Again, the dramatic structure of the last-days in a nutshell:
Once upon a time, an international alliance of world leaders and kings (the BEAST in its debut) decides that the animal sacrifice at the site of the new Jewish temple in Jerusalem must be put to an end.
Backstory—with the end of the War on Terror came an era of peace for Israel and the world. Israel was able to begin construction of a new temple in Jerusalem, and at some point they were able to dedicate an altar and begin making sacrifices there.
Rising Action—the alliance (the BEAST) fears for their peace, and they conclude that never again will a major world religion bring us to the brink of a global war; so, after finding little or no resistance to their test of authority at the site of the Jewish temple, they begin an earnest campaign to marginalize the power and influence of Jews and Christians around the world, and this campaign goes on for a period of forty-two months.
Climax—certain occurrences warrant that one of the prominent members of the alliance (the BEAST) stand in the temple, where he proclaims to be God and the world worships him. This abomination takes place exactly 1,290 days from the time that the sacrifice was put to a halt (Daniel 12:11).
Falling Action—exactly 45 days later, (Daniel 12:12), from the time of the abomination, something happens which brings great relief and blessing to survivors, those who fled into the wilderness rather than bow in worship to the man and take the mark of the BEAST. Very likely plague number 5—temporary blindness and great pain to the marked society (Revelation 16:10)—will allow survivors to walk into town where they can replenish their supplies and find a second-wind to endure for whatever remains.
Resolution—around the time of Armageddon, Divine intervention, (i.e. the appearance of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven), prevents the annihilation of all living things. The Day of the Lord begins. Whereas it may begin and end with his wrath in action, we can also see from our perspective that this day of the Lord shall entail a thousand years of peace on earth and goodwill towards men.
Very soon after day 45 of the evacuation, and whatever blessing that entails for the unmarked survivors, the global society of the marked will begin their death spiral as the pathways to Armageddon open wide (plague six—Revelation 16:12-16). Meanwhile, the survivors will be settling into a routine of endurance: two men will be walking through a field looking for some food; two women will be at a shelter grinding some grain for a meal. When the Son of Man makes his appearance with an army of angels, one will be taken (raptured) and the other left behind, (Matthew 24:40-41).
In the wildly popular Pre-Tribulation scenario, the “left-behind” must fend for themselves for a period of seven years of great tribulation. Too bad for them. Hope they find our books and movies! What else could we do to help? In the likewise popular Pre-Wrath scenario, the “left-behind” are pretty much on their own for the bulk of a three and a half year great-tribulation. Same story as the Pre-Trib folks but only for half the duration, as if that would help. I can see how the attitudes and behaviors coming about from these two theories in the first few years of a much needed and very real peace will give the world a little help when it comes to hating us and wanting to marginalize us, but I have to say we should not make it too easy on the world. So, I strive to bring a few over to share my perspective.
Here is the reality of the “left-behind” in the Peri-Armageddon scenario: it is a good thing that the Lord is bringing an army of angels with him, as one of their tasks will be to protect survivors from Plague 7 (Revelation 16:18,21), a great global earthquake and deadly, colossal hailstones. Once the last plague is passed, (and all of the marked society has been destroyed one way or another), then the angels shall communicate to the survivors what is expected of them if they would live abundant and peaceful lives: “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left [the left-behind] of all the nations which came against Jerusalem [peri-Armageddon] shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles” [Zechariah 14:16].
So, for about 49-50 weeks of the year, survivors—the left behind—can go about their business of recovering and rebuilding their homes and communities. With the rest of the time, they will join their fellow-survivors in harmony to make the annual pilgrimage, to partake of the feast in honor of Him who spared them through the wilderness of the great-tribulation.
I have little doubt that having recently seen the Son of Man appear and having been shown much mercy in a desperate hour, that they will have no greater interest than making the trip.
Some speculation would be warranted regarding the timing of the first feast. Will it coincide with the end of the great tribulation, or will it continue according to traditional timing?
Regardless of timing, it can be assumed that if Joe-Blow from Idaho could not physically make it to the first feast because of transportation difficulties, that he would, if he so desired to go, be transported via Angel Airlines. With that in mind, it stands to reason that the survivors will have a choice in the early years: start from Jerusalem and work back towards home while repairing roads, bridges, etc. along the way; or he could go home after the feast and begin making his way to Jerusalem for the next feast. Either way, during the Millennial Kingdom all roads lead (to/from) Jerusalem, the city of the King.
If you were to remove the words and dashed lines from the following illustrations and then ask a by-stander which of the three would appear to have the most natural flow, what do you think they would say?