The endtime is portrayed in an awesome way in the Scripture. Paul said, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31). The judgment of God is revealed in the closing lesson of our Home Bible Study. Daniel, the great prophet during the Babylonian Captivity of the Jews, records a period of seven years at the endtime. This period of time will bring terrible calamity on the earth. He describes 70 weeks (or 490 years) that would relate to Jewish history. Daniel in his prophecy did not see the church age. Thus his prophecy concerns the state of the Jews in God's plan.
1. Daniel's Seventieth Week - To understand the seventieth week of Daniel's prophecy, it is necessary to have an understanding of how the Scripture describes the seventy weeks. Daniel was told in Daniel 9:24, "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city. . ." Sixty nine of these weeks were to take place between the decree to restore Jerusalem, and the crucifixion of the 'Messiah the Prince' (Jesus Christ) (Daniel 9:25-26). Seven (7) weeks or (49 years) were used to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. There were sixty two (62) weeks (or 434 years) from the rebuilding of the walls until the crucifixion of the Messiah. Using the scriptural year of 360 days each, there were exactly 69 weeks or 483 years between 445 B.C. and 32 A.D. This would leave one week remaining of the 70. Verse 27 tells of this week of years when the Anti-Christ system (the prince that shall come in verse 26) shall break the convenant with the Jewish nation and thus bring much havoc on the earth. There is an interval of time between the 69th week and the 70th week, during which time the church age exists. The church age will continue until the time of the rapture. The 70th week that follows is the Tribulation Period.
2. The Tribulation judgments - During the seven years of tribulation God will pour out severe and drastic judgment on the earth. These judgments are introduced by the Seals, the Trumpets, and the Vials (Revelation 6, 8, 9, 15, and 16). During this time the people of the earth will go through a time of suffering and death such as the world has never known.
a.) The Seals (Revelation 6, 8:1) - The Seals judgment will bring a promise of peace:
- The Anti-Christ will be able to win the world to himself.
- Terrible war shall follow death and famine.
- One fourth of the world's population will die.
- There shall be much persecution of believing Jews.
- Catastrophies will disturb the earth with earthquakes.
- The moon will become as blood and people will hide in the mountains for fear (Revelation 6).
b.) The Trumpets (Revelation 8, 9)
- During these judgments hail will fall and fire will burn over a third of the earth.
- A falling meteor will destroy one third of the shipping.
- The fish of the sea will die.
- One third of the sea will become blood.
- Poisons will contaminate one third of the water supply and many will die.
- Great darkness will come over the earth.
- Five (5) months of scorpions stinging men on the earth.
- A 200,000 man army will kill one third of the population (Revelation 8, 9).
c.) The Vials (Revelation 16) - The Vials are the final showdown of God's judgments for the tribulation:
(1) Awful sores will afflict those with the mark of the beast.
(2) Everything in the ocean will die.
(3) All the water will turn to blood.
(4) The sun will burn hotter than usual and will scorch men.
(5) The earth will be thrown into darkness and great pain will come upon men.
(6) The river Euphrates will be dried up so the armies of the east can come to Armageddon.
(7) Hail, 100 Ibs. in weight will fall destroying whole cities (Revelation 16).
d.) The Terrible Death - In the fourth (4th) Seal, one fourth of the earth's population will die. With over four (4) billion people living today, that would be over one billion people dying in a short time.
In the sixth (6th) Trumpet, one third of the remaining population will die in the short period of the tribulation. The population of the U.S. is a little less than one fourth of a billion, and from this you can see that eight (8) times the U.S. population will die. Death brings misery and heartaches. All the world will feel this heartache over and over again.
The Reign of the Anti-Christ
The Reign of the Anti-Christ
A forceful political leader will come forth to dominate world leadership during the tribulation period. He will have much help in the person of the False Prophet, who will be the World Religious Leader. A world system of government, under one head, will envelop the political, religious and the economic areas of life.
1. The Anti-Christ - II Thessalonians 2:3, "The son of perdition, that 'man of sin' will be revealed."
*He will oppose God (Verse 4).
*He will exhalt himself above God (verse 4).
*He will sit in the temple showing himself as God (verse 4).
*He will be destroyed by the Lord Jesus at Armageddon (verse 8).
*Satan will empower him with signs and lying wonders (verse 9).
*He will deceive those that love not the truth (verse 10).
*God will allow those who love not the truth, and are deceived by the Anti-Christ, to believe a lie and be damned (verse 11,12).
*Revelation 13 describes the Anti-Christ as a 'beast' rising up out of the sea.
*The dragon (or Satan, Revelation 12:9) will give him his power and authority (Revelation 13:2).
*The one world system of government is to be a revival of the old Roman Empire which has been dormant but will be restored (verse 3).
"The people will worship the beast (verse 4). "He will have total power the last 3 1/2 years of Tribulation (verse 5).
*He will blaspheme God; His name and the heavenly dwellers (verse 6).
*He will make war against the believing Jews (verse 7).
'"He will cause all to receive a mark in the right hand or forehead, in order to buy or sell (verse 16,17).
*His number is 666 (verse 18).
2. The False Prophet (Religious Government) - Revelation 13 also describes the religious leader of this time of tribulation who works closely with the Anti-Christ. He will assist the Anti-Christ to attain world supremacy. The False Prophet is mentioned 3 times (Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10).
*He will exercise great power (Revelation 13:12).
*He will cause the people to worship the Anti-Christ and the World System (verse 12).
*He will perform miracles by the power of Satan (verse 14).
*He will be a deceiver (verse 14).
*He will have an image of the Anti-Christ made (verse 14).
*He will give life to the image and cause the image to speak
*He will put to death all that will not worship the image of the beast (verse 15).
3. The Anti-Christ System of Political Government - The ten toes of the image of Nebuchadnezzar and the ten horns of the beast of Revelation 13:1 and 17:12 and of Daniel 7:7 and 24, are a confederation of ten nations that will constitute a world power in the last days. These nations will help the Anti-Christ come to power and sustain that power for some years. Their authority will be lessened by the Anti-Christ after he has used them to gain world power. The strong Common Market Nations of Europe could possibly be the means of this support. The Common Market will probably develop into a very powerful economic block for the western world of nations. This economic block will give them great influence in the making of a world leader. This block will be highly dominated by the world religion. Revelation 17 introduces the great harlot, drunk with the saints and martyrs. This harlot will ride the beast until the beast kills her. This will be the end of the false world church which will give its power and wealth to the beast.
The Battle of Armageddon
The Battle of Armageddon
The valley of Jezreel and the Plain of Esdraelon are located west of the Jordan River and east of the Mediterranean Sea. The battle of Armageddon will be fought in this area. The name Armageddon is taken from the strategic military city of Megiddo, which is the rebuilt and fortified chariot city of Solomon. Armageddon, it has been said, "will be the battle ground for the greatest blood bath the world has ever seen."
1. 144,000 Sealed - The Anti-Christ, (with the False Prophet) will rule the whole world with an iron hand for 3 ˝ years. He will extend total control over the political, religious and economic life of all the world.
One hundred forty four thousand (144,000) Jews will be miraculously preserved by the Lord Himself.
The Lord will deliver this remnant which has been hidden from the destructive powers of the Anti-Christ. As in the days of sojourning (in the wilderness) God will again protect His people from being destroyed. These shall be the Jews which will fight against the Anti-Christ at the battle of Armageddon.
2. Preparation for Armageddon - The righteousness of the protected Jews will be a thorn in the flesh of this world leader. He will be able to break the will of all others except them. He will be determined to destroy them. He will gather his leaders and armies together for this purpose. "And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army" (Revelation 19:19). . .out of the mouth of the beast and the mouth of the false prophet, For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. . .and he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon" (Revelation 16:13, 14, and 16).
3. Armageddon Closes Out the Tribulation - This battle will be the end of the tribulation period. It is the final attack of the Anti-Christ against God and His people. The cup of God's wrath will be full at this time, and He will personally come to end the wild and savage earthly reign of the beast and his system. After this battle Jesus will set up the Millennial (1000 years of peace) reign on earth.
4. The Rider on the White Horse (Revelation 19:11, 14, 16).- "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge, and make war. . .And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. . .and he had on his vesture, and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." This is Jesus coming with His church (Revelation 19:8), to end the reign of the beast and destroy his world system.
5. The Judgment of the Beast and False Prophet - "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet. . .These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Revelation 19:20).
The Return of Christ and the Millennium
IV. The Return of Christ and the Millennium
1. Mount of Olives Change - When Jesus Christ comes with His armies to Armageddon and destroys the Anti-Christ system. He will then stand on the Mount of Olives; "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mt. of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mt. of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley. . ." (Zechariah 14:4). The landscape around Jerusalem will never be the same again after He comes in glory to set up His kingdom. The mount will be divided as a monument to the deliverance of the Lord.
2. Characteristics of the Kingdom Age
a.) Jesus Christ will be King of the Earth - "And the Lord shall be king over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one" (Zechariah 14:9).
b.) He Will Rule on the Earth for 1,000 Years - For one thousand years Jesus will reign on the earth. "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection, on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years" (Revelation 20:6).
c.) Judgment of the Nations - The nations of the world that have blessed or persecuted the Jews over the centuries, (and especially during the tribulation) will then be judged at that time (Matthew 25:31-46).
d.) The Predominance of the Jews - The Jews will be the ruling people of the millennium (Zechariah 9:11-17; 12:10-14; 13:1).
e.) The Church will rule with Christ (Luke 19:19, Revelation 20:1-6).
f.) The world capital will be Jerusalem and the nations will come there annually to worship the Lord (Zechariah 14:16, 17).
g.) The Jews will do evangelistic work (Zechariah 8:14-23).
h.) Satan will be bound during the 1,000 years
The Great White Throne Judgment
V. The Great White Throne Judgment
After one thousand years reign of Jesus Christ upon the earth, the Great White Throne Judgment will take place. This will be a judgment of all the dead from the beginning of man's existence on the earth. The only people who will not be there to be judged will be the redeemed church (both dead and the living) which arose to meet the Lord at the rapture.
"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened. . ." (Revelation 20:11-12).
1. Elements in this judgment
a.) The Throne. - John saw an impressive large white throne.
b.) The Judge. - Jesus Christ will sit upon the throne.
c.) The Judged. - The Dead from all walks of life. "And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead that were in them" (verse 13).
d.) The Evidence - ". . .The books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works" (verse 12). Those books are:
- The Bible God's plan for man.
- The recorded history of man's life.
- The book of life, the book with the names of the righteous of all ages.
e.) The Witnesses. - The Saints of the church who will be there with Jesus judging the world (I Corinthians 6:2).
f.) The Judged. - Those whose names were not in the book of life were cast in the lake of fire (verse 15).
Time Ends - Then Eternity
VI. Time Ends—Then Eternity
The times after the White Throne Judgment are not described in detail but the Bible does give us some insights that are very interesting.
1. Earth Aflame - II Peter 3:10 tells us, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burned up."
The whole earth and space around it will be aflame. Everything man has made on the earth will be burned and destroyed. Everything man has sent into space and outer space will be totally done away with! The earth and the heavens around it will be completely purged.
2. New Heaven and New Earth - "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea" (Revelation 21:1). This is what John saw after the White Throne Judgment. Peter said, "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, in which dwelleth righteousness"
(II Peter 3:13). Most scholars believe there will be a renovated heavens and earth because of what Peter said in verse 6 about Noah's world, "being overflowed with water, perished." The earth was totally changed by the water but was not destroyed.
3. The New Jerusalem - John saw a beautiful city coming down from God. "And I, John, saw the holy city. New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (Revelation 21:2). There will be a new heaven, a new earth, and a new city. Jesus said, "In my father's house are many mansions. . .I go to prepare a place for you. . .that where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:2-3). Revelation 21:16, John saw the angel measure the new city. It was 12,000 furlongs or 1,500 miles square. The Holy City could reach from the east coast to West Texas and from Canada to Florida. It would take in over half of the United States. The city was also 1,500 miles high. What a city! What a place to look forward to visiting. The city was made of pure gold like clear glass, (verse 18) with walls of jasper and gates of pearl (verse 21). It will not need any power plant, or sun, neither moon to shine for Jesus will be the light (verse 13). Here time and eternity meet. The temporal will cease forever and the dreams of the righteous from all ages shall be fulfilled.