Jesus characterized the last days as a time when "iniquity shalla bound" (Matthew 24:12). We have seen how this is true of our age,w hich is dominated to a frightening extent by immorality and crime. A general spirit of lawlessness already prevails in our time. We are approaching the state of affairs which the Bible says will be characteristic of the end times. This means that the judgment of God's wrath, proclaimed in the Revelation of john, is at the door. Destruction and doom impend [did you hear this, fellow Emmaus Walker?--Ed.]. The time of the Antichrist is upon us. In that time, according to the Bible, the "great dragon" will persecute all those "who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus (Revelation 12:17). Those who keep God's commandments will be recognized by Satan as belonging to his great enemy, Jesus the Christ. Therefore he hates them. Thus a fateful decision hangs on our attitude toward the commandments. Do we truly belong to Christ and His Kingdom, or in the end will we be counted in the Anti-christ's kingdom [many of us Christians today even in evangelical circles and churches are already in his kingdom, but don't know it, we are so deceived! It happened with most evangelical Christians in Germany, voting for Hitler while thinking he was Germany's bringer of hope and change! That's the bad news. But the good news still is that we can be set free of the anti-christ spirit by the truth, if we cry out to God for him to show us what we are enslaved by.--Ed.].
Jesus admonished us to pay attention to the signs of the end times. We live in an hour when His words carry an urgency they have never had before. Men of mature judgment, in the most diverse fields of thought and activity, speak of this decisive event. Reinhold Schneider spent a lifetime seeking knowledge of the hidden workings of spiritual power. Before his death he said, "I am convinced that the end of history is near. Our time is the interval between the end of the realm and the last jerk of the clock-hand." Men like Kierkegaard, Burkhardt, Thomas Mann [by all means read his monumental BUDDENBROOKS, and THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN, or at least the much shorter DEATH IN VENICE showing a highly educated but decadent, perverse man pursuing the illusion of rare beauty in a young boy he glimpses only fleetingly just before his death, books by Mann that show the mortal spiritual, moral, and even intellectual decline of Western civilization and portend its coming overthrow.--Ed.] and R.M. Rilke onvey a somber mood of death. They were all gripped by the intuition that "not only was a century coming to an end, b that it was an "empirically established fact" that our situation is "'eschatological' in the fuller apocalyptic sense of the word."
This is simply the fact of our time. Today one can hardly get away from the reality that "The existence of the atomic bomb represents an immediate danger to all people. The situation is here. It cannot be reversed [just as the possession of an atomic bomb, with the long-range missiles to deliver it a thousand miles or more, by Iran against Israel, Europe, and even America, cannot be reversed.--Ed.]. Man is able to wipe mankind and all life from the face of the globe by his own action. The bare circumstances indicate that this end will come within the next decade." True, men can be mistaken. men are limited in knowledge and understanding. It might be unimportant that men of our time speak of a great darkness which is rapidly approaching.
But another prophesied a time of terror and darkness for mankind, namely God Himself, the Lord and Creator. He above all, has said it--the Lord who cannot be mistaken. His nature is in no way limited. What He has established cannot be changed. It is God who alone is all-knowing and all-mighty, who brings us these predictions and prophecies. His word remains valid for time and eternity.
No one has made prophecies thousands of years beforehand, which have been confirmed by the course of history [and what religious system, no matter what name it is given, has been able to do this, other than what we find in the Word of God, the Bible?--Ed.]. Only the Lord God could speak with such majesty. "I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. Who is like me? Let him proclaim it, let him declare it and set it forth before me. Who has announced from of old the things to come? Let them tell us what is yet to be. Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses!" (isaiah 44:6-8).
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