Prophetic Chronology of the End of the Age Events

Long ago, God revealed many of the events that would take place just before and after Christ's return as King of kings and Lord of lords to the prophets Daniel and Amos and the apostle John.

The prophet Daniel was told that his prophecy would be sealed until the time of the end when the wise would understand what he had been inspired to write:

"But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. . . And he said, go your way, Daniel; for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tested, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand" (Dan.12:4, 9-10 Para.).

The Prophet Amos reveals, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing but he reveals his secret unto his servants the prophets" (Am.3:7 KJV).

The apostle John was shown many of the prophetic events of the end of the age and was told to record these things, so that those within the Body of Christ would understand the things and events surrounding the establishment of the Kingdom of God on the earth.

"The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God [God the Father] gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John who testified of the word of God, and the witness of Jesus Christ, even as many things as he saw. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near" (Rev.1:1-3 Para.).

The scriptures clearly show that it is God the Father and Jesus Christ's intention to reveal the meaning and timing of prophetic events to the children of God before they come to pass.

Prophecy and the Gospel

Understanding the meaning and timing of the prophetic events of the end of the age constitutes a major aspect of the Father's gospel message that Jesus said would be proclaimed before his return:

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness [testimony] unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Matt.24:14 KJV).

The following narrative is meant to be a chronological overview of the major prophetic events that will occur just before and after Jesus Christ returns. Reference numbers are placed next to key events in order to locate them in the events table and to indicate where detailed information of each event can be found in this study.

This narrative and study represent our best understanding of the prophetic events that will occur surrounding the return of Christ. Any errors in this narrative and study are errors of men and not errors of God. We strongly suggest that you approach this study prayerfully, remembering what God inspired Paul to write: "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2.Tim.2:15 NKJV).


One of the first events that will occur during the end of the age and shortly before Christ's return is the ministry of the prophetic Elijah1. Malachi 4:5-6 indicates that Elijah will play a major role in the restoration of God's truth among the people of God and he will also be a factor in the establishment of a dynamic work for the proclaiming of the Father's good news message and the return of Jesus Christ to establish the Kingdom of God upon the earth.


After the arrival of Elijah and the renewal of the faith that was once delivered to God's chosen people, the next major event will be the building of a temple in Jerusalem for the purpose of worshiping the God of Israel through the Levitical priesthood and the sacrificial system. The building of a temple in Jerusalem by the Jews will signal that the return of Jesus Christ is near. This event will set into motion irreversible events that will lead to Christ's return as a conquering King.


The prophecies of both Haggai and Zechariah give details concerning the cycle of events that relate to the beginning of the end of this age, such as who the individuals are who will be personally involved in the planning and execution of the construction of the temple, the acknowledgment of Jesus as the Messiah by the high priest, and the establishment of a congregation of God in Jerusalem to proclaim the Father's good news message.


The prophetic Zerubbabel seems to be a high level Israeli government official, and the prophetic Joshua is clearly the high priest who officiates over the new temple in Jerusalem. It is very likely that both of these individuals will become the Two Witnesses of God who are spoken of in Revelation 11:1-12 and will proclaim God's plan for the salvation of humanity and the return of Jesus Christ for 3½ years. See Zech.4:8-9.


Haggai 1:1-8 shows that a prophet of God will be sent to the prophetic Zerubbabel and Joshua with a message regarding the building of a temple in Jerusalem2.

Haggai 1:13-15 shows that God will send a messenger again to encourage these two men to begin construction of the temple3. These meetings between a prophet of God and a messenger from God will likely occur about 4 to 6 years before Christ's return and lead to the construction of the temple in the fall of the year near the Festival of Trumpets. The construction of the temple seems to occur during a time of relative peace on earth (Zech.1:1-8).


Haggai 2:1-9 shows that shortly after the building of a temple begins in Jerusalem (Dan.9:274), a messenger from God will be sent to Zerubbabel and Joshua to inform them of world events that will come to pass 5. Based on a date within Haggai, chapter 2, the time setting for this meeting will be in the fall of the year, about 4 to 6 years before Christ's return.


Scripture indicates that the project manager for the building of the temple will be the prophetic Zerubbabel. After the foundation of the temple is laid, God will send a messenger to Zerubbabel to tell him that he will become a signet for God (Hag.2:10-12,15-23). Making Zerubbabel a signet for God means that he is made a personal representative and spokesman for God in the end of the age. This is also an indication that he will be one of the Two Witnesses.


The scriptures do not indicate how long it will take to construct the temple; however, once it is complete, animal sacrifices will begin to be offered to God there. The dedication of the temple could occur on or near Passover or later in the year near or on the Festival of Lights. Although the temple dedication does not have to be performed on either of these festivals, it certainly could because of the historical precedent. If the Levitical priesthood does their job correctly, there is a reasonable likelihood that God will honor their effort and allow his glory to enter the Holy of Holies within the temple.


Three prophets will be sent to meet with another prophet in Jerusalem (Zech.6:10), and then all four will go to Joshua, the high priest, to present him with the faith once delivered which concerns Jesus Christ and his Father's good news message. They do this because the high priest is going to be instrumental in proclaiming this message as one of the Two Witnesses (Zech.6:11). This event seems to constitute the beginning of the conversion process of the Two Witnesses. The date for this meeting is after the construction of the temple is completed and the sacrifices have been instituted. And it appears to be in early winter, about 4¾ to 6 years before Christ's return.


The conversion process for the Two Witnesses (Zech.3:3-7) seems to fit in the time frame from early winter to late spring, which is about 4 to 4½ years before the first resurrection. The four Prophets of God appear to be in Jerusalem working with the Two Witnesses, teaching them about Jesus Christ and the gospel message.


There seems to be a parallel between prophetic events and the pattern of Jesus' 3½ year ministry and what occurred after his crucifixion and resurrection in 30 A.D.. Following his resurrection, he told his disciples (there were about 120) to wait in Jerusalem until he sent the holy spirit to empower them and make them a part of the Family of God. See Acts 1:1-15.

Zechariah 6:15 indicates that the elect of God come to Jerusalem from other parts of the world to help build a spiritual temple of God, which is the congregation of God. It is very likely that the Jerusalem church will begin on the Festival of Pentecost four years before the first resurrection and Christ's return10.

The first age of the church began with about 120 people and quickly grew to many thousands in Jerusalem before they sent out people to evangelize the other tribes of Israel and the Gentiles. Perhaps we will see the same pattern of events as in the first age of the church occur in the end of the age along with great signs and wonders.

Regardless of whether or not the proclamation of the Gospel begins in a major way from Jerusalem, it will begin. And when it does begin, it will expand rapidly to the Israelitish nations of the world where God has prepared people for his calling. After this, God will reach out to the non-Israelitish nations, particularly those that are descendants of Abraham, which include the Islamic nations of the world.


Very near the end of this age, the true gospel is going to be proclaimed as a witness and warning to God's chosen people and the world at large (Matt.24:14). Although all the various congregations of God will be proclaiming the Father's good news message, a major part of the responsibility for witnessing to the world, warning them to repent, and pouring out God's punishments on this evil world falls to the Two Witnesses in Jerusalem. If these two men follow the pattern of Jesus' ministry, they will only preach for 3½ years before they are martyred.


Because the high priest and others of the priesthood begin to preach Christ as the long awaited Messiah, the Jews are going to be incensed and they will begin to persecute the Father's chosen people, just as they did in the first age of the church. See Matt.5:10-12; Mk.13:9-13; Jn.15:19-20.

A martyrdom of the elect is predicted in Revelation 6:9-11 as the fifth seal is opened. This martyrdom and persecution by the Jews and the Beast will end with the opening of the sixth seal (Rev.6:12-17) and the heavenly signs which will occur 3½ years before Christ returns.


God will not allow his chosen people to go into tribulation and captivity without first giving them a warning; thus, the Jews will be given a resounding warning before the nation of Israel is invaded and her people are taken into captivity.


There appears to be about ten months between the time that the high priest and many of the priesthood begin to follow the teachings of Christ and the event that the Bible refers to as the Abomination of Desolation (Lk.21:20-24; Matt.24:15-22). This event foreshadows the invasion of Israel and its subsequent captivity (Dan.12:11-13; Matt.24:15-21) and it will occur when the political leader of the Beast Alliance (the man of sin) desecrates the temple in Jerusalem by entering into it and declaring himself God. Daniel 8:11-14 refers to this Abomination of Desolation as lasting 1150 days (2,300 evening and morning sacrifices). This will probably occur in the spring of the year and will be immediately followed by the invasion of Israel by the Beast alliance and its Islamic allies, which will end the daily sacrifice.


The invasion of Israel will come from the European part of the Beast alliance of nations that is supported by the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Russia. The Beast's army will come through Israel on its way to allegedly take care of some problems in Egypt. While doing this, they will surround Jerusalem as a supposed protective measure against Israel's Islamic neighbors; however, this is just a ploy to carry out a sneak attack on Israel.

The Jews and others that heed the warning recorded in Luke 21:20-24 and Matthew 24:15-22— "When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, and the Abomination of Desolation standing in the Holy Place, flee to the mountains."—will escape with their lives, but the rest will either die or suffer great persecution and another holocaust very similar to the one that occurred during World War II. During this captivity, some of these Jews will also be sent to other areas of the world as slaves (Isa.11:11-16).

The scriptural reference to this invasion of Israel is found in Daniel 11:40-45, where Egypt pushes at the Beast and the Beast invades Egypt by sea and via the coastal areas of Sinai. Shortly thereafter, the 10 nation Islamic alliance will move their armies to the North and East borders of Israel which will cause the Israelis to divert their attention away from Egypt and the army of the Beast alliance.

After conquering Israel, the leader of the Beast alliance will establish his palace in Jerusalem and begin an ongoing effort to stop the Elect of God and the Two Witnesses from proclaiming the Father's good news message. It is during this time that many will come to understand God's plan for humanity and will accept the Father's call to salvation. It is also during this time that great persecution will come upon the Father's children who are not found worthy to escape Satan's wrath.


It is important to note that there will be a very fragile alliance between the Beast alliance of nations and a loosely allied coalition of 10 Islamic nations that surround Israel. These are the 10 nations that are represented by the ten toes of the great image in Daniel chapter 2.


The implementation of the 'Mark of the Beast' (Rev.3:10; 13:11-18) divides people into two distinct categories: those who worship the beast and those who do not. The implementation of the Mark of the Beast and the forced worship of its image (idolatry) will probably happen in late spring of the year and perhaps on the Festival of Pentecost, two years before the first resurrection.


When this event occurs, heavy persecution is going to come upon the elect of God until they are sealed for protection by God's angel. This sealing for protection may occur about 1¾ years before Christ's return. Revelation 7:3-14 talks about the sealing of all those who have not taken the Mark of the Beast. Those sealed will also include 144,000 Israelites and the large number of people from other nationalities.


Revelation, chapters 4-6 reveal the four seals that Jesus said would be opened in order to begin the end of the age events. These four prophetic seals are commonly known as the four horsemen of the apocalypse. The exact time period for the circumstances and conditions pictured by these four horses and their riders is not known, but may have begun shortly after John received his vision. The horsemen may have been instructed to intensify their efforts from that time forward until the opening of the sixth seal when the elect of God will be sealed for protection and the seven trumpet plagues that will begin the Day of the Lord.


In Revelation 8:5-13, the event called the Day of the Lord begins. This is the time when Jesus Christ will begin to bring severe punishment upon this world's population for its disobedience to God's laws and ways. It is during these punishments that the surface of the earth will suffer tremendous destruction, hundreds of millions and perhaps billions of people will die, governments will collapse, and the most evil and powerful of the world's religions will be destroyed and her capital city laid waste.

The 7 Trumpet Plagues

There are seven trumpet plagues (cataclysmic events), which seem to be orchestrated by the Two Witnesses who are still in Jerusalem.

In the first trumpet plague there is hail, fire, and blood, a third of the trees are burned, and all the green grass is burned (Rev.8:7 ).

The second trumpet plague shows a great mountain cast into the sea and a third of the sea becoming blood, and a third of all the living creatures dying in the sea, and a third of all the ships being destroyed (Rev.8:8-9).

The third trumpet plague shows a star called Wormwood falling to earth and a third of the waters of the earth being poisoned (Rev.8:10-11).

The first three plagues seem to strike at the base of the Beast alliance's economy, because the destruction of trees and other vegetation will affect the food supply, and the destruction of shipping will affect the distribution of products and food supplies. These plagues begin to destroy this world's gods of money, materialism, and power.

The fourth trumpet plague decreases the brightness of the sun, moon, and stars. This could be caused by volcanic eruptions that spew massive amounts of ash into the atmosphere (Rev.8:12).


As the events of the Day of the Lord progress closer to Jesus Christ's return to conquer the earth, there will be a message that goes out called the message of the seven thunders (Rev.10:4, 7-11). This message seems to be delivered about 9 months before Christ's return as King of the earth, and it is the last major prophetic message from a prophet of God (Rev.10:7).

Although the context of the message of the seven thunders is not recorded in the Book of Revelation, we can assume that the message concerns an announcement of the coming Kingdom of God, a warning for the wicked to repent of their wickedness and worship the true God, and a warning of continued punishment if they do heed the message.


The fifth trumpet plague is also referred to as the first woe (Rev.9: 1-11), which will likely occur right after the message of the seven thunders. For five months, during the 5th trumpet plague, avengers who are supernatural beings created by God will inflict pain on all those who have taken the Mark of the Beast.


The second woe, which is the sixth trumpet plague (Rev.9:13-18), occurs when 200,000,000 of God's avengers attack the evil nations of this world. These are created beings through which God will kill two-thirds of mankind. When this plague ends, the seven last plagues of Revelation 15:1-6 will begin.


As the time when Jesus Christ will come to gather the Father's elect children and raise all the righteous dead in the first resurrection approaches, there will be a concerted effort by the leader of the Beast alliance and his people to kill the Two Witnesses. But, Jesus will have given supernatural power and protection to these two men, so that no one can kill them until he allows them to be killed. He will allow them to be killed 3½ days before his return to gather his Father's elect of all ages.


After the Two Witnesses are killed, their bodies will lie in a street in Jerusalem, and people will rejoice because the ones who tormented them for 3½ years will be dead (Rev.11:7-12).

But after 3½ days, these two men will be resurrected and ascend to meet Jesus Christ in the air. After this, the gathering of the righteous from the dead and the righteous from the earth will begin. This awesome event will likely occur on the Feast of Pentecost, which portrays the Father's first harvest of humanity into his Kingdom. See 1.Thes.4:15-17.

At this time, all the dead in Christ, who were called to participate in the first resurrection from the time of Adam will be resurrected and ascend to meet Jesus Christ and join God the Father at his throne. And those who are alive and have been sealed among the elect will be changed in a moment—"in a twinkling of an eye"—and born into the Family and Kingdom of God.


The plagues of God will continue for a period of time after the first resurrection to complete what is prophetically called "the cleansing of the sanctuary" in Daniel 8:14.


Although humanity will have received warning after warning to repent and worship the true God and will have been severely punished for their refusal to repent, they will still refuse to acknowledge and honor the true God and his Son. Because of their lack of repentance, the third woe, which comprises the seven last plagues, will be poured out (Rev.16). These plagues are cataclysmic in magnitude and will inflict great pain and suffering similar to the plagues that were poured out on Egypt many thousands of years ago.

The first plague is painful sores which will fall upon all people who have the 'Mark of the Beast' (Rev.16:2).

It is obvious that these seven last plagues will occur in a very short period of time, very likely within a month. 


The sixth plague coincides with the coalition of 10 Muslim nations receiving power with the Beast for one hour (approximately 15 days) (Rev.17:12).


The seventh and last plague (Rev.16:16-21; 19:11-21) is the battle at Armageddon (Zech.14:1-4). Preceding this great battle, there will be awesome heavenly signs, lightning, thunder, and an earthquake in which every mountain and every island are moved out of their place, and falling hailstones weighing over a hundred pounds.


At this point in history, the people who are left alive on earth will be so deceived that they will believe that Christ and his servants are invaders from outer space who should be fought against and destroyed. Jesus Christ will destroy these armies on the plains of Megiddo. The blood that drains from the bodies of those who are destroyed in this great battle will run as deep as horses’ bridles in this great valley that is more than a hundred miles long.

It is not clear how many people will survive all of the events that will occur in the end of the age, but we do know that less than a third of the Jews will survive. What is clear is that the world's population will be greatly reduced and the earth's surface will be almost totally destroyed.


After Jesus Christ returns to this earth as the Conquering King26 and descends upon the Mount of Olives, which will split into a great valley, Satan will be constrained and cast into the Lake of Fire where the leader of the Beast alliance of nations and the great False Prophet will have been cast. The binding of Satan will probably be on or near the Day of Atonement27.


Shortly after Christ returns, he will begin to gather all the people who comprise the twelve tribes of national Israel. These Israelites will be gathered from all over the world and brought to a wilderness area (Ezk.20:33-35), so that they can be established as a nation again and fulfill their destiny, which is to be an example to the world of how to live God's way of life.

In Ezekiel 20, it is prophesied that all the Israelites who are gathered after the return of Christ will be passed under the rod. The passing under the rod is the process by which rebellious Israelites will be separated from those who are willing to accept God's rule in their lives. No rebel will be allowed to become a part of the new nation of Israel, just as no rebel was allowed to enter the promised land with Joshua. Those who want to repent and accept God's way of life will be allowed to enter the land of Israel and build a new nation.

This event is also referred to as "a nation born in one day" (Isa.66: 5-9, 12-13, 15-16, 18-20, 23). At this time, God will formalize his new covenant with national Israel, which includes the Jews and the other eleven tribes.


At some time in the future after the return of Christ, when the world is at peace30, there will be a special resurrection29 of all the Israelites who have died. They will be resurrected to a physical life and given an opportunity to accept God's plan of salvation (Ezk.37:1-14). After a lifetime of perhaps 100 years, any Israelite who rejects God's way of life will be executed in the Lake of Fire. And those who accept God's way of life will be changed to spirit-beings and given eternal life in the God Family.


At the end of Christ's thousand year reign, there will be a resurrection of all people who have ever lived and died without having an opportunity for salvation. See Rev.20:5, 11-13.

Thus, all of humanity throughout all the ages, from the creation of Adam to a time far into the future, will eventually have an opportunity to understand the truth of God and decide whether they will choose eternal life or eternal death.


Satan who was bound after the Battle of Armageddon will be loosed for a short time to deceive the nations after Christ's 1,000 year reign of peace (Rev.20:2-3, 7-10). How long this deception continues is not clear; the scriptures only say that he is loosed a short time.


All the incorrigibly wicked humans who have lived through all ages will be resurrected to physical life and executed in the Lake of Fire, which is the second death. There will be no resurrection from this death (Rev.20:14-15).

At some point after this final rebellion of humanity, Satan will also be destroyed (Rev.20:10; 2.Pet.3:10-13).This seems to be the point in time when the wicked will become ashes under the feet of the righteous (Mal.4:1,3).


At some point after this final rebellion of humanity, Satan will also be destroyed (Rev.20:10; 2.Pet.3:10-13). This seems to be the point in time when the wicked will become ashes under the feet of the righteous (Mal.4:1,3).


After the final phase of God the Father's plan for the salvation of humanity there is one final event to take place—the total destruction of this physical existence and the creation of new heavens and a new earth. See Isa.51:5-6; 1.Pet.3:4-14.


After the new heavens and earth have been created the Sovereign Father comes to earth with his holy city (Rev.21:1-2; Heb.11:9-10,16) to dwell with those who have obtained salvation and who are now spirit-beings (Rev.21:3-70).


What lies in the distant future beyond all the resurrections and the reign of Christ over physical humans is not totally known. But we are told that there will be no end to the increase of God's family. This future increase seems to be portrayed in God's annual Festival of the Eighth Day, which pictures a new beginning and looks forward to the time when God the Father will bring the New Jerusalem to the earth, make it the center of his vast realm, and begin the next phase of his plan for eternity.


Prophecy continues to be fulfilled. Although exact dates may be uncertain, the sequence of prophetic events will happen at some point in time. Having this knowledge gives you the opportunity to choose. You can choose to believe what God has recorded in the Bible, study further, turn to God and choose life, or you can choose to reject the truth of God and choose death. The choice is yours.


By B.L. Cocherell             b2w25