The signs of Jesus’ return

I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ wherever you are. It is God’s grace that we can meet together in this manner. No one knew besides God who makes no mistakes that it would be like this.

We will read from Matthew 24

Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for [a]all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, [b]pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

These things we experience today. There are famines. People in our country say they are dying of hunger. All these are the beginning of birth pains indicating the coming of Christ. Birth pains are extreme pains a woman endures when she gives birth.

14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

We experience the gospel preached in so many ways so that no one will be able to say that they have not heard. This does not indicate the end. The Lord is near but the end has not yet come.

15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand)…

Do you notice the filth and abominations in the world? These are the things Daniel spoke of. Much of the filth cannot be mentioned by name but this does not mean the end has come. This is the beginning of birth pains. It has been predicted that on 29 April fire will come down from heaven and it will mean the end of the world. It is rumoured that a huge red object will descend from the skies and destroy the earth. People are afraid because of these predictions. These rumours have spread. How true they are, we do not know. People have often made such predictions warning Rev Stegen that the end is near but it does not happen. What we are experiencing are the beginnings of birth pains. In the past people have made predictions about the return of Jesus and the date comes and goes but nothing happens.

19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!

When the Lord returns to take His church it will be an amazing day but it will be terrible for those who are pregnant and nursing.

21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

We are still going to experience strange things, false prophets who say here is the Christ and it will be a lie.  29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 

I have experienced an earth tremor. I had a dream the other day where I was knocking on the door of a room in which there was somebody whom I needed to see. I wanted to see that person who lived for the Lord. I saw an amazing light in the room. The light of the sun and the light of a torch did not come close to that light. I wanted to be in that room, in that light. Then I woke up.

When you are alone in prayer before the Lord, He speaks to you and reveals Himself even in dreams. It sometimes happens that you dream that you are preaching a word and the message for your next sermon has been given to you. There is a longing to be alone with the Lord. There is a time when you need to be alone with God. There are times when you pray with your wife but there is a time when you need to be alone with God and wrestle with Him to make sure that He has heard your prayer.

30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His [d]elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

When the Lord returns on the clouds, He will come with His angels and those He has elected will be gathered with Him. Are we among the elect who will meet Him in the clouds?

32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that [e]it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. 36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of [f]heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 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, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what [g]hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what [h]hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Today there is a famine of the word of God. Some experience a famine of food and others a famine of the word of God. Many do not have radios or they are out of reach and they are hungry for the word of God. If I was the president I would allow churches to open where at least 50 can gather even if it is not a funeral. Why does the government only allow funerals? When a service is broadcast people chat as if there is no service. Many only hear when they see the preacher in front of them. Churches need to be opened for people to hear the word of God. When last have you confessed your sins? I want the government to know how important it is for people to hear the word of God and have communion. Many have become spiritually dark. They do not use their phones to counsel and when it is their time to die they will fall into hell. I pray that God will stop this pandemic. Before my mother passed away she said she had seen her home in heaven but it was incomplete so she could not go then but just before she died she said that her heavenly house was ready and she could leave the earth.

32 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 34 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son,[b] but the Father only.

Not even the Son knows the day or hour but He said that when the fig tree buds you will know the time is near. There are many rumours about things that never happen. There have been many rumours about the mission as well which people say will happen but it never does. The Lord warned us there will be many rumours and false prophets but we should close ourselves in our rooms and not be affected.

37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left.

This is what it is like today, the gospel is preached but people do not repent. It will happen today as it did in the time of Noah when the flood suddenly swept them away. Noah’s family obeyed him when he told them what to do. None of his children went against their father. Just as it was in the days of Noah so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Noah warned them about the destruction that was coming but they paid no attention. When the ark was shut with them inside, the angel closed the door. God possibly knew that man’s heart would soften and he might throw the key to the people so they could be saved. The time may come when you want to repent but you cannot. Just like people today wish they could meet for a service but it is no longer possible. I warned people in various areas that a day might come when they wish we could visit them but when it would no longer be possible but I did not think it would happen like this.

42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what [g]hour your Lord is coming.

No one knows when his day will come. What will help us is that we keep watch for we do not know on what day the Lord will come. We have seen how rumours fly and how much deception there is. We have seen how any false prophets there are. There have been people who dress in a particular way and call themselves Jesus. All that we read about in the Bible is being fulfilled. The Bible also says that there will be times when people do not give thanks. These are the times we live in.  Women walk around half-naked or dressed in revealing clothing. Men also wear such tight-fitting clothing that you wonder how they got it on. You are embarrassed by the manner in which some people dress. People love themselves. This is a sign of the times people live in. They are boastful, proud and show off their bodies. This is the age in which we live.

Allow me to use the example of two types of vehicles – a petrol and a diesel engine. If a car runs out of petrol, it can be refuelled and it will run again but should a diesel vehicle run short of fuel, you have problems. That engine needs to be bled before it can be used again. Air must be removed from the system. If dirt accumulates in the filter it will also stop the engine from running smoothly. The diesel engine develops air locks in the system and dirt in the filter.

This illustration effectively explains how people who are influenced by the spirit of criticism and fault finding are like a diesel engine. Unless they ‘clean out their system’ properly this sin will trouble them again. This is why some people who always find fault, eventually leave because that air – that spirit of criticism – is still locked up in their system. That person will move forward for a short while on the way of faith and thereafter he/she will stop. Such a person can preach or testify but after a while he will fail because he has not totally rid himself of the spirit of criticism. A person needs to check the various places to ensure that the air has been bled out of the system. A child of God may live as a believer but is like an engine with air in the system – that spirit remains in the system. Such a person eventually leaves. Some people had this spirit of fault finding in 2000 which remained but after some time it became obvious and the person left. Make a good job of cleaning the system. Get rid of the air. Replace the old air filter which is full of filth with a new one. One of the buses once stopped on the way to Malelane because its filter had not been changed. After replacing the old one, it could travel again.

If you have not got rid of the old yeast, the rubbish you have heard that has blocked the filter, if you still keep old things from past, you are like a hen brooding on rotten eggs. I have chickens at home. One hen laid eggs but nothing hatched. I took one of the eggs from her nest and threw it a distance away. It was rotten and stank. Those eggs will later burst open on their own. The hen does not realise that her eggs should have hatched. The owner realises it. The hen possibly did not do her job properly. She could have left her eggs for too long or got wet and then sat on the eggs and they became cold and rotted.

May God have mercy on us that we do not brood on rotten eggs. We think we have the faith but we are sitting on rotten eggs. May God speak to you and open your eyes and ears. When last have you cleansed your life? And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. 1 John 3:3 May the Lord be merciful to us. If we have been unfaithful to Him let us repent before He returns. The Bible says that this information is hidden from the Son and the angels. This is a lesson for fathers too – you cannot tell your children everything and anything. There are things you keep to yourself.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… 1 Peter 1:3 

This is the Peter who denied the Lord.  Here he thanks and praises God for giving us new birth in His great mercy. What is it that Peter praises? Peter met with the Lord Jesus after he had denied the Lord, he repented and experienced a new birth. Nicodemus was a religious teacher of Israel whom Jesus told should be born again. Unbelievers are missing out on so much if they have not experienced this new birth. Unbelievers who smoke, drink, visit brothels and places of Sodom and Gomorrah lose out on so much because they do not have this new birth. If you still get irritated and upset, are you born again? Are you born again if you return to porn on your phone? When others are asleep and you look at porn under the blankets, are you born again? If you defile yourself with your own hands, are you born again? When the last trumpet sounds where will you go? When Jesus comes on the clouds where will you go? People take Jesus and God lightly. They glibly confess their sins but so easily return to them. Peter said we should not be like dogs that vomit and then return to their vomit. (2 Peter 2:22) If you bring up your breakfast and eat it again, you will be regarded as mentally unstable. This is the same spiritually. You are spiritually sick if you constantly return to your sin.

to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:4,5 

We have a great inheritance in heaven. Do not cry because your parents have not left you an inheritance. Many live lives of crime in order to make money but there is an inheritance in heaven for the believers that is like money that has been put into a bank. It is safe from thieves. If we live a life of sin we will lose out on this inheritance.

And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it.  It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. Isaiah 35:8

Fools will be able to walk on the highway of holiness. In Zulu, the ‘way’ is a special way on which a bride walks on the road to her bridegroom. A highway goes in one direction. You cannot turn around and drive in the opposite direction. If a child of God turns around and returns to the life of sin, he/she will cause many accidents on this highway and hurt people. No matter what people say whether good or bad, let us go forwards and not backwards. Let us not backslide and go back to our old lives. This is a highway a way of holiness. If a person fails to behave as they should in a marriage, it will end on the rocks and that is terrible. How much worse if someone turns back in the faith.

…so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:7 

It was revealed to my heart to speak about the signs of the end of the age today. When I heard that I should take the service today and I thought who are we that we can ask the Lord to be with us – we spat in His face, we crucified Him afresh?

In closing, some years ago we had no rain and we asked the Lord for rain. Farmers also heard that we had prayed. We thanked God for the rain that He sent after that. The farmers also received rain from the Lord. Many people eventually phoned for prayer in order to have rain. Hans Koller from Rumania is asking for rain as well as our brethren in Germany. So in that corner where you are please pray with us. We will kneel and pray. Also bring your needs and problems to the Lord. We should not behave like the person who prayed to be set free from tobacco but he hid his pipe and after a while he went back to smoking it. (He did eventually repent.) The Lord has had mercy on us here and blessed us with abundant rain. As had been requested we will pray for them and as a leader of a congregation, also bring the problems in your church to the Lord in prayer. Let us kneel and pray.

German translation

French translation