When people read the Bible about eschatology, that is the matters about the End Times and the Tribulation period (the books of Matthew chapter 24 and the book of The Revelation), most tend to read it as one would read a ‘story’ or a novel. Most assume it is written in chronological order, a sequence of events, one event beginning as the previous event is ending. THIS IS NOT CORRECT.
When a Tribulation Seal is broken, an event or a series of events occur and will last for certain periods of time. Most events will continue until the “Consummation of the Age”.
Secondly, the book of Revelation is not written in chronological order. Description of events and timelines are repeated in various chapters and are not in a linear order. For example, Revelation chapters six and seven tell us about the breaking of the Sixth Tribulation Seal, cosmic disturbances, great earthquakes, the Rapture and the Sealing of the 144,000 thousand from the Tribes of Israel. THEN, in Revelation chapters 12, 13 and 14 we read the details and outcomes of these events.
In other words, once a Tribulation event begins, it may continue for days, weeks, months, years or decades. Then, as a second or third event occurs, events may overlap and occur simultaneously.
“Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come”
ACCORDING TO BIBLICAL ESCHATOLOGY
WHAT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED
AND IS NOW HAPPENING
AND IS YET TO HAPPEN
Joel 1:1 ¶ The word of the LORD that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel:
2 Hear this, O elders, And listen, all inhabitants of the land. Has anything like this happened in your days Or in your fathers’ days?
3 Tell your sons about it, And let your sons tell their sons, And their sons the next generation.
Joel 2:1 ¶ Blow a trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, For the day of the LORD is coming; Surely it is near,
2 A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, So there is a great and mighty people; There has never been anything like it, Nor will there be again after it To the years of many generations.
Joel 2:28 ¶ “It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions.
29 “Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
30 “I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke.
31 “The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.
32 “And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the LORD has said, Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.
Joel 3:9 ¶ Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare a war; rouse the mighty men! Let all the soldiers draw near, let them come up!
10 Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, “I am a mighty man.”
The Signs of what is coming – AD 1 and after
2 Thessalonians 2:11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,
2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains
will do so until he is taken out of the way.
2 Thessalonians 2:8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;
2 Thessalonians 2:9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders,
2 Thessalonians 2:10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
1 Timothy 4:1 ¶ But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,
2 Peter 2:20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
2 Peter 3:3 ¶ Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts,
Matthew 10:23 “But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.
Psalms 37:12 The wicked plots against the righteous And gnashes at him with his teeth.
Mark 10:30 but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.
Luke 6:22 “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.
Luke 21:12 “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake.
John 15:20 “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
Acts 5:40 They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them.
Acts 8:1 ¶ Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
Romans 8:35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Romans 8:36 Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.”
Romans 8:37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
Romans 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
Romans 8:39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Corinthians 4:9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.
1 Corinthians 4:10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor.
1 Corinthians 4:11 To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless;
1 Corinthians 4:12 and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure;
1 Corinthians 4:13 when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.
2 Corinthians 4:8 ¶ we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;
2 Corinthians 4:9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
2 Corinthians 4:10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
2 Corinthians 4:11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
2 Corinthians 4:12 So death works in us, but life in you.
2 Corinthians 4:17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,
Philippians 1:28 in no way alarmed by your opponents — which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.
2 Timothy 2:12 If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us;
2 Timothy 3:11 persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me!
James 1:2 ¶ Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
James 1:4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
1 Peter 3:13 Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?
1 Peter 3:14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED,
1 Peter 4:12 ¶ Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;
1 Peter 4:13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.
1 Peter 4:14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
1 Peter 4:15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler;
1 Peter 4:16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.
1 John 3:12 not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.
Revelation 2:10 ‘Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days.
Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Matthew 5:3 ¶ “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
2 Thessalonians 1:4 therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.
2 Thessalonians 1:5 ¶ This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.
2 Thessalonians 1:6 For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you,
2 Thessalonians 1:7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,
James 1:12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
The Prophecy – The Announcement (1 AD)
Acts 2:1 ¶ When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.
2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
5 ¶ Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven.
6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language.
7 They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
8 “And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born?
9 “Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretans and Arabs — we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.”
12 And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”
13 But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.”
14 ¶ But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words.
15 “For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day;
16 but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:
17 ‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS;
18 EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT And they shall prophesy.
19 ‘AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE AND SIGNS ON THE EARTH BELOW, BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOR OF SMOKE.
20 ‘THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, BEFORE THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD SHALL COME.
21 ‘AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.’
The First Seal —Rider on White Horse – Political Intrigue & Conquest (Since AD 1) All of these events were prophesied in the book of Joel 3 and confirmed by the Apostle Peter in Acts 2. We have seen these events progressively occurring since AD 1.
Matthew 24:7 “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.”
Revelation 6:1 “Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come.” 2I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.”
The Second Seal—Wars and Rumors of War (Have been occurring since AD 1)
Revelation6:3 “When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come.” 4And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.
The Third Seal—Famine (Have been occurring since AD 1 – growing in intesity) 5When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.”
The Fourth Seal—Death (Have been occurring since AD 1 – growing in intensity) 7When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.” 8I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.
The Fifth Seal—Martyrs (Have been occurring since AD 1 – The great Apostasy, the great Falling Away from the faith has now begun) 9When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; 10and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.
The Sixth Seal—Terror (coming soon) 12I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; 13and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. 14The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
An Interlude Revelation7:1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. 2And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”
Do not be deceived. These are events that must come to pass. They have been foretold, foreshadowed and are coming to pass in our days. They are of a supernatural nature which is manifest in this natural world, and they must be dealt with on both the natural and supernatural levels. IF YOU SCOFF AT THIS, YOU DO SO AT YOUR OWN PERIL.
So, What are we to do?
This is ‘forecast’ or what is Prophesied in the Bible. It will occur. It is underway. You and I must PREPARE. 1. Surrender to Jesus as Lord and for Salvation, and He will give you wisdom, strength, courage and knowledge.
2. Repent and enter the Kingdom of God. “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17 This Kingdom is a very real place. It is described by metaphor but it is no metaphor. It is a real place we must possess in these last days. Jesus centers His teaching to His disciples around this Truth, telling them they must enter the Kingdom of God and continue His Works until He returns. (more on this in an upcoming article)
2. Educate yourself. Become Bible literate. “Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom…” Revelation 13:16-18
3. “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”
4. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” These are real and serious matters and you must know that…
Economics may or may not help, but they will not save you.
Stockpiles of food and water may help and shelter will help for a while but they will disappear and will not save you.
Medicines may help for awhile, but, the will run out and will not save you.
Guns and politics may help or hurt your efforts, but they will not save you.
Technology may help in some ways, but it will not save you.
Understanding the power of Knowing Jesus as your LORD and your Savior will give you strength and confidence when and where you need them, guidance and wisdom along the way and eternal security. Please, just do it.
These are exciting times in which we live! But, we must be prepared and ‘endure to the end’ (most likely the end of the 5th Seal of Revelation) as Jesus said in Matthew 24. And by all accounts, it would seem we are at that stage!