Complete Sermon Notes
Antichrist & Tribulation – Past or Future?
Re-cap: You Don’t Take the Bible Literally, Do You? Yes I Do…
Watch part 1. If the plain sense makes good sense seek no other sense lest it result in nonsense.
MATTHEW 24 “Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be [“not one stone left”]? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” In my opinion, I believe they saw this as one event.
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 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. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 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.
D.A. Carson, “The history of the interpretation of this chapter is immensely complex” (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary,volume 8, page 488).
What is a false prophet? Telling people what they want to hear vs what they need to hear.
As a result, “lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”
KEY QUESTION: Are the Great Tribulation and the Abomination that Causes Desolation [Antichrist] Past or Future Events?
GotQuestions.org has been helpful:
What is the GREAT TRIBULATION: [To some], the Tribulation is a future time period when the Lord will accomplish at least two aspects of His plan: 1) He will complete His discipline of the nation Israel (Daniel 9:24), and 2) He will judge the unbelieving, godless inhabitants of the earth (Revelation 6 – 18). The length of the Tribulation is seven years. This is determined by an understanding of the seventy weeks of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27).
The Great Tribulation is the last half of the Tribulation period, three and one-half years in length. It is distinguished from the Tribulation period because the Beast, or Antichrist, will be revealed, and the wrath of God will greatly intensify during this time. Thus, it is important at this point to emphasize that the Tribulation and the Great Tribulation are not synonymous terms. Within eschatology (the study of future things), the Tribulation refers to the full seven-year period while the “Great Tribulation” refers to the second half of the Tribulation. It is Christ Himself who used the phrase “Great Tribulation” with reference to the last half of the Tribulation. In Matthew 24:21, Jesus says, “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall.” In this verse Jesus is referring to the event of Matthew 24:15, which describes the revealing of the abomination of desolation, the man also known as the Antichrist. Also, Jesus in Matthew 24:29-30 states, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days . . . the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.” In this passage, Jesus defines the Great Tribulation (v.21) as beginning with the revealing of the abomination of desolation (v.15) and ending with Christ’s second coming (v.30). http://www.gotquestions.org/Great-Tribulation.html
The Great Tribulation is cataclysmic, not localized: Matthew 24:21, Jesus says, “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall.”
Estimates that there are 2,500 prophecies about the 2nd coming – many say, “they have not been fulfilled yet”.
- We are seeing many relevant signs today.
- Bridegroom may return at any time.
Preterism is the view that the biblical prophecies concerning the “end times” have already been fulfilled—in the past. Preterism is directly opposed to futurism, which sees the end-times prophecies as having a still-future fulfillment. Preterism is divided into two types: full (or consistent) preterism and partial preterism. All the end-times prophecies of the New Testament were fulfilled in AD 70 when the Romans attacked and destroyed Jerusalem. Preterism teaches that every event normally associated with the end times—Christ’s second coming, the tribulation, the resurrection of the dead, the final judgment—has already happened. (In the case of the final judgment, it still in the process of being fulfilled.) http://www.gotquestions.org/preterist.html
Replacement theology is the teaching that the Christian church has replaced national Israel regarding the plan, purpose, and promises of God.
Therefore, many of the promises that God made to Israel must be spiritualized. For example, when it speaks of Israel being restored to the land, this really means that the Christian church will be blessed. Also, covenants made with Israel are fulfilled in the Christian church..
Romans 9-11: 11:1, “I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew.”
- Many promises don’t make sense if the Church has replaced Israel.
Israel is back in the land and the enemies mentioned in Ezekiel are poised to fulfill Bible prophecies that would take place in the end.
Zechariah 14:2 “…I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem.” This has not occurred. This battle will be at the end of the Tribulation. Also referred to as the Battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16:14, 16).
Temple sacrifices could be resumed by the Jews: The Temple Institute has prepared all the priestly garments and sacred vessels for the rebuilt temple, which can be viewed on its website. It even trains members of the priestly family to be ready to serve as soon as the Temple is constructed.
- One world government – one monetary system
- A growing hatred for Christ – beheadings
- Earthquakes and Wars
Israel is re-born and nations are poised to attack it. Some say that Ezekiel’s prophecy revealed that the Jew’s final restoration to the Promised Land would occur 2,520 biblical years (of 360 days each) after the end of the Babylonian Captivity in the spring of 536 B.C. – May 14th, 1948.
What is the Antichrist
The word is not used in the Revelation. The antichrist spirit was at work in the first century. In 1 John 2:18, John said he was in “the last hour” because the antichrist spirit via false prophets had already come (cf. Matt. 24:10-11).
The question, “Is the Beast of Revelation and the Antichrist the same person?”
15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 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. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
Some say this already occurred; some say it’s coming.
“The elect” is often used of the nation of Israel.
GotQuestions.org – Answer: The phrase “abomination of desolation” refers to Matthew 24:15 (KJV): “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand.” This is referring to Daniel 9:27, “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” In 167 B.C. a Greek ruler by the name of Antiochus Epiphanies set up an altar to Zeus over the altar of burnt offerings in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. He also sacrificed a pig on the altar in the Temple in Jerusalem. This event is known as the abomination of desolation.
In Matthew 24:15, Jesus was speaking some 200 years after the abomination of desolation described above had already occurred. So, Jesus must have been prophesying that some time in the future another abomination of desolation would occur in a Jewish temple in Jerusalem. Most Bible prophecy interpreters believe that Jesus was referring to the Antichrist who will do something very similar to what Antiochus Epiphanies did. This is confirmed by the fact that some of what Daniel prophesied in Daniel 9:27 did not occur in 167 B.C. with Antiochus Epiphanies. Antiochus did not confirm a covenant with Israel for seven years [nor did they in 70 AD]. It is the Antichrist who, in the end times, will establish a covenant with Israel for seven years and then break it by doing something similar to the abomination of desolation in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. [So there needs to be a temple].
Revelation 17:9-10, “Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while.” Some say that this is Nero…The Hebrew spelling of the name Nero Caesar = 666.
Add Daniel 9:26-27 to the mix “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.”
Hans K. LaRondelle, “Gabriel explained to Daniel that the history of Israel within this 490-year span would develop in three distinct phases—one of seven weeks, a second of sixty-two weeks, and a third of one week (see verses 25 and 27). However, nowhere does the angel imply a gap between any of these three phases. https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/1982/05/christ-or-antichrist:-the-mysterious-gap-in-daniel-9
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 “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, v.4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” NKJV
So, is the Antichrist & Tribulation – Past or Future?
I would hate to tell my kids , “Hey, don’t worry about the coming tribulation you’ll be out of here… .” And then I die and they begin to see signs of the Antichrist and the one world government. Not only will they start to doubt me and my teachings, but also the Bible itself.
“Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.”
Closing John 3 “There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Knowledge is not enough.