Rabbi Schneider - How to Be Ready for the Return of Jesus
Beloved ones, last time we were together through television during this series, I was talking about Armageddon, called Harmageddon, or Har Maggido. This last great world war will be the climax of world history as it pertains to God finally stepping in and making things right, because at Armageddon God is gonna defeat His enemies and then establish His kingdom on this earth that He has made for His glory. You know if you think about it, when you look around and you see the beautiful birds and the blue birds, the red birds, I mean you look at some of the tropical birds with all the colors of the rainbow in their feathers, I mean beauty beyond belief.
I was watching television yesterday and I was watching a show in which somebody was traveling through a place in California with giant redwood trees in the mountains. It was so beautiful. You look at the ocean, you look at the sunset, you look at the butterflies, you look at the rainbow, I mean God's beauty is so evident on the earth. That's why the Bible says everybody knows there's a God, because His eternal attributes and glory, listen now, are clearly seen in what He's made. In other words, when we look in the world and we see God's divine intelligence in creation, that the birds know how to fly south when it gets cold in the winter, that the human body has built in divine intelligence so that when our body begins to overheat, what does it do? It has a built in intelligence, so that it begins to perspire to cool our body back down. Or when we get an infection, what does our body do? It begins to create antibodies to combat the infection.
There's so much intelligence in creation that everybody that is open and honest to the truth will be able to easily discern that there's an intelligent designer beyond creation. So doesn't it make sense that the one that created this world will soon step into it and reign over it? See the Bible tells us that when Adam and Even disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, that what happened was a disconnect resulted from that between God and the earth. And we're living in that time of disconnect now, although Jesus says, "Come and the Kingdom of God is here, but not in it's fullest for because of Jesus". But at the end of Armageddon God is gonna step into this world fully and exert His authority over the earth and listen now, reclaim His creation and once again, listen now, sovereignly reign over the world.
This is why it's important to understand that this last great world war called Armageddon is actually a part of God's design, because God wants to step back in to His creation to reign. And so what He's gonna do to set that up beloved, is He's gonna gather the leaders and the peoples of the world that hate Him to fight Him in a final world war conflict that is gonna be centrally located, listen now, in Israel. And it makes sense that this last great world war, which is really war against the kingdom of darkness verse the kingdom of light. It makes sense that Armageddon, this last world war, would find it's climax in Israel, because Israel is God's land. Israel is God's nation. The Bible says Jerusalem is the great King's capital city. And so it makes sense when God comes to reclaim His creation, this world, that that final world war would take place in His land, Israel.
You know even today when we look around, we see that you know what? It is kind of strange that here's Israel, about the size of New Jersey, yet it's so important in the world news. There's been so much conflict around it. There's so much intensity surrounding it and it's always been like this. I mean there's something, what's going on? Why so much activity around Israel? You know in Israel's history it's been attacked fifty two times, I said this last week, besieged twenty three times and destroyed twice. So much hatred, even today antisemitism is growing in France, in Germany, Sweden, Poland, Austria, other parts of the world. Listen, even on American college campuses, antisemitism is growing and it's all building up beloved ones, to this great world war called Armageddon.
I want to go back and read for you today where we find the story of Armageddon in the book of Revelation. It's in the sixteenth chapter. I'm gonna begin once again and for those of you that were with me last week, this is a new episode, but I just want to set the stage. Revelation sixteen verse thirteen and then continuing. John says, "And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs". These are demons that take on creature forms, "For they are spirits of demons performing signs," listen now, "which go out to the kings of the whole world".
So there's this demonic energy, listen now, that's focused on the leaders on the earth and why is this demonic energy focused on the leaders of the earth? Listen, the text continues. "To gather them together for the war of the great day of God the Almighty". And then in the sixteenth verse John tells us this war's gonna take place at Harmageddon, or Har Maggido. And so this great escalation of the forces of light against the forces of darkness is gonna take place at the end of the age and what I want you to understand, this is God's sovereign design that's bringing it about, because He wants to put an end to it once and for all. Just a few scriptures that I want to bring to our attention today that add further light on the subject.
I want to go to Revelation twelve today. I want you to further get clarity as to why this, this, this, this time of disaster for so many people is gonna take place in Israel, because Israel is the place beloved, that the enemies hatred for God and His people is centered on. Listen to Revelation chapter twelve, beginning in verse number thirteen. "And when the dragon," and the word dragon in the book of Revelation is a word that is used for Satan. "And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman". The woman is Israel. "Who gave birth to the male child". The male child is Jesus. And then it continues to tell us there in the seventeenth verse, "So the dragon was enraged with the woman and went off to make war with the rest of her children who keep the commandments of God and to hold to the testimony of Jesus".
So the dragon, listen, he hates the child of the woman, who is Jesus. The scripture tells us in the book of Revelation that since Father God raised Jesus to His right hand the dragon can no longer attack Jesus. So what the dragon has done instead in his rage, is he's attacked the woman who gave birth to Jesus, the woman being Israel. He hates Israel, both believing Israel and Jewish people that don't know Jesus as well. He hates Israel as a nation. He hates the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And he hates the offspring of the woman, which is beloved, church. So Satan's primary target today is Israel as a people, the church who came out of Israel and the land that is connected to Israel.
So as we read about this conflict that's gonna take place centered on Satan's hatred towards Israel and all that's come forth from her. I want to read a few scriptures once again to set the stage today. I want to begin by going to Zechariah chapter twelve, verse two and three. "Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around". And it goes on to describe how God is gonna step in there at the last moment. Listen, "All the nations of the earth," Zechariah said, Zechariah 12:3, listen, "Will be gathered against Him". That's the same thing that John told us in the book of Revelation, that God is gathering all the peoples of the world to Israel for this last world war.
Once again, in Zechariah chapter twelve verse eight and nine, "In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the one that is feeble among them in that day will be like David". And in the ninth verse, "And in that day I will set about to destroy," the Lord says, "All the nations that come against Jerusalem". Let me go on to another scripture here that will bring even further color and revelation. Zechariah 14:2, "I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravaged and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city".
The scriptural account continues as God stops it. God stops it. Zechariah 14:3-5, " For the Lord will go forth and fight against all those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. In that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives". And the scripture tells us that when the Lord steps in what it's gonna look like a nuclear bomb, that their eyes will rot in their sockets, that their flesh will fall of their skin. When God steps in His wrath is going to absolutely consume His enemies. Now listen to this, I pointed it out last week, but I just want to drive this point home. When God does step in, where is He gonna step in at? Where is He gonna, where is He gonna first manifest His glory at? He's gonna do it beloved ones, listen, at the Mount of Olives.
Zechariah 14:3, listen, "Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. In that day," listen, "His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem". Now keep that in mind. When God shows up and all the peoples that came against Him, they just, it's like they're totally wiped out. Again Zechariah tells us, it's gonna be like their eyes are gonna rot in their sockets. Their flesh is gonna fall off their skin. They're gonna be utterly destroyed. God's wrath is gonna be released against the enemies of Him and His people. It happens where? From the Mount of Olives, that's what Zechariah just got done telling us.
Now listen to this. I love this. Acts chapter one, I'm gonna begin there in verse number six. "The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of God abides forever". Listen to the word of God. "So when they had come together," this is Jesus' apostles and disciples. This is after Jesus had risen from the dead and this is taking place near the upper room there. "So when they had gathered together, they were asking him saying, 'Lord, is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?' And he said to them," listen, "'It is not for you to know times or epics, which the Father has fixed by his own authority'". So what's going on? They're asking Jesus, listen, Jesus has risen from the dead. He appears to His disciples, Acts chapter one. And they say to Him, "Lord are you gonna restore the kingdom at this time? Are You gonna once again exalt Israel and reign on the earth"?
And Jesus says to them in verse seven, "It is not for you to know the times or epics, which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all of Samaria, even to the remotest parts of the earth. And after he had said these things," listen now, "he was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky as he was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into they sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up for you went into heaven will come again in just the same ways as you have watched him go into heaven'". Listen now, "Then they returned to Jerusalem," hear me now, "from the Mount of Olives".
They go from the Mount of Olives to the upper room where they are baptized in the Holy Spirit. But where were the disciples and apostles when Jesus was lifted off the ground and they saw Him visibly ascend into heaven? Where did that happen at? It happened at the Mount of Olives. Where does Zechariah tell us in Zechariah fourteen Jesus' second coming will first be made manifest? At the Mount of Olives. I mean I just love the unity of Bible. The same place that Jesus was taken up to heaven from, He's gonna return to that same spot. That's why we read in Acts chapter one that the angels said to those that watched Him go up into the sky and then disappear into the clouds, that's why the angels said to those that were watching, "Why are you gazing into the sky? This Jesus is gonna return to you church," listen now, the angels said, "In just the same way".
And His second coming is manifest, listen now, in just the same spot. John tells us about this in the nineteenth chapter of Revelation. Listen beloved ones, hear the word of God. And before I read it though, I just want you to understand that so much of what Jesus proclaimed during His first coming was His second coming. We often times don't hear much preached about the second coming of Christ, but the last thing that Jesus said to us is, "I am coming quickly". And so many of the parables that He told were about His second coming, about His return. Hear how John described it. I'm beginning in Revelation nineteen, verse number eleven. Hear the word of God.
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse! And he who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire and on his head are many diadems and he has a name written on him which no one knows except himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword so that with it he may strike down the nations and he will rule them with the rod of iron. And he treads the winepress on the fierce wrath of God the Almighty. And on his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice saying to all the bird which would fly in mid heaven, 'Come, assemble for the great supper of God, so that you might eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and those who sit on them, and the flesh of all men both free and slaves, and small and great.' And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against him who sat on the horse and against his army".
Once again to refresh you, this takes place, listen, at the end of Armageddon. That's why at the coming of Christ we just read about the fact that they're gonna feast on the flesh of God's enemies, that the birds of the air are gonna be turned to feast on God's enemies. "You might eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of the commanders, and the flesh of mighty men". Because God is gonna wipe out and destroy His enemies and set up beloved ones, His earthly kingdom. I am here today proclaiming to you, Jesus is coming soon.
I want you to put your hand over your heart with me right now and repeat this with me out loud. Say this, listen, Jesus is coming back for me. Can you say that with me? Jesus is coming back for me. Beloved, the return of King Jesus is not science fiction and Armageddon is not simply some Sci-Fi film. Armageddon is happening. It's gonna happen possibly in our lifetime and Jesus is going to return beloved, much sooner than you or I think and we need, listen now church, to be ready.
You may think you're ready, but let me ask you, are you really ready? You may have cleaned up some of the outer things in your life, but listen, are your thoughts cleansed? Is your heart pure? Are you fully committed? Are you disciplining yourself on what you're taking in? What are you watching on television? What are you listening to on the radio and who are you spending time with? Beloved ones, Jesus' return is near and He's coming back for you. The reason Jesus gave us the book of revelation, He wants us to be ready for His return. I pray beloved, that proclaiming God's word to you today has helped you to position yourself in a way that when you meet Him you'll be ready and receive into His presence.