Last week I shared about Daniel's 70 weeks. The angel Gabriel told Daniel that from the decree to rebuild the city until Messiah comes would be 69 out of 70 prophetic weeks, or 483 years. Daniel was told that Messiah would be killed, 'but not for Himself." That leaves 1 week or 7 years left. Gabriel told Daniel in 9:26-27 that 70th week will be marked by this event:
"The people of the prince (the man of sin) who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary...in this way...he will confirm a covenant (treaty) that is for 7 years. But in the midst of that treaty (3 1/2 years) he will cause the sacrifices to stop and the abominations will happen until the fulfillment of everything."
So there remains the 70th week, marked by a 7 year peace treaty made with Israel.
This understanding was confirmed by Jesus in Matthew 24:15-16 when He said:
"When you see the abomination spoken of by Daniel the prophet stand in the holy place - whoever reads this let him therefore understand - then let them in Judea run to the mountains..."
About that 70th week and why we aren't in the Tribulation yet
The apostle John is caught up to heaven in Revelation 4:2 and brought before the Father's throne, which is described in chapter 4. It is the Father on the throne, that is clear. There is a rainbow around the throne before which is a clear flooring. There are cherubs around the throne, and as we see in chapter 5:1, the Father is holding a scroll in His right hand.
Chapter 5 opens with the apostle crying because there was no one the Father considered worthy to open the book and loose the seals. Then he saw a Lamb as if it had been killed, the lion of the tribe of Judah, who is now alive. Verse 7 tells us He is worthy and He comes forward and "took the book out of the right hand of Him who sits on the throne..." So we have the Father in chapter 4 giving the book to Jesus in chapter 5.
Fun Fact: Daniel was shown the same scene. In Daniel 7:9-14 he sees the 'Ancient of Days' (the Father) sitting on His throne, to whom the Son of Man comes in the clouds of heaven to receive a kingdom without end.
The 7 seals, 7 trumpets, 7 bowls
The most common email about this subject I receive have to do with the seals, usually saying something like; 'We are in the time of the 3rd seal'. Having already answered the core question that we are not yet in that 7 year time of the end, marked by leader(s) in Europe (and perhaps other nations in the Mediterranean region) making a 7 year peace treaty with Israel, lets look at the seals.
The Revelation is an interesting book compiled in a way to give us 3 viewpoints: What is happening on earth, what is happening in heaven, and informational. The 7 seals, trumpets, and bowls are related in numerical order to the other - Seal 1, trumpet 1, and bowl 1 are related. Seal 2, trumpet 2, and bowl 2 are all related, and so on.
The 6th of each is the return of Jesus, the 7th of each is the end of the age/setting up of His kingdom
The 6th seal is opened in 6:12-17 and is the return of Jesus, known as 'the wrath of the lamb', or 'the day of wrath', also 'the day of the Lord' in Jewish understanding (OT). Notice it says the sun is darkened and the moon too, and the stars fall from heaven at His return. In Judaism (OT) the most common term is 'the day of the Lord'.
This is exactly what Jesus said of His return in Matthew 24:29-31: "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, the moon won't shine, and the stars will fall from heaven..."
How Jesus described His return here in Matthew 24 is the benchmark by which we measure other references to the sun and moon being darkened. For instance, in Acts 2:17-21 Peter quotes Joel who saw the same thing, explaining that God's Spirit would be poured out on men and women, boys and girls, until the sun was darkened and the moon darkened red at the 'great and terrible day of the Lord'. (Tongues has therefore not ceased and won't until His return, who is the fullness of all things)
So the 6th seal depicts the 'day of the Lord' as it states.
When the 6th trumpet is blown in 9:14-21 and the 6th bowl is poured out in 16:12, the apostle sees a 200,000,000 man army from the 'kings of the east' crossing over a dried up Euphrates river on their way to invading Israel.
Putting this with the war of Ezekiel 38-39 in our day, it means when that war happens and Russia, Iran, Turkey and allies are defeated, the only threat to Israel will be China and 'the kings of the east'. That is why some 7 years after the Ezekiel war - the kings of the east travel without risk across the southern part of Russia on their way into northern Israel.
The 7th of each is after Jesus returns as seen in the 7th seal of 8:1, which says there was silence in heaven for about 30 minutes. The 7th trumpet of 10:7 says 'the mystery of God is finished', and in 11:15 also, "Many voices in heaven proclaimed, 'the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our God, and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.'" When the 7th bowl is poured out in 16:7 the Father God cries out: "It is done!"
So now that we have settled the 6th of each is His return, and the 7th of each is the end, let us look closer at seals, trumpets, and bowls 1-5.
And this we will do next week...until then, blessings!
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