Jesus, the apostles and the prophets all foretold of events that would come and thus had to occur before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The purpose of this article is not to debate the Tribulation, only to show truth. However, it must be truth that the “any moment” “Pre-Tribulation Rapture” theory in false because it is and was impossible for Christ to return before these prophecies are fulfilled. Lastly, on that subject, in 2006, according to The Christian Post, “…based on a telephone poll of 1,000 adults; one in four Americans anticipated the second coming of Christ in 2007.” A dozen years later, sad to say, most American adults don’t care about the return of the Lord either as a topic or a reality.
In 1999, because of the new millennium, hyped up Pre-Tribulation books such as The Left Behind series were in high demand, with many on the ‘Best Sellers’ list (for fiction – a made up story); however, now due to teaching errors, the increase in the non-religious, and in small part due to being told for years ‘the Lord is coming, the Lord is coming, maybe this year,’ most Christians became numb to the predictions (also there have been very few Pre-Tribulation Rapture or End Time books on the N. Y. Times Best Sellers list since 2005; not even on the ECPA list – Evangelical Christian Publishers Association). It is true the Lord is returning soon, but not until certain events occur.
Before we get into this significantly important topic, a message from the apostle Paul, “Brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord, and our gathering unto Him (the Resurrection), be not soon shaken… and let no man deceive you by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter… for THAT DAY will not come, until the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed… sitting in the temple of God… (2Thessalonians 2:1-4).”
Just as before Christ Jesus could come to earth, or before He could ascend into heaven, many prophesied events HAD to Happen, many events HAD to and MUST occur before His return and judgment. However, we are not left in the dark, for our Lord has foretold us what must come, just as Jesus told His disciples when they asked, “Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Your coming, and of the End of the World (Matthew 24:3)?” And see that the Lord Jesus said, “these things MUST first come to pass… (Matt. 24:6; Mark 13:7; Luke 21:9).”
EVENTS that HAD/HAVE to Take Place before the LORD Returns
(numbering is to help with separation; not an exact order or amount of prophecies)
We call it the “coming of the Lord,” or “return of the Lord,” because as the Nicene Creed says, the “Son of God… by whom all things were made… came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures (prophecy that is); and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father, and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick (living) and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.” Thus, these events follow His ascension:
- The Promise of the Holy Spirit to His disciples: “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry (wait) in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high (Luke 24:49).” The “promise (John 14:26 sent from God through Christ; 15:26; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4,8),” of the “Holy Spirit” came “the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1; Joel 2:28; Jer. 31:31)” about 29 AD (Jesus was born 5BC).
- “You shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8; as Luke 24:47).” “Go and make disciples of all nations… teaching them to observe all things …I am with you always; even to the End of the Age (Matt. 28:19, 20).” “Go into all the world and preach the gospel… and these signs will follow… (Mark 16:15-17).” And “this gospel of the kingdom WILL BE PREACHED IN ALL THE WORLD as a witness TO ALL THE NATIONS, AND THEN the END WILL COME (Matt. 24:14; Mark 13:10).” The righteous Judge (2 Tim. 4:8; Rev. 19:11) does not pass judgment until the witnesses have first spoken. Fulfilled between 29 AD and 2020 AD.
- Who shall be “Endued with power” to “be witnesses to all the nations?” Peter says, “…The promise is to you and your children, and to all who are afar off (future generations), as many as the Lord our God will call (Acts 2:39).” Fulfilled and still occurring.
- The Lord said, “I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves… they WILL deliver you up to councils and scourge you… you will be brought before …kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles… brother will deliver up brother unto death… but he who endures to the end will be saved… WHEN they persecute you… you will have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man (Jesus; Daniel 7:13; Rev. 1:13) comes… he who loves father or mother or …son or daughter … or their life (more than Me) is not worthy of Me… (Matt. 10:16-39; 24:10-16; Mark 13:11-13; Luke 21:12-24).” The disciples knew that the Antichrist would “persecute the saints of the Most High” for 3 ½ years or 42 months, as the prophet Daniel had foretold (Dan. 7:25; 12:2; Rev. 11:2, 12:14, 13:5, 20:4).”
- Jesus could not return until His words to Peter were fulfilled: “Simon, son of Jonah… most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish… signifying by what death he would glorify God… (John 21:16-19).”
- Likewise, Paul had to fulfill many things and die as well: “Then the Lord said, ‘Arise and go into the city and you will be told what you must do… (Acts 9:6).” “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night …a man of Macedonia …prayed saying, ‘Come over… and help us.’ And “…the Lord called us to preach the gospel unto them (Acts 16:9).” “Then the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, ‘Be not afraid, but speak… for I am with you… (Acts 18:9).” “I (Paul) go bound in the Spirit to Jerusalem (Acts 20:22).” As prophesied by Agabus (Acts 21:11). “And the Lord …said, ‘Paul… you have testified of Me in Jerusalem, so must you bear witness also at Rome… (Acts 23:11).” The God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly (Roman 16:20; but not ‘any moment’ – only after all is fulfilled).”
Peter and Paul were killed in Rome about 65AD, after the burning of Rome and before the death of Nero.
The fourth century (early 300s) historian and bishop of Caesarea, Israel, Eusebius Pamphillius, told us of the Martyrdom – deaths of Paul and Peter. “When the government of Nero was not firmly established (Nero reigned from death of his father Emperor Claudius – 54 to his suicide in 68 AD), he began to plunge into unholy pursuits, and armed himself even against the religion of the God of the Universe. To describe the greatness of his depravity does not lie within the plan of the present work. As there are many indeed that have recorded his history… the destruction of so many myriads without any reason… in his blood-guiltiness he did not even spare… his mother and his brothers and his wife… he was the first of the emperors who showed himself an enemy of the divine religion (Caligula, Domitian and others would be wicked as well)… The Roman Tertullian (bishop in north Africa) is likewise a witness of this… saying, ‘…Nero was the first that persecuted this doctrine (Christianity) …he exercised his cruelty against all at Rome.’ …he publicly announced himself as the first among God’s chief enemies, he was led on to the slaughter of the apostles. It is, therefore, recorded that PAUL was beheaded in Rome, and that PETER likewise was crucified under Nero. This account of Peter and Paul is substantiated by the fact that their names are preserved in the cemeteries of that place (Rome) even to the present day. It is confirmed likewise by Caius… bishop of Rome…”
- Jesus said the Temple must be destroyed: “Not one stone… shall be left upon another (Matt. 24:3; Mark 13:2; Luke 19:44; 21:6).” This was fulfilled in 70 AD by Titus (son of Emperor Vespasian, and future emperor of Rome). And the Arch of Titus in Rome stands today as proof that this occurred. And not one stone is left only part of the wall that surrounded the Temple.
(Arch of Titus in Rome; stands today as a witness since the first century AD – almost 2000 years later)
- Late first century, Jesus said through John, “I counsel you to … anoint your eyes with eye-salve, that you may see (Rev. 3:18).” Christ would not have had John speak to all the churches in Revelation and tell them how they must repent and what was to come if they did not have to occur before the return of the Lord Jesus.
- “We are bound to thank God always… for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure… God (will give you) rest when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God and …who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ… When He comes to be glorified in His saints (holy ones – human believers; not to be confused with the saints – holy ones – who are angels – that will return with Christ) and to be admired in all them that believe in that day… (2 Thes. 1:3-).”
- Thus Paul said, “…Let no man deceive you by any means: for THAT DAY shall NOT come, EXCEPT there come a falling away first, and that man of sin (the Antichrist) be revealed… so that he as God sits in the Temple (at Jerusalem), showing himself that the is God… (2 Thes. 1:3-2:4).”
- “Clouds” and “Darkness” will be on THAT DAY (Matt. 24:29-31; Mark 13:24; Luke 21: 25; Isa. 13:9; Ezek. 32:7; Joel 2:10; Amos 5:18; Zeph. 1:14; Zech. 12:10; Acts 2:20; Rev. 1:7, 6:12, 14:14).
- HUNDREDS of verses in the Bible are written specifically about event which “Must come to pass” before the return of the Lord. For example, Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21 and of course Revelation.
- Jesus said in the Parable of the Wheat and Tares… “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers. Gather you together first the tares and bind them… then the wheat into My barn… the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels (Matthew 13:26-49).”
14. The Jews had to return to the land and Israel had to be a Nation (state). “As I live… I will bring the children of Israel again into their land that I gave unto their fathers (Jer. 16:15).” This occurred after World War II and the statehood in 1948.
15. “In the Last Days… perilous times will come… men will be lovers of themselves… lovers of money… unholy… etc. (2 Tim. 3:2).” We have been seeing many of these things for a long time.
16. The falling away from the faith (Matt. 24:12, 38; 2 Thes. 2:3. 1 Tim. 4:1-). As anyone that researches or discerns the spirit of the world can see, many have falling away from following Christianity – after numerous revivals in the 18th through 20th The following article speaks to this: https://thetruthsource.org/why-the-generation-z-population-will-be-non-religious/
- The Antichrist MUST go into the Temple at Jerusalem, which will be having daily sacrifices (Dan. 8:11). The Antichrist will “blasphemy against God… His name, and His Tabernacle… (Rev. 13:6);” and he will “sit in the Temple of God (2 Thes. 2:4);’ and set up “the abomination of desolation as spoken by the prophet Daniel (Matt. 24:15; Mark 13:14; Dan. 8:13).”
18. The Sanhedrin, “the council… (that) bound Jesus (Mark 15:1),” and that were the religious leaders of Israel and Jerusalem fled after the Destruction of Israel in 70 AD; and by 425 AD, nasi Gamaliel VI was executed by orders of Emperor Flavius Theodosius II for building a new synagogue (Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 11, 1910). He was “the last of the patriarchs… with him expired the office (high priest), which had already been robbed of its privileges by a decree of the emperors Honorius and Theodosius II (on October 17, 415).”
And from 425, one thousand five hundred and seventy-nine (1,579) years passed with no Sanhedrin Council (Judaism’s highest legal-religious tribunal – Num. 11:16). Then, in Tishrei 5765 (October 13, 2004) the Sanhedrin was reestablished in Jerusalem. That day Arutz Sheva (Israelnationalnews.com) reported, “Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, who heads the Temple Institute in Jerusalem… told Arutz-7 today: “Whether this will be that actual Sanhedrin that we await, is a question of time – just like the establishment of the State (1948); we rejoiced in it, but we are still awaiting something much more ideal. It’s a process… Our Talmudic Sages describe the ten stages of exile of the Sanhedrin from Jerusalem to other locations, until it ended in Tiberias – and this is the place where it was foretold that it would be renewed, and from here it will be relocated to Jerusalem.” Two months after this, following the mikvaot (ritual baths) about 50 members of the 71 Sanhedrin members went to the foot of the Temple Mount, and many for the first time. (Rabbi Yisrael Ariel served in the Six Day War).
According to the Temple Institute (TempleInstitute.org), “The Temple Institute is dedicated to all aspects of the Divine commandment for Israel to build a House from G-d’s presence, the Holy Temple, on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem… “ “It shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the L-rd’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted about the hills, and all the nations shall flow unto it… (Isa. 2:2).” Richman also said, “… Just as the Jewish people are obligated to keep the Shabbat …we have an obligation to build the Temple…”
In May 2008, Rabbi Richman told Arutz-7 News that “archeologists have uncovered a Second Temple Period quarry whose stones were used to build the Western Wall (5/20/2008, The Jerusalem Post).”
- The Lord prophesied of “wars and rumors of wars… but the end is not yet; for nation will rise against nation… and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginning of sorrows… (Mark 13:7; Matt. 24:6).” We have had great wars, but what sorrows does He speak of? John in Revelation tells us after the Lord “opened the second seal… another horse, fiery red, went out… that people should kill one another… and when He open the fourth seal… a pale horse went forth… to kill (war) one fourth of the people on earth, with the sword (war), hunger… and after these things… a third of the waters will become wormwood (poisoned) and many will die… (Rev. 6:1-8, 7:1, 8:1-11).” The atomic bombs (=21K tons of TNT) that hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki revealed what man can do in war. And now we have ten thousand nuclear weapons that yield a megaton of TNT each.
- Jesus said, before THAT DAY of His return, “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world (oikoumene) as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come (Matt. 24:14).” In Romans, Paul wrote, their faith “is being proclaimed throughout the whole world (kosmos; Rom. 1:8).” There are a few interpretations of these verses. Some say they were speaking of the Roman Empire; others the known world; and others that He was prophesying of today and the approximate 200 nations that now exist. With modern communication technology the Gospel has been both preached and made available in every nation. However, as both Operation World and Joshua Project report, about 42% of the world’s people groups or about 3.2 billion people are unreached. The great majority are in the 10/40 window (between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator), primarily North Africa, the Middle East (MENA – Islam), India (Hinduism) and China (non-religious).
In Colossians 1:23, Paul said, “the gospel was proclaimed in all creation under heaven…” Paul was talking about the sphere of influence of preaching, not that every creation heard it. “Every creature” is a figure of speech, however, when Paul says, “since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse,” it does apply to every cognitive human being and thus, no one can say at the Judgment that they did not know there really was our God the creator, and plead guiltless by reason of ignorance. No – by reason alone one can find God. As to the gospel of the kingdom and of Christ, it has gone into every nation, though many nation’s political and religious leaders had suppressed it.
- Mark to buy and sell: After the Antichrist comes to power, he will be “allowed to make war on the saints (Christians) and to conquer them. And authority will be given he over every nation and people. And all who dwell on earth (“any who loves their life,” more than Jesus – John 12:25) will worship the beast, who blasphemes the Lord and persecutes the saints (Church) and the world for 42 months. …And all humans, great and small, free and slave, will be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the ones who have the mark… the name or number of the beast… (Rev. 13:5-17).”
Whether the mark of the beast is a chip or tattoo, or spiritually burned in, the technology exists today to achieve this prophecy.
Electronic Skin Tattoo with ’RFID flat-chip’
- Forty-two (42) months of persecution and tribulation. “For there will be great tribulation, SUCH as has not been since the Beginning of the world UNTIL this time, No, NOR ever shall be (Matt. 24:21).” Thus, this will be greater war than World War II or any world; as stated half the world’s population will die by war, famine and disease: 1/4 by war, famine and plagues (diseases), then 1/3 that remain by fire, smoke, sulfur, famine, disease, radiation, poisons/toxins = 1/2. (Rev. 6:8 + Rev. 8:11; 9:18)
Daniel: There will be the Antichrist, the little horn (king, ruler) that will rise up from one of the nations, in one of the lands, of the previous empires (Babylon-Syria, Persia, Greece, Rome). And he will “make war against saints of the Most High God… for a time and times and half a time (42 months; Dan. 7:21-22).”
The Antichrist, false prophet, and the beast will make war on the saints: Rev. 11:2; 12:6; 13:5,7.
What does Jesus Christ say concerning these things (Matthew 24:21-29):
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.
“Therefore, if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be…’
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other…”
The LORD will soon return, but before this, there will be:
The building of the (Third) Temple in Jerusalem
The coming of the Antichrist
The Great Tribulation for 42 months