We live today in the most strenuous, anxious, momentous hours of earth’s history. Today we stand on the very threshold of colossal events that will stagger the mind of mortal man. Just now it is like the lull before a great and devastating storm. Everyone senses it!
Ever since the Pharaohs ruled in Egypt on down thru ancient Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome on to Napoleon, and the Kaiser there has been a lust for power to rule this world.
Many have written about a soon coming world ruler? Will the nations get together and appoint a world dictator? Is one soon to appear?
Mortal man cannot prophesy the turns and trends of coming events. Only God knows the end from the beginning.
In words written centuries ago, the Bible prophesies every outstanding phase of present world conditions the depression, the unemployment, the hoarding of gold, the topsy-turvy political conditions throughout the world, the modern church conditions, and present social conditions. It has foretold modern science, the automobile, the airplane. It foretold that the Jews would be driven into all nations, scattered, yet without ever losing their nationality or their appearance-- that is a miracle of history! It foretold that Jerusalem and Palestine would be in the power of the Gentiles.
And the same Bible that foretold so unerringly all these amazing events and developments, leading to the very present, just as unerringly tells those who will listen what shall happen next.
For the first time in world history, the nations of the earth got together, in 1927, and “outlawed” war. Then, for the first time, the nations began to proclaim “Peace and Safety!”
Now listen, and listen carefully, to God’s prophecy of this event, and His solemn warning of what shall come quickly and suddenly!
“But of the times and the seasons, brethren,” (notice, thru Paul God is here speaking to the brethren, not the unconverted) “ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction come upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (I Thess. 5:1-3).
Is sudden destruction just around the corner? And the event that brings it will be the dark and dreadful “day of the Lord.”
But notice how the Bible describes the “Day of the Lord.”
“Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! To what end is it for you? The day of the Lord is darkness, and not light” (Amos 5:18).
“Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty” (Isa. 13:6)
“Alas for the day, for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come, A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness” (Joel 1:15; 2:2)
“The great day of the Lord is near, and hurries greatly, even the noise of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness” (Zeph. 1:14-15).
Notice that the “day of the Lord” is a time of destruction, the day of God’s wrath.
In order to properly understand the Bible prophecies so we may know what now lies ahead, it is necessary that we correctly relate the different prophecies as to time-sequence.
It is in the book of Revelation that we find most vividly painted in the details of events to happen from this time forward. But the story-flow, and the time-sequence of the events pictured in this book have not been commonly understood.
Notice, chapter 1:1, it is the Revelation, not the concealment, of Jesus Christ. The theme of the book as a whole is the conditions at the end of this age, leading to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ as the supreme climax of its story. But Revelation is in symbolical languages, as we need a key to open up its true meaning, its story-thread, and its time-sequence. So we ask, did Jesus ever reveal the story of the same general in plain languages elsewhere? And we know He did Matthew 24 and Luke 21, Mark 13. The general story as told in Matthew 24 is the key to the story, in full of details, as told in Revelation.
The disciples had asked Jesus, (Matt. 24:3), “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world (age)?
Christ told them, (v. 5), there would be false Christs and teachers. There have been, in ever increasing numbers.
Second, there would be wars, but this would not signify the end-time, for, at the time of the end, (v. 7), nation would rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, in real world war. Since Cain killed Abel, there have been more than 13,500 wars, World War I and II was the first to fit the description “nation against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” So the end time is here!
Third, Jesus said there would be famines (v. 7) fourth, Christ said there would pestilences. These too, have occurred, but the pestilence which was one of the most terrible ever known was the flu epidemic at the time of the world war.
Following this, Christ said “Then shall be Great Tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time” (v. 21)
And “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken” (v. 29).
To get the connection of this darkening of sun and moon, and falling of stars, let us now compare carefully with the 6th chapter of Revelation. Remember, in Matthew 24 we read of false prophets and prophets, wars, famine, pestilence, tribulation, and then the signs in the sun and moon.
In verses 1 and 2 of Revelation 6, the 1st seal is opened, and the “white horse” symbolizes the false Christs and prophets.
The “red horse” of the 2nd seal, Bible students agree, symbolizes war.
The “black horse” of the 3rd seal (vs. 5-6) symbolizes famine. The “pale horse” of the 4th seal (vs. 8-9) symbolizes pestilence. And the 5th seal (vs. 9-11), describes another phase of the tribulation the martyrdom of Christians.
And under the 6th seal (vs. 12-13), the sun becomes black, and the moon as blood, and the stars fall.
The sequences correspond exactly with Matthew 24 false prophets, war, famine, pestilence, tribulation, heavenly signs.
Now let us compare the next event in the two prophecies: “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven and all the tribes of the earth shall morn” (Matt. 24:30).
What is this sign of the Son of man that is to occur? The corresponding event, described in Rev. 6:14 reveal it:
“And the heaven (sky split apart) departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” This rolling together of the heaven like a scroll, then, is the sign of the almost immediate coming of Jesus Christ. At that time, the unsaved of the earth will be frantic. People will run to hide themselves in the holes of the rocks in the mountains, and cry for the rocks to fall on them, and hide them from the face of Him whom they see sitting on His throne in heaven.
Now see what is to be ushered in by this: “For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand” (v. 17)?
We have seen that the “day of His wrath” is the “Day of the Lord” which also is a day of destruction. Who will be able to stand it? Will you, brethren? You can’t escape it. It is just as certain as all those other events which have happened right on schedule!
But let us carry thru this story-thread of Revelation further. We now come to the 7th chapter of this book. It is “after these things” just described, that the opening of the 7th seal is held back until the 144,000, the “firstfruits” of the redeemed (Rev. 14:4), of the twelve literal tribes of Israel are sealed in their foreheads. What is the seal placed there? The 1st verse of chapter 14 will tell you. These will be protected from the plagues to come. Those who suffer the plagues have the “mark of the beast,” and they, too, have a name written in their foreheads, “Babylon” which means confusion.
After the sealing of the 144,000 we come to the 8th chapter. In verse 1, the 7th seal is opened, and what is this seal? “And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets” (v. 8). The 7th seal, then, comes in seven stages, each called a trumpet. The 7 trumpets are, and compose, the 7th seal.
These seven trumpets are seven plagues, divine judgments from God, which shall soon fall upon the earth, and they form the beginning of the dark and terrible Day of the Lord.” Chapters 8 to 11 describe them.
Then in chapter 11, is the story of the mysterious “two witnesses.” We shall not attempt here to identify them. Sufficient it is to call your attention to the fact that they end their “1260 days” of prophesying at the time of the end of the “second woe,” which is the 6th trumpet. That is an important key.
Now notice, Revelation 11:15: “And the 7th angel sounded.” Here is the 7th and last of the “trumpets.” What is the 7th trumpet? The key to it is in verse 18: “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come.” The 7th trumpet is God’s wrath.
Skipping now chapter 12, dealing with the “two wonders,” chapter 13, dealing with the “beast” and “Image of the beast,” and chapter 14, dealing with the 144,000 again, and the three angels messages of warning all “inset” chapters, inserted into the main story-flow of the theme of Revelation, we pick up the story-thread again in Chapter 15.
And here we read: ‘Seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.” Here again, as in the case of the 7th seal, the 7th “trumpet” is divided into seven stages, the seven last plagues. As the end nears, things move faster and faster.
These terrible plagues are described in the 15th and 16th chapters. We have space to leave you with this little hint. The plagues of Egypt, preceding the Exodus under Moses, were a type of these final plagues, following which will be the greatest Exodus the world has ever known!
The 17th and 18th chapters are two more “insets,” injected into the main story flow, dealing with Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots. We have other articles and sermons that tell you who they are.
In the 19th chapter the main story-thread is again picked up. Its time-setting is at the end of the 7th and last plague. And now the story draws to its thrilling and mighty climax!
It begins with verse 11: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war.” (Verse 13) “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.” This name is identified in John 1:1, 14, as being that of Jesus Christ!
He smites the nations of all the earth, and rules them with a “rod of iron!” He also bears the name “King of kings,” and “Lord of lords.” Here, at last, truly, is a super-man! Here is the True World Dictator! His reign will be a righteous one (v. 11), and it will be for ever and ever (Dan. 7:14).
Here we have seen, in brief synopsis, the unfolding of impending world events from this very hour onward!
Do you wonder why we stated, in the opening paragraphs, that we stand today on the very threshold of events that will stagger the mind of man? These are tremendous days. We shall be wise, indeed, to consider solemnly their ominous portent, and to heed the warning, and turn to seek the Lord our God with our whole heart!
Other Scriptures scattered thru the Bible verify this soon coming of Jesus Christ back to earth.
Notice the 1st chapter of the Book of Acts. After His resurrection, Jesus was standing on the Mt. of Olives, conversing with His disciples. “And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight” (v. 9). Two angels appeared and said: “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (v. 11).
How did He go? He was standing on the Mt of Olives (v. 12). He rose up into the air, was caught into a cloud, and disappeared up into heaven. Many scriptures show He will return in the clouds, but some doubt that He will return in like manner as He went, returning all the way to the earth, until He stands again upon the Mt. of Olives. Read Zechariah 14:1-4, compare verse 3 with Rev. 19:19, at His coming. Then notice verse 4: “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mt. of Olives.”
Yes, Jesus is coming! He is coming as He went and He is coming soon! Read the first two chapters of Joel. See also Luke 21:25-27, and then verse 28: “And when these things begin to come to past, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (Christ draws nigh!”
May God help us to heed! “Therefore also know, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart!” Will you do it?