Wow! I just realized it has been over a year since my last post! I’m sorry, I just thought it was a few months. Well I guess 12 is still a few! I’ll try to post more often than once per year! This article will be the first in a series of 3.
During my personal bible studies, I recently came across an interesting puzzle; we have been told Jesus returns at, or near, the End of the Tribulation, but what does the bible say about it? Is it possible that Christians have got some things wrong? Yes, it is possible to be a Born Again, Blood Bought Child of God and to still make mistakes! The truth is that the Protestants of the Reformation had been Amillennial in their time under the Roman Church, and it took a while for them to come out from under Rome’s influence, and to accept the bible only as their source of truth. The British Christians made some major advances with the rediscovery of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, and other major rediscoveries, but progress has been slow!
So, should we stick with our traditions, or lean on the Scriptures alone? Do the Scriptures teach something different than the most common interpretations of the End Times Prophecies? Does Jesus return near the End of the Tribulation, or does He return at some other time? I don’t mean what date, because that is impossible to know, but I mean “at what point during the Tribulation will He return to earth?” Chronologically, at what point in the seven year Tribulation will He return?
Most bible prophecy scholars will tell you that Jesus returns near to or at the end of the Tribulation period, to set-up His earthly kingdom. I have found, in my studies, that He will return in the middle of the Tribulation, it might even be in the exact middle!
You mean that He doesn’t leave them alone to face the Antichrist for three and a half years? Why would he do that? Can’t He protect them by the power of the Holy Spirit alone? Well, for one thing, Israel can’t survive without Him! He will fight for them against the armies of the Antichrist! These armies are the most technologically advanced armies in the history of the world! They have weapons that we know nothing about, but we do know about their laser weapons which are capable of downing aircraft with a high intensity beam of light! If they can do that to aircraft they can certainly do similar things to people on the ground! No, Israel needs Jesus to be there with them when they flee from the Beast!
Two: He needs to teach them before they rule the earth with Him and the Church! Just as the Church needs to be in their glorified bodies, and needs to spend some time in Heaven before we return with Him, Israel, still in their fleshly bodies will need time to understand the Lord’s plan for the Millennial Kingdom! Not only will they witness Him fighting for them, but He will personally teach them. The Church will probably be involved in this as well! And three; He will fight the Armies of the Antichrist all around the world, wherever they are; He doesn’t do this all at once, but bit by bit, by hiding his power!
3 God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.
4 And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power Habakkuk 3:3,4
Teman is a region in Edom, as is Paran, and the city of Petra. Why does God come from Edom? In the context of the Great Tribulation it is because His people are in hiding there from the armies of the Antichrist! He is there to protect them! He is also doing a special work with them in their place of refuge, Petra, as this is the restoration of Israel long prophesied by His prophets! When He leaves this place, He will return there after dealing with the Antichrist’s armies in various locations around the world! He will also be taking the saints with Him, as well as living Israelites! They will together, with the power of Christ, destroy the armies of the beast, and then return to their place of refuge, for a rest!
Note: the Antichrist himself is also from Edom, and will use verses like Habakkkuk 3:3-4, out of context, to prove that the Messiah comes from Israel’s neighbour to the east, and from the descendants of Jacob’s brother, Esau!
Jesus has the power to destroy all of His enemies with one breath, but He won’t do that! He goes after them one soldier at a time, and one battle at a time. Why? If He were to show all of His power at once they would lay down their arms and ask for forgiveness! At this point in the Tribulation He is not in the mood to forgive His enemies, who have committed Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit! (by taking the Mark of the Beast) No! His behaviour is based on their rebellion; having been given every chance to receive Him as Lord and Saviour, they have rejected His offer of forgiveness, and He is now pouring out His wrath upon them!
For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. Isaiah 28:21
What is His “strange act”? Only that His behaviour is in accord with the expectations of His enemies! They think He is an “alien”, so He acts in the way they would expect an “alien” to act! This way they double-down in their fight against Him. By acting this way it allows them to think that they can defeat Him! By hiding his power they think He is weak, and it encourages them in their fight against Him!
(Note: for some time now New Agers have been told by their demonic “spirit guides” that “Jesus is an alien, who is going to return in His space ship”! This should bring a new understanding to their reaction to the “sign of the son of man, in heaven” in Matt. 24:30)
But back to our main subject: How many times will Israel flee from the Antichrist?
In Matthew 24 we read Jesus’ command for Israel to flee from the Antichrist when they see the Abomination of Desolation standing in the Temple in Jerusalem;
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
21 For then shall be great tribulation, 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 verse 16 we see that this command is directed toward those who live in Israel. We know from other Scriptures that the place they go to is a short walk away from Jerusalem, across the Dead Sea in Petra, the former capital of the nation of Edom.
Notice the urgency of this command: verses 16 thru 18 emphasize the fact that they have very little time to get to their destination; having any sort of burden, including children, could slow them down enough that they are killed! They are not to take anything from their homes, and those in the field are not even to return home to collect anything! Their window of opportunity is very short!
The Abomination of Desolation occurs in Revelation 13 shortly after the Antichrist is risen from the dead! He is risen in verse 3, and the idol that the false prophet sets up, commands that everyone in the world must worship the Beast or die, in verse 15, and in verse 16 the false prophet forces everyone to take the mark of the Beast or die!
Think about it; the world has not seen anyone rise from the dead since Jesus was raised some 2,000 years ago. This will be the supernatural event that is used as the reason why the world must worship the Beast! He will make claims of deity, like Jesus, and use his resurrection as proof of his deity!
Isaiah 14 speaks of this event, like it is a genuine resurrection, which will mean that the Beast will be resurrected in his eternal body! Here is the passage, and please note that it starts with a statement about Israel in the early days of the Millennial kingdom:
3 And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve,
4 That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!
(The time that Israel is “given rest from their sorrow and their fear and hard bondage” can only be during the Millennial Kindom! This has not yet happened, and will not happen until the Tribulation is over! This “king of Babylon” is not an ancient king of Babylon, but the final End Times king of Babylon, the Antichrist!)
5 The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers.
6 He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth.
7 The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing.
8 Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us.
9 Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.
(This man has actually died, signified in verse 8 with “laid down” and then went to Hell, or Hades, and the world leaders he has killed notice that he is there among them!)
10 All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?
11 Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
(Note that the dead world leaders mock this man as he enters Hades/Hell with them. The word translated as “Lucifer” here is “heylel” which means “light bearer” and it can also mean “the morning star”! Jesus is called “the morning star”, but this person is a counterfeit on many levels, even to the point of being raised from the dead, like Jesus!)
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
(Many think this passage is referring to Satan, but this is Satan’s closest human associate; this man is to Satan what Jesus is to God! Worship of this man IS worship of Satan!)
15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
(He goes to Hell, not the Lake of Fire, but Hell, Sheol, or Hades, which is the holding place for the lost dead, who are waiting for the White Throne Judgment, then they are cast into the Lake of Fire)
16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
18 All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.
19 But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.
This man has a short stay in Hell! Here the Beast is cast out of his grave like an “abominable branch”! Who is “the Branch”? Well, it’s Jesus of course, and He was raised from the dead, but here, the man who is the opposite of Jesus is resurrected! This is no fake resurrection, but the real thing! The world will witness this resurrection on their TVs, their computers, and their smart phones!
20 Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.
Time in Hell, or Hades, is bad, but not nearly as bad as the Lake of Fire! These other sinners must wait for 1,000 years before they too are thrown into the Lake of Fire, after the Great White Throne Judgment.
21 Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.
22 For I will rise up against them, saith the Lord of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the Lord. Isaiah 14:3-22
Verses 21 and 22 indicate that this man has children, and nephews as well! God will cut off this family so there will not be any who claim the right to the throne! It may be possible that some of the women might get saved, but not the men and boys!
Question: Which “Babylon” is in view here? The Babylons of Revelation 17 and 18 cannot be taken 100% literally, since the original Babylon was built on the plains of Shinar, and did not have seven hills, or mountains! Either the mountains of Revelation 17 are allegorical, or the city is not the original Babylon. I personally believe that the Babylon of Revelation 17 is literally Babylon, and the mountains are the “Seven Mountain Mandate” of the New Apostolic Reformation! The “Babylon” of Revelation 18 is NOT the original Babylon, but it is a city of seven literal mountains, not Rome, but Amman, Jordan.
Rome has had the spirit of Babylon for over 2,000 years, but that spirit will move back to the original Babylon once Rome is destroyed, probably during the Gog and Magog war of Ezekiel 38-39.
So, what’s my point? Only that the resurrection of the Antichrist is a genuine resurrection, which will have occurred by the time that the mark of the Beast is mandated! At the time that Jesus returns there will be another man on the earth who has been resurrected from the dead, and who also claims to be God in the flesh! The conflict between them is a war to the death; those who take the Mark of the Beast are choosing death!
We will continue this discussion in the next instalment…