“You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.” Ezekiel 38:16 NKJV
A fact that quickly becomes apparent to anyone who chooses to study the subject of the end times is the differences of opinions that many hold as to the order, if not the reasons, for the events which signal the end of this age. I recently finished reading a fictitious trilogy concerning one possible scenario which, although entertaining, was certainly at odds with what the majority of biblical scholars teach regarding both the sequence and timing of some of the events which make up the period of time that precedes the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Now let me be the first to say that I don’t for a minute consider myself to be an authority on eschatology, but it is a subject that I have spent a great deal of time studying over the past decade or so. So what I would like to do, in however long it takes, is share with you my thoughts on this period of time and my conclusions as to the order of events as I see them revealed in the scriptures. I believe that if we study God’s Word diligently the answers to our questions will be self-evident and we will begin to see and understand exactly what God has in mind for this world.
It’s all about God. One of the very first things I noticed when I began reading and studying the end of this age is that virtually every verse refers to the name or person of God. We see that the events which are to occur are very personal by the use of Me, My, I, Lord, and God when describing what will happen. As I thought about this fact it occurred to me that it certainly appears as if God intends to make it unmistakable that all of the events we read about which will happen during that period of time will be coming from Him, the God of the universe, and not some random act of nature by which man might try to explain away using manipulated scientific reasoning.
For the LORD will rise up as at Mount Perazim, He will be angry as in the Valley of Gibeon— That He may do His work, His awesome work, And bring to pass His act, His unusual act. Now therefore, do not be mockers, Lest your bonds be made strong; For I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts, A destruction determined even upon the whole earth. Isaiah 28:21-22 NKJV
If you have followed my teaching for any length of time, it should be evident that I believe the Bible makes very clear the pre-tribulation rapture of the Church. I also believe this is the very next event on God’s calendar, which will set the stage so to speak, for everything else which follows. The rapture will leave a world devoid of believers, who then must reason away what has just, and will shortly happen. What is soon to occur is going to be a work of the almighty God of the universe, and not a naturally occurring phenomenon. Yet there will be those who try to explain it away, in this verse called “mockers”, simply because they have no intention of acknowledging the fact that there is a God.
“In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the LORD before them. “It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. Zechariah 12:8-9 NKJV
Has there ever been a time in your life when you cried out to God to “do something!”? I think most of us have, and understand how easily we can become frustrated when we don’t necessarily see with our own eyes the evidence that God is working. As we mature, we come to the knowledge that God not only is in control but is also continually working on our behalf behind the scenes in ways we cannot fully comprehend. Yet the time is coming where God will directly involve Himself in the affairs of this world and choose to act in ways that will leave no doubt whatever that it is He who is in control and He alone who possesses omnipotence.
“It shall come to pass in that day That I will answer,” says the LORD; “I will answer the heavens, And they shall answer the earth. The earth shall answer With grain, With new wine, And with oil; They shall answer Jezreel. Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; Then I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they shall say, ‘You are my God!’ ” Hosea 2:21-23 NKJV
This period of time we are discussing, the end of the age, is one of the most written about subjects in the Word of God. Yet as we know from our study of scripture, it has not yet begun. Although we see the hand of God arranging events predicted by the Word as signs of the final period of time we know as the tribulation, it has not yet begun. Obviously something more must occur, some event must take place which sets the final days into motion where God will once again directly intervene in the affairs of this world. It is my belief that the next big sign the world will witness is the rapture of the church.
Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 2 Thessalonians 2:5-7 NKJV
Can you imagine a world without God? The truth is, when all true believers are removed from this world by the Father, that is exactly what you will have. Is it any wonder then about what the Bible tells us will happen? Although this world appears to be primed and ready for all the Word of God tells us will shortly occur, the forces of evil are being held in check until that time when the voice of our Father calls us home. So on my list of the events which are soon to come; I believe the rapture of the Church is going to be the first one we see. And when that happens, when we go home along with the Holy Spirit who indwells us, what will be left to restrain the forces of evil?
Next on my list: the coming Destruction of Damascus.