My take on the Bible, current events, and Armageddon.
When the disciples were admiring the great Jewish Temple and its 15 stories of marble and gold Christ told the disciples that not one stone will remain of the holy temple, "Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down." Matthew 24:2.
During King Herod's 18th year of his reign (20-19 BC), he expanded the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Nearly 40 years later (70 AD) during the first Jewish-Roman War (The Great Revolt) of 66-73, the temple was destroyed. Twenty thousand Roman soldiers burned the temple and its surrounding walls. The Roman's pried each stone apart and threw them to the street below, fulfilling Christ's prophecy.
The Disciples further pressed Jesus, "And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" Matthew 24:3.
Jesus continued to describe the future events, which will take place, leading to the end of the world, as we know it. "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." Matthew 24:21, 22.
False Prophets, Christ, Teachers, and Messiahs
Jesus first relates to an explosion of false prophets, Christ, Teachers, and Messiahs. In Revelation 6:2, John reveals "And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow, and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer."
In the last century false religions, cults, and messiahs have arisen to deceive many. The number and intensity of these false cults and messiahs are increasing more than ever before. In recent years, the most notable include Jim Jones, Marshall Applewhite, and David Koresh.
Jim Jones, leader of the People's Temple, on November 18th, 1978, convinced his followers to commit suicide, resulting in the death of over 900 people. Marshall Applewhite, leader of "Heavens Gate", convinced his followers to commit suicide on March 26, 1997, in Rancho Santa Fe California. David Koresh, Leader of the "Disciples of the Branch of Davidian", Died April 19, 1993, during the Waco siege. There are too many cults to list in this article but you can find an extensive list of cults at http://www.watchman.org/cat95.htm.
Christ foretold of false Messiahs in, Luke 21:8 "And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them." In addition, in Matthew 24:5 "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." Jim Jones, Marshall Applewhite, and David Koresh all claimed to be the Messiah.
Wars and Rumors of Wars
Jesus then tells that there will be wars and rumors of wars in Luke 21:9, 10, "But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom."
John, in Revelation 6:4 also speaks of wars. "And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword."
In the last 100 years, there has been an increase in warfare like none other in history. In 1917, we entered into the First World War. Then in 1945, during World War II, for the first time, the nuclear bomb created a way for self-inhalation. The prospect of all-out war is now a possibility in the Middle East.
Famine and pestilence
In Luke 12:11, Jesus tells of a great famine, pestilence, and natural disasters, "And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven."
In Revelation 6:5, 6, John also speaks of famine "And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse, and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, a measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine."
Earthquakes in the last century have increased significantly. Significant earthquakes between the magnitude of 5.1 and 9 in the 19th century were 36. In the 20th century earthquakes of this magnitude increased to 155. Since the beginning of the 21st Century, we have had 102 significant earthquakes worldwide. The world's most devastating earthquakes, 46 occurred in the 20th century.
Major Flooding has increased in intensity in the last century, with devastating results. In the 20th century, there were 31 major floods. The Great Flood of 1993 was just one of the most costly floods in US History. Whereas, in the 21st century there have already been 21 major floods. Mozambique, Southeast Africa, the 2000 flood resulted in the country being covered in water for more than three weeks and thousands of deaths. In 2007, the Africa Flood was the largest flood in recorded history affecting 14 countries.
The world is also experiencing droughts and famine like never before. These include the 1900 India drought, 1921-22 Soviet Union droughts, which millions died from starvation, 1929-30 China drought resulted in deaths of millions due to starvation. Also including the 1936 and 1941 Sichuan Province, China drought, which each resulted in millions of death both due to starvation.
Other notable droughts in 2006 include Western Australia, New South Wales, and Sichuan Province, China. Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland have endured drought for the last five to ten years, which is affecting populations for the first time. In 2006, China's drought resulted in nearly 8 million people alone dying. It is the worst drought they have experienced in modern history. According to the World Relief agencies, one-third of the earth's 6 billion are starving and currently, 34,000 people die each day from famine.
In the last century, we have seen the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918, Asian Flu pandemic in 1957-58, Hong Kong flu in 1968-69, SARS in 2002-3, XDR, TB, which is now resistant to treatment, Malaria, Ebola hemorrhagic fever in Africa, and the AIDS epidemic, which began in 1959. In Sub-Saharan Africa, there are 23 million children with the HIV virus.
The next event that Jesus says will occur is the Rapture. We cannot predict the day and hour when this will occur, only God himself knows. In Matthew 24:34-37, Jesus says, "Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."
Israel and Jerusalem are the focal point when looking at the end of time. Certain Geographical places and events are involved. God promised he would return the Jews to their promised land. This is where the final confrontation called, Armageddon, will take.
The Jewish Nation will return to their promised land for 1,000 years. Only when this happens will the prophecies be fulfilled. In 1917, during WWI the Balfour Declaration was signed which established in Palestine a national home for the Jewish people. Then on May 14, 1948, the United Nations voted to recognize the new state of Israel. In June 1967, the Six Days' War fought between Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, where Israel gained control of the Gaza Strip. Israel is the catalyst. Israel is currently back in their land, the conflict between the Jews, and Arabs continue, and Western powers are trying to break the peace treaties.
No one knows the day or hour, this will happen but in the twinkling of an eye, the children of God will rise from their graves and the living Christians will join Jesus in the air. Clearly, we are closer to the fulfillment of Christ's prophecies than ever before. Even though we do not know when the end of this age will end, all we can do is listen to Jesus' signs and be prepared for his glorious return.