Mike Bickle Answers the 100 Most Frequently Asked Questions About the End Times—Part 3

(Max Pixel)
This is part 3 of a multipart series. Click here to read part 1 and click here to read part 2.

51. What does it mean to believe in the post-tribulation rapture? Since "post" means "after," to believe in the post-tribulation rapture means you believe Christians will be raptured at the end of the Great Tribulation at the second coming of Jesus. The Bible explicitly teaches this. After describing the Great Tribulation in Matthew 24:15-26, Jesus states when believers will be raptured (Matt. 24:29-31). "Immediately after the tribulation of those days, 'the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.' Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other" (Matt. 24:29-31).

52. When does Jesus' Second Coming happen? Jesus returns at the seventh trumpet or the last trumpet (1 Cor. 15:52; Rev. 10:7, 1:15-19). The Second-Coming procession involves a three-stage process including many events occurring during a 30-day period (compare Rev. 11:2-3; 12:6, 14; 13:5; Dan. 7:25; 12:7 with Dan. 12:11). In His procession, Jesus first travels across the sky to rapture the saints, and He is seen by every eye (Rev. 1:7). He will march through the land of Edom (modern-day Jordan; Isa. 63:1-6) and then He will march into Jerusalem to be officially received by the leaders in the nation of Israel (Matt. 23:37-39) on to the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4).

53. How do we know that the second coming procession will take 30 days? The tribulation will be three and a half years, which is 1,260 days (Rev. 11:3, 12:6), or 42 months (Rev. 11:2, 13:5). Daniel 12:11 tells us, however, that though the tribulation lasts 1,260 days, the abomination of desolation is set up for 1,290 days. In other words, the tribulation of the saints lasts 30 days less than the time the Antichrist is on the earth. The question then is, "Why the extra 30 days?" According to 1 Corinthians 15:52, Jesus will come at the last trumpet, which is the seventh trumpet of Revelation 11:15. The seven bowls of wrath will follow while the believers are with Jesus during those extra 30 days.

54. Where will Jesus and the saints be during these 30 days? During the 30 days, several things will be happening with the believers, as seen in Matthew 24:31; 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and Revelation 11:15-18. The saints will be gathered together in the sky to receive their resurrected bodies, be evaluated and rewarded by Jesus, and then organized and mobilized for the battle of Jerusalem, which results in the hostile takeover of the governments of all the nations on earth. This is when Jesus marches up from Edom (Jordan; Isa. 63:1-6) to Israel, as the "greater Moses," releasing the bowl judgments on the Antichrist as the "end-time pharaoh." He marches into Jerusalem to liberate Israel and kill the Antichrist and his armies, thus ending the abomination of desolation (Rev. 19:11-21). The saints will be involved in this. These dramatic events will take 30 days from the rapture of the church to Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem to be received as the King of kings.

55. How do we know Jesus is not returning first to the Mount of Olives? Some people assume that Jesus will come to the Mount of Olives first upon His return. There is nothing in Zechariah 14:4 stating that Jesus will come to the Mount of Olives first; it just says that he does come there. When he does come there, He will split the mountain and provide an escape route for Jews trapped in Jerusalem by the armies surrounding them. Isaiah 19:1 tells us that the Lord rides on a swift cloud into Egypt first. Isaiah 63:1-6 tells us that Jesus will march through Bozrah en route to deliver the Jews at the Mount of Olives.

56. Will every eye see Jesus at the same time in the sky? Do we all see the sky split at the same time? No, every eye will not see Jesus at the same time when He descends from heaven at the Second Coming. In order for every eye to see him, Jesus would have to be a 500-foot man, and the earth would have to go completely flat. Jesus is returning as a real man traveling in real time and space.

57. Who is the woman in Revelation 12? She is the faithful remnant of Israel throughout history.

58. Will there be an actual war in the heavens (Rev. 12)? Yes, war will break out between Satan and Michael the archangel. The result is that Satan will be cast to the earth. The war will happen at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. Satan now operates in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12).

59. What is the mark of the beast? The false prophet causes all to receive a public mark on the right hand or forehead (Rev. 13:8, 14:9-12, 15:2, 16:2, 17:8, 19:20, 20:4). No one may buy or sell (basic necessities of life such as food, electricity and so on) except one who has the mark. Economic survival will be the issue. To refuse the mark is to be refused all benefits of the social institutions. The mark being on the right hand or forehead makes those who have refused to take it obvious to all. The mark will be required and will have severe penalties socially and economically. This will result in relational and economic conflict and pressure on a daily basis. However, to take this mark is to become demonized and reprobate, ending in eternal judgment (Rev. 14:9-11). The mark is a mark of loyalty and worship.

60. What if I took the mark of the beast to feed my family? Will God have mercy on me? No! Revelation 14:9-11 says clearly that those who receive the mark of the beast will suffer eternal damnation. Taking the mark is an act of satanic worship; Paul warns us in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 of a falling away that will occur in the end times.

61. Are the people represented by the "grapes" in Revelation 14:18-20 the same people who are killed by the bowls of wrath in Revelation 16? Yes.

62. How does Christ tread the winepress? This is an eschatological winepress (Isa. 63:1-4; Rev. 14:17-20, 19:13) in which Jesus gathers the evil leaders of the earth to Jerusalem to kill them. The "wine" that will flow from this winepress is their blood. The blood on His robe during this treading of the winepress denotes His intimate involvement in the judgment process. It also makes a public statement that He fully believes in the judgments He is releasing whereby so many people are killed.

63. How can a God who doesn't lie send "strong delusion" to unbelievers? God doesn't send the "delusion" upon innocent people, but on unbelievers who refuse to receive the love of the truth (Rom. 9:20-23, 2 Thess. 2:10, 1 Tim. 4:1-2).

64. Is it human blood that flows in Revelation 14:20? Yes. It is going to be a mixture of both human blood and animal blood in the context of a great rain storm (Ezek. 38:22), causing a river of blood to run nearly 200 miles (the distance from Megiddo in the north to Bozrah in the south). "The angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vintage of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. The winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses' bridles, for one hundred and eighty-six miles" (Rev. 14:19-20).

65. How do we see the mercy of God in the midst of such severe judgments? It is an expression of great mercy that Jesus will take action to drive evil and oppression off the planet. The principle of judgment is that God will use the least severe means to reach the greatest number at the deepest level of love without violating anyone's free will.

66. What is the harlot Babylon? It is an evil system that will function as the center of worldwide demonic religious and economic networks, preparing the earth to receive the Antichrist (Isa. 13-14; 21; Jer. 50-51; Rev. 17-18).

67. Where is Babylon the city going to be? It will likely be the rebuilt city of Babylon in the land of Shinar (modern-day Iraq, 50 miles south of Baghdad) along the Euphrates River (Zech. 5:11).

68. Why do the 10 kings hate the harlot in Rev. 17:15? The harlot establishes a unified, powerful, worldwide religion with great influence and wealth that will provoke the 10 kings to jealousy.

69. Will the temple be rebuilt in Jerusalem? The Bible describes two temples being rebuilt in Jerusalem. The first one will be functional some time before the Great Tribulation and is often referred to as the "tribulation temple." This temple will be desecrated by the Antichrist when he brings an end to all Jewish sacrifices, sets up the abomination of desolation and proclaims himself to be God (Matt. 24:15; Mark13:14, see Dan. 9:27; 2 Thess. 2:3-4). After Jesus returns, He will build another temple, described by Ezekiel (Ezek. 40-48), which will become the seat of His earthly government during the millennial kingdom (Zech. 6:12-13). This temple is sometimes called the "millennial temple."

70. What is the time of Jacob's trouble (Jer. 30:7)? This refers to the Great Tribulation immediately preceding Israel's national salvation. Both Daniel and Jesus refer to this time as the greatest time of trouble that Israel will ever know (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21-22).

71. The forty-two months is three and a half years, but how does 1,260 days equal three and a half years? The Jewish calendar is different from today's 365-day Gregorian calendar. There are 360 days in a Jewish year. We can compare the following passages to see the different terminology used to describe the Antichrist's oppression of the church and Israel for three and a half years. For example, the Antichrist will be given authority to continue against Israel and the Church for 42 months. (Rev. 13:5). The Gentiles under the Antichrist's leadership will oppress Jerusalem for 42 months (Rev. 11:2). The two witnesses prophesy in Jerusalem for 1,260 days (Rev. 11:3). The remnant of Israel will be hidden from the Antichrist in the wilderness for 1,260 days (Rev. 12:6), which is also described as time, times and half a time (Rev. 12:14). The Antichrist will be given authority to continue against the saints for time, times and half a time, or three and a half years (Dan. 7:25). Israel's strength will be completely shattered after three and a half years (time, times and half a time) (Dan. 12:7). The term "time" refers to one year, "times" refers to two years and "half a time" speaks of half of a year.

72. Are there cities of refuge in the end times? Cities of refuge in the Old Testament referred to towns in Israel where those who unintentionally killed someone could claim the right of asylum. This idea of a city of protection is used by some today yet with a different application. In Zephaniah 2:3, the prophet tells the people to "seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden on the day of the Lord's anger." Believers are not appointed to suffer God's wrath (1 Thess. 5:9-10). Believers partner with God in releasing His judgments. Goshen is an example of a geographic area that was protected from God's wrath during the plagues on Egypt in the days of Moses (Ex. 9:26, 10:23).

73. In Daniel 12:7 it says "as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all of these events will be completed," so are the "holy people" referenced here Jews or Christians and is the power referenced here spiritual or natural power? Daniel is told in Daniel 12:1 that there is a time of trouble coming unlike any other time in history and that in that time "your people" will be delivered. It is clear from the context that "your people" means Daniel's people, Israel. At the end of the great trouble, the "holy people," Israel, will have their power "completely shattered." The angel is talking about their natural power in the sense of their national power to build, establish and protect the nation. God's plan is to give Israel an exalted place in ruling the nations (Deut. 28). God will prepare Israel to handle this authority by training them in great meekness. They must be stripped of all pride before they are entrusted with this authority. Thus, the Lord will allow their power to be "completely shattered" that they might become completely dependent on God.

74. How is the salvation of Israel related to the fullness of the Gentiles? The Gentiles, operating in the fullness of power, will be God's means to provoke Israel to their salvation (Rom. 11:11). As the Gentiles operate in the fullness of the Spirit, Israel will become jealous of the anointing of grace and power in their lives.

75. When and how will all of Israel be saved? Jewish people will come to fullness and receive Jesus as their Messiah after the fullness of the Gentiles comes in (Rom. 11:25-26) at the end of the Great Tribulation.

Mike Bickle is the director of the International House of Prayer Missions Base of Kansas City, Missouri, and author of several books. For more information, visit mikebickle.org or ihopkc.org.

This article originally appeared on the International House of Prayer website.

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