The End is Near : Chapter One
Dr Philip Cheong is writing a book about the Endtimes. He has graciously allowed me to post it here.
THE END IS NEAR
but NOT YET
The Mayan Calendar will run out on December 21, 2012. Some believe that Planet X will collide with the earth in 2012. Others say a polar shift will take place causing an unknown global catastrophe. Millions actually believe the end of the world will occur in the year 2012. An Internet search for “End of the World 2012 produced 551,000,000 results! But what does the Bible say will happen in 2012?
The world is not going to end in 2012, however the end is near. I will be sending you the result of my study on Bible prophecy occasionally.
Here is the first chapter:
THE END IS NEAR
If you have not done a substantial Bible study on End Time, it is high time to do so now because the end is near. I have spent the last ten years doing just that; and I am surprised that many of my understanding of the sequence of events leading up to Christ’s second were wrong. By the grace of God and through the teaching of the Holy Spirit, I am willing to change my long held view. I pray and hope that you will be open to the Holy Spirit to lead you to the truth.
Your belief and conviction should be based on the Scripture alone and not on the teachings of your church leaders or books. Let the Bible be the final authority. Is your view on End Time scriptural? Have you really searched the Scripture?
English Standard Version (ESV)
Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
I am sharing with you my view on End Time. This will be through occasional briefings over the next several months or years as we look forward to the return of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour. Please check the Bible regarding what I share and form your own personal conviction which is required of us.
New Living Translation (NLT)
I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.
English Standard Version (ESV)
… but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
1 Thessalonians 1:10
New Living Translation (NLT)
And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heavenJesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment.
The Events before the End of the world
In Revelation 6, we see the four horsemen of the Apocalypse representing great “end times” events bringing devastation to the earth in four stages.
1. First Seal: Deceptive Conqueror
I looked up and saw a white horse standing there. Its rider carried a bow, and a crown was placed on his head. He rode out to win many battles and gain the victory.
2. Second Seal: Death through Open Conflict
When the Lamb broke the second seal, I heard the second living being say, “Come!” Then another horse appeared, a red one. Its rider was given a mighty sword and the authority to take peace from the earth. And there was war and slaughter everywhere.
3. Third Seal: Economic Disparity
When the Lamb broke the third seal, I heard the third living being say, “Come!” I looked up and saw a black horse, and its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice from among the four living beings say, “A loaf of wheat bread or three loaves of barley will cost a day’s pay. And don’t waste the olive oil and wine.”
4. Fourth Seal: Widespread Death and Destruction
When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the fourth living being say, “Come!” I looked up and saw a horse whose colour was pale green. Its rider was named Death, and his companion was the Grave. These two were given authority over one-fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword and famine and disease and wild animals.
There is a sequence of seven seals.
The first four seals identify major world events that will take place before the Great Tribulation. The Great Tribulation is the last 3 ½ years of this age. Fifth and sixth seals will take place during the Great Tribulation. The seventh seal marks the opening of the Book of Life in preparation for Christ's return and gathering of His Elect, the Church.
The breaking of the first four seals correspond to “the beginning of birth pains” which will start the final generation leading to His Second Coming and His Kingdom on earth. Christ said,
“Ethnic group will rise against ethnic group, and government against government. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains” (Matthew 24:7-8).
These first four seals give early warning signs. They reveal to God's people that the "Time of the End" has come and alert them to what will soon take place so they will be prepared.
DECEPTION (First Seal: Deceptive Conqueror)
Deception permeates all areas; in politics and governments, military, Wall Street, Main street and religions. Under the pretext of freedom and democracy, regimes were changed by undemocratic means and robbed of their wealth (Oil and gas, other resources); in the name of God, ungodly atrocities are committed; in the guise of humanitarian concern for the civilians, inhumane acts are committed; bombs and missiles are employed to kill civilians.
Jesus revealed to Apostle John about two thousand years ago in Revelation 6:2, symbolically:
‘And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.’ (A horse represents a spirit or a global event, the colour white signifies purity and righteousness; so, we have a rider under the guise of pure and righteous intention, conquering nations and thus deceiving many).
What is unfolding in Syria is an armed insurrection supported covertly by foreign powers. Armed insurgents belonging to Islamist organizations have crossed the border from Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.
The objective is to destabilize the Syrian State and implement "regime change" through the covert support of an armed insurgency, integrated by Islamist militia. The reports on civilian deaths are used to provide a pretext and a justification for humanitarian intervention under the principle "Responsibility to Protect".
DEATH (Second Seal: Illegal Wars)
Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.”
This vision corresponds with Christ's prophecy of the end time recorded in Matthew 24: "And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom" (verses 6-7).
Approximately 180 million men, women and children were slaughtered in 20th-century wars. The new millennium has continued the trend, with the addition of mass-murder terrorism. We are beginning to witness ‘blatant aggression’ against nations.
DISPARITY (Third Seal: Economic Inequality)
Economic disparity and inequality are widespread all over the world. Occupy Wall Street movement (We are the 99%), austerity measures by many nations and the so-called Arab Spring (Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Yemen, etc.) are evidence of inequality in wealth distribution. Middle class is disappearing and the gap between the rich and the poor is widening.
PROTESTS: ECONOMIC INEQUALITY IN USA
LONDON PROTEST Austerity cuts ignited Britain unrest
FOOD CRISIS: RIOTS WILL OCCUR SOON
About two thousand years ago Jesus predicted the economic situation we are experiencing today.
Revelation 6:6 "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!"
It said, “A quart of wheat or three quarts of barley will cost a full day’s pay. But don’t harm the supply of olive oil and wine!”
The Expositor's Bible Commentary explains regarding this passage: "This amount [of money] suggests food prices about twelve times higher than normal ... and implies inflation and famine conditions (Matt 24:7). A quart of wheat would supply an average person one day's sustenance. Barley was used by the poor to mix with the wheat." Food shortages cause inflation in food prices. And higher prices make the remaining food harder to afford.
Oil and wine, though, are typically symbols of plenty. The reference here could indicate there will be pockets of abundance in the midst of famine. Christ's reference to famine "in various places" (Matthew 24:7) indicates the same possibility.
For the poor, the basic necessities will cost a full day’s pay; the rich will continue to indulge in luxuries (oil and wine).
In any case, the opening of the third seal indicates the onset of a period of severe famine unlike any in the past. While famines of varying severity have struck throughout history, it appears things will get much worse.
FINANCIAL CRISIS: USA AND EUROZONE
4.PALE GREEN HORSE
DEVASTATION (Fourth Seal: Widespread Death and Destruction)
Revelation 6:7-8 tells us this about the fourth seal: "When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, 'Come and see.' So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him."
The Expositor's Bible Commentary says this about the colour of the fourth horse: "'Pale' (chloros) denotes a yellowish green, the light green of a plant, or the paleness of a sick person in contrast to a healthy appearance." Put bluntly, this horse is the colour of death.
In Jesus' parallel prophecy in Matthew 24, He explained that in the wake of religious deception, war and famine would come "pestilences" or disease epidemics (verse 7).
The seals have a cumulative effect. False religion causes instability within relationships leading to war. Famine follows war, and when malnourishment occurs and social systems break down, human beings are more susceptible to disease. These seals depict the ferocity of problems unleashed on the world in the lead-up to "the Day of the Lord."
By the time the fourth horseman completes his ride, a fourth of earth's inhabitants will experience incredible devastation. The death toll will be unlike any from plague and disease in human history.
New Living Translation (NLT)
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.
Destruction and death are forecast to increase; unending wars, extreme man-made climate change and disasters (famines, droughts, floods, nuclear meltdowns, tsunamis, diseases, blizzards and hailstones and earthquakes).
Jesus told us in advance:
There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven.
And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
The above four events will increase in intensity and regularity as the end of the world approaches.
Chapter 2 is coming soon,
End time pilgrim