Before the death of Jesus, his disciples asked him a direct question to which he did not withhold the answer. Jesus had previously told his disciples, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” John 15:15.
So, when Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?” Jesus replied, “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. Matthew 24:4-5.
Jesus’ first response to his disciples was to indicate that his return will be more than just the proclamation he is the Christ, because at his return, the earth will be in absolute chaos and confusion, a ripe environment and opportunity for many to be deceived as they seek to find a solution to the world’s trouble. But rather than declaring he is the Christ; his return will coincide with a great shaking of the earth, and after making this point, Jesus then went on to give the signs that will lead up to his return.
“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” Matthew 24:6. It was important for his disciples to know the report of wars, and the announcement there may be a great war is nothing that should cause us to be alarmed because although these things are occurring, they will not signal the end. They will only signal the beginning of sorrow, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places signs these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:7.
As the nation’s go to war, they will cause sorrow upon the earth, “I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. Revelation 6:1-2.
Their fighting will lead to the death of millions “I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.” Revelation 6:3-4.
They will destroy the earth through war, resulting in the shortage and destruction of human resources that will lead to the rising cost of bread that will cause many to starve and die of hunger. “I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So, I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” Revelation 6:5-6.
As these things escalate, death will follow close behind the four beasts as the nations engaged in war against heir enemies pushing to enforce their dominance upon the earth. “I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see. “So, I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.” Revelation 6:7-8.
In the midst of all this sorrow, the bride of Christ will be brought to trail and put to death by the sword for the testimony of Jesus Christ. Jesus warned before his return many of his disciples will be put to death, many will also turn away from the faith and begin to hate one another and later become false prophets in service to the Antichrist betraying their former brothers unto death. But in the midst of it all, the gospel of the kingdom will advance to all nations at which point Jesus will signal his return.
“They will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for my name sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:9-14.
John wrote, “I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. Revelation 6:9-12
Because of the earthquakes and fighting among the nations, many will die. Most will die from hunger and disease caused by the polluting of the earth due to the stench of death and rotten corpse laying out in the fields. Death will come by earthquakes, war, and starvation triggered by the disruption and destruction of farm lands because of volcanic activities triggered by earthquakes that will lead up to the final sign, the shaking and the appearance of Jesus the king.
Understanding these things, the disciples of Jesus and those after them must not follow the false prophets who will come saying, “Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false Christ’s and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.” Mathew 24:23-25.
Jesus’ return will not be to proclaim and prove he is the Christ, rather he will appear, and the world will know it, because the coming of Christ will be a sudden event and the world will be caught by surprise. But because we are the friends of Jesus, it should not be of any surprise to us because the coming of Jesus will be brought on by the final event of a great earthquake and a massive volcanic eruption that will cause smoke to rise high in the heavens causing the sun to be blocked out changing the color of the sky to red. Great boulders will fall from the heavens like falling stars upon the people as they fall back to the earth because of the volcanic eruptions. The nations will mourn, they will seek shelter in the rocks to escape God’s wrath, then will Jesus appear in the clouds that rises up from the volcano to rescue his people and to establish his government on earth.
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
John wrote, “I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”