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Signs of the Last Days

Does God Speak Out Loud?

Who is the Messiah?
A discussion of Psalm 45

Signs of the Last Days

A visitor named Peter asked three questions...

1) What signs are there in the Bible of the last days?
2) Are any of these signs taking place today?
3) Do you believe we are living in the last days?

Bible Bell's Answer to Questions 1 & 2
What are the signs?
Are these signs taking place today?

The apostles asked Jesus...

"What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?'' Mt 24.3b
In reply Jesus told them...
"Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, `I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places." Mt 24.4b-7

In summary, the signs Jesus gave were...

  • False Messiahs will come (Sun Myung Moon is a current example of such a person)
  • Many people will be deceived by teachers of false doctrine and counterfeit Christianity (for examples of current deceptions and counterfeits, I refer you to Hank Hanagraaff's book "Christianity in Crisis," Harvest House publishers)
  • There will be wars & rumors of wars (for examples of this I refer you to recent and on-going events such as conflicts with N. Korea, N. Viet Nam, Desert Storm, Kosevo, ad nauseam)
  • Nation will rise against nation... and kingdom against kingdom (these words are Greek idioms for wars involving many nations. We call them World Wars, and there have been two of them.)
  • There will be large-scale famines (current examples are rampant famines in Somalia, Ethiopia, et al)
  • There will be world-wide pestilences (this refers to pandemics, such as AIDS, ebola, et al)
  • There will be great earthquakes (earthquakes have become more frequent and more severe but "you ain't seen nothin' yet!")

Concerning the above signs Jesus added...

"All these are the beginning of sorrows." Mt 24.8

In the above quoted verse, the Greek word used for "sorrows" is odin, which literally means the birth pains of a woman about to deliver a baby. Think about this...

  • As a woman nears the time of birthing her baby, the initial sign will be a slight pain. It won't last long and won't be all that painful. This is the first contraction. There will usually be quite a long period of time -- perhaps several hours or even days -- before the next contraction comes.
  • As the time for birthing grows nearer, the interval between contractions will become shorter and shorter, and the pain of contractions will grow more and more intense.
  • Finally, there will be one continuous great pain, the water bag will rupture, and the birthing of the baby will occur.

So also will be the signs of the coming of Jesus. The signs will grow more intense, and more frequent, and at closer intervals, as the coming of the Lord draws nearer.

Bible Bell's Answer to Question 3
Are we now living in the last days?

There are NO unfulfilled prophecies that stand between now and the Rapture (the return of Jesus in the clouds for His Church). The Rapture could happen today, or a hundred or more years from now.

There ARE, however, a number of prophecies that remain to be fulfilled PRIOR to the Second Coming (the return of Jesus to the earth, to defeat the forces of evil at the Battle of Armageddon).

Concerning this, Jesus commanded His people...

Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him. Mt 24.44

Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
Mt 25.13

Does God Speak Out Loud?

A visitor to Bible Bell asked: Some folks I know say things like, "God spoke to me and said such-and-such."

God has never spoken out loud to me. Isn't it true that nowadays God ONLY speaks to us through His Bible?

Bible Bell's Answer

There are many Biblical examples where God spoke to people out loud. Here are two such examples...

And God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me..." Gen 6.13a

The Lord called Samuel. And he answered, "Here I am!'' 1 Sam 3.4
To some people God spoke spoke face-to-face...
Then Jacob asked Him (God), saying, "Tell me Your name, I pray.'' And He said, "Why is it that you ask about My name?'' And He (God) blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: "For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.'' Gen 32.29-30

So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. Ex 33.11a
However, to many of the prophets God did NOT speak out loud. Rather, He spoke to them through visions and dreams and "dark sayings" (symbolic language, such as that used in the books of Ezekiel and Daniel)...
Then He (God) said, "Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision, and I speak to him in a dream. Not so with My servant Moses; he is faithful in all My house. I speak with him face to face, even plainly, and not in dark sayings Num 12.6-8a

Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I (
the prophet Ezekiel) was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. Ezek 1.1
In the times described by the Four Gospels, God spoke to us by His Son...
God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son... Heb 1.1-2a

Okay, so let's cut to the chase.

First off, in nearly every instance when God spoke aloud to someone, that person fell into one or both of the following two groups...

  • The person who heard God's voice was going to be involved in one of God's great events. Examples are Noah (the Flood), Abraham/Isaac/Jacob (patriarchs of God's chosen people, Israel), and Moses (leading the Jews out of Egypt to the Promised Land)
  • The person who heard God's voice was going to be directly used of God to warn and exhort people, and/or to serve as one of God's instruments in writing the Bible. Examples are Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Jonah.

Yes, God DOES speak to us through His written word, the Bible. But the visitor's question was this: Is the Bible God's ONLY way of speaking to us nowadays?

In response, let me stress that I know of no Bible verse that says God will NO LONGER speak to anyone in an audible voice, or by dream, or by vision, or by an angel. If someone says he or she has heard God's voice, who am I to say otherwise?

However, having said that, I must add that I feel no one should say, "God spoke to me" unless he or she actually did HEAR God's audible voice.

Some well-meaning folks loosely use the expression, "God said" when what they really mean is that they have received a strong conviction or impression of God's will.

In other words, people should beware of the possibility that, in making themselves sound especially privileged or spiritual, they may be causing other people to feel like second-class Christians.

It's wrong to do this, even if you did hear God speak. It's a horrible thing to do if you didn't!

Who is the Messiah?
A discussion of Psalm 45

Bill writes -- Can you answer three questions about Psalm 45? Specifically:

  • #1 Who is the King spoken of by this Psalm?
  • #2 Who is the King's bride?
  • #3 When is the Psalm speaking of the King, and when is it speaking of the King's bride?

Bible Bell's Reply

Before answering Bill's three questions, let's first quote the entirety of Psalm 45...

1. My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
2. You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips; Therefore God has blessed You forever.
3. Gird Your sword upon Your thigh, O Mighty One, With Your glory and Your majesty.
4. And in Your majesty ride prosperously because of truth, humility, and righteousness; And Your right hand shall teach You awesome things.
5. Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the King's enemies; The peoples fall under You.
6. Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
7. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.
8. All Your garments are scented with myrrh and aloes and cassia, Out of the ivory palaces, by which they have made You glad.
9. Kings' daughters are among Your honorable women; At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.
10. Listen, O daughter, Consider and incline your ear; Forget your own people also, and your father's house;
11. So the King will greatly desire your beauty; Because He is your Lord, worship Him.
12. And the daughter of Tyre will be there with a gift; The rich among the people will seek your favor.
13. The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace; Her clothing is woven with gold.
14. She shall be brought to the King in robes of many colors; The virgins, her companions who follow her, shall be brought to You.
15. With gladness and rejoicing they shall be brought; They shall enter the King's palace.
16. Instead of Your fathers shall be Your sons, Whom You shall make princes in all the earth.
17. I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations; Therefore the people shall praise You forever and ever.
Psalm 45

Bible Bell's Answer to Question #1:
Who is the King spoken of by Psalm 45?

Psalm 45 is a "Messianic Prophecy."

That is, Psalm 45 is a prophecy concerning the future coming of the Messiah, who will rule over all the earth as our King.

The coming Messiah-King will be God in the flesh, as is proven by verse 6 of Psalm 45, quoted below...

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. Psalm 45.6 (see also Heb 1.8-9)
The Messiah-King will be God the Son, as is proven by Isaiah 9.6-7...
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. Isa 9.6-7
The name of the Messiah-King is revealed by the New Testament as being the Lord Jesus Christ...
that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords 1 Tim 6.14-15

Bible Bell's Answer to Question #2:
Who is the King's bride?

Believers in Jesus are betrothed to Jesus, to become His bride in the future...

For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you (believers in Jesus) to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 2 Cor 11.2

Therefore, my brethren (
believers in Jesus), you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another, even to Him (Jesus) who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. Rom 7.4

Bible Bell's Answer to Question #3:
When is the Psalm speaking of the King, and when is it speaking of the King's bride?

Psalm 45 is, of course, translated from the Hebrew language used in the Old Testament.

Hebrew uses a different language form for addressing males as opposed to that which it uses for addressing females. This fact makes it clear that, in Psalm 45...

  • Verses 2 through 9 plus verses 16 and 17 are addressed to King Jesus.
  • Verses 10 through 15 are addressed to the King's bride, the church.

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