Great Tribulation Hoax
Hello again, friends. This essay is a continuation from a previous Hub about the ‘secret rapture’. In that Hub we looked at the popular belief that one day, millions of people around the globe will suddenly “vanish”, driverless cars will crash, and pilotless planes will collide. However, from that investigation it was shown that this idea of being “Left Behind” was not supported by any evidence from the Bible. Although we were shown that the verses used to support this idea didn’t actually say what was being suggested at all, we did not address the teaching of the seven-year Tribulation.
According to the ‘rapture theory’, Jesus Christ comes, ‘secretly’, and takes His people back to Heaven leaving the rest to go through a seven-year period of great Tribulation. It is believed by the followers of the “Left Behind” series that immediately after the ‘rapture’, the Antichrist will make a ‘seven-year’ peace agreement with Israel and in the middle of the Tribulation he will break this agreement with the Jews.
If you’ve been reading my Hubs, then you really shouldn’t be surprised by what I’m about to say next. “There is no evidence from the Bible to support the idea of a seven-year period of Tribulation.” There, I said it. Once again, people are being misled by people who have misinterpreted Scripture. As usual, we are going to take a look at the Scriptures that the ‘rapturists’ use to support the idea of a seven-year period of Tribulation, but before we do – humour me for a few moments, will you? As always, it will be relevant to this discussion. Oh, and by the way, did you know that there are over two-hundred prophecies in the Old Testament that are fulfilled by the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth?
At this time I’d like to present to you the Bible’s most amazing prophecy. It is actually part of the Bible’s longest time prophecy as well, but I may cover that part of it in more detail in a future Hub. One more thing we need to understand is that in Bible prophecy, when a “day” is mentioned, it is symbolic of a literal “year” (Cf. Ezekiel 4:6; Numbers 14:34; Genesis 29:27).
24 “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”
25 “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”
26 “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”
27 “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
In Daniel 8:14, a period of 2300 days is mentioned, but was left unexplained until chapter nine, which is what we are looking at above. Now beginning in verse 24 we read that “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city…” In this verse, the original word for “determined” literally means “to cut off”, and what we are being told here is that the seventy weeks, which is 490 days, are cut off from the longer period of 2300 days. This means that these periods must begin at the same time, and studies show that this time is 457 B.C. when Artaxerxes made the decree “to restore and to build Jerusalem” (Cf. Daniel 9:25; Ezra 7:7).
The 70 weeks are divided into three time periods: 7 weeks, 62 weeks and 1 week (Daniel 9:25-27). With the ‘day-for-a-year’ principle of Bible prophecy, the first division of 7 weeks, or 49 literal years, brings us to 408 B.C. Humphrey Prideaux, Doctor of Divinity and scholar, confirms 408 B.C. as the time when the work of building and restoration was completed. (See “Christ and Anti-christ”, pp. 44-49, by Samuel J. Cassels, Hartland Publications, Rapidan, VA.)
Remember, the 7 weeks plus the 62 weeks, or 69 weeks, amounting to 483 years, were to reach to “Messiah the Prince.” Starting at 457 B.C. and subtracting 483 years brings us to the autumn of 27 A.D., when Christ was baptized in the Jordan and was “anointed” with the Holy Spirit. The Hebrew word “Messiah”, as well as the Greek equivalent, “Christos” mean “the anointed One.”
The remaining week, or 7 years, brings us to A.D. 34 (27 + 7), when Stephen was stoned and the gospel was sent to the Gentiles. In the midst of the last week, that is the 70th week (3-1/2 years from the autumn of A.D. 27) at the Passover in the spring of A.D. 31, the Messiah was “cut-off,” or crucified.
Review the Dates
457 B.C. Date of the command to restore and build Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25; Ezra 7:7)
408 B.C. End of the first division of 7 weeks, or 49 literal years. Work of building and restoring complete.
A.D. 27 End of the 69 weeks (7 weeks plus 62 weeks). Jesus baptized and begins His ministry.
A.D. 31 Middle or midst of the 70th week. Christ is crucified.
A.D. 34 End of the 70th week, or 490 literal years. Jews rejected and gospel goes to the Gentiles.
As you can see, friends, the prophecy of the 70 weeks in Daniel predicted the baptism and death of Jesus. The amazing part is that this was written approximately 600 years before the birth of Christ!
As I mentioned earlier, this information is pertinent to our study on the ‘seven-year’ Tribulation. You see, our dispensationalist friends follow the first 69 weeks of this prophecy chronologically, as they should, but for some reason they ‘chop-off’ the last week and place it well into the future without any biblical, or logical grounds for doing so. Still, this New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling series of books, now being endorsed by well-respected Church leaders nationwide, is founded completely upon this seven-year period!
Popular belief is that the Antichrist will make a covenant or “protection agreement” with Israel and then break it in the middle of the seven-years. Let’s take a closer look.
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, …” [Emphasis added]
The person being referred to in this verse is to confirm the covenant for the full week, or seven years, not break it! I myself haven’t found any reference to the devil, or the Antichrist ever making a “covenant” with any of God’s people. However…
“For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many” (N.K.J.V)
How interesting that both of these verses use the words “covenant” and “many.” Note also that it is not just “a covenant” as most believe; it is “the covenant”, meaning the New Covenant. You see, friends, our Lord Jesus is the One through whom “the covenant, … was confirmed” (Galatians 3:17; Cf. Romans 15:8). After three and one-half years, in the “midst of the week,” as was prophesised by Daniel, Jesus gave His life for us, “causing the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” He was the final sacrifice. No more sacrifices were to be offered ever again (Hebrews 10:12).
The big catastrophe in all this is that they have taken these beautiful verses from Daniel 9:24-27 which predict the baptism of Jesus, as well as His death, and apply them to the Antichrist. And yet this is the only way one can arrive at a seven-year period – how sad! More importantly, and even more tragic, is the alternative to Pillar number 3 from our discussion about a ‘secret rapture’. If the Church will not be “caught up” until the Second Coming of Jesus, then this means that the Church must go through the Tribulation and will have to face the Antichrist and the Mark!
I can appreciate the fact that, if we are not in a right relationship with our Lord and Saviour, then this can present a pretty scary idea. That is why I believe that part of the reason they try to maintain this doctrine of a Pre-Tribulation ‘secret rapture’, is because of an underlying secret fear of having to face the Mark of the Beast. This fear may be unconscious, but it is there nonetheless, even though it need not be.
“Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”
Friends, if the fictitious Tribulation Force in the “Left Behind” series can overcome the Antichrist and the Mark of the Beast, then so can we! Unfortunately, many Christians let this fear prevent them from even reasonably examining the clear-cut Word of God.
This just might be recorded as the Greatest Evangelical Misinterpretation of All Time.
Thank-you for reading.
Many thanks to Steve Wohlberg and Joe Crews