Well, I guess I owe my readers an apology of sorts; I have been so busy this summer that I haven’t had time to write much. For the past 4 months I have been doing some much-needed maintenance work on my home, in my spare time. And, that has pretty much eaten up most of my spare time, except for a few days helping out with my wife’s and my own parents 60th wedding anniversaries.
I am sending The Spirit of Prophecy to the Frankfurt Book Fair in October, and that is somewhat exciting, except that I know the subject of biblical prophecy is not a big seller these days. Hopefully the Lord will find a few people who are interested enough to read it through, and hopefully a major publisher will pick it up!.
But, enough about me..
Have you ever read through the parallel passages of Matthew 24? I was reading through Luke 21 the other day and realized something; I realized that I had been looking at verse 8 in the wrong way!
8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. Luke 21:8
The punctuation was not included in the original biblical languages, and even when they get it right sometimes our unfamiliarity with them leads us to an incorrect conclusion.
A semi-colon separates two independent clauses, but also emphasizes the connection between. Often the second clause elaborates on, or defines, the first.
For years I had read this passage like this:
And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying,”I am Christ”: and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.
This is wrong, but how many Christians read it the same as I had? I think there are many. He is not saying to avoid false teachers as the time draws near, we have always had the need to avoid false teachers, from the time of Simon the Sorcerer until now! There are and have always been many false Christs, and other Scriptures point this out, but this is not what is in view here; these false teachers are saying that Jesus is Christ and the time of the earthly kingdom is drawing near.
Here is how it should be read:
And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, “I (Jesus) am Christ”; and “the time draweth near”: go ye not therefore after them.
These false teachers use a Christian testimony to get into Churches and then proceed to teach error! They say that Jesus is the Christ, but that is the end of the truth they preach!
This is an indictment of many End Times ministries! Every ministry that teaches that it is the Job of the Church to bring in the Millennial reign, is a false ministry! You can find this kind of ministry in post-Millennial, and Amillennial churches like Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Emergent/Emerging, and sadly, it is increasingly popular in Evangelical Churches who were formerly true to the Scriptures!
Every Christian ministry should be grounded and rooted in Scripture. The Gospel of Salvation through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, should be front and center. And yes, they should teach End Times prophecy, but if they are doing it properly they will never teach that it is the job of the Church to set-up the Kingdom of God on earth! Jesus will do that himself when He returns!
All Christians who are saved during the Church-Age, will be removed before the beginning of the Tribulation; not one of us will go into the Millennial reign in fleshly bodies! Everyone who goes into the Millennial reign will be unsaved on the day that the Church is removed! They will survive the Tribulation and will be used by God to repopulate the earth during the Millennial reign. These are the same people Matthew wrote about (Matt. 24:31), who will be carried aloft by angels, as Jesus brings destruction on the earth beneath them!