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The Rapture, Antichrist, Rebuilding The Temple, And What Must Come

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There has been much speculation throughout history as to who the man called Antichrist will be from Nero to Prince Charles.  Personally, I donít think anyone will know until after the rapture takes place.   

Yes, the Bible does state in Revelation 13:18, ďHere is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.Ē  This has led many to believe that we can know who the Antichrist is if we possess this wisdom.    

I believe this is a message to those who will be left behind to go through the tribulation period.  I donít believe anyone on this side of the rapture will ever know who the Antichrist is.  We can guess and speculate but anyone who thinks that they have solved the mystery of the Antichrist just doesnít understand that things will change dramatically once Christians are taken out of this world.  Itís like trying to forecast what the greatest future gainer will be (possibly years down the road) in the stock market based on present information.   What many of these prognosticators donít understand is their man could die tomorrow along with their ironclad prediction.  Whoever the Antichrist turns out to be the Bible has much to say about his character and his activities.    

The Timing Of The Day Of The Lord

First, I believe it is important to set the stage.  The Bible says that life will be fairly normal before the rapture takes place.  That doesnít mean that that day will not be self-serving and a very dangerous and evil time (II Timothy 3:1-5).   

Itís important for me to state that I believe the ďDay of the LordĒ starts right after the rapture of the church.  Many believe it wonít start until the midway point of the tribulation period and others say it wonít happen until the end of the seven years when the Lord comes back.  Keeping this in mind, we can proceed with the timeline. 

The Timing Of Certain Events

This is how I see the sequence of events taking place.  There are two events that many overlook that I believe could happen before or after the rapture or during the tribulation period itself.  One, the rebuilding of the temple (Daniel 9:27), and two, the Antichristís subduing of three nations (Daniel 7:24).  Of course, it is generally believed by most Bible scholars that these two events will take place during the first half of the tribulation period.  I have to agree but itís certainly possible that it could happen before the tribulation period starts. 

As you may know, I also believe that there will be a period of time between the beginning of the rapture and the start of the tribulation period.  How long that will be is anyoneís guess.  During this time period Satan will select his man and reveal himself to this person.  At this time, I donít believe the future Antichrist knows who he is.  Thatís not to say that Satan isnít positioning him (Antichrist) and directing his path for the future.   

Does Satan Know His Time Is Near

 Iím sure many are thinking, ĒDoesnít Satan know his end is near?  He must read the Bible.Ē  Satan does know the scriptures, but I donít believe he knows all scripture nor has the ability to discern them.  The scripture is only completely understood by those who possess the Holy Spirit.  You canít understand the Word unless God grants you to.  Take a look at I Peter 1:10-12: 

ďOf which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:  Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.  Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.Ē 

Even the prophets only understood what God permitted them to understand.  They were not given full knowledge as todayís New Testament Christianís are granted.  

In verse twelve it states that salvation was something angels didnít fully understand and desired to look into.  This leads me to the conclusion that angels do not fully understand the Bible unless God allows them to have this knowledge even though they desire to.  If God has hidden some things from the heavenly angels how much more from those who have fallen! 

So how does Satan know itís time to ready his man to rise up and rule the world?  He doesnít!  Certainly he knows that one day he will be judged (Matthew 8:29) but that day is a mystery to him.  

I believe that God, who knows everything, including the mind of every creature (Satan), simply looked into the future and knew exactly when Satan would try to stage a revolt.  He also set it up to be perfectly timed with the rapture of the church and the events of the tribulation period.  Or God put it in the mind of Satan to do His will.  In short, Satan is just a tool that God uses to do His will in His time.  I think itís safe to say that God manipulates Satan on a regular bases to come in line with his timetable.  

It is futile for any angel, man or beast to try and outsmart or plan anything without God knowing about it before the foundation of the world (Titus 1:2).  In my opinion, Satan is oblivious to what day he is living in and what is about to happen.  He firmly believes that his rise to earthly power will all be a part of his master plan and in his timing.  Little does he know that his plans were known from the foundation of the world. 

How Much Does Satan Know

How much does Satan know?  Whatever God has granted for him to know.  That will be something we probably wonít know until after we get to heaven.  He may or may not know about the rapture of the church.  Upon doing research for this article I tend to believe that he does not know when the rapture will take place.  He might not even know about the rapture or what it is.  It is conceivable that when the rapture takes place it will completely take Satan by surprise.  It maybe a surprise but it wonít derail his plans.  Somehow, he will deceive the world into believing his lie and life will go on as if it never happened.  Thereís one thing many overlook, if not for Godís protection, this world would be putty in the hands of Satan to be deceived and manipulated at every turn. 

Getting Back To The Timeline

As stated earlier, it is possible that the Jerusalem temple could be rebuilt and the Antichristís conquering of three nations could happen before the rapture takes place.  The Bible does not place any scriptural boundaries on these two prophecies other than that they will take place in the last days. It is conceivable that the (future) Antichrist could fight this battle in his rise to power before the rapture or during the time span between the rapture and tribulation or during the tribulation period.  

Itís also possible that Israel could make some sort of deal in the near future that would allow them to rebuild their temple.  The only qualification is that the temple be built by the midway point of the tribulation period.  That will be when the Antichrist will desecrate it (Daniel 9:27). 

Many believe that the Antichrist will bring peace shortly after his revealing.  It's believed that this peace plan will start the tribulation clock rolling and bring a short time of peace and safety to Israel.  The rebuilding of the Jerusalem temple may or may not be a part of the plan.  Some believe that the Arab world would never agree to such an abomination of one of their holy sites.  Permitting Israel to build a pagan temple next to theirs would be a complete desecration of their temple and start World War III. 

This leads many to believe that the peace plan the Antichrist will confirm will not include permission for Israel to rebuild their temple on the temple mount.  But peace will come and bring rest for Israel and they will dwell safely in their own land (Ezekiel 38:11) for a short time.

But in a very short time of peace war will break out. Russia and their Arab alliance will stage a surprise sneak attack on Israel.  Since there is no mention of the actual attack taking place (they will died in the hills of Israel) it is my belief that God will destroy them just before war begins.  They will probably be mobilized near Israelís border planning their attack.  As they proceed, in the beginning stages of their advance, the Lord will destroy them.  

After this shocking defeat, the Bible says that not only Israel, but the whole world, will give glory to God (Ezekiel 38:23).  Yes, it will be that shocking!  It is my belief that this victory will start the beginning stages of a national revival in Israel leading them to reclaim the temple mount and rebuild their temple.  The Ark Of The Covenant may even be brought out of hiding at this time.  And if the Mosque Of Omar is still standing they will tear it down without resistance.

Then the tribulation period will continue.

Are you ready to meet the Lord?  If not, your time is running out!

Terry Malone

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