In previous segments I have written about the timetable of the end of the world. It is unwise to set dates and to suggest that the world will end on such and such a date just as it would be unwise to look at a bud on a fruit tree in the spring and suggest that the fully ripe fruit will be ready to be picked on an exact date in the summer. Yet once the bud has appeared on the tree it can be reasonably surmised that the ripe fruit should appear in a certain month in summer, give or take a week or two. Similarly when the signs given by the Lord Jesus Himself and found throughout the Bible make it apparent that buds have appeared on the tree that will bear the fruit of the end of world, then we can rest assured that the ripe fruit will also appear at the appointed time. The time frame over which the end of the world will occur will last no more than the lifespan of one generation or no more than 40 years.
Once again I refer to Matthew 24:32 – 34 for the evidence that this was indeed Jesus’ teaching to His disciples that the generation that saw ‘all these things’ begin to happen would also be the one that would see all these things fulfilled.
32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Therefore all the prophesied events must transpire over this time period. Although the world has experienced, and continues to experience, many catastrophes that are mistaken by some as the fulfillment of the end of the world Biblical prophesies, the Bible makes clear that ‘all these things’ that have been prophesied specifically about the end of the world must occur over a specific period of time, not spread out over the lifetime of many generations. This series of articles attempts to scripturally determine where exactly we stand on the prophetic timetable, particularly in regards to the beginning of the end that our Lord termed, ‘The beginning of sorrows’ since this is the time closest to us in the present day, and therefore of the greatest importance to us.
As far as the events that will transpire over the lifespan of the last generation, I believe these events will occur in 3 major phases which may be divided as follows:
1. The opening of the Seals phase – I have subtitled this the ‘Natural’ catastrophes phase
2. The blowing of the Trumpets phase - I have subtitled this the ‘Supernatural’ catastrophes phase
3. The pouring out of the Vials phase - I have subtitled this the ‘Hell on Earth’ phase
There will be several minor phases and short pauses even as the events of the three major phases are transpiring. And even then the end will not come immediately after the conclusion of these three phases. There will be at least two other major events that will transpire over a rather short period of time, days, weeks or months perhaps but I certainly do not expect them to last years, and these are the following two events:
1. Judgment of Mystery, Babylon the Great – the final end of the economic system as symbolized by the woman drunk on the blood of the saints. The economic / monetary system that rules the planet is a bloodsucking, vampire like system that literally sucks the life out of innocent victims, leaving a trail of blood behind it.
2. The Psalm 2 War / Psalm 2:1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
It is at the time immediately preceding the Psalm 2 war that the incorrectly termed ‘rapture’ will take place and our Lord God will fulfill His Promise to His children and transform their vile corruptible bodies into incorruptible ones, and they too will become immortal, just like their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The believers that will be alive on Earth as the Lord Jesus is descending with His Heavenly army, the cloud of witnesses to destroy His enemies, will be caught up into the air, where they will meet their Lord and be transformed, along with all saints that have died before them. Thus the Body of Christ in Heaven and on Earth will be united, once and for all, and this event will take place neither in Heaven nor on Earth but in between, which is quite symbolic in that our God did not give preference to one group or the other but treated them all equally as per Hebrews 11: 39 – 40 / 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. I will expound more on this subject later but I want to state categorically that the Bible does not teach that these living believers that will be caught up in the air will be taken to Heaven for seven years or for a different period of time. No, their transformation will be instantaneous, in the twinkling of an eye they will be changed, but then they will keep descending with their Lord Jesus and will come right back to Earth to live and reign with Him for a thousand years (Revelation 20:4).
In subsequent articles to this series, I will provide more detailed understanding on some of the major themes in reference to the end of the world such as the following:
· The various wars in Revelation – the wars of the seals, the wars of the trumpets, the wars of the vials and the Psalm 2 war as distinct and separate events. For instance the war of Armageddon is not the same as the Psalm 2 war.
· The nature of heavenly bodies such as stars – are they just dust and gases or are they living beings?
· The star that unlocks the bottomless pit
· The locusts that come out of the earth
· The smoke like a furnace that comes out of the bottomless pit, will this be a major volcano going off that opened the bottomless pit and cover the atmosphere with dust so thick that the sun will be darkened?
· Abbadon / Aplloyon the ancient devil – angel that once walked the earth and will do so again with his ‘unnatural army’
· The arrival and ministry of the two witnesses
· The woman who brought forth the man child and is flown on two wings of a great eagle into the wilderness
· The war in Heaven with the Dragon and his army
· The Dragon and his angles being cast out of heaven
· The beast that arises out of the sea – is this Poseidon?
· The beast that arises out of the earth – is this Hades?
· The two reapings in Revelation 14 – the reaping by the Son of Man and the reaping by the angel of wrath.
· The office of Mystery Babylon, the Great Whore, as distinct from that of the Dragon. The hierarchy of devils as taught in the book of Revelation.
· The first death and the second death
· The New Heaven and the New Earth
· Eternity – life or death forever and ever
The above view is based upon the interpretation that the events of Matthew 24 and the book of Revelation are sequential not concurrent. They happen one after the other, not simultaneously. For instance, the events of the seven trumpets not do not transpire concurrently or before the events of the seven seals, and likewise the events of the sevens vials do not transpire before the events of the seven trumpets. This is the reason why I believe that the days of the last generation will span at least 30 years, possibly a time period of ten years each will pass during each of the three phases before all these things will be fulfilled. Next I will detail the events that I expect to occur over the course of next few years, the events that signify the ‘beginning of sorrows’ and the end of the world.
To be continued...