By Steven J. Hogan
~ A Saturday Morning Post #23 ~
What really amazes and encourages me is how much God has told us in His Word about the return of Jesus Christ to this earth. I’ve recently written about an enormous number of Old Testament prophecies that’s particularly relevant to those of us living in the end times. It’s necessary that we rightly interpret these prophecies so we can have the understanding God wants us to have about His plans for both the Jews and the church.
Today, I want to focus on one prophetic passage. It’s Daniel 9:24-27, and it speaks of a divine schedule, a timeframe that’s absolutely essential to help you see the sequence of events in the end times. This timeframe is the 70 weeks of Daniel, where 1 week equals 7 years, and 70 weeks equals 490 years.
Biblical scholars believe these 70 weeks started in 445BC. Now Daniel 9:26 predicted that the Messiah would be cut off after the first 69 weeks, or 483 years. What’s so amazing is that mathematicians have calculated that God’s timetable was perfect, for these 483 years take us right up to 30BC, the exact time when Christ was crucified. Again we see that God’s prophetic Word is to be taken literally, and is completely, 100% accurate.
But what about the 70th week? Has it started yet? No, it hasn’t. Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:9-26, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, and Revelation 13 all tell us of specific events that need to take place during this 7 year timeframe, but they’ve not yet occurred, meaning the 70th week is still future. It’s obvious that this church age has now been going on for close to 2000 years, meaning there’s a long gap between the 69th and 70th weeks.
Yet, over the past 130 years, the Jews have miraculously regathered back to their land, and this is a clear sign from God that we now live in the end times, and that the start-up of the 70th week is not far away. In fact, Daniel 12:4 first used the phrase, “the end time”, which is the time period when these 70 weeks will come to an end. The fact that God is again actively working with the Jews means He’s wrapping up His work with the church, and it won’t be long before Christ’s return. Of course only God knows when the 70th week will start. But when it does, then we’ll see a great deal of prophetic activity, and the glorious fulfillment of many of God’s promises to both the Jews and the church.
Here are some of the major prophesied events that will take place during Daniel’s 70th week:
1. At the very start of Daniel’s 70th week, there’ll be the confirmation of a covenant (or peace treaty) between Israel, the Antichrist and other nations (Daniel 9:27). Obviously, for many years now, the United States and other nations have been trying to get a peace treaty signed. Even this week we have been seeing the pursuit of a peace treaty over in Israel.
2. At the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel, the 3½ year mark, the Antichrist will be revealed, and he will desolate the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. (Daniel 9:27). True Christians and many Jews will discern that this is the Antichrist, this most wicked man who will then begin greatly persecuting them all over the world. (Revelation 12:13-17)
3. At the very end of Daniel’s 70th week, the 7 year mark, a great many Jews will be saved (Daniel 9:24, Romans 11:25-27). At this time the kingdom of the world becomes the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (Revelation 11:15).
4. Christ’s coming and the rapture of the church will take place sometime during the last half of this 70th week, but no one knows exactly when (Matthew 24:31-36). The day of the Lord, God’s judgment of unbelievers still alive on earth, will begin right after the rapture.
Only as you understand this 70th week timeframe will you be able to clearly figure out “what happens when” in the end times. I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing this divine schedule, for then you’ll be able to know how to put the prophecy pieces in their proper place. Otherwise you’ll be blind, and you won’t be able to see what God wants you to see about the future God has for you, your family, and for your church.
After Daniel wrote these prophesies, he was instructed to “seal up the book until the end time.” (Daniel 12:4, 9). Well, about 2450 years later, with the regathering of the Jews back to their land, this book was unsealed. How exciting and encouraging to be living in the end times that Daniel predicted. I’m sure he would’ve loved to be alive now, but God meant it for us. This is our time! It won’t be long now before the start of Daniel’s 70th week, and not many years later, the wonderful rapture of the church, the devastating wrath of God on earth, the promised redemption of the Jews, and then the glorious reign of Jesus Christ on earth. Psalm 72:18-19
P.S. I have just posted an important new article explaining why replacement theology, which believes God’s promises for the Jews are no longer valid, is wrong: Replacement Theology: It’s Not True – Part 1.