I believe what we see here in Revelation 11:18 is the end of all things, but on what do I base that assessment?
“And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”
Taking this sentence apart, we find:
“Now is the time for the dead to be judged,”
Revelation 20:12 NASB And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.
Daniel 12:1 NASB 2 “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.
“the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great,”
Revelation 2:23 NASB ‘And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.
2 Corinthians 5:10 NASB 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
2 Timothy 4:8 NASB in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing.
“and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”
Psalms 58:10 NASB The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; He will wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.
Daniel 11:44-45 NASB “But rumors from the East and from the North will disturb him, and he will go forth with great wrath to destroy and annihilate many. 45 “He will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain, yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NASB 16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
By this point, you should get the general idea that this is the end of the thousand-year reign. If you have read the Revelation all the way through then, you have a general idea of how things fall into place.
The church is caught away to be with Jesus Christ.
We love to call this the rapture, and since the Latin Vulgate calls it rapio then we should be okay with the word. The rapture seems to be a trigger for the entrance of the seven-year period. While being caught away is a good thing, it is not for everyone who sits quietly beside you in the congregation. Matthew 25:1-13 tells us that fifty percent are not prepared and will have to endure the seven-years of wrath.
The seven-year period entails a wide and disastrous volume of events; we call it the Tribulation. This time is also called: the day of the Lord; the time of wrath, and the time of judgment. It’s all God’s plan and will be carried out from above as 100-pound hailstones, mixed with fire and ice, fall from the sky. Earthquakes of deadly proportions, and the violence of men, as they loot, rape, plunder, and kill.
In addition to all the dreadful things that will happen during the seven-year period, there is the advent of the anti-Christ. There is a good chance that this man is active today. I strongly suspect he will be a Muslim because of the power he will wield over Islamic forces. We see this in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4.
(CJB) Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For the Day will not come until after the Apostasy has come and the man who separates himself from Torah has been revealed, the one destined for doom. 4 He will oppose himself to everything that people call a god or make an object of worship; he will put himself above them all, so that he will sit in the Temple of God and proclaim that he himself is God.
One more aspect that is seldom talked about. Almost as quickly as the church is caught away, there will be a call for peace. Why? Because there will be a large scale war. If I asked where the next big war will be, the majority would probably say, Israel, as they fight against Islamic fighters from Iran, Syria, and Lebanon. You might justifiably feel good about adding Turkey into the mix. Just look at the daily news. Israel is shooting down drones and jet fighters while pointing out how military installations in Lebanon and Syria, impede the safety of Israel as a nation. The prophet Daniel speaks of this in chapter 9:26, 27. The strong covenant this man makes only lasts three-and-a-half years.
There is one more huge piece of information that impacts this scenario above.
Ezekiel 38:14-16 NASB “Therefore prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “On that day when My people Israel are living securely, will you not know it? 15 “You will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army; 16 and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It shall come about in the last days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog.”
Obviously, someone is coming. Gog is definable. Descendants of Noah, they have ties that run deeply through every known enemy of Israel. This group of people integrated with Assyrians, Egyptians, Siberians, and tribes to the West. Do a little research and you will Attila the Hun intertwined in the family mix. They were an expansive tribe of aggressive and dominant horseman and feared by everyone.
Ezekiel 38:22 NASB “With pestilence and with blood I will enter into judgment with him; and I will rain on him and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire and brimstone.
Because of God’s intervention, the armies against Israel will be firebombed. The description sounds almost nuclear. No wonder the Antichrist cries peace.
By the way, the temple has not been built. Plans have been made for a tilt up, which can go up rather quickly, and Israel will be using the temple for almost the full three-and-a-half years. We know this because the Antichrist breaks the covenant and the false-prophet sets up the image of the beast in the temple, halting all Jewish practices and worship.
There is a midpoint three-and-one-half years into this time. The anti-Christ which may be known as the Mahdi will have been calling for peace. All fury should break loose, as another persona, the false-prophet will come upon the scene. Islam calls him the enforcer of Sharia. This series of events is the reason that Jesus told us, that if God did not shorten time at this point, no one would survive. In the Revelation, John had two looks into the heavens, in which he saw the martyred. With the second look, which would be associated with the second look, the number of martyred dead, was uncountable.
As the end of the seven-years comes to a close, Revelation 19 tells us that Jesus Christ returns riding on a white horse with all the saints. He will fight with and slaughter all those who choose to fight against Him. This return causes peace to reign on the earth, as the martyred will now sit on thrones and rule over the earth during the thousand-year reign. Those Jews who have survived will come to acknowledge Christ as the Messiah and will lead many to a knowledge and understanding of Him. By the way, Satan will have been cast into prison during this time, so, if you act out, it is all on you and your personal depravity.
At the end of the thousand years, Satan is released. Immediately he goes out and deceives the nations. Yes, there will be those, at the end of this road, who will not wholeheartedly accept Jesus as the ruler over their lives. This is their choice, and it is important to note that God has not removed free will, nor will He. The deceived will try to rise up by surrounding the Holy City in an attempt at killing God. They will be killed with fire from heaven, and almost instantly brought, with other dead, before the great white throne.
I cannot tell you with precision what happens next. What I do understand is that we walk into eternity, never to deal the problems of earth, as we understand it, again. Some have referred to this restored earth as the restored Eden. Considering what I suspect Eden was like, bring it on.
I have come to a point in life where I need to make something profoundly clear. We the church have caused great misunderstanding and harm to ourselves. Why?, because we have attributed the terminology “tribulation” to the seven-year period that begins in Revelation chapter 4 when it is a very well defined time of wrath and judgment, from God, being poured out upon the earth, the nations, and Israel for their rejection of Him.