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The Year 2012, The 66 Ancient Books, and File 13… Or, The Signs Of His Coming (Part #2)

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This posting was first made in 2010, but the truths that it presents continues to be true to this day, may we all come to a better understanding of the times of the Lord’s second coming!

In part number one of this series, we saw that the exact time of Christ’s coming and the end of the world would not be revealed to any man, nor angel, but only to God alone.  (Matt 24:3-6, Matt 25:13, 2Pet 3:10)  Also, because mankind will not be told of the exact time of Christ’s return, His return is described as if a thief was coming in the night. (1 Thess 5:1-11).

These teachings of God, bring into question the year 2012 theory for His return.  According to the most popular version of the theory, the world is coming to an end on Dec 21, 2012.  We know the Lord clearly says that He will not reveal the exact time of His coming; because of this the 2012 theory must be labeled unscriptural and, therefore, false.

We will now pickup with our Matt 24: study by looking at Christ’s teachings concerning the signs of his coming and the end of the world (Matt 24:3-28)

THE SCRIPTURE:

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? …. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.  (Mat 24:3-28)

THE STUDY:

Matt 24:3 – The context of our study… Christ is answering the question, “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

The 10 great groups of signs pointing to His coming and the end of the world’:

Sign #1 – Matt 24:4-5 – The appearance of men who will claim to be anointed by God, but they will deliver a false message, some will even claim to be Christ Himself.  (2 Cor 11:13-15, 2 Thess 2:3 )

Sign #2 – Matt 24:6- Wars will take place, combined with threatening of wars about to take place.

Don’t let these things surprise you, they are a part of God’s plan and must take place before the end. (Luk 21:9)

Sign #3 – Matt 24:7- Nations will oppose nations economically, politically etc.  Also, famines will take place with deadly diseases and earthquakes.  All of these things will take place in a variety of different, multiple places. (Ezek 14:21, Luke 21:11, 25-26)

Matt 24:8 – All the above signs (vs 4-7) are described as beginning of “sorrows”.  The Greek word for sorrows means “birth pains”.  The above signs are compared to birth pains, i.e. they will increase in frequency and intensity as the end times grow closer.  Much like a woman’s birth pains increase in frequency and intensity before the child is born.

Sign #4 – Matt 24:9 – This speaks of the persecution of the followers of Christ. This includes physical, emotional, social, and economic abuse of God’s people. (John 15:19-20, Rev 2:10, Rev 6:9-10)

Sign #5 – Matt 24:10 – Disagreements, legal disputes, hurt feelings, physical confrontations will take place between individuals.  These will stir up hatred for one another.  (Matt 10:21,35-36,  Matt 13:21)

Sign #6 – Matt 24:11 – Many men will teach a message of error, yet claim it is God’s Word. This is speaking of false religions that teach salvation is received apart from Christ. (1 John 4:1)

Sign #7 – Matt 24:12- Sin will be rampant as love for one another dwindles. Natural types of love will decrease (parents for child, man for woman, child for parents, etc.) Perverted, selfish lust will be on the rise. (Mark 13:12, Luk 21:16, Roms 1:26-32)

Matt 24:13 – One of the greatest marks of those who are saved is consistent service to Him. Perseverance in service to the Lord is one of the greatest proofs of genuine salvation.

Sing #8 – Matt 24:14- Worldwide gospel outreach by ministries of the Lord.

Sign #9 – Matt 24:15 – The Abomination of Desolation is Daniel’s account of the Hebrew temple being

defiled.  This was done by the Antiochus Epiphanes in 170 BC when he slew the pig on the Israelite altar. (see for more info – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abomination_of_Desolation) .

This ceremonial defilement of the altar is a picture of God’s worship being defiled today through false teachings and harboring of sin in worship.  This sign is about sin and error creeping into the Lord’s assemblies causing the true worship of Him to be defiled. (Daniel 9:-12:, 2 Pet 2:1-3, Rev 2:12-17)

Matt 24:16-20 – All of the above events will be unstoppable and world-wide, causing even God’s people to flee in terror, knowing that these things cannot be overcome by mankind’s efforts.

Matt 24:21-22 – At the completion of these signs, the Great Tribulation will be ready to commence.  The Great Tribulation would even destroy God’s people, but the Lord will intervene and take them home before the GT begins.

Sign #10 – Matt 24:23-28 – False accounts of Christ’s return will radically multiply as the end draws near. These false teachings will include Him physically coming back to the earth. These false claims about His return will give support to the rise of false Christs with miracle working powers coming on the scene.  They will be empowered through Satanic intervention deceiving virtually all men (with the exception of genuine believers. (2 Thess 2:9-11, Rev 13:13-14)

Only God’s people will reject these false teachings. Christ’s true followers will understand the Biblical teachings about His second coming.  They will understand He will come in the clouds and take His people to heaven to be with Him.  He WILL NOT return to the earth at this point in time.

(Note: I have included a few extra verses with each sign to supplement this study.  There are many, many more verses I could have included but the length of this study restrained me.)

THE SUMMARY:

By looking at the above list of signs of His coming and the end of the world, it is plain to see that we are living in the last days.  Every one of these signs has already appeared and many have become much more frequent and intense.

Although there is no way I can know exactly when he will come, I believe it will be soon… in any case, we all can echo Paul’s sentiments in Rom 13:11-14:

“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

In the next part of our blog series we will be looking at our long-awaited event, the second coming of our Lord.

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace”“The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike”http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.

Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

The Year 2012, The 66 Ancient Books, and File 13… Or, The End Of The World Revealed (Part #1)

SIH STSTA ICONThis was first posted in 2010.  The truths in this post remain unchanged… may we all come to a better understanding of the times of Christ’s second coming!

 

 

2012… just four little numbers that in the past few years have become a BIG DEAL!  What used to be simply a descriptor, for a 12 month segment of time on coming calendars, has become synonymous with the end of all mankind.  How did this happen?  Well, to tell you the truth, I think it takes a Mayan scholar and historian to really get the answer straight; there is much controversy over the whole theory.  I can’t read the Mayan language, nor do I understand how the Mayans went about creating their calendar; so to be fair to supporters of this theory, I think I’ll leave the explanation of all this to them.  If you are interested this link may help you…  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_phenomenon

As far as I’m concerned, the only area of interest for me is … “What does God’s Word say about the world ending in 2012?”   From my perspective, God’s Word (made up of 66 separate books, Genesis – Revelation) is the only reliable authority on this whole issue.  Therefore, if God’s Word teaches that the world ends in 2012… so be it, then that proves to me that the Mayan’s had it right all along; but, if God’s Word proves the 2012 theory is baloney…. that settles it for me… I’m placing my faith in my Lord, and His Word, and I’m delegating the 2012 theory to my trash can (file 13).  (If anyone is interested in why I count God’s Word as the ultimate authority in matters like this, please refer to my previous blog entry on the Bible and Science: http://bit.ly/bYDWbZ for more info)

THE SCRIPTURE:

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? … But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only… Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.  (Mat 24:3, 36, 42; see also Matt 25:13, 2 Pet 3:10)

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.  (1Th 5:1-11)

THE STUDY:

Matthew chapter 24 is a record of the teachings of Christ on the subject of His second coming and the events surrounding the end of the world:

Matthew 24:1-3…

If you notice, the question that initiated the Lord’s teachings of Matthew 24 is found in verse 3 …” Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

So clearly, the context of this chapter is the second coming of Christ and the end of the world.  To say otherwise is to deny the context of this chapter.

(Please note, the “things” being referenced in verse 3 was the destruction of the temple by Rome a few years later in 70 AD by Roman general Titus.  This brought an end to the Hebrew worship of Jehovah in Jerusalem and began the time period we call the “latter days”.)

Matthew 24:4-28

In these verses, the Lord describes the different events leading up to His second coming. An in-depth look at these signs will be presented in Part #2 of this blog series.

Matthew 24:29-31

The coming of Christ is described as he takes His followers to heaven to be with Him. A closer look at these verses will follow in Part #3 of this blog series.

Matthew 24:32-51

Here our responsibility to look for the signs and to be ready for His coming is brought into view.  These verses we’ll look at in detail in Part #4

Note in verse 36 and verse 42 …

He clearly says in verse 36, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

And then in verse 42, “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”

In the context, watching the signs of His coming, He makes it plain that, as we watch, we should not expect the exact time to be revealed to us!   In other words, the signs are to help us know the basic time frame of His return, but we will not know exactly when He is coming.

He explicitly states that no man, nor angel would ever know the exact time of His coming.  Even Christ, while on earth, as a human, who did not exercise His divine attributes (Phil 2:5-8), did not know the time of His second coming.  (Just a note here…. I believe that since Christ is ascended and has begun to exercise His divine attributes and authority, (Phil 2:9-11) He now knows when the second coming will take place.)

This same principle is also brought out in the Scriptures in our other text, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.”

In other words, Paul did not need to write to the believers in Thessalonica about the times and seasons of Christ’s second coming because Christ had already addressed the topic.   But even though they already had teachings on the signs, there would be no specific announcement of when He would come.  In that sense, He would be coming as a thief, unannounced and unexpected by many.

SUMMARY OF OUR STUDY SO FAR:

So for this blog entry, it is important for us to see that Christ gave us signs marking a basic time frame of His coming.   However, the coming of Christ and the end of the world, will not be announced with any exact date. He specifically teaches that no man, nor angel will be shown the time of His coming.   It is a truth only known by the Triune God.

By the way, good old “2012 theory” is already rattling around in my file 13, and we are only one-fourth finished with our study!

My next blog entry will answer the question, “What are the signs of His second coming?” from Matt 24:4-28.

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace”“The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.   Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”