The BEST OF TIMES, The WORST OF TIMES
by Ken Simmons
(NOTE: This article is not a 10-second "sound-bite," but is a serious look at a two-fold phenomenon that is occurring simultaneously in the world today that warrants our close attention.)
Borrowing a phrase from Charles Dickens in "A Tale of Two Cities," we are now entering a period of time during which powerful events and forces have been set in motion suggesting they are harbingers of things to come -- strong indicators that we are at the onset of “The Best of Times, and the Worst of Times.” In the following article this writer will attempt to make the case for each, beginning with the latter.
“The WORST OF TIMES”
Some would suggest that there have been periods in history when things were worse than they are today. World War II comes to mind. But during those tumultuous times there were clear distinctions. Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich ushered in a period of clear and present danger to the world. There were more than 1,000 death camps at places such as Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau and Treblinka, and the evil slaughter of six million Jews was unambiguous. History shows that Hitler, who began World War II with his blitzkrieg attack on Poland on September 1, 1939, was responsible for 50 million deaths. The world knew it was evil, and people did not need to be convinced of the evil that had been unleashed upon the world. The December 7, 1941 attack at Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan signaled that evil forces wanted to conquer the world. Lines were drawn and the world seemed to know that it was a case of -- good vs. evil.
But the political climate has recently brought about a shift in what constitutes evil. Today there seem to be no such clear distinctions. The lines have been blurred. That which has been considered – “truth” for countless generations, is now considered – “a lie,” and those things that most agreed were – “lies” are now being called – “the truth.” Similarly, things that were traditionally considered – “evil” are now called – “good”, and those things considered – “good” are now considered “evil.” And this is not exclusive to America.
Traditional values have been turned on their head in what has generally been considered the civilized world, so much so that a paradigm shift seems to have occurred. Evil forces seem hell bent on destroying America and American values, and the same is happening at an accelerated pace in the world at large.
These are all the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies. The prophet Isaiah said: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20).
Another dark sign of things to come was described as “The Great Falling Away” by the Apostle Paul (2 Thessalonians 2:3). This apostasy that Paul described is when people fall away from the faith and return to their worldly ways, and this is happening at an alarming rate. Religion has abandoned the faith and now seems to have man’s dirty fingerprints all over it. Churches that traditionally held to Biblical principles have begun leaving those values for a more worldly view. Much of the Christian church has become an organized “religious system” rather than a living organism, and it seems to be more divided today than ever before. The world looks at a divided and splintered church and says, “I want nothing to do with it” and turns away. These schisms in the church have created an enormous breeding ground for atheism.
Some churches have embraced homosexuality in the priesthood and in leadership roles, while others routinely perform “marriages” between same sex couples. Those who refuse to go along with these changes are called bigots and homophobic, and some even face severe criminal and civil penalties, and they are labeled as “evil” while those who champion such causes are celebrated as heroic.
In a growing number of places throughout the world simply being a follower of Jesus, and adhering to traditional Biblical values, is being called a "hate crime."
(60 + million abortions in the U.S. and over 1.5 billion abortions worldwide.http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html )
The most vulnerable of all, the unborn, are now routinely destroyed in the womb. In America, since Roe v Wade in 1973 there have been more than 60.78 million babies killed in what would otherwise be the safest environment, inside their mother’s womb, and world-wide that number is a staggering 1 billion, 510 million. To put that number in perspective, that is 1,510 million aborted babies. Anyone who declares they are pro-life and opposes abortion is labeled “anti-women,” and the world media is complicit in their condemnation of those who take a stand for life.
Radical Islam has become a scourge on the globe, and it has embarked on a killing rampage throughout many parts of the world. Their evil philosophy is the spirit of the Anti-Christ today, and their blood-lust knows no bounds as they routinely crucify women and children, and behead followers of Jesus. There are now more martyrs for Christ than at any time in history. One Muslim jihadist declared that his raping of a 6-year-old Christian girl made him "feel closer to Allah."
America is being ripped apart by anger and visceral hatred and many wonder if the U.S. is on the verge of another civil war. Political opponents are urged to “take to the streets” and “get in people’s faces,” while others encourage outright violence.
In 2017, in a suburb just outside of Washington, DC, a man said he “wanted to kill as many Republicans as he could” as he shot four people at an annual baseball game involving lawmakers nearly killing House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
On October 1 of that same year a man opened fire on a huge crowd at a Las Vegas music festival, killing 58 people and injuring 851 others before he took his own life. This was the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
Regarding the appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, the confirmation hearings were considered the most contentious and divisive ever, particularly since Judge Kavanaugh had been accused of sexual assault while in high school 36 years earlier, although there was no evidence to support the charges and the "witnesses" to the alleged act, named by Judge Kavanaugh's accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford, all denied any knowledge of the incident.
Following his confirmation to the Supreme Court an innocent-looking 2nd grade teacher posted on Facebook, “Someone should take one for the team and kill Kavanaugh.”
It is for reasons such as these that this writer is convinced we are entering into what is only the beginning of “The Worst of Times.” It will likely get considerably worse with the passage of time.
“The BEST OF TIMES”
If “The Great Falling Away” and the exponential rise of evil in the world are indicators of “The Worst of Times,” there is overwhelming evidence that events are also taking place throughout the world that herald the entering into an unprecedented era of “The Best of Times.” Biblical prophecies indicate that this period will be earmarked with the Great Outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and it is beginning in unexpected places throughout the world.
As the world seems to be turning its back on God in record and unprecedented numbers, a move of God that is unimaginable in scale has begun.
In CHINA, officially a Communist-atheist country, there are estimates of more than 200 million followers of Christ despite recent crackdowns on Christians, and that country is on a course to become the world's most Christian nation.
The nation of IRAN is the world's largest sponsor of terrorism, but despite severe persecution of Christians in the land formerly known as Persia, the growth of Christianity is nothing short of explosive. The growing number of house churches and secret meetings is staggering. Only a few short years ago there were reports of 300,000 believers meeting in secret in Iran, but today it is estimated that there are more than 3 million followers of Christ in IRAN (at last count and growing daily). There is widespread disenchantment with Islam because in Islam there is no assurance of salvation, but to believers, following Jesus means forgiveness and an eternity in paradise.
IN PAKISTAN -- Recently 85-year-old grandmother, evangelist Marilyn Hickey, spoke to a crowd of 1 million Muslims, and people came forward and told of miraculous healings. She said to them, "The world may not know your name, but Jesus knows your name," and the Pakistanis loved her, and called her “Mom.” https://www.facebook.com/
Examine the list of events (see below), a list that would take more than 1,000 pages to complete, that are happening in the Muslim world . . . and it is staggering!!
SOMETHING AMAZING is happening . . . a phenomenon in which God is pouring out His love for Muslims in many places throughout the world, including in North Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. And, this is not just a few isolated cases but it appears to be happening to millions of Muslims in astonishing ways. This is a sweeping movement that began just in the past two decades. An amazing number of Muslims are having dreams and visions of Jesus Christ, the prophet mentioned in the Qur'an, (Qur'an 2:8, a total of 110 times) and are discovering that He does not condemn Muslims, but He loves them! He did not come into the world to condemn it, but to bring salvation and the promise of eternal life to those who believe in Him.
LAGOS, NIGERIA now has what many consider the largest church in the world, the Redeemed Christian Church of God, where it is not uncommon to find a million Christians gathered together for a Friday night prayer meeting, and they are still there when the sun comes up on Saturday morning. True miracles happen at these meetings, including many being raised from the dead (documented and one case even video recorded) and children praying for the sick and they are healed. These events take place so often that they no longer make a big deal out of it.
Their church building holds 1 million worshipers and is equal to 87 football fields. Recently, on two separate occasions, this writer personally met three different Nigerian men in California, who had been members of this church in Nigeria, and they each confirmed these statements, and one man I led to the Lord more than 40 years ago, who had been an ex-con and heroin addict, and has himself led approximately 500,000 people to Jesus since, went to Lagos, Nigeria and witnessed these miracles first-hand.
In 2015, 200 MUSLIM MEN inside a mosque just outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia all had a simultaneous vision of Jesus and are now following Christ and spreading the word in spite of numerous death threats. This has now been confirmed by three independent sources.
Recently reports out of Brazil have been confirmed that 16 people have been raised from the dead through the faith of believers. These are just a few of the signs that were predicted by Jesus when He said, “These signs shall follow them that believe” (see Mark 16:17).
These stunning events confirm that something truly major has begun in the world today and even greater things are about to happen. Hold on to your hats because a wild ride is about to start!! We are entering into the midst of 'The Worst of Times" and we are also entering into "The Best of Times" seemingly all at once. While the world seems to be going mad, and there's a Great Falling Away of the apostate church, God has begun to pour out His Spirit on all flesh. This is the Good News the world has been waiting for.