A timeline of prophetic events-things to watch for… – By Pete Rose – www.raptureready.com
The following is a listing of events assembled from various books of the Bible, things we can expect to happen starting probably in the near future, or in coming years. My knowledge of Bible prophecy is at best incomplete, and things may not happen in the exact order listed here. It also is not all-inclusive, and I may have missed some events. But this should give you a pretty good idea of what’s coming, and the general order of things.
Lest we forget and lose sight of the accuracy of God’s prophecies, let us consider past prophecies that have been fulfilled to the letter, first those concerning Jesus Christ. To name a few…
· He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14—Matthew 1:18, Luke 1:25-38)
· He would not be of any extraordinary appearance. (Isaiah 53:2)
· He would be of the lineage of David (Isaiah 11:1 [Jesse was the father of David]—Matthew 1:1-16, Luke 3:23-37)
· He would be despised and rejected by men (Psalm 22:6-7, Isaiah 53:3—John 1:10-11)
· He would be silent before His accusers (Isaiah 53:7—Mark 14:61)
· He would be crucified, His hands and feet pierced (Psalm 22:16, Isiah 53:5–)
· He would be executed as though a criminal, with criminals (Isaiah 53:9)
· though he did nothing to deserve it (53:9b)
· He died for the sins of others—our sins—He had no sin (Isaiah 53:5-6—Romans 4:25, 2 Corinthians 5:21)
· By His wounds we would be healed (Isaiah 53:5—1 Peter 2:24-25)
· He would be spat upon and his beard pulled out (Isaiah 50:6—Matthew 26:67)
· The soldiers who crucified Him gambled for His clothes (Psalm 2:18—John 19:23-24)
· Not a bone of His body would be broken (Psalm 34:20—John 20:36)
· His body would not see corruption (Psalm 16:10—Acts 2:27, 31)
· He would rise again from the dead (Psalm 16:10—Matthew 28:5, Mark 16:6, Luke 24:1-6, John 20:1-19, Acts 1:3, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8)
There were over 100 such details of prophecy such as the above given concerning the first coming of Christ, and each one was fulfilled to the letter. The odds against even a few of these being fulfilled by chance are enormous; the odds against all of them being literally fulfilled are astronomical. But they were, every one to the letter.
Now let’s consider another prophecy, that of the destruction of the city of Tyre, a wealthy seaport. The prophet Ezekiel prophesied that Tyre would be destroyed, that the timbers and the rock of the city would be dumped into the water and that the city would be scraped bare like the top of a rock, and would become a place for fishermen to dry their nets (Ezekiel 26). It was also prophesied that Nebuchadnezzar would come against the city and destroy it, which he did not too many years after Ezekiel made this prophecy. But it was only the mainland city that was destroyed, the remaining inhabitants moved to an island somewhere around a mile out in the Mediterranean Sea. Since Nebuchadnezzar didn’t have a navy and the island city was heavily fortified, it was left alone and continued to exist for perhaps another 400 years. But then Alexander the Great came along, determined to conquer the world, and he didn’t have a navy either. But he wasn’t going to let that stop him. So he had an army of workers tear down the remains of the mainland, dump the rubble in the water, and build a broad causeway out to the island. From there he eventually overpowered the city’s defenses and ravaged it, slaughtering a great many of its inhabitants and enslaving others. The site of the mainland city had been literally scraped to bare rock, and came to be used by fishermen as a place to dry their nets, thus fulfilling this prophecy to the letter in a very literal sense.
With so many Bible prophecies having been so accurately and literally fulfilled, what would make us think that prophecies of events yet future will not be fulfilled just as literally as those which have already been fulfilled? With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of these prophecies of events soon to come.
· Happening now- World financial markets in turmoil. This very well could be setting the stage for one world government and the Beast financial system prophesied in Revelation.
· Likely—Syria attacks Israel. Could happen any time.
· Damascus is destroyed (Isaiah 17:1), most likely by a nuclear attack by Israel.
· Israel will fight a war in which they will take control of much of the middle East (Psalm 83).
· Israel becomes richest nation in the world, dwells in peace in villages without walls (Psalm 83, Ezekiel 38).
· Russia along with certain Islamic nations invades Israel (Ezekiel 38). Other nations only offer a feeble protest (Ezekiel 38:13), none come to Israel’s aid.
· The invaders are destroyed by supernatural events, earthquakes, fire, great hailstones, floods etc. (Ezekiel 38:17-23)
· Israel spends seven months burying the dead, seven years burning weapons of war (Ezekiel 39).
· Somewhere in all of this, the rapture occurs. The dead saints are resurrected and every living born again Christian is changed and given an immortal body, and all are caught up together to meet Jesus in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15). The exact time is known only to God the Father, but Jesus said we will know when the time is near (Matthew 24:32-36). All who are unsaved, dead and alive, will be left behind on Earth.
· The antichrist rises from a minor political figure to world leader, asserts himself (Daniel 8:9-12).
· Israel signs a seven year peace treaty with antichrist, signaling start of the Great Tribulation (Daniel 11-12). There could be period of peace and prosperity following, for a time.
· Seal judgments begin (Revelation 6-7).
· After three and a half years the antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel, places abomination of desolation in the rebuilt temple, stops sacrifices and offerings and declares himself to be God (Daniel 9:27, Revelation 13).
· The antichrist requires all to receive his mark on their forehead or their hand, and anyone who refuses will be killed. Without this mark no one will be able to buy or sell. Anyone who receives this mark dooms his soul eternally, to be tormented day and night forever (Revelation 13:16-18, 14:9-10). This mark will embody the number 666 in some manner.
· The wrath of God is poured out-trumpet judgments, bowl judgments (Revelation 8-9, 16).
· Babylon the Great is destroyed, never to rise again (Revelation 18).
· Somewhere during this time, in whatever location raptured saints have been taken to, their works will be tested at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and the saints rewarded according to the outcome (1 Corinthians 3, Romans 14:10).
· Marriage supper of the Lamb takes place. All the saints become collectively the bride of Christ (Revelation 19).
· All the armies of the world gather together to fight against Christ at the battle of Armageddon (Zechariah 12, Revelation 19:19).
· Jesus returns to Earth along with all the saints, all riding on white horses (Revelation 19:11-18).
· The armies gathered at Megiddo are destroyed by sword from Jesus’ mouth, He speaks the word and they all are destroyed right where they stand (Revelation 19:15-17, 21, Zechariah 14:12-15).
· The beast (antichrist) and the false prophet are thrown alive into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:19-20).
· Satan is bound and imprisoned in the bottomless pit for 1000 years (Revelation 20:1-3).
· Killed tribulation saints are resurrected to reign with Jesus for 1000 years (Revelation 20).
· Sheep and Goats judgment takes place on Earth for tribulation survivors. The righteous are separated from the wicked and ushered into the Kingdom, while the wicked are banished into everlasting fire reserved for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:31-46).
· Jesus rules the earth for 1000 years in perfect righteousness. Satan is imprisoned in the bottomless pit for the entire 1000 years, unable to deceive the nations any more. Sin and wickedness are no longer tolerated. Even wild and domestic animals are at peace with one another (Isaiah 11, Revelation 20:4).
· At the end of 1000 years Satan is released for a short time and gathers an army as the sands of the sea. Satan brings his army against the camp of the saints (Jerusalem?) and surrounds it. Fire from heaven destroys the rebels, and Satan is cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7-9).
· The great white throne judgment takes place for the unsaved of all ages. All are judged according to their works and cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). Only the unsaved are judged here, all believers (saints) have already had their sins judged and paid for on the cross by Jesus. Location: Somewhere away from the current Heavens and Earth.
· New Jerusalem, the eternal home of all the saints, descends to the new Earth, illuminated by Jesus Himself. Cubical in shape, it is huge, some 1400 miles on a side (Revelation 21-22).
One of the greatest prophecies of all times has been fulfilled in recent years, the restoration of the nation Israel to its land. Never before in the history of the world has a nation been dispersed to the ends of the Earth as Israel was and retained its identity. Its people have been assimilated into the nations to which they were scattered. But the Jews have not only maintained their identity, in this end of days they have once again been regathered into the sovereign nation of Israel.
In His Olivet discourse Jesus gave his disciples some signs whereby they could know when the time was at hand. He gave the sign of the fig tree, a symbol of the nation Israel. He said when the fig tree buds and puts forth leaves, you know summer time is nearing. Likewise when you see all these things begin to come to pass, know that it is near, even at the doors. Then Jesus stated, the generation which sees these things begin to come to pass will not pass away until all is fulfilled that He prophesied in that discourse. Israel became a nation again in 1947. It is now 2009, over 60 years since this beginning sign came to pass. Surely the return of Jesus must be very, very near.
Keep in mind through all of this, that none of us are saved by our own righteousness. The prophet Isaiah says we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags in the sight of God (Isaiah 64:6). None of us in our natural state are fit to stand before God. It is only the shed blood of Jesus Christ that makes any of us worthy to stand in God’s presence, and Jesus voluntarily let his blood be shed on the cross that we might be saved and made worthy to stand in His presence.
God is not willing that any should perish, but would have all people to turn to Him and receive His salvation. But god will not force anyone to receive Christ, you must make that decision for yourself. God cannot allow sin in His presence. When Jesus died on the cross, God placed all our sins on Him and He died in our place, to make full payment for our sins, indeed the sins of the whole world, and to buy our pardon. But like a prisoner offered a pardon, we must receive it before it will be effective. Jesus offers all of us pardon for our sins today, but we still must voluntarily receive it by receiving Him into our lives and our hearts. When we do this, God sees all our sins paid for by Jesus, and sees the righteousness of Christ in us, and it is by Christ’s righteousness in us we are saved and made worthy to stand in the presence of God.
For all who refuse or neglect to receive this pardon, it is a whole different story. While all who receive Christ now will be ushered into the very presence of God at the rapture, those who didn’t will be left behind to experience the horrors of the Great Tribulation. Most likely most of these will be killed and end up in the flames of Hades, reserved for the judgment of the Great White Throne where they will hear their doom pronounced before being cast into the lake of fire for all of eternity. And all who receive the mark of the beast to try to buy some time on Earth will seal their doom eternally.
Yes it will be possible to be saved during the Tribulation, but it will be much more difficult then than now, and will probably be at the cost of your life. Even so, better to receive Jesus and get your head chopped off, and to stand in His presence after that, than to die without Him and go to an eternal hell. Still better, receive Jesus now, and you will go into His presence immediately when you die, or when you go in the rapture.
Why not do it now, before you find yourself left behind to go through the horrors of the great tribulation, or to die in your sins and go into eternal torment?