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End Times

 

End Times

 

By Les Sherlock, posted April 2021 but originally July 2016

 

I have read many books on the subject of end times, and one common factor seems to be the fact that most authors are adamant that they are right and everyone saying something different is wrong! I make no such claims here. I simply offer what I believe to be a reasonable understanding of the relevant Bible passages in the light of world events, and ask the reader to consider it prayerfully and thoughtfully.

 

It is in two main sections. The first, written originally when this page was created in July 2016, is intended to be updated with current world events as they develop, and therefore open to change at any time. The second section considers what the Bible teaches on the subject, largely unrelated to current events, and therefore less likely to be changed (apart from some tweaking here and there as improvements occur to me!).

 

INDEX

 

Introduction

 

Current Events

 

Some Key Scriptures on End Times

 

The Rapture

The Tribulation

 

Armageddon, The Millennium and Eternity

 

Pre-Tribulation Rapture

 

Is there more than one 'second coming'?

 

List of Future Events

 

Introduction

 

Perhaps, for the sake of anyone reading this who is unfamiliar with what the Bible teaches, I should set out a basic outline.

 

When Jesus ascended into Heaven, the angels said He would return in the same way that He went.

 

And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."

Acts 1:10-11

 

Those who ‘sleep in Jesus’ will be resurrected and along with the living will meet Him in the clouds.

 

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 4:14–17

 

Jesus described events that would take place just prior to His return.

 

"And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."

Luke 21:25-28

 

Therefore at some point in history there will be a generation of people who see these things that herald His near return.

 

Centuries before Jesus was born, King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream interpreted by Daniel, who said it was an overview of the history of the world, given to him by God (Daniel 2:31–45: not quoted here to conserve space). It was a huge image made of different materials, with a rock smashing into its feet and destroying it. Most books I have read accept the following as a valid interpretation:

 

Head of gold (Empire of Babylon)

 

Chest & arms of silver (Empire of Media and Persia)

 

Belly and thighs of bronze (Empire of Greece - Alexander the Great)

 

Legs of iron (Empire of Rome)

 

Feet/toes of iron & clay (the Empire ruling at the time of the return of Jesus)

 

Rock (Jesus) uncut from a mountain destroys the image by striking it on the feet.

 

So the prophecy of successive, major, world empires, largely ruling over the same physical territory with some variation in the border here and there, can be seen quite clearly in world history up to the feet and toes of iron and clay, the identity of which has been subject to much discussion and argument.

 

At first glance it may appear that the prophecy has broken down, since, after the fall of the Roman Empire there has been no world-dominating power ruling over the territory. However, a comment by Jesus about the times of the Gentiles and by Paul regarding a period while the fullness of the Gentiles comes in may be indicative of this extended break in prophecy primarily directed at Israel.

 

And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Luke 21:24

 

For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

Romans 11:25

 

While there have been attempts in the intervening years to establish some kind of empire involving the nations included in this territory, the latest being the Third Reich toward the middle of the last century, none have succeeded.

 

Here is a quick overview, as I was taught as a boy in the 1950’s by my parents, grandparents and church, and after a lifetime of reading the Bible and other books on the subject and observing world events I see no reason to question it:

 

Jesus will return to take away from the earth those who believe and follow Him, both dead and alive. In a major world empire ruled by ten people, a highly intelligent, charismatic man called Antichrist will arise to become the overall dictator.

 

Since I first wrote this I came across Dr Michael Youssef, whose writings appear to be remarkably similar to my own understanding of scripture. Unfortunately the blogs I read seem no longer to be available; but in the first of a series of blogs, dated June 10th 2016, amongst other things he pointed out the many similarities between the Antichrist of the Bible and the expected Mahdi of Islam. (You can see more about Dr Youssef here.) I have believed for a long time that Antichrist and Mahdi are one and the same.

 

Antichrist will make a seven-year treaty with Israel, who will rebuild their temple and recommence the animal sacrifices. The seven year period called the Tribulation will begin at this moment, when God’s wrath on rebellious mankind will increasingly be poured out. After 3½ years Antichrist will break the treaty and attack Israel with his army, entering the temple and calling himself God. At the end of the seven years, Jesus will return with all His saints, Israel will recognise Him as their Messiah, the armies of Antichrist will be defeated and Satan will be locked up for the 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth. After this he will be released for a short time, giving the world population the choice of choosing him over Jesus, before the final judgement when all the living and the dead will be assessed and assigned either to Heaven or Hell, depending on what they did with Jesus.

 

There is much more than this, of course, but that is covered in the second section.

INDEX

 

Current Events

 

Ever since the proposal for, and establishment of, the Common Market after WWII, later evolving into the European Union, there has been speculation whether this could be the beginning of the feet and toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s image: the major empire ultimately to be ruled over by Antichrist. The furore over the UK referendum in June 2016 to decide their continued membership of the EU probably brought this to the forefront of some people’s minds, with ‘Intercessors for Britain’ and David Hathaway amongst others, stating that the EU was evolving into the fulfilment of this prophecy (see David's YouTube video Rape of Europe). However, one criticism of this idea is that there are far more than ten nations involved in the EU, while there are ten nations prophesied for this confederation, as shown by the ten toes of the image. So we’ll look at this.

 

There are three key Bible prophecies:

 

Daniel 2:31–45

 

Daniel 7:7–11, 19–26

 

Revelation 12:3; 13:1–8; 17:1–18.

 

While the first Daniel passage talks about feet and toes, the rest refer to a beast with seven heads and ten horns. Because we are told the ten horns represent ten kings, it has been assumed this means a confederation of ten nations; but this is not what it says!

 

According to Daniel these ten kings arise from one kingdom.

 

The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; he shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings.

Daniel 7:24

 

So the number ten does not relate to the number of nations involved in the kingdom, but simply the number of rulers. The EU has five presidents; but of course it is still in the process of evolution. At the original time of writing this, according to secular, on-line, news source, the Express, dated 29 June, some of those in power...

 

“see the Brexit vote as an opportunity to push ahead with the European elite’s long-cherished dream of creating a United States of Europe.”

 

(See also the Sun dated 28 June and the Mail dated 27 June.)

 

Were this to happen there is no reason why the five should not morph into ten! I do not profess to be an expert in world history, but I am unaware of any time when there has been a single kingdom ruled by multiple kings/presidents. However, the EU could be just around the corner from being exactly that. So we are possibly on the cusp of seeing a replica of this prophecy for the first time in world history.

 

The beast has seven heads, we are told. What do these represent? Revelation tells us they are seven mountains.

 

"Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.

Revelation 17:9

 

In the Bible mountains represent nations. For example, Babylon is called a mountain in:

 

"And I will repay Babylon And all the inhabitants of Chaldea For all the evil they have done In Zion in your sight," says the LORD. "Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, Who destroys all the earth," says the LORD. "And I will stretch out My hand against you, Roll you down from the rocks, And make you a burnt mountain.

Jeremiah 51:24–25

 

But there are more than seven nations in Europe, so how does that work? A living beast is never just a head, though: it must also have a body. In 1 Corinthians 12:12–27 the Church is called a body, with the people being different parts. Likewise, the seven heads of the beast could represent the seven most dominant nations, with the other participating nations being its body.

 

People have been saying ‘the end is nigh’ for the past 2,000 years, we are told, so why should now be any different? The Bible says,

 

…knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

2 Peter 3:3–4, 8

 

In God’s eyes it is just like a mere couple of days since the New Testament prophecies were given, and no more than 2½ - 3 days since most of the Old Testament ones! See here for Dr Michael Youssef’s belief that we are very close to the fruition of end-time prophecy. We are presently in a unique set of circumstances.

 

  • For the first time since their exile during the Roman Empire, the people of Israel are back in their own land. Jesus said Jerusalem would be ‘trampled by the Gentiles’ until the times of the Gentiles were fulfilled.

 

And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Luke 21:24

 

There is still one part of Jerusalem not fully under the control of Israel, though. The Temple Mount still bears the Islamic Mosque. Therefore the times of the Gentiles are not yet ended, but are surely drawing rapidly to a close.

 

  • The developments over the past decade or so in China, Russia, North Korea, the Middle East, Europe and IS/Daesh bring these people groups very close to the relevant prophecies for them at the time of the end. E.g. the two following prophecies could refer to a gigantic army from some of these regions.

 

…saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates." So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.

Rev 9:14–16

 

Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.

Revelation 16:12

 

  • In July 2016 Iran claimed they had 100,000 missiles in Lebanon and large numbers of long range missiles in Iran, all aimed at Israel; with dozens of terror tunnels and masses of missiles in Gaza preparing for a major conflict. The sabre rattling continues and their declared plan is to aim a simultaneous barrage at Israel that will overwhelm their ‘Iron Dome’ defence system and destroy the nation ‘at a stroke’. It would be politically impossible for Israel to remove the mosque sitting on Temple Mount, but this could easily do it for them and end the ‘Times of the Gentiles’.
     

  • The European Parliament building in Strasbourg is designed as close as it possibly could be to the famous 1563 painting of Babel by Brueghel, as can be seen on page 10 of  the PDF by Intercessors for Britain; and on page 11 the statues and depiction on the 2 Euro coin of the rape of Europa are a clear reflection of Rev 17:7. Why on Earth would anyone want to depict such an event?

 

While detractors give an alternative explanation of the reason for the building’s design, it stretches credulity beyond the limit to believe it is mere coincidence that this key EU building copies the iconic depiction of arguably mankind’s greatest, unified rebellion against God since the flood.

 

men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth…

Luke 21:26

 

 

“The 2016 Global Peace Index (GPI) shows the world became less peaceful in the last year, reinforcing the underlying trend of declining peace over the last decade… The last decade has seen a historic decline in world peace.”

 

It said the number of deaths from terrorism had risen dramatically since 2011 from under 10,000 to over 30,000 per year. With random individuals turning guns on innocent bystanders indiscriminately in countries where they are freely available, using ordinary vehicles as weapons to kill and maim, and attempting mass murder by suicide bombings, there is little governments can do to prevent such attacks, and the atmosphere of fear is starting to ratchet upwards. (Those seeking their own death in the process of murdering others believe this guarantees them a privileged life after death. The Bible says no murderer has eternal life abiding in him (1 John 3:15) and will be cut off from God for eternity (Revelation 21:8).)

 

According to the Global Peace Index 2020:

 

“The results this year show that the level of global peacefulness deteriorated, with the average country score falling by 0.34 per cent. This is the ninth deterioration in peacefulness in the last twelve years, with 81 countries improving, and 80 recording deteriorations over the past year. The 2020 GPI reveals a world in which the conflicts and crises that emerged in the past decade have begun to abate, only to be replaced with a new wave of tension and uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

 

So things have not improved since 2016!

 

Taking all this into account, I believe the most likely eventuality is that the EU is soon to become the United States of Europe, in preparation for the emergence of the prophesied, Satan-inspired dictator to become its President and initiate the events described in the second section on this page.

 

Following the UK decision to separate from the EU, it is very possible the rest of Europe will push forward with full integration into the United States of Europe in order to prevent any other countries from doing the same as the UK, and it will have been the grace of God that has enabled us to escape

 

It was Britain standing against the Third Reich during the Second World War that enabled Europe to have its freedom; who knows if history will repeat itself yet again and the EU be given one last chance to choose democracy and move away from full political union, and by so doing stave off the prophesied end time events?

 

I will not categorically say that the EU is the foundation for antichrist’s kingdom, but if it is then there are extremely powerful forces determined to keep it intact and only a miracle can prevent it from reaching its goal. I would want to stand with all believers in praying that God will intervene in our nation of Great Britain to ensure it does not go further away from Him than it already has done, that it will make no future alliances that will bring it into conflict with His will, and that there might be yet one more move of His Spirit across this nation to set its people free from the lies of the enemy and into the delights of a close, intimate relationship with Him. There have been several such moves over the centuries and I pray for one more.

INDEX

 

Some Key Scriptures on End Times

 

We’ll begin with a brief list of key scriptures, and then look in rather more detail at the events. This is more in the format of brief notes rather than a full description and while I have included key verses, the Bible passages quoted need to be read fully for the complete picture.

INDEX

 

The Rapture:

 

This is the taking away from the earth of those believing in and following after Jesus Christ.

 

Matthew 24:37 – 25:13

 

For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming… "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps… And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. "Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.' "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

Matthew 24:38-42; 25:1-4, 10-13

 

Luke 12:35–40

 

"Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately… Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."

Luke 12:35-37, 40

 

Acts 1:6–11

 

who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."

Acts 1:11

 

The return of Jesus is spoken of in two different ways, using two different Greek words. (More detail this later)

 

1 Thessalonians 4: 14 – 5:6 (Coming: parousia (presence))

 

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

 

2 Thessalonians 2: 1–12 (Coming: parousia (presence))

 

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you… Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition… And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.

2 Thessalonians 2: 1, 3, 6-8

 

Titus 2:13 (Appearing/Brightness: epipheneia (manifestation))

 

looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

Titus 2:13

 

2 Timothy 4:8 (Appearing/Brightness: epipheneia (manifestation))

 

Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

2 Timothy 4:8

 

There are also two different judgements:

 

But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment (bema) seat of Christ.

Romans 14:10

 

Then I saw a great white throne (thronos) and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.

Revelation 20:11

 

Note: the Judgement seat, bema (tribunal), of Christ in Romans is different to the Great White Throne, thronos (throne) in Revelation. The judgement seat is for believers, whose works are judged and rewarded immediately after the rapture. The Great White Throne follows the final resurrection after the millennium (see later) and determines the eternal destiny of all mankind.

INDEX

 

The Tribulation:

 

The seven year period of God’s wrath increasingly being poured out on the earth, during the reign of Antichrist.

 

Daniel 7:1–8

 

"After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.

Daniel 7:7-8

 

Daniel 9:21–27

 

Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate."

Daniel 9:27

 

Revelation 4:1 – 18:24

 

Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see." And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer…

 

Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name… Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed…

 

He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666…

 

Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever…

 

And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory…

 

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. "Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame." And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon…

 

The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition. "The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful." …

 

"They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate.' "Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!"

Revelation 6:1-2; 13:1, 11-12, 16-18; 15:7; 16:9, 13-16; 17:11-14; 18:19-20

INDEX

 

Armageddon, The Millennium and Eternity:

 

Armageddon is the battle between the armies of Antichrist and those of Jesus, at Megiddo in the Jezreel Valley. The Millennium is the 1,000 year reign of Jesus Christ on earth. We are told very little about the Eternity that follows the final battle after the Millennium and the Great White Throne judgement.

 

Zechariah12:1–14; 14:1–15

 

"Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem… "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn… For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.

Zechariah12:2, 10; 14:2-3

 

Revelation 19:1 – 22:21

 

Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!' " And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God." … Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war… Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone…

 

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while… Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison… The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them…

 

Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire… Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea… Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife." And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God… But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life…

 

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

Revelation 19:9, 11, 20; 20:1-3, 7, 10-11, 14-15; 21:1, 9-10, 27; 22:1-5

 

But the LORD shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment. He shall judge the world in righteousness, And He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness.

Psalm 9:7–8

 

"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.

Matthew 25:31

 

Isaiah 65:17–25

 

"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind… The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain," says the LORD.

Isaiah 65:17, 25

 

2 Peter 3:3–13

 

knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." …But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

2 Peter 3:3-4, 10

INDEX

 

Pre-Tribulation Rapture

 

There is much debate around the taking away of the Church from the earth - the rapture - whether it takes place before, during or after the tribulation. It is my belief it comes first, for the following reasons.

 

1. When Jesus leaves Heaven to come to Earth for the battle of Armeggedon, His armies come from Heaven with Him:

 

And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.

Revelation 19:14

 

If there is no pre–tribulation rapture, these armies cannot include those who will be raptured when He comes in the clouds and the dead are raised first, because the armies come from Heaven, while the raptured ones come from the Earth:

 

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 4:16–17

 

However, those in the armies with Him are called 'chosen' and 'faithful':

 

These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful."

Revelation 17:14

 

Surely 'chosen' and 'faithful' are descriptions of saints, not angels? This being the case, then the saints must be in Heaven before Jesus leaves in Revelation 19. Could it be those who have died and are in Heaven now, though? I think there is a problem here. At the present time those who have died have left their dead bodies buried on Earth, while their spirits and souls are in Heaven. It is an artificial and temporary situation and at the resurrection souls and spirits are restored to the revived and changed physical bodies for eternity.

 

There is no hint of this taking place in Revelation 19, which if there is no pre-tribulation rapture would mean spirits and souls leaving Heaven on horses, then leaving them to be reunited with their bodies, then raptured back up to the clouds to get back on the horses again! It makes more sense to me that the resurrected and raptured saints are taken to Heaven and assembled into armies at the right moment for the battle of Revelation 19.

 

2. God delivers us from the wrath to come. There is no example in the Bible of God pouring His wrath on those who love and serve Him. Many Christians have suffered, and will suffer, persecution, but never God's wrath.

 

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

Romans 5:9

 

Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience

Colossians 3:6

 

and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 1:10

 

For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ

1 Thessalonians 5:9

 

God sends four things called His wrath in the Old Testament on the unrighteous – war, famine, plague and wild beasts. E.g:

 

'Thus shall My anger be spent, and I will cause My fury to rest upon them, and I will be avenged; and they shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it in My zeal, when I have spent My fury upon them… So I will send against you famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you. Pestilence and blood shall pass through you, and I will bring the sword against you. I, the LORD, have spoken.' "

Ezekiel 5:13, 17

 

For thus says the Lord GOD: "How much more it shall be when I send My four severe judgments on Jerusalem—the sword and famine and wild beasts and pestilence—to cut off man and beast from it?

Ezekiel 14:21

 

The opening of the first four seals (Revelation 6:1–8), the beginning of the seven year tribulation, brings those same four disasters: war, famine, plague and wild beasts:

 

I looked up and saw a horse whose colour was pale green. Its rider was named Death, and his companion was the Grave. These two were given authority over one–fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword and famine and disease and wild animals.

Revelation 6:8

 

At the opening of the sixth seal, which is not very far into the last seven years, we are told that what is happening is God's wrath:

 

and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"

Revelation 6:16–17

 

Since these events are called God's wrath, which comes in increasing intensity through the progression of the seals, the trumpets and the bowls during the tribulation, and He doesn't pour His wrath on His saints, they must be raptured before it happens.

 

3. When God poured out His wrath at the flood, He had Noah in a place of safety so he would not suffer it. This is a 'type' of the rapture. Matthew says it will be like the days of Noah – he entered the ark and then the flood came.

 

For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Matthew 24:38–39

 

4. When God poured His wrath on Sodom and Gomorrah, He had Lot in a place of safety: another 'type' of the rapture. Luke confirms Noah and Lot as rapture 'types'.

 

And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;

Luke 17:26–28

 

5. My understanding of 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12 is that the Thessalonians were worried they had missed the rapture and were now experiencing the 'Day of the Lord': a phrase which always refers to the 'day' of judgement –  of God's wrath being poured out on those who had rejected Him. So Paul says it cannot be the case because before that there has to be:

 

[a] the apostasy. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 the Greek word is apostasia, translated as the falling away, the rebellion, or a revolt, in different translations of the New Testament.

 

[b] the rise of Antichrist.

 

And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.

2 Thessalonians 2:6–7

 

I know of nothing in the New Testament that could possibly restrain evil and hold the Antichrist back from appearing that will also be removed, other than the Spirit–filled Church. Jesus said:

 

You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world.

Matthew 5:13–14

 

Salt holds back badness and decay; light holds back darkness. This confirms for me that Antichrist cannot emerge until the Spirit–filled Church is raptured.

 

With regard to the apostasy, which is a turning away from God, there cannot be a vacuum. So turning away from God always results in turning to something else. I believe this to be the rise of Islam, which is presently spreading through the world significantly. The Koran says that God has not taken to Himself a son, thus denying both the Father and the Son.

 

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 2:22

 

So Islam must be the religion of Antichrist. While many would claim the Allah of the Koran is the same as the God of the Bible, He cannot simultaneously be two very different things: He cannot at the same time be the Father of Jesus and not be the Father of Jesus. For this and other reasons I suggest that Islam is a deception, and while many - probably most - Moslems are peace-loving, kind and generous, it can be seen quite clearly across the world that wherever Islam has full political power it results in repression for those not of that faith. And in its extreme form it results in violence of the worse kind against those refusing to accept it.

 

6. The ten virgins (Matthew 25). They are identical in every way, including the fact that they all have oil, which throughout the Bible is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. However the foolish ones have less oil than the wise at the important moment, and this results in them missing the bridegroom. I believe this teaches the rapture of those who are ready; and the religious people who have been touched by the Holy Spirit in some way but not fully given their lives to Him, are left behind. These are those people who, realising their mistake, turn fully to Christ (the foolish virgins did get the additional oil in the parable – it was just too late) and are the saints we read of in Revelation persecuted by Antichrist.

 

Immediately following 'as in the days of Noah' (Matthew 24:37), Jesus says:

 

Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.

Matthew 24:40–42

 

Perhaps this is another 'version' of the ten virgins.

 

7. I believe John is a 'type' of the rapture of the Church:

 

After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this." Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.

Revelation 4:1–2

 

8. Paul says we can be comforted by the thought of Jesus’s return.

 

Therefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:18

 

How could the idea of going through the tribulation bring comfort?

 

9. Jesus said:

 

“Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass”

Luke 21:36

 

Perhaps before continuing I should make a mention of Preterism, having come across it a couple of times soon before first writing this, although the theory is so ludicrous it does not warrant much space. It is the notion that most, or all, of end time prophecy has already been fulfilled - generally at the time the Jewish temple was destroyed in 70AD. The fact that many prophecies quite clearly have not been fulfilled, some of which are included on this page, is evidence enough. Here are three examples, although there are many more:

 

Jesus has not returned to stand on the Mount of Olives

 

All of Israel has not yet turned to Him as their Messiah

 

The Antichrist and his kingdom have never been seen.

INDEX

 

Is there more than one 'second coming'?

 

Earlier I pointed out two different Greek words used regarding Jesus's return. I believe these relate to two different events or stages. Jesus's coming/ presence (parousia) in the clouds (mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4: 14 – 5:6; 2 Thessalonians 2: 1–12) is not the second coming as such, but a preliminary or first stage to it, because He does not actually come to the Earth in the Thessalonian passages where it is taught. This is when He raptures the spirit-filled Church and takes them plus the resurrected ones to Heaven to prepare them for the great battle.

 

His manifestation/ appearing/ brightness (epipheneia), mentioned in Titus 2:13; 2 Timothy 4:8, is when He comes to Earth with his angels and saints. This revealing of Christ results in Israel's eyes being opened and their salvation; He stands on Mount Olivet, destroys Antichrist's army at Armageddon, and brings in the Millennium Kingdom: Zechariah 12:10; 14:4–5; Matthew 24:30–31; Romans 11:26

INDEX

 

List of Future Events

 

There are far too many scriptures here to be able to quote them in full; so all I can do is give the references if you wish to check up on any.

Nebuchadnezzar's dream.  Daniel 2:31–45

 

Head Gold (Babylon):  see also Daniel 7:4

 

Chest & Arms silver (Media and Persia):  see also Daniel 7:5

 

Belly and thighs bronze (Greek – Alexander):  see also Daniel 7:6

 

Legs iron (Roman):  see also Daniel. 7:7a

 

Feet iron & clay  (the beast of Revelation 17 & Daniel 7:7b–11)

 

Rock (Jesus) uncut from mountain destroys image by striking it on the feet Daniel 2:34–35

 

Note: Prophecies can have double fulfilment and while the head in Daniel 2 is clearly Babylon (for example), the beasts in Daniel 7 could refer both to the empires mentioned above and nations existing at the time of the end.

 

Daniel’s 70th week and the times of the Gentiles:  Daniel 9:24–27

 

Note: 70 weeks = 490 days (or years. Numbers 14:34 & Ezekiel 4:6 demonstrate a day representing a year)

 

69 weeks (483 years) from the command to restore Jerusalem to Messiah being cut off (Ezra 7:13 describes Artaxerxes command to rebuild, and 483 years later Jesus was crucified.)

 

Then there is a break in Daniel's prophecy for the times of the Gentile before the 70th week Luke 21:24; Romans 11:25

 

Note: Double fulfilment of Jesus' prophecy in Luke 21:

 

First: 70AD by Titus of Rome. (Luke 21:20)

 

Second: at the end of the tribulation. (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15)

 

So while some of His prophecy was fulfilled in 70AD with the temple being demolished, etc., part of it as described in Dan 9:27 (the covenant confirmed for seven years but broken half-way through) did not take place; and it is this part that will be fulfilled by Antichrist.

 

Signs of Jesus' return: earthquakes, wars, nations against nations, kingdoms against kingdoms, famines, pestilences Luke 21:8–19; Matthew24:5–14, 24–28, 32

 

Israel restored to their land Deuteronomy 29:25, 27–28; 30:1–3; Ezekiel 36:17–20; 37:1–14; Jeremiah 31:31–37; Lamentations 3:31; Zechariah 10:6; Romans 11:1–36

 

Antichrist prevented from appearing before appointed time 2 Thessalonians 2:6

 

Note: the Spirit–filled church is light and salt, holding back darkness and badness: therefore likely to be what is preventing the appearance of Antichrist Matthew 5:13–14

 

The rise of Islam (apostasy)… 2 Thessalonians 2:3 preparing the world for Antichrist. It is his religion because:

 

The Koran denies the Father and the Son 1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3

 

Execution by beheading Rev. 20:4

 

Islamic national leadership is both secular and religious Revelation 13:1–18

 

Jesus comes in the clouds Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:17

 

Day of the Lord as a thief in the night (no–one knows when this will be) 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10.

 

Note: ‘the Day of the Lord’ in the Bible always refers to the day of judgement. This must be distinguished from ‘the return of the Lord’ which purely refers to when He comes back.

 

As Noah's day; two in field/mill, one taken, one left. Luke 17:26,28; Matthew 24:36–42

 

Trumpet heard by those called up. Leviticus 23:24; 25:9; Numbers 10:2–4; 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17, 1 Corinthians 15:52; Revelation 4:1

 

Ten virgins: all the same but those with less oil (Holy Spirit?) are left behind Matthew 25:1–13

 

The dead rise and those alive meet Him in the air with them (first phase of the first resurrection). John is probably a 'type' of them. 1 Thessalonians 4:17; Revelation 4:1–2

 

The Bema seat of Christ: rewards for the saints. Matthew 25:14–23; 2 Corinthians 5:10

 

Note: there is a double fulfilment of Matthew 25 – at the times the righteous are taken into heaven.

 

The 'religious' people left behind wake up to the truth and turn to Christ and (mostly) martyrdom Revelation 7:9–17; 12:17; 14:12–16; 15:2; 20:4

 

Seven seals begin (scroll opens progressively as each seal is broken) and God's wrath starts to fall… Revelation 6:1–16

 

Antichrist emerges and rules over every tribe and people and language and nation Revelation 6:2; 13:7 with ten Kings Revelation 17.12, Daniel 7:17–27

 

Daniel's 70th week (7 years) Antichrist's 7–year covenant with Israel; the temple is rebuilt and animal sacrifices start: Daniel 9:26, 27

 

The false prophet Revelation 13:11–18

 

Before the opening of the seventh seal 144,000 of Israel sealed Revelation 7:1–8

 

Unnumbered crowd in heaven, who died in the great tribulation (which is only part–way through; second phase of the first resurrection?). Revelation 7:9–17

 

At the opening of seventh seal, silence for ½ hour; seven trumpets begin Revelation 8:1–2

 

Revelation 12:1–17 is a parenthesis in the book of Revelation. A description of Israel (Genesis 37:9), which gave birth to the Church (via Jesus and the apostles) that is then raptured (Jesus is not the son here: He was crucified and rose victorious over Satan, not delivered from him as a baby); Israel protected, persecution for the saints left behind

 

Treaty broken after 3½ years Daniel 7:25; Matthew 24:15; Revelation 11:2

 

One of beast's seven heads killed and restored to life. Six heads still live, so beast is not killed! Since the heads represent the seven key nations, this must refer to some disaster hitting one of them. Could this refer to ‘Brexit’, where one of the heads, Britain, is ‘cut off’ for a time, but then restored back into the kingdom?

 

Wars against saints; authority over all people for 3½ years Revelation 13:1–10

 

Mark of the Beast: no buying/selling without it and no salvation for those who accept it – angel gives warning Revelation 13:16–18; 14:9–11; 16:2

 

Two witnesses preach for 3½ years, miracles, fire from heaven Revelation 11:3–6

 

Two witnesses killed, resurrected and ascend into heaven Revelation 11:7–14

 

Seven bowls of wrath Revelation 16:1–21

 

Reaping of the earth  Revelation 14:15–19 (See A & B)

 

[A] (First reaping) Living righteous raptured to heaven Revelation 14:16

 

Wedding feast of the Lamb Revelation 19:7

 

Jesus returns in the clouds and all see Him Revelation 1:7

 

He stands on Olivet, which splits in two. Zechariah 14:4–5; Matthew 24:30–31

 

Israel's eyes opened, accept Jesus as Messiah, all saved Zechariah 12:10; Romans 11:26

 

[B] (Second reaping) Armageddon Zechariah 12:1–14; 14:12–15; Revelation 19:11–21

 

Satan cast into bottomless pit for 1000 years Revelation 20:1–3

 

Beast (Antichrist) and false prophet thrown in lake of fire  Revelation 19:20

 

Dead righteous resurrected (Last phase of the first resurrection) Revelation 20:4–5

 

Millennium reign of Christ Isaiah 2:2–4; 11:4–16; 65:19–25; Revelation 20:4–6

 

After 1000 years Satan is released from the pit Revelation 20:7; deceives nations Revelation 20:8; and the final battle as they surround Jerusalem and are destroyed by fire from Heaven Revelation 20:9

 

Satan thrown in lake of fire and tormented for ever Revelation 20:10

 

Great White Throne and final resurrection Revelation 20:12–13

 

All not in book of life thrown in lake of fire Revelation 20:15

 

New Heaven and new Earth; New Jerusalem from Heaven to Earth; Eternity Psalm 16:11; Isaiah 65:17; John 14:2; 2 Peter 3:7–13; Revelation 20:9; 21:1 – 22:21

INDEX

Scripture taken from the New King James Version.

Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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