About Latter Times

Dr. Mike Johnston

 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils 1 Timothy 4:1

The Latter Times News was established to provide reading and resources connecting Biblical prophecy to today’s headlines.

What is the meaning of the term Latter Times?
LATTER TIMES is one of several phrases- including end times and last days– used in the Bible to describe prevailing conditions in the final years before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to set up His earthly Kingdom in Jerusalem, Israel (2 Sam. 7:16; Isa. 11; Matt 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; Rev. 20-22).

How does Scripture teach prophecy about the latter times?
It is widely accepted that the Bible can be divided into Old Testament and New Testament. However, the Bible is basically divided into two more well defined, descriptive terms, and these are prophecy and mystery. Prophecy is basically the purpose God has for the earth and Christ’s reign upon it, which includes the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem (Isa. 24:23; Mic. 4:7). This is the Kingdom of heaven that will in the future be set up on the earth, literally. The Mystery is that body of truth proclaimed by the Apostle Paul, concerning heaven and the exaltation of the Body of Christ in heaven, together there with Christ (Eph. 2:4-10, 3: 1-4).

The very first words in the Bible state: “In the beginning God created the HEAVEN and the EARTH” (Gen. 1:1). It does not say God created the UNIVERSE; it does not say God created the heavens and the earth as many people- and most all erroneous modern translations- make the mistake of saying. It says God created the HEAVEN and the EARTH. This is because He has a special purpose concerning the earth which is completely different from His purpose concerning heaven. His purpose that concerns the earth has to do with Christ’s future reign upon it, and this is the subject of “prophecy” (2 Peter 1:16-19). His purpose for heaven and the exaltation of the Body of Christ there with the Lord Jesus Christ is the subject of the “mystery” (Ephesians 2:4-10, 3:1-4). This is why the Bible is really divided into two great subjects: Prophecy and Mystery!

Prophecy: What is at the heart of Prophecy? The Messianic Kingdom; that is, the “kingdom of heaven” which was spoken of by John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus Christ and the twelve disciples, which will be set up on the EARTH; (Matt. 3:1-2, 4:17, 10:5-7). Since the “kingdom of heaven” is not yet established on the earth, it will be set up in the near future when the Lord Jesus Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah, returns to the earth on the Mount of Olives, then on to Jerusalem at the Second Advent and sets up His kingdom and reign upon THE EARTH for one thousand years. This is also called the Millennium. The main purpose or the main goal of prophecy is the establishment of the “kingdom of heaven” upon THE EARTH (Rom. 11:25-29). The Messianic Kingdom will be set up on THE EARTH: (Psalms 2:8) “I shall give Thee . . . the uttermost parts of THE EARTH for Thy possession”. (Jeremiah. 23:5) “A King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in THE EARTH”. The Lord Jesus Christ who is the second member of the Godhead- who is also God- will rule as God, from Jerusalem over the entire world. It will be a theocracy. “They shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Isaiah 7:14) (Matt. 1:23). “And His name shall be called . . . The mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6). “The Lord shall be King over all THE EARTH” (Zech. 14:9).

Mystery: God’s purpose concerning HEAVEN and the exaltation of the Body of Christ there with the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the Body, is the subject of “The Mystery”. What is the Mystery? There are many mysteries in the Bible, but this refers to “THE MYSTERY” which is that great body of truth given to the Apostle Paul by direct revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ, from heaven. The “kingdom of heaven” one day being set up on the earth and the coming Messiah was well known and prophesied by the holy prophets (for Israel). But, the Body of Christ with its heavenly calling and position was not prophesied. Nothing- not even one mention- can be found in the pages of prophecy about the Body of Christ. God kept this a complete secret until the proper time when He brought the Body of Christ into existence, revealing THE MYSTERY only to the Apostle Paul. (Rom. 16:25) “kept secret since the world began”. Then also in (Ephesians 3:9) “from the beginning of the world . . . hid in God”. “Hid from ages and from generations” (Col.1:26).

How does Israel fit into the latter times scenario?
The nation Israel was temporarily set aside along with the unbelieving Gentiles. “Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for” (Rom. 11:7). “Because of unbelief they were broken off” (Rom. 11:12). A new dispensation was slowly being brought in and mercy was shown to all. “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief that He might have mercy upon all (Rom. 11:32). “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek (Gentile)” (Rom. 10:12-13). No longer is the gospel of the kingdom proclaimed, but the gospel of the Grace of God, which is Christ’s finished work on the cross. The Apostle Paul declared “the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD” and “THE DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD which is given me to you-ward” (Acts 20:24) (Ephesians 3:2). [1] Prophecy and mystery are different; therefore they are not the same!

What are the signs of the latter times or last days?
It is painfully obvious the world is in a woeful tailspin of wickedness. Notwithstanding, those of us immersed in the Word of God have much to rejoice over because we have seen this coming for many years. The mystery of iniquity predicted by Paul (2 Thess. 2:7) has now ensnared a new breed of post-Christian modernists who have grown up in a culture where rights outweigh righteousness. You find this crassly evident on the three major arenas confronting all of us: the social front where wickedness is represented as a right; the political front that perpetrates godlessness through vile legislative acts; and the religious front that is so self absorbed it ignores either of the other two fronts. 1

We have, as a result, found ourselves ensnared by pernicious preachers (2 Pet. 2:2) winking at political perverts whose depraved lifestyles are not even in question so long as they promise to give them things. Sadly this once Christian nation which was unapologetically founded upon the unchanging truth contained in the Word of God (a monument reading expedition to Washington, DC will quickly convince you) has long since given way to the rogues of relativism who passed laws making evil good, and good evil (Isa. 5:20). For world travelers who even silently applaud attacks against righteousness, this signals the final gasp of godliness which breathes life into the very thing that brought God’s judgment against Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6). For Christians steeped in the Scriptures, there is a striking paradox we must not ignore: the gloom heralds the Groom! The Lord Jesus Christ can return any moment to snatch out His bride (the church) from the earth (John 14:2-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-18) thereafter ushering in the 7 year tribulation which is arguably the worst period in the history of the world. God the Spirit has precisely documented all these end times events in the Bible.

Someone wisely noted the impeccable consistency of God’s Word: The New is in the Old concealed, the Old is in the New revealed. May I suggest that you develop a depth of understanding end times prophecies of the NT first from the background of the Old Testament. Your concentration should be most vigorous in the 4 Major Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel), and the 12 Minor Prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi).

In the last days perilous times shall come (2 Tim. 3:1). The following chart provides an overview of several (not all) NT Last Day’s passages (set in their chronology). Notice the circumstances surrounding those alive when Jesus returns.

Matthew 24 (33 AD) (See also Mark)
4-5- a time of deception (political, social, and religious)

6-7- unrest, war, (look to the Middle East with particular interest) international hunger, worldwide epidemics, earthquakes

9-10- torture, murder (abortion, infanticide, mass murders, family member killings, ie Scott Peterson, Drew Pederson, etc), anti- Semiticism, betrayal, hatred

11, 24- false and deceptive prophets (not only in the world but in the church) 2

12- cold hearted apathy (what is more cold hearted than a mother killing her child- unborn or born?)

21- unprecedented tribulation (including terrorism)

24- Antichrist indoctrination thru appearance and

acceptance of signs and wonders “ministries”

2 Thessalonians 2 (54 AD)
3- international apostasy (falling away from true Biblical Christianity)

4- deification of a man (blasphemy)

7- unrestrained filth and wickedness- legalized

9- culmination of all the deceptive signs and wonders

10-12- deception ushers in unrighteousness and final destruction of those who rejected the truth and bought into the lie and the liar (please note that Paul mentions at least 3 times in this passage that those who buy into the final deception are eternally damned)

1 Timothy 4 (65 AD)
1- many who depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (rise in cult and occult interest,

2- lying hypocrites who have no morals, no feelings, and no

conscience (elected and assisted by ruthless politicians in America and around the world)

3- Forbidding to marry (the Roman Catholic church led with this restrictive heresy around the 13th century AD), and commanding to abstain from meats (P.E.T.A.)2 You can order our booklet LAST DAYS False Prophets for a full discussion.

2 Timothy 3 (66 AD)
1- perilous times (terrorism) fills men’s hearts with fear today as does a falling stock market

2-5 men shall be lovers of their own selves (rise of pornography, homosexuality, hedonism, obesity) covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers (pay attention to many “ministries” today), disobedient to parents (family unit has all but disintegrated), without natural affection (abortion, sodomy), truce breakers, false accusers or malicious gossips (godless political liberals are well schooled in these tactics) incontinent or without self-control (alcohol and drug abuse, obesity), fierce or brutal (terrorism, husbands killing wives and children, “mercy” killings in nursing homes, etc), despisers of those that are good (the ACLU, the NY Times, LA Times, etc and the nightly news bear ample witness to this),  treacherous traitors (all those who legislate against America’s Christian heritage and love for Israel), high-minded or conceited, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God (notice how many school sports events are now scheduled on Sunday), having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof 13- deceivers bringing deception will be worldwide

2 Timothy 4 (66 AD)
3- ear tickling spiritual rebels who lust after things and those who promise they can have them (turn on “Christian” television and count the carnival barkers preaching “formula faith.” Prosperity and “the good life now” are topics of best selling subjects at most Christian book stores)

4- And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (much of what is being taught on “Christian” television and radio today is religious ruse. The only way you can discern the fake is to know what is real. That comes from studying God’s Word every day of your life. Believe me, you won’t learn it sitting in front of the boob tube. You need to mine for these treasures! I have for years studied Charles Stanley, CI Scofield, AW Tozer, LS Chafer, John Walvoord, Harold Willmington, Chuck Swindoll, David Jeremiah, Jack Van Impe, JR Church, Hal Lindsey, etc. These men are sound)

2 Peter 2-3 (66 AD)
1- false prophets/teachers and blasphemous Christ deniers run rampant in the church today (“Christian” television is filled with hucksters predicting things that don’t come true, yet are not held accountable [Deut. 18:20-22]. Order our booklet LAST DAYS False Prophets for a jaw-dropping expose on these deceivers)

2-3- way of truth is evil spoken of (by those on the outside who watch the godlessness, gluttony, and greed of so called Christian leaders flaunting their covetous lifestyles which they extract in the name of prosperity from those they have duped)

3:3- scoffers walking in their lusts (repeats much of what has been discussed previously here)

Jude (66 AD)
3- an urgent plea to contend for the faith by revisiting our Biblical roots (Much of what is happening in the name of Jesus these days has absolutely no connection to orthodoxy)

4- condemned men creep into churches proclaiming blasphemous and lascivious doctrines denigrating the Lord Jesus Christ (one in particular is by Copeland who claims Christ, went to Hell in sin and had to be “born-again”) 7- resurgence of homosexuality

8-13- godless, filthy, brutishly deceptive men disguised as Christians

18-19- mockers living lustful lifestyles, devoid of the Spirit

In view of the above facts we are wise to heed the following exhortations from the Scriptures: But the end of all things is a hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer (1 Peter 4:7). He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus (Revelation 22:20). Those who still do not know the Lord Jesus as their own personal Saviour need to realize that now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). Tomorrow may be too late.

In view of the above facts we are wise to heed the exhortation in 1 Peter 4:7, “But the end of all things is a hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.”

In lieu of the fact that these are indeed the latter times (aka end times, last days, etc), we are frightened, but rather encouraged because the Lord Jesus is returning for His church just as He promised (John 14:2-3). Therefore, we that have been “born again” by the Spirit (John 3:3) are looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).

But what about you- and your family?

If you died today, are you absolutely sure Heaven will be your eternal Home?

The Bible tells us we can know for sure that we’re Heaven-bound today and forever. John, a very close friend of Jesus wrote:

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:13).

However, there are a few things you need to understand in order to acquire this promise. First, regardless of what you may think or have been led to believe, good people don’t necessarily go to Heaven when they die.

You see, that’s because the Bible makes it very clear that none of us are good (Rom. 3:10). In fact WE ARE ALL SINNERS. Notice I included myself—and everyone else—in that group. The Bible says: “For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). That means all of us are guilty in God’s sight, and unable to please Him.

It all started in the Garden with Adam and Eve (Read Genesis chapters 2 and 3). God created man to serve and worship Him. He created earth for man to inhabit and rule, and a place called Heaven where every person who sincerely loved and obeyed Him could dwell eternally. But God also created a place of eternal torment called Hell. Jesus taught more about Hell than He did Heaven. Hell is a place reserved for all who refuse to love and obey Him. He then gave us a choice of where we will go.

Adam was created in innocence. But when confronted by temptation, he made the wrong choice and he sinned. He knew it was wrong, but he did it anyway (sound familiar?). When he sinned, his NATURE changed from innocence to guilt. And, unfortunately that sin nature of his has been passed down to ALL OF US. Romans says it like this: “Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom 5:12). Not only are we ALL GUILTY… we’re all ON DEATH ROW! That means you, and me, my friend.

This word “death” is separation from God, both spiritual as well as physical (Gen 2:17; 3:19). Sin is always wrong, and causes us to attempt to run from God. We know (like Adam did) that when we do something we shouldn’t we deserve to be punished. And, like Adam, we try to hide behind some “bush” somewhere to avoid a confrontation with the Lord.

Sometimes we hide behind alcohol. Sometimes drugs. Sometimes sex. But why do we hide from God? The problem is that guilt cannot co-exist with innocence. God’s nature is pure, desiring only holiness, while our nature is corrupt, and desires to sin.

In our present condition WE CANNOT PLEASE GOD– THEREFORE, OUR NATURE MUST BE CHANGED! But how do we change? Can we ever hope to just quit doing bad things, and start helping our fellow man? Do we somehow clean up our act, start going to church, and just quit sinning?

Are you kidding? It will NEVER HAPPEN! You know why? Because even IF we could quit sinning, it wouldn’t be enough to adequately pay for our sins and make us acceptable with God.

The Bible tells us that in and of ourselves, our good deeds (called our righteousness) are like “filthy rags” to God (Isa 64:6). Therefore, we can never attempt to “do good” things to earn our way to Heaven. The ONLY thing that will satisfy God as payment for our sins is the shedding of our blood; “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22). “The soul that sinneth, it shall DIE” (Ezek 18:4). “The wages of sin is DEATH” (Rom 6:23).

Now, my friend, that puts us in a very tight spot with God. First of all, we can NEVER GET TO HEAVEN by being good; and secondly, we’re all doomed to die because God demands that OUR BLOOD be shed AS PAYMENT for OUR sins. Ouch! So, what can we do?

NOTHING! That’s right WE can’t do a thing to SAVE OURSELVES. So God developed a plan to do it for us. God, in the form of a man, Jesus Christ, DIED IN OUR PLACE. God sacrificed His only begotten Son on the cross of Calvary to make the full payment for sin: “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust” (1 Pet 3:18). Jesus fulfilled our appointment with death by TAKING OUR PLACE, and shedding His blood: “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, WHILE we were yet sinners, CHRIST DIED FOR US” (Rom 5:8).

SO EVERYBODY WILL BE SAVED, RIGHT? No! God’s plan requires ONE THING from us. It requires that we quit trusting in ourselves, and place our complete confidence (faith) in the completed work of Jesus. When we receive this payment, our standing changes before God!

“For he hath made him (Christ) to be sin for us who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Now, by the righteousness of Jesus, we are made acceptable to God, and given eternal life. Isn’t that wonderful news! We don’t have to suffer the ETERNAL FLAMES OF HELL. When we accept God’s FREE provision of eternal life through Jesus Christ, God not only forgives us, HE DECLARES US RIGHTEOUS, and allows us to GO TO HEAVEN!

The question then is how to receive the payment that Jesus made for us. That, my friend, is done through a prayer of faith. Faith means “trusting completely” in someone or something. An example would be a chair you sit in. Before you sit down in it, you can “see” it. You believe it exists, and in your mind you believe that if you sit in it, it will hold you. “Faith” (or believing) is that moment when your body responds to what your mind has told you…causing you to SIT DOWN in the chair. That’s quite a bit like the prayer when you ask Jesus into your heart, to be your Lord and Saviour. You sit IN HIM- and therefore you trust Him to save you!

However, simply believing that Jesus exists is not enough. my friend, even the devil knows that. You must fully TRUST JESUS: that He died for YOUR SINS, and that HE has the ability to save you, and give you the gift of eternal life. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt BELIEVE (trust completely) in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, THOU SHALT BE SAVED” (Rom 10:9). It is a promise.

Does this makes sense to you my friend? If so, will you please pray this simple prayer with me and settle the question once and for all of where you will spend eternity. I prayed this prayer 4/24/75 at 7:30 in the morning, and NOW, you can too. Even if you have prayed it before, pray it again, and start over:

“Heavenly Father, I know that I am a sinner worthy of death. But Father, I believe You sent Jesus to die for my sins. Please forgive me of my sins, Lord Jesus, and come into my heart right now and live Your life through me. Thank you for hearing my prayer and saving me. Now, I know for sure that when I die I will go to Heaven to be with you. In Jesus Name, Amen.”

If you just prayed that prayer in faith, you just made THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISION OF YOUR LIFE, and you are NOW A CHILD OF GOD! The devil will try to tell you that you’re too bad to go to Heaven– BUT DON’T LISTEN TO HIM. The Bible says: “For WHOSOEVER shall call upon the name of the Lord SHALL BE SAVED” (Rom 10:13). That whosoever includes YOU!!

Remember, my friend, Jesus loves you—right where you are—and He will never leave you- NEVER!

Dr. Mike Johnston (Isa. 42:6-7)

——————————————————————————————–

Dear Dr. Mike:

On this date ______________________ , at (time) ______________________I prayed the prayer in this letter to:  (  ) accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior    (  ) recommit my life to Jesus Christ.

(  ) Please send me some materials to help me grow in Christ.

Be sure to write the exact time and date that you were saved in your Bible (if you have one, or in the one we will bring you). Then, when the devil tells you that you aren’t going to heaven, turn to it, and say, “Get behind me, Satan!”

WHAT’S NEXT? Begin telling others what you have done- this is called witnessing, and it will strengthen your commitment. As soon as possible, tell another born-again Christian about your faith in Christ, and then find a Bible preaching church (like an Independent Baptist, King James preaching church) to begin attending. Start reading your King James Bible every day; begin with the Gospel of John my friend. If possible, get baptized by immersion (under water). Pray every day. Prayer is simply talking to the Lord just like you would anyone else. The difference is that you can get access to Him 24/7. He is always there, and He will never leave you nor forsake you—ever-ever. Hallelujah!!

And by all means, please fill in the time and date info above and send it to us so we can continue to help you grow in your faith in Christ. May our precious God bless you, my friend.

Please don’t ever be ashamed of the prayer of salvation or Jesus: Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven (Mat 10:32-33).  

Will you join me in this verse? For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Rom 1:16).

Please request a FREE 8 Lesson Bible study by email – pmiministries@gmail.com or by mail: Latter Times/PMI Blog- POB 177 – Battle Creek MI 49016-0177

[1] Adapted from Things that Differ- Cornelius Stam

Advertisements

Leave a reply (vulgarity and viciousness will not be posted)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: