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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 WARS & RUMORS OF WARS — According to the Associated Press, Militant leaders from the Islamic State group and al-Qaida gathered at a farm house in northern Syria last week and agreed on a plan to stop fighting each other and work together against their opponents. Such an accord could present new difficulties for Washington’s strategy against ISIS. While warplanes from a U.S.-led coalition strike militants from the air, the Obama administration has counted on arming “moderate” rebel factions to push them back on the ground. Those rebels, already considered relatively weak and disorganized, would face far stronger opposition if the two heavy-hitting militant groups are now working together.
Second, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMORS OF WARS — According to the Associated Press, America’s top military leader told Congress on Thursday that the United States would consider dispatching a modest number of American forces to fight with Iraqi troops as they engage in larger missions in the campaign against Islamic State militants. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Iraqi forces are doing a better job, but he said an effort to move into Mosul or to restore the border with Syria would require more complex operations.
Third, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMORS OF WARS — According to Reuters, Moscow and Kiev accused each other on Thursday of violating a ceasefire and the United States warned Russia that the West might punish it further for its “military escalation” of the Ukraine crisis. Ukraine accused Russia of sending soldiers and weapons to help separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine launch a new offensive in a conflict that has killed more than 4,000 people. Russia warned Kiev that any resumption of hostilities against the separatists would be catastrophic for Ukraine.
Fourth, today, under the Sign category of EARTHQUAKES IN DIVERS PLACES — According to USA Today, a magnitude-4.8 earthquake on Wednesday shook up parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, the strongest of eight quakes that rattled the seismically active region over 24 hours. The moderately strong quake, which was relatively shallow at 3.4 miles deep, struck about 30 miles southwest of Wichita along the Oklahoma border. The jolt was felt across much of the state and as far away as Tulsa, OK, about 170 miles away. Some Arkansas residents also reported the shaking.
Fifth, today, under the Sign category of THE TURMOIL IN ISRAEL & THE MIDDLE EAST — According to Al Jazeera, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said that steps were agreed upon at talks in Amman to lower tensions between the Israelis and Palestinians. Giving few details, Kerry said that firm commitments had been made to maintain the status quo at holy sites in occupied East Jerusalem, after talks with Israeli Prime MInister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah II. He said Israel and Jordan, which has custodial rights over the Al-Aqsa mosque, had also agreed to take steps to “de-escalate the situation” in Jerusalem and to “restore confidence.”
The Bible says in Luke 21:25: “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring.”
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 “Where Are We Headed? (Part 7)” from Dr. Ed Hindson’s book “Revelation: Unlocking the Future”.
Variations of the interpretation of Revelation have included:
1. The preterist view. This view sees the entire book, with few exceptions, as being fulfilled in the past — in the fifth century AD with the fall of Jerusalem and the persecution of the church by the Roman Empire. It allows no real future fulfillment of any of the judgments (seals, trumpets, bowls).
2. The historicist view. This view looks for the fulfillment of these prophecies throughout church history. This has led to endless speculation that is totally without biblical support. Identifications have included monks and friars as “locusts”, Muhammad as the “fallen star”, Alaric the Goth as the first trumpet, Elizabeth I as the first bowl, Martin Luther as the angel of Sardis, Adolf Hitler as the red horse, ad infinitum.
3. The idealist view. This view interprets Revelation as a series of ideal principles related to the struggle between good and evil. It allegorizes the entire book as a spiritual conflict unrelated to actual historical events. The “tribulation” becomes one’s internal conflicts. The “return of Christ” takes place in one’s own heart and mind. It views the prophecy as having nothing to say about real future events.
Robert L. Thomas summarizes his defense of the futurist view with this cryptic observation: “The futurist approach to the book is the only one that grants sufficient recognition to the prophetic style of the book and a normal hermeneutical pattern of interpretation based on that style. It views the book as focusing on the last period(s) of world history and outlining the various events and their relationships to one another. This is the view that best accords with the principle of literal interpretation.”
The Apocalypse reveals the future. It is God’s road map to help us understand where human history is going. The fact that it points to the time of the end is clear throughout the entire book. It serves as the final consummation of biblical revelation. It takes us from the first century to the last century, from persecution to triumph, from the struggling Church to the Bride of Christ, from Patmos to paradise.
The Apocalypse has been called the epilogue of the unfolding drama of redemption. In the biblical record, human history begins in a garden and ends in the eternal city. It begins with tragedy and ends in triumph. It begins with man’s failure and ends with his exaltation. In between, there stands a cross! And on that cross, Jesus Christ changed the course of human history forever. Hallelujah! What a Savior!
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 “The Fate of the Earth (Part 3)” from the book “Waiting on the Second Coming” by Ray C. Stedman.
During that mysterious period of time after Jesus had risen from the dead and appeared to His disciples, then disappeared again, they asked Him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” In other words, they were asking, “Is this the time when You will fulfill the predictions of the prophets that Israel will be the chief of the nations and the Messiah will reign personally upon the earth?”
His remarkable answer to their question was: “It is not for you to know the times or dates [the same phrase used in Thessalonians] the Father has set by his own authority.” In other words, only the Father knew the answer to their question. Then Jesus went on to outline the program that would affect them: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
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.