By Dr. Rick Chesher
People have asked and been curious about the end times forever. In fact, there have been great books and movies made about the end times, some of them have been great to read and watch. It is one of the great subjects to talk about, and it is one that both believer’s and unbeliever’s alike can discuss and they like to talk about it.
But as fun as it is to talk about there are many diverse ideas of what is going to take place and how it will come about. I like to go to Scripture and search it out, and I have found many discoveries there, that I would not have known otherwise. Some people do not like that method and other’s say that the Bible isn’t clear about it, but I think it is.
The passage I like to go to is Matthew 24. In this passage of Scripture Yahshua is sitting on the Mt. of Olives, and Yahshua’s disciples come to Him and ask Him about when the end times will come. It is interesting to me that even in the first century with the Son of God walking with Him they still were interested in the end times.
So Yahshua takes this question very seriously, and starts off His answer, “Watch out that no one deceives you, for many will come in My name.” Yahshua is talking to first century Jews who have been looking for their Messiah for a very long time. When we look at what Yahshua says here is that the end times will start with the appearance of Messiah. Now, their Messiah is sitting on Mt. of Olives talking to them, and that is the warming, there will be many false Messiah’s that will come bearing My name, so don’t be deceived.
The next thing Yahshua says is, “You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars.” At the time of this writing I am 62 years old, and there has not been to many days without wars, and we are hearing each day about the possibility of more wars to start. We are at war in the middle East as I write, and we are hearing the rumors of a war to start in North Korea.
Yahshua next tells His disciples not to be alarmed, and tells them that these things must take place, but finishes the sentence with, “but the end is not yet.” In other words, these wars and rumors of wars will not be what ushers in the end time. He continues that nations will rise up against nations, and Kingdoms against Kingdoms. The next thing is that there will be earthquakes in various place, and there will be famines that will take place, and these are just the beginning of the birth pains. In other words, the labor pain has just started she is feeling the very beginning of it all.
It is my understanding that just because a women has started into birth pains doesn’t mean that she is going to deliver right then, it could be some time before she delivers. In fact, I was told that my mother was in labor for 21 hours before she gave birth. This is amazing to me.
The next thing Yahshua says is that there will be great persecution that starts, and they will kill people for the faith, and Yahshua’s disciples will be hated by all nations because of His name. It seems to me that some of this has started as we look around the world today. Even in America, where we established this nation on Christian principles it is the believer’s that are under attack by others.
In Matthew 24:10, it says, “Then many will take offense, betray one another and hate one another.” Now if you will notice, this verse really doesn’t identify who the “many” are. But I think we can clear this up by looking are another passage that we will be looking at again later. Let’s go to 2 Thessalonians 2:3, in this verse Paul is telling the congregation at Thessalonica that there will be a great apostasy that will take place. This word apostasy in the GK means a falling away from truth. So, this apostasy would be believer’s who depart from the truth. So, in the passage in Matthew 24:10, the many that take offense would be those that depart from the truth.
Turn to John 6:66, now first of all I want you to briefly look at that this Scripture address, John 6:66, we see the 666 found in Revelation that is called the mark of the beast or the sign of man, and this passage deals with the falling away of disciples because they were offended over Yahshua’s teaching of the partaking of the body and blood of Yahshua. Look at John 6:61, “Yahshua knowing in Himself that His disciples were complaining about this, asked them. Does this offend you?” And we know that a least one of them betrayed Yahshua. So, back in Matthew 24:10, I believe, is what is being discussed. I believe we need to be very careful to watch for offenses that lead to a falling away.
Yahshua goes on to say that there will be many false prophets that will rise up and deceive many, and this has been happening for a long time. Oregon has had its share of false prophets that have risen up and led people astray. This is the reason we need to be very close to the Scripture and listening very carefully to the Holy Spirit.
He says that lawlessness will multiply. At one time, I just couldn’t imagine it getting any worse than it was, and now here we are today, I can not believe how far people have gone. It is as if they have no idea that there are any laws at all, much less Yahweh’s commands. If you look, it will be those that endure to the end that will be delivered.
In Matthew 24:14, Yahshua makes an important statement. The Gospel will be preached in “ALL” of the world as a testimony to all of the nation, then the end will come. What is being said here is that there will be no one that hasn’t heard the Good News and hasn’t had the opportunity to respond to the Truth. What an amazing and loving God we serve. He wants all to have been offered life from the dead.
Then He begins to explain and expound on the tribulation. Now, I believe, this next section is critical for our understanding of what is to come. Yahshua, being the Son of God and Messiah, gives credence to Daniels prophecy in Daniel 9:27. The reason I say this, is that I have heard people says that the New Testament is just commentary and written by men. But here we have the One who was present when everything was formed, in fact, nothing that was formed would have been formed without Him. And Yahshua says it is going to be as Daniel prophesied that means something.
In Daniel 9:27, Daniel gave a prophecy about the Abomination of Desolation, and says that he is going to make a covenant with the elders of Israel for one week. In Biblical terms that one week is for seven years, but its says that this Abomination of Desolation will break that covenant midweek, or in three and a half years. The way he will do that is by standing up in the Holy Place or where Yahweh would be and demand to be worshipped as God. Paul says the same thing is 2 Thessalonians 2:4. Paul says that the man of lawlessness, or the Abomination of Desolation sits in Yahweh’s sanctuary publicizing himself to be God. It says this in Mark 13:14 as well. Yahshua says that when this happens then we are to flee to the mountains and so forth. Yahshua also once again warns against false Messiah’s.
So, then Yahshua starts the truth of His return. He says that immediately after the tribulation. I believe that this seven years, period is broken into 2 parts, the tribulation or the first three and a half years, and the great tribulation which would be the second three and a half years. In Revelation 11:15-19 we find that the 7th or last trumpet is blown, and the Yahshua takes back the reign of the earth, and the 24 elders begins to praise Him for His reign again, the ark of His covenant is revealed from heaven. This also starts the judging of the enemies of Yahweh.
At this time, the appearance of the Son of Man will appear as lightening that will be seen by everyone and He will catch His people to Him. What an awesome sight and to be there will be glorious.