Events of the Final Seven Years – A Timeline
Close your eyes and imagine that you are back in World War II. As your platoon marches across foreign soil toward the next exchange, you encounter a minefield. The enemy is encamped all around and your destination is just on the other side. The only option is straight ahead.
Immediately, the lieutenant yells the command, “Take out your blindfolds and put them on. We have a minefield to cross!” It doesn’t seem right, does it? Nobody in his right mind would cross a minefield blindfolded! Yet, this is exactly what it would be like to live through the next few years with little or no knowledge of end time events.
Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be the case. The Bible has provided us with an accurate timeline and explicit instructions to guide us through the dangerous events that lie just ahead.
A Seven-Year Timeline
The Bible foretells a final seven-year period that will immediately precede the Battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming of Jesus to the earth. It also describes the specific event that will mark the beginning of this Final Seven Years. That’s the reason we call this prophesied event “the prophecy with a date on it.” All we have to do is watch for the initial event that marks the beginning of the timeline to then know that only seven years remain until the culmination.
It is of utmost importance that each of us understands this final seven-year timeline of events, for our generation will undoubtedly live during the fulfillment of these prophecies.
In order to understand what lies ahead, we must remove those imaginary blindfolds by learning what the Bible prophesies about the events that will take place along the final seven-year timeline.
Middle East Peace Treaty Marks “The Beginning”
Daniel 9:27 prophesies that the Antichrist will confirm a covenant with many for a final seven-year period. This accord will be a confirmation of God’s covenant with Abraham that Israel would always have a homeland in the Promised Land (Genesis 15:18).
The fulfillment of this prophecy will be the signing of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. The prophesied agreement must do three things: 1) Establish a Palestinian state in Judea (the West Bank). 2) Allow the Jewish settlers presently living in Judea to remain in their homes, living as a Jewish minority in the new Palestinian state. 3) Place the Temple Mount under an internationally supervised sharing arrangement allowing both Jews and Muslims to worship there.
When you see the prophesied peace agreement, know assuredly that the Final Seven Years to the Battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ have begun!
The Sixth Trumpet War
At this juncture, it must be noted that a war is coming that will emanate from the Middle East region and result in the killing of one-third of the world’s population. This war is called the Sixth Trumpet War because it will occur at the sounding of the Sixth Trumpet as described in Revelation 9:13-18. This war will take place just before, or shortly after, the peace agreement is signed. The Bible does tell us that it must take place, at the latest, before the final three and one-half years begins. It could conceivably happen at any time now.
In the aftermath of the Sixth Trumpet War, in which 2.3 billion human beings will have died, the cry for a global organization that can prevent war will be deafening. The International Community will adopt a world-governing entity to eliminate the possibility of a global war ever taking place again. The nations of the world will surrender their sovereignty to the new world government so that it can eliminate war completely.
This world government will be the culmination of years of planning that have already been in progress. For several years it had been generally believed that there were two major causes for war on earth–conflicts between nations and conflicts between religions. The solution was simple in the minds of the global leaders: (1) Do away with the nation-states and force everyone on earth to pledge allegiance to one single, ultimate political authority–a world government. (2) Abolish the doctrinal differences between all religious organizations and coerce church leaders to sign declarations of unity with a single, all-inclusive religious authority–a world religion.
The Bible predicts that these two entities will be governed by a duo of the most deceitful, demonic humans that have ever lived.
To begin with, a leader will arise from Europe (Daniel 7:8) that will have aided in the negotiations for the prophesied peace agreement. He will be a great orator and administrator, but with an ulterior motive in mind–a wolf in sheep’s clothing, if you will. He will eventually seize the reigns of influence and be the most powerful politician in Europe. From this powerbase, he will maneuver himself into control of the emerging world government.
At the beginning of his administration, this ascending world leader will be viewed, by many, as the next great peacemaker. But to those who know their Bibles, he will shortly be recognized as the Antichrist!
Simultaneous with the emergence of the prophesied world government will be the birth of a global religious system. Interfaithism, as it is already being called, will be a union of Catholicism and Protestantism under the leadership of the pope. This religious union will be founded on the belief that Jews, Muslims and Christians all worship the same God while calling him by different names. Interfaithism will attempt to embrace all the religions of the world. Scripture is clear that this religious union will be led by the pope. Whoever is pope, at the time of the Antichrist, will fill the prophesied role of the False Prophet. Even Roman Catholics believe there is an evil pope coming.
By the mid-way point of the final seven years, the world government, led by the Antichrist and the world religion (Revelation 13:11-14 and chapters 17 through 18), headed by the False Prophet, will have control over the majority of the world’s population.
First Three and One-Half Years
When the final seven years begins, Revelation 11:1-2 states that the Temple Mount in Jerusalem will be placed under a sharing arrangement between Jews and Muslims. The Jewish people will be allowed to build their Third Temple (2 Thessalonians 2:4 and Revelation 11:1-2) on the Temple Mount. When the temple is completed, animal sacrifices will be resumed (Daniel 9:27), just as was done in Old Testament times.
The offering of animal sacrifices in the temple will quickly escalate into a world crisis. The animal rights activists will demand that the Antichrist stop this slaughter of animals. This dispute, over the animal sacrifices, will quickly lead to an event the Bible calls the Abomination of Desolation.
Abomination of Desolation at the Midway Point
Once we reach the middle of this final seven-year period, prophetic fulfillments will rapidly increase with many events happening almost simultaneously.
The first of these events will be the stopping of the sacrifices at the Abomination of Desolation. Daniel 11:31 foretells this event, “And arms shall stand on his part, and they (the Antichrist and his partners) shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.”
It appears that stopping the sacrifices and the Abomination of Desolation will occur at the same time. Apparently, the Antichrist will explain that the sacrifices are no longer needed because he is the Messiah and God. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 states that he will sit in the temple of God while claiming to be God. In this passage, the Apostle Paul described this event as the “revealing” of the man of sin (the Antichrist).
It should also be mentioned that whoever is pope, at the time of the Abomination of Desolation, will assume his role as the False Prophet. He will be the leader of the world religious system and will perform miracles before the people of the world (Revelation 13:13-14). Through these miracles, he will influence the world to pledge its allegiance to the Antichrist.
The Great Tribulation Begins
Simultaneous with the Abomination of Desolation, there will be a war in Heaven (Daniel 12:1 and Revelation 12:7-10). Michael and his angels defeat Satan and his angels, confining them to the earth. Revelation 12:12 says, “…Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” This is the beginning of the three and one-half years of tribulation when Satan will persecute Israel and the true church of Jesus Christ. This is the same tribulation period that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:15-21. Once the Abomination of Desolation occurs, Jesus warned the Jews living in Judea (the West Bank) to flee into the mountains, “…For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
In the midst of all this chaos, God will send his two witnesses (Revelation 11:3) to begin their ministries, which will last the next twelve hundred and sixty days (three and one-half years).
Last Three and One-Half Years?
During the last half of the final seven years, many events will occur, setting the stage for the Battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
It is at this time that the Antichrist and the False Prophet will fully implement the economic system, known as the Mark of the Beast (Revelation 13:16-18). Economic control will be used to force the citizens of the world to comply with the dictates of the one-world government and the one-world religion. The plan will be to give everyone on earth his own unique identification number that will be necessary to function in society. If any individual does not submit, obey and pledge allegiance to the Antichrist and his supreme authority, that person’s number will be invalidated. He will not be permitted to hold a job or to participate in the global economy.
All the while, God’s two witnesses (Revelation 11:3-12) will be prophesying, performing miracles and smiting the earth with plagues. However, at the end of their ministries, the Antichrist and his world governing system will kill them. Their bodies will lie in the streets of Jerusalem for three and one-half days, while the international media broadcasts the entire incident to the world. After the three and one-half days are finished, the Lord will raise them from the dead and call them up to Heaven, while the whole world watches in amazement.
The End of the Final Seven Years
At the end of this seven-year period, two of the most recognizable prophecies in the Bible will take place – the Battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Quite similar to Charles Dickens’ statement in his book, A Tale of Two Cities, this will be the best of times for some and the worst of times for others.
Surrounding these two prophecies will be quite a number of significant events, all leading to the culmination of this age and the beginning of the one-thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ on earth.
At the very end of the Great Tribulation, the seven vials (plagues) of the Wrath of God will be poured out (Revelation 16:1-21). The first vial is poured out on those who have received the Mark of the Beast during the tribulation period. When the sixth vial is poured out, the Great River Euphrates will be dried up in preparation for the Kings of the East to make their way down toward Israel for the Battle of Armageddon.
Once the Sixth Vial is poured out, Revelation 16:15 gives a last minute warning to the inhabitants of the earth, “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”
Then, in verse 16, the prophecy ominously says, “And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.”
The international armies of the UN will invade Israel from the north. The battle will be joined at the Plain of Megiddo in northern Israel. Israel will fight valiantly against the world government armies. However, the Israeli Defense Forces will fall back, slowly but surely, before the superior firepower of the world government.
The conflict will proceed with Israel retreating toward its capital; Jerusalem. After days of exhausting battle, Israel will make her last stand within the walls of Jerusalem. In spite of heroic efforts by the Israeli soldiers, the Jewish people will find themselves facing defeat by the armies of the Antichrist.
It is at this time that the Seventh and Last Trumpet will sound! Jesus Christ will return to gather the elect from the earth (Matthew 24:29-31), have the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and go with His saints to fight on behalf of Israel at the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19).
During the Battle of Armageddon, the Seventh Vial will be poured out upon the earth. This will result in great hailstones being rained upon those armies that have come down to fight against Israel at Armageddon.
Zechariah 14:4 tells us that Jesus will place His feet on the Mount of Olives just outside of Jerusalem when He comes to the earth. When this happens, there will be a huge earthquake that splits the Mount of Olives in two, killing seven thousand people in the City of Jerusalem.
When Jesus touches down on the Mount of Olives, all of Israel will rush out to meet Him. When they bow before their Messiah, they will notice the nail scars in His hands and feet. They will realize He is Jesus and will receive Him as their Lord and their God. (Zechariah 12:10 and 13:6). Scripture tells us that all of Israel will be saved at this time (Romans 11:25-26).
At the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, He will appear as a loving, merciful savior to those who have obeyed His Word and allowed Him to be the Lord of their lives. But, to those who did not obey His Word and receive Him as Lord, He will return in vengeful flaming fire to execute judgment!
True religion is God’s method of saving the world. False religion is the most effective way of leading people away from the truth. That’s why God devotes two entire chapters of the Book of Revelation, detailing the horrible judgments that God will pour out upon the False Prophet and his false religious system. The same global earthquake that kills 7,000 in Jerusalem will completely destroy the “City of Seven Hills”–Rome (Revelation 16:19 & 17:9). Describing the destruction of Rome in Revelation 18:8, the scripture states, “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.”
It is also at the Battle of Armageddon, when God will tear down the world governing system of the Antichrist. This is the same socialistic, godless entity that will have implemented the Mark of the Beast and caused so many to turn from God towards a humanistic solution to solve the problems of the world. It will be the end of human government on earth, and the ushering in of the Kingdom of God (Daniel 7:9).
Because of their iniquities and deceitfulness, the leader of the world government, the Antichrist, and the head of the global religious system, the False Prophet, will both be cast into the Lake of Fire. Revelation 19:20 records the event, “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the Mark of the Beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”
Finally, Satan is bound for the next one thousand years, Revelation 20:2, “And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.”
Kingdom of God
At the Battle of Armageddon, the Lord will eliminate all human governments here on earth. He will set up His government, the Kingdom of God, which will reign supreme on earth for the next one thousand years. Revelation 11:15 states, “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” Furthermore, Daniel 2:44 states, “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”
It will be perfect peace on earth for the next one thousand years. The saints will rule and reign with the Lord in this kingdom, and it will be governed according to Biblical principles.
How Can You Prepare?
Understanding the prophetic events that will occur over the next several years is only part of the equation. 1 Chronicles 12:32 tells us that, “And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do…” It is good to recognize events we will face in the future, but what actions should we take as a result of this knowledge?
Most people focus on the physical aspect of preparation. Commonly asked questions are: (1) What can I invest in to guarantee my security? (2) How much food should I store up? (3) Should I move to a remote area and live off the land?
The problem is, no one knows the complete answers to these questions. We have no idea what the economy will look like after the Sixth Trumpet War. It is impossible to judge the availability of food or the access to shelter, electricity, water, etc. Sure, once we get further into these events, perhaps information like this will be available, but not now.
However, whether it’s today or over the next few years, spiritual preparedness is the most important absolute necessity. Matthew 6:31-33 clearly tells us how to prepare, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?… But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
The best thing an individual can do to equip themselves for future events, and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, is to be born again. Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3 that he couldn’t see or enter the Kingdom of God unless he was born again of the water and the spirit. To get your free copy of the brochure go to “What Do You Mean Born Again?” or call 1-800-ENDTIME (363-8463).
Are you prepared?