The Big Question: If God is not a liar, and does what He said He would do …. and if Jesus came and fulfilled the first festivals down to the smallest detail …. then wouldn’t He also fulfill the final festivals in the same, precise, promised manor? Seems likely:)
Now some people use that information and say, “but I thought that no man could know the hour of his return?” As we have shown, because of the calendar problems we will not know the timing of the 7 year tribulation until it is here. At that time, the Bible gives us the exact number of days until His return.
One debate is whether part of this 7 year period has already occured. In that case, we may be waiting for the 3 1/2 year Great Tribulation period.
Just prior to the return of Christ to the earth, the bible tells us that Christ will return in the air, that all believers will be raptured or taken to him when he shouts “come up hither”. At that time, believers from all time will take place in the coronation and marriage supper of the lamb. If this is all new to you, hang on, it’s just a quick overview… While there is celebrating in heaven, there will be a “period of 7″ of trouble that we have termed the Tribulation. Although this word is not used for this specific period of time, it has been accepted as an appropriate word to describe the events outlined in the Bible.
Again, there is currently a lot of study on this time period. Is the “tribulation” a true 7-year period… or the “times, time and one-half time” or 3-year (42 month) period many describe as the “great tribulation”? Does the 7 day picture of the Jewish wedding feast correlate to a 7 year period on earth? Is it a literal 7-day wedding at some point during the end of the great tribulation?
I believe the danger that many believers can fall into, is that they may expect a pre-tribulation rapture… and if it does not occur as believed… there could be a “falling away” from the faith. There are some with prophectic visions that claim they see a “false rapture” being planned by the enemy to deceive the elect. We need to keep an open mind and bring all of these things before the Lord. I’m praying for a pre-trib rapture but time will tell.
This period of time we are speaking of is also called Daniel’s 70th week. Whatever label you give it, the Bible gives specific periods of time and even exact numbers of days that events will occur. You will see this mentioned in the Bible in different ways: The 70th Week, two periods of ‘Time-Times-and 1/2 time’, a certain number of days, etc. Some periods may only describe the last half of this period. We don’t have the space to cover all of these verses, but below is a simplified version:
The Jews have been upset because the site of the old temple is currently occupied by the Dome of the Rock — the Islamic temple. This is the spot that Muslims claim Mohammed ascended to heaven. If the Jews were to take over this site, destroy the Dome and build their temple, we would have major war involving the entire middle-east. As you may know, the religion of Islam allows for the murder of any non-muslim, so the situation is extremely volitile. Some conclude that the temple needs to (will be) built during a period of peace, and animal sacrifices will certainly return. What is even more exciting is that garments and temple instruments have already been completed! Note: This does not mean that a return to the sacrifices is needed… it just means that the Jews believe it is.
It is interesting to see all the peace negotiations currently taking place. Many believe negotiations for a separate state in Israel or dividing the land will eventually lead to a final “guaranteed” contract of peace. For quite a time, many believers have said that a man brought to world attention because of this peace contract will convince the Jews he is actually the Messiah they have been waiting for. In fact, the Bible states that exactly 1260 days (3 1/2 years) after the signing of the final peace contract between Israel and it’s neighbors, this man will physically enter the temple, stop the sacrifices and actually claim to be God. The Bible calls this the ‘Abomination and Desolation’. We’ll cover that at a later point.
NOTE: Once again, this is one of the current “hot topics” by believers. Is the “abomination” something that occurs in the temple… or does it refer to something else? Again, we need to keep our eyes, minds and hearts open to new interpretation that still lines up with the Word of God.
Below is a condensed timeline that has been used for many years that describes Daniel’s 70 weeks, and includes the 70th week. The bible actually defines this as ’70 weeks of years’ so each ‘week’ is a 7 year period. Spend a few moments studying this before moving on.