THE MIDDLE OF THE 70th WEEK  


 

THE GREAT TRIBULATION

THE MID POINT OF THE WEEK
THE SECOND SEAL
THE OPPRESSION OF THE BEAST


Just prior to the mid-point of the week, there will be a major confrontation in heaven between the angels of God under the leadership of Michael, and Satan's angels.
Rev. 12:7-9
The progress of the 70th week of Daniel as recorded in the book of The Revelation is chronological from chapters 6 through 11 and embraces -
1. The beginning of the week (seal #1)

2. The tribulation period (seals #2-5)

3. The arrival of the Day of The LORD (seal #6)

4. And the administration of God's wrath via the 7 trumpets.

5. Chapter 11 brings us to the end of the 70th week and the sounding of the 7th trumpet.

It is at this point that the book backs up in its focus and gives information dealing with the mid-point of the week forward.

Chapter 12 gives us a summary of the beast's oppression of the saints and national Israel.

Chapter 13 gives information concerning the "revealing" of the man of lawlessness (the beast) and the length of his "reign."

Chapter 14 Summarizes the Day of the LORD activity from the rapture until the final battle at Armageddon.

Chapter 15-16 picks up from 11:19 and relates the "final"
outpouring of God's wrath via the 7 bowls during the 30 day period after the 70th week ends.

Chapter 17-18 is parenthetical to deal with the history and
final disposition of Babylonian evil.

Chapter 19 picks up from 16:21 and presents the final bowl of God's wrath which is the final "physical" battle of the Armageddon campaign which began at bowl #6.

Chapter 20 begins and completes the 1000 year reign of the Messiah and presents the Last Judgment at the end of that reign.

Chapter 21-22 describes life in the New Jerusalem both during the 1000 year reign of Messiah and also afterwards throughout eternity when there will exist a new heaven and earth.


WAR IN HEAVEN

Rev. 12:7-9,

And there was war in heaven,
Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon.
And the dragon and his angels waged war,
and they were not strong enough,
and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.
And the great dragon was thrown down,
the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan,
who deceives the whole world;
he was thrown down to the earth,
and his angels were thrown down with him.


Michael prevails and kicks Satan and his angels physically out of heaven and down to the earth. This initiates the events that will bring about the Day of the LORD and the establishment of the Messianic kingdom on the earth.

Revelation 12:10-12

And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,
Now the salvation, and the power,
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of His Christ have come,


This victory was actually anticipated by Jesus as He commented on the success of the 70 disciples over all the power of the enemy.

Luke 10:18,
"I saw Satan falling from heaven ..."


It also fulfills the prophecy of Ezekiel 28:17b where a physical fall from heaven is mentioned concerning Satan (symbolized by the king of Tyre).

At this time Satan begins stage 5 of his plan to discredit God and destroy God's plan for the promotion of the Messiah and the people of Israel.

Stage 1 is Satan's attack on man in the garden.

Stage 2 is Satan's attack on the line of the Messiah between
Adam and Jacob.

Stage 3 includes all Satan's attacks on the Messianic promise
and the line of Messiah as it was narrowed down
to the nation of Israel. (represented at Rev. 12:2)

Stage 4 includes all Satan's attacks on the Messiah at the
1st advent and is represented at Rev. 12:4-5

Stage 5 includes Satan's attacks on the church from AD 30
until he is kicked out of heaven (1 Pet. 5:8).
This is represented at Rev. 12:10.

"for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down,
who accuses them before our God day and night."
(This is viewed as his present activity)

Stage 6 includes Satan's attacks during the great tribulation and will end with the Day of the LORD judgments which culminate in Satan being chained in the abyss for 1000 years.
(Rev.20:1-3) Rev. 12:12-13

Stage 7 is carried out when Satan is released from the abyss at the end of Messiah's 1000 year kingdom. Rev.20:7-10


So when Satan is kicked out, his primary concern is to attack the Messianic people whom God has chosen to inherit the earthly kingdom.

Rev. 12:13

And when the dragon saw
that he was thrown down to the earth,
he persecuted the woman
who gave birth to the child.


Prior to this, the "mystery of lawlessness" which is "already at work" in the world (2 Thes. 2:7), had been restrained from such intensity of oppressive action against Israel, by Michael, the guardian angel of Israel. But once this battle takes place and Satan is kicked down to the earth, Michael stands aside and now allows him to carry out his own agenda as a final "last ditch" attempt to defeat the plan and character of God.

Rev. 12:12
"knowing that he has only a short time."

THE RESTRAINER of 2 THES. 2:6-7

2 Thes. 2.5-7
Do you not remember that while I was with you,
I was telling you these things?
And you know what restrains him now,
so that in his time he may be revealed.
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work;
only he who now restrains will do so
until he is taken out of the way.

The key in this passage is to recognize that the information regarding the man of lawlessness is viewed from a context concerning ISRAEL and the temple of God in Jerusalem.

TRANSLATION and Commentary:
At 2 Thes. 2:6-7, there are two places where we must add some "helping" words in order to smooth out what the Greek says.

1. In the first clause: And now you know -

A. What do they know? The Greek just says, "the (thing) restraining".

1. This is because we have a present active participle plus a NEUTER definite article, so that it must be either as above or as, "the restraining."

2. Is Paul suggesting that they actually KNOW the restrainer? The Greek seems to indicate that, as well as the NASB translation, "what restrains him now."

3. What they know is based on v.5 where Paul reminds them that he was telling them about these things while he was present with them.

4. The point being, that they know of the reality of this restraining activity.

5. The word, "now" goes with the restraining. There is nothing in the context that suggests their knowledge is something that is "now" acquired, but rather knowledge about something that is NOW or presently going on. Thus, what is restraining at the present time. This is further confirmed by the contrast with the next clause, "that he may be revealed IN HIS TIME." The idea of NOW is contrasted with a FUTURE, "in his time."

B. Let me suggest the addition of either: "there is" or even "that there is," or as the NASB renders it, "what." Thus, "And (what is, or that there is) now the restraining, you know."

C. The neuter suggests that the focus is on the "function" of restraining rather than the one who actually does it. Especially since the next time the "idea" of restraint is mentioned (v.7) , the masculine form is used. This sets up a contrast to indicate an amplification beyond the "activity" of restraining to the "agent" of restraint. Thus, the translation, "the restraining" is best.

D. The translation continues, "so that he can be revealed in his time." This refers to the beast AT the point of his revealing, which is the midpoint of the week when he takes his seat in the temple.

2. The last clause also requires an addition of words.

A. What seems to fit best is "there is."

B. But this time we have a present active participle, Masculine singular WITH the masculine singular definite article (the) which requires it to be translated as "the one restraining" or "the restrainer," as long as we make it a "person" and a "he" at that.

C. That is why the pronoun in the verb (becomes) must be rendered as "he" because it corresponds with the masculine form of the restrainer.

D. This then goes beyond the "function" of restraining in v. 6 and speaks of the actual "person" who is doing the restraining.

E. The idea that the pronoun of the verb, "becomes (or comes)," refers to a different subject than "restrainer" does not agree with the context.

1. First, the nearest subject is what is in view UNLESS the context indicates CLEARLY otherwise.

2. But the whole idea of "restraint" is EXPLAINED by the clause, "comes out of the middle." It is that "coming out" that constitutes the removal of the restraint and allows the revealing of the man of lawlessness.

3. Notice the parallels:

a. V. 6, restrains - revealed
b. V. 7-8, restrains, comes out, revealed.

Once we establish that the restrainer IS indeed a "person" we then need to determine "WHO" exactly he is and from what "middle" he comes. Our choices are God (in general), The Spirit (specifically), Michael the archangel, and anyone else who might "fit the bill."

The use of the masculine for restrainer, rules out the idea that it refers to the church for the church is never spoken of as a "he."

OUT OF THE MIDDLE

Literally: Until HE (necessary now) becomes (or comes) out from the middle.
The middle of what?

1. The middle of the activity which is described as "the mystery of lawlessness" presently working in the world. This mystery of lawlessness is Satan's plan to discredit and usurp God's character and plan.

2. IN other words, the restrainer is in the middle of the advance of lawlessness, placing a restraint on the activities of Satan who is seeking to destroy God's chosen people, Israel, and Christ's ambassadors, the church. So far, he has been "limited" in that endeavor, although both groups have been severely oppressed since 30 AD.

3. But there will come a time in the plan of God when the restraint will be removed, and the restrained one, knowing that his time is short will endeavor to "pull no punches" as he tries to establish himself as the fulfillment of the Messianic promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

4. In the meantime then, there is a very real and powerful restraint and restrainer preventing the man of lawlessness from beginning his oppressive reign which starts as an attack against God's chosen nation of Israel and extends world-wide as this man seeks to establish his own Messianic kingdom separate and independent from God.

It makes perfect sense that the restrainer comes out of the middle of the advance of lawlessness in the world. Not because he is a "part" of that lawlessness, but because he is actively engaged in "holding it in check" until the perfect timing within the plan of God.

God is not the restrainer, directly, for he is not going to come out of the progress of those "lawless" events here on the earth.

And the Spirit is not coming out of those events nor out of the world.

Who of all that we find in scripture is actively involved in the spiritual conflict between God and Satan who is shown to have a direct bearing on "when" this oppression by the man of lawlessness begins?

There must be a reason why John tells us about the war in heaven and the fact that Michael kicks Satan to the earth - which is what actually precipitates the "revealing" of the man of lawlessness (Rev. 12:7-17).

Furthermore the "frame of reference" of these people would know about Daniel 12. It would be included in what Paul taught (2 Thes. 2:5, "I was telling you these things).

At Daniel 12:1, "And at that time (the time of the end) Michael, the great prince (guardian angel of Israel) who stands over (present function) the sons of your people, will stand up (and away - implied, because of what happens). And there will be a time of distress (the oppression by the man of lawlessness) . . ."

This "standing up" perfectly corresponds with what Michael does at Rev. 12 when he kicks Satan out to the earth at the mid point of the week.

Daniel 12:1,

"And at that time (the time of the end) Michael,
the great prince (guardian angel of Israel)
who stands over (present function) the sons of your people,
will stand up (and away, implied, because of what happens).
And there will be a time of distress
(the oppression by the man of lawlessness) . "

 

THE RESTRAINER STEPS ASIDE

Daniel 12:1

1. "Now at that time . . ."
That time refers to the general time of the end mentioned at Dan. 11:35, which is the 70th week of Daniel. It does not refer to the specific event mentioned in the previous verse but to the over-all general period of time introduced at v. 11:35 as the "end time."

2. "Michael, the great prince who stands (as guardian) over the sons of your people, will stand up (or ASIDE) . . ."


Michael is the guardian angel of Israel as demonstrated from Dan. 10:13 and 21 as well as the first part of Dan. 12:1. But the 2nd part of this verse indicates that something different takes place. The rendering in most translations for "stand aside" is stand up. The Hebrew word for stand (Amadh) occurs two times in this verse, but with a different focus the second time. The idea presented is that, Michael, who clearly "stands over" Israel in a protective capacity, will cease that protective activity so that the result will be a time of distress for Israel that is unparalleled in history. The best way to summarize the significance here is to quote from Marvin Rosenthal's, The PreWrath Rapture of the Church, page 258.

"But what does the Hebrew word for 'stand up' (Amadh) mean?
Rashi, one of Israel's greatest scholars and one who had no
concern regarding the issue of the timing of the rapture
under discussion in this book, understood 'stand up' to
literally mean 'stand still.' The meaning, according to one
of Israel's greatest scholars, would be to 'stand aside' or
'be inactive.' Michael, the guardian of Israel, had earlier
fought for her (Dan. 10:13,21), but now this one 'who
standeth for the children of thy [Daniel's] people' would
stand still or stand aside. He would not restrain; he would
not hold down. The Midrash, commenting on this verse, says, "The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to Michael, 'you are silent? You do not defend my children?'"


Continuing at Dan. 12:1,

3. "And there will be a time of distress such as never
occurred since there was a nation until that time;. . ."


The cause of the time of distress is Satan, who "having great wrath," uses the man of lawlessness to oppress both Israel and the church.

Rev. 12:12,
"Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come
down to you, having great wrath . . ."


Notice at 2 Thes. 2, what results when this "restrainer" is removed.

V.4, "who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God."

V. 9-10, "the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders and with all the deception of wickedness . . ."

And this is what happens at Mat. 24:15 and 21,

"Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation
which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet,
standing in the Holy Place . . .
for then there will be a great tribulation. . ."

4. ". . and at that time your people, everyone who
is found written in the book, will be rescued."

Again, we have the phrase, "at that time," and it still refers to the general time period began at verse 11:35. However, several things take place within this over-all time period and there is a chronological progression in Daniel 12:1-3.

A. First is the standing aside of Michael

B. Then, the time of distress

C. Then the rescue which is the protection of the "woman" at Rev. 12.

D. Then the resurrection in two general categories.

1. The just at the day of the Lord return of Jesus

2. The unjust after the millennial reign of Jesus.

E. Then the believers who are alive after the beast is conquered "will shine brightly" in the kingdom (v. 3).


This rescue is in reference to faithful Israel who will be delivered from the oppressive reign of the beast when Jesus returns at the Day of the LORD. The nation will then undergo the final stage of God's purifying process to prepare them to inherit the physical kingdom over which Jesus will reign for 1000 years.

The church also will be delivered at this time, but through removal from the earth by rapture. However, the deliverance of the church is not in view at Daniel 12:1. Only the nation of Israel can be viewed as "your (Daniel's) people." The church would not qualify under that designation.

So once he finds himself kicked out of heaven and limited now to the earth, he feels the time of his demise approaching fast upon his heels and must take major steps to escape his assigned destiny, the lake of fire (Mat. 25:32).

Rev. 12:12

"Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has
come down to you, having great wrath,
knowing that he has a short time."


In order to do this, he first empowers the benevolent dictator of the Revived Roman Empire, who apparently has just recently been assassinated (perhaps even caused by Satan).

Rev. 13:3-4,

and {I saw} one of his heads as if it had been slain,
and his fatal wound was healed.
And the whole earth was amazed about the beast;
and they worshiped the dragon,
because he gave his authority to the beast;
and they worshiped the beast, saying,
'Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?'


There are several views on this wound as well as the healing, and all I can do is line up with one of them and give my reasons and then let the reader pursue it from there. But it should be clear that the wound and its healing take place in connection with the mid-point of the 70th week. And as a result of the healing, the people will be influenced to follow the beast. Therefore, it is probable that the wound takes place shortly before the mid-point and the healing takes place at or shortly after the midpoint in order to correlate with the Satanic empowering and the fantastic impact on the people. With this in view, the popular idea that the wound is the fall of the Roman Empire and the healing is the restoration of that type of government in the form of the 10 nation confederacy is not adequate.

Since the beast is the 8th king and kingdom, the head that is wounded is the 7th and the healing produces the 8th. If the ruler of the 7th kingdom, the 10 nation confederacy, simply becomes more aggressive in his dictatorship, this would not "impress" the peoples of the world. But if this benevolent dictator who went forth "conquering and to conquer (1st seal)," is struck down and then brought back to life, then would the world be impressed enough to swear allegiance to him.

It is also said of the 8th that, "he was and is not and is about to come up out of the abyss" (Rev. 17:8). It should be clear that "about to come" refers to the beginning of the 8th king's reign at the mid-point of the 70th week. However it is not quite as clear how to view "was and is not." I suggest that it be viewed from the perspective of the "end times" generation, for it is that generation which will see the wound and the healing and be awed into worship. Notice that the people of the world will OBSERVE that this person "was and is not and will come." Accordingly, it does not seem likely that this has reference to the "7 kings" of verse 10.

Rev. 13:3 will continue to be in dispute until the guy
actually comes back to life - but some reasons . . .

     1. One of his heads - - “AS having been slain”
        We have two words: (“as” and the participle)
        and then the prepositional phrase: eis thanatos = unto death
       A. The “as” indicates that this is the way it “appeared” to John.
          It does not address the genuinness of the wound.
       B. slain: sphadzo - perfect passive participle
          1. The perfect tense looks at action that occurred in the past
             with the result of that action existing as a present reality.
             Thus - slain in the past with the result that right now it is
             in a condition of death.
          2. The passive voice indicates that the subject has received
             this action - ie, someone brought it upon them. Thus the idea
             of “being killed.”
          3. participle: used as an adjective to describe the condition of
             this “head.”
          4. The translation should not read: “as if”, but better - as
             “slain” ie, in a condition of having been slain.
        C. This is exactly the same perception that John sees of the Lamb
           at Revelation 5:6, where we find the exact same construction in
           the Greek, except for the gender. John sees the Lamb of God “in
           the condition of” having been slain and sacrificed – but still
           animate as He stands before the throne of God.

        D. This is further supported by the next sentence:
             “And his fatal wound was healed.”
           1. fatal wound: NOT “apparrent” wound, but fatal wound.
                 The Greek says, and his wound of death:
                 a. wound: plāgā = a wound, blow or bruise.
                 b. Of death = genitive of thanatos (death)
                 c. This indicates that the wound is not a minor
                  wound but a wound that did indeed, result in thanatos
                 (death).

           2. healed: the fatal wound, the wound OF DEATH was healed.
                 Seems clear enough to me.
           3. I think the difficulty has come in trying to find the
                 answer to this PRIOR to its fulfillment. That is why
                 there have been so many ideas about it.
           4. To me, the only one that makes sense and correlates with
                 the literal Greek, is that someone or something DIES and
                 is brought back to life.
           5. My point has been: that if an ancient kingdom were to
              have died out (Rome) and then be regathered into a “Roman
              confederacy” - it would NOT make any significant impact on
              the people of the world.
 

WHAT would die and come back to life to make such an impact?
I suggest that ONLY a person - and a contemporary person at that - is what would make such an impact that the people of the world
would now be motivated to worship him.
It's kind of like a “fake” resurrection of a messiah (and after all, this is centered in Jerusalem with the Jewish people).

It is further supported by v. 14, which indicates that a “weapon” was employed in killing the ruler, “the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.”

It is further supported by the fact that #8 comes from the abyss. Ie, #7 dies and his soul goes to the abyss where hades is located and
when Satan brings him back to life, he comes from the abyss back into his body on the earth and becomes #8. Rev. 17:8; Luke 16:23

Rev. 17:8

The beast that you saw was and is not,
and is about to come up out of the abyss and to go to destruction.
And those who dwell on the earth will wonder,
whose name has not been written in the book of life
from the foundation of the world,
when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.


Some have viewed this from the perspective of John and have made, "he was," an historical personage who lived before John. Much has been made of the possibility that this historical personage would be Judas as there are similar terms used with him. This view is a bit less realistic, since those who are present on the earth during the time of the 7th king/kingdom will hardly be impacted by a "raised" Judas, as no one will have any frame of reference for the man. That is why I prefer a time-frame contemporary with the end times generation.

It has also been suggested that this personage is Hitler, who from the perspective of that end times generation, "was" and "is not" and "will come up out of the abyss." This requires a different definition for the 7th king and kingdom (ie, 3rd Reich) and actually looses the close connection between the 7th and the 8th that Rev. 17 requires.
The reader should pursue that line on his own and the best source for the view is, The Sign, by Robert Van Kampen.

Thus, AT THE TIME that the 8th king (the beast out of the sea) comes on the scene,
he will be seen as - -

"was" (the benevolent dictator);

"is not" (physically dead and perhaps "lying in state"
for the whole world to observe);

and "is about to come"
(brought back to life before the watching eyes of the whole world).


The benevolent dictator then, will be assassinated just prior to the mid-point of the week. When Satan is kicked out of heaven down to the earth, he will restore the dictator to life and empower him to carry out his evil intents on God's chosen people Israel (still in unbelief) and on God's spiritual family, the church. (Rev. 12:16-17)

Also related to this is the fact that the 8th king (the beast) will come out of the abyss. We must be certain to distinguish between the abyss itself and the pit of the abyss (the bottomless pit [KJV] which is found at Rev. 9:1-2, and probably best corresponds with the place called tartarus [pits of darkness] at 2 Pet. 2:4; and the great chasm that exists in hades, Luke 16:26).

The abyss is sheol itself and includes the place of torment that is located there (Luke 16:26) and of course "looks into" the pit of the abyss (the chasm). When the benevolent dictator is killed, his soul goes into the abyss (sheol) where all the unbelieving dead go. When Satan is given permission by God to raise this man, the soul returns from the abyss. I therefore see that the reason for telling us that the beast comes from the abyss is to clarify that he is indeed first "physically" slain and then raised by Satan.

This is not a RESURRECTION, but the same thing that was done with Lazarus (John 11) and Dorcas (Acts 9:36-41), and others (2Kings 4:32-35; Heb. 11:35; Mat. 10:8). However, in this case, the “healing” is accomplished by the power of Satan.

There are some who do not favor this interpretation, thinking that Satan is incapable of “raising the dead.” However, this is NOT a resurrection, which has been the “hope” proclaimed throughout the Old Testament times (Acts 23:6; 24:14-15; 26:6-7; Job 19:25-27; Dan. 12:2; Isaiah 26:19).

Since Biblical history is rife with examples of people being brought back to life (raised), the promise of a future RESURRECTION must be considered something different. When Paul was defending himself before King Agrippa, he mentioned the hope of resurrection and then asked, “Why is it considered incredible among you people if God does raise the dead?” But he was talking about the FUTURE resurrection and not a restoration to physical life after having died.

Raising the dead, that is, restoring a dead person to life is indeed a MIRACLE, but it is simply a HEALING type of miracle, and as FANTASTIC as that is, it would be just like other miracles, which God allows unbelievers and fallen angels to perform. Thus, in the same way that Satan can perform healing type miracles, likewise he would be capable of “raising” the dead.

Healing type miracles also includes casting out of demons (Acts 10:38).

The disciples were able to perform many miracles including raising the dead (Mat. 10:8; Mark 6:13).
Even the unbelieving Pharisees were capable of casting out demons (Mat. 12:27).

In fact, throughout history, there are many unbelievers who have been able to perform miracles, cast out demons and even prophesy in the name of Christ (Mat. 7:22; Ex. 7:11-12, 22; 8:7).

What then, should be considered the difference between all these FALSE miracles, and the miracles of Jesus? The miracles that Jesus and the disciples performed were designed to GET PEOPLE’S ATTENTION, which of course, is exactly what the false miracles do as well. However, in the case of Jesus, the purpose was to draw attention to HIS MESSAGE. Once Jesus “caught the ear” of the people, it was the power of HIS WORDS that made the impact, convicted, convinced, and motivated people to choose. (Mat. 7:28-29; 13:54; 22:33; Mark 1:22-28; Mark 6:1-6; 11:18; Luke 4:31-37; John 4:42; 7:46).

Specifically, during the tribulation false teachers will be able to “show great signs and wonders” (Mat. 24:24), and the man of lawlessness will be able to perform the works of Satan, “with all power and signs and false wonders” (2Thes. 2:9).

According to Revelation 13:3, it is just such a miracle of healing that causes the world to “sit up and take notice” that something very miraculous has occurred.
There is nothing in the Bible that indicates it is ONLY God who can bring people back to life.

And since bringing back to life is viewed in every context as “just” another miracle (not to minimize it) that makes an impact on the witnesses, there is nothing that speaks against Satan being able to do the same thing, just as is he able to perform all the other kinds of miracles.

It is thus because of this Satanic "resurrection" that the dictator of revived Rome will receive his power directly from Satan.
Rev. 13.1-2 with v. 5, 7; 2 Thes. 2.9; Dan. 8.24

Rev. 13.2, and the dragon gave him his power - -
Dan. 8.24, and his power will be mighty,
but not by his own power.
2 Thes. 2.9, whose presence is according to the working of
Satan with all miracles and signs and false wonders.


And it is at this time that the 7th kingdom and the world ruler who is over the 7th kingdom will become the 8th (Rev. 17:11) and the 10 kings will be given kingdom authority with him (Rev. 17:12). According to Rev. 13:5, this "Gentile" world ruler known as the beast out of the sea will reign in his kingdom for 3 1/2 years,

"and authority to act for 42 months was given to him.".

The first thing that happens when this world ruler is placed in authority over the earth is that he begins to magnify himself above God and actually to deify himself as God.


Rev. 13:5

"And there was given to him a mouth
speaking arrogant words and blasphemies;"


Dan. 11:36-38

And the king will do as he pleases,
and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god,
and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; . . .
And he will show no regard for the gods of his fathers
or for the desire of women,
nor will he show regard for any {other} god;
for he will magnify himself above {them} all.


2Thes. 2:3-4

"the man of lawlessness, . . .
who opposes and exalts himself above
every so-called god or object of worship,"


Since the center of world attention will be the Middle East at that time, the beast's self-promotion will also center in that area and relate directly to the covenant that was made with Israel at the beginning of the week.
From this "central" location, he will then use the agency of the 2nd beast (the false prophet) to create and universalize an image of himself to serve as a "rallying point" for beast worship (Rev. 13:11-15).

Rev. 13:11-15

"And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth;
and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence.
And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it
to worship the 1st beast, whose fatal wound was healed.
And he performs great signs, so that he even makes fire
come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.
And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.
And there was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast might even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed."


During this time period, as previously noted, Israel will be the focal point for control of the vast reservoirs of natural resources in the Middle East as well as for the entire world.
This is suggested by the term "great spoil" at Ezek. 38.12-13.
(the context for Ezek 38 is "after" the Day of the Lord begins, but the term, "great spoil" still suggests the material resources present in Israel prior to the events represented in Ezek. 38 and 39.)

When the beast "takes over" Israel, the use of these resources will be allotted based on the economic controls that the false prophet institutes via beast worship. This of course poses a threat to all the other nations who were promised consideration concerning those resources and a threat to the overall economic stability within the world. Thus, this activity actually constitutes an aggression on the part of the beast that literally "takes THE peace from the earth."

This is represented by the 2nd seal at Rev. 6.3-4.
The benevolent dictator is indwelt by Satan and becomes the oppressive man of lawlessness who takes THE peace from the earth.

And when He broke the second seal,
I heard the second living creature saying, 'Come.'
And another, a red horse, went out;
and to him who sat on it, it was granted
to take THE PEACE from the earth,
and that they (men) should slay one another;
and a great sword was given to him.


When he breaks the covenant, several things take place.

1. He appoints a Jew as dictator over Palestine and makes
him a prophet to carry out his religious program.

A. The beast out of the LAND: Rev. 13.11-17
B. Dan the serpent: Gen. 49.16-17
C. The worthless shepherd: Zech. 11.15-17
D. The false prophet: Rev. 19.20; 20.10; 16.13
From Rev. 13.11f we see that he
looks like a lamb and speaks like a dragon.

2. He proclaims himself to be God: 2 Thes. 2.4

3. Through the false prophet he institutes beast worship.
2 Thes. 2.4; Rev. 13.14-15; Dan. 9.27; 8.23-26; Rev. 11.1-2
See Beast worship  and  
The Mark of the Beast

4. This then begins the attack on Israel (Rev. 12.10) which
officially initiates the great tribulation. (Mt. 24:15, 21)


Although the great tribulation is a "world-wide" oppression (Rev. 13:7), it centers in Jerusalem from where the beast will first initiate his system of worship.
As he promotes himself as God he will take his seat in the Jewish temple "of God" and display himself from that arena to actually be God.

2Thes.2:4
so that he takes his seat in the temple of God,
displaying himself as being God.


It is then, this specific act of desecration of the temple in Jerusalem which constitutes the "breaking of the covenant" that was established for "one week" (7 years). In order to promote his own deification and system of worship he will certainly need to "do away with" the worship system of Israel.

Dan.9.27
And in the middle of the week he will put a stop
to  sacrifice and grain offering;
and on the wing of abominations, causing horror -
even until a completion,
and (until) what is decreed is poured out
on the one who causes horror.
(literal translation)


Jesus told us that this act of "abomination"
would signal the beginning of the great tribulation,

Matt. 24:15,
"Therefore (picks up from v. 9-14)
when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION
which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet,
standing in the holy place
(let the reader understand). . .

v. 21,
"for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has
not occurred since the beginning of the world until now,
nor ever shall."

And since the great oppression by the beast will focus on the destruction of the Jewish people who oppose him, it is designated as the "time of Jacob's distress" at Jer. 30:5-7,

"For thus says the LORD, I have heard a sound of terror,
Of dread, and there is no peace.
Ask now, and see, If a male can give birth.
Why do I see every man {With} his hands on his loins,
as a woman in childbirth? And {why} have all faces turned pale?
Alas! for that day is great, There is none like it;
And it is the time of Jacob's distress,
But he will be saved from it."


Some Bible students also appeal to Revelation 3:10 to help describe this time of tribulation. However, it seems best in my mind to view that "hour of testing which is about to come upon the whole world to test the earth-dwellers" as a reference to the Day of the Lord.  This is the time of judgment that will come upon the UNBELIEVERS  at the 6th seal with the arrival of Jesus in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory (Mat. 24:29-31; Rev. 6:12-17; Joel 2:31; Isaiah 2:12-22).

See Revelation 3:10 for a detailed discussion about how that passage relates to the various rapture views and the promise to the church.

 
 

Questions and comments are always welcome

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©Ron Wallace, http://www.biblefragrances.com. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it,
but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's consent.

 

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