Saturday, April 20, 2013

End Times Chronology....debunked #11

Continued  from  previous  post #11

Deception Escalates

In Matthew 24:11, Jesus prophesies that in the tribulation period, "many false prophets will arise and lead many astray." The apostle Paul provides a similar teaching in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11.
The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false.

Notice that the lawless one (the antichrist) is energized and empowered by Satan. We learn from Scripture that Satan is the father of lies (John 8 A4). Satan is a master deceiver and the greatest among all liars. His lies are typically religious, distorting the biblical picture of God, Jesus, and the true gospel.
Because Satan is the father of lies, the one whom he energizes— the antichrist—-will also be characterized by lies and deception. The false signs and wonders that the antichrist performs will cause all the more deception because they will seem to exalt the antichrist as God among us.
 Even worse, Satan will blind the minds of human beings so that they cannot perceive the truth. Second Corinthians 4:4 tells us that "the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."
Tragically, unbelievers during the tribulation period will have turned their backs on God, so God will hand them over to a powerful delusion. God desires all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4-6), but many refuse God's truth and offer of salvation. When that happens, God eventually allows them to experience the full brunt of the consequences of falsehood (see Romans 1:18-25). The book of Revelation indicates that the unrepentant will experience those consequences during the second half of the tribulation, also known as the great tribulation.


The deception will be enormous. It seems to kick into highest gear at the midpoint of the tribulation. Scripture provides many evidences for this.

Revelation 12:9, for example, tells us that at the midpoint of the tribulation, "the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world-—-he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him." Once he is on the earth, he will either empower or indwell the antichrist to engage in deception.


In chapter 13, we are told that the false prophet carries out the bidding of the antichrist in engaging in deceptive acts. "By the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived" (Revelation 13:14). Many will fall for the deception.


This deception will finally end at the second corning of Christ. "The beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur" (Revelation 19:20). Multitudes will suffer deception and receive the mark of the beast.


Satan will be bound during Christ's millennial kingdom "so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended" (Revelation 20:3, see also verses 8,10). Deception will relentlessly flow from the satanic trinity—-the antichrist, the false prophet, and Satan—during the great tribulation.

The Bowl Judgments

We earlier witnessed the unleashing of the seal judgments, involving bloodshed, famine, death, economic upheaval, a great earthquake, and severe cosmic disturbances (Revelation 6). We then witnessed the unleashing of the trumpet judgments, involving hail and fire mixed with blood, the sea turning to blood, water turning bitter, further cosmic disturbances, affliction by demonic scorpions, and the death of a third of humankind (Revelation 8:6-9:21).

(THE  LATTER  PART  IS  IN  THE  "DAY  OF  THE  LORD"  -  Keith Hunt)

Now, finally, the worst judgments of all fall on the earth during the great tribulation—the bowl judgments. A brief perusal of Revelation 16 reveals that these will be horrific days to be alive on the earth.
First bowl judgment. "The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image" (verse 2).
Second bowl judgment. "The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing died that was in the sea" (verse 3).
Third bowl judgment. "The third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood. And I heard the angel in charge of the waters say, 'Just are you, O Holy One, who is and who was, for you brought these judgments. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. It is what they deserve!'" (verses 4-6).
Fourth bowl judgment. "The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory" (verses 8-9).
Fifth bowl judgment, "The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds" (verses 10-11).
Sixth bowl judgment. "The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east. And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. ('Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!') And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon" (verses 12-16).
Seventh bowl judgment: The final bowl judgment is addressed in verses 17-21. However, because this judgment is unleashed in connection with the campaign of Armageddon, I will address it later.

Despite the horror of these woes from the hand of God, people will continue to harden their hearts. They will utterly refuse to repent and turn to God. Many of these will have fallen for the antichrists deceptive promises and will end up in the lake of fire, like the antichrist and the false prophet.
And yet there is still time to repent and turn to God. As we are about to see, the gospel of the kingdom will be preached even in the midst of this pervasive rejection of God.


The Gospel of the Kingdom

Matthew 24:14 tells us that during the tribulation period, "this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." Even though persecution and affliction will be widespread, and even though many will harden their hearts against God, God will nevertheless have witnesses on earth who are committed to spreading His message about Jesus Christ and the coming kingdom.
Just as John the Baptist and Jesus in the Gospels often preached that the kingdom of God was near, so God's witnesses will do the same during the tribulation period. Jesus Christ will clearly be presented as the divine Messiah, the King who will rule in the coming kingdom. "William MacDonald and Arthur L. Farstad note, "The gospel of the kingdom is the good news that Christ is coming to set up His kingdom on earth, and that those who receive Him by faith during the Tribulation will enjoy the blessings of His Millennial Reign."12
Those who turn to the King during the tribulation period will be granted entrance into Christ's thousand-year millennial kingdom, but those who reject the King will be forbidden entrance. Indeed, at the judgment that takes place following Christ's second coming, Christ will divide all people into two groups—sheep and goats (believers and unbelievers). The sheep (believers) will be invited into Christ's millennial kingdom, but the goats (unbelievers) will be sent into punishment (see Matthew 25:31-46).
The book of Revelation makes it clear that many will respond to this gospel of the kingdom. In the end, there will be "a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands" (Revelation?).



To be continued

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