The Bible records the history of the Jewish people since creation. Some of this is written in advance in prophecy. The New Testament carries a mantra of “as it is written by the prophet…”. Many denounce the book of Daniel as written after the fact because it so clearly outlines the rulers succeeding him but gets certain “facts” about his own time wrong. Just because his eyewitness account differs from other, lesser-preserved accounts does not mean it’s wrong. The dead sea scrolls prove that the book of Daniel was preserved in scripture before Jesus’ execution and the destruction of Jerusalem he foretells.
The restoration of Israel as a nation under a ruler named David is just one of dozens of prophecies fulfilled in the past century. The biblical narrative continues far into the future, gradually filling in details prophesied since the events of creation itself.
Ezekiel 38-39: The Battle of Gog of Magog
As we see Russia getting chummy with Iran and Turkey on Israel’s doorstep in Syria, and America withdrawing military influence over the middle east, it seems that the stage is being set for this epic battle detailed extensively by Ezekiel and alluded to by others. In this battle, Israel will be overwhelmed by a sudden invasion seeking to pillage the prosperity of this “nation that was rebuilt after a great war”. Around the world, people seeing this will ask about the leader of this campaign, “Are you the one the prophets of old spoke of?” The English-speaking world along with Saudi Arabia will protest this onslaught, but not risk supporting their ally. In their helplessness, the God of Israel will step in, setting off this volcanic region to slaughter the occupying forces. This battle will spill over the world to drastically change global geopolitics. There will be no doubt that Jehovah is the God of Israel who stepped in to obliterate such overwhelming forces. Israel will use the left behind weaponry to satisfy their fuel needs for seven years.
As with Enoch and Elijah, the Bible talks of a moment when the saints will be taken to be with the Lord forever. This will come as quickly as “the twinkling of an eye”. There is much debate among Christians around the timing of this, with some rejecting it completely – just as some deny the universe being 6,000 years old. Satan turns this into religious animosity to divide the church. We must be open to different interpretations.
I believe this will happen before the tribulation. Those “left behind” will realise the significance of the prophecies and understand the catastrophe that has just happened. This will convict them of their disbelief and turn them to seek God. While many will turn to God, many others will rise up in rebellion against him, and persecute those who turned to him. This event will distinguish those who act the Christian from those who live in true relationship as believers in Christ, and love God with all their heart, mind and strength. This event will greatly alter geopolitics.
Israel will become a significant world power and benefactor to those who support them. A charismatic leader will arise to lead the world to commit to a world peace treaty with Israel for seven years. Many will accept his claim to be the promised one of their religion. However, he will not be known before “the Restrainer” is taken out of the world, which I believe to be the rapture. Paul calls this person “the man of sin”. The books of Daniel and Revelation cover this time period extensively.
This will be a time of trouble like the world has never seen. Over the first 3.5 years, there will be global and civil unrest, plagues, famine and an earthquake that will kill over half the world’s population. Then things will get really bad. The world emperor will become a tyrannical dictator, making everyone worship him by receiving his mark of allegiance, or be cut off from commerce, and have their heads cut off from their bodies. Those who took this symbol of worship will fear worse in the ensuing plagues, that are reminiscent to those the struck Egypt before Israel’s exodus under Moses.
Jesus’ triumphal return
At the end of this time, the Antichrist will gather a huge global army in the valley of Armageddon in Israel to oppose Jesus’ return. Jesus will come with the saints and slaughter this army with the words of his lips. The greatest earthquake the world has ever seen will reshape the earth. Mountains will fall, valleys rise, and the islands will crumble into the ocean. I believe the continents will be gathered into a new Pangea. The Antichrist and his False Prophet will be thrown into Hell, and Satan will be imprisoned for 1,000 years.
Jesus will regather the remainder of Israel, who are scattered throughout the world, and they will know their God like never before.
Jesus’ millennial reign
Jesus will restore the earth to how it should have been. In Isaiah 11, we read that animals won’t eat each other. The lion and the lamb will lie down with each other and infants will play near cobras and vipers. Jesus will “strike the earth with the rod of his mouth and he’ll execute the wicked with the breath of this lips.”
In Ezekiel 40-48, we read about the new city. The temple courtyard will be 1.8km square – the size of a city centre. This is large enough for representatives from every city in every nation to come to celebrate the feast of tabernacles (tents). If they don’t come, they don’t get rain that year. Priests will offer sacrifices, not to seek forgiveness of sins, but in remembrance of what Jesus did.
The Earth will be governed by the saints who returned with Jesus at the end of the tribulation.
These 1,000 years will prove that even without Satan’s schemes, people will reject God.
The final battle
In Revelation 20, we read how, at the end of 1,000 years, Satan will be released to gather an innumerable rebellion from all over the Earth to fight against Jesus and the saints. They will be consumed with fire from the sky.
Then Satan will be judged and thrown into Hell, along with all those who reject Jesus’ help to cover their sin. They will be tortured in Hell for eternity.
The new spacetime
Then this spacetime will be destroyed and a new one created as described in Revelation 21. The new Jerusalem will be 2,200km square and its tallest building 2,200km high. On the present Earth, that’s big enough to cover much of Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and reach to the outermost parts of the atmosphere, beyond where satellites orbit. This new Earth will be perfect, as in the garden of Eden before Adam and Eve sinned. There will be no more death, suffering, weeds, parasites or sickness.
I pray that God would bless you as you contemplate the plan that he established before the foundation of spacetime. God is in control. He’ll reward those who seek him and condemn those who reject him.