AIM : To show a range of signs and events that collectively indicate that the coming of Jesus is near. Outline: Take your student to Matthew 24:3 and read the questions that the disciples asked Jesus concerning His Second Coming. “What shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world?” Explain that Matt 24 is designed to answer this question. Step through each of the signs listed giving evidence of how each of these signs are being or have been fulfilled in our current day. NOTES: 1. Signs in the Religious World There are many claims being made both in the Christian and non-Christian world about the appearing of Jesus Christ. Cult figures like Jim Jones and David Koresh claimed to be Messiah types that would save their followers. Many Christian churches have signs, wonders and miracles occurring in the churches claiming to be from God. Eastern religions have their gurus and teachers claiming to know the way to God or to be God in human flesh leading the way to life. The rise of the New Age movement also claims to know the way to peace, happiness and eternal life. Deception abounds everywhere in the religious world. 2. Signs in the Political World The world is in constant conflict. Nations are constantly fighting one another. The conflict in the Balkans, Rwanda, Ireland, Afghanistan and Indonesia are just a few of the recent conflicts that indicate that peace is nowhere in sight. 3. Signs in the Physical World Figures are constantly changing, but earthquakes have increased dramatically in the last 30 years. A child dies every few minutes of starvation, drought and famine grip many countries. Tornados and floods are increasing and destroying lives and property on an incredible scale. 4. Signs in the Economic World Many countries now have huge debts that they can’t repay. Stock market instability and fluctuating dollar values have everyone nervous. Many are predicting a total collapse of our current system. The rise of mega mergers of banks and institutions are driving the world to a global economy and making it impossible for small businesses to compete. 5. Signs in the Social World The evidence of moral decay is everywhere. Constant school shootings, violent movies and video games. Pornography and homosexuality are flaunted everywhere. Crime rates are soaring and many are calling and pleading for reformation. “ The twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew is presented to me again and again as something that is to be brought to the attention of all. We are today living in the time when the predictions of this chapter are fulfilling. Let our ministers and teachers explain these prophecies to those whom they instruct. Let them leave out of their discourses matters of minor consequence, and present the truths that will decide the destiny of souls.” Gospel Workers , page 148.2. FURTHER STUDY: Desire of Ages , Chapter 69 – “ On the Mount of Olives ”. Great Controversy , Chapters 36 , 37 and 38 . Truth For These Times Study No. 5.
And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See [thou do it] not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy .
1 CORINTHIANS 1:6, 7
Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift ; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:...
Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace [that should come] unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
Spirit of Prophecy: [1 CORINTHIANS 12:4, 10, 11]
Now there are diversities of gifts , but the same Spirit . ...But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all , and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
Noah: Enoch’s judgment message became present truth for his generation
GENESIS 6:8, 9
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These [are] the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man [and] perfect in his generations, [and] Noah walked with God.
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
Thereafter, God raised up the Prophet: Abraham
Now therefore restore the man [his] wife; for he [is] a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore [her] not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that [are] thine.
And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land [that is] not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age . But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: Was this time prophecy for Abraham’s day?
WHO WOULD DELIVER THE ISRAELITES FROM OUT OF EGYPT?
And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.
Abraham’s Prophecy: Present truth in Moses’ time
EXODUS 12:40, 41
Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, [was] four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.
AFTER MOSES, YET ANOTHER PROPHET WOULD BE RAISED UP…
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, [and] I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
JEREMIAH 25:11, 12
And this whole land shall be a desolation, [and] an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, [that] I will punish the king of Babylon,…saith the LORD…
In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
JEREMIAH’S PROPHECY: PRESENT TRUTH FOR DANIEL’S DAY
2 CHRONICLES 36:22, 23
Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD [spoken] by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and [put it] also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah. Who [is there] among you of all his people?
Prophecy: Baptism of Christ; his death, and taking the gospel to the gentile world.
Message: Not Present Truth in Daniel’s day
490 years would pass: Christ would come
John the Baptist: [At the end of the 70 weeks, right before the anointing of Jesus at His baptism, God raised up John the Baptist to announce that the last of the 70 weeks of Daniel’s prophecy was about to begin.]
Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. This is [he], of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
Message of judgment: (MATTHEW 3:10-12)
Prophecy: Messiah & the last of the 70 weeks prophecy (MATTHEW 3:11; JOHN 1:6-8, 26, 27, 29, 31-34; LUKE 1:17)
REVELATION 10 speaks of the great disappointment in 1844. The anticipation of Jesus' coming in 1844 was sweet. But the aftermath was bitter because Jesus did not come as expected. The remnant must now prophesy again to many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings (REVELATION 10:11).