Last Days Prophecy
SERVANTS' MINISTRY, Inc.
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Signs of the Times and Prophetic Fulfillment
Is Bible prophecy being fulfilled today? Are there really signs of the times? One important fact is the current process of Israel's return to her land (Eze.20:33-38; 22:17-22; 36:22-24; 38-39; Isa. 11:11-12; Zeph. 2:1-2). There are very clear signs of the times that indicate we could be very near the start of the Great Tribulation Period and the Lord's Return at the Rapture.
The Rapture is an event that will take place with absolutely NO signs whatsoever to reveal its coming. There are not and never will be any signs emerging at the time indicating that the Rapture is near. This is true because the Rapture is imminent, it could happen at any moment.
It is impossible for an imminent (looming, pending) event to have signs. If signs are related to an event then it would indicate that it was near or not near and thus could not happen until after the signs were present. So, signs would have to precede the event which would mean that the event could not happen at any moment until after the signs appeared. Since the Rapture is said in the New Testament to be an event that could occur at any moment, without warning (1 Cor. 1:7; 16:22; Phil.3:20; 4:5; 1 Thes.1:10; Titus 2:13; Heb.9:28; James 5:7-9; 1 Peter 1:13; Jude 21; Rev. 3:11; 22:7,12,17,20) then it cannot be related to any signs at all. BUT . . . this does not mean that there are no signs of the time that do relate to other aspects of God's plan.
The Church is Not the Same as Israel
The Bible does indicate what the condition of the church will be like, the general progression of the age, and warns about some general trends toward the later part of the church age. Except for a few exceptions, the church age is not a time of prophetic fulfillment. Instead, prophecy will be fulfilled AFTER the Rapture, in relation to God's dealing with the nation of Israel in the seven year Tribulation Period. The present church age in which believers live today does not have a specific prophetic countdown or timetable, as does Israel and her 70 weeks of years prophecy (Daniel 9:14-27). The New Testament does give us general traits that characterize the church age as a time of growth through the preaching of the Gospel, BUT it also tells us of a time of increasing apostasy as the church more and more departs from the faith.
Even specific prophecy that is fulfilled during the church age speaks of God's prophetic plan for Israel and not directly to the church. For instance, the prophesied destruction of Jerusalem and her Temple in AD 70 speaks of Israel (Mat.23:38; Luke 19:43-44; 21:20-24). Therefore it is not inconsistent that prophetic preparations relating to Israel are already underway with the reestablishment of Israel as a nation in 1948, even though we still are living in the church age. Paul tells us: 2 Thes. 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. (KJV) . . . Lawlessness will continue to get worse and worse, but the Holy Spirit will not let Satan go all the way in this age. BUT, when the Holy Spirit is removed, it will be like taking the cap off a bottle of soda! The molten lava of lawlessness will pour out all over the world in that day.
When will the Holy Spirit be taken out? I believe that He will be taken out with the church. Won't the Holy Spirit be in the world during the Great Tribulation? Yes, He will! Wasn't He in the world before Pentecost? Yes! He was present in the days of the Old Testament, but He had a different job. He will also be on a different assignment after the church is removed. In today’s world, the Spirit of God is sealing us until the day of redemption when He will present us and deliver us to the Lord Jesus. If He did NOT do that, we would never be able to make it. After He does that, I believe His task will be similar to what He did in the Old Testament, BUT. . . it is my opinion that He will NOT hinder evil as He does today . . . He will let Satan have his way for a while. Can you even begin to imagine what the world would be like IF the Holy Spirit was not withholding evil today? It is horrible with all the abortion, adultery, alcohol, drugs, fornication, homosexuality and all weird forms of sexual immorality including same sex marriage, murder, incest, rape, violence and witchcraft . . . everywhere! All these are an abomination, disrespect and irreverence to our gracious God! I do NOT want to be on the Earth when the devil has his way in the Great Tribulation!
The stage is being set for the next part of God' s plan for history . . . the Tribulation Period.
The church age is not characterized by historically confirmable prophetic events, except for her beginning on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), and her end with the Rapture (1 Thes.4:13-18; 1 Cor.15:51-54). However, the general course of this age has been prophesied and can provide an overall outline of what can be expected during this age. The New Testament does tell us to expect that apostasy will characterize Christendom prior to the time when the Rapture will take place. The characteristic of apostasy gives believers today a general sign of the times, and there are many other signs of the times we can count on.
The Rapture: http://www.godcannotlie.org/1_thes_ch4.htm
There are MANY signs concerning God's end time program for Israel. However, we must be careful in how we see them relating to us today during the church age. Believers today live during the church age, which will end with the Rapture of the church. Prophetic signs relating to Israel are not being fulfilled in this church age. I think what God is doing in our day is preparing the world for the time when He will begin His plan concerning Israel which will involve the fulfillment of all the signs and times. Because of this, when we see events happening in our day, they are not a fulfillment of Bible prophecy, but instead, they are really preparing us for a future total fulfillment of prophecy during the Tribulation Period, which mainly concerns Israel.
The present church age is a time when God is calling out Gentiles.
Luke 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. (KJV) . . . And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles . . . the Romans, who ploughed up the city and Temple, and laid them level with the ground; and that place has been ever since inhabited by such as were not Jews, as Turks and Papists, and so it will be,
Until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled . . . that is, until the fullness of the Gentiles is brought in (Rom.11:25); until the Gospel is preached all over the world (Mat.24:14), and all God's elect are gathered in out of all nations (Isa.11:12; Jer.29:14); and then the Jews will be converted, and return to their own land (Isa.14:1), and rebuild and inhabit Jerusalem (Isa.44:26) but until that time, it will be as it has been, and still is possessed by Gentiles.
Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. (KJV) . . . “The fulness of the Gentiles” began many years ago; when God called out the church. Acts 15:14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. (KJV) . . . It will conclude with the Rapture of the church (1 Thes.4:13-18).
“Mystery” needs to be explained. In Paul’s day there were ‘mystery’ religions. Today, a mystery is an unrevealed plot or person. In the Bible it is neither of these. In Scripture, mystery refers to something that was concealed in the Old Testament, but revealed in the New Testament. The mystery here is the identification of the fulness of the Gentiles which was NOT revealed in the Old Testament.
Many Jews have hard, unbelieving hearts; but this will last only until the complete number of Gentiles comes to Christ. After that, after the Rapture, God will start dealing with Israel in the Great Tribulation period. Millions of Jews will hear the Gospel brought to them by the 144,000 (Rev.7).
See our articles on the Rapture and Second Coming of Christ, and the Great Tribulation Period: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_rapture,_second_coming.htm http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_tribulation_what.htm http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_tribulation,_why.htm
God preparing the world for the certain fulfillment of prophecy in a future time.
Signs of the Times
Church and Israel Not the Same
One World Government
Pharisees and Sadducees
Signs of Israel
What Is to Come?
Who or What is the Antichrist