Tonight i will teach my church what Reggie and others taught me in Ohio.
Tribulation, Anti-Christ, End Times
Sometimes, what we think we know, is not the truth. Maybe we think that Mercury is the hottest planet because it is closest to the sun. That makes sense, but it is wrong, Venus is the hottest planet because it has an atmosphere that holds in the heat, Mercury has no clouds or atmosphere and so it cools down every “night.” This subject, has a lot of those kinds of things in it, and so we need to approach it with an attitude that says, “Let the Bible teach us,“ not us tell the Bible what we already know. As we look at this there will be questions and whatever can’t be answered this week we will look at next week.
In Matthew 24, the disciples ask a direct question, Jesus gives a direct answer and then refers them to a specific prophecy in the book of Daniel. We will use this chapter in Matthew and some sections of Daniel as our guide to “understanding the times of the end.”
In Matt. 24:3 the question the disciples ask is “when?” Jesus goes thru events that lead up to the end times in 24:4-14, but then in 24:15 He answers the ‘when.’ He refers them back to the book of Daniel where the abomination of desolation is mentioned three times. Daniel 9:27, 11:31 and 12:11. Daniel 9:27 tells about a ‘mid-week’ betrayal of a covenant. Daniel 11:31 mentions a “him” who is at the center of this betrayal. It is part of a larger section from 11:21-11:45 that gives an amazing amount of detail about “him.” Daniel 12:11 speaks of a specific number of days that the ‘tribulation’ period will last. A number of things are ‘going on’ in the tribulation, but 12:7 gives this insight for us to consider,
“I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed.” (Leviticus 26:40-42 - When they accept their punishment.. I will remember. And when God says ’remember’ it marks a point in time when He is going to take action!)
Back to Matthew 24. After verse 15 - (which gives the ‘when’ of when the tribulation / end times, starts) Jesus paints a picture of the depth of difficulty that will mark those days. He uses “those days” 3 times, verse 19, 22, 29. In verse 29 He has started a 3 verse explanation of God’s triumphal close of the tribulation. So the final 3 and 1/2 years of this “stage” of God’s plan starts with the abomination, has tribulation and then ends in a triumphant return and gathering. The rapture. The church goes thru the tribulation. It’s call is to be a light in the darkness. It’s greatest apostle was willing to be cut off, in order to see the Jews come in. Suffering leads to glory. Death brings resurrection. God’s sent ones are given grace to go into horribly awful situations and bring life. God’s promises are to carry us through the worst of times, not to pull the church out, and allow the unsaved Jews and the lost wander through the tribulation period with no ‘light.’
A good cross reference Bible will list, 1 Cor. 15:52and 1 Thes. 4:16, as parallel verses for Matthew 24:31. That is correct. The rapture is after the tribulation.
666 There is positively no mystery in this number. 6 is the number of man in scripture. 6 three times indicates the anti-christ will be ultimate man. Jesus was the incarnate Son of God, 1Tim. 3:16, the mystery of Godliness., satan is a copy cat, the anti-christ is satan incarnate, 2nd Thes. 2:8 the mystery of iniquity or lawlessness.
Michael arises and casts satan out of heaven Rev.12:9 (this is great news for the church, more on that later) simultaneously on earth the anti-christ, a normal human up till this point sustains a fatal wound of some kind(Rev.13:3, 13:12, ) and before all the world he ‘resurrects’ as satan possesses him and he begins to exercise the power and authority that satan gives him (Rev. 13:4) in conjunction with a religous 2nd in command, the false prophet, who is also working signs and wonders meant to deceive (Rev. 13:11-15). As said earlier, Daniel 11:21-11:45 gives a play by play of the actions of the anti-christ. Though there have been rulers who fulfilled parts of these events, none of them ended with a massive resurrection of the dead, Daniel 12:2.