Back to Biblical Basics: events leading into Jesus’ Return

This post appears in the hub About Signs and is the reference copy of the continuation of The Who, Why, When and What of Watching, published in February 2018.

In continuing our trilogy on getting back to Biblical basics, arising from having heard “It’s sooner than you think!!”, the following ‘signs’ foretell events indicative of Jesus Christ’s return to rule and reign upon earth:

Omitting signs that apply to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70 (Note 1) and those recorded by Apostle John in his book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ, this selection is compiled from the earliest Gospel (Mark 13), augmented by Matthew (24) and Luke (17 & 21), plus extracts from Paul’s letters to believers in Corinth and Salonika, to whom he told the origin of his teaching – ‘For this we say to you by the word of the Lord…’ .:

    1. The Gospel must first be preached to all the nations.
    2. Disciples will stand to testify before courts, councils, rulers and kings and be ‘beaten in synagogues’.
    3. Many will come in Jesus’ name, saying “I am He” and will deceive many. 
    4. Wars and rumors of wars – nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom  (“Do not be troubled for such things must happen, but the end is not yet”)
    5. Earthquakes in various places – famines and troubles – as the beginnings of sorrows [see Note 7].
    6. “Brother will betray brother to death – a father his child – children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death and
    7. “You will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
    8. “So, when you see the ‘abomination of desolation’, spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing where it ought not (let the reader understand!), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” [This may refer not only to a Roman standard placed in the Temple’s Holy of Holies, but also to any profane object or person placed therein at any time (including its mount?) – see Note 2 below.]
    9. “In those days there will be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be.
    10. “And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days….
    11. “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it for false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”
    12. ‘For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God. [THE ‘all change’ signal, as below.]
    13. ‘And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up [‘harpadzo’ = rapture, see Note 3] together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air…’
    14. ‘You know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety” then sudden destruction comes…’ [see Note 4]
    15. ‘Let no one deceive you…for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first [see Note 5], and
    16. ‘the man of sin (lawlessness) is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped,
    17. ‘so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God…
    18. ‘The coming of the lawless one is according to the workings of satan with all power, signs and lying wonders, and
    19. ‘with all unrighteous deception among those who perish because they didn’t receive a love of the truth, that they might be saved…[see Note 6]
    20. ‘For this reason God will send them strong delusion that they should believe the lie (!!)…’
    21. “After that tribulation, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.
    22. “The stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
    23. “On the earth perplexity, seas and waves roaring
    24. “Men’s hearts failing them from fear and expectation of what’s coming on the earth.
    25. “As it was in the days of Noah, so also in the days of the Son of Man: “They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.”
    26. “Likewise as it was in the days of Lot…on the day Lot left Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
    27. “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife: Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.
    28. “I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.”
    29. “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory and
    30. “then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.” [The Rapture]

Jesus said, “Take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.

After receiving a glory-revelation of Jesus Christ, His close Apostle John writes, ‘Behold He is coming with clouds and every eye shall see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth shall mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen….In the Spirit on the Lord’s Day I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying,

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last…”

Scriptures from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson Inc. and used by permission. All rights reserved.

How Can We Be Sure?

You may object and say, “But even if that’s an accurate quotation it’s only guesswork”. That is, prophecies don’t always come to pass. In answering and as a synopsis only, see Key to Foretelling the Future. [More details about prophecy can be found here]


‘Behold I tell you a mystery (hidden truth): We shall not all ‘sleep’ but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortality put on immortality.’ (I Cor 51-53)


The above listing covers prophecies from the New Testament only, and not all of them. For my blogs on prophecies from the Old Testament visit Bible Updates, Daniel, Ezekiel and Gog-Magog links.

  1. Regarding Daniel’s prophecy on the Temple, see Notes to About Watching
  2. Sign #8 – for an incisive opinion read What Not To Watch For In The End-Times.
  3. Sign #13 – an interesting clarification of ‘watch’ regarding pre-Tribulation rapture theories at Nelson Walter’s What Does ‘Watch’ Mean?
  4. Sign #14 “when they say” – the theme of the UN’s Year 2017-18 is ‘Together for Peace, Dignity, Safety  & Respect For All’, as outlined in Three Prophetic Jigsaw Pieces.
  5. Sign #15 – the great falling away from faith by church leaders has already begun, as may be seen under this blog’s Apostasy tag.
  6. Sign #19 – the acceptance of same-sex marriage, in defiance of biblical teaching, and its ‘wedded’ association with Sign #20 should put the holy fear of God in folk!
  7. Sign #5 – see Fulfilled Prophecy #34 on quakes within hours of prophetic word and on increased activity around the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’. In June-July 2019 we have seen large earthquakes preceded by swarms in southern California, then near Seattle, followed by Indonesia.
  • Detail of ‘Eagle-eyed’ by John Mark Long: courtesy
  • First Sunday in Advent, My Roman Missal, Confrat. of the Precious Blood 1956.

Copyright R.J.Barker

4 thoughts on “Back to Biblical Basics: events leading into Jesus’ Return

  1. Hi dear Richard.

    In Mt 24, which you quote here, up until and including v13, Jesus remarks are framed in quite a general way.

    But v14 changes the tone, a transition verse, if you will ie the Gospel of the Kingdom preached to all mankind.

    Personally, I believe there is an important difference between the Gospel of Salvation and the Gospel of the Kingdom. IMO, the Gospel of the Kingdom provides a living demonstration of the power of the Kingdom, as in Jesus’ day.

    But it is v14 that gives a very specific sign, a sign so important that the reader is told to take careful note of it, a comment not repeated anywhere else in the NT.

    Note carefully how only those in Judea are commanded to flee, indicating that the AoD (Abomination of Desolation) event is very geographically specific.

    Dan 11:40-45 speaks of this final 3 1/2 years, noting in v 41,that Antichrist is NOT allowed to invade Edom, Moab and Edom.

    These are the mountains to the immediate east of the Jordan river, and that seems to fit with the protection of the Woman in the wilderness, Rev 12:14, the woman being those of Israel, who heeded the warning to flee.

    Thus the AoD is NOT a general sigh alin to those up to v 13, it is a very clear and specific sign, an unmistakable sign, a sign prophesied by Daniel that initiates the final 3 1/2 year countdown to the Day of the LORD, Christ’s return.

    In addition, v 21 clearly teaches that the tribulation, that Christ described in the early verses of this chapter, now changes into something very different ie a GREAT Tribulation.

    IMO, we need to clearly understand this distinct change of gear. Tribulation and Great Tribulation are not at all the same thing!

    Christ makes this v clear, explaining that the GT will be so severe as to destroy ALL MANKIND, unless the Father had limited it. v 21,22.


    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I read Matthew 24 and other texts from a pre-wrath perspective, so for me, the Abomination of Desolation is the first actual sign in Matthew 24 – the other things leading up to it are not signs, because they have happened throughout history, so they are not diagnostically useful. That is not to say that natural disasters etc will not increase in frequency and intensity, only that such increase is not very useful in terms of time charts – it just confirms that He will come.

        Liked by 1 person

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