What is the sequence of end time events? The Great Tribulation Ahead

What is the Sequence of End Time Events

How will Biblical end-time events occur? Have end-time events already begun? If so, where are we in the sequence, and what can we expect in our future? Finally, how can you prepare for what’s coming?

  • Jesus gave us the sequence of end-time events in the 3 synoptic gospels and in the Book of Revelation. This article explains how all four books describe the same events, in the same sequence.
  • Yes, the events have begun and we’re now seeing the events of the 3rd Seal of Revelation. The 3rd Seal events are: worldwide shortages, inflation, and famines.
  • Next, we can expect the 4th Seal of Revelation. In the 4th Seal, up to 2 billion people will die by sword, famine, disease, and bioweapons. The events of Seals 1-4 are what Jesus called, “The beginning of birth pains.”
  • Then, shortly afterward, events of ‘the great tribulation’ will start.

There’s a whirlwind of trouble coming to our world. Your future survival and eternal destiny depends on you (1) understanding what’s happening in our world, and (2) preparing accordingly. This article will help you do both.

Sequence of End-Time Events Chart

Here’s a graphic overview of the End-time events’ timeline:

Sequence of End-Time Events' Timeline
Timeline Chart

This article will cover every element on this Timeline Chart, in detail.

The Heavenly Scroll with 7 Seals

In the chart above, the ‘Beginning of Birth Pangs’ and ‘Trigger Events’ are detailed in the Heavenly Scroll of Revelation chapter 5.

The Heavenly Scroll in Revelation represents God’s right of lordship over ‘the kingdoms of the world.

The heavenly scroll is full of writing on both sides, but it’s rolled-up and sealed with 7 wax seals, making it a closed book. So these wax seals are preventing God from exercising His lordship over the kingdoms of the world. The apostle John saw this and wept.

The Sequence of End Times Events: The scroll with seven seals
Image from presenttruthmn.com

I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.

Revelation 5:1-4

Satan will remain the god of this world as as long as the scroll is sealed. But, as Jesus breaks each of the 7 seals, YHWH will progressively restore His lordship over the kingdoms of the world.

The Heavenly Scroll’s 7 Seals Correlate with the End-time Events Jesus Provided in 3 Synoptic Gospels

The ‘Synoptic gospels’ are the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke in the Bible.

In each of these gospels, Jesus gave His disciples an overview of end-time events. The three end-time gospel passages are:

  • Mark 13:5-27
  • Matthew 24:4-31
  • Luke 21:8-28

Jesus’ teachings in the 3 gospels correlate perfectly with the 7 Seals on the Heavenly Scroll in Revelation.

The chart below correlates the contents from each gospel with the first 6 Seals in Revelation. Using Mark’s gospel as the common reference point, it lists the verse numbers in Matthew and Luke for every similar text. As you can see, the gospels are all very similar in content, and they’re identical in sequence.

The Seals in Revelation follow the same pattern and sequence.

Here’s how to read this chart:

  • The first row, “Don’t be deceived,” is found in Mark 13:5, Matthew 24:4, and Luke 21:8.  
  • These all relate to Seal #1… the white horse and its rider.

This chart provides a reliable roadmap to define the sequence of end-time events.

The Sequence of End Times Events: The Seven Seals

Setting: in the Book of Revelation the apostle John sees Jesus opening a scroll secured by seven wax seals.

(For a more detailed explanation of what the scroll represents, who sealed it, why it’s sealed, and a comparison between the 7 Seals and the end-time events Jesus gave in the gospels, read What is the Heavenly Scroll in Revelation 5?)

When Jesus opens the first seal, the sequence of end time events begins.

1. Deception

Then I watched as the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say in a thunderous voice, “Come!” So I looked and saw a white horse, and its rider had a bow. And he was given a crown, and he rode out to overcome and conquer.

Revelation 6:1-2

A False Christ

This rider represents deceivers. I can confidently say this because the first five seals exactly parallel the signs Jesus foretold in Matthew 24:4-11, as well as in the other gospels. The first thing Jesus said concerning the end time is,

See to it that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

Matthew 24:4-5
Sequence of End Times Events: deception of false Christs

So, the rider on the white horse is a false version of Christ. Most churches today are Laodicean, proclaiming this ‘false Christ,’ encouraging adherents to disregard God’s Word. They:

  • Tolerate sin, including pornography, drug use, homosexuality, gluttony, abortion, gossip, etc.
  • Sell a seeker-friendly message, downplaying the need for repentance, consecration, and holiness.
  • Celebrate pagan holidays while totally ignoring God’s ‘appointed times’ found in Leviticus 23.

Does this sound like your church?

2. Wars

And when the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!”

Then another horse went forth. It was bright red, and its rider was granted permission to take away peace from the earth and to make men slay one another. And he was given a great sword.

Revelation 6:3-4

The next thing Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 24 is,

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars but see to it that you are not alarmed. These things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

Matthew 24:6-7

3. Shortages

And when the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!”

Then I looked and saw a black horse, and its rider held in his hand a pair of scales. And I heard what sounded like a voice from among the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not waste the oil and wine.”

Revelation 6:5-6

Jesus said,

There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Matthew 24:7-8
Sequence of End Times Events: famine
Image from Wikipedia.org

Famine

A quick google search for “famine coming soon” produced over 22 million results. Here is a sampling of the hits from the first page of results:

  • This NPR article says wars and climate change will cause “global destabilization, starvation and mass migration on an unprecedented scale.”
  • The UN is warning of an “unprecedented global hunger crisis”
  • The Economist magazine is warning of “The Coming Food Catastrophe.”

Here’s an excellent 4-minute overview of the developing worldwide situation:

While millions starve, a rich minority of worldwide ‘elites’ continue to live in luxury. As the Book of Revelation says,

A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!”

Revelation 6:6

I believe this is where we’re currently at in the end-time events’ timeline. If that’s correct, the 4th horseman is next in our future.

4. Death

And when the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!”

Then I looked and saw a green (Greek, chloros) horse. Its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed close behind. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill by sword, by famine, by plague, and by the beasts of the earth.

Revelation 6:7-8

This horseman has authority to kill people in one-fourth of the earth. The Greek word for ‘earth’ is ges, which means soil. Since the earth’s population is roughly 8 billion, this horseman has authority to kill 2 billion people.

5. The Fifth Seal in the Sequence of End Time Events: Martyrs

After Jesus releases the four horsemen, He opens the 5th seal.

And when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony they had upheld. And they cried out in a loud voice, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood? Then each of them was given a white robe and told to rest a little while longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers, were killed, just as they had been killed.

Revelation 6:9-11

Jesus Said to Expect Persecution

Following the ‘beginning of birth pangs’ in the first four seals, Jesus said,

Then they will deliver you over to be persecuted and killed, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray and hate one another, and many false prophets will arise and mislead many.

Matthew 24:9-11
Sequence of End Times Events: martyrs

In the fifth seal, John sees the souls of martyrs under the altar of heaven; they’re crying out to God for vengeance. They’ve waited centuries (since Cain killed his brother Abel) to attain the full number of martyrs.

Once the full number of martyrs is attained (Revelation 6:11), Michael throws Satan down to earth and ‘The Great Tribulation’ will kickoff. I expect this to happen during a Passover week.

Note: to understand the history behind the War in Heaven, and why the martyrs’ sacrifice enables Michael to cast the Devil down to earth, read The Overcomers’ Treasure Map.

War in Heaven – Satan Thrown Down

When that number of martyrs is full, God will dispatch Michael to throw the Dragon down from heaven onto the earth. Here’s how John depicts this event:

Then a war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But the dragon was not strong enough, and no longer was any place found in heaven for him and his angels. And the great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ. For the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down—he who accuses them day and night before our God. They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. And they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea; with great fury the devil has come down to you, knowing he has only a short time.

Revelation 12:7-12
Now Have Come…

Notice above that when Michael throws the Devil down, the voice in heaven says, “Now have come the salvation, power, and kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ” will come. Up to this point in the history of the world the Devil’s kingdom has reigned over mankind. But that’s about to change.

Since Adam chose to disobey God, the Devil (through sin and violence) rules over mankind. But, after Michael throws the Devil down to earth, God will overtly and visibly begin to overthrow the Devil’s kingdom.

Rejoice in the Heavens; Woe to the Earth

Immediately after Michael throws the Dragon down, the Bible says,

Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He’s filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short… the dragon went to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

Revelation 12:12, 17

The Sixth Seal

After Michael throws the Devil down to earth, the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12-17) tells of a great, global earthquake. Every mountain and island will be moved from their place. In addition, celestial signs cause the kings of the earth and all others to hide in caves. They’ll beg for protection against the coming wrath of God against the Devil’s kingdom.

The ‘Abomination of Desolation’ is a Major Turning Point in the Sequence of End Time Events, Triggering ‘The Great Tribulation’

There are 3 trigger events leading up to the Abomination of Desolation.

  1. The “full number” of Christian martyrs is attained, resulting in the war in heaven. (Seal 5)
  2. The archangel Michael casts Satan and his angels down from heaven to earth. (Seal 5)
  3. When he is cast down, Satan inhabits ‘the man of sin,’ transforming him into the Antichrist, who commits the Abomination of Desolation. (Seal 6)
Not Just a Great Tribulation, But The Greatest Tribulation in History

Jesus prophesied,

So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination of desolation, ‘described by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains…For at that time there will be great tribulation, unmatched from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be seen again. If those days had not been cut short, nobody would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short.

Matthew 24:15-22

First, notice that Jesus said the Abomination of Desolation won’t be secret or hidden. We will see it.

Next, Jesus said this tribulation would be ‘unmatched from the beginning of the world.’ This level of ‘great tribulation’ will ‘never be seen again.’ Jesus also said the Great Tribulation starts with the Abomination of Desolation.

What is the Abomination of Desolation?

The prophet Daniel originated the phrase “Abomination of Desolation.” He wanted to describe an act that is so disgusting to morality, so offensive to godliness, that it forces people to flee its presence, leaving the place desolate.

For further study, here’s a good BibleHub Article about the Abomination of Desolation.

Past ‘Abomination of Desolation’ Fulfillments

Scholars consider all of these historical events as fulfillments of Daniel’s Abomination of Desolation prophecy:

  • Antiochus Epiphanes sacrificed a pig and erected a statue to Jupiter in the Jewish temple in 168BC
  • The unjust crucifixion of God’s holy Son, the Messiah
  • Titus destroyed the temple and erected idolatrous Roman standards on the Jewish temple mount in 70AD
  • Hadrian dedicated a temple to Jupiter on the Jewish temple mount ~135AD
  • Muslims built the Al Aqsa mosque and the Islamic Dome of the Rock built on the Jewish temple mount, starting in 688AD (1948 – 688 = 1260)
One More ‘Abomination of Desolation’ Required

While all these abominations fulfilled the prophecy, the Biblical prophecy requires one more Abomination of Desolation. Daniel tells us that after the final Abomination of Desolation there will be exactly 1290 days to the end of the age. So, obviously, this hasn’t happened yet.

And from the time the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation set up, there will be 1,290 days.

Daniel 12:11

‘When You See Jerusalem Being Surrounded By Armies’

When Jesus describes the end-time sequence of events in all 3 synoptic gospels, Jesus explicitly mentions the ‘abomination of desolation’ in Mark and Matthew, but in Luke He says,

But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written.

Luke 21:20-22

Christians knew this prophecy and fled when they saw Roman armies surrounding Jerusalem in 70 AD. As a result, the Christians survived. But 1.1 million Jewish residents, who didn’t flee, died in the Roman siege. So the Romans did fulfill Jesus’ prophecy in 70 AD.

But, a dual fulfillment is certainly possible. Armies encircling Jerusalem could be the fulfillment of ‘the abomination of desolation’ at the end of the age. Time will tell.

When Will the Abomination of Desolation Occur in the Sequence of End Time Events?

Answer: the Antichrist will commit the Abomination of Desolation during a coming Passover week. Here’s the scenario:

The archangel Michael will violently throw the Devil down from heaven. Most Bible-believers (including me) teach that the Devil will then (demonically) possess the ‘man of sin,’ transforming him into ‘the Antichrist.’ Then, during a coming Passover, the Antichrist will commit the Abomination of Desolation. This event starts the final 3½ year ‘Great Tribulation.’ (Revelation 13, Matthew 24:15)

Why During Passover?

Jesus literally fulfilled the spring feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits. So, we can assume the Great Tribulation will end during the autumn feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles. Therefore, if you start with the autumn feasts and subtract the prophesied 3½ year duration of the Great Tribulation, you’ll arrive at a Spring Passover season.

A second reason is that Passover was the time of ancient Israel’s exodus from Egypt. The Abomination of Desolation will kickoff the ‘Greater Exodus’ discussed below. This will occur during the same 3½ years as the Antichrist reigns over the nations.

Where Will the Abomination of Desolation Occur?

In a Literal Temple?

Let no one deceive you in any way, for it will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness—the son of destruction—is revealed. He will oppose and exalt himself above every so-called god or object of worship. So he will seat himself in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

The ‘man of lawlessness’ reveals himself as Antichrist when he sits himself in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. But what is ‘the temple of God’ today?

What is the Temple of God?
A Physical Temple of Stone?

Most evangelical Christians today expect Israel to build a literal temple that the Antichrist will desecrate, as Antiochus Epiphanes and Titus did.

The Spiritual Temple?

But, in Luke 13:35 Jesus proclaimed judgement against the Jews’ stone temple, saying, “Your house is left unto you desolate,” and in Matthew 24:2 Jesus prophesied the glorious stone temple would be utterly destroyed, with not one stone left upon another.”

Soon afterward the Holy Spirit filled the Messiah’s disciples on Pentecost, over 1900 years ago.

Since then, God dwells in His ekklesia–the Body of Christ–the spiritual temple of God. God is building His temple in His disciples. (See 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 and 1 Peter 2:5.)

So, Which Is It?

Will the abomination of desolation happen in a physical or spiritual temple? There are good arguments for both options, so let us all be watchful, and wait to see how events unfold.

If a stone temple is built, the prophetic direction will be obvious. However, if the abomination of desolation somehow takes place in a spiritual temple, only the watchful may recognize it while the majority wait for a literal fulfillment. We don’t want to be like the ancient Pharisees, who missed their Messiah because He didn’t come as they expected.

The Seventh Seal

At this point in the sequence of events, Michael has thrown the Devil down to earth. Then, the Antichrist committed the Abomination of Desolation. This triggers the start of the Great Tribulation in the sequence of end time events.

When the Abomination of Desolation occurs, everyone familiar with Bible prophecies will know there are 3½ years remaining until the beginning of God’s reign over the earth.

When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and they were given seven trumpets. Then another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, along with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, rose up before God from the hand of the angel. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it to the earth; and there were peals of thunder, and rumblings, and flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

Revelation 8:1-5

7 Trumpets Similar to Plagues Against Egypt

The seven trumpets are comparable to the plagues against Egypt, when God forced Pharaoh to release Israel from bondage. Except, in the Great Tribulation, God is delivering all of creation from Satan’s bondage. (Romans 8:21, Hebrews 2:15)

The Three Destinies For God’s People During the Great Tribulation

During the next 3½ years after the Abomination of Desolation, God’s people will experience one of three destinies: captivity, sword, or perseverance and faith.

If anyone is destined for captivity, into captivity he will go; if anyone is to die by the sword, by the sword he must be killed.” Here is a call for the perseverance and faith of the saints.

Revelation 13:10

1.     Captivity

Rather than fleeing into the wilderness, normalcy bias will cause the most Christians worldwide to continue their normal routine, hoping for things to get better. But, when either their food runs out or they’re arrested, the government will force them into a camp where most, if not all, will die.

Governments prepared for this years ago. For example, here is the US Army field manual FM 3-39.40, published in 2010, titled Internment and Resettlement Operations. This document could easily resemble the Nazi plan for ‘internment and resettlement’ of Jews during WWII. We all know how that plan worked. In Matthew 24:21 Jesus warned us the great tribulation will be worse than what the Nazis did to the Jews.

2.     Sword

Some will fight the Antichrist’s totalitarian government, but violence isn’t God’s way of establishing the Messiah’s kingdom. As a result, the Antichrist’s forces will prevail and Christians who fight the Antichrist with carnal weapons will be killed. Jesus warned,

All who draw the sword will die by the sword.

Matthew 26:52

And the beast opened its mouth to speak blasphemies against God and to slander His name and His tabernacle—those who dwell in heaven. Then the beast was permitted to wage war against the saints and to conquer them, and it was given authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation.

Revelation 13:6-7

3.     Perseverance and Faith: The Greater Exodus

For 3½ years, many of God’s people with perseverance and faith (Revelation 13:10) will follow God into the wilderness, just like the children of Israel who came out of Egypt.

Where is this wilderness?

There are two strong possibilities–either (1) in the ancient land of Edom, or (2) in every nation. The links below provide you the resources to research, pray, and decide for yourself.

Gather in the Land of Edom

I know of four ministries who believe the ancient land of Edom (located Southeast of the Dead Sea) is where God’s people will gather to wait on the Savior’s deliverance. The website links below explain their reasons why they believe this, so I encourage you to click on them to learn more.

As we ‘see the day approaching,’ the first two ministries listed below encourage saints to leave their home country and join them in Jordan now.

The Call to Jordan

Beastwatch News

End Time Pilgrim

Escape All These Things

In Every Nation

Monte Judah teaches that during the Great Tribulation there will be a ‘camp of the righteous’ in every nation of the world. See his video below for his perspective.

‘Greater Exodus’ Prophecy

The prophet Jeremiah foretold this ‘Greater Exodus’—greater than when God delivered the children of Israel from Pharaoh in Egypt.

Yet behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when men will no longer say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of Egypt.’ Instead they will say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and all the other lands to which He had banished them.’

Jeremiah 16:14-15, also in Jeremiah 23:5-8, and 29:11-14

Who Is Included in Greater Exodus?

Note: the term ‘Israelites’ includes all 12 tribes of Israel. Today’s Jewish people only descend from the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi. God grafted non-Jewish disciples of YHWH into the commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:11-13), restoring the other tribes. (Romans 11)

As I mentioned above, some of these ‘Israelites’ from every nation are gathering in Edom already.

Others will see the Abomination of Desolation take place during Passover. They’ll quickly leave their homes and join the ‘camp of the righteous,’ where God will protect them in the wilderness for 3½ years (Revelation 12:14-17).

How to Prepare for the Greater Exodus

How are they preparing for this event? The 8-day Feast of Tabernacles is an annual dry-run, with believers gathering every year. In nations around the world, they gather as ‘camps of the righteous’ in the wilderness. To understand this concept, and to learn how you can join in such a group, watch this video:

The 144,000

In Revelation 7:1-8, angels seal 144,000 disciples with the ‘seal of the Living God.’ This seal shows YHWH’s ownership, empowerment, and identification with these holy servants of God.

The 144,000 Spirit-filled saints will go into the world, clothed in glory and the power of God to authenticate their message. As a result, an ‘innumerable multitude’ of new believers will believe their message to become citizens of God’s kingdom and disciples of the Messiah in the final harvest of souls. (Revelation 7:9, 14:14-16)

In response to this massive rebellion against his authority, Satan will carry out worldwide persecution against the God’s people.

When Will Angels Seal the 144000?

I believe the 144,000 will be sealed during the 6th Seal. Here’s my rationale:

  • During the 5th Seal we see the martyrs under the golden altar of incense. They’re told to wait a little while longer, until the full number of martyrs is attained. At that point, Michael the archangel will cast the Dragon and his angels down from heaven to earth.
  • The 6th Seal (at the end of Revelation 6) shows the earthly results of Satan’s down-casting. There’ll be ‘a great earthquake,’ the sun darkened, the moon becomes blood, the stars (evil angels) fall to the earth, and every mountain and island will be moved from their place.
    • Revelation 12 is an interlude that details the cosmic conflict from heaven’s perspective. Just after the Dragon is cast down, John heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
  • After the 6th, in an interlude before the 7th Seal, comes the sealing of the 144,000. With the Accuser cast down, they can be glorified and empowered to fulfill Jesus’ ‘great commission,’ taking the gospel of the kingdom to every nation and language on the earth.

This is the ‘manifestation of the sons of God‘ that all creation is eagerly waiting for.

I consider that our present sufferings are not comparable to the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will, but because of the One who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

Romans 8:18-21
manifestation of the sons of God

This is a major spiritual event. As a result, I believe this ‘latter rain’ outpouring of God’s Spirit on the 144,000 may happen in conjunction with one of the Biblical festivals, perhaps Firstfruits or Pentecost, within two months after the Abomination of Desolation.

144000 Mortal or Immortal?

Arise, Shine book cover

As I wrote in Arise, Shine!, the 144,000 will be ‘glorified’ saints. In this case, ‘glorified’ means they’ll still be mortal, but their bodies will emanate the light of God’s glory. There are two good Biblical examples of this kind of status:

  • Moses’ face that glowed when he came down from Mount Sinai. (Exodus 34:29-35)
  • Jesus emanated God’s glory when God transfigured Him on the mountaintop. (Mark 9:2)

Moses and Jesus emanated God’s glory during their lifetime, but later their bodies died. In the same way, the 144,000 will remain mortal until the 7th Trumpet rapture/resurrection.

Who Are the 144000?

  1. The 144,000 will include Jesus’ disciples from every tribe, language, people, and race.

Worthy are You to take the scroll and open its seals, because You were slain, and by Your blood You purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue and people and race.

Revelation 5:9

2. They follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They are blameless. (Revelation 14:4-5)

To understand the 144,000’s role in end-time events, you must be familiar with two Old Testament examples.

Seal of Protection From God’s Judgement during the Great Tribulation

In Ezekiel 9:1-11, God commanded an angel to “put a mark on the foreheads of the men sighing and groaning over all the abominations committed” in Jerusalem. Then, God commanded the angels are to kill everyone who doesn’t have this mark of protection, without pity, starting in the temple.

So, the mark (or seal) was to protect them from divine judgment. Likewise, to protect the 144,000 from the coming (7 trumpet) judgments against the earth, the angel in Revelation 7:3 says,

“Do not harm the land or sea or trees until we have sealed the foreheads of the servants of our God.”

So, the 144,000 will be on the earth when the trumpet judgments harm the land, sea, and trees, but God will protect the 144,000 from these judgments.

While the 144,000 are protected from God’s judgments, this doesn’t mean the 144,000 they’re protected from persecution by men.

Witness Against the Watchers

In Genesis 6:1-3, as detailed in the Book of Enoch, the Watchers are angelic sons of God. They lusted-after and impregnated beautiful women, producing evil, nephilim giants.

…the angels who did not stay within their own domain but abandoned their proper dwelling—these He has kept in eternal chains under darkness, bound for judgment on that great day. In like manner, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, who indulged in sexual immorality and pursued strange flesh, are on display as an example of those who sustain the punishment of eternal fire.

Jude 6-7

In direct contrast to the sins of the Watchers, in Revelation 14:4 the 144,000 “are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they are chaste, following the Lamb wherever He goes.” The purity of their lives testifies in the heavenly court against the Watchers.

The concepts of the heavenly court and the Watchers are outside the scope of this post. To learn more about the 144,000 and the heavenly court, see God’s Plan: How the 144,000 Will Defeat the 70 Principalities and Powers.

Locations of the 144,000

I expect the 144,000 will follow the pattern Jesus established with His disciples. They’ll go out in pairs (Luke 10:1, Mark 6:7) to their own tribe, fluently proclaiming the gospel of God’s kingdom to their kinsmen.

72,000 pairs of glorified sons of God will soon reach every city and town worldwide. They’ll challenge every man, woman, and child on earth to either (1) believe and obey, or (2) reject the gospel of the kingdom of God.

Their ministry, validated by their visible glory and miracle-working faith, will prompt ‘an innumerable multitude’ to ‘wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb.’ (Revelation 7:14)

An ‘Innumerable Multitude’ Comes Out of the Great Tribulation

Immediately after hearing about the 144,000, the apostle John sees an innumerable multitude in heaven. An angel tells John,

These are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Revelation 7:14

These are millions (or billions) of martyrs who will commit themselves to God because of the testimony of the 144,000. They suffered on earth, but God will comfort them in heaven:

They are before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in His temple; and the One seated on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. Never again will they hunger, and never will they thirst; nor will the sun beat down upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd. He will lead them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

Revelation 7:15-17

The Two Witnesses

Plagues on Satan’s Kingdom During the Great Tribulation

In Revelation 11:3-13, the Two Witnesses are two human prophets who stand in God’s presence. Their ministry to testify against (and punish) the Devil’s kingdom will begin at the Abomination of Desolation.

God will delegate authority for them to stop the rain and to smite the earth, as often as they wish. They will publicly challenge and humiliate the Antichrist, just as Moses challenged Pharaoh and Elijah challenged king Ahab.

Rebellious mankind will hate the Two Witnesses for making them suffer. After 3½ years, just before the Seventh Trumpet announces the resurrection of the saints, the beast will kill them. Sinners will rejoice and send gifts to each other for 3 days. But then God will resurrect them into heaven while their enemies watch. 

Sequence of End Time Events: The Seven Trumpets

The 7 Trumpets are God’s final warnings to rebellious mankind. They are similar to the 7 Bowls of Wrath that follow after the Trumpets, but the Trumpets are much less intense. Here’s a chart to illustrate this fact. For example, look at row #3 below; the Trumpet is only 1/3 as strong as the Bowl in the right column.

7 Trumpets compared to 7 Bowls of Wrath
Trumpets vs Bowls of Wrath Comparison

What is Wormwood?

Wormwood‘ is the name of a large comet, asteroid, or planet that comes close to earth, generating catastrophic, planet-wide, end time events.

Before you scoff, know that ancient histories and mythologies on all continents tell us similar celestial events occurred many times in history. For hundreds of documented examples, read Worlds in Collision by Immanuel Velikovsky. This is a radical book that Albert Einstein respected so much he read it three times.

During these judgments, the Antichrist continues his persecution of true believers. (Matthew 24:29, Luke 21:25-26, Mark 13:24, Revelation 8:7-12).

Sequence of End Time Events: Trumpets 1-4

After the Abomination of Desolation event, Wormwood will approach the earth. Trumpets 1-4 list the catastrophic, worldwide end time events that occur.

During these judgments, the Antichrist continues his persecution of true believers. (Matthew 24:29, Luke 21:25-26, Mark 13:24, Revelation 8:7-12).

Trumpet 1: Hail and fire mixed with blood. One-third of the earth, trees, and grass burnt. This is fallout from Wormwood’s tail.

Trumpet 2: Like a great mountain thrown into the sea. One-third of the sea becomes blood. This is a chunk from Wormwood that earth’s gravity pulls into the sea.

Trumpet 3: Wormwood is a great star that falls from heaven, poisoning one-third of the fresh water on earth. More Wormwood debris from space.

Trumpet 4: One-third of the sun, moon, and stars darkened.

Based on the preaching of the 144,000 and the Two Witnesses, the Antichrist will blame God for Wormwood’s destructive effects and increase his persecution of God’s disciples.

The Mark of the Beast

The ‘mark of the beast’ will force every man, woman, and child on earth to publicly choose to either follow God or follow Satan. There will be no third option and no secret believers. (Revelation 13:16-18)

a third angel followed them, calling out in a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image, and receives its mark on his forehead or on his hand, he too will drink the wine of God’s anger, poured undiluted into the cup of His wrath. And he will be tormented in fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises forever and ever. Day and night there is no rest for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”

Revelation 14:9-11

The mark may be a mandatory biometric ‘mark’ or microchip that stores identity and personal information. It will authenticate people to access benefits from the global government. Benefits will include access to buy or sell using a worldwide crypto-currency account. Without the mark you won’t have any access to their global, cashless money system.

During this time, God will miraculously provide the needs of the ‘camps of the righteous’ in the Greater Exodus, just as He did for Israel during their exodus from Egypt.

The 6th Trumpet War

This war will be terrible, killing one-third of mankind. (Rev 9:13-21)

The First Resurrection and Rapture of the Saints as the 7th Trumpet Sounds

Feast of Trumpets = 1st Resurrection day (Rev 11:15-19, 20:4-6) near the end of the 3.5 year Great Tribulation. This resurrection is only for believers in God’s sacrificial Lamb, including believers from the Old Covenants and the New Covenant.

Sequence of End Times Events: the rapture and resurrection of saints

Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

1 Corinthians 15:50-52

Sequence of End Time Events: The Seven Bowls of Wrath

After God resurrects believers to heaven, seven angels pour out God’s wrath on the unbelievers who remain on the earth.

There are 10 days between Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpets) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). During this time angels will pour seven bowls of wrath onto the Beast’s kingdom. (Revelation 16)

Sequence of End Time Events | The Return of Christ | The Kingdom of God Comes to Earth.

The Son of Man Returns in Glory

At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn.

They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

Matthew 24:30-31

The Return of Christ

On the Day of Atonement, Jesus Christ returns in glory as King and Lord over all nations. He destroys the Antichrist and his army in (what is called) the Battle of Armageddon. (Rev 19:11-21).

 the  landscape of Messiah's 1000 year reign

This day begins the Jubilee, the reign of Messiah on the earth for 1000 years. Jesus will govern all nations with love, righteousness, peace, and impartial justice. (Revelation 20)

Following Jesus’ 1000 reign on the earth, God will judge every soul (Revelation 20:11-15) and then He will create a glorious new heaven and earth for eternity. (Revelation 21)

When will the Great Tribulation Start in the Sequence of End Time Events?

Biblical prophecy assures us we’re in the final 3½ years when we witness the Abomination of Desolation, but until then we can only try to fit puzzle pieces together. For reasons I explain in detail in my Daniel’s 70th Week posting, I am watching these three candidate 7-year time periods closely.

*Now that we’re past the midpoint of the 2017-2024 period, with no apparent ‘abomination of desolation’ event during Passover in 2021, this 7-year period is looking unlikely.

Conclusion

The Sequence of End Time Events: my advice

Regardless whether it’s one of these time periods or another time, the most important thing is to be ready to meet the Lord at all times, striving to walk in communion with God’s Holy Spirit 24/7. If you do, God will surely bless you!

Finally, Have a Positive Mindset About the Sequence of End Time Events

In the Timeline Chart near the beginning of this article, mankind is now seeing the third horseman of the apocalypse (shortages, famine, and inflation). We’ve started the birth pangs that signal the end of the Present Wicked Age. And, just like a mother’s birth pangs, we can expect the frequency and intensity of end-time tribulations to increase until the kingdom of God is birthed on the earth.

birth pangs of the kingdom of God

But, don’t let this frighten you. Jesus encouraged His disciples to have a positive mindset, saying,

A woman has pain in childbirth because her time has come; but when she brings forth her child, she forgets her anguish because of her joy that a child has been born into the world.

John 16:21

It’s normal for a pregnant mother to have apprehension about the inescapable pain and uncertain outcome of her upcoming birthing experience. But, (since Eve) every woman overcomes this apprehension with the positive hope and anticipation of birthing her child into the world.

In the same way, the end time events in our future will be difficult and painful for everyone, but the kingdom of God will be birthed out of it, and it will be glorious.

9 comments

  1. 2 questions,could you explain why Jesus is not the first fruits or again describe it a little more why its on the 26th because Paul calls Jesus in a sense firstborn or first fruits concept.Also the first temple was destroyed on 9th of Av so was 2nd temple so why would this pattern not be for a future temple.Thanks for your articles.

    1. Vance,
      Sorry for the delay in responding to your questions.
      1. I don’t know where you got the impression that I said Jesus is not the firstfruits. He
      certainly did fulfill the firstfruit festival when he resurrected from the dead.
      2. Regarding why the 26th is the day of firstfruits on the Zadokite calendar… I had the same question, which you’ll see in question #2 of this post: https://standinfaith.org/gods-calendar/
      Please refer to Asherit’s answer to this question in my post. I admit that I’m not totally satisfied about this topic, so it’s a lingering question in my mind.
      3. If a third temple is built, it may be destroyed on the 9th of Av, or it may not be. There’s no prophetic requirement (that I know of) for God to follow this pattern.
      The Messiah’s body is now God’s temple, so I personally don’t expect a third stone temple to be built. But, in any case, the 9th of Av will continue to be an auspicious anniversary.

  2. The ‘Greater Exodus’ is about YHWH’s people coming out of the Nations. They will willingly gather in the Wilderness as prophecies in the Scriptures. Please consider the information on this website http://www.thecalltojordan.com and see how the Scriptures teach about YHWH’s people gathering before Yeshua’s Return. Your teaching covers a lot of good ground but is missing significant information about where YHWH’s people will be safe during the Tribulation.

    1. Amy, I’ve updated my article to include more information, as you suggested. I also added a link to your website (and some others) as resources for people to research more on this topic. Shalom sister.

      1. Shalom Tom, Thank you for updating your article to include information about YHWH’s people gathering in Edom/Moab. We are living in days where studying this information is very important for YHWH’s people. I was drawn to your site because I am studying the Jubilee year. Thank you for your teachings and the humility in which you share. May you and your family find the grace to escape the trials of the World and may you be blessed as we look forward to the Return of Yeshua our Messiah!

  3. I agree with your Sequence of Events 3-1/2 year timeline chart. It’s not very common so it’s nice to see I’m not the only one who sees things this way. Keep up the good work!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *