Seven Prophecies That Must Be Fulfilled Before Jesus Christ's Return


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Previous generations have thought that Jesus Christ would return in their lifetimes, but they were proven wrong. Many people alive today think that Christ's return is imminent. Certainly, the Bible contains prophecies that could not have been fulfilled until this generation.

Seven Prophecies That Must Be Fulfilled Before Jesus Christ

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Shortly before His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus Christ delivered a major prophecy of end-time events, recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. He was asked by His disciples: "When will these things be? And what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?" (Matthew:24:3).

Jesus responded with a description of conditions and events that would lead up to His second coming. Moreover, He said that when these signs became evident, His return would occur within one generation (Matthew:24:34). Could this be that generation?

Throughout the nearly 2,000 years since Christ gave His prophecy, many have thought that theirs was the time of His return—and turned out to be wrong, of course. But interestingly, there are a number of prophecies in the Bible that could not be fulfilled until our modern era, the post–World War II period.

1. The human race would have the ability to exterminate itself

In Matthew:24:22, describing world conditions prior to His second coming, Jesus said that "if that time of troubles were not cut short, no living thing could survive; but for the sake of God's chosen it will be cut short" (Revised English Bible).

The main message that Jesus Christ brought was of the coming Kingdom of God. This is described as "the gospel" (Mark:1:14). Gospel means "good news." While some of the prophecies concerning events prior to the establishment of the Kingdom can seem negative, we should always keep in mind that the central focus of Bible prophecy is the good news (gospel) of the coming Kingdom of God.

Matthew:24:22 shows us that if Jesus Christ does not intervene in world affairs, the human race will be faced with extinction. It's crucial to note that humanity has had the capability for self-annihilation for only a little more than 50 years, since both the United States and the Soviet Union developed and stockpiled hydrogen bombs and the world had to learn to live with "mutually assured destruction."

At that time there were only three nuclear powers (Britain being the other). By the middle of the 1960s France and China had joined the nuclear club. Today at least eight nations have nuclear warheads and the number looks set to increase with a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

Of course, the more nuclear powers we have in the world, the more likely it is that someone will use this deadly force for evil.

Although international attention has been focused on the nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran during the last few years, little attention has been given to the possibility of some or all of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal falling into the hands of radical Islamists.

During the ongoing crisis in Pakistan, the Taliban and al-Qaeda and their sympathizers have steadily gained more power, territory and influence, making nuclear terrorism more likely. Consider the consequences for the rest of the world if Osama bin Laden (or others like him) had access to nuclear weapons!

Meanwhile, Russia and China are determinedly flexing their military muscles, raising fears of a return to Cold War–era tensions.

The good news in all this is that Christians have an assurance that Jesus Christ will intervene to save mankind from annihilation. This prophecy could not be fulfilled until man had the potential for self-extinction through weapons of mass destruction. Again, only in the last 50 years has this become possible.

2. A Jewish homeland had to be reestablished in the Middle East

Geopolitically, the central focus of end-time events is Jerusalem and its environs, what many people refer to as the Holy Land.

Luke 21 is a parallel chapter to Matthew 24. Notice Luke's account of Christ's long prophecy that answered the disciples' questions: "Teacher, . . . when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?" (Luke:21:7).

In response, Jesus showed that Jerusalem would be the central focus of the political and military upheavals that would immediately precede His return: "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near . . . For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled" (verses 20-22).

Anyone living a century ago would have found these words nearly impossible to comprehend. Jerusalem in ancient times had been fought over countless times, but for four centuries from 1517 the city had been at peace within the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire. Jews lived there as a minority under Turkish rule. But this was going to change dramatically during the course of the 20th century.

It had to change for the fulfillment of Bible prophecy to take place.

The Old Testament prophet Zechariah was used by God to reveal a great deal about end-time events and the second coming of the Messiah. Zechariah lived and prophesied more than 500 years before Christ's first coming, yet his prophetic book tells us a great deal about our world of today.

In Zechariah:12:2-3 God says: "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah [the Jews inhabiting the land of Israel] and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it."

In verse 9 He adds, "It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem."

Reading these verses, it is possible to think that they apply to ancient events, as Jerusalem has been fought over repeatedly down through the ages. However, chapter 14 makes clear that this is talking about future, not past, events. The time setting is immediately before Jesus Christ's return.

"Behold, the day of the Lord is coming . . . For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity . . . Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle.

"And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south" (Zechariah:14:1-4).

Clearly the last few lines of this prophecy remain to be fulfilled.

Further in this same chapter we read of how those nations that came against Jerusalem will have to go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, Jesus Christ (verse 16).

These chapters of Zechariah are a prophecy about the events that precede and include the second coming of Jesus. A Jewish-controlled Jerusalem is notice-ably the central focus.

Shortly before Zechariah, another Jewish prophet named Daniel lived during the time of the captivity of the Jews in Babylon. His book speaks of the Jews' daily sacrifices being cut off in the end time (Daniel:12:11; see verses 1-13)—an event that had a forerunner in the temple defilement under Syrian ruler Antiochus Epiphanes in the second century B.C.

However, Jesus Christ confirmed this as a future event to precede His return (compare Daniel:11:31; Matthew:24:15). This means that these sacrifices must first be reinstituted in Jerusalem—requiring Jewish rule over the city.

One hundred years ago such developments were hard to imagine for the simple reason that no independent Jewish political entity existed in the Middle East.

After rebelling against the Romans in A.D. 66 and again in 132, Judea was crushed and most of the remaining Jews were dispersed throughout the Roman Empire and beyond. No Jewish homeland existed again until 1948 when the modern nation of Israel was established.

An independent Jewish homeland was merely a dream for a small group of zealots a century ago. It moved a step nearer during World War I, when forces of the British Commonwealth took control of Jerusalem from the Turks in December 1916. A few months later, the British government pledged itself to the establishment of an independent Jewish homeland in the ancient lands the Jews had inhabited for centuries.

It was to be another 30 years before the dream was realized in 1948. Yet since then tiny Israel has had to fight wars for survival in 1948, 1967 and 1973 and has suffered countless terrorist attacks and threats of annihilation from hostile neighbors determined to eliminate the Jewish state.

Once again, here is a prophecy that can now be fulfilled in our time.

3. The end-time king of the North and king of the South

In Daniel 11 we find an amazing prophecy about two leaders, the kings of the North and South, the heads of regions that were geographically north and south of the Holy Land. To understand this prophecy we have to go to the time of Alexander the Great, who lived near the end of the fourth century B.C., 200 years after Daniel.

Alexander figures prominently throughout the book of Daniel, even though Daniel did not know his name and never knew him personally. He couldn't have, since he died almost two centuries before Alexander appeared on the world stage.

But God revealed to Daniel that after Babylon, Persia would arise as the greatest power of the region, to be followed in turn by Greece. Not surprisingly, the prophecies regarding the rise of Greece are centered on Alexander the Great, one of the greatest conquerors in history.

Daniel 8 gives a vivid account of the coming clash between Persia and Greece. As you read it, remember that a horn symbolizes royal power and authority. Persia had "two horns and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last." This refers to the Medo-Persian Empire, the coming together of two nations or peoples. As foretold here in verse 3, the Persians rose to greatness after the Medes.

In verse 5 we read of Persia's later defeat by Alexander the Great: "And as I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes" (verse 5).

The "notable horn" or royal leader was Alexander the Great. The prophecy about his army not even touching the ground is a reference to the incredible speed with which he conquered the known world. All this was achieved in a very short time. Alexander died in 323 B.C. when he was only about 33 years old.

Even his sudden, unexpected death was prophesied: "The male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven" (verse 8).

When Alexander died, his empire was eventually divided between four of his generals—the four "notable horns" mentioned here. Two of these established dynasties would have a profound effect on the Jewish people, caught in the middle between them. These two dynasties were the descendants of Seleucus, who ruled a vast empire from Antioch in Syria, north of Jerusalem, and Ptolemy, who ruled Egypt from Alexandria.

Daniel 11 is a long and detailed prophecy about the dynastic conflicts between these two powers, their respective leaders being referred to as "the king of the North" and "the king of the South." Of great significance is that whenever they went to battle against each other, the Jews got trampled on. This was to continue from the time of Alexander until the middle of the second century B.C., a period of almost two centuries.

Then, suddenly, the prophecy jumps down to the end time.

In verse 40 we read: "At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them and pass through. He shall also enter the Glorious Land [the Holy Land], and many countries shall be overthrown" (Daniel:11:40-41).

While we don't have space here to cover all the details, the latter part of Daniel's prophecy of the North-South conflict describes a clash of civilizations between the leader of a soon-coming European superpower—a revived Roman Empire (successor to Seleucid Syrian rule)—and a leader who is the successor to the Ptolemaic rule of Egypt, which is now part of the Islamic world. (To learn more, request or download our free booklet The Middle East in Bible Prophecy .)

We now see geopolitical conditions lining up for this inevitable clash. Here is yet another prophesied circumstance for which the stage has now been set within our lifetime!

4. An end-time union of European nations

In Daniel 2 and 7 we see prophecies about four great gentile empires that would arise in the period between the time of Daniel and the coming establishment of the Kingdom of God (Daniel:2:44). Daniel was himself living in the first of these great empires (Daniel:7:4) as a Jewish exile in ancient Babylon.

Following the fall of Babylon in 539 B.C., Persia would become the greatest power, to be followed by Greece (verses 5-6). After Greece came the Roman Empire, "dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong." This empire was to have "ten horns" and would continue in some form until the establishment of God's Kingdom at Christ's return (verses 7-9).

As we saw in the previous section, horns represent leaders or governments. Here these 10 horns symbolize 10 attempts to restore the Roman Empire to the power it had in ancient times. Various attempts at a restoration have taken place since the fall of the Western Roman Empire in A.D. 476. A final attempt is to be made shortly before Christ's return.

We find more details in Revelation 17. Here we read of a final attempt to revive the Roman Empire by "ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast" (verses 12-13).

They will also "make war with the Lamb [Jesus Christ], and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings" (verse 14). Again, it is clear that this prophecy is still future.

Previous attempts to forge a united European empire, from Justinian in the sixth century through Charlemagne, Napoleon, Mussolini and Hitler, all involved force. The final resurrection of the Roman Empire will not be attempted in the same way.

Revelation 17 suggests this will be a voluntary union. When these 10 leaders receive power, they will then give their authority to a single leader. Scripture refers to both this individual and the new superpower he leads as "the beast"—acknowledging it as the continuation of the four gentile empires prophesied in Daniel, each one depicted as a beast or wild animal.

Only now is it possible for this to be fulfilled.

In 1957, the Treaty of Rome was signed by six European nations that formed the European Economic Community. Today the EEC has grown into the European Union (EU) with 27 member nations. Out of these will likely come the 10 nations or 10 leaders that form the final resurrection of the Roman Empire. (For more details, read "The Coming European Superpower ")

Some have speculated that the 10 kings referred to in this prophecy will be leaders of 10 regions of the EU that will redraw the boundaries of Europe, ending the present nation-states. The Bible is not clear on exactly which 10 regions or nations will configure the final revival of the militaristic Roman superpower—only that this new superpower will indeed emerge just before Christ's return.

However, it wasn't until the 10th nation, Greece, was admitted in 1981 that any conceivable fulfillment of this prophecy was even possible.

5. End-time rise and fall of Israel and Judah

" Israel" was the new name God gave the biblical patriarch Jacob in Genesis 32. The 12 tribes of Israel were descended from his 12 sons. These tribes later formed a united kingdom.

It's been almost 3,000 years since the kingdom of Israel was split in two. Ten of the 12 tribes of Israel rebelled against King Rehoboam, the son of King Solomon and grandson of King David. The Bible continued to refer to these 10 tribes as Israel while the other two tribes (Judah and Benjamin) that remained loyal to David's descendants were known as the kingdom of Judah or simply Judah.

Sometimes Israel is referred to as the northern kingdom and Judah as the southern kingdom. Dominant among the northern tribes were to be the descendants of Jacob's son Joseph through his sons Ephraim and Manasseh—prophesied by Jacob to be the chief nations of the world in the last days (Genesis:49:1, 22-26; compare Deuteronomy:33:13-17).

About 200 years after the kingdom split, the northern tribes of Israel fell to Assyria and were deported by the Assyrians to the northern parts of their empire. Often referred to now as the lost tribes, they later migrated northwest across Europe, eventually settling in new homelands far from the Middle East.

The kingdom of Judah fell to Babylon more than a century after Israel's deportation, but its people were not lost to history. We know them today as the Jews.

The name Ephraim is sometimes used representatively in Scripture for the entire northern kingdom, though it can also refer solely to the descendants of Joseph's son of that name—prophesied to become a "multitude of nations" (Genesis:48:19). Remarkably, this promise to Ephraim was fulfilled in the British Empire and Commonwealth.

Ephraim's older brother Manasseh was also prophesied to become a great nation (same verse), separating himself from the multitude of nations. This prophecy would be fulfilled in the formation, growth and dominance of the United States of America.

In a revealing prophecy regarding the United States and Britain, Jacob (Israel) said, "Let my name be named upon them" (verse 16). References to " Israel" in end-time prophecy often refer to the United States or the English-speaking countries of the British Empire or both. Sometimes " Israel" can mean all 12 tribes. We have to look at specific verses in their context to see which is meant.

"Judah," however, always refers to the Jews, the descendants of the house or kingdom of Judah. We must also understand that the modern nation called Israel is really Judah, made up of Jews. (For much more detail, download or request our free booklet The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy .)

Understanding this critical part of biblical history will help us more fully comprehend a passage of Scripture in the book of Hosea, which is a prophecy about Ephraim (the multitude of nations—Great Britain and some of those nations that came out of her). It warns of destruction to follow the end-time ascendancy of the Israelite nations.

In Hosea 5 we read a prophecy that mentions Israel, Ephraim and Judah: "The pride of Israel testifies to his face; therefore Israel and Ephraim stumble in their iniquity; Judah also stumbles with them" (verse 5). The prophecy continues: "With their flocks and herds they shall go to seek the Lord, but they will not find Him; He has withdrawn Himself from them. They have dealt treacherously with the Lord, for they have begotten pagan children. Now a New Moon shall devour them and their heritage" (verses 6-7).

New moons occur a month apart. A new moon "devouring" them would seem to mean that Israel, Ephraim and Judah will all fall within one month.

This prophecy was not fulfilled in ancient times. As already mentioned, ancient Judah fell to Babylon more than a century after Israel fell to Assyria. Yet in the end it appears they will fall together—within one month of each other. This prophecy remains to be fulfilled.

Remember that Israel gave his name to Ephraim and Manasseh, the ancestors in turn of the British and American peoples. As Ephraim is mentioned separately in this prophecy, the reference to " Israel" must apply to the United States, which is now the more dominant of the two nations.

For two centuries prior to World War II, the roles were reversed with the multitude of nations—the British Empire—a greater power than the single nation, the United States. But today America is the greater.

"Judah" refers to the Jewish people, particularly those who now constitute the modern nation in the Middle East that calls itself Israel.

Here then is a prophecy regarding all three nations—the United States, Britain and Israel (Judah). According to this prophecy, it appears that all three will fall within the span of a month. Verse 6 shows these nations turning back to God, but finding it's too late. Because of their sins, He will let them suffer defeat and collapse.

This prophecy could not have been fulfilled until after the rise of Britain and the United States as world powers in the 19th century and the formation of the Jewish state of Israel in the 20th.

Lest the idea seem outlandish, consider that Israel and the United States are perhaps the most maligned and criticized nations on earth. Among Muslim hard-liners, America is commonly called "the great Satan" and Israel and Britain "the little Satans."

6. The gospel will be preached in all the world

In His major end-time prophecy, Jesus answers the question posed by the disciples: "When will these things be? And what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?" (Matthew:24:3).

After listing a number of signs of the nearness of His coming, He reveals that "this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come" (verse 14).

The gospel is the good news of the coming Kingdom of God. This message could not be preached around the world without the Bible and freedom of religion. Both came gradually with the ascendancy of the English-speaking peoples from the 16th century until the present day.

However, it was only with the technological advances of television and radio and other means of mass communication after World War II and their widespread acceptance that it became possible to reach hundreds of millions of human beings with the message of the Bible. The gospel of the Kingdom of God will continue to be preached to all nations as long as we have the freedom to continue The Good News magazine and our other media efforts.

Even so, during the last 50 years it has not been possible to reach all countries. The former communist nations did not allow freedom of religion. China, with one quarter of the world's people, still does not. Other nations also try to suppress the publication of biblical truth and even the Bible itself. Many Islamic nations do not allow religious freedom. In some countries people risk the death penalty for changing religion.

But the Internet is changing everything. It is much harder for governments to control. The gospel message of the coming Kingdom of God is still going out to the world. It will finish when God has decided that His work is completed and the time is right for the final end-time events to take place.

This is yet another prophecy that could not be fulfilled until recent times.

7. Instant worldwide communications and God's final witnesses

Another end-time Bible prophecy could not be fulfilled until this era of instant worldwide communications.

In His major end-time prophecy of Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21, Jesus gave an outline of disasters that would occur on the world scene with increasing frequency and magnitude—to the point where people would be shaken with fear (Luke:21:26). Discerning an increase in the scale of these events and reacting to them requires knowing about them.

At the time this prophecy was given, it could be many months or years before people heard about various disasters—and many they would never hear about at all, much less be able to put together the fact that catastrophes were on some kind of global increase.

Only with the proliferation of newspapers and other forms of mass communications did this become remotely possible. Yet the level of awareness and consequent fear in many that Christ speaks of implies an even greater availability of information—possible only since the development of rapid electronic communications.

In any case, only with the technological advances of the last few years has it become possible for the events in Revelation 11 to occur—for people around the world to see the fate of God's final two witnesses.

These two witnesses, reminiscent of other biblical prophets like Elijah and Elisha, will carry God's final warning to the world in the last 3 1/2 years leading up to Christ's return.

"And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days . . . When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

"Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth" (verses 3, 7-10).

Note that people the world over will be able to see their dead bodies during the 3 1 ⁄ 2 days that they lie on display in Jerusalem. This was not possible before satellite television, portable communications devices and the Internet. Again, only in the last few years has it become possible for this prophecy to be fulfilled . It still lies in the future, of course, but only now it is clearly possible for this to take place.

Will this generation see God's Kingdom established on earth?

We have seen how seven biblically prophesied circumstances could not have come to pass until recent times. In fact, the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 was clearly a major turning point in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, as was the acquisition of the hydrogen bomb by the two superpowers of the 1950s that led to the period of mutually assured destruction.

All has now become possible. This, in turn, makes it much more likely that our generation will live to see Jesus Christ return and establish the Kingdom of God on earth. After all, Jesus Himself said that once these things begin, the generation alive at that time "will by no means pass away till all these things take place" (Matthew:24:34).

It's both sobering and encouraging to think that we appear to be living in the generation that will ultimately witness the most important event in the history of mankind. As Jesus Christ tells His followers in Luke:21:28, "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near." GN


kodykin

kodykin's picture

"In Zechariah:12:2-3 God says: "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah [the Jews inhabiting the land of Israel] and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it."
after reading that, and hearing what my dad told me, that president obama is requiring the Israeli government to push their borders back to the 1960 boundaries, which would make them more vulnerable to attack. it just seemed to fit the scripture.




ImReady

ImReady's picture

However, as you know by now, Obama's plan didn't fly!! But, things are going on in this world of politics that point to a close fulfillment of Bible Prophecy!




ytheml01

ytheml01's picture

The Bible is the living word of God. I am ready to go home. I have never been a part of this World and hate the evil that has come upon little children. As for Obama, I see him as a tool.

A tool to reign in a One World Government and the establishment of a One World Religion. People are sleeping and will be caught walking in darkness because they prefer darkness over light. And Jesus is the "light of this World" Come quickly Lord....




al

al's picture

Thessalonians 2 verses 3 though

Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessnesss is revealed.

According to this verse Jesus won't come until the antichrist is revealed, as far as I know he isn't revealed at this time. So I would say that there is still one more Prophecy to be fufilled before Jesus will come.




jemtjones

jemtjones's picture

THE PARABLE OF THE FATHER AND HIS TWO SONS (Part 1)
One day a father decided to take his two sons to the forest to show them God’s wonderful creation. They walked down the path until it split into two different paths; one to the right and one to the left. The father told his sons, “My sons never take the path to the left but always take the path to the right which takes you to the beautiful stream flowing with life-sustaining water to drink from so you will never thirst on your journey.” Then they journeyed on and drank the life-sustaining water from the beautiful stream and so their spirits were refreshed and returned home. A few years later when the sons were old enough to journey on their own, the two sons asked the father if they could journey alone to the forest. The father said, “Yes you can but heed my counsel and do not take the path to the left for it is very dangerous.” The sons left and proceeded down the path when it came to the split. The older son said to the younger son, “Wait here while I journey down the path to the left to see what is around the corner.” The younger son said, “Father said we should not take that path.” The older son replied, “It will be fine and father will never know.” As the older son walked around the corner, he fell into a pit that was hidden by fallen brush. He crawled out but was injured, battered, and bruised. He returned to his younger brother. While he thirsted for the life-sustaining water from the beautiful stream, he knew they needed to return home so his injuries could be treated. The older son told the younger son, “Listen to what father said and never take the path to the left.” When they arrived home and the father discovered what had happened, his anger arose. Then the father said to the older son, “You have disobeyed me and not heeded my counsel so I shall punish you.” Then the father said to the younger son, “Watch, my young son, while I punish your older brother so you shall not make the same mistake and receive the same injuries as your older brother, see my anger arise, and receive just punishment.” continued




jemtjones

jemtjones's picture

THE PARABLE OF THE FATHER AND HIS TWO SONS (Part 2 of 2)
A few years later, the two sons once again journeyed to the forest for the older brother still thirsted for the life-sustaining water from the beautiful stream. When they reached the split, the younger son said, “I am older now so I will journey down the path to the left to see what is around the corner myself. Father is older now, will not find out, nor will he punish me in his old age.” The older son pleaded with the younger son and said, “Please, my brother, learn from my mistake and do not arouse the fierce anger of our father.” But the younger son was full of pride and arrogance and thought himself invincible. As the younger son walked around the corner, he fell into the same pit that was hidden by the fallen brush. He crawled out but was injured, battered, and bruised. He returned to his older brother. While he thirsted for the life-sustaining water from the beautiful stream, he knew they needed to return home so his injuries could be treated. When they arrived home and the father discovered what had happened, his anger arose more fierce then it had arisen a few years ago. Then the father said to the younger son, “You have disobeyed me and not heeded my counsel so I shall punish you. Your punishment shall be greater than that of your older brother. Your older brother acted foolishly and blindly, but you my young son acted with arrogance and pride knowing full well the dangers and consequences of taking that path and that my anger would arise but you thought that I would show you leniency because of my old age. My age doesn’t change my wisdom nor shall it change the punishment that must be executed for I am a just father.” Then the father said to the older son, “Watch, my firstborn, while I punish your younger brother so you shall see the punishment that arrogance and pride brings when you do not heed your father and think yourself above him who created you. Oh my sons, I love you very much and it saddens me greatly so when I have to chasten you. Why do you put me in these situations? Have I not been a good father full of grace, mercy, and loving-kindness? Why my children?”




jemtjones

jemtjones's picture

The meaning of THE PARABLE OF THE FATHER AND HIS TWO SONS: O’America. Why did you not heed the lesson learned from your older brother Israel, the firstborn of the Father? Did not the Father bring you also to a good land like the land flowing with milk and honey as was promised to your older brother and the descendants of our righteous father Abraham? Were you not also blessed through Israel? Did you not see the punishment Israel received when he thought foolishly that he could turn away from the Father’s wise counsel and still receive the blessings of the Father? Israel was punished and the whole world saw the judgment of the Father who is a holy god. You America have acted with arrogance and pride before the Father knowing full well that His anger arose when Israel turned away from the Father’s wise counsel. Therefore, the Father’s anger towards you shall be more fierce, and the whole world will once again see what happens to a nation blessed by God which turns away from His wise counsel and thinks His blessings will continue. America, you are filled with the spirit of Babylon, and your abominations and wickedness have reached to heaven, and you sit as no queen before the LORD. I have cried and lamented for you America just as Jeremiah cried and lamented for his nation and people. Why oh why America have you turned against the Father? The Father is a holy god and must execute judgment. The LORD God does nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets. His glorious name and person shall not be blasphemed or defiled among His creations. The LORD God Almighty is holy, just, and righteous. His holy name shall be glorified once again among the heavens and the earth! Israel, learn from your past and learn from your younger brother America who is to drink from the cup of the LORD's judgment, and whose glory will be turned to shame. Accept the life-sustaining Water and the Lamb that the Father provided you through His son Yeshua-Jesus-The Messiah. Raise your voices to the heavens and say “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”




ImReady

ImReady's picture

Thank You jemtjones for that information. Second Thessslonians, chapter 2, very informative! I get so tired of preachers screaming: "Jesus could come this very hour" or whatever. Sure, He could if He wanted to, but, His word, as you pointed out, stated otherwise.
Thanks!!




dick nellis

dick nellis's picture

The Antichrist has been identified. ALL the reformers named the Pope as the Antichrist. Read Rev 17:1 to 18:4, asking yourself if this fits the Pope. If you can answer “no” at any point; Google it, you will find you were wrong. If the Pope is the antichrist, the Sunday keeping churches are the image of the Pope.
The first phrase of Daniel 9:25 says “Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks”. The city of Jerusalem was returned to the modern nation of Israel in June 1967, 49 years from that date would be June 2016. the last fall feasts before that date would be in September 2015. the Torah calendar web site gives Rash HaShannah of 2015 as the start of the 120th Jubilee Year, and as the year 6001, which would be the start of the 7th 1,000 year day.
I am not a prophet, I can not say the Messiah is coming at that time. BUT, if you are not ready to meet Him, I will tell you to get ready soon. We can not know if a command was given to restore the city to Israel or when it would have been given by God. We are still in the season of the fall feast and He could come now, or very soon. When Jesus started His ministry He did it with Isaiah 61:1-2 “1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;” Now is the acceptable day, repent and be saved.




the gatekeeper

the gatekeeper's picture

the moment before Peter left his net and followed Christ he didn't know he would. Yet others were left behind. They didn't know Christ nor would they have cared if they were told. We pray that He will come......but like the "others" go about our business not seeing Him, expecting we will be snatched up by His passing instead of actively seeking Him. If all of these things have happened, why have only a few seen and followed Him?




Skip

Skip's picture

Hello Gatekeeper,

"Why have only a few seen & followed Him?" Great question!

The short answer is that this is not YET their time to do so.

John 6:44 & 65 clearly explain that no one can follow Jesus honestly, & truly, & sincerely, (& really!) unless the Father tweaks their spirit and they respond.

It is simply not the time for the vast majority of people to respond.

But that does not mean that they won't have a time.

They will & their response will be quite enthusiastic.




Ivan Veller

Ivan Veller's picture

Re: "the" acceptable day

Hi Mr. Nellis, you may be interested in reading our article "Is Today the Only Day of Salvation?" http://www.ucg.org/booklet/church-jesus-built/responsibility-and-mission-church/today-only-day-salvation/




cjgennaro

cjgennaro's picture

I dont think the pope is the antichrist. The anti christ is supposed to be a governmental ruler, the beast. He is assisted by the great false prophet. So this could be a pope




dhenry

dhenry's picture

Thank you for providing an MP3 for the article. This would be a great option for all articles. Kindest Regards, Deb




dusty

dusty's picture

Hello Skip:

A hearty AMEN! to your post.

And I might add that since over a period of 6,000+ years God has and will call only 144,000 to be in the 1st resurrection, it shouldn't be surprising, Gatekeeper, that so few now follow Him.




amberduran

amberduran's picture

1 John 2:22 "Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and Son.
1 John 4:3 "and every spirit that does not confess Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God and this is the spirit of the Antichrist."
2 John 7 "For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."
1 John 2:18 "Little children, it is the last hour; and you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antchrists have come by which we know that it is the last hour."

These are the only scriptures that use the term "antichrist" and from scripture you can deduce that the antichrist is a religious figure or someone who at the very least denies the Father and the Son, however it does not say he will be a govt ruler.

On a side not though,the Pope has both legal, executive, and judicial powers over the Vatican City, so therefore is a government ruler. He also claims to be God or Christ, so in essence claims rulership of the world, but does not have world power.




BiliousJ

BiliousJ's picture

Why do you always refer to the 'end-time union of European nations'? Shouldn't it be the 'end-time union of Roman nations'?

After all, the Roman Empire was not just European. It included Middle East nations.

Think about it!




2balite

2balite's picture

Thank you for this timely information. We trust Mr. Rhodes insight into prophecy in the past and yet to occur.




2balite

2balite's picture

Thank you for messages from Mr. Rhodes. Keep them coming as we need more of these prophetic messages to help us "Watch and be ready for the return of our only Savior of mankind."




dusty

dusty's picture

Hello BiliousJ:

Re:

1. "Why do you always refer to the 'end-time union of European nations'?"

Good question

2. "Shouldn't it be the 'end-time union of Roman nations'?"

Actually it should be 'end-time Babylon the Great'--a union
of all nations of the world, including America, Britian, and
all nations descended from the Northern 10 Tribes.




ees

ees's picture

To the parable of the two sons:

Do you not realize who controls our country?

AIPAC has huge influence, the media is biased, you find for yourself who controls everything we see hear and see. God said leaders need to tend their flock. Big brother has pillaged little brother. via our true government the hidden plutocracy of the secret society. If you wish to know truth learn who controls Skull and Bones

I am witness to many things. Ny life disproves probability theory. I have the full force of the secret society trying to suppress and discredit me for a long time. Because I know the day date and time of the intentional acts that turned a chance at peace in the 93-95 timeframe into an escalation of fear hate and terror that lead to 9/11 and beyond. So the question is: Is it God's plan? Would God allow or use secrecy to save Israel? I believe it will be a bold display

Do our actions helping Israel appear to me to not be God;s will as we are saved by grace, We deny Christ by doing so.

I feel 2 Thessalonians 2, the grand elusion may be occurring.




Mikeo777

Mikeo777's picture

1) In context: The Roman-Judeo War of 67-70 AD; and the Land of Israel. Eusebius, the Father of Church History, records the first century beleivers interpreted matt 24 to be about their times, and fled to Pella. After Jeruselum was desolated in 70 AD; the war was cut short, and the beleivers at Pella in the mountains survived.

2) In Luke:21:20-22 Jesus is tlaking to the first century beleivers; and reveals ALL Bible propehcy would be fulfilled in the first century.

3) Alexander the Great; then a leap to the 21st century? This is pure ego-centric speculation; not biblical Scholarship.

4)Babylon, Media Persia, greece, then Rome (which fell in 476 AD). Those are the 4 Kingdoms in Daniel; not some European Confederacy.

5) US / Great Britain is out of context and read into the text.

6) Roman World in Matt:24:14; not teh world as we know it today. Do a word study on Oikumene; and you will see it used 15 times in the Bible; talking about the Roman World. 5 verses in Colossians and Romans state this already happened inthe first century. Look into it. Rome had 10 provinces, with 10 governors/kings (King Agrippa). Nero Ceasar was the Beast of Revelation.

7) Land of Israel.




Mikeo777

Mikeo777's picture

Also, according to John the Bpatist and Jesus, the Kkingdom of God came fully into existence in the first century. It is a real spiritual kingdom, not a physical one.




Steven Britt

Steven Britt's picture

Mikeo,

While you may see fulfillment in those events, there are other scriptures indicating a future fulfillment. It is not uncommon for prophecy to have a lesser fulfillment preceding an actual fulfillment, and we refer to these as "dual" prophecies (note: I'm not endorsing the events that you pointed to as fulfillment.) See http://www.ucg.org/booklet/book-revelation-unveiled/gods-church-prophecy...

The Kingdom of God is described in the bible as having authority over the unconverted physical nations of the earth. Revelation:11:15 says that, "the kingdoms of this world [will] become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" Even better proof of this is Zechariah:14:16-19, which shows that some of those kingdoms will attempt to resist Christ's rule by failing to appear before Him each year at the Feast of Tabernacles.

Paul spoke of the kingdom as a future event that would encompass the all of creation, not just the Roman world. Romans:8:19-21 describes a time when "creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God" - compare with Revelation:20:4-6.




nathanalbright

nathanalbright's picture

Mikeo,

It would appear that your preterist and amillennialist approach gives you problems in viewing biblical prophecy as anything more than history. The problem is with your perspective and worldview, in that you see a spiritual kingdom of God (rather than Jesus Christ returning in the same (physical) manner as he came up, per Acts:1:11) because you look at the first century and see no visible church triumphant.

Unfortunately, the Bible does clearly and frequently discuss the Kingdom of God as not merely a spiritual entity, but a very real sovereignty. Included in those prophecies is the promise of a day of "vengeance of our God to comfort all who mourn" in Zion and to rebuild the ruins of many generations. This has not yet happened. There are at least two ways of dealing with this--either one can (sensibly) see their fulfillment in the future, or one can spiritualize it away to deny the importance of physical fulfillment, failing to recognize the fullness of the scriptures. Mr. Rhodes did one, you did the other.




Ivan Veller

Ivan Veller's picture

Hello BiliousJ,

Re: "the Roman Empire...included Middle East nations," see Daniel:11:42-43's indication that "The king of the North...ends up controlling Egypt" and other nations in the region: http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today-program/news-and-prophecy/egypt-bible-pr...




Skip

Skip's picture

Hello Mikeo777,
I was going to make a comment about your 30 Jan 13 post but after seeing what nathanalbright wrote on 2 Feb 13 I'll just say
(from my perspective),
DITTO.




Skip

Skip's picture

Hello again Mikeo777,
(I really like short posts!)
Yes, the Kingdom of God was on the earth in the first century
in the person of Jesus Christ.
But who recognized the human carpenter as such? A few!
When Christ returns with observable power & in glory
the whole world will take notice!

God's spiritual kingdom does reign (always has, always will) but
when Christ returns there will be a physical, observable
Kingdom of God on this earth.




Ivan Veller

Ivan Veller's picture

Hello Mikeo, perhaps "Much of what Christ told His disciples would happen indeed occurred within the next 40 years" following Luke:21:20-22 (note: although I personally, along with a former president of UCG, do not endorse the veracity of Josephus as a trustworthy source). What is clear is that the totality of "Christ's words...were not all fulfilled, indeed could not have been fulfilled, at that time."

Has Jesus Christ's Olivet Prophecy Been Fulfilled? http://www.ucg.org/news-and-prophecy/has-jesus-christs-olivet-prophecy-b...

For instance, Mat:24:30 says that "all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (ESV 2011). Likewise, writing long after the fall of Jerusalem, the apostle John prophesies that Christ "is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him" (Revelation:1:7 ESV)--every eye.

Unfulfilled prophecy also includes 2 Peter:3:10--"heat will melt the whole universe" (CEV), "the celestial bodies will be destroyed" (LEB), and "the very elements themselves will disappear in fire" (NLT).




KARS

KARS's picture

Thank you for making it available in mp3 format so I can listen to the lessson and do my chores at the same time. :o)

Sincerely,
K.




lsume

lsume's picture

I have read a number of interpretations about Mathew 24 and other prophetic scriptures. It has been very rare to find anything that is actually true. The Holy Bible is a spiritual Book for inspiration and direction for ones personal salvation. The first commandment is a great place to start. No man knows the Father but the Son and those to whom He reveals Him. If you have never Loved The Lord with all of your heart then there is something missing from your journey. I often find myself reaching for the simplicity of God's word. In the first 15 verses of Mathew 24, Christ is saying, among other things, that many will say that Jesus is the Christ. He says that there will be false teachers who openly acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ. After the tribulation, some of those who do not endure until the end will profess that they are the Christ.




JFP617

JFP617's picture

There are some amazing quotes from our founding fathers, leaders and past presidents that show just what is happening today.

"I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth--that God Governs the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?"
Benjamin Franklin

"It is when people forget God that tyrants forge their chains."
Patrick Henry

"I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever." Thomas Jefferson

"If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instruction and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity."
Daniel Webster

We are no longer free in the US, it may appear so to many but we are not. We as a Nation have abandoned God, and are turning to our leaders for the answers in life, those who will betray us, and lead us as cattle to the slaughter, civil war is coming, and it will come soon, God have mercy on us all.




Maria Hamilton

Maria Hamilton's picture

I'm in no fear of the end, because Jesus is already there. I do believe that the Bible is the word of God, and he has never gone back on any of his promises to his children. God will NOT let his people be harmed ever again. The holocaust will never be repeated again. The world is not my dwelling place for long. All of the true believers of God will be saved, the rest will be left to figure it out. I pray for strength and endurance until the return of my king Jesus Christ.
Peace, Love, and Blessings,
Maria




Ivan Veller

Ivan Veller's picture

Re: “God will NOT let his people be harmed ever again. The holocaust will never be repeated again.”

Dear Ms. Hamilton,

Although I would much rather agree with you, I read:

“‘the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ’ [Revelation:12:17].

'Here is a prophecy of violent persecution on a group who keeps God's law and faithfully follows the deepest teachings of Christ. This persecution goes beyond one ethnic group to attack a spiritual group bound together by the Holy Spirit as the Church of God. A time is coming when the world will witness a different type of Holocaust than that seen last century in Europe.

‘At the heart of such persecution is man's animosity toward God. Anti-Semitism is merely an expression of mankind's hatred of God and anything that reminds man of what God requires of His creation.

‘The law given at Sinai embodies what God expects of humanity. And the age-long hatred of the Jews reflects humanity's deep-seated feeling against the commandments of God” (McNeely, “The Next Holocaust”): http://www.ucg.org/news-and-prophecy/next-holocaust




Ivan Veller

Ivan Veller's picture

“[T]he Holocaust…[was] cataclysmic…Yet…[t]he time before Christ's return will be…worse than the events of the 14th century that killed between 25 and 30 percent of Europe's population, and worse than the First and Second World Wars of the 20th century...if He did not then return, ‘no flesh would be saved’—human life on earth would be extinguished” (Petty): http://www.ucg.org/news-and-prophecy/signs-end-times-only-possible-our-day/

Daniel prophesied that, at the end time, God’s enemies will be “making war against the saints, and prevailing against them” (Daniel:7:19, 21 NKJV)—“It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him…he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints” (Revelation:13:7-10)--martyrs for Christ.

Strengthened by the same faith sustaining Paul through every kind of calamity, we too can say: “If we endure, [w]e shall also reign with Him…there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day” (2 Timothy:2:12; 4:8a).




pcinacan

pcinacan's picture

the bible has been translated several times by the hand of men. so i consider it a guideline to live by. i wish i could read the original version. so i could interpret for myself where all the little lines and dots go. but none the less there are many organized religions and i consider them to be just as important in the grand scheme of things since their religious messiahs all preached the same thing. they are just interpreted differently by followers. the main thing is non violence forgive and love your enemy and neighbor. by this standard Christ said forgive your enemy and the devil was his enemy not the people they were his intolerant neighbors. so for Christ not to forgive the Jews or even the devil would be Hippocratic. if he can do it why cant we.




Skip

Skip's picture

Hello pcinacan,
(Does that mean Personal Computer, in a can?)
Just asking!
Jesus Christ was not a hypocrite! But He did have
(& He does have, rules.)
When WE say "the main thing is non violence and love your enemy"
I think we are being like "the hand of man" that translates God's Word. How do WE know what the "main thing" is?
A basic (& safe) approach is to first read the book (it took me about a year the first time) then actually ask the question (and answer it!) what does Jesus (pre-incarnate, post human birth)say is most important? Then we can begin to be instructed.

There are many important things.
But God's Word (which is understandable) trumps them all.




brice656

brice656's picture

Al, what you aren't seeing is that as soon as the antichrist is revealed, even just an instant later, Jesus could call us home. And the rapture and 2nd coming are two different events




Wordman

Wordman's picture

Dear friends,

Here are some bible historical points to consider about the references made in this article:

1.The abomination of desolation reference (KJV) Matt 24 regarding the desolation & surrounding of Jerusalem is not a'now time' reference.

This event happened in AD70 when the Roman army under Titus sacked & eventually conquered Jerusalem killing over a million Jews. However,Christians who remembered Jesus' warning to them that when they saw the pagan standards stand in the Holy place they were to flee & not go to their house but to leave-which they did to Pella.

2.The reference to Roman power being restored is not that of Emperial Rome but'Roman Catholic'authority.The Horn that comes up out of Dan 7(Relating to Rev13 & 17)cannot be Emperial Rome as he is 'different' & thinks to change God's laws & times as he is both political & religious.While Rome persecuted Christians,Catholic Rome murdered millions of Christians for refusing Catholic rule of conscience over 1260 years until Napolean ended Catholic secular authority.A beast is a 'kingdom'in prophecy & the Vatican is a'kingdom'-refuse her mark brethren as she is antichrist.This is why the EU has huge Catholic interest.




Chicken-Wing-King

Chicken-Wing-King's picture

Hey Guys,I think the most important aspect of all of this is that we remain ready,because we can speculate and make some pretty calculated guesses,however all that is worth nothing if we are not ready for Jesus to come . Let us not lose sight of one of the most important aspects of being christians which is making disciples,let us be part of the army that delivers the gospel to those who have not yet heard it because to me that is one clear unfulfilled prophecy that we can all help come true.




ssaldkar

ssaldkar's picture

Praise The Lord!!!!




Jenny4143

Jenny4143's picture

One thing we cannot loose site of is that we are not looking for Christ second coming. God says that his people will be caught up in the air with him. This will happen before the second coming so all the prophecies do not have to be fulfilled for this to happen. We should be looking every month, days, second for this to happen!




Paul Zhong

Paul Zhong's picture

As of today, has all the prophecies already fulfilled before rapture of the Church can happen ? if yes, then Lord Jesus may come anytime to take His Church. If no, then Lord Jesus won't come at least now or to-night. Can somebody explain more.




GeneLaratonda

GeneLaratonda's picture

You forgot at least a couple.

1.) The Nile has to dry up as far as prophecy goes. In three places in the bible it says that the Nile River will dry up. (Isaiah:19:5, Ezekiel:30:12, and Zechariah:10:11).

2.) An oracle concerning Damascus. Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins. Isaiah:17:1




Rod Salzman

Rod Salzman's picture

Sorry to be late with comments or listening.
I have two questins with respect to the usual understanding of events to come.
1. Roman emprire did not die in in 5th century. The Byzantine Empire was the surviving right leg which lived. I don’t understand a model of history based on having a resurrected Rome which did not die then.

2. The Roman Catholic church has never been built on seven hills. Rome has, but not the church.

The Best



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