By David Cook
Many people around the world are looking for and longing for the coming of the Messiah and the era of peace He will bring upon the earth. We read in the Gospel of Matthew;
Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. 2 And He said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” Matthew 24:1-2 NASB
This prophecy given by Yeshua was fulfilled about 38 years later, in 70 AD when Roman legions under Titus attacked and subsequently destroyed much of the city of Jerusalem and the Second Jewish Temple.
3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Matthew 24:3 NASB
So as Yeshua (Jesus) was sitting on the Mount of Olives and He gave His disciples these three categories of signs of His coming, and of the end of the age;
- Beginning of Birth Pains (Matthew 24:8)
- Tribulation (Matthew 24:9)
- Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21)
On January 23, 2007 the Fars News Agency reported that “Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mualem here on Tuesday assured that the United States and the Zionist regime of Israel will soon come to the end of their lives.” 
The Beginning of Birth Pangs
- Misleading False Messiahs. (Matthew 24:4-5)
- Wars and Rumors of Wars. (Matthew 24:6-7)
- Famines in various places. (Matthew 24:7)
- Earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)
False Messiahs: False messiahs are a dime a dozen and certainly are on the rise whether it is Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, known as the Rebbe among his followers or other false messiahs around the world. Rabbi Schneerson was a prominent Hasidic rabbi who was the seventh and last Rebbe (Hasidic leader) of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. The Rebbe’s followers believe and claim him to be the Messiah. Or there is the Rev. Sun Myung Moon who his follows believe to be the Messiah. Rev. Moon is the founder and leader of the Unification Church established in Seoul, South Korea. False messiahs are on the increase. 
Wars and Rumors of War: The United Nations released an estimate in May 2013, that the Syrian War death toll had exceeded 80,000. On January the 15th of 2015, the United Nations estimated that 220,000 people had died in the Syrian war. This includes civilians, armed combatants and government officials. An online article in the Jerusalem Post that was attributed to REUTERS (10/03/2015) estimated that over a quarter of a million people had died in the Syrian War and the events of war has displaced half the Syrian population. 
Famines in Various Places: The BBC News reported on July 20, 2011 that the UN declared a famine in Somalia in Bakool and Lower Shabelle region; “An estimated 10 million people have been affected in East Africa by the worst drought in more than half a century. More than 166,000 desperate Somalis are estimated to have fled their country to neighboring Kenya or Ethiopia.” 
Earthquake Frequency: The frequency of earthquakes are similar to the contractions of a pregnant woman as she approaches labor and the the delivery of her child. The closer the woman comes to giving birth to her child, then the more frequent (and intense) the contractions become. Similarly, the closer we come to Messiah’s “coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory” (and the rapture of God’s people) then the more frequent earthquakes become. Take a look at the chart below with data from the U.S. Geological Survey, that shows the increase of frequency of earthquakes over time.
U.S. Geological Survey Earthquakes Data
Earthquakes 7.0 or Higher
Earthquake Per Time
|1 AD to 1000 AD||15 earthquakes 7.0 or higher||1 every 66 years|
|1000 AD to 1800 AD||114 earthquakes 7.0 or higher||1 every 7 years|
|1800 AD to 1900 AD||115 earthquakes 7.0 or higher||1 every 10 years|
|1900 AD to 1980 AD||774 earthquakes 7.0 or higher||1 every 37 days|
|1980 AD to 2000 AD||225 earthquakes 7.0 or higher||1 every 28 days|
|2000 AD to 2008 AD||127 earthquakes 7.0 or higher||1 every 26 days|
|2009 AD||17 earthquakes 7.0 or higher||1 every 21 days|
|2010 AD||24 earthquakes 7.0 or higher||1 every 15 days|
|2011 AD||20 earthquakes 7.0 or higher||1 every 18 days|
|2012 AD||16 earthquakes 7.0 or higher||1 every 23 days|
|2013 AD||19 earthquakes 7.0 or higher||1 every 19 days|
|2014 AD||12 earthquakes 7.0 or higher||1 every 30 days|
U.S. Geological Survey Earthquakes Data. 
When my grandmother was living in the late 1800’s earthquakes 7.0 (or higher) happened one in every ten years. In 2014 earthquakes 7.0 on the Richter magnitude scale (or higher) happened one in every thirty days! Earthquakes are dramatically increasing in both frequency and magnitude.
The 2015 Nepal earthquake killed more than 7,000 people and injured more than 14,000, occurred on April 25, 2015, with a moment magnitude (Mw) of 7.8 Mw. Its epicenter was the village of Barpak, Gorkha district, and its hypocenter was at a depth of approximately 15 km (9.3 mi).
The earthquake triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing at least 19, making it the deadliest day on the mountain in history. It triggered another huge avalanche in Langtang valley, where 250 were reported missing.
Hundreds of thousands of people were rendered homeless with entire villages flattened, across many districts of the country. Centuries-old buildings were destroyed at UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley, including some at the Kathmandu Durbar Square, the Patan Durbar Square and the Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Geophysicists and other experts had warned for decades that Nepal was vulnerable to a deadly earthquake, particularly because of its geology, urbanization, and architecture. 
Beginning of Birth Pangs: Yeshua said that false messiahs, wars and rumors of wars, famines and earthquakes are the “beginning of birth pangs”. He compared the turbulent times of wars, famines, earthquakes and false messiahs to the contractions and labor pains of a pregnant women, as she nears the day of delivery.  As the day draws near of the coming of our Deliverer we see false messiahs, wars (and rumors of wars), famines and earthquakes increasing in frequency. These four signs of the times, false messiahs, war, famine and earthquakes are like contractions that increase in both frequency and intensity as the day approaches of Yeshua’s coming for His people.
Yeshua the Messiah said;
“Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you,
and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.
At that time many will fall away and will betray one another
and hate one another.”
Matthew 24:9-10 NASB
Christians will be Killed: On May 28, 2013 FOX NEWS broadcast a report on the beheading of a British soldier on the street in London and the rise of Islamic killings of Christians and other non-Muslims (so called “infidels”). Author Raymond Ibrahim said; “In Indonesia, three Christian girls on their way to school were beheaded; in Syria last Christmas, U.S. supported rebels beheaded a Christian man and fed his body to the dogs. In Africa—Somalia, Tanzania, Mali—Christians are regularly decapitated.” 
Mr. Ibrahim spoke of the all-out jihad in Nigeria, Lebanon and in Sudan. In Sudan there has been a genocide, it is estimated that over 1.5 million Christians have been killed by the Janjaweed, (the Arab Muslim militia), and even suspected Islamists in northern Sudan since 1984. 
The Beginning of Tribulation
- Christians will be killed i.e. Martyrs dying for their faith. (Matthew 24:9)
- Christians Hated by All Nations because of Jesus (Yeshua) Name. (Matthew 24:9)
- Many People will fall away from the Christian faith. (Matthew 24:10)
- Many People will Betray and Hate each other. (Matthew 24:10)
- Many False Prophets will Arise and Mislead Many People. (Matthew 24:11)
- Lawlessness Increases and Most People’s love will Grow Cold. (Matthew 24:12)
- The Person who Endures to the End will be Saved. (Matthew 24:13)
- The Gospel of the Kingdom will be Preached in the Whole World as a Testimony to All the Nations. Then the End will Come. (Matthew 24:14)
- Abomination of Desolation, the anti-Christ standing in the Holy Place of the Temple. (Matthew 24:15 also see Daniel 9:27 and 2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4)
- Yeshua gives Instructions for those living in the province of Judea in Israel during the time when the Abomination of Desolation occurs. (Matthew 24:16-22)
- Then there will be a Great Tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. (Matthew 24:21 and Daniel 12:1)
- For the sake of the elect (Jewish and Gentile believers in Yeshua as Lord) those days will be cut short, otherwise no person would still be living. (Matthew 24:22)
- False Messiahs and False Prophets will Arise and show great Signs and Wonders to Mislead People, if possible even the Elect, that is Jewish and Gentile Believers in Yeshua who are alive at that time. (Matthew 24:24 and Romans 8:28-33)
- The Coming of Christ Jesus will be like lighting that flashes from the east to the west. (Matthew 24:27)
- Immediately AFTER the Tribulation of those Days; the Sun will be Darkened, the Moon will Not give its Light, the Stars will Fall from the Sky, and the Powers of the Heavens will be Shaken. (Matthew 24:29)
Messiah Yeshua Coming On the Clouds of the Sky & Gathering the Elect
- The Sign of the Son of Man (Jesus Christ) will appear in the Sky. (Matthew 24:30)
- All the Tribes of the Earth will Mourn when they see Yeshua (Jesus) Coming on the Clouds with Power and Great Glory. (Matthew 24:30 and Zechariah 12:10-14)
- Yeshua (Jesus) will send His Angels with a Great Trumpet and they will Gather Together His Elect (that is Jewish and Gentile Believers in Yeshua, see Romans 8:33) from One End of the Sky to the Other. (Matthew 24:31, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2, 1 Corinthians 15:50-52)
This event that Yeshua referred to as the Son of Man coming on the clouds and sending His angels to gather together His elect; is commonly referred to as the rapture of the saints (i.e. believers in Messiah Yeshua as their Savior and Lord). It is important to notice that Jesus taught that His coming on the clouds and the rapture of the elect happens after the birth pangs, tribulation and after what Jesus referred to as the great tribulation.
29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. Matthew 24:29-31 NASB
Then Yeshua gave more details about His coming on the clouds of the sky and the rapture of His elect in Matthew 24:39-41;
“…so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.” Matthew 24:39-41 NASB
The Son of Man (a title of Yeshua the Messiah) will come;
1. Two men will be in the filed one man will be taken up (raptured) and one will be left behind.
2. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken up (raptured) and one will be left behind.
The Apostle Paul also taught on this important subject when he wrote to the saints who were in the Thessalonian church;
Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 NASB
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church that two things would take place before the rapture of the elect (i.e. rapture of believers in Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of the living God);
- The Apostasy (the falling away of many Christians from their faith. Yeshua spoke of this in Matthew 24:10 and Paul in 2nd Thessalonians 2:3)
- The anti-Christ, who is the man of lawlessness and son of destruction; will be revealed and take his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. (Referred to by Jesus in Matthew 24:15 as the abomination of desolation and by Paul in 2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4 and in the Book of Daniel 9:27 and 12:11.)
Paul wrote to the church at Corinth that at the last trumpet the dead in Christ would rise from the dead and be given immortal bodies and then be taken up into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then the believers who are alive and remain on earth would be changed from mortals to immortals and then they would be taken up into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 1 Corinthians 15:5-52 NASB
Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica that our Lord Yeshua will descend from heaven “with a shout, with the voice of the archangel” and the sounding of the trumpet, the resurrection of believers in the Lord Jesus who had died would be transformed into immortals and then taken up into the sky to meet Christ Jesus in the clouds. Then those believers who are alive and remain on earth who would then be transformed into immortals and taken up into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 NASB
Yeshua gave His disciples the promise that He would be “coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:30 ESV
 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Demise of US, Israel Imminent, Fars News Agency, News number: 8511030486, 17:45 | 2007-01-23 http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8511030486
 False Messiahs, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_messiah_claimants
 Syrian civil war, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_civil_war
Casualties of the Syrian Civil War, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Syrian_Civil_War http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/US-allies-short-on-options-as-Russia-and-Iran-flex-muscle-in-Syria-419823
 UN declared famine in Somalia, BBC NEWS, www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14211905
 U.S. Geological Survey Earthquakes Data, http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/year/2012/2012_stats.php
 Yeshua spoke on earthquakes being like birth contractions, Matthew 24:7-8.
 Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians: FOX NEWS, http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/05/28/islam-rule-numbers-and-beheading-in-london/ (For a comprehensive picture of Christian suffering under Islam read, “Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians” by Raymond Ibrahim).
 Persecution of Christians, Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians