One of the first things that popped into my head was how difficult it was for me to keep track of all these new words and phrases I was learning for the first time.
Back then I didn't have Internet access like I do today and that gave me the idea that perhaps it would be helpful to others if I tried to catalog all the prophecy related words and phrases I could think of in one place to serve as sort of a Prophecy Glossary.
So, that being said, here's my attempt at doing just that while standing on the shoulders of others and their ministries. It's by no means a complete list, but should be a good primer for those seeking a solid foundation before we continue moving forward.
The study of prophecy as it pertains to the end times. For an entire article on just this one word and the importance it should play in our lives click here.
Birth pangs, in terms of Bible Prophecy, refers to certain convulsive geopolitical, geophysical, astrophysical and world-wide socio-economic events and issues scheduled to occur in the time leading up to Jesus Christ’s Second Advent (Second Coming). These are likened to the contractions experienced by a woman about to give birth, with those episodes increasing with frequency and intensity. Jesus’ foretelling of these birth pangs used the word “sorrows,” in His Olivet Discourse on end time things to come. It's fascinating to me that He described the end times in such a way that all races, cultures, nations would understand for the natural and physical process of giving birth is the same for everyone regardless of who they are or what time period they're from. In other words, He spoke in universal terms that everyone would clearly understand. More on this subject can be found here.
The rapture is an event that will take place sometime in the near future. Jesus will come in the air, catch up all Christians from the earth, and then return to Heaven with the Church. The teaching of the rapture is most clearly presented by Paul in the first books of Thessalonians and Corinthians. In these passages Paul informs his readers that living Christians at the time of the rapture will be reunited with those who have died in Christ before them. There is wide agreement among those who study Bible prophecy that several passages of Scripture teach a future resurrection of deceased church members, a sudden gathering of those who are still alive at that time, and a “catching away” of these people into heaven. This expected “catching away” is usually called the Rapture. Some call it the Rapture of the Church. While there is wide agreement that the Rapture will happen, there are different opinions about when it will happen in relation to the Tribulation Period. Most experts believe the Rapture will occur before the Tribulation Period. Their belief is called the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Theory. A small minority of experts believe the Rapture will occur at the middle of the Tribulation Period and their belief is called the Mid-Tribulation Rapture Theory. Another group believes the Rapture will occur at the end of the Tribulation period and their belief is called the Post-Tribulation Rapture Theory. For more on this keyword click here.
The Tribulation is prophecied to be the most terrible time that human beings have endured, or will ever endure. It will be the last 7 years of human history, also known as “Daniel’s seventieth week”. For a comprehensive overview of this frightening time click here.
Antichrist is most frequently referred to as a specific man foretold to be history’s last and most terrible dictator, who will rule the world just before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
The term “Antichrist" has 2 meanings. First, that which is against Christ. Second, that which counterfeits and/or takes the place of Christ. Four things we do not know about the antichrist are the subject of much speculation. The first is his nationality. The second thing we do not know about the antichrist is whether he will be a Jew or a Gentile. The third thing we do not know about the antichrist is his name. The fourth thing we do not know about the antichrist is whether or not he is already alive as a person. Only after the rapture of the church will the identity of the antichrist be revealed. In other words, you don't want to know who he is. If you ever do figure out who he is, you have been left behind! This is absolutely true. Nothing is more futile than trying to identify the antichrist before the rapture. Doing so would be an effort to prove the Bible wrong. That has never happened and it is not going to happen now. All anyone does by trying to identify the antichrist before the church is taken out is embarrass himself and bring criticism upon Christians. Here's an excellent breakdown.
The very idea of someone saying that we may be living in the "Last Days" with the "end" of our world as we know it, brings to mind the image so often illustrated on television and even in the comics section of the newspaper - that of a wild-eyed fanatic standing on a city street corner holding a sign saying, "THE END IS NEAR!" He is usually depicted as a mentally ill man with unkept long hair and beard, and wearing a robe and sandals. And he is often called a "DOOMSDAY PROPHET." However, today serious world leaders and scientists are saying foreboding things about the current drift in world conditions and decades ago they developed a "Doomsday Clock" themselves. When the clock would strike midnight the world would have set in motion irreversible events that would ultimately bring destruction upon the earth. Jesus set the guidelines for the end times. He gave them a long list of signs that would indicate when mankind had entered the end times. To find out what some of those signs are click here.
Mark of the Beast
According to the above scriptures, the Mark of the Beast is the number 666. Or perhaps, it is the numbers 600, 60, and 6, or some similar variation. Regardless of how it eventuates, it will literally, and voluntarily, be received on the right hand or forehead of the non-believer.
The meaning of the mark has always been a much talked about mystery. There are endless opinions and theories about the number, how it relates to the beast, and how the masses will accept this mark of eternal damnation. Some believe the Mark of the Beast is a computer chip implanted into ones right hand or forehead, while others believe it represents “this or that” government program (e.g., National ID cards, Social Security numbers, and so on).
However, the scriptures clearly state that the number identifies a person, it is the number of a man, and when one takes his mark, he will knowingly and willingly be accepting Satan as his lord. God’s word is graphically clear about the consequences of taking this mark. He tells us that the person taking the mark will suffer the wrath of His judgment, while on earth, but also will have committed his soul to eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire, the final destiny for Antichrist and the False Prophet. That may seem a harsh punishment, but remember, receiving the Mark of the Beast is not simply an economic decision, allowing one to feed his family, but also is an act of worship of the Satan-possessed Antichrist, and a pledge of allegiance to his satanic global regime. Here's more.
End of the World
There is a common assumption that the Bible contains an end-of-the-world forecast. The fear of this false belief is why some people shy away from Bible prophecy. Many dire events are predicted in God's Word, but there is no indication that all things will come to an end. The Bible actually says that mankind has the hope of going on forever. All who place their trust in Jesus Christ will escape eternal death and destruction. Through the shedding of His blood, He has gained victory over sin - the ultimate cause of decay. Sure, the world as we know it today will come to an end, but it will be replaced with Heaven on earth. Click here for more.