THE GOOD NEWS MINISTRY AND MISSIONS OUTREACH PROCLAIMING THE GOOD NEWS OF THE SOON RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST!
Revealing The Prophetic Countdown 2000
'But when the fullness the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law" (Gal. 4:4).
A noted scholar of Greek language, Dr. Kenneth Wuest, commented on this verse: "The meaning is that when that moment came which completed the period of time designated by God that should elapse before the coming of the Son of God in incarnation, then He would send forth His Son.... It was the moment which God had ordained for the Messiah's coming. To Daniel was given the date of His coming, 483 years after the edict of the Medo-Persian government to rebuild Jerusalem" (Dan. 9:25-27).
God preordained the moment that Jesus Christ was to be born. According to Ussher's Chronology it was four thousand years (and we believe to the very second) after life given to the first man, Adam. Four is the number of the world, and Jesus Christ came to save world (John 3:16). God the Father also has a preordained time for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matt. 24:36).
No man or no angel can know the exact day, or time of day, Jesus will come back. All attempts by so-called prophetic scholars to date the exact time that Jesus will leave the Throne of God to return to planet Earth are in vain. To conclude otherwise would make Jesus Christ a false prophet.
The knowledge of the time of Christ's return is further qualified in Mark 13:32: 'But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." So even Jesus does not know the day or the hour that He will come back.
The prophetic Word would have made things much simpler if the Scriptures had stated that no man, no angel, or even the Son, can know the exact hour or the exact day, that Jesus will return. But they do not say this-they only limit our foreknowledge to the day and the hour, even though some may contend that a much longer period of time is implied. However, the error in our calendar, from one to four years, probably takes care of the annual qualification, at least up to four years.
The evident reason that Jesus did not go beyond limiting knowledge of His return to longer than one day is that not only can Christians know when His return would be near, it would be their responsibility to know. We do not wish to even imply that knowledge of Christ's return can be pinpointed to within one day, but it is possible to determine by the signs of the times when His coming is near.
"So likewise ye, when ye shall year all see all these things, know that it is near, even at, the doors" (Matt. 24:33).
"And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.... So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand" (Luke 21:28-31).
"Know this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? ..." (2 Pet. 3:3-4).
"But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief" (1 Thess. 5:4).
Matthew, from the Jewish position that would exist in the Great Tribulation, indicated that the Jews could know that the coming of Messiah, Jesus Christ, was even at the doors. Luke, from a comprehensive standpoint, indicated that anyone, Jew or Gentile, could know from the Signs Of The Times that the Lord's coming was near.
Peter and Paul encourage evangelism as the "day of the Lord" becomes evident from the fulfilling of prophetic signs. The redemption or translation of the Church (Rapture) occurs before the Tribulation. Therefore, Christians are encouraged to look for the signs of the coming Antichrist and the Tribulation Period.
Why the year 2000?
For the reasons why the year A.D. 2000 is creating messianic expectations, and is considered a major prophetic turning point in earthly affairs, let us consider the internal evidence of Scripture. The number one sign of the appearance of the Kingdom Age, the coming of Messiah and to bring down the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, would be the return of the Jews (Israelites) from all nations and into their own land.
This sign is foretold by the prophets from Moses to Jesus Christ. While Daniel's seventh prophetic weeks tell us in the first sixty-nine weeks (interpreted to be 483 years) how long it would be before the Messiah would come and then be cut off (crucified), the prophet was not told how long the breach between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks would be. It would be at the end of the seventieth week (the last seven years of the 490-year prophetic period) that all the promises of God to Israel would be realized and fulfilled.
That Israel would be dispersed into all nations is clearly prophesied (Deut. 28:25; Luke 21:6, etc.). That the breach between God and Israel would cease at the end of the seventieth week of Daniel (the Tribulation period) is also clearly foretold in Deuteronomy 30:3, Isaiah 30:19, and many other Scriptures. However, only Hosea provided information concerning the length of the breach, or the Diaspora:
"For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king,- and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.... I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us- he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. 'then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning: and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth" (Hos. 3:4-5; 5:15; 6:1-3).
It appears rather obvious in cross-referencing Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 that the two days in which Israel would be scattered is two thousand years, which is further evidenced by the fact that the Diaspora lasted for two thousand years. Hosea continued to explain that at the end of two days the Lord would come and revive Israel. The prophet also included another clue as to when the Lord would come: "He would come as the latter and former rain". The prophet Joel also foretold that when the Lord regathered Israel that He would restore unto the land both the former and the latter rain. In the Pilgrim Study Bible, Joel 2:23 carries the following footnote:
There always used to be two rainy seasons in Palestine, one in the spring, the other in the fall. The second rain God withheld while Israel was scattered, but He promised to send it again about the time when Israel was going to return. It is interesting to note that it began again, lightly, about the beginning of the twentieth century, and has been increasing ever since.
The Pilgrim Study Bible was published in 1948. Since 1948 the rainfall in Israel has continued to increase, currently almost doubling the amount since the Jews began returning. When Israel is absent from the land it become barren and desolate. Because of the latter rain being restored, the land has once more blossomed as a rose (Isa. 35:1). Also stated explicitly by Hosea and Joel, and implied by Isaiah, Amos, and other prophets, is the promise that when the Jews began to return, along with the return of the latter rain, the Messiah would come and fulfils God's covenant with Israel.
An interpretative position relating to the return of Jesus Christ is based on the Genesis six days of creation. Profound and exhaustive studies involving mathematical designs in the Scriptures show that God, the master mathematician, has assigned definitive basic properties to certain numbers, i.e.: two, the number of witnesses; four, the number of the world; six, the number of man (Gen. 13:18); seven, the number of perfection (as on the seventh day when God saw what He had created, and said that it was good, meaning perfect).
God has given man six days, interpreted to mean six millennia, to prove Satan's lie that man can become his own god. The sixth millennium will end in just one year or more, taking into account errors in accuracy and according to our present calendar.
Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD hath made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed (Exod. 31:16-17).
Gentiles were never commanded to keep the Sabbath because Gentiles apart from God could not keep the Sabbath-holy. Unclean Gentiles had no Sabbath, no holy days no feast days, no Temple, no Law, etc. (Eph. 21:11-12). I can be concluded, with some biblical reasoning, that the Sabbath, as kept by Israel, signified that the Kingdom Age the seventh millennium, would be the "Lord's day" that will arrive in just one year or more, taking into account errors in accuracy and according to our present calendar. I reference to the seventh day of rest, we read in Hebrew 4:9: "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.' The people referred to in Hebrews 4 is Israel, not the Church.
Edward Gibbons finished his monumental historical work, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, in 1772. Gibbon was a non-Christian, a friend of Voltaire, yet he presented clearly the pre-millennial doctrine of the early Church that was preached for almost three hundred year after the dispersion of Israel in A.D. 70. (We reference the preceding from pages 187-188 of the fifteenth chapter of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire):
"The revolution of seventeen centuries has instructed us not to press too closely the mysterious language of prophecy and revelation; but as long as, for wise purposes, this error was permitted to subsist in the church, it was produced of the most salutary effects on the faith and practice of Christians, who lived in the awful expectation of that moment when the globe itself, and all the various races of mankind, should tremble at the appearance of their divine Judge.
The ancient and popular doctrine of the Millennium was intimately connected with the second coming of Christ. As the works of creation had been finished in six days, their duration in their present state, according to a tradition which was attributed to the prophet Elijah, was fixed to six thousand years. By the same analogy it was inferred that this long period of labour and contention, which was now almost elapsed, would be succeeded by a joyful Sabbath of a thousand years, and that Christ, with the triumphant band of the saints and the elect who had escaped death, or who had been miraculously revived, would reign upon Earth till the time appointed for the last and general resurrection.... The assurance of such a Millennium was carefully inculcated by a succession of fathers from Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, who conversed with the immediate disciples of the apostles, down to Lactanius, who was preceptor to the son of Constantine. Though it might not be universally received, it appears to have been the reigning sentiment of the orthodox believers; and it seems so well adapted to the desires and apprehensions of mankind, that it must have contributed in a very considerable degree to the progress of the Christian faith."
While Edward Gibbon was a critic of the Bible and the Church, he was a good historian, and we are indebted to him for bringing out quite clearly that the early Church fathers taught the pre-millennial return of Jesus Christ with judgement upon the nations to establish His Kingdom upon earth.
Gibbon also indicated that the early Church taught a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, as Christ would reign with those believers who "escaped" the Tribulation. Paul in I Thessalonians 5 wrote that the "unsaved" would not escape, which means that the saved will escape as presented in I Thessalonians 4:3-18.
Gibbon also credits the teaching of the pre-millennial return of Jesus Christ to have contributed to the dissemination of the Gospel and the growth of the Christian faith. After Constantine, the Roman Catholic Church perverted the biblical teachings on the pre-millennial return of Jesus Christ to post-millennial eschatology, meaning that the pope would bring in the Kingdom through the efforts of the Catholic Church.
The World Looks to 2000
While the early Church fathers taught that Jesus Christ would return somewhere in-around or near after the year A.D. 2000 to bring a dramatic dispensational change, many prominent personalities and organizations today expect great dispensational changes in just four years, though not necessarily associated with Christ's return.
The New Age religion teaches that with the dawning of the Age of Aquarius New Agers will become gods. During the Church Age our sun has been passing through the constellation of Pisces (the Fish). An emblem associated with Christians has been the sign of the fish. With the arrival of the calendar year 2000, the sun will be passing through the constellation of Aquarius, and the New Agers sing, 'This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius' when peace through their own comprehensive false Christ will come, and they will rule the planets.
We consider Dr. Malachi Martin to be one of the most intelligent and informed men of this world. He has served in the Vatican and remains a loyal subject of the pope. In his latest book, The Keys of This Blood, Dr. Martin indicates that Pope John Paul ll believes that by the year 2000 there will be a second Fatima, the Illumination, and all religions will accept him as God's vicar on earth. In the Sunday, April 3, 1994, edition of Parade magazine, Pope John Paul ll is quoted as saying:
"We trust that with the approach of the year 2000, Jerusalem will become the city of peace for the entire world and all the people will be able to meet there, in particular the believers in the religions that find their birthright in the faith of Abraham."
The pope hopes that all people will come together in worship in Jerusalem by A.D. 2000, and in particular, adherents to Judaism, Islam, and Christianity (Catholicism and Protestantism). The pope has recently been quoted in the news media as remaining firm in his position that he alone must be the head of any ecclesiastical/ecumenical religious structure and retain his authority which entails infallibility. Therefore, it seems obvious that the pope expects the great illumination to come in, or before, A.D. 2000 when he will become the head of an international religious entity.
Yasser Arafat, the man who until recently was labelled as one of the most vicious terrorists and murders of innocent men, women, and children who ever lived, is now himself pointing to the year 2000 as heralding a new era of peace in the world. On November 27,1995, representatives of twenty-seven nations, nations that were included in the old Roman Empire, met in Barcelona, Spain. The target of the conference was, in Barak of Spain's words, just four years hence.
"Let us not only beat our swords into ploughshares, let us together make swords a tool of the past, make war almost impossible.... Let us make the modern ploughshares-the computers-help people to prosper" (Reuters News Service, 11/28/95).
What does the Bible say?
"And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand" (Dan. 8:25).
Yasser Arafat, representative from the new Palestine state, addressed the Barcelona conference:
He invited the twenty-six other participating nations to Bethlehem to join the Palestinians in four years' time in celebrating "one of the greatest events in human history, the second millennium of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, peace upon him.... On this occasion, I invite you to participate in this great world religious and historical event, and make Bethlehem a beacon of peace and coexistence of all faiths in the whole world, especially on the soil of Palestine, centre of three holy religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.... Glory to God in heaven, peace on earth, and goodwill to men," Arafat declared (Reuters News Service, 11/28/95).
This sounds like reading one of old King Herod's speeches from Josephus, the cruel despot who killed all the children in Bethlehem two thousand years ago. Herod was an Edomite, and now another Edomite, Arafat, is ruler over Bethlehem. The scenery on the world stage may have changed, but the actors are the same. The intermission between Daniel's sixty-ninth and seventieth prophetic week is about over. Daniel 12:4 indicates that the increase of communications, travel, and knowledge would be signs that would indicate the nearness of the Kingdom Age with the coming of Messiah.
Travel has increased almost miraculously in our generation. Years ago a Model-T Ford had a top speed of about thirty miles an hour. Over two billion people are moved about the world yearly. Any part of the globe can now be reached by air travel within a few hours. Jesus said of communications that we would see these things with our own two eyes, and this is certainly true today as any event in any part of the world can be seen within minutes over satellite television. As far as knowledge is concerned, as reported by Prodigy, January 10, 1996, with the passage of Education Goals 2000 by Congress, secular, world centred academic standards (meaning without knowledge of God, Romans 1) will move our youth's minds to new heights of accomplishments. The World's knowledge base doubles every 22 months on average.
Are we saying that the Rapture of the Church and the Great Tribulation can be expected in the year 2000? certainly not! It could happen, but what We do say is that the year A.D. 2000, a date of expectancy by the Church, is a major prophetic turning point and presents a reasonable time table indicating that the Rapture could occur at any time. That the end of the age is very near is evidenced by the many end time signs the prophets and Jesus gave.
1. Sign of the budding of the fig tree-the final generation-as Israel is reborn as a nation
2. Refounding of the Roman Empire- i.e. European Union
3. Comprehensive Middle East treaty in view
4. Jews getting ready to rebuild the Temple
5. Earthquakes increasing,
6. Pandemic diseases like AIDS on the increase
7. Knowledge increasing, doubles every 22 months
8. Communications explosion- cell phones-fiber optics-satellites-computers-internet.
9. New technologies making possible the mark of the Beast- Digital Angel etc.
10. New World Order - Globalism
11. Storms and other warnings of nature- environmental meltdown
12. Days of Noah-increasing of crime and violence - terrorism
13. Days of Lot-moral degeneracy and homosexuality
14. The world crying for peace, but there is no peace
15. Weapons of mass destruction - atomic-biological-chemical
16. World wars and continuing wars
17. Space travel and signs in the heavens
18. Counterfeit Christianity, Apostasy and the great falling away from within the church
19. The formation of a one world Ecumenical-Ecclesiastical false church.
20. The rise of false prophets and so-called world saviours
21. Communist revival in Russia and threats to move southward in a new imperialism
22. Arab fundamentalism and the rebuilding of Babylon
23. Jerusalem to be a burden to all people, and now surrounded on three sides by a new Palestinian army.
The preceding list contains the end-time signs outlined in the Prophetic Word of God. Only those who are wilfully ignorant of "The Signs Of The Times" can ignore the evidence that the return of Jesus Christ is imminent, even at the door (2 Pet. 3).
The Prophetic countdown to Christ's return has already begun.
Let Us Pray Together--
PRAY: "God be merciful to me a sinner. Receive me now for Christ's sake. Cleanse me from my sin by your precious blood, shed on the cross for me; lead me to be Baptized and fill me with your Holy Spirit. Teach me to pray each day; to read Your will for my life from your word, the Bible; and help me to worship and serve You in the fellowship of your church. I thank you Lord Jesus Christ. AMEN!