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Characteristic #2: A ‘Death Syndrome’ or an Obsession With Death
Mark 5:3 says the demon-possessed man “…had his dwelling among the tombs….” This man’s very dwelling-place was a picture of death.

It’s very interesting how much death is on the minds of people in our culture today. If you look at the way some younger people dress, there is a “death” style of clothing that appears very dark and morbid. And in recent years, it’s staggering the number of vampire movies and television programs that have emerged on our airwaves. It’s as if the subject of death and mortality has taken over the entertainment industry. Who would have ever dreamed that vampires and other creatures associated with darkness and death would become so popular and romanticized in our culture? Yet these things are all the rage in our day.

Characteristic #3: Self-Mutilation and an Obsession With Violence
Mark 5:5 says about this kalepos man, “…Night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.” And in society today, “cutting,” especially among women, has become a very widespread practice.

Denise and I have a friend who is the head chaplain at one of the largest Christian schools in the United States, and she recently shed some interesting light on this topic for us. She told us that that one of the biggest problems she has with female students in her school is “cutting.” I had never even heard of this, but this chaplain shared with us that in counseling these girls, it is revealed that they perform this self-mutilating behavior as a way of trying to relieve themselves of guilt and shame. Cutting themselves is a behavior that demonstrates on a physical level the self-loathing these young women feel on an emotional level.

What about violent acts that are perpetrated on others? Matthew 8:28 says, “…There met him [Jesus] two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.” As we already saw, the phrase “that no man might pass by that way” indicates that because of the destructive, violent nature of these demon-possessed men, being in their presence meant almost certain harm. The area where these two men roamed was a very dangerous place to be, and that’s why people avoided the area entirely — to avert any encounters with these “exceedingly fierce” men.

When the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write Second Timothy 3:1 about the “perilous times” that would come upon the earth, He was prophesying about a dangerous time when people would be given to violence and would be unable to control their temper.

Well, what about our taste for violence as a society today? Unfortunately, it’s true that this present “civilized,” “sophisticated,” and “technologically advanced” generation has become the most violent in all of human history. Think how desensitized the soul of society has become to believe it’s perfectly normal to rent a movie filled with murder and bloodshed and bring it right into the comfort of their living rooms to watch it with their friends and families and even their children!

Because of television, Internet, music, and video games, violence is now the hottest-selling ticket at the box office as children across the world play to “kill” at video games that realistically emulate murder. The long-term result is that actual acts of violence are increasing in every part of society.

Characteristic #4: Extreme Behavior and a Loss of Self-Control
Mark 5:3,4 says, “Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.”

Here we find a man who was untamable, someone who couldn’t be subdued even with chains. The phrase “…neither could any man tame him” was translated from the same Greek word used to describe a wild-animal tamer — someone who normally could tame the wildest of animals, but who became confronted with a situation so completely out of control that trying to bring it under subjection was useless.

By using the word kalepos in Second Timothy 3:1, the Holy Spirit is telling us that the end of the age will be marked by people and situations that are completely out of control. In other words, it doesn’t matter what human government tries to do, the world will become an untamable place. No human power will be able to arrest or stop the chaos that will erupt on the earth in the last days.

Characteristic #5: Confusion in the Mind Due to Demonic Oppression
Last, we find that widespread restlessness will be characteristic of society in the last days. Luke 8:29 says, “…Oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.”

Just as this demon-possessed man was “driven of the devil,” society in the last days will be driven and will be out of control as it moves pell-mell in the wrong direction, unable to stop itself or turn around. Satan will drive all those he can on a fast track out of the will of God, and they will not know peace — only turmoil and confusion — as they’re driven further and further into darkness, depression, isolation, and spiritual oppression.

All of these characteristics can be found in the word “perilous” or kalepos. In telling us that perilous times will come, and what those perilous times will entail, the Holy Spirit is attempting to equip us for living victoriously the last days.

As believers, we have been appointed unto victory in Christ. So if we know in advance the things that are going to transpire in a future, lost society, we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from its harmful effects and influences. And we can equip ourselves in order to rescue those who are held captive by evil influences in the world. The Holy Spirit is always faithful to prepare us for the days ahead and to continually work in our hearts to present us to God as a glorious Church. He is the Spirit of Truth who shows us things to come so we can live victoriously amidst the darkened condition of the world around us.

Jesus is coming back soon for His Church! And the last days of the Body of Christ on this earth will be her best days as she is equipped by God to bring the light of Christ to those who are in darkness and to deliver those who are bound. God is faithful who promised it!

Copyright © Renner Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Rick Renner
Web site: Rick Renner Ministries
Rick and Denise met while they were each on an individual quest to wholeheartedly follow God’s plan for their lives. Rick was a college student, growing in his teaching ministry. Denise was a talented vocalist. She chose not to pursue a course that held the prospect of performing with the Metropolitan Opera so that she could instead pursue a relationship with Rick and fulfill her heart’s desire to enter full-time ministry.

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