By Diane Caston

The End Times began with the coming of the Holy Spirit and with His coming, the gifts of the Spirit, Acts 2:17-18 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.
And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy.

So, we have been in the last days for over 2000 years now! Or 2 days by the Lord’s calendar!

2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. We may be anxious for His return, but He knows His timing is perfect!

What are some of the Signs of the Last Days and the Return of the Lord?

1 Tim. 4:1-3 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

I would think the forbidding to marry could refer to Catholic priests. The food restrictions seem pretty obvious today with all of the push to eat healthy. Bill Gates and his ilk are trying to keep us from eating meat! This is a tactic of totalitarianism.

2 Tim. 3:1-5 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

Perilous – This word can be translated fierce, hard to do, hard to take, hard to bear, troublesome, dangerous, harsh, savage- can we relate to this with what we see in the streets today?

1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves 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 upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman; and they shall not escape. Do you have friends that despite all we see going on just cannot believe that we are on the brink of destruction? The new normal, everything is going to be okay! The day of the Lord will be a complete shock to them!

2 Peter 3:1-4 Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”

I always thought this scripture referred to the unsaved! Now it includes the church! Many scoffers in church denying the rapture of the church!

2 Peter 3:7- 8 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

The signs for the judgement of the world and the time of the Tribulation are also signs for the Rapture of the church. As we approach the end times judgement, we also approach the Rapture. JD Farag likes to say, “When you go into the store and see Christmas decorations, you know Thanksgiving is right around the corner!” As we see signs of the end, we know the Rapture comes first! So, the closer to judgement we come; the closer we are to the Lord’s coming to get us!

Matt 24:6-7 And 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. For nation will rise against nation (ethnic group against ethnic group), and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places…vs.11-12 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

This next section of scripture is an example of what I told you about last week, when a prophesy is started, then shifts gears to a different time. Why the Lord chose to do it this way I do not know. Maybe, like the parables, it was so those who have ears to hear would hear. So, the Lord is telling His disciples about what will happen at the end of time for the Jews. They had just asked Him about it. From vs. 4-35 Jesus begins to warn them of the time of judgement to come upon the earth and what it will mean for the Jewish people. JD Farag states, “The Tribulation is for the salvation of the Jewish nation.” Because the Jewish remnant will be saved out of the Tribulation. Starting in vs.32 Jesus gives a timing reference so that the Jewish people will know when this would all take place.

Matt 24: 32-33 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree (Israel): When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near (back in their own country). So, you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation (generation that sees Israel back in the land) will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. So, to the Jewish people and the believers in Jesus, Israel back in their land is the key to when the Lord is going to return!

Then vs. 36-51 refers to a different event that no man knows when the time or the hour will be. This message is not to the group of people who will flee from their housetops and run to the desert. These people will be going about their everyday business, and they are taken. Now you can calculate from scripture the very day the Lord will come in the Second Coming based on when the 7 year peace agreement is enacted by the anti-christ, but the verses here refer to a date no man knows. Jesus did not even know at that time.

Matt 24: 36-42 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming .

Escape the Wrath

There is a question today among scoffers about why we should escape the Tribulation when so many people throughout the ages and countries have suffered and died for the Lord. However, none of these the persecution believers have faced is because of the judgement of God. The Tribulation will be a time of God’s judgment on the earth, not man’s persecution.

1Thess. 5:9-11 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

1 Thess 1:10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

The Rapture of the church will take place to protect the bride of Christ from the wrath of God which is coming. Jesus told the church of Philadelphia, Rev. 3:10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

Rev 4:1 -4 After this I looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. KJV

After the exhortation to the churches in Revelation 1-3, the book takes a totally different turn. Vs. 4 begins with, After this, Meta Tauta in the Greek, meaning after these things. What things? Jesus has just been giving the churches His final words to them, then switches gears. He finishes His exhortation to the church in the opening chapters, and then the church is not mentioned again in the whole book of Revelation. Yes, there are Tribulation saints who will become martyrs, but they are the ones who came to know the Lord during the Tribulation. Interestingly, when Jesus finishes this exhortation, Paul looked and saw a door opened in heaven. He hears what sounds like a trumpet saying, “Come up here” (anabaino - to ascend, to go up, to rise, mount, be borne up, spring up). Then the voice says He will tell Paul the things that will happen hereafter, meta tauta, again, ‘after these things. No mention of the church again in the book. The church is not in the Tribulation!

Believers are taught throughout the scriptures to expect the Savior from heaven at any moment. There is nothing in the way that has to take place before He comes. This expresses the warm hope of expectancy. It is what we lean on!

Waiting and Watching

2 Peter 3:13-15 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation...Vs.17-18 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Titus 2:13-14 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

2 Thess 2:1-3 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,

This is a tragic part. We all know someone who has fallen away! Some are our own family members. It is agonizing to see the falling away firsthand! We want so badly to talk some sense into these people, but they will not hear!!

1 Thessalonians 5:4-8 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.

Phil. 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Titus 2:13-14 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

All this should result in stirring us to live victorious and purified lives. Expecting that He could come at any moment, we should behave like we believe that.

1 Timothy 6:14 that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing,

Heb 10:37 “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.

Scriptures for further study: 1 Thess 1:9-10, Heb. 9:28, 1 Jn 2:28-3:3, Rev 22:20, Lk 21:36, Phil 3:20-21, Rev. 2:25


So, as we wait, we are called to be warning people of the judgement to come, just as the Lord called Ezekiel to do in Ezk 33. It is our duty to warn people that the New Normal is not new, and it is not normal. The world is in its death throes. Today is the day of salvation to avoid the judgement of God coming on this world.

The Lord tells us to be about His business and our business until He comes.

Luke 19:12-13 12 Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’

Many were convinced in the first century church that Jesus would come back so soon that many stopped working and were waiting for Him to come. We see in 1 Thess. 4:13-18 that they were unsettled when their loved ones began to die. They thought that Jesus would have been back by then. Throughout time people get caught up in extremes concerning the Lord’s return. People are fooled by the latest thing, waiting for Jesus to come and not working for the kingdom or their own families. We see overzealous people who set dates according to the moon or holidays or the Mayan calendar. People do not focus on what we are still called to do, but get caught up in every wind of end time ideas!

Why would we think that we will not experience what most of the church through most of the world has experienced since Jesus came the first time? Jesus warned that part of following Him would mean we would be persecuted and have tribulation here on the earth. Now we have always lived in a country where that was minimal, but we see that changing. So don’t be worried but look up! Buckle up, and put on your armor!

James 5: 7-9 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!

Difference between 2 comings

Rapture | 2nd coming no translation

Translated saints go to heaven | Translated saints come to earth

No judgment of the earth | Earth is judged

Imminent, any moment, no signs | Follows definite predicted signs

Affects believers only | Affects all men

Before day of wrath | Concludes the day of wrath

No reference of Satan | Satan bound

He comes for His own | He comes with His own

He comes in the air | He comes to the earth

Claims His bride | Comes with His bride

Only His own see Him | Every eye will see Him

Great Tribulation begins | Millennium begins

Rapture Scriptures

John 14:1-3

1 Corinthians 15:51-53

1 Thess. 4:13-18

Romans 8:19

1 Cor. 1:7-8

1 Cor 16:22

Phil 3:20-21

Colossians 3:4

1 Thess 1:10

1 Thess 2:19

1 Thess 5:9

1 Thess 5:23

2 Thess 2:1,3

1 Tim 6:14

2 Tim 4:1

Titus 2:13

Heb 9:28

James 5:7-9

1 Peter 1:7,13

1 John 2:28-3:2

Jude 21

Rev 2:25

Rev 3:10

Second Coming Scriptures

Daniel 2:44-45

Daniel 7:9-14

Daniel 12:1-3

Zech 14:1-15

Matt 13:41

Matt 24:15-31

Matt 26:64

Mark 13:14-27

Mark 14:62

Luke 21:25-28

Acts 1:9-11

Acts 3:19-21

1 Thess 3:13

2 Thess 1:6-10

2 Thess 2:8

2 Peter 3:1-14

Rev 1:7

Rev 19:11:20, 6

Rev 22: 7,12,20