A lot of bad things have been happening in the world recently and each day seems to be worse than the previous one. Where is this world headed? The quarantine and social distancing, brought on by the viral pandemic, have become not a protection, but a punishment of solitary confinement and fear. Governments have used a medical emergency to reshape our society and change the world into what they want, and the future they want is not a pretty one.
In a recent article I wrote, “If you are ‘right with God’ there is no reason to worry or fear over what will soon happen.”1 I know that thousands of people have read that article, but how many actually took action and made changes, I do not know. However, I believe that the clock is ticking and there may not be much time left for debating the necessity of making that decision.
Folks, I don’t know how to put this any other way, but we must all get busy and do what is required to book passage into a new and better world ruled by Christ, because the one ruled by humans appears on the verge of disappearing. As we move closer to the end of this age, the events coming upon this earth will cause fear, worry, and anxiety — much more so than that which is happening now. But God has an antidote for those stressful conditions,2 because security in the Lord removes such things. As one Psalm states, “I sought the LORD and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4, ESV).3
If you are ‘right with God’ there is no reason for fear or worry concerning what will soon happen. How do you get right with God? It isn’t hard. To start, understand that you are a sinner (Romans 3:23). Pray and ask the Lord for salvation (Acts 2:21). Read the Bible and put into practice what you learn (Galatians 5:16–25). Just be aware that you must be sincere in your faith in Jesus and this new path in your life.
In another article, during the very beginning of this current worldwide virus pandemic, I wrote, “It is a sure bet that after all this virus stuff is over, our country will never return back to what it was before the threat.”4 As Rahm Emanuel,5 the White House Chief of Staff in President Obama’s administration, said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste.” Then he added, “And what I mean by that, it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”6 That is exactly what governments have done — they have used this virus scare to gain more control over their populations.
It is now evident that there is a new normal, and what is normal now will change again, soon. The ruling authorities may let up on restrictions a bit, but never enough to fully undo the control they imposed. We will never, ever, go back to ‘what was’. Evil people want to bring in a New World Order which has been predicted for decades. Because they are evil and are following an evil plan, they are also following a different god than our God.
Who are they following?
Currently, Satan is in control of this planet. This was proven when Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert. “And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, ‘To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.’” (Luke 4:5-7). The devil is now in charge of what is happening on earth and he has many associates, both spiritual and human, who will help him in his evil works.
Satan and his spiritual supporters are invisible to us, as well as are the places they inhabit, but just because they are unseen does not mean they are not real. X-rays, radio waves, and wi-fi signals are all unseen, but real. Many colors, which other animals can see (e.g., infrared, ultraviolet) are unseen by humans, but they are all real. Gravity and magnetic attraction are unseen, but they are real. Electricity and energy radiation are unseen, but real. You get the idea.
Likewise, the following invisible things are real, too: Satan and his angels, demons, unclean spirits, evil authorities, and cosmic powers. And the invisible locations in which they dwell are real as well: other principalities, other habitations, other dominions, and other realms or dimensions. An extended study on evil cosmic powers and creatures, and how to fight them, is listed in References & Notes at the end of this article.7
The devil and his spiritual and human helpers use tricks and lies to deceive us, using such tactics as being devious and cunning, or trying to lure and entice.8 This “is an apt description of his modus operandi.” Deception is his most effective tool and it forged the core of his attack on Adam and Eve, which originally led humankind astray.9
Paul, the apostle, speaks about these facts, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Ephesians 6:13). He then describes the various pieces of Christian armor we must have, as though he is equipping a soldier for battle.
In explaining what it is we face, Paul is very specific. It is not only a struggle against other humans, but one against invisible spirits. Our human foes are just mere tools of evil; the real foe lurks behind the humans; the real foe is Satan himself.10
This is a spiritual war against a devious, wicked, and ruthless enemy. This war between God and Satan is in every part of the cosmos, both on earth, as well as in heaven. And now in this current age, because we model our lives after Jesus Christ and belong to him, it becomes our war as well. Satan will try to draw us away from our righteous path and if he can’t, he will harass us, impede our way, try to render us less faithful, and less serviceable to the kingdom of Christ.
What signs of the end are already evident? What are still to come?
We aren’t given the exact day and hour of Christ’s return, but we have been given details about the events that lead up to his second coming. Know these signs and you will know that we are moving into the last days of this last age before Jesus defeats evil and begins his reign on earth, as promised.
God flooded the earth in the time of Noah, and no one believed it was to happen — they must have laughed at Noah. “For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:37-39).
God promised not to destroy life with water again, but he will cleanse the earth with fire, so believe his word and do what is necessary to be saved. He doesn’t say the earth will be annihilated with fire, only that the earth will be exposed11 to fire from heaven. “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.” (2 Peter 3:10).
Remember that our Lord used fire to cleanse a five-city area including Sodom and Gomorrah,12 because of the evil there. Before Jesus’ return, he will do the same, worldwide, because of the evil in our time covers the globe. Just a thought, from the description in 2 Peter 3, a meteor storm or an asteroid impacting earth from space would certainly fit the description of the earth being exposed to heavenly bodies burning and dissolving. Or, the things on earth may be what dissolves, then it could be a nuclear explosion. Then again, maybe both.
In answering questions from his disciples, Jesus spoke about the last days. He told of various earthquakes, religious deceptions, famines, plagues, and infectious diseases. He spoke about wars between countries as well as between peoples of different cultures and races. He said there will be increased lawlessness and religious persecution. The love of many will turn cold. There will rise an Antichrist. It seems to me that much of this is already happening on a global scale.
Finally, when all this happens, much distress will occur; there will be a great tribulation. So bad will it be that “if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.” (Matthew 24:22). It is also written that, “all these are but the beginning of the birth pains.” (Matthew 24:8).
Jesus was letting his followers know that just as a pregnant woman’s birth pains indicate the imminent arrival of the new child, these events will indicate the forthcoming end of this age and arrival of a new one. And after these things start to happen, they increase in number as it gets closer to the final big event. It is possible that the predicted final days have already started. If so, how long is it before the end actually gets here? I don’t know, but we had better be ready.
After that period of distress, our Lord will return accompanied by unusual heavenly displays. Jesus explained that within the generation that sees all these signs taking place, many will live through that period and actually experience his return. This means some people will enter the new age without dying. But the precise moment of his arrival is not known to anyone, other than his father, so we must be continually prepared. It will happen quickly and unexpectedly (just as this recent pandemic), so be faithful and always ready for his return. (See: Matthew 24:36-51).
A detailed study of Jesus’s description of the coming last days, as told in Matthew 24, is available in a study titled “Christ’s Return Prophecies — the Signs of the End of this Age in Matthew 24″. See the listing in References & Notes at the end of this article.13
Although mentioned in Matthew (also in Mark and Luke), these events are also symbolically described in detail in a revelation from Jesus to the Apostle John, recorded in what is commonly called the Book of Revelation. Those visions, described in chapter 6, are of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse which, I believe, have already begun to ride. In its totality, this chapter describes a period in history when a large part of earth’s population will perish through a combination of events, including wars, hunger, and diseases. These hardships begin with the opening of the symbolic seals securing a scroll which brings on the apocalypse.14 A discourse on this subject is also listed in References & Notes.15
The New Testament is not the only place devastation upon the earth is predicted. Isaiah, chapter 24 lists a descriptive curse and starts off: “Look, the LORD is ready to devastate the earth and leave it in ruins; he will mar its surface and scatter its inhabitants.” (Isaiah 24:1, NET).
What can we do?
What else can we do to prepare? Well, besides getting right with God, helping others to do the same is a priority. Next in importance is securing what is needed to make it through some very hard and difficult times, like food, water, medicines, and household supplies. If we are right with God that doesn’t mean we can just relax under a tree and expect our Lord to make sure we are served all we need or want. God expects us to do as much for ourselves as possible, in preparation for hard times.
If you don’t think you can do very much, take Proverbs 30:25 to heart. “Ants — they aren’t strong, but they store up food all summer.” (Proverbs 30:25, NLT). In other words, a little bit, over time, adds up. Do what you can, but start immediately. My favorite scripture on this subject is about Joseph in Egypt. During seven years of plenty, he saved and stored the land’s food until there was a great abundance. After this time of plenty, there were seven years of famine, but in all of Egypt there was still bread to eat. There was enough grain stored that they made it through a severe famine, and could even sell some to other peoples. Read Genesis chapter 41 for the full story.
People make fun of the so-called ‘preppers’ who take preparedness seriously, just as most people probably laughed at Noah in his time. Today, many take the suggestions in the Bible seriously and they are saving for their own family. They are not saving for all their neighbors and have, most likely, taken precautions to secure that what they have will not be taken away by those who haven’t heeded God’s words. And don’t depend upon your government to take care of you; any abundance of food will be used for control purposes.
How can you go wrong storing food and regular household supplies? If an emergency doesn’t come along, you can still eat the food and use the supplies; there is no money lost. Just keep replacing what you use. When the public panicked at the shortages created by the pandemic’s arrival, guess who didn’t worry about a lack of toilet paper or hand sanitizer in the supermarkets and stores?16
Even now, we should have a way to access news reports that we can believe. Mainstream news sources can’t be trusted. According to a Knight Foundation/Gallup Poll source, “Most Americans have lost confidence in the media to deliver the news objectively.”17 If something is going on that can affect you and your family, you surely want to know about it. You need reliable, and independent news organizations that can be trusted, instead of the fake news of the corporate giants.
And don’t trust the popular Google search engine for searching things on the internet; they are particularly troublesome and are known to hide sites they don’t want you to find and redirect you to others. Google is the foremost search engine in the world, and many consider it the gateway to the internet. Unfortunately, Google uses its dominant position to determine what we can see, say, do, or publish.18
Get right with God, read his word, and take his advice. We have his warnings, we know what will happen, and we understand what needs to be done. This is a serious matter. If we have faith in God and his son, Jesus, we will get through the end-times okay. And a new and better world awaits us on the other side of this coming Apocalypse.
Because of the sobering nature of this article, I decided to contrast the mood with a little fun. And since I have faith in the Lord and how the coming events turn out, I can have a happy mood, if I want. So, my song selection adds an upbeat approach to the idea that this current time is similar to the days of Noah. In fact there are two musical selections, but together they add up to less than four minutes in totality. The first is a gospel tune by the Statler Brothers (I love four-part harmony),19 titled “Noah Found Grace in the Eyes of the Lord”.20 Selected lyrics are below.
Well, the Lord looked down from His window in the sky
And said “I created man but I don’t remember why
Nothin’ but fightin’ since creation day
I’ll send a little water and I’ll wash ’em all away.”
So the Lord came down to look around a spell
And there He found Noah behavin’ mighty well
And that is the reason the Scriptures record
Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
The other selection is for those older seniors (like me), who remember the American cowboy singer, Gene Autry, from our care-free younger days. He sings “Uncle Noah’s Ark” from a motion picture made in 1937.21 Here are selected lyrics.
A long, long time ago
As all you folks should know
Uncle Noah built himself an Ark
For forty days and nights
The rain was sure a fright
And the animals nearly tore his Ark apart
Copyright © 2020, Dr. Ray Hermann
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Reference & Notes
- Hermann, Ray, “Combat Your Fear and Defeat Anxiety with Prayer”, (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 25 March 2020), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/combat-your-fear-and-defeat-anxiety-with-prayer/
- Melick, Richard R., Jr., “Philippians,” in CSB Study Bible: Notes, (Eds.) Edwin A. Blum and Trevin Wax, (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), p. 1888.
- Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV), © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The text has been used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Hermann, Ray, “Just thinking out loud about this Coronavirus and the Bible — Is there something suspicious going on?” (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 1 April 2020), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/just-thinking-out-loud-about-this-coronavirus-and-the-bible-is-there-something-suspicious-going-on/
- Rahm Emanuel: Liberal American politician of the Democrat party, previous mayor of Chicago, previous member of the US House of Representatives, worked in both the Clinton and Obama administrations.
- “Rahm Emanuel Quote”, (BrainyQuote.com, retrieved 31 March 2020), https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/rahm_emanuel_409199
- Hermann, Ray, “Ephesians 6: Evil Cosmic Powers & the Armor of God”, (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 17 February 2019), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/ephesians-6-evil-cosmic-powers-the-armor-of-god/
- Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 11th ed., (USA: Oxford University Press, 2008 [revised]).
- Thompson, Leonard, Demons, (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company, 2005), p. 123.
- Jamieson, Robert; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), vol. 2, p. 357.
- exposed: some manuscripts say ‘burned up’.
- Hermann, Ray, “Lot & His Daughters: Homosexuals, Brimstone, Incest”, (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 22 July 2018), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/lot-his-daughters-homosexuals-brimstone-incest/
- Hermann, Ray, “Christ’s Return Prophecies — the Signs of the End of this Age in Matthew 24″, (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 20 May 2020), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/christs-return-prophecies-the-signs-of-the-end-of-this-age-in-matthew-24/
- Vučković, Aleksa, “Studying the End of the World: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”, (Ancient Origins, ancient-origins.net, 30 October 2019), https://www.ancient-origins.net/unexplained-phenomena/apocalypse-0012794
- Hermann, Ray, “When the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Ride — Revelation 6″, (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 29 February 2020), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/when-the-four-horsemen-of-the-apocalypse-ride-revelation-6/
- Aaro, David, “Preppers, once mocked, say they were ready for coronavirus crisis”, (Fox News, 19 March 2020), https://www.foxnews.com/health/preppers-avoiding-panic-amid-coronavirus-outbreak-us
- “Mainstream media’s power to influence crumbles as nearly 9 in 10 Americans see high or medium level of bias, new poll shows”, (RT News, 5 August 2020), https://www.rt.com/usa/497117-mainstream-media-bias-poll/
- Bell, Jade, “Top 10 Ways Google Is Censoring Free Speech”, (ListVerse, Listverse Ltd., 23 April 2020), https://listverse.com/2020/04/23/top-10-ways-google-is-censoring-free-speech/
- four-part harmony: The term ‘four-part harmony’ refers to music written for four voices, soprano, alto, tenor, and bass.
“Four-part harmony”, (Wikipedia, Wikipedia Foundation Inc., 23 June 2020), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four-part_harmony
- “Noah Found Grace in the Eyes of the Lord”, Artist: The Statler Brothers; DVD/CD: The Gospel Music of the Statler Brothers, Volume Two; Gaither Music, (Licensed to YouTube by UMG, BMI, Capitol CMG, ASCAP, others, retrieved 9 August 2020) – MUSIC VIDEO: https://youtu.be/mWPuS8En9WU
- “Uncle Noah’s Ark”, Artists & authors: Gene Autry and Smiley Burnette; (from movie Round-Up Time in Texas, Republic Pictures, 1937), Music: © 1934, Gene Autry Music Company and Universal Music Group – MUSIC VIDEO: https://youtu.be/EHWvWT-iYQs