The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Preparing for the End Times: Symbols of Security

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Prophecy hasn’t gone anywhere–God is still prophesying today, and as is typical of His gracious Self, He is suddenly putting out a lot of end time material now because those times are at the door–meaning that unless you die in the next few years, you’ll be here when they start.

Now 99% of the prophets you hear pontificating on the topic of the end times are irreverent windbags who are doing nothing more than trying to use God’s Name and a dramatic subject matter to build fan clubs for themselves. Read your Old Testament and you’ll discover that this is the way it has always been: the blowhards far outnumber the real guys. Clearly those who have no problem slapping God’s Name on things He never said have entirely lost their grip on reverence. Such rebellious behavior will end in great sorrow. It is both foolish and dangerous to make a mockery out of God speaking to His people. You won’t find us playing such idiotic games. We treat speaking for God as the extremely serious matter that it is, and when we put out material about the end times, we aren’t trying to impress you with our Divine connections or get you to become our fan.

The only reason God is choosing to share details about the end times in advance is so that souls who actually care about honoring Him can do some important prep work ahead of time. Sober contemplation with the Holy Spirit is an essential part of maturing in the faith. When we ask God to teach us things now–while life is still fairly calm–we have time to wrestle with difficult concepts and get a strong hold on critical truths before we find ourselves in a swirl of frantic emotions. It’s like a tree digging its roots deep into the earth in preparation for a coming hurricane. Because the tree took advantage of the news that stress was coming, it had time to secure itself in place so that it was not uprooted by the blasting winds. In the same way, the Holy Spirit wants us to invite Him to help us form solid anchors in truth now so that we won’t just fall apart when He starts acting in ways that frighten us. To help us realize where we need the most help, He is putting out material which introduces us to some concepts that have a long history of making His people turn away from Him.

When they are confronted with fearful circumstances, most Christians react in ways that offend God. They start bossing Him about, they reject His sovereignty, and they start talking as though demons are ruling the day. Souls who seriously ponder the issues the Holy Spirit is raising now and seek His guidance on how He wants them to respond to such things will be in a much better place than souls who just want to treat the topic of the end times like some adrenaline spiking horror flick. Honoring God is a serious issue, and given what a rotten job the Church is doing at honoring her King in the easy times, what will she be like when He starts acting in ways that she disapproves of? When it comes to preparing for and reacting to the end times, the Church is going to lead you majorly astray. You need to decide now that you’re going to seriously seek God’s wisdom in this matter and be one of the few who please Him during this time.

Now the end times are going to be filled with carnage and destruction—this is one of those difficult realities that no one wants to contemplate, yet as a Christian who is serious about honoring God, you can no longer afford to keep mentally avoiding this subject. Forget about those Satan exalting films the Church is pumping out in which the antichrist figure goes around terrorizing people. The far more useful comparison for you to dwell on is Yahweh’s ravaging of Egypt during the famous ten plagues. In that account we find Yahweh unleashing devastating destruction and plagues on not just a single town or community, but on an entire nation at once. The Egypt being referred to in Exodus was an entire country—not the name of a few city blocks. When Yahweh pummeled Egypt with ginormous hailstones, it was a nationwide storm which destroyed the food supply of an entire nation. Since when does it rain over an entire nation at once? That alone is a mind boggling idea. Today we are used to being able to escape inconvenient weather by simply going for a long drive. The idea of an entire country experiencing the same storm is hard to get our minds around, yet this is what Yahweh did.

Now seriously contemplating the ten plagues helps us prepare for the idea of God causing devastation on a much wider scale than we are used to, but it doesn’t help us prepare for the kinds of modern day terrors God is planning to unleash. Ancient Egypt looked very different than our modern day nations. It wasn’t filled with skyscrapers and cars. The people weren’t going around glued to their cell phones and the world wasn’t dependent on the internet to function. When God is out to terrorize a modern day people into submitting to Him, He will go after their modern day symbols of security.

In ancient Egypt, life revolved around the Nile River. If the Nile ceased to function, people felt certain that their lives would fall apart. Think about your own country, state, city, and community. What do the people around you depend on? What physical monuments could God knock out to strike fear into the hearts of large amounts of people in your homeland? Many Americans remember the day two skyscrapers came crashing down in New York City. They’ve since dubbed that day “9-11” and they’ve built a monument to remember it by. Why did the collapse of two skyscrapers create such a nationwide fuss? Certainly there were hundreds of lives lost, but it was more than that. New York City is one of America’s iconic cities. It has been dubbed the financial capital of the world. It is a source of pride for many Americans—a symbol of progress, power, money, and culture. If two tall buildings came crashing down in some little known farming community in the middle of America, the psychological effect would have been vastly different. The event would no doubt receive some attention in the news, but the whole nation wouldn’t be talking about it for the next ten years and making movies about it. The point is this: every nation has its symbols of security—physical or geographical monuments which the people are very psychologically bonded to. When God targets such symbols, the ripple effect is enormous. It was very psychologically traumatizing for ancient Egyptians when their Nile River was turned to blood. As gross as the whole idea of water turning into blood is, the fact that the Nile was being assaulted was what made the event a hundred times more terrifying.

Without realizing it, we humans fill our lives with symbols of security which we then feel far more dependent on than God Himself. During the end times, we will see the Holy Spirit strategically attacking many such symbols. God takes major offense when the humans He is sustaining worship gods other than Him. At first glance, the ten plagues on Egypt sound like a story of Yahweh trying to make people’s lives difficult by destroying their food, damaging property, and inflicting them with diseases. But there was a lot more to it than that. Every plague was a symbolic attack on a specific god which the Egyptians worshiped instead of Yahweh. When Yahweh covered the land in thick darkness for days, He was intentionally proving the impotency of the Egyptian sun god Ra.

God is a very jealous Being, and He detests it when we act like we just don’t need Him. Throughout the Old Testament, we find Yahweh railing at both the Jews and the pagans for putting their dependency in things other than Him. Today many of us are rooting our dependency in our children, our dogs, our houses, our jobs, and our bank accounts. Now is the time to ask the Holy Spirit to show you what the symbols of security are in your life and to be open to Him showing you where changes need to be made. God is the Sustainer of all things. From His perspective, you can’t even breathe without His help, so it’s more than a little irksome when you downplay your dependency on Him in life.

Suppose you were to wake up one morning and find out that God had just devastated the capital city of your nation? How would you react? Is your life over because your nation is in trouble? Is your security rooted in a flag or in God Himself? Suppose you were to learn that while you were visiting friends in another city, your hometown was swallowed into some huge crack in the earth? What happens then? Is your identity in crisis because your car and house are gone? What if God causes your country’s currency to tank? Is your security in money or is it God alone? Who is taking care of you in life? You, with your good job and wise budgeting? No, it is God. Suppose you wind up hospitalized and totally out of contact with the rest of your family? What then? Are you alone on the planet or is God still with you? We Christians are very good at singing about our trust and dependency on God, but how real are these concepts in our lives? We’re very good at saying “God is with us”, but do we really understand what this means? God is always with you. He is the only One you truly need.

Your individual journey with God isn’t going to be put on hold just because He’s taking the world apart. On the contrary, He already has many plans in mind for how He wants to use you during this time. When you find yourself hunkering down in an emergency shelter that was erected in the rubble of your hometown, are you going to be throwing some epic pity party and sniveling about how unfair God is, or are you going to be saying “Well, Lord, this is unexpected, but I know You’re here with me and I’m available to serve You”?

Now does God have sympathy for the fact that we humans get scared and overwhelmed when buildings are crashing down around us and people are screaming in terror? Of course He does. No one is more compassionate towards human beings than their own Maker. God isn’t going to get annoyed with you for having a meltdown in some frazzled moment. He gets annoyed when you start treating Him like some incompetent weenie who has been dethroned by the powers of darkness. He gets ticked when you start bossing Him around in your prayers. He gets insulted when you stand in front of the rubble of your house sobbing, “It was my whole life!” It had better not be your life. Your security needs to be rooted in God alone, not in the things of this earth.

As time gets shorter, we can expect God to keep hammering us on important issues that He wants to discuss with us before the chaos starts. A correct understanding of who you are dependent on in life is a vital part of keeping you calm and centered during the end times. Invite the Holy Spirit to show you any symbols of security in your life which He wants to change. We want to go into this period feeling dependent on God alone and confident in His goodness. We want to have a firm grip on the fact that He is the only One we truly need, and that He is always with us, therefore we do not need to be afraid. Remember that it’s not on you to perfect yourself—that’s something only God can do. All that He requires of you is a sincere invitation to help you honor Him during the end times. He will take care of the rest.

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