End Times Events Summarized

A. I. Burch*

The Second Coming of Christ: No Secret Rapture!

It must, therefore, be plainly manifest, that they who talk of expecting Christ’s return at any moment, and in secret, are declaring that which is according to the traditions of men, which make void the Word of God; and not according to those Scriptures of Truth, which alone are to be the Christian’s standard, and guide to a right knowledge of the revealed will of God. These tell us, that His Coming is to be IMMEDIATELY AFTER the tribulation of those days. If any shall say, "Behold He is in the desert;" we are not to go forth; or if they say, "Behold He i a in the secret chambers;" we are not to believe it; for as the lightening cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the Coming of the Son of Man be (Matthew 24:26-30).

Rise and Destruction of Antichrist

And we are distinctly told in Scripture that before the Day of Christ, THE APOSTASY Must FIRST come, and that THE MAN OF SIN (Antichrist) must be revealed, etc., and that he, and his hosts, are to be destroyed by the brightness of Christ’s Coming (2 Thess. 2).

The Character of Antichrist

And if we would but read more carefully and earnestly our Bibles, we should see his character and work fully described; how that he will rise gradually into prominence, his early career being symbolized by "a Little Horn" coming up amongst the Ten Horns (i.e., the Ten Kings, Dan. 7) at first supporting the mighty Babylonish system (Rev. 17:3) which he will finally control, when the Ten Kings "have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the Beast." (v. 13). We should learn also, how fascinating, magnificent, and mighty, yet crafty and deceiving, he will be; being energized by Satan: a cruel persecutor; a blaspheming Apostate; causing those who will not worship him, to be put to death. Consequently we should see how the Nations under his control, will apostatize, and worship him and the Devil (Rev. 13:4).

The Great Tribulation

We should also learn respecting the last three and a half years of this age—the period of his supreme control and reign over the Ten Kingdoms. During this time the "two witnesses" prophesy; (Rev. 11) when Christianity (represented by the "woman") will be driven out of the Roman Earth; (Rev. 12) a time of fierce persecution of the Truth and people of God, both Jew and Gentile. It is at the commencement of this period, that he breaks the seven years covenant made with Israel, and becomes their great Oppressor (Dan. 9:27; Dan. 8:9-25). Also during this period will many and fearful judgments be poured upon the earth. The last act of Antichrist will be, to gather together the Ten Kings and their armies to Armageddon (Rev. 16:14-16) purposing to cut Israel off from being a Nation; (Ps. 83 and Ps. 2) and will bring his hosts to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, where they will be met, and destroyed, by the Lord Jesus in the brightness of His glory (Joel 3; 2 Thess 2; Rev. 19).

The Day of the Lord

This destruction of Antichrist and his hosts, however, will not be the first act of the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord will commence in Heaven, when Christ is brought before the Ancient of Days (God) and invested with the sovereignty of Earth (Dan. 7:9-14; Rev. 11:15).

The First Resurrection

The FIRST act as regards the Earth, will be concerning Christendom; namely, "the First Resurrection" (Rev. 20:4-6) which will include all who have died in faith since Adam"they that are Christ’s at His Coming"—(1 Cor. 15:23), called also, "the Church of the first-born-ones" (Heb. 12:23). At the same time-when the trumpet shall sound—will the living saints be changed, in a moment. (Compare 1 Thess. 4:13-17, with 1 Cor. 15:51, 52). THEN will the angels (the reapers of the harvest) come forth and separate the tares (mere professors) from the wheat (true believers) and will gather together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them. (See Matthew 13:30,41,42). THEN will the changed ones, together with the raised dead, be caught up to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess. 4:17). From thence they will descend with Christ to the earth, in glory, when He will execute judgment upon the wicked; (Zech. 14:5; Col. 3:4; Jude 14; Isa. 24:21; 26:21) and bind Satan for a thousand years (Rev. 20:2,3). The spared remnant of Israel, will then be converted at once, as a Nation born in a day (Isa. 10:20-23; 31:4,5; 66:5-24).

The Millennium

Thus will the: Millennial reign of Christ he inaugurated upon God’s holy hill of Zion (Ps. 2:6; Isa. 11) and "the Church of the first-born ones" (Heb. 12:23), the Heavenly branch of His Kingdom, will reign with Him a thousand years (Rev. 20:4; Dan. 7:18,22,27) from the Heavenly Jerusalem above: whilst Israel on the earth, who will then form the earthly branch of Christ’s Kingdom, will be a righteous Nation, a Kingdom of Priests (Isa. 26:2; 60; 61; 62; Rev. 5:10) to whom shall be the first dominion (Micah 4:8). The Gentile Nations shall be subject to them, and blessed through them (Isa. 14:1-3; 49:22,23; chapter 60; Ps. 67), Jerusalem and Zion being the recognized center of the Earth’s Government (Isa. 2:2, 3; Jer. 3:17; Zech. 14:16-19). Creation shall be delivered from its groan, from the bondage of corruption (Rom. 8:19-23; Isa. 9:6-9). Truth shall be triumphant, and righteousness and peace shall go forth from Jerusalem (Ps. 72 & Ps. 85). Yet, although thus blessed, the Millennium will not be a Perfect state; for although Satan will be bound, the innate evil of man’s heart will still be working; (Isa 45:20; Zech. 14:17-19) some will yield a feigned obedience (Ps. 18:44, margin). At the close, Satan will be loosed for a season, and will go forth to deceive the Nations again, and gather them together to battle, and they will compass the Citadel of the Saints about, and the Beloved City, and fire will come down from God out of Heaven and devour them (Rev. 20:7-9).

The Last Resurrection, and the Great White Throne, The Second Death

The Millennial Dispensation will close with the Last Resurrection; and the Judgment of the Great White Throne; when Satan and all the wicked, will be cast into the lake of fire—the Second Death—and be tormented for ever and ever. (Rev. 20:10-15; John 5:28, 29; Rev. 21:8).

"Then cometh the end," when this Adamic Creation, shall be burned up, and pass away; no place being found for it; (2 Pet. 3:10-12; Rev. 20:11; 21:1) and when Christ will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father, that God may be all in all (1 Cor. 15:24-28).

The New Creation

And all things will be made new. God will create a New Heaven and a New Earth (Rev. 21:1, 5; Isa. 65:17), into which, John, in the prophetic vision, saw the New Jerusalem descend, coming down from God out of Heaven (Rev. 21:2, 10, to 22:5) and wherein righteousness shall DWELL (2 Pet. 3:13) this will be the Eternal Home and inheritance of all the redeemed, with Christ.

Now all that we have said here, about the future, is but a mere outline of what the Prophetic Scriptures would teach us, if we would but give them even half the consideration that we do the affairs of this world, that concern our present comfort. Let no one imagine that the Scriptures quoted in support of these things are all that can be cited, for they are only examples, which if considered, would lead to a multitude of other Scriptures, which would abundantly confirm, and fill in the details concerning, all the events to which we have but merely referred.

Now let us briefly sum up, in our minds, the things of which we have thus far spoken; and let us consider what the state of the Professing Church is, to day, as viewed by God.

Think of all the worldliness connected with what are called "places of worship," with all their amusements; their many man-invented and man-pleasing contrivances, to maintain their hold upon the people. Think of all the false and unscriptural teaching of the man-made ministers of Christendom, both in the Established Church, and in Dissent; with all their manifest ignorance, or rejection of, definite Truth, as contained in God’s pure and Holy Word.

Think of all the sentimentalism, which constitutes by far the greater part of present-day Christianity; and of the utter indifference of professing Christians as to whether what is taught, is in accordance with the Word of God, or not.

And then remember, what God has forewarned us would be the characteristics of the Professing Church in these "last days" —evil waxing worse and worse, until the close of the age: God’s true children being in the minority and in suffering, rejected and despised, and even by Professing Christians, for the sake of the Truth. Think of all that He has told us would be found in the world, as well as in the Church—lying wonders working with all deceivableness; hatred of God and His Truth; the love of the greater part, even of Christians, waxing cold. Think of all the Prophetic instruction and warning given, concerning the end and doom of the wicked, both of the apostate nations, and of false professors.

Then, when we have considered these things, let us as Christians, ask ourselves: what should be the reasonable result of our salvation? What should be our position in relation to these things which are UNSCRIPTURAL, and THEREFORE EVIL; and in relation to those who hold false doctrine, and reject the Truth of God; and to those who associate with such as do these things?

Are we left to please ourselves, and to consider our own present comfort and ease concerning these things?

* Adapted from the booklet The Christian’s Pathway In Relation To Modern Christianity, A. I. Burch, nd.