Is this Really the End?

 And in the day of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and the kingdom will not be left for another nation, and it will bring an end to all these kingdoms, but it will stand forever. Inasmuch as you saw that a stone from the mountain was chiseled out but not by hands, and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, thereby the great God made known to the king what will be in the future, and the dream is certain and its explanation trustworthy.”

Daniel 2:44–45 (LEB)

The last few years have brought upon new interest to declaring “the end of the world”. There are a lot of ideas floating around on topics of the “mark of the beast”, the coming of Jesus Christ, secret raptures of the church and much more.

I read a book several years ago discussing the Roman Empire and the rise of the church into power. I cannot remember the name of the book, but the part that stood out was how people were convinced that various emperors were the “antichrist” of Revelation and that most certainly the year 1000 CE would see the return of Christ. Some believed to be in the middle of the millennium reign of Christ and the year 1000 CE would be significant in many ways. However, the year 1000 CE came and went and the only events that took place were more of the same that had been happening for hundreds of years. After 1000 CE, the church began the crusades and essentially murdering anyone that did not comply to her dogma. This is hardly a picture of “the bride of Christ”

I was raised on the doctrine of the “secret rapture” where Jesus comes like a thief in the night and takes away “the church”, leaving everyone else behind, like the popular Left Behind book series and movie. The rapture, in this scenario, was a separate event from the second coming of Christ. This narrative is still very popular today in evangelical, Christian circles. This theology, or philosophy, has Jesus returning at any minute and taking “the church” away to heaven. The “Jews” realize that they missed the coming of the Messiah and are the “saints” left on earth to deal with the wrath of the antichrist figure. At some point during the “seven year tribulation”, Jesus will come back from heaven with all of the “church” riding on horses and defeat the antichrist. There are variations of this story, but this is the gist of it.

We have been playing pin the tail on the antichrist since the first century. The latest version of the the rapture story I have been hearing has the people being raptured and also resurrected at the same time as the secret rapture. The political nation state of Israel plays a large role in the rapture and antichrist narrative. Christians have been listening to rumors and fairy tales since the first century, and still do not have a solid understanding of what is important when it comes to end times prophecy.

2 Thessalonians 2:1–4 (LEB): 2 Now we ask you, brothers, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to him, that you not be easily shaken from your composure, nor be troubled either by a spirit or by a message or by a letter alleged to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has arrived. Do not let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and who exalts himself over every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits down in the temple of God, proclaiming that he himself is God.

It is a common held belief that the temple of God which Paul indicates the man of lawlessness will inhabit will be a rebuilt temple in the political state of Israel. That temple was destroyed in 70 CE and rebuilding it, in accordance with the Torah in order that it would be acceptable for God to dwell, seems very unlikely. I suppose there is a possibility that the antichrist sitting in the temple of God could be so abominable, that God will not tolerate it, even in an illegitimate temple dedicated to Him in Israel. Another theory is that we are the temple of God and the antichrist figure will some how defile our body with his mark. Some people believe this is the Graphene Oxide supposedly contained in the Covid-19 shot, and there are many, many other theories.

2 Thessalonians 2:5–12 (LEB): Do you not remember that while we were still with you, we were saying these things to you? And you know that which restrains him now, so that he will be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is at work already; only the one who now restrains will do so until he is out of the way, and then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will slay with the breath of his mouth, and wipe out by the appearance of his coming, whose coming is in accordance with the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 and with every unrighteous deception against those who are perishing, in place of which they did not accept the love of the truth, so that they would be saved. 11 And because of this, God sends them a powerful delusion  so that they will believe the lie, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth, but delighted in unrighteousness.

For those who say God’s laws have been rendered obsolete, which laws is the “lawless one” going to break that cause him to be lawless? Please define unrighteousness and truth for me in this doctrine. Law and truth in the Scriptures are only from the Word of God.

John 17:14–17 (LEB): 1I have given them your word, and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth—your word is truth.

Psalm 119:137–152 (LEB): Tsade 137 You are righteous, O Yahweh, and your ordinances are upright. 138 You have ordained your testimonies in righteousness, and in exceeding faithfulness. 139 My zeal consumes me, because my enemies have forgotten your words. 140 Your word is very pure, and your servant loves it. 141 I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts. 142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your law is truth. 143 Trouble and anguish have found me; your commands delight me. 144 The righteousness of your testimonies is forever; give me understanding that I may live. Qoph 145 I call with my whole heart; answer me, O Yahweh. I will keep your statutes. 146 I call to you. Save me, and I will heed your testimonies. 147 I rise early in the dawn and cry for help; I hope in your word. 148 My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on your word. 149 Hear my voice according to your loyal love; O Yahweh, preserve my life according to your justice. 150 Those who pursue a wicked purpose draw near; they are far from your law. 151 You are near, O Yahweh, and all your commands are truth. 152 Concerning your testimonies, I knew long ago that you have established them forever.

Yeshua knew the words of God were truth because He is the Word of God personified. Rather than getting dismayed or fearful of rumors and lies as the people of Thessalonia were, we should be reading God’s word and applying it as Yeshua taught us. This is the opposite of what we see today with the church shamelessly thumbing their nose to the words of God rendering it useless by their disgusting traditions. ” In order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth, but delighted in unrighteousness”.

We can see the big picture of end times prophecy in the book of Daniel. It can be summarized by saying God is going to crush the earthly kingdoms and rule forever.

Daniel 2:36–45 (LEB): 36 “This was the dream, and now we will tell its interpretation to the king. 37 You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power and the might and the glory, 38 and also human beings wherever they dwell, the animals of the field and the birds of heaven—he has given into your hand and made you ruler over all of them—you are the head of gold. 39 And after you another kingdom inferior to yours will arise, and another third kingdom of bronze that will rule over the whole earth. 40 And a fourth kingdom will be strong as iron, and just as iron crushes and smashes everything, and as iron shatters all of these other metals, so it will crush and it will shatter these nations. 41 And just as you saw the feet and the toes, partly potter’s clay and partly iron, it will be a divided kingdom; and some hardness of the iron will be in it, just as you have seen the iron mixed with the wet clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so part of the kingdom will be strong and partly brittle. 43 And in that you saw the iron was mixed with wet clay, so they will mix in marriage and they will not cling to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44 And in the day of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and the kingdom will not be left for another nation, and it will bring an end to all these kingdoms, but it will stand forever. 45 Inasmuch as you saw that a stone from the mountain was chiseled out but not by hands, and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, thereby the great God made known to the king what will be in the future, and the dream is certain and its explanation trustworthy.”

Daniel interpreted king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream about the different kingdoms that would come after his. His was Babylon, the next represented the Persian Empire, then Greece and finally Rome. We are still seeing the remnants of all of these empires, and some say the mixing of clay is speaking about democracies mixing with the hard line rulerships of the old kingdoms and dictatorships. I think that the iron and clay involves the “marriage” of humans with something else, as in the days of Noah. Regardless, the take away is that God will topple the statue and crush the iron, bronze, silver, gold and clay, and be king forever. That is all we need to be concerned with. If we know who the king is and will be forever, we should be following His ordinances, decrees and laws presently in this iron, or iron mixed with clay kingdom.

Revelation 14:12 (LEB): 12 Here is the patient endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith in Jesus.

This verse in Revelation applies to everyone, not just the “Jews” who were not part of a “secret rapture” as dispensational theology teaches. The faith of Jesus, or his real name Yeshua, Joshua in English, was to follow the commandments of His Father. This word “faith” is one we have discussed before with believe and confess. It is the Greek word “pistis” and a good way to describe this word would be to use “covenant” and “agreement”.

πίστις G4411 (pistis), faith; πιστεύω G4409 (pisteuō), believe; πιστός G4412 (pistos), pass. trustworthy, faithful, act. trusting, believing; πιστόω G4413 (pistoō), rely, convince; ἀπιστία G602 (apistia), unbelief; ἀπιστέω G601 (apisteō), disbelieve; ἄπιστος G603 (apistos), unbelievable, faithless, unbelieving.

CL 1. (a) In classical Gk. literature pistis means the trust that a man may place in men or the gods (Hesiod, Works, 372; Soph., OT, 1445), credibility (Soph., OC, 611), credit in business (Dem., 36, 57), guarantee (Aesch., Frag. 394), proof (Democ., 125), or something entrusted (IG 14, 2012 A 23). Similarly, pisteuō means to trust something or someone (Hdt., 1, 24; Aesch., Pers., 800 ff.). It can refer to and confirm legendary tales (Hdt., 4, 96) and mythical ideas (Plato, Grg., 524a). In the construction pisteuō tini ti it means to entrust something or someone to someone (Xen., Mem., 4, 4, 17). With reference to people, pisteuō means to obey (Soph., OT, 625). The pass. means to enjoy trust (Xen., Anab., 7, 6, 33). The adj. pistos means trusting (Theognis, 283), trustworthy (Hom., Il., 2, 124). to piston means dependability or the faithfulness of those bound through an agreement (Aesch., Ag., 651; Xen., Anab., 2, 4, 7). The vb. pistoō has the meaning of binding someone or oneself to be faithful (Soph., OC, 650). In the pass. it means to be sure, to trust (Hom., Od., 21, 217 f.). The pistis word-group has a special colouring, where it refers to believing doxa (opinion). In such a case dependability is limited (cf. Plato, Phd., 107b).
apistia means mistrust (Theognis, 831), unreliability (Soph., OC, 611), and incredibility (Hdt., 1, 193). apisteō means to be mistrustful to disbelieve (Hom., Od., 13, 339), and particularly to be disobedient (Soph., Ant., 219, 381 f.). apistos means distrustful (Hom., Od., 14, 150), undependable (Thuc., 1, 120, 4).
(b) Originally the word-group denoted conduct that honoured an agreement or bond. It had a social orientation, and its use indicated misconduct by implication. In order to obtain a pause in battle, it was necessary to make agreements pledging fidelity (Hom., Il., 2, 124: horkia pista). Disappointed confidence led to the accusation: “There is nothing trustworthy in women” (Hom., Od., 11, 456). The critical situation revealed fidelity. Hence, experience of faithfulness and unfaithfulness belongs to the idea of faith from the beginning.
(c) The idea had religious overtones at a very early date. The gods vouch for the validity of an alliance or treaty (Hom., Il., 2, 115 ff.; note the importance of the oath). The words can also be applied directly to the divinity in cases of the trust-worthiness of an oracle. The pistis word-group plays an important part in questions of the power of the gods to save in face of threatening danger (Aesch., Sept., 211 f.), the unfathomable sovereignty of God (“He who hears the word of God and does not obey is out of his mind,” Eur., Iph. Taur., 14, 75 f.), and the power of God to direct a man’s fate against his will (Soph., OT, 1445). In such case unquestioned obedience to the will of God is required of men.

O. Michel, “Πίστις,” ed. Lothar Coenen, Erich Beyreuther, and Hans Bietenhard, New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986), 593–594.

“Faith in Jesus” is much more than simply saying “I believe! Okay, now let’s get on with life”. Faith in Yeshua is keeping the commandments of God and having the faith of Yeshua. In the Greek manuscripts there is no word “in” as in “faith in Jesus”, or “of” as in “faith of Jesus”. It simply says “pistin Iesou”. This word “pistin” is described as “originally the word-group denoted conduct that honoured an agreement or bond”. Our agreement with Yeshua is the new covenant.

Luke 22:19–20 (LEB): 19 And he took bread, and after giving thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And in the same way the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood which is poured out for you.

The new covenant is the means by which the laws of God are written on our heart. How can the laws of God be written on our heart if the law is no longer valid? The idea that the law would become invalid goes against scripture, even if pastors and teachers claim otherwise. Hence the “powerful delusion so they would believe the lie”. Antichrist is simply one who is against the Father and the Son.

1 John 2:20–27 (LEB): 20 And you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because every lie is not of the truth. 22 Who is the liar except the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This person is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Everyone who denies the Son does not have the Father either; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 As for you, what you have heard from the beginning must remain in you. If what you have heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise which he himself promised us: eternal life. 26 These things I have written to you concerning the ones who are trying to deceive you. 27 And as for you, the anointing which you received from him remains in you, and you do not have need that anyone teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you reside in him.

If one “confesses” the son it means they will have the Father too. Confessing the Son is agreeing or being in covenant with Him. Therefore the new covenant, where the laws of God will be written on our heart. This is the work of the Spirit. Are they different laws? Of course not! This is why one who confesses the son also has the Father. It is one in the same and cannot be separated.

Hebrews 8:8–10 (LEB): For in finding fault with them he says, “Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will complete a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day I took hold of them by my hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, because they did not continue in my covenant and I disregarded them, says the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will decree with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I am putting my laws in their minds and I will write them on their hearts, and I will be their God and they will be my people.

Some people will ask “are you a Hebrew?” because I am quoting the letter written to the Hebrews. Once we are in covenant with Yeshua, we are grafted into the commonwealth of Israel. Otherwise, we are still lost and outside of the covenants of promise. This is the good news of the gospel. Those previously cut off for breaking the covenant would be allowed to return because of Yeshua. We do this by repenting, receiving the Spirit of God through Yeshua and having the laws of God written on our hearts. Moses prophesied these very things, yet the common response to Moses is “that’s the despicable customs of the Jews”, repeating Emperor Constantine in his letter to the bishops of the Roman empire.

Deuteronomy 30:6–10 (LEB): “And Yahweh your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring to love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your inner self so that you may live. And Yahweh your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, on those who harassed you. And you will again listen to the voice of Yahweh, and you will do all his commandments that I am commanding you today. And Yahweh your God will make you prosperous in all your undertakings, and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground abundantly, for Yahweh will again rejoice over you, just as he rejoiced over your ancestors. 10 He will do this if you listen to the voice of Yahweh your God by keeping his commandment and his statutes written in the scroll of this law and if you return to Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your inner self.

The enemy knows how to defeat the men and women of God. It is by convincing them not to do what Yahweh commanded. It is the only way to victory. Going to church three times a week will not help a person who is void of the law of God in their heart. Imagining that Jesus will whisk us away in a secret rapture will not help either. Repent and believe the gospel, and be in God’s kingdom. Amos describes the future of God’s kingdom and I am ready to be gathered back to the land and plant some vineyards and gardens after the statue crumbles to the ground!

Amos 9:13–15 (LEB): 13 “Look, days are coming,” declares Yahweh, “when the one who plows will overtake the one who reaps, the one who treads grapes will catch up with the one who sows the seed. And the mountains will drip sweet wine and all of the hills will flow with it. 14 And I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they will rebuild the desolated cities and will inhabit them. And they will plant vineyards and will drink their wine, and they will make gardens and will eat their fruit. 15 And I will plant them on their land and they will not be uprooted again from their land that I have given to them,” says Yahweh your God.

Featured photo was provided by Emma Vail Photography.

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Please check out my first book on Amazon titled, Finding God in Organized Religion. It is the story of my life focusing on my involvement with three major denominations, from my childhood to present, describing the good and bad, and what I learned during the process.

The Test Results are in
The Blood of the New Covenant
Understanding the Law of Christ
The Importance of the Sabbath
Demons Confess: “Jesus is Lord”
The Great Day of the Lord Yahuah
Where is the Church in Prophecy
Mixing Iron and Clay

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