The Key to Understanding the Future
"I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, . . . things that are not yet done." - Isaiah 46:9-10 , emphasis added
Almost one-third of the Bible is prophetic. Of the 8,352 verses that J. Barton Payne has identified as being prophetic, is there one that particularly explains the end of the world? Here is a real eye-opener: "Daniel, . . . seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase" (Daniel 12:4, emphasis added). Although "The Sign of Global Travel" and "The Sign of a Global Explosion of Knowledge" were both discussed last week, I will be expanding those points a bit further today and tomorrow.
"Many shall run to and fro":Running "to and fro" speaks of traveling. Much of the world remained the same from Daniel's day until our great-grandparents' time, but the pace of change in just the last hundred years is incredible. Consider this timeline:
- 3,000 Years Ago- David hired wooden boats, powered by wind, to help bring special wood for the temple. His son, Solomon, actually built and operated a fleet of wooden ships that sailed by wind power to carry on extensive trade with Africa, Europe, and parts of Asia. And 2,800 years ago, Jonah walked by foot to a port in Israel to purchase a ticket to sail to what is today's Spain.
- 2,000 Years Ago- The apostle Paul traveled around the Roman world on mapped-out highways by foot, by horse and chariot, or aboard a wooden ship moved along by wind power caught in the sails.
- 500 Years Ago- Christopher Columbus embarked on a journey across the Atlantic Ocean in search of a sea route to China. He also probably went to the dock on foot, and boarded a wooden ship, not unlike that of David, Solomon, Jonah, and Paul's.
- 200 Years Ago- Benjamin Franklin walked to a dock in America to board a wooden sailing vessel for his trip to France.
- 100 Years Ago- President Theodore Roosevelt traveled by steamship from place to place, often taking a week to get there. With the advent of steam, man was no longer tied to animal power and wind power. The steamship, locomotive, automobile, and airplane changed the entire world in just one generation!
- Today- Scheduled flights of airliners routinely make the trip from any of the six inhabited continents to another continent in only a few hours. No one in the history of this planet ever traveled like we can today. This is a sign of end times-that the end of the world is getting close!
With all the advances in travel, it does not take long to reach any place in the world. Even so, as much as one might want to flee to safety, there is nowhere on earth where a person can hide to escape God's wrath during the Tribulation: Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me (Psalms 139:7-10).
For the Christian, that Psalm 139 passage is a comfort because God has promised to both lead and uphold us by His power!
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