Updated: Jan 2
Many Christians claim that we need to prepare ourselves for the second coming of Jesus Christ because He can return any day now. Now, even though there is some truth to that, it's highly unlikely that Jesus will return tomorrow, within the next week, or within the next few months. The reason being is because there are still some major end-time prophecies that need to happen before Jesus returns.
1. Preaching the gospel to the world
Jesus said in Matthew 24:14 (NKJV) " And this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come." The word gospel means goodness and this good news is about Jesus Christ who died on the cross to deliver us from the penalty and power of sins. John 3:16 (NKJV) said : "For God so loved the world, He gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." This talk about Jesus delivering us from the penalty of our sin and in terms of gaining the victory over sinful living 1 Peter 2:24 (NKJV) says, " Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness - by whose stripes you were healed." While they have been much progress preaching the gospel all around the world, as a results of international evangelism, satellite TV, radio and the internet, there are still numerous places that have little access to the gospel. As a matter of fact, Christianity and the Bible is restricted, ban or even illegal in numerous countries around the world.
2. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit
Acts 2:17-18 says "And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy." This prophecy about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit has actually two applications. The first one in the Apostles time and the second one is for the last days before the second coming of Jesus Christ. The purpose of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Apostle time was to empower Jesus's disciples to be witnesses for him so the church can grow.
Jesus told the Apostles in Acts 1:8 , "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." In Acts chapter 2 the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the apostles and it enable them to speak with tongues so Jews who spoke other languages who had come to Jerusalem to celebrate the day of Pentecost could understand the gospel.
Acts 2:41 says, " Then those who gladly received his word were babtized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them." The outpouring of the HOly Spirits in the last days before the return of Jesus Christ is going to empower the church to preach the 3 angels messages of Revelation 14:6-12 to the entire world which includes the everlasting gospel a warning that we are living in God's judgement hour, a call to keep the Bible Sabbath holy, a warning against the beast and its mark and a call to come out of Babylon among other things.
No doubt just like in the Apostles time, the out pouring of the Holy Spirit will be accompanied by miracles and the conversion of countless people on a daily basis.
3. The four winds of strife
Revelation 7:1 says, " After these things I saw 4 angels standing at the 4 corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that he wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree." The 4 corners of the earth represent the directions of the compass (north, east, south, west). This have a universal application and the 4 winds represent destructive forces that's illustrated by verse 3 which says, "..Do not harm the earth and the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads." - Revelations 7:3.
Jesus predicted various disasters before his return in Matthew 24:7-9 He says, " For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake." In addition, Jesus said in Luke 21:25 , " And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring." Conflict and disaster on land and sea along with Christian persecution are nothing new but in recent decades they have increased with frequency and intensity.
This chart from the International disaster database shows that since 1970 there has been a dramatic increase in annually reported disasters including earthquakes, floods, extreme weather, wildfires, volcanic activity and more and in term of christian persecution an online post entitled "Christian persecution at near genocide levels by bbc.com (Click the link to read more) states " The persecution of Christians in parts of the world is at near 'genocide' levels, according to a report ordered by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. " The review, led by the Bishop of Truro the Right Reverend Phillip Mounstephen, estimated that one in three people suffer from religious persecution." "Christians were the most persecuted regious group, it found." "Mr. Hunt said he felt that political correctness had played a part in the issue not being confronted." " The interim report said the main impact of 'genocidal acts againsts Christians is exodus' and that Christianity faced being 'wiped out' from parts of the Middle East." " It warned the religion 'is at risk of disappearing' in some parts of the world, pointing to figures which claimed Christians in Palestine represent less than 1.5% of the population, while in Iraq they had fallen from 1.5 million before 2003 to less than 120,000. " Evidence shows not only the geographic spread of anti-Christian persecution, but also its increasing severity, ' the Bishop wrote.'
All things considered it's as if the winds of strife started to break a little bit and God is holding them off just a little while longer until His servant s are sealed but after His servants have been sealed and God allows the winds to be released the disaster that we have been experiencing around the world will reach their climax and the havoc that has reaped upon this world will be unprecedented. This will prepare the way for number 4.
4. The 7 last plagues
The 7 last plagues are mentioned in the book of Revelation chapter 16 and they will be inflicted upon all who accept the mark of the beast. For example Revelation 16:1-2 says, " Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the 7 angels, 'Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.' So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image." The 7 last plagues are God's final judgments against the wicked without mercy. They are very severe. They range from things like ugly incurable festering sores, water turning into blood, being scorched with intense heat and an earthquake so terrible it sinks islands and flattens mountains.
5. The mark of the beast
The book of Revelation warns about an ominous mark called the mark of the beast. Revelation 14: 9-11 says, " If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and the have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."
The wrath of God poured out full strength into the cup of his indignation is in reference to the 7 last plagues and being tormented with fire and brimstone is in reference to the lake of fire also known as Hellfire so those who receive the mark of the beast will experience the 7 last plagues and they will also be eternally lost fortunately nobody has the mark of the beast now so there is still, hope you can avoid it. There are many theories about the mark of the beast is some think is a microchip implant while others think is a physical mark like a tattoo on your forehead or hand but the mark being on people's forehead or hand is symbolic it's not meant to be taken literally. As a matter of fact the book of Revelation is highly symbolic book.The forehead represents the mind and people will be marked in their mind by consciously accepting the mark of the beast and the hand symbolizes work.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, " Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going." So those who receive the mark of the beast in their hand are going to do it for economic reasons , so that they could continue buying and selling because Revelation 13:6-17 says, " Those who reject the mark of the beast will not be able to to buy or sell. So if the mark of the beast is not a physical mark then what it is? The mark of the beast is over worship. Revelation 14:9-11 say, " Those who worship the Beast will receive his mark and in verse 12 , the saint of God who avoid the mark of the beast are describe this way. Revelation 14:12 - " Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." That means the mark of the beast is worship in a way that violates God's commandments. I'm going straight to the point here, I'm talking about the 7 day Sabbath, the fourth commandment in Exodus 20:8-11 states, " Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work:... For in 6 days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it."
The fourth commandments tells us to keep the seventh day holy which corresponds to Saturday but the majority of the Christian world keeps Sunday holy this is false worship, it's a violation of the ten commandments. Many Christian has been taught that Sunday is holy because Jesus rose on that date but that's completely unbiblical. You cannot find one verse in the Bible that says Jesus's resurrection makes Sunday a new holy day. In fact the institution that is responsible for changing the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday is the Roman Catholic church. They openly admit this in the converts catechism of Catholic doctrine (page 50)
In addition the Catholic church claims that Sunday sacredness is a mark of her authority. In a letter from CF Thomas Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons, it says, " Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act... And the act is a MARK of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters." Furthermore the Catholic church mocks Protestants for keeping Sunday holy while claiming to go by the Bible alone and the Catholic church says that Protestants who keep Sunday holy are submitting to the authority of the Catholic church. French Bishop Louise Gaston Cigar in his book entitled plain talk about the Protestantism of today wrote, "Thurs the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is a homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the Church."
Did you know that the Bible predicted the change of the Sabbath in a prophecy about the papacy that is the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church. Daniel 7:25 says, " He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law..."
The only commandment that is both a time and a law is the fourth commandments which tell us to keep the seventh-day Sabbath holy. Now even though many Christians honor Sunday as the Sabbath like I said before,no one has received the mark of the beast yet because Sundays is not going to become the mark of the beast until it becomes enforced by law. Revelation 13:16 speaking of the lamb like beast which symbolizes apostate Protestant America states, " He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on the foreheads." The word causes implies force. so what Sunday worship becomes enforced by law those who accept it will received the mark of the beast.
6. The seal of God
Not only the devil have his mark called the mark of the beast, God has his mark too. It's called the seal of God. Revelation 7:2-3 says," then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the 4 angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, 'Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads."
Whatever the seal of God is it's going to be opposite the mark of the beast because the mark of the beast and the seal of God are contrast. As I mentioned earlier the mark of the beast is enforced Sunday worship so following that logic the seal of God must be the seventh-day Sabbath. Is there evidence for this in the Bible? You bet there is!!! For example sign and seal are used interchangeably in Scriptures. Talking about Abraham, Romans 4:11 says, " And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised,..."
Circumcision here is called both a sign and a seal. So a seal is synoymous with a sign. This is significant because the Sabbath is called a sign between God and his people. The Lord said in Ezekiel 20:20, " Hallow my Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God." The seventh-day Sabbath is the endtime seal that the book of Revelation says God's people will receive . That's the final conflict will be over the Sabbath. The reason being is because the Sabbath is a sign of God's authority. Those who keep the Sabbath show that they submit to the authority of God. Those who keep Sunday holy show that they submit to the Roman Catholic church because the Roman Catholic Church claims responsibility for changing it to Sunday and ultimately keeping Sunday holy as the Sabbath especially when you know better is you submitting to the authority of satan. Satan used the Catholic Church to change the Sabbath to Sunday to steal God's glory.
According to Isaiah 14:12-14 , satan got kicked out of heaven trying to usurp the authority of God. He wanted to overthrow God and take his place . However satan didn't cease his rebellion against God after getting kicked out of heaven , he continues to try to turn men away from God to himself and one of the ways he has done that is by changing the Sabbath a sign of God's authority to Sunday and getting men to honor Sunday!!!
7. Cashless Society
Revelation 13:17 states, "and that no one may buy or sell except one has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." After the mark of the beast has been enforced those who refuse to accept it will be punished by not being able to buy or sell. The only buying and selling can be completely restricted if all financial transaction become electronic. In other words there will need to be a global cashless society. That way all transaction can be monitored and controlled as long as there's physical currency this is impossible and the world is heading in that direction. For example an online post entitled AT Kearney: First truly cashless society will be a reality by 2023. (Click link to read article)
Other countries are moving towards becoming cashless as well. According to an online post entitled "What countries are going cashless? And why you might want to consider going cashless too." (Click link to read article)
We can expect the trend to go cashless and countries around to the world to continue until it becomes global and once that happens the stage will be set to enforced the mark of the beast
8. Church and state union
Revelation 13:11-15 says, "Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast . This lamb like beast symbolizes the United States of America. A beast in Bible prophecy symbolizes a kingdom according to Daniel 7:23 and a lamb is a symbol for Jesus. Therefore the lamb like beasts symbolized a christian country and United states was founded on the two great principles of civil and religious liberty but that's going to change because it's going to speak like a dragon who symbolized satan. Religious liberty will be taken away in a false worship will be enforced and he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence.
The first beast it's talking about here is the leopard like beast. This represents the papacy which is the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed. This is done through the means of enforced Sunday worship. He performs great signs so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men and he deceives those who dwell on the earth by this sign which he was granted to do in the sight of the Beast telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the Beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
So, the first beast the United States Of America makes an image to the second beast which is the papacy. And this image issues a death decree against those who refuse to worship it. An image is a copy of something. For example, Genesis 1:26 tell us that man was created in the image of God. That means we resemble God, therefore the image of the beast is going to be a copy of the first beast, the papacy. For much of it's existence the papacy was a church state union that work with European nations to enforce it's dogmas on the general public. This ended in 1798 when Pope Pius the 6th was taken into captivity by General Berthier of the French army and then he died in captivity a year later.
But Bible prophecy indicates that church and state will unite again and once that happens God's people will be persecuted. We see a clear picture of this in Revelation 17:3, the Apostle John wrote, "I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns." Remember a woman symbolizes a church in prophecy and a beast symbolizes a kingdom. So this is a prophetic illustration of an endtime Church and state union.
9. Satan will impersonate Christ
Jesus warned in Matthew 24:24, " For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." People claiming to be Jesus Christ is not a new phenomenon. Some people who have claimed to be the Messiah in recent history include Jose Luis De Hey Zeus Miranda. He was a native Puerto Rican who started a cult in Miami Florida called "Growing in grace ministry." What is unique about Jose Luis is that he not only claimed to be Jesus Christ but refer to himself as the Antichrist as well and he even got 666 tattooed in his forearm. He told his followers to get 666 tattoos themselves to declare their allegiance to him.
There are actually several more people who claimed to be Jesus. Aside from the false christ we talked about who have deceived many Satan has a greater deception in store for the near future. As the crowning act in the great drama of deception , Satan will impersonate Christ. He has the power to this 2Corinthians 11:14 tells us, "And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light." Satan can appear as something that he is not and right before the return of the Lord, he will appear as Christ to deceive people with signs and lying wonders to deceive them into receiving the mark of the beast. Most people are going to be deceived because they misunderstand the nature of Christs's return. Satan can masquerade as Jesus but he can't duplicate how Jesus is going to return and that is in the clouds of heaven. In reference to his second coming Jesus said in Matthew 24:30-31, "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. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end to the other."
When Jesus returns it will be in the cloud of heaven with all his angels and everybody will see Him . In warning about false Christ's , He said in Matthew 24:23-26, "Then if anymone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. 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."
In other words, don't believe anyone claiming to be Jesus here on earth that's not the real Jesus!
10. The Battle of Armageddon
Revelation 16:13-14, " And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dreagon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty."
Revelation 16:16, "And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
Here we see evil spirits performing signs to rally the world together into one final battle. Many Christaina that are familiar with the book of Revelation believe that the Battle of Armageddon is a literal military conflict in the Middle East near the end of time between the nations of the world and Israel. However in order to understand the nature of this battle it's important to understand who the devil is at war in the end times.
Revelation 12:17 gives us the answer stating, "And the dragon was enraged with the woman (a woman symbolized the church in Bible prophecy ), and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ". So in the end times, satan wars with God's commandments keeping church and the battle of Armageddon is the climax of this war. Satan will gather those he has deceived in the world and 1 final attempt to eradicate the people of God and complete his Dominion of this fallen planet. However Jesus will intervene and rescue his people by his second coming.
Revelation 6:14-17 illustrates this stating, "Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of it's place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"
Jesus is coming soon! Don't get me wrong but it's unlikely that He is going to return within the next week, or something like that because there are still several endtimes prophecies that need to be fulfilled before His second coming. At the same time that doesn't mean that it safe to wait until you see these things starting to happen to give your life to Jesus because tomorrow isn't guarantee. So even the last day of Earth's history may not be tomorrow or in a week or in a few months if you die tomorrow god forbid that will be your last day and if you're not saved your eternal condemnation will be sealed.