As the American experiment in godless constitutionalism winds to its inevitable demise, the prophets of end-time speculation are once again out in full force.
For example, a recent article on the comet ISON in World Net Daily concluded with these words: “The Blood Moon theory says the Second Coming of Christ will likely occur in 2014 or 2015 when there will be four consecutive, rare lunar eclipses, or a tetrad. The eclipses will coincide with two major holidays on the Jewish calendar in 2014 and 2015: Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles.
Supporters of this theory believe the Rapture likely will coincide with one of the eclipses. While the world did not end with the end of the Mayan calendar last year, Comet ISON is considered by some to be another celestial sign of things to come.”
On and on it goes – for 2,000+ years now — one failed prediction after another. If the Mayan Calendar fails us, there’s always some other quirky event on the horizon to keep gullible Christians on the edge of their seats, biting their nails, and buying “prophecy books.” This kind of prophetic speculation has led to what may be the greatest historical myth of all time.
Myth: The end of the world will be immediately preceded by the rapture of the church, the advent of the AntiChrist and the Great Tribulation.
MythBuster’s preliminary assumption was that to recognize the sign of the end we must first answer the question, “end of what?” Are we talking about the end of the Old Covenant era or the end of the New Covenant era? Both are attended by certain signs, or in the case of the latter we concluded, by a certain sign.
Much of the prophecy we find in the New Testament relates to the termination of the Old Covenant era. For example, following Jesus’ 7-fold denunciation of the Pharisees in the temple (Mt. 23), he left and engaged His disciples in a conversation that went something like this:
Disciples: Jesus, look at the magnificent temple! Isn’t it beautiful.
Jesus: Don’t get too carried away men, not one of these stones shall be left upon another
Disciples: That sounds like the “end of the age” for the temple and its animal sacrifices. When is this going to happen?
In response to their question, Jesus went on to describe the signs that would precede His coming to destroy the temple, the Jewish nation (sun, moon & stars) and the apostate Jews in the Great Tribulation. This He accomplished with the army of Titus in 70 A.D. as we discovered in our previous investigation (cf. MythBusters Case#25a). We call this the Olivette Discourse
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The numerous signs leading up to this event are summarized in the previous report. They are exclusively signs of judgment: anti-christ, famines, earthquakes, Great Tribulation, etc. By contrast, we found only one sign leading up to the end of the New Testament era and it is exclusively a sign of great blessing and covenant victory.
It is the sign of the triumph of the gospel. We found this sign described in various ways throughout the Bible.
• “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed…smaller than all other seeds; but … full grown it is larger than the garden plants, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and rest in its branches.” The mustard seed is still growing.
• In Genesis 18:18 God promised the Patriarch Abraham that in him “all the nations of the earth will be blessed.” This process has begun with the rapid expansion of the Christian faith, but has not yet been completed.
• In the 2nd Psalm we discovered that God the Father has given His Son all of the nations and that the rulers of the nations will one day “kiss the feet of the Son.” This process began in Acts 4:25-29, but has not yet been completed.
• In the 2nd chapter of Isaiah we observed that the nations will one day stream to the church for instruction in how to apply the law of God to their judicial systems. “He will not be disheartened…until He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law”, but it has not yet happened.
• In the present age, when people are still marrying and giving in marriage, “no longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days…and the one who does not reach the age of 100 shall be thought accursed” (Is 65:20). This marvelous extension of life has not yet occurred.
• In the 2nd chapter of Daniel we found that the kingdom of Christ would smash the Roman Empire and grow to fill the whole earth. This process began with the conversion of Constantine, but has not yet been completed.
• In the 7th chapter of Daniel it is written that at the time of Jesus ascension he was given a kingdom and an everlasting dominion over the nations (7:14) and that this dominion would be exercised through His saints (7:27). It is yet to be fulfilled.
• And in the New Testament, Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus claimed that all power and authority on earth had been given to Him. He therefore commissioned his disciples to go and make disciples of all the nations/cultures and baptize the individuals therein. This process began at Pentecost, but has not yet been completed.
This led to a question for further research: Is it possible for the Devil or the alleged antichrist to thwart this final command of the all-powerful Christ?
I Corinthians 15:24-26 indicates otherwise. The kingdom of Christ will grow “until He has put all His enemies under His feet…For He has put all things in subjection under His feet.” At that point He will deliver up the consummated kingdom to God the Father.
Case Closed: In conclusion, MythBusters found that the appearance of the Beast and the Great Tribulation have already occurred as signs of the end of the Old Covenant era. The only sign remaining to be fulfilled before the second coming and the end of the New Covenant age is the visible manifestation of the kingdom of God.
We’ll know it happens when His will is being done on earth as it is in heaven. The church has been praying for this for 2,000+ years, so we wonder why is it so hard to believe it will actually happen?