In a world that is so politically charged and uncertain can we trust that an entire kingdom, yet to rise, could be revealed to us by the use of a symbol, especially that of a beast?
When John depicts both the antichrist and his kingdom with the symbol of a beast, Revelation l7:1f, he is showing us some futuristic series of events that some say is too much to entrust to the uncertainty of a vision, much less a symbol within a vision. This argument is instantly neutralized when we realize that many years before John’s vision the prophets had similar visions that are now fully completed, and are now a part of the historical record. For example Daniel saw the rise and fall of four separate kingdoms in two visions that he had himself or interpreted for the ruler in his time. Daniel saw the rise and fall of the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman empires. One vision was of a man and the other of various beasts, Daniel 2:lf and 7:lf These visions are now part of the past and serve only to prove that God does use such images, they are always accurate and it is time to get onboard if you are going to take God seriously.
Are natural disasters the evidence that the end is at hand?
Actually the increase of natural disasters is not the evidence that it is the end. They are the evidence that the end is about to begin. They are those things that signal the approach of the coming troubles and the return of Christ. Jesus put it this way…And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, And earthquakes in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Mt 24: 6-8 Such events then are the precursors to the great tribulation they are not the tribulation in all its fullness, and it’s scripturally provided order. You can almost hear the phrase…Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, guess what happened.
Are natural disasters, wars, nuclear incidents, and terrorism Gods judgments?
They may be his judgments for our ongoing sinfulness but they are not the judgments spoken of in Revelation. The events that follow the breaking of seven seals, the blowing of seven trumpets and the pouring out of seven vials of wrath are all intervening judgments performed by God alone.
Let me be brutally succinct and put it another way. Man does not perform the judgment of man in that day. God glorifies himself alone. Men would only try to explain the judgments away as some inexplicable anomaly or natural occurrence. They would not think it had anything at all to do with their own way of life. They would never admit that their sins had finally come under the scrutiny of an angry God.
God has endured centuries of our reasoning and wrangling about whether he would actually intervene and judge our behavior. Not even Christians seem to know that he has given us a many examples and an iron clad guarantee that assures us that he will. In the twenty eighth chapter of Deuteronomy, God gives a list of the blessings that we will earn if we obey him in a mere fourteen verses. In the same chapter he pronounces the things that will befall us if we choose to go our own way, and that takes no less than fifty four verses.
Some of the judgments included are madness, hemorrhoids, and blindness. The worn out cliché that says that a loving God would never do such things to us needs to be re-examined in a more realistic light. God usually forewarns people through men and women who aren’t afraid to speak up, but he tells only a very few exactly what those judgments will be. I have not been notified about great disasters or calamities as a rule, but I am still under mandate to proclaim those judgments revealed in the scripture and especially those of the book of Revelation. The only specific judgment I have so far ever been apprised of in advance is the coming economic collapse in America. That doesn’t mean I haven’t felt that some of the calamities I have witnessed did not make me ponder the idea that God had surely intervened to bring them about.
One such event was the recent tsunami that killed a quarter of a million people in Indonesia and other counties in that part of the world. I don’t like hearing about disasters, hardships or the demise of any people and it brought me great sorrow to learn of this horrendous tragedy. I prayed for those families who had victims of the disaster as I watched the reports along with the rest of the world.
About a week after the tsunami struck I heard a little news item about that region of the world that had not received much attention before or after the disaster. I found it impossible to overlook the report without giving it further examination. I heard a report that said that the sale of infants and the child pornography business in that area is the largest in the world. The reporter said, it is estimated that the income for child porn and baby sales was approximately twelve billion dollars a year. If ever I have felt that a calamity could he a direct judgment of God it was this one. I was reminded of a powerful and serious warning that Jesus gave… But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Mt. 18:6
Rev Bresciani is the author of two popular Christian books, one on the second coming of Christ. He has hundreds of articles published both online and in print.