Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | February 8, 2016

What is Coming Next for the Church and Israel, concluded

Three Major Events

It seems reasonable to believe we might gain some insight into the Second Advent of our Lord by looking at the First Advent and see how events were arranged at that time.

Israel had been given a third period of 490 years but we learned in Daniel’s prophecy of the seventy weeks that it was to be divided into two parts, one part which included 483 years and one part which included 7 years. What was not revealed to the Old Testament prophets was the mystery of the church.

The Mystery of the Church

I’ve heard this described as two mountain peaks clearly visible to the Old Testament prophets; the first mountain peak representing the Lord Jesus as suffering servant at the First Advent, the second mountain peak representing the Lord Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords at the Second Advent. What was hidden from the view of the Old Testament prophets was the massive valley separating these two peaks representing the Church Age.

Between the closing of the first 483 years and the beginning of the last 7 years there would be a gap of unspecified length during which God would implement another plan, His plan to create the body of Christ, the church.

We also learned that the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem brought the 483 year period to a close. It was not for another 56 days that the church was to begin which tells us the Church Age did not begin until after Israel had been set aside, there was no overlap.

There is another precedent for a gap; there was a period of around 161 years between the end of Israel’s second period of 490 years and the beginning of Israel’s third and last period of 490 years which included the Babylonian captivity.

In the end times I believe the Church will have been removed for several years before Israel’s last seven years begin; this will give the time needed for the unfulfilled prophetic events we have been considering to take place.

In Daniel 9:27 it is written:

“27 The ruler will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven, but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings. And as a climax to all his terrible deeds, he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration, until the fate decreed for this defiler is finally poured out on him.”

It is this verse to which our Lord is referring when in Matthew we are told in verse 15:

15 “The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about—the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing in the Holy Place.” (Reader, pay attention!)”

It is the signing of a treaty between Israel and the Antichrist that is the beginning of the Tribulation, the church will have been taken up and for some reason Israel will have slipped away from God and is looking for a protector.

The Dry Bones

This is a reminder that the restoration of Israel which began in 1948 will not be completed until there is a spiritual awakening in Israel which occurs at the Second Advent of our Lord. In Zechariah 12:10 it is written:

“Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the family of David and on the people of Jerusalem. They will look on me whom they have pierced and mourn for him as for an only son. They will grieve bitterly for him as for a firstborn son who has died.”

Then the prophecy given in Ezekiel 37:10 will be fulfilled:

10 So I spoke the message as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army.”

As always, God is looking at the spiritual side of life; the life referred to in verse 10 is the spiritual life of the Jews. Until the Second Advent a large number of individual Jews will be saved but there will be no national awakening until the triumphant return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In spite of the miraculous interventions in the affairs of the nation, Israel still turns its national back on God; until the Second Advent the breath of spiritual life does not return to the nation Israel.

The Antichrist and the Treaty

In their spiritual unbelief, Israel turns to a powerful world figure for their safety; this individual has come upon the world scene as a savior, a deliverer who has promised to bring order out of the chaos that was precipitated by the rapture and the two wars.

For the first three and one half years the Antichrist appears to be the answer to the world’s problems and many nations of the world seek to follow him. After that time is past there is a change in heaven and on the earth.

In heaven a battle rages as described in Revelation 12:7-9 where it is written:

Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven. This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.”

At that point, Satan is cast to earth and indwells the Antichrist who declares himself to be God and demands worship. The Antichrist stops the Temple worship that the Jews had been permitted to practice in the restored Temple and establishes himself as God and requires all to worship him. This is the time of which Jesus warned in Matthew 24:15.

This begins the second half of the Tribulation which is referred to as “The Great Tribulation” and the warning is given in Matthew 24:21-22:

21 For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. 22 In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones.”

In Summary

The Church Age will end with the removal of the true church several years before the Tribulation begins. The Tribulation belongs to Israel, it is a time of “Jacob’s Trouble” not the church’s trouble.

Alas! For that day is great,
So that none is like it;
And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble,
But he shall be saved out of it.”


Responses

  1. AMEN & AMEN!

    Like

    • Sheila,
      There are some incredibly exciting times ahead; just think, we’ll be in heaven when Michael and the angels of God battle Satan and the fallen angels. I wonder how much of that battle we’ll be permitted to see? Another fascinating point is by then we will have been made a higher form of creation than the angels.
      David

      Like

  2. David, I don’t understand the portion about the battle in Heaven. Wasn’t Satan cast out of heaven long ago? I’m sorry for my ignorance in this.

    Like

    • Marie,

      Satan still has access to heaven although his position as a Cherub was lost when his pride cost him his job. I have written on this in “To the Soldiers in the Spiritual War.” Check out the link near the end of the essay.

      Thank you for your comment and subscribing.

      David

      Like


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