The prophecies in the Bible describe future events in such detail that they even provide the means to construct a timeline of how the events will unfold prior to the Second Coming. Although we are told by Christ that we cannot know the exact day and hour of his coming, the Bible does provide enough information to map out an end times chronology with amazing precision. The sections within this chapter discuss the major events of the last days with a view toward piecing them together into a coherent diagram of things to come. The references to Biblical prophecies mentioned in these sections also are described more thoroughly in the other major topics of End Times prophecy found in the links at the top of each page.
Knowing the Times
Now that the prophecies of the last days have been discussed in great detail (see above), the entire End Times chronology of events leading up to the Second Coming can be fit together like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle with a high level of accuracy. These pieces come together from diverse sources from within the Bible, and which in their entirety create correlating events and time frames that can be carefully assembled into a logical picture. Sometimes, it can be difficult to get a feel for the overall perspective of the Last Days if we concentrate too deeply on isolated events. For instance, learning about specific prophecies like the rise of the Antichrist, the rebirth of Israel, or the nuclear conflicts prior to Armageddon doesn’t necessarily explain how each one of these events fits together within the whole end times scenario. However, upon careful study, the Bible can be found to provide intricate and exacting information regarding the way that any one of the prophecies of the end will unfold relative to any other prophecy as Christ’s return approaches.
This is not to say that we can assign precise dates on events before they occur. For example, it would have been impossible to predict the exact date of Israel’s rebirth as a nation before it took place in 1948, even though it was a spectacular fulfillment of many Biblical prophecies. For most prophecies of the Last Days, God simply does not provide the date when they would occur in advance of their happening. Many have erred in this regard by trying to predict the exact date of an event through some obscure mathematical calculations or through their own contorted view of the Bible. For instance, literally hundreds of people have foolishly tried to predict the date of Christ’s return by using methods that are not based upon the clear teachings of the Bible, and virtually all of these attempts have failed (see: http://www.bible.ca/pre-date-setters.htm).
However, for many Biblical prophecies it is indeed possible to determine the correct End Times chronology relative to when one event will occur and the point at which other prophecies occur in relation to it. The Bible makes many predictions of End Time events that provide precise timings between those events, as though they were flag posts or sentinel events within the Last Days. For instance, it is predicted clearly that the Antichrist will be given power to reign for exactly 42 months (Rev. 13:5). We can know therefore, that when the Antichrist comes to power as the leader of the final world empire his term will only last 3.5 years (actually 1260 days, which represents 3.5 years using the Jewish calendar consisting of 360-day years—more on this point later). Other prophecies also have precise timings associated with them, and it is these time points that we can use to put together a highly accurate End Times chronology, which will take us through the Last Days right up to the Second Coming.
Despite the clear prophecies in the Bible related to timings, some people dismiss all expectation of knowing the relative timing of End Time events by citing Jesus, who said,
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only”
Jesus distinctly said that the exact moment of his return was known only by his Father. He didn’t know the date and neither did the angels. This is true also of most of the prophecies of the end; we often can’t know the exact date when they will occur in advance. However, Jesus also told his disciples that as the prophecies of the end begin to come true, Christians should become aware that his coming is near:
“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.”
Many people use the mystery surrounding the exact moment of Christ’s Return as an excuse not to understand anything about End Times events. Despite this position, however, we will discover that the Bible provides a tremendous amount of information concerning not only what will happen, but also the relative sequence of each of the major events of the end. This is not to say that we can predict at this point the exact date or time of Christ’s coming, for, true to the Lord’s words, we cannot. When you look at the words of Jesus in context, what he really meant is that no one can know the precise date for the fulfillment of any of the prophecies prior to the fulfillment of the one major sign post of the end, namely the start of Daniel’s 70th Week (see the sections on Israel). Indeed, before our day even a foreknowledge of the exact generation that would begin to experience the End Times was a mystery known only to God.
Now, however, for we who now find ourselves living in the Last Days when the prophecies of old are coming to pass, the Bible provides everything we need to know to understand the relative order of events all the way up to the very moment of the Second Coming. In fact, so elaborate are these predictions that once Daniel’s 70th Week begins and the Antichrist is revealed, even the very dates of many of the major prophetic events can be determined with great precision.
Since we are now living in the midst of that last generation when so many of the prophecies are actually being fulfilled, we can observe what has already happened and use our vantage point in history to better understand the End Times chronology for even some of the most obscure predictions. From our unique perspective in history, everything from the hopeful sign of Israel’s restoration to the darkest days of the Great Tribulation, and ultimately even to the glorious Return of Christ, can now be understood with an accuracy never before possible.
In the sections within the End Times Chronology, we will consider in chronological order all of the events of the Last Days that we have studied in previous chapters. This overview is not meant to be simply a rehash of what has been said before, but will be exclusively dedicated to piecing together all the major prophecies into one consistent story based upon the timings given to us in the Bible.
Since many previous attempts at putting together such an End Times chronology have been based upon inaccurate or incomplete information or just plain incorrect interpretations of the Bible, the understanding that can be gained by this study will be of utmost importance. With the use of a literal and logical interpretation of the Bible as well as considering the most up-to-date information on current events and scientific developments, we can now be more accurate than ever before in knowing what will soon come to pass. The result of this study will allow us to generate a complete road map of where we are headed in this pivotal generation.