The Two Wars of the End
In the Book of Revelation, John has described the period of Christ's reign on earth as being encompassed by two wars and a period of relative peace separating them. We understand the period of peace as the millenium -- the era of Christian rule on earth, but the other two are different.
The first war is the time that preceded the coming of the millenium. It was the violence associated with the establishment of Christ's kingdom on earth -- encompassing all the years between the crucifixion of Jesus and the proclamation of Constantine (the Edict of Milan).
We know the first war best because of its association with lions tearing Christians apart in the colosseum and other amphitheaters of the Roman empire.
The second war is the time of the tribulation. It will end the millenium and come, Paul said, in the train of a Great Revolt. Far more Christians will perish in this second war than died in the first. It will be the most horrendous time that the earth has ever witnessed, or will ever witness again.
The malignant force driving this war will be Satan, newly released from his dungeon in the Abyss, who will raise up his beast, the Rebel described by Paul.
Prophecy tells us that during the dark days of all this violence, even the sluicegates of heaven will be opened as it crescendo's into a moment called armageddon. Immediately afterward, the Last Judgment will begin.
'The Clock of God', Chapter 2, 'Eden'
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