If you are still here and have so far managed to survive to continue reading these letters, then you will know that in the loose chronology of coming events that I've been relating, where I left off was giving to you a very broad, generalized overview of events that are recorded in Revelation chapter 6 through the opening of the 5th "seal judgment" thus far.
As I've already told you, there will be emerging onto the global scene (perhaps remaining behind the scenes for a while) a man who will "confirm a covenant" between Israel and "many" others. Remember, I told you that this man will come onto the world scene using "peace" as his platform. As a result, he will be able to do that which hasn't been done as yet - that is to bring about a "peace" which will allow for the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple.
I've told you that this final 7 years will be divided into two halves of 3 1/2 years, and that the first half will:
(1) bring the rise of this global leader to power. This man will be THE Antichrist.
(2) thrust the tiny nation of Israel into the very center stage of end-time events.
(3) see the world, on a global scale, suffer catastrophic upheaval from the aftermath of the "great vanishing," which is the rapture of the Church.
(4) eventually bring about a global war that will cause widespread destruction, from which will ensue famine on a global scale, after which will follow:
(5) pandemic diseases and widespread death from an exponential increase in violence, rape, murder and animal attacks.
(6) see the arising from Jerusalem of two men who will be special emissaries sent directly by God (the Bible calls them God's "two witnesses"). They are also metaphorically called the two "olive trees" of God. These "two witnesses," as the Bible calls them, will bear powerful testimony to the Jews of the Most High God, and His Son, Jesus Christ, who is and always has been Israel's Messiah. These men will be given supernatural powers from God as well as protection for a period of time. Their ministry will last for exactly 3 1/2 years, or the first half of the 7-year Tribulation period. Their preaching and proclamation of Jesus Christ as Israel's true Messiah will bring MANY Jews to belief in Jesus Christ as their Savior and long-awaited Messiah.
The testimony and impact of these two supernaturally anointed men will have global repercussions. It will result in the reaching of and bringing to salvation millions upon millions of people from every kindred, nation, tribe and tongue. The 144,000 Jewish virgins, who will be saved and sealed, will be the "first fruits" of the two "witnesses," and from there the number of converts will multiply into all the world.
Remember too, I told you that, at the very midpoint of the last 7 years, God will allow the AC (Antichrist) to kill these two men; their dead bodies will lie unburied in the streets of Jerusalem, where the entire world of unbelievers will see and celebrate their deaths via satellite TV and social media. Then, 3 1/2 days later, God will resurrect these two men. He will, in full view of the entire world, "catch them away" back up into Heaven.
All of this takes place during the first half of the last seven years of human history under a fallen creation.
What I want to do now is to give a recap of those who will be the major players during these last 7 years. As you study the book of Revelation, and as you live through it (for as long as the Lord allows you to live), you will meet these men in the pages of Revelation. As time goes on, you will recognize them in the reality in which you now live. The impact they will have will be enormous. Some will become great servants of God working on behalf of the coming Kingdom of God. Others will be unholy and will bring chaos, death, destruction and the wrath of God down upon all of the "Earth dwellers," as the Bible calls those who continue to willfully reject God - those who willfully choose to follow and to worship these enemies of Almighty God.
So, who belongs to this end-times cast of characters? We meet the first group of them in Revelation chapter 7. In verse 4 you will be introduced to a group of men whose impact for God within these last 7 years will be incalculable. They are men and they are all Jews. These men come to salvation in Christ most probably as a result of the powerful witness of God's two emissaries. The distinguishing characteristics of this group are their number and their ethnicity. The Word of God is very precise, exact, and specific in identifying this group and their calling. Here is the listing of end-times groups and people of whom you need to be aware and prepared:
#1 - The Two Witnesses: possibly the Old Testament prophets of Moses and Elijah (although they are never named in Revelation, so we can only speculate on their identities). You will, however, easily recognize them by their singular appearances and supernatural abilities when they appear in Jerusalem, Israel after the rapture of the Church. (Read about these two extraordinary men in Revelation chapter 11).
#2 - The 144,000: These are all men - all Jews - all virgins, and there are 144,000 of them in number. God has (will have) sealed these men for His service, 12,000 from each of the 12 ancient tribes of Israel, as listed in Revelation 7. God will seal in their foreheads some type of mark that will identify each one of these 144,000 Jewish, male virgins as belonging to Him.
God will use this group of Jews to do that for which He had set the nation of Israel aside to do from the beginning. These men will finally fulfill the mission that Israel herself failed in doing. They will go out into the entire world as God's missionary emissaries. It is by their testimonies and preaching that the greatest evangelical effort of all times will result in the greatest number of converts to salvation in Jesus Christ that has ever been. Perhaps you yourself will be won to Christ as a direct or indirect result of the testimony of these 144,000 Jewish, end-days evangelists.
These men will be supernaturally protected by God from the horrors of the judgments that He will be bringing upon the earth, for they will be His missionaries who will proclaim the way of salvation to those left behind after the Church has been removed.
Be very careful how you treat these men. Jesus, in speaking about this 7-year time period (in Matthew 24-25), calls these men "MY brethren." To those who look after, harbor, give refuge and aid to these Jews, Jesus will liken your treatment of them as if you were doing the same to Him. In other words, Jesus identifies with these men; and whoever helps or mistreats them, it will be for them as if it were Jesus Himself in their place.
#3 - The Antichrist: You have already been introduced to the man who is the Antichrist. As you remember, I told you, according to the scriptures, that it will be he who "confirms a covenant" between Israel and "many" other countries. That "confirmation of a covenant" is what lets you know this man's true identity and purpose. I will tell you more about this man, Lord willing, in coming chronicles.
#4 - The False Prophet: There is yet one more person of whom you need to be made aware. This man is (will be) a renowned religious leader who will bring together, under his leadership, a merging of all the world's religions - an "ecumenical uniting of all "religions."
This man will be satanically inspired and controlled, but he, like the AC in the beginning, will give the appearance of being a humble "man of peace" as well. He will appear as a great uniter of "faiths." He will come across as having the meekness of a lamb, but will in truth have the heart and ruthlessness of a "dragon." He will be utterly consumed by and be a worshiper of Satan himself.
This "religious leader" will be allowed by God to be granted from Satan great power, along with abilities to perform dark, supernatural acts. This religious leader will align himself with the Antichrist; it will be he (this global, religious leader) who will put into place a global religion that will mesh with a global government, all controlled and enforced by a global, military power. The Bible calls this man the FALSE PROPHET. You can read about this imposter in Revelation chapter 13. Watch out for him.
He may appear to be humble, wise, and benign in the beginning; however, he is anything but benign. He is wicked and deceptive to the core, and his outreach and influence will be vast.
As I write this letter pre-rapture, I have my suspicion as to the identity of this man, but I cannot know for sure, and even though I feel fairly confident in what I think, I will not speculate. You will know for certain whom he will be. This is because, in the following letter, I will tell you more about these two evil men (the Antichrist and the False Prophet) who will both do something that will finally and fully identify them with absolute certainty. The acts that they will do will bring horrendous cataclysm upon mankind and direct judgment from Almighty God upon all who are left alive on Earth.
From this point forward, you will have moved into the 2nd half of this last 7 years. From this midpoint, you will now be entering the time period Jesus Himself called "great tribulation" - a time that is unprecedented in all of history - a time that will be unlike anything ever seen upon the earth in all of Earth's history, including the time of the global Flood of Noah's day.
So to recap, the prominent end-times cast of characters are these:
The RIGHTEOUS ONES
(1) God's Two Witnesses (possibly Moses and Elijah).
(2) The 144,000 young, Jewish, male virgins sealed by God as His worldwide missionaries.
(3) God's Holy Angels, including Michael the powerful Archangel, who fights for and stands in defense of God's people Israel.
The UNHOLY ONES
(1) Satan: the fallen cherubim identified in the Bible as "The Dragon," along with all of his demonic hordes and fallen angels.
(2) Gog: the "Chief Prince" (leader) of Magog, which is in fact modern-day Russia (Vladimir Putin almost certainly).
(3) The Antichrist
(4) The False Prophet
Hold on Tribulation Saints, for though the worst is yet to come on Earth, there is great hope and glory beyond your imagining for all of you who become believers in Christ and who remain "faithful unto death!"
Read on... (Part 6 to come).