Eschatology - The Study of The End Time
This is one of the most important theological studies in the scriptures. The scriptures are loud when it concerns times and dispensations. We know from the study that there are seven dispensations in scripture.
For we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God Heb 11:3
The dispensations are :
- The dispensation of innocence – Gen 1:28-30
- The dispensation of conscience – Gen 3:8,8:22 From the expulsion from the garden to the flood
- The dispensation of Human government- This was after the flood where a man was promised that the flood will not come again and God wouldn’t permit destruction that occurred previously to occur again. This began with Noah and ended with the call of Abraham Genesis 9
- The dispensation of the promise – Gen 12:1-7 this began with the call of Abraham and ended with the giving of the law. It is important to note that the promise to give men eternal life by faith in Christ was from before time began Titus 1:1-3 but the focus on the promise to Abraham ended by the giving of the law and the law seemed to take center stage
- The dispensation of the law: Exodus 20 This began with the giving of the law of Moses, the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai and ended with the resurrection of Jesus Christ
- The dispensation of Grace or salvation through faith Eph 2:8, Rom 1:17. This is the church age and where we currently are. All men are saved simply by believing in the sacrifice of Jesus for their sins. This age will never end but will be truncated by the rapture of the church. However, people will still be saved into the next dispensation
- The millennial reign of Christ: This begins with the defeat of Satan and his cohorts Rev 20:1-3 and the beginning of a 1000 year reign on the earth with Christ as head of the government and the church ruling with him Rev 20:4
Now when studying this subject we need to state clearly that it is emphatically mentioned in the Bible but especially in prophetic writings.
By this, I mean writings that were filled with visions and Dreams, not doctrinal assertions.
The books of the Bible where the end times and times of the Gentile Nations is properly revealed via visions and typologies are the book of Daniel and Revelations. We will receive these books later and examine the progression of events as stated in those writings.
But first let’s examine the words of Jesus and the epistles on the anti-Christ, the rapture and the destruction of satan.
What do we learn?
- Many shall come claiming to be the Christ vs 5
- Deception will be rife during this period vs 4
- Wars, pestilence will occur but it isn’t the end of the world vs 7
- Christians will be persecuted and killed but it isn’t the end vs 9
- The gospel shall be preached to all nations before the end comes
- Jesus’s source material for Matt 24 is the writings of Daniel. Matt 24:15
- When we see the abomination of Desolation vs 15
What is the abomination of desolation? Daniel 9:25-27
At this moment the individual described as the “little horn “ will stop all worship in Jerusalem and offer incense and sacrifices to himself.
Here we also can see that Daniel was told of 70 weeks. Daniel 9:24 in Hebrew these words should be better translated seventy sevens.
70 weeks to do the following
- Finish the transgression
- Make an end of sins
- Make reconciliation of iniquity
- Everlasting righteousness
- To fulfill the vision and prophecy
- To anoint the most Holy
Now notice that from the going forth of the command from heaven to Daniel to the building of Jerusalem and the temple was 7 sevens which is 49 years. Then from the rebuilding of the temple to Christ birth and death is 62 sevens of 434 years.
The last 7 is the last week of the age of the world. This is where the antichrist is defeated and Christ comes again.
Now it’s important to note that none of the descriptions in Daniel and Revelation about the anti-Christ concerns the church. The church will be taken out before then.
This is why we don’t find the details in Daniel and Revelations in the epistles.
Let’s look at what the epistles day about the end time and anti-Christ.
On the anti-Christ
It is clear that the epistles have two positions.
One the anti-Christ as a doctrine and the people who believe such said to be anti-Christ 2John 1:7,1John 4:3,1John 2:22
Now in 1John 2:18, John refers to someone who shall come called the anti-Christ. This refers to the person.
In the Pauline revelation, we find that Paul speaks a lot about the progression and the end of time in the 2 books of Thessalonians 2:1-12
Highlights of what Paul says about the anti-Christ
- The coming of the lord which is the 2nd advent will not occur until the anti-Christ is revealed.
2. He is called the son of perdition
3. He opposes God and fights against all that is of Christ.
4. He will present himself as God to be worshipped in the rebuilt temple of Solomon (the abomination of desolation )
In verse 5 we see that Paul must have emphatically taught on the coming of the lord and the revelation of the anti-Christ even though he never majored on it in his writings.
5. The church is the force preventing the revelation of the man of sin. The taking away of the church from the earth will unleash him
6. The Antichrist will be defeated and destroyed by the Lord himself. The energy unleashed by the coming of the Lord will eliminate the antichrist and his army. See Rev 19:18-20
7. The anti-Christ will work signs and wonders by the ability of satan. He will be a man who has supernatural abilities.
8. The anti-Christ shall cause many post-rapture to be deceived.
The purpose of the 2 epistles to the Thessalonians was to ensure they were not afraid concerning the coming of the Lord.
The coming of the lord doesn’t put fear into the minds of believers but joy because we love to see his appearing.
The day of the lord is the expression used to refer to the second coming of Jesus.
1Thess 5:1 -3
This is when Jesus comes again to judge the anti-Christ and his host. This is when all darkness will be put out by the lord when he comes again.
The lords second coming will trigger the resurrection of the dead and the carrying away of all believers that are alive to meet the lord in the air 1thess 4:16-17
The second coming is in two phases.
The first part is the resurrection of the body of the dead in Christ and the catching away of those who are alive and saved.
The second part is signified by the coming of the Lord with all his saints to the earth to confront the anti-Christ Jude 1:14 -15
So the Lord will come in the second advent with us on the earth. When he comes we will not be here. We would have been taken out of the way.
For he has not appointed us to wrath.
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