It is indeed possible that we will see the beginning of the glorious building of the Temple. When the Antichrist comes to power he confirms a seven year peace contract with the nations (Daniel 9:27).
Archives: Question of the Week
In Matthew 24:3, Christs disciples asked, What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (literally the end of the age) The world never ends (Isaiah 45-17; Ephesians 3:21). The Saviour then proceeded to describe those world events which would both indicate His return and culminate in the Day of the Lord. He added in Luke 21:28, And when these things begin to come to pass (or begin to occur simultaneously), then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. These signs of Christs Second Coming are in evidence worldwide, and increasing both in frequency and intensity.
The actual Second Coming of Christ to the earth is the second phase, the Revelation, or the revealing of Christ. Since He came to earth at His First Advent, He must come to earth at His Second Advent. The Rapture is not Christs appearance upon earth, but a meeting in the heavenlies (1 Thessalonians 4:17), and intermediary evacuation of believers from earth before the storm (Tribulation). Seven years later, Christ does come to earth, touching down on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4). The prophetical signs point to Christs return to earth with His saints at the close of the Tribulation Hour-not to the Rapture. Even if there were not a sign yet in existence, believers could be called home imminently because each of the signs could occur during the seven-year period following the believers departure.
God has two elect groups upon earth Israel (Romans 11:28) and the Church (I Peter 1:2). The signs of Matthew 24 are presented to elect Israel. We know this to be true because of the regard for the Sabbath Day (vs. 20), synagogues (Luke 21:12), and because the setting is Jerusalem (vs. 20). These signs are for Israel who is looking for the return of her King in Revelation 19. They are not signposts for the Rapture. The gospel mentioned in Matthew 24:24 is the gospel of the kingdom that the King is about to return (Revelation 19:16).
Although the signs are completely fulfilled after the Christians are gone, we already see the beginnings of every one of these prophecies (Luke 21:28).
Matthew 24 is spoken to Israel rather than the Church. The signs are not pre-Rapture signals but post-Rapture signposts for Israel. They point to the coming of Christ to this earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:11-16).
Old Testament Signs of the endtimes:
Horseless carriages or automobiles (Nahum 2:3,4)
Airplanes (Isaiah 31:5)
Desert blossoming as a rose (Isaiah 35:1)
Alignment of a ten nation western confederacy (Daniel 2,7)
Knowledge explosion (Daniel 12:4)
Great increases in travel (Daniel 12:4)
New Testament Signs of the Endtimes:
False Christs and False Prophets (Matthew 24:5,24;II Peter 2:1)
Wars and rumors of wars (Mark 13:7; Matthew 24:6)
Famines, earthquakes in divers places, pestilences (Luke 21:11)
Iniquity abounding (Matthew 24:12)
Gospel of the kingdom preached to all the world (Matthew 24:14)
Signs in the sun, moon, and stars, sea and waves roaring (Luke 17:26-30; 21:25-27).
Introduction of evil spirits which control cults and false religions (I Timothy 4:1,2)
The 19 signs of II Timothy 3:1-5, signs within man:
Lovers of themselves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent (drunkenness, gluttony, deviate sex, drugs), fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.
Hoarding of gold and silver, and its final demise (James 5:1-3)
Scoffers mocking the Second Coming of Christ (II Peter 3:3,4)
Lethargy and indifference among Gods people (Revelation 3:14-16)
Invention of the atom bomb (II Peter 3:10)
Jerusalem under Jewish control (Luke 21:24)
As it was in the days of Lot (Luke 17:28,30; Ezekiel 20:47; Zephaniah 1:18; Malachi 4:1; Revelation 8:7, 9:18)
As it was in the days of Noah (Gluttony, drunkeness, illicit sex, corruption, violence) Matthew 24:37; Genesis 6:11)
Distress of nations (Luke 21:25)
Hearts failing for fear (Luke 21:26)
Note: Most judgments described in the Book of Revelation, chapters 6-18 are identical to the signs found in Matthew 24 and Luke chapters 17 and 21.
For many years I believed that the earth would be destroyed at the end of the Millennium. But through further study of the Word, God has brought to light some verses that state that the earth will abide forever. One of these is Ecclesiastes 1:4 which states that the earth will abide forever. Also in Psalms 104:5: who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.
So, after the one thousand years of the Millennium, there will be a renovation, a purging through fire. II Peter 3:10 says The Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. This means literally that the earth shall be purged with fire. This happens because when Satan is released from the pit, he will gather a multitude of people who will turn against Christ. Punishment will come and the earth is purged with fire, including heavens one and two, and that is why Revelation 21:1 says I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away. This is the purging through fire, but the globe still stays here because it is going to go on for ever.
It is easy to understand what is meant by the belief that Christ is coming back twice when explained as follows. The first time will be the Rapture, when Christ will meet his saints in the air and take them to Heaven with Him. He will not come to the earth at that time. This event will mark the beginning of a 7-year Tribulation time for those who have rejected Christ as their personal Saviour. At the end of the Tribulation Period, Jesus Christ will return to the earth, bringing His saints with Him. This will be the defeat of the Antichrist at the culmination of the battle of Armageddon. The 1,000-year Millennial reign of Christ will begin after this.
We believes that before the rapture of the Church, it is possible that we will see the beginning of the glorious building of the Temple. During the Tribulation period the Antichrist comes to power and confirms a seven year peace contract with the nations (Daniel 9:27).
It is midway through the Tribulation period that this monstrosity desecrates the Temple (II Thessalonians 2:3-4). This evil act is called the Abomination of Desolation (Daniel 12:11).
As born-again believers, we accept the Word of God in its entirety as divinely inspired and inerrant. During these last days, we are seeing a continual turning away from this truth.
Many have taken it upon themselves to reject the inspired Word of God. This rejection goes against what we know to be true and spoken of by the Word. II Peter 1:19-25 bears record of the fact that men of God were directed as to the words that they should write. II Timothy 3:16 tells us that All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. This verse tells us that Scripture is literally God breathed. Other verses you may wish to study are Luke 9:26, Hebrews 1:1,2 and Zechariah 7:12. There are many verses that bear testimony of the record of truth.
The Word of God gives a direct warning to those who would tamper with His Word. Revelation 22:18,19 is a fearful admonition to those who would take away from the Word of God. As one begins to deny certain areas of the Bible, it leaves the door open for a further denial of Gods truth. Jesus spoke to this end in John 5:46,47 when he authenticated the words of Moses and the prophets. He said that if one would not believe this record, that same one would not believe His Words. It is a terrible thing to see men turning away from the Word of God. We know that this is a sign of the soon coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (I Timothy 4:1).
These are literal, created beings connected with the throne room of heaven (Revelation 4:6). They have eyes before and behind to see all things clearly and accurately (Revelation 4:6). By comparing the characteristics of these living creatures with Isaiah 6:1-3, we see that they are undoubtedly seraphim angels of God created to praise and exalt the Lord. These beings are not monstrosities. Instead, they are a picture of beauty. This is a portrait set before us . . . angels in all their magnificence praising the Lord.
Luke 16:19-31 gives an accurate testimony to the fact that existence after death is a very conscious one. This fundamental truth is taught in many other places in the Word of God. II Corinthians 5, written by the Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is also very helpful. Paul declares emphatically that his absence from his body means his presence with the Lord (vs. 8). There does not seem to be any indication whatsoever that he is looking forward to a cessation of consciousness or an intermediate period between death and the time of being with the Lord. In Philippians 1:23-24, the Apostle Paul again emphasized this same truth. He points out two distinct existences. There is no indication of an intermediate state or a “sleeping.”
Revelation 6:9-12 testifies to the fact that those who have died and gone before are in a conscious presence with the Lord. We must always be careful to remember the words of Jesus to the thief who was crucified with Him. John 19:31-37 makes it abundantly clear that this thief died at the same approximate time as Christ. In Luke 23:43, we have the
authoritative words of Christ that give a promise of hope to a dying man that upon his death he would be taken into the conscious joy of the Lord's presence.
In I Thessalonians 4:14 Christ brings those who sleep or the spirits of the dead with him, to recover their bodies. The spirit of the believer left the body at death to be with Christ and at the Rapture returns for ones covering. This is necessary if the redeemed are to rule and reign with Christ (Revelation 20:4; 22:5). In order to do so, one must have a body because a spirit alone cannot be seen.
The four horsemen of Revelation 6 are:
1. The white horse whose rider is Antichrist (vs.2), counterfeits the return of Christ and produces a fraudulent peace pact (Revelation 19:11).
2. The red horse (vs. 4) produces wars and rumors of wars. Perhaps Russia (red) might have a part here.
3. The black horse (vs. 5) produces famine and inflation as the 666 program becomes activated.
4. The pale horse (vs. 8), the deadliest, produces death and disease with hell following him.
Countless horses will be utilized by the armies of Armageddon as the blood rises to their bridles (Revelation 14:20), and Christ himself will return, mounted on a white horse, followed by His armies also riding white horses (Revelation 19:11-14).
Many people have doubts about whether or not they are saved. I would suggest they make certain. The question is “what must I do to be saved?” Let me tell you.
You must know that you are a sinner. The Bible says: “There is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10). “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
You must know that God loves you and has sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for you. “But God commendeth (demonstrated or showed) his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Born of the virgin, Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and died on the cross (shedding His blood) to pay for your sins. Here is the Gospel: “how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; he was buried, and rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (I Corinthians 15:3,4).
You must know how to receive His salvation by faith. God saves people through faith and faith alone. “For by grace are ye saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). There is no other way to be right with God. “Therefore being justified (made right with God) by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). To take Christ by faith is to turn from your sin (repent) and place all your trust (confidence, belief) in Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and Lord. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:13).
Just as one is born into his physical family, one must be born into God's family. In John 3:7 Jesus said: “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” Since you are not sure of your salvation, I would suggest that if you truly believe in your heart the above truth from God's Word, you should ask the Lord Jesus to forgive you of your sin and to come into your life today as your Lord and Saviour. In this way you will know for certain that you are saved because the day that you do this will be your spiritual birthday. You can always look back on that day as the day when you were born again.
Here is a prayer to guide you: “Dear Lord Jesus, I come to you just as I am, a sinner. I turn from my sin and unbelief to you. I now take you by faith as my only Saviour and Lord. I trust you to save me and guide me in the Christian life. In Your Name, Amen.”
Think quietly now about the words you have spoken. Are they an expression of the faith in your heart? Repeating a prayer does not save. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10). If you have received the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, be assured that He has received you. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life” (I John 5:13).
Matthew 24:36 says: But that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. No one should make a prediction as to the exact time of the Lords coming. Many Bible scholars, Dr. Van Impe included, will point to verse 33 of the same chapter, which states that, When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. These verses in Matthew 24 refer to the Revelation of Christ 7 years after the Rapture of the Church. Since we see the signs fulfilled which precede His return at the Revelation, we know the Rapture must be imminent. However, no man can know the exact day or hour though we certainly know the time is near. Jesus could return today! Every sign that points to the Lords return has been fulfilled.
When Jesus Christ returns for His own, He will take all of those who have accepted Him as their Saviour to heaven with Him. This will trigger the Tribulation hours beginning on earth. During this period, the Antichrist will require that people take the mark of the beast or his number, 666. They will not be able to buy or sell without this number. This is not in effect now and will not be for those that know Christ as personal Saviour. This is so because the believer is raptured in Revelation 4:1, then the Antichrist comes to power Revelation 6:1,2 and then midway through the Tribulation period begins the usage of his 666 identification system. During the Tribulation, the Antichrist will also have a false prophet who will be the religious leader of that period. He will be in charge of the World Church, which will be against Christ.