End Times – Clarified is part of a series of blogs that deal with the End-Times, and help the readers of the Children of Light series position the books with respect to Biblical prophecy. In addition, these blogs explain my position and understanding of the events that take place at the End-Times.
Let me begin by defining what I mean when I say the End-Times. For me, this means the events which immediately precede, encapsulate, and complete the periods of the Rapture and the Tribulation, finally ending with the return of Jesus Christ to the earth for his millennial reign as king.
My Position on the End-Times
My position is that I believe that the Rapture (to be defined and discussed later) occurs before the start of the Tribulation. The Tribulation is the seven last years of Satan as the ruler of this world (for more detail, please see my blog on The Scroll). It is the seventieth week of Daniel’s 490 years or 70 weeks of prophecy for Israel. Sixty-nine of those weeks have already been completed, and the last week is yet to come. There is a long pause between the events of the first sixty-nine weeks and the final, seventieth week.
A Pause between the 69th and 70th Weeks of Daniel.
Just like I wrote earlier in my blog on A Pause – When God Waited, there is a pause in God’s plan. Why? I am sure there are many scholarly reasons, but I believe it is to ensure that all things are in place prior to the final week and Christ’s second coming. One of those things to happen is for God’s children to recognize God as the one true God and accept Jesus Christ as their personal saviour and Lord. God wants everyone to have that opportunity (2 Peter 3:9).
2 Peter 3:9
9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (NIV)
However, at the End-Times, the apostasy, or unbelief in God, will be so great, so rampant that God will instigate the start of the End-Time.
A Brief Summary of the End-Times Chain of Events
So, very briefly, this is the chain of events of the End-Times (from my perspective and very cursory. Additional blogs/articles will come over time for each section, with more detail.)
Church Age– that is the time period following the death and resurrection of Christ when the Good News of Salvation is spread throughout the world by the Church. The Church is made up of believers in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and have accepted him as their personal Saviour and Lord. As we approach the end of the Church Age, the signs and warnings of the approach of the End-Times will become more and more prominent. (For more information about these, check out Dr. Jeremiah’s book on the subject: The Book of Signs. I highly recommend it.)
2. The Rapture
– the removal of the church (all believers) from the earth before the Rapture and the start of the Tribulation.
3. Period of time between the Rapture and the start of the Tribulation
– this is an unknown period, where some believe Tribulation will happen immediately following the Rapture, and others postulate a span of time between the two events. As I said before, in my Pause blog article, I believe there is a span of time between the Rapture and before the Tribulation starts, because several things must happen, such as the judging of the saints, an attack on Israel and the defeat of these attacking forces, the rise of the Antichrist and the signing of the peace treaty with Israel, which is what triggers the start of the Tribulation.
– which is the last week, or seven years, of Daniel’s prophecy of 490 years/70 weeks. This period of seven years is divided into two parts, or 42 months duration of each half (3 1/2 years).
a) First half of theTribulation – 42 months long; during which time the Jewish Temple will be finished (rebuilding) allowing for the start of worship and the prescribed sacrifices being re-instituted.
b) Mid-Tribulation – several things happen here. The Antichrist breaks the above peace treaty; Israel looses their safety and protection; the rise and ministry of the two witnesses; the desecration of the rebuilt Jewish Temple by the Antichrist, and the rise of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists.
c) The Great Tribulation – or the second half of the seven years of Tribulation. It is called the Great Tribulation, because of how horrible life will be. God’s wrath is fully unleashed upon the earth and its remaining inhabitants. However, God shortens it, for otherwise, no one would survive.c
5. The Battle of Armageddon
– the final battle between Satan’s forces and the followers of Christ. Jesus and his angels, and those already in heaven, will wage war against Satan. Satan is finally defeated and imprisoned for a thousand years.
6. Jesus Christ Returns and A New Heaven and a New Earth
– Jesus brings a new age, a new heaven and a new earth, where he will reign as King of all the earth. An era of peace and tranquility.
7. Satan is released
– from hell one last time a thousand years later and is allowed to roam the earth for a period of time, doing his usual tricks of lies and deceit. However, after an unspecified period, he is imprisoned once more, forever, never to be released again.