I am copying an article from the ‘Daily Mirror’ dated 21st April, which centres on the subject of the ‘end of this age’ as predicted by Sir Isaac Newton (4 January 1643 – 31 March 1727).
One would naturally be slow to contradict anything that the man, considered to be ‘one of the most renowned scientists in history’ and more importantly, a true christian has said. However, as Paul contradicted Peter when he acted wrongly (Galatians 2:11-14) so we, on the authority of God’s Word, dare to contradict any man’s false predictions regarding the date of the Saviour’s return and the end of this age.
The Lord Jesus said: “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come,” Matthew 24:42. “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh,” Matthew 25:13. “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power,” Acts 1:6-7.
The article contains much silliness, from various sources, about the return of the Lord but Sir Isaac Newton’s theory is not in agreement with what the Bible teaches.
While we CANNOT KNOW ‘the day nor the hour’ of the Saviour’s return, we DO HAVE CLEAR INFORMATION on the events that will indicate that the day is drawing very near.
1. A general and increasing apostasy from the truth of God revealed to us in the Bible will take place near to the Saviour’s return. The Saviour likened it unto the return of the moral conditions that characterised the earth before the judgment of the flood in Noah’s day and the fiery judgment that befell Sodom and Gomorrah in the days of Lot. “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed,” Luke 17:26-30.
We are told that in the days of Noah, “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. . . . . . The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence,” Genesis 6:5, 11.
Who can deny that the evils which marked the world in Noah’s day and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in Lot’s day are not suddenly and increasingly the corruptions which mark this present day. Sodomy, in our lifetimes has been redefined from a criminal act to a lifestyle most acceptable and it has become a crime to denounce it for what it is — a God-dishonouring perversion which will bring its adherents to eternal damnation. THAT is what Jude, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, taught! “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire,” Jude 1:7. The ‘eternal fire’ was sent of God, as Genesis 19:29 clearly says. “And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.”
Nothing demonstrates the world-wide rebellion today against and defiance of God better than the reversing by church councils and parliaments God’s definition of sodomy!
That tells us we have entered the ‘last days’, 2 Timothy 3:1.
2. A spirit of carelessness and slumber shall overcome the professing Christian church. “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him,” Matthew 25:1-6.
These events will take place just prior to the return of Christ. Slumber will have overcome the professing church and it will be largely silent and still in the face of increasing wickedness. Then it is awakened just before the Saviour returns. The truly converted take up again the duties that they had been engaged in, ‘going forth to meet the bridegroom’ while the false professors were awakened to their lack of true saving faith as is represented by their lack of oil in the lamps and the absence of any flame! Revival within the ranks of the professing church of Christ will take place just prior to the Saviour’s return and His elect will ready themselves for that great event. There will be NO REVIVAL amongst the ranks of the ungodly, they will be given over to the apostasy and rebellion of antichristianity!
3. there will be events in Jerusalem which will enable Christians to determine very accurately when the Saviour’s return is to be expected. Read carefully these verses.
“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever,” Revelation 11:3-15.
Note 1. The two witnesses prophesied ‘a thousand two hundred and threescore days.’ That is forty two months or three and a half years. That period is referred to frequently in prophecies related to the end times and specifically we are told it is the length of time that the Lord will permit the Antichrist to reign. “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months,” Revelation 13:5. Thus the ministry of the ’two witnesses’ will take place during the very time of the Antichrist’s reign of ‘tribulation’ against the saints of God and nation of Israel at the end of which the return of the Saviour will take place. Revelation 13:7, Matthew 24:21, 29.
Note 2. The miracles wrought by the ‘two witnesses’ and the manner of their murder will not escape world-wide attention! “And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will,” verses 5-6. Their murder and the glorious resurrection and ascension to heaven three and half days later has everyone’s attention! I repeat the words of verses 7-12.
Note 3. “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.”
Note 4. We are told in this passage in Revelation 11 that soon after these events ‘the seventh angel sounded’, that is the trumpet mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”