The Bible tells us that no man knows the day or the hour of Christ’s Second Coming (Matthew 24:36). But that same chapter also tells us that we should know when Christ’s coming is “at the door” (verse 33; Williams Bible).
It is now at the door and you can prove it. I will give you Christ’s own answer to when He will return.
After all, no man could possibly answer that question—only Christ (verses 23-24).
“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (verse 3). So what is the sign of Christ’s coming and the end of this world, or this age of man’s rule over man?
After that question, Christ proceeded to give His answer. So why don’t men understand? Because human nature doesn’t really want Christ’s answer at this point (Romans 8:7). So mankind must suffer until that attitude changes.
When Christ returns, He will begin to change human nature in all of the world’s inhabitants. Today, the whole world is deceived (Revelation 12:9)—including religious people. Only a very few are having their human nature changed. One day soon, they will be able to help Christ change the world. (Request our free booklet Human Nature: What Is It?)
Christ taught the disciples the sign of His coming and the cataclysmic end of this age. So what is that sign? Christ’s coming will be the greatest event ever to occur in the universe. And it is going to radically change this Earth and the universe! Christ has promised to put the whole universe under man’s rule, to build and beautify, when he surrenders to God (Hebrews 2:8; Moffatt translation).
That means Christ is going to save atheists, Hindus, Catholics, Muslims, Protestants—all humanity. But He will do it in His own time frame.
Christianity is confused and deceived. They exalt the person of Christ but reject His message (Matthew 24:4-5). And they deceive many people. In this chapter, Christ addresses that massive issue first.
How many Christian leaders do you hear even discuss Matthew 24? It is the most important prophetic message Christ gave when He was on this Earth! They talk about the person of Christ continually—but not His message.
Events Leading Up to the Sign
Christ taught the disciples about wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes that lead up to the sign of His Second Coming (verses 6-8). But these are only “the beginning of sorrows.” The sign comes at the end of sorrows.
Thousands of God’s own lukewarm people will be killed and hated. Many other people will be hated and betrayed (verses 9-10).
Many false prophets (secular and religious) shall deceive many people (verse 11). Will that list include you? Not if you heed these words.
“Iniquity,” or lawlessness, shall abound—and even God’s own people have lost their God-given love (verses 12-13).
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (verse 14). This “end” is not the same Greek word as the “end” in verse 3. The translators tell us that the context must reveal which end is being discussed in verse 14. The context shows us that this is the end of the gospel being preached to the world, and then Matthew 24 begins to be fulfilled specifically. (Our literature will prove all of this to you.)
So this Matthew 24:14 end is not the end of this world, or age, discussed in verse 3.
Now we come to the sign of Christ’s Second Coming and the end of the world. “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)” (verse 15). The sign is something you can see—the abomination of desolation. It appears that it can be understood by anybody who reads this prophecy.
It is also a sign that tells you when to flee if you are in God’s true Church.
“Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day” (verses 16-20).
The first-century disciples thought Christ was coming while they were alive. That made their question about the sign even more urgent. Their country was to be destroyed in a few years. They knew about these prophecies Christ was discussing—prophecies that appear many times in the Old Testament.
Christ’s disciples did have to flee to Pella in a.d. 70. So these scriptures about fleeing applied to them, as well as to us today. Their fleeing was only a type of what God’s very elect must do in this end time, when they must be protected from the Great Tribulation that occurs just before the Second Coming.
So the sign also has a very practical reason for people being able to see it. When they see the abomination that makes desolate, they must run for their lives to a place where God protects them! God will reveal where that place is when the time comes (Revelation 12:14).
Let’s take another look at Matthew 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).” God expects us to understand what the abomination of desolation is.
The word understand is defined by Strong’s Concordance as “to exercise the mind.” The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible adds, “To perceive with thought coming into consciousness as distinct from the perception of senses.” The Greek word means more than “merely the act of knowing.” It “denotes independently the action of the mind or the heart. … [I]t means to understand, think, reflect.” It means to put something all together and make out its meaning.
How many people try to understand according to this definition? This is the key that unlocks the sign—a deep concept from the mind of our Creator.
According to verse 15, you must understand what the Prophet Daniel taught about the abomination. Our booklet Daniel—Unsealed at Last! will explain that Bible teaching to you. There you will find that the abomination is dual. It manifests itself in God’s Church and in the world. (All of our literature is free.)
What Is the Abomination?
When we can see the abomination of desolation stand in the holy place—the Jerusalem area—that is the sign. But what is the abomination of desolation? Matthew, Mark and Luke all give us their version of what the abomination is in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21.
Let’s compare Luke’s version to Matthew’s.
“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh” (Luke 21:20). The abomination that makes desolate is armies surrounding Jerusalem. This happens just before the Great Tribulation begins. The Tribulation only lasts 2½ years, and then comes the Day of the Lord, which lasts for one year, concluded by Christ’s Second Coming.
Arab armies have been in that area for a long time. But the abomination is a European army with 10 kings. This is all explained in our booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire. Many of our readers have already read our foundational book on this subject, The United States and Britain in Prophecy.
Germany and the European Union are already the real economic power of this world. Their military power is rapidly forming now.
When the abomination is surrounding Jerusalem, God’s very elect are told to flee (verse 21). Verses 22-23 discuss wrath coming upon the people and great distress! That is the same message you read in Matthew 24 and Mark 13.
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 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 24:21-22). Notice that the abomination sign is tied to nuclear war so bad that no flesh would be “saved alive” (Moffatt translation) if Christ didn’t intervene and stop it.
Would you say we are close to that time? Intelligence agencies and defense experts now say that North Korea has the power to destroy major cities in South Korea and Japan at this very moment. The Taliban terrorists could soon conquer a nuclear Pakistan. And the whole world knows that Iran could become a nuclear power extremely soon. That means that three madmen could possess nuclear weapons in a few months!
It is childish folly to think anybody but Christ could stop this nuclear madness.
No wonder God has His people flee!
So all this nuclear insanity is also a part of the sign of the Second Coming, when Christ will save humanity from totally exterminating itself!
The real nuclear damage is not done by the three madmen—but mainly by the abomination of desolation. There is also some madness in other leaders with nuclear power!
This abomination is going to be the major force that endangers the lives of every person on Earth. But it will be too late to do much when you actually see the abomination unless you have prepared yourself spiritually. God wants us to understand what Daniel and other prophets taught about events that lead up to the abomination that makes desolate with its nuclear bombs! Then, step by step, we can trace all of the prophecies and events that point to that sign until Christ returns.
God promised His protection to any individual who will heed His warning and repent. The sign includes the worst news and the best news we could hear! It is time that each one of us understands the sign of Christ’s coming and the end of this age.