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Thursday, May 3 2012
Signs Of The Messiah's Coming
The English word "sign" originated from a Latin word, signum, which meant a mark. From that to make a mark definition came words that one would expect (e.g. sign and signature), as well as a number of other words that aren't as immediately obvious (e.g. signal, signet, assign, consign, design, resign).
In the Old Testament (the only thing "old" about it is that its writings are more ancient - much of what is written in the "Old" Testament hasn't happened yet, plus Christ's Law hasn't changed - it's always been about Jesus Christ; see Appearances Of The LORD God), "sign" is used to translate the Hebrew word, pronounced owth (despite its similar pronunciation, it's not related to the English word oath), which means to appear, as a beacon, a banner, a monument or some physical evidence of something. In the New Testament, "sign" is used to translate the Greek word, pronounced say-mah-ee-no, which means a mark that signifies ("signs") or proves something (a different Greek word, pronounced kha-rag-ma, is used for the "mark" of the beast i.e. "13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six" Revelation 13:17-18 KJV).
One of the most amazing ironies of the first coming of the Messiah (which is going to happen again at the time of His return) is that the people who most claimed to be the followers of the LORD, and who were awaiting the prophesied coming of the "Messiah, son of David" were the people who failed to recognize Him when He did come. The reason then (just as will be the reason that the Christian-professing world will not recognize Him at His return; see The Church Today and The Church In The End Time) is because people had then, and have now, created their own religions, but in His Name (see How Did The Messiah's Levite Priesthood Change? and Is Your Religion Your Religion?) - so they blasphemed Him because He didn't worship their word.
"12:22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. 12:23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
Even though a great many prophecies were made about His coming (e.g. see The Messianic Prophecies), the Messiah stated that only one "sign" would define His first coming - three days and three nights, dead in the tomb before His resurrection.
"12:38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
When the Pharisees returned later, "also with the Sadducees," and demanded a "sign from heaven" (while failing to recognize that the Messiah was Himself "the sign from heaven"), the Messiah repeated the point of His first coming - His Sacrifice and Resurrection (see Nisan 14: The Sacrifice Of The Lamb Of God).
"16:1 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would show them a sign from heaven.
"Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?"
While there was only one defining "sign" of His first coming, as He answered to the Pharisees and Sadducees (and everyone else), in answer to His disciples' question of the signs of His return, there would be many signs.
The Messiah began His answer with a warning about the great deceptions and troubles that will engulf the entire "Babylon" world in the end time (see What And Where Is Babylon Today?). The religious deception, wars, famines and pestilences were repeated by Christ, about 60 years later, to the apostle John in the book of Revelation.
"24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many [see Is Your Religion Your Religion? and Is Your Church A Cult?]. 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows." (Matthew 24:4-8 KJV)
The "great tribulation" upon Christ's true people will be the result of the world coming under the spell of "many false prophets" who will cause hate for the Truth to abound (even more than it already does by those who are "offended" by Christ's truth, and all too often, any truth, while claiming to be Christian; see Antichristians).
"24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom [see The Gospel of The Kingdom of God] shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matthew 24:9-14 KJV)
The "the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet," will be fulfilled at that time. Christ's "two witnesses" (see below) will be martyred at that time as well i.e. both of those events are described as happening just prior to Christ's return (see How Long Will 'The End Time' Last?).
"24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, whoso readeth, let him understand [see A History Of Jerusalem: Abomination Of Desolation]: 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 24:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 24:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 24:19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 24:22 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 24:15-22 KJV)
Even the return of Christ itself will be counterfeited by Satan-empowered "false Christs and false prophets" - who will fool, and further make a fool of, those who ignore what is written in the Holy Bible (see What's Your Angle?). The written Word of God is the key to not being deceived ("whoso readeth, let him understand") because the deceivers will deny and contradict what is actually written in the Bible, while claiming to be teaching it (see Holy Bible Reading Plan With Study Notes).
"24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 24:25 Behold, I have told you before.
The "signs in the heavens" will then occur to get people to look up, away from the false Christs on this earth, to the genuine Christ arriving from heaven.
"24:29 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: 24:30 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 [see also Are We In Heaven Now?] with power and great glory." (Matthew 24:29-30 KJV)
The day of Christ's return will be salvation day for the people of Christ who have lived through all of the ages right up to that day (see When Will You Be Judged?).
"24:31 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." (Matthew 24:31 KJV)
The Messiah finished the teaching with a warning not to set dates because "of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (listen to our Sermon Proof Readers).
"24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
The Messiah completed the discourse with a warning for His people, of all time, to live as though they are in the end time - because for everyone, it will seem that way (see Could Christ Return Tonight?).
"24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 24:46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 24:47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 24:48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 24:49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 24:50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 24:51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 24:45-51 KJV)
Fact Finder: Exactly as prophesied, the Messiah was an ordinary-looking man ("53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him." Isaiah 53:2 KJV). He was so ordinary-looking in fact that He couldn't be differentiated from the apostles who were standing beside Him; Judas had to use a "sign" to identify the Messiah ("26:47 And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.
26:48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast" Matthew 26:47-48 KJV). In prophecy, what "sign" did Judas, in himself, fulfill?
This Day In History, May 3
495: Pope Gelasius proclaimed that his papal authority was superior to the civil authority of Emperor Enanstasius (see Emperors and Popes).
1410: Alexander V (Pietro di Candia) died at age 71. He was antipope 1409-1410 during a period of 3 popes (see Antipopes) at the same time (the other 2 were Pope Gregory XII and Antipope Benedict XIII). He reigned only 10 months and his death came under suspicious circumstances; some believe that he was poisoned by his successor, Antipope John XXIII.
1494: Christopher Columbus first sighted the island known today as Jamaica.
1500: Portuguese explorer Pedro Alvares Cabral landed in Brazil and claimed it for Portugal.
1512: The 5th Lateran Council (18th ecumenical council) opened in Rome under Pope Julius II.
1616: The Second Civil War in France ended after the Treaty of Loudun was signed.
1660: John II Casimir of Poland abandoned his claim to Sweden and signed the Treaty of Oliva, ending the Polish-Swedish War of Succession.
1747: During the War of The Austrian Succession, the British defeated the French at the first Battle of Cape Finisterre.
1791: King Stanislaw Augustus signed a liberal bill of rights reforming gentry-ruled Poland and setting up a constitutional monarchy. It was only the second written constitution in the world after the United States.
1841: New Zealand was proclaimed a British colony.
1859: France declared war on Austria.
1915: During the First World War, Lt. Col. John McCrae, a Canadian army medical officer, wrote the poem In Flanders Fields while overlooking the grave of a fellow officer at Ypres, Belgium. The poem first appeared in Punch magazine December 8 1915. McCrae himself did not survive the war.
1926: U.S. marines invaded Nicaragua; they occupied the country for 7 years.
1963: In Alabama, police used attack dogs and fire hoses against black civil rights protestors, including children. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Alabama's segregation laws were unconstitutional less than 3 weeks later, on May 20.
1979: Margaret Thatcher became the first female Prime Minister of Britain.
1993: Authorities said they had identified the body of David Koresh from charred remains found after their church buildings were burned to the ground during the siege at Waco in February.