“See how I bare you on eagles’ wings and brought you unto myself.” Exodus 19:4

Royce Kennedy ◊ 909 Whistling Duck Drive ◊ Largo, MD 20774




“Signs of the times surround us on every side.” January 2011. Page 1.


“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Man’s heart failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21: 25,26,35,36.


In the series entitled, “When Shall These Things Be?” we gleaned a great many truths from Daniel’s 70 weeks and from Matthew 24. As we can remember, the disciples were curious to learn when the signs that Jesus referred to would come to pass. In his reply, Jesus alluded to the destruction of Jerusalem, the celebrated temple, and the immense sufferings that would befall the Jews.


We also observed that the tribulation mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 24 was to come upon Daniel’s people and his holy city, and the several texts of scripture did not allude to a worldwide tribulation; neither did Daniel or Jesus foretold of a coming antichrist that would impose his will upon mankind, beginning in Jerusalem with a visit to the temple to pollute it with heathenistic sacrifices.


The disciples also wanted to know the truth about the end of time, and as we can see in Luke 21:20-24 Jesus was explicit in his sentence against the temple and the people. Listen to this stark announcement! “But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! For there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon

THIS PEOPLE.” Verse 23.


It is pointless for us to read this vivid outline and insist on passing the truth of it on to a future generation. “THIS PEOPLE” means those to whom Jesus spoke to in person. Let us pay keen attention to what occurs between verses 24 and 25. As if to pronounce the benediction upon Jerusalem and bid it good night, Jesus solemnly said: “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”  At this particular point in time, it would seem as if Jesus closed the book on Jerusalem and the Jews. When the onslaught against Jerusalem began, there was a huge contingent of non-citizens in the city attending the feast. The total killed in the siege was about 1,100,000, and 97,000 were taken captive. It is no wonder that Jesus came into the city and wept over it saying; “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children

together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Matthew 23:37-39. I find this to be a most profound episode in the narrative of scripture. It tends to grab you and push against the very breath in your body. How could a people be so close, yet in their unbelief they allowed themselves to be killed and taken captive?


The answer is simple but missed by many in Christendom. This truth is carefully chronicled in the narrative of scripture but I will briefly show you how this truth has been mistakenly ascribed to the devil. “Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.” John 12:39-40. Paul informed us that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. Romans 11-:25.


Let us embark upon that which has been passed off as the work of Satan, and to be quite honest I have never heard anyone say anything different over the years of ministry.

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” 2nd Corinthians 4:3,4.


Here is another profound account by the prophet: “For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.” Isaiah 29:10. Jesus came on the scene and delved into this same issue by saying: “That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” Mark 4:12.


Here we have overwhelming biblical proof that it is the one true God who blinded the eyes of Israel, which blindness was in part till the times of the Gentiles be come in. But when the masses in Christendom come upon the verse that says, “the god of this world hath blinded their eyes” they immediately point to the devil. The act of God blinding eyes is catalogued in scripture because he never leaves himself without a witness. But where is the biblical witness that the devil or Satan has ever been called “God”? To the contrary, the only true God said he is God by himself and beside him there is no God. Since when did the devil gained ownership of the world? The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof!


Part of the difficulty arise from the fact that in Corinthians, the word god, is written with a common or lower case “g” meaning that if it referred to our true God it would have been written with a capital “G” The truth is that the translators were not spiritual men. They were educated to function in their individual field of study, but like much of the Christian world today, when they came upon the text that mentioned the god of this world blinding people’s eyes, their first and only conclusion was that it had to be the devil, so they wrote it with a common or lower case “g.” We can begin to believe that it was a devil that blinded the eyes when we find other scripture passages that support that belief. As a rule, there is always more than a single verse of scripture to support a stated act or even a prophetic utterance to bring confirmation and witness to what is being said. In Luke 21, we notice that verse 24 refers to the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, and the notion that it would remain trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. A number of outstanding scholars, including some Jews agree that the six day war in 1967 saw the culmination of the times of the Gentiles, because no matter how we slice this truth, the fact is that since that war ended on the sixth day, of the six month, Jerusalem is no longer being trodden down of the Gentiles. But in Luke 21:25, Jesus enlarged the scope of his warnings to include the whole world, and some of his predictions can be seen being fulfilled across our television screen during prime time news broadcasts. Let us rehearse what our Lord so profoundly foretold.


“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations (not just the Jews and the temple, and the city of Jerusalem) with perplexity; (this word means no way out—no solution) the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth (that means upon the whole earth) for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”


What did the writer of the book of Hebrews say about the heaven being shaken? Referring to the time when God spoke from atop Mount Sinai that the mount shook, we read: “Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken will remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:26-29.


Jesus issued a warning almost two thousand years ago that we will do well to ponder and act upon. He said: “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting (wantonness and party spirit) and drunkenness, and cares of this life, so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare (a trap) shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:34-36.


Jesus was specific in warning about being over taken with surfeiting and drunkenness. Be watchful against party spirit, celebration of varied kinds, and carousing. In simple terms, he meant that we should not be distracted from watching diligently and knowing what time it is from world events that unfurl before our very eyes. Our Lord offered a candid and comprehensive assessment of the times prior to his revelation from heaven, so that the alert child of God should not be taken unawares. “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Luke 21:28.


Let us stop for a moment to consider the word redemption. To huge masses of people in the religious world, “your redemption draweth nigh” means only one thing; to them it means the Rapture of the Church. I have a different understanding of the truth that is being conveyed here. The Greek word for redemption is; ap-ol-oo’tro-sis  which is the same word used in Romans 8:23 that says; “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit (namely, the down payment. Visit my website at www.godfire.net/kennedy and click on “The Earnest Of Our Inheritance” for a complete analysis of our full redemption.) even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit (or to know experientially) the redemption of our body.”  The use of the word redemption here, also in Luke 21:28 and in Hebrews 9 has different meanings. In Hebrew 9 it means ransom or loo-tro-sis. But when applied as ap-ol-oo’ tro-sis  it  means, ransom in full and riddance. In other words, it means that we who are groaning along with the whole creation are waiting for our full redemption, when we will be rid of this earthly body. That is why we were given the Holy Spirit of promise as a down payment and a promise that God will indeed redeem in full, the purchased possession. See Ephesians 1:13,14. Paul in his letter to the Corinthian Church alluded to the fact that as we look as in a mirror and behold the glory of the Lord, we are being changed into that same image, from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord. 2nd Cor.3:18. Therefore while many are looking up in anticipation of a quick lift off to heaven, others are looking up with ecstasy to the approaching redemption of their bodies.


“And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” Luke 21:29-31. Here we are shown exactly what will transpire as these various signs occur, and to our amazement a quick ride up to heaven seemingly is not among the goodies in the biblical account.


Paul did not mince words when he told certain brethren; “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” 1st Thessalonians 5:4-6. In order to clarify some important points, let us revisit the sayings of Jesus in Luke 21:25. Here he mentioned that upon the earth there shall be distress of nations and the sea and the waves roaring. In scripture the restless sea and its turbulent waves are types and character of people. “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.” Isaiah 57:20.


Reflecting on prime time news items in recent months, civil unrest in various countries are being highlighted every day. We see rioters on television before our very eyes burning vehicles and buildings in Britain, in France, in Kyrgxstan, in Moscow, in Iraq, in Pakistan, in Thailand, in the Philippines, in Paraguay, in Australian, and across many parts of Africa. Unrest among nations is much like a forest wild fire that is gone out of control, in so much that there are not enough resources or manpower to deal with them all.


One of the main signs of the times that I want to impress upon you as you read this is the financial stability among nations, because the strength of any nation is centered in its financial well being. Money not only runs the economy, but it runs every government agency, from the armed forces, to health research and medicine, to education, transport and trade. When the financial stability of a country or a nation begins to run at low ebb, and its natural sources are dried up, we can gently raise the red flag. No country can survive on borrowed money because its health begins to live on borrowed time. There used to be times in recent years when America got into financial difficulties Britain and other European countries were able to step in with hefty loans as a cure.

Today the tables are turned in so much that Ireland just had to be pulled back from the brink of default and bankruptcy by members of the EU (European Union) and Iceland had to be rescued from a similar situation. As a teenage lad growing up in Jamaica, West Indies, my mother used to talk warmly about America with a certain gleam in her eyes. She told me that America is most blessed on earth because of her support for the spreading of the gospel. She explained that America is a country that lends to others but does not borrow. I never spent a moment to verify her information because I had other exciting and fun things to do.


The sad truth is that today, America’s Federal Debt stands at a whopping $11.9 trillion. Since September 28, 2007 our debt grows by $4.12 billion per day. Here are some of the countries America is indebted to and by how much. The list includes even countries that publicly are declared to be America’s enemies. Mainland China holds 906.8 billion dollars of our debt; Japan—877.4 b; United Kingdom—477.6 b; Brazil—177.6b; Hong Kong—139.2 b; Russia—131.6 b; If we include another 27 countries to whom we are indebted the grand total is around 4310.2 million dollars. Nations around the world are staggering like a grove of weeping willow trees weaving in the breeze.


All of this happens while the rich is getting richer, and the poor is getting poorer, leading to massive upheavals and unrest across the globe. Jesus calls it distress of nations, and men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. This language is symbolic of the ruling class, such as governments, and we can see them being shaken one after the other.

This takes me back to Revelation 11:15. “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever.” As I mentioned in previous writings, the kingdoms of this world will not willingly hand over their sovereignty to the Lord. It is by force that they will see their domain crumble as the Lord has promised that this time, he will not only shake heaven, but the earth also so that everything that is made (or made by man) will crumble in the dust; and only those things that cannot be moved will remain. God’s kingdom is that which cannot be moved!


Natural disasters are frequent and deadly across the globe. Thousands of people died in Haiti recently and in parts of Central America. Earthquakes are occurring in places not usually known for this sort of activity. Severe droughts have taken thousands of lives, and when the rains came, floods rushed in and claimed more lives. Meteorologists are at a loss trying to give us the correct weather forecasts. It is as if the earth has slid off its axis and has thrown weather cycles into disarray. Are the children of God fast asleep, or have gone off into surfeiting and drunkenness? Paul exhorted the Thessalonian Church to watch and be sober. “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” 2nd Thess.5:6. If we lay the warnings of Jesus alongside today’s news headlines, we will notice the equation. Sadly enough, the Church that the world sees at the very forefront have the tendency of putting just about every prophetic utterance way off into the future. But it is time to adjust our focus and look around us lest this day shall overtake us as a thief in the night. Look up for your redemption draws nigh. What redemption? Our full and complete redemption, or the loosing away of all fleshly limitations. This is “The redemption of the purchased possession unto the praise of his glory.”Eph.1:13. Salvation’s “buying back” (at Calvary) and “bringing back” (by imparting the earnest of the Spirit) will be complete to God’s glory. It means salvation for the whole man!



Royce O. Kennedy