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Events listed on the above timeline:
- The Great Lisbon Earthquake
- The "Dark Day"
- The "Red Moon"
- The "Falling Stars"
- The "Close of Probation"
- The "Time of Trouble"
- Jesus' Second Coming
- The First Resurrection
- The Special Resurrection
- The "Bottomless Pit"
Signs and Events of the End Times
The purpose of this timeline is to encourage you to study your Bible even more and to understand just how close we are to the Second Coming of Jesus. Signs and events of His soon return are so numerous as to make putting them into a timeline impossible, so you will find only a few here.
The above timeline attempts to summarize these events in relation to the Second Coming. His return will be unexpected to a large number of people (1 Thessalonians 5:2), but he goes on to say, "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." (1 Thessalonians 5:4).
We know that we cannot know exactly when Jesus will return (Matthew 24:36), yet we should not be ignorant of the signs of His return. Jesus has told us what to watch for and He has told us to be ready. (see Matthew 24:1-51 & Matthew 25:1-46)
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of . . ." 2 Peter 3:3-5
There are other signs & events that are very important and should be shown here also, but space on this timeline was limited. (The Old Testament alone speaks of the Second Coming over 300 times.) See if you can find these other events as you continue to study this very important topic.
For further study, read:
- The Impending Conflict
- The Scriptures a Safeguard
- The Final Warning
- The Time of Trouble
- God's People Delivered
- Desolation of the Earth
King James Version (KJV)
"And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;"
"there was a great earthquake"
"The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, also known as the Great Lisbon Earthquake, occurred in the Kingdom of Portugal on Saturday, 1 November 1755, the holiday of All Saints' Day, at around 9:40 am. In combination with subsequent fires and a tsunami, the earthquake almost totally destroyed Lisbon and adjoining areas. Seismologists today estimate the Lisbon earthquake had a magnitude in the range 8.5–9.0 on the moment magnitude scale, with an epicenter in the Atlantic Ocean about 200 km (120 mi) west-southwest of Cape St. Vincent. Estimates place the death toll in Lisbon alone between 10,000 and 100,000 people, making it one of the deadliest earthquakes in history."
The Dark Day
"... and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, ..."
"New England's Dark Day refers to an event that occurred on May 19, 1780, when an unusual darkening of the day sky was observed over the New England states and parts of Canada. The primary cause of the event is believed to have been a combination of smoke from forest fires, a thick fog, and cloud cover. The darkness was so complete that candles were required from noon on. It did not disperse until the middle of the next night."
"At 9 am on May 19, 1780, the sky over New England was enveloped in darkness. An 1781 article in Harper’s Magazine stated that, “Birds went to roost, cocks crowed at mid-day as at midnight, and the animals were plainly terrified.” The unnatural gloom is believed to have been caused by smoke from forest fires, possibly coupled with heavy fog. But at the time, some feared the worst. “People [came] out wringing their hands and howling, the Day of Judgment is come,”
The fact that the sun was not seen but the moon was, indicates that this darkness was not caused only by forest fires, fog and clouds. It had to have been more than that, something that came in-between the sun and the moon even.
The Red Moon
"... and the moon became as blood ..."
"... when the night really came in, observers saw the moon colored red."
The Falling Stars
"... and the stars shall fall from heaven ..." Matthew 24:29
This was not your normal meteor shower as can be seen from the comments below.
Compare the 1870 event with an eye witness account of Nov. 17, 1966:
"The whole event was absolutely phenomenal! I witnessed two bodies [A meteoric fireball.] that morning in which, when they exploded, it was the equivalent of daylight for a brief instant. Incredible! The first exploded behind me. I followed the second one down and it exploded front and center to my eastward vantage point. It was so exciting at times that occasionally a bright star out of the corner of my eye caught my attention from time to time--an obvious false alarm.
"My totals for about one outstanding hour was 278 meteors! I retained that page with its scratches, from my spiral notebook (by the way, I wondered what would happen the next day--11/18--and counted 35 meteors in roughly the same time period). "
With the eye witness accounts of Nov. 13, 1833:
(From The Great Controversy, Pg. 333 & 334)
"In 1833, two years after Miller began to present in public the evidences of Christ's soon coming, the last of the signs appeared which were promised by the Savior as tokens of His second advent. Said Jesus: "The stars shall fall from heaven." Matthew 24:29. And John in the Revelation declared, as he beheld in vision the scenes that should herald the day of God: "The stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind." Revelation 6:13. This prophecy received a striking and impressive fulfillment in the great meteoric shower of November 13, 1833. That was the most extensive and wonderful display of falling stars which has ever been recorded; 'the whole firmament, over all the United States, being then, for hours, in fiery commotion! No celestial phenomenon has ever occurred in this country, since its first settlement, which was viewed with such intense admiration by one class in the community, or with so much dread and alarm by another.' 'Its sublimity and awful beauty still linger in many minds. . . . Never did rain fall much thicker than the meteors fell toward the earth; east, west, north, and south, it was the same. In a word, the whole heavens seemed in motion. . . . The display, as described in Professor Silliman's Journal, was seen all over North America. . . . From two o'clock until broad daylight, the sky being perfectly serene and cloudless, an incessant play of dazzlingly brilliant luminosities was kept up in the whole heavens.'--R. M. Devens, American Progress; or, The Great Events of the Greatest Century, ch. 28, pars. 1-5.
" 'No language, indeed, can come up to the splendor of that magnificent display; . . . no one who did not witness it can form an adequate conception of its glory. It seemed as if the whole starry heavens had congregated at one point near the zenith, and were simultaneously shooting forth, with the velocity of lightning, to every part of the horizon; and yet they were not exhausted--thousands swiftly followed in the tracks of thousands, as if created for the occasion.'--F. Reed, in the Christian Advocate and Journal, Dec. 13, 1833. 'A more correct picture of a fig tree casting its figs when blown by a mighty wind, it was not possible to behold.'--'The Old Countryman,' in Portland Evening Advertiser, Nov. 26, 1833.
"In the New York Journal of Commerce of November 14, 1833, appeared a long article regarding this wonderful phenomenon, containing this statement: 'No philosopher or scholar has told or recorded an event, I suppose, like that of yesterday morning. A prophet eighteen hundred years ago foretold it exactly, if we will be at the trouble of understanding stars falling to mean falling stars, . . . in the only sense in which it is possible to be literally true.' "
Close of "Probation"
"He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." (Revelation 22:11)
The "close of probation", as it is sometimes called, is the point in time when every person on Earth will have chosen for the last time, who they will trust. The time before this "close" is a "Probationary" time, but as its name implies it will not last forever.
As noted above, the Bible says that there will come a time when those who are "good" will remain "good" and those who are "bad" will remain "bad". It is also clear that the point in time when this happens is sometime before Jesus comes; note the first part of Revelation 22:12, "And, behold, I come quickly...".
God will place "the seal of the living God" on His people (Revelation 7:2, 3) and those who have not chosen to trust God will receive the seal of the Beast (also known as the Mark of the Beast as noted in Revelation 13:15-18).
The Time of Trouble
"At that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the book." Daniel 12:1 KJV
“At that time Michael, the archangel who stands guard over your nation, will arise. Then there will be a time of anguish greater than any since nations first came into existence. But at that time every one of your people whose name is written in the book will be rescued." Daniel 12:1 NLT
"The 'time of trouble, such as never was,' is soon to open upon us; and we shall need an experience which we do not now possess and which many are too indolent to obtain. It is often the case that trouble is greater in anticipation than in reality; but this is not true of the crisis before us. The most vivid presentation cannot reach the magnitude of the ordeal. In that time of trial, every soul must stand for himself before God. 'Though Noah, Daniel, and Job' were in the land, 'as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.' Ezekiel 14:20." - The Great Controversy
Jesus Second Coming (His Return)
"Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen." Revelation 1:7
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God..." 1 Thessalonians 4:16
It is apparent from verses like these that when Jesus returns and "every eye shall see him", it will not be a secret. Everyone will know. The Apostle Paul wanted us to know what happens at Jesus Second Coming. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 5:1-4, he gives us a list of things that will happen:
- The dead in Christ rise first
- The living righteous (those who have never died) will be "caught up" with those who have been resurrected
- All the righteous will be caught up to meet the Lord (Jesus) in the air
- "and so shall we ever be with the Lord", the righteous will go wherever Jesus goes
- When men say "Peace and safety" then "sudden destruction" will come.
- That day will come "as a thief in the night" to some, but "ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief".
There are over 300 places in the New Testament alone that speak of Jesus Return, but even the Old Testament speaks of Jesus Return. As an example, the Old Testament book of Jeremiah gives a description of what the Earth looks like after Jesus has come. Jeremiah 4:20, "Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, [and] my curtains in a moment." And just a little later in the same chapter:
4:23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, [it was] without form, and void; and the heavens, and they [had] no light.
4:24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.
4:25 I beheld, and, lo, [there was] no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.
4:26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place [was] a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, [and] by his fierce anger.
4:27 For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.
It can be seen from the above text that this refers, not to the time of Creation even though it talks about the earth being "without form and void", but to a time when "all the cities...are broken down" at the time of Jesus Return. The "whole land" will be dark and empty. It goes on to say that the earth is "desolate", in fact it is a "wilderness", and there is "no man" left, but God is not done yet and so will "not make a full end" of sin just yet.
Be sure to visit these other related timelines for these answers and more:
The First Resurrection
This event will take place at the return of Jesus, otherwise known as His "Second Coming". (Remember, His first coming was as a baby.)
1 Thessalonians 4:16 "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first".
When Jesus "shouts", all the "dead in Christ" will be resurrected to life. They will not be sick or hurting in any way when they come back to life but will be raised with a new body and at that time they will be given immortality (meaning that they will never die again). These people will still have the same holy thougths as before, and be recognizable to everyone who knew them before (1 Corinthians 13:12).
In the Bible, 1 Timothy 6:16 speaks of God as being the only One who "hath immortality". This means that those who have died previously, even Christians, died as all humans. All humans are mortals, we do not live forever unless Jesus gives us immortality. 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. " When does the Bible say that Jesus gives anyone "immortality"? At the "last trump", when the "dead shall be raised incorruptible" and "put on immortality".
Special Resurrection of a Few Wicked
Matthew 26:64 "Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven."
It appears from this verse, and others, that Jesus will raise some of those who were involved in His death and allow them to see Him coming in the "clouds of heaven" at his Second Coming.
The "Bottomless Pit"
"I beheld the earth, and, lo, [it was] without form, and void; and the heavens, and they [had] no light."
"And cast him [Satan] into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season."
For more study, read:
1,000 Years of Peace (an off-site link)