Posts Tagged ‘God’

Wilfred HahnBy Wilfred J. Hahn
Eternal Value Review

Policymakers around the world continue to bemoan the state of world economic affairs, desperately grasping for solutions. The major challenge today is that nations are inclined to search out solutions that meet their own vested interests. After a long period of global convergence (driven primarily by globalization) globalism is going into reverse. Global cooperation is deteriorating. The most apparent symptom of this development is the widespread pursuit of currency manipulation. Countries representing the majority of world’s economic output (counting more than 30 countries) are now openly trying to outmaneuver each other by attempting to export their problems away. It is a mutually defeating strategy. What to do about these divergent policies? A wide variety of solutions are being recommended, most of these from the very same policymakers and macro-economists that didn’t foresee the disaster of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in the first place. Most revealing are the calls for a “master world ruler” Here is a representative quote from a publication put out by Martin A. Armstrong, a one-time influential financial economist.

“[…] this is that moment in time when the 1-year office of Roman Dictator is critical. We are in desperate need of our modern Cinncinnatus (570-451 B.C.) to come in, revise the world economy, and retire. We so desperately need someone with experience and the understanding of how the international economy even functions to save the day. It will never happen. But this is why political reform is so crucially needed to provide for such an option. The solutions are easy. The world could be saved NOT in 100 days, but in just 30 days! (Source: Martin A. Armstrong, A Total Eclipse of the Economy, December 2010)

All of these developments, though possibly only early indications of future prophecies yet to be fulfilled, align with the Bible’s pronouncements about the endtimes and the coming Tribulation period.

“For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” — 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12

Related Links


IMF Is Solution to Global Crises – Strauss-Kahn – Right Side News
Food costs at records, UN warns of volatile era – Reuters
Who/What is the restrainer in 2 Thessalonians 2:6? – GotQuestions.org
Food stamp usage up 14 percent from last year – Christian Science Monitor
EU leaders wrangle over debt crisis measures – Bloomberg
Shippers Concerned Over Possible Suez Canal Disruptions – CNBC


Todd BakerBy Todd Baker
B’rit Hadashah Ministries

Preachers and theologians are often fond of saying that History is “His story,” meaning that God plans and determines the details and events that make up human history ruling over the process from beginning to end to fulfill His great purpose for Mankind. Nothing could be truer of Israel. The history of the Jewish people is “His story” played out within human history, which has been revealed, foretold, and written in the Bible.

Israel’s history is supernatural from beginning to end. It began with the Patriarch Abraham some 4,000 years ago when God called this nomadic wanderer from Ur of the Chaldeans (Modern day Iraq) to leave his homeland and go into the land of Canaan (Genesis 12:1-3). Abraham obeyed that call and became the father of the nation Israel and the Jewish people. Though Abraham, and Sarah his wife, were well beyond the age of having children (Genesis 18:11), God miraculously rejuvenated the ninety-year old body of Sarah to bear them a son; Isaac through whom God would raise up the people and nation the Messiah would come through (Genesis 21:12).

With the promised child came the Promised Land — the land that is called Israel – where Abraham and his descendants would live. In Genesis 13:15 and 17:7-8, God promised to give the land to Abraham and his descendants (the Jews) for an “everlasting possession” under the unconditional terms of an “everlasting covenant”:

“For all the land which you see I have given it to you and your descendants forever. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. And I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession.”

Here we observe from Israel’s inception that the history of the Jewish people and their divine destiny is inextricably bound up with the land God promised them. The covenant referred to in Genesis 17:7-8 is formally called the Abrahamic Covenant. It is an eternal covenant made between God to Abraham and his descendants forever. God essentially established through this Covenant with Abraham a people from him (the Jewish people), a place for them (the land of Israel), so that the purpose of blessing all the nations of the world could occur in perpetuity, that is forever. Thus God gave the land of Israel to the Jews forever and to no other ethnic group or nation, protestations from the Arabs, Palestinians, and international community notwithstanding.

One of the basic laws of Bible interpretation is the law of first mention. The law of first mention states that when a thing is mentioned for the first time in the Bible it carries the same meaning all throughout the Scriptures. It establishes the Bible as consistent in its meaning from beginning to end as it applies to persons, places, events, and things.

In Genesis 13:15 we have the first mention in Scripture stating that God gave the land of Israel to Abraham and the Jewish people forever. This truth is reiterated throughout the rest of Scripture and establishes the rightful owners of the land to be the Jews granted by divine right. There is no deviation or alteration by God from this covenant. It stands for all time. The ongoing struggle for Israel’s right to live in the Land of Promise has already been settled once and for all by the eternal counsel of God as codified and enacted in the Abrahamic Covenant. God has spoken and His Word on this matter is settled forever (Psalm 119:89); thus all the political wrangling about who the land belongs to is quite simply moot and in the end irrelevant and inconsequential.

The current Middle East crisis centers around who owns the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem. But unbelief coming from the world disputes and dismisses the whole issue being settled by the inerrant Word of God. One cannot begin to understand the current Middle East crisis and how it relates to Israel’s past, present and future without knowing and understanding the fundamental importance of this divine covenant. Author Richard Booker wisely wrote:

“Indeed the key to understanding today’s headlines and tomorrow’s news lies in the past within the sacred covenant God made with Abraham.” (Richard Booker, Blow the Trumpet in Zion, p.17).

In the series of articles to come, we will explore how this is true throughout the divine panoramic plan God has for Israel in the past, present, and future as revealed through Bible prophecy.

Related Links


Introduction to the Biblical Covenants: Abrahamic Covenant – SpiritandTruth.org (Tony Garland)
Palestinians urge Quartet to back their state – Khaleej Times
Merkel warns against stalled Mideast peace talks – Deutsche Welle
What is the Abrahamic Covenant? – GotQuestions.org
Abbas Reveals His True Agenda – Family Security Matters

Brannon HowseBy Brannon Howse
Worldview Weekend

In August of 2010, I predicted on my national radio program that it was only a matter of time before Glenn Beck would release a distinctively religious book that would promote his New Age Mormonism and universalism. I sensed that Glenn was setting himself up to be the politically conservative alternative to Oprah.

Many self-professing Christians cannot see what Beck is up to but there are those in the unsaved world that seem to be exhibiting more worldview understanding than some in the Christian community. The Business Insider published an article on January 4, 2011 entitled, Glenn Beck’s New Year’s Plan Sounds A Lot Like Oprah’s New Network.

Last week (second week of January 2011) Beck released his latest book entitled The Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life. The book is co-authored by psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow.

Beck’s new book is nothing less than the promotion of universalism, postmodernism, and pagan spirituality, also known as the New Age Movement.

I tried to warn America’s pastors and Christian leaders in early August of 2010, not to unite with Glenn Beck in his spiritual rally that sought to unite all faiths and look to one God. I gave these Christian leaders plenty of evidence that Glenn Beck was a practicing Mormon that was also embracing New Age paganism.

Some of these Christian leaders said that Beck was a “new Christian”, “a baby Christian”, “new brother”, a “little lamb”, or “very close to becoming a Christian.” If they think Glenn Beck meets the Biblical descriptions of a Christian then they have no clue what the book of 1 John says are the Biblical hallmarks of a true follower of Jesus Christ.

A friend of mine even e-mailed a mega pastor that was publicly supporting Glenn Beck’s 8-28 rally to ask him to be careful about embracing Beck and his black robe regiment because of some of the false theology Glenn was espousing. The pastor replied:

Glenn Beck is a new brother and he is learning and growing and coming to the light day by day as he is being discipled by [name of Christian leader removed]. There was once a day when you and I were in the same place he is now. Be careful that you don’t place a yoke on a little lamb rather than an ox.

Would this pastor say Oprah Winfrey is a Christian?

According to Christian Post, another Mega Church pastor said:

I have interviewed persons who have talked specifically with Glenn about his personal salvation – persons extremely well known in Christianity – and they have affirmed (using language evangelicals understand), ‘Glenn is saved’…He understands receiving Christ as savior.

How confusing to the unsaved world and to baby Christians it must be to have Christian leaders make this claim about being a Christian in light of Beck’s latest book. Many now believe what Beck is promoting in his book is Christianity because Pastors and Christian leaders have announced that “Glenn is saved.” I have had teenagers e-mail me and come up to me at our conferences and express how confused they are by what Christian leaders have said about Beck being saved when they have heard Beck promote New Age heresy.

In light of Beck’s religious and spiritual proclamations in his new book, this would be the week for the Christian leaders and pastors that embraced Beck on the national stage, and proclaimed Beck’s salvation, to release a press release and post a statement on their website that they disagree with Beck’s pagan spirituality and that indeed Beck is not demonstrating theology and doctrine consist with what the Bible says are the hallmarks of a Christian. These Christian leaders need to apologize for leading people to believe that Beck was a Christian or to believe that Beck held and promoted religious views that were compatible with Biblical Christianity. Dr. Erwin Lutzer, of the historic Moody Church in Chicago, correctly declared in August of 2010 on my radio program that any pastor or Christian leader involved in Beck’s rally would be involved in heresy. I agree 100% with that statement.

In his new book Beck and Dr. Ablow promote psychologist Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, New Age authors Robert Pirsig and James Redfied, Buddha, Buddhist teacher Sogyal Rinpoche, Gandhi, The Bible and the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas. Sadly, Glenn is confused and all Christians should pray that he will come to salvation in the Jesus of the Bible through faith and repentance.

On page 56 Beck says he read A Course in Miracles by Helen Schucman which is the Bible of the New Age Movement. I wrote an entire chapter in my book Grave Influence on Helen Schucman and the demon she channeled that helped her write the book.

I have several friends who were Mormons for many years before accepting the Jesus Christ of the Bible as their Lord and Savior through faith and repentance. Tracy was a Mormon for 26 years and e-mailed me to explain why many Mormons are open to New Age Spirituality:

It’s not surprising how easy it is for many LDS to get involved in occult practices based on the “power of the priesthood.” For example, energy healing (chakras), cloud-busting, and other mind-power things. My LDS friends and I were always interested in books like The Magic of Believing, Embraced by the Light, and other New Agey kinds of books. I remember seeing Star Wars when I was Mormon and how many of us in the ward (LDS congregation) were comparing The Force to the priesthood power.

Since we believed we were on the godhood track, using the phrase “I AM” in the context Glenn uses it, fits in neatly with the power of the priesthood through which worlds are created (according to Mormon doctrine). In fact, Mormonism teaches that God did NOT create the universe ex nihilo, because God can only manipulate and arrange existing matter; he cannot create it. Thus we see, from the LDS perspective, we too can become I AM, through the divine nature within us.

On page 79 Beck and Dr. Ablow promote transcendental meditation and Eastern Mysticism. On page 85 we read,

“As you commit to unlocking and bringing forth the truth inside you, don’t be afraid to pray for help. Don’t be reticent to sit with yourself in silence and meditate. Connect with the miracle of spirit, of God, that has lived inside you from long before you were born.”

Christian meditation is not about “bringing forth the truth inside of you” nor is it about contacting God that has “lived inside you from long before you were born.” This is not Biblical and any Christian that thinks otherwise is either a false convert or is Biblically illiterate. Click here to hear a short video clip by Dr. Ron Carlson on the dangers of New Age meditation.

On page 132 Beck and Ablow proclaim,

“Pray to whatever higher power you believe in…Praying that God or Nature or the Cosmos or your own internal, immeasurable reservoir of spirit allows you the courage and faith to find and then face the truth…”

In several places readers are told it really does not matter what religion or religious leader they follow. On page 157 Beck writes,

“Finding what worked for me made all the difference. Finding what works for you will do the same.”

On page 74 the reader is instructed,

“Just be sure you visit with a minister or therapist from a religion or healing discipline you actually have affinity for, or suspect you might.”

On page 236, reincarnation is promoted through the writings of Robert Pirsig’s book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

,

“…the ‘spirit’ of Chris or the ‘ghost’ of Chris, then you can say without further translation that the spirit or ghost of Chris is looking for a new body to enter.”

Beck is a very committed and knowledgeable Mormon:

I have had several Christians tell me that Beck does not really know much about the Mormon faith. That is not what Beck writes in his new book.

“I questioned everything I could think to question about the faith. I went over my doubts again and again with the church bishop. I read everything there was to read on their website and every word of Mormon Doctrine…I went to anti-Mormon literature for hints, but I found most of it to be unfair or just plain wrong. I tried every trick I could think of to find a contradiction. The problem was that I couldn’t. Mormonism seemed to explain the world and my place in it better than any other faith I had looked at.” (Page 149-150)

Beck does not believe in Hell, original sin or that Jesus is the only way:

“Latter-day Saints do not believe that your chances ever cease, even with death. They end only with the full understanding and denial of truth by your own exercise of real free will. And even then there is no ‘lake of fire.’ (Page 149)

“As Keith likes to say, ‘There’s no original sin left in the world. Everyone’s just recycling pain now.’ “(Page 154.)

“There is no infant delivered evil, out of the womb. There never has been. Not even one…Charles Manson was not born evil. Ted Bundy wasn’t. The BTK killer wasn’t. Hitler wasn’t.” (Page 162)

The Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. (Romans 3:23) The Bible says that even babies are born with a sin nature and that we are all conceived in sin. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. (Psalm 51:5)

“People are inherently good.” (Page 165).

The Bible says in Jeremiah 17:9, The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Beck’s book uses the phrase “Your truth” or “your true path” or “my truth” at least 23 times. Here are a few examples:

“It is never too late to embrace your truth.” (Page 124)

“What is your truth whispering?” (Page 130)

“Use compassion to stay on the path to your own truth… (Page 161)

“…determination to unearth and embrace my truth.” (Page 215)

“The fact that I am always attempting to honor my truth… (Page 216)

“There is only your truth.” (Page 220)

“You must use courage and faith to empty the hard drive of your soul and then fill it with your truth.” (Page 288)

Beck’s book promotes the New Age belief that God dwells within all:

“The third chapter of Exodus helped me start to understand how crucial it was that my focus be on finding God not just in the seas or the cosmos, but in myself.” (Page 57)

If God is everything and everywhere and inside everyone, then I figured He had to be inside me, too… (Page 58)

This is the promotion of pantheism and panentheism.

“Divine power is still inside you.” (Page 71)

“Reach out to people to steady them and enrich them and reflect back to them the light that comes from God inside them. (Page 283)

“You won’t doubt your ability to achieve what you want to achieve in this life because you won’t doubt that God is not only by your side, but inside you.” (Page 254)

Beck’s book promotes the New Age idea that you need to tap into a positive energy for a successful and happy life: (Ten times). Some examples include:

You have a polestar inside you. It is connected with all the energy in the universe. When you begin to follow that star you align yourself with immeasurable, inexplicable forces that will actually help you manifest your best intentions. (Page 79)

The current energy that flows in your favor when you stop denying what you have lived through and how it has shaped you and how you must change is the immeasurable force that you can tap into to dramatically improve your existence.” (Page 113)

…you will elicit the same positive energy from others. When you stop pretending to be just fine and start admitting that you have struggled, just as we all have, then spiritual energy will fill you.” (Page 117)

I wrote this article because I want discerning Christians to have the information they need to refute unbiblical teaching. I want Christians to be watchmen who warn their Christian family and friends about the spiritual deception of people like Glenn Beck, Oprah Winfrey, and a host of other individuals that are promoting another Jesus and another gospel.

Christians also need to be ready to explain to their unsaved family and friends why Glenn Beck’s worldview will not lead them to God as their savior but as their judge. Nowhere in Beck’s new book does he mention the Biblical gospel. What Glenn is promoting is the same lie promoted by Satan in Genesis 3:1-5. I am fearful that the spiritual poison Beck is promoting is not seven wonders that will change your life but in fact, lies that will condemn the souls of millions for eternity.

Related Links


Glenn Beck and Mormon Doctrine – BPB (Dave Hunt)
Glenn Beck’s New Year’s Plan Sounds A Lot Like Oprah’s New Network – Business Insider
Glenn Beck and Oprah Winfrey Launch New Age Programming for 2011 – WorldviewWeekend.com (Brannon S. Howse)
An Open Letter Concerning Glenn Beck – BPB (Eric Barger)
Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews That Rule America From the Grave – Brannon Howse (Book)

 

I came across this video a long time ago and it touched me very deeply then. Several years have gone by since I have seen it when I happened on it today. With out surprise I found myself watching it again with the same joy and wonder I was filled with when I first watched it. It is with that joy that I share it with you today! Enjoy!


Ed HindsonBy Dr. Ed Hindson
World Prophetic Ministry

Q. What was the significance of miracles in the Bible? Do miracles still happen today?

A. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines “miracle” as “an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs” or “an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment.” When we consider the miracles of the Bible, we note that they give validity to the reality of God’s dealing with mankind, and with the messenger whom God has chosen to use to transmit His truth.

For example, when John the Baptist inquired from prison whether Jesus was indeed the Messiah, Jesus told John’s messengers:

“… Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them,” (Matthew 11:4-5).

In keeping with this idea, miracles are often called “signs,” a term which the Apostle John used towards the end of His Gospel to validate Christ’s role as the Son of God:

“And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name,” (John 20:30-31).

Although miracles are recorded throughout Scripture, there are three main times in which they were particularly prevalent. These were times when God was dealing with Israel in a unique way and wanted their full attention in the process. The first was during the Exodus, under Moses and Joshua, when He was bringing His people out of Egypt and back to the Promised Land. The second was under the ministry of Elijah and Elisha, when Israel, now in the Promised Land, had fallen into apostasy and was in danger of God’s judgment, which later came in the form of the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities. The third was during Christ’s earthly ministry, to announce to Israel that their Messiah had come.

Another such period is coming, during the Tribulation. The activities of the two witnesses in Revelation 11:3-13, particularly their resurrection in verses 11-12, certainly come under the heading of the miraculous, as do the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments throughout that book. In addition to serving as judgment on an unrepentant world, these events will also be God’s last attempt at bringing mankind into a saving relationship with Himself.

Do miracles occur today? Sometimes they do! Some people hold that the age of miracles is over – that it ceased when the Bible was completed. Others take the opposite position and say miracles are available to everyone today if one only has enough faith to believe they will occur. Either extreme serves to place God in a “box” and attempts to define the parameters of His sovereignty. The truth is, God can do what He chooses, when He chooses, for whom He chooses, and for whatever reasons He chooses.

Meanwhile, let us not forget the greatest miracle of all – and this happens every day, all over the world. That miracle is when a sinner accepts Christ and passes from an eternal death sentence to eternal life with Him, because of what He did on Calvary so long ago. If we have experienced this miracle, we should thank God for it. If we have not, we should make it a priority to appropriate it rather than seeking any miracles of a more temporal nature.

Related Links


Does God still perform miracles? – GotQuestions.org
Revelation 11 – SpiritandTruth.org (Tony Garland)
Confirmation of Jesus’ Messiahship – BPB (Doug Bookman)
Miracles – C. S. Lewis (Book)
Biblical Inspiration Validated by Miracles – Grace to You (John MacArthur)
Revelation (Twenty-First Century Biblical Commentary) – Edward E. Hindson (Book)


Thomas IceBy Dr. Thomas Ice
Pre-Trib Research Center

As I continue to deal with the questions of the disciples in the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 21), I want to look more closely at the first question. After observing the Temple, Christ said to the disciples, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down” (Matt. 24:2). The disciples ask Jesus, “Tell us, when will these things be, . . .” (Matt. 24:3). Thus, the first question relates to the destruction of the Temple in a.d. 70.

Preterist Literalism

Preterist Dr. Kenneth Gentry says, “The context of Luke demands a literal Jerusalem (Luke 21:20) besieged by literal armies (Luke 21:20) in literal Judea (Luke 21:21) – which as a matter of indisputable historical record occurred in the events leading up to a.d. 70.”1 This demonstrates that preterists take Scripture literally, unless it contradicts their presupposed system of theology, at which time they usually come up with a more pliable, deeply spiritual meaning of the text. But since both preterist and futurists, like myself, believe that Luke 21:20-24 literally refers to Jerusalem in a.d. 70, then this can be used as a template as to how Scripture speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century.

Christ’s Prophecy of A.D. 70

Before we look at Luke 21:20-24, I will examine the prophecies that Jesus gave specifically referring to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple that were indeed fulfilled in the first century. Note the following prophecies by Christ:

“Truly I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!” (Matt. 23:36-38; see Luke 13:34-35 for parallel passage).

And when He approached, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you when your enemies will throw up a bank before you, and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation” (Luke 19:41-44).

Christ speaks clearly about the coming Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in this prediction. Jesus clearly describes a siege in verses 43 and 44 because the nation of Israel “did not recognize the time of your visitation.” They rejected Jesus as their Messiah. Notice that not once does Jesus describe this as a “judgment coming” as do preterists.2 In fact, coming is not used in any of these prophecies relating to a.d. 70, as it is used of Christ’ s future return.

Luke 21:20-24 and A.D. 70

When we look at the words of Jesus’ prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem and the second temple, He uses words and phrases that clearly denote what the Romans did in a.d. 70.

“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are in the midst of the city depart, and let not those who are in the country enter the city; because these are days of vengeance, in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled. Woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land, and wrath to this people, and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:20-24).

Note how the following words and phrases support the notion of judgment upon Israel in the first century:

  1. Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand
  2. flee to the mountains (The admonition to flee would indicate that Jerusalem will be destroyed. If the Jews were to defeat the Romans, then the safe place to be would be inside the walled city.)
  3. these are days of vengeance
  4. there will be great distress upon the land
  5. wrath to this people (Israel)
  6. they (Israel) will fall by the edge of the sword
  7. (Israel) will be led captive into all the nations
  8. Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles

There is not a single phrase in the above passage that suggests a future understanding because the a.d. 70 destruction of Jerusalem was clearly a judgment upon the Jewish people for their national rejection of Jesus as their Messiah (Luke 19:44; Matt. 23:38). This passage is our Lord’s undisputed answer to the disciples’ first question about when there will not be one stone of the Temple left upon another. Yet when compared with other sections of the Olivet Discourse, this kind of language referenced above is totally missing (see Matt. 24:4-31; Mark 13:5-27; Luke 21:25-28). Instead, in general, the language of the Olivet Discourse, except for Luke 21:20-24, does not speak of Israel under God’s judgment, but of Israel under threat from the Gentile nations and God’s intervention that rescues the Jewish people. This overall thrust of the passage is even clearer when one looks at the parallel passage of Zechariah 12-14.

Until

Luke 21:24 ends by saying that Jerusalem will be under Gentile domination “until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” The little word “until” clearly denotes that there will be a time when the current domination of Jerusalem by the Gentiles will come to an end. The current “times of the Gentiles” in which we currently live will indeed come to an end in the future. Thus, the end of verse 24 serves as a transitional period between the prophecy that refers to the past a.d. 70 event (Luke 21:20-24) and the prophecy that looks to a future fulfillment at Christ’s second coming (Luke 21:25-28). We now live in the “times of the Gentiles.”

A clear connection is established between Luke 21:24 which speaks of the current era of “the times of the Gentiles” being fulfilled and coming to an end and Romans 11:25 which speaks of “the fullness of the Gentiles” having “come in.” Both passages speak of Israel’s redemption (Luke 21:28; Romans 11:26-27). When we consider that the Old Testament pattern which says that Israel will pass through the tribulation, repent toward the end when they recognize Jesus as the Messiah, experience conversion, and then the second coming will occur to rescue them from their enemies, it follows that “all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26) in connection with the tribulation. This is exactly the pattern of Luke 21:25-28. Preterist Ken Gentry believes Romans teaches a future conversion of Israel, yet he does not associate it with the tribulation as Scripture repeatedly does. Dr. Gentry declares, “The future conversion of the Jews will conclude the fulfillment (Rom. 11:12-25).”3 Yet only a futurist interpretation does justice to a harmonization of these passages that are clearly connected.

Luke 21:25-28 and the Future

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:25-28).

J. C. Ryle says of this passage the following:

The subject of this portion of our Lord’s great prophecy is His own second coming to judge the world. The strong expressions of the passage appear inapplicable to any event less important than this. To confine the words before us, to the taking of Jerusalem by the Romans, is an unnatural straining of Scripture language.4

The focus of Luke 21:25-28 reveals a distinct shift from the first century description of 21:20-24. The differences include the local focus of Jerusalem in the first century judgment verses the global perspective of the future tribulation. The tribulation will involve heavenly and global events that did not literally occur in a.d. 70. If preterists like Dr. Gentry would interpret verses 25-28 in the same way they did verses 20-24 then the events of 25-28 would be understood to be clearly global and if global then they did not occur in the first century. Since they did not occur in the first century then they must take place in the future. These are future tribulation events that are prophesied by our Lord in this section of the passage.

The basic thrust of Luke 21:25-28 is the opposite of God’s judgment upon Israel as stated in Luke 21:20-24. Instead verse 28 tells Israel that, “your redemption is drawing near.” This is all the difference of night (judgment) in verses 20-24 and day (salvation and deliverance) in verses 25-28. William Kelly describes some aspects of the differences in the following:

Hence, to, the reader may notice that, in spite of a considerable measure of analogy (for there will be a future siege, and even a twofold attack, one of which will be partially successful, the other to the ruin of their enemies, as we learn from Isaiah xxviii, xxix, and Zechariah xiv.), there are the strangest contrasts in the issue; for the future siege will be closed by Jehovah’s deliverance and reign, as the past was in capture and destruction of the people dispersed ever since till the times of the Gentiles are full. Accordingly we hear nothing in this Gospel of the abomination of desolation, nor of the time of tribulation beyond all that was or shall be; we hear of both in Matthew and Mark, where the Spirit contemplates the last days.5

Conclusion

When one examines the entire Olivet Discourse as recorded in Matthew 24 and Mark 13, there is no reference to wrath or judgment upon the nation of Israel. Instead, Israel is delivered from its invader as noted in Matthew 24:31, “And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other” (see also Mark 13:27). The question arises, “When was Israel rescued in a.d. 70?” They were not! The events of Matthew 24 and Mark 13 (also Luke 21:25-28) will all be fulfilled in the tribulation, which will take place in the future.

So the first question of the disciples to Christ in the Olivet Discourse relates to the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70. The record of its fulfillment is recorded only in Luke 21. Matthew 24-25 and Mark 13 deal only with the last question, which are a prophecy of events that are still future to our day. Maranatha!

Endnotes


1) Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation (Tyler, Texas: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989), p. 176.
2) Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision, 1999), p. 72.
3) Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., He Shall Have Dominion: A Postmillennial Eschatology (Tyler, Texas: Institute for Christian Economics, 1992), p. 206.
4) J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Luke, 2 vols. (Cambridge: James Clarke & Co., [1858] n. d.), vol. II, p. 374.
5) William Kelly, An Exposition of the Gospel of Luke (Oak Park, IL: Bible Truth Publishers, 1971), pp. 332- 333.


Al GistBy Al Gist
Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries

We are now living in the most blessed time that has ever been experienced in human history. Not only are we in that wonderful Age of Grace when by simple faith in Jesus Christ one can receive the glorious gift of eternal life ( Matt.18:3-4, John 3:16, Eph. 2:8-9, Rom. 10:13), but we are obviously living in the last days of that age and are witness to the abundant signs and “stage-settings” that tell us we are very near the conclusion of the Church Age. Although none of today’s signs point directly to the concluding event of the Church Age, the Rapture, they DO point to the nearness of the day of the Tribulation and to our Lord’s glorious Second Coming following the Tribulation. And since we believe the Rapture will precede the Tribulation, our hearts leap with joyous anticipation at the thought that we will soon see our Lord coming in the air to receive us unto Himself that where He is, we might be also (John 14:3).

In this wonderful Church Age in which we now live, our Lord, by the power of His Holy Spirit, is gathering out from among the population of the world a very special people (Acts 15:14) called “The Church” or “The Bride of Christ” (II Cor. 11:2). And when the last person is “born again” (John 3:3) into The Church and “The Bride” is complete, The Bridegroom (Jesus) will come suddenly and snatch us away unto Himself and we will never be separated from Him again! (I Thess. 4:13-18) Hallelujah!!! Thus, the Church Age in which we now live will conclude with the Rapture of the Church.

After the Rapture, the seven year Tribulation will begin. But will it begin immediately after the Rapture? In other words, will the Rapture mark the end of the Church Age and the first day of the Tribulation? Or, will there be a space of time between the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation? First of all, Daniel 9:27 makes it clear that Daniel’s Seventieth Week (the seven year Tribulation) will start when the Antichrist “shall confirm the covenant with many for one week”. Many Bible scholars believe this means he will accomplish something that the last eleven presidents of the United States have not been able to accomplish. He will establish a seven year peace agreement in the Middle East that will require the Arab nations to accept Israel’s right to exist in peace within secure borders. On the day that peace agreement is signed, the clock will start on the seven year Tribulation.

So, it is NOT the Rapture that marks the beginning of the Tribulation. It is the “confirming” of the peace covenant with Israel. And will that signing of the covenant happen exactly on the same day as the Rapture? Probably not. It appears from the Scriptures that there will be a short period of time (maybe no more than a few weeks or months) after the Rapture before the Tribulation begins, although it’s impossible to specify the exact duration of this interval time period. We might call it the “Pre-Trib Preparation” time though, since it will allow for certain events to happen in preparation for the signing of the peace treaty.

This idea of a “Pre-Trib Preparation” time may come as a surprise to some, but it’s really not such a hard idea to accept. God’s prophetic revelation of various events in history are rarely, if ever, accompanied with details on the specific timing of those events. So, we tend to line up the last days scenario of events in an uninterrupted sequence. But it is very possible that there are “time breaks” between some of the events.

For example, if we lived in Daniel’s day, we would likely have thought that when God said He was going to deal with Daniel’s people for another 490 years (Dan. 9:24), it would be 490 successive years. But of course, from our present perspective in history, we realize that the entire Church Age (already about 2000 years) falls between the first 483 years and the last seven years of that 490 years. When the Church Age is finished and Jesus comes for His Bride in the Rapture, then God will resume His 490 years of dealing with the Jews; that last seven years, the “seventieth week of Daniel” (the Tribulation) will commence. So, at this time, there has been a very long (almost 2000 years) break between the end of the first 483 years and the beginning of the last 7 years.

But what makes us think that there will be a “Pre-Trib Preparation” time between the Rapture and the Tribulation?

Daniel 7:8 tells us that the Antichrist (the little horn) will rise to power by “subduing” three of the “kings” in a ten-king power block. These ten “kings” (probably a ruling committee of some sort) will have power over the last days empire (Dan. 2:33,41-45, 7:23-24) until Antichrist comes to power by overthrowing three of them, then replacing those three and making himself the supreme leader over all ten. (We know that according to Rev. 17:12-14, the ten-king setup will still be in place as subordinates of the Antichrist when Jesus returns and destroys them.)

Also, II Thess. 2:1-3 tells us that the “man of sin” will be “revealed” (make his rise to power) BEFORE the Tribulation begins. Obviously, Antichrist will have to be in power to negotiate and sign the “peace covenant” with Israel. And even though we don’t know this for sure, it is likely that his rise to power will come AFTER the Rapture. The Rapture will create a short time of world chaos and confusion, the perfect environment for the man of sin to step forward as the man with all the answers to the world’s problems. People will be looking for someone to restore order and prosperity to the planet. And he will appear to be just the man for the job.

So, the Pre-Trib Preparation time will allow for the Antichrist to rise to power, get established as a world renowned political leader and then negotiate and sign the covenant with Israel.

The Pre-Mill Preparation

Neither will the inauguration of the Millennial Kingdom commence on the last day of the Tribulation. There are some things that must happen AFTER the Lord returns in preparation for His Millennial Kingdom on earth:

  • Antichrist and False Prophet are thrown into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 19:20)
  • Satan is locked up in the Abyss (Rev. 20:1-2)
  • There must be the coronation of the King of Kings on Mt. Zion (Isa. 24:23, Micah 4:7)
  • There must be time for the restoration of the earth to its Edenic beauty (Isa. 65:17)
  • There must be the “Judgment of Nations” to determine who is qualified to enter the Kingdom (Matt. 25:31-46)

Of course, our Lord is not limited by time, so He will be able to accomplish all of this in short order. But, as with the Rapture and Tribulation, we should not automatically think that the Tribulation and Millennium are successive. There will definitely be a “Pre-Mill Preparation” time.

This time will probably be fairly short in duration also. The closing scriptures in the book of Daniel seem to refer to it when it speaks of a period of 30 days after the Tribulation and also 75 days after it:

“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up [According to Dan. 9:27, this happens at the midpoint of the Tribulation], there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days” (Dan 12:11-12).

The Tribulation is seven years of 360 days each (7 x 360 = 2520 days). Counting from the midpoint when the Abomination of Desolation takes place to the end is 1260 days (2520 divided by 2 = 1260). So, when verse 11 says that “there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days”, that’s 30 days past the end of the Tribulation. However, the Scripture doesn’t tell us what the significance of that thirty days is.

Likewise, the 1335 days past the midpoint mentioned in verse 12 would be 75 days past the end of the Tribulation. The fact that this verse says that “blessed” is the one who makes it that far is probably because that will mark the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom and anyone not already condemned to Hell in the Judgment of Nations (Matt. 25:31-46) by that time will be allowed to enter the kingdom. They will certainly be blessed!

Of course, this is all speculation about the meaning of those first days after the Tribulation. The Bible simply doesn’t explain to us the significance of the first 30 days or 75 days post-Trib. However, it does support the idea that there will be an intermediate time of some length between the end of the Tribulation and the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom. And somewhere in that time, Jesus will return to earth as the King of Kings! But no one will know the exact day and hour of His coming (Matt. 24:36).

Related Links


Israel Close to Confirming Antichrist’s Death Covenant! – BPB (Bill Salus)
A Study of Daniel 9:24-27 – SpiritandTruth.org (Charles Ray)
A Gap Between The Rapture and the 70th Week? – GraceThruFaith.com (Jack Kelley)
Charting the End Times: A Visual Guide to Understanding Bible Prophecy – Tim LaHaye/Thomas Ice (Book)
The Millennial Kingdom — Part I: The Prophetic Context of the Millennium – Bible.org (John F. Walvoord)

Answer: Very sadly, there is a higher percentage of suicides during the Christmas season than any other time of the year. Whether you are contemplating suicide, or know someone who is, or just want to know how to minister to someone who is considering suicide – we hope this article is helpful to you.

Our hearts go out to those who have thoughts of ending their own lives through suicide. If that is you right now, it may speak of many emotions, such as feelings of hopelessness and despair. You may feel like you are in the deepest pit, and you doubt there is any hope of things getting better. No one seems to care or understand where you are coming from. Life just is not worth living…or is it?

If you will take a few moments to consider letting God truly be God in your life right now, He will prove how big He really is, “for nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). Perhaps scars from past hurts have resulted in an overwhelming sense of rejection or abandonment. That may lead to self-pity, anger, bitterness, vengeful thoughts, or unhealthy fears that have caused problems in some of your most important relationships.

Why should you not commit suicide? Friend, no matter how bad things are in your life, there is a God of love who is waiting for you to let Him guide you through your tunnel of despair and out into His marvelous light. He is your sure hope. His name is Jesus.

This Jesus, the sinless Son of God, identifies with you in your time of rejection and humiliation. The prophet Isaiah wrote of Him in Isaiah 53:2-6, describing Him as a man who was “despised and rejected” by everyone. His life was full of sorrow and suffering. But the sorrows He bore were not His own; they were ours. He was pierced, wounded, and crushed, all because of our sin. Because of His suffering, our lives can be redeemed and made whole.

Friend, Jesus Christ endured all this so that you might have all your sins forgiven. Whatever weight of guilt you carry, know that He will forgive you if you humbly receive Him as your Savior. “…Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you…” (Psalm 50:15). Nothing you have ever done is too bad for Jesus to forgive. Some of His choicest servants committed gross sins like murder (Moses), murder and adultery (King David), and physical and emotional abuse (the apostle Paul). Yet they found forgiveness and a new abundant life in the Lord. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Why should you not commit suicide? Friend, God stands ready to repair what is “broken,” namely, the life you have now, the life you want to end by suicide. In Isaiah 61:1-3, the prophet wrote, “The LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”

Come to Jesus, and let Him restore your joy and usefulness as you trust Him to begin a new work in your life. He promises to restore the joy you have lost and give you a new spirit to sustain you. Your broken heart is precious to Him: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:12, 15-17).

Will you accept the Lord as your Savior and Shepherd? He will guide your thoughts and steps—one day at a time—through His Word, the Bible. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” (Psalm 32:8). “He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure” (Isaiah 33:6). In Christ, you will still have struggles, but you will now have hope. He is “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you in your hour of decision.

If you desire to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior, speak these words in your heart to God: “God, I need you in my life. Please forgive me for all that I have done. I place my faith in Jesus Christ and believe that He is my Savior. Please cleanse me, heal me, and restore my joy in life. Thank You for Your love for me and for Jesus’ death on my behalf.”


Stan GoodenoughBy Stan Goodenough
Jerusalem Watchman

Christians – Bible-based and believing Christians – believe neither in luck nor in fate. We do not believe in yin and yang – darkness and light counterbalancing each other. We do not believe that our world and our lives are caught up in a war of good versus evil, with the sides evenly matched and the outcome up for grabs.

We believe what the Bible teaches. And yes, it really is quite straightforward.

There is one God, one Creator. He has numerous rivals but He has no equal. There is no one and no thing that can come even close to competing with Him.

God is good. God is love. God created man so as to fellowship with him – to love man and to be loved by man. God also created the angels. They may be different in character and nature from man – may operate in a different dimension – but they are as much creatures as we are. Angels are not sub-gods or mini-gods; they cannot win promotion to god status.

One of those angels – Lucifer – led a rebellion against the LORD God. Naturally he was defeated – for he is only a creature and he was trying to overthrow the Creator. He was not destroyed, and remains God’s sworn enemy, committed to spoiling and tearing down everything good that God made. His first goal was to win the allegiance of man – marring and destroying the relationship between man and God.

In this Lucifer – aka Satan/the Devil – had partial success; he turned man against God. Man, of his own free will, chose to join the ranks of the rebels. Nonetheless, God still loved man, loved him enough not to eradicate his kind; loved him enough to set in motion a rescue plan, a plan of redemption that would restore the broken relationship to what it was.

From that day there have been two sides to the conflict. God and those who choose to love God on the one side; Satan, and those who choose to remain in rebellion against God, on the other.

There is no middle ground. We are both with and for God, or we are against Him.

Central to the outworking of God’s salvation plan was the selection, by God, of a specific and particular nation through which He would reveal Himself. Via this nation He would pass His oracles on to mankind. And to and through this nation – exclusively – God would send His Messiah to save all mankind – people from all the nations of the world, including this specially-tasked nation itself.

Abraham’s offspring – explicitly through Isaac and Jacob (and explicitly NOT through Ishmael and Esau) – became the nation of Israel. God made a covenant with Israel, making Israel a holy nation. That is to say, Israel as a nation was set apart or sanctified by God, becoming His special treasure.

What was special about Abraham, what made him stand out when God was looking for someone from whom to create this nation, is that he believed in God. He believed in God and he chose to submit his will to God’s, pledging his allegiance to the Lord.

As far as the nation of Israel itself goes, however, it was not because of any special inherent national attributes that she was chosen. On the contrary – ths was (and is) one stubborn, stiff-necked people. Rather, Israel was made special BY God’s selection of her. (By way of an imperfect illustration: Kate Middleton – born to a middle class British couple, like tens of millions of other middle class British girls – has been made special by Prince William’s act of choosing her to become his wife. As regards her future position and role, she has not been made special by who she is but by dint of her selection.)

From the moment God chose the man from whom He would bring that special nation into being, that man’s seed became the focus of all Satan’s efforts to thwart God’s plan.

Also from the start, God would keep a close eye on Israel. He would watch over her, fight for her, protect and defend her, discipline her, even allow her to experience the cursed consequences of her disobedience – but only in order to turn her back to Himself. He determined that their relationship would survive. He would never completely abandon or wash His hands of her. He had covenanted with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to bless mankind through the nation they would father and, for the sake of His great and holy name, He has and will keep His covenant to do so.

We are in a war. Israel is in a war and we, Christians, are in a war. Ultimately it is one and the same war. And it is a war to the death.

What it is not is a war between two equally matched sides. Our side – God’s side – is guaranteed victory. Satan’s side has already lost and will soon be vanquished forever. Which makes the battle even fiercer for, knowing his days are numbered, the enemy is resolved to take as much of the hated Creator’s beloved creation down with him.

We Christians should note that it is not just that we have to be alert, on our guard, ever sensitive to an imminent attack. This war is not about to break out. It is already raging all around us, and has been from the moment we entered life. It may be that, in our different lands, cities and circumstances, we experience moments of quiet between the battles. But battles are always raging somewhere, and one front where the battle is incessant – where in reality it is just one, unending war – is Israel – the people and the land.

Know and understand this, Bible-believer, and you will less easily be seduced by the wiles and strategies of the Devil. A master tactician with millennia of warfare experience in which deception is his most potent weapon, he wants to dupe and mislead us concerning this battle.

He may even get us to fight, without realizing it, on his side.

We need to know that there’s a battle. We need to know that there are two sides. And – and this is crucial – we need to know whose side we’re on.

Related Links


The Source of Anti-Semitism – SpiritandTruth.org (Andy Woods)
US-Israel tiff on security and Iran. US envoy denied direct access to generals – DEBKAfile
Israel Through The Eyes Of Scripture – SpiritandTruth.org (Tony Garland)
Is Lucifer Satan? Does the fall of Lucifer describe Satan? – GotQuestions.org
Israelology: The Missing Link in Systematic Theology – Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum (Book)


Jeffrey CaminoBy Jeffrey R. Camino
LearnBibleProphecy.com

In Daniel chapter 9 the prophet Daniel explains that he has read Jeremiah’s words that Jerusalem would be restored after seventy years of captivity by the Babylonians (Jeremiah 29:10). Thus, Daniel’s expectation was that the Jews would be back in Jerusalem — yet Daniel was still in Babylon and Jerusalem was still desolate. Daniel, realizing something was very wrong, then says, “So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.” (Daniel 9:3) The passage goes on to provide the details of Daniel’s earnest prayer, wherein he intercedes for the Jewish people and confesses their sins. He explains how they have ignored the words of the prophets, disobeyed the Lord, and are covered in shame; yet he requests that God give them mercy, not because they are worthy, but because God is a loving and merciful God. Daniel 9:4-19 presents a wonderful prayer we all should be familiar with for both prophetic and personal reasons.

The remaining part of Daniel 9 is extremely important to end-times prophecy and provides perhaps the strongest support for a Pre-Trib Rapture. As Dr. Grant Jeffrey explains, Daniel’s vision of the seventy weeks stands out as one of the greatest prophecies ever given by God to man.1 The reason it is so important is that it provides us with a true understanding of the purpose of the tribulation: namely that it is a time set aside for God to deal with the Jewish people, not the Church. It also gives us further evidence that the Bible should most often be interpreted literally (something I’ll discuss later in this article). We read some very revealing words in Daniel 9:24-27, wherein the angel Gabriel explains to Daniel that there will be a special time period when God will deal with the Jews:

“Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.

“Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.

First, we must understand that we are to take these time periods literally (as opposed to thinking they are just “general” symbols of time) because Daniel did so when understanding Jeremiah’s prophecy earlier in the chapter. That is, Daniel realized that Jeremiah’s prophecy was that Jerusalem was supposed to be restored within 70 years, yet it had not happened yet. Daniel was, therefore, very distressed and began to pray (as explained earlier). While still in prayer the angel Gabriel came to Daniel and explained that God would give Israel another chance and extend the time in which they must wait by sevenfold: which, not coincidentally, is 70 x 7 and also what Jesus said about how often we are to forgive one another (Matthew 18:21-22).

As we understand in the Jewish context that the ‘seven’ being referred to is 7 years, we can see that Daniel was told that there would be 7 “sevens” and then 62 “sevens”, resulting in 69 “sevens”. As we further understand that the Jewish calendar (as well as many other ancient calendars) had 360 days per year, we can calculate the exact time between when the decree to rebuild Jerusalem was issued and the Anointed One, the ruler, came to fulfill His destiny. It computes to exactly 173,880 days: (7 years + 62 years) x 7 unit years x 360 days/year. Today we can see yet another example of how God’s Word is absolutely amazing and accurate, for we find that there were precisely 173,880 days between the decree that was issued to rebuild Jerusalem (issued by the Persian King Artaxerxes Longimanus on March 14, 445 B.C.) until Jesus rode into Jerusalem on April 6, A.D. 32. Unlike when Jesus previously declared “My hour has not yet come”, Jesus made a deliberate and triumphal entry into Jerusalem on that specific date (Luke 19:28-40).2

Thus far we have a vivid account of the first 69 weeks of the 70 weeks, but we are left with a final week (7 years) not yet accounted for. That final week, known as “Daniel’s 70th Week”, is the time in which God will deal with the Jewish people once and for all, which will also be during the end times. In fact, He is going to bend the Jewish people to their knees: in Matthew 23:39 Jesus said to them, “For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ˮ

You may be asking, “What period are we in now?ˮ The answer is that we are in the “Church Ageˮ, a time between the first 69 weeks and the final 70th week. Not only can we understand that important concept by noting the obvious gap between those two periods when we read Daniel 9, but it is also supported elsewhere in scripture…

Paul explains in Romans 9, 10, and 11 God’s view of Israel in a historical, current, and future context, respectively. Paul’s words in Romans 11:22-25 clearly supports God’s inclusion of both Jews and Gentiles (“all the trees”) in His plan of salvation. Consider Paul’s inspired words to the Gentiles (you):

Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they (the Jews) do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.

Note that the Jews’ rejection of Jesus as the Messiah offered salvation to the rest of the world (Gentiles). It was all part of a profound and gracious plan God had laid out since the beginning of time! Please also be sure to note the last sentence, which explains that God has a predetermined number of Gentiles who will be saved before He sets in motion end-times events that will turn Israel back to Him.

We can also return to Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, which we celebrate as Palm Sunday. As noted earlier, the full implication of that day is missed by many people. We often are provided with the most obvious when we study Palm Sunday, which is Jesus was fulfilling the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. However, as we continue to read in Zechariah, we learn that there are also end-times prophecy implications because what is described in the next verse has clearly not been fulfilled yet, “I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth..ˮ (Zechariah 9:10, emphasis added)

Another place in scripture where we can study to help understand the “Church Ageˮ is Luke 4:16-21, where we come upon a very interesting scene:

He (Jesus) went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.ˮ

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

What makes that scene so profound is that when we actually turn to the Isaiah passage Jesus read, we learn that He stopped reading in the middle of a sentence. The remaining part of that passage says “and the day of vengeance of our God…ˮ (Isaiah 61:2), which is describing God’s wrath in the tribulation, and God’s restoration of Israel afterward (Isaiah 61:3-11). The Church has been living in that prophetic “pauseˮ for almost 2,000 years; but that pause will soon resume once the Church has been removed via the Rapture!3

The idea of Daniel’s 70th Week being for the Jewish people is echoed in Jeremiah 30:7, where we learn the period is called “a time of trouble for Jacobˮ (not coincidentally, Jacob was renamed “Israelˮ in Genesis 32:28). Also, the book of Revelation from chapter 4 on (after the Seven Churches are addressed in chapters 2 and 3) is rich with Jewish terminology as the tribulation events are described, which further helps us understand the Jewish purpose for the tribulation. Consequently, Daniel’s 70th Week offers us one of the strongest areas we can turn to for support of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. It also offers us guidance about hermeneutics (and translating the Bible literally when the plain sense makes sense).

As I conclude this study of Daniel’s 70th Week, I leave you with these word of Jesus, “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36).

Endnotes


1) Grant Jeffrey, Countdown to the Apocalypse, (Colorado Springs: Waterbrook Press, 2008), 121-22.
2) Chuck Missler, Prophecy 20/20, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008), 47.
3) IBID