Introduction - click to open

The bible contains 1189 chapters, most of which describe events that took place in history. But approximately 200 chapters contain significant prophecies about future events that may be just about to take place. These chapters, and the verses they contain, are like pieces in a complex puzzle that depict what the world is coming to. I like to call it the End Time Puzzle.

The End Time Puzzle is much more complex than a two-dimensional jigsaw like in the banner above. First, there is no box with the complete picture to guide us. Second, we have only been given the pieces we need to know ahead of time. Third, there are many pieces, and they are all mixed up with pieces that relate to the past. And fourth, the meaning of some pieces will only become clear as events unfold. When Jesus encouraged us to observe the signs of the times, he compared it to forecasting the weather (Matthew 16:1-3). Imagine how complex a task it is to accurately predict the weather, and how much data meteorologists have to keep track of all the time. But just as the weather forecast for a given day gets more accurate as you get closer to it, so the End Time Puzzle is getting easier as the second coming of Jesus draws ever nearer. So we have an advantage over previous generations who pondered this great and mysterious puzzle.

No-one can claim to have completely solved the End Time Puzzle. But imagine yourself in a large room full of tables, and the End Time Puzzle as a jigsaw. Around each table sits an individual or a team, each making sincere attempts to piece together identical sets of the same puzzle. This is not actually a competition, so it is not cheating to wander around the room, looking at each table. As you do so, you will see many different results. Some tables may have focussed on the edge pieces, trying to complete the outer frame of the puzzle. Others may have focussed on interior parts of the puzzle. When you return to the puzzle on your own table, it is okay to selectively build upon results you have seen on other tables.

If it were possible to complete the End Time Puzzle, what would it then look like? I imagine it looking like a timeline of all the events in the correct order. For the most part they would be undated, except where the bible gives us relative times in relation to key events. Perhaps a single timeline, like the one below, would be too cumbersome if it included every detail. Additional timelines, looking at the same events but from different perspectives, might be helpful. As you look at any particular event on the timeline, you might want to be able to zoom in on related topics, a bit like zooming in on Google Earth. And you would want to know how ancient place names relate to a modern map.

This website is an offering of my table to public view, without any expectation that you will necessarily agree with my conclusions. It is also an attempt to lay out, examine, and tag all the pieces in such a way that helps you as you work at your table.

The End Time Puzzle is not just a game. Two thousand years ago, God's people neglected the signs of the times, and failed to recognise the day of God's visitation, with catastrophic consequences for their nation. Next time round, Jesus warned us that he will come like a thief in the night. In other words, his coming, and the events that surround it, will take most people by surprise, and they will suffer loss. But for those who anticipate it, the bible calls the second coming our blessed hope. May it be that way for you!

In 1 Peter 1:10-12, the bible says, "Concerning this salvation, the prophets who predicted the grace that would come to you searched and investigated carefully. They probed into what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when he testified beforehand about the sufferings appointed for Christ and his subsequent glory. They were shown that they were serving not themselves but you, in regard to the things now announced to you through those who proclaimed the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven – things angels long to catch a glimpse of." (NET Bible)

The End Time Bible Commentary is for you if you share the longing of the angels and wish to participate in solving the End Time Puzzle.

Main Timeline of End-Time Events

Matthew 24:3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, his disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (NET Bible)

Jesus' response to this question is known as the 'Olivet Discourse' and is recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 17 and 21. This discourse provides the backbone for much of the following timeline:

Early Signs - The beginning of birth-pains

  • Start of Great Tribulation 0 GT


    Matthew 24:4-5 Jesus answered them, “Watch out that no one misleads you. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will mislead many".

    'Christ' is not a name but a title meaning 'Messiah'. Jesus, the true Christ, said in John 14:6, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life". False Christs mislead people by presenting a false gospel. The Apostle John coined the word 'antichrist' to describe such deceivers. In 1 John 2:22-23 and 2 John 7, he defined an antichrist as any liar or deceiver who denies:

    -Jesus as Messiah (in the biblical sense of Messiah)
    -God as Father
    -Jesus as the Son of God
    -the incarnation of God as Jesus

    These 'false Christs' don't necessarily claim to be Jesus, although a few may do so. See Wikipedia's List of People Claimed to be Jesus.

    They may be heretics who deny the truth from within the Church. Or they may be non-Christians, such as Muslims or Atheists, who deny it from outside the Church.

    2 John 7 says, "For many deceivers have gone out into the world, people who do not confess Jesus as Christ coming in the flesh. This person is the deceiver and the antichrist!"
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    Matthew 24:6-7, "You will hear of wars …For nation will rise up in arms against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…"

    Luke 21:9 "And when you hear of wars and rebellions, do not be afraid. For these things must happen first, but the end will not come at once".

    World Wars I and II were of unprecedented magnitude compared to any in world history. In Luke 21:11, Jesus' use of the word 'great' in relation to several end-time signs indicates we should expect some, or perhaps all of them, to occur in unusual magnitude. Furthermore, the two world wars dramatically altered the political map of the Middle East, and led indirectly to the restoration of Israel as a nation after nearly 2,000 years.

    Alternatively, it could be that the Israeli-Arab wars of 1948, 1967 and 1973 are in view here, but Jesus' statement that 'nation will rise against nation' suggests he is describing international wars that are not necessarily specific to Israel. Concerning the Great Tribulation, Luke 21:35 says, "For it will overtake all who live on the face of the whole earth". If that is true of the Great Tribulation, it is reasonable to expect that the Pre-Tribulation events also affect the world as a whole, and not just Israel and the Middle East.
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    Rumours of war

    Matthew 24:6 "…and rumours of wars. Make sure that you are not alarmed, for this must happen, but the end is still to come".

    These may refer to cold wars, as have occurred between America and Russia since World War II, and between Iran and Saudi Arabia since the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Both cold wars continue to significantly affect Middle Eastern politics. Alternatively, they could refer to the constant threat of war that Israel has faced since it was re-established as a state in 1948.
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    Matthew 24:9 "Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and will kill you. You will be hated by all the nations because of my name".

    Luke 21:12-13, "But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you, handing you over to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will be a time for you to serve as witnesses".

    World War I coincided with the Armenian Genocide of an estimated 1.5 million Christians by the Ottoman Empire in what is now eastern Turkey. During the last century, persecution of Christians has increased to unprecedented levels around the world, especially in Muslim countries. Other scriptures indicate it will intensify in the last few years before the second coming.
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    Matthew 24:7 "And there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.…"

    Luke 21:11 " There will be great earthquakes, and famines and plagues in various places…"

    Famines have occurred throughout history (see Wikipedia). Wikipedia's list includes 45 famines in the last 100 years.

    Revelation 6:5-6, "Then when the Lamb opened the third seal I heard the third living creature saying, “Come!” So I looked, and here came a black horse! The one who rode it had a balance scale in his hand. Then I heard something like a voice from among the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat will cost a day’s pay and three quarts of barley will cost a day’s pay…"

    Jesus includes famines among his early signs, but the third horseman of the Apocalypse likely represents famine on a much larger scale later on in the Great Tribulation, after world war breaks out.
  • 11/02/1979 12:00


    Luke 21:11 " There will be great earthquakes, and famines and plagues in various places…"

    See Wikipedia's List of Epidemics. Epidemics have occurred throughout history. However the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed an estimated 75 million people around the world, making it the greatest epidemic since the Black Death in the 14th century, and one of the greatest natural disasters in human history.
  • 11/02/1979 12:00


    Matthew 24:7-8 "…and earthquakes in various places. All these things are the beginning of birth pains".

    Luke 21:11 "There will be great earthquakes…"

    Earthquakes in various places are a regular occurrence. In Wikipedia's List of Earthquakes, 15 out of 38 of the largest earthquakes by magnitude have occurred in the last 100 years. The earthquake which caused the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami was the third largest in magnitude in recorded history.

    According to Revelation 16:18, the greatest earthquake ever is prophesied to occur at the end of the Great Tribulation. According to Zechariah 14:4-5, a great earthquake will also occur at the beginning of the Great Tribulation, after the fall of Jerusalem.
  • 11/02/1979 12:00


    Luke 21:25 "….and on the earth nations will be in distress, anxious over the roaring of the sea and the surging waves".

    Tsunamis have been a regular occurrence throughout history (see Wikipedia). The Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004 was the deadliest in recorded history.

Later Signs

  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Falling away

    Matthew 24:10 "Then many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another".

    In Europe and North America, Christians have turned away from the Christian faith in unprecedented numbers during the last century. Also, in the Middle East, Christian minorities have been all but driven out of many muslim majority countries.

    The Apostle Paul also referred to this in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first…" (KJV)
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    False prophets

    Matthew 24:11 "And many false prophets will appear and deceive many…"

    These are people who give people false hope for the future, and who lead people away from the true Christian gospel. They are not necessarily just religious prophets, but may include people who proclaim an atheistic world-view. Scientists who teach that the Theory of Evolution is a sufficient explanation for the Origin of Species, without any need to believe in God, are surely examples of people who fulfil this end-time sign.
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Increasing wickedness, decreasing love

    Matthew 24:12 "…and because lawlessness will increase so much, the love of many will grow cold".

    The terrible examples of man's wickedness to man, as demonstrated in the two World Wars, led to a great sense of disillusionment, and a great falling away from the Christian faith among western nations during the 20th Century.
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Increasing travel and increasing knowledge

    Daniel 12:4 " But you, Daniel, close up these words and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will dash about, and knowledge will increase".

    The last few decades have seen an unprecedented increase in travel around the world, by road, rail, sea and air. Radio, television, computers and the internet have facilitated an exponential increase in knowledge.
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Steadfast believers

    Matthew 24:13 "But the person who endures to the end will be saved".

    Despite intense persecution under groups like ISIS, some Christians have stood firm and been prepared to die rather than renounce their Christian faith. An example is the group of Egyptian Coptic christians who were martyred by ISIS on a beach in Lybia in 2015. Revelation 6 & 7 portray large numbers of end-time martyrs from every nation, tribe, people and language.
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Gospel preached to all nations

    Matthew 24:14 "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come".

    Despite a great falling away in Western countries, Christianity is growing and spreading at unprecedented rates in most other parts of the world. Through missionaries, literature, radio, television and the internet, the gospel is now available in some form to nearly every people group on the planet.

    This worldwide revival is also seen in Revelation 7:9 "After these things I looked, and here was an enormous crowd that no one could count, made up of persons from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb dressed in long white robes, and with palm branches in their hands".
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Historic Empire Restored

    Daniel 2:31-44 "You, O king, were watching as a great statue – one of impressive size and extraordinary brightness – was standing before you. Its appearance caused alarm. 32 As for that statue, its head was of fine gold, its chest and arms were of silver, its belly and thighs were of bronze. 33 Its legs were of iron; its feet were partly of iron and partly of clay…40 Then there will be a fourth kingdom, one strong like iron. Just like iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything, and as iron breaks in pieces all of these metals, so it will break in pieces and crush the others. 41 In that you were seeing feet and toes partly of wet clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom. Some of the strength of iron will be in it, for you saw iron mixed with wet clay. 42 In that the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, the latter stages of this kingdom will be partly strong and partly fragile. 43 And in that you saw iron mixed with wet clay, so people will be mixed with one another without adhering to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44 In the days of those kings the God of heaven will raise up an everlasting kingdom that will not be destroyed and a kingdom that will not be left to another people. It will break in pieces and bring about the demise of all these kingdoms. But it will stand forever".

    For a more detailed explanation of this dream and its meaning, please see my commentary on Daniel 2. In brief, the legs of iron represent an historic fourth empire that was strong and united. The feet of iron and clay represent a modern re-emergence of this empire that is comparatively weak, and poorly unified. Other passages indicate that it will reappear as a coalition between ten rulers. Traditionally, this empire has been understood by many Christians to be a restoration of the Roman Empire. I understand it to be a restored Islamic Empire. I expect it to re-emerge as a coalition of ten Sunni Islamic nations, led by Saudi Arabia.
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Antichrist rises to power

    Daniel 7:23-24 "…‘The fourth beast means that there will be a fourth kingdom on earth that will differ from all the other kingdoms. It will devour all the earth and will trample and crush it. The ten horns mean that ten kings will arise from that kingdom. Another king will arise after them, but he will be different from the earlier ones. He will humiliate three kings".

    Daniel 9:27 "He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven’…"

    This is a Middle Eastern leader who rises to power over the newly restored empire and deposes three of its founding rulers. He then signs a seven-year peace treaty with Israel and many nations. At this point, it is likely that he will be viewed with great optimism and seen as a great leader and peacemaker.

    The Apostle John calls this future world leader 'The Antichrist' (1 John 2:18), the name by which Christians most commonly refer to him today. The Bible gives him many names and titles, such as Gog (Ezekiel 38), 'The Assyrian' (Micah 5), and 'The King of Babylon' (Isaiah 14). Ezekiel 38 seems to identify him as a ruler of Turkey.

Great Tribulation

  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Antichrist invades Israel

    Daniel 9:27 "He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven'. But in the middle of that week he will bring sacrifices and offerings to a halt. On the wing of abominations will come one who destroys, until the decreed end is poured out on the one who destroys".

    Matthew 24:15 "So when you see the abomination of desolation – spoken about by Daniel the prophet – standing in the holy place” (let the reader understand)…"

    Daniel 7:25 "He will speak words against the Most High. He will harass the holy ones of the Most High continually. His intention will be to change times established by law. They will be delivered into his hand for a time, times, and half a time".

    2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 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." (KJV)

    The Great Tribulation starts when the Antichrist breaks the treaty, invades Israel, sets up an idol in the temple, and claims to be God. At this point, Christians must recognise his true identity, if they failed to do so earlier when he signed the treaty.
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    The Final Countdown

    Daniel 12:6-13 "One said to the man clothed in linen who was above the waters of the river, “When will the end of these wondrous events occur?” 7 Then I heard the man clothed in linen who was over the waters of the river as he raised both his right and left hands to the sky and made an oath by the one who lives forever: “It is for a time, times, and half a time. Then, when the power of the one who shatters the holy people has been exhausted, all these things will be finished.” 8 I heard, but I did not understand. So I said, “Sir, what will happen after these things?” 9 He said, “Go, Daniel. For these matters are closed and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many will be purified, made clean, and refined, but the wicked will go on being wicked. None of the wicked will understand, though the wise will understand. 11 From the time that the daily sacrifice is removed and the abomination that causes desolation is set in place, there are 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is the one who waits and attains to the 1,335 days. 13 But you should go your way until the end. You will rest and then at the end of the days you will arise to receive what you have been allotted".

    The bible stresses the significance of the final three and a half years before Jesus' second coming in glory. So that we know to take this time period literally, it is specified repeatedly in three different ways. Taking a year in the Jewish calendar as 360 days, these are all equivalent:
    - 'time, times and half a time' (Daniel 7:25, 12:7, Revelation 12:14)
    - '42 months' (Revelation 11:2, 13:5)
    - '1260 days' (Revelation 11:3, 12:6)

    Daniel 12:11-12 is the only passage that specifies time periods of 30 and then 45 more extra days beyond this. The events that take place in these extra time periods are not specified, but some of them may be deduced from other prophetic passages.
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Antichrist invades a restored nation of Israel

    Revelation 6:2 "So I looked, and here came a white horse! The one who rode it had a bow, and he was given a crown, and as a conqueror he rode out to conquer".

    Ezekiel 38:8-9 "After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come to a land restored from the ravages of war, from many peoples gathered on the mountains of Israel that had long been in ruins. Its people were brought out from the peoples, and all of them will be living securely. 9 You will advance; you will come like a storm. You will be like a cloud covering the earth, you, all your troops, and the many other peoples with you".
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Jewish refugee crisis

    Matthew 24:16-20 "then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. The one on the roof must not come down to take anything out of his house, and the one in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing their babies in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath".
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Jerusalem falls

    Zechariah 14:2 "For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to wage war; the city will be taken, its houses plundered, and the women raped. Then half of the city will go into exile, but the remainder of the people will not be taken away".
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Jesus splits the Mount of Olives

    Zechariah 14:3-5 "Then the Lord will go to battle and fight against those nations, just as he fought battles in ancient days. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives which lies to the east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in half from east to west, leaving a great valley. Half the mountain will move northward and the other half southward. Then you will escape through my mountain valley, for the valley of the mountains will extend to Azal. Indeed, you will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah…"

    Matthew 24:44 "Therefore you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him".

    It is difficult to understand how Jesus' glorious appearance will be a surprise to believers, as clear events and signs will precede it. Is it possible that his 'surprise coming' is his appearance to the Jewish refugees escaping the fall of Jerusalem at the beginning of the Great Tribulation?
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Jewish refugees escape to a safeplace in the wilderness for 3 1/2 years

    Revelation 12:13-14 "Now when the dragon realized that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of a giant eagle so that she could fly out into the wilderness, to the place God prepared for her, where she is taken care of – away from the presence of the serpent – for a time, times, and half a time".

    Hosea 2:14-16 "However, in the future I will allure her; I will lead her back into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. From there I will give back her vineyards to her, and turn the “Valley of Trouble” into an “Opportunity for Hope.” There she will sing as she did when she was young, when she came up from the land of Egypt. “At that time,” declares the Lord, “you will call, ‘My husband’; you will never again call me, ‘My master.’"
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    War against Christians

    Revelation 12:17 "So the dragon became enraged at the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep God’s commandments and hold to the testimony about Jesus".
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Antichrist invades and conquers Middle Eastern nations

    Daniel 11:36-45 "Then the king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every deity and he will utter presumptuous things against the God of gods. He will succeed until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been decreed must occur. 37 He will not respect the gods of his fathers – not even the god loved by women. He will not respect any god; he will elevate himself above them all. 38 What he will honor is a god of fortresses – a god his fathers did not acknowledge he will honor with gold, silver, valuable stones, and treasured commodities. 39 He will attack mighty fortresses, aided by a foreign deity. To those who recognize him he will grant considerable honor. He will place them in authority over many people, and he will parcel out land for a price. 40 “At the time of the end the king of the south will attack him. Then the king of the north will storm against him with chariots, horsemen, and a large armada of ships. He will invade lands, passing through them like an overflowing river. 41 Then he will enter the beautiful land. Many will fall, but these will escape: Edom, Moab, and the Ammonite leadership. 42 He will extend his power against other lands; the land of Egypt will not escape. 43 He will have control over the hidden stores of gold and silver, as well as all the treasures of Egypt. Libyans and Ethiopians will submit to him. 44 But reports will trouble him from the east and north, and he will set out in a tremendous rage to destroy and wipe out many. 45 He will pitch his royal tents between the seas toward the beautiful holy mountain. But he will come to his end, with no one to help him".
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Great Distress and Anti-Semiticism

    Matthew 24:21-22 "For then there will be great suffering unlike anything that has happened from the beginning of the world until now, or ever will happen. And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short".

    Luke 21:23-24 "Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing their babies in those days! For there will be great distress on the earth and wrath against this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led away as captives among all nations. Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled".
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    A Seven-nation alliance arises to resist the Antichrist and support Israel

    Micah 5:5-9 "…Should the Assyrians try to invade our land and attempt to set foot in our fortresses, we will send against them seven shepherd-rulers, make that eight commanders. 6 They will rule the land of Assyria with the sword, the land of Nimrod with a drawn sword. Our king will rescue us from the Assyrians should they attempt to invade our land and try to set foot in our territory. 7 Those survivors from Jacob will live in the midst of many nations. They will be like the dew the Lord sends, like the rain on the grass, that does not hope for men to come or wait around for humans to arrive. 8 Those survivors from Jacob will live among the nations, in the midst of many peoples. They will be like a lion among the animals of the forest, like a young lion among the flocks of sheep, which attacks when it passes through; it rips its prey and there is no one to stop it. 9 Lift your hand triumphantly against your adversaries; may all your enemies be destroyed!"
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Human race on the brink

    Matthew 24:22 "And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short."

    Only since World War II, with the invention of nuclear weapons, has it been possible for humanity to completely destroy itself with no survivors.
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    False reports

    Matthew 24:23-26 "Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe him. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Remember, I have told you ahead of time. So then, if someone says to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe him.
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Sun and moon darkened

    Matthew 24:29 “Immediately after the suffering of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken".

    Luke 21:25-26 “And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars… People will be fainting from fear and from the expectation of what is coming on the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken".

    This is a final sign that Jesus' glorious appearance is imminent.
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Right at the door

    Matthew 24:32-34 “Learn this parable from the fig tree: Whenever its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also you, when you see all these things, know that he is near, right at the door. 34 I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place".

    In the last 100 years or so, it seems that many of these signs have already been fulfilled. Verse 34 seems to indicate that these events will be fulfilled from start to finish within the time it takes for a whole generation to die - in other words, about 100 years. A few people live exceptionally long, and according to Wikipedia, the oldest person alive today is 117 years old, born in 1900.

    If, for example, we view World War I as one of Jesus' end-time signs, it would imply that the second coming is no more than a decade or so away. At the very latest, the last person to have been alive during World War I is likely to die by about 2033. Given that World War I was the greatest war in history up to that point; that it coincided with one of the worst ever examples of Christian persecution (the Armenian Genocide); that it ended with the greatest epidemic for centuries (the 1918 Flu Pandemic); that it led to the fall of the Ottoman Empire that had ruled the Middle East for centuries; and that the 1917 Balfour Declaration laid the foundations for the restoration of the modern state of Israel, it is difficult to discount World War I as a beginning of 'all these things' (Matt 24:34).

    Relative to nearly 2,000 years of Christian history, if Jesus' second coming is likely to occur within the next 10 to 15 years, I believe it is already reasonable to assert that it is 'right at the door'.
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Jesus appears in glory

    Matthew 24:27-30 “For just like the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so the coming of the Son of Man will be…30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man arriving on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory".
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Resurrection and Rapture of believers

    Matthew 24:31 "And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other".

    1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so also we believe that God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep as Christians. 15 For we tell you this by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not go ahead of those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord".
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Jesus crowned as king in the heavenly arena

    Daniel 7:13-14 "I was watching in the night visions, “And with the clouds of the sky one like a son of man was approaching. He went up to the Ancient of Days and was escorted before him. 14 To him was given ruling authority, honor, and sovereignty. All peoples, nations, and language groups were serving him. His authority is eternal and will not pass away. His kingdom will not be destroyed".
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Jesus announced as king on the earth

    Psalm 2 "Why do the nations rebel? Why are the countries devising plots that will fail? 2 The kings of the earth form a united front; the rulers collaborate against the Lord and his anointed king. 3 They say, “Let’s tear off the shackles they’ve put on us! Let’s free ourselves from their ropes!” 4 The one enthroned in heaven laughs in disgust; the Lord taunts them. 5 Then he angrily speaks to them and terrifies them in his rage, saying, 6 “I myself have installed my king on Zion, my holy hill.” 7 The king says, “I will announce the Lord’s decree. He said to me: ‘You are my son! This very day I have become your father! 8 Ask me, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the ends of the earth as your personal property. 9 You will break them with an iron scepter; you will smash them like a potter’s jar!’” 10 So now, you kings, do what is wise; you rulers of the earth, submit to correction! 11 Serve the Lord in fear! Repent in terror! 12 Give sincere homage! Otherwise he will be angry, and you will die because of your behavior, when his anger quickly ignites. How blessed are all who take shelter in him!"

    Revelation 11:15, "Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever".
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Every knee must bow

    Philippians 2:9-11, "As a result God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow – in heaven and on earth and under the earth – 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father".

    The 'name that is above every name' is Jehovah (Hebrew: Yahweh). In other words, everyone must bow to Jesus and acknowledge him as God and king.
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Jesus punishes unbelievers

    2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 "For it is right for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to you who are being afflicted to give rest together with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels. 8 With flaming fire he will mete out punishment on those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will undergo the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his strength, 10 when he comes to be glorified among his saints and admired on that day among all who have believed – and you did in fact believe our testimony".
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Jesus defeats armies in northern Arabia

    Habakkuk 3:2-16 "2 Lord, I have heard the report of what you did; I am awed, Lord, by what you accomplished. In our time repeat those deeds; in our time reveal them again. But when you cause turmoil, remember to show us mercy! 3 God comes from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His splendor has covered the skies, the earth is full of his glory. 4 His brightness will be as lightning; a two-pronged lightning bolt flashing from his hand. This is the outward display of his power. 5 Plague will go before him; pestilence will march right behind him. 6 He took his battle position and shook the earth; with a mere look he frightened the nations. The ancient mountains disintegrated; the primeval hills were flattened. His are ancient roads. 7 I saw the tents of Cushan overwhelmed by trouble; the tent curtains of the land of Midian were shaking. 8 Was the Lord mad at the rivers? Were you angry with the rivers? Were you enraged at the sea? Such that you would climb into your horse-drawn chariots, your victorious chariots? 9 Your bow is ready for action; you commission your arrows. Selah. You cause flash floods on the earth’s surface. 10 When the mountains see you, they shake. The torrential downpour sweeps through. The great deep shouts out; it lifts its hands high. 11 The sun and moon stand still in their courses; the flash of your arrows drives them away, the bright light of your lightning-quick spear. 12 You furiously stomp on the earth, you angrily trample down the nations. 13 You march out to deliver your people, to deliver your special servant. You strike the leader of the wicked nation, laying him open from the lower body to the neck. Selah. 14 You pierce the heads of his warriors with a spear. They storm forward to scatter us; they shout with joy as if they were plundering the poor with no opposition. 15 But you trample on the sea with your horses, on the surging, raging waters. Habakkuk Declares His Confidence 16 I listened and my stomach churned; the sound made my lips quiver. My frame went limp, as if my bones were decaying, and I shook as I tried to walk. I long for the day of distress to come upon the people who attack us".
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Jesus emerges from northern Arabia on his way to liberate Israel

    Isaiah 63:1-6 "Who is this who comes from Edom, dressed in bright red, coming from Bozrah? Who is this one wearing royal attire, who marches confidently because of his great strength? “It is I, the one who announces vindication, and who is able to deliver!” 2 Why are your clothes red? Why do you look like someone who has stomped on grapes in a vat? 3 “I have stomped grapes in the winepress all by myself; no one from the nations joined me. I stomped on them in my anger; I trampled them down in my rage. Their juice splashed on my garments, and stained all my clothes. 4 For I looked forward to the day of vengeance, and then payback time arrived. 5 I looked, but there was no one to help; I was shocked because there was no one offering support. So my right arm accomplished deliverance; my raging anger drove me on. 6 I trampled nations in my anger, I made them drunk in my rage, I splashed their blood on the ground.”

    Jesus' crusade through northern Arabia is part of his pre-Armageddon campaign. Isaiah makes clear that Jesus fights alone during this stage of his war against the Antichrist's armies. Isaiah's prayer-response to this passage portrays Jesus' actions as an end-time exodus for the people of Israel.

    Isaiah 63:7-15, "7 I will tell of the faithful acts of the Lord, of the Lord’s praiseworthy deeds. I will tell about all the Lord did for us, the many good things he did for the family of Israel, because of his compassion and great faithfulness. 8 He said, “Certainly they will be my people, children who are not disloyal.” He became their deliverer. 9 Through all that they suffered, he suffered too. The messenger sent from his very presence delivered them. In his love and mercy he protected them; he lifted them up and carried them throughout ancient times. 10 But they rebelled and offended his holy Spirit, so he turned into an enemy and fought against them. 11 His people remembered the ancient times. Where is the one who brought them up out of the sea, along with the shepherd of his flock? Where is the one who placed his holy Spirit among them, 12 the one who made his majestic power available to Moses, who divided the water before them, gaining for himself a lasting reputation, 13 who led them through the deep water? Like a horse running through the wilderness they did not stumble. 14 Like an animal that goes down into a valley to graze, so the Spirit of the Lord granted them rest. In this way you guided your people, gaining for yourself an honored reputation. 15 Look down from heaven and take notice, from your holy, majestic palace! Where are your zeal and power? Do not hold back your tender compassion!"
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Jesus releases Jewish captives in the 'Bozrah Breakout'

    Micah 2:12-13, "I will certainly gather all of you, O Jacob, I will certainly assemble those Israelites who remain. I will bring them together like sheep in a fold (Hebrew: 'Bozrah'), like a flock in the middle of a pasture; they will be so numerous that they will make a lot of noise. The one who can break through barriers will lead them out they will break out, pass through the gate, and leave. Their king will advance before them. The Lord himself will lead them".

    The word 'fold' is the Hebrew word 'Bozrah', which was also the name of the capital city of Edom, the ancient kingdom in northern Arabia. This suggests that Israel's safe-place in the wilderness is somewhere in northern Arabia, and that Jesus is portrayed coming from Bozrah in Isaiah 63 because he goes there to rescue them and lead them out.
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Jesus musters an army for the battle of Armageddon

    Isaiah 13:2-9 "On a bare hill raise a signal flag, shout to them, wave your hand, so they might enter the gates of the princes! 3 I have given orders to my chosen soldiers; I have summoned the warriors through whom I will vent my anger, my boasting, arrogant ones. 4 There is a loud noise on the mountains – it sounds like a large army! There is great commotion among the kingdoms – nations are being assembled! The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is mustering forces for battle. 5 They come from a distant land, from the horizon. It is the Lord with his instruments of judgment, coming to destroy the whole earth. 6 Wail, for the Lord’s day of judgment is near; it comes with all the destructive power of the Sovereign One. 7 For this reason all hands hang limp, every human heart loses its courage. 8 They panic – cramps and pain seize hold of them like those of a woman who is straining to give birth. They look at one another in astonishment; their faces are flushed red. 9 Look, the Lord’s day of judgment is coming; it is a day of cruelty and savage, raging anger, destroying the earth and annihilating its sinners".

    In Isaiah 63, it is clear that Jesus fights alone in his Edom campaign in northern Arabia. But after he releases the Jews from their captivity in 'Bozrah', the 'sheepfold', it seems they become part of the army that the musters prior to the battle of Armageddon.

    Several passages suggest this army may also include resurrected and raptured Christians, with immortal glorified bodies, e.g.:
    Psalm 50:1-5 "…El, God, the Lord has spoken, and summoned the earth to come from the east and west. From Zion, the most beautiful of all places, God has come in splendor. “May our God come and not be silent.” Consuming fire goes ahead of him and all around him a storm rages. He summons the heavens above, as well as the earth, so that he might judge his people. He says: “Assemble my covenant people before me, those who ratified a covenant with me by sacrifice!”

    'Summoning the heavens above' may refer to angels or possibly to resurrected believers. Those 'on the earth' may refer to raptured believers, or to Jews whom Jesus releases in the 'Bozrah breakout'.

    Joel 2:11 " The voice of the Lord thunders as he leads his army. Indeed, his warriors are innumerable; Surely his command is carried out! Yes, the day of the Lord is awesome and very terrifying – who can survive it?"

    Psalm 110:3, "Your people willingly follow you when you go into battle…"
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Jesus and the Jews besiege occupied Jerusalem

    Zechariah 12:2-6 "2 “I am about to make Jerusalem a cup that brings dizziness to all the surrounding nations; indeed, Judah will also be included when Jerusalem is besieged. 3 Moreover, on that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy burden for all the nations, and all who try to carry it will be seriously injured; yet all the peoples of the earth will be assembled against it. 4 On that day,” says the Lord, “I will strike every horse with confusion and its rider with madness. I will pay close attention to the house of Judah, but will strike all the horses of the nations with blindness. 5 Then the leaders of Judah will say to themselves, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem are a means of strength to us through their God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.’ 6 On that day I will make the leaders of Judah like an igniter among sticks and a burning torch among sheaves, and they will burn up all the surrounding nations right and left. Then the people of Jerusalem will settle once more in their place, the city of Jerusalem".

    The fact that Jerusalem is besieged suggests that the liberation of Jerusalem takes some time. Perhaps it is during this time that armies gather for the great battle of Armageddon.

    Revelation 16:16, "Now the spirits gathered the kings and their armies to the place that is called Armageddon in Hebrew".
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Jesus leads the charge at Armageddon

    Revelation 19:11-21 "Then I saw heaven opened and here came a white horse! The one riding it was called “Faithful” and “True,” and with justice he judges and goes to war. 12 His eyes are like a fiery flame and there are many diadem crowns on his head. He has a name written that no one knows except himself. 13 He is dressed in clothing dipped in blood, and he is called the Word of God. 14 The armies that are in heaven, dressed in white, clean, fine linen, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth extends a sharp sword, so that with it he can strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod, and he stomps the winepress of the furious wrath of God, the All-Powerful. 16 He has a name written on his clothing and on his thigh: “King of kings and Lord of lords.” 17 Then I saw one angel standing in the sun, and he shouted in a loud voice to all the birds flying high in the sky: “Come, gather around for the great banquet of God, 18 to eat your fill of the flesh of kings, the flesh of generals, the flesh of powerful people, the flesh of horses and those who ride them, and the flesh of all people, both free and slave, and small and great!” 19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to do battle with the one who rode the horse and with his army. 20 Now the beast was seized, and along with him the false prophet who had performed the signs on his behalf – signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Both of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire burning with sulfur. 21 The others were killed by the sword that extended from the mouth of the one who rode the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves with their flesh".

    Jesus is accompanied by the armies of heaven for this final battle. Opinions differ as to whether these are angelic armies, or human armies of Jews and of resurrected and raptured Christians. In any case, their clean clothing suggests this is their first battle, whereas Jesus enters the battle with blood-stained clothing, having already fought a campaign in Edom (Isaiah 63:1-6).
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Jesus executes world leaders

    Psalm 110:1-6, "A psalm of David. Here is the Lord’s proclamation to my lord: “Sit down at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool!” 2 The Lord extends your dominion from Zion. Rule in the midst of your enemies! 3 Your people willingly follow you when you go into battle. On the holy hills at sunrise the dew of your youth belongs to you. 4 The Lord makes this promise on oath and will not revoke it: “You are an eternal priest after the pattern of Melchizedek.” 5 O Lord, at your right hand he strikes down kings in the day he unleashes his anger. 6 He executes judgment against the nations; he fills the valleys with corpses; he shatters their heads over the vast battlefield".

    This is the most quoted Psalm in the New Testament. It is definitely speaking about Jesus. Jesus related it to himself in Matthew 22:41-45. My assumption is that he will only execute those who fail to bow the knee and recognise him as Lord.
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Antichrist and his followers are thrown into the lake of fire

    Revelation 19:20 "Now the beast was seized, and along with him the false prophet who had performed the signs on his behalf – signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Both of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire burning with sulfur".

    The 'false prophet' refers to the Antichrist. In the books of Daniel and Revelation, beasts represent empires. So the beast in this verse represents the Antichrist's followers who make up his end-time empire.

    Although Revelation portrays this as the final battle occurring in northern Israel, various Old Testament prophecies suggest that Jesus will have additional mopping up to do in order to completely destroy all remnants of resistance from Antichrist's empire. He is portrayed as defeating Lebanon (Isaiah 10:34), Egypt (Isaiah 19), Sudan and Assyria including Nineveh (Zephaniah 2:12-13). In an end-time context, it is likely that Nineveh figuratively represents the Antichrist's political power-base, just as Babylon figuratively represents the spiritual power-base of his empire (see my commentary on Nahum 1-3).
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Liberated Israel possesses the lands of her enemies

    Various prophecies portray the restored people of Israel participating with Jesus in crushing resistance in the surrounding nations and expanding the territories of Israel in an end-time context (Isaiah 9:3-5, 26:15 and 54:3). They fight against Javan (Zechariah 9:12-15 - Javan is Turkey and possibly Greece), and they take territory from Gaza, the West Bank, Gilead (on the east side of the Jordan), Ammon and Moab (Jordan) and Edom (southern Jordan and northern Arabia) - see Amos 9:12, Obadiah 1:15-21 and Zephaniah 2:4-9. A selection of these includes:

    Obadiah 1:15-21 "For the day of the Lord is approaching for all the nations! Just as you have done, so it will be done to you. You will get exactly what your deeds deserve. 16 For just as you have drunk on my holy mountain, so all the nations will drink continually. They will drink, and they will gulp down; they will be as though they had never been. 17 But on Mount Zion there will be a remnant of those who escape, and it will be a holy place once again. The descendants of Jacob will conquer those who had conquered them. 18 The descendants of Jacob will be a fire, and the descendants of Joseph a flame. The descendants of Esau will be like stubble. They will burn them up and devour them. There will not be a single survivor of the descendants of Esau!” Indeed, the Lord has spoken it. 19 The people of the Negev will take possession of Esau’s mountain, and the people of the foothills will take possession of the land of the Philistines. They will also take possession of the territory of Ephraim and the territory of Samaria, and the people of Benjamin will take possession of Gilead. 20 The exiles of this fortress of the people of Israel will take possession of what belongs to the people of Canaan, as far as Zarephath, and the exiles of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad will take possession of the towns of the Negev. 21 Those who have been delivered will go up on Mount Zion in order to rule over Esau’s mountain. Then the Lord will reign as King!"

    Zephaniah 2:9-10 "Therefore, as surely as I live,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, “be certain that Moab will become like Sodom and the Ammonites like Gomorrah. They will be overrun by weeds, filled with salt pits, and permanently desolate. Those of my people who are left will plunder their belongings; those who are left in Judah will take possession of their land.” 10 This is how they will be repaid for their arrogance, for they taunted and verbally harassed the people of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies".

    Isaiah 9:3-5 "You have enlarged the nation; you give them great joy. They rejoice in your presence as harvesters rejoice; as warriors celebrate when they divide up the plunder. 4 For their oppressive yoke and the club that strikes their shoulders, the cudgel the oppressor uses on them, you have shattered, as in the day of Midian’s defeat. 5 Indeed every boot that marches and shakes the earth and every garment dragged through blood is used as fuel for the fire".
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Jesus restores the lost tribes of Israel and reunites them with Judah

    Isaiah 11:11-16 "At that time the Lord will again lift his hand to reclaim the remnant of his people from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and the seacoasts. 12 He will lift a signal flag for the nations; he will gather Israel’s dispersed people and assemble Judah’s scattered people from the four corners of the earth. 13 Ephraim’s jealousy will end, and Judah’s hostility will be eliminated. Ephraim will no longer be jealous of Judah, and Judah will no longer be hostile toward Ephraim. 14 They will swoop down on the Philistine hills to the west; together they will loot the people of the east. They will take over Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites will be their subjects. 15 The Lord will divide the gulf of the Egyptian Sea; he will wave his hand over the Euphrates River and send a strong wind, he will turn it into seven dried-up streams, and enable them to walk across in their sandals. 16 There will be a highway leading out of Assyria for the remnant of his people, just as there was for Israel, when they went up from the land of Egypt".

    The tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel (of which Ephraim was the biggest) were deported to Assyria in 722 BC and dispersed among the nations. The southern kingdom of Judah (made up of the tribes of Judah, Simeon, Benjamin and some from Levi) suffered a similar fate in 586 BC when conquered by the Babylonians. The people of Judah were restored to the land 70 years later, after Cyrus the Persian conquered Babylon, and are the ancestors of today's Jews. The northern tribes never returned (2 Kings 17:23), but assimilated into the nations to which they were exiled. But this and other passages make clear that God knows who belong to those lost tribes, and he will one day restore them to the land along with the Jews. A partial restoration of the lost tribes, during the early part of the Great Tribulation, is portrayed in Revelation 7, with an angel applying a mark of protection to 12,000 from each tribe. The full restoration of Israel and Judah may come at the end of the Great Tribulation (after the battle of Armageddon), or perhaps at the beginning of the Millennium before peace is fully established throughout the earth?

    The Apostle Paul said in Romans 11:13-27, "Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Seeing that I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if somehow I could provoke my people to jealousy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?….25 For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion; he will remove ungodliness from Jacob. 27 And this is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”"

    In other words, Israel's rejection of Jesus at his first coming resulted in God temporarily rejecting Israel and offering his salvation to the Gentile world. But Israel's acceptance of Jesus at his second coming will result in 'life from the dead' a picture of great spiritual renewal for the world. Then Habakkuk 2:14 will be fulfilled, "For recognition of the Lord’s sovereign majesty will fill the earth just as the waters fill up the sea".
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Wedding feast of the Lamb

    Revelation 19:5-9 "Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God all you his servants, and all you who fear him, both the small and the great!” 6 Then I heard what sounded like the voice of a vast throng, like the roar of many waters and like loud crashes of thunder. They were shouting: “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the All-Powerful, reigns! 7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him glory, because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 She was permitted to be dressed in bright, clean, fine linen” (for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints). 9 Then the angel said to me, “Write the following: Blessed are those who are invited to the banquet at the wedding celebration of the Lamb!” He also said to me, “These are the true words of God.""

    As in Psalm 45, the wedding can only take place after Jesus has girded his sword upon his side and won the victory over his enemies.

The Millennium

  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Satan bound for 1000 years

    Revelation 20:1-3 "Then I saw an angel descending from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a huge chain. 2 He seized the dragon – the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan – and tied him up for a thousand years. 3 The angel then threw him into the abyss and locked and sealed it so that he could not deceive the nations until the one thousand years were finished. (After these things he must be released for a brief period of time.)"
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Resurrection of martyrs

    Revelation 20:4-6 "Then I saw thrones and seated on them were those who had been given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. These had not worshiped the beast or his image and had refused to receive his mark on their forehead or hand. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were finished.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who takes part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years."

    This gives the impression that the first resurrection is only for martyred Christians. However, other passages indicate that the resurrection and rapture which occurs at the last trumpet is for all believers:

    1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 "Now we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so also we believe that God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep as Christians. 15 For we tell you this by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not go ahead of those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words."

    During the Millennium, the Earth will be populated by mortal human beings who are survivors of the Great Tribulation, and their descendants. Christians who believed in Jesus before the second coming will have been resurrected or raptured at the last trumpet and have glorified immortal bodies. But it appears that most Christians will spend the Millennium in heaven, either in the present heaven or possibly in the New Jerusalem. Jesus selects some to rule with him on earth from millennial Jerusalem. His selection criteria include Christian martyrs (Revelation 20:4), those who endure (2 Timothy 2:12), and those who have demonstrated faithfulness in the use of their earthly gifts and responsibilities (Luke 19:17). If all believers who have ever lived were present and reigning on earth during the Millennium, they would perhaps outnumber Christ's mortal subjects. John is told that those who reign with Jesus on the earth are blessed.
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Jesus establishes his government over the earth

    Isaiah 9:6-7 "For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us. He shoulders responsibility and is called: Amazing Adviser, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 His dominion will be vast and he will bring immeasurable prosperity. He will rule on David’s throne and over David’s kingdom, establishing it and strengthening it by promoting justice and fairness, from this time forward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will accomplish this".

    Luke 19:15-17 “When he returned after receiving the kingdom, he summoned these slaves to whom he had given the money. He wanted to know how much they had earned by trading. 16 So the first one came before him and said, ‘Sir, your mina has made ten minas more.’ 17 And the king said to him, ‘Well done, good slave! Because you have been faithful in a very small matter, you will have authority over ten cities.’"
  • Start of Great Tribulation 0 GT

    Jesus rules the world in righteousness and peace

    Isaiah 11:1-10 "A shoot will grow out of Jesse’s root stock, a bud will sprout from his roots. 2 The Lord’s Spirit will rest on him – a Spirit that gives extraordinary wisdom, a Spirit that provides the ability to execute plans, a Spirit that produces absolute loyalty to the Lord. 3 He will take delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by mere appearances, or make decisions on the basis of hearsay. 4 He will treat the poor fairly, and make right decisions for the downtrodden of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and order the wicked to be executed. 5 Justice will be like a belt around his waist, integrity will be like a belt around his hips. 6 A wolf will reside with a lamb, and a leopard will lie down with a young goat; an ox and a young lion will graze together, as a small child leads them along. 7 A cow and a bear will graze together, their young will lie down together. A lion, like an ox, will eat straw. 8 A baby will play over the hole of a snake; over the nest of a serpent an infant will put his hand. 9 They will no longer injure or destroy on my entire royal mountain. For there will be universal submission to the Lord’s sovereignty, just as the waters completely cover the sea. 10 At that time a root from Jesse will stand like a signal flag for the nations. Nations will look to him for guidance, and his residence will be majestic. "
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    The nations pay homage to Jesus in Jerusalem

    Isaiah 60:1-15 "Arise! Shine! For your light arrives! The splendor of the Lord shines on you! 2 For, look, darkness covers the earth and deep darkness covers the nations, but the Lord shines on you; his splendor appears over you. 3 Nations come to your light, kings to your bright light. 4 Look all around you! They all gather and come to you – your sons come from far away and your daughters are escorted by guardians. 5 Then you will look and smile, you will be excited and your heart will swell with pride. For the riches of distant lands will belong to you and the wealth of nations will come to you. 6 Camel caravans will cover your roads, young camels from Midian and Ephah. All the merchants of Sheba will come, bringing gold and incense and singing praises to the Lord. 7 All the sheep of Kedar will be gathered to you; the rams of Nebaioth will be available to you as sacrifices. They will go up on my altar acceptably, and I will bestow honor on my majestic temple. 8 Who are these who float along like a cloud, who fly like doves to their shelters? 9 Indeed, the coastlands look eagerly for me, the large ships are in the lead, bringing your sons from far away, along with their silver and gold, to honor the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has bestowed honor on you. 10 Foreigners will rebuild your walls; their kings will serve you. Even though I struck you down in my anger, I will restore my favor and have compassion on you. 11 Your gates will remain open at all times; they will not be shut during the day or at night, so that the wealth of nations may be delivered, with their kings leading the way. 12 Indeed, nations or kingdoms that do not serve you will perish; such nations will definitely be destroyed. 13 The splendor of Lebanon will come to you, its evergreens, firs, and cypresses together, to beautify my palace; I will bestow honor on my throne room. 14 The children of your oppressors will come bowing to you; all who treated you with disrespect will bow down at your feet. They will call you, ‘The City of the Lord, Zion of the Holy One of Israel.’ 15 You were once abandoned and despised, with no one passing through, but I will make you a permanent source of pride and joy to coming generations".
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    A snapshot of life in Millennium

    Isaiah 65:17-25 "For look, I am ready to create new heavens and a new earth! The former ones will not be remembered; no one will think about them anymore. 18 But be happy and rejoice forevermore over what I am about to create! For look, I am ready to create Jerusalem to be a source of joy, and her people to be a source of happiness. 19 Jerusalem will bring me joy, and my people will bring me happiness. The sound of weeping or cries of sorrow will never be heard in her again. 20 Never again will one of her infants live just a few days or an old man die before his time. Indeed, no one will die before the age of a hundred, anyone who fails to reach the age of a hundred will be considered cursed. 21 They will build houses and live in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22 No longer will they build a house only to have another live in it, or plant a vineyard only to have another eat its fruit, for my people will live as long as trees, and my chosen ones will enjoy to the fullest what they have produced. 23 They will not work in vain, or give birth to children that will experience disaster. For the Lord will bless their children and their descendants. 24 Before they even call out, I will respond; while they are still speaking, I will hear. 25 A wolf and a lamb will graze together; a lion, like an ox, will eat straw, and a snake’s food will be dirt. They will no longer injure or destroy on my entire royal mountain,” says the Lord".

    Although this might seem to describe the Eternal age, the description of people still dying, albeit at a very old age, indicates this is a description of the Millennial age. As when climbing a mountain, it may initially look like the peak you are climbing is the top of the mountain. As you climb further, a higher peak comes into view. Here in this passage, we see the Millennial peak, with the Eternal peak beyond it.
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Satan released to test the earth's inhabitants

    Revelation 20:7-9 "Now when the thousand years are finished, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to bring them together for the battle. They are as numerous as the grains of sand in the sea. 9 They went up on the broad plain of the earth and encircled the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and devoured them completely."

    Just as it may seem strange that God allowed Satan into the garden of Eden to tempt Adam and Eve, it perhaps seems strange that God releases Satan at the end of the Millennium and allows him to once again tempt and deceive the earth's inhabitants. Apparently the generations that are born and raised during the Millennium must be tested before God allows them to enter his new heaven and new earth for the rest of eternity.
  • 11/02/1979 12:00

    Satan thrown forever into the lake of fire

    Revelation 20:10 "And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are too, and they will be tormented there day and night forever and ever."
  • Start of Great Tribulation 0 GT

    Great white throne judgment and the Lake of Fire

    Revelation 20:11-15 "Then I saw a large white throne and the one who was seated on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne. Then books were opened, and another book was opened – the book of life. So the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each one was judged according to his deeds. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death – the lake of fire. 15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, that person was thrown into the lake of fire".

    Revelation 21:8 "But as for the cowards, unbelievers, detestable persons, murderers, the sexually immoral, and those who practice magic spells, idol worshipers, and all those who lie, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. That is the second death."
  • Start of Great Tribulation 0 GT

    Earth is ruined and destroyed

    Psalm 102:25-26, "In earlier times you established the earth; the skies are your handiwork. 26 They will perish, but you will endure. They will wear out like a garment; like clothes you will remove them and they will disappear".

    Isaiah 24:1-6, 19-23, " Look, the Lord is ready to devastate the earth and leave it in ruins; he will mar its surface and scatter its inhabitants. 2 Everyone will suffer – the priest as well as the people, the master as well as the servant, the elegant lady as well as the female attendant, the seller as well as the buyer, the borrower as well as the lender, the creditor as well as the debtor. 3 The earth will be completely devastated and thoroughly ransacked. For the Lord has decreed this judgment. 4 The earth dries up and withers, the world shrivels up and withers; the prominent people of the earth fade away. 5 The earth is defiled by its inhabitants, for they have violated laws, disregarded the regulation, and broken the permanent treaty. 6 So a treaty curse devours the earth; its inhabitants pay for their guilt. This is why the inhabitants of the earth disappear, and are reduced to just a handful of people….19 The earth is broken in pieces, the earth is ripped to shreds, the earth shakes violently. 20 The earth will stagger around like a drunk; it will sway back and forth like a hut in a windstorm. Its sin will weigh it down, and it will fall and never get up again. The Lord Will Become King 21 At that time the Lord will punish the heavenly forces in the heavens and the earthly kings on the earth. 22 They will be imprisoned in a pit, locked up in a prison, and after staying there for a long time, they will be punished. 23 The full moon will be covered up, the bright sun will be darkened; for the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will rule on Mount Zion in Jerusalem in the presence of his assembly, in majestic splendor."

    2 Peter 3:10-13 "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; when it comes, the heavens will disappear with a horrific noise, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze, and the earth and every deed done on it will be laid bare. 11 Since all these things are to melt away in this manner, what sort of people must we be, conducting our lives in holiness and godliness, 12 while waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God? Because of this day, the heavens will be burned up and dissolve, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze! 13 But, according to his promise, we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness truly resides."

    Concerning Earth's destruction one major question is whether it occurs at the end of this present age (after the Great Tribulation), or at the end of the Millennium. Revelation 21 places it at the end of the Millennium, and this timing agrees with many Old Testament passages that describe the continuity of this earth between this age and the next. Although much of it will be in ruins at the end of the Great Tribulation, it will be rebuilt during the Millennium. A second major question is whether this earth is discarded and replaced, or whether it is recycled and refined through the flames. Personally, I am not yet decided on this second question.

The Eternal Age

  • Start of Great Tribulation 0 GT

    A new heaven and a new Earth

    Revelation 21:1-10 " Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had ceased to exist, and the sea existed no more. 2 And I saw the holy city – the new Jerusalem – descending out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Look! The residence of God is among human beings. He will live among them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more – or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist.” 5 And the one seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new!” Then he said to me, “Write it down, because these words are reliable and true.” 6 He also said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the one who is thirsty I will give water free of charge from the spring of the water of life. 7 The one who conquers will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But as for the cowards, unbelievers, detestable persons, murderers, the sexually immoral, and those who practice magic spells, idol worshipers, and all those who lie, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. That is the second death.” 9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven final plagues came and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb!” 10 So he took me away in the Spirit to a huge, majestic mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God".

    In his vision, John twice describes the heavenly Jerusalem descending towards the Earth, first in verse 2 and then again in verse 10. It is possible these are two separate descents, and taking the order of events in Revelation at face value, both occur at the end of the Millennium, after the Great White Throne judgment. It is possible that its first descent is to evacuate the earth's righteous inhabitants, leaving those who have been cast into the Lake of Fire to be burned up along with the Earth, as in Isaiah 24:6. After the New Earth is created, the New Jerusalem descends a second time and remains upon the New Earth as the capital of Christ's eternal kingdom. Having acted as an ark to protect the righteous during Earth's destruction, its occupants now emerge to populate the New Earth. Another question is whether Christians, who have been resurrected or raptured at the last trumpet, spend the Millennium in the present heaven, or are given early admission into this new heavenly Jerusalem. I am inclined to think so, as I would understand the Father's house (John 14:1) as being in the New Jerusalem, and being our 'married home' after the Wedding of the Lamb.
  • Start of Great Tribulation 0 GT

    Heaven on Earth

    Revelation 21:22-27 "Now I saw no temple in the city, because the Lord God – the All-Powerful – and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because the glory of God lights it up, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light and the kings of the earth will bring their grandeur into it. 25 Its gates will never be closed during the day (and there will be no night there). 26 They will bring the grandeur and the wealth of the nations into it, 27 but nothing ritually unclean will ever enter into it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or practices falsehood, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life".

    Revelation 22:1-5 "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life – water as clear as crystal – pouring out from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 flowing down the middle of the city’s main street. On each side of the river is the tree of life producing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month of the year. Its leaves are for the healing of the nations. 3 And there will no longer be any curse, and the throne of God and the Lamb will be in the city. His servants will worship him, 4 and they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 Night will be no more, and they will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, because the Lord God will shine on them, and they will reign forever and ever".

    The new heaven rests upon the new Earth at this point, with its river flowing out to the nations. There is no longer any divide between heaven and earth. So our final dwelling place for all eternity is in heaven on earth.