But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! —2 Timothy 3:1-5
We are living during days of unparalleled demonic activity in which the time of Jesus’ return is near and the devil knows that he has but a short time remaining. The Bible describes these days as “perilous.” When Jesus crossed over the Sea of Galilee, He came to a town called Gadara. where he met two men who were possessed by demons.
When Jesus had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. —Matthew 8:28
The term, “fierce,” used here is translated from the Greek word χαλεπός chalepos. This is the same word that was used by Paul in describing the “perilous” days that will occur just before Jesus returns. The idea here is that people who are alive in the last days before the return of the Lord will be heavily influenced by demons. The Bible speaks of a time when the devil will understand from the scriptures that he will soon be chained in the Abusso and not have access to earth any longer.
Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” —Revelation 12:12
Because the devil knows his time is short in the last days, he will set out to inflict untold horror upon the people of earth. He will do this primarily by deception and secondly by demonic influence. Those who do not know God, nor have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ are described by the Bible as victims of this demonic activity. People who have no relationship with God, have no promise of protection from God from these ancient beings. The world in which we live is inhabited by a host of angels and well as demons. The angels are sent by God for the purpose of assisting those who love Jesus with their salvation.
And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire.” …Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation? —Hebrews 1:7, 14
The demons are fallen angels who lost their bodies during the Great Flood and exist as soldiers of satan. Their entire purpose is to inflict as much destruction and death upon mankind as possible. Because God is sovereign over the earth, the activities of demons and satan himself, is limited by God’s sovereign will. When Adam fell at the Garden of Eden, he lost the right of dominion over the earth to satan. Since that time, the whole earth has been experiencing the effects of satan’s limited rule.
The sin, suffering, and death that is prevalent upon the earth, all the evil and greed, sexual perversion and selfishness, is greatly enhanced by satan and his demons. Jesus described the devil as one who is a thief, come to rob human beings of their right to eternal life and to kill and destroy.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. —John 10:10
When I received Jesus as my Savior in 1975, there was a great time of searching amongst young people like myself. We had looked at the world and determined that all the things that people were chasing after; money, power, and fame, were illusions. We were searching for something more in our lives. About the same time, there were certain pastors who were teaching through the entire Bible, verse by verse. They were teaching about a new life that could only be found by a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
I began to listen to the words of the Bible and after a short time, I realized that what was being said was true. I started to read the Bible for myself with the attitude that I really wanted to know God if He existed. I was not raised in a Christian home. My family did not attend church, nor were my parents religious. I knew that the words that Jesus said were different from any that I had heard before. I was a musician playing drums for a touring Rock band in those days. Although we had fame and fortune, we were still missing something that was not available to us in the things of the world.
I received Jesus as my Savior 42 years ago. This new relationship drastically changed my life and gave me the most rich and satisfying life imaginable.
During the late 70’s, people were open to God. They were willing to listen to the message about Jesus and read the Bible with an attitude of sincere searching. God has promised to reveal Himself to those who diligently seek Him. He promised every person that if they would search for Him with all of their heart, they would find Him.
Today, because of the deception and lies of demons and the men and women that these being influence, a vast number of people on the earth scoff at God. They think of Him as an imaginary friend that children make up during their childhood. They think the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for fools and the naive.
The deception that has taken place in the lives of countless human beings is preparing them for the entrance of the antichrist. This man of great power and supernatural abilities will enter the world-scene, just after the return of Jesus for His church. The event referred to as “The Rapture,” are described by Paul in 1 Thessalonians, chapter 4. Jesus promised to return for His church when the time was right. He described days of deception and evil that would gradually increase until it would become necessary for God to intervene. Jesus would descend from heaven and remove all those who love Him from the earth. At that time, the antichrist will be permitted to enter human history. Those who have mocked God and Christians, will be ready for just such a man.
Today, we see that the hearts of a vast number of people are against God and Jesus Christ. They are quite militant in opposing anyone who seeks to bring the message of Jesus cross. We see a lawlessness that has not existed on earth that has not existed since the days of Noah. Jesus said that when the time of His return is near, the world will once again resemble the days of Noah, when the world rejected God. Only Noah and his family were saved from the judgement that God warned the world about for over one hundred years. After scoffing and laughing a Noah for his preaching of the coming flood, that day arrived and the whole world was lost.
Foreseeing the last days, Paul wrote to the Ephesian church and to us today to be ready when these days of demons and deception would take place.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. —Ephesians 6:10-13
Notice the description of Paul as one who is instructing a soldier on how to best defend agains an attacking enemy. Unless the Christian is prepared for the last days, they will not be able to stand agains the “wiles” or schemes of the devil. Paul reminds us that this battle in the last days is not against people (flesh and blood), but against a spiritual host that is unseen. The real of the spirit is filled with millions of demonic beings who are working today to steal your salvation from you. They do this by deception and discouragement. These demons seek to get your eyes off Jesus and onto your problems. They seek to persuade you to stop reading your Bible and attending church. They cause your heart to be hardened to God so that your prayer life ends. They place scoffers with their lies before you who say that the Bible is not reliable, Jesus is not a real person, and the God is a hoax. They do these things so that you will turn away from Jesus and forfeit your salvation.
Remember that no one forced you to be saved and no one will force you to remain saved. Your faith in receiving Jesus as your Savior was voluntary. Only as long as you remain in Jesus Christ are you saved. If you are steadfast and immovable in Christ then you can never loose your salvation. If you begins to doubt the goodness of God and all of His promises and deny Jesus in your life, you can be lost. Jesus said that only those who endure to the end will be saved.
And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. —Mark 13:13
Jesus said these words to those who will believe in Him during the last days. He described members of a person’s family who will turn against them because they follow Jesus. He said that people who love Jesus in the last days will be hated by the world. For this reason, many will turn away from Jesus and no longer follow Him. The Lord’s warning is to endure all these things—knowing that they are caused by the activities of demons and for the purpose of stealing their eternal life. Jesus warns us to be wise and know that the appearance of great opposition to those who believe the Bible and love Jesus, is to be expected. These things are a sign that Jesus’ return is near. We must remain strong and steadfast in our trust of Jesus and not be moved by what we see and hear.
Ephesians lists the tools that a Christian can use in the last days to ensure that they do not all away from Jesus:
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— —Ephesians 6:14-18
15: The Gospel of Peace: Believing the Gospel of Jesus’ Salvation; studying the Bible continually, a mindset of meditation of the word of God.
16: Shield of Faith: Have faith and do not doubt who Jesus is, deflecting the lies and deception of the enemy.
17: Helmet of Salvation: Holding in your mind the salvation that Jesus died to give us and allowing this knowledge to guard your mind from all deception and discouragement.
18: Praying Always: The most powerful weapon that a Christian possesses is prayer.
The Events of The Last Days In Chronological Order:
In Matthew Chapter 24, Jesus foretells the coming destruction of the temple in Jerusalem that occurred in 70 A.D. The disciples had brought Jesus to the temple to show Him the building. While the disciples are focussed on the material structure of the temple building, Jesus opens their eyes to the world of the Spirit—where the temple is merely a component in a much larger plan that God has for the whole world.
Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” —Matthew 24:1-3
Jesus informs His disciples that not one stone shall be left upon another in the temple, that will not be thrown down. The Lord is predicting the future destruction of the temple that took place just 38 years later. The disciples wanted to know when these things would take place. Jesus reveals the details of this future destruction, by describing the events immediately preceding the Tribulation—as well as the specific details that will take place during this unprecedented—seven year period of human history.
1. Religious deception.
2. Wars, rumors of wars, famine, pestilence, earthquakes.
3. The Abomination of Desolation in the Temple.
4. Persecution and death for those who receive Jesus.
5. The gospel preached all over the world.
6. The wrath of the antichrist against Israel.
7. The return of Jesus with His church at the end of the seven year Tribulation.
There is an earlier and a later fulfillment within the text of this single verse of scripture. Part one of Jesus prophecy from Matthew’s gospel, took place in 70 A.D., as Israel was destroyed by the Roman army. The second installment would take place much later, upon the arrival of the antichrist. The final portion of Jesus prophecy from Matthew 24, will not be fulfilled until the seven year Tribulation period is concluded.
What we learn from the way that Jesus recited this verse, from Isaiah 61:1-2, is that the Messiah will appear twice on the earth:
1. Once for salvation
2. A second time for judgment
First, He will arrive as the suffering and dying Messiah to pay for the sins of the world. This is the acceptable year of the Lord, the first part of Isaiah’s prophecy. Then, in the last days, Jesus will return to earth a second time, at the end of seven-year Tribulation, to proclaim the day of God’s vengeance. Jesus will return with His church to defeat the antichrist and all those who are gathered together against Him at the Valley of Megiddo.
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True (Jesus), and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses (Jesus church). Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God (at the valley of Megiddo). And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. —Revelation 19:11-16
This event takes place at the end of the seven-year Tribulation.
Revelation Chapter 19 describes Jesus, returning to earth from heaven with His church. All those who had committed themselves to Him as their Savior, before the Rapture occurred, were removed from the earth by Him—just prior to the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation.
We see the following set of circumstances that will take place in the last days:
1. Those who have received Jesus who are living on earth.
2. The Rapture occurs, believers are removed from the earth.
3. The Tribulation begins, judgement is poured out on the earth.
4. The Tribulation ends after seven years.
5. Jesus returns with His church.
6. Jesus defeats the antichrist at the Battle of Armageddon.
7. Jesus establishes His kingdom on the earth.
While in heaven—as the seven-year Tribulation is taking place on the earth—those who have faithfully served Jesus before the Rapture took place are given rewards by Him.
His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.” —Matthew 25:23
The right to rule with Jesus during the new kingdom that He will establish on the earth will be determined by the Lord. Based on our faithfulness to Him while alive during our earthly years, He will give “Crowns” or symbols of rulership to those who faithfully served Him.
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? —1 Thessalonians 2:19
Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. —2 Timothy 4:8
Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. —James 1:12
…and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. —1 Peter 5:4
Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. —Revelation 2:10
These crowns will be given to all those who have loved Jesus and are eagerly anticipating His promised return.
When the Rapture takes place, all of our work here on earth as mere human beings will be at an end. Everything that we have said and done during the period of our sojourn on the earth will be judged by the Lord—not for sin to punish us—but for the purpose of granting rewards for the things we have done for the Lord during our life. This reward process will likely take place immediately after the Rapture occurs when we are taken by the Lord to heaven.
Upon the Rapture, those who remain on the earth will begin a time of Tribulation that has never been experienced on the earth before, nor will there ever be a time of such distress and wrath again. When the seven-year Tribulation is concluded, Jesus will return to earth with His church, to rule over the kingdom promised to David.
…the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. —Revelation 19:14-15
And your house and your kingdom (David) shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever. —2 Samuel 7:16
After receiving our rewards from the Lord in heaven, we will all return to earth at the conclusion of the Seven Seals, Seven Trumpets, and Seven Bowl judgments described in Revelation chapters 6-18.
Jesus returns to strike the nations who have worshipped the antichrist. The armies of the world will be gathered at the valley of Megiddo, north of Jerusalem, waiting for the return of Jesus. The term above in Revelation 19, He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God, is a description of this battle that the Lord will fight in the winepress of the Valley of Megiddo. This valley will be filled with the armies of the antichrist. Jesus will simply speak (out of His mouth goes a sharp sword) the word of God, and all these armies will be destroyed. The blood from the carnage of the Lord’s judgement will be to the depth of a horse’s bridle (about 5 feet), the entire 200 mile length of this valley. An angel is said call all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, to come and gather for the supper of the great God.
Surviving The Days of Demon’s and Deception
When Paul wrote to Timothy, describing the conditions of the heart—within those who live during the last days of earth, he described a conscience which has been “seared with a hot iron.”
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron. —1 Timothy 4:1-2
When the conscience is continually suppressed, and a lifestyle of sin continues without repentance; over the process of time our conscience is no longer operational. As a hand which is repeatedly burned—looses the sensation of touch, so also, does the human conscience. In the last days there will exist a large population who have developed a suppressed conscience. For these individuals, it is impossible to repent; turn from sin, and surrender to Jesus as their Savior.
…who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. —Ephesians 4:19
This is the common estate of those who have continually denied God and have chosen a lifestyle devoid of regulation by the conscience. Eventually this person may become quite adversarial towards the Christian gospel and the Bible. Once the conscience is made void and no longer operates, this person is unable hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, who is the instrument of salvation. At this point it becomes impossible for redemption to occur.
We must stand for all that Jesus said and did for us or we will fall for anything that the devil brings to deceive us. These are the perilous times that the Bible describes but we are ready to overcome the world by the blood of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins and to meet the Lord in the air as He is certainly about to come for us.