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Introduction
   The disciples 2,000 years ago asked, at the beginning of Mathew chapter 24, what would be the sign of the Master's coming (i.e., the second coming). They were told, as we are today: And concerning that day and the hour no one hath known—not even the messengers of the heavens—except My Father only, Matthew 24:36 YLT.
   “That day,” is not just speaking of Yahshua’s return, but the end of the age and all it means. Yahshua goes on to say that it will be as in the days of Noah. Everything seemed alright to the majority of mankind, then all of a sudden, the torrential rains came and flooded the earth destroying the inhabitants. The inhabitants, by the way, had their minds on evil all the time (Gen. 6:5, 11). Yahweh's decision was to clean the slate and start anew with Noah and his family, along with every kind of animal on the earth.


Historical Records
   Historically we have a record of mankind from Adam. Scripturally, we can see the timeline out from Adam to about 2,400 B.C.E. with the years of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ending this initial record.
   Beyond this, we can count the years of the Judges and then the Kings and empires, along with other genealogies, up to the time of Yahshua and the Temple in the 1st Century C.E. From that time, we have about 2,000 years to our current 21st Century. In all, about 6,000 years.
   When we think of 6,000 years, we might think about the creation week taking at least that long, but the word for “day” there appears to be quite literal, as a 24-hour day, since the evening and morning are mentioned each day.
  
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that Yahweh Elohim made earth and heaven. Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for Yahweh Elohim had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground, Genesis 2:4–6 NASB.
   Here, right after creation, the shrubs and plants haven’t even had time to grow. Interestingly, like a terrarium, is the idea of a canopy covering the earth (Gen 1:7; 2:6). The earth’s status would have had ideal weather conditions.


Evil Influence
   Then mankind was created. We understand Satan influenced (deceived) man, but Revelation speaks of his end. It also gives us another time period to consider.
  
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season, Revelation 20:1–3 KJV.
   Some translations say a “little while” and others a “short time.” Though it’s not specific, it’s enough time to deceive some of those who grow up during the 1,000-reign. Their end is destruction and then Satan will himself will be thrown into the lake of fire to be destroyed.


Our Time Period
   The main point, however, is a millennial Kingdom will be established. The King of it is Yahshua Who returns to this earth. This Kingdom will have no end. But is that time close? When will Yahshua’s second coming occur?
   Considering the numbers that we’ve already looked at, we can get an idea of the time period we’re in.
  
Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. ‎They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ He promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by Elohim’s Word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the unrighteous. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With Yahweh a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day, 2 Peter 3:3–8 NIV.
   The phrase, “the earth was formed out of water and by water” is interesting. It’s also very insightful. As when Noah’s flood came, the account speaks of fissures of the deep opening up. In other words, there was water in the earth. Some scientist believe it was just under the surface, and breaking the surface could have certainly brought it forth. That, along with the rain for 40 days, would have flooded the earth.
   The original Pangea (land mass) is theorized to have broken up at that time. It had spread out the continents as we see them today, with oceans of water in between left over in various areas around the earth.
   Getting back to the question of what time period we are in, it’s interesting we hear of actual scoffing today. There are songs, that sing about an "absent Landlord" and make light of creation, as if it were folklore. They’ve actually put what the Apostle Peter prophesied about, concerning the last days, to music.
Besides the music, these types of world views points, and attitudes of living life to the fullest, (i.e., living in debauchery and evil), exist in our time right now. It is becoming more prevalent as time moves forward.
   The closing of what Peter says is “With Yahweh a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” If we think of approximately 6,000 years having past since creation, and 1,000 years coming of Yahweh’s Kingdom rule of righteousness, and relate it to the time of creation and the day of rest, being the 7th day. Could we be looking at Yahshua’s return in our lifetime? The evidence is adding up to that conclusion.


Coming into Prophecies
   But you, Dani’ěl, hide the words, and seal the book until the time of the end. Many shall diligently search and knowledge shall increase, Daniel 12:2 TS.
   Daniel, as emphasized by notes in
The Scriptures’ version means, “My El is Judge.”
   "Seal the book until the time of the end." Is this book slowly being unrolled like a scroll to us today? As we gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for events unfolding today, do we see the signs of the times?
   Along with unfolding events, such as the major realignment of powers in the Middle East, there will be an increase in knowledge and seeking of it. The problem is, most don’t seek Yahweh nor His knowledge. If they did, there would be less trouble in the world.
   Just prior to this verse in Daniel, it speaks of distress and trouble coming upon the world. It is something that has to take place before the second coming.



Before Yahshua Returns
   At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book, Daniel 12:1 ESV.
   At what time? The end-time, though, specifically the verses prior to this speak of the King of the North and the King of the South and events surrounding them and the Man of Sin.
   It mentions here in verse 1 that there will be safety for those found written in the book, as in the “Book of Life.” Some have attempted to promote a “Place of Safety,” for everyone, but Scriptures talking about fleeing to the mountains are talking to Judah in Israel. It's not talking about those in other countries.
   The place of safety, possibly in the area of Petra, is for Judah, not the rest of us. And, specifically, Messianic Judah is the one who will know what the New Testament says. When the Abomination of Desolation is set up, they are to head for the hills (Matt. 24:15-16). Others will no doubt follow them, as likened to the first exodus.
   Tribulation overall, is suggested by some to be 7 years, since it is a number with meaning of completion. But a closer look shows certain passages could only mean the so-called peace process. It will be agreed upon, and it will be seven years. The actual tribulation appears to be only 3 ½ years. The Day of Yahweh (Joel 1:15; 2:1-2) is a terrible time yet ahead of us.


Time of Trouble
   A striking little piece of the puzzle is found in Revelation 9.
   Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of Elohim on their foreheads. And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them. Revelation 9:1–6 NASB.
   This is a small point, but with big implications showing 3 1/2 years of tribulation, rather than 7 years. Notice "five months," in the fifth trumpet blast. 7 times 5 is 35. 1 year is 12 months, 3 times 12 is 36 months. The math doesn’t work out exactly to 3 ½ years, but it's closer than to 7 years that some point to.
   It will be a merciful thing to not have the tribulation go on beyond 3 ½ years. And we’re told, for the elect’s sake, it will be cut short. Otherwise, no one will remain alive (Matt. 24:22).
   Another point to notice is, those sealed in the forehead are protected during this time. The saints (i.e., elect, bride, those to be firstfruits, etc.) are sealed by Yahweh's Spirit (Eph. 1:13; 4:30) and by His Name (Rev. 14:1), no less. Read our free in-depth booklet called, The Mistaken J.


Why Tribulation?
   With the knowledge of prophecies describing a worldwide fiery destruction, the question may arise as to why? Scripture gives the answer: “I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity,” (Isa.13:11a ESV).
   As hard as this may be for people to comprehend, the whole duty of man is to obey Yahweh.
  
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear Elohim, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For Elohim shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13–14 KJV.
   Does the idea of a doing away with the law―often heard from churches today―make any sense? Especially, when Scripture tells us judgment is coming for those who break His Law?
   The good news is that the Good News will still be able to be preached before this time. It doesn’t mean it won’t be without trials though. Speaking to the disciples, Yahshua said:
  
But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes, Matthew 10:23 NASB.


Cities of Israel
   The cities of Israel? How many would that be? Won’t the message of the Kingdom be preached in all nations before Yahshua returns (Matt. 24:14)?
   Consider what the cities of Israel are today. Israel was actually dispersed throughout the nations through Assyria. With this, we may have a better grasp on what Yahshua is saying in the following verse:
Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Matthew 24:34 NASB.
   A note is highlighted in the NASB saying “generation” can also be defined as “race.” We could then just as well have said, “this tribe (Israel) will not pass away." He could readily say that due to the promises given to Abraham. Read our mini-study called, The Hope of Israel.
   Nevertheless, in all of this, when Yahshua returns, it won’t be done in a covert way. There won’t be any "secret rapture" as is taught by some today.


Coming Back in the Same Manner
   Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Yahshua, Who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven,” Acts 1:9–11 NKJV.
   Simple and to the point. The same way He went is the same way He’s coming back. Of course, there are a few more details we have when considering the rest of Scriptures. He’ll be placing His feet on the Mount of Olives, He’ll be coming back with all glory and honor, and a great trumpet blast. But, again, He’ll be coming from above and everyone will see Him. It could very well be a 24-hour period in which the first sign of His coming will be seen.
  
BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. “I am the Alpha (Aleph) and the Omega (Taw),” says Yahweh Elohim, “Who Is and Who Was and Who Is to come, the Almighty,” Revelation 1:7–8 NASB.
   With all of these witnesses and descriptions from Scripture, it’s no surprise that we get the following description and also warning not to be deceived.
  
So if they say to you, "Look, He is in the desert!" do not go out; or "Look, He is in the inner rooms!" do not believe. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines to the west, so also shall the coming of the Son of Adam be, Matthew 24:26–27 TS.
   Out here in the Bible Belt (Midwest) of America we do see some pretty remarkable lightning shows, at times. Some of the most spectacular ones are when the lighting crosses from one end of the sky to the other. When Yahshua returns, there will be no mistaking it.
   Scripture confirms itself, especially when it comes to prophecy. We don't, nor are we to have, a private interpretation of it (2 Pet. 1:20). Some things will need to come about fully, before we completely understand.
  
And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. Matthew 24:30–31 NASB.
   There has been some question as to what the sign is, which will be seen. The reality is, it’s referring to Yahshua. The sign is the Son of Man coming in the sky (reread verse 30).
   Everyone is going to know it’s Him. Why? Because the Kingdom of Yahweh is going to be preached in every nation before He returns. He is the coming King of kings. Everyone will know it is Him. Even the Two Witnesses will have confirming witnesses overhead, as the angels proclaim truth from Yahweh (Rev. 14:6-13).
   The second coming of The Anointed One (The Messiah) of Yahweh is at hand. But before this comes tribulation, such as like the world has never seen before. Why? Because it has refused to humble itself before the Almighty, The Holy One of Israel. The nations refuse to give honor to His Name, as well. Therefore, they will be punished before His Son is sent back to receive those who will, even now, honor both the Father and the Son.



-Elder David Brett


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