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This is report #505. This broadcast is not about predictions, nor is it about setting dates as some foolishly have done, however it is all about preparation.
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 Reuters, Western leaders warned Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit on Saturday that he risked more economic sanctions if he failed to end Russian backing for separatist rebels in Ukraine. Russia denied any involvement in an escalation of the separatist war in eastern Ukraine, where more than 4,000 people have been killed since April, but faced strong rebukes from leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Obama said the United States was at the forefront of “opposing Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which is a threat to the world, as seen in the appalling shoot-down of MH17.”
Second, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMORS OF WARS — According to Reuters, the United States’ top military officer told American troops in a surprise visit to Baghdad on Saturday that the momentum in the battle with the Islamic State was “starting to turn”, but predicted a drawn-out campaign lasting several years. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was visiting Iraq for the first time since President Barack Obama responded to Islamic State advances this summer by ordering troops back into a country they left in 2011. Hours earlier, an Iraqi army colonel said security forces appeared close to retaking the country’s biggest refinery at Baiji, which has been under siege for months by Islamic State militants. Obama last week authorized roughly doubling the number of American ground forces as the military expands the reach of its operations after slowing the militants’ advances with U.S. air strikes.
Third, today, under the Sign category of THE TURMOIL IN THE MIDDLE EAST — According to The Times of Israel, Egypt’s deadliest terrorist group, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, branded the Egyptian government as “Zionist collaborators” and vowed to liberate Jerusalem once it had ousted the president. The group, which has spearheaded an insurgency in Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula and now calls itself the Sinai branch of the Islamic State, claimed responsibility for a suicide attack last month that killed 30 soldiers. It branded the Egyptian president “the servant of the Jews” and vowed to behead and dismember him and his regime.
Fourth, today, under the Sign category of WARS & RUMORS OF WARS — According to AFP, at least 356 people have been killed in fighting for Libya’s second city Benghazi since the launch of a government-backed offensive against Islamist militias a month ago. More than 200 of the dead have been soldiers — either members of the regular army or loyalists of controversial retired general Kha-li-fa Haf-tar. All of Libya’s three big cities — the capital Tripoli, Misrata and Benghazi — are largely under the control of Islamist-led militias.
Fifth, today, under the Sign category of DISTRESS AMONG NATIONS — According to Reuters, top officials warned on Saturday that the U.S. military’s ability to stay ahead of technology advances by other countries and respond to multiple crises around the world is already in jeopardy and will get worse unless mandatory budget cuts are reversed. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert said the Navy would have to cut forces and reduce its ability to position ships around the world if lawmakers did not ease or reverse the cuts, which are due to resume in fiscal 2016. He said, “Electronic warfare, electronic attack, anti-submarine warfare — all of these higher end areas — will fall further behind because we’re just not investing in them.” Greenert and other U.S. officials are urging Congress to end the cuts, citing growing strains amid increasing threats, including Russia’s aggression in the Crimea region, and increasing Islamic State extremism in Iraq and Syria.
The Bible says in Luke 17:23-24: “And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.”
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 in the World is Happening? (Part 1)” from Dr. Ed Hindson’s book “Revelation: Unlocking the Future”.
Everyone is curious about the future. We all want to know what lies ahead. The same was true for the early Christians. They were undergoing tremendous persecution by the end of the first century AD. Many felt abandoned and betrayed. Others began to feel hopeless. Some even began to ridicule the hope of Christ’s return. They were not unlike our own generation.
We cannot imagine things getting worse than they already are. Every new public expression of sinful behavior or blatant unbelief shocks us. We all wonder how much time is really left on God’s timetable. As the clock of history winds down, we sense that the end may be near.
Back in the apostle John’s time, believers had many of the same concerns. But their concerns were intensified by political persecution from the Roman government. The Roman beast seemed to control the whole world. Its tentacles reached everywhere — threatening even the churches of Asia Minor. Many Jewish Christians had fled there to escape persecution from their own countrymen in Judea. But now the Gentiles posed an even greater threat to the future of the young churches.
It was in this context that John found himself. By the end of the first century, he was Jesus’ last personal disciple alive. All the others had perished long before. Each one had been martyred for his faith in Christ. But rather than make a martyred hero of John, the local Roman authorities decided to exile him to the island of Patmos off the coast of Asia Minor.
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 4)” from the book “Waiting on the Second Coming” by Ray C. Stedman.
We must understand that though we cannot name the precise date when the Lord will appear and begin the Day of the Lord, there are three characteristics of that day that we will be able to recognize.
The first characteristic of the Day of the Lord is that it will come stealthily. It will come “like a thief in the night.” I recall hearing of an incident where an entire family was sleeping upstairs one night when someone entered their home and stole several items of value; the thief came and left without their knowing it. That is the way a professional thief operates. He enters silently and unobtrusively and does his work. That, said Paul, is the way the Lord will come.
The Lord will come at a time when “peace and safety” seem to prevail, when nothing out of the ordinary is expected. That is how the Day of the Lord begins.
This is not just the apostle Paul’s idea. Jesus had confirmed this truth earlier when he said that the Day of the Lord would come when life seemed to be proceeding normally. People will be eating, drinking, and marrying when suddenly the destructive judgment of God will fall. And that judgment is introduced, as Jesus pointed out very clearly, by the removal of the family of God from the earth: “the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.”
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.