“When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.” Matthew 16:2b-3.
“For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 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.” Matthew 24:5-6.
There are reports of numerous christs over the centuries, but the one we are most familiar with would be the Unification Church (Moonies) which was led by the late Sun Myung Moon who claimed to be Christ.
This sort of thing will not cease until the real Jesus Christ returns in what is called His glorious appearance ending the tribulation.
“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand. But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.” Mark 13:21-26.
“Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matthew 24:26-27.
No one will be able to miss the glorious appearance of Christ at the end of the tribulation He has told us Himself.
However, only Christians will see Him when He returns to remove all Christians out of the world before the tribulation.
“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. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.
While some have seen visions of Jesus such as the Apostle Paul (Acts 9:1-17 and 18:9-10), no one will see Jesus Christ’s physical return to earth before the end of the tribulation, anyone who states otherwise is a liar.
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass…” Matthew 24:6.
These words were spoken during what is called Pax Romana, or the Roman Peace which lasted for 200 years.
Pax Romana began around 27 B.C. and extended to 180 A.D. these dates will vary, but it was a period of about 200 years. The peace was in full swing during the Lord’s life on earth and completely surrounded the Mediterranean Sea.
It extended as far west as Spain and France, south along North Africa and Egypt, east including Israel, Syria, and Turkey, and north, almost into Russia. You must look at a map to get a good idea really.
In view of this you can see how Jesus’ words, wars and rumors of wars must have seemed somewhat odd at the time. But we all know that it did not last.
Even so, wars did not often come in clusters; the Germanic tribes against Rome, the Vikings, the Muslims, Mongols, under Genghis Kahn, all horrifying, but nothing like today where the mind has become numb trying to keep up with the various wars and atrocities.
But Jesus emphasized that these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 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.” Luke 21:20-24.
Jerusalem was surrounded by armies, Titus and the Roman legions, and after a lengthy siege was overrun and the temple destroyed in August of 70 A.D. The Lord’s words were fulfilled Jews were slain by the sword and led away captive into all the nations.
It was a great and unmistakable sign that after 1,878 years Israel became a nation again in 1948. However this small strip of land has had no peace to speak of since its inception, but has had to put up with constant bullying and warfare with Gentile nations since then.
But soon, “…the times of the Gentiles” will be fulfilled, yet only after going through 7 years of tribulation, the last 3 ½ of which is called the time of Jacob’s trouble.
The year 1948 was preceded by something of even greater worldwide significance prophetically as the Lord stated below.
“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these things are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:7-8.
“All these things are the beginning of sorrows.” The meaning of the word sorrows here is one of birth pangs, or travail; the contractions a woman feels when she is preparing to give birth.
Some seem to interpret birth pangs as meaning intensifying in pain, which is logical and can be right, but I feel that the emphasis is on the contractions becoming closer and closer together rather than a reference to pain.
And like contractions, they come closer and closer as the time to give birth arrives. According to verse 8 above, these birth pangs have started and are coming closer together.
“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” Even Jewish rabbis who have rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah agree that this is a description of a world war.
It is no stretch of the imagination to state that World War I and World War II (which is considered by many historians to be an extension of WW I) fulfill this prophecy that was spoken by Jesus about 1,900 years earlier.
“And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.” Famines and pestilences always follow war.
1918 to 1919 at the end of WW I the Spanish flu killed 75 million people worldwide;
1957 to 1958 the Asian flu killed 2,000,000 people worldwide;
1981 until the present AIDS has killed 30 million people worldwide, and is still pandemic in Africa.
Smallpox killed 300 to 500 million people in the 20th century (1900-1999) and this is not counting the many hundreds of years before.
Earthquakes are another matter for which the statistics are an eye opener. In the first thousand years after Jesus gave these prophecies there were about 5 major earthquakes; five in one thousand years. The following list is of major earthquakes only:
In the 14th century (1300-1399) there were 137 major earthquakes;
in the 15th century (1400-1499) there were 174 major earthquakes;
in the 16th century there were 253 major earthquakes;
in the 17th century there were 278;
in the 18th century there were 640;
in the 19th century (1800-1899) there were 2119;
in the 20th century there were 17,690 magnitude 6.0 earthquakes between 1900-1995; with 5,667 magnitude 6.5 earthquakes; in the years1900-1997 there were 1,960 magnitude 7.0 earthquakes; this is a total of 25,317 earthquakes of a magnitude of 6.0 and above.
These latter statistics for the twentieth century were taken from an article written by Steven A. Austin and Mark L. Strauss of The Institute for Creation Research. And they were pulled from charts compiled by Worldwide Earthquake Data Base and the National Geophysical Data Center.
The following is a partial list of the fatalities from 20th century earthquakes, none under 10,000 are listed:
1905, India, 19,000;
1906, Chile, 20,000;
1917, Indonesia, 15,000;
1920, China, 200,000;
1923, Japan, 143,000;
1927, China, 200,000;
1932, China, 70,000;
1935, Pakistan, 30,000-60,000;
1939, Chile, 28,000;
1939, Turkey, 30,000;
1948, Russia, 110,000;
1962, Iran, 12,000;
1968, Iran, 12,000-20,000;
1970, Peru, 66,000,
1976, Guatemala, 23,000;
1976, China 255,000;
1978, Iran, 15,000;
1990, Iran, 40,000-50,000;
1999, Turkey, 15,600.
This list of earthquake fatalities is perhaps only half of those listed in the book “The Footsteps of the Messiah” by Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, published by Ariel Ministries.
All of us have stepped outside and said, “Do I need my umbrella or not?” Whether we make a good call or a bad one depends how well we know the environment where we live.
Many of us just always carry an umbrella, can’t hurt, many are careful and know what they are getting into, others of us just get wet.
The Lord Jesus reprimanded men who should have known better, smart enough to read the weather, but too ignorant to read the times of the Christ.
Let not the Christian make the same mistake; read the times we live in and consider carefully what you will be doing when the Lord Jesus calls you into His presence for all eternity.
No one can give the exact time of the rapture, but as you can see, enough of Jesus’ words have become fact to show that the time is very short.
“Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming – in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning – lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” Mark 13:35-37.
Read the Weather, Part 2 taken from godisrevealed.com posted on 5-14-15, updated on 4-25-19.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.