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Last 7 Years

  

“And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.” (Daniel 9:27)

We understand the week spoken of to be the last seven years of this age before Jesus returns. The Great Tribulation is not the same as the Wrath of God. Most often, when the Scriptures speak of tribulation, affliction, and persecution, men (usually tyrant kingdoms or religious leaders) bring them on. Although this tribulation will be great, the promise of God is that this time will be shortened. Many references in Scripture indicate that this period of time will be only three and a half years. This information is presented in the Scriptures in three different ways. It is presented as years, months, and days. A time, times, and dividing of times is a description in years (Daniel 7:25; 12:6-7; Revelation 12:14). The Scriptures talk of this time as being 42 months (Revelation 11:2; 13:5). In days it is shown in one instance as 1260 days (Revelation 11:3). When describing a different aspect of these times, it speaks of 1290 days (Daniel 12:11). The day and the hour are not exact, but putting all these Scriptures together, we have a general understanding that this time period will last approximately three and a half years.

Sometime during the time of tribulation and the wrath of God that follows, there are many events that transpire. The Scriptures describe devastation of the planet. The stars will fall from heaven (Matt. 24:29; Revelation 6:13); the heavens being on fire will dissolve (loosen or break up – 2Peter 3:10,13); the earth will also break up and melt with liquid heat (2Peter 3:10,12; Micah 1:4); one third of the vegetation on the earth will burn up and die (Revelation 8:7-9); and a third of mankind will be killed by fire, smoke, and brimstone (Revelation 9:18). The heavens will roll like a scroll, and every mountain and island will be moved out of its place (Revelation 6:14; Isaiah 34:4); it will be a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, and the sun and moon will not give light (Joel 2:1,2,10; Ezekiel 32:7,8; Revelation 6:12; Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24). After this time of devastation, the millennial reign of Christ will begin.

These Scriptures seem to indicate all of this happens after the abomination of desolation is set, during the middle of the week − three and a half years. What is your understanding about these matters and the events of the first three and a half years? Do we have any understanding about this time right before the abomination of desolation?

17 Responses to “Last 7 Years”

  1. on 31 Jan 2007 at 4:11 amWolfgang

    Dear Vince,

    I understand this prophecy in Dan 9:27 to refer to the last of the 70 weeks mentioned in reference to Israel from the decree for rebulding Jerusalem by Cyrus until the time of the Messiah … who indeed “in the middle of that week” put an end to the validity of all other sacrifices by his own perfect sacrifice of his life. Seeing that you understand this verse to be referrring to a yet future “week”, are you saying that there will be a re-institution of sacrifices and grain offerings at some time and that the sacrifice of Jesus did not do away with all such sacrifices and offerings (as we can learn in Hebrews)?

    The Hebrew text in Dan 9:27 is better translated “confirm the covenant” (as in KJV) rather than make a covenant … and Jesus did indeed confirm the Abrahamic covenant, as in him is the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant and promises. Who (in terms of biblically mentioned covenants and covenant makers) would be making a covenant with whom during a far removed 70th week in the future?

    I see no reason in Scripture anywhere to take the 70th week mentioned in Daniel and to remove it thousands of years from the other 69 weeks …

    God bless you
    Wolfgang

  2. on 31 Jan 2007 at 4:27 amWolfgang

    Dear Vince,

    as for the “shortening of days”, I would say that the Scriptures actually do indicate that this period of great tribulation is shortened 30 days. In Daniel’s prophecy – Dan 12:11 – (which is the earliest reference to this matter), the time otherwise referred to as “time, times and a half” is given as 1290 days. Christ then mentions a shortening of days (not a “shortening of years”) and in the later revelation shown to John, we see that now the “time, times and a half” are specified as 1260 days …. 30 days less than what had previously soecified. We are not really told, but something apparently changed, and we do learn – as first indicated by Jesus Christ in his prophetic discourse about the coming judgment – that the time period for this great tribulation would be less than originally mentioned, with the purpose being that the elect would thus be able to make it through this time and survive.

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  3. on 31 Jan 2007 at 4:37 amWolfgang

    Dear Vince,

    a short note about one of the things you mention as part of the devastation of the planet, etc :” …and a third of mankind will be killed by fire, smoke, and brimstone (Revelation 9:18).”

    Now, when we read this passage in Rev 9, we see the following:

    Rev 9:17-18 (KJV)
    17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and OUT OFTHEIR MOUTHS issued fire and smoke and brimstone.
    18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which ISSUED OUT OF THEIR MOUTHS.”

    It seems clear to me that this passage does not speak about literal fire, smoke and brimstone … or are we to think that such can literally come out of the mouths of men? The figure clearly speaks of something which these evil folks are doing by means of their words, commands, etc … but not about literal fire and brimstone.

    God bless you
    Wolfgang

  4. on 31 Jan 2007 at 8:08 amSean

    As to your shortening from 1290 to 1260, I had never heard that before, but it sounds very reasonable.

    As to your allegorizing of Rev 9.17-18, I can’t say that I’m surprised (after all you have already allegorized all of the restoration passages in the OT prophets). Regardless, there are two options here in Rev 9 (1) it’s supernatural, that is, God is really going to literally work through these bizarre creatures or (2) this is metaphorical and refers to something within the natural realm. I personally go with number 1 because I see no reason or compelling theory by which all of this can make sense figuratively. However, it is not at all hard for me to imagine that God is going to work through these bizarre creatures in the last days (they would certainly get people’s attention).

  5. on 31 Jan 2007 at 8:57 amWolfgang

    Hi Sean,

    just to clarify … I did NOT allegorize anything in Rev 9:17-18 … I read the record and recognize that qute obviously figurative language is involved. There are only 2 options: Either something is worded and meant literally, or else figures of speech are involved and the meaning is not literal. If one does not recognize or understand the use of figures of speech in the Scriptures, there will definitely be a problem in correctly understanding the Scriptures …

    What is stated in Rev 9 seems to rather clearly involve figurative language … IF you want to think of literal fire and brimstone out of the mouth of someone, do you also understand Jesus to be breathing fire out if his mouth to consume is enemies? Or would you agree that such language is not meant in a literal sense but employs figurative language?

    To clarify another point: I have NOT allegorized any section in the OT prophets.

    God bless you
    Wolfgang

  6. on 31 Jan 2007 at 9:11 amSean

    why not just believe what it says?

  7. on 31 Jan 2007 at 9:45 amWolfgang

    Dear Sean,

    I am all in favor of believing what the Scriptures say, and all my endeavours are in light of promoting what the Scriptures fo say.

    I am not in favor of failing to understand what the Scriptures say and believing some idea that is unreasonable and non-sensical when viewed in light of the context as well as the overall scope of the Scriptures.

    Having said the above, my question to you is: What does Rev 9:17-18 say?

    God bless you
    Wolfgang

  8. on 31 Jan 2007 at 10:11 amSean

    do you believe in miracles?

  9. on 31 Jan 2007 at 10:24 amWolfgang

    Sean,

    now, what does that question have to do with things we are discussing here about how to correctly read and understand the Bible in light of whether text is meant literally or involves figurative meaning ?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

    PS: Yes, I do believe in miracles …

  10. on 31 Jan 2007 at 10:35 amSean

    First off, let me quote the entire section so that we are clear on what we are talking about.

    Revelation 9:13-21 13 Then the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind. 16 The number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. 17 And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone; and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone. 18 A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which proceeded out of their mouths. 19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads, and with them they do harm. 20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; 21 and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.

    So the fire comes out of these lion headed horse like creatures with serpent tails. If you want to take them figuratively then you also have to allegorize the third of mankind, and the non-repentance of the humans that survive. What is the figurative meaning for 1/3 of mankind? I prefer just to take it at face value. Maybe that sounds gullible or untenable to others, but I believe in the supernatural and thus these beings can be literal. Why not?

  11. on 31 Jan 2007 at 11:14 amWolfgang

    Sean,

    unless one has a proper knowledge and understanding of the language used in the Scriptures (and I do not mean necessarily Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, etc … but rather language in terms of literal and figurative expressions) one can come up with the most ingenious and far-out ideas and – as some do – think that the more weird and illogical a concept is, the more spiritual and true it must be … (cp. some of what trinitarian theologians have to say on certain scriptures)

    Your above comment shows that there is not much sense at this time to continue on items which involve the use of figures of speech and where a correct understanding of figures of speech is essential to a correct understanding.

    It would obviously be of benefit to us to first learn some more about the use of figures of speech used in the Bible, to get a more extensive overall scope of the language used in Scripture and how revelation / visions were used by God to communicate His plans and intentions about coming events to man.

    God bless you
    Wolfgang

  12. on 31 Jan 2007 at 11:28 amWolfgang

    Sean,

    by the way I just noticed that I mixed up the mouths of the horses with the mouths of the horsemen …. which still makes not much difference as to the fact that there is no literal fire and brimstone talked about, since such would not be coming out of a horse’s mouth either.

    On the other hand, the passage is clear in identifying these armies as having both “horses” and “horsemen” (cp v. 16-17 “horsemen”, “horses and them who sat on them”) … no modern day fantasy type of spiritual beings are talked about here.

    God bless you
    Wolfgang

  13. on 03 Feb 2007 at 11:55 amWolfgang

    Hi all,

    since nobody commented on the time line of the 70 weeks and the last wekk (last 7 years), I’d like to ask if someone has further insights as to how the 70th week of Daniel’s vision could be “the last 7 years of this age”? In other words, how can it be that Daniel’s 70 weeks determined upon “Daniel’s people” start from Cyrus decree to rebuild Jerusalem etc and then go 69 weeks of that time period until the coming and public ministry of the Messiah and then the last week be thousands of years removed from the previous 69 weeks? Are there indications in Scriptures of such a break between 69th and 70th week (or as some might think, between 1st half of the 70th week to the 2nd half of the 70th week) ?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  14. on 03 Feb 2007 at 1:05 pmSean

    Cyrus never decreed to rebuild Jerusalem. He decreed to rebuild the temple and that is when Zerubbabel and Joshua went back. Artaxerxes is the one who decreed the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem (approx BC 445) which Nehemiah carried out.

    As to the last seven years being split off from the 69…I agree it certainly is unnatural. However, what happened in AD 39 that we could point to as fulfillment of this? Secondly, the last 3 1/2 years (i.e. great tribulation) is verified through multiple sources as indicated in the original post. Perhaps the two are not related? Perhaps they are?

  15. on 04 Feb 2007 at 2:58 amWolfgang

    Sean,
    thanks for correcting that mixup of the commandments issued to rebuild temple and rebuild city …

    As for “the great tribulation”, I have noticed that Jesus did speak of it in the discourse with his disciples on Mt. Olivet (cp Mt 24, Mk 13, Lk 21) in direct connection to the destruction of the city and the temple …. this great tribulation was to happen for approx 3 1/2 years prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. He also indicated that there would be a very brief time during which an escape wouldbe possible and that the disciplesm must use it in order to be saved (it was so brief that one should not care about going back to one’s house to pick up stuff, but immediately flee out of the city and into the hill country of Judea from where one happened to be …

    When we take the context of the end of Mt 23 into consideration, it becomes obvious that the disciples were asking Jesus about things pertaining to Jerusalem and the temple in existence then … The question then is: What happened to Jesus’ prophecies? Did they indeed refer ot the city and temple in existence then? did they refer to something else, if so .. how would his words indicate it? If they did refer to the city and temple then, have they already been fulfilled? Were his encouragements to his disicples on how to be saved through this great tribulation correct? How would these instructions (flee into the hill country of Judea, pray that it not be in a sabbath day, etc) apply to believers now who live in Germany or the USA? where should we be going to be saved through the great tribulation … some places Jesus did not even mention?

    How do you undersatnd this matter of what is said to happen during the last 7 years (or latter half thereof) of the time that was appointed on Daniel’s people (who were they?, did they include modern day Gentiles living in various parts of the globe?)?

    May God grant us insights, so we can believe and teach accurately
    Wolfgang

  16. on 19 Jun 2007 at 10:40 pmKarl

    Interesting discussion. I guess there is more than one preterist unitarian out there. Regarding literal interpretation: Why can’t 490 be 490?

    God bless you

  17. on 19 Jun 2007 at 11:06 pmKarl

    Then the earth shook and quaked; And the foundations of the mountains were trembling And were shaken, because He was angry.
    Smoke went up out of His nostrils, And fire from His mouth devoured; Coals were kindled by it.
    He bowed the heavens also, and came down With thick darkness under His feet.
    He rode upon a cherub and flew; And He sped upon the wings of the wind.
    He made darkness His hiding place, His canopy around Him, Darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.
    From the brightness before Him passed His thick clouds, Hailstones and coals of fire.
    The LORD also thundered in the heavens, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire.
    He sent out His arrows, and scattered them, And lightning flashes in abundance, and routed them.
    Then the channels of water appeared, And the foundations of the world were laid bare At Your rebuke, O LORD, At the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.

    Psalm 18:-15. When did all this happen? Ps. 18:1 “A psalm of David… who spoke the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.”

    Yet when we read in Samuel about Saul and David, never do we see the LORD riding on a cherub, sending out arrows nor a fire from his mouth devouring. Rather this is figurative language describing David’s deliverance. With this in view are we supposed to believe that fire proceeding out the of mouths of horses that have heads like lions is meant to be taken literally?

    God bless you

  

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