The final seven years – the road to Armageddon
We’ve already discussed several of the major events that will happen in the final seven years. I’m not going to go into great detail in this book but I am hoping to help you understand what's coming right now and in the very near future.
The confirmation of the covenant discussed previously is the event that marks the beginning of the final seven years. This confirmation has not happened yet. The Quartet, or the Big Four; the EU, UN, US and Russia, have met to confirm the “Roadmap for Peace” in the Middle East several times but can't make it stick yet. The plan includes all the necessary steps to confirm the covenant. Today the Arab League and the Quartet along with other entities are doing everything they can to establish a Palestinian state and bring an agreement together between Israel and Palestine. Israel leaders have even stated that they are willing to share sovereignty of the Temple Mount and give the West Bank (Judea) back to the Palestinians. There was a meeting in November 2007 of all the powers I just mentioned that could very well lead to this event that God calls the Confirmation of the Covenant. If they decide on a plan and implement it and make it stick, where the borders of Israel are drawn and the Temple Mount is shared, then it IS that event and that means that from that day there will only be 7 years remaining until the Battle of Armageddon and the return of Jesus Christ!
Everything else necessary for the end time to be upon us has happened or is happening now. Most people think it cannot happen because the Jewish temple has not been rebuilt, but the temple does not have to be standing until half way through the final seven years (when the abomination of desolation takes place), and you should know that an organization called the Sanhedrin, working with the Temple Institute in Israel, is planning on rebuilding the temple off-site, just as the first temple was built, and when the temple mount is shared (probably placed under UN security control) they will be able to put it together very quickly. All of the utensils, furniture, clothing, etc., is completely finished and ready for use in the temple, and the blueprints and plans for the temple itself are done (http://www.templeinstitute.org/blueprints-for-the-holy-temple.htm). When I visited Israel in 2007 I stood next to the corner stone they have ready to place as soon as they get permission to build the temple. Many people also believe that the Muslim mosque will have to be torn down in order to rebuild the temple, but recent discoveries have shown that the actual location for the Jewish Temple is over a place that is currently called the Dome of the Spirits, where there is adequate room to build the temple. The temple mount will be shared, and we know this because John was told to measure the Temple in Rev 11:1-2 but was told to leave out the outer court because it would be occupied by Gentiles for three and a half years. It will likely be policed by UN peacekeepers.
The sixth trumpet may happen sometime in the first 3 ½ years of this final seven. I can’t say that it will positively happen during that time, but it certainly looks like it, and here’s why I think so: Revelation 9 explains the sixth trumpet, but the seventh trumpet doesn’t sound until the end of the 11th chapter. Revelation 10 talks about an angel who places his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the earth, and John is instructed to seal up the words of the seven thunders. In Daniel 12:4, Daniel is also instructed to shut up the words, and when the man in Daniel 12:6 asked, “How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?” he is told by an angel standing on the waters that it will be a time, times and an half, or 3 ½ years. Revelation 11 goes on to talk about the things that will happen in the final 3 ½ years, like the two witnesses who “shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days”, or 3.45 years. Then the sounding of the seventh trumpet happens in the end of chapter 11. This may be an indication that the sixth trumpet will happen before the halfway point of the final seven years. As I prove to be fact in Chapter 10 of this book, however, just because something is nestled in between something else in Revelation, it does not prove that we're in a sequential time for the events to take place.
If it does happen just before the Antichrist takes over, what better way for the Antichrist to take power than when the world awakes to 2 billion dead? Since we know he takes power at the half-way point, or 3.5 years into the final seven, and that he uses peace as a weapon, it would be a big stepping stone for his agenda when the world is clamoring for peace after a nuclear war. Also, a calamitous world event like another world war is what Muslims believe will usher in their Mahdi. Muslims like Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad believe they can actually hasten the coming of the Mahdi by creating the world chaos necessary for him to come and “save the world”.
The Abomination of Desolation
The Abomination of Desolation will take place at the halfway point of the final seven years. This event is when the Antichrist will stand in the “holy place”, the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, and claim to be God. He may not say it outright. The deceiver is the Master of Lies! Don’t be fooled if you don’t hear on the news that he actually said he is God, but he may be arrogant enough to actually say so. The event will be one that we know about and can recognize for what it is because we know what to look for. This is when he will take over the world.
Matt 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. 15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
The event Jesus is referring to in Matthew 24:15 is Daniel 9:27 and Daniel 11:31. The Antichrist will confirm the covenant for seven years and will be an abomination to God and will make it (the holy place; the Temple) desolate.
Dan 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Dan 11:31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.
2 Thess 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
This event Paul is referring to in 2 Thessalonians is also the “abomination of desolation”. Three and one half years after the confirmation of the covenant, he will sit in the rebuilt temple of Jerusalem and claim to be God. Most believe that he will claim to be all god’s and all messiahs. He will probably claim to be the god of Islam, Buddhism, etc. When you see this happen, you will know without a doubt that he is the Antichrist.
The Abomination of Desolation marks the beginning of the Great Tribulation.
The Great Tribulation
Daniel 11 and 12 show the Antichrist's reign and specifically states that there will be 1290 days (3.53 years) from the time of the Abomination of Desolation until the “end of these things”. And another specifically stating that there will be “a time (one year), times (two years) and an half (half a year)” (3.5 years) till all things shall be finished. There will be a time of trouble (Dan 12:1) such as never was (the great tribulation), the people that know God will be strong (Dan 11:32), some of those shall fall (Dan 11:35), but the wise shall understand while the wicked will not (Dan 12:10). Blessed is he who waits until 1335 days (Dan 12:12). When we look at all the scriptures describing this period of time, it looks like the 3.5 years will be the time of the wrath of Satan, and the last 45 or 75 days will be the wrath of God (the 7 Vials), sometime between the 1260th day and the 1335th day.
In Revelation 13:5 we see that power is given to the Antichrist for 42 months (3.5 years).
In Revelation 12 we see that the devil will be cast to earth, having great wrath because he knows his time is short, and that it will be for 1260 days in v.6, and a time, times and half a time in v.14, or 3.5 years.
This “time of trouble” that will last 3.5 years, is the time of the wrath of Satan. The Vials, which are the wrath of God, will be poured out in the last 75 days, between the 1260th and 1335th days, possibly just in the last 45 days. The 3.5 years of great tribulation will be for the saints of God, not the world as a whole (Luke 17:26-30, 1 Thess 5:1-4, Rev 7:9-14). Matthew 24:15-21 shows us that when we see this abomination of desolation that then there shall be great tribulation, and then (Matt 24:29) immediately after the tribulation we will see the sixth seal and the seventh trumpet and we will be gathered to the Lord at that time. This also most likely begins the pouring of the vials. The saints will NOT be here for the vials (the wrath of God)(1 Thess 1:10 and Rom 5:9). The wrath of God will be to “destroy them which destroy the earth” (Rev 11:18).
The Antichrist will rule during this time and will implement the mark of the beast and it will be a terrible time for the people of God. At the end of this period, Jesus comes back for His faithful at the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet. This is the second coming of Jesus Christ! This trumpet brings the battle of Armageddon where Israel is saved by God, the destruction of the Antichrist and the false prophet, and the binding of Satan for 1000 years. This Trumpet, the sixth Seal and all of the Vials bring the Wrath of God down on the earth. Jesus will wipe out the armies coming down against Israel at Armageddon and there will be an earthquake that is felt around the world, plagues and many terrible things because of mankind’s denial of God. Fortunately God’s people will not have to endure this wrath as we will be taken up at the sound of the Trumpet before God’s wrath is poured out on the earth. And then it ushers in the millennium reign of Christ and the end of worldly governments. Imagine a world ruled by a loving King such as Jesus Christ for 1000 years, with no wars or strife at all. Wow.
The bible tells any Jews still in the area of Judea (the West Bank) to flee when they see the Abomination of Desolation! It tells them not to even get a change of clothes but to flee immediately! During this final 3 ½ years, Israel will be carried on Eagles Wings. Many people teach that this is the US, and it could be. The US is Israel’s only friend today and it looks like the US will continue to be her friend. This definitely does not mean for sure that the US will be the protective force that the bible is referring to here, however. There are two reasons for saying this:
The combined end time one world government that is ruled by the Antichrist (depicted in Revelation 13:2) does not have the eagles wings we saw in Daniel. This probably means that the US is not part of that system. The Antichrist will be fighting wars during his reign and it's possible that the US is one of those battlefronts. It's also possible that the US will not come out of the 6th Trumpet war unscathed. The US could be destroyed or hurt so badly that it isn't a major player in the world after that.
The description of the eagles wings in Revelation is very similar to the wording used in Exodus when Israel was brought out of Egypt.
Exodus 19:4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.
Rev 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
We cannot know for sure that the "wings of a great eagle" in Revelation is definitely referring to the US. If you live in the US and you're still riding the fence and/or haven't decided if you really believe all this or haven't fully committed to God, I would give it some very serious thought.
The mark of the beast will be implemented.
Rev 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Today, people are being implanted with RFID chips and a National Id card was required of everyone in the US by 2008, but has been extended, with a similar system being set up in Europe. Speculation is that the Antichrist will implement a world wide numbering system and most likely will cause everyone to have a chip implanted in the right hand or the forehead with their ID number. With current technology, this would not be that hard to implement. And recently people have begun to use a tattoo ink on animals that has the same capacity as a chip for containing RFID information! Now wouldn't that be considered a “mark”? I cannot stress enough that you cannot take that mark! It will most likely come with a “pledge of allegiance” to the New World Order or to the name of the Antichrist or something similar and they will probably accuse you of being a terrorist or a non-conformist and a menace to society if you refuse to take that pledge, and condemn you for refusal. As we learned in chapter 7, it is very likely that it will be a Muslim Antichrist and Islam will be the religion that is forced on the world. It's likely that everyone will be forced to become a Muslim or be killed. Another interesting fact to this discussion is that Muslims wear arms bands and head bands to signify their allegiance. It's possible that this could be the “mark” of the beast since by wearing it you “show your allegiance” and are marked as a loyal Muslim.
Rev 14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. 12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Keep the faith as mentioned in verse 12 and be patient! If you do not, you will suffer infinitely more than a few hunger pangs and persecution, or even death! Do not take the mark!
The End of Suffering and Death
The battle of Armageddon and the seventh trumpet at the end of the seven years mark the end of suffering and the beginning of the Kingdom of God!
The bible tells us that after the seventh trumpet, when all is said and done, Jesus will set up His kingdom on earth and we will reign with Him for a thousand years. The bible doesn’t say that all of mankind is destroyed at the last trump, and it’s pretty clear that people will still be alive on earth during that millennium. One of the scriptures that show this to be true is; Daniel 7:12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. This is talking about what happens after the Antichrist is thrown into hell at the end of the tribulation. Satan will be bound for the entirety of that time and released only at the end for a while where he will again deceive the people of the earth. There’s one last battle and apparently there will be people who side with Satan to make war with Jesus. I, for the life of me, can’t understand this, but I guess I should just be grateful that I don’t understand, because maybe I would be like them if I understood them. After the end of that millennium, Satan is cast into Hell forever, and God makes a new heaven and a new earth for us to enjoy for eternity! And there will be no more pain or sorrow… ever…
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
The timeline of the end time events and the layout of the book of Revelation are discussed more in Chapter 10.