As my readers may know, the newly reconvened Jewish Sanhedrin in Jerusalem declared the Hebrew year 2015/2016 a Jubilee, literally for the first since the Roman expulsion of the Jews from the Holy Land in A.D. 135!
If they are right, the first seven-year Shemita of this new 50-year Jubilee cycle ends and the next begins on Sept. 25. In light of current events, it is quite plausible that the final seven years of the Age of the Gentiles begins this very weekend, along with the three-and-a-half year countdown to the unveiling of the Antichrist and the Abomination of Desolation (around Passover of 2025). If so, whispers of the Beginning of Sorrows of Matthew 24 have already begun, with far greater drama soon to be unsealed.
Many believe that Daniel’s 70th Week must begin with a seven-year peace treaty based upon their interpretation of Daniel 9:27. They think the person referenced in the sentence “will confirm a covenant with many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put an end to sacrifice and offering” is the end-times Antichrist, and the covenant he “confirms” is a peace treaty.
That speculation is plausible given the ambiguity of the passage and context, but the more likely meaning, in my view, is that JESUS CHRIST is the actor of verse 27, confirming the Abrahamic Covenant, which is exactly what He did in His earthly ministry, before he was “cut down” (by crucifixion) in the middle of that seven-year Shemita cycle (per verse 28). And by virtue of the atoning sacrifice of His death, the “sacrifice and offering” were made moot and thus ended by the Christian church.
According to this interpretation, the first half of Daniel’s 70th Week is already fulfilled and only the final three and a half years remains – being the second half of whatever Shemita God has designated in His prophetic timeline. So, while a “peace treaty” is possible, it is by no means certain, nor even likely as a signpost marking the start of the final seven years, except for dogmatic adherents to that debatable doctrine.
But there’s a bigger problem in mainstream Protestant eschatology. Because of its (unacknowledged) Roman Catholic assumptions (preserved despite the Reformation), the essential role of the seven feasts of Leviticus 23 as prophetic milestones for the first and second coming of Christ is completely ignored, as well as the role of “cycles of sevens” in Leviticus 25.
Now, there is a sizable and growing number of Christians today who have learned about the Feasts of the Lord and its implications. This enlightenment is largely a fruit of the Messianic Jewish movement, which is itself a foreshadowing of the fulfillment of prophecy of the reunification of the two Hebrew houses explained in thumbnail form in Hosea 1-3 and Ezekiel 37:15-28. It is the “back story” of Christianity most Christians still know nothing about: secrets hidden in plain sight in the Bible until these end times.
My introduction to these fundamentals was in 2011, launching me on the most intensive scholarly endeavor of my life, culminating in my book “The Prodigal Son Prophecy: God’s Amazing Plan for the Restoration of the Two Hebrew Houses and the Salvation of the Gentiles.” I now call myself a “Hebraic-Oriented Evangelical Christian” with an Elijah-like role of mediation and reconciliation between Christian and Jews per Malachi 4:5-6.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome Day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers [the Hebrew patriarchs].” (I am NOT claiming to BE Elijah.)
One example of this Hebraic perspective is recognizing that the “Day of the Lord” of Malachi 4:5 is the Millennial Kingdom – the thousand year Sabbath “day” of Creation in which Jesus Christ will literally rule the earth from Jerusalem, and the Bride of Christ, newly re-married to God in the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, will rule and reign with Him in glorified bodies.
Many, perhaps most, traditional Christian denominations reject this perspective out-of-hand because it contradicts the official amillennial premise of their (unacknowledged) Roman Catholic foundations (i.e., “there is no Millennial Kingdom”) and/or the post-millennial premise of some Catholics and later the Reform denominations (i.e., “the Millennial Kingdom already came and went”).
Today’s post-millennialists can make an almost plausible case that the Millennial Kingdom started with the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70 but can cite no historical evidence that the next thousand years actually fits the prophecies of the Millennial Kingdom (Satan bound in chains, enormously long human lifespans, perfect harmony of nature, Christ on David’s throne, etc.). Unfortunately, like the Millerites whose prophecy that Christ would return in 1843 proved false, the earlier post-millennialists refused to reconsider their presuppositions when the end of the first millennium of Christianity did not occur as the Bible prophesied the Millennial would end (final rebellion, Great White Throne, etc).
With Millerism, the period leading up to 1843 saw a raft of new denominations that exist to this day, from Jehovah’s Witness-ism (which is a pseudo-Christian cult) to Seventh Day Adventism (which is authentically Christian). Then when the prophecy proved to be false, the theological definitions and “goalposts” were changed to try to rescue the doctrine/prophecy instead of admitting their presuppositions were wrong.
Likewise, in the final decades leading up to A.D. 1070, there was a massive wave of Christian evangelism across the globe from the wholesale conversion of the Hungarians under King Steven to the Christianization of Iceland. But afterward, post-millennialists within Catholicism just changed the narrative to put the Millennial Kingdom “into overtime,” to borrow a sports metaphor. The Bible’s Millennial Kingdom prophecies were then “spiritualized” and its terms metaphorized to avoid having to reconsider the assumptions from the Hebraic literalist perspective.
The one redeeming factor of post-millennialism is its emphasis on Christian stewardship and activism in furtherance of bringing about a truly Christian civilization. I enthusiastically share that goal, but NOT the belief some espouse that achieving it is a precondition for Christ’s return.
Now back to the turn of the Shemita. If there is no “peace treaty” by this Saturday, that doesn’t mean it’s not the last seven years of the Age of the Gentiles: neither would the lack of a worldwide “rapture,” which is a mainstay of the majority “pre-trib” rapture crowd (though a pre-trib rapture is more plausible than post-millennialism, and I’d love for the pre-tribbers to be right). In my Hebraic-literalist analysis of the prophecies as explained in “The Prodigal Son Prophecy” and supported with charts, the most likely timing of the resurrection and rapture is 10 days before the end of the final seven years, on the Feast of Trumpets.
In any case, it looks like BIG THINGS are imminent.
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