When I was twenty years old, back in 1963, an American singer-songwriter named Bob Dylan1 wrote a song in an “attempt to create an anthem of change for the time.” The song is titled ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’.2 That happened sixty years ago and the times did change.
But the point I’m making today is that — once again — times are a-changing and there will be bigger changes then have ever happened before and such that will never happen again. What we will soon face is troubling and not just a simple change in our environment, or society, or politics, or technology, but in everything. And this will cause much physical and psychological pain in the world.
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“For at that time there will be great suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short” (Matthew 24:21-22, NRSV).3
Although our future will eventually get very much better, the troubling events must first come and pass. If you want a short refresher course in what to expect, reread chapter 24 in the Book of Matthew. If you want a more in-depth preview, read about the seven trumpets, seven visions, seven bowls, and the fall of Babylon the Great in the Book of Revelation.
The idea that major changes are coming is not just a New Testament thought. In describing Christ’s future millennial age and beyond, the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, in the 8th century BC, prophesied of our Lord proclaiming a coming time of restoration and deliverance. “For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind” (Isaiah 65:17, NRSV).
This is the same new creation spoken about in the Book of Revelation, when our Lord speaks of the coming time as an eternal state completely different from our current one. Our present evil world will “never come to mine” because our current evil condition will be but a mere pinpoint of time compared with the duration of the coming eternal rearrangement.4
The Gospels lean heavily on the Book of Isaiah5 and Jesus makes reference to a new creation, or new world, when he states, “heaven and earth will pass away,” (Matthew 24:32a). This attitude is later reinforced when the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians saying, “For the present form of this world is passing away” (1 Corinthians 7:31).
A deeper meaning of the old heaven and earth passing away is many times thought to mean specifically moving past the Old Testament law. Often people think that God’s commandments are laws of constriction — a method that God uses to keep us in servitude. But his rules “are not prison bars, but traffic laws” that help us avoid destruction.6 And they don’t change, even when the world does, so they are just as relevant today as they were when God first gave them to the Israelites.
Jesus said that he didn’t come to earth to destroy the Law of Moses, but to fulfill it. And while it is true we are no longer under the old law, we are living under a new law that our Lord provided. In a letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul wrote: “For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’” (Galatians 5:14).
But that spiritual thought also involves a physical change, too. It results in a new way to work and live in harmony with each other and with our planet. It also involves removing that which represents the old world and rebuilding one according to God’s moral standards and living within God’s established ethics.
As this end of the age draws to a close, great changes will take place, hence my reference to Bob Dylan’s song. The Bible predicts our world will get much worse, before it gets better. It predicts a time of increased sin, disregard for human life, social chaos, economic troubles, war, environmental events, and much more. It is evident to anyone who is ‘awakened’ that we are living in this time and it is getting worse by the day.
I have been dropping hints for years that this time was coming and people needed to awaken to what was happening; now we are living in the days the Bible has been predicting for thousands of years. Most people still cannot understand what is right before them. They are like those who Christ described as having ears, but cannot hear and those who have eyes, but cannot see (see Mark 8:18).
I repeat, the changes have already begun; so close is the coming chaos that there is little to no time left in order to prepare. I can no longer politely drop hints or beat around the bush to get people to understand. Now is the time to shake them awake. My advice is to get moving now to protect yourselves and your family. Unfortunately, not everyone will listen — please don’t be one of them.
Why must we prepare?
Currently, Satan has power over this world and has been given a limited time in which to prove he can gather and control the global population. The devil implemented his plan in the Garden of Eden and the world has increasingly become filled with evil ever since. He knows his control will end when Jesus returns and is increasing his activities as his time of reign becomes shorter and shorter.
God’s original idea was for humankind to have dominion over the earth under our Lord’s counsel, but we failed by allowing ourselves to be subjected to Satan’s influence. Those that worship Satan or live by his rules, or practice his attributes, will not be allowed to live in the wonderful new world God has planned. Those that expect to live in the new world must change their lives and live as Jesus taught during his brief life on earth.
Going to church every Sunday, or quoting a few Bible verses, or saying “Praise the Lord” every now and then will not get you a ticket into the new age soon to arrive. For a place in the coming new world, we must be completely changed from our former way of life. We must accept the salvation of Jesus Christ and structure our lives on his teaching. In this way we are ‘born again’ through faith in him. We must have a transformation of heart, mind, emotions, and will.7
Look around at the world today! Political and world leaders are siding with Satan, not God, when they cheat and steal and force us to accept perversion in our schools and other institutions. “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers — none of these will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
Even within our own Christian churches, you will find unrighteousness. Their main focus should be teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but many put their priorities elsewhere. So, does your church use their income and status only to grow and maintain positions of power or control; do they keep a government-sponsored ‘Clergy Response Team’8 that will readily carry out political orders in case of a national emergency; do they align themselves with gay, transgender, and transvestite diversity propaganda? Do they approve of abortion rights? Such churches are aligned with Satan, not God.
Jesus said, “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). And for others, either in government or corporate leadership positions, or just partakers of everyday jobs and home life activities, we need to keep the following words from Paul the Apostle in mind.
“Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:16-21).
How do we practice righteousness?
There are literally dozens of scriptural examples explaining sinful or unrighteous traits. So, how do we stay away from such iniquity when we are bombarded daily with the evils of this world? It can be done, if we really put our minds to it; we have the free will to make our own choices. The following is a list, as presented in the New Testament, of attributes necessary to live by God’s rules. These are the points we all must practice, and they are called the fruit of the Spirit of God.
“By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another” (Galatians 5:22-26).
It is Satan that tries to deceive and trick us into transgressing God’s rules. And remember, his time is running out, so he is applying maximum effort to keep us under his control. Jesus wants us to make the correct choice, not like the devil who wants to force us into compliance. Jesus loves us and wants us to live. Satan has no love for us, only a love for what he can get by taking control of us, and that is the attitude of all who follow him. Satan doesn’t care for our lives unless it is profitable to him.
How close are we to the New Age?
While the Bible has been telling us for two millenniums that our human society is on a ‘Gospel teaching’ journey of grace toward the Lord’s millennial age, it is now nearly over. Assuming Jesus was born in September of the year 2 BC, as has been suggested,9 then the Gospel Age will have completed two thousand years — since Jesus began his ministry (at about thirty years of age) — in September of 2028. That is merely about five years from the time of writing this article.
Some say that date is when he returns to begin his kingdom rule, but the Bible says we do not know the time or day of his return. As Jesus said in Matthew 24:36-37, “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
In Greek, ‘day’ (hēmĕra) means the time between dawn and dark or the whole 24 hours.10 And in Greek, ‘hour’ (hōra) means an hour or instant, eventide or high time.11 So even if we can’t pinpoint the precise moment, we are well able to know the general span of time or season of this coming event. Estimates become easier as prophecy is fulfilled. For instance, scripture in Matthew and Revelation give us much to watch for, and as we see those events unfold we can generally narrow the time period of his return more accurately.
I’m not trying to give you a date, but I am telling you all indications suggest the conclusion of this current Gospel Age is near, within just the next several years. If we want to be a part of our Lord’s new world, we must spiritually align our lives with what Jesus taught. And if we want to physically survive through the coming tribulations, we must also prepare for the hard times ahead, like Noah did. We must get ourselves spiritually sound and stock-up on supplies to get us through the chaos and destruction this world will soon face.
If we are not spiritually prepared, we WILL NOT enter the Kingdom of God with eternal life. If we are spiritually prepared, but die, we WILL assure our resurrection to life in the Kingdom. And, if we also prepare physically, we may not even die — ever. If you once thought that ‘doomsday preppers’12 were just crazy conspiracy theorists, you may want to reconsider that opinion.
But our choice must be made now — it may take a while for some of us to accomplish positive corrections in our life, so start immediately — don’t dally about. Keep in mind how many people were saved through the flood in Noah’s day (eight: see 1 Peter 3:20 ), and how many didn’t make it (everyone else).
If I didn’t warn you of what was coming, I would be remiss in my obligation. But it is not my intention to manipulate or convert anyone against their will, for every person has the God-given ability to make their own decisions. Neither am I offering to argue or debate the points I’ve presented, as that is not my job, however I will pray for everyone to listen and investigate for themselves.
I am only a watchman on the wall doing my job as instructed in God’s Holy Bible. “If the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their captivity. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the watchman responsible for their deaths.” (Ezekiel 33:6, NLT).13
What changes will take place?
As we near the end of this age, the new world won’t arrive as an abrupt change, but as a transition. And as already mentioned, the Book of Revelation shows major changes will come before the end. These changes have already started and an increase of wickedness is coming down the pike at a fast speed. Look at all that happened during just the last few years! Well, there is even more to come. Although we are in for a rough ride into the future, there will also be evidence of good things on the horizon.
Evil is now on the increase, but after rounding the crest of the hill, evil will dissipate and goodness and love will begin to increase. And from the looks of today’s news reports (some from mainstream media, but much more accurately from independent sources), things are not likely to get better soon. So “people need to buckle up and get prepared, because we are on the very cusp of the greatest crisis in the history of the world.”14 During this transition period, multiple evils and untruths will be discovered and secret activities will be made evident.
Christians understand that evil is a concept from which God wants his children to voluntarily separate themselves. Evil is bad, the complete opposite of goodness and love. We realize it is unreasonable for anyone to think they can get away with some evil thing just because they hide it from the public. God sees everything and all people will be judged and held accountable.
Now, many Christians (but not all) see the evil at work in our world and they understand we are all being deceived and manipulated by the devil and his human associates. These awakened Christians are considered to have become ‘red pilled’.15
“For nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light. Then pay attention to how you listen; for to those who have, more will be given; and from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away” (Luke 8:17-18).
But atheists and agnostics don’t understand evil as we do; they may view evil as a wrong ethical choice, but overall, the atheists I met in college thought they were too smart to believe in God and his spiritual explanations about things. Many would do as they pleased and truly believed they could keep their unethical actions secret.
But a lot of secrets are now in the process of being exposed. This includes ugly things that have been done to citizens, both young and old, for profit, sex, or control. And there have been secret plans to overthrow governments, invade our privacy, steal our money, and corrupt the financial systems of the world. There are secrets about our true world history, and secret depopulation programs, too. And more.
God has a plan to end all the evil ways of our current world and he will soon take back control of the earth. He has proven his point that humans cannot survive without divine guidance and law. Think about it; God created a wonderful place for living our lives, but humankind has become corrupted and has ruined this world, because of the evil actions of Satan. That will change soon when the devil and his evil associates, both human and spiritual, will be deleted from this otherwise perfect planet.16
Forthcoming, I think, will be the unveiling of some very mind-bending knowledge. It will be slow coming to light at first, but increasingly so over a period of time. It is necessary to make corrections and have the records set straight, before God’s new Kingdom begins. Our Lord wants the new age to be based upon truth and facts, not deceit and lies as it has been for thousands of years.17 Remember that the end of this age is not the end of the world. What is coming to an end will turn into the beginning of a glorious new time.
I told you where to find details about the coming global tragedies earlier in this article, but now let me tell you where to find God’s promises concerning our earthly world after sin is eradicated from our planet. Read about the promises of the coming millennial reign of Christ — and beyond — in Revelation, chapters 20 through 22.
Once someone mentioned to me that they had done things in their life that God could never forgive. I knew they were worried they could never make restitution for their past sins and errors. But sometimes it’s not what we did in the past that counts, but how sincere we are in wanting to change to living a moral life. If we truly change our ways and sincerely repent of our sins and put our full faith in our Savior and accept his free gift of life, we will be forgiven. That is a promise.
In the mid-1700s, a morally corrupt English man, John Newton, was a sailor involved in slave trading. One day a violent storm battered his vessel off the coast of Ireland and the damage was so severe that he called out to God for mercy. That experience marked his spiritual conversion. Later, he studied Christian Theology and became an Anglican clergyman and abolitionist. He wrote many hymns and poetry, but is most famous for a song that is still popular today: ‘Amazing Grace’.18
Possibly first written as a poem in 126.96.36.199 meter,19 “this song with the message that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of sins committed — and that the soul can be delivered from despair through the mercy of God — ‘Amazing Grace’ is one of the most recognizable songs in the English-speaking world.” It is without doubt, the most famous folk hymn.20
So, the song to feature the subject matter for this article is ‘Amazing Grace’ performed by Wintley Phipps, a Trinidadian-American singer and Seventh-Day Adventist minister. His bass-baritone voice is perfect for this inspirational hymn. Selected lyrics are below and the music video is listed in References & Notes.21
Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I’m found
Was blind but now I see
When we’ve been here ten thousand years
Bright, shining as the sun
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun
Copyright © 2023, Dr. Ray Hermann
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References & Notes
- Bob Dylan: was born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota, United States.
“Bob Dylan”, (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 7 September 2023), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Dylan
- “The Times They Are a-Changin’ (song)”, (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 30 August 2023), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Times_They_Are_a-Changin%27_(song)
- Unless otherwise noted, all scripture is taken from New Revised Standard Version Bible, Division of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, 1989. Used with permission.
- Walvoord John F. and Zuck, Roy B., (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), vol. 1, p. 1120.
- Blank, Sheldon H., “Isaiah: Hebrew prophet”, (Encyclopedia Britannica, 20 July 1998), https://www.britannica.com/biography/Isaiah
- DeYoung, Kevin, “10 Things You Should Know about the Ten Commandments”, (Crossway, 23 October 2018), https://www.crossway.org/articles/10-things-you-should-know-about-the-ten-commandments/
- “What is a Born Again Christian?” (Christianity, 27 February 2019), https://www.christianity.com/wiki/salvation/what-is-a-born-again-christian.html
- Clergy Response Team: The United States government has recruited 26,000 members of the clergy to be part of their ‘Clergy Response Team’, and have advised pastors to use Romans 13 scripture to convince their congregations to obey government authorities.
Stewart, David J., “Clergy Response Teams”, (Jesus is Savior, retrieved 24 September 2023), https://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evils%20in%20Government/Police%20State/clergy_response_teams.htm
- Hermann, Ray, “Puzzle Solved: Here is Jesus’ Birth Date, and the Date of Mary’s Conception, too”, (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 17 December 2020), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/puzzle-solved-here-is-jesus-birth-date-and-the-date-of-marys-conception-too/
- day: Strong’s Greek #2250, ἡμέρα, (hēmĕra) the time space between dawn and dark, or the whole 24 hours (but several days could be usually reckoned by the Jews as inclusive of the parts of both extremes).
Strong, James, The New Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1996).
- hour: Strong’s Greek #5610, ὥρα, (hōra) a day, hour, instant (x short), even-tide, high-tide.
Strong, James, The New Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1996).
- doomsday prepper: Those who pro-actively prepare for emergencies, such as natural disasters, as well as other disasters causing disruption to social order (example: civil disorder) caused by political or economic crises.
“Survivalism”, (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 23 September 2023), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivalism#
- Holy Bible, New Living Translation, Tyndale House Foundation, 2007.
- “Buckle Up: We Are On The Cusp Of The Greatest Crisis In The History Of The World”, (King World News, 10 April 2022), https://kingworldnews.com/buckle-up-we-are-on-the-cusp-of-the-greatest-crisis-in-the-history-of-the-world/
- red pilled: beliefs, choices, or information that allow you to see the world as it really is, even though you would feel safer or happier if you did not. This refers to a scene in the film The Matrix where a character is offered a choice between a red pill, which reveals the true world, and a blue pill, which keeps it hidden.
“Red Pill”, (Cambridge Dictionary, retrieved 21 September 2023), https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/red-pill
- Hermann, Ray, “Wake Up, Folks: It’s time to get right with God”, (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 16 December 2022), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/wake-up-folks-its-time-to-get-right-with-god/
- Hermann, Ray, “Coming: An Awakening to a New Reality”, (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 3 May 2022), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/coming-an-awakening-to-a-new-reality/
- “Amazing Grace”, (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 5 September 2023), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazing_Grace
- 188.8.131.52 meter (metre): A songwriter or poet counts eight syllables in the first line and six in the second. This would be described as 184.108.40.206 (or 86.86). The words of ‘Amazing Grace’ can therefore be set to any tune that has the 220.127.116.11 metre, for example ‘The House of the Rising Sun’.
“Metre (hymn)”, (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 3 February 2023), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metre_(hymn)
- “Amazing Grace”, (Wikipedia), see above.
- “Amazing Grace”, Artist: Wintley Phipps; Songwriter: John Newton, 1779; CD/DVD: Hymns and Gospel Classics, recorded Gaither Studios, 2023, (uploaded to YouTube 22 September 2023; Licenses: UMB for Gaither Music Group, others). Used under ‘fair use copyright’ for teaching under Section 107 of the United States Copyright Act of 1976 — MUSIC VIDEO: https://youtu.be/juvx1SRJsEA