May 30, 2024

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WATCH OUT FOR EVENTS BEFORE ARMAGEDDON

IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.

TOPIC: WATCH OUT FOR EVENTS BEFORE ARMAGEDDON

COMPILED/EDITED BY:-
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM

“And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.”
Revelations 16:16

WHAT IS ARMAGEDDON
“Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.”
Revelations 16:13-14

Armageddon is the name in Hebrew har-mageddon meaning “the mount or hill of Megiddo.” Megiddo was a hill town situated in the low hills overlooking a great plain in north central Palestine to which has been given the name Armageddon and where the armies of all the nations of the earth will be gathered by demon spirits and will be destroyed by Christ at His Second Coming in the final great war described as “the battle of the great day of God Almighty.”

This war will take place at the end of the Tribulation Period and at the Second Coming of Christ. This must be, because Antichrist will be in absolute and irresistible power for the last three and a half years before Jesus returns.

“Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”

Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon” – Revelation 16:16

Napoleon called the geographical Armageddon the greatest natural battlefield in the world.

But the fact is that no one knows exactly where the battlefield is located. Most likely the Valley extends for some 15 to 20 miles north and south in the northern part of present-day Israel.

The Book of Daniel provides some of the foundational truths that make up any study of the end times.

Daniel 2: God’s plan for the Gentile nations begins with King Nebuchadnezzar and follows the historical sequence of human governments from him to a 10-nation confederacy during the end times which occupies the area of the old Roman Empire. The Antichrist will gain control of these nations and, after guaranteeing Israel’s peace and security, will break that treaty 3 ½ years later and will launch an attack against Israel.

BEFORE ARMAGEDDON

“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:
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
Mathew 24:29-31

Make no mistake. Jesus clearly predicts his eventual return to the earth. Matthew 24:29-31 cannot mean anything other than a literal, physical Second Coming of Christ. The questions the disciples ask mirror their confusion about the future. When they comment about the beauty of Herod’s Temple, Jesus replies that a day is coming when the temple will be destroyed and “not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down” (Matthew 24:2). This prediction was literally fulfilled in A.D. 70 when the Roman armies invaded Jerusalem and quite literally destroyed it, setting fire to it so that the gold melted and ran down between the stones that had fallen to the ground. During my most recent trip to Israel, our guide (Zvi Rivai) showed us the newly-excavated portion along the western side of the Temple Mount where researchers have discovered the very stones of the temple, still lying along the road where they were thrown by the Roman soldiers 2,000 years ago. For hundreds of years they were covered by rubble. The recent excavation offers dramatic proof of the literal truth of Jesus’ words. When the disciples heard this prediction, they asked three questions: “When will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3). In their mind those events were tied together—the destruction of the temple, the coming of Christ, and the end of the age. In Matthew 24-25, Jesus doesn’t directly answer the first question. He skips over at least 2,000 years to discuss the events surrounding his Second Coming. Although the destruction of the temple may be alluded to in verses 15-22, the main focus of the Olivet Discourse is clearly on events that are still future to us. By a careful study of what Jesus said, we can gain insight into the “signs” of the Second Coming and the “signs” of the end of this present age.
These “signs” are true and present in every generation and they will be especially visible as we approach the end of this age.

SPIRITUAL DECEPTION

“Jesus answered: ‘Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many’” (Matthew 24:4-5).

The first “sign” is a reminder that religious charlatans may be found in every age.
Implied in the words of Jesus is this reality: As we approach the end of the age, spiritual deception will increase because spiritual gullibility will increase. Having turned away from the truth, people will follow anyone who speaks with authority and promises to help solve their problems and give meaning to daily life. And we should not be surprised that such teachers come “in my name.” Note carefully what I Timothy 4:1 says: “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” Those “deceiving spirits” are in the world today and their evident success rate seems to be very high. All this deception will come to a climax when the Antichrist displays the work of Satan by using “all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders” (II Thessalonians 2:9-10). He will be so successful at mimicking the work of God through his “miracles” that millions of people will follow him to their ultimate destruction.

International Conflicts
vv. 6-7a
“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matthew 24:6-7a).

The Greek text reads, “You will be hearing,” meaning that we live in an age of unending commotion and upheaval. Leon Trotsky once commented that anyone seeking a peaceful world picked the wrong century to be born in. His words seem more true today than ever before. Do these names sound familiar? Rwanda, Cambodia, Chechnya, Serbia, Kosovo, Lebanon, Iraq, Kashmir, Northern Ireland, Somalia, Haiti, Kuwait, Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, and dozens of lesser-known bloody conflicts around the world. Now we can add Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and who knows how many other Middle Eastern countries to the list.
“Such things must happen.” This simply means that we cannot reason directly from one particular war to the Second Coming. Our perspective is too short.

This world is marked by warfare, and we will not see the end of it until the Prince of Peace returns and men beat their swords into plowshares.

There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains” (Matthew 24:7b-8).
Many manuscripts add the word “pestilences” in verse 7. A pestilence is an outbreak of disease on an epidemic level. In this connection, one should think of words like COVID-19, Ebola, smallpox and several other diseases.
Famines, earthquakes, and outbreaks of disease have been with us since the beginning of time. They are with us today and will be with us tomorrow. These things, bad as they are, do not in themselves point to the Last Days. They are like “birth pangs” or labor pains as one world dies and another one takes its place. That image is particularly useful to help us get the right perspective on contemporary events.

Widespread Apostasy

vv. 10-12
“At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold” (Matthew 24:10-12).
These verses paint a picture of unprecedented religious apostasy in the last days. They especially apply to so-called Christian leaders who depart from the Christian faith. These are the leaders who (in the name of ecumenism) deny the inerrancy of the Bible, deny the necessity for the blood atonement, deny the virgin birth, deny the lostness of all people, deny the reality of eternal hell, and deny that those who die without Jesus Christ are lost forever. They turn away after fads and popular social causes and pander to the powers that be. They support the killing of unborn babies, support Gay Rights, and support the right of pornographers to practice their evil trade. They do not preach the gospel because they do not even believe the gospel. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
II Timothy 3:1-9 tells us that in the last days “terrible times” will come as men become lovers of pleasure instead of lovers of God. They will turn away from the truth because their minds are depraved. False teachers who cleverly counterfeit the truth will lead many others astray. Truly those “terrible days” are upon us—both in America and around the world. So-called ministers of the gospel deny every tenet of the Christian faith and still remain in the pulpit. They can even justify gross immorality because they have rejected God’s Word. The worst is yet to come.

Worldwide Evangelism

vv. 13-14
“But he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:13-14).
This sign may seem surprising because we are used to thinking of the signs of the Second Coming in purely negative terms. But along with all the social and economic descriptions of the end-times, we are given a clear picture of the worldwide spread of the gospel in the last days.
The biblical argument goes something like this:

It is God’s desire to bless all nations through the seed of Abraham. Genesis 12:1-3
The church of Jesus Christ is the spiritual seed

Jesus Christ has commissioned us to take the gospel to all nations. Matthew 28:19-20

The coming of Christ is delayed so that all people may come to repentance. II Peter 3:8-10

The gospel must be preached to all nations and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14

In the last days a vast multitude will come to Christ from every nation. Revelation 7:9-14
Therefore, we may reasonably conclude that one mark of the last days is that the gospel will go forth to all the nations of the earth. Please remember that “nations” in Matthew 24:14 does not refer primarily to political entities, but to the various “people groups” of the world. Note the word “then.” It implies a chronological sequence. First, the gospel is preached. Second, it is preached to all the nations of the world. Third, then (and only then) does the end come. According to Jesus, the “end” cannot come until all the nations have heard the gospel message.
Does this mean that every single person must hear the gospel message? No. Does it mean that the world must become Christian? No.
It means that the gospel must be preached in every nation. What, in a practical sense, does that entail? It means that as we approach the end times, there will be a marked increase in the tempo of world evangelization, it means a renewed interest in fulfilling the Great Commission, it means a new sense of urgency will grip the missionary enterprise, and it means a new focus on reaching the unreached people groups of the world.
And that is precisely what we find happening at the beginning of the 21st century. Where do we stand in the great task of evangelizing the world? By all accounts, we are closer today to finishing the task than ever before. The missiologists tell us that there are approximately 12,000 unreached people groups left in the world. The good news is that almost 9,000 of those people groups have already been targeted for missionary expansion. That leaves 3,000 people groups unreached and without any clear plan for reaching them. The number is large but it is dropping all the time. All of this fits precisely with what Jesus predicted for the last days. As we near the end of this age, we will see a rapidly increasing tempo of world evangelization as the gospel goes out to every nation and the final harvest of souls begins.

1) Fear not,
2) Get your life in order,
3) Keep your eyes on the skies!

Turn to Revelation 19: 11-21
the false prophet, the antichrist are destroyed and sent to the lake of fire
the armies of the world are destroyed
this is the end of evil as we know it
this is the end of injustice
this is a time for peace in Jerusalem and the world
Jesus as King has returned to take His throne
Jesus came the first time as the lamb
to seek and to save those who are lost
are you lost without hope today?
it’s not too late to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.

SHALOM!

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