Last Days Prophecy
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PROPHECIES CONCERNING THE TIMES IN WHICH WE ARE NOW LIVING . . .
So many people think that there is no way we can know about the timing of the Lord's return, because Jesus said He would return like a "thief in the night" (1 Thes.5:2; 2 Pet.3:10; Matthew 24:42-44). Yes! He did say that, not in those words, but He did tell us to be watching! "Watching?" For what? SIGNS! And there are MANY! Also, watching HOW we live!
Paul tells in: 1 Thes.5:1-6 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.  Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (KJV) Jesus' statement does NOT apply to believers: Paul is referring to the Light of the Holy Spirit who indwells all true believers (Rom.8:9; 1 John 2:27). The Holy Spirit is capable of enlightening us, as we study the Bible! He can give us insight as to knowing that we are nearing the time of the Lord's return.
God is actually obligated by His character to warn us (the world) of the imminent return of His Son. The reason . . . Jesus is returning in great wrath to "judge and make war" (Rev.19:11), and God never pours out His wrath without warning.
God does not wish that any should perish, but that all should be brought to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). That is why God ALWAYS warns before He executes His wrath. He warned the world through Noah for 120 years. He warned Sodom and Gomorrah through Abraham. He sent Jonah to warn the pagan city of Ninevah, and He sent Nahum to the same city 150 years later. God warns! BUT . . . do people listen? Whose fault is it when judgment falls on the wicked? Is it God's fault? NO! Absolutely not!
God is warning the world today that His Son is about to return. He is telling the world to repent! Are they repenting? Or are they living in sin with NO thought of repentance? The message from God at this hour to unbelievers can be summed up in a few words: "Flee from the wrath that is certain to come by fleeing into the Arms of Jesus NOW!"
Jesus came the first time to reveal God's love to us; He came to die for our sins. BUT when He returns, it shall be with a vengeance . . . to pour out the wrath of God on ALL those who have rejected God's love and grace.
Jesus' soon return carries with it a message for "Christians." Lukewarm Christians and carnal Christians are being called to commit their lives to holiness. Romans 13:12-14 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. (KJV) We must lay aside the sinful deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. We must behave in a way that is pleasing to God . . . not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. We must put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and His righteousness (1 Cor.1:30).
How God Warns Us
God is trying to waken up believers of the soon return of His Son, Jesus through different signs. There are prophecies concerning world events that we are told to watch for, prophecies that tell us the Lord's return is near.
The Bible is full of these signs. There are hundreds of prophecies in the Old Testament that relate to the Second Coming of the Messiah. In the New Testament, one out of every 25 verses is concerned with Jesus' Second Coming.
There are so many different signs! One way to help is to categorize them.
#1. SIGNS of/in Nature . . . Jesus tells us to watch for earthquakes, famine, pestilence, and signs in the heavens (Mat.24:7; Luke 21:11). So many people seem to shrug this off. They say "We've always had earthquakes, famine, pestilence, etc." True! But, Jesus said that they are the beginning of sorrows (Mat.24:8, like birth pains to a woman in labor . . . they will increase and intensify). Far greater calamities are to be expected before the end. Just consider the number of floods and tornadoes in 2008 alone!
Most Christians do not really believe in the supernatural, and they find it difficult to believe that God speaks to the world through signs of nature. Yet, the Bible teaches this principle from start to finish. God spoke through all kinds of natural disasters in the Old Testament. He dealt with the world's sin through a great world-wide flood in the days of Noah (Gen.6). He called the nation of Judah to repentance through a terrible locust invasion (Joel 1). He called for the nation of Israel to repent by sending drought, wind storms, mildew, locusts, famine and pestilence (Amos 4:6-10). The prophet Haggai pointed to a drought as evidence that God was calling the people to get their priorities in order (Haggai 1:10-11).
As for signs in the heavens . . . the New Testament begins with a special light (star) in the heavens marking the birth of the Messiah (Mat.2:2). Then, on the day that Jesus was crucified, there were three hours of darkness and an earthquake (Mat.27:45-51). And when Jesus returns, the Earth will experience the greatest earthquake in its history as "every island fled away, and the mountains were not found" (Zec.14:4-5; Rev.16:17-21).
God has always spoken through signs of nature, and He is continuing to do so today, BUT people are NOT listening! We had better pay attention to God as He speaks through natural disasters.
#2. SIGNS of Society . . . Jesus said that people will become increasingly lawless and immoral as the time approaches for His return. In fact, He said it would become as evil as it was in the days of Noah (Mat. 24:12,37-39).
2 Timothy 3:1-5 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (KJV) . . . The apostle Paul tells us that people will love #1. self, #2. money, and #3. pleasure. Sound familiar? People have become depraved (Rom.1:24-28). People will call evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20).
These prophecies are being fulfilled before our very eyes! People reject their Christian heritage. They live lives of lawlessness, violence, drugs, immorality, and despair. Movies and TV are becoming more and more blasphemous, immoral and violent with each passing day.
#3. Spiritual SIGNS . . . False christs and cults are the norm today (Mat.24:5,11,24). Cults and their false doctrines (Mat.15:9) are everywhere and highly accepted in today's world. Apostasy (falling away from God and His Word) of the "professing" church (2 Thes.2:3). So many young people are turning to the worship of Satan (1 Tim.4:1), possibly because of drugs. There is persecution of faithful Christians world-wide (Mat.24:9), even to the point of death in some countries. If this trend continues, it won't be long that we in the USA will NOT be permitted to say that homosexuality is wrong.
So-called "Christian" cults are everywhere! There are the Mormons, the Jehovah's Witnesses, Church of Christ, Scientists, the Unity Church.
Apostasy of the mainline Christian denominations began in the 1920's, undermining the authority of the Scriptures, teaching that the Bible is Man's search for God rather than God's revelation to Man.
During the 1960's, worship of Satan exploded in America, and now is worldwide through American movies, books, and television programs. Messing around with the occult has become commonplace in the form of astrology, numerology, crystal gazing, transcendental meditation, and channeling. ALL these are an abomination to Almighty God (Lev.19:26-28,31; Deut.18:9-14; Isa.8:19; Jer.27:9; Eze.13:6-9; Mal.3:5). The occult brought on the New Age Movement with its horrendous teaching that Man is God.
As people become more and more worldly, TRUE Christianity has come under increasing attack. Abortion is OK to the world, homosexuality is OK to the world, same sex marriage is OK to the world, living together without the benefit of marriage is OK to the world, doing drugs is OK to the world . . . etc. Everything that is NOT OK with Almighty God, is OK to the world . . . and for a TRUE Christian to object to any of these makes that person a religious fanatic. I am a religious fanatic because I stand with God on all the above. They are WRONG! They are SIN!
A positive spiritual sign is the proclamation of the Gospel to the whole world (Mat.24:14). With modern technology, there is hardly a person on the Earth who has not heard the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord for that! For only Jesus can save a soul from Hell. Too the Bible has been translated into all major languages.
#4. Signs of Technology . . . The prophet Daniel clearly states this. Daniel 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. (KJV) There are a lot of Bible prophecies that cannot be understood, unless you consider modern technology. one good example: HOW can the whole world look at the two dead bodies lying in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days (Rev.11:8-9)? BUT . . . modern TV and internet satellite technology makes it easy. HOW can the False Prophet build an image of the Anti-Christ that seems to be alive (Rev. 13:15)? Easy today, with robots becoming more and more popular. HOW can the False Prophet demand that ALL people on Earth take the mark of the Anti-Christ in order to buy and sell (Rev.13:16-17)? Tiny micro-chips are now used for pet identification. I even know some ranchers who are thinking of "chipping" their cattle to slow down on rustling. It would not be possible without computers and lasers . . . but they are everywhere!
Jesus said that the Tribulation will be so terrible that all life on Earth would cease to exist if He did not cut the period short (Mat.24:21-22). HOW could all life worldwide be threatened prior to the advent of nuclear weapons? It couldn't have! Another reference to nuclear power is likely contained in Luke's statement: Luke 21:26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. (KJV) Men's hearts failing them . . . is an expression meaning highest terror. The word failing usually means to die. Here, it means that the terror would be so great that men would faint and be ready to die in view of the approaching calamities. Bombs, nuclear weapons? Could be!
#5. Signs in World Government . . . The Bible prophesies that there will be a certain pattern of world government that will characterize the end times. I strongly believe that Israel is the key! Watch Israel! Zech. 12:2-3 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.  And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. (KJV) This prophecy is being fulfilled right now! Israel was re-established as a state in 1948. Since then, she has experienced strife and unrest. She is a burdensome stone for all people! Nearly ALL the world is against her. One day, ALL nations will go against her . . . but they shall be cut in pieces by Almighty God! So far, America is still standing up for Israel. But they too shall go against her . . . and woe be unto her when she does!
A great source of danger to Israel will be the Arab nations surrounding her. They will covet the land and will try to take it from the Jews (Eze. 35:10; 36:2). Israel will be besieged by a nation from the "remote parts of the north," the nation of "Rosh" . . . modern day Russia (Eze.38:2,6). There will also be an army to the East that will be capable of sending an army of 200 million . . . namely, China (Rev.9:13-16; 16:12-13).
Also another sign in the end times will be a coalition of European nations, the revived Roman empire (Dan.2:41-44, 7:7,23-24; Rev.17:12-13). This confederation will serve as the political base for the rise of the Anti-Christ and the creation of his worldwide kingdom (Dan.7:8).
Other international government signs include wars and rumors of wars (Mat.24:6), civil wars (Mat.24:7), and international terrorism and lawlessness (Mat.24:12).
#6. Signs of Israel . . . The signs related to the state of Israel are prolific and very important.
The prophecy most often repeated in the Old Testament is the prediction that the Jewish people will be regathered from the "four corners of the earth" in the end times (Isaiah 11:10-12). The Bible states that because of this regathering, there shall be the re-establishment of the state of Israel (Isaiah 66:7-8). The Scriptures say that once the Jews are back in their land, the land itself will experience a miracle of reclamation (Isaiah 35). The desert will bloom! Eze.36:35 And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. (KJV)
Another end time sign will be the revival of the Hebrew language (Zep. 3:9). Most people are not aware of the fact that when the Jews were dispersed from their land in 70 A.D., they stopped speaking the Hebrew language. The Jews who settled in Europe developed a new language called Yiddish, which is a combination of German and Hebrew. The Jews who migrated to the Mediterranean basin created a language called Ladino, which is a combination of Hebrew and Spanish. The Jews in Israel now speak Hebrew!
There are other signs in Israel that we are told to watch for in the end times:
- #1. the re-occupation of Jerusalem (Luke 21:24),
- #2. the resurgence of Israeli army (Zec.12:6), and
- #3. the re-focusing of world politics on Israel (Zec.12:3).
ALL these signs have been fulfilled in this century. The nation has been re-established, the land has been reclaimed, the ancient language has been revived, the Jews are back in Jerusalem, and Israel is the focal point of world politics.
Jesus tells us: Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (KJV) Many signs have already been fulfilled! BEWARE!
#7. Key Signs . . . Again, I tell you that the most important signs are the ones relating to Israel! God has always used the Jews throughout the Bible as His prophetic time clock. So very often when the Lord is revealing an important event that will take place in the future, He will point to the Jewish people and state that when a certain thing happens to them, the important event will also occur. An well known example of this can be found in Daniel 9 in his famous "Seventy Weeks of Years" prophecy. Daniel tells us to watch for a decree to be issued that will authorize the rebuilding of Jerusalem. Then he says that the Messiah will come sixty-nine weeks of years (483 years) after that decree is issued to the Jewish people.
There are two main prophecies which relate the return of Jesus to events that have occurred in Jewish history since 1948. These two events clearly established the period in which we are now living as the season of the Lord's return.
The State of Israel . . . the first is the re-establishment of the of Israel which occurred on May 14, 1948. Jesus singled out this event as the one that would signal His soon return.
His prophecy is contained in the fig tree parable (Matthew 24:32-35) which He presented in His Olivet Discourse. The day before He delivered this speech, He had put a curse on a barren fig tree (symbol of Israel), causing it to wither (Mat.21:28-29). This prophecy was symbolic, in that God would soon pour out His wrath upon the Jewish people because of their spiritual barrenness in rejecting His Son.
The next day Jesus reminded His disciples of the fig tree. He said to watch for it to bloom again. In other words, He said watch for the rebirth of Israel. He indicated that when the fig tree blooms again, He would be at the gates of Heaven, ready to return! (Mat.24:33). Just as important, He added: Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. (KJV) What generation? The answer is: the generation that sees the fig tree blossom.
THAT is us! We are that generation. The fig tree has blossomed. Jesus is at the gates.
The City of Jerusalem . . . the second key event was prophesied by Jesus in the same speech, (as recorded by Luke). Luke 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. (KJV)
The first half of this prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D., 40 years after Jesus spoke the words. In that year the Romans under Titus conquered Jerusalem and dispersed the Jews among the nations. Jerusalem remained under Gentile occupation for 1,897 years . . . until June 7, 1967, when Israel won the city back during the Six Day War.
The Jewish re-occupation of the city of Jerusalem is absolute proof that we are living in the season of the Lord's return. Jesus said it would mark the end of the Gentile Age.
A Call to Wake Up! A Call to Action!
We are living in the end times! Jesus could return for the church (TRUE, born-again believers) at any time! The Bible clearly tells us to "WATCH." (Mat.24:42-43; 25:13; Mark 13:33,35;37; Luke 21:36; 1 Thes.5:6). The signs of the times are everywhere! They are shouting for our attention. Are you watching? Are you ready?If Jesus came back today (1 Thes.4:13-18), would He be your "Blessed Hope" (Titus 2:11-14) or would He be your "Holy Terror" (Rev.6:12-17)? If you have never received Him as your Saviour and Lord, NOW is the time to act (2 Cor.6:2). Repent of your sins, and call upon the Name of the Lord that you might be saved (Acts 2:14-39).
And if you are a Christian, are you living as if Jesus might return any minute? Are you living a life of holy obedience? Do you pray for the lost and tell of the Lord when you have a chance? Do you yearn for the Lord's return? Will you love His appearing? Can you say with Paul that you are looking forward to a "crown of righteousness" because you have lived your life in a pleasing manner to God (2 Tim. 4:7-8)? Are you watching? Are you ready?
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