The Lord’s Return is Imminent Prophecy has all been Fulfilled – Are You Ready?
We are living in an age when we can actually see prophecy being fulfilled. What an exciting time for those that are prepared and ready for the Lord’s return. Every prophecy leading up to the return of Jesus has been fulfilled. His return is the next prophetic event to take place. In this article, I would like to back up a hundred years and show the prophecy and events that have led us to where we stand today.
Revelation is the only book in the Bible that says we will be blessed by reading it and it says it twice, at the beginning and the end. While Revelation is all about the end times, Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, the Gospels, Thessalonians also speak of the end times. In fact, there is scripture scattered throughout the Bible concerning the end times. There were 330 prophecies concerning Jesus first coming. There are 3 times that many about His second coming. Obviously, it is important to God that we understand what is coming.
When I began studying the signs of the end times many years ago. I realized that I may live to actually see the rapture. I don’t mean in a vague form. I mean the prophecy with what is happening in the world. I am seventy-five years old and I believe I may actually see the rapture. It is that close!
The word rapture is not in the Bible. It is the Latin translation for the meaning of the Greek “to snatch away or to catch up.” The Christian community has generally accepted rapture, as the best word to describe the return of Jesus for his followers.
For the Christian, the word ‘rapture’ has a magical sound. To be raptured, means we are going home to be with the Lord.
“Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13)
In Titus 2:13, Paul describes the rapture as the blessed hope that we as Christians look forward to. Indeed, that is the perfect description of the rapture. Because of this blessed hope we can look to a day when we will be with the Lord. A day when there will no longer be crying and sadness. A day when there will be no more sickness and death. Our hope is in Jesus and the fact that he will return for us as he promised. What a contrast it is for the unbeliever that looks to the future with no hope at all.
1 Thess. 4:16-17 tells us: For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And we shall be with the Lord forever.”
The Rapture will be strictly for the children of God, only the believers will hear the shout and trumpet call. It will occur so quickly that the unbeliever will be unaware that it happened, we will just disappear.
First Corinthians chapter 15 tells us that all believers whether having died before the rapture, or are still alive at the time of the rapture, will at that time receive new bodies just like Christ’s resurrected body. We will all be transformed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye. Our Bodies will be like Jesus’ resurrected body.
1 John 3:2 tells us “But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him.”
Philippians 3:21 says “will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”
After His resurrection, Jesus was able to pass through doors and walls. That means that a Christian believer who is in prison in North Korea will not be held back by the prison bars, a miner in WV. working a thousand feet underground won’t wait for the elevator. Nothing will hold us back from rising to meet the Lord in the clouds.
What a glorious and exciting time it will be for those that know the Lord! The rapture is not the second coming of Christ. That will come at the end of the tribulation
Within the Christian community there are three schools of thought as to when the rapture will occur in relation to the tribulation period. There is the pre-Tribulation view. The mid-Tribulation and the post-Tribulation views.
I really don’t want to get into this other than to say a couple things. Like most people I believe the pre-trib view is the correct one for several reasons, but I only want to mention two here. The first is that The Lord promised the believers that he would deliver us from the tribulation.
Jesus said; “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.” (Revelation 3:10)
As Christians we are ensured that we will not have to endure the Wrath during the Tribulation. In Thessalonians we are told at least twice that Jesus will rescue us before the coming wrath, before the Tribulation begins. The Christians are the church, after the rapture, the church is not mentioned again in scripture again the church returns with Christ at the battle of Armageddon. The church is conspicuously absent during the tribulation. If we were to endure the tribulation, surely the Lord would have given us instructions for doing so; but instead He tells us that He will save us from it.
The second thing is that no one knows when he will return. “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36) Only the pre-Trib rapture meets that at-any-moment expectation of the Lord’s coming. If the rapture was at the middle or end of the tribulation we would know when it was coming.
The book of Daniel is one of the most accurate books ever written. Daniel’s prophecies have been right on the money. Critics of the Bible used to claim that Daniel was written after the fact. That it was a book of history rather than a book of prophecy. Its predictions were too accurate. However the discovery of ancient manuscripts of Daniel, some dating back to before 250 BC has quieted those critics.
In Daniel’s dream of the seventy weeks of years prophecy, that’s 490 years of prophecy. The angel Gabriel came to Daniel and gave him the interpretation of the dream. In it he predicted when the rebuilding of the temple would be completed. Even before the rebuilding started which took 49 years. He also predicted the exact day Jesus would enter Jerusalem and be crucified. That was 483 years before the event.
With the crucifixion of Jesus, Daniel’s prophecy stopped at 483 years. The last 7 years are for a future event, It describes what will take place during the 7 years of the Tribulation. Because Daniel’s predictions were accurate for the first 483 years, we can certainly believe his prophecy for what will happen during the seven years of tribulation. Daniel tells us that the tribulation will begin with the signing of a treaty between the Antichrist and the nation of Israel. There was no nation of Israel in Daniel’s day. The nation of Israel was conquered by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians in about 605 BC. Most of the Israelites were taken away for slaves. Israel was no more. Critics of the Bible said the writings about the end times in Daniel and Revelation were wrong because they were about Israel and there was no nation of Israel. If they would have known the Bible better, they would have known that God had a plan and that plan was to bring the Jews back to Israel once again. Ezekiel 11;17 is just one of many Scriptures in the Bible that tell us God would reinstate the Jewish people in their own land of Israel.
It reads: “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.” Ezekiel 11:17.
Other nations which were just as prominent as the Israelites, such as the Babylonians, Canaanites, and Assyrians, have completely vanished. But God had promised Abraham that one day his descendants, the Jewish people would be as numerous as the stars. Therefore, despite the numerous attempts to annihilate them they have remained and even increased in number.
God had a plan, and that plan was to once again He will bring them back to their homeland for the last and final time.
Ezekiel chapter 37, The valley of dry bones is about bringing the people back as one body in Israel. Just like the bones came together from around the valley and came back to life, God will bring the Jewish people from around the world, back to the land of Israel. Which He did in 1948.
Now I would like to go to Matthew, Chapter 24 to the words of Jesus. I am going to be jumping around the Bible, but bear with me, I will tie it all together at the end.
As the chapter begins, Jesus and the disciples had left the temple and went to the mount of olives. The disciples asked Jesus, “what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
In the rest of the chapter Jesus explains it to them.
In verse 6 & 7, Jesus said, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.”
It has been estimated that there have been 10,000 wars fought in human history. When Jesus speaks of nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom, He is speaking about a war out of the ordinary. He is talking about a war or wars with multiple countries involved. I believe as do many who study the end times that Jesus was speaking of WW1 and WW2. Out of WW1 came the Balfour Declaration, a statement of British support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. Britain controlled that territory at that time. And at the end of the 2nd world war the Jews got their nation of Israel back. So the first world war brought the need for a homeland for the Jews to the world attention and as a result of world war 2 it was brought to perdition.
Most Bible scholars view the rebirth of the nation of Israel in 1948 as the beginning of the end times.
In the last part of verse 7, Jesus said that after the wars would be famine and earthquakes.
“There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.”
I had the idea that there were more famines in ancient times than today in our modern civilized world. But since 1920 (WW1 ended in 1918 ) there have been over 83 million people who have died from famine. The worst famines in recorded history occurred in the 20th century. It is currently estimated that there are 80 million people living in hunger.
Jesus also spoke of earthquakes. Earthquakes have been on the increase since WW1. Not just small quakes because of better detection, but larger quakes. The Largest earthquakes in recorded history have been since then. In the US there are now 20,000 earthquakes each year, or approximately 55 per day.
The central US used to average 21 earthquakes of a magnitude of 3.0 or larger, in 2014 there were 659. According to the U.S. Geological Survey there were 21,527 earthquakes of 5.0 or higher from 2000 to 2012.
Before 2009, there were, on average, two earthquakes a year in Oklahoma that were magnitude 3 or greater. Last year, there were 907. In the first 16 years of the 21st century earthquakes have increased 31 times what was normal in the 1900’s. That’s not double or triple, that’s 31 times as many earthquakes.
New Zealand had a record breaking 32,828 quakes in 2016. Worldwide from 2007 to 2017 there were 146,635 earthquakes of 6.0 and larger. Those are serious quakes. Earthquakes are increasing just as the Scriptures predict.
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. (Matt. 24:32)
Jumping ahead to verse 32, Jesus tells the lesson of the fig tree. When a fig tree is used symbolically in Scripture, it commonly refers to the nation of Israel, such as (Hosea 9:10, Luke 13:6-10). For instance; Luke 21:29 reads, “Behold the fig tree and all the trees.” The fig tree is Israel and the other trees would be the nations of the world. In verse 32, Jesus again uses the fig tree to represent Israel when He speaks of the spring birth of the fig tree; this represents the rebirth of Israel as a nation in 1948. The fig tree has been dead or dormant over the winter and now that spring is here it is coming back to life. The nation of Israel had been dead, non-existent for 2600 years, now it is being reborn. Then, there is the time when the fig tree’s twigs are tender and it begins forming leaves; this would have been the early years of the nation of Israel. Just as the fig tree’s leaves and sprouts are tender in the beginning, Israel had growing pains as well with warring neighbors, no economy to speak of, food rations, etc. It was a very rocky beginning.
Now we see Israel as a nation that is firmly established with a strong military, a very strong economy that ranks in the top 20 of the world. And they rank 10th in the world in the number of millionaires and billionaires, even though they are only the size of NJ. This would indeed be the summer that Jesus speaks of for the fig tree.
In verse 33 Jesus tells us “when you see all these things, you know that (the end) it is near, right at the door.”
How far away is right at the door? It can’t be very long before Jesus returns.
I might add that there is one thing missing in the nation of Israel and that is Christianity. Only ½ of 1% of the people in Israel are Christians.
The next prophecy to be fulfilled will be the rapture. Nothing else has to happen first.
There are a couple misconceptions that many people believe must take place before the rapture or tribulation can happen. One is that the gospel must be preached to the whole world before either can happen. This comes from Jesus words in verse 24
“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.” Matt. 24:14
If you read this in context, Jesus is speaking of the tribulation period when He makes this statement. He is speaking of the end of the tribulation period. When the battle of Armageddon takes place, every person will have heard the gospel. They will have had their chance.
The 2nd one is that the Temple needs to be rebuilt before the rapture or tribulation can take place. This comes from the fact that at the midpoint of the tribulation the Antichrist will set himself up in the temple in what is called the “the abomination of desolation”. The midpoint of the tribulation is the first time the temple is mentioned in the end times prophecies.
There are groups such as the Temple Mount Faithful, the Temple Institute, and other Jewish groups around the world that have been preparing for the rebuilding of the temple. All the utensils, fabrics, etc have been made. Money for the construction has been raised. Stones have been cut, in fact the cornerstone for the temple sits just a few blocks from the temple mount. Priests are being trained to serve in the temple. Pure strains of animals for sacrifices are being raised, including a strain of Red Heifers. These groups claim once they have the go ahead, they can have the temple built in 9-12 months. The construction of the temple can begin after the tribulation has begun and easily be completed with worship and sacrifices being conducted well before the tribulation midpoint. I believe the rebuilding of the temple will be part of the agreement between Israel and the Antichrist.
Other things that will take place at the end times is the one world government and world Church. The United Nations is posed to step into the role of a world government.
We are, in many ways, already functioning under a global governing system with the World Health Organization, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization and the United Nations.
The Committee of 300 is an organization made up of the world’s financial and political leaders. You can google the membership list. You will recognize many of them. It encompasses many other organizations and secret societies. It has been called the power behind the New World Order. Their number one goal is A One World Government-New World Order with a unified church and monetary system under their direction. They do not believe in a divine destiny. They believe it is up to man to save the world and they are working toward that goal.
Robert Muller of the UN is quoted as saying:
“We have brought the world together as far as we can politically. To bring about a true world government, the world must be brought together spiritually. What we need is a United Nations of Religions.”
With that goal in mind a world church has started operation, called the United Religions Organization. It is patterned after the United Nations. It was started by an Episcopalian Bishop in Ca. It has the blessing of the leaders of the Catholic church, Jewish leaders, and many mid-eastern religions. They believe that all religions must somehow ignore their differences, unify and pledge their allegiance to the global community.
They see their only obstacles to making this happen is the protestant Christians with their belief that there is only one way to heaven. One of the United Religions’ goals is to wipe out fundamental Christianity. In fact the head of the committee of 300 stated, “We have taken everything toward a central government as far as we can until we rid the earth of fundamentalism.
He may see that happen sooner than he thinks, but not in a way he could imagine. When the rapture happens those supposedly narrow-minded fundamental Christians will be taken from this world along with the Holy Spirit. We will all be gone home to heaven. Then the world will be free to form their one-world government and church. The tribulation will not begin immediately after the rapture. It will take some time to institute their central government and church. The disorder and confusion after the rapture will help them get control of the people. It could be 1 year, 2 years or even 5 or 10 years before the covenant with Israel is signed and the tribulation begins.
The world is posed for the end time. Everything is in place. The world is as close to the beginning of the tribulation as it can go until the rapture happens. The Christians and the presence of the Holy Spirit is all that holding the world and Satan back. Both will be removed at the rapture. How much longer will God wait?
During the Coronavirus we have seen how easily and quickly governments can institute control on the people.
Now I would like to go back to Matthew 24, verse 34 to wrap this up.
Verse 34 states “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.”
What generation is Jesus speaking of? There’s only two choices. Obviously it was not the disciples generation that Jesus was speaking of. It would seem, Jesus is saying the generation that is around to see the rebirth of the fig tree, the rebirth of the nation of Israel, will also see the end. This would be the generation that was born in 1948 or later. Many Bible scholars believe this is what Jesus meant. Jerusalem is central to the tribulation events. Israel did not control Jerusalem until the six day war in 1967. So He could be saying the generation born in 1967 and later.
Understand I am not trying to predict the rapture, only God knows when that will happen. Does it matter whether we are raptured or die a natural death? Not at all, but personally I would really like to see the rapture!
My point is not to try to predict the future, but to bring to your attention that according to all the Bible tells us and what is taking place in the world, The rapture is the next prophecy to be fulfilled and we are standing on the doorstep. We need to be reaching out to our friends, family, and those we care about so when the Lord calls us home, they will not be left behind. And if you do not have the assurance of knowing the Lord, I implore you to ask him into your life. This is a scary time to not know Jesus as your Savior. But it is a very exciting time to be living and looking each day for the Lord’s return.