This book was written by my sister, Elizabeth James. It was published in 2008. I am going to post her book here on my blog, in what I hope is small doses, in the hope whoever reads it will be warned of what is to come in the closing days of Earth's history.
I know there are many interpretations of the book of Daniel and Revelation. The way to know which one is true is to watch and see if the world events unfold according to the interpretation.
A few years ago I saw a bumper sticker that made me laugh out loud, and every time I think about it I laugh again. It says, “Where am I going, and why am I in this hand basket?” This pretty much sums up the state of this world today; it seems to be going to hell in a hand basket.
But is this true? Well, for millions of us alive today, especially those of us living in industrialized nations, our standard of living and our quality of life is better than at any time in history.
Medicine has made advances at an exponential rate over the past century, finding cures for much of what used to contribute to shorter life spans. We can communicate with each other instantly by telephone or email, and visually through satellite feeds or from our homes via the Internet. And we can get from place to place faster than ever.
So why do many of us often feel as though the world is doomed? Could it be because it IS doomed and we know it? Or are we simply running around like Chicken Little, screaming that the sky is falling?
The Bible has a lot to say about the end time of this world, so perhaps we should find out if we are living in the end time or if we are just worrying for no reason.
“You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.”
Most Bible scholars agree that what Jesus said here in Matthew Chapter 24 applies both to what happened on a small scale - the fall of the city of Jerusalem in the year 70 CE (see Appendix 1) - and what will happen on a large scale to the world at the end time. So let’s look at how this applies to our world today.
There have always been wars, so what is so special about stating the obvious? Well, yes, there have always been wars, but not on the scale we have seen in the past century.
In the past, wars were not global events involving millions of people. Both World War I and World War II are so named because much of the world was involved. That had never happened before in history, and yet it happened twice in less than 30 years. In World War II alone, about 93 million soldiers were fighting on both sides and about 22 million of them were killed. But amazingly, over 30 million civilians died during that war! (1) Some estimates put the total death count from World War II at over 60 million! And wars have continued around the globe. In 1993, the Associated Press reported that another 23 million plus people have died in various wars since 1945. (2)
In part of that verse we looked at in Matthew 24, Jesus also said there would be famines and earthquakes. There have always been famines and earthquakes so that is not such a big prophetic remark, is it? Well, we have seen that the world has become involved in bigger and bloodier wars lately, so have there been more and worse famines and earthquakes lately as well?
In 1996 it was reported that 800 million people go hungry every day, and that “Some 40,000 hunger-related deaths occur every day…” (3) Did you know that 2000 years ago, when Jesus was walking the Earth, there were only about 300 million people alive on the whole planet? (4) This means that even if every person on the planet in Jesus’ time were hungry, it still would not come close to the problem we have today.
Okay, famines are worse nowadays. What about earthquakes? Between the years 1000 and 1800 there were only 21 major earthquakes. Eight hundred years and only 21 major earthquakes does not seem so bad. But between 1800 and 1900 there were 18…almost as many earthquakes but in only one-eighth the time span. Between 1900 and 1950 the number grew to 33. Thirty-three major earthquakes in only 50 years? Ouch! And then there were 93 major earthquakes between the years 1950 and 1991. (5) Wow! More and more major earthquakes are occurring all the time.
But what about right now? What has happened in the past 15 years or so? Well, according to the United States Geological Survey, the world has seen 15 monster earthquakes measuring over 8.0 on the Richter scale (see Appendix 1) between 1991 and 2006! In that same time period there have been 240 earthquakes measuring between 7.0 and 7.9 on the Richter scale. (6) I would say that Jesus is 3 for 3 on his prophecy about wars, famines and earthquakes.