The Order of Events of the Last Days

The Last Days

In order to list the events that will take place in the Last Days and the order in which they will occur, we must define the Last Days themselves. According to the Scriptures, the Last Days began with the ministry of Jesus Christ.

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. Heb.1:1-2

In these passages, the First-Century writer tells us that he was living in the Last Days, and that the Last Days began with the ministry of Jesus Christ. This would make the start of the Last Days the First Coming of Jesus Christ. Likewise, the Apostle Peter tells us that Last Days will end with the promised coming of the Lord, when the earth will be destroyed by fire.

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and the destruction of the ungodly. 2 Pet. 3:3-7

From these verses, we learn that the Last Days will end at the Second Coming of Christ, when the earth will be destroyed by fire, and the world will be judged. Based on the above, we can say that when the Scriptures speak of the Last Days, they are referring to the entire period from the First Coming of Jesus Christ to His Second Coming. The Last Days are not a future time that will occur at the end of the age, but the days that we are now in and that will continue until the Lord returns. Having identified the Last Days, we can now list the events that will take place within this period and the order in which they will occur.

The Order of Events of the Last Days
1. The Ascension of Jesus Christ

According to the Scriptures, the Last Days began with the First Coming of Jesus Christ, and they will end when the earth is destroyed by fire at His Second Coming. In order to show God’s servants, the events that will take place during this period, the Apostle John was taken up to Heaven where he saw the Throne of God.

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also, in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. Rev. 4:1-7


As the above passages describe, when John was brought before the Throne of God, he saw the Father seated on the throne, and the Spirit of God in front of the throne. Surrounding the throne were the Four Living Creatures and the Twenty-Four Elders. Not mentioned in this scene is the Son of God, which tells us that John was being shown events prior to the Ascension of Jesus Christ to Heaven. Having been given the above reference point, John, next, saw a Scroll with Seven Seals in the right hand of him who sat on the throne.

Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. Rev. 5:1-3

As we will soon discover, the Scroll with Seven Seals contained a description of the events that were to be shown to John but whose contents were sealed. When no one could be found who was worthy to open the scroll, it caused John to weep until the Lamb appeared and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne.

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. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. Rev. 5:6-7

The appearing of the Lamb looking as if it had been slain and standing at the center of the throne is an unmistakable description of the Ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven following His crucifixion. From this account, we learn that the timeline of events has moved from the period before the Ascension of Jesus Christ to right after this event. In this way, John was shown the first event to take place in the Last Days, namely, the Ascension of Jesus Christ to Heaven.

The Order of Events of the Last Days
1. The Ascension of Jesus Christ
2. Increasing Wars, Famines, and Plagues

After witnessing the Ascension of Jesus Christ, John was shown the next event to take place in the Last Days through the opening of the Scroll with Seven Seals. When the First Seal was opened, John saw a rider on a white horse who carried a bow and who rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
Rev. 6:1-2

The rider on the white horse was followed by the opening of the next Three Seals, which revealed riders on red, black, and pale horses that brought war, famine, and death.

When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword. Rev. 6:3-4

When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!” Rev. 6:5-6

When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. Rev. 6:7-8

More information concerning the Four Horsemen can be found in the Book of Zechariah, where the four horses are further identified as the four spirits of heaven who stand before the Lord of all the earth.

With the first chariot were red horses, with the second chariot black horses, with the third chariot white horses, and with the fourth chariot strong dappled horses. Then I spoke and said to the angle who was speaking with me, “What are these, my lord?” The angel replied to me, “These are the four spirits of heaven, going forth after standing before the Lord of all the earth.” Zech. 6:2-5

From the above passages, we learn that in the events of the Four Horseman, John was being shown the progression of wars and the heavenly forces behind them. The description of these wars begins with a king who rides out as a conqueror bent on conquest (white horse) and who initiates war (red horse). The disruptions of war lead to famines (black horse) and combined together, the above circumstances bring death by sword, famine, and plague (pale horse). These same wars will also bring death by the wild beasts of the earth, which also increase in numbers in lands affected by war, as seen in the following example.

The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. Deut. 7:22

The above wars were also described by the Lord who said the above wars were also described by the Lord who said that wars and rumors of wars would continue like birth pains until the end comes.

“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” Matt. 24:6-8

From the Lord’s description, we learn that the First Four Seals are not just giving a picture of future events, but, rather, the wars that have occurred since the Ascension of Jesus Christ, and that are taking place today, and that will increase in frequency like birth pains the closer we get to the end. Thus, the next event to take place in the Last Days, following the Ascension of Jesus Christ, is the continuation of war.

NOTE: Based on the Lord’s warning, the first event that we should Keep Watch for is increasing wars, famines, plagues, and earthquakes.

The Order of Events of the Last Days
1. The Ascension of Jesus Christ
2. Increasing Wars, Famines, and Plagues
3. The Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven

In the opening of the First Four Seals, John was shown the wars, famines, and plagues that have occurred throughout the Last Days and that will increase like birth pains before the end comes. In addition to increasing wars, famines, and plagues, the events of the Last Days will also bring an increase in the number of those who will be slain because of the Word of God and their testimony. These martyrs will cry out to God for judgment and revenge as revealed in the opening of the Fifth Seal.

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been. Rev. 6:9-11

The above scene describes how as we approach the end of the Last Days, the souls of the Martyrs in Heaven, who have been slain since the time of Christ, will be gathered at the altar of God. These martyrs will call out to the Lord and ask, “How long until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” In answer to their cries, the Martyrs in Heaven will be told that they must wait (rest) a little longer until their brothers and sisters were killed just as they had been. This is a reference to a future period of world-wide persecution, known as the Great Tribulation, when the brothers and sisters of the Martyrs in Heaven will be slain. The Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven will mark the beginning of the end of the Last Days and will be followed by the sealing of the 144,000 From all the Tribes of Israel.

NOTE: In the Revelation, the term “Inhabitants of the Earth”, which is used in the above prayer, always refers to the unrepentant among mankind. Some Bible translations use the phrase “those who live on the earth” to describe this same group of people. (See Rev. 3:10, 6:10, 8:13, 11:10, 13:8, 13:14, 17:2, 17:8)

Order of Events of the Last Days
1. The Ascension of Jesus Christ
2. Increasing Wars, Famines, and Plagues
3. The Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven
4. The 144,000 are Sealed


When the Fifth Seal was opened, John saw the Martyrs in Heaven pray for judgment and revenge, which will lead to the final events of the Last Days. Following the prayer of the martyrs, a Faithful Remnant from Israel will be sealed with the Mark of God on their forehead, and Four Angels who stand at the four corners of the earth will be given the power to harm the land, the sea, and the trees.
 
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. Rev. 7:1-4

In the above verses, those who are sealed are described as the 144,000 from all the Tribes of Israel, who will be set apart before the Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees begin. Combined with the previous chapter, the description of the 144,000 gives us the three groups of people who will be on earth when the above events take place as follows 1.) The 144,000 From all the Tribes of Israel, 2.) The followers of Christ from every nation, including the brothers and sisters who will be martyred in the Great Tribulation, and 3.) The Inhabitants of the Earth, which is a description of the unrepentant among mankind.

As we will soon discover, the purpose of the Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees will be to serve as a warning to those who live on the earth before the prayer of the martyrs for judgment and revenge is answered. Accordingly, the above plagues will not strike the Inhabitants of the Earth themselves but will harm the world around them.

NOTE: The question often arises as to whether the 144,000 are a literal or symbolic representation of God’s people. In answer to this question, it can be said that in every instance in the Old and New Testament where this or a similar phrase is used, it always refers to the literal Twelve Tribes of Israel.
(See Matt. 19:28, Lk. 22:30, Acts 26:7, Jas. 1:1)

Likewise, it is often asked if the number 144,000 is a literal or symbolic number. This question comes from the observation of how the number 12 is used repeatedly in the Scriptures, in such cases as the 12 apostles, the 12 tribes of Isreal, and the 24 elders, and is sad to represent government. Based on this precedent, it is assumed that the number 144,000, which is a product of 12, is also a symbolic number that should not be taken literally. However, this conclusion is opposed by the fact that, although the number 12 does carry spiritual significance in the Scriptures, in each of the above instance, it is also the literal number of God’s people being described i.e., there are 12 literal apostles, 12 literal tribes of Israel, and 24 literal elders. In this way, the use of the number 12 is both literal and symbolic. In the same way, the number 144,000 has symbolic importance but is also the literal number of God’s people who will be sealed.

The Order of Events of the Last Days
1. The Ascension of Jesus Christ
2. Increasing Wars, Famines, and Plagues
3. The Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven
4. The 144,000 are Sealed
5. The Two Witnesses Call Down Plagues

As we approach the end of the Last Days, the Martyrs in Heaven, who have been killed since the time of Christ, will pray for judgment and revenge, and the 144,000 from all the Tribes of Israel will be sealed. Following these events, the Four Angels will be given the power to harm the land, the sea, and the trees. To those on earth, the Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees will be announced by two prophets, known as the Two Witnesses, who will preach in Jerusalem and who will call down the above plagues as a warning to the Inhabitants of the Earth.

“And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days
(3 ½ years), clothed in sackcloth.” They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.” If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.
Rev. 11:3-6

During the 3 ½ years of their ministry, the Two Witnesses will call down the Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees, which is described in the above passages as the power to strike the earth with plagues as often as they want (the plague on the Land), the power to turn the waters into blood (the plague on the Sea), and the power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain (the plague on the Trees). From this description, we learn that when the Four Angels are given the power to harm the land, the sea, and the trees, it will be in order to carry out the plagues called down by the Two Witnesses, who will warn those who live on earth before the blood of the Martyrs in Heaven is avenged. In this way, the ministry of the two prophets can be compared to the Exodus of Israel from Egypt, and the ministry of Moses and Aaron, who also called down plagues as a sign to the people. As was the case of those two prophets, the Two Witnesses appear will call down plagues and will warn the Inhabitants of the Earth before the Wrath of God is poured out.

NOTE: The appearing of the Two Witnesses is another event that we should Keep Watch for that will signal that the final events of the Last Days are right at the door.

The Order of Events of the Last Days
1. The Ascension of Jesus Christ to Heaven
2. Increasing Wars, Famines, and Plagues
3. The Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven
4. The 144,000 are Sealed
5. The Two Witnesses Call Down Plagues
6. The Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees

As we approach the end of the Last Days, the Martyrs in Heaven, who have been killed since the time of Christ, will cry out for judgment and revenge. When the Martyrs in Heaven cry out for revenge, God will respond to their prayers by sending the Two Witnesses, who will call down Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees, as a warning to those who live on earth. To those in Heaven, these same plagues will be announced by Seven Angels who will be given Seven Trumpets.

And I the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayer sof God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake. Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them. Rev. 8:1-6

In these passages, the prayer of God’s people on the golden altar in front of the throne is another description of the Prayer of the Martyr’s in Heaven, who will pray for judgment and revenge. When the Martyrs in Heaven pray for judgment and revenge, the Two Witnesses will call down the Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees, and Seven Angels will prepare to sound the first of Seven Trumpets that will announce these same event to those in Heaven, as described below.

The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up. Rev. 8:7

The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. Rev. 8:8-9

The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter. Rev. 8:10-11


In the above passages, the plagues of the First Three Trumpets correspond with the plagues of the Two Witnesses as follows.
 
– When the Two Witnesses shut up the heavens so that it will not rain, it will cause a world-wide drought that will cause a third of the earth, a third of the trees, and all the green grass to be burned up, as announced by the sounding of the First Trumpet.

– When the Two Witnesses turn the waters into blood, a third of the fish in the sea to die and a third of the ships will be destroyed, as announced by the sounding of the Second Trumpet.

– When the Two Witnesses call down plagues on the earth as often as they want, it will include a plague on a third of the rivers and the springs of water. as announced by the sounding of the Third Trumpet.

The matching events of the Two Witnesses and the First Three Trumpets corresponds with how the Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees will be announced by both the prophets and the angels. Accordingly, when we read that the Seven Angels will prepare to sound the Seven Trumpets after the martyrs pray for judgment and revenge, it is a reference to how the Seven Angels will wait for the Two Witnesses to call down the above plagues on earth before the sounding the trumpets that will announce these same event to those in Heaven, and the Four Angels who will carry out the plagues.

The Whole World Hears the Gospel

Due to the magnitude of the plagues called down by the Two Witnesses, the whole world will become focused on the ministry of the two prophets, whose words will be carried to every nation, tribe, language, and people.

Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth, to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” Rev. 14:6-7

In these verses, the warning concerning the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the springs of water corresponds directly with the plagues that will be called down by the Two Witnesses, which tells us that the above passages are a description of the ministry of the two prophets, whose preaching will travel to everyone on earth and whose plagues will mark the beginning of the Hour of God’s Judgment. Accordingly, the ministry of the Two Witnesses will fulfill the following prophecy, which tells us that the gospel will be preached in the whole world before the end comes.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world a a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Matt. 24:14

As mentioned before, the ministry of the Two Witnesses has it comparison to the Exodus of Israel from Egypt, and the acts of Moses and Aaron, who also called down plagues as a warning to the people and whose words became known to everyone in the land. In the same way, the preaching of the two prophets will spread to all the Inhabitants of the Earth, who will refuse to repent and who will harden their hearts against God and His people.

NOTE: As we will read in later sections, the Two Witnesses will preach from Jerusalem, which tells us that the sea that will have a third of its waters turned to blood is most likely be the Mediterranean Sea, which lies closest to Israel.

NOTE: In the above passages, John was shown the Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven before the sounding of the Seven Trumpets, which is similar to how John witnessed the Ascension of Jesus Christ to Heaven before the opening of the Seven Seals. In each case, the Revelation used the passing of one event to show us when the next event will start (See Introduction: the Lesson From the Fig Tree).

The Order of Events of the Last Days
1. The Ascension of Jesus Christ
2. Increasing, Wars, Famines, and Plagues
3. The Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven
4. The 144,000 are Sealed
5. The Two Witnesses Call Down Plagues
6. The Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees
7. A Ruler Rises Up (the Beast)

As we approach the end of the Last Days, the Martyrs in Heaven will pray for judgment and revenge, and God will send the Two Witnesses, who will call down the Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees. The Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees will serve as a test of the Inhabitants of the Earth before the Prayer of the Martyrs for judgment and revenge is answered. Rather than humbling themselves before God at the sight of the plagues, the people on earth will reject the warning of the two prophets and will refuse to repent. The world’s opposition to the ministry of the Two Witnesses will be led by a future, world leader who is described elsewhere in the Scriptures as the antichrist but who the Revelation calls the Beast. (In the Revelation, the word antichrist is never used, instead, this future ruler is called the Beast.) In the following passage, the rise of the antichrist is pictured as the Beast coming out of the sea.

The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.
Rev. 13:1

In order to understand the above account of the Rise of the Beast, it is necessary to interpret the following Biblical symbolism.

– The dragon represents the devil, who is Satan. – Rev. 12:9
– The sea that the Beast comes from represents the Gentile (Non-Jewish) nations. – Rev 17:15
– The seven heads of the Beast represent seven kings or seven kingdoms. – Rev. 17:9-10
– The ten horns are ten kings who give their authority (crowns) to the Beast. – Rev. 17:12-13

Based upon our understanding of the Biblical symbolism, we can say that when the Beast (the antichrist) is described as coming out of the sea, it means that the Beast will come from the Gentile nations. The dragon who stands on the shore is the devil or Satan. The description of him standing on the shore of the sea as the Beast emerges is a word picture that describes how Satan will bring forth and empower the Beast. The ten horns of the Beast represent ten kings who will give their authority to the Beast.

In addition to the Revelation account, more information concerning the Rise of the Beast is given to us by the prophet Daniel who also wrote about the future king who will speak against God and who will arise from a Fourth Kingdom.

“The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws.” Dan. 7:23-25

When Daniel prophesied concerning the Fourth Kingdom, he was writing from the period of the Babylonian Empire. Based on this starting, this would make the Fourth Kingdom the Ancient Roman Empire, which came after the three kingdoms of Babylon, Persia, and Greece. Accordingly, when Daniel states that the ten kings will come from the Fourth Kingdom, it tells us that the kings will come from the descendants of the Ancient Roman Empire, whose borders once surrounded the Mediterranean Sea. Today, this territory includes the European states that surround the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the North African and Middle Easter countries that encircle the Mediterranean Sea to the south. From these same lands will come the ten kings from which another king (the Beast) will arise. Daniel further tells us that this future king will subdue three of the kings, which corresponds with how the Beast is described in the previous passage as emerging from the sea with ten horns, representing the ten kings who will form this kingdom, but with only seven heads, representing how the Beast will subdue three of the ten kings.

The Second Beast: the False Prophet

The Rise of the Beast will be accompanied by the rise of a Second Beast who is also described as the False Prophet (Rev. 19:20). The False Prophet will perform great signs that will cause the Inhabitants of the Earth to worship the First Beast (the antichrist).
 
Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. Rev. 13:11-13

From these passages, we learn that the Second Beast, or False Prophet, will exercise all the authority of the First Beast and will deceive the Inhabitants of the Earth into worshiping the antichrist.

NOTE:
In the above Scriptures, the Fourth Kingdom and the King Who Will Arise are both described as a beast. This tells us that the use of the word “beast” can refer to either the future king who will blaspheme God or his kingdom. When the False Prophet is also described a a beast, it reflects how he will exercise all the authority of the First Beast.

The Order of Events of the Last Days
1. The Ascension of Jesus Christ
2. Increasing Wars, Famines, and Plagues
3. The Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven
4. The 144,000 are Sealed
5. The Two Witnesses Call Down Plagues
6. The Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees
7. A Ruler Rises Up (the Beast)
8. The Attack on Jerusalem


Following the Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven for judgment and revenge, God will send the Two Witnesses will preach in Jerusalem and who will call down plagues in order to test the Inhabitants of the Earth. Rather than repenting for the blood of the martyrs that was shed by past generations, the Inhabitants of the Earth will be tormented by the words of the two prophets and will conspire to harm them. The world’s opposition to the ministry of the Two Witnesses will be led by a future ruler, known as the Beast (the antichrist), who will lead a coalition of ten nations.

The hatred that the world will have for the Two Witnesses will extend to the nation of Israel and to the rest of God’s people who will suffer increasing persecution during the ministry of the two prophets. Accordingly, when the Two Witnesses have finished their testimony, the Beast will lead the ten nations into an Attack on Jerusalem and will kill the two prophets.

Now when they (the Two Witnesses) have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified (Jerusalem). For three and a half days some from every people, tribe, language, and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth. Rev. 11:7-10

In these passages, the world’s hostility towards the Two Witnesses can be seen in how the Inhabitants of the Earth will gloat over the bodies of the two prophets and will celegrate their deaths by sending each other gifts. As mentioned above, when the Two Witnesses are killed, it will not be an isolated event but will take place a part of a larger attack on Jerusalem itself, as announced by the sounding of the Fourth Trumpet.

The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night. Rev. 8:12

Although, these verses do not mention Israel directly, we know that the events of the Fourth Trumpet are referring to an attack on Israel based on the description of how a third of the sun, moon, and stars will be struck. In the Scriptures, the sun, moon, and stars are used to represent Israel. This is first seen in the story of the Joseph who had a dream in which the original family of Israel is described as the sun, the moon, and the twelve stars.

Then he (Joseph) had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” Gen. 37:9-10

In the Revelation, the sun, the moon, and the twelve stars are also used to portray Israel, as seen in the following passages.

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman (Israel) clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars (the Twelve Tribes of Israel) on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth… She gave birth to a son, a male child (Jesus), who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. Rev. 12:1-2, 5

From these verses, we learn that when the Revelation tells us that a third of the sun, moon, and stars will be struck, it is a description of how a third of Israel will be killed during the Attack on Jerusalem. The future Attack on Jerusalem is also described in literal terms, in the following passages, where the people living in the city are warned that when they see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, they are to flee to the mountains.

“When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written.” Lk. 21:20-22

The flight of a remnant from Jerusalem is further described in the Revelation as the dragon (Satan) pursuing the woman (Israel) who will escape into the wilderness. When the Remnant from Israel flees from the city, the dragon will spew water like a river (the Gentile armies of the Beast) to pursue the woman, but the earth will swallow up the chasing armies in an earthquake.

When the dragon (Satan) saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman (Israel) who had given birth to the male child (Jesus). The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. (3 ½ years) Then from his mouth the serpent (Satan) spewed water like a river (a Gentile army), to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth (an earthquake) and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus (the Great Tribulation). Rev. 12:13-17

The above account tells us that when the Remnant from Israel flees into the wilderness, they will be saved when an earthquake destroys the pursuing armies of the Beast. following their escape, the Remnant will be taken care of for 3 1/2 years out of the Serpent’s reach. The escape of the Remnant will fill Satan with rage, and he will go off and wage a war against those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus, which another description of the Great Tribulation. Accordingly, the Attack on Jerusalem will be followed by the Great Tribulation when Satan will wage a war against God’s people for 3 1/2 years, and the Remnant form Israel will be kept hidden form the Serpent (Satan) in the wilderness. These same events are described in the following prophecy of Zechariah, who also wrote of the earthquake that will provide a way of escape for the Fleeing Remnant.

A day of the Lord is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will be plundered and divided up within your very walls. I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will 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. Zech. 14:1-5


Anyone who is familiar with the Old Testament will recognize the similarities between the above account of the flight of the Remnant from Jerusalem, and the exodus of Israel from Egypt. In the Exodus, it was the armies of Pharaoh who pursued the escaping children of Israel, and it was the sea that was divided and made a way of escape for the Israelites. Once Israel had passed through the sea, the waters swallowed up Pharaoh’s army. In the same way, when the future Attack on Jerusalem takes place, Israel will once again be pursued by an army but this time, it will be the Mount of Olives that is split in two and an earthquake that will swallow up the chasing armies of the Beast. When the armies of the Beast are destroyed and the Remnant from Israel escapes, it will fill Satan with rage, and he will, then, wage a war (the Great Tribulation) against those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony of Jesus.

NOTE: None of the wars that have taken place in Israel have included an earthquake that split the Mount of Olives in two, which tells us that the Attack on Jerusalem that is described in the above passages, is a future event.

NOTE: When Zechariah tells us that the Lord’s feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, prior to the mountain being split in two, it does not mean that God’s feet will literally appear on the mountain. Instead, this is the Scripture’s way of revealing that it will be the Lord who will cause the earthquake to occur. This is a common theme in the Scriptures, where God’s intervening in acts of nature is described as the Lord’s arm coming down or as the Lord sweeping His hand over the earth, etc.

The Lord will cause people to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail. Isa. 30:30

The Lord will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian sea; with a scorching wind he will sweep his hand over the Euphrates River. He will break it up into seven stream so that anyone can cross over in sandals. Isa. 11:15

In the above accounts, God’s physical arm, hand, or feet do not literally appear. Instead, these are word pictures that describe how God will use acts of nature to deliver his people.

NOTE: When we read that the Two Witnesses will be killed by the Beast after they have finished their testimony, it is another reference to how the preaching of the two prophets will reach the whole world before they are slain.

NOTE: As described in the above passages, the Great Tribulation will come as a result of the wrath of Satan who will be enraged when the Remnant escapes from Jerusalem. Accordingly, when the Bible tells us that Believers will not suffer from the Wrath of God (1 Thess. 5:9), it is not referring to this event.

NOTE: In this chapter, the future Attack on Jerusalem is described as coming as a surprise to those in the city, who will forced to suddenly flee to the mountains when they see Jerusalem surrounded by armies. This scenario seems highly unlikely in toda’s world, where military satellites, etc., would make it impossible for an invading army to cross Israel’s borders and encircle Jerusalem without the people knowing it. This tells us that the army that attacks Jerusalem will already be stationed in proximity to the city before the Attack on Jerusalem takes place. One possible scenario has the Ten-Nation-Coalition of the Beast creating a peacekeeping force in the region, which will be deployed in and around Jerusalem for her “peace and safety”. From this position, the army could then turn their weapons on the city in a surprise attack a described above.

The Order of Events of the Last Days
1. The Ascension of Jesus Christ
2. Increasing Wars, Famines, and Plagues
3. The Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven
4. The 144,000 are Sealed
5. The Two Witnesses Call Down Plagues
6. The Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees
7. A Ruler Rises Up (the Beast)
8. The Attack on Jerusalem
9. The Great Tribulation

Following the prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven for justice and revenge, God will send the Two Witnesses who will preach in Jerusalem in order to warn the Inhabitants of the Earth before the Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven is answered. After the Two Witnesses have completed their ministry, a future world leader, known as the Beast, will lead an Attack on Jerusalem and will kill the two prophets. After conquering Jerusalem, the Beast will rule his kingdom from the fallen city and will wage a war against the rest of God’s people in events known as the Great Tribulation. In the following passages, the Great Tribulation is described as the great distress that will follow the Attack on Jerusalem.

“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.” Matt. 24:15-21

In these verses, the Abomination that Causes Desolation refers to an event when an unclean sacrifice will be made in the Temple. The desecration of the Temple will be followed by an Attack on Jerusalem itself when the Two Witnesses will be killed and those who heed the word of the Lord will flee into the wilderness. When the Remnant escapes and Jerusalem falls under the rule of the Beast, the Great Distress will begin, which has never been equaled on earth and that will never be equaled again. In the above passages, the word that is translated as distress is the Greek word thlipsis, which can also be translated as tribulation, as seen in the following verses.

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands…Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation (thlipsis); they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Rev. 7:9, 13-14

By comparing the original words in the two sets of passages, we learn that the Great Distress, which will follow the Attack on Jerusalem, is another name for the Great Tribulation when those who follow the Lamb will be killed in numbers so great that they cannot be counted. During the Great Tribulation, the war against God’s people will be led by the Second Beast, or False Prophet, who will cause all those who refuse to worship the Image of the Beast to be killed.

The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. Rev. 13:15-17

As these verses describe, the Great Tribulation will be a time when everyone on earth will be forced to take the Mark of the Beast in order to buy or sell, and all those who refuse to worship the Image of the Beast (the Abomination that Causes Desolation) will be killed. The Great Tribulation is further described as a time when the Beast will be given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation.
 
The beast (the antichrist) was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months (3 ½ years). It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. Whoever has ears, let them hear. “If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed.” This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people. Rev. 13:5-10

From this and the previous accounts, we learn that the 3 ½ years of the Two Witnesses will be followed by the 3 ½ yearsof the Great Tribulation for a total of seven years. In the middle of the seven years, the ten nations that will give their authority to the Beast will attack Jerusalem, and the Great Tribulation will begin that has never been equaled on earth. These same events were written about by the prophet Daniel, who described the covenant that the Beast will make with the ten nations, and the Attack on Jerusalem that will take place in the middle of the seven years.

After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He (the ruler who will come) will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him. Dan. 9:26-27

In these verses, we read that following the death of the Anointed One, the people of the Ruler Who Will Come will destroy the city and the sanctuary, whichis a reference to the war that took place in 70 A.D. when the armies of the Ancient Roman Empire put down a rebellion in Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple and the city. When we read that the Ruler Who Will Come (the Beast) will come from these same people, it again tells us that the Beast will come from the nations whose descendants once formed the Ancient Roman Empire. Daniel goes on to explain how the Ruler will confirm a Seven-Year-Covenant with these nations, and how, in the middle of the ‘seven’, he will put an end to the worship of God in the Temple, which is a reference to the future Attack on Jerusalem that will take place in between the 3 ½ years of the Two Witnesses, and the 3 ½ yearsof the Great Tribulation. Daniel further states that it will be the Beast himself who will set up the Abomination that Causes Desolation at the holy place before the future Attack on Jerusalem begins.

NOTE: In the above prophecy, Daniel tells us that the Ruler (the Beast) will come from the people who will destroy the city and the sanctuary. This is a reference to the people of the Ancient Roman Empire, whose armies put down a rebellion in Jerusalem and destroyed the city and the Temple in 70 A.D. The war of
70 A.D. was also described by the Lord, who said that siegeworks would be used in this attack.

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” (Lk 19:41-44)

In the above passages, the war of 70 A.D. is described as a time when embankments will encircle Jerusalem, which corresponds with how this former war took place over several years and included the building of siegeworks around the city. In contrast to this past attack, the future Attack on Jerusalem will not involve the building of embankments but will come as a complete surprise to the people living in Jerusalem, who will be forced to suddenly flee from their homes without gathering any of their possessions. In this way, the Scriptures describe both the past attack on Jerusalem by the people of the Ancient Roman Empire and the future Attack on Jerusalem that will be carried out by their descendants.


NOTE: When we read that the Attack on Jerusalem will be followed by the Great Distress (Tribulation), it is further evidence that the Attack on Jerusalem, which is described in the Revelation, is a future event as none of the wars that have occurred in Israel, including the war of 70 A.D., have been followed by the Great Distress, which has never been equaled on earth.

NOTE: In this section, we read how the Temple in Jerusalem, which was destroyed in 70 A.D., will be desecrated before the Attack on Jerusalem takes place. This seems to imply that the Temple in Jerusalem will be re-built. If this is the case, it would mean that the re-construction of the Temple in Jerusalem is another event that we should keep watch for.

NOTE: When we read that the Ruler will set up the Abomination that Causes Desolation in the holy place, it implies that the Beast will be invited to participate in some type of ceremony at the rebuilt Temple. This assumption corresponds with how we read, earlier, that some from every people, tribe, language, and nation will be present in the city when Jerusalem is attacked and the Two Witnesses are killed
(Rev. 11:7-10). Put together, these circumstances seem to suggest that an international event will take place at the Temple, which will include the placing of the Abomination that Causes Desolation in the holy place, before the future Attack on Jerusalem begins.

NOTE: Based on the following verse, it is often taught that Believers will be caught up to Heaven before the Great Tribulation occurs and will escape this event.

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. Rev. 3:10

Contrary to the above interpretation, the Hour of Trial is not a reference to the Great Tribulation when the full number of God’s people will be killed but, rather, the Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees when the Inhabitants of the Earth will be tested. During the Hour of Trial, God’s people will not be taken from this world but will be kept in Christ during the plagues that will test the Inhabitants of the Earth. This explanation corresponds with how the word from, which is used in the above text, can also be translated as through, which would make the verse read:

“Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you
through the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.”

This interpretation is supported by the authors of the New International Version® Bible, who use the phrase “keep you from” in their translation of this verse but who also include the following footnote:

3:10 “Keep you from”. The Greek for this phrase can mean either “keep you from undergoing” or “keep you through” the hour of trial. (Zondervan NIV® Fully Revised 2002;pg. 1970)

The above interpretation also corresponds with the following passage, where the Lord similarly prayed for His disciples that they would be protected from the evil one.

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
John 17:15

In this verse, the phrase protect them from comes from the same Greek words as the phrase keep you from, which is found in our original text. As we read in this passage when the Lord prayed for His disciples to be protected (kept), He was not praying for them to be taken out of the world but that their faith would be preserved. This is confirmed in the historical account of the Apostles, who remained on this earth and maintained their testimony to the point of death. From this, we learn that when Scriptures speak of being kept or protected, it is not a promise that God’s people will be kept from being killed for their testimony, but that their faith will be guarded to eternal salvation.

The need to interpret the above passages in the context of a person’s eternal destination can also be seen in the following Scriptures, where Jesus told His disciples that some of them would be put to death but not a hair of their head would perish.

You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. Everyone will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. Stand firm, and you will win life. Luke. 21:16-19In these verses, the disciples were told that not one hair of their head would perish while at the same time they are warned that some of them would be put to death. This again tells us that when the Lord speaks of being kept, protected, or not perishing, the context is the eternal life of the Believer and not their life in this world. Accordingly, during the Hour of Trial, when the Inhabitants of the Earth are tested, the faith of those who stand firm will be kept.

* (SEC 2347) – The numbers in parenthesis are from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance (SEC), which lists all the words found in the Scriptures and their original definitions.

The Order of Events of the Last Days
1.   The Ascension of Jesus Christ
2.   Increasing Wars, Famines, and Plagues
3.   The Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven
4.   The 144,000 are Sealed
5.   The Two Witnesses Call Down Plagues
6.   The Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees
7.   A Ruler Rises Up (the Beast)
8.   The Attack on Jerusalem
9.   The Great Tribulation
10. The Blood of the Martyrs in Heaven is Avenged

As we approach the end of the Last Days, the Martyrs in Heaven, who have been killed since the time of Christ, will cry out for judgment and revenge and will be told that their prayers will be answered after the full number of their brothers and sisters were killed, as repeated below.

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been. Rev. 6:9-11

Following the above prayer, the Two Witnesses will preach in Jerusalem and will call down plagues in order to provide an opportunity for the Inhabitants of the Earth to repent before the Blood of the Martyrs in Heaven is Avenged. When the Inhabitants of the Earth respond to the message of the two prophets by killing them, they will become guilty for all the blood of the Martyrs in Heaven that has been shed since the time of Christ. In addition, when the Inhabitants of the Earth proceed to kill the rest of God’s people during the Great Tribulation, it will fulfill the condition given to the Martyrs in Heaven, who were told that their blood would not be avenged until after the full number of their brothers and sisters were killed. Accordingly, following the murder of the Two Witnesses and the events of the Great Tribulation, God will avenge the blood of the Martyrs in Heaven through the events of the Last Three Trumpets, which will bring Three Woes to those who live on earth.

As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!” Rev. 8:13

The First Woe to strike the Inhabitants of the Earth will come in the form of a Plague of Locusts that have the sting of scorpions, as announced by the sounding of the Fifth Trumpet.

The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a person. And in those days people will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death will flee from them! Rev. 9:1-6.


The Plague of Locust will come after God’s people have been killed in the Great Tribulation, with the exception of 144,000 From all the Tribes of Israel, who will be kept safe from the Beast in the wilderness and who will be set apart by the Seal of God on their foreheads. When the Fifth Trumpet is sounded, those who do not have the Seal of God on their foreheads will be tormented by the Plague of Locust and will long for death. Following the Plague of Locusts, the Second Woe will strike the Inhabitants of the Earth, when the Sixth Trumpet is sounded and a third of mankind is killed.

The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God. It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. The number of the mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand (two-hundred million). I heard their number. Rev. 9:13-16

In the above verses, the reference to the river Euphrates, which formed the original eastern and northern borders of Israel, implies that the two-hundred-million-man army will come from the lands east and north of Israel. From this, we can conclude that this war will be between the Beast and his armies, who will occupy Jerusalem, and a massive army from the east and north that will challenge his rule. A picture of the weapons that will be used in this war is given in the following passages.

The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. Rev. 9:17-18

In the First-Century, horses were instruments of war. From this, we can conclude that the horses with the heads of lions are a First-Century description of the modern-day weapons, which will be used in this war and that will carry riders. It then follows that the fire, smoke, and sulfur, which will come out of the mouths of the lions, is a picture of the fiery discharges that will come from these weapons and that will kill a third of mankind. Based on the above, we can say that the Three Plagues of Fire, Smoke, and Sulfur are a First-Century description of a Twenty-First-Century war. During this war, the Beast will defeat a massive army from the lands east and north of Israel, which will challenge his rule, and a third of mankind will be killed. In this way, the blood of the Martyrs in Heaven who have been killed since the time of Christ will be avenged.

NOTE: The army with the two-hundred-million troops will most likely come from an Asian power located east and north of Israel, which has the population necessary to field such a force.

The Order of Events of the Last Days
1.   The Ascension of Jesus Christ
2.   Increasing Wars, Famines, and Plagues
3.   The Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven
4.   The 144,000 are Sealed
5.   The Two Witnesses Call Down Plagues
6.   The Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees
7.   A Ruler Rises Up (the Beast)
8.   The Attack on Jerusalem
9.   The Great Tribulation
10. The Blood of the Martyrs in Heaven is Avenged
11. The Seven Last Plagues

In the previous section, we read how the blood of the Martyrs in Heaven will be avenged, following the Great Tribulation, through the plagues of the Fifth and Sixth Trumpets, when the Inhabitants of the Earth will long to die, and a third of mankind will be killed. Before the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet, God will pour out Seven Last Plagues that will avenge the blood of the Martyrs of the Great Tribulation itself.

I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed. And I saw what looked like a sea of glass glowing with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name. Rev. 15:1-2

In these verses, the Martyrs of the Great Tribulation are described as those who were victorious over the Beast and the number of its name; meaning, they will refuse to take the Mark of the Beast and will maintain their testimony to the point of death. When John saw the martyrs of the Great Tribulation standing beside the Throne of God, before the Seven Last Plagues were poured out, it tells us that the Seven Last Plagues will follow the Great Tribulation and will avenge the blood of the martyrs of this event.

The Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath

The Seven Last Plagues are also known as the Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath because Seven Bowls will be used to pour out the plagues, beginning with the pouring out of the First Bowl.

Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.” The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly, festering sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. Rev. 16:1-2


When the First Bowl was poured out, John saw festering sores break out on those who received the Mark of the Beast. This event will be followed by the pouring out of the Second and Third Bowls when the waters will turn to blood.

The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead person, and every living thing in the sea died. The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. Rev. 16:3-4

Unlike the previous plagues of the Two Witnesses, when a third of the sea will be turned into blood as a warning to the Inhabitants of the Earth when the Seven Last Plagues are poured out, the entire sea will be turned into blood and every living creature in the sea will die. The turning of the waters into blood will be followed by the plagues of the Fourth and Fifth Bowls, when the Inhabitants of the Earth will be, alternatively, scorched by the sun and plunged into darkness

The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire. They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him. 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 agony and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done. Rev. 16:8-11


As we read in these passages, the Inhabitants of the Earth will not humble themselves before God during the pouring out of the Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath and, instead, they will curse God and refuse to repent for what they had done. This will lead to the events of the Sixth Bowl, when the kings will be gathered for war at Armageddon.

NOTE: In the above account, John saw the Martyrs of the Great Tribulation at the Throne of God, before the Seven Bowls were poured out. This is similar to how John saw the Ascension of Jesus Christ to Heaven, before the opening of the Seven Seals (Rev. 5:6-7), and the Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven, before the sounding of the Seven Trumpets (Rev. 8:1-6). In each case, the Revelation uses the passing of an event in Heaven to show us when the next event on earth will start.

NOTE:
As with the earlier plagues of the Two Witnesses, the sea that will be turned to blood, during the Seven Last Plagues, will most likely be the Mediterranean Sea, which is surrounded by the nations that will give their authority to the Beast.

The Order of Events of the Last Days
1.   The Ascension of Jesus Christ
2.   Increasing Wars, Famines, and Earthquakes
3.   The Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven
4.   The 144,000 are Sealed
5.   The Two Witnesses Call Down Plagues
6.   The Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees
7.   A Ruler Rises Up (the Beast)
8.   The Attack on Jerusalem
9.   The Great Tribulation
10. The Blood of the Martyrs in Heaven is Avenged
11. The Seven Last Plagues
12. The Battle of Armageddon


Following the Great Tribulation, God will avenge the blood of the Martyrs in Heaven through the plagues of the Fifth and Sixth Trumpets, when the Inhabitants of the Earth will long to die, and a third of mankind will be killed. Before the Seventh Trumpet is sounded, Seven Angels will pour out the Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath, which will avenge the blood of the Martyrs of the Great Tribulation itself. During these events, the people on earth will curse God and will refuse to repent. In addition, Satan, the Beast, and the False Prophet will attempt to strike back at God by attacking His people as seen in the events of the Sixth Bowl.

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. Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon (Satan), out of the mouth of the beast (the antichrist) and out of the mouth of the false prophet (the second beast). They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.” Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. Rev. 16:12-16

As these passages describe, due to the devastations of the earlier plagues, the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet will be forced to send out demonic spirits, who will perform signs in order to entice the kings from the whole world to gather for battle at Armageddon. When the kings are gathered together, the Remnant from Israel, who will have been kept safe in the wilderness during the Great Tribulation, will be the only nation or group of people left on earth who are openly defying the Beast. Accordingly, the Battle of Armageddon will be an attempt by the nations of the earth to destroy the Remnant from Israel,who will be taken care of out of the Serpent’s reach. When the kings of the earth advance to attack the hidden Remnant, the Seventh Bowl will be poured out and a tremendous earthquake will destroy their cities, and a severe hailstorm,containing hailstones weighing a hundred pounds each, will destroy their armies.

The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!” Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. Every island fled away, and the mountains could not be found. From the sky huge hailstones, each weighing about a hundred pounds, fell on people. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible. Rev. 16:17-21

In the above account, Babylon the Great refers to the kingdom of the Beast, including the conquered city of Jerusalem from which he will rule. When the Great Earthquake strikes the earth, the fallen city of Jerusalem will be split into three parts, and the cities of the nations will collapse. These same events were shown to John in the opening of the Sixth Seal, which provides another description of the Great Earthquake and Severe Hailstorm that will force the kings, generals, and everyone else to hide in caves.

I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. 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?” Rev. 6:12-17
   

In these verses, we read how, during the Battle of Armageddon, the normal appearance of the sky will suddenly vanish, like a scroll being rolled up, and the glory of the Lord will fill the heavens with dark clouds that will block the light of the sun, the moon, and the stars. When the people on earth witness the above events, they will cry out in fear of the Lord and will attempt to hide from His face. The Great Earthquake and Severe Hailstorm will also be announced by the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet when loud voices will proclaim the Reign of Christ on earth.

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” Rev. 11:15

Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm. Rev. 11:19

Earlier, we read that the Last Three Trumpets will bring Three Woes, which will avenge the blood of the Martyrs in Heaven that has been shed since the time of Christ. Accordingly, when we read that the Seventh Trumpet will announce the Great Earthquake and the Severe Hailstorm, it tells us that the Great Earthquake and Severe Hailstorm will serve as the Third Woe of the Last Three Trumpets, as well as the Last Plague of the Seven Bowls. In this way, the Great Earthquake and Severe Hailstorm will avenge, both, the blood of the Martyrs in Heaven, which has been shed since the time of Christ, and the blood of the Martyrs of the Great Tribulation itself.

The Lord Rides into Battle

In addition to the above, a heavenly perspective of the Battle of Armageddon was given to John, when he saw the Lord riding into battle on a white horse with a sharp sword coming out of His mouth.

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords. Rev. 19:11-16

In these passages, when the Lord is described as riding into battle with a sword coming out of His mouth, it does not mean that the Lord will physically appear on the battlefield with a sword protruding from His body. Instead, this is a picture of how He will wage war (the sword represents war) at the Battle of Armageddon through the Severe Hailstorm that will trample down the armies of the nations like grapes in a winepress. Likewise, when the following verses tell us that the Beast and the kings of the earth will wage war against the Rider on the Horse, it does not mean that the Beast and his armies will ascend to Heaven to fight against Christ Himself but that they will attack His people.

Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest were killed with the sword (war) coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. Rev. 19:19-21

Throughout history, the way that nations and individuals have fought against God has been to fight against God’s people, which is what will take place at the Battle of Armageddon. Accordingly, when the armies of the Beast and the False Prophet attack the Remnant from Israel, it will serve as an attack against Christ, Himself, whose glory will appear in the heavens and who will crush their armies with huge hailstones weighing a hundred pounds each.

The Valley of Jehoshaphat

More details concerning the Battle of Armageddon can be found in the writings of the prophet Joel, who also used the picture of a winepress to describe how the Lord will trample down His enemies.

Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow—so great is their wickedness!” Joel 3:12-13

The Valley of Jehoshaphat, which is mentioned in the above verses, is known today as the Kidron Valley, which is situated between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives. Based on its location between these two points, we can conclude that the Remnant from Israel will cross this valley to flee tothe Mount of Olives, which will be split in two during the Attack on Jerusalem. When we read that the armies of the nations will advance to this same valley, it corresponds with how the Battle of Armageddon will be an attempt by the Beast and False Prophet to hunt down and destroy the Remnant from Israel, who will be kept safe in the wilderness during the Great Tribulation.

Satan is Locked in the Abyss

When the armies of the nations are defeated at the Battle of Armageddon, the Beast and the False Prophet will be thrown alive into the Lake of Fire, and the devil will be locked in the Abyss for a thousand years.

And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. Rev. 20:1-2

As these verses describe, when the Beast and False Prophet are thrown into the Lake of Fire, the devil will be locked in the Abyss to keep him from deceiving the nations until he is set free for a short time.

NOTE: When we read that a sword (war) will come out of the mouth of the Lord, it is similar to how we read, earlier, that fire (judgment) will come from the mouths of the Two Witnesses (Rev. 11:5), a river (Gentile army) will come out of the mouth of the dragon (Rev. 12:6), and frogs (demons) will come from the mouths of Satan, the Beast, and the False Prophet (Rev:16:13). In each case, these are word pictures that describe how war, judgment, armies, and demons will come from those whose mouths they are depicted as flowing from.

NOTE: In the above description of the Great Earthquake that will cause the cities of the nations to collapse, the city of Jerusalem is described as “Babylon the Great”, which is a reference to the ancient city of Babylon where man first organized a collective rebellion against God (Gen. 11:1-9). The identification of Jerusalem as Babylon the Great can be seen in the following passages where both Jerusalem and Babylon are described as the great city

Now when they
(the Two Witnesses) have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified (Jerusalem). Rev. 11:7-8

Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: “‘Woe! Woe to you,
great city, you mighty city of Babylon! In one hour your doom has come!’ Rev. 18:10

When the Revelation identifies both Babylon and Jerusalem as the great city, it tells us that “Babylon the Great” is the descriptive name given to Jerusalem once it falls under the rule of the Beast. Accordingly, when the Beast conquers Jerusalem, he will rule his kingdom from the fallen city, which will, then, lead the rebellion against God just as the ancient city of Babylon once did. When Jerusalem is further described as Sodom and Egypt, it is a reference to how under the dominion of the Beast, the city will become a slave to sin (Egypt) and will lead the world in rebellion against God (Babylon), before she is destroyed for her wickedness (Sodom).

NOTE: In the account of the Battle of Armageddon, the armies of heaven who will follow Christ into battle are the angels in heaven who form a heavenly host.


The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Rev. 19:14
In the above description, the white linen worn by the angels signifies their faithfulness to the Lord. This is a familiar theme in the Scriptures, where the angels of the Lord are described as being dressed in linen.

Out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues. They were dressed in clean, shining linen and wore golden sashes around their chests. Rev. 15:6

Based on the above, we can say that when Christ rides into battle, His army of angels will defeat the angels of Satan, and the devil will be locked in the Abyss for a thousand years.

NOTE: The Battle of Armageddon is named for the place where the armies of the nations will be gathered before they advance to the Valley of Jehoshaphat where the actual battle will occur.

The Order of Events of the Last Days
1. The Ascension of Jesus Christ
2. Increasing Wars, Famines, and Plagues
3. The Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven
4 The 144,000 are Sealed
5. The Two Witnesses Call Down Plagues
6. The Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees
7. A Ruler Rises Up (the Beast)
8. The Attack on Jerusalem
9. The Great Tribulation
10. The Blood of the Martyr’s in Heaven is Avenged
11. The Seven Last Plagues
12. The Battle of Armageddon
13. Silence in Heaven

As described in the prior chapter, the events of the Seven Trumpets and Seven Bowls will conclude with the Battle of Armageddon, when the armies of the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet will be defeated. Likewise, the events of the Seven Seals will also conclude with the Battle of Armageddon, as seen in the opening of the Seventh Seal, when there will be Silence in Heaven.

When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence for about half an hour in heaven. Rev. 8:1

In the Scripturessilence is used to describe the defeat of one’s enemies in battle. To defeat your enemies is to silence your enemies, as demonstrated in the following passages.

“Therefore, her young men will fall in the streets; all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,” declares the Lord. Jer. 50:30

“In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “the songs in the temple will turn to wailing. Many, many bodies—flung everywhere! Silence!” Amos 8:3

As in the above examples, the silence of the Seventh Seal will mark the defeat of all of God’s enemies at the Battle of Armageddon and completes the list of events that were shown to John through the opening of the Seven Seals, the sounding of the Seven Trumpets, and the pouring out of the Seven Bowls.

The Wrath of God is Completed

In conjunction with the Silence in Heaven, which will follow the Battle of Armageddon, we were previously told that the pouring out of the Seven Last Plagues will complete the wrath of God.

I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed. Rev. 15:1

When we read that the wrath of God will be completed, it is a reference to how, after the Seven Last Plagues have been poured out, all the blood of all the martyrs that has been shed on earth will have been avenged, including the blood of the martyrs who came before Christ, as summarized in the following list of events.

– During the attack on Jerusalem, in 70 A.D.,  all the blood of the martyrs who came before Christ was avenged upon the generation of Israel who rejected the Lord and handed Him over to be crucified.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started! “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.” Matt. 23:29-36

The above prophecy was fulfilled when the residents of Judah and Jerusalem were slaughtered by the Romans, in the war of 70 A.D., and all the blood of the martyrs who came before Christ was avenged upon those who turned the Lord over to be crucified and whose descendants killed the prophets of old.

– When the judgments of the Last Three Trumpets take place, all the blood of the Martyrs in Heaven who were killed after Christ will be avenged.

– When the Seven Last Plagues are poured out from the Seven Bowls, all the blood of the martyrs of the Great Tribulation itself will be avenged.
As a result of the above series of judgments, after the Seventh Last Plagues have been poured out, all the blood of all the martyrs that has been shed on earth will have been avenged, and the Wrath of God will be completed.

NOTE: The events of the Seven Seals, Seven Trumpets, and Seven Bowls intersect with one another but they all conclude with the Battle of Armageddon. In the Book of the Revelation, the Seven Seals appear first and give a general overview of the major events that will take place in the Last Days like the opening of the pages of the book. The events of the Seven Trumpets are introduced next and have as their starting point, the conclusion of events of the Fifth Seal when the Martyrs in Heaven will pray for judgment and revenge. The Seven Plagues of the Seven Bowls appear last and start following the judgments of the Sixth Trumpet. In this way, the Revelation gives a general overview of events through the opening of the Seven Seals and then fills in more information through the events of the Seven Trumpets and Seven Bowls.

NOTE: The Revelation is divided up into Three Sections, which take place in consecutive order. The First Section consists of the first three chapters of the Revelation, which describe John’s vision of Christ and the Letters to the Seven Churches. The Second Section contains the chapters that reveal the opening of the Seven Seals, the sounding of Seven Trumpets, and the pouring out of the Seven Bowls. The Third Section includes the final three chapters that describe the events that will follow the Battle of Armageddon, including the Reign of Christ on Earth and the Day of Judgment. In this way, the Revelation is written in consecutive order, with the events of the First Section being followed by the events of the Second Section, which, in turn, are followed by the events of the Third Section. Within this order, the events that are described in the Second Section, including the Seven Seals, Seven Trumpets, and Seven Bowls, overlap one another and conclude with the Battle of Armageddon.

The Order of Events of the Last Days
1.   The Ascension of Jesus Christ
2.   Increasing Wars, Famines, and Plagues
3.   The Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven
4.   The 144,000 are Sealed
5.   The Two Witnesses Call Down Plagues
6.   The Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees
7.   A Ruler Rises Up (the Beast)
8.   The Attack on Jerusalem
9.   The Great Tribulation
10. The Blood of the Martyrs in Heaven is Avenged
11. The Seven Last Plagues
12. The Battle of Armageddon
13. Silence in Heaven
14. The Thousand Year Reign of Christ

In the previous sections, we read how, as a result of the Battle of Armageddon, the Beast and the False Prophet will be thrown alive into the Lake of Fire, and Satan will be locked in the Abyss for a thousand years. These events will then be followed by the Reign of Christ on earth, as previously announced by the Seventh Trumpet.

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” Rev. 11:15

Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm. Rev. 11:19

As these passages describe, when the Seventh Trumpet is sounded, the Great Earthquake and Severe Hailstorm will destroy the kingdom of the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet, and loud voices will announce the Reign of Christ on earth. Following these events, the devil will be locked in the Abyss for a thousand years, and those who were martyred during the Great Tribulation will come to life to reign with Christ.

And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Rev. 20:1-4

In addition to the resurrected Martyrs of the Great Tribulation, during the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ, the 144,000 From All the Tribes of Israel will be gathered to Mount Zion to rule over the nations, whose populations will be greatly reduced from the earlier plagues.

Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. Rev. 14:1

As we will see below, whenever we read about the Lord ruling from Mount Zion; we are reading about the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ. Accordingly, when John saw the 144,000 standing with the Lamb on Mount Zion, it tells us that the144,000 From All the Tribes of Israel will live through the events of the Seven Seals, the Seven Trumpets, and the Seven Bowls and will rule with Christ on earth. These are the same 144,000 who will be sealed before the Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees begin, and who will exist within the Hidden Remnant that will escape from the Attack on Jerusalem. Following the Battle of Armageddon, this Remnant will be brought to Mount Zion by the nations whose armies will be defeated in the battle, and who will bow down before God’s people in fear of the Lord.

This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I will beckon to the nations, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their hips. Kings will be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground; they will lick the dust at your feet. Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” Isa. 49:22-23

The events described in the above passages have never occurred in history and are not an account of the creation of the modern-day state of Israel, whose formation was opposed by the nations and followed by war. Instead, these passages are describing a future time, when the nations will willingly bring the Israelites to the holy mountain, as an offering to the Lord, and will lick the dust at their feet.

“And they will bring all your people, from all the nations, to my holy mountain (
Mount Zion) in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord—on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels,” says the Lord. “They will bring them, as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of the Lord in ceremonially clean vessels.”  Isa. 66:20

When we read that the Remnant from Israel will be gathered from all the nations, it tells us that there will be others from Israel who will be kept safe from the Beast during the Great Tribulation besides those who will flee into the wilderness during the Attack on Jerusalem. When this combined Remnant is gathered together, they will pass under the rod of God, just as their ancestors once did during the Exodus of Israel from Egypt, and the rebellious will be purged from amongst them.

“I will bring you from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered—with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath. I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations and there, face to face, I will execute judgment upon you. As I judged your ancestors in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will judge you, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will take note of you as you pass under my rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will purge you of those who revolt and rebel against me. Although I will bring them out of the land where they are living, yet they will not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” Ezek. 20:34-38

As these verses describe, during the Exodus of Israel, all those who rebelled against the Lord died in the wilderness and were not allowed to enter the Promised Land. In the same way, when the Remnant from Israel is gathered from the nations, they will be judged just as their ancestors were, and the Lord will purge the rebellious from amongst them, leaving only the 144,000 who will stand with the Lord on Mount Zion.

The Nations are Taught


Further descriptions of the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ can be found throughout the Old Testament, which explains how the survivors from the nations, whose armies will attack Jerusalem, will be required to go up to the Holy City year after year in order to celebrate the festivals and to be taught.

The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name… Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain. If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain The Lord will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. Zech. 14:9, 16-18

In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken. All the nations may walk in the name of their gods, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever. “In that day,” declares the Lord, “I will gather the lame; I will assemble the exiles and those I have brought to grief. I will make the lame my remnant, those driven away a strong nation. The Lord will rule over them in Mount Zion from that day and forever.” Mic.4:1-7


As in the previous passages, the events described in the above verses have never taken place in history and are not a description of our present times. Instead, they are describing a future period, when the nations will no longer make war with one another and will stream to Mount Zion to be taught by God’s people. A closer look at the above prophecies reveals the following, five themes that describe this period. Whenever we read of these five themes in the Scriptures, we are reading about the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ.

The Five Themes of the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ
1.
Mount Zion is Exalted.
2. The Remnant of Israel is gathered from the nations.
3. The Kingdom is restored to Israel.
4. The nations come to Mount Zion to worship God and to be taught.
5. Jesus Christ rules over the nations.

The Glory of the Lord

During the Thousand-Year-Reign of Christ, the Lord will not rule in bodily form over Mount Zion but will appear in His glory over His people, through whom He will rule the nations. A description of how the Glory of the Lord will be seen over Mount Zion is given in the following passages.

In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel. Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem. The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire. Then the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over everything the glory will be a canopy. Isa. 4:2-5

In the above verses, the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ is identified by the description of how the Lord will reign over the holy survivors of Israel from Mount Zion. From this account, we learn that during the
Thousand-Year Reign of Christ, the presence of the Lord will appear in the form of a cloud of smoke by day and a glowing flame of fire by night, just as the Glory of God remained over Israel in the days of Moses and Aaron when God’s people first entered the Promised Land. In this way, the Glory of the Lord, which will appear in the heavens at the Battle of Armageddon, will remain over Mount Zion during the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ.

The Purpose of the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ


The Thousand-Year Reign of Christ will cause a pause in the events of the Last Days between the defeat of God’s enemies at the Battle of Armageddon, and the Day of Judgment. However, this period will come in fulfillment of the promises made to Israel concerning a Faithful Remnant, through whom the Lord would rule the nations. These promises are found throughout the Scriptures, which describe how Israel was chosen from among all the peoples of the world to be a priestly nation and was given the Covenant, the Prophets, and the Law so that they might instruct the nations about God. In turn, the nations were to come to Israel to be taught, and to the Temple, which was to be a house of prayer for all nations. Despite being given the above calling, Israel broke their covenant with God and committed adultery with the nations by following after their gods. As a result, the people of Israel were defeated by their enemies and removed from their land. In spite of their rebellion, God did not revoke His call and purpose for Israel. Instead, He made many promises concerning their future restoration and spoke of how He would gather a Faithful Remnant to Mount Zion, who would fulfill Israel’s original calling to the nations.

Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above. For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. Isa. 37:31-32

The promises found in Scripture, concerning the restoration of Israel, are the same promises that the Apostles questioned the Lord about following His resurrection.

So, when they had come together, they began asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time that You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” But He said to them, “It is not for you to know periods of time or appointed times which the Father has set by His own authority.” Acts 1:6-7


In the above conversation, when the Apostles questioned Jesus about the Restoration of the Kingdom to Israel, He did not deny that this future event would take place but told the disciples it was not for them to know the date of when it would start. In this way, the Lord confirmed that the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ is a literal event that will take place as promised in the Scriptures. Accordingly, the account of the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ is not a description of the Second Coming ofJesus Christ but, rather, the return of Israel to her original purpose when the glory of the Lord will appear over Mount Zion, and God will rule over the nations through His people. Once the Faithful Remnant fulfills their calling for a thousand years, the events of the Last Days will return to their conclusion when Satan is released from the Abyss, and the armies of the nations once again surround Israel.

The Order of Events of the Last Days
1.   The Ascension of Jesus Christ
2.   Increasing Wars, Famines, and Plagues
3.   The Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven
4.   The 144,000 are Sealed
5.   The Two Witnesses Call Down Plagues
6.   The Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees
7.   A Ruler Rises Up (the Beast)
8.   The Attack on Jerusalem
9.   The Great Tribulation
10. The Blood of the Martyrs in Heaven is Avenged
11. The Seven Last Plagues
12. The Battle of Armageddon
13. Silence in Heaven
14. The Thousand Year Reign of Christ
15. Satan is Released from the Abyss

During the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ, the kingdom will be restored to Israel, and the reduced populations of the nations will come on a yearly basis to Mount Zion to celebrate the festivals and to be taught. Over time, the Inhabitants of the Earth will increase in numbers and their feigned respect for God and His people will turn to resentment against Christ and Israel. The fear that the nations had for the Lord will turn to hatred and they will conspire to break their chains and throw off the Rule of Christ.

Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.” The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” Ps. 2:1-6

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore.  They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Rev. 20:7-10

In addition to the rebellion taking place among the Inhabitants of the Earth, when the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from the Abyss and will deceive the nations into gathering for war against God’s people.

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. Rev. 20:7-8

When Satan and the nations from the four corners of the earth, which collectively are described as Gog and Magog, gather for battle against God’s people, it will be similar to the events of the Battle of Armageddon, when the nations will surround Israel before the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ. In this case, when the nations again surround Israel, at the end of the thousand years, they will be destroyed when fire comes down from heaven at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

The Order of Events of the Last Days
1.   The Ascension of Jesus Christ
2.   Increasing Wars, Famines, and Plagues
3.   The Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven
4.   The 144,000 are Sealed
5.   The Two Witnesses Call Down Plagues
6.   The Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees
7.   A Ruler Rises Up (the Beast)
8.   The Attack on Jerusalem
9.   The Great Tribulation
10. The Blood of the Martyrs in Heaven is Avenged
11. The Seven Last Plagues are Poured Out
12. The Battle of Armageddon
13. Silence in Heaven
14. The Thousand Year Reign of Christ
15. Satan is Released from the Abyss
16. The Second Coming of Christ
 
During the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ, the martyrs of the Great Tribulation will come to life in the First Resurrection and will serve as priests along with the Faithful Remnant from Israel, who will rule over the nations for a thousand years. When the thousand years have ended, Satan will be released from the Abyss and will deceive the nations from the four corners of the earth into gathering for war against God’s people. In addition to these events, at the end of the thousand years, the rest of the dead in Christ will come to life in order to be brought with Jesus when He returns to deliver His people.

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. Rev. 20:4-6

In these verses, the rest of the dead who come to life at the end of the thousand years refers to the rest of the dead in Christ. (Those who die without Christ will never come to life but will be resurrected to a Second Death.) Accordingly, when the armies of Gog and Magog surround Israel at the end of the thousand years, the rest of the dead in Christ, who were not raised in the First Resurrection, will come to life to be brought with Jesus at His Second Coming.

For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 1 Thess. 4:14


When we read that the rest of the dead will be raised at the end of the thousand years and that they will be brought with Jesus when He returns, it tells us that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will also take place after the thousand years have ended. In addition to the above, when the dead are raised, those who are alive and left on earth will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so, we will be with the Lord forever.1 Thess. 4:15-17

From these verses, we learn that at the coming of the Lord, when the dead are raised, the living will also be caught up. In this way, all of God’s people will be joined with the Lord in the air at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. After God’s people have been joined together with the Lord in the clouds, fire will come down from heaven that will destroy the armies of the nations, and Satan will be thrown into the Lake of Burning Sulfur where the Beast and False Prophet had been thrown.

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to decieve the nations from the four conrners of the earth, Gog and Magog, and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Rev. 20:7-10

As described in the above passages, when the thousand years are over, the armies from the four corners of the earth will surround God’s people and will be destroyed by the fire that comes down from heaven. Prior to the destruction of the invading armies, the rest of the dead in Christ will be raised, and the living in Christ will be caught up to be saved from the fire that will come down from heaven. At the conclusion of these events, the devil will be cast into the Lake of Fire where the Beast and the False Prophet had been thrown following the Battle of Armageddon.

NOTE: In this section, we learn why the Beast and the False Prophet will be thrown into the Lake of Fire, following the Battle of Armageddon, but Satan will be locked in the Abyss for a thousand years. The passing of the thousand years will allow the Remnant from Israel to fulfill their calling to the nations before the events of the Last Days come to an end. After the thousand years have ended, the Last Days will return to their conclusion when Satan is released from the Abyss and the nations once again surround Israel. When the nations are defeated at the end of the thousand years, Satan will then be cast into the Lake of Fire where the Beast and the False Prophet had been thrown. From this description, we learn that the Battle of Armageddon, which will take place before the thousand years, and the Final Millennial Battle, which will take place after the thousand years, are two separate wars.

NOTE: The Catching up of the Living, which will accompany the Resurrection of the Dead, is commonly referred to as the Rapture.

NOTE: In the above verses, we learn that the Rapture will take place as a function of the Resurrection of the Dead. When the dead are raised the living will be caught up. Accordingly, when we read that the dead will be raised at the end of the thousand years, it tells us that the Rapture will also take place at the end of the thousand years. As a result, the Rapture should not be thought of as something that will occur before, during, or after the Great Tribulation, as it has no connection to that event.

The Order of Events of the Last Days
1.   The Ascension of Jesus Christ
2.   Increasing Wars, Famines, and Plagues
3.   The Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven
4.   The 144,000 are Sealed
5.   The Two Witnesses Call Down Plagues
6.   The Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees
7.   A Ruler Rises Up (the Beast)
8.   The Attack on Jerusalem
9.   The Great Tribulation
10. The Blood of the Martyrs in Heaven is Avenged
11. The Seven Last Plagues are Poured Out
12. The Battle of Armageddon
13. Silence in Heaven
14. The Thousand Year Reign of Christ
15. Satan is Released from the Abyss
16. The Second Coming of Christ
17. The Destruction of the Heavens and Earth by Fire

From the previous chapter, we learned that when the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ comes to an end, Satan will be released from the Abyss and will deceive the nations into attacking God’s people. When the armies of the nations surround God’s people, the rest of the dead in Christ will be raised, and the living will be caught up before fire comes down from heaven at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. From the apostle Peter, we learn that the fire that will come down from heaven will not be limited to the destruction of Satan’s armies alone but will engulf the entire world, just as the earth was once deluged by water.

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 2 Pet. 3:3-11

As the above verses describe, when the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ nears its conclusion, the Inhabitants of the Earth will begin to mock the promised coming of the Lord and will deliberately forget the previous judgments of God. When the armies of the nations eventually surround God’s people at the end of the thousand years, the Lord will return with fire that will devour their armies, and the earth will melt in the heat. Prior to these events, the dead in Christwill be raised, and the living in Christ will be caught up to be delivered from the fire that comes down from heaven. Accordingly, the above events, including the Resurrection of the Dead, are described as taking place on the Last Day,when the heavens and earth will be destroyed with fire.

“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” John. 6:40

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.” John 6:44


From the above account of the Destruction of the Heavens and Earth by Fire, we know that when the Resurrection of the Dead is described as taking place on the Last Day, it is a reference to the literal Last Day of events on earth, when the Lord will return, the dead in Christ and the living will meet Him in the air, and the earth will be consumed by fire.

NOTE: A basic understanding of the above order of events has always been known by God’s people, as can be seen in the conversation between Jesus and a Jewish woman named Martha, which took place during the Lord’s earthly ministry. In that conversation, when the Lord told Martha that her brother, who had just died, would rise again, she responded by saying, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (Jn. 11:24).Martha’s statement that her brother would be raised on the Last Day corresponds with how it has always been the belief of God’s people that the world would have a final day, and on that day, the dead would be resurrected.

NOTE: In the description of the Destruction of the Heavens and Earth by Fire, the heavens that will disappear with a roar are the heavens above the earth (the sky), and not the Heaven that is God’s Throne. The Heaven of God’s Throne will never be destroyed and will never need to be recreated.

NOTE: The armies of Gog and Magog, which will be destroyed by fire at the end of the thousand years, were also mentioned by Ezekiel in the following prophecy concerning the Battle of Armageddon, which will take place before the thousand years.

“Son of man, prophesy against Gog and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshek and Tubal. I will turn you around and drag you along. I will bring you from the far north and send you against the mountains of Israel. Then I will strike your bow from your left hand and make your arrows drop from your right hand. On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals. You will fall in the open field, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord.” Ezek. 39:1-5.


In this description of the Battle of Armageddon, Gog is identified as the chief prince who will be defeated when he leads the armies of the nations (Magog) against Israel. Ezekiel goes on to say that for seven years following this battle, the people will use the remains of the battlefield for fuel.

“Then those who live in the towns of Israel will go out and use the weapons for fuel and burn them up—the small and large shields, the bows and arrows, the war clubs and spears. For seven years they will use them for fuel. They will not need to gather wood from the fields or cut it from the forests, because they will use the weapons for fuel. And they will plunder those who plundered them and loot those who looted them, declares the Sovereign Lord.” Ezek. 39:9-10


In contrast to the above account of the Battle of Armageddon, which will take place before the thousand years, when Gog and the armies of Magog surround Israel again at the end of the thousand years, the earth will be destroyed by fire, and the heavens will disappear with a roar. As a result, no other events will take place on earth following this battle, such as the gathering of fuel for seven years. From these two accounts, we learn that the Battle of Armageddon and the Final Millennial Battle are two separate wars, and in both of these wars, Satan will deceive the nations into attacking Israel.

The Order of Events of the Last Days
1.   The Ascension of Jesus Christ
2.   Increasing Wars, Famines, and Plagues
3.   The Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven
4.   The 144,000 are Sealed
5.   The Two Witnesses Call Down Plagues
6.   The Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees
7.   A Ruler Rises Up (the Beast)
8.   The Attack on Jerusalem
9.   The Great Tribulation
10. The Blood of the Martyrs in Heaven is Avenged
11. The Seven Last Plagues
12. The Battle of Armageddon
13. Silence in Heaven
14. The Thousand Year Reign of Christ
15. Satan is Released from the Abyss
16. The Second Coming of Christ
17. The Destruction of Heaven and Earth by Fire
18. The Day of Judgment

During the 1,000 Year Reign of Christ, the Lord will rule over the nations through His people and His glory will be seen over Mount Zion. When the thousand years have ended, the Lord will return, the living and the dead will be caught up, and the earth will be destroyed by fire. The Return of Christ will lead to the events of the Day of Judgment, which is also described as taking place on the Last Day, when the heavens and earth will be destroyed by fire.

By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 2 Pet. 3:7

On the Day of Judgment, when God’s people are raised and caught up to meet the Lord in the air, the unrepentant dead and those who are destroyed in the fire will also be raised to be condemned.

“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.” John 5:28-29

Being resurrected means that a person is raised from the dead, but it does not mean that they have eternal life. On the Day of Judgment, all those who have died will be resurrected but not everyone will rise to everlasting life

“Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” Dan. 12:2-3

When the dead are raised on the Day of Judgment, they will be gathered before the Throne of God and books will be opened, including the Book of Life.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. Rev. 20:11-15

The prophet Daniel also describes the Day of Judgment as a time when books will be opened,and fire will flow from the Throne of God.

“As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.” Dan. 7: 9-10

When the world gives up her dead on the Day of Judgment, those who are kept under the earth and sea will be brought before the Throne of God and anyone whose name is not found in the Book of Life will be judged according to what they had done and thrown into the Lake of Fire with Satan, the Beast, and the False Prophet. This is the Second Death.

“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Rev. 21:8

The Works of God’s People are Tested

Unlike the dead who will be thrown into the Lake of Fire, those whose names arewritten in the Book of Life will escape the judgment that leads to the Second Death and will cross over into eternal life.

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” John 5:24

Even though they will escape from the judgment that leads to the Lake of Fire, God’s people will still have to give an account of themselves on the Day of Judgment.

For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’” So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Rom. 14:10-12

When Believers stand before God’s judgment seat to give an account of themselves, the works they have done on earth will be tested with fire to determine their quality. For some, every work they did on earth will be burned up and they will barely escape through the flames into eternal life.

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames. 1 Cor. 3:11-15


The test of fire that will judge the quality of each person’s work will expose the motives of the heart. On the Day of Judgment, the motives of the heart will be brought to light and only those motives that pass the test of fire will be rewarded by God.
Therefore, judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God. 1 Cor. 4:5

On the Day of Judgment, when fire flows from the Throne of God, the armies of Satan will be destroyed by fire, the earth will be melted by fire, the works of believers will be tested by fire, and those whose names are not written in the Book of Life will be thrown into the Lake of Fire along with the Devil, the Beast, and the False Prophet.

NOTE: In this chapter, we read that on the Day of Judgment, the dead in Hades will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Hell), which tells us that Hades is a separate location from Hell. In the Old Testament, Hades (or Sheol) is described as being in the lower regions of the earth and is where the righteous and unrighteous dead were kept separate from one another prior to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Following His crucifixion, Christ, also, descended to the lower regions (Hades), where He released His people from captivity and ascended with them to Heaven.

This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.” (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) Eph. 4:8-10

Today, Hades remains the place where the unrepentant dead still descend to when they die to await judgment; while those who die in Christ ascend to Heaven where they rest in Paradise, as seen in the account of the Thief on the cross.

Then he (the Thief on the cross) said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Lk. 23:42-43

In addition to the above, we previously read that Satan will be locked in the Abyss for a thousand years. Accordingly, the Abyss serves as the temporary prison of the rebellious angels, just as Hades serves as the holding place of the unrepentant dead. On the Day of Judgment, the rebellious angels and the unrepentant dead will be expelled from the Abyss and Hades and will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Hell), which is the Second Death, while those who rest in Paradise will come to life to dwell on the New Heaven and Earth

The Order of Events of the Last Days
1.   The Ascension of Jesus Christ
2.   Increasing Wars, Famines, and Plagues
3.   The Prayer of the Martyrs in Heaven
4.   The 144,000 are Sealed
5.   The Two Witnesses Call Down Plagues
6.   The Plagues on the Land, the Sea, and the Trees
7.   A Ruler Rises Up (the Beast)
8.   The Attack on Jerusalem
9.   The Great Tribulation
10. The Blood of the Martyrs in Heaven is Avenged
11. The Seven Last Plagues are Poured Out
12. The Battle of Armageddon
13. Silence in Heaven
14. The Thousand Year Reign of Christ
15. Satan is Released from the Abyss
16. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ
17. The Destruction of Heaven and Earth by Fire
18. The Day of Judgment
19. The New Heaven and Earth

On the Day of Judgment, the Destruction of the Heavens and Earth by fire will bring about the end of the Last Days and will usher in the creation of a New Heaven and a New Earth where righteousness dwells. The New Heaven and Earth will contain the New Jerusalem where God will dwell with His people.

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Rev. 21:1-4

The creation of the New Heaven and Earth will begin a New Order when God Himself will reside with His people in the New Jerusalem and they will see His face.


Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. Rev. 22:1-5


From the above description, we learn that our life in eternity will not be spent in the clouds of Heaven but on a new earthly Paradise known as the Holy City of Jerusalem. The Throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will reign with Him forever and ever.


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