[We must deliberately repeat the title, since you probably won't take the title seriously, unless we really make a point of it.--Ed.]
Jesus characterized the last days as a time when "iniquity shall abound" (Matthew 24:12). We have seen how this is true of our age, which is dominated to a frightening extent by immorality and crime. A general spirit of lawlessness already prevails in our time. We are approaching the state of affairs which the Bible says will be characteristic of the end times. This means that the judgment of God's wrath, proclaimed in the Revelation of john, is at the door. Destruction and doom impend [did you hear this, fellow Emmaus Walker?--Ed.]. The time of the Antichrist is upon us. In that time, according to the Bible, the "great dragon" will persecute all those "who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus (Revelation 12:17). Those who keep God's commandments will be recognized by Satan as belonging to his great enemy, Jesus the Christ. Therefore he hates them. Thus a fateful decision hangs on our attitude toward the commandments. Do we truly belong to Christ and His Kingdom, or in the end will we be counted in the Anti-christ's kingdom [many of us Christians today even in evangelical circles and churches are already in his kingdom, but don't know it, we are so deceived! It happened with most evangelical Christians in Germany, voting for Hitler while thinking he was Germany's bringer of hope and change! That's the bad news. But the good news still is that we can be set free of the anti-christ spirit by the truth, if we cry out to God for him to show us what we are enslaved by.--Ed.].
Jesus admonished us to pay attention to the signs of the end times. We live in an hour when His words carry an urgency they have never had before. Men of mature judgment, in the most diverse fields of thought and activity, speak of this decisive event. Reinhold Schneider spent a lifetime seeking knowledge of the hidden workings of spiritual power. Before his death he said, "I am convinced that the end of history is near. Our time is the interval between the end of the realm and the last jerk of the clock-hand." Men like Kierkegaard, Burkhardt, Thomas Mann [by all means read this Novel Prize winner's monumental novels, BUDDENBROOKS, and THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN, or at least the much shorter DEATH IN VENICE showing a highly educated but decadent, perverse man pursuing the illusion of rare beauty in a young boy he glimpses only fleetingly just before his death, books by Mann that show the mortal spiritual, moral, and even intellectual decline of Western civilization and portend its coming overthrow.--Ed.] and R.M. Rilke onvey a somber mood of death. They were all gripped by the intuition that "not only was a century coming to an end, b that it was an "empirically established fact" that our situation is "'eschatological' in the fuller apocalyptic sense of the word."
This is simply the fact of our time. Today one can hardly get away from the reality that "The existence of the atomic bomb represents an immediate danger to all people. The situation is here. It cannot be reversed [just as the possession of an atomic bomb, with the long-range missiles to deliver it a thousand miles or more, by Iran against Israel, Europe, and even America, cannot be reversed.--Ed.]. Man is able to wipe mankind and all life from the face of the globe by his own action. The bare circumstances indicate that this end will come within the next decade." True, men can be mistaken. men are limited in knowledge and understanding. It might be unimportant that men of our time speak of a great darkness which is rapidly approaching.
But another prophesied a time of terror and darkness for mankind, namely God Himself, the Lord and Creator. He above all, has said it--the Lord who cannot be mistaken. His nature is in no way limited. What He has established cannot be changed. It is God who alone is all-knowing and all-mighty, who brings us these predictions and prophecies. His word remains valid for time and eternity.
No one has made prophecies thousands of years beforehand, which have been confirmed by the course of history [and what religious system, no matter what name it is given, has been able to do this, other than what we find in the Word of God, the Bible?--Ed.]. Only the Lord God could speak with such majesty. "I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. Who is like me? Let him proclaim it, let him declare it and set it forth before me. Who has announced from of old the things to come? Let them tell us what is yet to be. Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses!" (isaiah 44:6-8).
In our time we are witnesses that God's prophecies for Israel have been fulfilled. In Deut. 28: 64-65, God said, "And the Lord will scatter you among all people, from one of the earth to the other...and among these nations you shall find no ease." And likewise in verse 37, He says "And you shall become a horror, a proverb, and a byword among all the peoples where the Lord will lerad you away." We read further in Lev. 26: 31-32, "I will lay your cities waste,and I will make your sanctuaries desolate...And I will devaste theland, so that your enemies who settle in it shall be astonished by it."
That is precisely what came to pass in the course of history. The land of Israel was laid waste. Her cities were turned to rubble. And her people were dispersed into virtually every nation of the world. One sees this clearly in the new State of Israel: Jews from more than seventy nations have returned to the land of their fathers [has this happened to any other ethnic people in history? Certainly, it has not, confirming again the word of the Lord about His dispersed people making Aliyah, or return to the land He gave to them.--Ed.]. For thousands of years they have been enslaved, despised, persecuted.
The prophecies concerning Israel were truly fulfilled. The prophecies concerning us and all nations will also be fulfilled. For the Lord did not prophesy alone concerning Israel. He also prophesied concerning the whole world in these latter days. In these prophecies He speaks of a time in which the nations would become unified. In these prophecies He speaks concerning the entire inhabited earth. He says, "The clamor will resound to the ends of the earth, for the Lord has an indictment against the nations; he is entering into judgment with all flesh, and the wicked he will put to the sword [Listen up, all you proud and Christian-and Jew-hating secularists in Congress and in the White House--this pertains to you too!--Ed.]. Behold, evil is going forth fgrom nation to nation, and a great tempest is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth" (Jeremiah 25: 31-32.
"Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the winepress is full. The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great" (Joel 3:13) [see note below about the sickle-bearing Bo-otes in the Bo-otes Constellation, which means "The Coming One, which is is now the brightest distant object in the sky!--Ed.]. "Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the earth a desolation and todestroy its sinners from it...I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity. I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant, and lay low the haughtiness of the ruthless...and the earth will be shaken out of its place, at the wrath of the Lord of hosts in the day of his fierce anger" (Isaiah 13:9, 11, 13).
In the New Testament, Jesus says exactly the same thing concerning the end times. He also says that fear and destruction will be visited upon the entire inhabited earth (Luke 21: 26). This is our situation today. Mankind has become a family of nations in our time. And the whole family is saturated with one spirit, the spirit of immorality and lawlessness [Lawlessness as a spirit, and Immorality with it, is endemic in America. In the news lately in Washington State, filmed on camera, a young woman struck an officer apprehending her for jaywalking. That was the best thing that could have happened to her, to teach this foolish young woman a lesson she would not forget. What had she done? She was clearly in the wrong jaywalking in a very dangerous roadway in Seattle, refusing to take the safe elevated walkway above that roadway because, as she said later, it involved climbing, and when accosted by the officer resisted and struck him, and he struck back. He put a fist in this fat, belligerent teenager's mouthy face to keep her and her friends no doubt from seizing his gun, for which the black community is now outraged. Yet this high schooler was lawless, showing the defiant spirit of this age and culture; she should have known to never strike officers when she is in the wrong, as she clearly was, nor should she strike them or anyone else for that matter unless defending herself from an attacker. She has since apologized, but the incident is yet fueling racial tensions in the black community in Seattle, and now many have got up a rally to protest the officer's punch (would a taser been better, considering the risk to the officer involved?).--Ed.].
The end times, according to Jesus, will be like the times of Noah (Luke 17: 26:27). The characteristic of that age was that "the earth was corrupt" (Gen. 6:12). The word in our day is "decadence," which means corruption [and you could scarcely find a more corrupt, pleasure-loving, decadent, perverse, lawless, violent society than the secularist, liberal-run culture of Seattle, Washington. Even their festivals such as Mardi Gras, Bumpershoot, Blue Angels Jet flyovers, etc., must have huge numbers of law enforcement officers on hand, as they frequently degenerate into gang warfare, brutal beatings, and even killings.--Ed.].
Our times also have a common fear and worry. Today a fear of atomic war hangs like a sword of Damocles over all the nations of the earth. These are facts that cannot be ignored.
Jesus says, "When you see all these things, you know that he (Jesus) is near, at the very gates (Matt. 254:33). Thus it is the Lord who wants to rouse and alert us with all the facts. He calls us in this hour: The end times are here! Stay awake! Be ready! The whole of God's plan is about to be fulfilled!"
God is our Father. He does not want to destroy, but to save. Yet He knows how "hard of hearing" we are. He knows that we do not want to hear the truth about mankind, and about the hour in which we live. That is why He took such plains to establish the truth in prophecy. Thousands of years would prepare the way for the final judgment. It is unfathomable how God predicted the events of our atomic and space age thousands of years beforehand. His words demand our attention today, whatever our individual inte4rpretation of the apocalyptic passages have greater impact on us today than they did thirty years ago. Today it is not purely an intervention of God which could bring about the fulfillment of these passages--something which goes beyond our human comprehension. The stockpiles of atomic weapons all over the world have created a perfectly natural situation which could unleash such apocalytic events.
In His love and mercy, God has done everything possible to warn people to be prepared. In this regard, the well-known atomic physicist, Bernhard Philberth said: "Today, in the decade after 1960, physics and technology are running in astonishing and unexpected parallel with the Book of Revelation...Christian prophecy may have seemed fantastic symbolism in former times, and even until quite recently. It yielded no clear meaning. Yet today, in a madly rushing technological age, it is a factual report which can stand any sober comparison."
In the time of Jesus, and even more in the time of the Old Testament prophecies 500-600 years earluier, the origin and effects of such events were completely beyond man's understanding. One knew nothing of nuclear energy, with its power in a single bomb to wipe out great cities, indeed the population of the entire inhabited earth. One knew nothing of a deadly atomic dust which could turn fields and meadows into a wilderness. One knew nothing of space ships which could journey to the moon. One knew nothing of the possibility that other planets could come under our influence, and be made to suffer with us at the hands of atomic weapons.
No one could have believed that one day there would be weapons which would put man in the position of being able to destroy virtually the entire inhabited earth with the push of a button. No one would have believed who contended that man could darkent he sun, or that moon and stars could come within our grip. And yet all this was prophesied thousands of years ago.
Thus it was, that up until ten or twenty years ago most of the prophecies in the Revelation of John were interposed almost exclusively in a symbolic sense. Today, however, these prophecies describe real possibilities which could take place in our own time. What a fearsome threat these words carry, when we realize that their meaning is not symbolic, but an acute reality which lies fully within the spheres of present-day technology:
"The sun and moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining" (Joel 2:10).
The sun shall be turned to darkness" (Joel 2:31). Today it is quite possible that sun, moon and stars could be obscured by masses of radioactive dust resulting from the explosion of hydrogen bombs.
"All of the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll" (Isaiah 34:4). In our day intercontinental ballistic missiles and satellites have penetrated into the realm of the stars at fantastic speeds.
"And I will give portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke" (Joel 2:30). Today the flash of light from an atomic explosion is thirty times as brilliant as the sun--and becomes a rising atomic mushroom of fire and smoke.
"For by fire will the Lord execute judgment" (Isaiah 66:16). The fireball of a hydrogen bomb explosion, at 100 million degrees centigrade, produces enough heat to consume anything.
"Behold, the Lord will lay waste the earth and make it desolate, and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants" (Isaiah 24:1). One hundred thousand atomic bombs, and many thousands of hydrogen bombs, are at the ready--more than enough to make the earth uninhabitable [Nothing has changed essentially since Basilea Schlink wrote this book and warned us about nuclear annihilation. The nuclear bomb reductions of the Obama Administration vis a vis the Soviet Union are merely cosmetic and politically motivated, as it is the U.S. is the one that is doing the actual substantial reductions of the nuclear weapon stockpile, while China is accelerating its own nuclear program and the Russians, despite their one-sided treaty with Obama, are vigorously building up and testing their nuclear war capablility and nuclear arsenal; meanwhile, rogue or lawless regimes such as North Korea and its allies, Cuba, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, are working on their own nuclear capabilities and arsenals that include long-range missiles to carry nuclear and biological/chemical warheads to Israel, to Europe, and even to America. Cuba may seem insignificant on the face of it, but the island so close to our shores (only 90 miles or so from Florida) could easily furnish airfields to nuclear-bomb carrying bombers from Iran and other forces attacking the U.S. heartland in a surprise, preemptive strike. Obama is presently sleeping at the helm, so to speak, playing his political games while pretending that there is no nuclear threat anymore in the reason-dominated world, and so our enemies could do this terrible thing now, launch all-out attacks with all their weapons, and probably succeed beyond their wildest dreams. Even if he should hear an attack had been launched, he would just go to his government bunker and let it happen, that is how much he hates America and the American people. To his perverted, twisted, self-centered mentality, he believes in his very core that Christian America should be punished severely for all its "crimes" against humanity, and he has aimed his whole agenda at reducing America to squalor and helplessness before its enemies so that will precipitate just such a knockout punch and the total destruction of America as a free and democratic society and superpower. He does not want to be an American president anyway, he aspires rather to being head of the world (as he has indicated before in his speeches to the world), by taking charge of the United Nations and the European Union in the aftermath of America's destruction, which would open the way for him. If this seems like far-fetched imagination at work, it is not. It is altogether feasible. Obama's role model and exempler, Hitler, had wild dreams of world domination which no one took seriously, and look how close he actually got to being the conqueror of the world, with Germany nearly building an atomic bomb and already operating successfully the world's first jet fighters and aircraft as well as long-range missiles. It does little good to warn people, nevertheless, of these imminent disasters, as the news are full of disasters everyday that most people take with a yawn, so they react to real threats the same way, with a yawn and a flick of the remote control to another program or channel! But then disaster strikes and takes them away, and they are utterly overwhelmed and without any means to cope with the disaster's aftermath if they survive to see the light of the day after. Many perish who might have been saved, if they had sought God and prepared. But they continued their merry, self-centered ways, heedless of the looming disasters, and slept and were caught sleeping when the lion finally pounced. How are we any different here in America? We are prime prey, set up for the predator nations that are working day and night to destroy us in a coordinated effort. I myself believe there are only a few souls who will take the warnings to heart of this godly woman of prayer and prophecy and prepare themselves spiritually and 'watch and pray,' day and night as Christ instructed his followers to do. His coming is very, very soon! And attacks on America may occur before that time, very, very soon! We may not escape with our lives in the coming months or next few years. Think how the thousands going to work and arriving there just minutes before in the World Trade Center towers were caught by surprise by the incoming jet-airliners commandeered by the beserk Muslim jehadists! That is a true picture, the people going to their desks with cups of coffee in their hands while planes flew like deadly missiles to incinerate them in seconds--of our own peril today, in this very hour.--Ed.].
"The earth shall be utterly laid waste and utterly despoiled (Isaiah 24:3). A leading politician has said that the first atomic attack would leave 700 to 800 million dead in its wake (--Do these huge figures leave you cold? Well, consider that our own country has 370 million people at present. Just being conservative, consider that the first attack on the U.S. by allied rogue states with nuclear-warhead missiles and bombers would cost us 100 million lives and severe case casualities, if the major cities and metropolitan areas were all hit, with tens of millions dying from radiation exposure in the first hours afterwards, then tens of millions more in the next few days from lack of essential services, no hospitalization for burns, trauma, wounds, etc., lack of food, water, and other necessities, and from disease and many other disasters that follow such an attack, the U.S. population might well sink to less than 100 million in another week or so, with the nation never able to function again as a viable society, its economy totally wrecked, the infrastructure totally ruined, and no money or ability to get aid to survivors or to protect the remaining population from future attacks or even enemy troop invasions. This is a likely scenario. It can happen. It can happen soon too. We are not going to have any protection called out from Washington. Forget any pre-emptive strike, even if Washington knows the attack is coming. We are on our own. But thank God for God! He still wants to be our Protector, if we will only cry out to him and put away our sins!--Ed.).
"The fearsome specter for millions is that atomic rockets can flash across continents and oceans in minutes, turning whole countries into craters of death. Survivors will live in hiding places, amidst a world of ruin and death [Basilea Schlink knews fully what this HORROR is like, as she and other Germans young and old huddled in the ruins of Darmstadt, Germany, during the bombings that leveled much of the once great city in World War II; no food, no water, no shelter to speak of, cold, frightened to death, expecting the next bomb to hit squarely on the place where she and others were hiding...that nightmare certainly is one we should take to heart now, as it may become our own experience soon here in America if the Lord should withdraw his protective hand from us.--Ed.].
"The Lord is enraged against all their host, he has doomed them, has given them over for slaughter. Their slain shall be cast out, and the stench of their corpses shall rise; the mountains shall flow with their blood" (Isaiah 34:2-3). Physicists such as Dr. Oppenheimer have raised the question whether there will be enough survivors to bury the millions of dead after an atomic war.
"I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbage" (Is. 42:15). Today clouds of radioactive dust orbit the earth. They threaten to descend after a period of years as a deadly precipitation, destroying all vegetation.
The reality of things which God prophesied 2500 years ago is close at hand. The same is true of prophecies which Jesus Christ spoke in the gosp-els and through His apostles nearly 2000 years ago. Jesus said: "The sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the heaven" (Matt. 24:29, Mark 13:25). In Rev. 8:12 we read, "The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the stars, so that a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light was darnened." The Apostle Peter writes, "The elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up" (II Peter 3:10, 12). "The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea" (Rev. 8:8). This prophecy of the Apostle John, according to atomic physicist Philberth, is an apt description of a hydrogen bomb explosion.
Jesus' words describe the effect upon people of such explosions in space: "...but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom fire and brimstone rained from heaven and destroyed them all--so will it be on the day when the Son of man is revealed" (Luke 17: 29-30). The Book of Revelation completes the picture: "...a third of the earth was burnt up, and a third of the trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up" (Rev. 8:7). This corresponds to the estimates of atomic physicists regarding the use of atomic weapons. When the "bowls of wrath" are poured out in the Book of Revelation, the earth is completely destroyed, so that even the rivers dry up, and "every island fled away,a nd no mou8ntains were to be found" (Rev. 16:12, 20).
Considering all these words, and the prophecies which have been fulfilled in regard to Israel, it becomes evident that God's warning is meant for us. "Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose'" (Isaiah 46:9-10).
"Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them" (Isaiah 42:9). Indeed God's prophecies have come to pass. This is plain to see in the history of Israel right in our own time. During the dreadful murder of millions of Jews throughout Europe, who would have thought that instead of being exterminated they would return to the land of their fathers from all corners of the world (Ezekiel 11: 16-17). In like manner the yet unfufilled prophecies regarding the nations will be fulfilled in the end times [Indeed, the survival of the Jews despite all persecutions and exterminations, wars of genocide and pogroms and satanic "Final Solutions" unleashed on them to annihilate them as a race, stands as the second greatest Miracle on earth--next to the Miracle of Christ's Redemptive Work on the Cross--in my opinion, but also highly regarded by others as well, great leaders in history who saw the same thing--Ed.].
The mighty acts of God, in fulfilling His prophecies, bring us face to face with the great, eternal, almighty God. Since Nietzsche the mocking call has been heard--and now its stident voice is raised even by theologians and churchmen--"God is dead!" But God proves, "Behold, I live!" Today men mockingly say, "God is silent." In rebellion and hatred against God, they think they can do as they please. But God is not mocked.
What we can scarcely comprehend is the unfathomable humility and patience of God. It is born out of His love. Through the centuries He has borne this mockery and ridicule. And still He bears it inour godless age. Still he waits...before the terrible judgment descends.
Equally incomprehensible--int he face of this patience and concern which God directs toward us--is the blindness of man: In the long run we want to make God responsible for sin and depravity. We rebel against God, throw faith and the commandments of God overboard; we clear the way to live life the way we want to, to sinas we choose--which brings us nothing but destruction, emptiness and senselessness. And then, having made our bed, we blame God that we must lie in it; He is silent; He no longer speaks to anyone. But the hour is near when God will break silence. For the harvest is ripe. The sin and blasphemy of man cries out to heaven.
In February, 1964, an Israeli newspaper reviewed the American film, "How I Learned to Love the Bomb." They said, "It was the hand of the satyr, laid upon the holiest possessions of the nation." That hand will be brought low in the terror of an atomic war. Atomic weapons will not only bring a horrible death to millions, but will also slowly, tortuously destroy the lives of those who survive.
God alone knows the hour. But the signs which He Himself has given indicate that it is near. In that hour He will prove Himself to be the living God. Then He will reveal that His silence was not due to weakness or incompetence, as scoffers have said since the Age of the Enlightenment. Then it will be revealed that He did not fail in His government of the world. For then He will show that He has guided the world according to a clearly defined plan--a plan marked by His wisdom, and above all by His great love. Then it will be recognized that His longsuffering and patience held back the judgment of atomic war upon the earth until "the bowl of evil was filled to overflowing"--just as He prophesied thousands of years before hand.
[Incredible, shocking but true events have come out in the news in the last ten years that the Soviet Union was completely prepared and had decided to strike Western Europe with atomic weapons and then mass invasions by the Soviet bloc nations, with East Germany leading the pack, and Poland sacrificed to Western atomic retaliation (for the nuclear missile attack was to be launched from secret bases and atomic artillery on Polish soil). A Polish patriot working in the government highest levels learned of this impending attack ordered by Moscow, an attack which would certainly destroy Poland utterly with nuclear exchanges, and by which Poland would gain nothing but the Soviet Masters in Moscow would gain the control of Western Europe after destroying NATO defenses on land and in the air. He copied the vital documents telling of the details of the attack forces, and times, and units and weapons involved, and slipped it to CIA spies he had alerted, and for years this went on, until finally Washington quietly let Moscow know it knew what it was planning, and since there would be no surprise in the attack, Moscow was forced to scuttle the entire plot. Western Europe was saved a catastrophe beyond imagination, and the lives of tens of millions spared who surely would have perished in the initial nuclear exchanges of NATO and the Soviet forces in Poland. Poland would have been wiped off the map of course, made uninhabitable for centuries to come. It could never have recovered as a nation after the majority of its people had been killed and its soil contaminated with radioactivity, so it could not produce any more food. The Readers Digest carried the story of this brave Polish patriot in the 1970s, breaking the story only after he and his wife and family were safely in the West under asylum and protection from KGB assassins. To this day most people in the West and in America do not know of this plot that nearly was carried out but stopped just in time by what the brave young Polish military officer did, at the risk of his life and his lives of his family's too--Ed.].
Only then will he step in. Then this corrupt earth will be devastated with weapons of destruction which the fallen human creature--inspired by Satan--has himself created. That will be the end of man, though he was commissioned by God to subdue the earth and have dominion over it. But now Lucifer has led him to develop weapons which will destroy the earth. When mankind as a whole is drunk with power, the depraved human spirit, as a last act of insanity, will destroy the earth. That will be the end of the "autonomy" and "self-determination" of reason. That will be the end of Nietzsche's idea of the "superman."
This is the end of "living one's life to the full." This is where denial of the living, self-revealing God leads--a denial instigated by the seemingly harmless theories of rationalism and idealism. This is where a revolution in ethicsw, whichreaches right into the heart of theology, leads--to this and nothing else. Yet no one wants to believe it--just as once before none would believe it.
But then a shrill cry echoed down the streets: "Woe! Woe unto this city! Woe unto those who dwell therein!" It was a peasant from the country. A lunatic? They brought him before the authorities. They ordered him flogged. He made no plea for himself. He shed no tears. But with with every lash of the whip he cried in a voice of lament, "Woe! Woe to the city!" The historians of antiquity, Josephus and Tacitus, report this event.
Why did this man cry out against the city? The city faced no danger. It enjoyed peace and prosperity. Or did it? A fearful prophecy of Jesus hung in glowing letters above the city: "For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies will cast up a bank about you and surround you, and hem you in onevery side, and dash you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another in you" (Luke 19:43-44).
Just a word--nothing more? Sound and fury? Years had passed by since the words were uttered. Nothing had happened. Those who had heard of this prophecy of Jesus might well have mocked: "He prophesied destruction, the Nazarene, but we have never had it so good!"
There was something else remarkable about the incident. Josephus and Tacitus report it: A star which had the shape of a sword, and a comet, hung in the sky over the city for a whole year. But in that year nothing took place which altered the good fortune of the city.
But then a day came, a day that began like any other. It was the 14th of April, A.D. 70. Something happened. It was on a Friday, before the Feast of Passover. Strangely, it was on the same day that Jesus was crucified, He who had spoken the prophecy concerning Jerusalem. But who thought of it?
Suddenly the Roman army hove into sight. In three columns they advanced on the city. Again, strangely, one of the columns made camp at roughly the same spot on the Mount of Olives where Jesus had prophesied that a bank would be cast up around the city. Now the bank was there. The picture of the city changes. Terror and fear of hunger reign. Thousands of women and children are burnt alive on the roof of one of the Temple buildings. More than 500 crosses ring the city around, and on them hang the citizens of Jerusalem. The entire city and Temple are destroyed, leveled to the ground. On April 13th no one would have believed it.
Why did it happen? It happened because beforehand none would believe it and heed the call to repentance. Thus the horrible destruction of the city, with more than a million people come together for the Passover Feast, was fulfilled. Jesus had prophesied this destruction even to minor details, and proclaimed to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, "This will come to pass because you did not know the time of your visitation." Jesus had come with the call, "Repent! The Kingdom of God is at hand!" They woujldnot believe that ignoring the call could bring such catastrophic results.
Following the prophecy concerning Jerusalem, Jesus prophesied just as clearly concerning later times. Jesus called the judgment of Jerusalem "days of vengeance...great distress shall be upon the earth, and wrath upon this people" (Luke 21: 22,23). Then Jesus told, as we have already seen, how the judgment of God's wrath will fall on all the inhabitants of the earth in the end times.
"Aand they did not know--" (Matt. 24:39). This is the frightening part of Jesus' prophecy for the last times, when great distruction will fall. They do not know it today either, though thousands of missiles are poised for firing. It is as it was in Jesus' time: No one wants to believe it. Yet who can deny that terrible destruction threatens our cities and nations? If again today no one will believe it, then we too will be lost. Jesus' word will be fulfilled.
Therefore--O! let us BELIEVE Jesus' word! If we but knew the hour of our visitation, we would repent. It is repentance which alone saves from judgment. Repentance gives the power for priestly intercession, hich alone can stay the judgment. Repentance gives entrance into His Kingdom, where peace and joy reign, where we remain safe in the Father's hand, even in the most difficult times. Repentance makes us citizens of the Kingdom which shall never end, which shall be visibly established when Jesus Christ comes again as King of kings and Lord of lords. "Blessed are those who keep His commandments and bear testimony to Jesus."--Basilea Schlink
The constellation known as Bo-otes, or "The Coming One," shows a man with a sickle coming to reap a harvest, and, according to some, is a heavenly sign, predicting the return of Jesus to Earth.
On March 19, 2008, a powerful gamma ray burst detected by NASA's Swift Satellite in the Bo-otes constellation shattered the record for the most distant object that could be seen with the naked eye.