This year the Jewish “Feast of Trumpets” will be celebrated on September 25-27. Many believe that this feast will usher in the end times as Christ returns “at the sound of a trumpet” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). My husband George has extensively researched and recently taught on the signs of the end times, so I asked him to share a short summary of his teaching with you in this month’s devotion. You may agree or disagree, but he has laid out some facts that you can study for yourself. I hope it is an inspiration to you to study more on your own. I challenge you to pray about what you are about to read and come to your own conclusions. With love, Jan
By George Grubbs
These last few years have been like nothing we have ever experienced. A few years ago, I could never have conceived of a worldwide pandemic, digital currencies, or Russia invading the Ukraine. I could never have imagined we would be arguing over the definition of a boy or a girl. The world has made a dramatic turn and we find ourselves living in very different times.
People have been asking me, “Is this the end times?” The Bible prophesies many things that will happen in the end times, especially in Mathew 24 and the Book of Revelation, beginning in Chapter 5. In Matthew 24:3b, Jesus’s disciples ask him, “When will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” In verses 4-31, Jesus lists the signs of the Second Coming: namely, deception and the misleading of people; false imitators of Christ; warfare among nations; famines and earthquakes—all of which he refers to as “merely the beginning of birth pangs [of intolerable anguish and the time of unprecedented trouble]” (Matthew 24:4-8 AMP). According to Christ, there will be massive persecution of Christians, and people will be hated because of Him. They will be offended and repelled by believers and people’s hearts will grow cold and filled with hate. With all of this, there will be a declaration of the Gospel throughout all nations.
Right now, we are seeing many signs of the end times. For example, Revelation 13:3-5 describes a time where the whole world will marvel and follow a single leader who is the antichrist. This interconnectedness can only be possible due to social media, cell phones, and the internet. Revelation 13:16-17 speaks of a time where there will be digital currency that everyone must use. This has just become possible with the rise of Bitcoin. Matthew 24:7 speaks of nation rising against nation, like Russia against Ukraine, and pandemics like Covid. Matthew 24: 12 says lawlessness will abound, as we see with the “defund the police” movement and mass shootings. Revelation 11-13 also declares that persecution will come to Christians. In March of this year, dozens of Christians were executed for their faith in North Korea. In the United States, people are fighting over church and state, the right to life, prayer on school grounds and in public places.
At the same time, it is reassuring to know that with persecution, the end times will ignite a spark of revival. We are already seeing revival around the world which will optimistically become a Great Awakening by the Holy Spirit.
Believers are also asking the questions, “How close are we to the end times?” and “How close to the rapture are we?” Although the word “rapture” is not used in the Bible, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 describes a catching up of all Christians, dead or alive, to meet Christ in the air:
“For the Lord himself will come from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NIV).
Scripture tells us that we will not know the day nor the hour, but only the signs that tell us the season is near. As Jesus said in Matthew 24:36, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” But hey, all of us want to know! Are we close?
Israel has great significance in determining the timing of the Second Coming. In Scripture, the fig tree is a metaphor for Israel. As we read in Hosea 9:10, “When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the desert; when I saw your ancestors, it was like seeing the early fruit on the fig tree.” Most Bible scholars consider the “early fruit” to point towards the time when Israel was reborn as a nation in 1948 and began growing as a fruitful nation.
After Jesus answers the disciples’ question in Matthew 24:3b by listing the signs to look out for and the amazing scenario of His return to Earth, He says, “Now learn this lesson from the fig 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 is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened” (Matthew 24:32-33 NIV).
If Israel’s statehood in 1948 is the starting point, and Scripture says this generation will not pass away before the end times, then how long is a generation?
Unfortunately, the Bible doesn’t tell us how long a generation is. A generation could be the time before another generation is born, which might be 20 years, or it could be the length of a person’s life. When the Exodus generation wandered in the desert, it was only 40 years before they passed away. The Psalms indicate 80 years could be the maximum length of a generation: “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures: yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away” (Psalms 90:10 NIV).
If we believe the rebirth of the nation Israel in 1948 is the “fruit from the fig tree” that marks the beginning of the end times, adding 80 years as the length of that generation, then it appears that the time is drawing near. According to that math, the last Feast of Trumpets before 2028 (1948 + 80) would be October of 2027. That does seem possible, yet there are many things that still need to happen such as one world currency, economic chaos, and a one world leader, to fulfill all that is prophesied.
It will be the best of times and the worst of times. As the end times approach, we will see a world-wide revival like we have never seen previously. Before the rapture and the tribulation, we will see a deterioration of society much worse that we can even imagine. We need to be prepared for persecution because if we are moving towards a socialistic worldwide government, believers will face terrible persecution. I believe there is still considerable deterioration of morality and society before the rapture is here, so hold on!
So, what else should we do? We must live without fear, knowing God is in control and has a plan for our broken world. We live trusting God and testifying to all He has done for us. We live courageously, standing up for godly values in a broken world and pressing into prayer as persecution comes our way. We eagerly wait and look forward to the final rapture when we will live with our Savior forevermore. Our future is breathtaking beyond imagination. Rejoice, because the end times are drawing nearer and nearer. Are you ready?
Lord, we are living in precarious times by witnessing a changing world like we have never seen before. Predicted times of Your coming have been spoken and written about for generations but as You state in Scripture, no one knows the time nor the hour of Your return. Help me to not fear the coming days but give me an attitude of excitement because I will be spending eternity with you. Lord, I know You are in control and I trust You for provision in the difficult days ahead. I proclaim, “For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:11 NKJV). Amen.