(WRITTEN BY A DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST – HENNIE VAN HEERDEN)
“For now we see in a mirror, darkly…”(1Co 13:12 ASV)
If there is one thing eminent in these last days, it is that we are living in the days of a scattered mirror, where the various dogmas became distorted images and views of the Word of God. It is therefore prophesied that: “the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” (Isa 28:13 KJV)
The seed of confusion always follows truth, because since the beginning in the Garden of Eden the distortion of the Word of God came from the master of lies and distortion of the truth, Satan. As in the days of Moses in Egypt with the plagues, Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses and resist the truth, because they were men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. (2Ti 3:8)
It is clear what Jesus utilised to explain many things Himself to unveil what has been kept secret from the foundation of the world: “All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.” (Mat 13:34-35)
In aftermaths on Jesus’ teachings, many are still willingly blind and deaf and their vail yet not removed. Therefore it is written: “But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2Co 3:14-18)
If people do not even come to the basic truth of Jesus Christ and His teachings, who will be the candidates of what Paul warned about: “Even him (Antichrist), whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2Th 2:9-12)
The confusion of the scattered mirror in the prophecies, created by expositors of Eschatology over centuries, became a dangerous ground as many pieces are even more scattered regarding the end-times, and it requires a sound and careful observation. Many are right in what they say, but create confusion in what they don’t say.
Yes, there is a lot to say about the scattered view of the rapture (harpazō), the millennium, Israel, etcetera, but as we are standing close to events in preparation for Christ Jesus’ return, it is important to observe the proses to what Pauls said in 2 Thessalonians 2 about the falling away and the strong delusion God will send.
The problem is not God, but if a nation wants evil leaders, God will send them evil leaders. If they want ear tinkling preachers, God will send them ear tinkling preachers. The truthful and sincere believer would not compromise the Gospel, to please and accommodate the world and they will contribute to the falling away and the strong delusion which will follow.
Just as with Jannes and Jambres, things are playing out the same way and not many can see that within the church preachers will resist the truth, because they were men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. The most important of all deceptions are to imitate the last day’s events, by distorting the timing of these events.
If you have, for example A-millennium view, you most probably believe that the church is preparing the bride for the coming of Christ Jesus and not that He will come with His victorious bride. We will “meet the Lord in the air” for the Bhema judgement “and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1Th 4:17), because it is clear what John saw: “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (Rev 20:4)
The “Kingdom Now” view is held by most of the A-millennium viewers and again, it is not necessarily wrong in what they say, but what they don’t say or displace. In almost all these views, the view of the temple is historical and preteristic fulfilled in 70AD in order to proof their view of the A-millennium. If Jesus mentioned the temple (3rd temple) in Matt. 24:15 and it is historical and preteristic, how come that Paul distinctively refers to it as crucial for the upcoming and appearance of the Antichrist?
Observe that he directly link it to the return of Christ Jesus; the falling away and the temple: “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together (episunagōgē) unto him,
That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except
 there come a falling away first, and  that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in  the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2Th 2:1-4)
Paul direct link creates no doubt what the circumstances will be before the return of Christ Jesus. The rebuilding of the 3rd temple will be one of the major events, as it is already in process, to be observed as the beginning of the 7 year reign by the Antichrist. Both Jesus and Paul take this as signs of His coming to be observed.
However, for us now is to observe the “falling away” and the deception that is part of the process, like Jannes and Jambres, con-artists are preparing the way for the Antichrist, like John the Baptist did for Jesus Christ. Surely the Kingdom Now believers, some Calvinists and others are right about some things, but are wrong in their timing as we see the temple and the two witnesses in Rev 11 as a precondition for these events.
 Important indicators
“And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” (Rev 11:1-2)
The two witnesses
“And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” (Rev 11:5-6)
Clearly it concurs with the prophecies: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Act 2:17-21/ Joel 2:28-32)
The two witnesses’ testimony will be for a thousand two hundred and threescore days (3½ years) “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.” (Rev 11:7)
What is the danger then if the timing is wrong and “Jannes and Jambres” of our time do some of the same “signs and wonders” as the “two witnesses” and what is prophesied: “And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke.” The same illusion applies as that of “Jannes and Jambres” by promoting “signs and wonders” which the Antichrist will apply. Let’s look at this deception:
 Con-artists – “Jannes and Jambres”
“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” (Rev 16:13-14)
“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” (Rev 13:13-15)
It also relates, for example, to the world’s approach regarding marriage and food, Paul wrote: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” (1Ti 4:1-2)
 Replacement Theology
Although there is more to it, it is important to focus on Israel, as many see Israel outside the equation of the Bride and the Church. Were the gentiles church (wild olive tree) elected or called out of the gentile nations and crafted into the good olive tree? God didn’t change and His promises towards His elect (Israel) remain the same. In reference to Rom. 11, please observe:
“The LORD called thy name, A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken.” (Jer 11:16)
Did God ever call Himself the “husband” of the gentiles, but through them He would be called the God of the whole world? “For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.
For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.” (Isa 54:5-8)
If we then take these two passages into account, what about Israel if we look at Rom. 11 in total and what the conclusion is:
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.” (Rom 11:25-32)
The role of the temple and the two witnesses will play out with Israel at the end of the last days. As Israel is referred to as a green olive tree (Jer 11:16), the two olive trees referred to in Rev. 11, might as well refer to the church and the remnant of Israel who believes in Jesus Christ. It is also clear what the lampstands in Rev. 1 means and it could also be both Israel and the believing gentiles which will be part of the tribulation after their testimony.
Israel’s tribulation as referred to by Jesus Christ (Matt. 24) is without any doubt confirmed as part of the end of the last days events in bearing witness before the return of Christ Jesus: “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Dan 12:1-3)
Although we should see some of the mysteries yet to be unveiled as if images in a darkly mirror, the spirit of the age is to scatter the mirror even more and to distort true and sincere believer’s views. Clearly not all has been revealed yet, as it was said to John: “And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.” (Rev 10:4)
However, as things are unfolding, we are assured as in Daniel: “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (Dan 12:4)
As we are sincere in the end-time events, all we can do is to take the scattered mirror pieces in the prophecies and put it together in in the right order to be forewarned and that we can discern in the timing of events. And most of all to honour the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, by preaching the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Maranatha, come Lord Christ Jesus.
(Hennie van Heerden has a wealth of knowledge of God’s Word. I am often amazed by his ability to present applicable Scriptural references regarding any issues I raise on social media. Knowing him is a blessing and a gift from God and I personally experience him as a great mentor in my spiritual growth.)