We are to watch and pray for the Lord’s return. We will help you do so by keeping our eyes on the signs of the times and reporting them to you. Jesus chastised the Pharisees for not knowing the signs of the times in His day. So He wants to us know the signs today, for they instill in us hope for the future and encourage us to evangelize the lost while there is still time.
In the end, only one eschatological (end times) view can play out. Opposing views about when and how Christ returns cannot be weighted equally, because they do not all possess either the historical facts or consistent theological message which qualifies and quantifies their particular interpretations. The only logically, scripturally consistent method of interpretation, is to take the text for what it says. If one were reading a medical book, or newspaper, one would take it at face value...so why can't we apply that same level of interpretive application to God's word? The same God who spoke the very universe into being, is the same one who inspired the prophets and apostles to write the very words we read. And if the naturalistic world can be understood down to the very fabric of our being (DNA), why do we arbitrarily apply some mystical level of interpretation to what the text clearly say?
It is a truth that there is nothing that God has done that Satan will not try to use for his own ends. Satan mimics God and he will do so again at the end of the age to deceive the whole world. Even though Satan is the most powerful being created by God, Satan is still not powerful enough that he can create. All he can do is take what already exists and corrupt it for his own ends. This is what he will do with the coming of his "man of sin," his own satanic version of Christ.
Let's all understand this point one more time - pretribbers do not (and should not) believe the church is exempt from experiencing tribulation. This is occurring now and has throughout history. Don't use that excuse. It's an old horse that's been beaten to death and won't race.
Moreover, it has been my experience that even non-pretribbers ask for prayers to alleviate difficult times. Nobody likes tribulation. Speaking of which, I'm interested in how my non-pretrib friends prepare for it.
Let's start from a birds-eye view. The Book of Revelation presents a timeline of endtime events, beginning with tribulation and ending with the final victory-of the Lamb over His enemies, as promised. It is this timeline in Revelation that enables us to figure out how all of the pieces of the prophetic picture scattered throughout the Old Testament books fit in, together giving us a wide-scope but also, detailed picture of the events prophesied to be our world to an end.
And Revelation begins with the state of the Church on earth (actually, in sequence, an entire timeline of church history, ending with the apostate church of Laodicea) followed by, in chronological sequence:
Two of the most dominant eschatological positions in Christendom today, are Amillennialism, and Post-Millennialism. Literally, hundreds of millions of people who claim the Christian faith, are taught and believe in either of these two views whether knowingly or unknowingly. In fact, most of these people have very little knowledge about the last days, and are kept in the dark by their denominational leadership. But why? I mean after all, why are Christians, of all people, so opposed to the return of the Messiah they claim to follow?
According to Scriptures, the picture of the last days is a world that is perilous, violent, wicked, and grossly unaware of the precarious situation it finds itself in. This paints a very different picture from that of the Post-Millennial view, which says that the world will continue to become increasingly Christianized and the Church triumphant which is what trigger's Christ's return.
Hal Lindsey once speculated that at his judgment Satan hurled two accusations at God. "You're not just and You have no love." In past studies we have seen how God demonstrated His perfect justice through Israel and His perfect love through the Church. In this study, we'll talk about a time in the future when both perfect justice and perfect love will govern the lives of people on Earth.
I routinely have conversations with friends of mine in the Bible prophecy community, and many of us are virtually shocked at the speed with which prophecies are being fulfilled. You know that too, as well as we do. The feedback I get each week from readers shows that they are savvy, engaged, and well aware of where we are on God's timeline.
The sheer scope of issues is dizzying: of course, Israel is no. 1, by a long shot. Then you have the absolutely astonishing apostasy that is casting a dark shadow over the American church. Behind that we have wars and rumors of wars, plagues, natural disasters, geopolitical disasters, and economic woes. Most of these problems are man's self-inflicted idiocy.
Through it all, though, we have the Blessed Hope.
The next event on God's calendar is the Rapture of the Church. After that will follow Daniel's 70th week, then Christ will return with His Church at the end of Daniel's 70th week and set up His millennial kingdom, which is called the 1,000 year Millennium.
It does not upset me if others do not believe as I do regarding these events, but some folks really get uptight about these matters. For example, a few have tried to "straighten me out." Others simply say I'm a false prophet and going to hell. Some question my salvation in very colorful ways, while others are just plain ticked off that I would believe in a Rapture at all.
Not only will he rise to power before the world can catch its breath, but once in power he will be the most furious and destructive ruler in the history of mankind. Driven by his knowledge, he has only a very short time to rule, he will wreak havoc on our world, the kind of havoc that will make Hitler seem like a cream puff. (Da 11:44)
The Bible says he will have an introduction to the world; a sudden exposing of the man is called a revelation in the scripture, which indicates that his identity is kept largely secret until the day he is "revealed."
In this study, I'd like to take another look at Revelation 20-22 specifically for the purpose of clarifying the sequence of events that are contained therein. This won't be a verse by verse study, but will focus on what I believe to be the way John wanted us to understand what he was telling us.
Let me begin by stating once again my belief that the book of Revelation is laid out chronologically for the most part. But there are places where John followed a particular scene to its conclusion and then back tracked to pick up the story where he left off. A good example of this concerns the account of the two witnesses. Their entire 1260 day ministry was compressed into 11 verses between the 6th and 7th trumpet judgments (Rev. 11:3-13) and yet it will actually span most of the Great Tribulation.