“And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.” Daniel 9:26,27
The two verses quoted above come from one of the most profound prophecies for our time. The 70 weeks prophecy (70 periods of seven years each) began when king Cyrus of Persia gave command to rebuild Jerusalem after the Jewish 70 year exile in Babylon. From that day until the day that Messiah was executed on the cross, was 69 year weeks – a period of 483 years. A break of unknown length then followed – now known to be the church age, or the time of the Gentiles. (See Romans 11:25) During this time a hardness of heart kept the Jews from accepting Jesus as their Messiah, but the Gentiles received Him as their Saviour – in itself the fulfilment of ancient prophecies. However, it is also well documented in prophecies of both Old and New Testaments that this era will come to and end too.
Once the “time of the Gentiles” is fulfilled, the seventieth week will be introduced by the prince who is to come confirming a covenant “with many” – possibly between Israel and the United Nations. This week – a period of seven years – is also called the Tribulation, the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, etc. The Bible has much to say about the horrors that will take place during this time, and even Jesus Himself commented on it:
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. Matthew 24:21
Who is this prince who is to come? Once again, the Bible is very generous with information about him. Below is a sample of what we read about him in the Bible. He is:
The seed of the serpent in Genesis 3:15
The one that will come in his own name – John 5:43
The anti-Christ (one who comes in the place of Christ, as if Christ) of 1 John 2:22
The worthless shepherd, that we read of in Zechariah 11:16,17
The little horn, described in Daniel 7:8-11 & 21-26
The stubborn king of Daniel 11:29-39
Is he alive on the earth today? Probably. Signs indicate that we have arrived at the end of the church era. (I have written about this time of transition in a previous blog) While he has not yet been revealed as a person, his spirit has been around from the time that Adam chose to obey him, instead of God. This Lawless One has been busy ever since, working on his plan to overthrow God as the supreme ruler over the universe. Isaiah 14:13-14 describes his dream. We already know that his plans will fail, and lead to his destruction in the end. He still believes though that he can win, which is why we see his spirit at work in the earth.
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 2 Thessalonians 2:7,8
It is no wonder, then, that we see that lawlessness is on the rise around the world. Even heads of state (quite a few of them) are breaking the laws that they swore to uphold, and that with impunity. Their crimes are simply covered up, with no accountability or oversight. What used to be good and morally right, is now viewed as social crimes with all kinds of punishment for those who hold these things dear. The spirit of lawlessness is allowed the freedom to commit acts of lawlessness everywhere, not only to violate civil laws, but also God’s laws.
Everyone who saw the mayhem that took over the streets around the world knows that it is well organized with a hierarchical structure. The unity of tactics in the midst of global chaos that broke out simultaneously in various places makes it clear. Names of organizations and individuals are being mentioned in connection with these riots, but it is the open support of anarchism by various levels of government and political leaders that is most alarming.
The hierarchical structure of lawlessness goes all the way up to the spirit of the anti-Christ himself, hidden for now behind familiar faces and names that promote the new world order. Citizen’s rights, safety and freedoms take a back seat as we are called upon to give it up for the greater good. Systems are being implemented, even now, to enhance control over our freedoms. We know from verses of Scripture, such as quoted below, that the man of sin, once revealed, will demand to be worshipped as God with total control over every aspect of life on earth.
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Revelation 13:16,17
Do we, as believers, have to prepare to meet the prince who is to come? No. A previous blog looked at this as well. However, we will be dealing with his spirit as lawlessness continues to escalate the closer we get to the end of this age. Already we see the rhetoric of heads of state stirring divisions between people groups in their nations, creating suspicions where there never were concerns before. Hatred is on the rise, now already leading to widespread violence and destruction of property and businesses of innocent people of all races. Calls are on the rise for the defunding, and even abolishment of law enforcement with the support of all levels of government. The spirit of lawlessness is bearing down on the earth.
What do we, as Christians, do in the midst of this chaos?
- Realize that we are not of this world; we are just passing through. Do not love this world, or the things of this world, for it is passing away. Center your love on the Lord and your relationship with Him. (See 1 John 2:15-017)
- What we see and hear around us should be no surprise – it has been written about extensively in the Bible. God’s plan is unfolding before our eyes, and the best we can do for ourselves is to be part of it. The Bible told us what will happen, and the media tells us when it is happening.
- Do not fear. Times might be hard, but we have a glorious future to look forward to. Let us fix our eyes on what lies ahead for us, and look past the horrors that are coming to the world, for we walk by faith and not by sight.
- Be careful not to be drawn into the fray. There will be unfairness, cheating, lies, manipulation, etc., but remember, we do not fight against flesh and blood or with carnal weapons like the world. There is nothing that we can do about the world’s condition as it has been foretold to happen. Rather see this as a time of preparation for your future with the Lord. Become spiritually strong; strengthen your faith so that you can remain standing in this evil day.
- Stay informed. You need accurate information, both to navigate through these upheavals and to plan and pray effectively.
- Always side with the truth, even if it costs you something. Truth is hard to find with the rampant onslaught of fake news and misinformation that come to us from all sides. Truth comes in many different colours these days, from smooth political correctness to blatant lies, but in reality there is only one truth, no matter the circumstances or the issues at hand. It is up to Christians to hold truth dear. Truth has always been offensive, even when spoken in love.
Hard times are opportunities that test our true character. Let us be the light and salt that the world is looking for!