End of the Age: 2024 – 2027?
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overview

The signs in the anticipated prophetic events section of my “End of the Age: 2020?” commentary did not take place in my suggested time frame.  Had my basic assumptions been correct, it seems that those events should have occurred during Passover week: April 10-18, 2017.

European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) 2014-2020My hypothesis was that the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) could have been the 7-year covenant or agreement of Daniel 9:27a, which appeared to confirm, strengthen and increase a prior covenant: the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP).  Both 7-year accords—the ENP: January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2013 and the ENI: January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2020—have involved many nations, including Israel.

Many cannot believe it is possible that the final 7 years of this age could have begun if:

  • there is no third temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem,
  • a “Pre-tribulation” Rapture has not taken place, and
  • the Gog/Magog hordes have not attacked Israel.

I am convinced that none of these are prerequisites for the final 7 years to begin, as explained in Third Temple, Rapture & Gog/Magog.

The following two events, prophesied by Jesus, presumably will make international news soon after they occur in the midst of the prophesied 70th Week of years, and then the Great Tribulation period will commence:

  • armies or enemies surrounding and/or attacking Jerusalem, and
  • people fleeing out of the region of Judea to the mountains (Luke 21:20,21).

Since those and other anticipated prophetic events did not take place in 2017, nor at any other time during the 2014-2020 time frame, this nullifies the notion that the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) was the prophesied 7-year covenant of Daniel 9:27a.  Assuming that it was not, then at some point there would have to be another 7-year covenant or agreement to fulfill this prophecy.

Indeed, during 2020—the final year of the 7-year ENI—the European Parliament and EU Member States met several times to decide whether to extend the funding process for the European Union for another 7 years.  Proposals by the European Commission were discussed during each meeting.

On November 10, 2020, an agreement was reached for the EU’s Next Long-Term Budget & NextGenerationEU.  A combined package of €1.8 trillion, the largest ever financed through the EU budget, was approved for the next 7-year period of 2021-2027.  Furthermore, since December 17, 2020, the European Commission has been on-board with the EU’s plan, as described here: European Commission welcomes the adoption of the EU's long-term budget for 2021-2027.  Thus, it is possible that January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2027 is the final 7-year period of this age.

However, there is another possibility to consider.  It is conceivable that an event in the sky on September 23, 2017, may have been a sign that the final 7 years of this age was soon to begin.  Although a very lengthy explanation is in order, it still would be advisable to stock up on food and non-food supplies, which probably will become increasingly scarce as time rolls on:


final 7 years

First, consider the prophesied 70 weeks of years, described by the angel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel almost 6 centuries B.C.  This prophecy applied to Daniel’s holy people, Israel, and to their holy city, Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24).  The final (70th) week of those prophesied 70 weeks of years will be the final 7 years of this age, prior to the return of Jesus to rule and reign over the whole world.

A common assumption, particularly among those who have studied Bible prophecy, has been that the final (70th) week of the prophesied 70 weeks of years is equivalent to the week of 7 years that begins with the confirmation of a man-made covenant (involving Israel and possibly other nations) for one week of years:

Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week.... (Daniel 9:27a—NKJV)
Prophetically, it most commonly is assumed that the satanically-inspired Antichrist—that is, the man of lawlesssness who will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped (2 Thessalonians 2:3b,4)—is the man who will confirm a covenant with many for one week of 7 years (Daniel 9:27a).  Perhaps this might be done with the intent of counterfeiting God’s preordained timing of the prophesied 70th Week of years: the final 7 years of this age.

However, God would be opposed to a 7-year man-ordained accord, involving Israel, because His chosen people (the Israelites) would have entered into the covenental agreement without having consulted Him and without having gained His approval.  It is shown in the Old Testament book of the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 28:15-19, 57:8,9) that God does not like it whenever this happens.  Pertaining to the 7-year man-ordained accord, the Israelites would be relying on a man to protect them from their enemies, rather than looking to God to guard and defend them.

God’s calendar vs. man’s calendar

God’s Hebraic calendar is based on specific Spring and Fall festivals and other holy days that take place each year.  He said, “These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the LORD...” (Leviticus 23:2).  He does not adhere to a human-made Gregorian calendar, which runs annually from January 1 to December 31.

Thus, the span of the artificial, man-made European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), running from January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2020 (exactly 7 years), did not synchronize or harmonize with God’s calendar of Hebraic feast and holy days.  Neither does the man-made combination of agreements implemented by the European Union in 2020, which includes the EU’s Next Long-Term Budget & NextGenerationEU, spanning the 7-year period January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2027.  More about that is described here: European Commission welcomes the adoption of the EU's long- term budget for 2021-2027.

Of course, it was God who sent the angel Gabriel to tell Daniel about the 70 weeks of years, pertaining to Israel and Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24).  As such, it is God who has determined when the final (70th) week of years of that time period would begin.  Indeed, a great many events in Israel’s history were connected to God’s Hebraic calendar, so it would make sense that the same would apply to the 70th Week of years.

Therefore, to get a better idea of the actual timing of the final 7 years of this age, it would be appropriate to look at the beginning.  Ever since the beginning, God has used lights in the expanse of the sky—the sun, the moon and the stars—as “signs to mark seasons and days and years(Genesis 1:14).


season of Teshuvah

Teshuvah, meaning “return” or “repentance,” is a 40-day season each year that fits into the Hebraic calendar.  Most likely, this was the period of forty days and forty nights when Jesus was fasting in the desert, after which He was being tempted by the devil.  (Some denominations feel that this was the “season of Lent” from Ash Wednesday to Easter, but it was not.)  Yet, Jesus resisted every temptation (Matthew 4:1-11), which was an example to all who believe in Him and follow Him.  We are to put our heavenly Father’s desires first and our own personal desires last.

40-Day Season of Teshuvah

The season of Teshuvah begins on Av 30 (at sunset following Av 29), thirty days before the Feast of Trumpets / Rosh haShanah begins on Tishri 1 (at sunset following Elul 29), and ends on the Day of Atonement / Yom Kippur (Tishri 10).  The season of Teshuvah always begins on a new moon, which is an example of how God uses lights in the sky (particularly the sun and the moon) as “signs to mark seasons and days and years” (Genesis 1:14).

During the month of Elul, one is to examine one’s life, to repent and turn from one’s sins, and to restore broken relationships with others and with God, knowing that the “Day of Judgment” (Rosh haShanah) is approaching.  On each day of Elul, a shofar (horn or trumpet) is blown, reminding everyone to repent because the Feast of Trumpets / Rosh haShanah is drawing near.

Psalm 27, and often Ezekiel 33:1-7, are read.  Psalm 27 states that the Lord is our “salvation” when our “enemies attack” us, “sheltering” us and keeping us “safe” in the “day of trouble” (Psalm 27:1,2,5).  Ezekiel 33:1-7 pertains to the blowing of the trumpet to “warn the people” of the “...sword coming against the land...” (33:3).  For whoever does not heed the warning and loses his life, “...his blood will be on his own head” (that is, it is his own fault) because “if he had taken warning, he would have saved himself” (33:4,5).

In August 2017, a significant total solar eclipse, with the zone of totality observable only in the United States, took place on Av 29 (August 21).  It ushered in the 40-day season of Teshuvah, which started at sunset following Av 29 when Av 30 began.  It very well may have been a strong and urgent warning, not only to the U.S. but to all the nations of the world, that a sincere repentance was expected by God—or else severe judgments would follow.

total solar eclipse: August 21, 2017

Total solar eclipse across the United States on August 21, 2017On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse crossed the entire United States, from Oregon to South Carolina.  The U.S. was the only country that was on the eclipse’s path of totality, which was seen by observers in 12 states (and maybe in a tiny portion of 2 other states).

The last total eclipse that crossed the U.S., from coast to coast, was in 1918.  However, the August 21, 2017 eclipse was the first total eclipse that was exclusive only to the U.S. in the nation’s history.  These two videos provide more information:

Everything You Need To Know
about the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

(video length = 1½ minute)
     2017 Total Solar
Eclipse in the U.S.

(video length = 48 seconds)

sign of Jonah

Jesus spoke about the sign of the prophet Jonah.  Just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish or whale (Jonah 1:17), Jesus said that He would be three days and three nights in the grave or “heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:39,40).

Interestingly, ancient cuneiform tablets, discovered in the 19th century, describe events in ancient Nineveh.  One event was the Bur-Sagale or Assyrian total eclipse, which has been verified by NASA as having taken place in 763 B.C.

Evidently, the eclipse passed directly over Nineveh just before Jonah arrived.  This very likely was a primary reason why the people of Nineveh were ready and willing to repent when God sent Jonah there to warn them that they had only forty days left to repent (Jonah 3:1-10).

Possible cancellation of the United States
Click on image to see a larger view.
It very well could be, then, that the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, was a warning sign to America—which has become an extremely politically and socially divided nation since 2017—to repent during the 40-day season of Teshuvah...or else.  Realistically, though, it was difficult to imagine that such a massive, coast-to-coast repentance would take place and that the majority of the people in the United States would unite and turn exclusively to the one, true God.

Not only are Americans deeply divided in their pro-God vs. anti-God views, they also are deeply divided in other ways, such as conservativism vs. liberalism, lawfulness vs. anarchy, legal vs. illegal immigration, females vs. males, and along racial lines.  All of these divisions increased considerably and substantially during the presidential election year of 2020, which also was the first full year of the terrible and dreadful COVID-19 worldwide pandemic.  The divisions are continuing to escalate as the 2024 presidential election approaches.

What Jesus said about division is extremely concerning:

Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. (Matthew 12:25)
Detailed descriptions of ancient Israel in the Bible are an example to all the nations of the world, including the USA, of how people interact positively and negatively with God.  In ancient Israel, many of the leaders and the people gradually began transgressing against God’s covenantal laws, and they started embracing and worhiping gods other than the one, true God.  God’s compassion and mercy lasted for quite awhile; His desire was for the people to repent and turn back to Him.

Balance scales of God's mercy and judgmentHowever in due time, when they did not repent of their ways, His benevolent mercy changed to harsh judgment, which fell upon them (Daniel 9:9-15; Jeremiah 15:6-8).  This applies not just to Israel but to every nation and to all people (Jeremiah 18:7-12; Hebrews 10:26,27).  God’s gracious mercy gradually wanes, and eventually it is out-weighed by His severe judgment.

Following the total solar eclipse that essentially “sliced America in half,” further stark warnings seem to have occurred, perhaps portending the beginning of God’s pronounced and perilous judgment on the U.S., along with other nations such as neighboring Mexico.  Possible warnings may have included the following disasters, all of which took place or commenced within a month of the solar eclipse of August 21:

  • Aug. 25: Hurricane Harvey made landful in Texas as a Category 4 storm.  It caused catastrophic damage to eastern portions of TX, along the Gulf Coast.
  • Sep. 6: Huge wildfires in CA, OR, WA, ID, MT, NV, UT, WY and CO were raging.  They lasted for several weeks and caused catastrophic damage.  They culminated in the October 2017 Northern California wildfires, burning throughout most of October and including the Napa Sonoma fires in the famed wine country of No. CA.
  • Sep. 7: The Chiapas earthquake, with Magnitude 8.2, struck off the southern coast of Mexico.  It generated a tsunami with waves of 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 meters) above tide level.  It was the strongest earthquake recorded in Mexico in a century, as well as the strongest earthquake in the world in 2017.
  • Sep. 7: Hurricane Irma pummeled the Caribbean Islands as a Category 5 storm.  It caused extensive and widespread devastation.
  • Sep. 10: Hurricane Irma made two landfalls in Florida, as a Category 4 and a Category 3 storm.  Moving northward along the west coast, it caused catastrophic damage to much of the state.
  • Sep. 19: The Central Mexico earthquake, with Magnitude 7.1, struck southeast of Mexico City.  It caused considerable destruction in the Mexican states of Puebla and Morelos and in the Greater Mexico City area, where more than 40 buildings collapsed.
  • Sep. 19: Hurricane Maria roared across the Caribbean island of Dominica as a Category 5 storm.  It caused catastrophic damage throughout the entire island.
  • Sep. 20: Hurricane Maria made a direct hit on Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm (after weakening from a Category 5 storm).  It caused calamitous devastation across the island, from which it may never fully recover.

Then on Oct. 1, 2017—the day following the final day of the season of Teshuvah, Sep. 30, which was the last day available for large-scale repentance—there was a horrendous, unprecedented, record-breaking shooting attack in the U.S.:

  • Oct. 1: A Las Vegas shooting took place, resulting in at least 58 deaths and 851 injuries.  The killer fired from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel onto approximately 22,000 people below, who were attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival.  It was the worst and deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in modern United States history (see 2017 Las Vegas shooting).

In 2020, there were several record-breaking disasters in many parts of the world and in the U.S.  These resulted in countless injuries and deaths, famines, plagues, economic plunges and other catastrophes.  Here are just a few of them:

In time, it seems likely that the U.S. will become proccupied with innumerable problems and hardships, well beyond the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 through 2022.  Potentially, this might prevent the U.S. from aiding and protecting Israel in a prophesied attack, which could be near.


sign in the sky: September 23, 2017

Within the final ten “Days of Awe” during the season of Teshuvah in 2017, it seems that God had prepared another extremely amazing sign in the sky (Genesis 1:14), besides the total solar eclipse that crossed the United States on August 21.  Seemingly, this was another manifest declaration and notification by God.  Potentially, in His unique time frame, it is quite possible that it portended and signaled the soon beginning of the final 7 years of this age.

On September 23, 2017, there was a combination of two constellations, stars, planets, the sun and the moon, and other signs in the sky.  It appeared very likely that this was another example of how God uses lights in the expanse of the sky—the sun, the moon and the stars—as “signs to mark seasons and days and years(Genesis 1:14).

This wondrous display in the sky happened to take place on the Saturday (Sabbath Day or Shabbat) between the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh haShanah) and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).  That day was Shabbat Shuvah—a day of notable significance during the season of Teshuvah.

Shuvah means “Return!”  It is a special day for people to be encouraged to turn from their wayward paths, remember God’s holy covenant, return to Him, and obey His precepts and ordinances.  Incidentally, it seems that the Shabbat Shuvah of September 26, 2020 also was an extremely significant day.  It could have been God’s final urging and warning for the U.S. and the world to begin a process of repentance and turning back to Him—which, unfortunately, has not happened.

Constellations Virgo and Leo 
Constellations Virgo and Leo
Click on images to see larger views.
The exceptional combination of heavenly bodies in the sky on September 23, 2017, was so rare that it is estimated to occur only about every 7,000 years.  It is very likely that these remarkable signs in the sky (Genesis 1:14) fulfilled the first couple of verses of Revelation 12, with “the woman” being a prophetic representation of Israel:

A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.  She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. (Revelation 12:1,2)
The 9 stars of Leo (the “lion”), plus the 3 planets Venus, Mars and Mercury (resembling 3 stars), appeared to form the 12 stars of a “crown” above the head of Virgo (the “virgin”).  From our perspective on earth, the sun (during the day) appeared to be near her head with the first tiny sliver of a new moon (during the night) near her feet.

Also, from our perspective, the planet Jupiter was in apparent retrograde motion, which is the perceived, limited reversal of the motion of a planet as seen from Earth.  Jupiter appeared to be moving back and forth in the “womb” of Virgo (the virgin), for nine months, as if “she” were pregnant.

There are many “cyclical” prophecies in the Bible, meaning that God can cause prophecies to have mutiple fulfillments, on different levels.  So, among other things, Virgo could represent Israel and, secondarily, the Israeli virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus (Matthew 1:20-23).  Leo (latin for “lion”) could represent Judah (Genesis 49:9), the son of Jacob/Israel, as well as Judah’s descendant Jesus, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5).

Signs in the sun, moon and starsAs stated before, God uses lights in the sky (the sun, moon and stars) as “signs to mark seasons and days and years(Genesis 1:14).  So it would seem appropriate that the day following Rosh haShanah, on God’s calendar of Hebraic Feast and Holy Days, His pre-ordained final 7 years of this age could have commenced with the signs in the sky on September 23, 2017.

However, it also is possible that this was a harbinger, from God, that the final 7 years would begin a handful of years later.  In the Bible, there are many places where a period of months or years took place between two adjacent verses or passages.  God is merciful.  In ancient Israel, after giving a forewarning of difficult times to come, He sometimes provided a transitional period of time during which people could repent and return to Him before the formidible and strenuous times began.

The signs in the sky on September 23, 2017 took place on Shabbat Shuvah, a Sabbath of Return and Repentance.  Thus, perhaps the signs in the sky on September 23, 2017 began a buffer period of a few years, with God’s giving the world (including Israel) a final opportunity to repent and return to Him and to Jesus.  Then, without the repentance and return to Him taking place, the final 7 years may have begun in the Fall of 2019 or, more likely, 2020.

In any case, it would be advisable to stock up on food and non-food supplies because they probably will become increasingly scarce as the middle of the 7 years approaches, whenever that might be.  Even if the worst of end-time events are not immediately imminent, it always is a good idea to prepare for unforeseen disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, massive and lengthy power outages, widespread food shortages and other calamities and afflictions.  It would be prudent to begin stocking up on necessary supplies and also on foods, both regular and dehydrated, listed on the following pages::

red dragon

The prophecy describes another sign to appear:

Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads.  His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.  The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. (Revelation 12:3,4)
In the time of Yeshua/Jesus (the son of Mary), Satan looked for ways to kill Him.  Eventually, Satan influenced Judas to betray Jesus.  Then Jesus was interrogated, humiliated, flogged and crucified on Passover.  It seemed that Satan had won.

However, after three days, Jesus was resurrected from the dead on the Feast of Firstfruits (commonly known as “Easter Sunday”).  For forty days, Jesus appeared to His disciples and to many others, proving that He was alive (Acts 1:3); and then He was taken up to heaven in their sight (1:9).  Jesus was the first of many who, placing their faith in Him, eventually will be caught up into heaven as He was (Mark 16:19).

Red dragon between the legs of Virgo, perhaps a binary star solar system
Red dragon between the legs of Virgo, perhaps Nihiru or Planet X
Click on images to see larger views.
There also appeared to be something between the “legs” of Virgo on September 23, 2017.  Evidently, it was a binary solar system that could be viewed only with an infrared telescope.  The two stars in the system seemed to resemble the two eyes on the face of a fiery red dragon.

Others have said it was Nibiru or Planet X which, allegedly, is a large planet with a very long elliptical orbit around the sun.  They claim that at some point, it supposedly will pass near the earth—or even crash into the earth—causing untold destruction.

In Revelation 12:3,4a, it is seen that Satan (the “red dragon”) sweeps a third of his “stars” or evil angels out of the sky or heaven and flings them to the earth.  Presumably, for an unspecified period of time, they are sent to have a negative effect on the earth and a detrimental influence on people everywhere.

It would seem that the length of time that these evil angels will have a negative effect on many people in the world will be a few years.  Then many in Israel will flee to a place where they will be cared for by God for 1,260 days—the final 3½ years of this age:

The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. (Revelation 12:6)

Jesus even gave a warning to Israelites in certain locations to flee, just prior to the beginning of the Great Tribulation, when they observe certain things happening in Jerusalem and Judea (Matthew 24:15-21; Mark 13:14-19; Luke 21:20-24).

Mysterious booms in the U.S.For several years in various places of the world, there have been bright flashes of light, followed immediately by mysterious loud booms and then brief shakings.  Their frequency escalated in the U.S. in 2017, especially during the final few months of the year.  These included booms/shakings in San Diego, CA & Bridgewater, NJ, in Centreville, AL, and in Denver, CO, as well as in numerous other locations.  The mystery flashes of light, booms and shakings continued after 2017.  For instance, in early 2019 they happened in various places across the United States, from Arizona to Rhode Island, including Louisville, Kentucky.  There were several in 2020, including in Oswego County, NY on December 7 and across the Ohio Valley on December 11.

It has been suggested that many of these booms were and are caused by supernatural beings being flung out of the sky by Satan (Revelation 12:3,4a), then traveling through the atmosphere at an exceedingly high rate of speed.  If so, presumably when one of them enters the lower atmosphere, there is a bright flash of light, a loud boom, and then a strong vibration and shaking of the atmosphere and the ground.  Once they reach the earth, there is no telling what all they are doing once they get here.  Most likely, they are being instrumental in leading the world down a perplexing and bewildering pathway toward the time of Great Tribulation.

war in heaven

It should be noted that Revelation 12:3,4 is not the same event as Revelation 12:7-9, described here:

And there was war in heaven.  Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.  But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.  The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.  He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. (Revelation 12:7-9)

This will take place immediately after many in Judea and Jerusalem flee to a desert region, where they will be taken care of by God for 1,260 days (Revelation 12:6) or 3½ years on the Hebraic calendar.  So at the beginning of the final 3½ years of this age, the archangel Michael and his angels will have a battle in heaven with Satan and the remainder of his evil angels; and Satan himself, along with his evil angels, will be hurled permanently to the earth, which will make Satan furious (Revelation 12:7-12).  After this, Michael the restrainer and historical protector of Israel will “step aside” (see Amad) and no longer will give Israel any further assistance and protection.

A time of woe can be expected on the earth and the sea because the devil, filled with fury, will know that his time is short (Revelation 12:12bc).  He will have only “a time, times and half a time” (or “a year, two years and half a year” = 3½ years or 1,260 days) to unleash his ultimate devastation and destruction upon the earth; it will be the same length of time that the remnant of “the woman” who will flee Judea and Jerusalem (12:6) will be protected, by God, out of Satan’s reach (12:14).

If the United States—the main protector of Israel—were to be preoccupied with or to have its main attention directed toward the COVID-19 pandemic and its own natural, human-caused and/or socioeconomic disasters, this potentially could open the door for Israel to be attacked by its enemies.  Whenever this happens, Jerusalem will be surrounded by armies, and people will flee (perhaps to a mountainous desert area such as Petra), thus fulfilling Luke 21:20,21 and Revelation 12:6 and commencing the final 1,260 days = 3½ years of this age.

So during the final 3½ years of this age, Satan and his evil angelic host will wreak immeasurable and unprecedented havoc in the world.  Most of this will take place during the Great Tribulation period and will continue into the day of vengeance period.  Fortunately, Jesus will return physically to the earth, at the end of that final 3½-year period, to rule and reign over the whole world—in perfect righteousness, justice, lawfullness, peace and love—during the Millennium.


 

End of the Age: 2024 – 2027?
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first 3½ years

It appears, then, that the constellations Virgo and Leo, seen as the sign in the sky: September 23, 2017, were the “great and wondrous sign” in the sky of Revelation 12:1.  It also seems plausible that this was a sign and a harbinger of the final 7 years of this age yet to come.  This would have aligned with God’s Hebraic calendar, since that date was the day immediately following Rosh HaShanah, which took place during the two days of September 21 and 22 (with the first sliver of the new moon not being observable until September 23).

This event took place on Shabbat Shuvah, which always is the Saturday/Sabbath between the Feast of Trumpets / Rosh haShanah and the Day of Atonement / Yom Kippur.  Each year, it is the main Sabbath of repentance and return.  It is a special day for people to be encouraged to turn from their wayward paths, return to God, obey God’s precepts and ordinances, and remember God’s holy covenant.

The notable sign in the sky took place on Shabbat Shuvah, commencing a time of repentance and return to God.  Therefore, it is plausible to consider the possibility that the intent of God, in His mercy, was then to give Israel, Gentile Christians and the rest of humanity an unspecified period of time to repent and return faithfully to Him before the final 7 years would begin.

In fact, there has been a lengthy period of almost 2,000 years since the conclusion of the 7 + 62 = 69 weeks of years (Daniel 9:25,26a), culminating with Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.  Therefore, it seems feasible that God, in His mercy, might extend that prolonged gap of time between the 69th week and the final 70th week a bit longer, perhaps just a handful of years, for an additional number of people to repent of their sins and come to a saving knowledge and acceptance of Jesus as their eternal Savior.

Conceivably, then, the first 3½ years of the final 7 years could have begun in the Fall of 2020.  If so, then it seems likely that the final 3½ years of this age would begin in the Spring of 2024.

confirming a covenant

It commonly is believed that the Antichrist will confirm a covenant with many (including Israel) for one week of years (7 years); and in the middle of those 7 years (that is, after 3½ years), he will bring an end to sacrifice and offering (Daniel 9:27).  Yet, in the second portion of that same verse, it appears to be a different person, “one who makes desolate”—undoubtedly the Antichrist—who, as Jesus inferred, will be responsible for the future “abomination that causes desolation” (Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14).

Looking at the previous verse, Daniel 9:26, should help to bring some clarity.  This speaks about the Messiah (that is, Yeshua/Jesus), who was “cut-off, but not for himself.”  He was pierced, led like a lamb to the slaughter, and cut off from the land of the living for the transgressions of Israel and all of humanity (Isaiah 53:5-8).  Daniel 9:26 also describes how the people of “the prince who is to come” would destroy and desolate the city and the sanctuary (that is, Jerusalem and the temple).  The latter event occurred during the Siege of Jerusalem (70 CE) when the Roman army, led by Titus (who later would become the Roman emperor), beseiged and captured Jerusalem and destroyed the city and the Second Temple.

If taken literally, it appears that the “He” who will confirm a covenant at the beginning of Daniel 9:27 will be one of the two people in the previous verse.  One possibility is Emperor Titus, who died in 81 A.D.  Obviously, it cannot be Titus.  It also gives no indication that it would be someone in the future from Rome, Italy, or Europe, or anyone else remotely connected to Titus.

The other possibility for the “He” at the beginning of Daniel 9:27 is the Messiah Yeshua/Jesus, who rose from the dead on the Feast of Firstfruits and Who lives today in heaven.  It actually makes complete sense that, at some point, Jesus would confirm a pre-existing covenant with Israel.

The Bible contains many references to God’s holy covenant with Abraham and Isaac, which He confirmed with Jacob/Israel, His chosen nation, as an everlasting covenant.  A significant description of this is included in King David’s psalm of thanks:

O descendants of Israel his servant, O sons of Jacob, his chosen ones.  He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth.  He remembers his covenant forever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac.  He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: "To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit." (Psalm 105:6-11)

Long ago, God engaged in a covenant with Israel.  Over time, though, Israel became disobedient and unfaithful, giving their allegiance to other gods (Judges 2:11-13; 1 Kings 11:9-11; Jeremiah 11:10-13), which is true of all nations to a large extent.  These and other transgressions resulted in Israel’s covenant with God being broken.

At the Last Supper, though, their true Messiah, Yeshua/Jesus came and made a new covenant with Israel (Matthew 26:28; Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25) and with those who have been grafted into the “olive root” of Israel (Romans 11:17).  One thing that the old covenant required was blood sacrifices, but none of those could provide a final sacrifice and atonement for sin (Hebrews 10:3,4).  Jesus, by the shedding of His own blood, was the only one Who could take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).  Several hours after eating the Last Supper with His disciples, Jesus established the new covenant by shedding His blood on the cross to take away the sin of the world, for those who would believe in Him and in what He did for them.

As a whole, though, Israel has not accepted Yeshua as their eternal Messiah, nor recognized His once-for-all blood sacrifice as the remission for their sins and transgressions.  In essence, Israel has rejected the new covenant, which Jesus provided and extended to them to renew the old covenant with them that they broke thousands of years ago.

The angel Gabriel had indicated that the 70 weeks of years were determined for and pertained to Daniel’s people and holy city: Israel and Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24).  There has been a gap of almost 2,000 years since the 69 weeks of years ended with Jesus’ crucifixion.  It would seem appropriate that the 70th week of years would commence relatively soon after the appearance of something that pointed directly toward Israel—which, evidently, “the woman(Revelation 12:1) as the sign in the sky: September 23, 2017 represented.

It would make sense, then, that the amazing sign in the sky on that date was brought about by the living Jesus/God to remind Israel, His chosen nation, of God’s covenant with them.  Jesus was mercifully confirming His covenant with them.  It finally was time for them to understand that Yeshua/Jesus not only is their Messiah but also was their ultimate and final sacrifice for sins (1 Corinthians 5:7b), almost 2,000 years ago.  Therefore, not only would it be unnecessary for them to perform any further sacrifices and offerings, but doing so actually would be an offense to God.  Unfortunately, such sacrifices and offerings took place in 2018 and 2019 and have continued.

sacrifices and offerings

The Israelites continued making unnecessary blood sacrifices in their Second Temple until 70 A.D., when Jerusalem and the temple were attacked and destroyed (which Jesus told His disciples would happen in Matthew 24:1,2).  This was the Siege of Jerusalem (70 CE) by the Roman army, led by Titus.  Most Israelites were either killed or taken to other countries.  By God’s grace, Israel became a viable nation again in 1948; however, as a whole, Israel still does not acknowledge Yeshua/Jesus as their Messiah and Savior, as well as the ultimate and final sacrificial offering for their sins.

In December 2018, a sacrificial altar built by the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem was dedicated.  Their intent was to perform sacrifices and offerings as a preparatory step prior to their planned construction of the Third Temple.  Since then, sacrificial offerings have been performed on the altar, though not even one stone of a temple’s foundation has been set down.

Sanhedrin Third Temple Ritual
in Jerusalem: Altar Dedication

Sacrificial Passover lamb that will become a burnt offeringLong ago, there was a precedent for this prior to the building of the Second Temple.  An altar was built, and sacrificial burnt offerings were offered on it (Ezra 3:1-6).  This was done even though the foundation of the LORD’s temple had not yet been laid (3:6), and indeed it is happening again.  For example, in April 2019, a ceremony took place where a Passover lamb was sacrificed and burned as an offering to God.

Passover Sacrifice Service
for the Third Temple

There are numerous parallels between Jesus and the Passover lamb, which most Israelites still do not recognize.  Jesus Christ, the ultimate Passover Lamb, was sacrificed (1 Corinthians 5:7b) on Passover, and no further sacrifices are necessary, nor does God desire that these sacrifices be made.  God Himself provided the supreme sacrifice, Jesus, for the sins of Israel and of all people.  Even King David stated, long ago, that God does not delight in sacrifice or take pleasure in burnt offerings:

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. (Psalm 51:16)

In fact, it appears likely that Yeshua/Jesus, who is in control of all things, confirmed and renewed the broken covenant with Israel in September 2017.  If so, it was a sign that the final week of years of the overall seventy weeks of years, spoken of long ago by the angel Gabriel to Daniel (Daniel 9:24), had commenced or else would begin after a relatively short gap of time, perhaps after one or two more years.  Many times, in His lovingkindness, compassion and mercy, God has been slow to anger and has given Israel a period of time to repent (Nehemiah 9:17; Micah 7:18); however, when they did not do so in a timely manner, He discharged His judgment upon them (Numbers 14:18).

Since the majority of the nation has not recognized the renewal of their covenant with God, and has not acknowledged that Yeshua/Jesus is their true Messiah, He may see to it that there will be no more sacrifices and offerings in Jerusalem after the middle or midst of the final week of 7 years (Daniel 9:27a).  Jesus would not need to be in Jerusalem to do this; yet in some way He could influence it to happen, supernaturally, from heaven.  Then there will be 3½ years remaining to complete the 70th Week, with no further sacrifices and offerings taking place during that time period.


final 3½ years

At or near the beginning of the final 3½ years of this age, these things will take place:

So if the sign in the sky: September 23, 2017 was the prophetic fulfillment of Revelation 12:1,2, then it seems to have been God’s confirming a covenant with Israel, as well as God’s indication that the final 7 years of this age would begin immediately or relatively soon thereafter.  If the final 7 years had begun on September 23, 2017, it would seem that the list of events above might have taken place in Israel about 3½ years later during the Spring of 2021, beginning the final 3½ years.  In hindsight, though, it appears unlikely that they did. 

Indeed, a very violent and deadly 2021 Israel–Palestine crisis did take place in the Spring of 2021.  Thousands of rockets were fired by Hamas militants from Gaza toward Israel, and Israel made hundreds of air, land and sea strikes into the Gaza Strip.  There also were skirmishes between Palestinians in the West Bank and Israeli soldiers.  A great deal of destruction occurred.  There were hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries.  Anti-Israel protests took place around the world, and many world leaders had negative reactions toward Israel.

During that time, countless Israelis took shelter in many places, including underground.  There were reports that some Israelis fled the country toward the east.  If so, it was not determined at the time where these people went.  If that did take place, potentially it could have been a fulfillment of Luke 21:21 and Revelation 12:6.  However, the prophetic fulfillment of that very likely will involve a large number of Israelis, which did not happen.

That violence eventually subsided, and there were no further major attacks during the remainder of 2021.  There was some violence in and around Jerusalem during the Spring in 2022 and in 2023.  The 2022 Al-Aqsa clashes and the 2023 Al-Aqsa clashes began a day or more before Passover and lasted for several days, but they were not nearly as bad nor as lengthy as the violence was in the Spring of 2021.  Therefore, it appears very unlikely that the period of time known as the Great Tribulation—which Jesus warned about—began in the Spring of 2021, 2022 or 2023.

As stated before: Many times, in His lovingkindness, compassion and mercy, God has been slow to anger and has given Israel a period of time to repent; however, when they did not do so in a timely manner, He discharged His judgment upon them (Numbers 14:18; Nehemiah 9:17).

Therefore, it is possible that God mercifully inserted a gap of 3 years after the Autumn of 2017 and that the final 7 years of this age began in the Autumn of 2020.  If so, the final 3½ years of this age could begin in the Spring of 2024—most likely during the week following Pesach or Passover—especially if major violence is seen to spike in Israel at that time.

In fact, a period of major violence did begin in Israel six months before the Spring of 2024.  The 2023 Israel–Hamas war was extremely violent and deadly.  Many have said that it was the most significant military challenge to Israel in exactly 50 years, when the Yom Kippur War took place in October of 1973.  Perhaps the Gaza-Israel conflict was a strong warning from God that the defeat and desolation of Israel might begin six months later, in April of 2024, commencing the exceedingly fearful and horrifying time of Great Tribulation for Israel and for the world.

Something else to consider is that in the Fall of 2020, the European Parliament and the European Council agreed to the adoption of the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-2027, a period of exactly 7 years.  The middle year of that 7-year agreement, on our man-made calendar, is 2024.  It almost completely overlaps with the middle year of God’s potential 7-year time frame from the Autumn of 2020 to the Autumn of 2027.  Perhaps, this might increase the likelihood that the final 3½ years of this age may begin in the Spring of 2024.

Catholic popes

Back in the 12th Century an Irish archbishop, St. Malachy O’Morgair, said that he had a prophetic vision.  He indicated that after the Catholic pope at that time, Pope Celestine II, there would be exactly 112 more popes (see final Popes).  He even made a list of all of the popes, including descriptive titles and narratives for each one.

Interestingly, Pope Francis—whose papacy began at age 76 on March 13, 2013—is the 112th pope on the list.  If indeed Francis happens to be the final pope of the Catholic Church, then it would seem that the end of the age is very near.

St. Malachy's Prophecy
of the Final 112 Popes

Passover week to Yom Kippur

For a long time I have felt that the return of Jesus back to earth, to rule and reign, most likely would take place on a Yom Kippur = Day of Atonement.  (You can read why I feel that Jesus will return to earth on a Yom Kippur.)  Also, I believe that the final 3½ years of the 70th Week will be 1,260 days (Revelation 11:3) + 3½ days (11:9-12) = 1,263½ days (rounding up to 1,264 days) in length.

It would seem that the 1,260 days of the 1,263½-day period of Revelation 11:3,7,9,11 will commence when the the two witnesses begin their prophesying in Jerusalem.  However, the 1,260 days of Revelation 12:6, with many people in Judea fleeing to a mountainous/desert region (Matthew 24:16-18; Luke 21:21)—some feel to Petra in Jordan—probably will constitute the final 1,260 days of that 1,263½-day period.

I’ve also felt for a long time that the final 3½ years, prior to Jesus’ return to earth, probably would begin during a week beginning with the day of Pesach or Passover.  In the chart below it can be seen that in six out of seven consecutive years, a date during the week of Passover is 1,263½ days before the date of Yom Kippur 3½ years later:

Yom Kippur Minus 1,263½ Days
Yom KippurMinus 1,263½ DaysDatesDuring Passover Week?
September 16, 2021
October 5, 2022
September 25, 2023
October 12, 2024
October 2, 2025
September 21, 2026
October 11, 2027
– 1,263½ Days =
– 1,263½ Days =
– 1,263½ Days =
– 1,263½ Days =
– 1,263½ Days =
– 1,263½ Days =
– 1,263½ Days =
April 2-3, 2018
April 21-22, 2019
April 10-11, 2020
April 28-29, 2021
April 18-19, 2022
April 7-8, 2023
April 26-27, 2024
Yes: March 30-April 7, 2018
Yes: April 19-27, 2019
Yes: April 8-16, 2020
 No: March 27-April 4, 2021 
Yes: April 15-23, 2022
Yes: April 5-13, 2023
Yes: April 22-30, 2024

Passover week in 2021 is the only year when that was not the case.  The next possible times would have been during Passover week in 2022 or 2023, but nothing prophetic happened during those weeks.  However, the numbers work again during Passover week in 2024.  This might be an indication that the dreaded Great Tribulation, commencing the final 3½ years of this age, potentially could begin during Passover week in April of 2024.  If so, then Jesus would return to Jerusalem in the Fall of 2027 to begin His rule and reign over the world during the Millennium.

snatched up

Also in the prophetic vision, just before “the woman” flees and is protected by God for 1,260 days, we see this:

She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.  And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. (Revelation 12:5)
A common view has been that the “son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter” (Psalm 2:9a; Revelation 19:15), was Jesus.  Indeed, He “was snatched up to God and to his throne” on the 40th day following His resurrection (Mark 16:19).

However, the Revelation 12:5 prophecy was written decades after Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension into heaven.  Therefore, it evidently describes something that is yet to come in the future.  It would seem to indicate that another “child” of the woman will be “snatched up to heaven” at some point after the appearance of the sign of the woman in the sky.

Just as “the woman” represents a number of people—not just one person—in Israel, the “child of the woman” also would seem to represent a number of people—not just one person.  Indeed, true believers in Jesus have been grafted into the “olive root” of Israel (Romans 11:17).  Those who overcome the world’s temptations, enticements and seductions, and who submit to the will of God, will be given authority to “rule the nations with an iron scepter,” along with Jesus.  Here is what Jesus said to one of the seven churches:

To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—“He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery”—just as I have received authority from my Father. (Revelation 2:26,27)
If those being snatched up to heaven are believers in Jesus who have learned to overcome the world and its temptations and continue to do His will, we might wonder when this would happen.  Some believe that this points to a Pre-Tribulation Rapture.  Personally, I am absolutely convinced that there will not be a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, as explained in my Rapture commentary and in several responses in my Rapture Questions and Responses section.

Presumably, after a third of Satan’s “stars” (evil angels) are flung to the earth (Revelation 12:4a), they will spend a few years disrupting people’s lives and trying to tempt people, including believers in Jesus, to stray away from God, as well as inciting calamities, disorder, societal confusion, violence and lawlessness throughout the world.  Furthermore, there will be a battle in heaven, when Satan and his angels are hurled out of heaven and permanently onto the earth by the archangel Michael and his angels (12:7-9).  Yet, perhaps those who are able to keep a steady focus on God, as well as to maintain a consistent relationship with Him throughout all of the hardships, will be worthy of being caught up and away into heaven prior to the Great Tribulation—a frightful time of Satan’s extreme wrath and fury after he has been cast permanently to the earth.

Thus, being “snatched up to heaven” (Revelation 12:5b) might be a Mid-Tribulation Rapture, as it appears to take place not long before the fleeing of the woman into the desert to be taken care of by God for 1,260 days or 3½ years:

She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter [Revelation 2:26,27].  And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.  The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. (Revelation 12:5,6)

The latter represents a remnant of people in eastern Israel escaping Judea and Jerusalem and fleeing into the desert, where they will be taken care of by God for “a time, times and half a time” (Revelation 12:14), or “a year, two years and half a year,” which is the final 3½ years or 1,260 days of the 70th Week.  This equates to Jesus’ warning to flee to the mountains (Matthew 24:15,16; Mark 13:14; Luke 21:20,21).  Some feel that the people will flee to Petra, a mountainous desert location in Jordan, just prior to the onset of the Great Tribulation.

In all likelihood, this will take place at a time of extreme violence and destruction in Israel.  That could overshadow and delay the news of people fleeing away from the danger.  Likewise, if a portion of believers in Jesus are snatched up to heaven just before this, it might take awhile for reports about this to become newsworthy in a world filled with significant troubles and difficulties.

It is conceivable, then, that a remnant of “firstfruits believers” could be removed in a “firstfruits rapture” as soon as the Spring of 2023.  If so, perhaps this might take place on the Feast of Firstfruits = Resurrection Sunday (Easter), during Passover week.  This is at the beginning of the barley harvest.  Some have suggested that a “firstfruits rapture” might take place seven weeks later on Pentecost, occuring on the Feast of Weeks = Feast of Harvest, at the beginning of the wheat harvest.

onset of the Great Tribulation

The following (and other) events, most of which were described by Jesus, are expected to occur in Israel at the beginning of the final 3½ years of this age.  However, with extreme violence and difficulties taking place in the nation at that time, news of several of these events might not be reported immediately:

  • armies surrounding (and preparing to attack) Jerusalem, indicating that its desolation (destruction and elimination of people) is near (Luke 21:20-24);
  • the presence of an abomination that causes desolation (Daniel 9:27c; Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14), very likely in the Dome of the Rock Islamic shrine which sits over God’s ancient Foundation Stone and Holy of Holies on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (see Third Temple);
  • the cessation of sacrifices and offerings in Jerusalem (Daniel 9:27b);
  • many people fleeing Jerusalem and Judea to a mountain/desert region to the east (Matthew 24:16-20; Mark 13:14-18; Luke 21:21)—a place prepared for them by God, where they will taken care of for 1,260 days = 3½ years (Revelation 12:6);
  • a great war in heaven, when the archangel Michael and his angels will hurl Satan and his evil angels out of heaven and onto the earth, which will make Satan furious (Revelation 12:7-12) because he will have only a short amount of time (3½ years) to cause extreme havoc and devastation on the earth;
  • a time, described by Jesus, of great distress, tribulation and punishment coming upon Israel “unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again” (Matthew 24:21; Mark 13:19; Luke 21:22-24; Daniel 12:1b);
  • the appearance of the two witnesses in Jerusalem, who will prophesy for 1,260 days = 3½ years and will have supernatural powers to do many other things, which includes preventing rain from falling (Revelation 11:3-6); and
  • the appearance of the first beast or Antichrist, who will blaspheme and slander God, will be given power to make war against the saints (believers in Jesus), and will exercise his authority for 42 months or 3½ years over every tribe, people, language and nation; he will be worshiped by all of those on the earth whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s (Jesus’) Book of Life (Revelation 13:5-8).

Jesus noted that if those days of Great Tribulation were not cut short, no one would survive; however, for the sake of the elect, those days will be shortened (Matthew 24:22; Mark 13:20).  “The elect” are saved believers who know Jesus as Lord, Savior, and Messiah.  The elect believers who are alive during the time of the Great Tribulation will be snatched up and away from Earth, in a Pre-Wrath Rapture.

The tumult of the Cosmic Disturbances: Sixth Seal, and Jesus’ appearance in the clouds to remove believers in the primary Rapture (Revelation 6:12-17; Matthew 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-27), will begin the “transition” from the Great Tribulation into God’s terrifying and fearful day of vengeance and wrath.  The events following the opening of the Sixth Seal probably will take place during the final year prior to the end of the 70th Week of years (Isaiah 34:8, 61:2, 63:4—see The Seventh Year) and will be followed, chronologically, by the appearance in heaven of a great multitude of raptured believers (Revelation 7:9,10).

end of this age

The time of God’s vengeance and wrath technically will begin with the opening of the final seal—the Seventh Seal: the Day of the Lord.  This day of vengeance and wrath, from which believers in Jesus will be protected via the Rapture, will be composed of the seven Trumpet Judgments (Revelation 8:6 through Revelation 10:7, Revelation 11:15-19) and the Seven Bowl Judgments or Seven Plagues (Revelation 15 through Revelation 16).

Finally, the Kingdom of God will be on the earth, when Jesus will rule and reign over the whole world for a literal (not a figurative) period of 1,000 years: the Millennium.  Furthermore, the devil or Satan will be bound and thrown into an Abyss, where he will be forced to remain for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-3).  That has not happened since the world began.

The Lord Jesus, who was and is God incarnate, is the only One who can govern and judge humanity with perfect righteousness, justice, lawfulness, peace and love.  It will be a wonderful utopia that never has existed before in the entire history of mankind.

Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. (Psalm 45:6)

He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him.  His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. (Daniel 7:14)

The LORD will be king over the whole earth.  On that day there will be one LORD, and His name the only name. (Zechariah 14:9)

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end. (Luke 1:32,33)


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