Signs of his Coming        


1. What must happen before Christ returns?
      a.  Many will be Deceived
      b.  Prior to the Tribulation
      c.  The Great Tribulation

2.  God gives us Signs
      a.  Jesus, Risen from the dead
      b.  The Miracles of Jesus
      c.  Signs demonstrating that God is Almighty
      d.  Signs that point to Christ, the Redeemer
      e.  Signs that are the fulfilment of prophecy
      f.  Covenant Signs
      g.  Signs of God's hatred of sin

3. 'Strange teachings' in the church today.
      a.  Theology develops with man's knowledge
      b.  Word of God not totally reliable or accurate
      c.  Liberal theology
      d.  No hell or just eternal punishment
      e.  Many ways to God
      f.  Islam, Buddha and all the Hindu gods
      g.  The New-Age idea that God is in everything
      h.  'Replacement theology'
      i.  Signs and wonders
      j.  Prosperity gospel
      k.  'Seed faith'
      l.  Triumphalism
      m.  'Big personalities'
      n.  Experience .v. Repentance and New Birth
      o.  Roman Catholic Errors

4. All that God has prophesied will take place.

5. Life in the Last Days - summary of verses.

It is hoped that these notes will shed more 'light' than 'heat'
      to the existing confusion that surrounds ideas about the 'End Time' events.

1. What must happen before Jesus Christ will Return?             

Will there be any signs to show us that his return is imminent?

a.  Many will be Deceived - How?             

When the disciples asked Jesus about the signs of his return, the first thing he said was:
      Watch out that no-one deceives you.  ...   Math 244

He then repeated the warning about deception:
      Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.   Math 2411

      For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles
      to deceive even the elect - if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.   Math 2423,24

It might be expected that the world would be deceived,
      but Jesus gave this warning to the disciples and to the Church.   Math 241,24
No one would be deceived if Satan labelled his craft work, 'Made in Hell'!
      He is much too subtle to try anything that obvious.
The Church today needs to see the great danger it is in from deception.
Jesus does not tell us in Math 24 how the Church would deceived; but he does in Rev 13 and 2 Thes 29-11

i)  Signs and Wonders 
Surprisingly this is the major means of deception. 

The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.   2 Thes 29-11

One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. ...  He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honour of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived.   Rev 133,12-14  (also Rev 1614   Dan 825)

Currently the Church is becoming very excited by anything extraordinary - anything from falling down to gold teeth.
Such happenings may be of God, but are not always of God.
Like the magicians in Egypt, Satanic false prophets can, do, and will perform miracles.
They may appear to be godly, but aren't;  and they deceive many.

ii)  The Deceitfulness of Riches
The desire for comfort, easy living and pleasure.
Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.   Mk 418,19
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"   Mk 1023
Riches remain a false security, a futile hope, a dangerous distraction.
We can take nothing with us when we die. What folly it is to seek riches and then hear God say, "You fool!"   Lu 1220
Yet men are so caught up in the pursuit of pleasure (hedonism) that God is ignored.
The criteria for what is right is rapidly becoming: 'does it make you happy?'
Do not be deceived by the glitter of gold.

iii)  The Flattery of False Prophets
They tell us what we want to hear - peace and the promise of revival.   But is it true?  
Such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.  Ro 1618
From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. 'Peace, peace,' they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.   Jer 613-15

Their basis is often the desire for popularity and success.
Their foundation is misinterpretation of scripture.  
A good example of this is the 'Dominion now' and 'Replacement theology',
      in which some believe that a world-wide revival propels the Church into world power.
They claim all God's promises to Israel, but none of the warnings!
They say Israel has no special part in the 'end time' plan of God.
But it is the Anti-christ, not the Church who leads the rebellion against God at Christ's return.
When Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar's dream, what happens to the gold, silver, bronze and iron statue?
A great mountain, not hewn by human hand utterly destroys the whole statue.
This Mountain is Jesus, not the Church. Only he can destroy all of man's 'sand-castles', his glorious empires.

iv)  Emotions
Feelings, emotions and experiences are a notoriously poor guide to truth.
To say "I have experienced this therefore it is true" is at best unreliable.
The only true touchstone in the complete Word of God.  
It does not change; it is totally accurate and always reliable.   Ps 197-11 Rev 2218,19
Big meetings that manipulate emotions - misuse of music, lights etc.
We all need to learn to discern. Failure to do so will be catastrophic.

The Hallmarks of Falsehood                
How can our sensitive spirits be alerted? Admit that deception is possible.
Take this warning that Jesus gave seriously.   Beware of:
False confidence and presumption.
The omission, or even ridicule, of the need for personal discipline and holiness.
Undue emphasise to the value of experiences.
'Personality' figures. Numbers may prove popularity; not truth..
      Be honest; is Christ or the man being honoured?
Wrong logic.  Because God does many extraordinary things,
      this does not mean that all extraordinary thing are of God.
      One example does not make a general truth.  The media are brilliant at using this.
      If one man says homosexuality is natural, this does not make it a general public opinion.
      Homosexuality remains an abomination to God.
The majority view is rarely the truth.
Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing. Test their personal 'fruit' (not their claimed ministry).  Math 715-23
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 2 Tim 43,4

Guarding against Falsehood
Be alert at all times. Examine what is said.  1 Thes 519-21  Act 1711
      Do not be lured by those who say, 'Don't analyse, just receive.'
Truth is consistent throughout the whole of Scripture.
      Satan delights to undermine God's Word.  "Has God said ...?"  Gen 31
      He masquerades as an angel of light, but is the father of lies.  2 Co 1114  John 844
Examine the context of quotes. e.g. 'Joel's army' is not the triumphant Church,
      but the judgement of Israel by God using heathen Assyrian army.
      Beware of what follows expressions like, 'The Bible says ...'
      The best way to check this is for each of us to know God's Word.
      So seek to learn all of it diligently; and not just the 'nice' parts!
      A ten minute sermon each week and a 5 minute daily 'quiet time' is wholly inadequate.
Political leaders and the media regularly practice an 'economy of the truth' .
      The Church can also be biassed and present half truths. Beware.
Fearing controversy few preach about the Creation, the Flood or the 'End times';
      Yet this is exactly what Peter warned us would happen.  2 Pe 3 
      If even the Church is unsure, no wonder the world will scoff.
      So do as it says, preach the whole truth and live holy and godly lives.
      Many now say that both creation and theology evolve, so there is no absolute truth.
      This enables them to modify God's Commandments and clear revelation.
      Their motives for doing this must be highly suspect.
            e.g. they may seek popularity or try to justify the sin they enjoy!
      Early 20th Century humanism has been seen to fail.
      It has been replaced by 'God is in everything', 'New Age', multi-faith, 'good in all of us' culture.
      It may sound nice and seem charitable, but it is a deadly deception.
      God's judgement, the reality of hell, and our need for redemption by Jesus;
            these vital truths are increasingly unpopular, especially judgement, even in the Church.
What is God's answer to Judgement?  
'In the Cross of Christ I glory, towering o'er the wrecks of time ...'
But we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, But to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. ... For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Co 123,23 21
Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  ... The belt of truth ... the breastplate of righteousness ... feet fitted with the gospel of peace ... the shield of faith ... the helmet of salvation ... the sword of the Spirit.   Eph 610-18


 b.  Prior to the Tribulation             

Consider what Jesus said in Math 244-35

"Watch out that no one deceives you"
The warning of Jesus is given 3 times in this passage. See section 1a above
"False Prophets"
They will come as surely as they did in Jeremiah's day. Jer 1411-16
These false Christ's were not sent by God. And will deceive many.
(See warning on deception in 1a above.   Also ‘Strange teachings in the Church' below)
"Wars and rumours of wars."
Not world war - this could hardly be a rumour!  but many small wars, possibly ethnically based?
Also the breakdown of law and order; and the clamour for independence, terrorism and disputed nation boundaries.
Lawlessness.  2 Thes 28,9  2 Pe 27,8  2 Pe 317
"Famines and earthquakes."
Famine is greatly increased by war, poverty and debt.
Flooding is extended by de-forestation and global warming. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, typhoons, asteroids.
History is studded with natural disasters, but at the end they will be more numerous and greater in magnitude.
"Do not be alarmed"
The alert Church will see these events as signs.
'When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.' Lu 2128
Note that 'the end is still to come' i.e. this is only the beginning of the end.
We will need the pouring out of the Spirit promised by our faithful God in Joel 228
He is God's special gift for these difficult days.
Islam hates both Jews and Christians and whenever strong enough endeavours to exterminate them.
True Christianity will no longer be respectable, but hated by all.
Considered intolerant and harsh for saying that all men need to be saved, and only Jesus can save.
      c.f. popular New Age / Hindu idea of 'many ways to God'.
As always, the 'Cross of Christ' will divide men.
Like it or not, Christ's sacrifice remains God's only means for our necessary salvation.
"Love of most will grow cold."
Most love is conditional; being based on 'I will love you if you will love me'.
The love that will not grow cold is neither conditional or deserved.
This true love will be willing to suffer and survive.
Increased wickedness will be the cause of the chilling of true love.
      The preaching and practice of true holiness is becoming rarer.
      'Freedom' is more popular that discipline and restraint.
Many youngsters from Christian families will choose sex, popularity, money.
God will become number 2 or 3, and will often be rejected altogether when his Law is found inconvenient or too difficult.
"Gospel preached as a testimony to all nations."
All who desire to hear gospel will be able to hear it in an understandable language,
      but maybe not in their own native language.
"Abomination that makes desolate."
This is likely to be physical object, like the Mosque of Omar on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Written in arabic on the outside of the Golden Dome are words from the Koran which deny that Jesus is the Son of God.
"People of the Book (Christians) do not transgress the bounds of your religion. Speak nothing but the truth about God. The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, was no more than God's apostle and his word which he cast to Mary: a spirit from him. So believe in God and his apostles and do not say ‘Three.' Forebear, and it shall be better for you. God is but one God. God forbid that he should have a son!"  Koran sura 4:171
also sura 9:30 10:68 17:111 19:33 19:88 23:91 etc
It could possibly be an evil power structure like Freemasonry that drains a man of ‘Life' and of all desire for Jesus as Saviour.
"Unequalled distress."
(See 'The Great Tribulation' below)
God will blamed and cursed!
Few will acknowledge the justice of God, and repent.
I see no Biblical evidence that Christians will be taken up in the rapture before these things happen.
      (Though on this point I would be delighted to be wrong!)
"The sun will be darkened"
Jesus says this will be ‘immediately after the distress of those days'.
      i.e. at the end of the Great Tribulation. (See section below)
"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my word will never pass away."
Man is making a complete mess of this planet.
At the very end God will repair it by replacement!  Rev 211
In all the uncertainty;
      God remains faithful and present.
      His Word remains totally reliable and will always be true.  1 Thes 524
      The plan of God will never be changed.
      The Jews will remain his chosen people.

c.  The Great Tribulation             

This 7 year period is the last of the ‘sevens' that Daniel prophesied . Dan 927
It is an unending and intense time of disasters and distress described in detail in Rev 6-18.
It ends with the sun being darkened and the fall of Babylon.
The brief rule of the satanic Beast, the Lawless one, the Antichrist, is ended when Jesus Christ returns.  Rev 19

Why does God himself initiate and send this Tribulation?
Judgement of sin can take 3 forms:

1. Spiritual death.
In the beginning God warned Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of one particular tree,
      "for when you eat of it you will surely die."  Gen 217 (Ro 623)
They did eat. And they did die, although they still walked and talked.
It was not a physical death but spiritual. Their relationship with God died.
They were corrupted so that they, and all their descendants, would have the natural nature to sin.
From this judgement there is only one way of escape. To be ‘born again'!
The judgement of sin requires the shedding of innocent blood.
This is God's law whether we like it or not.
It is the reason why God had to send his Son, Jesus Christ, to be crucified for us.
There is nothing we can do to earn God's forgiveness and to change our nature.

2. Punishment for Breaking the Law.
God our Creator has given us the Commandments and the Law so that we may know the best way to live.
Immorality and adultery often lead to AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, divorce, breakdown of the family etc
Being covetous results in war - personal war, violence, robbery or military war between nations.
Lying leads to injustice.
The punishment is varied to fit the crime.
'An eye for an eye', no more (excessive vengeance) and no less (false benevolence).
If any group or nation think that they know better than God what is best,
      and decide to change the law of the land, then sooner or later their arrogance and stupidity will be seen.
Few will acknowledge that it is because they have broken God's laws.
It should ne noted that sometimes the wicked prosper. They seem to get away with it.
But there will always come a day of reckoning before God.

3. 'Natural' Disasters or 'Acts of God'
These are more often because we live in a fallen world, not because of personal sin.
Some disciples asked Jesus, "who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind."
      "Neither ..." he replied.  
Jn 92 (see also Lu 131-3)
But there are times when God uses disasters as punishment for national sin.   e.g.
God destroyed all the world except Noah and his family by a flood because men had become so wicked. Gen 6,7
God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for their abominable homosexuality. Gen 19
God destroyed the 10 northern tribes of Israel using the Assyrians for their stubborn idolatry.
God exiled the Jews to Babylon for 70 years because they refused to hear the word of the Lord from Jeremiah.

The Great Tribulation falls into this last category.
God will bring the just punishment upon the world for ignoring and ridiculing the Almighty,
      in spite of the many warnings he has given.
He will only give us what we deserve!

What will happen?   Disasters like nothing ever seen before.            

The series of disasters are detailed in Rev 6-18.   They last for 7 years.
God's angels will:
      Open the 7 Seals,  
            Blow the 7 Trumpets
                  Pour out 7 Bowls of wrath upon a wicked world.
During this time the world will experience:
      4 apocalyptic horsemen, world-wide pollution, earthquakes, demonic attacks, and the fall of Babylon etc   (See notes on Revelation)
These so called ‘natural disasters' are truly 'Acts of God'!
The resulting distress will be far greater than the world has ever seen.
Approx 50 million died in WWII, in the Tribulation ¼ will die (1,500 million)
      followed closely by a further (another 1,500 million). i.e. 3 Billion will die.
Amazingly, this will all be at the direct command of God!
      With good reason and precision timing.
Men will remain careless and content without God; until it is too late.
Men will refuse to see the tribulation signs as God's warnings and judgement.
They will curse God rather than repent. Rev 169,11,21 920,21

Halfway through the Tribulation the man of Lawlessness will arise. 2 Thes 23-12
This man is the same as the Beast of Rev 13 and the ‘Little Horn' of Dan 7.
He rises in the middle of the 7 years of Tribulation.
His name is appropriate. He seeks to be above the law and set times. Dan 725
He breaks the peace treaty with Israel.  Dan 927
He is demonic, loves wickedness, proud, blasphemous, and worshipped by all.
He is brutal beyond description and delights to persecute the true Church.
Do not receive the mark of the beast.  Rev 1316-18 149,10
What this mark is, is not revealed.
It will be an irremovable mark on the right hand or forehead,
be essential for all buying/selling, and involve worship of the Beast.
There will be no rest for all who submit to it; only agony.  Rev 149-11
His time is limited to 3½ years.   Dan 725 127

During his reign Christians must learn to endure.
They will be greatly oppressed.  Dan 725 812,24 127  Math 249  Rev 137, 15
God revealed to Daniel this suffering.
As it became clearer his distress increased.   Dan 715,28 827 1016
But he who endures will be saved.   Math 2413 Rev 1310 1412
The Church will not escape the Great Tribulation.   Math 249,22 Rev 137,10b Dan 721,25
The Beast is defeated by the ‘King of Kings' at his 2nd Coming.    Dan 722,26 825 927 Rev 19

Never give up evangelism - whatever the cost.
Some will be saved right up to the end.
Christians will know that God's wrath is not upon them.
They will acknowledge that God's judgement is just, true and timely.
The example of previous martyrs will encourage us to triumph in death.
Though the Coming of the Lord will be sudden, we will not be surprised!
He will be expected and eagerly awaited.
For you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. ...
      But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.  1 Thes 52-4

Darkness and Shaking
Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened ... and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky. Math 2429,30
The darkened sun, moon and stars is prophesied many times:
      Is 530 1310 2421-23 Joel 210 Ezek 327,8 Amos 89 Zeph 115 Rev 612,13 812
It seems that this darkness is literal.
It will also be the darkness of wickedness.
As in the days of Noah, they were blind, not knowing that soon it would be too late. Gen 716
      Men went about their normal business and missed seeing God's signs.
      Noah took 120 years to build the Ark. Methuselah's name was a long term warning.
            (= In the day that I die it will happen). How foolish - then and now.

The earth will be shaken and the wickedness of man revealed.
At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, 'Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.' The words 'once more' indicate the removing of what can be shaken - that is, created things - so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our 'God is a consuming fire.'   Heb 1226-29
Throughout this time, the unshakeable truth of Jesus will be seen to remain secure.

God is Always in Control
For Christians this is an enormous relief in a time of great trouble.
The six Seals are opened by King Jesus! Rev 6.
      Then with the 7th Seal he commands the 7 warning Trumpets.
      Then with the 7th Trumpet special angels pour out the 7 Bowls of God's wrath.
Satan is defeated and Babylon falls - at last!
O God, "You are just in all these judgements" Jn 165 153

The Hallelujah chorus (Rev 19) is prompted by the sudden, longed for fall of Babylon.
"Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants." And again they shouted: "Hallelujah! ... For our Lord God Almighty reigns."

How much do we share the longing of heaven for the day when wickedness on the earth will cease?
Read all of Revelation and catch the vision.

Remember that Jesus remains the one true and effective Saviour,
      the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Faithful and True, whose Word never passes away.
He says, "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Math 2820
And that includes the Tribulation!

2. God gives us Signs              

Signs abound throughout the Bible; in God's dealings with all men of all ages,
They have many purposes and meet with different responses:-

a )  Jesus, Risen from the dead  
Jesus had just cleared the Temple of all the religious bric-a-brac
      and the lucrative source of income for the rich leaders, who then demanded:
      "What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?"   Jn 218
They demanded proof.
Others saw the Temple 'clear-out' as a sign! "Only zeal of Messiah could do this."   Jn 217
Graciously, Jesus does offer them a sign. One they don't expect and one they would not accept.
     "'Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.'
           But the temple he had spoken of was his body."
   Jn 219-22
Destroy this temple (my body) and in 3 days I will build another. A permanent dwelling with God.
This would not help the "I want proof now!" brigade,
      since the sign he offered would remain a mystery until after he was crucified and resurrected.
      And then it was only of value to believers.
The Apostles later reminded Jewish leaders that Jesus said he would rise from the dead.   Act 42,10 530
What about the Jerusalem Temple, what happened to that?
1st Temple was destroyed in 586 BC by Nebuchadnezzar. The 2nd Temple was completed in 516 BC
      Herod's addition / renovation had progressed for 46 years (19 BC to 27 AD) and had just been completed.
Like many 'grand' buildings, it was magnificent but useless! and would be destroyed in 70 AD.
Jesus himself would fulfill the purpose of the Temple - no more sacrifices were needed.
      Your (not my) house is left to you desolate.   Lu 1335
A new way to God was opened or built for all men, Jews and Gentiles.

On another occasion the Pharisees demanded a sign as proof.
And Jesus gave them the same sign of resurrection saying:
"A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign!
But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish,
so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
  Math 1239,40
It is often said that the miracle of Jonah was that he stayed alive in the fish, but that would make this statement meaningless.
The significance is that after Jonah prayed, he died and God raised him from the dead!
Here Jesus clearly uses the example of Jonah as an event, not a story, to reveal what would happen to him.
God would raise up his Son after 3 days, to continue as priest for ever "on the basis of the power of an indestructible life."   Heb 716
But few of the leaders would come to accept the resurrection as a sign that Jesus was the Son of God
      who died as the just, perfect and necessary sacrifice for our sin.

He warned them of this in the parable of the Rich man and Lazarus.
The rich man in hell begs father Abraham, "... send Lazarus to my father's house, for I have five brothers.
Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'
Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'
'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'
He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets,
      they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"
  Lu 1627-31

As predicted the Pharisees bribed the soldiers who had been guarding the tomb of Jesus to lie
and say that the disciples had stolen the body and he had not risen.
Why do men continually think that they are so clever?

b)  The Miracles of Jesus            
"Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast,
many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name.
But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men.
He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man."
  Jn 223-25
Miracles are always attractive! But how often do they lead to repentance, lasting faith and salvation?
What did these men believe?
They believed Jesus was more than an ordinary carpenter, and 'They decided to follow Jesus.'
      They followed until his sayings became too hard to accept. Then they fell away.  
      This is one of the saddest verses in scripture.   Jn 660-66
Jesus knew that their 'believing' was shallow. He always knows what is in a man.
When life's tragedies strike or persecution comes or we see some other 'sign',
      are we distracted or easily persuaded to change course?
The 'Stony-ground hearers' heard and rejoiced. But it did not last.  Lu 813
Unlike Job who in the hour of extreme torment said, "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised."  Job 121
If attraction is based on the sensational, it is usually temporary and unstable.
Faith comes by hearing, not by seeing.   Ro 1017  
      And that hearing must change the heart, not just titillate the emotions.
The disciples believed in Jesus.   Jn 211 223
But Jesus could not trust them then.  Later he would.   Jn 17  Math 2819

It is very evident that the miracles Jesus were based upon an urgent compassion for the person in need.
But why do we seek miracles?   1 Co 122
      To increase popularity?   As proof of ministry? ("signs following"),    Love of the spectacular?
      Or maybe to further the reputation of our church or ourselves? see Rev 31   Or do we long for the glory of Jesus?
      We need to answer this question honestly.
When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him ...
     He hoped to see him perform some miracle.
  Lu 238
     It would have had same effect as seeing the magician, Paul Daniels;
          amazement, but not repentance before Almighty God.
Jesus desired people to respond to God saying, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner," not just stand there open-mouthed.
He would become King, not by a stunning victory over the Romans, but by dying on a Cross!
In the history of the world there has never been a greater victory - but few saw it that way.
AsThe Lord said to Moses, "How long will these people treat me with contempt?
      How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them?"
  Num 1411  Ps 7832

Even after Jesus had done many miraculous signs in their presence,
      they still would not believe in him.   Jn 1237 1524 Math 1120-23 163 Lu 1627-31
How many in England today are convinced by the miracles of Jesus?   Even some Bishops aren't!

c)  Signs demonstrating that God is Almighty            
God judges the gods of Egypt in 10 plagues and rescues Israel from their slavery.
Then he saves them from the pursuing army, whom he drowns in the Red Sea. Exd 101,2 1212 Josh 2417
Even in exile God would show them signs. God would destroy Jerusalem and the Temple!
The expression "... then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord." is used 62 times in Ezek 6-33.
      But did the exiles in Babylon learn that God is Sovereign? No. Jer 4429
God protects Daniel from lions in Babylon, and his friends from fiery furnace. Dan 6, 3
Israel saw the young man David killing the giant Goliath. 1 Sam 17
They saw God send fire to burn the drenched sacrifice of Elijah on Mt Carmel.
All this and much more, they saw, but did no comprehend.

In case there is any smugness in so called ‘Christian' England, we are no better.
God miraculously rescued the British army from Dunkirk after King George VI led the nation in prayer.
But our history books have failed to give God any credit for this act of divine intervention.

d)  Signs that point to Christ, the Redeemer            
God provided a ram to replace Isaac as a sacrifice, but Abraham called that place 'The Lord Will Provide'.
      He did not say God has provided, but, God will provide.   Gen 2214
God instructs Israel to keep the Passover, the Law, the daily sacrifices. etc
      They each reveal the need for a Saviour to come.   Exd 12, 20-33 Deut 16
      "The Law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ".   Gal 324
Unlike Cain; Abel brought the best, but knew that even his best was not good enough.
      He longed for and believed the day of the Messiah would come, and he would be perfect!   Gen 44 Heb 114
Adam and Eve were given garments of skin to replace their withering fig-leaves.   Gen 37,21
      An animal had to be sacrificed to cover their shame.
God showed each of them that one day there would be a 'better sacrifice'.   Heb 923
Ruth was redeemed by Boaz, not for her land, but to be his bride.
Hosea the prophet bought, and saved, his own wife who had become a harlot.
Joseph was rejected and unjustly sentenced: yet God raised him up to save many.
Melchizedek brought bread and wine and blessed Abraham.   Gen 1418,19
Noah's Ark was covered inside and out with pitch.   Gen 614
      But the Hebrew word for pitch here is 'Kaphar',  elsewhere it is always translated atone, cleanse, appease, forgive etc.
      Noah saw the pitch as the atonement that saved him.
      Just as we remember the bread and wine, and by faith it reminds us of the body and blood of Jesus that saves us,
      So Noah looked forward in faith to the same Saviour.       
All these signs, and many more, point to Jesus, the Messiah Redeemer.

e)   Signs that are the fulfilment of prophecy            
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign:
      The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel."
  Is 714
Jesus said to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."   Lu 421
Jesus fulfilled many prophecies.   e.g. Math 215 216-18 816,17 214,5 Lu 1831-33 2444-46 Jn 1318,19 1936
See 'The Promises of God'    Use Back arrow to return here

f )  Covenant signs            
And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. ..."   Gen 912-16
13 years after Abraham believed God and he credited it to him as righteousness, God said to him,
"You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you."   Gen 1711
Circumcision is a sign, like baptism a witness of what has already happened. Say to the Israelites,
"You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy."   Exd 3113

g)   Signs of God's hatred of sin            
God scatters the people of Babel for their arrogance.   Gen 114,5,8,9
God destroys the whole world in a flood for their wickedness.   Gen 65-8
      Only Noah and his family were righteous and saved
God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah for the outcry of their sin.
      Gen 1820,21 1924 also Josh 71,4,21,22 Jer 253-11 Ezek 2414 Is 611,2
God destroys the Egyptian slave-masters,  Exd 1423-28
      the blasphemous and challenging Sennacherib,  Is 3620 3717,36
      and the drunken insults of Belshazzar.  Dan 52-4,30
Some may find the severity of these judgements surprising.
      And especially if we remember that God has not changed!
God gives us signs in our evil generation, and they should be taken seriously.
      In The Pilgrim's Progress, Christian fled the City of Destruction.
      He sought God after being given a tract by Evangelist, which said, "Flee from the wrath to come!"
 God has given us the straight forward warning, that this earth is destined for destruction
      and all unbelievers are condemned already. Jn 318 Who will heed the Word of the Almighty?  
In the synagogue at Nazareth Lu 416-21, Jesus did not read the second half of Is 612
      Not because it was not true, but that the time for judgement would come later.
      That time is becoming ever closer.

Perhaps one of the gravest signs of the times is the rapid rise of homosexuality, especially in the Western world. Paul tells us that if men persist in rejecting God and in their arrogance consider they know better than God; watch out for God will remove his protection. The result? Rife homosexuality and lesbianism. Ro 121-27   Even the current Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Williams, has knowingly ordained practising homosexuals to the priesthood.

3. Strange Teachings in the Church Today               

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.   Heb 139

What 'strange teachings' are there in the church today?

a.  Theology develops with man's knowledge.  
         Men think they can modify scripture. We know more now!  What arrogant nonsense.
         The Word of God does not change. It is not 'Culturally conditioned'.
         Doctrine must not be altered to be credible to contemporary society.
         Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

b.  Word of God no longer totally reliable or accurate.
         We are not free to add or subtract what is liked or disliked.
          Jesus said that the Word of God abides for ever.  And so it does.

c.  Liberal theology.
         They modify or even deny truth of virgin birth and resurrection. Both are key essentials in the Christian faith.
         If Jesus had been Joseph's son, he would not be perfect and could never take away the sin of any man.
         Without the resurrection there is no triumph over sin or death;
               we would have no Advocate in heaven - and that would be disastrous!

d.  No hell or just eternal punishment.
         Many now presume that we can sin, and get away with it; the loving God will only punish the very worst offenders.
         This removes the need for a Saviour, and makes the coming of Jesus irrelevant.
         It makes his planned sacrifice for us a waste of time. How insulting!
         God's justice demands that the punishment for sin is death. Gen 217
         Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Heb 922

e.  Many ways to God.
         Inter-faith services are now common. This idea seems tolerant and good, but it is a Satanic lie.
         Jesus says clearly that there is only one way to God.  Jn 146  Act 412

f.   Islam's Kaaba stone is an idol, so is Buddha and all the Hindu gods.
         They are not other faiths that we should respect, but idols that God hates; and so should we.

g.  The New-Age idea that God is in everything.
         This confuses the creation and the Creator.
         It denies man's fallen nature by saying that we only have to bring out the good that is latent in each of us.
         Jesus says that all men need to repent and to be born again.   Jn 33   Lu 133
         Proud man always finds it hard to admit that his heart is naturally corrupt and he can do nothing change it.
         Only Jesus Christ can work this miracle.

h.  'Replacement theology'
         This substitutes the Church for Israel in all the promises of God.
         It selects all the 'nice' promises for the Church and leaves all the 'nasties' for Israel.
         It leads to thinking that Revival is imminent, the Church is triumphant and will not have to suffer the Tribulation.
         But God always remains faithful. What he has promised Israel he will totally fulfill.  Jer 3135-37 Ro 111,25-32

i.   Signs and wonders.
         God performs many signs and wonders today.  But note 2 Thes 29 Rev 1313
         Be aware that not all miracles are from God. (See deception in para 1a above)

j.   Prosperity gospel.
         This is a good excuse for rich evangelists and leaders to enjoy a bloated life-style.
         Current book Prayer of Jabez is vastly popular in USA; seek God for personal riches.

k.   'Seed faith'.
         Give to God what you cannot afford and he will give you far more.
         Justified by Math 1929  But we can never out-give God, nor can he be bribed.
         It appeals to the wrong motive of personal gain.
         Do not allow a good generous spirit to be polluted with this rotten idea.

l.   Triumphalism.
         Fails to acknowledge our sin and weakness.
         Praise becomes unreal if there is never a time for sin to be confessed and forgiven.
         It is based on the false premise that the true Church is always triumphant.  Dan 721,25
         God promised Jeremiah he would protect him and he did.
         But he still suffered rejection and physical hardship for over 40 years.

m.  'Big personalities'.
         They play upon our emotions, usually telling us what we want to hear. Some are fool enough to believe it.

n.   Experience .v. Repentance and New Birth.
      Many testimonies today feature some great experience or "I've decided to follow Jesus".
      But we become Christians by repentance and believing Christ bore our sins on the Cross.
      There was no other way to redeem us.
      It is not that we give our hearts to Jesus, but that he willingly gave his heart, his life, to us!
      In revival we hear of many in deep distress crying to God for mercy.
      Men suddenly realise that they are sinners under the just judgement of Almighty God.
      "What must I do to be saved?" they cry.
      On the day of Pentecost when they asked this question, Peter answered, "Repent and be baptised ..."
      Under this criteria it would seem that there is little sign of revival in the UK today.
      Why do so few testify to the relief and joy of God's forgiveness?
      We can no more decide to follow the life style of Jesus than the Jews could decide to keep the Law.
      The main emphasis of the hugely popular Alpha course is receiving the Holy Spirit.
      Christ crucified is only mentioned in the first 3 of the 15 sessions. Blink, and you missed it!
      Some, if not many, are being converted to an exciting Christian life-style rather than to Christ.
      Holiness is not by enjoying a 'spiritual party', but the renewing of our minds, self-control,
            obedience, and submitting to the truth of God's Word. Discipline is rarely popular.
      It is good to learn of the gifts of the Spirit; but never forget that the work of the Spirit
            is also to convict us of sin, righteousness and judgement. Jn 167-11
      "God commands all men everywhere to repent." Act 1730
      This was the message of John, Jesus, Peter and Paul. Math 32 417 Act 238 2620
      Many evangelists today just say, ‘God loves you'.  (Sin is such a nasty subject!)
      It is instructive that the word ‘love' does not occur even once in Acts, but repent or repentance occurs 11 times!
      In 1906 the following prophecy was given:
            "In the last days three things will happen in the great Pentecostal Movement;
            There will be an over-emphasis on power, rather than righteousness.
            There will be an over-emphasis on praise to a God they no longer pray to.
            There will be an over-emphasis on the gifts of the Spirit, rather than the Lordship of Christ."

o.   Roman Catholic Errors            

The Heart of Rome's Errors
While Rome agrees that salvation is by grace through faith in Christ, they steadfastly refuse to say that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. But they insist on adding that the sacraments of the church are also essential. e.g. ‘Last rites', church baptism, confession, mass etc. They claim that the sacraments can only be provided by the priest. But Jesus is our great High Priest who has opened the door of heaven. We need no other priest now: it is a task that no man can usurp. No man can be an intermediary between us and God. Jesus is our one and only Advocate. 1 Jn 21 Excommunication in the Roman Church means no sacraments, and no sacraments means damnation by their rules. This is a mighty threat and a lever for the priests to wield, giving them immense power over their subjects. No mere man has the right to pass such eternal judgement on another. Only Jesus has the necessary knowledge, the justice and righteousness. Like the Pharisees who added much to the Law; Rome, in the interest of power, adds much to what Jesus says was necessary for salvation. Until this prime issue is addressed all ecumenical effort is futile; the Roman Church remains in gross and substantial error, holding its subjects captive.  e.g.

Jesus commanded us to eat the bread and wine and remember that he died for our sins, paying the necessary ransom. The bread and wine are not transformed in a magical rite that only the priest may perform. For some reason the congregation are not allowed to drink wine at Mass, but we all need to ‘remember' the cleansing blood. The Mass that repeatedly sacrifices Christ on the altar is an insult. Heb 924-28  Jesus was sacrificed once for all when he laid down his life at Calvary. Rome burned at the stake many Protestants for refusing to accept this in the Reformation. Transubstantiation leads to abominable practice of ‘reserving the sacrament'.

Pope given both Religious and Political Power   754 A.D.
Jesus said, "My Kingdom is not of this world." Jn 1836. This enabled the Pope to mount the Crusades and the Inquisition. Today the pope is still 'king' of a separate nation state, Vatican City.

Papal infallibility 1870 A.D.
Our leaders should be honoured but none are, or can be, infallible. Jesus is the only man ever to have walked this earth in whom there is no sin. Even a cursory glace at the long line of popes show them to be anything but sinless. Infallibility is impossible unless a man is sinless. God gave to Solomon greater wisdom than any, but it did not stop him making idols and worshipping them. 1 Kg 111-11 It is vital that all in the church learn how to practice discernment. We need to test what we are told. 1 Jn 41 1 Thes 521

Church Tradition added to Authority of Scripture
Church Tradition is used in deciding whether something is right or true in addition to the Word of God. And church tradition is given equal authority. We may live in the so called ‘post modern era' but the theology of God does not change. Man's view of God may vary; but God's law remains unchanged. "The soul that sins shall surely die". And there is but "one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all men." 2 Tim 25,6 "No man comes to the Father except by me." Jn 146

Sale of Indulgences  1190 A.D.
‘No gift, not forgiveness'. A callous and wicked scheme to gain wealth for the church that played on the tender conscience of the guilty who desired the assurance of forgiveness. They were taught that their gift to the church was more important than repentance and believing what Christ has achieved for us on the Cross. "He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, by his wounds we are healed."  Is 535 Mary's gift of perfume to Jesus was because she had been forgiven much, not in the hope of earning forgiveness.  Lu 736-50

Purgatory  1438 A.D.
Purgatory detracts from the fullness of Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross, denying that his sacrifice purchased complete pardon for individual sin. Jesus said, "It is finished", the "Debt Is Paid In Full ".  Jn 1930 Heb 919  Purgatory holds that all men must go through a further cleansing process before they can enter Heaven. It encouraged the practice of prayers for the dead and further indulgences. Jesus told the dying thief, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." Lu 2343 And the parable Jesus told of the rich man and Lazarus denies the opportunity of salvation after death. Lu 1619-31

The image of Christ on a crucifix is just that; a forbidden image. It is quite different from the Christian symbol of the empty Cross. Furthermore Pope Paul V1 (1962-1978) and Pope John Paul II (1978-today) have both regularly used a ‘Twisted Crucifix' on top of their staff, which was first used by Satanists in the 6th century!

Worship of Relics  788 A.D.
Historical proof is one thing, but encouraged superstition is quite another. Superstition comes easily to men. Relics soon cause men to worship the Creature rather than the Creator. Ro 125 They are mostly used to bring revenue to any church claiming to have an ‘authentic relic'. A piece of wood that was supposedly part of Noah's Ark or Christ's cross, or a phial of his blood, or ...

Other symbols
Many are used like the (15th century BC) Egyptian obelisk (Sex) and the 8-fold path to enlightenment that surrounds in St Peter's Basilica in Rome. Unknown to most, these symbols are particularly evil.

Celibacy of Priests  1123 A.D.
Paul showed that as a missionary, being single can have significant advantages. But Jesus made it clear that it was not for everyone. Math 1912  In describing the essential attributes of an elder, Paul says that they should be married! Tit 16 Celibacy has caused much needless temptation and has resulted in the fall of many.

Apostolic Succession
Rome claims that their pontiff, and thus also priests, are descended from Peter to whom Jesus put in charge of the early church. It enables them to claim an exaggerated authority over all other Christians. But there is no evidence that the first pope (Clement ?) was enthroned by Peter. Even a tertiary examination of the history of the popes can only make one blush and be ashamed.

'One-way' confession
We are instructed to confess our sins to one another. It is not confession that is wrong, but that it is 'one way'. It is said that knowledge is power. Perhaps this is why the Catholic Church insist upon it.

Priests take title of 'Father'
Jesus told his disciples to call each other brother - never rabbi, father or teacher. Math 235-12 Yet they insist on using the title ‘Father'.

Vestments 340 A.D.
These merely reinforce the false notion that Priests are intermediaries between God and man. In the O.T. they pointed to Christ who would make the 'one perfect and sufficient sacrifice for sin'. Now that Christ has come and fulfilled the Law's just requirement, their office is no longer needed.

Praying the Rosary 1090 A.D.
Jesus forbade praying repetitious prayers. Math 67,8  The Rosary is not an aid to memory but the use of a Satanic idea from Babylon.

Fasting on Fridays 988 A.D.
Why is abstaining from meat thought to benefit the soul? Jesus instructed us to fast privately. Math 616-18  Note that Friday is the 6th day of the week and is thus a favourite among Satanists!

Immaculate conception  1854 A.D.
It is claimed that Mary was born perfect, but even she saw her own need for salvation. Lu 147  She was redeemed by being born again through trusting the effective atoning blood of Christ for her sin - the same as for all believers.

Assumption of Mary 1950
The false and totally unsubstantiated claim that Mary did not 'die', but was taken body and soul into heaven, like Elijah.

Prayers to Mary and Saints
We do well to honour the saints and learn from their example; but pray to them? Never! Prayers to Mary and to the saints imply that Jesus is too busy. They are an insult to him, who "always lives to intercede for us."  Ro 834 Heb 725 924

It is at our own peril that we forget what our Reformation forbears died for. Read Foxe's Book of Martyrs  and  Merle d'Aubigne's The Reformation in England to learn why Rome tried so hard to quench the light that dawned when the scriptures were translated into English and the truth was revealed.

Many of these errors are not peripheral, secondary issues about which Christians may disagree. They are fundamental truths about our salvation, which the light of God's Word in our native language revealed during the Reformation. Not surprisingly, Rome vigorously repressed this. Rome has never admitted anything wrong in their unscriptural theology, their idolatrous practices, or their murder of Christians and Jews. They claim the Reformation and the Crusades were an unfortunate aberration when part of the church was hijacked by some extremists. While the idea of ecumenism and forgetting the past sounds nice, it remains a deadly folly until Rome is willing to repent.

In spite of these errors, some Roman Catholics are still believers saved by grace.
God's cry in the closing days of the northern tribes of Israel came through his prophet Hosea.
      "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge."  Hos 46
      Is this still God's cry?
And at the end, God's command is to "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins ..." Rev 184
(In the context this refers to the evil 'Babylon' system, but it is equally well applied to 'Rome'. Both are systems that turn men away from God by the love of money, power and false religion.)

Let us discern the truth and give time to learn what the Scriptures say.
Let us thoroughly test all that is prophesied, taught and practised in the light of Scripture.
It is the only safe way.

4.  All that God has Prophesied will take place.              

Most difficulties with eschatology (Last Days) concern 'when' rather than 'what' will happen.
The views expressed here are what I believe is correct now: but it is not 'written in stone'.
      If your view is different please don't hold it against me.
      Time will tell, and it may be sooner rather than later!

Christians need to prepare for unequalled distress, lawlessness and persecution.
It will be a major shock for us in the Western Church. We expend so much effort and resources on our own ease and comfort.  
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit will be come as promised in Joel 228-32 (partly fulfilled in Acts 2)
      But note that the 'wonders' seen are 'blood, fire, smoke and darkness'!

      He promises deliverance for the survivors.
      His outpouring will not be for revival, but is to enable the persecuted to faithfully stand and to endure to the end.
      For most this will be the privilege of martyrdom, though it may not seem a privilege at the time!
      God has fulfilled this promise to the countless martyrs during the last 2000 years.
            Their gracious testimony has been a brave and effective witness to many.

The following table is a brief summary of the events God has prophesied.

Their fulfilment is certain.  
The precise order of their fulfilment is less certain!

Event Comments / Reason
The Great Tribulation Jesus warned his disciples of unequalled  hardship and persecution. If Christians are raptured beforehand the message would be irrelevant.  Math 2421,22

Daniel reveals that the little Horn will successfully wage war against the saints.  
      Dan 721,25  824
This is repeated in Rev 137,15 where the little Horn is called the Beast.

Babylon, the world economic house of cards, falls in a single hour.   Rev 18

The Beast reigns for 3 1/2 years, then has the audacity to attack the King of Kings.  Rev 911-21
      Needless to say he is defeated and thrown into the eternal fire.  
      Also Dan 726 825 and  Zech 121-9  141-5

The Rapture


2nd Coming of Jesus Christ

Jesus comes with the martyrs and for the saints who remain.  
1 Thes 413-17

All Israel will mourn seeing him whom they once rejected. They will repent and be saved.
The restoration of Israel has not been included as a 'sign' as it is after Jesus comes again.

(See also "Israel, and the God of Israel"   use Back arrow to return here)

Millennium Jesus reigns from Jerusalem.  Is 22-5  Rev 20

Satan is chained until the end of the 1000 years, and is then released.
      He inspires Gog and Magog to attack the Son of God.  Rev 208  Ezek 38,39

Final defeat of Satan, who is cast into the fire for ever.

New Heaven and New Earth God's 'repair by replacement'.  
Never again is there any evil or even temptation.

See the study notes on  Revelation and on Daniel 7 & 8  for more details.  (use Back arrow to return here)


Life in the Last Days - Summary of verses

Math 24 Deception, war, famine, earthquakes, persecution, false prophets, love grows cold,
Gospel preached to all world, then the end.
Abomination, great distress, signs and miracles that deceive, sun darkened, earth mourns,
then the Son gathers the elect. My words will never pass away.
Dan 7, 8, 1136   The boastful, blasphemous little horn arises, persecutes saints until judged by the Lord.
Ro 121-32 Men wilfully reject God, who gives them over to shameful lusts.
Filled will every kind of wickedness
1 Thes 52,3 Destruction will come while people are saying, 'peace and safety'.
2 Thes 23-12 The man of lawlessness exalts himself and deludes others.
1 Tim 41-3 Some will abandon faith.
2 Tim 31-9 Terrible times, people will be lovers of themselves ...
2 Tim 43,4 Sound doctrine rejected
James 51-6 Rich horde and misuse wealth
2 Pe 33-10 Scoffers deny creation and judgement of flood
1 Jn 218,19 Many antichrists went out from among us
Jude 118,19 Scoffers who follow ungodly desires
Rev 6-18 As promised, God unleashes the Great Tribulation
Ro 1312 Now the time is nearer than when we first believed
Col 31-10 Put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature
1 Thes 54-11 Let us be alert and self-controlled
2 Pe 311 Learn to live holy and godly lives