Previous columns have confirmed that 69 weeks of the 70 week prophecy given to Daniel has been fulfilled. Inasmuch as a ‘week’ in the present context in Hebrew means seven, the 70 week prophecy equates to 490 years. Thus 483 years have been fulfilled leaving 7 years remaining which defines the approaching tribulation. And the 7 year tribulation period is divided into two equal parts of 3 ½ years each.
Daniel’s prophecy was very specific.
“Then he (peace maker) shall confirm a covenant (treaty) with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate…” Daniel 9:27
Recall, Jesus referred to the false ‘peace maker’ as the ‘abomination of desolation.’
Daniel had previously described what the anti-Christ would do.
“He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.”
The Hebrew for ‘time’ in the above does in fact denote a year. Thus ‘time and times and half a time’ defines 3 ½ years.
The anti-Christ will blaspheme God and seek to ‘change times and law.’ The Hebrew for ‘times’ means ‘seasons’ which in turn means ‘appointed times for festive gatherings.’
God will give his people into the hands of the anti-Christ during the latter half of the tribulation, i.e. 3 ½ years.
John, in the final book of the Bible, confirms what Daniel had said more than five centuries earlier.
“And he (beast, anti-Christ) was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.” Revelation 13:5
However, even during this time, God will supply providential care for His people (Israel.)
Recall, the devil was out to destroy Israel from the beginning, but could only do what God permitted.
“Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman (Israel) who gave birth to the male Child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time…” Revelation 12:13-14
John also spoke of the persecution of Jerusalem during the latter half of the tribulation, and the work of His two witnesses who would warn of the judgment to come, and also offer an invitation to salvation.
“And they (gentiles) will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days…” Revelation 11:2-3
Thus, the latter half of the tribulation has been described as time, times, and half a time, forty-two months, and one thousand two hundred and sixty days. They all consider a prophetic month of 30 days.
Notice God’s absolute sovereignty during this time. The beast was ‘given’ a mouth speaking great things; the woman (Israel) was ‘given’ two wings. “I will ‘give’ power to my two witnesses,” and the saints will be ‘given’ into his hand. While the beast (anti-Christ) is a puppet in the hand of the devil, the devil is a puppet in the hand of the Almighty.
At this time in history, the world is looking for, and will accept the offer of peace in the Middle East by a shrewd negotiator. A treaty of peace for seven years between Israel and her enemy neighbors will be most welcomed.
This ‘peace maker’ will form a coalition which will most likely include five nations defining the eastern leg of the revived Roman Empire, and five nations forming the western leg of the empire.
At the mid-point of the tribulation, the ‘peace maker’ will be revealed for who he truly is, and utter chaos will break out.
Some might be thinking of Turkey inasmuch as they are a member of NATO while exhibiting ‘eastern ways.’
Just keep reading the leaves on the fig tree.