The LORD warns the disciples again that false Christs, those claiming to be the Messiah, will emerge on the scene. Some of these false Christs will be able to perform great signs and wonders, but they should not let that deceive them. Some of these impostors will veil themselves in secrecy, granting access only to those who are willing to seek them out. Jesus clearly declares that His return will be as public and obvious as lightning that comes out of the east and shines to the west; there will be nothing secret about it.
Scripture clearly states that spiritual forces of evil are capable of performing miracles that will deceive those that choose to reject God.
Deuteronomy 13:1–4 “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.”
Paul told us this that the Antichrist would be able to perform lying wonders.
2 Thessalonians 2:9 “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders….”
And John told us this about the false prophet, right-hand man to the Antichrist.
Revelation 13:13-14 “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast….”
Jesus next begins to identify things that will occur at the end of this time of tribulation to signify that His return is very near. The sun and moon will be darkened, the stars will fall from the heavens and the forces of heaven will be shaken. These signs in the heavens will dramatically affect things on earth, especially the oceans; and will cause great distress among all the people on earth.
Finally, the LORD will be revealed, coming in the clouds of heaven in all His power and glory to defeat the forces of evil and establish His kingdom—and we will be with Him! Many scriptures make reference to this time.
Revelation 1:7 “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”
Revelation 19:11–14 “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.”
Matthew 26:64 “Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”
Matthew 16:27 “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”
Jude 1:14–15 “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
To execute judgment upon all….”
Colossians 3:4 “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”
Again, Fruchtenbaum makes an interesting observation: “From these passages, we learn that immediately after the Tribulation of those days, there will be a total blackout with no light penetrating at all, followed by a sudden, glorious, tremendous light that will penetrate through the blackout. This is the Shechinah Glory, and this Shechinah light will be the sign of the Second Coming of Christ.”
The LORD tells us that after He returns in glory to establish His kingdom, He will send His angels throughout the world to gather the elect, the remnant, all the Jewish believers, and bring them home to Israel. He then declared that when we see all these things begin to come to pass, we can know His return is near.
(to be continued...)