"... the joy of the LORD is your strength." (Neh. 8:10)
A. In the Bible we read of a period of vast warfare, distress and suffering which is to come upon this troubled world.
B. This period of time is called:
1. The Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:21-22, 29-30; Mark 13:24; Rev. 7:14).
2. The Time of Jacob's Trouble (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1).
3. The Day of the Lord (Isa. 13:9; Joel 2:1; Amos 5:18, 20; Zeph. 1:14-18; 2 Thess. 2:2; Rev. 6:12-17).
4. The Day of Vengeance of our God (Isa. 61:2).
5. Daniel's Seventieth Week (Dan. 9:24-27).
C. This will be the Darkest Period of The World's History --- the Nazi treatment of the Jews will fade into insignificance in comparison with the Great Tribulation Period.
Matt. 24:21, "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."
I. The Great Tribulation Will Be Ushered In By The Appearance of A Very Powerful And sinister Figure Whom The Scriptures Call The Antichrist.
A. He will Seem To Be the Greatest Warrior, Statesman and Religious Leader the world has ever seen.
B. This man May Be Alive On The Earth Today.
C. He is also called:
1. The Man of Sin (2 Thess. 2:3).
2. The Son of Perdition (2 Thess. 2:3).
3. The Wicked (or Lawless) One (2 Thess. 2:8).
4. A Vile Person (Dan. 11:21).
D. He will be Energized By Satan and will be the Devil's Counterfeit of Christ.
E. The Co-Worker of The Antichrist Will Be The False Prophet.
Rev. 13:11-18, "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
II. Notice 7 Striking Contrasts Between Christ & The Anti-Christ.
A. Christ humbled Himself (Phil. 2:8) --- Antichrist exalts himself (2 Thess. 2:4).
B. Christ came to serve and save (Matt. 18:11) --- Antichrist comes to domineer and destroy (Dan. 11:39)
C. Christ came to do His Father's will (John 4:34) --- Antichrist comes to do his own will (Dan. 11:36).
D. Christ is a Lamb and a Lion (Rev. 5:5-6) --- Antichrist is like a lamb and a dragon (Rev. 13:11).
E. Christ has a Bride (Rev. 21:9) --- Antichrist has a bride (Rev 17).
F. Christ was (and is) God (John 1:1) --- Antichrist claims to be God (2 Thess. 2:4).
G. Christ exalts God (John 14:28) --- Antichrist blasphemes God (Rev. 13:6).
III. At The Begining of The Great Tribulation Period The Antichrist Will Make A Covenant With The Jews, Which He Will Break By Setting Up The Abomination of Desolation In The Temple And By Demanding Universal Worship.
A. At first, the True Character of Antichrist will Not be generally Recognized.
B. However, After He Breaks The Covenant which he has made with the Jews, then he will be recognized as the evil and sinister being that he is.
C. Dan. 9:27, "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."
D. Matt. 24:15-22, "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."
E. Dan. 12:11, "And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days."
F. 2 Thess. 2:3-4, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."
IV. During The Great Tribulation The Jews Will Proclaim The Gospel of The Kingdom; Many Will Be Saved, But They Will Be Severely Persecuted For Their Faith In God And Will Suffer Martyrdom.
A. Isa. 43:10-12, "Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: --- therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God."
B. Rev. 7:4, "And I heard the number of them which were sealed: And there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel"
C. An Innumerable Company Will Be Saved.
Rev. 7:9-10, "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." - V. 13-14, "And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
D. Those Who Are Saved, --- because of their faith in God and their refusal to bow to Antichrist and worship the Beast --- will be Persecuted And Suffer Martyrdom.
V. The Great Tribulation Will Culminate In The Battle of Armageddon, Which Will Be Fought In The Vicinity of Jerusalem And Which Will End With Christ Being Victorious.
A. Matt. 24:27-28, "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together."
B. Zech. 14:1-5, "Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward th west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to (through) the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled form before the earthquake in the days Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee."
C. Rev. 14:14-20, "And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs."
D. Rev. 19:11-21, "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. and He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves to together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh."
E. Isa. 63:1-4, "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winevat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come."
F. Ezek. 39:12-15, "And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord God. And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search. And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man's bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamon-gog."
G. This Will Be The Most Stupendous Conflict In The History of The World --- Are You Prepared To Meet God?
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