A Few Thoughts On Prophecy – Part Five

By Alfred Bouter

Having considered the greatness of our God and aspects of prophecy earlier in this Series, we turn our attention to the order of future prophetic events. We will consider them briefly, but further study is encouraged to the glory of God. 

Overview Of Future Prophetic Events

1. We witness the nation of Israel partly re-established, and in 1948 it became a political power. Part of Judah and Benjamin,1 with a portion of the Levites and some from the other tribes, re-gathered in the Promised Land, but mainly in unbelief with regard to the Lord Jesus as the Messiah (Isa. 18; Ezek. 37:1-14). The temple will be rebuilt, perhaps even before the rapture (1 Th. 4:16-18). In our century, a Sanhedrin – the Council of the religious leaders – was reinstituted in Galilee and then moved to Jerusalem. However, as long as Israel rejects the true Prince of Peace, there can be no real peace. We should pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Ps. 122:6).

2. Because of Israel’s hardening, having rejected the true Messiah and continuing to do so, a great apostate leader, rebellious to God, will arise with vast political, economic, military and religious powers – ultimately affecting the whole world (Dan. 11:36-39; Isa. 57:9; Zech. 11:15-17; Jn. 5:43; 2 Th. 2:3-12; 1 Jn. 2:18,22; Rev. 13:11-18). This leader is the “beast” that comes “out of the earth” presenting himself as Messiah, although he will be a counterfeit. We already see many preparations of these coming developments as shadows of coming events.2

3. At a certain moment after the rapture, a seven-year covenant will be imposed and signed between the leader of Israel (called “the many” and not including the true believers) and the leader of the Western world, or the revived Roman Empire, the beast out of the sea (Rev. 13; Dan. 9:27; Isa. 28:15, 57:9-11; Mt. 24:4-14).

4. Around the middle of those seven years Satan will be cast out of heaven (Rev. 12:9). The leader of the reinstituted Roman Empire, revived in a miraculous way, will make himself the object of worship in his empire, including Israel. At the same time Israel’s leader (the second beast) will have a share in this idolatry and will declare himself to be god, displaying himself as god in the temple and enforcing the worship of a counterfeit trinity (Satan, 1st beast and 2nd beast). All this is in opposition to God. Social, economic, religious and other means will be used to enforce worship and submission (2 Th. 2:4-12; Dan. 9:27, 11:38, 12:9-11; Mt. 24:15; Rev. 13:11-18; see Dan. 3-6).

The service of the true God in the temple will be stopped and replaced by the idolatry the Lord Jesus predicted (Mt. 24:15). According to His instructions, the believing remnant in Judea will flee (see Ps. 42-72). At the same time an important remnant will remain in Jerusalem (Rev. 11:1-14 – the two witnesses; see Zech. 4:11-14).

5. Because of this heinous idolatry, God’s chastisement will come over Israel – called His “indignation” – as He will send “a consumption” and “a flood” in the form of invasions by the kings of the South and of the North, in alliance with several nations (Ps. 83; Isa. 8:5-8, 10:5,28-32, 28:2,14-19; Dan. 9:27, 11:40; Zech. 14:1).

6. The alliance against Israel from the north will be supported by another power in the far north (Dan. 8:24; see Ezek. 38:1-8). Psalm 83 describes some aspects of such an alliance, possibly in preparation already.

7. This “axis of evil” is an alliance of attacking nations under the leadership of the king of the North and it will occupy Israel, even Jerusalem, in part or for a time. Then it will continue against Egypt (Isa. 10:24,32, 28:14-19; Dan. 11:40-43; Zech. 14:1). However, an alliance under the king of the South will attack Israel even before the king of the North does (Dan. 11:40). Daniel 11:1-35 details past historical events while verses 36-44 predict future events: the false king of Israel, the king of the South, the two attacks of the king of the North and his end.

8. The armies of the allied Western power (revived Roman Empire), according to the terms of the covenant with Israel, will finally arrive to help Israel. However, their ultimate goal is against the Lamb, so He will come (with us – the believers of the day of grace) from heaven to destroy the Western armies in the valley of Armageddon, which is the Jezreel valley in northern Israel. He will cast the two beasts – the western leader and the false prophet – alive into the “lake of fire” (Rev. 16:13-16, 17:7-14, 19:19-21; Dan. 2:34,44, 7:7-14; Isa. 31:8). Sometime earlier, the apostate church will be judged, first its religious power (Rev. 17) and then its political, economic and social powers (Rev. 18).

9. The king of the North with his armies will come back to Israel to besiege Jerusalem again (Dan. 11:44; Isa. 29:1-4), but he will soon perish because of the Lord’s intervention.

10. The Jewish nation and its leaders, under the pressure of the terrible attacks from the North, will turn to the Lord in true repentance and finally call for His return (Mt. 23:38; Zech. 12:10-14). Then the Lord Jesus will come down from heaven, together with His saints (Rev. 19:11-21), and His feet will stand on Mount Olivet (Zech. 14:3-7; Acts 1:11; Col. 3:4; 2 Th. 1:6-10).

11. The Messiah will destroy the king of the North and his armies at or close to Jerusalem (Isa. 10:5-27, 29:1-8, 30:27-33, 31:4-8; Dan. 8:20-26, 11:44). This coming destruction was illustrated in the annihilation of the armies of the king of Assyria in Hezekiah’s day (2 Ki. 19:35).

12. The apostate Jews, or “the many,” will be judged (Isa. 6:10-13, 17:4-6; Zeph. 3:11,15; Zech. 13:8, 14:1-15). No unbelieving Jew will enter the glorious millennial reign, but all the preserved ones of Israel will. They are the 144,000 sealed ones from all of Israel’s tribes (Rev. 7:1-8; Dan. 12:2).

13. The faithful remnant among the Jews, having passed through the great tribulation (the 144,000 of Rev. 14:1-5), will be rescued by the Lord (Isa. 10:20-27, 28:16, 29:1-8, 30:18-26; Mic. 5:1-8; Zeph. 3:12-20; Zech. 12:1-14) and then joined to the restored nation of Israel (Dan. 12:2-3). With them the Lord will start implementing His reign, as pictured by David and his heroes. The martyrs will rise and reign from heaven (Rev. 20:4).

14. This remnant will attack, judge and subject the surrounding nations, including the Palestinians (Isa. 11:11-16; Joel 3:4-8; Zeph. 2:5-7; Zech. 9:5-8). The Lord will judge the nations and separate “the sheep” from “the goats,” or the believers from the unbelievers of that time period (see Mt. 25:31-46). The “sheep” will enter the public reign of the Messiah on earth, and they are represented by the innumerable “great multitude” of Revelation 7.

15. A remnant of the Ten Tribes will be brought back to Israel (Ezek. 20; Isa. 49:22-25) after the unbelievers among them have been judged while they were still living among the nations. All this may occur within 45 days (Dan. 12:12).

16. After this, a tremendous power from the extreme north (Gog and Magog, with their supporters) will attack Israel shortly after the beginning of Christ’s reign. However, the attackers will fall on the mountains of Israel (Ezek. 38-39). This is not the same attack as described in the last part of Revelation 20, which will take place at the end of the thousand years of peace.

17. The Lord’s reign over Israel will be acknowledged by the whole world, after the spiritual and national regeneration of Israel. That is why there can be no peace before Israel submits to the Prince of Peace; and it is why all human efforts, as in our days before the rapture, are doomed to fail. His blessed reign is described in many Scriptures (for example: Isa. 2:1-5, 11:1-10, 29:17-24, 30:1-8, 35:1-10; Jer. 30-31; Ezek. 36-37; Zech. 8, 14; Acts 3:19-21; Rev. 20:1-6). During that rule of peace, Satan and all his forces will be bound and have no influence on earth (Rev. 20:1-3). Furthermore, all public sin and rebellion will be judged immediately (Ps. 101:8; Isa. 65:20).

18. Special restoration is predicted for Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Persia. Also the Palestinians will live in peace with Israel (see Isa. 19:16-25; Jer. 46:25-26, 48:47, 49:6,39).

19. The functions of the Church with its heavenly calling and position, as well as the restored nation of Israel on earth during the millennial reign, are summarized in Revelation 21:9-27 and 22:1-5. The Old Testament prophets were not instructed in the things about the Church, but other aspects of that period are described in many portions of the Old Testament (Isa. 66; Ps. 2, 8, 45, 72; Zech. 8 and many more). The blessings of this reign are also called “new heavens” and “a new earth” (Isa. 65:17, 66:22) because righteousness will reign (see Phil. 2:10-11). This is not to be confused with the eternal state (Rev. 21:1-8). Today, grace reigns through righteousness(Rom. 5:21).

20. After the thousand years of peace, Satan will be released from prison and will seduce the nations – his last seduction. This will affect all who are under 100 years old, because those who will not publicly confess the Lord will be killed by the age of 100 years (Isa. 65:20). This global uprising represents the final attack against Jerusalem (Rev. 20:1-10), which is the city of the great King (Ps. 48).

21. At the great white throne judgment (Rev. 20:11-15; see Acts 17:31, Jn. 5:22) earth and heaven will flee away. A new and eternal order, the new heavens and the new earth (Rev. 21:1-8) will be entirely in tune with God: righteousness will dwell – true harmony. All unrighteousness will be restricted to the “lake of fire” (see 2 Pet. 3:7,10,13). God will be all and in all (1 Cor. 15:28)!

In connection with the new heaven and new earth, the Church (the Bride) will have a unique public role in the eternal state (Rev. 21:2-3).