A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THINGS TO COME
Excerpted from article on pg. 498 of The Last Days Bible N.T.
First there came an ominous rumbling, then a most violent shaking. It seemed that the whole building they were in was being literally torn apart. The floor buckled, and parts of it hit the ceiling, crushing several people in the process. There were loud screams from the dying and wounded, then more violent shaking and pounding, and the literal throwing of buildings into the air. "Earthquake!" some screamed.
But what a feeble statement, because what they were experiencing was in fact the greatest of all earthquakes, the one which had long been prophesied would happen at the end of the age. Just days before, the great world dictator had gathered his forces from every nation under his control, and had marched on Israel against those who had dared to challenge his supremacy. But amazingly, fire from the heavens had destroyed his armies and innumerable millions had died.
Christians had often warned about the Battle of Armageddon and the greatest of all earthquakes that would follow. Now it was causing unprecedented destruction and havoc everywhere.
Yes, all that God has prophesied will definitely happen. The end of this age is fast approaching, when the nations on earth will be utterly perplexed and panic-stricken (Luke 21:25) at all that will be happening as the end approaches.
The Bible predicts that there will be ever increasing rebellion against God and against moral restraint in the last days. 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 4:3-4. The Lord says thru the prophet Daniel (Daniel 8:23) that the Antichrist, the great opposer of God in the final days, will come to power when those in rebellion against God have become rotten to the core, when sin is rampant, when rebellion against God and right living has not only become fully ripe, but also totally rotten. We see this rebellion increasing today in frightful ways. There have been other times of gross sin in history, but never when the other prophecies for the end were also in the process of being fulfilled so perfectly. The end is indeed fast approaching.
We are told that in the end time the Holy Spirit will step aside (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8) and allow sin to take its natural course without His restraining influence, thereby allowing sin to become fully ripe. With moral decay rampant today it seems certain that He has already stepped aside.
People all over the world will be madly drunk on their success in breaking the restraints of all moral codes. Antichrist will come to power when sin is worse than the world has ever seen (Daniel 8:23), but evidently it will even worsen under his influence. Daniel 11:36-39.
The Bible reveals (Revelation 9:21) that mankind will be guilty of four major sins in the last days:
- drugs and experimentation in the occult
- sexual immoralities
- large-scale thievery
The pressure to indulge in sin will be intense for everyone on earth, Christian and non-Christian alike. Some Christians, beguiled by seducing spirits, will depart from their faith in Christ. Even some who are the most knowledgeable in the things of God will fall. Daniel 11:35.
A significant event in this end-time period will be the rebuilding of the old city of Babylon. Some ask, "How can that be? Bible prophecy states that Babylon will never be rebuilt." True! Babylon will never be rebuilt after it is burned. But it has never yet been burned, at least not since the prophecy of its destruction was made. The Bible reveals some very interesting facts concerning new Babylon. For one thing, it will be the capital city of the Antichrist. The country of Iraq is, even at the time of this writing, rebuilding Babylon.
Egypt should have learned her lesson by now, but according to prophecy Egypt will lose the Nile River (Isaiah 11:15; 19:5-10), and will have civil war and continual turmoil. The Nile River will dry up, evidently as a result of a change in the course of the river.
Russia, Turkey, Iran, Poland, Germany, Libya, and Ethiopia, together with other nations, will unite to invade Israel. Ezekiel 38 and 39. But with God's help Israel will thoroughly defeat these nations, who will very likely then become third rate powers.
The Bible indicates that the USA and her allies will not interfere with this invasion. They will complain and protest loudly (Ezekiel 38:13), but they won't lift a finger to stop Russia and her allies. No reason for this noninterference is given. But the northern powers will definitely meet a powerful Force in Israel: God promises that He Himself will be there to meet them, with a great judgment. Ezekiel 38:16-23.
Following this debacle of nations in Israel, a great spiritual awakening will erupt thruout the whole earth. See Revelation 14:14-16, and the note there, and Joel 2:28-32 notes. Mankind will be given this last wonderful opportunity to get right with God before judgment strikes. Joel 2:28-32.
Another significant event of these last days will be the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. We know this will happen because prophecy states that Antichrist will conquer Israel and will sit in the Temple in Jerusalem as god. Also, sacrifices will be offered in front of this Temple after the order of the Old Testament, but Antichrist will cause these sacrifices to cease. All of this implies that the Temple will have been rebuilt.
The outstanding characteristic of this final period will be perilous times - perils from nature, as God unlooses His vengeance upon the rebellious people of this planet, perils from Satan, and perils from fallen man. 2 Timothy 3:1-5. All kinds of problems will be building up and exploding.
There will be great, great persecution of Christians thruout the world (Matthew 24:7-13) during the last years of this age. There have already been more martyrs of the Christian faith since 1917 than in all the previous years of the Christian era. And the end is just beginning. The Christian Church was bom in blood, and it will be glorified in blood as it leaves this earth.
During these end-time days, a 10-nation federation will be formed in Europe. Prophecy indicates that this federation will be formed within the approximate area of the old Roman Empire. Daniel 7:7-8,19-20,23-24.
It's at this time that the Antichrist will rise to power in the Middle East. He will have an insignificant beginning (Daniel 8:9-12), evidently living and basing his influence in Syria (or Assyria) since the Bible many times refers to him as The Assyrian. Isaiah 10:24; 14:24-25; 30:30-31; 31:8-9; Micah 5:5-6. Evidently he will reconstruct the old Assyrian Empire, and then reconstruct the former Grecian Empire, putting it all together again. Daniel 7:7-8; 8:8-9,21-24; Zechariah 9:13.
After accomplishing that miracle and gaining power over the territory which reaches from the borders of India on the east to the southern border of Egypt in the southwest, and west as far as to include Greece, he will then come against the 10-nation federation in Europe. After he conquers three of these nations, the other seven will surrender to him. The Antichrist will then control everything from the western shores of Europe to the borders of India. Daniel 7:7-8; Rev. 17:12-13.
Unfortunately, Antichrist will not be satisfied with this great accomplishment, but he will go forth conquering, with determination to conquer the whole world. Revelation 6:2.