By Steven J. Hogan
~ A Saturday Morning Post #24 ~
For the past five months we’ve looked extensively at the end times, but there’s one thing you need to understand, and that’s Daniel’s 70th week, a prophecy packed 7-year timetable. Once this 70th week makes sense to you, then you’ll be able to clearly see how, when and where specific events fit in with regard to the end of this age, the return of Christ, and the rapture of the church.
About 2600 years ago, the prophet Daniel wrote about 70 weeks, a 490-year time period. “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city…” (Daniel 9:24). This timeframe began in 445BC, but in 30AD, after 69 weeks, after 483 years, Jesus Christ was “cut off”, was crucified, was buried and raised from the dead, and then He ascended into heaven. Since that time Christ has been building His church. But in 70AD, 40 years after the church age began, the Jews were defeated by the Romans and were then scattered all over the world. But since the 1880’s, the Jews have miraculously regathered back to their land, this being the sign that this final and climactic 70th week is soon to begin.
The event taking place at the very start of this 70th week is the Jews signing a peace treaty, and it is the Antichrist to come (probably unknown to us at that time) who will be a key player in making this deal. It’s debatable whether we will even know when this signing is actually taking place. But it is at this point that God’s end time prophetic work will be in full swing for both the Jews and the church, and for the entire world.
The birth pains, that is, wars, earthquakes, famines and plagues, will be growing in intensity. People, desperate for a strong leader, will be desiring peace. Nations will be forging new alliances. Jews will be sacrificing at their temple in Jerusalem. Unbelievers will be getting more wicked. Jews and Christians will increasingly be hated. And the coming Antichrist will be increasing in power.
Then the Antichrist is revealed to the world, a huge earth changing event occurring at the midpoint of this 70th week. Unbelievers will love this devilish man, actually worshiping him like he’s God. But Christians and discerning Jews will know he’s really the Beast, the man of lawlessness, the Antichrist. Then persecution will break out against Jews and Christians, but there’s “peace” for the non-Christians. The Antichrist lovers will gladly be taking his mark and worshiping his image. They are so happy, for life is now “normal” – they are eating and drinking, buying and selling, but are totally oblivious that God’s wrath is soon to be poured out on the world.
What about the rapture of the church? 2 Thessalonians 2 and Matthew 24 make it clear that Christ’s coming is after Antichrist’s coming. Since the Antichrist is revealed at the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week, then we know that the rapture of the church is after the midpoint, but at a time completely unknown to us, for we don’t know the day or the hour. Sometime then during the 2nd half of this 70th week, Christ will return to rapture the church, redeem us from our bodies, and rescue us from this coming wrath.
The great Day of the Lord, the wrath of God, will take place after the rapture, during the last part of Daniel’s 70th week. Then at the very end of this week, at exactly the 7-year mark, a great remnant of Jews will be saved, at which time “the kingdom of the world becomes the Kingdom of our Lord and His Christ, and He will reign forever.” (Revelation 11:15). Let me sum it up this way – Christ was cut off at the end of 69 weeks to be our Savior, but will be crowned at the end of the 70th week to be our King.
For you to truly make sense of end times prophecy, you need to understand Daniel’s 70th week inside and out. You have to look at it like a divine time frame, for it will help you to see when key events will occur. My sincere desire for each of you is to be able to read prophecy passages (Matthew 24, Luke 21, 1 Thessalonians 4-5, 2 Thessalonians 1-2, Revelation, etc.), and then using Daniel’s 70th week, be able to figure out where everything fits. And if you happen to be living during Daniel’s 70th week, then you’ll be seeing all kinds of prophesied events taking place, but you won’t be surprised – you’ll know God is carrying out His plans – and by God’s grace, you’ll be enduring, and looking forward to seeing Christ come in the clouds to take you home to heaven.
P.S. I’ve just posted my second article on the error of replacement theology: Replacement Theology – It’s Not True – Part 2.