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5-2† Other End-Time Signs


Section B (continued) Other Bible Signs


3.† Abortion: In previous centuries, deliberate abortion of an unborn child was very risky. And so the number of those driven to take this step were fewer than they would have been - had safer medical procedures been available. This was still a bad situation - women, girls and unborn ones were dying. Tragic losses that should not have happened.

God counts each life as precious, and we should know this. Yet we have become involved in abortion in a big way. In the West, the "Sexual Revolution" of the 1960s forced the hand of governments: in many places we declared abortion to be legal. We felt compelled to take this step: the needless death of any girl or woman was and is unacceptable. Since we had medical procedures - far in advance of the back-street illegal abortion shops - naturally they were adopted. And rightly so.

However, the future consequences were surely not fully seen at the time that governments acted. A rise and rise in the number of abortions was the result. Sadly, one set of tragedies - clearly visible - has been replaced by another set: now we have unseen tragedies. Today, the abortion procedure most often used "vacuums" the embryo out of the womb. The fetus is taken away from its life support system and can be dismembered in the process. Each year an estimated 40-50 million fetuses are aborted, world-wide(10).

Perhaps in one sense, the harm has been reduced to some degree by the increase in popularity of "morning after" pills. However, there doesn't seem to be complete clarity about that, or about how these pills work. So rather than be too hasty, this writer prefers to say no more on that one just now.

The writer's feeling a while ago was, "Surely the big hike in abortion rates is an End-Time sign? Why isn't it in Scripture?" Well he found he was mistaken; it is in the Bible, but it's disguised (perhaps because the tiny victim is similarly hidden from our eyes?) The following verse had the power to grieve this writer when he accepted that the word "children" could extend to children not yet born:

You who burn with lust — inflaming yourselves with idols —
among the oaks, under every green tree; who slay the children
[in sacrifice] in the valleys under clefts of the rocks?
Isaiah 57:5 (Amp.)
In the Wisdom of God, it was known that the current wave of abortions would come on the Earth; we humans too, would have been aware in advance if we had only studied the Bible. We would have been forewarned and realized that the consequences of abortion could be illustrated in a quite dreadful way:
Samaria ... rebelled against her God ... their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women shall be ripped up.
Hosea 13:16 (Amp.) - please see Hosea 13:8-16.
Abortion can "rip up" the soul of whoever gets involved with it. The writer and many others who dabbled in sex sin have risked bringing this damage on themselves and their sexual partners. Our only consolation is this Biblical evidence that God was aware we would get into this mess at this time.

4.† Drugs (also drinking, and smoking): Because the Bible seems to say nothing about marijuana, solvent abuse, cocaine, etc, it's possible for drug users to get the idea that they're a jump ahead of God. But a long time ago the Warning was given†about what could happen "in the end." Scripture explains that drug abuse starts simply enough with alcohol - but way on down at the end of that road may be injection and (through heroin), death:

Look not on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the glass.
It goes down smoothly;
but in the end it bites like a serpent, or like a poisonous adder.
Proverbs 23:31-32 (NAB)
^††5. †Computers and Robotics: We think we're pretty smart these days; we can build computers that do amazing things at incredible speeds. (The writer was one of the many who get their living from producing computer software.) The widespread use of computers has led to the use of the term: "Information Revolution." It also led to that "millennial concern" - Y2K.

Additionally, we now find some assembly-line jobs (hopefully the more boring ones) being done by robots - machines that mimic a human in action as well as in logic. And there is much interest now in designing computers that will be able to learn. "Artificial intelligence" is the current term for this endeavor. The Japanese, who lead the world in robotics, are one of the nations who are pressing on with the work in this field.

In view of all this great inventiveness, it would be surprising wouldn't it, if the Bible had nothing to say on the subject? Thankfully, we can see that God was indeed there before us! In the Book of Revelation (already noted as being of special significance in the End-Time) it says - of the "second beast":

This second beast ... was able to win over the people of the world and persuade them to put up a statue in honor of the beast that
... still lived. It was allowed to breathe life into this statue,
so that the statue ... was able to speak ...
He compelled everyone ... to be branded on the right hand
... and made it illegal for anyone to buy or sell anything
unless he had been branded with the name of the beast
or with the number ... of a man ... 666.
Revelation 13:12-18 (Jer.)
As you are probably aware, the basis of data processing is "the number of his name" - that is, making numbers out of a series of letters. Every letter stored in a computer is actually held in the form of a numeric code. (For example, there is a standard coding system - Unicode - which enables all the significant alphabets in the world to be translated into numbers. Unicode does this by converting each letter into a code expressed as a string of 16 binary digits. [A binary digit is either a one or a zero, which is all, basically, that computers can "understand"!])

Just as numeric codes are the key to using computers so computers are essential to the construction of robots. Hence the race is on to develop software programs that will enable a computer (or a robot) to learn, and so improve its performance in a given situation. Robots, and robotic drones, are here; the prophesied "statue" that can speak, and oppress people is a reality today.

6.† The Great Pyramid: The largest building in the world, the Great Pyramid at Gizeh in Egypt, dates back 4,600 years(11). In those days, would its builders have known the size and weight of the Earth, and the exact length of Earth's year, measured the three major ways that astronomers of today specify this unit? These and many other geophysical and more general truths are expressed through the design of this wonderful edifice. Indeed scientists and mathematicians have been amazed at the wisdom built into it.

^†† But the Creator knows how the Earth is put together, and the Scriptures hint at God placing something in Egypt for later discovery:

Which hast set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt,
even unto this day ...
Jeremiah 32:20 (KJV)

Named long ago as one of the "Seven Wonders of the World," the Great Pyramid is the only one of the seven that remains. For years it had kept its secrets to itself, but in these "last days" the marvels of the Great Pyramid are becoming more known. Praise God!

Today we know enough to recognize the scientific truths that are built into the Pyramid; the hard question is, "Do we know enough to trust God for the Key Truth - that Salvation is through God's Son?"

You see, the design of the passageways within the Pyramid reveals a Prophetic Timeline, and this Timeline honors God's Son. For example, one point along the Timeline gives a date of April 3, 33 CE for the Crucifixion of Jesus. This point is at the start of the Pyramid's "Grand Gallery." Another, lower point gives a date of October 14, 29 CE for His Baptism in the River Jordan. (Please activate the following links, for additional notes on the Great Pyramid - in chapter 6, in chapter 7. And see Appendix E for more on the Crucifixion date.)

7.† Heart transplants: It may seem incredible to you that the Bible, written so long ago, could look forward to the life-giving technique of organ transplant surgery. But it is so!

God is deeply interested in our having good hearts, in the writer's opinion. This applies in the physical sense, as well as in the spiritual. And so the Lord is being entirely in Character when He declares the following through the prophet Ezekiel:
A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you:
and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh
and give you a heart of flesh.
Ezekiel 36:26 (Amp.)
Behind every "medical miracle," there's a Miracle-working God!

8.† Witnesses to Life after Death: The biggest Gift that Jesus gave to us is access to an everlasting life, obtained by way of Salvation. Anything that causes us to doubt the reality of this eternal life works against God. (And there have been no lack of influences on the side of skepticism in recent times, wouldn't you agree?) On the other hand, anything that increases our faith in the hereafter must be of God.

With the advancement of medical techniques, wonderful things have been revealed. Heart patients and others have been revived from the dead; many of them have blessed us with inspiring accounts of their experiences. They tell us that their spirits have traveled to Heaven (sometimes to Hell). Many were given a choice as to whether they wanted to return to this earthly life or not. It was a hard decision for them after the glories they had seen. All this is a marvelous confirmation of what Scripture has been holding out to us all along: ongoing life - a life of endless growth and development.

^††Does this verse not touch on the current wave of Life After Death experiences?

"... I will open up the windows of heaven for you
and pour out a blessing so great
you won't have room enough to take it in!"
Malachi 3:10 (TLB)

[writer's italics]
Section C.† Other End-Time Signs††††(Scriptural Basis Unknown To The Writer)

These last are things which are clearly Signs from God. Their Scriptural link may be unknown, but the Hand of God is seen strongly in them. Though no specific verse has yet been found for these Signs we should be cautious about saying there is none (the Bible is too wonderfully put together for that and no one human sees the whole of it). Perhaps you will agree that these Signs also fit the general pattern of what is revealed in the Scriptures about the End-Time and the coming Kingdom?
1.† God and the Map: A recurring theme in the Bible is the revolution that God will perform in the natural world - transforming the face of the Earth. We are told in Isaiah:
The deserts will become as green as the Lebanon mountains,
as lovely as Mount Carmel's pastures and Sharon's meadows;
for the Lord will display his glory there ...
Isaiah 35:2 (TLB)
If you examine the present map of North Africa (please see below), you find an amazing thing. The boundaries of the various countries surrounding the Sahara desert form a very definite shape. And does that shape not bear a strong resemblance to the traditional plough (or plow)? (For comparison, the group of stars called the Plough is shown below, along with a drawing of an actual plough.) The map outline is a pretty convincing likeness, isn't it? In which case can we not say that God has confirmed the above Promise beautifully?

Map 5-2-1. The Sahara Region -
Showing the Plough Boundaries(12)
Photo 5-2-2. The Plough in the Heavens(13)
(aka 'Big Dipper')
Sahara - Plough
7 Star Plough ('Big Dipper')

Drawing 5-2-3. A Traditional Design of Plough(14)
Traditional Plough

Scripture tells us that when Jesus returns to Earth as Messiah, He will first set foot on the Mount of Olives. This was foretold to His disciples at His Ascension:

"This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven,
will come in just the same way
as you have watched Him go into heaven."
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet ...
Acts 1:11-12 (NAS 1975)
Please see also Zechariah 14:3-9, as confirmation that the above Words meant just what they said.

^Holding this thought about the place of Jesus' Return, please have a look at the first map shown below. It's a modern map showing Israel, and her borders with the occupied West Bank, Jordan, Egypt, the occupied Gaza Strip, Lebanon and Syria.
Map 5-2-4. Israel’s Boundary - the Footprint(16)
Israel and the Footprint

Is this over-imaginative nonsense, or is it possible to see the shape of a foot in the outline of Israel's (accepted) boundary? If you look in the Bible (especially in the King James Version) at the references to "foot" or "feet" you find that there are a lot of them - 341 in all, in the King James Version!(15) Could it be that a few of them are hinting at this distinctive shape that centers on God's special Land? For example:
... Thou drawest Thee a line about the soles of my feet ...
Job 13:27 (JPS)

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings ...
Isaiah 52:7 (Amp.)
When Prophecy is fulfilled and the Messiah sets His Foot again upon the Earth - what a Touchdown that will be!

The next map below, taken from a larger map of S.Western Asia, is copied from an atlas published in 1950. There is a key difference between this map and other maps, as far as Israel's boundary is concerned. At the time, the West Bank was a part of Jordan; but this map shows the West Bank area as part of Israel.

This is very strange when you consider that it was not until the 1967 war that Israel occupied the West Bank territory - 17 years after the above atlas was published. The map of "Palestine" from the same atlas is normal. It depicts Israel with her borders as they were at the time, the West Bank shown as being a part of Jordan. (This map is shown beside the "strange" map, for comparison.)

Since the W.Bank is "occupied territory" (UN Security Council Resolution 242), any map made after the 1967 war should show that the W.Bank has a different status to Israel herself. So the "strange" map neither shows the situation in 1950, nor is it an accurate picture of the current status of Israel-Palestine. But the writer firmly believes that God is in control - of maps and everything else. Make of this what you will, but the writer wonders whether what we are seeing was a Prophetic view of the Land in the Kingdom?(17) That this "strange" map could be showing us the situation in a future Age of Equality - to be ushered in by the Prince of Peace!

Map 5-2-5. The "Strange" Map
of Israel’s Boundary
(1950 atlas[18])
Map 5-2-6. "Normal" Map
Showing Israel’s True Boundary
- or most of it (same 1950 atlas[18])
Israel's 'Strange' Boundary
Israel's 'Normal' Boundary

2.† The Dead Sea Scrolls: This wonderful treasure was found on the NW shore of the Dead Sea; the first cache was discovered - probably by a goatherd named Mohammed - in 1947, near Qumran. Produced by members of the Essene community, the hundreds of scrolls (and tens of thousands of fragmentary remains), date from about 250 BCE to 70 CE.

^††The importance of the scrolls to us rests on 4 counts:

1. By their very close agreement with the (much later) manuscripts that were already known to us, they show the care with which the Old Testament Scriptures have been handed down to us.

2. They tell about the "Teacher of Righteousness," the Leader of the Essenes. He is shown as paving the way for Christ - some of the key values Jesus upheld were the beliefs of this Teacher also. He may also, like Christ, have been crucified.

3. They show the workings of a pre-Christian community whose members unselfishly dedicated themselves to glorifying God.

4. Even the authority of the New Testament is underwritten by these finds - a fragment of Mark's Gospel was one of the treasures uncovered at Qumran. Fragment 5 from Cave 7 (known as 7Q5), is a scrap of papyrus containing 9 certain Greek letters and 10 uncertain ones. Bible scholar Josť†O'Callaghan has shown that these letters fit a set of words within the text of Mark 6:52-53. (You can read all about this wonderful but controversial! claim in a book by David Estrada and William White, Jr. - The First New Testament[19].) The passage concerned is at the close of Mark's account of a notable Miracle, namely Jesus' walking on water:

And when they had crossed over, they came to land
at Gennesaret, and moored to the shore.
Mark 6:53 (RSV)
Yet the jars holding these finds were, according to some scholars, sealed up by 70 CE! If this date is upheld, then the idea that the Gospels were composed a long time after Christ's Life on Earth (as some have argued), is disposed of.

An apocryphal document dated around the 1st century CE: the Assumption of Moses, seems to show that the Essene community was told by God to hide their writings away, in order that they could be found (when most needed), in the End-Time!(20)

These precious scrolls then, found by a young Palestinian Arab/s just prior to the rebirth of the State of Israel, can be seen as a key part of what God is showing us in the End-Time.

Conclusion

The reader must judge for her- or himself. But the writer submits that, taken together, these "signs of the times" (as given in this and the previous chapter), add up to proof that we are indeed in the End-Time.

And isn't this great Good News for us? Because if the above Signs ring true, then we can be sure that God is in Control. On the other hand, if nothing's meant by this time of trouble - if there isn't some big Breakthrough just waiting for the right moment to happen - surely this a strange, pointless world we're living in?


Chapter 5 (2nd half) Notes

^††10. "According to WHO, every year in the world there are an estimated
40-50 million abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day."
Abortion statistics - Worldometers:
https://www.worldometers.info/abortions

WHO - Global number of abortions = 43.8 million from table:
This original webpage is still available; not being secured, can't be shown.
It was known as: "http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/ unsafe_abortion/induced_abortion_2012.pdf"

^††11. E. Raymond Capt, The Great Pyramid Decoded
(Muskogee, OK: Artisan Publishers, www.artisanpublishers.com, 1971).

^††12. Map 5-2-1. The Sahara Region - Showing the Plough Boundaries.
This original webpage is still available; not being secured, can't be shown.
Originator - CIA. (Image cropped.) It was known as:
"https://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/africa.html"
Seen at line entry: "Africa (Political) 2012 (3.4MB) [pdf format]"

^††13. Photo 5-2-2. The Plough in the Heavens.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GrosserWagen-Berlin-20110628.jpg

^††14. Drawing 5-2-3. A Traditional Design of Plough.
Based on illustrations in:
Emil Werth, Grabstock Hacke und Pflug
(Ludwigsburg, Germany: Verlag Engen Ulmer, 1954).

^††15. James Strong, STD, LLD, Strong's Concordance of the Bible -
Popular Edition
(London: Pickering and Inglis, and Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1980).

^††16. Map 5-2-4. Israel’s Boundary - the Footprint.
This original webpage is still available; not being secured, can't be shown.
Originator - CIA. It was known as:
"https://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/israel.html"
Seen at line entry: "Israel (Small Map) 2015 (27K)"

^††17. Not all Prophecies are fulfilled in a good way!
Please do not take this point about maps as indicating approval by the writer for the way Israel seized additional land from the Palestinians in 1967. The manner in which a Kindly, Just God would have ordained that events happen in Israel-Palestine, and what actually took place, are definitely not the same! We pray for an end to the current oppression of Palestinians, we pray for an end to Jewish insecurities, and we look for the day when justice and peace will prevail in the Land.

^††18. Maps 5-2-5, and 5-2-6. Both these smaller- and larger-scale maps of Israel-Palestine are from:
Philips' New School Atlas - 40th edn., edited by George Goodall
(London: George Philip & Son, Ltd., 1950).

^††19. The First New Testament - David Estrada and William White, Jr.
(Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1978).

^††20. Assumption of Moses - 1:16 and following verses.
Quoted in The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian Myth - John M. Allegro
(Newton Abbot, England: Westbridge Books, 1979).

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