Friday, November 12, 2010

Chronology of Apocalypse: Historical

One of my congregants thought an itemized chronology of the end times would be helpful. Maybe it would, so here it goes, starting with those things prophesied which have already occurred (not enough to make me a partial preterist, however).

30 CE - Jesus ascends to the throne room of God bearing the sacrifice of his own blood, and receives all authority and dominion from his heavenly Father.

30 CE - Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to endue his followers with power and turns them lose on their global mission to spread the Gospel to every nation. The rider on the white horse sets out to overcome.

70 CE - The Temple in Jerusalem in destroyed, signifying the end of the Mosaic Covenant and the transition to the Age of the Gentiles. From that time to the time (which has not yet occurred) the Temple is reestablished, God's redemptive work is focused on Gentiles, with a mere trickle of Jews coming to Christ.

95 CE - The last handpicked witness of Christ sets forth the last Apostolic testimony concerning Christ. His vision mirrored, although is much more extensive than, that of Daniel who was the last prophet who saw the glory of the Davidic Kingdom.

192 CE - The Emperor Commodus rises to the throne and destroys the reality of the Pax Romana. Never again will Roman realms be as peaceful or the empire as coherent as they were before his rule. Never again would the world know such a golden age. The second seal was broken.

313 CE - Constantine issues the Edict of Milan that made it legal to be a Christian in the Roman Empire. In 316 he intervenes in the Donatist controversy and calls the Council of Nicea in 325. A marriage of church and state began to be apparent, but no doubt was left in 380 by the enactments of the edicts of Theodosius. The Whore of Babylon had settled in Rome.

1315 CE - The Little Ice Age starts, bringing recurring cycles of famine and death to the temperate zones (particularly of Christendom) which were dependent on cereal grains. The third seal had been broken.

1347 CE - Someplace in the East, a disease became particularly pestilent and was carried by vermin across the civilized globe. Truly an epidemic of biblical proportions, within just a few years the Black Death had taken at least a quarter of the world's population. The fourth seal had been broken.

1535 CE - Although persecution and martyrdom was not unknown from the earliest days of the church (e.g. James, Stephen, Peter, Paul, the Roman persecutions under Decius and Diocletian), nor in the Middle Ages (e.g. the Waldenses, the Lollards, the Hussites), it was the scale of death of true believers initiated with the Huguenot Persecutions that warrants an emphasis on martyrdom. The influx of martyred souls into the presence of God in the 1500's signifies the fifth seal being broken.

1917 CE - Anticipating the British occupation of Palestine during WWI, the Balfour Declaration officially undoes almost 1800 years of Roman policy excluding the Jews from Palestine. It is the signal event that revealed the end of the end times was upon us.

1933 CE - Hitler rises to power, the seventh king in the Antichrist Scheme. In 1938 he stepped up his campaign against the Jews to wholesale physical violence, confiscation of property, imprisonment, and death. Ultimately, two-thirds of the Jews within his reach were killed.

1948 CE - The State of Israel declares its independence and a nation is born in a day.

1967 CE - Israel captures East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, and the Sinai in the Six Day War. Israel was well on the way to capturing Cairo and Damascus in the Yom Kippur War which followed in 1973. In both wars, against overwhelming odds, Israel all but miraculously defeated all her enemies. She has since signed formal peace treaties with Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994), but as yet has to sign a covenant with many which would give her unfettered access to the Temple Mount.

Yet To Come... the Rapture