Category Archives: ESCHATOLOGY (END TIMES) / PROPHECY

Why does the LORD make a covenant with animals?

WHY DOES THE LORD MAKE A COVENANT WITH ANIMALS?

by Shawn Brasseaux

We read an enigmatic promise in Hosea 2:18: “And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.” Exactly why would God want to make an agreement with animals? (Hint: It is for Israel’s benefit!)

According to the Law of Moses (Old Covenant), a series of five rounds of judgments or chastisements would come upon the Jewish people for their disobedience to the LORD. See Leviticus chapter 26 and Deuteronomy chapter 28. The context of Hosea chapter 2 is Israel’s restoration and redemption from those curses or judgments of the Old Covenant, and her enjoyment of the New Covenant at Christ’s Second Coming. Israel is delivered, brought back into the Promised Land, from which the LORD had scattered her idolatrous ancestors several centuries before Christ (the fifth course of judgment, Leviticus 26:27-46).

The third course of chastisement was outlined in Leviticus 26:21-22: “[21] And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins. [22] I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate.As a punishment for their sinfulness, God promised to turn the wild animal kingdom loose on Israel, that these creatures attack and eat them and their livestock! This phase of judgment was instituted during the ministry of the Prophet Elisha.

Turn to 2 Kings 2:23-25, over 800 years before Christ: “[23] And he [the Prophet Elisha] went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. [24] And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them. [25] And he went from thence to mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria.” These “children”—as in teenagers—were ridiculing God’s prophet or spokesman. In other words, Israel has taught her younger generations to laugh at the LORD’S preacher. Consequently, the third course of judgment began, and two female bears slaughtered these kids to prove it!

As touching the fourth seal judgment of Daniel’s 70th Week, yet future from us, we see this third course of chastisement resuming. Revelation chapter 6: “[7] And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. [8] And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” These creatures will take the lives of idolaters, those followers of the Antichrist. Consequently, Israel’s Little Flock (believing remnant) will be endued with supernatural power over the animal kingdom, that the fauna not hurt them. As the Lord promised His disciples in believing Israel, “They shall take up serpents” (Mark 16:18). For more information, see our snake-handling article linked below.

In the case of Hosea chapter 2, the curses of the Old Covenant are lifted and the blessings of the New Covenant are introduced. Reread the verse with which we opened: “And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.” In Christ’s Millennial Reign, Israel will be at peace. No Gentile armies will be attacking her in the Promised Land, as with the first course of chastisement (Leviticus 26:14-17). Also, no Gentile nations will be deporting her from the Promised Land via war, as in the fifth course of judgment (Leviticus 26:27-39). Moreover, the animal kingdom will not assault her people anymore, as in the third course of chastisement (Leviticus 26:21-22).

The Prophet Ezekiel foretold of Israel’s restoration under the New Covenant in chapters 34 and 36. (Look at Ezekiel 36:25-27; cf. Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 8:8-13, and Hebrews 10:1-39.) Read from chapter 34, noting especially verses 25 and 28: “[23] And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. [24] And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it. [25] And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. [26] And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. [27] And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them. [28] And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid. [29] And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. [30] Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord GOD. [31] And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD.”

Israel’s enemies—both man and beast—are now at peace with them because the LORD is now at peace with them!

Also see:
» What about snake-handling?
» Who will be Israel’s King in the Millennium—Jesus Christ or David?
» Can you explain 2 Kings 2:23-25?

Will the Antichrist be a homosexual?

WILL THE ANTICHRIST BE A HOMOSEXUAL?

by Shawn Brasseaux

A portion of the Holy Spirit’s description of the Antichrist—the future, apostate political leader in Israel—is found in Daniel chapter 11. Verse 37 is particularly interesting to us here: “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.” The trait “nor [regard] the desire of women” of the Antichrist has been commonly interpreted as “he will not desire women sexually.” In other words, on the basis of this passage, he is assumed to be homosexual. Is this what we are to conclude from these words?

Let us consider his other characteristics as found in the verse:

  • “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers” means the Antichrist does not worship JEHOVAH God—the God of “his fathers” Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Yes, the Antichrist is a Jewish man. (For more information, see our related study linked at the end of this article.)
  • “[Neither shall he] regard any god” refers to the Antichrist not worshipping the idols of the world (that is, deities except JEHOVAH God).

Situated between these two religious statements is him not regarding “the desire of women.” Would this not be a strange place to mention a sexual tendency toward men instead of women? The context is worship in religion, so “the desire of women” must be restricted to special idols or devotions the ancient pagan women desired. In other words, these heathen women were drawn to certain female idols or goddesses (queen of heaven, Astarte, Venus, Ashtaroth, Diana, et cetera). The Antichrist will pay these goddesses no mind either. He pretends to be the one true God because he is his own authority. The Antichrist may or may not be a homosexual, but Daniel 11:37 seems to be speaking of his utter indifference to all deities—male and female. He wants to appeal to as many prospective church members as possible!

Like any sinner, like any creature following Satan, the Antichrist wants all the praise and worship. He does not focus his attention on any “higher power,” for he is his own god, and yet, he is really worshipping Satan and encouraging others to do so as well! Read Daniel 11:37 with its context: “[36] And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. [37] Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. [38] But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.”

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

Also see:
» Will the Antichrist be a Jew or a Gentile?
» What advice can be given to homosexual Christians?
» Is the Antichrist alive right now?

Who is “the wicked one” in Scripture?

WHO IS “THE WICKED ONE” IN SCRIPTURE?

by Shawn Brasseaux

First and foremost, “the wicked one” is obviously a title of Satan. “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous” (1 John 3:12). We know this because the Devil himself is referred to in earlier verses. “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil(verse 8). “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother” (verse 10).

Moreover, the appellation is extended to the Antichrist, the man who will become Satan’s greatest tool. Christ’s parables of Matthew chapter 13 delineate what will happen in Israel between His two comings—that is, after Calvary but before His Kingdom. The Antichrist will be the means whereby God separates believers and unbelievers in Israel. “When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side” (Matthew 13:19). Also, verse 38: “The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;….”

Satan working through the Antichrist thrice appears in the Book of 1 John. “I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one(2:13-14). “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness(5:18-19).

The Antichrist is “that Wicked” of 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9: “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,….” (Read all of the chapter, particularly verses 3-12.) Thankfully, one day, the Lord Jesus Christ will return (His Second Coming) to defeat and remove the Antichrist and Satan from Earth!

Also see:
» Why does God let Satan exist?
» Is the Antichrist alive right now?
» Will the Antichrist be a Jew or a Gentile?

Why does Matthew 24:26 highlight the “desert” and the “secret chambers?”

WHY DOES MATTHEW 24:26 HIGHLIGHT THE “DESERT” AND THE “SECRET CHAMBERS?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

As part of the Olivet Discourse, His famous end-times sermon, the Lord Jesus warned in Matthew 24:26: “Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” What is the significance of the “desert?” Exactly what are these “secret chambers?”

So as to shed light on the subject, we appeal to prior verses: “[4] And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. [5] For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many…. [23] Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. [24] For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. [25] Behold, I have told you before.”

The context, then, is false Messiahs, false Christs, false prophets—counterfeit preachers, fake “representatives of God.” Jesus warns His audience not to let these liars trick them. Verse 26 again: “Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” If someone tells them to go and see “Messiah” in the desert, they are to refuse. Also, they should not believe anyone who says “Messiah” is in the secret chambers. Both are counterfeit Messiahs, false Christs (verse 24). When Israel’s Messiah does arrive, it will be Jesus at His Second Coming. The Lord Jesus will not arise in some private or secluded way. Rather, He will be seen entering Jerusalem from the east. See Ezekiel 43:1-5. Signs in the heavens will precede that Second Coming (Matthew 24:27,29-30). It will be a public, noticeable, stunning return in power and great glory!

“Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth….” What is so special about “the desert” and Messiah? Isaiah 40:1-3 said this 700 years before Christ: “[1] Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. [2] Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins. [3] The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Matthew 3:1-4, Mark 1:1-4, Luke 3:1-6, and John 1:23 apply this to John the Baptist conducting his ministry in the wilderness of Judaea in order to introduce Messiah Jesus to Israel. “And the child [John the Baptist] grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel” (Luke 1:80). As Jesus went out to John in the desert, so false Messiahs and false prophets will, evidently, abide in the desert to appear to be fulfilling Bible prophecy. It is deception!

“Behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” Exactly what are these “secret chambers?” When Herod’s Temple was operating in Jerusalem 20 centuries ago, it had special rooms (lodgings) where traveling prophets could spend the night. According to the Lord Jesus, during the end times, false Messiahs would be introduced after first entering one of these rooms. While Herod’s Temple is no longer present, we can think of the future as involving false Messiahs claiming the rights and privileges of a prophet. Again, it is deception!

Moses, speaking in Deuteronomy chapter 18, says of Messiah: “[15] The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;… [18] I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. [19] And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” According to Acts 3:22-23, Jesus fulfilled this prophecy (cf. John the Baptist’s refusal to be called “that prophet” in John 1:21,25). Beyond our day, false Messiahs—especially the Antichrist—will surely attempt to apply this passage to themselves. They will claim to be genuine prophets. As with those in the desert (see earlier comments), those in the secret chambers will appear legitimate. Jesus told His audience not to believe either individual because they are all part of that massive deception surrounding the Antichrist’s ascension to power (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12).

We can move on to Matthew 24:27 for further light: “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” The coming of the Son of Man—His Second Coming—will not occur in the desert or secret chambers (verse 26). No, the Lord Jesus will return as lightning comes out of the east, and shines to the west. There will be spectacular astronomical phenomena at the Second Coming of Christ (see Matthew 24:29-30)—lights and sounds (thunder). His return will be unmistakable. They will know it when Jesus comes! “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen” (Revelation 1:7). Jesus is the true Messiah, and the unique nature of His coming will prove Him to be quite different from the false Christs and false prophets of verses 5, 23, 24, and 26.

Also see:
» Is the Antichrist alive right now?
» Will the Antichrist be a Jew or a Gentile?
» Who or what are the 10 “toes” or “horns” or “crowns” associated with the Antichrist?

What technology will be in the Millennium?

WHAT TECHNOLOGY WILL BE IN THE MILLENNIUM?

by Shawn Brasseaux

What will the 1,000-Year Reign of Christ on Earth be like technologically? For example, will modes of transportation be like that of Bible days—donkeys, horses, camels, wagons, chariots, and so on? Or, will it resemble that of today—automobiles, jet planes, bullet trains, and the like? Will there be electricity, computers, wireless internet, cell phones, air conditioning, television, et cetera, in the Millennium? Let us search the Scriptures and see if we can come up with any answers.

Concerning the Millennium, Revelation chapter 20 tells us: “[1] And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. [2] And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, [3] And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. [4] And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. [5] But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. [6] Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

The Bible claims “they [Israel’s believing remnant] lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years… but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (verses 4,6). Indeed, there will be people in excess of 1,000 years old—alive before, during, and after the entire Millennium! Now, consider the history of man’s technological advancements. Researchers and inventors studied natural processes and devised ways to harness them for our benefit. Whatever modern conveniences we enjoy today, they are the culmination of many decades of exploration and experimentation. It is truly amazing we have come this far—and there is still a long way to go!

Yet, friend, did you realize the great scientists of the previous centuries could have introduced many more innovations? Unfortunately, two certainties hindered that from coming to pass. Firstly, except with Adam and Eve before the Fall, the human brain itself has never been used to its full potential. No matter how meticulous discoverers are, regardless of how ingenious engineers are, no matter how brilliant the dreamers are, they (believe it or not) have had and still have intellectual limitations. Whatever they discovered, whatever they knew, is but a fraction of what can be discovered and known. Secondly, mental and physical decline cut their work short. In other words, because of the curse of sin, they grew old and experienced death. Research could not be continued. Exploration was terminated. Neither of these facts will be true in the Millennium, and that provides one major clue as to what the Millennium will be like technologically!

Think about living—not just for 100 years but—for 1,000 years. What scientific breakthroughs could you as just one person make? Now, what if there were 1,000 such people—or 10,000? Imagine the explosion of knowledge then! That is unfathomable!

When the nation Israel, having just escaped Egyptian bondage, began to prepare for the LORD God to live among them (in the Tabernacle), something quite neat occurred. If we can understand what happened here, then we can infer the phenomenal proliferation of information in the Millennium. Start reading at Exodus chapter 28, God’s instructions to Moses: “[1] And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons. [2] And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty. [3] And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.”

Now, turn to chapter 31: “[1] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, [2] See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: [3] And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, [4] To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, [5] And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. [6] And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee; [7] The tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle, [8] And the table and his furniture, and the pure candlestick with all his furniture, and the altar of incense, [9] And the altar of burnt offering with all his furniture, and the laver and his foot, [10] And the cloths of service, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest’s office, [11] And the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the holy place: according to all that I have commanded thee shall they do.”

Finally, chapter 35: “[30] And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the LORD hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; [31] And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship; [32] And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, [33] And in the cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work. [34] And he hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. [35] Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.”

Read the latter half of the Book of Exodus. The construction of the Tabernacle was no easy task. It required great skill in connecting fabrics and animal skins; and handling wood, valuable metals, and precious stones. Furthermore, there were assorted pieces of furniture and holy priestly garments to be used in conjunction with the structure. The language of these passages is that this knowledge was well beyond the unaided human mind. Hence, God Himself endowed these men with special or spiritual gifts. Without the LORD’S intervention, this elaborate edifice and all its intricate components would have never become reality. God in His ingenuity designed the blueprints… and thus He alone could bring them to pass in the physical world. These people worked together with the LORD and for His glory. By the time of chapter 40, all that construction is complete!

Extending the above logic to the Millennium, it becomes clear that today’s technological innovations are quite primitive in comparison. Whatever we see today is but fallen man’s imagination and not God’s (superior) creativity. Creation is designed to glorify the Creator God, the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the provisions of the New Covenant is the indwelling Holy Spirit. He will fill the nation Israel with His Spirit and cause them to walk in His ways. Consider Ezekiel 36:25-28: “[25] Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. [26] A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. [27] And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. [28] And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.”

As Christians today utilize their renewed mind to invent creative ways to share the Gospel, so God’s Spirit will work in Israel’s Little Flock to make Himself known to others during the 1,000 years of Christ reigning on the Earth. Furthermore, even as members of the Church the Body of Christ, our rule and reign in the heavenly places will require quite a bit of ingenuity too! Personally, this author thinks the Millennium’s technology will exceed all that we have today, more than our limited brains can fathom now! Yea, we will go so far as to say even our “science fiction” cannot compare to what innovations will be implemented once Jesus Christ reigns and is glorified!

Also see:
» Who will have children in the Millennium?
» Who will be Israel’s King in the Millennium—Jesus Christ or David?
» How can man rebel against God after the Millennium?

Why did Jesus tell Israel they do not know the date of His return?

WHY DID JESUS TELL ISRAEL THEY DO NOT KNOW THE DATE OF HIS RETURN? HAVE NOT SPECIFIC DATES BEEN GIVEN IN THE PROPHETIC PROGRAM?

by Shawn Brasseaux

If Israel’s prophetic program revolves around a series of dates Scripture already specified, how could the Lord Jesus tell His audience they would not know when He would return? This will get technical, but if we are willing to listen to the Holy Spirit teach us through His Word, the Holy Bible, it is easy to grasp!

To begin, consider these verses:

  • But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only…. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come(Matthew 24:36,42).
  • “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh (Matthew 25:13).
  • But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is(Mark 13:32-33).

Now, turn to Daniel chapter 9: “[24] Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. [25] Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two [that is, sixty-two (62)] weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. [26] And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. [27] And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”

Israel’s prophetic program indeed runs on a detailed timetable. As evidenced above, the LORD God provided exact dates for them, particularly concerning Daniel’s 70 Weeks (490 years). Those 490 years are divided into a 49-year period (7 weeks/septets of years), followed by a 434-year period (62 weeks/septets of years), followed by a 7-year period (one week/septet of years). The first 49 years sit between Nehemiah chapter 2 (rebuilding of Jerusalem’s city wall) and Malachi (close of the canon of the Old Testament Scriptures). After that, 434 years span the time between Malachi’s ministry and Calvary. To wit, exactly 483 years of Daniel’s 490 years were fulfilled before Christ died on the cross. All that remains is one seven-year period—commonly called the Tribulation (future from us). At the end of those seven years, Christ’s Second Coming ushers in the Millennial Kingdom. So, based on Daniel chapter 9, we understand there is a 490-year period separating Nehemiah chapter 2 and the Second Coming. Could not these specific dates enable Israel to determine the time of Christ’s return? Yes… and no.

Again, followers of Jesus Christ in the A.D. first century knew His death marked the end of 483 years of Daniel’s 490-year prophecy (9:25-26). Thus, they understood His return was seven years away. He had been rejected, so the Millennial Kingdom was delayed. What complicated the matter was Him dying between the 69th Week and the 70th Week—as opposed to dying during one of them. In other words, while most of Jesus’ earthly ministry covered the final three years of the 69th Week, the ending of His ministry (Calvary) was after/outside the 69th Week. Furthermore, God did not immediately commence the 70th Week. Whereas the previous 69 weeks came in instantaneous succession, the 70th Week is isolated. The 70th Week would be delayed by at least one year—Israel being given a renewed opportunity of repentance in the first seven chapters of Acts.

Luke chapter 13: “[6] He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. [7] Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? [8] And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: [9] And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.”

Did you see how national Israel was unresponsive during Christ’s three years of earthly ministry? In His goodness, the LORD God gave them an additional year to convert to Him—the sermons of Acts chapters 1–7. Alas, they further rebelled and fell (blaspheming the Holy Spirit and killing Stephen). Therefore, Jesus Christ turned to the Gentiles through the Apostle Paul’s ministry, which is where we are today. Our Dispensation of Grace is a mystery gap, and it further lengthens the space between the 69th Week and the 70th Week. Also, after our dispensation ends at the Rapture, our gathering together unto Christ, there is an undetermined period of time that must run before the Antichrist arises and signs a covenant to start those final seven years (Tribulation).

Since this is an intricate topic that takes much studying and contemplation, we will pause to summarize thus far. While Daniel’s 70 weeks reveal there are 490 years between Nehemiah chapter 2 and Jesus Christ’s return to establish His earthly kingdom, these 490 years have three major interruptions. Firstly, Christ died “after” 483 years (cf. Daniel 9:26)—namely, between the 69th Week and the 70th Week. Daniel’s 490 years were not operating in the last few days before the cross. Secondly, as we saw in Luke 13:8, there is a one-year period inserted between the 69th Week and the 70th Week. That is Israel’s renewed opportunity of repentance in the first seven chapters of Acts—something the Holy Spirit did not reveal to Daniel but is nevertheless part of the prophetic program. Daniel’s 490 years are paused here as well.

Thirdly, our 2,000-year-long Dispensation of Grace was not revealed to Daniel either. That 70th Week is postponed even now because of this our mystery program. Even after our Dispensation of Grace expires, and the prophetic program resumes, several kings must arise in the Middle East and numerous wars must be fought there before the Antichrist enters the scene. Those monarchs and their battles are found in Daniel 11:5-20. In verse 21, the Antichrist comes to power and signs the seven-year covenant. Verse 22 is the actual start of the seven-year Tribulation; verses 5-21 describe what happened in the gap between the Rapture (our departure) and Daniel’s 70th Week. The length of that gap is also unclear. (That gap continues the gap of early Acts, as our Dispensation of Grace interrupted the prophetic program back in chapter 9. In order to fully grasp Israel’s prophetic program here, with no interruptions, we must imagine our Dispensation of Grace removed.)

Once the Antichrist confirms the seven-year treaty, the Jews will know Christ’s return is only seven years away. Assorted verses allow Israel to divide this seven-year period into two halves—42 months each, or 3½ years each, or 1260 days each (Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7; Revelation 11:2-3; Revelation 12:6,14). These divisions are significant, as distinct events mark them off.

A Biblical year is 360 days, with 30 days a month. Therefore, the seven-year Tribulation will span 2,520 days in totality. Daniel 8:14 says Christ will return exactly 2,300 days after the Antichrist’s Jerusalem Temple is constructed and begins operation. Using simple subtraction, we know the Antichrist’s Temple will be assembled during the first 220 days—roughly seven months—of the seven years. So, once the Jews see the Antichrist’s Temple completed, they will understand Christ’s return is exactly 2,300 days away (just under 6½ years). Once completed, that temple will become more and more corrupted.

Read Daniel 12:11: “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” The Antichrist’s perverted religious system continues 1,290 days following his causing animal sacrifices and oblations to cease in his Temple (cf. Daniel 9:27). Of course, 1,290 days is 43 months—one month longer than 3½ years (42 months). The Antichrist will defile that temple just before the halfway mark of Daniel’s 70th Week… and 43 months later Christ returns to cleanse Jerusalem of that pagan idolatry. Again, Jews will be able to use this information to establish the date of Christ’s coming.

At this point, someone will surely inquire, “Well, if all these dates are given in Scripture concerning Christ’s return, why can we not date the Second Coming?” We are in the mystery program, and the Apostle Paul’s ministry and epistles (Romans through Philemon) are separate from the prophetic program. The Church the Body of Christ has absolutely nothing to do with Daniel’s 70 Weeks—especially the 70th! You will recall (?) Daniel 9:24 opens, “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city….” This is clearly Daniel’s people (Israel) and the city of Jerusalem!! There is nothing in those 490 years about us the Church the Body of Christ, the Dispensation of Grace, and so on!!!

With that settled, another question surfaces. “Well, if all these dates are given in Scripture concerning Christ’s return, why can Israel not date the Second Coming?” (Remember the Lord’s words in Matthew chapters 24–25 and Mark chapter 13.) The precise date they need—the key date that unlocks the entire puzzle—has been deliberately withheld. God in His wisdom never gave an exact day, month, or year as to when the Antichrist will sign the covenant into effect. That is, they do not know the length of the gap between Calvary and the Antichrist ratifying the seven-year covenant. Once the seven-year agreement is made, then, of course, Christ’s return is exactly seven years away. However, none of that will happen in our Dispensation of Grace, so we should not look for any of it either!!

For the last 2,000 years, Christians (genuine and counterfeit) have so carelessly handled the Scriptures regarding date-setting. They have made themselves to look like fools—announcing their so-called “prophetic” knowledge of when Christ will come (either at the Rapture or the Second Coming) and then the dates passing without event. Unfortunately, they have given ammunition to unbelievers and Bible scoffers—and the mockers have gleefully taken it in their crusade to “overthrow” the Scriptures! Careful to approach the Bible dispensationally, “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), let us not confuse ourselves in the mystery program with Israel in the prophetic program. Until Israel in her prophetic program witnesses the Antichrist sign the seven-year treaty into effect, the Lord Jesus is correct, they cannot date His return to bring in their Kingdom.

Also see:
» Is the Antichrist alive right now?
» What about a six-year Tribulation?
» How are the days of Matthew 24:22 “shortened?”

What are “the secret chambers” of Matthew 24:26?

WHAT ARE “THE SECRET CHAMBERS” OF MATTHEW 24:26?

by Shawn Brasseaux

In Matthew 24:26, we read: “Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” To whom is this referring, and what are “the secret chambers?”

To gain the context, glance back at the previous verses: “[4] And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. [5] For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many…. [23] Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. [24] For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. [25] Behold, I have told you before.”

As touching prophecy (beyond our day), if someone tells Israel to go and see “Messiah” in “the desert,” they are to refuse. Also, they should not believe anyone who says “Messiah” is in “the secret chambers.” Both are counterfeit Messiahs, false Christs (verse 24). When Israel’s Messiah does arrive, it will be Jesus at His Second Coming. The Lord Jesus will not arise in some private or secluded way. Rather, He will be seen entering Jerusalem from the east. See Ezekiel 43:1-5. Signs in the heavens will precede that Second Coming (Matthew 24:27,29-30). It will be a public, noticeable, stunning return in power and great glory!

What is so special about “the desert” and Messiah? Isaiah 40:1-3 said this 700 years before Christ: “[1] Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. [2] Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins. [3] The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Matthew 3:1-4, Mark 1:1-4, Luke 3:1-6, and John 1:23 apply this to John the Baptist conducting his ministry in the wilderness of Judaea in order to introduce Messiah Jesus to Israel. “And the child [John the Baptist] grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel” (Luke 1:80). As Jesus went out to John in the desert, so false Messiahs and false prophets will, evidently, abide in the desert to appear to be fulfilling Bible prophecy.

Exactly what are “the secret chambers?” When Herod’s Temple was operating in Jerusalem 20 centuries ago, it had special rooms (lodgings) where traveling prophets could spend the night. According to the Lord Jesus, during the end-times, false Messiahs would be introduced after first entering one of these rooms. While Herod’s Temple is no longer present (the Roman troops destroyed it in A.D. 70), we can think of the future as involving false Messiahs claiming the rights and privileges of a prophet, which would again counterfeit the real Christ (Jesus).

Moses, speaking in Deuteronomy chapter 18, says of Messiah: “[15] The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;… [18] I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. [19] And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” According to Acts 3:22-23, Jesus fulfilled this (cf. John the Baptist’s refusal to be called “that prophet” in Jn. 1:21,25). Beyond our day, false Messiahs—especially the Antichrist—will surely attempt to apply this passage to themselves. They will claim to be genuine prophets.

As with those in the desert (see earlier comments), those in the secret chambers will appear legitimate. Jesus said told His audience not to believe either individual because they are all part of that massive deception surrounding the Antichrist’s ascension to power (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12).

Also see:
» How are the days of Matthew 24:22 “shortened?”
» What about a six-year Tribulation?
» Is the Antichrist alive right now?

What about a six-year Tribulation?

WHAT ABOUT A SIX-YEAR TRIBULATION?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Several years ago, this author was first introduced to such a view when he heard a Sunday School teacher mention it. According to this brother, the future Tribulation period will be a mere six years long as opposed to the commonly-held seven. His argument is outlined thusly: Since one year elapsed between Acts chapter 1 and Acts chapter 7, just six years of the prophetic program now remain before Christ’s Second Coming. In other words, not only was the prophetic program operating when God paused it to save and commission Saul of Tarsus in Acts chapter 9, Daniel’s 70th Week was evidently ongoing too. As per that Sunday School teacher’s reckoning, this the Dispensation of the Grace of God splits Daniel’s 70th Week into a one-year period (history) and a six-year period (future). Is this a sound position to take? “For what saith the Scriptures?”

Our main text is chapter 9 of Daniel: “[24] Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. [25] Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

“[26] And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. [27] And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”

Through the Prophet Daniel, the Holy Spirit outlines a period of “seventy weeks” that will run prior to Christ’s Second Coming. This word “week” in Hebrew functions like our English term “dozen.” Just as “dozen” is a set of 12, a “week” here is a group of seven. The modern English word is “septet,” but in obsolete English it is “hebdomad.” In summary, Daniel speaks of seventy septets, 70 times 7, or 490 items. What is the noun that corresponds to “week” here? Is it a week of days (as our common usage)? No. It is a week of years—a “week” is seven years. The “week” of Daniel 9:27 is a seven-year period, and it can be divided into 42 months and 42 months (Revelation 11:2), or 1260 days and 1260 days (Revelation 11:3; Revelation 12:6). Daniel 12:7 speaks of the latter half as “a time [1 year], times [+2 years], and an half [+½ year),” giving a total of 3½ years. You may also see Daniel 7:25, “a time [1 year] and times [+2 years] and the dividing of times [+½ year].” Revelation 12:14 says, “a time [1 year], and times [+2 years], and half a time [+½ year].” In totality, Daniel’s 70 weeks run 490 years—30 days per month, and 360 days in a year.

According to Daniel 9:25, there will be “seven weeks and threescore [60] and two weeks” between the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s city wall and Christ’s crucifixion. That equates to 69 weeks of years, or 483 years. The Bible divides those 483 years into 49 years (7 weeks of years) and 434 years (62 weeks of years). Christ dies between the 69th Week and the 70th Week. When Jesus rode the baby donkey into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (Matthew chapter 21), the 69th Week expired that very day (cf. Luke 19:28-44, especially verses 41-44). He was crucified just a few days later, in perfect accordance with Daniel. That leaves one week of years—or seven years—to be fulfilled after the cross of Calvary. Have those seven years already begun? Did the first year come to pass in the early chapters of Acts?

Let us begin by asking a simple question. What exactly initiates Daniel’s 70th Week? Dear friend, all we have to do is read the Bible! Daniel 9:27 again: And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” The Antichrist (the “prince” of verse 26) will sign a seven-year peace covenant, and this is precisely the basis for Daniel’s 70th Week. We find no such man or event in the opening chapters of Acts. No one contracted any peace treaty with Israel between Acts chapters 1 and 7. The Bible is silent, so we would greatly err to start those final seven years during Acts.

We indeed agree the time elapsed during the first seven chapters of Acts was one year. In Luke 13:6-9, we read of a parable the Lord Jesus put forth: “[6] He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. [7] Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? [8] And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: [9] And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.” For three years of earthly ministry, Christ sought spiritual fruit in Israel. He found none, for their works-religion could not give them a right standing before God. Therefore, He cursed the fig tree in Matthew 21:18-22 (see our related study linked at the end of this article).

After His three years of earthly ministry, Jesus gave Israel a one-year-long renewed opportunity of repentance. This is the early Acts period, when the Holy Spirit came down (chapter 2 onward) and preached to convert lost Israel through the Little Flock (Jewish believing remnant, especially the 12 Apostles). Apostate Israel responded by killing the Prophet Stephen in Acts chapter 7, thereby committing the final act of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, leading to her temporary fall (see Matthew 12:31-32). However, we should not consider the one-year period of Acts chapters 1 through 7 as part of Daniel’s 70th Week. After all, like Calvary itself, early Acts sits in the gap between the 69th Week and 70th Week.

It is better to see Daniel’s 70th Week—a seven-year period—as entirely future from our Dispensation of Grace. That 70th Week was not even partially fulfilled yet. One last note to mention. None of the previous 69 weeks were broken up. They were all whole weeks of years—intact seven-year segments—in every instance during those prior 483 years. How incongruous it would be to make the final week two sections! Nay, it is more Scriptural (and simpler) to leave it as the standard seven-year Tribulation being future from us.

Saints, please remember us in your monthly giving—these websites do cost money to run! 🙂 You can donate securely here: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux, or email me at arcministries@gmail.com. Do not forget about Bible Q&A booklets for sale at https://arcgraceministries.org/in-print/booklets-bible-q-a/. Thanks to all who give to and pray for us! By the way, ministry emails have really been backed up this year. I am handling them as much as humanly possible. Thanks for your patience. 🙂

Also see:
» Why did Jesus curse the “poor” fig tree?
» Is the Antichrist alive right now?
» Will the Antichrist be a Jew or a Gentile?

How shall Elijah “restore all things?”

HOW SHALL ELIJAH “RESTORE ALL THINGS?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things (Matthew 17:11). “And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought” (Mark 9:12). In what sense will Elijah “restore all things?”

Our best option in interpreting this is to appeal to the original Old Testament passage being quoted, the final two verses of Malachi chapter 4: “[5] Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: [6] And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

The Word of God, if permitted, would have brought societal unity in the nation Israel. However, the Jews allowed spiritual error—false religion (pagan idolatry)—to creep in and it destroyed them from the inside out. In Malachi’s day, some 400 years prior to Christ’s earthly ministry, Jewish fathers and children are at odds with each other. Micah chapter 7, written over three centuries before Malachi, says: “[5] Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. [6] For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.”

Christ quoted Micah in the Book of Matthew, chapter 10, when He commissioned His 12 Apostles: “[21] And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. [22] And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. [23] But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. [24] The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. [25] It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?….

“[32] Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. [33] But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. [34] Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. [35] For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. [36] And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. [37] He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. [38] And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. [39] He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”

As touching John the Baptist’s ministry, an angel of the LORD told his father Zacharias in Luke chapter 1: “[16] And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. [17] And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” John the Baptist conducting his ministry “in the spirit and power of Elias [Elijah]” meant he, like Elijah eight centuries earlier, would be fighting against Israel’s apostate leadership (see 1 Kings chapter 17–2 Kings chapter 2). As a believing remnant was formed because of Elijah’s message, so a Little Flock of believers would be created in Israel when John preached. John’s converts would be ready to accept Jesus Christ.

Combining all the foregoing information, we take Elijah “restoring all things” as meaning thus: (1) the Holy Spirit will use his ministry to “recover” and proclaim truth that has been pushed aside because of false teaching, and (2) the Holy Spirit will reestablish the spiritual and social stability in Israel lost because of said false teaching. The truth unites people; it is error that divides. Unfortunately, a majority in Israel will retain their error, which will further divide Jewish families. This was true in Elijah’s day, it was applicable during John the Baptist’s time, and it will be true even beyond our dispensation leading up to Christ’s Second Coming (Matthew chapter 10).

Revelation chapter 11 prophesies of “two witnesses” who will have ministries during the reign of the Antichrist. As the Lord Jesus Himself confirmed, Elijah will be one of these men who will precede His Second Coming (cf. Malachi 4:5-6 and Matthew 17:11). Therefore, as Elijah of old preached sound Bible doctrine that unified Jews spiritually, as John the Baptist proclaimed sound Bible doctrine that united Jews spiritually, so Elijah (who never physically died) will be brought back to Earth in the future to preach sound Bible doctrine that unifies Jews spiritually. This believing remnant in Israel formed will then make way for Messiah Jesus to return and usher His earthly kingdom.

Also see:
» Was John the Baptist really Elijah?
» How could John the Baptist question if Jesus really is Christ?
» As Christians, should we hate our parents?

How are the days of Matthew 24:22 “shortened?”

HOW ARE THE DAYS OF MATTHEW 24:22 “SHORTENED?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

We read in Matthew chapter 24: “[21] For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. [22] And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”

This chapter outlines the events leading up to Christ’s Second Coming. Verses 4-14 of Matthew chapter 24 are the first half of Daniel’s 70th Week (see Daniel 9:24-27—a “week” here equals seven years, like our English word “dozen” means 12). Verses 15-22 are the midpoint. Verse 23 onward is the second half, leading up to the Second Coming itself (verses 30-31, for example). For more information on timing, note these quick facts: Revelation 11:2 speaks of 42 months or 1260 days (3½ years), whereas Revelation 12:6 and Revelation 13:5 concern another 42 months (3½ years). Overall, these are the final seven years of Daniel’s prophecy, that which will occur after our Dispensation of Grace runs its course and we the Church the Body of Christ have been removed from Earth. Remember, the 490 years of Daniel chapter 9 concern Israel and Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24)—not us!

We understand these seven years are halved—divided in two. For several reasons (beyond the scope of this study), Divine wrath progressively intensifies and conditions increasingly deteriorate. Revelation chapters 6–18 cover all seven years, with the Antichrist arising in chapter 6 and Jesus Christ returning in chapter 19. Read these passages in order, and notice the escalating judgment and suffering! There will be great wars, various horrific diseases, astronomical anomalies, devastating earthquakes, carnivorous animals eating people, evil spirits tormenting human society, extreme drought and famine, Israel’s believers in Jesus Christ being imprisoned and executed for refusing to follow Antichrist, and numerous other crises. Matthew 24:21 summarizes the second half of Daniel’s 70th Week, in Jesus’ words, as “great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Those concluding 42 months are particularly noteworthy. We see them in terms of years in Revelation 12:14: “a time [1] and times [+2], and half a time [+½].

“Shortened” in Matthew 24:21-22 is not to be taken in the sense of reducing a day to 23 hours instead of its usual 24, subtracting years from the seven, removing days from months, making a month less than four weeks, or anything of the sort. Otherwise, we start “readjusting” the entire 490-year period predicted in Daniel 9:24, redefining these “weeks,” and increasingly losing their precision with every modification. If the Bible speaks of “a thousand two hundred and threescore [60] days” (Revelation 11:3), individual days are important here and thus cannot be deleted.

Here is how we are to understand Matthew 24:21-22: “[21] For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. [22] And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” The severity of Daniel’s 70th Week becomes so great, the loss of life inflates to such an extent during its last half, that if God does not restrict it to a mere 42 months, no one would be left alive! In order for “flesh” (physical bodies) to be “saved” (delivered, surviving), He limits that latter half to 3½ years. An exact schedule has been established, so Daniel’s 70th Week cannot and will not go on indefinitely. If Almighty God permitted those dangerous days to go beyond that allotted time frame, no flesh would be saved. Again, the issue here is not soul salvation (justification unto eternal life, forgiveness of sins). It is physical salvation—a deliverance of flesh-and-blood bodies. Consequently, members of Israel’s Little Flock (“the elect”) are alive and waiting for Christ to come back for them!

Saints, please remember us in your monthly giving—these websites do cost money to run! 🙂 You can donate securely here: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux, or email me at arcministries@gmail.com. Do not forget about Bible Q&A booklets for sale at https://arcgraceministries.org/in-print/booklets-bible-q-a/. Thanks to all who give to and pray for us! By the way, ministry emails have really been backed up this year. I am handling them as much as humanly possible. Thanks for your patience. 🙂

Also see:
» Is the Antichrist alive right now?
» Are we “doom and gloom” prophecy believers?
» Will the Antichrist be a Jew or a Gentile?