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Giving Context Part 1

Giving Context Part 1

Olivet Discourse Seminar – Session 1 Part 1

 

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In the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24/Mark 13/Luke 21), Jesus outlines some of the key signs that will let us know when we have entered the last generation before He returns. A clear understanding of the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24/Mark 13/Luke 21), therefore, is especially essential for believers living at the end of the age. In Session 1 Part 1 of the Olivet Discourse seminar, we work through a number of key passages that give context to Jesus’ teaching on the Mount of Olives. Join us as we explore the Old Testament foundations presupposed by both Jesus and the apostles in the Olivet Discourse.

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Giving Context

INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION

A.    The heavens declare the glory of God.

1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, 5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat. (NIV Ps. 19:1-6)

B.    Some of the most dramatic signs in the heavens will be observed at the end of the age.

28 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. 30 I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 31 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. (NIV Joel 2:28-31)

C.   The Pharisees’ hardness of heart

1The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign (from the heavens, vs. 1; signs of judgment that announce the Day of the Lord and punishment of the wicked), but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah (a sign of mercy; cf. Lk. 17:25).” (NIV Mt. 16:1-4)

  • 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus” (NIVAc. 4:29-30).

38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you (from heaven, cf. Mt. 16:1, Mk. 8:11, Lk. 11:16).” 39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah (Jonah – the whole story is about God’s longsuffering and mercy with sinners), and now one greater than Jonah is here. 42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here. (NIV Mt. 12:38-42)

  • Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the fish, and he said, “I called out of my distress to the Lord, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth (NASB note – lit. belly) of Sheol; You heard my voice. (NASB Jon. 2:1-2)

11 The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. 12 He sighed deeply (Jesus grieved and saddened at their hardness of heart) and said, “Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign (from heaven)? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it (signs announcing the Day of the Lord await the end of the age).” (NIV Mk. 8:11-12)

  • “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy (things look good outwardly to men, but corruption on the inside, cf. Mt. 23). 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known (in the Day of the Lord, all the motives of men’s hearts will be revealed, cf. Ecc. 12:13-14, Rom. 2:16, 1 Cor. 4:5). 3 (NIV Lk. 12:1-3)
  • 18 Woe to you who long for the day of the Lord (referring to the punishment of the wicked)! Why do you long for the day of the Lord (when we ourselves are also in such great need of mercy!)? That day will be darkness, not light. 19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him. 20 Will not the day of the Lord be darkness, not lightpitch-dark, without a ray of brightness? (NIV Am. 5:18-20)

THE METAPHOR OF BIRTH AND THE END OF THE AGE

THE METAPHOR OF BIRTH AND THE END OF THE AGE

A.    The groan of creation for the age to come

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently (NIVRom. 8:18-25).

B.    Creation groaning for the sons of God to be birthed from the dead in the resurrection

16 Lord, they came to you in their distress; when you disciplined them, they could barely whisper a prayer. 17 As a woman with child and about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so were we in your presence, O Lord. 18 We were with child, we writhed in pain, but we gave birth to wind. We have not brought salvation to the earth; we have not given birth to people of the world. 19 But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up (from the “sleep” of death, e.g. 1 Th. 4:14) and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead (NIV Is. 26:16-19).

18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. (NIV Col. 1:18)

1 The Lord (the Father) says to my Lord (the Son): “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” 2 The Lord (the Father) will extend your (Messiah) mighty scepter (cf. Gen. 49:10, Ps. 2) from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies. 3 Your troops (cf. Ps. 149) will be willing on your day of battle (Second Coming and punishment of the wicked). Arrayed in holy majesty (resurrected glory), from the womb of the dawn you will receive the dew (multitude of resurrected saints shining like the dew that shines as it reflects the sunlight in the morning) of your youth (NIV note – “your young men will come to you like the dew,” cf. Is. 26:19). (NIV Ps. 110:1-3)

C.   The land groaning for its rightful inheritors

13 “As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.” (NIV Dan. 12:13)

7 This is what the Lord says— the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel— to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation, to the servant of rulers: “Kings will see you and rise up, princes will see and bow down, because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.” 8 This is what the Lord says: “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, 9 to say to the captives (in Sheol), ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’ (from bondage to decay) (NIV Is. 49:7-9).

D.   Creation groaning for Zion’s redemption

5 Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at his word: “Your brothers who hate you, and exclude you because of my name, have said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified, that we may see your joy!’ Yet they will be put to shame. 6 Hear that uproar from the city, hear that noise from the temple! It is the sound of the Lord repaying his enemies all they deserve (in Day of the Lord). 7Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son. 8 Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children. 9 Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?” says the Lord. “Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?” says your God. 10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her. 11 For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance.” (NIV Is. 66:5-11)

3 Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor (Zion, cf. Is. 54) gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. 4 He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth (NIV Mich. 5:3-4).

E.    Labor Pains: Increased shaking until age to come finally birthed at Second Coming

1See, the Lord is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; he will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants— 2 it will be the same for priest as for people, for master as for servant, for mistress as for maid, for seller as for buyer, for borrower as for lender, for debtor as for creditor. 3 The earth will be completely laid waste and totally plundered. The Lord has spoken this word. 4 The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the exalted of the earth languish. 5 The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant (cf. Gen. 9). 6 Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left. 7 The new wine dries up and the vine withers; all the merrymakers groan. 8 The gaiety of the tambourines is stilled, the noise of the revelers has stopped, the joyful harp is silent. 9 No longer do they drink wine with a song; the beer is bitter to its drinkers. 10 The ruined city lies desolate; the entrance to every house is barred. 11 In the streets they cry out for wine; all joy turns to gloom, all gaiety is banished from the earth. 12 The city is left in ruins, its gate is battered to pieces. 13 So will it be on the earth and among the nations, as when an olive tree is beaten, or as when gleanings are left after the grape harvest. 14 They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the Lord’s majesty. 15 Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord; exalt the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea. 16 From the ends of the earth we hear singing: “Glory to the Righteous One.” But I said, “I waste away, I waste away! Woe to me! The treacherous betray! With treachery the treacherous betray!” 17 Terror and pit and snare await you, O people of the earth. 18 Whoever flees at the sound of terror will fall into a pit; whoever climbs out of the pit will be caught in a snare. The floodgates of the heavens are opened, the foundations of the earth shake. 19 The earth is broken up, the earth is split asunder, the earth is thoroughly shaken. 20 The earth reels like a drunkard, it sways like a hut in the wind; so heavy upon it is the guilt of its rebellion that it falls—never to rise again (i.e. in rebellion against the Lord). 21 In that day the Lord will punish the powers in the heavens above (rebellious cosmic powers and principalities led by Satan) and the kings on the earth below (those who have given themselves over to those powers in idolatry). 22 They will be herded together like prisoners bound in a dungeon; they will be shut up in prison (the Abyss, cf. Rev. 20) and be punished after many days (1000 years – cf. Rev. 20). 23 The moon will be abashed, the sun ashamed; for the Lord Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before its elders, gloriously. (NIV Is. 24).

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. 52 The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. 54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” (NIV Mt. 27:51-54)

1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. (NIV Mt. 28:1-2)

17 The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18 Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. (NIV Rev. 16:17-18)

THE COMING SHAKING OF THE REBELLIOUS COSMIC POWERS

THE COMING SHAKING OF THE REBELLIOUS COSMIC POWERS

A.    The coming shaking/purging of the heavens and the earth

6 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7 I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations (the Messiah) will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty. (NIVHag. 2:6-7).

  • 28 His breath is like a rushing torrent, rising up to the neck. He shakes the nations in the sieve of destruction; he places in the jaws of the peoples a bit that leads them astray.(NIV Is. 30:28)
  • 9 “For I will give the command, and I will shake the house of Israel among all the nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, and not a pebble will reach the ground. 10 All the sinners among my people will die by the sword, all those who say, ‘Disaster will not overtake or meet us.’ (NIVAm. 9:9-10)
  • 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made (the Mosaic Order, cf. Heb. 8:1-6, 9:11, context of 12:18-25)—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.  (ESV Heb. 12:27-29)

B.    Fallen powers to be shaken from their place in the heavens to the earth for time, times, and half a time (3.5 years), in conjunction with the rise of the Anti-Christ

 1A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman (Virgo) clothed with the sun (sun rising in Virgo on Rosh Hashana), with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads (represented by Draco and Hydra). 4 His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter (allusion to Psalm 2). And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne (Ps. 110). 6 The woman (Zion/Israel, cf. Is. 54; my opinion – that the woman is Jews in Jerusalem who have not yet become believers, but who have been “marked” or “set apart” because they lament what is happening in Israel, cf. Ez. 9:4, Rev. 7:3-8; like Cornelius, God knows their hearts, even though they are still ignorant of the gospel, cf. Ac. 10:4-6; so He sends them to places where they can hear the message of salvation, cf. Ac. 11:14; cf. Is. 35) fled into the desert (ESV, NKJV, NASB – “wilderness”) to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. 7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven (cf. Is. 34). 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short (only 3.5 years before he is thrown into the Abyss, cf. Rev. 20).” 13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman (came against Zion, cf. e.g. Is. 29, Dan. 11:40-44, Zech. 12-14 )who had given birth to the male child. 14 The woman (remnant being preserved by God, cf. Is. 10:21-23) was given the two wings of a great eagle (i.e. being carried/protected by God, as in the Exodus, cf. Ex. 19:4, Deut. 32:11), so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert (ESV, NKJV, NASB – “wilderness”; cf. Is. 35), where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time (3.5 years), out of the serpent’s reach (places of refuge outside of the geographical stronghold of the Anti-Christ empire). 15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent (ESV – “to sweep her away with a flood”; flood=pursued by Gentile armies of the Anti-Christ, cf. Ps. 124:1-5, Dan. 11:40). 16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspringthose who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. 13 1 And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea (i.e. the Anti-Christ and his empire Gentile nations, cf. Is. 17:12, Dan. 7:2). He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. (NIV Rev. 12-13:1)

C.   Isaiah 34-35: The Old Testament background for Revelation 12

Job 38:1-7 (ESV)

1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: 2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Dress for actionlike a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. 4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, 7 when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God (LXX – angelos=angels) shouted for joy (Hebrew parallelism morning stars=the sons of God)?

1 Come near, you nations, and listen; pay attention, you peoples! Let the earth hear, and all that is in it, the world, and all that comes out of it! 2 The Lord is angry with all nations; his wrath is upon all their armies. He will totally destroy them, he will give them over to slaughter. 3 Their slain will be thrown out, their dead bodies will send up a stench; the mountains will be soaked with their blood. 4 All the stars of the heavens (fallen sons of God/cosmic powers of the air, cf. Eph. 6:12) will be dissolved (Heb. maqaq – “to decay, rot, fester, pine away” [1]; NRSV – “shall rot away”; the fallen powers have become like rotten figs, and like rotten fruit that falls from a tree, they cannot hold their place in the heavens, cf. Rev. 12:8) and the sky rolled up like a scroll (i.e. rolled shut – YLT – “rolled together”; ERV – “rolled shut”; i.e. like a Torah scroll that has been closed shut, once the fallen powers have been cast to the ground, the heavens will be sealed shut so that they are now confined to the earth, cf. Rev. 12:8-12); all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the fig tree (quoted in Mt. 24:29). 5 My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens (Rev. 12:7-9); see, it descends in judgment on Edom (now God using those powers/Anti-Christ armies to punish the earth, beginning at 3.5 mark), the people I have totally destroyed (NIV translation is poor here, makes it sound past tense; KJV – “and upon the people of my curse, to judgment”; NRSV – “upon the people I have doomed to judgment”; the beginning of Edom’s judgment, which culminates in the Second Coming, cf. Is. 63). 6 The sword of the Lord is bathed in blood, it is covered with fat— the blood of lambs and goats, fat from the kidneys of rams. For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah and a great slaughter in Edom. …35 1The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they (i.e. a remnant from Israel, cf. vs. 5, Is. 42:18-19, 43:8) will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. 3 Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; 4 say to those with fearful hearts (fleeing Jews), “Be strong, do not fear; your God (Gentile believers encouraging Jews in the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) will come (still future; therefore, vv. 1-2 is a describing a place of refuge under God’s blessing, not the Messianic Kingdom), he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you” (cf. Is. 40). 5 Then will the eyes of the blind  (the Jewish remnant spared by God, cf. Is. 42:18-19, 43:8) be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped (Jews provoked to salvation, cf. Rom. 11). 6 Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert (like He did at Horeb, when He carried them on eagles’ wings and provided for them, cf. Ex. 17, Nu. 20). 7 The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow. (Israel’s salvation accompanied by transformation-video-like signs of the very-soon-coming restoration; the earth protecting these fleeing Jews and helping them through miraculous growth for food/provision, etc.; cf. Rev. 12:4).8 And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean (Gentile armies) will not journey on it (Rev. 12:16); it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools  (those with no fear of God, e.g. Ps. 14) will not go about on it. 9 No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, 10 and the ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. (NIV Is. 34:1-9, -35:10)

  • The fifth angel sounded his trumpet (beginning the first “woe”, Rev. 8:13, 9:12), and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky (cf. Is. 14:12, Lk. 10:18, Is. 34) to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. 2 When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. 3 And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. 4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads….11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon (NIV note – “Abaddon and Apollyon mean Destroyer”). 12 The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come. (NIV Rev. 9:1-4)

D.   Mike Bickle’s dream (2-13-2009) – I was speaking at a conference in a baseball park inside a large fair ground. About 40,000 people were present. Many leaders and their people (from many “charismatic” streams) were present. I saw Bill Johnson. He was representative of other leaders in the Body who seek to walk in God’s power and who walk with an excellent spirit. We were enjoying warm fellowship together. I preached on prayer, God’s power and end-time judgment. I spoke at two afternoon sessions. In the break between the sessions, some were debating on what I was preaching. Some IHOP-KC people debated each other and some were speaking to believers from different ministry streams. They were debating in a friendly way about God’s power and His end-time judgment. There was no hostility, but only sincere dialogue with humility and love. It was enjoyable and intellectually stimulating but none of the different points of view stirred up real faith and revelation. Immediately, as I finished the second session at 5 PM, I saw a token of a few of the events that John prophesied about in Rev. 12:7-9 when war breaks out in heaven between Satan and Michael the archangel. The result is that Satan will be cast to the earth at the beginning of the Tribulation. I did not see Satan, but only demonic principalities being cast to the earth. They looked like large snakes (over 100 yards long and 50 feet thick). Each had a large head that looked like a dragon. Many of them were coming from the sky down to the earth. Every one at the conference was filled with panic. Most were terrified. No one, including me, had understanding or faith that was mature enough to respond in the power or confidence that I had just preached on. I ran as I felt the terror of the event. The leaders and their people felt terror. All wanted to quickly get out of there. Most were in confusion, including the IHOP-KC people.  These snake-like demonic principalities and demonic hosts with them were filled with rage against the people. They were angry and even humiliated about being confined to the earth. Satan’s rage is related to his short amount of time before going to prison (Rev. 20:1-3). Soot or wet, muddy, thick ash was raining down from the sky. It darkened the sky as it fell on the people who were running. I ran out of the vast fair grounds to the park offices (at the entrance). Wet ash was all over me as I ran. Many did not get out. They were bitten by the large snakes. There were evil policeman at the entrance. They told me, “You have to go back into the fair grounds or we will put you in jail.” They were calloused about the danger I would face by going back into the fair grounds. I then understood they were in the Antichrist’s system. I was in a dilemma. I thought, “I just escaped from the most intense danger imaginable and now I have to go back in”. There will be no natural way out of this crisis except by the power of the Spirit. When standing by the police I thought, “I wish IHOP would have taken the events in Rev. 12 more seriously and therefore, prepared more urgently in the early days when we had time. I said to myself, “the debate about power is much bigger than the power we actually walk in”. I woke up with urgency that the IHOP leadership needs greater zeal to walk in the things of the Spirit.

 


[1] מָקַק maqaq (596d); a prim. root; to decay, rot, fester, pine away:— fester(1), rot(3), rot away(3), rotting away(1), waste away(1), wear away(1). Thomas, R. L. (1998, 1981). New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek dictionaries : Updated edition (H4743). Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc.

THE REVEALING OF THE ANTI-CHRIST AND HIS ARMIES

THE REVEALING OF THE ANTI-CHRIST AND HIS ARMIES

A.    The Anti-Christ armies are the rod of the Lord’s discipline in the Day of the Lord

5 “Woe to the Assyrian (Micah 5), the rod of my anger, in whose hand is the club of my wrath! 6 I send him against a godless nation, I dispatch him against a people who anger me…15 Does the ax raise itself above him who swings it, or the saw boast against him who uses it? As if a rod were to wield him who lifts it up, or a club brandish him who is not wood! (NIV Is. 10:5-6, 15)

B.    The Anti-Christ: God’s instrument for punishing “Babylon the Great”

1 An oracle concerning Babylon (NKJV “the burden against Babylon”) that Isaiah son of Amoz saw: 2 Raise a banner on a bare hilltop, shout to them; beckon to them to enter the gates of the nobles. 3 I have commanded my holy ones (ESV – “consecrated ones”; NKJV – “sanctified ones”; i.e. not morally upright, but set apart to accomplish God’s purpose in judgment as His instrument); I have summoned my warriors to carry out my wrath— those who rejoice in my triumph. 4 Listen, a noise on the mountains, like that of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms, like nations massing together! The Lord Almighty is mustering an army for war. 5 They come from faraway lands, from the ends of the heavensthe Lord and the weapons of his wrath— to destroy the whole country (most translations “land”). 6 Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty. 7 Because of this, all hands will go limp, every man’s heart will melt. 8 Terror will seize them, pain and anguish will grip them; they will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at each other, their faces aflame. 9 See, the day of the Lord is coming —a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger— to make the land (of Babylon) desolate and destroy the sinners within it. 10 The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. 11 I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless. 12 I will make man scarcer than pure gold, more rare than the gold of Ophir. 13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the Lord Almighty, in the day of his burning anger. 14 Like a hunted gazelle, like sheep without a shepherd, each will return to his own people, each will flee to his native land. 15 Whoever is captured will be thrust through; all who are caught will fall by the sword. 16 Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be looted and their wives ravished. 17 See, I will stir up against them the Medes (part of the Anti-Christ Empire, cf. Is. 11:11, Ezek. 38:5), who do not care for silver and have no delight in gold (very interesting statement in light of Shiite eschatology of Iran today!). 18 Their bows will strike down the young men; they will have no mercy on infants nor will they look with compassion on children. 19 Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the glory of the Babylonians’  pride, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah. 20 She will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations; no Arab will pitch his tent there, no shepherd will rest his flocks there. 21 But desert creatures will lie there, jackals will fill her houses; there the owls will dwell, and there the wild goats will leap about. 22 Hyenas will howl in her strongholds, jackals in her luxurious palaces. Her time is at hand, and her days will not be prolonged. 14 1The Lord will have compassion on Jacob; once again he will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land. Aliens will join them and unite with the house of Jacob. 2 Nations will take them and bring them to their own place. And the house of Israel will possess the nations as menservants and maidservants in the Lord’s land. They will make captives of their captors and rule over their oppressors (NIV Is. 13-14:2).

15 Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. 16 The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God’s words are fulfilled. 18 The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.” (NIV Rev. 17:15-18)

C.   The Anti-Christ destroys Babylon at the beginning of the last 3.5 years. Three key events happen in conjunction at this time: 1) Satan and fallen angels cast out of the heavens; 2) the Anti-Christ or man of sin is revealed; 3) the city “Babylon the Great” is destroyed by the Anti-Christ in fulfillment of passages like Isaiah 13 and Jeremiah 50-51

6 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. 7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” 8 A second angel followed and said, “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.” 9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, 10 he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.” 12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. (NIV Rev. 14:6-12)

D.   2 Thessalonians 2 and Daniel 8

1Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ (Eclectic Text – NIV/ESV etc. “day of the Lord”) had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away (Gk. apostasia; NIV/ESV/NRSV– “rebellion”; NASB – “apostasy”; cf. Dan. 8:12, 13) comes first, and the man of sin (NIV – “man of lawlessness”) is revealed (cf. Dan. 8:9-12), the son of perdition (cf. Dan. 7:11), 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped (cf. Dan. 8:11, 25, 11:37), so that he sits as God in the temple of God (NIV – “so that he sets himself up in God’s temple”; cf. Dan. 8:11, 25), showing himself that he is God (cf. Dan. 8:11, 11:37). 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining (NIV – “holding him back”), that he may be revealed in his own time (cf. Dan. 8:17, 19 – the “appointed time of the end,” aka the “time of wrath”). 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He (NKJV note – Or he) who now restrains (lawlessness) will do so until He (NKJV note – or he) is taken out of the way (i.e. Dan. 8:23 –“when the transgressors have reached their fullness,” NKJV Dan. 8:23). 8 And then (“the latter time of their kingdom” – Dan. 8:23, NKJV) the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming (Dan. 8:25 – “not by human hands”). 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders (cf. Dan. 8:12, 23-24; Dan. 8:23 says he understands chidah (Heb.) – i.e. dark sayings/ hidden sayings/enigmas/riddles/ secrets, etc.; used of true prophets in Num. 12:8; i.e. he comes to power in accordance with witchcraft and false prophecy, cf. Rev. 2:24, Rev. 13:13-18), 10 and with all unrighteous deception (cf. Dan. 8:25 – “he will cause deceit to prosper,” NIV) among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth (Dan. 8:12 – “truth was thrown to the ground,” NIV), that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie (cf. Is. 28:15 LXX; i.e. that there is security and refuge in making a covenant with idolatrous nations, in this case the Anti-Christ; cf. Deut. 32), 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

E.    The revelation of Jesus encompasses not only the Second Coming (the climax), but also the intense events leading up to it, especially the last 3.5 years (the Great Tribulation)

1 The revelation of Jesus Christ(a), which God gave to Him (b), to show His servants what is required to take place with suddenness (c). And He communicated it, sending it by His Messenger to His servant John, 2 who reported the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ as much as he perceived (d). 3 The reader and the listeners to the sayings of this prophecy are privileged, also those who heed the things written in it; because the season is impending (e). (Rev. 1:1-3, Translation and notes by Tim Warner[1])

Tim Warner commentary – (a) “The ‘revelation of Jesus Christ’ is more than just the second coming. It includes the whole end-time sequence of events as the rest of the sentence indicates. The judgments contained in this book reveal Jesus Christ taking control of the nations. The Lamb is the only one worthy to open the seven-sealed scroll.” (b) “The Father gave to the Son the things contained in this book, to be delivered to the churches.” (c) “This prepositional phrase literally means, ‘within a very short space of time.’ Nothing in this phrase requires that the beginning of this timeframe is close, only that the events themselves will occur within a short block of time. (See vs. 3).” (d) “John seems to express the limitations of his own understanding.” (e) “The sense is that the end time events are threatening or imminent (but not necessarily immediate). The whole series of events could come at any time.”

F.    In addition to Isaiah 34, Jesus also quotes from Isaiah 13 in the Olivet Discourse. Significantly, these are quoted in conjunction with one another.

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light (quoting Is. 13:10, cf. Joel 2:8), and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken (quoting Is. 34:4). (ESV Mt. 24:29)

 


[1] Tim Warner, translation of Revelation, <http://www.oasischristianchurch.org/air/LGV_Revelation.pdf>

 

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Tim Miller Tim Miller (124 Posts)

Tim is founder of the Daniel Training Network. His passion is to see followers of Christ embrace a life of the cross. He, his wife Emily, and their four children itinerate regularly as part of their ministry, and are presently living in New Mexico.


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