"And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" Matthew 24:3
Revelations, Daniel and Isaiah all predict great and terrible events for these the last days. A terrible apostasy. A great restoration of the fullness of the gospel. Terrible commotion of all the elements. The great opportunity to preach the gospel throughout the whole earth. Wars and rumors of wars spreading fear. And Christ promising peace in the hearts of his followers.
The Bible gives us specific prayers to pray and actions to take to help us through these times. These are at the end of this article.
The policy of the Bible Timeline site and the Question-of-the-week email is to present information using the actual words of the Bible but not the interpretation of it as that varies sect by sect. This is especially true when it comes to the interpretation of the revelations concerning the last days.
For example, the word "Rapture" is not used in the English Bible although it is in Greek. Each sect has different expectations of the "Rapture". Some expect it to be one event, others suggest two raptures and another defines it as ongoing. Many say this is an actual event of lifting of people to meet Christ, others say this is an ongoing spiritual event of those turning to Christ. Others do not use the word at all.
For that reason this issue gives a short one line description of each event in the order it is expected to occur. Many events are simultaneous and ongoing. Each line is followed by the scriptures where the revelations are found. All sects seem to be in agreement on this much.
This is enough to know how to prepare for these calamitous events. For the interpretation of each event please see your local minister or Christian author. The prayer for understanding is always answered.
WHERE ARE THE REVELATIONS FOUND?
The revelations concerning the last days are found throughout the Bible
but primarily in the following books of the Bible:
Revelations chapters 4-20.
Christ gives the best summary of these events and how to prepare for them.
These are found in Matthew chapters 24-25, Mark chapter 13, Luke 12: 37-48,
Luke 17: 20-37 and Luke 21: 5-38
LIST OF THE PRIMARY EVENTS PRECEDING CHRIST'S SECOND COMING
* Spirit to be poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28)
* Universal apostasy (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4)
* The watering down of the gospel, teaching the doctrines of man rather than those of God. Even
priests will be led astray. (2 Tim 3:5, Matt 15:9)
* False prophets and false Christs (Matthew 24:24)
* Good will be called evil and evil good. (Isaiah 5:20)
* Restoration of all things (Acts 3:19-21)
* Gospel to be preached to all the world (Matthew 24:14, Revelations 14:6-7)
* Worldly knowledge to increase (Daniel 12:4)
* Israel to be restored as a political state (Deuteronomy 28:64, 30:3 Jeremiah 29:14, 30:3 Isaiah
43:5-6, Ezekiel 36:24, Amos 9:14-15
* Earthquakes, floods, famines, plagues and diseases such as the world has never seen.
(Matthew 24 and Luke 21)
* Peace taken from the earth. Wars increase throughout the earth until war is on every land
(Matthew 24 and Luke 21)
* Increase in the wickedness, murder and crime among men. Increase in belief in the occult.
(Matthew 24, Luke 21, 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 4:3-4)
* People will not believe the signs (2 Peter 3:3-4, Matthew 16:1-4)
* Increase in persecution of the Christians (Matthew 24:9, Mark 13:9)
* Christ will come suddenly to His temple. (Malachi 3:1)
* Signs and Wonders in heaven (Mark 13:25)
* Mountains made low, valleys made high (Isaiah 40, Ezekiel 38)
* Christ to receive his dominion from the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9-14)
* Two prophets preach in Jerusalem for 1260 days. They have the power to bring famines and plagues. They are killed and lie dead in the streets for three and a half days while the wicked of the earth rejoice in the streets and exchange gifts in celebration of their deaths. On the third
day they arise striking fear in the hearts of the wicked. (Revelations 11)
* Armageddon. The nations of the earth gather to fight Israel at Jerusalem, at Armageddon in
the valley of Jehoshaphat. (Revelations 16:16)
* Sun darkened, moon becomes as blood (Joel 2:31, Acts 2:20, Revelations 6:12)
* Jerusalem is taken captive, the houses riled, the women ravished. (Zechariah 14:2)
* The Lord appears at Mount Olivet leading his people to victory (Ezekiel 38, 39, Daniel 11, 12, Joel 2,3)
* Christ appears to all the earth. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is
the Christ. (Phillipians 2:11)
* The righteous caught up to Christ, the wicked burned as stubble. (Malachi chapters 3-4)
* The judgment and first resurrection (Matthew 25:31-46, Revelations 20:5-6)
* The thousand years of peace ushered in, Christ to reign personally on the earth (Revelations chapters 20-21)
If you know of more, such as Israel sacrificing a red bullock without spot
please let me know. Be sure to include the scripture reference. I will
add them to this post.
HOW TO PREPARE
When Christ told of the signs of the times he also gave three parables. Two of them are referred to in this section.
Parable of the ten virgins. Matthew 24:1-13. The believers of Christ are likened to ten virgins. Five were wise and kept their lamps filled. Five were foolish. Like the wise and the foolish builders, this refers to faith. Five were strong in the faith, having a personal relationship with God and letting their lights shine forth. Five were foolish or hypocritical. They slumbered and let their lamps of faith go out. To endure to the end we must practice our faith daily. This includes daily prayer and scripture study.
Specific things to pray for:
During these troublous times many of us will need to flee either due to war or natural disaster. Christ tells us specifically to pray that our flight will not be in winter. Mark 13:18
We are told even the very elect might be deceived. Luke tells us to watch and pray that we enter not into temptation (Luke 22:40,46)
Pray to endure to the end (Luke 21:34-36)
We know that before the end times and tribulations are finished that the Gospel must be preached to all the earth. Therefore we should pray that those countries that refuse to have Christian ministers preach in their borders will do so. Russia has opened her borders to Christian ministries and so will all of nations eventually.
Prepare for the day of judgment. Christ says he will judge all of his followers during the first resurrection. These are they who called him Lord. He tells us in Matthew 25:31-36 how he will judge us. Verse 40 summarizes the criteria: "For as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
Always remember Christ's promises to us during these times: “Peace I give unto you. My peace I leave with you.”
Just as the early Christians were miraculously saved from the destruction of Jerusalem by paying attention to the signs, so can we be protected as we learn the signs and keep our spiritual houses in order. The Jewish people knew that the "abomination of desolation" prophesied by Daniel had already occurred in 170 BC. Christ told them to watch for the same signs we are to watch for and to flee to the mountains when they saw those signs. The early Christians fled to Pella, a nearby city, upon seeing the city was encompassed by soldiers under Gallus. Four years later came the fall of Jerusalem. Over a million citizens of Jersusalem were killed and 100,000 led away captive. The temple, as prophesied by Christ, was laid waste with not one stone left upon another. The Christian who fled were safe.