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Olivet Overview – Part 5 – By Ed Wood

The Sign of Jesus

Matthew {24:29-30} 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.     

The next event on the Olivet calendar concerns Jesus’ Second Coming. Now this is not to be confused with his earlier coming to collect his believers seven years earlier to spare them from the “wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10), those who by faith were “accounted worthy” to escape the Tribulation (Luke 21:26). The Bible tells before his Second Advent, he’ll be preceded by his own sign.

Now what exactly that will be, no one really knows. The most popular view is that it’ll be the sign of the cross and since this is the most universal symbol of Christianity that makes a good deal of sense. Even non-Christians recognize that. It certainly might be something else but whatever it is, it’ll be visible in the sky by the whole world and understood to such a degree that “all the tribes of the earth mourn” when they see it. When we remember that at this time most of the world has followed the Antichrist and taken his mark that makes a lot of sense because the Bible reveals that they are irrevocably doomed. (Revelation 14:9-11)

What precipitates the sign of Jesus’ return is quite clear. Satan’s goal has always been to take God’s place. One way to accomplish the task is to make Israel cease to exist because by so doing, the promises God made to it in various places in the Hebrew section of Scripture (Genesis 12:1-3; 28:10-15; Isaiah 2:1-4; 4:2-6) can’t come to pass. That would mean that God made an error and is therefore not omniscient, not omnipotent, something the devil would certainly exploit to his advantage. From the pharaoh of Egypt in Moses’ time, through Haman in the book of Esther all the way up to Adolf Hitler and today’s militant Muslims, Satan has always found someone more than willing to try to make this happen. He has always failed but in a last-ditch effort, Satan will turn loose three demonic spirits to draw all the world’s military forces together at Armageddon:

Revelation {16:13-16} And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs [come] out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, [which] go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

Zechariah {14:2} For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

In the past 68 years, there have been many more times when it looked as if Israel’s enemies would wipe out this nation. Indeed, at its restoration in 1948, it looked like it would not last for a day. Greatly outnumbered by its Arab foes, the odds were completely against it. And yet it has not only survived but prospered during the nearly seven decades of its existence. It is probably safe to say that when the Battle of Armageddon does occur, it will be the first, only, and last time Israel is losing a war in the modern age. As Zechariah relates, the incursion into Israel is so deep that half of Jerusalem itself falls to enemy forces.

I have often wondered about this in considering that there are presently Arab, Jewish, Christian, and Armenian sections in this city. Will this remain the case right up to the end? If so it seems likely the Arabs would actually assist the aggressors. Since we see that the conditions are already here for this to happen, the time for the last years of history as we know it may be very close indeed. And since the Rapture is likely to occur no less than seven years sooner than the events which lead to Jesus’ Second Coming, its time is that much closer!

One may wonder at this point where the bulk of the Jews will be when the invasion occurs. There Bible evidence suggests they are safely being supernaturally protected in the ancient city of Petra:

Isaiah {16:1-5} Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela* to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion. For it shall be, [that,] as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon. Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that wandereth. Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness. *Petra.

Revelation {12:1-6} And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: * And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon**, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child***, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and [to] his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness,**** where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days. *Israel (see Genesis 37:5-11). ** Satan (see Revelation 20:2). *** The Messiah – Jesus. **** Probably refers to the place where Petra, now a ruin in the wilderness, exists. Note the length of time of this protection amazingly turns out to be 3.5 years – the last half of the total seven year Tribulation time, just as Daniel (Daniel 9:27) predicted, a week representing seven years and the Antichrist breaking his seven-year deal with Israel half way into it!

Life on Earth will be truly hellish, especially at the end of the last seven years of the Tribulation as the planet will be battered by natural – and supernatural – forces. Disease will be rampant along with lawlessness on a level beyond comprehension even compared to the worst places on Earth today. A large percentage of human life will be lost and that which remains will be comprised of people who are either willing allies of the world’s last demonic monarch or in hiding from them, unable to access the global economy because they have refused to take his mark (Revelation 13:1-18). The relative few who had accepted Jesus during this time will be rounded up and executed wherever possible, betrayed by their own families and friends. (Micah 7:5-6; Matthew 10:34-36)

But suddenly in the midst of this when the misery is the greatest, suddenly there will appear the sign of the Son of Man in the heavens and just about everyone who sees it will mourn, except those surviving new Christians who will no doubt rejoice and know for a fact that their redemption is near at last.

Jesus Returns: The Beginning

The Bible does not provide many details about what happens when the sign comes but in my mind’s eye I picture just about everything in the world coming to a halt. I imagine it to be surpassing more awesome than that which those shepherds of long ago beheld as the angels announced the birth of the Savior at his First Coming over 2000 years ago. This will mark the return of Jesus to Earth for the second time, not as a helpless infant or suffering servant, but as the omnipotent King of Kings and Lord of Lords! And if this were not enough, he won’t be returning alone:

Psalm 149

Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, [and] his

praise in the congregation of saints.

Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of

Zion be joyful in their King.

Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises

unto him with the timbrel and harp.

For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify

the meek with salvation.

Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon

their beds.

[Let] the high [praises] of God [be] in their mouth, and a

twoedged sword in their hand;

To execute vengeance upon the heathen, [and] punishments upon

the people;

To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters

of iron;

To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all

his saints. Praise ye the LORD.

Daniel {7:13-18} I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed. I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of [my] body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. These great beasts, which are four, [are] four kings, [which] shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even for ever and ever.

Luke {22:28-30} Ye* are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. *Note that Jesus is addressing his apostles here, telling them of their specific destiny to be in charge of judging the tribes of Israel. Judas Iscariot forfeited this honor when he betrayed Christ, his place being filled by Matthias (Acts 1:15-26).

Other Jewish and Gentile believers apparently will have many other responsibilities as Paul indicates in 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 below.

1 Corinthians {6:2-3} Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

1 Thessalonians {3:13} To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

Revelation {19:11-16} And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes [were] as a flame of fire, and on his head [were] many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies [which were] in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on [his] vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

The Lord will be accompanied by every believer whoever lived, from the saints of the Old Testament, Christians from the time between Jesus’ life on Earth and the Rapture, and finally the Tribulation saints who were killed by the forces of the Antichrist. When they appear, the first thing Jesus will do it is to put a stop to the war, save the Jews from total destruction, and deal with the Antichrist and his false prophet once and for all:

Revelation {19:19-21} And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

There is another fate reserved for Satan himself:

Revelation {20:1-3} 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.

Why the devil is not immediately tossed into the burning lake is not known, however, we’ll look at a possible reason in our next article in this series when we examine the kind of world that will exist when the King of Kings assumes his rightful place at long last on Earth.

Next time we’ll look at what this wondrous new age might be like and the roles each of those who believe will get to play in it.


7 Comments

  1. Good article; thank you for posting it here. May I address two fine details in Mr. Woods’ article that are in error? First, regarding his opening statement that Jesus’ second coming is the next event of His Olivet discourse to come: No, as you, Terry, have written before, the Olivet discourse actually addresses the rapture (Luke 17:26-35, Matt. 24:36-44, & the parable of the ten virgins also) [see Part 7 of linked series]. Regarding the man child seized up to God and to His throne in Rev. 12:5: it is not Jesus Himself (he did not need to be rescued from Satan!) but the overcoming church remnant (see Rev. 3:10). The very presence of the complete Body of Christ in heaven causes war in heaven, casting the devil down to earth, ushering forth the great tribulation [see Part 10 of reference]. One with our Lord as the Christ, we are “the court” sitting on “thrones… set in place” judging the antichrist in Dan. 7:9-10, 26 [see Part 6 of reference], prophesied by John as being the 24 elders of Rev. 4-19 [see Part 9 of reference]. https://thelordiswithus.com/contents/

    • Terry James says:

      Hi Deanna.

      Thanks for the challenging questions – they are great ones.

      Let’s start here:
      Matthew {24:29-30} 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.

      Here is my reasoning on the Second Coming. Above is the Matthew passage I’m using. As you can see, there will be some major and extreme events which proceed Jesus’ coming to Earth. They have certainly not happened yet and will come right at the end of the Tribulation. That’s why I put it next on the calendar. Luke gives us this account which is very similar:

      Luke {21:25-26 } And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
      Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. {21:27} And then shall
      they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

      I agree that the Luke 17 passages do indeed refer to the Rapture and as such did not include them in with the Olivet Discourse, having come earlier in his Gospel and most likely at a different time than Olivet.

      Now in the passages in Revelation concerning the “man child,” here I have to disagree with you. (Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m right!) It just seems a more direct reading of the passage to me that the “man child” reference refers to an actual child – Jesus, in this case. Now about Jesus not needing God the Father’s protection? Well, I think he did because he came as a helpless infant needing protection. If not, his mother and step-father would have not needed to be warned to escape to Egypt from Herod. He would have had the power to deal with them himself. He also chose not to call upon legions of angels to save him from being crucified. For reasons that only God knows entirely, he chose to come to Earth as human as you or I, only without our sinful natures. You’ll note, too, that the miracles he performed only happened after his baptism and the descent of the Holy Spirit upon him at that time. So, again, he needed the help from another “person” of the Trinity while he was on Earth before his resurrection. At least that’s the best I can make of it because understanding the Trinity is limited at best.

      Next topic.

      The pre-Trib believers are already gone when the Revelation account of Israel’s persecution is intensified to such an extent that Satan causes most of the Jews to flee into the wilderness (Petra, probably) and the military forces assembled at Armageddon are sent to destroy Jerusalem’s last defenders. Half the city falls before Jesus and the saints return. Without this miraculous intervention, Israel would have lost the entire city – and worse! I should point out that Jesus doesn’t need any help to save Israel, but the saints are there all the same – a cloud of witnesses.

      As far as the presence of the raptured saints causing the conditions to start the war and get Satan tossed out of heaven, it seems to me if this were so, it would have happened right after the rapture. I believe instead this happens 3 1/2 years into it when the Antichrist is given a counterfeit resurrection and makes his move to have himself proclaimed as God in the rebuilt Temple. The passage below supports this timeline:

      Revelation {12:6-7} And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days. And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.

      Anyhow, thanks again for the comment and making me to do some more homework. Any time spent studying the Bible is a good thing, right?

      God bless and keep asking those questions.

      Ed Wood

      P.S. One of these days, we’ll know all then answers to all these questions from the author of the Bible himself!

      • Mr. Wood, I am glad my comments led you “to do some more homework,” but according to WordPress, that did NOT include reading the articles I had referenced (!!) – in Christ’s strength and humility I suggest you do so and THEN respond to me if and when the Holy Spirit so leads you. 2 Cor. 3:5-6; 1 Peter 5:5-6; 1 Tim. 5:17,20
        Your sister in Christ, deanna reynolds

      • Terry James says:

        Hello Deanna.

        I prefer using the Bible itself rather than commentaries when I either write my articles or respond to questions. Maybe that is somewhat short-sighted on my part, but I have found over my many years that the Bible does indeed speak for itself most of the time. Also, understand that I do not consider myself the “final word” on interpreting Scripture and unless there is a fundamental theological point such as the divinity of Jesus Christ, the existence of the Trinity, the veracity and reliability of the Bible, or the like. I definitely allow for the possibility of error on my part. I try not to have a “Pharisee Complex” – which is the case of these experts having loads of Biblical knowledge and yet remained blind to whom Jesus really was despite it. Knowledge can indeed, puff one up, as Paul so aptly put it. (1 Corinthians 8:1)

        On another matter, I am unfamiliar with this “WordPress” but if it somehow lets you see what I or anyone else is accessing on the ‘net, I have to tell you I find this troubling – and, quite frankly, presumptuous. Please respect a person’s privacy. Now if I misunderstood you in this regard, please accept my apology.

        Now, as regards to the articles you mentioned, here goes. Part 10 about whom the man-child is, I just disagree with the interpretation for the reasons already mentioned. Still, I am open to the possibility that I’m incorrect.

        Part 6 reflects what Jesus said to his apostles (save for Judas who betrayed him), and it clearly speaks for itself:
        Matthew {19:27-28} Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

        Paul indeed told us that all other believers from across the span of human history who are not of the original apostles will indeed be judges of angels. Jesus, of course, is the ultimate judge of all humans and spiritual beings.
        Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, then are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? Do you not know that we will judge angels?
        (1 Cor. 6:2- 3a NASB)

        Now for the concluding passages you cited:

        2 Cor. {3:5-6} Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency [is] of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

        1 Peter {5:5-6} Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace
        to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

        1 Timothy {5:17,20 } Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. . . Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

        Yep, we all need a humility reminder from time to time. Along this line, you’ll see in my articles that I never tell the reader to believe something just because I said so. I expect people to ask their own questions, which you’ve certainly done. If what I say has merit, that’s fine. If not,then reject it.

        God bless, Deanna and, by all means, keep searching.

        Ed Wood

      • Some food for thought for you, dear brother. Just as Jesus never defended Himself, we (speaking of our new TRUE selves in Christ) are never led by the same indwelling Holy Spirit to defend ourselves: when we defend ourselves, we clearly are reacting out of our old (already crucified!) selves, and not responding in accordance with the Holy Spirit; we are deceived, for we are momentarily NOT submitted to and trusting the Lord.
        A Scriptural litmus test for whether we are momentarily reacting out of the old self or responding in accordance with the Holy Spirit is whether our hearts condemn us (see 1 John 3:18-21). There IS no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit (Ro. 8:1 margin). Hallelujah!
        Praying you receive this in Christ’s love, with which it is sent.
        Your sister in Christ, deanna reynolds
        Phil. 3:12; Col. 1:28-29, 3:16; 1 Cor. 3:5-6

      • Terry James says:

        Hello again, Deanna.

        I expect that we could go on indefinitely and find ourselves not reaching any resolutions. That would really be a nonproductive use of time when all the signs indicate that this something which our world has in rapidly decreasing supply, don’t you think? That being said, let me conclude this final response to you by addressing two points you made.

        First, if we trust our own hearts, we’ll mess up big time. That’s because none of us, except Jesus, is perfect. That explains why the church which Jesus wanted to be one is more fragmented today that it was at its inception 2000 years ago, well more like 2017-33 or 1984 years ago, approximately. Here’s why:

        Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?

        Mark 7:21 – For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

        Romans 3:10 – As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.

        Next, as for defending ourselves, we are called to defend the truth as best we understand it. This is what Jesus, the apostles, and the myriad righteous people of all ages have always done. We are called to do the same:
        Ephesians {6:10-18} Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places. ]Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore,having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.

        You have my best regards.

        God bless.
        Ed Wood

      • Given that you have written to me for the last time, I now reply to you, my brother: “I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it.” (John 12:49) Love in Christ, your sister deanna

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