You need to know what prophesied events must transpire before Christ's second coming. Don't miss this vital program!
Could this happen tomorrow? Traffic comes to a screeching stop, all activity suddenly grinds to a halt, as every human being looks to the sky and witnesses the return of Jesus Christ. Most Christians believe Jesus Christ is returning to this earth.
What do you believe? Do the mysterious biblical prophecies give any indication of when Jesus will return? On Beyond Today we answer the question, will Jesus return tomorrow?
Will Jesus return tomorrow? Have you ever wondered about when Jesus will return? You know people have been asking if Jesus is going to return tomorrow for a very long time.
Even His disciples wondered about His prophesied second coming. They asked Him a similar question, "Tell us when these things will happen? What will be the sign that it is time for you to come again, for this age to end?"
Now did you notice the question's about the end of the age, not the destruction of the planet? They asked Him when this age, our time, this evil era would come to an end. They wanted to know when would Jesus Christ return to fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament.
These prophecies predict God's Messiah would come to save humanity from war, crime, poverty and suffering. This question of, "when will Christ return?" has been asked by many Christians over the last 2,000 years. You've probably wondered about it yourself.
Today we are going to discuss three biblical prophecies that will answer the question, will Jesus return tomorrow?
Let's begin with what is called the Olivet prophecy, found in Matthew 24. While standing on the Mount of Olives, Jesus told His disciples that before His return, the entire world will face a time of crisis like no other time in history.
He said the world would become a dangerous and unstable place and that catastrophes and human suffering would grow increasingly worse. You know, sounds like the world you and I live in, doesn't it?
It's no secret, our world is in trouble. We worry about the economy, our jobs, the health care crisis, the robbery that took place down the street last night. You don't feel very safe, do you?
You know one of the real threats we seldom even think about, is that nuclear weapons could trigger a global holocaust. A while back President Obama convened the Nuclear Security Summit. His opening comments are a frightening reminder of what Jesus told His disciples about the end of the age:
"It is my privilege to welcome you to Washington and to formally convene this historic summit. We represent 47 nations from every region of the world, and I thank each of you for being here. This is an unprecedented gathering to address an unprecedented threat.
Two decades after the end of the Cold War, we face a cruel irony of history—the risk of a nuclear confrontation between nations has gone down, but the risk of nuclear attack has gone up.
Nuclear materials that could be sold or stolen and fashioned into a nuclear weapon exist in dozens nations. Just the smallest amount of plutonium—about the size of an apple—could kill and injure tons of thousands of innocent people.
Terrorist networks such as al Qaeda have tried to acquire the material for a nuclear weapon and if they ever succeeded, they would surely use it. Were they to do so, it would be a catastrophe for the world."
A nuclear holocaust and the ensuing fallout winter is an unimaginable horror. It is in fact, a predicted horror.
Notice what Jesus foretold, "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom." (Matthew 24:6-7 Matthew 24:6-7  And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
American King James Version×)
If this time of unparallel troubles was allowed to continue, what would be the result?
Jesus said, "unless those days were shortened no flesh would be saved." (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×)
In other words, Jesus Christ prophesied that human beings would have the ability to destroy all life on the earth. But notice, He would intervene before that happened. Humanity's self-destruction was not even possible until my life time. In 1945, atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but they could not destroy all life on earth. There wasn't enough potential for worldwide destruction at that time.
By 1955, scientists had created the hydrogen bomb. The arms race in the ‘50s and ‘60s escalated. The U.S. and the Soviet Union developed the capacity for massive destruction of life which included biological and chemical weapons. Because of the arms race of the last century, today, right now, nations have the ability to destroy all life on earth many times over.
You know today there are at least seven nuclear powers: the United States, Britain, Russia, France, China and more recently, India and Pakistan. Many consider that Israel is already a member. The Iranians have either the capability or are getting very close to developing nuclear weapons and there is a worldwide fear that North Korea is developing the bomb.
There's no doubt that the more nations who possess these weapons, the more likely it is that someone, someday, is going to use one. And then there is the wild card of terrorism. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, publicly commented on this threat:
"Long after the Cold War's end, the United States and Russia still possess more than 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons. We do not need such large arsenals to protect our nation and our allies against the two greatest dangers we face today: nuclear proliferation and terrorism."
Our options are running out. Science knows that we must soon alter our ways or face the consequences. Christ predicted a coming unprecedented time that will prove to be so dangerous that unless God intervenes, all living things on earth will die. The biblical prediction of life on earth threatened with extinction, could actually happen.
We have passed the point of no return. Our world is that much closer to the words of Jesus Christ being fulfilled. Now, does this mean that Jesus will return tomorrow? Well obviously we now have the capacity for that prophecy to happen.
To answer the question we must look at two other biblical prophecies. Now there are other biblical predictions that are coming to pass right before your eyes that tell us that the return of Jesus Christ is approaching.
Up next, Darris McNeely discusses with Good News writer, Melvin Rhodes, about current conditions in the Middle East and how they fit into what the Bible says about the return of Jesus Christ.
Now first, I want to tell you about how to get a free copy of this very important booklet. How close are we to the return of Jesus Christ? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Then you need to read, Are We Living in the Time of the End.
You can read it immediately by going online to BeyondToday.tv or to receive a free copy sent directly to your home, call toll free: 1-888-886-8632 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-888-886-8632 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. That's 1-888-886-8632 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-888-886-8632 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. And you can follow Beyond Today on Twitter and join us on Facebook where we welcome your comments and suggestions, or you can write to us.
It is possible for humanity to destroy itself. The predictions of Jesus are being fulfilled, but there's much more to this story. Biblical prophecies claim that the Christ or Messiah is coming to Jerusalem, a center for Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Next, Darris McNeely discusses the importance of Jerusalem, the modern nation of Israel. Now conflicts in the Middle East are fulfilling biblical prophecies. Beyond Today's Darris McNeely discusses with Good News writer, Melvin Rhodes, why 1948 is an important year in understanding, will Jesus return tomorrow?
Thanks for being with us Melvin on the program here today. I know you have had a long time interest in researching and writing about the Middle East. Exactly how many years would you say you have been researching this subject of the Middle East?
I've been interested in Bible prophecy for over 40 years, so that's how long it's been.
It seems like virtually every generation since the time of Christ has been expecting Him to return in their lifetime based on events in their own life. Obviously that hasn't happened, but since the creation of the current state of Israel in the Middle East, has that met any of the condition that would make that return possible?
Well absolutely. For almost 2,000 years as you've said, people often thought that they were living in the end time, but it couldn't have been because there was no Jewish nation in the Middle East from the early second century right up until 1948, and there had to be a Jewish nation there for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.
From time to time, especially around the High Holy Days on the calendar, the holy calendar for the Jews, we usually read about or hear about a group of Jews that want to go up on the temple mount and offer a sacrifice. Do sacrifices on the temple mount, does that have any bearing on the prophecies from the Bible about Christ's return?
Well yes it does. Right now there are no sacrifices but Jesus Christ in Matthew 24, quotes from the book of Daniel and shows that there will be an attempt to stop the sacrifices at the time of the end.
My personal view is, I don't think that sacrifices will be reinstated until there is a settlement in the Middle East, a peace treaty which provides for two separate states—Israel for the Jews, Palestine for the Palestinians—and Jerusalem itself comes under some form of international jurisdiction, and then every group will be free to practice its religious beliefs itself.
The biblical prophet Zechariah, in his book talks about armies converging upon Jerusalem specifically, in the time prior to the return of the Messiah. What current conditions could precipitate or bring about that type of gatherings of armies in Jerusalem?
Well in 1948 when the nation of Israel came into existence, five Arab armies attacked Israel all at the same time trying to destroy the Jewish nation before it got off the ground. In 1967, you had three nations come against Israel. Now of course, the conflict has widened because you've got countries as far away as Iran that are wanting to destroy Israel, so you could see how more countries could be involved. Then of course you've also got the European nations. If the balance of powers in the Middle East altered and it was not in their interests, they would have to do something because they depend very much on that are for their oil, as does the U.S., but they depend more on that area than we do.
There was an article that pointed out that Germany would have to preserve Israel. It owes it to Israel because what happened during the holocaust. And maybe if you see all these Islamic armies surrounding Jerusalem, the Germans would have to get involved, together with maybe some other European countries in order to try to save Israel at that particular point.
Oil is always an issue in the Middle East. Is there anything else beyond oil that could cause such international tensions to bring armies into that area?
I think religious beliefs are very important here because there are three great faiths that all look to Jerusalem. That is Christianity, Islam and of course Judaism -- that goes back ever further -- and those three have often been in conflict throughout history.
What specifically should our listeners keep their eyes open for as far as Bible prophecy in Jerusalem in concerned?
I think the next thing to look for is some sort of a peace treaty in the Middle East. That could even happen this year, but it might be a few more years before it happens.
It would have to be something beyond what we normally read about in terms of peace treaties wouldn't it?
It would. I cannot see the Israelis agreeing to a peace treaty so I think what's likely to happen is that other powers will impose a deal on the area creating a Palestinian state, as well as preserving some of what is today Israel. I think that would be imposed. The United States, the current administration, is very much in favor of that as are the Europeans, and it seems likely to happen.
Would the United Nations be involved in that? They actually imposed the State of Israel upon the Middle East back in 1948, would they be involved in that today?
I think they would be because if the United States and the Europeans propose such a move then the UN would back that.
Why do events in today's world in Jerusalem have such a wide impact and draw and focus?
Well it's interesting that you asked that. You know, like we were saying, there had to be a Jewish nation for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.100 years ago, the Middle East was a backwater. It was of no significance whatsoever. It became significant when the nation of Israel was established.
Now Bible prophecy shows that Jewish nation will be there immediately prior to Christ's return, but the real question is, how long can an independent Jewish country survive? I mean the fact is, the Jews have a very low birth rate; it's less than two children per couple. The Palestinians have a very high birth rate of over eight children per couple and of course all the Arab countries have a high birth rate as well.
The question was asked some years ago on the cover of the Atlantic monthly magazine, can Israel live to be 100? And the conclusion was that it can't. Israel is 62 years old right now. Remember in the twelfth century, Christian Catholic forces from Europe, the crusaders, established the Kingdom of Jerusalem. It did not last 100 years. The hope is of many people in the Islamic world that the nation of Israel, which they refer to as a crusader state, will also not last 100 years. So just on that basis itself, we can see that we are talking about living in the end time.
Crusades, crusader states, that's medieval times but it's still very relevant today?
Religion was very important in medieval times and it's become very important again since September 11th.
How eminent is Christ's return?
Well look at Israel and look at Bible prophecy, and you see these things may take a few years to play out, but I do believe that Christ's return is eminent.
Always something to keep in mind, Jerusalem is a very important topic, very important to world affairs and certainly to Bible prophecy. Melvin I appreciate the time that you've spent with us today. Gary, back to you in the studio.
So far we've looked at two biblical prophecies that must happen before Christ's return. First the world has to have enough fire power to destroy itself. With the invention of the hydrogen bomb and biological weapons, that is now possible. And secondly, the Bible predicts that armies will surround Jerusalem and the descendants of the ancient people of Israel will be there to fight. Israel had not been a nation state for many centuries. The modern state of Israel was established in 1948. The stage is set for that prophecy to actually happen.
There is another biblical prediction that must happen before the return of Jesus Christ. Now strangely enough, it has to do with technology. This newspaper, it's from 1858. The front page is about a story of how a mob in Lexington, Kentucky, broke into a jail and lynched the unfortunate prisoner. On the second page is a report about an upstart candidate for the U.S. presidency, named Abraham Lincoln. In the 1850s, it could take weeks, sometimes even months, for a news event from another part of the world to be published in a newspaper like this one. Most people had very little knowledge of events outside of their own community.
Now, you know what this is? Glass insulators like this one, made it possible to string tens of thousands of miles of wire for telegraph and telephone lines. Because of telephones and faster vehicles like trains, by the early 1900s the speed of communication was infinitely faster than in the days when newspapers were delivered on horseback. Then came radio, and those with a receiver could listen to a news event halfway around the world the moment it happened. I mean everything changed. During World War II, people in New York City or Smallville, Iowa could listen to nightly reports of the Nazi bombings of London, England.
"The noise that you hear at the moment is the sound of the air raid sirens."
In the mid-twentieth century, the technology of radio and movies were combined to create what was then called the miracle of television. Now people could in the safety of their own living room watch earth shaking events, first in black and white and then in, yes it was called, living color. The generation of the 1960s, who could forget the surreal images of the first man stepping onto the moon?
Today with computer technology and billions of people are connected together through the Internet. Satellites orbiting thousands of miles above the earth make it possible to receive or send images from the most remote areas of the globe. With the advent of instant visual technology, there are actually few places where people can't plug into news as it happens. Now, did you know that this explosion in communication technology is foretold in a prophecy in the mysterious book of Revelation?
Let's explore this prophecy and see what it means to your life. Revelation —it's the last book of the Bible—is an advance newscast of events that will happen before Christ's return. In this book the Apostle John writes about two witnesses. These are two individuals who will announce to the world to turn to God because Jesus Christ is returning to Jerusalem. According to Revelation, these two men will perform absolutely amazing miracles.
Now here's what John tells us: "If anyone wants to harm them," that's these two witnesses, "fire proceeds from their mouth to devour them. They have power to shut heaven so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy and they have power over waters to turn them to blood and to strike the earth with all plagues." (Revelation 11:5 Revelation 11:5And if any man will hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth, and devours their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
American King James Version×,6)
No historian has ever recorded any event like what John is describing here in Revelation. These two witnesses will call down fire upon those who try to kill them. They have the attention of the entire world as they turn water into blood or cause droughts. After three and a half years of proclaiming the return of Jesus Christ, the two witnesses will be killed by the political and religious leaders who oppose them. Then their bodies will be left to lie in the streets of Jerusalem.
Here's how John describes that scene:
"Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues and nations will see their dead bodies for three and half days and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves." Now listen to this, "and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth." (Revelation 11:9 Revelation 11:9And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
American King James Version×,10)
This passage reveals two important points if you were to answer the question, will Jesus return tomorrow? One is that these two men are killed and seen by people from all over the world. People all over the earth rejoice at this news of the deaths of these two men.
You know, this was impossible until the explosion of satellite and computer technology. It is now possible for people in Beijing, the outback of Australia, the Amazon, the major cities of Europe, to now instantly see an event that happens in the Middle East. Now this prophecy, it comes alive! Televisions, satellites, cell phones, computers, these types of technology make it possible for peoples, tribes, tongues and nations to see or hear the news of the two witnesses and then celebrate their deaths. But there's another important point in these verses.
These two individuals will achieve worldwide acclaim as they announce the second coming of Jesus Christ over a, remember, three and a half year period. They will perform miracles and are despised by political and religious leaders. This hasn't happened yet has it? So we're back to our original question, will Jesus return tomorrow? Let's go back to what we've been discussing.
What have we learned from this passage in Revelation about the two men who will proclaim Christ's return who John calls the two witnesses? Well first, the two witnesses are killed and immediately people all over the world know the news and celebrate. This part of the prophecy written almost 2,000 years ago could not have happened until very recent times. You and I, we live in a time of instant communication. In no other period of history could a worldwide audience have immediate access to this kind of a news event. The fact that this remarkable prophecy can now take place, that's described in the book of Revelation, should wake you up to the relevancy of biblical prophecy in your life.
Secondly, the two witnesses will achieve worldwide acclaim as they announce the second coming of Jesus Christ over a three and a half year period. They will perform miracles and be despised and eventually killed by political and religious leaders. Since that part of the prophecy hasn't happened, we finally have the answer to our question. Jesus Christ is not returning tomorrow. But the stage is being set for that dramatic, earth changing event.
Biblical prophecies are being fulfilled at an alarming rate and you need to be aware of them. We've looked at Christ's Olivet prophecy. Just as He predicted, humanity has the ability to destroy itself.
We've seen how Old Testament prophecies have been fulfilled by the re-establishment of the State of Israel. Now technology now makes it possible for the entire world to see the bodies of the two witnesses lying in the streets of Jerusalem.
And you know by the way, the death of the two witnesses isn't the end of the story. Their bodies will lie in the streets of Jerusalem for three and a half days and then, all activity screeches to a halt as all human beings look to the sky and witness the majesty and power of the second coming of Jesus Christ. Life enters into the bodies of the two witnesses and they are resurrected to meet the Christ, the very One they were killed for proclaiming.
So how does this prophetic information about technology and two witnesses really affect your life? I mean, what does it really matter?
Well here's what it means to you. The God of the Bible is the Creator of the universe. He is also the God of history and in all this human mess that you and I live in, the Creator has a plan. He has a plan for humanity. He actually has a plan for you.
Your life can change and all this suffering and chaos, you can actually become a part of God's solution. You know folks, Christianity has enough believers. Jesus Christ wants committed disciples, men and women willing to mimic His way of life. If you're tired of powerless Christianity, it's time to find out what Jesus really taught and live as He prescribed. Prophecy is one way of God showing us that He exists and that He is involved in His creation. It's a way for you to know, for God to show you that you can have a personal relationship with Him. You know He tells us the future right here in this Book. It's up to you to be prepared for that future.
Now I want to remind you about the free offer on today's program, Are We Living in the Time of the End? To order your free copy call toll free: 1-888-886-8632 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-888-886-8632 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. Call right away and we'll also send you a free subscription to the Good News magazine. In every issue of the Good News, you'll find articles on what the Bible teaches about the time of the end and how to make sense of today's confusing world news. If you go online to BeyondToday.tv, you can read or download, Are We Living in the Time of the End? You can also watch weekly commentaries and peruse Beyond Today programs from our archives. And follow Beyond Today on Twitter and join us on Facebook and set your DVR or TiVo to watch Beyond Today at your convenience.
Well today we've shown that the dangers of modern weapons and international conflicts could create the toxic mixture leading to human destruction. Jesus claimed that these trends would exist before His second coming. We've seen that the re-establishment of the nation of Israel and the explosion of communication technology are prerequisites for the fulfillment of end time prophecy.
You know Jesus isn't returning tomorrow, but the stage is being set for the most dramatic intervention by God in human history. Are you prepared for that event? Would your life stand the stress of the end times? Watching Beyond Today will help prepare you in advance, so don't miss a single program and thanks for watching.