Studies in Matthew 24

The Great Tribulation

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pr. Stephen Bohr


Series Code: SMTF

Program Code: SMTF000009

00:35 Shall we bow our heads for prayer?
00:38 Father in heaven, what a joy
00:40 it is to be in Your presence.
00:43 How wonderful it is to have Your word.
00:47 We can't imagine what it would be like
00:49 to be in this world without any guidance
00:51 as to where things are going, where things are moving to.
00:56 We thank You that You've given us
00:58 the sure word of prophecy,
01:00 so that we can know where we are
01:02 and where we're going.
01:04 Father we ask that as we open Your word this afternoon,
01:08 that Your spirit will be with us.
01:10 Give us clear minds and receptive hearts.
01:14 And we thank You for hearing and answering our prayer,
01:17 for we ask it in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.
01:23 I'd like to begin in our study today
01:27 by reading the passage that we are going to take
01:30 a look at in the next hour that we will be together.
01:35 Matthew Chapter 24 and I want to read
01:39 all of the verses that we will be dealing with.
01:43 Matthew 24 and beginning with verse, actually 14.
01:52 "And this gospel of the kingdom
01:54 will be preached in all the world
01:55 as a witness to all the nations,
01:58 and then the end will come.
02:02 Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,'
02:05 spoken of by Daniel the prophet,
02:07 standing in the holy place"
02:09 whoever reads, let him understand,
02:12 let them who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
02:16 Let him who is on the housetop
02:18 not go down to take anything out of his house.
02:22 And let him who is in the field
02:24 not go back to get his clothes.
02:27 But woe to those who are pregnant
02:29 and to those who are nursing babies in those days!
02:33 And pray that your flight
02:35 may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.
02:39 For then there will be great tribulation,
02:42 such as has not been since the beginning of the world
02:46 until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
02:49 And unless those days were shortened,
02:52 no flesh would be saved,
02:54 but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened.
02:58 Then if anyone says to you,
03:00 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it.
03:03 For false christs and false prophets will rise
03:06 and show great signs and wonders to deceive,
03:09 if possible, even the elect.
03:12 See, I have told you beforehand.
03:15 Therefore if they say to you, 'Look, He is in the desert!'
03:20 do not go out, or 'Look,
03:22 He is in the inner rooms!' do not believe it.
03:26 For as the lightning comes from the east
03:28 and flashes to the west,
03:29 so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
03:33 For wherever the carcass is,
03:35 there the eagles will be gathered together.
03:38 Immediately after the tribulation of those days
03:41 the sun will be darkened,
03:43 and the moon will not give its light,
03:45 and the stars will fall from heaven,
03:47 and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
03:51 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven,
03:54 and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn,
03:56 and they will see the Son of Man
03:59 coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
04:02 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet,
04:06 and they will gather His elect from the four winds,
04:10 from one end of heaven to the other."
04:16 This is the long passage that we're gonna
04:18 take a look at in our study today.
04:20 There're many things that we need to cover
04:23 and we are going to try and do it
04:25 within the time constraints that we have which is one lecture.
04:29 We could actually dedicate many lectures
04:31 to each one of these topics that we've been studying.
04:35 But unfortunately when you're
04:36 producing programming for television
04:38 you have to stay within strict parameters of time.
04:44 Now the first thing that I would like us to notice
04:46 is the sequence of events that we find here
04:50 in Matthew Chapter 24.
04:53 And I want to compare the sequence
04:55 with the Book of Revelation.
04:57 The first thing that I want us to notice
04:59 is that verse 14 speaks about the preaching of the gospel.
05:05 Remember that, the preaching of the gospel.
05:07 Immediately after that verse,
05:09 in verse 15 we find the setting up
05:12 of the abomination of desolation
05:15 which we have interpreted by our study
05:18 as a National Sunday law.
05:22 We notice however that there is gonna be
05:24 a group of people at this time
05:26 who will be keeping God's Holy Sabbath.
05:29 And so you'll notice, we have the preaching of the gospel,
05:33 then we have the abomination of desolation
05:35 which separates two groups.
05:39 It separates those who leave the city
05:42 from those who stay within the city.
05:45 It separates those who keep the Sabbath,
05:47 who flee and those who stay in the city and are there
05:54 when the abomination of desolation is set up.
05:58 Then I want you to notice that immediately after this,
06:01 you have the great tribulation that we read about.
06:05 Then at the end of the tribulation,
06:08 you have signs in the heavens.
06:10 And then you have the coming of Jesus to pick up His people.
06:16 Now it's interesting to notice
06:17 that this very sequence of events
06:20 we find in the Book of Revelation.
06:21 And you say how is that?
06:24 Allow me to make the parallel.
06:27 speaks about
06:31 the preaching of the everlasting gospel
06:34 to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.
06:39 Interestingly enough after the Three Angels' messages
06:43 are proclaimed after the gospel
06:45 in this new context is presented to the world,
06:48 we find at the end of chapter 14 two groups.
06:53 There are those who are sealed with the seal of God
06:56 which is God's Holy Sabbath and we find those
07:00 who are marked with the mark of the beast.
07:03 This is parallel to what we found in Matthew Chapter 24.
07:08 Interestingly enough once God's people have been sealed
07:12 and once the followers of the beast
07:15 have been marked, then in Revelation 15
07:18 you have the close of probation
07:20 and beginning in chapter 16
07:22 you have the falling of the plagues upon the earth.
07:25 A terrible time of trouble and crisis on the planet
07:30 when the plagues are falling upon the earth.
07:34 Then interestingly enough, when you get to chapter 19
07:39 you see Jesus Christ seated on the white horse
07:43 and the angels of heaven are on white horses
07:46 following Jesus to come to this world to pick up His people.
07:52 Now a careful study reveals then
07:55 that the sequence of events of Matthew Chapter 24
07:58 is the same sequence of events of the Book of Revelation.
08:03 Only difference symbols are actually used.
08:06 Now notice Matthew 24 and verse 21.
08:14 It says there, "Then there shall be great tribulation,"
08:17 he said, "such as has not
08:20 since the beginning of the world to this time,
08:23 no, nor ever shall be."
08:26 Now before we study this verse
08:28 and the succeeding verses, there's something
08:30 very important that I need to explain.
08:33 And that is that the abomination of desolation,
08:39 the tribulation and the signs in the heavens
08:45 have two fulfillments or actually
08:50 they are fulfilled in two stages.
08:52 You're saying how is this? Well, let me explain it.
08:56 The Book of Revelation speaks about a beast.
09:00 And we're told that this beast rules 42 months.
09:04 But we're told that at the end of the 42 months
09:07 when this beast persecutes the saints of the Most High,
09:10 the beast receives a deadly wound.
09:12 And for a while the beast is out of commission,
09:16 it doesn't function.
09:17 But after a period, we're told
09:20 that his deadly wound is healed.
09:23 And the whole world marvels after the beast
09:26 and once again the beast persecutes.
09:31 So what I'm saying is that this beast power
09:33 has two stages of dominion.
09:36 It has a past stage during the 42 months
09:39 and it will have a future stage
09:42 when the deadly wound of this beast is healed.
09:48 The same could be said of Daniel 7:25.
09:51 It speaks about the little horn.
09:53 The little horn persecutes the saints of the Most High.
09:57 The little horn things, it can change God's law.
10:00 And we know that the Roman Catholic papacy
10:02 attempted to change the Sabbath.
10:04 Now when you get to the Book of Revelation,
10:07 you have a future fulfillment to what the little horn did.
10:10 Once again God's people will be persecuted,
10:14 and we find also that the mark of the beast
10:18 is going to be imposed in the end time
10:21 upon God's people on pain of death.
10:24 In other words the change in God's law
10:27 or the attempt to change in God's law
10:29 in Daniel 7:25 in the past during the 1260 years
10:35 represents the future period when the mark of the beast,
10:39 which is a change in the law,
10:42 which is the counterfeit day of worship
10:44 will be imposed upon people by force of law.
10:49 You know, we've been studying the seals in prayer meeting.
10:52 And it's interesting to notice that there are also
10:54 two stages of martyrs in the seven seals of Revelation.
10:58 You have the first four seals.
11:00 The first one represents the Apostolic Church.
11:03 The second seal represents the Persecuted Church
11:06 on to the Roman emperors.
11:08 The third church represents when darkness
11:10 entered the church in the days of Constantine.
11:12 The fourth church-- the fourth seal
11:15 represents the period when death came into the church,
11:19 the period of the Inquisition.
11:21 And then in the fifth seal which is equivalent
11:24 by the way to the fifth church as well.
11:28 In the fifth seal you have these martyrs crying out.
11:31 They are crying out and tell Lord--tell when Lord,
11:34 don't you judge and avenge our blood
11:37 on those who shed our blood upon the earth.
11:39 And this first group of martyrs that is crying out
11:42 is told to rest a little while until the rest of the martyrs
11:48 is complete which will be killed as they were killed.
11:51 Once again the fourth seal represents the period
11:56 when God's people were slain during the 1260 years.
12:00 But when the deadly wound is healed,
12:03 there is going to be another group of martyrs
12:05 before the close of probation
12:07 and then the number of the martyrs will be complete.
12:11 So what I want us to realize is that this period
12:15 of tribulation has two stages.
12:19 The first stage is during the 1260 years,
12:22 the second stage is in the future
12:24 after the deadly wound is healed.
12:27 The first stage are those martyrs
12:28 that were slain during the 1260 years.
12:31 The second stage is when God's people will be slain
12:34 if they do not receive the mark of the beast.
12:37 The first stage is where the beast rules for 42 months.
12:41 The second stage is where its deadly wound is healed
12:44 and it will persecute again.
12:47 So the abomination of desolation
12:49 has a past application and a future application.
12:52 The past application is when the little horn
12:54 thought he could change God's law.
12:56 The future application is when the same power
12:59 imposes the day of worship, the false day of worship
13:03 which is Sunday upon the world.
13:06 Not only does the abomination of desolation
13:08 have a twofold application, but the tribulation as well.
13:12 During the 42 months, this beast or this little horn
13:15 persecuted God's people.
13:16 In the future it is once again
13:18 going to persecute God's people.
13:20 In the past during the Middle Ages,
13:23 God's people had to flee.
13:24 In the end time,
13:25 God's people are going to have to flee.
13:28 In both cases we find signs in the heavens
13:32 that marked the end of the great tribulation.
13:35 You know, there were signs in the heaven we're going to notice
13:38 when the 1260 years were coming to an end.
13:42 But the Bible tells us that in connection
13:44 with the second coming of Jesus,
13:45 there will be great signs in the heavens
13:48 announcing the coming of Jesus,
13:51 signs in the sun, the moon and the stars.
13:54 Are you understating what I'm saying?
13:56 Now allow me to read you
13:57 a couple of very interesting statements
14:01 that we find in the Spirit of Prophecy
14:04 in the writings of the Ellen White,
14:05 where it shows that she understood,
14:08 she caught this idea of two stages
14:11 to the great tribulation.
14:13 The first is in Desire of Ages page 631.
14:17 This is the past stage, she says,
14:20 "For more than a thousand years
14:23 such persecution as the world had never before known
14:27 was to come upon Christ's followers.
14:31 Millions upon millions
14:33 of His faithful witnesses were to be slain.
14:37 Had not God's hand been stretched out
14:40 to preserve His people, all would have perished.
14:44 "But for the elect's sake," He said,
14:46 "those days shall be shortened."
14:50 So she is talking about the first stage.
14:51 By the way we can't refer to this
14:54 as two separate tribulations.
14:56 They are two tribulations, they are actually
14:59 two tribulations in one, because the future one
15:03 is a continuation of the past one
15:05 with a short interruption in between.
15:08 Are you understanding, what I'm saying?
15:09 During the time that the deadly wound is in force.
15:13 Now notice what she says
15:14 about the future application of this period of tribulation.
15:19 Review and Herald, November 22, 1892.
15:24 She says, "We are to realize that the judgments of God
15:28 are about to fall upon the earth,
15:31 and we should most earnestly present before the people
15:35 the warning that the Lord has commissioned us to give..."
15:39 And then notice the quotation.
15:41 "For then shall be great tribulation
15:44 such as was not since the beginning of the world
15:48 to this time, no, nor ever shall be."
15:51 Now some people say, but Pastor Bohr,
15:54 it says in Matthew Chapter 24
15:56 that this is such a terrible tribulation
15:58 that it has never been seen
16:00 and it never will be seen again.
16:02 So how can you say that this tribulation
16:05 during the 1260 years was the worst
16:08 and then say that the future tribulation
16:10 is also gonna be the worst?
16:12 The fact is that the persecution and the tribulation
16:16 during the Middle Ages
16:17 was the worst with regards to length.
16:21 Where as the tribulation at the end of time
16:24 is gonna be the worst with respect to intensity.
16:28 So there are two emphases in other words.
16:31 The tribulation during the Middle Ages was the longest,
16:34 it lasted over a 1000 years in length.
16:37 But the end time tribulation is going to be more intense
16:42 such as the world has never seen.
16:45 Now I want you to notice Matthew 24:22.
16:51 We just mentioned verse 21, let's read verse 22.
16:55 It says, "And unless those days were shortened,
16:59 no flesh would be" What?
17:01 "No flesh would be saved,
17:03 but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened."
17:11 Who are the elect?
17:13 You know, you read the books that have been written
17:15 on Bible prophecy today that you'll find in bookstores.
17:19 They'll tell you that the elect are the Jews.
17:23 They will remain on planet earth
17:25 after the church has been raptured to heaven.
17:29 But unfortunately or fortunately rather,
17:32 that explanation does not square with scripture.
17:37 Do you know for example that this word elect
17:39 is the same word that is translated
17:41 in the New Testament chosen?
17:45 In 1 Peter 2:9, Peter says, "You are a chosen generation."
17:53 It's interesting to notice also that in Romans Chapter 8,
17:57 it says that the elect are those that have been justified,
18:01 those that have been sanctified.
18:03 In other words, the elect are those who have received
18:06 Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
18:10 Now let me ask you.
18:12 Are God's elect going to go
18:16 through the end time tribulation?
18:18 Obviously, because it says here
18:21 that unless these days were shorted,
18:25 not one person would remain alive
18:27 but they're going to be shortened because of whom?
18:30 The elect, if the elect aren't going to go through this period,
18:33 why would God need to shorten these days?
18:37 You know, who wants us to think
18:38 that we're not going to go through the tribulation?
18:41 It's the devil, because the devil knows
18:44 that we're going to need a special faith
18:46 to get through the tribulation.
18:48 It's going to be a faith that needs to be strong
18:53 in the face of opposition, in the face of hunger,
18:56 in the face of loss of liberty,
18:58 in the face of even the risk of losing our lives,
19:02 the devil knows that.
19:04 And so the devil tells Christians, hey,
19:06 you're not going to be on planet earth during the tribulation.
19:09 You're going to be enjoying the glories of heaven
19:12 and the Jews on earth are the ones
19:14 that are going to go through the tribulation.
19:17 In fact, do you know that most of those
19:19 who expound upon Bible prophecy today,
19:22 say that Revelation 4 through Revelation Chapter 20
19:26 will be fulfilled after the church
19:28 has been raptured to heaven,
19:30 and it is going to take place with the Jews.
19:33 If that is the case, folks,
19:35 we might as well pack up our bags
19:38 and cease being Seventh-day Adventist,
19:40 because we say that the reason we exist
19:42 is to proclaim the Three Angels' Messages.
19:45 But if those messages are going to be proclaimed
19:47 after the church has been ruptured to heaven,
19:49 why bother to proclaim them,
19:51 if they apply to the Jews after the church is gone?
19:55 Are you understanding what I'm saying?
19:57 In other words this text makes it very clear
20:00 that God's people are going to go through the tribulation.
20:05 But God will protect them in the midst of the tribulation.
20:08 In fact like in the destruction of Jerusalem,
20:11 those who obeyed and fled and who were Sabbath keepers,
20:15 not one of them perished.
20:17 In the same way, those who go through
20:19 the tribulation, not one will perish.
20:23 By the way, is it possible to go through tribulation
20:25 and for God to protect you in the midst of tribulation?
20:28 Of course. Wasn't Israel and Egypt during the plagues?
20:31 Of course they were.
20:33 Didn't the three young men go through the fiery furnace
20:35 and they were protected?
20:37 Sure. How about Daniel in the lion's den?
20:39 Was he protected by the power of God?
20:41 So why can't God protect His people
20:43 that are going through tribulation?
20:45 He can do it, in fact He's going to do it.
20:47 And He's going to shortened those days
20:49 because if He didn't
20:51 there would be absolutely no flesh left alive.
20:56 Now allow me to read you a very interesting statement
20:59 that we find in Great Controversy page 631,
21:03 where Ellen White draws upon
21:05 much of the language of Matthew Chapter 24.
21:08 You know it says there that-- that when the--
21:12 you know when you see the abomination of desolation
21:14 you should flee to the mountains
21:15 and vow to those who were with child in those days
21:18 and pray that your flight not be on the Sabbath and so on.
21:21 Notice Ellen White's comment on this in the chapter
21:24 on the time of trouble in the Great Controversy.
21:26 She says, "Yet for the elect's sake
21:31 the time of trouble will be shortened..."
21:33 So we know what she's referring to.
21:36 She says, "The heavenly sentinels,
21:38 faithful to their trust, continue their watch.
21:42 Though a general decree has fixed the time
21:46 when commandment keepers may be put to death,
21:49 their enemies will in some cases anticipate the decree,
21:53 and before the time specified,
21:56 will endeavor to take their lives.
21:59 But none can pass the mighty guardians
22:02 stationed about every faithful soul.
22:06 Some" notice this "Some are assailed
22:10 in their flight from the cities and villages."
22:13 Does Matthew Chapter 24, speak about God's people
22:16 fleeing from the city into the country?
22:19 Absolutely. "Some are assailed in their flight
22:22 from the cities and villages, but the swords raised
22:26 against them break and fall powerless as straw.
22:31 Others are defended by angels in the form of men of war."
22:38 So are we supposed to fear the tribulation?
22:40 Are we supposed to shake in our shoes because oh,
22:43 we're going to go through this terrible tribulation?
22:45 No, because God says,
22:48 though you walk in the shadow of the valley of death
22:51 you shall fear what? No evil.
22:54 A 1000 will fall to one side, 10,000 to the other side,
22:58 but no plague will come and touch your dwelling.
23:02 In other words, God's people will go through the tribulation.
23:05 God will shorten that period,
23:07 but God's people will be protected by mighty angels
23:12 who will not allow the wicked to touch His people.
23:16 And then in Matthew 24, we have the counterfeit
23:21 second coming of Jesus.
23:23 Go with me to Matthew Chapter 24 and let's read verse 23.
23:29 Matthew 24:23, then by the word--
23:33 the word then indicates that this is taking place
23:36 after the close of probation.
23:37 Do you see the sequence?
23:39 Preaching of the gospel, abomination of desolation,
23:42 the two groups are divided,
23:44 the great tribulation, and then it says,
23:46 then comes this falsification of the second coming.
23:51 So the counterfeiting of the second coming
23:53 is going to take place after the close of probation.
23:55 And people always ask, they say, Pastor Bohr,
23:58 if the tribulation is after probation closes
24:02 and the devil counterfeits the second coming of Jesus
24:05 after the close of probations, why would He do it?
24:08 All of God's people are saved
24:10 and all of the wicked are already lost.
24:13 So the devil knows that if he counterfeits the second coming,
24:16 he's not going to be able to fool God's people.
24:18 Well, the fact is, folks, that the devil is the devil.
24:21 He knows that God says,
24:23 that God's people will not be deceived.
24:26 But ever since he sinned, he harbors this thought
24:30 that perhaps once, some moment,
24:33 I can counteract what God says in His word.
24:36 By the way the same thing is going to happen
24:38 after the millennium.
24:39 Does the devil know that
24:41 it's written in Revelation Chapter 20,
24:42 that he's going to prepare to attack the city?
24:44 That the wicked are going to turn against him
24:46 before they go against the city?
24:48 The devil knows all of that.
24:49 So why waste this time,
24:52 gathering the wicked around the city to attack the city?
24:55 Because the devil is the devil.
24:57 Because the devil's never gonna give up without a fight.
25:01 He thinks that at some point,
25:02 he can counteract the word of God.
25:05 He says, maybe this one time, I can go against God's word
25:08 and I can prevail, although by his track record
25:13 it becomes very clear that he's not going to be able to do it.
25:17 Now notice here, then if anyone says to you,
25:22 look, here is the Christ or there, do not what?
25:26 Do not believe it.
25:30 Now you'll notice that this is a general statement
25:33 then if anyone says to you,
25:35 look here is the Christ or there, do not believe it.
25:38 Let's go to Matthew 24:24, the very next verse.
25:43 "For false christs and false prophets will rise"
25:46 Notice Christ in plural did you catch that?
25:49 False Christ in plural and false prophets will rise
25:53 and what will they do?
25:55 "They will show great signs and wonders to deceive,
25:58 if possible," Whom? "The elect."
26:01 Who is the target of the devil? The elect.
26:03 By the way is the group of the elect
26:05 already clearly defined at this point?
26:08 Obviously, yes. Has the sealing taken place?
26:11 Those who have fled, are they Sabbath keepers
26:14 according to Matthew Chapter 24 and the Book of Revelation?
26:17 Absolutely. Are God's people fleeing
26:20 because their lives are in danger? Yes.
26:22 Will they be protected by God? Certainly.
26:25 What is the devil gonna do as a last resort?
26:28 He's going to counterfeit the second coming of Jesus.
26:31 Notice what he continue saying.
26:33 For false christs and false prophets will rise
26:35 and show great signs and wonders to deceive,
26:37 if possible, even the elect.
26:39 And now I want you notice from false christs,
26:42 plural, suddenly the false christs becomes an individual.
26:48 Notice what we find in verse 26.
26:52 "Therefore if they say to you," What?
26:56 "Look, he" Singular.
27:01 There's gonna be false Christ
27:02 but this is the counterfeiting of Christ
27:05 coming by one individual.
27:08 It says, "Therefore if they say to you,
27:10 'Look, He is in the desert!'
27:12 do not go out, or 'Look, He is in the inner rooms!'
27:16 do not believe it."
27:18 In other words verse 26 makes it very clear
27:21 that there will be one particular individual
27:24 who will claim to be Christ
27:27 with the intention of deceiving God's elect.
27:31 Now it's interesting to find in scripture
27:35 that this counterfeit second coming
27:38 is not going to deceive God's people
27:40 and it's not going to deceive God's people,
27:42 because the Bible makes it very, very clear in multiple places
27:46 that when Jesus returns the second time,
27:48 He's not going to touch this earth.
27:51 Allow me to share quickly some of those verses with you.
27:55 Notice 1 Thessalonians 4:17, I'm not going to read them,
27:58 probably you know these verses.
28:01 It says, the Lord Himself will descend
28:02 from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel,
28:04 with the trumpet of God,
28:06 the dead in Christ will rise first,
28:07 then we who are alive and remain shall be what?
28:10 Shall be caught up together with Him in the clouds
28:13 to meet the Lord, where?
28:15 To meet the Lord in the air.
28:16 If you're going to meet him in the air,
28:18 He did not come all the way down.
28:20 Matthew 24:30 says that Jesus
28:23 will send His angels to gather His elect.
28:28 Notice that He is in the air
28:29 and He's sending His angels to gather His elect.
28:34 In 2 Thessalonians 2:1, the Apostle Paul speaking
28:38 about the second coming
28:39 and He speaks about our gathering to Him,
28:42 not His gathering to us, but our gathering to Him.
28:47 And of course, you know, John 14:3, where Jesus said,
28:50 "In my Father's house are many mansions,
28:53 if it were not so, I would have told you.
28:55 I go to prepare a place for you.
28:57 And if I go to prepare a place for you,
28:59 I will come again, and stay with you forever."
29:03 That's not what He says, I will come again and what?
29:07 And receive you to myself
29:09 that where I am there you maybe also.
29:12 Jesus promised Peter, He says,
29:14 "Where I'm going you can't follow me now
29:16 but you'll follow me later.
29:18 "He says, I'm going to my Father's house."
29:21 So is Jesus promising His people
29:24 that He's gonna take them to heaven? Yes.
29:27 By the way, do you know why the Protestant churches
29:30 invented the theory of the rapture?
29:35 You see, Jesus made two promises.
29:38 He promised first of all that He was gonna take His people
29:40 to His Father's house, that's heaven.
29:43 But He made another promise
29:45 that the meek shall inherit the earth.
29:47 So Jesus had to fulfill two promises.
29:50 He had to fulfill first of all the promise
29:52 to take His people to heaven
29:53 and secondly the promise to give them
29:56 the earth as the inheritance.
29:58 So those who teach a rapture they say,
29:59 now how could Jesus fulfill both of those promises.
30:03 Well, the only way is, if Jesus comes back
30:06 seven years before His glorious coming
30:09 and He takes His people to heaven for seven years,
30:11 the church to heaven for seven years,
30:13 that fulfills promise number one.
30:15 And then seven years later, He comes in His glorious coming,
30:18 He sets up His kingdom here
30:20 and there He fulfills His second promise.
30:23 But as Adventist we believe that both of those promises
30:26 can be fulfilled in a different way.
30:28 We believe that there's only one second coming of Jesus,
30:31 His glorious coming on the clouds of heaven.
30:33 At that time Jesus will fulfill His first promise
30:37 by taking His people to heaven for a 1000 years.
30:41 And then after the 1000 years,
30:43 He will come back and then the meek will inherit the earth.
30:46 In another words, it is not necessary
30:48 to have a pre-tribulation rapture for Jesus
30:51 to fulfill both of those promises.
30:54 The key is, that the millennium
30:57 will be the period of God's people where
30:59 the period of God's people in heaven.
31:03 By the way did you know that according to 2 Thessalonians 2,
31:08 there is going to be a counterfeiting
31:10 of the second coming of Jesus?
31:12 You know, one of the words that is used to describe
31:14 the second coming is the word parousia
31:19 that's translated coming.
31:22 Do you know that in 2 Thessalonians 2:2 and 3,
31:29 it speaks about the fact that Jesus will not come parousia
31:34 until the man of sin is revealed,
31:36 the son of perdition who sits in the temple of God.
31:40 In other words Jesus will not come,
31:42 His parousia will not take place.
31:44 But later on in the chapter you find the antichrist,
31:50 who according to 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2 also has a parousia,
31:55 the word is used for him also.
31:57 It says, whose coming, it with signs and wonders
32:02 and all kind of lying miracles.
32:05 In other words, before Jesus comes,
32:08 there is going to be a false parousia
32:11 or a false coming of Satan,
32:15 counterfeiting the second coming of Jesus.
32:18 By the way, do you know that most of the Christian world
32:20 is going to receive Satan as Christ?
32:25 Do you know why?
32:26 Because they're expecting when Jesus comes gloriously
32:29 they're expecting--expecting Him to set up His kingdom here.
32:33 So when Satan walks upon the earth
32:35 and he does miracles
32:37 and he speaks some of the beautiful words
32:39 that Jesus spoke, they're gonna say,
32:41 oh, this is the Christ,
32:42 because they're expecting Christ to come to the earth.
32:45 But God's people will not be deceived,
32:47 because we know that when Jesus comes,
32:49 He is not coming all the way to the earth.
32:51 So is it important for us to know
32:53 where we're going to spend the millennium?
32:55 Of course it's vitally important.
32:57 Is it important for us to realize
33:00 that there's not going to be a pre-tribulation rapture?
33:03 It's a matter of life and death.
33:05 Now allow me to read you, Ellen White's vivid description
33:08 of the counterfeit second coming of Jesus by Satan.
33:13 This is found in the book the Great Controversy,
33:16 pages let me see if I can find it here page 625,
33:22 "As the crowning act in the great drama of deception,
33:26 Satan himself will personate Christ."
33:32 In other words, he'll present himself as Christ.
33:36 "The church has long professed to look to the Savior's advent
33:40 as the consummation of her hopes.
33:42 Now the great deceiver will make it appear
33:45 that Christ has come.
33:47 In different parts of the earth,
33:49 Satan will manifest himself among men
33:52 as a majestic being of dazzling brightness."
33:55 By the way she's commenting on 2 Thessalonians 2.
33:59 She says, "Satan will manifest himself among men
34:02 as a majestic being of dazzling brightness,
34:04 resembling the description of the Son of God
34:06 given by John in Revelation."
34:09 Listen to this, "The glory that surrounds him
34:13 is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld.
34:19 The shout of triumph rings out upon the air.
34:22 "Christ has come! Christ has come!"
34:25 The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him,
34:29 while he lifts up his hands
34:31 and pronounces a blessing upon them,
34:33 as Christ blessed His disciples when He was upon the earth.
34:38 His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody."
34:44 See the devil can talk full of melody too.
34:48 "In gentle, compassionate tones
34:52 he presents some of the same gracious,
34:55 heavenly truths which the Savior uttered."
34:58 Is he gonna speak truth? He most certainly is.
35:01 Some of them, he heals the diseases of the people.
35:06 By the way 2 Thessalonians 2 says,
35:08 that this antichrist will perform signs
35:12 and wonders and miracles.
35:16 She continues saying, "He heals the diseases of the people,
35:19 and then, in his assumed character of Christ,
35:24 he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday,
35:28 and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed.
35:33 He declares that those who persist
35:34 in keeping holy the seventh day
35:36 are blaspheming his name by refusing to listen to his angels
35:41 sent to them with light and truth.
35:44 And then she says this.
35:46 "This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion."
35:53 Almost overmastering delusion.
35:55 By the way that expression,
35:58 God will send them strong delusion comes from where,
36:01 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2.
36:03 We need to study that chapter because it describes
36:06 how the devil is going to counterfeit
36:08 the second coming of Jesus?
36:10 Now how are God's people going to be protected
36:13 from this almost overmastering delusion?
36:17 Allow me to continue reading the statement
36:20 and I'll give you the answer
36:21 and then I'll read the rest of the statement.
36:23 Two things, number one,
36:26 Satan will not be allowed to counterfeit
36:29 the manner of Christ's coming,
36:32 the way in which He comes, according to the Bible.
36:35 And secondly, the content of his teachings will unmask him,
36:43 the manner of his coming and the content of his teachings.
36:46 Now look for this in the last part of this statement.
36:49 She says, "But the people of God will not be misled."
36:54 The teachings, notice this.
36:56 "The teachings of this false Christ
36:58 are not in accordance with the Scriptures.
37:02 His blessing is pronounced upon the worshipers of the beast
37:07 and his image, the very class
37:09 upon whom the Bible declares
37:11 that God's unmingled wrath shall be poured out.
37:15 In other words, he blesses those upon whom--
37:18 upon whom the wrath of God is going to be poured out.
37:22 Then she says, "And, furthermore,
37:25 Satan is not permitted to counterfeit
37:28 the manner of Christ's advent.
37:32 The Savior has warned His people
37:34 against deception upon this point,
37:36 and has clearly foretold the manner of His second coming.
37:40 'There shall arise false Christ, and false prophets,
37:43 and shall show great signs and wonders,
37:45 insomuch that, if it were possible,
37:47 they shall deceive the very elect.
37:50 Wherefore if they shall say unto you,
37:53 Behold, He is in the desert."
37:54 Notice what she's quoting here
37:56 as she's spoken about this counterfeit second coming.
38:00 Here's it's again, "The Savior has warned His people
38:03 against deception upon this point,
38:05 and has clearly foretold the manner of His second coming.
38:08 'There shall arise false christs, and false prophets,
38:11 and shall show great signs and wonders,
38:13 insomuch that, if it were possible,
38:15 they shall deceive the very elect.
38:17 Wherefore if they shall say unto you,
38:19 Behold, He is in the desert, go not forth,
38:22 behold, He is in the secret chambers, believe it not.
38:25 For as the lightning cometh out of the east,
38:28 and shineth even unto the west,
38:30 so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38:35 And then she concludes by saying this.
38:37 "This coming there is no possibility of counterfeiting.
38:43 It will be universally known-- witnessed by the whole world."
38:50 So what are the two ways in which God's people
38:52 are gonna protect themselves
38:54 from this almost overmastering delusion.
38:57 Number one,
38:59 because of the content of the teachings of this false Christ.
39:04 He's gonna teach that Sunday is the day of rest,
39:06 when the Bible says that it's the Sabbath.
39:10 And secondly, he's gonna be walking
39:12 upon the earth as a glorious beam.
39:15 He is not gonna be able to counterfeit the coming of Jesus
39:17 on the clouds to planet earth in power and great glory.
39:21 But folks, we say, oh, this will be easy piece of cake,
39:26 don't you think so.
39:27 The devil can counterfeit things perfectly,
39:31 believe it or not, the voice of Jesus.
39:33 He's heard the voice of Jesus many times.
39:36 He heard it in heaven,
39:37 he heard it while Jesus was on earth.
39:39 He is able to counterfeit the description of Jesus
39:43 of the second coming in scripture.
39:45 And if we go by our eyes, and by our ears,
39:48 and by our feelings, and emotions,
39:50 and experiences, we will be deceived in an instant.
39:54 We must check everything by what the word of God says.
39:59 And then I want you to notice Matthew 24:28,
40:03 this is a very interesting verse.
40:04 You remember the eagles,
40:06 that were the sign of the destruction, the abomination
40:09 that was going to lead to desolation and destruction.
40:11 Notice Matthew 24:28 "For wherever the carcass is,
40:16 there the what, there the eagles will be gathered together."
40:22 And we've already studied about the eagle,
40:24 the eagle of ancient Rome,
40:27 the eagle which was adopted
40:29 by the United States of America as a symbol.
40:32 The golden wreath around the eagle
40:34 representing the sun god Mithra,
40:36 and what we find on the great seal of the United States,
40:40 the eagle with its face turned towards the right,
40:45 arrows in its talons and a sunburst above its head.
40:50 By the way, during the Middle Ages,
40:52 you also see this great abomination of the sun God.
40:56 You know, you look in Roman Catholic cathedrals,
41:00 you look for example in St. Peter's Basilica
41:02 or in the Vatican Museum.
41:05 It is incredible, the number of illustrations,
41:10 the number of pictures,
41:12 the number of artifacts that contain sunbursts.
41:17 Once when you enter St. Peters Basilica
41:19 the first thing that catch-- at least the first thing
41:21 that caught my eye is that huge sunburst
41:25 at the front of St. Peter's Basilica.
41:28 In other words the sun is everywhere
41:31 and of course the Roman Catholic Church claims
41:34 that they have changed the day of worship
41:35 from God's Sabbath to the day of the sun.
41:39 Protestants have adopted this.
41:42 And Bible prophecy says that, believe or not
41:44 in the United States of America
41:46 this nation represented by the eagle,
41:49 that day of the sun will be enforced
41:52 and those who do not receive this
41:56 will not be able to buy or sell
41:58 and eventually a death decree will be uttered against them.
42:02 And probably some of those
42:04 who are watching are saying Pastor Bohr,
42:05 this is preposterous,
42:07 it could never happen in these United States.
42:09 Well, we've studied that once before it almost happened.
42:14 And we also had wonderful lecture
42:16 where I read quotations about what the religious right
42:19 in the United States is saying
42:22 about the union between Protestants and Catholics,
42:25 about the separation of church and state,
42:28 about the importance of Sunday for them as a day of rest.
42:32 We've noticed not only that this is possible,
42:35 but it's happening before our eyes.
42:37 And once before in the 1880s
42:39 it took place in the United States,
42:42 there was a Sunday law that was proposed
42:44 that was almost passed.
42:46 And so before we say that
42:47 this is a preposterous interpretation,
42:50 perhaps we should go back to scripture
42:52 and study scripture more carefully.
42:54 Now let's read verses 29 to 31 of Matthew 24,
43:00 it says there in verse 29,
43:02 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days."
43:06 Remember that I've said that,
43:08 the signs in the heavens have how many fulfillments?
43:12 They have a preliminary fulfillment
43:14 when the first period of tribulation is coming to an end.
43:17 And they will have another greater fulfillment
43:19 on a worldwide scale announcing the second coming of Jesus
43:24 at the end of the second stage of the tribulation.
43:27 Now let's read this passage,
43:28 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days
43:31 the sun will be darkened,
43:33 and the moon will not give its light,
43:35 the stars will fall from heaven,
43:37 and the powers of the heavens will be shaken."
43:42 These are signs that announced that Jesus is about to come,
43:46 signs in the sun, in the moon and in the stars.
43:51 And then notice verse 30
43:52 "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven,
43:56 and that all the tribes of the earth will mourn,
43:58 and they will see the Son of Man
44:00 coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
44:04 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet,
44:08 and they will gather together His elect from the four winds,
44:11 from one end of the earth even on to the other."
44:15 I want to underline folks, that the papacy has two stages.
44:20 Therefore the tribulation through which God's people
44:24 go has two stages.
44:27 The signs in the heavens also have two stages
44:31 indicating that the tribulation is coming to an end
44:34 and the coming of Jesus is near.
44:38 Now as Adventist we've always said that
44:41 there were signs that took place towards the end
44:44 of the 1260 years which fulfilled Bible prophecy.
44:49 We have for example the Great Lisbon Earthquake in 1755.
44:54 We have also the Dark Day in 1780.
44:58 Actually, the day got dark and that night
45:01 the moon look like it was what? Blood.
45:05 And then in 1833,
45:07 we have the falling of the stars from heaven.
45:10 Now interestingly enough,
45:11 if you look at the order of the signs
45:14 as they're given in Revelation 6:12-13,
45:17 you'll notice that there the signs are
45:19 in the identical order as when they took place chronologically
45:23 at the end of the first period of the tribulation.
45:28 You have first of all, a great earthquake.
45:31 It says there in Revelation 6:12.
45:34 Then it says that the sun would not give its light,
45:38 then it says that the moon would be turned
45:41 into blood or would look like blood,
45:44 and the stars would fall from heaven.
45:46 That is the exact chronological sequence
45:49 of what happened in 1755, 1780, and 1833,
45:55 exactly chronologically the way we find it in scripture.
46:00 So were there signs in the sun, the moon,
46:03 and the stars marking the end of the period of tribulation?
46:07 Absolutely, but let me ask you,
46:09 when God's people are being persecuted
46:12 in the end time tribulation, when this beast system,
46:17 when this little horn resurrects to power again,
46:20 are there going to be signs in the heavens
46:22 that announce the second coming of Jesus
46:25 in power and glory and the end
46:28 of the captivity of God's people. Absolutely.
46:32 Now, you'll notice that in Revelation 6:12-13,
46:39 it says, "That the moon would be turned
46:42 into blood and the stars would fall from heaven."
46:46 But you'll notice it in Matthew 24,
46:49 we're told that "The sun would not give its light."
46:54 It says, "That the moon would got not give its light
46:58 and the stars of heaven would not give their light."
47:01 In other words, they would be darkened.
47:03 The signs are a little bit different.
47:05 The signs of Revelation 6:12-13 are the preliminary signs.
47:11 The darkening of the sun, the great earthquake,
47:14 the moon looking like blood,
47:16 and the falling of the stars from heaven.
47:18 In Matthew 24, the emphasis is upon the end time signs
47:22 because they're a little bit different.
47:24 There is the darkening of the sun,
47:26 there is the darkening of the moon,
47:28 and there is also the stars not giving their light.
47:32 The stars, in other words, disappearing from the firmament,
47:35 disappearing from the sky.
47:38 It says there in Matthew 24,
47:40 that the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
47:44 What are the powers of the heavens?
47:47 The powers of the heavens--
47:50 What did God create to rule the day?
47:53 See, the rule is the word that's used in Genesis 1:16.
47:56 The sun rules the day. What rules the night?
48:00 The night is ruled by the moon.
48:02 So the powers of heaven that that are moved
48:06 or that don't give their light are what?
48:09 The sun, the moon, and the stars.
48:13 Interestingly enough, Ellen White explains that
48:15 in Early Writings, page 41,
48:18 that when God utters His voice, delivering His people.
48:22 When he says, "It is done. The tribulation is finished."
48:27 She says there that it-- that God's voice is so powerful,
48:30 you know, the voice of Enrico Caruso
48:32 could break glasses.
48:35 And we says, "Wow! What a voice?"
48:38 That the vibrations could actually breaks glasses.
48:42 Well, I'll tell you, folks.
48:44 The voice of God is gonna be so powerful
48:46 according to Early Writings, page 41,
48:49 she says, "The sun, the moon,
48:51 and the stars will be moved out of their places."
48:56 That's the reason why during the millennium
48:58 the planet is in darkness, because the sun has been
49:02 moved out of its place.
49:04 The moon has been moved out of its place.
49:07 The stars no longer shine upon planet earth,
49:11 because at the voice of God,
49:12 when God's people are delivered
49:14 at the end of the second stage of the tribulation.
49:17 The voice of God is so powerful that the powers
49:20 of the heavens are moved out of their places.
49:24 And that's the reason why when God makes a new heavens
49:26 and a new earth, He is going to once again place the sun,
49:31 the moon, and the stars in a place
49:35 where they will benefit planet earth.
49:38 Finally, I would like to deal with one point
49:41 before we draw this to an end.
49:44 It says "That the sign of the Son of man
49:47 will be seen in heaven."
49:50 And He will send His angels,
49:53 and His angels will go to the four winds
49:56 and they will gather His elect from the four winds."
50:00 Not only those who are alive and remain,
50:03 but those who died in Christ will be raised up.
50:07 The angels will be sent to gather God's people.
50:11 Those who died in Christ and those who are
50:13 alive and remain will be gathered together
50:16 by the holy angels to be taken up to meet
50:19 the Lord Jesus in the air.
50:21 Now allow me to talk about that sign of the second coming.
50:25 You know, what the sign is? I'll just be very brief.
50:28 All we have to do is go back to the story of Elijah.
50:31 You know, after Elijah went through his experience
50:34 with the three fold union, you know,
50:36 with Ahab and Jezebel and the false prophets of Baal.
50:39 By the way, that whole story symbolizes
50:41 what's gonna be happen in the end time.
50:44 After Elijah went through this experience,
50:45 that was a death decree given against him.
50:47 He fled to the wilderness.
50:49 He went through a period of tribulation.
50:50 God fed him while he was in the wilderness and so on.
50:53 Immediately after that, the Bible says
50:56 that he saw in heaven, a little what?
51:01 A little cloud.
51:04 He goes and looks, actually he goes and looks six times.
51:08 When he goes and he looks the seventh time,
51:12 he sees a little cloud about the size of a man's fist.
51:17 Do you know what that was?
51:20 That was the chariot that was coming from heaven
51:26 to pick up Elijah.
51:30 Interesting. The story is told in 2nd Kings 2.
51:36 You know, Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan River.
51:40 Elijah had seen the sign.
51:41 It was the sign that announced
51:43 that the chariot was coming and he was gonna be picked up
51:46 by the Lord to be taken to heaven to glory.
51:50 And then of course, we know what happened
51:51 when they crossed the Jordan.
51:53 The Bible says there in--in 2nd Kings 2,
51:58 that a glorious chariot descended from heaven.
52:00 Do you know what the chariot of God is?
52:02 The Bible says that,
52:04 "The chariots of God are His glorious angels."
52:09 And so the glorious angels who--who drive this chariot,
52:13 they're the wheels that drive the chariot,
52:16 according to Ezekiel 1 will come.
52:20 They will pick up God's elect and put them in the chariot
52:24 and then they will take it--
52:25 be taken to Christ's heavenly kingdom to dwell with Him
52:29 for a period of a 1,000 years.
52:31 By the way, this is the scene that inspired
52:35 that famous Negro spiritual,
52:38 "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. Comin' for to what?
52:45 Comin' for to carry me home."
52:47 You know, that song was composed
52:49 in the midst of great tribulation
52:51 and great persecution by the African-Americans
52:54 in United States, when they were going through
52:56 a period of terrible slavery, these songs were composed,
53:00 that were the song of their experience and their--
53:03 their desire, their intense desire
53:06 for the suffering to come to an end and for Jesus
53:09 to return for the chariot to come to take His people home.
53:15 Well, the time is coming when God's people
53:17 are going to be enslaved upon planet earth.
53:21 Once again, jailed, forbidden from buying and selling,
53:26 under the sentence of death.
53:28 And then God's people will be able probably to compose songs
53:33 during that period or perhaps even sing this song,
53:37 because now it will be the song
53:38 of the experience of all of God's people.
53:41 "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. Comin' for to carry me home."
53:47 This is the glorious hope of the church, folks.
53:50 This is the reason for our existence.
53:53 Unfortunately, we have been distracted from our hope.
53:57 We have been distracted from our roots.
54:00 We have been distracted from our message.
54:02 We have been distracted from our mission
54:05 and we have been distracted from our hope.
54:08 We're so caught up in this world.
54:10 We're so caught up in our things, in our toys,
54:13 in our houses, in our money, in our automobiles,
54:18 in so many things that are gonna be destroyed
54:21 when Jesus comes.
54:22 None of these counts, none of these matters.
54:25 What shall it profit a man,
54:28 if he gains the whole world and loses his soul.
54:33 Folks, there is a very important preparation
54:35 that needs to take place before the coming of Jesus.
54:40 God's people, if we should be alive will go
54:43 through this great tribulation,
54:45 the most intense spirit of persecution
54:47 in the history of the world.
54:49 There will only be two groups on planet earth.
54:52 Those who keep God's holy Sabbath and those
54:56 who keep the first day of the week.
54:59 Both of those will be signs,
55:01 either of obedience or of disobedience.
55:04 Those who flee will not flee in the winter
55:09 or on the Sabbath,
55:10 because the Sabbath is the day of rest.
55:12 All the rest will remain where they are.
55:17 And when they see the abomination of desolation,
55:20 it will be too late,
55:21 because they have not escaped from the general ruin
55:25 which is about to come.
55:28 And so God calls upon us to prepare
55:30 a character fit for eternity.
55:34 A character that will withstand everything
55:38 and anything that will come.
55:41 You know, that's not going to come automatically,
55:43 it's not gonna be easy, it's gonna be difficult.
55:46 But Jesus promises to walk with us all the way.
55:50 It reminds me of the three young men
55:52 who were thrown into the fiery furnace.
55:54 You know, the firmness of their character
55:57 was not formed in that crises, it was exhibited in that crises.
56:03 They had their minds made up beforehand.
56:06 They had a close relationship with Jesus beforehand,
56:09 before going through that tribulation,
56:11 the period of the--
56:13 of the furnace heated harder than ever before,
56:16 just like the final tribulation will be
56:18 the worst in history, in intensity.
56:20 And when they appeared before Nebuchadnezzar,
56:22 who raised this--this image in honor of himself, the beast,
56:27 and commanded everyone to worship on pain of death.
56:30 The young man said, "We will not.
56:32 We worship the true God.
56:34 And the God whom we serve is able to deliver us,
56:37 but if He doesn't, we still are His servants."
56:41 That's the kind of faith that God wants us to have.
56:44 A service of love.
56:45 That even if nothing good comes,
56:48 we would still serve God because God is our Lord,
56:52 and because we love Him.
56:55 That's the kind of character that God is expecting from us
56:59 who will go through this period of tribulation.
57:02 And so we must make decisions
57:05 that will last on to eternity.
57:08 We must place our priorities in order.
57:11 We must take that which we consider primary
57:15 and put it as secondary,
57:16 and take that that we have considered secondary,
57:19 and place it as primary in our lives,
57:23 and I pray to God that,
57:25 that will be the experience of each one of us.


Revised 2014-12-17