THE SEVEN-YEAR TRIBULATION: IS IT, OR ISN’T IT?

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).

There is an important and ongoing discussion in prophetic circles today.  It is preoccupied with the length of the period known as the “great tribulation.”  Does the Tribulation have a seven year duration, or does it only last three-and-a-half years?  It is often argued that the numerous references to “a time, times and a half,” “a thousand, two hundred and sixty days,” forty two months,” will only support a three-and-half year Tribulation.  These, they say, constitute proof that this period is only half of the traditionally-mentioned seven years.  For several reasons, it is biblically correct to still hold to the traditional teaching that the actual Tribulation is a full seven years in length.Furthermore, reliable expositors agree that it must be preceded by a transitional period that follows the catching away (the rapture) of the body of born again believers living in the world today – commonly called the church.  Note: These are not people who sit in a building called a “church.”  We know that there are multitudes of people who sit in a building every Sunday called a “church,” but will be left behind to face the Tribulation.  The true church, as it is revealed in scripture, is the body of Christ who are comprised of only those who have trusted in and have personally received Jesus Christ as savior for the forgiveness of sins.  This is not to say that there are not true born again people sitting in a church, for the church is certainly where one can go to be saved, but salvation of the person’s soul can and does occur outside of the four walls of the church building.  The people who are taken in the rapture are the people the Bible refers to as being “born again” (Be sure to read the section at the end of this article titled “YOUR ESCAPE FROM THE COMING WRATH.” This transitional time between the rapture and the start of the Tribulation could (and likely is) as long as three years, bringing the world a ten-year period of spiritual debauchery and mental unease, followed by unprecedented physical catastrophe.  A study of the pertinent scriptures show that to allow for the full development of prophesied tribulation events, a certain amount of time must elapse … certainly more than three or four years.  This is true of the period prior to the Tribulation, as well as the Antichrist’s revelation and rise to power.  After the removal of the Church and God’s Holy Spirit from his current position of influence, these key elements can begin to fall into place.  Then, and only then, certain factors will precipitate the final disposition of the prophesied global government and it’s key players – number one being the Antichrist, himself.

WHY MUST THERE BE A TRIBULATION?

An often repeated truism is that the Tribulation is to be distinguished from tribulation, in general.  In the book of Job, we find a man suffering such tribulation, accompanied by his friends.  Together, they wrestle with the solution to his problem.  Eliphaz, one of Job’s counselors, says, “Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7).  In this haunting image, he paints man as a foolish being whose very nature is to walk into trouble.  In a real sense, this is the story of the Bible, as man, through transgression, finds his life marked by one form of Tribulation after another.  As recorded in John 16:33, Jesus told his disciples virtually the same thing …

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

His words are intended to comfort those whom he has chosen, but they also state a very real consequence of man’s life on Earth.  He is born to experience tribulation.  Having noted this, it is important to draw a distinct line between general tribulation and the specifically prophesied period of time that is intended for the House of David and the twelve tribes of Israel, which will, in turn, engulf the whole world.  Remember, Israel is the spiritual name that God gave to the father of the twelve tribes …

“And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed” (Genesis 32:28).

The occasion for this statement was Jacob’s all-night wrestling match with the angel of the Lord, who gave him a new regal title, and a special promise.  From this time forward, Israel and his progeny were to have a special power and calling that comes from God.  This calling guaranteed the promise of restoration after being scattered throughout the world since the days of the Roman Empire with no homeland of their own.  Miraculously, they were restored in one day with a state of their own as the nation of Israel was re-established in 1948.  The other reason for the Tribulation is to simply purge the Earth of corruption and evil and restore it to a reasonable semblance of the paradise that was enjoyed in the days of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  This, of course, will last for 1,000 years in what the Bible refers to as the millennial reign of Christ on Earth, after which, the Earth is then burned and destroyed and made anew for all eternity in which the Heavenly city descends to Earth (but I’m either getting ahead of myself or veering off into other subject matter, so back to the Tribulation).  The thirtieth chapter of Jeremiah speaks eloquently about the final restoration of Israel and Judah to the promised land.  Jeremiah 30:3 says …

“For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it” (Jeremiah 30:3).

The same chapter goes on to state the conditions of their return.  Jeremiah paints a fearsome picture that coins a phrase that has come to represent the Tribulation in a special way …

Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?  Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.  For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them” (Jeremiah 30:3).

Here, we see all the classic images of the Tribulation.  Jeremiah speaks of the birth pangs which will accompany Israel’s rebirth in the Land.  We also see the “day” mentioned – the day of the Lord – which will release Israel from the Gentile bonds under which it has labored for centuries (could we say the globalist New World Order bonds?)  Finally, Jeremiah foresees the restoration of the Davidic throne, upon which Jesus will be seated.  This is specifically a prophecy of the last days during which the Lord will redeem Jacob – Israel – and make with him a new covenant, written not upon stone tablets, but upon the hearts of the Jews.  Thus, the major outcome of the Tribulation is the restoration of Israel to the Land.  It is the time of “Jacob’s trouble,” not the Gentiles’ trouble.  But make no mistake about it, the Tribulation will engulf the entire world in judgment.  There will be no place to hide, and no place to escape.  In Daniel’s great prophecy of the seventy weeks, we see another view of this same revelation …

“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy” (Daniel 9:24).

TRIBULATION TIMELINE
This chart shows the chronology of the Tribulation period, preceded by the Rapture and resurrection.  After the saints (all those born again in Christ) are removed from the Earth, the Antichrist will be revealed.  He will reign for seven years.  His administration will bring chaos and war to the human race.  If Christ did not return to stop the bloodshed, no one on the planet would survive.

About this statement, it is important to see that it is intended for Israel (or seventy sevens) are directed specifically at “thy people,” in other words, Israel, and “thy holy city,” or Jerusalem.  This is a timed prophecy whose major consequence is concerned only with Israel, not the Gentiles.  The verse above mentions six specific accomplishments which the seventy weeks’ period will bring to Israel.  Number one, Israel’s transgression will be brought to a close.  It’s failure to keep God’s covenant over the centuries will, at last, be brought to a gracious end by the Lord.  His arrival at the end of the final week will bring the great Atonement to Israel.  Second, “sins” will cease.  The centuries of Israel’s sins will be erased at last.  Third, the “iniquity” that Israel has demonstrated since it’s beginning, in a failure to keep the Law of Moses.  Fourth, “everlasting righteousness” will come.  Of course, this is the promise of the Messianic Kingdom.  Fifth, Daniel’s “vision and prophecy” will finally be realized and sealed once and for all.  The statements of the prophets will become reality, at last.  Sixth, the “most Holy” will be brought into powerful reality, as Christ and his Temple form the basis for a thousand year-Kingdom.  The first sixty-nine of these weeks mark the time from the decree to restore Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity, to the crucifixion of Christ.  After they have been accomplished, Daniel’s people are seen entering into an indeterminate period of persecution.  Today, we refer to it as the “Diaspora” …

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.  And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined” (Daniel 9:25).

Following the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D. 70, Israel was wracked with one catastrophe after another, until they finally were driven abroad, seeking survival in many countries.  The “people of the prince that shall come” – the Romans – made certain that Israel and Judah were bounded to the ends of the Earth.  But the end of the prophecy concerns a coming prince who is a genetic offspring of the Romans, specifically of the royal house of Titus and Vespasian, the destroyers of the Temple.  He is the Antichrist.  In another article, I have described how the Seleucid dynasty that included Antiochus 4 Ephiphanes intermarried with these royal Roman houses.

https://endtimesdarknessdescending.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/bloodline-of-the-antichrist/

Antiochus, a type of the Antichrist, established the very bloodline that will bring forth the Antichrist of the last days.  Today, this Roman lineage has spread to cover the entire world.  No one can know his precise point of origin, but the bloodline of the evil prince awaits it’s moment in history.  Now, here is an interesting side note (to say the very least) for your information-consuming prophetic senses … let me just present the below scenario and just leave it at that for your consideration before moving on.  As you may already know, the elite have erected the “Arch of Baal” for four days in front of the U.S. capitol.  Things of this importance usually don’t happen by accident.  Take notice that it was put up on the Washington National Mall.  This mall happens to have the shape of a cross in it’s very design (for the details on this, please click the National Mall picture in the Evidence Gallery in the side bar section on this blog site).  The elite deeply understand that symbols have power and they can and do manifest supernatural demonic power, and the fact that the Arch of Baal has been placed directly across from the U.S. Capitol is highly significant.  Baal was a god of power, fertility and child sacrifice.  There is a strong connection between what was going on during the era of Baal worship and what is taking place in America right now.  In the end, the debate over whether or not to confirm Brett Kavanaugh comes down to the issue of abortion, and this vote in the Senate is going to have tremendous implications for the future of our country.  In ancient times, if you wanted to go to the Temple of Baal in Palmyra you had to pass through this arch, and you would also pass through this arch again on your way out. The original arch was destroyed by ISIS in 2015, but it has been reproduced, and the reproduction has been periodically displayed at important locations around the globe. It has been pointed out that an arch is a “gateway”, and many are concerned that erecting this arch may be an open invitation for the entity or entities that were originally associated with this arch.  No other ancient deity is mentioned more often than Baal in the Bible.  And ultimately, the worship of Baal can be traced back all the way to ancient Babylon, which was the center of the very first “New World Order” in ancient times. Child sacrifice was absolutely central to the worship of Baal.  When it was time for another ceremony, unwanted babies would be gathered and burned alive.  Ritualistic Baal worship, in sum, looked a little like this: Adults would gather around the altar of Baal. Infants would then be burned alive as a sacrificial offering to the deity. Amid horrific screams and the stench of charred human flesh, congregants – men and women alike – would engage in bisexual orgies. The ritual of convenience was intended to produce economic prosperity by prompting Baal to bring rain for the fertility of “mother earth.”  The natural consequences of such behavior – pregnancy and childbirth – and the associated financial burdens of “unplanned parenthood” were easily ARCH OF BAALoffset. One could either choose to engage in homosexual conduct or – with child sacrifice available on demand – could simply take part in another fertility ceremony to “terminate” the unwanted child.  Modern liberalism deviates little from its ancient predecessor. While its macabre rituals have been sanitized with flowery and euphemistic terms of art, its core tenets and practices remain eerily similar.  In fact, we are killing our babies on an industrial scale.  We have murdered far more children than they ever did in the ancient Middle East, and our fate will be the same as theirs if we don’t turn things around as a society.  And now an ancient symbol of child sacrifice has been erected directly across from the U.S. Capitol at the precise moment when the future of the U.S. Supreme Court is hanging in the balance.  The god of Baal was a central theme in the story of Elijah before his “rapture” into Heaven.  Elijah was directly involved as God’s servant in the battle against the god of Baal in Israel.  The fact that this Baal theme has emerged simultaneously with the “Bear” parallel of Russia as hinted at in 2 Kings 2:23-24 is very telling of what time it is.  It means that our departure, like Elijah in 2 Kings chapter 2, is near.

https://endtimesdarknessdescending.wordpress.com/2017/07/28/the-bear-rapture/

The original Arch of Baal in the Middle East was destroyed by ISIS in October 2015, but it was re-created by the Institute for Digital Archaeology using 3-D printing technology.  The arch, thus far, has been in New York City and London, and later it was placed outside a global summit in Dubai. More recently, it was constructed for the G7 Summit in Florence, Italy  The replica of a Roman triumphal arch originally built in Palmyra, Syria, essentially has been on a world tour.  But the arch isn’t just a Roman ruin. It was originally an arch for the Temple of Baal, a pagan god repeatedly mentioned in the Old Testament. The rites of Baal were marked, as mentioned above, by child sacrifice and ritual prostitution.  Here is the punchline of the point, this “Arch of Baal,” as of this writing, is scheduled to arrive at the Roman Hague World Court.  The replica arch will then be reassembled in the Hague, the site of the Dutch Parliament and the U.N.’s International Criminal Court. The Hague is described as the City of “Peace and Justice,”  The Center for Global Heritage and Development, together with the Institute for Digital Archaeology organized an event called ‘Heritage for the Future.’  BIN reported the first modern reappearance of the Arch of Palmyra was in London’s Trafalgar Square in 2016, when it was erected for UNESCO World Heritage Week.  The unveiling coincided with the beginning of a 13-day period known in the occult as the “Blood Sacrifice to the Beast,” the most important holiday for those who worship the god Baal, celebrated with child sacrifice and bisexual orgies. The arch was unveiled on April 19th, the holiday of Beltane, the culmination of the 13-day period.  The last time we saw this level of idolatry was when the Temple stood in Jerusalem. Now that we are close to the appearance of the Third Temple, idolatry is reappearing, even in popular culture among people who claim they are atheists. It is no coincidence that the arch is becoming a centerpiece at gatherings of world leaders.

It is very interesting, to say the least, that none other than former American President Barack Obama was giving a speech on September 28 in the Netherlands at the Hague about “world leadership” as the “Arch of Baal” just “happened” to have been erected directly across from the U.S. Capitol on the Washington Mall from September 26-29, which took place as the United Nations General Assembly was occurring.  And of course, the Arch was already scheduled to appear in the Netherlands as it was sitting on the National Mall in Washington D.C. as Barack Obama was speaking in the Netherlands, the next stop of the Arch.  It is supposed to be set up for one month, starting October 17, 2018, next to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is in the Hague, Netherlands.  Therefore, the Arch of Baal has been set up during a major Satanic holiday and at least four world summits.  That’s right.  The future home of the “Roman Arch of Triumph.”  As we all may be aware, there will be a supernatural element of demonic possession that will characterize the Antichrist, likely brought about through Satanic ritualism by the global elite working behind the scenes, much like what we are seeing with the Arch of Baal (See the video “Abaddon Rising” in the side bar of this blog site).

Ehem! Ehem!  moving on …

THE SEVENTIETH WEEK

It will be a simple thing to discern the beginning of Daniel’s seventieth week.  It is marked by the moment that the coming prince (the Antichrist) stands in support of God’s ancient covenant with Israel … probably the covenant of the Land made to Abraham …

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:27).

Again, we see that this seventieth “seven” (called a “week”) is directed specifically toward the fulfillment of prophecy in Israel.  It involves Temple sacrifice, tainted by the evil and occultic abominations that are clarified in other passages that concern the Antichrist.  Most importantly, however, we find that the act that opens the week is the Antichrist’s confirmation of the covenant.  Up to the time that he commits this act, the entire week rests unfulfilled.  Some, arguing for a shortened Tribulation, have suggested that part of the week may have been consumed during the time of the Lord’s first coming, but that simply cannot be the case.  If it were, then he couldn’t be said to confirm the covenant for one week.  For national Israel, it is the Lord’s desire that they completely rely upon his leading.  In the fourth chapter of Deuteronomy, Moses explains to his people why they must keep his commandments.  He prophesied that in the future, their failure to do this would result in their scattering among the nations of the world.  This prophecy contains the following statement …

When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them” (Deuteronomy 4:30-31).

Here, the Tribulation period is identified as the culmination of several millennia of disobedience.  But Moses’ intent is to let his people know that even after all that time, God will not forget the covenant he made with them.  All he desires is their sincere and repentant acknowledgment of his power and sufficiency for them.  In Daniel 12:7, which refers to the second half of the Tribulation period, we see the same thought expressed …

“And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these thingsshall be finished” (Daniel 12:7).

Here, the “scattering” of the power of the “holy people” (Israel), tells us that this extended period of suffering under the Antichrist is a grim necessity.  Only after the most grueling of tests will the remnant of Israel finally acknowledge and accept Christ the Messiah as King.  Over the centuries, they have stubbornly clung to their own “strength,” relying upon their supposed talents and virtues, instead of God’s provision.  As we shall see, Daniel’s prophecy unequivocally links the breaking of their self-reliance with the full development of a seven-year Tribulation.  There must be a Tribulation period because it is the mechanism through which the Lord will restore Israel and establish the 1,000 year millennial kingdom on Earth.

OTHER REASONS FOR THE TRIBULATION

Throughout the Old Testament there are numerous prophecies that link the Tribulation period with Israel.  To name a few, Joel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Amos and Zechariah refer to the Day of the Lord, or even the “Great and Terrible Day of the Lord,” as a time of unprecedented upheaval that initiates a new order of reality upon Earth.  As noted earlier, in reference to the time of Jacob’s Trouble, these prophecies focus upon national Israel.  In Deuteronomy, there are references to tribulation or trouble.  Isaiah and Jeremiah refer to birth pangs that bring forth a new Israel, which comes into possession of the Abrahamic land grant.  Isaiah also calls it the “Day of the Lord,” the Day of Vengeance.  Elsewhere, it is referred to as a “Day of Distress,” “Desolation,” “Darkness” and “Wrath.”  Without a doubt, it’s major consequence will be upon the nation through which it was revealed to the world – Israel.  In Luke 21:22-25, Jesus links the Tribulation period with the end of the era of Gentile ascendancy and the rising again of Israel …

For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.  But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.  And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.  And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring …” (Luke 21:22-25).

At the same time, the Tribulation will end the long period of judicial blindness that has been placed upon Israel as punishment for it’s failure to keep the Mosaic Law and it’s rejection of Jesus, the Messiah.  Romans 11:25 makes it plain that with the end of the Gentile economy (dispensation of rule), Israel’s spiritual blindness will cease …

“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Romans 11:25).

The Tribulation will also bring an unprecedented period of Messianic anticipation, leading to a revival of magnificent proportions.  The seventh chapter of Revelation tells of the sealing of a spiritual vanguard, drawn from the twelve tribes of Israel – the 144,000.  They are shown in the context of a great revival that covers the entire world.  The Tribulation will also purge the Earth of wicked men and the influence of wickedness, as seen in Isaiah 13:6-11 …

Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.  Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.  Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.  For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.  And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible” (Isaiah 13:6-11).

ONE SUPERMAN – SEVEN YEARS

We’ve already looked at the beginning of Daniel’s “Seventieth Week” as the time when the Antichrist stands in affirmation of Israel’s covenant.  It is worth repeating that since this act opens the week, it sets off a chain of events that will take seven years to complete.  As this is written, the week awaits fulfillment.  Some have said that since this week of seven years is referenced only once in the entire Bible (Daniel 9:27), it does not offer sufficient proof that the Tribulation really is a seven-year period.  As noted above, they therefore argue in favor of a three-and-a-half-year period.  But Daniel’s full exposition of the Antichrist’s government is not given until chapter eleven.  The 45 verses of this chapter are devoted to an account of the ruling powers who descended from Alexander the Great, following his death in 323 B.C.  Alexander, the “mighty king” of

250px-Seleuco_I_Nicatore
Seleucus 1 (358-280 B.C.), the founder of the Seleucid Dynasty, reigned over Syria and Babylonia after the death of Alexander the Great.  From his lineage came Antiochus 4 Epiphanes, who sacrificed a swine on the Temple altar, making him a prophetic forerunner archetype of the coming Antichrist who will also commit the abomination of desolation in the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem.

Daniel 11:3, became the leader of a world-dominating army.  Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy and Seleucus, the four generals among whom his kingdom was subsequently divided, are chronicled by Daniel.  But toward the middle of the chapter, only Ptolemy and Seleucus are mentioned.  Near the chapter’s end, the focus is narrowed to only Seleucus and his dynasty.  The most notorious member of this dynasty is Antiochus 4 Epiphanes (called the “vile person” in Daniel 11:21), to whom is reserved a large descriptive passage.  Daniel 11:21 through 35 are devoted to one of scripture’s most detailed profiles of the Antichrist.  Antiochus typifies this evil man as totally enveloped in a consuming hatred of Israel.  He even attempts to overthrow their “holy covenant” with God.  But Antiochus is only the type of the grim reality who will arise in the days of the Tribulation.  Daniel 11:36-45 then brings us a look at that reality – the prophecy of the so-called “willful king.”  Virtually all reliable expositors view this king as the Antichrist.  He is the ultimate megalomaniac, who exalts himself even above God.  Daniel’s prophecy reveals him as a strange man of bizarre power, who is given to dark practices and lustful appetites …

And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.  Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.  But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.  Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain” (Daniel 11:36-39).

This prophecy shows the Antichrist in the developmental period of his reign.  He is free to exercise his will and to engage in the most blatant self-exultation.  Furthermore, he will apparently have the power to utter miraculously powerful words against God – he will challenge God and appear, for a time, to be winning.  Not only that, he is said to “prosper” throughout the Tribulation.  That is, even while the world is wracked by physical and spiritual upheavals of all kinds, his plans will succeed, even to the end of the Tribulation.  He will stand as a singular and phenomenal man, whose power and purpose will finally be revealed as wholly Satanic.  Without reliance upon family, or a traditional faith in God, he will stand as the ultimate arch-fiend.  No doubt, he will re-awaken the worship of the ancient pagan gods (Baal anyone?).  More than that, the world will see him as empowered by intelligent alien forces, perhaps presenting themselves as the ancient creators of mankind that have now returned to take stock of their work, and bring it to a new evolutionary level.  In any case, the Antichrist will certainly play to the modern mythologies of mankind, including the widespread belief that alien intelligences are present and offer man the hope of new life.  Clearly, verses 36 through 39 speak of the progression of events that bring the Antichrist to his zenith, which Jesus called “the abomination of desolation” in Matthew 24:15.  But Jesus places this event at the middle of the Tribulation, not the end.  He warns those in Judea (not the Gentile world) to flee to the mountains when they see this desecration of the rebuilt Temple.  He warns them to not even pause to take their possessions, but to run for their lives.  Then, he says …

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).

In other words, the Great Tribulation comes after the abomination of Desolation.  The usual thought is that this title represents the judgments of the second half of the Tribulation.  To place Antichrist’s rise to power, political consolidation in warfare against his opponents, economic development and claim to godhood – plus the Great Tribulation – within a cramped and limiting three-and-a-half-year period simply does not allow enough time for all the prophesied events to happen.  Returning to the picture given by Daniel, we discover the same necessity for a seven-year period.  Daniel 11:40-45 tell of the time period on or about the time when he first begins to declare his claim to godhood:

And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.  He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.  He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.  But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.  But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.  And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him” (Daniel 11:40-45).

In these verses, it is made quite obvious that not everyone agrees with his claim to world leadership.  Various powers – kings of the south, east and north – attempt to thwart his plans.  He is also shown at war with several powers of the Middle East.  But note in particular verses 44 and 45, where his forces ride forth in power and destroy those enemies – “to make away many.”  Here, the original language indicates that he “cuts them off” or “sweeps them away.”  Then, he sets up his headquarters “between the two seas,” that is, between the Mediterranean and Dead Seas.  He resides in Jerusalem, “in the glorious holy mountain.”  In other words, he reigns from Mt. Zion.  He is victorious.  All of this has taken place prior to his final declaration of godhood. How do we know this?  Because the very next verse – Daniel 21:1 – is as clear a reference to the second half of the Tribulation as can be found anywhere in scripture …

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1).

WHAT TIME?

Here, we must ask a question about the phrase “that time” in the verse above.  Very simply, we need to know what time is being referenced.  The time is plainly indicated by the context to which it refers, namely, the time of the Antichrist’s rise to power, his declaration of godhood and his successful campaign against his enemies.  This is the time period outlined in the preceding verses – Daniel 11:36-45.  All of these details must be resolved before he can stand up as the infamous embodiment of the mark of the beast described in Revelation 13.  Here, we see “that time”  as the opening of the Great Tribulation period – the second half of the seven years.  And at “that time,” Michael the Archangel who fights for Israel on God’s behalf is said to stand and begin his defense in earnest.  This corresponds exactly with Revelation 12:6-8 and the events which plainly mark the beginning of the second half of Daniel’s seventieth week …

And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.  And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,  And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven” (Revelation 12:6-8).

Here, the 1,260 days (three-and-a-half years) corresponds exactly with the period referenced by Daniel.  It is the time of “Jacob’s Trouble” when Israel goes into hiding.  This could not have taken place during the Antichrist’s ascendancy while he was preoccupied with securing his position and controlling the Gentile powers that sought to defeat him.  In fact, Daniel 12:5-7 refers to this three-and-a-half-year period as “a time, times, and an half.”  In other words, from the time that the Antichrist sets up his headquarters on Mount Zion, until the end of the Tribulation, will be three-and-a-half years …

Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.  And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?  And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished” (Daniel 12:5-7).

As mentioned earlier, this “scattering” or breaking down the self-reliant arrogance of a prideful Israel takes place at the end of the Tribulation period, not the beginning.  The question is “How long until the end?”  It is perfectly obvious that the time in question is, “How long from the time the Antichrist sets up his palace between the seas until the end of the Tribulation period?”  The answer is three-and-a-half years, with the stipulation that there will be an additional period at the end.  To emphasize the point, Daniel 12:11 mentions the Abomination of Desolation once again …

“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days” (Daniel 12:11).

In the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24, Jesus tells those in Judea to flee when they see this abomination.  The points of comparison in Daniel, Matthew and Revelation establish beyond a doubt that the Antichrist requires a considerable amount of time – at least three-and-a-half years – to establish his power.  After that, Israel is persecuted for another three-and-a-half years.  That adds up to seven years – plus …

“Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days” (Daniel 12:12).

Daniel is told that the closing three-and-a-half years of the Tribulation would have an addendum.  First, in verse 11, we are told of an additional thirty days, bringing the total to 1,290 days.  Then, in verse 12, we are informed that there will be a blessing beyond that, to those who wait for 1,335 days to elapse.  This makes the second half of the Tribulation three-and-a-half years in length, with the addition of another two-and-a-half months.  Most agree that this brief period corresponds to the time of Christ’s coming at the end of the Tribulation (the Second Coming) with the body of born-again believers who were raptured into Heaven seven years or more prior to the Tribulation.  And what is the blessing?  Possibly, it is the time for the judgment and prosecution of the beast and false prophet, as given in Revelation 19.  Whatever it is, it lies beyond the seven years of Daniel’s seventieth week.

THE FIRST HALF OF THE WEEK

Given that there is a prophetically important period following the Tribulation, could there also be one before the seven years?  With specific reference to the Antichrist, how much of his development occurs before the confirmation of the covenant with Israel (Daniel 9:27)?  As the Lamb opens the first seal in Revelation 6:2, the Antichrist rides forth as a conqueror …

FLYING WHITE HORSE
“And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer” (Revelation 6:2).

Here, the false messiah rides forth as a conqueror.  This seal marks the initiation of his empire-building activities.  But at this point, it cannot be said with certainty that he has confirmed the covenant with the leaders of Israel.  The Antichrist’s white horse and the other three which accompany it seem to mark only the bare beginnings of his evil empire.  Much time will be required for him to do battle with God’s two witnesses and the armies of the Gentile world, then to be supernaturally revealed as the incarnation of Satan.  When the Antichrist signs a seven-year covenant with Israel, the last week, or the last seven years of God’s prophetic time clock for Israel begins ticking away.  This, and only this, is the starting point of the seven years of the Tribulation.  In the light of this, it should be very evident that it is not the Rapture which begins the Tribulation.  As has already been shown, the Rapture will occur sometime before the Tribulation.  It is extremely likely that the Rapture will occur a number of years before the Tribulation begins.  Many well-known expositors hold this same view.  If, for example, the Rapture were to occur two or three years before the Tribulation, then the global government of Mystery Babylon could begin a period of amalgamation that would see it’s conclusion well before the Antichrist’s confirmation of the covenant and the beginning of Daniel’s seventieth week.  Thus, when the Antichrist rides forth with the red horse of war, the black horse of economic collapse and the pale horse of death, it will be to demolish the existing geopolitical system.  Later, he will replace the one he destroyed with his own – a diabolical system of identification marks and despotic control.  Who can deny that we are seeing this global system emerge right now as we speak?

TEN YEARS PLUS?

From the moment of the Rapture until the conclusion of Daniel’s 1,135 days could well comprise a period of over ten years in duration.  It might be much less, but certain typological precedents indicate a longer, rather than shorter, period.  One thing is certain, a global government cannot be established without a fight.  Daniel’s prophecy points this out with great clarity.  Nor can it be established overnight.  Consolidation of powers and treaties with powerful factions will take time.  Only then will the Antichrist be in a position to promise anything, or as some would have it, take anything and do as he pleases.  Of course, his promise to Israel, and his confirmation of the covenant is the factor which initiates the seventieth week.  Finally, in Paul’s prophecy of the Antichrist, we see exactly this picture.  His “man of sin” cannot be revealed until a certain set of prerequisite events have taken place.  2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 are quite unequivocal on this point …

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

Paul tells the Thessalonians that “that day” (the day of the Lord) cannot come imminently, or without warning.  He says that two things must happen first.  First, a “falling away” must come.  Many discussions have arisen about what this means.  When looked at closely, this term actually indicates that it is the Rapture that is referred to here.  The Greek verb here indicates a “departing,” or physical going away.

An indeterminate time surely elapses between this “falling away” and the Tribulation.  Second, the “man of sin,” or Antichrist, must be revealed.  It must be acknowledged that this is merely the beginning of his revelation to the world.  Following that, as already pointed out, much time will be required for him to capture the power systems of the world and turn them to his own use.  Then, he must confirm the covenant with Israel before the Day of the Lord (the Tribulation) can be initiated.  It is a certainty that Daniel’s seventieth week is a full seven years in length.  Furthermore, it will be preceded by an undetermined length of time, possibly up to three years in length.  Finally, a “clean-up” period of two-and-a-half months duration follows the seven-year Tribulation.  As a faithful believer in the pre-tribulation Rapture of the church, be thankful that you will never personally suffer under the Antichrist.  Long before he is known to the world – long before he confirms the covenant with Israel – you will already be present with the Lord.  Neither will you experience the cataclysms of the Tribulation.  You will watch and wait with him as the earth is prepared for the Kingdom.  However, for those who have not been born again in Christ have every reason to be worried and concerned.  The Rapture will only include those who have personally received Christ.

THE REQUIREMENT FOR YOUR INCLUSION IN THE RAPTURE AND ESCAPE FROM THE COMING WRATH

In order to accept the offer of God’s grace and his salvation, you must take the crucial three steps of …

1. Agreeing – A belief and agreeing with God in all that he says in his word, the Bible, about the fact that you are separated from God, as every man and woman on the face of the earth are before accepting his salvation.  The Bible reveals that all are separated from him in a spiritual state of death, or in another way that the Bible puts it, in a state of sin, that will result in eternal damnation.  Agreeing with God in your heart that you are in need of his salvation.  The Bible reveals that God looks upon the heart of a man, and thus, responds accordingly to the man or woman who comes to him for salvation in recognition of his inability to save himself.  The Bible makes these facts very clear – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).  The Bible describes these three kinds of death:  physical death (the state experienced when life leaves our bodies); spiritual death (spiritual separation from God caused by our state of spiritual death, or state of sin that results in outward acts of sin on a daily basis as the Bible also puts it – the state of sin is received from the first man Adam); and finally eternal death (the fixed state entered into by the individual who dies physically while he or she is dead spiritually).  It is eternal death, in particular, which is the horrible result of receiving the wages of sin.  The Lord Jesus Christ frequently described such a death as being eternal (without end) in a destiny which he called Hell.  He described Hell as a literal place of judgment (Matthew 13:42); a place of everlasting fire (Matthew 18:8); a place of torment (Luke 16:24,28); a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:50); a place of remorse (Mark 9:44-48); of bitter memory (Luke 16:25), and a place originally prepared for the Devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).  In fact, Jesus more often warned about Hell than he spoke about Heaven.  It is not God’s will or desire that any person should be consigned to perish in Hell (2 Peter 3:9), but rather that all should come to repentance of unbelief toward him and believe on him for the salvation of the individual’s soul.  But God’s justice requires that the “soul who sins” (remains in it’s state of death or state of sin) is the one who will die eternally (Ezekiel 18:4).  So, agree with God, admitting that you are unable to save yourself and in a state of sin under God’s just condemnation for that sin and that you are in need of his salvation.

2. Believing – Then, believe that God does not want you to perish eternally in the torment of Hell because of your sin.  Believe that God loves you so much that he provided a way whereby he could still be a just, holy and righteous God, and yet pardon you.  Believe that God did not just overlook sin, but that he sent his only begotten son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to provide salvation by personally paying the penalty for sin.  Believe that Jesus Christ, whose life, death, burial and resurrection is the best-attested fact of antiquity, did come to earth to live, die, rise again and ascend to Heaven in order to provide justification and salvation for all who trust him.  Believe that he, and he alone, can save you because he has fully satisfied the just demands of God.  Believe that you can’t become righteous in God’s sight by your own effort.  Believe that he wants to save you and that he will save you.  The Bible provides a solid basis for such belief …

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17). 

“But God demonstrates his love toward us in this:  while we were yet sinners,  Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). 

God presented him (Jesus Christ) as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood.  He did this to demonstrate his justice because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished – he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies the man or woman who has faith in Jesus (Romans 3:25-26). 

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures … ” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). 

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). 

“Jesus answered, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).  “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out [drive away]” (John 6:37).

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).

3. Calling – It is not enough to agree with God, admit your need, and believe that Christ can and will save you.  You must act upon those facts.  You must repent of the sin of your unbelief toward him and actively call upon him for the salvation of your soul based on the fact that you cannot save yourself because of your sins.  You must be willing to completely turn from your own efforts to save yourself or from any other hope.  You must come to Christ, calling upon him for salvation and counting on the fact that he will do what he has promised.  This means simply taking the gift of pardon and eternal life which he offers.  Merely believing about Jesus Christ without coming to him makes as much sense and is as effective as believing that a medication can successfully treat a fatal disease, but failing to take it.  Yet again, the Bible emphatically and authoritatively provides the basis for such statements:

“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). 

The word translated “believe” here means to “rest one’s entire weight and trust on the object or person in which the belief is placed.”  It requires action in keeping with the intellectual assent of that belief.

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

” … but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

The logical question you may be asking at this point is:  “how do I come to Christ and call upon him?”  The answer is that “calling upon the Lord” is just another term for praying, or talking to God.  To talk to God is not a complicated process, dependent upon some special rituals.  God has invited people to approach him through his Son in simple, straightforward terms.  In fact, Jesus approved of the dishonest, despised tax collector who simply prayed, “God be merciful to me, a sinner.”  While the exact words of your prayer to God are not of vital importance (since God sees and knows the attitude of your heart), the following is the kind of prayer that you could pray in calling upon God for salvation …

“Dear Lord Jesus:  I realize that I need you.  I admit that I have sinned and that I deserve your just, eternal punishment for that sin.  But I am sorry for my sin and I am turning to you and asking for forgiveness.  I believe that you died and rose again to pay sin’s penalty on my behalf.  I come to you and open my heart to you.  I ask you to come into my life, forgive me for all of my sin and make me your child.  I invite you to take control of my life and to cause me to be the kind of person you would have me to be.  I thank you for doing this because you have promised that whosoever calls upon you, as I am doing now, shall be saved.  I pray this in the name of your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.”

If this prayer expresses the desire of your heart, I urge you to sincerely and genuinely express it to God as your prayer.  The Bible makes clear that when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in our heart, God forgives our sins and counts us righteous, and that when we openly confess with our mouth what we have done in our heart,  God gives us assurance of that salvation (Romans 10:9-10).

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” (John 3:3-7).

 

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