If there is a 7 year treaty finalised by the end of 08 proposed in the Annapolis agreements does that mean it’s the end of the world?
What exactly will happen and will it be really horrid?
Where exactly in Revelation is the prophecy?
And what about the non-believers?
I haven’t seen references to a “seven year” period in the Annapolis agreements yet – though I have been looking. Have you found anything official on this timing? All I have so far is that they plan to start talks by end of ‘08.
Nevertheless, the Seven Year period is so diagnostic of these events that it is worth knowing about it.
The references to seven years start halfway through Daniel 9 26:
“The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.
27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
They go on in Daniel 11 31
“His (Antichrist’s) armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. 32 With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him.
33 “Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. 34 When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. 35 Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.
36 “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.
The “Ruler who will come” is obviously going to be the bad guy.
The reference to a ”seven” (Dan 9 27) needs explanation. In essence this meant seven days, but also came to be a system of reckoning years in “sevens”, as we can see from Jacob serving a “seven” for Leah, and then a “seven” for Rachel. (Gen 29 27-29)
So Daniel tells us that the ruler (who will be the Antichrist) will make a seven-year agreement with “many” (in Hebrew thought this means Israel and several other parties).
But halfway through the seven years (see many references to 42 months, 1260 days, and 3½ years, expressed as “a time, times, and half a time”) he will break the agreement and stop the sacrifices in the Temple (which does not currently exist, and must therefore be rebuilt sometime before the 3½ year point in order for this to happen). He will then desecrate the Temple, claim to be god and demand worship.
The Historical reference to the Abomination was continued in more detail in Daniel 11, and was fulfilled (for the first time) in 168 BC by Antiochus IV, who desecrated the Temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar, and then set up a statue of Zeus, made to look like himself, and commanding all to worship it (and him).
Paul writes of the same thing to the Thessalonians. At that time, of course, he does NOT mean Antiochus IV, who fulfilled these prophecies 200 years before. Paul is speaking of another one to come, of whom Antiochus was just a picture. (This double fulfilment is normal for prophetic words):
2 Thess 2 1-10a
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, 10and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing.
Jesus also teaches of this time and this person:
Mark 13 14-27 14
“When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let no one on the roof of his house go down or enter the house to take anything out. 16 Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. 17 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 18 Pray that this will not take place in winter, 19because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now—and never to be equaled again. 20 If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them. 21 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect—if that were possible. 23So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time. 24 “But in those days, following that distress, “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’26 “At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens
In Revelation 13, John gives a vignette in the narrative, which speaks of this Antichrist, describing him as a “Beast” – supported by a “dragon” (satan) – and his describing his effect on the earth:
Rev 13 3b The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. 4 Men worshipped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshipped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?” 5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. 6 He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7 He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast — all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.
Then a second “beast” appears – apparently a second in command to the Antichrist:
Rev 13 12-18 He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13 And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. 14 Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16 He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17 so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.
You can see from these passages that there is coming a time of Trouble (“Tribulation” is the theological term). Jesus calls that time “days of distress”, which have no equal.
So is it the “end of the World”?
At the end of the seven years, Jesus returns and peremptorily defeats the Antichrist and sets up his own Kingdom upon the earth, for a thousand years (see end of Rev 19 and beginning of Rev 20)
So, no, it’s not the world’s end, but it IS the end of the current state of affairs – the end of this world-system.
How horrid will it be?
For those who follow the Antichrist, the political system will not attack them, though there will come a series of increasingly worsening “natural disasters”.
However, for those who refuse to worship the Antichrist (from Rev 13 8 that’s the Christians) things will be dire, because they will therefore be under sentence of death. Many will be martyred.
However, Mark 13 20, Jesus tells us that those days will be “shortened”. I stress that this next bit is my own understanding – “Phil’s Best Guess” – but I think the references to 3½ years and 42 months mean that God will snatch out all the believers from the earth at the halfway point of the Tribulation.
The non-believers “left behind” will stay under the rule of the Antichrist as he gradually loses control of the world-system he has put in place. Many will come to faith when they realise that all their Christian friends have disappeared from the earth.
Many non-believers will not survive the crumbling world-order, but many will, and will live on into the Millennium, and live under the reign of Jesus – I have described some of the characteristics of this time in other answers.
The Left Behind series of books excellently describes one possible way this could play out, though these are written from the perspective that all believers will be snatched out (the “Rapture” from Latin rapio – I seize) at the beginning of the seven years, so we will miss ALL the nasty bits. I call this the “Nice, But Hopeful” view!
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