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Signs of Jesus' Return

Events Christians Need to Watch For Prior to the Prewrath Rapture

September 2023 on


Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.

Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®

Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


This article is based upon the premise of a Rapture of Christians as set forth in the Prewrath Rapture Position and as explained in detail elsewhere on this website. A short overview of the Prewrath Position will be given below.


Why should we watch for the Second Coming?  Because Jesus says so!

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Matthew 24:42)


Jesus says to keep watch, which implies that there is something to watch for, not just to wait for. We will not know the day or hour (Matthew 24:36), but we will know the season (Matthew 24:32). The author of Hebrews admonishes his readers to not give up meeting together, and then he adds: “and all the more as you SEE the DAY approaching" (Hebrews 10:25).” Some of the specific events that indicate that the Day is approaching are pointed out below.


Understanding the Book of Revelation

It might be helpful in understanding the Book of Revelation to recognize that chapters 8-19 contain several different visions for John (Revelation 1:9) to see. These different visions overlap each other, and can therefore appear to be put together randomly. If studied carefully, a consecutive trail of events can be followed through this portion of Revelation.




Daniel’s 7-Year Time Period

“He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will sit up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”  Daniel 9:27


The angel Gabriel describes a period of seventy ‘sevens’ to Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27). Daniel was told that this period of time would be completed prior to the bringing of ‘everlasting righteousness’ to Israel. Each ‘seven’ is understood to be a 7-year period of time. The first sixty-nine ‘sevens’ were fulfilled when Jesus died (Daniel 9:26). This same verse goes on to tell Daniel that the destruction of Jerusalem will come at the hands of, “the people of the ruler who will come.” This is speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. by the Romans. The ruler yet to come will be Antichrist and he will be from the heritage of the Roman Empire. Daniel 9:27 is then speaking of Antichrist. The seventieth ‘seven’ is the period of time described in Daniel 9:27 and is to be the final seven years leading up to the restoration of the Kingdom of Israel by the Messiah who is Jesus (Daniel 9:24). This final 7-year period is necessary before the Kingdom of Israel can be restored will begin when a specific 7-year peace treaty or ‘covenant’ is established (Daniel 9:27). Please note that the events of this 7-year period are focused on the current Nation of Israel.


The Seven Seals

A Heavenly Scroll is sealed with seven seals (Revelation 5:1-5, Revelation 6:1-17, Revelation 8:1-6). As explained elsewhere on this website; it is most likely that all seven seals are all on the outside of the Scroll in such a way as to require the removal of all seven before the Scroll can be opened and read. The use of seven seals would indicate the great significance of this document. The opening of the seals will not cause events to happen; but it will rather allow the reader to observe events that are taking place as the seals are broken. We are never told in the Bible what the Scroll does contain. A brief search of the Internet will show that there no lack of opinions as to what the Scroll says; but we do know that Jesus alone can open the Seals and allow the Scroll to be read (Revelation 5:5). As Jesus opens the seals, we see the following:

  • First Seal – The Revelation of Antichrist, midpoint of the seven years (Revelation 6:1-2)

  • Second Seal – Antichrist instigating wars (Revelation 6:3-4)

  • Third Seal – wars causing scarcity of food (Revelation 6:5-6)

  • Forth Seal – death throughout the world due to war, famine, and persecution (Revelation 6:7-8)

  • Fifth Seal – the persecution and death of Christians (Revelation 6:9-11)

  • Sixth Seal – the Second Coming of Jesus (Revelation 6:12-17, Revelation 7:9-17)

  • Seventh Seal – the beginning of the Wrath of God. (Revelation 8:1-6)


The Tribulation

As you read through the opening of the first five seals (Revelation 6:1-11), the events shown are the Tribulation and are caused by Satan and Antichrist. Just as God allowed Satan to test Job (Job 2:6-7), God will allow Satan to test the people of this earth. This testing will be especially burdensome on Jews and Christians (Revelation 12:13-17). Just as with Job, God will allow this testing, but Satan will be the one responsible for the results.


The entire 7-year period in Daniel 9:27 is often spoken of as the ‘Tribulation’ by many Christians. This verse is the only mention in the Bible of this specific 7-year period. Read the verse above and note that the period of oppression does not begin until the middle of the seven years. The ‘Tribulation’ occurs only during the final three and a half years. Daniel says this (Daniel 9:27), Paul says this (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4), and Jesus says this (Matthew 24:15-21). We are even told that Antichrist will, “exercise its authority for forty-two months,” (Revelation 13:5). This is only three and a half years. The Bible speaks of events that happen during the Tribulation. The Tribulation events for which the Bible gives time periods all have a duration of three and a half years. There is no Biblical justification for assuming a 7-year Tribulation. The Tribulation will continue until the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:19-21).


The Prewrath Rapture

The opening of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12-17) sets the stage for the Wrath of God, and the Wrath of God is carried out in Revelation chapters 8-16. The Prewrath Rapture position says that the Rapture of Christians will take place during the Tribulation and immediately prior to the Wrath of God. For a more complete explanation of the Prewrath position, please read the article on this website entitled The Prewrath Rapture Explained. At the opening of the Sixth Seal, the population of the earth will see Jesus return (Revelation 6:12-17, Matthew 24:30). The Rapture will occur at this time (Matthew 24:31, Matthew 24:40-41). Christians will not be able to calculate the Day or Hour of this event, but if we are attentive to what the Bible says, we will know the season (Matthew 24:32-34).


The Wrath of God

The Prewrath Rapture position differentiates between the ‘Tribulation’ and the ‘Wrath of God’. To put it very simply, the Tribulation begins at the midpoint of Daniel’s 7-year period and is instigated by Satan and is carried out through the actions of the man we refer to as Antichrist. The Wrath of God begins at some unspecified time after the Tribulation is underway. In the Bible we see the Wrath of God beginning immediately after the Rapture when Jesus opens the Seventh Seal on the Heavenly Scroll (Revelation 8:6) and continuing through the Trumpet judgements (Revelation 8:7-11:19), and through the Bowl judgements (Revelation 15:1 – 16:21). The Wrath of God will be completed at the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:19-21)


This diagram is a not-to-scale simplified view of the time periods in this section

The Dragon – Satan

The Dragon shown in Revelation Chapter12 has seven heads and ten horns. This ‘Dragon’ is none other than our old enemy Satan. Revelation 12:1-9 gives a brief symbolic picture of the war waged by Satan against the Nation of Israel and also recognizes the birth of the Messiah (Jesus) (Revelation 12:5). This passage then moves to the time of the midpoint of the 7-year period (Revelation 12:6). This passage is highly symbolic and again shows that the Nation of Israel is the focal point of the events happening on earth at the indicated time.


The Beast out of the Sea – The Antichrist

The Beast coming out of the sea (Revelation 13:1-4) has seven heads and ten horns similar to Satan, but he is a human world leader and is the one often referred to as Antichrist. (The Beast is not called Antichrist in the Book of Revelation, but the term Antichrist is widely understood, describes the Beast well, and removes the possibility of confusion with the Beast out of the Earth.) This man may at first appear to be a benevolent leader, but will turn out to be a Beast indeed; he will be indwelt by a powerful demonic spirit who is a close ally of Satan. “. . . Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15)


The Beast out of the Earth – The False Prophet

A second Beast is also introduced in Revelation 13:11. This is the Beast out of the Earth. It is possible that the word “earth” should be translated as ‘land’ or even ‘country’ and may refer to the Land of Israel. Whether that is correct or not, this second Beast seems to have a connection to Israel and has a degree of control over Israel. This Beast is also referred to as the ‘False Prophet’ later in the book of Revelation (e.g. Revelation 16:13), and it is he who sets up the idol (the abomination that causes desolation) at the Temple site (Revelation 13:14-15, Matthew 24:15). He is probably called a prophet because of his ministering on behalf of the Antichrist. Like Antichrist, this Beast will also be indwelt by a powerful demonic spirit. (Reference to the demonic spirits is found in Revelation 16:13-14.)


What to Watch For


1. Focus on Israel

Since Daniel’s 7-year period is often spoken of in conjunction with the Rapture, it is very important to remember that this period is speaking directly about the Jewish homeland, about Jerusalem and Israel (Daniel 9:24). Events regarding the coming Tribulation will have their origin in Israel and will eventually expand to include the entire world. Daniel 9:27 strongly suggests that the Temple and Western Wall location in Jerusalem will be the focal point of events. Watch for new regulations, treaties, or other events that will affect this immediate area.


2. Watch for the rise of a world leader (Antichrist)

Be watching for the rise of a world leader who fits the description of the Beast out of the sea (Antichrist).


Antichrist is closely related to the Roman Empire (Revelation 17:9). Although this empire no longer exists, a large number of countries in today’s world owe their heritage to the Roman Empire. These include countries of the Middle East, much of Europe, northern Africa, England, France, Spain and the countries descended from these countries. Antichrist will probably come from one of these areas.


Revelation 13:3 and Revelation 13:12 refer to the Beast out of the Sea (Antichrist). This Beast has seven heads about which Revelation 17:10 tells us, “They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for just a little while”. This passage was written at the time of the Roman Empire. It is likely that this reference to “kings” actually refers to kingdoms or empires. The five that have fallen may be Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Media-Persia, and Greece. Israel was subservient to all of these countries at a time when the Israelites were at home in their land. If the sixth head is Rome, then the seventh will be the empire of the Antichrist.


The Beast out of the Sea “seemed to have a fatal wound, but the wound had been healed.”  The head with the wound has to be the seventh head—that of the Antichrist (Revelation 13:12). The wound is said to have been caused by a sword (Revelation 13:14). The fatal wound may be a literal severe physical wound; or it may be a symbolic debilitating wound such as a forcible imprisonment or a time of exile or some other factor inflicted by the enemies of Antichrist making it unlikely that he would come to power. However, the Beast will overcome this wound with the help of demonic power. This man will have sufficient power to create havoc over this earth. We are told that there is also an eighth king who belongs to the first seven. This eighth king, “Once was, now is not, and yet will come” (Revelation 17:8-11). It may be that this eighth king is the demon who indwelt rulers in the past and now indwells the Beast. If this interpretation is correct, then the Beast out of the sea (Antichrist) is actually the combination of the human ruler and this demon.


3. Watch for a peace treaty involving Israel

The ruler (Antichrist) will have sufficient standing to engineer a peace treaty involving Israel.  This treaty will be a 7-year treaty that will supposedly ensure peace between Israel and one or more other nations or entities that have been hostile toward Israel, “He will confirm a covenant with many for one seven” (Daniel 9:27a). Antichrist’s own nation may or may not be a direct party to this treaty. We are not told the specifics of this treaty, and even those Christians watching for this treaty may not be certain that this is the ‘covenant’ spoken of to Daniel. We are told no more about happenings during the first half of Daniel’s 7-years.


4. Watch for events happening at the middle of the 7-years

The events listed below will begin at the midpoint of Daniel’s 7-year period and most will last until the end of the seven years. This three-and-a-half-year time period is stated in different ways in different places throughout the Bible. Since the 7-year period concerns the Nation of Israel, times are given as they were understood in Daniel’s time.

  • A month was 30 days

  • A year was 12 months which then would be 360 days

  • 42 months would be three and a half years or 1260 days

  • The phrase “time, times, and half a time is also understood to be three and a half years


Satan will be confined to the planet earth and many Jews will flee from Israel

Perhaps the most important event that will happen at or near the midpoint of Daniel’s 7-year period will be the confinement of Satan to earth. We will not see and will not be aware of this event as it happens because it will involve spiritual warfare between Satan and the Archangel Michael. We are told that Michael and his angels will hurl Satan to earth (Revelation 12:7-9). This appears to be in the same context as the Jews fleeing Israel (Revelation 12:6, Revelation 12:13-16). It seems very probable that immediately after Michael hurls Satan to earth, that Michael then, being the protecting angel of the Jews (Daniel 12:1), turns to protect the Jews that fled. We see throughout this event that Michael is stronger than Satan and is capable of protecting the Jews. The flight and protection of the Jews is one of the three-and-a-half year events (1260 days) (Revelation 12:6).


5. The Revelation of Antichrist

Antichrist will reign for forty-two months (Revelation 13:5). He will be in power before this, but will not be acting with the power that he will display after he is revealed. People familiar with the Bible will recognize the following events as references to the revelation of Antichrist. This will happen at the opening of the first Seal mentioned above.

  • ‘The abomination that causes desolation’ will be established. (Matthew 24:15)

  • “The man of lawlessness is revealed” (2 Thessalonians 2:3)


Antichrist will put an end to sacrifice and offerings

Antichrist will put an end to sacrifice and offerings at the Western Wall of the Temple site in Jerusalem (Daniel 9:27) at the midpoint of the seven years (Daniel 9:27). Since there are currently no animal sacrifices or offerings at the Temple site, the sacrifices mentioned are symbolic in the sense of Romans 12:1 (“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship”). This concept would apply to both Jewish and Christian religious observances at the Western Wall and these observances will be considered as symbolic sacrifices (e.g. Psalm 51:17).


Antichrist will be a world leader, but he will not be The Leader of the World

By attacking Israel and other countries, Antichrist will be shown to be an enemy of many. He will be strongly opposed in some areas of the world. We are told that reports from some countries will ’alarm him’ (Daniel 11:42-44). These countries must be powerful to dare oppose Antichrist.


Many Jews in Jerusalem and throughout Israel will flee

These Jews will flee and will be protected from the hand of Antichrist for 1260 days (Revelation 12:6). It is likely that the protection of these Jews will be put in the hands of the Archangel Michael, the protector of the Jews (Daniel 12:1). If this is what happens, then Jerusalem will be left without its protector as Michael will no longer be present to protect them.


Jews remaining in the land will not be allowed to rule themselves

Jews who did not flee will be under the power of Antichrist for three and a half years (Daniel 7:25b, Daniel 12:7b). These Jews will be under intense pressure to worship Antichrist and to take his Mark.


The Gentile invaders will govern Jerusalem and Israel for 42 months

The Gentile army will occupy Jerusalem until the end of the 7 year period (Revelation 11:2b). Israel may be seen to have a government, but it will be a puppet government. The False Prophet may be involved in the ruling of Jerusalem.


Two witnesses (Jewish prophets) will irritate and harass the Gentiles for 1260 Days

These two prophets will be protected by God and will be allowed to prophesy throughout the last half of the 7-year period (Revelation 11:3). They will probably spend most or all of their time in Israel. These prophets will finally be killed in Jerusalem at the end of the period, but then will be miraculously resurrected to the dismay and horror of Antichrist and his followers (Revelation 11:7-12). Christians may know of these two prophets prior to the Rapture, but will have been raptured prior to the end described in Revelation chapter 11.


Antichrist will speak blasphemies

“The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies’ and to exercise its authority for forty-two months.” (Revelation 13:5,). Also see Daniel 11:36. It is likely that up until the middle of the 7 years that Antichrist will not anger Jews or Christians by blaspheming God.


Antichrist will begin to persecute Christians

When Satan is flung to earth and finds himself confined to earth and finds that he is unable to reach the Jews that have fled Israel, he will be furious and he will push Antichrist to begin attacking Christians. “Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.” (Revelation 12:17). It is not inconceivable that Antichrist will have been supported by some Christians ignorant of Scriptural warnings. Any such Christians will be in the horrible position of denouncing the Antichrist that they previously supported, possibly at the cost of their lives. False Christians, those whose names are not written in the Book of Life, will continue to follow Antichrist.


6. Mark of the Beast

This item is not given a time period. It will begin sometime after Jerusalem is in the hands of the Gentiles and will probably continue until the defeat of Antichrist. The False Prophet (the Beast out of the earth), will act on behalf of Antichrist and, “It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads” (Revelation 13:16). We see this second Beast acting in Israel at the Temple site. Remember that this Tribulation started in Israel (Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15). It seems likely that this Mark will first be required of those Jews remaining in Israel after many have fled. It also likely that the concept of the Mark will be spread to the countries friendly to or controlled by Antichrist. The Mark will be visible so that the bearer can be easily identified. An electronic component such as a microchip will undoubtedly also be part of the Mark. People will not be marked without their consent; and an oath of allegiance will probably be required. Avoid getting this Mark even to the point of death.


Ezekiel Chapters 38 and 39 are Speaking of Antichrist

Some of the events below have already been covered, but Ezekiel gives us a unique vision of these events.

The events described in Ezekiel Chapters 38 and 39 are speaking of the endtimes. Nothing described in these chapters has occurred in the past; and the context of the complete passage extends it to the Messianic Kingdom (Ezekiel 39:25-29) which does not occur until after the defeat of Antichrist (Revelation 20:1-3). Ezekiel speaks of a leader named Gog, chief prince of Meshek and Tubal (Ezekiel 38:1-2). Gog is from the land of Magog. None of the names and places associated with Gog can be specifically located in our day. These names can be found in genealogies earlier in the Bible, but their histories cannot be positively traced to the present day. Given the parallels between the events occurring in Ezekiel chapter 38 and 39 and events related in Daniel and in Revelation, we can definitely say that Gog is another name for Antichrist, the Beast out of the sea.


Gog will come from the far north (Ezekiel 39:2) and will attack a peaceful Israel that “has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had long been desolate” (Ezekiel 38:8). This is a description of modern Israel after World War II and an Israel that will by then have been made more secure with the peace treaty engineered by Antichrist (Daniel 9:27). Gog comes with an army of many nations (Ezekiel 38:10-16). This same invasion can be seen in Daniel 11:41 and Revelation 13:7. Ezekiel then continues to describe another battle in which God Himself will lead in the destruction of Gog (Ezekiel 38:17 – 39:8). This battle is the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:11-19).


What is not shown in Ezekiel chapter 38 is the three and a half years of Gentile domination and occupation of Israel that will occur between verses 16 and 17; this intervening time period is found by comparing Scripture with Scripture. As explained earlier, the Rapture will occur at some unknown point during this last three and a half years. Christians will have been on earth during the first battle (Ezekiel 38:15-16a), but will have been raptured before the Battle of Armageddon (Ezekiel 38:18 – 39:6).


The above events are those that will be open to observation and understanding by knowledgeable Christians before the Rapture.


The Tribulation will be cut short for Christians by the Rapture

The time of Satan’s Tribulation against the Jews and of Gentiles who will refuse to accept the Mark of the Beast will last until the end of the 7-years (Revelation 13:5), but the Tribulation against True Christians will be cut short (Matthew 24:22) by the Rapture. This is the way that God will protect His people against His Wrath. “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9)


Deducing the time of the Rapture in relation to the Wrath of God

The Rapture occurs immediately after the Coming of Jesus (Matthew 24:30-31). When we look at the opening of the seals on the Heavenly Scroll in Revelation Chapter 6, it is clear that Jesus appears suddenly at the opening of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:15-17). The signs that accompany Jesus are not the Wrath; but they do signal the Wrath is at hand. The Wrath of God begins with the Trumpet judgements that begin about 30 minutes after the opening of the Seventh Seal (Revelation 8:1-2). Note that there is no mention or action in the opening of the seals concerning the Wrath of God until the Sixth Seal is opened. Up until the opening of the Sixth Seal everything mentioned results from the Tribulation instigated by Satan and Antichrist.


The intervening Revelation chapter 7 between the Rapture and the Wrath shows the sealing of the 144,000 Jews to protect them against both Satan’s Tribulation and God’s Wrath (Revelation 7:1-8). Revelation Chapter 7 also gives a view of the just-raptured Christians in Heaven (Revelation 7:9-17). The Wrath of God follows immediately (Revelation 8:2 – 14:20).


Promise to the Church in Philadelphia

Keep in mind the often quoted promise to the Church in Philadelphia, “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.” (Revelation 3:10). This promise is often quoted by Christians who believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture position as proof that the Church is removed before the Tribulation. The Tribulation will only involve the portion of the world ruled by Antichrist. The Wrath of God, not the Tribulation is the hour of Trial that will come upon the whole world. The Church will indeed be raptured before God’s Wrath is unleashed on the earth.


The War Against God and His People Will Continue After the Rapture


The 144,000 Jews After the Rapture

The 144,000 will not have been raptured because they had not yet acknowledged Jesus as Messiah or as Savior. After the Coming of Jesus and the Rapture of the Christians, it will be immediately evident to the 144,000 that Jesus is the Messiah and the Savior, and the 144,000 will be the firstfruits of the Millennial Kingdom (Revelation 14:4) and will occupy Israel at the end of the 7-year period (Revelation 14:1-5).


The World will Unite Behind Antichrist

Countries that were at war with one another will unite behind Antichrist (Revelation 13:7b-8a) after the Rapture in an effort to find a way to avoid the consequences of opposing God and will continue to persecute the Jews who did not escape and to rage against anyone who will not support their effort. Undoubtedly Satan will find ways to convince the people of the earth that God is vulnerable and can be defeated (e.g. Jesus is really an alien from space and has kidnapped millions of people). Both the Tribulation and the Wrath of God will continue until the Battle of Armageddon.


Salvation After the Rapture

Many of those who can continue to resist the efforts of Antichrist, both Jews and Gentiles, will be saved during the time of Wrath. Those who acknowledge Jesus as Savior will do so at great risk, and many will die because of their faith (Revelation 14:13). The Battle of Armageddon will be waged by Satan and Antichrist as an attempt to regain the land of Israel; but, instead, Antichrist will lose the battle, lose his army, and lose his life (Revelation 19:11-21). Satan will be locked away for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3).


Separation of the Sheep and the Goats

Jesus will divide the remainder of the earth’s population into those who will enter the millennial period and those who will not – the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46). The Mark of the Beast is a disqualifying factor for entering the Kingdom of Jesus (Revelation 20:4). The Jews who remain will go to the Nation of Israel (e.g. Isaiah 2:1-5, Isaiah 11:1-16, Isaiah 66:19-20, Zechariah 14:6-11). The Gentiles who remain will live throughout the earth (e.g. Isaiah 19:19-25, Zechariah 14:16). Many promises to the Jews concerning this Messianic period can be found throughout the Book of Isaiah, the Book of Psalms, and in other prophecies found in the Old Testament.


The Time Periods of Daniel Chapter 12

In Daniel chapter 12 we have a somewhat cryptic passage with two new time periods given. “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1335 days” (Daniel 12:11-12). These are 30 days and 75 days after the end of Daniel’s 7-year period and after the establishment of the new Kingdom of Israel. It is possible that the first 30 days is the time required by Antichrist to gather his army to attack Israel at the Battle of Armageddon, the time to the end of both the Tribulation and the Wrath of God. It also may be that those who survive until 75 days after the 7-year period will be the persons that will be allowed to populate the revamped World under the leadership of Jesus.

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