For those of us of the prepper mindset, whether Christian or not, it is difficult to ignore the fact that the Bible gives us a prophetic timeline. How can we possibly consider ourselves prepared for anything if we aren’t at least familiar with what is being predicted? We cannot possibly make informed decisions about how to prepare if we are unable to make the connection or between real world events and the Bible prophecies.
So, to supplement my limited knowledge of the end times prophecies, I did a little research this week. What I found was overwhelming, more than a little scary, and cannot possibly be covered in just one article. But I will share with you what I discovered and invite you to share your own thoughts, comments, and knowledge in the comments below.
From my research, the experts seem to be in agreement that although the Bible states that no man will know the exact hour of the Second Coming, there are many clues that warn us that we are at this moment living through the end times, known as the Tribulation Period, that leads up to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
For more details on what is discussed here, you can of course refer to the Bible yourself. You will find the prophetic End Time events referred to throughout the Bible. The book of Revelations focuses primarily on the second half of the Tribulation period. This article will discuss several of the events that are prophesied along that timeline and how some experts believe that current events appear to align with that timeline.
The Tribulation Period
According to the Bible, those of us on Earth will experience a period called The Tribulation. The Tribulation has two stages which I didn’t really understand until this week. Something that surprised me in my research was that most biblical experts agree that we are not just getting closer to the End Times, we are ALREADY in the beginning of the Tribulation Period!
The first stage of the Tribulation period involves the “Breaking of the Seven Seals”. I’ll give you a brief outline of them here, but you can read more about the seven seals in Revelations Chapters 5 through 8. The seals can only be opened by a Lamb or Lion worthy of the knowledge within. The opening of the first four seals bring the Four Horsemen, each on a different colored horse, which many of us have heard about.
The first seal is Conquest (white horse) and he is foretold as a rider with a bow (and arrow) who has been given a crown and rides out to conquer and defeat. Imagine my surprise to find that most experts agree that this first seal has ALREADY BEEN OPENED. It is believed to have been the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are other experts however that believe this first seal to be not Jesus Christ but actually the Anti-Christ which would create an entirely different timeline!
To my further surprise, experts believe that the opening of the second seal (War), who “will ride a red horse and carry a large sword to take peace from the Earth and cause men to slay one another”, happened way back in 66-136 AD during the Jewish revolts against the Romans.
The third seal (Famine) rides a black horse and delivers starvation across the land.
“A quart of wheat for a denarius and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not waste the oil and the wine”.
Denarius means a day’s wage for a laborer. This is believed to have taken place in 1932-34 when Stalin forced a system of collectivized agriculture on the citizens, in an attempt to quell Ukrainian nationalism, resulting in starvation of 6-8 million people.
The fourth seal (Death) is the last of the four horsemen. He is foretold to ride a pale horse and be closely followed by “Grave” or “Hades” and is “given the power to kill one-quarter of the earth” using wild animals, famine, disease, and sword. This is believed by experts to have been the Holocaust, where ¼ of the Jewish population were killed, many of them having starved, died of disease, or from having escaped into the wilderness to hide from persecution.
So many experts believe that at least the first four of the seven seals have ALREADY BEEN OPENED. According to biblical experts, these events have already played out in our past. We appear to be living in the time of the fifth seal, The Martyrs.
The Fifth Seal is The Martyrs, (Revelation 6:9).
“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.”
These are Christians who will be killed because they believe in the word of God, and who uphold their testimony even under great duress and threat of death.
Christians have been slain for years because of their faith. It’s not something new. But in August 2015 there were eleven Christian missionary workers near Aleppo, Syria who were captured and subsequently killed after refusing to deny Christ when threatened by the Islamic State.
Open Doors, a Christian persecution watchdog group, reports that over 7,000 Christians all over the world were killed because of their faith between Nov 2014 and October 2015. They report nearly 10,000 deaths in 2016 and over 2,400 churches have been attacked. So there has definitely been an increase in these types of deaths in very recent years.
Most experts can agree that we are somewhere between the fifth and sixth seal being opened. For preppers who also believe this is where we sit on the prophetic timeline, this means preparing for catastrophic natural disasters on a scale that has not been seen in our lifetimes. Here’s what’s coming next.
The Sixth Seal is Terror and the opening of this seal includes a description of a great earthquake, an eclipse of the sun, and a blood red moon. Stars fall from the sky to the earth, the sky looks like a scroll being rolled up and every island and mountain shifts from its place.
“Kings of the earth from the rich, the mighty, the slave and free man, will hide in the caves and among the mountain rocks begging to be covered and hidden from the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb”.
So the Sixth Seal is expected to bring great physical upheaval to the Earth. The Kings of the Earth and others will hide among the caves and mountain rocks. When you consider what would cause the people of Earth to hide in caves and underground, I think it would likely be either a meteorological event such as an asteroid hitting earth or the fall-out from a nuclear event.
Some of us have already heard about the mysterious tunnels in the mountains that are rumored to lead to a complete underground city stretching from Arkansas to Washington. Wouldn’t this be considered our Kings of the Earth hiding among the mountain rocks?
The Sounding of the Seven Trumpets
Many Christians and non-Christians have also heard about the Seven Trumpets. These are angels, each with their own trumpet as described in Revelation 8:7-19. Although there is still some debate over when the seven trumpets will blown, there are some experts who believe the first four trumpets were already blown and the results were the following events:
- First Trumpet-(Revelation 8:7) World War I
“…hail and fire mixed with blood were flung to the earth. A third of the earth was burned, along with a third of the trees and all the green grass.”
WW I was the first use of chemical weapons. Following the Great War, also known as World War I, which resulted in 8.2 million casualties. After WWI, there was also an attempt at World government via the League of Nations.
- Second Trumpet-(Revelation 8:8-9) World War II
“and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.”
Japan is in the middle of the ocean. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima was estimated to kill 110,000 people out of a population of 330,000. That’s one-third!
Have you seen the photos of the WWII explosions? It could easily be interpreted as a burning mountain of fire being thrown into the sea. In Nagasaki, Japan, the bomb killed 80,000 of 250,000, again one-third. The cry for world security became overwhelming. The United Nations, a place where nations can resolve disputes diplomatically to prevent World War III was formed.
- Third Trumpet-(Revelation 8:10-11) Cherynobyl in 1986
The third angel sounds his trumpet and “…And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.” This was the worst nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl in the Ukraine. Did you know that Chernobyl is the Russian word for Wormwood?
- Fourth Trumpet-(Revelation 8:12-13) Global Dimming
With the sound of the fourth trumpet,
“a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day was without light and the night as well.”
Experts are not in clear agreement about this fourth trumpet. Some believe that it refers to the effect of Global Dimming, the amount of the sunlight which actually reaches the Earth has been less each year since we started recording it in the 1950’s. For some areas of the world, there is already at least 1/3 less sunlight reaching the earth.
At least one expert believes the Fourth Trumpet was connected to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and how “time has seemed to fly by and progress has been faster since then”. Others believe this will refer to the effects of a nuclear war fallout which will eclipse the sky, essentially creating a period of nuclear winter.
- Fifth Trumpet
Iraq War with Saddam Hussein. H.W. Bush led troops against Hussein in 1991. Seeing Western troops camped on sacred soil so enraged Osama Bin Laden that he began plotting revenge in the form of the 911 terrorist attack. The George W. Bush administration invaded Iraq in 2003 and hung Hussein and banished his officials. There are those who believe that removing Hussein from power actually resulted in ISIS because his displaced government officials and military personnel were left with no way to support themselves and a heart for revenge.
If the majority of these experts are correct, then we are currently awaiting the opening of the Sixth Seal and the start of the Sixth Trumpet War.
The Sixth Trumpet War or World War 3 (Revelation 9:13-21)
Although experts can agree that the Sixth Trumpet War is the same prophecy as the Euphrates River War which most Americans and Western Europeans refer to as World War 3, they are not sure which conflict will be the one to actually kick off this war.
Biblical prophecy foretells that the Sixth Trumpet War will:
- Start in Euphrates River region (middle east turkey, through Syria, Iran, Iraq and into the Persian Gulf) and will spread to the entire world.
- Kill 1/3 of the world population, over 2 billion people.
- Involve an army of two hundred million soldiers.
So knowing all of this, we have to turn our attention to what is happening throughout the middle east in the conflict between Israel and Islamic State right now.
The current conflict with ISIS is NOT another civil war. Their ultimate goal of ISIS is global domination and implementation of Sharia law. They aren’t just trying to protect one territory. It is for this reason that some who study Biblical prophecy believe that ISIS militants may be central to igniting World War 3.
ISIS surfaced in Spring of 2014 and captured control of 70% of Syria and 40% of Iraq which gave this terrorist group control of more territory than all of Great Britain. ISIS then claimed all Muslims should lend allegiance to the new Calif.
The oil in this region made this terrorist organization one of the wealthiest. The new Islamic State is now made up of many of those banned government officials and military personnel that were displaced when Hussein was killed. Terrorist attacks in Paris, San Bernardino, and Brussels, have been claimed by the Islamic State.
Rather than the entire Sixth Trumpet War occurring in the middle east, some believe that the war will spread to the entire world through the ISIS power bases already established in over 35 countries including:
- United States
Pretty scary to think about, huh?
Other Related Prophecies
Middle East Peace Agreement (was scheduled for May 30th but is now said to happen this summer 2016)
In Daniel 9:27 (NIV) you will find a passage which states “He [the Antichrist] will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven’.” Experts believe that “covenant” means peace agreement, although it could be an agreement about anything even oil, religion, or water rights. They also believe the covenant will be confirmed by the Antichrist between Israel and many surrounding nations.
The belief is that this Middle East Peace agreement will be the beginning of the seven-year period of world peace that is prophesied in the Bible just prior to the Battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming.
There is much debate about exactly who the Antichrist will be or even if the Antichrist is a literal person. Some experts say that anything that is “against Christ” is the antichrist and therefore he is already in the world. Others fully believe that the Antichrist will be a man who will originate from the European Union. Others believe he will come out of Israel.
Regardless it is said that the Antichrist will be given his power by people who have been deceived. In fact, he will bring about a seven-year period of peace. We will not know that he is the antichrist until after he has been given his power. He will then require everyone to worship him, bow to him, and to deny Jesus Christ. Those who conform will be required to take his mark. Those who do not take his mark will be prevented from buying food, supplies, and services.
The Mark of the Beast (Revelation 13:16-18 KJV)
Most Christians and even non-Christians have at one time or another heard reference to the Mark of the Beast as part of the end time prophecy in the Bible. “The Beast” in the Bible is often thought to be the “Antichrist” who will deceive the world and bring about peace for a period of seven years.
It is said that the Mark of the Beast will be either a unique identification number of some kind which people will be forced to take and which will then become part of a global system where only those with the Mark of the Beast can buy and sell food and all other services.
“And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
Other experts believe that the Mark of the Beast will not be a physical mark but rather a spiritual mark, a decision that is demonstrated through thought and action. Preppers who have knowledge of the Bible know that refusal to accept the Mark of the Beast will mean potential starvation since they cannot buy food. Christians are not to take the Mark of the Beast for any reason.
Many Christians are preparing for a time when they will need to feed their families and survive without buying any food or other products. You may think that this kind of system is too over the top to be a reality in our world today. But let me remind you that during the Holocaust, those in the concentration camps were tattooed, typically on their arm, with a unique ID number. That ID number was then used for food rationing, identification of corpses, and a number of other things. That occurred only 70 years ago.
If you look at the current events around the world, you will also see that we have continually been moving toward a cashless society. Few Americans carry cash as their primary method of payment, many of them use credit/debit cards or most recently, PayPal and other digital transactions.
- Sweden may soon be cashless
- Israel Leaders are pushing for cashless society
- UN World Food Program pushing smart cards and digital payment
- Nigeria biometric technology
Like so many others, I recently received a new debit card with a small chip embedded in it. We know that microchips are even being implanted in pets to make them easier to find. There is talk of putting them into prisoners and pedophiles so they can be tracked via GPS at all times. Is it really so hard to believe that this type of technology could be exploited to create banking chips that are implanted into the hand?
Symbolism in the Bible
The Bible uses symbols to prophecy about Nations. So the four beasts are four kingdoms or nations. A lion with eagle’s wings, a bear, a leopard, and a ten-horned beast. When you know of this symbolism and you begin to pay attention to historical and political events happening in the world, you can see how things actually do align.
- Great Britain is the Lion
- The United States is the Eagle’s Wings
- The Bear is Russia
- The Leopard is Germany
- The ten-horned beast is believed to be formed out of the European Union.
What I found in my research was more than a little overwhelming. And although there’s some confusion and debate over the timing of the events foretold in the Bible for the End Times, all the experts agree that it really is only a matter of time. Do your own research, listen to what the experts have to say, read the Bible yourself if you haven’t yet. Are you ready? Can you survive the chaos and protect your family during the turmoil that is predicted? Share your thoughts and comments below.