My last post, called “Not New Wine”, introduced a topic that is largely considered as the backbone to end-time prophecy: Daniel’s 70th week. We find this prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27.
“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks, the anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
To those of you who may be unfamiliar with this prophecy, here is the general understanding amongst evangelical Christians:
The first thing to note is the word, “weeks”. “Weeks” translated here often causes a lot of confusion about the passage. A better translation for that word is “sevens”. “70 sevens are decreed…”. Today, if we want to reference 10 years, we call it a decade. We group years by the 10s. If we want to reference 100 years, we would call it a century. Well, the Hebrew calendar works a bit differently than ours. Years are grouped by sevens. In the Hebrew Calendar, a year is 360 days. To remain aligned with the seasons, every seven years they have a “leap month”. This is an additional month added to the 7th year. We have a leap day every 4 years, alongside inconsistent month lengths. They have a leap month every 7 years, alongside easy-to-remember month lengths. I don’t know about you, but I never seem to remember if there is going to be 30 or 31 days in each upcoming month. The Hebrew Calendar year is way simpler than our calendars, in my opinion. This prophecy is referring to a period of time that is 70 sevens in length. That means a period of time that is 70 x 7 years. That is a total of 490 years.
In short, this prophecy foretells that the Jews would return to Jerusalem, rebuild the temple/city, throne Jesus as King, and bring all of history and prophecy to a proper completion in 490 years. Verse 25 reveals when these 490 years will begin. It tells us that it will begin at the command to rebuild Jerusalem. This command was given by the Persian King, Artaxerxes, in 445 BC. (Nehemiah 2:1-8) Daniel 9:26 then tells us that the “anointed one” or “messiah” will be cut off (crucified) after the 69th week (seven). That would mean 483 years later. What significant event happens exactly 483 years later? Remember to count backward from this date because this is B.C. The answer is, you guessed it, Jesus’ crucifixion! The “messiah” is cut off and appears to have accomplished nothing. (we know he accomplished much, but the outward appearance may look as if he accomplished nothing) This is the 69th “week” following the call to rebuild Jerusalem. This perfectly aligns with Jesus as the fulfillment of this prophecy. But we are still missing something. That’s only 483 years. The Prophesy foretells 490 years.
What about the last 7 years?
It obviously didn’t happen in the 7 years immediately after Christ’s death on the cross. The answer to this question is that the final 7 years of this prophesy remain in the future. This is what is understood as Daniel’s 70th week; a distinct future climactic end to all history and prophecy, held off by the grace of God. Today, we are living in the unforeseen time between the 69th and 70th week of Daniel’s prophesy. This gap in time is commonly referred to as “the church age” or “the time of the gentiles”. Colossians 1:26 attests to this period of time being a mystery to Old Testament prophets. It says,
“the church…that is, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.”
Paul, the author of Colossians, understood that this gap in time was unforeseen. He, other apostles, and even Jesus himself taught that this apocalyptic “week” is still yet to come. The Old Testament prophets did, however, still understand that there would be a final climactic 7 year period at the end, where the antichrist would rise up into power, conquer and persecute the saints.
Daniel 9 sets the framework by which all other end-times scriptures fall into. There are no contradictions in scripture. All are uniform and fit perfectly inside Daniel’s 70th week. Some of these events are as follows:
- A treaty/covenant signed by the antichrist with many, marking the beginning of the 7 years. – Rev 13:1 (10 horns = 10 allied kings)
- In the middle of the 7 years/week, the antichrist will halt all forms of worship and sacrifice, sit in the temple and declare that he alone is to be worshipped as god. (Abomination of desolation) – Matt. 24:15, Rev. 13:6
Here is the beginning of an outline we will continue to fill in as we continue unrolling scriptures: (Notice that the timeline is displaying 7 Hebrew calendar years)
This is another parallel passage regarding end times. The pre-rib belief is that the entire final 7 year period is God’s wrath. God’s wrath has been superimposed upon Daniel’s 70th week and has clouded our understanding of the timing and order of significant end-times events. There is absolutely no Biblical justification for labeling this entire 7 years as God’s wrath. Daniel’s 70th week is not completely the tribulation nor completely God’s wrath. But they both play equally significant roles within it. Christians will enter Daniel’s 70th week, will encounter the rise and positioning of the antichrist as the world’s supreme ruler, they’ll experience great persecution by his hand, and will be raptured out on the Day of the Lord immediately before God’s wrath is poured out.
If you read, “Not New Wine”, then you would have seen how countless early church leaders viewed end times scripture. Among them was Augustine. There are many other passages in Daniel that talk about the last 7 years. Daniel chapter 12 is among those passages. Augustine had this to say about it:
“But he who reads this passage [Daniel 12:1-13], even half asleep can not fail to see that the kingdom of Antichrist shall fiercely, for a short time, assail the church…” – (The City of God, XX, 23).
Let’s break it down.
Daniel 12:1-3 –
“At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Everyone who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.“
Once upon a time, I told you that “the one who now holds it (the end) back until he is taken out of the way”, in 2 Thessalonians 2:7, is very likely to be talking about Michael, the archangel. Here we see the Biblical justification for it. After he is taken out of the way, or “stands up”, there shall be a time of “trouble” unlike anything seen before. Already, this is familiar language to Matthew 24 and elsewhere when talking about the Great Tribulation. It will be a time of great trouble for God’s people “such as never was” before. At that time, during this great time of trouble/tribulation, everyone who is found written in the book will awake to everlasting life.
I want to address the grey lines presented here in this passage. The lines appear blurred between the rapture of believers (awaking to everlasting life) and the final judgment, where some will awake to shame and everlasting contempt. This is because we are talking about the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord is not necessarily talking about a singular day as we understand. The Day of the Lord is the New Age. Today, now, the age we are living in is the Day of Man. The Day of the Lord encompasses all the elements scripture talks about following the rapture. This includes God’s wrath, the Millennial Kingdom, the Final Judgement, and the New Heaven and New Earth. All that, collectively, makes up what we know regarding the Day of the Lord. This passage does not have to rattle our entire understanding of end times. The second coming is an event scripture clearly outlines for us. The Millennium is clearly outlined, and the final judgment also is clearly seen as very distinct from the rapture. This passage merely glosses over the details to focus on this great time of trouble and tribulation God’s people will endure and be delivered from.
In Daniel’s vision, another man was confused by all this as well. He asks, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?” Remember, this is only in reference to Daniel 12:1-4. And in that passage, as we just saw, it only included a great prince rising up, a time of great trouble for God’s people, and the rapture. So, “how long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?” In Daniel 12:7, the question gets answered. It Says,
“Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.”
“A time, times, and half a time.” A year + 2 years + half a year. 3 and a half years. “And when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all of these things shall be finished.” This first 3 and a half years is commonly called “The beginning of Sorrows”. Its tribulation. It’s when the antichrist is warring with the nations, growing in strength alongside his 10 kings, establishing his one world order where he himself will be given authority over the entire world. It takes 3 and a half years to do this. Then he sits on the throne in the temple and declares himself god, signaling the beginning of the Great Tribulation or the “shattering of the holy people’s power.” This is additional information to the vision of the 70th week Daniel has already received. Daniel is still trying to figure out how this all fits and makes sense with everything he has already received from God. 3 and a half years brings us to the midpoint of Daniel’s final 7-year prophecy. The midpoint is when the abomination of desolation is set up. The antichrist sits on the throne and now makes war with the saints. This is 100% consistent with pre-wrath eschatology.
But wait! There’s more!
How long is the second half? Just in case you thought Daniel 12 is talking about something else entirely, the prophecy confirms its alignment with Daniel’s vision in chapter 9. Chapter 12, verse 11 says,
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.”
1290 days is pretty specific. 1290 days take into account the Hebrew leap month. 1260 days perfectly matches 3 and a half years. Add 30 to account for the added 30 day month and you have a perfect 7 year period. The picture of the 7 years is complete. It is all connected. There are 3 and a half years of tribulation/the beginning of sorrows until the abomination of desolation is set up, then 3 and a half years mainly consisting of God’s Wrath.
BUT wait…. There’s even MORE!
Daniel 12:12 says,
“Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.”
What?!? That’s a very odd number! Where does this come into play? This number has messed with me for years. I’ve researched and researched about it. I’ve prayed for understanding. All this time I just honestly wanted to know what it could mean to help me understand a little more the bigger picture. But it’s not what I thought. I believe there is an answer, and I believe a Biblical and contextual understanding reveals it. But it makes me uncomfortable. I didn’t think it would lead me to this point. Before we even jump there, let me get something straight. Matthew 24:34-36 says,
“Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows. The Son and the angels in heaven don’t know when it will be. Only the Father knows.”
If ever there is a conversation about when the rapture may take place in time, Matthew 24:36 is always referenced. Ironically, pre-tribbers also use this passage but then forget that, according to them, Matthew 24 isn’t talking about the rapture at all. That’s a problem. But there is another problem. The rapture is included in this statement, but this statement is not limited to speaking of the rapture alone. Context is key. And there is a significant reason why this is important, as we will see. I chose to incorporate verses 34 and 35 because this is a continuation of the entire message Jesus just spoke of regarding a lot of end-time events. Notice how he says, “these things”. That’s plural. He’s saying that all “these” things must take place, and the timing of these things all together are unknown by everyone, except God. Jesus is talking about all these things as a whole, not just the rapture. I say that because once these things begin to take place the Bible is incredibly specific about the order and timing of things within this 7 year period. We don’t know when these last 7 years will take place. BUT we do know when events will happen within these 7 years. I hope that makes sense because what I’m about to share with you might make you feel uncomfortable as it did me upon learning it. The 1335 days mentioned in Daniel 12:12 tell us how long the Great Tribulation of Christians is going to be. To be more specific, it tells us when the rapture will occur within the last 7 year period/Daniel’s 70th week. I’m going to mention another disclaimer because there is someone out there reading this that is going to misunderstand and start accusing!
I DO NOT KNOW, NOR AM I CLAIMING TO KNOW WHEN THE RAPTURE IS!!!
These events will take place at an unknown time. Only God knows. BUT if we are the generation that will experience this last 7 years, the Bible says that generation will not pass, (Mat. 24:34) and that we will “not be in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.” (1 Thess. 5:4). That generation of believers will not be surprised by the coming of our Lord in the clouds. They will know because they will be watching Biblical prophecy being rolled out right in front of their eyes. They will watch the antichrist wage war. They will watch him sit in the temple and declare himself as god. They will watch him establish the mark of the beast, and they will be the recipients of his great persecution! And if they really want to be prepared, as the Bible states, they would also head to the backbone of Biblical prophecy as well. The backbone which tells us that blessed are those who wait and comes to the 1335 days, where they will be caught up to be forever with the Lord!
“Brad, you are talking crazy! Where did this come from?” The answer has been hiding right under our noses. We have been talking about it all throughout this post. It comes from looking at Daniel’s 70th week through the lens of the Hebrew Calendar Year.
Leviticus begins prescribing what we could now call traditional Hebrew living. Midway through the Hebrew Calendar year, the Feast of Trumpets was established. It was a special Sabbath day. Leviticus 23:24 says,
“Speak to the children of Israel, saying: in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.”
Then, 10 days later, they celebrate the Day of Atonement. It’s the greatest day of the year for Israel. On that day, all Israel’s sins were confessed. Leviticus 16:29 says,
“This shall be a statute forever with you: in the seventh month, on the 10th day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do not work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you.”
And Leviticus 25:9 says,
Then you shall cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the 10th day of the 7th month; On the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land.
Here, we have the most sacred day and the most celebrated day right in the middle of the year; 10 days apart from one another. God is no dummy. There is a reason for everything that he does. There is a reason why he established the Hebrew calendar the way he did. There is a reason for its uniformity. There is a reason for the placement of important Hebrew events. All of it aligns perfectly with the prophetic visions he gave Daniel. Daniel’s 70th week is a blown-up projection of the Hebrew Calendar year. To be more specific, it is a 7x projection, being 7 years in length, as opposed to 1 year. On this 7x projection, the Abomination of Desolation takes place in the midpoint of the 7-year period. It corresponds to the Feast of Trumpets, which marks the midpoint on the Hebrew Calendar year. The most sacred day corresponds with the most blasphemous day. Just as we are told the Antichrist will set up the abomination of desolation at the midpoint of the 70th week and make war with believers, there is also a sound of trumpets during the midpoint of the Hebrew Calendar year. Trumpets were also used in the Old Testament to signal war with an enemy. (Numbers 10:9, 31:6)
In Leviticus 25:9-10 We see that the Day of Atonement takes place 10 days after the midpoint of the Hebrew Calendar year. On this day, the year of jubilee, the trumpet sounds. This is where things get interesting. The 1335th day of Daniel’s 70th week perfectly corresponds with the 10th day of the 7th month in the Hebrew Calendar year. Remember, the 7 years is a 7x projection of 1 Hebrew Calendar year. Here’s some math for you: 1335 / 7 = 190.71. The 10th day of the 7th month is the 190th day of the Hebrew Calendar year. The Day of Atonement is likened to the Day of the Lord. “Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.” With this evidence, in Daniel’s 70th week/final 7 years, there is a 75-day difference between the 7-year midpoint when the abomination of desolation is set up, and the Day of the Lord. That means that the Great Tribulation will last 75 days, then we will be caught up in the air to be forever with our Lord.
That truly gives you some perspective on just how brutal it will be for believers. In 75 days, believers will be slaughtered down to a fraction of their size. And if it were not for God intervening, all would be lost. But for the elect’s sake, those days are shortened. (Mat 24:22) That’s millions of people dying by the hand of the antichrist and his armies.
Scripture is clear. Almost too clear for my comfort level in sharing. But I trust that if it’s in God’s Word, it’s for our benefit. Ignorance is bliss until it’s not. It’s bliss until millions of like-minded believers are being brutally killed all around you. It’s bliss until you are being hunted down by everyone for your faith. It’s bliss until your neighbor and all those who you thought you could trust, rat you out for not taking the Mark of the Beast, to be killed. It’s bliss until your hands are tied, you are forced to kneel with a gun to your head, and you are tempted to curse and reject God for not warning you of this atrocity.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that you should not be offended. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them… – John 16:1-4
God knows that the things that are coming will cause you to be offended by God if he did not warn you ahead of time. He warns us even more specifically than we give him credit for. I do not know the day or hour when these things will come to pass. This is still well inside the confines of scripture. Once again, this is an honest approach to scripture, not shying away from difficult passages.
To wrap this up, I want to share Daniel 12:4,13 with you. It says,
“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. But you, go your way till the end; For you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.”
Daniel, all throughout receiving this prophecy in chapter 12, seemed confused and not able to understand everything. I think we would all feel the same if in his position. But he is comforted by the Lord, in saying, “seal it up. Go your way. Rest and arise to receive your inheritance at the end.” Daniel’s purpose wasn’t to interpret or understand everything. His purpose was merely to relay the message given to him. The Lord encourages him by assuring him that he doesn’t have to. Someday “knowledge shall increase.” Someday, people will be running to and fro, and knowledge will increase. That’s not an abstract comment. That’s encouragement that this will all make sense someday. I believe that the chosen generation of believers for the time of the end will have this knowledge of things they are to properly prepare for. I pray that we are that chosen generation. I pray that I make it far enough to see Christ coming in the clouds and calling me home to be with him forever. How about you?