Title: Are these the last days?
Plot: Kicks off my new podcast series on the last days
Notes: This episode addresses the practical questions where do I go and what do I buy?
Listen to "Are these the last days?" on Spreaker.
Hey, Welcome back!
Today I received a phone call from a friend informing me that at 7:24 AM Mountain Standard Time on March 18th, two thousand twenty, Utah had an earthquake that measured 5.7 on the richter scale. It shut down the Salt Lake Airport and it was followed by no less than six aftershocks. This is very unusual for Utah and it got me thinking. Are we in the last days?
Being the historian book reader that I am, I can tell you that every generation since Christ believed they were. And therefore it was my intention to avoid this topic, because since I was a boy, I remember watching TV specials, and buying books and listening to audio messages just like this one. Messages that declared, "Ladies and gentlemen we are in the last days."
Though billions of people since Christ have declared we were in the last days, even though I myself have listened to countless messages that confirmed we were, and though the evidence would suggest that all of those people were wrong; though that is all the case, still I will add my voice to theirs and declare, "ladies and gentlemen we are in the last days."
I don't do this because I have illusions about being able to predict timing, but rather because the book of Hebrews opens with that very statement. I'll read it to you now. Hebrews 1:1-2 says:
"1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world."
Therefore, it is not wrong to declare these the last days, because the apostles themselves did so and because of that belief they had a healthy tremendous sense of urgency to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to lost souls. So that no one should perish and no one's blood would be on their hands for having failed to bring the appointed souls to Christ.
And you might be interested to know that all of the things that John the revelator wrote in the book of Revelations as well as all the things that everyone else in the holy book of the Bible uttered, were nearly all fulfilled two thousand years ago. Almost all of them including surprising prophecies you didn't know about like the Abomination of Desolation standing in the holy place. The desecration of the temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar. To my knowledge, nearly everything foretold by the Bible was already fulfilled a very long time ago, which is what gave rise to the concepts we know today called amillenialism and postmillenialism. But those are big words and I hate sounding boring or like an intellect.
Simply stated: some people think that Christ's second coming already happened and that we now live in the days after those last days. The times after the end times. I personally view that as wishful thinking, people hoping to escape the rise of the anit-christ, Armageddon and the last day carnage that the Bible foretells.
The Bible is clear: if Jesus Christ had come a second time he would be here now. And since I find it absurd that anyone on earth might compare themselves to Jesus Christ, and that clearly is not the case. He didn't come and go and leave us to ourselves.
Many of you have listened to my first Coronavirus podcast boldly, entitled "Will I Die from Coronavirus?" And when I posted it, it was overly dramatic, but now it would seem that people needed that message even before they were taking this issue seriously. I thank God for telling me to proclaim it the way I did and I am grateful to myself that I listened and obeyed. I sensed opposition to delivering it that way, and I was tempted to take it down, but being such a new podcaster, it took time for people to find it and so it was already there for those who needed it. Had I done what made sense, the message people needed to hear, would have come too late. And so I erred on the side of declaring the message too early, hoping and trusting my faithful podcast listeners would forgive me for sounding pompous because I repeatedly make apologies for being new and less than perfect. Even now I'm unsure I did the right thing, but hopefully you will forgive me for my mistakes past, present and future.
And so now I stare into the precipice of a last days series at a time when I originally planned to talk less about God and more about secular books. In fact, I would imagine some of you noticed I wasn't talking about Easter at all, which is unusual for me to ignore holidays, and that's because I intended to do that series next year. However, the Easter message goes nicely with a last days message, and so I will overrule that decision. But alas, there is no way I can complete such an undertaking by April 12th. However, I suspect that in these times, the messages that are coming will be exactly what you need to hear.
Therefore, I am officially going off the rails. Instead of podcast reviewing books, I will attempt to do you my podcast listeners, the greatest good, by telling you what I've aggregated together and believe to be true based on my homework. I will begin this series by telling you what you need to know most urgently.
For example, in Revelation 18 there is a list of all the things that will have value in the last days.
Revelation chapter 18 describes the fall of Babylon. In that chapter, boats stop in their tracks and commerce comes to an immediate halt because Babylon fell in a single day. If you have listened to my series called the Ecclesiastical History of the Church then you know that Peter referred to Rome as Babylon and so if you haven't heard that series I would add it to your list of things you must know most urgently. Though it will not tell you what to run out and buy or where to run and hide, it will describe crucial aspects of our Christian history that everyone should know.
With regard to what to run out and buy and where to hide I will tell you what I think I know. First of all, in Revelation 18, where it describes the fall of Babylon and it talks about the boats, it lists the contents of the merchandise on those boats, which reveals the commerce that will have value in the last days.
11 And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her [Babylon], since no one buys their cargo anymore, 12 cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, 13 cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls.
But did you hear everything I just said? Yes, I gave you a list of all the things that will have value in the last days, but in one day, in the day that Babylon is destroyed, commerce comes to a halt. I'll re-read the opening of that verse.
11 And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her [Babylon], since no one buys their cargo anymore.
Therefore, between now and the day that Babylon is destroyed all of those things will have value, but the next day, the day after. All of those things will be worthless.
We must be careful when we read Scripture, because everything means something. And every something in Scripture can have profound effects on our quality of life.
I submit to you that Babylon moves. Originally Babylon was in Babylon, then after the tower of Babel fell, it moved to Egypt, but after the destruction of Egypt, it was in Persia, then Greece, then Rome, and any guesses where it is now? I submit two guesses: It's either New York or Hong Kong.
I'm about to tell you something you know. But it's something you don't know that you know. God refers to a Babylon as Mystery because it moves. The devil could have invalidated Scripture by simply changing Babylon's name, and so God responded by using an unusual name and emphasizing that Babylon is a system, and he called it a mystery to communicate to us that it's a riddle every generation must solve. And he supplied everything we needed to know to solve it.
If you had a wife or daughter who was a drunken whore and you desperately needed to find her, what would you do? You'd go to the place where men and alcohol abound. And so that's our first clue, but it's too vague, that could be anywhere on earth. Therefore we need something else, something big, a filter that narrows the location of this city down unmistakably. Scripture refers to Babylon as a her, it emphasizes her adulterous nature, her desire for intoxication, and it says she sits on many waters, and ultimately reveals she has a port because the merchants bring their merchandise to her by ship. But what city, if destroyed, would bring trade for the entire world to a screeching halt?
Again that leaves us with Hong Kong and Manhattan. Now I ask you, is it a coincidence that we see the name Man in Manhattan? If I were a drunken whore given a map with two cities and a choice to make, I would think Manhattan would immediately grab my attention. But if I were smart, I would first consider what Hong Kong means. Hong Kong means incense harbor or fragrant harbor. Being a girl, who appreciates a good perfume, that makes Hong Kong a good choice, but if I'm really smart I might ask the question, what does Manhattan mean?
The word Manhattan comes from the Munsi language and it means Island of many hills. But that sounds familiar. I think it's time to read Revelation chapter 17 to you. As I read this chapter, knowing that from the beginning of the earth Babylon is referred to as a woman. Remembering that cities are stationary, but women are mobile. Bearing those things in mind as I read this chapter, ask yourself. What city does this Scripture describe?
Revelation chapter 17
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth's abominations.” And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
When I saw her, I marveled greatly. But the angel said to me, “Why do you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come. This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; they are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he does come he must remain only a little while. As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction. And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast. They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”
And the angel said to me, “The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages. And the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire, for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. And the woman that you saw is the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth.”
That sounds like New York to me. Destroying a city on that scale in a single day with fire sounds like a nuclear event, but I have heard people make a case for the idea that New York will be destroyed by tidal wave.
For those of you who have heard my podcasts on the Ecclesiastical History of the Church, then you know that I mentioned that God created the earth in one-thousand year days. I make a compelling case for that in the Podcast called the Bible on Soulmates. Therefore, this implies that God created the earth over a period of six thousand years and he rested the day after. Meaning he was resting on the day, when the earth was under the management of the angels and mankind. Therefore, the day after he finished resting, he wiped out most of mankind with a flood. Since then, there have been at least six thousand years implying that when Jesus arrived on the scene, it was year on or about the year 10,000 since the beginning of creation, putting our present day at about the year 12,000. Therefore if 13,000 years or 13 days were appointed, and God thinks in terms of 1,000 year days, then anything that occurs in year 11, 12 or 13 would be considered the last days.
I would suggest that you view everything I have stated as my best guess and I observe that my guesses improve over time.
In the Bible, God warns his people to come out of Babylon before judgement comes. I once thought that meant that he wanted everyone to leave the United States, but now I'm inclined to believe that he's encouraging us to leave Manhattan.
God distinguishes himself from the devil by being a giver. While the devil loves the exchange. Therefore, it would come as no surprise to me if the reason Babylon keeps moving is because people who get caught up in the system are led into all kinds of sin, which inevitably calls down the judgement of God. Suggesting the woman sits on a beast to remain mobile, corruption follows her wherever she goes, and judgement inevitably strikes anyone who commits adultery with her. Whether you think the twin towers was a conspiracy or terrorism, I think we can all agree, it was a shot across our bow. It would seem that instead of repenting and asking God for forgiveness people turned to drugs for comfort. In any case, I am grateful I don't live in Manhattan, and I would suggest that if you do, you prayerfully consider leaving because my best guess is that if we don't confess our sins and repent, judgement will find us.
As Thomas Paine once said, These are the days that try men's souls.
And in the immortal words of Tiny Tim, God bless us all everyone.
And as always, thank you for listening. And y'all come back now, ya hear?
Podcasts mentioned in this episode
Listen to "The Bible on Soulmates [31 Mins]" on Spreaker.