Modern Day Signs of the Times
A review of signs unique to
our day and time
Dr. David Reagan
present an overview of the signs of the times that point to the
soon return of Jesus, I am often confronted by someone often a
professing Christian - who will say, "Come on David, these signs
you are talking about have always existed in one degree or another,
so what else is new?" They will then proceed to point out that
there have always been wars and rumors of war, there have always
been natural calamities, and throughout history Christians have
always been persecuted. Then comes the inevitable challenge: "Show
me something really new and unique that clearly points to our
day and time as the season of the Lord's return."
is understandable, but it is not entirely legitimate. That's because
Jesus said the end time signs would be like "birth pangs" (Matthew
24:8). In other words, the signs would increase in frequency and
intensity as the time draws near for Jesus to return. There would
be more earthquakes, and more intense ones. Wars would be more
frequent and more horrible in their degree of devastation. And
that, of course, is exactly what has happened in this century.
All the signs have been increasing exponentially in both frequency
it is legitimate to ask if there are any signs that are truly
unique to our day and time - signs that have never existed before.
Are there new signs that clearly point to this period of history
as the time of the Lord's return? The answer is yes.
A verse that
immediately comes to mind in this regard is found in Daniel 12.
Daniel was given many prophecies by the Lord. Those relating to
his day and time he clearly understood. He even seemed to understand
prophecies that the Lord gave him relating to distant times, such
as the succession of Gentile empires that would ultimately lead
to the establishment of the Roman Empire. But when it came to prophecies
about the end times - the period leading up to the Lord's return
as King of kings and Lord of lords - Daniel did not understand what
was revealed to him.
mightily with the prophecies and finally cried out to the Lord
in despair. "I have heard," he said, "but I do not understand!
What do these events mean?" (Daniel 12:8). The Lord, in effect,
responded by saying, "Cool it, Daniel, because it is not for you
to understand!" The Lord's actual words were: "Go your way, Daniel,
for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time"
(Daniel 12:9). It was Daniel's responsibility to deliver the prophecies,
not understand them.
Daniel was told the prophecies would not be understood "until
the end time." In fact, in the very next verse the Lord told Daniel
that at the proper time "those who have insight will understand"
there are many end time prophecies that have never been understood
until now, either because their understanding depended on historical
events or because they were dependent upon technological developments.
The fact that these prophecies have become understandable in recent
years for the first time ever is proof positive that we are living
in the end times. Let's look at some examples from the book of
Tribulation Slaughter - Revelation 6 says that the Tribulation
will begin with a series of judgments that will result in the
death of one-fourth of Mankind. The world's population is approaching
six billion. That means one and a half billion people will die
in the initial judgments, reducing the world's population to
4.5 billion. The next series of judgments, recorded in Revelation
8 and 9 will kill another third of Mankind. One-third of 4.5
billion is another one and a half billion. Thus, in the first
3 years of the Tribulation, a total of 3.5 billion people will
die. That's half the population of the world!
Is this possible
apart from the use of nuclear weapons? Only if it is a supernatural
intervention of God. But God normally works through natural
carnage of the Tribulation seems to me to point to nuclear weapons.
Revelation 8 speaks of one-third of the earth being burned and
one-third of the seas being polluted (Revelation 8:7-8). Later
in the Tribulation, near the end, we are told that people will
suffer from "loathsome and malignant sores" (Revelation 16:2).
That sounds like one of the effects of radiation poisoning.
of nuclear weapons makes possible for the first time the overwhelming
Tribulation carnage portrayed in Revelation. I think nuclear
power was what Jesus referred to in His Olivet discourse when
He said that the end times will be characterized by "men fainting
from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming
upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken"
(Luke 21:26, emphasis added).
concerning the Tribulation carnage have clearly depended upon
a major technological breakthrough for their understanding.
We are living in the time of that breakthrough.
Army of 200 Million - Chapters 9 and 16 of Revelation state
that an army of 200 million soldiers will march "from the east"
toward Israel. Daniel 9 indicates that this will be an army
representing nations in revolt against the Antichrist.
estimate that the total population of the world at the time
the Apostle John wrote Revelation (95 A.D.) was only 200 million.
How could an army that size march out of the east? It made no
sense. In fact, it took 1,650 years for the world's population
to double to 400 million! At the beginning of this century the
total world population was only 1.6 billion, still too small
for an army of 200 million to march from the east.
century has witnessed an exponential increase in population.
The population count is now at 5.8 billion, and just one country
to the east of Israel - namely, China - could field an army
of 200 million.
have a clear example of a prophecy about the end times that
could never be understood apart from historical developments.
Two Witnesses - Revelation 11 reveals that two great witnesses
of God will preach in the city of Jerusalem during the first
3.5 years of the Tribulation. Then, in the middle of that terrible
period, the Antichrist will kill them.
We are further
told that their dead bodies will lie in the streets of Jerusalem
for 3.5 days and that all the people of the world will look
upon them. How could that be? Prior to 1957 that prophecy was
not understandable in natural terms. There was just no way that
all the people of the world could look upon two dead bodies
in the streets of Jerusalem.
changed on October 4, 1957 when the Russians sent up the first
Sputnik satellite. Today, 30 years later, our planet has many
man-made satellites circling it, making possible all sorts of
instantaneous communication. When those two prophets lie dead
in the streets of Jerusalem, all someone will have to do is
point a TV camera at them, send the signal up to a satellite,
and all the world will be able to look upon them. Once again,
modern technology has made an ancient prophecy understandable
for the first time.
Nation of Israel - Revelation 12 focuses on the nation of
Israel. It makes clear that in the middle of the Tribulation
Satan will motivate and empower the Antichrist to annihilate
the Jewish state and its people. A remnant of the Jews will
flee into the "wilderness" where they will be supernaturally
protected by the Lord (Revelation 12:14).
At the time
the book of Revelation was written, Jerusalem had already been
destroyed by the Romans and the worldwide distribution of the
Jews had begun. Until this century, there was never any prospect
that the nation of Israel would ever exist again. There were,
of course, prophetic scholars who pointed to the many promises
in Scripture that say the Jews will be regathered in the end
times and the nation of Israel will be reestablished once more.
But people laughed at these scholars and wrote them off as "dreamers"
who were out of touch with reality.
May 14, 1948 the "dream" came true. The independence of the
nation of Israel was proclaimed, and the Jewish state came back
into existence for the first time in almost 2,000 years.
end time prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures make it clear that
the Lord will return when the Jews are back in the land (Ezekiel
37) and back in their capital city of Jerusalem (Zechariah 12).
Jesus emphasized these two events in His teaching. He pointed
to the reestablishment of the state in his fig tree parable
(Matthew 24:32-35), and He stressed the importance of the reoccupation
of Jerusalem in His Olivet discourse (Luke 21:24). He stated
point blank that when Jerusalem is no longer under Gentile control,
all the end time events would take place. Jerusalem ceased to
be under Gentile control on June 7, 1967.
piece of the end time world political puzzle is now in place
for the first time.
Image of the Beast - Revelation 13 says that the Antichrist's
religious leader, the False Prophet, will make an image of the
Antichrist that will appear to come alive and speak. This trickery
will amaze most of the world's population and will cause many
of them to give their allegiance to the Antichrist.
What is the
explanation of this event? Many have concluded that Satan will
empower the False Prophet to give the image life. But Satan
does not have the power to create life. Satan is a liar and
how can the False Prophet give an image life? I don't see any
way for him to do it apart from modern technology. The illusion
can be created through the use of modern robotics.
ago in 1967 I took my family to Disneyland. We went into a theatre
where we saw a man who looked exactly like Abraham Lincoln get
up out of his chair in stage center, walk to the edge of the
stage, grab the lapels of his jacket, and proceed to quote the
Gettysburg Address. When he finished, a lady behind me exclaimed,
"Wasn't he a good actor!" He was not an actor. The "actor" was
a robot. That was thirty years ago. Think what could be done
today with the advances in computer technology.
Mark of the Beast - Another prophecy in Revelation 13 that
is dependent on modern technology is the famous one that states
the Antichrist will control the world's economy by requiring
people to bear his mark or name on their hand or forehead in
order to buy or sell anything.
could this be possible before the invention of laser and computer
of our Age
the prophecies listed above, I don't think we need any handwriting
on the wall to indicate to us that we are living in a unique age.
Historical developments and technological inventions are making
it possible for us to understand many end time prophecies for the
Nor is the
list above an exhaustive one. I could name many other signs unique
to our day and time - such as the reunification of Europe, the
exponential increase in travel and knowledge, and the preaching
of the Gospel to the whole world.
Even the phenomenal
success of Hal Lindsay's book, The Late Great Planet Earth,
is a unique sign of the times. Keep in mind that this book was
the number one best seller in the world, with the sole exception
of the Bible, for ten consecutive years, from 1970 to 1980 (as
authenticated by Time Magazine). What was it that the Lord
told Daniel? - "Seal it up to the end of time when those who have
insight will understand."
line, my friends, is that we are living on borrowed time, because
Jesus is coming soon!