The Pre-Millennial Predictions Part 2

Posted in: 2009
By Tom L. Ballinger
Mar 2, 2009 - 4:34:13 PM

PLAINER WORDS ONLINE …THE PRE-MILLENNIAL PREDICTIONS
Portions of the “Olivet Discourse” in Matthew 24
 
Part II
 
It should be reiterated that the words, “millennial,” or “millennium” are not found in the Bible. Christendom has adopted these words to describe the one-thousand-year earthly reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. We use it to be a ready reference to the 1000 year “Parousia” of Christ. Therefore, the title to these studies, “The Pre-Millennial Predictions,” is used. In Matthew 24 and 25, the Lord Jesus generated a great deal of prophetic Truths as they relate to the coming Kingdom of God. He is not discussing events which were to take place during the lives of the four Apostles after His Ascension. He tells them what to expect when they will be living, in resurrection, during the Tribulation Period (i.e., the consummation of the Kingdom age).
 
We, now, look at the Savior’s next line of Truth in which He generates Truth relative to “the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:6 is the next verse:
 
6. “And ye [the four Apostles] shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end [telos] is not yet”
 
It should be pointed out, again, that Christ uses the pronoun, “you” (ye). This means that the disciples He was talking to will have to have been raised from the dead and will have lived through the long duration of the Kingdom Age. It will be, profoundly, significant to them that they “shall hear of wars and rumors of wars.” Significant, because wars will be made to cease when the Kingdom comes (Psalm 46:9; Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3), and universal peace will be imposed upon the world. But, over time, the restraints of evil, Divinely imposed upon the world, will be gradually relaxed, and there will be small, localized warfare and rumors of even greater wars to follow. “But don’t you disciples be troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end (telos, not sunteleia) is not yet.” Telos is the final issue, or result of a state or process (Vines Expository Dictionary). Christ said, “the end,” that is, the final state of things is not yet because certain things must come to pass. He generates Truth regarding these certain things.
 
Throughout the recorded history of man, there have been wars and rumors of wars. There is not the slightest evidence that Christ meant, by this prediction, that there would be worse, more frequent and widespread wars and rumors of wars. This is what modern-day teachers of prophecy and dooms-day preachers have, mistakenly, read into the passage, but this is not what Christ said. This is not significant to us. Wars and rumors of wars are part and parcel of our everyday life.
 
But, to these four disciples who will be resurrected to live in a war-free environment for several hundreds-of-years, it will have great significance when they hear of wars and rumors of wars. They are not to be troubled by these reports. “These things must come to pass.”
 
The world’s inhabitants, living during the “Day of Jesus Christ,” will enjoy living long lives, free from illness, disease, and poor health. Life spans will be much like they were in ancient times before Noah’s Flood (Isa. 65:20-22).
 
7. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
 
The Lord Jesus was forecasting what is going to take place during the concluding days of the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God. “For nation shall rise against nation” is a quote from Isaiah 19:2. The war-like nature of man and nations will have been held in check by the Holy Spirit throughout the long years of the Kingdom of God. By His providence, God begins to withdraw the Spirit’s restraints. As this begins to transpire, some nationalistic rivalries become intense, and wars break out. For hundreds of years, the world will have been blessed with bountiful harvests; the earth yielded her increase in abundance. “For the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, …” (Zech. 8:12). The fertile fields of the world will produce grains and food- stuffs the year around (Amos 9:13), but droughts begin to occur which lead to famines. The world becomes subject to pestilences which had been absent throughout the years of the Kingdom. The world-of-the-Kingdom knew nothing of natural disasters. But, as the Spirit withdraws the restraints, the eco-system gets out of alignment, and earthquakes begin to occur in various places throughout the world.  
 
8. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
 
The order, harmony, health, and peace of the Pre-Millennial world will give way to chaos. As the chaos develops, false-ministers will arise, in Jerusalem, who will deceive many of the saints. Reports of wars and rumors of wars will spread. Famines, pestilences, and earthquakes will become prevalent—these will be “the beginning [birth pangs] of sorrows.”
 
9. “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake”
 
The Lord Jesus now tells Peter, James, John, and Andrew what will follow “the beginning of sorrows.” “THEN shall they” hand you over to local councils (NIV). To find the antecedent of the word, “they,” we must go back to Verse 5 where we find that the “many” [the “self-anointed”] ministers of Christ are the ones who will deliver, or hand over Peter, James, John, and Andrew to the councils. These councils will have the power and authority to carry-out capital-punishment.
 
“And they shall kill you …” most commentators ignore this part of Matthew 24:9. Evidently, it is contrary to their position that the Twelve Apostles, who will have been raised from the dead, cannot be put to death. The reason being; they will be immortal when they put on resurrection. This erroneous position is in direct contradiction to the words the Lord Jesus Christ spoke to the Four. I have every reason to believe that Peter, James, John, and Andrew believed the words which Christ told them in private. They believed that they would live, in resurrection, during the manifest Kingdom of God. They further believed that after “the beginning of sorrows,” they would be killed and die the second time. Their death would be that of Tribulation Christian martyrs. Peter, James, John, and Andrew would be in that number of saints who were “slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held” (Rev. 6:9-11).
 
The nations warring against Israel will have a Satanic-generated hatred for Jesus Christ, Who will be enthroned in the Heavens, and His anointed Apostles who will be sitting on the Twelve thrones as judges (Matt. 19:28). We are not told over which Tribes of Israel these four Apostles will preside. Verse 9 informs us, as well as, it informed the four Apostles that they will be put to death. Their crime will be that they were officials in the Government of the Lord Jesus Christ. They, as well as, the other Apostles will be intensely hated by the nations who are in rebellion against the Lord Jesus and His Pre-Millennial and Pre-Parousia Government.
 
This means they will have died twice; once during the First Century and, again, during the concluding days of the Kingdom of God. They will be part of that untold number who will be martyred during the Tribulation—they will make up “the dead in Christ” according to 1 Thessalonians 4:16. They will “put on immortality” when they meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess. 4:17 & 1 Cor. 15:54). (For more information, see www.plainerwords.com <http://www.plainerwords.com/>  “Appointed Unto Men Once to Die”).
 
Keep in mind that the Church, which is His Body will have been resurrected, or changed when the Kingdom is ushered in. This body of believers will be the only ones who will have put on immortality. All others must wait for 1 Corinthians 15:54 to occur.
 
“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Phil. 3:20-21).
 
The words, “our” and “we,” in Philippians 3:20-21, are references to members of the Church, over which Christ Jesus is the Head.
 
10. “And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.”
 
The execution of the four Apostles will cause many to be “offended” which means, “to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to obey and trust” (Thayer’s Lexicon). Many will have doubts about Christ being able to deliver them from the forces of darkness. Because of the intense satanic pressure being exerted by the Anti-Christ and his forces upon all who had shown loyalty to Christ, they will begin to betray one another. This will be the massive “falling away” which is described in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12.
 
11-12. “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”
 
Remember, what is transpiring in this prophecy will be taking place in the City of God, Jerusalem, during the consummation of the Kingdom age. Added to the “self-anointed” false ministers (V. 5) will be false prophets. For, false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect (Matt 24:11,24). Confusion will reign over those who have not been strong in faith towards Jesus Christ. Wickedness will abound. Satanic lies will prevail. A great body of Jews will become apostates. The “New International Version” gives a very descriptive synopsis:
 
“The coming [parousia] of the lawless one [the Anti-Christ] will be in accordance with the work of Satan, displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2 Thess. 2:9-10) NIV.
 
The arrival of the Anti-Christ and his mighty army will be with great fanfare. In fact, the  word,  “parousia,” is used as a descriptive noun to announce his conquest of, and his arrival in, the City of God. His troops will parade through the streets of the City of God as its great “liberators.” The deluded Anti-Christ will believe he is liberating the Jerusalemites from oppression and tyranny—the oppression and tyranny of God and His Government.
 
Many of the faithful Jews in Jerusalem will take heed to Christ’s warning of  Matthew 24:16-20. They will flee the City and hide in caves in the mountains of Petra. There, God will have prepared places for them to hide from the forces of Darkness. We believe King David will, also, have a place of safety in the mountains.
 
Many of the Jews who stay behind, in Jerusalem, will become traitors and collaborators with the forces of the Anti-Christ. These apostate Jews will sign a “covenant” (Dan. 9:27) with him and form a puppet government. These collaborators will betray many of their countrymen as the Tribulation intensifies.
 
13. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
 
The Lord Jesus tells his four disciples that those who persevere until the very end (telos) of the Tribulation, who don’t apostatize and are not deceived, will be “saved.” They will be delivered from imminent dangers.
 
14. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
 
“This gospel of the Kingdom” is the good news that those who endure, persevere, and suffer, without yielding, “shall be saved.” This will be the message which is to be heralded throughout the world according to the “commission” of Matthew 28:19-20. When this is completed; “and then shall the end (telos) come.”