Future events foretold

Since the very beginning, the Bible says that God has foretold future events and how He is controlling and influencing the affairs of the world and individual lives. [1]

Bible prophecies are given to:

  • Reveal the true God and that He is in control
  • Reveal the future
  • Explain the present
  • Encourage faith
  • Convince those whom God is calling
  • Confirm the truth of God’s Word – the Bible

Some Bible prophesies help to identify where world events are in God’s timescale. These are called ‘signs of the times’.

Only God can accurately foretell the future

Prophecy is not conjecture. God does not simply know what will happen and fit His purpose around events without influencing them. Prophecy is a direct message from God [2], not human speculation, and the Bible emphasises this with phrases such as “the LORD shall bring”, “I will turn thee back”, “the most High ruleth”. [3]

God gave ‘signs of the times’ to previous generations

There are numerous prophecies of the return of Jesus, the establishment of the Kingdom of God on the earth and what this Kingdom will be like. Every generation has had the sign (miracle) of fulfilled prophecy, often witnessing it happening for themselves:

  • Moses expected the Hebrews to recognise the times [4]
  • Daniel understood the times from the writing of Jeremiah [5]
  • Jesus expected his followers to identify the times from Daniel [6]
  • Paul warned the ecclesias of the sign of apostasy [7]
  • John taught the first-century believers to identify Antichrist [8]

Jesus Christ was the sign of the times to his own generation

The religious leaders of Israel did not recognise Jesus as the promised Messiah, and he condemned the Pharisees and Sadducees for being unable to “discern the signs of the times” (Mt. 16:1-4). They wanted a sign (miracle) that would show conclusively that Jesus was the Son of God. They were blind to the signs that abounded and were not able to accept the sign of their generation – the death and resurrection of Jesus, the greatest sign heaven could give.

The birth, ministry, trial, death and resurrection of our Lord all fulfilled prophecy and Jesus instructed his disciples in these. [9]

‘Signs of the times’ today

Current signs of the times include the following:

  • The regathering of Israel [10]
  • Jerusalem returned to Jewish control [11]
  • Libya , Ethiopia , Persia ( Iran ) have the same political persuasion [12]
  • The state of the world [13] :
    • Distress, perplexity, fear
    • Immorality
    • Godlessness
    • Corruption and violence
  • An explosion of knowledge [14]
  • An expansion of military might, particularly in the Middle East [15]
  • A reunited Europe with a strong apostate religious influence dominated by a particular nation or region [16]
  • A change from the east-west divide of nations to a north-south divide, particularly in relation to the Middle East [17]
  • The search for peace and prosperity in the Middle East by Israel [18]

Conclusion

Some of the ‘signs of the times’ prophesied in the Bible are currently being fulfilled, as we see and hear in the news. Knowing this would happen, Jesus said:

“when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Lk. 21:28 )

Bible references

1 Amos 3:7;Jno. 14:29;Deut. 18:20-22; Isa. 43:9-12; 48:3-8; Jer. 28; Dan. 2:20-22,28,31-45; Jude vv. 14,15; Rev. 4:1
2 2 Pet. 1:19 -21
3 Deut. 28:36,49,64; Ezek. 38:1,4; Dan. 4:17, 35; Acts 1:6,7; 17:26 ,30,31; Rev. 2:5
4 Acts 7:25 ; Gen. 15:13; 50:24
5 Dan. 9:2
6 Mt. 24:15-18
7 Acts 20:29 -31; 2 Thess. 2:3-12
8 1 Jno. 2:18 ; 4:1-3
9 Mt. 2:1-6; Mk. 1:1-3; Mt. 21:1-9; Jno. 1:37-51; Mk. 7:6; Jno. 19:24,28,36,37; Lk. 24:25-27,44-47
10 Jer. 30:11; 31:10,28,35-37; Ezek. 37:1-14
11 Lk. 21:24
12 Ezek. 38:5; Dan. 11:43
13 Lk. 21:25 ,26; Lk. 17:28 -30; Gen. 13:13; 18:20; 2 Tim. 3:1-7; Lk. 17:26 ,27; Gen. 6:11
14 Dan. 12:4
15 Joel 3:9-14
16 Dan. 8:23 -25; 11:36 -39; Rev. 17; Ezek. 38:1-7
17 Dan. 11:40
18 Ezek. 38:10-12