We’ll be looking at is how do we know we are living in the last days? The 2. section of the article will deal with the most recent fulfilled Biblical prophecy. The 3. section will cover prophecies concerning the taking away of Gods people or what is commonly called the rapture. The 4. section will cover the prophecies of the Great Tribulation. The 5. section will cover the prophecies of Jesus’ second coming. And the last section is going to be the prophecies of the 1,000 year reign of Christ. In this Bible study we are going to be looking at just a few of the prophecies concerning each occasion.
There are several prophecies for each event and if we listed every prediction for each event it would be too time consuming. First we will need to find out what is the purpose of Biblical prophecy? God says that no one knows the future except God and when the events stated by God come to pass you might think. We can see this in John 13:19, “Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you might believe that I am He. “We also see this in John 14:29, “And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe.”
1. The Last Days
Next we will have a look at the predictions concerning the last days to see if we are really living in the last days. The first prediction we will look at can be found in the Book of Daniel 12:4,”But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” I picked this Biblical prophecy since I believe it describes the time we live in perfectly. This verse is saying that travel and knowledge increases. With the inventions of the space shuttle and the computer at no other time in our history could this Biblical prophecy have been fulfilled.
In 2 Peter 3:4 we read, “And saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the start of creation.” I know I have heard over the years a number of unique people say that the events which are happening to us now are no different than the events which have been occurring since the beginning of time. I’m sure my friends did not realize at that time they were fulfilling Bible prophecy.
These next verses describe the current breakdown of morals in our society today. In Romans 1:30-32 we read,”backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; that, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the exact same but also approve of those who practice them.”
In 2 Timothy 3:3 we read, “For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,”
Recently that the America Supreme Court legalized man/man and woman/woman marriage. The Bible tells us that when it is no longer hidden and out in the open destruction is near. We can see this in both the times of Noah and the times of Lot. Both Noah and Lot experienced moral breakdown in their societies before the destruction came upon them as we can see in Luke 17:27-29,” They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.”
2. Fulfilled Biblical Prophecy
The first prophecies we’ll look at are concerning the state of Israel when in 70 AD the Romans defeated the Jews and scattered them into a number of diverse countries. Then in 1948 after 1,878 decades of exile Israel became a state again. Just this fact alone is incredible considering that no other race of people who were defeated has ever come back and regained their homeland and keep their individuality.
Let us first look at the prophecies about Israel losing their homeland. We can see this in Psalm 44:11,”You have given us up like sheep intended for food, and have scattered us among the states. “We see this again in Luke 21:24, “And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”
A Gentile is anybody who is not Jewish. In 1967 Israel regained the city of Jerusalem in the Jordanians from the seven day war. This also fulfilled the above verse”until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”
Why did God destroy millions of Jewish people and scatter the rest? We find the answer in Luke 19:43-45,”For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the floor; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you didn’t know the time of your visitation.”
From the Book of Daniel, Daniel provides the Jewish religious leaders the specific day when their Messiah the Prince would arrive and Zechariah prophesied that Jesus would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey. We see this in Daniel 9:25,””Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and fourteen days; The road shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. “And in Zechariah 9:9, we read “”Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey. “Isaiah, chapter 53 describes in detail the crucifixion of Jesus 750 years before Christ was born. It appears the Scribes and Pharisees’ should have spent more time in their scriptures.
Let us now look at two of the prophecies concerning Israel regaining their homeland in May of 1948. The first verse we will look at is found in Zechariah 10:8,”I will whistle for them and collect them, for I will redeem themand they shall increase as they once increased. “The next verse is found in Micah 2:12,”I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like sheep of the fold, like a flock in the midst of their pasture; they shall make a loud noise due to so many people.”
The reason I started with these two events in Bible prophecy is because in the Book of Luke it is said that the creation that starts to witnesses those things taking place won’t pass away until all things are fulfilled. We can see this in Luke 21: 24-28, “And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (This event happened in 1967.)
“And there’ll be signs in the sun, at the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” These things started to happen in 1948 when Israel became a nation again and in 1967 when the Jews regained the city of Jerusalem from the Jordanians.
He then spoke to them a parable:”Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away until all things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
3. The Taking Away of God’s People
The next prophetic event to take place I believe are the taking away of God’s people and the Great Tribulation will begin. I have heard arguments for a mid tribulation rapture and a post tribulation rapture. I believe the right way to settle this debate is to look at how God has managed Himself from the past in similar situations. The Bible says that God is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Lot and his family who were living in Sodom were summoned before the two angels of God destroyed the city.
Moses, his family and the animals were gathered into the ark before the floods came. God hasn’t made His people suffer because of what the wicked people were doing. We can see this in the Book of Genesis when Abraham was reasoning with God about the destruction of Sodom. In Genesis 18:23-25 we read, “And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” We know from the Bible that God did send his family from Sodom just before Sodom was destroyed.
We also see in 1 Thessalonians 5:9,”For God didn’t appoint us to wrath, but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. “When I hear of Christians who believe they’ll be going through the tribulation or half way through the tribulation it brings to my mind the verses in the Book of Revelations where Jesus is talking to His church in Thyatira. In Revelations 2:18 we read, “Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.”
We know by these verses that lots of Christians will be going through the great tribulation. It might be that these believers who think they are going to experience the tribulation are in fact these very same believers as stated in Revelations 2:18. Maybe their right and maybe at the same time we are also accurate. I also understand that Jesus Christ’s Spirit filled believers will be taken up to heaven before the great tribulation begins. We can see this in Revelation 3:10,”Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”
What are some of the prophecies about the taking away of God’s people? In Corinthians 15:52 we read,”In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last minute. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” In Thessalonians 4:16-17 we read, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
I’ll give you one more Biblical prophecy about the taking away of God’s people and that is found in Luke 17:33-35,”Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be abandoned. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left.”
4. Prediction Of The Great Tribulation
Let’s take a fast look at a few prophecies regarding the tribulation. We’ll begin with Matthew 24:21,”For then there will be great tribulation, such as hasn’t been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. “Jeremiah 30:7, “Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like itand it’s the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he will be saved out of it. “And eventually Isaiah 13:13,”Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth will move out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts and in the day of His fierce anger.”
The Great Tribulation is an event that nobody will want to attend. Billions and billions of people will be killed. There are many passages pertaining to this particular section of Bible prophecy. I will show you just four of them from the Book of Zechariah 13:8,”And it shall come to pass in all of the land,” Says the Lord,”That two-thirds in it will be cut off and die, But one-third shall be left in it:”At July 2015 when I wrote this Bible study there’s now estimated to be 7.1 billion people on this earth. Two thirds dead are 4.7 billion people. In Zechariah 14:6 we read,”It shall come to pass in that day that there’ll be no light; the lights will diminish.”
Scary times are ahead for all the people left on the ground. Food will be scarce and what little food is left will be fought over. We can see this in Zechariah 14:13,”It will come to pass in that day that a great panic in the Lord will be one of them. Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor, and raise his hand against his neighbor’s hand;”In Revelation 13:17, we read”and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the amount of his name. “If you’re interested in reading the judgments of God during the tribulation you can read that in Revelation chapters 6 through 19.
5. End Time Biblical Prophecy
The Bible tells us that the Great Tribulation will be so devastating that if Christ does not come early no flesh would be saved. We can see this in Matthew 24:22, “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.”
The Bible says that Jesus’ second coming will be just seven years from the start of the tribulation. It is also stated that after the anti-Christ stands in the temple in Jerusalem demanding to be worshiped the second coming of Christ will happen exactly in three and one half years from this day. When the tribulation begins we thought we knew exactly when Jesus was to return. That is what I initially thought until I read the above verse.
This being said there is now no way anybody can accurately predict to the day when the 2nd coming of Christ will occur. We will know that during the seventh year of the tribulation Jesus was originally scheduled to return but how much sooner Jesus will come back nobody knows. We know from the above verse that the seven year tribulation will be less than seven years. Because those times will be so devastating that unless the seven years have been shortened there would not be any human beings left alive on the earth!
Immediately after the tribulation the people will see Jesus and His saints coming in the clouds. We see this in Matthew 24:29-30,”Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they’ll see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
We also can get more details of the event from Luke 21:25-28,”And there’ll be signs in the sun, in the skies, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
I have heard the question asked on Christian radio”where in the Bible did Jesus ever say that He was coming back?” Let’s start with Jesus’ own words. In Matthew 26:64, we read, “Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
This is so important let us take a look at more of Jesus’ own words about His 2nd coming. We’ll start with Matthew 25:13″Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. “Matthew 16:27, “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
In Luke 17-24 we read, “For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day.” The last one we’ll use is located in John 14:2-3,”In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
The Old and New Testaments are full of prophecies regarding the 2nd coming of Christ. The last prediction we will look at on this topic is the prophecy from the two angels who were standing in the audience as Jesus ascended into heaven. It is found in Acts 1:11,”who also said,”Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
The next prophecy we’re going to look at is found in Revelation 1:7,”Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.” There was a time, not so long ago when people would read this passage and ask the question”how is every eye going to see Him?” Now with the invention of telecommunication satellites orbiting our planet this prophecy could now be quite easily fulfilled.
What about America?
The Seven Jewish Feast Festivals
One subject I believe is very important to talk about and has barely even been cited by Christian radio is that the seven Jewish feast days as written in the Book of Leviticus chapter 23. The reason these days are important to Biblical prophecy is the exact same seven feast days that the Jewish people celebrate today will also be celebrated during the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ. We see this in Colossians 2:16-17,”So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.”
Why is this significant to Biblical prophecy? Look at what has happened up to now.
1. Feast of Passover Jesus Crucified
2. Feast of Unleaven bread Jesus Entombed
3. Feast of Firstfruits Resurrection of Jesus
4. Feast of Weeks Pentecost, The Holy Spirit Given to Man
Four of those seven feast days have been fulfilled by Jesus and the Holy Spirit at His first coming. Would it surprise you to see that the last three feast days will also be fulfilled by Jesus at His second coming? This is how I see the past three feast days fulfilled.
5. Feast of Trumpets The Taken Away of God’s People (Here is the next prophecy to be fulfilled)
6. Day of Atonement Marriage Supper of The Lamb
7. Feast of Tabernacles God Lives With Man
We can see an example of the people celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles during the thousand year reign of Christ here on the earth. The passage is found in Zechariah 14:16,” And it shall come to pass that everyone who’s left of all of the nations which came against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.”
What are the prophecies concerning when the second coming of Christ will occur? To answer this question we have to begin with the Book of Peter. We read in Peter that with God one day is as one thousand years and a thousand years is as one day. This being said we will begin with the Prophecy found in Hosea 6:2,”After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight.”
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