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Some Comments on Mike Bickle's End-Time Teaching, Part 4

by Karl Kemp  
8/27/2015 / Bible Studies


We continue with the discussion of Dan. 11:40-45 here in Part 4, starting with Dan. 11:42.

(42) Then he [Antichrist, the king of the North of verse 40] will stretch his hand out against other countries, and the land of Egypt will not escape. (43) But he will gain control over the hidden treasures of gold and silver and over all the precious things of Egypt; and Libyans and Ethiopians will follow at his heels. [[The Libyans and Ethiopians may have been aligned with the king of the South in his initial collision with Antichrist (Dan. 11:40). Anyway, they, like the Egyptians, will submit to Antichrist, including submitting their armies to him. (NOW WE COME TO VERSE 44, WHICH APPARENTLY IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT VERSES IN THE BIBLE THAT PROPHESIES OF THE WARFARE OF THE SHORT GREAT TRIBULATION OF MATT. 24:21, 22.)]] (44) But rumors ["reports" with the NIV is better] from the East and from the North will disturb him, and he will go forth with great wrath to destroy and annihilate many." [[Antichrist will be in the South, having conquered Egypt (verses 42, 43). He will apparently be disturbed by reports of VERY LARGE armies crossing the Euphrates River and coming into that part of the world. Those armies will be coming from "the East" and "the North" of his location. Antichrist's abomination of desolation and the fact that he has been conquering countries will stir up much opposition to Antichrist, and nations/religions will want to defend their perceived rights (including religious rights) in Israel, especially in Jerusalem.

Apparently the prophecy of the sixth trumpet of the book of Revelation (Rev. 9:13-21), which we discussed above, enables us to understand the "reports" that will disturb Antichrist. That trumpet will sound about the time of Antichrist's abomination of desolation. The four evil angels who are now bound at the Euphrates River will be released at that time to gather TWO HUNDRED MILLION SOLDIERS who will cross the Euphrates River and come into that part of the world that includes Israel. Reports like that can disturb a person. (The ancient Romans feared attacks from Parthian horsemen who came from the other side of the Euphrates River.) Each evil angel may be responsible for gathering an army from his assigned part of the world. Note that demons gather the enemies of God (referring to people) to Armagedon (Har-Magedon) under the outpouring of the sixth bowl of wrath (Rev. 16:13-16).

As this verse (Dan. 11:44) shows (and it is no surprise) Antichrist "will go forth with great wrath to destroy and annihilate many." Antichrist will probably be killed during the warfare of the short great tribulation (Matt. 24:21, 22) that will take place in the one-month period that will start with the abomination of desolation (Matt. 24:15) and end before the Lord Jesus returns in the middle of the seven years (Matt. 24:29-31). Antichrist will be killed, but he will come back from the dead (he will come up out of the abyss [Rev. 11:7]) in time to kill the two witnesses three and one-half days before they come back to life (the fullness of eternal life) before the watching world in the middle of the seven years and are raptured (Rev. 11:7-11). It isn't hard to believe that a third of mankind (but, as I mentioned, not necessarily a third of mankind worldwide) will be killed during those few weeks of warfare that will undoubtedly use nuclear weapons and probably other weapons of mass destruction.]] (45) [[As I have mentioned, this verse is important to help confirm the (apparent) important point that God will not permit Antichrist to have access to Jerusalem (very much including the temple mount) during the second half of the seven years, after the Lord Jesus has returned and the rapture has taken place. It will apparently be controlled by the Lord Jesus and the elect end-time remnant of Israel who will have repented and submitted to Him and become Christians.]] He will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain; yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him [Contrast Michael arising to help the end-time remnant of Israel during the days of the (short) great tribulation that is spoken of in the next verse (Dan. 12:1), which (as we have discussed) will start about the time of the abomination of desolation]." [[(This double bracket goes on for three paragraphs.) Antichrist will set up his headquarters in Israel. This may be his primary headquarters from this time (about the middle of Daniel's 70th week) to the time "he will come to his end" at the end of Daniel's 70th week (cf., e.g., Dan. 7:11; Rev. 19:20).

I believe the reading in the margin of the NIV ("the sea," instead of "the seas") in Dan 11:45 conveys the intended meaning. The Hebrew noun for "sea" is plural here, but it is quite common for Hebrew (unlike English) to use the plural when no plurality is intended. The Hebrew plural can be used to amplify the idea of majesty, extension, fullness, etc. I believe C. F. Keil (Keil and Delitzsch, "Commentary on the Old Testament," Vol. 9, 1978 reprint, pages 473, 474) says it well: The plural "is only the poetic plural of fullness, as a sign of the great Mediterranean Sea." Compare the size of that sea with the Sea of Galilee or the Dead Sea. The Mediterranean Sea is a common view in the commentaries.

So, Antichrist's headquarters will apparently be located between the Mediterranean Sea and Jerusalem, which is the "Holy Mountain" (cf. Dan. 9:16, 20). Within Jerusalem was the Temple Mount, which can certainly be called the "Holy Mountain." As we have discussed, it seems certain that Antichrist would like to control Jerusalem and have access to the temple from the time he begins his super-evil reign in the middle of the seven years (cf., e.g., Rev. 13:2, 5), but (as we have discussed) the Lord Jesus will apparently claim Jerusalem as His city when He returns in the middle of the seven years. (We discussed Matt. 24:15 and 21, 22 above. Now that we have discussed three very important cross-references that enable us to understand the short great tribulation of Matt. 24:21, 22, we are ready to discuss Matt. 24:29-31.]]

MATTHEW 24:29-31. "But immediately after the tribulation of those days [referring back to the "tribulation" of the short "great tribulation" of Matt. 24:21, 22. The same Greek noun ("thlipsis") is used in 24:21 and 29 (and in the Greek [Septuagint] version of Dan. 12:1); see under Matt. 24:21 above.] THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT [[As we have discussed, it is very important to see that the sun and moon will be darkened by the smoke and dust generated during the very intense warfare of the short great tribulation (see Rev. 9:17, 18 and Joel 2:30, 31; cf. Rev. 9:2, which confirms that it is Biblical to say that smoke can darken the sun, even though the sun itself continues to shine brightly above the smoke and dust.) There is widespread agreement that the moon's not giving its light here in Matt. 24:29 is referring to the same event as Joel 2:31 and Rev. 6:12, which speak of the moon being turned to blood. What little light that does come from the moon will have an ominous red coloration.]], AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. [[(This double bracket goes on for five paragraphs.) These words are quite important; I believe that they convey a much more important meaning than is typically recognized. REVELATION 12:4a, 7-9 is the cross-reference that perfectly explains the primary meaning of these words, and this cross-reference prophesies of one of the more important features of God's end-time judgment of the world: The devil and the evil angels will be cast down to the earth at the time of Christ's mid-week return. They will be cast down at essentially the same time that we will be raptured. Based on Matt. 24:29-31 you could say that the devil and his angels will be cast down just before we are raptured. (Mike agrees that the devil will be cast down in the middle of Daniel's 70th week. See his 2014 "Studies in the Book of Revelation - Session 9, Second Coming and Rapture; War in the Spirit (Rev. 11-14)," page 5, for example, but he locates the sounding of the seventh trumpet and the rapture at the end of the seven years.)

I'll quote REVELATION 12:4a, 7-10 (Revelation chapter 11-13 are discussed verse-by-verse in my end-time e-book and the paperback book.): "And his [the dragon's, the devil's (see 12:9)] tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven ["Stars" sometimes represent angels, as they do here. They can represent good angels (Rev. 1:16, 20) or evil angels (Rev. 9:1; cf. 8:10, 11). This is the only verse in the Bible that shows that a third of God's angels followed the devil in his initial rebellion against God.] ... (7) And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, (8) and they [the devil and his angels] were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. [Before the devil is cast down he even has access to accuse God's people before Him day and night (Rev. 12:10).] (9) And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him. [The return of the Lord Jesus (to save and) to judge in the middle of Daniel's 70th week will cause this preliminary, partial judgment of Satan and his angels. (At the end of the seven years he will be cast into the abyss for a thousand years [Rev. 20:1-3]; then after being loosed for a little while [Rev. 20:7-10]; he will be cast into the eternal lake of fire [Rev. 20:10].) The next verse is a strong confirmation of the fact that the Lord Jesus will return and the rapture will take place right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week.] (10) Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, 'Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down.' " IT WILL TAKE A LOT MORE THAN THE DEVIL AND HIS ANGELS BEING CAST DOWN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEVEN YEARS (which Mike rightly believes will happen in the middle of the seven years) TO CAUSE THE SALVATION, AND THE POWER, AND THE KINGDOM AND THE AUTHORITY OF HIS CHRIST TO COME. THESE THINGS WILL COME BECAUSE THE LORD JESUS WILL COME TO BEGIN TO REIGN ON THE EARTH IN THE MIDDLE OF DANIEL'S 70TH WEEK WITH THE SOUNDING OF THE SEVENTH AND LAST TRUMPET, which is also the time the devil will be cast down with his angels, and the believers (the male child of Rev. 12:5) will be glorified, raptured, and begin reign with the Lord Jesus. (Revelation 11:15-17, which I'll quote as we continue, show that God's kingdom comes and He begins to reign on the earth [mostly at first through the reign of the Lord Jesus] at the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet.) THIS IS A VERY STRONG CONFIRMATION THAT THE SEVENTH TRUMPET WILL SOUND AND THE LORD JESUS WILL RETURN RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEVEN YEARS.

After the devil is cast down he will have "great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time" (Rev. 12:13). As Rev. 12:13-13:18 show, he will know that he only has three and one-half years to go after he is cast down (Rev. 12:6, 14; and 13:5). One of the primary things the devil will be doing throughout those three and one-half years is to attack those who will be saved (become Christians) after the rapture, which will center in the end-time remnant of Israel. He will not be able to attack those who have been glorified and raptured in the middle of the seven years. For one primary thing, the devil will attack the Christians living on the earth after the rapture through Antichrist. Revelation 13:2 shows that he gives Antichrist "his power, and his throne, and great authority" right after he is cast down to the earth in the middle of the seven years.

As I showed, Mike agrees that the devil will be cast down right in the middle of the seven years. Mike also agrees that the devil will give Antichrist "his power, and his throne, and great authority" when he is cast down (see his 2014 "Studies in the Book of Revelation - Session 9, Second Coming and Rapture: War in the Spirit," pages 7 and 9). Mike even agrees that Rev. 11:15-18 prophesy of the return of the Lord Jesus at the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet (see the reference I just cited, page 1), which is correct, BUT he believes those things will happen at the end of the seven years. I am sure they will take place in the middle of the seven years.

I'll quote REVELATION 11:15-17, which are verses of key importance. (Revelation chapters 11-13 are discussed in some detail in my "The Mid-Week Rapture"; they are also discussed in my e-book, "Introduction to the Mid-Week Rapture.") "Then the seventh angel sounded [he sounded his trumpet; this is the same trumpet as in Matt. 24:31; 1 Cor. 15:52 ("the last trumpet"); and 1 Thess. 4:16]; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.' [When the Lord Jesus returns at the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet, He will begin to reign (see 11:17). He will not be in a hurry to quickly subdue His enemies. His reigning will include saving and judging for the next three and one-half years. For one thing, although He will have just cast the devil and his angels down to the earth, he certainly will not have judged the devil in any full sense. That will not take place until the end of the millennium when He casts him into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10). He will cast the devil into the abyss at the end of the seven years (Rev. 20:1-3). And Antichrist will begin his super-evil three and one-half year reign right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week (cf., e.g., Rev. 13:5). God will use Antichrist (and the devil who gives him "his power and his throne and great authority" [Rev. 13:2]) throughout the second half of the seven-year period. For one thing, Antichrist (and the devil) will be directly involved in God's "hour of testing" that will take place throughout the second half of the seven-year period (see Rev. 3:10, a super-important verse we will discuss as we continue). The Lord Jesus will also use Antichrist in His judgment and removal of Babylon the great harlot (Rev. 17:16, 17). (We will discuss this judgment of Babylon as we continue.)] And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God [On these high-level angelic beings who reign with God and worship Him, see Rev. 4:4, 10. These verses are discussed in my paper on Revelation chapters 1-10 on my internet site.], saying, 'We give you thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were [These words serve to confirm that God has now come at the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet: In Rev. 1:4 and 1:8 God the Father was spoken of as "Him who is and who was AND WHO IS TO COME [my emphasis]" (also see 4:8). But here in 11:17, now that the seventh trumpet has sounded and the Lord Jesus has come, the name of God is changed to reflect this all-important coming. There is widespread agreement that the KJV's "which art, and wast, AND ART TO COME [my emphasis]" here in 11:17 and the similar translation of the NKJV are not supported by the better Greek manuscripts.], because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign." [It is clear that God always had the authority and power to fully reign on the earth (and everywhere else), but He clearly has left a lot of room for the rebellion of Satan and those who follow him in his rebellion, including humans, to continue. At the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet things will change: The Lord Jesus will begin to judge, but even then He won't immediately remove all rebels in judgment. However, by the end of Daniel's 70th week He will have completed the first major phase of God's end-time judgment of the world, which won't be completed until the great-white-throne judgment at the end of the millennium.] (This is the end of the lengthy, but very important five paragraph double bracket under Matt. 24:29, and it is the end of the discussion of Matt. 24:29. Now we will continue the discussion of Matt. 24:29-31 with verse 30.]] (MATTHEW 24:30) And then the sign [cf. Matt. 24:3] of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn [[They will mourn because the day of judgment has come. This mourning will be toned down to some significant extent for a while because the devil and Antichrist will have lies prepared to try to explain away the reality of what is happening. For example, they will undoubtedly try to explain away the rapture by saying things like the earth has been purged of those holding back the evolution of the good things that need to take place on the earth. It was good to get rid of those fundamentalists who actually believed that the Bible is true and kept harping on that unfriendly, intolerant idea that sin is real and serious and we cannot be saved except through the Lord Jesus and His atoning death and resurrection. Now it is obvious to all who have any sense that Antichrist must be worshiped. Look at the miracles! He came back from the dead! Look at the authority and power! Compare Rev. 13:4b, "and they worshiped the beast [Antichrist], saying, 'who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?' " Before long it will be manifested that there is a Person who will have zero problem waging war with him, or with the devil and his angels.]], and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN [cf., e.g., Dan. 7:13, 14; Matt. 16:27] with power and great glory. [[The primary difference between Mike and myself here is that he would locate this coming at the end of the seven years, and I am sure the Lord Jesus will return right in the middle of the seven years. We agree that the Lord will come right after the short great tribulation of Matt. 24:21, 22, at the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet, but Mike (along with many) believes that the short great tribulation will take place throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th week. I have shown in this paper why I am sure that the very intense warfare of the short great tribulation will take place and be completed in the one-month period between the abomination of desolation and the return of the Lord Jesus right in the middle of the seven years.]] (31) And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other [in other words, worldwide]." [[The angels gathering God's elect to the Lord Jesus in the clouds of heaven worldwide is the rapture. This is the same trumpet as "the LAST trumpet" of 1 Cor. 15:50-52; the trumpet of 1 Thess. 4:16, 17; and the seventh and LAST trumpet of Rev. 11:15.

If we did not have the all-important book of Revelation, which gives us God's latest prophetic words contained in the Bible, it might be reasonable for us to think in terms of the Lord Jesus returning and judging the world in a rather short period of time at the end of the seven years, but the book of Revelation demonstrates (clearly demonstrates I believe) that the Lord Jesus will be judging the world (and doing other things, including saving more people) throughout the three and one-half years of the second half of Daniel's 70th week. ("The hour of testing" that we read about in Rev. 3:10 will be taking place throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th week. We will discuss Rev. 3:10 next.) That judging will include using Antichrist and the ten horns (rulers) to destroy Babylon the great harlot that will apparently take place throughout the second half of the seven years: Babylon the great harlot is a symbol for the devil's city and worldwide kingdom that seduces people from worshiping God with false religions (including apostate Christianity and the occult and worldly philosophies) and all of the other things that people live for instead of for God, by Whom and for Whom they were created. God's judgment of Babylon the great harlot is a major feature in His end-time judgment of the world. He devoted three chapters of the book of Revelation to that judgment.

GOD PUTS IT INTO THE HEART OF ANTICHRIST AND THE TEN HORNS (RULERS) TO HATE THE HARLOT AND MAKE HER DESOLATE (Rev. 17:16, 17). For one thing, Antichrist will be against all religion and every object of worship, and he demands that he alone be worshiped (see 2 Thess. 2:3, 4; Dan. 11:36, 37). There will be a climactic end to God's judgment of Babylon the great harlot (see Rev. 19:1-3). One fact that emphasizes that the Lord Jesus Himself will be actively engaged in warfare against His enemies throughout the second half of the seven years is that He will have the blood of His enemies on His garment (Rev. 19:13) before He goes to destroy those gathered to Armageddon at the end of the seven years. I assume this is symbolic language (having the blood of His enemies on His garment), but it deals with the reality that He will be judging and removing His enemies (cf., e.g., Isa. 63:1-6; Rev. 19:15).

After Babylon is destroyed and lays in ruins at the end of the seven years, it will be time for the Lord Jesus to judge Antichrist and the false prophet and the multitudes who will be gathered to Armageddon under the sixth bowl of wrath (Rev. 16:13-16; 19:19-21). The seven bowls of wrath will be a final part of God's end-time judgment of the world: The first five bowls are mentioned in Rev. 16:1-22, and the seventh bowl in Rev. 16:17-21). It will take some time for the bowl judgments to be executed, but apparently they will all be poured out during the later part of the second half of the seven years, after Antichrist's kingdom has been established. (These things are all discussed in my end-time books and/or in my end-time papers that are on my internet site. [Google to Karl Kemp Teaching.])

As I have mentioned, Mike locates the seven bowls of wrath in a one-month period AFTER the Lord Jesus returns at the end of the seven years. He gets this one-month period from Dan. 12:11, but as we have discussed, I believe it is very important to see that the 1,290 days of Dan. 12:11 show that the abomination of desolation will take place 30 days (a month) before the middle of the seven years. There aren't many who agree with Mike (I don't know of any, but I haven't made it a project to look for those who agree with Mike either) that the seven bowls of wrath will be poured out AFTER the seven years end.

REVELATION 3:10 is a very important verse that is packed with good news for all the Christians who will be faithfully living for the Lord Jesus (by grace through faith) when He returns in the middle of the seven-year period. I believe this verse powerfully demonstrates that the end-of-the-week rapture viewpoint is wrong. "Because you have kept the word of My perseverance [[The NKJV translates, "Because you have kept My command to persevere"; The NIV has, "Since you have kept my command to endure patiently." They have been keeping the word of Christ that requires perseverance (by grace through faith). We must understand that the Lord Jesus could not, and He did not, say these words (or similar words) to all the Christians of the seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, not even to most of them. His word to most of the Christians was that they must repent if they want to continue to be true Christians. (See on Revelation chapters 2 and 3 in my paper on Revelation chapters 1-10, and see my paper "Once Saved, Always Saved?" They are both available on my internet site [Google to Karl Kemp Teaching])]], I also will keep you from [or "out of"; Greek preposition "ek"] the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come [or, "which is going to come"] upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth." THE GREEK (and other considerations) MAKES IT QUITE CLEAR THAT HE IS GOING TO KEEP US (those who have been keeping His word that requires perseverance, which is included in what it means to be faithful to Him by grace through faith; those who have truly repented where repentance was required are included) "OUT OF" OR "FROM" THE HOUR OF TESTING, NOT TO KEEP US "DURING," OR "THROUGH," THE HOUR OF TESTING. WE WILL BE KEPT "OUT OF" OR "FROM" THE HOUR OF TESTING BY BEING RAPTURED FROM THE EARTH RIGHT BEFORE THE HOUR OF TESTING BEGINS. All the passages in the Bible that show that the Lord Jesus will return in the middle of Daniel's 70th week (especially Revelation chapters 11-13 and Daniel chapter 12) confirm this interpretation. Both of my end-time books discuss those passages, and many of those passages are discussed to some extent in this paper.

The Lord Jesus could keep us faithful during the second half of Daniel's 70th week if we were going to be living on the earth at that time, BUT THAT ISN'T WHAT THIS VERSE SAYS. God has chosen to give us this great blessing of being glorified and raptured to begin to reign with Christ Jesus as He is judging the world throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th week, instead of living on the earth during those very difficult years. It is going to be a very difficult time for Christians who live on the earth during that period; that is, for those who become Christians after the rapture, centering in the end-time remnant of Israel. (They will be very thankful to be saved at the last second, even after the Lord Jesus has returned and the day of judgment has begun.) Consider, for example, Dan. 7:21, 25; 12:7; Rev. 6:11; 12:13-13:18 (especially Rev. 13:5, 7); and 20:4. To keep us "out of" or "from" the extreme difficulties of the second half of Daniel's 70th week, when the devil has been cast down to the earth with his angels and having great wrath and Antichrist's super-evil reign is taking place, is God's plan, not a hope that Christians came up with in an attempt to evade difficulties, and I'm sure that God would have us rejoice in His plan, with thankfulness. All true Christians are sufficiently tested during their lives on the earth. We don't have to worry about that. Revelation 3:10 shows that these Christians have kept His word which has required perseverance in difficult places. (We are not nearly done discussing Rev. 3:10.)

We will continue this discussion of Rev. 3:10 in Part 5 of this paper.

Copyright by Karl Kemp

http://www.karlkempteachingministries.com Karl Kemp worked as an engineer in the space field throughout the 60s. He became a born-again Christian in 1964. He received an MA in Biblical Studies in 1972. He has been a Bible teacher for 45 years. See the website for more info on his books, papers, etc.

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