Step by Step through End-time Events/Program 1
By: The John Ankerberg Show
|By: Dr. Jimmy DeYoung; ©2011|
|The next event in Bible prophecy is the Rapture. This “any moment” event is often confusing for Christians. Some teach it will happen before the Tribulation Period mentioned in Scripture while others teach it will occur in the middle or end of that period. What does Scripture really say?|
Today, one out of every four Christian adults believes Jesus could return in their lifetime. Biblical prophecy is both God’s encouragement and warning to all who are concerned about the future. Jesus, the apostles and the Old Testament prophets reveal such important future events as the rapture, when Christ comes to take his own to heaven, the seven year tribulation on earth, the Ezekiel 38 war, and the terrible judgments that will take place on earth during the tribulation. The Bible also teaches us about the emergence of the Antichrist, the rebuilding of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, the Battle of Armageddon, the second coming of Christ to earth, the 1000 year millennium reign of Christ on earth, and the final judgment of every person who has ever lived. Today we will take you step-by-step through the future events God says are still up ahead in a clear and concise manner. My guest is journalist and prophecy scholar Dr. Jimmy DeYoung. We invite you to join us for this special edition of The John Ankerberg Show.
- Dr. John Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. I’m John Ankerberg, and I’m glad that you joined us. Technicians and people that keep the stats, they tell us that we’re going into 184 different nations across the world to over a billion people. And we welcome all of you that are watching. We’re talking about the events that are taking place in the world, and we’re interpreting those events via the Bible. What does the Bible have to say about where history is headed? What is up ahead? And, we are doing a step by step through end time events. My guest is Dr. Jimmy DeYoung. He’s a Christian journalist who’s lived in Jerusalem since 1991. He’s interviewed every Israeli prime minister since that time, and all of the religious leaders and the military leaders. And he knows his Bible, and he’s a biblical scholar in terms of prophecy, the things that God says are up ahead. Jimmy, we are glad that you’re here today.
- And we want to start off with one of the things that God says is up ahead that a lot of people talk about, but they really don’t know. Here’s the verse. The apostle Paul writes the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 and he says, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” This is the rapture, but explain what Paul is saying here.
- Dr. Jimmy DeYoung: Well, that word rapture, let’s just look at that for a moment. It’s not found there in 1 Thessalonians, nor is it found in 1 Corinthians 15, another passage on the event itself. Revelation 4 does not mention the word rapture. And even Jesus Christ, when he introduced the rapture in John 14, did not use the term. The word comes from the translation of the Bible from the Greek into the Latin, in the Latin Vulgate. And they use the word for caught up, rapturo, which gives us the word rapture. Now, I’m not concerned that it’s not mentioned in the Bible. The word trinity is not in the Bible, but that doesn’t bother me, we go to the scriptures: we determine the trinity is there—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. In fact, the word Bible is not even used in the Bible, but we still believe in the Bible.
- Let me go back to John 14 just a moment. It’s the upper room. It’s the night before Christ would be crucified. He looks at his very anxious disciples. They don’t know what is going to happen within the next 24 hours. Here is what he said. “Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so I would have told you.” Then he said, “Listen, I go to prepare a place for you; and if I go, I shall come again and receive you unto myself.” Now, that is not the second coming of Christ. We’re received up to meet Christ in the air at the rapture of the church. Of course, the disciples did not recognize what event he was talking about, and it would be a number of years later before Paul, writing the people in Thessalonica, would explain about the rapture. Jesus shouts, archangel shouts, trump of God sounds, we are caught up to be with Him. Over in 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 he says, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump,” we shall be caught up to be with him. You go to the book of Revelation, which our columns here explain, the three main events in the future, in chapter 4 verse 1 you have the rapture of the church. Then in verse 2 of chapter 4 all the way to chapter 19 verse 10 we have the seven year tribulation period. Revelation 19:11, Jesus Christ gets on his horse, comes back. That’s the second coming. Chapter 20:1-6, the 1000 year millennium kingdom. Revelation 20:11-15, the great white throne judgment. So we see the end time events laid out in the book of Revelation.
- Now, I want to remind everybody, John, we are right there before the next event. In fact, there’s not one prophecy that has to be fulfilled before the rapture. That is the next prophecy that will be fulfilled on God’s calendar of activities, the rapture of the church. Chapter 4:1 of the book of Revelation is a very interesting verse of scripture that helps us to understand where the rapture takes place and how everything unfolds. It says there, “And after this.” Now, those two words are referring to chapters 2 and 3, which would be the letters to the seven churches. But indeed, those letters to the seven churches of Asia Minor in the time of Christ, they are describing the characteristics of periods of church history from the time the church was established until Jesus Christ calls us up to be with him at the rapture. So he says, “After this,” after the church age, the rapture will take place.
- He said, “[I saw] a door… opened in heaven: and… as it were… a trumpet talking with me.” John, I’ve played trumpet for many years, but I never heard my trumpet talk to me. This is apocalyptic literature. Again we go back to 1 Thessalonians 4: The trump of God will sound; over in 1 Corinthians 15, “at the last trump.” You use scripture to interpret apocalyptic literature. Now, apocalyptic literature is simply using a symbol to communicate an absolute truth. It’s a literal symbol and it is a literal truth that he’s communicating. He is speaking about the rapture of the church.
- And the last phrase in chapter 4 verse 1 says this, “And I will show you the things that must happen hereafter.” That must happen hereafter. In the next 16 chapters, he describes the tribulation period. So thus the rapture takes place before that seven year period of time of judgment. And by the way, the word church is used 19 times in the first three chapters of the book of Revelation before the rapture in chapter 4 verse 1. It’s used zero amount of times during that 16 chapters, the seven years of tribulation. The church is not in the tribulation period. It’s the next event to happen. After that unfolding will be the time of judgment, the seven year tribulation.
- Ankerberg: Alright. Two important verses that, after the rapture and before the second coming, talking about this time of tribulation. The apostle Paul writes, “For God did not appoint us [as Christians] to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep we should live together with Him.” And in Revelation 3:10 God tells the apostle John, “Because you have kept my command to persevere, I will also keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth.” What do those verses mean?
- DeYoung: Well, those are two perfect proof texts that the rapture is the next event before the wrath of God is laid out on the world. God has to bring the earth and all earth dwellers into submission so he can give his son Jesus Christ the 1000 year kingdom at the time of his second coming. In 1 Thessalonians 5:9, which is the verse you mentioned, he is now into sending a letter to the people of Thessalonica. He had been there three weeks earlier; he had led them to the Lord; he taught them about the rapture of the church. They were concerned that the rapture had happened. He said, “Wait a minute. The rapture has not happened, because we are not in the day of the Lord.”
- That’s a very important phrase. The “day of the Lord” is any time in history when God intercedes in the affairs of man personally on the earth. And the day of the Lord starts after the rapture. The rapture, that’s what Paul is teaching us there, the rapture is not a part of the day of the Lord. It proceeds the day of the Lord. Over there in Revelation 3:10 he says, “I will keep you from.” Now, notice the grammatical statement there. “I will keep you from,” not take you out of. The Greek grammar is “I will keep you from,” not “take you out of” that terrible time of testing, or the tribulation period. The church is not going to be in the tribulation period. We, therefore, suffer no condemnation of the Lord. He’s done everything to purify us, to take us into the heavenliness with him.
- Ankerberg: Let me give you another verse, Jimmy; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 talks about what’s going to happen in that tribulation time. Paul said, “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day [the day of the Lord] will not come until the rebellion [or the apostasy] occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” What’s going on here?
- DeYoung: Well, 2 Thessalonians 2:4 is talking about the midway point in the tribulation, that seven year period of time. It’s talking about the abomination of desolation when the Antichrist actually walks into the holy of holies where the temple is located there on the temple mount in Jerusalem and sits down to claim to be God. That is referred to by Daniel, confirmed by Jesus in Matthew 24, the abomination of desolation. But that is preceded by the seven seal judgments. That comes first. That’s chapter 6. Two witnesses preaching to all of the world that Jesus Christ is the savior; the battle in the heavenlies between the good angels and evil angels. That brings us to the midway point and that abomination of desolation.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we are going to take a break. We’re taking you step by step through end time events, and when we come back, we are going to talk about the peace treaty that the Antichrist signs with Israel. And, seemingly, there is peace in the Middle East. We will talk about that and show you the scripture in just a moment.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re back. And we’re taking you step by step through end time events. And my guest is Dr. Jimmy DeYoung. And right now, we have been talking about the rapture followed by the tribulation time period. We are talking about the second coming of Christ. We’re going to talk about the millennium and the final judgment. But, Jimmy, let’s talk about this peace treaty that, according to the prophet Daniel, the Antichrist is going to sign with the nation of Israel. In Daniel 9:27 we find this information: “He [that’s the Antichrist] will confirm a covenant with many for one seven, and in the middle of the seven he will put an end to sacrifice and offering, and [on the wing of] the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” What are we talking about here?
- DeYoung: You’re talking about, John, seeing the clock start ticking on this seven year tribulation period. There in Daniel 9:27 he’s referring to the seven year period of time, that one week, the seventieth week of Daniel. And when he confirms, now, listen to that verse again, “And he [the Antichrist] shall confirm.” That’s not talking about signing. That word in Hebrew is gabar. It means confirm, strengthen, make stronger. There are a couple of peace treaties on the table; never been normalized, not working. But when the Antichrist comes on the scene, he will confirm them, strengthen them, make them work. And he will do that between the Jewish nation of Israel and all of their neighbors.
- By the way, those neighbors, when they see that happening, they will then move to go in and try to destroy the Jewish state. The coalition of nations from Ezekiel 38, Psalm 83, Daniel 11 says, “when they are at peace, dwelling safely in the land”—that’s when that peace treaty is put in place—then they attack the Jewish state. That would be the first two seal judgments in that seven year period of time, happening after the rapture of the church.
- By the way, it talks about in the verse that you just referred to, Daniel 9:27, “in the midst of the week, he will cause the sacrifice to cease.” Well, there are other judgments in the first three and a half years, but one of the things that has to happen, the temple needs to be standing at the midway point between the rapture and the second coming of Jesus Christ, because the abomination of desolation will take place there. The Antichrist, as we mentioned, walks into the holy of holies, claims to be God. That is the abomination of desolation spoken by the prophet Daniel, Jesus confirmed, saying, “When you see that happening, flee for the wilderness. Flee for the place I have prepared to protect you.”
- We move then into the last three and a half years of the tribulation period. You have seven trumpet judgments, seven vial judgments. The seven trumpet judgments are found in chapters 8, 9 and 11. And as you read these passages of scripture, you’ll see ecological judgment, in other words, natural disasters, happening across the world. The ocean will turn to blood; a third of the fish in the ocean will die; the grass and the trees will be all burned up. That’s the trumpet judgments. When we get to the vial judgments in chapter 16 of the book of Revelation, we see all of the ocean turns to blood; all of the fish in the sea die. All of the earth is under a judgment from God. The sun gets so hot it scorches man. He doesn’t repent; he blasphemes God.
- And it culminates with a battle that’s going to happen there in the city of Babylon. Babylon is going to be destroyed. It’s actually not going to even be a battle. In one hour, Revelation 18 says in verses 10, 17 and 19, in one hour Babylon is destroyed. Now, remember, biblical Babylon is modern day Iraq, and that’s where the Antichrist will operate out of. After Jesus intercedes and destroys Babylon, all the armies of the world gather at Jerusalem for the battle of Armageddon, basically the campaign of Armageddon. You have probably a hundred million soldiers that gather in Jerusalem. Jesus Christ steps back on the earth there on the Mount of Olives, opens up the way for them to flee to the valley of the mountains. That’s where the battle of Armageddon will take place. So we have traced then, from the rapture—remember, we are just before the rapture; it hasn’t happened yet—from the rapture through the seven years, to the second coming of Christ.
- Ankerberg: Now, Jimmy, for people that are trying to grasp all of these ideas at the same time, take us through the events with the pillars again so that we can get these things in order.
- DeYoung: The rapture of the church is that first pillar as you look at your screen, on the left hand side. Then, between the rapture of the church and the second coming of Jesus Christ, we have a seven year period of time, it’s called the tribulation. The rapture is chapter 4 verse 1 of the book of Revelation, in addition to 1 Thessalonians 4, 1 Corinthians 15. When the tribulation starts, you have three sets of seven judgments, seven seal judgments, seven trumpet judgments, seven vial judgments. The first half of the tribulation period, the seven seal judgments take place. Also, two witnesses from the city of Jerusalem, the temple mount, will be witnessing; 144,000 male virgin Jews will go out preaching the gospel of the kingdom. That’s chapter 11 and also chapter 7 of the book of Revelation. At the midway point they’re killed. But in addition to what happens there with the two witnesses, these that are now going be operating and worshipping in the temple are going to face the abomination of desolation. When the Antichrist walks into the holy of holies he desecrates the temple.
- In the last three and a half years, you have seven trumpet judgments, seven vial judgments. The judgments get progressively worse, John, as you go to the end, culminating with the situation there in Babylon coming to an end. In other words, the Antichrist, for the last three and a half years, has been ruling an economic, political, governmental system in this world where everybody that is alive then has to receive the mark of the beast on the forehead, the back of the hand, an identification mark to be able to buy or sell.
- The Bible says in the Revelation 18, in one hour this headquarters for the Antichrist is going to be destroyed. At that time Antichrist, Satan and the false prophet, the satanic trinity, will use signs, wonders and miracles to gather all the armies of the world there to Jerusalem. And the campaign of Armageddon then unfolds with all of these armies gathered, maybe a hundred million soldier there in Jerusalem. Jesus Christ steps on the Mount of Olives, opens it up, splits the way for the people to flee to the valley of the mountains, which is the Jezreel Valley. The battle of Armageddon takes place. That is the time when Jesus comes back to the earth.
- Ankerberg: And that brings us to the second coming of Christ, which is the hope of all Christians. Paul says, “We wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” At the same time, Peter says, hey, what we see around this world, we have scoffers who will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming for since the fathers fell asleep, we haven’t seen anything happen?” What would you say to this Jimmy?
- DeYoung: You know, those are two great verses. The Titus message that you were talking about there in chapter 2 verse 13, Paul has told Titus to “lay aside ungodliness, and worldly lusts; live soberly, godly and righteously, as you look for that blessed hope and glorious appearing,” the rapture of the church. Also, when you come to Peter, he’s reminding everybody how to have a pure mind in light of the fact that Jesus Christ is coming. He said, “In the last days there would be scoffers [now listen] walking after their own lusts.” That’s why they say that Jesus Christ is not coming. They don’t want him to come because of the sin in their life.
- But what is so interesting to me, that’s not what holds back the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. In chapter 3 of 2 Peter, verse 9, Jesus said this, “I am not slack concerning my promise,” I am coming. “But I am not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to faith in me.” The reason Jesus Christ has not come back is he wants to see other people who are lost today come to know him as Lord and Savior. Every evidence that we have talked about on this program, between the rapture of the church and the second coming of Jesus Christ, during that seven year tribulation period, is an indicator he’s about to come. Those two are like two trains racing down a track about to collide. The indication of what’s going to happen prophetically and the fact that Jesus is trying to win others to him, it’s going to come to a point where Jesus Christ is going to come back. It can happen at any moment.
- By the way, 2 Peter 3:12 says we can hasten that coming by getting involved and winning people to Jesus Christ. Take this information we have given about the end times, go to your lost friends and loved ones. Tell them where we are in time. Tell them they must consider Jesus Christ.
- Ankerberg: Finish up our three pillars here. What’s the third pillar all about?
- DeYoung: After the second coming of Jesus Christ, God is going to give his son—this is Daniel 7:13-14—the Ancient of Days will give the Son of man, God the Father gives the son, a kingdom. He will rule and reign for 1000 years from a temple in the city of Jerusalem, different than that temple in the tribulation; this one that he builds. At the end of the 1000 year period of time, the great white throne judgment. Chapter 20 of the book of Revelation, verses 11-15, John says—this is the end of history, by the way—“I saw the heaven and the earth had fled away and there was a great white throne.” And Jesus—God gave Jesus responsibility for being the judge—Jesus will not actually judge the people, but simply sentence them to eternity in the lake of fire. Not because he’s a mean God; these people will stand before him as lost people of their own voluntary decision. They decided to reject Jesus Christ, he simply accommodates their wishes that they didn’t want to go to heaven, they did not want to receive him as Lord and savior. They’re cast into the lake of fire forever and ever. Then we move into eternity future. This would be Revelation chapters 21 and 22.
- Ankerberg: Alright. We’re taking you step by step through end time events. And next week we’re going to turn to one of the key pieces of end time events, and that’s the nation of Israel. There are prophecies that have been fulfilled in our lifetime; and there are other things that are starting to take shape; and there are things that the Bible says are up ahead. We are going to talk about all of those aspects on the nation of Israel next week. I hope that you will join us then.