I know I am very late with this post. I apologize, but, man, there is a lot of information to sort through. I also came to the conclusion that in order to do this topic justice, it would take a little more time and space than originally allotted. So, at the very least, this will be a three part series.
Okay, here goes nothing….
First off, the sky is not falling. I am not sounding the alarms or throwing out any sort of my own prophecy. I know we are all so over another Christian trying to play God and predict the unpredictable. My intention here is to simply point us to the Biblical information regarding Jesus’ return so that we are not only informed, but ready and watchful.
Well, as we discussed last Monday, in the last days before Jesus’ return there will be many false prophets who will lead people astray, possibly even those of the faith will turn away (Matthew 24).
Before we get into details regarding the False Prophet, let me just touch on the timeline of the End of Times as it is vital to a complete understanding of the False Prophet.
When discussing Christ’s return, one usually begins with the Rapture (true followers of Jesus will be transformed into their spiritual bodies and taken from the Earth to Heaven. Non-believers will be left behind to face the Tribulation) . Just like with everything else on this topic, there are many different views on the rapture. The three main views are as follows:
Pre-Tribulation (Pre-Trib): Those who support this view believe the Rapture will happen just before the tribulation period, at the beginning of the seventieth week of Daniel (Daniel 9). Supporters of this view believe that non-believers can and will come to accept Christ, as Holy Spirit will remain on earth, however, these new converts will still endure the painful consequences (Tribulation seals, trumpets, etc.) It is important to note that people left behind only have until the end of the 7th trumpet to accept Jesus as the 1st of 7 bowls is God’s wrath poured out on all those who reject Him. There is no turning back at this point.
Mid-Tribulation: A less popular view is known as the Mid-Tribulation Rapture, or “Mid-Trib” theory. Those who accept this perspective believe that Christians will be taken from the Earth to be in Heaven with God at some point during the middle of the seven-year period of tribulation. Most believe it will come with the 6th seal.
Revelation 6:12-13 I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood-red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.
Supporters argue that Matthew 24:29-31
( “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ 30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth[c] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.] 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.)
and Revelation 6:12-13 are the same event. Furthermore, they believe that Revelation 7:9 (the great multitude) represents the raptured church that just occurred in Revelation 6.
I won’t lie, this one gave me pause.
Post-Tribulation (Post-Trib): Supporters of this view believe that Christians will remain on the Earth until the Glorious Appearing of Christ at the end of the seven-year Tribulation; therefore, believing the rapture and Glorious Appearing are one and the same. Supporters further believe that God will supernaturally protect His church during the seals, trumpets, and bowls.
I personally believe in the Pre-tribulation rapture for the reasons listed below:
- Nobody knows the hour of Christ’s return for His church. ( click here for scriptures) Once the Antichrist signs a treaty with Israel (Daniel 9:27) l, that puts a time clock to Christ’s Glorious Appearing (7 years); therefore, there is no question to the time of Christ’s Glorious Appearing.
- After Revelation 3 and 4 (symbolically) there is no further mention of the church. The term “elect” is for the 144,000.
- Scripture tells us that the church will be kept from the testing. Revelation 3:10- Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
- Revelation 4- when a door is open to Heaven and John is called up, this is a symbolic reference to the Rapture.
- At the Glorious Appearing, Jesus comes WITH His Church. (Zech 14:5, Col 3:4, Jude 14, Rev 19:14). The rapture must happen before we can come with Jesus.
Now, while I believe in the Pre-trib rapture, that doesn’t mean I am correct. I am not sure any one theory is correct. So, what does that mean for us?
Well, I would say that we are to be watchful. We need to be looking for the pre-tribultion signs found in Matthew 24 (and elsewhere) as well as the seven seals and other events in Revelation and Daniel. Please note that Scriptures having to do with the end of times often reads in chronological order, but these events do not necessarily occur in chronological order. We need to educate ourselves. Don’t be afraid to tackle Revelation and the books of the prophets. Use the internet for research and study aides. Don’t just let others do the thinking for you, be proactive. Above all, hit your knees in prayer. Ask God for understanding and clarity. He will deliver, this I promise.
So here is how I think things will go down.
Signing of treaty
Anti Christ and False Prophet Revealed
Christ’s Glorious Appearing
Of course there is more to it than indicated here, but for simplicity sake, there you go.
Next time, I promise, we will be getting into details on the False Prophet and Antichrist (as it is hard to talk False Prophet without talking Antichrist). I for one, can’t wait.
Until next time,