Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Final Seven Years - Introduction

About twenty years ago, my extended family planned a reunion to Yellowstone National Park.  It would start with all of us meeting at a resort just outside the park - accommodating those who loved to camp.  Close-by was a motel where those family members who preferred the comforts of home could lay their heads for the night. The reunion lasted seven days, with different activities filling up the week.  

There is ahead of us, a coming week of years - seven years, that the Bible calls Daniel’s 70th Week - it will affect the entire world, and will bring world history to its completion.  The clock will start ticking when a covenant is made between Israel and a prince.  There will be different events that take place during these last seven years before Jesus begins His earthly rule in Jerusalem.  At the halfway mark, the Bible gets very specific on what is going to happen...

Three and half years into the final seven, the covenant with Israel will be broken by this prince - the world will be forced to choose to either worship this covenant breaker, or be put to death.  The church will understand this covenant breaking as the revealing of Antichrist. He will be exalted by many who will worship him. For a portion of the last 3 1/2 years, he will bring the greatest tribulation the followers of Jesus Christ will ever experience.  True followers of Jesus will choose imprisonment or death, and the nearness of Jesus in heaven under His altar, rather than bending the knee to this man, this false god of all false gods, who will bring great destruction.  Israel will also undergo the greatest distress since her existence as a nation.  

At some point before the end of Daniel’s 70th Week, Jesus will make His initial presence known, in the sky.  He will bring great dread to those who worshipped the beast and He will end the persecution of His elect.  He will resurrect and catch up all the Old Testament and New Testament saints.  What remains for the rest of the Week is the period of time the Bible calls the day of the Lord.  God alone will be exalted when He brings His wrath upon Antichrist and those who worship him.  The surface of the earth and all the beast worshippers will burn with fire.  At the end of the seven years the salvation and regathering of Israel back into the land will occur.  The showdown between God’s enemies and Jesus also takes place, and Jesus wins, effortlessly.  

This is a study of a detailed summary of these events yet to come in these last 3 1/2 years of world history - taking scripture at face value, looking at some of the figurative language which describes that which will literally take place, and comparing scripture truth with scripture truth.  After each paragraph, you will see a reference or references from which I pulled the truth I lay out before you.  I encourage you to study for yourself.  If you have embraced the gospel, if you have called upon Jesus for salvation, you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you.  He will illumine God’s truth.  Your responsibility is to be a diligent student.  

Prophecy is woven all throughout scripture.  God wants us to understand it. Confusion never lies with Him, but in our understanding of it.  Studying future events enlarges our view of the One who loves us and gave Himself up for us.  He is in control of everything.  The more we understand His wonders and works and His character and plan, the more we will be in awe of Him. This awe brings our wills to surrender more quickly to His, and then He is worshipped and glorified.  When we see Jesus as the Unseen (for now) Almighty Power moving behind the scenes of what is to unfold, yet always tenderly loving and caring for us, it motivates us to love and honor Him with our lives.  We can and will grow in grace by studying and understanding what He has laid out in the things to come.

"O LORD, You are my God;
I will exalt You,
I will give thanks to Your name;
For You have worked wonders,
Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness."

Isaiah 25:1 

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