Why I believe Jesus will return to earth during my lifetime
What would it take to convince you that Jesus will return to
earth during your lifetime? Would three fulfilled prophecies do it? Would five?
Seven? Nine? How many? Please indulge me for a few minutes while I briefly
explain why I am absolutely convinced that Jesus will return to this earth
during our generation.
Rebirth of Israel
There is no greater prophetic fulfillment. The nation of
Israel was driven from her land in 70 AD. For almost 2,000 years, the Jewish
people existed without a homeland; yet, while being sifted through the nations,
they retained their identity.
The low point came between 1940 and 1944. Hitler was
determined to implement his "final solution." When Allied soldiers entered
the Nazi concentration camps, they were horrified by what they discovered. Six
million Jews had been gassed, shot, tortured and cremated.
In 1944, if you would have told the soldiers that opened
these camps that the Jewish people would have their own nation and would become
the premier military power in the Middle East by 1967, they would have thought
you were crazy. But that is exactly what happened.
The most amazing thing about all of this is that it was
prophesied over 2,500 years ago. The prophecy of Ezekiel 37 is called Ezekiel's
bone yard. Verse 12 states: "Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I
will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring
you into the land of Israel."
The last part of this prophecy states that it will come to
pass in the latter days, just before the Battle of Armageddon. It is at
Armageddon that Jesus returns to earth.
Drying up of Euphrates
The prophecy of Revelation 16:12 has lain quietly for almost
2,000 years, virtually defying fulfillment. It declares that the mighty
Euphrates River will be dried up at the time of the Battle of Armageddon. But
who is kidding whom? The Euphrates is the principal water source of the entire
Middle East. This is like prophesying that the Mississippi River will be dried
up! This Euphrates prophecy just appeared to be impossible.
At least it did until the shocking headline appeared on the
front page of the Indianapolis Star, January 13, 1990. It read, "Flow of
Euphrates To Be Stopped for 30 Days."
The article explained that Turkey had built the huge Ataturk
Dam. Thirty days would be required to fill up the newly constructed reservoir.
So the Euphrates was temporarily stopped.
The river is flowing again now. However, as of 1990, the
mechanism is in place that can stop the flow of the Euphrates at will. The
prophecy states that, at the time of Armageddon, the flow of the Euphrates will
be dried up to facilitate the invasion of Israel. It will really be very simple.
Just push the button, raise the dam, and the Euphrates stops. But remember, it's
only been possible since 1990!
An economy run by numbers
Revelation 13:17: "And that no man might buy or sell, save
he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
The prophecy simply states that, during the endtime, everyone
will need a mark or a number in order to participate in the economy. How could
such a system possibly be implemented?
Until recently, it couldn't. Only since the invention of
the computer and the advent of the Internet, has the fulfilment of this ancient
prophecy been remotely possible. Now it is becoming commonplace to see articles
proposing a cashless society. Who hasn't been prevented from using a credit
card because of forgetting a PIN number (personal identification number)?
Experiments are already being conducted with using eye scans, face scans and
fingerprints for proof of identity. Positive ID has become so necessary in a
world that increasingly does business "online."
The new money of Europe, the euro, has been in use for over
three years. Millions of euros are traded every day and were traded even before
physical euros were introduced in January 2002. All transactions before then
have been electronic - cashless! Can a cashless society work? Europe has proven
that it can.
Between online transactions and the use of smart cards, the
technology presently exists to set up a cashless society. The only blockade is
public acceptance. How long will it be before society is able to get used to it?
The Bible is crystal clear that the prophesied economic
system will be implemented during the final three and one-half years before the
Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Never possible before...totally possible now!
Most of the prophecies of the Bible are written in symbols.
Only four or five give the literal name of a person or a place. Two of these
special prophecies appear to have come to pass during the last fifteen years.
In Revelation 8:10-11, John saw what he described as a star
falling from heaven. He said the name of the star was called Wormwood.
On April 26, 1986, the world's worst ever nuclear explosion
occurred. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant located in the Ukraine
malfunctioned, releasing ten times as much radioactivity into the air as was
released at the bombing of Hiroshima in World War II. So far, 125,000 have died
as a result of the accident.
The nuclear cloud created by the Chernobyl explosion was
carried by the winds into Europe. The resulting nuclear rains filled the rivers
of Europe with the nuclide Cesium 137. People who drank the water or ate food
touched by the water ingested the deadly nuclide. Doctors and scientists
estimate that over 2 million people are presently infected by Cesium 137, which
ultimately results in cancer.
The Ukrainian word for wormwood is chernobyl. If we were
reading a Ukrainian Bible, the passage would say, "the name of the star is
Revelation 9:1-11 prophesies a time when smoke will come out
of the bottomless pit. The sun and the air will be darkened by the smoke.
When Saddam Hussein was forced to withdraw from Kuwait in
1991, he wreaked his vengeance by setting 700 of the world's richest oil wells
on fire. As a result, the sun was not seen in the area for the next three
months. At noon, it was as dark as at midnight.
In this apocalyptic vision, John saw what he described as
locusts coming out of the smoke. Only these were not ordinary locusts. He said
that the locusts had breastplates of iron, the faces of men, and their stings
were in their tails. John heard the sound of these "locusts." He said, "the
sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to
Does this sound like a description of the modern helicopter
to you? It does to me! Remember that John had never seen a helicopter. He was
merely attempting to record what he saw in his vision.
The most incredible part of this prophecy is verse 11, "And
they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name
in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
Both Abaddon and Apollyon mean "the destroyer." Many translations of the
Bible literally say-They had a king over them whose name is the destroyer.
Why is this so important? When Saddam Hussein was born, his
mother decided to name him Saddam because the name means "the destroyer."
She did this because her pregnancy had been so terribly painful.
The one who was over the darkening of the sun and the
helicopters participating in that war, is called "the destroyer."
Coincidence? You really think so?!
China War-200 million man army
In summary, the prophecy says that an army of 200 million
will trigger a war that will kill one-third of the world's population-two
Of all the prophecies, this one is by far the most ominous!
No matter how we twist and turn its message, it still states that one-third of
the world will be destroyed.
But who will ignite this horrible prophesied holocaust? The
Bible describes an army of 200 million. Has there ever been an army of 200
million on the face of the earth? Most nations don't even have a population of
200 million-let alone an army!
The alarming news is that a nation has made the boast that it
can field an army of 200 million. The late leader of China, Mao Tse Tung,
bragged that he could field an army of 200 million soldiers. The 1999 Fact Book,
put out by the CIA, stated that China had 198 million men of military age
(15-49). That number went over the 200 million mark as of the year 2000.
A prophecy that could never before have been fulfilled can
now come to pass at any time. Since the Saddam Hussein prophecy happened at the
sounding of the 5th Trumpet and the China War will occur at the 6th Trumpet, it
is obvious that this terrible event is the next major item on God's prophetic
Knowing this, we realize how very dangerous the present
conflict between China and the United States actually is!
World army to invade Israel
Zechariah 14:2 states that all nations will come against
Jerusalem to battle at the time of Armageddon. Throughout the 2,000 years since
this prophecy was given, people have wondered how all nations would be able to
gather at Jerusalem.
Only in recent times has it become apparent how this prophecy
will be fulfilled. Beginning with the Gulf War in 1990-1991, the world's
trouble spots have been dealt with by the forces of the World Community. When
conflict arises somewhere on the globe, the United Nations passes a resolution
to solve the problem. Any faction that does not bow the knee to the decisions of
the World Community runs the risk of invasion by the International Forces. So we
understand that every single nation on earth may not be present at Armageddon,
but the forces of the World Community representing the United Nations will be
Within the last month, the UN Security Council voted on a
resolution to send soldiers into Israel to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict. Only a veto from the United States stopped the UN from moving against
This failed vote was a precursor to one that will succeed.
Whether the United States will decide to allow international intervention in the
Middle East or whether UN reforms result in abolishment of the veto power, we
don't yet know. But somehow a UN resolution against Israel will be allowed to
pass. Result-Armageddon and the Second Coming.
Great tribulation in Judea
As Judy and I stepped onto the bulletproof bus at Jerusalem's
Central Bus Station a few weeks ago, the prophecy of Matthew 24:15-21 kept
running through my mind. Jesus had said that those living in Judea would suffer
great tribulation during the times immediately before His Second Coming. Bus
#170 would take us out to Beit El (Bethel) in Judea, referred to as the West
Bank by the media.
During the one-hour ride north of Jerusalem, we circled
around Ramallah where the brutal lynching took place a few months ago. I couldn't
help but look at the thick double glass covering the bus' windows, wondering
if it really would stop a sniper's bullet. But the thought foremost in my mind
was the prophecy. Two-thousand years ago, Jesus had prophesied about this time
and the danger that would engulf this specific area. Here we were, in 2001,
traveling through the area only because we were shielded by the bulletproof bus.
And to think that the worst is yet to come! An article recently reported that a
plan already exists for the Palestinians to overrun the Judean settlements when
the time is right.
I came away from this unique experience, knowing that I had
glimpsed a preview of the Great Tribulation, and it wasn't pretty!
Another compelling sign that we are living in the endtime!
Taken alone, most of these prophetic fulfillments might be able to be explained
away as coincidental. However, there is a question that sincere, thinking people
must ask themselves...At what point does coincidence end and divine providence