A Revelation of Jesus Christ - Revelation 1:1

Month: October 2017

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Knowledge Shall Increase and Then the End

For the last 30 years, I have heard that an increase in technology, knowledge, and travel are sure signs of the “end times.”  All one has to do is look at the tremendous advancements in computing power, and you’d have to conclude that knowledge and technology are rapidly increasing.  The go-to scripture that is cited is found in Daniel 12:4:

Daniel 12:4 (KJV) 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.

Seal the Book, Daniel!

Let’s look at this verse, pick it apart to see what the scriptures reveal.  The two signs that are mentioned here are an increase in human knowledge and travel.

Like many, I taught that Daniel was referring to the rapid development of both travel and technology.  Our great-grandfathers traveled by horse-drawn carriages but today we travel by commercial jet.  According to some, man’s institutional knowledge is doubling every two and one-half years.  The facts are there: who can deny the marvels of our century?  I certainly can’t and won’t.  So don’t these facts concur precisely with Daniel’s prophecy that the end is near?  Radio program hosts and book authors declare that because “knowledge” has increased, they can say with certainty that we are living in the “last days.”  But is this really what Daniel had in mind?  Is it possible that many Christians miss the timing of this “knowledge” because they are looking for something to come in their future?

In Daniel 12:4 the Lord tells Daniel to “shut up the words, and seal the book even to the end.”  Daniel 12:4 is a direct parallel to Revelation 22:10.  Both Daniel and John received a vision of “the time of the end.”  While Daniel was told to seal up the book until the time of the end John was told to unseal the book!

Don’t Seal the Book, John!

Daniel lived around 586 B.C., over 2500 years ago.  So as I write this in the year 2017 over 2500 years have passed since the Lord commanded Daniel to seal the book.  Then at “the end” the seal would be loosened, right?  About 500 years passed from the time Daniel was told to seal the book until John wrote the book of Revelation.  This is what the Lord told John to do:

 Revelation 22:10 (KJV) And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

So Daniel was told to seal the book, but John was told not to seal up the book?  Why?  Because the Lord said, “the time is at hand.”  So does it make sense that John’s vision was referring to a time and events nearly 2000 years in his (Johns) future? And if words have any meaning does the phrase “the time is at hand” mean 2000 or more years in John’s future? I certainly don’t think so.

Daniel 8:26 (KJV)  And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.

Not only was Daniel’s vision for many “days” (years) in his future it also concerned what would befall the “Jews” in the latter days.

Daniel 10:14 (KJV)  Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.

So after “many days” what exactly befell the Jews? The answer is found in Matthew chapter 24 and Luke chapter 21.  During the Olivet Discourse Jesus told his gathered disciples that “there shall not be left there one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down (Mat. 24:2).  Jesus, in Luke 21:20-22, warned his disciples and the Christians in Jerusalem to flee the city when they see it surrounded by armies.

Luke 21:20-22 (KJV)  And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

So was Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 fulfilled?  Sure was!  In the year 70 A.D. the Roman General Titus marched on the city, surrounded it, broke down the walls and destroyed the Temple as well as the city of Jerusalem.  The days of vengeance mentioned in Luke 21:22 occurred in 70 A.D.  This marked the end of the Old Covenant, the Levitical priesthood, and the Jewish Age.

The “knowledge” that Daniel refers to is NOT scientific knowledge but spiritual knowledge.  It is the wisdom given by the Holy Spirit to understand the deep things of God.  This spiritual knowledge is also referred to in the book of Habakkuk:

Habakkuk 2:14 (KJV) For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

During the days of Habakkuk, in the Old Testament, this knowledge had not been revealed.  However, it was revealed to those in Paul’s day (1 Cor. 2:6-10).  While the Spirit led men living in Old Testament days they didn’t understand how those promises were to be fulfilled.  However, once the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost, they started to understand the knowledge of the glory of God.  God’s glory was revealed in Jesus Christ.  God’s promises were fulfilled in Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:3-6 (KJV)  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Peter also referred to this increase of spiritual knowledge.  Peter was aware of the Old Testament prophecies regarding the grace of God thru the Spirit of Christ.  These Old Testament prophets inquired and searched diligently, but they did not understand how God would accomplish His plan. This “knowledge” of the Gospel of grace was a mystery to them.  But to those in the first century (and to us), the mystery was revealed.  Even the Gentiles would be partakers of God’s promises “in Christ” (Eph. 3:3-6, 8-10).

 1 Peter 1:10-12 (KJV) Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Do you see the connection between the “knowledge” spoken of by Daniel and the New Testament writers?  This was spiritual “knowledge” of the redemption plan and the redeemer.  This plan took a man beyond the carnal justification by works to the Spirit of God.  The knowledge of Jesus Christ causes us to glory in Him.  By the Spirit, we can safely say that we know Him.

I realize some of you might be thinking “well yes, knowledge began at the day of Pentecost, but it’s still increasing today and will continue to increase until the end”.  Well, that brings us to another scripture in the book of Isaiah:

Isaiah 11:9 (KJV) They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 11:9 says that knowledge must increase until the earth is full of the knowledge of the Lord.  Again this “knowledge” is not technological but spiritual.  Daniel did not have jet travel or computers in mind when he prophesied that “knowledge shall be increased.”  It’s the knowledge of salvation revealed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  When the light of the knowledge of the glory of God shines down on us we no longer need to run around searching for redemption – it is right before our eyes!  I have received the “knowledge” that Daniel spoke of – have you?

Want to know more about this “knowledge”?  Please see the following articles:

The Truth of God and Being Born Again

The Gift of the Holy Ghost

Water Baptism – Burial

Repent and Believe the Gospel

Salvation – The Gospel

The Last Days – Of What?

Perilous Times Shall Come!

This past August I decided to reward my two youngest children by taking them and their mother on a Caribbean cruise.  It was their first cruise and trip out of this country.  We packed our bags and away we went.  Of course one of the best parts of cruising is the shore excursions.  There were many shore excursions to choose from on our three country stops.  One activity that I wanted to introduce my children to was snorkeling.  So during our stop in Roatan, Honduras we decided to snorkel in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean.

As Christians, we believe in modest dress.  It is possible to dress modestly even when going for a swim or in our case snorkeling.  I can guarantee that my wife and daughter weren’t wearing bikinis nor were my son and I in Speedos!

Upon arrival at the snorkeling location, we saw a group of young Honduran men waiting at the end of the pier.  These young men would serve as guides for our snorkeling adventure.  One of the guides, however, hurriedly made a beeline for us.  His name was Omar, and unlike his counterparts, he was modestly dressed.  Omar introduced himself and explained that upon seeing us, he knew we must be Apostolic Christians.  After telling me about himself and his Church, he partially quoted from 2 Timothy chapter 3 and asked if I thought we were living in “perilous times.”

Here’s the entire passage that Omar was referring to:

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (KJV)  – This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

I responded to Omar’s question by directing his attention first to the phrase “in the last days.”   I pointed out that we are not living the “last days” because the inspired authors of the New Testament said that they were living in the “last days.”  I cautioned Omar that we must first determine what these first century Christians meant by the term the “last days.”  When they heard the term “the last days” would they think of a time thousands of years in their future?   The “last days” that the disciples were speaking of was from 30 A.D. to 70 A.D. That is the last days of the Old Covenant.  This 40 year period was the transition period between the two covenants – the Old and the New!

I suggested that Omar look up every scripture in his Bible that contains the phrases “last days” or the “last times.”  When he had done this, he would see that the disciples believed they were living in the “last days.”  Their belief makes it difficult to stretch the “last days” over a period of thousands of years, continuing past our day.

Which Last Days?

Here are some of the scriptures that reveal that the disciples believed they were living in the “last days”…

Hebrews 1:1-2 (KJV)  – God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

The epistle (or letter) of Hebrews was written for Jewish Christians who lived in Jerusalem.  The letters’ purpose was to encourage Christians to persevere in the face of persecution.  At the time Hebrews was written some believers were considering turning back to Judaism, and it’s system of law.  They were doing this to escape persecution for following Christ.  The theme of the epistle is the doctrine of the person of Christ and his role as mediator between God and humanity.

Notice that the inspired writer of Hebrews chapter one uses the phrase “in these last days.”  He is obviously referring to the “days” that they were living in.  The writer didn’t say “those last days” did he?  And what happened “in these last days”?  Well, the writer of Hebrews and his companions were “spoken unto” “by his Son.”  The “Son” was a reference to Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:20-21 (KJV)  – Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Again in 1st Peter chapter 1, we see the phrase “in these last times” used.  “These last times” denotes the times that the apostles were living in – the 1st century A.D.  Peter is referring to his “times,” not a day thousands of years in their future.  Peter is placing himself as living in the “last times.”

Acts 2:16-17 (KJV)  – But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

Here in Acts chapter 2, Peter reaches back into the Old Testament writings and quotes from the prophet Joel chapter 2 verses 28-29.   Peter reminds these believers that the Holy Ghost is being poured out just as Joel prophesied.  Peter is a witness to this outpouring knowing that this a fulfillment of scripture.

1 John 2:18 (KJV)  – Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

John, the Apostle, was the author of the books 1st, 2nd and 3rd John, the Gospel of John and Revelation.  First John was written during the 1st century A.D.  Here we see John, in that day telling his readers that “it is the last time” because “even now there are many antichrists.”  Please understand that the “now” that John is referring to is not our “now” but his “now.”  John is stating that because “there are many antichrists” that had come that they (these 1st century A.D Christians) were living in “the last time.”  The “last time” that John is referring to is the end of Old Covenant Israel. These were the “perilous times” referred to in 2nd Timothy chapter 3.

The End of an Age

The authors of the New Testament also said they were living at the end of the age.

1 Corinthians 7:31 (KJV)  – And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

1 Corinthians 10:11 (KJV)  – Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world come.

Hebrews 9:26 (KJV)  – For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once at the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

1 Peter 4:7 (KJV)  – But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

When reading the verses above, please keep in mind audience relevance.  Who is the audience?  The “ye,” “you,” and “they” of these verses are the listeners of the first century A.D.  The “ye” are not us!   Also of note are the terms “end of the world” or “ends of the world.”  The Greek word for world is “aion” which means age.  The “age” of the Old Covenant was coming to an end.  The age of the New Covenant of Jesus Christ had arrived!


So are we living in perilous times today?  Of course, we are!  And so were those who were alive during the days of WWI and WWII!  But that’s not the question here.  The problem is this: Does 2 Timothy chapter 3 refer to our day or Timothy’s day?  Keep in mind that 2nd Timothy is believed to have been written approximately 67 A.D. before the destruction of the Temple.  The “perilous times” that Timothy was referring to came to an end in 70 A.D. with the destruction of the Temple and city of Jerusalem.

Animal sacrifices ended.  The city of Jerusalem would be encircled by the Roman Army as prophesied in Luke chapter  21.  Not one stone of the Temple was left upon another, just as Jesus predicted in Matthew chapter 24.  The Old Covenant came to an abrupt end and with it the “perilous times” that Timothy was referring to.  Most of the persecution coming from Apostate Jews also came to an end.

Christians, heeding the warning of Jesus in Matthew chapter 24 fled the city of Jerusalem before its encirclement by the Roman Army.  Early Christian historians Eusebius and Epiphanius claim that before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70 the Jerusalem Christians fled to the Decapolis city of Pella (also note Mark 13:14; Matt 24:15; Lu 21:20-22; cf. 19:43-44).  Now ask yourself this question: Does it make sense to believe that Timothy was referring to a time thousands of years in the future of his audience?  How would that be relevant to his listeners?  Many have bought into this “last days” madness.  But I’m no longer one of them.

While the words in 2nd Timothy were future to a first-century audience, it’s NOT future to us.  Their future but our past!  And what about all of the other “signs” of the last days mentioned in 2nd Timothy?  Where men would be ” lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy”?  Well, men were guilty of those sins in the first century just as they are today.  All the conditions listed in 2 Timothy chapter 3 were fulfilled in the first century.  Perilous times would occur during the lifetimes of these first century Christians.  The “last days” had arrived for them.  God was getting ready to shut the door on the Old Covenant – a new day had arrived!

Related articles:

The Great Tribulation

The Last Days of What?

Earthquakes – Sign of the End Times?

Melting Elements

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