The Second coming of Christ
Matthew 24:26 “So if someone tells you, ‘Look, the Messiah is out in the desert,’ don’t bother to go and look. Or, ‘Look, he is hiding here,’ don’t believe it! 27 For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes. 28 Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.
29 “Immediately after the anguish of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
30 And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.
Now there are those that see the events in verse 31 as the Rapture. However this is not the case.
Revelation 3: 10 “Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world. 11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown. 12 All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God—the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name.
It is this promise that shows that the Rapture and the events that occur at the return of Christ at the end of the Tribulation are two separate events.
As we look at verse 31 from Matthew in the KJV:
“And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
We see that the term chosen ones goes to elect
Elect – eklektos – chosen out, elect, choice, select: of those chosen out by God for the rendering of special service to Him (of the Hebrew race, particular Hebrews, the Messiah, and the Christians)
In this case though since the Christians are removed before the Tribulation as is promised in Revelation 3:10 this must mean the Hebrews or Jewish people.
So this is the third Rapture and is of the Jewish people. The First Rapture takes place before the Tribulation begins and is as shown above for those Christians that have been loyal unto to God through His Son Jesus Christ. The Second Rapture occurs at the midpoint of the Tribulation at which time the third temple is desecrated. It is here that those that are martyred in the name of Christ will be called up before the Throne of God. It is also at this time that 144,000 will receive the mark of God and will bear witness through the last half of the tribulation. Since it is clearly shown that the 144,000 are all Jewish adds more evidence that the third Rapture which happens as Christ returns is solely for the Jewish people. The chosen and promised nation of God unto the Abraham.
The Second coming will be an event that will be witnessed by the entire globe and will take at least a full day to accomplish as Christ appears at a fixed point in the sky above and the earth will rotate below Him and all will see that Christ is real and He has returned. None will be able to question this.
Signs of the Great Tribulation
As Jesus spoke to His apostles on the Mount of Olives. To answer the two questions they had posed to Him. He began by describing the signs of the world and human behavior before the coming judgment. These signs were addressed in the previous parts of this series. Now Jesus tells His disciples of the tribulation itself.
Now it must be noted that he mentions the defilement of the holy area in a temple. At this time there is no Jewish temple in Jerusalem. The fact that there will be is another sign that the coming tribulation is near.
Matthew 24: 15 “The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about—the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing in the Holy Place.” (Reader, pay attention!) 16 “Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. 17 A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. 18 A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat. 19 How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. 20 And pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. 22 In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones. 23 “Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. 25 See, I have warned you about this ahead of time.
When this third temple is defiled those within Israel are told to flee from there immediately not even bothering to gather anything. For that moment to hesitate will be enough to mean their death. He says that this time will far more arduous than at any other time in recorded history, and the only thing that will save the human race itself will be that God puts an end to it.
Then he shows that the anti-Christ, the false messiah well have powers and abilities, as will his prophet that will cause even those true to God to have cause to wonder and ponder. However they will see the truth and overcome, for they will know the teachings of the Bible and know that these humans are liars and are of the devil.
It is also important to note that at this point this is all He says about the tribulation period. He instead goes right to the point of answering the question probed by the twelve. His return, which will be in the next part of this series.
Section G – Open sin will be seen everywhere: “Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.”
In the last eight years this has become very prevalent in the United States of America. It has been like this for some time in most other countries in the world. Sinners are no longer ashamed to hide in the darkness. They come out into the light in joy and celebration, for the left has embraced them and allowed them to show all their sinful nature.
At the same time many grow more distant more self-involved all due to the cellphone. Studies have already come out showing how the cellphone is causing people to have poor interpersonal skills, amongst other tendencies that are now causing poor social interaction.
The heart of many are growing very cold due to not knowing the Bible nor even knowing of God. Very few people go to church and those that do, go to network more than to truly know God.
Section H – Spreading of the Word of God to all nations: “And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it.”
Even though in the United States there has been a decline in a desire to know God. Other nations in the world seek to know God. Some to the point that they do it in secrecy and hiding for their governments, who would imprison them at the least if they were found out. But they do it anyway. So the Word of God is making its way throughout the world, though there are still some areas that the Gospel has not yet been heard, even now.
Here ends the warning signs of what to look for, for the soon return of Christ and the coming Tribulation. These signs are now widespread throughout the entire world for the first time ever in history. One of the last of which is that sin would be rampant everywhere. That is now for certain, for most of the world has turned its back upon the Bible and think of it at the very least as a guide and not law. But it is law, God’s law. We are told not to turn from it. But most have and so we now know that we are in the end times of this current civilization. Woe unto to those that do not heed the warning sign and think only of the here and now and themselves only.
Section F – Increase in false prophets and false teachers
Once again we must turn to the 1960s when God was removed for the education system. Also at this time more “liberal” views were being taught on the college campuses throughout the world.
Since the Bible was being read and taught less and less. This allowed for the growth of false teaching and beliefs to rise throughout the world. Causing many to think they were learning the ways of God and the Bible when in reality they were not. This is what false teachers do, which leads to those that called themselves prophets.
A prime example of this was the May 21, 2011 through October 21, 2011 prediction of the coming Rapture by Harold Camping.
In 1 Thessalonians it says this:
2 – For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
No one of the creation can know of the return of Jesus Christ. So for Mr. Camping to have named these dates showed him for what he truly is a false prophet and false teacher of the Gospel.
It is due to the fact that so many have not read the Bible, nor know the true teachings within it that have allowed many like this man to come into a place of power and control over many. Another example of this is Joel Osteen who preaches of wealth here in this temporal reality when the Bible makes it clear that to seek after a reward here takes away from our reward in the eternal life to come.
These are only two examples, but there are hundreds out there and millions listen to them and think they are on the right path to God. When in reality they are going further and further away from eternal salvation.
Beginning with the predictions that are to follow. These begin to occur after the beginning. These event signal the soon return of Christ. It is when these become prevalent and obvious it is time to keep aware and plan for the soon return of the Messiah.
Section D – Persecution of Christians
The verse gives great detail as what to expect to see fulfillment of this prophecy:
“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.”
In the Middle East due to the rise of ISIS this is once again becoming a reality. In fact it was reported that last year the most persecuted religion was the Christian religion. It has happened in the past, but is once again on the rise. Once again it points to a rise in this treatment of the followers of Jesus Christ.
Section E – Apostasy and betrayal
“And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other.”
Apostasy is defined as the act of giving up your religious or political beliefs and leaving a religion or a political party per Cambridge dictionary.
Now what many do not realize is that giving up on your religious beliefs doesn’t mean you outright deny your faith. You just stop desiring to follow the teaching of the Bible. Millions live this way daily. Millions go through their life thinking they are “religious” when this is the furthest thing from the truth. They are living an apostate life. This is something that has been occurring within the United States since God was removed the schools in the 1960s and has been increasing exponentially ever since.
In this last election the betrayal began to be seen clearly. As friends and family deleted each other’s names from Facebook.
Again we see fulfillment of the words of Jesus Christ coming to be.
Section C – Famine and earthquakes.
This one is the hardest to show. Mainly due to the sources from which we can gather this information cannot be fully trusted. What can be said in the research I did perform that I find the tread to be on the increase for both. Ever since the beginning of the 20th century there has been a gradual increase in the number of earthquakes. I also noted that in the latter part of the century it began to increase in numbers higher than previously seen. I also noted that in most of the charts shown up to the current year the chart was made there was a slight decrease. However, I must add that for example one made in 2008 there was a decrease three to four years previous this date. Yet one made in 2015 showed 2008 higher that the number shown in the 2008 chart and that once again there was a decrease between 2011 and 2015. What can clearly be said is that earthquakes are dramatically higher and more destructive.
As for the famines. It appears that “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by BandAid in the 1980s was just that a Band-Aid for the problem that has never truly been eliminated, but it sure made those on the left feel good about themselves for a couple of years. So famine is still ever present in this world and those with wealth continue to horde unto themselves as they live in their mansions shouting for the masses to give their money while they do nothing truly themselves.
Section B – Rumors of wars
Now in part three of this series I used this as an example. At that time I showed that this world in general has constantly been in a state of wars and rumors of wars. I also established that at the beginning of 20th century things start to change. Here things called “world wars” took place. Something that had never been even thought possible before that war actually occurred. It must also be pointed out that it was due to events that took place in this first of two world wars that laid the foundation for the return of the Jewish people to the lands that was theirs up until 70 A.D.
An uneasy peace took place between 1918 and 1939, which was really a time of rebuilding and restocking more than an actual peace. As a result the Second World War took place, which resulted in the death of over eighty million lives worldwide and in particular the death of over six million Jews. It was the death of the latter that resulted in making the Jewish people to return to their homeland to escape a future rise in anti-Semitism, which has been on the rise since 2009 due in large part by the election of president Obama. A person who made it clear that he hated the nation of Israel and everything it stood for.
At the end of the Second World War, the world has never known peace. There have been wars and rumors of wars. The United States has been involved in two wars that the same time since 9/11/02 and in reality we still are.
It must also be noted that this verses itself has a division.
Matthew 24:6 – And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. 7 Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.”
In the KJV it is:
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. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom”
Nation – ethnos – a race, people, nation; the nations, heathen world, Gentiles
Kingdom – basileia – kingship, sovereignty, authority, rule, especially of God, both in the world, and in the hearts of men; hence: kingdom, in the concrete sense
So let’s use this in the verse now:
For races of people will rise up against other races and countries shall rise up against other countries.
This has always been an issue, but within the last eight years that has been amplified by the previous leadership of the United States. It is also being seen in Europe. A prime example of this was the 2016 New Year’s rape parties of Muslim men that went through the streets of Germany raping German national females.
So this prophecy has come to pass and is still present with us today.
So both the prophecies of Section A and Section B are fulfilled and ongoing.
Section A – The rise of false prophets and false teachers
In Matthew 24. There are two references to this. The first is in verses 4 and 5. The next is in verse 11 after what as was explained in the previous part of this series as the transition point. So these are two separate events, even though related in part.
The precursor events of verses 4 and 5 have a stipulation from Christ Himself and it is something that all should heed and try to understand. So let’s look at these two verses in the KJV and then break it down further so we can truly understand.
4 – And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
These false prophets have one dangerous element to them. It is something many did not even recognize nor do they even see it today. We are warn not to allow ourselves to be deceived by our fellow humans. For we are all just the creation of God, and so we are to be alert to the truth and this can only come from knowing the true meaning of the Bible. Look at the beginning of verse 5:
“For many shall come in my name.” He makes this very clear. That there will be those that say they come in the name of Jesus Christ Himself.
My – mou- I, me, mine own, my
Name – onoma – name, character, fame, reputation
They say they will come in the name of Christ yet they will not. They will be there pretending to be doing the will of God through Christ but in reality they shall be actting upon their own behalf.
A prime example of this is the popes of the Catholic Church. A church that requires to follow rituals, pray to statutes and to seek after God not through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, but through Jesus’ mother. They also said that it was due to God that the crusades take place to take Jerusalem form Muslims.
Their actions and behavior were finally shown for what they were when true copies of the writing of the Gospel came to light due to the fall of Constantinople, which brought Greek copies into possession of men like Martin Luther. This led to the Reformation when it was found that the Latin verses of the Gospel has been changed and perverted by those within the early Catholic Church. Does this mean that there have been no one that can call themselves “Christian,” form the Catholics? No it does not. For there are have been many that have come from that church that are truly Christian.
This however proves what Jesus was forewarning of. Those that say they are in the service of Jesus Christ, but in reality are in service only for their own lust and desires.
This is why Christ gave the warning so that those that saw the truth would not blindly follow those that did as many did in the early years of the Catholic Church. So as you can see this statement has been relevant ever since the time that Christ Himself walked amongst us, till now.
As shown in part two the apostles asked two questions of Christ. It is important to note that Jesus does not mention what will happen forty years later when the second temple is destroyed by Roman. What he goes into though is the true core of their question. Where the disciples’ minds were truly seeking an answer for. This is where Jesus takes them in the beginning of His reply to their inquiry:
Matthew 24:4 – Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, 5 for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. 7 Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. 8 But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. 9 “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.
We will look at this response one point at a time, but let’s establish these points:
A) The rise of false prophets and false teachers: “Don’t let anyone mislead you, 5 for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many.”
B) Rumors of wars: “And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. 7 Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.”
C) Famine and earthquakes: “There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world.”
D) Persecution of Christians: “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.”
E) Apostasy and betrayal: “And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other.”
F) Increase in false prophets and false teachers: “And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people.”
G) Open sin will be seen everywhere: “Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.”
H) Spreading of the Word of God to all nations: “And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it.”
What needs to be noted in Jesus response to the apostles is that it works in two parts. For there is a transition that takes place when Christ says, “But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.” Or in the KJV: “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” There will be events that are not as obvious to those that live in the times of these events. However, when after the beginning things will become more obvious more clearly seen, harder to deny. The events after the transition mark an escalation not only in the evidence of these events, but in magnitude to not only the numbers affected but at the speed at which is occurs. As an example. Let’s look at rumors of wars. As Roman fell apart, small countries took over former provinces of Roman and many went to war with each other. As time progressed and these new nations settled in there were still uneasy between many and so time to time war would break out. As we came into the 20th century wars escalated to the point of two world wars and after the second there has never been any year since when there was never any peace. The world at one point or another has been in constant war ever since 1945 till today.
The prediction of the destruction of the temple
Matthew 24:1 – As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings. 2 But he responded, “Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”
It is this statement that causes the apostles to start to think and ponder as they left Jerusalem that day. What Jesus was referring to was the events that would transpire in 70 A.D. some forty year in the future, and only six years after the final completion of the overall temple itself.
Matthew 24:3 – Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?
Jesus mentioning the destruction of the temple led the apostles to think that the destruction of the second temple would signal his return to earth. This is why they posed the questions to Him in such a manner. Not realizing that their two questions had two completely different answers.
One point that does need to come to light here is the pattern in which are followed with respect to the first temple. When Solomon’s temple was destroyed in 586 B.C. it was followed by Israel’s captivity to the gentile nation of Babylon, which lasted seventy years. It is during this time period, it must be noted, that Daniel lived and wrote his prophecies.
But back on point, it is the fact the temple is destroyed and then there is exile for the Jewish people from their homeland. When the second temple is destroyed the Jewish people are spread throughout the world and do not return to Israel and re-establish the nation until 1948.
The pattern is one that is constant with the Jewish people. They have faith, they fall from their faith. They rebel, they are punished. Each time they are punished it is worse than the time before. This is God showing all that to spare the rod is to spoil the child and thus rebellion. So God never spared the rod and each punishment suited the nation as a whole, and each one worse than the last.
So if they had pondered it correctly they would not have thought that the destruction of the temple meant His return, but their rejection as a nation of God once again.
In today’s climate you can see that out of all the generations before this one that is currently on the rise, there was a form of discipline. Within the last few decades though, discipline has become something discouraged and as a result the youths in all societies no longer respect their elders and in turn are rebelling. Does this not point to a coming correction form God Himself? I think it does, and woe unto to those that deny the existence of God.
So, the questions are: 1) When will the temple be destroyed? And 2) What signs will single Christ’s return and the end of the world?
As I have just pointed out these are not related, but to the apostles they were. Due to their current blindness when they asked the question. The answers are covered as we progress through this series.