Glossary of Prophetic Terms – Definitions

Prophetic Terms and Definitions Explained

Abomination of Desolation: When the Antichrist sits down in the rebuilt Jewish Temple and declares himself to be God, the great tribulation of 42 months will then begin (the second half of Tribulation). At the occurrence of this event, the Jews living in Israel are commanded to flee into the wilderness. All tribulation saints will know, from that day on, they must now wait 1260 days before the Lord returns.

Agnostic: Someone not knowing or believing that it is impossible to know, whether God exists.

Amillennialism: The belief that there will be no literal 1000 year reign of Christ. Thus Revelation 20 is taken symbolically, not literally, by adherents of this view. Amillenialists generally believe that Israel has been permanently set aside for all time and that God’s current plan of salvation involves only the Church.

Anti Semitism: Is the strong dislike or cruel and unfair treatment of Jewish people.

Antichrist: Often described as the evilest man that will ever live. He will arrive on the world scene and appear to be the world’s savior, but everyone on earth will soon learn his real mission will be one of destruction (1 John 2:18; Rev. 13:1-8).

Apocrypha: Why Isn’t it in the Bible: Catholics will tell you, “You Protestants are missing part of the Bible. We have the rest of it.” This can throw people off, but it no longer has to. These false Catholic additions to the Bible are commonly called the Apocrypha or sometimes the Deuterocanonical books. The Apocrypha is a collection of uninspired, spurious books written by various individuals. The Catholic religion considers these books as scripture just like a Bible believer believes that our 66 books are the word of God, e.g. (Genesis to Revelation).

At the Council of Trent in 1546, the Roman Catholic religion pronounced the following apocryphal books sacred. (Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, First and Second Maccabees, Additions to Ester and Daniel). They asserted that the apocryphal books together with unwritten tradition are of God and are to be received and venerated as the Word of God. So now you have the Bible, the Apocrypha and Catholic Tradition as co-equal sources of truth for the Catholic.

In reality, the Bible is the last source of truth for Catholics. Catholic doctrine comes primarily from tradition stuck together with a few Bible names. In the reading of Catholic materials, you will find notes like this: “You have to keep the Bible in perspective.” Catholics do not believe that the Bible is God’s complete revelation for man. Go to for more on this subject.

Apostasy, The: During the end times the Bible predicts a falling away or departure from the faith. Because we have experienced a number of generations where people have rebelled against God, the one that takes place during the tribulation will likely surpass prior apostasies. The Greek word apostasy was originally used to describe a revolt staged by a military commander (2 Thess. 2:3; Matt. 24:11-13).

Armageddon: Armageddon comes from the Hebrew word meaning “the Mount of Megiddo”. This ancient fortress is located in northern Israel, across the Plain of Esdraelon from Nazareth. Armageddon will be the gathering place for the final great battle, which bears its name (Rev. 16:16).

Church Age: The church age began on the day of Pentecost and will end at the rapture of the church before the beginning of the tribulation. Many dispensationalists believe the Church is the reason why there is a gap between Daniel’s 69th and 70th week (Dan. 9:24-27).

Damascus: The city of Damascus has been around for thousands of years and it never has been destroyed in battle. The Prophet Isaiah predicted that someday this city would be destroyed.

Isaiah 17:1 “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap”.

Dispensationalism: The view that believes God’s dealings with men have proceeded through well defined time periods, in each of which God reveals a particular purpose to be accomplished in that period, to which men respond in faith or unbelief.

Dragon: The dragon is the symbolic name given to represent the devil. Satan is also described as “that old serpent.”

Eastern Gate: The Eastern Gate has a very important prophetic role to play. It is the only Gate that is currently blocked. The book of Ezekiel foretold that it would be shut and the only one who will open it will be the “Prince” Jesus.

Eschatology: The study of things that relate to the end times. That which relates to the final events in the history of mankind. A big word to impress your friends with.

False Church: During the first part of the tribulation the Antichrist’s rise to power will be aided by a religious system which will include most if not all of the world’s major religions. During the second half of the tribulation the Antichrist will destroy this false church. The book of Revelation describes the false churches as the great whore (Rev. 17:1-5).

False Prophet: He will administrate the working of the one world church. The False Prophet’s primary mission will be to cause the world to worship the Antichrist (Rev. 13:11-14).

Gog and Magog: Most prophetic scholars agree that Gog and Magog were the people that lived in the lands which are now modern Russia. Someday Russia and a horde of Middle East countries will launch a surprise attack against Israel. All but one sixth of the Gog army will be destroyed upon the mountains of Israel (see Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39).

Historicism: Historicism relates the timing of the current church age through the day/year theory. The day/year theory takes numbers such as the 2300 days (Dan 8:14), and 1290 days (Dan. 12:11), and declares them to be years. They also relate the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments to major historical events that have occurred throughout the past 2000 years. For example, the fifth seal (in Rev. chapter 6), may be identified as the martyrdom under Roman Emperor Diocletian (284-304 A.D.). The Pope is commonly looked at as being the Antichrist. Historicism is the view held by the Mormons, the Seventh day Adventists, and the Jehovah Witnesses.

Jacob’s Trouble: Called by Jeremiah as “the time of Jacob’s trouble” and by Daniel as “the time of distress such as never before occurred”, this event will take place during the 3-1/2 year reign of Antichrist. The time of Jacob’s trouble will be a time of great suffering on earth. The suffering will be brought on by the actions of the Antichrist and by the wrath of God being poured out on a sinful world (Jeremiah 30:7).

Judgment, Great White Throne: This judgment is predominately for the unsaved. The dead, small and great, stand before God (Rev. 20:12). It is here where all those who did not accept Jesus Christ and the gift he purchased for them with his death, burial and resurrection will stand before God, who will judge them “according to their works”. After the millennium the “dead” will be resurrected to appear at this judgment. It is here where all those that are not found written in the book of life are cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-15).

Judgment Seat of Christ: The Judgment seat of Christ is often called the BEMA seat (the Greek word translated “judgment seat” in 2 Cor. 5:10). In early times referred to a raised platform where speeches were given, and crowns were awarded to the winners of athletic contests. The bema of Christ, is not a judgment that determines salvation, but is for Christians only. At this judgment Christ who died to save us will stand to judge us.

The terms of this judgment can be found (in 1 Cor. 3:9-15), indicating that “every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire.

This is where Christians are rewarded for the works they do for Christ while they are in the body (living), after they were saved by Grace. (You must be saved by Christ before “ANY” of your works can be rewarded). Works done and then are made known to man by boasting will not pass the test of fire and will be burned up. You’ll receive no awards for them. These good works are those required from a born again Christian which is different than those explained under Works through good living.

Kings of the East: And the 6th angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. I believe the kings of the east will likely be or will largely include the nation of China (see Rev. 16:12).

Lake of Fire: The lake of fire is the final abode for all the lost, the Devil and all of his coworkers. Everyone that’s condemned to this fiery inferno will suffer unrelenting eternal torment (Rev. 20:15).

Little Horn: Daniel the prophet described seeing a little horn rising out from among ten other horns. The little horn is clearly another representation of the Antichrist because Daniel’s accounting aligns with the apostle John’s Revelation 13 description of the Antichrist (Dan 7:7-8); Dan 7:19 and verse 25).

Mark of the Beast: “He causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Rev. 13:16-18). The Mark of the Beast will likely be a microchip implant that operates like an ATM or credit card. Remember, everyone who receives the Mark of the Beast will be cast into hell, so don’t take the mark!

Millennium: After the tribulation, Jesus Christ will set up an earthly Kingdom where he will rule for one thousand years (Rev. 20:3-4).

Pentecost: The Christian Pentecost celebrates the sending of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles. In the Jewish religion it is a holy day that comes 50 days after Passover, or (in the Christian religion), a holy day that is the 7th Sunday after Easter. The Jewish Pentecost celebrates the harvest of the first fruits and the gift of the Torah (the holy book of the Jews), to Moses at Sinai.

Preterism: The belief that nearly all prophetic events have already occurred. The year 70 A.D. is a popular date where Preterists claims that the book of Revelation was fulfilled. Under Preterism you are basically left to just wait for Jesus to return.

Progressive Dispensationalism: A recent form of dispensationalism which emphasizes the present spiritual reign of Christ on David’s throne.

Rapture: At an unknown hour and day the Lord Jesus will descent from heaven, while remaining in the air, he will snatch his Bride, the Church, out from among this sinful world. Christ then takes the Church to heaven for the 7 year wedding feast. The earthly reason for the removal of the Church is to make way for the rise of Antichrist and to fulfill Daniel’s final 70th week (Matt. 25:13; 1 Thess. 4:16; 1 Cor. 15:51-54).

Red Heifer: The Bible predicts that the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem. Ever since the 70 A.D. destruction, one major roadblock barring the reconstruction of the Temple is the fact that the Temple Mount area has been defiled with warfare. In order to cleanse the Tribulation Temple Mount for worship, the Jews will need the ashes of a pure red heifer. Numbers chapter 19 describes how King Solomon cleansed the first Temple with the ashes of a specially prepared red heifer (Num. 19:2-9).

Replacementism: Replacement theology is the view that Israel, having failed God, has been replaced by the Church around (70 A.D.). The Church is now seen as spiritual Israel and spiritual Jerusalem. This teaching claims that all the promises and blessings, in fact Israel’s entire inheritance, now belongs to the Church. However, all is not lost for Israel; it gets to keep all the curses.

Restrainer, The: The presence of the Holy Spirit on earth currently is what restrains the forces of evil. The Holy Spirit resides in the lives of all believers, which is why Christians are called the “salt of the earth” (Matt. 5:13).

Rosh Hashanah: The Jewish festival of the civil New Year celebrated on the first and second days of the month Tishri. During this holiday trumpets are blown as a call for repentance. Many Christians look towards Rosh Hashanah as a possible time for the rapture (Num. 10:1-10).

Second Coming: This is the time when Jesus Christ will return, defeat the Antichrist, and set up his 1000 year Kingdom on earth. The second coming is not the Rapture. The Rapture takes place prior to the second coming. Another important difference between the two is that the Rapture will occur at an unknown time which the second coming will take place 42 months after the Antichrist declares himself to be God (Rev. 13:5; Matt. 25:13).

Shekinah: The visible majesty of the Divine Presence, especially when resting or dwelling between the cherubim on the mercy seat, in the Tabernacle, or in the Temple of Solomon. A term used in the Targums and by the later Jews, and adopted by Christians.

Tribulation: A period of time lasting 7 years, the first 3-1/2 years will be much more peaceful as the Antichrist rises to power. The second 3-1/2 years will bring the greatest suffering in human history as the wrath of God and the Antichrist is poured out on earth (Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:21).

Two Witnesses: During the tribulation, two men will prophesy in the streets of Jerusalem. These two witnesses of God will have the power to prevent it from raining on the earth, to call fire down from heaven, to turn bodies of water into blood, and to command a number of other plagues. After they preach for 42 months, the Antichrist will be allowed to kill them. Three and a half days later they will be resurrected and Raptured up to heaven. Some scholars say the two men could either be Elijah and Enoch; or Moses and Elijah (Rev. 11:3-13; Malachi 4:5-6).

Wrath of God, The: The Wrath of God is poured out on man during the tribulation. The people of earth will come under God’s wrath because they refuse to turn from their wicked ways. Those that receive the Antichrist’s Mark will not only come under God’s Wrath, but will be lost forever (1 Thess. 1:10; 1 Thess. 5:9; Rev. 14:9-11).

10 Nation Confederation – Toes; Horns; Kings: Out of the area that once was the Roman Empire, ten leaders will arise. The only purpose these 10 leaders will have, is to give their power to the Antichrist (Dan. 2:41-44; Dan. 7:20; Rev. 17:12; Rev. 17:17).

144,000 Jewish Saints: Before the Antichrist administers his mark, God will send an angel to mark the foreheads of 144,000 Jews, 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes (Jacob’s 12 sons). The 144,000 sealed Jews will be commissioned to be witnesses during the tribulation (Rev. 7:2-8).

200 Million Man Army, The: During the latter part of the tribulation an army of 200 million strong, will move into the Middle East, crossing over the dried up Euphrates river. This army, guided by four demonic angels, will kill one third of mankind (Rev. 9:14-16; Rev. 16:12).

70th Week: The final seven years of Gentile domination of the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem; the last week of the 70 weeks of years (490 years), of Daniel’s prophecy which will begin after the long interval (Dan 9:27).

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