God placed lights in the heaven to divide the day from the night, and for signs, for seasons. Gen 1:14.
We know how to read the signs of the heavens, some of us better than others; but it is no surprise to us when
someone says something about these signs.
Jesus said something about these kinds of signs to the Pharisees who rejected Him: "And in the morning, (you say)
'It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering.' O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the
sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? Mat 16:3
It is this; "the signs of the times" which are important to us.
The Disciples asked Him; "What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age?"
This is what is important to us--the "sign of thy coming..."
The disciples knew that God has always given His people signs. Indeed, the Old Testament if full of the accounts of
His signs, His mighty works through His Prophets to prove His sovereignty and power.
As He has promised: "Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the
prophets." Amos 3:7
The disciples, knowing of this promise of God by Amos, asked Jesus, "What will be the sign of your return?"
And He answered them.
First, He said, "you will hear of wars and rumours of wars: but don't be troubled, for these things must happen,
but the end is not yet."
But then He said: "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines,
and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
(But) "All these are the beginning of sorrows."
The Beginning of Sorrows
You see? First "wars and rumors of wars" are not to trouble us.
Then He gave almost the same list, but added "in different places."
Then He said "All these" are the beginning of sorrows.
The difference is; that as long as they are in different places they are meaningless, since these things are always
But, when "All these" are seen together, then they are "the beginning of Sorrows."
The first lesson in this is that we need not be concerned about the long history of wars, famines and other human
or natural tragedy; as long as they occur in different places or different times.
It is the "all these" which is important, and meaningful.
There are two other important things: one is to watch, and the other is to avoid deception and false prophets. In
order to "watch" we need to pay attention to both current human and natural events AND Bible Prophecy. In order to
prevent our being deceived we need to study our Bible (not what people say about the Bible--but the Bible itself).
If we will not learn about His Word ourselves, then we are sheep to be lead astray by false teachers. If we will
not watch current human events we will be blind to the fulfillment of Prophecy--since All Prophecy is fulfilled by
First: He did say "watch." That leads to two Questions.
1) What are the signs given by Jesus and the writers of the Bible that we should watch for?
2) Which human and natural events might we see that would fulfill the Biblical signs of His coming?
Second, making a list and checking it twice.
The signs recorded by Matthew.
War: Nation against Nation, Kingdom against Kingdom.
There are different kinds of War. HOT military war; and "Cold war."
There is economic War: there is a saying, "Business IS war."
There is Guerrilla war and Terrorism war.
Next are Natural events: Famines, and pestilences. Famine can be a consequence of war, either hot or cold, economic
war or terrorism. Famine may be caused by drought, or flood; by rain at the wrong time. Famine can be caused by
locusts or mice.
Earthquakes are a natural event, and we could expect to include volcanoes and Tsunami.
Again, as long as these things occur in different places or times, they are meaningless as signs of His coming,
because He said "all these..." So the history of war, or the combination of war and famine over the years, mean
nothing because they did not happen in the same place, or in the same place at the same time.
So we need to read Bible Prophecy (not what others write about prophecy) and we need to watch current human
One of the things we notice when reading End Time Prophecy--Daniel and Revelation, for example, is that the
sequence of events described by the prophecies seem to take a generation to unfold.
Then there are some prophecies that seem to occur in a short period of years; about seven or more.
Then there are prophecies with a seven year Time frame, some with Three and a Half years, and some a matter of
What we want to do is compare the Signs (events) described in the prophecies with each other to see which must
occur first, or before and after other events. By doing this we can establish a basic, or 'rough,' perhaps, sequence
of end time events. For example, war, drought or pestilences will come ahead of famine--so that is a two step
Wars between Nations and Kingdoms don't just happen out of thin air: there is cause and provocation, agitation and
then, the last spark. So when we see two (or more) nations huffing and puffing at each other, then watch the following
sequence of events as they build toward war. We have just seen an example of this in the US invasion of Iraq. And look
at what is happening now?
As Jesus said when he gave the list of signs to watch for: "this generation shall not all pass away until all these
things be fulfilled." The point is; that "all these" must be fulfilled in the lifetime of one generation.
So, disregarding wars, famines and earthquakes which may have occurred longer in the past than our generation, or
did not happen at the same time and place, what do we see?
World War One and World War Two both happened at the same place, in the lifetime of one generation. In fact, many
men fought in both wars.
World War One and the World Wide Flu (pestilence) happened at the same time and at the same place.
There is more.
Following is a brief list of imortant events in the sequence of Bible Prophecy.
S. "New Age" movement:
Secular Humanism, Anthropic Principle,
Situation Ethics morality. "#20."
T. COLD WAR: Conquest by fear.
Capitalism-Communism divide the world,
Banking-Military Industrial Complex
divide the profits. "#21."
U. International Monetary Fund and
World Bank established to enslave
Third World nations by debt. "#22."
V. Greenhouse Effect, Global Warming:
El Nino, Drought, Famine, Cancer in man
and beast, A.I.D.S., etc. "#23."
While this list (part A) is incomplete, and arbitrarily
chosen, it is ample to illustrate the types of human affairs.
Having identified the types of human affairs, it will be
recognized they are the fulfillment of the first three Seals. The
events listed above are examples of the TYPES of human events
EVENTS LISTED BY TYPE
The First Seal: WAR - Rev. 6:1-2, 20:7. Mat. 24:7-8.
1-4. The Atomic Bomb; WMD, All acts of war, "Cold War," Terrorism, etc.
Rev. 17, 18.
The Third Seal: Famine Rev. 6:5-6.
5. ACTS OF GOD: Global Warming, El Nino, Drought, Famine; Plague,
Cancer, AIDS; Earthquake, Flood, Volcano, Roaring seas,
Signs in the heavens.
Luke 21:10-11, 25.
Yes, these events have plagued mankind from the beginning
of history, but with one major difference. "All these" occurred in
the lifetime of one generation, the generation which witnessed
the return of God's Chosen People (Ecclesia) to Jerusalem. This
generation will not all pass away before every prophecy of the
coming of the Lord is fulfilled.