Without speculating on the exact time of this awesome event, you need to know the signs preceding it.
[Darris] The Bible reveals Jesus Christ will come back to our world to reign over every nation. But when? What specific things will happen in the world leading up to His return? Did you know that some of them are happening right now?
Today, we are going to look at seven distinct things the Bible tells us will have to happen before the return of Christ. Some prophecies have already been fulfilled. The rest are unfolding before our eyes. What must happen before Christ returns? Find out, as we examine "Seven Prophetic Signs Before Jesus Returns."
[Announcer] Join our host, Darris McNeely, and his guests, as they help you understand your future on Beyond Today!
[Darris] One day Jesus gave His followers a lesson in forecasting.
"Then He also said to the multitudes, "Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, 'A shower is coming'; and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, 'There will be hot weather,' and there is. Hypocrites!" He said. "You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?" (Luke 12:54-56 Luke 12:54-56  And he said also to the people, When you see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway you say, There comes a shower; and so it is.
 And when you see the south wind blow, you say, There will be heat; and it comes to pass.
 You hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that you do not discern this time?
American King James Version×).
Jesus knew people were good at looking into the sky to determine the weather. He used this habit to chastise them that though they could see whether rain or warm weather was coming, they could not understand the signs of their time in history—they could not "discern this time." For this group of people, they could not see that Jesus of Nazareth, the man standing before them, teaching them with many signs and deeds, was the prophesied Messiah.
Now how about us? In our time? Can we "discern this time"—today, our world, the twenty-first century?
On Beyond Today, we have a policy never to speculate or try to calculate the exact date Jesus Christ will return. That isn't the point of prophecy. Prophecy is revealed in the Bible for one reason—and that's to inspire us to turn to God. God's hand is on history, and now is the time to seek a relationship with Him.
The Bible is full of prophecies. Some have already come to pass. Many are yet to come. When we examine what's already happened and understand what's still coming, we then begin to get a general idea of where we are in the sequence of Bible prophecy. We can then "discern our time."
As we study the Bible, we can identify seven distinct things that must happen before the return of Jesus Christ. Let's look at these specific events because they must happen in today's world before Christ returns.
We want to go a little bit further in helping you to understand and study this as well, so we have also prepared a free study aid for you. This study aid will help you learn more about each of these seven prophecies.
As we will see, some have already been fulfilled while others wait for the future.
1. Let's look at the first one. It's the ability to destroy all human life.
Jesus talked about how dangerous the world would be when these events would begin to take place.
In Matthew 24:22 Matthew 24:22And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
American King James Version×He said, "unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened." Unless Jesus returns and intervenes, mankind would wipe itself out.
Now this reveals to us the first end-time prophecy: Mankind must have the ability to end life, all life, on earth.
Throughout history mankind hasn't had the ability to end all human life the world over. War is horrific. There has also been no way to end all human life in a short amount of time. That is, until 1945, when the world entered the nuclear age with the atomic bomb. And since then, the entire world is under threat of a nuclear holocaust that could end all human life on earth.
This end-time prophecy has been fulfilled. Let's check it off the list and move to the second prophecy before Christ must return.
2. And it's this: A reestablished Jewish homeland in the Middle East.
This happened in May of 1948 when the State of Israel declared its existence. Much of end time prophecy revolves around the city of Jerusalem. The prophet Daniel, in what is known as the Seventy Weeks Prophecy, talks of animal sacrifices being made in Jerusalem and interrupted by an outside power. The Jews would be the only group of people thinking about such an event and they could not have done this before becoming a state and controlling Jerusalem, which they have since the June 1967 War. You see, for much of history there has been no nation of Israel.
Those who pay attention to what happens in Jerusalem know the periodic calls and efforts by some in the Jewish community to offer animal sacrifices on the Temple Mount, which is the site of past temples.
The Jews are in the land today and will stay there until the appearance of Christ. That's the second fulfilled prophecy. Let's check it off our list and let's move to the third prophecy to be fulfilled before Jesus Christ returns.
3. It's this: The conflict between the King of the North and the King of the South.
The third event to watch is this conflict between what the Bible calls the end-time King of the North and the King of the South. In Daniel 11, a prophecy very long, shows a key series of geopolitical maneuvers at the time of the end. A power from the Middle East called the King of the South will move against another power called the King of the North. The King of the North will retaliate by invading several Middle Eastern nations and coming right into what the Bible calls "the Glorious Land"—which is today, the State of Israel.
This event is perhaps the most explosive of all that is foretold in the Bible because it triggers a gathering of powers into the Middle East from several global points. And what is described by the prophet Daniel is an event that will involve every major nation and every army at the time.
It is not too difficult to imagine this scenario. Many authors make a pretty good living writing fictional stories about the invasion of the Middle East by armies from Europe and other nations. With the threat of a nuclear Iran and continuing turmoil in the region, we see a tinderbox waiting for a "spark" to ignite a conflict that would engulf great powers as in the past.
This is a prophecy waiting to be fulfilled. We can't check it off—yet.
You need to act on what you're learning right now. Now is the time for all of us to build relationships with God. We're going to need His love and His guidance more than ever as these prophecies come to pass.
Just what does the Bible say lies ahead for you, for your family and for our world? We all need to know and understand. And to help you learn about this, we have prepared a brand new study aid, a Bible study aid that you can get a free copy of today. It's called, Seven Prophetic Signs Before Jesus Returns. You can order it at BeyondToday.tv or by calling: 1-888-886-8632.
We've never offered this Bible study aid before, and we've only printed a limited number of copies right now. Once they run out, the Seven Prophetic Signs Before Jesus Returns, will only be available as an electronic download. If you request it right now, you can have this limited-edition, full-color study aid in print at no cost at all. You really need this free Bible study aid to help you better understand Bible prophecy and the topics we are talking about today.
You can get your free study aid online right now at BeyondToday.tv, or request your free copy to be sent to your home by calling: 1-888-886-8632. One more time: 1-888-886-8632. If you live outside of North America, please write us at the address that is shown on your screen throughout the program—for your free copy of Seven Prophetic Signs Before Jesus Returns [Beyond Today, PO Box 541027, Cincinnati, OH 45254].
So, what prophetic signs have we covered so far? First: the ability to destroy all human life. Second: a reestablished Jewish homeland in the Middle East. And third: the conflict between the King of the North and the King of the South.
Now let's move on to the fourth prophetic event.
4. The appearance of an end-time power bloc of nations headed by what the Bible describes as a group of ten kings (Revelation 17:12 Revelation 17:12And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
American King James Version×).
These ten leaders give power and authority to a greater political leader who will influence world events at the close of the age. This powerful combine is the same force described by Daniel as the King of the North.
Where do we look for this power to emerge? Historically there is only one region that has provided such a power. It is Europe. From the time of Alexander the Great and Rome, a European-based power has involved itself in the affairs of the Middle East. The Crusades of the Middle Ages were religiously inspired invasions by Europe's armies to recapture the Holy Land from Muslim control. In modern times, it is European-based powers that continue to play influential roles in the geopolitics of the Middle East.
And another reason to consider Europe, from ancient to modern times there has been one primary region that Muslim powers have sought to control—it is Europe. In 732 Muslim armies advanced into Europe as far as France before being defeated by a European army. Again in the year 1529, armies of the Ottoman Empire advanced to the gates of Vienna before being repulsed. Europe has been "pushed" by Muslim powers in the past. And today, Muslim populations in Europe create uncomfortable situations in nations like France, The Netherlands and Germany. To see the Muslim crescent atop mosques in Vienna and Cologne, Germany represent ominous cultural contrasts.
Bible prophecy and history show us where to look for the appearance of a super-power that will astound the world with its influence. It is yet to appear. That it hasn't—and that it can come from an unexpected region—should not cause us to dismiss this warning. This end-time system will be involved with events Christ described as a time of great trial and tribulation. Christ's warning to us today is to watch and keep your life clothed in righteousness so that you will not be caught sleeping and unaware of the times. Christ tells us to discern our times—to understand what is happening with the events of the world today.
That's the fourth event, it hasn't happened yet. Can't check that off.
You know our world is going through a period of great change. We look around and we see a different world—a bit more chaotic and confusing than just a few years ago. You are watching our program. You're reading what we produce to seek understanding. Beyond Today is bringing you a message of understanding to help you figure it all out.
Now let's look at the fifth event before Christ returns.
5. It's the end-time rise and the fall of the English-speaking nations.
Specifically we are talking about the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The single key event of modern times has been said is that these peoples speak the same language and share the same values and culture. Great Britain and America, both have shaped today's world by planting systems of political and economic freedom in their lands, and many other nations they have influenced. Twice in the twentieth century they allied to resist totalitarian systems that threatened freedom throughout the world.
The English-speaking nations of the world not only share the same language, but have in their cultural foundation the Bible—the most influential document of the modern world. The governmental structure of both nations were formed around, not only a belief in the Bible as God's Word, but also fundamental concepts of individual liberty and accountability whose foundations are found in the law of God. These biblically-based ideas promoted freedoms that were key to creating the advanced world that we see.
God is responsible for the blessings of these nations and what they have brought to the world. But with that blessing comes a responsibility to promote righteousness. Unfortunately, recent years have seen a decline in morality from both nations that strikes at the heart of the unique status and blessing God has given. God gave the blessings of greatness and in time, God will remove it because of sin.
We have covered this in other Beyond Today programs and our special booklet offer today, it explains in more depth, the end-time biblical relevance of the English-speaking nations. Make sure you request your free copy today for a fuller understanding of this subject.
But let me quote one scripture that all nations, including the English-speaking nations, should heed. God says, "Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people" (Proverbs 14:34 Proverbs 14:34Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
American King James Version×). Today our nations embrace immorality in all its forms. We justify it in the name of the same freedoms that brought our greatness. We laugh at any idea of godly, biblically-based righteousness. The idea that God will bring judgment upon America and Britain, Canada and Australia—or any nation—is mocked and it's ridiculed. To a modern mind this is considered naïve and ancient. To say that some behavior is immoral is today even labeled as hate-speech.
But unless the English-speaking nations turn away from sin, their leading role in today's world will end. God will remove our blessings, which means we will see our economic and political power broken. We do not yet see this event to have occurred, but the handwriting is on the wall. This program intends to sound a warning to any who will hear.
Repent and acknowledge the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Turn to Him and ask forgiveness. It is not too late to find His mercy and grace. But be warned. If we don't, then our time on the high places of the earth will end and another world power will take our place.
This prophecy has not yet happened. We can't check it off the list. Now let's look at the sixth prophesied event before Christ returns.
6. It's the gospel being preached in all the world.
Christ spoke this prophecy when asked by His disciples for signs of the end time. He said, "And 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" (Matthew 24:14 Matthew 24:14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.
American King James Version×).
Now we are aware that many sincere groups spend a lot of time and money to fulfill this verse. But Christ spoke of "this gospel of the kingdom..." The gospel Christ brought is both a message about His life, death, and resurrection as well as the announcement of a coming literal kingdom to this earth, a kingdom replacing all other kingdoms of this world, planting one kingdom, under Christ, in Jerusalem and spreading to the four corners of the world.
It is this combination, the message of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God that reveals the little understood truth that the Kingdom of God is about the divine family God is creating. The Kingdom is not something man can create by his good works of religion or charity. The Kingdom of God is not what any church will create when it finally "saves the souls" of every man, woman and child on earth.
The Kingdom of God is a spiritual family God the Father is creating in and through the work of His Son, Jesus Christ. When we submit today to the rule of Christ in our life, we can begin to understand this glorious truth. We can begin to experience the life of the Kingdom today and receive its benefits. We can only enter the fullness of the Kingdom of God through the change to immortality at the coming of Jesus Christ.
This is the purpose of your life. This is why you were born. God has created mankind in His image with the potential to become members of His spiritual family. You were born to share the glory as one of God's children in His family. This is the gospel Jesus said would be preached in all the world as a witness. What will you do with it?
The good news—the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God—it is that you can repent, believe and begin to understand the Kingdom of God. You can begin today to experience a foretaste of this "age to come."
This sign is underway, but not quite finished. We will give it half a mark. There is one more sign of Christ's return to consider.
7. It's instant worldwide communication.
In Revelation 11, there is a prophecy about God's two witnesses who are seen around the world by everyone. Two people with miraculous powers shut down the rain from heaven, and turn water to blood, and call down a plague on nations when they desire. In the Bible, neither Moses nor Elijah, nor any of Christ's apostles had such a combination of power when they witnessed against those of their time.
These two will witness against the global political power we described earlier. After three and a half years, God will remove His protection and allow them to be killed. Verse nine says a global audience will see their dead bodies lie in the street (Revelation 11-8-9). Now how could this happen? How could the entire world see them lie in the street? Only through instant, global communication. You have to wonder how the apostle John thought this would be fulfilled when he wrote the words as Christ gave them! The Internet was not around back then!
So in our modern world this is no problem at all. Recently, the entire world's eyes turned to Vatican City. Many watched with bated breath for hours as Argentina's Cardinal Bergoglio was elected as Pope Francis. Seconds after the announcement was made, his Wikipedia page was updated, and Twitter was overwhelmed with the amount of buzz around this single, historical event. I remember seeing a picture of people gathered in Vatican Square with thousands of smart phones held up in the dark, all taking pictures of the new Pope on the balcony.
The technology for this to occur did not exist until recently. Through tablets, computers and smart phones this verse can be fulfilled. Now it can happen.
We can say that the sign of instant, worldwide communications has been fulfilled, and the stage is being set for God's final two witnesses.
Seven signs. Three and a half fulfilled and three and a half waiting for future fulfillment.
Throughout today's program I've explained much about what will occur prior to Jesus' second coming. But there is more you need to know! To help you gain further understanding about what lies ahead, we have prepared a brand new Bible study aid: Seven Prophetic Signs Before Jesus Returns. This essential study aid will provide more details on each of the seven points discussed today. I strongly urge you to obtain a copy of this important, free publication.
But, keep in mind we're offering this special Bible study aid in print for a limited time only. And after that, it will be available only electronically, online. If you'd like a printed copy of Seven Prophetic Signs Before Jesus Returns please call us today. Toll free: 1-888-886-8632.
When you order the Bible study aid we'll also send you a free subscription to The Good News magazine. Each bi-monthly issue of The Good News is filled with practical articles that can strengthen you and your family and help you better understand our world and what lies ahead.
Be sure to call us now—toll free at: 1-888-886-8632. Again, that's 1-888-886-8632. Or, write to us at the address shown on your screen [Beyond Today, PO Box 541027, Cincinnati, OH 45254]. You can also read, Seven Prophetic Signs Before Jesus Returns and The Good News magazine online at BeyondToday.tv.
I am joined now by fellow Beyond Today hosts, Steve Myers and Gary Petty. Kings of the North, Kings of the South, two witnesses, a lot of these prophecies—what is it that is most concerning to people and why should they be interested in this?
[Gary] Well I think a lot of people study prophecy because it is sort of a thrill to them. It makes them excited. Others, it makes them afraid. There is a lot of fear in looking forward to what is going to happen in the future and while all these terrible things are going to happen, and how do I get out of it. But if you really study the Bible and the prophecy, what you see is that God is the God of history and the God of the future, and it really tells us that He is in charge. He is going to take care of His people. And it is really a message of hope. Prophecy should give us hope.
[Steve] Rather than just trying to find things out, and boy I...
[Darris] Like the return of Christ.
[Steve] Yeah, I am knowledgeable and so, I know these things. I think that's a problem. And if we really take prophecy in the sense that, look at what God has done. He has done some amazing things. He has fulfilled these things. He predicted them. They came about.
It should really be a kind of faith-builder, so that we can have our faith stronger because we know God said this would happen and it has. And then like those things still lie in the future that you mentioned, we know they're going to come about. We can have confidence. We can trust God because He did it in the past. He promised this in the future and it will come about. So we can then, better be ready for what is about to come.
[Darris] So, of all that we've talked about, what is it that is to be fulfilled that is the most important for a person to understand?
[Gary] Two of the things you brought out in the program I think is very important is all prophetic roads lead to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is ground zero of prophecy. And also, what happens between Israel and Europe is going to be very important in the future.
[Steve] Prophecy is a good reminder that if it's leading this way to this culmination of events, it's going to impact your life. And if it's going to impact your life, what are you going to do about it? And I think that is where it begins to affect me personally. That I need to beware and understand this is going to happen. And if it is, then the apostle Peter wrote, what manner of person ought you to be (2 Peter 3:11-13 2 Peter 3:11-13  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
 Looking for and hastening to the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.
American King James Version×)? It ought to affect our conduct and who we are and what we do.
[Darris] And what Peter said there is one of the most important keys to be motivated to righteousness, to a changed life, to a life that is understanding the Bible and dedicated to righteousness. We have all grown up in our times in the shadow of the nuclear age, and we recognize the dangers that are there, the fear that comes about. I think of all the things that we've talked about today, probably that one point that mankind now has the ability to destroy all of human life has hung over the world, really since the explosion of the atomic bomb in 1945.
And to understand that, as you've said, God is in charge of history and it is not man. And though there is much to be concerned about, a fear should not grip us in action and keep us from doing what is right and properly understanding the subject of Bible prophecy.
[Steve] I think it's interesting that there is this connection between knowing and doing. So what if you know it? If it doesn't change who you are, if it doesn't help you in your relationship with God, it is really just knowledge and it does nothing. Paul says knowledge puffs up. So we've got to take that knowledge and we have got to put it into use in our lives, otherwise it is not producing anything spiritual.
[Gary] And this fear is really becoming irrational. I was reading the other day how there are so many people, all these movies and television shows about zombies.
[Gary] There are people who fear biological warfare and actually are beginning to believe that zombies will bring about the end of the world. And it is a sizeable group of people and they are preparing for this zombie war.
[Darris] Well again, stories like that, post-apocalyptic movies and scenarios that are prevalent in the media, the mainstream media, again perpetuate a fear and uncertainty. The Bible is about the only source that I can turn to that shows that it is not going to end that way. And that people should not have this concern and this fear.
You know I really like the statement that Jesus made to discern this time. I think that that is, certainly God inspired it. It put this down into our day and into our time. This is our time to understand.
[Gary] Well, the real message is turn to God. Not only turn to God, but turn your life over to God. This is too complicated. You can't solve it. I can't solve it. We can't solve it. Only God can solve this. Turn our lives to God.
[Steve] It's the only solution. It's not a matter of stocking our piles of weapons and ammunition and prepping for some doomsday. That's the wrong kind of preparation. We need spiritual preparation. We need to get our lives in order. We need to develop a relationship with God, and prophecy should motivate us to do that very thing.
[Darris] The Bible shows us that it is ultimately the preparation we make in our heart, in our minds, in our relationship with God that is the most important, and will help us traverse those very treacherous times.
So while it's fresh on your mind, be sure to order our free Bible study aid: Seven Prophetic Signs Before Jesus Returns before the printed copies run out. After that, remember, it will only be available to be read on our website. And, you'll also get a free subscription to The Good News. So, call toll free: 1-888-886-8632. Again, 1-888-886-8632. Or, go online to read both at BeyondToday.tv. We look forward to hearing from you!
We're not saying to go out and build a nuclear bomb shelter. We're saying, you need to go out and build a relationship with your Father in heaven—now! Open your Bible. Study His Word deeply.
We're right in the middle of developing prophecies. The whole point of prophecy is to turn you to God. Start to pray. And study the Bible so you won't be surprised by what's coming.
And join us next week on Beyond Today as we continue to discover the gospel of the Kingdom of God. And we also invite you to join us in praying, "Thy Kingdom come." For Beyond Today, I'm Darris McNeely. Thanks for watching.
[Announcer] For the free literature offered on today's program, go online to BeyondToday.tv. Please join us again next week on Beyond Today!