Discerning the Times
The most prevalent characteristic of the end times is deception. Jesus' initial response when asked about the sign of His return was to see to it that we aren't misled (Matthew 24:4). The man of sin is described as coming with all the deception of wickedness (2 Thessalonians 2:10). As the return of Christ draws near, it shouldn't come as a surprise that lies and misinformation are as common as they are today. It's essentially to the point where you can't trust anything that's being said by those who claim to be authorities. How then are we supposed to discern between truth and error?
For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, 'My plan will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure.' Isaiah 46:9b-10The only way to make sense of what's going on in the world today is to consider things in light of what God has declared will happen. He knows the end from the beginning and has told us ahead of time what to expect so that we can guard against being deceived. (Matthew 24:25). This is why it is important to have a basic understanding of the signs of the time of the return of Christ. Those things that align with what God has foretold are much more likely to be true than those that don't.
In a nutshell, most people who study prophecy will agree that there are spiritual forces of wickedness that are influencing world events in such a way so as to prepare for the rise of the man of sin, or Antichrist. This man will perform signs and wonders that deceive the world into believing that he is God. He will declare war on those who refuse to worship him as such (Daniel 7:21, Revelation 12:17).
It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority was given to him over every tribe, people, language, and nation. Revelation 13:7This is the main objective of their plan. The political, social, and economic changes that are taking place now are all working toward enabling the man of sin to exercise global authority for the purpose of waging war against God's people. The world has been in this transition for over a hundred years. It's being driven by the lies of evil spirit beings and the people who believe them. So, if we are going to discern what is going on in these last days, we have to do so with that in mind. This section looks at some of the false narratives that are misleading the world in order to accomplish that ultimate objective.