Signs of the Times
with Perry Stone
Q: Your ministry is known for revealing how current events connect to the prophetic timeline. Describe how you were drawn to study and teach the Biblical “signs of the times.”
A: On my first Israel trip in 1985, I saw several places where Old Testament prophecies were being fulfilled. I took color pictures on slides and began teaching a prophetic update every Saturday night in my revivals. That was the beginning…
Q: With so many convinced we are living in the last days, there has been an increased interest in understanding the “rapture.” How do you define that phrase?
A: The English word comes from the Latin translation that was translated from the Greek by Jerome. The phrase comes from 1 Thessalonians 4:17 when Paul said we shall be “caught up,” which is a literal catching away to heaven; once the believer has been changed from mortal to immortal.
Q: Based upon your study of Scripture, when do you believe the rapture will occur and why?
A: This remains a mystery as to the actual time. However, the Gospel must be preached globally (Matthew 24:14) and the Holy Spirit must be poured out “before the great and terrible day of the Lord” which refers to the future tribulation (Joel 2:28-31), before the rapture. Once these two events have occurred, the church will have completed its assignment on earth.
Q: In the Book of Matthew, Jesus describes the events that will take place before He returns as “birth pains.” What does this mean?
A: The reference is in Matthew 24:8, translated as “sorrows” (KJV). However, the Greek word is literally “birth pains,” referring to the labor pains experienced before a child is born. Wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes and so forth are a part of the “signs” indicating the birth pains have arrived. When they become more frequent and intensify, the pains indicate the nearness of Christ’s return.
Q: Natural disasters, especially earthquakes are included in biblical references to end time events. Describe what God is specifically showing you about the worldwide increase in seismic activity.
A: Christ also said we would see the “sea and the waves roaring” (Luke 21:25). Based on numerous prophecies in the Bible, I can say that there will be asteroids hitting the seas (Rev. 8) which will create large tsunamis in coastal areas. Also, we have recently observed earthquakes almost every week in a different part of the world. This is part of the earth being in travail (Rom. 8:22).
Q: As host of Manna-Fest on Daystar, you tackle the tough issues of the day based upon Scripture. How can watching this program transform a believer’s perspective?
A: In an entire program I have three goals: to teach the Word using Hebrew – Greek word studies and history commonly not researched by ministers; to help a person to learn something they did not know about that subject; to create a hunger for the Word leading people to study on their own. The most common statement our staff hears is, “I learned something I never knew!” The program deals with a wide-range of spiritual subjects, not just prophecy.
Q: Fear is a common response to reading biblical passages that point to turbulent times. What encouragement would you give those who avoid studying end time events for that reasons?
A: It is like saying I don’t talk about hell because it scares some people. Well, it should scare those who are going there! In Jeremiah’s day, all of Jerusalem wanted him dead because his prophecies were “negative.” Then after 30 years they were fulfilled! When prophetic events begin to occur, people are going to be looking for answers – but some will be shocked, dismayed, or in fear because the pulpits were silent, yet others will be prepared as they were informed in advance. Prophecy is to prepare a believer not scare them.
8 Question – How do you respond to critics who view God as a cruel or unforgiving for allowing judgment to be poured out on earth?
Answer – I would ask them what are they doing now to stop or prevent it? Repentance and humility will prevent certain judgments or delay them for a season. Nineveh was to be destroyed but repented when Jonah showed up. They survived another 150 years then were later destroyed. Noah’s generation was given 100 years to repent, but paid no attention. Mercy and warnings always precede any forms of judgment. In the tribulation men are so hardened that they do not repent of their deeds. Look at America since abortion in 1973. We have yet to experience a national judgment, so I would say God has been merciful for a long time as He is longsuffering and not willing that any perish but that all come to Him through repentance (2 Pet. 3:9).
Q: As an evangelist, how can Christians reach out to others with hope during these difficult days ahead?
A: Most people cannot resist being loved or seeing someone that cares for them. I have learned to love people unconditionally and don’t be afraid of their sins. Jesus came to cleanse sinners and not polish a few saints’ crowns. Love people and help people. That’s how they are won – by the love of God in us.
Q: You were recently a featured vocalist on the Daystar exclusive CD and DVD, Old Time Revival with Marcus Lamb and Friends. Why is the message of revival even more meaningful as we draw closer to Christ’s return?
A: A revival breaths fresh life into a person who is weary, discouraged, or perhaps lukewarm. In the teenage days of Marcus and I, we both had large extended revivals seeing many come to Christ. When believers refuel and re-fire, they are more inspired to win others. Reviving should be a continual process throughout the year as revival also stirs the hunger in people.
Q: Many of your prophetic messages often mention the importance of Israel as we approach the end of the age. What role does this nation of promise play as the future unfolds?
A: Israel is not only the land of biblical history, the nation holds the key to many future prophetic events. The rise of the Antichrist, the battle of Armageddon, the millennial reign of Christ; these events center in Israel and Jerusalem. If we bless the land and the people, we are promised a special blessing from the Lord (Gen. 27:29). I tape Manna-Fest in Israel every year during back-to-back tours, and have discovered people around the world of all religious backgrounds, love to see this land and know God has plans for the nation and for its future.
Q: With ongoing excavations in Israel, what new discoveries are being revealed and how do they confirm the Jewish claim to the Holy Land.
A: In some way, almost every excavation proves the historical accuracy of the Bible. The cities of the Bible are being unearthed, and scarabs and clay seals have the names of the Biblical kings and rulers. I collect ancient coins and one of the oldest has paleo-Hebrew writing on it and these coins date back to the second century BC. In Jerusalem, excavations prove the accuracy of Josephus, the Jewish historian, and his eye witness accounts of Jerusalem’s destruction. Archeology proves the Bible!!
Q: What are some of the practical ways believers can bless the Jewish people and stand with Israel?
A: Of course “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psa. 122:6). Second, is to go to Israel on a tour. Each tourist helps provide jobs for about eleven different people. Third is to help any true project that is assisting the poor and needy arriving in the nation. We have supported Bible Schools, hospitals, orphanages, and other projects in both Israel and Bethlehem.
Q: With so much conflict and chaos in the world today, how can the body of Christ pray to bring healing in nations across the globe?
A: The first thing the world must see is unity in the Body of Christ. Jesus taught they will know us because we love one another – not because we have a large church, great music, and are trendy. When we love our brothers and sisters, then the secular world will pay attention to our messages and ministry. Then we must minister through prayer one on one with those in need. One way to reach a sinner is to watch them as they sense the power of God and realize God is real.
Q: If you should sum up your best advice for a believer concerning the last days in one sentence, what would it be?
A: Fall in love with Jesus more than anyone else, and everything in life will begin falling in place.