The subject of the end times remains one of the most contentious in Christendom. Many past and present men of God have predicted the end and even set specific dates to it, only to be disappointed for leading their followers astray and usually labeled cults after this fiasco. But given the veracity of the scripture on this topic, and in light of the signs that are so prevalent in our time, could we be staring at the ends times in the face? Nathan Kiwere writes.
The very mention of the words ‘end times’ often sends chills down the spines of many people. It is an inconvenient reminder that this world, and therefore humanity, is not here in perpetuity after all.
But the real fear in the hearts and minds of many is not so much the end but the uncertainty about what happens to them after the end.
Where do we go from here? There is no shortage of scriptures that clearly talk about the signs of the end times, both in the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible.
Speaking of the end times in Matthew 24:32-33, Jesus said, “Now learn this lesson from the fi g tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it (the end) is near, right at the door.”
In Mark 13, Jesus privately tells Peter, James, John, and Andrew of events and conditions that will lead to the end of the age. He tells them of many future events, some of which would happen in their lifetimes.
Yet, none of them realised it would take many centuries before the prophecy would run its course. For instance, Jesus said in Mark 13:8, “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in diverse places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.” Nearly all the above signs have and continue to happen. However, the one thing that
stands out during our time is what was prophesised in the book of Daniel 12:4: “But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
This article focuses on the increase of knowledge as a sign of the end times. There is no doubt that enlightenment in nearly all facades of life in this post-modern age has become the defining difference between then and now.
The age of knowledge The phrase “knowledge shall increase” clearly teaches an increase in information in the end times. The modern information age certainly fulfills this aspect of Daniel’s prophecy. In the time of Daniel, information could only be shared orally or by handwriting.
Today’s technologies allow any person with a smartphone to share text, pictures, audio, or video instantly around the world. Take a look at the explosion of knowledge over the past 150 years. Up until recently in history, the fastest form of transport was a horse.
Now man can travel at hundreds of miles per hour, and cross the globe in a day. Technology has developed at a rapid pace, which has led to great improvements in computer power, scientific discoveries and the medical profession. Just look at how much we have learned about the human body with things like DNA and cellular structures and more.
And how about “running to and fro”? This is pointing specifically to our day with planes, trains, automobiles and the busyness of modern day life. The financial industry is now trying to make cash obsolete, and is actively pushing pure electronic forms of payment, like PayPal, Google Wallet and our own mobile money – an African invention!
Modern man has transcended land-based exploration and is now venturing into outer space with frontier-bursting outcomes. It is worth looking at some of the events that define the age of knowledge.
In the last month of July, the world marked the 50th anniversary of the date that man first set foot on the moon. Neil Armstrong took that giant leap as the first man to tread the lunar surface. There has been unprecedented coverage of this event in nearly all mainstream global media houses as one of the most significant milestones of living memory.
This particular event confirms Daniel’s part of the prophecy that says, “…many shall run to and fro…” The speed at which man is able to reach the moon is nothing short of astounding. The Apollo 11 mission which took man to the moon for the first time took off on 16 July 1969 and reached the moon 100 hours later.
Scientists posit that the distance between the moon and the earth varies as its orbit around the earth is elliptical – meaning the distance changes over time. At its closest point to the earth it’s approximately 363,104km – while its farthest point is around 405,696km away from earth.
On average though, the moon is around 384,400km away from earth – putting a distance of around 30 earths between the two planets. Available records indicate that Apollo 10, a spaceship that only orbited the moon in 1969 holds the record for the highest speed attained by a manned vehicle with 11.08 km/s (24,791mph). Astronomer Fred Hoyle was the first to point out that if you could drive a car upwards at 95km/h (60mph), it would take around 10 times the circumference of the Earth. So it would take as long as driving around the world 10 times – just under six months.
Artiﬁcial Intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology that is already impacting how users interact with, and are affected by the Internet. In the near future, its impact is likely to only continue to grow. AI has the potential to vastly change the way how humans interact, not only with the digital world, but also with each other, through their work and through other socioeconomic institutions – for better or for worse.
AI is everywhere: search engines use it to improve answers to queries, to recognise speech, to translate languages, email programs use it to filter spam, banks use it to predict exchange rates and stock markets. There is more; doctors use it to recognise tumours, robots use it to localise themselves and obstacles, autonomous cars use it to drive, video games use it to enhance the player’s experience, adaptive telescopes use it to improve image quality, smartphones use it to recognise objects, faces, gestures, voices, music, and much more.
And now enter the robotic world. Sexual relationships with robots may seem far-off now, but they are coming sooner than you would think. Recent information indicates that as virtual reality evolves, a robotic partner will become more and more plausible, perhaps even becoming preferable to a human being, if the sex perversion going on particularly in the developed world is anything to go by.
A leading authority on the psychology of sex and relationships, Dr Helen Driscoll from the University of Sunderland in the UK has done extensive research on the field of “sex tech”. The industry is moving at a fast pace. Mannequins to be used as partners are easy enough to find online, and the first robot with feelings was recently launched. Driscoll sees the robots becoming even more interactive in the future, making them increasingly central to the sex industry.
“It could really start to enable mannequin partners to ‘come to life’”, she says. “As some people start to prefer technologically enhanced virtual sex to sex with humans, we may also see greater numbers of people living alone, spending more time in virtual reality.” One of the reason the robot developers advance is that it would be better for the paedophiles to use robots as their sexual outlets than to use human children.
Is the world prepared for the end times? Luke 21:36 says: “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man”. Are we seeing the “fi g tree” beginning to bud? Have we finally entered the “season” of the end times? Is the return of Christ “near, even at the doors”?
When Noah and Lot warned their respective people of God’s coming judgment and destruction, the people would not listen. Instead they treated Noah and Lot as extremists. Then the destruction that did come found the people unprepared.
Thus it will be when Jesus Christ returns. As in the days of Noah and Lot, the soon return of our Lord Jesus will be a snare unto the people who do not heed the warning and surrender their lives to Him who knows all. The prophecy of Daniel 2 alone shows we are in the ‘time of the end’, and all the other evidence proves we are in the very end times.
But never has there been a time before when all these events were evident in so many diverse places and with such frequency and intensity. Our Generation is the first generation to fulfill all the biblical signs. If you take into consideration all the signs, there is no mistaking that our generation is living in the last days, nearing the second coming of Jesus.