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559:  Apostasy and Deception are Key Signs of the End

559: Apostasy and Deception are Key Signs of the End

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Three Questions and One Long Answer

We find the Olivet Discourse recorded in three places in the New Testament: Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, and Luke 21.  The entire teaching is Jesus’ response to some questions asked by His disciples after they were admiring the beauty of the Temple.  But Jesus did not specify which answer corresponded to which question.  He just answered them all at once, in one long narrative.  Let’s look at a combined account of these questions.

(MT) Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple —(LK) how it was adorned with beautiful stones and donations.  (MK) One of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!” (MK) And Jesus answered and (MT) said to them,  “Do you not see all (MK) these great buildings?  (MT) Assuredly, I say to you, (LK) the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down.”

At this point, the disciples’ understanding of the future of Israel and their own lives was shattered.  Everything in their religious life was temple based.  And the thought of the temple being destroyed was beyond their comprehension.

So they came to Jesus privately for more information or a clearer explanation of what He just said.

(MT) Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives (MK) opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew (MT) came to Him privately, saying, (LK) “Teacher, (MT) tell us, when will these things be? (MK) What will be the sign when all these things (LK) are about to take place? (MT) And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

But even in this narrative, you can see Jesus laying the groundwork for the end times and revealing to us the Seven-Year Tribulation Period and the Second Coming of Christ.   But for us today, we are going to focus on two major characteristics of the end times, and these are deception and apostasy.   Jesus tells us to beware of deception and Paul speaks of the coming (and now here) great apostasy.  And both are telltale signs of the end times.


Jesus’ Blueprint for the End

First, look at what Jesus said about deception during His Olivet discourse.

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.  For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” – Matthew 24:3-4.

“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.  And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” – Matthew 24:11-12.

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.  For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  See, I have told you beforehand” – Matthew 24:23-25.

And then the Scriptures speak of a great apostasy, a falling away from the faith, that will happen at the beginning of the end, right before the revealing of the antichrist.  I believe we are witnessing that apostasy today.

Let no one deceive you by any means; (why) for that Day (the coming of the Lord) will not come unless the falling away (apostasía) comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 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.  Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? – 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4.

Now the Spirit expressly says that (when) in latter times (what) some will depart from the faith (apostasy), giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who (1) believe and (2) know the truth – 1 Timothy 4:1-3.

And one more…

But know this, that (when) in the last days (what) perilous times will come: (described as) For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having (what) a form of godliness but denying its power (dúnamis).  And from such people turn away! – 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

There is so much more we cover in this message.  So join us as we look for His soon return.

Leaving Laodicea | The Survival Manual for the Coming Underground Church

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558:  The Most Important Prophetic Scriptures

558: The Most Important Prophetic Scriptures

To download the slides for this message, click – HERE

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Scripture Divides Everything into Two Categories

When we look at Scripture, God has a tendency to make things simple for us and categorize everything into only two groups.  There is almost never a third option.  For example, you have light or darkness, evil or good, heaven or hell, the wide road or the narrow path, sin or righteousness, good fruit (tree) or bad fruit (tree), alive or dead, Spirit or flesh, blessings or curses, saved or lost, I think you get the point.  And Scripture treats prophecy the same way: the Future of Israel (God’s people) or the Future of the Gentile Nations (everyone else).

So when we look at prophetic Scriptures, we must understand which of the two groups the passages speak about.  For example, in Daniel 2, we see the vision of the great statue Nebuchadnezzar had that Daniel interpreted.  This is a picture of the future of the Gentile nations.  And later, in Daniel 7, we see four beasts and a little horn.  Again, this is about the Gentile nations.

But two chapters later, in Daniel 9:24-27, the focus shifts from the Gentile nations to the people of Israel.  And this prophecy is divided into several periods of time that are separated by thousands of years.  Daniel was not aware of the separation nor the time between the various periods.  This is known as a prophetic skip.

“Seventy weeks are determined for (who) your people (Israel) and for (what) your holy city (Jerusalem), to (1) finish the transgression, to (2) make an end of sins, to (3) make reconciliation for iniquity, to (4) bring in everlasting righteousness, to (5) seal up vision and prophecy, and to (6) anoint the Most Holy” – Daniel 9:24.

Plus, you have the Olivet discourse in Matthew 24 and 25, as well as the book of Revelation.  And don’t forget Ezekiel 36-39, which gives us a glimpse of the future of the United States.

These are some of the most important prophetic Scriptures in the Bible.


Twenty Key Predictive Prophecies

To show the importance of Daniel in prophetic history, let me share 20 Predictive Prophecies that are found in that one book.  These alone should give you another reason to dive into the book of Daniel.

•   The successive rule of four great world empires: Babylon, Medo Persia, Greece, and Rome (chapters 2 and 7)
•   The reuniting of the Roman Empire in the last days under the rule of ten kings or leaders (2:41 44; 7:24)
•   The appearance of the Messiah to rule 483 years after the decree is given to rebuild Jerusalem (9:25).  This prophecy was fulfilled to the day at the Triumphal Entry.
•   The violent death of the Messiah (9:26)
•   The destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 (9:26)
•   The rise of the Antichrist to power (7:8, 20; 8:23)
•   The beginning of the seventieth week: the Antichrist’s seven-year covenant with Israel (9:27)
•   The Antichrist’s breaking of the covenant at its midpoint (9:27)
•   The Antichrist’s claim that he is God (11:36)
•   The Antichrist’s persecution of God’s people (7:21)
•   The setting up of the abomination of desolation in the last days’ Temple by the Antichrist (9:27; 12:11)
•   The Northern / Southern invasion of Israel and the Antichrist (11:40-45; Ezekiel 38-39)
•   The Antichrist’s military conquest and consolidation of his empire (11:38-44)
•   The final doom of the Antichrist (7:11, 26; 9:27)
•   The second coming of Christ (2:44-45; 7:13)
•   The resurrection of the dead (12:2)
•   The rewarding of the righteous (12:3, 13)
•   The judgment of the wicked (7:9; 12:2)
•   The establishment of Christ’s Kingdom (2:44-45; 7:14, 22, 27)
•  A great increase in the knowledge of Bible prophecy in the last days (12:4)

And there is so much more to discover about the future.  So stay tuned.

Leaving Laodicea | The Survival Manual for the Coming Underground Church

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370:  When Our Saved Life Looks Like Our Lost Life

370: When Our Saved Life Looks Like Our Lost Life

When we look at the chilling words of Jesus that tell us “unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:20) we are perplexed.  And rightly so.  When we then see the requirement of becoming a “new creation” in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17) in order to possess the “righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees,” we are faced with even more questions.

Are you a new creation in Christ?
Has God changed you from the inside out?
Do you possess a righteousness that exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees?
If so, how do you know?
Can your friends and family tell?

And then one more:

Does this describe you?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law (Gal. 5:22-23).

Have you ever asked yourself these questions?  How did you answer?  What does it mean if your answers to these questions are, no?  To find out more, keep listening.

The following is a study on Matthew 5:20.

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368:  You Will By No Means Enter the Kingdom of Heaven

368: You Will By No Means Enter the Kingdom of Heaven

Some of the most chilling words of Jesus begin with a condition that seems impossible to meet. He begins this by saying:

“For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:20).

But what does this mean?  Who were the scribes and Pharisees and what was the characteristic of their righteousness?  What is the nature of the righteousness that must exceed their righteousness and how is that righteousness obtained?  And once it is obtained, how do we know?  How can we be sure? In what way does our righteousness have to exceed that of the scribes and the Pharisees?  And finally, what does Jesus mean when He says, “You will by no means enter the kingdom of Heaven”?

These are tough questions. Important questions. Eternal questions.

Do you want to know more? Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Matthew 5:20.

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367:  The Difference Between Receiving and Entering the Kingdom

367: The Difference Between Receiving and Entering the Kingdom

Jesus spent much of His Sermon on the Mount preaching about the Kingdom.  What’s the Kingdom like?  What are the unique realities that belong only to those in the Kingdom?  Are there promises to those who live in the Kingdom?  And, if so, what are they?  How does one receive the Kingdom and, more importantly, how does one enter into the Kingdom?

The key is found in Mark 10:15:  “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”

Did you catch that?  Receiving must precede entering when it comes to the Kingdom.  Do you want to know more?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Matthew 5:19.

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