When will the world end? Who is the antichrist?

SERMON TOPIC: When will the world end? Who is the antichrist?

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 21 August 2012


Sermon synopsis: When is the end of the world and the return of Jesus Christ? Can Nostradamus and Mayan prophecies be trusted and should Christians be paying any attention to them? Is an American president the Antichrist? Where and when will the third Jewish temple be rebuilt? Why must Jewish sacrifice be re-instituted? Who will broker the Middle East Peace Treaty?
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Charles Taze Russell, first president of the Watchtower Society (i.e. Jehovah’s Witnesses), predicted Armageddon for 1914. 1 After 1914 passed uneventfully, Russell revised his dates stating that the end would not be later than 1918. 2


1 ‘The Time Is At Hand’ (1911) “… the ‘battle of the great day of God Almighty’, which will end in AD 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth’s present rulership, is already commenced.” 2 ‘The Finished Mystery’ (1917) “Also, in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by millions…”

The end came, but only for Russell - he died in 1916. ‘Judge’ Rutherford succeeded Russell as president and in 1920 he predicted that post-Armageddon reconstruction would begin in 1925, marked by the resurrection of the patriarchs: “Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old…” 1

1 “Millions Now Living Will Never Die”


The Adventists also have failed prophecies about the date of Jesus’ return. William Miller prophesied that Jesus would return to the earth during the year 1844. A more specific date, 22 Oct 1844, was preached by Samuel S. Snow. Although thousands of followers, some of whom had given away all of their possessions, awaited expectantly, Jesus did not appear as expected on the appointed day and as a result 22 Oct 1844 became known as ‘the Great Disappointment’. Both Millerite leaders and followers were left generally bewildered and disillusioned. 1

1 Wapedia - Wiki: Great Disappointment


Only recently 89-year-old Californian preacher Harold Camping prophesied that the Rapture would be on the 21st May 2011. Some of his followers reportedly sold all their possessions and took to the streets to warn people.

Camping had previously predicted judgment days on 21 May 1988, and 7 September 1994. His 2011 prediction was widely reported and after 21 May passed without incident, Camping said he believed that a ‘spiritual’ judgment had occurred on that date, and that the physical Rapture would occur on 21 October 2011, simultaneously with the destruction of the universe by God. 1

1 SOURCE: Wikipedia - Harold Camping


Before Jesus ascended into heaven his disciples asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6)

Jesus replied “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.” (Acts 1:7)


In the parable of the ten virgins the groom comes unexpectedly to take only those wise virgins who are ready for him.

Matt 25:2-13 “Five of them were foolish and five were wise… At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom!’ … The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet… Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”


Jesus told many parables regarding the return of a master who had gone away. In all cases the master returns unexpectedly.

In the parable of the faithful and wise servant Jesus says, “The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.” (Matt 24:50)

Luke 12:38-39 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night.





Jesus makes it clear that his analogy about “the thief” was to emphasize his unknown and unexpected date of return:

Matt 24:43-44 “But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”


A thief does not announce the time of his coming, but instead comes when he is least expected. Peter tells us:

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. (2 Pet 3:10)

Paul also makes it clear that the thief analogy of Jesus indicates that we cannot date-set his return:

1 Thess 5:1-2 Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.


And twice in John’s book of Revelation, Jesus warns:

Rev 3:3 But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

Rev 16:15 “Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.”



A: No-one knows

Matt 24:36 No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.


Q: So will 2012 mark the end of the world?

A: Jesus said that no-one (including the incarnate Jesus) knew the day.

Pegging 2012 as the “end of the world” is not something that is derived from any Christian prophecies but from pagan Mayan sources. 1

If Jesus and the angels don’t know the day – how would Satan know?

And likewise how would anyone – godly or not – know what Jesus himself said only the Father knew?

In any event, we don’t base our doctrine on the Mayans or Nostradamus, but on the Word of God.

1 … 2012 is the year when the so-called Long Count b’ak’tun cycle of the Mayan Calendar ends (on December 21 or possibly December 23). While it’s unclear what the end of that period meant to the Mayas, many interpret the period end as The End, perhaps of civilization as we know it due to a major catastrophe… (SOURCE: " escapeallthesethings.com/ 2012.htm"> escapeallthesethings.com/ 2012.htm)


Q: Can Mayan prophecies be trusted and should Christians be paying any attention to them?

A: The Mayans were polytheistic (i.e. they believed in many gods) 1 pagans who practiced ritualistic human sacrifice. 2 Their religion involved the worship of nature gods - like the gods of the sun, rain and corn - and involved the use of astrology and divination.

1 Interestingly, although the Mayans worshipped a pantheon of gods, the most important deity was Itzamná, the supreme creator god. Kukulcán, or the Feathered Serpent, was another important god. He appears on many temples and was later adopted by the Toltecs and Aztecs as Quetzalcoatl.

2According to " religionfacts.com/ mayan_religion/ index.htm"> religionfacts.com/ mayan_religion/ index.htm “The Mayan afterlife consisted primarily of a dangerous voyage of the soul through the underworld, which was populated by sinister gods… The majority of Maya, including the rulers, went to this underworld. Heaven was reserved for those who had been sacrificed or died in childbirth.”


Nostradamus (1503–66) was a French seer who published collections of prophecies that have since become famous worldwide. He is best known for his book Les Propheties (The Prophecies).

Nostradamus enthusiasts have credited him with predicting an amazing number of events in world history, including the French Revolution, the atom bomb, the rise of Adolf Hitler, and the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. 1

1 SOURCE: " apocalypse-soon.com/ nostradamus_prophecies.htm"> apocalypse- soon.com/ nostradamus_prophecies.htm


Although Nostradamus’s parents were Jewish converts to Catholicism, he had strong leanings towards the occult.

The use of occult language in his prophecies suggest a familiarity with Hermetic magic, which has parallels with Tantra and Shaivite Hinduism. Nostradamus studied the Jewish Kabbalah, as well as astrology, which formed much of the basis of his predictive technique. In Sicily, he connected with Sufi mystics… Nostradamus also appears to have studied “De Mysteriis Aegyptorum” (concerning the mysteries of Egypt), a book on Chaldean and Assyrian magic… It is also practically certain that Nostradamus consulted many other occult works during his life, including perhaps works lost to history… 1

Is this the kind of source that Christians should draw on?

1 Ibid


Are the prophecies of Nostradamus reliable?

In 1981, a film called The Man Who Saw Tomorrow was released. The film stated that Nostradamus, a medieval sage, had predicted a major earthquake that would devastate “the new city” one May when certain planets and stars moved into a precise alignment. The alignment was due to occur on May 10, 1988. The film interpreted the city to be San Francisco or Los Angeles. Nothing happened. Nostradamus also supposedly predicted that World War III will start around 1994, and that Ted Kennedy would become President of the United States in 1984. Again, none of these predictions came true. 1

1 SOURCE: Not Nostradamus Again! - Ezekiel Bozikis (Orthodox Research Institute) " orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/ ">www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org


The truth is that all of Nostradamus’ prophecies are ambiguous enough to interpret a number of different ways. It seems that the only prophecies of Nostradamus that ‘come true’ are discovered after the events take place - and this means that his followers are manipulating his predictions. 1

As such, his detractors have claimed that Nostradamus is “100% accurate at predicting events after they happen”.

When Nostradamus-interpreters stick their necks out by predicting an event in the future, the predictions fail. Furthermore, in 103 cases in which Nostradamus specifically mentions persons, dates or other falsifiable (i.e. testable) data, he was wrong 100 percent of the time... 1

1 Ibid


The Biblical test for a prophet is:

Deut 18:22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.

Nostradamus fails the above test hopelessly.

Ezek 13:3,6 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! ... Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. They say, “The LORD declares,” when the LORD has not sent them; yet they expect their words to be fulfilled.


Q: Looking at Biblical prophecies, can the End of the World be in 2012?

A: The world cannot end in 2012 because there still needs to be a 7 year tribulation, at the outset of which some form of a Middle East peace treaty is signed.

Again the world doesn’t end after the Tribulation. We need to differentiate between the END OF THE AGE and the END OF THE WORLD. The Second Advent marks the end of the ‘age’. The earth (or world) continues for another 1000 years before it is destroyed and recreated.


2nd Advent

7-year Tribulation







New heaven & earth


1000 year Millennium




The antichrist will make a 7-year covenant i.e. treaty.

Dan 9:27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’

The covenant (or treaty) involves Israel.

The references to the temple and sacrifice in the context of the treaty in Daniel 9:27 implies this.

Dan 9:27 In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination …

Jesus told the Jewish leaders, “I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.” (John 5:43)



People will have an expectation of peace when the Day of the Lord comes:

1 Thess 5:2-3 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety”…

The phrase regarding people saying “Peace and safety” at this time seems to indicate that the treaty may be a Middle East peace treaty. With our current political climate and instability in the Middle East this seems a very plausible option. Prominent political leaders today (both US and European) are forever trying to broker peace treaties in the Middle East.

Based on this, the above scripture would place the Day of the Lord at the start of the 7 years.





The person negotiating this treaty appears to be a political leader of a revived Roman Empire (which in modern terms would be some European confederation).

Daniel 9:26-27 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. … He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’

Note the sequence. After the Messiah is cut off (around 32 AD), the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary (temple) are destroyed (70 AD). We know this was done by the Romans so Daniel has effectively identified the coming ruler as a ‘Roman’. It is this neo-Roman ruler who confirms the 7-year covenant.


The Old Roman Empire was centred in Italy, but consisted of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.


Thus depending on how broadly we interpret the phrase “the people of the ruler who will come” - the antichrist must come from the following areas in order of preference:

Rome (i.e. Italy)


The Middle East or North Africa – both Muslim dominated areas today.


In Dan 11:37 we read the following of the prince to come (antichrist):

Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers … (KJV)

The fact that he does not “regard the God of his fathers” has a very Jewish ring to it. This terminology was used often in Kings & Chronicles when Judean kings forsook the LORD. 1

Many, therefore, believe that he will be a Jew. Some suggest that he may be a European or American Jew who rises to power in the Western world.

1 e.g. 2 Ki 21:22 (Mannaseh) forsook the LORD, the God of his fathers, and did not walk in the way of the LORD. 2 Ch 21:10 … Jehoram had forsaken the LORD, the God of his fathers. 2 Ch 28:24-25 Ahaz … provoked the LORD, the God of his fathers, to anger.


In John 5:43 Jesus said to the Jews: “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him.” (NASB) Now would the Jews receive and accept someone (potentially as Messiah) who had no Jewish roots?

At least two of the 2nd century church father (Irenaeus and Hippolytus) believed that the antichrist would be a future literal ruler of Jewish descent, specifically from the tribe of Dan. 1

Notwithstanding it is possible that the False Prophet is the one with Jewish roots and is thus viewed as the Messiah. The False Prophet is more of a religious figure while the Antichrist is more a political figure.

1 For more details see the ministry on “Profile of the antichrist” (" agfbrakpan.co.za/ ministry-archives.aspx?mId=42"> agfbenoni.co.za/ ministry-archives.aspx?mId=42)


Q: Is Barack Obama the Antichrist?

A: The USA is not part of the old Roman Empire. So the antichrist is not an American president, despite the fact that every new US president is normally nominated for the post (including Obama, George Bush and Bill Clinton to name just the most recent).








So “date setting” for the Rapture is unscriptural and simply brings Christian prophecy into disrepute - as people are doing what was never sanctioned in Scripture.

Likewise “antichrist spotting” - especially when candidates are chosen who do not fit the prophetic requirements – is a waste of time. As Christians we are not looking for the coming of the antichrist – rather we are looking for the return of the real Christ.

Titus 2:12-13 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope - the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ





The antichrist will not honour the Middle East treaty:

Dan 11:21 He will invade the kingdom when its people feel secure, and he will seize it through intrigue.

He breaks the 7 year treaty after 3 ½ years:

Dan 9:27 “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

The above verse implies that by the middle of the 7 year tribulation, the Jewish temple must have already been rebuilt.






By: Solomon - 10th Cent BC

By: the Babylonians (Nebuchadnezzar) Date: 586 BC


By: Zerubbabel - 516 BC Renovated by: Herod - 19 BC

By: the Romans (Titus) - 70 AD


Date: Before the middle of the tribulation

The temple in Jesus’ day was the second temple which had been beautifully refurbished and extended by Herod the Great. It was of this temple that it was written:

Mark 13:1 As he was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”


In response Jesus had said, “Do you see all these great buildings? Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” (Mark 13:2)

Painting by French painter James Jacques Tissot (1836-1902)

In fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy the temple was destroyed about 4 decades later by the Roman military commander (and future emperor) Titus.

According to the 1st century Jewish historian Josephus, Titus ordered that the 1000 year old temple be spared when his soldiers besieged and sacked Jerusalem. However the soldiers grew furious with Jewish attacks and tactics and, against Titus’ orders, set fire to an apartment adjacent to the temple, which soon spread all throughout.

Titus (39-81)


Interestingly Daniel had also prophesied that the temple would be destroyed after the Messiah (i.e. Hebrew for “the Anointed One”) had come and been “cut off” ( a reference to the crucifixion). This in itself is evidence from the Old Testament that Jesus was the promised Messiah as no-one else could now fulfill this prophecy:

Daniel 9:25-26 “Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary...”


Although the temple itself was totally destroyed, the retaining wall supporting the area upon which the temple was built was left partially intact and a portion of it remains to this day, called the Western (Wailing) Wall.

In the first hundred years after the city and temple were destroyed, there was high expectation among the Jews that they would once again return to their land and rebuild that which was devastated. 1

These hopes were dashed by Hadrian when he decided to build a new Roman city called Colonia Aelia Capitolina on the ruins of Jerusalem.

1 Ibid

Emperor Hadrian (76-138)


After the Bar Kochba revolt, Hadrian erected a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus on the temple site. The Jews were only allowed to enter the city on special occasions to mourn on the Temple Mount.

In the 4th century the Christian Emperor Constantine renamed Aelia Capitolina back to Jerusalem. The pagan temple of Hadrian was destroyed.

In AD 363, because of his opposition to Christianity, Julian “the Apostate” gave permission to the Jews to rebuild their temple. Julian supplied the necessary funds and appointed Alypius of Antioch to carry out the project. Jews from all over, who had hopes of seeing a third temple built, contributed financially to the project and many came to Jerusalem to assist.


Then sudden tragedy struck. The foundations of the second temple were barely uncovered when flames of fire burst forth from under the ground. The flames were accompanied by large explosions. The cause for the flames were probably the result of noxious gas in the subterranean passages catching fire. The workmen fled and the building was stopped, never again to be restarted. Many believed that the explosion and fire were a demonstration of the anger of God. With their hopes dashed, the Jews were then driven into exile and became wanderers in foreign lands... For some eighteen centuries they would be dispersed and persecuted. Throughout time their thoughts were of the temple which once stood in Jerusalem and prayers for its restoration. 1

1 Ibid


The Muslims took Jerusalem from the Byzantine Christians in 638 AD. In 691-692 the “Dome of the Rock” mosque was built on the old temple site.

A number of organizations have been formed with the objective of realizing the immediate construction of a Third Temple in present times including:

The Temple Mount and Eretz Yisrael Faithful Movement states that its goal is to build the Third Temple on the Temple Mount (Mount Moriah).

The Temple Institute states that its goal is to build the Third Temple on Mount Moriah. The Temple Institute has already made several items to be used in the Third Temple.

Recently an organization known as Revava, ambitious to build the Third Temple, has planned numerous ascensions of the Temple Mount. 1

1 SOURCE: Wikipedia - Third Temple "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Third_Temple">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Third_Temple


An excerpt from the Temple Institute’s website says, “SHALOM AND WELCOME to the official website of the TEMPLE INSTITUTE in Jerusalem, Israel. The Temple Institute is dedicated to every aspect of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem, and the central role it fulfilled, and will once again fulfill, in the spiritual wellbeing of both Israel and all the nations of the world… The Temple Institute’s ultimate goal is to see Israel rebuild the Holy Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, in accord with the Biblical commandments.” 1

1 " templeinstitute.org/ main.htm"> templeinstitute.org/ main.htm

Orthodox Judaism believes in the rebuilding of a Third Temple 1 but although these organizations exist with the goal of rebuilding the Temple:

Orthodox authorities generally believe that rebuilding should occur in the era of the Jewish Messiah at the hand of Divine Providence… 1

This is very significant because although it is not stated outright, there seems to be a possible link to the temple and the treaty of the false Christ.

He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination… (Dan 9:27)

1 Wikipedia: Third Temple "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Third_Temple">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Third_Temple


There are differing theories as to where the Temple stood:

The Temple was where the Dome of the Rock is now located (Leen Ritmeyer, Dan Bahat).

The Temple was located a little to the east of the Dome of the Rock (Joseph Patrich)

The Temple was located a little to the north of the Dome of the Rock (Asher Kaufman).

The Southern Hypothesis (Tuvia Sagiv)

Deep below and to the west of the Al-Aqsa mosque (Norma Robertson)

Not on the Temple Mount, but on the Ophel in the old City of David (Ernest Martin, Bob Cornuke)


Temple Mount showing the proposed sites for the Temple.





(3) North

(4) South (El Kas)

(1) Dome of the Rock

(5) Al-Aqsa

(2) East

(6) City of David

Thus while some feel that the new Temple should stand exactly where the Dome of the Rock is now located, others believe that it might be built next to it.

As the antichrist is perceived as a peacemaker, in the current political and religious climate - this latter option seems more likely to be seen as a gesture of peace to both Jews and Muslims.


In his vision the prophet Ezekiel measures the courtyard of the sanctuary and notes that a wall has been constructed across the area to make a separation between the Jewish house of worship and a ‘profane place’ located on one side of the Temple Mount:

He measured it by the four sides: it had a wall round about, five hundred reeds long, and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the ‘profane place.’ (Ezekiel 42:20 KJV)

It’s possible that the Dome of the Rock is that “profane place”. It might remain, together with the Mosque of Omar and the Al Aksa Mosque, to the end of the 7 years.



Sacrifice must be reinstituted because “In the middle of the ‘seven’” the antichrist “will put an end to sacrifice and offering.” (Dan 9:27)

Orthodox Judaism believes in the rebuilding of a Third Temple … and the resumption of sacrificial worship…The generally accepted position among Orthodox Jews is that the full order of the sacrifices will be resumed upon the building of the Temple. 1

1 Wikipedia: Third Temple "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Third_Temple">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Third_Temple

So in summary, unlike Nostradamus, the Bible makes clear and specific prophecies about events which are still future, the accuracy of which will be borne out in years to come.

So far we have seen a couple of prophecies which are still future and which will occur before the END OF THE AGE (not the END OF THE WORLD).


There must be a treaty signed with Israel.

The broker of the treaty is a future political leader of the revived Roman Empire (i.e. European Union).

It is most likely a peace treaty.

The agreed period of the treaty is 7 years.

It will be broken midterm by the political leader.

By the time it is broken the Jewish temple will be rebuilt. (This may be a condition of the treaty.)

By this time the Jewish sacrifice has been re-instituted.

We will see in a future study how the temple will be desecrated with the “Abomination of Desolation”.



Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)

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