A collision of emerging signs of the end times is becoming more apparent each day as news reports verify the predictions of Bible prophecy. Much of my writing seems to be on this topic these days in one way or another. The rising of false doctrines based on faulty conclusions of early church teachers that lack that “rightly dividing the Word of truth” Paul wrote about to Timothy (2 Timothy 2:15).
In this Part 1 and following, we will explore what the Scriptures say about current events and how these considerations should enable us to “see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). First is the foundation of Scripture in both New Testament and Old Testament predictions.
The promise of the coming of Jesus Christ to “ingather” His body of believers of past and current numbers was actually made by Jesus, Himself. In John 11, when Lazarus died and his two sisters were mourning his death, Martha brought the timing of Lazarus’ resurrection to the end of the age when the great resurrection is to be. But Jesus, in his Son of God knowledge of the future, replied, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he is dead, yet shall he live, and he who lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26).
Paul takes up the topic in his first letter to the believers in Thessalonica. He wrote, “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
Then he writes of the details of the Lord’s coming for them and future believers in verses 16-17: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
That promise of Jesus in His giving the Great Commission in Matthew 28 is no contradiction to that ending promise in the prior passage, “And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” In Matthew 28:20, He says, “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” What happens then? We will then be with Him.
In his second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul alerts them, and all future believers (see 2 Timothy 3:16), that a “falling away must come first” (2 Thessalonians 2:3), saying, “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition….”
Falling away from what, we must ask? It is from truth, honesty, moral integrity, justice for all, living lawfully, honoring the knowledge of right and wrong—these are principles of life that are being left behind by more of the world’s population and its political leaders.
High on the list is sexual immorality and its degradation upon society. Jesus said, in Luke 17:28-30, “…As it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”
The account of that event is detailed in Genesis 19, and it tells us that the whole city was saturated with homosexuality, for every man and boy bombarded Lot’s doorway, demanding those two “men” (angels) that they might “know” them. Was Paul recalling that situation of sexual degradation in his letter to the Romans in chapter 1:18 and following?
There, he wrote of a time when people were turning man to man and woman to woman with their sexual lusts, saying, also, “who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:32). The approval of sexual deviation is under the judgment of God, and many in governmental units are approving of the LGBTQ+ lifestyle though not participating. They are equally guilty before God.
This climate of approval of sexual deviation in all forms has been established by the nation’s president in the USA, even spreading to business corporations not wanting to miss out on increased revenue from that faction. The confusion of what is the correct pronoun to use for addressing those who claim “trans-gender” status. Not only is it a sexual deviation, it is bringing about the destruction of society.
It is a Satanic attack on the highest of God’s creation, that of man in God’s own image. That spiritual warfare has continued for centuries as Satan wants to see God dishonored by His highest creation. But God is sovereign over Satan, and He will destroy that one at the right time.
When the falling away reaches its climax so that the lawless one can be welcomed wholeheartedly by the world’s population, then Jesus will come and remove the One who restrains that evilness. It is that body of believers in Christ. This is God’s plan so that one, the Antichrist, may have authority and clear sailing to events of the coming seven years of tribulation recorded in the Book of Revelation. These Scriptures establish the New Testament fact of the coming of Jesus to “ingather” His body of believers. The Old Testament prophecies tell of these things as well. In Daniel 9:24-25, the prophet is told of a coming seven-year period when God’s punishment of the Jewish people will be completed—judgment for their constant disobedience and rebellion during those years after the exodus from Egypt. The angel told Daniel this:
“Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.” (These are weeks of years, a year counted as one day, thus one week would equal seven years.)
This was from the time of Ezra’s rebuilding of the temple and the city to the death of Christ would be 69 weeks of the 70 weeks proclaimed. This missing week will be the seven years of the tribulation told of in Revelation 6 to 19.
When Jesus comes for His saints, that 70th week will begin, all pointed to the Jewish people. The Christian church will not be there, as its absence is so obvious. No longer any Great Commission, but 144,000 Jewish “messengers” will take “the gospel of the kingdom” to every tribe, tongue and nation of the world, as we see John’s account in Revelation 7.
There, that great multitude of souls in white robes standing before the Lord are not resurrected saints but are those saved during that ministry. They “come out of the Great Tribulation, it says. They are those who do not take the Mark of the Beast in the last half of that 70th week. And the elder tells John that “many more must be killed.”
That will happen, according to Zechariah 13:8, which says, “And it shall come to pass in all the land,” says the Lord, “That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, but one-third shall be left in it.” It is the time of God’s attention directly on the Jewish people, to begin once the believers in Christ are gone to be with Jesus.
Daniel 9:26-27 follows with the prophecy of events before those seven years. In those verses, we learn of the lawless one mentioned by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2 and what he does right after the removal of the Restrainer. It also tells of the 70 A.D. Roman destruction of Jerusalem and its temple and a future appearance of one who is an “abomination of desolation” who claims to be God as he stands in the new temple the Jews have been allowed to rebuild.
It says this: “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself, and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week. But in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.”
So far, we have the Scriptural foundations for signs that are to come. As we look at looming signs, remember that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” that God “is not a man that He should lie or change,” that He knows all things ahead of their times, and that “knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Faith—believing—comes first, then understanding.
In Luke 21, Jesus predicts world conditions of turbulence in weather, social and political happenings. Here are some of them that He says will be current issues:
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.
“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:10-11 and 25-28).
It is true that many of these things have happened before, but have you noticed how they are bunched up into these few weeks of summer in this hemisphere? World conditions in other segments of the population and political concerns are showing signs of distress, perplexity, and fear, as Jesus predicted.
In the USA, there has been sweltering heat in one area and heavy rain with devastating flooding in another at a continual pattern for weeks. And Jesus said, “When these things begin to happen, look up, for your redemption is drawing near.” In Part 2, we will look at major reasons why it is so.
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