Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God (Elohim) created [by forming from nothing] the heavens and the earth. Verse 2. The earth was formless and void or a waste and emptiness, and darkness was upon the face of the deep [primeval ocean that covered the unformed earth]. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters.”
WHY IT ALL BEGAN
The Purpose of God’s Eternal Plan, as I have already pointed out, is “Perfection”. He is maturing and perfecting His people into His image, ultimately to live in Perfect harmony with Him and with one another, in a New and Perfect heaven and earth.
“Because by a single offering He has made perfect for all time those who are being sanctified.” – Hebrews 10:14
Each and every chapter, verse and word in the Bible, when viewed within this context of God’s Eternal Plan of Perfection, begins to make perfect sense.
We also learn that God has included us, He has called us as His disciples, to join Him in His plan, purpose and ways and His mission while in this world.
We are not and will cannot be idle bystanders waiting for the end. We are part of God’s Plan, part of His Army, to “share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus”. (2 Timothy 2:3-4).
If we begin in Genesis, which is the foundation of all eschatology, we will see what has happened, what is now happening and what is yet to come. We can trace the stages leading through time and history, to the final epoch of time, known by various names, such as, “The Last Days”, “The End The Age” the “Latter Days” and “The Tribulation Period”.
THE FINAL EPOCH OF TIME, the beginning of LAST STEPS OF TIME, the end of all things, is marked by the birth of Jesus.
This will be more than just a trip through history – this will be a journey of discovery. We will discover, not just WHAT or WHEN certain events happened, but we investigate WHY they occurred, so we can endeavor to know the purpose.
There are visible and observable signs and ancient writings to help you identify the stages in this progression of time. Most people, however, either don’t recognize the signs or writings or don’t believe in their literal fulfillment. Even among those who believe these prophecies are coming to pass and see the signs, few know what they are seeing, where they are leading or what to do in response. It is my intention to make the truth of these matters intelligible, understandable, believable and useful.
God’s plan is unfolding exactly as He purposed; Each event from
- The Creation, through
- the Garden of Eden, and
- the Fall of Man, to
- the Great Flood,
- the Tower of Babel,
- the Exodus from Egypt,
- the possessing of The Promised Land,
- the Destruction of the First Temple and
- the Jewish Captivity in Babylon,
- the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus,
- the Destruction of the Second Temple,
and each event is a sequential step in God’s perfectly coordinated plan to purge, cleanse, refine and rescue His creation and cleanse it from sin in preparation for the final day, the final judgments and the New Heaven, the New earth and eternity with Him.
Our steady march through time has been exactly as Bible prophecy has foretold. We have entered an era leading to the destruction and, eventually, a rebirth of the heavens and the earth.
DANIEL’S 70 WEEKS – A glimpse into the future
The “seventy weeks” prophecy is one of the most significant and detailed Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. It is found in Daniel 9. The chapter begins with Daniel praying for Israel, acknowledging the nation’s sins against God and asking for God’s mercy. As Daniel prayed, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and gave him a vision of Israel’s future.
The Divisions of the 70 Weeks
In verse 24, Gabriel says, “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city.” Almost all commentators agree that the seventy “sevens” should be understood as seventy “weeks” of years, in other words, a period of 490 years. These verses provide a sort of “clock” that gives an idea of when the Messiah would come and some of the events that would accompany His appearance.
The prophecy goes on to divide the 490 years into three smaller units: one of 49 years, one of 434 years, and one 7 years. The final “week” of 7 years is further divided in half. Verse 25 says, “From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’” Seven “sevens” is 49 years, and sixty-two “sevens” is another 434 years:
49 years + 434 years = 483 years
The Purpose of the 70 Weeks
The prophecy contains a statement concerning God’s six-fold purpose in bringing these events to pass. Verse 24 says this purpose is
1) “to finish transgression,”
2) “to put an end to sin,”
3) “to atone for wickedness,”
4) “to bring in everlasting righteousness,”
5) “to seal up vision and prophecy,” and
6) “to anoint the most holy.”
These purposes are THE END OF ALL THINGS. Notice that these results concern the total eradication of sin and the establishing of righteousness. The prophecy of the 70 weeks summarizes what happens before Jesus sets up His millennial kingdom. Of special note is the third in the list of results: “to atone for wickedness.” Jesus accomplished the atonement for sin by His death on the cross (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17).
The Fulfillment of the 70 Weeks
Gabriel said the prophetic clock would start at the time that a decree was issued to rebuild Jerusalem.
- From the date of that decree to the time of the Messiah would be 483 years. We know from history that the command to “restore and rebuild Jerusalem” was given by King Artaxerxes of Persia c. 444 B.C. (see Nehemiah 2:1-8).
- The first unit of 49 years (seven “sevens”) covers the time that it took to rebuild Jerusalem, “with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble” (Daniel 9:25). This rebuilding is chronicled in the book of Nehemiah.
- Converting the 360-day year used by the ancient Jews, 483 years becomes 476 years on our solar calendar. Adjusting for the switch from B.C. to A.D., 476 years after 444 B.C. places us at A.D. 33, which would coincide with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1–9). The prophecy in Daniel 9 specifies that, after the completion of the 483 years, “the Anointed One will be cut off” (verse 26). This was fulfilled when Jesus was crucified.
- AD 33 and the crucifixion of Jesus marks the end of the ‘69 weeks’ or 483 years.
- The early stages of the Last Days began at or sometime between the birth of Jesus and the destruction of the temple (AD 70).
- (1). Jesus called this period the LAST DAYS or the END OF THE AGE in Matthew 24:3-8.
- AD 33 and the crucifixion of Jesus marks the end of the ‘69 weeks’ or 483 years.
CLUES (PROOFS) THAT THESE ARE THE ‘LAST DAYS’
- (2). The Apostle Paul called this period the LAST DAYS in Hebrews 9:26.
- (2). The Apostle Peter called this period the LAST DAYS in Acts 2:14-17.
- (3). The Apostle Paul called this period THESE LAST DAYS in Hebrews 1:1-2.
- (4). The Apostle Timothy called this period the LAST DAYS in 2 Timothy 3:1.
- (5) The Apostle Peter called this period the LAST DAYS in 1 Peter 1:20.
- (6) The Apostle Peter called this period the LAST DAYS in 1 Peter 4:7.
- (7) The Apostle Peter called this period the LAST DAYS in 2 Peter 3:3.
- (8) The Apostle John called this period the LAST DAYS in 1 John 2:18
- Since the birth of Jesus, the first 5 tribulation seals have been broken, have been overlapping and intensifying.
- From AD 33 until the breaking of the 6th tribulation seal (a future event) is the ‘church age’ of the ‘gap’ of time.
- The breaking of the 6th Tribulation seal begins the final 7 years of the Great Tribulation (a.k.a., the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord, The Days of Wrath, etc.
- Daniel 9:26 continues with a prediction that, after the Messiah is killed, “the people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.” This was fulfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The “ruler who will come” is a reference to the Antichrist, who, it seems, will have some connection with Rome, since it was the Romans who destroyed Jerusalem.
DANIEL’S 70TH WEEK – The Final Week of the 70 Weeks.
Of the 70 “sevens,” 69 have been fulfilled in history. This leaves one more “seven” yet to be fulfilled. Most scholars believe that we are now living in a huge gap between the 69th week and the 70th week – but the ‘gap theory’ omits the facts of history – it appears, graphically, that the first 5 tribulation seals have been broken and intensifying, leading up to the 6th Seal, the Great Tribulation, The Great and Terrible Day of God’s Wrath . The prophetic clock has been paused, as it were. The final “seven” of Daniel is what we usually call the tribulation period.
Daniel’s prophecy reveals some of the actions of the Antichrist, the “ruler who will come.” Verse 27 says, “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’” However, “in the middle of the ‘seven’, he will set up an abomination that causes desolation” in the temple. Jesus warned of this event in Matthew 24:15. After the Antichrist breaks the covenant with Israel, a time of “great tribulation” begins (Matthew 24:21, NKJV).
Daniel also predicts that the Antichrist will face judgment. He only rules “until the end that is decreed is poured out on him” (Daniel 9:27). God will only allow evil to go so far, and the judgment the Antichrist will face has already been planned out.
The prophecy of the 70 weeks is complex and amazingly detailed, and much has been written about it. Of course, there are various interpretations. One thing is certain: God has a time table, and He is keeping things on schedule. He knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10), and we should always be looking for the triumphant return of our Lord (Revelation 22:7).
It appears we have entered the Last Days as described in the Bible, and the best description of the purpose, length and, outcome of this End of Time, variously known as the “times of distress”, the tribulation and the Great Tribulation, (see Matthew 24:21, Revelation 2:22 and Revelation 7:14) or the Wrath of the Lamb, (see Revelation 6:16), is found in Daniel 12:1,
Daniel 9:24-27 gives us the PURPOSE or the WHY for Daniel’s 70 Weeks..
- “Seventy weeks [of years, or 490 years] have been decreed for your people and for your holy city (Jerusalem), to finish the transgression,
- to make an end of sins,
- to make atonement (reconciliation) for wickedness,
- to bring in everlasting righteousness (right-standing with God),
- to seal up vision and prophecy and prophet, and
- to anoint the Most Holy Place.
So, you are to know and understand that from the issuance of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until [the coming of] the Messiah (the Anointed One), the Prince, there will be seven weeks [of years] and sixty-two weeks [of years]; It will be built again, with [a city] plaza and moat, even in times of trouble.
Then after the sixty-two weeks [of years] the Anointed One will be cut off [and denied His Messianic kingdom] and have nothing [and no one to defend Him], and the people of the [other] prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.
And he will enter into a binding and irrevocable covenant with the many for one week (seven years), but in the middle of the week he will stop the sacrifice and grain offering [for the remaining three and one-half years] (NOTE: This occurs at the 6th Tribulation Trumpet); and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until the complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who causes the horror.”
Daniel 12:1-13 gives us an accurate overview, a summary of what has already begun and that which is yet to come:
- And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, (The tribulation period beginning with the first seal broken sometime around the time of Jesus’ birth or as late as the destruction of the 2nd Temple.)
- everyone who is found, written in the book, will be rescued. Verse 2. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. (This begins at and during the breaking of the 6th Tribulation Seal and is.)
- Verse 3. And those who have insight will shine like the glow of the expanse of heaven,
- and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. Verse 4. But as for you, Daniel, keep these words secret and seal up the book until the end of time; many will roam about, and knowledge will increase.” Verse 5. Then I, Daniel, looked, and behold, two others were standing, one on this bank of the stream and the other on that bank of the stream. Verse 6. And someone said to the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream,
- “How long will it be until the end of these wonders?” Verse 7. And I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that
(a) it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish smashing the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed. Verse 8. But as for me, I heard but did not understand; so, I said, “My lord, what will be the outcome of these events?” Verse 9. And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for these words will be kept secret and sealed up until the end time.
- Verse 10. Many will be purged, cleansed, and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.
- Verse 11. And from the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up (NOTE: This occurs at the 6th Tribulation Trumpet), there will be 1,290 days. Verse 12.
- Blessed is the one who is patient and attains to the 1,335 day!s
- (During the next 30 days (leading up to 1,290 days after the desecration of the temple), Israel is rebuilt and the earth is restored.
- During the next 45 days (leading up to 1,335 days after the desecration of the temple), the Gentile nations are judged for their treatment of Israel.
- The dispensation of the millennium begins, and it will last for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:3, 5–6).
Verse 13. But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will rest and rise for your allotted portion at the end of the age.”
Sometime in the early stage of the events described in Daniel 12, there will be an event which is so fantastic as to be unbelievable. But I will show the evidence leading to this event, known as the ‘Rapture’ and I will even help you calculate the odds of its occurrence. You will then be faced with the most monumental decision you have ever faced. You don’t want to miss this.
(PART III – coming soon)