Compiled by David Brewer
The Knowledge of Bible Prophecy Can Remind Us That God is Sovereign and That He is Indeed in Control
Ownership – All things are God’s
Authority – God has an absolute right to impose His will on all His
creatures in harmony with His righteousness, justice and love.
Control – God is master of the universe.
In a world that seems so chaotic and so completely in the grip of wickedness, we need to remember that our God sovereignly controls it all.
See Psalm 2:1-12; Is 40:12-16; 46:9-11; Dan 9:27; Acts 2:23; 4:25-29.
The Bible tells us God is all-powerful and sovereign and reminds us that His sure purposes for the future will definitely come to pass / occur.
Knowledge of Bible Prophecy Produces Spiritual Stability
In the midst of uncertain and troubled times the church today needs spiritual stability. Knowledge of Bible prophecy can provide thIs Prophecy can have a stabilizing effect as we see current events and circumstances from God’s perspective -- 1 Cor 15:58; 2 Thess 2:2.
Knowledge of Bible Prophecy Is a Proof of the Truthfulness of Scripture
Throughout the time of the Bible, God has used prophecy as the means to authenticate His truth.
In Isaiah 41:25; 44:28-45:4, the Persian ruler Cyrus is called by name 150 years before his birth. Also in these verses the place of his birth is described, his future military campaigns, conquest of Babylon, and his treatment of the Israelites.
In 1 Kings 13:1-3 an unnamed prophet gives one of the most remarkable prophecies in Scripture. The reason it is so incredible is that he predicted the name and actions of a king (Josiah) who would not appear on the world scene for 290 years.
Also see 2 Pet 3:4-13
Knowledge of Bible Prophecy Presents a Proper View of Our Age
By studying prophecy we can clearly discern where we are now and where God plans to take His world and us in the future. It is impossible to relate our current activities to His ultimate realities unless we understand His overall plan. Compare 1 Cor 7:31; Eph 5:16; 1 Tim 4:1; 2 Tim 3:1-5; 1 Jn 2:18.
Knowledge of Bible Prophecy Can Remind Us That God is Good
The goodness of God means God is the final standard of good, and all God is and does is worthy of approval.
Life can very painful.
But it is very encouraging to realize that God has written the final chapter of our history and the ending of this story is good for the children of God.
Taking us home is the ultimate good.
Knowledge of Bible Prophecy Can Motivate Us To Holy Living, Can Help Us To Establish Biblical Priorities
1 John 2:28 -- Jesus’ sudden return for His children will result in either joy to some believers or shame to others.2
The reality of future things sheds significant light on the great issues of life and helps us see what is most important.
2 Peter 3:10-13 – the coming judgments give ample reason for godly living. This type of piety will manifest itself by a continual anticipation of a desire for Jesus’ second coming and the new heavens and new earth.
Living our life with conscious thought and a continual awareness about future realities.
This thought should change what we do with our time, money and resources.
The knowledge of future events can greatly help us in making better choices / decisions in the present as it reminds us of things that have eternal value.
Knowledge of Bible Prophecy Can Give Us Hope and Comfort in Our Sorrow
In this world it is very difficult in the midst of injustice, crimes unpunished, and sin running rampant. God’s prophetic promise of victory can comfort our sorrows and gives us incredible and lasting hope.
How encouraging to know that someday our troubles will end and we will be reunited with those believing loved ones who have died.
If there is anyone who ought to live with a positive confidence in this world, it is the child of God. See Tit 2:13.
If there is anyone who ought not to live constantly under a blanket of defeat, fear, and depression, it is the child of God.
God will accomplish everything that He has promised!
God wants us to change the way we think, behave, and the way we view Him as a result of what we know will happen in the future.
See 1 Thess 4:13-18; 1 Pet 1:7-9.
Knowledge of Prophecy Promotes Evangelism and Can Be a Stimulus to Service
This kind of knowledge can be a great stimulus to service – see Matt 24:45-51; Lk 19:13; 1 Cor 3:11-15; 2 Cor 5:10f.
In early days of the church thousands came to salvation in Christ as they listened to the first two sermons that were mainly prophetic in nature – see Acts 2:16-36 and 3:18-26.
Bible Prophecy Is Important in Biblical Revelation
25% of the Bible was prophecy when written; 20% of Paul’s writings is prophecy
In his classic study, Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy, J. Barton Payne identifies some 1239 predictions in the OT involving some 6,641 verses or 28.5% of the OT text. In the NT he finds 578 predictions in 1,711 verses or 21.5% of the text. So for the entire Bible’s 31,124 verses, 8,352 contain predictive material, or 27% of the whole Bible.
Prophetic Overview – From Now To Eternity Future – Getting The Big Picture
Events Before The Seven-Year Tribulation
The following is a list of the major passages that discuss the last days (this term in the context of 1 Tim 4:1; 2 Tim 3:1; James 5:3; 2 Pet 3:3; Jude 18 refers to the time between the writing of the NT letters up through Jesus’ 2nd coming; these days are “last” in comparison to OT days) of the church: 1 Tim 4:1-3; 2 Tim 3:1-5; 4:3-4; James 5:1-8; 2 Pet 2:1-22; 3:3-6; Jude 1-25.
Presently believers are waiting for the imminent coming (i.e., an event that is always hanging overhead, is constantly ready to take place) of the Lord Jesus Christ. At any time the door of heaven or the sky / heavens could open (for this image, see Ezek 1:1; Matt 3:16; Mk 1:10; Luke 3:21; Acts 7:56; 10:11; Rev 4:1; 19:11). Something may happen before an imminent event occurs but nothing must take place before it happens. The Church is not to watch for SIGNS (like in the case of the Second Coming) but for the SAVIOR. See 1 Cor 1:7; 16:22; Phil 3:20; 4:5; 1 Thess 1:10; Titus 2:13; Heb 9:28; James 5:7-9; 1 Pet 1:13; Jude 21; Rev 3:11; 22:7, 12, 20.
During the Church’s “last days” there will be an increasing spiritual apostasy and deception regarding the prophetic truth promising Christ’s return – 1 Tim 4:1; 2 Tim 3:1; 2 Pet 3:3-4.
The Church Raptured3 – Jn 14:1-3; Rom 8:19; 1 Cor 1:7-8; 15:51-53; 16:22; Phil 3:20-21; 4:5; 1 Thess 1:10; 2:19; 4:13-18; 5:9, 23; 2 Thess 2:1; 1 Tim 6:14; 2 Tim 4:8; Tit 2:13; Heb 9:28; James 5:7-9; 1 Pet 1:7, 13; 5:4; 1 John 2:28-3:2; Jude 21; Rev 2:25; 3:11; 22:7, 12, 20. Also see Rev 3:10 (this verse is not just to the church in Philadelphia [in Asia Minor/W. Turkey about 75 miles inland from the Aegean Sea, not in PA], but to the “churches,” see Rev 3:13). The aforementioned verses naturally fit into four categories: (1) those verses that directly refer to the rapture, (2) those that indirectly refer to the rapture, (3) those that are subtle references to the rapture, and (4) those that probably refer to the rapture. Please note that “divine deliverance is a pattern often exercised by God preceding His judgment. This is clearly illustrated in the cases of Enoch, Noah, Lot, Rahab and others (2 Pet 2:5-9).4
Some Side Notes
1 Thess 4:13-18, five aspects to the “rapture”: (1) Jesus Return (v. 16), (2) Resurrection (v. 16), (3) Rapture (v. 17), (4) Reunion (v. 17), (5) Reassurance (v. 18).
MATTHEW 24:40-41 AND LUKE 17:34-37 DO NOT REFER TO THE RAPTURE. The ones who are “taken” are taken to judgment (cf. Matt 24:39) after Jesus’ Second Coming, the ones who remain, enter into the Millennial Kingdom in their physical unresurrected bodies to propagate (Matt 25:34; Zech 14:11).
Beware of people setting dates for the Lord’s return
See Matt 24:36, 42, 44; 25:13; Acts 1:7 to learn what Jesus thought about date-setting (these references refer to the Second Coming, not the Rapture)
Before World War I, Jehovah’s Witnesses predicted Armageddon would occur in 1914. When this did not happen, Charles T. Russell’s followers assumed He had returned secretly, revealing Himself only to Jehovah’s Witnesses, thinking they were the 144,000 faithful witnesses in the book of Revelation. Later on they predicted Armageddon for September 1975.
Others predicted Christ’s return in 1982 because of the so-called “Jupiter Effect” (at that time the positioning of the planets in relation to the sun was said to cause cosmic disturbances).
Edgar Whisenant specified September 11, 12, or 13, 1988, for the 2nd Coming.5
Harold Camping came out with a book in 1992 called “1994?” In his book he stated, “the month of September of the year 1994 is to be the time for the end of history.”6 If that was not enough, he more specifically stated Sept 6 (pp. 516-7), Sept 15 (pp. 518, 521), Sept 27 (p. 525), or “any time between Sept 15 and Sept 27, 1994” (p. 525). He does say that there was a very remote possibility that he was wrong.7
Judgment Seat8 of Christ in heaven for the good and bad (i.e., “worthless” – 2 Cor 5:109) deeds we did since becoming believers, resulting in rewards or deprivation of rewards – Rom 14:10-12; 1 Cor 3:10-15; 4:1-5; 9:24-27; 2 Cor 5:10; 1 Thess 2:19; 2 Tim 4:7-8; James 1:12; 1 Pet 5:2-4; 2 Jn 8; Rev 2:10; 3:11; 4:4, 10; 22:12. There are five different crowns mentioned in the NT that are reserved for believers who are faithful to do God’s work: (1) incorruptible crown – 1 Cor 9:27, (2) crown of life – Rev 2:10; (3) crown of glory – 1 Pet 5:2-4, (4) crown of righteousness – 2 Tim 4:8 (5) and the crown of rejoicing – 1 Thess 2:19-20.
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb – Rev 19:6-8 (cf. Eph 5:25-27; 2 Cor 11:2)
Events At The Beginning of the 7-Year Tribulation
The Antichrist makes a covenant with Israel (this event probably begins the Tribulation, i.e., the 70th week of Daniel) – Dan 9:27
The Middle East ruler rises to power as the 11th ruler within the already-formed ten-division confederation that will constitute the revived Roman Empire – Dan 7:7-8, 20, 23-24
As the Middle East ruler rises to power, he will overthrow three of the original ten rulers of the revived Roman Empire -- Dan 7:8, 20, 24
After overthrowing the three rulers, the Middle East ruler becomes the dominant ruler of the revived Roman Empire and unites them into a ten-nation confederacy – Dan 7:7, 20, 24, 26; Rev 17:3, 12-13, 16-17
The Middle East ruler has a fatal wound, but the wound is healed. This results in worldwide influence and acceptance for the Middle East ruler and the false prophet -- Rev 13:3-4
After the formation of the ten-nation confederacy, Israel is pressured into signing a covenant with the Middle East ruler. This covenant will result in a false sense of security and pseudo-peace – 1 Thess 5:2-3
Events During The First Half of The Tribulation
Israel living in “peace” in their own land – Ezek 38:8, 11, 14
The sacrifices of the future third Temple are instituted and the third Jewish temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem. This rebuilding could be part of the provisions of the covenant the Middle East ruler makes with Israel – cf. Dan 9:27
The false church (ecclesiastical Babylon) will continue to strengthen and have a lot of influence; it will try to kill all those who follow the true faith. The apostate church unites with the political empire of the beast to subjugate the entire world; their goal is world domination – Rev 17:1-6The First Four Seal Judgments
Some scholars place the seal judgments in the second half of the Tribulation (most notably, John F. Walvoord). The scholars who place most of the seal judgments in the first half see a connection between these judgments and Matt 24:4-14.
Another significant debate is whether Matt 24:4-14 refers to general signs in the present Church age or to the first half of the Tribulation.
Scholars also debate about which verse in Matt 24 begins the description of the Great Tribulation (i.e., the last half of the Tribulation, “the time of Jacob’s trouble”). Some scholars see verse 9 of Matt 24 as the beginning of the description of the Great Tribulation and others see verse 15 as the beginning (this writer leans toward the latter view).
The first four seal judgments can be connected to “the beginning of birth pains / pangs” in Matt 24:8. The rabbis spoke of “birth pains” as sufferings that would come before the coming of the Messiah. These birth pangs will occur during the entire 70th week. The beginning of these pangs will be during the first half while the more severe pangs of hard labor will occur in the second half of this seven-year time of tribulation.10
It is important to note that Christ is the One who will break the seals of the scroll deed of purchase since He alone is worthy to do this as the kinsman-redeemer. He is the One who will instigate the events that will occur when these seven seals are broken. These events are “irrefutable evidence that He is the true Kinsman-Redeemer with the right, authority, and power to evict Satan and his forces and take tenant possession of the earth."11
The seven seal judgments (Rev 6 and 8) (the first four seals are considered a unit):
1st Seal (6:1-2) (cf. Matt 24:4-5) -- The Middle East ruler becomes a world ruler (cf. Matt 24:5), he has a bow without arrows possibly showing that he will set up a world government by peaceful diplomacy rather than by military might (cf. Rev 13:4).
2nd Seal (6:3-4) (cf. Matt 24:6-7a) – a rider on a red horse (possibly representing war, blood, and death) takes peace from the earth. This is equal to the wars and rumors of wars, nation rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom in Christ’s Matt 24:6-8 statement regarding the beginning of birth pangs.
3rd Seal (6:5-6) – severe famine (cf. Matt 24:7b) will come as a result of war12 since crops will be destroyed. The famine is so severe that money will buy only one-eighth the normal quantity of food.13 Prices skyrocket due to the food shortage. This is equal to Christ’s statement about famines in Matt 24:7-8.
4th Seal (6:7-8) (cf. Matt 24:7) – a pale green horse comes on the scene resulting in war, famine, death, and plague. The most severe of the seal judgments. The end result is that ¼ of the earth’s population will be killed.The Remainder of the Seal Judgments
5th Seal (6:9-11) (Matt 24:9-10) -- converted multitudes from every nation are martyred because of their faithful witness and declaration of God’s Word (cf. Rev 7:9-12). They are wondering how long it will be before God takes revenge on those who killed them. Their prayer of vengeance is answered in Rev 16:4-7 during the 3rd bowl judgment.
6th Seal (6:12-17) -- natural disturbances, catastrophic judgment, and a universal fear of divine wrath (cf. Rev 6:12-14 with Matt 24:29 and Rev 6:15-17 with Matt 24:32-25:26). The catastrophic judgment includes: a great earthquake, the sun turning black (cf. Joel 2:2, 10, 30-31), the moon becoming as blood, the stars of heaven falling like ripe figs, the heavens appear like a scroll rolled up (cf. Is 34:4), and every mountain and island on the earth moving because of the earthquake.
7th Seal (8:1) – this seal contains/introduces the trumpet judgments, so it is a conclusion to the seal judgments and a preparation for the seven trumpets. After this seal is opened there is silence in heaven for about half an hour (contrast this with 4:8). This ominous silence is an indication of the horrible events to follow (an eerie silence before the terrible upcoming terrible storm) and this silence is possibly to allow the prayers of the saints to be heard. Events Possibly Just Before the Middle of the Tribulation
Gog of the land of Magog and his allies14 attack Israel from the uttermost north (the timing of this event has been debated by scholars) for several reasons: (1) because of greed – to take the wealth of Israel, the “spoil” (gold, silver, livestock and goods) from the land – Ezek 38:2, 5-6, 12-13; (2) during this time, Israel will be a strategic country to control since it is the land bridge and the nerve center of communication between the three continents of Asia, Africa and Europe. Israel’s location is indeed very strategic;15 (3) this evil coalition of nations will need access to the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean seaports year-round for trade to improve their economies;16 (4) the Dead Sea is one of the richest chemical beds in the world. It contains large quantities of potash,17 bromine,18 magnesium,19 and other treasures; (5) and Israeli scientists discovered in the water and salt flats of the Dead Sea the halophilic alga dunaliella, which can be converted into petroleum. As Edgar James explains, “it is possible that huge ‘oil farms’ may develop in areas south of the Dead Sea where the water could be channeled into saltwater ponds for the growing dunaliella.20 Notes
Magog is the ancient Scythia, near the Black Sea or the Caspian Sea; today this area is made up of former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kirghiza, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan.21 There are more than 70 million people who live in that area today.
“Gomer” and “Togarmah” were located in what is today eastern Turkey. In Ezek 38:5 three additional nations are listed: Persia, Cush, and Put. Ancient Persia is modern-day Iran. The empire of ancient Persia extended into the area that is now Pakistan. In Ezekiel’s time, Cush was the nation to the south of Egypt (Sudan today). Put was the land to the west of Egypt (Libya today). “Sheba” and “Dedan” in Ezek 38:13 seem to be a reference to Saudi Arabia.
There are least six different views within premillennialism on the timing of this event. Right before the middle of the Tribulation for this event makes the most sense (when the Middle East ruler’s covenant is still in effect).
Gog and company destroyed by God – Ezek 38:17-23Events At the Middle of the Tribulation
Satan thrown out of heaven (he fought God and unsurprisingly lost), he empowers the Antichrist (Rev 12:7-11) and intensifies his persecution of the saints (Rev 12:12-17). God will protect the Jewish people who flee to a place of asylum (Rev 12:13-16), but the ones who do not flee will suffer (Rev 12:14-17).
The Middle East ruler is now identified as the Antichrist.22 He becomes a world dictator.
The Antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel (Dan 9:27).
The 144,000 Israelites are sealed (i.e., a guarantee of ownership, protection, and security) – Rev 7:1-8. Also see Rev 14:1-5 in which passage this group is described after their work of testimony has been completed.
God’s wrath extends throughout THE ENTIRE seven-year Tribulation (not just a part of it); it begins at the 1st seal. The term “wrath” does not appear in the book of Revelation until 6:16-17 but the concept of God’s wrath is there from the beginning (see Rev 5:9, 6:1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12; 8:1 – Jesus breaks all of the seven seals, which begins God’s wrath). Christ – NOT Satan, the Antichrist, or rebellious mankind – will institute the terrible things that occur when all seven seals are broken.
It is important to remember that many times in the book of Revelation God uses human instruments and activity through war to carry out His sovereign purpose against His enemies (see Rev 17:17). Many times in the OT God did this very thing: He raised up Assyria to judge the northern kingdom of Israel in the 700s B.C. (Amos 5:18, 20), Babylon to judge the southern kingdom of Judah in the 600s/500s B.C. (Lam 1:12; 2:1, 21-22; Ezek 7:19; 13:5; Zeph 2:2-3), and Medo-Persia to judge Babylon in the 500s B.C. (Is 13:6, 9).
So, in other words, God’s wrath includes those types of judgments that are direct supernatural acts (i.e., great disturbances in the heavens and 75 pound hailstones) as well as those forces, elements & individuals that God uses in an indirect way (such as war, famine, the Antichrist, and Satan).
Events During The Second Half Of The Tribulation23
The seven trumpet judgments occur which increase the devastation to the earth – Rev 8:1-9:21; 11:15-19
The first four trumpets are considered a unit
1st Trumpet (8:6-7) – 1/3 of the earth, trees and green grass burned up by hail and fire mixed with blood thrown down upon the earth (cf. Gen 18:16-19:28; Ex 9:22-26).
2nd Trumpet (8:8-9) – 1/3 of sea turned into blood, death of 1/3 of sea creatures, destruction of 1/3 of ships (cf. Ex 7:16-21).
3rd Trumpet (8:10-11) – a large meteor or star24 falls on the earth from heaven and causes the water to become bitter so that people who drink it will die.
4th Trumpet (8:12-13) – light of the sun, moon and sky reduced by 1/3 (cf. Ex 10:21-23)Remainder of the Trumpet Judgments
5th Trumpet (1st Woe) (9:1-11) – Satan is given a key to the shaft of the Abyss and uses this key to let the demons in it out to afflict/torture the earth for five months
6th Trumpet (2nd Woe) (9:12-21) – an angel is instructed to release the four demons bound at the Euphrates River and they kill a 1/3 of the world’s population. This releasing of the demons results in a releasing of a 200 million army (human beings, demons, or demon-possessed human beings from the East.25
7th Trumpet (11:15-19) – this trumpet introduces and includes the seven bowls judgments of God’s wrath (see Rev 16).
The bowl judgments (the most severe and intense series of judgments) begin; it seems like these judgments will occur in quick succession near the end of the Tribulation – Rev 16
1st Bowl (16:1-2) – people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped him receive painful and malignant sores (cf. Ex 9:9-11); in a sense this is a fulfillment of Rev 14:9-11.
2nd Bowl (16:3) – every living sea creature left alive from previous judgments dies (cf. 8:8; Ex 7:17-21)
3rd Bowl (16:4-7) – rivers and springs become blood (cf. 8:10-11)
4th Bowl (16:8-9) – the sun becomes very intense, people curse God and refuse to repent (cf. 8:12; 13:5-6)
5th Bowl (16:10-11) – judgment against the beast’s throne (cf. 2:13), darkness on the earth, and more painful sores on people (cf. Ex 10:21-23).
6th Bowl (16:12-16) – the river Euphrates is dried up (cf. 9:14-16; Is 11:15) in order to prepare the way for the kings or rulers from the East / the Orient who will participate in the final world war. Satan gathers all of the human kings to vainly resist the Lord’s soon coming with the saints and angels (in 19:11-21).
7th Bowl (16:17-21) – a bowl is poured into the air, resulting in lightning flashes, thunder, and a very severe earthquake; hailstones of about 75 pounds fall on people; people cursed God because of the plague of hail.
The Antichrist desecrates the third temple in Jerusalem by setting up his image in it (i.e., the abomination [an image or an idol] that causes desolation) and puts an end to her sacrifices (Dan 9:27; Matt 24:15; Mk 13:14; 2 Thess 2:4; Rev 13:6-8, 14-15). This setting up of the image will begin the second half of the Tribulation (the Great Tribulation).
The beast (the Antichrist) and the 10 horns (10 kings) will kill the prostitute (i.e., religious / ecclesiastical Babylon, the apostate church) as a result of their hatred for her (Rev 17:16-18) and “as has often been the case historically, when a tyrant reaches his goal of total political control, he destroys those who helped him reach that point”.26
The destruction of the apostate church by the ten kings supporting the Antichrist paves the way for his worship. In other words, the Antichrist will demand that his subjects worship him (this will be promoted by the false prophet) and he will wage war against the saints of that time – Dan 7:8, 11, 20, 25; 9:27; 11:36-37; Matt 24:15; Mark 13:14; 2 Thess 2:3-4 ,11; Rev 13:4-8, 11-17.
Many Gentile and Jewish believers are martyred since they refuse to worship the Antichrist (Rev 7:9-17; 13:15)
The Jews flee Jerusalem when the Antichrist breaks his covenant with them and sets up his image in the third temple – Matt 24:16-22; Mark 13:14-20.
The ministry of the two witnesses who are empowered by God to serve as prophets for 1,260 days or 42 months – Rev 11:3-6 (see 11:7-10 – their death, 11:11-12 – their resurrection, and 11:13-14 – the resulting judgment of God on Jerusalem) (compare Zech 4:11-14). The prophecy of the two witnesses continues during the same period of time that the world ruler possesses the temple, turns it into a religious center, and causes people to worship his image (see below). Also during this same period of time thousands of Jewish people will die as martyrs.
The Protection of the Jewish remnant – halfway through the seven year Tribulation the Jewish remnant will flee when the Antichrist sets up his image in the Temple (i.e., the abomination that causes desolation) (Matt 24:16; Rev 12:6, 14). Some say that they will flee to the Jordanian village of Bozrah.27 See Mic 2:12 -- the words translated “sheep in the fold” in the NASB are literally in the Hebrew “Bozrah.” It is debatable whether this refers to a geographical location or just “sheep in the fold”.
The Antichrist will start to force people to receive his mark (some type of identification as a sign of unbelievers’ slavery and subjection to the Antichrist). This mark is used to promote his worship -- Rev 13:16-18. It is (on people’s foreheads or right hands) intended to counterfeit the seal of God on the foreheads of the saints in Rev 7:2-4. People will need this mark in order to buy or sell (Rev 13:16-17).
The symbol of the Antichrist will be “666” (Rev 13:18). My personal belief is that people miss the intended meaning by speculating and conjecturing (by using “Gematria,” deriving mystical meanings by assigning letters numerical values) to whom this number refers. More than likely only those people who are alive during the Tribulation when the Antichrist is active will understand the intended meaning and significance of this number. The number “6” is one less than the number “7,” which is the number of perfection and completeness. No matter how hard the Antichrist will try to imitate Christ who is God, he will still fall far short of perfection. No matter how powerful a man he is, he is still a man and not God. This idea of incompleteness and imperfection is intensified by the three 6s. This is in harmony with the statement of v. 18 that this number is the “number of a man.” The three 6s could also be a reference to the unholy trinity (Satan, the Antichrist and the false prophet); all three fall short of the perfect Godhead.
Parenthetical Units in the book of Revelation
There are a number of parenthetical units in the book of Revelation that do not advance the narrative chronologically but pertain to prophetic revelation relating to individuals and situations – 7:1-17; 10:1-11:14; 12-14; 17:1-19:10.28
Jerusalem overrun by Gentiles* – Lk 21:24; Rev 11:2
*Between 586 B.C. and 1967 A.D., more than 20 conquerors have ruled over Jerusalem. It has been the stage for 36 wars, has endured 27 sieges and blockades, has been reduced to rubble 17 times, and has been rebuilt 18 times.29
The Antichrist persecutes Israel – Jer 30:5-7; Dan 12:1; Zech 13:8; Matt 24:21-22
Events Toward The End of the Seven-Year Tribulation
Commercial / Political Babylon is destroyed – Rev 16:19-21; 18:1-24
The Campaign (i.e., “a series of battles,” “an extended war or campaign,” in the Greek polemos) of Armageddon begins – see Dan 11:40-45; Joel 3:9-17; Zech 14:1-3; Rev 16:14-16
The following30 is a summary of this complex campaign:
1. The Antichrist’s Allies Assemble (at the same time as the 6th bowl judgment) at the “Mountain of Megiddo” (i.e., Armageddon), in northern Israel.31 The counterfeit trinity (Satan, The Antichrist, and the False Prophet) summons these forces – Rev 16:12-16.32
2. Babylon Destroyed – at this point the Antichrist hears that his capital city was attacked and destroyed by his enemies, which are an alliance of forces from north of Babylon (Jer 50-51; Zech 5:5-11). Jer 50-51 look beyond its destruction by the Medo-Persian Empire on Oct 12 [16th of Tishri] 539 B.C. to this time period at the end of the Tribulation (Rev 18).
3. Jerusalem Falls – the Antichrist will move southward against Jerusalem instead of eastward to protect his capital – Zech 12:1-3; 14:1-2.33 The Antichrist will initially prevail but will soon be destroyed by Christ.
4. The Antichrist Moves South Against the Jewish Remnant. The Antichrist moves down to the desert and mountains, probably to a place about 80 miles south of Jerusalem; 25 miles SE of the lower end of the Salt / Dead Sea (Bozrah / Petra) – Micah 2:1234 (God’s gathering and protection of this remnant)
5. The National Regeneration of Israel -- “All Israel” (i.e., the remnant; the third that are left from the original number of Jewish people living at the beginning of the Tribulation – see Zech 13:7-9) turn to the Lord and are forgiven and cleansed – Lev 26:40-42; Deut 4:29-31; 30:6-8; Is 53:1-9; 59:20-21; Jer 3:11-18; Ezek 36:25-27; 37:1-14; Joel 2:28-32; Zech 12:10-13:2; Matt 24:30; Rom 11:26-27; Rev 1:7.35 This cleansing is a “prerequisite” for Christ’s Second Coming (cf. Matt 23:37-39)
6. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ with the armies of heaven (angels and the church – see Dan 2:44-45; 7:9-14; Zech 12:10; 14:1-15; Matt 13:41; 24:15ff.; 26:64; Mk 13:16; 14:62; Lk 21:25-28; Acts 1:9-11; 3:19-21; Col 3:4; 1 Thess 3:13; 2 Thess 1:6-10; 2:8; 1 Pet 4:12-13; 2 Pet 3:1-14; Jude 14-15; Rev 1:7; 19:8 with 14) – Zech 14:4-5; Matt 24:27-31; Rev 19:11-16. This coming will be accompanied by the appearance of signs in the earth and sky – Is 13:10; Joel 2:10, 30-31; 3:15; Matt 24:29.
7. The Final Battle from Bozrah to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. Earthly armies in Israel unite against Christ and the armies of heaven – Psalm 2:1-3; Joel 3:9-16; Zech 12:2-9; 14:1-6, 12-14; Rev 16:16; 19:17-19.36
8. The victory ascent upon the Mount of Olives -- Zech 14:3-5.37
Earthly armies destroyed by Christ and the armies of heaven – Rev 19:19, 21. For other passages referring to the Christ’s Second Coming, see: Is 63:1-6; Dan 2:44-45; 7:9-14; Zech 14:1-15; Matt 13:41; 26:64; Mk 13:24-27; 14:62; Lk 21:25-28; Acts 1:9-11; 3:19-21; 2 Thess 2:8; Rev 1:7; 22:7, 12, 20.
The nations that attack Jerusalem will be severely judged by God for coming against Jerusalem – Zech 12:9; 14:3, 12; Dan 2:44; 2 Thess 1:7-9; Rev 19: 11-13, 15, 17-18; cf. Gen 12:3; 27:29; Num 24:9. These nations will be judged because when you touch (i.e., in order to produce harm) Israel, you touch the “apple of God’s eye”, i.e., “the pupil, a delicate part of the eye that is essential for vision and must be protected at all costs” (Zech 2:8; cf. Deut 32:10).38 The pupil is “the part of the eye most easily injured” and is “the most demanding of protection”.39 Obviously, this is a figure of speech and God’s doesn’t have eyes, but the message is clear and it shows how extremely important Israel is to God!
8. The Ascent to the Mount of Olives – Zech 14:3-4. “With the destruction of the Antichrist and his forces complete, the campaign will be over. Jesus will go and stand on the Mount of Olives in a symbolic victory ascent”.40
God will destroy the armies of the nations gathered toward the end of the campaign of Armageddon for several reasons: (1) these nations are determined to destroy Israel, the apple of God’s eye (cf. Joel 3:2), (2) these nations have refused to repent of their sins (cf. Rev 16:9), and (3) God will judge these nations for their total abuse of the Earth and its resources (cf. Rev 11:18) (Jeffrey 1991, 280-1).
The “times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24) (the time beginning in 586 B.C. when Jerusalem was dominated and controlled by Gentiles) comes to an end at Christ’s return
An earthquake will split Jerusalem into two sections (Zech 14:4-5)
Jews fleeing Jerusalem is made easier by changes in its topography – Zech 14:5
Events Occurring Right Before or At the Time of Jesus’ Second Coming
Final regathering* of Israel – Deut 4:29-31; 30:1-10; Is 11:11-12; 27:12-13; 43:5-7; Jer 16:14-15; 23:3-4, 7-8; 30:3; 31:7-10; Ezek 11:16-18; 20:33-38; 36:22-24; 37:21; Amos 9:14-15; Micah 4:6-7; Zeph 3:18-20; Zech 8:7-8; 10:8-12; Matt 24:31; Mark 13:27
*The Jewish people will return to their land in stages, initially in unbelief (see Ezek 36:24ff.; 37:1-14). The first stage of this return will be to the Land (geographical; by man) (before the Tribulation in unbelief) and then to the Lord (spiritual; by God) (before the Millennium in belief.41
*1st stage – Ezek 11:17; 36:22-24; 37:21; also see Ezek 20:33-38
2nd stage – Ezek 11:14-19; 36:25-27; 37:23; also see Deut 4:29-31; 30:1-10; Is 27:12-13; 43:5-7; Jer 16:14-15; 31:7-10; Amos 9:14-15; Zech 10:8-12; Matt 24:31.42
The 75-Day Interval Between the End of the Tribulation and the Millennium (see Dan 12:11-12)
In general, this 75-day interval seems to be a time of preparation for the kingdom; the Lord will take some time to renovate His creation in preparation for his 1000-year reign.
Judgment of living Gentiles on the basis of how they treated Jewish people, Jesus’ physical brothers during the Tribulation (my opinion is that “my brethren” in Matt 25:40 is a reference to Jewish people who are true believers and who lived during the Tribulation) – Matt 25:31-46; also see Joel 3:1-3, 11-17; 2 Thess 1:7-10; Rev 19:11-21.
Some scholars say that the Jewish survivors will be judged at this point, others (like Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum) say that the Tribulation itself will be their judgment (both sides use Ezek 20:34-38
The despicable image, which the Antichrist set up in the Tribulation Temple, will be removed after 30 days (1290 days) – Dan 12:11. There are three different number of days used in the Bible that all begin in the middle of the Tribulation (the 70th week of Daniel):
1260 days – the time from the middle of the Tribulation (when the Antichrist will end the regular sacrifices at the Temple and will set up his image in the Temple) to the 2nd Coming.
1290 days (Dan 12:11) – the time from the middle of the Tribulation to 30 days after the 2nd Coming; during the 30 days after the 2nd Coming, the Gentiles who survive the horrors of the Tribulation will be judged (Matt 25:31-46). The purpose of this judgment will be to separate the believers (who will enter the Millennium in their physical bodies) from the unbelievers (who be removed from the earth in judgment). During this 30-day period the Millennial Temple (Ezek 40:5-43:27) also might be set up and prepared for use.43
1335 days – the time from the middle of the Tribulation to 75 days after the 2nd Coming, probably on the day the Millennium begins (Dan 12:12). After Jesus is finished with judging the Gentiles, it seems like it will take another 45 days to form the government structure needed to run the kingdom. We know from Rev 20:4-6 that the saints will reign with Messiah Jesus in the Millennial Kingdom. After the believers have been separated from the believers, it will take time (45 days) to give various government positions to saints and to let them know what their responsibilities will entail.
The Antichrist and the False Prophet will be thrown into the Lake of Fire – Rev 19:20
Satan thrown into the abyss and bound for 1000 years (for the duration of Christ’s millennial reign) – Rev 20:1-3
OT saints resurrected – Is 26:19; Dan 12:2; cf. Job 19:25-26
Tribulation saints resurrected – Rev 20:4-6
Characteristics And Events Of The Millennium
A Side Note -- The Millennium will last for 1,000 years (six times in Rev 20:2-7 this is stated).
Environmental and Geographical Characteristics
Topography and geography of the earth changed – Is 2:2; Ezek 47:1-12; 48:8-20; Zech 14:4, 8, 10
Jerusalem is at the center of the government (Is 2:3), is exalted (Zech 14:10), and is a place of great glory (Is 24:23)
Jerusalem as center of world’s worship – Is 2:2-3; Mic 4:1-2; 7:12; Zech 8:3, 20-23; 14:16-21
Jerusalem made the world’s capital – Jer 3:17; Ezek 48:30-35; Joel 3:16-17; Mic 4:1, 6-8; Zech 8:2-3
Israel united as a nation -- Jer 3:18; Ezek 37:15-23
Israel exalted above the Gentiles and becomes the center of their attention – Is 4:3; 11:9; 49:22-23; 60:14-17; Zech 8:23; 14:20-21
Jerusalem is enlarged – Ezek 48:35
Abrahamic Covenant land-grant boundaries established – Gen 12:7; 13:15, 17; 15:7, 18; 17:8; 24:7; 26:3; 28:13-14; 35:12; 48:4; 50:24; Ezek 47:13-48:8, 23-27
Israel at peace in their land – Deut 30:1-10; Is 2:4; 19:23-25; 26:1-4; 32:18; Jer 23:4; 30:10b; Ezek 28:26; Amos 9:14-15; Mic 4:4; Zech 3:10; 8:4-5; 14:11
A fountain or river of life will flow out of the Jerusalem Temple – Ezek 47:1-12; Joel 3:18b; Zech 14:8; the Dead Sea will become fresh – Ezek 47:8-12
Wild animals tamed / the animal kingdom will be transformed (Is 11:6-9; 35:9; Ezek 34:25), crops are abundant, and the earth becomes increasingly productive (Is 27:6; 35:1-2, 6-7; Ezek 36:29-30; Joel 3:18; Amos 9:13)Political and Social Characteristics
Universal language (Zeph 3:9), unimpaired labor (Is 62:8-9; 65:21-23; Ezek 48:18-19)
Human longevity increased (Is 65:20-25) and children are born (Is 65:20, 23; Ezek 47:22)
Worldwide knowledge of God – Is 2:2-3; 11:9; 54:13; Jer 31:34; Mic 4:5; Hab 2:14
Jesus Christ personally and visibly reigns on earth in righteousness over the affairs of all mankind; Davidic Covenant fulfilled (Christ on David’s throne) – 2 Sam 7:8-17; Ps 2:6-8; 72:8; 89:3-4, 19-37; 110:2; 132:11-18; 146:10; Is 2:2-4; 9:6-7; 11:1-5; 24:23; 32:1; Jer 23:5-6; 33:14-17, 20-21; Dan 2:35, 44-45; 7:13-14; Amos 9:11-12; Mic 4:7-8; Zeph 3:15; Zech 2:11; 9:10; 14:9; Lk 1:31-33; Rev 11:15; 20:4
David apparently is a regent (a prince under the authority of Christ, THE KING) in this kingdom – Jer 30:9; Ezek 34:23-24; 37:24-25
The 12 Apostles have authority over the 12 tribes of Israel – Matt 19:28; Lk 22:28-30
The church has a part in governing the earth and will reign with Christ – 2 Tim 2:12; Rev 5:10; 20:4, 6; 22:5
Resurrected saints reign with Christ – Matt 19:28; Lk 22:30; 2 Tim 2:12; Rev 5:10; 20:6Spiritual
Unparalleled filling of and empowerment by the Holy Spirit on Israel – Is 32:15; 44:3; Ezek 36:24-29; 39:29; Joel 2:28-29
Millennial temple built – Ezek 40:5-43:27 (cf. 37:26-28); Zech 6:12-15. Gentile nations will assist in this project – Is 60:10-12; Zech 6:15.
New Covenant with Israel fulfilled – Jer 31:31-34; 32:35-39; Ezek 11:18-20; 16:60-63; 36:25-28; 37:26; Rom 11:26
The glory of the Lord/the Shekinah glory returns to the Temple – Ezek 43:1-7; cf. 48:35 (cf. 11:23 when the Shekinah left the first temple)
Evidently the aforementioned Shekinah glory will serve as Jerusalem’s independent light source – Is 24:23; 60:19-20; Rev 21:23
Feasts of the New Year, Passover & Tabernacles reinstituted – Ezek 45:18-25; Zech 14:16-21
Animal sacrifices offered as memorials (cf. The Lord’s Supper) to Christ’s death – Jer 33:17-18; Ezek 43:18-27; 45:13-25; Mal 3:3-4
Satan confined in the abyss – Rev 20:1-3
Events Following The Millennium
Satan released from the abyss (from bondage) as “a demonstration of the incurable wickedness of Satan and the fact that even a thousand years’ confinement have not changed his rebellion against God”44 – Rev 20:7
Satan deceives the nations – Rev 20:8
Global armies besiege Jerusalem (Rev 20:9a) and are destroyed by fire (Rev 20:9b)
Satan cast into the Lake of Fire – Rev 20:10
Evil angels judged – 1 Cor 6:3; also see 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6. Believers will be involved in some capacity in this particular judgment
The wicked dead resurrected – Rev 20:5, 13; cf. Dan 12:2b; John 5:29b
The wicked dead judged at The Great White Throne by Christ the Judge – John 5:22, 27, 29; Rev 20:11-15. The books of works are opened to prove that all who are being judged deserve eternal condemnation (see Psalm 19:1-6; Rom 1:18-20 – God’s general revelation).
The wicked cast into The Lake of Fire for eternal torment and extreme agony – Rev 20:14-15; 21:8; cf. Matt 5:22; 8:12; 10:28; 13:42, 50; 18:8-9; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30, 41, 46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 13:28; 16:24; Jude 7; Rev 19:20
Christ delivers the mediatorial / millennial kingdom to God the Father – 1 Cor 15:24
Present heavens and earth destroyed – Rev 21:1
New heavens and earth created – 2 Pet 3:10-13; Rev 21:1f.; also see Is 65:17 and 66:22.
New Jerusalem45 descends to the new earth – Rev 21:2, 10-27
Christ rules forever in the eternal kingdom – Is 9:6-7; Ezek 37:24-28; Dan 7:13-14; Lk 1:32-33; Rev 11:15
Sources Used To Compile These Study Sheets
Ankerberg, John, John Weldon, Dave Breese, & Dave Hunt. One World: Bible Prophecy and The New World Order. Chicago: Moody, 1991.
Armerding, Carl E. & W. Ward Gasque (editors). Handbook of Biblical Prophecy. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1977.
Barker, Kenneth (General Editor). The NIV Study Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985.
Benson, John L. Who is The Antichrist. Schaumburg, IL: Regular Baptist Press, 1978.
Benware, Paul N. Understanding End Times Prophecy: A Comprehensive Approach. Chicago: Moody, 1995.
Campbell, Donald K. (editor). Walvoord: A Tribute. Chicago: Moody, 1982.
Chafer, Lewis Sperry, revised by John F. Walvoord. Major Bible Themes. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1974, 1979.
________. Chafer Systematic Theology, volume 4 of an 8-volume set. Dallas: Dallas Seminary Press, 1948.
Couch, Mal (general editor). Dictionary of Premillennial Theology. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1996.
Dyer, Charles H., et al. Prophecy In Light of Today. Chicago: Moody, 2002.
Dyer, Charles H., general editor. Storm Clouds on the Horizon. Chicago: Moody, 2001.
Elwell, Walter A. (editor). Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1985.
Enns, Paul. The Moody Handbook of Theology. Chicago: Moody, 1989.
Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998.
Famighetti, Robert (Editorial Director). The 1998 World Almanac and Book of Facts
Feinberg, Charles L. Israel: At the Center of History & Revelation. Portland: Multnomah, 1980.
Ferguson, Sinclair B., David F. Wright, & J. I. Packer (editors). New Dictionary of Theology. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1988.
Fruchtenbaum, Arnold G. The Footsteps of the Messiah: A Study of the Sequence of Prophetic Events. Tustin, CA: Ariel Press, 1982.
________. Israelology: The Missing Link in Systematic Theology. Tustin, CA: Ariel Press, 1993.
Gromacki, Robert G. New Testament Survey. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1974.
Grudem, Wayne (Grudem is a premillennial, post-Tribulational scholar). Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994.
Hiebert, D. Edmond. The Thessalonian Epistles. Chicago: Moody, 1971.
Hindson, Ed. End Times, The Middle East & The New World Order. Wheaton: Victor, 1991.
House, H. Wayne (General Editor). Israel: The Land and the People. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1998.
Hoyt, Herman A. The End Times. Chicago: Moody, 1969.
Ice, Thomas and Timothy Demy. Prophecy Watch: What to Expect in the Days to Come. Eugene, OR: Harvest, 1998.
________(editors). When the Trumpet Sounds: Today’s Foremost Authorities Speak Out on End-Time Controversies. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1995.
Ice, Thomas and Randall Price, Ready to Rebuild: The Imminent Plan to Rebuild the Last Days Temple. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1992.
James, Edgar C. Understanding the Prophecies of the Millennium. Chicago: Moody, 2000.
Jeffrey, Grant R. Messiah: War in the Middle East & The Road to Armageddon. Toronto: Frontier Research Publications, 1991.
Kaiser, Walter C., Jr. Back Toward the Future: Hints for Interpreting Biblical Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989.
Karleen, Paul S. The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church: Is It Biblical? Langhorne, PA: BF Press, 1991.
LaHaye, Tim No Fear of the Storm. Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 1992.
LaHaye, Tim and Thomas Ice. Charting the End Times: A Visual Guide to Understanding Bible Prophecy. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2001.
Larsen, David. Jews, Gentiles & The Church: A new perspective on history and prophecy. Grand Rapids: Discovery House, 1995.
Lewis, Gordon R. & Bruce A. Demarest. Integrative Theology: Historical, Biblical, Systematic, Apologetic and Practical. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996.
Payne, J. Barton. Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy: The Complete Guide to Scriptural Predictions and Their Fulfillment. New York: Harper & Row, 1973.
Pentecost, J. Dwight. Things To Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1958, 1980.
Price, Randall. Jerusalem in Prophecy. Eugene, OR: Harvest, 1998.
Radmacher, Earl D. (General Editor). The Nelson Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997.
Rasmussen, Carl G. Zondervan NIV Atlas of The Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1989.
Ryrie, Charles C. Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide to Understanding Biblical Truth. Wheaton: Victor, 1996.
________. Come Quickly, Lord Jesus: What You Need To Know About The Rapture. Eugene, OR: Harvest, 1981, 1996.
________ (consulting editor), Joe Jordan and Tom Davis (general editors). Countdown to Armageddon. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1999.
________. The Ryrie Study Bible. Chicago: Moody, 1976, 1978.
Showers, Renald E.. Maranatha: Our Lord, Come! A Definitive Study of the Rapture of the Church. Bellmawr, NJ: Friends of Israel, 1995.
________. The Most High God: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel. Bellmawr, NJ: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc., 1982.
________. The Pre-Wrath Rapture View. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2001.
________. There Really is a Difference: A Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theology. Bellmawr, NJ: Friends of Israel, 1991.
Stanton, Gerald B. Kept From the Hour. Miami Springs: Schoettle, 1991.
Swindoll, Charles R., John F. Walvoord, & J. Dwight Pentecost. The Road to Armageddon. Nashville: Word, 1999.
Thiessen, Henry Clarence (revised by Vernon D. Doerksen). Lectures in Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979, 1987.
Walvoord, John F. and Roy B. Zuck (editors). The Bible Knowledge Commentary, OT and NT volumes. Wheaton: Victor, 1983 (NT), 1985 (OT).
Walvoord, John F. Armageddon: Oil and the Middle East CrisIs Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1974.
________. Every Prophecy of the Bible (formerly titled, The Prophecy Knowledge Handbook). Colorado Springs, Chariot Victor Publishing, 1999
________. The Rapture Question, revised and enlarged edition. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1957, 1979.
Willis, Wesley R. and John R. Master (editors). Issues In Dispensationalism. Chicago: Moody, 1994.
Willis, Wesley & Elaine, John & Janet Master (editors). Basic Theology Applied. Wheaton: Victor, 1995.
Affiliations are for U.S. only
Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved.