SIGNS OF THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
Will there be signs, warning and advance indications of our Lord’s coming? If so, what will they be? Two extremes must be avoided. On the one hand, we must not set dates for the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. No man knows the precise hour of the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:36, 42; Acts 1:6, 7). On the other hand, we are not to be dulled into spiritual lethargy. We are to watch and be ready for the Rapture (2 Timothy 4:8). Jesus wants His people to discern the signs of the times (Matthew 16:3; Luke 21:28; 1 Thessalonians 5:4). Genuine Christians who carefully observes current events and moral and religious trends must be deeply impressed by the cumulative evidence. Surely, we are in the last days, and Christ’s second coming is very near indeed. What are some of the general and specific signs which seem to herald our Lord’s return?
1. General Signs
The general signs of the second coming of Christ as as follows:
- a scoffing unbelief in Christ's coming;
- religious unconcern;
- an outward formalism;
- the increase of wickedness;
- the disturbances of nature; and
- a falling away from the faith.
1.1. A scoffing unbelief in Christ's coming
"There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation" (2 Peter 3:3, 4). Some will flatly deny the doctrine of Jesus’ return as absurd or unreasonable. Others will interpret it to mean the death of the believer. Others will openly ridicule it as antiquated or superstitious. The very spread of incredulity indicates that the Lord’s coming draws near. For Peter tells us that scoffers will abound "in the last days" (2 Peter 3:3).
1.2. Religious unconcern
Callousness and carelessness with regard to the things of Christ have always been present. But they will increase in the last days and thus point unerringly toward the return of Christ. An Instructive Parallel - In Noah’s day, shortly before the destructive judgment of the Flood, men were concerned about two items: eating and drinking; and marrying and giving in marriage. The propagation and preservation of the race were their main topics of conversation in the very hour when the race was about to perish (Compare Genesis 6:5-9:19 with Matthew 24:32-39). The sinful race in Noah’s day cared little about his repeated warnings, was more interested in business as usual and the perpetuity of the human species. The inevitable result was that it was swept away by the Flood. So, it will be at Christ’s coming. Mounting lack of concern about the things of God in general will precede His coming and indicate that it is near.
1.3. An outward formalism
This will be a strange phenomenon of the latter days. Inward unbelief will be cloaked in outward ritualism. Faithlessness will be concealed by ceremonialism. If faith is missing, they will concentrate on form, "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away" (2 Timothy 3:5).
1.4. The increase of wickedness
Paul describes the last days as "perilous times" (2 Timothy 3:1-9). He then explains the nature of the peril. Study with care 2 Timothy 3:1-9. Essentially men will be "lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God" (2 Timothy 3:4).
1.5. The disturbances of nature
Earthquakes, famines and pestilences characterize human history. For since the Fall of man, nature has been under the divine curse (Romans 8:22).
Jesus implied (Matthew 24:7-21; Luke 21:10-11) that these things would increase in number and destructive effect toward the close of the age.
1.6. A falling away from the faith
God has given to us in His Word (i.e. Holy Bible) which is accurate and reliable. "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21). People long have questioned, doubted and impugned the authority of the Bible. But the sacred Book has stood the test of time. In the last days the apostasy (falling away) will spread rapidly. And that is happening today!
The word "apostasy" means to stand away from where one used to stand. In Scriptural usage, this refers to a doctrinal shifting from formerly held Biblical teachings. It is clear from Colossians and Galatians that the two key doctrines subject to erosion are:
- the person of Jesus Christ; and
- the work of Jesus Christ (His deity and His substitutionary blood atonement).
It is significant that all the major deviations from Biblical Christianity err in one or both of these doctrines. This would include:
- Cults, such as the Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons, who deny both the deity of Christ and salvation by faith alone; and
- Liberalism, which finds both the deity of Jesus and His blood atonement intellectually untenable.
The New Testament also uses the word apostasy in a technical sense. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Paul says, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there comes a falling away (i.e. apostasy) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." This is not any old apostasy but rather the [ultimate] apostasy when the world abandons its native religions, opening the way for the new religion of the Anti-christ, which will eventuate in the earth dwellers worshiping his image (2 Thessalonians 2:4) and receiving his mark (Revelation 13:16-18).
1.6.2. The testimony of the apostles
A sign which is surely more pronounced today than in any prior century, is that of apostasy within the so-called Christian church. Paul, writing to Timothy, said that "in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils" (1 Timothy 4:1-5). He said also that in the last days men would be "lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof" (2 Timothy 3:1-5). Paul stated the case perfectly. False cults abound today. The old-fashioned, saving gospel is widely rejected. The integrity of the Scriptures is denied far and wide. The growing apostasy proclaims the approach the Son of God (Matthew 24:11). Unbelievers will have "itching ears" and will seek after false teachers and false religions which will not provide the true way of Salvation.
Paul, Peter, John and Jude all provide warnings, even at the start of the church age, of the dangers of false teachers and apostasy. Matthew and Revelation indicate that the hallmark of Tribulational religious observance will be demon-influenced Judaism and Christendom (Matthew 12, 24; Revelation 9, 13, 16).
2. Unique Contemporary Signs
During the last few decades, a series of events has been taking place, the converging impact of which would suggest that Christ’s second coming may be even nearer than many believers suppose. There are at least seven such contemporary events:
- the atomic age;
- promotion of cashless transactions system and computer records;
- preparation for the coming world church;
- political consolidation in the west;
- stirrings in the far east;
- fusion of peoples in the north; and
- the return of Israel to her land.
2.1. The atomic age
Our generation has now entered an age about which our predecessors knew nothing. Peter, in describing "the day of the Lord," writes that "the elements shall melt with fervant heat," and that "all these things shall be dissolved" (2 Peter 3:10-11). His words suggest just such an explosive era as the twentieth century. The destructive power of atomic bombs can evolve immense heat which can dissolve all materials in the world. Read also Matthew 24:6-8, 29; Revelation 6:1-8.
2.2. Promotion of cashless transactions system and computer records
The promotion of cashless system is providing a way for the Anti-christ to control the human rights of all people. Advancement of computer technology, internet banking, computerized personal and transaction records, credit cards, and the recent launched "compulsory implantation of a micro-chip into the skin surface of pets" will be used by the Anti-christ as effective means to control all people and force them to obey and worship him (Read Revelation 13:16-18).
2.3. Preparation for the coming world church
The harlot of Babylon (Revelation 17:1-7) represent a world-wide corrupt religious system (apostate Christianity) linked with Rome. In her final form she gathers up into her embrace all the false religious systems of earth.
2.4. Political consolidation in the west
2.4.1. Bible prophecies relating to the political consolidation in the west
According to the books of Daniel and Revelation, we know there will be ten major western nations surrounding Israel. The prophet Daniel spoke of the empires that would rise and fall upon the earth when he explained the wonderful image of Nebuchadnezzar's dream (Daniel 2). That image portrays the whole sweep of Gentile world history. In Daniel chapter 2, Daniel interprets a dream that King Nebuchadnezzar has in which he sees a statue with a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, abdomen and thighs of bronze, and legs of iron and clay. Daniel explains that the head of gold is Nebuchadnezzar's empire, which will be supplanted in time by different empires represented by the other materials. Bible scholars agree that the fourth empire, of iron and clay, is Rome, which was at its zenith soon after the earthly life of Christ. Interest focuses especially on the feet and toes of the image, which we understand to illustrate a reappearance or continuation of that great power to the current time.
Referring to the feet and toes, it is clear that ten kingdoms make up this final Gentile power (Daniel 2:41-42; the number ‘ten’ is also mentioned in Daniel 7:7, 24 and Revelation 17:12, which support the previous passage). Until recent times no such empire had appeared in that part of the world. With the rise of the Common Market, all of that may have changed. Now there is the possibility of ten major nations with many associate nations.
The western confederacy will be powerful. Daniel said that it would "be partly strong" (Daniel 2:42) and "devour the whole earth" (Daniel 7:23). Up to now that prophecy has remained unfulfilled. No successor to the Roman Empire has ever achieved that kind of power. The empires of Napoleon and Hitler came close, but both proved to be short-term gasps.
The future Anti-christ will arise from this confederacy. One day the Anti-christ will make a covenant with Israel to guarantee that nation protection (Daniel 9:27). But after three and a half years, he will break that covenant and move into the Middle East, even into the land of Israel (Daniel 11:41). It is then that he will lead his confederacy in earth's final world war - the campaign leading to Armageddon. Many in Europe, tired of the long-standing factional disputes and conflicts among neighboring states, seem ready for such a leader who can unify the continent and bring lasting peace and prosperity to Europe.
The European Union is the center of a new and rapidly rising world entity. Aside from its contemporary role, however, many see in this emerging edifice the shadowy form of a long-awaited structure, the last-days empire described by the prophet Daniel in ancient Babylonia some twenty-five hundred years ago. This is a power which prophecy declares will play a key role in events shortly preceding the second coming of Christ.
2.4.2. Recent development of the political consolidation in the west
The European Union (EU) or Common Market began as the European Economic Community (EEC) on 1st January 1958, when six nations - Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and Holland - banded together for economic purposes. Later, more European countries were added to the EU. The express goal of the EEC is the political union of Europe (Anthony Kerr, The Common Market and How it Works, New York: Pergamon, 1986). From its inception, people such as Jean Monnet, the spiritual father of the New Europe, have always thought in terms of a ten-nation federation. It is likely that several other nations will join, resulting in a twenty-five - or thirty - nation membership, but with 'ten' principle powers.
This new confederacy could become the most powerful union economically, politically, and militarily on the face of the earth. Already the EU nations represent the world's largest trading bloc. Their gross domestic product is growing. Their population is huge. They have negotiated commercial or association agreements with more than ninety countries. They have special trade and aid relationships with more than fifty former colonies in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.
There are only two ways to gain power: one is to take it by force, the other is to be given it. The way this kingdom receives its power is by mutual consent. An interesting passage in the Book of Revelation points this out. Speaking of these nations as horns of power, or kings, it says, "The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast" (Revelation 17:12-13).
Though the initial incentives to unity were economic, early leaders wanted much more. "'Political Union,"' said Professor Walter Hallstein, the first president of the Common Market, "is identical in meaning with the 'political unity of Europe,' which the existing Community is designed to bring about and which its founders had in view as their ultimate goal" (Walter Hallstein, Europe in the Making, trans. Charles Roetter, New York: Norton, 1973).
One important goal of European integration was to have a common currency that would show political unity and make trade much easier. Such a European Monetary Union was first proposed in 1969, but enactment was slow. The biggest move was taken in January 1999, when eleven European countries (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Nether lands, Portugal, and Spain) began using a common currency, the euro. Beginning with stock, bond, and bank transactions, it spread to the circulation of coins and notes. With a common currency, many of the impediments of political union will be removed. Not surprisingly, the introduction of the euro and its more centralized monetary management policies are likely to bring about reduced democratic freedoms and civil rights.
Operating through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the principle European countries have been seeking to maintain and enforce peace in the region. In the aftermath of the Cold War, when NATO's energies were directed at containing Soviet expansionist efforts, NATO is now seeking to redefine itself as a regional security agency.
The books of Daniel and Revelation long ago predicted that there would one day come upon the earth a ten-nation federation in the approximate territory of the old Roman Empire. That confederacy would play a strategic part in end-time events. A world empire would turn against Israel and be involved in earth's final world war.
Is what we see developing in Europe the fulfillment of the prophet's oracle? Is it mere coincidence that a long-fragmented continent, separated by different languages, cultures, histories, and traditions, should see the rise of a new federation? But if what is happening in the European Union today is the formation of this western confederacy, we could well be standing in the starting gate of end-time world events!
It is possible there may be changes in boundaries and nations in that confederacy before the return of Christ. But the fact is that the European federation bears a striking resemblance to the approximate boundaries of the Roman Empire. It is interesting how much of this prophecy has been fulfilled.
2.5. Stirrings in the far east
2.5.1. Bible prophecies relating to the stirrings in the far east
During the end times, there will be a group of eastern confederacy of nations surrounding Israel. It is the one that, when it invades the Middle East, will culminate in the world's greatest battle as God destroys His enemies at Armageddon (Revelation 16:12-16).
It is during the Tribulation that the Anti-christ will move into the Holy Land and set himself up as the world ruler. At the end of the Tribulation, the kings of the east will invade the Middle East, make war with the Anti-christ, and be destroyed when Christ Himself returns (Daniel 11:44; Revelation 9:16; 16:12; 19:11-21).
From what direction will these eastern nations enter the Middle East? They will come from the east across the Euphrates River. The river is somehow dried up supernaturally, which will enable them to cross it (Revelation 16:12).
Who are the kings of the east? Although exact nations are not mentioned, we are told they are nations from the east (literally, "from the rising of the sun"). They also are beyond the Euphrates River (Revelation 16:12). Since the Euphrates River runs across Syria and Iraq and marks the eastern boundary of nations surrounding Israel, this must be a group of Asian nations.
2.5.2. Recent development of the stirrings in the far east
It is possible that the kings of the east may include the following Asian nations:
- Japan; and
Some believe China is mentioned in Scripture סִינִים as "Sinim" or "Aswan" (Isaiah 49:12), one of the places from which Jews are gathered to inhabit their land. However, the major reference to China and other Asian nations who will march against Israel is the passage that calls them the "kings from the East" (Revelation 16:12).
Nowadays, the People’s Republic of China is under the sovereignty of Communist Party (CCP) is a great country. Her population size is 1.4 billion people. CCP is beginning to dramatically influence world affairs. Her military capability is growing. Already she has the world's largest military (approx. 3 million troops) and an increasingly sophisticated nuclear arsenal. CCP seems intent on absorbing Taiwan by military force. Through a sympathetic company she even controls the east and west ports of the Panama Canal.
The CCP have invigorated their military by copying the modern weaponry of countries such as Sweden, France, England, and the United States, seeking to offset the obsolescent Soviet models that still comprise the bulk of their inventory (Frank Gibney Jr., Birth of a Superpower, Time, 7 June 1999). The government received nuclear secrets from some of these countries, most notably, the United States. The recent disclosures about Chinese complicity in obtaining United States nuclear secrets through contacts in the Department of Energy may enable the CCP to produce a neutron bomb, a more advanced nuclear bomb, designed to kill personnel while destroying the least amount of property (Sam Cohen, Check Your Facts: Cox Report Bombs, Insight on the News, 9 August 1999). CCP has an estimated 3,000 "front companies" in the U.S. currently, many of whom seek to acquire sensitive and secret military technology (Tim Healy, Stormy Passage, Asia Week Magazine, 11 June 1999).
In 2013, the CCP initiated the “One Belt One Road” project, “belt” refers to the overland routes for road and rail transportation, called “the silk Road Economic Belt”, whereas “road” refers to the sea routes, or the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. This project includes constructing roads and railways connecting China with the Middle East and Europe.
In 2015, the CCP constructed its first biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) Microbiology Laboratory at Wuhan in order to develop biological weapons.
In 2018, the CCP established the Thousand Talents Plan (TTP) in 2018 to recruit leading international experts in order to steal secret high end technologies from the other advanced countries.
To steal advanced technologies from the United States and European countries, the CCP sponsored thousands of Chinese students study overseas.
Through the above measures, the CCP continues to make many advances as she seeks to attain superpower status.
As we observe the Bible phrase "kings from the East," we notice that the word 'kings' is plural. This must mean that more than one nation is involved in this confederacy. Could it be that a second nation is Japan?
When we look at Japan, we see that its economic advances are legion. All of us know of its steel production, semi-conductor development, television sets, computers, telecommunication equipment, and automobiles. It is a major economic powerhouse.
Under its constitution, Japan cannot maintain armed forces for purposes of aggression. It maintains a national Japanese Self Defense Force and has ships, aircraft, and armored vehicles. The recent development is that Japan is going to re-interpret this constitution in order to allow the conversion of the Self Defense Force into a formal Armed Force.
A third nation that may be part of this confederacy is India. Many believe India is a backward and poverty-stricken nation. However, a careful study shows that this republic has a large pool of scientific and technical manpower. It has the second largest army in the world with approx. 1.2 million troops.
You and I are living through a time when the nations of Asia are becoming more advanced in technologies and sleeping China is stirring from her state of slumber. As she awakens, eastern nations are coming together. Certainly China, Japan and India fit such a description. They are major powers in Asia as well as the rest of the world. With their current awakening, they stand ready to play an active role in eastern and world politics. As we witness the expansion of China, Japan and India's influence, we also may be witnessing the formation of a Biblical eastern confederacy.
These countries are not small and they are moving onto the world stage. For instance, China has the largest number of people on earth and the largest army. It is important to observe that the eastern confederacy has its greatest impact on the world right before Christ returns to the earth.
The Euphrates River is 1,700 miles in length and is the largest river of western Asia. It rises in eastern Turkey and flows across Syria and Iraq to the Persian Gulf. It is one of four rivers in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:10-14) and is part of the land boundary promised to Israel (Genesis 15:18). The Asian armies want to move across the Euphrates because that area forms a natural land bridge from Asia to the Middle East.
They could not come in ships, for the Babel Mandeb Straits at the mouth of the Red Sea are too small for the many ships required. The recent “One Belt One Road” project initiates by China will make it possible for the “kings from the East” to travel from the far east to the land of Israel.
How large an army will these nations have? There is a Bible passage that gives the exact number in this army - 200 million (Revelation 9:16). Although that is hard to believe, it is possible that these nations could quickly assemble that many troops.
2.6. Fusion of peoples in the north
2.6.1. Bible prophecies relating to the fusion of peoples in the north
Before Christ returns to the earth to set up His kingdom and rule the nations, four confederacies will surround the land of Palestine. One of those will be a great northern confederacy that will come down against the land of Israel and there be destroyed by God (Ezekiel 38-39). What are the countries of the northern confederacy? Their names are that of 'Gog' and 'Magog' and they will have the following allies (Ezekiel 38:5-6):
- Put (modern Libya);
- Cush (modern Ethiopia);
- Persia (modern Iran);
- Gomer (the eastern part of Turkey and the Ukraine); and
- Togarmah (the part of Turkey near the Syrian border).
This invading army from the north will cover Israel like a cloud (Ezekiel 38:16). These soldiers will go to rob and plunder the nation Israel which thought it was safe under the protection of the western confederacy. At this point God will step in and utterly destroy the forces of Russia and her allies (Ezekiel 38:21-39:7). The seemingly invincible troops will be supernaturally defeated and completely routed. The Russian army be buried in Israel (Ezekiel 39:11), and only then will Russian influence in the Middle East be ended by the direct intervention of God.
2.6.2. Recent development of the fusion of peoples in the north
What are the countries of the northern confederacy? Russia is a major one. Confirming evidence is that this confederacy will come from the "far north" (Ezekiel 38:6, 15; 39:2). A careful look at a globe shows that the city of Moscow is almost on the same longitude as the city of Jerusalem.
Where is the land of Magog? In the vision of the prophet Ezekiel, God told him to set his face against "Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh" (Ezekiel 38:2). Although those names seem strange to us, Hebrew scholars such as Gesenius, Keil, and Lowth point out that the name 'Rosh' (sometimes translated "chief") stands for the people of the modern nation of Russia. The names listed in Ezekiel 38-39 are identified in Genesis 10:2 as sons of Japheth (i.e. Gomer and Magog). The Japhethites migrated, after the Flood, from Asia Minor to the north, beyond the Caspian and Black Seas. They settled in the area we know today as modern Russia. "Gog" and "Magog," therefore, may refer to the people who live north of Palestine in Russia. Bishop Lowth wrote, "Rosh, taken as a proper name, in Ezekiel, signifies the inhabitants of Scythia, from whom the modern Russians derive their name" (John Cumming, The Destiny of Nations, London: Hurst & Blackett, 1864). The message then describes Gog, the symbolic leader of the land of Magog, that is, the prince of Rosh, or nation of Russia.
Russia's large inventory of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons gives it a devastating war-making potential that few other nations possess. Russia still possesses a latent capability to wage war against its neighbors or move into the Middle East.
188.8.131.52. Other nations which will be aligned with Russia
What other nations will be aligning themselves with Russia? The prophet Ezekiel does say that other countries will join with Russia, including:
- Libya, an African state far removed from Russia geographically but united with her in foreign policy ("Put," Ezekiel 38:5).
- Ethiopia, also an African state, precariously balanced between chaos and stability, which has maintained good relations with the Russians in the past and which has persecuted Christian converts and missionaries ("Cush," Ezekiel 38:5).
- Persia, the modern country of Iran (Ezekiel 38:5). Iran has recently moved closer into the Russian camp by signing new arms deals to upgrade the Iranian military. Russia has long been suspected of providing nuclear technology assistance to the Iranians following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Iranians may even possess some former Soviet nuclear weapons as a result of clandestine government sales or the Russian black market.
The current alignment of nations is almost the same as Ezekiel predicted.
Why will the northern confederacy come against Israel?
It is because of greed - to take the wealth of Israel, the "spoil" from the land (Ezekiel 38:12-13). Throughout history great powers have known that the land of Israel was essential as they sought to expand their empires. The region is the nerve center of communication among three continents, a land bridge between Asia, Africa, and Europe. Alexander the Great made conquering Israel the goal of his Grecian empire. The caesars of Rome made Israel part of their empire. Is it any wonder that Russia and her allies should also want this "golden jewel"?
Russia also needs the area for its economy to flourish. Russian access to sea trade has historically been restricted. Murmansk on the Arctic Ocean and St. Petersburg on the Baltic Sea are frozen over for parts of the year. Russia's limited seaports on the Black Sea are further restricted by the need to have her ships pass through the choke point of the Turkish-owned Dardanelles, a route easily closed in the event of hostilities. Russia needs access to the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean seaports year-round for trade to improve her flagging economy.
Twenty-five centuries ago, a Bible prophet, Ezekiel, spoke of a day when a great northern confederacy would march into the Middle East. He told how that would happen in Israel's "future years," the time when Israel would exist as a nation and under world protection so that she could dwell in "unwalled villages" (Ezekiel 38:11). Although the peace process in Israel is a continuing concern, the United States and western European nations have consistently supported the inviolability of the Israeli nation against foreign threats. With such conditions presently existing in Israel as the prophet described, it could be that we should soon expect the coming together of a northern confederacy. Perhaps what we are witnessing with Russia and her foreign policy endeavors is the assembling of a northern bloc of nations that will eventually result in a Middle East move.
What will happen when Russia moves against Israel? When the northern confederacy comes down against Israel in the latter days before the return of Christ to the earth, a strange thing will happen. Instead of Israel fighting and defending herself against Russia, God will utterly destroy that northern confederacy on the mountains of Palestine. God will shower upon Russia "torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur" (Ezekiel 38:22). There will be a shaking in the land so great that even the mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble, and walls will fall to the ground (Ezekiel 38:20). Civil war will break out, for "every man's sword will be against his brother" (Ezekiel 38:21). God will destroy this confederacy because He also wants to magnify His name. It is so "they will know that I am the Lord" (Ezekiel 38:23).
2.7. The return of Israel to her land
The clearest sign of Christ's return is the modern state of Israel. In the book of Deuteronomy, God spoke through Moses to warn the Jewish people that if they did not obey God's commands, He would disperse them to the four corners of the earth. In A.D. 70, General Titus and the Roman army conquered Jerusalem, destroying the temple, devastating the city, and dispersing the Jewish people into all the countries of the world. However, God also promised in Deuteronomy 30:1-10 that He would bring them back into their own land one day.
Isaiah foretold that in the last days Jews would return to their land in large numbers, with a resultant re-establishment of their sovereign state. For instance, Isaiah states:
"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 ... And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth" (Isaiah 11:11-12).
Amos also stated that, having returned to the land, the people would not be forced to leave again:
"And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God" (Amos 9:14-15).
After many centuries of wandering, the Jews are now making their way back to Palestine. Nowadays, Israel is a duly recognized republic. The vanguard of Hebrews already back on the soil of their fathers will be followed by many more of their countrymen (Isaiah 11:11; Jeremiah 23:3; Amos 9:13-15). All this paves the way for the return of Christ for His own; and then for the treacherous conduct of Anti-christ, who will make a deadly agreement with Israel back in her land (Daniel 9:24-27).
The specific signs of the second coming of Christ in relation to Israel are summarized as follows:
- the re-establishment of the nation Israel in 1948;
- a mass immigration of the Jewish people to Israel;
- an alignment of nations against Israel;
- an anticipation for peace among the nations of the Middle East; and
- the arrangements for the building of the next Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.
2.7.1. The re-establishment of the nation Israel in 1948
The fulfillment of these promises concerning Israel began to occur at the close of the nineteenth century when Great Britain's General Allenby conquered Palestine during the World War I. At the time of Allenby's victory, the Great Britain government agreed to establish a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. Turkey had held the land since the days of its great Ottoman empire and was adverse to the idea of Palestine becoming a homeland for Jews.
Beginning in 1897, a series of Zionist congresses was held to explore ways to create a homeland for Jews in Palestine. In 1882, there had been approximately 24,000 Jews in Palestine, out of a total population of 624,000. In 1927 it reached 150,000 and in 1948, when the modern state was born 650,000. This growth was not without opposition from the Arab populace. Strife between the two groups increased as the years passed.
After the close of World War II, many Jews, desiring to flee from Germany following the Nazi atrocities, wanted to enter Palestine. Strife was severe within the land. Finally, the United Nations attempted to solve the problem by a plan of partition. Areas of greatest Jewish population were identified and designated as belonging to the Jews, with the remainder of Palestine assigned to Jordan. The United Nations voted on 29 November 1947 in favor of the plan. The Jews were pleased, but the Arabs, who wanted the Jews to receive no land at all, were not. Finally, Great Britain withdrew from the scene on 14 May 1948, at which time the Jews declared themselves a sovereign state, in accordance with the United Nations vote.
With this declaration of independence, fighting became even more intense. Though troops from Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq entered formally into the fray, the Jews were able to withstand the attack and gradually begin to win on the various fronts. Israel seized control of large areas of Arab land during the Six Day War of 1967. The most important prize of the Six Day War was the possession of all Jerusalem, with access to the sacred site, the Wailing Wall, as well as control over the Temple area. This brought the realization of the promised rebuilding of the Temple a definite step closer.
2.7.2. A mass immigration of the Jewish people
Aliyah ("to go up") is the Hebrew word עלה (Genesis 50:7) Israelis use to describe Jewish immigration to Israel, their homeland. Since January of 1989, more than 800,000 Jews have "made Aliya," immigrating from many countries to Israel. This is the crowning touch to a number of immigrations over the last hundred years from countries such as Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, the United States, and throughout Europe.
The prophet Zephaniah said that in the time of the end, there would be an aliya out of Ethiopia:
"From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering" (Zephaniah 3:10).
The word "suppliant" is translated in Isaiah 18:7, as "a host of worshipers." The prophecy states that the children of those who had been dispersed will return to Israel as a multitude of worshipers. They will be brought back to Israel as an offering to God. Isaiah 66:20 tells that the Ethiopians will return to Israel upon horses and a variety of other conveyances.
2.7.3. Alignment of the nations
Another trend of the end times, which we have noticed from our vantage point in Jerusalem, is an alignment of nations against Israel. During the Gulf War, in 1991, there were a number of nations that wanted to join forces with Iraq to destroy Israel but were kept at bay by the American-led coalition. The book of Jeremiah prophesies that throughout history, nations would come against the people of Israel. Ezekiel 38:1-12 and Daniel 11:40-45 both explain that in the end times, a major coalition of nations will arise and try to crush Israel. This partnership of states, according to the prophetic Scriptures, will consist of such countries as Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Russia, Turkey, and Iran. Any observer of current events can testify to the forming of this "last days" coalition of nations eager for confrontation with Israel.
2.7.4. Anticipation for peace
There has been, in the Mideast region, talk about peace for many years. In fact, the anticipation for peace has spread from the Middle East to the entire world.
In 1979, President Jimmy Carter, President Anwar Sadat, and Prime Minister Menachem begin met at the presidential retreat center (name: Camp David) in Maryland. Taking the name from the retreat center, they called this first peace agreement the "Camp David Accords." This was the first peace treaty signed between the Israelis and one of their Arab neighbors. The Camp David Accords was followed in 1993 by the Oslo Accords, the peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians. In October 1994, a signing ceremony of the peace agreement between Israel and Jordan was held in Israel.
The fact is, none of these peace agreements are actually working as they were designed. There have actually been more Jewish people killed in Israel since the peace agreements were signed than since the founding of the nation in 1948, before these peace accords. The failure of these treaties has set the scene for the need of someone to help bring these agreements into some kind of workable order. The interesting thing about these peace agreements, which are already on the table, not working, is that they fit the Biblical scenario of Daniel 9:27.
The prophet Daniel wrote that the Anti-christ, the "one-world ruler," will confirm a peace accord with the Jewish people, not sign a peace agreement. The Hebrew verb גבר for "confirm," gabar, which is used in the Bible, is not the same word as to "sign." Gabar also means to "strengthen." In order to strengthen, or confirm something, it must already be on the table, which is where these three "peace treaties" are now located.
2.7.5. The arrangements for the building of the next Jewish Temple in Jerusalem
The most exciting evidence that the Lord's return may well be very close at hand is the activity surrounding preparations for the rebuilding of the next Jewish Temple (i.e. the third Temple) on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Christians view the rebuilding of the Temple as an important sign of the return of the Messiah. In Matthew 24:2, Jesus accurately predicted that Herod's Temple would be destroyed. When He was asked by His Disciples what would be the sign of His return and the end of the age (Matthew 24:3), Jesus responded that when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of by the prophet Daniel standing in the Holy place (Temple)( Matthew 24:15). This could not take place in Herod's Temple (i.e. the second Temple) because it was destroyed in 70 A.D. One cannot have a desolation of the Temple without a Temple.
Daniel 9:27 states that there will be a temple in Jerusalem during the 7-year Tribulation period, when the sacrifices will be stopped:
"He will confirm a covenant with many for one seven. In the middle of the seven he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him" (Daniel 9:27).
The third Temple will be built with the permission of the Anti-christ who will seat on the throne in the temple and force the Jews to worship him (Matthew 24:15, 24; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; Revelation 11:1-2; 13:1-5).
There is evidence that all the items needed to build and operate a third Temple are already set in place, including:
- The men qualified to be priests in the coming temple are now in Jerusalem studying priestly duties. Even the priestly garments for these priests have been made and are in storage.
- According to a spokesman of the Temple Institute, most of the vessels for the sacrificial activities and the worship at the temple have been made.
- The supply of Red Heifers for the purification of Temple and Jewish priests.
- According to Rabbi Yehuda Getz, he discovered the Ark of the Covenant.
- US President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Jerusalem.
184.108.40.206. The supply of Red Heifers
As stated in Numbers 19, an unblemished Red Heifer in which there is no defect and on which a yoke has never been placed, is to be slaughtered and burned and its ashes made into a liquid paste used in the ceremony for purification from sin so that the priests can purify themselves for the duties of the Temple.
Since Herod's Temple was destroyed by the Roman general Titus in 70 A.D., no flawless Red Heifer has been born within the Biblical land of Israel according to Rabbinical sources.
The latest news is that a red heifer was born in Israel on March 2002! The source of the information was originated from (IsraelNN.com) on 20:20 Apr-09-02, 27 Nisan 5762. The original information can be seen from the website: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=21491
After the heifer's owner contacted the Temple Institute, on Friday, April 5th, 2001, Rabbi Menachem Makover and Rabbi Chaim Richman traveled to the farm where the heifer is located, to inspect and validate her status. The rabbis found her to be kosher and were satisfied that this heifer could indeed be a candidate to be used in the process of purification described in the book of Numbers 19.
The birth of the animal to a black and white mother and a dun colored bull is being hailed as a miracle by Jews who want to rebuild the Temple and prepare the way for the Jewish Messiah's entry into Jerusalem.
"We have been waiting for 2000 years for a sign from God", one of them said. "and now he has provided us with a Red Heifer."
This is a prerequisite for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple. Tradition records that a red heifer in our generation is a herald of the Messianic era. It is certainly an important development towards the rebuilding of the Holy Temple.
All these things show us that the prophesied renewal of Jewish animal sacrifice is very near!
220.127.116.11. The discovery of the Ark of the Covenant
The Ark of the Covenant disappeared by the time of the Babylonian Captivity. The Babylonians destroyed the first Temple (the Temple built by the King Solomon) and carried away many of the vessels and implements to their capital city a thousand miles away (2 Kings 24:10-25:17). No mention is made in the Scriptures of the Babylonians taking the Ark or other key Temple items.
According to Rabbi Yehuda Getz, he discovered the Ark of the Covenant in 1982. If the Ark were discovered, it would certainly give rise to a strong movement in Israel to rebuild the Temple in order to house the Ark properly.
Rabbi Shlomo Goren and Rabbi Yehuda Getz, the rabbis in charge of the Western Wall area, are convinced that the Ark has been hidden in a cave in the Temple Mount directly under the site of the Holy of Holies, since the time of King Josiah. They probably represent the majority of Orthodox rabbis in their views. The evidence for all these suppositions about the location of the Ark, as Rabbi Getz concedes, comes more from the Talmud than the Bible. Rabbi Getz believes that in 1982 he was very close, within 40 feet, to finding the cave in which the Ark resides. He was conducting a search in an old tunnel that had been filled with the debris of centuries, which runs perpendicular to the Western Wall and under the Temple Mount. However, when the Moslems discovered that there were diggings being conducted under the Dome of the Rock, they threatened a general riot and the diggings were stopped. The rabbi explains that, for the sake of maintaining peace with their Moslem neighbors, the Israelis had to reseal the entrance to the tunnel, and it remains blocked up to this day.
18.104.22.168. US President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Jerusalem
In gratitude to US President Donald Trump (on 6 December 2017), for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Jerusalem, the nascent Sanhedrin and the Mikdash (Temple) Educational Center are minting a replica of the silver half-shekel Biblically mandated to be donated by every Jewish male to the Temple. An image of President Trump will be engraved alongside an image of the ancient Persian King Cyrus, who facilitated the building of the Second Temple that ended the Babylonian Exile in 538 B.C. (2 Chronicles 36:22-23)
On the other side it has the image of the third temple yet to be built. It is the hope of the Orthodox Jews who minted this coin that this coin will be actually used to pay that offering again for the upkeep of the third temple.
The above signs of the second coming of Christ were actually recorded in the Bible about 2,000 years ago. Satan doesn't want us to pay attention to the signs of the second coming of Christ because he wants us to choose the way to eternal death. Most human beings are deceived by Satan to pay more attention to their daily entertainments, money making, UFOs, aliens, false religions, etc.
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