The End of Days Described
"Then he[the Antichrist] shall confirm a covenant with many for one week."
-Daniel 9:27, emphasis added
In yesterday's devotional we saw that Daniel 9:24 says that seven weeks are determined; we have found sixty-nine of them. Daniel 9:27 now references the remaining "one week," or seven-year period yet to be fulfilled, which is the most documented period in the entire Bible. Revelation 6-19 is essentially a detailing of that climactic seventieth week. That is why we say the Tribulation is seven years--there is one week of years still left to be fulfilled.
Segment Four-The Seventieth Week: "The interval between the sixty-ninth and seventieth week continues at the present time, but it is increasingly apparent that it may soon be over. The more one is familiar with the numerous climactic themes of end-times prophecy, the more it seems that Daniel's seventieth week is on our horizon. Have you done your homework? Are you and your family prepared?"
Christ said, "When you see the ‘abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place . . . , then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains" (Matthew 24:15-16). And Paul tells us: That Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).
This temple they spoke of is coming; that is why Jerusalem is such a hot piece of real estate to God and to Satan. Scholars of prophecy do not agree on all the details of future events, but the next two paragraphs are a fair representation of what many prophetic scholars believe concerning the order of events.
First, the church will be raptured (1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), which can occur at any time. Once the true church is gone, the leader of the ten European nations will make a seven-year agreement with Israel (Daniel 9:26-27). After three and one-half years, he will break that agreement (Daniel 9:27). The Antichrist will subsequently begin to control the world and force all people to worship and obey him. At this time God will send Great Tribulation upon the earth (Matthew 24:21). The Antichrist will then set up his image in the temple at Jerusalem (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; Revelation 13).
Next in the order of events is that the nations will gather at Armageddon to fight both the Antichrist and Israel. (Antichrist will aid Israel at first, but later turn against them.) However, as they all see the sign of Christ's coming, everyone will unite together to fight against Him (Zechariah 12; Revelation 13:13-14; 19:11ff). But Jesus will gloriously return to the earth, defeat His enemies, be received by the Jews, and establish His kingdom (Revelation 19:11ff; Zechariah 12:7-13:1). He will then reign on earth for 1,000 years, which is the period known as the Millennium (Revelation 20:1-5).
As we reflect on how God has kept His Word for Israel, it should thrill us to know that the very same awesome power of an omnipotent God is at work each day in us. Christ's invitation to abide in and live through us (John 15) is the key to living fruitfully. I encourage you to pause right now and renew Paul's prayer and make it your own: "Nevertheless as I live-it becomes less of me and more of Christ who lives in and through me" [author's own translation] (Galatians 2:20).
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