Calamity, tumult and trouble are spreading all over the world. The reason is that God; establishes his Kingdom by shaking the heavens and the earth, so that what is eternal will remain (Heb 12:26,27: Haggai 2:6-9). The Bible calls this the Time of Distress (Dan 12:1; 8:19;11:36). See the outline of the overall plan below.
Signs of the Times of Distress
The events that mark the beginning of the Time of Distress are described in Revelation 6 (the first five seals) and Daniel 7,8 (the beasts out of the sea). We are seeing these fulfilled now in our time.
To understand what is happening, click on the links in the table below. They build on each other, so follow the order.
For a view of the scriptures describing these events that shows how they fit together follow this link.
These events are the birth pangs of the Time of Distress. They are signs that the Kingdom of God is near and that we are moving into the time of distress. (They are not signs of the second coming.)
A Time of Distress
The Time of Distress is an interim period, between the Times of the Gentiles and the time when the Jews will be converted and the Saints of God will possess the Kingdom. We are coming to the end of the times of the Gentiles now. For more detail, click to see God's Plan.
The reason for the distress is that before the saints can possess the Kingdom, the kingdom of man must collapse.The Kingdom of man is rising to a peak, but it will come under the judgement of God, and the human dream will collapse forever. This collapse will be the cause of much distress.
For the last 200 years, faith in God has been being replaced by faith in human ability to achieve peace and prosperity through human effort and human wisdom. Without God, that dream was bound to fail and it is now failing fast.
During the last fifty years, the western world has experienced an unprecedented period of peace, security and prosperity. Without God, this could not last and is rapidly coming to an end.
Instead of looking to the Lord for deliverance, people will put their trust in man. In one last effort to succeed, authority and power will be concentrated in the hands of a few powerful leaders. They will be given enormous powers to bring back peace and prosperity. There will be tremendous consolidation of political power to hold back the chaos.
The church will oppose this accumulation of power and authority (some respected leaders, will support it). This will result in the church being persecuted by the powers of the world.
God will use these shakings to purify the church. Those who are devoted to the Lord will be strengthened by this refining process. It will be a painful time, but they will be made ready for the victory ahead.
These events will be a sign that the time of Kingdom of God is getting close.The Kingdom of God is a better program than the world can offer. However, the people of the world will not accept it, until all human alternatives have failed.
The kingdom of man is already shaking and beginning to disintegrate. It will soon collapse and fall. This will leave a tremendous power vacuum in the world. Christians must be ready to step into the gap and work to establish God's authority. If we take advantage of this opportunity, the Kingdom can be established in our time.
For the world, the Time of Distress will be a time of fear, terror and despair. For Christians, it will be a time of hope. We can look up, because the Kingdom of God is near.
PreparationThe Time of Distress will be a testing time, but it is also a time of great opportunity. Instead of being afraid, we should:
Prepare for tough times (see the Ambush)
Learn to support each other
Seek the anointing of the Holy Spirit
Raise up a prophetic voice that understands these times
Learn how to receive the Kingdom of God
Prepare for the Challenge of establishing the Kingdom of God
We should not look for the Second Coming or rapture during this time of distress. To do so, would only lead to disappointment. Instead we should be looking for the time when the saints possess the Kingdom. This will be the most glorious time in all of New Testament history. What a privilege to be part of this great victory.