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Up, Up and Away!

Up, Up and Away!

How do we know we are in the Last Days?

There are a number of signs of the times the Bible gives us to let us know that heaven’s countdown is ticking.

One of the most interesting spiritual heads up predictions concerning the imminent return of Jesus is found in Daniel 12.

“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”(Daniel 12:4)

As I shared on this passage last Sunday, I was taken aback at how much knowledge has increased even over the last 25 years.

In 1985, I was finishing up my final semester at Talbot Theological Seminary.

In order to complete my Master’s thesis I had to do research by going to a building called a library. I had to get information from clumsy paper products we used to call “books”.

When I sat down to prepare my final draft, I used an IBM Selectric type writer. This was considered cutting edge technology because if you wanted to use a font like italics, all you had to do was pop off this plastic ball and manually put in another one with a different type face.

It also had a correcting key that would lift errors off the page without having to use all that smelly and messy “White-Out” to cover mistakes.

The night before my paper was due I began the Herculean task of typing up my paper.

Then, about 11 pm, disaster struck. The ribbon (you remember those, don’t you?) broke.

There was no replacement to be found and all the office supply stores were closed!

I managed to finish my paper by manually re-feeding the ribbon back into the machine so I could type another line.

The bottom line? I finished the paper at around 6:15 in the morning. And I also gave new definition to the term “ink stained wretch” as well!

Today, I sit before a HP Pavilion lap top.

Need some research? No more trips to the library. Today I just “Google” things.

Imagine explaining that to someone in 1985.

No doubt about it, as never before, Daniel 12’s prediction that “knowledge will increase” has stunningly come to pass.

But what about this business of “many running to and fro”?

The meaning of the text is that as the time of Jesus’ return would draw near, a quantum leap forward in transportation would also come to pass.

I couldn’t help but think of this when I saw this story break on the Drudge Report today.

Tourists could be launched into space in just 18 months as Branson unveils mothership

Last updated at 11:27am on 29.07.08

The mothership which will launch the first space tourists into the atmosphere was unveiled by Sir Richard Branson in California today.

WhiteKnightTwo (WK2), the carrier aircraft which will be used to launch SpaceShipTwo into orbit, ‘will allow thousands of people to realise their dreams’ and ‘act as a catalyst to transform human access to space’, Sir Richard said.

Speaking at the launch ceremony in the spaceship’s hangar at the Mojave Air and Spaceport in California, the British billionaire, who will be among the first space tourists with his family, said the venture would help the world ‘wake up’ to the fragility of the planet and the importance of protecting Earth.

Space is ‘the final frontier that is so essential to the future of civilisation on this planet’, Sir Richard said.

Mothership: Richard Branson celebrates with his mother, Eve, who the craft has been named after.

‘The first generation of space tourists, many of whom are with us today, will be paving the way as they marvel at the beauty of our planet and experience the freedom of weightlessness and the blackness of space,’ he said. tourism used to be the stuff of far flung science fiction. Now, within a year and a half it will be a scientific fact.

Talk about “to and fro”!

And talk about another important principle.

So much has changed so rapidly from my wrestling match with a broken type writer ribbon in 1985 it makes my head spin to think about it.

But prior to reading Daniel 12 last week, I hardly seemed to notice it.

Here is an incredibly powerful sign of the time the Bible tells us to look for, and I have to admit I was fairly oblivious to it.

I guess that’s why Jesus’ number one priority for His people and prophecy can be summed up in one word – watchfulness.

Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Matthew 24:42-44)

In 1985 I didn’t expect that within 25 years I would be communicating with people all around the world, by writing articles on something called a lap top computer, hooked into something called the internet, that would make current events and cutting edge knowledge available on a HD ready video screen.

Back then, we thought Pac Man was pretty cool!

If we take Daniel 12 seriously, I wonder what we might expect to see in another 25 years?

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