ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION – “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand” (Matthew 24:15). The word abomination is typically associated with pagan idolatry and its detestable practices (Deuteronomy 29:16–18; 2 Kings 16:3–4; 23:12–14; Ezekiel 8:9–18). The phrase “the abomination of desolation” likely refers to Continue reading “Abomination Of Desolation”
DISPENSATION – In its verb form the word dispensation means to manage, administer, regulate, or plan. The Biblical usage of this concept, however, has a deeper theological sense, in which certain responsibilities are placed on mankind by God during different ages. In Ephesians 3:2 and 3:9 Paul indicates that the current dispensation (age of grace) has been extended to the Gentiles, a mystery revealed by Christ that was kept hidden in past ages (dispensations – e.g. age of the law). Paul indicates earlier in the epistle that there is a coming future end time dispensation “to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment” in order to “bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ” (Ephesians 1:10). This is something that will not happen during the age of grace. See also Colossians 1:25–29. This seems to suggest that Paul believed Continue reading “Dispensation”
ARMAGEDDON – Another word that is referenced a lot in modern discussions of the end times, but occurs only once in the Bible (Revelation 16:16) is Armageddon. It refers to the place where the last great battle of the ages will take place and has become synonymous with the end of the world. The battle will coincide with the second coming of Christ (Revelation 16:15), when all the hosts of evil will be defeated (Revelation 19:11–21). (1)
MILLENNIUM – The word millennium is derived from the Latin words mille meaning a thousand, and annus meaning year, i.e., a period of one thousand years. Although the concept of the millennium has its foundation in certain unconditional covenants from the Old Testament, Revelation 20:4–6 specifically and unmistakably mentions that Christ will reign on earth for a thousand years. (2) There are three primary views on the millennium. Continue reading “Armageddon, Millennium and Last Judgment”
THE ANTI-CHRIST – The anti-Christ is the end-times antagonist of God and His people. He is a person who will be empowered by Satan and will function as an enemy of Jesus Christ and the Church. In the context of apocalyptic literature, this figure performs false miracles, deceives many in order to discourage people from worshiping the true God, and persecutes God’s people. The term anti-Christ could be interpreted either as Continue reading “The Anti-Christ”
THE TRIBULATION – The Hebrew word that is commonly translated as Tribulation literally means narrow or compressed. The Greek word that is translated as Tribulation also conveys the idea of severe constriction, narrowing, or pressing together. In contrast to the age of Grace, which has extended for nearly 2000 years, the Tribulation (also called the age of Wrath) is compressed into seven years. Similar notions underlie the Latin word which literally means a threshing sledge used to crush and separate grain. Separating the wheat from the chaff will entail a crushing sequence of events during the Tribulation. A figurative understanding of these terms would be affliction, distress, or tribulation. (1)
The primary questions surrounding the Tribulation are its timing in relation to the Rapture and Parousia, whether believers will be subjected to it, the distinction between Tribulation and Great Tribulation, its duration, and why the Tribulation is necessary. Continue reading “The Tribulation”
THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST – While we know for certain that Christ will someday return (He said He would), the manner of His return has been the subject of great debate.
The Rapture: Sudden and Secretive – Many believe that while there may be many signs indicating the end is approaching, few or none of the events prophesied in the book of Revelation need to occur before Jesus returns “like a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2) for His saints. In this view, Continue reading “The Second Coming of Christ”
ESCHATOLOGY – The word eschatology is a combination of two Greek words: eschatos, meaning last, and logos, meaning word or significance. Thus, the book of Revelation is not just the last book in the Christian Bible, it is also God’s last, or final words to mankind, before Christ’s return. As it deals with the Biblical doctrine of last things, its normal focus is the return of Christ at the end of the age, the coming judgments preceding His return, expressions of the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God, the nature of the glorified body, and the prospects for mankind’s eternal destiny.
But eschatology is more than a biblical doctrine dealing with last things. Continue reading “Eschatology”