As a minister, while looking at biblical prophecy, I often find myself using crime solving methods. I will read what the scriptures say will happen in the future, look at current events and wonder if in the news of today could be an event that could be a trigger for a future Biblical event.
It appears that one such event may have taken place Nov. 30.
The major future Biblical events are (in the most agreed upon sequence):
1. The rapture of the church (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 1 Corinthians 15:50-53).
2. The seven-year tribulation period, also known as the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:17; Daniel 9:24-27; Revelation chapters 4-19).
3. The Battle of Armageddon and return of Jesus Christ (Revelation 19:11-21).
4. Jesus Christ reigning the entire earth from His throne in Jerusalem (Revelation 20:1-10).
5. The last judgment of the unsaved (Revelation 20:11-15).
6. Eternity (Revelation chapters 21-22).
No one knows when the rapture of the church will occur (Matthew 24:42, 25:13). Since the rapture is the trigger of these events and we do not know when that will happen, we cannot say when the tribulation or any of the other activities will take place.
However, the Bible does tell us of the event that fires the starting pistol for the seven-year tribulation.
Daniel 9:24-27 is the prophecy of the “70 weeks.” These 70 weeks are weeks of years. – 490 years divided up into 70 time periods of seven years each. Sixty-nine of these weeks are already past; we are waiting for the 70th week to begin. The 70th and final week are the seven years of the Great Tribulation.
The purpose of the 70 weeks is explained in Daniel 9:24, “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.”
Long story short, the purpose of the 70 weeks is for Christ to pay for the sins of the world and to establish His kingdom. Notice that the Hebrews (“thy people”) and Jerusalem (“thy holy city”) are at the center of the fulfillment of this prophecy.
The final week, the 70th week, the seven-year tribulation period begins when the Antichrist signs a treaty of seven years “with many” (Daniel 9:27). Since the Hebrews and Jerusalem are at the center of the fulfilling of this prophecy, one can conclude that this treaty will greatly involve Israel and the city of Jerusalem.
The Antichrist will be a charismatic figure whom people will see as a miracle worker with diplomacy. By signing the seven-year treaty of Daniel 9 he will usher in a period where people will think of him as a god (Revelation 13:12). Whatever solution he comes up with for the Jerusalem problem will be marveled by all. This may be hard to believe, but the situation with Jerusalem will be in a deeper mess than it is now.
The creation of this deeper mess may have begun recently, Nov. 30 to be exact.
The United Nations issued this resolution – “The Assembly also adopted a resolution on Jerusalem (document A/71/L.22) by a recorded vote of 149 in favor to seven against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with eight abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Vanuatu). By its terms, the assembly reiterated its determination that any actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem were illegal and therefore null and void and had no validity whatsoever, and called upon Israel to immediately cease all such illegal and unilateral measures. The assembly also stressed that a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of the city of Jerusalem should take into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and Israeli sides,” according to the UN website at un.org/press/en/2016/ga11861.doc.htm.
With only 4 percent of nations voting with Israel and the zero percent chance Israel will comply with the resolution, there is a steep road ahead. There were five other resolutions passed that day against Israel, all with similar votes. Something will have to come to a head; the quagmire that is the Middle East just got a lot more precarious.
This UN resolution and the coming treaty that begins the Biblical tribulation period both center on Israel and Jerusalem. Could it be events are taking place leading up to the fulfillment of prophecy? I know there are skeptics, but I do not see how it could be anything else.
Preacher Tim Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Ind. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit preacherjohnson.com.