JESUS SAYS, CHRISTIANS WILL EXPERIENCE END TIMES TRIBULATION

Jesus tells us what the signs will be of His coming and the end of the age in the Olivet Discourse – Matthew 24:3–14.

“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 you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for 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, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 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.” Matthew 24:3-14

Jesus links the great tribulation, persecution of God’s people with the abomination of desolation in verse 15 “Therefore [οὖν, oun] when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand)”  and its ensuing ramifications of the great tribulation, the only possible referent of the great tribulation that is linked with the inference of oun in the previous immediate context would be found in v. 9 : “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” The martyrdom realised in this verse is coupled with all the other trials that Jesus mentions.

It has perplexed interpreters why the end of the age is mentioned in v. 14 before the abomination of desolation event. Now they should know why, because of that short three-letter conjunction oun that is so significant!

The events portrayed in Matt 24:9–14 do not occur throughout church history. Rather, they are a variety of trials that Christians will experience during Antichrist’s great tribulation.

This naturally is followed by Jesus’s return to Rapture His saints. Note it is after the tribulation: 

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. 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. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:29-31

ARE OUR CHURCHES PREPARING US FOR THE COMING TRIBULATION?

Jesus taught explicitly that one of the ways you will know His return is imminent is you will see the Antichrist claiming to be God in a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem.

“So when you see the abomination of desolation–spoken about by Daniel the prophet—standing in the holy place. . .  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. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” (Matthew 24:15-22)

Paul confirms that the Antichrist will come before Jesus returns to Rapture the Saints:

“Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not arrive until the rebellion comes and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, and as a result he takes his seat in God’s temple, displaying himself as God”                         (2 Thessalonians 2:3–4).

John records numerous instances in the Book of Revelation of Jesus warning the saints to become Overcomers of the beast’s system (e.g. Revelation 14:9–12).

In the light of all these Scriptures, why do so many hold on to the Pretribulation Rapture position? Could it be, because we don’t want to believe that God would put us through the intense persecution that the Bible tells us Christians will endure during the last seven years before Jesus returns? It is described as a time of tribulation and great tribulation after the midpoint when the Antichrist “takes his seat in God’s temple, displaying himself as God”.

None of us like the thought that we may have to die for our Christian faith under the regime of the Antichrist. But it is God’s will that ultimately matters. He knows better than us, therefore we need to trust His will because it is all-wise, all-good, all-sovereign.

I am reminded of Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways”, says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts your thoughts.” 

It may be God’s will that we confront the Antichrist system. We need to trust God, as have many martyrs before us, that He will be with us in the ordeal. What an honour it would be; to be a witness for the true God of the universe, to give glory to Him and to receive a martyrs crown. Pray God will give us the strength to stand up boldly for Him.

God may very well call us to be a Daniel and stand up to Nebuchadnezzar’s golden idol. Or Daniel’s companions, Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach) and Azariah (Abed-Nego) confined to the fiery furnace. Or to be a David and stand up to Goliath when he mocked and blasphemed his God. 

Many churches in America and many in Australia stay away from the  subject of “end times” altogether, but many also preach the Pretribulation Rapture position, in both cases they are not preparing their congregations for the coming tribulation. Even worse they are not challenging their congregations about the urgency of the hour and the need to get about our Father’s business and obey Jesus command to preach the Gospel and make disciples.

 

 

A THIRD TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM IS A SIGNIFICANT END TIMES SIGN

The Temple Institute was founded in 1987. The Institute is dedicated to every aspect of the Torah commandment to build the Holy Temple of God on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. It has been actively engaged in the research and preparation of the resumption of service in the Holy temple to the extent of actually preparing operational blueprints for the construction of the temple.
However, would not another temple, with all the attendant animal sacrifices required, be a blasphemy in light of the “Ultimate Sacrifice” which has already been given through Jesus Christ on the cross?
By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. – Hebrews 10:10 
Based on man’s rebellious nature, it is not surprising to see the frantic effort to rebuild another temporal, earthly temple in Jerusalem.  This is in direct opposition to what Scripture clearly teaches us about how Yeshua came to transform us.
“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
 1 Corinthians 3:16
Why would the Most High God revert to inhabiting wood and stone after making a flesh and blood appearance?  As noted, the prophet Daniel says this is a move that we should expect of an unrepentant Israel still awaiting their Messiah.  While the Bible does prophesy that there will be a temple restoration before His return to rapture the saints. It is short lived, as we know that a Satan empowered antiChrist will enthrone himself as God in the temple, mid point through the last seven years.
“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel – let the reader understand –  let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” Matthew 24: 15-16
At Christs return to earth with the saints, and before the beginning of Christ’s Millennial Reign, Satan will be bound and Hell sealed over for 1000 years.
“And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain.He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended.”
Revelation 20:1-3
It is during this time that there will be complete and total “temple restoration” of the Body of Christ who will enjoy the kingly rule of Yeshua Himself upon His Second Coming.
After 6000 years of fallen mankind, we will enjoy a 1000 year Shabbat with the Lord of the Sabbath.
Note, Jesus expects Christians to be around during the Tribulation and for the Great Tribulation, but as He promised, not during the period when God’s wrath is poured out on the earth during the Trumpet and Bowl judgements.

 

SIGNS TO WATCH FOR, PRIOR TO JESUS RETURN

Jesus does not teach a sign-less, imminent rapture. There are key discernible events/signs that must happen before Jesus returns for his church.

Jesus gave us due warning with signs/events that will occur prior to His return: 

  1. Israel will be reestablished – Jesus told the parable of the fig tree (Israel) when you see it sprouting (reborn). “So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.” Luke 21;31
  2. “False messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.Remember, I have told you ahead of time. Mark 13:21-22
  3.  “And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” Matthew 24:6
  4. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:7
  5. There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth nations will be in distress, anxious over the roaring of the sea and the surging waves. People will be fainting from fear and from the expectation of what is coming on the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. “But when these things begin to happen, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
  6. “Now regarding the arrival of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to be with him… Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not arrive until the rebellion comes and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, and as a result he takes his seat in God’s temple, displaying himself as God. Surely you recall that I used to tell you these things while I was still with you.” 2 Thessalonians 2:1–5
  7. “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and takes the mark on his forehead or his hand, that person will also drink of the wine of God’s anger that has been mixed undiluted in the cup of his wrath, and he will be tortured with fire and sulphur in front of the holy angels and in front of the Lamb… This requires the steadfast endurance of the saints—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to their faith in Jesus. Revelation 14:9–12
  8. So when you see the abomination of desolation–spoken about by Daniel the prophet—standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.

Sadly, much of the church has been deceived into believing a Pretribulation Rapture. The Bible clearly teaches in these Scriptures that the Saints will experience tribulation even great tribulation. However, the Bible also teaches the Saints will be raptured at the sixth seal before God pours out His wrath upon the earth in the trumpet and bowl judgements.

JESUS SECOND COMING

Does the Bible provide much information on Jesus’ Second Coming?

There is more prophetic evidence about Jesus’ second coming than any other prophetic event in the Bible. The end times is the most written-about subject in all of Scripture. There are over 150 chapters in the Bible in which the majority of the chapter is about the end times.  Most of the prophets spoke about the future “Day of the Lord” which relates to the events of Jesus’ coming. For more information go to Mike Bickle’s article entitled “150 Chapters on the End Times.” I can also recommend Nelson Walters book, Revelation Deciphered.

Why is it important that we study “end times” prophecies, particularly the Book of Revelation?

Studying what the Bible has to say about the future empowers us to be victorious in love and power during the most glorious and difficult time in history. It prepares us to actively participate under Jesus in the end-time events and to rightly interpret Jesus’ leadership in the coming global crisis instead of being offended by Him (Matthew 11:6). Studying the end times awakens urgency in us for intercession, knowing that our prayers may minimise evil and increase victory. Understanding end-time Scriptures strengthens our confidence in God’s sovereignty by knowing that He is in control and is never surprised (Joel 2:13-14; Zephaniah 2:3; Matthew 11:6, 24:4; Philippians 1:10; Revelation 12:11).

 How can we be confident that we are living in the “last days”?

There are many biblical trends that reveal “the season or generation” of His coming (Matthew 24:4-8). They include an increase of wickedness (Daniel 8:23, Revelation 14:9), apostasy in the church, the increase of knowledge (Daniel 12;4), emergence of global prayer (Isaiah 56:7), the great harvest from all nations (Matthew 24:14, Revelation 7:9).

Are we able to know the signs of the times?

Yes, Jesus commanded the people who lived in the generation of His return to know the signs (Matt. 24:32-4). Jesus rebuked those who did not heed the prophetic signs that pointed to His coming (Matt. 16:1-4; Luke 19:41-44). Prophetic signs serve the church in the same way that a weather station signals coming trouble so that people can prepare and save lives.

Can the signs of the times be understood?

Yes. The Scriptures on the end times and the signs of the times were written to be understood by all, since the majority of people throughout history have been uneducated peasants. The Scripture was written for them. Jesus and Paul emphasised the know-ability of the prophetic signs of the end times (Matt. 24:32-34, Luke 21:25-29, 1 Thess. 5:1-6, 2 Thess. 2:1-11). The lie is that we are not to know the times and seasons of His return (Acts 1:7-8).

How can we know when Jesus is coming if He says in Matthew 24:36 that “no one knows” the day or the hour? Jesus did not say we could not know the season or the conditions surrounding His coming. Neither did Jesus say that the church would not know the day and hour in the generation the Lord returns. We must seek the Father’s Word as to when this begins, because only the Father knows. God did not want to make the day and hour known in the early church, but Daniel and the apostle John made it clear that the Messiah would come exactly 1,260 days after the abomination of desolation (Dan. 7:25; 12:7; Rev. 11:2-3,12:6, 14; 13:5).

Will the church be on earth during the Tribulation and Great Tribulation spoken of by Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27)?

Yes. The church will absolutely be on the earth during six of the seven years of the Tribulation and Great Tribulation. However, the church will not experience the wrath of God, which is poured out in the trumpet and bowl judgements during the seventh year, prior to Jesus Second Coming to earth with the Saints who were raptured at the sixth seal. The last verse describing the events of the sixth seal announces “For the great day of His wrath has come, and who can stand? (Revelation 6:17). John then sees the resurrected and raptured saints (great multitude which no one could number of all nations, tribes and peoples and tongues standing before the throne and before the lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands.” (Revelation 7:9). This prior to the trumpet and bowl judgements being poured out on unrepentant mankind.

 The end times is the church’s finest hour, when miracles will occur and supernatural prophetic direction will be released. The miracles of Acts and Exodus will be multiplied and combined on a global level (Mic. 7:15). The victorious believer in Revelation 12:11 will overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony and the fact that they did not love their lives to the death.

 

Extracts from article by Mike Bickle: Answers the 100 most frequently asked questions about the End Times. Although I have taken a PreWrath Rapture position and I believe Mike Bickle takes the Post Tribulation position. He is the director of the International House of Prayer Missions Base of Kansas City, Missouri,

WHEN WILL THE END COME?

More from Alan Kurschner of Eschatos Ministries:

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matt 24:14).

Here we have another explicit prophecy that must happen before the end: the gospel being preached “throughout the whole inhabited earth.” Since Jesus taught in the Great Commission that the church will be on earth up to the end of the age, they will witness the fulfilment of Jesus’ prophecy of the world-wide proclamation of the Gospel. Five words demonstrate this point: “then the end will come” (Matt 24:14). The church will not be removed until this prophecy is fulfilled. The church will not be raptured until this prophesied event happens.

On a related noted, having established that the church will be present on earth up to the end of the age in verse 14, notice in verse 15 Jesus says, “Therefore [oun] when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place…” The interpreter should not miss that Jesus has the same audience in view after verse 14. In verse 15, Jesus begins to describe the Antichrist’s great tribulation in more detail. There is no justification to claim that the referent “you” in verse 15 and afterwards is different from the “you” before verse 14. In other words, the disciples, who represent the new community of God (i.e. the church), are the consistent audience of Jesus’ entire discourse. In short, since the “you” before verse 15 represents the church, there is no reason—except for theological bias—that it represents anyone differently in verse 15 and afterwards.

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The church will see “the abomination of desolation (Antichrist)  spoken of by Daniel, standing in the holy place”.

The question to ask: Is the church prepared for the coming tribulation? I think the answer is no for most of the major denominations, and it will be the reason for the prophesied great falling away. ” Let no one deceive you by any means for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed , the son of perdition. ” 2 Thess. 2:3. We are already seeing evidence of an apostate church.

HANUKKAH FORESHADOWS THE END TIMES ANTICHRIST

The template for the coming appearance of the Antichrist is depicted in the events that led up to the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah. It is the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22-23) which celebrates the re-dedication of the temple after Antiochus (antichrist) Epiphanes (god manifest) had desecrated the temple with a statue of Zeus (167BC) and by slaughtering pigs there.

At the Feast of Dedication, they light the Menorah (a symbol of Divine light spreading throughout the world). This is exactly what we need to be (a symbol of Divine light), as the world back then got darker, and they called what was good, evil and what was evil, good, so it is in our day. Thankfully, we also see in the events celebrated at Hanukkah, how to overcome evil in these last days. We must be like Mattathias (a Jewish priest who headed up the Maccabees) who refused to worship the Greek gods. Despite not having weapons, nor being trained in warfare, God miraculously gave them victory three times against Antiochus despite overwhelming odds on each occasion. Likewise, if we stand up for God in these “last days” we can expect God to be with us supporting us, as He did the Maccabees.

In answer to the disciples questions about His second coming (Olivet Discourse), Jesus states that when they see the abomination of desolation in the temple referred to in Daniel 9:26-27, it will be a sign that His second coming is near. This event is definitely in the future, but I believe the birth pangs that Jesus also referred to, as signs of His second coming, are underway. When you have time listen to Jonathan Cahn explain these events in detail.