SIGNS of Christ's return

     Why should Christians be concerned about signs of Christís return? How are they relevant to the present in which we live?

God considers it very important
     First of all, God considers it very important that His children have information about the events leading up to Christís second coming. Our Old Testament scriptures have 1,845 references of Christ's second coming. Our New Testament has 318 references in itís 216 chapters or one out of every thirty verses.

Prepares Christians
     Second, a knowledge of events surrounding the second coming of Christ prepares Christians for their journey and their destination. We know how important this is for any trip we take. It is even more important for our spiritual journey. Before giving an outline of end time events, Jesus said, "Take heed that no one deceives you." Matthew 24:4. After giving that outline, Jesus said, "See, I have told you beforehand." Matthew 24:25.

Calms the Hearts of Godís people
     Third, in His last teaching of His disciples before His crucifixion, Jesus began with a promise about His second coming so that their hearts would not be troubled. John 14:1-6. A knowledge of end time events calms the hearts of Godís people so they can concentrate on what God wants them to be and do.

No One Knows The Day or the Hour

     One truth that all Christians should get settled is that God has not and will not give any signs that reveal the day or the hour when Jesus will come to take His church home to be with Him.  Jesus made that fact abundantly clear: "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven,, but My Father only" Matthew 24:36. To this He added four similar statements in the same discourse (24:42, 44, 50 and 25:13).

Date-setters Have Been Wrong
     There have been hosts of sincere people who thought they had special understanding or revelation to the time Jesus is coming and went on record of setting a date. They were all wrong. Their folly produced many bad results and no good ones.

All Believers Should Be Looking For His Coming
     Jesus stated that all believers should be looking for His coming. "Therefore watch (or be on the alert), for you do not know which day your LORD is coming." (Matthew 24:42). Paul described this attitude well, "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." Philippians 3:20

There Are Beginnings of Signs That Indicate Christ Coming Is Near

     "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near; So also, when you see all these things, know that it is near---at the door."   Matthew 24:32,33.

     It has been often said, "Great events cast their shadows before them." To that we could add, "The greater the event the longer is the shadow that is cast." There is a sense in which the full development of these signs will not take place until the seven year tribulation period after the church is taken but they will not suddenly appear overnight. Some of these signs will take decades of emerging developments.

The Return of Israel to Her Homeland

     The return of Israel to her homeland in the 20th century has been part of Godís prophecies. Some prophecies of Israelís homecoming such as Isaiah 43:5,6 have aspects that can never be fulfilled again because there are no Jews left in those places. This is especially true of "the south" which in Hebrew is "Teman", the ancient name for modern "Yeman". It is also true of Iraq and other nations to the east. The description of the re-gathering from the west and the north fits the re-gathering being accomplished.

Tim of Jacob's Trouble
     Jeremiahís prophecy of "the time of Jacobís trouble" (the great tribulation) begins with a promise to bring Israel back into the land previous to that event. (Jeremiah 30:3).

     The detailed prophecies of Ezekiel 36 through 39 envision Israel back in her land previous to the Great Tribulation.
          First, the land is restored to productivity in preparation for Israelís return (Chapter 36). This can be dated as beginning in 1917 when General Allenby liberated Jerusalem from the Turks.   From that date the former and latter rains began falling on Israel in a regular pattern for the first time in 2500 years (Joel 2:23).
         Second, Israel is pictured as dry bones rising, connecting, and then having sinew, flesh and skin added. . .but no breath. (Ezekiel 37:8).  We are told this pictures Israelís resurrection as a nation but without the Spirit of God in them . . .a return in a state of unbelief in Christ. (Ezekiel 38, 39). Russia joins with an Arab (Muslim) alliance to attack Israel and is defeated by what appears to be a nuclear response. It takes Israel seven months to bury the corpses and seven years to burn the weapons. (Ezekiel 39:9-13). There is simply no place for these events to fit from a point of 3 Ĺ years before the tribulation period until all the way through the 1000 year reign of Christ.
     The awesome prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 requires Israel to be back in her land 1. to complete Godís six purposes for Israel (v 24), 2. to enter into a seven year covenant with a Roman prince (the Anti-Christ) and 3. to have a rebuilt Temple for the Anti-Christ to defile. Jesus verified these events to be yet future in His Olivet discourse (Matthew 24:15-22).

We Are Living In The Build-Up Time
     There are numerous other prophecies that speak of the above events and others related to them . . . but we now live in the buildup time. The fulfillment is yet to come.

An Economic/Political Federation Moving Towards A Revived Roman Empire

     The concept of world government is nothing new. The idea surfaced in Babylon over 4000 years ago. (Genesis 11) Some of us might recall from the 20th century:
                The League of Nations following World War I
                The United Nations following World War II
                The European Economic Community
              The Media Blitz in 1987 to replace our "Declaration of Independence" with a "Declaration of Interdependence."
              The address by former president George Bush to Congress after Desert Storm that this was an example of "The New World Order" in action. Etc.
          Driven by concern over potential destruction by nuclear power; collapse of our polluted environment and instability caused by renegade nations the leaders of the world are privately pursuing a global, centralized, socialist government. Thatís what the talk about our world being a "Global Village" is all about. A more visible example was the "The First Annual State of the World Forum" held in San Francisco in 1995. Hundreds of the very top political, business, and religious leaders were invited to this meeting. Their mission statement revealed what all succeeding gatherings would be about, "TO BUILD THE FIRST GLOBAL CIVILIZATION"
     Some of the proposals included
          (1). Creating a common language,
          (2) Creating a common currency and
          (3) Uniting and accepting all religions.

     This is the direction that top leaders of the world are committed to go or feel great pressure to go once they become top leaders.

     There are many ideas as to how this "Global Community" will be brought about. The scriptures indicate that the breakthrough will be made by a federation of ten nations that were once a part of the Roman Empire. The European Economic Community provides a perfect vehicle for this to take place. (See Daniel 2:40-44; 7:8,11, 19-26; Revelation 13:1-8; 17:3) The move is on. The fulfillment will take place in the seven year tribulation period.

Religious Movement Towards One World Organized Religion

     Jesus revealed that false Christís would be prevalent in the period leading up to the Tribulation period. The last count I heard was that some 2000 people were currently claiming to be Christ.

     It was revealed to John that there will be a "World Religion" with a "World Religious Leader" (Revelation 13:11-17). This religion will be so powerful that the anti-Christ and his Ten-Nation Federation will ride to a position of World government on the back of the World Religion (Revelation 17). At that point the anti-Christ and his world religious leader will destroy this religion and cause the world to worship the anti-Christ and Satan. The move is on toward a world religious organization. . .but it wonít be fulfilled until the tribulation period.

A Russian Confederation That Will Invade Israel

       After Israelís return to her land and the establishment of her nation she will be invaded by a confederation of nations headed up by Russia. This confederation will be annihilated by what appears to be a nuclear response. This is prophesied in Ezekiel 38 and 39.

     Russia has consistently taken side with the Arabic nations against Israel. Indeed, Russia has lavishly supplied the nations that attacked Israel with military and medical supplies previous to some of the wars. Israel strengthens the influence of the United States in the Middle East whereas the influence of Russia is strengthened by supporting the Arab nations. . .which also possess some 70% of the worldís known oil reserves.

     Top leaders in NATO have admitted in private briefings that they believe a nuclear exchange in the Middle East is a certainty. It is just a matter of time. This is yet future and has not yet been fulfilled, but it may be much closer than any of us realize. Ezekiel 38:1-6 identifies Russia as the nation that will lead a coalition of Arab nations in an invasion of Israel.

World Population Control
By an Economic System Based on Numbers

     We are informed that a time will come when every human will be assigned a number. They will be required to have that number placed on their forehead or their right hand and can only buy or sell with that number. (Revelation 13:16,17).

     We are not there yet, but in the last quarter of a century we have seen great progress toward a cashless society via credit cards, debit cards, smart cards and electronic fund transfers. And all this purchasing is done through numbers. At the same time the world is connected by computers and satellites. It is now possible to have all financial transactions be recorded instantly on a world wide scale. I have seen a patent by a major corporation utilizing an invisible ink number on the forearm that can be read by a scanner. This patent was currently being validated in virtually every nation on earth. Other corporations are developing similar plans. Fulfillment time does not seem to be far away.  

     In all, prophetic Bible scholars have identified nearly forty end time signs that are in various stages of development. For most of these signs that development began in the last half of the 20th century. To the masses of humanity they are like those yellow warning signs alongside our highways. These signs are warning us "Jesus is coming soon. Are you ready?" "Satanís anti-Christ is coming to power in the not too distant future. Do you choose to live under his authority or the authority of the true Christ?" "There will be a great tribulation on earth and the marriage supper in heaven. Where you are depends on what you do with Jesus Christ." It also makes the difference in where you spend eternity.

     A man known only as "Old Harry" lived many years at the foot of Mount St. Helens in the Pacific Northwest. Mount St. Helens had been quiet for 123 years. There were a few times when she would spit cinders and ash; drool a little lava, and maybe rumble a muted threat. But Old Harry had become accustomed to that.
     In March, 1980, an earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale registered near Mt. St. Helens. On March 27 a forest ranger reported what "sounded like a sonic boom." Scientists and geologists rushed to investigate. They concluded that a massive eruption was coming. Sheriffís deputies ordered all residents on the shores of Spirit Lake at the base of the mountain to leave. Old Harry refused.
     On May 18, 1980, Mt St. Helens exploded and hurled pulverized rock and ash almost 14 miles high. The force was 500 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Old Harry was never heard from again. His story is a reminder of the wisdom to heed warning signs

Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scripture quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted

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