As promised, and as concisely as I can muster, I hereby outline the results of decades of study of Biblical eschatology, in short form. At the centre of it all is the question, “When will Jesus Christ return?”
As recent readers of my blog will know, I’m not interested in pointing at alleged signs of the times which are ambiguous or just wishful thinking. I’m not going to speculate or strain to attach certain current events to scripture verses if the link isn’t clear or valid, and I’m not trying to make any money out of this.
However, Jesus himself told us to watch for the signs of his coming. It’s therefore a matter not only of our interest, but of obedience to the Lord that we claim, to be looking for the signs he and others laid out for us and told us to watch for. It seems logical not to go in-depth with all predicted signs of the times here, but instead I’ve separated and summarized prophesied end-times events in three separate categories. I will outline those first, and then list most of the related prophecies which fit into each category.
Here’s one apology and disclaimer: I haven’t yet got to grips with differences between the words “prophecy” and “prophesy” or their tenses. Please be patient…
There are first those conditions which could be said to be always in the course of fulfilment, but which can’t be said with conviction to be any more pronounced now than they have been at times throughout history. They will be far more pronounced close to the time of Christ’s return, as he himself indicated. Secondly, there are signs which seem to have been fulfilled in recent history, or seem to be in the course of fulfilment now. These are very few, despite what the experts say, and lots of alleged fulfilments have not been legitimate. Thirdly, there are signs which are specific to very end-times events: things which have not yet happened but which will occur in the few years and months immediately prior to the return of Christ. There are events and conditions in our world now which suggest that these things could be fulfilled in the near future, but we cannot be sure, as some of the “experts” claim.
CATEGORY ONE, AND JUMPING THE GUN
So-called prophecy experts have consistently made the mistake of speculating that certain events are already in process of fulfilment in the vein of Revelation or Olivet Discourse prophecy, or that they are about to be fulfilled in the next year or months. Take the subject of “world government” for example: a very popular one. The Bible doesn’t actually state that there will be a world government in the sense that it’s preached. Scriptures of end times events specifically speak of “nations” and their leaders: nations will not be eradicated. However, all nations will give their allegiance to the beast and his system, which will certainly affect the entire world. That allegiance, says Revelation, will begin at a specific point in time, and last for only three and a half years (Revelation 13:5). Therefore, the movement of globalism that we see happening now does not have to progress any further than it has, until the appearance of the man who will lead it. The advent of antichrist, and allegiance to him, will be sudden.
More relevantly, the current movement towards global governance could conceivably continue for decades, or even for centuries. We have no assurance that what is happening is, as some say, a fulfilment of prophecy-yet. And even if we were to have a world government, we still have to wait until the revealing of Antichrist.
This is also the pattern for all category 1 prophecies below: there are “signs” to be seen, but nothing specific enough to attach a date to or even a general time. Such things will reach their ultimate fulfilment in the last few years of human rule of the earth.
IS THERE AN UPWARD TREND?
However, we could consider an upward trend of many of these signs together as a possible indicator of coming tribulation, and many of us think that we see such a trend, particularly in the West. This trend includes globalism.
CATEGORY TWO, AND THE TEST OF MODERN EVANGELICAL INTERPRETATION
I’ve written several posts over the years about the situation the state of Israel finds itself in in our time. And through our understanding of this subject, there’s a way of divining the fact that if the end times don’t come about within the next few decades as we expect them, the common evangelical view of Bible prophecy will have to be changed. Find a link below for more discussion on this.
The one Bible prophecy fulfilment, or series of related prophecies which I remain convinced of after decades of study and observation, and which with honesty could be said to be a fulfilment, is the rebirth of the modern state of Israel. Again, see my post link below for more detail. My second category of prophecies mostly concerns Israel. These can be said with conviction to have been fulfilled or/and are in the process of fulfilment now. If it all turns out to have been coincidence only, then it will have been a very great one indeed.
Israel has been reformed and returned from exile to all nations, as prophesied. Her prophesied enemies are her enemies now, and the worldwide anti-Semitism foretold is a reality. Jerusalem is, as predicted in Scripture, claimed by two sides, with the bulk of the world siding with Israel’s enemies. The hatred for Israel in my own country of origin alone is far out of proportion to the size of tiny Israel and its perceived evils, and with it lives a total lack of knowledge of, or regard for, Israel’s history and its fight for survival.
CATEGORY THREE: SPECIFIC AND AS YET UNFULFILLED
There are some wild claims going around about fulfilments of prophecy, which can be seen by the truly discerning to be nonsense. For example, certain people made money selling their books and videos on the idea the Prince Charles was or is the antichrist. The few blood moons a couple of years back supposedly related to the specific moon turning blood red as prophesied in numerous places, and heralded the Last Days. Covid vaccines have been labelled “the mark of the beast”. Some people have set dates.
However, there are certain events and the appearance of characters central to fulfilment, which will only occur when that proverbial prophetic clock ticks through the last few years. Those signs will be unmistakable, and as Paul said, don’t let yourself become fooled into thinking that the Day of the Lord has arrived or already taken place, until those unmistakable events happen. In fact, Paul spelled out in no uncertain terms what the first two signs would be. They are, a falling away from the faith (or/and a rebellion against God) and the revealing of the man we currently call Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2).
CATEGORY ONE PROPHECIES
Wars (Matt. 24:7; Revelation 6:4).
Famines (Matt. 24:7; Revelation 6:8).
Pestilence (Matthew 24:7; Revelation 6:8; 11:6).
Earthquakes (Matt. 24:7; Revelation 6:12).
Mens hearts failing them for fear of what is coming on the earth (Luke 21:26-27).
Deception and delusion (1 Timothy 3:13).
False messiahs (Matt. 24:24).
False prophets (Matt 24:24).
Sexual immorality (Revelation 9:21; 2 Thessalonians 2:12).
Persecution (2 Timothy 3:12; Matthew 24:9-10; Revelation 13:7).
People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-having a form of godliness but denying its power (2 Timothy 3:1-13).
The gospel will be preached in all the world (Matthew 24:14).
Theft, murder, sorcery (Revelation 9:21).
Worship of idols and demons (Revelation 9:20; 1 timothy 4:1).
The spirit of antichrist (1 John 4:3).
Aggression against the God of the Bible (Revelation 19:19; 19:6; Psalm 2:1-6).
The love of most will grow cold (Matthew 24:12-13).
An increase of wickedness (Matthew 24:12).
The human potential to destroy the world (Matthew 24:22; Revelation 11:18).
Global communications and social media (Revelation 11:8-10).
Jews regathered to the land of Israel shortly before the nations attack Israel and Jerusalem (Ezekiel 38:7-9; 39:21-29; Zephaniah 2:1-3).
Nations around Israel claim that the land is theirs (Ezekiel 36:1-7).
The new Israel would grow and prosper before being invaded (Ezekiel 36:8-12; 30-38; Joel 3:1-2).
Russia, Iran, Turkey and others, allied against Israel (Ezekiel 38:1-9).
Far Eastern nations with potential to send a huge army to war (Revelation 16:12 with 9:14-16).
Not a prophecy but related: exponential population growth over the last century.
CATEGORY THREE (not in chronological order).
Some sort of agreement or covenant between the man who will LATER be revealed as antichrist, and several other parties (Daniel 9:27). This could be done secretly. Too much speculation has been made over this prophecy. It doesn’t mention a “peace deal”, even if a peace deal happens to be part of it.
An attack of all nations upon Israel, particularly Jerusalem, and surrounding lands (Zechariah 1:1-10; 14:1-12; Joel 3:1-2; Revelation 12:13-16; Ezekiel 38 and 39).
War (Revelation 6: 4 and 8; 16:16).
Jerusalem will be forcefully divided as the UN now hopes to do (Zechariah 12:2-3; 14:2-9).
A significant falling away from the faith or rebellion (2 Thessalonians 2:3; Luke 18:8; 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:5).
Possibly a new temple in Jerusalem (2 Thessalonians 2:4; Matthew 24:15; Revelation 11:1-2; Daniel 9:27).
Specific deceptions (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; Revelation 13:13).
Great signs and wonders (Matt. 24:24).
The sea and the waves roaring (Luke 21:25).
Signs in the sun, moon and stars (Matt. 24:29; Luke 21:25; Joel 2:31).
From normal life to sudden destruction (Matt. 24: 37-39; Luke 21:34:35).
Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:3-10; Revelation 13:1-10; Revelation 17:12).
The desecration of Jewish worship (Matthew 24:15-16).
Worship of the beast (Revelation 13:4).
The return of Jesus Christ in great power and glory (Matthew 24:30; Revelation 19:11-21).
A singular false prophet-a powerful religious figure-demanding worship of the beast (Revelation 13:11-17).
The mark of the beast: (Revelation 13:16; Revelation 14:9-12).
A global financial system (Revelation 13:16-17).
Ten political leaders will aid Antichrist (Revelation 17:12-13).
Thanks for reading. Your thoughts are always welcome.
Here’s that link to the test of evangelical eschatology: