Rabbi Schneider - Learn the Signs of the End Times
You know, so many of us are interested in understanding the Book of Revelation, but it's confusing to us. It scares us. We try to read it but we don't understand it, and so, many believers have given up and they just don't know what the Book of Revelation is about. My goal, beloved one, in this series is to simplify the Book of Revelation for you.
I know in my own life as I started out as a believer over 30 years ago, I remember getting to the Book of Revelation and you know what? I just didn't understand it, and besides that it scared me, because when I read about all the horrible things that are gonna be happening upon planet earth during the Great Tribulation, I had a hard time reconciling what the Bible calls in Revelation the Seven Bowls of Wrath with the love of God that I read about in the gospels. It almost felt like there were two different Gods to me; the one God was Jesus who gathered the little ones to Himself and blessed them, that I read about in the gospels. And then in my young mind when I read the Book of Revelation it seemed like that seems like a different God than the Jesus that blessed the children. So I was so upset and so confused by this that really I gave up reading the Book of Revelation.
I remember when I was at Bible School, we had a great professor that taught on the end times. In fact the class was actually called, The Book of Revelation. And I really loved that professor, and he really loved me. I think he loved me so much 'cause I was one of the only Jewish people in the school. But he really loved me. We had a really warm relationship. And you know what? I got an A in the class. Why? Because I memorized all the answers 'cause I was taking such great notes in class. But yet when I got done with the class, even though I got an A in it, I didn't understand the Book of Revelation any better than I did, beloved one, than when I entered the class.
The book, the Book of Revelation, it was a mystery to me. I just couldn't wrap my mind around it. But approximately ten years ago Yeshua Jesus began to give me a paradigm, a lens, giving me the ability to understand the Book of Revelation and to put the timeline of it in context. And so through the course of this series, I believe I'm gonna simplify the Book of Revelation for you. I'm gonna help you to understand, not all of it because some of it is still a mystery. We don't know how some of these things will play out exactly. But you're gonna know enough by the end of this series that you'll understand the main events outlined in the Book of Revelation. I think you'll have great peace because of it.
You see, Jesus told us in the Book of Revelation, chapter 1, verse 3, and in the 22nd chapter of Revelation as well, He told us this: Blessed is he who reads and heeds the words of this Book. Did you know there's a special blessing that comes to those that both read the Book of Revelation, and study it, and put it into practice? So we can't just put it off 'cause it seems confusing or because it scares us, because I'm gonna actually read you what Jesus said in Revelation, chapter 1, verse 3: Hear the Word of God. He said through the Apostle John: Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy... And he's speaking about the Book of Revelation here. ...and heed the things which are written in it.
I want to read you the words of Jesus Himself in the last chapter of the Bible. I'm reading now, Revelation, 22:7. These are Jesus's very own words. He says this, Revelation, 22:7: And behold, He said, I am coming quickly. And then He said: Blessed is He who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book. So Father, we ask you now to come and give us enlightment; to Father, give us eyes to see, and a heart to understand as we look to you in our study of this most important Book that you gave us, Father, that we call the Book of Revelation. In Jesus's name we ask you to open our eyes, Father God, to your truth, and that you'll use, Father, this series Decrypting the Book of Revelation to prepare your church, Lord, to meet you face to face, to be the bride of Messiah Yeshua as His return draws near.
Now, I want to stop for a moment and I want us just to consider the general atmosphere that we find ourselves living in today. I think we would all agree that life on planet Earth is more dangerous than ever before. I want you to think about this. If we go back 200 years in time, if we go back, let's say, to the 1800's, things changed very slowly. In other words, someone that grew up in the 1700's or the 1800's, their life in, in the general sense of the word now, someone that grew up, let's say, 200-300 years ago, their life was very similar to what it would have been a hundred years before they lived, and very similar to what it would be for them if they had lived a hundred years later. In other words, going back 200-300 years ago, life was pretty much the same in your parents' lifetime and it was gonna be pretty much the same in your children's lifetime because progress was happening very slowly, and life on earth was changing very slowly. And yet when we fast forward to today, things are moving so quickly. Things are changing so rapidly.
Did you know that Jesus referred to the Prophet Daniel when Jesus was talking about the end times in Matthew, chapter 24? Jesus, in talking about the end times there quoted the Prophet Daniel. And listen to what Daniel said in his prophesy about the end times. He said: During the last days, He said, what we're gonna be looking at is a world in which knowledge has greatly and vastly increased. And Daniel said he saw people traveling to and from around the earth like this. In other words, what Daniel saw was a world that was moving very quickly, very rapidly, and that is the world, beloved, that we're living in today. We are truly entering into what Jesus called the last days. And because we're in the last days, when we feel the spiritual climate around us, we sense the fact that there's danger, imminent danger, lurking just ahead. We sense storm clouds gathering.
There's a feeling of ominousness, that something is about to go wrong. And you know what? This sense that we have, beloved, is not ill-founded. When we think, for example, about the state of the world today, we look around and we see that terrorist attacks are happening around the world almost every other month. People are losing their lives through terrorist attacks in places that we never would have dreamed of a few hundred years ago; in movie theaters, in shopping malls, in restaurants, at airports, and the list goes on. We're living in perilous times, just like Paul said when he said, Know this, in the last days perilous times will come. And then if we focus for a second on the nation's economy, and not just our nation's economy...
Now, of course, those of you that are American recognize that we're trillions of dollars in debt. But I'm just not talking about the economy in America. I'm talking about the economy around the world. So many nations around the earth are fragile right now. So many economies, beloved, are on the verge of bankruptcy. In fact, Britain's former Prime Minister said at a, at a summit that when we look ahead, we realize how dangerous the world's economy is right now. And in fact, countries around the earth that once looked at the United States and China, who also had a booming economy, were inspired. Where now, many of those countries look at us and China with suspicion. Beloved, I'm telling you, things are very unstable. It may feel stable to you right now, but you know what? It's no different than when everyone thought things were stable before the housing market busted. It's kind of like an earthquake.
When you're on earth right before the earthquake happens, you have no sense that anything's wrong. Right before the earthquake happens, you might be strolling through a park, maybe the sky is blue. You see all the beautiful green leaves on the trees. You see birds flying by. You hear the birds chirping. Everything looks great. But what we don't realize is that right beneath the earth's surface, right beneath the crust there are these tension lines. And the earth is about to crack on the surface even though the surface feels so stable. But suddenly what happens is all that tension that was unseen beneath the earth's surface, suddenly what happens is that tension reaches a climax and the earth's surface opens up and there can be devastating consequences for miles and miles around. Beloved, even though you may feel like things are stable right now, I'm telling you, beneath the stability cracks are beginning to open up, and there's gonna be a great devastation that will take place on this planet.
Now for those of you that are maybe a bit put off by what I'm saying, I want you to consider with me that Jesus Himself taught this. In Matthew, 24, Jesus told us nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom, perilous times are gonna be happening all over the earth. And Jesus said there's never been a time like it before and neither will there ever be again. And unless those days have been shortened, Yeshua said, even God's very elect would be destroyed. I'm telling you, beloved, we need to get prepared. We need to be sober minded. And we need to get ready. Now I want to speak about the fact that we've talked about, we've talked about the economy, we've talked about terrorist attacks, but there's something else that is right at the fore front of this message today. Jesus talked, once again, about the tribulation being characterized by tremendous war and bloodshed.
I want you to think about this as we think about how society has advanced and where we're at today. You see, beloved, 50 years ago countries that were feared like the former USSR and America, beloved, small countries, they were powerless against us. But today when a lot of these small countries either already have nuclear weapons or at least are getting their hands on nuclear capabilities, beloved, it's not gonna be long before one of these small countries that has America and Israel as its enemies, it's not gonna be long before one of these small countries that seems to view us as their enemies is gonna launch a nuclear assault. And we are gonna enter in, beloved, to what the Bible calls Armageddon. It is unstoppable. It's undeniable.
You see, beloved, we have great powers on the earth. I'm speaking of smaller countries but now are powerful because of nuclear capabilities, listen to me, and their rifle is pointed at the United States and Israel. Think about, for example, the former leader of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and how he has made it a point to flex the nuclear strength of his country against the United States and Israel. And then we also have the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, and once again how he's flexing his country's nuclear capability in the face of the United States. We are living in dangerous times, and sooner or later one of these countries, beloved, is gonna release a nuclear assault against the West and against Israel. We cannot pretend that these things aren't real. We can't hope that they're just gonna go away because they are not.
You see, beloved, we are moving on a trajectory into the end of the age. All we have to do is look at morality. You see, some people view morality, the morality let's say in the Western world, as kind of like a pendulum. They think, you know what, yeah things became immoral, but eventually what happens is that time corrects those things and the pendulum swings back to the middle. But I want you to hear me, beloved, the pendulum is not gonna swing back to the middle. The breakdown of civilization, in addition to it happening in the ways that I've just described, is also happing in the sphere of the Western world's morality. And before the collapse of a nation, the collapse of their morality usually is preceding that.
And so for example, here in the United States we know half of marriages approximately are ending in divorce. We have just legalized gay marriage, homosexual marriage. And to anybody today that is struggling in that area that maybe even feels proud to be in that kind of a lifestyle, I want you to know, I love you, but I'm just saying as a preacher of the Word of God, homosexuality is not God's divine design. And God sent Jesus into the world to deliver us. Whether we're a thief, a liar, selfish, a homosexual, whatever it is, Jesus is the answer. But the point is, is that homosexuality, beloved, I believe is a deviation of God's original design. It's a deviation of His blueprint for man and woman. And when society goes completely astray from God's design, eventually what happens is judgement comes just like it did in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
In fact, the Scripture tells us as it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, so it will be on planet earth before the end. So we are living, beloved, in a time that you and I need to wake up and get ready. Because if we don't, what's gonna happen to us is when things get more difficult, many people that claim to be Christians will fall away because it's gonna be too difficult for them to stand up for the cause of Christ, too difficult for them to pick up their cross, deny themselves and follow Him. So many people, beloved, when things get tough are gonna compromise and fall away from the faith. And of course, Jesus predicted that this would happen. Many will fall away from the faith.
So it's important that you and I recognize that we're about to face difficult times, even as Paul said, know this, difficult times will come, so that when they come, beloved, we won't be ill-prepared but will be ready and equipped to go through them. Hallelujah and praise the Lord. I'm, I'm thinking now of the trips that I take to Israel. I've been to Israel about eight times. Actually I have been there eight times. And you know, when I first started going to Israel, I would always ask the people there, you know, how are you feeling about what's going on now in the country? And in those early trips the Israeli citizens were always so positive, so hopeful, so optimistic. But then about five years ago, I remember asking the question and I noticed that the enthusiasm had waned; that there was more worry, more fear.
And then the last time I was in Israel, less than a year ago, I again asked the question. And you know what I was met with from so many of the Israeli citizens that I talked to? I was met, beloved ones, with the spirit of hopelessness; like, we've tried so many things, nothing we've done worked. And now every country that surrounds us is getting more and more militarily equipped and they've got their radar, they've got their, their, their rifle pointed right at us. Beloved, a feeling of hopelessness is taking over the earth and the reason that is, is because the Bible tells us that before the earth's final days, before Yeshua returns, the Bible says concerning the Holy Spirit, He that restrains will no longer restrain.
In other words, God is allowing evil to rise. And as evil is rising, there is greater and greater calamity and terror that is moving across the surface of the land. But I want you to hear me, the message that I'm gonna be brining you is gonna be a message of hope. The Bible says, regardless of what we're gonna face, things past, things present, things to come, we're more than conquerors through Him that loved us. In fact, Jesus, in teaching us about the end days, said when you see these things happen, He said, do not be afraid but look up for your redemption draweth nigh.
So I want to encourage you, get your notebook out as we continue on this journey together. I'm gonna bring you line by line through the key points in the Book of Revelation, and I'm gonna show you how the Old Testament prophets, the prophets that wrote the Torah, and the Hebrew Bible that we call the Tanakh, how they said the same things that the New Testament writers say in talking about the end times. I'm going to show you how the Old and New Testaments, how the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament fit together like a hand in a glove in what they had to say about the end times and the final days on earth before Yeshua's return.