Mike Bickle Answers the 100 Most Frequently Asked Questions About the End Times—Part 2

Who are the ones taken from the field, and who are those left behind in Matthew 24:38-42?
Who are the ones taken from the field, and who are those left behind in Matthew 24:38-42? (Grizzlybear-se/Pixabay)

This is part 2 of a multipart series. Click here to read part 1. 

26. When does the final three and a half years start? It is marked by the abomination of desolation (Matt. 24:15, Mark 13:14, 2 Thess. 2:3-4, Rev. 13:12-18).

27. What is the abomination of desolation? This occurs when the Antichrist stands in the Jerusalem temple and declares himself to be God by setting up an idol in the temple and then seeking to force all who are on earth to worship him (Dan. 11:31-32, Matt. 24:15, 2 Thess. 2:4, Rev. 13:14-17). The Antichrist's statue or image will be the greatest abomination to God in history, because the Antichrist will demand to be worshipped as God, and many will fully respond to this demand.

28. When is the abomination of desolation set up? It will start the final three and a half years of natural history. It will occur after the Antichrist puts a stop to the sacrifices in the temple. The desolation will occur in two different ways. First, the Antichrist will seek to desolate or destroy any who refuse to worship him. Second, God will desolate or destroy in judgment all those who yield to the pressure to worship the Antichrist. The abomination of desolation is referred to seven times in Scripture, five times by Daniel (Dan. 8:13, 9:26, 27; 11:31; 12:11) and twice by Jesus (Matt. 24:15; Mark. 13:14).

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29. Will the abomination of desolation in the temple be alive? The false prophet will command all to make an image (statue) related to worshipping the Antichrist (Rev. 13:14, 15; 14:9, 11; 15:2; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4). He will cause the image to speak and breathe.

30. Who is the restrainer in 1 Thessalonians 2:6-7? The restrainer is a combination of two forces that currently restrain the Antichrist, referred to as something and someone by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8. These forces will be removed to allow the Antichrist to come to a place of international political power. Paul describes the restrainer of the Antichrist as a what (neuter in v. 6) and as a he (masculine in v. 7). Thus, the restraining force is a what and a he working together. Paul taught that the power of the state is appointed by God to restrain evil (Rom. 13:1-4). The power of the state is what and the He is God and His sovereign decree. Some wrongly teach that the Holy Spirit is the restrainer who is removed when the church is raptured before the Great Tribulation. If that is true, then nobody could be saved in the Great Tribulation, because it takes the work of the Holy Spirit moving on an unbeliever's heart in order for salvation to occur.

31. How do you know the horseman of the first seal judgment is the Antichrist? The rider of the white horse has a crown (political prominence, Rev. 13:1-2, 7), a bow (military authority) and he is a successful conqueror. The nations have been enjoying a counterfeit worldwide peace (1 Thess. 5:3). This will end after the opening of the first seal, the fall of Babylon, and the abomination of desolation. The color white symbolizes righteousness, because his reign initially appears righteous. He is the counterfeit to Jesus who rides a white horse with truth (Rev. 19:11). It would be out of place to say the rider of this white horse is Jesus when the other three horses have negative judgment events that involve sinful actions of men. Jesus is gloriously pictured in Revelation in splendor in three places (Rev. 1:12-18; 14:14-16; 19:11-16). There are significant differences between the white horse riders in Revelation 6:2 and Revelation 19:11-16.

32. Do the first four seals describe the result of the Antichrist's activity? Yes. Each seal leads to the unfolding of the next seal. For example, the rise of the Antichrist in the first seal (Rev. 6:2) leads us to a world war in the second seal, which in turn causes famine and economic crisis in the third seal and calamity in the fourth seal. Jesus releases the seal judgments against the harlot and the nations that align with her.

33. Who are the two witnesses? The two witnesses are prophets who will preach with great power and release God's judgments against the Antichrist's empire in the Great Tribulation.

34. Who is the "prince who is to come" of Daniel 9:26? He is the Antichrist who makes a covenant with many nations, including Israel (Dan. 9:27).

35. Who is the Beast in Revelation 13:1-8? He is the Antichrist.

36. Why is the Antichrist called the Beast? His character is like a wild animal. He will be unreasonable, ferocious, cruel, and without reason or mercy. The term beast is used 36 times to describe the Antichrist (Rev. 11:7; 13:1, 2, 3, 4, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18; 14:9, 11; 15:2; 16:2, 10, 13; 17:3, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 17; 19:19, 20; 20:4, 10).

37. What do the four beasts in Daniel 7 represent? Most scholars agree that the vision of Daniel 7 predicts four successive ancient empires (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome), described as four beasts. These empires played a key role in Israel's history between 605 B.C. when Israel went into Babylonian captivity and the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

38. What are the seven heads? The heads refer to seven empires from world history.

39. What are the 10 horns? The horns speak of a future 10-nation confederation that will work closely with the Antichrist in the end times (Rev. 17:11-13, 17).

40. Who is the "other beast" in Revelation 13:11? He is the false prophet.

41. What are the "two horns like a lamb" on the second beast symbolic of? Why is the false prophet displayed as he is (Rev. 13:11)? These two horns represent the false prophet's demonic power, probably displayed in religion and in economics. He will use his power behind the façade of being like a mild and gentle lamb.

42. Who are the 144,000 of Revelation 7 and 14? The 144,000 are ethnic Jews that are sealed to be protected from God's judgments in the book of Revelation.

43. What is the third woe? There are three "woes" that happen in chronological order; they are the fifth, sixth and seventh trumpets (Rev. 8:13). The third woe is the seventh trumpet, which involves the release of the seven bowl judgments.

44. What is the "little book" in Revelation 10? It is a book that contains key prophetic information for the end times. This may be the same book with the same prophetic information that Daniel received in Daniel 12. Daniel sealed up comparable prophetic information with an angel of similar glory and a corresponding oath related to the final three and a half years (Dan. 12:4-10). The little book is not the same book taken from the Father by Jesus (Rev. 5:7).

45. What are the seven thunders of Revelation 10? They are seven prophetic messages that the Lord will strategically reveal to the end-time church. They have been sealed up until the end times like some of Daniel's prophetic words (Dan. 12:9).

46. What is the bottomless pit? It is a temporary prison from which the Antichrist ascends during the tribulation (Rev. 11:7, 17:8). The demonic locusts seen in the fifth trumpet come from this pit (Rev. 9:1- 2, 11). It is also the place where Satan will be bound for 1,000 years (Rev. 20:1-3).

47. When will Jesus rapture the church? The rapture will occur in association with the last trumpet (Isa. 27:13; 1 Cor. 15:50-52; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 10:7, 11:15-17). The last trumpet is the last in a series of seven trumpets as seen in Revelation 8-9.

48. What is dispensationalism? It is the belief that world history is divided into seven different "times," or dispensations. It includes an understanding of the end times that was developed by John Darby starting in 1830 and made popular by the Scofield Reference Bible. It teaches about a "secret rapture" of God's people before the tribulation, thus teaching that the church does not go through the tribulation. The theological idea of dispensationalism is less than 200 years old.

49. What does it mean to believe in the pretribulation rapture? "Pre" means "before," so to be pre-trib (believing in the pretribulation rapture) means one believes that Christians will be raptured before the Great Tribulation begins.

50. Who are the ones taken from the field, and who are those left behind in Matthew 24:38-42? The context of this passage describes those taken in judgment in a sudden and unexpected manner. These will be "swept away" in death by God's judgment coming on the earth. Many people in Noah's day were surprised by the flood of judgment that killed them. In the same manner, many will ignore the signs that Jesus described in Matthew 24:3-35. Jesus told them clearly that those taken were taken by death to the place the eagle or vultures will eat them.

I tell you, on that night two men will be in one bed; the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding grain together; the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two men will be in the field; the one will be taken and the other will be left."

They asked, "Where, Lord?"

He replied, "Where the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together" (Luke 17:34-37).

Mike Bickle is the director of the International House of Prayer Missions Base of Kansas City, Missouri, and author of several books. For more information, visit mikebickle.org or ihopkc.org.

This article originally appeared on the International House of Prayer website.

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