By Grant Phillips
“He who testifieth these things saith, Surely, I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Revelation 22:20-21)
Notice that the word “Amen” is used in both verses. Strong’s dictionary has the following to say about this wonderful word.
A. at the beginning of a discourse – surely, truly, of a truth
B. at the end – so it is, so be it, may it be fulfilled. It was a custom, which passed over from the synagogues to the Christian assemblies, that when he who had read or discoursed, had offered up solemn prayer to God, the others responded Amen, and thus made the substance of what was uttered their own.
After John had transcribed all that Jesus had given him to write in this book called Revelation, he gave a resounding “Amen.”
John knew Jesus personally. He had lived with Him, elbow to elbow, for three years. He saw everything Jesus did and heard everything He said during that time. He experienced, from a disciple’s position, all that Jesus encountered while on earth. So let us understand that there was much he saw and heard concerning Jesus’ time on earth that we are not aware of.
“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” (John 21:25) Notice that John also gives a resounding “Amen” in this passage.
In the introductory passage above Jesus promised, “Surely, I come quickly.” The Apostle Paul said that when Jesus returns it will be an instantaneous event.
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:52)
Jesus will first return for the Church, His bride, and it will happen quickly, “in the twinkling of an eye.” We call this the Rapture, taken from 1 Thessalonians 4:17, “caught up.” This eagerly anticipated event will then trigger Daniel’s 70th week, popularly known as the Tribulation. Seven years later, at the end of the Tribulation, Jesus will return with the Church to settle an old score and jump start the 1,000 year Millennium.
The Apostle John saw Jesus as the Son of Man and the Son of God. He saw Him as the Son of Man during those three years on earth, and he saw Him as the Son of God when Jesus gave him the book of Revelation to write down for us all. John was absolutely, positively, without a doubt certain that every word of this great book would transpire exactly as Jesus said, and that includes when Jesus gave the promise of His return.
I believe Jesus is going to return. Millions of Christians world-wide today believe that Jesus is going to return. We may not all believe in the same procedure, but we do believe He is going to return. Even though there are billions who do not believe it, count it as nonsense, and could care less, the faithful are still looking upward.
Folks Jesus is definitely going to return, and He is first going to remove His Church before He administers judgment all across this globe we call earth. The very next event on His agenda is to remove His people. I do not know when, and would not dare to venture a guess. Date setters are fools. Only God knows the date.
However, let us not overlook the obvious. God in His mercy has given us many, many signs that will accompany the Tribulation. Now remember, there are no signs for the Rapture, and keep in mind that the Rapture PRECEDES the Tribulation. So, since many of these signs for the Tribulation have already formed and are increasing in quantity and intensity, just as Jesus said they would, His return could be at the door.
“But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” (Matthew 24:8 NASB)
As birth pangs come upon a woman about to give birth, so will be the signs Jesus mentions in Matthew chapter twenty four. Read this chapter and see for yourself just how prevalent they are today.
Also think about this, the Tribulation is actually what the Bible calls Daniel’s 70th week. This is explained in Daniel 9:20-27. This period serves two purposes; (1) it fulfills the 70 weeks God allotted Israel and draws her back to Him, and (2) brings judgment upon an unbelieving world.
Now, nothing can happen unless Israel is a nation. Guess what? Israel has been a nation since May 14, 1948, but had been scattered all over the globe for nearly 2,000 years. No nation of people has ever, in the history of the world, been brought back as a nation after so long a time. They have even been brought back with their original Hebrew language, and they’re ready for temple worship as soon as one is built, and it will be built probably during Daniel’s 70th week.
Let me give you one other thing to think about for those of you who do not believe there will be a Rapture of the Church before the Tribulation. Let’s say hypothetically that you are correct. Time is just as short either way. All the signs, remember, are for the Tribulation. Therefore, the Tribulation (Daniel’s 70th week) could be right upon us.
Folks, the fig tree (Israel) is in bloom, and our Lord is coming back. Will He return in my lifetime? I think He will, but even if He doesn’t, I’ll meet you in the air when He does return. He promised us in Revelation 3:10 that He would keep His true Church from going through the “hour of temptation;” that is, Daniel’s 70th week or as we call it, the Tribulation.
Keep looking up. This may be the day.