-- Have They Arrived?


         Biblical prophecies hidden from generations are rapidly coming to pass --

         right on target, right on schedule!  World events are moving rapidly toward

         an awesome grand-smash climax of resounding horror and cataclysm! 

         World troubles are crescendoing, the Palestinian intifada escalates – what

         is going on?  Have the awesome “times of Jacob's troubles” already begun?

         Where are we NOW in God’s plan? 


                                                WILLIAM F. DANKENBRING


         In the book of the prophet Jeremiah is a strange and horrible prophecy for the end-times.  We read:  “These are the words the LORD spoke concerning Israel and Judah:  This is what the LORD says:  ‘Cries of fear are heard -- terror, not peace.  Ask and see:  Can a man bear children?  Then why do I see every strong man with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor, every face turned deathly pale?  How awful that day will be!  None will be like it.  It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it’” (Jer.30:6-7, NIV). 


         What are these mysterious “times of Jacob's trouble”?  When do they begin?


                                                    The End Time Prophecies


         Daniel speaks of this same time.  He writes, quoting the archangel Gabriel, who says to him:   “At that time Michael the great prince who protects your people will arise.  There will be a TIME OF DISTRESS such as has not happened from the beginning of time until then.  But at that time your people -- everyone whose name is found written in the book -- will be delivered” (Dan.12:1).


         The Moffatt Translation renders this verse, “There shall be a time of TROUBLE such as never has been since there was a nation.”  He describes this awful period of the future as “the CRISIS at the end” (Dan.12:4), and, “the crisis at the CLOSE” (v.9).


         Jesus Christ also spoke of these final, frenetic, tormenting, tremulous times.  Looking into the future which will occur just before His Second Coming, He declared:  “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel -- let the reader understand -- then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. . . How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!  Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 


         “For then there will be GREAT DISTRESS, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now -- and never to be equaled again.  If those days had not been cut short [by the intervention and coming of the Messiah!], no one would survive [or be left alive on the planet earth!], but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened” (Matt.24:15-22).


         Jeremiah, Daniel and Jesus Christ were all talking about the SAME FINAL END-TIME DISASTER AND TIME OF TROUBLE which will ENGULF the entire planet earth.  There could not be three different “times of distress” all of them “unequaled in the history of the world.”  Since each one of these is the “greatest” time ever of distress, they must all be referring to the SAME PERIOD OF TIME and the SAME GREAT DISTRESS!


                                                 The Time of “Jacob's” Trouble


         Notice that these prophecies involve both Israel and Judah.  Who are these people?  Most moderns think that this simply refers to the “Jews,” and leave it at that.  But such is not the case!


         Jeremiah's prophetic message is to both “Israel” AND “Judah.”  Ancient Israel was divided into 12 tribes.  In the days of Rehoboam, son of Solomon, the kingdom split into two kingdoms, the northern kingdom of “Israel” with ten tribes, and the southern kingdom of Judah, with two tribes -- who became known in history as the “Jews.”  The northern kingdom of Israel was carried into captivity by the Assyrians in 718-721 B.C., and was deported from the land to the region of the Caucasus and Black Sea. 


         History shows that millions of them dwelt in this region, and became known in history as the Cimmerians, Celts, and Anglo-Saxons.  They migrated westward and became the nations of Western Europe and the British Isles.  The English-speaking Anglo-Saxons were the descendants of the leading tribe of the northern kingdom, the tribe of Joseph.  The United States of America represents, in large measure, the tribe of Ephraim, prophesied to become a “union of states” or peoples, as in “The United States,” and England and Canada largely represent the eastern and western portions of the tribe of Manasseh, who was prophesied to become “great,” as in “Great Britain” (Gen.48:17-19).


         Thus many of the amazing Biblical end-time prophecies do not just pertain to the “Jews,” the descendants of Judah.  They also pertain to the “birth-right” tribes of Israel -- the United States and British peoples, who were prophesied to become GREAT in the last days (see Gen.49, especially verses  22-26, and Deut.33:13-17).  The “birthright promises” belonged to the house of Joseph, the leading tribe of the northern kingdom of Israel (I Chron.5:2).  The promise of the Torah, and of which tribe the great king and Messiah would come from, however, belonged to the tribe of Judah, or the Jews (same verse)! 


         Thus the end-time prophecy of a “time of Jacob's trouble” is a prophecy relating specifically to the LEADING NATIONS of the Western world, as well as the Jews in what is today called “Israel” in the Middle East!  This prophesied “time of trouble,” then, must be worldwide -- GLOBAL -- and not just a reference to a “regional conflict” in the Middle East!


                                               But Why Are Hard Times Coming?


         Jeremiah warns of our present end-time predicament.  God Almighty says of our nations, “Why should I forgive you?  Your children have forsaken me and sworn by gods that are not gods.  I supplied all their needs, yet they committed adultery and thronged to the houses of prostitutes.  They are well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for another man's wife.  Should I not punish them for this?' declares the LORD.  Should I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?” (Jer.5:7-9). 


         Jeremiah continues his prophecy:  “They have lied about the LORD; they said, He will do nothing!  No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine.  The prophets are but wind [wind-bags], and the word is not in them; so let what they say be done to them.  Therefore this is what the LORD God Almighty says:  Because the people have spoken these words, I will make my words in your mouth a FIRE and these people the wood it consumes.  O house of Israel [America and Britain, etc.], declares the LORD, I am bringing a distant nation against you -- an ancient and enduring nation, a people whose language you do not know, whose speech you do not understand.  Their quivers are like an open grave; all of them are mighty warriors.  They will devour your harvests and food, devour your sons and daughters; they will devour your flocks and herds, devour your vines and fig trees.  With the sword they will DESTROY the fortified cities in which you trust” (Jer.5:12-17).


         God thunders through His prophet, “From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice DECEIT.  They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious.  ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.  Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct?  No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.  So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them, says the LORD” (Jer.6:13-15).


         Untrammeled GREED and avarice have led to the world's present economic brinkmanship, with the greatest Depression ever hovering like a ghost or a Dracula over our shoulder.  Unbridled LUST has brought our western nations to the brink of RUIN! 


         God commands our nations to REPENT -- but His servants just sound like a bag of wind, an object of ridicule, to the vast, overwhelming majority.  They have been blinded by the temptations of the present world with all its glitter, pleasure, and self-indulgence.


                                            The Four Chariots of Zechariah


         In the famous Mount Olivet prophecy, Jesus Christ, speaking of the “end of the world,” or age (Matt.24:3), said to His disciples:  “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars:  see that ye be not troubled:  for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:  and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 


         “All these are the beginning of sorrows” (vs.6-8).



          Zechariah the prophet speaks of a mysterious prophecy of four horse-driven chariots,  identified with the “four winds” of heaven -- that is, the north, south, east and west winds -- thus giving us a geographic positioning of the four world powers or end-time kingdoms of the north, south, east and western hemispheres. 


         Zechariah is told, “The one with the black horses is going to the region of the NORTH; the white ones have gone out to what is to the WEST of them; the spotted (pale] ones have gone out to the region of the SOUTH; and the dappled [red] ones have gone out . . .” (see Zech.6:1-7, Tanakh).  A footnote says, “Emendation yields 'the bay ones will go out to the region of the EAST.’”  The words “dappled” and “bay” literally means RED or reddish brown in color. 


                                               The Wild Ride of the White Horse


         In his vision of the end of the age, the apostle John in the book of Revelation sees the end-time prophecies encapsulated with “seven seals” which are revealed to him by the Lamb of God -- Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah (Rev.5:1-5; 6:1).  The first of these seals is a “white horse,” which has a “bow,” and goes forth conquering “and to conquer” (Rev.6:2).  The second seal is a “red horse” which takes “peace” from the earth -- instigates wars around the world -- and causes people to kill one another (vs.3-4).  The third seal is a “black horse,” which rises up, and great famines engulf the world.  The fourth seal is a “pale horse,” and its riders are Death and Hell, and it has power over one quarter of the earth, to kill by warfare, famine and hunger, pestilence and plague, and wild beasts gone on a rampage (Rev.6:8).


         These mysterious symbols of the book of Revelation hold chilling, spine-tingling descriptions of events which will occur in the last days of this present age, leading up to the second coming of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.  The time-sequence of events begins with the “four horsemen” of the apocalypse.  Notice!  We read here of four horses and their riders.  They are, in order, white, red, black, and “pale.”  This is comparable to the four horse-driven chariots of Zechariah’s prophecy.  John writes:


                                 “And I saw, and behold a WHITE HORSE:  and he that sat on him

                                            had a bow; and a crown was given unto him; and he went forth conquer-

                                            ing, and to conquer” (Rev.6:2).


         “White” is a symbol of righteousness (Rev.19:8).  The “white” horse is connected with the west (Zech.6:6, Tanakh).  It represents a mighty military power in the “West” which has combatted the forces of fascism, Nazism, and Communism.  Which nation or group of nations would that be?  Why, the United States and Great Britain, and their allies!  The United States, in the western hemisphere, was largely responsible for saving the world in World War I, World War II, fending off Communism in Korea and Vietnam, and leading the victory in the Gulf War. 


         Suffice it to say here, the “white” horse -- white is a symbol of righteousness -- represents end-time Israel, primarily the leadership tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh -- the United States of America and United Kingdom and Canada -- going forth to save the world from totalitarianism and enslavement during this twentieth century.  Our nations saved the world for “democracy” and freedom from the scourge of World War I, Nazism and World War II, and Communism since that time!


         The United States has been “riding high” since the end of World War II.  It is currently regarded as the world's only remaining “superpower.”  Nevertheless, it is beginning to wear out its welcome around the world.  Its claim to greatness is beginning to wear a mite “thin.”


         Take note that this military world power has a “bow” and goes forth conquering, “and to conquer.”  A “bow” symbolizes AIR POWER – MISSILES!  The allied air power was vital to the conquest of Germany and Japan in World War II, and air power alone devastated Iraq in the Gulf War of 1991!  American and British air power causes the whole world to stand in awe and wonder.  But notice also – this mighty power conquers, but then it “stops short” of conquering – it holds back, as it were.  So often, the United States conquered its enemies, but then failed to go on to “finish the job.”  We let the Nazis off the hook after World War II, we allowed Emperor Hirohito of Japan to live, and President George Bush allowed Saddam Hussein to get off the hook, after the Gulf War. 


         What a striking fulfillment of the prophecies of the “White Horse”!


            Could the year 2001 be the “year of the white horse,” the final hurrah, the final time when American power will be exerted around the world?


                                            The Fateful Ride of the Red Horse


         We read in Revelation in the New International Version:  “Then another horse came out, a fiery red one.  Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other.  To him was given a large sword” (Rev.6:3-4). 


         The “Red Horse” of the Apocalypse follows the “white horse.”  It is the opening of the “second seal.”  It refers to widespread political and social turmoil and chaos in the EAST -- the eastern hemisphere. 


            The “red horse” is in the east.  The Jewish Tanakh in Zechariah 6:7 shows the red horses are connected with the “east.”  Communism rose up in 1917, overthrew the Czars in Russia, and set about seeking to enslave and conquer the world.  Millions lost their lives in Stalin's purges.  Millions more lost their lives in the purges of Mao Tse-tung, in Red China.  And now, once again, the “red horse” in the East is threatening to rise up, and bloody revolution may well occur throughout the former lands of the Soviet Union!  The Hebrew word translated “red” in Zechariah is adom and means “rosy, red, ruddy.” 


         The “red horse” represents the “red star” countries of Communism -- Russia, China, and the like, in the “east.”  Russia has its red sickle flag, “Red Square,” in Moscow, and Communists are commonly known as “the Reds.”  How uncanny is Bible prophecy!  These nations have indeed taken “peace from the earth,” with millions being killed in massive purges in the Soviet Union and in Mao's China, since World War II.  And these nations have instigated and fomented virtually every war since World War II -- Mao's conquest of China, the Korean War, Vietnam, and even the Arabic strikes against modern Israel in the Middle East, in 1956, 1967, and 1973 (the Yom Kippur War).  Thus this prophecy has been and is still being fulfilled, dramatically!


         The break-up and restructuring of the Soviet Empire contributed to the war in former Yugoslavia, and war in Chechnya.  The Russian economy is still in tatters.  China also, the red dragon of the East, has annexed Hong Kong, and now threatens Taiwan with missiles, and has warned President Bush not to equip Taiwan with new defensive weapons – “or else.” 


         Will the year 2002 be the year of the “Red Horse” – leading to war and chaos and troubles in Russia, China, and the Far East?


         Could North Korea launch an attack to take over South Korea in that year? 


         This fiery apocalyptic nightmare does not describe a conquering army or military power, such as the white horse.  But it describes a power that causes widespread warfare, and it pictures a region in turmoil and chaos, with men slaying each other, their neighbors, in tribal and ethnic conflicts and CIVIL war.  A new Korean war could fit this description perfectly or a war between China and Taiwan!                                              


                                             The Black Horse Charges Forth


         The apostle John records:  “I looked, and there before me was a black horse!  Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand.  Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, ‘A quart of wheat for a days’ wages, and three quarts of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!’” (Rev.6:5-6). 


         The “black horse” is identified with the NORTH country, north of Jerusalem -- or the region of ancient Assyria, Syria, and central and Eastern Europe.  The ancient Assyrians migrated into central Europe and were the ancestors of some of today's Germans!  This “black horse” represents the NORTH country (Zech.6:6) – modern EUROPE, dominated by Germany.  The traditional color of Germany and ancient Assyria is BLACK -- the black swastika, the black uniforms of the Waffen SS, the black German eagle! 


         This world power is associated with the “north country” -- that is, to the NORTH of Jerusalem (see Zechariah 6:6).    In ancient times it referred to Assyria -- the very peoples who later migrated into modern Germany and Austria!  Therefore, in today's world, the “black horse” refers to a modern “empire” or “kingdom” to the NORTH of Jerusalem.  There is no doubt that this symbol refers to modern Syria, north of Israel, as well as  Germany and the nations of the European Union.  This union, dominated by Germany, will very likely become the economic and political power-center of the New World Order and the Western world! 


         In today's Germany, an onslaught of new, young, tough neo-Nazis has arisen, singing the old marching songs of the Third Reich, shouting “Sieg Heil” and “Germany for the Germans.” They are admirers of Adolf Hitler and are growing rapidly in numbers with their call to get rid of the immigrants and to save German jobs for Germans.  They rattle on about the “German master race,” and repudiate the genocide of the Second World War, calling the Holocaust a “Jewish lie” and “hoax.”  Many Germans today are tired of being reminded of the Holocaust.


         The black horse -- Germany -- attacked Poland in 1939 and initiated World War II with the aggression of Adolf Hitler and the “Third Reich.”  Germany is today once again the political and economic powerhouse of Europe.


         Shockingly, a new resurgent neo-Nazism is making a bold comeback -- and thousands of Germans are participating, and millions are listening.  Many signs have shown the increasing presence and power of NAZISM behind the scenes in Germany.  The old Frankenstein monster of a “HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE” centered in Europe, with tentacles in the United States and western world, is rapidly coalescing together into a gigantic global Octopus! 


         The world's prophesied end-time world empire, foretold in the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation, called the “Beast,” is awakening, beginning to flex and stretch its muscles, and shaking off the sleep of centuries.  It appears that Europe will play a very significant role in the resurgence of this ancient “world empire.”  In fact, it appears that the final “Beast” will include – for a time -- the white horse of the west, the red horse of the east, and the black horse of the north country!  


         The possibility that Europe may dominate this final world Union may be underscored by the formation of the new currency, the “Euro,” which will compete in the world financial markets with the U.S. dollar.  The days of the dollar's world dominance may soon be over!


         The Socialistic European Union will come together as a powerful political force by the year 2002-3.  It is already beginning to flex its muscles in trade disputes with the United States!  American businesses tremble before the power of the European trade commission, and bureaucrats in Brussels! 


         Could 2003 be the “year of the black horse”?


         When this horse rides, especially in the future, it is connected with famine, scarcity, and hunger.  Truly those will be “lean years”!


                                                          The Fourth Horseman


                                 “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” (Rev.6:8).


         Interestingly, the “pale horse” of the apocalypse seems to represent two things:  First of all, it portrays the growing power of the ecological movement, and the New World Order!  The Greek word translated “pale” in this verse is chloros which means “greenish, i.e., verdant, dun-colored -- green, pale.”  We get our word “chlorophyll” from this word.  The “Green movement” is part of the ecological movement. Mikhail Gorbachev is prominent in this area.  He is the head of Green Cross, International. 


         At the State of the World Forum, held at the Presidio, in San Francisco, Gorbachev told the assembled world leaders, “The environmental crisis is the cornerstone of the New World Order.”  In a speech in Indiana in October, 1996, Gorbachev openly declared, “World civilization as we know it will soon end.  We have very little time and we must act.”  “By the year 2002,” he said, “we will be presenting the final draft of the Earth Charter” -- a kind of global “bill of rights” which will be imposed on the world's inhabitants by a system of world government.


         Will the year 2004 be the real beginning of the END – and the year of the Fourth Horseman – the New World Order? 


                                            Another View of the Pale Horse


         This horseman is ALSO connected with the SOUTH -- south of Jerusalem -- and refers to the rising up of the final KING OF THE SOUTH mentioned in the book of Daniel.  Zechariah shows this horse of “pale” or “dappled” color goes to the south (Zech.6:6).  It is a reference to the Arab nations, united in a final end-time union, which could include Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Syria, the Sudan, Libya, and all the “terrorist states” which hate the West, especially the Jews of Israel and the United States, whom they view as “the Great Satan.”  Many of these nations have been creating killer biological agents, such as anthrax and bubonic plague, and it is their intent to USE these weapons against the West, when the opportunity avails itself.


         The leader of this group of nations toward the south of Jerusalem would be Egypt, identified in the book of Daniel as the “king of the south” (Dan.11).  Led by Egypt, fueled by the billions of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, with millions of fanatic Muslim followers -- and probably aid and encouragement from Russia -- this horseman will “push” at the king of the north, leading to a terrible round of World War.  Notice!


                                 “And at the time of the end shall the king of the SOUTH PUSH AT HIM:

                                            and the king of the north shall come against him like a WHIRLWIND,

                                            with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall

                                            enter into the countries, and shall overflow, and pass over.  He shall enter

                                            into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown” (Dan.11:



            Note that by the time this happens, the Western and Northern kingdoms have “merged” and have become part of a New World Government – the New World Order!  The “ships” referred to here can only be a reference to the ships of the world's greatest navies, today, those of the United States, Britain, and Europe!  The implication is that by this time the New World Order has been established, but the Moslem world rebels against it -- and war breaks out in the Middle East!


         It would seem, then, that the “black horse” of the Apocalypse refers to a united GERMAN-DOMINATED EUROPE.  This kingdom, along with the “white horse” and “red horse,” would evolve into the final kingdom of the “Beast”—the New World Order (Rev.13:1-5). It will possess tremendous war-waging ability. People will exclaim excitedly, “Who is like the beast?  Who is able to make war with him?” (Rev.13:4).  This final World Empire will include the United States, Europe, Russia, China (the dragon power), and the world's economic and military powers, and will -- with them -- dominate the new revitalized UNITED NATIONS. 


         This assemblage of nations will be dominated by  SEVEN HEADS -- apparently the G-7 industrialized nations (Rev.13:1).  It will also possess TEN HORNS.  These could be an enhanced Security Council of the United Nations, with TEN nations given “permanent member status” – which would mean five more are to be added, very likely Germany, Japan, Brazil, Egypt, and a fifth country. 


         At the same time, there is a powerful movement afoot to strip the present five permanent members of the Security Council of their VETO power.  By doing this, ALL nations would become subservient to the new, enhanced UN!


                                                   The Final World Dictator


         This final “Babylonian” or “Roman Empire” will become dominated by a “stern-faced king, a master of intrigue” who will “become very strong, but not by his own power.  He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does.  He will destroy the mighty and the holy people.  He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior” (Dan.8:23-25).


         “The king will do as he pleases.  He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods.  He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place” (Dan.11:36).


         Strange as it may seem, the “image of the beast” prophesied in Daniel, chapter two, also reveals a final “resurrection” of this beast-world empire system which will be comprised of TEN TOES, representing a final union of TEN NATIONS!  Daniel wrote,


            “Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron -- for iron breaks and smashes everything

            -- and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others.  Just as you saw

            that the FEET AND TOES were partly of BAKED CLAY and PARTLY of IRON, so this will be

            a DIVIDED KINGDOM; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron

            mixed with clay.  As the TOES were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly

            strong and partly brittle.  And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will

            be a MIXTURE and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay” (Dan.2:40-43).


         Could these “ten toes” of this image represent the final “resurrection” of this world's great empire, beast system? 


         Could it be a UNION of nations which will control the new, supercharged UNITED NATIONS, led by the TEN permanent member nations of the SECURITY COUNCIL?


                                          The Fifth Seal  and the New World Order


         In order for these things to happen, however, the United States in particular, must be brought into complete conformity with this new world thinking.  America must be an integral part of the New World Order, if not the actual leader of it.  Massive changes, therefore, are being orchestrated for the United States, to bring it into alignment with globalism.


         During the years ahead of us, it appears that the United States and other nations of the “lost ten tribes” of Israel, together with Judah (the land known as “Israel” in the Middle East), will somehow lose their national sovereignty, and become absorbed into the “New World Order.”  This has already begun to occur, with the passage of legislation forcing NAFTA, GATT, and trade agreements upon our nations, leading to loss of jobs, and suffering.  At the present, the United States is one of the leaders in this movement toward Globalism, but leadership could transfer to Europe in the years ahead of us, if the U.S. runs into catastrophic economic trouble, with incredible natural disasters, riots and revolution in the streets.  The prophet Hosea records: 


                                 “The pride of Israel doth testify to his face:  therefore shall Israel and

                                            Ephraim [the United States] FALL in their iniquity; Judah [the Jews

                                            and modern “Israel”] also shall FALL with them. . . . They have dealt

                                            treacherously against the LORD:  for they have begotten strange children

                                            [lawless and rebellious youth!]:  now shall A MONTH DEVOUR THEM

                                            with their portions” (Hos.5:5-7).


         However it comes about -- via internal strife and violence, economic collapse, and foreign troops being sent to America to “restore order” or some other means -- our western nations will end up submerged in and oppressed by this “New World Order” – the Fourth Beast of Revelation 7!  Our people will be in dire circumstances, with economic slavery and loss of freedom and sovereignty.  Our enslavement will become complete as our nations become merged with and “one” with the New World Fascist/Socialist Order.  Our resources and military will then be used on the behalf of that World Government.


         After the four horsemen of the apocalypse begin to ride, dealing death and destruction, the apostle John records that there will be great persecution upon Christians and Jews.  In other words, “Jacob’s Troubles” will continue to escalate! The final three and one half years will be known as the “Great Tribulation.” 


         The book of Revelation continues the story:


                                 “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the SOULS

                                            OF THEM THAT WERE SLAIN for the word of God, and for the testimony

                                            which they held. . . . And white robes were given unto every one of them; and

                                            it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their

                                            fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be KILLED AS THEY WERE,

                                            should be fulfilled”  (Rev.6:9-11).


            This great persecution and martyrdom and oppression will occur at the hands of the “Beast” power of Revelation -- the “New World Order” -- modern “Babylon the great” when it has come into existence!  This persecution and oppression will no doubt be carried out by the new World Court which has been approved by the out-going Clinton Administration. 


         So when will modern BABYLON come to full power, and REPLACE the nation-states of the world?  It is the FOURTH Beast of Daniel 7.  It will very likely begin around the year 2004-2005 A.D.!  It will oppress and rule for 42 months, or, that is, three and one half years (Rev.13:1-5).  The apostle John writes:


                                 “And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast, and

                                            they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast?  who is

                                            able to MAKE WAR with him? . . . and power was given unto him to

                                            continue FORTY AND TWO MONTHS.  And he opened his mouth in

                                            blasphemy against God . . . And it was given unto him to MAKE WAR

                                            WITH THE SAINTS, and to overcome them: and power was given

                                            him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations”  (Rev.13:4-7).


                                                           The Sixth Seal -- Signs in the Heavens


         Jesus Christ foretold that after that great tribulation, great heavenly signs will occur.  Immediately after the tribulation of those days,” He declared, “shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken” (Matt.24:29). 


         These awesome occurrences in the skies and heavens will stagger mankind, causing terrible fright and anxiety (Rev.6:9-17).  If, as I suggest, each of these final Seven Seals represents one of the final SEVEN years of this age – Daniel’s 70th week – and the “seven times” punishment of Leviticus 26 – then this sixth seal would represent awesome signs and wonders occurring in the heavens about 2006 A.D.


         Then, after this, comes the Seventh Seal, and the Seventh and Final Year – that is, the awesome and terrifying final “Day of the Lord” -- the time when God Almighty Himself intervenes in world affairs, and begins to unleash His divine fury, and pour out His incredible wrath, to punish the nations, and mankind, for their gross rebellion and wickedness!


         If these Seven Seals replicate the final Seven Years of this age, then the Seventh Seal will very possibly be the year 2007 A.D. – during which Messiah will return!  That awesome and dreadful day is known in Bible prophecy as “The Day of the Lord.”  Since a “day” is a year being fulfilled, it will evidently last one year  (Num.14:34; Ezek.4:6).


         The prophet Joel tells us, “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, BEFORE the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD” (Joel 2:31).


                                                 The Awesome Trumpet Plagues


         What will happen during this final “year” – the “Day of the Lord”?


         In Revelation, chapter 8, God says He will then send seven angels with seven trumpet plagues -- terrible ordeals -- which will in succession afflict the earth. 


         Notice these awesome events. The first four of these will be incredible natural disasters, including hail and fire cast to the earth -- meteorite showers causing widespread devastation and destruction (Rev.8:7). 


         The second plague will be a “great mountain” -- probably a space mountain, or asteroid -- falling upon the sea, causing a third part of the sea to become greatly polluted, destroying ships and killing one third of sea life (Rev.8:8-9). 


         The third plague will be “a great star” or comet which will fall from “heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; . . . and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter” (v.10-11). 


                                                  The Final Three “Woes”


         The last three of these trumpet plagues -- numbers 5, 6, and 7 -- are also known as the “three woes” (Rev.8:13).  These represent the final three rounds of WORLD WAR, culminating in the return of Christ to settle the issue of who will rule the earth once and for all!


         Notice!  In Revelation 9, the first “woe” is described as “locusts” which utilize chemical warfare, “tormenting mankind” for five months (Rev.9:1-11).  The head of this World Empire is Satan the devil, working through the “Beast” (v.11).  “Locusts,” in the Bible, are a type of Assyrian and Babylonian soldiers (see Nahum 3:15).  God compares the soldiers -- the military -- of this final World Government to “locusts,” therefore.  But these are peculiar locusts -- they use chemical and biological weapons to “torment” mankind.   In appearance, these soldiers are described as “women” suggesting they have long hair (Nahum 3:13; Rev.9:8).


         This world power will inflict awesome calamities everywhere -- it is the “king of the north” (compare Daniel 11:41-45).  This “king” is called “Abaddon,” and “Apollyon” (Rev.9:11), which means “Destroyer.” 


         What triggers this devastating round of war?  Most likely the lust for OIL!  The Middle  East is an “oil swamp,” and contains most of the world’s resources of this valuable commodity.  Apparently the Arabs will “cut off” the oil spigot and the pipelines and tankers carrying oil to Europe and the northern kingdoms.


         The prophet Daniel tells us,


         “At the time of the end, the king of the south will lock horns with him [the king of the north];

            but the king of the north will attack him with chariots and riders and many ships.  He will

            invade lands, sweeping through them like a flood; he will invade the beautiful land [Israel],

            too, and many will fall, but these will escape his clutches:  Edom, Moab, and the chief of the

            children of the Ammonites.  He will lay his hands on lands; not even the land of Egypt will

            escape.  He will gain control over treasures of gold and silver  and over all the precious things

            of Egypt, and the Libyans and Cushites [Ethiopians] will follow at his heel.  But REPORTS

            FROM EAST AND NORTH WILL ALARM HIM, and he will march forth in a GREAT FURY

            TO DESTROY AND ANNHILATE MANY.  He will pitch his royal pavilion between the sea

            and the beautiful holy mountains, and he will meet his doom with no one to help him”

            (Daniel 11:40-45, Tanakh).


            Soon after the “Kingdom of the North” retaliates against the “Kingdom of the South,” led by Egypt, and her allies, it appears that the “kings of the East” will become involved in the struggle for oil.  They will come to the aid of their Muslim allies, and launch a massive assault against the “king of the north,” who will at that time have his headquarters in the Holy Land,  perhaps in Jerusalem itself.  Then he will hear terrible news, “reports from east and north,” that will “alarm him.”  The apostle John tells us more about why he is so frightened, in the book of Revelation:


         “The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns of the golden

            altar that is before God.  It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, Release the four angels

            who are bound at the great river Euphrates.  And the four angels who had been kept ready for

            this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a THIRD OF MANKIND.  The

            number of the MOUNTED TROOPS WAS TWO HUNDRED MILLION.  I heard their number”

            (Rev.9:13--16, NIV).


            In this great battle of East versus the West, one third of mankind will perish!  These numbers are beyond human imagination.  With the world now populated by some six billion men, women, and children, this would indicate that in this massive struggle for world supremacy, some TWO BILLION PEOPLE will perish!  No doubt, atomic and thermonuclear weapons and nuclear-armed missiles will be used in this tremendous conflict! 


         Notice!  This woe consists of a massive army from the EAST numbering 200,000,000 men! (Rev.9:12-21).  This huge army will undoubtedly consist of millions of soldiers from China and India, and surrounding regions, including the Persians and Russians.  This massive army, like the hordes of Genghis Khan, will march westward, into Europe and the Middle East.  These hordes come from “beyond Euphrates” (Rev.9:14-15).  They will slay the third part of men (v.15). 


         It is a fascinating fact, today, that the nation of China has an excess of men over women in the younger generation.  Men outnumber women in that age group by 9 to 1 -- with an excess of almost 150,000,000 men!  This fact is due to the Chinese governmental policy of limiting each family to having only one child.  Since most Chinese families, by culture and tradition, desire to have a male offspring, someone who can take care of them in their old age, young girls babies are often aborted, or killed shortly after childbirth.  Growing up lonely, frustrated, and miserable, these young men will become part of that huge army that will attack the West!


                                            The “Third Woe” -- ARMAGEDDON!


         At this point, after billions have already died in natural disasters and worldwide wars, the devil and his demons will bring all the armies of the earth together, for one final “battle” -- to fight against the Messiah at His return!


                                 “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the

                                            dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false

                                            prophet.  For they are the spirits of demons, working miracles, which go forth

                                            unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world, TO GATHER THEM

                                            TO THE BATTLE OF THAT GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY. . . .


                                            "And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue,

                                            ARMAGEDDON . . .” (Rev.16:13-16).


                Where is “Armageddon”?  Many Bible scholars have tried to associate it with “Har Megiddo,” a site north of Jerusalem overlooking the plain of Jezreel.  A Bible writer and researcher pointed out to me recently that the Greek word “Armageddon” has a different basis in Hebrew grammar than is usually explained.  The Hebrew word “Megiddo” occurs many times in the Old Testament as a place name, referring to the fortress at Megiddo.  But this place name never has a final ‘n’ letter.  The only place in the Old Testament where “Megiddon” occurs, with a final ‘n,’ is in Zechariah 12:11 – “In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon IN THE VALLEY OF MEGGIDON.”


            The root of “Megiddon” is “Gad,” meaning “a troop,” “company” (Gen.30:11).  The meaning of “Megiddo” is “a gathering of troops.”  The final “n” adds the meaning, “the place of.”  Hence the term “Megiddon” has the generic meaning of “the place of the gathering of troops.”  It is not necessarily the archaeological site known as ‘Har [Mountain] Megiddo.’ 


            The first part of the Greek word “Armageddon” is interesting.  “Arm” is a shortened form of the word “Aram,” the name of the country of Syria, in Hebrew.  The verse in Zechariah 12:11 speaks of “Hadadrimmon” – these were two Syrian gods, Hadad and Rimmon – and they were never known within Israel at any time.  When the Syrian name Aram is joined to another word, it becomes shortened to “Arm.”  Thus “Armageddon” becomes “the gathering of troops in the place of SYRIA!  In other words, the launching point or staging area for troops to invade ISRAEL in these end times is NOT the valley of Jezreel after all, but A MARSHALLING GROUND IN THE NATION OF SYRIA!!!


            This makes much more sense for an army gathering to invade ISRAEL!


         Now, notice what God’s Word says about this final great, climax – the “Mother of all Battles”! 


                                            “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have received

                                            no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings

                                            with the beast.  These are of one mind, and they will give their

                                            power and authority to the beast.  These will MAKE WAR with

                                            the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for he is Lord of lords

                                            and King of kings; and those who are with him are called, chosen,

                                            and faithful” (Rev.17:12-14, NKJV).


         These “ten kings” of the world give their power to the “Beast” for just “ONE HOUR” -- prophetically speaking.  Jesus Christ said that there are “twelve hours in a day” (John 11:9), and there are 12 months in a year, so “one hour” evidently refers to ONE MONTH, or 30 days,  in being fulfilled!   Thus this alliance will last only 30 days – and will suddenly be broken up, when their armies are annihilated by the armies of the Messiah from heaven!


         Thus this final “alliance” refers to a final union of the world’s nations which will come together, briefly, in a last ditch effort to prevent the Kingdom of God on the earth.  All the world will be gathered together to resist the Messiah.  All nations will fight against Him, thinking that He is an “invader from outer space,” an “alien” seeking to overthrow the earth!  Movies such as The X-Files, Independence Day, Armageddon, Alien, Men in Black, and many others, are mind-conditioning millions to believe that when the Messiah comes from heaven with His armies, that He will be an “alien invader”!


         They will fight against Him.  But they won't succeed.  “Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations.  And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron.  He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (Rev.19:15-16).  “And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.  And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand six hundred furlongs” (Rev.14:19-20) – about two hundred miles!


                                                      When Will It All Happen?


         The chronology of Archbishop Ussher points to the fact that the creation of Adam and Eve occurred in the year 4004 B.C.  Since the “week” of seven days is a picture or prophetic outline of the plan of God through history, and since a “day” with God is as a “thousand years” (II Pet.3:8-10), the seven-day week pictures God's plan of 7,000 years.  The last 1,000-year “day” of that Plan is the sabbath Millennial rest (Rev.20:4) which lasts one thousand years.  This is the “sabbath-rest” (Heb.4:4-11).


         Edward Gibbon, who in 1770 published his epochal work, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, tells us in chapter 15 that the early Christians who sat at the feet of the apostles were taught that Jesus would come back at the end of 6,000 years.  


         In the epistle of Barnabus, we read:


                                 “The Sabbath is mentioned at the beginning of creation [thus]:

                                            ‘And God made in six days the works of His hands, and made an

                                            end on the seventh day, and rested on it, and sanctified it.’  Attend,

                                            my children, to the meaning of this expression, ‘He finished in six

                                            days.’  This implieth that the Lord will finish all things in six thousand

                                            years, for a day is with Him a thousand years.  And He Himself

                                            testifieth, saying, ‘Behold, today will be as a thousand years.’  Therefore,

                                            my children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, all things will

                                            be finished.  ‘And He rested on the seventh day.’  This meaneth:  when

                                            His Son, coming [again], shall destroy the time of the wicked man,

                                            and judge the ungodly, and change the sun, and the moon, and the stars,

                                            then shall He truly rest on the seventh day” (The Epistle of Barnabus,

                                            Ante-Nicean Fathers, vol1, p.146).


         Obviously, the early Church believed in a six thousand year plan of God in dealing with mankind!  The “Sabbath rest” will last one thousand years (Rev.20:1-4).  If the last “day” of the divine “week” equals 1,000 years, and a “day” is as 1,000 years, then the six previous days of the “week” picture 6,000 years.  Thus the “week” pictures the Plan of God when man has “six days” to do his own work on this earth, his own way, but then will come the seventh-day “Sabbath” of the Lord our God, when man will “rest” from his own labors. 


         Since Biblical chronology, as pointed out by Archbishop Ussher, shows that Adam was created in 4004 B.C., this means that the END of man's own dominion over the earth, before the Kingdom of God takes over, is 6,000 years later.  A simple calculation shows that the end of 6,000 years is fall of 1997. 


         But, the ancient Levitical book of Jubilees shows that Adam and Eve did not transgress God's law and sin until exactly SEVEN YEARS from the time of Creation.   The indication from Biblical prophecy and Biblical evidence is that the 6,000 years from Adam and Eve should be counted from the time they sinned, and were expelled from the Garden of Eden.  That's when the countdown began.  The book of Jubilees tells us that this occurred seven years after their original creation in 4004 B.C.  Notice:


                     “And during the first week of the first jubilee Adam and his wife had been in the garden

                            of Eden for SEVEN YEARS tilling and guarding it.  And we gave him work and we were

                            teaching him to do everything which was appropriate for tilling.  And he was tilling.  And

                            he was naked, but he neither knew it nor was he ashamed.  And he was guarding the garden

                            from the birds and beasts and cattle and gathering its fruits and eating.  And he used to set

                            aside the rest for himself and his wife.  And what was being guarded he set aside.


                            At the END OF SEVEN YEARS which he completed there, SEVEN YEARS EXACTLY,

                             in the second month on the seventeenth day, the serpent came and drew near to the

                            woman” (Jubilees 3:15-17).


         As we know, Eve and Adam both sinned, were enticed into transgression, and banished from the Garden.  This occurred most likely, therefore, seven years after their original creation, in 4004 B.C. -- or in the year 3997 B.C.  The seven years of idyllic paradise should not be counted in the 6,000 years during which mankind has been subject to the “god of this world,” Satan the Adversary (II Cor.4:4, Eph.2:2). 


         Seven years, subtracted from 4004 B.C., brings us to the year 3997 B.C.  Therefore, 3997 B.C. is the date we should count from when computing the length of the sojourn of mankind on this planet under the dominion and influence of Satan the devil.  Thus a simple calculation of subtracting 6000 from 3997 B.C. gives us the date of A.D. 2004!  If we add the seventieth week of Daniel, we would come to 2011 A.D.  If we then add the “Day of the Lord,” the final one year period during which God intervenes with the “seven trumpets,” and seven last plagues of the book of Revelation, that would bring us to 2012 A.D.  Could that be the fateful year?


                                                When Will Messiah Come?


         Jesus Christ, the Messiah, declared, “I will come again” (John 14:2).  But when?  Will He come in the Spring?  or in the Fall?  Or can we even know?


         Yeshua told His disciples, after giving them several signs and guideposts to look for which will precede His coming (Matt.24:1-30), “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matt.24:36).  He added, those days will be like the days of Noah -- filled with violence and wickedness (v.38-39).  He then stated again, “Watch therefore:  for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (v.42).


         Not knowing the “hour” or the “day” is one thing.  But does this mean that we can't know the year?  Most of God's people, down through the centuries, obviously, did not know.  But for those of us in this end-time, can we know?  God has certainly given us many “hints,” as it were, in His Word!


          For example, the Church of God is told that it is to flee into the wilderness, before the Great Tribulation, when a certain “sign” occurs -- the sign of the “abomination of desolation” appearing, which will pollute the Temple (Matt.24:15-16).  We are also told that the Church will be protected and taken “into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time [year], and times [two years], and half a time [half a year], from the face of the serpent” (Rev.12:14).  This figure is also mentioned in Revelation 12:6, where we are told the woman -- the Church -- will be fed and protected “a thousand two hundred and threescore [1,260] days.”  This number of days = 3 and 1/2 years of the 360-day prophetic year! 


         Now, if we can know these things, then it is a simple mathematical step to add this number beginning with the time of the placement of the “abomination of desolation,” when we see it, to derive the time of the coming of the Messiah!  It will occur exactly 3 and 1/2 years or 1260 days later!


         Although we may not know the exact day or hour, it would appear at least that we will be able to ascertain and know the precise YEAR -- IF we are among those who see the abomination of desolation and perceive it for what it really is!


                                               Will Christ Return at Passover?


         Many have thought that Messiah will return at the Feast of Trumpets, or Rosh Hashanah, in the fall of the year.  Although this is possible, a case can also be made for Yom Kippur, the “Day of Atonement,” which symbolizes the Judgment Day of God, and which is the day the “final” trumpet is blown, and the Jubilee trumpet of freedom and liberty, during the Jubilee year of redemption (see Lev.25:8-12).


         However, there is much evidence also that the Messiah will return in the SPRING of the year, perhaps right at the time of the PASSOVER! 


         Says Alfred Edersheim in his book The Temple,


                                 “Jewish tradition has this curious conceit:  that the most important

                                            events of Jewish history were connected with the Paschal season.

                                            Thus it is said to have been on the present Paschal night that, after his

                                            sacrifice, the ‘horror of great darkness’ fell upon Abraham when God

                                            revealed to him the future of his race.  Similarly, it is supposed to have

                                            been at Passover time that the patriarch entertained his heavenly guests,

                                            that Sodom was destroyed and Lot escaped, and that the walls of Jericho

                                            fell before the Lord.  More than that -- the ‘cakes of barley bread’ seen in

                                            the dream, that led to the destruction of Midian's host, had been prepared

                                            from the Omer, presented on the second day of the feast of unleavened

                                            bread; just as at a later period alike the captains of Sennacherib and the

                                            King of Assyria, who tarried at Nob, were overtaken by the hand of God

                                            at the Passover season.  It was at the Paschal time that the mysterious

                                            handwriting appeared on the wall to declare Babylon's doom, and again

                                            at the Passover that Esther and the Jews fasted, and that wicked Haman

                                            perished.  And so also in the last days it would be the Paschal night when

                                            the final judgments should come upon ‘Edom,’  and his glorious deliverance

                                            of Israel take place” (Edersheim, The Temple:  Its Ministry and Services,

                                            page 229-230).


            Edersheim goes on, making the strong point that it is the Passover seder service which, more than any other Jewish festival or observance, that in detail, pictures the coming of Messiah, to deliver His people in the future, even as He delivered His people from Egyptian bondage at Passover time, 3,500 years ago.  Says Edersheim:


                                 “Hence to this day, in every Jewish home, at a certain part of the Paschal

                                            service -- just after the ‘third cup,’ or the ‘cup of blessing,’ has been drunk --

                                            the door is opened to admit Elijah the prophet as forerunner of the Messiah,

                                            while appropriate passages are at the same time read which foretell the

                                            destruction of all heathen nations. . . . But, in general, it may be interesting

                                            to know that no other service contains within the same space the like

                                            ardent aspirations after a return to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the

                                            Temple, nor so many allusions to the Messianic hope, as the liturgy for the

                                            night of the Passover now in use among the Jews” (ibid., page 230). 


         The Passover season, more than any other, pictures the Messiah and the Messianic Hope.  Passover itself was the season of Israel's deliverance from Egyptian bondage.  The Scriptures speak of a second much greater “Exodus” which will accompany the coming of the Messiah himself (Isa.11:10-16; Isa.27:12-13; 60:1-7; 66:15, 19-24; Jer.30:8-9, 18-22; 31:1-12; Ezek.20:33-44).


         However, the Jewish Midrash has an even more impressive list of amazing events and deliverances of God's people at or around Passover.  Rabbi Jeffrey M. Cohen, in 1001 Questions and Answers on Pesach, tells us:


                                 “. . . a whole series of miracles (rov nissim) . . . according to the Midrash,

                                            occurred on the night of Pesach.  These include:  Abraham's escape from

                                            the fiery furnace that King Nimrod made him enter; the punishment of

                                            Avimelech, the Philistine King of Gerar, for holding Sarah prisoner; the

                                            divine warning conveyed in a dream (be-emesh laylah) to Laban not to do                                                         Jacob any harm; Jacob's vanquishing of the angel with whom he wrestled

                                            the entire night (of Pesach); the defeat of Sisera, general of Jabin,  King of

                                            Canaan (see Judges 4-5); the revelation to Daniel of the meaning of Nebu-

                                            chadnezzar's dream (see 2), and his deliverance from the lion's den; the

                                            death of Belshazzar who removed the holy vessels from the Temple; and

                                            the reading of his royal Book of Chronicles to Ahasuerus, which marked

                                            the ascendancy of Mordecai and the beginning of the downfall of Haman”



            Passover!  The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that Biblical prophecy indicates strongly that Christ will return in the SPRING-TIME, the time of New Life, and the time when, according to Scriptures, that “kings go forth to war.”  The Passover season is the season of God's intervention and deliverance!  It has been so, in the past, and it will be so again in the future!


         The strong indication, therefore, is that the Messiah will come to rescue and redeem His people once again at the PASSOVER!            


                                                  Daniel's 70 Weeks Prophecy       


         It is my belief that the “seven seals” of Revelation represent the final SEVEN YEARS of this world before the Messiah returns -- and therefore they correspond to the seventieth “week” of Daniel's prophecy, the final “week” of which leads up to the SECOND coming of the Messiah! 


         Daniel records:  “The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.  The end will come like a flood:  War will continue until the END, and desolations have been decreed.  He [the ruler -- that is, the end-time king] will confirm a COVENANT with MANY for ONE ‘SEVEN’ [week].  In the middle of the ‘seven’ [“years” being fulfilled -- that is, after 3 1/2 years] he will put an END to the sacrifice and offering.  And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him” (Dan.9:26-27, NIV).


         The Jewish Tanakh has this passage:


                                 “The ARMY of a leader who is to come will destroy the city and the

                                            sanctuary [Titus-Vespacian of Rome in A.D. 70], but its end will come

                                            through a flood.  Desolation is decreed until the end of war.  During one

                                            week he [the end-time prince, or king] will strike a firm covenant with

                                            many.  For half a week [3 1/2 years] he will put a stop to the sacrifice and

                                            the meal offering.  At the corner [of the altar] will be an appalling abom-

                                            ination until the decreed destruction will be poured down upon the

                                            appalling thing.”


            In addition, the Septuagint adds more insight to this ancient prophecy.  Beginning with verse 24, we read:


                                 “Seventy weeks have been determined upon thy people. . . .


                                            “And thou shalt know and understand, that from the going forth of the

                                            command for the answer and for the building of Jerusalem until CHRIST

                                            THE PRINCE there shall be seven weeks and sixty two weeks: and then

                                            the time shall return, and the street shall be built, and the wall, and the times

                                            shall be exhausted.


                                            “And after the sixty two weeks, the anointed one [the CHRIST] shall be

                                            destroyed [killed by crucifixion on a stake], and there is no judgment in

                                            him:  and he [Christ, resurrected and in heaven at God's right hand] shall

                                            destroy the city and the sanctuary WITH [BY] THE PRINCE THAT IS

                                            COMING:  they [the city and the Jewish people] shall be cut off with a

                                            flood [army], and to the end of the war which is rapidly completed he shall

                                            appoint the city to desolations [Jerusalem was desolated from that time, and

                                            particularly after the Bar Kochba rebellion, in A.D. 135, until our day, the

                                            20th century, and until 1967, when the Old City was restored to the Jews in

                                            the miraculous Six Day War].


                                            “And ONE WEEK shall establish the covenant with MANY:  and in the

                                            MIDST of the WEEK my sacrifice and drink-offering shall be taken away: 

                                            and on the Temple shall be the abomination of desolations; and at the

                                            END OF THE TIME an end shall be put to the desolation”  (Daniel

                                            9:24-27, LXX).


            Notice how clearly this prophecy pinpoints the first coming of the Messiah, after a period of 69 weeks -- that is, 483 years (69 X 7 = 483).  In the seventh year of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, which was 457 B.C., the king issued a decree regarding Jerusalem and the Temple of God (see Ezra 7).  Counting 483 years from 457 B.C., we come to A.D. 27 -- the very year Jesus Christ, at age of 30 years, began His ministry.


         But notice!  The final week of this prophecy does not continue on from that point.  Rather, the Messiah was killed -- destroyed -- and put in a grave, where He lay for three days and three nights (Matt.12:40).  Then He arose from the dead, and after appearing to His disciples for 40 days, He was taken out of their sight up into heaven (Acts 1:1-3, 9-11).  Forty years later, He sent the Romans to punish the wicked and apostate nation of Judah, and to destroy the Temple, as He had foretold (Matt.24; Mark 13; Luke 21).  Since that time, as Daniel foretold, the land has lain desolate and in ruins, until this modern twentieth century, when God has intervened to open the door for His people to return to the Holy Land. 


         The return began with the Balfour Declaration in 1917, when Great Britain occupied the land of Palestine after World War I.  Jewish independence was achieved in 1948.  In 1967, fifty years (one Jubilee period) after the 1917 Balfour Declaration, the Israelis recaptured the Golan Heights, West Bank of the Jordan, the Sinai peninsula, and the Old City of Jerusalem, with the Temple Mount -- controlling it for the first time since A.D. 70!


         This has set the stage for the final fulfillment of Daniel's last week of the 70 weeks prophecy -- the seventieth week!  Remember, each day of the week represents a year in actual fulfillment.  Thus the last seven years of this Age are blue-printed in the 70th week of Daniel's prophecy.  What is going to occur?


         Notice!  In the middle of this final “week” of years, the end-time King will invade and occupy modern “Israel,” probably in the name of “peace-keeping” for the United Nations.  Sacrifices and offerings at the Temple of God, which is yet to be rebuilt, will be abrogated.


         Thus, in the midst of the final “week” of years, this World Dictator from the north (Dan.11:29-39) will send troops to “keep the peace” and maintain order in Israel.  He will “destroy” God's people, invade Israel, and seize control over Jerusalem and the Temple, and set up the “abomination of desolation” that Jesus Christ warned us about!  This invasion will occur, therefore, 3 1/2 years before the return of our Messiah! 


         If we recognize that event when it occurs, we will then KNOW to the exact month and possibly even the exact DAY of Jesus Christ's glorious return!


         Thus it is possible that everything is now in place.  The “times of Jacob’s troubles” have indeed begun!   The final “seven weeks” of the end of this age could be IMMINENT!


         The apostle Paul prophesied, “While people are saying, 'Peace and safety,' destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pangs on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape” (I Thess.5:3). 


         By every indication, the “times of Jacob's troubles” have begun!  We are now IN the final “countdown to the coming of the Messiah”!  For more information on this sizzling topic, write for our articles, “Will Messiah Come in a Jubilee Year?”, “God’s 6000 Year Plan in Prophecy,” and “Countdown to Armageddon – How Much Longer?”


         Are you ready?  Is your house in order?  Are you prepared to meet the Messiah?  It is high time we really get serious.  There is not much time left!!!


                                 “He who testifies to these things says, ‘SURELY

                                 I AM COMING QUICKLY.’


                                 “Amen.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev.22:20).