Jesus said, “Take heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is like a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at evening, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he finds you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” (Mark 13: 33-37)

2010-09-vermaatSo what are we to watch for? We are to watch for the signs of the time indicating the eminent return of our Lord. If we look at the present world situation we can readily see that things are steadily becoming more unstable in all spheres of life here on earth. The economy is shaky at best all over the globe, countries are failing financially and facing bankruptcy as a result, and although the international bankers are scrambling to stem this tide, things only seem to get worse. “…Alas, alas, that great city, Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour is thy judgment come [I think that the “one hour” is symbolic] and the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: (Rev. 18: 10-11).

We know that these prophesies about the fall of Mystery Babylon are shortly going to come to pass, but there are other signs as well, for in Mark 13:8 among others we read, “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers [various] places and there shall be famines and troubles; these are the beginning of sorrows.” As for nation rising against nation, all we have to look at is the Middle East or look at the belligerence of North Korea or at the forever strained relations between Pakistan and India for instance, and we can see that we are living in very unstable times. And what about famines? We know that lack of proper food is a great problem even today in a lot of places all over the globe. The Canadian government just signed an agreement with China to increase the export of grain to them by, I don’t know how many thousands of tons or bushels per year. But because of extreme wet weather conditions in our grain growing province many grain farmers have been unable to plant their grain crop and some estimate that our grain harvest will fall 30% short this year. So what happens when there is no product to stock the shelves? The have nots will go after those that do have and we will have the troubles that Mark 13:8 is talking about. This is only one example, but things could easily escalate into a major problem that could get out of control even in our own countries.

And then there are the earthquakes. In the past couple of years there has been a vast increase in earthquakes all over the world. So I am asking you, “Can you see the signs?” And then there is our current disaster, namely the undersea oil gusher that after more than three months is still out of control in the Gulf of Mexico. Whether it was caused by greed or negligence or an accident is immaterial, for we should not ever forget that God is in control. In a recent article by Pat Shannan in America Free Press, an independent newspaper out of Washington, D.C., he states that BP is trying to control the now estimated 2.9 million gallons a day blow out of oil with a dispersant called Corexit 9500. This dispersant is an extremely toxic chemical and is four times more toxic than the oil itself. In a report written by Anita George-Ares and James R. Clark for Exxon Biomedical Sciences Inc. titled: ”Acute Aquatic Toxicity of Three Corexit Products: An Overview”, Corexit 9500 was found to be one of the most toxic dispersal agents ever developed. Worse, according to this report, with higher water temperatures, like those now occurring in the Gulf of Mexico, its toxicity grows. And to understand the full impact of this catastrophe, one must remember that this disaster is occurring in what are described as the “biologically richest waters in America”, with the greatest amount of oil and toxic Corexit 9500 set to come ashore in the coming days and weeks to destroy the Gulf completely for decades to come. (End of quote). In a related article by Dr. Mercola June 12, 2010 printed in Pastor Dave Barley’s America’s Promise newsletter, Dr. Mercola states, and I quote, “BP is using two products from a line of dispersant manufactured by Nalco: Corexit 9500 and Corexit 9527. Corexit products were removed from a list of approved treatment for oil spills in the UK more than a decade ago after agents were linked to human health problems, including respiratory, neurologic, liver, kidney and blood disorders, and harmful effects on sea life.
As it turns out BP has now poured more than 1,021,000 gallons of this dispersant into the Gulf and has another 805,000 gallons on order. Dispersing the oil into the water column accelerates the poisoning of all marine life, deep throughout the water column and sea bed. Also when the dispersants mix with crude oil, a third far more toxic product is produced called “dispersed oil”. Dispersed oil has been shown to be more toxic than the sum of its parts. Dispersing simply keeps the oil deeper in the water column so that it will not surface.” (End of quote).

Thus you can see from the articles quoted, things don’t look good at all. The potential for a devastating destruction of all sea life in that area is very real. Not only that area in the Gulf only, but once the waters of the Gulf reach the Atlantic Ocean and enter the Gulf Stream it will flow all the way along the east coast of North America and into the North Atlantic to the coasts of Northern Europe and England. So whether this disaster was because of human error, accident, or, as some hint, it was purposely caused for some underlying political purpose, is immaterial, for as I stated earlier, do not forget for God is in control.

So are we watching like the Lord admonished us to do in Mark 13? Are we seeing the signs of the times? Let us turn now to our Bible and see what it has to say and for that I want to turn to the last Book in the Bible, namely the Book of the Revelation. Let’s look first at chapter 8 and verses 8 and 9, and let us look at the second of the seven trumpets of judgments. “And the second angel sounded, and, as it were, a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea; and the third part of the sea became blood; and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.” Now John wrote the Book of Revelation almost entirely in symbolic language, so when he speaks of “a mountain” as it were, he, John, could well have been describing a multi story deep sea oil rig exploding in flame and toppling into the sea. Let’s also look at Revelation 16:3, here John is describing the seven bowls of judgment or bowls of wrath, and here we read a similar happening as what we read in Rev. 8. “And the second angel poured out his bowl, or vial, upon the sea, and it became like the blood of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea.” (Rev. 16:3). Again John here is using symbolic language as regarding “blood of a dead man” and thus can be compared to the slush and slime of the oil and dispersant mixture mentioned earlier in this article, because that toxic mixture turns into a brownish slimy substance and might have looked like the blood of a dead man in John’s vision on the Isle of Patmos.

One interesting thing about these two scripture passages of Rev. 8:8 and Rev. 16:3 is that both trumpet and the vial are the second judgment or woe out of seven each, which seem to indicate that in a time frame they are in the early part of the troubles and thus there is a lot more to come in the form of judgment in the not too distant future.

So can you see the signs? Are you watching and praying? Yes the signs are there for all to see if we diligently use scripture as our guide and use our God given senses of both seeing and hearing. For in Matt. 13:16 the Lord tells us, “Blessed are your eyes for they see; and blessed are your ears for they hear.”

So let’s stay awake and watch for the signs!