DESPITE the last few years of failed predictions of Jesus Christ’s return, many people still continue to forecast explicit rapture dates taking place in the near future (2 Thessalonians 2:2). Regardless, that while on the earth Jesus Christ said twice we would not know the day, hour or time.
I additionally question whether all the prophetic events recorded in the Bible will happen in a short time. Maybe they will, I can’t completely rule it out but at this point I’m not optimistic.
Therefore, what precisely did Jesus Christ say? He is God incarnate and His disciples specifically asked Jesus about His return. He did not answer in riddles or signs but explained it bluntly to the disciples of the many unpleasant incidents that will take place prior to His return. Accordingly, what Jesus said should be an overriding guide to all the pieces of the puzzle of prophecy.
At present, signs of wars and unrest are widespread, (but the end is not yet according to Matthew 24:6 and Luke 21:9). Neither will the ‘end’ come until there is a great falling away in faith, the son of perdition (possibly the beast in Revelation) is revealed, and cynics scoffing at Christ’s ‘delayed’ return (Luke 18:8, 2 Thessalonians 2:3 & 2 Peter 3:3-4). Note that the commonly used word ‘antichrist’ (referred to as the ‘beast’ in Revelation 17:8 and 17:11) is only used in 1st and 2nd John. (1 John 2:18, 1 John 2:22, 1 John 4:3 and 2 John 1:7).
With that said, I believe we should be looking forward to the whole picture of prophetic events, traumatic events that Jesus Christ said will affect us personally, events that will lead us into the Tribulation and Rapture like in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, 2 Thessalonians 2, Ezekiel 34-47, Daniel 7-12, and Revelation 6, 8, 11, 12, 13, 17 & 18.
I also contend that none of the prophetic events listed below can be hidden. They will all be very high profile world news and we will know instantly when these events occur. Some will affect us individually. (The following may or may not occur in chronological order).
- False Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect if that were possible (Matthew 24:5, Mark 13:6, and Luke 21:8). Please note that deception, illusion, supernatural and satanic powers must be accelerated and extraordinary in the latter days because Christ begins all his warnings in Matthew, Mark and Luke with cautioning us ‘not to be deceived’ so His advice has to be very important!
- If any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not (Matthew 24:23).
- God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie (2 Thessalonians 2:11).
- Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake (Matthew 24:9, Mark 13:13 and Luke 21:17).
- Ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death (Matthew 24:9, Mark 13:12 and Luke 21:16).
- And I will give power unto my two witnesses (Revelation 11:3), if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth (Revelation 11:5), they have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues (Revelation 11:6).
- And there was war in heaven (Revelation 12:7). Will we not feel a war in heaven here on earth, and the wrath of Satan when he is condemned to earth?
- And the great dragon was cast out of heaven, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan (Revelation 12:9), and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:17).
- The beast that shall ascend out of the bottomless pit (Revelation 13, 17:8-16), the beast shall make war against the two witnesses, and shall overcome them, and kill them (Revelation 11:7).
- O mount Seir, I am against thee, I will stretch out against thee, and I make thee desolate (possible Middle East regional war, afterwards God returns everyone Jewish (or Israelite) back to Israel), and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army (Ezekiel 34, 35, 36 & 37). Some believe these events have occurred already or will happen sooner in this event timeline. (Based on current conditions I think regional war is plausible, and without major intervention likely. I also believe it will happen before this timeline.
- Babylon the Great and her destruction (Revelation 17 & 18). So far in this 21st century, USA is the only nation fitting this detailed Biblical description.
- Gog, the land of Magog attacks Israel. God destroys the invading armies and the Third Temple is built. (Ezekiel 38 – 47). Many believe Gog and her axis armies will attack Israel in the future, but when, is questioned. Additionally, the Third Temple is extremely controversial. Some Christians believe it represents Christ, other Christians and the Jews say the actual Temple will be rebuilt and worshiped therein, because prophecy in Daniel 11:31 and Daniel 12:11 says the ‘abomination that maketh desolate’ (possibly the beast of Revelation) will stand in the holy place. Hence, the war and Temple may occur much earlier in this event timeline.
- Abomination of desolation, (possibly the beast of Revelation) spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14).
- Ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies (Luke 21:20), they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations (Luke 21:24).
- There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring (Luke 21:25).
- After that tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light (Mark 13:24), the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken (Matthew 24:29 and Mark 13:25).
- Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken (Luke 21:26).
- Then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory (Matthew 24:30, Mark 13:26 and Luke 21:27)
The following below is debated whether it happens before or after the resurrection. Currently, based on research at this time I believe the earth and heavens begin unraveling before the resurrection.
- The stars of heaven fell unto the earth, And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places (Revelation 6:13-14) *
- And the third part of the sun, moon and stars was smitten; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise (Revelation 8:12). *
*When the sixth seal is broken, pieces of the stars fall, heaven departs and every mountain and island is moved. This happens before the seventh seal is broken. Some believe when the seventh seal is broken Christians are already resurrected or waiting in a safe place for about a ‘half hour ’, although this is a theory, and not necessarily supported by Matthew, Mark and Luke.
If Christians are not resurrected they too will experience the heavenly powers shaken. When the powers are shaken and begin to collapse, when the sun, moon and stars have been impacted and partially destroyed, and stars or pieces of stars physically fall from orbit, nothing will behave as normal or be predictable. Thus, I‘m particularly skeptical about anyone using astrological predictions to forecast Christ’s return in the latter days because of the solar and heavenly meltdowns described in prophecy.
Most importantly, Jesus Christ said this to the disciples: (Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32-33) “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father”. Based on what Jesus Christ said while He was on earth, I believe Christians will know the time is near, but not know the precise day, hour or time when Jesus Christ returns. And, I believe providing exact dates can only lead to disbelief, ridicule and embarrassment.
As a result the Lord strongly advises us to pray, ‘watch’ and ‘be ready’ at all times (Matthew 24:42-44, Mark 13:33-37 and Luke 21:36) because Christ says He will return when we’re not expecting it (Matthew 24:44 and Luke 21:35).
Don Davis has over 20 years experience in analytic research particularly regarding Israeli, Middle Eastern culture, behavior and historical patterns. Don is based in Israel, from where he monitors and evaluates worldwide information on finance, technologies, industries, and the military/political environment for a US consulting company.