in the other countries, that we’ve got revolution and rebellion taking place, and a change. And people are saying, what does the Bible have to say about this? And where are things headed?
And I’d like to start off with a passage of scripture that the prophet Daniel, 530 years before Jesus Christ lived, wrote these words. And he included things about Egypt and Libya. And then I want you to explain this passage. But let me read it first. Daniel says: “At the time of the end [so we’re talking about that time] the king of the South [tell us who that is] will engage him in battle, and the king of the North [tell us who that is] will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He [talking about this special person] is going to invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood. He will also invade the Beautiful Land [that’s the Holy Land and Jerusalem]. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand. He will extend his power over many countries; [and here it is] Egypt will not escape. He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with [and here we go] the Libyans and the Nubians in submission. But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many. He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain [tell us where that’s at]. Yet [this person who’s going to do all this] will come to his end, and no one will help him.” Now, explain this prophecy of Daniel, 530 years before Jesus.
DeYoung: Well, that’s a very important passage of scripture, maybe the most prophetic passage in all of the book of Daniel, and possibly the entire Bible; because in chapter 11, he talks about five personalities that come to power down through history. He is absolutely perfect on the first four. And these men have already come to power and passed from the scene. When you come to verse Daniel 11:36, it talks about the fifth of these personalities, the king that does according to his will, referred to as the “willful king.” That’s one of 27 names for the Antichrist. Daniel 7:8, the Little Horn; chapter 9, verse 26, the prince that shall come; here in Daniel 11, he’s referred to as the willful king. So that’s the first personality. You mentioned the king of the North. Early on in chapter 11 it’s described as the area we know today as Syria. The king of the South would be what we know as modern-day Egypt. And that’s confirmed as he continues to go through this passage, Daniel 11:40-45.
Now, what’s going to happen? The first two nations in a coalition of nations, this is talked about in that second seal judgment we mentioned earlier in the program, that takes place during the tribulation period, after the rapture, before the second coming of Jesus Christ. That, of course, would be the man on the red horse and is referring to the battle of Ezekiel 38, Psalm 83 and Daniel 11. The first one to make a move will be the king of the North. That’s modern-day Syria.
The Antichrist, verse 41, is going to rush back into the glorious Holy Land, which is the land of the Bible, into Israel. He goes north, wipes out Syria, comes down through Ammon, Moab and Edom. Those are the biblical terms for modern-day Jordan. Doesn’t touch Jordan, and the reason for that, Petra is located in southern Jordan. That’s the location where the Lord is going to protect the Jewish people for the great tribulation, the last three and a half years of the tribulation, before he comes back to the earth. Then he goes into Egypt; he takes care of Egypt, wipes out Egypt; turns around, starts back towards the north. And all of a sudden, at his heels, the Libyans.
What is so exciting to me is, we’re talking about two nations that have been in the news over the last six months. Amazingly, what has been taking place in those countries, setting the stage for Daniel’s prophecy in chapter 11 to be fulfilled. That last verse you were talking about, chapter 11, verse 45, he goes to the glorious holy mountain. That’s the mount there in Jerusalem where the temple stood, the temple mount, across from the Kidron Valley, and the Mount of Olives. The temple mount, Mount Moriah, is where there will be a temple standing during the tribulation period, at the midway point. We’ll be able to determine through other scriptures that that temple has to be there to be desecrated, the abomination of desolation. Everything we’re mentioning in Daniel 11 unfolding after the rapture, before the second coming of Jesus Christ. It’s on the world stage right now. We’re seeing the curtain about to go up on that final drama.
Ankerberg: Alright, as we wrap this up, Jimmy, the fact is, people want to know, why are we telling them this information? What is the significance of the signs of the end times? If Christians are going in the rapture, we’re out of here, so why do we need to know this information?
DeYoung: Well, that’s a very good point, John. And let’s go back to Matthew 24, just a moment, and verse 3. When those disciples came to Jesus Christ, the Church was not in existence. That would be a number of days later, after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And notice what they ask him: “Give us some signs of your coming.” So, everything we’ve been talking about on the broadcast today—deception, wars and rumors of wars, disease, famine, earthquakes, everything else we have been talking about, as it relates to the message of Jesus Christ, that very prophetic message—those are signs of the second coming of Jesus Christ. That’s the second pillar there.
Prior to that, you have the seven year tribulation period. And in the beginning of that seven year tribulation period, that’s when these events we’re talking about happen. But before that, the rapture of the Church. Now, let me just bring to your attention, friend. If you’re listening to this, you’re not looking for the signs of the second coming of Christ. We’re not in the tribulation period. You’re listening for a sound. The rapture will take place when Jesus shouts, archangel shouts, trump of God sounds, and, as you said, John, we leave this place to go to live in the heavenlies with Christ.
Why we need to have this information is, the Bible calls us to be watchmen. He made Ezekiel a watchman: hear the word from the Lord, tell the people. We need to be warning the people. So we have an opportunity to help them understand the times in which we’re living, and because of that understanding, they may be willing to consider the claims of Jesus Christ, as our Savior and as their Savior, as well. They’re sinners, I was a sinner, you were a sinner, we’re all sinners. We had to have Jesus Christ deal with that for us. He did it on the cross, when he was crucified, buried and resurrected. All we need to do is call upon him to save us, and then we’ll be prepared for the rapture. But in addition to that, as Christians, we need to live pure, on a daily basis, and be productive. The Bible tells us, “Those that have the hope of the rapture of the Church, purifieth themselves, as they await His shout.” And in addition to that, this should cause us to be very productive in the days in which we’re living.
Ankerberg: If you can see signs of Christmas coming, you know that Thanksgiving is a lot closer to you than that.
DeYoung: Yes. Absolutely.
Ankerberg: And if we see signs of Jesus’ second coming starting to materialize, come together, we know that the rapture’s got to be even closer.
DeYoung: Yes.
Ankerberg: Now, folks, next week we’re going to take part two of the signs of the end times. And we’re going to talk about: After the rapture, you have two major wars that the Bible talks about. One is this Ezekiel 38 war and the coalition of nations that are going to come against Israel. And then, secondly, you have the whole world coming for Armageddon. And Jimmy’s going to explain these events. We’re going to talk about it in the Bible and show you the verses. You’re not going to want to miss this.

 

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