The Christ in Prophecy Journal

Olivet Discourse: Signs of the Times

The Church of All Nations


Do the signs of the times contained in the Olivet Discourse apply to our day and time, or do they apply only to the Tribulation?

The Olivet Discourse is full of what we call “signs of the times” that point to the Lord’s return. Some argue that these signs will be confined to the Tribulation and will be provided for the benefit of those living during the Tribulation. In other words, the signs have no relevance to the Church existing on earth before the Tribulation.

But this cannot be true. We can look around us today and see the precise signs mentioned in the Olivet Discourse. They are already appearing on the world scene.

There is no way these signs can be confined to the short period of the seven years of the Tribulation. They may intensify during that time, but they don’t just pop-up overnight once the Antichrist signs a treaty with Israel and the Tribulation begins.

Jesus said these signs would be like birth pangs (Matthew 24:8). It is a fact that all the signs mentioned in the Olivet Discourse began to intensify like birth pangs during the 20th Century, increasing both in frequency and intensity.

Some counter by arguing, “But there are no signs of the Rapture. It is an imminent event that could occur any moment.” That’s correct, but I am not talking about signs of the Rapture. I am talking about signs that point to the beginning of the Tribulation and the Second Coming of Jesus.

Concerning the fig tree parable, what is the symbolic meaning of the fig tree? Find out as we continue with the next segment in this “Olivet Discourse” series!

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Dr. David Reagan

Dr. David Reagan is the Founder and Evangelist Emeritus of Lamb & Lion Ministries. He is a life-long Bible student, teacher, and preacher and he led over 45 pilgrimages to Israel. Dr. Reagan was the host of the radio then television program Christ in Prophecy for nearly 40 years.

9 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Dr Reagan
    I could kiss you!
    How can anyone not see that birth pangs are as you said. It has got me down lately to hear they are not actually happening now! I see them as part of the 'blessed hope', the Trib is coming, therefore the Rapture cannot be much longer.

    I have gone cross eyed recently trying to 'get it', to see why they put it only into the seven years.><

    There are different stages to contractions, at the start we can feel the first twinges and still change the bed! Near the actual birth you have to get onto the bed.

    Big hug for re-starting my hope!

  • Of course, I have just remembered, there is a Greek word, I woke myself one night saying it out loud – something like parabalamba – no, not quite right,that sounds like a dance tune! But I found Scott Sykes in a Google search and he helped me make sense of it. DEFINITELY Israel's birth pangs are active now!

    I did say at the time Nathan! I can't believe how quickly I forget. No wonder there is a SHOUT at the Rapture, or else I shall say 'eh, you wot'?

    Yippee Carlos!


  • EI,

    Is the Greek word you're looking for Oi paraballomenoi” or the Latin version, parabalani?

    They were early Christians who risked their lives to proclaim the Gospel. The word literally means "the gamblers"

  • Hello Sean
    Thank you for your interest! I found some of Scott’s info, and the word is ‘Paralambano’.

    Scott quotes Reynald Showers from "Maranatha…Our Lord Comes"…Page 180-181. Who, takes the view that the birth pangs are the same as the seals (I can’t accept that) so are within the 7 years – however he does see problems with the view.

    Quote "Several things may be potential problems for the understanding of Matt 24 passage just presented.
    First, the verb paralambano, used for taking people away from the field and mill at Christ's coming with His angels, is a different word from airo used for taking away the unsaved in judgment by the flood.
    Arndt and Gingrich asserted that in Matthew 24:40-41, where paralambano refers to taking away people from the field and mill at Christ's coming, that verb means to "take (to oneself), take with or along. It is the same verb used in a positive sense in John 14:3 for Jesus taking up or receiving believers to Himself in the Rapture of the Church."

    I have left a comment on Scotts Prophecy Update to ask if he can remind me of what I shouldn’t have forgotten!

    Now I know the word, I can get to bed now and think again tomorrow as I know I can add to the objections against that view. e.g. If God moved to rebirth Israel during the Church age, then the birth pangs are surely connected with Israel and we the Church are in a position to 'watch'.
    God bless

  • ei
    i always believed the "one taken the other left" passage to mean taken into judgement due to its context since the context is clearly the 2nd coming, BUT it could also be referring to jesus` statement "i will send my angels to gather the elect…" which is also at the time of the 2nd coming

  • is the one taken the other left is referring to his elect at the 2nd coming then it would make sense to use the word meaning (take to be with) and still not disprove a pre-trib rapture. make sense?

  • Thanks Hartdawg

    Yes it makes sense because that is what I was taught it meant.

    I just think that it may be one of those 'dual' passages that may be called 'double fulfillment', I am not certain that is the name but something like that.

    My 'beef' is mainly about the timing of the birthpangs. I cannot accept that we have not been 'watching' the early stages of the sorrows for Israel. Otherwise what are we supossed to be watching for as the Church?

    If they are only during the seven year trib. How can we now tell that the return is near, if there is no evidence to suggest it?
    God bless

  • To clarify. When I wrote "how can we now tell the RETURN is near" I was refering to the signs of the 2nd Coming, not the Rapture.

    The Church has to be in a state of expectant readiness to leave suddenly without any signs.


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