Friday, June 6, 2014

Certain Signs of the Second Coming of Christ

Certain Signs of the Second Coming of Christ
     In this the year of our Lord, 2013, the signs of God’s working in the nation of Israel are abundant. His people are being gathered into their land and have become a recognized nation once again. The prophetic Scripture is abundantly clear concerning these major events:
“And the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shall possess it; and He will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:5)

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people…And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”
(Isaiah 11:12)

“Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in My anger, and in My fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: And they shall be My people, and I will be their God: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear Me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make and everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from Me. Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with My whole heart and with My whole soul.” (Jeremiah 32:37-41)

“For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you and heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God.” (Ezekiel 36:24-28)

“Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O My people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel…Behold I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land. And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel”
(Ezekiel 37:12, 21, 22)

     And, while the Jews continue to return to their land, it is clear that God is definitely not finished with them just yet, for as the above Scriptures indicate, in due time He will perform His supernatural work of cleansing them and giving them “a new heart” when He returns at the end of the 70th Week of Daniel:
“And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord…And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Isaiah 59:20; Romans 11:26)

     However, before the Lord comes to redeem the nation of Israel at the end of the 70th Week of Daniel, He will continue the preparation of His people as indicated in the following twelve prophecies necessary for the completion of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel and the coming of the Jesus Christ their Messiah:
  1.   The Jews have become a "people" (Daniel 9:24)
2.      The Jews are in their "own [promised] land"
      (Deuteronomy 30:1-18; Ezekiel 36: 24-26, 37:21ff)
  3.   The Jews control and are occupying their "holy city" Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24)
4.      The "prophet Elijah" will be sent "first" to revive/restore before the Day of the Lord
      (Malachi 4:5, 6; Matthew 17:11; Mark 9:12)
  5.   The "holy covenant" will be restored (Daniel 11:28-32)
  6.   The "temple of God" will be rebuilt (II Thessalonians 2:1-4; Revelation 11:1, 2)
  7.   The “holy place” included (Matthew 24:15)
  8.   The “regular sacrifices" will be offered (Daniel 8:11, 12, 9:27, 11:31, 12:11)
  9.   The Jews will worship in "the temple of God” (Revelation 11:1, 2)
10.   "The Sabbath" will be honored (Matthew 24:28)
11.   The sending of "prophets" to the Jews will occur (Malachi 4:5, 6: Revelation 11:3-17)
12.   The tribal system will be restored as the twelve tribes of "the sons of Israel" (Revelation 7:3-8) will   
         eventually be sealed and continue as the time of the end Priests unto God..

      In addition to the above prophecies the following pattern is now in process as the Lord continues His preparation for the 70th Week of Daniel, the end of the Church Age and the time which immediately follows which is called the Day of the Lord:

The Pattern of Events Prior to the First Coming of Jesus the Messiah

1.      The Destruction of Jerusalem/Temple-586 B.C. (II Kings 25:1ff; Jeremiah 29, 52)
2.      The Dispersion/Deportation of the Jews-606 B.C., 597 B.C., 586 B.C. 
3.      The Jews return to the Promised Land-536 B.C. Zerubbabel/458 B.C. Ezra/445 B.C. Nehemiah
4.      The Holy City Jerusalem was controlled by the Jews-516 B.C. 
5.      The Temple of God was finished-516 B.C. (Ezra 3:8-6:22)
6.      The Restoration of Priesthood/Sacrifices/Temple Worship occurred 516 B.C. (Ezra 3:1-7)   
7.      The First Elijah-like Prophet (John the Baptist) was sent 29A.D. (Matthew 3:1-12)
8.      The First Coming of Jesus the Messiah occurred 29A.D. (Matthew 3:13ff)
9.      The Lord’s 3-1/2 Year Public Ministry came to pass 29-32 A.D. (Four Gospels)
10.  The Judgment of Jews for Rejection of their Messiah-The Diaspora/Destruction Jerusalem A.D. 70

The Pattern of Events Prior to the Second Coming of  Jesus the Messiah

1.      The Destruction of Jerusalem/Temple-70 A.D. (Matthew 24:2)
2.      The Dispersion of the Jews-70 A.D. (Luke 21:21-24)
3.      The Jews return to the Promised Land-1948 A.D. (Daniel 9:24)
4.      The Holy City Jerusalem is controlled by the Jews-1967 A.D. (Daniel 9:24)
5.      The Temple of God will be rebuilt-???? A.D.(Matthew 24:15; II Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 11:2)
6.      The Restoration of Priesthood/Sacrifices/Temple Worship will occur-????A.D.
      (Daniel 8:11, 21, 9:27, 11:31, 12:11; Revelation 11:2)
7.   The Second Elijah-like Prophet will be sent-???? A.D. (Malachi 4:5, 6; Matthew 17:11; Mark 9:12)
8.      The Second Coming of Jesus-???? A.D. (Matthew 24:30, 31; John 14:3; I Thessalonians 4:13-18)
9.      The Lord’s 3-1/2 Year Presence/Intervention/Last Half of the 70th Week of Daniel (Micah 5:5ff)
10. The Judgment of the World for Rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 8-19)

     It appears evident that the Lord is bringing to pass the same conditions that prevailed during the first sixty-nine weeks of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel (Daniel 9:24) for the remaining week or seven years. This future time period (Daniel 9:27) called the 70th Week of Daniel is just over the prophetic horizon.

     And, as the history of the world unfolds, God’s eye continues to be upon His people the Jews. Even though it looks as though He failed to accomplish His goal of redeeming His earthly people when He died on the Cross, His plan has not changed nor has He failed for He is coming again (John 14:1-3) to complete His work and bring full redemption to His people (Isaiah 59:20; Romans 11:26)!

     In addition to the Lord’s Preparation of the nation of Israel and the present-day Pattern unfolding in Messianic prophecy, the Plan the Lord gave to His disciples concerning His second coming and the end of the age in Matthew 24 is also systematically progressing before our very eyes:
I. Focus: Global Overview to The End (Matthew 24:4-14)

                A. The Beginning of Sorrows (Matthew 24:4-8)

              1. False Christs [Influx of major Christian cults-19th Century]
                     2. Wars and rumors of wars [World War I & II-20th Century]
                     3. Famines, Pestilences and Earthquakes in diverse places [21st Century]
                         All these are the beginning of sorrows but The End [Day of the Lord] is not yet.

          B. Christian Persecution Escalates (Matthew 24:9) [Mid-point/70th Week of Daniel]

                     1. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted
                     2. And shall kill you
                     3. And ye shall be hated of all nations for My names sake

          C. Christian Defection Occurs (Matthew 24:10-12)

                     1. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another

                     2. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many

               3. And because iniquity shall abound the love of many shall wax cold

            D. Christian Deliverance by Rapture (Matthew 24:13, 14)
1. But he that shall endure unto The End, the same shall be saved [delivered by Rapture]
2. And this Gospel/kingdom shall be preached in all the world for/witness unto all nations  
3. And then shall The End [The Day of the Lord] come.
II. Focus: The Holy Land/Judea/Jerusalem (Matthew 24:15-28) [Last Half of the 70th Week of Daniel]

A. The Holy City of Jerusalem [Temple of God]

1.  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation
2.   Spoken of by Daniel the prophet
3.   Stand in the holy place
4.   (Whoso reads let him understand)
B. The Land of Judea
1.      Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains
2.      Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house
3.      Neither let him which is in the field return back to take any of his clothes
4.      And woe unto them are with child, and to them that give suck in those days
5.      But pray ye that your flight be not in winter, neither on the Sabbath day  
6.      For then shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world…
7.      And except those days should be shortened there should no flesh be saved
8.      But for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened
           C. The Jews Clamor for the Christ/Messiah
1.      Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not
2.      For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
3.      Behold I have told you before.
4.      Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold He is in the desert; go not forth.
5.      Behold He is in the secret chambers; believe it not
            D. The Coming of the Son of man Illustrated
1.      For as the lightning comes out of the east and shines even unto the west; so shall also the
coming of the Son of man be. [Illustrating the global manifestation of the Lord’s coming]
2.      For wherever the carcass is, there will the eagles [vultures] be gathered together.
[Illustrating the absolute certainty of the Lord’s coming]
III. Focus: The Sign of The Day of the Lord & The Coming of the Son of Man (Matthew 24:29-31)
A.  The Sign of the The End/Day of the Lord (v.29; Joel 2:31)
1.      Immediately after the [great] tribulation of those days
2.      Shall the sun be darkened
3.      And the moon shall not give her light
4.      And the stars shall fall from heaven and the powers of heaven shall be shaken  
B.     The Coming of the Son of Man (v.30, 31)
1.      And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven:[Shekinah Glory]
2.      And then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn [Worldwide Manifestation/His Coming]
3.      And they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power/great glory.
4.      And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet (I Thess.4:16; Rev.1:7)
5.      And they shall gather together His elect [Rapture] from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
     Notice the chronological sequence continuing through all three sections highlighted by the words that are underlined in bold print. The Lord first of all gives a Global Overview to The End (v.4-14). Then, He focuses on Judea/Jerusalem (v.15-28) for it will be the epicenter of end time events. Then, He zeroes in on the global effects of the sign of The End/ Day of the Lord and His immediate return to rescue the saints by the Rapture (v.29-31) before the Day of the Lord begins.

     These two events, the Rapture and the sign of the Day of the Lord, which indicate the beginning of God’s judgment, will occur the same day as the Lord indicated in Luke 17:26-30:
“And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it also be in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.  Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”
    We are presently living during what Jesus called the “days of Noah…days of Lot” when a business as usual attitude prevails among most citizens of the world including many Christians. Iniquity abounds as open homosexuality is flaunted, slaughter of the innocents continues to increase, varying degrees of public nudity has become the norm and the world is ‘Going to hell in a hand-basket’ as the saying goes.

     We are definitely closing in on the end of ‘the beginning of sorrows’ (Matthew 24:7, 8) teetering on the brink of the escalation of worldwide Christian Persecution. The most unreported story of the 20th Century was that more Christians died for their faith during that century than in all the previous nineteen combined!!

     False prophets seem to be countless as they breathe forth their deception and money-begging on the air waves and pulpits of the world using the name of Christ for gain which is in reality lustful money-worship as good people are taken in with their Satanic deception and religious rituals. And, with the present-day global financial uproar, the world appears to be near total economic collapse and subsequent globalization. Knowing the world-wide hatred of Israel and the U.S.A. it would not be surprising if a one world currency and actual effective one world government arise!

     In recent times there has been a call by some of the prominent world leaders for a man to head up a global governing body and a one world currency in order to organize and ‘clean up’ the ongoing financial crisis which may well be the beginning of the end. This is where we are according to the Lord’s chronological unfolding of the end of this age in Matthew 24! And with a possible peace plan brewing between Israel and the Palestinians a two-nation solution could see a Temple built on Mount Zion making way for a time of unparalleled ‘peace’ allowing for the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38:1-16?

     During my trip to Jerusalem last year [2012] one of the tour guides on two different occasions showed me how there is definitely room on the Temple mount to build the end times Temple. He emphasized the fact that there is enough land available in line with the Eastern Gate to construct another Temple.

     In recent months a member of the Knesset has taken up the cause of building the third Temple on the Temple mount and the orthodox Jews called “The Temple Faithful” have all of the instruments and accessories necessary for resuming full scale worship as prescribed in the Old Testament Scripture.

     At the present time, the United States Secretary of State has made numerous trips to the middle east in an effort to restart talks with the Palestinians and Israel. A two-state solution is the focus of his agenda and the Arab coalition appears ready to agree to this peace plan scenario.

     So, while the Church is sleeping, the world is looking for a man for the time may be right for the rise of the Antichrist onto the world stage. However, we must ever look to the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ “the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2), for He has all the answers and holds the future in His hand…always in control of the outcome regardless of the devil’s working in the world, give Him all the praise and glory, for He is coming again as He promised (John 14:3). Hallelujah what a Savior!!


Bible Truth Ministry

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