End Times: Foundation

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series The End of the World

Unless you’re in one of those “phony baloney, plastic banana, good-time rock ‘n’ roller” churches, or you’ve been living in a cave for 50 years, you know that current events are building towards something big.

As a Christian I believe that the only reliable source of information about the past, the present, and the future is the Word of God. When I started studying, with just a Bible, and a word search program, I started finding things that I never imagined. So I want to share them with you.

The scripture from which I draw the conclusions that I present to you in this series, will be presented in the articles that follow.

Administrative note

Throughout this series, when you see a thin, light grey rectangle, with a black triangle on the far left, pointed at a scripture reference and comment, stretched horizontally across the screen, just click on it, and the rectangle will drop down to reveal the entire passage of scripture. Click a second time to close it up again.

I ask only that you search the scriptures to see if these things be true, and to correct me with scripture if they are not. This is too important, and time is too short for my ego to get in the way. I don’t have to “be right,” but I do have to “get it right.”

Don’t Bury the Lede!

Tell ’em what you’re gonna tell ’em

  • The creation of the earth took place in 4,004 BC.
    • Adjusting for the Gregorian calendar.
  • Jesus was born 4,000 years after the creation of the world, give or take some months.
    • We can only estimate the season of Jesus’ birth
    • However, the Bible gives us the day and hour of his death, because that is most important.
  • Based on the Biblical evidence, it is reasonable and prudent to expect that Jesus will return 2,000 years after he left, give or take some months
    • Jesus left in the spring of 30 AD, 40 days after he was crucified.
  • There is no “secret rapture of the Gentile church” before the antichrist is revealed.
  • Believers will experience tribulation.
    • Many of us will be killed, whether by war, famine, pestilence, disease, or at the hands of the beast, to whom will be given power to “make war with the saints, and to overcome them.”
  • When things start happening, they will happen quickly.
    • As time gets shorter, we will have more complete knowledge of exactly when he will be back for us.
  • There are only two resurrections yet to come.
    • The first is for the righteous, the second is for the unrighteous.
    • The first resurrection, that of the righteous dead, immediately precedes the rapture (“six foot head start”).
  • The return of Jesus, at the last trumpet, will announce the completion of the mystery of God.
    • Jesus will take power
    • The saints will be caught up to meet him in the sky.
  • The “day of the Lord” spoken of in the Bible is the 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth.
  • The close of business on the day of the Lord, will complete the full 7,000 year history of the old heaven and earth. At the end of that day
    • There will one final battle
    • The second resurrection, of the unrighteous dead (the unbelievers)
    • The judgment of the unrighteous
  • Then, a new heaven and a new earth will be created.

First Principles

My Foundation, and Starting Point

  • Jehovah, God is absolutely sovereign – Job chapters 38-42
    • Isaiah 14:5-19, Colossians 1:16-17
    • There is only one “most high” – Even Lucifer knows it: “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most high.” (Isaiah 14:14)
  • “Every word of God is pure” – Proverbs 30:5
    • The Bible that I hold in my hand is the very word of God, as he intended me to have it. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Timothy 3:16
      • The same sort of folks who reject the idea that the Bible is divinely inspired, letter for letter, don’t seem to take issue with claims of ‘automatic writing’ by channelers and mystics.
    • God promised that his Word will stand forever. (Isaiah 40:8, Luke 21:33, etc)
    • The canon of scripture was not “determined at the counsel of Nicaea,” nor were any books “banned from the Bible.” The Holy Spirit directed the hearts of believers to share the scriptures among each other (Colossians 4:16). These scriptures (2 Peter 3:15-16) were assembled, collated, and passed down through history by local churches.
    • Man has not “corrupted the text,” nor has corruption “crept in over time.” Psalms chapter 12 specifies that “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.”
    • Satan HAS introduced counterfeit Bibles, using men from Origen to Westcott & Hort, and others. But the preserved Word of God has remained pure, has been preserved, and is available for any who choose to seek it out.
    • For those who disagree: If God cannot preserve his Word, how then can you trust that he is able to preserve his saints?
  • “Scripture cannot be broken” – John 10:35
    • Jesus spoke these words when exposing the hypocrisy of the Pharisees (Jewish religious leaders of the day).
    • This statement applies across the whole of scripture. The Bible MUST be a consistent document all the way through. Any contradiction would render the entire book void.
  • “Words mean things” – I told my son, almost in jest, to put these words on my tombstone.
    • Examine the scriptures as if you were diagramming the sentences. Be aware of subject, verb, object, and modifier. God is a God of order and precision, both linguistically, and mathematically. He invented both language and math.
    • Every word in the scripture is there because God put it there. For example, “All” means all. “The” is a singular article.
    • If we want to identify the meaning of a word, study other instances of that word throughout scripture in order to get the meaning from the context of each use. See the word “folly” for an example.
    • Sentence structure matters: When someone is standing “at the door,” that means something different than when someone is standing “in the door.”
  • “Hookers & Blow” – Either the whole thing is true, as written. OR…God is a liar and unworthy of worship. In which case, we would be better of chasing pleasures of the flesh. We cannot have it both ways.
    • I say this, not to be inflammatory, but to illustrate how committed we must be to trusting the word of God as absolute truth.
    • Be “all in” when it comes to believing his words, “as little children” believe their fathers (Matthew 18:3), regardless of what mere men say or write, about history, science, or theology (John 16:13, Romans 3:4).

Examining Scripture

“Words mean things”
“Scripture cannot be broken”
An example from the words of Jesus

“And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 10:18)

Beheld is a past tense usage. Does that mean Satan already fell from heaven at some point in the past? How does that square with the passages from Job, where Satan came before the throne of God with the other angels?

Job 1 & 2 Satan came also to present himself before the LORD

{Job 2:1} Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

{Job 2:1} Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.

Among most Christians I have spoken to, there seems to be a widespread, almost unconscious assumption that Satan was cast down from heaven some time in the far distant, but undefined past. Perhaps even as long ago as when Adam and Eve were cast out of Eden.

However, that would mean that the war in heaven described in Revelation chapter 12 already happened. How can that be? If Satan has already been cast down from heaven, he can no longer be “The accuser of our brethren” (Revelation 12:10)

OR….

Do these statements make perfect sense when we consider that Jesus IS the very person of Jehovah God, in the flesh?

{1 Timothy 3:16} God was made manifest in the flesh

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”

“Before Abraham was, I am said Jesus in John 8:58. That is a real head twister. But if we simply accept that God exists outside of our three dimensional time-space, it all fits neatly together.

The war in heaven is a future event in our timeline, but God IS (present tense) in all timelines simultaneously, and Jesus IS “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Matthew 1:23).

Satan has not yet been cast down to our world, but he will be, soon. See Revelation chapter 12 for the “deep blue hero stuff.”

Jesus told them who he was

You may have heard unbelievers say “Jesus never claimed to be the son of God.” This is a false statement. When Jesus said “before Abraham was, I am,” he was taking the listeners back to the burning bush in Exodus chapter 3, when God told Moses to go bring the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses said ‘when they ask me what your name is, what am I supposed to tell them?’ “God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” (Exodus 3:14)

But…Abraham was over 400 years before Moses, and revered by the Jews as the father of their faith. So when Jesus said “Before Abraham was, I am,” They knew he was claiming to be the LORD God of Abraham. Which is why the very next verse (John 8:59) begins with “Then took they up stones to cast at him:” There are multiple such examples in the Gospels.


My Background and Biblical Outlook

“I put the fun in fundamentalist”

During my childhood, our family attended a free will Baptist church until I was 12 or 13. Then we moved to an “independent, fundamental Baptist church,” where C.I. Scofield was the fourth member of the Trinity, and James Strong’s numbers were infallible (of course I’m exaggerating to make a point. But some of you can probably relate).

Many (if not most) such churches adhere to what is called dispensational theology. A foundation of dispensationalism, seems to be the strange idea that Israelite believers and Gentile believers, make up two separate bodies of believers, and that God deals with them in different ways. Additionally, the pre-tribulation rapture of the Gentile church seems to be of critical importance to many who hold a dispensationalist world view.

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard “The next event on God’s prophetic timeline, is the rapture of the Gentile church. After which, the Antichrist is revealed, and a seven year period known as “the great tribulation” ensues,” I could probably buy lunch at Burger King.

When my father died, 22 Dec 2008, it was as if God was telling me “wake up boy, it’s time for you to get serious about me.” So, I started studying the Bible on my own. Just the Bible, no commentaries.

Dad taught me that the Bible is the best interpreter of itself. He had lots of Bible history books, books about creation science, and things like that, but very few commentaries on the Bible.

The Journey:

I started reading, and looking up instances of words with a Cruden’s concordance. Some years later, I found a pretty good piece of search software called Pure Bible Search, that I’m really impressed with. It is completely free, without registration or any other impediment.

Ultimately, I discovered that many of the things the preachers of my youth said from the pulpit, which I just accepted without checking, are not actually in the Bible.

The Bible spells out in plain text, multiple times, that there is NO separation between believers in Jesus, whether they be Israeli OR Gentile. There is “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (from Ephesians 4:1-6), and there is only one way. We all go through Jesus, who said “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) God does not stutter or equivocate. “No man” means no man.

Just a few examples:

Romans 10:9-13 – no difference between the Jew and the Greek

{9} That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
{10} For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
{11} For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
{12} For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
{13} For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Ephesians 2:11-19 – Saved Gentiles are fellowcitizens

{11} Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
{12} That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
{13} But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
{14} For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
{15} Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
{16} And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
{17} And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
{18} For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
{19} Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

Ephesians 4:4-6 – one Lord, one faith, one baptism

{4} There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
{5} One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
{6} One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Galatians 3:26-29 – Neither Jew nor Greek

{26} For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
{27} For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
{28} There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
{29} And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

1 John 2:1-2 – the sins of the whole world

{1} My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
{2} And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

“I will build my church”

Jesus made that statement in Matthew 16:18 to his disciples. So when we are told in Acts 2:47 that “…the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” it should make perfect sense. Yet, Cornelius, the first Gentile convert, didn’t show up until years later, in Acts chapter 10. For those who believe that “the church” is made up of Gentile believers, this presents a problem.

Interesting side note about Acts chapter 10

In addition to introducing Cornelius, the first Gentile believer, Acts chapter 10 is the same chapter in which God “cleaned the pig,” as opposed to ‘doing away with unclean things” as some have claimed. See also 1 Timothy 4:1-5.

Great Tribulation

Another variance I discovered, is that nowhere in the plain text of the Bible, have I been able to find any reference to “the great tribulation.” Yes, he speaks of “great tribulation,” but not “THE great tribulation.” (words mean things). Nor is there any mention of a seven year period of tribulation; great or otherwise. There isn’t even a mention of a three and a half year period of tribulation.

If you can find it, I would truly like to know.

Antichrist

Additionally, there is no mention of “the antichrist,” a word which only appears 4 times in scripture.

1 John 2:18 – antichrist shall come

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

1 John 2:22-23 – who is antichrist?

22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

John 4:1-3 – that spirit of antichrist

1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

2 John 1:7 – a deceiver and an antichrist

7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

My example of antichrist is not meant to deny that there is an antichrist. Rather, I mean to be more precise with the language I use. The word antichrist does not occur even once in the books of Revelation or Daniel. But they both use “the beast” a lot.

My conclusion is that “the antichrist” that most Christians speak of, should more accurately be referred to as “the beast.” Further, as I will show later, I believe the Bible identifies him by name.

He said in 1 John 2:18 “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come…” (which one could conceivably infer was a reference to a particular entity) “…even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” (this segment of the passage, as well as the other three references shown above, clearly communicate that antichrist is a spirit).

Save the date

1 John 2:18 says they were living in “the last time” 2,000 years ago (this will become relevant later).


My Scripture Checklist

Real vs Counterfeit
How can you tell?

  • John 3:16 – Is Jesus the “only begotten son” of God?
    • If Jesus is God’s “only son” or “one and only son,” how do you reconcile that with the many references to other sons of God?
      • Luke 3:38 – “Adam, which was the son of God.”
      • Job 1:6, 2:1, & 38:7 – “the sons of God”
      • Genesis 6:1-4 – “the sons of God”
    • If Jesus is God’s “only son” or “one and only son,” where does that leave you and me?
      • John 1:12 – “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”
  • Isaiah 14:12 – Who fell from heaven, Satan or Jesus?
    • “O morning star” – {Revelation 22:16} “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
    • “O day star” – {2 Peter 1:19} “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:”
  • Matthew 17:21 – how do you get rid of particularly nasty devils?
    • “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”
    • That is a critical bit of military intelligence. Who benefits by removing it from the text?
  • Daniel 3:25 – Who was in the fiery furnace with the three Hebrew children?
    • Was it the Son of God? or was it “a son of the gods?”
    • Nebuchadnezzar knew full well that they were servants of the most high God. He said as much when he told them to come out of the furnace in verse 26 “…ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither.”
    • Daniel had introduced Nebuchadnezzar to the most high in Daniel chapter 2.
  • Luke 2:43 – Is Jesus’ father identified in the plain text of the text?
    • If it’s Joseph, then Jesus’ identity as the son of God can be called into question.

Does it matter?

These are just five examples of the many thousands of variations you will find if you start comparing Bible “versions.” As for me and my house, we will use the King James Bible (also called the Authorized Bible).

You will have to spend some time with God to get the answer for yourself. But I want to leave you two points to ponder:

“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” (1 Corinthians 14:33) The examples above introduce potential confusion. Satan can use the fact that “words mean things,” to twist the meaning, and introduce all sorts of false doctrine.

The Gospel is “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;” (Romans 1:16), it is THE super weapon in our battle against the powers of darkness, but if it we allow it to be sabotaged, then we are left without arms or armor. “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (1 Corinthians 14:8)

Ephesians 6:10-19 – the enemy, the armor, the weapons

{10} Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
{11} Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
{12} For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
{13} Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
{14} Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
{15} And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
{16} Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
{17} And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
{18} Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
{19} And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,


It’s Time

Wake up and get ready, because the end times is upon us

The next installment will be a brief overview of Bible Typology, and then we’ll dive into the data and details of our Eschatology study.

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