”BUT THE END IS NOT YET” - (Entering 2023 with open eyes)
By Paul M Hanssen
Around this time every year, the prophetic voices of the modern-day begin proclaiming their insight into the year to come. Over the past five years, in particular, prophets have spoken swelling words of prophetic promise at the end of every year and the beginning of a new year. Prophecies have been made concerning politics, national events, world events, religious and church activity and so much more. Now, more than ever, as the world comes to the end of 2022 and as we look with piercing, curious, and somewhat skeptic eyes into 2023, the “prophetic voices” are belching out all manner of doom, promise, judgment, blessing, revival, restoration, and even in some cases prophetic curses.
Some, but few of the prophetic voices carry God’s Word that has been spoken and released from the heart and Throne of God. Many, and most, however, are not speaking God’s prophetic word. Many voices are influenced by current events taking place. Many are moved by personal experiences within their lives or ministries. Others are seeking for attention by speaking swelling words that capture the hearts of the naïve, unlearned, and somewhat ignorant public. Some are searching for “likes” on social media or the expansion of followers on their multiple media platforms.
Having said all of that, it needs to be said that a few voices out there today are speaking the heart of God. A few voices are tuned into God’s heartbeat because they have spent time listening to His heartbeat rather than “listening” to world events taking place which have and are the drive behind their insight. Nothing happens in this world that is not commissioned, ordered, and ordained from the Throne of God. Yes, God is speaking, and yes, He is revealing His secrets, and yes, He is guiding His people into the days of the end. This is all true! However, God’s people need to stop being swayed by false prophetic claims that stir human carnal emotions and rather start listening to the heartbeat of God.
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold (Matthew 24:11-12).
These prophetic words spoken by Jesus Himself concerning the end-times send chills down my spine. Never in the history of mankind have there been so many “false prophetic” voices as there are today. Iniquity, or lawlessness, is abounding both in society as well as in the House of God. Love for the Truth is diminishing as the overall church world listens to false prophets who bring false predictions which ultimately lead people astray. Nonetheless, we are indeed facing the end of times. The end of the New Testament Church Age is surely upon us. This is not in question. However, in the midst of Jesus’ prophecy of the events that show the signs of the end, He spoke six words that few ever mention and even fewer understand. He said, “But the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:6).
After Jesus warned of the coming deception and the rising of false anointed ones, and after He spoke of the coming wars and rumors of wars, He then said that the end was not yet. He proceeded to speak of famines, pestilences, and earthquakes. He said that these signs were the beginning of sorrows. But the end is not yet.
After these events take center stage on a global scale, Jesus then proceeded to speak about the greatest test that the church has ever faced; persecution. Many of God’s people have been persecuted throughout the history of the New Testament Church. However, the persecution that has yet to be unleashed upon Christians is not isolated to a town, province, or country. The coming persecution will be global, targeted, and intense. But the end is not yet. Why are we told these words? Why did Jesus insert words that for many have created an open door for a time of relaxation? These words were not spoken so as to give mankind time to relax, but rather to give God’s people the opportunity and the time to repent, to deal, to prepare, and to trim their lamps in anticipation of the coming of the Bridegroom.
We are living in the season that Jesus proclaimed to be the time of “but the end is not yet”. We are living within the season given to us by God for the purpose of getting ready for His appearance. We are living in the time of “endurance”, holding on, pressing through, and climbing up to that for which He has called us.
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved (Matthew 24:13).
The end is not yet, but he that endures, holds on, remains steadfast, true, and steady unto the end shall be saved.
The few previous years that have just passed have been a dress rehearsal as the stage is being set for the major events of the end-times to take place. 2023 is going to see some devastating changes on a global scale. The political landscape of the nations is going to see changes. Financial markets and institutions are going to be shaken. The planet is going to see major changes as storms, floods, volcanos, and earthquakes devastate the actual landscape of Earth as she enters into greater labor pains awaiting the birth and manifestation of the Sons of God (Romans 8:19.22). Jesus is coming soon, but the end is not yet.
As we enter 2023, we are entering the time to endure, to stand, commit, and prepare for that great day when He shall appear. This is the time to awaken, trim your lamps, prepare, and go out to meet Him (Matthew 25:6-7). The end is not yet, but it is near! He is not here yet, but the warning of His coming is sounding. God has given you and me time. Use it wisely!!
-Paul M Hanssen