The Apex of History

The Apex of History

Scripture: Titus 2:13
Date: 10/21/2011 
The Apex of History will be Jesus' second coming to Earth.

Prophecy for Kids by Doug Batchelor

Prophecy for Kids by Doug Batchelor
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Hello friends, we are very thankful that you have tuned in to join us for this special new series we're presenting called doctrines that divide. And in our time together we're going to be exploring some of the doctrinal differences that separate seventh day adventist Christians from your regular evangelical Christians. I have prayed with, worshiped in churches from all different Christian backgrounds - preached in many of those churches - and I'm fairly well acquainted with what some of these doctrinal beliefs are. I am a seventh day adventist Christian and an ordained pastor in the seventh day adventist church and I'm just sad that more people don't understand these differences and I think that as far as possible we should study them together to at least be aware of what they are and - so we can come together as God's people. And so, with that I'd like to begin this program with a word of prayer.

Loving lord, we want to thank you for your truth. We want to thank you for your word. We want to thank you for the promise of the Spirit - that if, with honest open hearts, we come to your word seeking to better understand your will, you will make it known. Please bless this series of presentations and be with our study tonight. We ask in Jesus' name, amen.

Now, tonight you'll see me from time to time stand over here and I'm going to pretty much represent Pastor Doug. And then when I'm standing over here, I represent a pastor I've sort of fabricated called pastor barney. And someone said, 'Pastor Doug, if you think that you're on the side of truth, why did you put the white on this side? Wouldn't you want the white to be on that side, like light of truth or something?' I said, 'when have you ever seen me wear white when I preach?' This is actually pastor barney hymn, so he sometimes wears white. But I really want to talk about these important differences that can confuse people and especially in the last days. Now, tonight's subject is dealing with the apex of history.

Oh, did you notice I got a white shoe? I got a new - well somebody brought me one, I said, 'it fits!' All right. A girl e-mailed me on Facebook - or Facebooked me - and she said, 'are you going to bleach one side of your mustache?' I thought they were already bleached. It's called gray hair. But...anyway. The message tonight is dealing with the second coming - the climax of history or the apex of history.

Understanding the truth on this subject is crucial. Now, you remember when Jesus came the first time. There were over a hundred prophecies in the old testament that talked about the first coming of Jesus. But the disciples misunderstood the nature of his first coming. Not only the Jewish people were not ready - I mean when the wise men came to Jerusalem and said, 'where is he that is born king of the jews?' They looked at each other and thought, 'what?' When he came the first time his own people, with the Bible of the day, were not ready because the devil had confused them regarding the doctrines of how he was coming.

Could that happen again to his people? I think the devil, if anything, has sharpened his skills and he is doing the same thing in the last days. He's confusing the majority, I believe, of Christian people regarding the Bible truth about how he's coming. You remember when Jesus came, the disciples said - acts chapter 1, verse 6 - "when they came together they asked (Jesus) saying, 'lord, will you at this time restore the Kingdom to Israel?'" They had these fabricated notions that the Messiah was going to come and just overthrow and subjugate the Romans and exalt them to the glory of the former kingdom from the days of David. And Jesus just shook his head. He'd been with them three and a half years and they still didn't understand.

Luke 24:21 - after Jesus died and rose he appeared to some of the disciples and they told Jesus - they didn't even know it was Jesus they were talking to - "we were hoping that it would have been him who was going to redeem Israel." They had this completely false, nationalistic, carnal interpretation of the first coming of the Messiah and they were so disappointed because it didn't happen. Could it happen again that the church is misinterpreting the prophecies? We need to understand. Now, there are quite a few prophecies in the Bible - about prophecies deal with the first coming and there's nearly - I think it was dwight moody that came up with that number - that deal with the second coming of Jesus. The good news is Jesus did come the first time just as it was prophesied. If we've got 300 prophecies that say he's coming the second time then we should be encouraged.

He will come. But how's he coming? And not understanding that can leave us exposed to great disappointment and even loss - we can even be eternally lost. Let me explain why. There are approximately three major interpretations regarding the second coming. There's one that's called preterism and people that believe this are called preterists and it comes from the word pre, which means before.

They believe that most of the prophecies from Daniel and Revelation are all in the past. They've all happened. They think that most of those prophecies were fulfilled by the time John finished the book of Revelation around the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, somewhere between 70 and 100 a.d. They think all of Revelation is in the past already. They think nero was the antiChrist.

Now that is the smallest of the three groups. The two major groups are what we're going to be addressing tonight between pastor barney and i, and that has to do with historicism or the historists. That's what most of the protestant reformers were. They believe that the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation - they're covering the panorama of history and some are in the past, some are still in the future, but it gives a scope of God leading his people over time. And then a newly formed, very popular group, are the futurists or futurism.

And the futurists, if I was to summarize what it believes, it's been - become very popular through a series of books called 'the left behind series.' You go back a hundred and fifty years - virtually no Christians believed in the futuristic interpretation of prophecy. It is a fairly new invention. Oh, and I think you might find it interesting to know, preterism was developed by a man named luis de alcazar between - he lived between 1554 and 1613 - a jesuit. Futurism was written up by a jesuit doctor of theology, francisco ribera some time around 1560. And both of these other notions of prophetic interpretation - and you can read this, this is in the history books.

I don't think even pastor barney will disagree with this - I'm still in the mediator position here. This is just facts of history - what the origins of these things are. Futurism, which differs from what we believe as seventh day adventists, states these things. First of all, the secret rapture is silent and invisible. - Seven major points of difference - the secret rapture leaves the wicked alive after the Lord comes to take the righteous away.

- God removes the righteous to protect them from the tribulation. - That Christ's second coming will be in two stages - a) the secret rapture and b) the actual coming, which is later and that's going to be glorious and visible. - These two stages are separated by seven years of tribulation. - The rapture will take place before the Revelation of the antiChrist - you get that wrong you can be real mixed up. - The wicked will, at this point, have a second chance to be converted - a second chance to be converted - if they're not ready for the secret rapture.

And that is sort of a summary of what the left behind scenario is for the second coming. Now, with that introduction, we're going to delve into and see how far we get talking about a very important - at times it may seem like a complex subject - you may want to take some notes of some of the Scriptures you're going to see. I'm going to try to present both sides of this issue. And I'm admitting this is not a fair debate. I am obviously a seventh day adventist so I fall on this side with my bias.

But, nevertheless, I want you to understand as well as you can, why there are a couple of different views on this subject. All right. First question we're going to consider. We'll have about nine or ten tonight depending on our time. Why do adventists emphasize the second coming? We already talked about the seventh day.

Well, we're called seventh day adventists. Adventist means people who are looking forward to the imminent advent of Jesus. Why that emphasis even in the name? All right, well, I'm going to start out this time. Titus chapter 2, verse 13. Looking for the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

I shared there's over 300 prophecies in the Bible that talk about the Lord's coming. It was obviously important to Jesus, it should be important to his people. And if once the Lord comes - and this is very important - as seventh day adventists believe once the Lord comes the saved are saved and the lost are lost, then people need to know to get ready for that event because there is no mercy beyond the second coming - according to what we believe. Pastor barney and those who believe in the secret rapture think there's still another chance even after Jesus comes. And that could be very dangerous.

Secondly, Revelation 22:20 - last chapter in the Bible, last verses of the holy Bible - Jesus said, "surely I am coming quickly." Now, we've all heard about people's last words. Sometimes a person's last words sort of set the trend for their history. I would think, as a Christian, that the last words of Jesus should be a first priority for his followers. And so, the reason we're called seventh day adventist Christians is because the Bible tells us there is a sanctifying influence - 'beloved, since you believe these things then we should be found of him without spot and blameless.' Because we know that our lives are limited - that Jesus is coming soon, we want to be ready for that day. There is something about knowing that the Lord is coming - I mean, let's face it, if we realize that our lives are limited and if you - it doesn't matter really what your age is, but the longer you live the greater the statistics - if you shouldn't be alive tomorrow, your next conscious thought is the resurrection, and as far as you're concerned, the Lord has come.

And so, don't ever be ashamed about preaching the importance and the imminence of Jesus' coming, because even if you live to 100, compared to eternity, our lives are like a vapor. So every Christian should always be emphasizing the nearness of Christ coming because he could come for anybody watching or anybody here within 24 hours. So that's one reason. But there's also going to be a literal day. All right, pastor barney, what do you think? Pastor Doug, first of all we both agree that Jesus is coming so we're in agreement on that.

But you can over-emphasize the hereafter so that you're neglecting the here and now. Peter chapter 3 says - verse 8 - "beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day." That reminds me, in the same chapter, pastor barney, it says 'in the last days there is going to come scoffers that say 'where is the promise of his coming?' And they're going to say 'all things continue as they were from the beginning.' There's this danger that God's people are going to lose that urgency to let the world know while there's still time. Well, I'm not saying that we shouldn't let people know, I think that's important, but don't become obsessed with it. Let's just do a good job while we're here. Luke 19, verse 13.

Jesus called his ten servants in this parable and he delivered them ten minahs and he said, "do business or occupy till I come." So we should just keep ourselves busy with taking care of the social and humanitarian needs of the world and when the Lord comes, he comes. And there's nothing really that we can do to effect that. Well, I remember reading in Matthew 24 where Jesus said, "the gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations and then the end will come." And that leads me to believe that he's invited us to participate in fulfilling the great commission. There should be an urgency there. And I want the Lord to come soon.

I'm tired of all the sin and suffering in this world. And so the quicker we get the gospel in to all the world - if Jesus' promise can be depended on - 'gospel will be preached in all the world' - it doesn't say they'll all believe - 'as a witness, then the end will come.' Matthew chapter 24, verse 14. So I think there's an important reason to make this a priority. All right. We'll just leave that where it is.

Next point we're going to consider together - will the second coming happen secretly? Pastor barney, why don't you start out here? Okay. Matthew 24, verse 44 - the Lord says, "be ye therefore ready for in such an hour as you think not, The Son of man comes." Nobody can really know when that time is, just live in a state of readiness and don't worry about it. But it's going to happen suddenly and the church doesn't know - nobody knows. Matthew 25:13 - he says, "watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour when the son of man comes." Well, pastor barney, I would agree with you that nobody knows the day or the hour when The Son of man is coming, but according to Jesus, he said, "when you see these things begin to come to pass" - in Matthew 24 - "lift up your eyes and know that your redemption draws nigh." - Or near. So we can know when it's near and he says, 'if you can look at the weather and tell what's going to happen by studying the sky, how come you can't discern the signs of the times?' And, brother, friends, when we look at the signs of the times today, does it look like we're nearing the end of the world? I believe that we should be feeling that excitement and that urgency to finish the work - to let the world know while probation lingers.

But as far as it being a secret - technically we both believe in the rapture. Now, when I say rapture, the word's not in the Bible, but the principle is there - to be carried up. We are going to be carried up. The question is, will it be a secret? Now, we've all heard these stories or seen the comics where somebody's driving in the car and they're talking to their wife and suddenly they disappear and the car goes careening off into a ditch. Or a plane is flying along and the copilot comes on and says, 'folks, we don't want you to panic but our captain has disappeared.

' And all over the world people see clothes and pajamas piled up where folks were once wearing them because they just disappeared. Have we all heard these stories and these scenarios? The secret rapture - and folks are all going to say, 'where'd they go? What happened?' Jesus said, 'as lightning shines from the east even to the west, so shall the coming of the son of man be.' Secret? Psalm 50, verse 3. "Our God shall come and shall not keep silent. A fire shall devour before him and it will be very tempestuous all around him." I agree - it'll be a surprise, but it's not going to be secret. Thessalonians 4:16 "for the lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trumpet of God.

And the dead in Christ will rise." So here you've got a shout - they call it gabriel's trumpet but it doesn't say that, it's the voice of the archangel. 'And with the trumpet of God and the dead in Christ rise.' A resurrection. Does that sound like something where somebody is going to have to call you on the phone and say, 'did you notice somebody missing at your house? I can't seem to find my spouse.' No. Corinthians 15:52 "for the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible and we will be changed." All right. Do we all agree that when Jesus comes and we are caught up to meet him in the air it says there's a resurrection? - There's a trumpet.

That resurrection, according to Jesus, happens the last day. Notice John 6:40 "and this is the will of him who sent me. That everyone who sees The Son and believes in him may have everlasting life and I will raise him up" - notice - "the last day." If the resurrection happens when Jesus comes - and supposedly the secret rapture takes place, why does Jesus refer to the resurrection as the last day? You think the last day would be at the end of the seven years of tribulation. But he says that the last day is when the resurrection is and the resurrection is when we get caught up because they're all the same event. Revelation 16, verses 17 and 18 "and a loud voice came out of the temple in heaven from the throne saying, 'it is done.

' And there were noises and thunderings, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were upon the earth." Greater than the earthquake in japan. Greater than the earthquake in haiti. You can put them all together and they won't be as big as this earthquake and that is put in sequence with the Lord coming when people are caught up to meet the Lord in the air. It's not going to be a secret. Life is not going on as normal for another seven years when Jesus comes.

It's going to be the noisiest secret you've ever seen before. #3 - Will the righteous disappear in the rapture. Okay. Pastor barney. Luke 17, verse 34.

Do the righteous disappear? It says here, "I tell you on that night, there will be two men in one bed: one is taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken, the other left. Two men are in the field: one is taken, the other left." It makes it really clear, pastor doug, that there are people that are outwardly just doing similar simple things and just some of them are caught away and others are left behind. How do you explain that? Well, I tell you what I would attempt to say, pastor barney, is that Jesus is using some powerful symbols here that are very common in the Bible. Two men sleeping in a bed that used to be - it didn't get a reaction, but now we think something else about that.

But two men working in the field. Two women grinding at the mill. What does sleep represent biblically? Death. Jesus said, 'our friend Lazarus sleeps.' How many kinds of people are dead now? What I mean by that is really only two - you've got the saved and the lost. Two kinds of dead.

Dead in Christ. The dead out of Christ. Two kinds of people when the lord comes, there's one saved there's one lost. There's just two different categories. What does a woman represent in Bible symbols? A church.

How many kinds of churches are there? There's not 34,000 - you read in Revelation there's two women. There's the truth and the false. See Babylon's got her daughters, but they're all false. You've got the truth, the bride of Christ, and you've got the false teachings. There's those who are ready when Jesus comes - it doesn't matter if you want to categorize them as the five wise virgins - and then you've got the five foolish, but you've got the ready and the unready.

Grinding at the mill. Working with the word. The mill is the grain - the word of God, the bread of life. Outwardly doing the same thing, but God looks on the heart. Some are not ready and some are ready.

And then you've got two men working in the field. What does that represent? Jesus said 'the world is the field, the harvest is great.' The Word of God is the seed that is being sown and being harvested. There's two kinds of people out there doing mission work. The ready, the truth and the unready, the false. That's all Jesus is saying.

And, you know, you've got to be very careful about assuming the ones taken are the ones saved. Because you read on here a little bit and it tells us - the disciples ask in Luke chapter , verse 37 - that's right after the verse you just read, pastor barney. "The disciples said, 'where lord?' It says one is taken, one is left. They said, 'lord where?' And Jesus said, "where the body is there will the eagles" - or the vultures - "be gathered together." It's talking about those who are taken away in judgment. Read Matthew chapter 24, verses 38 and 39.

This is a common mistake people make. Who's taken the saved or the lost? "For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they didn't know until the flood came and took them all away," who's taken away? Was it Noah and his family taken away? Or they the wicked did not know until they were taken away in judgement? Put yourself in the mind of a Hebrew for a minute. When they were settled in the promised land they were under God's blessing. When they were disobedient their enemies came, captured them, took them away. They were taken away to assyria.

They were taken away to Babylon. They went down to Egypt. It's when they were obedient they were allowed to stay in their land. So, being taken away often means being taken away in judgment. I think this is a very misunderstood passage.

And, of course, you've got to keep in mind, Jesus said the second coming is going to be like the first coming. When Christ comes back - the disciples were staring when Jesus ascended to heaven, you know. In acts chapter 1, they were just gazing up into heaven and the angels appeared and said, 'you men of Galilee, why do you stand here wistfully gazing up into the sky? This same Jesus that was received up from you into heaven is coming in the same way you've seen him go.' They saw him go, we'll see him come. He left in the clouds, he's coming in the clouds. He was real and tangible when he left, he'll be real and tangible when he comes.

Pastor Doug, the reason that they saw him is because they were believers. And yes, the believers will see Jesus come during the secret rapture. But that verse in acts doesn't say that the wicked see him come. I've got to give him some credit because - I'm not even going to answer that but I felt like I'm leaving pastor barney out. I called a pastor friend of mine tonight and I said, you know, I'm struggling with this presentation because I'm trying to give pastor barney more press time but I can't find Scriptures on the secret rapture - there just aren't very many.

And he said, 'I've got some.' And he gave me the ones I'm already sharing with you. There are just not that many Scriptures to defend it. You know friends, we do a radio program where we take Bible questions from all around the world really. We get questions from all over the world. And periodically someone calls and says, 'Pastor Doug, I'm giving a study to someone on the secret rapture but I'm having trouble finding Scriptures, can you help me?' And I say, 'no.

There's not very many.' But, I'm going to give you a couple more. Does the Bible say that Jesus is coming like a thief? Okay pastor barney, sorry to be disparaging. Peter, chapter 3, verse 10 "but the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night." There you have it. It's a secret. Like a thief.

Slips in, slips out, takes the righteous. Poof! They're gone. And then you've got also Thessalonians chapter 5, verse 2 "for you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the lord will come as a thief in the night." Like a thief. He's coming and he's going to steal away that which is precious and slip out the door and everyone's going to wonder what happened. Stole them away as a thief and they'll just have to carry on without their precious possessions.

These are some of the common verses, pastor barney, that are used to talk about the secret rapture. They say Jesus is coming as a thief. But let's read the rest of both verses and see what the context is. We often get into trouble because we just read part of it. If you continue in Thessalonians 5 - I'm going to read the whole thing here.

"For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the lord will come as a thief in the night." Next verse. "For when they say, 'peace and safety' then sudden destruction comes upon them as travail upon a woman with child and they will not escape." It's talking about the whole destruction of the world when Jesus comes as a thief. How can life go on for seven more years during that time? Let's also read the rest of 2 Peter, chapter 3 where it talks about Jesus coming as a thief. Peter 3, verse 10. "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.

" A lot of preachers stop right there. Keep reading, it doesn't even have a period. He'll "come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise." - There's that noise again - "and the elements will melt with fervent heat; and the earth also and the works in it will be burned up. Seeing then that all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you be in all holy conversation and Godliness, looking for and hastening unto." - There's another verse that says,'we can help hasten "unto the coming of the day of God wherein the heavens, being on fire, will be dissolved." - That means the atmosphere - "and the elements will melt with fervent heat." This verse tells us we ought to be mobilized by the fact that Jesus is coming soon. "What manner of persons ought you be?" You know, you've probably heard pastors ask these questions before, but it's always a good thing to think about.

I don't know how old you were when you first realized that you were mortal, but it really - I'll never forget. I was with my grandparents. I must have been about four years old. For some reason there was a bullfighter on t.v. That got killed by a bull.

Black and white television back then. And I said, grandpa, is he going to get back up again? My grandpa said, 'no dougie, he's deader than a doornail.' I said, 'but they're going to take him to the doctor and they'll fix him.' "No, he's dead.' And he tried to explain to me that that meant it was curtains for him. Boy, I tell you, that really shakes you up. When you finally realize - you mean I'm going to get old and that's going to happen to me? That I've got a limited time here? It's probably a smart thing for us to realize that we're only here for a little while. It's not pleasant because people are afraid, but if you believe you've got everlasting life and if you know you can live eternally with a better body and a better world, you shouldn't be afraid of death.

But if you're not ready, that truth should wake you up a little bit. Seeing then all these things will be dissolved, this world is not going to last, we ought to be preparing for the other ourselves and telling other people to get ready! Jesus is coming for you sooner or later, ready or not, he's going to come.' And it's a very important truth. And it's - the world is not going on for seven more years. One more point - 1 Thessalonians , verse 4 - where he talks about Jesus coming like a thief. Paul says, "but you, brethren, are not in darkness so that that day should overtake you as a thief.

" It's coming as a thief for the world that is unprepared. Now, I always hesitate to tell people this - our local friends here know but, before I was a Christian, I was a thief. And I - I mean just plain old rank burglar. I would break into people's homes and steal things. I stole cars and petty theft, big things, little things, and I'm not proud of it.

But whenever I would case a house and prepare to steal something I always sent them a greeting card to let them know when I was coming. No, of course not. The idea of coming like a thief was they didn't know when I was coming, but they always knew after I came. And so, when the Lord comes he's just saying it's going to be a surprise for much of the world. It doesn't mean that it's a secret and people won't know.

All right, let's go to our next question here. With our friends that believe in the secret rapture and futurism - and again, I don't want to be derogatory but as I get to the conclusion here, you're going to see why this is critical. Doesn't Revelation deal mostly with the future? Well, Pastor Doug, you already know - you know just about everything I'm going to say, don't you? Revelation 4, verse 1 - everything from Revelation 4, verse 1 on is still in the future, because that's when the rapture takes place. It says, "after these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet.

" - That's the resurrection trumpet - "speaking with a loud voice saying, 'come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.'" So here John is called up in the fourth chapter. Everything that happens from chapter 4 on that's still in the future because that's from the rapture beyond. Once the church is raptured that's when you've got all the plagues and the seals and all those problems. We're gone at that point. That trumpet there is the resurrection trumpet.

It's very clear. Pastor barney, I've got some problems with that. If you think that everything from Revelation chapter 4 on is after the rapture, there's an awful lot in Revelation that even points back. You can look in Revelation 12 where it talks about the war between Michael and his angels and the dragon and his angels. That's talking about the original battle between good and evil.

And the persecution of the church. Is that all still in the future? Well, that persecution that it's talking about is talking about the jews that are going to be persecuted because there's going to be a great conversion among the Jewish people and 144,000 jews are going to preach the gospel to the world and they're going to get people ready for Jesus' real second coming. So you believe the 144,000 are really just 12,000 jews from the literal 12 tribes? Well, that's what it says there - Revelation chapter 7 and chapter 14 - it tells us from those literal 12 tribes. Well, now, being at least half Jewish myself, I know there's a whole lot more people from the tribe of judah than you're going to find from the tribe of issachar or manasseh or zebulon. They were carried away captive by the assyrians hundreds of years before Jesus was born.

They largely intermarried with the assyrians and I doubt there are any purebreds of any of those people still alive in the world today. Well, they may not be purebreds, they might just have some dna from those different tribes that the Lord's going to get literally 12,000 of those people with that dna. So I guess what you're really telling me is you might even have some of that dna from the tribe of Joseph or one of the others. Well, theoretically, yes - I guess you - that could be true. So you're telling me God is going to pick people based upon their blood and what dna they have in their blood? But I thought the Bible said that he is no respecter of persons but he has made of one blood all nations.

Why would he just look at a person's dna when he's going to decide whether or not he's going to pick them? What's your next question? That's really what people believe on that. All right. Revelation 1:1 - is it all still in the future? "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show him - to show his servants--things which must shortly take place." So, Revelation covers the span of history from the time the prophecy was given until the second coming - indeed until we're in the earth made new. Revelation covers the panorama of history from Jesus' first coming to the second coming. Why would God give such an important book to the people and say 'it's not relevant for this generation, it's only relevant for people at the end of time.

'" All of God's Word is beneficial. 'All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable.' The idea that these last books of the Bible - that you relegate them to the future is a plot of the devil to keep people from understanding what it's really talking about, who the antiChrist really is and that things are happening all around them but they're being distracted with a diversionary interpretation. So they're looking in this direction - this is how magicians work all the time, it's called 'slight of hand.' It's a distraction. It's a diversion. When the real thing is right underneath their noses.

I saw a magician take a person's belt off while they distracted them once. I've seen them take their watches off their hand while they distracted them - right under their noses. The devil is a master of deception and, to a large extent, a lot of the church has been deceived by this last day concept of the second coming that can't really be supported by the Bible. #6 - Does the temple need to be rebuilt before Jesus comes back again? All right friends, pastor barney doesn't get to talk to you very often so I'll ask you now. How many of you have heard that before Christ comes back that the temple needs to be rebuilt? Have you heard that? That's right here in the Bible.

Thessalonians chapter 2, verse - speaking of the antiChrist power "who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." In order for the antiChrist to sit in the temple of God - if the temple is leveled right now - it's going to have to be rebuilt. And, of course, you've got ,000 Jewish people - they're going to need a temple. Well, pastor barney, we do agree that this is talking about the antiChrist power. We agree on that, but we disagree on what that temple is. Jesus tells us that the temple is really talking about his body - his church.

From the time that Christ died on the cross and that veil was ripped in two, now the temple - the sanctuary on earth is the body of Christ. You can read where Jesus made that really clear. Corinthians 3:16 and 17. "Do you not know that you are the temple of God" - talking to the people - "and that the spirit of Christ dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

" Now, we've all heard it said that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, that's another verse. He also says collectively you are the temple of God. Peter 2, verse 5 "you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." So, all of us together represent the temple of God. You remember when they were going to stone Jesus one time because they said, 'you claim that you're going to destroy and rebuild this temple in three days? It's taken us 46 years to build this temple.' But they didn't know that he spoke about the temple of his body. And even when Christ was tried and they accused him, the only two witnesses they could get to agree are the ones who said 'we heard him say that he will destroy the temple and raise it up' - or 'he will destroy this temple made with hands and in three days I will raise up one made without hands.

' So, that really is true. Christ does have a temple here on earth made without man's hands. It's called the church. So this antiChrist power sits in the temple of God, he puts himself over the church of God, assumes the titles and the prerogatives of God saying that he himself should be worshiped. Now think about this for a second friends.

A lot of my dear mainline friends, like pastor barney, are waiting for the jews to pull the trigger somehow - for someone to come in with a d-9 caterpillar and to scrape the mosque of omar there at the dome of the rock - the old temple location - the holiest of sites in Israel, one of the holiest of sites of muslims - I've been there. To level that and the jews are going to build a temple on that location - can you imagine world war three? What's going to happen if the Jewish nation tries to do that? And the bigger question would be - like I said, I grew up - I've got a lot of Jewish friends and family - I don't know any of them that are waiting to reinstitute the sacrificial system. Over the last 2,000 years the jews have adjusted their theology where they don't need to sacrifice anymore. They celebrate the passover every year. They don't slaughter lambs in their front yard.

So this - this is a kind of a fanciful interpretation that's developed and people get very excited about it - you'll hear all kinds of myths and rumors about they're - they've discovered the ark - they're rebuilding the components for the temple. And I've been to Jerusalem twice friends, and when you go there and you talk to people about it they look at you like you're crazy. But they talk a lot about it in North America and get very excited about it. Yes, God still has a special work for the Jewish people - I believe that - and I think that Israel has a very special role in history. But the idea that it's only literal jews that are going to be doing the preaching during the seven years of tribulation, I don't find that in the Bible.

And since I mentioned that, point #7 - where does the Bible teach seven years of tribulation? If I was to ask you right now to call out a name I'd bet you'd be hard-pressed. Daniel 9:27. In this prophecy about the Messiah, Pastor Doug, it tells the 490-year prophecy and there are seven years that are cut off from that prophecy making it years. That last seven years of that prophecy, that's going to be down at the end of time. That's when the seven years of tribulation happen - after the rapture.

It comes from that time where it says that the beast power is going to rule. Let me read it for you. Daniel 9:27 "and he will confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the middle" - or the midst - "of that week he will cause the sacrifice and the ablation to cease." And again, for good measure, you notice that when Noah entered the ark that there were seven days - and that's Genesis 7, verse 10 - seven days they stayed in the ark. They were safe and secure. People outside the ark, they suffered a tribulation when the flood came.

So that's where you get the seven years of tribulation for those two verses? We do differ widely on this and I'll tell you just exactly how widely. When you read Daniel 9:27 and you say 'he will confirm the covenant with many for one week.' You believe that's the antiChrist, is that right? Absolutely. It says 'he is' - the antiChrist - 'is going to confirm the covenant with many for one week.' Well, I realize this might get some people's attention, but seventh day adventists and the reformers - protestant reformers - they believe, largely, that that he is Jesus. So you say it's the antiChrist, where does the antiChrist make a covenant with God's people that he's supposed to confirm. Well he hasn't made it yet, but he's going to make a covenant and then he'll confirm it when that time comes.

Well that seems pretty speculative to me because in the preceding verses of Daniel chapter 9 it talks about the Messiah being cut off but not for himself. It's Jesus who confirms the covenant with his people for one week or seven years - or do you agree that that one week is really representative of seven years. Yes, we agree on that point that that represents a day for a year in prophecy so that one week is really seven years. Okay, now that we've established that, how long did Jesus preach? Well, Jesus personally only preached for three and a half years. So how do you get your seven years where Jesus preached and confirmed the covenant? Well, it tells us in Hebrews chapter 2 that Christ confirmed the covenant in person and he finished confirming it through those that heard him, namely his disciples.

So for three and a half years Jesus preached in person. He then died on the cross - he confirmed the covenant with his people in the middle of that seven years that were cut off for the Jewish nation he died on the cross, the veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom. Matter of fact, there you have it in Matthew chapter 27, verse "behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split," - Jesus brought the sacrificial system to an end. He confirmed the covenant in person for three and a half years. He confirmed it in three and a half more years until stephen was stoned - acts chapter 8.

A great persecution began, the disciples were scattered everywhere. You keep reading in acts it says they went to samaria, they then went to cornelius and the gentiles and the gospel began to go to the world. It happened after the stoning of stephen where the nation plugged their ears - so from the time of Christ's baptism he was anointed with the Holy Spirit, he preached for three and a half years, he then pours out the spirit on his disciples, they go as Jesus went for three and a half years, stephen is stoned after the supreme court of the Jewish nation plugs their ears and they don't want to hear the message. Then Saul was actually converted, who was there. He becomes a disciple to the gentiles.

The gospel then goes to the world. That 490 years is all together. How can you take the last seven years of Daniel's prophecy and cut it off? Well, it's a floating prophecy. That last seven years - it hovers - it floats. And we don't know exactly where it lands, but it kind of - you know, like a hydrofoil - it hovers off that first 483 years that stopped back in the new testament times and it's floating down and it's going to land somewhere down there at the end of time.

That's that seven years of tribulation. Yep, that's what they believe. And that's kind of hard for me but that's what a lot of dear people are believing. Oh - #8 - will the church go through the seven years of tribulation? Absolutely Pastor Doug. No.

Absolutely not. You know it's really hard being schizophrenic up here. Thessalonians 5, verse 9 "for God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our lord." The seven last plagues are described as the wrath of God. How can the church be here during the wrath of God when it says' God did not appoint us to wrath'? He loves his church too much to have them go through that tribulation. Revelation 3, verse 10 "because you've kept my commands to persevere, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test the earth.

" Well, pastor barney, you just quoted from the church of philadelphia - that's not the last church in the church age. And yes, he did keep them from the final hour of trial because that's reserved for the church of laodicea, which is the age of the church that we're living in right now. But according to acts 14:22 Paul says, 'confirming the souls of the disciples and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through tribulation" - actually he says through much tribulation - "enter the Kingdom of God." God doesn't save his people from tribulation, he saves us through tribulation. Did God save Noah from the flood or through it? Did God save the children of Israel from the seven last - or the ten plagues of Egypt or through them? And you realize that you've got seven last plagues at the end of time, which are the great tribulation - do we agree on that? Yes we agree that the seven last plagues do take place also during the time of the great tribulation. So, the children of Israel were in Egypt during those ten plagues - he protected them through that.

So the church is preserved - we don't need to worry about the plagues. That's the least of my concerns is the plagues. If I'm in the Lord, if I'm in Christ, I don't have to be afraid of that. God didn't save Joseph from tribulation, he saved him through tribulation. He didn't save job from tribulation, he saved him through tribulation.

How many of you have had some trials and tribulation in your life? How many of you can look back now and say, 'you know, the Lord did some refining and some purifying through those trials that he brought me through.'? It is through the fiery trials that God saves his people. Matter of fact, a lot of the world is going to be surprised because - you know, I think a lot of dear people like you pastor barney are going to be saved, but you're going to be shocked when you find out that the tribulation happens before the rapture. You think that the tribulation's happening after you've left town. And we're going to be here. Jesus tells us through Peter - 1 Peter 4:12 "beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial that is going to try you, as though some strange thing happened.

" A lot of people out there are going to go, 'what strange thing is this?' They weren't prepared. You know, as we start to wind up this subject, I've got a lot more I could say. Is there a danger of believing the secret rapture? Yeah. Jeremiah 8:20 - a lot of people are going to say, "the harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." Corinthians 6:2 "behold, now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation." With the secret rapture scenario, there are a lot of dear people out there that think after folks start disappearing they are really not looking forward to the tribulation, but in case this Christianity thing is not true, they're hedging their bets and they're saying, 'well, if my spouse disappears, if my pastor disappears, then I'd better really get ready, but at least I'll have seven more years to repent and come to Christ when those 144,000 jews are preaching and then I'll be saved at the literal glorious coming of Jesus at the end of that tribulation. The devil loves this theory because it teaches people they've got a second chance and, you know, whenever you're in doubt, do the safe thing.

Do the safe thing. If I believe like you and I'm wrong, I could miss the boat, but if you play it safe and you're ready for the tribulation, then at least you're prepared. You know, friends, it's happened to me more than once where I've gone to an airport and I've misread my ticket somehow - I remember one time driving to san francisco and Karen dropped me off - and I thought that my plane was taking off at 1:00. I missed a zero - it was 10:00. And I thought, I'm going to play it safe, I'll just get there early, so I got there at 11:00.

It's a real lonely feeling when you go to the gate and you finally walk up and say, 'where is everybody? Am I the only one on this plane?' And they look at your ticket and they say, 'your plane left.' Talk about being left behind. There are going to be a lot of people that are not ready when Jesus comes, but they don't have seven more years. They are going to say, 'the harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.' I think the best thing to do is to stick with what the Bible teaches. Jesus tells us there is a great time of trouble. 'He that endures unto the end, he will be saved.

' Endures what if we're not here for the tribulation? Immediately after those days, Christ said, there'll be a great tribulation. And so, we need to be prepared for that. God's people all over the world need to realize that there is a truth and there is a counterfeit for the truth. If you want to study these things friends, we hope that you'll take advantage of it. You know, we've provided a website.

It's very simply called Bibleuniverse.com. It's got Bible studies there where you can study the subject of the second coming of Jesus, some of the other things we've presented, and you'll find it's all from the Bible. We want to be ready when Christ comes, amen?

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