In the last blog we saw that the rapture is an imminent event. Unlike the second coming, the rapture of the church can happen at any moment. There are no signs indicating when it might happen. However, the Bible does identify numerous things that will take place before Christ returns to earth to set up His kingdom.
Here is a short summary of seven things that point to the season of end time events:
- The Existence of Israel – This may be the most significant of Bible prophecies setting up the return of Jesus Christ. God had promised to bring them back into the land after a worldwide dispersion. (Is. 11:12; Jer. 29:14; Ez. 37:21) Daniel prophesied that a treaty will be confirmed with the nation of Israel after the death of the Messiah. (Dan. 9:26-27) In order for this to happen, Israel must exist as a nation. For almost two thousand years the land of Israel was controlled by Gentile powers. Israel is the only nation that was ever destroyed; it’s people dispersed; it’s language disappeared; and then after 2000 years, it’s people are brought back to the land and reestablished as a sovereign nation. That happened on May 14, 1948 and puts in place a vital piece of the puzzle to fulfill end time events.
2. A Temple – There will be a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. In 2012 prophecy teacher Jimmy De Young wrote an article titled, Preparing for the Third Temple. The Jewish Rabbis in Israel are preparing the garments and vessels for a temple. The Bible tells us that in the middle of the seven-year treaty, the antichrist breaks his covenant by desolating the temple. “He sits in the temple of God showing himself that he is God” (II Thess. 2:4) Matthew calls this the abomination of desolation. (Matt. 24:15) Although the temple mount is still a very disputed area, Dr. De Young suggests that the Temple Mount and the rebuilding of the Temple will be the place and the project to watch in 2021.
3. One World Government – There will be a worldwide government. Jesus will come back, destroy this kingdom, and set up His kingdom. (Dan. 2:28-44; Dan. 7:23-28; Rev. 13:7-8) In case you missed it, the World Government Summit gathers annually in Dubai. There is no doubt that the world is heading toward a one world government. The Covid-19 pandemic is causing government leaders to take another step in this direction.
4. One World Ruler – There will be a one-man world ruler, usually referred to as the antichrist. Kingdoms always require a king. (Dan. 7:23-24; Rev. 13:4-5) At some point he will set himself up in the Jewish temple claiming to be God. (II Thess. 2:4) At His second coming, Jesus will cast the antichrist (the world ruler) into the lake of fire. (Rev. 19:20)
5. The Ability to Control Buying or Selling– No one will be able to buy or sell unless they have the mark of the beast on their right hand or on the forehead. (Rev. 13:16-17) The word for “mark” comes from a Greek word meaning “to engrave”. “Mark” is translated as “to stamp or to impress”. It could very well be related to some sort of tattoo. One scholar suggests that the word “mark” is probably connected with ancient customs. Domestic slave owners sometimes branded their slaves with their mark. At the mid point of the great tribulation, the antichrist will require this mark in order to buy or sell. It’s only in recent history that the technology exists for this to be enforced. For example, the ‘Summit‘ supercomputer can calculate in one second what it would take a person six billions years to do. Recently, Amazon has developed technology where you can pay by scanning the palm of your hand.
6. Alignment of the Nations – The modern-day alignment of nations that are enemies of Israel fits perfectly with Biblical prophecy. Ezekiel prophesied that Russia, Iran, Turkey, and others will come against Israel (Ez. 38, 39). Psalm 83 lists ten people groups that currently surround Israel and will form a confederacy against them. Their common bond is a shared hatred of Israel. They call for Israel’s destruction, “Come and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more” (Ps. 83:4). Sound familiar?
7. The Increase of Evil – “But evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (II Tim. 3:13). “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power ” (I Tim. 3:1-5). It will be a time when evil may actually appear to be winning the day. Within my lifetime, 69 years, it is evident that the world is becoming worse in its morals and practices.
Students of Bible prophecy see these trends as precursors to fulfillment. For the first time in human history, a number of major prophesies seem to be converging at the same time to set the stage for the end. How much longer? God only knows.
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