Last Days Timeline
The Antichrist | The Battle for Jerusalem | The Millennium
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! (II Timothy 3:1-5 NKJV)
The scripture tells us that the last days of this age will be perilous. The Greek word for perilous also means difficult, dangerous, furious, or fierce. Jesus also tells us the same thing in Matthew 24:3-14. This teaching will use the scripture to put together the puzzle pieces of end times events, so the reader might better understand the order and nature of events that are coming.
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.” (Daniel 9:27 NKJV)
Many scholars believe that this scripture is referring to a covenant between Israel and a man who the Bible refers to as the antichrist. Most likely there will be some kind of peace treaty signed between this world leader and the state of Israel. The treaty will be for a period of one week or seven years (each day of the week is represented as one year in this prophecy). After the covenant or peace treaty has been in effect for three and a half years, the antichrist will sit in the temple and declare himself to be God.
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (II Thessalonians 2:3-4 NKJV)
When the antichrist declares himself to be God, he himself becomes the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel and Jesus: “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), (Matthew 24:15 NKJV)
Jesus states that when this event occurs, it marks the beginning of the great tribulation (Matthew 24:21). The great tribulation is the final three and a half years of this age. Satan and his angels will be cast down and confined to the earth at the beginning of the great tribulation.
And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Revelation 12:7-9 NKJV)
The scripture gives us a timeline for how long God's people will need protection from Satan once he is confined to the earth. One thousand two hundred and sixty days, or a time, times, and half a time, or three and a half years (Revelation 12:6,14).
Some Christians believe that Satan has already fallen to the earth and that Revelation 12:7-9 has already taken place. This cannot be true since Paul states: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV)
The word "places" is not in the scripture. It was added by the translator. So the scripture actually says, "in heaven." Clearly Satan still has a place of rule set up over the earth in the spiritual realm. When Satan falls to the earth, he will then turn over his power and authority to the antichrist (the beast) and the great tribulation will begin.
Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. (Revelation 13:2 NKJV)
The antichrist will be a man who receives some kind of deadly wound, but is miraculously healed. This miracle will draw world wide attention (Revelation 13:3). Mostly likely, this deadly wound will take place right before the beginning of the great tribulation. A Powerful spirit or angel, called the beast, will ascend out of the bottomless pit and take possession of the antichrist (Revelation 11:7). This could be what supernaturally heals the antichrist from his deadly wound. At this point, the final three and a half years of the age begins.
So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:4-8 NKJV)
Apparently the beast or antichrist will be a political leader who has powerful military might. He is able to craft a covenant with Israel, and the people of the world will say, "Who is able to make war against him?" This phrase would imply that any nation who attempts to make war against the beast would be crushed. As seen in this above scripture, Satan (the dragon) gives the antichrist his global authority for a period of forty-two months (3 1/2 years). This authority extends over every nation of the earth. The beast is given authority to make war against the saints (anyone born again by the Spirit of God). Daniel also concurs that the antichrist will be granted authority to overcome the saints for three and a half years:
“Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast shall be A fourth kingdom on earth, Which shall be different from all other kingdoms, And shall devour the whole earth, Trample it and break it in pieces. The ten horns are ten kings Who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, And shall subdue three kings. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time (3 1/2 years). (Daniel 7:23-25 NKJV)
The book of Daniel gives us more insight into what will be taking place after the antichrist sets up the abomination of desolation, and the great tribulation begins:
And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time. (Daniel 11:31-35 NKJV)
The disciples of Jesus, who walk intimately with Him, will carry out great exploits during the great tribulation. These bright shining lights will instruct many during this time of calamity. This scripture is also clear that many of these saints will be martyred. They will fall by the sword, fire, and prison. This will only purify and body of Christ and make them white until the time of the end. These are the burning ones. The mature sons of God who "overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. (Revelation 12:11 NKJV)
Here is another scripture which gives further description of the antichrist: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, When the transgressors have reached their fullness, A king shall arise, Having fierce features, Who understands sinister schemes. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; He shall destroy fearfully, And shall prosper and thrive; He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. “Through his cunning He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; And he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; But he shall be broken without human means. (Daniel 8:23-25 NKJV)
The Mark of the Beast
During the final three and a half years of this age, the beast will have global rule (Revelation 13:7, Daniel 7:23). This is when the mark of the beast system will be fully implemented. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. (Revelation 13:16-18 NKJV)
No one will be able to buy goods of any kind if they do not have the mark of the beast. There is a global system of control currently being set up behind the scenes in order to make this possible. This may sound like a conspiracy theory, but remember that Satan is the great conspirator that led a rebellion in Heaven. The only way for the antichrist to implement a "mark," is for the system to be set up ahead of time.
There will be extreme pressure on people during this time period. Millions will yield to the pressure and take the mark in order to conduct business. Christians who did not believe the Bible, and did not believe they would go through the tribulation will suffer great loss. Christians who have not built their lives upon the Rock of Jesus Christ may take the mark in order to feed their families. These Christians may reason that God would not want them and their family to starve, and that God would forgive them for taking the mark to protect their family. These Christians will be very wrong:
Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:9-11 NKJV)
The Battle for Jerusalem
The end of this age will conclude with an enormous battle involving the antichrist's armies and the nation of Israel. The Lord will draw the antichrist and his armies into a battle with Israel, for the purpose of destroying these wicked forces at His second coming and saving the remnant of Israel.
Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon. (Revelation 16:12-14, 16 NKJV)
I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land. (Joel 3:2 NKJV)
The book of Joel, Ezekiel 38-39:1-8, Revelation 19:11-21, Zechariah 12:1-9, Zechariah 14:1-5, and Zachariah 14:12-15 all speak about the battle that is coming against Israel. Zechariah 13:8 states that: it shall come to pass in all the land,” Says the LORD, “ That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, But one –third shall be left in it.
Two thirds of the Israeli population is going to die and half of the city of Jerusalem will go into captivity in this war (Zechariah 14:2). Then when the power of Israel is almost completely crushed by the antichrist's armies; Jesus will return and save the remnant of the Jewish people (Zechariah 14:3-5). The remnant of the Jews will receive their Savior and King. They will look upon the one who they pierced and weep for rejecting Him (Zechariah 12:10).
Revelation chapter 19 records that Jesus is returning with the armies of Heaven with Him. It says that Jesus' robe is dipped in blood because He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of God Almighty. Jesus is coming back as a Warrior, the Captain of the host, and the great King/Judge. He will personally kill the armies of the antichrist. Jesus will slay men, and their blood will spray on His garments. This is the wrath of God:
Who is this who comes from Edom, With dyed garments from Bozrah, This One who is glorious in His apparel, Traveling in the greatness of His strength?— “I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? “I have trodden the winepress alone, And from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, And trampled them in My fury; Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, And I have stained all My robes. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, And the year of My redeemed has come. I looked, but there was no one to help, And I wondered That there was no one to uphold; Therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; And My own fury, it sustained Me. I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, Made them drunk in My fury, And brought down their strength to the earth.” (Isaiah 63:1-6 NKJV)
The second coming of Jesus will be a fearful day of wrath and darkness for those who do not know Him:
The noise of a multitude in the mountains, Like that of many people! A tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together! The LORD of hosts musters The army for battle. They come from a far country, From the end of heaven— The LORD and His weapons of indignation, To destroy the whole land. Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. Therefore all hands will be limp, Every man’s heart will melt, And they will be afraid. Pangs and sorrows will take hold of them; They will be in pain as a woman in childbirth; They will be amazed at one another; Their faces will be like flames. Behold, the day of the LORD comes, Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, To lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, And the moon will not cause its light to shine. “I will punish the world for its evil, And the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold, A man more than the golden wedge of Ophir. Therefore I will shake the heavens, And the earth will move out of her place, In the wrath of the LORD of hosts And in the day of His fierce anger. (Isaiah 13:4-13 NKJV)
Transition Between Ages
On the very last day of this age, the dead in Christ will rise from the dead, and those who are still alive in Christ will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air (please see my teaching on "The Rapture" for a full explanation). As Jesus returns to the earth, it will be cleansed with a purifying fire (2 Peter 3:7, 10-13). The heavens will be dissolved, and the earth and it works will be burned up. This will make way to the new heavens and new earth. Upon Jesus' return, the antichrist and the false prophet will be thrown into the lake of fire burning with brimstone (Revelation 19:20). Then an angel will bind Satan and put him in prison in the bottomless pit where he will stay for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3).
Once Jesus subdues His enemies and Satan is bound in the bottomless pit; Jesus will begin His thousand year reign on the earth. There will be a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1-5 and 2 Peter 3:7, 10-13). Those saints who made Jesus their first love, and overcame the world; will rule and reign with Christ on the earth for a thousand years (Revelation 20:4-6, Revelation 2:26). The Christians who lived for themselves during their life on earth, and didn't really know God; will not rule and reign with Christ on the earth. These Christians will be in Heaven, but they will not have the privileges that the overcomers have.
At the beginning of Jesus' reign, the New Jerusalem will descend from Heaven over the natural earthly Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1-5). The New Jerusalem is an actual city in Heaven that will come to the earth (Hebrews 12:22-24).The people who get to live in the New Jerusalem on the earth are those who are the bride of Christ (Revelation 21:9-10). Not all believers will become the Lamb's wife. Please see my teaching on "The Bride of Christ" for more on this subject.
The Lord clearly states in Zechariah 8:2-8, that He will return to Zion and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Only when the Prince of peace returns to the earth, will we have true peace. Isaiah 11:6-10 states that during this time period the wolf will dwell with the lamb. The calf and the young lion will be together, and the child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze together, and the nursing child shall play by the cobras' hole. And the whole earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord.
The millennium will be a time of rest and peace with Christ ruling from the New Jerusalem. There will be a number of people on the earth that survived the great tribulation and did not take the mark of the beast. These people who survived were not saved. They will be given a chance in the millennium to come to Christ. These people will begin to live much longer than we currently do. Isaiah 66:20 says that a child shall die at a hundred years old.
People in nations other than Israel will populate the millennium along with Israel. Remember that these people were not Christians at the time of the second coming. All believers still alive at the end of the great tribulation, would have been caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Revelation 21:24 in the NKJV states, "And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it." Nations who have come to Christ in the millennium will be able to enter Jerusalem. Nations or people who have not accepted Christ will not be able to enter (Revelation 21:27). The Lord will also release judgment on nations in the millennium who do not honor Him:
And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the LORD strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:16-19 NKJV)
There will be no temple in the New Jerusalem, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple. The city will have no need for light from the sun or moon, because the glory of God will illuminate it. The Lamb is the lamp of the city (Revelation 21:22-23). This is the city that we all must live for. It is the city that Abraham saw and pursued. The greatest thing that we can ever accomplish in this life is to be close to the Lord and live for Him. If we do this, we will be partakers of the New Jerusalem in the next age. We will be close to the Lamb for eternity. This is our primary call.
The Final Judgment
At the end of the thousand year reign of Christ, Satan will be released for a short time, and given an opportunity to deceive the nations (Revelation 20:3). The Lord will allow this in order to give all the people who have populated the earth a choice. The Lord gives us all free will and we must have a choice of who we will serve; the Lord or Satan. Without this choice, there cannot be true love. Those who truly love Him, will choose Him. Those who love their selves and the pleasures of sin will choose Satan.
Sadly those who choose Satan at the end of the millennium will be numbered as the sand of the sea (Revelation 20:8). Many people will turn away from the Lord and follow Satan into destruction. Satan will lead his new army against Jerusalem, and fire will come down out of Heaven and consume them (Revelation 20:9). At this point the devil will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. He will be tormented day and night forever and ever (Revelation 20:10).
After the thousand years are complete, the second resurrection will take place (Revelation 20:5-6). These people will be resurrected only to partake of the second death:
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15 NKJV)
We are rapidly approaching some very difficult times. It is necessary that we get close to the Lord in the short amount of time we have left. We should not be getting close to the Lord because we want His protection. We should get close to Him because we love and want Him. Out of this intimate relationship, we will receive protection. The time is short, and the times are serious. Let us choose wisely and not waste our time.