WHEN DOES THE SEASON OF JESUS' RETURN START?
Jesus said that nobody knows the day nor the hour of His Second coming (ref. Matthew 24:36).
His Second coming is a mystery but we can certainly know the season of His Second coming.
In Matthew 24:32-33, Jesus said:
"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door."
Though Jesus said that the day and hour are unknown, He indicated that we could know the season of His return.
Many Christians are alarmed by the recent events that included the global pandemic of 2020, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the current war in Israel against Hamas and many other events.
Based on the Scriptural timelines, those events do not form part of the final season ushering Jesus’ return.
We had wars before and some of those wars were more devastating than some of the current wars. For example, the world hosted several wars in Africa and yet the end has not arrived. The world had experienced two world wars in one century and yet the Lord has not returned ,nor has there been any rapture of the Church.
When the 2020 pandemic surged on the global stage,most of us were convinced that the disease was coming with the ‘Mark of the Beast’, and yet none of it happened.
The Prophecy issued by Jesus in Matthew 24 (also known as the ‘Olivet discourse’) is the one Prophecy describing the final season preceding His return.
That season has a start and an ending.
The season of His return starts in Matthew 24:4-5 where Jesus said: ““Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many."
Many people erroneously assume that the wars will be the signs that will start the season of Jesus’ return. It is a wrong assumption.
The season of Jesus’ return starts with a ‘mega’ rise in deception led by false prophets and false christs. Contrary to what many people may think, the deception season ,mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 24, differs completely from what the world may have seen in previous decades and centuries.
In the 21st century, there have been a few people who claimed to be the Messiah. Those people created spiritual movements that led astray hundreds of people. However, the rise in deception mentioned in Matthew 24:5-6 will be greater than any preceding deception.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, Paul wrote:
“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,”
The ‘falling away’ refers to a great departure of Christians from the Faith. The great deception will cause ‘falling away’ of many people from the faith.
Strategies of deception
“If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time."
“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.
Jesus describes the strategy that false prophets and false messiahs will use: signs and wonders. Those false prophets and false messiahs will be equipped by Satan to a whole new level. The reason why Jesus is ordering us not go out and meet them is because those deceivers will have strong convincing abilities through signs and wonders.
Do not underestimate the enemy
Many will fall for lack of education on who Satan is. You see, many people tend to underestimate Satan and his abilities. Those people do not understand that Satan can perform signs and miracles.
Since many are of the view that Satan cannot perform miracles, they will assume that those false messiahs and false prophets will be coming from God.
Here are some Biblical passages showing that the enemy can perform signs and wonders:
- Some demons can predict the future
"Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her."
Notice in the above passage that a demon was able to predict the future. Furthermore, the demon possessed woman confirmed that Paul and Silas were working for God. Her confirmation was correct but the source of her intel was impure. The passage of Act 16:16-18 clearly proves that some demons can predict the future. Those same demonic spirits are being used today by many preachers to issue prophecies.
The ability to predict the future does not equate to being a Christian. This is why Jesus clearly warns us to identify prophets by their fruits, not by their miracles (ref. Matthew 7:15-20).
- Satan can transform into an angel of light
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
(2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
Satan can transform into an angel of light and even his ministers can masquerade as ministers of righteousness. In the near future, many false miracles and wonders will be performed through counterfeit ministers.
- The enemy can perform signs and wonders (period)
This second beast performed great miracles; it made fire come down out of heaven to earth in the sight of everyone.And it deceived all the people living on earth by means of the miracles which it was allowed to perform in the presence of the first beast. The beast told them to build an image in honor of the beast that had been wounded by the sword and yet lived.
As you can read in the above passage, the enemy can perform signs and wonders.
The final season of the end times start with the rise of ‘mega’ deception that will lead many to turn away from the Faith. Let us remain sober, watchful and prayerful so that we do not fall into the traps of the enemy.