Seven Events That Will Quickly Follow The Rapture Of The Church
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The next big event on the Bible prophecy calendar is the rapture of the church (I Thessalonians 4:13-18). This is when all who are in Christ will rise to meet the Lord in the air. I believe it will be a pre-tribulation rapture (see Is The Rapture True? Does It Matter? & The Rapture: Pre-Tribulation).
But what will most likely happen following the rapture? There could be a gap of time that could come between the rapture and the start of the tribulation period. You can bet there will be a considerable amount of pandemonium and chaos the likes of which the world has never known. But once the shock of the rapture has subsided these next six events will quickly follow.
First, the appearance of Antichrist who will confirm a seven-year peace agreement with Israel (What Could Happen After The Rapture). This agreement will include Israel with many other nations (Daniel 9:25-27). It's likely that Israel will be the centerpiece of this agreement and will serve to bring them world recognition and immediate favored nation status.
This agreement will probably coincide with the Middle East peace agreement or it may be the agreement in totality. This agreement might even include an incentive for Israel to make peace with the Islamic world.
I lean toward this theory. It will probably include Palestinian statehood, land concessions, the sharing of Jerusalem, and quite possibly E.U. membership. Although, in the past, I have included the rebuilding of the Jewish temple as part of the peace agreement, I now have doubts. See the fifth event below for more information.
Second, the appearance of the false prophet (The False Prophet). Most prophecy teachers and experts tend to focus on the Antichrist failing to mention that the false prophet will probably come to power at the same time. When Satan chooses his Antichrist he will also choose his false prophet. Whether he turns out to be the Pope or some other world religious leader is unimportant. When the Antichrist takes over the world, the false prophet will be standing by his side performing mighty wonders.
Third, the appearance of God's two witnesses (Revelation 11:3-13 God's Witnesses). It is generally believed that the two witnesses will come on the scene at the same time the Antichrist and the false prophet do. It will be through these two men (whoever they may be) that God will spread the Gospel.
There have been questions swirling as to whether we may already be in the tribulation period. If that's the case, when was the treaty with Israel signed and who are the Antichrist and false prophet? Where are the two witnesses? When the tribulation period begins these figures will be present.
When the two witnesses do come their ministry will center around Jerusalem. I believe they will be responsible for starting a great revival that will see at least 144,000 Jews saved in the early days of the tribulation period (Revelation 7:4-8). These 144,000 Jews will in turn be sealed by God and sent throughout the world to preach the Gospel. Many will come to know the Lord during this time and most will die for that privilege (Revelation 6:9-11; 7:9-17).
Fourth, the attack on Israel by Russia and the Islamic world (Ezekiel 38 & 39 Russia And Their Allies Attack Israel). It's possible that this could occur before the beginning of the tribulation period but more likely that it will take place after the start.
It's also very possible that it could be due to a great Israeli oil discovery that will literally siphon the oil deposits away from Russia and the Islamic countries (Article# 276). This would devastate both the Islamic and Russian economies. If you haven't heard, Russia is now the second leading producer of oil in the world.
Scripture also declares that the reason for their attack will be to take a spoil (Daniel 38:11 & 12), and at the time of this attack, Israel will be dwelling safely and at rest (Ezekiel 38:11). This leads me to believe that they could already be at peace with the Islamic nations, but not necessarily with the Antichrist. That agreement could come later in the form of E.U. membership. But it's most probable that they will be at peace with both at the time of the attack.
Fifth, the third Jewish temple must be rebuilt (Matthew 24:15, II Thessalonians 2:4, and Revelation 11:1).
In the past, I believed that the temple would be rebuilt as part of the agreement with the Antichrist. I'm not so sure that will be the case anymore. As you know, the al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock are located on the Jerusalem Temple Mount. It is generally believed that no Muslim would ever allow such a sacred site to be desecrated by the presence of a Jewish Temple. It would be an unthinkable atrocity and simply would not even enter their minds. This would start a worldwide Muslim holy war.
It is more likely that after Israel's stunning victory over the Russian-Islamic Alliance that no one will dare stop them. For the whole world will see this victory as a miracle from God (Ezekiel 38:18-23) and shake in fear. That's why I believe the Temple will probably be rebuilt six months to two years after the start of the tribulation period.
Sixth, the Ark Of The Covenant will be revealed. After this stunning victory over the Russian-Islamic Alliance, Israel will rush to rebuild their Temple. It is at this time, I believe, the Ark Of The Covenant will finally be revealed.
I am convinced that scripture supports that the Ark Of The Covenant will be used during the tribulation period but forgotten when Christ comes to rule and reign on the earth for one thousand years.
A reader of mine
brought this verse to my attention:
"And it shall
come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days,
saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD:
neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall
they visit it; neither shall that be done any more." (Jeremiah 3:16)
This verse speaks of
the millennium when Jesus will rule and reign for one thousand years. Of
course, this is future, but what caught my attention was the portion of the
scripture that stated (speaking of the Ark) "neither shall it come to mind:
neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that
be done any more".
I realize that in the context of the entire chapter many interpret this verse to mean that Israel will forget the memory of the Ark Of The Covenant when the Lord comes back to rule the earth. But is it possible that it could be foretelling the revealing of the Ark Of The Covenant in the last days (tribulation period/rebuilding of the temple) just before the Lord's coming?
Seventh, the Antichrist will put down or subdue three nations (Daniel 7:22-24). Although remote, it's possible that this could occur before the tribulation period during the Antichrist's rise to power. If you remember, I believe there will be a space of time between the rapture and the beginning of the tribulation period. During this time, Satan will be free to work out his plan and build his kingdom (Holy Spirit will be removed-II Thessalonians 2:2-11)...he may have to subdue a few nations to accomplish his will. But it's more likely that Daniel is speaking of this happening during the tribulation period toward the middle. There may be an uprising when the Antichrist declares himself to be God (Revelation 13). These three nations (along with others outside the E.U.) may see him as another potential Hitler.
When the rapture takes place these events will come with subtleness and most will pay little attention to them. With Satan in control (as God allows) this world will fall into deep apostasy very quickly...and then the Antichrist will be revealed.
Friend, it's time to determine if you are truly walking with God! Certainly, the Lord is at hand and if you expect to go with Him when He raptures the church, you will have to be walking with Him. And you'll have be ready before He comes or you won't go!
You may say, what is the criteria for going? I'm glad you asked that question...here it is. You're going to have to have a personal relationship (walk) with the Lord just as Enoch did if you expect to go. That relationship has been given various names over the years, but the truth is, if you do not have Jesus as Lord of your life you will not go when the trumpet blasts. On that day, it won't matter what religious affiliation you may have, only those who hear his voice will go. Today is the day to examine your heart and determine if you truly are living for the Lord.
You may say, I'm not sure if I would go if the trumpet sounded...but I'd like to settle that today. Well, we can solve that problem right now by praying this simple prayer, repenting of your sins, and turning your life over to the Lord from this day forward.
If you would like
to accept Jesus as Lord pray with me right now:
Father, I know that
I am a sinner and cannot obtain salvation in and of myself. I come to you in the
name of Jesus asking that you forgive me of my sins, and to cleanse me from all
unrighteousness and guilt. I trust and believe that Jesus died and rose again to
pay my sin penalty. I accept this free gift of salvation, and from this day
forward, turn my life completely over to the Lord. I thank you and praise you
God for giving me a new life in Christ. Amen.
You may say, I've already prayed this prayer, but if you're honest, you are not living for the Lord and you're not really sure you would go when the Lord comes. God has the answer for this as well. Tell the Lord where you are at this moment in your life. Ask Him to forgive you (repent) for not living for Him and commit your life to the Lord, and from this day forward, live for Him. He will forgive you, all you need to do is ask.
Commit your life to Jesus today before it's too late! And if you have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, or committed your life to Christ, please send me an email. The Bible says when you become a follower of the Lord you need to confess it (Romans 10:10). I would be thrilled to hear about your confession.
Are you ready to meet the Lord? If not, your time is running out!
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