It’s the end of days and I ain’t still yet found the one
So today there was an earthquake that some claim to have felt where I live. A tornado maybe a quarter mile from my house. And all this freaking virus still happening.
I’ve been a slug, and a miserable slug at that. I have a horrid migraine. It is so bad that before it was even 8pm I took a medication I’m allergic to along with Benadryl in hopes of knocking my ass out and removing the pain.
I’m not saying this is the end times, but I’m not saying it isn’t either.
Screw it, I’m going to sleep, and hopefully until next week.
The Eschaton: A Timeline of Events
The Seven Vials
*The Seven Vials will be poured out sequentially over a period of 3½ years; just as with the Trumpets, the Vials are sequential, and the effects of each may overlap with the others.
•1st Vial: Painful Sores on all who have the Mark (Revelation 16:2)
•2nd Vial: The Entire Sea becomes Blood (Revelation 16:3)
•3rd Vial: All Fresh Water becomes Blood (Revelation 16:4-6)
•4th Vial: Sun scorches the Earth and its People (Revelation 16:8-9)
•5th Vial: Throne of the Beast covered in Painful Darkness (Revelation 16:10-11)
•6th Vial: The Euphrates Dries Up
*The Antichrist assembles the armies of the earth, and takes advantage of the dried up Euphrates to allow the kings of the East to march with him. They stage in the valley of Migeddo and lay seige to Jerusalem in a last effort to annihilate the Jews (Revelation 16:12-14, 16; cf Joel 3:9-16; Zechariah 14:2; Ezekiel 38).
•7th Vial: Thunder Storms with Massive 100lb Hailstones, plus the Greatest Earthquake in the History of the World
*The earthquake will be global; it will break Babylon into three parts; it will topple all the cities on earth; it will level all the mountains and sink all the islands (Revelation 16:17-21).
The greatest destruction from the 7th Vial will occur at Babylon, the location of the Antichrist’s throne and the capitol of his kingdom. The city will be annihilated, which will devastate the economy of the Antichrist’s kingdom (Revelation 17-18).
[[Side Note on Babylon and The Antichrist: I think “Babylon” is applied figuratively, not literally referring to the site of the ancient city of Babylon. We don’t know where exactly this will be, but I favor Joel Richardson’s take on it: I believe the Antichrist will be the Islamic Mahdi, and the Antichrist’s government will be a revived Muslim Caliphate, rather than a revived Roman Empire, and the one-world religion will be some form of Islam, perhaps a new form we haven’t seen yet. The “Babylon” mentioned here I believe is the city of Mecca, in Saudi Arabia. For more on this, I highly recommend reading Joel Richardson’s books “Islamic Antichrist,” “Mid-East Beast,” and “Mystery Babylon.”]]
The Return of the King
–The Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 / Matthew 24:29-31 / Mark 13:24-27)
*Jesus will call all believers to Himself, and we’ll be instantly in our glorified resurrection bodies (1 Corinthians 15:50-54)
•Jesus Returns as Conquering King, with all the Resurrected Saints at His side (Revelation 19:11-16).
•Jesus destroys the enemy nations surrounding Israel on His way to rescue the remnants of the Jews in Jerusalem (Isaiah 63:1-6; cf Zechariah 9)
•Jesus ascends the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem
*The Mount of Olives splits in two, creating a way of escape for the Jews trapped in Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:4-5).
–The Battle of Armaggeddon (Zechariah 14 / Joel 3 / Ezekiel 38-39 / Revelation 19)
•Jesus meets the Antichrist and his massive army in the Valley of Migeddo outside Jerusalem, and utterly lays waste to them (Revelation 19:15-21).
•All of the Jews saved by Jesus will turn to Him with their whole hearts, acknowledging Him as Messiah and King, fulfilling the prophecy that all Israel would be saved. They will be welcomed to live under Jesus’ rule (Romans 11:26-27; cf Jeremiah 23:5-6 / Isaiah 10:20-23 / Zechariah 9:14-17).
•The Antichrist and False Prophet are seized and thrown alive into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20).
•Satan is seized and bound, then sealed in the Bottomless Pit (Revelation 20:1-3).
•The Lord sends out a plague into all the nations that served the Beast. The survivors among the nations will surrender to the Lord (Zechariah 14:12, 15-16)
*Although it isn’t explicitly stated, I believe that this plague will kill only the people who took the Mark of the Beast; the small amount of people from the nations who survived the Tribulation, who never accepted Jesus, but never worshipped the Beast or took the Mark are the survivors mentioned in Zechariah 14, and they will be permitted to live under Jesus’ rule, provided they surrender to Him and acknowledge Him as King (just like the remnant of the Jews).
•The Lord establishes His Kingdom, taking His rightful place on David’s Throne in Jerusalem. Jesus will rule the whole world as King; Israel will be the dominant nation, and all other nations will serve them (Ezekiel 34:23-24 / Zechariah 8, 14:9, 16-19 / Isaiah 2:2-4, 9:6-7 / Revelation 20:4-6)
–The Judgement Seat of Christ
•The Lord will judge the faithful who are now Resurrected; He will judge them not for sins, but for their faithfulness in obeying the Lord during their earthly lives, their diligence in pursuing God’s call on their lives, and on witnessing for Christ (1 Corinthians 5:10 / 2 Corinthians 3:12-15 / Revelation 22:12)
[[There’s no explicit timing given for this event in Scripture; my placing it here is my own speculation]]
–The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
•A grand feast celebrating the wedding of the Bride (the Church) to Christ; we will never be apart again, and we’ll be bound together in love forever (Revelation 19:6-9)
[[As with the Judgement Seat of Christ, the timing of the Marriage Supper isn’t clear; I speculate that it will occur after the Judgement Seat, and before the commencement of the Millennial Kingdom]]
–The Millennial Kingdom
•The Kingdom will last for 1,000 years. Jesus rules the earth as King (Revelation 20:6)
*All who were Raptured at the Lord’s return exist in their glorified bodies (which are physical, powerful, and immortal). We will no longer be married or given in marriage, and so we will no longer have children. We will rule the earth along with Jesus (Matthew 22:30 / Philippians 3:20-21 / 1 John 3:2 / 1 Corinthians 15 / Revelation 20:4-6)
*All who survived the Tribulation and were permitted by the Lord to live in His Kingdom at His return will exist as natural humans, just as we all are now. They will continue marrying and having children (Isaiah 65:18-23; Ezekiel 36:37-38 / Revelation 20:7-8).
*The earth is healed from the damage done to it during the Tribulation. The curse laid down by God after the Fall will be lifted. The enmity between animals and humans will be gone; animals will no longer harm humans, nor each other. The earth will yield its strength to men again, making farming easy. Women will no longer suffer in childbirth; having children will be easy, which will lead to a population explosion. Everyone will have enough, and no one will suffer lack. There will be no more war or fighting anywhere on the earth. The world will be a genuine utopia for a thousand years. All the nations will go to Israel once per year to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Romans 8:18-22 / Isaiah 11, 65:18-25 / Micah 4:1-5 / Ezekiel 36:33-36, 40-48 / Zechariah 14:16-19)
–The Final Rebellion
•Satan is released from his prison. He will go about the whole earth and tempt all the natural humans who were born during the Millennial Age. Satan will succeed in drawing away a huge number of those people, causing them to rebel against Jesus and attempt to overthrow His Kingdom (Revelation 20:7-8).
*The rebel army will march on Jerusalem and surround it, and then God will annihilate them all (Revelation 20:9).
*Satan will be caught again, and this time thrown into the Lake of Fire alongside the Antichrist and the False Prophet. God will seal them in there permanently, where they will be punished day and night, forever. Satan will never again harm anyone (Revelation 20:10).
–The Great White Throne Judgement (Revelation 20:11-15)
*All of the people who died in their sins from all of human history, who have been waiting in Hell this whole time, will be resurrected and brought before the Lord God for judgement. Also, all the rebels from the Millennial Kingdom that followed Satan will be there. They will be sentenced to a degree of punishment in the Lake of Fire that fits exactly the degree of wickedness that was present in their life. “Death” and “Hell” are thrown in to the Lake of Fire as well, indicating that no one will ever again enter Hell, and no one will ever again die; the number of those who are in the Lake of Fire after the White Throne Judgement will never be added to. The Lake will be sealed.
[[I speculate that at this point, all of the faithful from the Millennial Kingdom will be given glorified Resurrection bodies just like those who took part in the First Resurrection; the Bible isn’t clear about when that will happen]]
The New Heaven and New Earth (Revelation 21-22:1-5)
•The Lord will make a brand new planet for us to live on (and I think “new heaven” could mean a brand new universe as well).
*The New Earth will not have an ocean. There will be no sun, and no moon, and no day-night cycle. It will be daytime all the time. It will be a perfect paradise, where there will be no death, no suffering at all.
*The New Jerusalem will be a breathtaking masterpiece made from precious materials. It will be huge, stretching more than 1,300 miles long, 1,300 miles wide, and 1,300 miles high. The glory of God Himself will be in the city, and it will shine out, lighting the whole planet.
*There will be nations on the new planet, indicating that we will live not only in the city, but also all over the new world. There will never be anything evil on the new earth; no sin, no darkness, no corruption. We will live for the rest of forever in perfect peace with each other, enjoying God’s magnificent company. Every day will be an adventure, every moment as exhilarating as the first; exciting, fun, and fulfilling, with no depression, sadness, stress, or boredom.
“No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.”
Maranatha, Lord Jesus!
The Eschaton: A Timeline of Events
The End of the Time of the Gentiles
–The Birth Pains / Seven Seals
*Matthew 24 / Revelation 6. I think the birth pains from Matthew 24 correspond to the Seals in Revelation 6. The effects of the seals are global trends or waves of events that will sweep the earth as we draw close to the end, rather than single specific events. Jesus calls them birth pains, indicating that these trends will continue to occur once they begin, overlapping with each other, and increasing in severity and frequency as time goes on.
•1st Seal: False Religion / False Christs
*I believe this seal was broken in the late 1800’s; the proliferation of false religions and false Christs since that time has steadily risen.
•2nd Seal: War
*I believe this seal was broken in the early 1900’s.
•3rd Seal: Economic disturbance
*From pestilence and natural disasters. This seal was broken some time in the 1900’s.
•4th Seal: Death
*Widespread death, total effect of the previous three seals, and all subsequent judgements.
•5th Seal: Martyrdom of the Saints
*I think this is where we are in the prophetic timeline, the beginning of the breaking of the 5th seal. The gentile Church will be decimated during this time; many of us will be called to give our lives as martyrs. This also corresponds to the great falling away (Matthew 24:10-11 / 2 Thessalonians 2:3). The number of true Christians left on the earth when the Tribulation begins will be quite small.
–The Antichrist Signs 7-year Treaty with Israel, initiating the Tribulation (Daniel 9:27)
•6th Seal: Sign of Beginning of the Day of the Lord (Isaiah 13:9-11 / Joel 2:30-32 / Revelation 6:12-17)
–The Two Witnesses Begin Their Ministry (Revelation 11:3-13)
*The Two Witnesses are special prophets that are sent by God to prophesy during the Tribulation. They aren’t mentioned until Revelation 11, but the passage says their ministry is 3½ years long (lunar years according to the Hebrew calender; 1,260 days), and also has them killed immediately prior to the 7th Trumpet Judgement in the same chapter. Since chapter 11 doesn’t cover 3½ years of time, I’m led to conclude that the Witnesses must have begun their ministry at the beginning of the Tribulation, which would be 3½ years prior to the 7th Trumpet Judgement. There are several other passages like this in the Revelation.
–The 144,000 Jewish Evangelists Sealed (Revelation 7:1-8)
*These 144,000 Messianic Jews, 12,000 from each tribe, are handpicked by God for precisely this time. The Scripture doesn't say exactly what their purpose is, but I believe they will go out across the world as witnesses for Christ during the Tribulation, since the numbers of the gentile Church will be so diminished (Revelation 7:3-8; 14:1-4).
•7th Seal: Silence in Heaven (Revelation 8:1-5)
*Silence in Heaven for half an hour, followed by a severe thunderstorm and an earthquake on earth. The 7th Seal is mysterious, but I believe it serves to initiate the 7 Trumpet Judgements
[[Side Note on the Seals: Why Place the Seals Outside the Tribulation?
Aside from the aforementioned relationship between the birth pains and the seals (since birth pains precede the birth), we read in Revelation 5 about the scroll that only Jesus is worthy to open. Seals are on the scroll to keep it closed; the judgements written on the scroll are the events of the Tribulation. The judgements must be read from the scroll before they are enacted. Therefore, it seems like simple logic that the breaking of the seals must take place before the events of the Tribulation. It seems all the more appropriate if we understand that 1) the 6th Seal corresponds with Joel 2:30-32, which is said to happen before the Day of the Lord (the Tribulation), 2) that the Tribulation is 7 years long (Daniel 9:27), and 3) that the seals are recurring waves of events rather than single events, and there’s good reason to think the seals have already begun breaking]].
At some point during the breaking of the seals, the Antichrist will arise and come to power and prominence, but will not be recognized as the Antichrist right away. Probably just before the breaking of the 6th Seal, he will establish peace in the Middle-East between Israel and all her neighbors with a 7-year treaty; this event will reveal his identity as Antichrist (at least to those who understand Bible prophecy) and will initiate Daniel’s 70th Week (also called the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, the Day of the Lord, and the Tribulation; all of these refer to the same 7-year period). (Daniel 8:23-26; 9:24-27)
Daniel’s 70th Week / The Tribulation / The Time of Jacob’s Trouble / The Day of the Lord
–The Seven Trumpets (Revelation 8:6-13)
*The Seven Trumpets will sound sequentially over a period of 3½ years; although they are sequential, the effects of each Trumpet may overlap with the others
•1st Trumpet: Hail and Fire Mixed with Blood (Revelation 8:7)
*⅓ of earth catches fire and burns up. (The hail and fire mixed with blood could be exactly as it says, but it could be that it won’t be a visible, physical thing –it could be a spiritual thing, invisible to us. Or else, “hail and fire mixed with blood" could be a figurative description for something literal that we will see that will cause the fires. In any case, I think it’s clear that the effect, ⅓ of the earth catching fire, will be a literal, actual thing experienced on the earth.)
•2nd Trumpet: Burning Mountain Falls into the Sea (Revelation 8:8-9)
*⅓ of sea becomes blood, killing all life and sinking all ships in the affected areas. (As with the 1st Trumpet, the firey mountain may be literal and visible, figuratively describing something else, or spiritual and invisible; the effect on the earth will be actual. This goes for all the rest of the Trumpets as well.)
•3rd Trumpet: Great Star Wormwood Falls (Revelation 8:10-11)
*⅓ of all fresh water made poisonous.
•4th Trumpet: Sun / Moon / Stars Struck (Revelation 8:12)
*Light from sun, moon, and stars reduced by ⅓. I think this will probably be due to something happening to earth’s atmosphere that blocks celestial light.
–Final 3 Trumpets, "The Great Terrors” (Revelation 8:13)
•5th Trumpet: Angel Opens the Pit (Revelation 9:1-11)
*Demons, represented as locusts, released from the Pit attack everyone (except God’s people); I think the demons will be invisible to most of us. This will probably appear as a mysterious plague that sweeps earth and makes unbelievers sick for 5 months, suffering so intensely that they will want to die, but causing them to be physically incapable of killing themselves.
•6th Trumpet: Release of the Four Angels at Euphrates (Revelation 9:13-19)
*Four mighty fallen angels will lead a massive demonic army, much stronger than the previous one depicted as locusts; these will not torment, but kill unbelievers. As with the locusts, I think the demons will be invisible. This will appear as another mysterious plague that will sweep earth, but this one instantly causes death. It will kill ⅓ of all of humankind. (At this point, the total accumulated deaths from the birth pains until now will result in 50% of all of humankind being wiped out.)
–The Two Witnesses are Killed by the Antichrist 3½ years into the Tribulation, then are Resurrected after 3 days and Ascend to Heaven; A Massive Earthquake Levels a tenth of Jerusalem and kills seven thousand people (Revelation 11:7-13)
•7th Trumpet: Declaration in Heaven of Jesus’ Claim over the Earth (Revelation 11:15-19)
*On earth, there are terrible thunder storms with heavy hail, and a global earthquake.
Throughout the Tribulation, from the signing of the covenant with Israel up to this point, the Antichrist will expand his power and influence from a coalition of 10 nations (Daniel 7:20 / Revelation 7:7, 13:1, 17:3, 12), to many other nations (Daniel 11:40-42), almost but not quite succeeding in taking over all the earth. He will be dealing with pockets of resistance the whole time (Daniel 9:26).
After killing the Two Witnesses, the Antichrist will commit the “Abomination of Desolation," by going into the Temple, into the Holy of Holies, and declaring that he is superior to God and ought to be honored above all (2 Thesselonians 2:4; cf Daniel 9:27, 11:31-32, 12:11 / Matthew 24:15) and will break his treaty with Israel, desecrating the Temple, ending the Jewish sacrifices. He will lead his armies up against Israel and begin a genocidal campaign against the Jews.
Around the same time, probably just before the Antichrist breaks his treaty with Israel, Satan and his angels are defeated and thrust from their place in the 2nd heaven and bound to the earth (Revelation 12:7-12). Satan is enraged and lashes out against the remnant of the Jews and any remaining Christians (Revelation 12:13-17).
The Antichrist will seem to receive a mortal wound to the head, but will miraculously revive (Revelation 13:3,12); Satan will possess the Antichrist and present himself as a god to be worshipped (Revelation 13:2, 4). He will become the focal point of a one-world religion (Revelation 13:7-8), and will be attended by a False Prophet who will work wonders and miracles in the Antichrist’s name (Revelation 13:11-15).
The Mark of the Beast
The False Prophet will enact the Mark of the Beast. This Mark will be a brand of some kind, indicating that the one who takes it belongs to the Beast (the Antichrist). Taking the Mark is related to worshipping the Beast; it isn’t something someone can do by accident. All who refuse the Mark will be killed (Revelation 13:15-18); all who take the Mark of the Beast are damned (Revelation 14:9-11).
This is the halfway point of the Tribulation; 3½ years passed, 3½ years left to go.
The Eschaton: A Timeline of Events
There are many views of the end-times within Christianity. I am a premillennial post-tribulationist, and this is my understanding of how all Bible prophecy pertaining to the future will play out. While I don’t claim the dispensationalist title, I do hold to the same basic hermeneutic (the historical-grammatical method) that dispensationalists do, so there is some overlap. I am not dogmatic about my views here; end-times prophecy is something all Christians should study and discuss with each other, but never divide over. I realize some of you will disagree with my interpretation of these things, and that’s ok.
Jesus told us that we can’t know the exact day and hour of His return (Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32), but He did tell us we can know the season of His return by the signs of the times in the Scriptures (Matthew 24:32-33), and He rebuked the Pharisees for failing to discern the signs of the times pertaining to His First Coming (Matthew 16:1-4), and taught His disciples to watch and be ready for His Second (Matthew 25:1-13). Jesus told us about the future specifically so that we would be ready and not taken off-guard when these things happen; I believe we can know and understand (at least in a general way) what is going to take place in the end times, and so be prepared as the Lord intended.
Let’s get into it.
The Time of Jacob’s Trouble
One of the most end-times focused books in the Bible is Daniel. The prophet Daniel received insights about the future of Israel, among other things. In Daniel chapter 9, the angel Gabriel comes to Daniel and tells him this:
24 “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. 25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. 27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
The word translated as “weeks” here is the Hebrew “שָׁבוּעַ,” (shä-vü-A), which denotes a period of seven years (the same word is used in Genesis 28-29 where the Scriptures record Jacob’s working seven years to marry Rachel). So we gather that this prophecy pertains to a period of 490 years (70x7) that will “finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place,” or in other words, finish all the stuff in God’s plan for this age, and to bring about the next age, which is the Millennial Kingdom. It’s also important to note that these years are Hebrew lunar years, each with 360 days, and not 365 day solar years.
The first 483 years of this 490 year time period have already come to pass since Daniel received this prophecy. To summarize:
vv 25 refers to the Persian King Artaxerxes I issuing his decree for Jerusalem to be rebuilt after Babylon destroyed it (Ezra 7:12-26 records this event). vv 26 refers to Jesus (the anoined one, which means Messiah) being “cut off,” the penalty for our sins which He bore. “The people of the prince who is to come,” is a reference to the Roman troops who sacked Jerusalem in AD 70; and the prince is the Antichrist. vv 27 refers to the final 7 years, the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble.”
So, if you’re doing the math as you read along, you’ll see a big gap between the first 483 years and the last 7. If the first 483 years are completed when Jesus is crucified, that means there’s almost 2,000 years between that and the final 7. So why the huge gap? As Gabriel says in Daniel 9:24, “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people, and your holy city…” The subject of “your” here is Daniel, and Daniel’s people are the Jews. The Jew’s holy city is obviously Jerusalem. So, this 490 year period of time has Israel in focus. Israel was judged for rejecting the Messiah, and ceased to be a nation following AD 70. The final week, then, couldn’t transpire until Israel was a nation again, and the stage was set for all the rest of the prophecy to take place.
The Time of the Gentiles
The Lord Jesus spoke of the time of the Gentiles in Luke 21:
“24 They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”
The Apostle Paul gave us further insight into the mystery in Romans 11:
11 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12 Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean…25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.“
The gap between Daniel’s 69th Week and his 70th Week is this "Time of the Gentiles," the time period in which God draws the Gentiles in to His covenant. This is the time we presently live in; the focus is the Church. But very soon, the Time of the Gentiles will come to a close, and Israel will again be the focus. At that point, we will enter into Daniel’s 70th Week, also called "The Time of Jacob’s Trouble,” “The Tribulation,” and “The Day of the Lord."
The great tribulation shadows over our world right now. But let us have faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords and our Savior. For he is coming soon.
God Said Take Off Your Shoes And Relax! It’s Not The End Of The World
I pray for everyone’s sake that we may not fall away from Jesus. That others who are in desperate need of God turn to him and from their wickedness. I pray that our faith is strong and that may not fall to sin. Stand fast and believe in Jesus.