The End Time is the great enigma of history, of generations, and of time. The Book of Daniel reveals a dual insight about history and the power play that will take place in the culmination of the ages.
Daniel’s View of Time
In chapter two the prophet Daniel revealed to Nebuchadnezzar the God of wisdom and might: “And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings and setteth up kings” (Dan. 2:21). It is evident that Nebuchadnezzar was anxious, lest his appointed time (of which he dreamed) should pass away and a new time be established. But Daniel made it clear that the God of the Hebrews is the one who arranged the times and the seasons.
The Bible is clear that time was made by God. He made the sun, moon, and stars as parts of the measuring of time for this planet. He also made the seasons of the year, yea, the revolutions and change of times. He can make bad times better and turn night into day. He can make the sun go backward or stand still, as in the days of Joshua and Hezekiah. It is God’s prerogative to change times. He also decrees how long one influence shall prevail and when another shall become operative. The seasons are in His hands, shorter or longer, as well as the occasions when it is suitable to do a thing. Yes, God controls the time.
Daniel 7:25 speaks of the coming Antichrist:
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
When the Antichrist comes, he will believe that he can take the place of God who “changeth the times and the seasons.” He shall “think to change times [seasons] and laws.” Some commentaries suggest this verse is referring to the Jewish festivals and laws according to their biblically appointed times and seasons. But these words seem to go beyond this. The Antichrist will believe that he can change the very concept of time and seasons. We saw this attempt in the days of the French Revolution when the seven-day week was abolished in favor of a ten-day week. We also saw this attempt in the Russian Revolution in their overthrow of the government, property, and marriage laws. The Antichrist shall attempt to do so but will not actually succeed.
Ecclesiastes 3 makes it clear that God controls all time and all the seasons of time, not only for the history of the earth and mankind’s history but also for the times and seasons of individuals throughout history. In the Bible we certainly view God controlling the times and seasons with Israel, the times and seasons concerning nations, the times and seasons concerning Nebuchadnezzar (even when seven years were appointed for him to live as an animal before his sanity returned). We also read of the numbering of the days of Belshazzar.
We once again declare that the End Time will be the great enigma of history, and thus will be filled with changes—changes from God! These changes will include dispensational changes with His dealings of nations, especially His dealing with Israel. A final week of Daniel’s seventy weeks is to come in the End Time; this time will be the worst season of Antichrist’s time over Israel.
This End Time will be a time of great trouble on the earth. From one perspective the End Time will be the collision—the violent rushing against, hitting, or striking together—of the generations. But perhaps another word could also be used—a collusion. A collusion is a “secret agreement made for fraudulent or deceitful purposes.” Both terms collision and collusion are appropriate for the great enigma of the End Time.
Before continuing the subject of collusion, let us briefly define the End Time. On the Day of Pentecost, Peter revealed that the “last days” began at the first coming of Christ (Acts 2:16, 17). In Hebrews 1:2 the apostle Paul declares that God “hath in the these last days spoken unto us by his Son.” These “last days” have continued for the past two thousand years.
However, the End Time is this present season of the “last days.” We gain insight for this understanding from the Book of Daniel and the Olivet Discourse. Daniel reveals more about the Gentile kingdom powers and what will be in the time of the end leading up to the Antichrist, the final kingdom of the Gentiles. But Christ Himself unfolds the End Time in Matthew 24 in two segments—that of both the beginning and the end of the End Time.
It seems that the End Time began with the unveiling of deeper insight into the Second Coming (1850s–1860s) as well as an increasing global (oikoumene) consciousness throughout the world. Additionally, this time also witnessed increased dramatic changes in weather, governments, and the international concept of the Gospel (which only began to arise in the latter part of the 1700s, but especially was seen in the 1800s).
The Collision of Generations
The rise of the End Time of the “last days” has also seen greater changes occurring from one generation to the next. While each generation strives for greater independence from the earlier ones, these generations come into greater conflict or collusion with one another.
Similarly, Noah lived 600 years until the Flood and then another 350 years; he straddled several generations during his days. What was the concept of generation before the Flood, and the number of years between a father, a son, and a grandson? The birth of Noah’s children seems not to have come until God’s declaration of judgment 120 years before the Flood. If true, Noah was 480 years old at the birth of his firstborn. Shem was 98 years old when the Flood came; two years after the Flood he begat Arphaxad (though we do not know if this was the first child from Shem’s loins). One important declaration was that Noah was “perfect in his generations.”
Today’s differing generations are occurring quicker—100, 70, or even 40 years. Proverbs 30:11–14 speaks of the collision of several generations living together but distinctive in their heart’s manifestation.
There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. Who would conceive that such a generation would rise in the earth? The cursing of a parent was visited with the same punishment as the blaspheming of God—the death penalty. So near does the one sin approach to the other; the rebel against his parent is ready to stretch out his hand against God Himself.
There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. Such a generation portrays itself to others as being righteous, while conceit within controls them. Yes, their pretense of being truly religious hides a course of wickedness.
There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. This generation is a proud and insolent generation. They advance themselves, despising all others in comparison to themselves. Their countenance and carriage reveal the pride of their hearts.
There is a generation whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men. This generation is one of extortionists and cruel oppressors, who grind the faces of the poor. They are a monster of iniquity, given to murderous work.
All of these generations have no tears of repentance, no desire for God, no desire for a changed and bettered life.
The End-Time Collusion of Generations
Both political and technological leaders are now exampling generations that have arisen bottled and burped by the world system while maintaining some individuality as separate generations. Now we are witnessing a collision of four generations (and perhaps even more).
The first-generation baby boomers represent the generation of children born after WWII. That generation is basically the older group who are now in control of the money and much of the leadership in the world today. For many years they were the biggest, most free-spending market the planet had ever known. What they wanted filled the shelves of the stores, and what fills the shelves is our history. They wanted to dance, so rock ‘n’ roll arose to satisfy them. They wanted to open their minds, so LSD was popularized. They did not want to go to war, so the draft was abolished.
Then came Generation X (or Gen X) representing the generation born after the baby boomers (roughly from the early 1960s to early 1980s). This generation is often perceived as disaffected and directionless. They have been in a revolt against the baby boomers; a revolt against their parent’s revolt.
Following Generation X came the Millennials (or Generation Y). The fluid birth dates of this generation are typically from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. This generation witnessed the explosive rise of communication through the advent of the cell phone. (It was projected that by 2000, cellular devices would number 10 million. Today, worldwide there are over 7 billion people and over 7 billion devices. In Russia there are 2 per capita; in America 1.3.)
Generations today are changing rapidly. The patterns of the past are not the patterns of the future. Man himself is ever changing. One of the reasons for our failure to understand the constant mutation of the generations is that we tend to get stuck in the patterns of the past. We must know the patterns of the present to face the needs of our times. In the past we had time to change with the flow of change; now change is happening so fast, it is more difficult to keep up with the change.
The Present Generation
Today, we have come to another generation called Generation Z (or Gen Z). The dates given for Generation Z range from the mid-1990s through the second decade of this century, although precise years vary according to the source. At over 2 billion individuals, Generation Z is the most populous generation of all time. In common with Millennials, Generation Z is comfortable with technologies that are more difficult for older generations. And Gen Z has grown up in the current environment of ubiquitous mobile communications. The younger members of the cohort may not remember any other environment. As of 2015 in the USA, 77 percent between ages 12 to 17 owned cell phones. Not surprisingly, texting is this generation’s preferred communication, followed by social media interaction. We have moved from digitalization to datafication. One of the subtle keys to this particular generation is the concept of “behavior”: the behavior of the data, the behavior of the device, and the behavior of those who make up the generation. Thus, you change what you believe by changing how you behave.
The characteristics of Generation Z as a cohort of youth within the USA is in contrast with earlier generations. There is more racial diversity, less traditional (nuclear) family backgrounds, more single-parent and same-gender parent families, less confidence in the current economic system, more time spent online, more use of the phone (rather than TV) for entertainment, and greater probability of having friends from various ethnic, religious, and racial groups. In the workplace, Gen Z demands greater flexibility and the capacity to work remotely, collaboratively, and seamlessly across their various technological devices. Making a meaningful contribution to the world is also important to this generation. They are less tolerant of authoritarian environments such as hierarchical corporate culture. Gen Z is more concerned with behavior through technology than just technology itself.
We build the lens through which we see the world, and with that lens we determine its value. What is it that has allowed us to create what we have? What is the capacity of connection? The present generation calls it “hyperconnectivity.” It changes the way we think about the world. Although we all use the same technology, their concern is more about how we use it, how we think, and how we behave. We have come to a time when technological devices are so affordable, so usable, so pervasive, and so needed to exist in our generation. What will be next after Gen Z? Demographers suggest a coming Generation Alpha.
It must be acknowledged that all these generations are falling away further and further from any God-consciousness. In Acts 2:40, we read after the greater burden of Peter’s message on the Day of Pentecost, “And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” The Greek word for words here is logos, meaning, “the very expressions, thoughts, concepts within the mind.” When the first message of the full gospel was preached by the church, it imperatively included the “more words,” attesting to that current generation. “He earnestly testified and exhorted” (imperfect active); he kept on exhorting, “Be saved” [aorist passive, or be ye saved!]. From what were they to be saved? They were to be saved from that perverse, crooked (the opposite of orthodox or straight) generation! It was a generation or generations in collusion to take the truth and pervert it, twist it, and make it froward; they were taking such words and thoughts and setting them against the good and the righteous. Remember, this was the generation that crucified the Lord! They were hurrying on to their destruction. And the apostle Peter was warning that those who would not perish with them must come out from them and be separated from them!
Oh, dear Reader, the collision of our present generations is like that of Sodom and Gomorrah; they are about ready to burn up! This is a wicked and evil generation; it is a collision and a collusion of several generations given to intensifying wickedness. According to the Scriptures, salvation must also be understood as being saved from a “present evil world” that is affecting not only the individual but the whole of society. All that the New Testament says about the present evil world and the course of this world is clearly defined! Evil is ever changing its form from age to age.
But we continue to read in Acts 2:41, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” For such deliverance from the present generations, we must forsake wicked and profane persons in their ungodly courses. We must acknowledge that the whole world lies in wickedness. God Himself must save us from this generation, for this is our generation. Biblical separation is imperative in our day and time as part of our deliverance.
May God grant us wisdom to live in this collision and collusion of these present generations. May we be as Noah: “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God” (Gen. 6:9; emphasis added).