Home Counterculture End Times Biblical Teaching THE SIGNS OF CHRIST’S RETURN

THE SIGNS OF CHRIST’S RETURN

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WHEN?
“In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all— the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship.” Isaiah 2:2 (NLT)

A long time from now you will be called into action. In the distant future you will swoop down on the land of Israel, which will be enjoying peace after recovering from war and after its people have returned from many lands to the mountains of Israel.”
Ezek 38:8 (NLT)

“Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come.” Dan 10:14 (NLT)

“This shows that Israel will go a long time without a king or prince, and without sacrifices, sacred pillars, priests, or even idols! 5 But afterward the people will return and devote themselves to the LORD their God and to David’s descendant, their king. In the last days, they will tremble in awe of the LORD and of his goodness. Hosea 3:4­5 (NLT)

How will all this finally end, my lord?” 9 But he said, “Go now, Daniel, for what I have said is kept secret and sealed until the time of the end.” Dan 12:8­9 (NLT)

THE WHEN… Jesus answers
“Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world? ” Matt 24:3 (NLT)

FALSE MESSIAHS
“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.” Matt 24:4­6 (NLT)

The New Testament records three of them: Theudas, Judah the Galilean, and one unnamed Egyptian Jew.

1/ Judah the Galilean
Judah the Galilean is mentioned in Acts 5:37. Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, also made reference to Judah the Galilean, stating: “Judah the Galilean told Jews about ten years before the birth of Jesus that it was shameful for them to be ‘consenting to pay tribute to the Romans and tolerating mortal masters after having God for their Lord’”

(1). It is interesting to note that Judah apparently had a false prophet by the name of Saddok. Very likely Saddok presented himself to the people as being Elijah, who, according to Scripture, was to precede and announce the coming of the Messiah

(2). The pattern of false messiahs having false prophets was to become all too familiar. Judah and Saddok are credited by Josephus with having founded the Zealots, a group we are introduced to in the New Testament.

2/ Theudas
Theudas is mentioned in Acts 5:36. In his historical work, Antiquities, Josephus also wrote about Theudas who, around 45 AD, influenced “the majority of the masses to take up their possessions and to follow him to the Jordan River.” He claimed that the Jordan would part for them at his command. Obviously it didn’t, and he and many of his followers paid for their foolishness with their lives (3).

3/ An Unnamed Egyptian Jew
A third false messiah is mentioned in Acts 21. Rabbi Paul was nearly killed by a hostile mob. The Roman commander stationed at the Temple arrested Paul. When Paul said something to him in Greek, the surprised commander replied, “Do you know Greek? Then you are not the Egyptian who some time ago stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand men of the assassins out into the wilderness?”

Of course, Paul assured him he was not that man. Josephus wrote of this incident as well, though exaggerating the number of followers of this unnamed Egyptian Jew as about thirty thousand. This man led his followers to the Mount of Olives, threatening to force entry into Jerusalem and liberate it from Roman occupation. Many of his followers were killed in the ensuing battle.

INTERNATIONAL UPHEAVAL WITH WARS BETWEEN NATIONS
“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.” Matt 24:6­8 (NLT)

WORLDWIDE HATRED OF CHRISTIANS
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.” Matt 24:9­10 (NLT)

Thursday, 16 January 2014 22:00
Christian Martyrdom Doubled in 2013, Persecution Growing (THE NEW AMERICAN)
“The number of Christians murdered for their faith almost doubled in 2013 over the previous year, according to an annual survey by Open Doors, a non­denominational ministry that monitors the persecution of believers and supports persecuted Christians worldwide. Hardline Islamist regimes and Islamic terrorists — many funded by the Obama administration and other Western governments — were behind most of the slaughter. However, for the 12th year in a row, the barbaric communist autocracy lording over North Korea was ranked as the number one persecutor of Christians in the world.”

Feb. 13, 2014
FOX NEWS reported persecution of Christians growing around the globe – Rep. Chris Smith – over 100 nations

MANY COUNTERFEIT BELIEVERS AND PREACHERS INSIDE THE CHURCH
“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.” Matt 24:11­12 (NLT)

2 Peter 2:1 (AMP)
who will subtly and stealthily introduce heretical doctrines (destructive heresies)
2 Peter 2:1 (NCV) There used to be false prophets among God’s people, just as you will have some false teachers in your group. They will secretly teach things that are wrong—teachings that will cause people to be lost.

DENY = ALSO MEANS CONTRADICT
to contradict, i.e. disavow, reject, abnegate :­ deny, refuse. Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.

“For certain men have crept in stealthily [gaining entrance secretly by a side door]. Their doom was predicted long ago, ungodly persons who pervert the grace of our God into lawlessness and wantonness and immorality, and disown and deny our sole Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).” [Jude 1:4 AMP]

2 Timothy 3:2­5 (NLT) “For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.
3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self­control. They will be cruel and
hate what is good.”
4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.
5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!”

2 Timothy 3:8 (NLT) “These teachers oppose the truth just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. They have depraved minds and a counterfeit faith.”

2 Timothy 3:13 (NLT) “But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived.

2 Timothy 4:3­4 (NLT) “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.”

THE GOOD NEWS REACHES ALL NATIONS
“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.” Matt 24:14 (NLT)

THE MAN OF SIN
“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.” Matt 24:15 (NLT)

“Now, dear brothers and sisters, let us clarify some things about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we will be gathered to meet him. 2 Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Don’t believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us. 3 Don’t be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed—the one who brings destruction. 4 He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God.”

2 Thess 2:1­4 (NLT)
“…these signs indicate that the end is near” Matt 24:28 (NLT)

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.” Matt 24:29 (NLT)

“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.” Matt 24:30 (NLT)

“And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matt 24:31 (NKJV)

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