The 70th Week – First Half of the Tribulation – Part 2
“Seventy weeks are decreed regarding your people, and regarding your holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make atonement for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Holy of Holies. Know, therefore, and understand that from the going forth of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem, to Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks and sixty two weeks. The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in times of distress. And after sixty two weeks, Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself. And the people of a coming ruler shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end shall be with a flood, and desolations are determined, and there shall be war until the end. And he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week. And in the middle of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the grain offering to cease. And on a corner will be abominations that cause horror, even until the end. And that which was decreed shall be poured out on the desolate.” Daniel 9:24-27
What is commonly referred to as the seven year period of the Tribulation should be rightfully called the Seventh Week. That time period is broken into two segments.
“And I will give to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” Revelation 11:3
“And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.” Revelation 13:5
Where people generally think of things as becoming cataclysmic immediately after the Rapture, in all reality it is the second half of the Tribulation that would match those sorts of descriptions. There will still be some sense of normalcy in the first half.
Thus, my synopsis of driving home in northeast Michigan could essentially be closer to the way the world is at the moment, than what will happen during the Great Tribulation or the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jer. 30:7).
So understand that as we begin to take a peek into what the world will experience during the Tribulation there will remain a lot of unanswered questions. We will ponder what we can and speculate some insight, without knowing for sure. In Nahum we are given a glimpse prophesied into what the world will look like when this time comes and it sounds like the world we live in today, something that would have not been understood when Nahum was written.
“The chariots run madly in the streets; they rush to and fro in the broad ways. Their appearance is like torches; they run swiftly like lightning.” Nahum 2:4
Recently I have had to make several trips to Detroit, making those trips I ponder what someone who had a glimpse into the future would have thought with the traffic rushing to and fro! How would one have described cars with headlights, would their appearance have been like torches??? Certainly they run swiftly, as I will often be passed quickly on the right or the left of my vehicle while maintaining my speed.
The fact is the Bible is quite clear about there being a time of the end or the end times as many people used to consider it.
“I will stand my watch and set myself on the tower, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I shall reply when I am corrected. And Jehovah answered me and said, Write the vision and make it plain on the tablets, that he who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it speaks forth to the end, and it does not lie. Though it delays, wait for it, because it will come and take place; it will not tarry. Behold, the soul of him who is puffed up is not upright; but the just shall live by his faith. And also, wine indeed betrays a proud man, and he dwells not at home, who widens his soul like Sheol. And he is like death, and is not satisfied, but gathers all the nations to himself, and collects all the peoples to himself. Shall not all of these take up a parable against him, and a mocking riddle against him, and say, Woe to him who increases what is not his! How long, then, shall he load himself with many pledges? Shall not those who bite you rise up suddenly, and those who vex you be aroused, and you become a booty to them? Because you have plundered many nations, all the rest of the people shall plunder you, because of the blood of men and the violence of the land, and the city, and all those dwelling in it. Woe to him who robs unjust gain for his house, to set his nest on high, to be delivered from the hand of evil. You have advised shame for your house, to cut off many peoples, and have sinned in your soul. For the stone shall cry out from the wall, and the beam shall answer it from the timbers. Woe to him who builds a town with blood and establishes a city by iniquity. Behold, is it not of Jehovah of Hosts that the people labor only to feed the fire, and nations weary themselves only for vanity. For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea. Woe to him who causes his friend to drink, joining with your bottle, and also making him drunk, so as to look upon his nakedness. You are filled with shame instead of glory; you drink also, and are counted as uncircumcised. The cup of the right hand of Jehovah shall turn on you, and disgrace shall be your glory. For the violence of Lebanon shall cover you, and the devastation of beasts shall terrify them because of the blood of men and the violence of the land, the city, and all those that dwell in it. What does an image profit, that its maker should carve it; a molten image, and a teacher of falsehood, that the maker should trust in his work, to make mute idols? Woe to him who says to the wood, Awake! To a mute stone, Rise up, it shall teach. Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, but there is no breath at all in it. But Jehovah is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him.” Habakkuk 2
“The Word of Jehovah which came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. I will gather up and make an end of all things from off the face of the land, declares Jehovah. I will gather away man and beast: I will gather away the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, and the stumbling-blocks, even the wicked. And I will cut off man from the face of the land, declares Jehovah. I will also stretch out My hand on Judah and on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, the names of the idolatrous priests, with the priests; and those who bow down to the host of the heavens on the housetops; and those who bow, swearing to Jehovah, but also swearing by Melech, and those drawing back from following Jehovah, and who have not sought Jehovah, nor inquired of Him. Be silent in the presence of the Lord Jehovah, for the day of Jehovah is near. For Jehovah has prepared a sacrifice; He has consecrated the ones He called. And it shall come to pass in the day of the sacrifice of Jehovah, that I will punish the rulers and the king’s sons, and all those clothed in foreign apparel. And I will punish all those who leap on the threshold in that day, who fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit. And it shall be in that day, declares Jehovah, the sound of a cry from the Fish Gate, and a howling from the Second, and a loud crashing from the hills. Howl, you inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people have perished; all those who carry silver are cut off. And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men who are curdled in their dregs; who say in their heart, Jehovah will not do good, nor will He do evil. Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation. They shall also build houses, but not live in them. And they shall plant vineyards, but not drink their wine. The great day of Jehovah is near; it is near and hastens greatly, the sound of the day of Jehovah. The mighty man shall cry out bitterly there. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of desolation and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the shofar and alarm against the fortified cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, and they shall walk like the blind, because they have sinned against Jehovah. And their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh like dung. Their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of Jehovah. But all the earth shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy. For He shall make a complete and speedy end of all those who live in the land.” Zephaniah 1
As Habakkuk 2:3 says:
“For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it speaks forth to the end, and it does not lie. Though it delays, wait for it, because it will come and take place; it will not tarry.”
Pay attention! For these things that have been prophesied, this time of the end, these last days, the Tribulation shall surely come, you can be assured, for Jehovah has spoken!
For one who is paying attention, for one who is truly seeking the right Way (John 14:6) there should be no fear, but the just shall live by faith (Ro. 1:17). Yet clearly in Zephaniah man will be cut off, we can even see the delusion that will be had due to their sin. For God will allow (more later) these people, these kings and their armies to gather at Armageddon. They will blindly come to God’s sacrifice and God will repay them according to their deeds. Finally Zephaniah 1 ends with “all the earth shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy” which matches 2 Peter 3:7.
“But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same Word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”
“And I again lifted up my eyes and looked, and, behold, a flying scroll. And he said to me, What do you see? And I answered, I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits, and its width ten cubits. And he said to me, This is the curse that goes forth over the face of the whole earth. For from now on everyone who steals shall be purged out according to it; and everyone who swears from now on shall be purged out according to it. And I will bring it forth, says Jehovah of Hosts. And it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of the one who swears falsely by My name. And it shall remain in the midst of his house and shall make an end to it, and its timber, and its stones. Then the angel who talked with me went out, and said to me, Now lift up your eyes and see what this is that goes forth. And I said, What is it? And he said, This is the ephah that goes forth. And he said, This is their appearance throughout the earth. And, behold, a lead disk was lifted up, and a woman sitting in the middle of the ephah. And he said, This is wickedness. And he threw her down into the middle of the ephah; and he threw the lead stone over its opening. Then I lifted up my eyes and looked. And, behold, two women came out. And the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of the stork. And they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heavens. And I said to the angel who talked with me, Where are they going with the ephah? And he said to me, To build a house for it in the land of Shinar; and it shall be prepared and set there on its own base.” Zechariah 5
So ultimately the curse will have devoured the earth (Is. 24:6). When will these times be, when will these things occur?
“For behold, Jehovah is coming out of His place, and He will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth. And the mountains shall melt under Him, and the valleys shall burst open, as wax before the fire, as waters poured out on a steep place.” Micah 1:3-4
“For the day of Jehovah is near upon all the nations: As you have done, it shall be done to you; your recompense shall return upon your own head. For as you have drunk on My holy mountain, so shall all the nations continually drink. Yea, they shall drink and shall swallow; and they shall be as though they had never been. But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance, and it shall be holy. And the house of Jacob shall possess their own possessions. And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble. And they shall burn among them and consume them. And there shall be no survivor to the house of Esau, for Jehovah has spoken. And those from the south shall possess the mountain of Esau, and the low lands of the Philistines. And they shall possess the fields of Ephraim and Samaria. And Benjamin shall possess Gilead. And the captives of this host of the sons of Israel shall possess the land of the Canaanites to Zarephath; even the exiles of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad shall possess the cities of the south. And deliverers shall go up into Mount Zion to judge the mountain of Esau, and the kingdom shall be Jehovah’s.” Obadiah 15-21
The day of Jehovah is near upon all the nations. We ought to be living individually as if that day is tomorrow! We ought to be warning our family, friends, neighbors and spreading the Gospel to those who have not heard.
“Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord comes.” Matthew 24:42
So what time is this? Well the Bible has many verses describing not only this time period, but also what the ‘day of the Lord’ which would be the culmination, the final end of the Tribulation, a very fearful thing, not a thing to be desired.
“Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:7
“For then there will be great affliction, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Matthew 24:21
“For the day of Jehovah of Hosts shall come upon all the proud and lofty ones, and upon all that is lifted up; and it shall be brought low;”… Isaiah 2:12
“Howl! For the day of Jehovah is at hand! It shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.” Isaiah 13:6
“For behold, Jehovah comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” Isaiah 26:21
“For it is the day of Jehovah’s vengeance, the year of retribution for the strife against Zion.” Isaiah 34:8
“A roaring noise shall come to the ends of the earth; for Jehovah has a controversy with the nations; He will enter into judgment with all flesh. He will give those who are wicked to the sword, says Jehovah.” Jeremiah 25:31
“For the day is near, even the day of Jehovah is near; it will be a day of clouds, the time of the nations.” Ezekiel 30:3
“And at that time, Michael shall stand up, the great ruler who stands for the sons of your people. And there shall be a time of distress, such as has not been since there was a nation until that time. And at that time, your people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the Book.” Daniel 12:1
“Alas for the day! For the day of Jehovah is at hand. And it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.” Joel 1:15
“Blow the shofar in Zion, and shout an alarm in My holy mountain. Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble. For the day of Jehovah approaches, it is near;”… Joel 2:1
“Therefore, wait for Me, declares Jehovah, until the day that I rise up to the prey. For My judgment is to gather the nations, for Me to gather the kingdoms, to pour My fury out on them, all My burning anger. For all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of My jealousy.” Zephaniah 3:8
“And I will come near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against those swearing to a lie; and against those who defraud the hired laborer of his pay, and turn away the widow, and the fatherless, and the alien; and who do not fear Me, says Jehovah of Hosts.” Malachi 4:5
So there is a time coming and a generation living that will endure these things, make no mistake about that. The Seventh Week will come upon mankind, they will be unaware when it occurs and they will have been judged by Christ (2 Tim. 4:1). For God declares what will happen, before it happens.
“Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth, I proclaim them to you.” Isaiah 42:9
“Remember the former things from a long time ago; for I am the Mighty God, and there is no other; I am God, and no one else is like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from antiquity things which are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure; calling a bird of prey from the east, the man who executes my counsel from a distant land. Indeed, I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have formed it; I will also do it. Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, who are far from righteousness; I bring near My righteousness. It shall not be far off, and My salvation shall not delay. And I will place salvation in Zion, My glory for Israel.” Isaiah 46:9-13
The first half of the Tribulation may very well be a lot like today. Likely the troubles that the world is experiencing today with natural disasters, famines, pestilences and a very fast moving end times Antichrist governmental system that will quickly be coming into play. The world, our leaders, will be working on solutions and the man, the Antichrist, will be finishing his final rise to absolute total power during the Great Tribulation, which is the second half, 3 ½ years or 42 months, of full authority.
We have unfortunately experienced a great example of how a crisis, whether contrived by a shadowy elite or naturally occurring, can be used as a measure to quickly turn the world much closer to being much like what the world will experience after the Rapture happens.
COVID has set the precedent in many places as an excuse to set the stage, the mindset, of those who are walking on the broad path to destruction (Mt. 7:13) to continue on in that direction. In fact the sort of militance that some people display, in not only their refusal to acknowledge their Creator, but in regards to political ideologies such as climate change, LGBTQ, etc., also are often reflective on their hardcore assertiveness for the government to by any means necessary, not only babysit us from cradle to grave, but to exercise total control over an individuals’ supposed freedoms and liberties, of which rights vary by the country, but are ready to be handed over by much of our respective citizens.
Now these things can be frustrating and they should be, but we ought to be thankful for what we have, that in many places we can still preach the Gospel, talk about Christ and even write things like this, though censorship is becoming quite obvious. We must remember, that though we are certainly citizens in our respective countries, those of us who are Saved also have a Heavenly citizenship (Phil. 3:20). Nonetheless, I will continue with the dialogue, for despite what some may think on political ideologies, those that are clearly contrary to the Word of God should be clearly spoken against, when and as the Lord leads, but I know that these mindsets a lot of people hold fit closely with the mindsets that people will have to have to propagate and promote the Antichrist world government.
So as frustrated as one might be about the current situation regarding lockdowns, restrictions, communism or what have you, understand that these very same people who frustrate you will also frustrate those during the Tribulation, as they will be the ones to call and report those who do not have the mark of the beast (more later). These, of that mindset, will also be the same people who will support these changes, during those times, that will aid such an Antichrist world system, just as they are now doing so, we are just not yet in those times.
As Brandon, the coauthor of this book has told me privately, he believes that likely the liberals will be the ones who will be more likely to be Saved during the Tribulation (Rev. 7:14) surpassing the conservatives, for they will see their ways and possibly repent, whereas I could agree that certainly could happen as I often see the ones who will be deluded (2 Thes. 2:11-12) to be those who are more likely to resonate as a conservative in today’s world. So if they are blinded and supporting, essentially the walking doomed, there is no hope for them, then will not those who seem to be opposed to these radical ideas be those who support such a system?! Well the problem is that both parties are opposing God, opposing His Son Jesus, by their deeds and lack of a truly repentant heart (2 Cor. 7:10), not truly accepting the free gift of Salvation (Eph. 2:8-9). Their mouths might say so, but their hearts are far from their Creator, they do not know Him.
“Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many works of power in Your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who work out lawlessness! Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock; and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be likened to a foolish man who built his house on the sand; and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” Matthew 7:21-27
The difference between them and the liberals is that the liberals often don’t make those false confessions towards God. They haven’t known the full truth and denied Christ, but rather they are deaf and can not hear (Matthew 13:14-15, 19).
The Hollywood perception of what life will be like immediately after the Rapture does not accurately portray what the Bible teaches regarding life immediately at the start of the Tribulation, verses what the absolute despair of the situation will eventually end in regarding the battle of Armageddon, where the unrepentant will meet their end.
Hollywood often depicts that there are no babies left anywhere in the world, as well as young children are also absent from being found. In their mind the Rapture would include these infants and young children, they being considered innocent in the minds of the unbelievers who write the scripts. For this I would suggest to consider the following verse:
“For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.” 1st Corinthians 7:14
For those who can understand such a concept, good, for those who can not, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Revelation 22:20b
Also the following verse is insightful:
“But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!” Matthew 24:19
In movie depictions absolute chaos ensues immediately after the Rapture. Though there would be no argument that chaos will ensue, the depictions is that immediately judgment after judgment begins to happen, which is not the case, as you will see, these things will happen, but God still desires men to repent and accept His Son Jesus as their Savior. Now the notion that men will suddenly become worse, the world more violent, by no means is that necessary incorrect.
If you consider the violence that many cities around the world have seen in the past couple of years, especially the increase in violence in cities of the United States, then imagine what will happen when the Holy Spirit, who restrains, is removed! (2 Thes. 2:7)
Finally, from what I have seen, the depiction of the level of destruction is not something that Hollywood is capable of imagining. For destruction will be worldwide by the end of the Great Tribulation (last 3 ½ years).
“For then there will be great affliction, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be kept safe alive; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” Matthew 24:21-22
Right now the economy continues on, though inflation is becoming quite obvious, the shortages seem to be never ending. Without knowing exactly how it will play out during the Tribulation, I would ponder whether or not these things would simply increase in severity for the first couple of years, eventually culminating into an actual problem for those who have been Left Behind, as the Bible describes will come to pass at some point during that time period???
Consider some of what the world was prophesied to be like during this time and think about the day and age in which we now live.
“And those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three and a half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.” Revelation 11:9-10
Our discussion will turn into the Two Witnesses soon, but note that the Bible prophesied that “and those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three and a half days.”
Now we live in a world with smart phone technology, internet and satellite/cable television, people from all around the world could easily see any major event that is taking place almost instantaneously. When the book of Revelation was originally written prior to 100 AD, there was no way that people living in what is now South America would have had any clue to an event that took place in Jerusalem!
Years ago I pondered these things, prior to the onset of the technology that now envelops our society. I recall there being a rugged laptop that someone wanted to produce for Africa, with the cost being around $100. There was a goal to place technology in the hands of those who lived in portions of the continent of Africa. Fast forward to nowadays and certainly we live in a time where it is rumored the new smart phones will soon be connected to satellites to be used when a 4 or 5G network is unavailable! The amount of connectivity of our world in such a small time frame as my life is amazing.
“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall by no means escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we watch or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore encourage each other and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” 1st Thessalonians 5:1-11
Now, once again, when these things will take place are not known, but we who are in Christ should not be discouraged, but recognize the times that we live in, understanding that certainly it could be in our day and ‘let us watch and be sober.’ For we know that God has not appointed us to wrath.
We live in a world where as 1 Thessalonians 5:3 states, the nations, the people of the world are looking for peace and safety, what they will ultimately find is sudden destruction.
“And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have come to the full, a king shall stand forth, having fierce countenance and understanding sinister schemes. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power. And he shall destroy extraordinarily, and he shall prosper, and work, and destroy the mighty and the holy people. And also through his cunning he will cause deceit to prosper in his hand. And he will magnify himself in his heart, and through prosperity shall destroy many. He shall also stand up against the Ruler of rulers, but he shall be broken in pieces without hands.” Daniel 8:23-25
Consider these verses talking about the Antichrist. Where it states in the “latter time of their kingdom”, is that not a reference to the revived Roman Empire? Also, speaking of latter time, would that not in and of itself suggest that this kingdom, presumably the revived Roman Empire would already be out in the world, not something where we are looking towards a European Union to meet that criteria, that still as of now doesn’t seem to match what the Bible says about the revived Roman Empire, as Italy is nowhere near a superpower, nor does Rome, the city itself, exert power over the world. Both New York City and London exert numerous times more power and influence than Rome in our modern day era. It would seem suffice to say that the revived Roman Empire is alive and well, just not in the fashion that men’s minds can wrap themselves around, but rather hidden in plain site. Unless we are not living in those days or times and this is yet something that occurs down the road in history.
Certainly we can see that the transgressors are coming to the full. Yet this king, the Antichrist, will eventually stand forth. Consider also that “through prosperity shall destroy many.”
Every time I consider the stimulus payments, exceptional unemployment benefits, eviction moratorium, Paycheck Protection Program loans and numerous other programs here in the United States, knowing that other countries also have programs as well, I ponder this, not in the sense that this is necessarily what is going on now, but how the prosperity being handed out by governments is allowing our liberties and freedoms to be taken worldwide.
Imagine all of these lockdowns and restrictions without any stimulus! People would be forced to rise up against the powers-that-be for the mere economic stability of their families, yet what we have is a system that is designed where people will actually allow themselves to become ‘victims’ of this pandemic in order to get government stimulus.
There are many renters who purposely did not pay their rent, consider a married couple who would have been earning unemployment benefits in the amount of tens of thousands of dollars more in the past year than they would have at their regular jobs. All of that extra money, but because they can use COVID as an excuse to not get evicted, they also pocket the rent money.
In a society like this, it actually creates a condition where even if the facts state otherwise that the amount of lockdowns and restrictions are overburdensome and unnecessary, people will allow such things to take place, even desire them, due to the prosperity that it brings to them individually. In other words, they could care in the least bit whether or not their freedoms are being taken away or what the full truth of the matter might be, they will have allowed themselves to be – in essence – bribed by the government to go along with the show.
In fact, this is not on an individual level, but also on a governmental level. State governments who restricted their citizens harshly also received a huge chunk of stimulus money. In Michigan, billions of extra cash headed into the state as part of a federal stimulus, much more than what was lost. They were not just compensated for the actual loss, which would make sense on individual and governmental levels, but rewarded with prosperous sums of money. A tragedy, a crisis, that being COVID, turned into a bounty of money in the end for many.
In fact, in my local county, they are in the process of hiring someone to figure out what to do with the extra money that has been doled out by the state. I could think of things that are behind, like water pipes that need to be replaced, but I will leave that up to those who govern us and participate in the politics of this world.
One thing of interest that happens, perhaps during this time period, though I would also think could happen prior, is that the capital of Syria, Damascus, is completely destroyed, in what seems to be a nuclear attack.
Recently I happened on an article that described the relationship of the United States and Israel regarding their nuclear weapon system. The story goes that Israel does not declare itself to be a nuclear power and the United States goes along with that notion with a series of secret treaties that have been happening for quite some time now. With Israel being perhaps the most innovative society in terms of technological developments, to consider that they would not have a top secret nuclear arsenal would be an interesting take on a country that has proven to provide the world with technological solutions for quite some time.
These verses regarding Damascus have yet to have been fulfilled:
“The burden against Damascus: Behold, Damascus is removed from being a city, and it shall be a heap of ruins…At evening time, behold, terror! Before the morning, he is no more! This is the portion of those who plunder us, and the lot of those who rob us.” Isaiah 17:1 & 14
“Concerning Damascus: Hamath and Arpad are put to shame, for they have heard bad news. Their hearts have melted; the sea is anxious; it cannot be quiet. Damascus has become feeble; she has turned to flee, and trembling has seized her. Anguish and sorrows have taken her like a woman in labor. How has the city of praise not been deserted, the city of my joy! Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, and all the men of war shall be silenced in that day, says Jehovah of Hosts. And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall consume the palaces of Ben-hadad.” Jeremiah 49:23-27
“Thus says Jehovah: For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn back from punishing it, for they have threshed Gilead with implements of iron. But I will send a fire against the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Ben-hadad. I will also break the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the Valley of Aven, and him who holds the scepter from Beth-eden. And the people of Syria shall go captive to Kir, says Jehovah.” Amos 1:3-5
“The burden of the Word of Jehovah against the land of Hadrach, and its resting place, Damascus, (when the eyes of man, and all the tribes of Israel are toward Jehovah), and Hamath also borders on it; Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise. And Tyre shall build a fortress for herself, and shall pile up silver like the dust, and gold like the mud of the streets. Behold, the Lord will dispossess her, and He will strike her power in the sea, and she shall be devoured with fire. Ashkelon shall see and fear; Gaza also shall writhe in great pain; and Ekron, her expectation shall be dried up. And the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited. And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines. And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth. But the remnant, even he, shall be for our God. And he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite. And I will camp around My house because of the army, because of him who passes by and because of him who returns. And an oppressor shall not pass through them any more. For now I have seen with My eyes.” Zechariah 9:1-8
Another insight into what the world will be like when the Tribulation begins is found in the book of Daniel.
“But you, O Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, to the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:4
Here we see two separate things, one being that many shall run to and fro and the second being that knowledge shall be increased. Let’s take a look at the run to and fro.
Transportation is a way to run to and fro. I’ve read numerous books on early explorers, such as the unabridged David Livingstone’s African travels, as well as an early book by the United States military trying to find the headwaters of the Amazon River, as well as a route through the South American continent. These things absolutely fascinate me, particularly the early first hand explorer accounts in jungle settings.
Yet I have also been to the jungle, however, my adventure was nowhere near as dramatic as the early explorers. In order to get to a semi-remote jungle, I drove part of the way, then I took a bus part of the way, then I drove some more and finally took a trip in a boat to finish to my destination. Shortly thereafter I returned home and simply took a flight to Tijuana, Mexico, crossed the border to San Diego, took a cab and rented a vehicle for the return trip.
Such a trip could be done in a short period of time nowadays, in fact mine could have been much more direct and even a ton shorter. Had I wanted to I could have traveled to my jungle destination within a day’s time. Now if we were to look at most of our world being under the control of the revived Roman Empire, we could see that some areas of the world are more developed, some have better infrastructure than others (Dan. 2:41-42).
Had I decided to travel further on, deeper into the little known, the travel time would have increased, first it would have been a speed boat, then a canoe and finally on foot, with a machete. This leads right into the next point about knowledge increasing.
My father was much older than me and if he were still alive he would be turning 100 this year. So with such an age gap I had an insight into how things were, a bit more old fashioned growing up than what most people my age ever would have had.
I can still take a quarter of a mile walk into fields and woods to find the remnants of my father’s childhood home. When my father grew up he had to take the horse sleigh to his one room schoolhouse in rural Charlevoix County in Michigan. My great grandfather died in the Civil War, fighting for the Union.
The property were my dad grew up was a 40 acre farm and the only power they had was a windmill that was enough to listen to radio programs in the evening. They hand churned butter and made their own ice cream. My grandmother, whom I never met, made all of the clothes, except underwear. Nearly all of the food that they ate was grown on local farms, except they would purchase a 50lb bag of sugar once per year.
If one were to sit back and ponder, even with just a bit of known history, they would realize that just over 100 years ago the vast majority of people did not have electricity, plumbing, automotives. In fact there were still washing boards to do laundry. We have seen clearly an exponential growth in knowledge which has led to immense changes in not only the United States landscape, but the landscape of the world.
How would it have been possible 100 years ago for such a thing as the mark of the beast to take place? One could argue that there would be seven years to find everyone and ‘mark’ them with whatever available technology, but there was still so much barter going on that it would make it unfeasible. In fact, nowhere in the Bible does it actually say that the mark of the beast will be going on for seven years, in fact it could only be one year, who knows?
The world certainly has evolved and this evolution has been one towards wickedness, helping to fulfill the transgressions of the people becoming complete. One of the things that absolutely marveled me when I traveled through second world countries, was the fact that people will watch movies and listen to American music in English, despite not speaking but a handful of words in English. They will laugh and listen, even without fully understanding the context.
One could go on and on about air and space travel, the internet, satellites, high tech weaponry, the medical advancements, robotics, AI and numerous other things. This to say nothing of the computer technology, autonomous vehicles, modern day skyscrapers, solar and wind energy, as well as intrusive technology that virtual wipes out our privacy, being used to build databases against all of the citizens of the world.
Do we have the technology for the mark of the beast to happen in our lifetimes? Yes, but it will only get easier and more efficient as time goes on. Amazingly, even in 2021 there are still some uncontacted tribes in the world, mainly in Brazil.
Now let’s take a peek at the third seal and ponder a question. Most people look at the book of Revelation and they see three different sets of judgments, the seal judgments, the trumpet judgments and the bowl judgments. What I ponder, remembering that the book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ is about past, present and future, is whether or not what we see is some seals having already been opened and also whether the trumpet and bowl judgments are actually the same???
“And when He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, Come and see. So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” Revelation 6:5-6
This is mentioned elsewhere, so just a brief reminder on the third seal. Could we see this already being –partially- fulfilled, where the culmination will lead into what people would think??? Could this be part of what is spoken elsewhere in Luke 21:11???
“And there will be great earthquakes from place to place, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from Heaven.”
Aside from some technological and travel advances that would have seemingly have to have been made in order for the fullness of the time of the Tribulation to be able to take place is also the fact that Israel had to become a nation again. The book of Isaiah is quite clear on this:
“Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion had gone into labor, she had brought forth her children.” Isaiah 66:8
On May 14th, 1948 Israel was reborn after having been scattered abroad for nearly 1900 years! This is just as the Bible prophesied.
“The whole land is brimstone, salt, and burning; it is not sown, nor does it sprout, nor does any grass grow there, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which Jehovah overthrew in His anger and His wrath. And all the nations shall say, Why has Jehovah done thus unto this land? What is the meaning of this great burning anger? Then people shall say: Because they have forsaken the covenant of Jehovah the God of their fathers, which He had made with them to bring them out of the land of Egypt; for they went and served other gods and bowed down to them, gods that they had not known and that He had not apportioned to them. And the anger of Jehovah burned against this land, to bring upon it every curse that is written in this Book. And Jehovah uprooted them from their land in anger, in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.” Deuteronomy 29:23-28
“But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are drawing near to come. For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt.” Ezekiel 36:8-11
“Thus says the Lord Jehovah: On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt. The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by. And they will say, This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited. Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, Jehovah, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate. I, Jehovah, have spoken it, and I will do it.” Ezekiel 36:33-36
Take note that the “nations which are left all around you shall know that I, Jehovah, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate.” Certainly they are without excuse, yet their hatred for God and His people are clearly manifest.
“The hand of Jehovah was upon me and brought me out by the Spirit of Jehovah, and made me rest in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, Son of man, can these bones live? So I answered, O Lord Jehovah, You know. Again He said to me, Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the Word of Jehovah! Thus says the Lord Jehovah to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. And you shall know that I am Jehovah. So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a shaking; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. Then He said to me, Prophesy to the spirit; prophesy, son of man, and say to the spirit, Thus says the Lord Jehovah: Come from the four winds, O spirit, and breathe on these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the spirit came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. Then He said to me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off! Therefore prophesy and say to them, Thus says the Lord Jehovah: Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am Jehovah, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up out of your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. And you shall know that I, Jehovah, have spoken it and performed it, says Jehovah. Again the Word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, Moreover, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions. Then take another stick and write on it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and all the house of Israel, his companions. Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand. And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, Will you not show us what you mean by these? say to them, Thus says the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand. And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes. And say to them, Thus says the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, there where they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them out of all their dwelling places where they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Thus they shall be My people, and I will be their God. And David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one Shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and keep My statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, always; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forever. My tabernacle also shall be with them; yes, I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And the nations will know that I, Jehovah, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary shall be in their midst forever.” Ezekiel 37
To the nations Israel has become a debate and cause for concern, even in American politics, just as the Bible prophesied.
“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling to all the peoples all around,”… Zechariah 12:2a
You often hear of a two-state solution as being the proposed peace agreement that will solve the Middle East’s unrest. Well eventually that is exactly what will happen and such a thing is not pleasing to God Almighty.
“I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on account of My people and My possession, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and divided up My land.” Joel 3:2
“And he shall act in the strongholds of the fortresses with a foreign god, whom he shall acknowledge. He shall multiply in glory, and he shall cause them to rule over many and shall divide the land for gain.” Daniel 11:39 – speaking of the Antichrist
Perhaps this peace agreement could be reached after the fulfillment of Psalms 83??? Certainly war often has a result of peace in the end.
“Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, and do not be still, O Mighty God! For lo, Your enemies roar; and those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and conspired against Your treasure. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more. For they have consulted together with one heart; they covenant an alliance against You: The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them; they have helped the sons of Lot. Selah Deal with them as with Midian, as with Sisera, as with Jabin at the Brook Kishon, who perished at En Dor, who became as dung upon the land. Make their nobles like Oreb and like Zeeb, yea, all their anointed like Zebah and Zalmunna, who have said, Let us take for ourselves the pastures of God for a possession. O my God, make them like the whirling dust, like the chaff before the wind! As the fire burns the forest, and as the flame sets the mountains on fire, so pursue them with Your tempest, and terrify them with Your storm. Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek Your name, O Jehovah. Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever; yea, let them be abashed and perish, that they may know that You, whose name alone is Jehovah, are the Most High over all the earth.” Psalms 83
The first half of the Tribulation will likely see things getting worse and worse, perhaps at a frightening rate, but it is the second half of the Tribulation that people often think about, this portion is also part of the Seventh Week (Da. 9:27), the Great Tribulation.