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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 INTEREST IN A ONE-WORLD RELIGION — According to Vatican Radio, Jerry White, the deputy assistant Secretary of State in the U.S. Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, was in Rome recently to promote a call to action for a ‘Global Covenant of World Religions.’ While noting that governments and civil society organisations are an important part of any peace strategy, White believes faith leaders have a crucial role to play in combating the alarming increase in religiously-motivated violence. He said, “Religion has to be part of the solution—and that’s why a conversation about a new covenant, an interreligious peace treaty” must take place. He added, “I believe that a number of the world’s religious leaders are dropping through Rome more than ever before, and appealing for that type of neutral brokerage.”
Second, today, under the Sign category of THE TURMOIL IN ISRAEL & THE MIDDLE EAST — According to Reuters, Jordan has warned Israel that the 20-year-old peace treaty between the two countries would be threatened by continued Jewish settlement building and any effort to change the religious status of the area of the al-Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem. Jordan’s ambassador to Israel said, “All such acts are incompatible with international law and if allowed to continue will ultimately imperil the treaty.”
Third, today, under the Sign category of THE TURMOIL IN ISRAEL & THE MIDDLE EAST — According to The Blaze, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed “Islamic extremist elements” for the escalation of violence in Jerusalem, saying they were trying to ignite the holy city. He said in his weekly cabinet meeting, “There are various radical Islamist forces at work here who are trying to burn down Israel’s capital.” The prime minister said Israeli police were bolstering their presence in the capital city by more than 1,000 officers following days of rioting by Palestinians.
Fourth, today, under the Sign category of THE TURMOIL IN ISRAEL & THE MIDDLE EAST — According to Israel National News, a spokesman for Jordan’s mission to the United Nations said on Monday his country will request an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. The Jordanian request comes following a letter from the PA’s Ambassador to the UN, Ri-yad Man-sour. Earlier on Monday, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said he had called for an emergency UN Security Council session over the constant cycle of Arab rioting and violence, blaming Israeli “aggression” for the unrest, both throughout Jerusalem in general and on the Temple Mount in particular.
Fifth, today, under the Sign category of DISEASES & EPIDEMICS — According to Reuters, the U.S. military has isolated soldiers returning from an Ebola response mission in West Africa, and Australia has imposed a visa ban on the affected countries. Ebola has killed nearly 5,000 people since March, mostly in West Africa, but nine cases in the United States prompted states such as New York and New Jersey to ignore federal advice and quarantine all health workers returning from the region. The World Health Organization said it feared the quarantine measures could put people off volunteering to go to Africa.
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 4:5: “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.”
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 “What is the Apocalypse All About? (Part 2)” from Dr. Ed Hindson’s book “Revelation: Unlocking the Future”.
The expectation of the Revelation points to the return of Christ. The risen Savior who appears to John on Patmos is the same One who returns with His triumphant Church at the end of the book. He who walks among the churches (lampstands) as our heavenly High Priest is the One who will take His Bride to reign and rule with Him in His Millennial Kingdom on earth. Everything in the Apocalypse points to the second coming of Christ.
David Hocking observes that the concept of our Lord’s soon return is emphasized seven times in the Revelation by the words “shortly” or “quickly”:
“Things which much shortly take place.”
“Repent therefore; or else I am coming to you quickly.”
“I am coming quickly.”
“The third woe is coming quickly.”
“And behold, I am coming quickly.”
“Behold, I am coming quickly.”
“Yes, I am coming quickly.”
The phrase “I am coming quickly” must refer either to “suddenly” or “shortly.” The first implies “speedily,” as in an instant (“like a thief in the night”). It indicates a rapid-fire sequence of events. The second meaning implies in a short period of time, as in “soon.” This focuses on the imminence of the events. Scholars are divided on how this should be interpreted. Robert L. Thomas believes that the events predicted by Daniel and foreseen by Christ now (after the resurrection) stood in readiness to be fulfilled. Thus, John could speak of them as imminent, though they still were yet to be fulfilled — the final aspect of which will occur suddenly.
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 8)” from the book “Waiting on the Second Coming” by Ray C. Stedman.
The Thessalonians learned the details of the Second Coming — the sequence of events as they will occur. Many people, including certain notable Bible scholars, are confused on this because they regard the coming of the Lord as a single event, an immediate and once-for-all appearing. But if we carefully study the Scriptures, we find that the coming of the Lord is a series of events. This series has a dramatic beginning: “The Lord himself will come down from heaven” to take His saints, living and dead, to be with Him. And it has an even more dramatic ending when He will manifest Himself to the entire world: “They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.” These are two separate events. In between is a period of time during which Jesus is present on the earth, though not always visible.
That is what Scripture calls the “presence,” which is the Greek word “parousia.” I personally believe “presence” is a better translation than “coming.” When Scripture talks about the coming of the Lord, it sometimes looks at the beginning of that series, sometimes at the end of it, and sometimes, as in the book of Revelation, at what is going on in the time between. We must train ourselves to think in those terms. The parousia of Jesus is a series of events. Daniel, the Old Testament prophet, said that it would be a week of years — that is, seven years in duration. One event takes place at the beginning; another event takes place at the end. In between, the Lord will be present on the earth behind the scenes, as it were, very much as He was in the days after His resurrection.
For forty days Jesus was here on earth. He appeared to the disciples in Jerusalem and in Galilee. People heard reports that He was around, but nobody could find Him except when He chose to be seen. That is the same condition that will prevail on earth during this time of the coming of the Lord. If we understand that, it will help us greatly to comprehend what is described in this passage.
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.