31. I didn’t know anything about a “Great Tribulation” of the saints being CLEARLY documented all throughout the New Testament and the book of Revelation, and a very clear record of this in the book of Acts (4:1-22; 5:17-40; 8:1-3; 12:1-9; 14:19-20; 16:22-23; 22:30-22:11). Consequently, the tribulation had reference to the Jews, the people of Judea (Matt. 24:16; Luke 21:20-24); it was NOT a world-wide tribulation. The seven-year period of tribulation spoken of in the Book of Daniel can be traced accurately and exactly to be the seven years beginning in A.D. 63 and ending in A.D. 70. Historical records tell us that in year 63 A.D. the Jewish people revolted against Rome, which gave way to a hellish seven year period in which millions of Jewish people died, and ended with the destruction of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem. Josephus, in his volume Wars of the Jews documents in detail this terrible period of time and points out numerous instances of prophetic fulfillment. In addition, the seventy weeks of Daniel are not a future event, rather it is presented as a judgment on Israel: “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression” (Daniel 9:24) The Great Tribulation is not a future period of time; it was a period of time ending in A.D. 70 with the destruction of the Temple, and can be documented well with historical documents.
32. I didn’t know there was so much evidence of “end times” false prophets in the New Testament… The Apostle Peter writes that “false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who brought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves” (2 Peter 2:1). These false prophets will malign the truth, “and in their greed will exploit you with false words” (2:2-3). And entire study could be done about this reality in the New Testament, but here are a few verses for you… (2 Cor. 11:13; Acts 13:6; 2 Tim. 2:16-17; Acts 20:29-30; 1 Tim 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:13; 1 John 4:1; 2 John 7; 1 John 2:18)…
How could I have completely missed that?
33. I didn’t know that other apostles were also (clearly and boldly) telling first century Christians that they were IN the last days (1 Cor. 10:11, James 5:8-9, 1 Jn. 2:18, 1 Cor. 7:29-31, Heb. 8:13, Heb. 10:37, Heb. 1:1-2, Jms. 5:8, and many more…) Why would the apostles tell those Christians that they were in the “Last Days”?
Did anybody else know that? I honestly didn’t know that!
34. I didn’t know that end times preachers had actually “explained” away verses like – Mt 10:23 – “Truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.” And… Mt 16:27,28 – “Truly I say to you, there are some who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” What I DID know about verses like those is that they were just MORE of those “don’t-add-up, don’t-fit-in, don’t-make sense-with-what-we’ve-been-taught” verses… you know.., the ones we just “skip over” and keep reading until we get to the verses our Pastor uses to support his FUTURIST view on these matters… Again, Any Christian that says they don’t know what I’m talking about here is lying to you AND to themselves.
Go ahead… read those plainly-spoken verses and then tell ME (with a straight face) that we need a room full of esteemed theologians to tell us what Jesus was saying or what He “MEANT” to say or what He “COULD” have been saying or what he REALLY meant in those CLEAR-AS-A-RINGING-BELL verses…
35. I didn’t know that end times preachers had actually found a way to discredit the clarity and the simplicity of plainly-spoken words of Jesus Himself, like – Mat 23:36 – “Truly I say to you, all these things shall come upon THIS generation”. And… Mat 24:34 – “Truly I say to you, THIS generation will not pass away until ALL these things take place.” And… Mat 26:64 – “You [the high priest] will SEE the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven.” It never occurred to me that it is the verses like those I just mentioned which SHOULD be the STARTING POINT (or FOUNDATION) on which to start building an exegetically-responsible understanding of the timing of the “end of the age” and the “coming of the son of man”… Wouldn’t ya think??? I also didn’t know that end times “experts” use 70 percent current news and global events and 30 percent cherry picked Bible verses to build their doctrines, yet the words of Jesus throughout the book of Matthew get little discussion from these guys.
36. I didn’t know that Jesus was actually talking TO and ABOUT the weeping women of Jerusalem and THEIR children in Luke 23: 26 – 30 about what was going to happen in THEIR lifetime… because I was always taught that He was talking about ME and MY children in the 21st century. (Also read Revelation 6:16) Why would Jesus lean over and tell those women that if it weren’t TRUE??? And why would Revelation 6:16 mirror that same statement so perfectly?
37. I didn’t know that the word “Hell” is not even in the original manuscripts, but was added in later translations and comes from the Teutonic “Hele” goddess of the underworld “Hell” of northern Europe. I also didn’t know that the word “Gehenna” defines a local first century garbage dump outside of Jerusalem that burned 24 hours a day
I didn’t know that.
Did you know that? I was NEVER told that.
38. I didn’t know that the Bible does not speak of something called “The End of the World” or the “End of Time.” The distinction is in the interpretation of passages in which “the time of the End” is discussed. While seemingly minor, the difference is crucial in that Biblical passages discussing the “time of the End” are not describing events which will take place in the future, rather events related to the time of the “end of the Jewish nation” and the “end of the Mosaic covenant.”
I absolutely did NOT know that.
39. I didn’t know that the “end of the age” refers to the end of the old covenant redemptive system with its attendant sacrifices and rituals. These were designed to be temporary symbols of the coming atoning work of Christ. The “end of the age” refers to the termination of the exclusive Jewish entitlement to the covenant promises and the inclusion of the Gentiles into the blessing of the covenant and the privileges of the gospel and kingdom (Matt. 21:41,43; 22:10). “End of the age” is a covenental phrase. With the temple destroyed there would be no way and no need to carry out the rigorous demands of the sacrificial system, a system that was predestined to “pass away” with the incarnation, death, resurrection, ascension, and enthronement of Jesus. Jesus replaces the sacrificial system as the “lamb of God” (John 1:21), God’s dwelling place as the “temple of God” (2:13-22), God’s sanctuary as the “true tabernacle” (Heb. 8:2); John 1:14), and God’s earthly sinful high priest as the “perfect High Priest” (Heb. 2:17, 3:1, 5:1-10, 7:26-28; Eph. 211-22; Heb. 10:4, 9:1-28
40. I didn’t know, and I had given up on trying to make sense of the “abomination of desolation”, the “antichrist”, and the “beast” until I read the following INCREDIBLY-ENLIGHTENING information …
If I didn’t CARE about the truth, I wouldn’t be sharing this with you…
These three above-listed things have been so mixed up and jumbled in the minds of modern-day Christians! Futurists (since they do not believe what Jesus said in Matt. 24 verses 2 and 34) NEED a rebuilt temple in order to project the fulfillment of prophecies related to the abomination of desolation to another time in the 21st century. Interestingly enough is the non existent Bible text that would indicate another rebuilding of a future temple. A careful reading of Scripture clearly shows that the abomination of desolation mentioned by JESUS was an event that would be fulfilled during the lifetime of His disciples.
The Apostle Paul would later address the concerns of the Thessalonians about the “day of the Lord” with a discussion of the “man of lawlessness” (2 Thess. 2). The man of lawlessness was a contemporary figure who was identified with the “abomination of desolation.”
Historic record tells of many horrific events surrounding Rome’s destruction of Jerusalem, including Romans offering sacrifices to their standards in the temple… While disagreement remains as to what form the abomination took, Scripture makes it CLEAR that it occurred soon after Jerusalem was surrounded by armies. As history attests, Jerusalem was surrounded just prior to the temple’s destruction in the fall of 70 A.D. The abomination brought desolation.
“Antichrist”: Interesting fact… There is no mention of the Antichrist in Matthew 24. The Biblical doctrine of Antichrist is VERY DIFFERENT from today’s fanciful futurist teaching on the subject. Here’s the Biblical definition of “antichrist”: The word “antichrist” appears ONLY in the epistles of John (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7). John’s description of “antichrist” is altogether different from the modern-day image. John’s “antichrist” is…
- Anyone “who denies Jesus is the Christ” 1 John 2:22)
- Anyone who “denies the Father and Son” (1 John 2:23)
- “Every spirit that does not confess Jesus” (1 John 4:3)
- “Those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ is coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist” (2 John 7)
None of what John writes relates to the modern doctrine of the “antichrist”.
Who is the Beast described in the book of Revelation?
Generally speaking, the Beast appearing in Revelation is Rome, the Roman empire or the Roman emperor. There are several reasons for understanding the Beast generally as Rome: The woman Babylon was seated on the Beast, which implies they were in league with each other. Josephus writes: It seems to me to be necessary here to give an account of all the honors that the Romans and their emperors paid to our nation, and of the leagues of mutual assistance they have made with it.” (Antiquities, 14.10.1-2)
The Jewish people used this relationship with Rome to persecute Christians and destroy Christianity: (Jn. 19:15, Luke 23:2). Throughout Acts they agitated against the Christian so as to involve the Romans in their persecution (Acts 4:27; 16:20; 17:7; 18:12; 21:11; 24:1-9; 25:1-2)
The Beast turned on Babylon and destroyed her: Rev. 17:16-17. This happens during the Jewish War, the 42 month period of trampling underfoot by the Gentiles (Rev. 11:2)
“The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits.” (17:9) Rome was known in antiquity as the city on seven hills (Septimontium).
Rome was rising from the sea: (13:1). From either John’s vantage point on Patmos, or the Jews’ vantage point, Rome appeared to rise from the sea. Cf. 17:1.
“The seven heads … are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come.” By this time of Revelation’s writing (during the Neronic persecution) five of the Roman emperors had fallen (Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Gaius, and Claudius), one was still reigning (Nero), and one would remain for only a short time (Galba, who reigned only seven months, from June A.D. 68 to January, A.D. 69), and was followed by three others in short succession.
The Beast could also be specifically understood as Nero for several important reasons:
Nero was the emperor at the time when Revelation was written: He is the sixth king “who is.” Suetonius’ enumeration of the emperors was: Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Gaius or Caligula, Claudius (the five kings who have fallen at the time that John is writing), Nero (one “who is”), and Galba – one who “has not yet come, but when he does come, he must remain for a little while” – seven months (Rev. 17:10)
Nero claimed he was a god and demanded to be worshiped as such: (Rev. 13:5-8). Inscriptions have been found in Ephesus in which Nero is called “Almighty God” and “Savior.” He and Caligula “abandoned all reserve” in promoting emperor worship – they were the only two who demanded divine honors while still alive. Nero claimed to be Apollo.
Nero persecuted the Church for 42 months: from November, A.D. 64 through June, A.D. 68. John banished to Patmos during this persecution (Rev. 1:9) and Peter and Paul died in A.D. 66 or 67.
John accurately prophesied this: (Rev. 13:5) – “The beast was given … authority for forty-two months.
… He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them.”
Tacitus reported that Nero “inflicted unheard-of punishments on those who, detested for their abominable crimes, were vulgarly called Christians” (Annals 15.44). The persecution claimed “an immense number” (Tacitus), “a vast multitude of the elect” (1 Clement 6).
Nero’s character is also very much similar to that of a Beast:
- Nero murdered his own family
- He married a boy then castrated him and killed him
- He kicked his pregnant wife to death
- Suetonius writes that Nero “devised a kind of game in which, covered with the skin of some wild animal, he was let loose from a cage and attacked the private parts of men and women, who were bound to stakes.” (The Lives of the Caesars, 6.29)
- Tacitus … spoke of Nero’s ‘cruel nature’ that ‘put to death so many innocent men.’ Pliny the Elder … described Nero as ‘the destroyer of the human race’ and ‘the poison of the world.’ Juvenal tells of ‘Nero’s cruel and bloody tyranny.’ Apollonius of Tyana specifically states that Nero was called a ‘beast’: ‘In my travels, which have been wider than ever man yet accomplished, I have seen man, many wild beasts of Arabia and India; but this beast, that is commonly called a Tyrant, I know not how many heads it has, nor if it be crooked of claw, and armed with horrible fangs. … And of wild beasts you cannot say that they were ever known to eat their own mother, but Nero has gorged himself on this diet.”
- He committed suicide by the sword at the age of 31. Cf. Rev. 13:10 – “If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he will be killed.”
The number of the beast was also 666 according to Revelation 13:18, therefore as Hebrew had no numerals and used letters to signify numbers, the name Neron Caesar when transliterated into Hebrew (NRWN QSR) had a number of 666.