Where are we, on God’s timetable?

We know the Antichrist (AC) is coming.  We know this from both the New Testament (NT), as well as the Old Testament (OT).  But, bear with me, this blog is not about identifying the AC; it is about how you and I are clearly mentioned in Scripture. 

In the NT, the AC is first mentioned, by Jesus, in the week before His death, where He obliquely references the AC, “Therefore when you see the Abomination of Desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains…” Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14.  The 2nd time he is mentioned in the NT is to the new believers, by Paul, in his first, early letter, 2 Thessalonians.  His 1 Thessalonians letter had been written to the Church to inform them that when Jesus came back He would bring all the resurrected believers with Him.  In 2 Thessalonians, Paul had to write to them again because they were pressing him for a “date” of Jesus’ return.  So, in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4, Paul says, “Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering to Him, that you not be quickly shaken…that the day of the Lord has come.  Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.”  So, by mentioning the AC, Paul was putting a marker down for all believers since that time, that Jesus could/can not come back until the AC takes his seat in the rebuilt temple. 

After this second mention of the AC, the next mention in the NT is in 1 John 2:18, where John tells his readers, “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know it is the last hour.” John was mistaken as to timing (as many of us usually are also); it was not the last hour.  Finally, in the book of Revelation, probably 25 years after Paul was martyred, John is given the revelation to him of the end times by Jesus.  The entire chapter 13 is about the AC, who is now being called “the beast”.  Chief to us is Revelation 13:4-7, “…and they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?’ And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him…And it was given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them; and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.”

Now , we are getting close to the reason for this blog.  In the OT, Daniel was given a revelation of the AC about 590 years before Paul, and 625 years before John’s final Revelation.   In Daniel 7:25, “‘And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.”  This metaphor means 3 1/2 years, or the same forty-two months as Revelation 13:5.  Then, in Daniel 11:31-33, “And they will set up the Abomination of Desolation [mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 24:15].  And by smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action.  And those who have insight among the people will give understanding to the many…”  Finally, Daniel 12:7, “And I heard the man dressed in linen…swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed.”

This means that the AC mentioned in the NT is the same evil person that Daniel saw in the OT.  The link is that both of them arise in the last days and their period of reign is only forth-two months.  Now the AC has not yet taken power, but the AC system is here, in the U.S., in Europe, and China, at the least, and my point is this: (1) The “holy people” will know their God; (2) and will take action, against the AC system, and then the AC when he gets here, for the duration of forty-two months.  The holy people are said to have “power”, and they have at least some power throughout the entire forty-two months, until it is “shattered”.

You and I are the “holy people”.   Daniel does not say “Jews”, even though in his day, 535 B.C., the only “holy people” were supposed to be Jews.  No, in Webster’s 7th New Collegiate Dictionary the first definition of “holy” means “set apart to the service of God”, so this means that the people who have set their lives apart to serve God are holy.  Their are not pious – they are not “holier than thou” like the Pharisees were.   Instead, they take action.   In the seven “letters to the Churches” in Revelation (the final message of Jesus to His Church), Jesus says “I know your deeds” at least nine times: Revelation 2:2; 2:5; 2:19; 2:23; 2:26; 3:1; 3:2; 3:8 and 3:15. Jesus saves us by our faith, but he judges and rewards us by our deeds.  The voters who voted for Trump, who went door-to-door, who called voters, who gave money, who wrote letters to-the-editor and who interceded, all proved by their deeds that they were taking action against the evil AC system that we live in now.  So, the AC may not be here yet, and when he comes, we have 3 1/2 years left; but we are, according to Daniel, in the last days.  We are fighting, and we must continue to fight until our power is “shattered”, and God will be with us, “even to the end of the age”.  Matthew 28:20.