Matthew 24:6-8
And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars;
see that you are not frightened, for they must take place, but {that} is not yet the end.
For nation will rise against nation,
and kingdom against kingdom,
and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are just the beginning of birth pangs.

At this point I could easily produce documentation from the pages of the daily newspaper showing the ever increasing presence of all the above mentioned items. Anyone can confirm for themselves the reality of world-wide distress, unrest and turmoil that has resulted not only from the "physical" disruptions of earthquakes and other natural catastrophes but also the great pain and suffering that exists from economic hardships all over the world; not to mention the fear and suffering from the escalation of border disputes, social and religious conflicts, and international strife. It is just such an international condition of chaos, with specific escalation of aggressions in the Middle East, that sets the stage for the much needed "man of the hour" who will be able to manipulate all the parties involved so that an actual time of peace will be realized throughout the world, or at least in the Middle East.


Now as John's vision continues, a great fan fare is produced to teach him the awesomeness of the 7 sealed book and the inception of those events symbolized by the seals.

Revelation 5:11-14

And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing. and every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever. And the four living creatures kept saying, Amen. And the elders fell down and worshiped.


The teaching of Jesus recorded in the Olivet discourse makes it clear that the church (represented by the disciples) will undergo the beginning of birth pangs and THEN be delivered up to tribulation. At Mat. 24:9, the KJV translation leads to considerable confusion. It reads,

"Then they shall deliver you up to be afflicted. . ."

But the Greek word for, "to be afflicted," is the noun, thlipsis, plus the preposition, eis, and should be rendered either, to tribulation or to a tribulation. (It could also be rendered, to affliction or to an affliction as long as the "noun" form is preserved in the translation.)

The NASB, translates it properly with the rendering, "to tribulation."

In the verses following v. 9, Jesus explains the nature of this tribulation. At v. 15, the word "therefore," must be taken in connection with the affliction of v. 9. And then at v. 21, the word "for," must be taken as an amplification of v.15-20. Thus, the whole section from v.9 through 29 is referring to the same period of time.

In v. 9, it is called tribulation (or "a"). In v. 21, it is called great (or a great) tribulation. And in v. 29, it is called, THE tribulation of those days. It needs to be seen, that Jesus views the progress of the church from the period of "beginning birth pangs" up to and into the period called tribulation. At v.15, that period of tribulation is identified as beginning with the abomination of desolation, which we already know to take place at the mid-point of Daniel's 70th week (Dan. 9:27 and 12:11). Thus, the tribulation period is not 7 years in length but begins in the middle of the week and according to v. 22, shall be cut short so that it does not even last for the remaining 3 1/2 years of the week.

However, the period of time prior to the mid-point of the week is not specifically mentioned. In fact, it appears to be entirely skipped over by mentioning "tribulation" at v. 9. The reason is simply because during that first 3 1/2 years of Daniel's week, there exists a slight reprieve from persecution and suffering not only for the church but also for the whole world. This is the result of the peace that is procured by the ruler of the 10-nation confederacy as he confirms a covenant with the many for 7 years.

No where in the scriptures is there any suggestion that the church will not be present at the beginning of this 7 year period nor is there any suggestion that the church will be removed BEFORE the period of time known as great tribulation. Furthermore, it needs to be observed that this time of tribulation is a period of affliction that comes from man and from Satan, not from God. God's wrath will be poured out on the world after the arrival of Jesus at the Day of the LORD. The promise for the church is deliverance from God's wrath, not deliverance from persecution and suffering. As Paul taught at Acts 14:22,

"strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith and saying, through many afflictions we must enter the kingdom of God"

Romans 15:3

"And not only this but we also exult in our afflictions, knowing that affliction brings about endurance"

2 Timothy 3:12

And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

The promise for the church is deliverance from God's wrath which will be poured out upon the whole world as the final demonstration of temporal justice upon those who do not believe. For we - -

"wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come." 1 Thessalonians 1:10

It has been suggested that Paul has in mind the general "wrath" of divine judgment which will be meted out at the Great White Throne judgment upon all unbelievers. However it seems to me, more probable that Paul has in mind a period of wrath that will come upon the world at the time that His Son comes from heaven.

This promise of deliverance from the Day of the LORD judgments is mentioned by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse.

Luke 21:25-28

And there will be signs in sun, moon and stars, and upon the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, BECAUSE YOUR REDEMPTION IS DRAWING NEAR.

That promise of deliverance for the church will take place at the day of the LORD when Jesus returns and gathers the church out of the world through the rapture. But it can not occur until the great apostasy of the church comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed (2 Thes. 2:1-4). And all throughout the time period that the church is present on the earth, her job as ambassador for Jesus Christ will be in full operation to such an extant that by the time the Day of the LORD arrives, there will have been a successful worldwide evangelistic impact by the church.

Matthew 24:14

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.


In order for the world ruler to utilize the 10 nation confederacy as his political power base, he will conquer 3 of the 10 and apparently the rest will fall in line behind his authority. It is necessary for him to take over 3 of the kings (or nations) in order to demonstrate his military genius to the rest of the world and make it easier to implement his political plans. It is further to be noted that this man's satanic ties will be unknown until 3 1/2 years after he implements the covenant. It is at this time, the midpoint of the week, that he will be empowered by Satan in order to accomplish Satan's oppressive schemes for the world. But once again, I am jumping ahead of myself.

Revelation 6:1-2

And I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, Come. and I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him; and he went out conquering, and to conquer.

Daniel 7:24

and "he" will subdue three kings


Daniel 8:23

And in the latter period of their rule (the 10 nations), When the transgressors have run {their course,} A king will arise insolent and skilled in intrigue.

When this man takes over, the 10-nation confederation will become the 7th kingdom of the beast's historical pedigree. According to Rev. 17:10-11, when he comes, he must remain a little while as 7th king or kingdom and then become the 8th. And as previously mentioned, he will be a benevolent dictator for the first 3 1/2 years of his reign. The first thing on the agenda for the benevolent dictator, is to resolve the economic, social, religious, military and health problems of the world. This is initiated by the 7 year covenant that is made with "the many," which term usually refers to Israel. However, the peace that is procured by this covenant apparently extends throughout the whole world, providing both economic security as well as physical security. This is very strongly suggested when we see at the 2nd seal that "THE peace" is taken from the earth. In the Greek, the definite article (the) is present and should be translated, since it draws attention to the special quality and time of peace that had been procured through the conquering of the first seal.

Dan. 9:26,

". . .and the prince who is to come . . ."

v. 27

"will make a firm covenant with the many for 1 week." (7 years)

The covenant will allow Israel to build a temple (or sanctuary) on Mt. Moriah and begin worship through animal sacrifices. (based on Dan. 9:27, "put a stop to sacrifice," and based on 2 Thes. 2:4, take his seat in the TEMPLE of God, and Mat. 24:15, "standing in the Holy Place.") But what it actually amounts to, is a national apostasy which attempts to realize Messianic promises through a human agency. This has already been discussed in connection with Daniel 11:34.

From this point we have no scriptural information until the mid-point of the week when the world ruler breaks the covenant and begins his oppressive reign over the whole world. Accordingly, it is suggested that the first 3 1/2 years of the 70th week of Daniel will be a time of general peace and safety throughout the world and will then be interrupted by the deceitful world ruler, who through Satanic empowering, becomes the oppressive man of lawlessness - the beast. The beast will then proffer a false peace to those who dwell on the earth through acceptance of beast worship. For those who accept beast worship and take the mark of the beast, the time will indeed be an occasion of peace and safety, but it will be short lived as the arrival of Jesus at the Day of the LORD will catch them all by surprise like a thief in the night. And when God's wrath and the wrath of the Lamb is poured out on the world and the kingdom of the beast, there will be nothing but pain and misery for those who have taken his mark.

1Thessalonians 5:1-3

Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

The call of "peace and safety" is not a cry in SEARCH of peace and safety, but a proclamation and rejoicing in the peace and safety that they are experiencing through the protection that comes through identification with the beast.



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