The M+G+R Foundation

 

 

Biblical prophecies on the Return of Christ

 

 

The False Christ, versus Christ



 



PURPOSE


The purpose of this document is to provide the Elect (whether their Eyes and Ears are completely opened yet or not) clear Biblical guidelines so that, with the Illumination of the Holy Spirit of God, they may easily identify the False Christ.  This will minimize the chance that the Elect would fall into the grave error of adoring satan.



We requested Mr. Lee Penn, author of False Dawn, to prepare this document for the benefit of  our readership and he graciously accepted. We sincerely thank him and those who assisted us in the completion and publication of this very critical document.




INTRODUCTION



Christ has said that He will come again, and throughout the New Testament, the Apostles testify to this.  However, Christ also warned that many false messiahs would come, and the Apostle Paul warned against the “man of sin” who would lead the people worldwide astray in a final spiritual deception.

 

The False Christ, when he appears, will not come with the appearance of a raving madman, nor will his reign begin with violence.   He will be a counterfeit Christ, a seemingly plausible substitute for the real Christ – one so well-disguised that he could deceive “the very elect,” if that were allowed by God.  Hence the need for a review of the prophecies in the Old and New Testaments about the coming, first of the False Christ, then of Christ Himself.  It will be essential for spiritual survival to distinguish between the two, and not to worship the False Christ.

 

Here, then, is an overview of Scriptural prophecies (primarily from the New Testament) about the Return and the Kingdom of Christ.  (All Biblical quotations are from the Jerusalem Bible, published in English in 1966.) [0]

 

 

 

Biblical prophecies on the Return of Christ


 

Christ has ascended to Heaven to prepare a place for us.

 

  1. Christ, the only Son of God, has ascended to Heaven, to prepare a place for His followers. Although Christ has gone to the Father, He told His followers, “I am with you always; yes, to the end of time” (Matthew 28:20).  When He returns, He will take the faithful with Him, “so that where I am, you may be too” (John 14:3).   

This was prophesied in the Old Testament (Psalm 68:18; Proverbs 30:4; Isaiah 52:13) and foretold by Jesus during His public ministry, as testified by the Gospels (John 6:62; John 14:2-3; John 20:17) and fulfilled in the sight of the Apostles (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 3:16; Ephesians 4:8-10).

 

Christ has sent the Holy Spirit as a guide to all the faithful.

 

  1. Christ has sent the Holy Spirit to all believers, to act as a Counselor and Comforter.

 

This was prophesied in the Old Testament (Proverbs 1:23; Isaiah 44:3; Joel 3:1-3), promised by Jesus to His Apostles during His ministry (Luke 24:49; John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7-15; John 20:21-23) and experienced by the Apostles from Pentecost onward (Acts 2:1-4; Acts 2:16-21; Acts 10:44-48; 1 Corinthians 2:12-14).

 

Note that this gift of the Holy Spirit is for ALL believers.  It is not limited to those in communion with Rome, or to bishops as a group, or to the Bishop of Rome.

 

Christ is now seated at the right hand of The Father, until the time for His return.

 

  1. Christ now sits at the right hand of The Father, until the time comes for Him to come in clouds and glory to reign over the Earth and to “put all his enemies under his feet” (1 Cor. 15:25).

 

This was prophesied in the Old Testament (Psalm 110:1), promised by Christ during His ministry (Matthew 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44), proclaimed by Him when He was on trial for His life (Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 22:69), and confirmed as truth afterward by the Apostles (Acts 2:33-36; Acts 7:55-56; 1 Corinthians 15:23-26; Ephesians 1:20-23; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:3-5; Hebrews 1:13; Hebrews 10:12-13).

 

Christ will not need the help of a Church hierarchy, or of a “new ecclesial movement,” to establish His reign.

 

The “last days” began with the first coming of Christ.

 

  1. With the first coming of Christ, the “last days” have begun (Hebrews 1:2; 1 John 2:18).

 

During the age between Christ’s Ascension and His Return, there are to be natural and man-made sorrows – but “the end will not be yet.”

 

  1. Throughout the era before Christ’s return, there are to be wars, revolutions, plagues, famine, earthquakes and other natural disasters, apostasy, social disintegration, and persecution of the faithful. [1] Nevertheless, the “end will not be yet” (Matthew 24:6-8; Mark 13:7-8; Luke 21:9-11).

 

False teachers – and apostate or immoral followers – have been present in the Church from its start.

 

  1. False teachers, wolves in sheep's clothing, arose within the Church during its very earliest days (Acts 20:29-30).  Indeed, “several antichrists” had “already appeared” when John wrote his Epistle (1 John 2:18-19).  Immorality, hypocrisy, and a thirst for false teaching also existed within the Church from the earliest times, such that the writers of the New Testament had to warn their contemporaries against it (2 Timothy 3:1-5; 2 Timothy 4:3-5; Revelation 2:4-5; Revelation 2:14-15; Revelation 2:20-23; Revelation 3:1-3; Revelation 3:15-18).

 

From the beginning, the true followers of Christ have been persecuted.

 

  1. Jesus expected that there would be persecution of the faithful throughout the era between His Ascension and His Return (Matthew 10:17-23; Matthew 10:25; Mark 13:9-13; Luke 21:12-19).  The writers of the Epistles testify that persecution began immediately after Pentecost; Stephen was the first of the martyrs (Acts 7:55-60).

 

As Christ prophesied, Jerusalem fell to the pagans, the Temple was destroyed, and the Jews of Palestine were dispersed as captives.

 

  1. Jesus prophesied that Jerusalem would fall to pagan armies, that the Temple would be utterly destroyed, and that the Jewish people would be sent as captives to “every pagan country” until “the age of the pagans is completely over” (Matthew 23:38; Matthew 24:1-2; Matthew 24:15-22; Mark 13:1-2; Mark 13:14-20; Luke 21:5-6; Luke 21:24).  All of this occurred, with the Roman defeat of the Jewish revolts in 70 and 133 AD.

 

Contrary to the beliefs of some present-day fanatical Jews (and their equally fanatical Evangelical Christian supporters), there is no indication from any New Testament prophecy or exhortation that the Jewish Temple could be, or ought to be, rebuilt, nor that the Jewish system of Temple sacrifices can be, or should be, restored.[2]

 

Before the Return of Christ, the Gospel will be preached to the whole world.

 

  1. Before the Return of Christ, the Gospel will be preached to the whole world (Matthew 24:14; Mark 13:10)

 

This may indicate that the Gospel was preached to the whole of the “known world,” throughout the Roman Empire, before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD – but its true eschatological meaning applies to the preaching of the Gospel to the entire world before the end of the age (Revelation 14:6-7).

 

Before the Return of Christ, the Gentiles will no longer rule Jerusalem.

 

  1. Before the Return of Christ, Jerusalem will no longer be “trampled down by the pagans” (Luke 21:24).

 

Throughout the age until the Return of Christ, the good and the evil will exist alongside each other. 

 

  1. Until Christ returns, there will be both good and evil people (Daniel 12:10; Matthew 13:24-30; Matthew 13:37-42; Revelation 22:11).  The good will become better, and the evil will become worse, as the two tendencies each reach their fullness at the end of the age.

 

Shortly before the Return of Christ, there will be a global tribulation of unprecedented severity. 

 

  1. Toward the end, the troubles facing mankind will be global, and of unprecedented severity (Daniel 12:1; Zephaniah 1:2-3; Zephaniah 1:14-18; Matthew 24:21; Mark 13:19; Luke 21:22-23).  There will be:

·        Conquerors and great wars (Revelation 6:2-4; Revelation 11:18; Revelation 16:12)

·        Famine and pestilence (Revelation 6:5-8; Revelation 16:2)

·        Natural disasters, including earthquakes, ecological collapse, and a strike by a meteor or comet.  (Revelation 8:7-11; Revelation 11:18; Revelation 16:3-4; Revelation 16:10; Revelation 16:18-21)

·        Massive death, due to acts of man and of nature: (Revelation 6:8; Revelation 9:18)

·        Discord within families, betrayal, the growth of hatred, and the eclipse of love among “most men” (Matthew 10:21; Matthew 24:10; Matthew 24:12; Mark 13:12; Luke 21:16)

·        A “great persecution” of the faithful (Revelation 7:14)

·        These disasters will be accompanied by an increase in demonic activity (Revelation 9:1-11, 14-19; Revelation 12:12; Revelation 16:13, 16)

 

Despite the chastisements, most of mankind will be unrepentant.

 

  1. Most of mankind, the great and the small alike, will be impenitent and defiant in their sins and apostasy.  They will flee God, or curse Him, rather than return to Him (Revelation 6:15-17; Revelation 9:20-21; Revelation 16:9; Revelation 16:10-11; Revelation 16:21).  Rather than heeding true prophets, they will celebrate their death (Revelation 11:9-10). 

 

  1. “With the increase of lawlessness, love in most men will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12).  That trend will be a marker of spiritual death, since love is the greatest of the spiritual virtues (1 Corinthians 13:13), and without love, all talents, knowledge, and deeds are “nothing at all” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

 

The full power of evil on earth is limited to “42 months”: a brief time.

 

  1. For a brief time, the whole world will be in the power of the devil and his servants, represented by the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet (Revelation 13:1-18).  Scripture specifies a limited time for the full power of the devil (Revelation 12:12): “a time, two times, and half a time” (Daniel 12:7), 42 months (Revelation 11:2; Revelation 13:5), or “a year, and twice a year, and half a year” (Revelation 12:14), or 1,260 days (Revelation 11:3; Revelation 12:6). 

Symbolically, this represents a brief time – but they may also refer to a time of (literally) 42 months and 1,260 days, respectively.

 

During most of the Tribulation, the power of evil is opposed and limited by the Two Witnesses – until they are killed.

 

  1. The two witnesses chosen by God will testify for Christ, and against the devil and his servants, for “those twelve hundred and sixty days” (Revelation 11:3) – till their witness is complete, and “the beast that comes out of the Abyss” (Revelation 11:7) kills them.

 

After a symbolic brief period, God will resurrect the two, and take them up to Heaven – and those who see this will tremble, and praise God. (Revelation 11:11-13).

 

This event is the sign to the people on Earth that the power of their evil rulers will fail.

 

If the Tribulation were not shortened by an act of God’s mercy, none would survive. 

 

  1. If those days were not to be cut short by God “for the sake of those who are chosen,” “no one would have survived” (Matthew 24:21-22; Mark 13:18-20).  But as an act of mercy by God for the elect, the duration of the worst trials will be cut short.

 

The Day of the Lord will come suddenly, taking the faithless by surprise.   

 

  1. The Day of the Lord (which may mean both the great tribulation preceding the Return of Christ, as well as the Return of Christ) will come suddenly, surprising those who are faithless and who have failed to watch.  (Matthew 24:37-41; Luke 21:34; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3; Revelation 16:15).  No one will be able to escape or evade the turmoil of those times (Luke 21:35; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3). 

 

The Day of the Lord will commence in times that seem “normal” enough that people are “eating, drinking, taking wives, taking husbands,” “buying and selling, planting and building” – just as people did till the beginning of the Flood (Matthew 24:37-39), and as they were doing when Sodom was destroyed (Luke 17:26-30).

 

The faithful are to be awake and watchful.

 

  1. The faithful, who have been warned, are to be awake, watchful, and sober in discerning the signs of the times and looking for the Return of Christ (Matthew 24:32-33; Matthew 24:42-44; Matthew 25:1-13; Mark 13:29; Mark 13:33-37; Luke 12:35-40; Luke 12:42-46; Luke 21:28-31; Luke 21:34-36; 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6).  It is because people do not know “either the day or the hour” that they must “stay awake” (Matthew 24:44; Matthew 25:13)

 

The unbelievers and the evil-doers will be caught by surprise and dismay at the Return; for them, the Day will come as suddenly and disastrously as a thief (Matthew 24:48-51; Luke 21:34-35; Revelation 3:3).  By contrast, the faithful will expect the Day, and see it as the fulfillment of their hopes.

 

  1. The faithful are to arm themselves with the weapons of the Spirit: faith, love, and hope (1 Thessalonians 5:7-8)

 

There is no indication, anywhere in the New Testament, that believers should take physical arms against the evil powers, or that they should gather and use such weapons in their own defense.

 

  1. In the time of the Apocalypse, when the faithful are warned, they must act quickly in obedience to God (Matthew 24:16-20; Mark 13:14-18; Luke 17:31-32; Luke 21:21).  They are not to look back on their earthly possessions, or to take undue care for their life; “anyone who tries to preserve his life will lose it; and anyone who loses it will keep it safe” (Luke 17:33).

 

  1. When Christ comes again, He will “reward with salvation those who are waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:28).  “The man who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13; Mark 13:13; Luke 21:17-19; Luke 21:36). 

 

The faithful will be persecuted, but will be supported by God through it.

 

  1. God will keep His faithful “safe and blameless” for His coming; He has called them and will not fail them (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; Revelation 3:10; Revelation 7:3; Revelation 12:6; Revelation 12:13-16).  Nevertheless, for a time, the evil ones will have the ability to “make war against the saints and conquer them” (Revelation 12:17; Revelation 13:7).  The faithful will be “hated by all the nations on account” of the Name of Christ (Matthew 24:9; Mark 13:13; Luke 21:17).

Scripture promises spiritual safety and preservation for the faithful in these times, not immunity from persecution or, in some cases, physical harm.

 

  1. Tribulation tests, trains, and purifies the faithful, whom God disciplines as sons (Proverbs 13:24; 2 Corinthians 4:17; Hebrews 12:5-13; 1 Peter 1:6-7, 1 Peter 4:12-19; Revelation 3:19).  The time of suffering will be brief (1 Peter 5:10-11).  The faithful who endure to the end will be supported by God, and will be saved (Matthew 10:22; Luke 21:19). 

 

The great tribulation will be brief, and the faithful will receive sufficient warning of it.

 

  1. The time of the great tribulation will be brief; once the events of the Day of the Lord begin, they will unfold quickly (Matthew 24:32-34; Mark 13:28-30; Luke 21:32). 

 

  1. The exact time, “that day and hour,” of the Day of the Lord and the Return of Christ, were then (at the time of Jesus’ ministry) known only to the Father (Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32; Acts 1:6-7). 

 

The followers of Christ will receive enough warning to be able to await the Return with faith and hope.  Even as Noah and Lot were warned in sufficient time to escape destruction, the faithful will also be warned.

 

Christ said, “before this generation has passed away all these things will have taken place” (Matthew 24:34).  Matthew 24 (and the similar passages in the other Gospels) refers in part to the fall of Jerusalem and the Temple – which did occur within 40 years, a Biblical generation, of Jesus’ prophecy.  But these same passages also refer to the end of the age – and in this context, indicate that the final events of the age will move swiftly to their conclusion: in a generation or less.

 

At this time, false teachers will abound, and few will keep the Faith.

 

  1. False teachers will abound at the end of the age, and mankind will become increasingly immoral (1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 2 Timothy 4:3-4).  Faith will be scarce at the time of Christ’s return (Luke 18:8); apostasy will abound (Matthew 24:10); love will have grown cold (Matthew 24:12).

 

One of the false teachings of the last times will be scornful rejection of the promise of Christ’s return, due to the delay in His Appearing (2 Peter 3:3-4).

 

  1. There will be false messiahs, those who say “I am the Christ,” and they will “deceive many” (Matthew 24:4-5; Matthew 24:11; Mark 13:5-6; Luke 21:8).  The followers of these “false Christs and false prophets” will seek recruits, and some of the false teachers may even “produce great signs and portents, enough to deceive even the chosen, if that were possible” (Matthew 24:23-26; Mark 13:21-23; Luke 17:23).

 

  1. The “red dragon” will have “dragged a third of the stars from the sky and dropped them to the earth” (Revelation 12:4) – a symbol of hierarchs being pulled down into allegiance with satan, just as Lucifer dragged down many rebellious angels when he himself fell.

 

Judgment will begin with the purification of the Church.

 

  1. Those who teach the faith will be judged more strictly than others in the Church (James 3:1).  Judgment will “begin at the household of God” (1 Peter 4:17), and will include the religious leaders of the time (Zephaniah 1:4-7; Zephaniah 3:1-8; Malachi 3:2-3; Matthew 3:7-10).  So, it appears that the first of the Tribulations will strike the Church – and its hierarchs and ministers.  Contrary to the Left Behind/Rapture theology, the people of God will also be judged (Romans 11:21-23).

 

There will be an individual Antichrist, who arises from within the Church.

 

  1. The Antichrist will come – and he will be an individual, not a system or an ideology.  Lesser antichrists (those who acted like Antichrist) had already come by John’s time; they “came out of our own number” – that is, from within the Church (1 John 2:18-19).

 

  1. By analogy, the same applies to the Antichrist: he will arise from within the Church.  Antichrist denies that Jesus is the Christ (1 John 2:22; 1 John 4:2-3; 2 John:7) by his deeds rather than by his apparently soothing words.  He will prepare the way for the False Christ, rather than the true Christ.

 

The “Lost One” (the False Christ) will enthrone himself in “God’s sanctuary” and claim that he is God.

 

  1. The Enemy’s way is now being prepared in secret; when “the one who is holding it back” is removed, the Rebel will appear openly (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7).

 

  1. Christ’s Return cannot happen until “the Great Revolt has taken place, and the Rebel, the Lost One, has appeared” (2 Thessalonians 2:3)(The “Great Revolt” is also often referred to as “the Great Apostasy.”)  The Enemy, the False Christ, will come “in his own name,” enthrone himself in God’s sanctuary, and claim “that he is God” (Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14; John 5:43; 2 Thessalonians 2:4).  This is the culminating “abomination of desolation.”  The False Christ will deny that Jesus is the Christ, but will proclaim himself to be God and Christ, returned to earth (1 John 2:22-23).

 

  1. The False Christ will (as allowed by God) work “all kinds of miracles and a deceptive show of signs and portents,” to deceive all those who “refused to believe in the truth and chose wickedness instead” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).

Satan will come disguised as an “angel of light” and his servants will “disguise themselves as the servants of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).  “These people are counterfeit apostles, they are dishonest workmen disguised as apostles of Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:13)

 

  1. The precursors and servants of the False Christ will not seem, at first sight, to be wicked (Matthew 7:15).  They will appear to be pious and devout, strict and orthodox – but the reality will be otherwise. [3] Their fruit has been – and will be – evil, and Christ will not accept them or the works they claim to have done in His Name (Matthew 7:16-23).

 

At the end of the Tribulation, God will destroy the evil political/religious/economic regime that has ruled – and corrupted – the world. 

 

  1. Just before the end of these times, an evil political/religious/economic regime will have authority over the whole world (Revelation 13:1-18; Revelation 17:1-18:3).  The ruler of this system will be worshiped by those whose names “have not been written since the beginning of the world in the book of life” (Revelation 17:8)

 

  1. God will suddenly destroy this regime (Zephaniah 1:8-13; Revelation 18:4-19:4), which is represented symbolically by Sodom, Egypt, Jerusalem, “in which their Lord was crucified” (Revelation 11:8), and Rome, which has persecuted the saints.  Destruction will come “within a single day” (Revelation 18:8), and will be permanent and total (Revelation 18:21; Revelation 19:3).

 

After the appointed number of Gentiles have been converted, a remnant of Jews will acknowledge Christ as the Messiah.

 

  1. Before the first resurrection of the dead, a faithful remnant of Jews will believe Christ and follow Him (Romans 11:15; Romans 11:25-32).  This will come after the appointed number of the Gentiles has believed in Christ.

 

By contrast, the False Christ will not draw the Jews to himself; he will, if given sufficient time, persecute them.  He hates the Jews, for they were the original Chosen People, and the first heirs of the Promise.

 

Just before the coming of Christ, there will be frightening signs and wonders “in the heavens and on earth.”

 

  1. Immediately before the coming of Christ, there will be signs in the heavens and on earth, during which “the sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood” (Acts 2:19-20, referring to Joel 3:4-5).  This will come toward the end of the Tribulation (Matthew 24:29, Mark 13:24-25, Luke 21:25-26, Revelation 6:12-14; Revelation 8:12).

 

Then, the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the heavens, and all will see it.

 

  1. Immediately after these cosmic upheavals, the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the heavens (Matthew 24:30), and the people of the world will mourn as they look upon the one that they have pierced.  “Everyone will see him, even those who pierced him, and all the races of the earth will mourn over him” (Revelation 1:7).

 

The Son of Man will come “on the clouds of heaven” with His angels.

 

  1. All will “see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Daniel 7:13; Matthew 24:30; Matthew 26:63-64; Mark 13:26; Mark 14:61-62; Luke 9:26; Luke 17:24; Luke 21:27; Luke 22:69-70; Revelation 1:7; Revelation 19:11-16), accompanied by His angels (Zechariah 14:5; Matthew 16:27; John 1:51; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10). 

 

Christ described the manner of His coming again to His disciples when preaching during the week before His Passion; He said the same to the Sanhedrin on the night that He was arrested and put on trial for His life.  It was this statement that led the lawless assembly to find Him guilty of blasphemy.

 

  1. Christ ascended in a cloud (Acts 1:9), and the angels told the assembled crowd of disciples that “this same Jesus will come back in the same way as you have seen him go” into the heavens (Acts 1:10-11)

 

  1. When Christ returns, it will be a sudden event that is evident to everyone on earth at once (Matthew 24:27-28; Luke 17:37). 

At Christ’s return, all created things in the heavens and on the earth will be shaken and changed (Hebrews 12:26-27)

 

The believers and unbelievers alike will see Him.  The faithful will rejoice, and the faithless will mourn.  There will be no need of TV cameras, nor public relations men, nor a “new ecclesial movement,” nor a new religious order bearing the sign of the cross, nor any earthly technology, nor any political movement, nor any ecclesiastical organization to make the Return known to all.  Christ will not be proclaimed at the Vatican by the person who claims to be his vicar on earth.  Nor will He announce Himself at a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, or at any other shrine or holy site made by man.

 

By contrast, the False Christ would have arisen from the earth to challenge the real Christ.  Beforehand, the Deceiver may attempt to fake his coming “in the clouds” with a deceptive miracle, or he may explain – as the theosophist Alice Bailey did, when describing the coming of the “World Teacher” – that “coming in the clouds” is just a First Century way of describing travel by airplane (Alice Bailey, The Externalization of the Hierarchy, pp. 576-577).

 

Christ will send His angels to gather all of His elect, living and dead, from wherever they may be.

 

  1. Christ will send His angels with a trumpet blast to gather His “chosen from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:31; Mark 13:27).

 

With the return of Christ, the faithful dead will be resurrected.

 

  1. At Christ’s return, the faithful dead, those who “belong to him,” will be resurrected (Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 6:14, 1 Corinthians 15:21-23).  This is the “first resurrection” (Revelation 20:5).

 

  1. The faithful dead will be raised imperishable, glorious, powerful, and embodying the spirit (Daniel 12:3; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44).  Their “weight of glory” will be eternal (2 Corinthians 4:17-18), and they will inherit “an everlasting home not made by human hands” (2 Corinthians 5:1-4).  The faithful – those who have been resurrected from the dead, and those who were alive at the time of the Return – will “stay with the Lord for ever” (1 Thessalonians 4:17), and will be “rewarded” (Revelation 11:18), and will see God “as he really is” (1 John 3:2).

 

If the system that He [God] created would have allowed it, the moment Lucifer and other angels refused to serve Him, God would have withdrawn the attributes  granted to them and thus, in effect, cancel their evil influence in this world.
 

Immediately after the resurrection of the dead, the faithful who are alive will be transfigured.  The faithful, the living and the resurrected dead, will be taken up to the heavens to meet Christ.

 

  1. Immediately after the resurrection of the dead, those who are alive at the Return of Christ will be transfigured “in the twinkling of an eye, when the last trumpet sounds” (1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18).  This trumpet will be sounded by an Archangel, who will issue a shout of command (1 Thessalonians 4:16). 

 

  1. Those alive who are chosen by Christ to be with Him will be taken up, suddenly, from amongst their families, neighbors, and co-workers (Matthew 24:37-41; Luke 17:34-35).  This is when the wicked will be “left behind” – not before the beginning of the Tribulation, but at its climax.  The writers of the Left Behind books are in error; Christians will go through the Tribulation.

 

  1. The living, like the faithful who have previously  died, will receive imperishable and immortal bodies (Philippians 3:20-21).  They, like the faithful (and now resurrected) dead,  “will be taken up in the clouds, together with them, to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

 

There will be people alive at the Return of Christ; the human race will not be made extinct due to the events of the Tribulation. 

 

  1. The Scriptures (in particular, Matthew 24:13; Matthew 24:39-41; Matthew 28:20; Mark 13:13; Luke 18:8; Luke 21:17-19; Luke 21:36; 1 Corinthians 15:51; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; 1 Thessalonians 4:17) are evidence that there will be people alive on Earth when Christ returns.  There will be no “extinction-level event” before the Return, however grave the disasters of the Great Tribulation will be. 

 

However, few of those alive at the Return of Christ will have kept the Faith.

 

  1. Few of those alive at the Return will have kept the Faith, however (Luke 18:8).

 

The return of Christ from Heaven to Earth will immediately follow the taking-up of the faithful.

 

  1. Christ’s return, His coming down  from Heaven, will immediately follow the sounding of the trumpet, the resurrection of the faithful dead, and the taking up of the living.  (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

 

At Christ’s return, He will slay the False Christ and put down His other foes.

 

  1. At Christ’s return, He will kill the False Christ “with the breath of his mouth” and will “annihilate him with his glorious appearance at his coming” (Isaiah 11:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 19:15). 

 

  1. The “beast was taken prisoner, together with the false prophet who had worked miracles on the beast’s behalf … These two were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulphur” (Revelation 19:20).

 

Christ will destroy the False Christ and cast his two evil lieutenants into the “fiery lake.” These will be the same people that the False Christ had raised up for the whole world to honor.

 

  1. Christ will slay His other enemies (Isaiah 11:4-5; Isaiah 61:2; Zephaniah 2:4-15; Zechariah 14:3; Zechariah 14:12-14; Malachi 3:18-19; Revelation 19:17-21). 

 

  1. Christ will rule for (symbolically) a thousand years (Revelations 20:2, 6) with an “iron scepter” (Psalm 2:8-9; Psalm 110:5-6; Zechariah 14:16-19), exercising equity and integrity, and judging on behalf of the oppressed (Malachi 3:4-5).

 

The Kingdom of Christ will begin with a wedding feast.

 

  1. The Kingdom of Christ will begin with a feast that Christ will offer for His followers (Matthew 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 12:36-39; Luke 22:16; Luke 22:18; Revelation 19:6-9).

 

Humble, loving service – not power politics – is the way to attain greatness in Christ’s Kingdom.

 

  1. The way to greatness in the Kingdom is through humble, faithful, and loving service, not through domination or manipulation (Matthew 20:25-28; Matthew 23:8-12; Matthew 24:45-51; Mark 9:33-35; Mark 10:42-45; Luke 22:24-27).

 

The faithful will assist in the government of the Kingdom, judging the nations and acting as priests, offering a “sacrifice of praise” to God.

 

  1. The faithful will act as priests and kings under Christ (Revelation 1:6); they will govern the nations (Revelation 2:26; Revelation 5:9-10; Revelation 20:4-6), and will offer God a sacrifice of praise.

 

In the Kingdom, the faithful will receive eternal blessings from God.

 

  1. The blessings for “those who prove victorious” (Revelation 2:7) will include:

·       Christ will feed them “from the tree of life set in God’s paradise” (Revelation 2:7).

·       “There is nothing to be afraid of in the second death” (Revelation 2:11).

·       Christ will give them “the hidden manna and a white stone – a stone with a new name written on it, known only to the man who receives it” (Revelation 2:17).

·       Christ will “not blot their names out of the book of life, but acknowledge their names in the presence of my Father and the angels” (Revelation 3:5).

·       Christ will make them “pillars in the sanctuary” of God, and they will “stay there forever” (Revelation 3:12).

·       Christ promised, “Those who prove victorious I will allow to share my throne” (Revelation 3:21).

·       “They will never hunger or thirst again; neither the sun nor scorching wind will ever plague them, because the Lamb who is at the throne will be their shepherd and will lead them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away all tears from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:16-17)

·       Christ said, “I will give water from the well of life free to anybody who is thirsty; it is the rightful inheritance of the one who proves victorious; and I will be his God and he a son to me.” (Revelation 21:6-7)

 

After Christ comes, He will subdue all His enemies, destroy death, and turn His Kingdom over to the Father.

 

  1. After Christ comes, He will subdue all His enemies, and destroy death, the last enemy.  Then He will turn over His kingdom to God the Father.  (Psalm 2:8-12; Psalm 89:26-29; Psalm 110:1; Psalm 110:5-7; Isaiah 45:23-25; Daniel 2:34-35; Daniel 2:44-45; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; 1 Corinthians 15:54-55). 

 

  1. Christ’s kingdom will last forever (Luke 1:33; Hebrews 1:8).  As King of Kings, He will reign over a time of healing and peace, plenty and righteousness, justice and fidelity to the true and living God (Psalm 45:6; Isaiah 9:5-7; Isaiah 61:1-4; Isaiah 65:19-25; Ezekiel 11:18-20; Daniel 7:13-14; Ezekiel 34:25-31; Ezekiel 37:24-28; Zephaniah 3:9-20; Malachi 3:11-12; Malachi 3:20).  The natural world will be healed and made anew (Isaiah 11:6-9; Zechariah 14:6-9).

 

  1. The creation will be made new (Revelation 21:5), and nature healed of the wounds inflicted by sin and evil (Romans 8:19-23).  There will be a “new heavens and new earth” for which the believers are now waiting (Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1), a “universal restoration” (Acts 3:21).

 

  1. The new Jerusalem (Isaiah 65:18) will come “down from God out of heaven” (Revelation 21:2; Revelation 21:10-26).   The river of life will run through the city, with the trees of life on its banks.  The new city will have no temple, “since the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb themselves were the temple, and the city did not need the sun or moon for light, since it was lit by the radiant glory of God” (Revelation 21:22-23).

 

For the “thousand years” of Christ’s reign on Earth, Satan will be bound and confined to the Abyss, till his release “for a short while” just before the end of the world.

 

  1. Christ will reign on earth for a long time – symbolically, a thousand years (Revelation 20:2; Revelation 20:6).

 

  1. At the end of the Millennial era [4], Satan will be “released from his prison and will come out to deceive all the nations in the four corners of the world” (Revelation 20:7-8).  His armies will be massive, and will surround “the camp of the saints,” but “fire will come down from heaven and consume them.”  Then Satan will be cast into the lake of fire, joining the beast and the false prophet in eternal torment (Revelation 20:9-10)

 

After the final destruction of Satan, there will be a universal resurrection of the dead.  Christ will judge all, the living and the dead.

 

  1. Christ will judge the living and the dead, according to their works (Ezekiel 11:21; Matthew 12:36-37; Matthew 13:39-43; Matthew 13:47-50; Matthew 25:31-46; Mark 10:29-30; Mark 16:16; John 5:28-30; Romans 2:6-11; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 2:23; Revelation 20:11-15).

 

  1. All will be judged – the living, the faithful dead, and the wicked dead. 

 

  1. In this universal and final judgment, all secrets will be revealed (Romans 2:16, 1 Corinthians 4:5).  Everyone’s works will be tested by fire, to reveal their quality and permanence – or lack thereof (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10; 1 Peter 1:7)

The good will be with Christ forever in Heaven, and the evil will go forever to Hell.

 

  1. The good will be with Christ forever, and the evil will be sent away into the fires of Hell (Isaiah 66:24; Daniel 12:2; Matthew 3:12; Matthew 13:30; Matthew 13:49-50; Matthew 25:29-30; Matthew 25:31-46; Luke 3:17; John 14:3; John 15:6).

 

  1. Hell is not empty. “Many” will go there (Matthew 7:13-14; Matthew 22:14), and among them is Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Christ (Matthew 26:23-25; Mark 14:21; Luke 22:21-22; John 6:70-71; John 17:12).  This will be the “second death,” the “burning lake” (Revelation 20:15).

 


NOTES                                                                     

[0] Review Biblical Literalism - Part I and Part II to better understand the differences among different Biblical translations even within the same Faith.


[1]
Christ will have to return precisely because it has been man who unleashed all that misery upon itself, and if He does not intervene mankind would annihilate itself.

[2] Some believe that the Ark of the Covenant, the sacred artifact last seen in the Temple before the exile to Babylon, will be found during the End Times.  (The Ethiopian Orthodox Church claims to have the Ark in its possession, at a church in Axum, Ethiopia.)  But as St. John received a vision of the Tribulation and the judgment of the earth, he saw “the sanctuary of God in heaven opened, and the ark of the covenant could be seen inside it” (Revelation 11:19).  According to John’s vision, the Ark is in the Heavenly temple now – and as Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox understand it, the true Ark is the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God.  If a physical artifact is brought forth with great fanfare on earth as the real Ark, its finding could be one of the Deceiver’s evil “signs and portents” (2 Thessalonians 2:9).


[3] The preceding points indicate that the period before Christ’s return will see neither a social utopia nor the restoration of “Christendom.”  The prophet Daniel warned that prior to the end of these times, “wickedness will go on increasing” (Daniel 12:4).

 

In particular, and contrary to what is stated by some Catholic prophecy writers who quote certain medieval saints and modern visionaries, there is nothing in Scripture that speaks of the “Holy Pope” and the “Great Monarch” establishing and leading a beneficent, global, Church-led regime.  It will be God who purifies and renews His Church (Malachi 3:2-3), not a new Inquisition, or a revived Knights Templar, or a “crackdown” Pope in the style of St. Pius X.  Only Christ Himself will bring the era of “one flock, one shepherd” (John 10:16).

        [4] Carefully note that what is meant by  "...this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism..."   is not the real thousand years spoken of in Revelation 20:1-10.

What the Catechism is warning the faithful about is the "falsification of the kingdom", that is, when the False Christ, about whom we have written and warned the faithful about, will try to convince people to work with him to achieve the real thousand years of peace and prosperity. This "falsification of the kingdom" would be  "the 'intrinsically perverse' political form of a secular messianism" that you may read below in Paragraph No. 676 and that we continually warn one and all about!



 

Published on Easter Week - 2007

Updated on August 22, 2013 - The Queenship of Mary


Copyright 2007-2013  by The M+G+R Foundation. All rights reserved.



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