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First, today, let’s look at some Signs of His Coming in the news.
The disciples asked Jesus in Matthew 24:3, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Jesus Christ then went on to give them (and us) clear signs that show us when we can begin to expect to see the coming of the Lord and the end of the world. Those signs include:
1. the appearance of false Christs and false prophets
2. wars and rumors of wars
4. pestilences (fatal epidemic diseases)
5. earthquakes in divers (various) places
6. increased persecution of believers
7. the Gospel being preached in all the world
8. signs and great wonders in the heavens (involving the sun, moon, stars, and planetary movements)
9. distress and perplexity among people
10. increased violence “as in the days of Noah”
11. increased homosexuality and sexual immorality “as it was in the days of Lot”
12. the rise of “Gog and Magog” (which many Bible scholars believe refers to Russia)
13. the rise of the “kings of the east” (which many Bible scholars believe refers to China)
14. increase in knowledge (science and technology)
15. apostasy in the church
16. interest in a unified world government to bring about global peace
17. interest in the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem
The Bible also speaks of other signs which will be evident in “perilous times” in Second Timothy 3. Those signs are people being:
23. disobedient to parents
26. without natural affection
28. false accusers
31. despisers of those that are good
35. lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God
36. having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.
Other signs of the times which have been gleaned from Scripture include:
37. scoffers who mock of Christ’s return
38. movement toward a one-world religion
39. outpouring of the Holy Spirit
40. outbreak of demonic and occultic activity
41. re-establishment of Israel
42. Arab hostility toward Israel
43. re-unification of Europe
44. movement toward a one-world economy
Looking at world events through the lens of the Word of God, let’s look at some headlines from today’s news that point to the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
First, today, under the Sign category of DISTRESS AMONG NATIONS — According to United Press International, Russia has begun a large-scale militarization of the Arctic Ocean region, with a military command structure planned for 2017. It comes after recent discoveries of oil and natural gas reserves under the ocean floor, and the possibility that a potential Northern Sea Route — an alternative to the Suez Canal — could soon be established. Former Soviet bases are being reactivated, a 6,000-soldier permanent military force will be established in northwest Russia region, and radar and guidance systems are planned in the area as well.
Second, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMORS OF WAR — According to the Associated Press, Shiite powerhouse Iran has pledged enduring support for the Shiite-led government of Iraq in its battle against an ascendant Sunni insurgency spearheaded by the Islamic State group. Iran’s President told the visiting Iraqi Prime Minister that Iran has supported Baghdad “from the first day and will remain on that path until the last day.” Iran has been sending military advisers and weapons to Iraq.
Third, today, under the Sign category of DISTRESS AMONG NATIONS — According to United Press International, two U.S. Navy destroyers with ballistic missile defense capabilities are being forward deployed to Japan. The ships with Aegis systems are the USS Benfold and USS Milius, both of which are currently homeported in San Diego, Calif. The announced movement comes as the Navy continues a strategy to focus naval capabilities on the Asia-Pacific region, where vital sea lanes, potential gas and oil deposits and a growing Chinese navy feature prominently. China and Japan are in dispute over ownership of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. China is also in dispute with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.
Fourth, today, under the Sign category of THE TURMOIL IN ISRAEL & THE MIDDLE EAST — According to The Jerusalem Post, The UN is considering replacing its peacekeepers who fled the Golan Heights in recent months with drones. Argentina’s envoy to the UN made the suggestion to Israel and Syria. Damascus reportedly accepted the request, but Israel has been slow to make a decision on the matter. A senior Israeli defense source said, “this is a very sensitive decision, with multiple security implications.” Military sources said they would inform the UN of their decision in the coming days.
Fifth, today, under the Sign category of THE TURMOIL IN ISRAEL & THE MIDDLE EAST — According to Ynet News, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging Palestinian and Israeli leaders to halt “unilateral initiatives” that fuel mistrust and to make the tough compromises needed to achieve a two-state solution. The UN chief’s remarks to the UN Security Council were almost certainly aimed at Israel’s continued settlement building in territory the Palestinians want for their state and the Palestinians’ pursuit of a council resolution that would set November 2016 as the deadline for Israeli troops to withdraw from all Palestinian territory.
The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 3:13-14: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”
You can read these stories in more detail and get more Second Coming-related news on our website at Second Coming Herald.com
Now, it’s time for Prophecy Bootcamp.
Prophecy Bootcamp is where we deal with the basics of prophecy, the Second Coming of Christ, and what will happen in the future according to the Bible. Our aim here is not to make predictions but to help you get prepared by understanding how things will unfold in the end times.
Our topic for today is titled “Why is Revelation So Unique? (Part 2)” from Dr. Ed Hindson’s book “Revelation: Unlocking the Future”.
Four is a number generally related to the earth, which has four regions (north, south, east, west) and four seasons (spring, summer, fall, winter). In the Revelation there are four living creatures; four angels at the four corners of the earth holding the four winds; four angels are bound in the Euphrates River; the inhabitants of the earth have a fourfold description: tribes, tongues, peoples, and nations; and the New Jerusalem lies foursquare.
Six is the number of man, who was created on the sixth day. In Revelation 13:18 it represents the number of the ultimate man, the Antichrist: 666.
Seven is the most significant number in the Apocalypse. There are seven spirits, seven churches, seven lampstands, seven stars, seven lamps of fire, seven horns, seven eyes, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven bowls, seven songs, seven angels, seven thunders, seven “worthy’s”, seven heads, seven crowns, seven mountains, seven Kings, and seven last plagues. In addition, there is the seven-fold description of Christ, the sevenfold message to each of the churches, the sevenfold praise of the Lamb, the sevenfold result of judgment, the sevenfold division of mankind, sevenfold blessings, the sevenfold description of the “locusts”, the 7,000 who were killed, the sevenfold triumph, and the seven “new things.” Then there is the number three and a half, which is half of seven.
Twelve is the number of completeness. There are twelve tribes of Israel, twelve apostles of Christ, twenty-four elders (a double of twelve), the tree of life has twelve types of fruit, New Jerusalem has twelve gates guarded by twelve angels, the city has twelve foundations. There are twelve precious stones adorning the foundation stones and twelve pearls. There are also multiples of twelve: Each of the twelve tribes contains 12,000 people, making a total of 144,000 (12,000 times 12), and the wall measures 144 cubits (12 times 12).
Lord willing, we will continue looking at this topic on our next broadcast/podcast.
In closing, let’s consider what God wants you and me to do in light of His Second Coming.
Jesus Christ said in Luke 19:13 to “Occupy till I come.” In light of that, we are continuing our Bible study series on the books of First & Second Thessalonians which Paul wrote to believers who had concerns about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and what they should do as they waited. This section is titled “Comfort at the Grave (Part 6)” from the book “Waiting on the Second Coming” by Ray C. Stedman.
The Thessalonians, like many of us today, were projecting the sequences of time into eternity. We all struggle with the concept of eternity. We tend to think of it as time going on endlessly; that, as is the case here on earth, we must wait for certain events that are yet future. We feel that is how it will be in heaven, despite the fact that the Word of God seeks to demonstrate that time and eternity are two different things. Time has sequences: past, present, and future. But eternity has only one dimension: it is present, now. We struggle with that concept, as did the Thessalonians.
Here we are all locked into a segment of time together. If we are in the same location, we are all feeling the same temperature, the same barometric pressure. But that is true only of our bodies; it says nothing about where our minds are at any given moment. Minds are not limited to space or time or sequence. They can go anywhere and experience anything at any time. Eternity is much more like that. That is why we have great difficulty understanding these prophetic passages in terms of time when they are really eternal events.
Although I believe Paul knew the difference between time and eternity, he reassured the Thessalonians without becoming abstruse or pedantic, explaining that the living and the dead would be together when our Lord returns. That is the point at issue. He says, in effect, “Yes, you will see your loved ones immediately when the Lord returns. Whether you join that event when you die, or whether the Lord comes while you are yet alive, your loved ones will be with Him.”
If the Lord tarries His coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next broadcast/podcast.
Remember the words of the Lord in Matthew 24:42: “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” Matthew 24:44 says, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”
If you are not ready for the return of Jesus Christ, may I encourage you to get ready today by receiving Him as your Savior. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Keep looking up for your redemption draweth nigh. Let us join in the prayer of John the Revelator — “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in twenty-three foreign countries. He is the author of thirty-four books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts, The Prayer Motivator Devotional and the Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report and the Second Coming Watch Update. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, and a Master’s degree in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for twenty-five years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.