14 Key Events of the Future

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1. Signs of the End

The Bible gives us numerous “signs of the times,” signs and signals that we are to watch for so we can

know exactly how close we are to Jesus’ return. These signs include drastic upsurges in the number and severity of wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes; the Gospel being preached in all the world; dramatic increases in international travel and scientific knowledge; a great “falling away” from the true God as “evil men and seducers grow worse and worse” and deceive many; unprecedented selfishness and lack of natural affection. All this results in “distress of nations,” with “men’s hearts failing them from fear,” signs that are all obviously being fulfilled today more than ever before.

Matthew 24:7—For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

2 Timothy 3:13—But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

See also: Matthew 24:12,14; Daniel 12:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 2 Timothy 3:1-4,13; Luke 21:25-26.

2. Rise of the Antichrist

One of the most important signs of the Endtime is the rise of a godless anti-Christ world government

led by a demonic dictator who will actually become fully possessed by Satan himself, the world leader known as the Antichrist. In desperation, the world will turn to this political superman, hoping that he will be able to solve pressing problems, cure economic ills, unite international politics, end religious squabbles, and defuse the nuclear time bomb.

Prior to or during this period when the Antichrist gathers his power over the nations, it is quite likely

we will see a financial crash that could cause the world’s nations to be willing to accept any solution and

eventually give rise to the economic system of the “Mark of the Beast” explained in Revelation chapter 13.

However, it does not seem that this economic system will be universally enforced until the tribulation (see

point #5 below).

Daniel 8:23-25—And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce

countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. (24) And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. (25) And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

See also: Daniel 11:21,24; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4.

3. Signing of the covenant

The Antichrist will sign a seven-year covenant (pact or agreement) by which he will bring a measure of

world peace, in the process reconciling the world’s major religions. Through this covenant he will also somehow settle the current crisis in the Middle East by working out a compromise between the Palestinians and the Jews, enabling the Jews to rebuild their Temple and resume their religious animal sacrifices. [Although this is our general expectation, it is also possible that there is a symbolic interpretation to this prophecy regarding the rebuilding of the Temple.]

During the first half of the Antichrist’s seven-year reign, people are going to think that he is wonderful

because he will have brought some peace, restored the world’s economy, redistributed the wealth, helped the

poor, solved the Middle East crisis, and promised religious liberty.

Daniel 9:27a—And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.

Daniel 11:21 [There] shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.

See also: Daniel 8:11; 9:27; 11:24,39; Matthew 24:15

[Optional] How do we know for sure that the covenant is for 7 years?

The word that’s translated “week” in Daniel 9:27 is the Hebrew word “shabua” which means “seven.”

Also see below the explanation for the Tribulation lasting 3 ½ years.

4. Breaking of the covenant

But suddenly, halfway through his seven-year reign, the Antichrist will break the covenant, invade Israel

from the north, abolish all traditional religious worship, declare that he himself is God, and demand that all the

world worship him and his “image,” which could be some kind of computerized robot.

Daniel 11:31Arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the

daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.

2 Thessalonians 2:1,3-4Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him… (3) Let no man deceive you…: for that day [of Jesus’ return] shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (4) who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

See also: Daniel 9:27b; Daniel 11:28-30; Revelation 13:7-8.

The “false prophet”—the Antichrist’s chief aide, who deceives the world—will make this image to the

Antichrist and place it at the site of the rebuilt Jewish Temple. This image, which the prophet Daniel referred to as the “abomination of desolation,” will “speak” and somehow have power to cause those who refuse to worship it to be killed.

Revelation 13:11-15: And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. (12) And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. (13) And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, (14) And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. (15) And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Jesus said that when we see this abomination of desolation stand in the holy place (whether that is a

literally rebuilt Jewish Temple, or symbolic of the “temple of everyone’s hearts”) we will know that the last

three and a half years of man’s rule on earth has begun—the time of “great tribulation”.

Daniel 9:27—And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week. And in the midst of the week he [the antichrist] shall cause the [religious] sacrifice and the oblation to cease.

Matthew 24:15,21—When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) (21) For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

(Note: This verse seems to show that the Jewish tradition of animal sacrifice will have resumed, since it

has to resume before it can be taken away. This could only happen if the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, which

was destroyed shortly after Jesus’ crucifixion and without which animal sacrifice cannot be conducted according to Jewish religion, is rebuilt. There are other possible interpretations of this verse, though this is the one thought as being the most likely.)

5. Great Tribulation

During this final three-and-a-half-year period, the Antichrist will enact a mandatory global economic

system, creating a cashless society. The Antichrist government will use this new economic system to try to

force everybody to submit to and worship the Antichrist, because no one will be able to buy or sell without a

unique personal number, the “Mark of the Beast,” in their hands or foreheads. But God’s people and many

others will refuse to worship the Antichrist and receive his mark, and while some will fall, the Lord will take

care of them.

Revelation 13:16-17—And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

While the Antichrist and his followers are persecuting and trying to kill their enemies, God is going to

let loose pestilences and plagues that will attack the followers of the Antichrist. The Tribulation will be like the

last days of the children of Israel in Egypt, before Moses led them out. God’s prophets will do mighty signs,

wonders, and miracles to defend the Gospel and God’s people, while God sends plague after plague on their

enemies.

Revelation 11:3,5-6—And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. (5) And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. (6) These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

See also: Revelation chapter 8; 9:1-11.

A number of wars and the Antichrist’s worldwide persecution of all who refuse to worship him will

make the Tribulation a time of trouble “such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time,

no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21). But the Bible also tells us in several places and in several corroborating ways exactly how long the Tribulation will last—three and a half years, or 42 months, or 1,260 days from when the Antichrist sets up his image at the Temple. God revealed this to encourage us to hang on and keep going for Jesus during what will be a very difficult period for Christians.

Daniel 7:25—And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Revelation 13:5b—And power was given unto him [the Antichrist] to continue forty and two months.

See also: Daniel 12:7; Revelation 12:6,14; 11:3.

During this time, “the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. And

those of the people who understand shall instruct many” (Daniel 11:32-33). The people of the world are going to be more desperate for the truth than ever, and those who know God’s Word and are faithful witnesses for the

Lord are going to teach and encourage millions. In spite of all that the Devil’s forces will do to try to stop them, millions of God’s children will keep going for God till the very end.

Daniel 11:32b,33a—The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. (33) And they that understand among the people shall instruct many.

[Optional] How do we know for sure that the Tribulation will last 3 ½ years?

Daniel 9:27—It will begin in the middle of the seven-year Covenant, which leaves 3 1/2 years.

Daniel 7:25 and 12:7—A time (one year) and times (two years) and half-a-time (half-a-year) (Dan.7:25 and 12:7) = 3 1/2 years.

Revelation 13:5—It says 42 months which is again 3 1/2 years.

Revelation 12:6—It says 1260 days, which is again 3 1/2 years using the Jewish lunar calendar of that day which was based on 360 day years.

6. Destruction of Babylon (the world’s materialistic system)

At some point, possibly toward the end of the Great Tribulation or even after the Rapture (point 7), 10

“kings” (nations) that have joined forces with the Antichrist will destroy with fire “Babylon the Great, the

Mother of Harlots” in a final judgment. Scripture indicates that these “kings” come out of the remains of the

Roman Empire which was centered on what is now Europe. These will unite with the Antichrist and turn on

“Babylon,” the capitalistic, materialistic system in what could be a nuclear first strike that will destroy her in “one hour.” How and when all of this will play out is still unclear, but as the time draws nearer, we will see exactly how these verses will be fulfilled.

Revelation 18:2—And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

Revelation 18:7-8—How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. (8) Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.

See also: Revelation 17:12-13,16-17.

7. The Rapture

(“Rapture” is not a term used in the scripture but is the accepted term used for the Second Coming and

gathering to Heaven of the saved.)

At the end of the final three and a half years—“immediately after the tribulation of those days”—just

when the Antichrist thinks he has the world in his grasp, Jesus will return to rescue all of His children out of

this world. The Antichrist’s forces will be shocked as they, too, see the Lord coming in the clouds of Heaven

with power and great glory.

When Jesus returns, all of God’s saved children will be taken up to Heaven what is known as the

Rapture. The apostle Paul writes: “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be

changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). All the

believers who are still alive will in an instant be changed and receive these new resurrection bodies. At the same time, the graves of all the Christians who have already died in centuries past will burst open, “the dead in

Christ” will resurrect and will receive new supernatural bodies, like Jesus’ body after He was resurrected. All of these together will ascend into the heavens. “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together

with them [those who have resurrected] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be

with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

How do we know that the Rapture occurs after the Great Tribulation and not before?

Scriptures from Matthew 24, and some others, are very specific that the Great Tribulation occurs before

the Rapture. Some churches erroneously teach that the Rapture occurs before the Great Tribulation, but as you

can read, Jesus made it very clear that the Tribulation takes place before His return.

Matthew 24:29-31—Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: (30) And then  shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (31) And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (52) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

See also: Revelation 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.

8. Marriage supper

In the Rapture, Jesus comes back to catch His bride, His Church, out of the evil clutches of the

Antichrist and to whisk her away to unite with Him and each other in the grandest, most glorious and thrilling

wedding party that’s ever been held, the great marriage supper of the Lamb in Heaven, where the Lord will

reward all His faithful children with beautiful, eternal “crowns of life.”

Revelation 2:10b—Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Revelation 19:7-9—Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. (8) And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. (9) And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

9. Wrath of God

After the Lord rescues and raptures His children to be with Him, the horrific vials of the great “plagues

of the Wrath of God” will be poured upon the Antichrist and his evil forces still remaining on earth—the most

horrible plagues the world has ever known! God’s angels of judgment are going to give the Antichrist and his

forces what they deserve.

Revelation 14:9-10—And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, (10) The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.

Revelation 16:1-2—And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. (2) And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

See also: Revelation 11:18; 16:1-11.