PREPARING FOR END TIMES

by Clay Watts

"A Summary of End Times Events"


Introduction

While we must be careful about interpretation of end times Bible prophecy, we must nevertheless be knowledgeable about what may happen. To help with this, we are providing a summary of end times events, arranged roughly according to Revelation. These serve as a reference guide and reminder of what to expect as Christ's second coming grows closer.

The order of these scriptures does not imply a sequential chronology. In fact, many of the placements have been arbitrarily determined, and could easily have been otherwise. For example, some of the early references to Israel could just as well be placed with Revelation 20.


Summary of Events

Israel re-gathered.

Isa 11:11-16; 27:12-13; Ezek 36:24

This second re-gathering from various lands began in earnest after Israel became a nation in 1948. The culmination may occur at Messiahís coming and establishment of his government in Jerusalem.

Israel defeats Egypt.

Isa 19:17

Israel defeated Egypt in the preemptive Six Day War of 1967 and defended itself against an Arab attack in 1973.However, a complete defeat and the subsequent turning of Egypt to the Lord may yet be fulfilled.

Egypt turns to the Lord.

Isa 19:18-22

The events in this passage are not typically included in todayís end times scenarios.They may occur after the Lordís coming, or perhaps even before.

Highway connecting Egypt and Syria.

Isa 19:23

These Arab countries have primarily worked together against Israel, although Egypt has at times pursued peace, e.g., the 1977 Camp David Accords, and even Syria participated in peace negotiations in 2000.

Egypt, Syria, Israel allies.

Isa 19:24-25

Egypt and Syria have been allies against Israel, but not with Israel.

Israel dominates region.

Is 11:11-16; Zech 10:10-11

This would require additional military conquest, or else it will only happen after the Lordís return.

The Church needs to return to their first love; be prepared to suffer; reject false teachers; obey the word; be fervent in dedication to Christ.

Rev 2-3; Matt 24:32-51; 2 Pet 3:14-18

While there have always been pockets of fervent, obedient believers, the bulk of the nominal Church has been in constant need of revival.

We must watch and pray and be on guard in view of the certainty of his unexpected coming.

Many false Christs will deceive many

Matt 24:4-5

There have been many false Christs throughout the last two millennia.We can expect even more as the final end times unfold.

First & second seal; wars and rumors of war; white & red horses

Matt 24:6; Rev 6:1-4

There has been no lack of real and imagined war at any time in history.However, this seems to indicate increased intensity and focus on a major, perhaps global, figure, who may talk about peace.But the result is even more deadly warfare, not just within nations, as has been the pattern in the last part of the 20th century, but between nations, as in the previous world wars.However, this is only the beginning, and the global figure at this point may not be the Antichrist.

Third seal; inflation; black horse

Rev 6:5-6

Global inflation is a consequence of war and other disruptions.

Turmoil to north gives spirit rest.

Zech 6:8

Black horse could be economic disruption allowing Jews from Russia to return to Israel

Fourth seal; pale horse; sword, famine, earthquakes, plagues and beasts

Rev 6:7-8; Matt 24:7-8

A fourth of the earth is engulfed in a variety of deadly human and natural forces.The magnitude of this distress should be a clear indication of the beginnings of end times birth pangs.

Messenger to prepare the way.

Mal 3:1; 4:5

Many end times scenarios indicate a John the Baptist role, but it is not clear from other Biblical references what form this might take, whether it will literally be a single person, the 144,000 witnesses, the two witnesses of Rev 11, or something else we canít anticipate.

Scoffers.

2 Pet 3:3-4

In spite of the clear warning signs, most will deny that anything supernatural is occurring. Today, with all of the information about end times, the mass media does not give credence to biblical warnings.Perhaps the wide diversity of opinion within the church adds to this confusion and encourages the world to dismiss the conflicting claims, even though there is a core of truth in them.

Fifth seal; saints martyred (first group)

Matt 24:9; Rev 6:9-11; Rev 12:11

As the spotlight turns on true believers, we will become tempting targets to be blamed and ultimately betrayed by those around us who are deceived by false teachers.Our salvation is to be witnesses to the blood of Christ, even to death.We must not only expect persecution, but also welcome it as a sign of faithfulness. Note that the ďsoulsĒ of the martyrs are seen under the altar and are given robes, whereas later the ďpeopleĒ are seen in white robes before the throne.

Falling away, increase of wickedness, love grown cold

2 Thess 2:3; Matt 24:10-12

A sure sign that we are to endure righteous persecution is that even those who have appeared to be believers and prophets will turn on us.We must be prepared for the possibility that we will not be gathered to the Lord before this rebellion against the faith occurs and the Antichrist is on the scene.

Sixth seal; heavens, sun and moon darkened; cloudy; earthquake; stars fall; sky rolls up; mountains thrown down

Isa 13:10; Ezek 30:3; Joel 2:10; Matt 24:29; Rev 6:12-14

These are the dramatic, unmistakable signs of the beginning of Godís wrath.Many commentators state that the trials prior to this point have been Satanís wrath being poured out on man, but that from this point on we see Godís wrath being poured out.

Proud brought low.

Isa 2:6-22; Rev 6:15-17

Manís pride is the reason for judgment.

144,000 Jews sealed

Rev 7:3-8

Prior to Godís wrath being poured out on the land, sea and trees, a certain number of believers, clearly Jews, are marked for protection during much of the remaining great tribulation.

Saints appear in heaven from the great tribulation, prior to 7 last plagues

Rev 7:9-17; 15:2-4

These could be the rest of the saints killed in the great tribulation, as mentioned in Rev 6:11 or, since there is no direct mention of death, it could be a new group, perhaps raptured at this point, who are spared Godís wrath about to be poured out on the earth.The emphasis, however, seems to be on their not having to suffer any more of the great tribulation, rather than avoiding the difficulties to come.

Seventh seal; half-hour silence; prior to trumpets

Rev 8:1-6

This heavenly pause probably signifies the importance of what immediately follows.The incense and prayers of the saints point to holy recompense for the horrors they have endured up to this time as mentioned in Rev 6:10.

First through fourth trumpets; destruction of 1/3 of land, sea, rivers, sun, moon, stars

Zech 13:8-9; Rev 8:7-12

There is much speculation of the causes of these disasters.Asteroids, nuclear explosions, volcanoes, etc., could play a role, as could unknown supernatural forces.The fraction one-third may indicate the beginning of Godís wrathóenough to show the magnitude of the sin that has brought it about, but not so much as to destroy all hope of recovery.God is still leaving room for repentance.

Fifth trumpet; locusts torment those not sealed

Rev 9:1-11

The size, composition, and physical reality of these creatures has also been much debated, although it is not a stretch to imagine a form of locust that could easily fit the description.Regardless, this is the first distinction between the saved and the lost through physical suffering.The message of holy separation cannot be clearer if even an insect can tell the difference.

Sixth trumpet; 200,000,000 kill 1/3 of mankind

Rev 9:13-21

Many commentators have had a problem with the large number of these troops, and have spiritualized them or implied that the number could be symbolic, or even wrong. Others see an oriental army with the horses being either literal animals or figurative tanks or other vehicles of war.Many also see this as parallel to Rev 16 where the armies of the world are gathered at Armageddon.The army kills through the plagues released from the horsesí mouths, which could refer to weapons such as flamethrowers, or chemical or nuclear warfare.

Little scroll & 7 thunders prior to seventh trumpet; no more delay

Rev 10

This heavenly scene demonstrates the seriousness of the following events, which likewise have both a heavenly and earthly meaning. The reference to no more delay may indicate that there is a time gap prior to the seventh trumpet.This may refer to some or all of the time the two witnesses minister on earth.

2 witnesses cause no rain, turn waters to blood, cause plagues, die and are raised; earthquake

Rev 11:3-13; Zech 4;
Mal 4:4,5;
Matt 17:3

While there is no explicit relationship of this 3Ĺ year period to the 7 years in Daniel 9:27 or the 3Ĺ year period in Daniel 12:7, many believe that the witnesses coincide with the latter half of the 7 year period, during which judgments are poured out on earth.

The witnesses are an explicit testimony that cannot be ignored or explained away in natural terms.The reaction of the world demonstrates the righteousness of the even more severe judgments to follow, and leaves no doubt as to their source.

The witnesses have often been identified with Moses and Elijah, representing the law and the prophets, those also being the ones who testified of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Malachi also mentions both in consecutive verses related to the last days.

Dead raised and believersí bodies changed, in a moment, at last trump, caught up with the Lord.

1 Thess 4:16-17; 1 Cor 15:51-53; Isa 26:19

While the events in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15 may not occur at this point in Revelation 11, there is a parallel with the raising of the dead witnesses, accompanied by a loud voice from heaven, and followed by the seventh and last trumpet.However, there is nothing else in Revelation 11 to indicate a mass ďraptureĒ at this point.

Third woe, seventh trumpet, wrath, judgment

Rev 11:14-19

The scene shifts to heaven, where Godís holiness and reason for judgment are further described.

Jews flee from Antichrist to the desert and are protected by God for 3 1/2 years; Antichrist then persecutes the saints

Rev 12; Matt 24:15-20

The woman in this symbolic picture is generally recognized as Israel, who gave Christ to the world, but will be pursued by Satan through his agents.Apparently the Jews will escape supernaturally for 3Ĺ years, during which time the beast persecutes the saints instead. In order for the Jews to escape, it appears they will have to be aware of these New Testament scriptures.

Hide yourself.

Zeph 2:3; Isa 26:20-21

Those seeking righteousness will be hidden in the time of Godís wrath on the world.

Antichrist has 7 heads, each with a crown and a blasphemous name; and 10 horns, each with a crown

Rev 12:3; 13:1

The dragon in 12:3 is clearly Satan, based on v 4.The beast in 13:1 must then be the Antichrist, empowered by Satan.Both Satan and the beast have seven heads and ten horns.However, Satan has 7 crowns on his 7 heads, whereas the beast has 10 crowns on his 10 horns.Based on the interpretation in Rev 17, the crowns apparently signify kings.Satanís 7 kings probably span history whereas the beastís 10 kings are contemporaneous with the beast.

4 beasts--lion/eagle, bear, leopard, terrible beast.

Dan 7:3-7; Rev 13:1,2

The beast in Revelation has the most deadly characteristics of all 4 beasts in Daniel 7.Since Danielís beasts represent historical kingdoms, this ďultimateĒ beast is indeed the culmination of Satanís efforts over history to corrupt and destroy mankind.

Antichrist has fatal wound healed

Rev 13:3

This could be a real or counterfeit ďresurrectionĒ that would convince many of the beastís supernatural power.Itís interesting that one of the heads exhibits this healing.This may be the last and current king in the series of 7, who, in fact, is the Antichrist, although the previous 6 would probably have had various characteristics of Antichrist.

Antichrist has withered arm and blinded right eye.

Zech 11:17

This reference is likely to the Antichrist, and gives a very observable clue to his physical appearance.However, as with other characteristics, we donít know the timing.For example, in the case of a recent candidate for Antichrist, Adolf Hitler, the damage to his eye and arm occurred later in the war.

Antichrist makes covenant with Israel, breaks it after 3Ĺyears; takes away sacrifice; abomination of desolation

Dan 8:11; 9:27; 12:11; Matt 24:15

While the timings of the 7 years, 3Ĺ years, 1290 days, 1335 days, and 2300 evenings and mornings are variously interpreted, the initial event seems to be the 7 year peace covenant which is treacherously interrupted mid-way. A recent candidate for this covenant was the 1993 Oslo Accords, signed by Israel and the PLO. The speculation by prophecy watchers surrounding this treaty illustrates the difficulty in determining the beginning point of a significant prophetic event. The lesson is that we probably need to see multiple corroborating events before assigning permanent significance to any one event.

Man of sin revealed and sets up image of self in temple.

2 Thess 2:3-4; Rev 13:4,14

There will be no doubt concerning the Antichristís identity at this point.His image will be set up in the temple, which will have been rebuilt by this time, and he will proclaim himself god.

Antichrist blasphemes God, persecutes saints/holy people 3Ĺyears, and is defeated.

Dan 7:25; 12:7; Rev 11; 13:5-7,10

This will be a devastating time for Godís holy people, and will require Godís grace to persevere.†† Note that the full 3Ĺ years is associated with persecution of the saints.

Greeks defeated by God on Israelís behalf.

Zech 9:13

While this may have been a near reference to the Maccabean revolt against Antiochus Epiphanes, it probably refers as well to the ancestry or characteristics of the end times Antichrist.Or it may refer to the Ezekiel 38 war led by Gog from the north.This is an example of an isolated scripture that, while not appearing to have direct relationship to many other end times prophecies, may nonetheless describe a key event, and represent one more example of creative fulfillment that doesnít fit our preconceived ideas.

World worships Antichrist

Rev 13:8

There will be a painfully clear distinction between those who worship the beast and Godís people who donít.

False prophet (2 horns like a lamb, speaks like a dragon) performs signs (fire from heaven), forces world to take mark and worship the Antichrist; kills all who donít.

Rev 13:11-17; Matt 24:11,24

While the false prophet deceives many with his signs, apparently the Antichrist himself doesnít actually perform such signs, other than appearing to have been healed from a fatal wound.Note that it is also this false prophet who forces people to take the mark to buy and sell, all in the name of loyalty to the Antichrist.

Antichristís number is 666

Rev 13:18

Apparently another confirmation of the Antichristís identity is the mark, which is his name or number.It will be possible for those Christians with insight to calculate this number as 666.Many have shown how to equate famous names with this number by assigning number values to the letters of the name, since Greek letters were identified with various numeric values.This is again an example of prophecy being important only as corroboration, not as a predictor.

144,000 on Mt. Zion with the Lamb

Rev 14:1-5

At this point the 144,000 appear in the heavenly Jerusalem (Heb 12:22), having apparently being either martyred or raptured.Verse 4 seems to point to a sacrificial martyrdom, especially since ďfirstfruitsĒ in 1 Cor 15:20 refers to resurrection from the dead.

Gospel preached worldwide.

Matt 24:14; Rev 14:6-7

Many believe that one of the preconditions for Christís coming is that Christians have reached every person on the earth with the gospel.However, if this is not done exactly the way man might expect, it appears the Father will supernaturally complete the fulfillment of his prophetic Word, even to the point of sending an angel at the last moment to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to repent and turn toward God.

Babylon destroyed.

Isa 13-14; Rev 14:8; Rev 18

One of the great prophetic themes is the destruction of Israelís enemies.It appears that the destruction of Babylon is both a near and far reference.While the near fulfillment was the literal city located in present day Iraq, the end times fulfillment could refer to the same physical location, some other city, or it could be a broader reference to a political, economic, or religious system.In any event, it is likely that the prophetic Babylon will in some way fulfill the same role as ancient Babylon, namely, a representation of the worldly influence and domination over Godís people who have compromised their allegiance to him.

Warning for saints not to take the mark of the beast; they may be martyred, but will have rest

Rev 14:9-13

The mark will be an indication of who has remained faithful to the Lord and who hasnít.There is no in between.Any ďbelieverĒ taking the mark will suffer the eternal consequences of unbelievers.Of course, a true believer would not take the mark and, by this time in the tribulation period, would be well aware of the prophetic warnings.Godís grace will provide strength to endure patiently even at the risk of martyrdom.

Son of man harvests the earth

Rev 14:14-16

This appears to be the first of two successive ďreapingsĒ of the earth.This one does not indicate what is being reaped, but it uses the term harvest, which throughout the New Testament refers to believers. These would likely be the believers still remaining alive on earth who had not taken the mark of the beast and had escaped martyrdom.

Angels gather elect.

Matt 24:31

This gathering refers to those in heaven and on earth in conjunction with the Lordís second coming.As an example of prophetic timing being unpredictable, it is not clear from the text exactly how and when this gathering is accomplished in relation to the physical appearing of the Lord.It could be before, at the same time, or after.And it could be done as a single act or as a series of acts.

Grapes of wrath gathered and pressed into blood

Rev 14:17-20

In this second ďreapingĒ the object is explicitly the ďgrapes of wrath,Ē beginning the final events of Godís ultimate wrath on the earth.

Sinners destroyed.

Hab 3:12-13; Isa 13:9

The day of Godís wrath is upon the earth.The day of the Lord is accompanied by many prophetic signs mentioned in the Old Testament as well as Revelation.

Completion of Godís wrath--7 last plagues (bowls)

Rev 15:1,5-8

There are many theories about the structure of Revelation.Some consider the 7 bowl judgments to be the parallel heavenly view of the 7 trumpet judgments, which represents the earthly view of the same events.Others see the structure as a telescope, where the seventh seal contains the seven trumpets, and the seventh trumpet contains the seven bowls.In this structure, all of the events are sequential, with no parallel duplication.As we have pointed out many times, such attempts to predetermine prophetic meaning are at best presumptuous, and may even be counterproductive by limiting our interpretations and blinding us to potential fulfillment in unexpected ways.For example, if verses 2-4 are a reference to some type of final rapture, this may be an indication that prior to the ďcompletionĒ Godís wrath, there is still an opportunity for repentance.This could be an important message to those who find themselves experiencing the trumpet judgments, and wondering if there is any hope for deliverance from Godís wrath.

1st bowl - sores on those with the mark of the beast

Rev 16:2

This begins the final judgment.The punishments parallel similar plagues in the Exodus from Egypt.That nation had also rejected God and his people.

2nd bowl - sea turns to blood and everything in it dies

Rev 16:3

 

3rd bowl - rivers and springs turn to blood

Rev 16:4-7

 

4th bowl - sun scorches with fire

Rev 16:8-9

 

5th bowl - beastís kingdom in darkness

Rev 16:10-11

 

6th bowl - Euphrates dried, kings brought to Armageddon, comes like a thief

Rev 16:12-16

This appears to be the final battle where all the beastís forces fight against the Lord and his hosts at his return.Does it also relate to the 200,000,000 troops in Rev 9:16 and the blood flowing for 1,600 stadia in Rev 14:20?This is certainly the common picture of the battle of Armageddon, but these verses are actually in quite separate passages.It is entirely possible that they could represent different events as well.

What is verse 15 doing here?Is there some possibility of repentance for those who wake up to whatís happening and finally reject Satanís deception?Or is this just another example of prophetic verses being mysteriously interspersed in apparently unrelated passages?

7th bowl - earthquake, hailstones

Rev 16:17-21

Verse 20 matches parts of the sixth seal.However, this doesnít fit with any rational structure and thus illustrates the difficulty in assuming that a structure even has to exist.Could these be completely different events?How many times will every island and mountain disappear?

Great city Babylon, who corrupted earth with adulteries, sits on 7 hills; 7 kings - 5 fallen, 1 is, 1 to come for awhile; beast who was, now is not, is an 8th but of the 7 kings; 10 kings (to be) give authority for 1 hour to beast to destroy Babylon and war against the Lamb

Rev 17

There have been many interpretations of what Babylon represents, most commonly a governmental, economic, or religious system, although it is explicitly described as the city that rules over the kings of the earth.Likewise, the 7 kings and 10 kings have been variously interpreted.Typically, however, the 7 kings are seen as being in historical sequence, whereas the 10 kings are contemporaneous.

10 horns, 3 uprooted before another horn who is destroyed with 4th beast, other 3 beasts linger on.

Dan 7:17-25; 8:9-12

These passages could very well parallel the 7 heads and 10 horns in Rev 12, 13, and 17.

Wedding of the Lamb and bride after Babylon destroyed

Rev 19:7-9

 

Christ on white horse with armies of heaven destroys kings and armies of earth and casts beast and false prophet into fiery lake; birds ate flesh of those killed on earth

Rev 19:11-21

 

Israel invaded from north by cavalry troops from Russia, Persia, Ethiopia, Libya, Eastern Europe, and southern Russia.

Ezek 38:1-6,15

There are many interpretations of the Ezekiel 38-39 battle.While there seem to be common elements with the Rev 19 battle, many have placed it earlier in the tribulation period.

Enemy supernaturally defeated--weapons burned and flesh eaten by birds.

Ezek 38:19-39:20

 

Antichrist attacked from south, invades Israel, subdues Egypt, but not Jordan, then fights north and east and finally is defeated.

Dan 11:40-45

Again, these maneuvers could be placed at various times in the tribulation period, and could be related to the Ezekiel 38-39 battle.

Jerusalem raped (Day of the Lord); 1/2 exiled; finally delivered supernaturally & enemies destroyed.

Zech 14:1-3, 12-15

This could relate to the Daniel 11 and Ezekiel 38-39 passages, although it appears to occur at the last battle.

Lord destroys beast.

2 Thess 2:8

 

Comes suddenly, with angels, with fire, so all may see him.

Matt 16:27; Matt 24:27; 2 Thes 1:7-8

 

Jews mourn at Jesusí coming.

Zech 10:12-14; Matt 24:30; Rev 1:7

 

Lordís coming--everyone will see him.

Rev 1:7

 

At Lordís touching down the Mount of Olives split and hills flatten, a river flows east to west.

Zech 14:4-11

 

Lord returns to Jerusalem as dwelling place.

Zech 8

 

Satan thrown into abyss for 1000 years.

Rev 20:1-3

 

Martyrs beheaded for not taking the mark of the beast are raised. They (and other saints) reign with Christ for 1000 years.

Rev 20:4-6

 

Judges nations.

Matt 25:31-33

 

Build temple.

Zech 6:12-15

While this passage was part of the prophetís encouragement to build the second temple, after the Babylon exile, it also has Messianic language, and could be another indication of Ezekielís millennial temple being built.

Millennial temple with modified sacrificial system.

Ezek 40-47

Could be a gentle embarrassment andreminder to Israel of her rebellion and stubbornness.

Nations at peace, following the Lordís laws; Jerusalem center of government.

Isa 2:1-5; Isa 11:1-10

 

Israel divided among tribes.

Ezek 47-48

The millennial temple passages, along with the tribal divisions of land, are often sees as figurative, but the level of detail and specificity given is too great to ignore.This is another example of putting prophetic passages on the shelf until events make it clear how they are to be fulfilled.

Satan released to deceive nations and then be cast into fiery lake forever.

Rev 20:7-10

 

Great white throne judgment of the wicked dead.

Rev 20:11-15

 

Earth and works burned up.

2 Pet 3:10

 

New heavens and new earth with God and men dwelling together.

Isa 65:17; Rev 21:1-8; 2 Pet 3:11-13

We do not spend eternity in heaven, but on a new earth in a new Jerusalem.Heaven comes down to earth.

Holy City Jerusalem coming from heaven; river of life

Rev 21:9-27; 22:1-5; Ezek 47:1-12

River for supernatural, eternal health

Rewards everyone according to his works.

Is 40:10; Obad 1:15; Rev 22:12

 

 


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