The false teaching which says that Jesus Christ is already reigning on earth is disproved by the Word of God in numerous verses throughout the Scriptures. God, through His servant Paul, revealed what would precede the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him.
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 5Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10
The falling away, the great apostasy, will occur before the rise of the Antichrist, the son of perdition, to make the way smooth for his ascendancy. The end time apostasy preceding the arrival of the Antichrist is marked by unrighteous deception and rejection of the truth. The falling away and the rise of the Antichrist are judgments upon this fallen world.
And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
The final judgment of God is realized when Jesus Christ returns and destroys the Antichrist and his kingdom. We are taught throughout the Scriptures about the Antichrist.
The book of Daniel gives prophecy about the Antichrist.
19“Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet; 20and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. 21I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints and prevailing against them, 22until the Ancient of Days came and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. 23“Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, Which shall be different from all other kingdoms, And shall devour the whole earth, Trample it and break it in pieces. 24The ten horns are ten kings Who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, And shall subdue three kings. 25He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time. 26But the court shall be seated, And they shall take away his dominion, To consume and destroy it forever. 27Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.’ Daniel 7:19-27
Three times it is prophesied in the Scriptures that this pompous wicked ruler of the earth, empowered by the devil, will set up his image in the Temple of God.
9And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land. 10And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them. 11He even exalted himself as high as the prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down. 12Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered. Daniel 8:9-12
24“Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. 25Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. 26And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. 27Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.” Daniel 9:24-27
31“And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. 32Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits. 33And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering…..36”Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. Daniel 11:31-33 & 36
Jesus speaks of this abomination of desolation in Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14:
“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand). Matthew 24:15
“So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not” (let the reader understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” Mark 13:14
Jesus warned about the ‘abomination of desolation’ in reference to His Second coming. We are again instructed about the Antichrist from Revelation chapter thirteen which focuses on and foretells the counterfeit reign of the Antichrist upon the earth in the place of Jesus Christ and his blasphemy directed toward heaven.
4So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” 5And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 6Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. …15He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. Revelation13:4-7 & 15
We continuously witness the rise of blasphemy against our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from without and within the church. The world is being made ready for the righteous wrath and indignation of Almighty God that is poured out through these terrible judgments of apostasy and worship of the Antichrist. God has promised to deliver us from the wrath to come through the rapture of the church.
15For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an arch angel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write you. 2For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness…9For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-5:5 & 9
Since we reject the evil of this world system through faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ we are not destined for this judgment. Those saved during the tribulation period will be the fruit of the supernatural work of God through His chosen instruments, the 144,000 of the children of Israel sent as witnesses throughout the earth.
4And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:… 9After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb!” Revelation 7:4 & 9-10
The outpourings of the wrath of God through the trumpet and bowl judgments will culminate with the return of Jesus Christ and His destruction of the Antichrist and his armies.
19And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh. Revelation 19:19-21
As we see the acceleration of apostasy let us ever be ready for the return of our Lord and Savior for His beloved, that is His redeemed church, by staying true to Him as we share the truth of the gospel and the promise of His return. God bless you for this ministry through His Son Jesus Christ by His Holy Spirit.