As I stood and watched by the graveside of a great man in Israel, a tiny bead of sweat rolled down the face of Bill Clinton. It was nothing massive, nothing noticeable. In fact, if you werent watching closely, you never would have seen it.
But there it was, glistening in the afternoon sun a tiny bead running down the forehead of the most powerful man in the world. It rolled down the most famous face in the world. But that face wasnt the same as the popular pictures of it. The carefully practiced expressions werent there. Instead, the presidents face looked sunken, tired.
I looked across, and as Edward Kennedy tossed bits of dirt from the graves of his brothers, John and Robert, his hand trembled. This man, Massachusetts powerful liberal Senator with the family name of American royalty, looked shaken.
Former U.S. President George Bush stood there the man who had fearlessly defeated the powerful armies of Saddam Hussein looking pale. Former President Jimmy Carter looked older and frailer than he ever has before.
Forty-four U.S. Congressmen stood in the vicinity, all looking shaken. Eighty-six world leaders from all over the globe stood by gloomily, each showing something on their faces that the television cameras never see, the news photographers never seem to capture and the newspapers never write about.
As I watched the funeral of fallen Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the most powerful people in the world stood around in unison, looking helpless, deflated and scared.
Around the graveside stood people who had withstood coup attempts, had bravely stood against public opinion, had survived ruthless media assaults, had looked dead into the eye of nuclear war and had not flinched. Some of these men and women literally have their finger on the button that could touch off global nuclear war and devastation of unprecedented proportions and beyond the imaginations of even the most horrific fiction writers.
The gathered dignitaries controlled economies that measure in the TRILLIONS of dollars every single day. Every day, they deal with pressures most other people on the planet can only have breathless nightmares about.
Literally at the snap of their fingers, the gathered world leaders can command millions of soldiers into battle they could embroil the entire world into war in a matter of hours. They have faced down scandals, assassination attempts, terrorist attacks and natural disasters. But as I scanned the powerful men and women staring impotently down into the grave of Yitzhak Rabin, I saw in their eyes something I had never seen in them before. I saw fear. I saw corners of mouths trembling, eyes twitching, sweat rolling and hands shaking.
As each man and woman was confronted face-to-face with their own mortality, the reality hit them straight in the face they, like every other man, woman and child on the planet must face death, not with their armies, not with their intercontinental ballistic nuclear missiles, not with their teams of spin doctors, not with their lawyers, not with their political parties, but one-on-one, unarmed, face-to-face. And the thought appeared to terrify them.
Through the intense terror these powerful men and women were showing on their faces, God showed me an important and powerful truth from His Word:
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)
The sickliest saint lying prostrate in a hospital bed has a victory that these world leaders could never dream up in their war rooms, and could never commission from their generals and air forces.
The sick and the afflicted have a guaranteed victory over the very death that terrified the most powerful leaders on the planet!
You are appointed to a divine victory the entire world dreams of. You are on a collision course with the most spectacular finish-line performance in the entire history of all mankind!
When Jesus comes riding through the clouds, you will feel yourself ripped from this mortal existence and transformed even as you rocket through the stratosphere on your way to meet with Him in the air!
So even the lowliest of saints of God can look death in the eye and laugh out loud!
"So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" (1 Corinthians 15:54,55) From the time Jesus ascended to heaven and the apostles received the infilling of the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost, Christians around the world have been asking the same question: When will He come back?
Follow the fig tree The world leaders in Jerusalem didnt know it, but they were standing at the epicenter of Gods plan for the ages they were in the center of Gods clock face for the end times. They were standing at ground zero for Gods prophetic end time revelation!
From the beginning of all time, God has had a detailed and specific plan for the ending of all time. When He created the world, He also appointed a Savior for mankind "before the foundation of the world" (1 Peter 1:20).
And just as He prepared a plan and implemented it step-by-step, God prepared a road map for us to follow:
"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily, verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." Matthew 24:32-34.
Now, the fig tree is a very special tree. The fig tree is very common in Israel. Everywhere you look, from public buildings to growing beside the road, when you visit Israel, it rapidly becomes clear that the fig tree is to Israel what the bald eagle is to America. Indeed, in ancient times, the Jewish people had a proverb, "may you sit under your own vine and your own fig tree," as an expression of good will for your future prosperity.
The fig tree is also a bit unusual in that its fruit always appear before its leaves sprout. And when the leaves of the fig tree sprout, you can bet your bottom dollar that summer is at hand. Indeed, you wouldnt even need a calendar to know its summer if you had a fig tree in your yard. All youd have to do is look outside, see the leaves, and break out your beach towel, volleyball net and suntan lotion. And Jesus said the generation that sees the fig tree (Israel) put forth her leaves will be the generation that also will witness the return of the Messiah.
You probably already know that we are that very generation. We are the first generation in 2,000 years to see the fig tree blossom.
Even though Gods chosen people had been scattered, persecuted, tortured and murdered for centuries, even though the city of Jerusalem had changed hands 26 times and been leveled to the ground five times, in ONE DAY the nation of Israel rose out of the ashes, and on May 15, 1945 in fulfillment of our Lords prophetic promise, the white flag with the blue star of David was recognized on the floor of the United Nations in dramatic fulfillment of biblical prophecy.
"Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once?"
Isaiah 66:8 In that moment in history when Israel became a nation, the fig tree began to put forth her leaves, and Gods prophetic time clock began its final countdown the countdown to that day when you drop your laundry on your way to be clothed in INCORRUPTIBLE GARMENTS! Sit back and think about it a few seconds! The eyes that are reading this article right now will look upon the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Lord of Glory, the Prince of Peace, the Redeemer, Our Savior, the Pearl of Great Price, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
They will gaze into the loving eyes of the Lamb who shed His blood to redeem all of mankind! They will behold the Creator of the Universe in all His glory! Have you ever thought of that? Have you ever considered the reality of the certainty that because youre washed in the precious blood of Jesus your eyes will behold the pristine glory of the King of all creation?
And we are closer to that ground-shaking event than you think. Jerusalem Gods time clock. You can see how very close we are when you look into Gods time clock, the nation of Israel and through the eye of prophecy, Gods Holy City, Jerusalem. And today just as Jesus predicted Jerusalem is under siege. The continuing terrorist war you see on your television screen is a stark reminder of how drastically near we are to the end of this age. For the unbeliever, it is a dramatic warning, an omen portending their ultimate undesirable fate...
But for you, the siege of Jerusalem is a sign on the prophetic road, a beacon leading you along the path of prophecy that tells us beyond a doubt that we should "lift up (our) heads; for (our) redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21:28)
The return of Christ is near!
If the terrorist war that now is being waged in Jerusalem is a procession to Armageddon ... if God is indeed lining up the nations of the world as chess men on a game board in preparation for the final devastating battle, and if this battle is going to take place seven years after the return of Christ back to this earth, how near how imminently near we must be to the soon return of Jesus Christ, which, according to Gods Holy Word, will occur seven years prior to the great battle.
We are living at the culmination of the end of the age. These are the very last of the last days. We are the last generation, the generation that shall see the coming of King Jesus. We are living today at the edge of prophecy fulfilled and the forefront of prophecy unfolding. We are at the brink of the return of the Rose of Sharon the King who most certainly is coming as He promised.
One of these days it could be tomorrow the newspaper headlines will scream out in descriptions of mass destruction.
Headlines youll never read Huge headlines will dominate the front page of USA TODAY, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
The headlines will wail over airplanes that crashed because their pilots have disappeared. They will bemoan the thousands of cars that have careened out of control because their drivers suddenly vanished.
Air traffic controllers, brakemen on trains, bus drivers will all disappear at precisely the same moment. Homes of believers will have the supper dishes on the table, the food will be in the stove, but the occupants will be eating somewhere else the marriage supper of the Lamb.
But the headlines that scream of millions of simultaneous disappearances are headlines you will never read!
You will never read them because youll be one of the saints dining at the marriage supper of the Lamb!
Theyll find your clothes, your car, your jewelry, your personal effects, your bank statement, your Bible and everything else except you. Because youll be standing in the presence of the Most High, worshiping with the congregation of the redeemed!
That day is coming very soon! As it approaches, keep your eyes on Jerusalem! The City of David is your prophetic timepiece, your periscope into the future to discern just how close we are to that blessed event when we rise in victory over death!
As events unfold in that city the apple of Gods eye we can ever more be assured that the Lamb of God who was slain will return, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and He will do it soon! "...so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
On February 17, 1993 in the city of Jerusalem, God gave me a vision. In that vision, the Lord said, "There will be one final outpouring of My spirit. It will be a river of repentance. It will sweep throughout the globe and usher millions of souls into the Kingdom of God. This move will prepare the world for My return."
Without questions, what God is doing right now concerning revival, I can say with rejoicing, "This is that!"
In Acts 3:19-20, Peter prophesied a revival of repentance and a time of refreshing in the presence of the Lord before the return of Jesus Christ. And of course, our Lord and Savior in Matthew 24 proclaimed what is considered to be the last prophecy to be fulfilled before the Lords return.
"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." Matthew 24:14
Michael David Evans is an evangelist with a burning passion to reach the lost. For more than two decades, he has been conducting revivals and crusades throughout the world. CNN World News, BBC, etc have covered his meetings.
If you desire to get in touch with Mike Evans, please call 1-800-825-3872 or write to: MEM International, P.O. Box 910, Euless, Texas 76039, by fax at 817-285-0962 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org