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Author: Jeffreyw Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 195928  
Subject: part 9 the Challenge Date: 1/19/2001 10:14 PM
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A Challenge
Whenever I 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, 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.”
The challenge is understandable, but it is not entirely legitimate. That's because Jesus said the end-time signs would be like “birth pangs” (Matt. 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. That, of course, is exactly what happened in the 20th century. All the signs increased exponentially in both frequency and intensity.
But still, 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 Key Prophecy
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, Daniel did not understand what was revealed to him.
He wrestled 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?” (Dan. 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” (Dan. 12:9). It was Daniel's responsibility to deliver the prophecies, not to understand them.
Note that 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” (Dan. 12:10).
Accordingly, 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 Revelation.
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