Subscribe to the Real Truth for FREE news and analysis.Subscribe Now
Jesus foretold that powerful prophecies would slam into an unsuspecting and unprepared world. He warned, “Take heed…lest…that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth” (Luke 21:34-35). Most are unconcerned with conditions and events prophesied to affect everyone—the entire planet—“all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth”—and that these things will come without warning, like a snare.
This Personal is the second part of a two-part article series explaining the correct sequence—the exact order—of prophetic events before Christ’s Return. I have already covered 13 events (of about 70 total), and will conclude with 13 more that will happen soon.
But understand. When these 13 final events arrive, it will already be too late for you to heed Christ’s words.
Before examining more events, three critical end-time periods must be noted. They are the 1,335 days, 1,290 days and 1,260 days. These time frames begin with different events, but end with the same one—Christ’s Return! Each will become clear as we proceed.
Remember, the purpose of this article series is to provide brief summaries of events, not the detailed explanations serious Bible students will pursue.
The Bible foretells a second, different kind of famine when the “night”—final terrible darkness—will have come and, the Bible says, “no man can work” (John 9:4). This includes the Church’s Work of (1) announcing God’s coming kingdom and (2) warning the world’s greatest nations before special punishment comes!
The prophet Amos recorded a stunning prophecy. He wrote, “The days come, says the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord ” (8:11). How do the masses react? “They shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it” (vs. 12). This will be a shocking moment for frantic millions who can no longer hear what God has been declaring through His Church. The verse implies these vast millions will have grown accustomed to hearing God’s Word. Do not miss this! These Personals will not continue forever!
Once God’s open door to His Church is closed, the famine of hearing God’s Word will suddenly settle over all nations. The fulfillment of Matthew 24:14 and Ezekiel 33:7-9 will be finished! May God help you heed now!
The same day God’s Work ends, His people are taken from harm’s way and gathered for flight to a designated Place of Safety.
Jesus’ admonition is: “Watch you therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:36). The phrase “all these things” means all end-time events—those just before Christ’s Return. Remember, Jesus said, “As a snare shall it [these things] come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth” (vs. 35). But God’s purpose is that some be spared—that they escape—global calamity.
The arrival of this critical moment is something that will only be known to those in God’s one, undivided Church. His people will plainly understand. Luke 17:30-37 introduces what the Church is awaiting, and how it escapes. No rapture is coming!
Daniel prefixes the 1,335-day period with “blessed is he that waits” (12:12). This is the specific time for which the Church has patiently waited to be “taken” to safety (Matt. 24:13; 10:22; Luke 21:19; Rev. 14:12). Realize you can escape what lies ahead. You need not fear—if you do exactly what God instructs.
We are now ready to examine two prophecies occurring in and around Jerusalem. The next two events are closely related. Follow carefully. The first, the abomination of desolation, is introduced in Daniel. Notice: “From the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days” (Dan. 12:11). So then, 45 days after the Church is taken, at 1,290 days before Jesus returns, this “abomination” appears.
Here is Jesus’ first clue about this: “When you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is [near]” (Luke 21:20). If something is near, it has not happened yet. The armies in fact carry this out 30 days later.
Jesus reveals in Matthew the related event to look for beside armies around Jerusalem. Let’s read: “When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, whoso reads, let him understand” (24:15). Mark adds this: “When you shall see the abomination of desolation…standing where it ought not [meaning, in the holy place]” (13:14). This involves some kind of “standing” abomination “desolating the holy place.”
Now, what exactly is this holy place? The context makes plain that it is not figurative, but refers to a literal place—a religious site. Recognize, however, that this place cannot be a pagan religious site. It must be a location that God considers, or once considered, holy, with something foreign and blasphemous put there. History and other scriptures outside the gospels reveal this will be a statue placed inside an at least partially rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem.
Understand. For the twice-daily sacrifices (morning and evening)—outlined in the Old Testament (Ex. 29:39-42; Num. 28:4-6)—to stop, they must first be restarted. There must come at least a temporary restoration of these Old Covenant sacrifices in Jerusalem at the Temple Mount under the direction of a restored priesthood. While a full temple is not needed, something must be built.
When Jerusalem is surrounded by armies, and the False Prophet and Beast put an idolatrous statue at the site of the re-established sacrifices, the abomination will officially “stand in the holy place”!
The appearance of the armies and the abomination—events 16 and 17—are the signals. We saw that God promises escape to safety for His servants. He is explicit, telling them, “Because you have kept the word of My patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation [or trial, meaning the Great Tribulation], which shall come upon all the world, to try [test] them that dwell upon the earth” (Rev. 3:10). This is the “snare” of Luke 21:35.
Revelation 12 briefly overviews the 2,000-year history of the true Church. The woman it describes symbolizes both the Old Testament Church that was first ancient Israel, but later the New Testament Church.
Verse 9 states, “The great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Notice: “When the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman [now spiritual Israel, the Church]” (vs. 13).
The timing of this persecution is just ahead!
Next notice: “To the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent” (vs. 14).
A biblical “time” is equal to a prophetic year of 360 days. Revelation 12:14 refers to the same period, that of 3½ times. Revelation 11:2 says 42 months—or 1,260 days (3½ x 360 days). These are literal days. (This is the 1,260-day period referenced earlier.) The woman you saw flies to “her place” for 3½ years—in the wilderness (not heaven).
In contrast to rapturists, Jesus instructed His disciples to “flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it [Judea] depart out” (Luke 21:21). The message is—leave quickly! God’s people are told in two other places to flee Judea, where they will have been gathered. Read Matthew 24:16 and Mark 13:14.
The apostle Paul wrote this sobering warning: “Of the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I write unto you…For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (I Thes. 5:1, 3). The masses will come to think that everything is now better—that improved world conditions—peace and safety—have arrived. But those who study the Bible seriously know otherwise.
The Bible foretells the coming of two special servants just before the outset of the Great Tribulation—who wield tremendous—unprecedented—POWER. Revelation 11 says, “I will give power unto My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore [1,260] days, clothed in sackcloth” (vs. 3). These men can cause droughts and plagues, turn waters to blood, and breathe fire on any who try to kill them.
Guided by and imbued in a special way with God’s Spirit, they will contend in Jerusalem with the Beast, the False Prophet, and all under their sway. Surrounded by hostile forces, but working directly with Christ (Zech. 4:14), these “prophets” (Rev. 11:10) will powerfully repeat God’s warning to a deceived world.
Recall that the first four seals of Revelation, along with earthquakes, commotions and troubles, Jesus said would be only “the beginning of sorrows [travail or tribulation]” (Matt. 24:8). These things are far from the end of matters. The opening of the fifth seal does not describe a horse and rider. Instead, it reveals the soon-to-come worst time of world trouble in history!
This coming cataclysm will be worldwide. Jesus said, “Then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened [cut short], there should no flesh be saved [left alive]” (Matt. 24:21-22). The prophet Daniel said, “…there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time…” (12:1). Jeremiah also recorded, “Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it” (30:7). These obviously all describe the same time.
Although few verses use the term “Great Tribulation,” many Old and New Testament prophecies explain and describe it. This world-shattering period will be truly horrific in nature—and thoroughly explaining all elements of it involves far more than the space available in this article. But you do not want to be on the wrong side of what happens.
Next comes the sixth seal—the heavenly, or astronomical, signs. The apostle John recorded this: “When He had opened the sixth seal…there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind” (Rev. 6:12-13).
Jesus said this: “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” (Matt. 24:29). This is an almost verbatim, phrase-by-phrase description of Revelation 6:12-13. Jesus has again interpreted the sixth seal—and its timing. The phrase “immediately after the tribulation” removes all doubt about when these horrendous signs arrive.
The prophet Joel also spoke of this time: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible Day of the Lord come” (2:31). The arrival of the heavenly signs heralds a profound shift in the direction—and speed!—of events. This is seen by continuing in Revelation 6: “The great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (vs. 17)—when heaven and Earth are shaken!
The answer? No one!
The Day of the Lord—God’s wrath—follows the sixth seal. This time reveals God’s awesome power! It is comparable to nothing that has ever happened before, or ever will again.
The terrible period of God’s awesome power and wrath is foretold to last an entire year—after the initial 2½ years of the Tribulation. Together, these events make up the 1,260 days. Isaiah writes of God’s wrath, “It is the day of the Lord’ s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion” (34:8). Jeremiah calls it “the year of…visitation” (11:23; 23:12). (Read Ezekiel 4:6 and Numbers 14:34 to see the prophetic “day for a year” principle outlined.)
Some claim the heavenly signs have already occurred. This is impossible! Jesus makes plain that they all follow—not precede—the Tribulation. The Tribulation and Day of the Lord are not synonymous! These are totally separate, different events. The heavenly signs come between the Tribulation, which precedes them, and the Day of the Lord, which follows them.
Here is an important distinction: the Day of the Lord reflects the wrath of God. The Tribulation is actually the wrath of the devil. It is also the devil’s final persecution and martyring of many true Christians who have become lukewarm.
Professing Christian leaders are ignorant of both how these three earth-shattering events come—in what order they appear—and why God sends them. Ever-worsening false prophets, prophecy writers and other supposed experts always get these things wrong—as they do everything else. Those who cannot distinguish between even these basic, separate events have no hope of understanding what God foretells.
Revelation 8 declares, “When He had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets” (vs. 1-2).
Understand! This verse proves the seven seals are not the same as the seven trumpets. This is critical to recognize—and is a big key to understanding the whole book of Revelation. (1) The seventh seal equals all seven trumpets and (2) the seventh trumpet equals the seven last plagues, or vials. The seven trumpets do not follow the seventh seal—they are the seventh seal! Simply reading more carefully eliminates this error. God does call the seven trumpets “plagues” (Rev. 9:20), but again they are not the seven last plagues. Keep these things clear.
When the seventh trumpet blows and Christ descends in the clouds (Rev. 1:7), He brings with Him salvation and the resurrection of the dead occurs. Notice: “The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we [true Christians] which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air” (I Thes. 4:16-17). In I Corinthians 15:52, it says that this happens “at the last trump.”
But the nations are not happy to see this Christ. They will have come to believe and trust in a counterfeit system, and many will have expected to be “raptured away” to safety by a false christ, not of the Bible.
Endless books and movies have depicted the so-called “final battle between good and evil.” Surprisingly, the Bible mentions Armageddon in only one verse. It says, “He [God] gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (Rev. 16:16). Armageddon comes from two Hebrew words—“har,” meaning hill, and “megiddo.”
Megiddo lies within the borders of the modern state of Israel, about 60 miles north of Jerusalem and 20 miles east of the port city of Haifa. The location of 30 different cities over thousands of years, Megiddo is today little more than a 15-acre pile of rubble on a hilltop. Anciently, it provided a natural gathering place due to the flatness of surrounding topography.
Let’s understand what will then be the world scene. The revived Holy Roman Empire—recall the Beast and False Prophet of Revelation—will have already conquered parts of the Middle East. It will have established a foothold in Jerusalem, and will invade the Middle East under the pretense of bringing peace. Oil, but also probably issues concerning food, will likely prompt the Beast into seeking control of the region. Daniel wrote, “But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him [the Beast]” (11:44). While the Beast’s army is in the holy land—other military giants will move in to oppose it.
Understand that the Bible reckons locations from Jerusalem. Now, what big countries are east and north of Jerusalem? Russia, China, India and Japan! It is likely these, with possibly other nations, will constitute the huge 200-million-man army of Revelation 9:16. Ezekiel 25:4 and verse 10 call this army the “men of the east.”
The world will have reached the point Jesus described: “Except those days should be shortened [cut short], there should no flesh be saved [again, left alive]” (Matt. 24:22). All human beings would be wiped out without God’s intervention.
Now grasp two vital points. (1) God brings certain armies to Megiddo, and (2) the Bible says this is a gathering place, not an event—and not a battle (Rev. 16:16). When the Bible speaks of Armageddon, it is not referring to either the end of the world or the final battle between “good and evil,” as so many believe. This is critical to understand. There is no battle foretold at Armageddon! What happens is called “The Battle of that Great Day of God Almighty!” (vs. 14). This is GOD’S battle! This last great clash will be fought by armies that will have gathered at Armageddon and then traveled to the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3:2), or what is today called the Kidron Valley. This is located east of Jerusalem, about 60 miles south of Megiddo. The battle is at Kidron, not Megiddo.
Two major forces—the Beast, aligned with a coalition of moderate Arab states (Psa. 83)—and the men of the East, plus the remnant of a radical Arab league led by Egypt (Ezek. 30)—will see Jesus Christ coming out of the clouds. When the Beast and eastern hordes gather, the False Prophet will work his final miracles to delude the masses. Considering Christ the greater threat, these armies will unite, forming an alliance to repel what they perceive as their common enemy. These armies will be angry, unwilling to submit to God. Deceived, they will think Jesus Christ is in fact the “ANTI-christ.” The result? The Bible says they will “make war with the Lamb” (Rev. 17:14).
The prophet Zechariah explains the outcome: “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle” (14:3), and “this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth” (vs. 12).
In this awful picture, Jesus Christ is victorious against His enemies—ending all of man’s failed attempts to govern himself. In the end, the all-powerful, returning Christ destroys the armies that destroyed Jerusalem! Revelation 19:20 reveals the fate of the Beast and False Prophet—public execution by burning.
Notice: “His [Christ’s] feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east” (Zech. 14:4). The greatest moment in history arrives. Christ replaces all human powers and laws with His own. All governments of men—including every great and small nation on Earth—are removed and replaced by God’s government. Fairness, justice and peace finally come to a sick and broken planet!
This prophecy about Christ will finally be fulfilled: “The government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever” (Isa. 9:6-7).
Beyond all the bad news is wonderful good news! Sadly, few speak of it! When Christ establishes God’s government, it will usher in peace for all nations! The earth will never blow up—it will never be destroyed. Man’s systems of government will be destroyed.
Jesus Christ was born to rule all nations. This is the central theme of the entire Bible. Notice: “Out of [Christ’s] mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them” (Rev. 19:15).
Have you been told about these passages? I never learned or even heard of them in the church of my youth—yet here they are, available with unmistakable clarity.
Soon after the establishment of God’s kingdom, all suffering will disappear. War will also be a thing of the past. So will terrorism. Crime will vanish. Children will play safely everywhere. Drugs and alcohol will no longer enslave people. Poverty will be gone. As will illiteracy. Mass healings will occur. A pure language will help re-educate the population. Earth’s polluted environment will be restored. Clean air and pure drinking water will be everywhere. Even the nature of animals will be changed.
Christ, and the saints, will rule all nations as they have never been ruled. He will be compassionate, perfect in character, truthful and full of wisdom—and love those He governs. All government corruption will be gone. While firm, He will administer the commandments with patience and understanding—and grant forgiveness to all who sincerely desire to change.
All religious deception—and confusion—will disappear. The world will become a perfect environment to finally be able to live God’s Way according to His perfect Law—which is the way of peace, prosperity and joy. Everyone will learn God’s truth: “The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:9).
What a marvelous time is coming. To learn more, you will want to read my inspiring book, Tomorrow’s Wonderful World – An Inside View! It offers a picture from God’s Word beyond the grandest plans of men.
Most talk only about the end of the world and supposed annihilation of humanity. This is because they are ignorant of the most important parts of Bible prophecy. We teach all of Bible prophecy—and the truth of it! You do not need to be without knowledge of what is coming. But you must study diligently.
Another book, The Bible’s Greatest Prophecies Unlocked! – A Voice Cries Out, reveals things you cannot imagine. Find time to read it—all of it. And take time to look at everything else we offer on prophecy, particularly the book America and Britain in Prophecy.