Many times people look at the New Testament prophecies of the end-times and conclude that those predicted events were for the most part fulfilled in 70 CE when the Temple and Jerusalem were destroyed.
Undoubtedly, the authors of those prophecies felt that the time of the end was near and so they were motivated to record these prophecies. The Apostle John stated this view when he wrote: “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antimessiah is coming, even now many anti-Messiahs have come, by which we know that it is the last hour” (1John 2:18, NKJV).
There was a partial fulfillment of prophecy then, and there will be total fulfillment of those same end-time prophecies in the near future. The antimessiahs described in 1John will ultimately lead to “the Antimessiah.” His appearance will bring about the time known as the “Great Tribulation.”
At the very center of all past, present, and future evil is Satan the adversary. He is the one who deceived Adam and Eve in the garden and he is the one who comes down with great wrath upon the end-time believers of spiritual Israel.
“And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our Elohim, and the power of His Messiah have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our Yahweh day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.’” (Rev. 12:7-12; NKJV)
In the time of the end, that evil deceiver will seek to destroy the spiritual offspring of believers who keep Yahweh’s commandments and have the testimony of Yahshua. The forces of darkness are directed by Satan to make war with those believers.
“And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of Yahweh and have the testimony of Yahshua Messiah” (Rev. 12:17; NKJV).
A war is being waged against Yahweh’s people on two fronts. First, there is the physical front where Satan seeks to destroy the followers of the truth. Second, there is the spiritual front where Satan desires to deceive those who attempt to follow the truth and cause them to fall away from the truth.
Yahshua prophesied of both of these battlefronts in Matthew 24.
“Then they will hand you over to be tortured and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. Then many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matt. 24:9-13; NRSV).
These predicted events had a partial fulfillment in the time of the apostles. The complete fulfillment will come in the time of the end. Having knowledge of these events prepares us to face these adversities and endure to the end.
At the present time, True Worshippers are not facing the threat of death. Satan is waging a war of deception and temptation to lead people astray and to put them in bondage to sin, just as he deceived Adam and Eve with his lies, so he has deceived the majority of people.
Only a remnant, a miniscule amount of people will not be deceived by the Adversary. For the most part we are waging a spiritual war against the dark forces of evil. This is what the Apostle Paul spoke of in his epistle to the Ephesians.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in Yahweh and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of Yahweh, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:10-12) NKJV.
Even though the devil uses people to do his dirty work by attacking and betraying Yahweh’s people, it must be understood that we are waging spiritual warfare against the dark forces of evil.
First and foremost, the devil seeks to destroy our faith through sin and deception. As each of us works out our salvation, we must not allow sin to get a foothold within our heart or mind. Satan is out to destroy the saints, and his tried and proven method is to make people slaves to sin through deception.
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which Yahweh has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by Yahweh;’ for Yahweh cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren” (James 1:12-16; NKJV).
The battleground for the war we wage is in our hearts and minds. We must control our thoughts and actions if we are to prevail over the enemy.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in Yahweh for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Yahweh, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Messiah, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Messiah’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Messiah’s, even so we are Messiah’s” (2Cor. 10:3-7; NKJV).
By taking ourselves in hand and obeying Yahweh we will be able to be victorious against the powers of darkness by remaining pure within. We encourage all to follow the advice of the Apostle Paul when he wrote:
“But you, O man of Yahweh, flee these things and pursue righteousness, holiness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of Yahweh who gives life to all things, and before Messiah Yahshua who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Master Yahshua Messiah’s appearing” (1Tim. 6:11-14; NKJV).
Yahweh gave Yahshua so that we might receive salvation through forgiveness of our sins. Because Yahshua suffered for us, we must be prepared to partake of His sufferings. The adversary is responsible for motivating those who defect from the truth to accuse the brethren and cause them to suffer. We must not allow such persecutions to stop us from sending forth the Truth of Yahweh’s Word.
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Messiah’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Messiah, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of Yahweh rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a believer of Messiah, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify Yahweh in this matter.
“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of Elohim; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the good news of Yahweh? Now if the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the unrighteous and the sinner appear? Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of Yahweh commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:12-19; NKJV).
Never be surprised at the ways and means that the adversary uses to wage war against Yahweh’s people in these last days. Prepare yourself for what is ahead and fight the good fight against the devil and his followers. Don’t allow sin to dominate you. Overcome and be strong through Yahshua.
Facing adversity will either make a person better or it will destroy him or her. We must turn the negative into a positive and let Yahweh turn all curses into blessings.
The fire that we face in the end-times will purify us
and make the faithful members of the Body of Messiah better people who will
exhibit the love of Yahweh in their lives. Let us remain faithful to our
calling and receive the gift of life.