7 Signs before the Second Coming takes place
The Rapture of the Church can occur at any moment. It could happen today, tomorrow, in a year, or even decades from now. However, the Second Coming of Christ cannot happen today because certain prophecies must be fulfilled before Jesus returns. In this chapter, we will study the signs of His coming.
The Rapture of the Church
The Second Coming cannot happen today because the Rapture of the Church has not yet occurred. The Lord Jesus returns twice. The first time is to gather His followers before the Great Tribulation, and the second time is to set His feet on the Mount of Olives. The Rapture of the Church can happen at any moment. This is the most crucial event before the events of the Book of Revelation unfold. The Second Coming of Christ takes place at least seven years after the Rapture of the Church. The primary reason why the followers of Jesus are taken up is because Jesus has not destined them for wrath. God cannot act today because He does not want the righteous to suffer the same wrath as the unrighteous.
The Great Tribulation
It is beyond the scope of this book to extensively study all the events of the Great Tribulation. Nevertheless, it is essential to realize that the Second Coming of Christ cannot occur until all the disasters, plagues, and signs written in the Book of Revelation have taken place. Below is a brief list of some examples from the Book of Revelation that happen before the Second Coming:
|The antichrist goes out to conquer.
|Warfare leads to people killing one another.
|Great famine ensues
|A fourth of the Earth's population dies from hunger, war, death, and wild animals.
|Persecution and martyrdom of Christians.
|Severe earthquakes, the sun turns black, the moon becomes like blood, and stars fall to Earth.
|Mountains and islands are moved from their places.
|144,000 from Israel are sealed.
|A third of all trees and greenery are burned.
|A third of the sea becomes like blood, and a third of sea creatures die.
|A third of rivers' waters become bitter.
|A third of the day and night lose their light.
|Demonic locust-like creatures torment people.
|People will seek death but not find it.
|A massive war from the east results in many casualties.
|A temple in Jerusalem.
|Two witnesses in Jerusalem with power over water and the ability to bring plagues.
|The antichrist kills the two witnesses.
|People celebrate the death of the two witnesses.
|The two witnesses resurrect and ascend to heaven.
|A massive earthquake in Jerusalem causes seven thousand deaths.
|Israel flees to the wilderness and is protected by God.
|The antichrist's deadly wound is healed.
|The antichrist becomes a ruler over the Earth.
|The false prophet performs miracles, including calling fire from heaven.
|The mark of the beast is introduced, necessary for buying and selling.
|Those with the mark of the beast develop painful sores.
|All the seas and rivers turn to blood, and sea creatures die.
|Intense heat from the sun.
|The kingdom of the antichrist is darkened.
|The Euphrates River dries up.
|Deception of nations for a great war.
|Another great earthquake - Babylon divided into three parts, islands and mountains disappear.
|Great hailstones of a talent pound heavy fall on the people.
|Judgment upon Babylon - death, mourning, hunger, and fire.
|A massive war with the arrival of Jesus. The preparations for this war occur before His return.
After all these wonders, signs, plagues, and devastations, the Lord Jesus returns. These events have never occurred before, and many of these judgments happen worldwide. The Second Coming of Jesus takes place after all these prophecies are fulfilled.
The Second Coming of Jesus can be calculated. When the Antichrist appears and strengthens the covenant with many, seven years will pass before the Lord Jesus returns. Three years and seven months before His return, a great abomination will be set up in the temple in Jerusalem, and the regular sacrifices in the temple will cease. Every believer can then count down to the return of Christ. The following Bible verses speak of a week lasting seven years.
"Then he (the Antichrist) shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate." (Daniel 9:27)
"And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days." (Daniel 12:11)
The following Bible verse speaks about the people of Israel. In the second half of the seven years, Israel will flee to the wilderness, and the Antichrist will do everything in his power to destroy the Israelites. He will have 3.5 years to do so. After that, the end will come, and Jesus will return.
"And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?” Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished." (Daniel 12:6-7)
The Second Coming of Christ can be calculated, allowing anyone with biblical knowledge to know when it will occur. The only things we need to wait for in order to calculate are the Rapture of the Church and the strengthening of the covenant by the Antichrist. Additionally, significant disasters and wonders will occur before the Second Coming, serving as reminders to future believers of the book of Revelation and the imminent return of Jesus to Earth.
Other Signs of the Second Coming
For the purposes of this book, it's beyond our scope to cover all the signs and prophecies that must occur before the Second Coming of Christ. The Bible is filled with prophecies about the Day of the Lord, which begins with the Rapture of the Church. However, we will discuss a few important signs.
The Coming of Elijah
"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes." (Malachi 3:5, ESV)
Before Jesus returns, He sends the prophet Elijah. It's possible that Elijah will be one of the two witnesses. The Second Coming cannot take place until Elijah has come. This was true during Jesus' first coming as well. John the Baptist was the forerunner of the Lord Jesus, and the same pattern will repeat in the future. Instead of John, Elijah will be the forerunner of Jesus. John and Elijah share similarities, but John was not the complete fulfillment of this verse from Malachi. John operated in the spirit of Elijah, but was not the person of Elijah. John explicitly stated that he was not Elijah, as they expected.
"And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”" (John 1:19-23, ESV)
In this Bible passage, John stated that he was not Elijah. In the following Bible passage, the Lord Jesus said that John operated in the spirit and power of Elijah.
"And he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared." (Luke 1:17, ESV)
Elijah, the person, comes before the Second Coming of Christ and before the great and awesome day of the Lord. While John was a type of Elijah, they are not the same person.
The Man of Lawlessness Arises
"Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
Before Jesus returns, the man of lawlessness must arise, and there must be a falling away within the church. If the Antichrist has not yet come, Jesus cannot return to Earth to overcome the Antichrist. Before Jesus returns, the Antichrist is revealed. He is not a hidden ruler, but a known figure who demands worship from everyone. Those who refuse to worship him are even put to death. The Antichrist seeks to claim all power on Earth.
"And he (the false prophet) deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast (the Antichrist), telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived." (Revelation 13:14)
Additionally, the Antichrist will present himself as God in the temple of Jerusalem, demanding worship from all. Everyone will see him, and everyone must worship him. The Antichrist is not afraid to seek publicity, and he is a physical person who comes during the great tribulation.
The Sign in Matthew
"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. 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 24:29-30)
Immediately after the great tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will no longer shine. This is when the sign of the Lord Jesus appears, and He will appear with great power and glory. It is unknown what the sign of the Lord Jesus is. In the early church, it was said to be a sign of the cross. Others suggest it could be a bright light or a throne. Whatever it is, it will be visible to all nations and tribes on Earth, and people will understand that the Lord Jesus is coming to judge. The Second Coming of Christ is not hidden but visible to everyone, not only to the people of Israel and the remaining followers of Christ but also to unbelievers.
"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 24:27)
The book of Revelation speaks of an earthly temple in Jerusalem. This temple has not yet been built to this day, but is still to come. At least 3.5 years before the Second Coming, the temple will stand in Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles for forty-two months before Jesus returns.
"Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.”" (Revelation 11:1-2)
The temple will be built before the Second Coming. It is not necessary for the temple to exist before the Rapture of the Church, but it could happen.
the wicked who engage in the battle, an angel descends from heaven and casts the devil into an abyss for a thousand years. We delve deeper into this in Chapter 13.
"Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished." (Revelation 20:1-3)
During the Rapture of the Church, believers receive glorified bodies. Those who come to faith during the Great Tribulation and are martyred immediately go to heaven, but do not yet receive glorified bodies. They receive them shortly after Jesus' Second Coming and after the devil is cast into the abyss. Following this event, the First Resurrection is complete, and the Millennial Reign begins on Earth, with Jesus as the King.
"And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years." (Revelation 20:4)
The Rapture of the Church can happen at any moment, but the Second Coming cannot. Before the Second Coming, various prophecies must be fulfilled. This includes the Rapture, the great tribulation, the appearance of Elijah, and the construction of the temple in Jerusalem. Many prophecies must be fulfilled before Jesus sets foot on the Mount of Olives. In this chapter, we have examined the prophecies found in the book of Revelation.
This chapter is in the book A Revelation of the End Times. Read this book right now, so that you don't miss anything about the end times, live in expectation and your faith is increased. The rapture of the church is a special prophecy from the Word of God. Due to the many theories and ideas about this event, many no longer know what is and what is not Biblical. Timo Groot takes you through the Biblical data about the rapture and why the rapture is more relevant today than ever before. The rapture is the hope of escaping the terrible things that are going to happen on earth and is the moment when the church will see the Lord Jesus face to face in the father's house of God.