End Times - Putting the Pieces in Place
Appendix B: Interlocking Puzzle Pieces
Matthew 24:15 (NKJV) "Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ ....
21 "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Several Bible passages concerning end-time events serve a similar function to that of interlocking pieces in a picture puzzle. These passages (the interlocking pieces) establish time relationships between other end-time events. As with a picture puzzle, these interlocking pieces assist in connecting the Bible end-time pieces together in their proper relationship. This appendix includes detailed information on each of several major end-time interlocking pieces.
Abomination of Desolation
Matthew 24:15, 21 (NKJV) "Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), ....
21 "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be."
This passage in Matthew says that the Abomination of Desolation signals the beginning of the Great Tribulation. Daniel explains that the Abomination of Desolation is established by the Beast (the Antichrist) when he puts an end to daily sacrifices and claims that he is God.
Daniel 11:31, 36 (NKJV) "And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.
36 "Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done."
Daniel 8:11-12 (NKJV) He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down. 12 Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.
Finally, the gathering of the people of God (i.e., the Rapture) will not occur until some time after the Abomination of Desolation as explained in the following passage.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 (NKJV) Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
This interlocking piece marks the beginning of the Great Tribulation and the reign of the Beast.
Signs in the Sun, Moon, and Stars
Certain signs in the sun, moon, and stars are described in several Bible passages describing the End Times. These celestial signs form a very important interlocking piece that establishes time relationships between several end-time events. The following information provides general information on the significance of these signs as an interlocking piece to the end-time puzzle.
Matthew 24:29-31 (NKJV) "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 "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. 31 "And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
This passages says that these celestial signs will occur immediately after the Great Tribulation but before Jesus returns for His people. The next passage shows that these signs occur as part of the opening of the sixth seal. This takes place just before the 144,000 are sealed in Heaven.
Revelation 6:12-17; 7:1-4 (NKJV) I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 "For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" 1 After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying, "Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads." 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:
This interlocking piece marks the end of the Great Tribulation and the Beast’s reign. It also occurs just before the 144,000 are sealed in preparation for the Wrath of God and before the people of God are gathered.
Great Multitude Before God’s Throne
A great multitude of people from all nations appear before the throne of God right after the 144,000 are sealed (see previous paragraphs).
Revelation 7:9, 13-15 (NKJV) After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, ....
13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?" 14 And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 "Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.
After the great multitude appears before the throne of God, the seventh seal is opened which starts the Wrath of God.
Revelation 8:1-6 (NKJV) When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. 3 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. 6 So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
Revelation 15:1-7 (NKJV) Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete. 2 And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. 3 They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! 4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested." 5 After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. 6 And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands. 7 Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever.
This interlocking piece marks the completion of the sealing of 144,000 of God’s people. It also marks the beginning of the Wrath of God.
Satan Bound for 1,000 Years
After the Wrath of God, Satan is bound for 1,000 years. Apparently this prevents his interference with the universal peace during the millennial reign of Christ. The Millennium begins with this binding of Satan.
Revelation 19:15-21; 20:1-3 (NKJV) Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, "Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18 "that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great." 19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh. 1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
This interlocking piece marks the end of the Wrath of God and the beginning of the Millennium.
Satan Loosed After 1,000 Years
At the end of the Millennium, Satan will be loosed for a short time from his 1,000 year bondage.
Revelation 20:7 (NKJV) Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison
Once released, Satan will deceive Gog, Magog, and others into attempting an attack against the people of God. There will not be much of a battle, and Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:7-9 (NKJV) Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.
This interlocking piece marks the end of the Millennium. It precedes the short-lived attack by Gog and Magog upon Jesus and His people in Jerusalem.
Satan Thrown Into the Lake of Fire
After Gog and Magog’s attack fails (Rev. 20:7-9), Satan is thrown into the lake of fire where he will be tormented eternally.
Revelation 20:10 (NKJV) The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
After that, the existing earth and heavens (the stars and universe) will disappear and a great white throne will appear.
Revelation 20:11 (NKJV) Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
This interlocking piece marks the end of Satan’s deceptions and the beginning of the White Throne Judgment.
The White Throne Judgment
After the earth and heavens disappear, the dead will be resurrected and judged by their works. These dead are all those who do not belong to God. (Those who belong to God were resurrected before the Millennium, Rev. 20:4-6.) After each one stands condemned because his works were not enough to save him (Rom. 3:20), the Book of Life will be opened. The Book of Life contains a record of those who accepted Jesus’ payment for their sins (Rom. 3:28; 4:5; 10:9-10,13). Those who have not accepted Jesus’ provisions will be thrown into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:11-15 (NKJV) Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
After the White Throne Judgment, a new heaven (universe) and earth will be created. There will be no sea in the new earth. This new earth will be the home of the New Jerusalem, Jesus, and all of those who belong to Him.
Revelation 21:1-3 (NKJV) Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
Revelation 21:9-10 (NKJV) Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife." 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
Revelation 21:22-27 (NKJV) But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Revelation 22:3-5 (NKJV) And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
This interlocking piece marks the end of the current creation (the present earth and universe) and the beginning of God’s new creation where He will live with His people.
Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. NKJV indicates quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. KJV indicates quotations taken from the King James Version of the Bible. Numbers associated with Greek (italic) or Hebrew (upright) words refer to the corresponding words in the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, by James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D.
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God bless you.
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