Of the Main People and Events in the End Times
By Mike Bickel:
of “International House of Prayer” (IHOP)
“Forerunner School Of Ministry”, Kansas City
Why Study the End Times: introductory premises
It is my strong opinion that we are in the beginning of the generation in
which the Lord returns and that there are people alive today who will see the tribulation and the return of Jesus. It may
in 5 years or 50 years. I do not know because no one knows the day or the hour of His return. In my opinion, it is closer
to 50 years than 5 years. It may be longer but it may also be sooner.
We do well to be prepared, even if it is not in our lifetime. We will have helped prepare some in the next generation.
The apostles were wrong in expecting Jesus’ return in their generation. However, this did not hurt them at all as seen
by what they accomplished in book of Acts.
is not coming to bring the end the world but the end of the age, which refers
to Satan’s involvement and influence on it.
We must study
what the Scriptures say about the end times because it is the one generation that God has chosen to announce with prophetic
signs. These prophetic signs include supernatural signs in the heaven,
trends in society, and political, military, religious, scientific, technological, and economic developments. God calls it
wisdom to understand (Rev. 13:18, 17:9). Jesus and Paul emphasized the know-ability
of the prophetic signs of the end times (Mt. 24:32-34; Lk. 21:25-29; 1 Thes. 5:1-6; 2 Thes. 2:1-11).
These prophetic signs serve the Church like a weather station that signals
trouble before it comes so people can prepare and save lives. The example of the Southeast Asia Tsunami on Dec. 26, 2004 illustrates
this. Jesus rebuked Israel for being unable to read the prophetic signs (Mt. 16:3).
We must study the Scriptures on the end times because they reveals Jesus’
heart and leadership. The four Gospels (totaling 89 chapters) give us a record of Jesus' heart and power at His first
coming. In a similar way, the end of the age (over 150 chapters) reveals Jesus’ heart and power as He takes over the
leadership of the whole earth. The Gospels and the end-time Scriptures reveal the same Jesus and the same power of the Holy
Spirit in the same Bible.
A common misperception is that most
generations believed they were in the end times. It is true that a very small group (probably less than 1%) of every generation
thought they were at the end. Only twice has there been a universal sense that it was the time of the end, in the generation
of the early apostles and this one (over 50 million books in the Left Behind series have been sold).
I do not believe the view that the Church will
be raptured at any minute and therefore, will miss the coming revival and crisis in the Great Tribulation. We honor the genuineness
and godliness of many who hold this view, but we see it as a mistake that will leave multitudes unprepared.
I do not ask anyone to quickly accept my views. Rather, I urge you to challenge
them fiercely and boldly as you refuse any idea that you cannot clearly see in Scripture for yourself. The old saying, “Be
a Berean” is an appropriate one as we study Jesus’ leadership in the end times. The Bereans searched the Scriptures
to see if the things that Paul said were so (Acts 17:10-11). I urge you to take time for the small group discussions. The
learning process is greatly enhanced by wrestling with the various ideas in dialogue with others who are hungry for truth.
Day of the Lord: The 2 extremes related
to Jesus returns
11 For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; who can endure it? (Joel 2:11)
5 I will send you Elijah…before…the great
and dreadful day of the LORD. (Mal. 4:5)
The Day of the Lord refers to the unusual events (positive and negative) that will escalate in the final 3½ years
before Jesus returns. It is one of the prominent themes in the Scripture (mentioned
nearly 100 times). It is “His Day” because it is a unique time frame in which Jesus acts in the earthly arena
in great power for His people and against His enemies. He openly shows Himself as the warrior King who aggressively confronts
sin. (Is. 2:10-22; 4:1-6; 11:1-15; 13:6-9; Ezek. 13:5; Joel 1-3; Amos 5:18-20; Zeph l:7, 12, 14-18, 20; Zech. 14:1-4; Mal.
4:5; 1 Thes. 5:2-3; 2 Thes. 2:2-3; 2 Pet. 3:10; Rev. 6:17).
Great Day: Those who call on Jesus’ name will participate in the greatest revival in
history (Joel 2:28-32). It is great in quantity and quality.
Terrible Day: Those persisting in rebellion will experience the most severe judgments in history.
Jesus’ judgments will shake all that can be shaken on earth (Hag. 2:6-8; Heb. 12:26).
The prophets asked, “Who can endure the Day of the Lord events?” In other words, who can
experience God’s favor, deliverance and power in this unique time frame. This will be the most relevant question that
must be answered by all as the best and worst time for the Church and all nations (including the USA and Israel) are soon
GREAT Day of the Lord: POSITIVE TRENDS
Greatest revival: The Church will be victorious and full of God’s
glory (Eph. 4:13; 5:26-27; Mt. 16:18; Jn. 17:21-26; Acts 2:17-21; Rev. 7:9; 12:11; 15:2; 19:7-8; 22:17). It will include miracles
that were seen in the Book of Acts and the Book of Exodus combined and multiplied on a global scale.
Great Harvest of souls: There may be over 1 billion souls (Mt. 24:14;
Rev. 5:9; 14:6).
9 A multitude...no one could number of all nations...out of the Tribulation... (Rev. 7:9,
Salvation of Israel: Will occur as the Church provokes Israel to jealousy
by standing with her in affliction and operating in the power of God (Rom. 11:12-15, 25-26)
Bridal revelation: The Church will see Jesus as the Bridegroom God
17 The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come!" (Rev. 22:17)
Worship and prayer movement: Will operate in great authority (Lk. 18:7-8;
Mt. 21:13; Rev. 5:8; 8:3-5; 22:17; Isa. 62:6-7; 25:9; 27:2-5, 13; 30:18-19; 42:10-13; Joel 2:12-17).
Spirit of prophecy: It will operate in the Church and rest on every
believer (Acts 2:17; Jer. 31:9; 23:20; Dan. 11:33-35; Isa. 26:9; Rev. 11:3-6; 18:20; Mt. 17:11; Mal. 4:6). Supernatural
direction: By a great outpouring of prophetic revelation (Jer. 31:9; Joel 2:28) as the Lord directs His
people to safety, to provision, to reconnect in relationships, to be at the right place to escape earthquakes, bombs, or the
ambush of the enemy.
17 I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and daughters shall prophesy. (Acts 2:17)
Supernatural provision: God will provide food and water and do great
signs as He did in the Exodus. God provided all the needs of His people as they journeyed in the wilderness. He caused food
to fall from the sky and brought water from a rock.
15 As in the days when you came out of...Egypt,
I will show them wonders. (Mic. 7:15)
protection: The “Goshen principle” refers to areas where God’s people are protected from God’s judgment
as seen in the time of the plagues of Egypt (Ex. 8:22-23; 9:4-6, 26; 10:23; 11:7). God did not allow His judgments to touch
Goshen, where His people lived. Israel’s livestock did not die (Ex. 9:4-6), they had no hail (Ex. 9:26), no swarms of
flies (Ex. 8:22), and they had light (Ex. 10:23).
22 I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall
be there...23 I will make a difference between My people and your people. (Ex. 8:22-23)
I refer to such geographic areas as pockets of mercy. The saints will be sealed by God (Rev.
7:2-3; 9:4; Ezek. 9:4-6). God’s judgments can be minimized or averted in various regions by prayer and obedience. Our
prayers make a difference in our quality of life (Joel 2:13-14; Ps. 91:5-7). The disaster zone can become a revival center.
Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth…it may be that you will be hidden (protected) in the
day of the LORD's anger (judgments) (Zeph. 2:3).
I also withheld rain from you...I made it rain on one city,
I withheld rain from another city. One part was rained upon, and where it did not rain the part withered. 8 So two or three
cities wandered to another city to drink water... (Amos 4:7-8) .
shall not be afraid of the terror by night…6 nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that
lays waste at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near
you. (Ps. 91:5-7)
the primary people
and events: positive
second coming: Jesus will return to Jerusalem to establish His millennial kingdom (1000-year reign on earth) and is the primary end-time
theme in the Scriptures (Rev. 20:1-6; Zech. 14; 1 Thes. 4-5; Matt. 24; Lk. 21; Mk. 13).
Jesus will rule as king on the earth for 1,000 years (Rev. 20:4-6). This is commonly referred to as
the millennial kingdom of Christ. The term millennium is from the Latin mille (a thousand), and annus
They shall be priests of God….and shall reign
with Him a 1,000 years. (Rev. 20:6)
Jesus will rule the world
from Jerusalem in perfect righteousness and continual peace as He restores it to the conditions of the Garden of Eden. His
kingdom on earth will affect every sphere of life (political, economic, educational, agricultural, family, media, arts, technology,
environment, social institutions, etc; Rev. 20:1-6; Isa. 2:1-4; 9:6-9; 11:1-16; 51:1-8; 60-62; 65:17-25; Ps. 2; 110; Mt. 6:10;
17:11; 19:28; 28:19; Acts 3:21).
Jerusalem shall be called the
Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem. (Jer. 3:17)
Jesus will return to live on the earth. He will sit on a Throne as King and
rule over all other kings (Rev. 19:15-16). He will establish His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
Rapture of the Church: Jesus will raise all believers who have died and then will catch up into the air all believers who are still alive
on earth (1 Thes. 4:13-17; 1 Cor. 15:51-52). The rapture will not be a secret event, but a dramatic one witnessed by all (Mt.
Jesus’ royal procession: Jesus will make a royal procession to His throne
in Jerusalem, which will involve a 3 stage process which will include many events.
First, His procession will be across
the sky in great glory that will be seen by every eye as His kingship is proclaimed
with great authority over each nation.
7 He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him…and all the tribes of the earth
will mourn because of Him. (Rev. 1:7)
Second, His procession
will be on the land as He marches up through Jordan warring against the Antichrist’s armies (Isa. 63:1-6, Hab. 3:12-13; Ps. 110:5-6; Rev. 19:15-19).
1 Who is this who comes from Edom (modern day Jordan)…this One (Jesus) who is glorious in His apparel,
traveling in the greatness of His strength?"…2 Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like one who
treads in the winepress? …3 I have trodden them (the nations) in My anger…their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes. 4
The day of vengeance is in My heart… (Isa. 63:1-4)
He will make a triumphal entry into Jerusalem by way of the Mount of Olives to be crowned King of kings (Ps. 24:7-10; Zech. 6:12; 14:3-5, 9).
I refer to these events as Jesus’
royal procession because He will come in great glory and flaming fire and trumpets blasts with billions of angels and saints
as He travels on clouds across the whole earth for all to see the overwhelming power of His kingship (Mt. 16:27; 24:29-31;
25:31; 1 Thes. 3:13; 4:14-16; 2 Thes. 1:8).
Witnesses: Two prophets who will preach with great power for 3½ years during the Great Tribulation (Rev. 11:3-6). They
will do great miracles like Moses and Elijah did (Mal. 4:5).
144,000 Jewish believers: Are prophetic singers who will preach the gospel in power during the last 3½ years (Rev. 7:4-8;
14:1-5). They will be supernaturally sealed or protected by the power of God so that they can not be harmed by them. Other
believers (Gentiles) will also be supernaturally protected by God from harm (Rev 9:4; Ezek 9:6).
Marriage supper of the Lamb: Occurs in context
to Jesus’ coming (Rev. 19:7-10). The first descent of the New Jerusalem
to earth also occurs at this time (Rev. 21:2, 9; 3:12).
the primary people and events: negative
The emergence of the harlot Babylon as a one-world religion of tolerance (Rev. 17:1-6) will seduce the nations and persecute
the righteous. She will be a counterfeit justice movement that will feed the poor and be deeply involved in humanitarian projects.
It will inspire acts of compassion but for all the wrong reasons. It will unify the world’s largest religions. It will
prepare the nations to receive the Antichrist. It will be a religion of toleration without absolutes.
The voluntary Harlot Babylon religion will be replaced by a mandatory Antichrist religion.
First, people will voluntarily join the Harlot Babylon one-world religion of tolerance (Rev. 17).
Second, all will be forced to be Satan worshippers in the Antichrist religion (Rev. 13:4, 8, 15).
Antichrist: The final world leader, in this age, who wages
war against God and persecutes His people (Rev. 13:1-10). He will have a vast political, military, and economic alliance with
a ten-nation confederation. He will have the greatest political coalition, the largest army, the biggest religious network
and the most money of any man in history. He will use demonic miracles to deceive and will use economic
oppression (Rev. 13:12-17).
The Antichrist will be the most evil and cruel man that ever lived. It will be impossible to negotiate with him for
mercy, because he will reason and behave like a wild beast. The Antichrist is called the “Beast” 36 times in the
Book of Revelation.
10-nation confederation: Will be a political, military and economic alliance of ten nations that will provide him with the greatest power base
of any leader in history
Head wound: The great catalytic event that thrusts the Antichrist into worldwide prominence
will be a dramatic head wound and apparent healing (Rev. 13:3, 12, 14). He will seemingly be killed and healed before all,
causing them to be overwhelmed with awe so as to worship him.
False Prophet: The Antichrist’s primary associate and the leader of a worldwide network that will be devoted
to causing all to worship the Antichrist (Rev. 13:8, 11-18). The False Prophet’s plans to accomplish this will include
giving demonically empowered speeches that are confirmed by great miracles (Rev. 13:12-14), using the image of
the Beast (demonically empowered image) and using the mark of the Beast (global economic
Image of the
Beast: Will be a statue (image or idol) that is demonically empowered so that
it will seem to think, talk, breathe, and make laws (Rev. 13:14-16). The main idol will be set up in the Jerusalem Temple
and will be connected to a global network of idols. The image will be a significant prophetic sign in the End-Times. John
emphasized this image ten times (Rev. 13:14, 15 [three times]; 14:9, 11; 15:2; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4).
Mark of the Beast: will be a public mark on people’s right
hand or forehead. It will be used to regularly identify the people that promise to worship the Antichrist (Rev. 13:16-17).
It will be one’s personal access to the global economic system. Those who refuse this mark will not be allowed to buy
or sell the necessities of life. They will be viewed as criminals of the state who are guilty of the death penalty. As a wedding
ring is a symbol of one’s marriage covenant, so this mark is the outward proof of one’s covenant to worship Satan
and the Antichrist. No one will accidentally take this mark.
Abomination of desolation: Will occur when the Antichrist declares himself to
be God by setting up his image or idol (which is the abomination) in the Jerusalem Temple (Dan. 8:13; 9:26, 27; 11:31;
12:11; Mt. 24:15; Mk. 13:14; 2 Thes. 2:3-4; Rev. 13:12-18).
It will be an abomination to God, because the Antichrist will demand to be worshipped as God and because many will fully
respond to this demand. This image will be the greatest abomination to God in history. It will be confirmed by demonic miracles.
The desolation will occur in two different ways. First, the Antichrist will
seek to desolate or destroy any who refuse to worship him. Second, God will desolate or destroy in judgment all those who
yield to the pressure to worship the Antichrist.
After the Antichrist’s
head wound is healed, the abomination of desolation will be the key piece of legislation that begins his aggressive plan to
rule the whole earth as God. This act of abomination will occur in the middle of the last 7 years before Jesus returns.
The abomination of desolation is referred to 7 times in Scripture, 5 times
by Daniel (Dan. 8:13; 9:26, 27; 11:31; 12:11) and 2 times by Jesus (Matt. 24:15; Mk. 13:14). Paul taught about the Abomination
of Desolation (2 Thes. 2:3-4).
Martyrdom of Christians: The Antichrist will kill many, but not most of the saints (Dan. 7:21, 25; 8:24; 11:33-35;
12:7, 10; Rev. 6:9-11; 9:21; 11:7; 13:7, 15; 16:5-7; 17:6; 18:24; 19:2).
Falling away from the faith: (Mt. 24:9-13; 2 Thes. 2:3; 1 Tim. 4:1-2; 2 Tim. 3:1-7; 4:3-5; 2 Pet. 2:1-3)
Let no one deceive you…for that Day will not come
unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin (Antichrist)
is revealed... (2 Thes. 2:3)
the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits
and doctrines of demons… (1 Tim. 4:1)
Terrible Day: Great Tribulation against the wicked
God’s judgment: Will be poured out on the Antichrist’s
empire (Rev. 6-19)
In the Great Tribulation, pressure will come
from four sources. First, by the wrath of God on the rebellious (7 seals, 7 trumpets, 7 bowls of
wrath); Second, by the rage of Satan who will persecute the saints through the Antichrist’s
reign of terror; Third, by the actions of evil people against one another; and Fourth, by convulsions
in nature (earthquakes, storms, etc).
God’s judgment: Will be poured out on the Antichrist’s
empire in 21 specific events (Rev. 6-19). The fullness of God’s judgment (Rev. 14:7; 15:7) will be released in
7 seals (Rev. 6) 7 trumpets (Rev. 8-9) and 7 bowls of wrath (Rev. 16).
10 The wrath
of God which is poured out full strength… (Rev. 14:10)
There will be two severe waves of death. The first
wave will claim one fourth, of earth’s population. The second wave will kill an additional one third of the earth. This
will total 50% of the population (or 4 billion based on a possible population of 8 billion people).
was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the
earth. (Rev. 6:8)
15 The four angels...were released to kill one-third of mankind. (Rev. 9:15)
The Great Tribulation
consists of God’s judgment as seen in the 7 seals, 7 trumpets, and the 7 bowls of wrath as described in Rev. 6-19. They
constitute the core judgment activities of the Great Tribulation period that lasts for 3½ years ending with the Battle
of Jerusalem and the Second Coming of Jesus (Rev. 19:11-21).
Inserted Comment by Web Site
Note: Scripture states that we are subject to "Tribulation" but to God's "Wrath".
The “Great Tribulation”
as only 6 months long, followed by the rapture (initiated by the “sign” of the 6th
seal, as described by Jesus in Mth. 24:29-31)
The return of the Lord and rapture of His “elect” (Mth. 24:29-31) is followed by the “Day of the Lord” and His “Wrath” upon the unrepentant.
The “Day of the Lord” is initiated by Jesus’
breaking of the 7th seal, thus opening the scroll containing the 7 trumpets and 7 bowls of God’s “wrath”.
in contrast to “Tribulation” allowed prior to the rapture. Scripture states that we as believers
will be subject to “Tribulation”, but Not God’s “Wrath”).
The 3 judgment series are
focused on the Antichrist’s worldwide empire as He purges the earth. They are literal (actual
events not to be explained away symbolically or historically), future (their greatest fulfillment
is future), progressive (they increase in intensity) and numbered
(released in a sequential order as they follow one after the other in sequence that we might know their order as
they unfold on earth).
victory at the Battle of Jerusalem to end the Armageddon Campaign (which continues
for 3½ years) is a military conflict that destroys the Antichrist, the False Prophet and their armies (Rev. 16:16;
19:11-21; Joel 3:2-15; Zech. 14:1-5; Zeph. 3:8).
judgment on the Great Harlot Babylon (Rev. 17-18) is a judgment on a worldwide demonic
economic and religious network based in the city of Babylon. It will seduce many to do evil and to persecute the saints. The
city of Babylon to be located on the Euphrates River in Iraq (50 miles south of Baghdad), will be restored (Isa. 13-14;
Jer. 50-51; Rev. 17-18).
God will judge this city in two stages.
First, this worldwide religious system of toleration and syncretism will fall in the middle of the 7 year period, at the hands
of 10 kings who will burn it (Rev. 17:16). They will replace it with the Antichrist’s strict religious system and re-established
it as one of the Antichrist’s headquarters. Second, it will fall when Jesus returns (Rev. 18).
political developments in the End times
Israel became a nation (1948) and took control of the city of Jerusalem
There will be an emergence
of a regional political leader (Antichrist) in the Middle East or Europe who has unusual diplomacy and who initially works
with a 3-nation coalition.
The formation of the European Union
joins in the alliance of the ten-nation confederation in the Middle East. A 3-nation coalition will be its original base,
but that base will be uprooted early on (Dan. 7:8, 20, 24). The ten-nation confederation will form the basis of a worldwide
The Antichrist will make a Middle East peace treaty with
Israel and other nations that brings a worldwide counterfeit peace and safety (Dan.
9:27; 1 Thes. 5:3). Israel’s covenant with the Antichrist will seem to them to usher in the promised
Comment by Web Site: FeastsOftheLord.Net
Reference to Daniel 9:27 has been mistranslated by NASB, and therefor misinterpreted: SEE:
9:24-27 Web Site Page at: http://www.feastsofthelord.net/id42.html
Pre Wrath Rapture Hermeneutics at:
Lord and Satan will work to gather the armies of all the nations of the
earth to attack Jerusalem (Zech. 12:1-10; 14:1-2; Joel 3:2, 12; Zeph. 3:8; Rev. 16:12-16).
The temple in Jerusalem (referred to as the Tribulation temple) will be built and then desecrated
by the Antichrist. It shall be the context for the ministry of the Two Witnesses (Dan. 9:27; 11:36-45; Mt. 24:15; Mk. 13:14;
2 Thes. 2:4; Rev. 11:1-2).
an increase of travel and knowledge (scientific, communication, technology).
Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and for
(travel), and knowledge
(scientific, technology) shall
increase. (Daniel 12:4)
key negative judgment events against the evil people
THE SEVEN SEALS (Rev. 6:1-17; 8:1)
First seal (white horse): Antichrist's political aggression
Second seal (red horse): bloodshed and world war (Rev. 6:3-4)
(black horse): famine and economic crisis (Rev. 6:5-6)
Fourth seal (pale horse): disease leading
to the death of one-fourth of the earth (Rev. 6:7-8)
Fifth seal (prayer movement): prayer movement
strengthened by the martyrs (Rev. 6:9-11)
Sixth seal (cosmic disturbances): cosmic crisis (Rev. 6:12-17).
NOTE BY FeastsOfTheLord.Net : See
also Mth 24:29-31 "Sign" of Jesus' return as described by Jesus.
Seventh seal (anointed prayer): prayer movement strengthened to release judgments
of Rev. 8-9
THE SEVEN TRUMPETS (Rev. 8:7-12; 9:1-21)
trumpet (food supply): burning 1/3 of the earth's vegetation (Rev. 8:7)
Second trumpet (food
supply): destroying 1/3 of the sea (Rev. 8:8-9)
Third trumpet (water supply): poisoning 1/3 of the
earth's fresh water (Rev. 8:10-11)
Fourth trumpet (light, energy): darkening 1/3 of the earth’s
light (Rev. 8:12)
Fifth trumpet (torment): releasing demonic locusts that torment
for 5 months (Rev. 9:1-12).
Sixth trumpet (death): releasing demonic horsemen that kill 1/3 of the
earth (Rev. 9:13-21)
Seventh trumpet (defeat): beginning of Jesus’ Second Coming procession
THE SEVEN BOWLS (Rev. 16:1-21)
First bowl (sores): painful sores on those who worship
the Antichrist (Rev. 16:1-2)
Second bowl (food supply): destroying the sea with blood and killing all
in it (Rev. 16:3)
Third bowl (water supply): poisoning the earth’s fresh water with blood (Rev.
Fourth bowl (torment): scorching heat and fire from the sun (Rev. 16:8-9)
bowl (destruction): darkness on the Antichrist's global empire (Rev. 16:10-11)
Sixth bowl (global
guilt): deceiving the nations to come to Armageddon (Rev. 16:12-16)
Seventh bowl (annihilation): shaking
by earthquakes and hail stones (Rev. 16:17-21)