The Parousia (Appearances) of Jesus Christ (1 Second Coming in 2 Phases)

Parousia (/pəˈruːziə/; Greek: παρουσία) is an ancient Greek word meaning presence, arrival, or official visit.  It is used for appearing, as well as coming.

There is much confusion over the second coming of Jesus, but it needn’t be so.  Bible prophecy can be described as viewing “mountain peaks”.  The prophets see the peaks, but the valleys are invisible to them.  This is by design, so that God can both reveal and conceal at the same time, according to His plan and purposes.  A visual for this is as follows:

Image result for prophecy as seeing peaks second coming

Just as there was an unforseen time gap between Jesus’ first and second comings, there is a gap between Jesus being revealed at the time of the rapture and Jesus being revealed AND coming down to earth for the Battle of Armageddon.  Understanding that there are two revealings, or appearances, of the Lord Jesus Christ in the context of the end times is a key that unlocks critical understanding of future events.

Jesus is revealed once BEFORE the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord, and once at the END of the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.  The parousia of Jesus Christ occurs  when the skies are rolled back as a scroll.  We are told in the book of Revelation that the skies are rolled back as a scroll to reveal Jesus Christ twice – once at Seal 6 (which I believe is the rapture), and once at the 7th Bowl (the Second Coming).  Let’s examine the verses pertaining to each so that we can see that they are separate events.

The Revealing of Jesus BEFORE the Day of the Lord

REVELATION as a LAMB:

The sky is rolled back as a scroll to REVEAL Jesus appearing as the Lamb in the clouds of heaven, beside God’s throne, to receive the saints (rapture).   The reason He appears this way, is because He is actively opening the seals at this time!!!  This is a revelation (apocalypse), but not the “Second Coming”.  Jesus does not come down to the earth at this time, but He does appear in our dimension.  He will call us up from there, with the trumpet voice of God.

This occurs BEFORE the Day of the Lord (Tribulation) begins.  Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!  (John 1:29)

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders.  He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne… I watched as he opened the sixth seal… Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains.  They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!  For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”  Revelation 5:6-7, 6:12,15-17 ESV

The sky rolls back as a scroll to reveal the Third Heaven – the supernatural one where God resides.  It appears that everyone on earth can see the face of Him who is seated on the throne, and the Lamb beside Him.  They correctly identify that the events transpiring indicate that the time for God’s wrath has come.  The vision of God on His throne is more than terrifying enough to inspire all of humanity to collectively hide in fear.

I want you to note that the Lamb is not flanked by armies, nor is there a description of power or glory.  At this revealing of Jesus Christ, He appears as a Lamb – the slain Lamb at the right hand of God that has taken the scroll and is worthy to open its’ seals.  The reason He appears this way, is because He is actively opening the seals at this time!!!

If you are wondering at this point why BELIEVERS would cower and hide in fear when the Lamb is revealed, you are doing well.  The answer is, we don’t!  When these signs begin, we will lift up our heads because we recognize that our redemption draws nigh (Luke 21:28)!  Jesus will just call us up from there, with the trumpet voice of God.  This is the Lamb of God, who is our salvation!  The unbelievers ask “who can stand?” and the answer is those who are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ can stand! (Rev 7)

Just as man is appointed to die once, and after that to face judgment, so also Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await Him.  (Hebrews 9:28 ESV)

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,  training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,  waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,  who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14 ESV)

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV)

When Jesus appears at this time, it is to bring salvation to those who are eagerly awaiting Him.  This is our blessed hope, that we are to encourage one another with:

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord.  Therefore encourage one another with these words.  (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 ESV)

Although He appears (parousia), He doesn’t come down onto the earth.  Instead, He meets us in the air and we go up into heaven together to be hidden from the time of wrath on earth (Isaiah 26).

All earth dwellers respond in FEAR.  They are taken by surprise.

The Revealing of Jesus AT THE END of the Day of the Lord

REVELATION as WARRIOR-KING:

Jesus is REVEALED on the clouds of heaven, mounted on a white horse, as a conquoring warrior-King.  This is the true “Second Coming”.  Jesus descends into the Battle of Armageddon at this time and comes down to the earth.

Before Jesus is revealed to the world at His second coming, I want to point out that we saw in Revelation 16 (Bowl 6 Judgment) that the nations of the world have gathered in and around Jerusalem specifically to fight Jesus.  Three deceiving spirits will be sent forth from the “unholy trinity” of the dragon, beast, and false prophet to bring the nations together in rebellion against God.  They are EXPECTING Jesus to show up, and they are preparing to do battle against Him.

The revelation of Jesus Christ at the End of the Day of the Lord is hardly the Lamb of God.  No, at the end of the Day of the Lord, when He comes to put all nations under His feet He comes as a warrior-King flanked by His armies!

“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.  (Matthew 24:30 ESV)

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.  He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.  On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”  (Revelation 19:11-16 ESV)  

Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
 (Revelation 1:7 ESV)

And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.  On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. (Zechariah 12:10-11 ESV)

Jesus will appear at this time in power and great glory, flanked by the armies of heaven (His holy ones, including the previously resurrected/raptured/rewarded Bride of Christ).  Those who have been deceived by the antichrist, particularly those of the house of Israel, will weep bitterly as the realization that they rejected their true Messiah drives into their heart like a knife.

While the peoples of the earth had been collected in rebellion to FIGHT Jesus, when He shows up they will MOURN instead.  The fact that they have been deceived will now be painfully obvious.

Jesus will descend and defeat those gathered against Him at the Battle of Armageddon.  He will remain on the earth and set up His Messianic Kingdom.  This completes the “Second Coming” of Jesus.  The Great Tribulation (both Daniel’s 70th week and the Day of the Lord) comes to an end with Jesus appearing in power and glory, mounted on a white horse in the clouds of heaven.

Comparing the 2 Phases of The Second Coming

second coming vs rapture.JPG

Summary

When Jesus next appears, it will be as a Lamb.  It will catch the world unaware – unbelievers (and most believers) will NOT be expecting Him.  Only the earth will be shaking at this time (not the powers of the heavens).  This appearance will mean salvation to those who are His true followers, who are about to be taken from the earth and received into heaven.  This appearance will announce impending wrath to those who are left behind.  Those who are left behind will be terrified, and hide in fear.

After an approximately 7 year period of wrath, Jesus will appear again.

When Jesus appears at that time, it will be as a warrior-King.  The world will be expecting Him, and unbelievers will have collected to do battle with Him.  They will be angry and blaspheming Jesus.  However, when He appears, they will realize they have been deceived and will mourn and wail.  Jesus will defeat His enemies at the Battle of Armageddon as the 7th Bowl Judgment is poured out.   Both the heavens and the earth will shake as Jesus defeats all the kingdoms of this world (supernatural and natural).   (That study is HERE – What’s Shaking, the Earth, the Heavens, or Both?).  This appearance will seal the fates of all who dwell on the earth and judgment will soon follow.


Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign – The Convergence is Now

We stand at the edge of a precipice.

The feeling is electric – the anticipation of war, economic collapse, natural disasters, global uncertainty.  It is being felt in all religions and in all communities. I am here to tell you that the feelings of humanity are correct.  “The Apocalypse” is almost upon us.

Humanity has almost filled the cup of God’s wrath with its wickedness – how many sins remain until the cup is full?  God is about to act swiftly and decisively.  Life as we know it is going to suddenly and permanently change. Every single human being on the planet will be affected.  It will be a time of chaos, destruction, and confusion.  Fortunately, God has not left us in the dark about what is to come.  While most religions delineate vague notions of an “end times scenario”, the Bible is very detailed and specific about what is going to come upon the earth.

SOON.

It is in God’s character to issue warnings before acting in judgment.  He gives signs heralding His interventions on the earth.

Indeed, the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing His counsel to His servants the prophets.  (Amos 3:7 ESV)

God has only issued global judgment one other time – in the days of Noah.  At that time, He called Noah forth to be a preacher of righteousness.  Noah preached of the upcoming flood while he built the ark over a number of decades.  It does not specify how long the ark took to build, but we can assume a long time frame – up to 120 years (Gen 6:3) – given that it was done by hand and with little help.  The ark bore witness as a warning, accompanied by Noah’s declarations according to the Word of God.

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The Bible tells us that the upcoming judgment of the earth by fire will be “as in the days of Noah”, when the world was judged by water.  This alludes to a few different things, but in this post I will focus on the signs that God gives in order to provide humanity with the opportunity to repent and escape all that will be coming upon the world.

Signs in Israel and the Nations

Let’s look at the signs in Israel and the nations, described by God as heralding his upcoming time of wrath on the whole earth.  For further details on each sign, click on its name:

  1. The Fig Tree sign – Jesus tells His disciples that when they “see the fig tree leaf out”, they would know that the time of His coming was near.  Many prophecy scholars agree that this sign refers to Israel’s rebirth in May 1948.
  2. Israel Reborn – Regardless of whether or not the fig tree refers to Israel, Israel’s rebirth as a nation after 2000 years of not being one is a flashing neon light!  The Kingdom of Heaven is Near!!!
  3. Jerusalem Recaptured – Jerusalem features heavily in end times prophecy.  The 6 day war of 1967 was very significant prophetically!  It’s possible that war fulfilled Psalm 83; alternately, the complete fulfillment of Psalm 83 may be yet future.
  4. Jewish Aliyah – Along with the re-establishment of Israel as a physical/political nation, God’s chosen people are foretold to return to the Promised Land.  This has been slowly but surely occurring over the last 120 years or so, with approximately 45% of the world’s Jewry living in Israel at this time (2016).
  5. The Third Temple – We know from the book of Daniel, the gospels, and Revelation that there will be a functioning Jewish Temple during the “70th Week of Daniel“.  While the Temple has not yet been built, the plans are complete, Levite priests are trained, and Temple equipment/furniture is made.
  6. Apostasy in the Church – It seems that as we approach Christ’s second coming, churches will fall away from preaching sound doctrine. Instead, they will focus on a social gospel that “tickles men’s ears” (tells them what they want to hear to feel good).
  7. Immorality in Society – Society will move further and further away from God and His laws/morals.  We see this most clearly in the last several decades through Abortion (1.5 billion since 1980), Homosexuality (general worldwide acceptance in non-Muslim nations), and Human Euthanasia (legal in some nations, including Canada).
  8. As in the Days of Lot – Society will be marked by violence, homosexuality, and sexual immorality.
  9. As in the Days of Noah – Society will be marked by violence, DNA manipulation, and sexual immorality.
  10. Knowledge Will Increase – In the latter days, people will travel “to and fro” and knowledge will increase.  We are approaching a “technological tower of Babel” situation!
  11. The Gospel Will be Preached to All Nations – While there are still unreached people groups within nations, the gospel has been successfully taken to all nations around the globe.  The gospel will continue to be preached during the coming times of tribulation.
  12. Labor pains – are often used to describe the beginning of the “end times”.

Wars, and Rumors of Wars

There are a number of prophetic wars that will occur during the time of the end.  As the players maneuver into position, we can see that the time is near.

  1. Overview of Coming Prophetic Wars
  2. Nation Rising Against Nation, Kingdom Rising Against Kingdom – WW3
  3. The Destruction of Damascus – Isaiah 17
  4. Arab-Israeli Promised Land War of Psalm 83
  5. The Gog and Magog War of Ezekiel 38 & 39
  6. Connecting Isaiah 17, Psalm 83, Ezekiel 38&39

Heavenly Announcements

God uses signs in the heavens as announcements:

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years… (Genesis 1:14 ESV)

  1. Star of Bethlehem – God announced the arrival of His Son to the world the first time through a great star sign.  This, of course, was the birth of Jesus.
  2. A Great Sign in the Sun, Moon, and Stars – It appears God may be announcing the imminent rapture of the church and the nearness of His Second Coming through a great sign in the sun, moon, and stars described in Revelation 12:1-2.  This great sign appeared in the sky on September 23, 2017.  Interestingly, satan seems to think September 23 was an important date as well.
  3. A Solar Eclipse and the Season of Repentance – There are many who believe the total solar eclipse over the USA on August 21, 2017 was a final warning to Gentile nations.
  4. Planet X/Nibiru – If there is a mysterious Planet X, God has created it and appointed it for a specific purpose.

Mathematical Verification

God issues mathematical calculations of His arrival:

  • God’s 7000 Year Calendar – While God is outside of time, He has allotted humanity 7000 years of existence.  We are on the brink of 6000 years – the last 1000 years will be Jesus’ Millennial Kingdom!
  • Triumphal Entry – Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem was foretold in the 70 Weeks of Daniel prophecy.  This is why Jesus mourns over Jerusalem when He enters it – they should have known on that very day that He was their Messiah.
  • Ezekiel’s 430 Days of Laying – It appears that the rebirth of Israel, to the very year, was foretold 2500 years ago through the prophet Ezekiel.
  • The Generation sign – Jesus tells His disciples that “this generation will certainly not pass away before all these things are accomplished”.  The phrase “all these things” encompasses the signs He just mentioned, including the fig tree sign, the events during the “tribulation”, and His second coming.  Many prophecy scholars agree that this sign refers to the generation being born during the time of Israel’s rebirth, and that this specific generation will not die before Jesus’ second coming.  The length of a generation is defined in Psalm 90 as 70-80 years.
  • Great Pyramid of Egypt – It appears that certain dates may point to the possible advent of Jesus – both His first and second comings – in the mathematics of the Great Pyramid.   The angles in the corridors of the pyramid point to certain stars/constellations only on specific dates and years.

Who Are the Signs For?

Sometimes there is resistance to looking for signs from God.  As 1 Corinthians 1:22 states, Jews seek after signs, and Gentiles seek after human wisdom.  Opposition to “watching” suggests that “signs” are given to Israel, not gentiles.  This is actually true, for the most part.  The Revelation 12 sign was visible from Jerusalem.  The fig tree sign, Israel’s rebirth, Jewish aliyah, the Third Temple, all have to do with Israel.  The Star of Bethlehem was given to Israel.  But, it was the GENTILE MAGI who paid attention to the star sign.  These wise men traveled far with exceedingly great gifts to give the King announced by the star.  Israel should have been watching Jesus closely from the moment of His birth.  The angels’ announcements, the miraculous conception, the fulfillment of His birth in Bethlehem… all these were obvious signs.  Signs which apparently went largely unnoticed.  While the signs may be meant for Israel, they are not hidden from gentile eyes.

Jesus gives the command repeatedly – WATCH!  This is for all who call on His name, all believers.  We are to be AWAKE and READY at all times.  I say to you again – WATCH!

Conclusion

It is nearly impossible to keep track of all the signs heralding that the Kingdom of God draws near.  Several of the signs are very specific, and many of the signs are more general.  While prophecy scholars disagree on the finer points of how it actually may play out, they do agree that the convergence of signs on our generation is significant.  Across the entire span of humanity – religious and nonreligious alike – there is a hushed sense of imminent change.  Even secular society can’t help itself and unknowingly points to the time of the end.

God is issuing YOU one final offer.  It is no coincidence that you are on this page.  He is offering you this choice because He loves YOU.  He wants you in His family.  But He loves you enough to let you CHOOSE.  He will hold you accountable for your choice.

The one true God personally loves YOU more than you could ever imagine!

God is Calling YOU 

 


Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

Recommended Prophecy Watching Sites:

  1. Unsealed
  2. Revelation 12 Daily
  3. Watch For The Day – especially recommended if you like numbers/patterns

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

 

The Return of Jesus Christ

“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.”  (Matthew 24:30 ESV)

The Apocalypse is simply the revealing of Jesus Christ.  In common use, it often is used to describe the end of the world.  The Second Coming of Jesus won’t be the end of the world, but it WILL mark the end of the current age of humanity.

An apocalypse (Ancient Greek: ἀποκάλυψις apokálypsis, from ἀπό and καλύπτω, literally meaning “an uncovering”) is a disclosure of knowledge or revelation. In religious contexts it is usually a disclosure of something hidden, “a vision of heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities”.  (wikipedia)

The Second Coming of Christ occurs in two phases.  The first phase involves the rapture of the church.  The second phase involves the Mount of Olives decent and the Return to Earth.  When we are speaking of the Second Coming, most people are referring to this second phase and that is what we will discuss here.  For further discussion on the first phase, the rapture, please see:

  1. The Parousia (Appearances) of Jesus Christ
  2. The Rapture VS Second Coming
  3. The Rapture of the Church – Our Blessed Hope
  4. Is the Rapture Imminent?
  5. The Day and the Hour Unknown?  Can we Pinpoint the Rapture?
  6. Blood Moon VERSUS Dark Moon
  7. The Noisy, Not-So-Secret Rapture of the Church

second coming vs rapture

Now let’s move on to discuss when Jesus returns to the earth.  This marks the end of the tribulation period, the Day of the Lord, the 70th Week of Daniel, and the wrath of God.

MOUNT of OLIVES decent:

In the book of Zechariah, it tells us that in the future, Jesus will stand on the Mount of Olives.  When He does,  this mount will be split in TWO from east to west.  Note that this cannot be the same event that splits the city of Jerusalem in THREE parts (Bowl 7).  This event just involves the Mount of Olives and involves two parts, not three.

There is an escape option offered at this point.  Note that there is no description of an appearing or a revealing (parousia):

On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.  And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah.”   Zechariah 14:3-5 ESV

And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.  Joel 2:32 ESV

Note that this escape is NOT related to the command for believers in Jerusalem to flee when they see the abomination of desolation (per Matthew 24).  This event occurs far after that, near the very end of Daniel’s 70th week.

On the day when the elect remnant of Israel is called to flee, Jesus will touch down on the Mount of Olives. Whether this descent is physical (observable) or not is undetermined, as it is not described in Scripture elsewhere.  This event is perhaps what Jesus alludes to when He declares “Behold, I am coming like a thief!” between the judgments of Bowl 6&7.  The Mount of Olives splitting will be a literal event.  The valley formed allows believers one last chance to flee before the destruction of Jerusalem (Mystery Babylon).  This explains the command Jesus issues – “Come out of her, my people!” (Rev 18:4).  The command to flee must be authentic, with a true possibility of obeying it and being physically saved.  After this event at some point, Jesus will come with His holy ones, which is described by His next appearance.

I’m going to quote part of my article The Mount of Olives – Final Escape Route here:

Can we put this calling out and fleeing on a timeline?  I believe that the 9th plague from the First Exodus may give us a hint:

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.”  So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was pitch darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.  They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the people of Israel had light where they lived.  (Exodus 10:21-23 ESV)

Compare this with Bowl 5:

The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish  and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds.  (Revelation 16:10-11 ESV)

Is it possible that the earthquake that divides Mount Olives to provide deliverance for the remnant of Israel will occur 3 days after the darkness of Bowl 5?  This would parallel God’s deliverance of Israel after 3 days of darkness at the first exodus.

Wrath Poured Out on Those Left Behind

Of the people who do not go into exile, those that remain in the city, the Lord will then go out and fight against the nations that have amassed there.  This is when He comes, with all His holy ones with Him. This will happen on a special day where “there shall be no light, cold, or frost.  And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.”  The light that is seen is the Sign of the Son of Man coming in power and great glory.

 

RETURN to EARTH:

Before we discuss Jesus’ return to earth, I want to point out that we saw in Revelation 16 (Bowl 6 Judgment) that the nations of the world will have gathered in and around Jerusalem specifically to fight Jesus.  Three deceiving spirits will be sent forth from the “unholy trinity” of the dragon, beast, and false prophet to bring the nations together in rebellion against God.  They are EXPECTING Jesus to show up, and they are preparing to do battle against Him.  This is in stark contrast to the rapture and the beginning of God’s wrath, which will spring like a trap unexpectedly upon the world.  Let’s examine the Second Coming passages:

Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.  On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost. And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.”  Zechariah 14:6-7 ESV

So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.  For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:26-31 ESV)

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.  He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.  On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”  (Revelation 19:11-16 ESV)  

Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.   (Revelation 1:7 ESV)

And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.  On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. (Zechariah 12:10-11 ESV)

The sun, moon, and stars will be darkened on a unique day.  It seems that in the evening, Jesus will appear in power and great glory, flanked by the armies of heaven (His holy ones, including the previously resurrected/raptured/rewarded Bride of Christ).  Those who have been deceived by the antichrist, particularly those of the house of Israel, will weep bitterly as the realization that they rejected their true Messiah drives into their heart like a knife.

While the peoples of the earth had been collected in rebellion to FIGHT Jesus, when He shows up they will MOURN instead.  The fact that they have been deceived will now be painfully obvious.

Jesus will descend and defeat those gathered against Him at the Battle of Armageddon.  He will remain on the earth and set up His Messianic Kingdom.  This completes the “Second Coming” of Jesus.  The Great Tribulation (both Daniel’s 70th week and the Day of the Lord) comes to an end with Jesus appearing in power and glory, mounted on a white horse in the clouds of heaven.

Summary

In the end-times sequence, Jesus will appear twice but only have one true “Second Coming”.  It appears that the overall sequence that surrounds the Second Coming of Jesus Christ would be something like this:

  1. The antichrist, false prophet, and deceiving spirits collect armies assembled for battle against Jesus Christ.  (Bowl 6)
  2. The Mount of Olives will be split in two, from East to West.  A large valley will form.  All who believe Jesus (the believing elect in Jerusalem) are to flee at this time – this is the command given right before the destruction of Mystery Babylon – “Come out of her, my people!”
  3. Mystery Babylon is destroyed by the antichrist, false prophet, and their entourage.
  4. A unique day of darkness arrives, with no cold or light.
  5. In the evening, there shall be light – the sign of the Son of Man.  This is likely Jesus appearing on His white horse in the clouds of heaven, followed by his holy ones.
  6. Jesus destroys the armies gathered at Armageddon.
  7. The antichrist and false prophet are cast into the Lake of Fire (eternal).
  8. satan and the demons are cast into the Abyss (temporarily chained, 1000 years).
  9. Living humans are collected and judged in the Sheep and Goats Judgment.
  10. “Tribulation Saints” are resurrected to rule with Christ in His Millennial Kingdom.
  11. The Millennial Temple is established and dedicated.
  12. The Millennial Kingdom Begins.

Believers respond to the Mount of Olives splitting by fleeing. Jesus may or may not be visible at this point; it does not explicitly state in the text one way or another.  Unbelievers won’t be aware of the significance of this event, and likely won’t see Jesus.

Believers are gathered by angels at the Second Coming.  Unbelievers will be destroyed in the Battle of Armageddon and the Sheep and Goats Judgment.  Every eye will see Jesus at His return to earth.


Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

The Mount of Olives – Final Escape Route

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

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God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

The earth is wobbling like a top ready to spin out of control.  Can you feel it?

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We are rapidly approaching the point of no return where humanity’s actions will tip the scales of God’s wrath.  Life as we know it will come crashing to a cataclysmic halt.  Christians know it, other religions know it, secular observers know it.  “The Apocalypse” is almost upon us.  It will be a time of chaos, destruction, and confusion.

Fortunately, God has not left us in the dark about what is to come.  God’s prophetic tapestry is woven through like threads in both the Old and New Testaments.  Close up, the intricate designs can seem confusing and even contradictory.  God has intentionally designed a pattern that is complex.  He leaves for us a trail of puzzle pieces, not unlike the parables Jesus told, and exactly like at His first coming.  It is only through rigorously searching and praying through the Scriptures that keys emerge, pieces fit together, and the big picture is revealed.  Keep in mind that these things were written 1900-3000 years ago!!!

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Over the course of history, God has dealt with humanity in a few different ways.  These ways are known as Dispensations.  In the garden of Eden, God met with Adam and Eve in human form.  Here, the very first prophetic word was uttered by God – “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15 ESV)  After the fall of humanity, God continued to speak directly to the early patriarchs.  This continued through Noah and the global flood until the time of Abraham.  The nations had been dispersed at the tower of Babel, and God selected one man, Abraham, to seed the nation of Israel – His nation, His people.

Israel’s purpose was to be set apart, to be a beacon of God’s light in the world and draw the nations back to Him.  Israel, for the most part, failed miserably.  God could rely only on Himself.  Thus, in the fullness of time, God became as one of us in the form of Jesus.  Jesus succeeded where Israel had failed, and set in motion the reclaiming of the nations unto God.  Israel expected this to happen all at once, but the mystery was that this reclaiming would now be done through the “church” – a body of Jews and Gentiles called by God and indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Romans 11:25).  The church was now set apart as God’s salt and light in the world.

The time is very quickly approaching when this mission of the church will suddenly end.

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God’s timeline for humanity proceeds right on schedule.  The end of this age will come abruptly to a halt with the noisy, not-so-secret rapture of the church.  The dead in Christ will arise, and the invisible body of Christ will be transformed in the blink of an eye.  Together they will be snatched away from what is coming on the earth, safely hidden in heaven.  A parable of this can be seen in the ritual of the Jewish Wedding.  We may not know the day or the hour, but there are definite clues to the season.  We can watch for the signs to occur that point to this event.  You may agree or disagree with some of these signs but what is clear is that prophecy scholars agree that there is a convergence of signs:

  • The Fig Tree sign – Jesus tells His disciples that when they “see the fig tree leaf out”, they would know that the time of His coming was near.  Many prophecy scholars agree that this sign refers to Israel’s rebirth in May 1948.  This was predicted in scripture over 2500 years ago.
  • Israel Reborn – Regardless of whether or not the fig tree refers to Israel, Israel’s rebirth as a nation after 2000 years of not being one is a flashing neon light!  The Kingdom of Heaven is Near!!!
  • Jerusalem Recaptured – Jerusalem features heavily in end times prophecy.  The 6 day war of 1967 was very significant prophetically!  It’s possible that war fulfilled Psalm 83; alternately, the complete fulfillment of Psalm 83 may be yet future.
  • Jewish Aliyah – Along with the re-establishment of Israel as a physical/political nation, God’s chosen people are foretold to return to the Promised Land.  This has been slowly but surely occurring over the last 120 years or so, with approximately 45% of the world’s Jewry living in Israel at this time (2016).  According to Jewish tradition, conditions are set for prophets to appear when at least 50% of the world’s Jewry is located in Israel.
  • The Third Temple – We know from the book of Daniel, the gospels, and Revelation that there will be a functioning Jewish Temple during the “70th Week of Daniel“.  While the Temple has not yet been built, the plans are complete, Levite priests are trained, and Temple equipment/furniture has been made.
  • Apostasy in the Church – It seems that as we approach the time of the end, churches will fall away from preaching sound doctrine. Instead, they will focus on a social gospel that “tickles men’s ears” (tells them what they want to hear to feel good).  Sexual immorality will be tolerated.
  • Immorality in Society – Society will move further and further away from God and His laws/morals.  We see this most clearly in the last several decades through Abortion (1.5 billion since 1980), Homosexuality (general worldwide acceptance in non-Muslim nations), and Human Euthanasia (legal in some nations, including Canada).  There are many examples of immorality and corruption.
  • As in the Days of Lot – Society will be marked by violence, homosexuality, and sexual immorality.  Interestingly, the LGBTQ community has adopted the symbol of God’s promise “in the days of Noah” as the symbol of their pride.
  • As in the Days of Noah – Society will be marked by violence, DNA manipulation, and sexual immorality.
  • Knowledge Will Increase – In the latter days, people will travel “to and fro” and knowledge will increase.  We are approaching a “technological tower of Babel” situation!
  • The Gospel Will be Preached to All Nations – While there are still unreached people groups within nations, the gospel has been successfully taken to all nations around the globe.  The gospel will continue to be preached during the coming times of tribulation by the 2 Witnesses, sealed 144,000 Hebrews, and an angel from God.
  • A Great Sign in the Sun, Moon, and Stars – It appears God may be announcing the imminent rapture of the church and the nearness of His Second Coming through a great sign in the sun, moon, and stars described in Revelation 12:1-2.  This great sign appeared in the sky on September 23, 2017.  Interestingly, satan also seems to think September 23 is an important date.
  • The Great Pyramid – The Great Pyramid in Egypt seems to have been specifically designed to point to the First and Second comings of Jesus Christ.
  • The Feasts of God – God has appointments on His calendar.  He calls these His “moedim”, or appointed times.  The next appointments on His calendar are the Fall Feasts.  There is some question, however, if the late spring feast of Pentecost has fully been fulfilled…
  • “Balaamic Prophecies” – Secular society can’t help itself but advertise that the “end is near”
  • Nonspecific Signs – God may be issuing His final warnings via nonspecific signs (i.e. August 21,2017 solar eclipse, Planet X)

A summary of some of these signs and more can be seen in this article:  Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign – The Convergence is Now.

The Path Diverges

A great divide exists; there are two tracks that humanity will take.  Those who took the narrow road will be a part of the heavenly track:  the body of Christ will be in heaven for the time of “tribulation” on the earth.  They will participate in the Day of Christ (judgment for rewards).  Meanwhile, the Day of the Lord is the track on earth for those who were on the broad road leading to destruction.

 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,  in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 ESV

God’s judgment will be poured out in full force on a wicked and Christ-rejecting world.  However, God will not leave the world without witness.  He will call forth 2 Witnesses who will function similarly to the Old-Testament prophets.  Additionally, with the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit in the church complete, the Holy Spirit will immediately move to supernaturally seal 144,000 specially chosen Hebrews.  God will use these witnesses to call forth His elect – a third of Israel along with many “gentile” followers.

Prophesied Wars

Before we get any further, there are several prophesied wars involving Israel that will occur in the future.  The timing of these is broadly in “the latter years”.  Several of these may occur before the rapture of the church (Nation Rising Against Nation – WW3; The Destruction of Damascus; Arab-Israeli Promised Land War).  One of these may occur during or shortly after the removal of the true church from the earth (Gog and Magog War – many nations rising against Israel).  These wars may blur together and occur in a short span of time.

Regardless of the exact timing, God Himself will intervene to save Israel in these wars.  As a result, Israel will want to re-institute their Temple worship of God with Old Testament-style sacrifices.  The person (or ‘being’) who arises and takes credit for winning these wars won’t be God, but he will end up claiming to be.  It is certain that one war will occur approximately seven years after the rapture, in which this god-imposter will be destroyed (The Battle of Armageddon).  See here for an overview of all these wars.

The 7-Year Tribulation Begins

With the body of Christ safely tucked away in heaven, let’s go over what’s going to happen on earth.  When Jesus rose from the dead, great power was released in some type of nuclear transformation event.  This triggered an earthquake.  When the dead in Christ rise, it is possible that this event will trigger similar earthquakes on a global scale – wherever the dead in Christ lie.  The earthquakes will then trigger volcanic eruptions and tsunamis.  The sun will be darkened and the moon appear blood red from smoke and ash in the air (I believe this is the prophetic “blood moon sign”).  In a short span of time, 25% of humanity will die from famine, war/murder, disease outbreaks, and wild animals (emboldened by severe food shortages) – the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

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Throughout the church age, followers of Christ have been indwelt and sealed by the Holy Spirit.  When these true believers are removed from the earth, the Holy Spirit’s restraining influence over evil and the powers of darkness will be removed.  At this time, a cosmic war erupts between the holy angels and the fallen angels.  Satan (the name given to the fallen spirit-being opposing God), represented as a dragon and a serpent, and his demon horde (fallen angels) will be defeated and lose their access to heaven.  They will be granted authority by God to deceive humanity, for the sake of accomplishing His divine purposes.  We are not told exactly what this involves but we do know that satan has been hard at work preparing for it (likely, “aliens”, which are fallen angelic beings).  He knows the time is close.

The combination of the removal of living believers to heaven and the disasters of the 7 Seals will leave the world reeling.  A great power vacuum will exist in the world as social and economic structures collapse under the burden of disaster. A man or being will rise to power quickly, to bring “peace” and “unity”.  This man is known in the Bible as “the lawless one”, “the antichrist”, “false christ”, “false messiah”, and “the beast”.  The “antichrist” will participate in ushering in a new world order.  Wars will be involved as nations and leaders try to sort out a semblance of order and power.  There are several opinions as to how this might play out, but I will give my understanding here.

A New World Order

First, shortly after the rapture, it appears that either the “antichrist” or the “false prophet” will enter into a covenant with Israel.  The covenant may be made for 7 years (peace agreement), or it may be presented as eternal (a “new messianic covenant”).  It is also possible that God reconfirms His Abrahamic covenant with Israel through supernaturally protecting them from annihilation at this point.  The confirming of this covenant, whatever it turns out to be, will start an event known as the 70th Week of Daniel.  This 70th Week pertains directly to the nation of Israel and ethnic Hebrews, and is generally known as “The 7 Year Tribulation”.  The Third Temple will be built in Jerusalem (or Shiloh? or the city of David?) at this time.

Concurrently, the world will first be divided into four parts (“kingdoms”). Two kingdoms may be ruled by singular rulers. One kingdom will be ruled by 4 “kings”. The fourth kingdom will be ruled by 10 “kings”. In this fourth kingdom, three of these 10 kings will be quickly displaced by the man who will become the “antichrist”. This fourth kingdom, led by the antichrist, will take over the other 3 kingdoms over the next few years.  While people often talk about the antichrist ushering in a “peace treaty” and “false peace”, I personally don’t see the first half of the “Tribulation” as peaceful at all.  World leaders will be posturing and fighting trying to both rise to power and establish control and organization following the massive destruction of the opening of the Seals.

By the midpoint of the “Tribulation”, the antichrist will have successfully achieved world rule.  This antichrist (“beast”) kingdom will then be granted global rule by God for a period of 1260 days. God will oversee and allow this as part of Israel’s purification.

The “antichrist” will be supported by a false prophet.  The false prophet may identify himself “Elijah”.  These two, and their entourage, will be extremely convincing and will be accompanied by all kinds of miraculous signs and wonders.  They will be empowered by none other than satan – forming an “unholy trinity”.

At some point, the “antichrist” will likely identify as the Jewish messiah.  He may also identify as the messiah for other religions as well, explaining that everyone had different understandings of the same thing.  He may encourage Old Testament-style worship of God… at first.  Some of Israel (up to 2/3) will embrace this man as their anticipated messiah, here to usher in the messianic kingdom.  They will believe the events that will have already transpired (wars in which they survived, the building of the Third Temple, sacrifices restarting) have fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies.  They will believe that a time of peace and prosperity for Israel, the millennial kingdom, is nigh.  In reality, their time of testing is just beginning.

The First Half – God’s Witnesses

Meanwhile, right after the church has been taken to heaven, God will have sent witnesses to declare the gospel.  There will be two special prophets for God who will proclaim truth.  They will speak out against the “antichrist” and his deception.  There will also be 144,000 Hebrews who come to faith in Jesus Christ.  These 144,000 will be sealed by God and protected from some of the cataclysmic events that take place.

Remember the four horsemen?  The effects of the opening of the seals will be playing out upon the earth during the first half of the “Tribulation”.  Cataclysmic disasters will continue and supernatural beings will appear.  There are 7 specific “Trumpets of Judgment” that will take place.  The first 4 involve death of trees and green grass, contamination of the oceans, contamination of fresh water, and dimming of the sun, moon, and stars (possibly from atmospheric contamination).   These 4 possibly occur very shortly after the rapture of the church.  Trumpet 5 involves a 5 month long torment of humanity by a demonic army, where people will seek death (suicide) but it will not be found.

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The truth of the gospel will not be popular, and the Two Witnesses will be killed after 3.5 years of ministry (42 months / 1260 days) by the “antichrist”.  Most on the earth will celebrate their deaths by giving gifts.  This is the only celebration mentioned in the book of Revelation.  The 144,000 may also be killed around this time.  Trumpet 6 involves another demonic army that begins at some point after the 5 month torture ends.  This army kills 1/3 of humanity over a period of time ending when the two witnesses for God are resurrected from the dead – 3.5 days after their deaths.

In total, over 50% of humanity has now been killed (over 3 billion people), by the midpoint of “The Tribulation”.  The “Great Tribulation” – that period of time when the antichrist is given global rule for 1260 days and is allowed to persecute and kill those who do not worship him – will have not yet begun!  The massive death tolls from war, famine, plagues, wild animals and demonic armies, will focus much of humanity’s efforts on mere survival.

The Second Half – Antichrist’s Rule

Near the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week, the “antichrist” will be killed. It is likely that the he will die via a head wound.  He will miraculously rise from the dead with God’s permission.  His first course of action will be to kill the Two Witnesses. At some point (likely upon their death), the “antichrist” will set himself up in the Jewish temple, proclaiming to be “god”. He will stop all sacrifices to God and desecrate the altar. This is the trigger for Jews who know their Tanach (Old Testament) to flee to the wilderness.  The warning is given both in the books of Daniel (OT – Daniel 9:27) and Matthew (NT – Matthew 24:15-21).

When Jesus came and revealed Himself to be God after 3.5 years of ministry, Israel killed Him. When the “antichrist” reveals himself to be “god” 3.5 years into Daniel’s 70th Week, it appears that Israel embraces him.  This is foretold by Jesus in John 5:43 – “I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.”

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While the “antichrist” is celebrating his victory, the 2 bodies of God’s witnesses will lay in the streets of Jerusalem. 3.5 days later, they will rise from the dead and God will call them up to heaven. A great earthquake will result and 7000 people will die. This ends the 6th Trumpet judgment (the “second woe”).  The 7th trumpet blows at some point after the “antichrist” declares himself to be god.

The “antichrist” will establish world rule at this time, merging religion, economy, and power.  He will set up an economic system which requires taking his mark or pledging allegiance to him to be able to buy or sell.  Will this mark alter DNA in some manner?  An angel will warn mankind not to take this mark – this is the final warning before God outpours the final 7 Bowls of His wrath.  True salvation is still possible up until taking the mark of the beast.  Choose wisely, your eternal soul is at stake!

Once the mark system has been set up, at some point the 7 Bowls, which complete God’s wrath, will be outpoured.  These judgments involve painful sores appearing on people who have taken the mark of the beast; the entire sea turning to blood and all sea creatures dying; all rivers and springs becoming blood; scorching by the sun; the kingdom of the beast being plunged into darkness; the Euphrates river drying up to allow humanity to assemble for a final battle against Jesus; and finally, the greatest global earthquake ever will resurface the planet, accompanied by a severe thunderstorm and 100 pound hailstones.

The Ending is Decreed, It Will Come to Pass

As the 6th Bowl of wrath is poured out, the “antichrist” will send deceiving spirits to gather the world for a war against Jesus Christ.  My guess is that he will state that this is the final battle before humankind’s evolutionary transformation can be completed… but that is speculation… Once everyone is gathered, they will prepare for the Battle of Armageddon.  It appears that God will provide a final escape route for those dwelling in Jerusalem via the Mount of Olives splitting, before the Battle of Armageddon ensues. The battle will occur 1260 (or possibly 1290) days after the “antichrist” declares himself to be god and sets up the “abomination of desolation” on the Temple altar.

The ending is decreed and it will come to pass – Jesus Christ will appear with His heavenly armies (angels and human followers who were taken at the beginning of this tribulation).  It won’t be a battle though, Jesus will simply open His mouth and defeat all who are gathered by a Word.  All the armies gathered against Him will be defeated in one big wallop by the sword of the Spirit – the Word of God.

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The beast (“antichrist”) and the false prophet will be thrown alive into the lake of fire.  All humans opposing Jesus Christ will be killed.  It’s not going to be a good death – And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples that wage war against Jerusalem: their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. And on that day a great panic from the Lord shall fall on them, so that each will seize the hand of another, and the hand of the one will be raised against the hand of the other.  (Zechariah 14:12-13 ESV).  Satan will then be thrown into the abyss and chained for 1000 years – the duration of Christ’s Millennial Kingdom.

This completes the Day of the Lord and the 70th week of Daniel.

The Millennial Kingdom and Eternity

Once the Battle of Armageddon is complete, humanity will be judged on whether or not they can enter the Millennial Kingdom.  This is known as the “Sheep and Goats Judgement” and the separation of the “Wheat and Tares”.  Believers during the “Tribulation” will not be sealed by the Holy Spirit and will be responsible for ensuring they remain in the faith until the end.  They also are required to demonstrate their faith through good works.  True believers, the “sheep” and “wheat”, will be ushered in to the Millennial Kingdom.  Unbelievers, or those who lost their faith, the “goats” and “tares”, will be killed and sent to hell to await the Great White Throne judgment.

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The true Messianic Kingdom will then be ushered in by Jesus, and will last 1000 years. During this period of time, the Earth will be restored to near-Eden-like condition with most aspects of the curse reversed.  Longevity will be restored.  Only the “sin nature” will remain.  Remarkably, even under the direct rule of Christ, humanity will still be filled with rebellion.  A number too high to count will rise up at the end of this time period when Satan is released for a “little season”.  They will gather against Jesus, yes, again, and the Last Battle will ensue.  Humanity still hasn’t learned that you can’t beat God, and they will all be destroyed with no actual fighting.

This form of heaven and earth will pass away, followed by the Great White Throne Judgment.  The Great White Throne judgment will see the resurrection of all humanity from the dead to face the living God.  This does not include those who participated in the “first resurrection” – all those in Christ prior to the Millennial Kingdom.  Followers of Christ (from the Millennial Kingdom) will enter eternal life; those who rejected Jesus will be cast into the eternal Lake of Fire.

Once judgment is complete, Eternity ensues.  Humans are eternal – our souls never die.  Where your soul will spend eternity is completely up to you, but it can only be decided while in your physical body.

There is only ONE road that leads to life, and that is through Jesus Christ.  Those who have not had their sin debt paid by the blood of Jesus will face God’s wrath and judgments.   Please consider carefully if your heart has truly been transformed (“born again”).  There is a difference between religion (including intellectual knowledge and the traditions of man), and relationship with God!  Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

Matthew 16:26 ESV

We urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.  For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

2 Corinthians 6:1-2 ESV


For Further Reading:

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

 

The Destruction of Damascus – Isaiah 17

Israel is the central focus of Bible Prophecy.  God made an everlasting covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to give their descendants a specific land region in the Middle East.  There are a few prophetic events set to occur which will usher in the completion of this covenant!  One of these is the fulfillment of Isaiah 17.  Note the bolded verses for further discussion:

The Destruction of Damascus – Isaiah 17 (ESV)

A prophecy against Damascus:

“See, Damascus will no longer be a city
    but will become a heap of ruins.
The cities of Aroer will be deserted
    and left to flocks, which will lie down,
    with no one to make them afraid.
 The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim,
    and royal power from Damascus;
the remnant of Aram will be
    like the glory of the Israelites,”
declares the Lord Almighty.

 “In that day the glory of Jacob will fade;
    the fat of his body will waste away.
 It will be as when reapers harvest the standing grain,
    gathering the grain in their arms—
as when someone gleans heads of grain
    in the Valley of Rephaim.
 Yet some gleanings will remain,
    as when an olive tree is beaten,
leaving two or three olives on the topmost branches,
    four or five on the fruitful boughs,”
declares the Lord, the God of Israel.

 In that day people will look to their Maker
    and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel.
 They will not look to the altars,
    the work of their hands,
and they will have no regard for the Asherah poles
    and the incense altars their fingers have made.

 In that day their strong cities, which they left because of the Israelites, will be like places abandoned to thickets and undergrowth. And all will be desolation.

You have forgotten God your Savior;
    you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress.
Therefore, though you set out the finest plants
    and plant imported vines,
 though on the day you set them out, you make them grow,
    and on the morning when you plant them, you bring them to bud,
yet the harvest will be as nothing
    in the day of disease and incurable pain.

Woe to the many nations that rage—
    they rage like the raging sea!
Woe to the peoples who roar—
    they roar like the roaring of great waters!
 Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters,
    when he rebukes them they flee far away,
driven before the wind like chaff on the hills,
    like tumbleweed before a gale.
 In the evening, sudden terror!
    Before the morning, they are gone!
This is the portion of those who loot us,
    the lot of those who plunder us.

 Concerning Damascus:

“Hamath and Arpad are confounded, for they have heard bad news; they melt in fear, they are troubled like the sea that cannot be quiet. Damascus has become feeble, she turned to flee, and panic seized her; anguish and sorrows have taken hold of her, as of a woman in labor.  How is the famous city not forsaken, the city of my joy?  Therefore her young men shall fall in her squares,and all her soldiers shall be destroyed in that day, declares the Lord of hosts.  And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall devour the strongholds of Ben-hadad.”

(Jeremiah 49:23-27 ESV)

Prerequisites of This War:

None given.

Purpose of This War:

God’s specific intervention is not mentioned here, other than it seems “He rebukes” the peoples and nations that are raging against Israel.  His intent seems to be so that “people will look to their Maker and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel”.  He is addressing Israel, who has “forgotten God [their] Savior”.  

Who Are the Players?

  • Damascus, Syria
  • Cities of Aroer – modern Jordan
  • Fortified City in Ephraim – modern West Bank (ancient city of Samaria, capital of northern Kingdom of Israel)
  • Remnant of Aram – Syria
  • Israel
  • “many nations” and “peoples” – this is enigmatic

It will be interesting to see if this “many nations” and “peoples” is the same as “all his hordes – many peoples are with you” mentioned in Ezekiel 38:6 and the many nations  described in Psalm 83.

Timing of This War:

This war is yet future.  It has to occur when Israel is established as a nation but before her repentance and spiritual restoration.  They are in a state of having “forgotten God [their] Savior”, their “Rock” and their “fortress”.  There is no mention of the Temple in this prophecy, or even of Jerusalem at all.  It would seem that the third Temple is yet future when this war erupts.  It also must be before or in the days starting the Day of the Lord (as that is when Israel’s partial blindness is removed – Rom 11:25, and thus they would no longer be forgetting God, their rock and their fortress).

Isaiah 17 seems to share Jordan, West Bank, and Syria as conspirators with Psalm 83.   It seems Isaiah 17 could be the spark which lights the fuse of Psalm 83, which in turn paves the way for an all-out explosion of Ezekiel 38-39.  There is some suggestion that Psalm 83 may have been fulfilled in the 6-day war of 1967; if this is the case, Isaiah 17 could be connected with Ezekiel 38-39 in some way.

The language bolded in the passages above is very descriptive of the Day of the Lord.  The Day of the Lord begins at some point when God rises up in wrath to protect Israel from imminent destruction.  I personally suspect that the destruction of Damascus will occur either simultaneously with other wars against Israel or within days/weeks of other wars with Islamic nations.  I believe these wars will be connected with the start of the Day of the Lord, from the references to the woman in labor (which is “the time of Jacob’s trouble”) and “that Day”.

Summary of This War:

The prophecy in Isaiah 17 points to the complete destruction of Damascus, Syria, never to be restored again. This is noteworthy because presently the city is recognized as the world’s longest constantly inhabited city.  Other cities (not defined) are affected as well, and will be abandoned and desolated.  The only modern example for a city to be abandoned completely is in the Chernobyl nuclear accident, so nuclear warfare might be involved here.  In Jeremiah 49, it states that God kindles a fire in the wall of Damascus to make it fall, and that may be connected to this prophecy.

Isaiah refers to “that day” three times in this chapter.  “That Day” is generally used in scripture to specifically refer to the “Day of the Lord”.  Here, “that day” connects the destruction of Damascus with the “day” when the “glory of Jacob fades” and only “gleanings” remain.  This is consistent with the Day of the Lord, or the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble”, where 2/3 of the Israelites will perish and 1/3 will be brought through the fires of testing (Zechariah 13:8-9).  The Day of the Lord is not a single day, but a timespan of up to 7 years.  This does not suggest the battle lasts for 7 years, but that the effects of it might – especially when coupled with all the other events of the great and terrible Day of the Lord.

The “many nations” and “peoples” who are attempting to plunder Israel are “driven before the wind like chaff on the hills, like tumbleweed before a gale” in the span of one evening/night.  Interestingly, this same statement is made by Asaph in Psalm 83 – “Make them like tumbleweed, my God, like chaff before the wind.” (v13).  It seems that the enemies flee, and are not destroyed.

Note that other end time events are not specifically dependent on this battle/war in any way, but speculation on its’ timing does make it easier to visualize fulfillment of other events such as the Third Temple construction.  Logical placement (through human eyes) would put this very soon on the prophetic timetable, before or in conjunction with the rapture of the church.

There certainly has been a lot of action in Damascus lately and it is one to watch closely.

Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

Overview of Coming Prophetic Wars

Nation Rising Against Nation, Kingdom Rising Against Kingdom – WW3

Target Israel: Arab-Israeli Promised Land War of Psalm 83

Target Israel: Gog and Magog War of Ezekiel 38 & 39

Connecting Isaiah 17, Psalm 83, Ezekiel 38&39

Commentary on the Isaiah 17 prophecy (Jack Kelley) – From 2013, but things in Syria have heated up quite considerably since then.

When God Intervenes (Douglas Berner) – Very detailed discussion, the best I have read.  I recommend this book for multiple reasons!

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

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Target Israel: The Battle of Armageddon

The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east.  And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs.  For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty.  And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.    Revelation 16:12-14,16 ESV

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.  He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.  And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.  From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army.  And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.  And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh. Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain.  And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,  and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended.  Revelation 19:11-15, 19-20:3 ESV

Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst.  For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.  Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle.  On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.  And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.  On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost. And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.  And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.   Zechariah 14:1-7, 9 ESV

Who is Involved:

The antichrist, the false prophet, satan (the dragon), and their deceiving spirits collect a vast army from ALL the functioning nations of the world.  The Euphrates river appears to dry up to allow the “kings from the east” access.  This is done under the authority and at the command of God as indicated in Zechariah 14.

Jesus will appear on a white horse, backed by all the armies of heaven (also mounted on white horses).

Where Is This Battle?

The antichrist and his armies assemble in a Valley called Armageddon.  In Hebrew, this word is Har-Magedone, meaning “mount” or “hill” called Megiddo.  A possible location is the hill country surrounding the plain of Meggido, about 100km north of Jerusalem.  Many battles have been fought in this region historically.

Michael Heiser, in his book Unseen Realm, suggests that the Battle of Armageddon is in and around the end-times city of Jerusalem.  This would correlate with the destruction of Mystery Babylon, which according to Chris White in his book Mystery Babylon, is the end-times city of Jerusalem.  The connection between the battle of Armageddon and Jerusalem is made in Zechariah 14, when the Lord gathers all nations against Jerusalem to battle.

For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.  Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle.  Zechariah 14:2-3 ESV

When Does This Occur:

The battle of Armageddon is FUTURE.  It is placed at the end of the Day of the Lord, which is also the ending of the 70th week of Daniel (the very end of what is called the 7-year “Tribulation”).  It follows the 6th Bowl of Wrath, and is likely coincident with the 7th Bowl.  While the armies spend some time mustering between the 6th and 7th Bowls, when Jesus appears on His white horse in the heavens – “It is Finished”.  “Battle” turns out to be a misnomer, as all God’s enemies are destroyed immediately with no fighting on the part of the armies of heaven.  (Thus, it’s over in a matter of minutes, all in one day).

Since we have been told that the antichrist is given exactly 1260 days of authority over the nations, and this authority begins at the “abomination of desolation” when he sets himself up as god in the Jewish Temple, this “Battle” would seem to occur 1260 days after the antichrist claims to be god.  It can also be calculated as 2520 days after the confirmation of a covenant of some type with Israel.

Why Does This Battle Occur?

The antichrist, empowered by satan, likely deceives the world into believing he is the “true messiah”, or the “true god”.  In order for his rule to be complete, or for humanity to evolve spiritually (or whatever he’s going to claim), humanity needs to collectively fight against and defeat Jesus.  It’s the ultimate battle between good and evil, the climax of the age of humanity.

What Happens:

The antichrist and his crew of deceiving spirits riles humanity up for the final battle between good and evil.  He will claim to be the one on the “good side”, with God/Jesus on the “bad side”.  He will assemble his armies in or around Jerusalem.

While the armies are assembling, it will be a horrible time for Jerusalem.  Zechariah states at this time “Jerusalem shall be taken” – it seems that this may be when the antichrist turns on the “harlot” (the end-times city of Jerusalem) and Mystery Babylon is destroyed. This would place the destruction of Mystery Babylon (Jerusalem) between the 6th and 7th bowls, which is consistent with the placement of the detailed description of its’ fall in Revelation 17-18 (right before the Second Coming).  It also explains why God seems to provide an escape route for His people to flee at the last second (Come out of her, my People!), when the Mount of Olives is split right before the Battle of Armageddon.  This gives the kings of the earth (different individuals than the 10 kings ruling with the antichrist) a bit of time to mourn over her destruction, before the final battle ensues.

I really feel badly for deluded humanity, because they are about to find out they fell for the biggest lie of all time.  Jesus appears in the clouds of heaven in power and great glory, mounted on a white horse.  He comes in judgment.  First, the beast (antichrist) and the false prophet are thrown alive into the lake of fire. Then, satan is thrown into the abyss and chained for 1000 years – the duration of Christ’s Millennial Kingdom.

In Daniel 7, we see a more detailed view of the judgment of the antichrist and the rest of the beasts (fallen angels).  God is set up with His counsel as in a court of judgment.  The antichrist (beast) is judged and thrown into the lake of fire.  The rest of the beasts (fallen angels, including satan), are thrown into the abyss and locked up for the 1000 year Millennial Kingdom:

“As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. “I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn [antichrist/beast] was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire.  As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven   there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.” Daniel 7:9-14 ESV

After the fallen supernatural beings have been dealt with, Jesus  will defeat the human armies gathered at Armageddon with one swift fiery blast from His mouth:  “And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse”  (Rev 19).  The sword is the Sword of the Spirit – the Word of God.  It’s not going to be a good death – And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples that wage war against Jerusalem: their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. And on that day a great panic from the Lord shall fall on them, so that each will seize the hand of another, and the hand of the one will be raised against the hand of the other.  (Zechariah 14:12-13 ESV).  

 

Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

Overview of Coming Prophetic Wars

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

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