Saturday, August 7, 2021

Israel and Daniel's Week

Israel and Daniel's Week

When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoever reads, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains… (Matthew 24:15-16 AKJV)

When our Lord was asked when He would come to rule and reign, He warned His followers to watch for the Abomination spoken of by Daniel. We have identified this as the AntiChrist appearing in the temple of God halfway through the tribulation. Those in Israel are told to flee to the mountains. This may not literally mean to run into the hills.

Then Micaiah said, I did see all Israel scattered upon the mountains as sheep that have no shepherd… (2 Chronicles 18:16 AMPC)

IN THE Lord I take refuge [and put my trust]; how can you say to me, Flee like a bird to Your mountain? (Psalms 11:1 AMPC)

In these two scriptures we can see that in a time of trouble, being scattered in the mountains was used to describe people who are lost and unprepared for what has happened. A bird is something that takes flight quickly and moves over obstacles. “Your mountain” is a place of refuge in the Lord. As He continues to speak, we see that the Lord is clearly talking to those who have not prepared for this day:

Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. (Matthew 24:17-18 AKJV)

Great haste will be required for those who did not recognize the time or season. In the middle of the”tribulation,” there seems to be a very short window of time in which those living in Israel will know the AntiChrist has come but not yet feel the full force of the AntiChrist. The seriousness of the warning continues:

And woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray you that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day. (Matthew 24:19-20 AKJV)

The fact that there is a warning for those with kids reveals that we will be around for a while after this point in time. The flight not being in winter points us to the fact it may be a literal act of running for our lives.

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. (Matthew 24:21-22 AKJV)

The terms, “tribulation” and “great tribulation” are used for the two halves of Daniel’s week because of this scripture. The Tribulation is the first 3.5 years and the Great Tribulation begins after 3.5 years of Daniel’s week. However, in this scripture, nor anywhere else in the Bible, does it actually say that the Great Tribulation ends after three and a half years: only that those days must be shortened or all God’s people (the elect) would be destroyed.

We will need to look at chapter 12 in Revelation for more information about what Israel can expect during Daniel’s Week.

Tribulation in Israel

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. (Revelation 12:1-2 AKJV)

Israel is referred to as a woman in the Old Testament. The country is divided into twelve tribes which are represented by the twelve stars. Jesus came out of Israel during a time of suffering when Israel was under Roman rule. This is the pain of the delivery.

And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns on his heads. (Revelation 12:3 AKJV)

This represents the army of Satan which we will discuss when we talk about the AntiChrist. 

And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. (Revelation 12:4 AKJV)

The tail usually indicates Satan working through “telling tales” which can be stories or lies. Satan has wooed one third of God’s servants to rebel against mankind. Notice that the entire dragon didn’t come to earth, only his minions at that time. In the second chapter of Matthew, we see that King Herod tried to find and kill Jesus when He was born. This attack was clearly fueled by Satan's minions. 

And she brought forth a Man Child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up to God, and to His throne. (Revelation 12:5 AKJV)

Jesus was sent to rule all nations with an unbending rod of iron. He made it clear that this would happen when He returned. It is interesting that half of this verse has come to pass and the next verse is yet to come! Jesus has been caught up to God and is now on His throne which should be remembered as we look at the next verse:

And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. (Revelation 12:6 AKJV)

When we see 1260 days, we know that is three and a half years, half of the Tribulation. Since we have already seen that sacrifices and offerings will be happening during the first half of Daniel’s Week, it is easy to see the correlation here. The Greek word hetoimazō (het-oy-mad'-zo) is translated merely as “prepared” but also has two interesting metaphorical meanings:

  • Drawn from the oriental custom of sending others ahead to level the roads and make them passable for the king’s journey
  • To prepare the minds of men in order to give the Messiah a fit reception and secure His blessings

The two witnesses will be prophesying during this time. Could it be that this will be a time of a great ingathering of God’s people? Right before the Lord spoke about the second coming, He said this:

For I say to you, You shall not see me from now on, till you shall say, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord. (Matthew 23:39 AKJV)

I don’t believe this has happened yet. It may be what is prophesied here. More evidence for this interpretation can be found at the place where Israel is fleeing to. The Torah (first five books of the Bible) was given to God’s people in “the wilderness.” To flee into the wilderness may actually mean to become completely dependent upon God, especially concerning Jesus as the Messiah, His first coming and the resurrection. Whatever is happening, it is clear that it was arranged by God and He is in charge. 

And there was war in Heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Revelation 12:7-9 AKJV)

After God protects His people for the first half of Daniel’s Week, Satan and his minions are kicked out of Heaven. 

And I heard a loud voice saying in Heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brothers is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives to the death. (Revelation 12:10-11 AKJV)

The Greek word exousia (ex-oo-see’-ah) is translated power, but more precisely means the power of rule or government or jurisdiction of “His Christ” who is Jesus. Our Lord finally gets the legal right to evict Satan from Heaven once and for all! We know this because there are several legal terms used in these scriptures:

  • Accuser - katēgoros (kat-ay’-gor-os): a complainant at law
  • Overcame - nikaō (ni-kah’-o): when one is arraigned or goes to law, to win the case, maintain one's cause
  • Testimony - martyria: what one testifies, testimony, i.e. before a judge

This is why the revelation about the Courts of Heaven has come at this time. The body of Christ must realize how important it is to give testimony in the Courts of Heaven so that their words can overcome Satan and he can be thrown out of Heaven. Maintaining our testimony may be costly for some: they may even give their lives for it! 

Therefore rejoice, you Heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time. (Revelation 12:12 AKJV)

This is a good news and bad news situation. In Heaven the situation is a lot better: Satan and those rebelling against God are no longer present. However, on Earth, the situation is going to get a lot worse. Satan is on Earth and knows that the end is close and he is not happy about it! This is why as the last half of Daniel’s Week begins it is called the Great Tribulation: Satan is on Earth with us! 

And when the dragon saw that he was cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. (Revelation 12:13-14 AKJV)

Satan immediately attacks God’s people when he is cast down to Earth. Israel’s protector isn’t God this time, it is “two wings of a great eagle.” 

Thus said the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, long winged, full of feathers, which had divers colors, came to Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: (Ezekiel 17:3 AKJV)

There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him… (Ezekiel 17:7 AKJV)

By looking at what happened in Israel’s history, we can identify the “great eagles” as Nebuchadnezzar and the Egyptian king. The “great wings” are the reach of a leader. There is only one eagle, so it is the leader of one country. Two wings would be aid in two separate ways or possibly by two separate avenues or people. We know that there are two witnesses of Jesus who is the greatest ruler of all. Will they set up a way for God’s people to flee? 

“Her place” is not a “prepared” place as before, but a location that belongs to Israel. “The face” of a person represents being in the presence of that person. This definitely indicates some of the people in Israel will need to flee somewhere when they see the AntiChrist in the temple, declaring himself to be god. She is kept safe for “a time” which is one year, “times” which is two years, and a half, which is half a year. We can add these together with some simple math:

     1 time 
     2 times 
+  0.5 half
____________
    3.5 years 

This means that Satan and all his minions will be cast out of Heaven in the middle of the Tribulation, often referred to as “Mid Trib”. Then the AntiChrist will attack Israel. How the enemy pursues God’s people is not made crystal clear by John’s writing:

And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. (Revelation 12:15-16 AKJV)

In scripture, a flood of water is seen as overwhelming numbers or often as a move in the spirit realm. “Out of his mouth,” indicates it may be with words from the enemy. Is there a flood of words which launch an attack upon God’s people? We may not know what this represents until it takes place. There is some information in the book of Daniel that may reveal what this may possibly be:

… they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that makes desolate... And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods... (Daniel 11:31 & 36 AKJV)

We have established earlier that the sacrifices are taken away at Mid Trib. At that time, Satan will stand in God’s temple and exalt himself above the Most High. This may be the words that are released to try to injure God’s people. The AntiChrist declares himself to be god in God’s actual temple, placing himself above the True God.  

And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. (Revelation 12:16 AKJV)

If the flood were mere words, how could the earth swallow them? Or is “the earth” metaphoric as well? Perhaps it is a literal flood brought down by the words of the AntiChrist? We know that there is a drought for the years in which the two witnesses are prophesying. After they die at Mid Trib and Satan is cast out of Heaven, does he declare the drought to be ended? Is there a possibility that this is an actual torrential downpour? 

Until this comes to pass, we may not be sure of what exactly will happen. We must rely on the warning of our Lord and know it is time to flee Israel when the Antichrist appears in the temple! There is much information between these two verses about the exploits of the AntiChrist, but we will address that when we talk about what he will be doing during the Tribulation.

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:17 AKJV)

When Satan cannot take out his anger on God’s people, he turns to attack the Gentiles (Christians) who have been grafted in. It looks like the second half of the Tribulation may be a bit harder on the Body of Christ. Israel and Christians need to be prepared and know when Satan’s attack is at hand!


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