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8 Common Misconceptions of the Last Days

Some people still believe that when Columbus sailed for the New World that he and most of the world at that time believed in a “flat earth”. The fact of the matter is that sailors and navigators of the time knew that the Earth was spherical and had known for many centuries.

This is an example of a “common misconception”. In religion, as well as in oceanography, misconceptions abound. Here are eight very common ones I have found under the study of Eschatology. Hopefully these will all go the way of the “flat earth” myth!

#1. Timing of The Rapture

“Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him…” 2 Thess 2:1

The event know popularly as “the Rapture” is not the “one will be taken and the other left behind” passage from the Gospels. (Mtt 24;Luke 17). Jesus said that where these people were taken “there the vultures would gather.”

“Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left… ‘Where, LORD?’ they asked. He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.” Luke 17: 35-37

Obviously the ones taken to where “the vultures gather” is not a good thing! This is not the rapture. The rapture (though not a biblical word is a biblical concept) is found in texts attributed to both Paul and John. In the New Testament it is called the “gathering to Christ in the air” at the 7th trumpet or last trumpet. (I Cor 15:52; I Thess 4:15-17; Rev 10-11) This “gathering in the air” will not come as a surprise to anyone on earth because it will be preceded by 13 consecutive divine judgments of God to this planet! (7 seals; 6 trumpets; Rev 6-9)

Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. I Thess 4:17

#2. Rome is not Babylon. Babylon is Babylon. (Rev 17-18)

Old Testament prophecies that have been fulfilled were always fulfilled in an exact and accurate manner. Take for example the famous “30 pieces of silver” or the prediction that the King would come into Jerusalem “riding on the foal of a donkey”.

During the Age of Reformation (1517-1648) it was almost universally proclaimed that Catholic Rome was the “spiritual Babylon” of the book of Revelation and the literal interpretation has been lost to the church ever since. We have done exactly that which the apostle Peter warned against: each man is left to come up with his own “private interpretation”. (2 Peter 1:20-21)

There is no biblical support for calling Babylon any other city on earth except the Babylon on the Euphrates river in Iraq. It will be the same Babylon where Nimrod built a tower to reach to God. The same city where Nebuchadnezzar, featured in the book of Daniel, lived and brought God’s judgment to the Jewish people. The same city where Alexander died in 323 BC at the young age of 33. Finally, it is the same river that will dry up for the armies of satan to come to the battle of Armageddon.

The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east… to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. Rev 16:12,14

#3. The antichrist “being revealed” is still future. (II Thess 2; Rev 6,13)

The antichrist has not yet appeared in human history. He was not Nero, Napoleon, the Pope, Hitler… they were all types/forerunners.

“And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.” 2Th 2:8

When he is finally revealed, the “little horn” (Daniel 7) will be obvious to every one on earth! He will force all nations to worship him and seek to kill all those who won’t. (Rev 13)

4. The seals, trumpets and bowls are still future. (Rev 6-16)

The book of Revelation clearly describes 21 consecutive divine judgments of God that will bring this earth to her knees. This obviously has not happened yet!! (e.g. Have you seen 100 pound hailstones rain down on the entire earth?)

Therefore we are not to look back into history to find that the red horse was Communism, etc. These horses – white, red, black and pale – cannot be made to “fit in” to history with the exactness required by fulfilled prophecy. Many try but they are all pointing to the type and not the “real deal” – that is still to come!

“Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.” Rev 6:4

#5. The first seal – the white horse – is not Jesus but the antichrist! (Rev 6)

Jesus is the one breaking off the 7 seals from the Scroll. Jesus is not releasing Jesus to the world in this text! He is calling forth the antichrist to bring about the “end of this age” and the begin the “age to come”.

“I [John] watched as the Lamb [Jesus] opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. Rev 6:1-2

#6. Leaven is always evil. (Mtt 13)

Whenever leaven is used as a type in the Bible it is always evil or sin.

Jesus warns, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (Luke 12:1). In discussing the danger of sin spreading, Paul uses the phrase “a little leaven leavens the whole lump” on two separate occasions (I Cor 5:6; Gal 5:9). (From Forerunner Commentary)

In Matthew 13, the church has historically had difficulty receiving this same “type” in the parable of the leaven hid in three measures of meal. They wish that it expresses the power and influence of the Gospel to penetrate all levels of society. Yet this interpretation makes this verse the only example in the entire Bible where leaven is good!

He spoke another parable to them, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.” Mat 13:33

#7. It is during the Millennium – the 1,000 year reign of Christ – that the world will be evangelized, NOT BEFORE! (Hab 2:14; Isa 11:9)

“They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Isa 11:9

To put your mind at rest after reading #6 I have included here the truth that the world will not be reached until Jesus Himself returns and sets things straight.

Christ will return in the midst of a world-wide takeover by the Antichrist and his 10 nation federation. He will return to the Mount of Olives just in time to rescue the city and restore it. (Zech 14) The Jewish leaders will finally recognize Jesus as God’s Son and will welcome Him back to the city and to sit upon David’s throne. (Mtt 23)

From Jerusalem Jesus will send out missionaries to reach the whole earth so that the earth will eventually be filled with God’s glory as the waters cover the sea. (Isa 65)

“Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.” 1Cor 15:24

#8. The 10 kings are still future. They will arise from the revived Roman Empire, BOTH eastern and western halves. (Rev 13; Daniel 2,7)

As the [10] toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle… In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. Dan 2:42-44

The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. Dan 7:24-25

And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the [Mediterranean] sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. Rev 13:1

Most commentators see the 10 nations only rising from the western half of the Roman Empire. Scriptures call us to look at the entire Roman Empire from London to Babylon.

Until All Have Heard,

Jeff Gilbertson

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Kristine Cordes
    August 26, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    thank you; praising God for this beautifully composed article.

  2. Anonymous
    June 23, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It has helped me a lot. God bless you!

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