Dr chinomso Jude Nwala
14 SIGNS OF THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS
(1) WARS, VIOLENCE AND LAWLESSNESS
Watch for wars—big wars, little wars, ethnic wars, wars of all sorts and escalating violence and increasing lawlessness—which will increasingly affect all of the world, especially the English-speaking nations.
The Gospel of Matthew contains Jesus’ prophecy to His disciples about the state of the world just prior to His Second Coming. “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).
The sign of wars, increasing violence and lawlessness is the first thing to watch for.
(2). DROUGHT AND FAMINE.
Drought and famine—lack of rain and lack of food—will stalk the earth on a massive scale never seen before. Yes, these things will become much, much worse.
When there is drought you also have wildfires—range fires and forest fires. After the fires have burned off the brush, there is always the danger of floods when it resumes raining because there is no vegetation in the burned area’s watershed to retain the precipitation.
These catastrophes of drought, famine, fire and flood naturally tend to go together. In Matthew 24:7, Jesus predicted: “And there will be famines.” Worldwide famines will engender vicious competition and strife among nations over food. This will mean increased political and military danger, especially for the United States, Britain and the British-descended peoples, whose lands have typically been seen as the breadbasket of the world.
(3). EARTHQUAKES AND OTHER NATURAL CATASTROPHES
God prophesies that earthquakes and other natural catastrophes will increase as we approach the end of this age.
Yet earthquakes affect people all around the world—not just in southern California. And Scripture tells us that, before Jesus Christ returns, there will be increasing “earthquakes in various places” (Mark 13:8; Matthew 24:7).
(4). DISEASE EPIDEMICS
A plague of disease epidemics is beginning to worry public health officials all around the world. AIDS is only the most discussed of these “new” diseases—the ebola virus, “mad cow disease” and many others scarcely heard of just ten years ago are now worrying public health experts worldwide.
And many old scourges of humanity (malaria and tuberculosis to name just two) are reemerging as super, drug-resistant diseases that ignore penicillin and other drugs that were formerly used to combat them. Now we have Corona virus which has seriously shaken the whole earth.
The Bible indicates clearly that future disease epidemics will be, in part, spread by wild animals (Revelation 6:8).
Some of the worst plagues of humanity have been animal borne, like bubonic plague. Bubonic plague is a naturally endemic problem among wild animals in certain regions. .
People are aware that whenever society is disrupted due to war or natural calamities, there is always the threat of disease. But these disease problems are just a small foretaste of the deadly contagious pandemics that are prophesied to sweep the earth.
“I heard the fourth Living Being say, ‘Come!’ And now I saw a pale horse, and its rider’s name was Death. And there followed after him another horse whose rider’s name was Hell. They were given control of one-fourth of the earth, to kill with war and famine and disease and wild animals” (Revelation 6:7–8, The Living Bible).
(5). THE RISE OF AN AGGRESSIVE, FUNDAMENTALIST ISLAMIC POWER.
In the time of the end, the Bible predicts that there will arise, in North Africa or the Middle East, a charismatic personality who will be able to unify, harness and lead a powerful block of nations in which Egypt will have a key role.
“At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him [a power located north from the king of the South]; 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 stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels [will be at his feet or footsteps]” (Daniel 11:40, 42–43)..
(6). AN ASCENDANT EUROPEAN UNION SEEKS GLOBAL PRIMACY.
Watch Europe! Revelation 13 describes the revival of a great military power. The symbolic language that the Apostle John used—about a fantastic beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns—depicts a recurring, evil political system which has greatly oppressed and heavily influenced the peoples in Western civilization, and through them, the entire world.
The seven heads represent seven distinct revivals of this evil empire over a long period of time. The ten horns represent the ten leaders (kings) of the constituent nations that will make up this ungodly federation that will, first of all, fight against God’s saints. “And it was granted to him [the leader of the ungodly empire] to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation” (Revelation 13:7).
These ten leaders will also fight against Christ Himself at His return! “And the ten horns which you saw are 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. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:12–14).
This final seventh revival will be similar in form to today’s European Union—ten different nations or groups of nations will be represented by ten different kings or presidents. These ten heads of state “receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast” (v. 12). In other words, they will rule for a very short time along with the final “Hitler.”
That is shocking! The Bible is discussing a wholly evil empire that is yet to arise—not some political power way back in history somewhere. Life in the future will not be “kinder and gentler.” This final
system is just ahead of us, and the men and women in this oppressive government will literally fight Jesus Christ at His coming.
(7). A POWERFUL RELIGIOUS FIGURE LEADS A RELIGIOUS REVIVAL
One of the definite “signs of the end-times,” which will herald the close of this present evil age, is the arrival on the scene of a great false religious leader, called in the Bible the “false prophet” (Revelation 19:19–21).
This religious leader will possess great charisma, and will exercise a very powerful influence over a political power—the soon-coming “Beast” (Revelation 13, 17, 19). He will be the long-prophesied, influential head of a great, militant church in Europe. Together, this combination of personal charisma and awesome power to influence others, will have an enormous effect on the future of the nations of the Western world.
A GREAT FALSE RELIGIOUS LEADER
The great false religious leader will rise up very soon now—in our very day! He will deceive not a few hundred people—like David Koresh and his Branch Davidians—but hundreds of millions! Yes, prophecy indicates that hundreds of millions of people will be deceived! That is exactly what will occur before Christ’s coming.
Clearly, a great false religious leader will rise up before Christ returns to this earth.
This man will have supernatural power to deceive! He will have the ability to perform great miracles such as causing fire to come down out of the sky (Revelation 13:13–14).
This great false religious leader will have tremendous impact on the Western world—make no mistake about it! You need to watch for these things so that you will not be misled or deceived by him (the soon-coming great “false prophet”) or by any man! “Take heed that no one deceives you” (Matthew 24:4)! Keep alert! Keep your eyes open! Be on the lookout for a great, charismatic false religious leader—a “false prophet”! He, like the early New Testament false prophet, Simon Magus (Acts 8:9–11), will deceive hundreds of millions into thinking he is a great servant of God.
If you know God’s word—and obey it—you will not be one of those many millions who will be deceived by the soon-coming, great “false prophet”!
(8). THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD PREACHED TO ALL NATIONS
The great “Olivet prophecy” of Jesus Christ is pivotal in understanding future events. In Matthew 24:3, Jesus was asked by the disciples, “Tell us, when shall these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” As we have seen, Jesus first warned them about false prophets, wars and rumors of wars leading to world war, famines, disease epidemics and earthquakes, and said, “All these are the beginning of sorrows” (v. 8).
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation” (v. 9). The coming Great Tribulation will affect the Church as well as national Israel. “And [they will] kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” This verse is quite significant because it says, in effect, that God’s true Church and Work will be known by all nations. People will not hate it unless they know about it, will they? They will hate the true Work of God because they will hate its message.
“But he who endures to the end, shall be saved” (v. 13). The end of what? Well, certainly the end of our physical lives individually, but this also applies to those alive at the end of this age. By this statement, Jesus intended to signify the end of 6,000 years of human experience and sin under the influence of Satan the Devil, which is heralded by the Second Coming of Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords.
In verse 14, Jesus mentions another sign that must happen before His Second Coming—and is happening right now. “And this gospel of the kingdom”—the Good News of the coming Kingdom or world-ruling government of God, based on God’s laws—“will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations.” This Gospel is good news, but it contains a warning. Every nation on earth, not just a few, will hear about this as a “witness,” not to convert them, but as a testimony of God’s future intentions.
This is not the time when God is trying to convert everyone, as many ministers, who are trying to “save” the world now.
(9) MATTER OF LIFE OR DEATH
Watch for persecution of Christians and the Church of God that keeps the Commandments of God (Revelation 12:17; 14:12). Jesus said, “Then they will deliver you up to… kill you” (Matthew 24:9). Here He is speaking to His people, His genuine disciples. The Apostle John gave the Church (and anyone who reads the Bible) a test that can be used to determine who is a bona fide Christian and who only masquerades as one. “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3–4).
It is these commandment-keeping Christians who will be persecuted. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake” (Matthew 24:9). Jesus clearly foresaw that the world would be full of religious confusion during the end-time. “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many” (Matthew 24:11). Only the few seem to understand; only those called by God. What is the result of this spiritual blindness and confusion? “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (v. 12). So, at the end, there will be widespread chaos and lawlessness—and God says much of it can be traced back to false teachings and religious confusion from a “Babylon” of religions and denominations.
God’s people will be persecuted at the time of the end, just as the early Christians faced vicious attacks. “If the world hates you,” Jesus told the disciples—and this certainly applies to us, His disciples today—“you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18–19).
This present society around us will become increasingly hostile to God’s people and the moral standards they live by! The political, business, media, cultural and religious elites will feel condemned by the true Church of God, which will not compromise regarding God’s word. God’s Church will be politically incorrect. This world will feel guilty.
(10) A CRISIS STRIKES JERUSALEM
Watch! The modern nation of “Israel,” populated by the descendants of the biblical tribe of Judah (plus significant remnants of Levi and Benjamin) will suffer serious military losses with part of its territory occupied by enemies just before the Second Coming of Christ. This is of utmost significance!
“Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst. 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, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city” (Zechariah 14:1–2).
“For behold, in those days and at that time, when I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land. They have cast lots for My people, have given a boy in exchange [as payment] for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they may drink” (Joel 3:1–3).
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near” (Luke 21:20). Jerusalem has been partially surrounded by armies in recent years, but we will see Jerusalem completely surrounded by armies. Notice this prophecy: “Then let those in Judea flee to the mountains” (v. 21). Those who trust in God, those who believe in Christ, those who are true Christians will understand what to do when these things occur because they will have been studying these various signs as Jesus said. They will have been watching and praying. They will 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” (vv. 21–22).
So in the future, Jerusalem, the political and emotional capital of Israel, will be overrun by her enemies, until Christ returns and fights the aggressor nations (Zechariah 14:3). Once again the city of prophets, kings and the Messiah will be brought down and punished horribly. This major event in the prophetic end-time scenario will witness further outrage.
(11). THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION
When the city of Jerusalem is attacked and conquered, the foreign occupying power will begin what the Bible calls the “abomination of desolation.” What is that? Jesus Christ describes this abomination of desolation in (Matthew 24:15–20) Start with verse 15: “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation’ [a loathsome contamination], spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place… then let those who are in Judea [today known as the modern state of Israel] flee to the mountains.” The people in Judea are instructed, when they see this terrible abomination of desolation, to flee to the mountains.
Prophecy foretells that Jerusalem is again to be surrounded by armies (Zechariah 12:2), and an idol will be set up in a holy place. Jesus warns those who are faithful to escape quickly when this desecration takes place. “Let him who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes” (Matthew 24:17–18).
In other words, you are to get out immediately when you see this happening, because if you wait, it will be too late to escape safely. “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those with nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath [God’s people will be keeping the Sabbath]” (vv. 19–20).
- THE COLLAPSE OF THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING NATIONS—THE GREAT TRIBULATION
Before the glorious Second Coming of Jesus Christ to establish His Kingdom, watch for the decline and eventual conquest of the English-speaking nations by their enemies! The biblical terminology for this event is “The Great Tribulation.”
Your Bible reveals that the worst, most indescribably terrifying time in the entire history of this planet is soon to occur. This terrifying time (the Great Tribulation) is also spoken of as the time of “Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). It will be such an awful time that the destruction and genocide of World War II will seem like a picnic in comparison!
Let us, therefore, examine the scriptures dealing with this dramatic alteration in the world’s power structure—which, like a powerful steel trap, will suddenly spring upon an unsuspecting world! Most of us will live to see these cataclysmic times, whether we realize it or not. “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” (Luke 21:23). When you really understand this prophecy, you can see that Jesus was speaking nationally of not only the Jews, but also of the other modern-day descendants of the ancient nation of Israel—among whom are the American and British-descended peoples.
Notice this same prophecy in a parallel account in Matthew: “For then will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved [alive]; but for the elect’s sake [for the sake of God’s people] those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:21–22).
In the past, it was not possible to exterminate all human life from this earth. You might have had a devastating war in Europe, or in the Middle East, but you would still have millions of people untouched elsewhere in the world in Africa, Asia or Australia, or in North and South America. But Jesus prophesied of a unique time in the history of humanity. No nation can feel secure from the utter annihilation that is now possible by thermonuclear warfare!
“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then 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” (Matthew 24:30)! May God Almighty speed that great day!
(13). HEAVENLY SIGNS AND THE DAY OF THE LORD
Next—after the Great Tribulation—there are to be dramatic astronomical signs in the heavens visible to everyone on earth. “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” (Matthew 24:29).
God really will intervene in human affairs! And He will even intervene with nature and show this generation that there is a real God. Even after the modern nations of Israel go into captivity, God will not be through yet. Though our nations have professed to being “Christian,” they are in fact filled with deceit, vanity, avarice and violence.
Notice: “I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind” (Revelation 6:12–13).
(14). THE SEVEN LAST PLAGUES
What will happen after the first six seals of Revelation 6 are opened? “For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Revelation 6:17).
Revelation 7 then describes the protection of the 144,000 and the great multitude, Revelation 8 describes the opening of the seventh seal—God’s direct punishment on a rebellious world. This consists of the seven trumpet plagues described in chapters 8 and 9 of Revelation.
Finally, in Revelation 11:15, the Seventh Trumpet—the famous “Last Trumpet”—is sounded. Christ returns in power and glory. But even as He returns, the deceived nations of mankind will fight and curse Him who is their very Creator! (Revelation 16:21; 17:14).
So, as He comes, Christ pours out the awesome seven last plagues described in Revelation 15:1 and 16:1–21. Study these passages. These plagues will be indescribably horrible!
But even here, God—who rebukes and chastens every son He loves (Hebrews 12:5–6)—is doing this to bring men and nations to their senses! As you read the passages in Revelation, you see that every mountain and every island on earth will be shaken. There will be virtually nothing left of their former world for hard-headed, vile, rebellious men to hang on to. Everything around them will be removed or destroyed. Proud men will come to realize that they are nothing compared with the Creator God of the universe.