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All These Things - Part 2

Scripture: Daniel 12:4, Romans 1:28, 1 Corinthians 8:1
As we continue to look at signs of the soon coming of Christ, we find that one prediction is an explosion of knowledge. All this knowledge has not necessarily created better people. The increased speed of human transportation has not lessened lawlessness on our planet.
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An explosion in outer space is less spectacular than on earth because of the lack of oxygen. But if the explosion is aboard a spacecraft soaring toward the moon, the results can be even more deadly. So the eyes of the world turned heavenward when an explosion aboard Apollo 8 almost claimed the lives of the three astronauts and aborted their mission. The only thought then was how to get the men back to earth alive. A new course had to be plotted to bring the spacecraft back safely from 205,000 miles out in space. Scientists fed data into their computers and figured out the correct path for the crippled craft in just 84 minutes. In the pre-computer age it would have taken one man working with pencil and paper 1,040,256 years to figure that out; and today's computers could come up with the same answer in much, much less than 84 minutes!

We are living in the midst of an explosion; not an explosion of dynamite, but an explosion of knowledge. This knowledge explosion is the subject of today's broadcast. As you know, we have been looking during the past several broadcasts at some specific signs given in the Bible that the Second Coming of Christ is very near. This is a most important series, and one that you will not want to miss. We will be continuing with this subject for the next several days.

But now, let us turn to the Word of God and we will discover that today's knowledge explosion was foretold centuries ago. The prophet Daniel, in the fourth verse of his last (12th) chapter predicted that at "the time of the end...knowledge shall be increased." One scholar has translated this verse, "A sudden knowledge explosion will occur at the end of time." This prophecy places us clearly in the time of the end. Knowledge is currently doubling every ten years and all printed materials every fifteen years.

Thirty-five percent of all Americans between 18 and 24 years of age, more than seven million, are in university or college today. The American people list education as the topmost priority of all national projects and programs. It is virtually impossible to live well without it anymore.

Eighty percent of all the scientists in history are alive in the world today. There are 15,000 different scientific journals being published regularly; many with a worldwide circulation. Seventy percent of the medicines used today have been developed since World War II. An ordinary credit card will soon have 420 items of information on it.

The computer, barely twenty years old, is taking over the thinking role of millions of human beings. The latest ones can perform billions of transactions in one second. In about five years, says a MIT scientist, we will have a machine with the general intelligence of an average human being. Then the machine will begin to educate itself at fantastic speed. In a few months it will be at genius level, and a few months after that its power will be incalculable, power to turn the world into a paradise, or bring a holocaust.

In themselves, stockpiles of information are neither good nor bad. It is the use to which such knowledge is put that matters. "A wise man will hear, and will increase learning," states Solomon, as long as the basis for that learning is "the fear of the Lord." But today, to many moderns, God is neither the beginning nor the end of knowledge. He is simply ignored, if indeed it is admitted that He exists at all. Paul wrote to the Romans that because they had not seen fit to acknowledge God, He had given them up to their own depraved reason. Romans 1:28.

Why is it then, that just when men are reaching the height of knowledge, it is imperative that Jesus Christ come again? As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 8:1, "Knowledge breeds conceit," and in the words of Jeremiah 10:41, "Every man is brutish in his knowledge." We are only just now beginning to realize this. A team of scholars was commissioned by the US Government to prove that education lessens crime. To their complete surprise and disillusionment, the team announced, three years and several hundred thousand dollars later, that as an outcome of their research they had discovered that education in fact escalates crime! Man's need for the return of Christ is in direct proportion to his increase of knowledge.

Another condition Daniel foresaw at the "time of the end" was that "many shall run to and fro." He was referring to the whole realm of human transportation. Travel at incredible speeds would carry men from one point to another in ever-shortening periods of time. Who could read this and not relate it to the events of today and the much more astonishing prospects of tomorrow? Who a century and a half ago could have imagined a world in which the steam engine, then the internal combustion engine, the electric motor, the jet engine, and now the thermonuclear fueled motor would propel men across land and sea and up through the air, as is happening today?!

Automobiles are quite common now, but do you realize that 85 years ago there were none at all and no airplanes. Do you realize that all the rapid travel and communication that we have today were unknown just a lifetime ago? There was no TV, no radio, no space travel. We barely had telephones at that time, and they certainly were not the efficient, long-distance, direct-dialing models that we use today.

What is the reason for this sudden growth spurt in travel and communication in our generation? Have we suddenly become wiser than all our forefathers? Why is it that we roll down the highway at 70 mph, but our grandfathers walked at 4 mph? Do we have more brains than grandfather had? I know it is common for us to disparage the old folks and to consider what they had and what they did to be old-fashioned and out-of-date; but how about intellectual strength? Do we have more than they had? How is it that Solomon, the wisest of all men, did not have automobiles, airplanes, and electricity? Why, Solomon did not even have an electric shaver! His wives had no electric washers or dryers. In fact, no kitchen gadgets at all.

Well, the answer to this riddle is found in Daniel 12:4. Here is what it says: "But thou, 0 Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." When is this going to be? "In the time of the end." The end of what? The end of the world, that is what. Do you know that the Bible tells us over and over that this world is going to come to an end? Even apart from the Bible, people know that this world cannot go on as it is today. They know that the nations such as this one and Russia have the potential to destroy each other, and in fact, to destroy the entire world. So there is an end coming, and it is not far off according to the signs given for it.

Now, Daniel 12:4 gives us but two of the numerous signs given in God's Book that we are living very near to the end of this world's history. One thing that takes place in the "time of the end" is that men run to and fro. Do we see that today? Yes, we do, by auto, airplane, busses, trains, and ships people are traveling all over the world as never ever before in its history. And make yourself realize that this has not always been the case. Much less than 85 years ago the streets in our largest cities were almost entirely of mud. In 1910 farmers took their cotton to market by horse and wagon, and there were no refreigerators or freezers. Radios didn't come along until about 1925, and of course, there was no TV. Haircuts were a quarter, and shaves only ten or fifteen cents.

Not only were men to "run to and fro" in the time of the end, but "knowledge was to be increased." We see that today. We are living in the time of fulfilling prophecy, and we need to realize the meaning and significance of all these things we take for granted every day, thinking they have always been with us. But they haven't. Fulton did not invent the steamship until 1803, and the steam railway did not come until 1825. Today steam engines are in museums to be looked upon as relics by this up-to-date generation. Photography was not invented until 1839 and there were no polaroid cameras in those days either. Anesthesia came into use in 1846. Previous to that time there was little or no surgery, and the few operations done were without benefit of anesthetics.

What do all these things mean? They mean that we are living in the last days of this world's history, and the next thing to take place is the second coming of Christ.

Let's go back to Nero's time to consider mankind's technical progress. How fast could a man go then? He could go as fast as a horse could carry or pull him and no faster. Through the 4,000 years of man's previous history there has been little deviation.

Moving through history, let's go ahead 15 centuries from Nero to where Columbus discovered America. How fast could man travel in Columbus' time? Whether he was the richest or the poorest man in the world made no difference. He could travel as fast as his horse could carry him, and no faster.

Now let us go ahead to the year of 1776. It is a very historical year! Every school boy knows that this was the year when Paul Revere made Longfellow famous. So, in Paul Revere's time history depended on the speed of an "oatburner." American history could be made no faster than Paul Revere's horse could gallop.

In 1830 a tremendous thing happened. Unfortunately, there wasn't a good journalist around to report it, but that year man broke the "oat barrier" for the first time. Man could move faster than the muscles and the digestive system of an animal. The "iron horse" came into existence. Now we are on the upswing.

In 1910, we bought the first military airplane. The contract provided that the plane must do 40 miles per hour or the contractor was to be discounted for each mile under 40, ten percent off for 39 and another 10 if he only made 38. For the taxpayer's benefit, this first airplane met every single term of the contract, making the incredible speed of 42 miles per hour.

Around World War I, there were some speeds of 100 miles per hour, Ralph DePalma on the racetrack, and the Reading Railroad from Philadelphia to Atlantic City. Towards the end of World War I we had some speeds of 150 mph. At the beginning of World War II 200 miles per hour was "speed," and at the end of World War II the fantastic speed of 470 mph had been done, but it was top secret.

Then something marvelous happened. It was discovered that we didn't have to make progress the hard way. We didn't have to plod. Why not substitute inspiration for perspiration? All of a sudden in 1945 we started making more progress in a week than we had previously made in a year. Speed zoomed up 740 mph and blasted through the sound barrier. The sound barrier was merely an incident. Breaking the oat barrier was the beginning of technology. And today we talk about speeds of 25,000 mph without batting an eye!

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