A Prophetic Outline of End-Time Events
The Lord in the book of Daniel presents a prophetic outline of end-time events. It starts in Chapter 2 where the Lord reveals in a dream to the king of Babylon about the rise and fall of five consecutive world empires that would have an impact on God’s children. The Lord predicts that the last earthly kingdom would be divided until replaced by God’s kingdom, which would stand forever.
History unquestionably confirms these five nations. Babylon, symbolized by a head of gold, reigned from 612–539 BC. Medo-Persia, is represented by a chest of silver, followed from 538–331 BC. Then arose Greece, the belly and thighs of bronze (331–168 BC), followed by the iron legs of Rome (168 BC–AD 476). The feet of iron and clay represents the last world empire, which reaches from 476 AD to our day. The prophetic landmarks in Daniel 2 strongly establish the trustworthy nature of Bible prophecy in predicting the future. For more information, check Did Daniel Predict the History of the World?
Daniel chapter 7 presents the succession of these five empires. And this chapter gives a time frame to the role of the Antichrist during the dark ages. It states that God’s people would “be given into his hand” for “a time and times and the dividing of time” (Daniel 7:25). A time is a year, times is two years, and the dividing of time is a half-year. The Amplified Bible translates it: “Three and one-half years.” (The Amplified Bible, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 1962). One prophetic day equals one literal year (Ezekiel 4:6; Numbers 14:34). Thus, the little horn (Antichrist) was to have power over the saints for 1,260 prophetic days or 1,260 literal years.
The rule of the papacy began in A.D. 538, when the last of the three opposing Arian kingdoms were uprooted. Its rule continued until 1798 when Napoleon’s general, Berthier, took the Pope Pius VI captive with hopes of destroying him and the political, secular power of the papacy. This period of time is an exact fulfillment of the 1,260-year prophecy. This blow was a deadly wound for the papacy, but that wound began to heal and continues healing today. For more information, check Who is the Antichrist?
This chapter of Daniel presents prophecies of the coming Messiah. Here, the prophecies accurately and precisely point to Jesus’ baptism, crucifixion, and the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles. These prophecies help us understand the longest prophecy in the entire Bible which is found in Daniel 8. This prophecy is stretched 2,300 years from the rebuilding of Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile (457 BC) to the time when Christ entered into the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary (1844 AD) to serve as our High Priest before returning to earth. For more information, check The 70 Weeks in Daniel.
As we look back on these sure prophecies in Scripture and see how they were fulfilled with precise accuracy, we can be sure that God’s Word will, likewise, be fulfilled for present and future prophecies.
Sings of the End Time
Christ gave more signs that would appear before His return and are being fulfilled today. There would be natural signs like earthquakes (Matthew 24:7; Luke 21:25). And in the religious world, beginning in the late 1700s, the Bible foretold of a great awakening in studying prophecy (Daniel and Revelation) and the spreading of the gospel to the world (Matthew 24:14) in fulfillment of the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14.
These signs will be followed with efforts to restrict religious freedom and an increase in wickedness (Matthew 24:12), many wars and rumors of wars (verses 6, 7), the rise of false religious teachers (verses 4, 5), overwhelming cares of life (Luke 21:34), moral decadence (2 Timothy 3:1–4), great economic troubles (James 5:1–5) and finally the preaching of the gospel to all the world (Matthew 24:14) which satellite, TV, and the Internet has greatly contributed to.
As for future prophetic signs, the Bible predicted that before Jesus returns, there will be a false religious power that would arise (Revelation 13:1). This beast-power, which once ruled the earth was wounded but its “deadly wound was healed” (verse 3) and then “all the world marveled and followed the beast.” This power (Papacy – Revelation 13: 1-11) would join hands with another beast-power (USA – Revelation 13:11-17) and seek to enforce religious laws in order to crush out God’s people (verse 15–17). For more information, check Who is the Beast of Revelation 13?
But the Bible teaches that God’s faithful followers—those who “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12)—would be protected during the final plagues and calamities that would fall on the earth (Revelation 16). After this, false religious system would collapse and Christ would appear in the clouds of heaven (Matthew 24:30).
The Second Coming and the New Earth
When Christ comes again, every eye will see Him in the clouds (Revelation 1:7). Then, the righteous will be clothed with immortality (1 Corinthians 15:51–54). The wicked will perish at the sight of Christ (Revelation 6:14–17). And the saved will be taken to heaven to reign for a thousand years (Revelation 20:4).
At the end of the millennium, Satan will be loosed (Revelation 20: 7) and lead the resurrected wicked in a failed attempt to overcome God and His children. Then God will send His final fire and will destroy the devil and his followers (verse 9) thus purging the earth from sin. The Lord will then will create a new earth and the righteous will inherit it (Revelation 21:1–3). For more information, check The Chronological Order of Events of the Millennium.
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In His Service,