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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Dr. Tony Evans » Tony Evans - God's Prophetic Calendar

Tony Evans - God's Prophetic Calendar

Tony Evans - God's Prophetic Calendar
TOPICS: Prophetic

Many of you remember many years ago, there was a TV show called "Early Edition," and that's where a man would get tomorrow's newspaper today, so he knew what was coming because he got the future given to him in advance. And so he knew what he needed to do in light of what the newspaper said tomorrow because he got it ahead of time. Prophecy is God's newspaper telling you what's coming tomorrow so you have the information today. The Bible is the website. Jesus is the passcode. And if you really want to understand what's happening in our world and where we are going: prophecy, the predicting of the future. God can make no prophetic mistakes because of his perfection.

The Bible is full of prophecies, things that were predicted in advance, including the birth of Jesus, the fact that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, the fact that he would ride on a donkey on Palm Sunday. All of that is predicted 700 and more years in the Old Testament before it ever happened in the New Testament, because God is impeccably perfect in his prophetic pronouncements. So anything God says is going to happen, you can bank your bottom dollar it is going to happen precisely as he said it would happen. So to ignore prophecy as given by God is to ignore the future. So the Bible is God's prophetic syllabus giving us an outline of things to come. And so today, I would just like to survey the prophetic calendar.

In Matthew 24, verse 3, the disciples ask a question. They said, "What are the signs of your coming? What do we look to as a sign of your coming"? Jesus then responded to them and he said to them, he says in verse 6, "You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place. But that is not yet the end, for nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom in various places. There will be famines," which can be pestilences, "and earthquakes, but all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs". God will not give us a date and time of his arrival. Jesus says that the signs that you are to look for are not only the conflicts, but the rumors that surround it and the scope of them. There will be nation against nation and there will be rumor against rumor and this will bubble up. He says, "But it is not yet time".

So let me start off by letting you know that I am not saying that what we are seeing today is proof positive Jesus is coming tomorrow. What I am saying is it could be. Right now, you are in what the Bible calls the church age. It's called in Luke chapter 21, verse 24, the times of the Gentiles. The church age comes to a conclusion at the Rapture. The reason why it is not the end yet is there is an event that will take place before the end-time clock gets punched and that event is called the Rapture. The Rapture is when Jesus Christ does not come back to earth. He comes back to the clouds and we are raptured up to meet him. If Jesus Christ were to come today, everyone in this house who has trusted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior would leave this place. If I'm gone and you're still here, that's 'cause you not saved.

So before this service is over, we want to give you a opportunity to do that, but we wanna make sure that you are part of the Rapture. We come, the dead in Christ, those who have already gone ahead of us, will come with him. Those who are dead will get new bodies, new glorified bodies, so the glorified bodies will meet the returning soul and spirit, and we will have our glorified existence. We who are alive will be changed. Everything wrong with you in the Rapture will be made right immediately. In 1 Corinthians 15, we read these words: "Behold, I tell you a mystery," verse 51 says. "We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye".

Let me tell you what the twinkle of an eye is. A twinkle of an eye is faster than a blink. It's the twitch of the eye. It's faster than a blink. You will be changed, and it says, "For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed". So the Rapture takes place, boom, in a twinkling of an eye, all of those who are believers in Christ will be raptured up to meet the Lord. We will have reunion with those who have already gone before us, and we will be taken to heaven for the Judgment Seat of Christ. The Judgment Seat of Christ will take place while an event I'll talk about in a moment is taking place on earth, where believers are given their rewards for their faithfulness to the Lord between the time of their conversion and the time of their death or the Rapture.

So what God will be looking at when he raptures us is, how faithful were you as a follower of Christ? Faithfulness means consistency over time. When the Rapture takes place, it inaugurates a seven-year event. That seven-year event is called the Tribulation. This time of Tribulation, it's called Jacob's Trouble. Christians, those who have accepted Christ, are in the Rapture. When the Rapture happens, that opens up the Day of the Lord. It's called the Day of the Lord because now it's the day of man.

You say, "How can there be a God who allows all these tragedies, all these difficulties, all this pain, all this"? 'Cause today is the day of man, and he has allowed man to do things based on their decision making. Once the Rapture happens, it is no longer the day of man. It is now the Day of the Lord and he is going to take over completely. It is during this time of Tribulation, this seven-year period prophesied in the book of Daniel. It's called the 69th week leading to this time of international upheaval where God will intervene directly. Satan will be released to a full... now, you think Satan is rough now, you haven't seen anything yet. Most of the book of Revelation is about this time of Tribulation, this time of Tribulation when there will be complete upheaval in the world. The Tribulation revolves around a figure. There will be wars and rumors of wars. There's going to be all this conflict. And Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde will show up.

This will be an international figure who will purport to bring order to a world in chaos. And his name is called the Antichrist. So there is a man who does not keep rules, lawlessness, who will become manifested, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god and object of worship so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. So the Antichrist will display himself as deity. Do you not remember when I was still with you, I was telling you these things, and you know what restrains him now so that in his time he will be revealed. In other words, we don't know who he is yet 'cause he's being held back. He could be very much alive right now but not yet revealed. He says for the mystery of lawlessness, it's a secret, is already at work. Only he who know... now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the world.

Okay, when the Holy Spirit is removed, the Restrainer, you and I are removed. That's the Rapture, because you and I are indwelt with the Holy Spirit if you've accepted Christ. The Holy Spirit is the Restrainer. So when the Holy Spirit, the Restrainer, is removed and he indwells every believer, he takes the believers with him in the Rapture. When he takes the believers with him in the Rapture, now the Restrainer is gone. When the Restrainer is gone, which means the saints who he indwells is gone with him, now the man of lawlessness will be revealed. "Then the lawless one," verse 8, "will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of his mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of his coming That is, the one who is coming is in accord with the activity of Satan and with power and signs and wonders".

Why will he be believed? Because he's gonna bring miracles with him. He's going to bring miracles with him. What Jesus is to God, the Antichrist is to Satan. Jesus is the incarnation of deity. The Antichrist is the incarnation of the devil. So, that helps you to understand, by the way... if you look at Revelation chapter 13, Revelation chapter 13, you discover the unholy trinity. So we know about the Holy Trinity, but there's an unholy trinity. You've got in verse 1 the dragon, which we're told in chapter 12, is the devil. Then you've got the beast in verse 1, "and I saw a beast and they worshiped," verse 4, "the dragon because he gave authority to the beast". So you've got three figures in chapter 13. You've got the dragon, the first beast, and the second beast, that is, you've got Satan, the Antichrist, and the false prophet.

That explains verse 18: "Here is wisdom. Let him who is understanding calculate the number of the beast. For the number is that of a man. And his number is 666". Six-six-six. Why is 666 important as a trinitarian number? Six and six and six. Six is the number of man. Man was created sixth. Man was created sixth. There will be a trinity that will deal with man. God the Trinity wants to deal with man now. The devil the trinity, the devil, the Antichrist, the false prophet, that trinity will deal with men during the Tribulation period. So it is the number of man, or the number of the unholy trinity, dealing with the human race during this period of time we call the Tribulation period, but this is the Antichrist, and the Antichrist will bring havoc, verse 10, "And with all deception of wickedness for those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved".

When you reject God, you open up to the devil. When you reject God's Word, you open up to the devil. There are only two words: man's word and God's Word. The question is, whose word are you gonna believe? And the problem is he will be so tricky with his miracles, tricky with his deception, that you're gonna believe his word just 'cause he looks like he's got some, "Don't believe every spirit," the Bible says. Just because it's a miracle doesn't mean it came from God. This Tribulation, this seven-year period, divided into two halves, the first half and the second half. The second half is called the Great Tribulation 'cause that's when stuff gets worse. That's when you see the book of Revelation, and feel free to read it, that will open up and you will see all hell break loose on earth, which is one of the reasons you wanna try to win your family to Christ now so they don't have to go through this, because if they're here, they're going to face this and this will be death and destruction, and because it's God now making his final stand.

As we come to the end of the Tribulation, this seven-year period, we come to an event that we all know: Armageddon. As we come to the end of the Tribulation, we come to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Now, this is very interesting because the Second Coming of Christ coincides with the battle of Armageddon. The battle of Armageddon comes at the end of the Tribulation, but we're given some information where things right now could be being set up for them because, remember, there's only a seven-year gap. Let me take you back now to Ezekiel 38, and in Ezekiel 38 we have Gog and Magog. Gog is a man. Magog is a land. So Gog is the head of Magog. We're told that Gog, who leads a land called Magog, is to the remotest part of the north of Israel.

Well, there's only one nation to the remotest part of the north of Israel that goes to the Arctic Sea, and that's Russia. Russia is the remotest part from Israel on our map. So don't be surprised that you see this movement of Russia that makes its way through conflict. And here's what you want to look for even now, although it won't be fulfilled for at least seven years in its fullest expression. There will be a move that will bring the Middle East into the conflict. And the thing that will move Russia to bring the Middle East into the conflict is oil. You think you got high gas prices now? You ain't seen nothing yet. Oil will become the dominant issue. And with oil being the issue and Middle East being in conflict with the oil-bearing nations and Russia coming down from the north, there will be a coming together of the Middle East, of Europe, of Russia, and it says Gog is going to arrange for them to collect themselves against Israel. He says "against the mountain of Israel".

Now, this is a whole theology here. You can get the book "The Best is Yet to Come" to go into it, but Israel was chosen by God to bring in the living Word and the written Word. It would be the nation that would give birth to the Messiah. And then the Ten Commandments would come out of that. The scriptures would be birthed through the Jews. So that became God's... he calls it the apple of his eye. So everything revolves around the place of Israel. When Jesus Christ comes back, he is coming back to Jerusalem, and he's coming back with us.

Now, let's talk about the Second Coming. I like the way Matthew 24 puts it, that also describes his return, because it says, verse 29, "But immediately after the Tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light and the stars will fall from the sky and the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and then all the tribes of earth will mourn and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds on the sky with power and great glory and he will send forth his angels with a great trumpet. And they will gather together the elect from the four winds in one end of the sky to the other".

So Jesus Christ is going to come back at the end of the Tribulation with the saints who've already been raptured. When he comes back, according to Revelation chapter 1, verse 7, "Every eye will see him". "And all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at my presence". Verse 21, "I will call for the sword against him on all my mountains, declares the Lord". Verse 22, "With pestilence, with blood, I will enter into judgment with him and I will rain on him and on his troops and on the many peoples who are with him, and on a torrential rain and hailstones and fire and brimstone. And I will magnify myself and sanctify myself and make myself known in the sight of many nations. And then they will know I am the Lord". "They may not know it now, they may not believe it now, they may not acknowledge it now, but on that day, there will be no question because that's the Day of the Lord. That's when I'm calling the shots".

When Jesus Christ comes back, it sets up the Millennium. Chapter 20, verse 1, of Revelation, "Then I saw the angel come down from heaven, holding the keys of the abyss and a great chain. He laid hold of the dragon, that is the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years". The millennium is a thousand. "Bound him a thousand years". Verse 3, "Until the thousand years were completed". Verse 4, "And reigned with Christ for a thousand years". Verse 6 he says, "And will reign with him for a thousand years". A thousand, a thousand, a thousand. That means the millennium. Jesus Christ will set up the millennial kingdom and, oh, what a kingdom it's gonna be. There will be nothing allowed to bring pain or hurt. The Bible says a child will be a child at a hundred years of age.

Now, we know this has not happened yet because it still talks about people dying. So we're not in heaven yet because in heaven nobody dies. We're in the golden year of mankind when Jesus Christ will rule from Jerusalem, and the Bible says he will rule with a rod of iron, which means there will be no rebellion allowed. Anything you mad about you better keep to yourself because there will be no rebellion allowed in his holy mountain as he rules. When the millennium comes to a completion, it leads to the final courtroom of history, which is the Great White Throne Judgment in Revelation chapter 20.

In Revelation chapter 20 we read these words beginning in verse 11; Revelation 20, beginning in verse 11. I'm going through a lot of pages here, so. So, the thousand years are completed in verse 7. Satan will be released from his prison. During the millennium, Satan is not allowed to promote rebellion, and Jesus is ruling with a rod of iron, so there'll be no rebellion. But at the end of the millennium, it says, verse 7, the thousand years were completed, Satan was released, and he came to deceive the nations because people who harbored rejection about God in their hearts when Satan shows up will be allowed to release it, to show what they've been harboring against God.

When that happens, then, verse 11, "I saw a great white throne and him who sat on it from whose presence the earth and heaven fled away and no place found for them. And I saw the dead and the great and the small standing before the throne and the books were opened and another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged from the things that were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and the dead in Hades gave up the dead which were in them. And they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades was thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire".

Here is the final courtroom in history, where the final judge takes the White Throne Judgment. Please notice something. In the White Throne Judgment people were judged on their deeds. People were judged on their deeds. Why are they judged on their deeds? They're judged on their deeds to determine their level of judgment in the same way believers at the Judgment Seat of Christ are judged for our level of reward. But everybody who goes to hell doesn't go there equally. Some are in maximum security, the bottomless pit, minimum security, and minimal security based on their deeds. And so we now, in the millennium, at the White Throne Judgment, and that leads us to eternity.

Chapter 21 of Revelation, "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth and the first heaven and the first earth passed away," the un-creation, "and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God," the place where you and I will go when we die or when we are raptured, "made ready as a bride adorned for her husband". Now, I didn't talk about it, but in chapter 19, verses 7 to 10, talks about the marriage supper of the Lamb, which is a 1000-year party which takes place in the millennium. But now we have been ushered into eternity, the eternal state where we will forever be with the Lord, where the earth and the whole universe will be filled with his glory.

I have left out so much stuff. But I want to conclude. I wanna conclude my time with you in all seriousness. You and I are to get ready 'cause we're expecting someone. We're waiting for the Rapture. We're waiting for the opportunity to be with the Lord, and it's time now. It's time now to get busy for the Lord and his kingdom. I don't know what your life, my life has been like, but since we're still here, we still have some time to make it right, to get right with God, to get right with each other, and to get busy for the Lord.

This is not a time to play Christians. This is not a time to just have it on your bumper sticker. This is the time to let it be known: "I'm a visible, verbal follower of Jesus Christ. I'm a kingdom disciple. I'm a representative of God". This is the time to get an act of kindness card. Do a good act of kindness and say, "By the way, if you died today, do you know where you would spend eternity? And I've got some good news for you. The price has already been paid". So don't be too cute to be a Christian. Don't be too embarrassed to name Jesus Christ. Don't be too ashamed for people to know who you are, because the Word of God is true.
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