With all the changes that are taking place in our world today, many people are beginning to look into the prophecies about the last days. Those who turn to the Bible are not disappointed as it describes in clear terms how things will unfold as this age comes to an end. Some think the world is about to be destroyed, but that will not happen in the next thousand years or so.
The Bible’s track record of foretelling major events is unparalleled. God wrote the history of the world in advance for us so that we may know that everything happens with His foreknowledge and under His supervision. Diligent students of the Bible know to connect the dots between Bible prophecy and the news of the day, and, as I said many times before, the Bible tells us what will happen, and the news tells us when it happens.
With the amazing progress of technology, a wide range of possibilities for control over our lives have now become possible, even to the point where a global government can already function effectively. Add to that the fact that the economies of the world are so intricately interwoven with each other that it is unthinkable that any of them can make it on their own.
The One World Government is already being promoted as the only solution to some global problems that the world now faces, such as Climate Change, Covid-19, food shortages, etc. The list is quite long. Whether these threats are natural or manufactured, is a debate for another day.
As the world rushes on in its pursuit of its progressive agenda, a new era comes into sight, namely the seven years of tribulation that we read about in the Bible. The spiritual atmosphere is ready to accommodate this traumatic period of time, also called The Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7); The day of Vengeance of our God (Isaiah 61:2); A Time of Trouble (Daniel 12:1), etc. Exactly when it will happen is the big question, and even here we have a clear answer in the Bible.
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
So, when will the Tribulation begin? The book of Daniel answers the question:
Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. 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 9:24,27
The seventy weeks prophecy – seventy periods of seven years each – is given to “your people,” which is Israel. Israel is God’s timepiece, especially when it comes to end time events. We know that this prophecy is still future because transgression is not finished, sin still abounds, reconciliation with God hasn’t happened because the Jews rejected their Messiah, everlasting righteousness is yet to happen, and the Most Holy Place is non-existent at this time.
The countdown of the seventy weeks began when king Cyrus gave the command for Jerusalem to be rebuilt. Israel was still in exile when that happened. (See Ezra 1:1-2) Sixty-nine year weeks (that is 483 years) after that time Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey while the people worshipped Him as King, bringing to fulfilment that part of the prophecy. Note that the Messiah is executed in week 69, but “not for Himself.” This is when Jesus died on the cross – not for His misdeeds, but ours. After the sixty-nine weeks there is a gap of unknown length before the seventieth week is introduced.
The gap following week sixty-nine is the church age that began on the Day of Pentecost. The Bible doesn’t say how long this period will last before the last of the seventy weeks – the Tribulation period – will begin. It is interesting to note though that this prophecy follows a pattern that we also find in the Book of Revelation where there is a gap between the six seals, six trumpets and six bowls before the seventh of each is announced.
The seventieth week will start when the “prince” of the people who destroyed Jerusalem (Rome, in 70 A.D.) will confirm a covenant “with many” for one week – seven years. We already saw that the prophecy speaks of Israel, so we understand that a covenant or treaty will be made between Israel and “many” (United Nations?) for a period of seven years.
According to the book of Daniel the Tribulation will start when such a covenant or treaty is confirmed with Israel for a period of seven years. It will probably include the building of the temple, as the prophecy mentions sacrifices and offerings. There is no temple in Israel at this time, but we do know that plans to build one already exist. Not only that, all vessels and vestings for temple service have been made by The Temple Institute in Israel, and are ready to be used. (See their website http://templeinstitute.org)
Peace treaties between Israel and its neighbours are nothing new; most modern time US presidents have attempted to bring lasting peace in that region, yet without success. Like his predecessors, president Trump would also like such peace agreement on his resumé, and he instructed his son-in-law, Jared Kushner – a Jew himself – to work on such an agreement. This plan is ready to be announced. Some details of this plan have become public recently, but it will only be fully revealed once a government is established in Israel. Three inconclusive elections took place in Israel over the last few months, but still no governing coalition has been formed. We continue to keep our eyes on Israel.
Are we close to the Tribulation period? It depends on when the “Prince of the people who destroyed Jerusalem” will confirm that treaty with Israel. This doesn’t mean that things will not get progressively worse as we move forward. Already we notice the erosion of our freedoms, little by little. The present Covid-19 shutdown may very well help move things forward as economic hardship will almost certainly follow this unprecedented shutdown of the global economy. Governments everywhere warn their people that life as we knew it will not be the same after the shutdown is lifted.
The main stream media that we trusted to keep us informed for centuries, have now become purveyors of fake news themselves, contributing to confusion and chaos – a reminder of Jesus’ warnings against deception in the last days. Speaking of which, we also notice that it even infiltrated pulpits everywhere; doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1) are being introduced in the name of tolerance, people are in love with themselves, greediness are without limit, and behaviours previously labelled as sin, are now accepted behaviour, if not labelled as virtuous. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
We are not setting dates, but many signs point to a new age that is about to dawn. Tension in the spiritual world is mounting, with its effects clearly seen on earth, such as clashes between darkness and light, the truth and lies, righteousness and sin. There is also a spirit of lawlessness that corrupts even various levels of the world’s governments that are supposed to uphold the laws that they passed.
What are we to do about all of this? One of Jesus’ first disciples gives a good answer:
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17
It is always right to be serious with your eternal future; life on earth is short, and eternity is long. Recognize the time that we live in, invest in your spiritual well-being, and draw near to the Lord. This is not a time to look around in fear at what goes wrong, but rather to look up and be encouraged. The best is yet to come for those who put their trust in the Lord!
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