"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

TWENTY FOUR SIGNS of The LORD’s RETURN - A ‘Snap Shot’ of The Last Days

~~ By James Fire

(The following article is composed from sermon notes delivered at church on Aug. 28th 2011; neither the sermon nor this article is comprehensive, but is a summary treatment of this vast biblical subject of eschatology. There is enough information here to provide a basic understanding of “the last days”, “the Last Day”, the time of “Jacob’s Trouble” and related issues. It is the hope of TTUF that this will spur Christians into deeper and further study in this crucial issue and make the necessary spiritual preparations to meet our LORD JESUS CHRIST Who Returns Soon!)

A RAPTURE Scenario~~Another RAPTURE Scenario

Two questions:

1) Are we living in the Last Days?
2) What is meant by the expression “the Last Days”?

Note the expression: it’s the last days, plural not singular. There is something called the Last Day as well, and we must understand that the references to such doesn’t refer to a single 24 hr period, but a specified time frame or period, or an age. The Last Day is different than the last days; it refers to the time spoken of by both Isaiah and also Peter:

ISAIAH 65:17
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.


ISAIAH 66:22
For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.


2 PETER 3:7-10
But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.


Also Paul speaks of this:

2 THESS 2:1-4
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.


So the day of Christ, the day of God, the Last Day are all referring to this same time period that starts with this time of the great Tribulation of seven years, and continues on through to what’s known as the Millennium period: a thousand year time where Satan is bound, the Earth is restored to its pre-fallen condition, and Christ Jesus rules from the throne of His father David as absolute Ruler over Israel as well as the whole world. The Last Day has a total of 1,007 years contained in it. It is complete once the new Earth and the new Heavens are created and the eternal Kingdom has commenced.

UPDATE: 10/08/11 Dave Hunt's (of The Berean Call ministry) Commentary on The LAST DAY: Is it a 24 Hr. Period?
~~end of Update


The ‘last days’ is that time period that comes before that Last Day. So, when did the last days begin? Perhaps, as long as 2,000 years ago?

HEB 1:1-2
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;


Some have suggested that “last days” here simply refers to “recent times” and that may be true, but I also believe it refers to prophetic times, particularly in light of ACTS 2:16–21 and JOEL 2:28–32).

ACTS 2:17
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:


In the passage from Joel we read about the former and latter rain (JOEL 2:23); we know the former rain happened on Pentecost just as Peter indicated. The latter rain will occur initially with the 144,000 (12,000 Jews from each of the 12 tribes of Israel – see REV. 7:1–8; 14:1-3) witnesses that proceed in their ministry of the Gospel of the Kingdom, and then later is realized upon all of Israel – when “all Israel shall be saved” (ROM 11:26) at the LORD Jesus’ return.

We can think of the First Advent of Christ and Pentecost as being ‘the beginning of the last days’ with its “former rain” and then Christ’s Second Advent that occurs after the seven years of Tribulation (a.k.a. the time of Jacob’s trouble in JER. 30:7; a.k.a. Daniel’s 70th week in DAN. 9:27) as ‘the last of the last days’ with its “latter rain”.

So it would seem that we have been living in the beginning of the last days for about two thousand years, but now at the end of those two thousand years we are living in the last of the last days. As we look around at the world scene today we see events happening that will find their ultimate fulfillment during that “Last Day”; events of political, governmental, economic, religious, military, social and scientific significance that the Bible has clearly spoken of thousands of years ago! Perhaps we will examine these events in greater detail in a second part of this article (which will more than likely be seen here only, and not in a sermon form).

Another question: What is the key to last days prophecy – the very thing that without it, we cannot even BE in the last days?

ISAIAH 11:11
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

Israel being brought back into the land which was formerly scattered all around the world is a key to prophecy in the last days. However, Israel was cast out of the land not just once, but twice! The first time of course was during the days of Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel (approx. 626 – 602 B.C.) when God judged the nation of Israel and delivered both houses (the house of Israel – the Northern Kingdom – initially taken away by the Assyrian Empire; the house of Judah – the Southern Kingdom – taken away by Babylon which also at that time conquered Assyria, and thus capturing the house of Israel as well) and the LORD gathered them back into their land under the guidance of Nehemiah, Ezra and the godly remnant of Israel’s people (446 B.C.). That was the first re-gathering. So when did the second re-gathering (the “second time” as mentioned here in Isaiah) occur?

In 70 A.D. General Titus Vespasian by order of Caesar attacked Israel and decimated the nation and the Temple, scattering her people all over the known world. Over centuries of times these ‘wandering Jews’ tried to find a home in various countries, but never being at peace for very long. Early in the 20th century the vast majority of Jews lived in Europe and various Middle Eastern nations, but anti-Semitism increased among the Europeans and Muslim people, until finally WW II occurred and the Holocaust; six million Jews and among them over one million Jewish children were slaughtered in Hitler’s concentration camps (I myself have visited the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem when I traveled to Israel back in ’98. It was an experience that’s left an indelible mark on my heart to this day).

At the end of WW II something astounding happened; something that’s never happened before or since: a nation that was destroyed, its land decimated and abandoned, its people scattered all over the world, and its language fallen into obsolescence for nearly two thousand years was brought back and re-established. Israel was brought back into the land in fulfillment of prophecy such as ISAIAH 11:11 and Ezekiel as well:

EZEK 38:8
After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.


Does scripture speak of a fourth re-gathering of Israel? Or even a third? No; there is a first and a second, and no more after that. The second re-gathering is the last re-gathering, and since Israel is mentioned prominently in the book of Revelation, whose majority text deals with the last days, we know that once Israel was gathered into the land the second time, that shot off the starting gun in this ‘last days’ race, heading towards the finishing line of the Last Day and the Return of Jesus Christ!

Other scriptures that speak of God’s re-gathering Israel back into the land are as follows: EZEK 34:11-16; 36:22 – 38; JER 23:3 – 8; 32:36 – 42; note particularly vs. 41 – 42 of this last reference:

JER 32:41-42
Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.
For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.


With God’s whole heart and His whole soul He will assuredly plant them in the land – do you get the idea that God means what He says here? I sure do! He will fulfill His promises regardless of Israel’s unfaithfulness and unbelief.

Yet after God brings Israel back the 2nd time (in 1948 by majority vote in the U.N. Israel was declared a nation again) we read prophecies about Israel in the land with Jerusalem restored and the Temple rebuilt; all this happens in the last of the last days.

2 THESS 2:3-4
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.


Four things happen at this time:

1) The apostasy – many falling away from the faith, and the biblical belief of Jesus Christ and His Word.
2) The appearance of the anti-Christ.
3) His demand to be worshipped as God.
4) His proclamation of deity while in the Temple at Jerusalem.

It is inconceivable that the religious Jew would allow the Temple to be rebuilt anywhere but in Jerusalem, and even more specifically, upon the very foundation of the former Temple as built by Solomon. So according to this prophecy by Paul, the anti-Christ or ‘the Beast’ will one day stand in this re-built Temple and declare himself to be God. Jerusalem was taken back by Israel in 1967, and there have been plans and designs for the rebuilding of the Temple for almost two generations now!

Do we see apostasy today? It’s been around since the days of the apostles, but like leaven (yeast) it spreads and grows until everything is under its influence. Apostasy has infested all of the denominations of Christianity, as well as almost all non-denominational, independent, evangelical churches as well.

Do we see false Christs who are worshipped today? Sure, but the Supreme example is soon to arrive on the scene!
How will all of this prophecy play out in chronological order?

- There was the First Advent of Jesus Christ about 2,000 yrs ago.
- The church was established back then and not long after that the nation of Israel was dispersed (70 A.D.).
- The church proceeded throughout the ages, falling into what’s known as ‘The Dark Ages’ but then with a Protestant Reformation and a reawakening of “salvation by grace alone, by faith alone”.
- Israel was regathered back into the land in 1948.
- Jerusalem taken back in 1967: this 2nd regathering constituted the ‘last of the last days’.

What’s to come:
- The church of Jesus Christ is awaiting the time of the rapture that will occur prior to “the time of Jacob’s Trouble” also called “Daniel’s 70th week” and colloquially spoken of as “the Great Tribulation (of seven years)”. Once this time period begins, it will be the time of the “Last Day”.

- Once that seven year period is finished, Jesus Christ will physically and actually return to this world to rule from the nation of Israel, and Satan will be bound for 1,000 years.

Prior to this “Last Day” there are various signs that are given to us by our LORD Himself regarding the last days which we find ourselves in now.

In MATT 24:1–3 we find the apostles asking the LORD three pertinent questions when He mentions the destruction of the Temple:

1) When shall these things be?
2) What will be the sign of Your Coming.
3) What will be the sign of the end of the age?

Here in the 24th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel the LORD gives us 24 signs that describes this seven year period (included in the Last Day) as well as the time period just prior to it (the last days). These are not necessarily in chronological order:

SIGN #1) Deception – spiritual and otherwise:

MATT 24:4
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.


The Greek word used here for “deceive” is planeo ad it means “to cause to roam, wander from the truth, from safety; to go astray, to seduce.” The LORD Jesus warns against deception not once, but three times in this chapter (vs. 4 – 5, 11, and 24)! The primary emphasis of this deception planned by the master deceiver, that is, Satan is to get people away from the truth as found in God’s Word – to wander from the safety of it and into the dangerous, perilous deception of satanic lies as found in evolution, New Age beliefs, Emergent church dogma, etc. This deception will be found in every facet of life, in government, religion, the mass information and news media, education, economics, etc. and it’s already here!

SIGN #2) False Christs:

MATT 24:5
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.


‘Christ’ is the Greek word for ‘anointed’, and in the case of Christ, being anointed by the Holy Spirit; the word in Hebrew for ‘Christ’ is ‘Messiah’ who is the King-priest-prophet of Israel; the Christ is both the religious leader (prophet, priest and sacrifice) and the political leader (King) of Israel. That is the authority given to Jesus Christ, anointed of the Father for this very purpose (See ISAIAH 61:1-2).

The false Christs predicted by the LORD would be those who are also anointed, not by the Spirit of the LORD, but by the spirit of Satan. These false Christs are leaders of false religious systems and claim to be the replacement or the substitution or successor to Jesus Christ. Here is a partial list of only some of these false Christs:

Lord Maitreya

Yet there is coming an anti-Christ that is ultimate and superior in authority from all the other imposters. Because the anti-Christ or “the Beast” will rule over the political and religious world order (the false Prophet will lead the one world religion and yet cause all of the world to worship the Beast – see REV. 13:1- 18).

It’s because of this dual ruler-ship by the Beast of the one world government and religion, we can expect deception to increase both in government and in religion.

For more about the anti-Christ see the following 6 part series:

The Anti-Christ by Dr. Chuck Missler.

SIGN #3) Wars and rumors of wars:

MATT 24:6
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.


Some of these wars will be so intense and overwhelming that our LORD felt it necessary to assure those in Israel that though these wars would be taking place, they won’t signal the end of the world as some might suppose, judging from the enormity of them. Perhaps the use of NBC warfare will be in evidence in such conflicts yet to be seen.

MATT 24:7
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.


SIGN #3 cont’d) Nation against nation (“ethnos” in the Greek) and Kingdom against Kingdom (“basilea” in the Greek) refers to conflicts arising from different nationalities or race wars and riots as well as conflicts arising from various governments and powers in the kinds of wars that have been fought throughout history.

SIGN #4) Famines – both physical and spiritual:
Physical – REV. 6:5-6; spiritual – AMOS 8:11.


Easily two thirds of the world’s population is either starving or malnourished. This number is increasing as food supplies are decreasing. People even in the church are losing their appetite for the Word of God; they find God’s Holy Scriptures to be boring, or irrelevant for today.

SIGN #5) Pestilences, diseases and plagues


There are diseases that were formerly considered conquered, like small pox, that’s beginning to make a come back, and medical sciences are finding them impervious to the most powerful of medicines and anti-biotics. For more on this, visit this link with a five part series on audio:

Behold A Pale Horse by Dr. Chuck Missler.

There is strong reason to believe that some diseases like A.I.D.S. and Ebola virus were genetically engineered and let loose on the world as a medical and social experiment, as well as a means to depopulate specific segments of the Earth’s population, specifically nations in Africa and Asia. For more on this read Leonard Horowitz’s book. Here is a summary of the book, chapter by chapter: EMERGENT VIRUSES- AIDS & Ebola: Nature, Accident or Intentional?

It’s clear that these signs that our LORD gave to us parallel the same visions that He gave to John the Apostle in the book of REV 6:1- 8.
In Revelation the four horsemen are as follows:

The First Horseman: anti-Christ . . . false Christs - MATT. 24:5.
The Second Horseman: War . . . . . . wars & rumors of wars - MATT. 24:6
The Third Horseman: Famines . . . . famine - vs. 6
The Fourth Horseman: Death . . . . . pestilence - vs. 6

SIGN #6) Earthquakes


The word for “earthquakes” here is seimos and interestingly enough, this word means not just earth quakes but also “tempests” as in storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. “Diverse places” indicates a far ranging area in locations not usual to such experiences: like Washington D.C. for example.

I’ve shared such prophetic signs with many people over the course of my three decade Christian experience, and most often I hear from skeptics who say, “What’s the big deal? We have had wars, famines, earthquakes and whatever since the beginning of time! What’s so ‘prophetic’ about this? I could have made such a prediction myself!”

At such a response I point out MATT. 24:8 to them:

MATT 24:8
All these are the beginning of sorrows.


These particular signs given thus far will be as the LORD indicated, the BEGINNING of sorrows. What sort of sorrows is He talking about? Jeremiah makes much use of this term “as a woman in travail [sorrows]” in JER 4:31; 6:24; 13:21; 22:23; 30:6-7 which is a key passage explaining “the time of Jacob’s Trouble”; the LORD Jesus uses this term in JOHN 16:21; as does Paul in 1 THESS. 5:3.

JER 30:6-7
Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?
Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

JOHN 16:21-22
A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

1 THESS 5:2-3
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.


These 24 signs, and specifically these few at the beginning of the chapter would come upon the world like birth pangs, the contractions that a pregnant woman experiences as the time of the child’s birth gets close: the pangs happen with increasing frequency and intensity. That’s how these signs would manifest themselves throughout history – slowly, spaced apart by some time initially and with less intensity, but then gradually increasing with certain instances of extreme upheaval. We are seeing this very thing more and more so in this century as well as in the 20th century.

SIGN #7) Persecution –

MATT 24:9
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.


If you visit either Persecution-Int'l Concerned Christians or VOICE of the MARTYRS you will witness the ever increasing patterns of persecution which are slowly encroaching in nations that were founded on religious freedom, even here in America, signs indicate that persecution is coming. If you haven’t already, check out Jesus Freaks Vol. 1 & 2 put out by Voice of the Martyrs and DC Talk: JESUS FREAKS Books.

Check out current instances of persecution on Persecution TV by Voice of the Martyrs: Persecution TV

Cassie Bernall and Rachael Scott were two contemporary martyrs of only 12 years ago; when faced with death, they were faithful to witness Christ Jesus and their unshakeable faith in Him. The word for witness in the Greek is “martos” – the term we get “martyr” from. Visit this tribute to these two heroes of the faith: Cassie and Rachael.

Persecution of the church as well as of Jews peppers our history on this rebel planet, and such practices are only going to increase as the time of our LORD’s return draws nearer. Will we stand fast in the faith as did Cassie and Rachael and the other Christian students that day?

SIGN #8) Offences –

MATT 24:10
And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.


Because of persecution and the unwillingness of some to endure such suffering for the LORD’s sake, there will be many who are offended because of the Gospel and Jesus Christ and will not only turn away from the faith, but will turn over those who are determined to be faithful to their persecutors! The word “offended” here in the Greek is “skandilizo” where we get the word ‘scandal’ from: self explanatory isn’t it?

Hear the words of our LORD:

MATT 13:20-21
But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.


SIGN #9 & 10) Betrayed and Hated –

Hatred of God’s people will become global and lead to betrayal by those pretending to be believers. It’s interesting that the word for “hate” is miseo which means “to detest, persecute”.

SIGN # 11) False prophets –

MATT 24:11
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.


The deception that the LORD warned us about seems connected to these false prophets who will work “lying wonders” and deceiving miracles of such magnitude that if it were possible, these could deceive even the very elect! Just as there are many false Christs, but one primary example in the Beast, there are also many false prophets with their own primary example of THE false prophet, the right-hand man who will herald and support the Beast (See REV. 13:11-18; also 2 THESS. 2:9 – 11 regarding “[the] lie”).

SIGN # 12 & 13) Iniquity will abound – Love of many will grow cold.

MATT 24:12
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.


The word for “wax” is psucho which refers to “a gradual change, to chill by evaporation”, which I find quite relevant! The evaporative process of water incites a cooling phenomenon that is commonly employed in desert regions such as Arizona. These evaporative coolers employ the evaporation of water through the pads to create cool air.


We know that the Word of God is symbolized by water (EPH. 5:26), and for the apostasy to happen, people who supposedly formerly believed in God’s Word no longer do so; the “water of God’s Word” evaporates, as it were, from their hearts and lives and as a result, their love for God cools into indifference. And why is this? Because of iniquity or “lawlessness”, a significant part of this lawlessness is the denial of any authority, but particularly of the Bible as God’s infallible, inerrant Word as He inspired the various (approximately 40) writers to write the Scriptures; they will see the Word of God as mere history, a collection of moral stories, Hebrew poetry, anything except for the actual Word of God.

SIGN# 14) The Gospel preached globally –

MATT 24:14
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come
.


This Gospel is being preached today, but in ever decreasing numbers; faithful missionaries that will bring the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ, unmixed with other Gospels and “vain philosophies” is becoming more uncommon. Yet prior to the LORD’s Return, the Gospel of the Kingdom will reach every corner of this globe with such ministries as the two witnesses of REV 11:3 – 12, the 144,000 witnesses of Israel that have placed their faith in the Messiah (REV. Ch. 7), and the saints that come out of the Great Tribulation (REV. 7:14) and even angels from heaven (REV. 14:6)! Once completed, the LORD Jesus will return to claim His throne in Jerusalem as the Son of David, the Messiah.
“The end” spoken of here is the end of this time period known as the Great Tribulation.

From here the LORD backtracks and focuses in on a specific series of events that transpires at the midpoint of this seven year period, or three and a half years into the tribulation period:

SIGN # 15 – The Abomination in the Temple

MATT 24:15
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)


The abomination of desolation is an historical event that the followers of Jesus and all Jews would remember well. It was a time when Antiochus Epiphanes ruled in the Seleucid Empire (175 – 164 BC) and desecrated the Jewish Temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar and raising up an idol in the Holy of Holies. This sparked a Jewish revolt and the oppression of Israel was temporarily relieved and the Temple was cleansed (this is commemorated in the Jewish feast of Hanukkah).

Yet the LORD speaks of this “abomination of desolation” as something yet future, meaning that something like what happened before will happen again, and Scripture points this out to be the case. The reference in Daniel that the LORD refers to is in

DANIEL 11:31-32
And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.
And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.


As well as:

DANIEL 12:11
And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.


These references are what is known as a ‘double reference’ which often appears in prophetic Scripture for very specific reasons; these verses refer in part to Antiochus Epiphanes, and they also refer to the coming one world leader, the Beast of Revelation.

SIGN # 16) Jews are to leave Judea and flee to the mountains –

MATT 24:16-20
Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:


Obviously here the LORD is speaking to His Jewish followers about Jews, because Judea is mentioned, the Sabbath, and winter time in Judea which makes for very difficult traveling. When the event of this abomination takes place, the Jews are to flee away and do so immediately with the utmost of urgency! Judea is to be a part of modern day Israel according to this, and so it is.

SIGN # 17) The rebuilt Temple –

MATT 24:15, 26
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.


Both the Holy Place which is the center most part in the Temple where the ark of the covenant was placed, and the “secret [inner] chambers” that were used by the priests, and are spoken of in these verses; not only will the Temple be rebuilt, but it will be rebuilt authentically according to the same designs that had built it in foregone eras of Solomon’s day.

SIGN # 18) Great Tribulation –

MATT 24:21
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.


“For then” speaks of the time that immediately follows the abomination of desolation. We often call this seven year period “the Great Tribulation” but really it’s the last three and a half years that is; the previous three and a half years is known by some as “the beginning of sorrows” which will be terrible enough! Yet it will only get worse, much worse!
The LORD said emphatically that there was never a time of such suffering before, nor will there ever be ever again – including the time of the Holocaust? Yes! In the holocaust 1 out of every 3 Jews on Earth was killed. During the time to come 2 out of every three Jews will be killed:

ZECH 13:8-9
And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.


Bringing Israel “through the fire” is a reference to those Jews who survive the Great Tribulation and come to faith in their Messiah.

SIGN # 19) Wide spread martyrdom and death –

MATT 24:21-22
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.


Could you imagine this prophecy being fulfilled in a day and age other than our own? How could it be that “no flesh” would survive if warfare was conducted with swords and spears, or even muskets and cannons? Or even WW II planes and battleships in conventional warfare?
Yet today with NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) warfare this prophecy has reached a level of credibility that causes fear in the hearts of many. For the first time in human history we have the technology to literally exterminate all life on planet Earth!


Not only this, but as stated previously, wide spread martyrdom will become common among the world’s population for there will be a number beyond count that will be martyred (Rev. 7: 9 – 17) because they refused to pay allegiance to the Beast.

SIGN # 20) Fleeing to Bozrah –

MICAH 2:12
I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of [the multitude of] men.


See also ISAIAH 63: 1-6

When the LORD tells His people to flee to the mountains, according to prophecy, this remnant (believing Jews) will be gathered together in Bozrah or Petra as it is also known, where they will be kept safe from the Beast and the tribulation of those days.

SIGN # 21) More False Prophets –

MATT 24:24
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.


Now false Christs and prophets had already been mentioned, so how can this be another sign? Remembering that the things come upon the world in birth pangs, so that the latter are more intense and powerful than the former, these false Christs and prophets will only increase in their power and ability to work lying wonders and great signs to deceive those who were not fooled by the previous ones; these wonders are of the same miraculous order as those performed by the LORD Jesus Himself while He walked this Earth. How can this be?

Because God will bring them strong delusion (2 THESS. 2:11), and part of that may very well be allowing such power to be manifested in these agents of Satan!

SIGN # 22 & 23) Apathy and lack of discernment –

MATT 24:37-38
But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

LUKE 21:34-35
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.



Apathy and a lack of discernment regarding the days in which we live can be compared to the attitudes of the people in Noah’s day in which faithful Methuselah, Noah and others preached of the coming judgment, but of all the Earth’s population (by some estimates numbering in the several billions) only eight people were saved! That’s apathy if I ever saw it! We see such apathy and lack of discernment today.

There are people, even Christians who seem completely unaware of the fact that the push towards global government and a one world religion is proceeding at a very steady pace and gaining ground daily. They don’t appear to understand that the economies of the world are under the control of an oligarchy (rule by a few, enlightened rulers) who are intent on bringing down the economies of all the nations so that their currencies are worthless and in effect, forced to accept a one world global currency which this oligarchy will control.

Measures are being taken that will bring all religions in the world under the authority of the U.N. and here in this country under what is coming to be known as ‘The Department of Peace’ which is planned to become a Cabinet level department at the Federal level. Any religious order, or organization, any Christian denomination or independent evangelical church that refuses to comply will have this government backed Department of Peace to deal with!

Too many Christians either haven’t bothered to look into these things, or are unconcerned about them, believing that “we will be raptured out of here before anything bad happens.” Oh, really? Try telling that to the Christians in Communist China, or North Korea. Try telling that to Christians in the Middle East, or Africa that are suffering persecution at the hands of Muslims that demand that they worship Allah. Try telling that to Christians in India where radical factions of Hindus are likewise killing them, pillaging their villages and churches.

How can we assume that Christians here in America will escape persecution when the church has suffered persecution, even promised it (2 TIM. 3:12) in the majority nations of the world, during the majority of history, since the church was born? Those who have suffered persecution in Eastern Block Communist nations, such as Richard Wurmbrand, founder of Voice of the Martyrs, have stated that the signs preceding persecution are already here in America!

Yet how many Christians really know these things? How many are earnestly praying to be found faithful when our time comes? How many are burdened for the increasing blindness of lost souls that, barring miraculous intervention by God and His church whose duty is to proclaim the Gospel, will lead them to an eternity in hell?
And how many Christians are able to discern good, biblical doctrine from bad, and are actively warning others of the leaven (false doctrine) that is permeating the church world wide?

SIGN # 24) Spiritual lethargy –

MATT 24:48-51
But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;

The Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth
.


The church today is composed of professing believers who don’t read their Bibles, they aren’t interested in it or don’t feel the need; some complain that it’s too difficult to understand; others still are simply untaught and become discouraged. There are professing Christians that don’t pray, nor do they attend prayer meetings. There are some churches that have congregations in the thousands, and yet barely a handful will show up for a week end prayer meeting.

Because Christians are not taught the prophecies of the Scriptures (about 1 out of every three verses in the Bible are either prophetic or have prophetic relevance), and they are discouraged by pastors to not spend time doing so! – they don’t understand the late hour in which we are now living: the last of the last days before the church is taken out of this world and it’s then plunged into the most horrible, wicked, violent and bloody time of evil that’s ever been known before!

The hour is indeed very, very late! Those Christians (if they are truly saved) must make their decision now or never, to live wholly for Christ Jesus and surrender their lives totally over to the LORD that bought them with His own blood! Those who are mere professing believers – they aren’t really saved, they just go to church, must repent of their sins and turn from their sinful life and fall upon the grace and mercy of Christ Jesus before its too late and they themselves face the trial that is coming upon all the world (REV. 3:10).

Remember, no one knows the day or the hour in which the LORD will be returning; therefore it can only be wise to heed the warning of our LORD Jesus when He says:

MATT 24:42, 44
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.


For more on these issues, see the following:

Is the Discernment Gene Becoming Recessive in the Body of Christ?

False Teachings, False Peace and False Christ (Three Parts)

New Evangelicalism – The New World Order

The Mother of Harlots Emerges (Four Parts)

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