Antichrist Before the Day of the Lord: What Every Christian Needs to Know about the Return of Christ

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75 Responses

  1. Andy says:

    Well this book wouldn’t change my mind from the pre-trib position, but nevertheless, how important it is to study eschatology!

    It was Rick Warren that made the terrible statement that Jesus would say to prophecy students, “It’s none of your business!”. What a horrible mischaracterization of Jesus Christ.

  2. Michael says:

    Andy,

    That’s an interesting response.
    I’m always open to hearing sound exegesis on any doctrine I hold and I intentionally study works that differ from my own traditions to test them.
    I frankly don’t believe the pretrib doctrine is viable at all, but I still will read the best defenses they have to make sure.

  3. Kevin H says:

    Michael,

    A couple quick questions on the pre-wrath position for my own understanding before things get too deep in debate here.

    1) On that day that believers are raptured and then the Lord’s wrath immediately begins against the unbelievers. Is the Lord’s wrath all poured out in that same day (or over just the next couple of days), or is this something that goes on for a significant period of time?

    2) After the completion of the pouring out of the Lord’s wrath, is there then the establishment of a literal 1000 year millenium?

  4. Andy says:

    Michael,

    I have considered the pre-wrath position in the past. I mean, objectively and sincerely considered it.

    I ended up staying with pre-trib, because I see things about, we’re not appointed to wrath, the church is gone after Revelation 3, Lot is taken out before judgment, it is a blessed hope that we await the coming of the Lord, it is surprise in the twinkling of an eye. These kinds of things.

    The thing about it also is, just for me on the fleshy level, in investigating pre-wrath, I also found that, there was kind of something in me that wanted to “take on” the antichrist and the last days, like an adventure in some apocalyptic movie. I know that is sick, but, it is the flesh, so……

    I also have known others that hold the pre-wrath, mid-trib, or post-trib positions because they feel that the church hasn’t “suffered enough”. I reject that reasoning completely.

  5. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    Prewrath is a premillennial eschatology and does believe in a thousand year millennium.

    As to the timing of the wrath of God, we do not know how long the tribulation lasts but the wrath of God that follows the Rapture encompasses the trumpet and bowl judgments.

  6. Kevin H says:

    Thanks, Michael.

  7. RiBo says:

    It’s like debating a better way to interpret Nostradamus.

    Much more solid argument than pre-trib…but still built upon texts that are metaphorical and non-objective. Still largely guessing and filling in big blanks.

  8. It doesn’t matter pre / post / mid/ pre wrath. I can’t find a passage in the NT that talks about a rapture (note I did not say i can’t find the word, like people do with the trinity) . But n o mention of the rapture. The passages people point to in Paul are actually him talking about the resurrection – a common biblical topic.. There had been no previous conversations about a rapture, so why would the people of Thessalonica ask about a rapture? But throughout the Bible, there is talk about the resurrection and that is what they feared missing.

    Also, Jesus never spoke of a rapture “I will come and get you before I return.”

    Only to those who hold that there is a difference between Israel and the Church in NT theology would anyone see the Church gone after Rev 3 – John is writing to the Church – why didn’t he dismiss them from the conversation and say …Chapter 4, now to you who are Left Behind…

  9. Michael says:

    I’m not terribly interested in debating the issue.
    What I try to do is provide resources that others might not be aware of that I believe are helpful.
    I believe that both books I noted here are.

  10. RiBo says:

    there is no debating what I stated, I stated fact. It is non-objective and still speculation.

  11. Hugh says:

    The problem with this hypothesis is that it does not take into account 2 Thes 2 which clearly states that “he” first has to be taken out of the way before the antichrist is revealed, who is that “he” at Paul is referring to?

    Also if the antichrist was to appear on the scene before the rapture of the church it would be very difficult for him to deceive the world since believers would be denouncing him as he would be readily recognized from the Scriptures also Jesus said that the antichrist is sent to them who have rejected the truth,

    “I came in my father’s name and you did not receive me, but another one comes in his own name, and him you will receive”

    And again in 2 Thess

    “For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth…”

    So from these verses it would seem that the church would not be present, for the antichrist is for those we have rejected Christ!

    Also in the book of Revelation we see the church mentioned from chapters 1 to 3 but then John heard

    “After this…the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”

    “After this,” after what? After the church age!

    and then we no longer hear any mention whatsoever of the church until chapter 19 when Jesus returns at the battle of Armageddon with the Saints riding behind!

  12. RiBo says:

    Even this thread clearly illustrates how non-objective the issue is…all are appealing to texts that express very non-specific metaphor which opens the door wide for broad ranges of interpretation and speculation…which is evidenced by the fact so many say “thus sayeth the Lord!” …but say the Lord is saying much different things…from the same text.

  13. RB,
    “all are appealing to texts that express very non-specific metaphor …”

    Not me, I say everyone is appealing to invisible passages. 🙂

  14. Hugh,
    You are reading from the white spaces on the page.

  15. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Pre trib is totally false, all you have to do is read 2 thessalonians 2;3 and so on, matthew 24, revelation 6

  16. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “Also if the antichrist was to appear on the scene before the rapture of the church it would be very difficult for him to deceive the world since believers would be denouncing him as he would be readily recognized from the Scriptures also Jesus said that the antichrist is sent to them who have rejected the truth,”

    Uh, you do know that the World thinks Christians are a bunch of Kooks, do you honestly believe that christians are going to be able to convince the World that it’s Leader is the antichrist?

  17. Michael says:

    Most doctrinal formulations outside the basic kerygma are a matter of interpretation.
    This book outlines the best interpretation of all the biblical and historical data concerning this doctrine in my opinion.
    As I said, I offer it as a resource, not as the last word on the topic.

  18. Hugh says:

    MLD, go back to your dark ages, this doesn’t concern you since you can’t even tell the difference between the cattle on a thousand hills and the millennium (lasting 1000 years), for you all these things already happen, so don’t worry, go back to the dwarfs in The Last Battle, someone will wake you up when it’s all over!

  19. Hugh,
    “for you all these things already happen,”

    I am amil not preterist – oh crap! now you will need to google to know the difference.

    *** btw, you still have not shown one NT reference to the millennium as you understand it … 1,000 yrs here on earth.”

  20. Kevin H says:

    Steve, that must be happening because of the blood moons. 😉

  21. Talk about living by newspaper prophecy – would this article have been posted if the Russians were requiring Peruvians to register?

    Also I am 20 min into the Pastor’s perspective Lunacy Moons program? Do they spend the whole hour doing this?

  22. Q says:

    It seems the biggest problem with pre-wrath is it takes away the imminent return of Jesus.

    If it is pre-wrath then that puts the rapture at least 4 or 5 years out?

    And puts the focus on the appearing of the Anti-Christ rather than Jesus.

  23. Michael says:

    Q,

    If it’s biblical, it’s not a problem.
    I do not believe in the doctrine of imminence.

  24. Xenia says:

    Pre-wrath sounds a lot like amil except there’s a mil.

    It sounds like classic millennialism, which is not too different from amillennialism.

    Why would it be considered to be a form of Dispensationalism?

  25. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Prewrath still holds to God doing a work with Israel in the end times.

  26. Xenia says:

    Ah, I see. Thanks.

  27. Michael says:

    I just listened the Brodersen, Bentley, and Stewart absolutely hack this doctrine into something completely unrecognizable on Pastors Perspective.
    Unbelievable…

  28. Xenia says:

    You all may find this curious, but over on a big Orthodox forum they are discussing the blood moon thing. The participants in that discussion are pointing out the elegant symmetry of the blood moons and how it all may be intended as a sign for the Jews in the last days, a sign to encourage them to accept Jesus as their Messiah. Not quite the same stuff as Hagee but still a valid topic of conversation.

  29. I am at 35 min in the program. Bentley just said “well we are asked ‘where in the Bible does it say we should look for Blood Moons?’ – well it doesn’t, but it is inferred.”

    It is?

  30. RiBo says:

    Dusty, I am perfectly calm. I am working and typing and helping customers and chewing gum.

    I was being moderated, half my responses were not showing up, then Michael started letting some through, then he zapped the thread.

  31. Michael says:

    i didn’t see any of your comments on that thread moderated.
    I removed the obscenities.
    You are being moderated fully now.
    I’m leaving shortly so I will only be able to moderate intermittently and will only allow that which will further the conversations.

  32. Xenia says:

    I am probably more sympathetic to Russia and Putin than most people here but I have to say, that notice (if legit) requiring Jews to register is very very ominous.

  33. Q says:

    Micheal,

    Pre-trib. imminence. would be looking forward to the appearing of the Lord.

    Pre-wrath seems it would be looking for signs of the tribulation, which would lead to reading current events.

    Unless it is a secret Tribulation. 🙂

  34. Dusty says:

    I would agree with you Xenia ( (if legit) requiring Jews to register is very very ominous.)

  35. Michael says:

    Q,

    I believe, (and the church has historically believed) that the Bible teaches AntiChrist must come first.
    The only certain sign of this will be the desecration of the temple at the midpoint of the seventieth week.

  36. Michael says:

    Just a programming note…
    We may shut down for the weekend as I have some very difficult and pressing matters to take care of personally and I won’t be able to give the blog much attention.
    Thank you for your patience and consideration.

  37. passin thru says:

    Russia has a history of anti-Semitism that’s just as brutal as that of Nazi Germany. This should come as no surprise.

  38. Q says:

    Fortunately we can see from our arm chair that what the church has historically believed has not always been correct.

    Even if the only certain sign is the desecration of the temple, there would have to be a temple, so one could keep an eye out for that.

  39. RiBo says:

    Dusty, that is my point. Michael and everyone on here is essentially calling all others fools and idiots…it’s just often done in more couched and sly ways…but still the same.

    I made my point. You felt what was intended for you all to feel.

    Think about it.

  40. RiBo says:

    If you ever want to honestly and truthfully have some sort of kumbaya, then drop the “thus sayeth the Lord!” and the arrogance and recognize we are all guessing and we all don’t really know for sure.

    That would go a long way to the stated goal in Michael’s article…which was NOT supported by his video or his other comments or the tone of the thread.

    I pointed that out and demonstrated it in my own style.

    You guys missed the main point (as you often do) but you sure did feel the sting.

  41. Dusty says:

    not everyone here has called everyone a fool or idiot….your point is wrong, and mean

  42. Q says:

    Michael,

    I believe a pre-trib rapture fits, not knowing (Jesus coming at an hour that is least expected) and knowing the exact day after the desecration of the temple or the abomination that causes desolation (I am assuming that is what you are referring to by desecration)..

  43. RiBo says:

    “not everyone here has called everyone a fool or idiot”

    Yes, everyone has and does explicitly and implicitly.

  44. Michael says:

    The point of the article…as I wrote in the article…was that Praschs speech would lead to nothing but division and hatred.
    We can disagree in the Body and we do…but we don’t have to mutilate each other in the process.

  45. Dusty says:

    there are a lot of us here just to learn. can’t we just do that without being called names?

  46. Michael says:

    Q,

    Matt 24 says that the abomination of desolation begins the tribulation…which goes on for an unknown period of time until the rapture of the church.
    We won’t know the day or hour…

  47. RiBo says:

    Your article and the tone was doing the same to Prasch. It was ok to call folks idiots etc as long as it was Prasch.

    Then when I turned it on the whole group…well, the dynamic changed quite a bit.

    You demonstrated the hypocrisy, in real time, that I was pointing out.

  48. Gary says:

    Every major old testament event has a new testament counterpart (or type or fulfillment). God kept the Israelites in Egypt during the ten plagues. What clearer example is there that God could and would do the same for new testament believers? I’m just not sure where the Passover fits- before or after a rapture. maybe the rapture IS the Passover (equivalent).

  49. Q says:

    Oh, I think I see where you are coming from, I believe it starts with first seal and you believe it starts at the abomination that causes desolation.

  50. Michael says:

    Gary,

    I get real antsy about taking types and shadows too far unless they’re pretty explicit.
    For me, this scenario harmonizes all the critical texts better than the rest.
    There are still questions I have…but not as many as with other schemes.

  51. Michael says:

    Q,

    I think Matt 24 is clear on this.

    ““So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house,and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak.And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days!Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath.For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.”
    (Matthew 24:15–22 ESV)

    The great tribulation starts immediately after the abomination of desolation.

  52. Michael says:

    “Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one 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 exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.”
    (2 Thessalonians 2:1–4 ESV)

    That “revelation” of anti-Christ comes at the 31/2 year mark of the seventieth week.
    Thus the Rapture and the tribulation must happen after that event.

  53. RiBo says:

    You make statements that aren’t true. You say you don’t do things that you regularly engage in and then you moderate me for doing the same thing just more directly and pointedly… and then turning it on everyone in the group to make a point.

    You may not recognize your hypocrisy…but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. I see it quite clearly and I’m sure some others do as well.

    If you are going to be the “ecumenical” guy and want kumbaya, then be that guy consistently. You often pit groups against each other and you often stir up controversy…but then you say you are not about that.

    Hey, just be honest, that’s all I’m saying. I don’t know what the “correct” Box is…but I do know when someone is calling another person or group an idiot…and it is ironic b/c you’re an idiot and don’t have a clue, too.

  54. Michael says:

    I make statements that are true according to my understanding of truth at the time.
    We open those statements up to other traditions to differ with and give their viewpoints.
    You have rejected most of orthodoxy and will therefore find any statement of faith believed to be truth odious.
    There are going to be times when I’m hypocritical and inconsistent and just plain wrong…but I’m learning…and I’m trying.
    No one forces you to read here.
    You have a large forum of your own to promote your beliefs and understandings.
    This one is mine…and it’s going to reflect my views in interaction with others of a common faith but different traditions.

  55. Michael says:

    With that, I must take my leave and attend to real life.
    Blessings.

  56. Michael says:

    Comments are open.
    Please keep them completely on topic and there will be no personality conflicts allowed.
    I won’t be monitoring, but I’ll see in the morning.

  57. Scott says:

    Interesting that just tonight the guy that I just starting renting a room from while working out town, wanted to “convince” me of my need to believe in a 7 year pretrib rapture.

    He started tying in current events, Gog, Magog, Terrorism, blood moons and what not to demonstrate that the rapture is right around the corner.

    When I began to challenge some of the logic and construct he had developed, he relegated me as one of the 5 foolish virgins who is at risk of being shut out of the wedding feast. Unreal, man.

  58. Scott says:

    I mean he had it all figured out. I asked him if believed in the imminent return of Christ, to which he boldly professed ” of course I do!” I said how can you when just spent 30 minutes laying out all the things that “must happen” proceeding the rapture? There was a pretty blank stare back.

  59. Gary says:

    Putin is not the Antichrist but …from today’s news: “Leaflet tells Jews to register in East Ukraine” Jews must register and declare their possessions or they will be deported and their possessions confiscated. It’s too bad there was no celestial sign for this. 😉

  60. Thanks for the book note… I may have to bite on this bait.

  61. Steve Wright says:

    Talk about living by newspaper prophecy – would this article have been posted if the Russians were requiring Peruvians to register?
    —————————————————————
    The thing is…the Russians don’t require Peruvians to register. The Muslims are not hell-bent on destroying Peru. Hitler did not round up and exterminate 6 million Peruvians and so forth.

    Yesterday the US gov released updated hate crime data for the US, and crimes specifically targeting Jews continues to be far and away more than all the other groups (religious or otherwise) COMBINED. Not simply a plurality but a huge majority. Jews are persecuted around the world, and an entire religion that is of unprecedented influence worldwide has a commitment to her total annihilation.

    Now, newspaper prophecy was my term, and I use it in connection to some random event like a big earthquake, regional war, epidemic or any other event that spurs everyone to thinking Jesus is coming in a day or two.

    However, I find it fascinating to read for example the beliefs of Xenia’s church when it comes to the Jews having a role in the last days. Or the pre-wrath views, or any other group that is not simply marginalized with the “D” word that I profess.

    So as Israel has become a nation once more, surrounded by enemies, with Jews from the north, south, east and west returning to the land and so forth, this is not “newspaper prophecy” – for we are talking about decades of activity that is very slowly leading in a direction that will have a conclusion at some point. Iran will get a nuke one day. I can’t say with certainty what is going to happen when they do, but I know what the religious fanatics that run the country want – and it has nothing to do with nuking Peru.

    I’m convinced that even as we scoff at the newspaper prophecy wonks, we will equally scoff at the Baghdad Bobs of eschatology who continue to assure us that Israel has absolutely zero special prophetic significance over any other country on the globe. All the connections to prophetic verses are flukes…nothing to see here, as things continue to get worse and worse for them until their false (Anti) Christ arises who seems to save the day…at least for time, times and half a time 🙂

  62. Please Note says:

    Scott…

    Wow, that sounds pretty wild…kind of hard to go to bed after that, huh?

    Hope you’re relatively close to home & can get back on weekends.

  63. Steve Wright says:

    Yesterday the US gov released updated hate crime data for the US, and crimes specifically targeting Jews continues to be far and away more than all the other groups (religious or otherwise) COMBINED
    ———————————————————————
    One correction. I was reading only the religious crimes, where the Jews are far more than all the rest combined. There was a different data set for race crimes. So scratch “or otherwise”

  64. Steve,
    LOL, you missed the irony. Right after you made your big declaration that you discourage your church folks to not participate in newspaper prophecy … you post a newspaper article that stands for one more prophetic nail in Israel’s coffin, the age old “hook” in Russia’s mouth, leading to God’s intervention.

    That’s why I made the point, if you had seen an article saying Peruvians were required to register, it probably would not have made an impact on you – let alone gone to posting.

    But alsa, Good Friday is upon us.

  65. The other thread is closed – so here.
    And on the Blood Moons discussion on Pastor’s Perspective – all 3 sounded like Harold Camping.

  66. Gary says:

    What is the history of “Good Friday”? I don’t mean the day, silly, I mean it being called by that name. It doesn’t do history justice. What Jesus did on this day deserves much, much more than Good Friday. How about “Ultimate Friday!”

    (If there was a “Good Friday” thread and if it was open, I’d post this there, Michael.) nyuk nyuk 😉

  67. Gary says:

    Does the rapture equal the return of Christ?

  68. Xenia says:

    We call it “Great and Holy Friday.”

    We call Easter “Pascha.”

  69. Rick Bob says:

    We call it Friday.

  70. Gary says:

    What do atheist and agnostics have to celeberate?

  71. Rick Bob says:

    Dunno. I’m a Christian*.

    I guess they celebrate not being evangelicals.

  72. Gary,
    “Does the rapture equal the return of Christ?”

    It depends on what you mean by “rapture”. The rapture theology people mean that Jesus comes and takes the church somewhere for (fill in the blank for the length of time) while God does his work with Israel … usually called his wrath.

    If we are forced to use rapture language, I prefer the biblical example of this event as we see it in Matt 25.

    Look at Matt 25:6 – what is happening is that the church goes out to meet the returning king (in this case the bridegroom.) and to make the final part of the return journey with him.

    In this case as we see at the end of chapter 25, this is the 2nd coming which includes the full set of events
    1.) return
    2.) separation of sheep / goats
    3.) judgment
    4.) dispatching to final destinations.

  73. Al Schweikert says:

    Thank you for the book Mr. Kuschner. I’ve read your book twice – so far, and am amazed at how the eschatological scripture passages in my bible are clearing up before my eyes! This is what I’ve been instinctually seeking for years, as I had been attempting to parse words with my limited references etc.

    I’ve been a Pre-trib believer for many decades and have always wondered why the bible couldn’t reveal the pre-trib belief without having to be told that key words and phrases meant something else than their literal meaning.

    After all, if the bible can’t be clearly understood, if the words printed in them need to be reinterpreted, such as assigning different associations for “the elect” to different adjoining passages, what’s the point in printing and distributing it to strangers?

    Your book will prove to be a blessing for those who are seeking the truth of His word, and utilize the guidance dispensed from your book.

    To those who reject Alan’s book without reading: “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is condemnation before investigation.” — Edmund Spencer

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