End of the Age: 2018?
Those who believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God have wondered, for centuries, when prominent end-time prophecies would be fulfilled. People in virtually every generation have seen and experienced events making them think and feel that the end of the age was near.
So far, of course, this has not been the case. However, there seem to be indicators now that could be signaling that the Great Tribulation, the return of Jesus, and the final Kingdom of God on earth
A few years ago, there was speculation by many that the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument for Israel, along with associated documents, could be part of the prophesied 70th Week accord of
The angel Gabriel told Daniel that, pertaining to Daniel’s people (Israel) and his holy city (Jerusalem), seventy “sevens” or “weeks” of years were decreed for the completion of specific events
However, over the past few years, another possibility has been suggested by some. Maybe the prophesied seven-year period does not consist of seven consecutive, uninterrupted years, as virtually everyone has assumed would be the case. Maybe there is a gap, of unspecified time, wedged into the 70th Week of years. God always does things His way, and His thoughts and ways are far above ours
There was a gap of several centuries between the time of the ancient prophets in Israel, predicting the coming of the Messiah, and the first coming of Jesus Christ. Presumably, there is a gap of almost two thousand years between the
If we consider the seven annual Hebraic feasts, festivals, and holy days, we know that they do not all take place at the same time of year. Three are clumped together in the month of Aviv or Nisan, with the fourth one seven weeks later in the month of Sivan, all in the Spring of the year. The remaining three take place in the month of Tishri, which is in the Fall of the year. Thus, there is a lengthy gap between the first three and the fourth, as well as between the fourth and the last three. So “gaps” are not something unusual for God to do.
Perhaps, then, there also could be an unspecified gap of time between the first and second halves of the 70th Week. This would be similar to how a football game consists of two halves, with a half-time break in the middle. Moreover, in a football game, the battle and conflict typically peak during the second half, during which there is the greatest anticipation and expectation, on both sides, of winning.
Likewise, the historical war between the forces of good and evil will culminate during the final 3˝ years of this age. As such, it is conceivable that the first 3˝ years of the 70th Week have transpired, leaving the last 3˝ years yet to take place. This latter period—“time, times and half a time” (3˝ years or 42 months)—is when the Antichrist will blaspheme and slander God and oppress the saints of God
With this in mind, it may be worth contemplating some possibilities. Let us consider ancient Israel, which served and was held captive by Babylon for seventy years. That seventy-year period was even prophesied before it happened
History tends to repeat itself, and numerous prophecies in the Bible have had and will have multiple cases of fulfillment. Most would agree that “Babylon the Great” will be associated with the endtime kingdom of the Antichrist and will be utterly destroyed
Now, ever since Israel became a modern nation in 1948, it has been mostly a secular nation. The Jewish temple, after having been destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., has not been rebuilt. Moreover, as a whole, Israel has not acknowledged Jesus as God and Messiah; and the nation (and most of the world) is more under the influence of the antichrist spirit
In effect, Israel has returned to bondage under “pagan Babylon,” perhaps again for 70 years. Since
Firstly, there is no doubt in my mind that Jesus’ second advent back to earth will take place on a Yom Kippur = Day of Atonement, in conjunction with the blowing of the Seventh Trumpet. Thus, I am convinced that the final day of the 70th Week will fall on a Yom Kippur. This was a day filled with bloody sacrifices in ancient Israel
The Yom Kippur on which Jesus returns to earth will be a bloody mess as well, with a great deal of the blood of Israel’s attackers being shed
The second half of the 70th Week will be 1,260 days
Potentially then, in view of this time frame, April 5, 2015, could mark the beginning of the Great Tribulation. With October 24, 2006 marking the establishment of the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument for Israel, and possibly the beginning of the 70th Week, it may have been that the first half of the 70th Week ended after 1,260 days on the Feast of Firstfruits = Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010. Interestingly, then, it is possible that the first half ended on an April 4 (of 2010) and the second half will pick up again on an April 5 (of 2015), with a five-year “halftime” span in between (see A 5-Year Gap?).
It is worthy of note that during 2014 and 2015, six lunar and solar eclipses will take place on significant days on the Hebraic calendar. It is very unusual for there to be even a couple of eclipses on Hebraic feast and holy days in one year, but it is exceedingly rare for six eclipses to take place on Hebraic feast and holy days during two adjacent years. Perhaps, in the midst of these “signs” in the sky, the Great Tribulation could begin.Lunar and Solar Eclipses: 2014 & 2015
It has been suggested by some that the lunar eclipses will foreshadow dire events for Israel. Interestingly, the next Shmita or Shemitah (Sabbatical) year occurs from the Fall of 2014 to the Fall of 2015. Moses told the Israelites that at the end of every seven years (the Shmita year), debts were to be canceled
The only blood moon solar eclipse in 2014 and 2015 seen in Israel—as the people are outside dwelling in their booths (sukkot or sukkas)—will be on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, September 28, 2015. See Blood Moons on Hebraic Feast and Holy Days.
It also has been suggested that the solar eclipses will portend calamitous events for the nations. Some are predicting the collapse of the U.S. dollar and stock market on or about September 13, 2015 (or Elul 29, 5775 on the Hebraic calendar), on which there also is a partial solar eclipse. Watch a 2-minute slideshow about financial and economic crashes on Elul 29, or click on individual slides below:
Now, after the prophetic Fifth Seal is opened, the souls slain for the word of God and for their testimony will cry out for God to avenge their blood
I am convinced that the Pre-wrath Rapture event
Perhaps, then, the Messiah Yeshua/Jesus will appear in the clouds of the sky to catch away His elect on September 21 or 22, 2017, on the Feast of Trumpets, during the Pre-wrath Rapture. If so, a year later on Yom Kippur, September 18 or 19, 2018, He presumably would return to earth, to rule and reign, in conjunction with the blowing of the Seventh Trumpet
We know that Israelites and Jews returned to Israel after the seventy-year Babylonian captivity. Likewise, whenever it is that Jesus descends to earth, He will gather Israelites and Jews, scattered throughout the earth, to Israel
Some feel that the aforementioned verses are indicative of Jews returning since 1948 to the modern-day nation of Israel. However, it is only when Israel’s Messiah returns to Jerusalem that the following things will happen; these have not yet occurred, nor will they take place until Jesus returns:
Some feel that God’s “sanctuary” or “dwelling place”
Furthermore, it seems exceedingly implausible that orthodox Jews would be able to construct a third temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which is under Islamic control and authority. Most likely, if even one stone of the temple’s foundation were laid there, it probably would spark an immediate firestorm of controversy and a violent backlash by Islam against the Jews in Jerusalem and Judea.
Whenever our Lord, Savior, and Messiah will return—initially in the clouds and later back to earth—cannot be determined with relative certainty, at least until the final 3˝ years of this age (that is, the second half of the 70th Week) have begun. However, with increasing anticipation and expectation, let us look forward to His return, in His perfect timing, to bring absolute righteousness and justice to the world. There is no hope for humanity other than in the only begotten Son of God, Yeshua/Jesus.