Sunday, January 27, 2013

Antichrist and Matthew 24

The Lord told me to read from II John tonight. One of the verses that caught my eye was II John 1:7.

Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.
II John 1:7
I was curious about the word ‘antichrist so I went to the Strong’s Concordance and looked it up in the Greek.
#500  -  antichristos: antichrist, (one who opposes Christ)

So it means one that opposes Christ and according to the above mentioned verse it also means it’s someone who does not acknowledge Jesus Christ lived in a fleshly body.

I decided to see how many times the word ‘antichrist’ was used in the King James Bible and there were 3 more.

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
I John 4:1-3

Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
I John 2:18-23

I find it very interesting that in these verses it says ‘even now many antichrists have come’. That they knew they were antichrists because they left them and this showed they did not belong….because of this they were called antichrists’.

This is something I need to study because I always thought there was one ‘antichrist’ and he or she would come right before or during the Rapture.

But according to these passages there are ‘many’ and have already come. They also say that’s how they know it’s the last hour. So it’s been the ‘last hour’ for over 2,000 years.  (II Peter 3:8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.)

Then there’s  Matthew 24 ….. it’s interesting to see what some of the Greek words mean in this passage.

In this conversation it is hard to see what has already happened and what is yet to come but here’s one that has already happened.

1 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

This conversation took place in 30AD and the temple was destroyed in 70AD, that’s 40 years after this conversation. I wonder why so many ignore this has already happened?

Then we continue in the conversation –

3As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
4Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.

The first thing he says, after being questioned about the ‘end of the age’ is “watch out that no one deceives you.’ Now why would that be His first response? Maybe because He knew we could get too focused on something that will keep us from doing His will?
(Deceives is misled in the Greek - 4105 planáō – properly, go astray, get off-course; to deviate from the correct path (circuit, course), roaming into error, wandering; (passive) be misled.)

 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed.

He goes on to tell them ‘see to it that you are not alarmed’.
(Alarmed is troubled and in the Greek - 2360 throéō (from throos, "clamor, tumult") – properly, unsettled (thrown into confusion, WS, 953); (figuratively) troubled (disturbed), wanting to "cry aloud, to scream (passive) because terrified" (WP, 1, 189); thrown into an "emotional uproar," i.e. very upset (alarmed, startled).)

So to me, it looks like we go astray as we listen to ….wars, rumors of wars. It can cause us to get into an emotional uproar, to be alarmed and this will get our focus off of ‘going into the world and making Disciples’ We begin to focus on, the end is here, it’s coming soon and that’s all we talk about – which is good for Christians to do with each other but not at the cost of leaving behind what God wants us to do. People that are not saved do not understand nor care about the coming of Christ.

Anyway He goes on to say:

Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.(still future happening)
 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  (In the Greek Nation against nation - #1484 -  éthnos (from ethō, "forming a custom, culture") – properly, people joined by practicing similar customs or common culture; nation(s), usually referring to unbelieving Gentiles (non-Jews).
And Kingdom against kingdom - #932 -  (basileía) especially refers to the rule of Christ in believers' hearts – which is a rule that "one day will be universal on the physical earth in the Millennium" (G. Archer).
[The kingdom (932 /basileía) is constantly used in connection with the rule of Christ in the hearts of believers – which also extends in various stages.]

I found it very interesting that ‘kingdom’ is used in connection with the rule of Christ in the hearts of believers…..
Could this be the different denominations that fight against each other? How will God find faith when He returns if we still believe in a name – Baptist, Christian, Word of Faith, Methodist, Pentecostal, Catholic, etc. are the only ‘true’ religion, have it all right?

There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
(birth pains - 5604 (ōdín) suggests intense suffering (similar to birth pain) – hence, "to suffer greatly, great pain" (L & N, 1, 24.87) like "a birth-pang, travail-pain; figuratively, extreme suffering" (A-S).]
(He was talking to Disciples and they were persecuted and killed. So there were famines and earthquakes, the beginning of birth pains THEN they, the Disciples were handed over …)
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
(persecuted – tribulation - 2347 thlípsis – properly, pressure (what constricts or rubs together), used of a narrow place that "hems someone in"; tribulation, especially internal pressure that causes someone to feel confined (restricted, "without options").
2347 /thlípsis ("compression, tribulation") carries the challenge of coping with the internal pressure of a tribulation, especially when feeling there is "no way of escape" ("hemmed in").

10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 
11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.

A false prophet – (5578 pseudoprophḗtēs (from 5571 /pseudḗs, "false" and 4396 /prophḗtēs, "a prophet") – properly, a false prophet; someone pretending to speak the word of the Lord (prophesy) but in fact is phony (an imposter), acting as a wolf in sheep's clothing.
5578 /pseudoprophḗtēs ("a false prophet") specializes in "the art of misimpression," like about how they were "commissioned" by the Lord to touch the world with their message. But when in fact, they operate by self and for self so they must be exposed for what they are – and are not!

This is clearly why we need discernment, to know God’s Word and His voice so we don’t listen to a stranger, a false prophet.

 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. – So those of us that believe must be the ones who stand firm with a warm love to the end!  This is ongoing until Christ returns.

wickedness is lawlessness – (458 anomía (from 1 /A "not" and 3551 /nómos, "law") – properly, without law;
lawlessness; the utter disregard for God's law (His written and living Word).

Love – (26 agápē – properly, love which centers in moral preference)
Cold – (5594 psýxō (originally, "to breathe out," cf. J. Thayer) – properly, "to blow, refresh with cool air" (Zod, Dict); (figuratively) "to breathe cool by blowing, to grow cold, 'spiritual energy blighted or chilled by a malign or poisonous wind')

Stands firm (endured - Cognate: 5278 hypoménō – literally, remaining under (the load), bearing up (enduring); for the believer, this uniquely happens by God's power)
Saved – (4982 sṓzō (from sōs, "safe, rescued") – properly, deliver out of danger and into safety; used principally of God rescuing believers from the penalty and power of sin – and into His provisions (safety).)

 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Preached – (proclaimed - 2784 kērýssō – properly, to herald (proclaim); to preach (announce) a message publicly and with conviction (persuasion).
2784 /kērýssō ("to herald") refers to preaching the Gospel as the authoritative (binding) word of God, bringing eternal accountability to all who hear it.)
Good news – (the good news of the coming of the Messiah, the gospel; the gen. after it expresses sometimes the giver (God), sometimes the subject (the Messiah, etc.), sometimes the human transmitter (an apostle) - Cognate: 2098 euaggélion – the Gospel – literally, "God's good news." See 2097 (euangelizō). The Gospel (2098 /euaggélion) includes the entire Bible, i.e. it is not limited to how a person becomes a Christian.)
And End – (5056 télos (a neuter noun) – properly, consummation (the end-goal, purpose), such as closure with all its results.)

Now we’re back to things that have happened -

15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ (it was a Roman General that sat on the throne in the temple before he destroyed the temple then he became an emperor)— Siege of Jerusalem 70AD----- spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—(His advice to them) 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the roof (1430 dṓma (from demō, "to build a house") – the roof-area of a flat-roof house. Flat housetops were ideal on hot summer nights for sleeping and passing on information "from one housetop to another.")    of his house go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.

Now is his command to flee for then or future? --where does he stop with what already happened and where does he go back into future events? The thing to remember is He tells us to not be alarmed, don’t believe liars because everyone will know when He comes back –

21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 22 If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.

23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.
26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
29 “Immediately after the distress of those days
“‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
30 “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34 I tell you the truth, this generation (what generation? The one He is talking to now – the Disciples?) will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

It sound like ‘when you see all these things is referring to ‘the sun will be darkened, moon not give it’s light, stars fall from the sky and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

The Day and Hour Unknown

36 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man
40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. 42 “Therefore keep watch (1127 grēgoreúō – literally, "stay awake"; (figuratively) be vigilant (responsible, watchful)., because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready (2092 hétoimos (from heteos, "fitting") – ready because prepared; "standing by," ready to meet the opportunity (challenge) at hand; ready because the necessary preparations are done (or are sure to happen as needed).)  , because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 24

So in verse 45.... with the ‘faithful and wise servant’.
for me, the bottom line is…….

I know God will return one day and for us Christians that is nothing to fear. It is for us to prepare, for as a body of believers. Non-believers do not need to hear this, they need to hear about the forgiveness, grace, mercy and love of Christ. He came for the sick not the healthy.

So, I believe, we are to be doing the works Christ came to do and told us to do while we wait for His return.
We are to be a light - "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16

We need to truly become branches on the Vine – followers of Christ not of Baptist, Methodist, etc. We are one body and we need to be living in unity – encouraging, correcting, forgiving, and equipping each other to do the works God sends us to do.

We need to be in His word daily, in prayer and listening to Him so we know what He wants us to do, how He wants us to pray and give Him the glory.

I desire to be so full of the love of God that it overflows and is so bright people can’t miss it. I desire to give my testimony, my missing the mark and yet getting back up in the power and might of Jesus Christ to make the changes needed and to move forward again. I desire to give hope to people, the hope that can only come from God.
Christ’s return – sure, some day……but my desire and focus is to be doing my Father’s work so He will find faith on this earth.
The Bible is amazing and I’m beginning to understand why one must be in the Word daily!



  1. Very interesting. It's good that you went through Matthew 24 verse by verse to better understand it. I've read that chapter many times, and you have shed new light on it. I think the conclusion that you arrived continue to be a light to the world and to preach the Gospel to the correct one, and is pleasing to God.

    For as it states in this chapter, vs. 14 - "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."

    I don't think the whole world has yet heard the gospel of the kingdom. Certainly there are tribes of people in other countries that probably number in the millions who have no idea of who Jesus Christ is. And what about those hard-to-find people who live in the rain forests and in the jungles? They have probably never seen an outsider, let alone have someone tell them about Jesus in their own language.

    So I believe there is still much work to be done by Jesus' followers. In this age of the internet, you can find false prophets and just plain nutballs claiming the "End" is here. I listen to none of this nonsense, for the bible tells us not to. The bible alone has provided us with everything we need to know about the end times, and to worry or fret about it is a waste of time. Doing the Lord's will on the other hand, is a good use of our time and something God desires.

    Thanks for taking the time to write this insightful post.

    1. Thank your for leaving this encouraging comment. God is so good!