What is the Time of the End?

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What is the Time of the End?

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How does the Bible use this term? What does it mean? Are we in that time now? If so, how might it impact your life?

Transcript

[Steve] Are we in the time of the end?

It seems like every time we turn on our TVs, open a newspaper, or follow the trends on social media, there’s bad news. How long can it last?

Who could forget the devastating images from the typhoon that hit the Philippines in 2013, or the 2011 tsunami that seemed to come close to causing a nuclear meltdown in Japan, and here in America the stunning destruction from hurricane Katrina in New Orleans?

Bad news isn’t limited to natural disasters. So many lost so much in the 2008 financial crisis, in fact the ripples of that event are still felt in continuing economic woes around the world.

Then there’s bloodshed. Fighting in the Middle East; tensions with Russia and Ukraine; North Korea flexing its military muscle, ethnic cleansing in Africa, India and Burma; race riots in the United States, and the list goes on.

What about the constant fear of disease becoming pandemic: ebola, HIV and AIDS, malaria, the flu, even measles is becoming a problem.

What does it all mean? Some say these things point to the end of the world. What does the Bible really say about it? There’s no doubt that the Bible speaks about the end but what exactly does Scripture mean?

Stay tuned to Beyond Today as we investigate the biblical teaching on “What is the time of the End?”

[Announcer] Join or host Steve Myers and his guests as they help you understand your future on Beyond Today !

[Steve] How will the world end? Will it be natural disasters, nuclear war; disease or epidemics? I believe the only source that will give you the facts is the Word of God–the Bible. What does the Bible say about this crucial and disturbing question?

First, Jesus promised He would return to earth. He told us “…I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself…” (John 14:2-3 John 14:2-3 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
American King James Version×
)

Knowing that Jesus would come back left questions in His follower’s mind. Perhaps in your mind, too. So they asked Him, “what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3 Matthew 24:3And as he sat on the mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world?
American King James Version×
).

They had questions that we all want answered: What are the signs? Will the world literally end? And if so, how? And when?

Religious people aren’t the only ones asking these questions. All kinds of people have expressed concern about the possibility of the end of the world. Politicians, educators, even scientists foresee potential world destruction from a number of causes–whether it be global pollution, killer diseases, overpopulation, a collision with a comet or asteroid or even nuclear warfare. Experts share the concern that we could see the end of civilization as we know it.

No wonder we live in an age of anxiety–a world where so little seems certain anymore.

But, you don’t have to live in uncertainty and fear. The most reliable information is not in a documentary, on the news or even in a magazine–it’s in the Bible. Instead of just having a vague idea about the end of the world, you can discover that the Bible most certainly details specifics about the end. And yes, it does prophesy the end of the world as we know it, but that’s not the end of the story–there is more, and God wants you to know–there is hope.

2,000 years ago Jesus’ followers asked about the end of the age and wanted signs. “The signs of the times,”–now that’s a phrase that you’ve probably heard before in a Christian context, but what does it mean exactly? What are these signs? Does it have anything to do with us, right now? Well I’m going to answer these questions today, and offer you our free study aid, Are We Living in the Time of the End? which gives additional insight. I’ll tell you how to get it later in the program.

What do you think of when you hear about the signs of the times and the end of the age? Daniel 12 explains that “the time of the end” (Daniel 12:1 Daniel 12:1And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
American King James Version×
) will be a time of trouble, unlike anything we’ve seen before. It will include the time leading up to, and including a 3 1/2 year period of world destruction that will conclude with the establishment of God’s Kingdom right here on earth.

When Jesus’ disciples asked Him about “the end of the world,” they weren’t talking about the “world” in the sense of our physical planet, the earth. That Greek word literally means–an age, an epoch, an era. So Jesus wasn’t talking about the physical planet we live on being totally destroyed; He was talking about man’s rule; man’s dominion is what will end.

The apostle Paul called the era of man’s rule “this present evil age” (Galatians 1:4 Galatians 1:4Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
American King James Version×
). Now that’s because Satan is “the god of this world” and “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.”

The age “which is to come” begins with Christ’s return to establish His Kingdom on earth.

And so Scripture spells out that our present age–civilization and society as we know it today–will terminate in unimaginable destruction and violence that will climax at the return of Christ. In the New Testament alone, more than 300 verses refer to these events.

So Paul and the other apostles understood that at the end of this age, the end of man’s corrupt civilization, man’s society, it will be swept away and a new era will dawn at the return of Christ.

Now that’s why Jesus’ disciples asked about the sign of His coming. Can we know? What are signs that will signal the end of man’s rule; the end of this age–and that terrible “time of trouble”?

Jesus responded by giving several warning signs.

He mentions three signs that can be found in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and in Luke 21.

He talked about famine (Matthew 24:7 Matthew 24:7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
American King James Version×
). There will be an extreme scarcity of food. Now, this can be caused by weather–such as drought, or unusual temperatures that destroy crops, or it could even come from government corruption. Regardless the cause, Christ predicted that people will be starving to death.

Next, He mentions pestilence (Matthew 24:7 Matthew 24:7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
American King James Version×
). He’s referring to deadly epidemics of disease. It’s very possible that we’ll see widespread outbreaks of terrible killer illnesses like ebola, the black death, smallpox, HIV and AIDS and pandemic flu.

Now Jesus also mentioned earthquakes (Matthew 24:7 Matthew 24:7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
American King James Version×
). We’ve already seen the destruction that earthquakes can cause when they hit heavily populated areas. Japan and Haiti are some recent, extreme examples. Yet these will become more and more frequent, and more and more deadly as the time of the end approaches.

So it’s clear, our health and our safety will be threatened due to these increasingly disruptive events that will occur. But, that’s not all.

Our lives will become more and more chaotic as we experience what Jesus predicted in Matthew 24: “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:6 Matthew 24:6And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
American King James Version×
).

Just look around today. So much of the world is already involved in conflict in one way or another. This sets the stage for a more destructive and difficult time when “nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matthew 24:7 Matthew 24:7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
American King James Version×
).

With an increase in civil war and unrest, it’s not too hard to imagine ethnic cleansing continuing as opposing tribes and religion fight for dominance. Nation will fight for sovereignty, and not just for power, but over natural resources, strategic locations, and at times–just because they can.

The development of high tech weapons of mass destruction that have the ability to annihilate human life is a sure sign of the end of the age. Jesus taught about this destructive potential being a sign of the end saying, “if that time of troubles were not cut short, no living thing could survive” (Matthew 24:22 Matthew 24:22And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
American King James Version×
REB).

All of these things will put our physical lives in danger, and yet Jesus warned about another serious threat: a threat to your spiritual life.

He tells us that “many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many… Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (Mark 13:6 Mark 13:6For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
American King James Version×
; Mark 13:21-22 Mark 13:21-22 21 And then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ; or, see, he is there; believe him not: 22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
American King James Version×
).

Prophecy shows that these counterfeits are out to deceive all whom they can. In fact, there will be an excess of false teachings and widespread heresy and sacrilege. Have you wondered if it’s already begun? Would you recognize it?

Just imagine: there will be so many false religious doctrines and false religious teachers that true believers will see the persecution that Jesus warned about. He says, “…watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My [name] sake, for a testimony to them” (Mark 13:9 Mark 13:9But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues you shall be beaten: and you shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.
American King James Version×
).

No doubt, these are sobering times.

The good news is that God gives us this warning for a reason. He wants us to understand what’s coming, and He wants to help us through it and give us hope. There’s a better time that’s coming, not just to those who hear this message today, but for all people.

Signs and events pointing to the time of the end were given to us for a purpose. Do you know why? To help you better understand not only the signs and events, but the reason behind them, request a copy of our free study aid, Are We Living in the Time of the End? Simply call us toll free: 1-888-886-8632. That’s 1-888-886-8632. Or you can go online to BeyondToday.tv .

If you live outside North America, you can also receive it by writing to us at the address shown on your screen throughout the program–or read it online at BeyondToday.tv. [Beyond Today, PO Box 541027, Cincinnati, OH 45254]

You really need this important, free booklet to discover more about what the Bible has to say about the time of the end and what you can do about it.

Are we living in the time of the end?

This is a heavy topic. On Beyond Today we give you help for today and hope for tomorrow. There are hard times ahead for this world, but that’s not the end of the story. You can have hope because our God has a plan of salvation for all mankind. It’s a plan for everyone who has ever lived. Now as I go through this sobering topic, please keep in mind that there is more to the story, that our loving and just God has a plan for all.

We live in an age of awesome scientific and technological advancement that have brought mankind so much good, but also the ability to extinguish human life.

World conditions point to the fact that we are heading into difficult times. Jesus taught that the troubles and evils will not be caused only by external events. It won’t just be wars and natural disasters and diseases.

He prophesied about a very specific kind of people during this time. An indication of the time of the end are the attitudes and behaviors of people. Christ said, “Because of people breaking the laws and sin being everywhere, the love in the hearts of many people will become cold” (Matthew 24:12 Matthew 24:12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
American King James Version×
).

Do we see this evident today? Think about that for a moment. People are said to be lawless, they don’t want to follow the laws of man, let alone follow the laws of God. Respect for the law fades and the protection and safety that should come from the law will vanish.

Doesn’t that way of thinking start in the home? Have children become increasingly more disobedient to parents and authority? Do you think that the family unit–the basic building block of society has deteriorated? Is it even fair to say that as the family unit breaks down even further, society will continue to negatively reflect that breakdown? That’s what your Bible predicts!

People will be greedy and selfish, loving things and money more than people. You might wonder: Really? How can that be? Well sadly, we only have to look at bargain-hunting on Black Friday. We’re no longer surprised by tramplings, shootings, stabbings, and other tragedies–all over important things–like electronics or the latest kid’s doll.

The Bible predicts we’ll see more looting, and stealing, and hurting others to get what we want. We watch the news reports and we shake our heads. But are we sure that we’re not part of the problem in question?

We’re given a thorough listing of the characteristics of people in 2 Timothy 3: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy…” (2 Timothy 3:1-2 2 Timothy 3:1-2 1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
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) and the list goes on.

A boastful and proud people will be evident. Think about how pride leads to so many problems. People are less likely to apologize. They’ll be more likely to antagonize and provoke others and take control to prove themselves superior.

Has it already begun?

That warning list continues with the traits of people in the last days: “unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good…” (2 Timothy 3:3 2 Timothy 3:3Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
American King James Version×
) People will be cruel and vicious. They’ll be savagely violent towards each other. Ethnic rivalries will flare, racial tensions ignite and people lose a sense of empathy for those around them.

So without self-control people will act out their callous impulses without regard for life and the well-being of others. They turn on each other to save themselves, to serve their own needs, out of greediness, or perhaps out of hatred even for those that are closest to them.

Society and humanity spirals further out of control as people are no longer loyal and become traitorous, not just of their country, but of their friends and family.

Bible prophecy says that the combination of world events and the character of people living at the end time is like a horror movie coming to life. And it will truly be terrible. So much so that God warns: “Be saved from this perverse generation.” (Acts 2:40 Acts 2:40And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
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)

Now I’m not telling you these things just to frighten you. God doesn’t want us to live in fear. He warns us of these things for a specific purpose. What’s the reason?

He warns us so we won’t be caught off guard. Now you may think, “There are going to be people caught unaware?” How is that possible? Aren’t these signs massive and obvious?”

Well, we’ve got to realize that people will dispute even the possibility of the end of the age. You’ve heard the skeptics–many today say: “Well we’ve always had earthquakes and war and disease–these things don’t point to the end of anything.”

Yet, God inspired the apostle Peter to write that “scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’” (2 Peter 3:3-4 2 Peter 3:3-4 3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
American King James Version×
).

Even though the signs are evident and unmistakable, there are those that will doubt and many will be caught off guard. Jesus said, “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and [the] cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly” (Luke 21:34 Luke 21:34And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come on you unawares.
American King James Version×
).

You see, God loves us and He warns us so we can change our lives now! If you understand what’s coming, the only wise action is to turn to God with repentance and obedience. We’re told, “now [God] commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed [Jesus Christ]” (Acts 17:30-31 Acts 17:30-31 30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men every where to repent: 31 Because he has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he has ordained; whereof he has given assurance to all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.
American King James Version×
NIV).

It is not a question of whether or not man’s corrupt civilization will end. God’s Word says it will. Our biggest concern shouldn’t be when it will end, instead, our main focus should be to seek God and be prepared spiritually now for the times that are coming.

“But keep on the alert at all times,” Jesus said, “praying in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36 Luke 21:36Watch you therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
American King James Version×
NASB).

Now is the time to draw close to God. Now is the time to change. Now is the time to have a relationship with Him. He wants us to seek Him in heartfelt repentance and faith, leading to baptism by God’s true ministers to receive His Holy Spirit.

Because ultimately, Bible prophecy tells us this dreadful time is the precursor to one of the most spectacular things that will happen on earth, the return of Jesus Christ!

We can look forward to that time and remain faithfully obedient while awaiting His return. For Jesus gave a promise: “he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13 Matthew 24:13But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.
American King James Version×
).

There is much more to talk about as we consider the topic of the time of the end. In a moment, the Beyond Today panel will break it down even further and what you should do about it.

It’s true, Scripture is clear as to the sign of the times leading up to the second coming of Jesus Christ. To learn much more about this, be sure and order your free copy of our Bible study aid, Are We Living in the Time of the End? This important booklet will fill in the details that I’ve not had time to discuss during today’s program.

To order your personal, free copy of Are We Living in the Time of the End? simply call us: 1- 888-886-8632. That’s 1-888-886-8632. Or go online to BeyondToday.tv . Now when you call or write, we will also send you a subscription to our bi-month Beyond Today magazine - it’s completely free of charge. In each issue of Beyond Today magazine you’ll find vital, Bible-based articles about prophecy, faith, family, true doctrine and so much more.

I really encourage you to get our free offers today which will give you accurate, balanced teaching on the subjects of prophecy and other biblical topics. Again, call us: 1-888-886-8632 or go online at BeyondToday.tv for the free study aid: Are We Living in the Time of the End? and our Beyond Today magazine.

We’ve been discussing the topic of the time of the end and what it will be like in those days. To continue the discussion, we’ve got fellow hosts of Beyond Today : Gary Petty and Darris McNeely.

Now it’s interesting in Matthew 24 when Jesus begins talking about the time of the end, the disciples asked Him, what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age? He started by saying, don’t be deceived. Why do you think He began like that?

[Darris] Because at the time of the end, it would represent the culmination of thousands of years of spiritual deception and it would be at its greatest. He said many will come in My name saying that I am the Christ or speaking for Him, and we’re living in that time right now because of a proliferation of knowledge, social media, the internet–where deception, ideas, what is purveyed as truth is readily available. And people don’t know what to believe sometimes nor do they know how to discern truth from error.

[Gary] You know, another thing Steve, you talked about all these terrible things happening. Can you imagine living in a world where you don’t have food, you don’t have shelter. You know, things like entertainment don’t even exist. You are in this world of loss, of hopelessness, of fear and someone comes along and says, I have a solution. Well at that point, deception is easy because people are open to the idea that they can solve their problems.

[Steve] So this deception Christ talked about is on multiple levels, in many different ways then. Well with that, then how are we supposed to take that information that He gave and really be ready because He said you know, be ready because you don’t know when the Son of Man will appear? So, how do we do that?

[Darris] I think that becoming ready comes down to each of us finding our peace, finding the truth and finding a peace of mind and a peaceful life with that truth. Scripture in Revelation 14:12 Revelation 14:12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
American King James Version×
says that, “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” It comes down to obeying God and through that developing a deep well of faith.

I recently had a conversation with a Beyond Today viewer who told me that had she and her family known what we make available here on Beyond Today and in The Good News magazine, much earlier in their life, they would have avoided some of the problems, the pitfalls and breakups that they had. But what they were learning through this information, on Beyond Today , was giving them peace. And that’s where I think people have to get and the rest will take care of itself; the ability to avoid deception then can be had. But find your peace, find it in obeying God and His truth.

[Gary] You know really it comes down to being right with God; staying on your knees and being close to God, being in that Book. Being in the Bible so you know what the truth is, so you can’t be deceived. And then you are talking about peace, it comes down to living life daily, loving your neighbor, doing what the Scripture says, living that way of life then you will be prepared. But it’s being right with God, knowing the Scripture, and living it.

[Steve] Now many might say, well I go to church on Sunday and I have a relationship with God. And yet, we say you should try to get close to God. What’s the difference?

[Darris] Well there is a big difference from just being close to God or thinking that you’re close to God and actually knowing God and knowing the God of the Bible. And that again, you know, Christ said they praise Me, they come to Me, but they teach for traditions the doctrines of men. And every one of us has to understand that and come to, be able to analyze what we have, whether it is truth or error. And if it doesn’t bring us close to the God of the Bible then we have to ask some very hard questions.

[Gary] You can’t play church. I mean, Christianity is every day, every moment, it’s becoming Christ-like. And a lot of people, and it’s sad to say, they play church. And if you play church, you are not going to be right with God. It’s that simple.

[Steve] So we have got to look to the authentic, truth of the Bible and what Jesus Christ Himself taught.  

In fact, I’d like to remind you to call us, or go online, for your free study guide: Are We Living in the Time of the End? It will help you clearly understand the times in which we live and what you can do about it. Also, when you contact us, we’ll also send you a free subscription to our Beyond Today magazine. If you’re not already a subscriber, each issue will give your life much needed biblical direction.

Be sure to call: 1-888-886-8632. That’s 1-888-886-8632. Or go online to BeyondToday.tv and get your free study aid and magazine subscription.

Be assured that our literature is always provided totally free of charge by the United Church of God, which has hundreds of ministers and Sabbath-keeping congregations meeting each Saturday across the United States and around the world.

Go to BeyondToday.tv to find a congregation near you and call one of our knowledgeable and caring pastors and share your story with them.

to tune in every other Wednesday night for a live online Bible studies

Also, if you’d like to discover even more about the genuine truths of the Bible, we invite you to tune in every other Wednesday night for a live online Bible studies. Join us as we cover important biblical subjects.Our Wednesday night studies are webcast live every two weeks. You can watch them live and also find our earlier study series on our website BeyondToday.tv .

The end time is a period of unprecedented world trouble but it’s also the threshold of God’s Kingdom.

We must spiritually prepare for that time, regardless of when it comes:

“So then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober… For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ…” (1 Thessalonians 5:6-9 1 Thessalonians 5:6-9 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
American King James Version×
NASB).

Take comfort in God’s promises and the knowledge that He’s made available about the end time.

The good news is that it’s not too late to change. Begin today by letting God lead you to deeper understanding by His Holy Bible. Dedicate yourself to get to know God even better and learn His ways thoroughly.

If we prepare ourselves spiritually, this can be a time of confidence, hope and of joy leading to the wonderful Kingdom of God.

Thanks for joining us, and be sure to tell your family and friends about Beyond Today. Tune in again next week and join us in praying, “Thy Kingdom come.” For Beyond Today , I’m Steve Myers. Thanks for watching.

[Announcer] For the free literature offered on today’s program, go online to BeyondToday.tv . Please join us again next week on Beyond Today !

Comments

  • fair64
    what an excellent episode of beyond today. Our father put that episode together so thorough, detailed, and concise. I want to thank you for all the facts that you gave in this episode. All the bible scriptures flowed so smoothly. I posted it to my facebook page, because this lets me be a witness of the kingdom of God. Sometimes I am sad when I see that my Facebook friends don't understand because they don't like the page. But being a baptized member of the body of Christ I understand John 6:44, no man can call someone else to Jesus, only God can do that. As my congregation in New York City sat at the Sabbath Bible study this past week, we were considering the safe place God has for us. We see the sign of the times we are living in. Mr.Davis teaches us prophecy all the time. Again, excellent, excellent episode. Beyond today is definitely preaching the good news of the kingdom of God. Hallelujah!
  • derrickrose73@gmail.com
    Thank you for your fine comment. It is also true that we don't know who might hear and positively react to the word given. As you said, that is up to God and a willing ear. But is important that we do our job, as instructed, so that the call goes out to all of God's potential children. And that in its self is a sign of the times: "And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come." - Matthew 24:14, NRSV. And don't forget Ezekiel 2: 1-7.
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