December 20, 2009
I greet you once again in the Name of Jesus!
Last time we looked at what has been referred to as, “The back-bone” of Bible prophecy. I am speaking of Daniel’s “70th Week” prophecy recorded in your Bible in Daniel 9:24 – 27. It is there that we find out that God has placed the people and land of Israel on a prophetic time table.
As we pointed out last time most scholars interpret the “weeks” as referring to weeks of years. In other words, 70 sets of seven, or a total of 490 years. I won’t reiterate all of the material that we presented last time, but suffice it to say that Bible prophecy makes it clear that 69 of the prophetic “weeks” have already been fulfilled. This took in the command to re-build Jerusalem under the reign of Artaxerxes, all the way to the coming of Messiah as Prince. The total of the first set of “weeks” is 483 years.
Israel’s prophetic clock stopped ticking after Messiah was “cut off.” This undetermined period of time between the 69th and 70th weeks takes in the Church age, or the dispensation of grace. We can be sure the 70th week will be fulfilled just as surely as the first 69 were. The prophetic clock for Israel and the Jewish people will begin ticking again following the catching away of the Church. This final period of seven years will be the time of “Jacob’s Trouble” [See Jer. 30:7] or the “Great tribulation.” [See Matt. 24:21]
Contrary to popular belief in prophecy circles, it will not actually be the rapture that will signal the beginning of the 70th week. It will actually begin when a coming world ruler known as, among other names, the Antichrist comes on the scene and makes a seven-year peace treaty with Israel [See Dan. 9:27]. The prophecy of Daniel goes on to say that in the middle of the final seven-year period of this age, or after 3 ½ years, this world ruler will break his treaty with Israel, turn against the Jews, and desecrate a re-built temple in Jerusalem. Yes, the Jewish temple will be re-built. Prophecy demands it.
This act of desolation prophesied by Daniel, called the abomination of desolation, was also prophesied by Jesus 500 years after Daniel as He looked ahead prophetically to the end of days [See Matt. 24:15]. Prophecy indicates that the abomination of desolation will begin with the Antichrist defiling the temple by sitting in the temple, in its holy of holies, declaring himself God [See 2 Thess. 2:4]. If this were not bad enough, he will then have an image of himself constructed that will sit in the temple, and all will be forced to worship him and the image [See Rev. 13:14 – 18].
At the culmination of the final seven-year period, the Antichrist will be destroyed by Christ at His Second Coming to earth. The following illustration will help you to visualize this prophetic period of time:
One might be tempted to ask, “Ok, but what does all of this have to do with 2012?” You may recall that we said last time that Daniel 9:24 – 27 is one of the key clues that we have that demonstrates that 2012 will not be the time of the Second Coming of Christ or the end of the world. According to Daniel, the Second Coming of Christ will be preceded by a seven-year period that again, Jesus called the Great Tribulation.
If 2012 were the end of this age, then based on Daniel’s prophecy, we would have to back up at least seven years to 2005, which would be the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week. That would mean that the rapture would have to have already happened, and the Tribulation would have to have began in 2005. Even though we have witnessed many really unique and strange things in our world over the past few years, I think almost everyone would agree that the rapture hasn’t occurred and the seven-year Tribulation period that both Daniel and Jesus prophesied has not started yet.
I submit to you that God’s end-time clock in Daniel 9:24 – 27 settles the matter once and for all: 2012 will not be doomsday. Does that mean from an astrological perspective as the earth and the sun align at the very center of the Milky Way on December 21, 2012, that some strange things won’t occur? No, not at all. I am not an astronomer or a meteorologist. We could see some very strange things occur and some upheavals in nature and weather patterns. My point is that it will not spell the end of the world as we know it, nor will it be the time of the Second Coming.
We will continue our panoramic look at Bible prophecy next time.
The Weekly Word is found in Matthew 24:21. Here the Bible says,
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. [Matt. 24:21 NKJV]
Until next time, this is THE WEEKLY WORD.
Pastor Kevin E. Johnson