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July 7, 2020 4:00 am
The first sign of the end of man's age is deception. Deception that is so effective it literally ultimately results in the deception of a whole why no one but I can tell you how to be prepared for it so that you need not be afraid even if it were to come tonight that gets to the heart of John MacArthur study today on this edition of grace to you. You will help prepare you for the future. By looking at the signs of Christ's return in a series.
John calls Jesus is coming.
If you have your Bible turn to Matthew 24 and with the lesson here.
John MacArthur not to let us know this is not the time. Prior to the destruction of Jerusalem. It's not just the church ages. Many commentators have wanted to lead us to believe, but that is the end time. Let me give you some key interpretive indicators.
All right he's describing all kinds of signs that are going to come at the end of the age there signs of the coming of the Messiah and notice verse eight.
All these signs are the beginning of birth pains very important. It's the Greek word for birth pains. The actual pain the woman has in bringing forth a child is the beginning of birth pain only ask you a simple question when does birth pain occur at conception. It's ridiculous.
During pregnancy equally ridiculous. Birth pain occurs when just prior to birth. At the very end. That's the last thing that happens and you know you're there now a second indicator and one that I think is is equally important is found in verse 13 verse 13 but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be safe. What is the end.
Well, the end is mentioned in verse 13 and the end is mentioned in verse six. The end is not yet. He says what end is he talking about go back to verse three the end of the age.
Notice verse 14. Another indicator it says and the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come.
What end the end of the age again is another indicator in verse 15. Notice verse 15 when ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, and Daniel tells us that that happens just before the Messiah sets up his kingdom and judges the ungodly.
So again another indicator that we must be looking at a future time. That's exactly what Daniel had in mind. Now notice verse 21 and here is another indicator that were looking at a future time.
It says in this time there will be great trouble, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time know nor ever shall. And when is the worst time in the history of the world. It's gotta be the end time right it has to be the time when God's vengeance breaks out.
Daniel speaks the same words in chapter 12 he says. At that time what time the time of the end very clearly the time of the end.
If you compare it with Chapter 11.
He's got the antichrist in Chapter 11. Then comes Michael in verse one of 12 stands up and there will be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time and is this similar words the words of our Lord of the worst time of trouble ever in the history of the world followed immediately by the resurrection to everlasting life, and the resurrection to everlasting shame and contempt, so it is the time prior to the final resurrection. The time prior to the final judgment, the final establishing of God's kingdom. So it has to be future the time of great tribulation like the world is never known another indicators in verse 29 it says immediately after the tribulation of those days immediately after this, the sun is dark and the moon doesn't give its light, the stars fall from heaven. The powers of heaven are shaken and then appears the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. So Christ comes immediately after the tribulation the tribulation of which he speaks is the great tribulation of verse 21. It's the time it's not like any other time has to be the time in the future. What time is it according to Daniel in verse 15, it's the time of the abomination of desolation and that is right before the second coming. So all these indicators tell us this must be future, it must be future. Finally, look at verses 32 to 34 is another and last indicator. The Lord says is a parable, a branch puts forth its leaves, you know summer is near your figtree. You see leaves, you know fruit is to follow, fruit comes in the summer.
See the lesion of the fruits coming in other words, it's just the signal so likewise, when you see all these things, what things. Everything is been talking about a time of tribulation like no other time in history the world the time of all these other marks and signs that he's been through prior to that in chapter 24. When you see those know that it is near what is near the end of the age the side of the Son of Man coming and this generation what generation, the generation that is alive when the signs happen. The generation that sees them all coming to pass will not ever pass away till all of this is fulfilled in other words, the fulfillment of all the time of the end is going to be seen by the people see the signs so the signs are reserved and for the people to be alive at the end time that takes this whole thing and pushes it into the future. The generation alive when the signs begin to unfold will be alive when Christ comes to set up his kingdom. Now you understand that the whole of the Olivet discourse is future now that is not to say that some of the things that will happen then don't happen now, but they'll happen then at a scale and on the level that are far beyond anything we've ever know now we have war. Now we have earthquake. Now we have famine now we have killing. Now we have persecution now we have hatred now.
We even have some things happening in the sky that disturb us now, but nothing compared to the incredible display this going to take place in that compressed brief period of time called the birth pains of the kingdom when God sends the earth into wrapped pain as it brings forth the King's kingdom. One other note that I want you to notice very, very important.
Would you please notice verse six and G shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that ye be not troubled numbers nine then shall they afflict you, and shall kill you, and you shall be hated. Verse 15 when you therefore see the abomination of desolation. Verse 20 but pray that your flight be not in winter. So for a somebody might say will. How can this be future when he talking to the disciples. He says you you you you you is me talking to them. Let me just give you some help on this. This is an editorial privilege given to a prophet when God picks up a prophet and transports him into a future time to speak on a future theme he speaks directly to the people of that time and so the use of ye or you doesn't in any way reflect on the fact that this has to be fulfilled by the people to whom he speaks you, whoever you are alive in that time you whoever that you are to hold the supplies that's all it is you that is editorial in the sense whoever you are, this is the prophetic freedom to speak directly to the society in the future to which God is transported the prophet in the process of revelation. Now having put us into the future.
Understanding that we're looking at the time known as the tribulation. That's what our Lord called the great tribulation, a time in the future just before Christ comes. What are the signs to indicate his coming. What are the signs to indicate the establishment of his kingdom. What are the signs to indicate the end of man's age and the beginning of God's eternal glorious King. What are the signs well.
First, we remind ourselves of verse eight he gives us the beginning of those signs the beginning of those birth pains just the beginning of the birth pains. They start out rather slowly become more rapid, more rapid, more evidence of funny at the end, it's just a holocaust of things exploding all over everyplace. If you study for example the book of Revelation.
You see the unfolding of the seals and six seals are unfolded and in the seventh and bursting out of the seventh seal, come seven trumpets, seven trumpets and bursting out of the seventh trumpet come seven bowls of wrath poured on the earth and is an increasing speed. The seals go over a period of years. It seems the trumpets over. Perhaps of weeks in the files. Maybe over a period of hours or days as the birth pains become closer and closer, more compressed, more concurrent at the end so were going to start with the Lord in the sermon. Seeing the beginning and in the beginning there will be six birth pains. The first is deception. Deception now were not saying there's no deception today were not saying that wasn't deception, then there is there's always been deceiving and deception. There's always been people who come in the name of Christ in the name of God to lead people astray. There always been false Christ, and there always will be, but not like there will be at the end everything is heightened intensified and escalated, and although the Olivet discourse does not deal with the rapture of the church. We have to go to the epistles for that. This does not deal with it. Although the Olivet discourse does not deal with the rapture of the church. That's not to say there is no rapture.
We believe that the church of Jesus Christ will be rapture out in all of these things that take place will take place after the church has gone and after the Holy Spirit takes back his restraining power and let's all hell break loose so that the evil of this deception will exceed all other deceptions. The evil of these wars will exceed all other wars, the evil of these conflicts will the sea exceed all other conflicts. The evil of this hatred and this murder will exceed all other hatred and murder when there is no restrainer left in the world to restrain the evil of men.
So were looking at a time when deception is at its apex. That's the first sign of the beginning of the birth pains. And Jesus answered verse four and said beware literally but but that keep your eyes wide open, that no man lead you astray.
Don't be deceived there going to be people in that period of time who are looking for answers. The world is going to begin to disintegrate. Evil is going to run wild. I mean, evil is going to be absolutely rampaging. In fact, it even tells us in verse 12 because lawlessness shall abound, there what you think it's bad now you can't even fathom what it'll be like then when all hell breaks loose on the earth and the church is gone. The restrainer's not here so he says beware because deception told anybody lead you astray and here is a world just disintegrating. Here's a world falling apart. Where natural affection is gone according to what Paul says to Timothy, a world where all of social relationships are disrupted, a world that is an economic chaos, a world that is living in mad furious sinning and everything begins to come to pieces. Everything begins to collapse and that is a world looking for leaders and that is a world looking for messiahs and saviors in deliverers and as soon as they start crying out for those kinds of leaders there going to be false. Messiahs all over the place offering themselves as the solution it says in verse five Mandy see it there. Many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ clearly all over the place, and shall deceive many. You think we have our deceivers. Now we do and we have our false Christ and false messiahs all over the place and they've always been around, but nothing like there going to be in that desperate desperate time and so he says will be deceived there going to come in the end time.
Many who will deceive you will want you to believe they are the Christ, and they will come in my name, he says saying they're the Messiah. This Olivet discourse portions of it are also recorded in Mark 13, and Luke 21 and in Luke 21 eight.
Luke records and he said, take heed that you be not deceived for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and Luke adds the time draws near and other words they're going to say it's time for my kingdom it's time for my kingdom and the Lord says, go ye not therefore after them and we had many of the but not like they'll be in that day in a world that is an absolute desperation in a world that is screaming and crying for deliverers and leaders in a world where men are still bent on religion. We have a very religious bent in our nature and their going to seek religious leaders and it's going to be a proliferation of frauds and charlatans and false messiahs. In fact, look at verse 23 if any man shall hear, shall say unto you, low, here is Christ, the errors Christ. Believe it not, for there shall arise false Christ and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, and so much as if it were possible, they would deceive the very elect.
In other words, they're not going to be just like some of the false teachers in this era there going to be able to do signs and wonders there to be able do magic. They're going to do supernatural demon inspired deeds they're going to captivate the attention of the world.
This myriad of false Christ ultimately will culminate in one false Christ known as whom Antichrist and he will be the epitome of the false Christ.
He will be the ultimate demonized individual. Satan indwelt in Daniel calls in the little horn, the king with the fierce face the willful King and John calls him the beast and Paul calls him son of perdition and man of sin, and he comes as the culmination of all false Christ and he is so convincing and so deceptive. The Daniel 927 says, even Israel as a nation makes a covenant with him and enters into league with him believing him to be there deliver. That's how deceitful he is and all the nations of the world falling to his deceptions. In fact, Scripture gives us an awful lot of information about him.
In Daniel chapter 8 and verse 23.
Just listen as I read this to you in the latter times the time of the kingdom.
When the transgressors are come to the full. What a statement. When the transgressors are come to the full. Do you know why human history weights, you know why God doesn't intervene. He's waiting for transgression to come to its full. It's as if God wants to give sin all that sin needs.
The dam itself and then eliminated from existence forever. It's as if soon as the run its full course. And so in that day when the transgressors are come to the full, a king with a fierce face and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up was a mean understanding dark sentences. He has communion with the demons and the devils of hell.
He is a medium who contacts the spirits beneath in his power shall be mighty, not by his own power and he shall destroy wonderfully is not his own parts.
The power of hell and he shall destroy with wonder, or with all awesome conqueror and he shall prosper and continue and destroy the mighty and the holy people and through his policy. Also, he shall cause deceit to prosper in his hand. He will be a very effective deceiver, and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by piece destroy many excuses piece uses negotiation to consume the world and bring them into his power. He is described by the way in Revelation 6 as the tribulation unfolds. The first thing that happens in the beginning of the birth pains of Revelation 6 is the same beginning of the birth pains as we find right here in Matthew 24 Matthew 24 says, first, beware of deceivers. Revelation 6 as is the tribulation begins. There will come a rider on a white horse conquering.
He has a bow but no arrows. What is that mean he intimidates but never shoots he conquers with peace, so the beginning of the birth pains as deceit, false Christ. That's Matthew 24 and the beginning of the tribulation. Revelation 6.
False piece of false rider on a white horse who is imitating the true rider on the white horse of Revelation 19, who assume Christ Jesus. And so Daniel sees the same thing. In the latter time when the transgression comes to the full, here comes this king becomes empowered, he does awesome things that he brings power to himself through peace and he stands up against the Prince of princes he stands against Christ in chapter 11 of Daniel we find out even more about him.
In verse 36. He is there called the king that does according to his will, or the willful King and Corsi violates God's will, he shall exalt himself magnify himself above every god. He speaks marvelous things against the God of gods and prospers till the indignation be accomplished for that which is determined shall be done.
He goes just until God's wrath has run its course and that's the end of them, but in that time he will accomplish marvelous things, he will blaspheme God.
It says he will honor the god of fortresses in verse 38 and a God whom his father's new not shall he honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. He raises up new gods. He is an idolatrous Antichrist, and so his deception is incredible.
In fact, his deception is described in greater detail in Revelation chapter 13 and their John sees him not as if fierce face and not as a willful King, but in another perspective as a beast. He is a beast who rises up out of the nations and the symbolism is very vivid. He is a powerful beast. He is a devastating beast.
In fact in verse four.
People say who is like the beast who was able to make war with him. There was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and power was given him to continue 42 months at 3 1/2 years is going to go for 3 1/2 years. This is how the end start starts with him. He goes for 42 months or 3 1/2 years.
The second half of the 70th week of Daniel that seven year.
Spoken of in Daniel 927 she Daniel said there's yet one week of tribulation one week. It's a week of years, seven years half of it in the middle. This Antichrist takes his place and for the last 42 months or 3 1/2 years he sits in great power he opens his mouth. It says in verse six, and he speaks blasphemy against God. He blasphemes God's name God's tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it is given to him to make war with the Saints and overcome them. And power was given him over all kindreds all tongues all nations and all the dwell on the earth shall worship him.
Can you imagine such deceitfulness the world literally believes this is the Messiah. This is the Savior which the world is so long long to see, and coming alongside of them in verse 11 of chapter 13 is another beast known as the false prophet, he has all the power of the first beast and he causes the earth and all the dwell in it to worship the first beast and he verse 13 does great wonders makes fire come down from heaven. Verse 14 says he deceives them the dwell on earth. So Jesus says luck. Keep your eyes open in the end that you be not deceived because there are coming false Christ in my name, saying, I am Christ, who will deceive many. How many the whole world. Let it happen to you and who is behind this deception will deceiver himself. Revelation 12 nine says the Dragon, the old serpent, the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world. One other passage.
Second Thessalonians 2 and now we beseech you brother by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and by our gathering together unto him that you be not soon shaken in mind or be troubled, neither by spirit nor by word or by letter is from us is that the day of the Lord is present. Somebody was telling the Thessalonians that the day of the Lord already started that they were already unit and he says don't believe it. Don't you get disturbed by anybody not a letter or anything not anybody not a spirit not anybody. Don't let anybody make you think we've entered the day of the Lord, why verse three let no one deceive you by any means for that day can't come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition and Paul is in line with Daniel and Paul is in line with Jesus and Paul is in line with Revelation and saying the very same thing before the coming of the Lord there will be the revealing of this man of sin, the son of perdition. The willful King the king with fierce face, the beast who deceives the world. He opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Verse eight then shall that wicked one, be revealed.
Verse nine even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all this evil boldness and unrighteousness in them.
The person becomes a deceives the whole world see the Bible is tremendously consist of the whole thing. That second half of the tribulation the last 3 1/2 years begins with the ascendancy of the false Messiah prior to him.
There'll be a lot of and even perhaps during his reign a whole lot of them fighting against him unsuccessful. So the first sign of the end of man's aid is deception. Deception that is so effective it literally ultimately results in the deception of the whole wide and it's no wonder that the Lord says you better beware this is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John's current prophecy study is titled Jesus is coming so John were in this series talking about the return of Christ, and it occurs to me that here on grace to you. We broadcast your preaching in series and people who listen might get the impression that in your preaching. You tackle topics and yet the truth is through most of your ministry through the entirety of your ministry.
You have taken whole books of Scripture and gone through meticulously.
Verse by verse you've preached through every verse in the New Testament talk about your philosophy of preaching verse by verse why you chose that method and why you think it's the most effective while it's it's basically driven by my understanding and my conviction about Scripture that the Scripture is alive and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, that the Scripture is the divine revelation.
It is the word from heaven. It is God's holy word and I don't want to just touch lightly on it and then say whatever comes into my head that this is the word of God and every word of God is pure like metal refined seven times in a furnace. The Old Testament says every word of God is pure every word of God is true and neck takes it down to the words of Scripture, so if every word is pure and every word is true, then I need to give a place for every word so it's my view of Scripture that demands that I be in expositor II can't rise above the Scripture and just look at concepts in the Scripture or doctrines in the Scripture and at the same time fulfill the obligation.
I have to make sure everyone understands every word and Menino because you do this as well. The great glorious truths that are are so powerful in people's lives are often tucked into a word or a preposition or a phrase or a modifier.
And if all you ever do is talk in big terms about things you're missing the massive power and in skin excitement that's found in the details of Scripture so that that is what drives me. But in that process.
You always are dealing with the results of the exercise of explaining Scripture and the results are doctrines, propositional doctrines, and so all expositional preaching ends up as doctrinal and so you can do a series like in Matthew, which took me nine years to go through Matthew verse by verse. But all the way through Matthew there were all kinds of theological truths that were being yielded by that explanation and one of them. In chapter 24 and 25 is the details of the second coming of Christ rose out of a verse by verse understanding of that and so eschatology is a theological category is the fruit of that labor. Whenever I go to the word of God. I'm I'm aware of the fact that coming out of every text will be a divine truth that provides theological structure to our lives. That's what we do we do pray for us. Will you were unleashing God's truth one verse at a time and it is life transforming all around the world because of your prayers and your investment yes and friend.
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Staff I'm Phil Johnson with the question for you. When can you know for certain that Christ's return is near. John answers that tomorrow as he continues his series, Jesus is coming, it's 30 minutes of unleashing God's true one verse at a time on the next race to