Is ours the final generation? A look at the signs of the times before the return of the Lord Jesus. By Alan and Pat Franklin.
13/01/2013

As our world teeters on the brink of financial disaster, famine and wars, and The Greater Depression I have been predicting for years comes closer, even secular people realise that something big is happening. Every day brings headlines using the word "crisis." The Bible tells us exactly what the sequence of events is. Most churches fail to teach the importance of Bible prophecy. Ours - Tongham Christian Fellowship in Poyle Road, Tongham, Surrey, is an exception. This is some of what I teach there.

Bible prophecy is riveting as we move deeper into The End Times. It's better than Nostradamus! Although I do the preaching, our work is collaborative and much of this material was originated by Pat,  co-author of our books "Goodbye America, Goodbye Britain and "Cults and Isms: True or False?  Both are available from our web shop and we urge you to buy copies for your unsaved friends and relatives. The Cults book is £8 in Britain and $17 in America, including postage and packing, while the Goodbye book is £8 in Britain and $14 in America, also including postage.  They contain vital, well-researched and Bible-based information to help them make sense of the dark days that lie just ahead.... There follows some of what I have taught at Tongham: Alan.


As a young man I found violent storms exciting. Once, in the early hours, outside a club in Guildford High St, I watched a spectacular electrical storm develop. Even though the storm was several miles away, it was clear to all that it was coming.

The End Times that are all around are like a coming storm. We can tell what’s coming and feel its effect even though it is not yet here. So it is with the Lord’s return; the signs are all around even though the event itself has not yet arrived. Like a first night at a theatre, with the orchestra tuning up and a sense of expectation among the audience, the main event is coming!

We know the Times and Seasons

In his first letter to the Thessalonians Paul said that believers could know the times and seasons of the Lord’s second advent.

“Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.

“While they are saying ‘Peace and safety!’  then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

“But you, brethren, are not in darkness that the day should overtake you like a thief…”

(I Thessalonians 5:1-5).

“About the time of the end, a body of men will be raised up, who will turn their attention to the prophecies, in the midst of much clamor and opposition.” Sir Isaac Newton.

Preface –Into the End Times (from Goodbye America, Goodbye Britain.)

by Alan Franklin

Our world is full of fear.  Violence on the streets and among the nations, threats of terrorism and even nuclear war make people fearful for their futures.  There is immodesty, immorality, an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases and natural calamities like earthquakes, tidal waves and hurricanes.

Foreboding is in the air as people dig themselves deeper into debt, currencies threaten to crumble and people look - and fail to find - a safe haven.  What sort of world are our children growing into?  Will many more generations survive as we slouch towards Gomorrah in a world stuffed with nuclear weapons - and evil men threatening to use them?  Should we buy gold, or perhaps a rural farm?  How can we be secure from the coming storm?

The title of one of our books sounds ominous. What do we mean by “Goodbye America, Goodbye Britain”? The truth is that the two countries we love are giving away their independence, tying their futures to those of foreigners with alliances like the European Union and the soon to appear American Union, which is already being planned.

A one-world government will follow, with nation states a thing of the past. Why is this happening, when both our countries have fought wars for freedom? Why would strong countries that fear nobody voluntarily give up what they fought to defend - their cherished independence? Is there a spiritual cause for all this, and the many other problems besetting our societies? We hope we have provided enough answers in this book to start you thinking and, hopefully, praying for the future of our nations.  It is too late to stop the impending judgment – but perhaps it can be delayed, while more souls are saved.

The media have done such a rotten job that people’s ignorance of world events is appalling and few know how precisely events line up with Bible prophecy. Few people realize that the sinister trends affecting our lives today are predicted in the Bible. So many people know of Nostradamus, an obscure medieval occultist whose work is of such little value that I call him “Nostra-nonsense.” Yet hardly anyone knows that the Bible contains thousands of prophecies, every one of which has either already been fulfilled literally or will be, perhaps in the near future.

We relate some of the main ones in our books, particularly the predictions concerning a one-world government, a one-world money system; a one-world church and a leader who will emerge to preside over the most fearsome tyranny the world has ever seen. We chronicle the trends leading up to the unification of great power blocks which will coalesce into the one world government. Informed patriots can at least be aware of this and warn others that time is short.

Students of Bible prophecy down through the centuries have looked for two great events to signal that history is winding down to a conclusion. Those two events, both predicted thousands of years ago, are: the revival of the old Roman Empire and the restoration of the state of Israel. Many see the EU, begun with the Treaty of Rome, as being the fulfillment of prophecy and the power block from which the one-world leader will come. The Prophet Daniel was told by Michael (Daniel 12:4) that as the time approached for the Lord to return to set up His kingdom, the sealed book would be unsealed.

“But thou O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”

Today we are in a world of amazing knowledge- and shameless ignorance.

Events are moving so fast it is as if history is on fast-forward.  Daniel’s interpretation of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar - Daniel Chapter 2 – reveals the future history of the world. The Final World Empire is fast forming. This is the fourth kingdom of Daniel 2; 40: “Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces.” The good news follows in verse 44:  The lord will return and man's Final World Empire will be smashed! (read)

People should be concerned.  Their jobs, their homes, even their countries are all at risk. But as fear drives us to accept big brother surveillance and governments use the threat of terrorism to justify the removal of age old freedoms, formerly Christian nations are turning to eastern religion, mysticism and mumbo jumbo for solace.  They find none. 

So will evil triumph?  Are our lives pointless and purposeless?  What hope have we?

The answer is, every hope. The Blessed Hope. Thanks to the Bible’s prophets, we know exactly what is going to happen as mankind moves towards the tumultuous end of history, the end times, the times just before the return of Jesus Christ to the earth.

These are exciting times, the end times, the times of the signs of the Lord’s soon return!

Before this astounding event takes place, Jesus told us what to watch for. One of the signs - in evidence all round the world today - is the rapid rise in false cults and isms; non-biblical belief systems and evil, Satanically-inspired doctrines, like political correctness and the feminisation of Christianity - in the spirit of witchcraft.

Matthew 24 sets the scene for the final acts to be played out on earth before He comes to put an end to false sects and philosophies. As the Lord sat on the Mount of Olives, overlooking Jerusalem, He answered the disciples’ question (verse 3): “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

The first response Jesus gave was a warning about deception: “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Jesus gave the warning about false Christs and prophets three times to show its importance (Matthew 24; 5,11 and 24).  In verse 24 He warns that these false teachers will show great signs and wonders and, if it were possible, will deceive even Christians -  “the very elect.” Today many people are easily deceived. So we wrote our Cults and Isms book to shine some light into dark corners of the false sects and isms that often masquerade as Christian - and also into Islam.

The Bible’s 40 authors wrote over about 1,500 years and over a quarter of their work is prophetic - the only prophecies which can be trusted.  I believe we are living in that period of history which you could call the “end times,” when world events are winding up to a conclusion.  I believe this because Bible prophecies made long ago are being fulfilled in our day. Here are just a few of the indicators which  convincingly show that we are indeed living in the end times.

There are False Christs, who have claimed to be Jesus or “The Christ” in one form or another including  billionaire Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church, and David Koresh of the Branch Davidian religious sect, an offshoot of the Seventh Day Adventists.

False “Christs”, sometimes within the church, are deceiving many (Matthew 24:5).  The Greek word “Christ” means “anointed one.”  Jesus is the one and only anointed one, the true Christ, the only one who fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of Israel’s Messiah.  He alone can baptize with the Holy Spirit.  Yet there are men today standing on platforms in churches shouting:  “I have the anointing!”  No they do not.  Only Jesus has the anointing.  The closer we get to the Lord’s return, the more false “Christs” will come, and many foolish people will follow them.

Birth pangs.

The birth pangs have begun, the “beginning of sorrows”(Matt 24:8).  Jesus used the analogy of a woman in labor for the agonizing time before His return.  Labor pains are spaced out, and they get more frequent and more intense the nearer you get to the birth of the baby.  Jesus said the birth pangs, or the beginning of sorrows, would begin with nation rising against nation. 

Some scholars believe this was fulfilled by the two world wars, the first time in history that there was global conflict.  The next three birth pangs of  Matthew 24 are famines – and a world food shortage is looming- pestilences, and earthquakes.  When labor starts, it is painful, and it gets worse; it gets so bad you can hardly stand it.  That is what will happen on earth. 

As the time gets closer to the Lord’s return, the convulsions and contractions will get worse.  The wars, earthquakes, famines and “pestilences” will get worse.   The only good thing about labor is that you know that a baby is on the way, and the only comfort in the end times is that not a baby this time, but a King, is coming, the glorious Shepherd-King of Israel.

Israel.

Israel is back in the land.  Many prophecies in the Old Testament foretell that the Jews would disobey God and that they would then be scattered throughout the world, suffering terrible persecution, but that they would be re-gathered to the land God promised to the descendents of Abraham.  That is precisely what has happened.  They were exiled from their homeland after the Romans destroyed the Temple in 70A.D. and they suffered for nearly 1900 years. 

Against all the odds, they survived many attempts to wipe them out, and they kept their identity as a people. The Bible accurately predicted that they would one day return to that same piece of Middle Eastern real estate.  The milestone here is 1948, when the state of Israel was formed by a vote in the United Nations – even though that institution by and large hates the Jewish people.  In other words, it was impossible, but God had said it would happen, and – praise the Holy One of Israel - it  happened just as He said it would. 

Roman Empire. 

The incredible has happened. The Roman Empire is also back.  The nation states of Europe have banded together into the European Union, the EU, which began with the Treaty of Rome in 1957.  It was Rome which governed Israel in the Lord’s day and which destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple.  Rome will play a major role in the end of this present era as well.

An art exhibition put on by the EU trumpeted “the revived Roman Empire.”  Daniel 9:26 speaks of “the people of the prince that shall come.” The “prince that shall come” is the Antichrist.  The “people of the prince that shall come” were the Romans.  True to the Bible, the EU, the revived Roman Empire, is extending its tentacles towards Israel now.

Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is becoming a “cup of trembling” and a “burdensome stone” to all the world (Zechariah 12:2,3), just as the Bible predicted.  As Dave Hunt points out, not many of us would ever care what happens to that place which has no importance other than that God has declared it to be His special city.  But, as Dave says, now world leaders rack their brains to come up with a way of settling the problem of who rules Jerusalem, and the passions aroused by this small, otherwise insignificant city, may well lead to nuclear war.

Enemies. 

Israel is surrounded by enemies who hate her very existence and think they please God by murdering her citizens, just as the Bible said would happen.

The fig tree. 

Jesus said in Luke 21:29,30:  “Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;  When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.  So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is night at hand.” 

The “fig tree,” a symbol of Israel, is beginning to blossom.  Some Jews are realizing that in fact Jesus Christ is their Messiah, and they are converting to Christianity, praise the Lord!  One Christian Jewish couple told me that when they moved to Israel in the 1970s, there were about 300 Jewish Christians there, all keeping very quiet.  There were so few that everyone knew everyone else.  Nearly 40 years later, there are about 15,000 believers, although there may be more secret ones. 

Global government. 

There are powerful, mysterious, unstoppable movements in the world of business and government towards consolidation into a one world government with a single money system, just as indicated in the Bible.  This remorseless trend is hidden from voters, for who would elect leaders bent on giving away national independence? 

The formation of the European Union, achieved by stealth, will, we believe, be followed by an American Union.  Already there is an African Union.  Then the various unions will be further unified as the world is merged into one vast governmental system, under one dictator, the Antichrist.

Global religion. 

There is a move towards a one world ecumenical church, under the leadership of the Pope, and this will (for a time) operate hand in glove with the one world government.   In recent years I have noticed that more and more media people are Catholics, both in TV and newspapers, and the church gets a good press, if you discount the paedophile priests. 

You will occasionally hear announcers slip in the words “as a Catholic myself…”    The world admires those attractive announcers, as well as the beautiful Catholic buildings, and the respectful behavior of the huge crowds which assemble at the Vatican.  It all appeals to the flesh; people like being associated with something that appears so successful.   What we see is the world being softened up for end times deception, when everyone will have to choose between worshiping the Antichrist and being executed (Rev 13:15).  

Catholics are already worshiping the communion wafer, believing it is truly Jesus “mystically” present in an object made by human hands.   The Bible tells us, time and time again, not to worship anything man has made, so this is rank idolatry.  If you can be persuaded to kneel down and worship a little white wafer, saying that it is God, how will you avoid worshiping the one who is surely coming, the one the Bible calls the “man of sin”?   He is the one who will claim to be God and demand that everyone take a mark upon their bodies and worship him.

“And I saw thrones, and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Rev 20:4

 The sheep are being fleeced. 

False prophets and false teachers are getting rich.  “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you…”  2 Peter 2:3.  When we warn Christians about specific people, sometimes their jaws literally drop as they realize the famous men they think are so wonderful are nothing more than charlatans. 

Please investigate the people you follow!  Don’t be gullible!  The bad guys (and sometimes women) are building their bank balances on your hard-earned money.  Type their names in a search engine after the words “critics of…”   See what their critics are saying about them.  The good guys have critics too, but may God grant you the discernment to see through that.  Not all the false teachers are rich – they only wish they were and they are trying their best to get you to give, give, give. 

Here’s one pretty good indicator – do they constantly harp on about giving?  Is it always in their sermons and talks?  Do they brag about money?  Then stop following them.  Let them spend their own money on their television programs etc – you keep yours.  The good guys would rather die than enrich themselves from the preaching of the gospel.  They do not get rich off the scourged back of the Lord Jesus. 

Three things are sneered at. 

The Second Coming, creation and Noah’s Flood are derided, just as the apostle Peter prophesied.  Many churches now are so emasculated that they avoid those important topics altogether.  Peter said that these three specific things would be denied in the end times. “…There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming?  For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.  For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:  whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished…” 2 Peter 3:3. 

Well, the scoffers are here.  They are in the church and out of the church; they are all over the place and they are willfully ignorant.  Don’t worry about them; their existence is a good sign that we are in those “last days”; their very scoffing proves it!  Meanwhile, Jesus really IS coming back, God really DID create the world in six days, and Noah’s Flood is true history.  So there! 

Destructive power. 

Technology now exists to destroy the earth.  “Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved” the Lord Jesus said (Matthew 24:22).  The potential for mankind to cause total destruction was not there before the splitting of the atom, but now we could actually destroy all life on earth – the exact condition which Jesus warned would prevail in the end times. A UN expert on nuclear weapons declared on TV in June, 2006, that there are 27,000 nuclear weapons in the world, all “on a hair trigger.” Does this mean that nuclear war is inevitable?  I believe it is inevitable, but we are not to be afraid, but to trust the One who created the atom in the first place. 

There are many scriptures indicating nuclear war, for example the fate of Damascus, specifically cited in Isaiah 17:1:  it will cease from being a city.  Then read on to verse 14:  it will be there in the evening, but gone in the morning.[1]  Now what does this sound like to you?  Even humanly speaking, nuclear war is inevitable.  When has man had a weapon and not used it?  More and more countries now have the weapons.  And looking at Israel, it is inevitable.  If your country was surrounded by enemies, and they attacked with such force that you knew your land could be destroyed, would you not use everything you had to defend your country?  Praise the Lord, those “days will be shortened.” 

The thought of nuclear war used to terrify me (Pat).  In the 1970s I bought the booklet put out by the British government, “Protect and Survive”, advising me to hide under a table or in the cupboard under the stairs, and have plenty of plastic buckets on hand to fill with water to last out two weeks under the stairs.  The thought of two weeks in a cupboard under the stairs with my (then) two-year-old son was even more dismaying than a war!  I used to worry about it a lot, until in 1981 the Lord Jesus came into my life.  He totally removed the fear of nuclear war from my mind, and He can do the same for you. 

Modern communication. 

Technology exists to communicate with everyone on earth, a pre-requisite for the Antichrist kingdom foretold in the Book of Revelation. 

The mark. 

Technology exists to mark everyone on earth.  “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”  (Rev 13:16)

The watchers. 

Technology exists to watch and control everyone on earth, which Antichrist will certainly do (Rev 13).  None of this was possible before, but God knew all about technology long before the first computer chip was invented.  Now, every can of beans you buy is electronically recorded if you use a card.  Every book you check out of the library, every email you send is information filed somewhere electronically.

Persecution. 

True Christians are being persecuted around the world on an unprecedented scale, unreported by the media.  They “shall kill you and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake”  Matt 24:9.What, you thought everything was just dandy?  Only in the affluent west, where the pain and blood of real martyrs do not make the evening news or the front page of your daily paper. 

The evil men committing these crimes do not invite the press to their slave factories and torture chambers.  In the Communist lands and Islamic countries, beloved martyrs are being enfolded in the arms of their Savior and introduced to the glory of heaven the moment their sufferings end. 

They are hated on earth on account of their faith, just as Jesus said would happen.  China, Indonesia, Sudan, Cuba…the list goes on.  I have seen estimates that hundreds of thousands of Sudanese Christians have been martyred in mass crucifixions by muslims, but where was the media?  Probably too busy presenting each other with awards for courageous reporting. 

Untold numbers of people, many of them Christians, are said to be worked to death in the slave factories of China producing cheap goods for us.  Yes, China, to which the late President Nixon[2] gave “most favored nation” status. We hear not a whisper about these beloved Chinese martyrs on the news.  Why not?  And how long before we affluent western Christians have to stand up for our faith and be counted along with our courageous brothers and sisters?

Playing God. 

Science is tampering with procreation and God will bring this to a juddering halt at some stage.  The last time human genetics were tampered with, He sent the Flood.

A small world. 

Last but certainly not least, transport and technology exist to reach the entire earth with the gospel.  

There are more signs one could point to, but those are the main ones.  We are living in the end times; there is no doubt about it whatsoever.  Previous generations have thought their day was the time, but world conditions were not right.  Israel was not back in the land; the Roman Empire had not re-emerged; and technology did not exist for world wide persecution or control.  World conditions now leave no room for doubt.  It is as though the curtain has gone up for the last act, and all the props and all the actors are either already in place or just waiting in the wings to step out.  There is a breathless hush, and the last act commences.  

Should we be frightened by all this?  Once you begin to understand what is really happening in the world, the news behind the news, it can seem overwhelmingly bleak, until you remind yourself of the end of the Book.  There is the happiest of endings, dear friends.  It is all leading up to the coming of the Lord Jesus – first coming for us to take us home to heaven with Him and later coming with us back to this earth for the destruction of Israel’s enemies and the setting up of the Lord’s glorious millennial kingdom – with its capital at Jerusalem!  Praise the Lord. 

It will look for a time like the powers of evil are winning, but our Lord will have His way.  All will come to pass, just as the Bible says.  The last act has been written.  Those who acknowledge Jesus’ Name now will rejoice when He acknowledges them before His angels!  Those who work for Him now will certainly receive a reward from His dear hands.  Those who love Him will reign with Him. 

Those who are glad at His appearing will receive a special crown![3]  I don’t deserve one single thing, but I want that crown, don’t you?  I would rather have that crown than all the crown jewels of Britain.  I don’t want to be found doing anything that would make me ashamed when my Lord suddenly appears and calls His people out of these end times.

 



[1] If this alarms you, take heart!   You can be saved by accepting Jesus as your Savior.  

[2] The same President who deliberately withheld warning of an imminent attack on Israel prior to the Yom Kippur War in 1973 .  

[3] “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but to all them also that love His appearing.”  2 Timothy 4:8

 


 
 
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Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. (Idol - anything or anyone who is prayed to or given the reverence due to God alone. Idolatry - giving excessive honor to a person or thing and ascribing them with godlike power.)
Acts of the Apostles 17:16

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