Posted by: admin on Fri, Feb 25, 2011
by Michael W. Stevenson
ANY people have often asked us if we really believe that Jesus Christ is ever going to return to earth. We always answer them from the Bible.
We first of all know from Jesus’ owns words that no one actually knows the day nor the hour of His coming (Matthew 24:36). Yet, within the same chapter, we read that when His return is near, we will know (Matt. 24:33). Yes friends, it is near—more near than you think and we can prove it—we can show the awesome proof that Jesus Christ is about to return within the lifetime of most who are now reading this issue of the Precious Truth magazine.
Christ has told us when He will return and only He should know (Matt. 24:23-24).
With so many churches in the world, many find it confusing to even know the truth on Jesus’ very —they feel that no one is able to even tell them the precious truth on this very subject—yet, those who understand prophecy can know and can tell those who want to know what prophecy tells us. Perhaps this is one reason why the Church is required to announce the coming —to spread the message of that Kingdom!
First off, we find that the disciples asked Jesus a very important question: “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world (age)?”—Matt. 24:3. So then, just what is the sign of His coming and the end of this present age of man’s rule on earth?
After this question, Jesus had went on to give us the answers. So then, why is it that almost nobody even knows the answers? It is because human nature does not want the answer at this point (Romans 8:7) and thus, mankind has to suffer until that very attitude is changed!
When Jesus returns, He is going to begin to change human nature in all the inhabitants of this world. Today, the whole of the world is deceived by Satan (Revelation 12:9)—and this also includes religions. They are deceived by the very “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) who is actively working on people. But the truth is that there is a small group of people who have had their human nature changed—they are now being prepared to rule the world with Jesus Christ. One day they will be able to assist Jesus in the changing of this world—creating a new world for all people to enjoy—a world of great peace and prosperity!
Christ has taught His disciples the sign of His return and the events of this age. So then, what is that sign? His coming will be the most awesome event to ever take place—it will be an event that will occur as no other event has ever taken place! That return will ultimately change the earth forever and Christ will put aside the rule of man, building the Kingdom (Government) of God on the earth, beautifying the earth, and bringing people to surrender to God (Hebrews 2:8, Moffatt Translation).
That means that no matter what religion you are in, whether it be Hindu, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, , or atheists, you will learn the truth and you will become converted to the truth. But, it will only take place in Christ’s own time frame and on His own conditions! It will not be based upon man’s ways!
Today, Christianity is confused and is deceived. They worship the person of Christ while rejecting His message (Matthew 24:4-5). They deceive many people. In Matthew 24, Christ has addressed that very issue first!
Just how many Christian preachers do you ever hear of preaching Matthew 24? It is the most important message of all that Christ has given—yet, the truth is, that they talk only of Christ, but they do not talk of His messages—the Gospel of the Kingdom!
So then, with that, we need to take a strong look at those events which are going to lead to His very return so that we can be sure that we truly understand what is going to take place!
What Leads Up to the Sign?
Christ taught His disciples that there would be wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes which would all lead up to the sign of His Second Coming (vs. 6-8). But, He said that these are “the beginning of sorrows” and then the sign comes of the end of sorrows—His return.
Even thousands of Laodiceans (God’s own Lukewarm people) would also be killed and hated—many other people will be hate and also betrayed (vs. 9-10).
Then we find that there will be many who will be (both secular and religious) which would come along deceiving many people (v. 11). But, you don’t have to be deceived if you will heed these words—follow the Word of God!
Lawlessness will be rampant and even God’s own people have lost their love which God has given to them (vs. 12-13).
Christ then instructs us that “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”—v.14. This is the duty of the Church today—to preach this Gospel concerning the coming Kingdom of God to all the world, preaching it to all the world as a witness of the fact that it will be set up on the earth and that they will be forced to live it! But, notice that the “end” which is mentioned is not an “end” of all things—but, rather it is an end to this present age, this system of Satan’s rule. This end is also of the preaching of the Gospel to all the world, and then Matthew 24 begins to be fulfilled very specifically.
So this Matthew 24:14 is not saying that it is the end of the world, or this age—but, an end of preaching the Gospel—an end of preaching the coming Kingdom of God.
Now comes the sign of the return of Jesus Christ and then the end of this present age—or the end of this world as it is ruled under Satan! “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)”—v.15. This will be something that you can see—something which will be physical. It appears that it is only able to be understood by those who read this prophecy—thus, we must pay careful attention to it and not to add in our own thoughts or ideas, as scripture always will interpret scripture.
Further, it is also a sign that tells us just when we are to flee if we are God’s true people. We will then leave where we are and flee to the place of safety.
Matthew 24:16-20 gives to us the information that we need so that we can leave and flee into the place of safety, of course, Jesus is hoping that we do not have to flee in the winter nor on the Sabbath.
Of course, as we look in the history of the Church of God, we find that the first-century disciples and Church thought that the return of Jesus Christ would happen during their lifetime. They were fully aware of these prophecies because they are mentioned within the —thus, they had a know-ledge of them since they had been spoken of in the Old Testament.
This brings us to see that prophecy has dual stages. Yes, they did flee into the wilderness to Pella in about 70 C.E. So yes, these scriptures also did pertain to them. But, it was only a type of what will have to happen to God’s people in these last days.
So then, the sign also has a very real reason for people being able to see it—for it shows to us that we must flee into the place of safety—probably in Moab. When we see the abomination that makes desolate, then we are to leave and go where God has determined to protect us. God will reveal just where that place is when the time comes (Revelation 12:14). So, we must watch the events happening and be ready to flee.
Further, God has also expected us to understand what that abomination of desolation is when it happens. The very key that will unlock the sign is understanding that abomination which is spoken of—which Daniel already spoke of—for this will be the key that will show to us when we are to flee!
Luke tells us that this sign will be when Jerusalem is surrounded by armies. Yes, armies will surround Jerusalem. This happens just before the (the 3 ½ of which is just before the return of Jesus).
This will be an European army with ten kings that will surround Jerusalem. This is all plain when we understand prophecy.
The real economic power of the world is Germany and the European Union. Their military power is also rapidly being formed. When we see these military powers surrounding Jerusalem, then God’s people know that they are to flee (v.21). Then will come upon all others in the world great distress. This will be the Great Tribulation!
We are told that “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”—Matthew 24:21-22. I want you to see clearly that the abomination sign is all tied to a nuclear war that will be so bad, that if Jesus Christ does not intervene, then no flesh would be saved alive!
We can see that we are now nearing that very time. We look around us and see that now Iran has nuclear capabilities, Russia, the USA, and North Korea all have nuclear weapons and then there are others such as Pakistan which have nuclear weapons. God has promised for His people protection so that no one will hurt them when that comes. The sign includes the worst news as well as the best news—news that we need to understand so that we can be ready for the end of this age under the rule of Satan—and ready for the time of the best government ever lead by King Jesus.
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