Prophecy Answer Book

Posted on Feb 9 2012 at 11:02:09 AM in Religion & Spirituality

When and Why Israel Will Be Invaded

Ezekiel: when Israel dwells safely, in the latter days. This has not happened since Israel again became a nation in 1948. Also according to prophecy – after the Rapture of the Church, the Anti-Christ and the European Union make a treaty with Israel for peace and security. This will lead the small nation to turn their defenses down and concentrate on increasing wealth and productivity.

There are three reasons for he invasion. 1St, to take over the land and resources. 2Nd, to take their wealth – 'to take plunder, a booty, livestock and goods, silver and gold.' (Ezekiel 38:12-13.) In 2007, Israel exported over $70 billion worth of goods and services. The 3rd reason is the wholesale destruction of the Jewish people.

What is God's purpose? Ezekiel 38:4. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land...from the far north, I will bring you against the mountains of Israel.'

God's plan will bring these nations to their doom, to punish their wickedness and reveal His authority and power over His creation. Men must and will recognize His sovereignty. This will also accomplish the salvation of His people, and the nation of Israel. God will accomplish His purposes ultimately.


Israel – Present and Future

Ezekiel 36:24: 'I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.'

This began on May 14th, 1948. The new state of Israel was announced. The complete fulfillment of the prophecies include the spiritual renewal of the people to the Lord, as well as the total possession of the land promised to Abraham, from the river Euphrates, to the river of Egypt.

But there has been no real peace from that time to today. Scripture speaks of a future world leader that will bring about a 7 year peace agreement with Israel and its enemies. This peace will be broken. Then Israel will be invaded by massive armies. There will be no human hope. Only Christ's return will resolve the situation. Then judgment and the beginning of Christ's 1,000 year reign on earth. The promised borders will be fulfilled. God's people return to Him, and He to them.

Jeremiah 32:37-38: 'Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them...I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. They shall be My people, and I will be their God.'

In 2006, for the first time in 1,900 years, Israel had the largest Jewish numbers than anywhere else (formerly found in the U.S.). From 650,000 to almost 5.4 million.

Dramatic change in 2010 concerning Turkey. It had been a pro-western, secular nation interested in joining the European Union. A change in leadership, now the AKP party, led by Prime Minister Erdogan is anti-western. Members hold important offices, including high court justices. They effectively control, as well as govern. Their foreign policy now aligns them with Iran, Hesbollah, and Hamas. They claimed during a Nato summit that it is Israel that threatens world peace. All other member nations declared that Iran was the greatest threat.

The other major factor that makes the Middle East the center of world attention – the central importance of oil to the most industrialized and emerging nations. It is the unquestioned major energy source. It is so essential that a major part of the world economy is tied to its value. It is also significant that those countries controlling the majority of oil  are hostile to Israel, some calling for its destruction. Some organizations use terrorist tactics to continue agitating and disrupting any chance of peace.

Ezekiel foretold that Russia would attack Israel. The prophecy includes other nations that would join in the attack (Ezekiel 38:5). Russia has already formed a military alliance with Iran (the former Persia). They are selling missiles and other armaments to Iran. They trained Iranian nuclear scientists.


What About America in Prophecy?

No country on the North American continent is mentioned in Scripture. The U.S. is less than 250 years old and very far from Israel. Most citizens here are of European origin and will align future interests, especially economic agreements, with the European Union.

In 2007 and 2008, substantial progress was made in making agreements to improve trade. Also, meetings have been taking place to create free trade among the North American nations: Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. This is in anticipation of the creation of a 'Transatlantic Economic Union'. Economic union begins the process to political union.


The Final World Power

According to Daniel's detailed description of Nebuchadnezzar's statue revealed  the four main Kingdoms – Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek, and the Roman. The last world kingdom would be made from a restored Roman Empire. It will include ten kingdoms or leaders (Daniel 2:41-43; 7:7,24). The emergence and growth of the European Union can be considered a re-emergence of the Roman Empire – a new world order – first economic, then political.

This sets the stage for the emergence of a supreme leader – the final world dictator – the Anti-Christ. Daniel chapter 9 tells of a treaty between this Empire and Israel – a 7 year treaty, 'but in the middle of the time he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering' (Daniel 9:27). This begins the countdown to Armageddon.


Basics of Islam

Islam means 'submission', one who submits to God. About 1.5 billion Muslims are in the world today. About 1.4 million live in the U.S. - 6% of adults. The largest populations are in Asia. The majority are peaceful and reject violence. The radicals who preach terror and violence are growing in number worldwide.

Mohammad was born in Mecca (Saudi Arabia) in 570 A.D. His father died before he was born. His mother died when he was six. He was raised by his mother's father, trained to be a camel driver, then a merchant. At 26 he married a wealthy caravan owner named Khadija. He was exposed to several religions – Judaism, Christianity, and the traditional religion of his people. He questions his own beliefs. At age 40, meditating in a cave outside Mecca, he received his first revelation. This continued to happen throughout his life. These messages form the bulk of the Qu'ran – regarded by Muslims as the divine Word of God.

In the 7th Century Arab world, their religion included over 360 gods – one for each day of the lunar year. The moon god had many names, one of which was Allah – the favorite god of Mohammad's family.

Mohammad began to promote his new religion. He chose the name Allah for his one true god. He was fiercely devoted to Allah in establishing and spreading his religion, Islam. Any Muslim who leaves that faith is punishable by death.

Now, the Muslims are divided into two distinct, and opposing groups. This happened when Mohammad died. One group, the Sunni, followed the leadership of Abu Bakr, one of Mohammad's fathers-in-law. They comprise about 90% of Muslims in the world. They don't recognize any prophet since Mohammad and rely only on the Qu'ran.

The other group, the Shi'ites, followed Mohammad's son-in-law, Ali, as carrying a spiritual endowment from Mohammad. The imams, their present leaders, have equal authority as the Qu'ran. They believe the 12th century Imam went into retirement hundreds fo years ago, and will stay until a time when he will return as the Muslim Messiah.

The leader of the Sunni, Abu Bakr, and those that followed him, launched jihads, holy wars, that spread Islam forcefully across northern Africa, all the way to northern Spain, and eastward into Judia. They also went into eastern Europe. Christian nations organized and stopped their invasion ,and drove them back into the Middle East, where Islam is still dominant in all nations but Israel.

These modern jihads are specifically focused on destroying Israel, and the U.S., being Israel's number one supporter. To them, we are the evil ones that must be eradicated, and they are the holy ones demanding that the whole world must ultimately bow down to Allah and their complete control, to obey all Islamic law. These are the militant and terrorist forces.

Another faction follows a more subtle strategy. It is called fatah. It involves infiltration, moving into a country in large enough numbers to affect the culture. This is especially effective where people and their laws are more tolerant and accepting of immigrants. They begin exerting influence, changing laws and customs quietly, to those of Islam. A dramatic example of this is taking place in France, England, and other European countries.

One other situation has been observed. The population growth in these countries has slowed down to less than 2 children per household – these populations are decreasing every generation. The Muslims, on the other hand, have large families. Each generation adds more citizens to those nations – all Muslim. At some point they will become the majority, peacefully and gradually, and control commerce, industry, education, religion, and government.

There is also the Shi'ite group, and its most outspoken leader is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He is determined to develop nuclear weapons. He calls for the destruction of Israel. He has publicly prayed, referring to the 12th Imam – the Islamic Messiah. They believe that he will only appear during a time of worldwide chaos. He warns other Islamic nations against any peaceful moves towards Israel. Iran is the modern name for the ancient nation of Persia – mentioned by Ezekiel as one of the nations that will join Russia in attacking Israel.


The Rapture

As bad as we see the world to be these days, it continues to get worse. But there is a force that has a restraining influence on the increasing tide of perversion and lawlessness. Only the Holy Spirit holds the line, keeping the ocean of evil at bay.

In one moment of time, this will dramatically change. In that millisecond, millions of people will suddenly disappear from the face of the earth. It can be described as an evacuation of God's children to avoid the coming horror and devastation of earthquakes, fire, and chaos around the globe.

The word 'rapture' is Latin for the Greek phrase in Scripture that relates to the 'catching away' of all believers before the Great Tribulation, into the presence of the Lord. This fulfills the promise that Jesus made to His disciples in John 14:1-3. There He promises to go and prepare a place for all believers, and that if He does, He will come again and receive them to Himself, that where He is, they may be also.

The clear message is that this is the next major event on the calendar of prophecy. It is imminent - it can occur at any moment. It is also unknowable to all but the Heavenly Father – therefore anyone that predicts a date or time has been and will always be wrong.

There is a difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming of Jesus. The book of Revelation explains that the Rapture happens first, the Second Coming later. The Rapture will only be witnessed by believers. The 2nd Coming will be out in the open, so that everyone will see Him coming in the clouds, even as He left (Revelation 1:7; Zechariah 14:1,3-5; Revelation 19:1-21). This return takes place at the end of the Great Tribulation and will begin the Millennium – the 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth. We will be with him on this return. The prophetic events yet to be fulfilled that must next occur only refer to events concerning the Second Advent (or appearing). We can barely imagine what will happen on earth when all Christians are taken away. Paul's explanation of the Rapture puts it all together.

I Thessalonians 4:13-18.

13 ¶ But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them
also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 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:
17 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.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Paul begins by explaining that believers are different concerning those that have fallen asleep. They should not be sorrowful, for they have hope. He seeks to dispel any lack of understanding of the state of those believers in Christ that have died. The Greek word he uses has this as one of its meanings: 'to sleep in death.' This word was used in the case of Lazarus, Stephen, David, and Jesus.

In John 11:11, Jesus said, 'Our friend Lazarus sleeps but I go that I may wake him up.' Concerning Stephen, in Acts 7:60 he fell asleep when he had finished speaking. David fell asleep and was buried with his fathers (Acts 13:36). Concerning Jesus, in I Corinthians 15:20 – 'But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.'

Early Christians described the places they buried their dead as a sleeping or resting place. The English word 'cemetery' comes from he Greek word for this: kormeterion. In Paul's time it was used for inns (our hotel or motel). A place to spend the night, and continue the journey the next day. This emphasizes a temporary period of time.

The certainty that those who died in Christ will be raised is as certain as Christ's resurrection. At the Rapture, both living and sleeping believers will be raised by Christ to be with Him forever. The suddenness of the Rapture is suggested as snatched or caught up quickly. Refer to I Corinthians 15:52:

52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

A three part sequence will occur.
1. Those that had died in Christ will be given incorruptible physical bodies.
2. The resurrected believers will be united with living believers.
3. Together, all believers meet the Lord in the air. This will be a union that will never end.

After the Rapture in Heaven, each believer will come before the Judgment Seat of Christ (II Corinthians 5:10) to give account of the works we have done on earth, for rewards and what role we will have in the coming millennium.


The Tribulation

After the Rapture, the Holy Spirit will withdraw His restraining influence on the earth. All the forces of evil will flourish. God's wrath will be displayed against the wicked.

The Tribulation will last seven years, as described in Revelation chapters 11-18. The first 3½ years will be the climax of worsening conditions. During the last 3½ years, the Anti-Christ will break the peace with Israel and take possession of the world government, and claim that he is god in the Temple at Jerusalem.

Let us list ten signs that show the approach of the Tribulation, which will progressively increase in intensity.

1. Deception – many false Christs - Matthew 24:5.

'For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.'

2. Dissension – Matthew 24:6,7.

'And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.'

3. Devastation – refer back to Matthew 24:7.
4. Disease – Matthew 24:7.
5. Disasters – Matthew 24:7.

6. Death – Christians will be killed – Matthew 24:9.

'¶ Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.'

7. Disloyalty – betrayal even among families – Matthew 24:10.

'And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.'

8. Delusion – false prophets, sorceries, false religion, mind altering drugs will be involved.

Matthew 24:11 - 'And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.'

Revelation 9:21 - 'neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.'

9. Defection – turning away from God and from others – Matthew 24:12.

'And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.'

10. Declaration – Matthew 24:14.

'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.'

Christ's description in Matthew 24:21,22 -

21 for then shall be great tribulation, (Daniel 12:1, Revelation 7:14) such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

In heaven, during the earthly tribulation – Christians are in heaven before the throne of God. There is a rainbow of emerald greens. There are 24 elders, representing the Church age saints, sit around the throne. There is a vast expanse – described as a sea of glass. In the midst of the throne are four living creatures giving praise with the Angels and the Church.

Revelation 4:3-8.

3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. (Ezekiel 1:26-28; 10:1)
4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: (Exodus 19:16; Revelation 8:5; 11:19; 16:18) and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, (Ezekiel 1:13 which are the seven Spirits of God. (Revelation 1:4)
6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal. (Ezekiel 1:22)
¶ And in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. (Ezekiel 1:5-10; 10:14)
8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: (Ezekiel 1:18; 10:12) and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, (Isaiah 6:2,3) which was, and is, and is to come. (Exodus 3:14)

This is the worship of the glorified Christ. God is about to bring judgment upon earth. Thunder, lightning, and voices announce what is coming.

Revelation 6:12,13.

12 ¶ And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; Revelation 11.13; 16:18 and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13 and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, (Isaiah 13:10; Ezekiel 32:7; Joel 2:31; Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24,25; Luke 21:25) even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

Natural disasters will occur on earth during the Tribulation. The sun will turn black, the moon will turn red, and great earthquakes will be common. The mountains and islands will move – possibly the result of asteroids impacting the earth, disturbing the earth's mantle. This would cause the surface regions to shift and slide. An observer would be thinking the heavens were moving as if being rolled up.

Revelation 8:8-9.

8 ¶ And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
9 and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
10 ¶ And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, (Isaiah 14:12) burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
11 and the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

A great mountain burning with fire will be cast into the sea (a mega-volcano). One third of the sea will become blood, and one third of sea life will die. Also, one third of all ships will be destroyed. Then, fresh water will be affected by bitterness. Many will die. A star called 'wormwood' will poison the water, wells, springs, rivers.

Salvation during the Tribulation – Matthew 24:14.

14 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.

After all this, Christ returns to earth. There will be believers from every tribe, nation, and language. It is also the time of the greatest suffering and persecution ever seen. Obviously they were all unsaved at the time of Rapture. It is most likely that the Rapture will be a dramatic witness to those left behind – who knew those gone. All Biblical literature will be left behind. Even with the threat of being killed for their faith (which will take place), they will believe and tell others. They will know worse judgment will be coming. Those believers that die during this time have a special blessing – Revelation 14:13.

13 ¶ And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.


Tribulation – Two Witnesses

Elijah and Moses. Malachi 4:5-6 says that Elijah will come before Jesus returns to earth. I Kings 17: Elijah stopped the rain. In Revelation 11:6, the two witnesses have power to shut heaven – they stop the rain during the time of their prophecy. Elijah never died but was taken up to heaven.

In Exodus 7:20-21, Moses turned water into blood. In Revelation 11:6, the two witnesses 'have power over waters to turn them to blood.' The body of Moses was preserved by God so that he could be restored.

Both appeared with Jesus at the Transfiguration. Most likely they will begin their ministry at the beginning of the Tribulation at the time the Anti-Christ makes his treaty with Israel. They will have special powers – fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. Power over death, drought, and disease.

Their message – Christ as Lord of all the earth. They will testify of the peoples' wickedness. That God is responsible for all the judgments upon the earth, and that there are more to come. They will preach against the Beast of Revelation 13. Men will try to destroy them.

Finally, after 42 months, they will be killed by the Beast that comes from the bottomless pit. The entire world will celebrate their death. Their bodies will be put on public display – in the street (Revelation 11:7-10). This will last for 3½ days. Already decomposing, they stand up. The whole world will watch: audio and video broadcast on all media. They are resurrected, then raptured (Revelation 11:12) in a cloud, and taken up to heaven. The cloud is the shekinah glory of God.


The Second Coming

Matthew 25:31-33.

31 ¶ When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, (Matthew 16:27) then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: (Matthew 19:28)
32 and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

At the end of the Tribulation, Jesus Christ will come again to set everything right, to judge the nations. He will reunite with His chosen people and reign on the throne of David for the Millennium. The Son of Man is the judge. His return will be in all His glory, accompanied by His holy angels. The judgment takes place on earth.

Isaiah 9:6,7.

6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. (Luke 1:32, 33) The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

After this 1,000 year period, His kingdom will continue into a newly created heaven and earth for eternity.

Revelation 19:11-21.

The Rider on the White Horse
11 ¶ And I saw heaven opened, (Ezekiel 1:1) and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, (Daniel 10:6) and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: (Psalms 2:9) and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. (Isaiah 63:3; Joel 3:13; Revelation 14:20)
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
17 ¶ And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
18 that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. (Ezekiel 39:17-20)
19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. (Revelation 13:1-18) These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

The judgment will be upon all the unbelievers still on the earth. His return includes all the believers that had experienced the Rapture, seven years earlier. To that group will be added those that had become believers during the Tribulation. They will also be part of Christ's reign.

The book of Revelation begins with the world ruined by man. In the last half of the Tribulation, the world is ruled by satan. When Christ returns, He must cleanse the earth.

Interesting statistics: there are 1,845 references to the 2nd coming in the Bible, 318 of which are in the New Testament. There are 8 references to the 2nd coming for every 1 reference to the 1st. Jesus mentions His 2nd Coming a total of 21 times. This may explain in part the Jews' lack of recognition of Jesus as the suffering servant. They thought of that prophecy of it happening immediately before the coming as conquering hero. Even Christ's followers expected Him to fulfill the victorious promises immediately before His ascension. After He was gone, they had to realize there was to be a period of time that must pass before He would come in triumph.

Matthew 24:27-31 contains a description of the 2nd coming.
27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Luke 17:23,24)
28 For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together. (Luke 17:37)

The Coming of the Son of Man
(Mark 13:24-31; Luke 21:25-33)
29 ¶ Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, (Isaiah 13:10; Ezekiel 32:7; Joel 2:31; Revelation 6:12,13) and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven (Daniel 7:13; Revelation 1:7) with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The Final Judgment does never occur until after the Millennium. It is called the Great White Throne of Judgment. Every unredeemed person that has ever lived will stand before Christ to receive the sentence of eternal death, in the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:11-15.

The Judgment at the Great White Throne
11 ¶ And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Daniel 7:9,10)
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.


The Anti-Christ

Part I.

'Anti' means 'against' and 'instead of'. The Anti-Christ will overtly oppose Christ and all Christians. He will also claim that he is the Messiah, the savior worthy of all power and authority and finally, of worship. He will be the most powerful dictator in human history. He will be charismatic and know all the answers to all the problems in the world.

The Unholy Trinity. The father is satan – the Anti-Christ is the son, and the False Prophet is the third – who directs praise and worship to the Anti-Christ.

The Anti-Christ will be eloquent and admirable. He will speak pompous words against the Most High. He will be physically attractive and have a magnetic personality. He would cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast be killed (Revelation 13:15). He is also labeled as the Beast. He will personify satan, having powers, signs, and lying wonders. He will begin as a European leader, become a world leader, and then a global dictator – and finally claim to be God. He will be irresistible to the masses.

The mark of the beast – 666. Six is the number of man – created on the 6th day. A Hebrew slave could only be a slave for 6 years. Three 6's – the ultimate human – the ultimate in human ingenuity, competence, and arrogance. During Roman times, the emperor had a seal with his name, likeness, and year of reign. It was necessary for buying and selling – affixed to documents to prove their validity. The Anti-Christ will do the same thing.

Revelation 13:16-18.

16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

Those that refuse the mark will be persecuted, labeled as traitors. Not being able to get food and other necessities will lead to those without the mark to eventually die. All those who accept the mark will suffer eternal judgment at the hand of God – eternal fire, damnation, and wrath. Their choice will last forever.

Revelation 13:3-12.

3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
5 ¶ And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, (Daniel 7:8,25; 11:36) to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: (Daniel 7:21) and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life (Psalms 69:28) of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.
10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: (Jeremiah 15:2) he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
11 ¶ And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

Early on, the Beast will appear to be killed – a head wound. It will be healed – it will appear to be a miracle – a pretend resurrection. Satan himself will be engineering this, in order to imitate Christ. He will be defeated by Christ's return to earth.
The False Prophet is in charge if religious and military authority for the Anti-Christ. He will be the epitome of every false prophet in history – he will do works that cause the whole world to bow down and worship the Beast. He will appear like a lamb but will be a wolf. He will be able to call down fire from heaven. There will be 144,000 Israelite sealed by God for service during the Tribulation. There will be 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes. They will be evangelists. Many will respond and believe. The seal on their foreheads will be the Father's Name. They will be preserved by the Holy Spirit.

Part II.

Armageddon is mentioned once in Scripture – in Revelation 6. The Hebrew word means the Mount of Megiddo. The word megiddo means slaughter – thus The Mount of Slaughter. Armageddon includes the mountain and an extended plain – from the Mediterranean Sea inland. It is south of Haifa, 55 miles north of Jerusalem. It was the location of many Old Testament battles – Gideon defeated the Midianites (Judges 7), Sauls was killed there (I Samuel 3), etc. In modern times also – the Crusades, the Turks, the Arabs. In 1799, Napoleon was there, and said – 'All the armies of the world could maneuver their forces on this vast plain...there is no place in the whole world more suited for war than this...(It is) the most natural battleground on the whole earth.' The final battle will not be contained at that plain, but will fill the whole land of Israel.

God's purpose concerning Armageddon is to complete His judgment upon Israel. The Tribulation is referred to as the 'time of Jacob's trouble'. Also, Armageddon is to complete God's judgment upon the nations that have persecuted Israel. They will be gathered together in the battle of Armageddon, also known as the Valley of Jehoshaphat. These nations are responsible for scattering the Jewish people among the nations and dividing up the Promised Land.

Revelation 19:15.

15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: (Psalms 2:9) and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. (Isaiah 63:3; Joel 3:13; Revelation 14:20)

Let us list the differences between the battle of Gog (prince of Russia) and Armageddon. The Battle of Gog concerns Russia and at least five other nations (Ezekiel 38:2-6). They will attack from the north. Their purpose is to take a spoil and take a prey. Russia will lead. God will defeat them with earthquakes, confusion, contagion, and hail. This army will perish upon the mountains of Israel and the open field (Ezekiel 39:4-5). The dead will be buried. These nations will continue fighting each other for the rest of the Tribulation.

The Battle of Armageddon involves all the nations of the world. They will attack from all directions. They come to destroy the land to annihilate the Jews. The Anti-Christ will lead them. They will be defeated by the word of Christ, the sharp sword (Revelation 19:15,21). Those killed by the Lord will die where they fall, from one of the earth to the other (Jeremiah 25:33). The carcasses will be devoured by scavenger birds. (Jeremiah 25:33; Revelation 19:17,18,21.) Swords and spears will be beaten into plowshares and pruning hooks (Isaiah 2:4). The nations will study war no more.

The Anti-Christ's role as leader will change as he goes back on every promise he made. Major nations will gather their own forces against him. He will be attacked from the north and the south, like a whirlwind – chariots, horsemen, and many ships (Daniel 11:40). Finally, the Euphrates river dries up, so that the kings of the east will be able to directly attack. An army of 200 million men will cross, attacking the armies of the Anti-Christ.

Revelation 16:14.

14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

As the Anti-Christ is about to attack to destroy Israel and Jerusalem, another mass army will also come on the field, setting the stage for the climax and ending the Battle of Armageddon.


The Millennium and Concluding Thoughts

Revelation 20:1-6.

The Thousand Years
1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, (Genesis 3:) which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3 and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
4 ¶ And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: (Daniel 7:9,22) and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Defined as the thousand year rule of Christ on earth in peace and justice from Jerusalem. It will be a foretaste of the eternal heavenly state. The Saints of God will rule with Christ. Satan will be bound. Everyone entering the Millennium alive will be those who believed in Christ during the Tribulation. The curse of Genesis will be lifted.

The New Jerusalem will be a cube – each side being 1,500 miles in length. This will be the dwelling place of the saints.

The Millennium is described as a time of peace. Even the animal kingdom will be so (Micah 4:23; Isaiah 11:6-9). A time of plenty and prosperity. Christ will rule with a rod of iron: sin will be kept in check – a holy kingdom. Health will be perpetual, lifespan will be greatly increased. During the Millennium, children will be born as sinners, and some percentage will be rebellious – tempted by satan, who is to be loosed for a short time at the end of the Millennium. They will join in the rebellion coming against Jerusalem. They will not succeed. The purpose is to show that sin comes from birth – not environment. In that time, the environment will be peace and prosperity, quick justice, and a moral majority. Then when those who reject Christ and His salvation turn against God and join satan's rebellion – Christ's salvation is still the only way.

The New Heaven and the New Earth.

The eternal home for God's children. There will be no sickness or death. There will be no memories of former sorrows. God and His Son will be eternally present. The New Jerusalem will be a holy city. Thee will be continual fellowship with God, Jesus, angels, the spirits of just men made perfect, and all members of Christ's Church. Different groups and individuals will have unique purposes and responsibilities. One that is mentioned several times in Revelation is music, joyfully singing praise unto God.

Concluding Thoughts – prepare for the end times.
1. Stand fast in the truth of God's Word.
2. Hold on to fellowship with Christians and with Christ in spirit and in truth.
3. Work hard to share your faith, reach out to those in need, encourage and build up other Christians.
4. Live each day in Christ-like readiness for His call (the Rapture).
5. Refrain from judging others. We all remain sinners in need of Our Savior.
6. Continue to proclaim the Lord's sacrificial death until he returns. I Corinthians 11:26.

26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come.

7. Set your mind on the things of Heaven above, where Christ is at God's Hand.
8. Relate to and express love to not only other believers, but all people, as Christ would have us do.
9. Encourage the bereaved with God's promises as recorded in Scripture, especially I Thessalonians 4:13-18.

The Coming of the Lord
13 ¶ But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 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:
17 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. (I Corinthians 15:51-52)
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

10. Faithfully preach the Word. Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and teaching. II Timothy 4:2.

2 preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.

11. Do not forsake the assembling together, to stir up love and good works as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24,25.

24 and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

12. Remain patient.
13. Continue to practice righteous living to honor Jesus and glorify God our Father.
14. Most importantly, keep Christ's love for the unsaved, having mercy and compassion, to share our great faith and hope, and the wonderful promises answered by Christ's first coming, His sacrificial death for our sins; His resurrection and ascension unto God in heaven. His preparing a place for all believers to live for eternity, and His imminent reappearing to call us up to meet Him in the air and join Him in Heaven.

Christ's final words delivered to John and recorded at the end – Revelation 22:20.

This article was written by my father T.O.D. Johnston, who was licensed to preach the Gospel by Paran Baptist Church in Lake City, SC, on May 26, 1979. He has been a student of Scripture since 1972. Be sure to visit the author's full list of Bible Study Lessons by book for all of his free lessons.

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Created: Feb 9 2012 at 11:02:09 AM
Updated: Feb 9 2012 at 11:03:03 AM
Language: English