It is commonly believed that in the near future Christ will secretly come to call away his followers to heaven, while the rest of the world will be “left behind.” During the ensuing Tribulation, a world ruler identified as the Antichrist will gain power and enthrone himself in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. This teaching is part of a larger doctrine known as Premillennialism. In this lesson, Don Blackwell conducts a practical study of this doctrine and sheds the light of God’s Word on this popular belief.
Additional Premillenial Studies:
No One Left Behind
What is Premillennialism?
Has the Kingdom Come?
What are the ‘Signs of the Times’?
What is the Rapture?
Will there be a Great Tribulation?
Who is the Antichrist?
What is the Mark of the Beast?
What is the Battle of Armageddon?
Will Jesus reign on Earth for 1,000 years?
After the supposed rapture on the earth, and during these seven years of tribulation, several things are supposedly going to happen. First of all, they would tell us that the Jews will return to Jerusalem and Israel, and the Old Testament temple will be rebuilt. Now that’s supposedly going to take place during the first three and a half years. Secondly, they say that there will arise a powerful world ruler that they identify as the Anti-Christ. He is supposed to be a powerful political personality, perhaps a dictator of world influence. They say he will make a dramatic appearance in history. Well, this Anti-Christ is going to make a covenant with the Jews to guarantee their safety. But after three and a half years, the Anti-Christ will be revealed for who he truly is, and then he will begin to persecute believers in Christ. He will break his covenant with Israel. Then the Anti-Christ will enthrone himself in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem and he will demand to be worshipped as a God. Now, they would say that anyone who is converted during this period will be persecuted severely. In fact, they would say these converts, they would refer to them as “tribulation saints.” Now, they link that back to the discussion of the Great Tribulation. Now, I want to mention to you every verse in the Bible that mentions the Anti-Christ or an Anti-Christ. First, there are none in the Old Testament. Secondly, there are none in the book of Revelation Now, you might be surprised to hear that, since you hear so much talk about the Anti-Christ and Revelation. Actually, there are only four passages in the Bible that mention the Anti-Christ or an Anti-Christ. They’re all in the New Testament, and they are all in the epistles of John. Here they are. Number 1: I John 2:18. The Bible says, “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.” The second passage is I John 2:22. It says, “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.” The third passage is I John 4:3, “and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and now is already in the world.” Here’s the fouth passage – it is II John 7 “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” Now, we understand that if any passage of scripture is going to be properly understood, it needs to be studied in its context. Because if you pull it out of its context, you can make it say nearly anything you want it to say. So, what is the message in these two epistles, that we have referenced – all of these passages – have come from? What is the message of John? Well, John was living in Ephesus and he was concerned about a problem that had arisen in that area. The problem was that some people were apparently teaching that Christ did not come to this earth in the flesh, and in so doing they were denying that he was the Messiah. They apparently believed that matter was impure and so they refused to believe that Christ had taken on the form of human flesh. Now, John, by inspiration, calls these people: Liars – I John 2:22. False Prophets – I John 4:1. Deceivers – II John 7. And Antichrists – I John 4:3. Now, friends, that doesn’t sound anything like what you’ve been hearing today about the Antichrist, does it? Now, let me point out one more important fact here. In I John 2:18, John said, “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know it is the last hour. And so, John did not even remotely have the idea in his mind that some world ruler would come in the future, thousands of years later, who would be the Antichrist. John said that there were false teachers, and he said there were many of them, and that they existed even in his day and that they were antichrists.